The governor had now chosen situations for his settlers, and fixed them on their different allotments. Twelve convicts, whose terms of transportation had expired, he placed in a range of farms at the foot of a hill named Prospect Hill, about four miles west from Parramatta; fifteen others were placed on allotments in a district named the Ponds, from a range of fresh-water ponds being in their vicinity; these were situated two miles in a direction north-east of Parramatta. Between every allotment, a space had been reserved equal to the largest grant on either side, pursuant to the instructions which the governor had received; but it was soon found that this distribution might be attended with much disadvantage to the settler; a thick wood of at least thirty acres must lie between every allotment; and a circumstance happened which showed the inconvenience consequent thereon, and determined the governor to deviate from the instructions, whenever, by adhering to them, the settlers were likely to be material sufferers.
In the beginning of the month information was received, that a much larger party of the natives than had yet been seen assembled at any one time had destroyed a hut belonging to a settler at Prospect Hill, who would have been murdered by them, but for the timely and accidental appearance of another settler with a musket. There was no doubt of the hut having been destroyed, and by natives, though perhaps their numbers were much exaggerated; the governor, therefore, determined to place other settlers upon the allotments which had been reserved for the crown; by which means assistance in similar or other accidents would be more ready.
After the arrival of the Matilda, the governor, judging that his stores would admit of increasing the weekly allowance of flour, directed that (instead of three) five pounds of that article should be issued to each man; and to each woman an addition of half a pound to the three which they before received. The other articles of the ration remained as before.
The platform which had been constructing on the West Point since June last being ready for the reception of the cannon, they were moved thither about the middle of the month; in doing which, a triangle which was made use of, not being properly secured, slipped and fell upon a convict (an overseer), by which accident his thigh was dislocated, and his body much bruised. He was taken to the hospital, where, fortunately, Mr. White immediately reduced the luxation.
About noon on Saturday the 20th, the Atlantic transport anchored in the cove from Plymouth, whence she sailed with two other transports, and parted with them about five weeks since in bad weather between Rio de Janeiro and this port, the passage from which had not been more than ten weeks. She had on board a sergeant’s party of the new corps as a guard to two hundred and twenty male convicts, eighteen of whom died on the passage. The remainder came