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Newcastle 1823

 Newspaper Extracts

The Sydney Gazette 2 January 1823


Hatherly and Jackie, two aboriginal natives, next indicted for the wilful murder on the 10th October last, at Newcastle of John McDonald. It appeared that the deceased had been left in charge of Government tobacco plantation at Nelson’s Plains about 22 miles from the settlement of Newcastle. He was missed for the space of a fortnight, and the hut which he had occupied was plundered of its little contents. With the aid of another aboriginal native called Ge…. Who is attached to the interests of Europeans, the body of the deceased was found lying in a lagoon in a horribly mangled condition. It exhibited such evidence of native atrocity, as were frequent in former times. Suspicion fell upon these two natives, the prisoners; they were left with the deceased in the hut, when seen; and they had become latterly invisible at their usual haunts. A plan being laid, they were entrapped, and acknowledged that they had perpetrated the deed, but each charging the other with the most atrocious part. Before the Commandant they confessed the crime; and even in Court, while

Members had retired to consider of their disposal they acknowledge the foul transaction. The Court, however, under all the peculiar circumstances of the case as there existed no other proof against the prisoners than their own declaration, which could not legally in this instance, be construed into a confession, returned a Verdict of Not Guilty.



Absconded from service at Newcastle :

William Harper

J. Boyd

J. Stone

Isaac Paterson

A. Shaw

George Brown

J. Burns

Samuel Rathborne


The Sydney Gazette 9 January 1823


The Minerva, Captain Forbes, sailed for Newcastle on Sunday last



His Excellency Sir Thomas Brisbane accompanied by Major Goulburn, Colonial Secretary, embarked on board His Majesty’s brig Satellite on the forenoon of Thursday last, under the usual honorary salutes. Captain Currie presently got his vessel under weigh; and, in the course of the afternoon, the Satellite cleared the Heads. His Excellency will only remain a few days at Newcastle when, we understand He will return to Headquarters.


The Sydney Gazette 16 January 1823


His Majesty's Brig Satellite, Captain Curie, came to anchor in Sydney Cove, about seven o’clock on Monday evening. His Excellency Sir Thomas Brisbane, accompanied by the Colonial Secretary, landed immediately afterwards. We feel authorised to say, that His Excellency is highly pleased with His Tour of Inspection; and that the Settlement of Newcastle is pronounced to be in a rapidly improving way. The Satellite had rather a long passage down; having sailed on Thursday se’nnight, she did not reach Hunter’s River till the Saturday evening. His Excellency who we are happy to say is in the best health, set out for Parramatta presently after landing and arrived at Government House, Parramatta, about ten o’clock.

The Sydney Gazette 30 January 1823


Head Quarters Sydney

His Excellency the governor has been pleased to direct the following statements of the Colonial Police and Female Orphan Institution Funds for the Quarter ending the 31st March last, to be published for general Information:

Commandant…………………. £227/17/6

To Macqueen & Atkinson for a barometer………... £4/4/0

Mazegora repairs…………………  12/6-



The Sydney Gazette 6 February 1823


William Williams alias Farthing, a prisoner for Life who came from Newcastle the end of last year and who is a Pressman is requested (in whatever employ he may be) to apply to the Printer of the Gazette forthwith. He came to the Colony in the first Mariner.



From Newcastle - 

William Harper per Indefatigable. Native of Kent. Aged 70

J. Boyd per Lord Sidmouth

J. Stone per Tottenham

Isaac Patterson per Dromedary

A. Shaw per Sir William Bensley

George Brown per Fortune

J. Burns per Bencoolen

William O'Neill per Atlas



The following letter has been handed to us stating the loss of the Calder, one of the finest vessels of that class that ever entered this port. Captain Dillon, the owner has proceeded to Newcastle on the brig Fame, with the necessary assistance to get her off if practicable. Newcastle 28th January 1823

Sir, I beg leave to inform you, that I sailed from Sydney Cove on Friday morning, the 24th instant, in the brig Calder, which you were pleased to give me charge of. At a quarter past 10 o’clock, having cleared the Heads of Port Jackson, the Pilot left us, and I made all possible sail for Newcastle, in compliance with the instruction which I received from you. At 5pm, I stood in for the entrance of Newcastle, the wind being a S.E. by S and shortened sail and awaited the pilot. At a quarter after five Mr. Eckford (the pilot) came on board, and took charge of the brig. As the vessel was rounding a reef and standing into the channel inside Nobby’s Island, the wind head us off to the westward, which rendered it necessary to tack, and, at the moment the pilot was giving his orders for so doing, a very sudden heavy squall of wind took the brig and laid her over very much, and completely deadened her way through the water. As soon as we got way on her, the helm was put a lee, but the wind unfortunately varying round with the vessel at that moment she missed stays, and there not being room to wear, the anchor was, by the Pilot’s orders immediately let go, to prevent her drifting on a shoal to leeward, called the ‘Oyster Bank’. At the same time the sails were hauled; but, the first anchor did not bring her up, a second anchor was also let go, and the brig then tailing close to the shoal, a warp was run out to the mooring in the channel, in the hope of being able to warp off into deep water, but I regret to say the warp … as soon as we began to heave upon it, and the brig soon after drifted in upon the shoal and began to take very heavily. A violent surf breaking over at the time, the chain cable soon parted; the boat was hoisted out, to endeavour to carry out another anchor; but we found it impracticable to keep near the vessel, as she was every moment in danger of being stove to pieces. At this time we could not procure any assistance from the Settlement at Newcastle, and the brig still continuing to strike on the shoal and to labour excessively, and it being found impracticable to get any boat alongside for the purpose rendering any effectual assistance to her, it was thought by the Pilot, and myself, most advisable to leave the vessel (if possible), as from the appearance of the weather, and situation of the brig, we had no chance of her holding together till daybreak. The boat was with some difficulty hauled alongside; after considerable risk, the whole of the crew got off her, and we hauled off to the mooring buoy, shortly after which the second cable broke, and the brig fell broadside on the breakers. She beat over the shoal upon the beach, where she lies in a good position for heaving her off; but every exertion that has been made to moor her has been unavailing, as the heavy surf that rolls in upon the beach prevents any boats getting near the vessel so to enable me to get our spare anchor out to try to get her off. The Government here have given me the assistance in their power, but to no effect. I landed all the small stores and some of the iron and have struck yards and topmasts and have got on shore, together with the running rigging sails, and Major Morisset has stationed a military guard on the beach for the protection of everything that may be landed. Up to the present time the weather has been such as to frustrate every attempt we have to get her off; added to which there are not effectual means at this place to move her, Government having neither anchors nor cables fit for the cause. I have already swept for the brig’s anchors, without success. I shall try again, but I fear we may not be able to find them. The brig has sunk in forward about six feet. I am not aware that she has received any other damage. She has not as yet made any water, her rudder is off; and the pintles are all broke; but I cannot sufficiently clear of the counter to unhang it. There is no possibility of moving her till the next tides, and only then by such assistance as you send or bring from Sydney. The master of the cutter Sally (Mr. Simpson) is the bearer of this; he has given me every assistance; and I refer you to him for other particulars. He has sent me an anchor and cable, for which I have given him a receipt. I propose setting the spare anchor out astern to prevent her being driven higher upon the beach; every exertion being made by me for the care of the brig in her present disastrous situation.

I am Sir, your most obedient servant “William Worth


“On board the Brig Calder off Newcastle, Wednesday, February 26, 1823”

“Dear Sir, I feel much pleasure in informing you, that at 8am on Monday last, I succeeded in getting the Calder out of her perilous situation. I have her now safely moored in Hunter’s River, and will proceed to Sydney with her in about ten days. She does not appear the least injured, not having made two inches water from the time of first getting on shore. She is a good specimen of the Calcutta builder’s workmanship.  The vessel got on shore in working into Hunter’s River on a sand, called the ‘Oyster Bank’, which lies in mid channel, with deep water on both sides. The pilot and crew of the Calder got alarmed for their safety, and left my vessel to the mercy of the sea, taking care each man to secure his personal baggage from which latter circumstance I leave you to judge whether or not personal safety was much in danger. After all hands deserted the Calder, she found her way off the oyster Bank into deeper water, on the west side of it; where, if the crew had remained on board, and let go the third anchor, it would have done them much credit, and saved me the great expense to which I have been put be this ill judged retreat of theirs. To Major Morisset, of His Majesty’s 48th Regiment, Commandant of this place, I stand much indebted in grateful remembrance for the prompt assistance which he rendered to the underwriters and myself in rescuing this fine new vessel from destruction; as without this Gentleman’s aid, the crews of the Fame and Calder, would not have been able to get her off. I am Sir, Your obedient servant “Peter Dillon”

The Sydney Gazette 20 March 1823


The Undermentioned Prisoner having absented himself from employment and at large with false certificates, all constables and others are hereby required to use their utmost exertions in lodging him in safe custody. From Newcastle:

David English per Surry; aged 31; native of Tipperary; 5’9”; hazel eyes; black hair; dark sallow complexion.

The Sydney Gazette 17 April 1823


Yesterday morning arrived from Hunter River the ship Princess Charlotte, Captain Blyth, having on board 670 logs of cedar and 120 tons of coal.

The Sydney Gazette 1 May 1823


Major Morisset of the 48th Regiment, and Commandant of His Majesty’s Settlement at Newcastle, arrived at Windsor on Saturday morning last overland from his Government, after a most fatiguing journey of nine days. Owing to the mountainous aspect of the country through which this expedition passed, it is much apprehended that extreme difficulty will be experienced in effecting an inland correspondence with the country in the vicinity of Hunter’s River. However, it is to be hoped, as the intercourse becomes more frequent, difficulties may be found to lessen. The distance from Newcastle to Windsor, by the route this expedition came is 169 miles.



Joseph Dargon, William Dargon, James Freeman and Abraham Baker, were indicted for a violent assault on some of the Windsor Police, on the afternoon and evening of the 17th of March last. From the evidence it appeared that the prisoners had not only endeavoured to impede the course of justice, by rescuing a convict who was in charge of the police at the time, on the way to the gaol, but that also they knocked down the officers of the police, and maltreated them severely, so much indeed that surgical relief was found necessary to be obtained in behalf of the poor man, who was thus flagrantly obstructed in the performance of his important duty. The prisoners, with the assistance of a mob, actually succeeded in once rescuing the convict; and in two hours after, when again apprehended, they renewed their attack on the officers of justice as violently as ever. Several witnesses were called on behalf of the prisoners, but their testimony was of that very suspicious cast, that it had the effect of bestowing confirmation to the adduced on the part of the Crown. After a patient investigation of the case, the court retired, and shortly after returned with a verdict of guilty against all the prisoners. Joseph Dargon, to be imprisoned in His Majesty’s gaol at Newcastle for 6 months; to pay a fine to the King of £50; and to be imprisoned till such fine be paid; after which to enter into security to keep the peace for two years, himself in £100 and two sureties in £50 each. William Dargon, to be imprisoned 3 months in one of His Majesty’s gaols; to be fined £10; and afterwards to enter into like securities with the other Dargon, his brother; James Freeman and Abraham Baker, to be imprisoned in one of His Majesty’s gaols for 3 months; and then enter into the above securities for the same period. It is most anxiously to be hoped, that the issue of this trial, as well as others that seem to be too hastily forgotten, will have a proper effect upon the minds of the native youths of the Colony, who should be more ready to protect the laws for their own safety and welfare, than be instrumental in their violation.


The Sydney Gazette 8 May 1823


To Settlers Resident on the Banks of the Hunter River, the Wood Trade at Newcastle is thrown open on their entering into Bonds now laying at the Office of the Commandant and observing all the Regulations required by the local government.



The Sydney Gazette 19 June 1823


Government and General Orders

Civil Department

The Governor having been pleased to appoint Mr. William Innes a Storekeeper in the Commissariat Department  he will take charge of the Commissariat duties at Newcastle on 25th of this month in the room of Mr. Tucker returning on a Pension from the Colonial revenue.

The Sydney Gazette 3 July 1823


The Undermentioned Prisoner having absented himself from employment and at large with false certificates, all constables and others are hereby required to use their utmost exertions in lodging him in safe custody. From Newcastle:

George O’Neil per Coromandel



The Sydney Gazette 14 August 1823


For Newcastle – The regular packet cutter Eclipse. Sails from Sydney for the above port every week; has excellent accommodation for passengers. For freight or passage apply to Mr. Atkinson, George Street or the Commander on Board.



Newcastle, Hunter’s River, August 8, 1823

John Smith respectfully begs Leave to announce to Gentlemen, Settlers, and Others, that he has, on the Recommendation of Major Morisset Commandant of the Settlement, obtained a Licence for vending wines and Spiritous Liquors, and that his House, The Newcastle Hotel is now Open for their Reception and general Accommodation.

J. Smith begs Leave also to state, that, having a substantial Store on his Premises, Gentlemen visiting this Settlement, may be accommodated with secure Storeroom for such Goods as they may bring with them,; and, if required, may be supplied with Boats, properly manned, to proceed up Hunter’s River

 J. Smith also informs Settlers on the Banks of Hunter’s River, that, having recently opened a Connection with the Waterloo Company at Sydney, it will be in his Power to supply, at this Settlement, any quantity of Flour from the Establishment, on the most reasonable Terms.

The Sydney Gazette 11 September 1823


The Government Cutter Mermaid has sailed this week with stores for Newcastle. She takes also military guard to reinforce the detachment doing duty at Port Macquarie, to which Dependency will be drafted about 40 prisoners from the former Settlement (Newcastle), which is to be no longer considered a place of banishment for our own felons; but to be favoured with the immunities of the capital.

Major Morisset, the present Commandant of Newcastle, who has lately been on an excursion to Bathurst, returned to his Government on Monday last, on the William Penn.



The Regular Packet Cutter Eclipse, sails from Sydney for Newcastle Port every week; has excellent accommodation for passengers – For freight or passage apply to Mr. Atkinson, George Street; or the Commander on board.

The Sydney Gazette 16 October 1823


Nearly the whole of the convicts have been removed from the Settlement of Newcastle to Port Macquarie. There only remain about 50 to work at the coalmines. By the last accounts from the Northern Settlements, everything was going on in a rapidly improving way.


The Sydney Gazette 23 October 1823


The ship William Penn passed the Heads on Sunday evening from Newcastle with timber and coals on her way to Isle of France.


The Sydney Gazette 6 November 1823


Major Morisset, late Commandant of the Settlement of Newcastle arrived in Sydney on Monday afternoon in the new Government sloop Mars, a very handsome vessel of 30 tons built in Newcastle. Major Morisset we understand sets out shortly for the Government of Bathurst.


The Sydney Gazette 23 November 1823


Thomas Camel – labouring servant of the Crown accused of having committed vile and infamous assault upon a girl of eight years of age. Sentenced to stand in the pillory 1 hour in the public market place on Saturday next between 8am and 12md and afterwards sentenced to hard labour confined at Newcastle.


The Sydney Gazette 30 November 1823


This Day - Thomas Camell was pilloried for an hour (10am – 11am) pursuant to his sentence. The appearance of the culprit excited in the minds of the spectators that abhorrence which marks the public indignation of such offences such as his. After standing an hour he was returned to gaol and will shortly be removed to Newcastle to be kept a hard labour for three years.


The Sydney Gazette 4 December 1823


On Friday evening Serjeant James Smith of 48th Regiment. The deceased had the Superintendence and care of the Mess (Sydney) and was brother to Gilbert Smith of Port Macquarie. He left Sydney on Wednesday last to visit his brother and condole with him on the loss of an only child. The vessel called at Newcastle on Thursday. Serjeant Smith was taken ill on the same day; on Friday he died; and on Saturday was interred. He was much respected in the Regiment and leaves a wife and two children to deplore his sudden loss.


The Sydney Gazette 11 December 1823


The following tenders of animal food for the quarter of 25th December next being the lowest rates offered are accepted and published for the information of all concerned and the offers of those whose names do not appear in the Gazette are to be considered rejected

At Newcastle – Fresh beef at 4d per lb.

Singleton, Benjamin – Patrick Plains 15,000 lbs

Signed William Innes, Storekeeper


The Sydney Gazette 18 December 1823


Government and General Orders - The Government has been pleased to appoint Captain Gillman of 3rd Regiment a Justice of the Peace for the Counties of Northumberland and Durham and Commandant at Newcastle.

The Sydney Gazette 25 December 1823


The following tenders of wheat being the lowest rates offered are accepted and published for the information of all concerned and the offers of those whose names do not appear in the Gazette are to be considered rejected

Joseph Mirfield of Sydney 4/4d per bushel – 1200 lbs

Signed William Innes, Storekeeper