On Wednesday the 21st his Majesty’s ship Gorgon of forty-four guns, commanded by Captain John Parker, anchored within the heads of the harbour, reaching the settlement the following morning, and anchoring where his Majesty’s late ship Sirius used to moor.
The Gorgon sailed from England on the 15th of March last, touching on her passage at the islands of Teneriffe and St. Iago, and at the Cape of Good Hope, where she remained six weeks, taking in three bulls, twenty-three cows, sixty-eight sheep, eleven hogs, two hundred fruit trees, a quantity of garden seed, and other articles for the colony. Unfortunately, the bulls and seven of the cows died; but a bull calf, which had been produced on board, arrived in good condition.
Six months provisions for about nine hundred people, with stores for his Majesty’s armed tender the Supply, and for the marine detachment, were sent out in the Gorgon; wherein also was embarked Mr. King, the late commandant of Norfolk Island, now appointed by his Majesty lieutenant-governor of that settlement, and a commander in the navy; together with Mr. Charles Grimes, commissioned as a deputy surveyor-general to be employed at Norfolk Island; the chaplain and quarter-master of the New South Wales corps, and Mr David Burton, a superintendant of convicts.
By this ship we received a public seal to be affixed to all instruments drawn in his Majesty’s name, and a commission under the great seal empowering the governor for the time being to remit, either absolutely or conditionally, the whole or any part of the term for which felons, or other offenders, should have been or might hereafter be transported to this country. Duplicates of each pardon were to be sent to England, for the purpose of inserting the names of the persons so emancipated in the first general pardon which should afterward issue under the great seal of the kingdom.
To deserving characters, of which description there were many convicts in the colony, a prospect of having the period of their banishment shortened, and of being restored to the privilege which by misconduct they had forfeited, had something in it very cheering, and was more likely to preserve well intentioned men in honest and fair pursuits, than the fear of punishment, which would seldom operate with good effect on a mind that entertained no hope of reward for propriety of conduct. The people with whom we had to deal were not in general actuated by that nice sense of feeling which draws its truest satisfaction from self approbation; they looked for something more substantial, something more obvious to the external senses.