William Gore

Provost-Marshall - New South Wales


Sent to Newcastle Penal Settlement in 1808


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Historical Records of  New South Wales, Vol. VI, King and Bligh 1806, 1807, 1808. Edited by F. M. Bladen, Lansdowne Slattery & Company, Mona Vale, N.S.W.,1979. 648 - 649.........

Provost-Marshal Gore to Governor Bligh (Bligh Papers) 31st May. {Extract}

Cells, Sydney Jail, N.S.W., 31st May 1808

Sir, I presume you have already been informed of the additional unprecedented outrage and atrocious violation of the laws of England, that a body of persons styling themselves a Court of Criminal Jurisdiction has perpetrated against the person of a British subject and of a British officer who has the honor of holding a commission under His Majesty's sign manual, by dragging me yesterday from the dungeon in which they have cruelly and illegally immured me since the twenty first of last March, before them, without the least warning, without a minute's notice, when the infamous Kemp, who acted as Judge Advocate on the occasion, read an indictment charging me with having committed wilful and corrupt perjury, and asked me,

"Are you guilty or not guilty"?

"I have a few observations to make; I believe I have them in my hat."

"We do not wish you to say anything; we do not wish you to speak; are you guilty or not guilty?"

"I deny your jurisdiction"

"We are not to be harangued by you, Mr. Gore; we are not come here for you to harangue us"

"I will not plead; I deny your jurisdiction"

"It is not for you to deny our jurisdiction; I will pass sentence on you if you will not plead:

"You are an unlawful assembly, and illegally constituted; the most disgraceful, the most rigorous sentence you can pronounce on me I shall receive as the greatest honor you can confer on me; I shall not acknowledge your authority; I deny your jurisdiction:

Captain Abbot: "Mr. Gore, you can challenge any member  - you can challenge any member"

"No, possessing my fealty and my allegiance to my King, I deny your jurisdiction; I will not plead - for you are an unlawful assembley"

Captain Kemp: 'Clear the Court; clear the Court" The Court having been opened again, after a lapse of about twenty minutes, Kemp said: "We have recorded that you have refused to plead":

"I have; I do'

"And we have sentenced you to be transported for seven years"

"You have conferred on me the greatest honor you are capable of conferring - the only honor I could receive from such men. Loyalty and treason could not unite; treason and loyalty could not associate, could not agree:

Kemp: 'Take him away; take him off; take him away; take him away."................................

Favor and respect from such men as my debased persecutors are would, believe me, be considered by me as my greatest dishonor. As it is whispered to me that I may be taken by surprize tomorrow morning and sent to the Coal River, from which it would appear that these fellows are desirous of preventing me from going to England, for the reasons I have heretofore mentioned, pardon my entreating you to state to His Majesty's Ministers the unhappy condition of my poor family - the forlorn, the unmerited, and the miserable situation to which my dear and amiable wife, and my tender, my darling infants, are reduced by the veriest miscreants in existence, surely cannot fail to interest His Majesty's Ministers in their behalf, particularly as I am apprehensive, with great reason, that an attempt may be made on my life........





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