On the morning of their execution, one of them declared to the clergyman who attended him, that the like practices had been carried on at the store at Rose Hill by similar means and with similar success. He named two soldiers and a convict as the persons concerned; these were afterwards apprehended, and underwent an examination of several hours by the lieutenant-governor and the judge-advocate, during which nothing being drawn from either that could affect the others, they were all discharged. It was, however, generally believed, that the soldier would not in his dying moments have falsely accused three men of a crime which they had never committed; and that nothing but their constancy to each other had prevented a discovery of their guilt.
While these transactions were passing at Sydney, the little colony at Norfolk Island had been threatened with an insurrection. The Supply returned from thence the 24th, after an absence of five weeks, and brought from Lieutenant King, the commandant, information of the following chimerical scheme. The capture of the island, and the subsequent escape of the captors, was to commence by the seizure of Mr. King’s person, which was intended to be effected on the first Saturday after the arrival of any ship in the bay, except the Sirius. They had chosen that particular day in the week, as it had been for some time Mr. King’s custom on Saturdays to go to a farm which he had established at some little distance from the settlement, and the military generally chose that day to bring in the cabbage palm from the woods. Mr. King was to be secured in his way to his farm. A message, in the commandant’s name, was then to be sent to Mr. Jamison, the surgeon, who was to be seized as soon as he got into the woods; and the sergeant and the party were to be treated in the same manner. These being all properly taken care of, a signal was to be made to the ship in the bay to send her boat on shore, the crew of which were to be made prisoners on their landing; and two or three of the insurgents were to go off in a boat belonging to the island, and inform the commanding officer that the ship’s boat had been stove on the beach, and that the commandant requested another might be sent ashore; this also was to be captured: and then, as the last act of this absurd scheme, the ship was to be taken, with which they were to proceed to Otaheite, and there establish a settlement. They charitably intended to leave some provisions for the