On the 3rd, near two hundred male convicts, with a sergeant’s party of the New South Wales corps, some stores and provisions, having been put on board the Salamander, she sailed for Norfolk Island the following morning: and the Mary Ann returned from that settlement on the 8th, having been absent only four weeks and two days. The convicts, troops, stores, and provisions, were all landed safely; but an unexpected surf rising at the back of the reef, filling the only boat (a Greenland whale-boat) which the master took with him, she was dashed upon the reef, and stove; the people, who all belonged to the whaler, fortunately saved themselves by swimming.
From Norfolk Island we learned, that the crops of wheat then in the ground promised well, having been sown a month earlier than those of the last season. Of the public ground ninety acres were in wheat, and one hundred in Indian corn: of the ground cleared by the convicts, and cultivated by themselves for their own maintenance, there were not less, at the departure of the transport, than two hundred and fifty acres.
Bondel, a native boy, who went thither with Captain Hill, to whom he was attached, in the month of March last, came back by this conveyance to his friends and relations at Port Jackson. During his residence on the island, which Mr. Monroe said he quitted reluctantly, he seemed to have gained some smattering of our language, certain words of which he occasionally blended with his own.
Some prisoners having been sent from Norfolk Island, the criminal court was assembled on the 15th for the trial of one of them for a capital offence committed there; but for want of sufficient evidence he was acquitted. Great inconvenience was experienced from having to send prisoners from that island with all the necessary witnesses. In the case just mentioned the prosecutor was a settler, who being obliged to leave his farm for the time, the business of which was necessarily suspended until he could return, was ruined: and one of the witnesses was in nearly the same situation. But as the courts in New South Wales would always be the superior courts, it was not easy to discover a remedy for these inconveniences.’
A seaman of one of the transports having been clearly proved to have wantonly sunk a canoe belonging to a native, who had been paddling round the ship, and at last ventured on board, he was ordered to be punished, and to give the native a complete suit of wearing apparel, as a satisfaction for the injury he had done him, as well as to induce him to abandon any design of revenge which he might have formed. The corporal punishment was however afterwards remitted, and the seaman ordered to remain on board his ship while she should continue in this port.
Some of the soldiers who came out in the William and Ann transport having exhibited complaints against the master, whom they accused of assaulting and severely beating them during the passage, the affair was investigated before three magistrates, and a fine laid upon the master, which he paid.