Free Settler or Felon?

Correspondence of Roger Farrell




Colonial Secretary’s Correspondence

29th January 1810 Reel 6066; 4/1804 p.6a

Letter from Roger Farrell, Bligh supporter and prisoner at Newcastle, to William Bligh.



That strict adherence to the rules of Justice & Humanity which has so conspicuously distinguished your honor's character in this colony imboldens me to address you upon the subject of my present more than common unhappy situation, the object of which is to inform you, that my term of transportation expired in your command but being for some years confined to this settlement was deprived of the opportunity of applying personally for my Certificate. I am still detained notwithstanding official documents are abstractedly attached to the indents of the 2nd Atlas (the ship in which I arrived) sufficient to remove any obstacle (if any thereby in the way of my obtaining my freedom.)

The sufferings I have undergone since the arrest of your honor are more easily conceived than expressed. Deprived of my situation as chief overseer of this settlement kept upon an Island for the most part without fresh water and obliged to do not only my own Government work but also Mr. Crossleys and other peoples. Refused common protection until deprived of every shilling I was worth consisting of my bed, Bedding, watch, wearing apparel etc. etc. etc. and flogged for swimming for my life from a party of blacks although a man was speared thru the body by my side; and why all this because I was what the Commandant Lawson in his great politeness commonly called one of Bligh's Mob and orders were issued forbidding any person to harbour countenance or in any manner whatever to associate with any who might be attached to your honor's person or Government.

Mr. Gore will inform you who I am and for the truth of what I say I refer you to Sir H. Hayes, Mr. Crossley, the bearer, Mr. Davoran and many others who were not only witness but sufferers with me in the cause, all of whom are relieved but myself from this settlement here. Lieut. Lawson proposes to make me miserable with his ….

I have Petitioned His Excellency upon the subject and most humbly implore your honor's interference on my behalf if no more than to have me removed from this settlement until such time as satisfactory documents may be officially received by His Excellency should he required more than those already produced. I lay claim humble to your kind interference upon two heads –

1st my time having expired in your command and -

2ndly by being no small sufferer for my Loyalty and attachment to your honors person and Government. Should all this fail I beg you will take the trouble of directing Mr. Griffin upon His arrival in England to procure from John Allen and Molesworth Green the certificate of my time and have it transmitted to this country otherwise I must remain for life having none to apply to but your honor upon the subject – Governor King suffered a man to go home in the Glatton and another in the Calcutta on condition of their times were unexpired they should be returned under his greatest displeasure would to God Governor Macquarie would Permit me to depart upon the like terms or worse.

May you live long triumphant over your enemies. May the Laws of Great Britain too convince the Treacherous usurpers that they were not so far out of reach as they imagined on the 26th January 1808 is first and shall be the constant Prayer of your honors most obedient humble servant

Roger Farrell.

Notes & Links:

1). Newcastle Penal Settlement 1810  

2). Governor Macquarie's Proclamation 1810  

3). Governor Macquarie's Public Notice

4). Colonial Events 1810  

5). Newcastle History

6). Newcastle Through the Years
1791   1797   1801   1802   1804   1805   1807   1808   1809   1810   1811   1812   1813  1814   1815   1816   1818   1820   1821   1822   1823   1824   1825   1826   1827   1828   1829   1831   1833   1836   1837   1838   1841   1844   1855   1857



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