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and fifty-two male convicts, forty-two of whom died on the passage, and one hundred and twenty-six were landed at the hospital.
The Scarborough had two officers, and thirty-four soldiers, and two hundred and fifty-six male convicts, sixtyeight of whom died on the passage, and ninety-six were landed sick at the hospital. And in spite of every effort to relieve the afflicted, one hundred and twenty-four cf them have since fallen victims to disease.
'It was fhocking to behold the deplorable condition to which the poor wretches were reduced by dysentery and scurvy. The liberal supply of hospital stores enabled us to assist them with some comforts as well as medicines. But the miserable state to which they had been reduced, by perpetual confinement below, throughout the passage, put it beyond the power of art to restore many of them.
6 The sole direction of them on board was left to the masters of transports, who, either from inclination, or a want of knowledge, denied them those indulgences which might have been a mean of preserving their health, or at least of preventing so great a mortality.
The Justinian and Surprise were ordered to be cleared as fast as possible, that they might carry a supply of stores, and an additional number of people, to Norfolk island. We entertained many doubts with respect to their situation at that place; and, unfortunately for us, we had no prospect of making ourselves acquainted with their state before the return of the supply from Batavia, as the fhips, on clearing at that part, were to proceed immediately to China.
I fhall not attempt to describe the confusion that existed at that time in our colony.
'The governor now perceived the necessity of providing habitations for the people that had disembarked, as well as those that were expected soon to follow. For the little conveniences that had been raised, chiefly at the exVOL. ix.
May 16. pence and labours of the first colonists, were every where crowded by the new comers, both bond and free. And it was said that no houses could be considered as the private property of any individual on the settlement.
Our new guests exprefsed great concern at not finding every thing here in a very prosperous state; they had been led to believe that matters were in a very fair train, and that plenty of conveniences were ready for their reception: at landing; but they found quite the contrary to be the case.
'His excellency has ordered a town to be erected as fast as pofsible at Rosehill, and has employed all the artificers on that duty. They have already got up about an hundred huts, of one story, twenty-five feet long, by twelve broad each. The streets are to be two hundred feet wide*, and each hut is to be furnished with some garden ground backwards. Upon the whole, the plan seems to be made the most regular of any yet laid down at this place.
'Since the arrival of fhips, the following terms have been offered to settlers, viz.
To every non-commifsioned officer, an allotment of one hundred and thirty acres of land if single; and of one hundred and sixty acres if married.
To every private soldier, an allotment of eighty acres And an allotif single, and of one hundred if married. ment of ten acres of land to every child of such non-commifsioned officer, or private soldier, as may choose to settle. Such allotments to be free of all fees, taxes, quitrents, and other acknowledgements, for the space of ten years, but after the expiration of that time, to be liable to an annual quit-rent of one fhilling for every fifty acres.
His majesty has likewise willed that a bounty of three pounds per man be offered to each non-commifsioned officer How will the grafs be prevented from growing in them?
or private man, who may be disposed to continue in this country, and inlist in the corps appointed for the service of New South Wales. And fhould their behaviour be good, they fhall, after a farther service of five years, be entitled to a double proportion of land, that would be granted them, provided they quit the service, at the relief of the marines, free of all taxes, fees, quit-rents, c. for the space of fifteen. years, subject, however, after that time, to the same acknowledgements as before.
His majesty has also willed, as a farther encou ragement to the above description of men, that, upontheir being discharged or relieved, or after a farther service of five years in the new corps, they fhall receive, out of the public stores, a proportion of clothing for one year, together with a suitable proportion of seeds and grain for the tillage of land, and a proportion of tools and implements proper for their use, for that time. And when any of them can feed and clothe such a number of convictsas may be judged necefsary for their use, for the time being, to afsist them in clearing and cultivating the land, the service of such convicts shall be afsigned to them.
'No proposal has been made to any of the officers, civil,, or military, nor do I hear that any of those to whom. they have been made, have.as yet resolved on accepting them..
The country, from all we have yet been able to ob serve, is not by any means favourable to our wishes. Some of the free men, who are considered as judges in farming,. report the land at Rosehill to be light and sandy, and, equal to such as would be let for fifteen fhillings an acre, within three miles of Lewes in Sufsex; but at a distancemuch.
from a market town. not above half as making a calculation of the average price of land about High Wycomb, in Bucks, they find, by three or four thou sand acres, that it lets on an average, at 19% and 6d..
per acre, not more. The tenant, besides, pays the church and poor rates; the poor rates amount to about Is. and 6 d. the church to about 8s. in the pound; this land is much better than the average land about Rosehill.
'These circumstances, added to the scarcity of fresh water, want of cattle, and the proper means of agriculture, tɔgether with the bad returns that have as yet been obtained from the different crops, are, I think prognostics, that very little advantage can be obtained from this country; or that it can maintain its new inhabitants, within a great length of time, and without a very great expence to the
The return of grain this season from Rosehill, which is the only farm in cultivation for the public, has not, from all I can learn, been more than threefold and an half, if so much; perhaps in some measure owing to the very great drought which has prevailed this season.
'But it is feared little can be expected from it at best; for the farmer, on the part of government, says he sowed forty-five bushels of wheat in maiden land, at that place last year, and reaped six or sevenfold only. He expected a much better return this season, from the ground being longer opened, but is disappointed; and he has since declared, that very little can be expected in future, unless cattle can be procured sufficient to manure it. Two hundred and ninety-three acres of land are now cleared of the timber at Rosehill, but the roots are all left in the ground; a circumstance that must prevent the labouring of the landby any other means than that of the spade, or hoe, until they are removed; which is a work I fear cannot be açcomplished.
The coast has not as yet been examined by us farther to the southward than Botany Bay, or to the northward, than Broken Bay. But several excursions have been made into the country by some of the officers, whose judgement
may be depended upon. They all agree in thinking it unfit for almost any purpose. They have for the most part found it rugged and unkindly, and complain of a very great scarcity of water. What they have met with is generally contained in stagnant ponds; which seem to be reservoirs for rain water. Sometimes there is a continuation of these for a little distance; and after very heavy rains they frequently communicate with each other; and then send forth a stream through some of the adjacent vallies, which ceases to run fhortly after the rain has ceased to fall.
'It is impossible to tell what could have occasioned the description of Botany Bay that appears in the voyages of captain Cook. The meadow land, after the most minute investigation, is found to be nothing but a perfect quagmire. In short so totally different is it from what has beca said of it, that, had it not been for the latitude, and longitude, which are accurately laid down, we fhould not have known the place, from the account given of it.
· Of Norfolk island I can only speak from hearsay, The return of the supply from Batavia has given us a late opportunity of knowing something of their state at that place, which we find to have been much worse than ours before the fhips arrived.
And had they not been fortunate enough to save the greatest part of the provisions from the wreck of the Sirius, they would have been left with not more than six weeks provisions at the utmost, to subsist upon.
The soil at that place is said to be good, and the climate a healthy one. But both the wood, and the flag, which were so much spoken of, are neither of them objects of much consideration. The flag grows only on points jutting out to the sea, and the pine tree, as it is called, is found to be so brittle is to render it unfit for masts, and. many other purposes..