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GOVERNOR PHILLIP TO MESSRS. LAMBERT, Ross, AND BIDDULPH.
1792 Gentlemen, Sydney, New South Wales, 20th March, 1792. 20 March.
I wrote you by the Atlantic, store-ship, which sailed from hence the 26th of last October, under the orders of the Naval Agent, Lieutenant Richard Bowen, who was instructed to apply to you on his arrival at Calcutta for the provisions which were wanted for the use of this colony, the quantity and quality of Provisions which were pointed out in his instructions, copies of which, as well as of my former letter, are enclosed.
Since the Atlantic sailed the Pitt has arrived here, and having landed her cargo was to have proceeded, on the account of her owners, to Madrass and Bombay; but her commander having offered to proceed first to Calcutta, in order to offer the ship for the purpose of bringing the provisions to this settlement which have been ordered by the Atlantic, if that ship should unfortu- Conditions. nately have met with any accident in her passage from hence, which may have prevented her arrival at Calcutta, I have availed myself of that offer ; but in that case would wish to receive the provisions wanted, on the conditions proposed by you in a letter to Lord Sydney, dated from Calcutta, the 19th of August, 1790, that is at a stipulated price, the freight and risk being on your account.
You will see by what I have already said, that no kind of engagement or promise has been made which any ways binds you to give the preference to the Pitt, if unfortunately the Atlantic has not arrived, but in which case I have to request that no time No time to may be lost in forwarding the supplies which have been demanded,
be lost. and if the Atlantic has left Calcutta, unless you have received directions from England for sending provisions to this settlement, nothing more is immediately wanted, but what has been ordered by the Atlantic, as I presume further supplies will be sent from Europe.
22nd March, 1792. 22 March. I received on the 26th of June last your letter of the 27th of August preceding, giving an account of the loss of his Majesty's The Sirius. ship Sirius, late under your command at Norfolk Island, and of your proceedings in consequence thereof, and I am to acquaint you that I lost no time in communicating the same to my Lords Comm’rs of the Adm'y.
I am, &c.,
P.S. The Rev. R. JOHNSON TO GOVERNOR PHILLIP. Extracts from Letter from the Rev. Richard Johnson, dated Port Jackson, March 23rd, 1792.
23 March. As to my habitation I am very well satisfied; it is pretty The Chapcommodious and convenient—few better provided for in this lain's house.
respect in the colony than myself. My principal family com23 March. plaint is, that I cannot better provide for them. We are now
eight in number, and Mrs. J. at this time far gone with child. Our allowance at present is scanty, and is likely to be still less. 'Tis seldom we can get a fresh meal, and then in general it is at
a dear rate. Fresh pork, one shilling per tb. ; a moderate size provisions.
fowl, three, four, or five shillings, and sometimes more ; Indian corn, ten shillings a bushel. Everything else, whether from on ship or on shore, in the same proportion. Have frequently asked to have the privilege of a man to shoot for me now and then; this favour I never have been granted.
Upon the arrival of the Juliana in June, 1780 (1790), his Excellency told me that four hundred acres were to be measured out as church ground. This was measured out at that time, but
to this day he has not been able to let me have any help to cultiNo labour. vate it, neither has there been so much as a tree fallen upon it. I
cannot suppose Government meant for me to use axe or spade myself, but this I have done day after day; otherwise, bad as my situation is, it would have been still worse. I mention this circumstance, being aware that the sound of four hundred acres will appear great. But what, sir, are four hundred or four thousand acres full of large green trees, unless some convicts be allowed to cultivate it?
I did not come out here as an overseer or as a farmer. I have
other things more, much more important, to attend to. My duty Chaplain.
as a clergyman fully takes up all my time. Neither will my constitution admit of it—this is much impaired since I came into this country, and at this very time I feel such rheumatic pains and weakness that I can scarcely go through the duties of my office. This brings me to mention another circumstance. I have to perform divine service at three different places, vizt., at Sydney, Parramatta, and at a settlement about three miles to the west
ward of Parramatta, and at never a one of these three places is No places of there to this day any place of worship erected, nor so much as worship
talked of. The last time I preached at Sydney was in the open air. On the 11th instant we could not have service at all,
because of the rain. Next Sunday, if the weather will permit, An old boat- we shall assemble in an old boat-house close by the water-side, house.
the sides and ends quite open. I declare to you it is a place not fit or safe for a stable or a cow-house, and I declare further, owing to the violent pain I this moment, and have all this day felt in my temples, &c., I dread Sunday coming, aware of the danger and the consequences I have to expect. By the grace of God, however, I am resolved to go on in the discharge of my duty till I can hold out no longer, and then I must give up and leave this miserable people to spend their Sabbaths in a manner wholly like heathens.
Last spring there was the foundation of a church laid at 1792 Parramatta ; before it was finished it was converted into a jail or 23 March. a lock-up house, and now it is converted into a granary. Have had this place to perform divine service in for several Sundays; but now are again turned out, and must again turn field-preacher A field
preacher. there also. I go up to Parramatta as usual once a fortnight-the distance by water about fourteen miles. Generally go up on the Saturday—sometimes four, five, six hours upon the water. On Sunday morning early I now ride up to the new settlement; preach in the open air about seven o'clock to about six hundred convicts; at ten and four in the afternoon I preach at Parramatta. I fear, however, I shall not be able to continue this much longer, especially as the winter is now approaching, unless some places be Buildings erected for the purpose. Besides my public duty I have to visit the sick, which at present both at Sydney and at Parramatta are a great many; numbers dying every day. Last month above the sick
and dying. sixty died, and I fear before this expires there will be again near the same number.
In different letters which I have lately received, my friends seem to intimate that I meant to return home so I know not for what reason they have formed such conjectures. I do not know that I have ever given them any reason to think so. I have not so much as thought of returning, at least as yet; but this I must be free to tell you, that if things are not made more com- A change in
. fortable for me in those matters that I have above complained of, I shall certainly think it my duty to write home to be relieved, as I am pretty well aware I cannot stand it many years longer, as things are at present conducted.
GENERAL RETURN, New South Wales Corps, March 26th, 1792.
1792 26 March.
RETURN of New South Wales Corps, March 26th, 1792.
LAMBERT Ross AND Co. To The Right Hon. HENRY DUNDAS.
Calcutta, 28th March, 1792. His Excellency Governor Phillip having thought proper in conformity to the recommendation of his Majesty's ministers, to send the Atlantic, store-ship, to this place, for a supply of provisions for the colony of New South Wales, under the direction of Lieut. Richd. Bowen of his Majesty's navy, as naval agent, and his Excellency having been pleased to address the said ship to us and Mr. Robert Biddulph, in consequence of our joint letter and proposals to his Majesty's ministers for the Home Department, dated August, 1790,* which we have been given to understand had been approved of. We now presume to address you, sir, upon the subject, tho' we doubt not but Lieut. Bowen hath fully informed his Majesty's ministers on the steps which have been taken for carrying into effect the instructions and orders of his Excellency Governor Phillip. We shall beg leave, therefore, briefly to state that on the arrival of Lieut. Bowen in the
* Not available.
Atlantic, and being honoured with the commands of his Excellency 1792 Governor Phillip, we communicated with Mr. Biddulph on the 28 March. subject (whose connection with us had for some time before ceased) and were concerting measures for carrying them into effect, when we received a letter from Lieut. Bowen informing us that his Majesty's ministers had instructed this Government in what manner the sup- The Indian plies for New South Wales were to be furnished, and that the orders of his Excellency Governor Phillip were, in consequence, superseded.
Immediately upon this the Government here advertised for Tenders proposals of contract, to be tendered for supplies of the different species of provisions wanted for the colony; but none having been offered that were thought advisable to be accepted, Lieut. Bowen found himself very unpleasantly situated; for, after applying No offers. individually to every mercantile house in town, none of them would undertake to furnish the supplies. Chagrined as we had been by the supersession of that confidence, we flattered ourselves it had been the intention of his Majesty's ministers and of Governor Phillip to repose in us, we yet felt for the disagreeable predicament in which Lieut. Bowen found himself, and for the necessities of the colony ; prompted therefore by our zeal for the public good, we made a proposal to Lieut. Bowen, founded a proposal upon the principle of those we had the honour of submitting jointly with Mr. Biddulph to the consideration of his Majesty's ministers ; adhering as nearly to the spirit of them as circumstances would admit, and undertaking to furnish the supply on the same terms we before offered, tho’ from the present enhanced price of grain in consequence of a failure of the crop and existing embargo, we could have little hope of benefiting ourselves in any degree adequate to the trouble and risk we must necessarily run, and would, therefore, have fairly warranted a deviation.
Our proposals having been approved both by this Government and Lieut. Bowen, an agreement was drawn up betwixt Lieut. Bowen, on behalf of his Majesty, and us, under the sanction of the honourable Company's law officers, an attested copy
of which Agreement. Lieut. Bowen transmits to his Majesty's ministers by this opportunity, and to which we beg leave to refer you for the particulars.
The accounts which accompany the agreement will shew that it hath been punctually fulfilled on our part, and we trust in such a manner as will prove highly satisfactory to his Majesty's ministers, and also to his Excellency Governor Phillip, having reason to believe it hath been to Lieut. Bowen, who hath witnessed our efforts of strenuous exertions, in not only compleating the terms of our
contractors. engagements, but also in procuring whatever was thought would prove useful and beneficial to the colony, and which, we trust, will recommend us to the future favour of his Majesty's ministers, to be employed in furnishing such supplies as may be hereafter required, and can be supplied from hence.