A Civil Court
The Cornwallis and Experiment sail for India
Caution to masters of ships
A Wind-mill begun
State of the settlers
The Governor goes to Mount Hunter
April.] In the beginning of this month a very liberal allowance of slops was served to the prisoners male and female. As it had been too much the practice for these people to sell the clothing they received from government as soon as it was issued to them, the governor on this occasion gave it out in public orders, that whenever it should be proved that any person had either sold or otherwise made away with any of the articles then issued, the buyer and seller or receiver thereof would both subject themselves to corporal or other punishment. Orders, however, had never yet been known to have much weight with these people.
Thefts were still nightly committed. At the Hawkesbury the corn store was broken into, and a quantity of wheat and other articles stolen; and two people were apprehended for robbing the deputy-surveyor’s fowl-house. All these depredations were chiefly committed by those public nuisances the people off the stores.
Toward preventing the indiscriminate sale of spirits which at this time prevailed in all the settlements, the governor thought that granting licences to a few persons of good character might have a good effect. Ten persons were selected by the magistrates, and to them licences for twelve months, under the hands of three magistrates, were granted. The principals were bound in the usual penalties of twenty pounds each, and obliged to find two sureties in ten pounds: and as from the very frequent state of intoxication in which great numbers of the lower order of people had for some time past been seen, there was much reason to suspect that a greater quantity of spirituous liquors had been landed from the different ships which had entered this port than permits had been obtained for, it became highly necessary to put a stop, as early as possible, to a practice which was pregnant with all kinds of mischief. The governor judged it necessary, the more effectually to suppress the dangerous practice of retailing spirits in this indiscriminate way, not only to grant licences under the restrictions abovementioned, but to desire the aid of all officers, civil and military, and in a more particular manner of all magistrates, constables, etc. as they regarded the good of his Majesty’s service, the peace, tranquillity, and good order of the colony, to use their utmost exertions for putting an end to a species of traffic, from which the destruction of health and the ruin of all industry were to be expected; and urged them to endeavour to discover who those people were, that, self-licenced only, had presumed to open public houses for this abominable purpose.
He also informed those who might, after knowing his intentions, be daring enough to continue to act in opposition to them, that the house of every offender should be pulled down as a public nuisance, and such other steps be taken for his further punishment as might be deemed necessary.