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An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port

As soon as this affair was known at Parramatta


As

soon as this affair was known at Parramatta, a party of soldiers were detached, who, getting sight of about fifty of the natives, obliged them to disperse.

This circumstance induced Governor Phillip to deviate from the royal instructions, which pointed out in what manner the allotments of land were to be made; and as the only means of enabling the settlers to defend themselves against similar accidents, he granted all those intermediate lands which had been reserved for the use of the crown, to the settlers: by this means, all the land would be cleared of timber, so that the natives could find no shelter, and, in all probability, there would be little danger from them in future: however, a noncommissioned officer and three privates were detached to each settlement, with orders to remain there until the lands were cleared.

In making this arrangement, no additional ground was given to the settler, but their allotments were brought more into a square, and the ground not occupied at present, would be granted to others in future. When these settlers were placed at such a distance from Parramatta, it was on account of the soil being good, and that their live stock and gardens might not be so liable to depredations as they would have been if nearer the town.

On the 1st of August, the Matilda transport anchored at Sydney, with cloathing, provisions, and two hundred and five male convicts.

She sailed from England on the 27th of the preceding March, in company with four others, and parted with them the first night. Although this ship had made so good a passage, she buried twenty-four convicts; twenty were sick, and many were in so emaciated a state, that scarcely any labour could be expected from them for some months. The Matilda had lost three days in endeavouring to get into St. Jago; she lay nine days at the Cape of Good Hope, and was two days at anchor on the Coast of New South Wales, within an island in the latitude of 42 deg. 15' south, where the master found very good anchorage and shelter for five or six vessels. This island, by the master's account, lies twelve miles from the main.

Off Cape Dromedary, he saw a small island, which bore south-west by west, seven miles from the cape; within which, he was of opinion, two or three ships would find good shelter. An ensign and twenty privates, of the corps raised for the service of this country, came out in the Matilda, and a serjeant died on the passage.

Governor Phillip intended to have sent the Matilda to Norfolk Island, with the stores, provisions, and convicts she had brought out, as soon as the sick were landed; but she being leaky, her cargo was put on board the Mary Ann, with one hundred and thirty-three male, and one female convict; and that vessel sailed on the 8th of August. A noncommissioned officer, and eleven privates of the New South Wales corps, were sent for the security of the ship, and they were to remain on the island.

Ballederry, the young native who absented himself after wounding a man, in revenge for some of the convicts having destroyed his canoe, had lately made several enquiries by his friends, whether Governor Phillip was still angry; and they were always told in answer to those enquiries, that he was angry, and that Ballederry should be killed for wounding a white man; yet this did not deter him from coming into the cove in a canoe, and the governor being informed of it, ordered a party of soldiers to go and secure him; but Bannelong, who was present at the time, seeing the soldiers go towards the point, gave him the alarm, and he went off.

Governor Phillip was in the garden at the time Bannelong was talking to the young man who was in his canoe going out of the cove, and gave him to understand, that Ballederry should be killed; on which, he immediately called to him, and said, the governor was still very angry: Ballederry, on hearing this, went off pretty briskly to the other side of the harbour, but, in answer to the threats of punishment, spears were mentioned, though he was then at so great a distance that the governor could not distinguish whether it was himself or the soldiers which he threatened: certain it is, that these people set little value on their lives, and never fail to repay you in kind, whether you praise or threaten; and whenever a blow is given them, be it gentle or with force, they always return it in the same manner.


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