It having been reported, that one of the natives who had stolen a jacket from a convict had afterwards been killed or wounded by him in an attempt to recover it, the governor issued a proclamation, promising a free pardon, with remission of the sentence of transportation, to such male or female convict as should give information of any such offender or offenders, so that he or they might be brought to trial, and prosecuted to conviction; but no discovery was made in consequence of this offer.
In the afternoon of the 22nd a slight shock of an earthquake was observed, which lasted two or three seconds, and was accompanied with a distant noise like the report of cannon, coming from the southward; the shock was local, and so slight that many people did not feel it.
July.] The Alexander, Prince of Wales, and Friendship transports, with the Borrowdale storeship, having completed their preparations for sea, sailed together on the 14th of the month for England. Two officers from the detachment of marines, Lieutenant Maxwell and Lieutenant Collins, were embarked as passengers; these gentlemen having obtained permission to return to Europe for the recovery of their healths, which had been in a bade state from the time of their arrival in the country.
The following report was made by the principal surgeon, of the state of the sick in the settlement, at the time of the departure of the ships:
The number of marines under medical treatment were
The number of convicts under medical treatment were 66
Convicts unfit for labour from old age and infirmities 52
And if idleness might have been taken into the account, as well it might, since many were thereby rendered of very little service to the colony, the number would have been greatly augmented.
It was now necessary to think of Norfolk Island; and on the 20th the Supply sailed with stores and provisions for that settlement.
Only two transports remained of the fleet that came out from England; these were the Golden Grove and Fishburn, and preparations were making for clearing and discharging them from government service. The people were employed in constructing a cellar on the west side for receiving the spirits which were on board the Fishburn, and in landing provisions from the Golden Grove, which were stowed in the large storehouse by some seamen belonging to the Sirius, under the inspection of the master of that ship.
From the nature of the materials with which most of the huts occupied by the convicts were covered in, many accidents happened by fire, whereby the labour of several people was lost, who had again to seek shelter for themselves, and in general had to complain of the destruction of provisions and clothing. To prevent this, an order was given, prohibiting the building of chimneys in future in such huts as were thatched.