At the close of this month the stone tower of the Wind Mill, and the stone foundation of the Log Prison, were much advanced.
October.] The governor, still turning his thoughts toward rectifying the abuses which had imperceptibly crept into the colony, arranged in the beginning of the following month (October) the muster lists which had lately been taken; and, many more impositions being detected, he ordered the delinquents to labour, after inflicting on them such punishments as their respective offences seemed to demand; by which means he was enabled considerably to increase the number of labouring people in the public gangs. On his going up to Parramatta, whither he was attended by Captain Johnston as his aid-de-camp, and Mr. Balmain (the surgeon) as a magistrate, he recovered at least one hundred men for government work.
Exclusive of the advantage which attended the recruiting of the public gangs in this way, another point was established by this examination, the discovering of several who had been victualled from the stores beyond the period (eighteen months) which had been fixed and considered by government as a sufficient time to enable an industrious man to provide for himself.
Directing his attention also toward the morality of the settlement, a point which he could not venture to promise himself that he should ever attain, he issued some necessary orders for enforcing attendance on divine service, and had the satisfaction of seeing the Sabbath better observed than it had been for some time past. But there were some who were refractory. A fellow named Carroll, an Irishman, abused and ill treated a constable who was on his duty, ordering the people to church; saying, that he would neither obey the clergyman nor the governor; for which, the next day, he was properly punished.
On the morning of the 16th, the people of a boat which had been sent to the north shore for wood found a man’s hat, and a large hammer lying by it. One side of the hat had apparently been beaten in with the hammer, which was bloody; and much blood was also found in the hat, as well as about the spot where it was discovered. It was immediately conjectured, that a man who had been working there with some carpenter’s tools had been murdered; and upon its being made known to the governor, he sent several persons to search for the body, which was found thrown over the cliff, and near the water side. On its being examined by the surgeons, the skull was found beaten in, which must have been effected with the hammer, and occasioned his death. Some suspicion falling upon two people, they were secured, and an examination was the next day taken before the magistrates; but nothing transpired that could fix the offence upon them.
This shocking circumstance was followed shortly after by another equally atrocious: a murder which was committed by a man on the person of a woman with whom he cohabited. It appeared that they had both been intoxicated, and had quarrelled on the night preceding and in the morning of the murder.