The Queen transport having returned from Norfolk Island, with the lieutenant-governor and the officers and soldiers of the marine corps, who were to take their passage to England in the Gorgon, the greatest part of the marine detachment embarked on board of that ship on the 13th. Those who did not embark were left for the duty of the place until the remainder of the New South Wales corps should arrive.
By the Queen several convicts whose sentences of transportation had expired were allowed to return to this settlement, pursuant to a promise made them on their going thither; and we were informed, that the Atlantic sailed from Norfolk Island for Calcutta on the 13th of the last month. Both ships landed safely every article they had on board for the colony, being favoured by very fine weather while so employed. Lieutenant-governor King, on taking upon him the government of the island, pardoned all offenders whom he found in custody.
Governor Phillip having no further occasion for the services of the Gorgon, that ship sailed for England on Sunday the 18th. Two convicts had the folly to attempt making their escape from the colony in this ship, but they were detected and brought back. A woman was also supposed to have effected her escape; but she was found disguised in men’s apparel at the native’s hut on the east point of the cove.
On board of the Gorgon were embarked the marines who came from England in the first ships; as valuable a corps as any in his Majesty’s service. They had struggled here with greatly more than the common hardships of service, and were now quitting a country in which they had opened and smoothed the way for their successors, and from which, whatever benefit might hereafter be derived, must be derived by those who had the easy task of treading in paths previously and painfully formed by them.
The cove and the settlement were now resuming that dull uniformity of uninteresting circumstances which had generally prevailed. The Supply and the Gorgon had departed, and with them a valuable portion of our friends and associates. The transports which remained were all preparing to leave us, and in a few days after the Gorgon, the Matilda and Mary Ann sailed for the coast of Peru. These ships had some convicts on board, who were permitted to ship themselves with the masters.