[* The expense of building it was computed to be about forty pounds]
Representation having been made to the lieutenant-governor, that several of the soldiers had been so thoughtless as to dispose of the sugar and tobacco which had been served out to them by their officers since the arrival of the Britannia, almost as soon as they had received those articles, and that some artful people had availed themselves of their indiscretion, in many instances bartering a bottle of spirits (Cape brandy) for six times its value, he judged it necessary to give notice, that any convict detected in exchanging liquor with the soldiers for any article served out to them by their officers, would immediately be punished, and the articles purchased taken away: and further (now become a most necessary restriction), that any persons attempting to sell liquor without a licence might rely on its being seized, and the houses of the offending parties pulled down.
About the middle of the month all the wheat which was to be sown on the public account was got in at and near Toongabbie; the quantity of ground was about three hundred and eighty acres. The wheat of last season being now nearly thrashed out, some judgment was formed of its produce, and it was found to have averaged between seventeen and eighteen bushels an acre. A large quantity of wheat was also sown this season by individuals, amounting to about one thousand three hundred and eighty-one bushels, every encouragement having been given to them to sow their grounds with that grain.
Several houses having been lately broken open, the criminal court of judicature was assembled on the 15th, when Samuel Wright, a convict who arrived in 1791, was tried for breaking into a hut in the day-time, and stealing several articles of wearing apparel; of which offence being found guilty, he received sentence of death, and was to have been executed on the Monday following; but the court having recommended him to mercy on account of his youth, being only sixteen years of age, the lieutenant-governor as readily forgave as the court had recommended him; but, that the prisoner might have all the benefit of so awful a situation, the change in his fate was not imparted to him until the very moment when he was about to ascend the ladder from which he was to be plunged into eternity. He had appeared since his conviction as if devoid of feeling; but on receiving this information, he fell on his knees in an agony of joy and gratitude. The solemn scene appeared likewise to make a forcible impression on all his fellow prisoners, who were present.
The weather of this winter having been colder than any that we had before experienced, great exertions were made to clothe all the labouring convicts; and for that purpose the work of the tailors had for some time been confined to them. Every male convict received one cloth jacket, two canvas frocks, one pair of shoes, and one leathern cap. The females also had been clothed.