Having requested permission to erect an observatory, they chose the point of the cove on which a small brick hut had been built for Bennillong by Governor Phillip, making use of the hut to secure their instruments. They did not profess to be in want of much assistance; but such as they did require was directed to be furnished them without any expense; it was indeed too inconsiderable to become an object of charge.
The arrival of these strangers, together with that of the ship from Bengal, gave a pleasant diversity to the dull routine that commonly prevailed in the town of Sydney; everyone striving to make their abode among us as cheerful as possible, and to convince them, that though severed from the mother country, and residing in woods and among savages, we had not forgotten the hospitalities due to a stranger.
The commission of offences was now so frequent, that it had become necessary to assemble the criminal court during this month; and William Ashford, a lad who had been drummed out of the New South Wales corps, was tried for stealing several articles of wearing apparel from some of the convicts; of which being convicted, he was sentenced to receive three hundred lashes.
On the 21st the Kitty returned from Norfolk Island, having on board Captain Paterson and his company of the new corps, together with a number of free people and convicts; amounting in all to one hundred and seventy-two persons; Governor King having been desired to get rid of any such characters as might be dangerous or troublesome to him.
Mr. King wrote very favourably of the state of the settlements, under his command. The crops of wheat and maize had produced so abundantly, as to insure him a sufficiency of that article for the next twelve months. The inhabitants were healthy; and such had been the effects of some wholesome regulations, and the attention of the magistrates to enforce them, that for the last three months not any offence deserving of punishment had been committed, nor a cob of corn purloined either of private or public property.
At the departure of the Kitty, he was busied in erecting some necessary buildings, as barracks, a granary, storehouses, etc. and had completed a very excellent house for his own use. Lime-stone having been found in great abundance on Norfolk Island, enabled him to build with some extent and security than had hitherto been done even in New South Wales. Several casks of this useful article were now imported in the Kitty, with a quantity of plank.
Captain Johnston’s company in the new corps received some addition by this ship. Eight of the marine settlers, whose grounds, on extending the lines of their allotments, were found to intersect each other, and who had declined such accommodation as Governor King thought it proper to offer them, had resigned their farms, and preferred returning to their former profession.