His Majesty's Ship Porpoise, in the Derwent,

New South Wales, 10th June, 1809.

Bligh on the condition of New South Wales.

My Lord,

1. It gives me great concern to be still under the necessity to have my dispatch descriptive of the persons who have so unwarrantably conducted themselves against the welfare of this territory, which, but for their unparalleled proceedings, would have been replete with accounts of the improvement of a people who, in expectation of further benefits which were progressively arising out of faith, hope, and charity, would have become industrious and good subjects ; but this reverse has caused the good to suffer, and led those whose minds were weak or vicious to be biassed by present advantages, or prospects of future which they had not sense to see could not be realised. Profligacy in others appears to complete the picture of the late rebellion, and, although a severe scourge, encourages me to hope will produce good fellowship and that purity which otherwise would have been much more remote. It is impossible, however, that the people can be in a more wretched state. Free man, but poor; the emancipated man returning from his unlawful way of life, and the unhappy prisoner under his penance of retribution, all now look with anxious hearts to the hour of relief by their gracious Sovereign.

His object in remaining in the colony.

2. I have not been able to render them any personal service, except remaining in the territory, that every act of the principal rulers, or their Courts, might become doubly unlawful, and their revenge kept within certain bounds, to which otherwise there was reason to apprehend there would have been no limits; imprisonment would not have been sufficient atonement to them from the honest men for being loyal.

3. I closed my last accounts* to your Lordship when I was a prisoner in Government House. The circumstances attending my present freedom, and what has happened since, I must beg leave to request of your Lordship to become acquainted with by the following detail

* 28th October, 1808, and 12th November, 1808—vol. vi, pp. 787 and 807.


1809 10 June.

4. Lieutenant-Colonel Foveaux's reign continued to the 9th of January with unabated rigour, in the course of which the ships Speke and Gambier arrived ; but whatever despatches were directed to me never came to my hands.

Foveaux's reign.

5. By these arrivals the New South Wales Corps was farther augmented, and the officers and men who came oat were united in their principles.

Administration of Justice. Settlers refuse to attend musters, and are imprisoned.

6. Civil and Criminal Courts were continued to be held, and a plan was now adopted to gain over those persons who had been turned out of office to accept their former appointments; but only the Judge-Advocate, Mr. Atkins, and John Jamieson, the Superintendent of Government Stock, have become apostates; and an opportunity soon offered to Mr. Atkins to show his principles as a rebel judge, who, with five of their magistrates, as named in the margin,* sat on five loyal free settlers—Mr. George Suttor, Mr. Andrew McDougall, Mr. Martin Mason, Mr. John Hillas, and Mr. John Smith—for not complying with an order given out to report their property at a general muster. They all denied the legality of the demand, and would not comply with it, in consequence of which four received sentence of one month's imprisonment, and Mr. Suttor was committed for a Criminal Court, he being deemed more culpable than the others, because he had written a letter to Colonel Foveaux which was considered objectionable On his being brought before this Court, the members of which were as per margin,† he denied its legality in very particular and strong terms, and rather than plead he told them they might do with him what they thought proper. He was then sentenced to six months' imprisonment, fined one shilling, and taken to gaol, where he found his four loyal companions. I have numerous letters from the poor settlers, and I shall take the liberty to inclose two of this honest man's, ‡ being samples of the others, and particularly stating his own case. As several of the friends of Government attended, the statement in the Gazette of the 18th of December is tolerably correct. §

Settler's addresses.

7. The addresses of the free settlers to your Lordship, together with copies of those to me, which I herewith transmit, will explain the subject more fully.||

John Macarthur.

8. It became now much spoken of that the persons principally concerned in this rebellion were working by every means to realise and secure their properties. McArthur sent off a Colonial brig to China with sandal-wood under his nephew, Hannibal McArthur's care, but under a pretext of relieving the crew of a ship that had been lost, and taking them to a port where they might speedily ship themselves for India.

* Captain Abbott, Captain Kemp, Lieutenant Lawson, Garnham Blaxcell, Robt. Fitz
Mr. Atkins (Judge-Advocate), Major Johnston, Captain Cummings, Lieutenant Laycock, Lieutenant Draffin, Ensign Jamison, Ensign Lilly.
Ante, pp. 1 and 21.
§ This statement will be found printed as a footnote on p. 802 of vol. vi.
|| See these addresses, ante, pp. 33, 35, 44, 46, 78, and 151.


4th November, 1808: Settlers' Petition to Viscount Castlereagh.

22nd February, 1809: Settlers to Viscount Castlereagh.

10th June, 1809: Gov. Bligh to Viscount Castlereagh.

Source: Historical Records of New South Wales: Bligh and Macquarie. 1809, 1810, 1811Vol. VII, pp. 168 - 169

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