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

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 744 pages of information about An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Volume 1.
determined by the States, that the decrees of the fiscal should be subject to the revision of the council.  Before this officer were tried all causes both civil and criminal.  He had a set of people belonging to him who constantly patrolled the streets armed, to apprehend all vagrant and disorderly persons.  Every fourteen days offences were tried.  The prison was adjacent to and had communication with the court-house.  The place where all sentences were executed stood to the left of the landing-place, a short distance above the fort or castle.  The ground on which it stood was raised by several steps above the road.  Within the walls were to be seen (and seen with horror) six crosses for breaking criminals, a large gibbet, a spiked pole for impalements, wheels, etc., etc. together with a slight wooden building, erected for the reception of the ministers of justice upon execution-days.  Over the entrance was a figure of justice, with the usual emblems of a sword and balance, and the following apposite inscription:  ‘Felix quem faciunt aliena pericula cautum.’  The bodies of those broken on the wheel were exposed in different parts of the town, several instances of which, and some very recent ones, were still to be seen.

It had been always imagined, that the police of the Cape-town was so well regulated as to render it next to impossible for any man to escape, after whom the fiscal’s people were in pursuit.  This, however, did not appear to be the case; for very shortly after our arrival four seamen belonging to a ship of our fleet deserted from her; and although rewards were offered for apprehending them, and every effort made that was likely to insure success, two only were retaken before our departure.

Since the attempt meditated upon the Cape by the late Commodore Johnstone, the attention of the government appeared to have been directed to its internal defence.  To this end additional works had been constructed on each side of the town, toward the hill called the Lion’s Rump, and beyond the castle or garrison.  But the defence in which they chiefly prided themselves, and of which we were fortunate enough to arrive in time to be spectators, consisted of two corps of cavalry and one of infantry, formed from the gentlemen and inhabltants of the town.  We understood that these corps were called out annually to be exercised during seven days, and were reviewed on the last day of their exercise by the governor attended by his whole council.  They appeared to be stout and able-bodied men, particularly those who composed the two corps of cavalry, and who were reputed to be excellent marksmen.  Their horses, arms, and appointments were purchased at their own expense, and they were expected to hold them selves in readiness to assemble whenever their services might be required by the governor.  For uniform, they wore a blue coat with white buttons, and buff waistcoat and breeches.  Their parade was the Square or Market-place, where they were attended by music, and

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An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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