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The Journal of Captain Mason

Part Three

Saturday October 1st

39  .  32  S  45  .  26  E

A fine morning.  Saw a large vessel before dark about 10 miles on our Starboard Quarter, last evening and this morning found she was about 10 miles on our weather Bow, and in about an hour or two run out of sight

Sunday October 2nd

39  .  26  S  49  .  24  E

In consequence of the Doctors being slightly indisposed and the weather being exceedingly cold there was no Divine Service on deck.  A large vessel hove in sight at about ˝ past 12 which appears to be coming up to us very fast

Monday October 3rd

39  .  55  S  53  .  49  E

A very beautiful morning with fine steady breeze from the West which enabled us to carry Studding Sails all the night.  Could see nothing of the Vessel which was in sight at Sunset yesterday evening

Tuesday October 4th

40  .  6  S  57  .  25  E

Wind not quite so strong as it has been for the last few days, and rather variable with occasional showers.  Became nearly calm towards evening

Wednesday October 5th

39  .  38  S  60  .  8  E

A fine stiff breeze from the S.W. but rather too much sea running to be agreable.  Smashed my watch last night which was rather provoking being one of the two which were the only ones going in the Ship.  Campbell had an extraordinary Connubial dream which was not revealed

Thursday October 6th

39  .  13  S  64  .  3  E

A most lovely morning with fine breeze tho very cold.  Killed one of my sheep to give the Boys a treat on Sunday.  Shot five Albatross but could not get any of them to fall on board.  Fire wood all burned out

Friday October 7th

39  .  10  S  66  .  53  E

A beautiful morning.  Tried to get some albatross but shot two which fell in the water.  Caught a very bad cold in my Stomach, which gave me the mullygrubs all the rest of the day.  N.B. always wear xxxxxx braces in cold blowing weather

Saturday October 8th

39  .  40  S  70  .  8  E

A beautiful morning with fine stiff breeze right aft, with a heavy swell from the N.W.  A very extraordinary fish was found in the main chains, which the rascal of a boy was stupid enough to throw overboard.  It was of a horny kind of substance and about 5 inches long as nearly as I can remember, and allowing for my being a very bad hand at hitting off a likeness resembling this  [fish sketch]

Sunday October 9

39  .  53  S  73  .  44  E

Very fine day with strong wind and a heavy swell.  Obliged to take in the Studding Sails about 11 oclock.  Amused myself with reading poor Miss Adams trial in the Lymerick which I stole from the 75th at the Cape

Monday October 10th

St Pauls

A beautiful morning with fine strong breeze and not a great deal of sea running.  About 10 oclock the Mate came into the Cuddy and said that St Pauls was in sight, which on going up on the Poop we found to be the case.  Were going to pass to the North of the Islands but just as we came up to it the Captain changed his mind and hauled up passing round to the South and S.E. of the land which was not very interesting being a very barren looking place, without a single tree to be seen

Tuesday October 11th

38  .  51  S  81  .  18  E

A very fine morning with a stiff breeze blowing right aft.  A very heavy sea running all night and this morning, which made her roll very much.  Did not get much sleep last night owing to the row of things tumbling about my head

Wednesday October 12th

38  .  31  S  85  .  14  E

A fine day but the wind died away a good deal towards the evening.  Did not go out of the Cuddy for above five minutes all day, as she was rolling a good deal, and the old Jolly Boat was on the Windward side of the Poop

Thursday October 13th

38  .  39  S  87  .  48  E

A very fine morning with beautiful breeze from N.W. and very little sea running so that the Jenny is running thro the water splendidly.  Had a capital walk on the poop as the Jolly boat is finished and put over the side again, which was a great relief as we were all getting vastly bilious for want of exercise.  tried to give the Doctor a beating at Chess but found the old box was not quite steady enough to allow us that kill time

Friday October 14th

39  .  25  S  92  .  58  E

A good strong breeze with a heavy sea running from the N.W.  the day was very gloomy and showery, but the Jenny waddled her old sides thro the water very famously having lots of the claith on her

Saturday October 15th

39  .  35  S  97  .  30  E

A very fine morning tho there was a tremendous sea running, and very strong breeze which came round a little more from the W.  The weather guy of the driver gave way about 2 oclock this morning, which let the boom go forward with a tremendous crash, which awoke some of the sleepers.  I turned a deaf year to it

Sunday October 16th

39  .  17  S  100  .  17  E

A fine hard morning with strong breeze from the W.S.W. and a very heavy sea running which made the old Tub roll most properly.  She shipped some very heavy seas last night, and the old Skipper was ˝ Cs over.  The Doctor turned out of his bed in the middle of the night in his shirt the sea having given her a terrible thump on the side, and waking most of us thereby

Monday October 17th

39  .  22  S  103  .  57  E

A most lovely morning with a fine clear wind from about the W.S.W.  Water rather smoother than yesterday.  Carried away the last studding sail boom but one yesterday evening, had the other up very soon xx which it is to be hoped will stand, till we get in.  Skipper again rather conglomerated

Tuesday October 18th

38  .  23  S  107  .  10  E

A very fine clear morning but last night we had a very strong blast from the South which made all her masts crack and the old canvas shake when at all buffed up too near the wind.  We were very fearful the wind was coming round more from the Eastward but are rather in hopes now that it seems inclined to fly back to the West

Wednesday October 19th

38  .  45  S  109  .  35  E

A very beautiful day but almost a calm all the morning, however a little breeze sprung up towards evening which seemed inclined to go back to its old Quarter

Thursday October 20th

32  .  39  S  112  .  42  E

A beautiful day with fine strong breeze from the S.W. by W.  and no very great deal of sea running, so that we got along famously.  Showery & squally throughout the day

Friday October 21st

39  .  2  S  116  .  12  E

A most beautiful day with strong wind from the S.W.  very cold, and a heavy sea running.  Making about 7 knots an hour

Saturday October 22nd

39  .  7  S  119  .  51  E

A fine day with nice steady breeze right aft.  Going about 7 Knots.  Rather lazy this morning.  amused ourselves with inventing safety stands for plates

Sunday October 23rd

39  .  6  S  123  .  55  E

A lovely day with fine steady breeze from the W.S.W. and a heavy swell from the S.W. which helps us along famously.  The last of the Cape Sheep was let loose on the deck where it tried to make friends with the old Cork one.  Old Napper seemed to think it was wolf in Sheep's clothing, and kept a respectful distance accordingly.  Alan who had been in Hospital for a few days yesterday returned to his duty, and Byway was obliged to go into Hospital

Monday October 24th

39  .  12  S  26  .  0  E

A fine morning but almost calm.  The sun did not make its appearance till after twelve oclock, so we have nothing but dead reckoning today

Tuesday October 25th

39  .  10  S  29  .  30  E

Nothing but dead reckoning again today as the Sun was not visible at 12 oclock tho the Captain got some sight in the morning, when it was very fine, and the water beautifully still, so that she was stepping along at 8 oclock, 9 knots & ˝ per hour.  A very heavy fall of rain about 2 oclock

Wednesday October 26th

39  .  56  S  32  .  54  E

A beautiful day with good steady breeze, but very cold, which we suppose is owing to the difference of Latitude

Thursday October 27th

39  .  51  S  36  .  54  E

A fine day tho rather squally.  Wind shifted round more to the South in the evening

Friday October 28th

39  .  31  S  139  .  53  E

A fine day but still rather squally.  All beginning to look out for land

Saturday October 29th

39  .  29  S  142  .  0  E

Weather very fine but the wind died away and we were almost becalmed all the evening.  Saw land on our Larboard bow a little before sunset

Sunday October 30th

39  .  30  S  143  .  39  E

A beautiful Summers day, but quite calm till about 11 oclock when there was a nice light breeze sprung up, and the water being as smooth as glass we got on pretty well.  Saw the same coast as we did last night but higher up, being Cape Otway, almost opposite to Kings Island which we viewed also at about ˝ past 11 oclock

Monday October 31st

Went round to the East side of Kings Island yesterday afternoon, as the Captain had some idea of dropping his anchor in Sea Elephant bay to cut some fire wood.  The Captain changed his mind after dinner there being a beautiful breeze from the West and we bore off at about 7 oclock steering E. by N.  Came in sight of land about 8 oclock this morning which turned out to be Wilsons Promontory which we came up to about 12 oclock steering straight for Sr R. Curtis Is.  The weather was very beautiful with a fine steady breeze and very smooth water

Tuesday November 1st

A very fine morning though almost a dead calm.  Got clear thro the strait last night and could just see the clouds rising off the coast this morning to the S.W. of Cape How.  All hands on board in high spirits at getting so near their destination

Wednesday November 2nd

Becalmed just off the shore to the S of the Ram Head yesterday in the evening and stood a very good chance of drifting on shore but luckily a light breeze sprung up during the night and took us clear off.  Wind very light indeed during the day

Thursday November 3rd

Found ourselves this morning off Cape How at about 7 oclock, with a steady breeze blowing from the S.E. with very smooth water.  Wind died away very much towards evening

Friday November 4th

Came in sight of Point Perpendicular this morning at daylight, and were going on with a steady breeze from the S.E. and very smooth water.  Found in the evening that we had mistaken Point Perpendicular for a Point more to the Southward.  However we made it during the afternoon, and were going on beautifully great part of the night

Saturday November 5th

Got in between the heads this morning at day break and anchored in False Bay when the health boat came off.  Found General Darling had started Col: Lyndsay being left as Lt. Governor to whom I reported myself.  Found to our astonishment that we were the first vessel in, which we did not expect after so long a voyage.  Col: Lyndsay was very polite and told us all the news.  He said we were to releive his

Regiment the 39th which was to proceed to India as soon as we had sufficient men out to releive all their Detachment.  Dined with the 17th in the evening who seemed a very Gently Corps of Officers

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Thursday December 22nd

Having been very busily employed since we came on shore I had no time to give a particular account of our proceedings shall therefore only give a general outline of them since our landing which we did at Parramatta on the Monday following our entrance into the Harbour.  We started the men off in a sailing boat and the Doctor and Campbell and myself followed them in a Government 4 oared gig but the wind blowing right up the river, we did not catch them.  I was much struck with the scenery on the river, the banks being all very thickly wooded, and the river, or rather you may call it, arm of the sea, running into innumerable small bays, indeed a person not knowing the river would be very apt to mistake his course, and I was obliged often to ask the boatmen which turning to take.  We stopped at the Half Way House a pretty little cottage on the North Bank of the river to give our pullers a little breathing time, and to xxxx quench our own thirst, and then went on steadily till we got to Parramatta where we found the men waiting to unload the Baggage.  The Town of Parramatta is not very conspicuous from the water, in fact at first on landing you see nothing but the commissariat Stores, which are not very interesting, except, as containing the chief promoter of comfort in such a country viz: Cash.  Reported myself to the Commandant, Major Bouverie and was introduced to his wife, and found them exceedingly pleasant people, in fact I have since felt myself considerably obliged to them as they were very kind to me the whole time I was at Parramatta.  Took a house in the Town close to the Barracks, which I did partly to accommodate Malin of the13th who was a married man and would otherwise have been obliged to turn out for me.  I was very much pleased with the first appearance of Parramatta as it put me much in mind of a long straggling village or small country Town in England.  The chief feature in it is the Government House and Domain, the former standing on a hill very prettily situated and commanding a view of the main Street in the Town, from whence it is a very pretty object.  The whole domain is fine tho in part of it the bush wants clearing very much.  The next great feature in the Town place is the Factory a large stone building completely walled in, where all the Female Prisoners are kept, divided into 3 classes.  The 3rd are all the very worst.  One very warm day I was riding out with Campbell when we found Lt. Bell riding towards the Factory in a great hurry who xx told us that the 3rd Class had broken out.  We turned with him and soon reached the Factory where we found all the Soldiers drawn up in the yard in all manner of dresses (having been sent for suddenly) and a number of Officers also collected; on going into the inner Court yard we found all the 3rd Class, (a horrid looking set of whretches) in a great state of ferment, after having had a battle royal among themselves, and not having left one single paine of glass in the whole yard.  Some of the good ladies were shopped in the black Hole, where having seen them escorted in great form by two's with a Constable and Soldier on each side, we left them to their meditations.  We next day heard there was only one Child among the list of killed and wounded.  I did not go further into the country than Windsor wither I was sent on a Court of Enquiry, and chose riding up as being the shortest, it being about 20 miles distant, and a pretty and rather good road, in fact it might be a beautiful one if it was kept in proper repair, and is even in its present state much better that the Sydney one.  I thought Windsor from the little I could see of it, being engaged all day at the Court, rather a pretty little village, but as I was obliged to return the same day I could not reconnoitre much.  On returning to Parramatta after of ride of 40 miles I was much disgusted to find food for another Court on an Officer Lt. H. 41st, which I came in for also, being the only Captain present.  He has since been given leave to take an unconditional discharge.  The rides about Parramatta are some of them very pretty, and there are some fine Orange Groves near there, where Bouverie and myself used sometimes to go and take a bellyful.  The place was just getting pleasant and we were just strong enough to form a little mess, and get up a pretty tolerable boat crew, when, down came an order from Head Quarters for a Captain and 40 men for Norfolk Island which I, having been first to come out was first to take, however after the first annoyance of the thing was over, I was not so very sorry as I think it may be the means of my getting home to the Depot in a couple of years, which I shall certainly lay claim to.  Having received the order on Wednesday I had to prepare myself for a start, and during the last two or three days was employed in packing and taking a tender leave of all my Paramatta friends, and on Saturday, the 17th December having dispatched the men in two boats with the baggage for Sydney under Campbells charge, I took an early breakfast at Nashs Hotel, and then mounted Brownrig to begin my solitary journey to my second Transportation.  On getting to Sydney I found the men had not arrived so went to Sturts Quarters to see is he could give me any hint about laying in stock, he having been at the Island before, but as he did not seem to know where to recommend me to fit out, I went to Mr. Pauls and gave him my list of wants, and ordered him to procure every thing for me, which he afterwards did tho not so well as I could have wished.  The men came down late in the evening owing to the wind being against them.  I went on board and found them all pretty regular tho looking very sulky, as men who wanted a "hair of the dog that bit them" the night before.  Campbell being away and the Sergeant not being so alert as he should have been I got on board just in the nick of time, as I found a man of the 17th just bringing a Pint of Rum on board, the vessel being close to the Commissarys beach Wharf.  Placed a guard sentry over each Gangway under and a Corporal and his Watch.  I went on Shore and dined with the 17th.  Went on Board the next day Sunday and found that a man who had been struck by the Corporal of Henry was complaining of pain, therefore I went to Col: Lyndsay of the 39th who was kind enough to send his Asst Surgeon on board to see the man, whom he sent into the Hospital.  The next day the man being taken dangerously ill I had to make the Corporal Prisoner and send him and three witnesses on shore, the former to the Regimental Garrrison Guard Room.  Chetwode coming down next day I had to draw two months pay for my men thro him, and he was ordered to send me down men to relieve the others, which he did the next morning, when having every thing I wanted, I went on board, and the Prisoners 13 in number coming in the middle of the day, I took up my quarters on board, in order that I might see all my things settled before I started.  The Pony and another horse were very well put up on deck, and all my things came on board in high preservation

Thursday 22nd December

Weighed anchor at daybreak and commenced beating out of the harbour.  The little Isabel worked very prettily but owing to the wind being very light we did not get on very fast, at 8 oclock I found we were near the Sow & Pigs, and about ten we cleared the heads, when we had a fine steady breeze from the N.E. with very little sea.  Rather a bad wind considering we wanted to steer about N E by E but however it gave us a good offing

Friday 23rd December

Blew pretty strong last night and continued pretty fresh all day which made the deck leak very much into the place where the men are huddled together, the sea breaking over a good deal.  Gave the Horses a pretty good seasoning, but they stood the rolling pretty well.  Mens things in a terrible mess from the wet

Saturday 24th December

Blew tremendously hard last night but with a heavy sea running, but the little box stood up pretty stiff, and I did not feel her motion nearly so, much as the old Jane's, tho she is rather quicker.  Weather became finer towards the middle of the day and the sea went down so that the men had an opportunity of getting their things dried

Sunday 25th December

A very beautiful Christmas day tho not spent quite so pleasantly as I could have wished it.  The Skipper & Mates and myself had a very splendid Xmas dinner consisting of a stinking Mound of Beef at Top, 1 Duck at Bottom and side dishes of Potatoes, Biscuit, and Half Baked Bread.  Second Course Large Plumb Pudding Removed with Cheese & Hoppers.  Read Prayers to the men and Convicts

Monday  December 26th

Very fine day with pretty tolerable breeze.  Made Hows Island and the Pyramid in the morning, the latter being very high land indeed rising very abruptly, and when bearing about N.W. of us appearing like a Spire of a church.  Did not pass very close to them as the wind would not let us

Tuesday  December 27th

Another fine day but the wind not very favorable being from the N.N.E. but not blowing very Strong.  Horses have plucked up very much during the last day or two

Wednesday  December 28th

Beautiful weather but the wind very light and not very favorable being from about the N by E.  Found myself much more comfortable at night from having exchanged my Birth for a hammock which I slung in the Cabin, to avoid the vermin which swarmed in the former

Thursday  December 29th

In great hopes of getting in on New Years day, that being the anniversary of our landing in Portugal.  The wind came round more from the West but was still very light

Friday  December 30th

Wind more favorable but not very strong, however about 4 oclock in the afternoon we viewed the land of Norfolk Island, and the Island to the W S of it, but the wind died away at about five oclock and left us quite becalmed

Saturday  December 31st

Owing to its being a dead calm all the night we found ourselves much in the same place in the morning as we were on going to bed.  A light breeze sprung up at about 10 oclock which helped us on, and at about 3 oclock in the Afternoon we got in close between the two Islands.  Norfolk Island looked very pretty from the Sea, appearing rather flat towards the shore, but the land rising in the back ground to a very great

height, and part of the hills very thickly wooded.  The Settlement lying just opposite to the Goat Island seemed very small and rather miserable being chiefly composed of bark huts, very low.  The Government House, Prisoners and New Military Barracks were the most conspicuous buildings in the place, the two latter being very lofty large brick stone buildings, and having a very good effect, and indeed the former viz Gvt House appeared rather prettily situated from the water, being built on a rising ground to the SouthwardEastd of the others, but rather mushroom like in itself.  The Commissariat Officer came on board, for dispatches, and with an invitation for one of the Officers to dine with the Commandant had there been two on board, but as I was all alone I could not do give myself the pleasure of feeding with him.  A signal being hoisted on shore that no more boats would come off to us till the following day we stood out to the W till 10 oclock at night, when we stood in again in order to make the Island at day break.  Got in close to the shore at about 9 oclock when there was a boat sent for the Prisoners who were sent on shore.  Afterwards a boat came for the Government House and my own, which were both landed well.  I received a very civil note from Col: Morrisset saying that he was sorry the troops could not land that day as the barracks were so crowded, and at the same time offering me a room in Government House till the departure of Captain Crotting.  I of course accepted his offer, tho I was much annoyed at not getting on shore on New Years day, however we commenced fishing off Philip Island and the men caught a few very fine snappers.  In the evening we stood out to sea again intending to get in by daylight the next morning in which however we were dissappointed, as, the wind dying away during the night, it was about ten oclock before we could near the Island.  Boats were sent off for part of my men and myself immediately with a relief of the 39th as they always keep a guard on board any ships calling here for fear of to prevent the Convicts taking from forming plans for taking the vessel

Landed in a whale boat in which I took my servant Molyneaux the Women and dogs.  Got on shore very well there being no surf on the bar which at times here breaks tremendously.  Reported myself to the Commandant who seemed a very gentlemanly man and was very civil.  He gave me a room in his house and told me to make myself quite at home, which I accordingly endeavoured to do.  Mrs. Morriset was also exceedingly kind and seemed a most pleasing person.  Spencer of the 39th afterwards lionised me over the Huts, Barracks, Gardens, Poultry Yard & c & c.  I found the Officers Gardens Capital with plenty of fruit and vegetables, and the men had also capital garden ground allotted to them which supplied the whole with vegetables.  I was on the whole rather agreably surprised on my first two or three days ramble, as it seemed to me such a perfectly new life I really began to think I should be charmed with it.  "I felt not then as now I feel".  However tho my golden dreams of rural felicity have not quite been realized, I must in justice say to the little Island say that I have found it a much more tolerable quarter that I had expected from Sturts and some others description of it

Part of the Island is really very picturesque and I dare say in the time of the former settlers was beautiful, but now almost every particle of ground is choked up with grass and brush wood, for, the soil being very fertile the grass springs up surprisingly quick.  The finest trees on the Island are the Pine which grow to an amazing size, indeed I saw myself one at the pit which measured 7 feet in diameter, and I have been told that some run as large as 10 and 12.  The knots of the pine are also very beautiful, and, when turned thin are as transparent as Tortoiseshell, but are very

liable to crack, and it requires a great stock of perseverance to turn them, as I have made a good many boxes, most of which have cracked after they were finished.  There are a few very nice steams of fresh water in the Island, one of which is close to the Settlement, by which we are supplied.  Fruit on the Island is very plentiful, Lemons, Guavas, Cape Gooseberry's & Grapes grow wild in abundance, and the Gardens furnish, Water Melons and other kinds, figs, Strawberries, Raspberries, Mulberries.  Vegetables are also plentiful.  There are a great many fish about the Island which afford a great deal of sport for the men, who generally bring home a few every day.  They fish off the rocks mostly at the back of the Island.  There are two small Islands one lying about E.S.E. and the other S.W. of the Settlement, the former called Napier, which is inhabited by birds, the latter Philip inhabited by Pigs and Goats.  The whole Coast round Norfolk Island is very bluff, indeed, with the exception of the Settlement or Kings Town the only other place to land with safety are Cascade, which is on the other N.E. side of the Island, and which would have been a far more eligible situation for the settlement than the present, as you are there not exposed to any of the worst winds, there is much safer anchorage and sea room for Ships and a most excellent and safe landing place might be made with very little labor.  It was I believe from necessity that the present Settlement was formed on certainly the very worst and most unhealthy side of the Island, as Major Turton who was the first Officer sent down, was first on shore with part of his cargo and building materials here, and the wind then shifting, and the Vessel only chartered to land her cargo at the Island and return the Captain very coolly landed the other part of the cargo and building materials at Cascade, therefore Major Turton was obliged to make use of any old walls he could find standing which were left by the former four settlers, not having any convenience for land carriage

September 1833

Since scribbling the above various changes have taken place which I shall as briefly recall to memory as possible.  I must begin with my receiving from the Governor a Commission to sit on the Bench as Magistrate at Norfolk for which by the way I received no pay and small thanks tho' I had for 6 weeks to do the Commandants duty during which time he was ill, however there is one pleasing retrospect to that short era, that, by a very curious little xxxxxx sneaking tale of Terry Sneaks I found I had xxxxxx secured the friendship of one of whose esteem I should always be proud, and I trust I may never lose.  The time ran on as dull as it usually does in such a quarter with very few changes excepting the changing of Poor Lordy (since deceased) for Fortescue, who had almost grown out of my remembrance, and Campbell for Hewson who I had not seen before, but whom I liked much, tho his deafness a great draw back to him which & is at times is very bad.  About the end of March or beginning of April arrived the Governor Philip which I boarded and found Captain Fyans, Sr S. Holland and Lady, but was much annoyed to hear that the Governor Philip was to go to Moreton Bay and return again with a cargo of Maize, however as Parry at the last made up his mind to go in her I said I would go and return for the Guard, but when it came to the point old Methusalem would not let me & Parry went and missing the Isabella at Moreton Bay was obliged to return solus.  The Isabella and G. Philip returned to Norfolk about the same time and while they were unloading 15 of the Prisoners took off the best launch just from under their noses when they had so light a wind they could do no good in chase.  The Vessels were sent after the boats as there was only one (not sea worthy) left to land the cargo.  They both returned without success

when the Isabella having beat the Philip in landing her cargo we were embarked on board of her which I was not at all sorry for as well as Parry as she The P was in a very leaky bad state and was much in want of canvass.  Thus, after being upwards of 18 months an Exile three of which I was a supernumeracy, subject to all the annoyance of commanding a very Gentlemanly senior Captain to myself and a cur of a young Medical Officer  whose horrid disposition I did not know I once more trod the deck of the Isabella with no small satisfaction, and bid adieu to Norfolk with only one sole regret  We had a very tolerable passage considering the time of year and the time passed well enough with Parry as my Companion during a 12 days run, and we arrived here safe & sound about the 25th of July

                                                                                                            December 12

Since scribbling the above there have been various small changes in the state of my affairs.

                                                                                                            April 15th

I might still say the same as in my last few words tho' at that time my prospects were far fairer that at present.  After making a few attacks on the Colonel he at last promised me the Depot when vacant but since from his telling me that there was nothing necessary but for him to apply to the General and from other most unfortunate chance I have been dissappointed in this expected release from my banishment which I had looked forward to from my first order for Norfolk Island and am now almost in as hopeless a condition of bondage as I was at that time.  Since our arrival here we have been exceedingly unfortunate having lost poor Lordy and Hewson, both very excellent young men who had been with me at Norfolk and very shortly after the death of the latter followed that of our Paymaster Kirsopp who was a very great loss to the Regt.  A Lt. Darke whom I did not know has also died at Chatham, and no later than last night Major Breton lost his wife who has been for some time ill from the effects of Child Birth tho' this they say was not the ultimate cause of her decease, I fear it will be a terrible stroke to poor Breton.  We have also had an addition of no less than six married Officers since we came out which of course is a great loss to our former social Mess.  The chief cause of my being refused leave to proceed home in charge of the Depot for the present is the very few Captains we have doing duty with the Regiment and out of those two Clarke & McCumming having the one sent in his papers to sell and the other to exchange so that I fear I shall not get away until their successors arrive, or, at any rate until England joins from Van Diemens where he has had a very snug birth since we have been in the country which he does not seem inclined to leave.  However as I have waited so long I fancy I may as well have a little more patience especially as our present Colonel is about to leave us and I think Breton who will at any rate for the present if not altogether succeed him will do all he can to forward my chance of leave.  I have seen very little of the country yet, having been constantly doing duty here with very little cessation since my arrival from Norfolk, in fact Chet and myself have been the only two really effective Captains here I may almost say during that time as both McCumming & Clarke have since been married each having about a fortnights leave for the honeymoon and the former having since been in a very bad state of health generally and the latter having been almost always on leave or sick.  I have often had serious thoughts of taking unto myself a wife in self defence as the odds against the Bachelors are daily becoming rising.  I had once since my return the pleasure of going up to Maitland as Juror on the Quarter Sessions.  We all went

up in the Steamer which took us about 14 hours.  At the time we went there was nothing striking in the appearance of the Hunter River the Banks being very flat and generally covered with the abominable Bush of the country with here and there a fertile fe cleared bit of arable land which become more numerous as you approach Greenhill where you disemark the River not being navigable to Maitland about 3 miles distant.  The entrance of the River is excessively uninteresting (with the exception of a most curiously formed black rock at its entrance and rather a pretty view of Newcastle (so called from its coal) on the South bank of the River) but after being a large sheet of water thro' which it would be difficult to hit the channel except at low water when it presents nothing to the view but a narrow stream running between widely extending banks of mud.  The land about Maitland his very low and is very frequently flooded in the rainy season, or rather I should say during any continuance of wet weather, as I believe there is no particular rainy season in this country

Continued from the last on board the Redman    October 27th   1834 on passage from Sydney


Since writing my last I have made one or two small attempts to see the inland of Australia which have certainly rather disappointed my expectations of its scenery tho' they were never very high.  I shall first recall to myself a trip I made to Bathurst with Chetwode.  Having obtained 3 weeks leave (the first I ever had in the Country) Chetwode and myself started from Parramatta on some day in some Month I can scarcely remember July I believe and with my pair of greys Lizzy & Kate running the former leader we arrived with little trouble at Emu a distance of 22 Miles.  The road is certainly very good being one out of the only two kept up by contract.  The Country on each side is also rather pretty and one seat in particular which I believe belongs to a Mr. Beaumont has more the air of a gentlemans country seat than any I have seen in the country.  At Penrith about 22 Miles from Parramatta you cross the River of which I forget the name (vide Map) by a punt after which you get on a new line of road which leads on across the Emu Plain for about two miles to the Government House where we found Otter stationed with his detachment of Grenadiers in charge of a Road Party.  Fed sumptuously and after taking a cigar or two with old Birch and Dusty went to bed & slept sound.  Rose by times in the morning and Otter having borrowed old Birchs nag (Ambler) we took the New Road to the Weatherboard which at starting winds for a couple of miles up the Lapstone Hill rather awful for Tandem driving at that time as the party were only just commencing a railway on the edge of the precipice.  About 6 miles on the road we passed another detachment under a Sergeant in charge of a road Gang after which till within about 2 Miles of the Weatherboard the road is dreadful passing over shelves of rocks which you have some times to scramble over to the height of 2 and three feet so that even when driving with one hand and holding on with the other with the assistance of Chets holding on by the skirt of my coat it was just all I could do to keep my seat.  On arriving at the W. Board we found a very tolerable little Mountain Inn with good ale.  After putting up the nags we took John Hobbs a Soldier stationed there to shew us a water fall about 3 miles off which tho' there had been a great continuance of rain for some time before was a mere rippling stream tho' had there been any body of water it must have been very grand as the fall was very deep and so perpendicular that it was awful to look down from the summit to the bason below.  The valley at the base is completely surrounded by exceedingly high perpendicular hills the soil having a

reddish appearance like red clay.  Having returned to the Inn we had a very good feed & after blowing a cloud we were glad to get to bed after all our jolting.  The next day Chet. & myself started early on our road to the Junction a distance of 33 Miles The road we found very heavy from the recent rain of which there appeared to have been more the further we advanced which of course did not benefit a sandy soil.  The country and road was very ugly till we got to Mount Vittoria a new Mountain pass which winds down one of that name.  The road notwithstanding the rain was excellent and the whole scene as you descend from the very summit is certainly grand more particularly as you pass over one ravine near the summit the depth on either side of the bridge or viaduct being almost incalculable.  We stopped to bait at Flannigans near the base of the hill for an hour and then proceeded on our road which we found very bad and parts of it running round the sides of small hills we were obliged to sit as much as possible on the weather side to keep the Gig from upsetting and even the horses had great difficulty in keeping their footing now & then making most awful slides.  We at last got in to Cox's River all right save the skirt of my Coat which was nearly stripped off.  We found Parry Tom Faunce & McCumming & Mrs all in most miserable hovels and looking as wretched as they needs must in Such a Quarter.  We dined with P & F who gave us very good fare tho' having expected us two days before the feast which they had prepared had been already devoured.  Slept soundly on the floor & rose early to proceed to Bathurst 35 Miles Tom having been a little elevated over night and not quite come round again said he would walk with us having no horse but McCummings in the settlement which he did not like to borrow  He started with his Gun some time before us and we did not catch him till he was near the top of Mount Lamby a distance of nearly 7 miles, the greater part of the road being new and not mettled was nearly up to our axles.  After going over xxx an                 abominable swampy road the rain coming down in torrents part of the time we at last reached a small house called after the owner name Livingstones where I found my Wheeler very much knocked up, but as the weather was wet and the stable not shingled I thought it better to get over the other ten miles as Mr. L said the road was very good and the river at Bathurst likely to be impassable by the morrow.  Gave the Mares some gruels and on we went.  Driving quietly for about 4 Miles over a good old road we came to the plains where as the tracks all branched off in various ways we could only keep the right one by tracing that of the Mail Cart which happened to have a particularly small Tyre so that we hit it off very well for some miles but all of a sudden we lost it in the middle of the Plain.  I was rather inclined to be very irate with Chet. for not knowing the road as my poor Mare was nearly done up and therefore in the plenitude of my spleen I thought him very stupid having before gone over the plain however finding any delay was dangerous as the evening was closing we agreed to take what we thought seemed the beaten most track but this deceived us as after following it for a few hundred yards it ceased but seeing a farm a short distance ahead we thought it best to push on.  We found this a Mr. McKinzies about 4 miles out of our road however they directed us to the Town & on we went.  After we passed thro' a long uninteresting street chiefly mad up of small retail shops and Pot houses we turned to our left into a bit of boggy road known there by the name (and a very appropriate one) of the bay of Biscay from the water which lodges there and the black sea of mud with tremendous holes & ruts.  Thanks to Lizzy I managed to get Kate thro' this tho' I even now look back with remorse to the punishing I gave her, however I knew it would be worse to leave her in the middle of the Bay.  After getting through this about a quarter of a mile in length we had to ford the River which was rather high

from the late rains tho' not very broad however we got over very well and after walking the nags over a small neck of land we xxxxxx found Penny & McAlister looking out for us on the other side of a small creek  the ford of which they pointed out to us about 100 yards higher up which we found a very awkward place and poor Kate regularly came to a stand still.  However she made a last effort and with Lizzys help managed to drag us up the opposite steep bank and in about ten minutes I had them comfortably housed in the Government House Stable which luckily turned out to be a very capital one.  We found the Quarters in Government H very good and spacious tho' the house was not in the very best state of repair.  Thus ended our four days drive which had I known the road we had to pass over I should certainly never have attempted to drive a Tandem, tho' we certainly were very unfortunate in our time as they could not have been deeper had it rained for six months before instead of about 3 weeks.  Part of the last days road was dreadful there being in some places blind bogs in the middle of the road so that when you fancied you had got on a fine sound bit of road and enjoying a smart trot down you’re my leader went to her belly.  I never was so dead beat as when I got to the end and vowed within myself I would take it more easily on my return which I should have going up but for my folly in staying a day longer at Sydney for a boat race.  I was much dissappointed in the Plains of which I had heard so much.  It is in fact a most dreary expanse of brown looking withered grass with not more than one or two stunted bushes here & there little relief to the eyes tho' useful as landmarks.  It certainly is astonishing to see the face of a country change so very instantaneously from the rocky thickly wooded and mountainous without a single blade of grass to one vast plain of which from its first appearance there seems no end.  I was extremely unlucky in the weather during the week or ten days I was on my visit as we had rain almost every second day and the river was impassable the day after we got in & for several while I remained so that I could see very little of the country on the other side.  To add to my misfortune Kate was taken seriously ill on the evening we got in and I was much frightened about her tho'        stud Groom D. Hill had told me I might work her very safely to Bathurst & back however my servant was very attentive to her and with the aid of a little Laudanum from the Village Doctor she got quite easy by the next morning but most unexpectly while my Servant was out for about 5 minutes she was safely delivered of a foal.  After this she mended rapidly tho' I was obliged from her having no nourishment for the young one to have him destroyed which I was afterwards told by a Settler was very foolish as I might have got a pick from any of the stock of the former for her with the Foal by her side.  As Chet. Penny & self were all pretty good walkers and fond of shotting we made various excursions after the feathered tribe & platapus which abound in the creek which we generally followed but with very little success now and then bringing home a brace of Quail & Plover, or a solitary duck and once a species of Otter which we found in the creek.  The weather being wet for two or three days while I was there our only way of exercising our arms & legs was by to building pigeon houses.  The bush on the other side of the plain was much more open than any I had seen in the country and I should think might be well ridden thro'.  The season for the wild Turkeys had not commenced & the only bird we found in the Brush was a species of Curlew rather a handsome bronze bird and prettily marked.  After remaining ten days in Bathurst which on all sides even beyond the plain seemed a very level uninteresting country I had forgot to mention that the new Township is laid down in small square patches the same side of the river as the Government House &          Barracks the consequence is no Settler respectable will buy an allotment with the chance of having an Ale house built within ten yards of him

add to which the church is on the opposite side of the river and there is neither bridge or Ferry tho' the former has been estimated for a long time & the plan drawn & approved on the evening of the following day I decided on commencing my awful drive to Parramatta which I now looked on with any thing but pleasure more especially as I left two of our best fellows behind me and had to travel with no better companion that the sober JohnJones, however Penny very kindly took compassion on me and about 3 oclock we started and went that evening as far as Livingstones 10 miles where with the help of the key of the Porter Cask and one or two cigars we managed to get thro' the evening very jollily more especially as Kate seemed none the worse for this her first days work and I had provided them with a good bed and board.  In the morning I was any thing but pleased on awaking to hear a parley between Mr. L & Jones from which I could distinguish nothing but sleet, snow rain hail and some such pleasant sounds.  I jumped out of bed and removing the window shutter found my worst fears realized as the ground was covered with snow about an inch deep  and snow & sleet was falling heavy.  However Penny and myself did not find our appetites much the worse for the dismal prospect and after making a capital breakfast on home baked and fresh eggs we had the nags put to and started for Coxs River where we arrived at about 4 oclock after having a good ducking from the snow which fell very heavy at times and made the nags fall very much.  On reaching the descent from Mount Lamby the snow had entirely dissappeared thawed on the road with the exception of one large lump which was lying entirely by itself in the middle of the road and which by the way nearly cost us our necks as we came on it on a sudden bend in the road at the side of which the precipice is rocky and nearly perpendicular looking extremely uninviting for a capsize.  Lizzy I suppose never having seen such an object in the country before (in fact this was the first day I had ever seen snow since I left England) was much frightened and attempted to bolt round which manoeuvre would most certainly have sent us all bounding down the ravine, however I had just time to quiet her till the gentle Jones got up and led her with Chets. old pony Rascal between the object of terror & herself.  We then got on very well and found a great improvement in part of the hill which was very bad and rocky when Chet. & myself last travelled over it.  Found Parry and Tom Faunce looking very much disgusted and heard that Mc & his Cara Sposa had gone down the former as witness to the Supreme Court and the latter by pleading to wait her time of accouchement.  Poor Hill and Kent the Commissary were also there the former of whom since died suddenly at Sydney one of the many instances of the uncertainty of life.  Got the Mares put up as well as I could in the Police Stable and had a quiet family party at Toms Hut, Parry having gone into his new kennel across the creek.  Took a walk with Tom to try for some duck about 5 miles up the Creek the next day but they were too cunning for us.  Had a long shot at a brush kangaroo and one or two Quail but bagged 0.  Started next morning at 7 oclock or ˝ past for the Weatherboard with only Jones as a companion where I arrived at about 4 oclock both the Mares bearing their work very well tho' Kate was rather tender on her off shoulder.  Stopped to  bait at Gardiners where I heard that McCumming had been two days before having been obliged to get a road gang to drag his carriage up the last hill and on to Gs about 4 Miles So much for starving horses.  Slept very comfortably at the Weatherboard, tho I was very much disappointed in not seeing Dusty.  Started by times in the morning and after scrambling over the rocks without any accidents I got to Springfield where I met a Caravan of Female Prisoners on route to Bathurst under charge of Two Policemen

and two Constables.  A Coroners inquest was sitting on the body of one who was found dead in the bush the morning before supposed to have been murdered by one of the men belonging to a road party.  Rascally shame sending 18 or 20 women under such an escort more especially as in part of the road it is quite impossible for them to ride in the Waggon.  Got in to Emu about 4 oclock where I found Otter laid up having been very ill from a sprain which was supposed to have been caused got by carrying old Phil Delisle who weighs about 18 stone against Tom Faunce 50 to 100 yards.  Staid at Emu the next day with old  tter  Took a trip down to Tengabby in Birchs boat but failed in getting any ducks.  Caught a fine Eagle which appeared to have been wounded before.  Started after breakfast next day and drove quietly down to Parramatta where I arrived in good time and found Rose Hall much in the same state as I left it with all the Roses blooming.  Found Kate very lame this last stage the road being all mettled and very hilly.  After I returned from Bathurst I took another trip up to Windsor which I admired very much.  The road 19 miles is good and rather picturesque for Australia and the Town has more the neatness of a Country village in England that any I have seen. There is a river runs close to the Town in fact you may say in it, which is reckoned one of the finest in the country.  I had also a trip across from Emu along the vale of Mulgowey to young McLeays farm in the Cow Pastures.  I drove McLeay & Otter & Cap Hopkins rode.  We started from the Go Bourkes at Penrith and went from thence to Regentville to J Jamiesons who was out.  This is a comfortable substantial looking unfinished gentlemans seat tho' perched up in rather a bare position more I think for the sake of being noticed by the passing travellers than any other more      ghty reason.  I have since visited the interior and planted my legs under the mahogany and on the couch & must give the Knight the credit to say that I was very well treated in every way tho' there is wanting a ladys directing hand to put the finishing touch to the interior economy of the house.  I luckily had not occasion to put up my horses in his stable as they say he is rather fond of keeping the Corn Binn locked.  From  this we soon entered on the vale of Mulgowey along which the scenery is really pretty.  We halted for lunch at one of the numerous family of Coxs who live along the vale and found a pretty neat looking farm house situated on a small hill commanding a rather uncommon view of a fertile country which appeared in a very forward state of cultivation.  Mrs Cox seemed rather frightened at our host and nearly upset the fender fire irons &c in her hurried flight after the Tiffin.  From hence we went on by a very tolerable cross road and before we had gone far McLeay & myself missed Otter & Hopkins who had loitered getting deep into some old Indian Story.  We could not wait for them as we wanted to save the daylight in fact the bridges on the road were no joke even in the light being nothing but round spars which being only heaped on the cross beams loose would be very apt to give & let a horses leg thro' in fact after trying one or two of them in which I found many rather awful holes I thought the safest plan was to put the nags at them with a good swing which I accordingly did tho' it was rather nervous work as Tom McLeay seemed to fancy.  We at length after crossing a very nasty ford & a shameful field with numberless pits close to the houses, nearly killing the old Scotch farmer who was in a gateway putting up one of the posts arrived just as it got dark at the McLeays cottage but having left Tom to show the others the road from which we had turned & having seen nothing of them since we supposed they must have lost their way

(4⅞ pages blank)

The Journal has been divided into a number of parts:

Part One

Part Two

Part Four

Part Five



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