MUDIE WAS DILIGENT IN PURSUING A MAN BY THE NAME OF WATTS. HERE IS AN EXTRACT OF THE ISSUES WHICH INCENSED SAID MUDIE. THESE COVER THE PERIOD OF TIME IN WHICH MELINDA MARRIES BASIL.
The date of Mr. Cavanagh’s first application to’Mr.
Hely, relative to Watt, was 7th January, 1835; and, a
document published in the Sydney Monitor of September
12, 1836, certifies, in the usual wav, that Jemima Chapman
was delivered of a female child in the factory, on
the 17th of April, 1834, and that the said child was the
offspring of her (the said Jemima Chapman, a convict),
and of William Watt, also a convict.
This certificate is of the birth of the first of the children
born by Chapman to Watt ; and Mr. Cavanagh, in
his charges, and also in his affidavit, declares that Watt
and Chapman were actually cohabiting together at the
time that his (Mr. Cavanagh’s) charges were preferred, and
that they had been so cohabiting together for years, and
had issue !
These dates are very important; for, about six months
afterwards, when the author of this work, then a justice
of the peace, at length succeeded in bringing Watt before
a bench of magistrates, justice was again defeated, —
and one of the pretexts for defeating justice was, that the
alleged offence of the cohabitation had taken place so
long ago, that it was not fit that it should now be entertained !
The circumstances attending the second ineffectual
attempt to bring Watt to justice are still more extraordinary
than those which have just been narrated.
PATRICK WAS ASSIGNED TO HIS WIFE JUDITH MCNALLY. ONCE AGAIN MUDIE HAD STRONG OPINIONS ABOUT THESE MATTERS AND THE POWER AS MAGISTRATE TO ACT UPON SOME OF THEM.
Indeed, the more knowing ones, — that is, the very
worst characters amongst the convicts, — seldom undergo
any real punishment at all.
Whether thieves, burglars, receivers, forgers, swindlers,
or mail coach robbers, if they are ” well up to the
trick,” they bring out with them letters to some of the ”
old hands” in the colony, so as to ensure their being
applied fort as assigned servants by persons of the right
If they have secured a portion of the plunder they
had acquired in England, they easily make themselves
comfortable ; for in that case they enter into copartnery,
under the rose, with some one or other of the
emancipated felonry, who, being enabled by the funds of
their convict partners to take houses or enter into business,
apply to have their partners assigned to them as
servants, and the gentlemen convicts fall upon a bed
of roses at once !
If a wife has been left in England with the charge of
the spoil, she follows her husband in the first ship ; —
on her arrival she takes a house, and then petitions the
Governor to have her husband, — the father of her children,-—
assigned to her as her servant, — in which petition
her husband of course joins. If she has no children of
her own, three or four brats are easily borrowed in Sydney
for the purpose of stage effect ; and off she sets for
government-house, where the sight of the affliccted
lady and her little ones of course has a wonderful influence
over the sympathetic Governor Bourkc.
In short, having brought with her a supply of the “
saag,” as the convicts call their ill -gotten cash, a wife
seldom fails of having her husband assigned to her, in
which case the transported felon finds himself his own
master, in possession of all the present wealth his past
nefarious courses may have procured for him, — and on
the road to future fortune.
For the very worst characters who are transported,
therefore, it appears that New South Wales is not any
punishment at all, or at least that it is easy for them,
owing to the careless laxity and childish leniency of the
colonial authorities, to evade the punishment which their
crimes have merited.
appears from the census, taken in September, 1833, published in
the next Government Gazette after the 1st December, 1833, that
it was then estimated that there were in this colony, free males
above twelve years of age, 18,878; convict males, 21,445, and
that he had been informed that the number of free emigrants since
arrived, up to November, 1835, has been 2800, of whom 905 are
men, the rest being women and children ; and that the number of
convicts airived since the same time, has been 8163, of whom
7357 are males.
MUDIE ON HIS DISMISSAL AS A MAGISTRATE
The author treats his dismissal from the magistracy by
Governor Bourke, or any other attempt at putting an
affront or indignity upon him, by such a. government as that
of New South Wales now is, with as much contempt and
scorn as he treated the accusations of his convict servants,
to which the colonial government listened, or were disposed
to listen, with so much eagerness.
He does not exaggerate, when he declares that he considers
the good or bad opinion of the convicts themselves,
or the good or bad opinion of their convict-loving governors,
as being precisely of the same value, or rather as
being equally insignificant and worthless.
Nay, considering who the gentlemen are, along with
whom the author was dismissed from the magistracy, he
looks upon his dismissal as a positive honour conferred
upon him, instead of an indignity.
BRINGING IN JOHN MCGARVIE AND THOMAS BARKER
Of these operations General Darling says, (referring
to a time at which, while governor of the colony, he had
done the author the distinguished honour of visiting him
at his residence on the Hunter) ” My stay at Castle Forbes
was so short that I had not an opportunity of going over
your grounds : but, judging from the farm-yard, there
could be no doubt that they were well cultivated, and
I remember remarking that the stacks of wheat were very
numerous, and on a larger scale than I recollected to
have seen on any former occasion.”
The Rev. John M’Garvie, minister of St. Andrew’s
Church, Sydney, says, “The estate of Castle Forbes
presents one of the most extensive and best conducted
agricultural establishments in New South Wales ; and,
as you were the first settler in that vicinity calculated to
get an example of spirited enterprise to your less opulent
neighbours, I feel confident that the extent and judicious
management of that estate have tended, in a most material
degree, to give that pleasing, comfortable, and
British-like aspect to the whole district, for which it is
Thomas Barker, Esq., a mag-istrate, and the most ex-
tensive purchaser of grain in the colony, says, ” I have
had opportunities of informing myself of the numerous
difficulties a settler contends with, in bringing a tract of
country into cultivation ; and having visited your late
estate of Castle Forbes,” ” my opinion of your agricultural
exertions is formed from seeing the state of your
farm in 1834, with the barn yard full of the largest wheat
stacks I ever witnessed ; doubtless your exertions must
have been : very great, and you must have expended a
considerable sum of money in improvements, for amongst
the settlers in that respectable district, I do not know
any who cultivated so extensively, and sent so much
wheat to the Sydney market.”
A LETTER REGARDING JAMES MUDIE FROM JOHN MCGARVIE WHO MARRIED MELINDA AND BASIL ON AUG 1 1835
From the Rev. John M’Garvie, Minister of St. Andrew’s
Scots Church, Sydney. .
Sydney, 30th March, 1836.
I have this moment received your letter, in
which you request me to state, whether I ” have heard or
known any thing to affect your character, as a private Gentleman,
or as a Magistrate ;” and also, what I ” know respecting
the extent of your agricultural exertions, and your mode
of treatment of the convicts in your employment.”
It gives me much pleasure to state, that,
during a personal acquaintance of more than seven years, I
have neither known nor heard any circumstance that could
affect your character, as a private Gentleman or as a respected
member of society. I have had occasion to sojourn in your
house at Castle Forbes ; I have repeatedly exercised the
duties of my sacred calling, in the family of your nearest
relatives, where you resided, and I have often met you in
private life ; and I have not the slightest hesitation in adding
to that of your numerous friends, my humhle tribute of
testimony to the correctness of your deportment and excellence
of your character.
The estate of Castle Forbes presents one of
the most extensive and best conducted agricultural establishments
in New South Wales; and as you were the first settler
in that vicinity calculated to set an example of spirited enterprise
to your less opulent neighbours, 1 feel confident that
the extent £nd judicious management of that estate have
tended, in a most material degree, to give that pleasing, comfortable,
and British-like aspect, to the whole district, for
which it is remarkable.
It also comes within my own knowledge,
that you have given encouragement to the performance of
divine service, in your own house, when opportunity offered ;
that you have proposed to set apart a portion of ground on
your own estate, for the erection of a church ; and in every
instance in which ministers of our communion (and of these
I speak with perfect certainty) have expressed a desire to
exercise their sacred functions, at Patrick’s Plains, or Castle
Forbes, you have forwarded their views, and opened your
hospitable mansion for their reception. When I attended at
Castle Forbes, I was particularly gratified by the appearance
of comfort, regularity, and respect, presented by the convict
portion of the audience.
As I have not been present on any occasion
when you have exercised the office of Magistrate, I do not
feel so competent to give an opinion, as other friends perfectly
acquainted with the subject. But your firmness, discrimination,
urbanity, and strict love of justice and truth, in
private life, enable me to judge that upright and honourable
feelings only have actuated your conduct, in dispensing justice
and law, impartially, to Bond and Free.
On the eve of your departure, I cannot
close this letter without an assurance of the happiness it will
give to your numerous friends, to hear of your safe arrival
in England and speedy return to Australia. For your future
happiness, I can only add my most fervent wishes.
Yours truly (
Signed) JOHN M’GARVIE.
AND FROM THOMAS BARKER EMPLOYER OF THE KENDALL BROTHERS AND PATRICK MCNALLY
From Thomas Barker, Esq., a Magistrate for the Territory,
and the most extensive Purchaser of Grain in the Colony.
Sydney, 2dth March, 1836.
My Dear Sir
have had opportunities of informing myself of the numerous
difficulties a settler contends with, in bringing a tract of
country into a state of cultivation, I having visited your late
Estate, Castle Forbes, you request my candid opinion of the
extent of your agricultural exertions.
With regard to the first question I can only
reply by reiterating the sentiments of every respectable Colonist, —
that I most sincerely believe you have at all times conducted
yourself as became a Gentleman, a greater proof of
which cannot be, than the estimation in which you are held
by persons of respectability, and the very close intimacy that
subsists between you and them.
With respect to your Magisterial capacity,
I have every reason to believe you have acted most conscientiously
in the discharge of the various arduous duties imposed
by that office.
My opinion of your agricultural exertions
is formed from seeing the state of your farm in 1834, with the
barn yard full of the largest wheat stacks I ever witnessed.
Doubtless your exertions must have been very great, and you
must have expended a considerable sum of money in improvements ;
for amongst the settlers in that respectable district, I
do not know any who cultivated so extensively, and brought so
much wheat to the Sydney market.
I cannot close this without an expression of
regret, that you should feel compelled to leave us. I trust,
however, we may shortly have the pleasure of again enjoying
your society. Believe me you carry with, you every good
wish for your safety and speedy return.
Yours very truly, (
Signed) THO. BARKER.