An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 866 pages of information about An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Volume 1.

The maize being all got in, it was hoped that the convicts would not find any new object for their depredations, and that order and tranquillity would for a time at least be restored among them.  But the houses of individuals soon became their prey, and three or four daring burglaries were committed this month:  I say daring burglaries, as the houses which were broken into were either within the view of a sentinel, or within the round of a watchman.  This, however, must not be otherwise understood than as a proof of the perseverance and cunning of these people, who could find means to elude any vigilance that was opposed to their designs.  An attempt to steal some of the sheep at Parramatta was also made by two notorious offenders, who, from being deemed incorrigible, were not included in the pardon which the governor granted to the wretches in irons after his Majesty’s birthday, but were ordered to be chained together for some longer time.  Being fortunately overheard by the person who lived in the inclosure, and had the care of the stock, he snapped a piece at them, and, finding it miss fire, gave an alarm to the watch, by whose activity they were apprehended two miles from the place.  They were provided with every thing necessary for their design, such as a tomahawk, an iron kettle, knives, spoons, platters, and a quantity of vegetables.  It was found, that with the assistance of the tomahawk they had divided the chain that linked them together, and had secured round the leg the iron that remained with each, so as not to be heard when they moved.

The different species of provisions which had been received from Calcutta were not much esteemed by the people.  The flour or soujee, from our not knowing the proper mode of preparing it for bread, soon became sour, particularly if not assisted with some other grain; the dholl, or peas, were complained of as boiling hard, and not breaking, though kept on the fire for a greater length of time than the impatience of those who were to use it would in general admit of; and the rice, though termed the best of the cargo, was found to be full of husks, and ill dressed.  Some pork also, of which eight casks had been sent as an experiment, was, on being issued, found to be for the most part putrid, and, in the language of surveyors of provisions, not fit for men to eat.  These circumstances, together with the extreme minuteness of the Bengal breed of cattle, excited a general hope, that these settlements would not have to depend upon that country for supplies.  To the parent country every one anxiously looked for a speedy and substantial assistance; and day after day used to pass in a fruitless hope that the morrow would come accompanied with the long wished-for arrival of ships.

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