The direction of the colony during the absence of the governor and lieutenant-governor devolving upon the officer highest in rank then on service in the colony, Captain William Paterson, of the New South Wales corps, on Christmas Day took the oaths prescribed by his Majesty’s letters patent for the person who should so take upon him the government of the settlement. This officer, expecting every day the arrival of Governor Hunter, made no alteration in the mode of carrying on the different duties of the settlement now entrusted to his care and guidance.
At the latter end of the month a general muster was ordered of all the male convicts, together with the persons who had served their several terms of transportation, as well those residing at Sydney and Parramatta, as those on the banks of the river Hawkesbury. The following ration was also ordered, the maize being nearly expended, viz.
To Civil, Military, Free People, and Free Settlers 8 lbs of flour, 7 lbs of beef, or 4 lbs of pork, 3 pints of peas, 6 oz of sugar.
To Male Convicts 4 lbs of flour 7 lbs of beef, or 4 lbs of pork, 3 pints of peas, 6 ozs of sugar, and 3 pints of rice.
Women and children were to receive the usual proportion, and a certain quantity of slops was directed to be issued to the male and female convicts who came out in the Surprise transport, they being very much in want of clothing.
A jail gang was also ordered to be established at Toongabbie, for the employment and punishment of all bad and suspicious characters.
Wheat was this month directed to be purchased from the settlers at ten shillings per bushel. Much of that grain was found to have been blighted this season. The ground about Toongabbie was pronounced to be worn out, the produce of the last harvest not averaging more than six or seven bushels an acre, though at first it was computed at seventeen. The Northern farms had also failed through a blight.
Our loss by death in the year 1794 was, two settlers; four soldiers; one soldier’s wife; thirty-two male convicts; ten female convicts; and ten children; making a total of fifty-nine persons.
Gangs sent to till the public grounds
The Francis sails
Regulations for the Hawkesbury
Produce at the river
The Francis arrives from the Cape
The Fancy from New Zealand
The Experiment sails for India
A native killed
The Britannia hired to procure provisions
Natives at the Hawkesbury
The Endeavour arrives with cattle from Bombay
Returns of ground sown with wheat
The Britannia sails for India
The Fancy for Norfolk Island