The Francis being nearly worn out, the governor had purchased a vessel called the Harbinger, to be employed in going to and from Norfolk Island, the service of the Porpoise being required for longer voyages. The Supply, which had been long since condemned, was fitting up as a hulk to receive such convicts as were incorrigible, in which capacity she might still be very useful. It was intended that the Lady Nelson should, at the proper season, be employed in an accurate survey of Bass Strait.
Accounts having been received of the Union between the Two Kingdoms, that event was celebrated on the 4th of June 1801, and on that occasion the new union flag was for the first time displayed in New South Wales. The governor took that opportunity of releasing several of the Irish insurgents who had been in confinement.
It appeared, on examining the registers of the several terms of transportation of the convicts, that the clerks, who necessarily had had access to them, had altered the sentences of about two hundred prisoners, receiving a gratuity from each equal to ten or twelve pounds. This was a very serious evil; and proper steps to guard against it in future have been taken both at home and in the colony.
That necessary institution, the Orphan School, had been carried into effect, and the house which had been purchased for the reception of the children was occupied by them.
It appeared, upon collecting the accounts of the expenses attending the erecting of the county gaol, that that building had cost the sum of L3954 the greatest part of which had been paid by assessments upon individuals.
Every encouragement was given to promote the growth of wool fit for the purpose of manufacturing, and three hundred and six yards of blanketing had been made from what had been produced in the year preceding the date of the dispatches, from the flocks belonging to government and to individuals. In five months four hundred and seventy-two yards of flax had been manufactured into linen.
The colony continued healthy. In July 1801 there were one hundred and eighteen persons on the surgeon’s list.
The spirit of adventure, which still manifested itself in the arrival of ships upon speculation, received some check in the governor’s sending back three vessels that had arrived from Bengal, on board of which were not less than fifty-four thousand gallons of spirits and wine.
A quantity of copper coin having been received, the governor published a table of all the specie legally in circulation within the colony, affixing the following rates to each, at which they should be considered and be a legal tender in all payments or transactions within the territory, viz.