Governor Macquarie's Visit
Governor Macquarie's Visit
Captain James Wallis was Commandant at Newcastle in 1818 when Governor Lachlan Macquarie visited .......The Sydney Gazette reported on 1st August 1818.....'
On 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 river.
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.
2. By 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)
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 in.
12. How are they chosen? I choose the overseers and the Chief Constable
James Connolly who arrived on the Providence in 1811 was employed as principal overseer. He was sent on the Elizabeth Henrietta on 5th January 1818(1)in 1817.
Some of the convicts at Newcastle in 1818 included:
Notes & Links:
1). 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 to enlarge
(1) : 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