On the same day the Colonial schooner, and a long-boat named the Eliza, sailed to the southward, to bring away the remainder of the ship’s company belonging to the unfortunate Sydney Cove.
Among other works in which the people were employed in this month, was the necessary one of erecting paling round the new gaol, now nearly completed, and round the fresh water, the original enclosure of which had gone to decay, by which means the stream was so exceedingly polluted, as to endanger the health of the inhabitants. Some necessary regulations were published to counteract this evil, and indeed they had long been loudly called for.
The want of cordage has been already mentioned. The settlement was likewise so much distressed for canvas, that, the largest and best boat being in the Hawkesbury, it became necessary to dismantle another boat, in order to furnish sails to bring her round, those belonging to her having been split in some bad weather which she met with in her passage thither. The people were directed at the same time to procure some of the bark of the tree lately discovered, to be manufactured into cordage; for which purpose it was reckoned superior to any of the flax that had been brought from Norfolk island.
The Mercury sailed about the middle of the month; and, as some return for the liberty of refitting his ship, and remaining four months in the Cove, the master took away a female convict without the governor’s permission.
Very little rain fell during this month.
June.] On the 2nd of June, the ship Ganges arrived from Ireland, with convicts from that kingdom, and a detachment of recruits for the New South Wales corps. This ship had touched at the Cape of Good Hope, and was commanded by Mr. Patrickson, who had visited the settlement in the year 1792, in the Philadelphia, a small American brig. The convicts in this ship were observed to be in much better health than those on board of the Britannia. These people, indeed, complained so much of having been treated with great severity during the passage, that the governor thought it right to institute an enquiry into their complaints. It appeared, that they had been deserving of punishment, but that it had been administered with too much severity, in the opinion even of the surgeon who was present. As these punishments had been inflicted by the direction of the master, without consulting any of the officers on board as to the measure of them, he was highly censured, as was the surgeon, who could stand by and see them inflicted without remonstrating with the master, which he declined because he had not been consulted by him.
‘Quis talia fando, temperet a lachrymis?’
His Majesty’s birthday, falling this year on a Sunday, was observed on the 5th, with all the honour that could be paid to it. The regiment was drawn out on the parade, and at noon fired three volleys. At one o’clock a royal salute was fired from the battery and the ships in the Cove; and all the officers, civil and military, with those belonging to the ships, spent the day at the government-house.