Captain James Wallis was Commandant at Newcastle
in 1818 when
Governor Lachlan Macquarie
visited .......The Sydney Gazette reported on 1st August 1818.....'
Monday last the 27th
ult. His Excellency the Governor and Mrs. Macquarie and Staff, embarked on the
government Brig Elizabeth Henrietta for the Settlement of Newcastle on Hunter’s
The vessel got under weigh between
2 and 3 o’clock with a fair wind, which continuing equally favourable during the
night, makes it probable that she would reach the place of her destination by 9
the next morning.
His Excellency last visited Newcastle in
1812 when in its
infant state, and comparatively of little importance, being chiefly appropriated
for the reception of convicts whose delinquencies here had rendered them liable
to extraordinary punishments. It was also resorted to for supplies of lime,
coal, and timber for the uses of Government.'
While the Governor was in Newcastle several convicts
mounted a daring escape by water from Sydney.
Select here to find out more
Soon after Governor Macquarie's
visit work was commenced on Macquarie Pier....
According to the Australian
There were no artisans appointed to superintend and direct
its construction. The engineers at that time, and up to the time of the work
ceasing, were subalterns of the 46th and 48th regiments, and totally
ignorant of their duty - the mechanics and workmen generally, were under the
orders of an old sergeant of the 46th regiment who was principal
superintendent of public works and died at Newcastle. The overseers under
him were two stonemasons, who, though good mechanics in their way, were
totally unfit to carry such an important undertaking into effect. The work
at the pier ceased entirely in the early part of the year 1823......read
more in an article in the Australian written in 1825.
The Sergeant mentioned above was John Evans. He gave
evidence before Commissioner John Thomas Bigge in 1819.
Evidence of Sergeant John Evans, Superintendent of
Government works 18 January 1819.....
1. What is the situation you hold in this settlement? I was and am still a
sergeant of the 46th Regiment which was here and [l] have a furlough of
eighteen months and I am Superintendent of Convicts and Works here.
whom were you appointed and when? By the Governor on the 16 January, 1819. I
had assisted previously the Commandant of this settlement.
3. What are your
duties? To superintend the convicts, to muster them, to distribute them to
their works according to the orders of the Commandant.
4. What is your
salary? Fifty pounds a year and two men on the store.
5. What advantage does
the allowance of these men produce to you? About £20 per annum which is paid
in grain by the settlers who employ them.
6. Do you receive any fees? I
receive only one fourth of the metage dues [fees 2 charged for measuring
coal] on coals sold here to colonial vessels. It has amounted to about £3 or
£4 per annum.
7. Are the coals so delivered measured? They are measured by
weighing a barrow filled up and 83 then reckon the number of these barrows
required to load the vessel.
8. Are the constables and overseers under your
direction? They are,
9. Are they free men or convicts? All convicts - the
Chief Constable has lately received his emancipation. (*This was
John Smith who arrived on the General Hewitt in 1814)
10. How many free
persons are in the settlement? Only four besides the military. They are
Evans, the Assistant Surgeon,
Mr Tucker, the store keeper, the schoolmaster
[Henry Wrensford], and myself.
11. How do you find the conduct of the overseers and
constables? The overseers have not the means of purloining as I constantly
change them from one gang to another. The constables I have no confidence
12. How are they chosen? I choose the overseers and the
James Connolly who arrived on the
in 1811 was employed as principal overseer. He was sent on the Elizabeth Henrietta
on 5th January 1818(1)
William Temple who arrived on the
in 1814 was employed as Overseer of the pier in 1820.
One of the men who was sent to Newcastle to work on the pier was stonemason
Samuel James Pilkington who arrived on the
Lord Eldon in
Some of the convicts at Newcastle in 1818 included:
Notes & Links:
Governor Lachlan Macquarie's Journal to and from Newcastle in 1818 - State
Library of New South Wales
2). View of King's Town (Newcastle)....
University of Newcastle - Flickr - Click
Newcastle Through the Years
: Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary's Papers,
1788-1825 Series: (NRS 937) Copies of letters sent within the Colony,
1814-1825 Item: 4/3497 Page: 273