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The illustrations which accompany the Appendix are from drawings of the flax-plant growing in the Botanic Gardens, Sydney. No. 1 is the New Zealand and Norfolk Island flax (Phormium tenax); No. 2, the native flax (Gymnostachys anceps); No. 3, the giant lily or flax lily (Doryanthes excelsa). The drawings were made towards the end of January when the plants had gone out of bloom, but the flower stems and faded blossoms are shown.
No effort seems to have been made in Phillip's time to turn the New South Wales flax-plant to account. The Phormium tenax, Cook's flax-plant, was plentiful at Norfolk Island, and it pro- Norfolk mised better results than the flax that had been found near Sydney. When King was sent to Norfolk Island as Commandant with the first batch of convicts (February, 1788), he took with him written instructions from Phillip, which contained this direction : “ You are immediately to proceed with the cultivation of the flaxplant, which you will find growing spontaneously on the island."* King, in his first despatch to Phillip, mentions the flax-plant, which, he says, “is found very luxuriant all over the island, growing to the height of eight feet"; but the flax-dresser he took with him was unable to do anything with it, as this plant requires a different treatment in the dressing to what the European plant does.” In 1790, Andrew Hume, a superintendent of convicts, and an expert in flax manufacture, arrived at Norfolk Island. In February, 1791, he sent specimens of coarse cloth made from the flax-plant to Governor Phillip; but he represented that he was “much in want of proper material, as well as Obstacles to proper people, for the purpose of carrying on the manufactory." manu. English flax-dressers were unfamiliar with the Norfolk Island plant, and it was decided to make use of the knowledge possessed by the New Zealand natives. Acting under instructions from Captain Vancouver,† two men, named Woodoo and Tooke, were Capture of captured by Lieutenant Hanson at the Bay of Islands, taken to Port Jackson in the Dædalus, and delivered to Lieut.-Governor natives. Grose, who immediately sent them to Norfolk Island, where they arrived on 2nd May, 1793. Lieut.-Governor King says, “The information they possessed turned out to be very little, as this operation is the peculiar occupation of women, and as Woodoo is a warrior and Tooke a priest, they gave us to understand that dressing of flax never made any part of their studies; but the little information which they did give us was sufficient for us to improve on, both in quality and quantity." At the end of six months these men were taken back to their own country. On They are the arrival of the transport Britannia at Norfolk Island, in sent back to November, 1793, King left the island in charge of Capt. Nepean, country. and embarked on the Britannia with the New Zealanders, landing them on the 13th November, 1793, at the Bay of Islands, and returning to Norfolk Island on the 18th. * Ante, p. 137.
† Ante, p. 683.