Some Early Records of the Macarthurs of Camden (2023)

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Title: Some Early Records of the Macarthurs of Camden.Author: Edited by Sibella Macarthur Onslow.* A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook *eBook No.: 1302011h.htmlLanguage: EnglishDate first posted: May 2013.Date most recently updated: November 2014.Produced by: Ned Overton.Project Gutenberg Australia eBooks are created from printed editionswhich are in the public domain in Australia, unless a copyright noticeis included. We do NOT keep any eBooks in compliance with a particularpaper edition.Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check thecopyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing thisfile.This eBook is made available at no cost and with almost no restrictionswhatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the termsof the Project Gutenberg Australia Licence which may be viewed online.

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Production Notes:

The Index to Letters and General Index have been added to theTable of Contents. A few obvious typographical errors have beencorrected. Most of the punctuation remains unchanged, as do themissing apostrophes. Captions of several illustrations have beenexpanded in the body of the work.




Some Early Records of the Macarthurs of Camden (2)





Some Early Records of the Macarthurs of Camden (3)

Printed by

W. C. Penfold & Co. Ltd., 183 Pitt Street, Sydney


Angus & Robertson Ltd.

London: The Oxford University Press

Amen Corner, E.C.


In editingthe accompanying selections left by my dear father JamesMacarthur, of Camden Park, I am only carrying out a work which hehad intended that we should perform together, when we wereprevented by his very sudden death in 1867; and I wish todedicate the volume to the cherished memory of my dear parentsJames and Emily Macarthur, and my uncle Sir William Macarthur,whose lives were devoted to the highest interests of Australiaand of the beloved Empire to which we have the privilege ofbelonging.

Elizabeth MacarthurOnslow.

{Page v}


It is not intended that this volume,which was almost finished for publication by my Mother before shedied in England in 1911, should be taken as a life of JohnMacarthur of Camden.

Its object is rather to place finally on record an authenticaccount of John Macarthur's connection with the introduction ofFine Wool into Australia, and of the keen interest he took inthat industry and in all that concerned the welfare of the infantcolony which he had adopted as his home.

It has been compiled chiefly from letters and authenticatedcopies of letters found at Camden Park, and from MS. notes leftby James and William, the sons of John Macarthur. All of thesepapers have been literally reproduced throughout; but otherpapers have been used and books quoted, when necessary, to linkup the original materials into a connected history.

The Dedication was written by my Mother shortly before herlast illness. She left the editing of the book to me—a workI should have had difficulty in fulfilling, but for the verygreat help and encouragement of Dr. Frederick Watson, to whom Iam most grateful, and through whom I have been enabled tocomplete the work my Mother had so nearly finished.

Sibella MacarthurOnslow.



Macarthur's EarlyLife and Voyage to Australia


Arrival and EarlyDays in the Colony


The Birth of theFine Wool Industry


The Fine WoolIndustry in its Infancy


Macarthur and theBligh Insurrection


Macarthur and theBligh-Johnston Proceedings in England


Macarthur's Term ofExile


Transactions in NewSouth Wales during Macarthur's Absence


Macarthur's Returnand Development of the Wool Industry


Macarthur as theAdvocate of Reform


The Growth of theCamden Estate


The Making of theMarket for Australian Wool


Life in theColonies, 1824-1831


John Macarthur'sLast Years

[Index to Letters]
[General Index]



Land Grant

Elizabeth Farm


Purchase fromFoveaux

Letter ofCredit

Sheep in 1914

Ms. Catalogue


Printed Catalogue[1]

Printed Catalogue[2]

Ms. Catalogue

Mrs. JohnMacarthur

{Page 1}

Chapter I.


John Macarthur, of Camden, New SouthWales, who introduced the merino sheep into Australia and foundedthe Australian wool trade, was born in 1767 near Plymouth, inDevonshire. His father, Alexander Macarthur, a native ofArgyleshire, N.B., had in 1745 with his brothers (it is supposedthere were seven of them) joined the army of Prince CharlesEdward, and of these he alone escaped from the field of Culloden.Being forced to quit Scotland in consequence of the part he hadtaken, he sought refuge in the West Indies, and after some yearsreturned to England and settled in Plymouth, where he establisheda business * to which his eldest son ** James succeeded.

John, after receiving such education as a private school inthe country ordinarily afforded in those days, entered the armyas an ensign in 1782, but at the close of the war, in 1783, hewas placed on half pay, and being thus left without activeemployment, he went to live at a farm house near Holsworthy, onthe borders of Cornwall and Devonshire.

There he took a lively interest in the rural occupationsaround him, at the hunt showed himself a bold and accomplishedhorseman, and spent much time in the perusal of such books as hecould obtain, especially works on English and Roman History andthe general principles of Law. About this time he marriedElizabeth, the daughter of a country gentleman named Veale, wholived near Holsworthy, and contemplated retiring from the Armyfor the purpose of being called to the Bar; but the pay sheets ofthe London Record Office show that on April 30th, 1788, he wasgazetted to the 68th Foot (the Durham Regiment) and on June 5th,1789, he was appointed Lieutenant in the N.S.W. Corps which wasbeing formed for service in the newly established convictsettlement founded under Governor Phillip in 1788.

Mrs. J. Macarthur's letters to her mother, Mrs. Veale, willshow that she was a true helpmate to her husband, and one cannotfail to be impressed by the cheerful and enterprising spirit inwhich she accepted her life of exile—for such it was atthat time—and for which our pioneer women are so justlypraised. But her letters will speak for themselves.

In October, 1789, when she was in her twenty-first year, shewrote to her mother, announcing their intended departure for NewSouth Wales.

Letter from Mrs.John Macarthur to Mrs. Veale

Chatham Barracks,

Oct. 8th, 1789.

In my last letter I informed you, my dearMother, of my husband's exchange into a corps destined for NewSouth Wales, from which we have every reasonable expectation ofreaping the most material advantages. You will be surprised thateven I who appear timid and irresolute should be a warm advocatefor this scheme. So it is, and believe me I shall be greatlydisappointed if anything happens to impede it. I foresee howterrific and gloomy this will appear to you. To me at first ithad the same appearance, while I suffered myself to be blinded bycommon and vulgar prejudices. I have not now, nor I trust shallever have one scruple or regret, but what relates to you.

Do but consider that if we must be distant from each other, it ismuch the same, whether I am two hundred, or far more than as manythousand miles apart from you. The same Providence will watchover and protect us there as here. The sun that shines on youwill also afford me the benefit of his cheery rays, and that tooin a country where nature hath been so lavish of her bounties,that flowers luxuriantly abound, in the same manner as withculture fruits will do hereafter.

By the last accounts from Port Jackson—where the newsettlement is established—we learn that wheat which hasbeen sown, flourished in a manner nearly incredible, and that thesettlers are making rapid progress in buildings, so that by thetime our corps arrives everything will be made comfortable fortheir reception.

The new settlement is an immediate object with Government, andevery effort will be made to promote its success.

Your affectionate daughter,

Elizabeth Macarthur.

In the same year Macarthur and his wife embarked for PortJackson in the second fleet, (the first fleet having brought outGovernor Phillip and the first establishment in 1788), takingwith them, on what was then deemed an adventurous, if notperilous voyage, an infant son, afterwards General Sir EdwardMacarthur.

The passage to Sydney was long, and attended with muchdiscomfort, the ships (two of which, the Neptune andScarborough, sailed in company) being shamefully andinadequately provided by the contractors with provisions andnecessaries for the convicts, which caused sickness and the lossof many lives.

The ships touched at the Cape of Good Hope for supplies, andwhile there Macarthur contracted a severe attack of rheumaticfever and lumbago from over-exertion in the hot sun, followed bya drenching in the surf in his endeavours to embark and bring oftto the ships a party of soldiers who had been ashore on leave,and who were, many of them, in a state of intoxication.

From this illness he was for some weeks in much danger, and toit he attributed the painful attacks of flying gout and nervousdepression from which he suffered much in after life, and whichwith increasing years became more severe.

A graphic account of the voyage is given in Mrs. JohnMacarthur's Journal, which was found in a torn condition amongstthe papers of her daughter Lady Parker at Sheen, Surrey, in 1888,and in the letters to her mother which follow.

Mrs. JohnMacarthur's Journal.

Friday, 13th November, 1789: I took leave of myfriends in London, and accompanied by Mr. Macarthur, hired aGravesend boat from Billinsgate which conveyed us to theNeptune at Long-reach.

Saturday, 14th: The ship drop'd down to Gravesend. at which placewe lay till the Tuesday following, and then sailed for the Downswhere we arrived on the Thursday. We remained in the DownsFriday, and some part of Saturday, and I was much struck with theformidable and romantick appearance of the Cliffs of Deal and ofDover. On this day (Saturday) a disagreeable circumstanceoccurred. Mr. Gilbert, Master of the Ship, of whom indeed we hadheard but an indifferent character, took an opportunity ofmanifesting himself in such a light to us, as precluded allfurther communication between him and Mr. Macarthur. In theafternoon of this day we proceeded down the Channel with a fairwind and at different times had in sight several vessels.

On Monday, 23rd, after laying-too all night, supposing the shipto be near Plymouth, our astonishment was very great ondiscovering that we were so far west as the Lizard Point. I couldnot help viewing the coast of Cornwall, inhospitable as itappeared, but with sensible regret at the thought that I wasabout to take a long leave of it. We had here a distant prospectof St. Michael's Mount, but not near enough to form any idea ofthe grandeur of its appearance when taken in a better view. Thewind not being favourable towards our return, it was not tillFriday, 27th, in the morning, that we found ourselves safelyanchored in Plymouth Sound. Here I must pay a tribute to dearDevon. I have ever heard admired the agreeable variety of objectsin general to be discovered throughout this county, but surelythe entrance to Plymouth by sea must surpass every other and Ithink there cannot be a beholder but what must be delighted incontemplating the variety of beautiful scenes that on every sidesurround him. In the afternoon of the day that we arrived atPlymouth, Mr. Harris, our surgeon, and Mr. Macarthur went ashore;at their return, which was early in the evening, I gathered fromsome distant hints that a duel had taken place between Mr.Gilbert and Mr. Macarthur. To describe my feelings on theoccasion would now be a difficult task, though they were by nomeans so acute as reflection hath since rendered them, manydisagreeable circumstances then pressing on my mind suffered notone principle to actuate me wholly. I therefore did not soseriously consider what I now think of with trembling, theunhappy consequences that might have arisen from so presumptuousa meeting, nor can I be sufficiently thankful to the Almightydisposer of events that a more lasting cause does not oblige meto consider it with horror.

On Sunday 29th November, accompanied by Capt. Moriarty, I took apost chaise, and reached Launceston that night, and the nextmorning, about 11 o'clock, I arrived at my mother's. My time wasso limited by Mr. Gilbert's report of the Ships sailing, that Icould only allow myself two nights at Bridgerule. Wednesdaymorning I was obliged to take leave of it, and returned toPlymouth, where I arrived between 9 and 10 o'clock at night, notmuch enlivened by the short interview I had with my friends, andconsiderably depressed with the Idea of parting with my onlysurviving parent, perhaps for ever. I found Mr. Macarthur atPlymouth, waiting to take me on board, and late as it was, wewere under the necessity of going, as an official message hadbeen sent by Mr. Gilbert to inform the officers that the shipwould sail at 3 o'clock in the morning. It was afterwards knownthat he had not the slightest intention of going, and of coursecould have no view in reporting what he did but that ofharrassing us. Captain Nepean went off to the ship in the sameboat with us. We had no sooner arrived on board than a compleatscene of uproar and confusion presented itself. Captain Gilberthad insulted a centinal on his post and struck him; the soldiershowed a disposition to defend himself and make Mr. Gilbertsuffer for his imprudence; this led to a great bustle, and theship's arms were taken out and loaded and arranged on the sterngallery. Three naval lieutenants in possession of the cabin withblunderbusses lying on the table. In this order we found thingson board, and Mr. Gilbert had thought fit to take himself quicklyon shore instead of preparing for sea. Captain Nepean dispatchedMr. Harris immediately to London with an account of these riotousproceedings to his brother,* and about 3 o'clock in the morning Iretired to rest after the variety of fatigues and alarms of thepreceding day. We did not leave Plymouth until Thursday, 10thDecember, from whence we proceeded to Portsmouth, and anchored inStokes Bay.

Sunday, 13th.—We there found theScarborough and Surprize, two transports that wereto accompany us, ready for sea. Soon after our arrival here, welearnt that Mr. Gilbert's conduct had displeased the owners ofthe ship, and the truth was soon assured by a Mr. Trail beingappointed in his room. Heartily glad was I when he made his exitand we congratulated ourselves with the thought that such anothertroublesome man could not be found and consequently our changemust be for the better. Experience, however, soon taught us avery disagreeable truth, Mr. Trail's character was of a muchblacker dye than was ever in Mr. Gilbert's nature to exhibit.Everything was now disposed in order for sea and we only waitedfor a fair wind. Captain Hill, Mr. Prentice, and Mr. Harris, whowas the surgeon in the Surprize, Mr. Townsend, and Mr.Abbott in the Scarborough, and in the NeptuneCaptain Nepean, Mr. Macarthur, and Mrs. Trail was on board withher husband, and Mr. Shapcote, the agent for the fleet, was alsoin our ship, but as they all lived together, and Captain Nepeanwith them, we seldom benefited by their society. The windcontinuing to blow westerly, an attempt towards sailing was notmade until Tuesday, 5th January, we then had a few hours' fairwind which first took us to Spithead, where we were again obligedto anchor.

Friday, 8th, we again loosened "every sail to the breeze", andproceeded to sea. Towards night the wind began to provefaithless, and before the next morning blew directly against us,so as totally to impede our course. The next day (Sunday) andnight we continued to beat about, hoping that a favourable changewould take place, but on Monday morning appearances were soextremely hazardous that prudence dictated the shortest way backagain, and our head was once more turned towards that shore wehad so recently quitted with an idea of not seeing it again forsome years to come. We passed through the Needles and anchored atthe Mother bank on Tuesday about noon. The evening and succeedingday was so dreadfully tempestuous that we had great reason to bethankful at our being safely in harbour. We remained at theMotherbank until Sunday, 17th January, when a fine clear easterlywind springing up we soon got under sail and proceeded down theChannel with very fine weather. On Wednesday, being near the Bayof Biscay, the wind shifted to the south, and it began to be verytempestuous, that night and the succeeding day it blewexceedingly hard, and now, for the first time, I began to be acoward. I could not be persuaded that the ship could possiblylong resist the violence of the sea which ran mountains high. OnThursday, towards evening, the wind considerably abated, and thenext morning it was a perfect calm, but the sea continued greatlyagitated by a swell. On the 25th January, we were again favoredwith a fair wind, and a small vessel was seen at a distance withFrench colours. About this time my poor little boy was taken veryill, and continued in the most pitiable weak state during ourpassage to the Cape. Added to this my servant was attacked by afever that raged among the women convicts, and I had hourly everyreason to expect that the infection would be communicated to our apartments were so immediately connected with those of thewomen. We were, however, fortunate enough to escape from thisevil. I have omitted to observe that when Captain Nepean acceptedof accommodation in the upper cabin, he thought himself atliberty to dispose of the part allotted to him in the great cabinas best suited his inclinations, adopting that very generousmaxim "every man for himself," in consequence of this idea and arequest from the owners of the ship, he gave permission for onehalf the cabin to be partitioned off for the reception of femaleconvicts, leaving the other half to us. Mr. Macarthur, who sawthe inconvenience that would arise from this arrangement, stroveby every means to prevent it. He pointed out to Captain Nepean"that Government had contracted for a cabin for the mutualbenefit of the officers ordered to sail in that ship, and thatthere was no particular allotment for any officer," that,therefore, if he had the means of obtaining betteraccommodations, and had no use for those prepared him byGovernment, it was highly indelicate, if not unjust, to think ofintroducing a set of people to the possession of what wasprepared for him. and to the participation of what was assignedto us. But in this instance, as in many others, reason unassistedby power proved unavailing. A slight partition was erected, whichwas thought fully sufficient to separate us from the set ofabandoned creatures that were to inhabit the other part, and theonly satisfaction or concession that Mr. Macarthur could obtainfor this cruel encroachment upon our rights was a promise andassurance that a passage, which from our quarter gallerycommunicated with the upper cabin, should always be open for ouruse and even for our servants. This assurance, trifling as it mayappear, was to us an inestimable advantage, as the division inthe cabin had rendered the common passage to the deck totallydark, and added to this, it was always filled with convicts andtheir constant attendants, filth and vermin. The altercations andlittle disputes that the concluding of this business occasionedcreated a coldness between Captain Nepean, the master of theship, and Mr. Macarthur, and at last terminated in a cessation ofevery kind of intercourse, except on duty with the one, or onbusiness with the other. Thus, unhappily situated, we determinedpatiently to submit to the unpleasantness we could not remedy,and cheered ourselves with hope of a speedy voyage, not doubtingbut that things were at the worst. In this conclusion, however,experience proved we had vainly flattered ourselves.

Many of the soldiers frequently complained that a part of theirration was purloined, and as often as they did, Mr. Macarthurconsidered it his duty to report it to Captain Nepean. The firsttime, Captain Nepean replied "Trail does everything to oblige me,and I must give up some points to him." Subsequent informationson the same subject were answered "I will see into it." It wouldbe an injustice to Captain Nepean to suppose that he did notmention it, as there is every reason to conclude he did, from themonstrous and unprovoked insults that always ensued. I had madeit a practice every fine evening to go up through our quartergallery to the stern gallery to walk or sit with Mr. Macarthur.and I also took the same road whenever my inclinations led me tothe deck—the common passage, as I have before observed,being rendered impassable. But of these enjoyments I was suddenlydeprived by the door of the gallery being closely nailed up onSaturday, 30th January without their deigning to assign anyreason for so doing—we have since been told it was toprevent Mr. Macarthur from listening—a suggestion infamousand unfounded as it was, I shall ever be persuaded originated inthe person, who of all others in the ship ought to have been mostforward in suppressing it. Mr. Macarthur immediately wrote anofficial letter to the agent, complaining in the strongestlanguage of the injustice of this transaction; in answer to whichhe was told verbally (a written answer being refused) "that heshould not quarrel with Trail for any man," Captain Nepean alsosaid "that the master of the ship had a right to do as hepleased." Without a hope of relief, T was fain to content myselfwithin the narrow limits of a wretched cabin, for to add to thehorrors of the common passage to the deck. Captain Nepean orderedit to be made a hospital for the sick, the consequence of whichwas that I never left my cabin till I finally quitted the ship.Thus precluded from the general advantages that even the convictsenjoyed—air and exercise—no language can express, noimagination conceive the misery I experienced. Approaching nearthe equator (where the heat in the best of situations is almostin supportable) assailed with noisome stenches, that even in thecold of an English winter, hourly effusions of oil of tar in mycabin could not dispel, two sides of it surrounded with wretcheswhose dreadful imprecations and shocking discourses ever rang inmy distracted ears. a sickly infant constantly claiming maternalcares, my spirits failing, my health forsaking me, nothing butthe speedy change which took place, could have prevented me fromfalling a helpless victim to the unheard of inhumanity of a setof monsters whose triumph and pleasure seemed to consist inaggravating my distresses. To a person unacquainted with theinnumerable insults and cruelties I was necessitated to bearwith, this may appear the language of passion, resentment, or ofheart, desiring revenge, but it will be admitted to be theconclusions of truth and of justice when it is known in additionthe wrongs I have already recited that we were deprived of a partof our little ration, and insultingly told we should have less ifthey thought proper; that a constant watch was set over ourservant when getting our daily allowance of water lest the seamenwho had the serving of it (knowing our situation) should beinduced by motives of humanity to make some small addition to thescanty pittance, and once (so low were we reduced by theconnivance of the only person we could look to for support) thatthe servant was publicly stopped on the deck, with execrationsand abuse, and the water examined, although at this time theywere expending 50 gallons a day for their stock, and an unlimitedquantity for their own use, and our whole allowance for everypurpose was only 5 quarts. But to conclude as ungrateful asubject as ever exercised the patience or wounded the feelings ofhumanity, I will proceed to the last adventures we were concernedin in this detested ship. Mr. Macarthur, when his duties calledhim to visit the soldiers, always crept through the only passagenow left us, often endangering a limb by tumbling over boxes andother lumber that this place was made the repository of, andfrequently contracting heaps of the vermin with which it wasinfested. The immediate cause of our leaving the Neptuneis now to explain.

On the 10th February Mr. Macarthur had just come on deck when thesergeant complained to him of an attempt made to cheat him ofseveral pounds of the men's allowance of meat, which he hadscarcely heard when the chief mate of the ship (who was close by)exclaimed he was a d—d rascal. Mr. Macarthur, roused at theinsult offered to the man, told the mate with some severity thatthe sergeant would do well to punish him for his insolence. Inreturn Mr. Macarthur received every kind of abuse that can besupposed to flow from ignorance and brutality. Angered to anextreme degree, but unable to redress himself, Mr. Macarthur sentfor Captain Nepean and related the whole affair, when, strange totell, he was highly censured for interfering in the business, andtold by Captain Nepean "that he was sufficient to redress anywrongs offered to the men, without the assistance of any one."This fresh insult, the knowledge of what we were hourlysuffering, and the contemplation of what we had to expect infuture, determined Mr. Macarthur to apply for a remove on boardthe Scarborough. The request was gladly complied with byCaptain Nepean, happy to get rid of a person he thought atroublesome examiner of the iniquitous practices of the people heconsidered his Friends.

On 19th February a favourable day presented itself, and weremoved with all our little baggage, rejoiced at an escape fromtyranny, insult, and every species of oppression. We were in thelatitude of 6 degrees N. when our remove took place, and it beingquite a calm day Edward and I suffered greatly from the heat, butthis was an inconvenience I thought lightly of after what I hadbeen taught to bear. In the Scarborough we shared a smallcabin with Mrs. Abbott. Marshall, the master of the ship, was aplain, honest man, and disposed to make things as comfortable forme as was in his power.

On 22nd we passed a French Guineaman bound to Martinico withslaves. We crossed the line on 25th with a light wind, and on14th April, after experiencing a severe gale of wind, anchoredsafely in False Bay. False Bay is about 20 miles distant from theCape Town. At the head of the Bay there is a small town which hasa pleasing appearance. The houses are all uniformly whitewashedon the outside, and the doors and windows painted green. Theinhabitants are all such as make a practice of preying on theshipping; not excepting the Governor himself, who scruples not tosupply the wants of any at the moderate profit of about 500 percent. The manners of the people, if I may be allowed to judge,from what I saw, are as unfriendly and rude as the appearance oftheir coast. The country which presents itself to the sea isextremely mountainous and you see nothing but massy rocks andtremendous precipices; within them, however, the soil is fruitfuland well repays the labour of the husbandman. I one day took awalk to what is called the Company's Garden, a piece of groundtotally appropriated to the use of the Dutch East India Company,and stored with vegetables. It is situated about a mile and ahalf from the town. The intermediate space is uncultivated andpresents Africa in its native dress, every shrub and flower Isaw, being new, was interesting. Whether my admiration wasexcited by novelty or the effect of a long voyage, I cannotdetermine, but I thought at the time I had never in England seenso charming an assemblage from the most laboured production ofart. I forgot to mention that in our voyage from Portsmouth tothe Cape, Mr. Prentice was put in arrest by Captain Hill. AtFalse Bay Captain Hill was put in arrest by Captain Nepean. A fewdays before we quitted False Bay, Mr. Macarthur was attacked witha violent and very alarming fever. It continued to rage tillevery sense was lost and every faculty but life destroyed, and mylittle boy at that time was so very ill that I could scarcelyexpect him to survive a day. Alone, unfriended, and in such asituation, what do I not owe to a merciful God for granting mesupport and assistance in these severe moments of affliction. Iwas greatly indebted to the attention and kindness of CaptainReid, who commanded an Imperial East Indiaman that then lay inthe Bay with us. He visited Mr. Macarthur frequently and suppliedme with a few little comforts that afterwards were of thegreatest service.

I was also very much obliged to Captain Marshall for his * . . .behaviour, particularly on this occasion and here . . . add myobligations cease. I do not recollect . . . officers made me theslightest offer of . . . indebted to them ever.. .. .. ..
[blank line]
after we sailed but continued intermittant for a long time, for 5weeks I was obliged to have one and some times two soldiers situp every night, and all the rest I took myself was laying my headon a locker, till at length one of the.. .. .. ..
gave me up his cabin.. .. .. ..
Our passage to the South.. .. .. ..
be truly called a tempestuous one.. .. .. ..
we performed it.. .. .. ..
and it was not till this time that Mr. Macarthur.. .. .. ..
recovered to walking without assistance. It.. .. .. ..
feel the heavy hand of sickness.. .. .. ..

Cape of Good Hope,

20th April, 1790.

My Dear Mother,

I have the happiness to inform you that we arrived safe, and areanchored in the bay, from whence I date this on the 14th of thismonth, after a fine passage of just twelve weeks and three days,from the time we sailed from Portsmouth. I wish I could also addthat we arrived in perfect health, but my poor little boy is amelancholy proof, at this period, of the contrary. He has beenvery sickly throughout the Passage, and unless a very speedychange take place I am well convinced he will shortly cease to bean inhabitant of this world. I believe I told you in Devonshirethat he had nearly cut one of his teeth; I was, however,exceedingly mistaken, for he hath not yet cut any, although theyappear very firm in the Gums, and I am in hopes that if once oneor two had made their appearance, he might yet recover and getstrength. He is not near so large as children generally are atfour months old, although he is now upwards of twelve. He is verysensible, very lively, and affords us much pleasure, but thetrouble we have had with so delicate a little creature isindescribable, and I wonder my own health hath not suffered morefrom the attention I have been obliged to pay him. I may justlysay with regard to him "that God tempers the wind to the shornlamb."

Mr. Macarthur has enjoyed a remarkably good share of health eversince we left England, and I trust will continue to do so. I wasnearly tired with the length of the passage before we got intoport, and stood in need of refreshment very much, but now withthe benefit of fresh meat and plenty of fruits and vegetables, Iam quite recovered, and assure my beloved Mother that I never wasin better health, and am in very good spirits which are onlydamped by poor Edward's illness.

You will expect some account of my voyage, but I scarcely knowwhere to begin or what to tell you. I mean to write Miss Kingdonthose particulars. It will be needless for me to repeat the samein both letters, particularly as I have but little spare time,being busy in seeing all our linen washed and got up, and inlaying in stock and refreshments to take with us to Botany Bay. Iam also advised by our surgeon to spend as much time as possibleon shore, in order to get very strong and prepared for theremainder of the voyage. We are to stay here eight days longerand no more. To-morrow I go on shore to board during that time. Iam to pay a dollar and a half a day, and live with a genteelprivate family. Mr. Macarthur cannot quit the ship entirely, butwill visit me on shore every day. You can have no idea of theextravagant charge of the inhabitants for almost all they sell.As an instance of these impositions I must tell you that theycharge the ships for a cabbage 1s. 6d. each. Their bread is notgood, being fermented with leaven. Fruit is to be had in greatabundance. The grapes are fine, beyond what I can describe toyou; you have no idea to what a pitch of luxuriance they arrive.It is here the season of autumn, and apples, pears, and suchfruits are now just in perfection. We get wine for about 1s. thebottle.

The Dutch live very well at their own tables. I like theirhouses, they are spacious and airy, and their slaves keep themremarkably clean. A man's riches are here determined by thenumber of his slaves. If you go to a genteel house you will see adozen of them attending in the hall. I had the honor to bereceived by the Governor, when the officers paid their respectsto him, and was met by his daughter, who was dressed after ourmode, but as she could not speak English, nor I Dutch, we couldonly exchange dumb civilities.

The face of the country is very romantic. Our prospect is boundedby mountains, the lowest of which is much higher than any I eversaw before. Such walks as I have taken have been very amusing. Inevery plant I see something new; these works of nature at thefoot of the mountains represent a beautiful shrubbery, whereinnumerable beautiful flowers and plants delight the eye andregale the senses.

I have not yet seen any of the original inhabitants of thiscoast—the Hottentots—there are some, I am told, whoreside about the mountains. They are a harmless set of Beings andhurt no one. I have just given you this short account of the Capeof Good Hope, of which you have heard so much, little thinkingthat your daughter would ever write to you from thence.

I will now tell you of a few circumstances about our passage. Wesailed from England with a fair wind, which carried us to the Bayof Biscay. We were there for the space of two days, and in thenight had so heavy a gale of wind that I was most terriblyalarmed. They told me, however, there was no danger; after thisstorm we soon got into fine weather and constant fair winds. Iwas much pleased with the variety of different fish and seabirdswhich every day presented themselves; but learnt with regret thatwe were not to touch at Madeira or at Rio di Janeiro. We had,consequently, no hopes of getting into Port in less than three orfour months. I wrote to you from Portsmouth that we had a ladygoing out with us, the wife of the Captain Trail. She appeared avery agreeable woman, but her husband proved himself a perfectsea-monster; so much so, that I requested Mr. Macarthur toexchange duties with one of the officers in one of the otherships. It was accordingly so arranged, and when about six degreesfrom the Equator, on a very warm day, when it was quite calm, Mr.Macarthur, myself, Edward, and our servants left theNeptune and embarked on board the Scarborough,commanded by Captain Marshall. Lieut. Townsend was taken in theNeptune in place of Mr. Macarthur, and we found on boardthe Scarborough an officer of the Troops. Lieut. Abbott,who from this time lived with us. This exchange took place on the19th February, and hath proved in every respect satisfactory tome. Captain Marshall, one of the Captains who commanded aTransport in the First Fleet that went to New South Wales. andstaid in the Colony four months. He, therefore, frequently amusesus with accounts of the place, and in what state he left it, andupon the whole they are flattering. He is a very humane man, andI am under the greatest obligation to him for his more thancommon attention to me and Edward. He accommodates us witheverything in his power of which he thinks we stand in need,preventing my very wishes. He has left a wife and three childrenin England, of whom he speaks in the tenderest terms.

If it pleases the Almighty that we arrive in safety at PortJackson, I shall write you a long letter by Captain Marshall, butthat letter you must not expect till next June, as the ship isunder a charter to bring tea home from China for the East IndiaCompany. She therefore will from Port Jackson go on to China, andfrom thence return to England, which makes the home passage verylong. Whether I may meet with a vessel that returns by thenearest way from Port Jackson to England is very uncertain,indeed I believe it very improbable, and therefore you must notexpect it. I hope you will receive this letter in four monthsfrom the date, by which time and long before, I trust we shall becomfortably settled in our New World. If we have a good passagefrom hence we hope to be at Port Jackson in seven or eight weeksfrom this time. You may be sure that I shall write to you byevery ship that returns, and I pray that you will punctuallywrite to me. The Guardian, a 44-gun ship, quite new, thatwas fitted out by Government at an amazing expence for New SouthWales, being laden with provisions and a variety of valuablestores for the Colony, is now a wreck at the Cape. Theparticulars which I have learnt are these—It being summershe had a good passage from England to this place, where shestaid the usual time for water and refreshments, and thenproceeded on her voyage, but instead of going the usual trackfrom hence to Port Jackson, the Lieutenant who commanded her tookher quite a different one, and proceeded round by Cape Horn,where, according to his account, he fell in with islands of ice,which entirely impeded his passage and tore his ship almost topieces, so that with great difficulty he brought her back to thisplace. No lives have been lost, and the provisions have beenlodged in Store Houses at Cape Town for the use of which theDutch have the conscience to charge £60 a day, with the cost ofunloading her cargoe, and the daily expence of keeping the storeson shore, it is said she is already $60,000 in debt at the Cape,and soon will be as many more. I have now to desire my particularremembrances to all my friends; and first of all, let me noticemy Grandfather. I have in some sort a presentiment that impels meto believe I shall yet see him again. Be that as it may, a manarrived at his years, living regularly, and so perfectly weanedfrom the things of this world, will meet death as a friend whenhe shall appear. Tell him, with my love, that I have notforgotten his counsel to have ever present to my mind the dutydue by us to our Maker.

Believe me,

Your affectionate daughter,

Elizabeth Macarthur.

{Page 20}

Chapter II.


Macarthur and his wife landed at Port Jackson at the end ofJune, 1790, the first married military officer and the firsteducated woman to make the infant colony their home.

The young settlement, founded in January, 1788, by GovernorPhillip, was in a state bordering on famine, the weekly rationbeing 2½ lbs. of flour, 2 lbs. of rice, and 2 lbs. of salt pork.The Governor himself received no more than a convict, and thearrival of the Neptune and Scarborough did notbring the looked-for relief.

Mrs. Macarthur held the unenviable distinction of being theonly lady invited to Government House, where the entertainmentswere not very grand. At that time, owing to the famine, it waspart of the routine duty of the A.D.C. to put "N.B." upon theinvitation card reminding gentlemen to bring their own rolls. Butupon Mrs. Macarthur's card there was a note from the Governorhimself that there would "always be a roll for Mrs.Macarthur."

From this condition the Settlement was in some degree relievedby the arrival, in 1791, of ten vessels under the convoy ofH.M.S. Gorgon. Farming and gardening, too, began to yieldsome small return of grain and vegetables, but the difficultiesand disappointments of the first attempts to subdue an untriedsoil and climate seem almost incredible.

Under Governor Phillip (1788 to 1792) Macarthur lived happily,devoting himself to his profession and to gardening. DuringGrose's administration (1792 to 1794) those officers who weredisposed to participate in the efforts to raise food from theland, received grants of 100 acres, and as an encouragement tofurther exertion 100 additional acres were promised to the firstwho should clear and cultivate 50 acres; but this promise wouldseem to have been a verbal one, as there is no record of it otherthan in James Macarthur's notes.

Macarthur's first grant was dated February 12th, 1793. He wonthe prize in this honourable contest, and on April 1st, 1794,received his second grant of 100 acres, thus acquiring a propertyof 200 acres adjoining the township of Parramatta, 12 miles tothe W.N.W. of Sydney, and this was called after his wife"Elizabeth" Farm.

There for many years he passed a happy and most active life.During Governor Grose's administration, besides militarywork—a detachment being stationed at Parramatta—hehad the superintendence of the farming establishment which wasformed by the Government at Toongabbe, a few miles from hisresidence, where a large number of convicts were employed.

To this novel and difficult duty he devoted himself with hiswonted energy, undergoing at times great bodily fatigue in allweathers, which brought on an attack of illness similar to thatfrom which he suffered on the voyage out.

In addition to these duties, he attended to the Improvement of"Elizabeth Farm," his wife also taking an active and intelligentpart in the agricultural, horticultural and pastoral pursuitsthere.

On relinquishing his post at Toongabbe, he acted as Paymasterof the Regiment, continuing, however, to live at "ElizabethFarm," where a comfortable brick cottage had been built, withgarden and orchard, well stocked with vegetables, fruit andflowers. Maize, wheat, barley and millet of good quality weregrown on the arable land, which was not of the best, and whiteclover began to show itself on the lower grounds in place ofnative grasses, while valuable domestic animals, sheep, cattle,and horses, to say nothing of poultry, were collected andsuccessfully bred.

These letters from Mrs. Macarthur to her mother and her friendMiss Kingdon give an interesting account of her life during theearly years of the settlement.

To MissKingdon.

Sydney, Port Jackson, N. S. Wales,

March 7th, 1791.

At length we have a prospect of communicationonce more with our friends by letter. The Gorgon, so longwished for, and so long expected, is not yet arrived, and by herunaccountable delay, has involved us all in the most mysteriousuncertainty, and clouded our minds with gloomy apprehensions forher safety. I hope you will have rec'd my letter, dated August,1790, which I sent by the Scarborough transport, by way ofChina. I wrote to my mother by the same ship, and a second letterto her, dated a few weeks after the first, I sent by theNeptune, who sailed, I think, some time in August. Bythose letters I think you will be informed of every materialcircumstance relative to our voyage and of what happened to usafter our arrival till the ship sailed.

I told you of the unfortunate loss of the Syrius, a King'sship, that had been stationed here from the first settling of theColony. She was wrecked on Norfolk Island. The ship's company,who all escaped with life, but not altogether without hurt,remained on the Island, and the Supply, a small brig, thatsailed from this place with the Syrius, returned with thenews of her sad fate.

The provisions of the Colony, at that time, being at a very lowebb, it was deemed necessary to take some step lest supply mightnot arrive from England in time to prevent a threatened famine.Every individual of this Colony was reduced to a very shortallowance, and the little brig was dispatched to Batavia underthe command of Lieutenant Ball, there to take up a Dutch ship,and purchase a certain quantity of provisions for this place,with which it was to be freighted and dispatched hither with allpossible expedition. A few weeks after the Supply sailed,the first ship, Lady Juliana, arrived, and brought anaccount of the loss of the Guardian, occasioned by fallingin with islands of ice. This ship arrived on the 3rd June, andcame timely to prevent very great distress.

On the 21st June the Justiana arrived, a store ship, andon the 29th our fleet was safely anchored in the Cove. As allthose ships were under contract to return by way of China to takehome Tea for the East India Company, and there being at that timeno ship stationed here, no way was left to convey a relief to theinhabitants of Norfolk Island, but by ordering some of thoseships to touch there in their way to China. The Justianaand Surprize received orders, for that purpose reimbarkeda certain proportion of provision for the island. We had everyhope that the supplies might arrive in time to prevent any fatalconsequences; yet, as we could have no certainty of that, andtill some ship should first arrive here that might be dispatchedto know the particulars of their fate, our minds were neverperfectly easy on their account. At that time there was, with theSyrius's company, the Marines, and convicts, near 700persons on the Island, and I can truly say that for upwards ofsix months I never passed a day without reflecting on them withpain and anxiety. Week after week stole away, and month aftermonth with little diversity. Each succeeding sunset producedamong us wild and vague conjectures of what could be the cause ofthe Gorgon's delay, and still we remainedunsatisfied—indeed all our surmises have nearly wornthemselves out and we are at a loss for new ones—time thegreat resolver of all events alone can determine this seemingmystery to us.

On the 20th October a general cry prevailed through the Garrisonof the Flags being hoisted (which is a signal of a ship appearingoff the Harbour). I was preparing myself to receive Mrs. Groseand Mrs. Paterson, being fully persuaded it was theGorgon, however I was soon undeceived, as it proved to bethe Supply from Batavia; she had a very quick passage buthad experienced a very sickly one. Mr. Ball very soon called uponus, and complemented me with many little comforts procured atBatavia, which were truly acceptable. He brought us an account ofa ship, an English man-of-war, answering very nearly thedescription of the Gorgon that had been spoken tosomewhere about the Equator, and was bound for this port. Thisintelligence was brought to the Cape of Good Hope, and fromthence to Batavia. If this was the Gorgon (which yet Ihope not) I tremble to think what may have been her fate. TheDutch ship, laden with the provisions for the Colonies, was notready to sail when Mr. Ball quited Batavia. She did not arrivetill the 17th December. In the dispatches of the Dutch schelanderto Govr. Phillips is mentioned something of a Spanish War havingbeen declared against England in May, 1790. The particulars arenot well explained, or perhaps I should say, not well understood,as the letter is written in Dutch, and no one here understandsenough of the language to transcribe it correctly. This Dutchship is taken up by the Govr. to go to England to convey home theofficers and men of the Syrius, and acquaint the BritishGovernment with the present state of the Colony. She is orderedto sail the 20th of this month, but more of this by and bye.

Some Early Records of the Macarthurs of Camden (4)

Land Grant

On the 21st of January the Supply wassent to Norfolk Island to bring hither the Syrius ship'scompany, and learn the state of affairs at that place. Shereturned on the 25th of February with the officers and men inhealth, and brought a good account of the health of everyindividual left behind. This circumstance removed someconsiderable anxiety from our minds; but it proved our fears hadbeen but too well grounded, as when the Supply arrivedthey had not more than ten days' provisions in the store, at afull allowance, and from the 14th of last May, till the 18th ofJuly, they were reduced to the scanty pittance of 3 lbs. of flourand 1½ lbs. of beef for a week. At this time a most mercifulrelief came to their assistance. It had been observed on a highhill in the island (which they have named Mount Pitt) that manyseabirds frequented it. An endeavor was made to take some ofthem, which was successful, and by attending more particularly tothe time of their appearance and their favourite haunts they werediscovered in the greatest abundance. It was the season in whichthey laid their eggs, and both birds and eggs were taken in suchquantities as occasioned the small allowance of meat they hadissued before to be stopped, and, however wonderful it may appearto you, yet true it is, that those birds for many weeks, were thechief subsistence of seven hundred men, and they were so easilytaken that after sunset it was impossible to walk on the Mountwithout treading on them, and sometimes towards evening, theyhave been observed hovering in the air in such innumerable flocksas considerably to exclude the light from admiring spectators.But now the melancholy truth of their visible decrease becamemore and more apparent. Their flights were directed to otherquarters and at length few remained. But before hope was quiteextinguished, a ship appeared and brought them a long expectedsupply. Believe me, my dear friend, that in writing thesefaithful traits of the pitiable situation of the inhabitants ofNorfolk Island, a chill seems to overpower my faculties; my mindhas so truly entered into their distresses that a dread comesover me, which I am unable to describe, but it is succeeded by sofirm a reliance on the merciful dispensations of an Almighty,whose hand I think we may here trace without presumption, that Ican only admire in silence.

As I have been on the subject of Norfolk Island, I think I may aswell finish with it at once. Norfolk Island is about 332 leagueseast of Port Jackson, about 6 leagues in circumference; everyaccess to it is dangerous, being environed on one side with areef of rocks, and on the other with steep perpendicular cliffs.There is no place round the island where a ship can anchor withsafety on account of a violent surf, which rises at times sosuddenly that a spectator placed on the shore at an elevation of10 or 12 feet will yet have the horizon frequently excluded fromhis view in the course of five minutes. In this surf it was thatthe Syrius was lost. The soil is universally admitted tobe capable of producing everything that could be wished; it isrich even to luxuriance. The island has a most charmingpicturesque appearance from the drawings I have seen, and what Ihave heard corresponds with it. The Pine Trees (which aredesigned to furnish the British Navy in the East Indies withmasts) are very lofty and majestic, some rising to 200 and othersto 220 feet high, upwards of an hundred feet clear of branchesand from 28 to 36 in circumference. There are various other treesfitted for domestic purposes, and some which add greatly to thebeauty of a landscape, such as the Fern, the Cabbage, and Bananaor Plantain, the two latter bearing a very pleasant fruit. Theflax plant, of which so much has been said, has not hitherto beenof any essential service; a few yards of canvas has beenmanufactured, a specimen of which will now go to England by theDutch ship. The Birds of the island are but few, amongst thenumber are a very fine Pidgeon and a delicate little Dove; theyare in general so tame that they may be knocked down with a stickand sometimes caught by the hand. There is not a single quadrupedon the island, but a bat, and no venomous reptile whatever. Theclimate has been found extremely healthy, and I think, in someinstances, preferable to this. It lies some degrees nearer theEquator, but being a small island and at a considerable distancefrom any other touch of land, it is not in the summer subject tosuch hot winds, but on the contrary, constantly refreshed with abreeze from the sea, and the winter (if indeed it deserves thatappellation) is not cold enough to make it necessary to sit by afire, and a constant succession of vegetation is kept upthroughout the year. They have seldom any thunder or lightning;what has been observed was always very distant and of shortduration. I have before remarked upon the goodness of the soil,notwithstanding which, there are some evils peculiar to it, whichhave rendered the labours of the cultivator in generalineffectual. Those evils are a blight, a destructive grub, and acaterpillar more pernicious than the other two. The crops of cornand vegetables that have had the good fortune to escape thesepests have ripened and produced an increase equal to the mostsanguine wishes of the cultivator. The last season, when in themidst of their distress, they were cheering their hearts bycontemplating the flourishing cornfields, that caterpillars madetheir appearance, they were observed to come from the hills, andin such quantities that every attempt to counteract their banefulinfluence proved ineffectual; they retreated not, till they haddone so much mischief that enough corn did not ripen to sow theland this year. What is somewhat remarkable, the caterpillarsfrom the cornfields directed their course to the sea (in suchabundance that the beach was covered with them) and they wereseen no more. Those are the accounts of Norfolk Island down toFebruary last, and are what I have learnt from some of the navyofficers belonging to the Syrius.

The Supply is to be sent to Norfolk Island again in thecourse of a few days with three of our officers and a party ofsoldiers to relieve the same number of Marines at Norfolk, aCaptain Hill, Lieutenant Abbott, and a Mr Prentice are fixed onfor this purpose.

I shall begin my relation now of things more immediatelyoccurring to myself. It will be unnecessary to go over thechit-chat of my last letter, such as the state of our house, theattentions we meet with, etc., etc.

We passed our time away many weeks cheerfully if notgaily—gaily indeed it could not be said to be. On my firstlanding everything was new to me, every Bird, every Insect,Flower, etc.; in short, all was novelty around me, and wasnoticed with a degree of eager curiosity and perturbation, thatafter a while subsided into that calmness I have alreadydescribed. In my former letter I gave you the character of Mr.Dawes, and also of Captain Tench. Those Gentlemen and a fewothers are the chief among whom we visit. Indeed we are in thehabit of intimacy with Captain Tench that there are few days passthat we do not spend some part of together. Mr. Dawes we do notsee so frequently. He is so much engaged with the stars that tomortal eyes he is not always visible. I had the presumption tobecome his pupil and meant to learn a little of astronomy. It istrue I have had many pleasant walks to his house (something lessthan half a mile from Sydney), have given him much trouble inmaking orreries, and explaining to me the general principles ofthe heavenly bodies, but I soon found I had mistaken my abilitiesand blush at my error. Still, I wanted something to fill up acertain vacancy in my time which could neither be done bywriting, reading or conversation. To the two first I did not feelmyself always inclined, and the latter was not in my power,having no female friend to unbend my mind to, nor a single womanwith whom I could converse with any satisfaction to myself, theClergyman's wife being a person in whose society I could reapneither profit or pleasure. These considerations made me stillanxious to learn some easy science to fill up the vacuum of manya solitary day, and at length under the auspices of Mr. Dawes Ihave made a small progress in Botany. No country can exhibit amore copious field for botanical knowledge than this. I amarrived so far as to be able to class and order all commonplants. I have found great pleasure in my study; every walkfurnished me with subjects to put in practice that Theory I hadbefore gained by reading, but alas, my botanical pursuits weremost unwelcomly interrupted by Mr. Macarthur being attacked by asevere illness. In December he got better, and in January we wereremoved into a more convenient house.

I shall now introduce another acquaintance, Mr. Worgan, to you, agentleman I have not hitherto named. He was surgeon to theSyrius, and happened to be left at this place when thatship met with her fate at Norfolk. It is not improbable thisGentleman may himself deliver this letter to you. He is wellknown to Doctor.*. . . . I assure you in losing him a veryconsiderable branch of our society will be lopped off. I shallnow tell you of another resource I had to fill up some of myvacant hours. Our new house is ornamented with a pianoforte ofMr. Worgan's, he kindly means to leave it with me, and now, underhis direction, I have begun a new study, but I fear without myMaster I shall not make any great proficiency. I am told,however, that I have done wonders in being able to play off "GodSave the King", and Foot's minuet, besides that of reading thenotes with great facility. In spite of musick I have notaltogether lost sight on my botanical studies. I have only beenprecluded from pursuing that study by the intense heat of theweather which has not permitted me to walk much during thesummer. The months of December and January have been hotter thanI can describe; indeed insufferably so. The thermometer risingfrom an hundred to an 112 degrees is, I believe, 30 degrees abovethe hottest day known in England. The general heat is to beborne, but when we are oppressed by the hot winds we have noother resource but to shut up ourselves in our houses and toendeavor to the utmost of our power to exclude every breath ofair. This wind blows from the north, and comes as if from anheated oven. These winds are generally succeeded by athunderstorm so severe and awful that it is impossible for onewho has not been a witness to such a violent concussion of theelements to form any notion of it. I am not yet enough used to itto be quite unmoved; it is so different from the thunder we havein England. I cannot help being a little cowardly, yet no injuryhas ever been suffered from it except a few sheep being killedwhich were laying under a tree that was struck by the lightning.A thunderstorm has always the effect to bring heavy rain whichcools the air very considerably. I have seen very little rainsince my arrival, indeed I do not think we have had a week's rainin the whole time, the consequence of which is our gardenproduces nothing, all is burnt up; indeed, the soil must beallowed to be most wretched and totally unfit for growingEuropean productions, though you would scarcely believe this, asthe face of the ground at this moment, when it is in its nativestate, is flourishing even to luxuriance, producing fine Shrubs,Trees, and Flowers which by their lively tints afford a mostagreeable landscape. Beauty, I have heard from some of myunlettered countrymen, is but skin deep. I am sure the remarkholds good in New South Wales, where all the beauty is literallyon the surface, but I believe I must allow it has symetry of formalso to recommend it, as the ground in all the parts that havebeen discovered is charmingly turned and diversified by agreeablevallies and gently rising hills; but still, these beauties areall exterior. Many Gentlemen have penetrated far into thecountry, but they find little difference in the appearance of thesoil. Some rivers have been discovered, to one of which theGovernor has given the name of the Hawkesbury; it is a very nobleone, and empties itself into the sea at a harbour which CaptainCook in his voyage named Broken Bay. Another river has beendiscovered which some call the Nepean, another the Tench, and athird the Wogan; it is supposed by some that these three are oneand the same river, only have been lighted upon by explorers atdifferent distances from its source. If the British Governmentthink fit to continue the Colony, these rivers may be of greatutility, particularly in dry seasons, as all the fresh water wehave near Sydney is very inconsiderable, though we cannot say wehave hitherto wanted water.

I have not yet seen the famous settlement ofRose Hill. I wanted much to have paid it a visit before the shipsailed, but have now given up the idea; the weather is yet toowarm, and Rose Hill has not the benefit of sea breezes so much aswe have at Sydney. All the ground works and farming schemes arecarried on at Rose Hill, tho' the headquarters are here. The lastharvest was a very **. . . . one, the wheat and barley notyielding thrice the quantity that was sown. The Indian cornreturned something more, but it was altogether a poverty-struckharvest. It is very likely my next letter to you may be datedfrom Rose Hill. Captain Nepean has an idea that the Governor willremove the remainder of his detachment and men thither, as soonas the Barracks are completed, which are already half-finished.After the three officers I have already named for Norfolk aregone there will only remain at Sydney Cove, Captain Nepean, Mr.Townson, Mr. Macarthur, and the surgeon, Mr. Harris. This wouldindeed be a very small society if it were in danger of losing theMarine officers, but that cannot be the case till the remainderof the Corps arrive. We shall be well pleased to remove anywherewith Captain Nepean; he is truly a good hearted man, and has, Ibelieve, a great friendship for Mr. Macarthur.***

You will observe I have made no excursion of anyconsequence. Perhaps you will wonder how I should make any in acountry like this. I will tell you how. The Harbour of PortJackson is universally allowed to be the finest in the knownworld, from the mouth of which to Rose Hill they call 16 miles ina straight direction, then it is so beautifully formed that I canconceive nothing equal to it, branching out into a number of armsand coves, forming little islands and points of land, soagreeable and romantic that the most fanciful imagination musttire, and I think allow himself to be outdone and yield the palmto reality and simple nature. In a Harbour so formed, and of suchextent, a number of pleasant little water parties might be madeto some of these islands or bays, and a number I yet promisemyself, but, hitherto, from Mr. Macarthur's long confinement, andsince his recovery, from the heat of the weather, I have beenenabled to put but one in execution, and that was to a Bay nearthe harbour's mouth, about six miles from Sydney. We passed theday in walking among the rocks and upon the sands very agreeably.I looked carefully for some shells for you but could find nonebetter that what you get at Bude or Widemouth. Above this Bay,about half a mile distance, is a very high hill which commands anextensive view of the wide ocean, on it is placed a Flag-staffwhich can also be seen at Sydney. When a ship appears the Flag ishoisted, by which means we have notice of it much sooner than weotherways could have; it also conducts the vessel into theharbour. There are a few huts near the Flag-staff with people inthem appointed to keep a look-out, and from thence the spot hasderived the general name of Look-out.

Of my walks round Sydney the longest has not extended beyondthree miles, and that distance I have, I believe, only venturedupon twice: once to a farm which Captain Nepean has for hisCompany, to which we sent our tea equipage and drank tea on theturf, and once to a hill situated between this and Botany Baywhere I could command a prospect of that famous spot. Nor do Ithink there is any probability of my seeing much of the inlandcountry until it is cleared, as beyond a certain distance roundthe Colony there is nothing but native paths, very narrow andvery incommodious. The natives are certainly not a very gallantset of people, who take pleasure in escorting their ladies. No;they suffer them humbly to follow Indian file like. As I am nowspeaking of the natives. I must give you an account how we standwith them. In order to give you an idea of this part of ourpolitical Government it will be necessary to carry the accountback to a period some months previous to my arrival. In thewinter, 1789 (which you will recollect is summer in England) adreadful small pox was discovered amongst the natives. How thedisorder was introduced cannot be discovered. They were foundlying in a miserable state, some dead and others dying, nor is itto be wondered at that this disorder should in general be sofatal to them when we consider they are not in possession of asingle palliative, nor have any means of procuring nourishmentfor themselves when their strength no longer permits them topursue their usual avocations of fishing, hunting the Kangarooand other little animals on which they live. Amongst the unhappyobjects that were discovered was a Boy and Girl. These werebrought in, and from the humanity of the Clergyman, who took theGirl, and of the principal surgeon, Mr. White, who took the Boy,they were both saved. The Girl whom I mentioned to you in myformer letters by the name of Abaroo or Baroo (for it isdifficult to catch their exact pronunciation, more so to give youan idea of it by letters) appears to be about 11 years old. TheBoy (named Nauberry) about 9. After they began to learn Englishand to make us understand them, it was imagined from theircommunication that if a man or two could be brought to residewith us, that some valuable information might be obtainedrespecting the interior parts of the country. With this view theGovernor left no means untried to effect an intimacy with them,but every endeavor of that sort, as before, proved ineffectual.They accept of his presents as children do playthings; just toamuse them for a moment and then throw them away disregarded.Despairing to gain their confidence by fair means, the Governorordered that two men should be taken by force. This was done; thepoor fellows, I am told, exhibited the strongest marks of terrorand consternation at the proceeding, believing they werecertainly meant to be sacrificed. When they were taken to theGovernor's House and immediately cleaned and clothed theirastonishment at everything they saw was amazing. A new world wasunfolded to their view at once. For some days they were muchdejected, but it soon gave way to cheerfulness. They were thenadmitted to the Governor's table, and in a little time ate anddrank everything that was given them. They now walked about thesettlement as they liked, only with a man who was appointed toattend them that they might not escape into the woods, but, asthey showed no apparent inclination to do that the vigilance oftheir keeper by degrees abated, which the older of the two (namedColeby) soon observed, and in a very artful manner one night madehis escape. The one who remained, and called himself Bannylong,till May, 1790, and then took himself off without any knownreason, having been treated with the most uniform kindness, andappeared highly pleased with our people and manners, taking it agreat compliment to be called White Man. In the time he was herehe acquired English enough to make himself understood in commonmatters, and furnished our people with the native names foranimals, birds, fish, etc. From this time till after our arrivalnothing was known respecting them, as the natives whenever theymet with any of our people were more shy than ever, and could notbe brought to a parley. Nauberry and Abaroo still remained easyand happy, expressing no wish to return to the woods. On the 7thSept., Captain Nepean and several other Gentlemen went down theHarbour in a boat, with an intention of proceeding to Broken Bayto take a view of the Hawkesbury River. In their way they put inat Manly Cove, a place so called from the spirited behaviour ofthe natives there at the Governor's first landing. At this timeabout 200 natives were assembled feeding on a whale that had beendriven on shore. As they discovered no hostile intentions ourparty, having arms, went up to them. Nauberry was in the boat andwas desired to inquire for Bannylong; and Coleby, when beholdboth gentlemen appeared, and advancing with the utmost confidenceasked in broken English for all their old friends at Sydney. Theyexchanged several weapons for provisions and clothes, and gavesome whalebone as a present for the Governor. Captain Nepean,knowing this news would be very pleasing to the Governor,dispatched a messenger to inform him of it, and proceeded ontowards Broken Bay. The Governor lost no time, but as soon as hewas acquainted with the above circumstances, ordered a boat, andaccompanied by Mr. Collins, the Judge Advocate, and a Lieut.Waterhouse of the Navy, repaired to Manly Cove. He landed byhimself, unarmed, in order to show no violence was intended.

Bannylong approached and shook hands with the Governor, butColeby had before left the spot. No reason was asked whyBannylong had left us. He appeared very happy, and thankful forwhat was given him, requesting an hatchet and some other thingswhich the Governor promised to bring him the next day. Mr.Collins and Mr. Waterhouse now joined him, and several nativesalso came forward. They continued to converse with them with muchseeming friendship until they had insensibly wandered somedistance from the boat, and very imprudently none of theGentlemen had the precaution to take a gun in their hand. Thisthe Governor percieving deemed it prudent to retreat, and, afterassuring Bannylong that he would remember his promise, told himhe was going. At that moment an old man advanced whom Bannylongsaid was his friend, and wished the Governor to take notice ofhim. At this he approached the old main with his hand extended,when on a sudden the savage started back and snatched up a spearfrom the ground and poised it to throw, the Governor, seeing thedanger, told him in their tongue that it was bad, and stilladvanced, when, with a mixture of horror and intrepidity, thenative discharged the spear with all his force at the Governor.It entered above his collarbone, and came out at his back nineinches from the entrance, taking an oblique direction. Thenatives from the rocks now poured in their spears in abundance sothat it was with the utmost difficulty and the greatest goodfortune that no other hurt was received in getting the Governorinto the boat. As soon as they returned to this place you maybelieve an universal solicitude prevailed, as the danger of thewound could by no means be ascertained until the spear wasextracted, and this was not done before his Excellency had causedsome papers to be arranged lest the consequences might provefatal which happily it did not, for on drawing out the spear, itwas found that no vital part had been touched. The Governor,having a good habit of bodily health, the wound perfectly healedin the course of a few weeks. Since then a convict game keeperhas been killed by a spear, but it seems in some measure to havebeen owing to his own imprudence. Bannylong came many times tosee the Governor during his confinement, and expressed greatsorrow, but the reason why the mischief was done could not belearnt, since that period the natives visit us every day, more orless. Men, Women, and children, they come with great confidence,without spears or any other offensive weapons. A great many havetaken up their abode entirely amongst us, and Bannylong andColeby, with their wives, come in frequently. Mrs. Coleby, whosename is Daringa, brought in a new born female infant of hers forme to see, about six weeks since. It was wrapped up in the softbark of a tree, a specimen of which I have preserved; it is akind of mantle not much known in England I fancy. I orderedsomething for the poor woman to eat, and had her taken propercare of for some little while. When she first presented herselfto me she appeared feeble and faint; she has since been regularin her visits. The child thrives remarkably well, and I discovera softness and gentleness of manner in Daringa truly interesting.We do not in general encourage them to come to our houses. as youmay conceive there are some offensive circumstances which makestheir company by no means desirable, unless it be those who livewholly with us. A good deal of their language (if it may be socalled) is now understood, but we can learn nothing from themrespecting the interior part of the country. It seems they are asmuch unacquainted with it as ourselves. All their knowledge andpursuits are confined to that of procuring for themselves a baresubsistance. They chiefly abide about the sea coast, the womenappear to be under very great subjection. They are employed inthe most laborious part of their work; they fish and also makethe lines and hooks, and indeed seem very little otherway thanslaves to their husbands. They weave their lines from the bark ofa certain tree, which we call May from the perfume the flower haswhich strongly resembles the White thorn that blows in that monthin England. Their hooks they grind into form from a shell; theyperform this with great dexterity upon any rough stone. Theircanoes are made of the bark of some of their gum trees, taken offin a particular form for that purpose. These they paddle aboutthe caves and bays very dexterously. The weapons they use are aspear, a wooden sword, a stone adze or axe, and a fish gig; thelatter is wholly used in spearing the fish in the water. Thespears which they aim and discharge with wonderful ingenuity at agreat distance are some of them most dangerous weapons, havingmany barbs in them and sharpened shells, but they are still undersuch terror of our firearms that a single armed man would drivean hundred natives with their spears, and we take care not toventure walking to any distance unarmed, a soldier or two alwaysattending when we make any excursion. I have never yet met asingle native in the woods.

I told you in my last letter I thought their dialect pleasing;some of their names I think much so. I will give you a few nativenames, and begin with the men: Arrabason, Volahoa, Iminwanga,Boldarry, Werong, Watteval, Erroniba. Female names: Milbah, Bood,Barangiroo, Cadeniang, Mooningooru, Worigan, Crewboar. Mr. Dawes,who has studied their language or jargon a good deal, hasendeavoured to learn what their notions are of the Deity. It isnot discovered that they worship the sun or any of the heavenlybodies, and yet they say all who die go up to the clouds. Mr.Dawes thinks they have a tradition of the Flood amongst them Theysay one man and one woman was saved in a *. .
.. .. .. .. be traced
It is not wonderful.. .. .. ..
flood as all nations.. .. .. ..
have (more or less.. .. .. ..
account of the natives.. .. .. ..
the ship was under.. .. .. ..
.. .. has however been detained a week longer.. ..

My spirits are at this time low, very low,to-morrow we lose some valuable members of our small society andsome very good friends. In so small a society we sensibly feelthe loss of every member, more particularly those that areendeared to us by acts of kindness and friendship. From thiscircumstance and my former letters you may be led to question myhappiness, but this much I can with truth add for myself, thatsince I have had the powers of reason and reflection I never wasmore sincerely happy than at this time. It is true I have somewishes unaccomplished, but when I consider this is not a state ofperfection I am abundantly content.


E. Macarthur.

Sydney, Port Jackson, N. S. Wales,

March 18th, 1791.

At length I sit down to assure my dearest Motherthat I am in perfect health, and to add to the pleasure of thiscircumstance both Mr. Macarthur and my little Edward are in thefull enjoyment of this blessing, and we only want to complete themeasure of it, to hear that you are equally happy and well. Ihope you have received all my former letters regularly. The firstwas written to you from the Cape of Good Hope, the second fromthis place giving an account of the voyage, of Mr. Macarthur'sdangerous illness and surprising recovery, and of my being inconsequence of fatigue and anxiety thrown into premature labourand delivered of a little girl who lived but for an hour.. .. ....
[blank line]

In the little friendly meetings that we have in Sydney "The banksof the Tamar" is a general toast. Many of the officers havingfriends and connections in Devon and Cornwall, the remembrance ispleasing to all. In my last letter I mentioned there being aselect number of officers here who had been very attentive to us,and I am happy to say that we still experience the same attentionfrom them, and however much I may want female society, Mr.Macarthur can have no reason to complain. The Governor ** hasbeen in the habit of sending us some little thing or other everyday.

Since the Supply returned from Batavia Ihave received from her commander, Mr. Ball, many articles at verymoderate prices, besides a number of things which he had thegoodness to present to me.

We have not attempted anything in the farming way. Our neighbours*** succeed so badly, that we are not encouraged to follow theirexample. The Government Farm did not this year in grain returnthree times the seed that had been sown. This great failure isattributable to a very dry season, but it is a general opinionthat this country is not well adapted for corn.

The grape thrives remarkably well. The Governorsent me some bunches this season as fine as any I ever tasted,and there is little doubt but in a very few years there will beplenty. We have also very fine melons They are raised with littleor no trouble, the sun being sufficient to ripen them without anyforcing whatever, and bringing them to a great size and flavour.One day after the cloth was moved, when I happened to dine atGovernment House, a melon was produced weighing 30 lbs. We haveneed of cooling fruit, in the warm season particularly, when thehot scorching winds set in, but which, however, are followed bywhat is termed the sea-breeze, and this keeps down thetemperature of the air, but when they are overpowered by the hotwind the heat is excessive.

The same woman is with me that had charge of Edward when Ivisited you from Plymouth. He has become very amusing to me. Heprattles a little, but is backward with his tongue as he hasalways been in every other respect.

I hope Mr. Pitt has given Mr. Macarthur promotion, and that bythis time he has a Company, in which event our thoughts will bein some measure turned again towards "Old England". I have yetgreat hopes of seeing my grandfather once more. Tell him so, andthat he need be under no apprehension for my religion.****


18th Nov., 1791.

No less than twelve ships the last springseason, and some of them performed the voyage in little more thanthree months.

In June Mr. Macarthur and myself were removed to Rose Hill withCaptain Nepean's Company, at which place we remained until abouta fortnight since. Mr. Macarthur was again ordered to Sydney withthe command of a detachment of about 60 men.

Rose Hill, now named Parramatta, save only a small piece ofrising ground on which the Governor has a house, which stillretains the name of Rose Hill, is where every exertion is makingto carry on cultivation, and where the principal part of theconvicts are placed. But as Sydney has the advantage of the cove,and is nearer to the sea, it will have the convenience of firstcommunicating with such vessels as may arrive, and it will be themost desirable place for an officer's family for years. In otherrespects Parramatta may have advantages, particularly to such aswish to cultivate the land, but officers have so littleencouragement in this respect, that few will in future attemptit, as evident impediments are thrown in the way to check theirundertaking it.

The Governor has said that we shall not again be moved untilMajor Grose arrives. I hope that may soon take place, as untilthen we have no prospect of being settled. Captain and Mrs.Paterson were with us after their arrival here but a few days, asthey were ordered to Norfolk Island.

Lieut.-Governor King, who commands that settlement, brought outhis lady with him. She was born in Devonshire. Her name wasCoombe, and she resided many years at Bideford. Pier stay herebeing very short I saw but little of her, and I had reason tobelieve her possessed of a great share of good nature andfrankness; a pleasant consideration should it be my fortunehereafter to visit Norfolk Island. She expects shortly to beconfined. Captain Parker, commander of the Gorgon. broughthis wife with him, a very amiable, intelligent woman; we havespent many pleasant days together. One of the agents ofTransports has also his wife with him, so that our little circlehas been of late quite brilliant. We are constantly making littleparties in boats up and down the various inlets of the Harbour,taking refreshments with us and dining out under an awning uponsome pleasant point of land or in some of the creeks or coves, inwhich for twenty miles together, these waters abound. There areso many ladies in the Regiment that I am not likely to feel thewant of female society as I at first did.


Port Jackson,

New South Wales,

Dec. 7th, 1791.

Edward grows a strong healthy child, and frombeing a great deal of trouble to me ceases to be almost any atall. He prattles everything, and is quite Papa's darling.

We are at present here rather in an unsettled state, which is notvery agreeable in any country, and is particularly unpleasanthere. I hope when Major Grose arrives we shall not have this evilto complain of.

A company of Marines is to remain here until the remainder of theNew South Wales Corps comes out.

Several of the ships that have arrived with convicts are about toengage in a whale-fishery.

The Spermaceti whale abounds on this coast, and the success ofthese vessels in this fishery will doubtless be the means ofestablishing a more frequent communication with England.


Port Jackson,

New South Wales,

21st. Dec., 1793.

My last letter was by the Atlantic, theship which conveyed Governor Phillip from Port Jackson, when Imentioned that our prospects in this country were considerablybrightened up, and that Mr. Macarthur had a handsome addition tohis income by having the payment of a Company, and transactingthe business of Paymaster to the Regiment. Since that periodMajor Grose has appointed him to inspect or superintend thepublic works. What advantage may accrue from this is at presentuncertain, but the Major in his despatches to Government hasstrongly recommended them to confirm the appointment, and toannex to it such a salary as they may conceive equal to theimportance of the trust.

The Major has also given us a grant of 100 acres * of land on thebanks of the river close to the town of Parramatta. It is some ofthe best ground that has been discovered, and 10 men are allowedus for the purpose of clearing and cultivating it.

I have one more gift to speak of—it is avery fine cow in calf, of which I am very proud, and for thisalso we are indebted to Major Grose, and to a family in thiscountry in its present situation it is a gift beyond any valuethat can be placed upon it. As Mr. Macarthur's concerns demandthat the greater part of his time should be passed at Parramatta,I think it very probable that in the course of the ensuing winterwe may remove our family there. I have the pleasure to inform youthat we enjoy our health uninterruptedly. Edward's grown, andimproves even beyond our sanguine expectations, and littleElizabeth is able to walk by one hand, though not 10 monthsold.

We are in expectation of Captain and Mrs. Patterson from NorfolkIsland.



New South Wales,

23rd August, 1794.

On the 7th May last I was happily brought to bedof a very fine Boy, to whom I have given his Father's name John.He, with the other two, Edward and Elizabeth, are in perfecthealth, and promise fairly to become everything we coulddesire.

Some Early Records of the Macarthurs of Camden (5)

Elizabeth Farm at Parramatta.

In November last myself and family all removedto Parramatta, where Mr. Macarthur had been the greater part ofhis time since the departure of Governor Phillip, on account ofthe employment he holds under Government.

I write to you now from our own house, a very excellent brickbuilding, 68 feet in length and 18 feet in width, independent ofkitchen and servants' apartments. I thank God we enjoy all thecomfort we could desire. but to give you a clearer idea of oursituation I shall make free to transcribe a paragraph out of aletter of Mr. Macarthur's, addressed to his brother, which is nowbefore me.

"The changes that we have undergone since the departure ofGovernor Phillip are so great and extraordinary that to recitethem all might create some suspicion of their truth. From a stateof desponding poverty and threatened famine that this settlementshould be raised to its present aspect in so short a time isscarcely credible. As to myself, I have a farm containing nearly250 acres, of which upwards of 100 are under cultivation, and thegreater part of the remainder is cleared of the timber whichgrows upon it. Of this year's produce I have sold £400 worth, andI have now remaining in my Granaries upwards of 1,800 bushels ofcorn. I have at this moment 20 acres of fine wheat growing, and80 acres prepared for Indian corn and potatoes, with which itwill be planted in less than a month.

"My stock consists of a horse, 2 mares, 2 cows, 130 goats,upwards of 100 hogs. Poultry of all kinds I have in the greatestabundance. I have received no stock from Government, but one cow,the rest I have either purchased or bred. With the assistance ofone man and half a dozen greyhounds, which I keep, my table isconstantly supplied with wild ducks or kangaroos. Averaging oneweek with another these dogs do not kill less than 300 lb.weight. In the centre of my farm I have built a most excellentbrick house, 68 feet in front and 18 feet in breadth. It has noupper story, but consists of four rooms on the ground floor, alarge hall, closets, cellar, etc.; adjoining is a kitchen, withservants' apartments, and other necessary offices. The house issurrounded by a vineyard and garden of about 3 acres, the formerfull of vines and fruit trees, and the latter abounding with mostexcellent vegetables.

"This farm being near the Barracks, I can without difficultyattend to the duties of my profession."


Mrs. JohnMacarthur to her friend Miss Kingdon.

Elizabeth Farm,


1st Sept., 1795.

Once again, my much loved friend, it ispermitted me to sit down under a conviction that the letter I amabout to write will be received by you with pleasure. By thecapture of a ship off the coast of Brazil we were left withoutany direct intelligence from Europe for twelve months. We firmlybelieved that a Revolution or some national calamity had befallenGreat Britain, and we should be left altogether to ourselves,until things at home had resumed some degree of order, and thetempest a little subsided. These fears, however, have by a latearrival proved without foundation.

This country possesses numerous advantages to persons holdingappointments under Government. It seems the only part of theGlobe where quiet is to be expected. We enjoy here one of thefinest climates in the World. The necessaries of life areabundant, and a fruitful soil affords us many luxuries. Nothinginduces me to wish for a change but the difficulty of educatingour children, and were it otherwise, it would be unjust towardsthem to confine them to so narrow a society. My desire is thatthey should see a little more of the world, and better learn toappreciate this retirement. Such as it is the little creaturesall speak of going home to England with rapture. My dear Edwardalmost quitted me without a tear. They have early imbibed an ideathat England is the seat of happiness and delight; that itcontains all that can be gratifying to their senses, and that ofcourse they are there to possess all they desire. It would bedifficult to undeceive young people bred up in so secluded asituation, if they had not an opportunity given them ofconvincing themselves. But hereafter I shall much wonder if someof them make not this place the object of their choice. By thedate of this letter you will see that we still reside on our farmat Parramatta, a native name signifying the head of a river,which it is. The town extends one mile in length from thelanding-place, and is terminated by the Government House, whichis built on an eminence, named Rose Hill. Our farm, whichcontains from 400 to 500 acres, is bounded on three sides bywater. This is particularly convenient. We have at this timeabout 120 acres in wheat, all in a promising state. Our gardens,with fruit and vegetables, are extensive and produceabundantly.

It is now spring, and the eye is delighted with the mostbeautiful variegated landscape. Almonds, apricots, pear and appletrees are in full bloom. The native shrubs are also in flower andthe whole country gives a grateful perfume. There is a very goodcarriage road now made from hence to Sydney, which by land isdistant about 14 miles, and another from this to the riverHawkesbury, which is about 20 miles from hence in a direct lineacross the country. Parramatta is a central position betweenboth. I have once visited the Hawkesbury, and made the journey onhorseback. The road is through an uninterrupted wood, with theexception of the village of Toongabie, a farm of Government, andone or two others, which we distinguish by the name ofGreenlands, on account of the fine grass, and there being fewtrees compared with the other parts of the country, which isoccasionally brushy, and more or less covered with underwood.

The greater part of the country is like an English park, and thetrees give it the appearance of a wilderness or shrubbery,commonly attached to the habitations of people of fortune, filledwith a variety of native plants, placed in a wild irregularmanner. I was at the Hawkesbury three days. It is a noble freshwater river, taking its rise in a precipitous range of mountains,that it has hitherto been impossible to pass; many attempts havebeen made, although in vain. I spent an entire day on this river,going in a boat to a beautiful spot, named by the late Governor,"Richmond Hill", high and overlooking a great extent of country.On one side are those stupendous barriers to which I havealluded, rising as it were immediately above your head; below,the river itself, still and unruffled; out of sight is heard awaterfall whose distant murmurs add awfulness to the scene. Icould have spent more time here, but we were not withoutapprehensions of being interrupted by the natives, as about thattime they were very troublesome, and had killed many white peopleon the banks of the river. The soil in the valley of this riveris most productive, and greatly superior to any that has beentilled in this country, which has induced numbers to settlethere, but having no vessels there is at present much difficultyin transporting the produce to Sydney. Our stock of cattle islarge; we have now fifty head, a dozen horses, and about athousand sheep.

You may conclude from this that we kill mutton, but hitherto wehave not been so extravagant. Next year, Mr. Macarthur tells me,we may begin. I have now a very good dairy, and in general, makea sufficiency of butter to supply the family, but it is atpresent so great an object to rear the calves, that we arecareful not to rob them of too much milk. We use our horses bothfor pleasure and profit; they alternately run in the chaise orcart.

Mr. Macarthur has also set a Plough * at work, the first whichhas been used in the country, and it is drawn sometimes by oxenand at others by horses. The ground was before tilled with thehoe. These details I am sensible have no other interest than asfar as they serve to show the progressive state of this yetinfant settlement.

Mr. Macarthur once superintended theagricultural concerns of the Government, but since the arrival ofGovernor Hunter he has declined further interference. By thekindness of the commanding officer of the Regiment we arepermitted to reside here, and there being a good road, as I havebefore observed, to Sydney, Mr. M. is enabled to attend to allhis duties at headquarters, although at times upon very shortnotice. Myself, or one or more of the children, occasionallyaccompany him. As the distance is convenient, our stay isprolonged as business or pleasure require, or we return the sameday, but as our family is large we do not choose to be longabsent from home together.

Mr. Macarthur has frequently in his employment 30 or 40 peoplewhom we pay weekly for their labour. Eight are employed asstock-keepers, in the garden, stables and house; and five more,besides women servants; these we both feed and clothe, or, atleast, we furnish them with the means of providing clothes forthemselves. We have but two men fed at the expence of the Crown,altho' there are persons who contrive to get twenty or more,which the Governor does not or will not notice.

You will wonder how a return is made for the daily expence whichit must appear to you we incur.

In the first place, some thousands of persons are fed from thepublic stores, perhaps between three or four thousand, all ofwhom were formerly supplied with flour from England to meet thedemand for bread. But since so many individuals have clearedfarms and have thereby been enabled to raise a great quantity ofgrain in the country, which at the present time is purchased bythe Commissary at 10s. a bushel, and issued for what are termedrations, or the proportionate quantity due to each person insteadof flour. In payment for which the Commissary issues a receipt,approved of by the Government; and these receipts pass currenthere as coin, and are taken by Masters of Ships and otheradventurers who come to these parts with merchandise for sale.When any number of these have been accumulated in the hands ofindividuals they are returned to the Commissary, who gives a Billon the Treasury in England for them. These bills amount to thirtyor forty thousand pounds annually. How long Government maycontinue so expensive a plan it would be difficult to foresee.Pigs are bought upon the same system, as would also sheep andcattle, if their numbers would admit of their being killed. Beefmight be sold at 4s., if not 5s. the lb. A good horse is worth£140 to £150. Be it ever so bad it never sells for less than£100. A cow is valued at about £80. An English cow that was theproperty of Colonel Grose sold for £100. From this statement youwill perceive that those persons who took early precautions toraise live stock have at present singular advantages.

We have fattened and killed a great number of hogs in the year,which enables us to feed a large establishment of servants. Theselabourers are such as have been convicts, and whose time oftransportation has expired. They then cease to be fed at theexpence of Government, and employ themselves as they please. Someendeavour to procure a passage home to England; some becomesettlers, and others hire themselves out for labour. They demandan enormous price, seldom less than 4s. or 5s. a day. For such ashave many in their employment it becomes necessary to keep onhand large supplies of such articles as are most needed by thesepeople, for shops there are none. The officers in the Colony,with a few others possessed of money or credit in England, unitetogether and purchase the cargoes of such vessels as repair tothis country from various quarters. Two or more are chosen fromthe number to bargain for the cargo offered for sale, which isthen divided amongst them, in proportion to the amount of theirsubscriptions. This arrangement prevents monopoly, and theimpositions that would be otherwise practised by masters ofships. These details which may seem prolix are necessary to showyou the mode in which we are in our infant condition compelled toproceed.

I have had the misfortune to lose a sweet Boy of eleven monthsold, who died very suddenly by an illness occasioned by teething.The other three, Elizabeth, John, and Mary are well. I havelately been made very happy by learning the safe arrival ofEdward in England. We often remember and talk over in the eveningthe hospitalities which we have both received in BridgeruleVicarage, and happy shall I be if it is ever permitted me to markmy remembrance more strongly than is expressed in theselines.

If you are in the habit of visiting the Whitsline family I praythat you will kindly remember me to them. The benevolence of theMajor's heart will dispose him to rejoice at the success whichhas attended us, and that the activity which was very earlydiscernable in the mind of Mr. Macarthur has had a field foradvantageous exertion. How is it, my dearest friend, that you arestill single? Are you difficult to please? or has the war leftyou so few bachelors from amongst whom to choose? But suffer meto offer you a piece of advice: abate a few of your scruples, andmarry. I offer in myself an instance that it is not always, withall our wise foreseeings, those marriages which promise most orleast happiness prove in their result such as our friends maypredict. Few of mine, I am certain, when I married thought thateither of us had taken a prudent step. I was considered indolentand inactive; Mr. Macarthur too proud and haughty for our humblefortune or expectations, and yet you see how bountifullyProvidence has dealt with us. At this time I can truly say no twopeople on earth can be happier than we are. In Mr. Macarthur'ssociety I experience the tenderest affections of a husband, whois instructive and cheerful as a companion. He is an indulgentFather, beloved as a Master, and universally respected for theintegrity of his character. Judge then, my friend, if I ought notto consider myself a happy woman.

I have hither in all my letters to my friends forborn to mentionMr. Macarthur's name, lest it might appear in me tooostentatious. Whenever you marry look out for good sense in ahusband. You would never be happy with a person inferior toyourself in point of understanding. So much my early recollectionof you and of your character bids me say.


The following are a few extracts from Miss Kingdon'sletters:—

August 23rd, 1796.

Once more I take my pen to address my dear Mrs.Macarthur, the loved companion of my early hours—and shewhose friendship in maturer life I have still set a greater valueon, here I expect you to exclaim, why then do I not oftener hearfrom you? No reason, should you have for this question, were itnot for the uncertainty of my letters ever reaching you of themany I have sent, as yet I have heard of but one that ever wasreceived. T'is long since I had the pleasure of hearing from youbut the many favourable accounts I have read in the public papersof N.S.W. have afforded me great satisfaction, often do I wishthat it were in my power to visit you. I have formed sofavourable an opinion of your situation that nothing but thedread and danger of the voyage prevents my wishes from beingrealized, but as in all probability they never can be, I hope thetime is not far distant that will restore you and Mr. McArthurwith your family to your native country. Your friends in theneighbourhood make frequent enquiries for you but of late I havenot had it in my power to give them any information, but will nowendeavour to give you some of them. . . . .

I now give you some account of the fashion, particularly of theladies dress, but you know my inability to discuss thesubject—There is no such thing as a waist-stays are quitean unnecessary part of female dress—The petticoats are upto the shoulders, and below the feet. Hats are still worn small,but indeed dress as you will you are not thought particularunless you have a long waist, and it is very seldom that we seetwo people whose garments are made the same. Tis quitefashionable to write on coloured paper, but you my dear friendwill I hope excuse my using plain white, indeed this place willafford no other. I must also beg you to excuse my writing inhaste as it was not till last night Farmer Bond informed me thathe could send a letter, and I am engaged every day till he musthave it.

I need not speak of your Mother as she intends writing you.

All here join in best respects to yourself and Mr. Macarthur andlove to your little ones tho' unknown, and believe mesincerely

Your affectionate friend,

R. Kingdon

Bridgerule, Sept. 15th, 1799.

It is impossible for me to express, my dearestfriend, the satisfaction I have received from the perusal of yourlate letters—a thousand thanks to you for mine. There wasbut one sentiment in it that I could not approve—and thatimplies a doubt whether or not I might receive your letters withpleasure, but let me hope, that you could not for a moment beserious on the subject—were we not from childhood broughtup together as intimate friends? and whatever attachments may beformed afterwards—it is my opinion they are seldom aslasting or well grounded as those friendships which havecontinued from early life. Sincerely do I hope that nothing mayever intervene, to lessen a regard—I trust we at presenthave for each other. Through you I shall hope for Mr. Macarthur'sfriendship, yet I half fear him, for when we are so happy as tosee him in your native country, I doubt not that he will laugh atthe old maid, it is an odium we must all bear, though I thinkundeservedly, at least the ridiculers should first point out whatthese unfortunate females are to do who have not an offer from aperson they can approve. But why, my dear friend, do you tax mewith being over nice? Let me assure you you have no reason forit. I honour the marriage state, and had a proper opportunityoffered, should not have declined it, what then would you have medo? not surely be so eccentric as to reverse the matter, and makean offer (if you would) I have not courage, nor vanity enough topursue the scheme, unless indeed I had a vast deal of the ready,now so much looked after, and indeed so absolutely necessary, buthaving neither youth wealth or beauty to recommend me, I shallendeavour to make myself contented with the state I am in, youhave my grateful thanks however for your kind advice, though itis not granted me to follow it. . . .

And now my dear Mrs. M. let me congratulate you on your happierfate, it ever was my opinion that Mr. M. would make an excellenthusband, if he met with a woman whose disposition andaccomplishments suited him, in that respect how fortunate, andhow fortunate for you, that you met with a man possessed of goodsense and sensibility. God grant that your present happiness maybe continued to you. I saw your little Edward after his arrivalin England—he is a charming boy—he was allowed tospend but a week with us, and dear little fellow was so loth todepart, that though we wished for his longer stay we were obligedto join in persuading him to go. He then, though so young, wouldwalk with my father the whole morning, in pursuit of a hare, andcome in covered with dirt—yet ask if he could not go againtomorrow. . . . .

Your affectionate friend,

R. Kingdon.

{Page 56}

Chapter III.


On Hunter succeeding to the Governorship in 1795 Macarthurenjoyed his personal confidence, until a coolness arose. Hunterdetermined to buy wheat from the Hawkesbury settlers to an extentmuch in excess of the requirements of the Government, hoping thatthis would act as a bounty on its production. Macarthur stronglyadvised against this course, arguing in vain that this was afalse and dangerous principle which would lead the settlers tolook always to the Government for support, to regard it as boundto buy their wheat and maize for the public stores, and thusprevent them from relying on their energies to develop theresources of the country by the production of such other crops asmight be suited to the soil and climate.

Macarthur also urged the necessity of introducing freesettlers, of fitting character, in sufficient numbers to becomemasters and superintendents of the convicts. This principleHunter strongly advocated in his despatches to the HomeGovernment. But at that time the state of affairs in Franceabsorbed all thought and energy at home, so that poor despisedBotany Bay met with very little attention, though, later on, afew settlers were in consequence induced to come out.Notwithstanding Macarthur's warning, the Governor continued tobuy wheat and to draw large drafts on the Treasury. The grain wasnearly all lost by the weevil and fly moth, and from heating inovercharged granaries.

So severely was Governor Hunter censured for this by theSecretary of State that it led to his resignation.

The coolness between the Governor and Macarthur evidentlypassed away at a subsequent date, because James Macarthur, thethird son, writing to Judge Therry, says—"I well rememberthat from 1810-14, while a boy at school near London, Irepeatedly accompanied my father to see Governor Hunter, withwhom he parted on perfectly friendly terms, as he did withGovernor King and his family, and with General Grose and ColonelPaterson."

Mrs. Macarthur's letter of September 1st, 1795, contains thefirst reference to the flock of sheep, which was occupying somuch of her husband's attention at Elizabeth Farm, where heinitiated the interesting experiment of crossing hair-bearingewes from the Cape of Good Hope and Bengal and sheep of Englishbreed, with a view of producing wool.

For, while the infant Colony was struggling for existence inits fourth year, before it had succeeded in raising for itselffood sufficient perhaps for a week's consumption, when theinhabitants from the Governor downwards were reduced to less thanhalf rations of miserable provisions, and when even guests,invited to the Governor's table, were requested to bring theirown bread, the idea was first entertained by Macarthur ofchanging the ill-organized community into a wealthy flourishingcolony by the production of fine wool.

Although quite a young man he had the sagacity to comprehendthat a petty population, established at so vast a distance fromother civilized parts of the globe, could have no prospect ofultimately succeeding unless by raising as an export some rawmaterial, which would be produced with little labour, be inconsiderable demand, and be capable of bearing the expense of along sea voyage; that, only by the production of some suchcommodity, whatever might be the natural fertility of thecountry, could it hope to escape the alternations of abundanceand scarcity even of bread.

He reasoned that the surplus of grain in years of abundancewould, for want of an outlet, so reduce the prices to thecultivator, as to dishearten him and throw the land out ofcultivation, the very excess thus causing subsequent want; whilstthe community would possess no means within itself of purchasingsupplies from other countries, and would remain a body of paupersor sink into a state of semi-civilisation—that to procuresupplies in regular and sufficient quantity it was necessary tocreate an export, and that as quickly as possible.

This for a young subaltern was a bold and original view of thecircumstances of the infant colony then wholly dependent on theMother Country even for its dally bread.

He could imagine no article so completely fulfilling thenecessary conditions as fine wool, and his setting earnestly towork to produce this made him an object of ridicule to hiscomrades, who were profiting by raising meat, and subsequently ofopposition and oppression from his superiors.

At first he had but a few hair-bearing sheep from Bengal andthe Cape, but acquired from the captain of a transport fromIreland some coarse woolled Irish sheep; and later (in 1797) withthe aid of Captain Waterhouse and Lieutenant Kent, R.N., thefirst merino sheep were added to his flock.

It is perhaps well here to quote Macarthur's evidence on thematter before Commissioner Bigge in 1820.*

Q. How many years is it since you first began topay attention to the Breed of Sheep?

A. More than Twenty-six years. In the year 1794, I purchased froman officer Sixty Bengal Ewes and Lambs, which had been importedfrom Calcutta and very soon after I procured from the Captain ofa Transport from Ireland, two Irish Ewes and a young Ram. TheIndian Sheep produced coarse hair and the wool of the Irish Sheepwas then valued at no more than 9d. per lb. By crossing the twoBreeds I had the satisfaction to see the lambs of the Indian Ewesbear a mingled fleece of hair and wool—this circumstanceoriginated the idea of producing fine wool in New South Wales. Inthe year 1796 (I believe) the two sloops of war on this stationwere sent to the Cape of Good Hope, and as their Commanders werefriends of mine, I requested them to enquire if there were anywool-bearing sheep at the Cape. At the period of their arrival atthe Settlement there was a flock of Merino Sheep for sale, fromwhich about twenty were purchased. Of these I was favoured withFour Ewes and Two Rams, the remainder were distributed amongstdifferent individuals who did not take the necessary precautionsto preserve the breed pure and they soon disappeared—Minewere carefully guarded against an impure mixture, and increasedin number and improved in the quality of their wool. In a year ortwo after I had an opportunity of augmenting my flock by thepurchase from Colonel Foveaux of 1200 Sheep of the common CapeBreed. In 1801 I took to England specimens of the pure MerinoWool, and of the best of the crossbred, and having submitted themto the inspection of a Committee of Manufacturers, they reportedthe Merino Wool was equal to any Spanish wool and the Crossbredof considerable value. Thus encouraged I purchased Nine Rams anda Ewe from the Royal Flock at Kew, and returned to this countrydetermined to devote my attention to the improvement of the Woolof my flocks. I only landed here Five Rams and One Ewe of theSheep purchased from the Royal Flock. It is from these sourcesalone that my present stock has been raised.

The purchase of Foveaux's flock and his land, near Toongabbe,for the sum of £2000, considerably augmented Macarthur's means ofbringing to a successful issue the undertaking of his life,which, even at this early period, he was confident would be ofnational importance.

As regards immediate pecuniary gain, his plan of crossing withSpanish blood was open to objection in as much as it diminishedthe weight of the carcase, meat being then very dear, while themerino was also a less prolific race than the Cape sheep. Many,therefore, laughed in their sleeves and said "his wits werea-wool gathering."

But he had determined to adopt New South Wales as his countryand therefore persevered in his efforts to produce in it a greatarticle of export, without which he knew it must continue foryears obscure and despised—a mere penal settlement.

In 1801, Macarthur, while in temporary command of the NewSouth Wales Corps, during Lieut.-Colonel Paterson's absence,became involved in a bitter quarrel with Governor King, who hadsucceeded Hunter, the cause of which would appear to have beensome legal proceedings, in which a Lieut. Marshall was chargedwith misappropriation of a deceased officer's property.

The affair culminated in Macarthur receiving a challenge fromColonel Paterson, who was wounded in the ensuing duel; and inconsequence Governor King ordered Macarthur to England underarrest, for trial by court-martial.

The Advocate-General of the British Army, however, reportedthat it was impossible to investigate the case in England, andrecommended that Macarthur should be remanded to New South Wales,with orders to join his regiment, and expressed his opinion that,under the circumstances, it was probable Governor King would notbe desirous of bringing him to trial.

Many letters and despatches referring to the episode are to befound in the N.S.W. Historical Records, Vol. IV., but amongst theCamden Park papers the only allusion to it is in the followingpassage in a letter written in 1859 by James Macarthur whichcontains notes on the life of his father to Judge (afterwards SirRoger) Therry, for use of the latter in writing his book"Reminiscences of N.S.W. and Victoria." "With Governor King he(Macarthur) was on good terms, and was living quietly atParramatta when the officers of the regiment became involved in acontroversy with the Governor in which, although in the right,they mismanaged their case so that King was getting the best ofit. They appealed to my father for aid in their need, which hevery reluctantly consented to afford, as the character of theregiment was to some extent involved in the dispute. Taking upthe case for them, he re-stated the whole matter and placed it onits true footing. On this a truce was patched up between GovernorKing and Colonel Paterson, the C.O.; and my father consideredthat he had been made a sort of scape-goat, and that revelationshad been made to Governor King which ought not to have been made.Colonel Paterson challenged my father and was wounded in the arm,on which my father was placed in arrest. After a few days he wasordered to return to his duty, but demanded a court-martial,which was refused. The whole matter was represented to the HorseGuards, my father being sent home under arrest, still insistingon his right to public enquiry. Out of this case arose a generalorder to the Army, denying what had been looked upon as the rightof officers placed under arrest to demand a court-martial."

The voyage to England was made via India, and the shipbeing dismasted in a typhoon was obliged to seek shelter atAmboyna, where she was delayed for some time. This led toMacarthur forming an acquaintance with Sir Robert Farquhar, whowas at the time under the censure of the Indian authorities forhaving made an unsuccessful attack upon a Dutch settlement inclose proximity. He was about to write an apologetic letter tothe Governor-General and Council, and mentioned the matter toMacarthur, who said: "If you write such a letter you will be laidon the shelf for life. Tell them they are not fully aware of theposition of the Dutch Settlement, or the circumstances which ledto your attacking it, that you are convinced of the necessity fortaking it, and that you are determined to renew the attack.Having thus written, do so, and mind you take theplace."

His advice was followed with success, and Farquhar inconsequence was applauded and promoted. This was the foundationof the friendship which subsequently existed between the Farquharand Macarthur families. Sir Walter Farquhar, Sir Robert's father,was at the time physician to the Prince of Wales (afterwardsGeorge IV.), and his near relative Mr. Watson (afterwards WatsonTaylor) was Private Secretary to Lord Camden, who was thenColonial Minister.

Sir Walter at once realised the serviceable advice Macarthurhad given his son, and received him on the most friendly andconfidential footing, making his house and family, as it were, ahome for Macarthur and his children, two of whom (Elizabeth, hiseldest daughter, and John, his second son) had accompanied himfor the purpose of their education. His eldest son, Edward, hadbeen sent to England some years previously for the samereason.

From Amboyna the voyage was accomplished by changing ships,and embarking in a homeward bound East Indiaman, which touched atSt. Helena, where the Lord Valentia placed in Macarthur's chargean extensive and very valuable collection of natural historyspecimens from Africa for Sir Joseph Banks, to whom he also gavehim a strong letter of recommendation.

The natural history cases caused much trouble on arrival inLondon, but were safely delivered at Sir Joseph's residence. Adry note of acknowledgment was the only return.

"Whether this was accidental," writes James Macarthur, "orwhether Sir Joseph Banks had been prejudiced against him byColonel Paterson (who had been a botanical collector for SirJoseph, as well as Governor King, and kept up a correspondencewith him), I cannot say, but my father was indignant at thetreatment . . ."

How this resentment was shown, and what followed, will be seenlater.

This visit of Captain Macarthur to England enabled him tobring to the notice of the Privy Council and those interested inthe woollen industry, his views as to the possibilities ofAustralia for the production of fine wool, and the results of hisown efforts and experience in Its growth. Samples of his wool hadpreviously been sent to England and he had not neglected to bringothers with him; and he now exerted himself to place the infantAustralian wool industry upon a firm foundation, both by inducingthe British Government to grant facilities for establishing it inN.S.W., and by interesting the manufacturers in the new source ofsupply, thus assuring a market.

At one time he thought of the formation of a public company toundertake the enterprise in N.S.W., but finally carried thematter through with his own resources.

The cloth manufacturers were at that time seeking some changesin the Statute Law for regulating the employment of artisans inthat important staple. It was material to their case to show thatfine wool, then imported chiefly from Spain, in comparativelysmall quantities—from 3,000,000 to 4,000,000 lbs. ayear—was, like cotton, capable of unlimited production.

Having inspected Macarthur's samples of wool, and heard hisexplanatory statements, they induced him to place before thePrivy Council a statement of the capabilities of Australia forthe growth of fine wool.

The Privy Council, impressed with the importance of thesubject thus brought before them, recommended it to the attentionof the Colonial Minister, Lord Camden.

Macarthur in his evidence at Johnston's Court Martial (page177) thus related how his views were brought before the PrivyCouncil.

In the beginning of the year 1804 * some of themost eminent manufacturers of woollen cloth in England saw byaccident some specimens of the wool I had raised in New SouthWales, its quality was so fine that it induced them to find meout, and to make particular enquiries how and in what manner thiswool had been raised.

On my communicating to them all I knew upon thesubject they expressed a decided opinion that the colony of NewHolland might with proper encouragement be enabled in time tosupply the woollen manufacturers of this country with the wholequantity of fine wool which was then with great difficultyobtained from Spain, and such was the importance which theyattached to this that they signified their determination tocommunicate their opinion to Government by Memorial which wassoon afterwards done.

In consequence of these memorials being sent in I was directed toattend a Privy Council before whom I was particularly examined asto the state of my flocks and their probable improvement. ThePrivy Council were so satisfied of the importance of theundertaking that they recommended to the Secretary of State thatit should be encouraged. . . .

Amongst the papers at Camden Park the following correspondenceis preserved and is endorsed in King's handwriting "Copies ofPapers respecting the Growth of Fine Wool in N.S. Wales, Sept.,1805, Report, etc., by Capt. McArthur," the marginal notes beingapparently King's also.

Copy of a Letter from the Deputies appointed toattend the Progress of the Woollen Bill for repealing certainLaws relative to the Woollen Manufacturies.

London, 20th July, 1803.


During our Attendance here on the Subject of the Woollen Bill wehave been fortunate enough to learn that there is at this time aBreed of Spanish Sheep in the Colony of New South Wales. Desirousof course to ascertain a fact which if true was so highlyimportant to the Manufacturing interest we procured without delayan interview with Captain McArthur the Proprietor of the Flock inquestion and who had brought Samples of the Wool over with him.We have the satisfaction to state that the Wool is of verysuperior Quality equal to most which comes from Spain, and fromthe Statement of Captain McArthur we are persuaded the Quality isimproving, and that the Quantity may with proper attention somaterially increase in a few years the Supply of theBritish Market as greatly to reduce the price of the Article andin time render us perfectly independent of Spain for a Supply. IfGovernment will afford him the necessary encouragement CaptainMcArthur undertakes to return to the Colony without delay andpromote the object to the utmost.

We have on behalf of the Clothing Interest laid the matter beforeLord Hobart, and Captain McArthur has also had an interview withAdministration on the subject. Government we are happy to say aredisposed to give it every encouragement, but in order to impressit firmly on their Notice and give the Application completeEffect it has been suggested to advise the Clothiers to present aMemorial Expressive of their Approbation of the Plan and theirconviction of its importance. A step of this sort we have nodoubt would carry the point in the most immediate and successfulmanner. We therefore beg to recommend you directly to call aMeeting of the Clothiers in your district, laying the Subjectbefore them, and if they approve the Measure get their signaturesto a Memorial as proposed. We would not by any means dictate toyou the Terms in which it should be drawn up, knowing you to befully competent on the occasion, but having bestowed considerableAttention on the Subject we enclose a Form containing the Headsof the Plan which can be put into any shape you approve. As weshall have left Town before your reply can reach us here YourMemorial should be forwarded in due Form to the Treasury. But asthe Season is now far advanced and the Adjournment of Parliamentmay shortly be expected when the Members of Administration willbe leaving Town we would recommend promptitude in yourproceedings.

We are, &c.,

Thomas Atkinson.

A. L. Edridge.

Addressed to the Manufacturers in differentparts of the Kingdom.

In consequence of the preceding Circular Letter,Memorials were presented to Government in almost every part ofthe Kingdom, praying that every encouragement might be given topromote the undertaking.

Form of the Memorial proposed in the precedingCircular Letter.

To the Right Honourable
The Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury

May it please Your Lordships

We the undersigned Woollen Manufacturers of the Town ofinthe County of mostrespectfully beg to solicit Your Lordships attention to a subjectwhich they flatter themselves will interest you by itsimportance, and they rely with Confidence on that uniform Zealwhich Your Lordships have ever expressed for the benefit of theCountry for the encouragement of the same.

The great importance of our Woollen Manufacturers their rapidincrease of late years and the propriety of affording everyencouragement to a source of so much national Wealth andConsequence are too obvious to need a mention here, but while theTopic causes us so much exaltation both as Britons and CommericalMen, We cannot forbear also stating to your Lordships facts of aContrary Nature, and which if a timely Remedy be not applied mayultimately cause great injury if not destruction to a veryMaterial Branch of our Woollen Manufacture—that of fineCloths. These Cloths are made entirely of Spanish Wool (anArticle for which this Country annually pays to Spain more thanone Million and a half) and so great for some years past has beenthe increasing scarcity and advanced price of Spanish Wool thatnot only are large Orders frequently rejected for want of the rawMaterial to furnish the Supply but the exorbitant price of whatis to be had and the contingent expences of the Trade make italmost impossible for us to supply the Continental Markets withany Profit to ourselves. If we add to these Considerations theApprehensions we entertain that our Watchful and implacable Foesthe French (who have already by their influence over Spainmonopolized some of the most valuable kinds of Spanish Wool) mayeventually try to exclude us totally from that source of Supply,We confess ourselves alarmed for the existence of this Branch ofour Manufacturers and our eager anxiety for the adoption of anymeans of security and relief.

Under these circumstances we learnt with equal surprize andpleasure from the Gentlemen of our Committee who were attendingthe Progress of the Woollen Bill through Parliament that SpanishWool of Superior Quality and to a considerable Quantity wasproduced in our Colony of New South Wales and that it only neededthe Patronage and countenance of Government to become an Objectof the highest national Importance, so as in Time and that not avery distant Period to render us in a great measure independentof Spain for a Supply.*

To detail to Your Lordships the great andinnumerable advantages to be derived from the success of such anObject is unnecessary. We therefore merely presume in the mostrespectful Manner to state the Facts, satisfied that we may relywith Confidence on your decision.

Wehave the honour to be &c., &c., &c.

STATEMENT of the Improvement and Progress of theBreed of Fine Woolled Sheep in New South Wales.

The Samples of Wool brought from New SouthWales, having excited the particular attention of the Merchantsand principal English Manufacturers, Captain McArthur considersit his Duty respectfully to represent to His Majesty's Ministers,that he has found from an experience of many years, the Climateof New South Wales is peculiarly adapted to the increase of finewoolled Sheep; and that from the unlimited extent of luxuriantPastures with which that Country abounds, Millions of thosevaluable Animals may be raised in a few years, with but littleexpence than the Hire of a few Shepherds.

The Specimens of Wool that Captain McArthur has with him, havebeen inspected by the best Judges of Wool in this Kingdom, andthey are of opinion that it possesses a softness superior to anyof the Wools of Spain and that it certainly is equal in everyvaluable property to the very best that is to be obtained fromthence.

The Sheep producing this fine wool are of the Spanish kind, sentoriginally from Holland to the Cape of Good Hope, and taken fromthence to Port Jackson.

Captain McArthur being persuaded that the propagation of thoseAnimals would be of the utmost Consequence to this Countryprocured in 1797 three Rams and Five Ewes;** and he has since hadthe Satisfaction to see them rapidly increase, their Fleecesaugment in Weight, and the Wool very visibly improve in Quality.When Captain McArthur left Port Jackson in 1801, the heaviestthat had then been shorn, weighed only Three pounds and a half:but he has received Reports of 1802, from which he learns thatthe Fleeces of his Sheep were increased to Five pounds each; andthat the Wool is finer and softer than the Wool of the precedingyear. The Fleece of one of the Sheep originally imported from theCape of Good Hope, has been valued here at Four shillings andsixpence per pound, and a Fleece of the same kind bred in NewSouth Wales is estimated at six shillings a pound.

Being once in possession of this valuable Breed,and having ascertained that they improved in that Climate hebecame anxious to extend them as much as possible! he thereforecrossed all the mixed bred Ewes of which his Flocks werecomposed, with Spanish Rams.* The Lambs produced from this Crosswere much improved but when they were again crossed, the changefar exceeded his most sanguine Expectations. In four Crosses heis of opinion no Distinction will be perceptible between the pureand the mixed Breed. ** As a proof of the extraordinary and rapidImprovement of his Flocks, Captain McArthur has exhibited theFleece of a Coarse Woolled Ewe that has been valued at Ninepencea pound, and the Fleece of her Lamb begotten by a Spanish Ram,which is allowed to be worth Three shillings a pound.

Captain McArthur has now about Four ThousandSheep *** amongst which there are no Rams but of the SpanishBreed. He calculates that they will with proper care doublethemselves every Two Years and a half, and that in Twenty Yearsthey will be so increased as to produce as much fine Wool as isnow imported from Spain and other Countries at an Annual Expenceof One Million eight hundred Thousand pounds Sterling. To makethe principle perfectly plain upon which Captain McArthur foundsthis Expectation he begs to state that half his Flock has beenraised from Thirty Ewes purchased in 1793 out of a Ship fromIndia and from about eight or ten Spanish and Irish Sheeppurchased since. The other half of his Flock were obtained in1801 by purchases from an Officer **** who had raised them in thesame time, and from about the same Number of Ewes that CaptainMcArthur commenced with. This Statement proves that the Sheephave hitherto multiplied more rapidly than it is calculated theywill do in future: but this is attributed to the first Ewes beingof a more prolific kind than the Spanish Sheep are found to be:for since Captain McArthur has directed his attention to thatBreed he has observed the Ewes do not so often produce doubleLambs.

As a further Confirmation of the principle ofIncrease that Captain McArthur has endeavoured to establish andwhich he is positive time will prove to be correct, he wouldrefer to the General Returns transmitted from New South Wales. In1796 (since when not one hundred Sheep have been imported) 1,531were returned as the Public and Private Stock of the Colony. In1801, 6,757 * were returned; and although between those periodsall the Males have been killed as soon as they became fit, yetthere is a surplus over the calculation of 633.

Captain McArthur is so convinced of thepracticability of supplying this Country with any quantity offine Wool it may require, that he is earnestly solicitous toprosecute this as it appears to him important Object, and on hisReturn to New South Wales to devote his whole Attention toaccelerate its complete Attainment. All the risk attendant on theUndertaking he will cheerfully bear. He will require no pecuniaryAid—and all the Encouragement he humbly solicits for, isthe protection of Government, permission to occupy a sufficientTrack of unoccupied Lands to feed his Flocks,** and theIndulgence of selecting from amongst the Convicts such Men forShepherds as may from their previous occupations know somethingof the Business.

(Signed) John Macarthur.

London, 26th July, 1803.

It may be well to notice here that years after, in thetwenties, when Macarthur was attacked by the "Australian", anewspaper, for his erroneous calculation on the probable increaseof wool in New South Wales, he sent these memoranda to his sonJohn, in England, to enable him to reply to any pressnotices.

When I returned to England in the year 1803, Iwas called upon by a Committee of Manufacturers who had heard ofmy wool and requested to show them the Samples. I immediatelygave them an order for its delivery from the India Warehouse, andthey obtained the case containing the Fleeces and took it totheir Committee Room. The wool being examined was highly approvedand the different kinds valued at the amounts I stated in myMemorial. They then informed me that England imported annuallyfrom Spain Wool to the value of £1,800,000, and appeared anxiousfor my opinion how long it might take to produce Wool to thatvalue in N. S. Wales. I replied it was impossible for me to say.I was then asked when I commenced breeding Sheep and with whatnumber I had begun. I stated that I had purchased 30 Bengal Ewesin the year 1793—and that I had added to my flock anotherbred by General Foveaux from about the same number of Ewes andestablished about the same period with my flock that I had alsoadded eight or ten Irish and Merino Sheep by purchase, and thatfrom those 70 Sheep my Flock had increased in 10 years to 4,000Head, altho' all the wethers had been sold for slaughter as soonas they became fit. This led to a calculation and it was seenthat if 70 Sheep had increased in 10 years to 4,000Head—the latter number might with similar care and the samesuccess increase in 20 years to more than 13,000,000, but asthirteen Million of Sheep appeared to be an enormous increaseanother data was resorted to. In Collin's Hist. of N.S. Wales theReturns of Stock in the Colony was published and from theseReturns it appeared that in 1796 the whole of the sheep in theColony amounted to 1,531. The next Return was dated 1801 fiveyears after, when the return of Sheep was 6,737 head and I knowthat in the period between the two returns not 100 Sheep had beenimported. From these returns then it appeared that the Sheep hadmore than multiplied fourfold in five years, and it was decidedit might safely be assumed that a Flock of Sheep of all ages andsexes in their ordinary proportions, might be expected to doubleitself in two years and a half—taking that forgranted—it appeared that such a flock as mine withsufficient pasturage and proper protection might multiply in 20years to a number sufficient to procure Wool annually to thevalue of £1,800,000—estimating the average at 4s. a lb.

Some Early Records of the Macarthurs of Camden (6)


It was also assumed on the authority of the lateLord Somerville and Dr. Parry, that four Crosses with Merino Ramswould improve the Cross bred Sheep to an equal state of finenesswith the true bred Merino. Experience however has since taught methat Ten Crosses would not produce that effect—and Iquickly determined after my return to the Colony, that I had madea great mistake in my calculations and that attributable to thechange which crossing had made in the Constitutions of the Sheep.The Thorough bred India—Cape Sheep—and Merinos livedto a great age, they had been allowed to breed twice ayear—and the Bengal Sheep always bred twice—the CapeSheep frequently did so but as the cross with the Merino bloodadvanced the young sheep became delicate and sickly and the Ewesseldom lived to rear more than three Lambs—often not morethan one, and the Lambs were as tender as their Mothers andsuffered great mortality. This created such a prejudice againstthe Merino Sheep that few people would use the Rams but continuedto breed with the original hair bearing Rams, and it was not tillmany years after that I discovered the great tenderness of themixed bred sheep did not proceed from the Merino blood, but froma general law of nature that almost always causes a deteriorationof constitution where crossing is persevered in more than twogenerations. Luckily I was not frightened by this ill success butcontinued to use Merino Rams—the consequence has been thatwhen my Sheep became deeply mixed with Merino Blood they slowlyregained constitution and I have now the satisfaction to find themixed bred sheep as hardy and long lived as the unmixed Merinos.The Colonists are also becoming daily more sensible of thisremarkable fact, and are now turning their attention to theimprovement of their Wool. Those Flocks, however, that are butlittle improved, will have to undergo the same trial that minehave sustained—and the losses of these proprietors will begreat.

If I add to these facts the continued persecution of Governors,my absence from the superintendence of my flocks and the want ofsufficient pasturage—I shall stand fully acquitted ofintended misrepresentation.

To return to Macarthur's efforts in England—From July,1803, till the following spring the matter appears to haverested, but in September, 1803, Sir Joseph Banks wrote in replyto enquiries from Mr. Fawkener at the Office for Trade,Whitehall:—

That the N.S.W. wool he had seen was not equalto the best of old Spain, that he had no reason to believe thatthe climate and soil of New South Wales was better fitted forwool growing than those of other temperate climates, and that hewas confident the grass of New South Wales was coarse and verydifferent from that of Europe, upon which sheep thrive best. Thathe feared that Macarthur had been too sanguine and that it wouldbe found that sheep did not prosper well there. That the freightfrom New South Wales would add much to the price of the wool, andhe finally recommended that no special encouragement be givenMacarthur's project which as yet was a mere theoreticalspeculation.

In February, 1804, Macarthur again urged his scheme, this timeby proposing the formation of a public company, and he wrote toNicholas Vansittart, who afterwards became Lord Bexley, one ofthe Secretaries of the Treasury in Addington'sadministration.

Great George Street, Westminster,

2nd February, 1804.


The attention which you did me the honor to pay to myRepresentation respecting fine Wool, produced in New South Waleson the practicability of producing there an unlimited supply ofthat valuable commodity has induced me to trouble you with theCopy of a Plan for establishing in this Country a Company, onwhose exertions Government may be more disposed to rely, for themanagement of such an important object, than if it were to remainthe undivided property of an Individual.

I presume the respectability of the Evidence, contained in theMemorials * that have been presented from many of the mostrespectable Merchants, and from almost all the most eminentManufacturers of Woollen Cloths in the Kingdom, must haveentirely satisfied your mind of the superior fineness of the Wooland of the advantage that would be derived from its Importationinto this Country. I therefore hope I do not take too great aliberty in respectfully requesting you will be pleased to lay theenclosed Plan before the Lords of the Treasury for theirLordship's Consideration, and as far as it may appear to deserveit, as an object of public utility, that you will have thegoodness to favor it with your support.

Perfectly sensible of the impropriety oftresspassing upon your attention by an attempt to detail the highExpectations of success, which the best informed personsentertain, if the breeding Flocks of fine woolled Sheep besanctioned by Government, and be vigorously prosecuted in NewSouth Wales, or to enlarge upon the advantages which the Colonywill receive, from a profitable employment of its Convicts, andfrom an increase of animal food, for want of which it hashitherto suffered so much—I will no longer detain you, thanto state that several Members of Parliament, and many Merchantsof the highest Character are willing and desirous to lend theirassistance to establish and become Members of the proposedCompany.

I have the honor to be,&c.,

John Macarthur.

Nicholas Vansittart, Esq.
&c., &c., &c.

Proposal forEstablishing a Company to Encourage the Increase of fine woolledSheep in New South Wales.

It having been represented to Captain Macarthurthat objections have arisen to conferring Grants of Land upon anyIndividual to the extent required for feeding his Flocks of Sheepand their increase, it has occurred to him that if he were todispose of his Right in the Sheep to a Company of respectablepersons residing in this Country, all objections to give theencouragement he has solicited from Government might be waved. Hetherefore proposes that as many persons as may be most approveddo form a Company, and that they subscribe a sufficient sum topurchase all his Sheep, at the price they were selling, to beslaughtered, when the last Returns were sent from New SouthWales—which was about five pounds per Head. That as thepresent number cannot be correctly ascertained, they becalculated as Four Thousand and that all which may be deliveredover that number be received at half price.

That the sum subscribed be vested in some Public Fund, under theManagement of Trustees and not be liable to any Claim fromCaptain Macarthur, until he shall have remitted to the CompanyWool, or money arising from the sale of old Sheep, equivalent tothe payment he may require from the Subscription.

That the Subscribers shall not be called upon to make anyadditions to their original Subscription, on account of Expencesor any contingencies, but that the expences unavoidably attendanton the care and increasing of the Sheep be defrayed by occasionalsales of old ones.

That Captain Macarthur, as he has obtained permission to retirefrom the Army shall return to New South Wales, and undertake themanagement of the Sheep, and be allowed a fair percentage on theclear Returns and the Interest of the Capital subscribed by theCompany as his Reward.

That Captain Macarthur do retain in his own Right a sufficientnumber of Shares to secure to the Company his utmost attention inpromoting the intended object.

That the Company do exert themselves to obtain from Governmentthe indulgence of such Grants of Land. as the Sheep may from timeto time require, with permission to select Shepherds from amongstthe Convicts. And to satisfy Government that no narrow or selfishviews of Monopoly influence the Promoters of this Undertaking,but that their principal object is to create an abundant Supplyof fine Wool for our Manufacturies at a Moderate Rate, and torelieve the Country from its present dependence, on ForeignNations for that valuable Commodity, it is proposed that theCompany shall engage to distribute amongst the Settlers in NewSouth Wales, in any manner the Government may please to direct, acertain portion of the Animal Increase of their Sheep, at astipulated price.

That the required indulgence being obtained by the Company thewhole risk and responsibility shall be borne by CaptainMacArthur.

London, 30th Jan., 1804.

Macarthur then addressed the following Memorial to theCommittee of the Privy Council, appointed for the considerationof all matters of Trade and Foreign Plantation. The marginalnotes appear to be by Governor King, and were probably written in1805, when King received the papers from England.

The Memorial ofCaptain John Macarthur.

To The Right Honourable the Lords of theCommittee of His Majesty's most Honourable Privy Councilappointed for the Consideration of the Matters of Trade andForeign Plantations.

Most Respectfully states:

That as some doubts have been expressed of thepracticability of increasing the production of Fine Wool in NewSouth Wales to the extent that has been described in theMemorials which have been presented to the Right Honourable theLords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury, Your Lordship'sMemorialist feels it incumbent upon him respectfully to endeavourto remove those Doubts by a repetition of the Principle Factscontained in the Representation he has already had the honor tomake, and to accompany it with such further Explanations and witha Reference to such Evidence as he humbly hopes may be consideredconclusive.

In the year 1797 Your Memorialist procured from the Cape of GoodHope Three Rams and Five Ewes of the Spanish Breed of Sheep, andbeing persuaded that these Animals might be of great consequenceto the Colony in New South Wales he paid particular attention topreserve the Breed pure.* He had soon the satisfaction to seethem increase and the Fleeces of their Offspring improve infineness and augment in weight.

Having ascertained these Facts and beingdesirous to extend the growth of Fine Wool as much as possible hecaused all the mixed bred Ewes of which his Flocks were composedto be crossed with Rams of the Spanish kind. The Lambs producedfrom this Cross were clothed with Wool infinitely superior tothat of their Mothers, but when the Cross was repeated again theImprovement became greater than his most sanguine expectationshad induced him to calculate upon **—in so much that he isof opinion no distinction will be perceptible in four Crossesbetwixt the pure and the mixed Breed.***

When Your Lordships Memorialist left PortJackson in 1801 his Flocks consisted of more than Two ThousandSheep,**** the whole of which had been bred from about Fifty Ewesin a little more than Seven Years—and by the Returns thathe has received of 1802 his Flocks are increased to ThreeThousand. He has not yet received any Accounts of the Year 1803,but he concludes there must then have been about Four Thousand,beyond which he has no expectation they have much increased asmost of the Lands contiguous to his Farms have since hisDeparture from the Colony been appropriated for Cultivation.

Your Lordships Memorialist brought with him toEngland as Samples Fleeces shorn from the Sheep imported from theCape of Good Hope; Fleeces shorn from their progeny bred in NewSouth Wales; and Fleeces shorn from Sheep of the mixed Breed,whose Dams bore nothing but Hair or coarse Wool. When theseSamples were shown to the most eminent Manufacturers andMerchants concerned in the Woollen Trade, they all concurred inOpinion that the worst specimens of the mixed Breed would bevaluable here, and the specimens of the finest kind bred in NewSouth Wales were much superior to the Wool of the original Sheepimported from the Cape of Good Hope, and that they were equal tothe very best we ever receive from Spain. Indeed some of theManufacturers declared the Wool to be superior to Spanish Wool inmany respects, and that if they could procure a sufficient supplyit would enable them to surpass all other Countries in theManufacture of the best Woollen Cloths. But of these Opinionsperhaps it would be superfluous to say more, as the numerousMemorials presented to the Lords of the Treasury from theManufacturers and Merchants must contain more decisive Evidencethan any other Testimony that can be offered on the Subject.

Your Lordships Memorialist is entirely convinced from the Numberof Sheep * that have been already bred in New South Wales, andfrom the Improvement which he has witnessed in the Quality of theWool, that Millions of Sheep may be raised in that Country, andthat in a few years the present Stock by proper attention may beso increased as to produce a greater quantity of fine Wool, thanwe are now obliged to purchase from Spain—and which he hasascertained by the proposals of some eminent Ship Owners, may bebrought hither from New South Wales at no greater Freight than ispaid for the Freight of Cotton Wool from the EastIndies—namely three pence per pound in time of War andthree halfpence in Peace.

It is impossible any one can feel more anxietythan Your Lordships Memorialist not to advance a single assertionthat he is not convinced to be correct and his anxiety extends toa desire of removing every doubt and of answering every objectionthat can be urged by a reference to the best Evidence the natureof the Case will admit. He declares that all the Sheep which havebeen bred in New South Wales have been raised in the Woods uponthe Natural Grasses. These grasses are in all seasons rich andabundant,** and when they become too rank they are burnt off, andare almost immediately succeeded by a young and sweet herbagewhich the Sheep greedily eat and keep bare. The Tracts of Landadapted for Pasture are so boundless that no assignablelimitation can be set to the number of fine woolled Sheep whichmay be raised in that Country with but little other expence thanthe Hire and Food of the Shepherds.*** The Native Woods insteadof making the Grass sour are generally so open as not todeteriorate its quality, whilst they at the same time afford asalutary Shelter from the Scorching Rays of the Sun in Summer andfrom the chilling Cold of the Wind in Winter. To this theextraordinary softness that the Wool is found to possess may beattributed, for perhaps nothing can more contribute to preserveand improve the fineness of Wool, than keeping Sheep in a mildand equal temperature, and screening them as much as may bepossible against the natural inequalities of Seasons.

To prove these Facts Your Memorialist wouldrespectfully intreat to refer to Captain Hunter the predecessorof Governor King and to Captain Waterhouse of the Royal Navy whowas many years in New South Wales. Indeed your Memorialistsolicitous to remove all suspicion of the Correctness of hisStatements wrote to the latter Officer some time ago upon theSubject, and he has now the honor to subjoin a Copy of his Letterwith a Copy of Captain Waterhouses reply. He has also annexed theNames and Address of several respectable Officers and Gentlemenwho have had opportunities to make their own Observations uponthe Pasture in New South Wales, and who have seen how well Sheepthrive upon them.

With such a prospect of becoming useful to his Country, as theforegoing facts afford, Your Lordships Memorialist has longentertained an Ardent desire to return to New South Wales and todevote his whole attention to the increase and improvement of hisFlocks—And having understood that His Majesty's Ministerswere more disposed to approve of the Undertaking being carried onby a Company than by an individual he had the Honor to submit aplan for the formation of the Company to the Right Honourable theLords Commissioners of the Treasury.

Your Lordships Memorialist respectfully hopes that the Statementhe has now given and the Evidence he has referred to inCorroboration of it will remove every doubt and he persuadeshimself that under no possible circumstance an attempt to supplythis Country with Fine Wool, the production of its own Colony canappear to Your Lordships impolitic or in any degree hazardous.For as your Memorialist requires no pecuniary Aid, the hazardwould be all his own, and even for a moment supposing him to bemistaken which however he cannot in justice to himself admit tobe possible founded as his Opinions have been upon so many yearssuccessful experience, yet the infant Settlement of New SouthWales could not but derive great advantage and security from suchan abundant Supply of animal Food as must indisputably beraised.

Your Memorialist will no longer trespass upon Your Lordshipsattention than to say That if your Lordships shall be pleased tosanction him in the undertaking on behalf of a Company, he willsubmit to Your Lordships consideration the names of the manyrespectable persons who have offered their assistance anddeclared their willingness to form a Company.

But should Your Lordships more approve making the experiment on asmall scale upon the individual account of your Memorialist, hewill most cheerfully commence it with an allotment of TenThousand Acres of Land * and permission to select thirty Convictsfor Shepherds.

Your Lordships Memorialist would choose the LandTen miles from any of the Settlements where there is Cultivation,and he would engage in return for the Indulgence to supply thePublic with all the Sheep it might be proper to kill, at astipulated Price, by which means Your Lordships Memorialisthumbly presumes the Expenses of Government in that Colony wouldbe very much diminished in a few years.**

John Macarthur.

London, May 4th, 1804.

(Enclosure No. 1.)

A Letter from John Macarthur to CaptainWaterhouse of the Royal Navy.

London, 4th March, 1804.

My Dear Sir,

Your polite and obliging attention in communicating the veryvaluable observations you made in New South Wales, on theimprovement of the Wool, produced by the Spanish Breed of Sheepthat you introduced into that Colony, and your remarks on theextraordinary improvements that you discovered in the Wool of theSheep produced from Spanish Rams and Ewes bearing nothing butHair or very coarse Wool, has induced me, once more to take theliberty of troubling you for your opinion on a disputed point,which it is of the utmost importance to me to put out of Doubt,and which I am persuaded Your Testimony will most effectuallydo.

It has been urged here that the Natural Pasture in New SouthWales is so rank and coarse that Sheep cannot eat it, and thatunless land be cleared for the purpose, and artificial grassesraised for the support of Sheep they cannot be bred in thatCountry to any very considerable extent.

Now, as you, my dear Sir, have kept and bred sheep in New SouthWales, as you are perfetly well acquainted how your own, and theGeneral Stock of Sheep, in that Colony were always fed, duringthe time you were there, and as you know as much of the Countryas any man, who ever returned from it, you will very much obligeme. and materially serve the great object I have so long beenendeavouring to establish, if you will have the goodness to statewhether your Sheep were not constantly depastured in the Woods,on the Native grasses, whether such is not the universal mode offeeding Sheep there, and whether from Your observations in theinterior parts of the Country you have visited, you have anydoubt of the practicability of increasing Sheep in that Colony toalmost any extent if due care and attention be paid to them, andthe undertaking liberally encouraged by Grants of sufficientAllotments of Land.

On reviewing this letter I feel almost ashamed of havingtrespassed so much upon your attention, but I hope and amconvinced that as the objects it relates to are connected withthe Public good, you will not murmur, or be displeased at thetroublesome task I have imposed upon you.

I am, &c.,

John Macarthur.

Captain Waterhouse, R.N.

(Enclosure No. 2.)

A Letter from Captain Waterhouse inreply.

Wisbeach, March 12th, 1804.

My Dear Sir,

I have been for some time constantly moving about which will Ihope account to You for my not having earlier answered your's ofthe 4th, and is my only reason. The few Memorandums I made,whilst at New South Wales, are at the Hermitage, therefore Icannot answer so fully, as I could wish.

You observe "it has been urged that the Natural Pasturage of NewSouth Wales is so rank and coarse, that Sheep cannot eat it, andthat unless land be cleared for the purpose and artificialgrasses be raised for the support of Sheep they cannot be bred inthat Country to any considerable extent." In my opinion whoeverhas advanced that observation has done so without well weighingit.

The Universal mode of feeding Sheep in that Country has been bydriving them into the Woods, on the Natural Pasturage, and Ithink I can affirm it has very fully answered the purpose, evenon a limited feeding; as you know that persons having Stock inthat Colony were fearful of letting the Keepers drive them offtheir own premises, as many accidents might follow, by straying,negligence, &c.; this of course much limited their feeding,which I never recollect having heard complained of, as not fullysufficient in this limited way. It is not in my recollectionhaving heard any person, while there, advance that artificialgrasses were necessary for feeding sheep. Some (I believe)Yourself, did introduce in small spots clover, or otherartificial grasses, that it might be in the Country, but I didnot understand it was from any necessity for it, or that it wasapprehended there would be a necessity for it, for feeding Stock;had that been the case I suppose it would have been attendedto—I will not be certain, but that when I left the Colonythere was not artificial grass sufficient to feed a Lamb aweek.

I am no Farmer, therefore, ought not to venture an observation,but have understood that grass Lands require to be constantly cutor eat to prevent it being coarse or rank. That from the state ofthe Colony could not be done, and a substitute was made use of(Fire) to get rid of the coarse and rank, which answered nopurpose; the Young grass springing up more luxuriantly forit.

In the great heat during the Summer they were obliged to varytheir drives, generally to those places were the Woods wereclosest, as the Pasturage was better for the shade afforded bythe Trees, and the shelter it gave the Sheep, which could nothave been so, had the Country been cleared. My opinion is fromslight observation, but I think the Pasturage infinitely betterthe greater part of the year under the shade of the Trees than inthe more exposed parts.

With respect to the Pasturage of Sheep to a great extent, I havefrequently gone with Governors Philip and Hunter, and otherparties into the Interior of the Country, I speak I believe thegeneral idea, when I say that from Rose Hill or Parramatta toProspect Hill is good Pasturage, as the number of Sheep now fedupon it prove; from thence to the River Nepean is still better.Our Routes were each time different but I think the Pasturageequally good. There were some high hills between Prospect Hilland the River Nepean covered with good Pasturage, and in everyrespect calculated for grazing, those I saw, both Winter andSummer. The distance from Prospect Hill to Nepean River is about22 Miles.

After crossing the Nepean River to the foot of what is called theBlue Mountains, I am at a loss how to describe the Countryotherwise than as a beautiful Park, totally divested ofUnderwood, interspersed with Plains, with rich luxuriant Grass,but for want of feeding off rank, except where recently burnt;this is the part where the Cattle that have strayed haveconstantly fed—of course their own selection. I mustobserve some of the Meadows bordering on the Banks of the NepeanRiver are evidently at times overflowed from the River, but it isnot very common, and cannot be done, without sufficient time todrive any Stock away, if common attention is paid. The extent ofthe ground I mention as being so very fine, can easily beascertained from the Chart attached to the last account(Hunter's) of New South Wales. The Blue Mountains extend from theSouthward of Botany Bay, considerably to the Northward of PortStephens. I have been upon the top of one of them Mount Hunter.It is rocky but clothed with verdure fully fit for the feeding ofSheep, and I think adapted for it. The Mountains run as far backas the eye can see, all apparently of equally good Pasturage,with some Stands of Water. See the Account given.

The extent of Pasturage for Sheep in this part of the Country istoo great for me to form any idea of. Of the possibility I haveno doubt, of the encouragement necessary, together with theAllotments of Land, I am no Judge, but of the practicability Ihave no doubt.

My dear Sir, here you have the ideas of a Sailor. Nothing but thewish to serve so important a Business as you have undertakencould have induced me to commit myself on a Subject, of which Iprofess my ignorance, my whole Life having been employed atSea.

But you ask me how my Flock was managed. It was a small one;short of a hundred, all the Spanish Breed and their Offspring. Itrusted implicitly to the Shepherd (whom you remember) and Youroccasional advice. They were driven into the Woods, after the Dewwas off the Grass, driven back for the Man to get his dinner, andthen taken out again until the close of the Evening; when theyremained in the Yard for the Night. During the three years I hadthem, I do not recollect a complaint of want of Food, from theShepherd, but on the Contrary when brought home earlier thanusual, and finding fault with him for it, he said they were sosoon full that they had lain down for hours.

The uncommon success I had with them will prove the Pasturage. MyFarm being not 200 Acres, and by no means a specimen of thegeneral Pasturage of that Country. Of the increase of the SmallFlock I landed I gave you an account without noticing those Iparted with.

If these few observations hastily thrown together are of any useto you it will give pleasure to My dear Sir,

Yours truly,

H. Waterhouse.

(Enclosure No. 3.)

Names and Addresses of Gentlemen who havebeen in New South Wales, who can give Evidence on the factsCaptain Macarthur has represented.

Captain Hunter, R.N.
Captain Waterhouse, R.N., Hermitage, near Rochester
Captain Townsen, Lydley Hayes, near Shrewsbury
Mr. W. Wilson, Monument Yard, London
Mr. Stewart, No. 147 Leadenhall St.

The second memorial bore fruit.

At the Council Chamber Whitehall

The 6th of July 1804.

Their Lordships took into Consideration aProposition from Captain Macarthur for encouraging the Breed ofFine Woolled Sheep, in New South Wales together with the severalPapers, on the same subject.

Captain Macarthur attended, and stated that he had resided in NewSouth Wales, eleven years, and held Lands there, a very smallpart only of which Lands were in cultivation, and that hepastured the rest with Sheep and Cattle.

The following questions were then put to CaptainMacarthur:—

Q. What is the nature andquality of Land in New South Wales?

A. Rich and strong, so much so,that we are obliged to burn off the long grass, and feed theSheep upon the Young Grass. There are different sorts of grass,some resembling the Couch Grass in this Country, another sort isa short Grass, of a succulent nature fit for feeding Sheep.

Q. Suppose those Lands on whichSheep are now fed were to be turned to purposes of Cultivation,are there other Lands further on, proper for the feed ofSheep?

A. I think there are and bettercalculated for the purpose, and to an unbounded extent.

Q. Were there others of theSettlers, who kept Sheep besides Yourself?

A. A considerable number, but Isuppose my Flock amounted to one third of the whole.

Q. Were the Sheep belonging tothe other Settlers of the same Quality as yours?

A. No. I know no other Person inthe Colony, who has paid any attention to the Improvement of theWool.

Q. Of what kind are your Sheep,and what is the kind of the Sheep in the Country?

A. The Sheep I first began toBreed from were of the Bengal Race, weighing about 6 lbs. perQuarter. I improved these by Rams, obtained from a Cross betweenthe Cape Ewe and some Rams of the Spanish Breed. I cannotascertain the particular Breed of the Rams, I afterwards obtaineda number of Ewes of the Cape Breed; and these I continued tocross with Rams bearing Wool, by this means I obtained, which Iconceived to be a fine Breed of Spanish Sheep—and bred asmany of this pure Breed, as possible, and Crossed all the Ewesbearing coarse Wool, or being of the hairy sort, with Rams ofthis Spanish Breed. The Sheep of the Country is the hairy sort. Iconceive—there exists a prejudice in the Colony, in favourof the Sheep bearing inferior Wool, founded on an Opinion thatthe Carcasses of such Sheep are more profitable.

Q. What do you conceive to bethe best mode of encouragement to be held out to the Settlerswith a view to promote the Breed of fine woolled Sheep?

A. To feed the Inhabitants onMutton, rather than on Provisions sent from this Country; and togive a small additional price on the Carcasses of Sheep of thepure Spanish Breed, and Grants of Land to those who are inclinedto engage in the Breed of fine Woolled Sheep.

Captain Macarthur stated that his Sheep weighedabout twelve pounds a Quarter, and that he thought each sheeprequired about an Acre of Land to keep it. He also stated that noGrants have hitherto been made to any individual of greaterextent that 1,200 Acres. These Grants are given in perpetuity.Captain Macarthur possesses about 4,000 Acres, part of which waspurchased from a former Proprietor. He is preparing shortly toreturn to New South Wales, in any event a Civil Settler in theColony. Being asked, as to the number of Settlers in theColony—Supposes them to amount to about 1,000.

Q. Are there any animals in NewSouth Wales destructive to Sheep?

A. None except the Native Dog,which is an animal somewhat between a Fox and a Wolf. There arenot many of them, and they are so timid in their nature that theywill not approach the Sheep by day. Captain Macarthur was in thehabit of housing his Sheep every night by reason of the wetnessof the Climate, at certain periods of the Year.
Each of his Flocks have a yard and a Shed.

Q. Do the Natives mix with theSettlers?

A. They come amongst theSettlers familiarly, but have no fixed abode and live upon whatthey can find for themselves.

Captain Macarthur being asked whether, in caseit should be found objectionable to recommend the making aSpecific Grant of Land to him, any other measures could be taken,for effectually encouraging the Breed of fine Woolled Sheep?replied he is so convinced of the advantage, which would resultto the Country, that he should most cheerfully proceed in thebusiness upon receiving a Conditional Grant of Land untilGovernment shall be satisfied of the importance of themeasure.

If the object should not be found to answer the expectations ofGovernment such Grant to be resumable, but, in that event CaptainMacarthur expressed a hope that he should be indemnified, for theexpenses he must unavoidably incur in fencing &c.—whichhe calculated would not exceed the sum of £1000.

11th July 1804.

John Prinsep Esq. attending was called in andexamined as follows:—

Q. What would your object be, incarrying on a Trade with New South Wales?

A. My object would be to fishupon the Coast; and bring home the Wool, or other produce of theCountry.

Q. In what manner and upon whatfreight did you propose bringing back Wool from New SouthWales?

A. In the Ships sent out fromthis Country either to fish, or with Merchandize, or uponContract with Government to carry out Convicts, and I proposed tobring Wool back upon a freight of £16 per ton in time of War and£8 in time of Peace.

Q. If a large quantity of Woolshould be produced, in New South Wales, do you suppose theirwould be a facility in bringing it over to this Country upon thatfreight?

A. Certainly if we had freeaccess to that Settlement, on the terms of an Act which Iunderstood to be in contemplation, which allowed a Free Tradewithin the limits of Ten degrees North.

Q. What quantity then could youbring over if the Trade should be continued upon the presentfooting?

A. Equal to that proportion ofthe tonnage of the Vessel, employed to carry out Convicts, ifsuch vessels were not permitted to proceed to India or China.

Q. Would it answer yourCommercial purposes better to bring a Cargo of Wool Home at thefreight above mentioned, than to send your Ship on to China, fora Cargo, if permitted to do so?

A. It would be certainly betterto send the ship on to China, if permitted.

Mr. Prinsep then withdrew.

Governor Hunter, attending was called in andexamined as follows:—

Q. You have been Governor of NewSouth Wales?

A. I have.

Q. How long is it since youreturned?

A. About three years.

Q. Is there a considerable quantity of grassland in New South Wales in Common and unemployed?

A. There is a very considerablequantity of Pasture Land both clear of Wood and covered withWood, fit for Cattle and for Sheep. The Quality of the Grassappears to be excellent as the Hay made of it. is preferred bystrange Cattle to that of their Native soil.

Q. Is the Grass of a coarse or afine Pile?

A. Some coarse but a good dealof a fine Pile. It grows very luxuriantly and is sometimes threefeet high.

Q. Is not the Climate favorableto Agriculture and for the Breeding of Cattle?

A. The Lattitude is 34° and itis a very fine Climate.

Q. Is it not subject to greatRains?

A. There are no periodicalRains. The Climate is variable, and the Pasture is good the wholeyear.

Q. Did you pay attention to thenature of the Sheep during your residence there, and particularlyto the Wool?

A. The first Stock was fromBengal and from the Cape of Good Hope, with a few English Sheep.This Wool was hairy, but the Fleeces from the Cross Breed soonimproved, and became very good. Cloth was made of it, which wasvery fit for the Clothing of the Convicts.

Q. Were there any SpanishSheep?

A. Two Officers whom I sent tothe Cape of Good Hope, had an opportunity of making there apurchase of some Spanish Sheep, which had belonged to ColonelGordon, an Officer, in the Dutch Service, well known and sincethe introduction into New South Wales the Wool improved verymuch. The Convicts have been fed by Government hitherto on SaltProvisions, and the Grain of the Country. But a supply ofProvisions from this, or any Foreign Country will not long benecessary, as the Colony will produce enough for its ownsupport.
The price of wheat was 10s. per Bushel as established by GovernorPhilip, and this price procured a good supply.

Q. Do you know Captain Macarthurwho has been in that Country?

A. I do, he has the largestStock of Sheep in that Country, and has been very industrious inimproving his Flock, and breed of Cattle; and with care, andattention I am of opinion that a great quantity of fine Wool maybe produced, I have no doubt any offer he may make will be worthattending to.

Q. Do you apprehend that therewould be any great objection to the making Grants of Land toPersons disposed to increase the Flocks of Sheep and Cattle?

A. There is so much Land that Iconceive there can be no objection to such Grants. I made somelarger than usual upon applications of that nature, and for thatpurpose.

Q. Are the Rains so violent asto injure the Sheep?

A. I have known it rainviolently for a week. We always housed our Sheep. CaptainMacarthur made an experiment of keeping his Sheep out, but helost a good many by it.

The 14th July 1804.

The Lords of the Committee having resumed theconsideration of the several papers relating to the Breed of FineWoolled Sheep, &c., in New South Wales, and of theExamination thereon of Captain Macarthur, John Hunter Esq.,formerly Governor of that Colony, and John Prinsep Esq., aMerchant of London, from whom a Proposition was some time sincereceived and has undergone some consideration, relative to theopening a regular Trade with Port Jackson.

Their Lordships were pleased to order a Copy of the Memorialpresented by Captain Macarthur, and of a proposal submitted byhim to the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury, forestablishing a Company to encourage the increase of fine WoolledSheep, in New South Wales, he transmitted to Edward Cook Esq. forthe information of Lord Camden, with a letter stating that theirLordships are of opinion, from the Evidence in the papersrelating to Captain Macarthur's Petition; from the opinion of theManufacturers of Cloth, stated in their Memorials, and from theExamination of the Gentlemen before mentioned, that it isprobable Wool of very fine Quality, suited to the Manufacture offine Cloth may be produced in New South Wales, and brought tothis Country at a price which the Manufacturers of that Articlecan afford to give for that material. That their Lordships alsoconceive that without more knowledge than they now possess of thenature and state of the Colony, and without full communicationwith the Governor of the Settlement, inconvenience might arisefrom recommending an unconditional Grant of Land to Mr.Macarthur, or to a joint Company, or to any individual, as suchGrant might retard, or prevent the other Inhabitants of New SouthWales from turning their attention to the growth and improvementof fine wool, or perhaps in other respects counteract theimprovement of the Colony.

That the Lords of the Committee however are of opinion thatencouragement ought to be held out to the inhabitants of NewSouth Wales to keep a breed of Sheep with fine Wool, and toimprove its quality as much as possible.

That the Committee are inclined to recommend that Mr. Macarthur'splan should be referred to the Governor of New South Wales withInstructions to give every encouragement to the growth of fineWool, and to report his Opinion, on the Petition of Mr. Macarthurand on the Plan of a Joint Stock Company, and that he should befurther directed to state, also in what manner he conceives thegrowth of fine Wool can best be encouraged, together with thehopes he may entertain that a supply of that Article can beafforded from New South Wales, and to what extent such supply islikely to be obtained and within what space of time.

That the Lords of the Committee think it right to observe that aConditional Grant of Lands of a reasonable extent may be,perhaps, with safety granted to Mr. Macarthur, for the Pasturageof Sheep only, or to other Persons, provided a Power be reserved,in such Grant to resume the same, at any future period, on givingother Land of the Colony (with reasonable indemnification forexpenses incurred in fencing &c.) and that such additionalGrant would not Cramp the Cultivation of the Colony, or beattended with bad effects in any manner at present apparent tothe Lords of the Committee.

That in addition to these encouragements it appears to the Lordsof the Committee that the Governor should be instructed toprovide Mutton, for the Food of the Convicts rather than to feedthem on Salted Provisions, and that it might equally tend toencourage the Breed of Sheep with fine Wool, if it wererecommended to the Governor to purchase only that description ofSheep for the purpose, or at least to give a preference to Sheepof that description, over any other kind, and to give an advancedprice for the Sheep with fine Wool.

That many other ways may, however, occur to the Governor from hislocal knowledge, of promoting an object so important to thisCountry, and that he should be directed to state the same to LordCamden.

That from the information obtained from the Fleeces brought fromthe Settlement in question, and from the description given of theClimate of the Colony, the Lords of the Committee are led toimagine, and entertain hopes that wool of a fine quality may beproduced in this Colony; and that as Wool of such fine quality ismuch wanted and desired by the Manufacturers of Cloth in England,it being mostly, drawn, at this time from a Country influenced,if not dependent on France, their Lordships entertain no doubtthat it is well deserving the attention of His Majesty'sGovernment to encourage the Produce of fine Wool, in the Colonyof New South Wales.

{Page 98}

Chapter IV.


Lord Camden was so impressed with the importance of theproject and its prospects of success that he agreed withMacarthur that the latter should be permitted to sell hiscommission in the Army (in which he then held an advantageousposition, being the Senior Captain of his Corps and in the primeof life) and receive a grant of 10,000 acres in the Cowpastureson which to graze his flocks, in consideration of his devotinghimself to the production of merino wool in New South Wales.

In selecting the Cowpastures *—nowCamden—Macarthur based his judgment upon that of the cattlewhich had strayed from Sydney soon after the arrival of the firstfleet, and which had been found greatly increased in numbers inthat district where they had remained and multiplied.

In 1804, in accordance with his Agreement, he purchased at asale at Kew several Spanish merino sheep from the Royal flocks ofGeorge III., and of these he landed in Sydney five rams and oneewe.

An account of the sale is given in the "AgriculturalMagazine," August, 1804, from which the following extracts aretaken.

Lot 1 was a ram labouring under a temporaryprivation of sight which Sir Joseph Banks and Richard Stanford,the King's Shepherd stated not to be very uncommon with thesesheep at this season, but from which there was no doubt he willperfectly recover. The weight of his fleece was stated to be atthe last shearing 3 lbs 4 ozs. He was knocked down to CaptainMacarthur at £6 15s. After Sir Joseph had apprized him that anold Act of Parliament stood in the way of exporting sheep fromthis country, the Captain's object being to take the sheep whichhe was then purchasing to New South Wales in about three weekstime to add to the flock which he is raising near Botany Bay witha degree of success which promises to be of the greatest Nationalimportance. . . . .

Lot 6, a very lively sheep, was bought by Captain Macarthur at£11. . . .

Lot 11, fleece 3 lbs 12 ozs of better wool than the last sold toCaptain Macarthur at 15 guineas. . . .

Lot 13, fleece 3 lbs. 4 ozs. was bought by Captain Macarthur at16 guineas. . . .

Lot 15 a sheep at present blind, fleece 4 lbs 18 ozs was sold toCaptain Macarthur at 22 guineas. . . . .

Lot 22, fleece 4 lbs. 4 ozs. to Captain Macarthur at 21 guineas.. . . .

Lot 30, a 4 tooth ram, fleece 7 lbs 2 ozs was sold to CaptainMacarthur for 27 guineas. . . . .

Lot 41 was sold to Captain Macarthur at 11 guineas. . . .

At this sale it will be noticed Macarthur met Sir JosephBanks, who, writes James Macarthur in his notes, "at last, whenhis aid was needless, evinced a strong desire to promote andpatronize the introduction of the merino sheep intoAustralia."

This overture Macarthur received as coldly as he himself hadbeen received two years before when Sir Joseph's aid andcountenance would have been of great importance to him.

Macarthur's cold reception of Sir Joseph Banks' profferedassistance was an indiscreet and impulsive act, and JamesMacarthur writes that his father in after life felt it to be so,and that he had by it confirmed any ill-feeling towards himselfwhich might previously have been engendered in Sir Joseph's mind,but it certainly should not have provoked the resentment whichMacarthur afterwards encountered and which well nigh proved fatalto his enterprise.

Sir Joseph was a naturalist of high repute at the time, andhad accompanied Captain Cook on his first voyage to New SouthWales, landing with him at Botany Bay, where he had recommendedthe founding of a settlement, on what was afterwards called inridicule "Banks' Meadows!" (Botany Swamps) and he also advisedthe Bread Fruit expedition of the Bounty. He was moreoverextremely wealthy, patronised scientific pursuits, gavedéjeuners and soirées at which it was the fashionfor travellers and men of letters to assemble, and was regardedby many as a Maecenas on a small scale.

A man of Macarthur's skill and ability should have known howto use such a man. To decline his proffered aid was to wound thegreat man's vanity on the tenderest point, but the great manshould not have displayed such littleness as to avenge the slightin such a way as, had he succeeded, might have marred the bestinterests of N.S.W. For a Captain in the N.S.W. Corps tointroduce an industry in that Colony of which Banks was thepatron and quasi-founder, and to reject his aid therein wasarrogance and presumption unheard of.

The sheep were about to be embarked on the Argo, a shipwhich Macarthur had bought, and on which he appropriately placeda Golden Fleece as figure head, when there appeared a paragraphin one of the morning papers to the effect that it was illegal toexport sheep from England and that such breach of the lawrendered the vessel liable to forfeiture, and the offendingparties to such penalties as fine and branding on the hand,etc.

"On noticing this," writes James Macarthur, "my father went at11 a.m. to Lord Camden's office in Downing Street, and met SirJoseph leaving.

"He was at once admitted and informed that Sir Joseph Bankshad been urging upon Lord Camden the impossibility of exportingsheep, and expressing his regrets.

"'But how is it to be got over?' said Lord Camden. 'Verysimply, my Lord, by a Treasury Warrant," replied my father. 'Tobe sure,' said his Lordship, 'I ought to have thought of thatwithout being told.' The Treasury Warrant was accordinglyobtained and the sheep were put on board. My father was about toquit England when Lord Camden sent for him, and said that SirJoseph Banks had been pointing out that 10,000 acres seemed anenormous grant. 'Would you, Mr. Macarthur, object to take 5,000at first, with the understanding that the other 5,000 shall begiven on the completion of your undertaking?' To this my fatherat once acquiesced."

In June, 1805, Macarthur arrived in Sydney, accompanied byWalter Davidson, a nephew of Sir Walter Farquhar, who received agrant of land in the Cowpastures, and by Edward and Thomas Wood,professional wool sorters, and his nephew Hannibal McArthur. Heleft his sons Edward and John at school in England: his daughterElizabeth, whose health had suffered from the English climate,together with her governess. Miss Lucas, returned with him, andhe also brought his merino sheep, and plants of the olive andvine.

He lost no time in presenting the following letters from LordCamden to Governor King, and also a request for moreservants.

Downing Street, 31 October 1804.


The Committee of His Majesty's Privy Council for the Mattersrespecting Trade and Plantations having taken into considerationthe advantages that may accrue to this Country from the growth ofFine Wool in New South Wales, have recommended to me to takemeasures for the Encouragement thereof and they having furtherrepresented that from the pains which had been taken by JohnMcArthur Esqr. in increasing and improving the Breed of Sheep inNew South Wales it would be expedient to promote his views bysuch a Grant of Lands as would enable him to extend his Flocks insuch a Degree as may promise to supply a sufficiency of AnimalFood for the Colony as well as a Lucrative Article of Export forthe support of our Manufacturers at home, I am commanded by HisMajesty to desire that you will have a proper Grant of Lands fitfor the pasture of Sheep conveyed to the said John McArthur perpetuity with the usual reserve of Quit Rents to the Crowncontaining not less than Five thousand Acres.

Mr. McArthur has represented that the Lands he wishes to beconveyed to him for this purpose are situated near Mount Taurusas being peculiarly adapted for Sheep, and I therefore am toexpress my wishes that he may be accommodated in thisSituation.

It will be impossible for Mr. McArthur to pursue this plan unlesshe shall be indulged with a reasonable number of Convicts (whichhe states to be not less than Thirty) for the purpose ofattending his Sheep and as Mr. McArthur will take upon himselfthe charge of Maintaining these Convicts a saving will accrue toGovernment and I doubt not you will provide him with such asshall appear most suitable to his Object.

His Majesty's Government takes a peculiar Interest in forwardingthe Objects of this Letter I am therefore persuaded you will doeverything in your Power to promote its success, and I shall beobliged for all such Observations as shall occur to you upon theSubject and may tend to forward an Object so important for theColony.

I have the honor to be

&c. &c. &c.


Governor King
&c.&c. &c.

Downing Street.


Mr. Walter Davidson Nephew to Sir Walter Farquhar will deliver toyou this Letter. It is his intention to become a Settler in NewSouth Wales, and as it is extremely desirable to encourageGentlemen of such connections to establish themselves in theColony—I am to desire you will cause a Grant of Lands ofnot less than Two thousand Acres to be made to him in perpetuitywith the usual reserve of Quit Rents to the Crown and I furtherrecommend that the Lands to be located to him should becontiguous to those to be granted to Mr. McArthur who can be ofuse to him in the formation of his Establishment.

You will of course see the propriety of alloting to him such anumber of Convicts as may be necessary for his undertaking and Irequest you would assist him with not less than six Head ofHorned Cattle from the Government Herd to be paid for out of thereturns of the Property.

I have the honor to be

&c. &c.&c.


Governor King
&c.&c. &c.

Downing Street, 31 October 1804.


The Persons mentioned in the enclosed List have receivedpermission to accompany Mr. McArthur to New South Wales.

I have already signified to you His Majesty's pleasure withregard to a Grant of Land to be made to Mr. Davidson, and I amalso to desire that the usual quantity of Land and every otherassistance hitherto granted to Settlers may be given to AlexanderDollis who I have reason to think will be found a valuableacquisition to the Colony.

Mr. John Anderson has been recommended to me in such a mannerthat I am desirous he should receive every possible encouragementand you will therefore put him in possession of any moderatequantity of land he may require for the purpose ofCultivation.

I have the honor to be

&c. &c.&c.


Governor King
&c.&c. &c.


Mr. Walter Davidson.
Mr. John Anderson.
Mr. Hannibal McArthur.
Mr. Thomas Wood.}
Young Men of respectable connections who go outto instruct persons in the Art of assorting Wool and finally tobecome Settlers.
Mr. Edward Wood.}
Miss Elizth. McArthur.
Miss Lucas (her Governess).
Alexander Dollis & Family, Shipwright.
John Lawrence, Gardener.
Thos. McBean & Family, House Carpenter.
Thos. Edwards & Family, Servants.

Capt.Macarthur's Application for the Men, June 20th, 1805.

Mr. McArthur feels great reluctance to obtrudeupon His Excellency the Governor a second request on the subjectof an increase of servants; but since his return to Parramatta,he finds from the representations of Mrs. McArthur, that hisaffairs are in the greatest disorder from the want of working menand Shepherds, and that the safety of his Flocks is highlyprecarious.

He hopes the Governor will excuse an urgency which under lesspressing circumstances, he begs to say he would most studiouslyavoid.

Mr. Marsden has received a report containing the men's names nowin Mr. McArthur's employ, who belong to Government—thenumber is sixteen.

Increased immediately to thirty all desired byMr. McArthur—and six to Mr. Davison.**

Parramatta, 20th June 1805.

Governor King toLord Camden.

Sydney, New SouthWales,

July 20th 1805.

My Lord,

By Mr. McArthur who arrived the 9th ulto, I had the honor ofreceiving Your Lordship's Letters.***

It will be my Duty and Interest to pay theStrictest Attention to His Majesty's Commands and Your Lordship'sWishes in every point that can advance the Increase andImprovement of the Breed of Sheep; for which a better foundationcould not be laid or the success more insured than by theprogressive Increase of that Stock throughout the Colony Mr.McArthur possesses at least a third of the numbers, aconsiderable part of which were reported at the last Muster tobear Wool of the finest kind, and the rest as well as the otherFlocks are continually improving from the hairy Coverings of theOriginal Breed hair bearing sheep of Bengal to Wool of differentqualities, principally owing to the introduction of a few SpanishRams some years ago.

Soon after Mr. McArthur's arrival we conversed togetherrespecting the Objects of this laudable and I hope successfulpursuits for the general Benefit of the Colony, as well as forthat of his Family, which he now regards as attached to thesoil—His having brought a Ship to be employed in the WhaleFishery, I consider an Object worthy, laudable, and beneficial,exclusive of his being able to export his increasing Wool toEngland once in Eighteen Months or Two Years, and returning withArticles of use and Comfort to sell the Inhabitants, nor ought Ito doubt from his Assurances that every expected benefit may bederived from his exertions, as he certainly is very equal toConduct and promote the object he has so earnestly and I hopesuccessfully embarked in. To attain which he does and willpossess every local Advantage that a good Stock to begin with, agood Climate and fine Natural Pasturage can offer.

Taking Your Lordship's Letter No. 1 as a data respecting the Landto be located to Mr. McArthur wherein You do me the honor tosignify His Majesty's Commands that "I will have a proper Grantof Lands fit for
"the pasture of Sheep conveyed to the said John
"McArthur Esquire in perpetuity with the usual
"reserve of quit Rents to the Crown containing not less
"than Five thousand Acres." And Your Lordship
having noticed that "It will be impossible for Mr.
"McArthur to pursue this plan unless he shall be
"indulged with a reasonable Number of Convicts (which
"he states to be not less than Thirty) for the purpose
"of attending his Sheep," and that "as Mr. McArthur
"will take upon himself the Charge of maintaining those
"Convicts, a saving will accrue to Government" and that
"You doubt not I will provide him with such as shall
"appear most suitable to his Objects."

I observed to Mr. McArthur that an Obedience to the RoyalCommands and Your Lordship's wishes would be my immediate anddecided Duty, according to the exact tenor of the above; but Iconsidered it necessary to offer to that Gentleman'sConsideration, the possibility that Your Lordship might not beaware at the time of the Situation of Mount Taurus being on theWest side of the Nepean River and in the Centre of that part ofthe Country called the "Cow Pastures", where the herds of WildCattle generally resort for water in the long periods of extremedrought so Common in this Country. I also observed that howeverready I was to order the 5000 Acres to be measured and granted tohim about Mount Taurus if he required it Yet I could wish thefinal location might be deferred until Your Lordship could befurther consulted thereon. And in the meantime I offered tolocate by Grant, the same or a greater quantity in such asituation as he might select on this and the East side of theNepean and to mark out 5000 Acres about Mount Taurus which I havegiven him the enclosed official promise should not be located toany other person or appropriated to any public or private purposeuntil Your Lordship Commands are received thereon. Thisarrangement Mr. McArthur very handsomely consented to—norhave I any other Comment to make on this subject than byrespectfully referring Your Lordship to the reasons I had thehonor to submit to My Lord Hobart why that part of the Countryought not for the present to be granted away. No part of theCountry is equally, or better adapted to facilitate Mr.McArthur's pursuits nor have I a wish to offer any argumentsbeyond those I have already stated to withhold Your Lordship'sbeneficent Views for the prosperity of this part of His Majesty'sDominions. In order to expedite Mr. McArthur's object ofexporting Fine Wool to England I have directed one hundred of thefinest wooled Ewes from Government Stock to be chosen by thisGentleman to add to his own for which he is to pay Grain into theStores at the rate of Two pounds sterling for each Ewe. As I donot consider it an object for Government to interfere in thispursuit seeing that the greatest exertions will be made by Mr.McArthur and notwithstanding every attention has been paid toimprove the Fleeces of Government Sheep Yet that Stock willalways be a reserve for supplying present and future Settlerswith proportions thereof, which will at once save the necessityof purchasing to supply New Settlers who have Claims, andpreserve a residue for those deserving Characters who may beallowed the advantage of Exchanging Grain for Ewes agreeable toMy Lord Hobart's acquiescence with my proposal on thatSubject.

The Number of Male Convicts assigned to Mr. McArthur for the Careof his Stock &c. previous to his return was Sixteen sincethen they have been increased to thirty exclusive of those hiredand retained in his Service who have served their Terms. ShouldMr. McArthur wish for an Increase they shall be assigned him whenmore arrive from England but Your Lordship will observe by theNumber and Employment return that the Public Labour absolutelynecessary to be carried on, and in which Agriculture on the partof the Crown is nearly given up will not allow of more beingassigned at present until more arrive.

I cannot but consider it a valuable acquisition and advantage tothe Interests of this Colony, when Settlers of such Descriptionand uncontaminated mind as Mr. Davidson come to it. Unfortunatelythose who have already arrived, with the exception of a very few,have generally been of that description, that many of them withtheir numerous Families, still continue to be a burthen toGovernment. Your Lordship has prescribed Two thousand Acres ofland for Mr. Davidson to which I shall add another, which shallbe granted to him adjoining the Ground Mr. McArthur may select onthis side of the Nepean and also adjoining that marked for Mr.McArthur near Mount Taurus in case Your Lordship should see fitto allow thereof. Referring to my letter No. I dated 14th August1804 Your Lordship will observe the Arrangement I made respectingMessrs. Luttrell and Riley, and in what their Allowances as FreeSettlers differed from those prescribed to the generaldescription of Free Settlers.

I now have the honor to send a Duplicate of that Statement withthe Allowances to Mr. Davidson and beg to suggest the proprietyof Instruction being sent with future Free Settlers of eitherdescription as Your Lordship may deem them respectively entitledto receiving which will be a decided guide exclusive of suchfurther occasional Accommodation as they may be deserving ofhereafter.

Of the different persons who were to embark with Mr. McArthurstated in a List, only those named **** have arrived, the othersbeing left in England or on the passage.

I have the honor to be,
with the greatest respect
My Lord,
Your Lordship's Most obedient
humble Servant

Philip Gidley King.

The Right Honble. Earl Camden
&c.&c. &c.

By the same mail Governor King wrote to Sir Joseph Banks.

Sydney 21st July 1805.

. . . . This naturally leads on to thecommercial object and as the Staple is wool, or said to be so itis but fair to begin with the hero of the fleece.* Aftereverything that is passed you may readily conceive that thisarrival (although long expected) and the manner he was to bereceived, caused a little sensation and consideration. However,by the first boat I was informed that he had a letter from MyLord Camden to deliver to me himself. He soon after waited on me,and gave me a polite and highly satisfactory private [letter]from that worthy nobleman, pointing out his wish that as McA. wasno longer a Military man, that everything might be settled, andan assurance of his support. Such a communication was not to bedisregarded by me, and, whether right or wrong, the nobleAdvisers motives were of so honorable and public-spirited anature, that I offered McA. my hand, who very gratefully receivedit, and he is now farmer, shipowner, etc. So much for our meetingafter four years of suspence, and vicisitude, etc.

King's reason for delaying the grant of 5,000 acres in theCowpastures was that he thought the land there should be reservedfor the wild cattle, and Macarthur wrote to Under-SecretaryCooke, drawing attention to King's "objection to granting me thetract of land at the Cowpastures, which Lord Camden was pleasedto order I might have. As this is some of the best land yetdiscovered it would appear that Governor King is desirous toreserve it for the exclusive use of the wild cattle, but I hopethat the peaceful and productive sheep will find in you anadvocate that they may be indulged with a part, at least, of thishealthy and luxuriant pasture.

"I feel more anxious to obtain this situation for my flocks onaccount of the high and dry mountains that lay behind it, becausein the very wettest seasons sheep may be driven to pasture onthem with perfect security, whereas on the contrary for want ofsuch a resource the rot might seize upon the flocks (as itsometimes does) and destroy thousands."

He also wrote on the same date to Under-Secretary Chapmantelling him of the friendly reception that was accorded him onhis return.

Governor King, wishing to obtain information regarding thepossibilities of wool production for transmission to Lord Camden,requested Macarthur and the Rev. Samuel Marsden ** to draft aseries of questions to be answered by the various settlers. Thesewith the answers he forwarded to England.

Parramatta, July 27th 1805.


In compliance with the request Your Excellency has been pleasedto make to us, we have the honour to transmit herewith suchqueries as appear to us calculated to draw forth a true andcorrect statement of the present condition of the Sheep Flocks inthis Colony, and of the improvements that have been, or that maybe reasonably expected hereafter.

We have reason to think that no regular system has been adoptedby the generality of persons, who keep sheep and that much of theimprovement which has been experienced in many Flocks, is solelyto be attributed to the fertility of the Soil, and the salubrityof the Climate.

As Your Excellency must naturally be anxious, that theinformation you do receive, should be as correct as possible werespectfully beg leave to suggest the expediency of having everyFlock inspected by Mr. Wood, the Professional Gentleman who cameout in the Argo; and that he be accompanied by either two,or three respectable Gentlemen, who should be instructed topropose the Queries, and receive the answer of each person.

This mode of enquiry might stimulate the different SheepProprietors to more particular care hereafter in the managementof their Flocks, as the opinion of Mr. Wood on the value of thedifferent Wools must necessarily have great weight with many whoare nearly altogether misinformed upon the subject and might verypowerfully operate to remove prejudices, which if persisted inmay long retard the increase of fine Woolled Sheep in thisColony.

We have the honor to be,

His Excellency Governor King,
&c.&c. &c.

Q.1. Have you any truebred Spanish Sheep in your Flock?

Q.2. Do you endeavour topreserve the Spanish Breed of Sheep pure and unmixed with otherBreeds?

Q.3. What other Breed ofSheep have you that produce Fine Wool?

Q.4. What Rams have youhad in your Flocks and from whom and from what Country did youobtain them?

Q.5. Do you thinkbreeding the Pure Spanish Sheep will be as profitable to you asif you bred other kinds?

Q.6. Do you think theWool of all kinds of Sheep improves in this Colony?

Q.7. How many sheep doyou possess at this time?

Q.8. How long do yousuppose it will be before your Whole Flocks will be Increased totwice their present number?

Q.9. What means have youadopted to improve the Carcase and Fleece of your Sheep?

Governor King toLord Camden.

Sydney, New SouthWales,

October 10th 1805

My Lord,

In Obedience to Your Lordships desire as communicated by yourDespatch dated the 30th October 1804, I have been anxious toobtain every correct information respecting the Increase ofSheep, and improvement of the Wool. The most eligible modeappeared to be that of requiring Answers from the Sheep-holdersto a series of Questions, and to examine the different Fleeces onthe Sheeps backs, which has been very accurately done by theRevd. Mr. Marsden, and a person who came with Mr. McArthur saidto be a professed Wool-sorter.

From those answers, and their consequent reports which I have thehonour to enclose, there can be no doubt of our Sheep increasingat least in an equal degree with that Species in any part of theWorld, which I do not doubt the Return of the Increase during thelast Five years may confirm—And that the change from Hairto Wool of different degrees of fineness has been and continuesameliorating beyond belief.

As the observations of the Revd. Mr. Marsden, Mr. McArthur, andthe other principal Sheep breeders are more diffuse andexplanatory on this subject than the other avocations of my dutycan allow me to be from practical experience, I must request YourLordships reference to those Documents; I shall therefore onlyremark that being well convinced from the period of my takingthis Government, of the great advantage that might be derived bythe improvement of the Fleeces, I procured as soon as possibleTwo Rams of the half Spanish breed from Mr. McArthur, and twofrom the Revd. Mr. Marsden in 1801, which have produced a totalchange in Government Flock from Hair to Wool of a tolerabledegree of fineness—A number of those Ewes have beendistributed to Settlers and others, who have still improved theFleeces by acquiring Rams nearer to the Real Spanishbreed—Except keeping those retained by Government in thatimproving state, and considering them as the Stock from whenceIndustrious Individuals and New Settlers are occasionallysupplied the wool was not considered an object for Government toattend to beyond supplying the Manufactory established for theemployment of Women, the Aged, Cripples, and Infirm part of theInhabitants. Experience having pointed out the fallacy ofappropriating Public Labour and Expence in works of that nature,which thrive so much better when conducted by the Individual whohas an interest in its produce, and whose situation unconnectedwith other duties, enables him to watch and turn the variouschanges to an improving productive account—To accomplishexporting the finest Wool from hence to England; the advancedstate of perfection Mr. McArthur's Flocks have acquired by formerRams he procured, (said to be Spanish) and those Rams and Ewes hepurchased from His Majesty's Sale in 1804, will certainly enablehim to make an early trial, which must increase in a Compoundproportion Yearly; And from the attentive Sollicitude he bestowson the object, I hope he may succeed.

However desirable and beneficial in the end to the Colonist andEnglish Manufacturer, if all those holding Sheep would confinetheir breed to the Spanish as they can hereafter providethemselves with Rams, Yet I am well convinced that compulsionwould among many produce an opposite effect.—That all have,and are aiming to get half or whole bred Spanish Rams—SouthDown, other English or Irish Rams into their Flocks issufficiently obvious, and what is now wanting to the generalperfection of the finest Spanish Wool, I have little doubt may beaccomplished, without the intervention of Authority in a fewyears, which may be hastened when the advantage of rearingSpanish Sheep in preference to other kinds is more generallyknown and adopted, and more particularly if Individuals areconvinced that weight of Mutton and fineness of Wool are notincompatible with each other, which is not the general opinionhere—and another apprehension is that the Spanish are notso hardy, as the other kinds, altho' I have heard of noconclusive reason for that persuasion—which is generallyentertained by many of the Sheep Farmers among the Settlers andothers, particularly those whose present numbers have originatedfrom perhaps a single Ewe; many of this class cannot afford tokeep a large flock, altho' the means of feeding them has beenmuch facilitated by the extensive Common Lands which have beengranted in each District; therefore the Settler disposes of hisoverplus Males to the Butcher who is satisfied with weight ofCarcase, which gives the Settler immediate means to provide thenecessities of his Family, and the Butcher a profit; notregarding the distant advantage to be derived from having thefinest Wool by changing his present breed to the Spanish, whichno argument can convince the greater part of the Sheep Farmers,may yield an equal quantity of Mutton with the South Down orother Breed—Fortunately this is an evil that only attachesto the Males, as killing Ewes has ever been expresslyforbid—Experience and observation may complete that whichhas so successfully commenced, and is proceeding as well as canbe with the aid of a good Climate and the finest naturalPasturage which abounds in very extensive tracts throughout thisCountry, and in the situation Mr. McArthur has obtained aboutMount Taurus in the Cow Pasture Plains.*

Respecting the number of Sheep in theseSettlements ** and the probable time it will take to double theirnumbers the following short Statement which includes the Sheepbelonging to Government and Individuals, will shew:—

In July 1804 there were of all ages and Sexes14501
In August 180520617
Living Increase6116
Killed and sent away1652

Total Increase in the Year exclusive of2000 Dead


which is 518 more than the increase of half thenumber in 1804 may it not therefore be reasonably presumed thatthe number in 1806 will be increased far beyond half the numberof what there was in 1805 exclusive of the increase upon theincrease of 1804 and as the greater proportion are and will beEwes, the increase will therefore be proportionablygreater—What the yearly increase, has been since 1800 maybe observed in the Annual Returns of the Settlers' General Musterin August last.

From what I have had the honor of stating at different periods,and the above Observations joined to the accompanying Reports, Ihave reason to think that a very considerable progress will intime be made by the exertions of Mr. McArthur and those who raiseSheep, in attaining the desirable object of Mr. McArthur's viewsin exporting fine Wool to England, to facilitate which YourLordship will observe that no accommodation on my part has beenor will be wanting.

I have the honor to be with the greatest Respect,

My Lord,

Your Lordships,

Most obedient HumbleServant,

Philip Gidley King.

This letter is in a clerk's writing, but the date is inGovernor King's, as are also the notes and the annexed statementwhich appear in pencil on the margin, and King endorsed "RoughCopy, etc.," but the signature to the letter is not King's.

Individual Answers which nearly comprise thetenor of the whole respecting the Breed and Produce of Sheep andWool in New South Wales, August to Septr. 1805.

Your Excellency

In compliance to the General Orders of July 23rd respectingFlocks of Sheep &c. I take the opportunity to answer the NineQuestions in as brief a manner as possible.

Ansr. On the 1st & 2nd Interogations Ihave only to say that I have no true bred Spanish Sheep in myFlock.

Ansr. To the 3rd Question I find that theCross Breed Betwixt the Spanish Ram and the Bengal Ewe producestolerable good Wool.

Ansr. In answer to Question the 4th I haveone good Ram of my own of the Cross Breed, and a Spanish Ram thatthe Revd. Mr. Marsden was so kind as to lend me, and nearly thewhole of the Flock was purchased from the Revd. Mr. Marsden andthe late Mr. Barringtons Flocks.

Ansr. To the 5th Question it is my opinionthat the Cross Breed of the Spanish Ram and Bengal Ewe is mostprofitable as their Wool is not of the worst Quality, being hardythey will live where others will starve, they are generally goodMeat and their Increase is also great. (For Example) The Revd.Mr. Marsden about 26 months ago was good enough to let mydaughter Mary have a small Bengal Ewe in Exchange for a WetherSheep, and at this Date the said Ewe has increased to Eight inNumber, and they are some of the best and healthiest Sheep in theFlock.

Ansr. To the 6th Question I cannot give anydecided answer, as the certain Cares of a Great Family PreventsGeneral Observations Therefore must leave it to Gentlemen of moreLeisure and better judgment.

Ansr. In Answer to the 7th I have under myCare 216 Male and Female Sheep—Part belonging to Mr. Edwd.Lamb Part to myself and 15 of them to Mrs. Kilpack.

Ansr. Question the 8th seems the mostDifficult to Answer, as the Wet Seasons—the Dishonesty andCarelessness of the Shepherds—The Destruction that theNative Dogs often make as well as many other Causes that might beMentioned argues much against their Increase—But as theQuestion is only put on a Supposition we may say from Two tothree Years.

Ansr. To the last Question I just Observe,that to Improve the Fleece and Size I have borrowed Rams from theRevd. Mr. Marsdens Flocks which have had the desired effect.

To Improve their Health and Strength I removed the Sheep from theLow Grounds around the Brickfields Parramatta to Baulkham Hillsbut having no Shed the Weak Sheep with the Lambs that was Yeaned.In the Wet most of them died. And if I had not removed the Flockwhen I did from Parramatta I verily believe I should have lostthem all—as those Low parts of land seem to abound withsome kind of Minerals that causes the Water to be so breakish,that it is neither good for Man nor Beast and has a greattendency to Infect the Sheep with the Rot.

Your Excellency's

Most Obedt. & devoted

Humble Servt.

Rowland Hassall.

Parramta, August 10th 1805.

Agreeable to Your Excellency's Order of the 28th July last I havesent the Answers to the Nine Questions, viz:—

Questn. 1stHave you any true bred Spanish Sheepin your Flocks?
Ansr.I do not know.
Q.——2ndDo you endeavour to preserve the Spanish
Breed of Sheep pure and Unmixed with other Breeds?
Q.——3rdWhat other Breeds of Sheep have you that produce FineWool?
Ansr.I am no Judge.
Q.——4thWhat Rams have you had in your Flocks and from whom and fromwhat Country did you Obtain them?
Ansr.My first Ram was from California, and my second Two SpanishRams from Capt. Waterhouse.
Q.——5thDo you think Breeding the Pure Spanish Sheep will be asprofitable to you as if you bred other kinds?
Ansr.I do not know.
Q.——6thDo you think the Wool of all kinds of Sheep Improved in thisColony?
Ansr.I think it does.
Q.——7thHow many Sheep do you possess at this time?
Ansr.Males 219 and Females 300—Total 519 Sheep.
Q.——8thHow long do you suppose it will be before your whole Flockwill be Increased to twice their present Number?
Ansr.I do not know.
Q.——9thWhat means have you adopted to Improve the Carcase and Fleeceof your Wool?

Thomas Rowley.

Sydney 9th August 1805.

Your Excellency requesting Answers to the Questions stated in theSydney Gazette Dated the 28th July Relative to the Sheep,according to my experience and Judgment are as followsviz:—

Question 1stHave you any true bred Spanish Sheep in your Flocks?
AnswerI have not.
Q.——2ndDo you endeavour to preserve the Spanish Breed of Sheep pureand unmixed with other Breeds?
Ansr.I shall endeavour to obtain a few of the pure Spanish Breedand am determined to keep them unmixed, which (I think) is notpossible without having Two Folds, and Two Shepherds, and I havegot but one Run for Sheep at present.
Q.——3rdWhat other Breeds of Sheep have you that produce FineWool?
Ansr.A few Ewes a removal from the Spanish Breed.
Q.——4thWhat Rams have you had in your Flocks and from whom and fromwhat Country did you Obtain them?
Ansr.The first Ram I had from Jones of the Seven Hills, LargeCarcase but coarse Wool.
Q.——5thDo you think Breeding the Pure Spanish Sheep will be asprofitable to you as if you bred other kinds?
Ansr.I do not, I think there may be larger Sheep bred in thisColony, and the Carcase at present is most profitable. But thepure Spanish Breed for fine Wool.
Q.——6thDo you think the Wool of all kinds of Sheep Improved in thisColony?
Ansr.I do by change of Breed.
Q.——7thHow many Sheep do you possess at this time?
Ansr.One hundred and two.
Q.——8thHow long do you suppose it will be before your whole Flockwill be Increased to twice their present Number?
Ansr.About twelve Months by letting the Rams run continually withthem.
Q.——9thWhat means have you adopted to Improve the Carcase and Fleeceof your Wool?
Ansr.Three young Rams I have from that Large Ram I had from Jonesand Ewes of very Fine Wool which I sufferd to run together, andby changing my Rams when I can procure any, I think to be largeror better Wool.

Edwd. Robinson.

Hawkesbury Augt. 5th 1805.

In compliance with Your Excellency's Order of the 4th August 1805James Sheppard Settler in the District of Kissing Point dothhereby transmit his Answers to the following Questionsviz.:—

Question 1stHave you any true bred Spanish Sheep in your Flocks?
Q.——2ndDo you endeavour to preserve the Spanish Breed of Sheep pureand Unmixed with other Breeds?
Ansr.I have none true Bred.
Q.——3rdWhat other Breeds of Sheep have you that produce FineWool?
Ansr.Bengal Crosses by Spanish.
Q.——4thWhat Rams have you had in your Flocks and from whom and fromwhat Country did you Obtain them?
Ansr.One between Spanish and Cape Obtained from Mr. Marsden.
Q.——5thDo you think Breeding the Pure Spanish Sheep will be asprofitable to you as if you bred other kinds?
Q.——6thDo you think the Wool of all kinds of Sheep Improved in thisColony?
Ansr.I have not experienced.
Q.——7thHow many Sheep do you possess at this time?
Ansr.Thirty three.
Q.——8thHow long do you suppose it will be before your whole Flockwill be Increased to twice their present Number?
Ansr.Ten months.
Q.——9thWhat means have you adopted to Improve the Carcase and Fleeceof your Wool?
Ansr.Only careful attention for Pasture.


A Ewe of the Bengal Breed will bring Lamb twicea year by Experience and often two at each time, and altho' theCarcase and Fleece Coarse yet if crossed by a Spanish Ram willimprove both, and prove beneficial to the Settler.


Hawkesbury August 8th1806.

Mr. Arndell begs leave to Inform His Excellencyon the Questions published in the Gazette of his Breed ofSheep.

Answers To
Question1stHe has some from a real Bred Spanish Ram.
2ndHe has taken care to improve on the Spanish and fine Wool bygood Rams.
3rdThe Flock in general is Fine Wool of the Irish and Lansdownkind.
4thThe best Real Spanish Rams from Capt. Waterhouse.
5thThe Real Spanish is not so profitable as the mixed Breed ofSheep the former being of a small and tender kind.
7thIn all 276.
8thAbout two years.
9thBy the best of Food and Rams.

Thos. Arndell.

May it please Your Excellency

I have answered the Questions in the Sydney Gazette ConcerningSheep to the best of my Judgment.

Answers 1stI have no true Bred Spanish Sheep.
2ndI endeavour as much as possible and Increase what I have ofthe Spanish Breed.
3rdI have Irish or rather the Ancient Northumberland Breed as oflate years Tees Water Sheep is chiefly bred in that Country.
4thMy Ram is from one of the above Ewes purchased from Mr.Cummings and has the appearance of being got by a SpanishRam.
5thIf I could procure the Tees water Breed I would prefer thembefore any, Spanish next.
6thI do not for altho' I have a fine Woold. Ram the Quality ofthe Wool.
7thI have Seventy seven.
8thI suppose my Flock will Increase to twice the Number in 15months as I have 46 Female Ewes and Ewe Lambs the whole of myFlock in three years has increased eight Ewes heavy in Lamb, 6 ofwhich I purchased from Mr. Cummings.
9thI have used no means as I wished to Increase my Number. In myopinion the best means to improve the Carcase, to let them Breedonly once a year, and to travel as little as possible To Improvethe Fleece is to Shear them Regular.

Your Excellency's

Most Obedt. HumbleSvt.

George Hall.

Hawkesbury River
Augst. 10th1805.

Mr. WoodsObservations respecting Sheep & Wool
Septr. 3rd

Parramatta Septr. 3rd 1805.


In compliance with Your Excellency's desire I have minutely andcarefully examined the Wool of the different Flocks of Sheep inthe Colony—The Opinion I have formed from the investigationis, that a very great improvement has been already made in theWool of every flock that I have seen; and the specimens of Wool,grown in Mr. McArthur's Flock, and from one Ewe belonging to theRevd. Saml. Marsden satisfy me that with due care and attentionto propagate from the Pure Race of Spanish Sheep, untilsufficient numbers of them can be raised or from the nearest kindto them can be procured, the whole of the wool would in a fewyears become equal in quality to the very best that is obtainedfrom Spain.

It is with concern however that I observed this great nationalobject may be many years retarded by an unaccountable prejudicewhich appears to prevail in favour of weight of Carcase insteadof Fineness of Fleece; and on this account a decided preferencein favour of a Cross that I understand has been obtained from aSouth Down Ram. Whether this Breed will prove heavier than theSpanish I am incapable of judging, but certain it is that wool ofthe description produced by these Sheep, will not pay for sendingto England; nor if it would, is it wanted,—Whereas on thecontrary so great is the scarcity of Spanish Wool, that it sellsfor almost any price, and serious apprehensions are entertainedby the best informed people, that the French will increase theirmanufacture of fine cloth, and exert their influence over Spain,to prevent Great Britain from participating in the purchase ofthe fine Wool of the latter Country—I am aware that thisnational consideration will operate very slightly, or perhaps notat all, on the minds of many of the Sheep Farmers here—YetI should hope that a little time would convince them, when theysee the prodigious success and increase of Mr. McArthur's Flocks,that strength of constitution and weight of Carcase may becombined with fineness of Fleece: and that the pure breed ofSpanish Sheep (I speak from Mr. McArthur's information and my ownobservation on the size and health of his Flocks) possess the twoformer qualities in as great a degree as the South Down or anyother Breed in the Colony except the Tees Water, the strength ofwhose constitutions in this Climate I understand are not yetascertained.

If I can at any future period be of the smallest service incollecting further information, I beg your Excellency will freelycommand my services.

I have the honour to be Sir,

Your respectfull hble. Svt.,

Edw. Wood.

His Excellency Governor King.
&c. &c. &c.

Governor King toEdw. Wood.

Septr. 3rd 1805.


I have received yours of this date containing your very judiciousand I have no reason to doubt correct observations on the Sheepof this Colony which with the other Documents on this importantsubject I shall if possible transmit to His Majesty's Governmentby the Ferrit about to depart for England—With manyacknowledgements of your offers of service.

I remain, Sir,

Your most

Obt. Humble Svt.

P. G. K

Parramatta Septr. 5th 1805.


The Stock belonging to Government in the Year 1800—had amiserable Appearance the Sheep in particular—The methodthat I adopted, and caused others under me—in the firstplace was attention and care—and in the next I took care tobring up Rams, from the best Ewes, by which means both the Wooland Carcase were improved—They are of a Mixture Breed ofSpanish and Cape—I received two Rams from Capt. McArthurnear of the same breed—and three from the Revd. Saml.Marsden similar to them—which were all with drawen (oneexcepted) to different Settlements—but the young Rams nowin Government Flocks are far superior to them.

The real Spanish Breed Government has never had—but in myopinion a well selected mixt breed is much better calculated forthis Country as they are more hardy—and the carcase muchlarger—the wool only an exception—the eighthQuestion—its impossible to answer—as it depends oncircumstances (accidents excepted) as the Flocks may either bedoubled in six months or in twelve—as the individual thinksproper.

I am happy to inform your Excellency that I can now show Twohundred Yearlings male and Female equal if not superior to any ofthat age—bred in the country.


Your Excellencys

Most Obdt. Humble

Jas. Jamieson.

To His Excellency Governor King &c.

The following is preserved at Camden Park amongst the papers.It is unsigned, but would appear to be a copy of a despatch fromGovernor King, and the notes and statement at the end are inKing's handwriting.

In September 1800 the Number of Sheep in theColony was 6124, from which period until August 1806, none werepurchased or received from abroad. Except the accidentalIntroduction of Three Rams of the Spanish Breed brought from theCape in 1799 which with a few South Down and other English Ramshad gradually changed the hairy covering of the Cape and BengalSheep to Wool—In 1801 the Fleeces had so far improved as toallow of a coarse Blanketting being made which was manufacturedby Government Convicts. The Proprietors receiving for the Wool, afourth of the Quantity made—In 1803 a Dispatch from LordHobart dated August 24th 1802 "recommended an attention being
"paid to improve the Growth of Wool, with a View to
"the future Exportation of the finest Quality of that
"Article for the English Market, rather than for the
"Employment of it in the Manufacture of the Colony
"which should be confined to the Coarse Cloths."

About the same period an English Newspaper containing an accountof Captain McArthur's prospect of the great benefit that would bederived to the commerical Interests of Great Britain by theExcellence of the Wool his Flocks were covered with, and itsimproving State. As the Annual Muster took place at that timethose who possessed Sheep were directed to Communicate theQuality of their Fleeces, which was added to the Usual Report ofthe Settlers Muster by which it appears that of the 10,572Females & 5929 Males then in the Colony, about an Eighth partwere Wool of the different gradations, produced by the severalcrossings—The remainder had little or no Wool—On thisoccasion and considering it my Duty to possess His Majesty'sGovernment of every Information on this Subject, I consulted withthose whose Experience and Observations had pointed them out asproper Persons to give an Opinion thereon.

The General Idea at that time was that if the Flocks were takencare of, they would contrive to treble their numbers in TwoYears—That the Wool might increase in the proportion of twothirds of the Number of Sheep, and as the improvement of Qualityof that Article and in the Weight of the Carcase was almostincredible, on that account no Opinion could be formed to whatdegree of perfection they might in time be brought—That theImprovements already made are to be attributed more to theSalubrity of the Climate than to any other cause—At thesame time the Drawing and Fleece of a Ram, and those of a YoungEwe and Ram all bred in the Colony, were forwarded to thePresident of the Royal Society by the Revd. Mr. Marsden—Theformer Ram being the Produce of one of the Spanish Breed broughtfrom the Cape in 1788, with a Coarse Wooled Ewe, and Weighed Onehundred and Sixty four pounds before he was shorn. Sending theseSamples could not be deemed a true Criterion of the Quality ofthe Wool that might be grown in the Colony—they only shewedwhat have been done, and as they were from the Sheep that wereonly one Remove from the very coarse haired Ewes, a fewGenerations might make great alterations in the Flocks, by thedistribution of Rams and Ewes from the Spanish, South down TeesWater and Irish Rams among the Flocks which at present have noother than the hairy Rams from the Cape of Good Hope—Thisinformation was communicated in detail.

The Flocks continue in the same improving State, which eitherexcelled or otherwise according to the care and attentionbestowed on them.

In June 1805 Mr. McArthur returned to New South Wales, by whom aDispatch was received from His Majesty's Government at therecommendation of the Committee of Privy Council for Trade andPlantations, directing certain advantages of Land and Labour, notless than 5000 Acres and 30 Convicts being made over to thatGentleman for the purpose of supporting his Flocks and FarmingConcerns, and to enable him to bring to perfection the growth ofFine Wool from his Flocks of Sheep which at that time amounted to5920 for the purpose of forming a lucrative Article of Export forthe support of the English Manufacturers at home—With aview to facilitate this Object, Mr. McArthur brought a smallShip, which was designed to fish for Spermaceti Oil on the Coastand to take such Wool to England on her return as might beproduced—In this Ship he brought Four Spanish Rams and oneEwe of the Merino Breed, which he had purchased at the Kings Salein 1804.

In consequence of which 5000 Acres of Land situated in the mostdesirable part of the Colony, and of his own fixing upon inEngland were granted to him, in addition to the 3500 he beforeheld—The Number of Convicts assigned to him previous to hisarrival was 16 which were increased to 36.*

As the Minister required such Observations beingcommunicated to him as might occur, and tending to promote anobject of such importance to the Colony, the following documentswere sent by the Ferrit South Whaler in October 1805. Towhich some Marginal explanatory Notes have since beenadded—

1st—Acknowledgement ofthe above letter from Earl Camden dated 20th July 1805.

2nd—Revd. Mr. Marsden& Mr. McArthur's proposals of questions to Sheep holders 20thJuly 1805.

3rd—Reports ofIndividuals in Answer to the above Querries for August to Sepr.1805.

4th—Mr. Woods Report.

5th—Revd. Mr. MarsdensDo.

6th—Mr. McArthur'sDo.

7th—Superintendent ofGovernment Sheep.

8th—Letter to Earl Camdencontaining the above Reports and some observations thereon.

Statement of Numbers &Increase of Sheep from Augst. 1800 to 1806.

Month.Year.No. of SheepIncrease,
June18017048922This shews the living increase at the timeof the Muster without including those that died were killed orsent away in the course of the year.

Meanwhile Macarthur had made excursions into the country insearch of land for himself and Mr. Davidson, but was notsuccessful in finding pasturage which he considered suitable forhis sheep, and he therefore asked Governor King to allow them totake possession of the land in the Cowpastures that had beenpointed out by Lord Camden, at the same time undertaking that heand Davidson would resign the grants should Lord Camdendisapprove of their being retained. Governor King listened toMacarthur's argument, and though he would have preferred thematter to wait till he heard Lord Camden's wishes, he allowed theland to be occupied conditionally, and directed that the grantsshould be made.

It is of interest to notice that Mr. G. W. Rusden wrote**:—"The French were sedulously creating an establishmentat Rambouillet whither Spanish merinos had been Imported underthe Bourbons, and to Improve which it was reported that Bonapartehad compelled the Spanish Government to allow his agents toselect 4,000 of their finest woolled sheep," and he quotes fromthe Camden MSS as follows:—

John Macarthur to Governor King, September, 1805—

"I entirely concur with you in opinion that nothing should bemade public that might tend to draw the attention of the Frenchto this place, and nothing is more likely to produce such aneffect than letting them know there is a probability of GreatBritain being supplied with fine wool from hence. They are soaware of the importance of the pursuit that Bonaparte hascompelled the Spanish Government to allow his agents to select4,000 of their finest wool sheep."

This letter is not now forthcoming at Camden Park.

Macarthur acknowledged the grants at the Cowpastures asfollows:—

Parramatta 16th Jan. 1806.

Dear Sir,

I received the Cow Pasture Grants all safe yesterday, withHarper's Emancipation, for which I beg to return you my sincerethanks.

Expecting to see you at Parramatta I delayed sending the returnof Convicts in my employment: but I now enclose it, for my wantsare become so urgent, that unless you have the goodness to giveme some immediate assistance it will be impossible even to takecare of my present Flocks of Sheep and consequently all idea ofincreasing them must be abandoned as impracticable—I hopeyou will not consider me troublesome upon this subject, for Iassure you were it possible to hire free men, or in any way toget forward with my business I would forbear to pester you withapplications of such a nature.

We have heard with much concern that Mrs. Kings complaint hasreturned, but we sincerely hope either that the Report is notcorrect, or that she will soon be restored to perfect health.Mrs. McArthur writes herself therefore I say nothing of her.

I beg to be very kindly remembered to Mrs. King and remain.

Dear Sir,

Your Obliged &

Faithful Hbl. Servant

John McArthur.

Endorsement on above Letter by GovernorKing.

I request the Revd. Mr. Marsden will cause seven Labourers to beassigned to Capt. McArthur on Friday next taking care not toinclude any thrashers.

Dear Sir,

I received yours on my return with the enclosed Statement of thePrisoners you have off the Store which I deem is very inadequateto the care of your Stock and carrying on your otherconcerns—I have directed Mr. Marsden to select sevenLabourers which with the two Carpenters will make your number 34including the two who are sick—I should be most gratifiedif I could spare a greater number but the very few at GovernmentLabour and the necessity of giving up a proportion of them tothresh the Settlers Wheat for our daily food and clear theirground of the weed with which it is over run joined to theabsolute necessity of preserving the crop of Maize now growing atCastle Hill prevents me from affording that extension of yournumbers which I so much wish until an arrival with Prisonershappens—if I understood you right you have one of the Corpsat Cabramatta who you wished to send to the Cow Pastures, I havesettled with Major Johnston that he and another M. A. with orderare to take . . . at your . . . there on Saturday next which Ihope will prevent any. . . . from the Natives &c.

I am glad to inform you Mrs. King is much better and will I hopesoon regain her strength she desires me to add her kind regardsto Mrs. Mc. and yourself.

Mr. McArthur for more assistance& answer.
Jany. 16th 1806.

{Page 135}

Chapter V.


Early in 1806 Macarthur submitted to Governor King someproposals for taming cows and young cattle from the wild herds inthe Cowpastures, and for slaughtering and salting the surplusbulls for the use of Government, but Governor King declinedentering upon any agreement, as he thought he would shortly berelieved and wished to consult with his successor (Bligh).

With the accession of Governor Bligh followed the well-knowndisturbance in which Macarthur bore so prominent a part.

The Kew affront, according to James Macarthur, probablyInfluenced the Governor's disposition towards his father, andinduced the rudeness and abrupt opposition shown to him by Bligh,which otherwise seem unaccountable.

It must be borne in mind that Bligh was a protege of SirJoseph Banks, who had recommended him to command the breadfruitexpedition of H.M.S. Bounty to Tahiti—an expeditionwhich Banks had advised and the equipment of which he hadpersonally superintended, and which ended in the notoriousmutiny.*

So far was this from shaking Banks' confidence in hisfavourite, that when the question arose of a successor toGovernor King, he persuaded the British Government to double thesalary of the office, and write offering it to Bligh, whoseappointment followed.

Bligh's voyage to Australia was marked by a violent quarrelwith Captain Joseph Short, the commander of the convoy, who wasin consequence court-martialled, honourably acquitted, andrecommended by the court to the favourable consideration of theAdmiralty on account of the treatment he had received fromBligh.

This, considered with the other incidents of Bligh's eventfullife, would seem to indicate, as one of his characteristics, anunfortunate capacity for breeding rebellion.

These extracts from Mrs. Macarthur's letters to Miss Kingdonwere written during Bligh's administration.


29th Jan., 1807.

You will be pleased to learn that our dearEdward arrived here in health and safety but apparently not sostrong in constitution as I could have wished.

Governor King and his family go to England by this ship theBuffalo and we part very good friends, we have since Mr.Macarthur's return to the Colony lived on terms of greatcivility, and we part with regret.

Our harvest is now getting in—Wheat is sold at from 25/- to30/- the bushel. No sort of animal food is to be procured under2/- the lb. 5/- for a fowl—10/- to 15/- for a goose. Butour neighbours at Port Dalrymple, the Derwent are in a worsecondition. In these out settlements are some six or seven hundredpersons and I really dread to hear the next accounts of them. Oursystem of Government is very wretched—much as Mr. Macarthurstrove when in England to direct the attention of theAdministration towards this Colony they seem to think littleabout us, having no doubt affairs of more consequence on theirhands. The expences however that are incurred may rouse themagain into a little exertion for our good.

I have great hopes of being again permitted to see "Old England"Mr. Macarthur has promised I shall go in a year or two, whetherhe can or cannot accompany me. If the latter it will be a greatdiminution of the pleasure, but so it is some drawbacks alwaysattend our most promised enjoyments. This country has undergoneso many changes for the worse that with difficulty I recognise itto be the place it was some six or seven years since.

Our new Governor Bligh, is a Cornishman by birth, Mrs. Putland *who accompanied him is a very accomplished person. The Governorhas already shown the inhabitants of Sydney that he is violent,rash, tyrannical. No very pleasing prospect at the beginning ofhis reign. William is at present my youngest Boy, He and Jamesare very fine children.


21st Oct., 1807.

Food, clothing and every necessary of life beara price truly astonishing. All these melancholy changes may beconsidered the effect of tyranny and an improper administrationof the law. Liberty has retired from amongst us into the pathlesswilds, amongst the poor native inhabitants, who certainlymaintain their independence, and have hitherto resisted anyinfringement on their rights. Nor will they become servants, forany continuance, whatever temptation may be offered them.

At one of the earliest meetings between the two men, Blighshowed his animus against Macarthur. The latter was making somerepresentations regarding his sheep farming, and was met with,"What have I to do with your sheep, Sir? What have I to do withyour cattle? Are you to have such flocks of sheep and such herdsof cattle as no man ever heard of before? No, Sir, I have heardof your concerns, Sir, you have got 5,000 acres of land. Sir, inthe finest situation in the country, but by G—d you shan'tkeep it." And on being reminded that the land had been granted atthe recommendation of the Privy Council and by order of theSecretary of State, Bligh replied "D—n the Privy Council,and d—n the Secretary of State, too; he commands at home, Icommand here." **

From this time on there was constant friction between twostubborn wills, which led to the Governor (who had meantimeembroiled himself with many others) ordering Macarthur's arrest.Almost immediately followed the deposition of the Governorhimself at the hands of the military under the command ofLieut.-Colonel Johnston.

To go fully into this event and the circumstances leadingthereto is beyond the scope of these pages, as there are feworiginal records which would throw any fresh light upon thematter at Camden Park.

But the chief subjects of conflict between Bligh and Macarthurwere:—

(1) A suit Macarthur brought against Andrew Thompson, Bligh'sbailiff, who had come to New South Wales as a convict, forspecific performance of a contract in wheat, which Bligh decidedin Thompson's favour.

(2) A dispute concerning a Still, which Macarthur's agentshad, without his authority, forwarded him from England.

(3) A breach of the Port Regulations arising from the escapeof a convict in the ship Parramatta, of which Macarthurwas the owner, the owner maintaining that the escape was withouthis knowledge, and finally abandoning the ship, rather thanliquidate the bonds required under the Port Regulations.

Macarthur gave the following account of the proceedings in hisevidence at the Johnston court-martial, pp. 190, etseq.:—

An armed English schooner, of which I was partowner, sailed from Port Jackson in the month of June, I think1807, with directions to proceed to Otaheite, an islandconsidered as a dependency upon the colony for the purpose ofprocuring salted pork. Previous to her sailing as the regulationsof the colony required, notice was given to the Provost Marshalthat search might be made on board her, for any convicts thatmight have attempted to conceal themselves. People were sent onboard by the Provost Marshal, who searched the vessel, as I wasinformed, and found no one. The vessel in consequence proceededto sea as soon as the wind would permit, and a few daysafterwards I heard that a man by the name of Hore was missingfrom the colony. This man had not been employed in any kind ofpublic labour, but was allowed to dispose of himself in anymanner he thought proper. In the month of December following. theschooner returned to Port Jackson, and anchored in the Cove,where it was usual for vessels to anchor. The master, the mates,and several of the seamen were immediately brought on shore andtaken to the Government House, where they were separatelyexamined by the Governor, and, as I have been informed, by Mr.Campbell and Mr. Atkins, whether this man Hore had been found inthe schooner. They all stated, that Hore was found concealedamong the firewood, and that at one of the islands where theyafterwards touched he made his escape, I think it was atOtaheite. They were then ordered to return on board the vessel,and I received information that the naval officer had put twopolice officers into the vessel, had caused her to be removedfrom her place of anchorage to a situation immediately oppositehis own door. Application was shortly afterward made by themaster to the naval officer, for permission to enter the vessel;which was refused. I then applied myself, and was told, I couldnot be permitted to enter the schooner until I paid into his, thenaval officers, hands, £900, which he claimed as being forfeitedon a bond that had been given on the vessels first arrival fromEngland, the conditions of which, I conceived, had no relation tothe voyage she had been employed on. The naval officer stillpersisted in refusing to enter the vessel, or to allow the cargoto be landed. I pointed out to him, that whatever claims heconceived he had the right to make, must be authorised by a Courtof Justice that I understood he had got possession of all thevessel's papers her registry, her letter of marque, her charterparty, and had two persons on board her on the part ofGovernment; that if he persisted in retaining possession of thevessel, I should abandon her to the Government and look to theunderwriters. He signified his determination to retain possessionof the vessel, to keep her papers, and not to allow her cargo tobe landed, until I had paid him the £900 he had first claimed, Itherefore acquainted the master and seamen, that I had no furtheroccasion for their services, and that they were not to look to mefor pay and provisions from that day, as I conceived myselfdispossessed of the vessel, and themselves no longer in myemployment. Having done so, I returned to my house at Parramatta,about sixteen or seventeen miles distant from the town of Sydney;and some days after, I received this letter from the JudgeAdvocate:—

"I have it in command from his Excellency the Governor toacquaint you that the master, mariners, and crew, of the schoonerParramatta, of which you are the owner, has violated thecolonial regulations, by coming unauthorised on shore, and that,in their justification they say, you have deprived them of theirusual allowance of provisions; and they have no means ofprocuring them on board the schooner. In consequence of suchtheir representations, I require your attendance at Sydneytomorrow morning, at ten o'clock, to show cause of such yourconduct."

Richard Atkins.

"Judge Advocate."

"Decr. 14, 1807.

Knowing that the naval officer had possession of the schooner,and considering myself as having nothing more to do with her, andwithout control over the officers and seamen, and being desirousto avoid all possible altercation about the schooner in thecolony, I thought it, most prudent to write to the JudgeAdvocate, which I did in the following letter:—


"14th Decr. 1807.


"I am to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this date,acquainting me that the master, mates and crew of the schoonerParramatta have violated the Colonial regulations, bycoming unauthorized on shore, and that they in theirjustification say I have deprived them of their usual allowanceof provisions etc. for which conduct you require me to come toSydney tomorrow, and show cause.—I have only in reply tosay that you were many days ago informed I had declined anyfurther interference with the schooner, in consequence of theillegal conduct of the naval officer in refusing to enter thevessel, and retaining her papers, notwithstanding I had maderepeated applications that they might be restored. Socircumstanced, I could no longer think of submitting to theexpense of paying and victualling the officers and crew of avessel over which I had no control; but previously to mydeclining to do so, my intentions were officially made known tothe naval officer. What steps he has since taken respecting theschooner and her people I am yet to learn, but as he has had twopolice officers on board in charge of her, it is reasonable tosuppose they are directed to prevent irregularities, and thereofI beg leave to refer you to the naval officer for what furtherinformation you may require on the subject.

Iam Sir,

Your humble servant

John Macarthur."

Richard Atkins Esq.

. . . . I heard no more of the subject until the following night,when, at about 11 o-clock, I was seated with my family, preparingto go to bed, when one of the servants came in, and informed thata person wanted to speak to me in the hall. I went out, and founda man by the name of Oakes there, who acted as chief constable inthe town of Parramatta, the place of my residence. He told methat he was very sorry to come to me on such an errand, but thathe had a warrant in his pocket to apprehend my person and take meto gaol. I desired him to come into the room where there werecandles, and show me his authority. He did, and produced thiswarrant—

NEW SOUTH WALES.—Whereas complaint hath been made before meupon oath, that John McArthur Esq. the owner of the schoonerParramatta, now lying in this Port, hath illegally stoppedthe provisions of the master mates and crew of the said schoonerwhereby the said master mates and crew have violated the Colonialregulations by coming unauthorized on shore, and whereas I did bymy official letter bearing date the 14th day of this instant,December, require the said John McArthur to appear before me onthe 15th day of this instant December at 10 o'clock of theforenoon of the same day and whereas the said John McArthur hathnot appeared at the time aforesaid or since:—these aretherefore, in his Majesty's name, to command you to bring thesaid John McArthur before me, and other His Majesty's Justices onWednesday next, the 16th inst., December at ten o-clock of thesame day, to answer in the premises, and hereof fail not.

Given under my hand and seal at Sydney this 15th day of December1807.

Richard Atkins, J.A. (L.S.)

Mr. Francis Oakes,
Chief Constable,Parramatta.

The Witness.—It is impossible I can describe to the Courtwhat I felt upon this occasion, whatever act the master of thevessel or crew might have committed, I conceived I could in noshape be responsible for, as the Government were absolutely inpossession of the schooner, and could, in any manner they thoughtproper, have controlled and regulated the conduct of the masterand seamen. I had given what I conceived a full and satisfactoryexplanation to the Judge Advocate, and without any act committedby me, I found myself nearly at the hour of midnight in danger ofbeing torn from my family and of being confined in a loathsomegaol, amidst all the most abandoned felons which the colonycontained. It appeared to me nothing could authorize or justifysuch a violation of the liberty of a British subject, unlesspositive oath had been made that he had committed some offencewhich would subject him to imprisonment. I was only accused.

The President.—The question is, what was the consequence ofthis arrest?

The Witness.—I resisted the warrant, being accused ofdischarging my own servants.

A Member.—It appears he disobeyed the summons also from theJudge Advocate, he refused to appear, as he was desired by theletter from the Judge Advocate.

The Witness.—I resisted the warrant, conceiving it to beillegal. What then followed? The constable left the house, andthe next morning I went to the town of Sydney. About nine o'clockin the morning I walked out, and soon after two constables withseveral attendants armed, came into the house in search of me.They searched every open room, although they were assured I wasnot in the house, and coming to a room with the door locked, theyburst it open. Not finding me they made enquiry where it wasprobable I should be found, they were told, I had walked out inthe town and was most probable at the house of Mr. Grimes. Tothat house they came and finding me there produced a secondwarrant which they executed and took me to the house of the JudgeAdvocate, where several friends stepped forward to give bail formy appearance. I was discharged in consequence on my bail. Soonafter, I had notice to attend a Bench of Magistrates, before whomI was desirous of pointing out the illegality of the firstwarrant which had been executed against me, but they preferred torefer the decision of it to a Criminal Court; and I was boundover to appear whenever called upon. In the 25th January 1808 Iwas brought before a Criminal Court utterly ignorant of thenature of the accusation against which I was to defend myself.Previous to my being brought before the Court I had in a mostearnest manner entreated the Governor to appoint a Judge Advocatewho should be disinterested in the event of the trial. This herefused.—I therefore when the six members had been sworn inconsidered it a justice I owed to myself, if possible to avoidbeing tried before a Court, the Judge of which was my avowed andinveterate enemy, who had also a voice in that Court, andnecessarily a great influence in its decisions. When the Courtwas about to swear in the Judge Advocate, I stated my objectionsverbally and entreated permission to lay those objections beforethem in writing. The Judge Advocate objected to it, the Courtconceived I ought to be heard, and directed me to produce myobjections. I read them to the Court, and this is acopy.—


To the Members of the Criminal Court.


It will, I am convinced, excite your surprise, as I think it mustof every impartial man, to hear that I am a prisoner to this bar,utterly unacquainted, except from rumour, of the nature of theaccusation against which I am to defend myself. Such, however isa fact, for although I have made three written applications tothe Judge Advocate, for a copy of the indictment or information,I have not been able to obtain it.

In this unprecedented situation, and having been informed thatthe charge against me had been founded on certain events whichoriginated in the illegal and arbitrary conduct of the JudgeAdvocate, as exemplified in the correspondence and warrants, Idid conceive it prudent and a piece of duty I owed to thecommunity, to protest against Richard Atkins Esq., beingappointed to sit as a Judge on a trial where he is so muchinterested, and in which his own security is so materiallyinvolved.

To prevent unnecessary delay, and other consequences which Iapprehended, I did, in a letter to his Excellency Gov. Blighprotest against the Judge Advocate, and respectfully requiredthat a disinterested person might be appointed to preside at mytrial. To this His Excellency was pleased to answer "that the lawmust take its course, as he does not feel himself justified touse any interference with the executive power by which I supposeit (sic) meant the judicial authority, and I humblyconceive His Excellencys power must be the Executive.

Defeated in this attempt to obtain what I know to be my lawfulright, my only alternative is to resort to the Members of thisCourt, and I do so under an entire confidence that what I canprove to be my right, you as men of honour will grant me.

To you then gentlemen I appeal and solemnly protest againstRichard Atkins Esq., being allowed to take his seat as one of myjudges on this trial.

To support this protest, my first objection is, because there isa suit pending between us, for the recovery of a sum of moneythat he unjustly withholds, and, as he is screened from theoperation! of the law, is to be submitted to His MajestysMinisters.

My second objection is, because I can prove he has for many yearscherished a rancorous inveteracy against me, which has displayeditself in the propagation of malignant falsehoods, and every actof injustice that can be expected to proceed from a person armedwith power, against a man whose life and conduct is, I trust, apublic satire on his own.

My third objection is, because I have long been the object of hisvindictive malice, in consequence of my having been called as anevidence to support an accusation made against him by John HarrisEsq., that he was a swindler.

My fourth objection is, because he has associated and combinedwith that well-known dismembered limb of the law, GeorgeCrossley,* and others of as wicked minds, though perhaps notquite so notorious, to accomplish my destruction.

In proof of this I have evidence to prove thatCrosley has prepared the information to be produced at thistrial, and has arranged the whole plan of evidence, he beingconsidered eminently qualified to conduct that part of thebusiness from his extensive practice in that particular branch oflegal knowledge.

I have also proofs in my hands in the writing of that veteranpractitioner Crosley, which will convince the most sceptical mindthat other schemes have been agitated to deprive me of myproperty, liberty, honour and life.**

Here it is gentlemen, read it, and after, readthe proceedings of a Bench of Magistrates, and you will see thatfor presuming to complain of a most unlawful seizure of myproperty, which the Judge Advocate joined in reprobating, it hasbeen determined to ruin me.

This precious document came into my hands as if by theinterposition of Divine Providence, it was dropped from thepocket of Crosley and brought to me.

That you may consider it at your leisure, I annex a copy both ofit, and of the proceedings of the Bench of Magistrates.

My fifth objection is because Richard Atkins Esq. is myprosecutor on this trial, and is so deeply interested to procuremy conviction, that, should he fail, nothing but the arm of powercan save him from a criminal prosecution, at this very Bar, forfalse imprisonment of me.

My sixth and last objection is on his having already pronouncedsentence of condemnation against me, as is presumptively proved,and can be clearly, by his declaring that the Bench ofMagistrates had the power to punish me by fine and imprisonmentthereby clearly demonstrating an intention to deprive me of thebenefit of my present trial.

It will not, I presume, be denied that the Judge Advocate, fromthe constitution of this Court combines the two characters ofjudge and juror, and that it follows, as an indisputableconsequence, that my objection which applies to either characteris strictly applicable to him.

All therefore that remains for me to do, is to lay before you thelegal authorities, on which I found my right of challenge.

First Authority.

"The suspicion of prejudice may be reasonablyinferred against a juror from his having an interest in thecause, whereby he may be led to the condemnation of theprisoner.

"The prisoner must assign his cause of challenge, of therelevancy of which the members are themselves the judges. Thevalid causes of challenge are, suspicion of malice, of prejudice,and infamous character," (Tytler.)

Second Authority.

"So jealous is the law of the perfectimpartiality of jurors, that it is allowed to be a good cause ofchallenge that the juror has been heard to give his opinionbeforehand, that the party is guilty." (Tytler.)

Third Authority.

"Two causes of challenge, impossible to beoverruled, are the charges of corruption or bribery, verified bycompetent proof, and malice of hostile enmity expressed by wordor deed against the prisoner. Infamous character is also a mostrelevant ground of challenge." (Tytler.)

Fourth Authority.

"It hath been allowed a good ground of challengeon the part of the prisoner, that the juror hath declared hisopinion beforehand that the party is guilty." (BurnsJustice.)

Fifth Authority.

"The Mayor of Hereford was laid by the heels forsitting in a cause when he himself was Lesser of the plaintiff inejectment though he by the charter was sole Judge of the Court."(Burn's Justice.)

Sixth Authority.

"The cause of Foxham tithing in the county ofWilts, justice of peace was surveyor of highways, and a matterwhich concerned his office coming in question at the sessions, hejoined in making the order, and his name was put in the caption.Determined by Lord Chief Justice Holt, it ought not to be, as, ifan action be brought by my Lord Chief Justice Trevor, in theCourt of Common Pleas, it must be before Edward Neville, Knight,and his Associates, and not before Thomas Trevor, and it wasquashed." (Burns Justice.)

Seventh Authority.

"And the better to remove all cause of suspicionof partiality, it was wisely provided by the statutes 4th Edw.HI. cap. 2—8th Richard II. cap. 2—and 33rd HenryVIII. cap. 24, that no Judge of Assize shall hold pleas in anycounty wherein he was born or inhabits." (BlackstonesCommentaries.)

Eighth Authority.

"Jurors may be challenged for suspicion of biasor partiality, this may be either a principal challenge, or tothe favour. A principal challenge is such, where the causecarries with it evident marks of suspicion, either of favour ormalice; as that he hath an interest in the cause, there is anaction pending between him and the party, these are principalgrounds of challenge, and, if true, cannot be over-ruled."(Blackstones Commentaries.)

Gentlemen, it would be an unpardonable waste of your time, and aninsult to your understandings, to press upon you moreauthorities, for those I have submitted are clear to thepoint.

You will now decide, gentlemen, whether Law or Justice shallfinally prevail over the contrivances of George Crosley, you havethe eyes of an anxious public upon you, trembling for the safetyof their property, their liberties, and their lives.

To you has fallen the lot of deciding a point which involvesperhaps the happiness or misery of millions yet unborn, and Iconjure you, in the name of the Almighty God, in whose presenceyou stand, to consider the inestimable value of the preciousdeposit with which you are entrusted.

For my own part, knowing you as I do, I have no apprehensions. Ifeel assured, that neither expectations of reward, and favour,nor dread of persecution, will influence your decision.

It is to the Officers of the New South Wales Corps that theadministration of justice is committed, and who that is just hasanything to dread.

John Macarthur

Sydney 25th January 1808.

The Witness.—The Judge Advocate immediately rose up andcalled out "I commit you to gaol sir," the court interfered anddeclared I had acted under their sanction and was entitled totheir protection. A considerable altercation continued for threeor four minutes between the Judge Advocate and the court, whenthe Judge Advocate quitted the Court House. A correspondence thenensued between the court and the Governor; in which I understoodthe Court maintained the validity of my objections, andrespectfully entreated the Governor to appoint an impartialperson to preside at the trial. Several letters passed, and theGovernor not acceding to the request of the Court, the Courtremanded me to the custody of my bail, and adjourned. The nextmorning I was apprehended on an escape warrant, founded on adeposition of the Provost Marshal, that I was at large contraryto law. I was in consequence taken to the common gaol of the townof Sydney. . . .

Immediately it was known that I was taken to the gaol, a greatnumber of the civil officers of the establishment, many of thepeople of property in the town, came to the gaol evidently ingreat consternation and terror; some of them declaring theyexpected soon to be sent to the gaol to accompany me. In theevening it was rumoured through the town that the officers of theCriminal Court had been accused of treason and it was reported tome that the greatest confusion prevailed throughout the wholetown. The gaoler * (a man I had long known) and had had anopportunity of serving, came in and told me, that, from what hesaw, he was sure something serious would happen before the nightclosed; that he should keep a watchful eye for my preservation,for that many of the people employed about the gaol by Mr. Gorethe Provost Marshal were men of the most desperate and infamouscharacters; indeed of that I was myself an evidence; for I wasreceived at the gaol door by a man employed as a constable, whomI had discharged from my own house for stealing; and shortlyafter my arrival in the gaol, I saw another guarding the gate whohad a short time before been a servant of mine, and whom I hadbrought to punishment for associating with a gang of cattlestealers, and who, it was proved, had been killing and stealingcalves from the Government herds.

In Bartrum's account of the court-martial is told howJohnston, coming into Sydney on January 26th, 1808, found theinhabitants in greatest consternation, and many of therespectable citizens urged his placing Bligh under arrest toavoid bloodshed.

Whilst he was considering this step Johnston was told thatMacarthur was lodged in the common prison and there was muchreason to fear he would be privately made away with. Johnston wasthereupon prevailed upon to sign and transmit an order forMacarthur's discharge.

Macarthur, being liberated on the day of Bligh's deposition,was taken by his liberators to the Barracks, where on enteringthe mess room, he was greeted by Colonel Johnston, who said,"G—d's curse! What am I to do, Macarthur, here are thesefellows advising me to arrest the Governor," to which Macarthurreplied, "Advising you; then, Sir, the only thing left for you todo is to do it. To advise on such matters is legally as criminalas to do them." And then Macarthur, on a gun, in the barracksquare, wrote the petition to Johnston, of which the original isin the National Art Gallery, Sydney.

Johnston, who commanded the forces, then proceeded to carryout the deposition of Governor Bligh.

This short note to his wife appears to have been written afterGovernor Bligh's arrest.

My Dearest Love,

I have been deeply engaged all this day in contending for theliberties of this unhappy Colony, and I am happy to say I havesucceeded beyond what I. expected. I am too much exhausted toattempt giving you the particulars, therefore I must refer you toEdward, who knows enough to give you a general idea of what hasbeen done. The Tyrant is now no doubt gnashing his Teeth withvexation at his overthrow. May he often have cause to do thelike!

I have read your two letters they are admirably written—Iwas in hopes there would have been one to your Mother, as I hadset aside a Navy Bill to enclose with it—You will not betoo late if you write and send down to-morrow. Take care ofyourself and be cheerful, your headache will then gooff—Keep Elizabeth out as much as you can, for exercise inthis warm weather is more likely than any other thing to bringabout her recovery. Remember me to them all and believe me

My dearest Love

Your ever affectionate

John McArthur.

Saturday 5 o'clock.

After the deposition of Bligh, Johnston became head of theProvisional Government and reported to his superior officer,Colonel Paterson, who was then in charge at Port Dalrymple.

Almost Immediately John Macarthur was tried upon the chargesfor which Bligh had ordered his arrest. The court consisted ofthe same six officers summoned by Bligh, but Mr. Charles Grimes,the Surveyor-General, was appointed Judge Advocate in place ofAtkins. Macarthur was acquitted, and shortly after appointedSecretary to the Colony, without a salary.

The public expenditure was greatly reduced by Macarthurexchanging surplus cattle from the Government herds for grain,large quantities of which were required for troops and convictsin Van Diemen's Land, as well as in New South Wales.

In former years the bills drawn on the Treasury for grain hadbeen very heavy. Under Johnston only £2,214 9s. 6d. was drawn forthe purchase of grain in 1808, and of this £1,880 2s. was for thesettlements in Van Diemen's Land.

It is remarkable that not one of the Bills drawn on the Lordsof the Treasury by Johnston, Foveaux, or Paterson was dishonored.These copies of the accounts are at Camden.

Account of Cows and Oxen issued forpayment from Government Herds—

First Issue150
Second do.97
Issued to Raby2
249at 56 Bushelseach—13,944

Statement of the payments made and Grain duefor the above Cattle—

Mr. Williamson's Receipt9,58625

Do. do. for 79 BushelsBarley receivedas 56 Bushels Wheat

Mr. Baker's Receipt300
Do. do.130
Mr. Williamson's Do1640
Mr. Wilshire's Do.7437
Do. do.1821
Mr. Baker's Do.40
Mr. Wilshire's Do.23
Mr. Sherwin's Do.4328
— Wall's Do1542
Mr. Wilshire's Do. for 80 Bushels Maize as Wheat40
Mr. Baker's Do. for 44 Bushels Maize as Wheat22
Captain Kemp's obligation164
Mr. Crook's Do.89
Segt. Maj. Whittel's Do.112
Seg. Johns's Do.56
Order for two Cows from Mr. Palmer112
Bill of Larra's for Public expenses70
Mr. Lawson's obligation36452
Mr. Baker's Receipt80
Do. do.2528
Mr. Fitz's Do.96
Segt. Bradley's obligation2042

Cows to be paid for—

Mr. Larra4
Lieut. Laycock4
Lieut. Draffen4
Mr. Alcock1
Mr. Atkins2
Mr. Throsby6
Hugh Byrne1
Mr. Fitzgerald10
Mrs. Minchin6
Edw. Robinson1
Mr. T. Mecham.5
44at 56 Bush.2,464
Amount of Cattle sold13,944


Mr. McArthur paid to Mr. Harris for 24 Bush.
Do. surplus on receipts to Settlers.B.W.
Due to Mr. McArthur5542
Surplus toGovernment2049

90 Old Cows, and 96 Deseased Sheep sold forCorn, the obligations for payment held by Mr. Fitz.

Received the above recited Obligations & Receipts from JohnMcArthur Esqr. this 18th day of January 1808.


Dr. John McArthur Esqr. inAccount Current with Government—

Between the12th March & 3 Sept.To amount of Fresh Beef
issued from His Majesty's Store pd. weekly return from theStorekeeper 1801½ lbs. @ 1/-
To one set of Bills on the Lordsof the Treasury444196
To one set of Bills on the Lordsof the Treasury12570
Between the12th
March & 3 Sept.
By Amount of Mutton Received intoHis Majesty's Store at Parramatta as Sworn to by William Sherwinethe Storekeeper per 13,208 lbs. @ 1/-66080
James Williamson£66080

Quantity of Grain sent to His Majesty'sSettlements at Port Dalrymple and the River Derwent between the26th January and 31st March; and from the latter date, up to June8th 1808.

February 2ndPort Dalrymple55010/-27500
April 5th 1808Do.10007910/88/-531120
Freight of Speedwell with the550 Bushels @3/-82100
Port Dalrymple£88920
March 26thRiver Derwent70010/-35000
April 30thDo.100010/-50000
Freight of Governor Hunter with the 1000Bushels @3/-15000
River Derwent£1,00000
Total Amount£1,88920

The Right Honorable the Lords Commissionersof His Majesty's Treasury in Account Current with JamesWilliamson Esquire Acting Commissary of Stores and Provisions inHis Majesty's Territory of New South Wales.



Between the 27th January
30th July
ToAmount of Grain purchased fromsundry individuals as per Voucher No. 1120000
"Amount of Grain purchased fromsundry Individuals as per Voucher No. 2241100
"Amount of Fresh Mutton purchasedfrom John McArthur Esquire as per Voucher No. 3444196
"Amount of Freight of Grain fromhence to the Derwent as per Voucher No. 415000
Amount of Spirits purchased fromGarnham Blaxcell Esquire as per Voucher No. 517800

By Eleven sets of Bills drawn in favor ofthe following persons as per Voucher Order, and Receipts(Viz.).

July 30th£s.d.
No.1Billin favor of Garnham BlaxcellEsquire as per Voucher No. 1 Order and Receipt No. 610000
"2"in favor of John Harris Esquireas per Voucher No. 1, O. & R. No. 610500
"3"in favor of Messrs. Campbell& Co., as per Voucher No. 1, 0. & R. No. 656150
"4"in favor of Mr. Simeon Lord asper Voucher No. 1, O. & R. No. 6492150
"5"in favor of Thomas JamiesonEsquire as per Voucher No. 1, O. & R. No. 635150
"6"in favor of John McArthur Esquireas per Voucher No. 1, O. &. R. No. 611026
"7"in favor of James WilliamsonEsquire as per Voucher No. 1, O. & R. No. 6169126
"8"in favor of Thomas JamiesonEsquire as per Voucher No. 2, O. & R. No. 7 & 6241100
"9"in favor of John McArthur Esquireas per Voucher No. 3, O. & R. No. 8 & 6444196
"10"in favor of Mr. Isaac Nichols asper Voucher No. 4, O. & R. No. 9 & 615000
"11"in favor of Garnham BlaxcellEsquire as per Voucher No. 5, O. & R. No. 10 & 617800

James Williamson

Acty. Comy.

Sworn before me Sydney
18th March 1809
Rd. Atkins, J.A.

No doubt the economical system of the interim Governmentoccasioned much murmuring on the part of greedy and discontentedindividuals, and the following copies of a letter from ColonelJohnston to the officers of the regiment and their reply showsome of the feeling that evidently existed:—

Headquarters April 26th 1808.


I have observed the discontent which has for some time prevailedamongst a few Officers with the greatest concern and as I haveunquestionable evidence that this discontent has entirely arisenfrom the confidence I have reposed in Mr. McArthur Secretary tothe Colony I have now assembled all of you together who are doingduty at Head-quarters and have sent a copy of this Letter to thedetached Post that those Officers who have anything to alledgeagainst that Gentleman may come forward and distinctly state inwriting what it is they have to charge him with. If he hascommitted any offence, it is not my intention to shut my earsagainst the proof of it. If anything improper in his conduct canbe made appear he shall immediately be dismissed from his Office,and I hope some one of you Gentlemen will have public spiritsufficient to supply his place and to perform the laboriousduties Mr. McArthur now discharges without reward oremolument.

To preserve the peace of the Settlement and to promote theprosperity and honor of His Majesty's Government are my onlyobjects and I am confident those objects cannot be secured but bythe annihilation of the Party Spirit that has unfortunately toomuch prevailed almost ever since the day when you all urged me toassume the Government and pledged your words of honor to supportme in the measure. How far a desire to deprive me of the servicesof Mr. McArthur at such a crisis as the present can be consideredas an observance of that promise it will rest with thoseGentlemen who are adverse to him to explain. For my own part Ithink no Officer will aver that Mr. McArthur has not fulfilledhis share of that solemn Engagement That he has not devotedhimself with unremitting assiduity to the public affairs That hehas not exposed himself to reproach and obliquy by his Exertionsto detect the Frauds and oppressions of the Adherents of the lateGovernor or that he has not faithfully done everything in hispower to carry my wishes into Effect for the reduction of theExpenditure of Public Money and to prevent the improperdistribution of the Public Servants and Property.

But perhaps these are his offences, if so let me assure you thathe has only obeyed my order and that had he acted differently Ishould have been as ready to withdraw my confidence from him as Iknow some of you are desirous that I should.

I am, Gentlemen

Your most obedient Humble Servant

George Johnston.


Captain EdwardAbbott
Captain A. Fenn Kemp
John Harris Esq. Surgeon
Lieut. John Brabyn
Ensign Archibald Bell
Lieut. William Moore
Lieut. Thomas Laycock
Lieut. & Adjt. William Minchin
Lieut. William Lawson

New South WalesCorps.

Captain ThomasMoore, Sydney Association **
Thomas Jamieson Esq., Principal Surgeon
James Williamson Esq., Acting Commissary
Nicholas Bayley Esq., Acting Provost Marshall
Mr. Fitz, Deputy Commissary
Mr. D'Arcy Wentworth, Assistant Surgeon
Mr. J. Mileham, Assistant Surgeon
G. Blaxcell Esqr., J.P.

Compared with the original, of which it is atrue Copy.

John McArthur,J.P.
Chas. Throsby
, J.P.

Sydney 26th April 1808.

The undersigned Officers having assembled byOrder of His Honor the Lt. Governor give their Sentiments on aletter which His Honor laid before them are unanimously ofopinion that they do not feel themselves justified nor would theypresume to call in question the Right of Propriety of hisconsulting any person he may think proper either publickly orprivately and that they shall at all times feel much pleasure inobeying his Orders which is all they consider they have to do asOfficers serving under him.


Ed. Abbott. Capt.,N.S.W. Corps.
Anthy. Fenn Kemp, Capt.
Wm. Moore, Lieut.
Thos. Laycock, Lt.
Wm. Lawson, Lieut.
Cadiv Draffen, Lt.
Thos. Moore, C. L. Association.***
James Williamson, Acting Commissary.
R. Fitz, Dy. Commissary.
Nicholas Bayly Actg. P. M.
G. Blaxcell, J.P.
Wm. Minchin, Lieut. & Adjt. N.S.W. Corps

His Honor

Lieut. Governor Johnston
&c., &c., &c.

A true Copy of the original compared by us.

John McArthur,J.P.

Chas. Throsby

, J.P.

After the arrival of Colonel Foveaux, Colonel Johnstonproceeded to England, whither Macarthur accompanied him, takingalso his two sons, James and William, for their education. Hiseldest son, who had returned to Sydney to see his parents beforeembarking upon his military career, had gone home some timepreviously with the despatches from Johnston relating to Bligh'sarrest.

In September, 1808, General Tench wrote the following toEdward Macarthur, who had just arrived in England with thedespatches announcing the arrest of Bligh:—

Plymouth, September 2nd 1808.

My Dear Edward,

I have read with much interest the various accounts in theNewspapers relative to the late transactions in New South Walesand to-day your Uncle was so obliging as to put into my hand yourletter to him written just previous to your landing in England. Iwent through it twice with the deepest attention and the mostlively feelings on your dear Father's and Mother's account andafter having given the best consideration in my power to yourstatements, I was firmly and decidedly of opinion that GovernorBligh by tyranny, oppression and rapacity has drawn upon himselfthe just resentment of the inhabitants of the Colony and met withthat spirited opposition and final defeat which I trust allunprincipled despots, whether in courts or cottages, always willencounter. I presume from circumstances that a completereconciliation has taken place between Lt. Col. Johnston and yourFather, and I fervently pray that there never may be discord ordisunion between them again. The party which has dared to actwith such promptitude and vigor in the outset will assuredly notbetray their own cause by quarrels amongst themselves, and if, asI fully hope, and believe, Government will give both sides a fairand equitable hearing, I do not fear but that the result will befavourable for those whose welfare I so anxiously desire in allevents I am firmly persuaded that the decisive step that wastaken was preferable to all half measures, though even the latterwould from appearances have been sufficient to overawe thecontemptable dastard against whom they would have been directed.The concealment under the feather bed made me smile, but did notsurprise me in the least, as I had long possessed the strongesttestimony from a friend who had served with Governor Bligh thathe was not only a tyrant, but a poltroon. The air of prudence andgood sense which marks every part of your communication to yourUncle lessens the uneasiness I should otherwise have felt on youraccount, but let me, my dear boy, recommend to you a discreetreserve in all your conversations on the occurence at Sydney. Inthe great Town, where you now reside, there are more people whotake a merit of supplying Government with information andbetraying the secrets of conversation than you may be aware of.At the distance I am placed I can offer no material assistance tothe cause of my friends, but who ever condescends to askinformation from me on this, or any other subject connected withNew South Wales, which frequently happens at the tables ofGenerals and Admirals, I shall not fail to offer my undisguisedopinion on proceedings which have excited so much publicattention, and from my perfect conviction of the worth andintegrity of your Father his defence will be an easy task.

Believe me, my dear Edward,

Very sincerely and affectionately yours,

W. Tench.

Then comes the first of a long and regular correspondencebetween Edward and his family, but only a few of the letters aregiven referring to the Bligh-Johnston affair.

Edward Macarthurto his Mother.


30th September, 1808.

My Dear Mother,

At this moment that I am conveying to you the pleasingintelligence of my safe arrival, I feel inspired with a hope thatyou are restored to your health, and in the enjoyment of everyhappiness that can be expected from a country in such a perturbedstate, and of which the society is so exceptionable. When thisreaches you my dear mother it is my prayer that it may add to theother causes of happiness; but if on the contrary, it will I knowbe no small gratification to learn that your son has not agreater source of uneasiness than spring from the distance whichprevents him from flying to your embrace.

You will be rejoiced to learn how fine a youth John has become.He is almost as tall as myself, and at the same time remarkablystout. Much as he grows in stature, yet it does not equal thedegree to which his mind daily expands; and such is his manner ofreasoning that he is beheld with astonishment, mixt withadmiration. John's wishes incline him to embrace the professionof the law, and he is wonderfully delighted at the idea ofbecoming a councillor. Dr. Lindsay imagines he will make ashining character in that profession. Since my arrival I havelived at Mr. Thompson's, and the manner in which I was received,together with the fresh marks of affection which are every daydisplayed towards me, can be compared to nothing but that which Iexperienced when I returned to New South Wales; indeed, my dearmother, it seems as if the two families were disputing to whichof them I belonged, and which could regard me with the mostaffection.

On my arrival I found that Mrs. King was a widow; Govr. King diedabout a week before. I have scarcely seen Mrs. King. I was unableto call upon her till the other day, when, in going to her house,I met her on the road, and as she was on particular business shecould not return. She resides some miles from London. I promisedher that if she would have the goodness to tell me when she wouldbe at home, that I would certainly wait upon her.

Mr. Marsden is in town, but I have not seen him, nor do I knowhow Mrs. Marsden and the children are, who are all inYorkshire.

General and Mrs. Grose are in town; they have been veryparticular in their enquiries about yourself and my dearfather.

Captain and Mrs. Kent are also in London, but I have not had anopportunity of seeing them.

Govr. and Mrs. King have been rather intimate with Mr. Thompson'sfamily, and Mr. T. has told me that our family was alwaysmentioned in the most affectionate manner. Mrs. King seems tohave some idea of returning to New South Wales, for her affairs,poor woman, I understand are rather in a disunited state.

Miss Thompson has promised to write and she will, I have nodoubt, give a long account of interesting circumstances.

Edward Macarthurto Walter Davidson.

Castle-street, Leinster-square,

30th September, 1808.

My dear Davidson,

I have the pleasure a second time to thank you for your letterwhich I received at St. Helena on the 10th of July, from whenceyou will perhaps receive a letter from me dated on the day of mydeparture from that island. The Dart and Brothers,together with the China Fleet, arrived in the Downs on the 12thinstant; but as I was anxious to get to town lest the duplicatesof my letters should be delivered before the originals, I landedin a fishing boat off the Start Point in Devonshire.


Our late affairs make little impression on thepublic mind, and excite still less attention at the offices, forSpain and Portugal attract all their attentions—all theirthoughts. The Convention has caused a great ferment, and thenation loudly call for the punishment of those who were concernedin that disgraceful business. You will not comprehend me untilyou have consulted the newspapers, and I have no time to explainmyself.

In a few weeks the probability is that I shall be in one ofour armies, either that on service in Spain or that in Portugal.A wide field is open for honor and promotion, and I burn to bethere. The Spanish expedition resounds from all quarters, and theladies themselves lament that their sex prevents their joining inso glorious a cause.


London, 1st October, 1808.

My dear Father,

I embrace the opportunity of the Sydney Cove's return toPort Jackson to inform you of my safe arrival and to acquaint youwith the little occurences since, together with the impressionsmade by the accounts of which I was in part the bearer. I came totown on the 12th, and immediately went to the Horse Guards withmy public letters; but it being evening, and as there was noofficial person to whom I could deliver them, I returned andcalled again next morning when I saw Colonel Gordon to whom Icommitted my charge. He received me with a great degree ofkindness, asked me a few questions about the colony, but none inthe least applicable to the subject of the letters; and havingcomplimented me on the modesty with which he was pleased to say Iconducted myself, wished me good morning, asked for my address,and said that he should send for me in a few days.

Mr. Brogden and Mr. McArthur, as well as Mr. Plummer, were out oftown, and before I had performed half of what was necessary forme previously to do, the day was too far advanced for me to thinkof waiting on the Duke of Northumberland till the next morning.As I had not the assistance of Mr. Brogdon's introduction, Ifound some difficulty from the servants in gaining admission toHis Grace's presence; but as I was determined to deliver ColonelJohnston's letters to no other person than the Duke, my card wasat length taken up, and the obstructions vanished. His Graceimmediately sent for me, and addressing me by name, thanked mefor my attention in coming to Sion House, and, instead ofinterrogating me on the subject of the transactions in N.S.Wales, began to relate even the most particular parts of what hastaken place, even to the business of the stills, and was severein his animadvertions on the conduct of Governor Bligh. Thissurprised me not a little; but I discovered that he had receivedthe evening before, by the post, the duplicates of the letters bythe Brothers. His Grace was greatly pleased at theaccounts I gave him of the noble race of horses byNorthumberland; * and after I had been with him for twohours—for it was impossible to leave him before—Iretired. His Grace told me that he should be obliged by anycommunications I could make to him about the late events, andthat when he came to town he should be happy to see me. Hegreatly interests himself in Colonel Johnston's welfare, and,from the family connection between His Grace and Colonel Gordon,his influence will be very great. I understand, also, that underthe existing state of affairs his opinions have great weight. Mr.Watson was not at home the first day I called; but I saw him themorning of my interview with the Duke of Northumberland, andfound him, indeed, a friend. He went to the Secretary of States'office to learn the impressions made on Mr. Cook's mind by theaccount he had received, and found them favourable to yourself;but Mr. Watson has since informed me that Mr. Cook does not nowthink you so much unconcerned in the late transactions as he didat first imagine. Mr. Watson superceded the necessity of mywaiting on Mr. Cook by asking him if he was desirous to see me,and Mr. Cook requested Mr. Watson to tell me that there was nooccasion for my coming to him. Mr. Watson brought Captain Russelloff' with flying colours. The public mind is at present so muchagitated by the affairs of Portugal that neither they or theMinistry in the least regard the occurrences in New South Wales.So much have they to do at the offices, that I do not imaginethey have read one-half the papers necessary to elucidate thebusiness, but they regard the whole of the transaction, with aview to precedent, in a jealous kind of way.

I understand that Bligh's friends, however, whohave had leisure to examine the affair, wear gloomy countenances.Mr. Watson desired me not to pay the least attention to theopinions I heard in common conversation. He intends to write toyou by this vessel. Your letters to Mr. Brogden, Mr. McArthur,and Mr. Plummer I enclosed to them. To Mr. McArthur I sent acomplete copy of the whole of the papers in my possession, andanother copy of the trial to Mr. Plummer after Dr. Lindsay hadperused it. I have greatly to regret that I could make no morethan two copies on the voyage, for everyone calls for your trial,and with the concurrence of Mr. Watson it will be printed in afew days, and I trust that I shall be enabled to send you one ofthe impressions. I am now writing at Mr. Thompson's house atClapham. With that good man and his family have I been since myarrival; they are to me another father, mother, brother, andsister. I dine to-day with Mr. Henry Brogden, who has been verywarm in his expressions for the handsome way in which youadvanced the money to Blackman. I must now conclude and willaddress you again to-morrow, for I have so much to relate to you,my dear father, that my ideas rush upon me too rapidly forexpression.

Most affectionate yours,

E. McArthur.

Castle-street, Leinster Square,

7th October, 1808.

My dear Father,

Since my last of the 1st inst., I have been greatly agitated bythe publication of a most virulent paper, prepared, as I aminformed, by some of Mrs. Bligh's partizans, of which I transmita copy, together with a reply which appeared in the same paper asthe attack. You will readily perceive, my dear father, that Ihave been greatly indebted to some persons for this tartrejoinder. Dr. Lindsay wrote the first sketch, which wasafterwards mollified by Mr. Watson, who advised, however, that nokind of notice should be taken of this outrageous attack. As soonas the answer was framed I sent it down to Mr. McArthur, who,after having made some additions and amendments, returned it,with an introduction of myself, to the editor of the MorningChronicle, who inserted the papers as corrected by Mr.McArthur. A rev'd friend of yours,** who has lately come up fromYork, is said to have had a hand in this vehement production;indeed he does not scruple to say that the business is at issuebetween himself and you, and that one or the other must desertthe country of New South Wales.

A day or two since I received a note from theDuke of Northumberland, acquainting me that His Grace hadreceived intimation that Colonel Johnston and Mr. McArthur andthe rest of the officers were sent for Home immediately. Iinstantly showed it to Mr. Watson, who went down to Mr. Cook, andasked him if any such measure had been taken. Mr. Cook said therehad been nothing resolved on with respect to the affairs in NewSouth Wales. Mr. Watson is no professor, but an actor. Mr.Plummer will be in town in a few days, and Mr. McArthur will alsobe here. Their advice will be of essential service to me. Mr.Henry Brogden greatly interests himself in your behalf, as wellas does Mr. James Brogden. The latter can be of very greatservice to me from his intimacy with the Duke ofNorthumberland.

Sir Walter's family are as usual very kind, and Sir Walterhimself appears to be happy when he hears of things going onfavorably to yourself; but he does not at present take an activepart, although at first he talked a great deal. Mr. Jacobs isalso very attentive. He offered to get a commission for me, but Ifear it is out of his power. Mr. Watson and Colonel McDonald bothtold me that there would be a very great difficulty indeed inobtaining a commission at this time. They think that under theexisting state of affairs His Royal Highness would on noconsideration give me an ensigncy. They therefore imagine that itwould be better for me to purchase, and, if possible, to joinsome regiment of foot in Spain, for I am told that my age is toogreat for my admission at Marlow. The next military academy is atWickham, and before you can be admitted it is necessary that youshould have been doing duty with your regiment for two years. Mr.Thompson is looking out for a good regiment, and I trust that bythe time the next ships sail I shall be gazetted.

From all I can learn I fear you will find yourself necessitatedto return to England, for the Government will, I fear, to thevery last, support Bligh; but it is of no use, for up he must begiven at length. A gentleman told me to-day that althoughGovernor Bligh's conduct was most flagrant, yet the Governmentwould look with great jealousy on his suspension, on account ofprecedent; but justice must be done, for Major Johnston has afriend who has the power in a certain degree to enforce it.

The two emues arrived safe, and were presented to LadyCastlereagh, and one swan and a goose lived, which were given toLady Camden. Mr. Watson desired me to say that their ladyshipswere desirous of having some bronswing pidgeons; but he would notpermit me to give the pair I had, because he thought that so manypresents at one time would overdo the business. I was enabled tomake Mr. Watson a very handsome present in the bird way. I havemade several to different people, and have not parted with allyet.

The Marquis of Buckingham was out of town when I arrived. Itherefore left his letters at His Lordship's residence in PallMall, from whence, I presume, they have been forwarded. I haveheard from none of Mr. Wentworth's friends. General Grose hasbeen very attentive to me; he seems to be rather disappointed atnot hearing from you. As he resides at Croydon, I do not see himvery often. Mrs. King, poor woman, is greatly distressed at theloss of the Governor, and the contrast of her present situationwith that she has lately possessed makes her very unhappy.

It will, I am convinced, my dear father, afford you greatpleasure to learn that John is resolved to become a councillor,and Dr. Lindsay says if he only applies himself he will make asclever a fellow as any in England. John is aware that manydifficulties will impede his progress; but he says that theTemple of Fame is now within his view, and that the strides heintends to make towards it will be so rapid and firm that everyobstacle must give way. John is grown tall, and, at the sametime, very stout. The energy of his mind is very great, and thisdisplayed almost on every occasion. He is greatly beloved by Mr.Thompson's family, as well as by Dr. Lindsay and the greater partof his acquaintance. I dined with Mr. Wilson a few days since,but as I am not much in the city I do not see him very often. Heendeavours to keep neutral, and hears the tales of all parties;but I think his situation is on that account very unpleasant. Mr.Thompson has neither invited Grimes to know whose right, but thatit is quite sufficient for him that they are inimical to you. Mr.Becket is constant in his enquiries after you. Mr. T. intendssending him a copy of your trial, that he may make his remarksupon it. Mr. Cook says that the trial is so much waste paper, forthat as Colonel Johnston had no authority to convene a court, amock trial on the stage would be equally as valid. This is theway in which Mr. C. talks, but altho' he is so warm in support ofBligh, I do not for that reason imagine he thinks him right. Mr.Cook thinks perhaps that it is his duty to support the Governortill all the charges have been proved against him.


E. McArthur.

Castle-street, Leinster Square,

12th October, 1808.

My dear Father,

I can learn nothing respecting the intentions of Government aboutNew South Wales; and notwithstanding the despatches that areforwarded to go out in the Sydney Cove, I still think thatMinisters have come to no determination. Mr. Watson says theyhave not, and on the 5th of this month he knew positively thatnothing had been done.


The wool, I am sorry to say, that came in theDart was almost spoiled, although I had taken theprecaution to have it put into a tight cask. It is in the handsof Mr. Swain, who says that it will, however, make very goodcloth. He will send your little commission by the next ship.


Every one of your friends here seems to imaginethat you will be necessitated to come Home; indeed, Mr. Watsontold me that he sincerely wished you would, For he imagined youwould do much better here than where you are, and that he shouldintimate it to you in his letter. The pleasure, my dear father,such an event would afford me would be very great.


Mr. Thompson is now about purchasing me acommission in one of the battallions of the 60th Regt. which isnow in Spain. If I can possibly obtain permission to go toMarlow, I certainly will, but if not I intend immediately to joinmy regiment. There is not the least chance of a commission beinggiven to me, and therefore, the sooner I purchase the better.


Castle-street, Leinster Square,

25th October, 1808.

My dear Father,

Since my last, I have the pleasure to inform you I have seen Mr.Hugh Elliott, who spoke in the highest terms imaginable of you,and who, notwithstanding his appointment of Governor ofBarbadoes, is so much enraptures with our colony that he appearsgreatly inclined to abandon the design of taking command of theone for the hopes of acquiring the government of the other. Ihave seen him but once, and then for a short time; but it wassufficiently long for me to see how superior a man he is, and howvery different from his, I trust, predecessors in the governmentof New South Wales.


Nothing has transpired with respect to thedetermination of Ministers on the subject of Governor Bligh'sarrest. The trial is printed, but with no narration prefixed toit; for Mr. Watson strenuously insisted that, as no person wasmore capable of undertaking his own justification than yourself,it would be imprudent to make a publication in which some factsmight be too much urged, while others were not sufficientlypreferred. Mr. Plummer is, however, preparing a statement of allthe unjust and arbitrary things committed by Governor Bligh.

Colonel Tench is in town; he is greatly interested in all thathas passed. I put the trial into his hands, and I feel assuredthat it will produce on his mind the same effect that it does onall those, and they are many, that have read it—a firmbelief in the justness of your cause, a perfect conviction ofyour honor and integrity, and a lasting impression of thestrength of your mind, and of the soundness of your judgment.Such being the case, I shall feel no hesitation in giving Mr.Elliott a perusal of that document.

As Mr. Watson particularly desired that I would keep as much aspossible in the background, and as I see no probability of theevents in which I feel so much concern being discussed for a longtime. I am determined rather than live at a great expense here,to join my regiment in Spain, and where I am inspired with thehopes of gain.

Iam &c.,

Edward McArthur.

{Page 177}

Chapter VI.


When the 102nd Regiment returned to England from New SouthWales, Colonel Johnston was appointed to the command, and but forhis writing to demand an enquiry it is probable that the affairof Bligh's deposition would have been allowed to sleep.

However, the court-martial resulted in Johnston beingcashiered. Bligh, though afterwards made an Admiral, was neveragain employed in any public capacity.

Macarthur deemed it unwise to return to the Colony without anassurance that the Government would not molest him for the parthe had taken in Bligh's arrest, but this assurance was denied himfor many years.

The story of his exile from his wife, home and threedaughters, Elizabeth, Mary, and Emmeline, is best told in hisletters to his wife, and it is much to be regretted thatMacarthur did not keep the letters she wrote to him during hisabsence from the Colony, for doubtless her able and graphic pengave much detailed information that would have been of interestnow.

Rio Janerio, 22nd July 1809.

My dearest Elizabeth.

I write this to be forwarded to the Cape of Good Hope by a smallSloop, the Master of which has been good enough to promise thathe will either send or cause it to be sent by the first shipbound from that Port to New South Wales.—If it should befortunate enough to arrive before Letters which may be sentdirect from hence it will remove your apprehensions for ourhealth and safety up to this period.—The boys and myselfhave been perfectly well, and were as comfortable while we wereon board the Admiral Gambier as could be expected. Wearrived here on the 12th June and expect to sail for Englandabout the last day of the month, but not on Board the AdmiralGambier.—Mr. Harrison has been involved in suchperplexity about his Contract, and is withall so uncertain acharacter, that Colonel Johnston and myself considered it prudentto secure a passage in the first good ship bound forEngland.—We have therefore embarked on board the LadyWarburton of Liverpool, a fine new ship of 400 tons, wellmanned and armed.—Dr. Jamieson with his friends have takentheirs in the Duke of Kent a small ship belonging toLondon.—Harris remains in the Gambier—andDavidson sometimes talks of going to England and sometimes ofreturning to Port Jackson.—

Your English Letters will I hope have informed you of all Edwardsmotions.—By the greatest chance I met with young King herea midshipman on board the Dianna Frigate, and learnt fromhim that Edward was in the 60th Regiment when they sailed fromEngland.—That he had taken his passage in her some monthsbefore from Vigo to Corunna, and was afterwards seen at Plymouthsafe and in excellent spirits.—Young King informed me thatEdward had been visiting your Mother a few days before he sawhim, and that he learnt she also was well.—He could not saywhether Ned had purchased his Commission or not, nor could hegive me the slightest news respecting our politicalaffairs.—Except that he understood that the New South WalesCorps was to be relieved and that a General Nightingale * hadbeen appointed to the Government.—But not one word did heknow (or if he did would he speak) of the sentiments entertainedby Government respecting the arrest of Mr. Bligh.

We have since seen Admiral De Courcy, whocommands the Squadron on this Station,—but he is equallyunacquainted with what opinions are held by the people in Power:altho' he loudly reprobated the conduct of Bligh—as indeedevery man does who speaks of him.

I shall look forward with impatience to the time when our doubtswill be removed, and we shall know whether we have to bear withpersecution in England, as well as in New South Wales.

Since the Dianna sailed English papers have arrived fromwhich we learn that Lieutenant Colonel McQuarry of the 73rd isappointed Governor and Commander in Chief in New South Wales, andthat he was on the point of embarking with his regiment on boardthe Hindostan and Dromedary—it was supposedthey would touch here.—The paper was dated the 10th of May,so that we may hope to see them before we sail, if we are solucky we shall get all the information we want.

I know a little of Colonel McQuarry, and think him a GentlemanlyMan.

What would I give to know how you all do, particularly our poorElizabeth, but tis vain to wish upon such a subject.

Colonel Johnston is in good health but thinks this opportunity sobad a one that he does not write.

I shall leave letters behind to be taken on by the New Governorin which I shall write more at large.

Remember me to the few friends who may enquire about me, and mostaffectionately to all under our own roof.

God bless and preserve my Dearest Wife

Prays her ever affectionate

John McArthur.

Rio Janerio 30th July 1809.

My dearest Elizabeth.

I have delayed writing this letter until the last in expectationof the arrival of the ships from England with our new Governorand the 73rd who we learn are intended to relieve our oldacquaintance. But unfortunately I am disappointed, and mustsubmit to a state of tormenting suspense until we reachEngland.—Not however to torment you upon a subject, whichjudging from my own feelings must be most painful I have thesatisfaction to say my health was never better, and thank Godboth the Boys are quite as well.

What would I not sacrifice to be assured that you and allthe dear Girls are as well. I have, forwarded two letters to youby the Cape of Good Hope which probably may arrive before Mr.Davidson to whom I entrust this.—How he is to find his wayback to Port Jackson I cannot imagine as it appears Mr. Harrisonhas no means of fulfilling his Contract.

To repeat the various rumours we have heard since our arrivalrespecting the sentiments of Government upon our affairs would beidle, for of the many we have heard, not two agree—If it betrue that Minchin is gone out again you will be sooner and betterinformed upon the subject that we can expect to be until we reachEngland.—And what will perhaps be more pleasing to you andnot much less important you will also learn the destination ofEdward.—In an Army List for May I observe he stands thethird Ensign in the second Battalion of the 60th Regt., It istherefore probable he will soon get a Lieutenancy—Of ourdear John ** I know nothing more, than that he was well in Marchand continuing with Dr. Lindsay.

Uncertain as is the conveyance of letters fromhence, it is necessary I should repeat, that I am embarked onboard the Lady Warburton a fine new ship of 400 tons boundto Liverpool—Johnston accompanies me—Harris proceedsin the Admiral Gambier, and Jamieson in another ship boundto London. We sail tomorrow—the others I am of opinion willnot sail this Month.

As Mr. Davidson has heard all my arrangements here I refer you tohim for information of the difficulties I have had to contendwith in my Mercantile objects, I have also written fully to Mr.Blaxcell by the Cape of Good Hope.

In two months I hope to be in England, and in three months afteron my way back; but however short my stay there may be, or speedythe returning voyage, it will yet be to me a dreary andcomfortless time—I trust in God I shall soon receive anassurance of the perfect recovery of our poor suffererElizabeth.—Both James and William still continue to professa strong attachment to the sea, and I do not take any pains todiscourage it—William has the activity of a Monkey, andsits on a Yard Arm on a Top gallant Mast Head with as muchapparent ease and satisfaction as if he were in an Elbow Chair.Coming on board a few days since I saw him perched aloft like aBird, but before I could ascend the side the Urchin had descendedlike lightening down one of the back stays, and was at the Gangway before me—They have both improved in their writing, andI hope have not forgotten anything they had beforelearnt—James accompanied me yesterday to dine with LordStrangford (from whom I have received very particular attentions)William was also invited, but he has contrived to ornament hiscloaths even too highly for the company of anAmbassador—Every garment he has is covered with Pitch andTar—he will however make a fine daring fellow.

Colonel Johnston is at my elbow complaining of the rheumatism andthe ravages of old age, whilst William is gravely remarking tohim that it is the climate, for he feels his bones ache also. Isaw Young Phillip King here who informed me your Mother was well,and that Edward after his return from Spain had visitedher—No doubt you will receive full and I hope satisfactoryinformation of his adventures and future expectations. I haveseen several Officers here who speak of him very flatteringly,may he continue to deserve the good report of the World and enjoythe good fortune to receive it. When you write my belovedElizabeth omit nothing that relates to yourself—to hearwhat you are doing will be my chief consolation until we meetagain—I most fervently pray that it may be soon, and if itpleases God to restore me to you all, that I may find youin perfect health.

James and William are now asleep in their Cot by myside.—

May God Almighty bless and preserve you all is the unceasingPrayer My Beloved Wife of

Your affectionate Husband

J. McArthur.

London, 28th November 1809.

My Dearest Dearest Elizabeth,

I am most happy and thankful to find a vessel on the point ofsailing for Port Jackson—If her voyage be prosperous thereceipt of this letter will relieve your mind from thoseapprehensions for my safety and that of the dear boys, which haveI fear too powerfully agitated and afflicted the most faithful ofhuman hearts. My letters from Rio Janerio would acquaint you ourvoyage to that Port was not an expeditious one, and that ColonelJohnston and myself were determined on prosecuting the remainingpart on board a Liverpool Ship. In her we had less reason tothink ourselves fortunate than in the Admiral Gambier aswe were twelve weeks before we made the Coast of Ireland, andwere at last obliged, after buffetting about almost a fortnight,to land at Limerick. From that City we proceeded by land to Cork,and embarked from thence for Bristol, which we reached all ingood health on the 9th Ultimo.

As I had apprised Mr. Thompson * of the route we intended topursue, Edward who is stationed at Hereford with a RecruitingParty, hastened to meet me; and I had the satisfaction within anhour after I had set my feet on English ground to see our dearBoy in good health, and infinitely more robust in appearance thanwhen he left us.

There was also a letter from our dear Johnexpressing the utmost impatience to hear of the safety of hisFather and Brothers.

I shall now speak of my own more immediate affairs, and as Igreatly fear some of our good friends will increase yourapprehension by the idle reports of the hostile disposition ofGovernment towards us, let me entreat you my beloved wife tobelieve my solemn assurance, that so far from having anything todread, we have the utmost reason to expect a successfultermination of the business we have undertaken; and that when afull disclosure of the iniquity of our adversaries is made, theywill all be overwhelmed with the contempt and detestation they somuch deserve.

How it might have been had Lord Castlereagh and that NorthernBear Mr. Cook remained in office I cannot say, for certain it isthey had both declared themselves adverse to us; and had theyretained their authority they would have increased ourdifficulties, and perhaps, in the end, have crushed usaltogether.—We ought, therefore, to think ourselves veryfortunate that these men are removed, for from what I hear andknow of their characters, it is not trifles that would deter themfrom executing any plan which they might conceive their interestrequired them to pursue.

On the day of our arrival at Bristol Johnston waited on the Dukeof Northumberland at Clifton (a place contiguous to that City)but found His Grace preparing to set off into Devonshire thefollowing morning—The Duke received him in the kindestmanner and intimated his wish that he would follow him intoDevonshire. As this was not to be neglected Johnston left townlast night: and I hope he will obtain the sanction of His Graceto a Plan which I suggest to hasten an enquiry into our conduct.Perhaps Edward has already informed you how handsomely the Dukeexerted his interest to procure him a Lieutenancy in the 39thRegiment, and that the moment His Grace heard of our arrival atRio, he most obligingly wrote to Edward to congratulate him uponthe news. If I should be so fortunate as to obtain the protectionand good opinion of this Noble Family, my misfortunes may prove asource of advantage to our Children if not to ourselves.

It remains to be ascertained what part my old acquaintance SirWalter will take **—he promises largely and may perhaps bya little management be induced to perform. Mr. Watson received mein the same kind and frank manner I had a right to expect fromhis past friendship—and I have since received repeatedproofs of his goodwill—Lord Camden continues Presidentof the Council—of course I cannot expect to be received byhim until matters are settled, but I have goodreason to think he is well inclined towards me.

Mr. Brogden who you already know is one of theDuke of Northumberland's members, is amongst the forwardest andmost active of our advocates—this Gentleman paid greatattention to Edward after his return and when he left Englandcommenced a correspondence with him, which has continued withoutinterruption, and already produced a Friendship as flattering asit is likely to be beneficial to the Boy—scarcely a weekpasses but Mr. B. writes to him, with as much warmth of affectionas if he were his son, and advises him with as much earnestnessas if his own happiness depended upon his advice beingadopted.—The Duke of Northumberland also spoke of him inwarm terms of praise to Colonel Johnston,—in short heappears to have created friends wherever he has been introduced:who kindly attribute to him the virtues of spirit, temperance,intelligence and a score of other good qualities. Mr. Thompsontold me the other day that he asked an officer of the 60th how heliked him and was answered "who can help liking him, wherever heis known he becomes a Favourite."—To this most gratifyingaccount of our eldest born I can add of my own knowledge, that heis industriously qualifying himself for that Rank in hisProfession which he has the fairest prospects of attaining if itplease God to spare his life.

What would I give to be assured that our poor sufferer Elizabethis to be a participator with you in the pleasure this relationwill give—I fear however too fondly to cherish hope lest ifthe worst should happen I be found entirely unprepared for theevent which I dread—May God mercifully please that yournext Letters may remove my sufferings upon this excruciatingsubject.

December 11th.

When I had concluded the last sentence I felt myspirits too much depressed to proceed and therefore gave up theattempt. Early the following morning I heard the Eolus hadarrived, and in the course of the day Mr. Blair called andassured me Captain Addie had letters from you. About a week afterI received a large packet from Mr. Oxley and Mr. Thompson anotherfrom you (which enclosed the Bills I left you to forward).Happily Oxley's letter contained information that you and all thefamily were well in which all from the spirits in which he writesI must conclude that my dearest Elizabeth is included. I will notattempt to describe because I feel it is impossible how happythis joyful this almost unhoped for and unexpected news has mademe. Poor dear creature I left her under the fullest convictions,that in this world we were never more to meet. Thank God formercifully determining otherwise.

But what can have become of your letter to me, for I cannot doubtyour having written. Perhaps Captain Addie keeps it to deliverhimself, if so, a few days will remove my suspense.—

I must now, my dearest Elizabeth, acquaint you with acircumstance, which, as it may be told to you with aggravatedparticulars it would be improper to attempt to conceal. Let mehowever first assure you that at this moment I am free from allcomplaints, and hope soon to recruit my strength. The evening ofthe day (28th Novr.) I ceased writing I was seized with violentspasms in my side which increased rather than abated in theirviolence until last Friday (three days ago). On the Saturday Ifelt entirely relieved from pain and have continued so ever sinceand I have the satisfaction to add that Sir Walter has assured meI shall be quite myself again in a fortnight provided I amobedient to orders, which you may depend upon it I shall be formany persons sakes. Having now told you the worst that can betold, unless truth be violated, I shall rely upon your nottormenting yourself with needless apprehensions for my safety,and that you will believe me when I declare that I am at thismoment in excellent spirits and altogether without pain ordisease of any kind.

Colonel Johnston has returned from the Duke of Northumberland,with his Grace's opinion respecting our future operations, and hehas gone off to our Solicitor to communicate the Duke's opinion.All I have at present to say on the subject is, that our affairswear a most promising aspect. It is my intention to keep a dailyJournal * which I shall transmit whenever there areopportunities.

Mr. Jamieson arrived a week ago, and Dr. Harrisand Walter Davidson last Friday, they are all well.

Blighs having included W. D.** in the Proclamation appears tohave touched Sir W. to the quick.

It will not surprise you that honest Sam Marsdenhas displayed more than his accustomed activity in propagatingthe most diabolical falsehoods for the purpose of creatingfavourable opinions of the virtues of his friend Bligh and hisparty; whilst on the other hand, he has blackened the characterof myself and the opponents of Bligh by the most scandalousreports, either entirely untrue or exaggerated in that peculiarstyle that he has been so celebrated for in New South Wales. Isend you a review containing a faithful drawn character of theimmaculate priest, and I hope, by the next Ship, to send you somecommentaries upon this most extraordinary text, which will, Ithink, throw additional light, if not lustre, upon the life andconduct of this pious missionary. I declare to God, I think thepeople of England the greatest dupes in the universe.

I am informed a Transport with stores will be ready in threeweeks, by her expect particular details of all we are doing. TheColonel is in high spirits.—

Edward will most probably come to town with James and Williamthis week, as he daily expects an order to join the firstBatallion of his Regiment at Malta. John is now with me in townand I hope soon to be sufficiently disengaged to turn my wholeattention to the consideration of a plan for the completion ofhis education. He is a fine youth, and I trust in God will befortunate but when I contemplate him and observe the tooprominent parts of his character which he derives from a personyou well know he makes me shudder for his safety on the voyage oflife.

He is now 5 feet 9 inches high, and has indications about him ofrising to 6 feet. His person and manners are exceedinglyprepossessing, the latter are indeed as soft and winning as canbe wished, but under this softness I can discover anindescribable fierceness of independence and an obstinacy topursue what he has once determined on, which neither reason nordread of future consequences are likely to operate on him torelax. I wish it were otherwise, for altho' it may lead to muchgood, it is accompanied with too many and too great dangers. Heis apparently possessed with a most excellent constitution. . . ..

I shall expect letters from my dear Elizabeth and Mary by thenext Ships—they can require no assurance of my unalterableaffection—My dear little Emmeline must now be a sweetengaging prattler, give her a hundred kisses for herfather.—

As it is probable that the N.S.W Corps will be gone before thiscan arrive I do not know to whom to desire remembrances to, butif they are not you will have the goodness to use my name notonly to the few friends I have in the Corps but to all out of itto whom it would be proper I should give proofs of respect andregard.—

If Kemp be in the Colony tell him he will receive fullinformation respecting his fathers intentions towards him altho'I have nothing certain to impart at this time.

Colonel Johnston is returned from our Solicitor and on Wednesdaywe commence our legal operations with the aid of some of theablest Counsel in the Kingdom. My little friend, Mr. Williams hasentered into the business with all the spirit and energy Icalculated upon. He is of opinion it will become one of the mostpopular and interesting causes that have come before the publicfor many years. Bligh is now universally execrated, before wearrived he was pitied.

May the Almighty preserve and protect my beloved wife and girlsis the fervent and unceasing prayer. . . .

P.S.—This moment is put into my hands a most kind letterfrom General Grose who is in Ireland. He and Mrs. G. desire to bekindly remembered to you.

By Mr Moore I send a trunk of what I know will be mostacceptable. I hope in six weeks to see your Mother, she isperfectly well.

London 14th Feby. 1810.

My dear dear Elizabeth,

To be provided against any accident which may befal the packet Ipropose to send by the Canada I have requested ColonelJohnston to put this short letter into a trunk that he has hadinterest with the Transport Board to get shipped. I am alsoexerting myself to get a similar indulgence and hope to succeed,but of this more hereafter. A few days after I had despatched myletter by Mr. Burneys ship I had the inexpressible happiness toreceive yours by the Eolus by which I learnt theextraordinary, and by me almost unexpected change that had takenplace in our poor dear Elizabeths health. I trust in God yournext letters will contain tidings of her perfect recovery, aswell as the health of yourself and my dear Mary and Emmeline.Your letters were accompanied by a very long one from Oxley withall the particulars of Blighs proceedings from the period oftheir departure from Port Jackson. The information Oxley giveswill not allow me even to hope that the wretch will quit thecolony until forced, consequently many tedious months must elapsebefore he can arrive in this Country, and until he does not asingle step will be taken in our business. But it is useless torepine, and indeed improper, because an event that I now considerso unfortunate may in the end prove quite the reverse.—

In my former letter I acquainted you that I had just recoveredfrom a most violent cold. A few days after that letter wasdespatched it returned again with renewed violence, and in a veryshort time had so increased as to confine me to my bed.—Thecomplaint continued with but little dimunition for several weeks,but, thank God, I entirely got the better of it more than a weeksince, and I am now recruiting my strength very rapidly. Nextweek I propose going to the hot wells at Bristol, where I shallremain until April. I have been attended to by Sir WalterFarquhar with great care and solicitude, but it is a week sincehe has seen me, and since I have ceased to take any medicine.Having now, my dearest Love, made you acquainted with the realtruth, I entreat you will not suffer yourself to be alarmed withany exaggerated reports that may be circulated in the Colony, forI do in the most solemn manner assure you that I am at thismoment free from all complaint, and sufficiently strong to goabroad, were it not that I should consider it imprudent to exposemyself to any hazard of a second relapse.

Edward was with me all last week and left me only three days agohe is at present quartered at Winchester with a party of hisRegiment, who are under orders to join the 1st Battalion atMalta, but it is extremely uncertain when they will go. He is inhigh health and spirits. I wrote to him last night to send up hisletters for N.S.Wales and no doubt shall get them in time toforward with my own.

John has been at the University at Glasgow for a month. Heexpresses himself to be pleased with his situation, and I haveevery reason to hope that he will prosecute his studiesdiligently. He resides in the house of a clergyman of greatrespectability. I heard from him last week, he was perfectly welland spoke of sending up a packet for you, but I am fearful itwill be too late. William and James, or I should have said Jamesand William are both at Dr. Lindsays. Edward saw them on Fridayboth well and perfectly content with their situation.

Edward received a letter from your Mother last week, she was thenin good health as was your sister. A Madras paper has beenreceived here which speaks of the arrival of the Elizabethat Canton but I have not heard from Hannibal.

No notice whatever has been taken by Government of our affairs,but I have the satisfaction to know that our friends have notbeen idle since our arrival, and that Mr. Blighs party areextremely crest fallen. I had a visit three days ago from Mr.Elliott (Lord Minto's brother) and in speaking of the arrest ofBligh he said "I have the pleasure to assure you that only oneopinion now prevails on this subject—It is universallyacknowledged that the measure was indispensible for thepreservation of everything worth saving in the Colony, and altho'you have been much misrepresented, its effects have subsided, andyour conduct is a subject of much praise."

Thus you see my beloved Wife that the painful separation to whichwe have been obliged to submit may produce consequencesfavourable both to ourselves and our children.

I hope Colonel MacQuarrie has arrived safe amongst you longbefore this. If he prove on trial at all equal to the universalcharacter he has here, his Government cannot but prove a blessingto the Colony. Circumstanced as you are, and strongly recommendedas you have been to the kind notice and favour of the Colonel andMrs. MacQuarrie, I cannot entertain the slightest apprehension ofyour not deriving happiness and increased security from thechange. What would I not sacrifice to know the exact state ofthings amongst you, but it is unavailing to indulge such an idea.. . . .

Bath 3rd May 1810.

My beloved Elizabeth,

I have not words to describe to you the happiness andgratification I felt at the receipt of your letters of the 13thof last October, brought on I understand to Rio in the MaryAnn, and forwarded from thence by the Elizabeth,Man-of-War. They found me here endeavouring to recruit my healthand spirits, but though the former is pretty well restored, Ifound it altogether impracticable to shake off a gloom which hadcontinued to increase upon me ever since the arrival of theletter you sent by way of India, wherein you expressed yourapprehensions that our sweet girl would never recover the use ofher limbs again. It shocked me more than any other tidings of thedear sufferer possibly could have done, for life under suchdeplorable circumstances could confer no pleasure, and must, inmy opinion, be an unceasing burthen to the afflicted object.Judge then what must have been, and what are still, my feelingsat reading the almost unhoped for news of the favourable changewhich has taken place in the health of my beloved girl.—Theday after I received your letters, Mr. Redfern's nephew came overfrom Trowbridge, kindly sent by his father, with a letter fromMr. Redfern to me, in which your account of the dear girl'sprogressive recovery is most fully and pleasingly confirmed. Ithink I need not tell you, that if I had as much power as I haveinclination, Mr. Redfern's reward for the service he has renderedElizabeth should be as great as the skill he has manifested indiscovering and applying an efficacious remedy to herextraordinary disease.—I hope he will be informed that nopains were spared on my part to ascertain how far it might bepracticable to obtain a confirmation of his appointment, and Ibeg to assure him that whenever Mr. Bligh's affair is settled,whatever little interest I may have shall be exerted in hisfavour.—

I sent a packet to town by the coach this morning containingProtested Bills, Letters etc. accompanied by a memorandum, whichwill, I hope, be sufficient to explain to you the mode I thinkmost advisable to be pursued to collect together the large sumsdue upon them. Whether I shall be able to recover anything fromBlaxland on the draft you enclosed a copy of in your last letteris very doubtful. I must, however, try what can be done. I havereceived letters from Hannibal, dated 30th September from Canton.He had disposed of the Elizabeth and her Cargo, but at solow a rate as will leave him a vast sum short of our sanguinecalculations. He does not say what is the cause of soextraordinary a depreciation in the price of sandal wood. Isuppose it must be occasioned by the immense quantities of thatcommodity lately sent to that market.—In the packet I senttoday is a copy of Hannibal's account for Mr. Blaxcell, with anestimate of the amount he will most probably remain debtor to me,even tho' I should safely receive remittances for the sandal-woodsent in the Wellesley and by the American brig fromRio de Janerio. You will of course urge him to pay what he can inliquidation of the heavy balance against him, and, at all events,to give an obligation to pay interest for what he cannot pay, asit cannot be expected that I can afford to suffer for anotherperson to carry on trade with my money, while I am deprived ofall benefit from it myself.

I entreat you not to let these adverse circumstances prey uponyour spirits, they cannot be helped, and repining may increase,but will not repair, the evil.

If you get my letters by the Canada you will learn thatEdward sailed from Portsmouth in March to join his Regiment atMalta—he was in excellent spirits, and highly elated at theflattering reception he has met from many respectablecharacters,—There can be no fear of his doing well for abetter disposed youth does not exist.

John affords a prospect of equal success in the line he haschosen—altho' he has been only three months at theUniversity—he has obtained the Fourth Prize amongst 400candidates for his Greek exercises—You will find a letterin the packet from a Mr. Young respecting him—He is a Greekprofessor and is said to be the ablest man at the University ofGlasgow—I have heard that John has recommended himself verymuch to his favour since the letter was written.—I heardJames and William were well on Easter Monday and spent two daysin Castle Street with Miss Thompson—they are very diligentgood boys, and great favourites with Dr. Lindsay—My worthyold friends Mr. and Mrs. Thompson are here with me, and desiretheir affectionate remembrances to you and Elizabeth; at whoserecovery they rejoice as much as if she were their owndaughter.—I have been induced to try the air of this Cityin hopes of shaking off' a terrible nervous affection that hasassailed me more or less since I got the better of the severecold that confined me so long in the Winter—But I do notderive so much benefit from living here as I expected andtherefore I shall remove in a day or two to Cheltenham to try theeffects of the Mineral Waters, for which that place iscelebrated.

. . . . I am sorry Mr. Wentworth has omitted to send positiveinstructions for the disposal of his son.*—Mr. Cookney isvery anxious what he wishes to have done with him, and it is hightime something should be determined upon—He is a verypleasing Lad.

I cannot give you the slightest informationrespecting our more important business—Government areperfectly silent upon the subject—and the colony and itsaffairs appear to be as little thought of as if it had noexistence, I unceasingly pray for the arrival of Bligh, but Ifear we shall not see him until the time of the return of theRegiment—Many people are of opinion he will neverreturn—-but that is absurd—for where can he hidehimself—How thankful should I be if the business weresettled; for to live in such a state of suspense isdreadful—Nothing can I arrange, nor form any fixed planrespecting my return to you my dearest Elizabeth, and my darlingGirls. You will learn from the Newspapers that the Publick Mindis very far from being tranquil in this country.—Many areof opinion that a Revolution is unavoidable, and cannot be longprotracted.—In such a state of things it would be weakindeed to expect that the affairs of our insignificant Colonyshould create much interest. No man thinks of anothers safetywhen his own house is burning.—I left Johnston a monthago—he was then well; but I fear the losses at which youhint will affect him severely—He does bear misfortunes ofthis nature with much equanimity.—I ought to have had aletter from John to forward with this, but I fear it will be toolate for the Ship.—Davidson is in Scotland with hisFather.

I hope Colonel Macquarrie's arrival will have produced somebeneficial changes in the Colony—What his instructions wereare kept a profound secret—It is however understood here,that they were not at all favourable to any one concerned in Mr.Bligh's arrest.—The precedent is not liked, for menin power prefer unlimited authority over those theygovern.—We may think ourselves fortunate Mr. Cook is out ofoffice, for, had he remained in authority his arbitraryprinciples would have made him extremely active in support ofBligh—Sir Joseph Banks still continues to advocate hisfriends cause, and speaks of him as a much injured meritoriouscharacter—fortunately no one believes him.—We shallbe looking out about the beginning of July for the 102nd, what abustle their removal must have created. It is a happy event forthe Colony for a more improper set of men could not be collectedtogether than they have lately become.

Let not my dear Mary imagine I have forgotten her. because I haveomitted her name until now—she and all of you arecontinually in my thoughts, and my prayers are almost unceasinglyaddressed to Almighty God for your health andhappiness—Kiss my sweet cherub Emmeline and teach her tolove me. God Almighty Bless

You my beloved Wife.—

John McArthur.

London 20th July 1810.

My Beloved Wife,

I am sure it will give you great pleasure to hear that Hannibalhas arrived safely in this country. He landed at Liverpool thelatter end of last month, and proceeded immediately to join mehere. My former letters will have prepared your mind to bear thedisappointment of our expectations of advantage from thatadventure. After settling his accounts with me he left London tovisit his father at Plymouth, and he still remains there. It ismy intention to hurry him back to you immediately after thearrival of the next ships from Port Jackson, and I hope I shallreceive some letters from you by them, with such information aswill enable me to form some determinate plan.

I enclose you herewith a bundle of accounts for Mr. Blaxcell,which will give him every necessary information of the results ofour unfortunate speculations in sandal-wood.—I have not yetgot the Dart's accounts settled, but there will be aconsiderable loss on his adventure.

Tell Mr. Blaxcell I am much chagrined and disappointed that hedoes not write to me, as I fully expected he would have beenmindful of his promise to do so. I hope he has sold out my sharein the Favourite, as I instructed him before I sailed, andaccounted with you for it.

Mr. John Blaxland has positively refused to pay me the £630without I produce the original draft, and I find I cannot compelhim while that draft is in existence. I have, however, caused himto be arrested, and he has been obliged to give bail. When thetime of trial comes on, I must present an affidavit to the Courtstating every particular of the transaction between us, andpraying time to be allowed to produce the original bill. MyAttorney assures me that will certainly be granted, and that byadopting this plan I shall have two good bondsmen to look to formy money, if he should be incapable of paying, or should theoriginal bill be lost in coming home, attested copies will thenbe considered good evidence.—I have, therefore, written aletter to you, expressly on this subject, and I have sent you acopy of his letter to my attorney, that you may show the friendsof Messrs. Blaxlands how much their testimony is worth in a Courtof Justice. You will recollect Gregory swore that his brothertold him he had paid the draft, and in the letter to my attorneyJohn says he thinks it probable his brother has made somearrangement to pay it, as he had written to him on thesubject.—When you send the attested copies of the draft andprotest, send with them a copy of the letter you write with theoriginals, for should the originals be lost, it will be necessaryto prove by what ship they were sent, at what time, and everyother particular.

I hope you have received the protested bills I sent you by theCanada etc. etc. safe—Sloans for £150 endorsed byLord, Kables for £100—, Kables for £672—of which£340—8—3 had been paid, leaving a balance of£331—11—9 with interest and expenses to be received.I now send you the second of Kables £1665—6—0endorsed by Lord, which there is no chance of getting paid inthis country, for they are all over head and ears in debt. Theaccompanying copies of Letter of advice from Lord to Messrs.Plummer & Co., and of their letter to me, will prove that thedraft has been kept back at the request of Lord, by which means,if you have not already, on the receipt of the first bill by theFrederick, taken steps, you will be enabled to prosecuteeither the Drawer or the Endorser, as may appear to you mostprudent. I am sensible, my dearest Elizabeth, how hard a tasknecessity obliges me to impose upon you, and believe me howeverpainful it may be to you I bear my full share of the evil when Ireflect, as indeed I am constantly doing, upon your situation. Ido not doubt but Mr. Best will lessen your difficulties all inhis power, and whatever may be the result, I shall be satisfiedyou have acted for the best.—But do not compromise with theunprincipled knaves, for depend upon it their circumstances willbecome more desperate every day.—

Remember me very kindly to Mr. Wentworth, and tell him that Ihave urged; everything I could think of as likely to induce LordFitzwilliam to get an appointment for his son in the Company'sservice or into the Academy at Woolwich. His Lordship really hasno interest with the present men, or I am sure he would exert it.I have therefore agreed with Mr. Cookney that there is nothingelse to be done but to send him out by the first goodopportunity. Most probably he will come with Hannibal.

Inform Mr. Redfearn that nothing can be done in his businesshere, but everything must depend on the report of ColonelMacquarrie. Let him know I saw his brother and nephew atTrowbridge, and that I shall feel the greatest pleasure if itshould be in my power to aid their exertions to serve him.

For the present, my dearest, best belovedElizabeth



3rd August 1810.

My Beloved Elizabeth,

I begin now to console myself with hopes that a very little timewill announce the arrival of the ships with the 102nd and Mr.Bligh, and that at the same time I shall get letters fromyou—God grant that they may contain a confirmation of thealmost unexpected recovery of my dear Elizabeth. But for thathappy event, I should have spent many a lonely and melancholyhour oppressed by apprehensions for her safety; and anticipatingwith dread the probable effect which a fatal termination of hercomplaint might produce on your spirits and health.

The accompanying letters from Edward and John will set your heartat ease respecting them.

Yesterday Mr. Thompson received a letter from Edward dated 12thJuly advising of his having drawn a small draft, and informinghim that he then remained at Gibralta waiting the arrival of theBattalion of the 39th to which he is attached, on their way fromMalta to Cadiz. This was altogether an unexpected circumstance tome, as not the slightest hint had transpired here that theirremoval was intended. He promises to write to me from Cadiz, andit is by no means improbable I may get his letters in time tosend with this. He writes to Mr. Thompson in excellent spirits. Imust now look about and endeavour to procure introductions forhim to some of the General Officers serving there—luckilythere is one old friend of mine, a Colonel MacDonald, who has theappointment of Adjutant General, to whom Ned is well known, andwho, I am sure, will feel pleasure in bringing him forward if itbe in his power.

The most sanguine expectations are entertained here that theFrench will not succeed in their attack on Cadiz, and it iscertain that our Government are determined to give every supportand assistance. Perhaps fortune may give our dear boy anopportunity to distinguish himself, and I am confident, if it bein his power, he will not neglect it.—

John is assiduously prosecuting his studies, and had the goodfortune to obtain a publick mark of approbation of his goodconduct and talents when he had not been more than three monthsat the College.—I enclose you the newspaper containing theaccount of it. Your own feelings will enable you to conceive whatpleasure I felt upon hearing it.—Dr. Lindsay who has latelybeen in Scotland and visited John, tells me that he has one PrizeEssay finished, and a second in a forward state that will do himgreat credit at the next Examination. He is, thank God, a welldisposed excellent boy. . . . .

. . . . is just starting in the Mercantile Line, and if goodsense and prudence can ensure success will do very well, but thetimes are frightfully hazardous. Scarce a day passes without thefailure of some eminent Merchant or Banker, insomuch that menbegin to withdraw their confidence from their nearest connexions,and almost universal distrust and alarm prevails. There is,however, no diminution of luxury and expense, altho' every onereadily admits that nine out of ten are spending more than theycan afford.—But I am suffering my apprehensions for othersto make me forget that you will be better pleased I should speakof myself.—

The complaint on my lungs from which I have suffered so much isnow entirely gone, and my appearance is so much improved, that noone would imagine I suffered from any disease. I have stillhowever continual slight attacks of the liver accompanied by theold plague obstinate indigestion. For six months I have dranknothing but water, and for the last three weeks I have eatennothing but Bread and Milk. Fruit and Vegetables, since I haveadopted this regimen I have been so much better that I begin tobe persuaded I shall regain perfect health by persevering in it.For my breakfast I eat Bread and Milk my dinner consists of BreadPotatoes and sometimes ripe currants or gooseberries. I drink noTea, but when at home a basin of milk, in company I never deviatefrom my system, and on no consideration ever touch Beer, Wine orSpirits. I take a great deal of exercise, and do it withoutfeeling fatigue, whereas whilst I eat animal food, and tookmedicine (as I was obliged to do to promote digestion) a walk oftwo miles was the utmost I could perform.

Be assured, my dearest Elizabeth, that this is a faithfulstatement, and believe me when I tell you, that I entertain themost undoubting confidence of returning to you in better healththan I have enjoyed for many years.—

If your next letters bring me as good tidings of yourself, mydear Elizabeth, Mary and Emmeline, it will make me mosthappy—Often in my walks about the pleasant Commons andRoads, of which there are so many in this neighbourhood, do Ithink of your probable employments, and calculate the differenceof time. When I come home at about 10 o'clock I suppose you areseated at your breakfast table, and pray God that you may beenjoying your repast in happiness, and in health. At my ownbreakfast hour I picture you all seated round a cheerful fire,sipping your tea, and when I think of the immense space thatseparates us, and the labours I have to perform before I can fleeto you, my philosophy is scarcely sufficient to enable me to bearmy hard hard fate without desponding. Had I some employment tooccupy my time my situation would be less painful, but I have notthe slightest occupation, and my spirits are too much oppressedto enable me to find any relief from the amusements that usedformerly to give me the greatest pleasure. Yesterday I had anunexpected gratification from the sight of a newspaper. Itcontained a long list of naval promotions including the names ofmany junior Officers to Bligh, who are promoted to be Admirals.This seems to confirm the reports of my friends, that Governmentview his conduct as it deserves, and that when he does arrive, wemay expect something like justice, and an impartial hearing.Would to God the time were come, for I am weary of doubt andanticipation. . . . .

I enclose you now an old letter from Mary Anne Thompson that Ifound in a packet for me that Mr. Wilson had neglected toforward. Poor man, I fear his Botany Bay adventures willterminate most adversely. Do not let this go any further, becauseby credit he may sustain himself and fortune may cease to frown.. . . .

I have seen nothing of Mrs. King for many months. The last time Icalled she was absent from town. As she lives on the veryopposite side of London close to Portland Road (where we lodged)the distance is too great to repeat my visits often.—Mrs.Thompson saw her about a week ago, and as she expressed anearnest wish to see the boys, I had engaged that they shouldspend the last three days of their holidays with Mrs. Thompson,and go with her to visit Mrs. King, but this has been preventedfrom taking place, by one of Mrs. Thompsons servants taking themeasles, and as neither of the boys have as yet had that disease,I did not choose to expose them to the risk of catching it atthis warm season of the year.—I am told Mrs. King isdetermined on returning to New South Wales. Poor woman, she mustfeel most sensibly the change of situations. She often meets Mrs.Thompson at the oculists for she also complains of her eyes. Thegirls are I hear all well and little Mary was, when I saw her amost beautiful child, and I am told continues so.—

I was exceedingly pleased to learn that you had nearly got thekitchen finished and much gratified, as you may suppose, at yourdetails of your improvements, and your report of the prosperousstate of all the stock.

I am perfectly aware, my beloved wife, of the difficulties youhave to contend with, and fully convinced that not one woman in athousand, (no one that I know) would have resolution andperseverance to contend with them at all, much more to surmountthem in the manner that you have so happily done. That I amgrateful and delighted with your conduct I think it is needlessfor me to say, because the consciousness you must feel howimpossible it is, that such exemplary goodness can have failed toproduce that effect, must convince you I am so, more certainlythan any assurance that can be given. May God Almighty reward youboth in this world and the next, and may the remainder of yourlife be free from those cruel cares and sorrows that havechequered so many of the last ten years.

If Colonel Macquarrie has arrived safe you are now freed from allfurther apprehensions of hostile attempts from that unprincipledman Mr. Foveaux, who, if he has not made any direct attempt todisturb you, has I am sure been deterred by nothing but shame andfear. I hope the Colonel will find his Government as agreeable tohimself as I am persuaded it will prove beneficial to the Colony.Every person that I have heard speak of him concurs in giving himthe highest character, and those who know him best, say, that ifit be possible to advance the interests of the Colony and toimprove the morals of the Colonists there is no man living morelikely to accomplish it than Colonel Macquarrie. I am impatientto see the changes such a man will make amongst the wretches whohave so long insulted every honourable and virtuous feeling bythe unblushing display and avowal of infamy and vice, and mostsincerely do I pray that he may speedily detect thatarch-hypocrite Marsden, who certainly has done more mischief inthat settlement than anyone of the worthless characters who havehad an influence in the direction of publick affairs.

I have lately heard your mother and sister are well, and I shalldirect Hannibal to pay your mother a visit before he leavesDevonshire. You know it was my intention to have done so myself,but my health prevented me for a long time, and the accountsHannibal has brought me, united with other disappointments, determe from incurring any expense that I can avoid.—

To my dearest girls say everything that can assure them of myunabated affection. God Almighty bless you both and them is thealmost incessant prayer.

My beloved Elizabeth of your affectionate

John McArthur.

Newport Isle of Wight.

4th Septr. 1810.

My dear Elizabeth,

Having nothing to do in London and hearing Major Geils of the73rd was waiting here with Mrs. Geils and his Family to embark onboard the Providence, I determined about a week since tovisit this Island, and introduce myself to them: well knowing howmuch satisfied you will feel to receive assurances from persons,who have seen me, that I am in good health. In pursuance of thisidea I came hither, and have been very politely received by theMajor and Mrs. Geils, who have undertaken to deliver you thisLetter. Mrs. Geils has also taken into her care two small Boxescontaining Millinery for yourself and the dear Girls. CaptainBarclay of the Providence has also a large Packet ofletters for you, and a Box of Linens and assortednecessaries.—They were put up in haste but I hope they willprove acceptable.

The little I have seen of Major and Mrs. Geils convinces me theywill prove a valuable acquisition to the Society of New SouthWales; and should they be stationed in your neighbourhood, youwill certainly receive great pleasure from cultivating Mrs.Geil's acquaintance—They have six children who they takewith them—I have ventured to promise that you will on theirarrival pay them all the attention in your power, and give themevery information they may stand in need of respecting theColony. . . . .

Bligh arrived in England in October, 1810. On the 16thNovember of the same year Johnston wrote to Lord Liverpool andthen applied for permission to remain in London, which wasrefused him.

London 11th Novr. 1810.

My beloved Wife,

The unexpected detention of the Providence at Cork happilyaffords me an opportunity of acknowledging the receipt of yourseveral Letters and their enclosures by Colonel Foveaux and Mr.Oxley but I am in too much bustle to write at much length. Is itnecessary I should say how happy your and the dear Girls' Lettershave made me?—it cannot be, for an affection like mine musthave displayed itself in so, many unequivocal substantive actsthat professions would be absurd—The moment I heard of thearrival of the Ships I hastened to Portsmouth and had thepleasure to find Oxley and Porteous perfectly well, and to hearfrom them the interesting event that had taken place in yourlittle Society, before their departure from amongst you. Ireturned to Town yesterday bringing under my escort Mrs.Paterson, who appears to be grateful for this mark ofattention—you know I sometimes like to return disobligingacts this way—she is in good health and excellentspirits—there can be little reason to doubt her recoveringfrom Government an allowance or a sum equivalent to the value ofthe Old Colonels Commission—You will not be surprised athis Death. God pardon his errors and the ills he suffered himselfto be made instrumental in heaping upon my head. I feelconfident, my dearest Elizabeth, that you act with youraccustomed prudence, and preserve a guarded silence on themeasures of your new Governor. Be patient, and all, will bewell,—for I have found a powerful body of Friends in thisCountry, who are not only able but willing to give me theirsupport to my endeavours to obtain satisfaction for the past andsecurity for the future, depend upon it, the Colonywill soon undergo a radical reform. I think I shall beobliged to procure a seat in Parliament—the expense will begreat—but the prospect of the benefit from it is stillgreater—We must therefore be very economical in every otherexpenditure—and you must exert yourself to remit meall you can—Do not sell any Estate nor any part of thebreeding stock that it would be desirable to keep—send homeby every opportunity what Wool, you can—and let the mostwatchful attention be paid to improve the Flocks upon the Plan Irecommended to you. . . . In a few days I commence my operationsagainst Mr. Bligh—My damages will be laid at Twentythousand Pounds. Unhappy miscreant his name is never mentioned inthis Country but with execration. The Navy as you would naturallyexpect are very clamorous for his punishment. Johnston is in goodhealth and excellent spirits. When Foveaux arrived I caused himto be told that no explanation could ever alter my opinion ofcertain transactions in N.S. Wales therefore it would be betternot to make the attempt—but that I considered myselfembarked in a common cause with him and on that account shouldsubdue all personal resentments—we soon after met, and withgreat apparent cordiality, and I think with real satisfaction onhis part———Foveaux appeared as much pleased asastonished—When shall I be known?

Edward sailed from Gibralter to join his Regt. in Sicily aboutthe 12th of August God Almighty bless and protect my beloved wifePrays her ever affectionate Husband

John McArthur.

Walter Davidson is in Scotland but will mostlikely go out with Hannibal. Be careful of the SpanishSheep and let no pains be spared in culling the Flocks. You havenever sent me a return of Stock since I left home!!!. . . . Sendme what Bird skins and seeds you can collect not Gaudy Commonbirds but plain Birds from the Mountains.

London December 5th 1810.

I have this moment heard that there is a chancethat a letter may reach the Providence before she sails. Itherefore send a few lines at all hazards, and as I am uncertainabout a Frank I write in this manner to save postage. The printedLetter will explain as much as a volume could do. ColonelJohnston as you will see has been ordered to join and is now(although a proclaimed mutineer) commanding His Majesty's 102ndRegt.: this does not much accord with the opinions which we hearhave been circulated but there is a time for all things. I amcontinually engaged from morning until night with my lawyers inarranging the plan of a formidable attack upon Mr. Bligh. ThankGod (and bread and water) I never was in better health andspirits. Three days ago I received a letter from Edward dated the22nd September, he had landed in Sicily and joined his Regimentthe day before. He was quite well and highly gratified at hisreception with the Regiment. He has excellent introductions tothe different General Officers. In September next he will get aCompany. John was well on the 1st of this month. On the same dayI received a letter acknowledging the receipt of yours from yourold friend Colonel Campbell in which was the following paragraph:"I had the pleasure of seeing your son two days since, he is oneof the finest young fellows I ever met with, every one loves andrespects him, his abilities are great and his manner mostengaging." Are you not proud of your boy? James and William arealso well, tomorrow they come home to get measured for someHoliday Clothes, they are both wonderfully grown and what isbetter are making rapid progress in their education, they arereading Virgil. Ten thousand, thousand blessings on you and thedear Girls is the reiterated prayer of
Your ever affectionate Husband.

(Enclosure 1.)

40 Leicester Square.

Nov. 16th 1810.

My Lord,

Twelve months have elapsed since I had the honor of reporting myarrival in this country to your Lordship; and nearly one monthsince the arrival of Captain Bligh, the late Governor of NewSouth Wales. I therefore trust it will not appear to yourLordship that I am actuated by impatience; or any impropermotive, in now earnestly soliciting the favor of information fromyour Lordship whether I am still to consider myself sounfortunate as to remain under the displeasure of Government, (asI had the inexpressible mortification to see declared in GovernorMacquarie's proclamation) or, whether the evidence transmitted toyour Lordship's immediate predecessor, and the subsequentapproval of my conduct with the continuance of the arrest ofGovernor Bligh by Lieut. Colonel Foveaux, and the late ColonelPaterson, (both of them my superior officers) has convinced yourLordship that I had no alternative but the measure I adopted topreserve His Majesty's Government from the dishonour of a popularInsurrection, and the Colony from all the horrors which wouldhave inevitably resulted from the success, or failure, of such anattempt.

From your Lordship's enlightened mind, I feel secure of justiceand perfectly confident that in forming your decision, yourLordship will view, and without prejudice appreciate thedifficulty and perplexity of the situation in which I was placed,by the extraordinary conduct of Governor Bligh. On the one handthe Governor evincing a total disregard of the sacred functionsof his office to administer justice in mercy; and unmindful ofthe dignity of his gracious master whom he represented, violatingprivate property and forcibly seizing the houses and lands of thecolonists, without even a colourable pretext:—arrestingtheir persons without the sanction of law orequity—threatening the Magistrates if they presumed toacknowledge any law but his will;—and either over-aweing,or attempting to over-awe, the supreme court of jurisdiction withan accusation of high treason, for no other cause than that theyhad declined to become servile instruments of his tyranny. On theother hand an enraged and indignant population urgently, almostclamourously, calling upon me for relief—Civil officers andinhabitants, military officers and soldiers, all uniting with onevoice in urging me to rescue them from the common oppressor andthe wretched associates under whose advice he was known toact.

It has, I have been told, my Lord, been said it was my duty tohave supported the Governor; but I feel assured your Lordshipwill think differently.—I might have participated in hisdisgrace, but to have maintained his authority would have been avain and fruitless attempt.

Not to trespass too much on your Lordship's time, I will only begleave to say, that I am prepared and certainly feel most anxiousto be allowed to exhibit proof of the high crimes andmisdemeanours committed by Governor Bligh, whilst he commanded inNew South Wales.

I am ready to produce incontestible evidence of his tyranny andoppression of the people he was sent to govern;—of grossfrauds and shameful robberies committed upon the public propertyentrusted to his care; and lastly I will prove, that he has beenguilty of heretofore unheard of and disgraceful cowardice.

I have the honour to be,

My Lord,

Your Lordship's most humble servant

George Johnston,

B. Lieut. Colonel102nd Regiment.

To the Right Honorable the Earl of Liverpool,etc., etc.

(Enclosure No. 2.)

London. November 21st 1810.


Having every reason to expect an enquiry will immediately takeplace relative to Captain Bligh, the late Governor of New SouthWales, and myself have to request permission to remain in Londonin order that I may be ready to substantiate the charges, I havedesired permission to prefer against him in my letter to theRight Honorable, The Earl of Liverpool.

I have the honour to be,

Yours etc., etc.,

George Johnston,

B.Lt. Col. 102nd Foot.

The Adjutant General of the Forces.

(Enclosure No. 3.)

Horse Guards.

22nd Nov. 1810.


I have had the honour to lay before the Commander-in-Chief yourletter of the 21st Instant and am directed to acquaint you thatthe Commander in Chief is of opinion that the vicinity of theQuarters of the 102nd Regiment to London will enable you toattend to the business stated in your letter without interferringwith your performance of Regimental Duty.

I have the honour to be,

Sir, etc., etc.

Hy. Calvert. A.G.

Lt. Col. Johnston.
102nd Regiment.

London, 6th April 1811.

I have postponed writing my beloved Wife, untilI am fearful of doing it any longer lest the Ships should sail,hoping that I should have it in my power to give you someinformation of the probable result of the arduous and unfortunatebusiness which has torn me from my home.—But altho' I havebeen led to expect for near a month past that Colonel Johnstonwould be immediately brought to Trial, it is not yetdone.—We have however been told by the Deputy JudgeAdvocate that a Warrant for the Trial has been before the PrinceRegent several days, and that when it is signed a day for theTrial will be fixed; and the Colonel will at the same time befurnished with a copy of the Charges.—I cannot however hopethat the Ships will be detained long enough to give me anopportunity to convey to you the long expected and to usimportant issue of the Trial—That I am anxious—deeplyanxious I am sure I need not tell you; and I feel that anxietyincreased, by the apprehension, that you my beloved Elizabeth aresuffering more keenly from the same cause.—Would to God theaffair were terminated, for such a state of suspense is moretormenting than the worst that could happen.—

I shall despatch by the Coach to night a large Packet of Lettersmany of them from our dear Boys Edward and John, with directionsto my Agent at Portsmouth to put them on board the AdmiralGambier with this.—The information they contain oftheir health and other particulars will I know afford you and thedear Girls much heart felt joy—'I expect Letters every dayfrom Edward, as I have received information from the Officershere that his Regiment was some months ago ordered to leaveSicily and to proceed to Portugal to reinforce Lord Wellington'sArmy.—But they will come too late to' share in the honor ofdriving the French from that Country, accounts having beenreceived to day, that they were retreating in the greatestconfusion with our Army at their Heels. This news has diffused analmost universal joy over the Town.—I say almost universalfor to own the truth my own untoward affairs occupy so much of myattention, that publick events have a small share of myconsideration. . . . .

Your, and the dear Girls' welcome Letters by the Porpoiseand Concord all arrived safe—the Bills were allright and were all good. I trust in God your next willcontain a continuance of the same good accounts of your ownhealth, and of the complete recovery of my beloved Girl.—Ineed not add that in my Prayers for your and Elizabeth's health,dear Mary and my sweet Emmeline are not forgotten.—Dearlybeloved Beings when shall I see and embrace you allagain.—My own health with the exception of an excessivenervousness, which all my rigid temperance does not enable me toovercome. I have the pleasure to assure you is very good: and Ientertain hopes when I have done with Mr. Bligh, and my mind is alittle tranquillised I shall have no exceptions tomake.—

Hannibal's Letters will acquaint you he is in London looking outfor a small vessel in which I propose to despatch him with anadventure of Wines Porter &c.—I hope I shall be able todespatch him in about a month or six weeks—He is quitewell, and left your Mother so about three weeks since but of hisvisit to them he will give you the particulars himself.—Ihope you got the supply of articles safe which I sent you in theProvidence in the care of Major Geils—I haveeverything provided which I think you can want to send byHannibal—I am anxiously looking out for arrivals, and am asyou will suppose anxious to learn what you have been enabled todo towards recovering the money from Lord Kable andUnderwood.—I much fear you must have had more trouble thanI could wish should perplex you—Hannibal will bring withhim accounts and Letters to Mr. Blaxcell that will I hope enablehim to settle everything with him to our mutualsatisfaction—Poor old Jamieson died last Winter—hehad never been in health from the time of his arrival in England.In speaking of his death I am unpleasantly reminded of thenecessity I am under to acquaint you of the death of anotherperson,—in whose life as I was most interested I have hadthe more reason to deplore his sudden removal from thisWorld.—You my beloved Wife and my dear Girl Elizabeth willboth feel the sincerest sorrow when you are acquainted that it ismy worthy old Friend Thompson to whom I allude—He died onthe 11th of last January after an illness of a fewdays—Poor old Man—'He was a friend whose loss I shallnot easily supply. Mrs. Thompson, Mrs. Plummer Mrs. E. Lee Mrs.Thomas Thompson, and Mr. and Mrs. W. Thompson and their childrenare all well, and much gratified at Elizabeths Letters—theywill answer by Hannibal—she ought to write to Mrs. ThomasThompson whose great attention to her when in England she cannothave forgotten. It is impossible to express the obligations I oweto almost every individual of this family for their attentions tome.—Oxley will no doubt write you what his plans andexpectations are; but I am sorry to say that I am not so sanguineas he is inclined to be.—I am apprehensive he has butlittle chance of procuring a Civil appointment in the Colony; andno intention is at present entertained of sending out New KingsShips,—Capt. Porteous I have seen but seldom since hisreturn, and of late I have scarcely heard of him—Men feelvery differently towards each other in this bustling place towhat they do in the solitude of N.S. Wales.

It gave me great pleasure to hear you had returned toParramatta—All your arrangements have my perfectapprobation but how does it happen that you have never once sentme a return of the Stock?

Your accounts of Colonial Affairs have given me greatsatisfaction in some points and equal pain and surprise inothers—if the cause of the latter sensation be not removedlong ere this I greatly fear New South Wales will be acomfortless abode for me.—Your next Letters will I hoperemove my apprehensions God grant they may, for altho' there aremany difficulties to contend with there, there are not fewerhere, as some of our unfortunate friends, who have returned homehave long since discovered. Every necessary of Life is soadvanced and the expenses and Taxes of every kind are so heavythat I do not think it would be possible for you and I and thethree Girls to live in this Country in any kind of respectabilityand yet with the most rigid economy, under £800 aYear.—

The expenses of the Boys must be set down at £500 more and I fearafter the unfortunate winding up of my late MercantileSpeculation, we should not find it very easy to realise an annualincome of £1300 or 1400.—But on this more in my Letters byHannibal.—. . . .

Clapham, 21st April 1811.

My dearest best beloved Elizabeth.

Your two welcome Packets forwarded in Mr. Wilson's Box weredelivered to me yesterday, and late last night I fortunatelyheard that the Gambier is still detained at Portsmouth. Itis now Sunday consequently no Post goes out, but as I am anxiousto acknowledge the receipt of your Letters, I sit down andprepare to forward this by the Coach to night, in hopes my Agentmay get it in time to put on board the Gambier.—Howshall I reply to what you have written my beloved Elizabeth, orhow collect my ideas into any settled form? Every Paragraphincreases my amazement, and every Circumstance you relate, addsto the perplexity of my mind.—God alone knows how such astate of things as you describe may terminate, or how operateupon our affairs— Would to God I could withdraw you allfrom the Colony but it is fruitless to indulge wishes, or even toform plans of future proceeding, whilst we are hurried forward bya course of events, that seem to set human prudence and allordinary calculation at defiance. I am interrogated on all handsabout the affairs of the Colony, and know not in what way toreply—Altho' I cannot but see that the appearance ofmystery or concealment gives birth to surmises more perniciousin! their effect than the disclosure of all you write and moremischievous than all that is whispered.—Is it possible, itis said, that Governor Macquarrie can associate with, and bringto his table men who have been Convicts? who have amassedfortunes by the most infamous frauds, and have and continue toset the most shameful examples of dissoluteness and vice?—Ientreat people to suspend their judgment until he shall have beena little longer in the Colony! until, it shall be seen whetherwhen he has discovered the characters of these people, he willnot give them up.—I read them parts of your differentLetters wherein you speak of the Governor and Mrs. Macquarrie'scharacters—I repeat the praises you bestow on them fortheir benevolence, their universal kindness—in short allthe strong things you' say in their behalf. I urge that theGovernor has been misled and involved in a mist through which itis impossible he yet can see, by the artifice and falsehood ofsome persons, by whose opinions, he would naturally be guided onhis first arrival.—But I see nothing I can say convincesand that many leave me, half inclined to think I am an advocatefor measures which fill my heart with dismay and grief—Iyesterday taxed Colonel Foveaux, and indeed have done so morethan once, with being the principal cause of all the mischiefthat hangs over the Colony. But he steadily denies the fact andwith matchless effrontery maintains that he cautioned GovernorMacquarrie respecting Thompson ** and particularly againstLord—so contradictory—so strange are the events whichhave passed in the Colony, that I cannot expect belief when I amquestioned about its affairs.—and yet how can I pretendignorance, or how refuse to answer the questions that areproposed to me by people of consequence, whose support affords methe only little prospect of preservation there is for you, ourchildren, and myself—In truth I know not how to act, orwhat to say, and the more I think, the more distracted andpuzzled do I feel—In the midst of all this gloom it is noslight consolation to me my Beloved Wife to learn that you and mydear Girls are so well.—I pray incessantly that Elizabethmay once more be restored to perfect health—dear Girl whata sufferer has she been.—James and William now sit by myside—they have been with me a week for the Easter Holidaysand return to School to morrow—James promises to answerMarys letter by Hannibal—they are both in excellent health,and bid me say every thing for them that is dutiful andaffectionate—I think James, is without exception one of thebest disposed Boys, I ever knew. William is also a good Boy, buthe has not the steadiness of James,—their Characters arequite opposite.—John was well on the 11th I expect him toleave Glasgow to morrow and to be in London about this day week.He will spend a day or two with our Friend Colonel Campbellbefore he quits Scotland. I received a short Letter from Edwardlast week from Sicily dated 7th Febr.—he speaks of otherLetters that are not yet arrived sent by Private Conveyances. Hewas in good health and excellent spirits—his Regiment isnot to leave Sicily, as was expected, Sir John Stewart havingdeclined, or rather refused it is said to part with any of theforce under his Command—The Newspapers say he is to besuperseded in consequence—Edward informs me that thegreater part of his time was occupied in studying the Italianlanguage, in which he had made great progress—I know nothow I shall forward the Letters you have sent for him—-theywould ruin him in Postage—You must think of this in futureand put no covers on your Letters—The Postage of everySheet is 3/6 and large Paper is charged no more thansmall.—Set your heart at ease about the tremendous balanceas you justly call it in my late worthy friend Thompson'saccount—It was all liquidated before his death and I haveseen in his sons hands upwards of Three thousand pounds,independent of your remittance by the Atalanta. This is asum far short of what I sanguinely hoped when I left you, but itis better than being in debt.—Whenever I feel disposed toindulge melancholy I endeavour to cheer my spirits by reflectingthat great as our disappointments and losses are they have beenunavoidable, and have arisen more out of the state of things inour strange Colony than from neglect or indiscretion.—I saymore, for I cannot but admit that part of our difficulties mighthave been avoided had I been a little lessdisinterested—But who could ever expect that a man like Mr.Plummer could mislead his own near relative, or take advantage ofthe incautious generosity of a friend?—We live inextraordinary times.—

What shall I say to you about the returnedBills, or how at such a distance advise?—In consulting withMr. Best I am satisfied you have done what is most prudent, andas it is probable you must have determined on some plan ofproceeding long ere this I can only hope that your own goodsense, aided by what advice Mr. Best gives you, may have led tothe recovery of some part of the large amount these worthless menstand indebted—Do not my beloved Wife deceive yourself ormake exceptions in favour of any one of them—they are alikeunprincipled—I shall as soon as possible draw up aStatement of the Case and bring it before the Attorney Generaland Sir Samuel Romily for their opinions—if nothing hasbeen settled, the opinion of two such eminent Lawyers may haveweight in the Colony. Surely Governor Macquarrie must see, ifthey appeal against the payment of their own Bills, that Justicerequires the security should be complete and satisfactory. If itbe not—the person suing for his Money is in a worsesituation than before he sought redress from the Law, becausewhen the award comes from the King in Council in his favor (assure it must) he will to his first loss have to add his expenses.I hope you have forwarded Mr. John Blaxland's Bill to England asI have desired in different Letters without it I cannot recoverfrom him here. Certainly some of my first Letters must havemiscarried, for I well recollect acknowledging your Packet by theEolus, and desiring that the sum awarded against Lord bythe Civil Court might be taken—to renew that suit again,even were I in the Colony would be perfectly absurd—thefellow is certainly ruined—and therefore the only wisecourse is to recover what you can from the Firm—It will notI hope be maintained that he can appeal from an award of Court inwhich he has acquiesced Need I tell you I write with a mind muchdisturbed—it speaks for itself, and in addition to, thedistraction I feel (I am interrupted by people to whom I cannotdeny myself—I know not when Colonel Johnston's Trial willcommence—he is in arrest on a charge of Mutiny.—OurCounsel give us hopes of Victory—but I know not what tothink—Atkins is no where to be found, and his writtenevidence will not I fear be admitted—the other party Isuspect have been somehow instrumental in smuggling him away,well knowing that his testimony would be most powerful againstthem:—all the evidence who are to support Bligh receivedaily pay from Government, many of them (amongst the numberDevine) a Guinea a day—they are all in high spirits,or affect to be so. I say affect for they are well aware of thestrong tide of Public prejudice which runs against them, and thatthey and their Chief Mr. Bligh is universally execrated—SirJoseph Banks certainly supports their cause with all hisinterest.

I have this moment received a Letter from Portsmouth acquaintingme that a Mr. Lawson is endeavouring to procure a passage in theGambier describing himself as a Settler—If it be Lt.Lawson as I think it must his plan is to smuggle himself awayfrom the impending Trial—if he succeeds it will be a deathblow to our cause—I shall write directly to the Captain ofthe Gambier—and hope to prevent the flight of thedastard—but if I do not succeed and he get off in her, donot suffer yourself to be needlessly alarmed, all may endwell—how he may account for his return to the Colony it isimpossible to say certain it is he goes without the knowledge ofGovernment, as I yesterday saw the Judge Advocate's Summonsdirecting him to attend as an Evidence—. . . .

I see I have omitted to notice the death of Thompson—Iwonder I did, for I think it an earnest of the interposition ofProvidence to save the Colony from utter ruin—Never wasthere a more artful or a greater Knave—How—How couldGovernor and Mrs. Macquarrie be imposed upon as they have been? Ithink the last stroke of leaving the Governor part of hisproperty is by far the deepest he ever attempted, whether I viewit as an act done in contemplation of Death, or in expectation ofraising himself to higher favor should he live—I have aletter from Mr. Blaxcell by the Atalanta.—I hope hewill get the accounts I sent him by the Providence. I fearthe loss of the Boyd will involve him in seriousdifficulties, she was not insured for a penny and all Lords Billsendorsed by him are I am told gone back—Hannibal will bringduplicates of any Papers connected with his Accounts. . . . .

I expected Hannibal and Oxley with me this morning—butsomething has prevented them—they were both well lastEvening.

God bless and protect my Elizabeth—

{Page 221}

Chapter VII.


There is now a long interval in the correspondence duringwhich Johnston's court-martial had taken place, and Johnston wascashiered.

Years after, James Macarthur in commenting on thecourt-martial writes that—

"Johnston had a tribunal knowing little ornothing of Bligh, and it was exceedingly difficult, if notimpossible, to adduce evidence, at such a distance both as totime and place, of the state of things which induced him toresort to the extreme measures of deposing the Governor.Corruption, rapacity, violent language and conduct though causesfor deposing a Governor, after the trial or enquiry before acompetent authority, could not in the eye of the Law, or ofordinary expediency justify such a step. Nothing but extremenecessity could excuse it. There is no doubt in my mind that thenecessity had arisen (Crossley's being called in as a LegalAdviser of the Government was sufficient to create the necessityand to lead to an insurrection) and but for the course takenthere would have been an insurrection, and probably loss of life,Bligh being the first victim to the furious passions excited byhis own monstrous and absurd conduct.

But a staid military Court sitting at Chelsea could notcomprehend the extraordinary and exceptional state of thingswhich had existed on the 26th January 1808 at the Antipodes, inthe then insignificant Town of Sydney, constituted too of sopeculiar and anomalous a population. Could Bligh have beenbrought to trial the matter would have been very different.Evidence might probably have been brought to criminate him thoughit was unavailable as a defence for Colonel Johnston.

There were letters for instance from Andrew Thompson, Bligh'smanager, who had been a convict suggesting the successiveexchange of Cows from the Government herd as soon as their calveswere weaned and branded as Bligh's property, for fresh cows newlycalved, so that each of His Excellency's cows might bring himseveral calves a year. These letters were docketed in Bligh'shandwriting, and with his initials W.B. (these letters arealluded to by Bligh in his evidence at the Court Martial ofJohnston. . . .

The correspondence began again in 1812, and throws light onMacarthur's life in England, his sojourn abroad where he wasgaining information which would be useful on his return to theColony, and his many anxieties with regard to the labor thrown onMrs. Macarthur who had sole charge of his estates in New SouthWales.

Portsmouth, 4th March 1812.

You will rejoice to hear that the value of theWool is established beyond doubt, and that we may calculate asupon a certain thing that Wool of the quality of our mostimproved kind will sell for a Guinea a Fleece one with theother.

I hope there will be a large quantity to send by theIsabella and that the Fleeces of the whole Flock are in astate of progressive improvement.

Hannibal will give you most pleasing intelligence of your Motherand rely upon it that John and I will visit her next Summer.

If you have the smallest apprehension or dread of coming homealone only say that it is your wish, and I will sacrifice everyother consideration and come out for you. I wish it were possiblethat Edward could perform this duty for me but it isnot—Till tomorrow adieu for I am weary and stupid.

God Almighty bless and protect you all—

Your most affectionate

J. McArthur.

London May 14th 1812.

My beloved Elizabeth.

Your welcome letter by our Friend Captain Campbell arrived mostopportunely about a fortnight ago, and was indeed mostacceptable, containing as it did assurances of your and my dearGirls health, and a remittance, of which, from the great expenseincurred by Hannibal's outfit, I began to stand much inneed.—I cannot express how much I am pleased at the accountyou give of the state of our affairs under your excellent andprudent management—and I trust the return of Hannibal willrelieve you from the necessity of attending to the laborious andmore disagreeable part of an undertaking that not many men wouldbe capable of conducting so successfully as you have done, somuch to your own credit, and to the advantage of your Family.Indeed my beloved Wife, when I reflect on the many adversecircumstances to which you have been exposed, and theextraordinary trials that you have borne, not only withoutsinking under the accumulated pressure, but with the most activefortitude and good sense it is impossible for me to express theadmiration that the reflection excites.—or to repress thepride which I feel in having to boast of such a pattern for Wivesand Mothers as my own.—. . . .

I am highly gratified that Mary employs herself in householdcares, such employment is I am convinced the more I think of itbetter calculated to promote the happiness of the female sex thanall the refinements of modern education. Now I am upon thissubject I must proceed to acquaint you with my sentiments uponone that has for some time been an object of my most seriousconsideration, and I wish I could say that my reflections hadproduced any very satisfactory or pleasing conclusions but theyunfortunately have had an opposite effect. You will have alreadylearnt from former letters that Mr. . . . . is now on the pointof setting off and will deliver you this Letter. From him I havelearnt that his proposals to. . . . were favourably received andthat a positive engagement has taken place betweenthem.—Altho' you have not explained yourself in any of yourLetters on this head, I conclude that. . . . representation iscorrect.—Were good nature, and susceptibility of heart andtemper the only requisite qualifications in a Husband,' I knownot where I should find one to surpass this young man in thesequalities,—but unluckily constituted as is the frame ofhuman Society many other qualifications are indispensible toenable a man to discharge the duties of a Husband and a Father.Amongst these the most useful are prudence, economy, andif a man be born without an inheritance, an enterprisingspirit.—

London October 16th 1812.

My dear Elizabeth.

Such is the peculiarity and untowardness of my fate, thatalthough you and my dear Girls are almost constantly the objectswhich occupy, my thoughts, yet I feel the utmost difficultywhenever I attempt to arrange them, or to express my hopes andfears respecting the means to be adopted to reunite us oncemore.

I say hopes and fears, for, grieved as I am to admit themelancholy fact, I really am without any plan that my judgmentcan approve: and the more I reflect the deeper I find myselfinvolved in perplexity and doubt. A hundred frightful objectspresent themselves to my harassed mind, whether I think ofreturning to the Colony or of withdrawing you from it—onthe one hand there seems little chance of peace orsecurity—on the other I cannot divest myself of alarmingapprehensions, that in bringing you hither I may have to reproachmyself for depriving you of plenty and comparative affluence, andsubstituting for them, circumstances so embarrassed, that theremainder of your lives may be embittered by pinching penury: andthe heart rending reflection, that with our own, I havesacrificed the welfare and happiness of our Children. Painfullyas I feel our long long protracted separation, yet it iscomparatively a state of ease to what I should feel were I to seeyou oppressed by misfortunes to which thank God you have hithertobeen a stranger. Yet something must be determined upon. Theinformation I have collected from your Letters, and from ourFriend Piper, has increased the objections I have longentertained against returning to the Colony, and has confirmed mein the belief that many and great changes must take place, andnumberless prejudices be overcome before I can allow myself everto hope that I shall ever be permitted to reside there exemptfrom danger and persecution. A man of my known principles must behated and de-cried in self defence in such a Colony and if tothese feelings be added that of envy at my prosperouscircumstances, what can I expect in a Society so constituted. Itnext remains to be considered what prospect we have of derivingsuch an income from the Colony as will defray the expenses of ourFamily in this Country, and enable us to prosecute our presentplans for the education and establishment of our Boys in theworld. If you my beloved Elizabeth are of opinion that we canaccomplish this I will endeavour to suppress my own fears andcheerfully (I had almost said undoubtingly) submit an event toyour decision on which it is probable, the dark or bright hue ofour future fortune will very materially depend. That you may haveall the evidence before you it is necessary you should beapprised that the expenses of our Boys amount to £800 a year, andas James will soon be of age to be fixed in some profession, theyare likely to increase rather than diminish. As my presence willoccasionally be required in London, it would not be prudent tosettle ourselves at a greater distance than a days journey fromhence, and should we form our little Establishment withoutCarriage, Horses, or Man servant, with the most exact economy,looking at the World but not mixing with it, I am of opinion wecould not live in any kind of respectability for less than £800per year—1600£ a year would therefore it appears be onlysufficient to defray our expenses, without laying by a Guinea forour Girls. I have been governed in the estimate I have made bythe information of Mr. Lee. He lives in the way I havedescribed—Their Family consists of himself his Wife and twoDaughters—Mrs. Lee is a most excellent manager, and he isone of the most systematic men I ever knew—they see noCompany—their house is their own, and yet they spend £600 ayear.

What our stock will produce clear of all expenses I want evidenceto form an opinion, and I fear the uncertainty of markets willperplex you—I however should think that you may safelycalculate, the increasing value of the Wool as sufficient tocompensate for any diminution of the price of thecarcase,—If you are of opinion that we cannot expect £1,600a year from our Stock the alternative is obvious, I must submitwith the best grace I can and return to the Colony. Should youthink we are secure of that income, you will have learnt fromHannibal that I propose to admit him into a partnership to acertain extent—and that you should leave him the managementof everything. But previous to such an arrangement it will benecessary that I should know the exact state of the Stock theannual expense and returns.—

Whatever may be your sentiments on this subject I earnestlyrecommend that you speak of leaving the Colony as a decidedthing—and entrust no one with your real opinionshould you think it impracticable—I have for some timespoken in that way here, and am persuaded it has beenbeneficial.

The Wool by the Admiral Gambier arrived in excellentcondition, and will be sold soon—it is valued at 5/- averaging one quality with another—It measured near twoTons and a half by which means the Freight came to the enormoussum of £38. When Wool is sent in future it should be washed asclean as possible, and the agreement for Freight should be by thelb.—I hope Hannibal will send all this years Wool by theIsabella.

Adieu for the present—God bless and protect you—

Your every affectionate

John McArthur.

London, 18th Novr. 1812.

My dearest Elizabeth,

I have just received information of the arrival of theArgo Whaler at Portsmouth, said to be from New SouthWales. If this be true, I hope she has brought letters, but Imust not delay writing any longer lest the Fortune shouldsail.—It was my intention this should be sent by ColonelJohnston, but he is gone without giving me notice, altho' Iparticularly requested him to acknowledge the receipt of a Packetof Letters that were forwarded to him by Lieut. Lord, and toacquaint me when he was likely to sail—I hope the Packetreached him safe indeed I cannot doubt it, as Kemp undertook todeliver it to Mr. Lord himself.

Since I wrote last I have had a long conversation with Capt.Piper on the subject of my affairs, but the information I haveobtained from him has been very scanty, and has left me as muchin doubt as before respecting the probable continuance of thepresent demand for meat in the Colony. If it should be continuedwithout any very serious reduction of the price, we coulddoubtless draw an income from our Stock adequate to thecomfortable maintenance of our Family in this Country, but shouldany material change be made, many and various as are theobstacles to my returning to the Colony, they are not so serious,or so alarming, as those we should have to contend with here witha limited and uncertain income.—You my beloved Wife will Iam assured well consider the immense importance of the stepbefore you decide.—If it should appear to you that wecannot be perfectly secure of drawing a clear Sixteen Hundred ayear from the Colony, I must make up my mind to return and bringJames and William back with me—and altho' John is fastadvancing to that period of life when he must be left to his owndiscretion, yet I confess I shall not be able to leave him herewithout adviser or friend to restrain or assist, but with greatuneasiness.—For altho' I think him as free from vice, oreven irregularity, as any Young Man I ever knew, he isunfortunately very careless, very good natured, and perhaps alittle too proud for one who has but little money, and fewconnections to advance and promote him in Life. From whom hederives these qualities you will be under no difficulty todiscover.

The accompanying long letter from Edward arrived last Evening.Thank God he is perfectly recovered from the disease that hadattacked him.—I am of opinion another Campaign will sickenhim of a service in which there is nothing to be got but blowsand hardships greater than ever were experienced in any otherservice. When the latter part of his Letter was written the Armyappears to have calculated upon remaining in their WinterQuarters undisturbed by the Enemy, with what correctness you willsee from the Newspapers. It is now extremely doubtful whether theAllied Army will be able to maintain themselves in any part ofSpain.—Fortunately things wear a more promising aspect inthe North. There the great disturber of the World has alreadyreceived a check which has given birth to hopes which have beenlong since nearly extinct in the breasts of the best informedpersons. If he should be cut off or even lose the best part ofhis Army, Europe might yet shake off the Chains with which almostthe whole of it has been bound. Never was there a more importantperiod than the present.—Indeed it is most probable thatevery thing is already decided, and a very short time will showus whether this fortunate Ruffian is any longer to disturb allthe nations of the Earth, For my own part I cherish the mostsanguine hopes that he never can escape out of Russia.

If Hannibal has arrived, as I trust he has, you will not besurprised when I tell you that my mercantile adventures haveswallowed up all the money I could command, and left meconsiderably in debt. Your different remittances (of which Capt.Piper brought Duplicates) were all regularly paid, and came veryopportunely. Your last were dated in Novr. and were forwardedfrom Rio Janerio and came to the enormous sum of £9 10s. 0d. eventhose that were brought by Capt. Campbell and put into the PostOffice at Portsmouth came to £4 10s. 0d.* Whenever News Papersare sent a special charge should be given to the person to whomthey are entrusted not to send them by Post, and all superfluouscovers on Letters should be avoided.

. . . . . If the report of the Committee of the House of Commonson the state of the Colony, reaches you, it will serve tostrengthen the New System of advancing such men as Mr. Lord andMr. Thompson. I was much pressed by my friend Mr. Brogden (nowone of the Lords of the Treasury) to give my evidence but manyconsiderations withheld me which I explained to him. Experiencehas taught me that the most pure integrity will not always secureapproval and I am too old to learn the lesson of advancing myinterest or making friends by making my opinions always conformto the will of the most powerful. If I had spoken I must havetold the truth, and that I am certain would have proved veryoffensive. . . . .

I heard from John last week he was then quitewell—James and William are also well, and announced to meyesterday that their holidays commence on the 13th of next month.This is to them a period of joy. James is at the head of theSchool, and I fear I shall be under the necessity of removing himfrom Dr. Lindsays soon after Xmas; and yet I am unwilling toplace him at a Publick School, for in the whole of these greatestablishments there is much vice, and many temptations to excessto which the young mind is not exposed in more privateestablishments—Something however must be determined on, forat Dr. Lindsays he will be stationary as John was for more than ayear before I came home.

. . . . If I find the Bath Waters beneficial to me, and I shouldreceive favorable accounts of you and Hannibal, I have some ideaof taking a small Farm of about a Hundred a Year. It would be anexperiment that would enable me to decide whether I could (shouldyou return) embark on a larger scale with advantage, and at allevents it would be productive of amusement to me without myincurring a heavier expense in living than I do at present. Atany distance not greater than Sixty miles from London, I shouldbe enabled to transact my Colonial business as well as byconstantly being here. If I could make farming here as productiveas you do there would be no cause for doubt orapprehension,—but there is here such a competition in everyprofession, and the unavoidable expenses of the simplestestablishments are so great, where it is necessary to maintainthe rank of a Gentleman, that I know not what to say.

I am infinitely delighted at the account you give of all ourconcerns, and altho' I cannot but regret that you should beexposed to so many unpleasant and fatiguing cares, yet it is someconsolation when I reflect, that you must also experience manygratifying moments at the success of your exertions to supply myplace and to perform those duties that my present fate denies methe power of executing myself. . . . .

London, December 9th 1812.

My dearest Elizabeth,

As I understand the Fortune is still detained atPortsmouth I shall avail myself of the opportunity to send youthe News Papers up to yesterday. You will find them contain muchmost important and interesting intelligence; and 'tho' that,which relates to the Army in Spain, is not such as might bewished, yet it will be consolotary to you, as it shows that ourdear Edward is not amongst the number of those gallant defendersof their Country, who have bled in its cause. You will see by hislast Letter enclosed in the Packet already on board theFortune, that he did not expect the reverses which theArmy has experienced: but that is not matter of much surprisefor, they who are in the Subaltern Ranks, altho' on the immediatescene of action, have but little opportunity of gaininginformation on subjects that do not come under their ownobservation.—I hope to hear from him again by the nextLisbon Mail: but I fear it will not be in time to forward to youby the Fortune.—The accounts from Russia and Polandbegin to make the most desponding amongst us alter their tone,and for the first time, to expect that the arduous struggle, inwhich we have been so very long engaged, will terminate in thecompleat overthrow of Buonaparte, and the cruel and destructivesystem with which he has harassed the whole of Europe.—Whenthe last accounts came off from Russia, the French Army had beenso often defeated, had suffered such immense losses, and were somuch distressed by the severity of the Climate, that it appearsaltogether impossible, that they should escape from the brave andactive Russian armies, that surround them on every side to whichthey can direct their flight.—A few days will howeverremove all doubts.—Should Buonaparte fall or be taken thehappiest result may be expected—Should he escape it is muchto be feared, that he would soon find the means of replacing theimmense Host that he has sacrificed to his mad and unprincipledambition, and his failure, if it should teach him to be morecircumspect and less daring in future, may perhaps make him moreto be dreaded than ever—but I fervently pray that he maynot be permitted to make the experiment.

John, James and William were well last week.—

It is now my beloved Wife almost thirteen months since the dateof the last letter I received from you, and you may suppose I amnot a little anxious for arrivals.—I hope you wrote by theChina and India Ships: as I understand one Letter has arrived inTown for Mr. Riley, dated in March, that has been forwarded fromCalcutta: but as Messrs. Buckle Boyer & Co. have received noLetters, I console myself with hopes, that mine have been keptback and will arrive with their ships.

In my letter to Hannibal I have mentioned that I had advancedCol. Johnston near Four hundred pounds to enable him to get outof England, for which I had taken Bills on Mr. Harrison his Agenthere.—I was induced to put myself to the greatestinconvenience to raise this money for him (indeed to part with mylast Guinea and to depend upon my credit) because he representedthat he had no other means of paying for his passage andproviding himself with necessaries for the voyage: and thatunless I assisted him he must perish in a Jail—I have sincelearnt, that he did not pay for his Passage but gave a Bill to bepaid on his arrival at Port Jackson—and that Mr. Harrisonalso made him advances to the amount of Twelve Hundred pounds.This is all, however perfectly consistent with the whole of hisconduct towards me. If his Bills are not paid when due, I shallprotect them and send them out—Hannibal therefore need notgive himself the trouble to enquire whether remittances have beenmade to take them up.

I had yesterday a long conversation with Mr. Brogden about theColony. It appears that the present expensive system is muchdisapproved of, and he seems solicitous to learn from me whatplan could be adopted to reform it.—I however declinedgiving any opinion upon the subject, and candidly told him, thatit was much to my interest that Government should continueunacquainted with my ideas; for that my plan altho' it mightdiminish their expenditure would much reduce my own income, asacrifice that the Government have no right to expect any man tomake; more particularly one to whom they have displayed so muchill will.

In speaking of Colonel Macquarrie—I urged every thing inhis favor that I had collected from your representationsrespecting him; but I have reasons for thinking that many storieshave been told of him of a very opposite tendency to your reportsand that they are believed,—in short it is whispered, thathis removal is determined upon.—If it be so, he will mostprobably get certain information on the subject by theFortune,—at all events I am sure your good sensewill convince you, that silence is best. I have promised Mr.Brogden to write some observations on the Report of the House ofCommons, at least, on those parts which relate to the state ofthe morals of the Colony and its Trade. Mr. Bent has so ablypointed out the imperfections of the Courts and the Law as it nowexists in the Colony, and his suggestions for their improvementare so judicious, that he has left nothing to be said on thesepoints: I shall however say everything in my power to facilitatethe adoption of his Plan, as I am convinced that it would in ashort time improve the general happiness and prosperity of allthe Inhabitants. I hope your next letters will be accompanied bysome from My dear Girls—; they ought to omit noopportunity of writing to me. . . . .

London 15th January 1813.

My dear Elizabeth,

I am still without any letter from you of a later date thanNovember 1811, but as the India and China Ships are dailyexpected to arrive, and as information has been received, thatthe Sydney Cove had reached Rio Grande in August, and wasto prosecute her Voyage to England as soon as she could refit, Icherish hopes that I shall not be much longer kept insuspense.

A few days after I had despatched my Packet by the Fortune(15th Decr.) I had the happiness to get a long and mostsatisfactory Letter from our Dear Edward, dated 21st Novr. inwhich he gives a detailed account of the hardships the AlliedArmy had sustained in their retreat from Spain—Theirfatigue and sufferings must have been greater than any one caneasily conceive who has not witnessed similar scenes, He says hewas nearly a month without even changing his clothes, and oftenobliged after a long march, in most inclement weather, to sleepon the bare ground, half starved with hunger and cold—Thesick of the Army it is said exceed 12,000 Men, but thank God hehas escaped uninjured in health, altho' a good deal sickened ofthe business in which he is engaged—Indeed, I am informed,that all our Officers have expressed the same sentiments, thatEdward does, at the situation in which they are placed, for inaddition to the inevitable hardships of such a state of warfarethey have to complain of the greatest irregularity in the receiptof their pay. In consequence of which, however pressing theirnecessities may be, they are often for want of money, incapableof procuring relief, even when they are in a situation wherecomfort might be purchased. Edward however has never been exposedto this evil, for I have taken care to establish his credit atLisbon with one of the first Mercantile Houses who supply himwith money whenever he requires it. I do not forward his Letterto you by this opportunity, because I understand there will be abetter one in about two Months by the Government Transport. TheIsabella is I hope ere this well advanced in her Voyagehome, and need not add, with considerable remittances, forHannibal well knows what urgent demands I shallsoon have for money, to pay for that part of the adventure whichwas obtained upon credit.—Altho' I am as assured that hewill exert himself to the utmost as man can be, yet you willeasily imagine how anxious I must feel to ascertain the fate ofan undertaking ** on which so much depends. If it be crowned witheven moderate success it will afford me means and give me courageto promote the Trade with spirit, and I should hope that it maybe established on so secure and permanent a footing, that we maybe almost certain of drawing from it an annual income that willfully compensate for the risk of advancing so large a sum as Ihave done. . . . .

The accompanying News Papers will acquaint youwith all the particulars of the escape of that pest of the humanrace, Buonaparte, from Russia. There is good reason to think thatthe whole of the Army that he set out with is either destroyed orcaptured.—What results this frightful waste of human lifemay occasion it is impossible to say, for altho' the nations thathave been subjugated, are certainly weary enough of the FrenchYoke, I am fearful they are too much dispirited to make anypowerful struggle to shake it off. But a little time will show.You will see in Yesterday's paper the account of the death ofpoor Mrs. Grose, she had been ill more than a year.

21st May, 1813.

. . . . I have proceeded thus far in such hasteand trepidation that I had almost forgotten to inform you that Ihave by the greatest accident imaginable heard that theIsabella with Hannibal and his Wife arrived safe with youon the 17th of last August—This was communicated by Mr.Bent in a Letter to his Brother dated on the 19th—but howit was sent from N.S. Wales or how brought to this Country I havenot been able to learn, I feel persuaded that Hannibal has lostno time in dispatching her back, and as he will know how manyheavy payments I have to make next month, that he would on noacct., detain her beyond November in the Colony. Presuming thatmust have been the case I think it probable she may be herebefore the expiration of this month.

God send she may bring good news of you all, and next to thatassurance that the adventure I sent by her will turn to aprofitable account.

God bless you my beloved Wife prays

Your ever affectionateHusband,

John McArthur.

I received a letter from Edward yesterday dated8th May. He had not left his Winter Quarters but was expecting toleave every day—He was well but most impatiently expectingaccounts of you—I will send the Letter in my nextPacket.

Little Hampton 31st August 1813.

My dearest Elizabeth.

I address this to you under a degree of doubt and uncertaintymore perplexing and distressing than words can express. By theClarkson and the Mary I have not received a line;and the unfortunate detention of your letters, in consequence ofthe unaccountable wreck of the Isabella, adds much to theanxiety and impatience that such a strange series ofdisappointments could not fail to create. It is now my belovedWife Twenty two months since the date of the last letter Ireceived from you.—I came down to Portsmouth on Tuesdaylast accompanied by James intending to take leave of my oldFriend Capt. Piper and to have put on board several Letters andNews papers—but unfortunately he sailed the evening Iarrived—You will say I ought not to have been too late; norshould I but for a very particular circumstance which I shallexplain by and by. Capt. Piper will acquaint you of everyparticular at present known respecting the loss of theIsabella she was wrecked on the Falkland Islands in veryfine weather, without any apparent cause, that I can learn butignorance or neglect—her whole cargo and every article ofprovisions was saved, and as a Brig of War sailed from BuenosAyres to bring up the Passengers and Crew more than four monthsago it is only reasonable to expect that Capt. Hylen will makehis appearance in a few days. Capt. Brooks and the Mate are theonly persons who have yet reached this Country—By them Ihad the inexpressible satisfaction to hear that you were all wellwhen the Isabella sailed from Port Jackson Without thismost cheering information I really know not how I should haveborne my disappointment: for not a Letter has been forwarded forme. . . . .

John and James are both with me and continue during the vacationJohn then returns to Cambridge and James either goes to theCharter House or to Winchester—More excellent Lads thanthey both are is impossible and be assured that if it please Godto bless them with the excellent health they now have they willbe an honour to us in our old age. Willie still remains with Dr.Lindsay, he is quick but rather idle not however one tittlebehind his Brothers in excellence of heart. Of our gallant Boy inSpain what shall I say he is everything that can give pleasure tothe breast of a Parent—sober, discreet, sensible, active,intelligent, brave in short everything we could wish a son tobe—he has been in the thickest of the fight and thank Godhas hitherto not only escaped the sword of the enemy but all andevery consequence of fatigue and privation—He says I havenever known an hours indisposition since the commencement of ourglorious campaign—It was my intention to have forwarded youhis letters by Capt. Piper but I shall now send them by Capt.Brooks—his last was written in France and dated the 12th.of July—I have not heard from him since the last greatBattle but I know he was unhurt and expect every day to hear thathe is well and elated with the triumphs of his Country in whichhe has had so conspicuous a share—He says all that isaffectionate about you and his dear sisters and feelingly joinsin our gratulations to each other at hearing you were all well inDecember last.

Chelsea, June 30th 1814.

My beloved Wife.

I have just dispatched a Packet of Letters for you by theMarquis Wellington, and it was my intention to havewritten you more fully by this conveyance, the Emu to goin charge of our Friend Abbott but it is said she is to sailimmediately and therefore I hasten off this lest the reportshould be true: altho' I am unable to write in that way Iintended in consequence of the most important business which hasoccupied my mind; and, not to conceal the truth, my belovedElizabeth, so operates upon my spirits that I am unequal to thetask at this moment—But our dear John is writing a Letterunder my dictation which will make you fully acquainted with thecause of my anxiety—God grant that my endeavours may beattended with the success we hope. If it be not, the long, thecruel separation we have endured, must yet be borne sometimelonger. I do not urge you to patience, or entreat you to exerciseyour fortitude—because I know you will—You havealready done so to a degree that excites the admiration of allwho have heard of your conduct, and will ensure you the eternalgratitude of me and all your children—I am so wearied inmind and body, for I have been out all day, that I cannot pursuethis subject, but I hope to be more quiet tomorrow (Sunday) andto have time to forward what I shall then write him by theEmu. . . .

The Wool came safe and is sold but to great disadvantage owing tothe very dirty state it is in, I sent it into Yorkshire to Mr.Thompson; the person who had Marsdens, and he has made an ill useof my confidence. He only gave me Twenty pence a pound and Icould have sold it in London for two and sixpence. I suppose theprice he gave Marsden for the small quantity he sent by theAnne was intended as a bait to encourage largerconsignments—I hope you will have had it in your power toput up last years wool in better condition—Bills of Ladingshould be taken in triplicate and the duplicates and triplicatesbe forwarded by the earliest opportunities that if any losshappen the Insurance may be recovered—You may assureyourself my beloved Wife that I shall give the business of one ofour dear Boys coming to your assistance the gravest considerationbefore I decide. But I yet hope there will be no necessity for itand that the obstacle to my own return will be removed—GodAlmighty grant that it may—I must close this wretchedscrawl for my hand is so affected with the employment it has hadall day that I can with difficulty guide my pen and the agitationof my mind has set my gout floating through every limb—Ishall be better after a little rest—May God protect blessand preserve you all my dearest Children and my belovedWife—

Ever, Ever Your AffectionateHusband

John McArthur.

Chelsea July 26th 1814.

After repeated resolutions made and as oftenbroken I at last commence my beloved Wife, the difficult task ofreplying to your several Letters by the Isabella theIndefatigable the Minstrel and thePhœnix, and of endeavouring however painful, to giveyou a more detailed account of myself and our dear Boys than mydisordered mind would permit me to do when my last hasty letterswere written. I am convinced my health is the first object ofyour solicitude, and the next that of your children, before Itouch upon any other subject. I will therefore endeavour toremove every doubt upon these. The last Winter I suffered mostdreadfully but since the return of the Summer I am certainlybecome much better. By the aid of the Medicine every day Icontrive to obtain relief from the effects of the complaint ofindigestion, that I have so long been afflicted with: but itwould be deceiving you, were I to attempt to create a belief thatit will ever be entirely removed. I am frequently attacked withconsiderable violence, with an extraordinary irritation ofnerves, and a sort of nervous Gout. Previous to the approach ofthe latter I suffer for many days such dreadful depression ofspirits as no one can conceive the extent of unless they were tosuffer in the same way. The faculty flatter me with the hopesthat this complaint will go off or at all events very much abatewhen my mind is relieved from the suspense and fearful state ofdoubt and apprehension under which I have lived so many dismalyears and I trust in God that it will for believe me my Elizabeththe period of my separation from you has been an almostuninterrupted scene of indescribable wretchedness. If theAlmighty shall be graciously pleased to be[s]tow upon me anyfuture blessings it can only be in your society, I will nothowever indulge in these reflections because I know they willquickly unfit me for the performance of what is more important.Several of dear Edward's Letters accompany this the last is thesixth of last month at which period he was at Bordeaux preparingto embark for America and I have learnt since that he sailed withhis Regiment a few days after. The destination of the Expeditionstill continues a secret. The general opinion is that an attackwill be made upon New York or Boston or perhaps both. Littleresistance can be made by the undisciplined Americans againstsuch troops. It is therefore probable that their successes willlead to a speedy cessation of hostilities. When the War ceasesEdward will certainly retire on half pay and once more try to behappy in humble retirement in the bosom of his Family. Thehardships and privations he has so long suffered will cause himto set a more just value on the blessings of plenty and securitythan he did before he had made trial of the thorny path intowhich his youthful ambition led him.

The Wool by the Minstrel was all sent down into Yorkshireto Messrs. Thompsons. The greater part was so execrably dirty,that I could get no offer for it in the market here—and itwas only last week that I could obtain from Messrs. Thompsontheir valuation—I send herewith a copy of theirletter—You will see that it does not average more than 20d.a pound—this appears so strange and contradictory whencontrasted with the price they are said to have given for Mr.Marsdens Wool that was sent home by the Anne, that I amcompletely puzzled—Your Letter informed me that they gave3/9 pr. lb. without the expense of washing. I have caused them tobe written to upon the subject and expect their answer in time toforward with the Packet that I intend sending in charge of MajorAbbott. I have been enabled to ascertain that the Wool he sent bythe Gambier sold for 2/1 per lb. after it had been washedand sorted at a great expense, but upon this I shall write youmore at large.

And now my beloved Wife you will expect me to say something uponthe subject of my own return, but alas this is a subject, uponwhich I am as much in doubt as I was the first moment Idetermined upon returning to that dear home from which I havebeen so long absent. Several of my friends have made applicationupon my behalf to Lord Bathurst and Mr. Goldburne the Secretarybut all the certain information I have been able to Obtain isthat the subject shall be considered—I am however cheeredwith a promise that a little patience will produce a favourableanswer—God alone knows whether it will or not—if itdoes not I must endeavour to get away in some private Ship in theway Colonel Johnston did—Of this however be assured that Iwill leave nothing undone that is practicable and I hope verysoon to be able to give you my dearest Elizabeth some informationthat shall enable you to form a certain judgment, of whatprospect there is of our meeting once more. I write this in greathaste as it is intended to go in the Secretary of States' Bag bythe Marquis of Wellington—and it is to be closedtonight—I shall immediately set about writing you morefully by Major Abbott and I shall prepare a duplicate of what Iwrite and request him to put it on board the Marquis ofWellington—In that Packet I shall send EdwardsLetters.

For the present I will only say God Almighty bless my belovedWife and Girls.

Ever, Ever your affect.,


(In continuation).

I suffered myself to be more hurried than wasneedful by a report that my letter must immediately be sent toTown—I now find that tomorrow morning will be soon enough,and therefore I resume the subject with which I left off. Myfriend Mr. Brogden who is now Chairman of the Committees in theHouse of Commons, and consequently has some influence withGovernment has said everything in his power to induce theSecretary of State to order me a Passage, and he continues tourge it upon him. It must not however be concealed from mydearest Elizabeth, that there are very great difficulties to besurmounted. You are perhaps informed that Colonel Johnston wasrefused a passage in a very peremptory way and I have beeninformed from authority that I cannot doubt that their prejudicesare still stronger against me than they were against him, Godalone knows whether they have subsided, or if not, whether theycan be removed. If not, all that is left to be done, as I havesaid before is to follow the example of Colonel Johnston and tolook out for a Passage by a private Ship.

. . . . In the midst of all my difficulties I feel that I havethe greatest reason to be thankful to God, that your good senseenabled you to resist the temptation of coming to England, had itnot been so—into what an Abyss of misery would you and mybeloved Children have been plunged—dearest best belovedWoman, how great are my obligations to you! there are a thousandthings that I wish to say, but whenever I sit down to write toyou my feelings are so overpowered that my recollection seems toforsake me and I am so oppressed that were I not to hurry onwithout method I should not be able to write at all. All yourLetters and those of the dear Girls to Edward are now in mypossession it is impossible to send such Packets abroad without amost enormous expense—a Letter to him should never exceed asingle sheet—it does not matter how large it is and surelyone sheet written close and crossed would contain all you have tosay—

All you have done and all you propose to do in the management ofour concerns appears to me most prudent and beneficial; but ifyour markets continue to fall in price it is obvious enough thatthe only marketable commodity will be the Wool—it istherefore of the utmost importance that the finest wooled Ewesshould be selected to breed from. The accompanying remarks inanswer to Mr. Riley's questions, contain all the information Ihave to give respecting its washing and packing, a great part ofwhat came in the Minstrel was more than half dirt and someof it had been put up wet and was much injured—Mr. Thompsonsupposes it has been wetted by Salt Water but I think not, solittle pains had been taken in sorting the fleeces that the sameBale contained! half a dozen different qualities of Wool, it wastherefore impossible to form any estimate of the value of eachBale without opening them all, this would have been attended witha heavy expense here, and after all, would not have answered thesame end as if each Bale had contained Fleeces nearly similar infineness. I give Hannibal all possible credit for rightintentions, but I cannot forbear saying that I am and was muchdisappointed that the Wool should have come home in such astate.—

Chelsea. Septr. 21st 1814.

I have been unceasing in my endeavours to getthe obstacle to my return to you and my dear Children removed buthitherto without success—I do not however despair for thedifficulties I have met are more to be attributed to the state ofbustle in which the Colonial Department is kept by the AmericanConference than to any other cause—This cannot last longand I hope the information contained in your next letters willgive me power to see more clearly what ought to bedone.—

London, Decr. 8th 1814.

My dearest Elizabeth,

I have now a safe opportunity to acknowledge the receipt of yourLetters, and remittance (£1372/17) by the James Hay. I saysafe, because I shall enclose this in a case, that will neitherbe exposed to be lost nor to be suppressed nor to any danger butthe usual dangers of the sea. I will not attempt to describe themortification I felt when I learnt that my Letters by theWansted had not been delivered. The Boys wrote and Icommunicated many things that I should not have hazarded by acommon hand for I considered Capt. . . . . as a person upon whomI might safely depend besides the letters he has a small packetof clothes for Hannibal from his Tailors. I have never seen himsince his return to England nor do I wish it. The assurances yougive me of your renewed health and of the entire recovery of thatdear sufferer Elizabeth operated as a balm to my wounded mind, itwas indeed a very timely cordial for all the ill success of mylabours here had produced a depression of spirits. . . . I alludeto my business with Government the nature of which has beenexplained in my letters by the Emu andBloxburnbury—I will however now repeat the principalcircumstances upon which all hinges—Through the favour of afriend I procured the following extract from Governor Macquarriesinstructions.* "You are to take immediate measures for puttingMajor Johnston in close arrest and for sending him home in orderthat he may be tried and as Governor Bligh has represented thatMr. McArthur has been the leading Promoter and Instigator of themutinous measures which have been taken against His Majesty'sGovernment you will if examinations be sworn against him charginghim with criminal acts against the Governor and his Authorityhave him arrested thereupon and brought to trial before theCriminal Court of the Colony." With such instructions I thinkthere is much, cause to fear that Governor Macquarrie might evennow consider himself obliged to act upon them if I were withinthe grasp of his authority and he would certainly be fairly borneout if he thought proper to resort to such a method to get rid ofa person who I am told he has often been heard to speak of inexceedingly hostile language. This may or may not be true butsupposing it to be false it would surely be highly imprudent inme to return to the Colony with such a drawn sword suspended overmy head as it were by a single hair—Nothing could in myjudgment sanction such an experiment either in regard to mypersonal security or the peace and welfare of you my beloved Wifeand our dear Children—in this opinion I am strengthened bythat of several sensible and dispassionate friends who haveadvised me to endeavour to accomodate with Government—Myfriend Mr. Brogden cheerfully undertook at my request to use hisinfluence to procure a revocation of the instructions to GovernorMacquarrie—He saw Mr. Goulburne the Under Secretary ofState frequently but he found a deep rooted prejudice againstme—After repeated conversations Mr. Goulburne promised thathe would give the business an unprejudiced consideration butunluckily at this very juncture he was sent off to Ghent as aCommissioner to treat with the Americans—When he returns hemay be prevailed upon to fulfil his promise but who can say whatresult that may produce—I must not conceal from you that myapprehensions are stronger than my hopes because I know from goodauthority that there is a powerful interest still exerted againstme—In this melancholy state of things I sometimes indulge ahope that you might succeed better with the Governor. I think youmight safely sound him or Mrs. Macquarrie and if you discoveranything like a favourable inclination you could candidly statethe difficulties that you are informed are opposed to my returnto my family—If he could be prevailed upon to recommend tothe Secretary of State that the general amnesty should beextended to me it would I know be directly complied with. . . ..

What you report of the fall of the price of LiveStock I have long foreseen and I am convinced a much greater fallhas been felt before this time—this depreciation mustproceed and with increased rapidity until the price is broughtdown to the lowest point at which stock will pay for rearing. OurFarms will then produce little besides food for the Family andservants and the Wool. That it is true is yearly becoming morevaluable but it will be but a scanty provision for us all unlesswe can do something in the Mercantile way.

I think the fall of Stock must ere this have operated upon theprice of land if it have not it will for nothing can give a goodvalue to land but a good market for produce and until the Colonycan find some extensive export land and cattle will sink in valuetogether—Taking this view of the state of things I havebeen induced once more to try my fortune in a small adventureconsigned entirely to your management and I feel confident thatif prudence and good sense can insure success it will provesuccessful in your hands. I impose no restrictions upon yourjudgment except upon the subject of credit upon that my mind ismade up and I request that no credit may be given—As I havediscovered from Hannibals accounts that the trading people willmake no allowance for expenses I have caused Twenty per cent tobe added to the price of every article except the Grocery andStraw Bonnets which are charged at prime cost this will aboutclear the cost of Shipping Insurance &c., and is in truth asmuch the prime cost as the first purchase. . . . .

Since the Peace Printed Cottons have been dearer here thanHannibal sold those sent him by the SpringGrove—Altho' the quickness of returns is of thegreatest consequence do not be uneasy if you cannot sell. Had themoney been placed in the Funds it would have made only four and ahalf per cent admitting that you should be three years inrealising the amount of this adventure it will then pay upwardsof seventeen per cent a year if you sell it at fifty per cent butif you are compelled to protract your sales many things will verylikely sell for more than a hundred per cent.

What you remark upon the fate of former adventures to the Colonyis certainly correct but these unfortunate results arise from astate of things that cannot last—Peace will place Commerceupon a more sure footing and men will not go to a market wherethere is so much uncertainty when the Whole World is open tothem—your supply will be regulated by your means ofpayments and the superabundance that I suspect is now going toyou will cause a scarcity to ensue for when the report of anoverstocked market arrives here it will deter others from takinggoods. Once more be not uneasy be patient and give no credit.

You have never informed me whether you got the Lease of theSydney Cottage renewed I am much pleased at the Grant of theSwamps they make a desirable whole of the Farm to secure us frominterruption.

I am very glad that you proceed so smoothly with the Governor andif you can negotiate an exchange of the Seven Hills Estate forLand at the Cow Pastures do, considering its contiguity you oughtto have a larger quantity but I leave the arrangement entirely toyou.

Many important things escape your memory at the moment ofwriting—do adopt the practice of making short memos whenanything occurs worth repeating—I much wish for regularsale accounts of Stock—when I am asked the price of Stockwhich I frequently am I know not what to say—Inform me uponwhat terms you sold Hannibal the flock of Sheep and include theHorses in your next Returns. . . . .

God protect and bless you, it will be the study of my life torequite you for all that you have suffered on my account. Adieumy beloved Wife.

Some Early Records of the Macarthurs of Camden (7)

Purchase [of Stock Farm] from Foveaux

Chelsea 26th December 1814.

My beloved Elizabeth.

The Northampton has been delayed so much longer than wasexpected, that I am enabled to add this to my little Packet, withsome letters from John, and one from William who is now with mefor the Holidays.—It also affords me an opportunity ofcommunicating a design, upon which I have been some timedeliberating, and have now determined to execute. James, as youhave repeatedly been informed has been employed all this year ina Merchants Counting House: and I think he has now acquired asufficient knowledge of Book Keeping, and Accounts, to answer anypurpose to which he may hereafter have occasion to apply thatspecies of knowledge,—William has also made a good progressin his education, and would do little good by a longercontinuance with Dr. Lindsay.—I propose therefore to setoff in about a month for the South of France, with James andWilliam, and to place them for a short time under the care ofsome enlightened French Preceptor of established reputation. Withhim, they will be led into a habit of reading and studying thosesciences particularly Mineralogy, that may be useful to them inNew South Wales. They will also have an opportunity of seeing andstudying the whole practice of the Culture of the Vine and theOlive, and the making the Wine and the Oil,—they willlikewise learn those exercises which give ease and gracefulnessto the person, and all at a much smaller expense than it wouldoccasion in England. I think six months will be sufficient forJames, but his stay will entirely depend upon the success of myendeavours to arrange matters with the Government. If I succeed,he will be then ready to accompany me, but if my stay here shouldbe protracted, I shall allow him to remain in France one year,and then send him out to you—I hope this plan will receiveyour approbation—In my opinion it promises manyadvantages.—For in addition to what I have enumerated theremay be many useful arts practised in Agriculture in the South ofFrance which might be successfully introduced into New SouthWales. The dear Boys are much pleased at the idea themselves, andas the execution will rather diminish than increase my expenses,I feel it is an opportunity of letting them see the world andgiving them a chance of acquiring knowledge that ought not to beneglected.

My stay in France will be in some measure governed by yourletters and by the progress my friends may make in theirnegotiations with Government on my behalf. If any Wool shouldarrive whilst I am absent. John will open your letters and thebusiness part will be executed by my friend Mr. Coles, as well asif I were present. But whatever happen, I shall not protract mystay beyond June. I shall remain in the same Town with the Boys,and shall watch their progress and perhaps facilitate it by mypresence. . . . .

London 16th February 1815.

My beloved Wife.

You will learn from a letter written a few days ago that I was atRochester with James and William on a visit to Mr. Lees andintending to proceed from thence to France. The day after thatletter was written I received information of the arrival of theSiringapatam and hastened back to London to get myletters. After a weeks delay I succeeded in getting possession ofthem without their going through the Post Office as is requiredby the New Act of Parliament.* You only do me justice insupposing that the assurance you give of your own health and thatof our dear Girls was the most valuable news you couldcommunicate. It was truly so and did and does greatly diminishthe mental suffering which my own most extraordinary diseasedFrame so often occasions. I need not say how much I wasdisappointed that the Wool did not come in the same vessel. Itwas in truth a most unlucky apprehension that prevented you fromsending it, I shall now be obliged to incur a very heavy expenseto insure by I know not what Ship and perhaps not receive theWool for many months, I hope when it does come that last YearsWool will accompany it and as I learn from Elizabeth's letters toher Brothers that you had made arrangements for shearing all theFlocks at home I entertain sanguine hopes that the quantity willbe much greater. You are no doubt aware that the Lambs Wool, isvaluable. In future I hope the moment the Wool is shornarrangements may be made for packing and that no time may be lostin completing the packing whether there be any prospect of a shipto send it by or not. I have said so much in former letters aboutthe care required in culling the finest woolled Ewes that itcannot be needful I should repeat it. Your letter contained noreturns of the Stock, no mention of the current prices nothing ofthe sale of Rams which as I understand the desire of getting fineWoolled Sheep is general among the Settlers I should suppose mustbe at good prices. You say that our losses of Stock have beencomparatively nothing to the losses of the former year but as younever told me what they were I am unable to form any satisfactoryopinion. Indeed my dearest Elizabeth I feel as ignorant of thestate of my own affairs as any stranger and when I aminterrogated upon the subject I can only stammer and lookfoolish. I must request that you will in future have the goodnessnever to despatch any letter without a return of Stock, thequantity of each kind sold in the preceding quarter, and theprices. The inference I draw from your making no remittance makesme regret that I have sent any articles for sale by theHebe but regrets are unavailing. If the Colony shouldcontinue in the same State of poverty it will be best perhaps toendeavour to realize prime cost as fast as you can, this howeverI leave entirely to your own discretion only do not trust. . . ..

I was very lucky at getting at your Packetbefore it went to the Post Office it would have cost at leastFive Guineas, do not neglect in future to write as close as youcan and not multiply your envelopes in a needless manner.Tomorrow I return to Blackheath and in three days time embark forFrance. I hope the mild climate of that Country will give merelief at all events we shall live at less expense there thanhere. All the Boys are well. . . . .

Macarthur set out for Paris in March, 1815, with his sonsJames and William aged 16 and 14. The day after their arrival inParis the Moniteur announced the escape of Napoleon fromElba, and his landing in the South of France. Macarthur did notthink it necessary to leave Paris, but remained quietly there,his sons acted as interpreters, as before leaving Sydney they hadbeen educated by a French émigré tutor, and were able tospeak French fluently.

On leaving Paris they travelled through Burgundy to Lyonsvisiting some of the celebrated wine districts en route. Theywere constantly thrown into the society of the military andcivilians in the public conveyances and hotels, but they met withnothing but courtesy and kindness.

From Lyons they went to Geneva, whence they set out on awalking tour around the Lake examining the vineyards by theway.

At Montreux they "stopped to breakfast and theland-lady informed us that a Swiss gentleman, who had been a longtime in England, was now here and that he would be happy to seeus. He accordingly called on us after breakfast with his two sonswho were born and educated in England. After a littleconversation they informed us that several of the inhabitants ofMontreux had emigrated to America for the purpose of cultivatingthe vine, and that Mr. Dufour, the founder of the project, was atpresent residing here. No information could have been better thanthis. It seemed as if fate had led us to this beautiful villageto meet the very man we most wished to find. The next morning wepaid a visit to Mr. Dufour we found him at work in his vineyard.. . . . He said that the vines in America had at first failed inthe way they had done in New Holland, but that by dint ofperserverance he had at length made them succeed, and heexplained the reason of their failure. My father found hisinformation of so much consequence that he resolved to make along stay in this part of the country. It was determinedtherefore that Mr. Dufour's son a young man of about 25, shouldaccompany me to Geneva in quest of our baggage."

In August they left the Chateau de Chattellard which they hadrented, and moved into the town of Vevey, where they made severalacquaintances. Whilst they were there Edward arrived from Paris,where his regiment was quartered, and spent some weeks withthem.

Edward had been with his regiment the 37th for some years inthe Peninsula, and constantly in action with Wellington's force.He was sent in 1814 to Canada with his regiment and quartered atQuebec, and they were ordered back and arrived just afterWaterloo had been fought. His regiment was with the Army ofoccupation in Paris when he obtained leave to visit his family atVevey.

Macarthur and his two sons left Vevey in the spring of 1816,accompanied by two vignerons from Montreaux, and travelledthrough Geneva, Lyons, Montpelier and Nîmes to Marseilles. Thejourney was accomplished chiefly on foot, in order to givegreater facilities for acquiring agricultural information, with aSwiss pony to carry the baggage, cuttings and plants collected onthe way. Besides the vine and olive culture they enquired intothe method of silk growing and the manufacture of rape and poppyoil, the latter being a substitute for olive oil. Irrigation alsoclaimed their attention. They returned to England early in May,1816, when Macarthur again pressed the Government to allow him toreturn to Sydney.

Geneva April 29th 1815.

You will see from the place that I date thisthat I have executed my intention of visiting the Continent, Iand the dear Boys sailed from Portsmouth 28th of February andarrived at Havre on the 2nd of March. We travelled slowly toParis and reached it the evening before the Moniteurannounced the return of that pest of the human race Buonapartefrom the Isle of Elba. Our curiosity was gratified by the sightof him the morning after his arrival in Paris. As we foundourselves quite as secure as under the Government of the King andas much undisturbed we continued at Paris until we had seeneverything worthy the notice of travellers, but as I found thatEngland and the other great Powers were determined upon War Ithought it too hazardous to stay much longer in France; but thatthe principal object of my journey might not be entirelyfrustrated I made up my mind to pass through some of the SouthernProvinces of France to this little Republic and to stay hereuntil the course of events should enable me to shape my courseanew with a fair prospect of being permitted to carry my plansinto execution without hindrance or molestation. We have passedthree weeks here very pleasantly and not without advantage to thedear Boys as they have prosecuted their studies and exercisesunder the instruction of the best Masters. The approach of aFrench Force within a few leagues of Geneva obliges me once moreto shift my quarters. In three days we shall commence our journeyfor Italy and proceed across the Alps to Milan this isrepresented to be a cheap and delightful abode and the contiguouscountry abounds with Vineyards and Olive grounds. If the Warshould prove unprosperous we can easily pass across Italy intoGermany and from thence return to England but I entertain no fearof being obliged to that alternative. France is not united as itwas after the Revolution, it is now divided into three partiesRoyalists, Buonapartists and Republicans, and the Powers opposedto them appear to be actuated by one common feeling a convictionthat the old legitimate Governments cannot exist or enjoy onehours security unless that of Buonaparte be overthrown and Francebe strictly confined to its ancient limits. That they willsucceed in their endeavours to accomplish this great object I seeno cause to doubt indeed I think Buonaparte will not retain hisauthority three months longer. If my opinion should be realised Ishall return to the South of France and there wait in anxiousexpectation for your answers to the letters I have written to youby different ships within the last six months. John has promisedme that he will write to you most fully by the Dowsen. Youwill be rejoiced to hear that our dear Edward is expected toreturn from America perhaps he may arrive before the departure ofthis. I have written to him to day recommending the adoption ofsome measures which I hope may lead to his procuring anappointment on the Staff. Poor fellow he has little cause as yetto consider himself one of fortune's favorites and yet I believefew young men have juster claims upon her regard. Thisconsideration ought to console us; he is universally respectedand praised by all who know him. My health is much recruited bymy journey—change of air, amusements and moderate exerciseare I believe the best remedies for all disorders of the nerves.My journey has afforded me all these in abundance and as I passedthrough France I had ample opportunity to acquaint myself withthe mode of pruning planting and preparing the soil to receivethe Vine so that pleasure and business went hand in hand. Jamesshall give you detailed account of our whole journey when wearrive in Italy. He grows very fast and promises to be a veryfine young man. William still continues a little lively fellowand I think will remain so but he is quick and intelligent tho'like his Father a little prone to be idle. James on the contraryis slow and persevering. I shall, enclose this in a few lines toHannibal principally upon the subject of money which you will ofcourse read before you give it to him. James and William unite inlove to the dear Girls and in prayers for the health andhappiness of you all. Frederick Thompson desires his love toElizabeth. God Bless my dearest Best beloved Wife.

Your Brothers unite in affectionate wishes with My dear John

Your affectionate Father

J. McArthur.

London May 22nd 1816.

My dearest Ever dear Elizabeth,

This will be delivered to you by Mr. Wild the gentleman who isappointed to succeed Mr. Ellis Bent in the Office of JudgeAdvocate to the Colony, and he will assure you that my ramblingson the Continent have proved most beneficial to my health withthe exception of a little Gout, I have now thank God, nothing tocomplain of on that score.—

James and I returned from France three weeks ago, leaving Willianwith Edward at his quarters near St Pol—All our boys are aswell as we could desire to have them. . . . .

I have been unusually anxious since I arrived in London for sometidings of the Hebe, and three days since informationreached us of her arrival at Batavia, and that she may beexpected here next month—If there be no previous arrivalsdirect from the Colony I calculate upon receiving by her a massof deeply interesting information, both on money matters andother affairs still more interesting—My letters bythat ship contained so full an explanation of what I hadencountered and had still to encounter here, that you would I ampersuaded exert yourself in every prudent and practicable way tocreate an interest in my behalf in the Colony—My friendshere have also been very active, and they assure me thatfavorable impressions have at last succeeded to the hostilespirit which has so long obstructed my return to you my belovedwife, and to all the blessings and enjoyments of the society ofmy dear Girls—I am living in hourly expectation of asummons to the Secretary of States Office to report the resultsof my tour, and I am assured that what they have been alreadytold respecting my collections of Vines and Olives has produced astrong effect.

There is a ship preparing for the Colony to take out Women, andby this ship I shall give you a detail, of all I have done and, Itrust in God, be empowered to inform you when the period of myweary and unhappy wanderings is likely to cease.

James and Willy think of nothing in their hours of relaxation buttheir home; and when they do return to it I am persuaded you willbe happy and proud of your children.

I have neither time nor indeed inclination at present to enterupon any details of business.—John has already acknowledgedthe safe arrival of the Wool and remittances by the SydneyPacket.—Considering the depressed state of the Markets atthe time it arrived I think it sold well at 2/6 pet lb., and itis most satisfactory to find that the Flocks are progressivelyimproving. . . . .

London June 26th 1816.

My dear Elizabeth.

This Letter will be delivered by a Mr. Edward Grey, a youngperson who is patronised by an intimate friend of our old friendDr. White. He has obtained the usual credentials from theSecretary of State to the Governor, to entitle him to a Grant ofLand &c., but as he is by trade a Gun Smith, he is at presentundecided whether on his arrival in the Colony, he shall proceedto cultivation, or employ himself at his Trade, until he shallhave acquired a sufficient stock of knowledge and experience inwhat manner he can most advantageously dispose of his littleCapital.

It appears to me that it will be most prudent for him to try hisTrade for a short period; but as the state of the Colony is muchchanged since I left it, I have not ventured to give any positiveadvice, feeling that a recommendation to you, for an opinion inwhat manner it will be advisable he should proceed, will be ofinfinitely more value.

Mr. Grey takes his wife with him, and I beg that you will notonly advise, but afford them any little assistance which asstrangers in the Colony they may need. . . . .

London 23rd July 1816.

Our dear James wrote to you so very lately thathe has now little to communicate, he therefore only writes a fewlines by this opportunity to assure you that he continues mostanxious to return to his home—Surely it cannot be longbefore this Emu or some other vessel must arrive torelieve us from the suspense and anxiety that your last Lettershave occasioned. I do not suffer myself to doubt more than I canhelp that the Colony got through the difficulties that threatenedit better than the existing state of things seemed to promise;but yet in spite of hope, I find it at times impossible to subdueapprehension—It shall not however, be the conqueror at thismoment. We have had a season here as remarkable for its continuedwetness as last year was with you for its drought; but the rainceased a day or two ago and I hope in time to prevent the countryfrom suffering any other evil from it, than the loss of a largequantity of Hay.—Should the Corn Harvest be materiallyinjured the consequences would be dreadful indeed, as it isnotorious, that the depressed state of the manufacturies andTrade of the Kingdom, and the weight of the Taxes, have thrown aconsiderable portion of the arable land out of cultivation, andcaused much that is in use to be very imperfectly worked—Ithas been reported to the House of Commons that upwards of FourMillions of persons have received Parochial relief this year, andit is estimated, that the expense will exceed TwelveMillions—Hundreds are wandering through every Districtseeking employment without success, and the most robust and ablebodied young men have no other support than what they get fromthe Parish—The Revenues have fallen short of theexpenditure more than Seventeen Millions, and it is ascertained,that the taxes are daily becoming, less and lessproductive—In short the most sanguine tremble for theresult and derive what little hope they indulge from the oldmaxim "that when things are at the worst theymend"—Notwithstanding these ominous and threateningappearances, no apparent change is discernable in the habits andexpenses of the upper classes of society—People are moregaily dressed than ever, the streets are thronged with carriages,the Public entertainments crowded to overflowing, delicacies ofevery description are eagerly sought after, and the principalcontention seems to be, who shall be foremost in the race ofdissipation and folly in the midst, however, of all this seemingfestivity and gladness, it is not difficult at times to peepunder the mask, and discover that the whole originates in a dreadof reflection, and an anxiety to escape from the torments ofcare—Never mind, they exclaim, all will be well—wehave gone on hitherto with unexampled success, and why should wenot continue our career, the little check we are now suffering isonly temporary, and at, all events, we cannot mend things, byanticipating evils that may never reach us, and if they do, weshall contrive some method of relief—Not one in a thousandhas the courage to look the desperate fortunes of the country inthe face.—Thus you see my dearest Elizabeth, that altho'you, God knows, have an abundant share of care, your lot is not asingular one—there are few persons in the world I believeof any rank, that are exempt, and therefore we must endeavour notto murmur that we participate in the general lot.

Take care of your health, maintain your spirits as well as youcan, and let hope whisper in your ear, that things are at theworst with us.—

London, 23rd July 1816.

My beloved Wife,

Your letter by the Hebe has been received nearly a month,and the days of that month have passed with more than usualtardiness in expectation of the arrival of the Emu or someother ship with the information you intended to give me when youshould have a more favorable channel of conveyance for it thanyou considered the Hebe to be. Your letter by that Vesselwas kindly and considerately forwarded by Captain Paten in thefirst ship that sailed from Batavia after his arrival. Rut forthis precaution I had still been in a worse state ofsuspense—The Hebe is now expected every day, whenshe arrives I shall endeavour to procure the information youencourage me to hope from Captain Paten, and I do not allowmyself entirely to despair of some day getting from yourself themore circumstantial answer which you promise me to the Lettersthat the Hebe took to you. . . . .

You assure me, that I have nothing to fear, and every thing tohope from the benevolence and good will of the Governor. Perhapsit may be so, and I hope it is; for, altho' a bitter course ofexperience has convinced me that fair professions have littleclaim to confidence, I always feel more disposed to trust than todoubt, and I should certainly be tempted to do so, in an instancethat might be productive of so much good, and so many advantages,if it were not for the consideration, that a misplaced confidencemight eventually overwhelm you, my children and myself inirretrievable ruin—If the stake were less that I haveat hazard—if it were confined solely to myself I should nolonger hesitate, because no consequences that can ensue, couldcause a larger degree of personal suffering than I now undergo,but every feeling revolts at the idea of endeavouring to relievemyself at the hazard of involving you all—I will thereforemy dearest Elizabeth, no longer conceal from you that unless theinstructions, of which I sent you a copy, be revoked, theexistance of your husband, and the fortunes of yourchildren must depend upon the forbearance of anindividual—which numberless incidents over which I couldhave no control might transform into activepersecution—This is a fact that I am persuaded GovernorM—has long been acquainted with, and this was my principalinducement for urging you to, attempt measures, which might makehim feel an interest to interfere on my behalf.—Could hehave been prevailed upon to recommend me to the favorable noticeof Government nothing more would have been needed—theywould have instantly complied—But this I can no longerhope, for surely you would not have postponed an hour to imparttidings of so much importance, had there been anything pleasingto make known—I shall, however, wait a little longer untilI see what your next letters contain, and if they prove what Icannot avoid anticipating—I shall make application to theSecretary of State—I have come to this determination underthe advice of some able and dispassionate friends who, are ofopinion, that, in times like the present, Govt. will be asdesirous to avoid the publick discussion of the merits of Mr.Blighs deposition, as I can be to escape from itsconsequences—A little time must determine and I trust inGod turn all my tormenting doubts and fears into a happycertainty—of one thing be assured that I shall proceed withthe most guarded caution, and try to the utmost what concilatorymeasures will do, before I attempt any others—Let me thenentreat you my beloved Wife to bear yourself with patience andfortitude, and remember that we have all the reason to confide inthe favor and protection of a just God, which the consciousnessof innocence integrity and honour can give—I need notcaution you not to confide what I have now written to any humanbeing, and your prudence will suggest to you the propriety ofcommitting this Letter to the Flames.—It will be deliveredto you by a Mr. Barron Field, a Gentleman who leaves this Countrywith the appointment of Judge of the Supreme Court—I havehad the pleasure to see but little of him, but I doubt not hewill prove an agreeable acquisition to your littleSociety—I understand he has lately married—but I havenot had the pleasure to see his Lady—He goes out I believewith very sanguine expectations. . . . .

Let what may happen I shall endeavour to procure a passage outfor James in a ship that has been taken up within these few days,but whose name I do not recollect, I understand she will not sailin less than two months, and perhaps not less than three orfour—I will make no reflections upon the alarming accountyou give of the impoverished state of the Colony, and theconsequences which the continuance of drought may haveproduced—We are all under the Government of a powerful andmerciful God, and it is our duty to submit in the best way we areable to His dispensations—At the time your letter waswritten your Sheep Shearing must have been well advanced if notentirely over, and yet not one word does it contain upon thatsubject nor any information (so earnestly as I desired)respecting the Wool. . . .

Your remittances have all been accepted and will be paid in a dayor two,—They were more than acceptable for I had been putto a great expense—Edward returned from America wantingeverything, and placing John in the Temple and providing him withmeans to pursue his studies has cost me a great deal—I hopeyour next account of the adventure of the Hebe will bemore consolotary—. . . .

I say nothing of publick affairs for they are beyond mycomprehension—Some believe and more I suspect, profess tobelieve, that the difficulties under which the whole nation isgroaning, will be surmounted—It may be so, altho' I amunable to see how it is to be accomplished, but my own opinionis, that the Country is ruined, that is to say, that anextraordinary crisis is at hand. In such a melancholy state ofthings, it is some comfort that you are far removed from allchance of being injuriously affected by them—

London July 28th 1816.

My dearest Elizabeth,

If I were superstitiously inclined I should be half disposed tobelieve that I wrote to you the other day under a supernaturalinfluence, for altho' so little time has since elapsed I havealready reason to encourage a belief that the tide of misfortunehas turned. I wrote the letter, I informed you I intended to sendto Lord Bathurst the following day, and put it into the hands ofmy old and steady friend Mr. Watson Taylor, to revise and correctas he might think necessary. Without changing a word, orimparting his intentions to me, he went to the Secretary ofStates' Office, and read it to the Under Secretary, assuring himat the same time, that he knew I was determined to suffer insilence no longer. This produced the happiest effect, and a wishwas expressed, that I might be induced to suppress the letter hehad heard, and substitute another, which should contain noallusion to any past transactions; and altho', he said, hecould not undertake to engage, that Lord Bathurst wouldrevoke the instructions that were given to Governor Macquarrie onhis appointment, yet he could venture to say, that no hostilefeeling existed towards me, and he thought there could be nocause to doubt Lord Bathurst's readiness to adopt such a courseof conduct, as must be satisfactory: and, that every reasonablefacility would be given to enable me and my Sons to return to theColony.

Mr. Watson Taylor considers this tantamount to a promiseof a cessation of hostilities, and that a little patience willremove every obstacle to my return. Your discernment and goodsense will explain the policy of Mr. Watson Taylor'sconduct—By shewing the Copy of my intended Letter hecreated a feeling of alarm, and at the same time gave me anopportunity of shewing the moderation of my views, by consentingto adopt any course that might be prescribed, provided thatGovernment in return relieved me from the hardship to which Ihave been so long exposed. Should the Lord Melville bedetained a few days more I hope I shall be able to forward morepositive information by her, but at all events, I shall berelieved from every doubt long before the next Ships can be readyto sail and T am not without hopes that they may bring yousomething better and more acceptable than assurances.—Jamesis almost crazy with joy at the idea of returning to his home toenjoy the society of his dear Mother and Sisters, and I, who donot suffer my emotions to be so unruly, cannot boast that my mindis in the most tranquil state. Practice, my beloved Elizabeth,yet a little longer the admirable fortitude that has enabled youso many years to sustain such a train of afflictions; and cheeryour heart with the anticipation that the end of a stormy lifemay yet be passed in security, happiness, and peace—We haveyet not received any tidings of the Emu, and I find itimpossible to banish apprehensions of the difficulties you mayhave suffered from a continuation of the terrible drought whichyour last letters described—I do not, however,despond—Let me only find you and my dear Girls in healthwhen I return, and all other evils will appear light, and onlyadditional stimulants to exertions.

Will you have the goodness to prepare in the most careful manneryou can, a few acres of the Cow Pastures for Seeds, on land outof reach of floods, and likewise eight or ten acres atParramatta, for the same purpose—We shall find roomsomewhere for the Vines and Olives I hope to bring out alive.

I have sent in charge of Mr. Grey the first number, of a newPublication "The Colonial Journal," the Editor of which will beglad to receive any communications and insert them in this work.Mr. Grey's relation has just called to say the LordMelvilles departure is postponed—this gives me hopesthat I may yet be able to give you still more pleasing news.

August 3rd.

I sent in the Letter to which I allude in thefirst part of this on the 1st and it is probable I shall have ananswer early in next week, but I fear not in time to inform youof its contents by the Lord Melville—My letter wasdelayed two or three days by Mr. Watson Taylor to make somealterations.

It will be some relief from the painful suspense I am compelledto keep you in to know that our dear Boys Edward and William arearrived and with me in excellent healths, the accompanyingletters will speak for them. . . . . The News Papers will informyou my dearest Elizabeth how melancholy the prospects of thisCountry are—Something must be soon done, but what, it isimpossible to say, whatever it may be it must increase ourpopulation, and I earnestly request that you will notdispose of any part of your breeding Stock that you cankeep with advantage, hint this to no one.

I hope yet to write to you once more by the Lord Melvillealtho' I dare not delay this any longer for fear she shouldsail—This makes the third letter I have written you Two byMr. Barron Field, and one by Mr. Grey, who has charge of the"Colonial Journal"—I have sent you nothing but that and theNewspapers, well knowing that the little things I have by me thatI purchased in France will be more acceptable from my own handsthan from any other. May God bless and protect you and soonrestore us to each other. Adieu My beloved Wife.

Your affectionate.

John McArthur.

London, 19th August 1816.

My dearest best beloved Wife.

The continued delay of the Lord Melville has given me themeans of transmitting to you copies of the correspondence thathas passed between Government and me and my invaluable friend Mr.Watson Taylor, I beseech you not to suffer yourself to bedispirited at the apparent difficulties that obstruct my return,they will, they must be overcome, and be assured that they willterminate in the most reputable manner to me to you and to allour dear children. I must not however attempt to conceal from youthat some months may elapse and that it is even probable that Ishall be compelled to make an appeal to Parliament and to layopen all the iniquities of Mr. Bligh's Government. It will affordyou great consolation to discover that Mr. Watson Taylor approvesof the course I have already taken, and though no man can beexpected to advise in a matter of such importance and nicety itis clear that he thinks that I am correct in deciding as I havedone not to submit to any thing which can cast the smallest stainon my honor. It is also evident that Government feel themselvesgreatly embarrassed and all my friends are of opinion that theymust be sorry for having proposed anything which may provoke apublick discussion of the merits of my conduct or an examinationinto the motives that induced them to raise Bligh to the rank ofan Admiral and to give him a pension for the faithful dischargeof his duty in New South Wales. Many think they will not ventureto persevere in refusing to concede the point in dispute betweenus whilst others think they will. There is however no ground uponwhich any correct judgment can be reared, because when men actwithout regard to fixed principles and make expediency alone therule of their conduct it is impossible to say what they may ormay not do. Your own good sense will point out to you that youought on no consideration to suffer these papers to go out ofyour hands for if a copy of the private letters were to getabroad it would ruin me in the opinion of my friends and theWorld. I think indeed that it would be most prudent to show themto no one, but to Governor Macquarrie whose kindness to youentitles him to the fullest confidence, he will at once see howdesirable it is I should procure a revocation of the hostileinstructions he received from Lord Castlereagh; as he might if Iwere to return without that being effected find himself muchembarrassed by new instructions in the same spirit altho' not tothe same extent. I am convinced a man of his benevolent heartwill be gratified to find himself unemcumbered by Officialtrammels and at perfect liberty to act towards me in the mannerthat my exertions for the advancement of the real interests ofthe Colony may appear to him to deserve. I wish to God it may bemy fortune to live some years under his auspices, for from allyou tell me, he is the man best calculated to promote myundertakings and the only man who has yet governed the Colonywith a sufficient elevation of mind and depth of judgment todiscover, that his own interest and honor would be improved by myultimate success.

If I do not come to an immediate settlement with Government Jameswill take his passage in the next Ship. William is yet too youngto be removed from under my eye and I shall therefore place himunder an intelligent Scotch Farmer to be instructed inAgriculture until I can bring him to you. We are all well andanxiously looking for letters from you. I pray God they maycontain assurances of your having got well over the difficultiesthat threatened the Colony when your letter was written. The Boysall unite in affectionate and dutiful remembrances Assure my dearGirls of my unceasing affection.


Copy of letter to Earl Bathurst.


My Lord,

The circumstance that causes me to address your Lordship is ofsuch a nature as I persuade myself will sufficiently apologizefor the intrusion.

Your Lordship is without doubt informed of the extent and natureof my establishment in N.S. Wales: and as one of the principalobjects I have struggled to introduce has at last overcome allthe obstacles under which it so long languished; and has growninto sufficient importance! to excite some attention from thosewho view with regard any undertaking which has a tendency topromote the manufactures and Trade of Great Britain, I feelassured that it has not been considered undeserving some portionof your Lordship's notice. I allude, My Lord to the introductioninto that distant Colony of a breed of Merino Sheep, specimens ofthe Wool of which I once had the honour to submit to yourLordship's notice. The approbation your Lordship was pleased toexpress upon that occasion excite hopes that any additionalevidence may not be unacceptable of the progressive advancementof an attempt that is capable of so much extension, and thebeneficial consequences of which, both to the Colony and to theMother Country, no person is more capable of appreciating thanyour Lordship.

Under this impression I have done myself the honor to encloseherewith a set of samples taken from a quantity of Wool that Ihave lately received. The gross amount of the importation wasupwards of fifteen thousand weight and the quality of the wholeof the Wool was so much approved of by those who are interestedin the Wool trade, that much earnestness has been expressed byseveral of those persons for a preference in the offer of thenext parcel from the Colony.

The apprehension I feel of being considered troublesome, imposesa limit which admits not of my entering into details respectingother designs, I have spared neither labour nor expense toexecute. Your Lordship will have perhaps the goodness to permitme to state, that I have in a tour through France and a part ofSwitzerland made a collection of Olives and Vines (that are nowin a state of preparation to send abroad) and that during my tourI assiduously studied the cultivation of these two great sourcesof human enjoyment and wealth.

There are many obstacles I admit to impede their successfulintroduction into an infant Colony, but great as they are, Ithink they may be surmounted by patience and perseverance: andwere they to receive the fostering protection of your Lordship Ishould feel almost confident of success.

In similar attempts much of my life has been spent with moreadvantage to the Colony than profit to myself, andnotwithstanding I have experienced many strange obstructions,perhaps unavoidable, they have not abated my zeal to perform allthe services that are within the compass of my humble means andability.

Your Lordship is, I believe, aware that it has been my misfortuneto be in some measure compelled to abandon the superintendance ofmy affairs for more than seven years; and to submit to the severesuffering of being separated from my Family. And as I am informedthat the same cause which has so long imposed this painfulseparation still exists with unabated vigor, I am compelled tothrow myself on your Lordship's candour, humanity, and justicefor relief.

Of what I may be accused I am almost entirely ignorant but thefearlessness of an upright heart prompts me to declare that I amand always have been prepared to submit both my private and mypublick life to the severest scrutiny.

My Lord, I am perfectly sensible of the delicacy of this subject,and no human being can be more solicitous not to give offence butI owe it to myself and to my family to submit in silence nolonger. I can only conjecture what injurious impressions havebeen excited against me, perhaps on evidence without the reality,but with too much of the show of truth. Your Lordship has thepower to give me an opportunity of stripping these unjustallegations of their borrowed garb; and it is the only favor thatI at present presume to ask.

Let me, My Lord, be informed on what evidence the proscriptionunder which I now suffer was issued, and why it was thought rightto select me as a solitary victim from an almost entirepopulation, and I have no apprehension but I shall be able tooffer such a justification as will convince your Lordship that Iam at least entitled to expect from His Majesty's Government thefullest security that the remainder of my life may be passed inthe bosom of my Family, free even from the possibility ofmolestation on account of the part that I found myself compelledto take in the affair from the consequences of which I am now onmany accounts so anxious to obtain relief.

Every act of mine in the unhappy transaction to which I amsolicitous to draw your Lordship's attention proceeded from theimpulse of a fatal necessity and to prevent consequences which noman could be more ready to deplore than your Lordship: and if Imight be permitted the indulgence of a short interview I cannotfear but I should produce the most convincing proof of what Iaffirm.

In the earnest and respectful hope that my request may becomplied with,

I have the honor to remain

John McArthur.

This letter was sent to Mr. Watson Taylor forhis approbation and shewn confidentially by him to Mr.Goulburn, the Under Secretary to Lord Bathurst who requested thatit might not be sent into the Office. In consequence of this Mr.W. T. advised that the following which he thought more likely tosucceed should be forwarded to Lord Bathurst.

Ibbotson's Hotel

1st August 1816.

My Lord,

Although circumstances have hitherto prevented my return to mypossessions in New South Wales I have had the good fortunethrough the prudent and able management of Mrs. McArthur tocontinue my establishment there until the principal obstacles Ihad to encounter in my breed of Sheep have been overcome, and ithas been brought to such a state of perfection that theimportation of the Wool I have lately made from thence into thisCountry has excited the attention of those interested in theTrade to such a degree that several of them have desired to havea preference when the next parcel arrives from the Colony, thegross amount of this last importation being upwards of fifteenthousand weight from my own flocks. I have for the last two yearsdirected my labours further for the benefit of the Colony, havingwith two of my Sons travelled through France and Switzerland, andassiduously studied the different modes of cultivating those twogreat sources of human enjoyment and wealth, the Olive and theVine; a collection of which and other useful plants I have now ina state of preparation to send abroad.

With these interesting and indeed important pursuits before me,and with the most confirmed disposition to devote to them and thecare of my domestic concerns, my undivided attention, may Isubmit it most respectfully to your Lordship's consideration,whether after a lapse of so many years, when all the harsh andviolent feelings which formerly distracted the different membersof the Community in Port Jackson have been worn out, yourLordship might not think it reconcilable with your strict senseof publick duty to direct an Act of Oblivion to be passed by HisMajesty's present Governor in New South Wales, as to all themeasures in which I was most reluctantly involved and therebyenable me with my two sons to return to the Colony, to the bosomof my family where my presence is essentially necessary, and tothe laudable and beneficial pursuits, in which the publick goodis as much concerned as my private advantage, with security to myperson and relieved from those molestations to the possibility ofwhich I am at present exposed, and which operate as a banishmentfrom every thing that is most valuable to me in life.

Your Lordship's early consideration of this request will begratefully acknowledged, and should you be pleased to comply withit, your Lordship will never have any reason to be dissatisfiedwith so just and so benevolent a decision,

I have the honor to remain withthe greatest respect

John McArthur.

To the Earl Bathurst,

Downing Street,

2nd August 1816.


I am directed by Lord Bathurst to acknowledge the receipt of yourletter of the 1st Inst., expressing your desire to rejoin yourFamily in New South Wales, and requesting that the Governor maybe instructed to pass an Act of Oblivion with respect to allthose measures in which you were engaged in that Colony.

In reply I have to acquaint you that His Lordship taking intoconsideration the length of time during which you have beenseparated from your Family, the exertions which you have made topromote the agriculture and prosperity of New South Wales, andabove all the assurances that his Lordship has received fromvarious quarters as well as from yourself that you are fullysensible of the impropriety of conduct which led to yourdeparture from the Colony, no longer objects to authorizeyour return.

His Lordship will therefore transmit the necessary instructionsto the Governor not to offer you any molestation on account ofpast transactions nor to adopt with respect to you anymeasures other than your future conduct in the Colony may appearto him to require.

I am, Sir,

Your obedient Humble Servant

Henry Goulburn.

John McArthur, Esq.

The following are the alterations proposed by my Fatherand Mr. W. Taylor, instead of the words ** "that youare fully sensible of the impropriety of conduct &c" thefollowing were to be substituted "as well as from yourself thatyou are fully prepared to devote your undivided attention tothese important pursuits within the Colony". And the letter wasto conclude at the words "past transactions" on account ofthe ambiguity of the remaining part of the sentence.


Savile Row 5th August 1816

My dear Sir,

I feel much obliged to you for the early attention you have paidto Mr. McArthur's application, at the same time I must confessthat I consider a passage in your answer of which he has justtransmitted me a copy as rather bearing more strongly on hisfeelings than the occasion requires, though I am disposed tobelieve not intentionally on your part. I mean where one of thegrounds for Lord Bathurst's favorable and liberal considerationof the circumstances in which he is placed, is stated to be thatof Mr. McArthur's being "fully sensible of the impropriety ofconduct which led to his departure from the Colony."

He has addressed himself to me by letter upon this point in avery Gentlemanlike manner, putting it to me whether for anyconsideration whatever he can become a party to his own dishonor,and I really think more highly of him for not being disposed tocompromise his honor, and catch at a most important object uponany terms to which a man of relaxed principle is too ready tosubmit.

I have seen Mr. McArthur's Letter to Lord Bathurst, and theassurances he therein expresses, appear to me sufficient tojustify his Lordship's indulgence without a recorded stigma onMr. McArthur, and I beg leave just to submit to you in confidencewhether the pencilled sentence recapitulating his own expressionswould not reconcile every difficulty, and secure the dignity andconsistency of Government without defeating the object which itwas in contemplation to concede.

I am going to Ryde with my Family early to-morrow and it would bean additional act of kindness if you would previously inform mewhether you think Lord Bathurst will accept the enclosed originalletter of yours to Mr. McArthur and authorize you to addressanother to him of the purport above suggested, I am aware that Ican only write thus to you in private a liberty which I hope youwill excuse.

I remain, My dear Sir,

Most truly Yours,

George Watson Taylor.

Henry Goulburn Esq.


Downing Street,

August 14th 1816.

My dear Sir,

As Lord Bathurst only returned to Town yesterday and as I couldnot without his sanction alter a letter which he had speciallyapproved it was out of my power to answer your letter of the 5thas soon as I should otherwise have done.

I am sorry to say that Lord Bathurst differs from you in opinionas to the propriety of expunging the part of the letter which youconsider objectionable. If Mr. McArthur thinks that his conductin the Colony was not improper it is certainly honorable in himnot to accept a present benefit by a sacrifice of principle; butI am sure you will agree with Lord Bathurst in thinking that thecircumstances of his entertaining an opinion that his conduct wasright is that of all others which should prevent the Govt. fromsanctioning his return: as it is hard to say that a man shall notagain do what he considers to be right and proper and there is nosecurity against a repetition of what formerly took place.

Whether there might not be circumstances in the Colony topalliate or to a certain degree to justify Mr. McArthur's conductis another question: but we cannot subscribe to the opinion thatthe conduct was not improper upon the very ground upon which Mr.McA., thinks it out of his power to subscribe to thecontrary.

I have stated freely to you Lord Bathurst's sentiments on thissubject.

There is certainly every disposition to comply with Mr.McArthur's wish but he does not feel that he can go farther thanhe has done. I return the letter not without hopes that Mr.McArthur may upon reconsideration not consider it soobjectionable as it might have appeared at first sight. I needhardly add that I shall be happy on this or any other occasion tohear from you and that you need never give yourself the troubleof making apologies.

Believe me,

My dear Sir,

Yours ever faithfully,

Henry Goulburn.

G. Watson Taylor Esqre.

London 1st October 1816.

Still we are kept in the most painful state ofsuspense. You will find enclosed in the Packet with this theContinuance of my correspondence with Government and a letterfrom James detailing all that has transpired since the date of mylast letter to my good friend Mr. Watson Taylor. At the interviewwhich I have had with the Under Secretary of State a vast varietyof explanations took place on both sides and I believe Isucceeded in convincing him that I am not to be tempted by anyconsideration whether promising present ease or threateningfuture evils to depart from those principles that I have everendeavoured to regulate my conduct by. Mr. Goulburn paid me manyhigh compliments and even proceeded to the length of saying thatif he were in my situation he should not hesitate to conform tothe expectations of Government. I in return lamented that it wasmy misfortune not to be able to think with him, and assured himthat I felt a great increase of regret to find myself restrainedby the imperious dictates of honor from acknowledging concern forthe part I had taken in the arrest of Governor Bligh, an act thatI had and ever must consider one of the most meritorious in whichI had ever been engaged, still however, I added, if Governmententertain different sentiments, let them express them, but do notcall upon me to acquiesce in their propriety. If they see fit tocensure my conduct let them do so, it will be my duty to bowunder the censure with respectful silence. If they censure mewrongfully the publick will judge between us and if they incurpublick censure for supporting a tyrant and oppressor it will bebrought upon them by their own act and deed.

I concluded by assuring him that I was determined to suffer insilence no longer, and that unless an amicable arrangement couldbe made I should certainly petition Parliament and lay open inthe best way I was able all the iniquities of Mr. Bligh of whichI hold in my possession abundant proofs, that I was not to bedeterred from producing in the way that the unfortunate andill-advised Colonel Johnston had been. I then referred him to theenclosures in Colonel Johnston's publick letter which I think itprobable have never been read and I could discover that nothingis wanting on my part but a little patience and a great deal offirmness to relieve my self from all my difficulties, the first Ishall endeavour for, and the last thank God I can practicewithout much exertion. . . . .

Dec. 16th 1816.

You will I fear be disappointed that James isnot the Bearer of this Letter but I could not make arrangementsfor his passage as the Captain of the Morley declinedtaking my draft on you or an acceptance payable in three monthshere, and the delay of your remittances put it out of my power tocomply with his demand of immediate payment unless I absolutelyemptied my purse. Many other opportunities will presentthemselves early in the Spring, and Surely, ere that letters fromyou must arrive by other Ships even though this tardy Emushould never make her appearance. Of my own affairs I can speakwith no kind of certainty or when it may be possible for me toreturn to you. I hope you will receive my letters by theFame and Lord Melville. These contain copies of acorrespondence between Government and myself and I now encloseyou a copy of the last letter that has passed. Unpromising as areits contents you must not be dismayed or dejected because I thinkI have good reason to encourage hopes of a speedy change in theplans of Government respecting the Colony—and I positivelyknow that they will be strongly pressed to listen to my opinionsand at all events to do me justice. I have been induced topostpone my reply to Mr Goulburn's letter partly on this Accountand partly from an expectation that your letters may contain somenecessary information. Dearest had this been sent by theHebe as it really ought to have been how much uneasinessmight I have escaped; and how greatly might the period of ourunfortunate separation from each other have been diminished. Inan interview I had some time ago with the Under Secretary ofState he told me that the complaint against Governor Macquarriewere as bad as those made against Bligh. To this I replied that Icould offer no opinion upon the subject as I possessed not thesmallest information of the Publick affairs of the Colony exceptfrom rumour to which my own experience taught me never to listenwithout the strongest suspicion. That all the knowledge I had ofGovernor Macquarrie's administration of the Government relatedexclusively to my own private affairs and that I most willinglybore testimony that you had received more attention kindness andfavor from him than from the whole of his predecessors. It ishowever generally understood that his removal has been determinedupon as several persons have been named as candidates for theappointment.* The one spoken of with the greatest confidence isSir Thomas Brisbane a very distinguished Officer of the highestcharacter. It is known that he has been long desirous to obtainthe Government of the Colony and that his application has beensupported by the interest of the Duke of York. I am of opinionthe Emu's despatches will produce a decision; in whichcase I shall be able to see my own way more distinctly than I doat present, and having as I hope I shall then have something likea knowledge of my own affairs, be better able to determine what Iought to do. Not however to keep you in needless suspense, if Ifind that pacific measures will not procure the relief to which Ithink myself entitled and in which opinion I have thesatisfaction to say all who know my case concur, it is extremelyprobable I shall petition the House of Commons, and bring forwardthe proofs of Mr. Bligh's peculations which have so long sleptand which I am persuaded, as indeed I always was, would had theybeen produced at Colonel Johnston's trial have saved him, andsecured to the cause, for which, poor man, he was so unfit aChampion, a triumph, instead of a defeat. Many publick men whohave seen these proofs are of opinion the moment Government knowthey are in my hands we shall speedily terminate our differences.God grant it may be for I am weary of contention. You will learnfrom the Newspapers the wretched state of this Country and whatan alarming riot took place lately in the City It appears veryclear from the evidence which has transpired that nothing but theintemperate impatience of a young" man prevented the plans whichhad been formed from being executed, and the insurrection of afurious mob rendered desperate by wretchedness and hunger fromassuming the most formidable attitude. You have just cause tothink yourself highly favoured that your lot and that of yourFamily has been cast where it is, for whether the discontentedmultitude prevail or the Government preserve its authority I amsure this Country has to pass through a fiery ordeal. It is pastdoubt that the Agricultural Capital of the Country is more thanhalf destroyed, and that the manufacturing and commercialinterests are threatened with as great if not greater calamity,but the most unpromising or I should have said appalling symptomis the universal apathy which pervades the higher classes whoseduty it is to take the lead in times of such imminent peril andalarm, they absolutely act as if they considered the state of theCountry desperate and incurable, and therefore not entitled tofurther care, if something effectual be not done to diminish theenormous weight of taxes I am convinced that most afflictive anddisastrous results will be felt by all but more particularly bythe higher and middle classes of the Nation. Do not let theseopinions go beyond your own circle.

I heard from dear Ned about a fortnight since,quietly quartered in the neighbourhood of St. Pol, a small Townabout 50 miles from Calais. John is on a visit to a friend inBedfordshire and will not return to Town for a few days. Jamesand William are with me they are all well and continue to beeverything a parent can reasonably desire. The two latter aregoing to devote their winter months to some philosophical studiesthat may be both ornamental and useful to them in the Colony andto the learning or rather perfecting themselves in some exercisesin which they are yet but novices. Mr. Smith is this moment comein he has consented to spend the day with me and I have engagedin return to escort him to the Play House to see the splendidTheatre of Drury Lane and the celebrated Actor Kean. I amexceedingly pleased with this young man and if there be many likehim in the 46th I should think they must be as happy as I am surethey must be respectable. . . . .

God bless and protect you all.


Downing Street 14th October 1816.


I had not until yesterday an opportunity of submitting to LordBathurst, your anxiety to learn his decision, with respect to theobservations which you made to me, at our late interview, on thesubject of receiving his authority, for your return to New SouthWales.

His Lordship has directed me to observe, that the communicationswhich he has received from you, since the period, at which hisacquiescence in your return, was notified to Mr. Watson Taylor,have produced a material alteration in his opinions as to thepropriety of acceding to your wish. So long as Lord Bathurstbelieved that you felt the impropriety of the part you had takenin the Deposition of Governor Bligh, his Lordship thought himselfauthorized to accept your regret for the past, as a security foryour future conduct; and therefore, saw no objection to releaseyou from the restrictions, with respect to a residence in NewSouth Wales, to which you had been subjected.

But, as you have now distinctly stated, that, so far fromconsidering yourself as having acted with any impropriety, youwill not even accept a permission to return to New South Wales,if it can be supposed to imply such an acknowledgment, LordBathurst cannot but think, that, after such a declaration of yoursentiments, it would not be proper to give his sanction to yourreturn:—calculated under such circumstances to give adangerous encouragement, to those in the Colony, who might feel adisposition, to direct against the authority of the presentGovernor, a spirit of resistance, which, under suchcircumstances, they would readily persuade themselves, was nolonger discountenanced at Home.

I am, Sir,

Your most obedient humble Servant,

Henry Goulburn.

London December 9th 1816.

I wrote to you by the Shipley two daysago but suffering so much painful suspense as I at present do bythe delay of Letters, I am more strongly impelled to take theprecautions needful to secure you from similar feelings, if itshould happen that the Morley (by which this is intendedto be sent) should arrive first and therefore I shall now repeatsuch information as that Letter (I mean the one by theShipley) contained relative to our own immediateaffairs.

The Letter of advice which you wrote by the Emu wasforwarded from the Cape of Good Hope and has been in mypossession a month, Lieut. Smith also arrived in London lastTuesday (3 inst.) and immediately delivered Elizabeth's Letter toJohn and all the little accompanyments mentioned in it—Ihad the good fortune to find him out the very same evening andsat with him until a very late hour, listening to as muchinformation as he had time to communicate that night. He leftTown yesterday, but with the exception of one day every other dayhas been spent with me. I have had the satisfaction to find himwell informed and most willing to bear the labour of answering myunceasing questions and altho' it was not in his power to tell meall I wanted to know yet I have learnt more from him than I havedone since my return to England, from the whole of the persons towhom you have unluckily referred me—I have endeavoured toreturn his obliging communicativeness by shewing him everyattention in my power, and I think I may venture to say that hehas left me not dissatisfied with the reception he hasreceived—He appears to be a very gentlemanly and honourableyoung man.

Now for ourselves—you will most probably have heard thatthe Emu ran aground on going into Symonds Bay and receivedso much injury that it was necessary to repair her before shecould prosecute her voyage—In consequence of this untowardaccident she will perhaps not arrive, in England these three orfour weeks to come—and as Lieut. Frash has thought right todetain the despatch Box, in which were your letters, I amconstrained to make large Drafts upon patience—and tosubmit to some inconvenience for want of your remittances and nolittle vexation by the delay of the information which I trustyour Letters contain—The most material and vexatiousconsequence of the detention of the Emu it that it hasprevented me from sending out James in the Morley, as itwas my determination to have done—But her Commander refusedto take a Draft upon you for the amount of his passage, or toreceive a Bill payable in this Country at two or three monthsdate and being short of money myself, I did not choose in such atime of universal distress as the present to attemptborrowing—This will try you I fear and it should not havebeen mentioned, but that I disapprove of secrets and mystery. . .. .

It is with painful regret that I acquaint you of the totalrupture of my negotiations with Government. By different ships Ihave forwarded to you copies of the correspondence that has beencarried on between us, which I hope will reach you safely, fromthese you will discover that I have been required to sanction abelief that I regret the part which I took in the arrest of thatmiscreant Bligh, and that I have unequivocably refused to doso—My next step is at present undecided and must remain sountil I get your Letters, because in them I expect to find fullinformation upon all those subjects which my letters by theHebe treated on, and if that be of the nature I am taughtto expect from some hints from you and from Elizabeth, perhapsthe present obstacles to a complete pacification may be removedwithout much difficulty—This will I know make you, mybeloved Wife, severely lament that the Hebe did not bringas she certainly ought to have done, answers to the letters sentby her—but it is past, and my animadversions will notcorrect the mischief—I was going to say, and may notprevent its recurrence, if, (which God forbid) I should be muchlonger detained from your arms and my long forsaken home. . . ..

I must not omit to tell you that no doubt is entertained herethat Governor Macquarrie will be recalled, Sir Thomas Brisbane isconfidently spoken of as his successor, and if he be, it isextremely probable I shall accompany him to the Colony. WilliamWentworth came home in the same Frigate with Lt. Smith, but he isnot yet arrived in town from Plymouth, at least I have not heardof him—Mr. Smith supposes him to have been detained by somedifficulty in passing his baggage through the Custom House. Tellhis Father he is well and very highly spoken of by Mr. Smith. Sayall that is needful for me both at home and abroad and believe meMy beloved Wife,

Your unalterably affectionateHusband

John McArthur.

I fear you will be puzzled to decypher but myvaried feelings when I write to you compel me to write as fast aspossible were I to ponder not a word could I write.

This will be delivered to you by a Mr. Espie (a Surgeon in theNavy and Agent to the Convicts) You will be indebted to him forthe Postage of this Packet to Deal, which I have not paid,because I know Post paid Letters sometimes mis-carry—Mr.Espie has very obligingly exerted himself in my affair with theCaptain of the Morley to procure James a passage and Ihave no doubt will prove deserving any attention you may have itin your power to show him in return.

John Macarthurto Lieut. J.R. Smith.

London, January 16th 1817.

My dear Sir,

I have delayed doing myself the pleasure of replying to yourobliging Letter of the 20th of December hoping that it would bein my power to communicate the particulars of an amicablearrangement with the great personage in Downing Street; butaltho' I still continue to encourage hopes nothing conclusive hasyet been done.—You are exceedingly good to think of thewants of your absent friends so immediately after your return toyour own from; whom you have been separated so long, and whenevery moment must have many pressing claims—The Moss Roses& Sea Kale I have no doubt will go out securely packed inMoss, and the Glass which I find on further inquiry is muchcheaper than it can be procured here, will be highly acceptable.I think about 6 dozen Wine Glasses, 3 dozen Rummers 2 Pair ofQuart Decanters, 2 Pair Pint, 2 Cut Water jugs and any otherlittle thing you may think useful, will be sufficient. The costof them I will repay to your Draft and if it will be equallyconvenient, you can arrange in the way you propose with yourfriend Colonel Molle, and Mrs. McArthur can pay him. . . . .

Letters are arrived by the Alexander dated up to themiddle of June, I have one from my wife in which she acquaints mein a most sorrowful style that the Governor had become highlyunpopular but she is silent respecting the cause. I have howeverlearnt from William Wentworth who also has a letter thatMacquarrie had flogged a man of good character who came free tothe Country for crossing his Domain at Sydney and thatnotwithstanding the Magistrate had previously refused to sanctionthe punishment. The Colony is reported to be in an absolute stateof fermentation and matters had proceeded to such length that asubscription was opened by staunch Govt. men to raise a fund toprosecute the Governor whenever he may return to England. Thereis another version to the story in circulation which states thatthe Acting Judge Advocate had lent himself as a willinginstrument to authorise the flogging but time will unfold thetruth.

If you have any means of getting at the "Times" News Papers youwill find in the one for Wednesday the 1st of January a paragraphcasting a kind of imputation on the 46th. I wrote to the Editorand insisted upon his contradicting the part that related to theRegt: and it was arranged that I should write an article which hepromised to insert, before however I could send it to the Officethe late letters arrived and their contents have induced me topostpone taking the step I had determined upon until I canascertain whether there be or not any quarrel between yourOfficers and the Governor. What I had written was as follows. "Wehave been informed since the publication of our Paper ofWednesday the 1st of January that the determination of Governmentto remove the 46th Regt: from New South Wales to India has notbeen caused by any apprehension of the contagious example of theconvicts extending itself to the soldiery but from a lateregulation that no Regt: is to remain in the Colony for a longerperiod than three or four years We also feel great pleasure instating that in March last the date as it is presumed of the mostrecent advices no disagreement had existed between Civil andMilitary Authorities, but on the contrary there was everyappearance of harmony between the Governor and the Officers ofthe 46th, who had endeared themselves to all the respectable partof the Community by the correctness of their conduct and theexact discipline which they maintained amongst their men.Unfortunately however the same concord did not extend itself toevery department of the Government various disputes having arisenbetween the Governor the Judicial and some other Civil Officerswhich we are willing to believe gave rise to the report thatreached us of differences in which the Military were erroneouslysaid to bear a part."

I hope you will think I did right in forbearing to insert thisuntil we knew the actual state of things at the time theAlexander sailed when I hear anything further I will loseno time in acquainting you and I shall be happy to receive youropinion and advice. . . . .

London, February 18th 1817.

After such a dreary period of banishment fromthe Society of my beloved Elizabeth I find it difficult toconfide in my own senses when I reflect that I am seated for thepurpose of communicating the happy tidings that all the obstacleswhich have so long obstructed my return to you and my belovedGirls, have this day been removed; such however I thank God isthe fact and I lose not a moment to acquaint you that it issettled that I am to embark with our Sons James and William onboard one of the Government Transports now preparing in the Riverand expected to sail in about a month. How this most desirableresult of all my contentions and negotiations has beenaccomplished I trust I shall very soon after this reaches yourhands have the unspeakable happiness of relating in person andindulging that fond hope I shall now content myself with statingthat it has been agreed that neither concession nor retractionshall be insisted upon on either side and as proof of the presentamicable disposition of Government they are to provide me and theboys with a passage, to allow me tonnage for such Implements andStores as I may find expedient to take, and to fit up a greenhouse for my Vines, Olives, &c. I will not ask you if theseare not joyful tidings because a little self examination at onceexplains to me what will be your feelings when the doubts fearsand incertitude to which you have been so long exposed areremoved. Three ships are preparing to take prisoners and Storesand I hope I shall be able to name the ship destined for ourreception before the departure of the 48th Regiment from Cork. Ihave before said that the Ships are expected to sail in a monthbut you who so well know what unexpected causes frequently ariseto detain ships, one, two, and even three months, beyond theperiod originally named will not require to be cautioned ifdelays should happen not to suffer yourself to be uneasy oralarmed. Your letters and their enclosures by the Emu andAlexander have been all safely received and in every senseof the word most acceptable to us all altho' our enjoyment couldnot be but greatly diminished by the account you give of thecontinued ill health and suffering of our beloved Girl Elizabeth.I indulge the pleasing hope that the society of myself and herBrothers and the inducements we shall present to her to takeexercise may do more towards perfecting her recovery than all theMedical Men in the World, nor shall we be unmindful of our dearMary as we propose bringing with us a celebrated cure for Toothache which has lately been much spoken of. . . . .

Until the last fortnight I have enjoyed better health than I havedone since I have been in England but a violent cold has broughtback my old tormenting complaint unsettled gout which has kept mein the house till yesterday. The good news of to day and theconsequent bustle of preparation to depart will certainly soonrestore my usual health and activity, I say my usual for I mustcalculate upon requiring a good deal of nursing as long as mytempest shattered bark holds together. This letter will bepresented to you by Colonel White of the 48th Regt: I have notthe pleasure of being known to the Colonel myself but some nearconnections of his are friends of John and through them I learnas well as from other unquestionable authority that the Colonelis a man most respectably connected and possesses qualities thathave raised his character very high in the Service. He is amarried man but leaves his wife at home, their children being ofan age which requires the presence and superintendence of atleast one parent. I have introduced the Colonel to our friendPiper ** and I need not say to you that I shall be gratified atany attentions he may receive because you will take it forgranted that I am desirous you should use what influence you havein the Colony to make it as pleasant to him as possible. The 48thare spoken of as a most excellent Regiment and the Officers avery superior set this will somewhat diminish your regrets at theremoval of the 46th.

I hope to be in the Colony to thank ColonelMolle for his friendship and great attentions to you and thegirls, but if I should not arrive before his departure do notfail to assure him of my gratitude. I regret to find that Partyrage burns so fiercely in the Colony. The Governor has manysecret enemies as well as open ones who inundate the Secretary ofStates Office with complaints. In a conversation with Mr.Goulburn the Under Secretary of State he said to me "Sir, we haveas heavy charges against Governor Macquarrie as you have madeagainst his predecessor, I replied, "I know nothing of thepublick affairs of the Colony but as far as relates to thepresent Governor's conduct to my Family I am bound to declarethat it has been uniformly benevolent, attentive and friendly,and he has absolutely conferred more favours upon me than all theGovernors who have preceded him, and altho' I do not pretend tooffer any opinion on publick affairs because I want information;I do not hesitate to say that nothing can be more unjust andindefensible that to compare him with such a wretch as Bligh. Thelatter was a brutal ruffian governed by no principle of honour orrectitude and restrained by no tie but the wretched anddespicable one of fear. Governor Macquarrie is a gentleman inmanners, humane and friendly to all, at least to all who willtake the trouble to recommend themselves to his favor, a man ofumblemished honor and character altho' it may not have been hislot to do that which I think no man ever will do to givesatisfaction to all. The Secretary replied "what you say Sir, maybe true, and at all events it is proper and correct that youshould speak as you do. Since that time they have been more closeat the Office and altho' I have endeavoured to discover whattheir intentions are and I have not been enabled to learnanything I can depend upon. I have heard that a disagreeableletter has been written and that it is calculated that it willprovoke the Governor to resign but that he has a powerful friendwho they do not like to disoblige by appointing a successor. Donot be impatient I intreat, a little more patience and I trust inGod we shall be reunited to pass the remainder of our lives inpeace and happiness. I write this alone at night and I see verybadly by candle light. Time and care have laid hands heavily uponme altho' every one tells me it is not so visible James andWilliam are gone to a private Ball, John was here this eveningand is engaged in passing an Act of Parliament to open the Tradeof the Colony and to exempt Wool and several other articles thatI hope to introduce from the payment of duties for a limitedtime. I hope to get the Act passed before I sail God bless andprotect you all.

London March 24th 1817.

My beloved Elizabeth.

The letter that I wrote you about a month since and intended tobe sent in charge of Colonel White will apprise you that I hadthen succeeded in removing the obstacles which had so longprevented my return to my long deserted home When I wrote thatletter I sanguinely calculated that I should be able in a fewdays to inform you by what ship I and the dear Boys are to takeour passage. I say sanguinely calculated for I found I had stillto encounter with a train of the most vexatious though pettyobstructions and it was not until yesterday that I could procurethe order for our embarkation on board the Lord Eldon afine ship of 520 tons. I will not tell you or attempt to describehow much I have been harrassed or how happy I now feel to bereleased from suspense and incertitude but you will easilyconceive that the last month must have been an anxious one. ThankGod everything is now settled, and settled in such a way, that noenemy can triumph over me, or friend have cause to blush on myaccount. I have persevered with unshaken firmness in defendingevery publick transaction in which I have been an actor, and Ihave now reason to think that those who have been most earnest intheir opposition to me, and most desirous to humble me, byinsisting upon concessions, view my conduct with approbation, andme with esteem. I will not however dwell upon a subject which Iam not yet calm enough to recollect without many painfulfeelings, nor will I deprive myself of the delight I anticipatefrom narrating all my labours when you shall be near enough tocheer me with your approving smiles and reward me with thoseendearments to which I have been so long a stranger. The LordEldon tis said will be ready for sea in a fortnight but I donot think she can sail in less than a month and even then causesof detention as you well know, may arise, which is impossible toforesee or to provide against, you will not therefore my belovedWife suffer yourself to be more anxious than you can help, if youdo not see us before November.

Government have ordered a Green house to be fitted up for myplants which in addition to those we brought with us from Franceand Switzerland will contain everything that we can think of thatmay be most useful or ornamental to the Colony. We are alsoprovided with Tonnage for all the best and newest AgriculturalImplements, and for other matters that I will not particularize,that I please myself with the hope will be acceptable to you andour dear Girls.

John, James, and William, are romping and laughing by thefireside, and help to distract a head not too clear just now, forto speak the truth I am wearied with the task I have completed.They are all well, John will write to you as soon as we canascertain when the ship with the 48th will sail, but I shalldespatch this to Cork today for fear they should leave withoutour receiving previous notice.

The boys all unite with me in every affectionate wish to yourselfand the dear Girls and in kindest remembrances to Mrs. Lucas.

God preserve you my dearest Elizabeth and in His mercy grant thatnothing may retard our re-union.


Ever your affectionateHusband.

John McArthur.

Lord Bathurst's promise of good accommodation was wellfulfilled and the Macarthurs sailed on their homeward voyage inthe Lord Eldon transport. The ship touched at Rio and thereMacarthur increased his collection of plants. In September, 1817,the following note was dispatched from the husband to the wifewho were to meet that day after 8½ years of weary separation.

Tuesday Morning 7 o'clock Lord Eldon.

My dearest best beloved Elizabeth

We are at last safely at anchor within the Heads and waiting mostimpatiently for the appearance of Captain Piper. We met theMatilda on Saturday and learnt from Captain Humphreys whocame on board us that you are all well. This most welcome newshas made us bear with tolerable patience a most annoying adversewind.

James and William will hasten to you the moment they can procurea conveyance. I must follow them at a slower pace, for to speakthe truth fast movements will not suit me—not to keep you,in suspense, I am returned to you with a most severe fit ofgout—it has lasted a fortnight and I think will take leavesoon—Home will do more for me than theDoctor—How many dear associations does that word Homecreate! For a short time

Your affectionate


Post script from James.

Captain Piper is just come on board, we shall set off as soon aspossible in his boat, and my father will follow as soon as theheat of the day is over, in his carriage—Adieu, we shallsoon be with you—

Your affectionate son

Jas. McA.

{Page 295}

Chapter VIII.


In 1812 Macarthur sent his nephew Hannibal to Australia incharge of his trading adventures, and the following extracts fromcorrespondence between them give some insight to the sheepfarming at the Cowpastures, and also to the state of affairs inthe Colony during Macarthur's absence.

Sydney, Nov. 7th 1812.

In this I enclose you acct. sales of ourInvestment up to Nov. 1st 1812 by which you will see howunfortunate we have been in entering this market when compleatlyglutted with European and Indian goods whilst the Government arepursuing a system of economy which must eventually leave theColonists to their own resources and you must know those are veryinadequate to the purchase of Cargoes from Europe. . . . .

The Spirits, a prohibition to the sale of which (except forGovernment purposes) has taken place from a contract for buildinga General Hospital which grants to the Contractors Messrs.Blaxcell Wentworth and Riley a privilege to import spirits forthree years to the exclusion of any other individual I have soldto Government for 9/- per gall, free from duty which is 3/- p.g.. . . . The contractors are now selling Bengal Rum at 36/-.

Sydney Nov. 10th 1812.

My dear Uncle.

This morning I closed my Letters for you but I find it is theGovernor's intention to detain the Ship for his Despatches inwhich the minutes of a Court Martial on an officer to commence onthe 12th are to be enclosed. . . . .

In this Port the arbitrary measures pursued by the Government areenough to deter one from having a ship here and more particularlybound to England as every person is interested to detain her. . .. .

Indeed the business of a merchant is so incompatible with that ofthe Farmer that one or the other must be given up, and as thelatter is by far the most promising at present and an employmentso much more suited to my abilities. . . . . I am convinced it isbetter to live up the country as there one can pursue profitableemployment without observation and at the same time live at halfthe expense.

12th.—After a great deal of trouble yesterday I managed toship every thing on our own account stores etc., and this morningCapt. Higton waited on the Secretary to muster his men. For theaccommodation of Mr. Campbell every Man or Boy from the Capt. tothe Cook is obliged to attend on shore at his office 2/6 is paidfor every person so mustered and the Fees at the Secretary'soffice amount to nearly £10 for which he will neither give Billor receipt.

A Court Martial is now sitting (Capt. Darcy President) to try anofficer (Mr. Wright) for ungentlemanly behaviour in associatingwith Nichols whilst the Governor brings Michael Robinson to hisTable and the Colonel's House is open to Sir H. Hayes, indeed allcircumstances combined I cannot but think the present Governor asarbitrary as Bligh only that he has a manner of reconcilingpeople to his measures. An objection was made to Robinson'sappearing at the Court Martial as a Counsel for the Prosecutor,the Colonel. He brought with him the Governor's permission andafter a long debate he was allowed to act as Clerk. The Governorhas always held out to me that whenever the Ship was ready heshould not detain her. Yesterday I waited on him to say that withthe exception of some stores which Govt. were to ship for theMarines, every thing was on board and that the Ship would beready for Sea next day! then and not till then he told me heshould detain the Ship for the minutes of the Court Martial whichis likely to sit these lo days—He told me that I mustunderstand it was no favor he asked but, that from his Publicsituation he should command the detention of the vessel. Ireplied then of course he would not be displeased at my takingmeasures to enable the owners to recover damages as a recompensefor her detention—he promised me his Certificate—butnow every obstacle is thrown in the way of clearing her out so asto render the delay apparently not worth noticing when in factshe has already been waiting 3 or 4 days. This circumstanceconvinces me that it is better have nothing to do with concernsthat can in any way interest Government. Shipping always must andin spite of everything one can do to act agreeably to their wish,there is so much whispering to the Governor by his Favourites whoare a set of them delighting in the annoyance of a respectablecharacter that to live at Sydney and be on terms with theGovernor is next to impossible—His spies are in allcompanies and nothing passes without his knowledge.

I mean to leave this and remain with my Aunt at Parramatta assoon as I possibly can, and then I shall direct my attention toforming some little establishment for myself up the country.

Nov. 19th.—Since I wrote the foregoing I have taken a tripto the Cowpastures I am happy to inform you I found the stock infine condition, and as to the success of growing fine wool I nowsend you a few samples as drawn from the sheep promiscuouslywhilst looking at them in the Folds. You will discover thatBaker's are inferior to Russell's, this arises from the formerhaving made over the fine Flock to Russell last year. In the moreinferior flocks very fine wool is to be found and I hope toselect at least 600 ewes this season equal to any Spanish. Thecattle tho' rather confined in their feeding ground are muchimproved this last month and before any scarcity of feed arisesagain I hope to have them removed.

Nov. 28th.—A second Court Martial has detained theIsabella up to this day and I am just informed by theGovernor that his Dispatches will be ready tomorrow.

Much rain has fallen the last four days—George's River isvery much flooded and much damage is probably sustained at theHawkesbury but no accounts have reached us yet.

Sydney July 3rd 1813.

. . . . I have purchased as a place of ResidenceWaterhouse's Farm and am repairing the house thoroughly previousto going there which I hope to accomplish in the course of two orthree months. I paid £160 for this Farm . . . . The Barouche isentirely worn out and you should not fail to bring a carriage formy Aunt who is much inconvenienced for want of it.

July 3rd 1813.

I herein send you memd. of Wool shipt on boardthe Minstrel, also Bill of Lading for the same—TheFreight is at 4½d. per lb. but I do not altogether approve ofthis arrangement, as I think it can be closer packed and comecheaper at 12£ measurement. This shipment 36 Bales were pressedin our own Machine.

After writing by the Isabella I found a very fine screwamong the Iron-work which came out in the Argo, this waserected and proves to be the best Press in the Country. Shouldyou have shipt Screws in consequence of my last Letter, it willbe but prudent to keep a spare one and others will sell if nottoo high priced. The Nutts should be of entire Bell Metal,as our present two are and two to a Screw in case ofAccidents.

Mr. Marsden's were Iron Boxes wormed with Metal and are muchinjured. The Screw we now use, is about 7 ft. long 16 inches incircumference square Head with holes for a stout Crowbar. TheNutts are abt. 10 inches deep cast with a stout brim thro' whichthe bolts pass to fix it on the Cross beam of the Press. The Nuttof Metal bolted to the cross Beam thro' a rim 2 Inches thick.

The Spanish Wool you will find in a good clean state. The WetherWool was also washed, and the Cx was laying by a 12 months afterbeing washed, therefore is not so fresh as might be wished.

The Dx is all the Wool I could collect which has been layingabout the Barn and wool of this years shearing which could not bewashed.

My Aunt is about getting a store built at Camden for the purposeof securing the Wool and every sheep is to be washed previous toshearing so that I hope by the James Hay we shall make youa very handsome shipment of Wool.

Mr. Marsden on his arrival here collected all his wool which hadbeen saved during his absence (this must have been very inferior)and sent it to a House in Hull, who have allowed him 3/9 per lb.after deducting the expenses of washing etc. The expense ofwashing Wool would be enormous here—independent of the wantof convenience and we think the least expense is to send the woolhome in its Dirt, when not washed on the sheep.

You have 1300 Ewes breeding this year 700 Lambs already droppedand the Season is very favourable.

Mr. Riley has sent me 3 Questions which he wishes to haveanswered by the Purchasers of Wool. . . . The House from whom Mr.Marsden had such good returns for Wool is Messrs. Jeremiah andWm. Thompson Leeds.

Sydney July 4th 1813.

. . . . The Governor has added six months moreto this Infamous Tax * in consequence of the Contractorscomplaining of his Liberality to his Favorites who have beensupplied with large quantities at different times. They have alsoPermission to import 5,000 galls, in addition to the first statedQuantity, in short there is no apparent end to this oppressiveTax. Had 8/- 10/- or 12/- pr. gall, been levied as a Duty onspirits imported the Hospital would have been built and paid forbefore this and people less dissatisfied, but in addition tobuilding the Hospital the Public are to fill the pockets of theContractors and what crowns the concern is that there are no sickto occupy it and it is generally thought sufficiently large for ageneral Hospital to the W. Indies besides affording Palaces forthe Surgeon and Staff . . .

Augt. 16th 1813.

The season for the Stock is very unfavourable, acolder winter has never been remembered, and as the Frosts havebeen attended by a most astonishing Drought the grass is cut offand the cattle are starving throughout the Colony in addition tothis calamity there is a great scarcity of grain which arisesfrom the destruction of vast Quantities, by feeding Pigs, theresult of a determined system in the Govt. not to purchase: onMr. Allen's arrival, the stores were found empty and on hismaking arrangements for taking Wheat from the Settlers, ascarcity of that article appeared altho' all were lulled insecurity previous to this, from its being sedulously given out,that the Govt. were provided for 6 mths. Wheat immediately rosefrom 6/- to 12/- sterlg. and it is expected by some to be at 20/-before Harvest. The face of the country is so changed withinthese last 6 weeks as can scarcely be credited, and every quarterof it is in the most deplorable situation for want of rain.

My Aunt will write you fully on this subject. I am happy to sayshe and my cousins are well tho' not at ease from the presentstarving state of the cattle.

Feb. 10th 1814.

. . . . By the James Hay we hope to makea large shipment of Wool but are particularly anxious to hear ofthe Sale of that sent by the Minstrel.

The Season has been very distressing from drought and Frost fromthis time last year—and the Wool has suffered materially asfar as I can judge as we have not been able to wash it with anygood effect. The Colony is in a distressing state Wheat is atthis time 20s. stg. p. Bushl. and the Corn has been burnt off bythe heat and drought. This last week has produced some rain whichhas given new life to us but I much fear it is too late to be ofmuch benefit towards a relief from famine. . . .

May 16th 1814.

There is a Brig to sail (The Spring) in afew months. . . . . The Wool will also be shipped then about 8000lbs. I suppose we could not get it ready for the James Hayfor want of a Sorter as Dowling is the only man capable of doingit and is now in general requisition. The Sheep are now in finecondition and we look forward to a healthy lambing as the Countryabounds in feed at present.

The Natives have become extremely troublesome and amongst otherswe have become sufferers in the Death of a Shepherd's wife andyour old favourite Wm. Baker who were inhumanly murdered at theUpper Camden Yards. This horrid event was represented to theGovernor ** but he is so much taken up with a Parade of agarrison that he has "no means of Defence or Protection for thosedistant Establishments" so that the possession of Stock isrendered very precarious as in addition to the Natives numbers ofconvicts are roving uncontrolled through the country committingall kinds of depredations, and, I have every reason to believesome of them were concerned with the Natives in the attack of ouryards.

May 28th 1814.

I am just returned from the Cowpastures, whereeverything is again ajusted and I trust the horrid event (whichmy letters by this opportunity closed last week relates to you)may never occur again. "We have lost Baker and a shepherd's wifeby an attack from the Natives."

The detention of the James Hay is owing to the totaldestruction of the ship Three Bees by fire which tookplace on Friday last in the Cove to the great terror of theInhabitants of Sydney who fled from their houses after theexample of the Governor! Some danger was to be apprehended fromthe shot, the guns being loaded. They however discharged atIntervals without doing much injury. A Ball entered Capt. Piper'sParlor and destroyed a Writing Desk! This is the only loss I haveheard of on shore.

The James Hay was in imminent Danger for some time as shecould not be removed and had a most fortunate escape as theBees was cut adrift in the hurry and confusion. It hassince been discovered that a Party of Convicts had formed a Planto take the James Hay that very night and were mostprobably frustrated by the watchfulness which the otherunfortunate vessel created. The fire broke out so near the PowderRoom that all on board fled immediately under an impression thatshe would blow up instantly which did not happen for nearly fourhours after, but from the alarm at first no means were adopted toscuttle her or it is generally presumed this fine ship might havebeen saved from any material injury Instead of making anyexertion to save the ship from what I can learn it was who couldrun fastest. . . . .

Oct. 6th 1814.

. . . . I must now remind you that we want SheepShears

We have now 25 Bales of Wool ready for shipping but from thedelay and difficulty of getting it sorted have not theopportunity of shipping Per Seringapatam (an Americanrecapture), which the Governor has allowed to take Freight, butas I am much in doubt as to the regularity of her doing so and aseizure might lead to much trouble if not total loss! I do notmuch regret that we have it in our possession—

We are again labouring under the effects of a very dry season,every thing is burned up, and the cattle are beginning to falloff. The upland wheat will not bring 8 Bushells to the acre, andwe have every reason to expect a great scarcity during the nextTwelve Months.

Large Herds are becoming numerous and nothing promises a returnto the Farmer's Labor but the fine wool which is now taking theattention of most settlers. Since writing the above Capt. Pitcherhas agreed to take the 25 Bales of wool. . . . .

Sydney June 26th 1815.

. . . . The Emu Brig is to leave this inDeer, or Jany. next for England. . . . . You will receive by thisship 60 Bales of Wool the Quality of which I trust will meet withyour approbation. The present season is dreadful for the Sheep ifone half the Lambs are reared it will be fortunate for us. Westill continue to suffer from dry weather and the late Autumnalspring has totally failed this season. . . . .

Let us now return to Mrs. Macarthur, whose letters to MissKingdon during her husband's enforced abscence in England, givesome account of herself and family.

Governor Macquarie had succeeded Colonel Paterson, who hadsucceeded Foveaux, at the beginning of 1810, and during hisadministration Mrs. Macarthur was granted about 600 acres ofinferior land in the vicinity of Elizabeth Farm as a mark ofapprobation for the various improvements in agriculture that sheh-id introduced, such as taking the stumps out of the ground, andmaking hay for sale (both of which were new departures) as wellas for her excellent management of a large establishment ofassigned servants.

Mrs. JohnMacarthur to Miss Kingdon.


March, 1816.

My dear Eliza,

. . . . I know not what I can say of our mode of life, that willgive you a correct idea of it. It is a mixture of town andcountry life; and yet in many respects unlike anything you canhave experienced. Our climate is delightful, and we have in highperfection and in great abundance the fruits of warm and coldclimates. In our garden, which is large we have Oranges, Lemons,Olives, Almonds, Grapes, Peaches, Apricots, Nectarines, Meddlars,Pears, Apples, Raspberries, Strawberries, Walnuts, Cherries,Plums. These fruits you know. Then we have the Loquat, a Chinesefruit, the Citron, the Shaddock and the Pomegranate, and perhapssome others that I may have forgotten to enumerate, such as theCherry and Guava. We have an abundance, even to profusion, in somuch that our Pigs are fed on Peaches, Apricots and Melons in theseason. Oranges and Lemons we have all the year round, yet there,is a particular season from May to August (our winter) when thetrees yield a regular crop. I have I perceive, omitted to mentionthe Fig, of which we have many varieties and in abundance. TheGooseberry and Currant have not hitherto thriven at thissettlement, but at Van Diemen's Land they do well. We grow wheat,barley, oats, we make hay, at least I do, and so does Mrs.Macquarie but the practice is not general. We feed hogs, we havecattle, keep a dairy, fatten beef and mutton and export finewool. A variety of avocations arising from these pursuits keepsthe mind pretty busily employed. Our society as the country hasincreased in population has become more extended. On particulardays, such as the King's or Queen's Birthday there are parties atGovernment House, numbering occasionally 150 persons. I will notsay that these assemblies have been very select. However there isa sufficiency of pleasant, agreeable persons to visit and to bevisited by, to satisfy one who is not ambitious to have a verynumerous visiting acquaintance. The Regiment now stationed hereis the 46th commanded by Colonel Molle, who is also LieutenantGovernor. The Colonel is a most accomplished, charming man, whohas seen much of the world. Mrs. Molle—friendly andaffectionate, and pretty conversant with the same sort ofknowledge, but she appreciates it at its true worth. With thisfamily we visit on easy friendly terms, which is to us a greatconsolation. Governor Macquarie is one of the most pleasing men,but then he is the Governor, and it is not possible to forgetthat he is so Mrs. Macquarie is very amiable, very benevolent, inshort a very good woman. They have a lovely Boy, now ten yearsold.

Some Early Records of the Macarthurs of Camden (8)

Letter of Credit

I am much indebted to Miss Meyrick for herremembrance of me. Mrs. Macquarie begs her compliments to you. OnThursday I am to dine with her, on the occasion of a farewellparty to Lieutenant and Mrs. Forster, and the Officers who returnto England in the Emu. This is a sort of mid-stationvisited by ships from many quarters of the Globe. At this time wehave a vessel in the Harbour, from America, two from Bengal, onefrom Canton, one from the Cape, and one from Ceylon, one alsofrom the Isle of France, several from Europe which are about todepart by way of Java, China or India. With the Islands in theSouth Seas we also keep up a constant communication. The ChurchMissionaries there are under the direction of our principalChaplain, the Reverend Samuel Marsden. Many of the Otaheitianshave become converts to Christianity. The New Testament istranslated into their language. Attempts have been made tocivilise the natives of this country, but they are completesavages, and are as lawless and troublesome as when the Colonywas first established. Our out settlements are constantlysubjected to their depredations. A great extent of territory hasbeen discovered in the last two years, by three Gentlemen,* whopenetrated the chain of Hills, which we call "The Blue Mountains"and which were before thought impassable. The Governor has causeda road to be made which has completely opened the communication.He made an excursion to this new country, and was absent anentire month. The Governor has named the chief place ofsettlement "Bathurst" which is situated near a largeRiver, and upon an extensive plain. Where the river dischargeditself and whether it connects itself with other waters, is asubject for interesting speculation and after search. I am nowreminded I must close my letter, I hope my Mother and my AuntGreen may talk comfortably over old times.

Many Officers come here from India. Theygenerally return with amended health. My nephew Hannibal and hiswife and Miss King, live at a little distance from ourhouse—they have two children, a boy and a girl. HerBrother, Captain King is I understand to marry his cousin MissLethbridge.

God bless you my dearestEliza,

Your affectionate Friend,

Elizabeth Macarthur.


March 1816.


Edward always recollects you with kindness, Ithink whenever the soldier has leave of absence and can command alittle spare cash he will pay a visit to the neighbourhood ofBridgerule. You may fancy how much I wish to see those dearchildren, from whom I have been so long separated. Edward lastquitted me about seven years since. John left this country at theearly age of seven years and a half, and has not since returned.He is now 22, James and William went home with their Father, andwhen I last heard of them were with him in Switzerland. John ismy faithful and most affectionate correspondent. My daughtersElizabeth, Mary and Emmeline, are still with me, and a singlelady ** about my own age who shares all my cares. It is notwealth, nor large possessions that entail happiness but health,industry, with the blessing of God affect much. I am muchoppressed with care on account of our stock establishments at ourdistant farms, at the Cowpastures, having been disturbed by theincursions of the natives. The savages have burnt and destroyedthe shepherds habitations, and I daily hear of some freshcalamity. Yesterday the Governor was pleased to order anon-commissioned Officer and six soldiers out to protect ourestablishments from further injuries. Two years ago a faithfulold servant who had lived with us since we first came to theColony was barbarously murdered by them and a poor defencelesswoman also. Three of my people are now reported to be missing,but I trust they will be found unhurt.


11th December, 1817.

My dear Eliza,

I was favoured with your letter by the LordEldonTransport, the very same vessel which restored to meyour God-father, and my Husband together with our two youngestsons, after a cruel separation of nine years. I am yet scarcelysensible of the extent of my happiness, and indeed I can hardlypersuade myself that so many of the dear members of our familyare united again under the same roof. Mr. Macarthur isoccasionally afflicted with Gout, otherwise I perceive littlechange in him during this length of time. James and William fromlittle Boys when they left me, returned fine young men. James sixfeet high and stout withall, William more slender but evidentlygiving promise of being stout also. They are delighted to returnto their native land, and breathe not a regret for the gay scenesof the English Metropolis. Nothing they saw in France orSwitzerland effaced the strong desire they had to return to theirnative wild woods in New South Wales. So much for the Love ofCountry.

I have seen Mrs. Philip King, late Miss Harriet Lethbridgeseveral times, she has lately presented her Husband with a fineBoy. Mr. King is about to go to sea to perform the object of hismission here, which is to survey a part of the coast, noteffectually done by the late Captain Flinders.

I cannot even now repress the ardent desire which I have oncemore to see the place of my birth. So many and so great have beenthe obstacles that I have never dared to cherish the hope. In ourColonial Gazette of the 11th and 18th of August there isan account of a tour or expedition, made by our Surveyor Generalto the westward of the Blue Mountains—the party was absentnineteen weeks from the new settlement at Bathurst, and passedthrough a great variety of country. Their purpose was to tracethe progress of the River Lachlan as a persuasion existed of itsemptying itself into the sea. Such however was not the case asafter tracing it in its wanderings for many hundred Miles itappeared to lose itself in stagnant lakes and pools amidst adesert marshy country. Mr. Oxley however had the good fortune todiscover a better country to the northward of west, and a riverwhich promised to be one of the first magnitude. Want ofprovisions prevented Mr. Oxley tracing the course of this riverwhich he named the Macquarie.

Emmeline is not yet sufficiently composed to write to Samuel bythis opportunity. She is so much engaged in running about, andshowing her brothers everything that she can think will amusethem. Pray pardon this confused letter—I have somedifficulty in collecting my own scattered thoughts at a momentlike the present.


17th May, 1818.

We are here in deep mourning for the PrincessCharlotte. You wish to know how we pass our time? Not very muchunlike what you do in the country. We are now a very large familyof ourselves. James and William assist their Father in themanagement of his farm and stock. By way of amusement, they ride,shoot wild fowl, fish and occasionally associate with theOfficers of the 48th Regiment which is now here. We have anexcellent collection of books—we receive most of the newpublications from England. James and William amuse us with anaccount of their travels in France, and of the manners of theSwiss, amongst whom they resided many months. As we havefrequently ships from various parts of India and China, we seemany passengers who come here to re-establish their health. Thismakes a little change in our society. We have also frequentcommunication with the south Sea Islanders, and inhabitants ofNew Zealand. The latter are a stout hardy race very differentfrom the natives of New Holland. They avail themselves of theopportunity of visiting this Colony, in a vessel belonging to theMissionary Society, which goes to and fro. These savages, forsuch, in truth they are, generally pay us a visit, and amuse usmuch. We frequently visit Sydney, a very agreeable distance toride or drive. Last week one of my daughters spent a few daysthere with her Father. They dined at the Governor's and now myson William is on a visit to Mr. Baron Field, one of our Judges.Mr. and Mrs. Field are agreeable and well informed people, withwhom we live on terms of intimacy, visiting each other withoutceremony and frequently.


Some interesting matter may be gleaned from the correspondenceof Elizabeth, their eldest daughter, with Miss Kingdon.

Miss Macarthurto Miss Kingdon.

New South Wales,

8th March 1817.

Altho' I have not the pleasure, dear MissKingdon, of being personally known to you, yet my Mother permitsme to hope you will not reject my correspondence. Dear as themembers of your family have ever been to this beloved parent Icannot feel that I am addressing an utter stranger. Nor does itrequire any great effort of imagination to persuade myself I amalready known to you. At this vast distance, it is only throughthe medium of letters, that I can ever hope really to become so;and I hope you will not refuse me a gratification so earnestlydesired on my part. Should you kindly admit me amongst the numberof your correspondents and consent to furnish me with someaccounts of persons, whose names, at least are dear and familiarto me, I will in turn send you intelligence from our southernhemisphere, which will however destitute of other qualificationspossess at least the recommendation of novelty. My Mother Ibelieve has already given you some account of the discoveriesmade in the interior of this Colony; and of Governor and Mrs.Macquarie having visited the newly explored country, laid there atown * and returned highly pleased with the excursion. Since thattime nearly one hundred miles more of country has beendiscovered. The result of these researches may I trust benefit usmaterially by making valuable additions to natural history. Allthe animals and plants hitherto discovered are entirely new, anddiffer from the productions of any other known land. Theinhabitants resemble the natives of this district. They are asingular race utterly ignorant of the arts, living constantly inthe open air, and without any other covering than occasionally,cloaks of the skin of wild animals, but even these are notuniversally worn, it is not uncommon to see them without anycovering at all. They are nevertheless very intelligent and notobtrusive. They have great vivacity and a peculiar turn formimickry—acquiring our language, tones and expressions withsingular facility. Their carriage is very graceful, and perhapsthey possess more native politeness than is found amongst anypeople. They deem a great want of good breeding to contradict. Inall the European modes of salutation they make themselvesperfect. The benevolent exertions of) Governor Macquarie haveinduced some of these people to send their children to aSchool which he has formed for their reception andinstruction. The little creatures have been taught to read andwrite, with a readiness truly astonishing, and in the hands ofProvidence let us hope they may be instrumental in civilizingtheir countrymen. Pray pardon the partiality of a native fornative subjects.

Your sincere, altho' unknown,

Elizabeth Macarthur.


July 15th 1818.

My dear Miss Kingdon

I was much gratified by the receipt of your kind and obligingletter, pray continue to favour us with your correspondence and Iin return will endeavour to give you such accounts of our infantcommunity as are likely to interest your curiosity. It is now ourwinter season, and I am now sitting round a wood fire, with otherdear members of the family circle. But to show how we abound incontradictions—the windows are open—and near to themare two large orange trees loaded with ripe fruit, and at thesame time bearing flowers, and fruit but newly formed. All ourdeciduous trees are however leafless, and you would smile at thecontrast presented by the English Oaks, and our luxuriant andbeautiful orange trees. Yet when in leaf it must be admitted thatthe beautiful green of the English trees, far surpasses,particularly when the leaves are young, the verdure of ourunchanging ever greens. We therefore continue to intermix them asmuch as possible, and enjoy the beauty of each in their season. Iwish it were possible to convey to you some of our floweringplants; their bright and varied colors would please you much; andtheir form so different from the productions of Europe. At thismoment, the middle of our winter, the thermometer is at 60degrees. Can you believe that we need a fire. Yet so it is, andthis morning not four hours since there was ice upon all thestanding water—not very thick you may imagine, but stillice. It is at this season we are enabled to take the mostexercise in the open air, and indeed we frequently remain outalmost the whole day, for altho' we can have a fire in the house;the sun is warm and pleasant. We remain out rambling in ourwoods, or diverting ourselves in our garden until the eveningsurprises us. The history of our day, is in truth that of ourlife, for in a country so remote, where society is necessarilyvery confined there is not much variety; yet because perhapsthere is little to mark its progress time appears to glide awaywith even more than common rapidity.



{Page 314}

Chapter IX.


After Macarthur's return to New South Wales he found much tooccupy him in the furtherance of his agricultural schemes, thoughhis health and spirits had suffered greatly from the strife ofthe years spent away from his home and relations.

In 1818 his sons, James and William, assisted by AndrewMurray, the gardener, who had lived with Sir Walter Scott atAbbotsford, began work at Camden, where but one acre of land wascleared and a small weatherboard cottage built.

Governor Macquarie received Macarthur with marked attention,and quickly increased his staff of workmen, so that clearing,fencing, and building were rapidly proceeded with.

The following is a letter to his friend Walter Davidson, whichwas copied in 1840 by his son Edward. His impaired health wouldaccount for his depressed spirits.


Sept. 3rd, 1818.

My dear Davidson,

The receipt of your most friendly and affectionate letter by theLynx gave me great pleasure, and your interestingnarrative of the disaster you had encountered excited manyconflicting feelings. Reflecting on the amount of actual loss youmust have sustained concern and regret predominated, but when Iconsidered that a little longer continuance of uninterruptedsuccess, would have induced you to withdraw yourself from asituation which gives you such ample scope to exercise your goodsense and display your talents I cannot but think, that the eventwhich compelled you to abandon that plan, ought to be ratheraccounted an instance of good than of ill fortune. Be assuredthat many years must elapse and much dear bought experience beaccumulated of the fallacy of every human scheme of happiness,before your ardent and active mind will permit you to enjoy evena small portion of content in seclusion and retirement. Do not, Ientreat you, indulge the deceptive hope but persevere in thegreat high road of fortune, until age, infirmity and diminisheddesires shall give you notice to seek repose. I am perfectlyconvinced that in less than two years of the enjoyment of what istermed a life of pleasure, you would become the victim of satietyand disgust, and most earnestly wish to be restored to thosecares and occupations, you now so ardently desire to escape; orthat you would be induced to return to active life, and perhaps,be tempted, or be compelled to plunge once more into the vortexof competition and speculation, on terms far more disadvantageousand insecure, than your hitherto prosperous fortune has compelledyou to submit to. Possessing as you do so much better informationthan any I can pretend to on the subject of trade and of thegrowing difficulties and frightful risks to which all trade inGreat Britain is exposed I will only beg you calmly to contrastyour present advantages and future prospects, with anything youcould rationally calculate upon in England or Scotland.

An old and worthy friend of mine blest with the cheerfullesttemper, with excellent health and fifty thousand pounds acquiredin the East Indies, told me a little time before I left Londonthat he would cheerfully and thankfully resign all the fortunewhich more than thirty years had been spent in amassing, if hecould only be placed in the situation he had unwisely resigned toreturn to England, and enjoy his fortune. "Whilst the novelty ofthe change continued" said he, "all went well and I thoughtmyself a happy man, but no sooner did I begin to feel that I hadno business left except the pursuit of pleasure or amusement,than the scene changed and words cannot convey to you how heavilymy time hangs and how thankful I feel when the day is at an end."I have known many whose countenances and conduct bore testimonyto the same effect; altho' with too much pride, or too littlecandour to make a similar avowal. I trust, in God, my dearDavidson I may never hear you have added one to the fatal list,for believe me, I shall always feel the deepest interest not onlyin your success, but in your happiness, of which but toofrequently success is not the harbinger.

You will now expect that I shall say something of myself and mypursuits; and I would fain say something that might give youpleasure but fear I shall not succeed. You will be concerned tolearn that my health is not at all improved since my return to mylong deserted home. During the summer months I became so muchbetter that I began sanguinely to calculate upon continuedcheerful spirits and renewed strength and activity, but thewinter mild as it is in this fine climate brought with it areturn of my old complaint. I have been confined more than amonth to the house. I assure you it is only by great exertions Ihave been enabled to collect a sufficient stock of spirits toundertake writing this letter. You have witnessed how much I usedto suffer from mental depression. It is now so much increasedthat I often pass weeks, without one cheerful moment, and I amseldom relieved from this dreadful gloom, except by the return ofacute pain. As yet I have never had a regular attack of Gout, butfrom recent symptoms, I think it but too probable my complaintswill terminate in a decided rheumatic Gout. This is no verypleasant picture of the past, or agreeable prospect of thefuture. Of the past I have had so much sad experience—somuch adversity, and adverse fortune, that I do not willinglyencourage retrospective views; of the future the prospect is notmuch brighter, but it may change—I discover from yourletters that you have received a tolerably accurate informationof the state of things here—little therefore, is left forme to say on that head—we have the usual conflict of rivalinterests, and I think more than the usual portion of rancour,and party spirit; in so much, that he who will be of no partyfinds himself almost beyond the pale of society. Such is almostour state at this time. We only visit or are visited by onefamily. The regenerated few are in high court favour. Theilliberals are in as fierce opposition and they consolethemselves with hopes that Governor Macquarie will soon berelieved—but for this I think there is no better foundationthat the reports of those, who are supposed to possess theGovernor's confidence, and they undisguisedly say, that he wroteto be relieved by Mr. Riley's ship the "Harriet." GovernorMacquarie is certainly humane, liberal, and of most courteous andgentlemanly manners, but with what extent endowed with talents togovern this most singularly constructed society, the condition ofthe Colony will present you with a better criterion to form yourown judgment than any opinion of mine. In fact, it is a subject Inever speak nor write upon. Our chief, indeed, almost onlyexport, is Bills upon the Treasury and I am not aware that anyencouragement is given to create any other. I believe the Billsthis year will amount to £150,000, and as convicts arecontinually arriving the amount must rapidly increase, andcontinue until ministers take alarm at its magnitude, or thenation become indignant at the enormous weight of theburthen.

My feeble attempt to introduce Merino Sheep still creeps onalmost unheeded, and altogether unassisted. Few of the settlerscan be induced to take the trouble requisite to improve theirflocks, or to subtract a few guineas from their usual expenditure(tea and rum) to purchase Spanish Rams, altho' mine is the onlyflock from which they can be had pure, I do not sell half a scorea year. Many believe that whatever improvement the wool receivesis the effect of climate, and not attributable to any particularbreed. I am waiting impatiently for accounts of the sale of thewool of 1816. The whole of it was more uniformly fine than anythat had been sent before, and that of 1817, the present year isstill better. It is yet capable of further improvement. I expectwill continue to increase in value for three or four years. Withrespect to numbers I fear my flocks must remain stationary,unless an unexpected change should be made in the system ofmanaging the prisoners. It is now the most difficult thing tokeep a small number in any kind of order and I am of opinion thathe who should employ many, would injure instead of improve hisfortune. I am endeavouring to break James and William in bydegrees to oversee and manage my affairs. They appear to becontented with their lot, but I by no means think them wellcalculated for it. They have not sufficient hardness of characterto manage the people placed under their control, and they set toolittle value upon money, for the profession of agriculture whichas you know requires that not a penny should be expended withoutgood reason. Whatever may be the result there is no alternativefor them. Here their lot is cast. Mine is a singular fortune, ofseven children, not one is yet provided for, altho' the eldest isnearly thirty years old. A little time will show whether Johnwill be more successful than his elder Brother. Elizabeth andMary you see remain unmarried, and the prospect is indeed verysmall of their obtaining any eligible settlement. They are toosensitive and too well principled for this society. The lastexpression seems odd, but it is true. Before I quit this subjectI must not omit to offer you my sincere thanks, for your kindproposal to take James under your protection. Had the thing beenpracticable, I should have accepted the friendly offer mostjoyfully; but I find his assistance indispensible and should I beremoved his Mother and Sisters would require his aid. He is asyou always knew him, grave and thoughtful, and if he shouldacquire a little more firmness, and energy he may become capableof sustaining the weight, which my death would impose upon him.William still continues a good tempered thoughtless fellow, verylike Edward in character although of a more lively temper. I amsure John will be much disappointed at the failure of his lastyears letter to you. He wrote, a little time before my departurefrom England and sent you some new publications, and littletrifles, that he thought might be acceptable or not easy toprocure in China. I am sorry there are no lemons at this seasonto send you, but what are so very ripe that they would be rottenbefore they reached half way to China. I have been contriving forsome months to get a drawing of our little cottage, executed byan Officer who draws beautifully. I hope still to succeed and tobe enabled to send it to you very soon. It may sometimes remindyou of those who often think and speak of Walter. I had almostforgotten your request to be informed in what way Mr. WatsonTaylor's friendship became serviceable to me. He was in thekindest manner instrumental to my opening and carrying on thecorrespondence with Government which ended in the removal of theobstacles that existed to prevent my reunion with my family.Perhaps you may have heard this I had the good fortune soon afterto be instrumental in extricating George Halliday from a veryembarrassing situation for which the whole family consideredthemselves obliged. It is very pleasing to evince that friendshipis not misdirected towards you.

I conclude Hannibal writes to you upon his present mercantileprospects. For my part, I find myself so unfit to embark in anypursuit of the kind, and think the prospects and funds of thisColony so uncertain that not even your kind offer of support andassistance could tempt me to engage in any adventure. Would toGod I had always entertained the same sentiments, I should nowhave been independent, instead of being condemned to struggle fora subsistance, at a period when years and infirmities make reposedesirable, nay almost necessary. But the past, bygones, cannot berecalled. This is a dismal miserable letter for the entertainmentof an absent friend, but I am ill, and unable to consider what Iwrite, or to write more entertainingly, if I thought howevermuch. Let me hear from you, whenever you have an opportunity andbe assured of the sincere and unabated regard of, my dearDavidson,

Your faithful friend,

John McArthur.

P.S.—I regret to have seen so little ofMr. Ritchie. Your female friends will thank you for for yourdelightful present of teas. They were very acceptable to usall.

In 1820 Macarthur writes to his son John enclosing copies of acorrespondence between himself and Lieut.-Governor Sorell, in VanDiemen's Land, who had also grasped the possibilities of the woolindustry.

Parramatta, 20th Feb. 1820.

My Dear John,

The accompanying sheets have been written in bed and with greatdifficulty, and I find myself so much depressed with pain anddisorder, that I can write to no one else except a few hurriedlines to dear Edward in Elizabeth's Letter—You musttherefore perform the task of acquainting him with all theimportant matters I have told you—All the Regalia'sgoods came safe, but much disordered from the broken state of thePackages the seeds and Plants entirely spoiled—acquaint Mr.Gibbs that our collection of seeds could not be sufficientlydried (many of them being in cases) to send him by thisconveyance, but will be sent by a Whaler which is expected tosail in about two months. Pray what is become of the Iron Ploughpresented to me by Colonel Campbell, that was relanded from theDavid Shaw—and why have you made no mention of themachine for flax dressing that I wrote so particularlyabout—where also is the Horse net that poor Ned procuredfor me—we have been put to great inconvenience, and we haveto suffer it, from your neglecting to send the piece of BlueCloth for Servants Liveries—Cloth about 20s. ayard—and the gross of large and gross of small yellowButtons with our Crest. . . . .

The opinion I have formed of the Commissioner ** is in perfectagreement with that which you say is entertained of him inEngland, he is polite and courteous to every one and active,acute and intelligent in the prosecution of the enquiry in whichhe is engaged but I suspect he is not making the progress hecalculated upon at its commencement, and that he has alreadydiscovered that ninety nine hundredths of the information whichhe has collected will require abundance of sifting, and that intoo many instances the labour will be badly requited—As yetI have had very little conversation with him on business excepton our own immediate subject the Wool—indeed I do not thinkI have seen him more than half a dozen times owing to severalcauses, his fixed residence is at Sydney to which place I seldomgo and the prejudices, which he knew existed against me inDowning Street and the jealousy (I fear I must say dislike) whichprevails at our Government House has made him (I suspect)consider it necessary to avoid even the appearance of beingbiassed by my opinion or Counsel. You must not, however, imaginefrom this, that he has been cold or disregardful when we havemet, quite the contrary not only to me but to every individual ofthe Family, I know that he has on several occasions said, that heconsidered me a public Benefactor and the example set by thewhole of us most praiseworthy. Immediately after his arrival Mr.Scott (the Secretary) who brought a particular introduction to mefrom Dr. Warren (you will recollect he attended me in SouthAudley Street) said we are aware Mr. McArthur of the importanceof your friendship and the value of the information you possess,but we are very particularly circumstanced. There is so strong aprejudice against you in a certain quarter at home that we areunwilling to ask you any questions but shall nevertheless bethankful and feel always disposed to receive with the greatestattention anything you may be inclined to impart. To this Ireplied that nothing would give me greater satisfaction than toassist the enquiry of the Commission and that I should at alltimes be ready to answer in the most unreserved and candid mannerany questions they might find it expedient to ask me, but if theprejudices of Government or other considerations imposed upon theCommissioners an obligation not to seek information from me inthat way I had nothing to communicate in any other, and I trustedthat my reserve and forbearance to obtrude myself would allowthem an opportunity to bear evidence how little I was disposed tomeddle with the transactions of Government, or to make myselftroublesome. This I saw startled and surprised the Secretary whohad certainly been cautioned against me as what is termed byhonest thorough going men of all work, a dangerous, officious,troublesome man, I added however, that the silence imposed uponme respecting public affairs would not extend to private ones,and that nothing would give me greater pleasure thanopportunities of contributing to make the Commissioner's and hisstay amongst us agreeable to them. This was of course politelyreplied to and several little accommodations which I immediatelyoffered were frankly accepted and have been gratefully spoken ofsince. For instance the Commissioner and the Secretary haveconstantly rode two beautiful valuable horses that I lent them,two such as could not be equalled in the Colony and which I wouldnot sell, one being a favorite mare from which I proposed tobreed and the other a high bred Stallion of Arab Blood from whomI have already had some valuable Stock and propose to breed fromagain when the Commissioner leaves the Colony. The Commissioneras you must have observed is not inattentive to externals and'tis evident for he is an accomplished Horseman that he bestrideshis prancing Arab with no little satisfaction. I mention theselittle things to set your mind at ease as to the real feelingwhich Mr. Bigge entertains for did he not feel respect he is thelast man in the World to submit to be obliged. In the course ofconversation with the Commissioner he has three or four timestouched generally upon the affairs of the Colony and I couldeasily discover that the opinions I expressed upon theseoccasions were in conformity to his own altho' he affected tothink differently, evidently with the design of drawing me out,in which, however, neither he nor the Secretary have eversucceeded beyond the point I had previously prescribed to myself.They both departed from this Settlement to visit Van Diemen'sLand early in this month and are not expected to return beforeApril or May. The last interview I had with them was on the daybefore they embarked and our conversation was highlysatisfactory. After going a considerable length into a proposal Ihad submitted to him for supplying all the Settlements withMerino Bred Rams (the particulars of which T shall give youdirectly) he concluded by saying "Mr. McArthur, I have avoidedentering into particular details with you respecting my enquiry,because I have been desirous to hear what every one has to saybefore I apply to you. When I left England I was certainlyprepared to encounter great difficulties in the execution of thebusiness I had undertaken but I find them much greater than I hadcomtemplated, in short, they so thicken upon me that I cannot atpresent form any opinion of the period when I shall get throughthem all, we have much to say to you so much indeed that I cannotthink myself at liberty to request your attendance at Sydney orto withdraw you so much from your own affairs. Your examinationwill be a work of many days perhaps of weeks we have thereforedetermined after our return to come to Parramatta. I wantevidence to show that Government may be relieved from the heavyexpense which this Colony creates and at present I have receivednone. If I do not I shall be under the necessity of reportingunfavourably and recommending that no more convicts may be senthere." I replied as before that he would always find me ready toanswer any questions and give him my opinions in the mostunreserved manner, that I saw no reason to despair of reducingthe expenses of the Colony or in fact of adopting a system ofmanagement which would ultimately enable the Colonists to providefor themselves and I drew a rapid sketch of my plan. He listenedattentively, often when I paused in the midst of a sentenceeagerly finished it (to shew that he entered into my views), andconcluded by declaring that he concurred in the opinion that theColony might be made productive instead of continuing anincreasing burthen but that the more he waded into the folliesand abuses now practised the more he became disgusted. "There isbut one excuse to be offered for your Governor which is his totalincapacity, but that of course Government have long known." TheGovernor and the Commissioner I am sorry to say parted on verydistant terms owing to a foolish attempt made by the Governor tosmuggle from the Magistrates and Clergy a favorable report of themorals, virtue, religion, improving agriculture, flourishingcommerce, pure administration of Justice, strict disciplinemaintained among the Convicts and surprising advances of theColony in every respect from the commencement of his command.After I had taken leave of Mr. Bigge Mr. Scott followed me to mycottage and after a long and interesting conversation told me"that they looked to my evidence as the Key or Touchstone of theTruth of all they had heard." The same thing was said to Dr.Bowman who is of course on intimate terms and enjoys theirconfidence, indeed the Dr. has frequently repeated many handsomethings which the Commissioner has said though perhaps they weresaid with an expectation that they would reach me. TheCommissioner is a man of the World and knows that a littleflattery well applied seldom does mischief.

The business of the Merino bred Rams is asfollows: About a year ago I took a favorable moment when Ithought His Excellency disposed to be a little friendly torecommend that he would adopt some measures to patronise theincrease of Fine Woolled Sheep, and I endeavoured to excite himto decided steps by hopes that he might procure the favorableopinion and interest of the Commerical and ManufacturingGentlemen at Home to oppose to that of his inveterate foes theSaints, I however could no further succeed than to prevail uponhim to write to Lt. Governor Sorell to enquire if such an attemptwould be acceptable to the Settlers in Van Diemen's Land. The Lt.Governor it would appear caught at the proposal with eagernessand wrote me a very handsome letter of thanks (No. 1) ** forhaving made it To this letter I replied in polite termsaccompanied with some general suggestions calculated to keepalive the feeling that had been raised and stating that the youngRams were ready to be delivered whenever the Governor should bepleased to call for them. This produced another letter fromGovernor Sorell (No. 2) *** and a few days after a notificationfrom His Excellency that he had received information that thesettlers at Van Diemen's Land were desirous to be supplied withmy Rams he should therefore be glad to see me as early aspossible to fix a price upon them and to arrange some plan fortheir conveyance to the Derwent. I had heard that the Settlers atVan Diemen's Land were willing to give £20 a head for such asmight be delivered in good health, but as I had been obliged touse great caution in my approaches before I could prevail uponthe Governor to write about them, and being fully sensible thatmy advancement has always been, and continues to be, a fearfulobject at Government House and to the creatures that surround it,I told him that I should be satisfied to receive Five Guineas perhead for the Sheep and take land at 5s. per acre in payment. Tothe price of the Sheep he made no objection (how could he when heknew the Settlers expected to pay 20 Guineas) but said he thoughtI valued the land too low, I replied that he must know it was thecurrent price at which thousands of acres had been selling forsome time past. It availed nothing and I clearly saw that I mustconsent to take land at 7s. 6d. per acre or give up the plan Ihad so long and so anxiously been seeking to commence. You willobserve this is the first land in New South Wales that Governmenthave ever received anything for. When I had closed the agreementfor the purpose of the Rams. I cautiously suggested to him forfear of giving umbrage or increasing jealousy that they might ontheir arrival at the Derwent be disposed of to great advantage byPublic Auction, if Government would give a little Credit (oursettlers never have money), and consent to take provisions inpayment which might be done without any increase of expense tothe Crown as provisions so received would remove the necessityfor making purchases to the same extent, and that as Governmentonly gave land for the Sheep the whole of the proceeds (exceptabout four hundred pounds for freight and food on the passage)would be applicable to the creation of a Fund to be distributedin prizes amongst the most enterprising settlers who shouldendeavour to improve their Flocks. That it would be also veryagreeable to Lt. Governor Sorell who much wished for Funds toappropriate in that way. This proposal was well received and Iwas directed to write to Colonel Sorell and acquaint him with thearrangement. I know not whether Colonel Sorell borrowed the ideaof Prizes from me (for it has been long spoken of by me as amethod which ought to be adopted to encourage the breeding offine Woolled Sheep) but whether it originated with him or me itmatters not, it cannot fail to prove beneficial. No. 3 **** is acopy of the Letter I wrote to Colonel Sorell next day. The 300Rams are to embark on board a fine Ship in two days and Isincerely trust that they will safely reach their destination.The Commissioner had always been acquainted with my intentionsand as soon as I had completed the bargain with the Governor Iwaited upon him and told him the particulars. He was so muchsatisfied with what had been done and with my plan for raisingFunds to encourage the Settlers to proceed, that I thought it agood time to enter upon a discussion I had before touchedupon—the necessity of adopting some plan for making thebreed of Merino Sheep universal throughout the Colony. Isignified my willingness to undertake the management and toreserve the whole of the Male Sheep of my Flocks to distributeamongst the Proprietors of Sheep, taking land in exchange at anyfair price that might be determined upon. The only condition thatI insisted upon was that Government should give me the exclusiveuse of fifty thousand acres to pasture my Flocks upon, for thefollowing reasons: That mine is the only Flock in the Colony fromwhich pure Merino Rams can be obtained. That to give the MerinoRace every advantage of constitution and size it is necessarythey should enjoy a large range of pasturage and be securedagainst all hazard of intermixture with the coarse woolled Flockswhich would be sent to graze in the vicinity of mine (with a viewof exchanging by bribing the Shepherds or mixing with my Rams andconsequently mixing their coarse woolled Rams with my finewoolled Ewes to the certain destruction of the whole undertaking)the moment it should be known that my Sheep were sent to theCommon Forest to pasture That it was well known the sole cause ofmy Flocks having remained pure so long was their having beenstrictly confined to my own enclosed grounds, which of course Icould continue to do upon a limited scale but not to an extent tosupply a hundredth part of the growing demands of the Colony forMerino Rams. That such an establishment would secure an abundantsupply of fine woolled Rams which the Government might distributeat their pleasure without a shilling of cost or any care or anyother equivalent than a grant of a certain proportion of suchlands in exchange for the Rams they might require, as they nowbestowed gratis, and with no other object than the production ofcorn and cattle, for which they are obliged to pay by Bills onthe English Treasury there being no inducement to the Settler togrow either corn or Cattle beyond what he wanted for his ownsupport unless Government were the purchasers of the surplus.That by storing the Country with Fine Woolled Sheep a mostvaluable export would be obtained, the returns of which wouldincrease the demand for labor and gradually prepare the Coloniststo depend on their own exertions and in time enable themaltogether to provide for their own expenditure. That by grantingme an exclusive pasturage to the extent I asked compleat securitywould be had for the Merino Race of Sheep being preserved pure,for their being increased and improved to the greatest degree ofwhich they are capable—and for their offspring beingdiffused throughout all the present coarse woolled sheep in theColony—That a compleat check would be given to FraudulentSpeculators who frequently sell coarse bred sheep shewing alittle cross of the Merino, the offspring of which is stillcoarser, and the ignorant Farmer who purchases disheartened fromprosecuting a business in which he finds "he has no luck." Suchis the almost universal excuse for ignorance or neglect. That ifGovernment took Provisions in exchange for the Rams, they wouldsell at a high price—and the Provisions be applied to thesupply of Government Dependants—That the more wealthyFarmer would pay money with which Government might give premiums,or apply it to discharge the expense of any objects of publickutility—say the expense of a Seminary for the education ofYouth.

The Commissioner started many objections, whichI endeavoured to remove—the principal one seemed to be thequantity of land I should acquire—You only ask, said he,for the exclusive use of 50,000 Acres, but I see that you look tothe Perpetual Grant in payment for your Rams—I answered whyshould I not—Is there any just reason why a respectableFamily, consisting of seven children should not possess 7,000Acres of Land each in a New Colony, which will be enriched by theexertions of their Parent—Look at your presentsystem—How many acres does Mr. D'arcy Wentworth own! Nearly40,000 it is understood by Grant and Mortgage—How many Mr.Terry, and others of the like description—18 or 20,000Acres (upwards of a 1000 is by grant from the Governor to himselfas a mark of esteem) and is not every clever active scoundrel inthe Colony becoming the Proprietor of large Estates—andmust not all the small Estates that are bestowed upon the herd ofthe Prisoners finally centre in such vile characters? TheAmerican Government who have never been accused of want ofsagacity, make no objection to any man's possessing a Million ofacres if he have the money to pay for them, nay they will givecredit for a considerable portion of the purchase money—Whythen should it be objected that I am likely to obtain 50,000acres for which I am willing to pay in an article of publicbenefit, and on the sale of which a large profit will arise?

The Commissioner seemed to be convinced at last, and said hereally saw no objections—and he desired me to give him theHeads of our conversation in a written Memorandum—I sendyou a Copy of what I wrote for him—it was very hastily done(late in the Evening before he embarked) and, I now perceive doesnot contain all the reasons I urged in conversation. In thefervour of our debate, he dropped "Consider the prejudiceGovernment entertain against you, I own it is not a deserved one,but 'tis an obstacle"—I replied that your latecommunications encouraged me to hope that the prejudice to whichhe alluded no longer exists. "Well," he said, "I wish it may beso, but I fear." If they do continue I rejoined and to the extentof rejecting my proposal, it will be for you Sir to consider inwhat way the object which I have so successfully founded may bemade a national one—In that case, I of course am out of thequestion, I must endeavour to take care of myself—and itwill not be expected that holding some Trumps in my hand, I shallresign them to others to play—"Government can import MerinoSheep." I admit they can, but let us calculate the expense andrisk—I shall next year have nearly 3,000 breeding Ewes allfine enough to breed Rams from—and even that number willnot supply Rams enough for the whole of the Settlements ifspirited plans be adopted. Suppose Government were to import3,000 Merino Ewes and a proportion of Rams what would theycost—First price, freight, food, and Risk, at least £60,000and when imported, if you contrast the price at which Englishbred Merino Wool sells with the price mine sold at the lastSales, probably much inferior in the quality of their wool, andcertainly not so well calculated to flourish in this Climate, andon our peculiar pasturage as Sheep bred in the Colony. Very true,said the Commissioner, but yet I fear there will be objections, Itold him I had spoken to the Governor upon the subject but thathe had declined taking any steps himself but promised that if Isent him my plan he would recommend it at home. "Do so then,"said the Commissioner. On mature reflection I declined doing sofor in the first instance I have no faith in His Excellency andin the second I am of opinion that any project from him wouldreceive little favourable notice unless it had the support of theCommissioner. For my doubts of the Governor I have many reasonsbut as I have no desire to increase the prejudices against him Iwill not detail them. I leave it to your own discretion tomention the business in Downing Street or not. To judge of thefooting you may be on there is impossible. If you do speak of itthe chief points to enforce are that this Colony must continue anincreasing burthen until exports are found; for without exportswhat have we to pay for our supplies but the money expended byGovernment—That no export has yet been discovered theproduce of our soil but Wool, (a few hides excepted and a verylittle Tallow) that the increasing excellence of its qualitymakes it of importance to our Manufacturers and affords a fairprospect that it may be still more improved—that the newdiscoveries of luxuriant pastures to the South West of the CowPastures admits of our Flocks being increased to an amazingextent—that by my means Rams may be soon had to improve allthe Flocks without any actual cost and Government receive inreturn for them a considerable price—that from my Flocksthey would always be sure of an improved Stock which will advancethe general improvement—that Government must take spiritedmeasures to push this object forward as whatever may be said tothe contrary the Colonists in general are very supine and willcontinue so as long as they can find in Government readypurchasers for their Grain and Stock—that as long as thissystem continue there can be no relief in point ofexpense—that at present there are not ten sheep breederspursuing any measure for the improvement of Wool and not morethan six of them that pursue judicious ones—The practice isto breed from their own cross bred Rams by which means aftertheir sheep are arrived at a certain point of improvement theydegenerate again—This would be obviated if Government tookall the Rams I may breed off my hands and distributed them. Manydo not like to apply to me because they have always scoffed atthe project from its commencement—some are led by theirneighbours others have no money to spare (you will understandthat every Settler of any character has always a Pig or two, or aBullock or some grain which he could give Government in exchangefor a Ram, tho' he cannot at all times dispose of them for money,with which only he could come to me to purchase) and many willnot move unless in a string.

When the Commissioner returns he will have had time to give thesubject due consideration and he will have conversed with Lt.Governor Sorell, of whose abilities all speak in praise, and heis a zealous advocate for the Merino Sheep—But I am reallyapprehensive, the Commissioner will be very reluctant to say muchunless he should previously receive some assurances from DowningStreet that their hostile feelings are changed—If you speakof this it must be done with the greatest circumspection, for thecommunication was made to me under an understanding of strictsecrecy—I omitted to inform you that the Governorconditioned when he agreed for the Young Rams, that Governmentwere to have the right reserved for them of paying me fifteenhundred Guineas if they preferred it, and of annulling the Grantof Land—but I suppose there can be little danger of theirpreferring to pay that sum in money to reserve Land in New SouthWales. The Grant will be made out in the names of your Brothers,James and William—I have given it to them as the reward oftheir assiduous attention to their business—They have apromise also of Two thousand acres from the Governor, the wholewill make them a pretty Estate to commence the worldwith—Now I am upon the subject of Grants—I might aswell explain what passed between Lord Camden and me about the CowPasture Grant—It was at first absolutely settled that I wasto receive Ten thousand acres but about a week before I leftEngland I met Lord Camden at Mr. Cook's House byappointment—when His Lordship in his Courtier like way said"Mr. McArthur I sincerely hope you will succeed in the businessyou have undertaken and you may always depend upon my protectionand interest—But it has been suggested to me that as nolarge Grant has ever been given in N.S. Wales, ten thousand acressounds a little excessive you will therefore lay me under anobligation if you will consent to my taking off Five thousand ofthe Ten I have promised you, and rest assured that you shall havethat quantity or a greater when your Flocks are increased torequire it—I answered that I was entirely in his Lordship'shands and should be satisfied with any arrangement heapproved—he thanked me repeated his assurance of Patronageand we parted—how well His Lordship has kept his promiseyou know, Mr. W. Taylor will probably recollect this, if yourepeat it to him. He said when I acquainted him with what hadpassed between His Lordship and myself, this is Cook's doing atthe instance of Sir Joseph Banks. I cannot see any cause fordoubt about the propriety of asking for a Grant to the extentpromised, if you are quite sure, that there is anything like afriendly feeling towards me, and the supply of Rams I havefurnished for the Derwent, and the necessity of continuing it,with the want I suffer of more extended pasturage for theincrease of my Flocks, would I should think strengthen the claim.I thought I had been so explicit before respecting my plans foryour Brothers that no more need be said on that subject—Youwill however tell Mr. Campbell that we are properly sensible ofhis friendly recollection, but that William is a Shepherd fromchoice, and will not be tempted to wield a sword unless in selfdefence—We are equally averse to all Mercantile speculationfor many reasons, but it is sufficient to assign one—YourBrothers have no time for anything but the care of our Flocks andHerds, and in that they will soon require assistance—Ishall really be very glad if young Du Villend come to us, andwhen I am able I will write to his Sisters, tho' I suppose itwill be settled whether he be to come or not long before anyletter from hence can reach Geneva. But altho' we declineMercantile affairs I am quite of opinion with Mr. Barnard thatrespectable men should be encouraged to settle here and breakdown monopoly—with a view to this I have introduced to youa Mr. Berry a Gentleman I have known many years—He and aMr. Woolstencroft (a nephew of the well known Mary Woolstencroft)propose to form an establishment here—Mr. Woolstencroft Ibelieve intends residing here, and Mr. Berry inEngland—they are both sensible men—and I am ofopinion very respectable, and I know of none more likely toforward Mr. Barnard's views if he should be disposed to patronisethem—I have in confidence told them what you wrote me, andshall be glad if you can introduce Mr. Berry favorably in DowningStreet—or indeed pay him any other attention—He (wasI fancy bred a Surgeon) has some philosophical attainments, andproposes I hear, to write an account of the Colony—itspresent state, and future prospects—But, I am half inclinedto think, had been talked into a jealousy of me before Iexplained myself to him and offered him an introduction toyou.

I have been highly pleased even with the distant prospect of yourBrother Edward coming here in some respectable situation, and ifit should be practicable to procure an appointment in a NewGovernor's Family it would be more desirable—But I do notrevel much in this hope—However the design meets my deepestapprobation—I know not whether I shall be able to write tohim upon this occasion—I fear not, for I now write in Bed,and in great pain from wandering gout—You talk of thepresent Governor leaving here. Take my word he will never leaveunless ordered—It is a melancholy thing to think of, forthe progress of his Convict system—his wastefulexpenditure, and absurd management is ruining the Colony and willevery day increase the difficulties of his Successor, howeverable he may be. You will perhaps be startled at my complaining ofexpenditure—it is hastening to ruin the Colony as much asanything—and its principle effect, in the way it is chieflydirected, is to encourage vice and profligacy, and to confirm thecultivators in a habit of looking altogether to the Governmentexpenditure instead of industriously endeavouring to producearticles for exportation. The accounts you give of the Wool andthe price of the last sales are very encouraging—though weare not a little alarmed at the subsequent report of depressionin the Market from the disordered state of Trade—we hopehowever, that a favorable change had happened before the arrivalof the Surrey with her valuable consignment—Theconsignment we send upon the present occasion is in general instill better condition than that by the Surrey—thereis much less coarse wool and a much larger proportion of the bestand second quality—In another year we shall put it all upin equal condition, and the quantity of coarse wool will be stillless and the fine greater—We are sanguine enough tocalculate that our improvement exceeds the depression if itshould still continue—It had need to do so I assure you forour expenses with the utmost frugality of management are veryheavy. I have been constrained to draw upon you a Bill in favorof Jones and Riley for £200, and another to Berry andWoollstencroft—for £90, both at 30 days' sight and dated25th Feby. and I fear I shall have occasion to draw for £800 or£1000 more in the course of the year—I have only had thecourage to glance over your last account up to July, nor shall Isay another word upon the subject of your expenses until I getyour answer to my Letter by the Surrey. Think well whatyou are doing for depend upon it our present returns will notadmit of your spending beyond the limit I have fixed—and ifyou will not regard that limit, you will impose upon me a painfultask, but one that I must perform.

We are all much pleased with our Coats—the quality of thecloth, I think cannot be exceeded, and I am well satisfied withwhat you have done in distributing Coats—but let it stopthere I see no necessity for more presents, unless it be two orthree Coats at the Colonial Office—where, notwithstandingMr. Watson Taylor's opinion to the contrary, I think it wouldhave been prudent to have sent some at first.

In the Bale No. 32 there are some particular Fleeces labelled andnumbered to which I wish to bespeak the particular attention ofMr. Young and Yourself. The Fleeces No. 1 and 4 are from two Ramsthat I esteem the finest in my Flocks, and by whom I have bredthis year with my choicest woolled Ewes—I shall be glad ofa particular report on the quality of these two Fleecescontrasted with No. 2 and 3—Nos. 5, 6, 7 and 8 are theFleeces of three Rams and a Ewe, a remarkable variety that hassprung up in the pure Merino Flock—You will observe theseFleeces are remarkably long and heavy tho' not so fine in thehair as the preceeding numbers—It has struck me that thislong wool may be valuable to comb—for worsteds to be usedin the Shawl or Norwich Manufactures, and I am desirous that theyshould be shown to some persons concerned in that Trade and avaluation of them be obtained—If they should prove ofgreater value to be used in that way than in the Manufacture ofCloth it may be worth attending to—You will not fail tokeep in view their superiority of weight over the Finer Fleecesof shorter Wool—We propose to keep the breed distinct untilwe receive your report, which I beg may be as ample aspossible—not only respecting the long wool but all thenumbered Fleeces.

I have read Mr. Wentworth's Book, and am quite shocked at thedelusive Statements respecting the profits of breeding finewoolled Sheep—I trust you had no hand in it—it willbe flatly contradicted by many, and very properly so. Respectingthe general merits of the Book, I think with Mr. Barnard and youthat its tendency is highly mischievous, his notice of me is veryobliging and is I suppose intended in payment for the free use hehas thought proper to make of my plans for the reformation andimprovement of the Colony—I cannot however say that theyhave received much benefit by the alterations they have undergonein his hands. The scheme for the education of the Youth and thatof a Bounty a premium on the employment of Prisoners is sochanged and fancifully arranged that I had some difficulty inrecognising them as branches from my tree—You must remembermy decided disapprobation of Trial by Jury and anything in theshape of a Legislative Assembly in the present condition of ourSociety and I hope you have not neglected to say so at theColonial Office—The establishment of either the one or theother at this time would seal the destruction of everyrespectable person here. I refused to sign the Petition to thePrince Regent and gave great offence by so doing—Hannibalfoolishly signed it, and I really believe did so contrary to hisown conviction, from fear of offending.

You will easily imagine how much it must have gratified me thatyou had succeeded in procuring for the Colony almost all theindulgences that can be useful to it in its present state, andyour success in forming a friendly connexion in Downing Street.You cannot cultivate that too assiduously—With respect tothe appointment of Colonial Agent it must not be thought of untilwe are entirely regenerated by the change which we hope from Mr.Bigge's Mission. In our present state Governor Macquarie'sdistinguished Convict friends are the majority and their voicespreponderate in every publick question—They dependaltogether upon the continuance of the Government expenditure andwhen that becomes seriously diminished they will be involvedtogether in a mass of ruin and bankruptcy—Their abuse andclamour against the organs of such a change whenever it do takeplace, and take place it must (unless it be intended the Colonyshall abstract Millions instead of hundreds of thousands ofpounds of the public wealth) will be of courseoutrageous—what then I ask would be the situation of anAgent to such constituents. Do what he might he would be blamedfor the miscarriage of all their absurd and impracticablerequests, and after all his labor be ignominiously dischargedtheir service without a guinea of recompense. You have no idea ofthese people my dear John, nor have I any desire that youshould—the only place to acquire it out of this Colony areat St. Giles' and the flash houses to which the Gentlemen of theFancy Clubs resort—Good God! what labors has the newGovernor who ever he may be to perform—I maintain it wouldbe easier to found five Colonies than to reform this—Hemust have unlimited authority and power to cleanse out the AugeanStables.

Dr. Bowman has performed miracles already at the Hospitalconsidering that he is entirely unsupported (except by thecountenance he receives from the Commissioner). At GovernmentHouse he is an object of aversion which they take little pains toconceal—Between ourselves the Law Department is a completepest—but I am at present in their hands and must preserve aprudent silence—It was not inaptly remarked by a shrewd man"when these people came here they represented themselves as thePillars of the Colony I think they prove Catterpillars"—Itis a most improper thing to allow Judges' fees—Somestartling cases have I hear been laid before Mr. Bigge which Ihope, altho' he is a Lawyer, make a due impression, if they arepermitted to proceed they will swallow up the Colony, for such isthe litigious spirit of the Convict gentry you cannot avoid Law,and when you get into the hands of the "sacred Priesthood" youare at sea without compass or rudder.

I transmit you a letter brought to me in the AdmiralCockburn from a House in London and I have replied to themcivilly and told; them you would be ready to attend to anyproposition they might have to make altho' not to alter thepresent plan of selling the Wool without consulting me—Iadopted this as a civil mode of getting rid of their proposal,tho' there can be no harm in hearing what they have to say.

I shall write to Lt. Governor Sorell to take measures to obtain aPetition in due time from the Settlers at Van Diemen's Land for acontinuance of the exemption from Duty on Wool, and I shall takethe necessary steps to procure another here signed by therespectable people (not Sir John Jamieson's ragtag and bobtail).The one from the Derwent will have great weight as they have solarge a number of Sheep (170,000) and all very coarsewoolled—consequently any duty upon them would act as atotal prohibition—The Petition shall be forwarded to you ifI can manage it—We look to hear of the success of your Oilexemption act—I observe what you say of the probability ofMr. Bigges being offered the Government, I do not know a fitterman, or so fit, when it is considered that he will have theadvantage of so much sound information of the real state ofthings—But I do not think he would accept it unless it weremade more lucrative than it is at present, that is to say by allhonorable means—Nor am I quite sure that he would not beappalled by the difficulties of the task—difficulties that,as I before said, are increasing every hour—what canGovernment be thinking of?—do not the increasing expensesalarm them? If that do not the increasing confusion vice andimmorality of all the Settlements ought—But they will hearenough of this from Mr Bigge when he makes his report. I findJames has told you of the Governor's conduct respecting the WildCattle—it was not my intention to speak of it on thisoccasion—nothing could be more ungentlemanly andfaithless—first he cajoled me out of my plan—approvedof it and promised to leave its execution to me—then madesome absurd alterations of his own and employed another personwithout saying a word to me—the truth is—he attachesno value to consistency on his word. . . . .

I must beg you to make an apology to Mr. Young for my not writingto him on this occasion, for I am really too unwell to write toanyone, and it is with exceeding great difficulty that I havecontrived to scrawl these unconnected sheets to you—Tellhim that I have received his accounts and Invoices up to the 30thof last June—all satisfactory and I believe correct. Thelast letter was dated the 19th of July and contained a mostmelancholy statement of Trading affairs and the Wool market inparticular but I hope times had mended when the consignment bythe Surrey arrived, or at least that its improvedcondition and quality would more than compensate for the fall inprices—We shall expect to hear in June of its arrival.

February 28th 1820.

No.1—Letter from Lt. Governor Sorell.

Government House 26th Novr. 1819.


His Excellency the Governor in Chief having notified to me thatyou had proposed to him to take from Your Flocks about 300 MerinoRam Lambs, to be disposed of to the Owners of Sheep at VanDiemen's Land, for the improvement of the Wool, I cannot denymyself the pleasure of offering you my best thanks for a proposalof so much importance to this Settlement.

The urgent necessity of providing from the produce of theCountry, one or more articles of Staple Export, has been longevident, and has been inculcated by me on every occasion; andfrom every circumstance, but particularly from the great increaseof Sheep, and the less immediate demand for Capital in thepursuit, the Wool has always appeared the most adviseable.

In reply to His Excellency's communication, I have had thesatisfaction to state, that upon as general a reference to theOwners of Flocks, on this side as Time has allowed, I entertainlittle doubt that the number of Lambs, which you propose to sparewill be gladly received; I have committed to Mr. Archer as aMagistrate and Proprietor at Port Dalrymple the communication inthat Settlement of the proposal, and I anticipate a similaracceptance there.

The intention being that His Excellency should make the purchasefor Government to be repaid by the Settlers; the Lambs will comeat a fixed price free of all risk to the Purchasers; and when Ishall have received the necessary notification from Mr. Archer,the appropriation to each Settlement can be made.

By the next Vessel proceeding, I hope to be able to write morespecifically on the subject to the Governor in Chief so that thearrangement may be finally settled prior to His Excellency'svisit to this Country in January. I shall take the sameopportunity of again troubling you and in the meantime I beg toremain &c.,

Wm. Sorell.

No.2—Letter from Governor Sorell.

Government House Jany. 21st 1820.


I beg to acknowledge by the favor of your Nephew with whom I havehad the pleasure of becoming acquainted here, your letter of the8th inst.

You are aware of the difficulty of inducing the Owners of Sheepto enter upon improvements, but I think that a price or premiumhowever low will very much conduce to render it general,particularly in this Settlement, when several people illiterate,and incapable of reflection have realized large Flocks—Aperson from England lately, made some purchases of Wool, such ascould be found here, and the opening which was offered forimprovement by the importation of Rams from your Flocks, had beenso well received, that I do entertain most sanguine hopes ofperseverance in this important pursuit on the part of the StockOwners. Many of them hold Flocks, larger than they can provideRams for at once, and with a view to facilitate the separationwhich in a Country wholly unfenced, and so much overrun withStock, becomes difficult, I have proposed to allot a certaintract of unoccupied Land, to which the best natural boundariescan be found, for the grazing ground of the Flocks designed forimprovement.

Our last Muster in both Settlements bore 170,000Sheep—Admitting an overmuster of 20,000, we should have150,000, of which, I fancy a large portion of two-thirds areEwes. Our Muster of 1817, was in a great degree verified bysubsequent Inspection, and as the increase since does not exceedthe Natural Estimate I believe we cannot be under the numberstated.

Some Early Records of the Macarthurs of Camden (9)

Sheep in 1914 [Pure-bred Descendants of OriginalFlock.]

I have mentioned the subject in my presentLetters to the Governor, and doubt not of His Excellency'sattention to it, if his health be, as I hope it is, sufficientlyrecovered, and this Season Ships for India generally coming roundto the Southward sufficient opportunities cannot fail forconveying the Rams. I shall therefore hope to be favoured with acommunication respecting them by an early arrival. I beg toremain &c.

Wm. Sorell.

No.3—Letter to Governor Sorell.

Sydney Feby. 4th 1820.


I avail myself of the present opportunity to acknowledge thereceipt of your Letter of the 21st ultimo by my Nephew and tooffer my best thanks for your polite attention to him at HobartTown.

It gives me great pleasure to be enabled to inform you, that Ihave arranged with His Excellency the Governor in Chief for thepurchase of the young Rams intended for the supply of theSettlements under Your Command and that it is His Excellency'sintention to forward them to you by the first good conveyance hecan procure—The terms on which the Rams are purchased are,Five Guineas per head, to be paid in Land at 7s. 6d. an acre.

I am fully sensible of the difficulties you will have toencounter to induce many of the Settlers possessing Flocks ofSheep to adopt a system for their management and improvement asmay be best calculated to lead to the accomplishment of theimportant object you have in view, but I indulge the mostsanguine expectation of your ultimate success from the judiciousmeasures you propose to adopt in appropriating a particularDistrict for the exclusive pasturage of the Flocks intended forimprovement, and the distribution of prizes or premiums to themost deserving proprietors.

Anxious to do everything in my power to facilitate a planpromising so many advantages both to the Colony and theGovernment, I took the liberty to suggest to His ExcellencyGovernor Macquarie, that if the Rams were sold by Auction itwould probably give rise to an active competition amongst thepurchasers, and as they are reported to be willing to pay aliberal price it might not be excessive to average the saleprices of the whole number at Fifteen Guineas per Head. Moreparticularly as it could be no disadvantage to Government to takeGrain or Wheat in payment, and to grant the indulgence of sixmonths' credit for one moiety of the purchase money and twelvemonths for the remainder. This would create a Fund of 4,500Guineas, for which it would be only requisite to deduct perhaps500 Guineas for freight and food during the passage (HisExcellency being anxious not to subject Government to anyexpense) and the remaining 4,000 Guineas would be applicable tothe Establishment of Prizes. His Excellency was pleased toapprove of the idea and to say that he would write to you uponthe subject. I may, therefore, I hope Sir, congratulate you uponbeing relieved from all apprehension of obstruction in theexecution of your plan from want of adequate funds; and permit meto assure you, that I shall feel the sincerest pleasure, if I canby any further services promote the progress of an undertaking,that I am convinced will reflect great credit upon youradministration, and be productive of the happiest consequences toall, who have the discernment to embark in it, and to merit theliberal encouragement you propose to offer.

I have the honor to be&c.,

John McArthur.

{Page 345}

Chapter X.


In 1821 Mr. Bigge, the Commissioner of Enquiry as to the stateof the Colony under Governor Macquarie wrote to Macarthur for hisopinion regarding employment of convicts, to which Macarthur senthis reply.

Sydney, 7th January 1821.


Having had under my consideration the various modes of employingConvicts now pursued in New South Wales; and wishing to have thebenefit of your observation and experience upon a subjectconnected with one of the most Important objects of my Enquiry Ibeg leave to propose to you the following questions to which Iearnestly request your attention and answer.

1st. Have you observed and are you of opinion that AgriculturalOccupations in their most extended sense afford better means ofemploying Convicts and have a greater tendency to reform themthan any other species of Labour?

2nd. What are the peculiar kinds of Labour that you consider tobe most beneficial to the Agricultural interest of this Colonyand best adapted to its Soil and Climate?

3rd. What extent of Superintendence or Scheme of management wouldyou recommend or think necessary to enforce a constant andsufficient quantity of Labour from Convicts employed in theordinary occupations of Agriculture or such other as you may bedisposed to recommend in your Answer to the 2nd Question?

4th. What other mode of remunerating Convicts than that which atpresent exists of giving them £10 per Annum for extra Labour, doyou think would be more effectual in stimulating their Industryor would have the effect of more nearly combining their ownInterest with that of their Employers?

Your answer to the foregoing questions will greatly obligeSir,

Your Obdt. Humble Servt.,

John Thomas Bigge.

Commissioner ofEnquiry.

Parramatta, 7th February 1821.


I should have done myself the honor to reply to your CircularLetter much sooner had not ill health and other obstructingcauses prevented me from considering your questions with thatserious attention, which their great importance claim.

I am of opinion, that no occupation except Agriculture is to befound, at this period, in New South Wales for any considerablenumber of Convicts, which would make a return to defray the costof their provisions, even taking it for granted, that the mosteconomical mode of feeding them were to be adopted—Byagricultural labour, I conceive, it would not be difficult tomake every man, who has strength to work, produce more than wouldbe requisite for his own subsistence and such Convicts as havebeen brought up to that employment, could certainly with theassistance of Cattle, cultivate Land enough to furnish bread forTen times their own number.

From every observation I have been enabled to make upon thecharacter and conduct of Convicts, both during the time of theirservitude and when they are restored to freedom, I am confirmedin my opinion, that the labors which are connected with thetillage of the Earth, and the rearing and care of Sheep andCattle, are best calculated to lead to the correction of vicioushabits—When men are engaged in rural occupations, theirdays are chiefly spent in solitude—they have more time forreflection and self-examination—and they are less temptedto the perpetration of crimes, than when herded together in Townsamidst a Mass of disorders and vices.

I should certainly recommend the cultivation of Indian Corn asthe most beneficial employment for the generality of theConvicts; because every man or woman, however ignorant of labor,may be easily instructed in the whole process of its culture, andpreparation for food—It is a grain, much better adapted toour Climate than Wheat—it is exceedinglynutricious—and it is not liable to casualties inunfavourable seasons; and it is, in fact, the only corn the lowerclass of Settlers use in their families during more than eightmonths in the year.

After the cultivation of the Soil to a sufficient extent tosupply Bread and corn for the consumption of theColony—articles for exportation have the next claim toattention—There is much speculation entertained here uponthis subject—Tobacco, Bark, Hemp, Flax, Oil, and, if aSettlement were established to the Northward, Sugar, Coffee andCotton are spoken of as articles that might make a profitablereturn to the Colonists—But these are only speculations,and, I confess, I cannot divest myself of apprehensions, that nocultivation of any article for exportation, requiring skill,attention and assiduous labour, can be carried on with anyprospect of success unless the Convicts be first in some measurereformed, and effectually restrained from the indulgence of theirpresent idle habits.

The only thing we have yet produced to export advantageously isSheep's Wool—that article has been so much improved in afew Flocks, that the best quality is acknowledged to be as fineas the Saxon, and superior to the Spanish Wool—Upon thishead. Sir, I presume you are perfectly informed and, I trustsatisfied of the excellent quality of the Wool; and that theincrease of our most improved sheep, would provide employment andfood for a great many convicts, and also afford the Proprietors asufficient Income to support their families respectably.

I feel much hesitation in offering any suggestions respecting theregulating and rewarding the Convicts for their Services; becauseno arrangement, however wise, can, in my opinion, effect anymaterial change for the better whilst the practice is perseveredin of indiscriminately granting Lands to Convicts—andwhilst the most vicious and enterprising are permitted to roamthrough the Country, tempting our Servants by their ill exampleto neglect their Master's business—and seducing them tocommit depredations upon any property within their reach.

If a large body of respectable persons could be induced to settlein the Colony much good might be accomplished—provided theNew Settlers were of a description to entrust with authority topunish disorders—to compel their servants to perform a duequantity of work—to determine the amount of theirrewards—and to make the quality and in some measure thequantity of their food depend upon the servants' industry andgood behaviour. The Convicts would then discover, that honestyand diligence, vice and idleness, were differently estimated; andthat nothing but desert could establish a claim to a Master'sindulgence.

I am sensible that such an Authority, as I have described, wouldsometimes be misused by harsh and selfish men, in defiance ofevery check that humanity and wisdom could devise; and that suchabuses of power might often escape detection—But thatportion of evil, or a greater must, I fear, be submittedto—for experience has proved, and I am assured, Sir, thatyou must have remarked, the pernicious and demoralising operationof general regulations, which place the good and the bad servant,the honest man and the thief, upon the same footing—andauthorise him not only to claim, but to insist upon the sameindulgence.

If this Colony is to be continued a receptacle for Convicts andif it be required, that they shall be reretained in propersubjection, that they shall be compelled to procure by theirlabour their own subsistence—and be restrained from viciouspractices, I can imagine no means by which these importantobjects can be attained, than by confiding extensive powers tointelligent and honorable men—Subjected to the inspectionand control of a vigilant Government—prompt to correctabuses, and ever ready to distinguish and reward merit.

Under such a system—there would be some rational ground ofhope, that a few of the unfortunate men, sent hither for theircrimes might in time be completely reformed—and that mostof them would be restrained from the Commission of GrossVices.

Ihave the honor to be,

&c., &c., &c.,

John McArthur.


If His Majesty's Government propose to retainthis Colony, as a dependency of Great Britain, there is no timeto be lost, in establishing a body of really respectableSettlers—Men of real Capital—not needy adventurers.They should have Estates of at least 10,000 Acres, with reservescontiguous of equal extent—Such a body of Proprietors wouldin a few years become wealthy and with the support of Governmentpowerful as an Aristocracy—The democratic multitude wouldlook upon their large possessions with Envy, and upon theProprietors with hatred—as this democratic feeling hasalready taken deep root in the Colony, in consequence of theabsurd and mischievous policy, pursued by GovernorMacquarrie—and as there is already a strong combinationamongst that class of persons, it cannot be too soon opposed withvigour—If forty or fifty proprietors, such as I havedescribed, were settled in the Country, they would soon discoverthat there could be no secure enjoyment of their Estates but fromthe protection of Government—As the population increases,the aristrocratic body should be augmented; and as fine woolledsheep will increase, in a few years, with surprising rapidity,the New Settlers, with Capital, would find no difficulty to stocktheir Estates—They would maintain a large body of domesticServants and labourers; and from their numerous Flocks supplyGreat Britain, so abundantly with Wool of the finest quality thatthe price must considerably diminish—This point onceattained what nation could export a yard of fine cloth at theprice the English Manufacturer could produce it aided as he wouldbe by cheap wool, machinery, capital, and skill—In returnfor the Wool exported from hence British Manufactures to animmense amount would be consumed in the Colony, and as thecarcase of the sheep will be of no value off the estate in whichit is produced the Proprietors would be desirous to take as manyconvicts as possible—These men would produce Bread forthemselves and their surplus labour would be directed toclearing, fencing and draining, so that every year the estateswould become capable of supporting more sheep and the proprietorsin circumstances to provide for more Labourers to carry on hisimprovements—surely these are points entitled to the mostserious attention of Government—they present the doubleadvantage of giving Great Britain the most extensive monopolythat any Nation ever enjoyed and that upon the mostunexceptionable principles namely supplying other peoples cheaperthan they can be supplied elsewhere, and there is a certainty ofan increasing demand for the labour of any number of convicts orpaupers Great Britain and Ireland may send forth—Effectualmeans must be adopted to compel the Grantees of Large Estates tofulfil the conditions, if it be made a job of, it will disappointGovernment, and embarrass the Colony—Adventurers withoutCapital retard all improvement, and as they sink deeper intopoverty and distress swell the mass of discontent, become mostfurious democrats and attribute the misery into which they areplunged not to their own idleness or want of discretion but tothe errors of Government and the oppression of thewealthy—At a moment of more leisure I will endeavour tosuggest some plan to provide against the progress of thisevil.

The following suggestions are respectfully submitted as a basisfor the establishment of a system of Regulations for thecorrection of the evils which arise from idle and disorderlyservants being authorised to demand the same allowance ofprovisions and the same amount of wages that the most industriousand deserving man can claim.

That seven pounds of Beef or Mutton or four pounds of salted Porkand eight pounds of wheaten or twelve pounds of maize meal beconsidered as the established full weekly ration of every Convictservant—That £7 per annum be the amount of wages to be paidin clothing and other necessaries—That every Settler towhom the services of Convicts may be assigned shall be authorisedto stop for neglect, idleness, or disorderly conduct hisservants' allowance of animal food and his wages for any numberof days not exceeding seven—Let the Master be obliged tosuspend a Board in a conspicuous place near to the spot where theweekly rations are issued on which must be written the name ofany servant put under such stoppage, the number of days to whichthe sentence may extend, and the cause of its beinginflicted.

That on the first day of every month the Master do make a returnto the nearest Magistrate, of the amount of wages and provisionsstopped and a copy of the notices that may have been written onthe board—That such returns be transmitted every quarter tothe Office of the Police Magistrate to whom the Master shall paythe amount of all the stoppages he may have made—That themoney arising from such payments shall be applied to the supportof a rural Police to be established in every District for thedetection of Petty Thefts, the discovery and conviction ofreceivers of stolen property or for any other publick purposeconnected with the prevention of crime—It is presumed thatthe formation of such an establishment would be productive ofgreat publick utility and in a little time become a powerfulengine for the reformation of the Prisoners.

By giving the Master the power that is proposed of inflictingimmediate punishment for all minor offences the happiest resultsmight be expected and when it should be felt by the Convicts thattheir employer has a power to make distinctions between anindustrious and an idle servant, an orderly and a disorderly one,it would excite the well disposed Prisoners to merit reward andin a great degree deter the idle and vicious from incurringpunishment—It is to be observed that the master would haveno temptation to subject his servants to undeserved stoppages,but the contrary, as the amount of all the stoppages must be paidto the Police Magistrate in money. Thus a Fund might be createdsufficient to defray the expenses of maintaining the proposedrural Police, the whole amount of which would be levied upon theidle and vicious convict and that in a manner which would be mostseverely felt and dreaded, for it has been sagaciously remarked"that a thief's most vulnerable part is his belly." The whole ofthe Settlers in the Colony, with the exception of a few whodirect their attention to rearing fine woolled sheep and Horses,produce nothing upon their Estates for sale but provisions.Government are the principal purchasers of these provisions, bothgrain and meat, and almost all the funds of the individuals whobuy and consume the remainder are derived from the pay of theCivil and Military Establishments or from the miscellaneousexpenditure of the Crown—The demands of Government have oflate so much exceeded the internal supply that they have beenconstrained to have recourse to the purchase of importedprovisions for which unusually high prices have beenpaid—This extended market has excited many of the Settlersto increase their live stock and others to enlarge theircultivation of grain. By these means the demand for labourers hasbeen so augmented that Government have been urgently solicited todistribute most of the Prisoners whom they at present retain andfeed. But that request has only been complied with to a limitedextent and the demand for provisions has rather increased thandiminished; because the number of Prisoners who have arrivedwithin the present year has been greater than the numberdistributed into the service of private cultivators—Theuniversal cry now is—"Give us servants"—and in theireagerness to secure as large a share as possible of theadvantages of a brisk demand, almost all seem to have forgotten,that an unqualified compliance with what is asked, by increasingthe number of productive and reducing that of non-productivelabourers would multiply the sources of supply, and at the samemoment lessen the demands of Government—There would then beas there repeatedly has been—loud complaints—we haveno encouragement—our crops rot—or are destroyed inour Barns—and we are left to encounter every evil withoutrelief. In fact—an opinion generally prevails that it is anincumbent duty upon Government to provide a constant market forthe whole produce of the Colony and to ensure the Settlersagainst all the consequences of their own want of foresight.

Some Early Records of the Macarthurs of Camden (10)

Ms. Catalogue

Constituted and regulated as this Society is atthe present period, it seems, that unless Government continue tomaintain a due proportion of persons to the supply of foodproduced in the Colony, a clamourous and distressing competitionto sell to Government must inevitably ensue, and a great quantityof provisions must be left unsold on the hands of the Settlers,for which there can be no purchasers—From a similar cause,the same result has been felt more than once before to the greatinjury of the Colony, and to the ruin of many individuals.

There does not appear to be any remedy for these evils, but thatof influencing the cultivators to employ a certain proportion oftheir servants in the production of articles for exportation; andby not giving Grants of Land to any but men of Character, whohave some skill and capital, and who are actuated by the laudabledesire to create a permanent and respectable provision forthemselves and families. It might then be hoped, that the habitof entirely relying upon Government for support may be changed,and the community in time be taught, to depend for the supply oftheir wants on their own exertions and resources, instead ofcontinuing a pernicious and increasing incumbrances to GreatBritain. As yet there is only one Export deserving noticeestablished—which is fine wool—The best quality iscertainly equal in fineness of staple, and perhaps superior inelasticity and strength to any in the world—But, altho'much has been said and written on the subject, the undertaking isstill in an insignificant and languishing state, and is attendedto only by a few proprietors; not many of whom proceed with muchspirit, or adopt those means of improvement that are within theirreach—Most of the flocks in the Colony bear Wool too coarseto export, and their careless or ignorant owners will not takeany trouble, nor incur any expense to produce a favorable change.Should His Majesty's Government consider it advisable, to directany portion of its fostering care towards this hitherto neglectedmine of future wealth and prosperity, it would not be difficultto devise methods by which the most respectable class ofProprietors might be excited to more strenuous exertions toincrease their flocks and to improve the Wool, to the utmostdegree of fineness; and even some of the most uninformed, andcareless, might slowly be led into the adoption of arrangements,calculated to promote their own and the public welfare.

John Macarthur.

19th December 1821.

Macarthur, later in his evidence before Commissioner Bigge in1821, stated that he maintained eighty convict servants, whoreceived in rations, 7 lb. of beef or mutton, a peck of wheat,milk, vegetables, fruit, tea and sugar twice a day, clothing,tobacco, and money to the value of £15 a year, unless they wereunusually idle or worthless, when they received £10, which wasthe wage established by Government.

To the best servants he gave gratuities varying from £1 to £5.He also employed some free, and some ticket-of-leave men.

On being examined about the state of his flocks and herds andagriculture, he said his sheep in 1821 numbered 6,800 of which300 were pure merino, that his breeding flocks averaged 330 ewes,his store sheep from 350 to 400. He considered July the bestmonth for lambing, and during that time fed his merino flock onturnips, rape, and occasionally rank forward wheat, and that hadhe sufficient labour he would feed all his breeding flocks in asimilar manner. That his merino ewes seldom produced more thanone lamb annually. That the carcase of the merino sheep of themixed breed occasionally weighed 70 lbs., that the average fleeceweighed 2 lbs. 7 ozs., and that the wool was steadily improving.The sheep were washed before shearing, and then allowed to remaina few days before being shorn to enable the yolk to rise as itwas found it preserved the staple of the wool during the longvoyage.

Some bales of the finest wool were sold in England in 1809 byauction at 5s. 6d. per lb. He thought it would be unsafe to stockmore than one sheep to the acre of land with natural pastures.His flocks suffered much from the depredations of the nativedogs. He sold some of his rams as high as £28 a head, and at alate sale 48 rams averaged £14.

He had a herd of 700 cattle founded from stock imported fromBengal and the Cape, and also English breeds from Devon, Suffolk,and Lancaster, and the carcases sometimes weighed 1,000 lbs.

His horses numbered 100 of mixed breed from the Cape, India,England, and a few pure Arabs. He considered the best horsesproduced in the Colony, very active, capable of bearing greatfatigue, good tempered and fast, the largest breeds beingexcellent for draught purposes.

When asked what observations he had made about the native-bornyouth, he said, "They are active, intelligent, and I think willbe enterprising whenever a proper field is opened to theirindustry. At present many of them have but little instruction andtheir future prospects are very confined."

Even after Commissioner Bigge's departure, Macarthurendeavoured to forward his views by submitting the followingsuggestions to Sir Thomas Brisbane, who had succeeded Macquarieas Governor.

Suggestions relative tothe Employment, Discipline and Ultimate Reformation of theConvicts in New South Wales

That a Committee of the following named personsbe authorised to assemble at Parramatta, that being a centralstation and possessing the further advantage of being the presentresidence of His Excellency the Governor to whom immediatereference could be made if required:

The Revd. S.Marsden.
Mr. Throsby, Mr. Cox.
Mr. Howe.
Mr. H. Macarthur.
Mr. Oxley.
Mr. MacArthur.

That the Committee be instructed to deliberateand consult together upon the following subjects and to maketheir report to the Governor.

1st. In what kind of Labour it may be most beneficial to employPrisoners on their arrival in the Colony, and in what mannertheir labour can be most effectually superintended.

2ndly. In what manner can the Prisoners be maintained at theleast expense to the Crown bearing a due regard to their alwaysbeing supplied with wholesome food.

3rd. What kind of superintendence and discipline may be mosteasily adopted to restrain the Prisoners from acts of disorderand immorality and to enforce the performance of such a portionof labour as will oblige every healthy man and woman to produceat least their own subsistence.

4th. What degree of authority would be beneficial to entrust toproprietors of Estates over their servants to deter them fromdisorderly conduct and compel them to work industriously.

5th. What restraints could be imposed upon the Masters to securein an effectual manner the worst behaved prisoner from being usedwith improper rigour and to secure to the industrious andinoffensive servant such compensation as might incite them topersevere in a course of honest labour and reformation.

6th. Whether it might be prudent to confide such authority as iscontemplated to every class of settler and if not what substitutecan be adopted to enforce industry and preserve order andobedience amongst the servants of that class of settlers to whomno compulsory authority may be entrusted.

7th. What inducement can be offered to the female prisoners torestrain them from indulging in the licentiousness of promiscuousintercourse with the men and to prevail upon them to becomesober, honest industrious wives and affectionate Mothers.

8th. What would be the most effectual mode of giving moral andreligious instruction to such prisoners and children as mayreside in situations too remote for attendance upon theestablished Churches and Schools.

With a view to obtaining the utmost information upon topickswhich involve the consideration of the means of subsistence, thediscipline, and reformation of the most numerous portion of thecommunity, as well as the security, the prosperity, and thehappiness of all, it is recommended to the Committee, tocorrespond with, and endeavour to elicit the opinions of theClergy, Magistrates, and every intelligent Proprietor of land inthe Colony.

On this manuscript appears the following note evidentlywritten by Macarthur at a later date for the information of hissons in England. The Judge's letter will be seen later.

This Memorandum was presented to Sir ThomasBrisbane and he expressed himself so pleased, that a Committee,composed of the persons named in the margin, was to be orderedforthwith—Immediately Dr. Douglas took alarm—itsuited not with his views that the old Proprietors should haveany influence in the affairs of the Colony, and it was equallyobnoxious to the Secretary, that my opinions should have anyweight with the Governor—These considerations undoubtedlycaused the celebrated Letter from the Judges, remonstratingagainst my appointment to the Office of a Magistrate—thestratagem succeeded and the Governor and myself were estrangedfor several months—The Judge Advocate has sinceacknowledged, that he never should have thought of such a measurehad he not been urged to it by Dr. Douglas—and the poor manfell into the snare, thinking no doubt, he should increase hisinfluence with the Secretary.

I can suggest nothing to stimulate most of the convicts toexertion but coercion or a promise of speedy liberation fromservitude, nor do I believe that it is possible by any means toinduce them to consider their interests combined with that oftheir Master. Rewards and indulgent treatment produces no feelingof gratitude amongst the greater part of these unfortunate beingsor any desire to secure a continuance of kindness by goodbehaviour, on the contrary it is notorious that the most rigorousand parsimonious masters are best served. The Regulation whichdirects the Master to pay every Servant Ten pounds per annumwages is only I believe complied with by a few respectableSettlers and in their families it is destructive of all emulationthe good and the bad Servant the industrious and the idle, thehonest man and the thief are placed on the same level and areentitled to demand the same reward. I have long been convincedthat there is no remedy but by placing the Convicts entirely inthe power of their masters to reward or to withhold. Thisauthority would perhaps be often abused and it might not be easyto find a remedy for such abuse. We have only our choice of evilsand it remains to be decided whether it be better to place theServant in the power of the master, or the Master in that of aservant.

The circumstances that led up to the celebrated letter fromthe Judges are that in 1822 Sir Thomas Brisbane invited Macarthurto become a magistrate, and what ensued will show the feelingthat still prevailed over the deposition of Bligh, even after aninterval of 14 years. Macarthur forwarded the particulars of thecase to his son John in England.

Copies of Message delivered by FrederickGoulburn Esqre., Colonial Secretary to Mr. MacArthur with hisreply—

January 31st 1822.

Sir Thomas Brisbane has commanded me to acquaintyou that in consequence of your Son having served in the Brigadeunder his command, in consequence of the high character he heardof you in England from several of his friends, in consequence ofthe useful pursuits in which he finds you engaged in the Colony,in consequence of your talents and the good opinion he has formedof you since his arrival from a personal knowledge he was inducedto request that you would become one of the Magistrates of theTerritory.

But having since discovered that great party spirit exists in theColony which he has endeavoured in vain to conciliate he findshimself under the painful necessity of declining to receive yourassistance in the Magistracy.

Sir Thomas Brisbane has further desired me to assure you that informing this determination no change has taken place in theesteem he entertained for your character, and that he shall be atall times most happy to see you.

And for myself allow me to assure you that I should have noobjections to meet you on the Bench and that I shall at all timeshave pleasure in receiving you.

To which I replied:—

I cannot but consider myself particularly unfortunate in havingbeen invited by His Excellency the Governor to become one of theMagistrates; and I can assure you Sir that there arecircumstances which perhaps it would be improper to detail thatwould have induced me to decline the offered appointment, had notthe high respect I entertain for Sir Thomas Brisbane's character,made me feel anxious not to incur the chance of being thoughtdisinclined to contribute my feeble assistance to the support ofhis Government. But as unfortunately I did consent to accept theappointment of a Magistrate, and that consent is a matter ofcommon notoriety, it is impossible for me not to consider theomission of my name in the New Commission, which is to includethose of so many other gentlemen, in any other light than that ofa public degradation, a degradation that nothing but theconsciousness of rectitude of conduct and honorable intentionwould enable me to support. Indeed it is doubly painful asproceeding from so highly distinguished a source, and I appeal toSir Thomas Brisbane as a Soldier and a man of honour, to affordme the only relief which is now possible; that of knowing to whomI am to attribute my disgrace and what are the particulars of therepresentations which can have made him feel it obligatory toinflict so deep a wound upon a man of whom he is pleased toexpress such favorable sentiments. I solicit no favour but thatof being permitted to defend myself against the masked attacks ofmy enemies. Indeed I will not conceal that I have heard the mostactive of these are the Judge Advocate, and the Judge of theSupreme Court; and many collateral circumstances leave not theshadow of a doubt that they are the men. Permit me again torequest you will in my behalf respectfully entreat His ExcellencySir Thomas Brisbane not to withhold the information I have askedas it has become indispensable for the relief of my injuredfeelings and the support of my honour. Accept Sir, my best thanksfor the polite and considerate manner in which you have inpartedSir Thomas Brisbane's message, and do me the justice to believethat I am incapable of thinking so illiberally as to suppose youhave encouraged the conspiracy by which I am assailed."

The foregoing was immediately dispatched to Major Goulburn with arequest that he would correct any error if it did not containwhat had passed between him and Mr. MacArthur. He kept the paperfrom the 31st of January until the 16th of February when it wasreturned with three words altered; * it was enclosed in thefollowing letter:—

York St.,

16th February, 1822.

My dear Sir,

The departure of the Surrey leaves me an opportunity ofreturning you the Statement with the perusal of which you honoredme some time since, in the body of which I have taken the libertyof making only one immaterial alteration.

Believe me to remain,

My dear Sir,

Most truly yours,


Repeated messages were sent to Sir Thomas Brisbane requestingthe copy of the Judges' Letter. It was as frequently promised butnot sent, which occasioned Mr. James MacArthur to write to Capt.Fennell, A.D.C.

Parramatta 28th February 1822.

My dear Sir,

I called this morning in hopes of having the pleasure to see youand of ascertaining whether you had any conversation with MajorGoulburn on Tuesday. My Father is becoming more and moreimpatient for the Letter and as I understand you are going toSydney so early tomorrow it will prevent the possibility of myseeing you. May I beg of you to write me whether you saw MajorGoulburn and whether there is any probability of a copy of theJudge's Letter being obtained. If you had no conversation withMajor Goulburn upon the subject on Tuesday perhaps you may beable to learn from him tomorrow what is the cause of his delayingso long to comply with Sir Thomas Brisbane's orders. If theletter does not make its appearance soon my Father will becompelled to write Sir Thomas officially which he is veryreluctant to do. He desires me to say that he cannot help feelinghe has just cause of complaint, that he who is so deeplyinterested should be kept in ignorance of the contents of aletter which has been for nearly a month a subject of almostuniversal animadversion throughout the Colony.

Iremain, Dear Sir,

Yours, &c.,

James McArthur.

On the 20th March Mr. William MacArthur being at Sydney calledto enquire if the Letter was to be sent, he was desired to askfor it officially and his letter produced the following enclosingthe long expected Epistle from the Learned Judges.

Colonial Secretary's Office,

22nd March 1822.


Having submitted your letter of the 16th inst. to His ExcellencySir Thomas Brisbane, the Governor has commanded me to forward youthe accompanying document.

Ihave the honor to be Sir

Your obedient Servant,

F. Goulburn, Col. Sec.

William MacArthur Esq.


Sydney 19th January 1822.


In your Excellency's late appointment of additional Magistrates,we have been induced to consider the measure as highly expedientand useful on the ground that the increased weight of duty,incumbent of late upon the Magistracy might thus be fitlyrelieved while the unanimity prevailing among the Gentlemenproposed to be inserted in the Commission seemed to secure thatHarmony of Proceedure, and cordial co-operation which can bestgive facility and effect to the Magisterial Jurisdiction.

In due consideration of this Principle we are urged, however inreference to a like appointment, which we understand to be incontemplation with your Excellency, as to John MacArthur Esq. ofParramatta, to declare the opinion, that although we believe thatGentleman to be a man of general ability, and readily acknowledgethe Public benefit which his private Pursuits have conferred uponthe Colony; yet calling to mind the part, which he took in theRebellion or rather the Rebellion which he almost alone caused inthis Government in the year 1808, and having reason to know, thatgood terms so little, if at all prevail between him and theMagistrates generally of the Settlement, we cannot but doubt,whether the appointment would be approved by His Majesty'sMinisters, and consider it at least our Public Duty respectfullyto submit to Your Excellency whether it should at all takeplace.

We have the honor tobe Sir,
with due respect,

Your Excellency'svery Obedient
and Faithful Servants,

Jno. Wylde Judge Advo.

Baron Field Judge Sup. Court.

To His Excellency
Sir Thomas BrisbaneK.C.B.

True Copy.

F.Goulburn, Colonial Secretary.

John received this correspondence and replied.

Inner Temple, Sunday, 8th Dec., 1822.

. . . You may be assured my dear Father, that Ihave not lost sight of the attack made upon you by the worthyJudges of N.S. Wales. I expect that Lord B. or Mr. Wilmot willaddress a Despatch to Sir Thomas Brisbane, censuring asunbecoming, and foreign to the duties of their stations, theremonstrance of Messrs. Wylde and Field—and stating, thatGovernment having already expressed their desire that the eventsconnected with the arrest of Govr. Bligh should be buried inoblivion, they disapprove of any reference to them, and, inconsequence, that Sir Thomas may acquaint you, publicly, thatthere is no objection to your acting as a Magistrate when youthink fit to accept the office. I expect also that it will beaccompanied by another letter, mentioning that Mr. Wilmot hadlearned from me that you had not been solicitous to obtain theoffice, and were not anxious to act at present, as a Magistrate;and, therefore that Lord Bathurst thought Sir Thomas should payyou the compliment of offering it you for one of your sons. . ..

John's efforts on his father's behalf bore fruit—butJames and William refused the Magistracy which was offered andthen forbidden to their father.

Colonial Secretary's Office,

7th October 1822.


A Dispatch from Lord Bathurst having desired the Governor tooffer the Commission of a Magistrate to your Brother or Yourself,should you feel anxious to undertake the duties of this office, anotification of your appointment will take place on an earlyoccasion.

I have the honor to be, Sir,

Your obedient Servant,

F. Goulburn.

James MacArthur Esqre.

Recd. 9th atParramatta.

Parramatta 17th October 1823.


I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the7th inst. wherein you inform me, that My Lord Bathurst havingdesired the Governor to offer the Commission of a Magistrate tomy Brother or myself, a notification of my appointment will takeplace on an early occasion, should I feel anxious to undertakethe duties of this Office.

We are both deeply impressed with gratitude for the highlyflattering mark of distinction conferred upon us by My LordBathurst but many painful local considerations make us thereverse of anxious at present to undertake the responsibility ofany Publick Office—Whenever these may cease, nothing willmore gratify my Brother and myself, than zealously to devote ourhumble services to the support of His Majesty's Government, andthe promotion of the peace and happiness of our Native Land.

Having had the honor to explain myself very fully, in a personalinterview, with His Excellency the Governor this morning, I feelit unnecessary, on the present occasion to trespass longer onyour attention.

I have the honor to be, Sir,

Your obedient Servant,

James Macarthur.

F. Goulburn Esqre.
&c., &c., &c.

The episode closes with Macarthur's indignant letter to BaronField.

Parramatta 29th January 1824.


Now that you are divested of your Judicial Armour I find myselfat liberty to make you an equitable return for the part you wereinduced to take conjointly with the Judge Advocate in the Letterto Sir Thomas Brisbane advising him not to appoint me to theMagistracy.

But before I proceed I must endeavour to repay the obligation Iowe to yourself in particular for having without provocationthrice given me the lie, once in your own house, and twice inmine. These are facts which prove that neither respect foryourself when I was your guest, nor respect to me when I was yourentertainer could suppress that propensity to insult which I amconvinced is inherent in your nature. To attribute outrages likethese to ill breeding would be absurd, for the worst bred manalive after having been twice generously forgiven must have beenrestrained by a sense of gratitude from repeating an insult thatnone but the lowest vulgar ever inflict When I have indignantlyreflected on the last affront I have always been thankful thatyou had the prudence to make a precipitate flight for when youforgot you were addressing a gentleman I certainly ceased toremember it was a Judge who insulted me. Now Sir, to the act ofjustice which without doubt you anticipate. In the Letter that Ihave adverted to I am reproached with having been almost the solecause of a rebellion in the Colony. Such a reproach proceedingfrom you did greatly surprise me as I could not but remember howfrequently I had heard you boast of your nearness of kin toOliver Cromwell and how, often I had seen you exultingly point tothe most conspicuous ornament of your private Hall of Justice acast of the Regicide's Head. The Judge Advocate and you notsatisfied with accusing me of rebellion were pleased to attempt afurther illustration of my demerits, and asserted that "goodterms so little, if at all prevail between Mr. MacArthur and theMagistrates generally of the Settlement that we cannot but doubtwhether his appointment to be a Magistrate would be approved byHis Majesty's Ministers; and we consider it at least our dutyrespectfully to point out to Your Excellency whether it should atall take place."

To Your learned Coadjuter I have nothing to reply because I takeit for granted that the character I have often heard you give ofhim is correct and I thank you for having advised me to avoid hisSociety. To you then, I confine what I have further to say, it isthis, the Magistrates generally when asked if they had authorisedthe use that had been made of their names disavowed it andexpressed their readiness to contradict your assertions. You willtherefore Sir be pleased to understand that I accuse you ofhaving knowingly and deliberately committed an act which themanners of a gentleman forbid me to name even under the sanctionof your example.

I remain Sir,

Your Humble Servant,

John Macarthur.

Barron Field Esq.

Mr. MacArthur having understood that Mr. Field has embarked onboard the Competitor requests to be favoured withinformation whether during his further stay in the Colony hepurposes to be considered as a Private Gentleman or as a Judge ofthe Supreme Court.

Barron Field.

Parramatta 28thJanuary.

Copy of an OpenLetter Delivered to Mr. Field February 2nd 1824.

P.S.—The foregoing was intended to havebeen delivered to you immediately after your embarkationexpecting that the Note presented by Mr. Murray on the 29thinstant would have been answered agreeably to the usage aGentleman. On the receipt of that communication you gave Mr.Murray to expect that you would consider its contents and send mea reply but none having been received and as I am solicitous toavoid the imputation of insulting a man who shelters himselfunder the sacredness of the judicial character utterly regardlessof his own honour and the opinions of the exalted profession ofwhich he is a member I have directed this to be presented to youat a time when you can no longer be considered a publickfunctionary.

Parramatta February 3rd 1824.

Mrs. Macarthur's letters bring us into a more peacefulatmosphere.

Parramatta, Feb., 1821.

My dear Eliza,

In your last letter from "Ham Common" you request our opinion ofthis being an eligible place for young men of good family and ofsmall capital. To this I answer that at present their emigratingto this country would be a most hazardous experiment. Things aretoo unsettled. The lands in the vicinity of the townships aregranted, so that a new settler would have to go back a longdistance into the woods—quite cut off from society, andcompelled to dwell in a bark hut, with convict servants, andsurrounded by gumtrees, the Emu, and Kangaroo of the Forest. Thelittle capital a new settler might bring with him would melt awayin the town like snow before the sun, for Sydney is a mostexpensive place, and most of the inhabitants are vicious We arehoping for a reform; when that shall have taken place, and someexports have been established, a fairer prospect will be opened.Wool is at present our sole export; and that may be said to be ina languishing state—few pursue their branch of industrywith vigour, and the being obliged to depasture the waste landswith flocks, under the care of men as shepherds, who are for themost part worthless and careless is a great drawback uponenterprise. Be assured I have been careful not to let a wordescape me, which might tend to mislead you in England. Be assuredthat when things mend you shall hear from me. Our two youngestmen devote themselves entirely to agriculture and the care ofstock. They are sometimes absent from us three and four months ata time. To establish our flocks, much money has been expended,and many years have elapsed. Our son James has lately made a tourinto the New Country as it is called in "Westmoreland," where wehave an establishment of cattle, and thinking it may amuse you Icopy a part of his journal. "On Monday 11th January 1821 I setout from Camden on my tour. I left my dear Father, and Williamcheerful and happy full of business harvesting, shearing andWoolpacking. On the 18th crossed the Western River—abeautiful glassy sheet of water, winding thro' an open meadow,tufted here and there with magnificent Eucalypti, wearing theappearance of venerable moss grown Elms. The scene reminded memuch of the Avon. To the westward of this stream, the forest roadruns thro' about ten miles of open country, intersected bythickets of Daveysia. The vistas are sometimes fine—inplaces quite park-like, chains of ponds, connected by runningbrooks pass thro' every meadow. I never saw a country soadmirably adapted for horned cattle, but it is too wet for sheep.Its extent is not great. Dr. Throsby's herd in number about 800occupy one half of this valley, and our cattle the remainder. Ihad been here before, but it being then winter, when the grasswas brown, now its appearance is wholly changed. The herbage isin full luxuriance and forms a close compact pasture consistingof grass common about Parramatta and the Cowpastures (Camden)mixed with lotus and wild chickory. This tract of land was namedby Mr. Bigge 'Sutton Forest'. Kangaroos are here in immenseflocks. The distance from Camden is fifty miles. Continuing myjourney I came to Bredalbane Downs fifty miles beyond SuttonForest. The intervening country with little exception consists ofbad land, and after a careful examination of the Downs I came toan unfavourable opinion of them. In summer, perhaps, they mightprove healthy for sheep; but in winter there would be no pastureupon them. Even at this season it is very cold, and there havebeen two frosty nights by which the grass is much injured. It iscertainly a beautifully watered country and nothing more can besaid in its praise. I could not help regretting so great anadvantage should thus be thrown away. To me the appearance ofthese immense treeless plains was dismal in the extreme. Brown asa stubble field, and wearing scarcely a vestige oflife—they seemed the abode of desolation. We saw but oneKangaroo and two Emus. The latter whose gaunt meagre forms agreedbut too well with the dreary scene around them, were searchingalmost in despair for a solitary spot of green. They found it atlast and so did I; and it is a fair question whose satisfactionwas greatest—mine or the Emu's.

"There were no temptations to remain, and I accordingly retracedmy steps as speedily as possible to Sutton Forest. In thatinteresting spot I passed a week very agreeable—inspectingour cattle—superintending the putting up a stock yard andkangarooing. On the 27th returned to Camden, a ride of fiftymiles. My opinion of the new country is that at present it can beof little use to the Colony. Hereafter it may prove of use asopening out to other districts.

"On my return to Parramatta I found a letter to tell me that theCommissioners Mr. Bigge and Mr. Scott were to take a farewelldinner next day at Parramatta, I accordingly set out and reachedhome in good time, and in much better health than when I set outbushranging. This sort of life is to me an efficacious, and atthe same time agreeable restorative. Roaming in lonelyindependence through almost tractless wilds, and contemplatingwithout interruption the vast sublimity of nature we lose therecollection of those unpleasant circumstances, which within theinfluence of Sydney's pollutions continually occur to harrass themind."

You are so good as to say that my letters are acceptable to you,and I am sure I cannot do less than write to thank you a thousandtimes for your kindness to my dear Mother. A visit from you mustcheer her so much. It makes my heart dilate when I think of it.How sad a reflection to me that she should prefer to surroundherself with the persons whom you describe, and who must renderany assistance to her so much less availing. I will write to hersoon, and pray that you will communicate to her such parts of myletter, as you think will be of interest to her.

Believe me etc.,

The Governor and Mrs. Macquarie arewell.


September 4th 1822.

My dear Eliza,

We have received the sad intelligence of the loss of the shipGrace, laden with colonial produce and having besidesletters to our friends. Our last letters from my dear Edward arefrom Ireland. He thinks of soliciting leave of absence from hisregiment for the purpose of visiting us. I fondly hope he willobtain it, but I much doubt whether he will like to remain hereafter he comes. The number of respectable persons who begin toarrive from England is now considerable.

Could we but meet, how interesting to me to listen to all thedetails of your domestic affairs—whilst I in turn shouldrelate our Australian Wonders—depict our mode of life, ouroccupations, our wanderings amidst the woods, attentive to thenotes of the Bell Bird, and tracing the steps of the Kangaroo andEmu. Our two youngest sons make "Camden" their principalresidence.

They are excellent young men, with minds highly cultivated theydevote themselves to the management of a very large agriculturalestablishment with unceasing assiduity. Mr. Macarthur talks ofmaking Camden the residence of all the family; as yet there isnot a suitable house, nor do I know when we shall be enabled tobuild one. It is what we much want. For our poor Parramatta Houseis tumbling down it is quite a ruin. The Clan Macarthur is notlikely to be much enlarged by our family—they all seemprudently to think these are not marrying times. HannibalMacarthur whom you know has six children—they live near us.We continue to like our present Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane.Lady Brisbane and her sister Miss Macdougall are gentle andamiable—perfectly unaffected in their manners and habits,yet possessing all the acquirements of wellborn and well educatedpersons.

Mrs. Macquarie will probably not visit Devonshire. She continues,I believe, to correspond with Miss Meyrick. The public measuresof Governor Macquarie have been severelyreprobated—particularly for making convict Magistrates, andfor otherwise bringing forward that description of persons. Evenhis bounties have been forgotten by many on whom he bestowed themwith profusion. Mr. Macarthur I am happy to say has had betterhealth than heretofore. He desires to be most kindly rememberedto you. How did I wish "That I had wings like a bird" that Imight sit myself down beside you, at the Bridge so often passedand repassed in my younger days, and there fondly embraceyou.

I have more than once written on the subject of young Gentlemenmigrating here with small capital. It requires, perhaps, morethan ordinary fortitude to go back to settle in the interior ofthe Colony. Several Officers of the 48th Regt. reduced in thePeace Establishment are about to become settlers, but the greaterpart return to England by the Ship, by which I now write. I havealready said that we are much pleased with Sir Thomas Brisbaneand His Family. The Governor himself is fond of scientificpursuits, and is devoted to astronomy in particular. He broughtwith him a number of valuable instruments, which are set up in anobservatory which he has had built near the Government House atParramatta. Mr. Rumker a Gentleman well known in the annals ofscience, and a German by birth came to this country with SirThomas. He is domiciled with the family and has charge of theObservatory. The ladies are fond of and live in great retirement.They mix little in society and give none of those largeentertainments, which Mrs. Macquarie used to do. They have aDinner Party once a week. Their table is handsomely set out, andserved in a manner superior to anything we have yet seen in theColony. Lady Brisbane has a good Piano, on which she occasionallyplays, and accompanies the instrument with her voice. MissMacdougall plays the Harp, and Mr. Rumker the Piano in turn. TheGermans are passionately fond of music. Emmeline grows a tallgirl, and is fond of Butterflies and Flowers.


Saturday Sept. 21st, 1822.

My dear Eliza,

Since my last letter, written about a fortnight since, we havehad the pleasure to see Mr. Boughton who brought us a mostwelcome letter from you.

Mr. Macarthur and myself were glad to see your brother Roger'shandwriting once again. He will consider the subject of his son'scoming to this Colony. But at present they are too young. MyHusband is decidedly of opinion that no young man should become asettler in this Colony under the age of one or two and twenty. Intruth we see no pleasing prospect held out to respectablepersons. There are a world of difficulties to be encountered,when they arrive at this far distant place. Still we hope forfavourable changes. The report of Mr. Commissioner Bigge has notyet been acted on. Indeed when we last heard from dear John ithad not been given in. We flatter ourselves that the report willnotice many existing evils; which it depends on Government tocorrect; and to turn their attention to many beneficial changes.The want of exports keeps us like beggars and depending on theexpenditure of Great Britain. Wool, a little Oil, and a fewcargoes of Seal Skins collected in these seas are as yet our soleexports. When Mr. Boughton travels into the interior, he will bedelighted with its appearance. It is with the country—notwith our towns that strangers are pleased. I hope he may form acorrect judgement and neither deceive himself or others.

The accounts from England are so gloomy that I wonder not at thedesire to emigrate. If we could persuade ourselves to livealtogether as shepherds, and be contented with bread, milk, meat,vegetables and the variety of fruits that are raised inperfection in this climate, it would be all very well. But wemust have a number of imported luxuries. Even our servants willhave tea, sugar and other things, which many of them have neverin their former lives been accustomed to indulge in.



{Page 376}

Chapter XI.


About this time the Macarthurs began to think of making theirprincipal home at Camden, but there were many difficulties to besurmounted before Macarthur was given the land that had beenpromised him by Lord Camden in 1804, who had agreed that heshould have 10,000 acres in the Cowpastures provided that he hadsold his commission in the Army (where he held an advantageousposition, being senior captain of his Corps, and also a highplace on the captain's list), and devoted himself to theproduction of fine woolled sheep in Australia.

Owing to Banks' interference, the amount of land had beenreduced to 5,000 acres, with the promise of the remainder shouldthe enterprise prove successful.

In December, 1805, Macarthur had received two grants, one of2,250 acres on which the homestead now stands, and the othercalled Upper Camden, consisting of 2,750 acres.

Between these tracts of land lay Belmont, which had beengranted to Walter Davidson at the same time, and was purchasedfrom him by the Macarthurs for £4 an acre at a later date.

In 1821, when Commissioner Bigge returned to England, Johnendeavoured to get Lord Camden's promise fulfilled, and wrote tohis father—

John to his father—

Inner Temple,

22nd September, 1821.

. . . On Monday I had a long conversation withhim (Mr. Bigge) . . . I entered upon the business of the grants,and related everything contained in James' letter by theShipley, excepting the Governor's declaration that he, Mr.Bigge, had required and obtained a pledge that no more landshould be granted at the Cowpastures and that he had objected toyour receiving then the grant of 4,200 acres for the rams. Hesaid with some appearance of surprize, "I thought it was settledbefore I left the Colony that your father was to have bothgrants—the 4,200 acres and the land for the Pennant Hills** Estate adjoining his old boundary at Camden. The Governormentioned it to me, and altho' I was startled at first at thequantity and made some objections, I subsequently acceded to thepropriety of it, and heard nothing more of the affair." We thentalked over Lord Camden's promise. Mr. Bigge gave no opinionrespecting it, nor did I press for any. He said it would put youin possession of a large tract of the finest land in N.S.W., butcertainly when he reflected on the good use you had already madeof your grant there, or the number of men in your employ, and theimportance of the Wool he should think it well bestowed . . . Thenext day I sent him a copy of Lord Camden's promise . . . Hewrote to me on Wednesday to say that he had talked with Scottupon the subject who was quite positive "that an arrangement wasall but concluded before we left N.S.W., by which both the landagreed for the rams as well as that taken in exchange for theSeven Hills Estate was to be provided by an adequate orcorresponding quantity in the Cowpastures in that partimmediately adjoining your father's present boundary." Of his ownrecollection he speaks more doubtfully than at first, but adds,"I have had reference to all the maps with which I have beenfurnished by Mr. Oxley, but I do not find any trace or memorandumthere of the positions that Govr. Macquarie intended to havegranted to your father." Mr. Scott brought up this fromBlackheath and confirmed what Mr. Bigge says that there is notrack laid down on his map. The previous statement, thereforementioned by James in his letter by the Shipley. that he,Mr. Bigge, "particularly pressed upon him the necessity ofreserving all the ungranted part of the Cowpastures forGovernment purposes and that he even went so far as to have theportion to be given in exchange for the Seven Hills land laiddown upon his map, and to say that he hoped he might rely upon noalteration being made must be incorrect.

Mr. Bigge recommends an early application toEarl Bathurst . . . I find that but little of the Report is yetwritten. . . .

Scott thinks that I should urge the claim of 4,200 acres and theclaim for the 5,000 at the Cowpastures in the same letter . . .Barnard is of opinion that it will be better to confine myself tothe promise of Ld. Camden and leave the grant of 4,200 acres forfurther discussion; such also is my opinion, because the newclaim will be embarrassed by any discussion about the latter. Ifthe 5,000 be ordered I can then mention that the 4,200 had notbeen allotted to you at the date of the last letter and requestan order that in the event of its being still unlocated the Govr.may have permission to give it at Camden. I cannot hear whetherany part of the land will be sold . . . Another reason for mypresent opinion that it will be inadvisable to say anything aboutthe 4,200 acres, is the probability that Govr. M. may change hismind on his return from V.D. Land and give it you there orrecommend Sir Thomas Brisbane to do so . . . Our only fear isthat when Lord Bathurst hears of 5,000 acres and 4,200 his habitof looking at the extent and value of estates here may make himhesitate, and think the favor greater than it really is. Theremay be some difficulty in bringing him to reflect, as he ought,that the latter is a purchase and already ordered to be granted.The 4,200 must be given somewhere and it is of the greatestimportance to secure the 5,000 at Camden. . . .

On October 8th, 1821, John wrote to Earl Bathurst asking thatthe 5,000 acres promised by Lord Camden, in 1804, should begranted. His application was deferred pending Mr. Bigge's report.After almost a year the answer came—

Downing Street,

12July 1822.


With reference to your Letter to Lord Bathurst of the 8th Octoberlast on the subject of the promise made to your father by theMarquis Camden, when Secretary of State to the Colonies in theyear 1804, of an additional grant of Five Thousand Acres of Land,whenever he should have completed the terms of his agreement asrecommended by the Lords of the Committee of PrivyCouncil—I am now directed by his Lordship to acquaint youthat as he has been enabled to ascertain from the Report of Mr.Bigge, the Agricultural progress which Mr. Macarthur has made inthe Colony, the state and extent of his Flocks, the Purity of hisBreed of Sheep and the value and fine quality of the Wool, hisLordship cannot but concede that the Terms of the Agreement aresatisfactorily complied with, and have therefore directed SirThomas Brisbane to grant an additional Five thousand acresadjoining if possible to the original grant in the Cowpastures,or in the event of any of the Land adjoining being alreadyoccupied that it should be made as near as possible, in orderthat if any private arrangement can be effected by Mr. MacArthurfor an exchange of the Land so granted, he may be enabled toaccomplish the desirable object of having a tract of country forpreserving his Flocks in their present state of Purity and ofPerfection, without incurring the risk of loss or interruptionfrom the Establishments of neighbouring settlers.

Iam Sir,

Your most obedient humble servant,

R. Wilmot.

John MacArthur Esqr. Junr.
No.3 Tanfield Court, Inner Temple.

On August 10th, 1822, John wrote to his brother James.

. . . . By the Eliza I forward threecopies the first part of Mr. Bigge's report, and you will alsoreceive by her long letters on various subjects. One packet withthe Govt. Dispatches contained Mr. Wilmot's letter to me of whichthe enclosed is a copy . . . I trust my dear James that the orderof Govt. will be carried into execution as soon as possible afterthe arrival of the Eliza. . . .

The grant of land at the Cowpastures, the flattering terms ofLord Bathurst's dispatch to Sir Thomas Brisbane, and the Reportof Mr. Bigge, have been productive of pleasure not merely toEdward and to me but to all our friends here. Major Williams, Mr.Brogden, Mr. Coles, Walter Davidson and the Farquhars have alldesired me to offer their remembrances and congratulations, theformer in particular laughed heartily, and charged me to requestmy father would compare Lord Bathurst's gracious expressions withthose contained in his correspondence in 1817. . . .

Lord Bathurst's despatch did not have the desired effect, andthese extracts from memoranda prepared by Macarthur fortransmission to his son in England will show the difficultiesthat still beset his path.

On the 22nd of last November, (1822), theEliza arrived and brought your letter, enclosing theletter from Mr. Wilmot. I was then at Camden entertaining SirThomas Brisbane who had paid us a visit to see the sheepshearing, but as the report of an arrival had reached us wereturned to Parramatta the next day. The morning after I saw SirThomas Brisbane and learnt that he had a letter to the sameeffect as the letter to you. Sir Thomas expressed the greatestsatisfaction at its contents, and said "now I know LordBathurst's opinion I need not hesitate to tell you, that it ismore than a month since I determined to make you an offer of theuse of the whole of the reserved lands at the Cowpastures forwhich I would have taken Rams or Bulls for the improvement of theGovernment Flocks and Herds. By the reserved land Sir Thos. meanta tract of 10,700 acres . . . bounded by the River Nepean andWest Camden, Brisbane (that I received in payment for the flockof Rams) and a creek called "Mount Hunter Creek", this tract wasnamed by Governor Macquarie "Cawdor", and it is understood, heapplied to Government for a grant of it and had been refused.

. . . The Land now offered to me is the range Land to theSouthward of Brisbane * and to the Westward of your brother'sgrant. It is stony, mountainous, and so full of steep ravineswithout water that the offer of it is an insult . . . I shallsimply acknowledge the receipt of it and (as the land offered isfrom its situation and barrenness of no value to me) that I begto decline the offer and shall await the result of a furtherreference to Lord Bathurst,.. the affair is now entirely thrownupon you . . . I have just heard that a plea is set up that I hadagreed with Govr. Macquarie that I should not have Land in theCowpastures in payment for the Rams . . . The fact is Iparticularly agreed with Govr. Macquarie that I should have theland for the Rams in the Cowpastures subject however to theapproval of Lord Bathurst, if that was withheld I was to be paidFive Guineas per head. Lord Bathurst did approve as you haveinformed me, but Macquarie suppressed that and wished me to takeland distant from Camden, and to secure my not getting my landthere he wrote a letter to Sir Thos. Brisbane in which he falselystated "that I had at first agreed to take the land at adistance. Sir Thos. mentioned this to me after Macquarie hadsailed, and I convinced him from circumstances that it wasuntrue. Amongst those proofs was an order to Oxley to measure theland in the very ranges that Sir Thomas has now offered me andwhich I then refused as entirely useless. Macquarie answered hewas sorry, but had no authority to grant it elsewhere and at thesame time gave Douglas and D'Arietta their grants.

John immediately took action in London, and on July 21st,1823, wrote to Bathurst's Under-Secretary, R. WilmotHorton—

. . . . that unexpected obstacles had beenraised in the Colony and that Lord Bathurst's order has not beencomplied with . . . I am compelled to intrude again upon hisLordship's and your attention, by entreating that his Lordshipwill be pleased to direct that my Father may receive a grant of5,000 acres adjoining his present estate and out of the districtcoloured green in the accompanying map ** . . . or that hisLordship will permit him to take the whole of that district,consisting of 10,700 acres . . . on his either agreeing to payfor the surplus of 5,700 acres at the highest price named by theCommissioner, or to yield, in return, any annual quit rent EarlBathurst may think it just to impose. . . .

I must further remark that all the other goodLands in the Cowpastures were granted subsequently to my firstapplication to Earl Bathurst, and after I was assured by Mr.Goulburn, in 1819 that the Governor would not be authorized todispose of them until my father's claim was settled. Thereappears therefore no other mode of fulfilling the promise. . ..

The reply came from Downing Street on 19th August,1823—

Sir—I have laid before Lord Bathurst yourletter of the 21st July referring to the delay which had occurredin making the grant of 5,000 acres of Land to your Father in NewSouth Wales and soliciting either that the same might be allottedadjoining to his present estate and extending from the districtcalled Brisbane and extending to the River Nepean as marked greenin the map which you enclosed or that his Lordship would permithim to take the whole of that district, consisting of 10,700acres bounded by the River Nepean, Mount Hunter Creek, Brisbane,and West Camden, on his either agreeing to pay for the surplus of5,700 acres at the highest price named by the Commissioners or toyield in return any annual Quit Rent his Lordship might think fitto impose.

I am directed in reply to acquaint you that a copy of your letterhas been in consequence forwarded by Lord Bathurst to Sir ThomasBrisbane with instructions that the proposal made by you becomplied with either by actual purchase on the terms stated * bythe Commissioner at page 48 of his third report, or by thepayment of a proportionate reasonable Quit Rent by whicharrangement your Father will not only receive immediately thegrant of 5,000 acres to which he is already entitled on accountof the promise made to him by Lord Camden but will secure tohimself the possession of an additional contiguous districtamounting to Five thousand seven hundred acres.

I am Sir,
Your most obedient humble servant,

R. Wilmot Horton.

On May 27th, 1823, Macarthur received a grant of 4,368 acresin the Cowpastures in payment for 300 rams, and also 3,630 acresin exchange for land surrendered at Toongabbie, the land he hadpurchased from Foveaux.

On October 19th, 1823, Macarthur wrote to his son—

We were lately roused from a comparative stateof apathy by a notice published in the "Gazette" from theSecretary's office of an intention to lease the reserved Lands ofCawdor . . . as the execution of this plan would effectually barthe completion of any arrangement in England either for the wholeof that Estate or the portion ordered to be granted to me in aformer Despatch to Lord Bathurst I considered it prudent to putin my claim for a grant of 5,000 acres.

Macarthur's request dated 1st Oct., 1823, was refused on 7thOct., and on the 8th Brisbane sent Macarthur a message byLieutenant Macalister that he would feel much pleasure byMacarthur taking a lease of the 5,000 acres together with all orany other portion of the land advertised to let for 7 years.Macarthur was to write to Major Goulburn which he did on 9thOct., accepting Brisbane's proposal.

The "Gazette" of the following week repeated the advertisementre leasing from which Macarthur inferred that theSecretary had determined he should have no part of the land.

On 6th Dec., Goulburn wrote to Macarthur that he and his sonscould lease the lands, the Government reserving 1,000 acresaround Cawdor, and another 1,000 acres near Mr. Hassall's ford.Macarthur objected to this as it cut up his estate, and therewere more delays, but on January 17th, 1824, the Sir GodfreyWebster arrived with John's letter enclosing the letter fromWilmot, informing him of Bathurst's orders to Brisbane, dated19th Aug., 1823. Although Brisbane received his orders on 17thJanuary and desired that Macarthur should be put in possession ofthe land, it was not until after he had twice written officiallythat Major Goulburn on 17th February informed him of the receiptof Bathurst's despatch, and on 5th Oct., 1825, he was given thepromised grant of 5,000 acres and allowed to purchase theadditional 5,700 acres.

Some of the trouble about the grants may have arisen from thefriction between Brisbane and Goulburn, of which John wrote tohis brother James—

Nov. 14th 1824.

Everyone here is acquainted with the rupturebetween Sir Thomas and Major Goulburn, and I suppose it must leadto the recall of both but when is very uncertain since everything is so slowly arranged.

Macarthur's letter to John gives an account of the receipt ofLord Bathurst's second despatch and circumstances connectedtherewith.

Parramatta, Jany. 24th 1824.

My dear John,

Your welcome letters and your Brothers by the Sir GodfreyWebster reached us here on the 17th—You will easilyconceive what pleasure their contents gave to me and the wholefamily—You have absolutely accomplished a labour not muchshort of a miracle, and for all your Family, I return you mysincere thanks, and that from me, you know means a greatdeal—The arrival of these Letters has created no smallbustle amongst us—and as you will naturally be anxious toknow everything, I will commence the detail—The day afterthe Letters came I despatched James to Government House with theCopy of your letter to Mr. Hunter, with orders to explain as muchas might be needful of what you had written, if it should provethat Lord Bathurst's despatch had not arrived—The Governoron seeing James appeared startled, but James introduced hisbusiness by telling him that I had sent him a Copy of the Act ofParliament, with the Royal Assent, not knowing whether he hadone—He "was exceedingly obliged by this attention and manyothers, he had not received the Act, nor should he have had theCommissioner's Report but for my attention—He had noletters—had I heard anything respecting the CawdorEstate"—Yes replied James, "My Father has most satisfactoryLetters—Lord Bathurst has been pleased to order him a Grantof the whole Estate, part in confirmation of His Lordship's firstorder, and the remainder to be paid for"—I am quiterejoiced—I always wished your Father might have it—Iknew he must—Tell him I have always had your and hisinterest at heart, and the moment I get the Order he shall be putin possession." "My Father, Sir, has always been convinced ofyour friendly intentions, and has always regretted that an evilinfluence prevented you from carrying them into effect—Toconvince Your Excellency of this, and of the moderation withwhich the appeal to my Lord Bathurst has been conducted, I havebrought you a copy of my Brother's Letter—which you willalso receive with His Lordship's Despatch"—The Letter wasread, "I will go to Sydney to morrow and order Major Goulburn toproceed no further with the Leases (see the detail andcorrespondence about leasing the Cawdor Estate) Your Father maydepend upon my protecting his interest, I will come and see himvery soon, I have the greatest regard for him"—

The next day James and I drove to Sydney, and James went toGovernment House to call on Capt. Fennell—He met theGovernor at the door—a violent start—"Oh Mr.MacArthur I have read your Brother's Letter—Major Goulburnhas orders to do nothing more in the affair of the CawdorEstate—the moment I get orders assure Your Father he shallhave the possession, it will give me the sincerestpleasure"—"My Father will be exceedingly happy to receivethis assurance"—The conversation passed in the presence ofFennell and several other persons—James then called uponMr. Oxley on some business—they had a long talk together,and Mr. Oxley let slip that Major Goulburn had shown him theChart, and read the Order from Lord Bathurst, to grant me theDistrict coloured Green—"We are fairly beat Oxley!!" "Ha HaHa! well it is nothing to me, I have no interest in the affairand I give Mr. MacArthur credit for his perseverence"; did youever hear of a prettier scoundrel?—Oxley then said "YourFather will now get the land except a thousand acres that are tobe reserved as Common for the accommodation of the Publick whohave Cattle in Argyleshire—He had better make nodifficulties—if he does there will be a Publick Meetingcalled, and a Petition to Sir Thomas Brisbane not to act uponLord Bathurst's order until an answer can be obtained to thePetition"—James answered, Very well Mr. Oxley, you knowbest what you intend—but take care, you have once been theprincipal cause of My Lord Bathurst's orders beingdisobeyed—take care how you offend a second time" thisevidently alarmed him—The next morning they met again, andin an altered tone Mr. Oxley said. "I have thought of what yousaid, and I must admit that your Father ought not to give up athousand acres—but surely he will not object to one to twohundred"—"My Father will never consent to have aCommon established in the Heart of his Estate, to whichevery vagabond may have access, with all the vilest and mostdiseased Sheep in the Colony, it will be a nest of thieves anddestroy the value of the whole Estate"—"Why upon my lifethat is very true, I should not like it myself" rejoined he.James, "If Common Land be wanted there is 1700 Acres reserved atStone Quarry Creek (about five Miles from our South boundary) andthere are five or six thousand acres in the ranges, including thebeautiful tract that you advised Major Goulburn to offer myFather. Mr. Oxley you had better be quiet—you know myFather—he is now in an excellent humour as you may suppose,and if you could only be induced to act as a man of honour and agood neighbour, I have no doubt I could effect a reconciliationbetween you, and all would be forgotten that you have done toannoy him—I declare to God nothing would give me morepleasure—I will do nothing inimical to your Father'sinterest and if I hear anything more about the matter and thePetition I will apprise you."

Having ascertained that the order to grant the Land was in theColony, I determined to commence a brisk attack, that they mightnot have leisure to contrive more schemes, but still it was adelicate business to manage, as Sir Thomas had, both on theSunday, and on that day, denied that he had any orders—Itherefore wrote to say, I had received information that theDespatch had been sent by the Sir G. Webster, and that Iconcluded that it had been overlooked in the Mass of PublickPapers.—I prayed it might be sought for, and that as myflocks were suffering from the long continued severe drought, Imight be put in possession of Cawdor—See my Letter (No.10). This Letter I have reason to believe produced greatconsternation, and Mr. Secretary contrary to his usual practiceanswered me the next day, but without admitting directly thatorders had been received by the Sir G. Webster (so that Iam still to learn whether they came by that Ship, or by theCastle Forbes that sailed from Cork in Sept.)—heacquainted me that the earliest possible attention would be paidto every instruction from Lord Bathurst (see Letter No. 11)pleaded that time must be required to make the necessaryarrangements and evaded my complaint of distress by a stalemiserable jest, that the Governor would have had the greatestpleasure in relieving me, had not my Flocks been rescued fromdanger by the rain of the preceding night (it had rained aboutthree hours). To this I have made no direct reply but shall writea private Letter to Fennel, enclosing a copy for Sir Thomas'sperusal, with some other remarks, which if they do no other goodwill keep alive the fears of the enemy—Thus stands theaffair of the Land at the present time.

{Page 389}

Chapter XII.


After the departure of Macarthur and his sons James andWilliam from England, the superintendence of the wool sales fellupon John, who was then entering upon his profession as aBarrister.

He was a constant correspondent, and it would appear that he,in common with the rest of his family, took the keenest interestin all that pertained to the welfare of New South Wales.

The letters cover a wide range, and have much to say about theformation of the Australian Agricultural Company, of which Johnwas one of the promoters, and the three Macarthurs in Sydneydirectors. The two first minute books are still at Camden Park,but to enter into the history of the A. A. Company is beyond thescope of this volume.

6Stone Buildings, Lincoln's Inn,

5th March 1818

My dearest Mother,

. . . . I have nothing very particular to acquaint my father withon the subject of business. The Lord Melville was to sailfrom Bengal in September or early in October, and is dailyexpected, we are very anxious to see the Wool in this Ship. Theaccount you give of the washing, induces us to hope that it waspacked in a state very superior to the last, and as the marketcontinues favourable we expect a considerable advance in theprice. I mentioned in my letters by the Tottenham, thatMr. Young has made an insurance for £2,500, on wool valued at 2s.6d. by the Harriet or Ships, as in the last Policy. Irequested him to do this on hearing that this ship was taken upby Mr. E. Riley, and was to sail for England in December last. Ifthere should be no interest the policy will be cancelled free ofexpense. Of course, if I ascertain the Wool in the LordMelville to be worth more than 3s. an increase in thevaluation of the next shall be made in order to cause theinterest that may possibly be embarked in the Harriet. Itwill be a great advantage to the Colony, and to the owners ofwool in particular, to obtain the repeal of that clause of theEast India Charter, which by its inactments, now prevents thefree intercourse of small vessels, but I am fearful that it willbe impossible to obtain the interference of Mr. Goulburn, withoutsome representation is forwarded from General Macquarrie, or therespectable Colonists. When the Wool by the Lord Melvillearrives, I will do all I can to engage him to interest himselfand Lord Bathurst in our behalf, by forwarding to him samples,and specimens of the cloth manufactured from it—but still Ishall labour under the disadvantage of not being authorised toaddress him on the part of any person but my father, altho'others must be suffering from the grievance. James's friend Mr.Smith has promised to exert himself to make the character of theWool known, and will probably become a purchaser. Mr. Young willsend the samples and the orders for sale to Messrs. Marsh &Ebsworth, with whose character in the markets of London my fatheris already well acquainted. . . . .

My Father's acquaintance Mr. Bakewell called on me a few dayssince, for the information respecting the wool that my fatherpromised to supply him with, for an article he is preparing onthe subject, to be inserted in Rees' Encyclopaedia. I haveundertaken to assist him to the best of my power. I havementioned to my Father in a letter by the Tottenham, thatI understand Walter Davidson has entered into a partnership witha Mr. Dent, a very respectable young man who has gone fromEngland, and who is connected with and supported by many wealthyfamilies here. Mr. Kier informed that they will turn theirattention to New South Wales, and the possibility of opening sometrade with the coast of Chili and Peru. Should this be the case,it may, perhaps, strike my father as affording a favourableopportunity of establishing one of my Brothers as a Merchant inthe Colony.

Your affectionate Son,

John Macarthur, Jr.

Inner Temple, Augst. 14th, 1821.

My dear James,

I mean this letter to consist of memoranda and observations uponthe subject of wool, and to include answers to your queries andsuch information as I have obtained from persons of experienceand respectability in the trade.

The "curly wool No. 57" is not liked only because it is "curly".The staple is not bad, but the manufacturers generally disapproveof it, because they cannot get the curl out, and consequently,the surface of cloth made from it has an uneven appearance. Someof the finer fleeces in other Bales have a few curly locks, butthe same appearance is observed in the fine Saxon fleeces, andone or two persons I have conversed with think, that the samesheep may bear fleeces without this peculiarity, in anotherseason. Should this prove correct, the wool will be much admired,and sell at a high price, on account of the fine fibre, and silkyfeel, a peculiarity for which the wool of the Electorate ofSaxony is very remarkable.

Aug. 16th—With regard to 33, 34, etc., many persons haveconcurred with Mr. Ebsworth in opinion that they are notsufficiently clean. It is of great importance that they should beoily and "full of nature," as the manufacturers say, but then thedirt should be washed out. I have had the opinions of at least adozen persons that the sheep should be washed very attentivelyonce or twice, and then allowed to run on clean pasture a week orten days, until the wool has imbibed the grease or oil again. Iam aware that you want a thick carpet of grass to prevent thesheep from becoming dirty in a few days, but as your artificialgrasses increase (of which I have to write to you hereafter) Itrust you will have the necessary means of giving the sheep a runon clean sward, before they are shorn. The Germans tell me thatthis is their practise. It does not appear to me that Saxon woolis cleaner, when brought to the English market, than the wool isin No. 43 and 44, but particularly 45, which is generally admiredboth for condition and quality. Perhaps, however, there is moreoil in it, or the appearance of more, for when our Bales arefirst opened, they do not appear to advantage. When the fleecesare opened out and handled they look much better, and they seemto improve every day they are on show. I am assured by severalpersons of respectability that when the wool is put up in a veryclean state the close pressing is not injurious, but if dirty,the fleeces are matted together, the grease and oil form lumps,and the feel of the wool is harsh and unfavourable.

I observe that the Saxon wool is not packed closely, and lookswell when the Bales are first opened. The length of a voyage fromNew South Wales, and the apprehension of damage make it advisableto pack closely, but perhaps my father may think it worth theexperiment to send a Bale or two in a good ship, less tightlypacked (pressed). The 60 Bales per Shipley, were free fromevery appearance of damp, and I could perceive no damagewhatever—even of the slightest description. French wool,washed after shearing, as you may have seen it here or on theContinent, is generally disliked, and sells at a low price. Ishall endeavour to learn whether the most skilful Saxon farmerswash their fleeces after they are shorn. I have been told they donot, but will endeavour to ascertain the fact from betterauthority. As 43 and 44 are of very similar quality I am informedthat it is unnecessary to alter your arrangement. Had it appearedadvantageous I should have availed myself of the discretionarypower to do so. The lots seem to be well selected, but perhaps itwould be always advisable to have one or two fine Bales near thetop to excite competition before the coarser Bales are put up.This is a general rule with the Brokers.

Lot 11, contains Nos. 29, 30. The first is not liked, but No. 30has some beautiful fleeces—very clean and silky. Mr.Faulkes, a Saxon importer of the first rank, and a native ofDresden, admired it much, and thought the fibre capable of greatimprovement. Mr. Lovegrove. a manufacturer, told me that if itimproved in fineness, and retained the same softness, it would beextremely valuable for the best kerseymere. I do not think thepersons I have conversed with thought No. 41 so well assorted asNo. 45, but they were of opinion that it was better than thegreater part of the other Bales. They thought some of the fleecesvery harsh, but the lot is one of the best.

You are quite right in thinking 43, 44 and 45 the best Bales, andthey will certainly sell well. The buyers have examined them veryattentively. The two first are not so well assorted as 45, and afew inferior fleeces in a Bale make the buyer distrust thegeneral quality. They are all well washed and from these BalesMr. Ebsworth has selected 6 or 7 fleeces for the Soc. of Arts.They are lying in the warehouse and attract general attention.The greater number are from 45, and some of these fleeces are sosoft and fine that they can hardly be distinguished from the bestwool of the Electorate of Saxony. I heard an argument between Mr.Faulkes and a manufacturer on this point. The latter said Mr. F.could find no wool superior to one fleece in his best mark fromDresden. This the German stoutly denied, asserting that altho'the wool was excellent, it was not so fine in the fibre as thefirst quality of Electorate wool.

I have been at the Warehouses every day during the last week, andfor several hours at a time. The Bales are placed on one largefloor, in 3 or 4 lanes or rows, near 3 windows, and consequentlyin a good light. The inspectors take out different fleeces andbring them forward to the large front entrance, for particularexamination. This is troublesome but unless the fleeces areopened out the finest part is not seen. From the close packingalso it is not easy to pull out the fleece in the middle andlower part of the Bales. You must understand that the Bales areplaced on their ends, presenting one end in front, with theletters I.M.A. and the number in the proper position to be read.They are all opened at the top, and by my direction to theforeman of the warehouse a few fleeces were spread out in eachBale that the best part might be exhibited for the publicinspection. I promised him 2 guineas to do this attentively, andit seems to have been of great service.

You are aware, of course, that the neck, and particularly thepart used as a bandage to the fleece contains the best wool. Thisis twisted of necessity and it is troublesome to spread it out.Pray consider, therefore, whether it may not be expedient to tieup the best fleeces with a coarse woollen bandage, so that whenuntied, and spread out, the finest parts may be at once presentedto the sight. It is also important that no coarse or dirtyfleeces, or parts of fleeces, should be put into the ends whichare always opened. If you adopt this suggestion with a fewfleeces, for trial, you can put them into the end which will beupwards, and which you will know from the position of the lettersI.M.A. I will then ascertain whether it affords betteropportunities for inspection.

I have already said that the wool is injured if pressed tightlywhen not perfectly clean. Mr. Ebsworth recommends that thefleeces should be lightly beaten in a hurdle, to shake out allthe sand or dirt that may remain in after shearing. Mr. Stanleyand Mr. Weaver tell me that the wool would sell better if lesstightly packed, as it would be softer to the feel, and morereadily examined. But many others say it cannot receive injury byclose packing, if perfectly free from dirt, and having sufficientoil in the fleece.

Mr. Foulkes thought the Lambs' wool would have been finer if ithad not been so long in the staple. He said Mr. Lovegrove (whostood by and confirmed it) had offered him 4s. 3d. per lb. forsome Bales of Saxon Lamb's wool, but that he asked 4s. 6d. perlb, that it was much shorter in the staple and finer in thefibre. He seemed to think the Lambs must have been fat andunusually strong to have thrown out wool of such length, and thatthe fibre would be better if the lambs were kept in moderatecondition, and on fine sweet food. The wool was also too dirty.Mr. Foulkes invited me to call upon him in Finsbury Square, whenhe promised to accompany me to his warehouses, and shew his bestwool, of which he willingly would give me samples. He said hewould also beg a few samples from me to send to his Germanfriends, who took much interest in your progress—thequantity being yet too small to excite their jealousy. He is aSaxon by birth, a very young man, and on enquiry, Marsh andEbsworth tell me he has the finest wool in the market. Some theyhave on sale, at 9s. 6d. per lb. These Germans do not employ anyparticular Broker. Four samples are usually drawn from each Bale,and sent to the 4 principal Brokers—Marsh and E., Martinand Co., Jacomb and Brook, and whoever brings a buyer at asatisfactory price, takes the commission. The Brokers do not likethem, and I am told that Marsh and E. are about to establish 2houses upon the Continent to buy of the growers for themanufacturers of this country. I mention this, however, only as areport. Marsh is now on the Continent, at Vienna—purchasingwool on a most extensive scale for different houses. Mr. Ebsworthhas taken the whole management, and altho' he is not courteous orcommunicative, I have had more reason to be satisfied than on anyformer occasion. He wrote to all the principal manufacturers, andshewed me some of their answers, and has brought up such a numberthat I expect great competition. Mr. Maclean says he willcertainly buy some lots, and manufacture a piece of cloth for theCommissioners to present to the King. His manufactory is inGloucestershire.

I have softened Mr. Ebsworth by a few compliments, and hepromises me to write full answers to your queries which I havesubmitted to him, and in which he engages to take the advice ofMr. Hurst, and a Mr. Starkie, a young Yorkshireman ofconsiderable reputation as a clothier.

I have engaged to dine with Mr. Ebsworth after the sale to meet alarge party of the manufacturers.

From a Mr. Roemer and Mr. Foulkes, both Saxon importers, and thefirst the representative of Angers and Co., of Leipsic, of whom Ishall have to write to my father, I have learned that the Saxonfarmers are men of much skill—that many have been at aGerman University, and have paid considerable attention toBotany, which enables them to cultivate upon their plains suchgrasses and herbs as seem calculated for their flocks. In winterthey are kept in sheds, and fed on hay etc., in fine weather theyare driven out over a considerable extent of pasture, by whichthey have air and exercise, both of great importance in theirjudgement. At night they are always driven to the sheds.

Mr. Coles called upon Maitland and Bond, and in consequence of awish expressed by Mr. John Maitland (well known to my father) afleece was sent over to him from Marsh and Ebsworth. On thefollowing day, I called with Mr. Coles, and saw both Mr. JohnMaitland and Mr. Bond. The former received me most courteously.He asked after my father, said he took an interest in theprogress of the N.S. Wales wool, and had examined the fleece withattention. He approved of the condition of it (one from 45),thought the wool of a very good description, and capable of greatimprovement in the fineness of the fibre, by the application ofthe artificial means practised by the Saxons, or, at least, tosuch extent, as the nature of the climate may seem to rendernecessary.

He said he had devoted much time to a consideration of thesubject, and an enquiry into the causes of the rapid and singularsuccess of the Germans—that he attributed it wholly toartificial means—to the housing of the flocks—thefineness and sweetness of the food—and the carefulselection of the rams. I explained to him the difficulty ofpursuing similar plans in a new country—the scarcity of thebest artificial grasses—the expense of buildings—andthe want of intelligent, honest and attentive shepherds.

He said he should, at least, recommend the same attention to therams as in Germany (Saxony), where they are considered asvaluable as racehorses, and tended with as much care as thelatter are at Newmarket, housed at night, exercised in the day,and even clothed in winter—allowed certain quantities ofthe finest food, and not permitted to become fat or gross in thecarcase. I told him the winters were hardly cold enough torequire such extraordinary protection for the sheep. He repliedthat the treatment might, naturally be varied according to theclimate and soil, but that he should at all events, recommendthat the rams be housed on winter nights, and tended with themost scrupulous care, as grooms tend the stallions in the beststables of this country. From every quarter I learn that thequality of the pasture will in one season make an extraordinarydifference in the quality of the fleece, and that fine and sweetfood, particularly fine grasses and sweet herbs are sought afterin Saxony. Mr. Faulkes and Mr. Roemer, at different times toldme, that last year corn being very abundant in Saxony, and thefarmers unable to find a market for it, they fed their flocksupon it—that the sheep seemed to improve, but that when thewool was brought to market, it was stringy and harsh to the feel,and produced from 2s. to 3s. less per lb. than in formeryears—consequently they have abandoned this plan asinjurious and this year again the same sheep are reported to haveborne finer fleeces than before.

I have thus, my dear James, detailed to you, at length, and withno great regularity, the observations I have heard, and thegeneral information given me from the best sources. I have doneso because you request me to give answers to your queries, and toconsult the most respectable persons upon every point connectedwith so important an object as the improvement and advantageoussale of the wool.

I could not well make a selection of the opinions I have heard,for I have neither experience nor skill to enable me to do so,and I have thought that you may, after perusing these memorandatwo or three times, extract what may be valuable, and throw asidewhat is not material. I shall also send you Mr. Ebsworth'sanswers to the queries, and as Mr. Coles intends to write to you,there is a probability of your receiving very full information bythis opportunity.

August 18th. I refer you to my letter to my father for theparticulars of yesterday's sale. There was a very fullattendance, and generally great competition. Mr. Maclean forGloucestershire and Mr. Starkun and Mr. Hurst, the King'smanufacturer, ran up Bales 43, 44, to 5s. 6d., and 45 to thegreat price of 10s. 4d. Mr. Maclean stopped at 10s. Mr. Starkunat 10s. 3d. Mr. Hurst bid 10s 4d.

Unfortunately the letter to his father to which he referscannot be found, but an original copy of the catalogue of thesale, of which the reproduction is given, is at Camden Park.

Weedon Barracks, August 25th 1821.

My dear James,

. . . . I was very much annoyed that military business at theHorse Guards prevented my being present at the sale, which Iunderstand was very animated—Mr. Bigge and Mr. Scott wereboth there—You may suppose I was much gratified to findthat the finest bale sold at so unprecedented a price as 10s.4d., but I could have desired that the general average had beenhigher, but which was not perhaps to be expected when SpanishWool at eight months credit brought no more than 4s. My brotherdined with the buyers after the sale at Mr. Ebsworths one of whomI understand asked why no pickings had come home thistime—that at the last sale, what he bought had turned outso well that he had determined to bid half a crown a lb. for themhad any been put up—John has suggested whether it would notsecure a good end to give these gentlemen a dinner annually afterthe sale. He is endeavouring to have a meddle decreed to themanufacturer who shall procure the finest piece of cloth,manufactured from New South Wales Wool.

I dined with Mr. Bigge before I left London, and I was muchpleased with him and the reception he gave me. I write asartlessly as I should talk to you, that is with the sameindifference as to precision. You will therefore take my letterwith all its inaccuracies. . . . .

At the same sale Hannibal McArthur's wool brought from 2s. 2s. 11d. a lb. His flock had been derived from Macarthur'scast ewes as late as 1814 and 1815.

Oxley's and Howe's flocks also originated from the samesource, and their wool at this sale produced from 1s. 7d. to 2s.6d. per lb. The remainder of the wool offered, with hardly anexception, was sold at below 1s. 6d. to 1s. 8d. a lb.

These high prices were not maintained, but the market wasestablished and Macarthur's sons, who from this time managed fortheir father, spared no efforts in furthering his schemes for theexport of fine wool.

In 1822 the Society of Arts in London presented Macarthur withtwo gold medals, one for importing 150,000 lbs. of fine wool fromNew South Wales, and the second for importing fine wool equal tothe best Saxon from New South Wales; and in 1824 a larger medalwas awarded for importing the largest quantity of fine wool.

Parramatta, Jany. 31st 1824.

My dear John,

The Competitor will sail to-morrow morning. I enclose inthe same Packet with this the Invoice and Bill of Lading of theWool, Total 78 Bales Gross weight 18,720 lbs.—The freightis the same as last year, nor can we expect to obtain it at alower rate. The Invoice has been drawn up and the lots fixed uponthe same principle as the Shipments by the Wm. Shand whichyou appear to have approved of. In order to draw forth remark,and to ascertain how far our judgment may agree with that of thebuyers, letters are inserted, in the Invoice, against each Bale.The letter A denotes the Bale to be a shade higher, in ourestimation, than B. In the first quality, the Italian letters a.b. c. denote the more minute shades of difference; and the bestBales Nos. 1, 41, 42, 43, are distinguished by AF—&A.S.F. In addition to these distinctions, there are two Bales(Nos. 54, 55) of the fourth quality—Thus the fleece Wool isdivided into seventeen different sorts, and the price markedagainst each lot, will be another and still clearer indication ofour opinion. It is a subject of regret to us, that we have notreceived the account sales of the William Shand's Wool as theAuction List only marks the number of Bales in each lot, withoutgiving the Shipping numbers; and we are not certain whether thearrangement of the lots may not have been different, in someinstances, from the lot list we sent you—The sale wascertainly not a satisfactory one, and we cannot help consideringthat many of the Bales sold considerably under their fair marketvalue. When the Accounts Sales is before me, I will write morefully on this subject. At present I shall only observe that thebest Bale brought exactly the price (7s.) which we had marked itto be worth. In this instance our judgment and that of the Buyerscorrespond—and agreeing so exactly on this one Bale, by farthe most difficult to estimate correctly—how is it that inthe immediately succeeding qualities which we valued at 6s., 5s.6d. and 5s. we should be so completely at variance.

Some Early Records of the Macarthurs of Camden (11)

Medals issued to John Macarthur by the Societyof Arts

Your letters by the Asia andGuildford may perhaps throw some fresh light upon thesubject, but I doubt whether they will explain the cause of sosudden and singular a difference more clearly, than the followinginformation, which was kindly given me by Mr. Brown of Liverpool,now settled at Sydney, as a partner in the firm of Aspinall Brown& Co.—Last year he shipped a quantity of Wool forLondon by the Win. Shand. It was placed in the hands of Messrs.Simpson & Co., West India Brokers, of high standing in theCity, and well known, if I remember right, to our friend Mr.Coles—They put it up to Auction at Garraway's on the sameday, and immediately after the sale by Marsh andEbsworth—Thirty-eight Bales were bought in, and out ofthese, twenty-six were sold, by Private sale, a fortnightafterwards, at an advance of 20 per cent. on the price offered atGarraway's—as you will see by the followingMemorandum—

Lot2—2Bales—bought in at1/11—sold after for2/2

This I think pretty conclusive evidence, thatthe Auction was not a favorable one. May not an opinion prevail,amongst the Buyers, that Botany Bay Wool Growers want money; andmust sell immediately? The circumstances, of the Wool having beenalmost always entirely sold without reserve, would confirm themin an opinion, so natural for them to entertain—The absencealso of our former friends from the North must have damped thespirits of the Sale, may not their absence have arisen from theSale taking place so much earlier than usual, in the Season?Would it be worth while for a Yorkshire Manufacturer to travel upto London, before the arrival in the Market, of the ContinentalWools, for the sole purpose (and that a chance too) of obtaininga few Bales of New South Wales Wool? Why should we hurry into theMarket? Ought we not rather to court than to shun competitionwith the Saxons? These are suggestions which you will, from yourabundant sources of local information, be enabled fully toestimate. With us they are, of course, but matters ofspeculation; but I cannot help thinking them of some weight, andwell worthy of attention. Be this as it may, my father hasdetermined to try the effect of holding back, if the prices,offered at the first Auction, are not such as he considerssufficient—In the Duplicate Invoice therefore, for yourprivate information, we have marked against each lot, the pricewhich we are of opinion it ought to bring; and any lots, that maynot obtain that price, are to be bought in—These priceshave been fixed with reference to the depressed state of themarket, last year. Should any rise have taken place, you will, ofcourse, make a corresponding alteration in the minimum prices,you name, to Messrs. Marsh and Ebsworth; but my father isdetermined not to allow of their being knocked down for less; andhe desires that you will hold any Bales, that may be bought in,to the extent of six months, if necessary. In writing theseinstructions I am quite aware that circumstances may occur, whichwould render a deviation from them unavoidable—Should anysuch arise, my father desires me to say that he places fullconfidence in your discretion and good sense; bearing always inyour mind that no sale is to be made at lower prices than thosemarked (within the limit of six months) unless there should be acertainty of loss, by holding back—He does not wish you toconfine yourself to the strict letter of his instructions, but toact according to their spirit, the policy and propriety of doingwhich no person, I am sure, will see more clearly than yourself.Now, do not my dear John, for a moment imagine, that my father orany of us, can entertain the slightest feeling of dissatisfactionwith you, on account of the low prices of the last sale. Such afeeling would be impossible, and having said this, I shall notadd one word more upon the subject—I hope you will find thepresent Shipment superior, in every respect, to any formerone—Great pains have been taken during all the stages ofpreparing it for the market; and I should hope we are, everyyear, increasing our own knowledge and experience as well asimproving the quality of our fleeces—You will observe avery great alteration for the better, we think, in thewashing—But I shall say no more on this head atpresent—Have the goodness to send by the first goodopportunity a similar supply of Slop Clothing to that ordered bythe Shand and now, we hope on its way out. I enclose Mr.Macalister's half pay voucher for the year 1823—He has sentme some letters for his friends—Since they were written theusual written promise of a Grant of 2000 acres has arrived herefor him—William's packet has just arrived—it has keptme in anxious expectation all day and altho' I promised some timesince to write you very fully by this opportunity I have beenprevented—The negotiations respecting the land and theaddress to My Lord Bathurst have kept me continually on the move.I hope the former will now meet with no impediment—Oxleyhas pledged himself to me to take no part in the affair unlesscalled upon by an official Letter from the Secretary and in thatcase he promises to show my father the Secretary's Letter and hisreply before he gives any answer to it—Add to this theuncertainty of the Guildford's and dear Edward's arrivalor rather the hourly expectation of them and you have my wholeexcuse for this shabby letter which I however do not regret asyou will receive such voluminous correspondence from our dearFather, Elizabeth and William. The circumstance to which Williamalludes of the lines marked by a Surveyor is not of any momentnow—It was done in reference to the leases, before thearrival of the Sir Godfrey Webster—the value of thewool is very little altered from the memorandum William alludesto. He did make a valuation last year which I will send you by anearly opportunity after the arrival of the account Sales perWm. Shand. Motives of delicacy and feeling can alone haveoccasioned Wm. to speak of such a thing doubtfully as if not inexistence—His letter is a most admirable one—I shallonly add to his description of the Drought and extremeheat—that not only the fruits are wasted away but evenone's self—The Thermometer is even now above 100—Ibeg my kindest remembrances to Mr. and Mrs. Coles and Family andto all friends.

Believe me my dear John,

Your ever affectionate Brother,

Jas. Macarthur.

Camden, January 16th 1824.

My dear John,

James left this yesterday to get the Bills of Lading signed ourWool having been shipped in the Competitor nearly threeweeks since. You will receive it I hope in good condition, thatis to say free from injury on the voyage—for I confess Ihave nearly laid aside my hopes of pleasing the purchasers inLondon—We have taken great pains in superintending thewashing, shearing, &c., which have been performed as well asour present means will permit. The fleeces were washed perfectlyclean, whatever dirt, therefore, may be observed in them wastaken up after the washing, and notwithstanding anything thebuyers may urge to the contrary cannot materially increase theweight of the fleece. It will be easy however if it should bepreferred to send home the fleeces for the future in muchbrighter condition and nearly free from yolk. It will save usfrom considerable risk and inconvenience, for instead ofdeferring the shearing of the animals for 6 or 8 days after theyare washed, it may then be performed in 2 or 3 days; and thedifference in the weight of the fleeces will I am convinced bevery inconsiderable. The sorting has been attended to with greatcare, particularly the finer sorts which have been sorted withthe utmost attention. I feel no hesitation in saying that thegeneral quality of the present shipment is very superior to anyformer one, and that to any impartial person, capable ofdeciding, the improvement will appear striking.

With the Sales of our last year's Wool I confess I amdisappointed, not certainly with the best, I did not imagine itto be worth more; but every other lot brought a price veryinferior to what I considered we were entitled to expect.

You do not mention whether the prices of German and Spanish Woolshad declined, but I conclude they had, because notwithstandinganything the buyers may have remarked to the contrary, theaverage quality of ours had much improved. You mention that thecondition of the best Bales was good, but that fault was foundwith the inferior qualities on account of their dirty state. Thisobjection appears to me to have had little or no foundation,because the fine and the coarse Wools received precisely the sametreatment, indeed the coarse and the fine fleeces were producedby the same Flocks. To the best of my recollection the only dirtywool came from a Flock of Maiden Ewes and nearly the whole of itwas in consequence separately packed in the three bales, thatcomposed the three lots immediately following the best lot. Had Ifixed a value on these three Bales it would have been as follows,5s., 4s., and 3s. or thereabouts, at any rate I am certain thedifference in their respective value was fully as great; insteadof which they sold at 3s. 1d., 2s. 11d., and 3s. I have selectedthese three as instances of the want of discrimination displayedby the purchasers, and could point out many others. I think itfair to infer from them, that little attention should be paid tothe objections that are made because many buyers do notunderstand the quality of the article they are purchasing. I ammore annoyed with this circumstance than with the reduction ofthe price. I am sure that you will allow that after one has takengreat pains in separating the Wool into so many different sorts,to find many fine Bales, selected from a number of Fleeces,selling at prices little exceeding those of the coarse. There isno help however for these things; time we hope will remedy them.I know not what to say about the tight pressing; I have no doubtthat the appearance of the wool is injured by it; but those whopurchase must discover that it is only in appearance. It would beinconvenient to materially lessen the quantity contained in thebales besides 7 or 8 lbs. less in the tare upon each bale.

The constitution of our Sheep appears to improve materially, thenumber of sickly sheep and casualties continue to decrease thoughwe have not been favoured with abundant Summers. At present thewhole face of the Country is completely parched up by a droughtof long continuance more than five months having elapsed since wehave had even three hours of rain. Heavy showers haveoccasionally fallen it is true, but when the soil is dry to thedepth of many feet their beneficial effects are felt only for themoment. This is the third successive dry season with which wehave been visited and truly we agriculturalists have good reasonto complain of their disastrous effects. Many improvements havescarcely proceeded in consequence of them. I do not know a moreunpleasing prospect in nature than the appearance of the Countryin one of these dry seasons. Every tree every shrub curling upits leaves, the fruit not a quarter its usual size, withering anddropping from the trees utterly unfit for use at the time when weusually enjoy it in perfection. The grass not displaying avestage of verdure on the open grounds and scarcely any in theForests. The Earth cracked in every direction with seams one anda half and two inches wide and several feet deep. The streams,the ponds, all shrunk into insignificance and many completelydried up. Such the prospect now presented to us. The severity ofsuch seasons is now particularly felt by the Plants recentlyintroduced, great pains are requisite to preserve them alive. Ishall now proceed to give you an account of some of myhobbies.

Jany 30th.

Since writing the fore going part of the letterwe have had the pleasure to receive Packet from you dated 4thAugust containing the joyful intelligence respecting the Cowpasture Lands. I need not say how happy it has made me and I willventure to add a similar sensation was produced in the circle atParramatta. We have been long kept in suspense respecting thefate of these reserved Lands. I trust the early arrival of theGuildford with Lord Bathurst's despatch will entirelyremove it. I shall not give any details on this head because Iknow my Father and James have been writing to you and have givenfull details much more intelligibly than I should.

My Father has directed me to put a valuation upon the differentBales of Wool shipped in the Competitor, that they may bebought in, in case they do not fetch our price. I do this withconsiderable diffidence, first, because the prices of Wool mayhave much varied since our last Sales and secondly, having nosamples to refer to I have only the marks of the different Balesand my memory to guide me. To remedy the first inconvenience Ishall fix the value of the best Bale at 7s. 6d., supposing theprices of Wool to remain as they were in June last, in casetherefore of any depreciation or rise in the Market allowancemust be made accordingly, a valuation provided it be not verywide of the truth will be of some service because I have learntthat part of the Wool sent to England by Brown & Aspinall wasbought in at the first day's sale and sold three days after byAuction 25 per Cent. higher than the sum for which it was boughtin. There appears to be no delusion in this because Account Salesof both days' sale have been handed about the Colony, Mr.Aspinall who was present at the Sale, had written to his Partnerto say, that though the bidding at the first days' Sale wasperfectly fair, and though there appeared to be no want ofcompetition, yet many buyers did not appear to understand thevalue of the lots they were bidding for. This confirms my formersupposition. A scale therefore of the relative values though notquite correct may be of service. For the future I will take careto value every Bale as it is packed. The complaint that littledistinction was made between the fine and the coarse Woolsappears to be general in the Colony.

I have now my dear John nearly exhausted my paper, and I fearyour patience—If anything more should occur to me, worthmentioning before to morrow morning, I will add it in aPostscript. With every affectionate wish for your prosperity andhappiness,

Believe me,

Ever yours most affectionately,

Wm. Macarthur.

Lincoln's Inn,

July 28th, 1825

My dear James,

The Sir George Osborne and Rolla bound for Sydney,are about to sail at the same time, and I should not writetherefore by the latter, except for the purpose of enclosing youa catalogue and stating shortly the result of the sale, which youare, of course, extremely anxious to hear. The wool wasadvertized for a month, and on show on the ground floor of a veryconvenient warehouse, during the whole of last week. Mr. Marshand Messrs. Webster & Co. had advertized sales of N.S.WalesWool for Friday last, and our sale was fixed for Saturday, sothat it might follow theirs, there not being time for all on thesame day—From some casual observations, and particularlyfrom hearing that a considerable number of the Yorkshire buyerswere living together at one Inn, I was led to apprehend acombination amongst them to purchase the middling qualities at alow price and then to divide them—a practice which I amassured is very common at public sales. Being resolved to beprepared against this, I saw Mr. Simes on Friday, and settled alimit for each lot, taking a medium price between his valuationand your "estimated value." At the sales, as I had feared, thefine lots sold tolerably well, but there was no competition forthe others. The Yorkshire buyers were present, but did notbid—employing Mr. Ebsworth for that purpose. In consequenceof this, Mr. Simes was obliged to run up the lots marked (a) andto buy them in, under the name of his partner Mr. Smith. TheYorkshire men had reckoned that neither Mr. Maclean nor any ofthe West Country manufacturers would compete for the low wool,and appeared much surprised when they found they had an opponent.The lots, not marked, including 38 bales, were sold at prices,which will, I think, prove satisfactory, and which Mr. Simes didnot think he could obtain. He had, on the contrary, reckoned uponselling those which he was obliged to buy in, which shews, if anyproof were wanting, that there was competition in the one caseand not in the other. Mr. Maclean, Mr, Hicks, and Mr. Ebsworthwere the purchasers of the lots sold. With respect to theothers—we propose to hold them firmly for the present, toshow the parties to the combination that we are not at theirmercy, and will not allow them to do as they please. Between thisand the close of the year, we shall be able to ascertain how farit may be practicable to sell by private Contract, or whether itwill be advisable to avail ourselves of some future sale of N.S.Wales Wool. There appears to be a fair prospect of the marketimproving as there has been a great rise in prices throughoutGermany, and the only drawback therefore, is the delay and thewarehouse rent. No offer has yet been made for the fifteen Balesof pickings and skin Wool Mr. Maclean does not consider them fitfor his manufactory, as he does not manufacture any coarse cloth.Perhaps, therefore, we shall be obliged to sell them with theother 34 Bales—But of this hereafter.—With respect tothe Wool I think it was generally allowed that there was agreater quantity of fine and less coarse wool than last year. Itwas not admitted however, that the finest Bale was better thanthe finest of last year. The fine qualities were clean—butthe Merino Rams' wool and the Lambs' wool were too full ofgrease. Of the packing Edward will write to you very fully. Hewas present when the Bales were opened and could hardly believethe change of appearances. It would appear that from the pressurethe grease is squeezed into particular parts of the Fleeces whichare matted together and discoloured. The outward part of theFleece, instead of being white, as when first packed is of ayellow colour and extremely harsh. To those who have tried thewool this is of little consequence, because they know that it isnot injured, and that it will improve in scouring. But it isfatal with strangers, who compare it with German and Spanishwool, and greatly undervalue it. Thus many Manufacturers examinedthe Bales this year, and expressed an intention of purchasing,but did not afterwards make any offers. Mr. Spratt assures methat the Yorkshire men highly approve of thepacking—because it suits their views and preventscompetition—but that he would strongly recommend yourtrying a different plan for one year at least. He thinks theBales should not contain more than 2/3rds of the present quantityof wool, and if you pay 3d. instead of 2d. freight it will bemore than compensated at the Sale. I send you by the Sir Geo.Osborne an account of the German mode of packing, and Iparticularly entreat your attention to this subject. In futurepray arrange the lots, for I think William can do it better atthe time of packing than the Broker can afterwards. As a generalrule the finest Bales should be put up singly, and one fine lot,near the commencement, to excite the spirit of competition asearly as possible. I should be glad to have twoInvoices—one containing the "estimated value" as this year,and the other for my private use. containing the lowest price youthink the lots should be sold for. This I will never show to anyperson, but I shall use it as a check upon the Broker. There isno regular criterion of the value of Wool. Mr. Maclean hasadmitted to me that he finds a difference of 6d. and 1s. per lb.very frequently in the valuations of different Brokers, and thathe was lately offered 7s. per lb. for wool that he bought for 4s.6d. per lb. I begin also to doubt the expediency of public sales.They afford many opportunities for combination, which it isdifficult to counteract. We shall see, however, the effect ofwhat has been done on the present occasion, and whether ourfirmness will triumph over the Combination of the Yorkshiremen. Ihave some hope that Mr. Hicks and Mr. Davis who are most powerfulin the West Country will step forward to assist us, but they onlyknow of the Wool by the Reports of others and see it in the Balesto great disadvantage. Messrs Webster had a sale on Friday butMr. Marsh suddenly put off his to Wednesday in this week with aview, no doubt of following, instead of preceding us. Messrs.Webster and Co. sold all their wool, I believe, and at highprices for the qualities. Indeed coarse wool—that is, woolfrom 1s. 6d. to 2s. 8d. is in greater demand now than any other,and comparatively much dearer. Above 3s. per lb. the German wooloperates as a drawback and with little coarse or fine wool, themarket is absolutely glutted with middling qualities, at from 2s.9d. to 4s. per lb. This is certainly a great disadvantage to us,and is the principal cause of my apprehension that we shall findit difficult to sell the 34 Bales at the prices at which theywere bought in. On the other hand, Mr. Simes appears confident ofbeing enabled to obtain your "estimated value" for the pickings.General Darling is at the Isle of Wight, preparing toembark—I have: written to my father by him, and sent myletters off the day before yesterday. He takes out a Warrant forthe new Legislative Council, consisting of the Lt. Govr., ChiefJustice, Archdeacon, Colonial Secretary, my father, Mr. Throsby,and Robt. Campbell Senr, and for an Executive Council consistingof the four first named who are to advise the Governor upon allhis proceedings. I have had nothing to do with any of thesearrangements, except in desiring my father's nomination upon theLegislative Council, of which I shall write very fully to him. Inthe meantime it must be kept secret, for I do not think the namesare known to anyone in England excepting Edward and myself. I sawthe King's Warrant under his sign manual in Mr. Horton'spossession. Edward has leave of absence until the 24th of Augustand will write very fully of his plans, and their partialsuccess.

Lincoln's Inn,

July 31st, 1825.

My dear William,

As Edward informs me that the sorting and packing of the wool arein your particular department, I take it for granted that anyinformation on these subjects may be most appropriately addressedto you, I have already written to our dear Father respecting thesales, and it will not be necessary for me to repeat to you whatI have said. The Bales were landed in excellent condition, freefrom any kind of damage. It was generally allowed that theaverage quality was improved—that is, that there was alarger quantity of fine and less coarse wool than formerly. Itwas denied, however, that the finest Bale was superior to thefinest Bale last year—The Bale No. 73 was well washed inevery respect—but it was said that some of the inferiorBales were not sufficiently washed and were too full of grease.The Lambs' wool was not so clean as last year, and themanufacturers alleged that the waste would amount to nearly onethird—All persons admitted that the Bales were fairlypacked, and generally well sorted. But now to the mode ofpressing the Wool. Edward was with me at the warehouse when theBales were opened—There were besides present, Mr. Smith(Mr. Simes' partner), Messrs. Cooper, Spratt and twoManufacturers from the West of England, who had never before seenthe Wool from New South Wales—It required a man's force toseparate one fleece in the Bale from another and produced a noisenearly as marked as the tearing of coarse linen—All partsof the fleece were closely matted together, and some yellow anddiscoloured. Edward remarked that he could hardly believe thatthese were the same white fleeces he had seen packed. It has beenconjectured that the operation of pressing with a screw, drivesthe oil from the fine to the coarser parts of the fleece thatthere is a considerable fermentation during the voyage, and thatthe discolouration is thus produced. Suppose you unpack a Baleafter it has been pressed in the ordinary manner, and endeavourto ascertain from inspection, whether the injury is produced bythe operation of pressing, or by the wool remaining in a pressedstate during a long voyage. I presume the latter, and if so,there will be no remedy except by adopting the German mode ofpacking. I enclose the account of it drawn up by Mr. Marsh, afterhis return from Germany and confirmed by Mr. Simes to whom Irecently read the statement. When the wool is not put in fleeces,it is not tied, but still the layers, about one foot thick, andthe breadth of the Bale are very observeable. The German wool isoften many months on its way to England—Spanish wool thesame, and in the Hold of a vessel, during warm weather, butneither arrive matted together or discoloured. I entreat you,therefore, to send home some wool, pressed with feet, and notwith a screw. The strangers, I have before mentioned, wereaccidentally in the warehouse, examining German Wool, and beinginvited to look at the Bales, I heard them repeatedly say thatthe fibre appeared fine, but there was a degree of harshnessabout the wool, which rendered it fitter for Yorkshire than theWest of England. Now it is very true that those who try the woolfind out that it is, in fact very soft, when scoured, butconsider on the other hand, how large a proportion of buyers havenever tried it, and that it is the interest of those who have toconceal its good qualities and to buy again. Year after year wehave the same purchasers. In the West of England it iscomparatively unknown, and with the exception of Mr. Maclean andMr. Hicks there are no persons to resist the combination ofYorkshire Manufacturers. Should the same system be adopted bythese persons in future as in the present year, we shall beexposed to great difficulties, and perhaps compelled to abandonsales by Auction, which, however fair in theory are in fact opento great abuse, what can be more easy than the principalmanufacturers from Yorkshire to arrange beforehand all theprices—to agree that they will not bid against eachother—and after the sale to divide the lots? I fear thatthis was their plan this year, for I hear that they had gone homegreatly discontented and openly complaining that they were notallowed to purchase the wool at their own prices. The only modeof counteracting this is to exhibit the Wool in the mostfavourable condition—resembling as nearly as possible SaxonFleeces which are preferred to any other—so that everyperson who sees the wool may be enabled to form a just estimateof its value—If this be done, we shall have purchasers fromthe West of England, and London Speculators to compete forit—and if any be bought in there will not be the samedifficulty, as at present, in selling by privatecontract—Phillip King's wool was packed in imitation of theGerman mode, and he says he only paid 3d. per lb. freight, being1d. per lb. more than ours. It was extremely dirty, but notmatted together, nor so harsh as our wool. The quality appearedvery bad—Under these circumstances, it cannot be consideredas a fair experiment of the German method, but from what I sawand heard I cannot doubt that it would have answered to him verywell, if the wool had been properly washed. Supposing, therefore,that you are obliged to pay 3d. per lb. instead of 2d. per lb.freight, and that more canvas is required, still it is theopinion of Mr. Simes, Mr. Smith and many others, that thisexpense would be more than repaid to you by the advance in price.They all think you may safely press it as tightly as it can bepressed by men's feet, but that machinery should not be applied.I entreat your serious consideration of this subject and that youwill communicate to me what you think, and determine to do. In arecent conversation, but before the sale, Mr. Maclean told Edwardand me, that the Yorkshire Manufacturers considered New SouthWales Wool as being worth 10 per cent, more than it appeared tobe and that we might state this to our dear Father—Iobserved that it would be desirable to make it appear as good asit really is to which he answered that the fact he mentionedwould spread by degrees, altho' the interest of the buyers, wouldof course induce them to conceal rather than to circulateit—For the last two or three years the Yorkshire men havealways talked against the Wool, but have still bought—Thisvery year Mr. Hirst declared to a large party that he had notbought a pound of our wool, and would not give within 1s. per lb.of our prices. Since then Mr. Simes has traced two lots into hispossession—Mr. Ebsworth being the nominal buyer—Thiswill prove to you that we have great difficulties to contendwith, and that we should be prepared for another combination nextyear—Besides what I have stated, I think it would beimportant that all the good wool of the Colony should be sold atone sale, say for instance, my fathers, Oxley's, P. King's,Hannibal's, Palmer's, &c., &c. If these parties wouldagree to this and give positive directions to Mr. Wilkinson toemploy Mr. Simes, I would insist that no other wool should beincluded in the sale, and that it should consist solely of NewSouth Wales' Wool, otherwise, I fear the quantity would beinsufficient to ensure a numerous attendance—Mr. Marsh wasemployed again by Mr. Wilkinson, and I refer you to his cataloguefor the results. Observe particularly the manner of announcingthe sale—Bales of N.S. Wales and V.D. Land Wool, withoutdistinguishing the one from the other. He does all in his powerto diminish the good opinion entertained of N.S. Wales Wool. . .. There must be secret motives for this and I wish you would talkto Oxley, and those you are intimate with, and obtain theirassent to what I propose. If not, we must trust to the increaseof our own wool, and of Buckle's consignments to make up a largeannual sale of N.S. Wales wool. I doubt not that Mr. Simes willdo whatever I require. He is not clever, but he appears to havethe feelings of a gentleman, and to be fair and open in histransactions. I cannot learn that there is a better broker forour purpose in London, and it is honorable to him that he is nowemployed by Sir John Lubbock & Co., the greatest Importer andHolder of Spanish Wool, and a very considerable Importer ofGerman Wool—The Australian Company are about to engage Mr.Button who has been brought up as a Farmer in Germany and whowill, therefore, be able to give you much practical informationrespecting the German flocks, and mode of packing &c.—Ishall make no apology for this long detail, because on importantsubjects it is desirable to know the opinions of allmen—Ever, my dear William.

Your affectionate Brother,

John Macarthur.

Parramatta, 12th Sept., 1826.


. . . . Altho' the winter has beenunprecedentedly severe and cold it has produced no ill effectsamongst our flocks, or any other except those of theinexperienced persons, who injudiciously depastured their flocksin a cold wet season on low marshy ground when they becameinfected with the rot—By the last accounts from Bathurstthe deaths in Capt. King's Flocks amounted nearly to 2,000 sheep,and it was greatly feared that 700 which were all that thensurvived had been infected with the same disease and could not besaved. I have heard of only one flock that have suffered withequal severity to Capt. King's altho' in several other flocks themortality has been exceedingly great. There is a family by thename of Hassall who are considerable proprietors. In the flocksbelonging to one of the sons which were kept on drypastures—no unusual losses have been sustained—but inthe flock belonging to the Mother the rot has nearly destroyedthe whole—and these suffering flocks were kept on low wetpastures similar to the Land occupied by Capt. King.

Our losses have been at the usual average rate three and four percent, per annum. . . . The returns from the sale of Rams and whatother stock we shall dispose of this year will be quitesufficient to cover our expenses here and as we shall send youupwards of 26,000 lbs. of wool I hope my account in St. James'sStreet will once more look respectable. . . . The winter has beencold beyond anything ever felt here before and I have suffered somuch from it as to convince me that I ought not to expose myselfto the shock of an English winter, much therefore as I wish tosee you once more I am constrained to give up all thoughts of sohazardous an experiment and to decide upon deputing your brotherJames—It is proposed he should accompany this year's wool.. . . We expect our breeding flocks will be extended this summerto 4,500 ewes we have reared 1,500 ewe lambs and calculate upon7,000 breeding ewes in 1828. . . .

The new regulations respecting the sale and granting of Lands aremuch complained of and I think deservedly so—Manyrespectable men have been waiting here all this year for theirgrants and they have now as little prospect as ever of gettingthem—in the meantime they are exhausting their resourcesand lounging miserably about.

John to hisFather.

Lincoln's Inn,

March 19th, 1827.

My dear Father,

My former letters to my dear Mother and to James, will haveexplained my reasons for delaying the sale of your Wool. Finding,however, in the course of last month, that the Spring Tradebrought no great improvement in the Wool, or indeed in any otherMarket and that a settlement with the Underwriters for the losswas becoming necessary, I thought it advisable to appoint thesale for the 9th of March. It was advertized as usual, and thereappeared from the letters and enquiries a more than ordinarydisposition to attend, which circumstances, together with theknowledge that the damaged Bales must be sold, led me to expectgreat competition. The prices, however, as you will see by thecatalogue were very unsatisfactory, and the only consolation isthat lots 1 to 31 inclusive, were damaged, and that all the fineBales, without exception, were wet and mouldy. I enclose with theCatalogue, a valuation made by Mr. Simes and his partner,previously to the sale (No. 1) and also his Certificate (No. 2)showing the loss by damage on 62 Bales. Of the remainder, 21Bales were bought in, and 18 sold at prices which, altho' thewool was of the inferior sorts, I think very unsatisfactory. Ihave so stated to Mr. Simes, and have intimated to him that heshould have bought them in with the other Bales, even altho'there is no immediate prospect of an improvement in the market.With regard to the Bales reserved, I know not what to do, notonly because the depreciation in the market continues, butbecause I am confirmed in the opinion expressed before, that weshall find great difficulty in selling by public auction, nowthat the novelty of Australian Wool has worn off, and thequantity so much encreased. Mr. Hart Davis and others have alwayssaid they cannot sell German or Spanish Wool by public Auction,unless damaged, or very badly washed and sorted. The number ofdamaged Bales made it necessary to arrange the lots differentlyfrom William's Invoice, and, as respected them, to try a publicsale. Various samples of different qualities, were carefullyscoured, and exhibited with the samples from the Bales. The bestappeared to great advantage, and several of the most eminentmanufacturers, such as Mr. Hicks and Mr. Shepherd, assured methey considered No. 37 as equal to Saxon fleeces of the firstquality, altho' not equal to Saxon assorted wool of the firstquality not more than l/3rd of the fleece being comprised underthe latter description. Mr. Shepherd bought this Bale. It waswet, but had not suffered to the extent of the other fineBales.—The inclination of my mind is that it will be wellto send the Bales bought in to a Wool Stapler in Yorkshire, toassort, and sell by private Contract, but there is somedifficulty in finding an honest Agent in that quarter. I shall bevery glad to confer with James on this important subject, andendeavour to arrange some plan for the future. I am expecting aCatalogue with the names of the buyers from Mr. Simes, and I willenclose it. The account Sales will not be ready for some time,but I have requested it as soon as possible, in order to make thesettlement with the Underwriters. Mr. Brown informs me that themode of arranging a loss upon a Policy where each Bale is valuedis, as follows: Supposing a Bale, valued at 7s. per lb. beingdamaged, produces only 4s. per pound, but would, otherwise, inthe actual state of the market (as certified by the Broker) haveproduced 5s. per lb.—then as the difference 1s. is 1/4th of4s. the assured would receive 4s. and 1/4th of 7s. or 5s. 9d. perlb.—According to this arrangement, we shall be protected toa considerable extent from the unprecedented state of the market.To what that is attributable, it is almost sufficient to referyou to the "Times" newspaper of this day (March 19th) in whichthere is an account of the number of County Bank notes incirculation, and the sudden reduction of the quantity in the lastyear, when it is considered that B. of England Notes, and allnegotiable instruments in Commerce, were encreased, and thensuddenly diminished in the same ratio, it is not difficult toaccount for the fall of prices. I trust the evils which have beenexperienced will be a guide for the future. The quantity of woolin the Market has greatly diminished, but there is anapprehension of further imports whenever there is an improvementin the market prices. Fine Saxon Wool is in great demand, and thesupply very small, the glut is of middling qualities both Germanand Spanish Wool. The rapid changes the markets have sofrequently presented, make me fearful of speculating upon thesubject. Time and confidence are wanting to restore thecirculating medium to its proper extent. The Establishment ofBranches from the Bank of England, and Scotch Banks, in theManufacturing Districts, may contribute to this end. It wasgenerally admitted that the average quality of the lastimportation was improved, but there were complaints of the woolbeing "too full grown."—Since writing the above, I haverecd. a proposal to send ten Bales to Leeds to be examined by Mr.Gott, the great clothier there, who has expressed a wish to makea fair trial of the Wool, and I am inclined to accede to this,consigning the ten best of the reserved Bales to Mr. Simes' Son,a Broker at Leeds, the father being answerable for the value. Heis to ask the prices, in the first instance, at which Williamvalued them—The Australian Co. sold the fleeces of theirFrench and Saxon Sheep by auction last week. Two packs of thelatter assorted brought very high prices—one 8s.6d.—but the fleeces in the grease sold badly—TheBrokers say they never saw finer Saxon Wool—Mr. Simes andhis partner admire extremely the samples of Wool, you sent by thelast ships, which they think equal to any that can be grown. Ifind, upon examination of the Catalogue, that the prices of thewool that followed have been omitted. I will send another copy,complete, by the next vessel. . . .

James accompanied the wool to England, and wrote to his fatheron September 12th, 1828, announcing his safe arrival in London,and also "The wool market is, of course, very dull at thisseason; at least, so says Mr. Davis, but I very much apprehend itis likely to continue so, at last until the German competition isrun down by our superior facilities of production."


57Jermyn Street, 10th Novr. 1828.

My dear William,

I propose confining this letter to the subject of the recent saleof Wool. After making every possible enquiry I found that todepart from our accustomed mode of sale would be exceedinglyhazardous, and that in the opinion of the best informed personsthere was no chance of any rise in the Wool Market for manymonths to come—I therefore determined to have our Wooladvertized for Publick Sale on the day following that of the A.A. Company. My next object was to form as accurate an Estimate aspossible of the Market value of each Bale. I accordingly wentthrough a number of Warehouses, and after carefully examiningvarious samples, principally Silesian and Moravian andascertaining the prices asked for them. I inspected our own andnoted down my valuation as marked on the Catalogue—On theday of the sale I showed this valuation to Mr. Swaine and askedhim whether he would undertake to buy in such lots as might notreach my expectations, to sort the fleeces afterwards, anddispose of them in that state—Mr. Swaine replied in amanner highly creditable to him, that if I wished it hewould—and that he thought it probable we might in manyinstances realize my valuation: but that if I could obtain within3d. or 4d. per lb. of my prices by publick Sale he woulddecidedly advise me to take it in preference to running the riskand delay that would attend its disposal by Private Contract,through him. He further assured me that from his own observationof the number of Buyers in town he was sure there would be muchcompetition; and that he had little doubt of my obtaining my ownprices for the better qualities and somewhat more than Simes& Co.'s valuation for the average and inferiorsorts—Upon visiting the warehouse soon afterwards I foundit absolutely crowded with Manufacturers, Wool staplers &c.,and I determined upon following Mr. Swaine's advice, which wasmost disinterested because he would have been a great gainer bymy proposal to him, whatever might have been the consequence tous. I accordingly directed Messrs. Simes & Co. to sellwithout any reserve as far as lot 98, to buy in lots 114, 116,and 127 to 133 unless they fetched my prices, and to buy in allthe others unless they obtained their valuation from the Bidders.The Catalogue shews the result, and the accuracy of Mr. Swaine'sjudgment—Six lots were bought in which I intended to haveplaced in Mr. Swaine's hands, but upon going into the City themorning after the sale I received immediate offers for them atthe limitation prices I had fixed upon, and which under all thecircumstances I thought it best to accept withouthesitation—Five Bales (Lots 121 and 125) were purchased forSwaine—He is going to assort them and promises to let meinspect the operation, as well as to, inform me of theresults—The Auction was most numerously and respectablyattended. and the competition such that it is impossible thatthere could have been combination even amongst the Yorkshire mento our disadvantage—The prices obtained are consideredquite astonishing in the present state of the Market, and haveexcited quite a sensation amongst the Germans. They can onlyobtain 4s. 9d. for their best fleeces. It must be borne in mindtoo that this is with six months credit, and a discount of fiveper cent, whereas ours are sold for ready money—Thecharacter of Australian Wool is decidedly gaining ground. I saw aletter from Mr. Maclean to his Father in Law in which he saysthat at the late Auctions it fetched 6d. per pound more than anyother wool would have done, quality for quality. On the day ofthe sale, I was at the Warehouse in the Crowd when I suddenlyfelt a smart tap on the Elbow—On turning round, I beheld atall, stout, John Bull looking Quaker, opening a Fleece from theBale No. 24, from which some bits of dung had dropped upon thefloor. To these he directed my attention and that of every onepresent, by exclaiming in a loud tone—"Methinks friend,this would have enriched the soil, from whence it came." Iassented and remarked it was a pity it should have travelled sofar to so bad a purpose. The quaker replied "True friend,particularly as it might have injured the value of so fine afleece as this—therefore have I drawn thy attention to itbecause it should not be." I thanked him and explained it was anaccident that might be expected occasionally even under the mostcareful management—he continued the conversation and saidthat he perceived a wonderful improvement in the fine Bales andtaking up several Fleeces' from Bales 38 and 39 descanted ontheir various excellencies assuring me that there was no wool inthe world to be compared to it; and that we should soon entirelysurpass the German.

He also observed that some of the fine fleeces were nearly longenough to comb and that if they could be brought to do somaintaining their fineness it was impossible to say what would betheir value perhaps a Guinea a pound—It might be the meansof introducing a new manufacture—That it would therefore bewell worth while to pay some attention to the families producingthe longest staple; but in so doing to remember it was anexperiment and not to lose the substance in pursuing theshadow—I found this singular person was Mr. Varley aYorkshire Manufacturer who is universally looked up to for hisjudgments and general ability in the trade. He was one of theprincipal witnesses examined by the late Parliamentary Committeeof enquiry into the Wool Trade.

Shortly after this I found another group assembled round the fineBales and Mr. Stanton a Gloucestershire Manufacturer shewing asample of the finest wool he could obtain in Germany from whencehe had just returned, in comparison with the fleeces of Bales 38and 39 some of which he said were so fine that he scarcely knewto which to give the preference. Messrs. Stanton and Varley youwill observe bought the two finest Bales. They have both promisedme a faithful report upon them—You will I have no doubtwonder that 38 should sell as high as 39—I willexplain—It had been slightly damaged, and had been almostrepacked so that the fleeces from being much pulled about hadexpanded and lost the harsh feel and peculiar appearance arisingfrom the Press—It was therefore seen to much greateradvantage than 39—I think the condition too was reallybetter, the fleeces being whiter in appearance and containingexactly the right proportion of yolk. Last year the washing wasoverdone, and I am told it gave the wool a harsh and staringappearance, and both Mr. Stanton and several others said it wasbetter to have too much yolk than too little—The whitestfleeces of last year are said to be got up in the very fineststyle of German washing, but those of the year before (perAustralia) were too much washed—I am decidedly ofopinion that we ought to discontinue screwing the fleeces sotightly—They are not really injured but we are, becausethey do not open so readily nor show to so much advantage as theyotherwise would—I have mentioned No. 38 as an instance ofthe advantage of giving them more room—The Company's woolswere not pressed at all, and were seen to much greater advantageon that account. I am of opinion that this circumstanceconsiderably raised the average of their Colonial bred fleeces,above the prices that would have been obtained, had they beenpressed. Mr. Hall can give every explanation of the modeadopted—I will therefore enter into no detail on thathead.

I think the difference in the prices obtained for the average andlower qualities, and that of the fine Bales arises very much fromthe pressure. The finest qualities excite a great deal moreinterest and are therefore more pulled about and thus the fleecesexpand and recover their natural character—I have instancedBales 38 and 39 as striking examples of the good effects ofopening and pulling about—Those wools which are at alldirty and contain much yolk suffer particularly from the effectsof the Press—This was the case with McAlister's—Thebuyer of one of the lots has since expressed his surprise atfinding it improve so much upon handling. Our No.37—I believe consisted of the fine fleeces of the youngsheep pastured in Argyle. These fleeces contained a large portionof yolk and were dark coloured—Mr. Stanton accompanied methe morning after the sale to look at it, and being told ourprice was 4s. said hastily "it will not suit me at that price." Iwas indifferent about the sale of it wishing to try someexperiments in having it assorted according to the Saxon mode;but I wished also to convince him of his mistake—Itherefore ordered the Bale to be cut open, and taking out some ofthe centre fleeces, which do not appear to suffer nearly so muchas those on the exterior of the Bales, I opened and spread themout—He said at once, in a doubting tone "You will ask me4s. 6d. now"—I replied "no" that "I had said 4s. and wouldnot depart from my word"—Upon which he thanked me andacknowledged his original error in the handsomest manner, sayingthat it was indeed "a beautiful and highly valuable Bale." I sendyou three samples from 37, 38, and 39—That from 38 isconsidered perfect in every respect—It is one of thespecimens shown against the fine saxon I before mentioned. It issaid to be worth 8s. or 9s. per lb. even now. This however Iapprehend to be a somewhat exaggerated value—It is howeverconsidered quite unique in the way of fine wool, and to becharacteristic of the best qualities of the AustralianFleece—No. 217 approaches it, and is also perfect incondition. No. 39 is thought very fine, but unequal in its growthand not white enough. I am more than ever convinced that there isa great deal of caprice on the part of the buyers. A vast dealdepends upon the first impression given by a Bale—If theyfind the fleeces matted together, they have not time to examinethem and some cunning North Country man buys a bargain. They allsay the pressing is no real injury, but disfigures the characterof the wool and prevents a minute examination unless the partyhas plenty of time at his disposal. This the great Buyers neverhave except for the few first rate Bales and thus some pettyjobber makes a living out of our loss—I do not imagine thedifference in the freight would exceed ½d. or at the most 1d.;and I think we should gain from 3d. to 6d. a pound at thesales.

If our wool could also be less highly grown it would fetch muchhigher prices.

It was the delicacy of the fibre arising from low condition thatran the Company's best Bale up to 7s. 6d.—That however wasin the opinion of the best judges an artificial price arisingfrom competition between two Manufacturers one of whom is a largeholder of A.A.C. Shares. These things are well understood inLondon and the sale of this one lot at 7s. 6d. has not excitedhalf the sensation that has been occasioned by our two Bales at5s. which rose to their price by biddings from various parts ofthe room ½d. by ½d. whereas the Company's jumped to 7s. 6d. bysixpences and nine pences at a bid. I send you a sample of it sothat you may form your own judgment. When I speak of theadvantages to be derived from having our fleeces more delicatelygrown, I am quite aware of the difficulty of keeping the sheep insufficiently low condition and of the disadvantages, in somerespects, arising from it.

God forbid they should ever be in the miserable state of theCompany's flocks at the time these fine locks of theirs wereproduced. Our Bales No. 24 and 30 were also very much admired,and upon the whole it was considered that the fleeces were inbetter state generally as to yolk than last year, but not as tocolour. The dark colour arising from the burnt timber and thelittle particles of leaves, seeds, &c. but more particularlysand are very injurious.

I am convinced however that the intrinsic value of the wool isbecoming more widely known and that the Saxons have carried theirdevotion to delicacy of fibre too far. The Manufacturers begin tolook for something more—they want strength as well asfinish—A medium between our fine fleeces and the Saxonwould be preferred. May not this by degrees be obtained. It isalso I think of more importance to attend to exact similarity incolour, general character, &c., in assorting the Bales, thanto arrange the fleeces with that minute attention to the exactfineness of the hair which costs you so much anxiety andlabour—I have been unceasing in my enquiries for a WoolSorter but cannot find one as yet at all qualified—Mr.MacLean assured me he had been looking for one for himself forthe last six; months without success—I think a German willsuit us best. Be assured I will not lose sight of this greatdesideration and I hope to relieve you, before this time nextyear from the irksome task you have so often and so painfullygone through. . . . .

London, 7th November 1820.

My dear William,

I intend to confine this letter entirely to the subject of woolour main stay and only certainty a subject therefore justly themost interesting to us all; and to you more especially from thedevoted, and successful attentions you have bestowed upon theimprovement and management of the flocks.

The market for wool in this Country has never recovered the shockit sustained by the excessive importation of the year 1825 whennearly double the ordinary annual weight was forced upon themarket. Prices have since that time continued to sink lower andlower until they have reached their present unprecedentedly lowlevel. Beyond this it is imagined they cannot possibly bereduced, and indeed the general opinion is that after next Springa gradual rise will begin to take place. The price current whichI put up with this will show the relative prices of the differentkinds of wool. The quantity as well as the value of Spanish woolis greatly diminished I mean its value as compared with Germanand the fine Australian Wools, and I make use of the word valuebecause I apprehend that it is not the quality of the Spanishfleece that has deteriorated, but the quality of the others thathas advanced, in consequence of greater care and a more improvedmode of breeding. This I find to be a very generally receivedopinion and the Spaniards seem at length to be sensible of thefact. Several of their principal Wool growers have lately been inthis Country making observations and have expressed adetermination to spare no exertion to regain their lost position.Should the Government of Spain resume a more settled form, it isnot improbable that they may succeed and in this case from thenatural advantages of the Country they will be more dangerousrivals than even the patient and persevering Germans. The annualimportation into England from Germany, including the AustrianDominions and Poland is about 22 millions of lbs. In the year1800 it was little more than 400,000 lbs. The importation thisyear from N.S. Wales will it is calculated exceed a million oflbs., and including V.D. land it is supposed will amount tonearly double that quantity. It is not however to be supposedthat the increase during the next thirty years can proceed in thesame ratio, as it has done in Germany—the Germans alreadypossessed large flocks at the commencement of theircareer—coarse woolled, it is true; but by the introductionof Merino blood a gradual improvement was effected. Flushed withtheir success, the Saxons dreaded no rivals and relaxed in theirattention. The consequence has been that Silesia now bears thepalm. Poland does not produce a sufficient quantity of wool I amtold for her own consumption at this day notwithstanding Mr.Jacob's theoretical visions upon the increase of flocks and theestablishment of manufactures in that Country—A smallquantity nevertheless occasionally finds its way into England thePoles working up in its place, the lower descriptions of GermanWool. Russia too is attempting to produce fine wool which comesinto this market to a very limited extent under the name ofOdessa. It is not at all esteemed by the Manufacturers who saythat it works up very unprofitably. I have now, I believe,enumerated the various countries with which we have to contend inthe production of fine wool. The Germans are decidedly the onlyrivals we need to fear at the present time, and it is a matter ofno trifling moment to ascertain how the Sheep owners of thatCountry are affected by the present low rate of prices. This andtheir treatment of the Ewes in lambing time, so as to rear lambsfrom animals in low condition will be the principal objects of myproposed journey to Saxony and Silesia. With respect toAustralian Wool, I need not inform you how much the great bulk ofproprietors there have to accomplish, before their fleeces can bebrought to even a tolerable state of improvement. The reducedprices of wool render it much more uphill work for them; but itappears to me that they have no other object to which they canturn their attention with a chance of success. Necessitytherefore will urge them forward. We are fortunate in occupyingsuch vantage ground. We have only to persevere steadily keepingin view improvement of quality, as well as increase of quantity,and during the approaching twenty years the wheel of fortune willin all probability revolve so as in some degree to realise thefable of the golden fleece—at all events we are sure of acompetency sufficient with prudence for the obtainment of everyreasonable object of our ambition. I am indeed surprised at thereduction you have already been enabled to make in our expensesand the probability is that as money becomes scarcer in theColony our sterling returns will go farther and farther in theobtainment of labor. Taking the reduced prices of the necessariesof life into the calculation it appears to me that we are atleast equally as well off now as in the time of Macquarie, andcertain I am that comparing our actual situation and profits withthose of other Colonists and of the Agricultural, manufacturing,and Commercial Classes in England (I believe I might say Europe)we may consider ourselves most fortunately circumstanced.

With respect to the washing assorting and packing I need saynothing in addition to what I wrote last year—except that Iam more and more convinced of the correctness of the opinions Ithen expressed.

The plan you propose to adopt this season as detailed in yourmost able and interesting letter by the Vesper appearslikely to realize all that can be desired upon that head. I hopeI may be enabled to obtain the services of a competent woolsorter before I leave England—Hitherto my enquiries havebeen unsuccessful, unless at enormous wages, no skilful man canbe induced to go out; and knowing the uncertainty of even such aman continuing to conduct himself satisfactorily I have beenunwilling to incur the risk—The Bales are considered to beparticularly well assorted that came by the Australia. Mr.Swaine assured me that he did not see how it could be improved,but the object is to save you the labor and to occupy lessvaluable time in so troublesome an occupation. This must in somemode or other be accomplished before my return to the Colony andbe assured I shall not lose sight of it in Germany, from whenceall agree in opinion it would if practicable be the mostdesirable to obtain a Sorter. In the box of Clothes now sent fromMyer's you will find a sample of Silesian wool which isconsidered to be a perfect specimen of what is most desirable tothe Clothiers, both in growth and condition. This wool of whichonly about 500 lbs. came into the Market from Flocks of from 30,to 40,000 Sheep was sold at 7s. per lb. The general average I amtold of the whole flock did not exceed 2s 3d.—From Mr.McLean I learnt that they (MacLean & Stephens) had bought thefinest German fleeces on the spot for 2s. 3d. per lb., and thatthe expense of transport to Stanley Mills did not exceed 6d. perlb. These are facts which I wish to ascertain by my ownobservation upon the spot. The weight of the German fleeces isanother doubtful point to be cleared up. I have mentioned toseveral persons your theory relative to the hollowness of thefibre of N.S.W. Wool. They do not think it possible that such canbe the case; and if it were so they think it would have anopposite effect to your supposition. As the hollow space isfilled with animal matter constituting the heaviest portion ofthe hair. Admitting what you suppose to be the case theManufacturers say it would not have the effect of rendering theCloth lighter, because in the process of manufacture each fibreis flattened until the interior surfaces collapse—Butundoubtedly it would have the effect of giving a greater numberof hairs to the pound, that is to say supposing the increase ofhollowness in the fibre to render the weight less, which as Ihave before stated they deny.

One fact is undeniable, that a pound of our wool goes fartherthan a pound of any other wool—or as the manufacturersexpress it the wool "proves better." than any other of apparentlysimilar quality—This may probably be the effect of theVoyage which certainly gives it a harsher and coarser appearancewhen opened here than it bears when packed in the Colony. Much ofthis is in my opinion produced by over pressure. The change ofcolor is also in some degree attributable to the same cause. Butlength of time and the mere voyage itself would in themselves insome degree produce this effect, as we see in the case of CleanLinen, which however white when put up comes out yellow anddiscolored even on shore and still more so after a sea voyagemore especially I am told if the trunks be in the Hold of theVessel. Before I quit the subject of color there is onecircumstance necessary to impress very strongly upon yourattention—I mean the utter objection on the part ofManufacturers to wools in which they discover the smell of soapor any alkaline preparation—The very small quantity used inour present preliminary tub operations does not produce thiseffect and is therefore of no consequence. But I have no doubtthe first cargo sent by the Australia was to a certainextent injured. You may remember that a larger quantity of soapand (upon one or two of the flocks) potash was used—Theobjection on the part of the Manufacturers is not idleprejudice—they have found by experience that the cleansingof wool with Alkali injures the fibre—and the longer it iskept after the operation, the more prejudicial will be theeffect.

The time of arrival in this Country is another very materialconsideration—every exertion ought to be made to get ithere early in the summer—It is one of the naturaladvantages we possess from our opposite seasons that we areenabled to bring our fleeces to market first notwithstanding ourimmensely greater distance—This in itself is aconsideration of no slight importance—People here do notlike to let their money lie idle, and if we are first in themarket we stand the best chance on this groundalone—Another consideration is the loss of the interest ofmoney and the fact that wool naturally deteriorates by keepingafter shorn. But the most weighty reason perhaps for an earlyshipment is the difference it makes in the appearance of the Woolwhether it be examined in warm weather or in cold.

This year we were particularly unfortunate, the first day of ourwools being exposed to show it snowed most violently and duringthe three subsequent days until the sale the weather was as coldas it usually is at Xmas—frosts at night and harsh piercingwinds during the day—You can well appreciate the effect ofsuch weather—It may be said, so can the buyers—butthey won't nor is it in human nature that they should.Their interest and therefore their perceptions and impressions onthe subject are at direct variance with ours. Another reason isthat as money is the most plentiful generally speaking in theSummer months, so is it least so about the end of theyear—This operates in all trades and is a generallyreceived rule with men of business—I come next to therelative advantages and disadvantages of Public and Private Sale.There is always a difficulty in disposing of the finer qualitiesto any extent at auctions—because it is the custom of thegreat buyers of fine wool to make their purchases by sample andby private contract, at a credit of one month deducting five percent, discount, or of four or even eight months. These are theterms upon which German and Spanish Wools are generally sold andof late many bad debts have been made—All thesecircumstances must be borne in mind when a comparison of ourprices with theirs is made. We obtain the money before we deliverup our property—But it becomes a question whether as thequantity increases this system can be continued and whether byassorting our fleeces and selling the finer qualities by privateContract, the coarser by auction we may not obtain a higheraverage. I am inclined to think that we should find it to ouradvantage to sort the fleeces to a certain extent, that is to sayto take off the shoulder locks and finest parts of the fleece inthe same way that we now separate the Brush and coarser portions.To do this a Woolsorter would be necessary. But these areconsiderations for the future rather than for the present. It iscertain that the Yorkshire Clothiers who principally attend thesales by auction seldom exceed from 18d. to 20d. (at the presentmarket rates) per lb. in their purchases. At our last sale thiswas very remarkable—The West Country Buyers could notafford to pay ready money in consequence of their recent heavylosses and the general depression that prevails, whilst theYorkshire men wanted nothing above 20d.—Had it not been forthe accidental competition of two great shawl manufacturers I donot think the fine qualities would have sold at all. The Shawl& Stuff manufacturers were Messrs. Wood & Co. and anotherhouse, of Manchester—The lots they purchased are marked inthe names of Swaine & Clarke, with the exception of the twobest bales which Mr. Swaine bought for a clothier. This naturallyleads to the subject of combing wools. It is possible that thedemand for our wools for this particular branch of manufacturesmay continue and that the competition to which it gave rise inthe late sale may increase on future occasions. The process ofcombing has been so much improved of late years that a muchshorter staple can now be used for that purpose. Our woolcombines strength with firmness in a much greater degree than anyother and therefore is more suitable for combing. But the fabricin which it is thus, employed is not a great staple like thecloth trade. On the contrary it is subject to the caprices offashion; so that one year it may be in great demand and the nextalmost wholly out of use. It would be folly therefore to give upa certainty for a possibility or even a probability. At presentour fleeces appear to combine in a great measure both objects.Whereas were we to encourage length of staple with a view to theCombers, we should inevitably sacrifice the demand on the part ofthe Clothiers for whose purposes our wool is already more thansufficiently long. At the same time it is certainly mostdesirable to attend to the individual animals that produce thesingularly long staple you speak of and to keep them separate asan experiment. It has also struck me that the shawls, merinostuffs &c., in which this description of wool is used arearticles in the manufacture of which the Chinese would be likelyto excel, and I have thought it might be desirable to send a fewof the longest fleeces to Canton with specimens of the yarn, theshawl stuffs &c. into which it is here converted. If we couldbut obtain a demand for fine wool in China it might lead to veryextraordinary results. These are times in which enterprise andenergy as well as patience and perseverance are required, thereis certainly a great similitude in the China crape to thearticles I speak of. If a similar fabric could be produced fromfine wool, what a demand might not there be for it not onlyamongst the small footed belles of China but amongst our ownfashionables. To say nothing of the possibility of bringing woolinto general demand for ordinary clothing purposes amongst theChinese in general. It is well known that the taste for finewoollen cloths is increasing both in China and in the East Indiesin general, and why should they not make it up themselves. TheLady Rowena, as you will probably have heard sold some ofher wool at Rio where a cloth manufactury has been established,and I am told better prices were obtained than could have beengot in London. The best bale of Lambs' wool was exceedinglyadmired. Its condition was however much against it and this wasthe case with the lambs' wool in general which would have fetchedconsiderably higher prices had it been cleaner. It would beuseless to have a longer staple in the lambs' wool as it cannotbe combed. It is generally used for ladies' cloths and fineKerseymeres and for hat making. It is of importance to keep thefleeces of the 18 months old flocks as much together as possible.Young wool is the favorite with the manufacturers who say thatthe wool of old sheep however fine never proves nearly sowell. There was an evident and marked improvement this year inour wools which was generally noticed and some persons consideredour fine Bales quite equal if not superior to those of theAustralian Company, which altho' very small haired wanted thegenerous character of ours—you will observe that I dividedthe two best Bales and formed a third. This was done to try theeffect of opening the fleeces. The improvement in theirappearance after undergoing the operation was very great but asyou will have perceived from the A/c sales was not successful inobtaining for us such satisfactory prices as last year. I hope myformer letters will have prepared you for this. The average ofthe sale is 2d. a lb. higher than I had ventured to hope fortailing into consideration the depressed state of the market andthe inferior condition of the wool. On the Catalogue nowforwarded there are three valuations—the first is my own,the second, in red ink, the Broker's final and correctedvaluation and the third, with a line drawn through it, theirfirst from the samples, before they had particularly examined theBales and became aware of their condition. The fractions areoccasioned by this valuation being an average of three separatevaluations to different individuals. The samples too were drawn,and that valuation made up before the setting in of the coldweather I have before spoken of. The greatest difference is inthe Lambs' wool, in which the defect of washing was mostobservable. Had the wool been equally clean with the formeryears' importation and the weather at the time of the sale asmild I think I am not mistaken in supposing that the averagewould have been from 2s. to 2s. 2d.—My valuation of thefine Bales was entirely fanciful—Had it not been for thedespondency of the West Country buyers they would probably havebeen realized, not because their quality as compared with Germanwools warranted a higher price than 4s. but because there is adisposition to try experiments upon them and when this is thecase the purchasers do not consider 6d. or 1s. on a smallquantity like this an object of any moment. The Company's woolderived the benefit of the little spirit of this kind thatexisted—being the greater novelty—one Bale of their'ssold for 5s. 3d. and one for 4s. 7d. The prices given for theircoarser qualities baffle all calculation. Some of the lots whichsold for 1s. 11d. and 2s. were certainly not worth more than 15d.or 17d. They were well washed and lightly pressed, both thesecircumstances were much in their favour. Mr. Swaine shewed me hisvaluation after the sale and in the instances I speak of therewas a difference of 50 per Cent. He also allowed me to comparehis valuations of our wool with my own and I found them verysimilar. Upon the whole considering the state of the times Ithink the sale a very satisfactory one. Notwithstanding adepression of from 15 to 20 per Cent. in the market and thefailure in the price of the finest qualities our average, whichis after all the main point is a halfpenny per lb. higher thanlast year. The difference in the washing is also to becalculated—The result of the sale under all thesecircumstances proves an improvement of general quality and anincreasing estimation of the wool on the part of theManufacturers—The more the wool becomes known the more willthis be the case. Few of the West Country Manufacturers yet knowanything about it except from hearsay. It would be going out ofthe usual course to try it. The Saxons had precisely the samedifficulties to contend with in the infancy of their woolgrowing.Spanish was then the only wool the West Country people woulddeign to use. Time will effect the same for us as it did for theSaxons. I believe I have now pretty well exhausted the subjectinteresting as it is. I shall however keep the letter open for aday or two, in case anything new should strike me—ever youraffectionate Brother.

Jas. Macarthur.

A small lock of wool has just been given me froma fleece weighing four ounces which was found in a coarse Bale ofDr. Townson's wool. It is probably from a Saxon sheep andevidently from an animal in very low condition. A wager was laidby a Mr. Hughes a Wool Broker with a Saxon Merchant that theycould not produce four ounces equal to it from all the GermanWool in England and a month, I think, given them for thesearch—The comparison was made—and the Germansconfessed themselves beaten. This is a very singularcircumstance, and will probably be much talked about in theColony I send you the sample.

No. 4. Chapel Street, West MayFair.

London 1st April 1830.

My dear William,

. . . . There are Mercantile letters from Sydney by a vessel fromHobart Town as late as the 7th November. These confirm the goodaccounts of abundant rains—So you have had another of thosefearful droughts worse than all the former surely it is the last.The winter throughout Europe has been unprecedentedlysevere—We had the thermr. on one occasion at 30° of cold(Reaumur) 67½° of Fahrenheit below freezing point or 35½° belowZero. I am very glad to have seen Germany, the Germans whom Ilike exceedingly and above all their Sheep. The very best are ofthe Escurial race so like our best Argonauts, that once or twicewhen some frolicsome young Don came nibbling at my buttons orrubbing his nose against my legs or when some coy velvet facedDonna looked up into my face with eyes and countenance expressingpatient gentleness, I could scarcely persuade myself I was not inthe Sheep Shed at Camden—But if the door opened the coldblast of the North and the dreary prospect of continuous snowinstantly dispelled the illusion. This might seem mere nonsenseto those who know nothing of the matter, but to you who know sowell the importance of a family countenance in Sheep I am sure itwill not appear so. Those with feathered legs and woolly facesare considered to be of an inferior race—Judicious breedersdo not like to use them as Males. They consider them X bred, andas for the Negrettis with their ample folds of skin and largedewlaps they would as soon breed from a Cape Sheep as from one ofthem. I saw no sheep superior to our best, altho' I saw twoflocks where there were a greater number of the very bestquality—The protection from all inclemencies of seasoncertainly gives the wool a greater advantage over ours inappearance; and they are very attentive to preserve evenness ofgrowth by keeping the animals in equal condition. Their system isby no means so expensive or complicated as I hadimagined—three men to 1000 sheep is the usualcompliment—I think in a modified shape it might beintroduced with advantage—But of this more hereafter. As mytime is short, I must advert to one oil two other matters. AtBrussels we saw a very simple contrivance for raising water, asold as the days of Archimides, but disused in England probably onaccount of its simplicity. We purchased one of the Instrumentsand shipped it for London. I expect it will be of very greatutility in New South Wales. Perhaps it may be sufficient for allthe purposes of irrigation—but on this head I am not quiteso sanguine as Edward—There are some difficulties to beobviated, before it can be applied on a large scale—It ishowever very possible that this may be effected—At allevents it will enable us to wash sheep at all times whether theriver be high or low by raising the water into a cistern formedfor the purpose—Two men can with one of these instrumentsraise water 9 feet at the rate of 5000 Gallons per hour.

An Insurance has been effected on the Wool (by this time I hopehalf way) to the amount of £3000—per Sovereign orShips—British or teak built—the Underwriters insistedon this Clause or a much higher premium—which is now return 4s. 9d. if shipped by the Sovereign. I must nowclose this hurried letter—

Believe me Yours ever,

James Macarthur.

The wool Market is improving as are things ingeneral not only here but throughout Europe. I have not time toread my letter over—There is no intelligence of the ArchDeacon since he left Sydney.

Some Early Records of the Macarthurs of Camden (12)

Printed Auction Catalogue [1]

Some Early Records of the Macarthurs of Camden (13)

Printed Auction Catalogue [2]

Observations ** upon thevarious Objections urged in England upon the state inwhich Australian Wool is usually sent to market, together withsome account of an improved mode of washing sheep practised atCamden.

The state in which the wool of this Colony hashitherto been prepared for the British Market has been the sourceof much objection to the buyers in England and of serious loss tothe Growers in Australia.

The object of this paper is to enumerate a portion of theseobjections and to enquire into the best mode of obviatingthem.

For convenience sake I shall divide them under two heads,viz:—

Those which arise from the nature of the pastures upon which thesheep are fed, and those which may be attributed to a defectivemode of washing, and the absence of proper care in the subsequentoperations.

I shall in the first instance advert to the former. A fertilesource of objection is derived from the innumerable grass seeds,particles of dead leaves and sticks, but more particularly fromthe minute portions of charred wood and bark with which thefleeces abound, especially in dry seasons.

In the present circumstances of the Colony, and with our limitedcommand of labour it would be very difficult, if not altogetherimpossible, to entirely obviate this class of objections. Infavourable situations much may doubtless be effected by carefulmanagement, that is, by preventing the Sheep as much as possiblefrom depasturing on bare and in brushy places, and by foldingthem every night upon a fresh spot well clothed with long grass.But so long as our native pastures continue to be encumbered withbrambles, and underwood, with dead standing trees, and fallinglogs and branches, having their surfaces more or less charred bythe fires, which unfortunately for several years past have beenso universally prevalent and above all, so long as these firescontinue occasionally to rage in situations abounding with thenative apple tree (frequenting the finest tracks of sheeppasture) it would be idle to assert that the evil may, to a greatdegree be remedied. It is almost needless to observe that whenthe Colony shall be blessed with the return of the more genialseasons of former days much of this will cease.

The second ground of objection is one which is perhaps attendedwith greater loss to the growers, while it is apprehended that inmost instances the remedy is more within his reach.

It is complained that Australian Wool when opened in England hasusually a rough "staring" appearance with a harsh "gummy" feel,that the fleeces are frequently so matted together in the bales,that the entire force of a man is required to separate them, thatthe whole heap has a dirty or discoloured appearance, and inaddition to these, that the weight of the fleeces is frequentlyincreased in a disgraceful manner by the quantity of sand theycontain.

To obviate these evils a mode of washing has been adopted atCamden which as it is believed to be different from any practisedin Europe, it may be in the first instance advisable to point outthe principles upon which it is founded.

Chemists have ascertained that there are two distinct kinds ofyolk contained in the fleeces of sheep, one soluble in cold waterwithout any addition, the other requiring either warm water orthe assistance of soap, alkalis, etc. In France and Germany thefleeces are considered to be sufficiently well washed for thepurposes of commerce, when the former of these is removed, thisthey readily effect by careful washing either on or off thesheep's back in cold water, and the wool thus washed, is said tolose only from 22 to 28 per cent, in the subsequent scouring formanufacture, and never to assume the harsh feel and staringdiscoloured appearance so strikingly observable in the generalityof the fine wool of Australia after a few months keeping. In NewSouth Wales after the most careful washing in running water thegreater portion of the highly bred fleeces remain either in adingy unmarketable state or if sufficiently "bright" so muchcharged with yolk that in the course of a very few days afterthey are shorn the fibres begin to assume "the harsh staringappearance" and to become so matted together and rough to thetouch that much of their beauty is lost. By experiment we werealso taught that the injury was in appearance merely, and thatthe process of scouring, which it undergoes previous to itsmanufacture into cloth, completely restores its original softsilky qualities. It was concluded therefore either that thespecies of yolk which required to use the warm water or soap toremove it exists in greater proportion in Australian fleeces, orthat there are some causes which prevent the complete removal ofthe other species of yolk by simple river washing.

After many experiments the assistance of soap and water inwashing the sheep was determined on, and the results for threesuccessive seasons have been so entirely satisfactory that thesame practise can be warmly recommended to those sheep holderswho are anxious to export their fleeces in the most marketablecondition.

The increased facilities which it affords more thancounterbalance the additional expenditure, and so far fromproving in any degree detrimental to the health of the animals,it is on the contrary very obvious that the risk of injury ismaterially diminished.

A few other improvements have been gradually adopted at Camdenwhich the accompanying rough sketch will considerably assist incomprehending.

ARiver Nepean.

BBB Three pens numbered 1, 2 and 3each sufficiently large to hold 5 to 600 sheep, and formed upon amoderately inclined plane with the River by cutting down the highsteep banks. The sides nearest the water are supported by abreast work of logs 2 or 3 feet high.
No. 1 pen lowest down the stream has nothing in it worthy ofremark. No. 2 is entirely slabbed over at bottom to prevent thefeet of the sheep from touching sand and provided with a coveringof thatch or boughs overhead, raised upon forked pole about 6 or7 feet from the flooring so as to exclude the suns rayscompletely. No 3 is kept well littered down with clean straw, afresh covering being laid on every morning over the old.

C Two largeBoilers or "Tripots" each capable of containing 80 gallons.

DD Two largestrong Tubs of oval shape about 4 ft. 6 in. long 3 feet wide and2 feet deep each capable of containing 2 wethers or threeewes.

EE BoardedPlatforms (one in each of the Pens Nos. 1 and 2) from which thesheep are thrown into the River.

FWashing Pen. A portion of the bed of the River enclosed withhurdles, brambles and stakes and preserved at the requisite depthby removing sand when necessary.

G Damor weir to force the current through a narrow opening into thewashing pen. In situations where a perpendicular fall can becommanded it would cause a material saving of labour.

HLanding place made of slabs, the lower end of it resting at thebottom of the River, and lying on an inclined plane against theBank, so as to enable the sheep to walk up it without assistanceand without danger of coming into contact with the land. It iscontrived to lead either into No. 2 or No. 3 pens as may berequired.

The following is the manner in which thedifferent Pens, etc., are put to use:—

The sheep to be washed are on the evening previous to the washingdriven into No. 1 Pen, and from thence thrown with their feetdownwards from the patform E into the washing pen F and afterhaving their fleeces well saturated with water by repeatedplunging are landed by the landing place H into No. 2 Pen wherethey remain for the night. The men are directed in this operationto confine themselves to dipping the animals so as to wet thestaple of the skin, and not on any account by rubbing to removeeither dirt or yolk.

The experience of many years has taught us that the washing ismuch facilitated by having the sheep well soaked several hoursprevious to the washing. That portion of the yolk which issoluble in cold water is thus enabled to combine with the watertaken up into the fleece (which the warmth of the animal's bodyassists in effecting) and to form a species of natural soap whichmaterially assists in the subsequent operations.

As early as possible the following day the washing commences. Thegang of sheep washers consists usually of 16 men, who aredisposed of as follows:—

1 man to attend the Boilers and fill thetubs.

4 men at the tubs (2 to each).

2 men to catch the sheep and bring them tothe Tubs.

2 men to take the sheep from the tubs to theRiver.

6 men in pairs in the river each providedwith factory frocks and trousers and woolen wrapper round theright arm to enable men to use it with more effect inrubbing.

1 man as Overseer to superintend thewhole.

The Tubs being filled with water from theboilers reduced by cold water to a temperature comfortable to thehands two or three sheep according to their size are placed ineach their backs downwards. When plunged about one minute toallow the warm water to penetrate, one of them is made to standup in the tub and soap is applied on the back from the tail tothe neck and if requisite on the shoulders flanks and hips. Thelower part of the fleece never requires soap. Experience alonecan teach the quantity of soap necessary to be applied. It variesinfinitely in different animals. Some require scarcely any othersas much as would suffice for 8 or 10 of the average of the flock.The same flocks which in the year 1826 were washed even toocleanly with the consumption of about 4 lbs. of soap to each 100sheep, were not sufficiently well washed in 1827 with more than10 or 12 per 100, though a greater portion of labour was devotedto them.

While one man at each tub is applying the soap the other shouldrub it well in, taking care never to dip the sheep in the warmwater afterwards, and to preserve as much of the soapy water inthe fleece as possible.

When the yolk is supposed to be sufficiently well combined withthe soap and water and the hard knots on the surface of thefleece to be pretty well softened, the animals are thrown intothe river from the Plaform E and immediately taken by thepair of men stationed lowest down the stream and well rubbed allover commencing always with the back by a forcible action of thearm from the elbow downwards.

The animals are then passed on to the next pair and after anotherrubbing to the pair stationed opposite the landing place (wherethe current rushes through a narrow opening) who have it incharge not to land a sheep improperly washed. It must be observedthat if the shelter of the covering in No. 2 Pen proves to beinsufficient to prevent the fleeces of the sheep from drying onthe surface before they are wanted at the tubs they must havewater thrown upon them as often as may be requisite.

When the sheep wash well we are enabled in the manner justmentioned to wash from 80 to 100 ewes and from 60 to 80 wethersper hour. If it should happen that the sheep are washed too well,the evil may be easily remedied by allowing them to remainunshorn until a sufficient quantity of yolk has risen into thefleece.

It is however our general practice to shear them as soon as theyare sufficiently dry, because it rarely happens that the washingis over done.

Of the subsequent operations it is not the object of the presentpapers to treat because ample directions may be found in worksdevoted to the subject. I shall content myself with observingthat every precaution should be taken to preserve the sheep fromdust and rain until they are shorn, and that the fleeces shouldbe perfectly dry before the shearing.

As fast as they are clipped the coarse stained locks should beremoved and as much of the extraneous substances contained inthem as possible by shaking or beating them over a wire screen.They should immediately if possible be "thrown" into sorts andput into bags not more than 200 lbs. should be packed into bagsof the usual size.

{Page 448}

Chapter XIII.


Camden February 18th 1824.

My dear John,

I wish to God Government could be induced to adopt some plan forsupplying Settlers with Merino Rams of undoubted purity of bloodat a moderate price, and with a credit of three years takingpayment in provisions for the supply of the Troops and CivilEstablishments—I would joyfully undertake to supply theRams and take land in payment—by such a plan the fraudulentspeculators would be completely counteracted. Mr. Reid's * sheepare already boasted of as the finest in the Colony—they arediminutive creatures with Wool worth about 20d. a lb.—Mr.Oxley I hear has upwards of 4,000 cross bred sheep—theoffspring of these will speedily be transformed into pure Merinosand be sold to strangers who are anxious for the favor of theSurveyor-General—thus will the advancement of the Colony beretarded, the publick expectation in England be in a greatmeasure disappointed and the Colony long linger on in poverty andincreasing burden to Government. We have this year nearly 400Merino Ewes—these will at present produce Rams quite equalto the supply of the Colony and the increase will hereaftercertainly keep pace with the demands, most probably outrunit—if cross bred Rams be used the Sheep will fall off inconstitution and the Wool be of very trifling value—thewool of our pure merino Rams is worth from 4s. 6d. to 7s. 6d. alb., at the late depressed Market prices—The best Crossbreds from 1s. 9d. to 2s. 3d., but so extensive is thecombination that two strangers out of four are imposed upon andimpressed with the belief that though my wool be fine the sheepare weakly when the fact is they are the strongest constitutionedsheep in the Colony—I care not what price Government takethem at, let them fix it themselves and let me have the honor andsatisfaction of seeing the universal spread of what I have solong and so anxiously laboured to establish and I shall besatisfied.

Your affectionate Father,

John Macarthur.

Some Early Records of the Macarthurs of Camden (14)

Ms. Catalogue

A few letters from Macarthur to his wife, and from Mrs.Macarthur to her sons John and Edward, and to her friend MissKingdon throw sidelights on the daily life at Parramatta andCamden at this time.


My dear Elizabeth,

By the cart you will receive a wild Turkey shot on the meadowyesterday—the first Budbury ** says ever seen in thisneighbourhood—I suppose he had heard the fame of ourimprovements and sallied forth from the Bathurst Plains toascertain the truth. If he should not eat so well as a civilisedone we will send notice that we desire no more of their visits. .. .

I expect we have this morning more than 2,000Lambs—220 in the Merino Flocks all in the finesthealth—and hitherto very few casualties. . . . .

Affectionate remembrances to all,

Ever My dear Elizabeth,


John Macarthur.

We had the grandest Corrobboree here last nightI ever saw. There must have been at least a Hundred and Twentymen, with a Multitude of Women and children—they have beencollected from all parts of the Coast—and to-day they riseand proceed to Bathurst to slay and eat—our Natives do notjoin the expedition, and look very suspiciously on thishost—I fear they have made sad inroads on the poorSettlers' Corn over the water—ours of course isuntouched—they observe a pretty general rule not to touchthe resources near home, if supplies can be procured at adistance.

Camden Monday Morning May 24th 1824.

My dear Elizabeth,

Our wheat sowing was finished on Saturday and our Lambing drawsslowly to a termination—This morning we commence Corngathering and carrying—that terminated, the most arduouspart of our Labours will be over until the Spring—I neversaw such fine Lambs—and the Ewes are in excellentcondition—The Herd of fat Oxen also present a veryagreeable sight—the MacFarlanes who are excellent Judges ofCattle, say they never saw so good a lot at any Market or fair inScotland—I think there will still be a demand for all wehave to spare this Winter—which will beEighty—averaging Eight hundred—can you calculateamongst you how many pounds shillings and pence they will amountto at 5d. per lb.?


My dear Elizabeth,

Ever affectionately Yours

John Macarthur.


June 7th, 1824.

My dear Eliza,

The return of our beloved son Edward after an absence of sixteenyears, was an event so joyful to us, that I hardly yet can thinkof it calmly. He arrived on the sixth of April, yet it seems tome but as yesterday. Since my last letter to you, our seconddaughter Mary has broken through the spell of celibacy, whichseemed to encompass the house. She was united in marriage to theprincipal surgeon of this establishment. Mr. Bowman, in Novemberlast and I trust with a fair prospect of happiness. I cannothowever, quite reconcile myself to the blank it has made in ourHome circle.

Mr. Macarthur and our two youngest sons are at present at ourestate at Camden. The former I am happy to say enjoying muchbetter health, than he has done for years. Society here is fastchanging its character. Numbers of strangers continually arrive,the greater part of whom are compelled to go back into theinterior almost immediately. But we have a new Judge, new LawOfficers with their families, who from the nature of theirappointments must reside at Sydney.

Last week we received some very alarming accounts from thesettlement at Bathurst. The natives had barbarously put to death,a number of stockmen in the service of individuals settled inthat neighbourhood—plundered the huts—set fire tothem—killed numbers of sheep and cattle—spreadingterror and devastation around. A young Gentleman a proprietor atBathurst called here on Saturday last. He had come from thencewith several others to solicit the Governor for aid andassistance. He said he had seen the bodies of seven white menbrought into the settlement the morning he set off. I know notwhat measures will be resorted to, in order to check thesebarbarities, which upon the whole are a far more aggressivenature than any that have before taken place. Heretofore whenguilty of these outrages the natives have not been checked bylenient measures, on the contrary emboldened by success they haveproceeded to commit further atrocities, until at length it hasbeen found necessary to send a military force to terrify theminto submission, and to prevent further acts of barbarity. It isnow many years since so alarming a circumstance has taken place.Twice we have had our own stations molested, each time two liveswere taken, the huts plundered, and set fire to. This happenedwhen Mr. Macarthur was in England. The military were obliged tointerfere, to prevent the further effusion of innocent blood.


June 7th 1824

My beloved Son,

. . . It is of consequence that what we have for our personal useshould be appropriate and of superior quality. We wear our thingsout, and therefore wear them long—We have no opportunity ofchanging often . . . At this distance from the Mother Countrymere articles of show are ridiculous. Our household linen andclothes I contend should be of good quality, both because theyare better taken care of—are in the end more useful,certainly more respectable, and in the object of package andfreight cost no more than trash—I want a supply of tablelinen and napkins . . . I should have written decidedly forregular half-yearly supplies before now—but that I havebeen held back from prudential considerations. The last cambricmuslins we were greatly deceived in. Your sister made them upinto dresses, they washed to pieces immediately—injured wesuppose in bleaching.


6th February 1825.

My dear Eliza,

I write you a hurried letter by my dear Edward who is preparingto leave us the day after to-morrow. He has been with us tenmonths. When I look back I can scarcely credit it. His Father wasvery ill when he arrived, and I grieve to add is now confined tohis bed, so that it throws an accumulated gloom around me. Thereis now such a perpetual influx of strangers of various classes insociety. They are obliged to go back a great distance, and aresubject to a thousand difficulties. But what situation has notits difficulties? This country seems of late to have attractedconsiderable attention, and such seems the increased desire, ornecessity for emigration that every ship brings a host ofpassengers. An agricultural company * has been established inLondon in connexion with this Colony. The wealth and connexionsof its members should obtain for this country additional interestat home.

Van Diemen's Land has hitherto been thefavourite settlement for emigrants with capital. The climatebeing colder was an additional recommendation to Scotch settlers,in particular. We have now taken possession of a part of thecoast ** in lat. 10 degrees I believe. The climate is said to behealthy. The object of this new settlement was the Trepang Tradewith the Chinese. A King's ship from Plymouth named theTamar (judge if the name did not interest me) commanded byCaptain Bremer came to form this settlement. He remained herejust sufficiently long to collect the various materials for theexpedition, which so far has succeeded. Your account of the BudeCanal amuses me much! The powers of steam have now become such intheir application to navigation that I know not whether I may notbe tempted to re-visit England—especially now that we aretold the voyage will be rendered practicable by way of theIsthmus of Darien or by Panama. This letter which was commencedto be conveyed to you by our beloved Son Edward, I was unablesufficiently to command my feelings to finish. I was pained somuch before our parting that I could write to no one. It is nowfive weeks since we bad him farewell. We hope he is well on hisvoyage.



June 28th 1825.

My dear Eliza,

Your letters give me the greatest pleasure and your accounts ofmy dear aged parent are most satisfactory. My beloved Edwardsailed in the Mangles for England in February last.

We have an addition to our society here in Archdeacon Scott. Heaccompanied Commissioner Bigge to this Colony, some three or fouryears since, and has now lately returned to it, at the head ofthe Church. He has fixed his residence at Parramatta, as being amore central spot. He will have much to do to regulate theClergy, and organize the public Schools. Such as have beenestablished have fallen into deplorable neglect. It will be anarduous task to set them to rights. This Gentleman's previousknowledge of the Country and the Colonial youth, together withhis own energetic mind, admirably qualify him for thisundertaking, which may the Almighty prosper.

We are now anticipating a change in our Government. Sir ThomasBrisbane is to be succeeded by Major General Darling. Thesechanges are very painful to me, who am too advanced in life, tolook forward with any satisfaction to making acquaintances. Ishall always particularly regret parting with Lady Brisbane, andher Sister Miss Macdougall, more amiable, more unaffectedly rightminded persons we must not expect to succeed them.

Mr. Macarthur has given 10s. an acre for a large tract of landcontiguous to the estate granted to him by Lord Camden, for thepurpose of establishing and increasing the Breed of MerinoSheep—in which it has pleased Providence he should be sosuccessful. It will be some years before this land will be fullystocked. In Van Diemen's Land the same attention has not beenpaid to the growth of fine wool. It is fast filling up withsettlers. This island is better situated than we are for thefisheries, which are becoming of importance to our risingcommunities.

I do not know whether you ever read the accounts of our Missionsin the South Sea Islands. How much they have advanced the causeof Religion I am not sufficiently informed but I am enabled tospeak of what was related here by a Gentleman who has visitedTaheite. He was invited to dinner by the King whose table waslaid and arranged in the mode of a well ordered English Table.Served by Taheitan servants with propriety and exactness. Englishwas spoken at table and the conversation turned on popularsubjects—politics, trade, literature, the advancement ofreligion, and general knowledge.



February 4th, 1826.

My dear Eliza,

Nothing like the splendour and gaiety you describe ascontemplated at the ball at Bude can be exhibited for many yearsin Australia. But let me give you some account of one of ournative dances—a "Corroboree" as they call it, when it isnot unusual for two or three hundred to collect, to paint anddeck themselves with green boughs, and in sets perform variousgrotesque figure dances, in most excellent time, which is givenby others who sit apart and chant a sort of wild cadence.

These corroborees are always on bright moon light nights, someagreeable spot is always chosen for the exhibition amongst thewoods. The number of small fires which are kindled causes justenough brilliancy to give affect to our beautiful woodlandscenery; and throw sufficient light on the sable performers. Thisfestivity is generally prolonged until past midnight, and alwaysgiven to do honour to and entertain strangers, whom they call"Myall."

Some time ago the natives in the vicinity of Hunter's River aswell as those beyond Bathurst were in open hostilities with thesettlers. They have since been reconciled, but the country is nowinfested by another and more formidable Banditti, consisting ofrun away Convicts from the Penal Settlements who have been joinedby others from Road Parties, Clearing Gangs, and GovernmentEstablishments. These desperadoes have contrived to armthemselves, some are mounted, and embodied in parties of fromeight to fourteen. About dusk they take forcible possession ofsome farm, constrain the servants, place guard over them, andcompel the proprietors to bring forth all their stores, whichthey appropriate at their pleasure, after rioting and destroyingand carrying off all they can they leave the distressed family tolament, and seek redress at the peril of their lives, for theseruffians denounce all manner of vengeance in the way of reprisal.Only last week the farm of Captain King was so plundered. It endswith the capture, and ultimate death or banishment of theseplunderers. Such are the perils to which settlers areoccasionally exposed.

I rejoice to learn that Mrs. Macquarie obtained a pension afterthe death of General Macquarie. I very often think of her and heryoung Son Lachlan. She has left many memorials in the GovernmentGrounds which she caused to be laid out, and planted andembellished. The trees thrive and are very ornamental. Sir ThomasBrisbane built an Observatory, but planted no trees. LadyBrisbane gentle and retired concerned herself not about affairswithout. Her nursery was her occupation and delight. Two of herchildren were born here, Eleanor Australia and Thomas Austral,and the eldest Isabella she brought out an Infant. Our nextGovernor is General Darling. I hope you will continue to write tome as usual. Your letters always give me great pleasure byreminding me of scenes long past. The reflexions which they bringwith them, are always useful, and I find they have a salutaryeffect upon my mind.

My Husband I rejoice to say enjoys better health at present thanhe has done for years. He unites with me in every affectionateremembrance,


To MissKingdon.


New South Wales,

March, 1827.

Thank you my dear friend for your obliging andacceptable letter dated September 1826. It gave me great pleasureto hear that you were well, and that my dear aged parentcontinues to be a wonder of a woman at her years. A lady here whosaw my dear Mother gives me a most delightful account of her goodlooks and surprising activity. May she continue to possess thesame excellent health as long as it pleases God to prolong herdays.

Mr. Macarthur avails himself of my absence to make some necessaryalterations and additions to our house.* Having been long atSydney I shall write more immediately of occurences around me.Towards the close of the last year we were visited by the firstline of Battle Ship which ever entered the "Heads" of PortJackson. This was the Warspite commanded by Sir TamesBrisbane. The Volage a Frigate commanded by the Hon. T.Dundas, a son of Lord Melville accompanied the Warspite. Ason of Earl Grey was one of the Lieutenants of the Volage,and there were besides the sons or near relatives of severalNoblemen in this ship. They were received by the Governor andrespectable part of the community with that hospitality which ona nearer acquaintance we found to be their due.

Sir James Brisbane who was accompanied by LadyBrisbane arrived in very bad health, the effect of a very severeillness contracted at Rangoon. He became better for a few days,and then relapsed into the same state of debility, which he hadlong suffered, and which at length terminated in his death. Hewas the first cousin of our late Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane,and much beloved as a brave and humane Officer and as a pious andgood man.

Our present Governor General Darling entertains strangersfrequently. There are evening parties once a week at theGovernor's House. Mrs. Darling is perfectly accomplished in musicand exerts herself to please all. Our present greatest annoyanceis from a licentious Press. We have four editors of newspapers,who every week publish so much trash and pour forth such torrentsof abuse against every person and everything respectable.

Mr. Macarthur who is a Member of Council suffers much anxiety onaccount of Colonial Affairs. We know ourselves to be under thesuperintendence of an Almighty Ruler, whose will it is that thedestinies as well of Individuals, as of Nations should undergo,great change. Remember me to all those who hold me in theirremembrance, and believe me, my dear friend,

Your ever affectionate,

E. Macarthur.

In 1840 she wrote to her son Edward.


Dec., 18th 1840.

My beloved Son,

I am now more especially induced to write to you to thank you mydear Edward for a letter received the evening before last. It islittle more than a copy of one from Mr. Kingdon, so kind, so fullof tender recollections that I was overcome by the perusal. Well,indeed do I remember the "East Park" the old Vicarage House, itsaspect towards the Sea, from whence rude gusts would frequentlyshake and assail the apartments above more especially. Thosescenes of my childhood and youth cannot be easily forgotten, norwill the memory of dear friends departed, nor of those that stillremain once my young playfellows be effaced from my memory whilstit pleases God that I retain that faculty. Mr. Kingdon forgets myage, when he speaks of my return to my still dear native land.The time is too far past.

Thanks dearest Edward for all that you have done for my poorsister Mrs. Hacker. I pray that she and her family may establishthemselves in comfort in the land of their adoption (PrinceEdward's Island) where I trust there is a field for the exertionof their industry.

I can only say once for all that I am abundantly thankful to youmy son for all you have so considerately done to meet my wishes,and at the same time to spare my feelings on this and also onformer occasions.

I must conclude my dearest Edward with prayers for your continuedhealth and everlasting happiness.

Your ever affectionate Mother,

Elizabeth Macarthur.


December 27th. 1830.

My beloved Edward,

I know it will give you pleasure, additional I should have said,to receive a letter from me, written from hence. I have beenstaying with William and Frederick Thompson nearly two months,and I expect it will be two or three weeks more before I shallmake up my mind to return to Parramatta so well am I pleased withmy sojourn here and so much has my health been benefitted by thechange. I cannot tell you how delighted I have been with thewonderful improvement I daily discover—not in a fine House,mind, for the same little cottage is still all theresidence—neatly kept—but it is solid improvements Isee in every part of the Estate, I have as yet visited—Suchas will be infinitely more striking and imposing to theeyes of a stranger, some years hence than now—but to methey are so apparent where so ere I bend my steps, that I cannotbut feel astonished at the persevering industry of your BrotherWilliam who has so beneficially devoted his time and been sosuccessful in planting and propagating to a very greatextent—Trees, plants and flowers from almost every part ofthe world—It would delight you to observe the care he hastaken of every thing introduced by yourself—and such Iassure you make no inconsiderable figure in the garden andPlantations and it is with sweet recollections as we pass eachtree or flower of yours, that we converse of you— ofJohn—and the other dear Absentee—now we conclude onhis voyage of return—We had flattered ourselves, that youdear Edward, would have accompanied your Brother and it is withreluctance, we forego the hope—but I forbear to enlarge onthis topic at present—and shall only add that we shouldhave rejoiced to have welcomed you home again. I write this to goby Dr. Cooke who is known to you, he paid us a visit here lastweek, together with Mr. Bowman and a Dr. Roberts—they staidtwo nights and seemed very pleased—the weather waswarm—and William very busy with Sheep shearing andharvesting—the former operation has been protracted to anunusually late period on account of a succession of rainyweather, by which the River has kept at a height, which preventedthe sheep from being washed—the last fortnight has beenpropitious, and I believe this day finishes the shearing of thegrown Sheep—To-morrow the Shearers commence with theLambs—you will be glad to learn that William is pleasedwith Mr. Koltz—his abilities as a Wool Sorter will beapplied to a good portion of the Wool of the presentyear—Fifty bales or more were packed before hisarrival—these of course will not be meddled with—Mr.Koltz is very unobtrusive and modest—he seems very muchpleased with the Wool and very much surprised at its uniform goodcharacter—indeed Edward you would not be a little surprisedto see the wool house just now—every bin full up to thebrims with fleeces, all evenly and neatly piled and covered withcloths to prevent dust from soiling its present purity ofappearance—there is a very manifest improvement in theWool—which you would not fail to discern—this is asource of solid satisfaction to us all—for which and formany other blessings, my heart dilates, with thankfulness toAlmighty God—the Giver of all Good.

I am not aware whether any part of the family will write by Dr.Cooke but myself—and your father writes to John by sameship about the ensurance for the Wool, I heard from Parramatta onFriday last all the dear circle there was well excepting thatyour father is low and complaining—Frederick Thompson isnow at Parramatta he went there last Wednesday—by acommunication from Mary—I find he was at Sydney on Fridaymost likely he will return here this evening or to-morrow, he isquite well and but lately returned from Argyle where he wasstaying with our friend Strathaird and a week or two withHannibal and Maria at their residence at Arthursleigh—nearthe Wollondilly—You could not expect that Maria couldundertake such a journey—I believe one great inducement wasmy being here—she staid here a week on her way being partlydetained by rain—the party consisted of Hannibal, Maria(James who is becoming a fine young man) Charles, George and theInfant Arthur and nurse—we made it out very well were verymerry—the cottage pretty full as you may guess, I expectthe return of the party next Tuesday—I have had severalletters from Maria—expressing much pleasure in everythingaround her—Since my stay here we have had severalvisitors—Of the number Walter Davidson's relative Mr.Walter Mathieson and his Canton friend Mr. Dent both William andmyself were glad to show him all the civilities we could and theyboth promised to come again—We have also had the BrigadeMajor Colonel Snodgrass—well known in PeninsularHistory—and Mr. Colter the Collector of Customs, and weexpected a visit from your old friend Colonel Lindsay accompaniedby Capt. Forbes of the 39th, they had been making a little tourand by some mishap they lost their way got benighted—itpoured with rain and the poor Colonel had to sit in the Bush allnight under the shelter of his umbrella wet andcomfortless—in the morning they made their way to the abodeof the young Mr. McLeays where they refreshed themselves andreturned to Sydney—apropos, these young McLeays ** are veryagreeable neighbours to William—they come herefrequently—having been well educated and really are wellconducted—lively and conversant with the manners of thetimes their society tends to enliven the atmosphere around Camdenwhere the topics of the day are brought forward in an agreeablemanner—from their Father's situation as Colonial Secretaryand the correspondence with their sisters—they hear earlyof all English intelligence—one of these sisters is latelymarried to Capt. William Dumaresq—another about 12 monthssince to Major Innes him you will remember—Mrs. ColonelDumaresq—has two children—She appears to me to be butlittle adapted for the wife of a Settler in New SouthWales—gentle and good natured I should think her—Ibelieve the Colonel does not take so high a standard in hisestimate of fortune to be acquired here—he has thrown awaya great deal of money I believe and secured very little ofcomfort—I have run away from the subject of the MacLeaysbefore I had quite done with it—Mr. George MacLeay theelder of the Brothers in this Country and who is known to yourfriend Major Williams accompanied Capt. Sturt also an aquaintanceof yours—on a long tour into the interior. They were absentI believe six weeks, or more discovered rivers etc. etc. Allwhich you will read in the Gazettes long since—now theyounger Brother James is going an interesting voyage—TheComet a King's ship sails from here to Pitcairn Island forthe purpose of removing the Islanders to Otaheite—anothervessel goes in company to assist in the removal of those, as yet,innocent and happy people—Mr. James MacLeay and Capt.Walpole of the 39th go in the Comet as a little voyage ofCuriosity and amusement—I have not heard whether thepatriarch old Adam, was alive when the Island was visitedlast—He certainly must be "Christian." The young man"Friday October Christian" must now have reached middleage—I feel more than common interest in thesepeople—considering Bligh's Tyranny as the cause of theirvery being—or at least of their being in such asituation.

We have had hitherto a delightfulSummer—seasonable rains and abundance of grass the stockare all in fine condition—but no demand for animalfood—the prices so low that it is a marvel that it pays fortaking to market—The harvest promises to be an abundant oneand the maize crop is equally promising to be productive—Iwill not attempt to give any description of the Garden which yousaw begun—it is now finished, and in the nicest possibleorder enriched with the finest fruit trees—and adorned withthe choicest flowers—the walks are so well raised andgravelled that you may walk in the garden immediately after veryheavy rain without soiling your Shoes—something rare inthis new Country—Mr. McAlister has not descended from thehighland since I have been at Camden—William had a letterfrom him a few days since in which he promises us a visitsoon—Poor fellow he has had a narrow escape in a skirmishwith a desperate set of Bushrangers—in which he was woundedbut not severely, one of the mounted police under his command wasalso wounded and a Constable severely so—the desperadoswere all finally captured—tried at Bathurst andexecuted—there are a few men out here committingdepredations on the most frequented roads in broad and opendaylight—our Government is so feeble andinefficient—you would hardly credit that such things couldbe done with impunity—for any length of time—I havebroken off to say that Frederick Thompson arrived from Parramattaabout 2 o'clock—left all well there and communicates thepleasing intelligence of the arrival of our friend Dr. Fairfowlwhom Frederick has seen and who gives most satisfactory accountsof you all—as soon as the Doctor gets released from hischarge in the ship he will come to Camden—We have receivedtwo letters from James by two different ships the earliest datedthe 12th of August wherein he tells us of his having taken hispassage in the Sovereign and of accompanying John to Parisprevious to his embarkation to return—another revolution inFrance!—I can scarce say I am surprised at it—Spainand Portugal next—I think will follow theexample—what an eventful life has that of the Duke ofOrleans been—him new called to the Throne of France—Ihave read so many of the works of the late Madame de Genlis thatthe history of the Orleans family is familiar to me—and nowmy dear, dear Edward let me thank you for kind communicationsentrusted to Mr. Koltz—for the valuable Book—and thepens with one of which I am now writing—whilst the paperthat enrolled them—lies before me with your caution, thatthey should be "carefully wiped" so like yourself, all your giftsprove useful, and indeed this is particularly so—I cannotsee to round a pen, and this has frequently prevented me fromwriting—Frederick's account of your father, is that he isstill very low "wonders what takes John to Paris at this agitatedtime"—and more at a loss why James should accompanyhim—We congratulate you in your appointment—yourfriend the Marquis has certainly shown you very marked attention,I should think him a kind and good man—in my early days Ihave heard the beauty of his Mother celebrated—if she wasas I believe Lady Charlotte Bertie—Did you ever hear theMarquis or his Mother the Dowager Marchioness mention Lieut.Forster whom his Lordship's Aunt Mrs. Lisle took an interestin?—this Mr. Forster married a sister of Mrs.Abbotts—he commanded a packet at Falmouth and was living ingreat comfort with his family when I last heard of them. I wasvery sorry to hear so poor an account of the health of Mrs.Davidson, her Brother looks another person since he came to PortJackson—Mr. MacQueen retires from Parliament and goesabroad I suppose to nurse his funds—A miserable business hehas made of his speculations in New South Wales, I cannot butfeel concerned at these failures, they are commenced rashly andunadvisedly, and upon a scale than cannot answer—I shallsay nothing of Parramatta—as I find by a note fromEmmeline, brought by Frederick that she has written toyou—William is too much occupied and too busy towrite—you will have a letter from him by the Woolships—I trust you will have welcomed to England our dearkindhearted friend T. H. Scott—I had fully purposed writingto him fifty times—and as often my intention has been putaside by an unaccountable feeling—if I could once hear hewas at home I could write to him with ease—he has caused agreat blank in our Society—I am gratified to find youoccasionally see Mr. Bigge and pleased with your mention of Genl.Foveaux and in short, am pleased with all yourcommunications—Dear John's letter to his sister by Mr.Koltz was a treasure—your father was gratified—hewrote to tell me so—Your warm hearted friend McAlister willscream with joy at your remembrance of him when he gets thePocket Book—A number of the old Servants enquire for youamongst the number T. Herbert who has been in our service 28years—And now beloved Edward I shall conclude with earnestprayers for the health and prosperity of yourself and our belovedJohn—to whom I do not write because this letter will answerthe same purpose of assurance that you are as dear as ever to methough so long separated—William and Frederick are out,walking to the Shearing Sheds or Wool House I may add the kindand affectionate remembrances of both—This goes toParramatta by a Cart only, in the morning, to be forwarded fromthence to Sydney—it is nearly dark and I cannot write bycandle light therefore I conclude myself, My dearest Edward,

Your affectionate Mother,

E. Macarthur.

I cannot even read over to correct what I havewritten make allowances for all errors.

Saturday, May 26th, 1832.

From Woolloomullah.

What a name!

My dearest Edward,

I believe it is just a fortnight since I commenced a letter toyou before, it was not concluded until a day or twoafter—this letter together with one from James to you, andone from him to Mr. Herb. Davis, were sent by the Platinain charge of Dr. Rutherford—this vessel sailed yesterdayweek—I write now by the Mary reported to sail forLondon about to-morrow—since my last your letter writtenfrom East Stoke Park on Xmas Eve has been received and has givenus much pleasure—it is just the place I would have wishedyou to be at that season—your account of the family is verydelightful and highly gratifying to us all—I have had thepleasure of a visit here from your sister Elizabeth since mylast—they staid two nights and we walked to the BotanicGardens together with Mary and Mr. B. I believe we saunteredabout three hours or more looked at many things you hadcontributed to the collection, and amongst the number theArbutus—it had grown out of my knowledge it is just nowbreaking into flower, there had been no plants propagated fromit, strange to say, it has been disfigured by repeated andinjudicious laying the branches—there is a new gardenformed contiguous, between the old—and "Farm Cove" which isthe boundary of the new—it is laid out after the plan ofthe "Glasgow Botanical Garden" of Dr. Hooker—and will bevery beautiful—the introductions from Moreton Bay promiseto be very ornamental—it assumes already a very tropicalcharacter—but as I intend this to be a short letter I mustnot let the Botanical Gardens run away with my pen—you willhave heard of poor Turner's death and that Mr. Allan Cunninghamwho was many years a collector of plants in this country for KewGardens is applied for from hence to succeed Turner—I wishhe may have the appointment, he is at present unemployed—asI learned from Dr. Cook who called here yesterday and told me heshould certainly sail in about a week, he has been toParramatta—and your two Brothers have been here staid anight and returned—your father also paid us a visit for aday he took home Elizabeth with him he is better dear Edward butstill too restless—I think, however, he will graduallybecome less visionary the sittings of the Council is postponed tothe 20th July—the Governor continues to be much afflictedby the loss of Mrs. Bourke he still continues atParramatta—James told me he had an appointment to see himon some business respecting the magistracy this morning—andhere let me stop to tell you that I am keeping house for yoursister who with the Doctor and little James have taken flight toParramatta purposing to return before it is dark they set out athalf past eight—the Infant is left at home I have beenstaying here little more than three weeks and this is the thirdtime I have written to you—I wish you may have patience todecipher my letters—We have intelligence from England aslate as the last week in January—I have read Mr. Bowman'spaper and observed upon the death of the unfortunate ColonelBurton—what an unhappy act and to what a state of feelingmust he have been excited!—We have had no furtherintelligence from the explorers into the Interior, under thedirection of Captain Forbes of the 39th if they should discover aRiver navigable to the Sea it will be of great importance to theCountry. Our last accounts from Argyle are that all there arewell, I have seen no late letter from Frederick. Hannibal atpresent is at his estates on the Wollondilly—he is expectedto return in about a week he will see Frederick andMacAlister—If you communicate with T.H.S. soon, tell him Isaw Mrs. Charles Cowper this week and old Mr. Cowper they camehere to visit me—the Lady looks pretty well, but says herHusband is far otherwise—he had received a short letterfrom our friend dated in November last from Whitfield—Isuppose you correspond frequently particularly as you are so muchin the way of getting "franks." I shall look (with someimpatience) for letters from you next month, when we may concludeyou will have received our letters of last October—I mustnot revert to the feelings under which those werewritten—believe my dear Edward that you occupy my thoughtsdaily, and although I know you have many kind friends and thatyou need not be more alone than it is your desire to be—yetdo I feel that none of those, can be what, he was, whom perhapswe selfishly lament! I hope George continues with you—it isa great comfort to have a domestic to whom we have beenaccustomed and who is faithful. My letter goes this evening toMr. George Burn your acquaintance of old—he is the agentfor the ship Mary he is a good natured, obligingman—he and Mrs. Burn called here a day or two since thelady is of the Roman Catholic faith—a very inoffensiveperson, educated in a Convent. You say nothing of the goodMarquis and his family in your last letters—pray continueto forward to us any little billets you receive if practicable. Ishall now finish for the present—I may add a line in theCover when the travellers return to give you the latest news fromParramatta—accept my dear Edward of my prayers for yourhealth and comfort.

Your affectionate Mother,

E. Macarthur.

Pray remember us kindly to Walter Davidson andMrs. Davidson.

Mr. Bowman and Mary are returned quite well James and Emmelineaccompanied them on their way, beyond Home Bush the estate of Mr.Wentworth—you will receive a letter from James withthis—Mary tells me, he sets out for Camden to-morrowleaving William at home who is complaining of a slight sorethroat. And now adieu here all send their love.

{Page 470}

Chapter XIV.


The year 1831 brought sorrow to the Macarthurs in the death oftheir second son John, who was suddenly cut off just as he hadattained a position as an Equity Barrister in the London Courts,which would soon have led to high professional distinction. Thiswas a heavy affliction, not merely to his family and friends, forthe young barrister while living in London suffered no fairopportunity to escape him of advancing Australian interests invarious important matters, thus practically carrying out thelessons instilled into the minds of all Macarthur's children,that it was their duty to promote the welfare of their nativecountry by every means in their power.

His mother had not seen him since she parted from him in 1800(with that self-sacrifice that is born of true love) for purposesof education, but their letters show how strong the bond betweenmother and son remained during the years of separation. He wrotevery fully of his life and pursuits, sent books, papers, andletters, which she read and commented upon, and at the same timekept him informed of the daily round of the family at ElizabethFarm and Camden.

Macarthur's last years were spent between the two homes, andat Camden he watched the building of the present house in whichhe never lived. He died on April 10th, 1834, at The Cottage (nowthe Home Farm at Camden Park), and is buried on a site chosen byhimself where he had been in the habit of walking to enjoy thecool breeze and beautiful view over the Cowpastures, and whencehe could see the flocks of sheep and herds of horses and cattlecontentedly grazing, and watch the crops spring up—for manyacres were under cultivation.

Their friend, Archdeacon Scott, wrote of him:—

"Possessed of a mind powerful and energetic. . .. my valued and esteemed friend. . . . displayed on alloccasions, when called forth a judgment and clear apprehension ofevents. . . . rarely even united in one mind. . . . Our bestconsolation is in the high character for honor and intergity hehas left behind him, and as he lived beloved by all his family sohe has died respected by all who knew him. . . . In all thediscussions I had with him I never left him but with improvementand increased esteem and respect."

These notes on his character were written by James.

"My father was a man of quick and generousimpulses loth to enter into a quarrel, but bold anduncompromising when assailed and at all times ready to take armsagainst oppression or injustice, whether in his own case or thatof others, and more especially of those who claimed his aid frominability to maintain their own just rights. He was well read inEnglish literature and frequently quoted passages fromShakespeare, Hudibras Spenser and Milton as well as from Addison.Of Walter Scott, and the finer passages of Byron, he was a greatadmirer. Crabbe too was a favourite author. In politics he wasfrom natural inclination and from admiration of the man, of theschool of Pitt. He preferred Pitt's oratory to that of Fox,though a great admirer of the latter. But he was no narrow mindedTory either in his opinions or practice. I should say that he hadformed himself almost too much upon the old Roman model, butnevertheless he bore no implacable animosities and was a generousadversary when opposed by men who differed from him in a fair andmanly way. He admired the character of Coriolanus; ScipioAfricanus still more. The shining characters of Ancient History,as well as of modern times, were frequently subjects ofconversation with his family. In his happier moods the power ofillustration with which his conversation abounded was mostremarkable, and his discourse was imbued with a spirit of trulyChristian benevolence and calm philosophy which made him adelightful and most instructive companion."

Elizabeth Macarthur's earnest hope that she might again seeher mother, her friends, and the home of her childhood, was notfulfilled.

She died beloved and revered by all who knew her in 1850, andis buried beside her husband at Camden Park.

Through all the difficulties and trials that beset her path,her Christian spirit shines forth, and in all the letters to herchildren, with whom she corresponded regularly until her death,there is found no complaining or ill-natured word.

There were eight children of the marriage:—

Edward, who became Major-General SirEdward Macarthur. He married Sarah Neill, a sister of GeneralNeill, of Lucknow fame.

James, who died in infancy,

John, who died in London in 1831.

James, who married Emily Stone, ofStone's Bank, Lombard Street. Their only child, Elizabeth,married Captain Arthur Onslow, R.N.

William, who lived at Camden Park withJames, and was Knighted for his work as a Commissioner forAustralia at the Paris Exhibition of 1855.

Elizabeth, who died unmarried in184—.

Mary, who married Dr. Bowman, of theGeneral Hospital, Sydney.

Emmeline, who married Sir Henry WatsonParker, and died at Sheen, Surrey, England, in 1888.

Some Early Records of the Macarthurs of Camden (15)

Mrs. John Macarthur

Let us bring the volume to a close with the only letter thatcan be found from Elizabeth Macarthur to her husband.



My dearest MacArthur,

We had the pleasure to receive Mr. Koltz on our return from alittle ramble, which we had been induced to take after dinnerover the Stony range—and to return and take a look at theVineyard, to observe how the vines looked after so muchrain—we did not think Mr. Koltz would have made his way outso soon—however, William was well pleased to seehim—and they soon entered into interesting conversationconcerning the wool—this morning, as nothing else was to bedone they have been examining what wool remains in the wool houseunpacked. Mr. Koltz seems to approve of its condition and generalcharacter—the rain having again recommenced—there islittle or nothing to be done—Mr. Koltz appears all that yousay—and I hope he will prove a valuable acquisition to thisestablishment—and relieve our dear William from someportion of his cares—I have read all the English letterswhich cost me a great application of Eye-sight—I could notget through them at all last night—Our dear and belovedsons—their images seemed to hover round me, when I retiredto rest—God bless them—and strengthen them in thosevirtuous dispositions and honorable qualities, which you have atan early age impressed upon their minds and imparted to them, byexample. I hope dear James is on his way out by thistime—John's letter to his sister tho' short is full ofinformation—he seems to think the affairs of England in avery unsettled state, I perceive—I hope you have recoveredfrom the oppression you were suffering from yesterday—I hadsomething of it myself and I expected from my feelings, that achange again in the weather was about to take place—we hada great deal of lightning last night—Many thanks for youroffer of sending Macdonald up with the new carriage for myaccommodation—if it would please God to let us have fairand somewhat settled weather again—I should indeed be veryglad to have it here. William will I dare say write and tell youall that all here is well as can be expected—I have writtena gossiping letter to Elizabeth and must write a line or two toEm.

Believe me to be, my dearest MacArthur,

Ever your affectionate wife,

E. Macarthur.

{Page 475}


Account of Stock Sales extracted from DayBooks.

T. C. HarringtonBay Filly, 3 yrs60 guineas
DittoYoung Malvinia50 guineas
James Thompson25 wethers at 30s.37100
Mr. Iceley10 x-bred rams at 50s.2500
Capt. Collins,
of theRegalia
2 Bulls at 25 guineas52100
Ditto20 x-bred rams at 50s.5000
Ditto10 wethers at 30s.1500
DittoHorse, Old Smiler5000
Ditto3 yr. old filly4500
Major OvensGrey Helen and her 2 yr.
old gelding
Mr. Iceley1 2yr. old Bull2650
Mr. Rankin3 x-bred rams, 1st quality1500
Edward Riley4 merino rams, 1st
Dr. Douglas6 Rams 7 gns., 1 Bull 30
Mr. Redfern4 merino rams, 2nd
Ditto{ 2 x-bred, 1st quality.
Mr. Oxley2 2yrs. old and 1 yearling
merino ram, 2d. quality
Mr. Harrington4 yr. old mare and foal9000
Mr. LittleMerino ram, 1st quality2000
Ditto3 x-breds, 1st quality1500
C. Throsby, Esq.Merino ram, 1st quality2000
Government9 rams at 15 dollars 75
cents each
Mr. Scott2 merino rams, 2nd

Account Sale of MerinoRams.
Aspinall and Brown4 at £12 10s.5000
Edward Riley12 at £1210s.15000
Capt. King4 at £12 10s.5000
Wm. Hayes3 at £11 5s.33150
R. Scott2 at £12 10s.2500
John Oxley4 at £12 10s.5000
Ditto1 at £101000
Messrs. Cox.7 at £12 10s.87100
Ditto7 at £11 5s.78150
Geo. Innes4 at £12 10s.5000
Mr. Rankin2 at £12 10s.2500
Mr. Forbes2 at £11 5s.22100
52 rams£632100

Average Price £12 3s. each.
Mr. Dangar4 x-bred rams1600
V. Jacobs4 x-bred rams1600
W. Cordeaux4 x-bred rams1600

Account Sale of Rams sold at Parramatta by Auction,
September 14th, 1825.

Mr. Webber34 yr. old rams
at £11 10s.
Mr. Boughton14 yr. old ram11001100
Mr. Corry1""1050
Mr. Glennie1""700700
Mr. Mclntyre1""9100
Ditto13 yr. old18100
Dr. Throsby14 yr. old15150
Ditto13 yr. old1950
Mr. Oxley14 yr. old1800
Ditto13 yr. old1350
Ditto14 yr. old1700
Mr. R. Scott12 yr. old1550
Ditto13 yr. old15150
Mr. Chas. Thompson1yearling1800
Ditto13 yr. old1900
Orphan School,
per Mr. Busby
1yearling ram15100
Ditto13 yr. old1900
Dr. McLeod1yearling17100
Ditto13 yr. old2100
Mr. Lawson
(Dr. Douglas)
Ditto13 yr. old2150
Mr. Geo. Forbes1yearling17100
Ditto13 yr. old17150
Mr. HoweA3 yr. old ram23002300
Bought in for
12 yr. old22150
Average of sale 50 Ramsat£182s.90500

General Account sales—continued.

Mr. Macalister5 yearlings at £18 2s.9000
James Thompson
100 wethers at 32s. 6d.162100
David Johnston1 Merino ram, 2½ years
old, at average of

Mr. Macalister132 ewes at £3 3s.
A. A. Company10 Merino rams at £1616000
Ditto7 Bulls at 20 guineas30700

A.A. Coy.760 Ewes at £5 5s.3,99000
Ditto15 wethers at £l 10s.22100
T.C. HarringtonBay mare, 3 yrs6000
A.A. Coy.10 mares at £52 10s.52500
Collins30 wethers at 28s.
A.A. Coy.Grey gelding, 5½ yrs.5000
Sold at ParramattaBay gelding, 5 yrs.5000
Thos. Iceley, Esq.4 2yr. old Bulls at £2510000
John LewisChesnut-Bay Filly4000
Collins30 wethers at 27s.
R. Brooks2 rams. 1st quality at
James Thorn10 wethers at 23s.
Messrs. O'Brien1 Merino ram, 1st
Messrs. O'Brien2 Merino rams, 2nd
Ditto2 Merino rams, 3rd
Mr. Futter8 Merino rams, 1st
Ditto1 Bull, 25 guineas2650
Mr. Busby1 ram, 1st quality1000
Ditto1 ram, 2nd quality7100
Ditto2 rams, 3rd quality1000
Capt. Coghill2 rams, 1st quality2000
Mr. Gaffin3 Merino rams, 2nd
quality, £7 10s.
Alex Warren
(Hunter River)
3 Merino rams, 2nd
quality, £7 10s.
Wm. Balcombe4 Merino rams, 2nd
Mr. Bowen3 yr. grey gelding4200
Mr. Andrew Allen3 Merino rams at £103000
Mr. Galbraith5 yr. old, Brown Duchess6300

Orphan Institution2 Bulls at £255000

W. C. Penfold & Co.,Printers. 183 Pitt Street. Sydney.

{Page 481}


Arndell, Surgeon, to Governor King

Atkins, Judge Advocate,to John Macarthur
from John Macarthur

Banks, Sir Joseph, from Governor King
Bathurst, Lord, from John Macarthur

Brisbane, Governor,from Barron Field
from Judge Advocate Wylde
Bigge, Commissioner,to John Macarthur
from John Macarthur

Calvert, Adjutant,to Lieut. Colonel Johnston
from Lieut. Colonel Johnston
Camden, Lord,to Governor King
from Governor King

Davidson, Walter,from Edward Macarthur
from John Macarthur

Deputies to Woollen Manufacturers

Fennell, Captain, from James Macarthur

Field, Barron,to Governor Brisbane
from John Macarthur

Goulburn, Secretary,to John Macarthur
to Wm. Macarthur
to Watson-Taylor
from John Macarthur
from Watson Taylor

Hall, George, to Governor King
Hassall, Rowland, to Governor King

Jamieson, James, to Governor King

Johnston, Lieut. Col.,to Adjutant Calvert
to Lord Liverpool
to Officers
from Adjutant Calvert
from Officers

King, Governor,to Sir Joseph Banks
to Lord Camden
to John Macarthur
to Edw. Wood
from Thos. Arndell
from Lord Camden
from Geo. Hall
from R. Hassall
from J. Jamieson
from John Macarthur
from Ed. Robinson
from T. Rowley
from Jas. Sheppard
from Ed. Wood
Kingdon, Miss,to Mrs. Macarthur
from Miss Macarthur
from Mrs. Macarthur

Liverpool, Lord, from Lt.-Col. Johnston

Macarthur, Edward,to W. Davidson
to James Macarthur
to John Macarthur
to Mrs. Macarthur
from Mrs. Macarthur
from General Tench

Macarthur, Hannibal, to John Macarthur

Macarthur, James,to Captain Fennell
to John Macarthur
to Wm. Macarthur
from Ed. Macarthur
from John Macarthur, Jr.
Macarthur, John,to Judge Advocate Atkins
to Lord Bathurst
to Commissioner Bigge
to Committee of Privy Council
to W. Davidson
to Barron Field
to Barron Field
to Secretary Goulburn
to Governor King
to John Macarthur, Jr.
to Mrs. John Macarthur
to Lieut. Smith
to Lt. Gov. Sorell
to Capt. Waterhouse
from Judge Advocate Atkins
from Commissioner Bigge
from Secretary Goulburn
from Governor King
from Edward Macarthur
from Hannibal Macarthur
from James Macarthur
from John Macarthur, Jr.
from Mrs. John Macarthur
from Wm. Macarthur
from Lt. Gov. Sorell
from Capt. Waterhouse
Macarthur, John, Jr.,to James Macarthur
to John Macarthur
to Mrs. Macarthur
to Wm. Macarthur
to Wilmot-Horton
from John Macarthur
from Wilmot-Horton
Macarthur, Mrs. John,to Miss Kingdon (see Kingdon)
to Edward Macarthur
to John Macarthur
to Mrs. Veale
from Miss Kingdon
from Edward Macarthur
from John Macarthur, (see Macarthur John)
from John Macarthur, Jr.

Macarthur, Miss, to Miss Kingdon

Macarthur, Wm.,to John Macarthur
from Secretary Goulburn
from James Macarthur
from John Macarthur, Jr.

Officers,to Lieut. Col. Johnston
from Lieut. Col. Johnston

Privy Council, from John Macarthur

Robinson, Ed., to Governor King
Rowley, T., to Governor King

Sheppard, Jas., to Governor King
Smith, Lieut., from John Macarthur

Sorell, Lieut. Governor,to John Macarthur
from John Macarthur

Tench, General, to Edward Macarthur

Vansittart, Nicholas, from John Macarthur
Veale, Mrs., from Mrs. John Macarthur (q.v.)

Waterhouse, Captain,to John Macarthur
from John Macarthur
Watson-Taylor,to Secretary Goulburn
from Secretary Goulburn
Wilmot-Horton, J.,to John Macarthur, Jr.
from John Macarthur, Jr.
Wood, Ed.,to Governor King
from Governor King

Wylde, Judge Advocate, to GovernorBrisbane

{Page 485}


Abbott, Lieutenant
Attack on Gov. Phillip
Corroboree of
Depredations of
Habits of
Murder by
Names of
Presents to
Schools for
Small Pox attacks
Theories of
Accounts of Insurrectionary Government
"Admiral Gambier", ship—
Macarthur on board
Harris on board
At Camden
Macarthur's views on
Anderson, John
"Argo", ship—to carry Spanish sheep
Army in Spain—conditions of
Arndell, Thomas—opinions re sheep
Arthursleigh—residence of H. Macarthur
Atkins, Judge Advocate—
Associate of Crossley
Altercations with Court
Charged with swindling
Issues warrant for Macarthur's arrest
Protest against, by Macarthur
Australian Agricultural Coy.—
Engagement of Button
Formation of
Minute Books of
Sale of Wool
Australians, Macarthur's opinion of

Banks, Sir Joseph—
Attempts to prevent export of sheep fromEngland
Cautions Macarthur re exportingsheep
Character and habits of
Coolness with Macarthur
Interference of
Natural History specimens for
Receives Gov. King's letter reMacarthur's return
Supports Bligh's cause
Wool, opinion of N.S.W.
Belmont, grant of, to Davidson
Bent, Judge Advocate—
Views of
Succeeded by Wylde
Berry, Alexander—establishment
Bigge, Commissioner—
Character of
Departure for Tasmania
Horses lent by Macarthur
Interview with Macarthur
Inquiry by
Macarthur's proposals to
Proposed as Governor
Quarrel with Macquarie
Residence at Sydney
Report of
Secretary of
Seeks Macarthur's advice
Blaxcell, Garnham—accounts with
Blaxland, John—refusal to pay Bill
Bligh, Governor—
Arrest of urged
Arrest, Elliot's opinion of
Arrival in England
Conduct of
Created Admiral
Deposition of
Disputes with Macarthur
Examination of "Parramatta's" crew
Meeting with Macarthur
Opposition to Macarthur
Orders Macarthur's arrest
Proceedings against
Protégé of Banks
Quarrel with Captain Short
Receives a pension
Recommended as Governor
Refusal to intervene against Atkins
Tench's opinion of
Botanical Gardens
Bowman, Dr.—
Disliked by Macquarie
Friend of Bigge's
Hospital, reforms of
Married to Mary Macarthur
Brisbane, Sir James—Commander of H.M.S. "Warspite"
Brisbane, Sir Thomas—
Action over Camden grants
Appeal to, from Macarthur
Children of
Departure of
Friction with Secretary
Instructions re Macarthur's grants
Observatory of
Offers Macarthur a magistracy
Proposed Governor
Visit to Camden
Withdrawal of offer of magistracy
Brogden, Mr.—
Advocates Macarthur's return
Chairman of Committees
Criticises colonial finance
Member of Parliament

Grants at
Improvements at
Macarthur's promise of grant at
Occupation of grant at
Purchase of land at
Store building at
Camden Grants—
Camden's promise of
Exchange of Foveaux's land
5,000 acres
4,368 acres for rams
Negotiations re
Objections to
Offer of Mountain grant
Purchase of 5,700 acres
Camden, Lord—
Grants Macarthur 10,000 acres
Orders Macarthur's grant
Orders Davidson's grant
Area of
Lease of
Offer of to Macarthur
Reserve at
Coats from N.S.W. wool
Commercial ventures
Assigned to Macarthur
Inquiry re proposed
Master's power over
Rations of
Wages of
Cook, Mr. Secretary—
Opinion of Macarthur's actions
of his trial
Supports Governor Bligh
Court Martial—
On Johnston
On Wright
Cowpastures (see Camden)
Criminal Court, Macarthur before
Crossley, George—
Associate of Atkins
Prepared information against Macarthur
Cunningham, Allan

Dalrymple, Port—condition of settlement at
D'Arietta—receives a grant
Darling, Major General—appointment as Governor
Davidson, Walter—
Arrival in Sydney
Assigned servants of
King's opinion of
Nephew of Sir W. Farquhar
Receives grant of land
Dawes, Lieutenant
Dollis, Alexander
Douglas, Dr.—
Opposition to Macarthur
Receives land grant
"Duke of Kent", ship—
Jamieson a passenger

Directions re wool pressing
Opinions of wool
Wool auctioneer and broker
Edwards, Thomas—Macarthur's servant
Elizabeth Farm—
Acreage of
Description of
Grant of
Grants near
Laborers at
Near Parramatta
Stock at
Emancipists—life of
Emus—presented to Lady Castlereagh
England—condition of

Farquhar. Sir Walter—
Action of
Friendship for Macarthur
Physician to Prince of Wales
to Macarthur
Fashions in England
Fennel, Captain, Aide-de-camp to Brisbane
Field, Barron—
Character of
Challenge from Macarthur
Judge of Supreme Court
Objections to Macarthur as a Magistrate
In England
Mercantile failures
Protested Bills
Flax-dressing machine
Foveaux, Colonel—
Accusations against
Land of
Macarthur's opinion of
Sheep of
France, condition of
Fruit in N.S.W.

Geils, Major—
Departure for Sydney
Opinion of
Gilbert, Captain—
Character of
Dismissed from charge of "Neptune"
Disturbance caused by, at Plymouth
Duel with Macarthur
Master of transport "Neptune"
Glass for table use
"Gorgon", H.M.S.—arrival at Port Jackson
Goulburn, Major—
Friction with Brisbane
Opposition to Camden grants
Government House, Parties at
Government Policy, general account of
Grants at Camden—
Camden's promise of
5,000 acres
4,368 acres for rams
Exchange of Foveaux's
Negotiations re
Objections to
Offer of Mountain grant
Purchase of 5,700 acres
Grey, Edward
Grimes, Charles, Judge Advocate at Macarthur's trial
Grose, General
Grose, Mrs.—
Death of
In England
Passenger per H.M.S. "Gorgon"
"Guardian", H.M.S.—
Cause of wreck
Loss of
Wreck at the Cape

Hall, George, opinions re sheep
Harris, Surgeon John—
Accompanies Macarthur to a duel
Charges Atkins with swindling
Living at Sydney Cove
Surgeon on "Surprize"
Hassall, Rowland, opinions re sheep
Hayes, Sir Henry
Hill, Captain—
Arrest of
Passenger per "Surprize"
Sent to Norfolk Island
Hore, a convict
Hospital Rum
Hunter, Governor—
Coolness with Macarthur
Evidence before Privy Council
Resignation, cause of
Succeeds to Government

"Isabella", ship, loss of

Jamison, Surgeon—
Death of
Passenger per "Duke of Kent"
Jamieson, James, opinions re sheep
Johnston, Lieutenant Colonel—
Appointment in command of 102nd Regt.
Arrival in England
in Sydney
Assumption of Government
Consultations with Solicitors
Court Martial
Departure for England
Deposes Governor Bligh
Despatches of
Desires to remain in London
Health of
Interviews Northumberland
Invites charges against Macarthur
Liberates Macarthur
Loan from Macarthur
from Harrison
Loyalty of officers to
Ordered to England
Passage to N.S.W. refused
Proof of Bligh's misconduct
Statement of his case

King, Captain—
Fiance of Miss Lethbridge
Sheep of
Surveying the Coast
King, Mrs.—
Confinement of
Illness of
Maiden name
King, Philip Gidley—
Commandant at Norfolk Island
Criticisms of Macarthur's proposals
Criticism of Cowpasture grants
Death of
Delay in granting land to Macarthur
Departure for England
Experiments of, in breeding
Quarrel with Macarthur
Receipt of land grant orders
Reports on wool industry
Sale of 100 Govt. ewes to Macarthur
Wild cattle proposals
Writes Banks re Macarthur's arrival

"Lady Warburton", ship—passengers per
Land Grants—
Objections to Macarthur's
Regulations for
To Anderson
To Davidson
To Dollis
To John Macarthur (see Camden and ElizabethFarm)
To James Macarthur
To Wm. Macarthur
To Mrs. Macarthur
Law Department, description of
Lawrence, John, gardener
Legislative Council—
Establishment of
Members of
Life in N.S.W.—in 1816
in 1818
in 1825
Under Macquarie
Lindsay, Dr.—
Author of article in press
Perusal of report of proceedings
Live Stock—
Decline in value
Price of
Liveries for servants
"Lord Eldon", transport—Macarthur passenger in
Lucas, Miss—
Arrival in Sydney
Governess to Macarthurs

Macarthur, Edward—
Arrivals in England
Arrival at Parramatta
Arrival at Sydney
Commission to be obtained
Delivers despatches to Colonel Gordon
to the Duke of Northumberland
Departures of
Ensign 60th Regt.
Entrusted with Johnston's despatches
Forecast of public opinion on trial
Hardships in Spain
Health of
In battle
In Gibraltar
In Paris
In Quebec
In Spain
In Sicily
Lieutenant 39th Regt.
Marriage of
Northumberland's opinion of
Residing with Thompson
Macarthur, Emmeline, marriage and death of
Macarthur, Elizabeth—
Death of
Departure for England
Illness of
Return to N.S.W.
Macarthur, Hannibal—
Arrival in Sydney
At Arthursleigh
Commercial reports of
Criticism of official methods
Flock of
Opinion of Macquarie
Purchase of Waterhouse's Farm
Return to England
to N.S.W.
Sale of wool
Visits Cowpastures
Macarthur, James, death of in infancy
Macarthur, James—
Age of
Character of
Departure for England
Grant of land
Marriage of
Negotiations re grants
Notes on Johnston's Court Martial
Refusal of magistracy
Return of
Study of agriculture
of commerce
of viticulture
Tour in Westmoreland
Visit to France
to England
Macarthur, John—
Accounts of during insurrection
Acreage of
"Admiral Gambier", on board of
Advice sought by Bigge
Advocate of free settlers
Agitation for return to N.S.W.
Agreement for sale of rams
Anxiety about Johnston's trial
Application for convicts
Arrest attempted by Oakes
Arrested in Sydney
Arrival at Plymouth
at Port Jackson
in England
Assigned servants of
Assistance offered to Bigge
Birth and birthplace
Bligh's opposition to
Cattle, of
Censure by Nepean
Challenge to Field
Character of
Commission in N.S.W. Corps
Commission in 68th Foot
Commission sold
Company, Pastoral, proposed
Coolness with Govr. Hunter
Cook's opinion of
Death of
Departure for N.S.W.
Dismissal of crew of "Parramatta"
Disputes with Bligh
Duel with Capt. Gilbert
with Col. Paterson
Embarkation on "Neptune"
Enquiries re sheep drafted
Entertains Governor Brisbane
Evidence before Bigge
before Privy Council
Eulogium of
Family of
Farming at Holsworthy
Finances of
Forebodings of
Government opposition to
Grant of 10,000 acres promised
Grant delayed by Governor King, no Grant
Grant, request for
Grants to
Grave of
Health of
Horses of
Income of
Inspector of Public Works
Interview with Bigge
with Home Office
"Lady Warburton", on board of
Johnston's opinion of
Land of, in 1794
in 1805
Lease of land
Legal proceedings against Bligh
Liberation by Johnston
Life under Governor Phillip
under Lieut. Gov. Grose
Loan of horses to Bigge
Loan to Johnston
Magistracy proposed
Manufacturers approached
Medals granted to
Meeting with Bligh
with Sir Robert Farquhar
Member of Council
Memorialises Privy Council
Mentioned in Wentworth's book
Negotiations for return
Occupies Camden grant
Opinion on marriage
Passage provided to N.S.W.
Paymaster of Corps
Petition for Governor's arrest
Prejudice against
Presents Camden's letter to Governor
Prisoner in gaol
Proposals to Bigge
Prospects of
Protest against Atkins as Judge Advocate
Purchase of land
of Royal sheep
of Foveaux's sheep
Quarrel with Banks
with King
with Nepean and Gilbert
Reception of, by Macquarie
Reforms suggested by
Release on bail
Request for 50,000 acres
Request for Judge's letter
Residence at Camden
Return to N.S.W.
Return to N.S.W. after the BlighInsurrection
Sale of rams
Secretary of Colony
Sheep, first of
Stock of
Suggestion to Bigge
to Brisbane
Summoned before Judge Advocate
Superintendent at Toongabbie
Trial by Criminal Court
Trial by Insurrectionaries
Visit to France
to Italy
to Switzerland
Views on agriculture
on wool industry
Voyage to Australia
Voyage to England
Whaling vessel owned by
Wild cattle, proposals for taming
Wool industry, ideas of
Macarthur, John, Junior—
Birth of
Character of
Charge of wool sales
Colonial agency desired
Death of
Departure for England
Dinner with wool buyers
at school
at University of Glasgow
at Cambridge
Exertions to make wool market
Negotiations re land
Oil exemption act
Opinions on wool reported
Promoter of A.A. Company
Prospects of
Reserve values of wool
Studies of
Macarthur, Mrs. John—
Accounts of Colony
Account of business affairs
Arrival at Plymouth
Character of
Conduct of
Death of
Death of infant son
Departure for N.S.W.
Discomforts on ship
Description of the Cape
Favored by Governor Phillip
Health of
Impressions on return of sons
Invitations to Government House
Journal of
Life in Sydney
Management of business
Marriage, opinions of
Opinion of Bligh
Piano lent by Worgan
Presents for
Removal to Rose Hill
Study of Music and Botany
Visit to England proposed
Macarthur, Mary—marriage of
Macarthur, William—
Action re Judge's letter
Age of
Character of
Departure for England
Fondness for sea
Grant of land
Offer and refusal of magistracy
Return of
School days
Sheep farmer by choice
Studies viticulture
Visits France, Italy, and Switzerland
Youngest child
McBean, Thomas Carpenter
Macquarie, Governor—
Administration of
Appointment of
Arbitrariness of
Character of
Charges against
Complaints against
Criticism of actions
Death of
Instructions to re Macarthur
Kindness of
Quarrel with Bigge
Recall rumored
Reception of Macarthur
Recommendation from required
Son of
Successor to Paterson
Unpopularity of
Visit to Bathurst
Macquarie Mrs.—
Characteristics of
Health of
Movements of
Pension for
Proposed for Macarthur
for James and Wm. Macarthur
Judge's letter reManufacturers,Woollen—
Opinion of wool
Advocacy of N.S.W.
Letter to Lords of the Treasury
from Deputies
Manufacture of wool
Maoris, visits of
Market prices
Marsden, Reverend Samuel—
Age of
Arrival of
Character of
Conduct in England
Draft of inquiries re sheep
Drawing of ewe and ram sent to RoyalSociety
Examination of flocks by
In England
Marsh and Ebsworth—
Best wool brokers
Wool auctioneers
Marshall, Captain—
Account of N.S.W.
Character of
Commander of a First Fleet transport
Master of "Scarborough"
Murray, Andrew, gardener

Napoleon, Emperor—
Escape from Elba
Escape from Russia
In Paris
Receives a check
Nepean, Captain—
Censures Macarthur
Character of
Embarks on "Neptune"
Living at Sydney Cove
Supporter of Trail against Macarthur
"Neptune", Transport—
Arrangements on board
Arrival at Plymouth
at Portsmouth
Departure from Motherbank
Disturbances at Plymouth
Gilbert, master of
dismissed from
Macarthur embarks on
transferred from
Passengers on
Rations on board
Trail appointed Captain
New South Wales—
Condition of
Description of
Nightingale, General—Appointed Governor
Norfolk Island—
Crew of "Sirius"
Description of
Means of subsistence at
Products of
Rations at
Seabirds at
Northumberland, Duke of

Oakes, Chief Constable—Attempted arrest of Macarthur by
Oxley, John—
Account of Bligh's proceedings
Expectations of
Explorations of
Letters from
Opposition to Camden grants
Sheep of

Parker, Captain—Commander of "Gorgon"
Parker, Mrs.—wife of Captain Parker
Parker, Sir Hy. Watson—
Marriage of
Parramatta—road to from Sydney
"Parramatta", Ship—
Arrival of
Crew dismissed by Macarthur
Detention of by naval officer
Examination of crew by Bligh
Hore, a convict found on board
Paterson, Colonel—
Death of
Duel with Macarthur
Widow of
Paterson, Mrs.—
Passenger per H.M.S. "Gorgon"
Escorted by Macarthur
Phillip, Governor—
Wounded by natives
Departure of
Piano—lent to Mrs. Macarthur by Surgeon [W]organ
Plough—first in use
Plummer, Mr.—adviser to Ed. Macarthur
Port Jackson—description of
Postage on letters
Prentice, Mr.—
Arrest of
Passenger per "Surprize"
Sent to Norfolk Island
Press for wool
Prinsep, John—Evidence before Privy Council
Privy Council—
Edivence of Macarthur
of Prinsep
of Hunter
Land grant to Macarthur recommended
Memorialised by Macarthur
Wool industry to be encouraged
Public Pastoral Company—
Land grant required for
Modus operandi
Proposal for
Putland Mrs.—daughter of Gov. Bligh

Rations at Port Jackson
Redfern, Mr.—
Appointment of
Treatment of Eliz. Macarthur
Revolution, French
Robinson, Edward, opinions re sheep
Robinson, Michael, entertained by Macquarie
Rose Hill—
Comparison with Sydney
Description of
Named Parramatta
Rowley, Thomas, opinions re sheep
Rumker, Mr., Astronomer to Brisbane

"Scarborough", Transport—
Arrival at Cape
Macarthur transferred to
Marshall, master of
Passengers by
Scott, Mr.—
Cautioned against Macarthur
Opinion of Macarthur
Secretary to Bigge
Shapcote, Lieutenant—agent for transports
Advantages of industry
Agreement for sale of rams
Breeding of
Breeds of
Carcase, improvements to
Conditions required for
Condition of at Camden
Constitution of
Crossbreds, opinions of
Crossing of
Examination of, by Marsden
Feeding, mode of
First, the
Government ewes sold to Macarthur
Increase of
Introduction of
Introduction of merinos
Lambing season
Land required for
Macarthur's breed of
Merino, introduction
Mortality of
Numbers of
Pasturage for
Pests of
Price of
Privy Council's opinion on
Prizes for
Purchase of from Royal flock
Rams for Tasmania
Report on, by Wood
Sales of
Shears wanted
Shearing of
Shepherding, mode of
Values of
Washing of
Weight of
Seven Hills Estate—exchange of
Short, Capt.—Court Martialled
"Sirius", [also "Syrius"] H.M.S.—
Crew at Norfok Island
Loss of
Smith, Lieutenant—
In charge of Macarthur's stores
Reports of N.S.W.
Society of Arts—issues medals to Macarthur
Society in Sydney—in 1791
in 1822
Society in London
Sorell, Lieutenant-Governor—
Approval of Macarthur's schemes
Proposal for prize fund
Settlers require rams
Stock sales, accounts of
Stone, Emily
Sturt, Captain, explorations of
"Supply", H.M.S.—
Ball, Commander of
Despatched to Batavia
return from
Sent to Norfolk Island
"Surprize", transport, passengers per

Tench, General—opinion of Bligh
Terry, Mr.—land of
Thompson, Mr.—
Edward Macarthur lives with
Intimate with Governor King
"Three Bees", ship—destruction by fire
Throsby, Dr.—
Cattle of
Property of
Townsend, Mr.—
Passenger per "Scarborough"
Resident at Sydney Cove
Transferred to "Neptune"
Trail, Captain—
Appointed master of "Neptune"
Character of
Coolness with Macarthur
Wife of

Vansittart, Nicholas—letter from Macarthur
Veale, Mrs.—
Mother of Mrs. Macarthur
Resident at Bridgerule

"Warspite", H.M.S., arrival at Sydney
Washing gang
Washing plant
Waterhouse, Captain—
Acreage of farm
Description of pastures in N.S.W.
Management of sheep
Letter to Macarthur
from Macarthur
Waterhouse's Farm, purchased by Hannibal Macarthur
Watson, Mr.—
Adviser to Edward Macarthur
Reception to John Macarthur
Agitates for Macarthur's return
Advises Macarthur in negotiations
Services to Macarthur
Wentworth, Darcey—land of
Wentworth, William Charles—
Arrival in England
Book by
Characteristics of
Whaling vessel—owned by Macarthur
White, Colonel—departure for N.S.W.
Wild Cattle—proposals for taming
Wood, Edward—
Arrival in Sydney
Examination of flocks by
Report on flocks by
Wool sorter
Wood, Thomas—
Arrival in Sydney
Wool sorter
Arrival of
Auction of
Auctioneers of
Auction methods
Criticisms of shipments
Descriptions of shipments
Duty on
Export of
Freight on
Grass for
Insurance of
Market established
Market, condition of
Manufacture of in N.S.W.
Opinions of Manufacturers' deputies
Opinions of flock masters
Pressing of
Reserve values
Sale of
Samples of
Shipments of
Treatment of
Value of
Washing of
Wool Industry—Macarthur's views on
Wool Press
Woolstencroft, Mr.—establishment by
Worgan, Surgeon—
Of "Sirius"
Piano of
Wylde, Judge Advocate—
Appointment of
Objections to Macarthur as magistrate


Some Early Records of the Macarthurs of Camden (16)

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