Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Sunday, 12th November 1837

The farcical carry on surrounding Stephen's court case has clearly been as embarrassing to Jeffcott as it was entertaining to the rest of us. He handed me a letter earlier in the week to forward to London informing them of his intention to seek a position on the bench either in Van Dieman's Land or perhaps even in the planned colony of New Zealand.

Fisher made yet another attempt to get Sammy Stephens out of trouble when he argued in court that since Sammy's murder attempt happened in a boat at sea and since South Australian law has no provision for crimes on the high seas then Jeffcott's court has no jurisdiction in the case.

(I should mention that earlier in the year I attempted to include such a provision regarding crimes on the high seas in our legal statutes but was over ruled by the rest of the Council)

Jeffcott informed me that this new argument in the case gave him need to once again take leave from the bench in order to travel back to Van Diemen's Land in order to consult with his brother judges regarding the legal points raised in Fisher's new arguments.

"Brother Judges" my arse and Betty Martin!

He is scampering back to Hobart Town to spend time with his fiancee. I don't quite know what the attraction is between Jeffcott and the lovely Miss Kermode. Perhaps she spends the time when he is absent from her sucking the juice out of oranges as kissing practice. But whatever the attraction, the fact is that whenever Jeffcott is feeling his oats he discovers some knotty legal point and is on the first ship to Hobart Town to "consult with his colleagues". By which read "visit his fancy woman". And in the mean time, while Jeffcott chases after skirts, the courts in our colony can grind to a halt.

If Jeffcott should stay here in our colony the one hope we have is that these two lovebirds marry and settle down, making a love nest of the Judge's chambers, so that we can see the majesty of the law at work.

But if he should find another place, or while he is off in Van Dieman's playing the moon eyed swain, I will find myself in need of appointing at least a temporary replacement.

The problem here is that the only man Jeffcott was able to suggest as being even remotely qualified to take the position is Henry Jickling, a man with an air of quietly distracted learning about him. He would be required to conduct cases in the Supreme Court of the colony and truth be told, I would have my doubts about his ability to conduct his maiden aunt to her seat in church. Still, beggars can't be choosers as they say and if Jickling is all we have then a'Jickling we must go.

Reports from a man named "Walker" have reached Adelaide regarding the mouth of the Murray river and the finding of a harbour in Encounter Bay.

"Walker" (it is unclear whether this is a name or a description and if a name whether it is solitary or if he subscribes to the views of decent society and has one, or even two given names) has been dignified in reports as "for some years a resident of Kangaroo Island", as though he is landed gentry. But clearly he is a member of that lawless and godless crew of whalers who infest the island. And, for a miracle, he is described in reports as sober, steady and intelligent, which seems to be stretching it a bit. "Intelligent" I might believe of a whaler if pushed, but "sober and steady"? I have strong doubts. 

He claims that some twenty-five miles to the south west of the currently charted mouth of the river discovered by Sturt, there is another "noble river" connecting to a fine and commodious harbour, four fathoms deep, capable of accommodating many ships and convenient for trade and transport.

The obvious question that needs to be asked is, "If such a fine harbour exists, then why has no-one mentioned it before?" That Sturt might have missed it I can understand. Sturt would have trouble finding a fly on the end of his nose. Sturt lacks a sense of direction in the same way that my Grandmother lacks a sense of hearing. But Flinders also sailed through that way and mapped the place. Does a harbour appear on Flinders's map? No it does not. And Baudin also. Now Baudin was a Frenchman, but even a Frenchman could probably spot a harbour. 

So what it amounts to is that a drunken ne'er-do-well arrives in town with a story of a vast harbour that no-one else but him has been able to find and the result is that the whole place is in an uproar! So whilst I might see a need to ask the obvious question, no-one else seems to be bothered.

Mrs Hindmarsh, of course, who has never quite recovered from not being able to set the Capital amongst the beauties of Boston Bay, is all in a frenzy of excitement and is demanding that I immediately send Light and a party to confirm Walker's story. It seems that even at this late stage, with the City survey completed and the country survey well under way, Mrs Hindmarsh is expecting everyone to up stumps and head off into the wilds once more to satisfy her pursuit of the picturesque. 

All complete nonsense of course. I will lay a shilling at any odds you choose that Walker's Harbour does not exist and be damned if I am going to waste Light's time by sending him off chasing bubbles. For good or ill we are here in Adelaide and here we will stay, no matter what Mrs Hindmarsh may opine. (Or demand)

If a party happens to travel that way in the near future I might instruct them to investigate Walker's drunken ramblings, but only if it can be done at as little a loss and inconvenience to the Colony as possible. 

The mad poisoner, after the outstanding steamed pudding she made that was so loved by the insects of Government House, has returned to her true form. We were served some form of suet dumpling this week, the which, she informed us, were "Kirkcaldy Cakes". Kirkcaldy, if memory serves, is in Fife. These things were so hard and dense you could bore one out and make a fife from it, so I see where the name came from. 

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Sunday, 5th November, 1837

This was Guy Fawkes Night of course, and all day today I have been accosted by young lads and lasses calling out "a penny for the Guy". At first I was quite happy to join in the fun and handed out a penny or two to any who might ask. But finally, when I had run out of small coins I had to decline and plead my inability. I was taken with one lad who asked for a penny and, when I told him that I only had shilling coins left in my pocket said, "Well Governor, a penny is the way it's usually done, but if a shilling is all you have then we will hide our disappointment as you put it in the hat." Cheeky young monkey. I told him as much as I gave him his shilling.

I have some doubts about the need for the continuation of the old custom. It is, and always was, a time strong in anti-Catholic sentiment and I am not convinced that, in a Colony devoted to religious tolerance, such a celebration of anti-Popery is either welcome or necessary.

A number of bonfires burnt brightly earlier this evening and I am informed that there were a number of guys burnt about the town. One, I was told, was Fisher in effigy. I am relieved to say that none of the guys looked in any way like me.

Sadly, though unsurprisingly, there were no fireworks available, but the children soon learned that hitting the fires with sticks sent a shower of sparks high into the air and this seems to have satisfied them as a substitute,

I have recorded before in these pages that our local natives have a positive mania for setting things alight and the sight of the bonfires attracted them in quite large numbers. They most certainly knew nothing of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot, but, after some apprehension from our own people, they joined in the celebrations, taking turns to sing their own songs around the fires with our settlers and their children playing with our own children. A splendid time.

Not such a splendid time in the courts of late. It has become apparent that there was rather more to Stephens being removed from the Company by McLaren than just Sammy's ribald taste in humour. Sam Stephens is currently under arrest for attempted murder.

The facts of the case are easy to understand. It is the subsequent circumstances that are difficult to credit.

When Stephens was last at Encounter Bay he decided to muck in with the whalers and help out as best he could.

Now there are two whaling stations at Encounter Bay - the Company's station, with Captain Hart in charge and another run by Captain Blenkinsop for Robert Campbell, a merchant in Sydney. Naturally the sight of a whale causes a degree of excitement amongst the whalers and a degree of competition between the whalers from the two stations. 

On the day when Stephens was there a whale was sighted and a boat from each of the stations set out to chase it down. It seems that at first there were yells and calls from one boat to another but soon one thing led to another ( as things are wont to do when Stephens is involved) and tempers frayed to the point when a pistol was fired from the Company boat into the other, the ball narrowly missing the head of a whaler named Mead. What happened next is not entirely clear, but it seems that Wright, the master of the Company boat fired a pistol at Captain Blenkinsop and all that allayed any damage was the wetness of the powder and the subsequent misfiring of the pistol. 

It is hardly surprising that Wright and Stephens are now on a charge of attempted murder and regularly appearing in court.

And this is where the story becomes difficult to believe. 

To begin with Stephens has retained for his defense that latter day Demosthenes, J H Fisher and Wright is being represented in court by Charles Mann. The propriety of two Government Officials defending in a murder case has not been unremarked by the many in the colony. Also commented upon has been the matter of the Advocate General, a man who might normally be expected to be seen prosecuting Crown cases, defending a murder trial. But these irregularities are trifles compared to what has been raised in the case itself.

The great advocate, this Solon, this Julius Paulus Prudentissimus, James Hurtle Fisher has appeared before the court arguing (it seems hoping to be taken seriously) that Stephens is entirely innocent of any crime simply because he was never arrested.

"How can this be?" you ask. "How can a man in the dock at a murder trial never have been arrested?"

Follow Mr Fisher's argument closely. 

It seems that the original Warrant for the arrest was authorised by none other than Thomas Bewes Strangways. Unfortunately, in his haste, my prospective son-in-law mis-spelled his own name and wrote "The Honourable Thomas Bewes STANGWAYS".  As a result, Fisher argued before the Judge that since no man called "Stangways" exists in the colony then the warrant was never properly signed and hence Stephens was never properly arrested.

"I call for the case to be dismissed, my Lord!"

Be buggered!

Jeffcott, to his eternal credit, dismissed this argument almost at once, saying that the intention of the thing was clear and that no matter how the name was spelled, Strangways was still Strangways.

But Fisher had more. Oh yes! 

Since the term "The Honourable" is not in use in South Australia then it was clear that there could be no such person as "The Honourable Thomas Bewes Strangways." (or even Stangways) and it followed as night follows day that Stephens must therefore have no case to answer.

Well, if Jeffcott dismissed his first argument almost at once then his second argument was dismissed almost before he finished stating it. The damned fool!

Surely by this point even Fisher could see that this was not going well. But even then he had more! Fisher had found an old law dating from who knows when that stated that no prosecution could take place unless the offence had been committed less than three calendar months before. 

It took Jeffcott moments to point out that this law only applied to certain petty offences and certainly did not apply to offences such as attempted murder.

And so even Fisher had to admit defeat and as a result Stephens will be forced to to trial.

Unless of course Mr Fisher invents yet more damn fool ideas.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Sunday, 29th October 1837

After his dismal performance at last week's proclamation of the new monarch I gave young Strangways his due comeuppance. I told him that I wished to have a copy of my own of the letters that I received from London regarding our new Queen and gave him the task of handcopying them for me. He produced them for me, but only after many an attempt and much annoyance. The knottiness and obscurity of the language and my insistence that copies of letters of such historical interest should be completely without error or correction meant that he needed to start again in his task several times. I cannot but feel that if he did not finish them when he did he might have actually uttered a curse word! Such was the limit to which he was pushed!

To be honest I could not give a tinker's curse about the letters, but just wanted to give the lad a slap on the wrist after his poor showing on Friday last. Ill natured of me, I suppose, but you take your amusement where you can.

Word has come to me of a ship arrival that will, I predict, cause some ructions within the Colony.

The Solway (Cpt R. Pearson) arrived at Kingscote on October 16th having sailed from Hamburg in June with a full complement of some 70 Germans.

Now let me say at the outset that I am not one prone to prejudice and the unthinking condemnation of other nations. Reason, a dedicated study of the facts and a modern, enlightened attitude towards the peccadilloes of Societies other than our own are my watchwords in this matter.

And so it seems to me entirely without prejudice and utterly reasonable to say that even such a low type of Englishman as Fisher has within him a natural British quality that places him above even the best that other nations can offer.

Never prejudice, but reason, a study of the facts and personal experience, have led me to understand that the French as a race are entirely treacherous, supercilious, unhygienic, snail eating regicides.

And now we have Germans. As I said, I am not one to set my cap against other nations and races, but even so, I have some concerns about these new Teutonic arrivals.

At the moment we have them offshore on the island, but if we allow them to come to the mainland and live among us as Colonists then what trouble may it cause? With their sausages and their Martin Luther and their leather breeches and their jaw breaker of a language I can only but hope that they make some attempt at fitting in to our British society here in the Colony.

They have come to an English Colony and I cannot help but feel that the least they can do is to learn to speak English, dress as the English dress and show an acceptance of the value and beliefs that make England the very acme of the nations of the world.  

If they choose not to blend in with our British society, but insist on continuing with their own forms of dress, of food, of language, of religion and of custom then I fear that our local English colonists will not accept them, but view them as willfully adherent to ways that are clearly inferior to our own. 




And I trust they have no hopes of setting up a Germanic enclave here in the Colony. We cannot have two different types of colonist: one British and devoted to the British way of life and the other devoted to the Prussian view.

But the secret fear that will haunt all our British colonists is that the Germans will try and  convert us to their German ways. I suspect that these seventy colonists are but the first in a flotilla of German laden boats and once they are here in sufficient numbers will we all finish by drinking heavy red wines and carving cuckoo clocks? Will we all be required to be punctual and humourless?

For the nonce, whilst they are detained at Kingscote, all is well. But who knows what the future might bring?

Monday, 15 May 2017

Sunday, 22nd October, 1837

Extraordinary kerfuffle and carry on this week as I went about my Master's bidding.

I received letters from London instructing me as to the procedure for the continuance of Government following the death of the late King and the accession of this new chit of a girl.

Pages and pages of it and what it all came down to was "Everyone stay where you are and leave muggins Hindmarsh  to tell the troops."

And so on Friday last they all wandered over to the Vice-Regal Palace to hear the High and Mighty Princess Alexandrina Victoria proclaimed Lady Victoria, by the Grace of God Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Supreme Lady of Her Majesty's Province of South Australia, and its Dependencies. 

I must admit, I was unaware that South Australia had dependencies, but if ever we do then they have a new queen.

Poor old Strangways had to read the thing out whilst I looked on with my face expressing Vice-Regal benevolence. The lad made an utter balls up of the thing, getting tongue tied and going quite red in the face and I am afraid that my look of Vice-Regal benevolence might have slipped once or twice into what I hope looked like Vice-Regal pained forebearance, although Mrs Hindmarsh tells me that it was much the same expression as I use when looking at Widow Harvey's lump of a child.

The other night Lucrezia surprised us all by producing (whether through luck or through skill) a steamed pudding of such delicacy that my mouth watered as the bowl hit the table. (The mad widow felt the need to apologize for the thing as "not having my usual flair", but I assured her that we would overlook such a defect) And when I saw that she must have made a trip down North Terrace to Hack's farm so that she could serve us this majestic pudding with clotted cream, well, I could but say "Woman, your sins are forgiven. Go and sin no more."

And then, just as I was about to dip my spoon into the wondrous thing, there was a rustle above us and an enormous centipede fell from the thatched roof and, sure as eggs, landed in my bowl, where it lay wriggling, coating itself in dairy produce.

Mrs Hindmarsh assures me that the look I gave that centipede was exactly the same as the look I gave Strangways as I watched him give his best impression of a beetroot with a stammer.

The assembled colonists seemed to be quite forgiving of the afflicted beetroot, as it gave them more time to try and outdo each other with the solemnity of their expressions. Some seemed to aim at bravely borne grief, whilst others attempted a look of stoic patriotism. Fisher, naturally, tried to outdo all others by attempting what I can only imagine was a look of grief at the passing of the King mixed with fervent loyalty for the new Queen. The result was that he looked rather like the village idiot straining at a difficult stool and I found it best to look away, lest I broke out in a fit of giggling during the solemnities.  

The odd man out was, as usual, Osmond Gilles, who seemed to be so upset by the death of our Monarch that he had tried to drown his sorrows in grog. I can only assume that his sorrows were strong swimmers, such were the copious amounts of brandy he seemed to have used to ensure they were overwhelmed. 

After all had sworn fealty to their new liege and signed an expression of loyalty the mad poisoner appeared with trays of what she assured us were "mixed fancies' to accompany our cups of tea. I gathered they got their name from the number of people who were heard to say "Fancy expecting us to eat that!" To make up for the horror (people were seen to recoil as the Widow offered to "parcel some up for you to take home") I tapped a keg of my excellent beer and all were mollified.

 I note with some satisfaction that there is talk about town that land prices are on the increase. Indeed, some have suggested a price increase of some six hundred per cent, which seems most satisfactory, given the extent of my land holdings. I cannot help but think that a few shillings an acre was a wise investment and there will be money for jam when I finally sell up.

I have heard tell of rumours that our chief funster and jester of the South Australian Company, David McLaren has finally relieved Samuel Stephens of all duties, wished him a sailor's farewell and sent him packing.

This was inevitable I suppose. Sammy was the most delightful of men, but as much use as a fart in a hurricane when it came to running a company. And it goes without saying that he was not able to endear himself to the dour and dreary McLaren.

I am reliably informed that Sam had written a new song that started with the lines:
In the Garden of Eden, As everyone knows, Lived Adam and Eve, Without any clothes.
In this garden, Were two little leaves, One covered Adam's, One covered Eve's.
and went on for another twelve verses describing what happened in Autumn when the leaves fell. It need hardly be said that such ribaldry was not to McLaren's taste and Sammy found himself on a warning. Inevitably he crossed the boundary again, this time with an anecdote about Captain Cook and a Tongan girl with a yam.

The result was Sam's immediate dismissal, ostensibly for lack of diligence.

What the poor duffer will do now I don't now. But I cannot help feel that the South Australia Company, whilst it will undoubtedly be better run in future, will also be a far duller place.

Loose Papers Found Between Pages of The Governor's Diary

The following documents were found between the pages of Hindmarsh's diary. Hindmarsh has written across the back of one:

"What a to do! Why can they not simply say "Everyone stay as you are until further order. And Hindmarsh, spread the news!" instead of all this?"


The first is a letter from Lord Glenelg informing Hindmarsh of the death of King William IV.



From the Right Honourable Lord GLENELG, 
Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies,
Downing Street,

SIR,

21st June, 1837.

It is with the greatest regret I have to communicate to you the melancholy intelligence of the demise of His late most gracious Majesty, King William the Fourth. His Majesty expired at His Castle at Windsor, on the morning of the 20th instant, at 12 minutes past two o'clock, to the great affliction of the Royal Family, and of all classes of His Majesty's subjects.

Her present Majesty was this day proclaimed Queen Victoria with all the solemnities used on the like occasions. Her Majesty's most gracious Declaration contained in the accompanying Gazette, will best inform you of her determination, under the guidance of Divine Providence, to maintain the reformed religion as by law established, securing at the same time to all, the full enjoyment of religious liberty, and to protect the rights and promote to the utmost of her power the happiness and welfare of all classes of her subjects.

The form to be observed in proclaiming within your government Her most sacred Majesty Queen Victoria, is stated for your guidance in the accompanying communication from the Lords of Her Majesty's most Honourable Privy Council, which also transmits in order that the same may be made public within your Government, Her Majesty's Proclamation requiring all persons being in office of authority, or Government, at the decease of the late King, to proceed in the execution of their respective offices.

I have the honour to be, SIR,

Your most obedient humble Servant,

GLENELG.


The second is a letter from the Privy Council instructing Hindmarsh as to his immediate actions.

From the Lords of Her Majesty's most Honorable Privy Council:

To our very loving Friend the Governor of South Australia.

It having pleased Almighty God to take to His Mercy out of this troublesome life, Our late Sovereign Lord King William the Fourth, of blessed and glorious Memory, and thereupon Her Royal Majesty Queen Victoria, being here proclaimed, We have thought fit to signify the same unto you, with directions that you do, with the assistance of the Council, and numbers of the principal Inhabitants of South Australia, forthwith Proclaim her most sacred Majesty Queen Victoria, according to the form here enclosed, with the solemnities and ceremonies requisite on the like occasions. And you are likewise to publish and proclaim, a Proclamation, requiring all persons being in office of Authority, or Government, at the demise of the late King, to proceed in the execution of their respective offices, till Her Majesty's pleasure shall be further signified, according to the printed copy of the Proclamation herewith transmitted to you for that purpose.

And so not doubting of your ready compliance herein, we bid you heartily farewell.

From the Council Chamber of St. James's, this twenty-first day of June, 1837.
Your loving Friends,
COTTENHAM C.
DUNCANNON.
PALMERSTON.
COMBERMERE.
GLENELG.
HILL.
SPRING
RICE.
ANGLESEY.


The third is a minute from the new Queen's declaration to her Council regarding her accession to the throne


AT the Court at Kensington, the 20th day of June, 1837,

PRESENT,
The QUEEN'S Most Excellent Majesty in Council.

HER Majesty being this day present in Council, was pleased to make the following Declaration, viz. THE severe and afflicting loss which the Nation has sustained by the death of His Majesty, my beloved Uncle has devolved upon me the duty of administering the Government of this Empire. 

This awful responsibility is imposed upon me so suddenly, and at so early a period of my life, that I should feel myself utterly opprest by the burthen were I not sustained by the hope that Divine Providence, which has called me to this work, will give me strength for the performance of it and that I shall find in the purity of my intentions, and in my zeal for the public welfare, that support and those resources which usually belong to a more mature age, and to longer experience.

I place my firm reliance upon the wisdom of Parliament, and upon the loyalty and affection of my people. I esteem it also a peculiar advantage, that I succeed to a Sovereign whose constant regard for the rights and liberties of his Subjects, and whose desire to promote the amelioration of the Laws and Institutions of the Country, have rendered his name the object of general attachment and veneration.
Educated in England, under the tender and enlightened care of a most affectionate Mother, I have learned from my Infancy to respect and love the Constitution of my Native Country. It will be my unceasing study to maintain the Reformed Religion us by Law established, securing at the same time to all the full enjoyment of Religious liberty; and I shall steadily protect the rights, and promote to the utmost of my power, the happiness and welfare of all classes of my subjects.

Whereupon the Lords of the Council made it their humble request to Her Majesty, that Her Majesty's most gracious Declaration to their Lordships might be made public, which Her Majesty was pleased to order accordingly.


C.C. GREVILLE.

The fourth document is a handwritten copy of the Queen's Proclamation regarding the immediate future of all government positions.

BY THE QUEEN. 

A PROCLAMATION, Requiring all Persons being in Office of Authority or Government at the Decease of the late King, to proceed in the Execution of their respective Offices.

VICTORIA R.

WHEREAS by an Act made in the Sixth Year of the Reign of Her late Majesty Queen Anne, intituled An Act for the Security of Her Majesty's Person and Government, and of the Succession to the Crown of Great Britain in the Protestant Line; it was enacted, that no Office, Place, or Employment, Civil or Military, within the Kingdoms of Great Britain or Ireland, Dominion of Wales, Town of Berwick upon Tweed, Isles of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, and Sark, and any of Her Majesty's Plantations, should be made void by reason of the Demise of Her said late Majesty, Her Heirs or Successors, Kings or Queens of this Realm, but that every Person or Persons in any of the Offices, Places, and Employments aforesaid should continue in their respective Offices, Places, and Employments for the Space of Six Months next after such Death or Demise, unless sooner removed and discharged by the next Successor, to whom the Imperial Crown of this Realm was limited and appointed to go, remain, and descend: And whereas by an Act made in the Fifty-seventh Year of the Reign of His late Majesty King George the Third, intituled An Act for the Continuation of all and every Person or Persons in any and every Office, Place, or Employment, Civil or Military, within the United Kingdom of Great Britain aud Ireland, Dominion of Wales, Town of Berwick upon Tweed, Isles of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark, and Man, and also in all and every of His Majesty's Foreign Possessions, Colonies, or Plantations, which he or she shall hold, possess, or exercise during the pleasure of the Crown at the Time of the Death or Demise of His present Majesty, until removed or discharged therefrom by the succeeding King or Queen of this Realm ; it was enacted, that all and every Person and Persons, who upon the Day of the Demise of His said late Majesty should hold any Office, Civil or Military, under the Crown, during Pleasure, should, under and by virtue of the said Act and without any new or other Patent, Commission, Warrant, or Authority, continue and be entitled in all respects, notwithstanding the Demise of His said Majesty, to hold and enjoy the same: But nevertheless the same should be held or enjoyed only during the Pleasure of the King or Queen who should succeed to the Crown upon the Demise of His said late Majesty; and the Right and Title to hold and enjoy the same under the Authority of the said Act should be determinable in such and the like Manner, by the King or Queen who upon the Demise of His said late Majesty should succeed to the Crown, as the Right or Title to any Office, Place, or Employment granted by such succeeding King or Queen, during Pleasure, would by Law be determinable : We, therefore, with the Advice of Our Privy Council, declare Our Royal Will and Pleasure to be, and do hereby direct and command, That all and every Person and Persons, who at the Time of the Demise of Our late Royal Uncle, of Glorious Memory, duly and lawfully held, or were duly and lawfully possessed of or invested in any Office, Place, or Employment, Civil or Military, within Our United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Dominion of Wales, Town of Berwick upon Tweed, Isles of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney Sark, or Man, or any of Our Foreign Possessions, Colonies, or Plantations, do severally, according to their Places, Offices, or Charges, proceed in the Performance and Execution of all Duties belonging to their respective Offices whilst they shall hold the same respectively during Our Pleasure; And We do hereby require and command all Our loving Subjects to be aiding, helping, and assisting, at the Commandment of the said Officers and Ministers, in the Performance and Execution of their respective Offices and Places, us they and every of them tender Our utmost Displeasure, and will answer the contrary at their Peril. 

Given at Our Court at Saint James's, 
this Twenty-first Day of June One thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven. 

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN.

The final document is Hindmarsh's Declaration regarding the succession to the throne of the new Queen, given, as instructed, to the Colony and to which a number of leading colonists added their signatures.


Adelaide, 19th day of October, 1837.

 HIS Excellency the Governor, assisted by the Members of Council, Magistrates, Officers of Government, and numbers of the Principal Inhabitants this day assembled in front of Government House, and proclaimed Her Majesty-Queen Victoria as follows:

WHEREAS it hath pleased Almighty God to call to His Mercy our late Sovereign Lord King William the Fourth, of blessed and glorious Memory, by whose decease the Imperial Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and all other His late Majesty's Dominions, is solely and rightfully come to the High and Mighty Princess Alexandrina Victoria, saving the right of any issue of His late Majesty King William the Fourth, which may be born of His late Majesty's Consort, We, John Hindmarsh, Knight of the Royal Hanoverian Guelplic Order, Captain in Her Majesty's Royal Navy, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Province of South Australia, assisted by the Honourable the Council of the said Province, the Magistrates, Officers of Government, and numbers of the principal inhabitants of Adelaide, therefore Do Now hereby with our full voice and consent of tongue and heart, publish and proclaim, that the High and Mighty Princess Alexandrina Victoria, is now by the death of our late Sovereign of happy and glorious memory, become our only lawful and rightful leige, Lady Victoria, by the Grace of God Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, saving as aforesaid, Supreme Lady of Her Majesty's Province of South Australia, and its Dependencies, to whom, saving as aforesaid, We do acknowledge all Faith and constant Obedience, with all hearty and humble affection, beseeching God, by whom Kings and Queens do reign, to bless the Royal Princess Victoria with long and happy years to Reign over us. 

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN.


John Hindmarsh                             J. W. Jeffcott
C. J. William Bell                 T. Bewes Strangways
Henry Jickling                                    Chas. Mann
Henry Jones                                       J. H. Fisher
G.O. Ormsby                                Geo. Stevenson
Alfred Hardy Charles                     B. Howard, Clk
George C. Lewis                             Osmond Gilles
Charles Nantes                            Y. B. Hutchinson
W. Williams                                      Thos. Lipson
Oscar J. Lines                      Boyle Travers Finniss
William Wyatt                         Thos. Young Cotter
E. Webster                                      Edwd. Wright
L, Powes                                        P. M. Richards
F W. Allen                                     John Morphett
Thomas Rogers                           Henry R. Wickley
John White                                 Fredk. Handcock
J. Woodforde                          J. W. D. Blenkinsop
Robert Thomas                         J. Hindmarsh. Jun
S. Sievres                                        J. E. Barnard









Saturday, 13 May 2017

Sunday, 15th October, 1837

I was greatly pleased earlier this week to see that Jeffcott had returned from Van Diemen's Land where he has been visiting his fiancee, Miss Kermode.

I was expecting to receive a hearty pat on the back from him when he saw how I had handled the running of the Colony in his absence, but in this I was gravely disappointed. 

Instead I received a hearty bollocking from him the which was not at all what I was expecting. 

I had, he said, caused the Colony to be fairly well ungovernable and had split the Council into factions that could only result in my making enemies that would work against me to weaken my hold on whatever power I hoped to have.

He went so far as to suggest that the colony would, as a result of my actions, become the scene of anarchy and most frightful confusion and a prey to the most dreadful dissensions ere long.

He told me that Brown was the last man whose appointment I should have tampered with because of the nature of his appointment and that Fisher who was, he said, a wily attorney and without doubt, the worst class of person that could have been selected for his office, would waste no time in using my actions against me to put me into a false position to his advantage.

He informed me that my relying on Mann for legal opinion was ill advised since Mann had recently married Brown's sister (I was not aware of this) and could therefore only be relied upon to provide opinions of the most partial nature.

Of course, he said, all parties had appealed to him and, as soon as his courts sits he would be inundated with all the questions which had been agitating the place would come before him in the form of ex-officio informations, indictments, and actions for libel and defamation innumerable. This mass of misery he will have to encounter, he said, was disgusting and quite unsuited to his habits and feelings and he wished to God to be clear of them and back in Hobart Town.

He assured me that he had nothing but compassion for me because it was clear that I, as a bluff and straightforward sailor and not well equipped to deal with such politic players and Fisher and his party. He regretted that he had not been with me, because then I might not have got myself into such scrapes.

I was, you may be sure, set back on my heels by such a broadside and left speechless by it. But the truth of the matter was that I could see that there was much in what he said and so my first word was to ask what could be done?

His advice was for me to drop my actions against Fisher and Gouger and then leave the rest to him.

Well, I don't know what sort of miracles he worked or what promises he made, but within a day  he had spoken to Fisher and Gouger and Gilles and the whole tangled web of threat and counter-threat dissolved and vanished.

The man is a magician. He even produced a solution to the Black Alick problem. He proposes to take the unfortunate native from McLaren's barrel and bring him to the mainland, then place him in room which, for the purpose, we can call a gaol cell, leave the door open and turn our backs for a while. His view is that a few weeks of David McLaren's hospitality is probably punishment enough and if the native "escapes" we have rid ourselves of a problem and can throw our hands up in horror and say "how can this have happened"?

But to other matters, in particular, regarding WIlliam Light. Now I have nothing but the warmest feelings for dear old Light and will not hear a word said against him. 

But the whispers I have begun to hear about town of him being a man we owe all to and a visionary genius leave me more than somewhat bemused

Some five or six years ago a steam railway service began to run between the cities of Manchester and Liverpool with speeds attained of up to twenty-five miles an hour (yes, I know it seems difficult to believe, but I am assured that this is indeed the speed) over a distance of more than thirty miles. Imagine travelling thirty-five miles in a little over an hour!


The Manchester and Liverpool Railway



Last week I spoke to Light and suggested to him that such a railway line might solve our problems with the distance from the township to the ports. A railway down to Port Adelaide or to Holdfast Bay would be undoubtedly a boon to trade and to the colonists. Should we not, I asked him, embrace with open arms this transportation of the future?

He, however, was hardly sanguine. He had heard that the steam locomotives were unreliable. The cost would be prohibitive. Land would need to be purchased. The railways could not transport goods to where they were needed, but only to where the rails were laid. He had been told by friends in England that the railways were nothing but a passing fashion and common sense would soon prevail, and those in need of transporting goods would soon return to ox carts and horse transport as the more effective and practical system.

Visionary genius my arse!

It seems perfectly apparent to me that a railway would be a boon to the Colony, but it will not appear I imagine, because of nitpicking objections. I trust that this will not be the pattern for the future, with good ideas for change and improvement being stymied by the objections of those resistant to things that are new.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Sunday, 8th October, 1837

Deeply saddened this week to receive, by post from London, the news that our King, His Majesty, William IV of the House of Hanover, known as "The Sailor King", has died.

Well, to be completely honest, he died back in June and it has taken this long for the news to reach us, which means that the King's Birthday Ball we held back in August appears now to be in the poorest of taste, since the poor old devil was a month cold in his grave while we were all singing "Long live our Gracious King!" and drinking to his health.

I have recorded it in these pages, but I was presented to him before sailing for the Colony. A singularly unimpressive chap I thought, though I was struck by seeing how his wife's nose was startling in its prominence.

I am told that when the Commissioners were planning the Colony they begged permission to name the Capital City after the King - thinking they might call it Williams Town or Williamston or some such. Accordingly they petitioned the King to allow them to call the city after him "as he saw fit." See fit he did, and they received a note from the Palace informing them that "His Majesty would be greatly pleased to have the Capital of the new Colony of South Australia named in honour of Her Majesty the Queen." And so Adelaide it was.

In his youth, when Duke of Clarence, he had a multitude of illegitimate children by a well know actress, but produced no living heir by the Queen. And so his niece, the young Princess Victoria of Kent, is now our sovereign. 

Just 18, a mere chit of a girl, I can't see her lasting. At the moment she'll no doubt be the puppet of Lord Melbourne, who'll be the real power behind the throne and soon they'll probably marry her off to some Prussian or Dane or Swede and we'll all end up in a joint Kingdom or some such.

Her coming to the throne does solve one problem here for us though. When we were naming the streets we gave the large square at the centre of the plan the name "Victoria Square" after Princess Victoria, the heir presumptive. To be honest, the name hasn't really taken. Light himself still refers to it as "The Great Square" and everyone else seems to call it "that big space in the middle". Naming it after a little princess was hardly conducive to having settlers remember what it was called on the map.  But since it is now named after Her Gracious Majesty then I'll wager a turd to a shilling that all will remember to call it by its proper name. Victoria Square. 

Well it is good to know that we need expect no more problems with that space.

If we had more lawyers in the place they'd all, of a certain, be raking in the cash just at present. 

Gouger is still talking loud and long about his ten thousand pounds damages for wrongful imprisonment and is intending to return to London to pursue the case with the Commissioners.

I have put the kibosh on that plan by discovering that two thousand pounds that were in his keeping are missing and unaccounted for from the public funds. I have sought legal opinion (from Mann, so I don't hold out much hope) regarding these funds and if it is within my power to stop Gouger from leaving the Colony until said funds are recovered.

Fisher is still telling all and sundry that he will sue for libel regarding the anonymous letter published in the Gazette and Register.

I am pursuing a charge of seditious libel against Fisher for the handbill he published.

Fisher has a counter claim of libel against Stevenson for publishing my proclamation, claiming that it impugned his professional reputation as Resident Commissioner.

He also threatens to sue Gilles if OG pays Hutchinson a salary as Emigration Agent when, according to Fisher, Brown is still in the position.

Gilles is still threatening to pursue a charge of assault against Gouger, Morphett and Mann over the beating he received at their hands.

Black Alick is still being kept in a barrel by McLaren until Jeffcott returns and sorts out his Murder trial.

It wouldn't surprise me in the least if Black Alick decided to sue McLaren because he wanted a nicer barrel.

Well, when the Judge returns from Hobart Town he'll have his work cut out for him. And the best of luck!

I was greatly pleased and gratified to receive notice of a public meeting held two or three weeks ago in which colonists gathered in Bob Cock's sale room and voted unanimously to say that Brown was an arse, Fisher a cheat and I was the loving father of the colony and held the colonists gently in my loving bosom.

That, at least, was the gist of their meeting.

They also sent me a delightful address in which they expressed their indignation at the manner in which I have been treated at the hands of the villains that surround me and not only made clear their gratitude for my expulsion of Brown, but also urged me to remove Fisher from office as soon as possible.

Of course, there is nothing I would like more than to remove Fisher from office, but sadly the thing is not within my power and I can only refer the matter to the powers in London and see what those particular fatheads might do.

It was pointed out to me the other day that under the Marriage Law, for a marriage to be legal, Banns must be read aloud in the Parish church of both parties for the three Sundays before the wedding. Since we have no Parish churches, to the strict letter of the law any marriage solemnised in the Colony is invalid.


 And so, when, in my darker moments, I talk of "the bastards who fill this colony" and mean it simply as a figure of speech; within a generation this expression might be no more than the simple truth!

Rectifying the situation would require a change to the Marriage Act and I can only imagine the howls of protest if I attempted that piece of quixotery.

No doubt the Howler in Chief would be The Reverend Charles Howard.

Under the act, for a marriage to be valid (unless you're something exotic like a Quaker or a Jew or Scottish) you must be married by a Minister of the Established Church. Since Charlie is the only such we have he has a monopoly on the marriage business sewn up.


And whilst he would no doubt counter a change to the Act with sound theology, one can not help but feel that him charging 5/- a skull for his services might be an influence.

Now, as delightful as a wedding service by Charlie Howard undoubtedly is (his sermon on "The Mysterious Sanctity of the Marriage Bed" drawing on Old Testament examples is said to be ninety minutes of rollicking hilarity) it might well be that a young dissenting couple - Baptists or Weslyans for example - might well prefer their own Minister of Religion to marry them rather than Charlie Howard. But to allow Dissenters to marry as they want would require a change to those Marriage Laws and I just don't have the stomach for it.