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J. It. M. Abbott 






428 George St., Sydney. 



I accompanied the Governor wherever he went. 

[See page 81 



Illustrationi by JIM HANNAN 



Dedicated to 

My Sincere Friend, 

Norman Lindsay. 



Chapter. Page. 

I. At the Cock Tavern 11 

II. A Hanging Matter 19 

III. The Shadow of the Gallows 26 

IV. Surgeon Collingwood, R.N 34 

V. H.M. Transport Olga 41 

VI. The Beast and the Beauty 48 

VII. Fortune's Plaything 56 

VIII. The Rescue 63 

IX. Sydney Town 69 

X. The Governor's Man 78 

XL The Road to the Green Hills 86 

XII. Andrew Thompson 94 

XIIL Vaucluse 102 

XIV. Sir Henry Browne Hayes 109 

XV. The Brink of Revolt 115 

XVL The Rebellion 122 

XVII. The Bad Night 129 

XVIIL At the Coal River 136 

XIX. Adelaide 145 

XX. In 'Fifty-Eight 152 



"I accompanied the Governor wherever he 

went" : Frontispiece 

"Oh, Doctor," she cried, "I have been a sad sailor" 53 

"The most splendid-looking personage in the ship's 

company was Mr. Nutting" ^73 

"It was a beautiful, clear evening in May" 149 


This little sketch of a remarkable event in early Aus- 
tralian history does not pretend to be anything more. 
The Bligh Rebellion was only an interlude in the be- 
ginnings of the development of Australia; in some 
respects rather a sordid interlude. But it was a pic- 
turesque and interesting happening, and was the first 
manifestation of the keen sense of politics which has 
since possessed Australia. We do not now, when we 
feel that we have had enough of them, make prisoners of 
the members of a Government though frequently they 
deserve such treatment but we still display the party 
bitterness and rancour which distinguished the actions 
of either side in 1808. Of the characters of the his- 
torical personages such as Bligh, Macarthur, Johnston, 
and the others it may be said that they are mostly guess- 
work. The records are fairly complete, but at this dis- 
tance, it is not altogether easy to understand the motives 
of dead men, and the author does not sit in judgment 
on them. He only claims that he has tried to be fair 
in his reading of Australian history. 

His thanks are due to the Editor and Proprietors of 
"The World's News," of Sydney, in whose journal it 
first appeared serially, for permission to publish in book 
form this tale. It was written, for the most part, in 
that admirable institution, the Mitchell Library. 

J. H. M. A. 
Sydney, 1919. 


At the Cock Tavern. 

I am getting to be an old, old man in these days, hav- 
ing well attained the Psalmist's span of human exist- 
ence with a year or two to boot and because life is to 
me now only to be enjoyed in the memory of the past, I 
am setting myself to the task of living some of it over 
again, so that my children and my grandchildren, and 
those who come after them, may know what manner of 
man their first ancestor was. For so do I regard myself 
in this new and wonderful land, where Britain has been 
born again. Already I can see that, here in Australia, 
we have begun to breed another race from the old stock 
(just as they did in the Americas), and as they may do 
again at the Pole, for aught that I can prophesy to the 
contrary. The year one, to us Australians, commenced 
on the 26th of January, 1788; and my own beginning, as 
a living man, I date from that sunny morning in the 
winter of 1806, when I stepped ashore, a prisoner, from 
a ship's boat in Sydney Cove. 

It may seem contrary to the due sense of shame which 
should hold possession of any man in the recollection of 
his own disgrace and ignominy, when I recall the fact, 
and seem to emphasise it, that I came to this country in 
a state of bondage. Who should know better than I, 
who have lived through the period of Australia's develop- 
ment from a prison camp into the commencement and 
realisation of free nationhood ; how shudderingly we look 
back to the gloomy and horrible birth-pangs which accom- 
panied our entry into being? Who should know better 
what the term "Emancipist" means all the scorn, the 



bitterness that can be conveyed in its application? Who 
should more readily realise the desirability of 
obliterating the felon taint, of forgetting it, repudiat- 
ing it, and denying it unhesitatingly with the whitest of 
white lies? There are many whom I see about me 
prosperous, honoured, happy, and worthy of the respect 
of all good men who would almost do murder, in their 
resentment of a suspicion of having had a penal career 
in New South Wales, despite the fact that their origin 
was truly such. And their children are even more 
studiously forgetful of it. It never does, in this year of 
grace, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-eight, to 
remind any young man that you shared some of his 
father's early vicissitudes however manfully the parent 
may have made good, and however valuable and blessed 
his life, as a whole, may have been to the country of 
his enforced adoption. A man of my years would 
seldom earn popularity amongst his juniors by claiming 
early acquaintance with their parents. We do not now 
speak of those days. 

But I am going to dare greatly, and to set down, in 
black and white, the principal events of my early career. 
That is because I am not ashamed, but am justly proud 
of it proud that I came through it, that I survived 
where so many succumbed, and that my name will be 
remembered here as that of a just man, rather than of a 
felon. I have no fear that any of my children will 
reproach me for what I am about to do. They have 
been taught differently. They could not have had such 
a mother as they have had, and remained snobs. I 
could not have lived with such a woman for all these 
years and remained a bad man. Mind, I do not admit 
that I ever was one. A little smug self-satisfaction 
about that, if you like, but there it is. It is quite true. 

As I have said, I regard my life as having begun on 
the day when I came on shore in Sydney in August, 1806. 
But as every life is more or less affected by prenatal 
influences, I must give some little account of those which 
had to do with mine. That is to say, of the immediate 


events which led up to my being transported to Botany 
Bay, as all Australia used to be vaguely known in the 
early days, whether it was Van Diemen's Land or Car- 
pentaria, or the vast province in between the two. 

To begin with, I was born on Harrow Weald, in the 
year 1786, and, on an evening nineteen years later, I was 
in the Cock Tavern in Fleet Street, very foolishly, 
riotously, and boyishly drunk. I have not time or in- 
clination to write of my father's house near Stanmore, 
or of my school days at Harrow-on-the-Hill, but will 
make a beginning with that disastrous evening in Lon- 
don. It was the immediate occasioning of my coming 
to Australia, and so it is fitting that this Australian 
narrative should start then. 

It was a foggy evening in November one of those 
London evenings which are no different in appearance 
or sensation to any other part of the twenty-four hours. 
The shades of night are not any more sombre than the 
shades of day have been. Lamps and candlelights, 
twinkling into cheerful being, do not signal the chang- 
ing of daylight into darkness, for there has been no day 
to change. A thin drizzle damps the atmosphere. Thick 
brown fog, that causes the eyes to smart, hangs in the 
streets, and penetrates within doors. The noises of the 
town are hushed, because the rush of traffic has ceased, 
and all that there is of movement is slow and groping, 
and cautiously silent. There is nothing to be seen, 
save a vast brown opaqueness, through which only such 
illumination as is close at hand is dimly apparent. There 
is nothing to do, save remain indoors, in the pursuit of 
such occupation as may be at hand, congenial or other- 

Now the occupation which young Mr. John 
Hawkins Carnford found to his hand was not, 
in any sense, congenial. I know that, for I 
am old Mr. Carnford, and that night has never 
lost its memories for me in all these years. 
Every minute of it though there was some time whose 
happenings had to be pieced together afterwards is ac- 


countable to me. I have never in my life been able to 
put that momentous evening out of my mind. It has 
been with me always, and in my last hour of conscious- 
ness it will still be with me. It is indelibly imprinted 
upon my mind, as it may well be, for in those hours of 
that foggy November night all my life and destiny was 
shaped. I am not one of those who are forever dwelling 
upon the contingencies of "It Might Have Been," with 
a sort of comforting, gloomy dissatisfaction, but, even 
if I could do so, I should never be able to put out of my 
mind that strange turning point of my whole career. 

I lived in Chambers, in Paper Buildings in the 
Temple; two small rooms, which I occupied alone. My 
father was a wealthy city merchant, an alderman, who 
had long since amassed a comfortable fortune, and re- 
tired to the rural delights of the peaceful countryside, 
near the village of Stanmore. Twice a week, on Wed- 
nesday and on Saturday, he visited his business establish- 
ment in St. Paul's Churchyard, so as to keep in touch 
with his affairs, but their general direction he left to his 
manager, Mr. Isaac Palfrey, whose situation I was 
destined one day to fill, when I should have acquired a 
thorough knowledge of the business. 

The process of acquiring this knowledge was, as my 
father conceived it, a very thorough one. It was also 
sound and sensible, although I did not find it an agree- 
able one. I had to start at the very bottom almost 
indeed as a doorkeeper. The only difference in my 
case from the position of the humblest underling in the 
firm's service was one of pay. But my pay was not 
shown on the books of the business. I was given an 
allowance that was amply sufficient for my needs, even 
generous to a degree, and was provided with comfortable 
quarters. Each week-end I spent at home. It was 
only in a strict insistence upon my hours of attendance 
at the counting-house that my father disciplined me. I 
had to be upon my stool at eight o'clock, summer and 
winter, and it was seven in the evening before I was my 


own master. There were three-quarters of an hour for 
a mid-day meal. 

This evening, in a somewhat dissatisfied frame of mind, 
I had groped my way down Ludgate Hill, and up 
Fleet Street. The last hours of the long, bleak day 
had seemed an eternity that would never end. Indoors, 
on desks and tables about the big clerks' room, there was 
gloom but faintly dispelled by the guttering tallow 
candles, that gleamed dully through a brown haze. Out- 
side, the fog was so thick and dense that even the great 
cathedral was obliterated by it. I came out into a 
black void that shrouded all the lights of streets and 
shops. It was only by groping slowly along the walls 
of the houses that I was able to make my way homewards 
to my lodging. At Ludgate Circus I spent easily a good 
half-hour in finding my way across, before I succeeded 
in reaching Fleet Street. I had made two false turn- 
ings into the Blackfriars Road, and into Farringdon 
Street, and it was only when I walked into Temple Bar 
itself that I knew I was close to my destination. It 
was the thickest fog I had even seen in London, and its 
melancholy atmosphere had tinged my thoughts sadly. 

It was only then, having lighted my candles, and 
being about to turn into my bedroom to wash my hands, 
that I remembered my appointment for the evening. 
Hastily making my toilet, I again put on my overcoat, 
and having extinguished the light, closed the outer door 
of my chambers behind me, and rapped with my stick 
on the lintel of the door across the narrow landing, oppo- 
site to my room. 

A cheerful voice within bade me enter. 

"Come in, Jack, me bold blood. 'Tis late ye are, ye 
scaramouch ! Can ye not tear yourself away from ye're 
money grubbin' pershuits in toime t' kape a gintleman 
from wearin' out his vocabulary a-cursin'? Yes? What 
have ye to say for yourself, ye dawdler?" 

I found Brian McMahon all ready to go out. 

"Now, give an account of y'silf, Jack Carnford. What 
philanderin' little game have ye bin up to now, me bould 


boy kapin' me waiting like this, an' our dinner gettin' 
cowld this very minute?" 

"What is it this evening, Mac?" I asked him. "The 
fog bothered me. I thought I'd never find Temple Bar." 

"A f oine excuse ! Never moind stir your stumps now, 
an' we'll get round to the Cock. 'Tis a great honor I'm 
doin' ye this evening. 'Tis a proud lad ye'll be when 
ye come rowlin' home." 

As he stooped to blow out the candle, he grinned all 
over his jolly red face. Brian McMahon's appearance 
was all redness. He had flaming hair, a red, sun- 
tanned face, and great red-looking hands, and he was 
the strongest man I have ever met, though, like myself, 
he was then only a boy. 

"Why who's the celebrity this time?" I asked him, 
as we felt our way down the dark and narrow stairs. 

" 'Tis royalty, no less, Johnny boy. Royalty wan of 
an ancient line. 'Tis the O'Toole." 

"The O'Toole?" 

"Yes. O'Toole of Ballyhinchy the only O'Toole. 
But wait till ye mate him. He's unaque. 'Tis th' 
great man he is. I can promise ye entertainment such 
as ye've niver had before. But hurry now he'll be 
waitin', an' 'tis not good for the O'Toole to wait." 

We groped our way out of the Temple, guided our- 
selves across the street by Temple Bar, and presently, in 
the snug and cosy coffee-room of the Cock, I was intro- 
duced to the O'Toole. Would that I had never met 
him! But I don't know about that. Certainly the 
worst that has bef alien -me would not have happened 
but then neither would the best. I'd never have met my 
Addie if it hadn't been for the O'Toole. 

He was a great, shabby Irishman. If he was an inch 
in height, he was six feet three, and I'll swear he must 
have measured a good four feet about the shoulders. A 
shock head of black hair, and a shaggy beard, gave him 
the appearance of a savage giant. In the low-ceiled 
rooms of the old Cock, he appeared almost to crouch, 
and, from the looks of the servitors and pot-boys, he 


seemed to have been impressing himself upon the estab- 
lishment one would say forcibly, rather than favour- 
ably. We heard his roaring voice whilst we were still 
outside the doorway of the coffee-room. 

With his great legs apart, and his hands behind him, 
he stood before the old carved fire-place, and denounced 
the tavern, the head-waiter, England, the weather, and 
Brian McMahon for keeping him from his dinner. On 
the mantelpiece beside him stood a half-empty bottle of 
rum and a glass, and he smoked a short black pipe of the 
sort that coal-heavers and bargees affect. As soon as we 
came in he bellowed at us. 

"Och, Brian ye son of th' divil 'tis th' poor host 
ye are, ye blaggard. Shure I've bin a-hangin' round 
this God-forsaken shebeen awaiting ye for hours. 'Tis 
wake wid stharvation I am this minute an' this little 
leprechaun here (pointing contemptuously to the plump 
and alarmed head-waiter Henry), this little somehow of 
a mahn, wouldn't give me bite or sup until ye should 
put in an appearance. Bedad, I'm thinkin' he'd have 
thrun me out into th' fog, if he'd bin big enough. But 
what have ye to say for y'silf , ye onmannerly dog, ye !" 

"A thousand pardons, O'Toole," laughed Brian. 
" 'Twas th' fog kep' me friend Carnford here or, at 
laste, he says 'twas th' fog, an' knowin' no different, I 
suppose we'll have to take his word for it. Jack, me 
boyo, let me presint ye to Mr. Shamus O'Toole the 
greatest man out of Oireland. O'Toole, this is one of 
our merchant princes, or he will be one day whin he 
comes into his own." 

"Glad to meet ye, Mr. Carnford," boomed the giant. 
"Brian, me lad, for th' love of Hiven let us be atin'. 
Sure I'm faint wid th' hunger." 

We seated ourselves in one of the curtained boxes, Mr. 
O'Toole expressing his disapproval of the narrow bench. 
Brain and I sat opposite to him, his great bulk seeming 
to fill his side of the table. Henry stood meekly by, 
awaiting our orders. 

"Bring me a porterhouse steak, ye little sniwlin' divil, 


and some praties, an' pass down that bottle of rum over 
there. There's just an appaytiser left in it, Brain me 
boy, we'll drink good luck to Mr. Carnford, even if he is 
one of th' foes of Oireland, an Englishman. Och, 'tis 
a cursed country it is, wid its fogs, and th' dampness av 
it. Shure, a mahn does be nadin' all the spirits he can 
hould for to kape the cowld out av his bones." 

We emptied the bottle, and presently fell to upon 
our dinners. Brain and I drank wine, but the huge 
Irishman would have none of it, and called loudly for 
another bottle of rum. 


A Hanging Matter. 

The room, since it was past the usual dining hour that 
then obtained in London, was but sparsely filled ; never- 
theless a few parties sat over their wine in the little 
wooden compartments, smoking long church-warden 
pipes. A roaring fire blazed in the big curved grate, 
and it was a comforting thing to gaze upon, when one 
remembered the fog outside. 

The O'Toole's bellowing tones attracted an attention 
of which he was quite sensible. His wild appearance 
alone would have done that, even without the roar of 
his great voice. It is doubtful whether so strange look- 
ing a guest had dined at the Cock for many years. I 
felt a little ashamed of the attention we were attracting, 
but Brian McMahon obviously enjoyed the uncouth de- 
portment of his hero. 

"Sure, a grand man," he whispered to me, whilst the 
giant had turned round to stare insolently about him at 
the other guests. "Wan of the Kings of Ireland ! He's 
indade that, if he had his rights. 'Tis not every day 
such a man comes to London. He'll astonish the natives, 
before he goes home or I don't know him." 

I thought he was doing so now, but said nothing. To 
my friend Brian, who hung upon and applauded his loud 
words, he was obviously a person of notability. He 
drank glass for glass with him, toasting all manner of 
Irish fancies though, like myself, he drank port, whilst 
the wild man literally poured raw spirits down his 
brawny throat and laughed loudly at his own sallies of 
coarse wit, which were mainly directed against England 
and the English. 



"Luk at thim!" he shouted. "Here's a roomful of 
men for ye! Whoi! Oi'd take ivry mahn Jack av thim, 
altogether or singly, an" bate the lot av thim." 

The other diners did not seem to take such outbursts 
particularly amiss, and had, indeed, a collective air of 
regarding our brawny companion rather in the light of a 
diversion, or entertainment, than as one who was to be 
taken seriously. As for me, I was at first disgusted, 
but after the consumption of sundry glasses of wine, the 
humour of the situation appealed to me. No one could 
possibly hold me responsible for this savage, however 
much Brian might take pride in his existence. 

" 'Tis a heart of gold!" he said to me, in an aside, 
whilst the O'Toole was intent upon swallowing a great 
draught of rum. "Whin ye know the mahn, Jack, ye'll 
love him as I do. This is the soort of mahn we ought 
to have ruling over us in Ireland." 

"Oh, he's vastly amusing," I answered, and indeed the 
unexpectedness of the fellow's manifestations were divert- 
ing enough. 

He called for some toasted cheese, and Henry, the 
waiter, brought him the usual little flat tinful of the 
delicacy. Immediately on its being set before him, 
he sprang to his feet, so that his shaggy head almost 
touched the beams above, and, stretching out a great 
arm, grasped the astonished Henry by the coat collar, lift- 
ing him off his feet, until the little man's startled face 
was on a level with his own. He held him ridiculously 
suspended there, shaking the forefinger of his other hand 
at him, whilst he admonished him. 

"Ye little fat cock sparrow, ye! Do Oi look loike a 
mahn that wud be satisfied wid such a tootful as that. 
Maybe 'twould be a wake's provision for ye, me little 
crumb peckin' birdie. Go, bring me half a cheese, or 
Oi'll put ye t'rough th' flure above, so I will." 

The gasping Henry staggered away, and presently 
the proprietor of the Tavern, fat John Haileybury, tip- 
toed cautiously up the room, took a swift glance at the 
monster from behind 1 , and tip-toed noiselessly away, 


evidently presuming that discretion was the better part 
of valour. But a great dishful of toasted cheese was 
presently brought up by the white-aproned cook himself, 
who apparently was desirous of beholding such an appre- 
ciative eater. 

"Good for ye, ould barrel-belly," roared O'Toole at 
him. "Shure, ye can cook chase, so ye can. Tell th' 
little fellie to bring me a point of porter for to wash it 
down. Skip along now, ould lad or Oi'll be compelled 
for to hurry ye up a bit." 

The cheese and the porter being finished, he called for 
pipes, tobacco, and a bowl of punch, and announced his 
intention of favouring the company with a little music. 
In a terrific voice he did so, roaring out drunken hunting 
songs, and ribald low ballads. 

The fearful hullabaloo gradually emptied the room. 
All save a group of four, two of whom were naval officers 
in uniform, who sat at the end of the apartment over- 
looking the street, one by one took down hats and cloaks 
from the pegs, and went out. 

The wines, which I had drunk of freely, had brought 
me successively through the stages of distaste, toleration, 
appreciation, and enthusiasm for this descendant of 
kings. By the time that the first bowl of punch was 
consumed, his roughness and uncouthness had become to 
me only the manifestation of a hearty good fellowship, 
his roarings and bellowings were really jovial songs, 
and his blackguardly observations and insolent behaviour 
were the soul of wit. I felt grateful to Brian McMahon 
for having shared his unique fellow countryman with me. 

As for Brian, he was fast becoming roaring drunk, and 
endeavoured to emulate all the wild man's extravagances. 
He howled the choruses of his savage songs, applauded 
his coarse jests, and backed up his insulting remarks 
about the English, and particularly those who were in 
the Cock that evening. 

Some time before the arrival of the punch, I had noted 
the entry of a later guest than ourselves. He was a 
tall man, clean shaven, except for closely cropped side 


whiskers, and having an air of strength and determina- 
tion about him that it is hard to define. He was booted 
and mud-bespattered, and looked as if he had just 
arrived from a journey. He stood for a moment in the 
doorway, quietly surveying the room, and when his 
eyes rested upon the O'Toole it almost seemed to me 
that they flashed a little. The barbarian, sitting with 
his back to the door, did not see him. The stranger 
quietly seated himself in the box next to ours, and ordered 
his meal. 

From that time onward, until the terrible event took 
place which was to affect all three of us so tremendously, 
I have but a confused and dreamy recollection. It is 
one of having been in a condition in which the strangest 
and most extraordinary things seemed to be accountable 
enough, in which the extravagant rioting of the huge 
Irishman, and on the part of my friend Brian, the en- 
thusiastic seconding of his efforts at diversion, seemed 
to be quite right and proper. I felt foolishly pleased 
with myself, pleased with Brian's red face, and pleased 
with the damnable performances of O'Toole. That he 
should march up the room with the punch-bowl and 
ladle, and solemnly fill the wine glasses of the four at 
the far table the which impertinence they good- 
humouredly tolerated at the same time inviting them to 
drink their own healths, seemed to be the merriest of 
jests. Brian yelled with delight, and I thumped my 
joy upon the table top. Coming back, the madman let 
out a whoop, lifted the bowl above his head, and drenched 
himself with the remainder of the punch. By way of 
drawing attention to the fact that we required a fresh 
jorum, he sent the bowl, and the ladle after it, crashing 
down the room. 

"Whiroo-o-o !" he howled. "O'Toole f oriver, an* 
good luck to his uncle, the Divil !" Fetch another bowl 
av it, Hinry, me beauty another bowl." 

How long this sort of thing went on I do not know 
but it must have been for a couple of hours. O'Toole 
became noisier and more outrageous than ever. I have 


a dim remembrance that two other strange men came 
into the room powerful, rough looking fellows, with 
closely buttoned coats, and great sticks or bludgeons in 
their hands, and sat down in the same box with the travel- 
ler. The four gentlemen at the end of the room, evidently 
anxious as to how the whole business was to end, sat on 
and on. Perhaps they hoped to be favoured spectators 
of the Irishman's dealings with the watch, when it should 
be necessary to call in the questionable assistance of those 
inefficient guardians of the peace. 

After a period in which I think I must have been 
asleep, I suddenly became conscious of a sense of silence. 
I looked up. 

Beside me, Brian McMahon was sprawled out over 
the table, his head resting on his folded arms. Opposite, 
the O'Toole, a huge grin on his face, and his eyes staring 
over my head, leant back against the partition. I looked 
up, and looked round. 

The tall traveller, with the two rough men behind 
him, stood at my shoulder. They were in their shirt 
sleeves, and each of them grasped his great stick firmly 
in his right hand. By their crimson waistcoats I knew 
them for Bow Street runners, but what they had to do 
with us, I was too fuddled even to wonder. The one 
thing that did impress its meaning upon me was that the 
side-whiskered stranger was presenting a pistol at the 
O'Toole, who continued to sit still, grinning up into the 
round hole in the end of its barrel. In his left hand he 
held a folded document. 

"Shamus O'Toole!" he said in a rich brogue, "I want 
ye. Ye'd best come wid me quiet. I've a warrant here 
for ye're arrist, an' I'm to take ye back to Dublin to 
stand yer thrial. Will ye come quiet?" 

Slowly, the sprawling giant lifted his great hands from 
the table. I saw the stranger's forefinger tighten on the 
trigger, and I think O'Toole saw it too, for he merely put 
his hands behind his head and clasped them together. I 
was more sober now, and could note these things. Brian 
still slumbered, snoring loudly. 


"An" phwat is it, Patsy Hanrahan, me bould sheriff's 
officer, that ye want wid me?" asked the O'Toole, almost 

"The man ye bate so badly in Con Regan's place is 
dead, O'Toole," said the other in an even tone. "He 
doied free days since, an' I set out afther ye to Liver- 
pool post haste, wid this paper here. D'ye want that I 
should read it to ye?" 

"Ye may spare y'r breath, Patsy. I'll take y'r worrud 
fer it. But how did ye come to trace me to this place? 
I thought I was afther lavin' no worrud behind me av 
where I was goin' in the' woide worruld." 

The faintest smile loosened the other's tight lips. "Sure, 
'tis no har-rd task to trace you, O'Toole. There's not 
so many like ye that thim that's seen ye wance would be 
afther forgetting ye. Ivery shtep av th' road, ivery inn 
where ye had bite or sup aven in this Fleet Shtrate here 
ye've been remarked an' noticed. 'Tis an uncommon 
man ye are, O'Toole. Ye're not aisy dishguised, so y'r 

"An' what wud ye do wi me this noight, Patsy Han- 

The great savage was extraordinarily cool and sober, 
considering the depth of his potations, and the wild 
uproar of but a short time before. But there was a 
glint in his dark eyes. 

"To-night ye must lodge in th' Bridewell, O'Toole. 
To-morrow we'll shtart back for Dublin Town. Are 
ye comin' quiet?" 

Just at this moment Brian must wake up. He raised 
his head from his arms, dropped it down again, and 
slowly lifted it once more. Then he stared dazedly at the 
pistol, then at the man who presented it, and at the two 
Bow Street men beside him. Then he sprang to his 
feet with a yell, reached over my head, and smote the 
sheriff's officer in the jaw. 

Instantly the pistol exploded, and the bullet must 
have missed O'Toole by a hair's breadth. Then the 
fight began. I heard the stranger call loudly to the 


four who had jumped to their feet at the other end of 
the room. 

"In the King's name, I call on you, gentlemen, to help 
me secure this man." 

I saw them come running down the room. Without 
knowing why, I plunged into the fray, and grappled with 
one of the Bow Street runners. The giant was roaring 
like a lion, and dealing mighty blows and kicks all round. 
I caught a glimpse of Brian's red face, distorted with 
rage, and was conscious that we waged war with the 
whole company. 

I saw O'Toole's great hands close about the throat of 
the man Hanrahan, saw him lift him struggling from 
the ground, felt a great blazing light flash and roar in my 
skull, and then opened my eyes it must have been many 
minutes after to realise a strange quietness, and to hear 
a voice that said, loudly and distinctly 

"He's dead quite dead. His neck's broken. 'Tis a 
hanging matter!" 


The Shadow of the Gallows. 

Of the hideous nightmare of the days and weeks that 
followed, I can only now write with an effort. It was 
a terrible time, so terrible, in its abiding horror, that I 
doubt whether any of the things I went through after- 
wards could compare with it. It was the suddenness 
of it all, the amazing and incredible fact that it could ever 
possibly have happened, that dazed and overwhelmed me. 

That two boys of scarce twenty years, instead of spend- 
ing an hour or two in the stocks as a punishment for 
drunkenness, should stand in the dock of the Old Bailey 
to answer to a charge of murder, seemed such a prepos- 
terous thing as to be unbelievable. That I, who would 
not harm a night-screeching cat, and Brian McMahon, 
the kindest soul on earth, should be deemed to have 
assisted in the slaying of a fellow creature with whom 
we had no quarrel, whose very existence had been known 
to us for only a few minutes, was ridiculous. And yet 
it was fearfully true, and fearfully true also that we 
might have to answer with our lives for our evening's 

As for the barbarous O'Toole, he but stood in his 
proper place. He was a double murderer truly, not by 
deliberate intention, but as the outcome of his uncon- 
trolled and uncontrollable savagery. In any civilised 
community, such a fate as was about to overtake him, 
would have inevitably done so sooner or later. Twice 
he had slain, and although, in a sense, he had slain by 



accident, that was no excuse in the eyes of the law. There 
was no doubt, from the moment when he had been over- 
powered in the Cock Tavern, as to O'Toole's final destina- 
tion to the gallows. It was as sure as that the sun would 
rise on the morrow. 

We learned from the officers of the Bridewell in 
Whitefriars, whither we were taken from the Cock, of 
the reason why poor Hanrahan, the Sheriff's officer from 
Dublin, had sought to effect the arrest of the giant. It 
seemed that, in a similar outburst of wild drunkenness 
as he, to our sorrow, had indulged in in London, he had 
broken the back of a man who, in some Dublin coffee- 
house, had not appreciated his pleasantries. The man 
had shown signs of dying, and, in fear of arrest, O'Toole 
had fled to England. He had scarcely been in London 
a fortnight when Hanrahan, with the warrant for his 
arrest, which he had shown him at the Cock, had arrived 
on his trail. It was our misfortune, and his own, that 
he should have traced him to the place on that night, 
and should have planned his arrest while he was mad 
with drink. Far better to have fallen upon him when 
he was sleeping off his potations, than in the height of 
his fury. 

They told us of the desperate struggle that had taken 
place. One of the Bow Street runners had stunned me 
by a blow from his bludgeon. Brian had been separated 
from O'Toole, and finally borne down by numbers, but 
the Irish giant had maintained the battle fiercely for 
nearly an hour. When it was over, the coffee room 
of the Cock was a wreck. Tables and chairs were smashed, 
the compartments splintered and broken down, and the 
sawdust was as blood-soaked as the sawdust of a prize- 
ring. One of the naval officers had a broken leg, the 
other was damaged in the ribs. A Bow Street man 
had his collarbone fractured, and there was not one of 
them but was hurt and mauled in some more or less 
serious fashion. The unfortunate Mr. Hanrahan had 
sustained a broken neck. One of the witnesses at the 
trial said that O'Toole had taken the man's head between 


his great hands, and simply wrung his neck, as he might 
have done a fowl's. 

For three weeks we lay in Newgate awaiting trial. 
There was some little doubt as to whether Brian and I 
would be brought forward, but the Grand Jury decided 
against us, and we were duly presented at the Bar of the 
Old Bailey, on a charge of having aided and abetted in 
the murder of Patrick Hanrahan. 

To me, who had never before been even a spectator at 
a trial, it was a solemn and awe inspiring scene. The 
great room with its tall, arched windows ; the square dock 
in which we sat, and whence we looked down on to the 
well of the Court with its wigged counsel the grey hair 
of my poor father seemed too large for us. It was like a 
pen for the herding of animals. The densely packed 
body of the court, and the galleries, where tiers of white 
faces, that seemed to gloat over us, rose one above the 
other, gave me a sense of being beset by a mob which 
clamoured for our death. And there was something 
stern and unbending about the crimson-robed Judge 
with Sheriff and chaplain upon either hand, and a nose- 
gay, resting on the bench before him to counteract the 
stench of the crowd. He was seated under his heavy 
canopy, as the unflinching arbiter of our fate. 

They had loaded the O'Toole with chains, so that he 
could hardly move, and there were two turnkeys in 
attendance upon him. They seemed to fear him as a 
wild beast as which indeed the Judge, when he was pass- 
ing sentence, described him, and he looked to be one. 
His hair and beard had grown longer and shaggier in 
prison, and his great frame had become gaunt. His 
own clothing had been torn off him in the struggle of his 
captors, and the clothes that they had given him in New- 
gate were too small. Neither coat nor shirt would meet 
about his neck, and his great hairy torso was bare and 
exposed. Brian and I must have contrasted curiously 
with him, for we were well and carefully dressed in sober 
and decorous costumes, with some idea on the part of 


our counsel of impressing the jury with our extreme 

The fate of the O'Toole was, of course, a foregone con- 
clusion, but it was not so certain as to Brian and myself. 
Our counsel pleaded our youth and inexperience, the 
fact that we had been accidentally involved in a drunken 
brawl, and that our participation in it had nothing to do 
with the death of Patrick Hanrahan. However, his 
eloquence was wasted. 

Little fat Henry, the head- waiter at the Cock, was the 
means of our conviction. He related how he had seen 
me assail one of the Bow Street men with great violence, 
and how the blow upon the head which the man's com- 
rade had dealt me had been the sole means of rescuing the 
unfortunate man from my fury. As to Brian, who had 
had a much longer career in the battle than I, he was 
similarly explicit. 

And so the verdict of the jury, without any very long 
deliberation, was "Guilty." 

Thereupon, the Judge sentenced us to death in the 
usual fashion perhaps in a fashion that is happily un- 
usual, for he went far out of his way to abuse us for 
drunken and dissolute young blackguards. The O'Toole 
was "a savage wild beast, unfit to live, whose death would 
be a benefit to humanity." 

It was Thursday afternoon. I asked a turnkey, as we 
were conducted back into Newgate through the dim cor- 
ridor, how long a period usually elapsed between sentence 
and execution. His pleasant and humorous reply 

"Eight o'clock Monday marnin', young gentleman, an' 
ye'll be a couple of inches longer nor wot ye are now. 
It stretches the neck, does gettin' hanged." 

It was not a long career to look forward to. Three 
days and a few hours, that was all and then there would 
be no more Counting House, no more London, no more 
of the pleasant Weald of Harrow, no more of anything 
at all. Heigh-ho! And there had been so little. 


In the prison I found waiting me my poor father. He 
was stunned by the sentence, and the situation I was in, 
and seemed half-dazed with misery. 

"Jack, Jack my poor boy !" was all he could murmur, 
over and over again. He stayed with me until late into 
the night praying, and weeping, and lamenting. I 
asked him of my mother, once, and with that he broke 
down hopelessly, and I also. We clung to one another 
in an abandonment of miserable grief. When it was 
time for him to go, I begged him to say farewell to me 
then, and not to come again. He could not speak, and 
wringing my hand in a mute agony he suffered them to 
lead him from the prison. As he stumbled away from 
the door of my cell I could hear his deep sobs. A kindly 
turnkey kept saying, 

"Now doan't 'ee take on zo, zur doant 'ee take on 

On the Saturday afternoon my cell door opened, and 
poor Brian was ushered in. I had begged that we might 
be allowed an interview. 

When he came to me, the poor fellow, his brick red 
face blanched to an unhealthy pinkness, and his flaming 
hair all tossed and dishevelled, fell upon his knees, and 
seized my hands in both of his. 

"Oh, Jack," he cried, " 'tis all my fault, all my fault 
entoirely. 'Tis Oi who've brought ye to this, so it is. 
Can ye forgive me, Jack?" 

I tried my best to cheer him, and he to do the same 
for me. But it was little use. The shadow of the 
gallows was upon us, and we could not comfort one 

All his people were in Kerry, and he would be dead 
before they could come to him. He had not communi- 
cated with them since that fatal evening. 

" 'Tis better not, he said. "Oi'll lave a letter and 
'twill be over thin. Annyway, me father's a har'rd 
mahn, an' me mother's in heaven, so it's best lave it as it 
is. Faith, they would put me to the law, an' now th' 


law's goin' to have me for kapes." He smiled faintly as 
he said this. 

Sunday came, and they took us to the prison chapel, 
where we sat in a square pen together with a coffin, 
and listened to the sermon of the Ordinary the prison 
chaplain which was all about hell and damnation. There 
were actually curious visitors to the place, who, as we 
cowered there in our terrible situation, sat and watched 
us. They seemed to me to have come for no other pur- 
pose than to gloat over us morbidly. Under his breath, 
Brian cursed them indignantly. 

" 'Tis a fine show they're havin', the bastes !" he whis- 

All through that last night, we were disturbed and 
tortured by one who, at every hour, rang a hand-bell in 
the street without, and cried out, in a loud voice, what 
o'clock it was, and how many hours we had yet to live, 
and how we should prepare to meet our Maker. I asked 
the turnkey who sat in the cell with me what might be 
the reason of this strange litany? He told me that 
many years before, some city man who lay buried in St. 
Sepulchre's Church opposite, had left a sum of money 
for the purpose of feeing a crier, who was to commit this 
outrage all through the night before any were to suffer 
death. He walked up and down beneath the quarter of 
the prison, where the doomed men lay, and chanted his 
dreadful psalm each time that St. Sepulchre's bell boomed 
out the hour. 

And so at last the hour arrived, and the Governor of 
Newgate, with the sheriff and other officials, came for us, 
to lead us to the place of execution. I was in mortal 
terror, but sought not to show it, and to bear myself as 
bravely as I might be able. But it was hard to face 
that shameful, miserable death. Brian and I were in 
cells adjacent to one another, and I found him in the 
corridor when my door was opened. I remarked that 
we were not bound in any way. One of the turnkeys, 


who had kept watch over me, had seemed to delight in 
rehearsing, for my instruction, each act of the dreadful 
drama in which I was to play such a leading part, and 
he had given me to understand that we would be 
pinioned before we left our cells. However, I paid no 
attention to the circumstance, and only sought to listen, 
with as much grace as might be in me, to the exhortations 
of the clergyman, who walked at my right hand. 

They marched us, with our irons clanking dully, across 
the prison, to a large room where a bright fire burned, 
and a number of people were assembled. And here we 
met for the first time the wild creature who was the 
cause of our unhappy plight. He was bound hand and 
foot, and stood scowling at the assemblage, now and again 
breaking forth into loud curses and profanities. He 
would bare his teeth, and snarl like a savage dog, when- 
ever the priest who attended him endeavoured to minister 
to his spiritual needs. 

"To hell wid ye all !" he roared as we came in. "To 
hell wid ye. An' if me hands was free Oi'd sind some 
of ye there, so Oi wud!" 

Close to the fire, beside an iron block, a smith stood 
ready, with hammer and chisel, to cut loose our irons. 
Brian was attended to first, and then my turn came. I 
took it that this was a preliminary to being bound hand 
and foot in readiness for the hangman, who stood by 
waiting for us. But it was not so. When my limbs 
had been freed from the shackles, a gentleman stepped 
forward with papers in his hand, and uttered our names. 

"John Hawkins Carnford?" 

I turned my head. 

"Brian McMahon?" 

My friend nodded nervously. It was one of the 
sheriffs who was speaking. 

"I have to inform you that His Majesty has been 
graciously pleased, in consideration of the youth of both 
of you, to extend his pardon to you. You are not to 
suffer death. His Majesty has been pleased to order 


that you both be transported to New South Wales for 
the period of fourteen years. Shamus O'Toole, you must 
suffer your sentence." 

I looked up in a dazed fashion, and saw Brian gaping 
with his mouth open. And then I swooned, and when 
I came to, I was in another part of Newgate. But it 
was not in the condemned cell, and a faint gleam of 
wintry sunlight was shining through the bars of the 
little window, high up in the wall. 


Surgeon Collingwood, R.N. 

It may be supposed that my having swooned on hearing 
the announcement of our reprieve would betoken an 
element of weakness in my character, but, if you would 
put yourself in my place, I almost think you would come 
to a conclusion that you might easily have done likewise. 
I had hardly tasted food since sentence of death had 
been passed upon us four days before, and was in as 
miserably nervous and feeble a condition as I well could 
be. It was simply the revulsion of feeling that had 
caused my momentary weakness, and nothing more. 

From Newgate, in the course of a week or so, we were 
conveyed to the Hulks. Those floating prisons were 
moored in the lower reaches of the Thames, and at this 
time were largely used as depots for the accommodation 
of convicted prisoners who had been sentenced to trans- 
portation. They remained aboard them, until the ships 
which were to convey them to New South Wales, were 
ready for sea. 

I will pass over the weary two months which we spent 
in one of these sombre hells, with the single observation 
that, barring the terrible three days under sentence of 
death, it was my worst period of the whole of my penal 
experience. Convict transports are not usually regarded 
as luxuriously appointed yachts, but, in comparison with 
the Prince Frederick hulk, His Majesty's transport Olga 
seemed indeed, to us, to be something of the sort. 



Brian McMahon and I were not separated, for which 
I was more than thankful. The cheery optimism which 
was natural to him was an antidote to my more melan- 
choly temperament, and he kept me from falling into 
a state of brooding despondency that could have hardly 
had any other end but suicide or madness. 

In the hulks we were confined in narrow cells, scarcely 
seven feet long, by three wide. Stout oaken partitions 
separated us from one another, and we lay outwards from 
each side of the ship. It was always dark down there, 
and cold and damp. Fortunately for us, our good con- 
duct obtained us lodging above the water line, and we 
had the advantage of tiny scuttles in the side, which 
might remain open if the weather was favourable. What 
must have been the condition of the unhappy wretches on 
the deck below, I shudder to think. They would lie in 
almost total darkness; the only light that pierced their 
gloomy prison coming from a horn lantern that hung 
from a beam 'tween decks. Once in the twenty-four 
hours we were taken on to the upper deck for a breathing 
space of an hour only. We then followed one another 
in a weary procession, round and round, between poop 
and foc'sle. The high bulwarks prevented us from 
seeing anything of the shores of the river. These out- 
ings, from the section of cells in which we were con- 
fined, always took place about midday. 

One morning, after our meagre breakfast of skilly had 
been served and consumed, amidst a great unbolting of 
doors all over the ship, we were suddenly told to turn 
out. In a few moments we were formed into a miser- 
able parade along both sides of the upper deck our divi- 
sion on the port, and the blinking crew from below us 
on the starboard side. 

With the Superintendent of the hulk was a stranger, 
to whom the former seemed to pay considerable respect. 
He was a man of about thirty-five years of age, of medium 
height, well built and active, with a shrewd yet kindly 
face, and twinkling grey eyes that seemed to see quickly 
and completely all that he wanted to know about a man. 


"I will speak to them, Mr. Hales," he said to the 
Superintendent. "Will you be so good as to get your 
books and papers ready? I want to complete the busi- 
ness this morning, if possible, and to move the men down 
to the Olga before dinner time." 

Before he addressed us, he carefully walked along each 
division, examining every one of us minutely. He stopped 
before Brian and me, and stared at us interestedly. 

"Now, where have I seen you two?" he said to Brain. 
"I seem to remember your faces, and yet I don't think 
you've ever sailed with me, have you?" 

"No, sorr," said Brian, raising his hand to his flaming 
locks. "Maybe 'twas at the Quid Bailey?" 

"Ah, by Jove, so it was. And at the Cock Tavern, 
also. I was there, but had gone before your worst out- 
break. I remember you both now, and that fierce Irish- 
man. So they didn't hang you! Well, I'm glad of 
that. You would have been wasted on Jack Ketch." 

Then he examined the lower deck's prisoners evi- 
dently with disapproval, for, as he walked along their 
pallid and feeble ranks, he shook his head and frowned. 
We were bad enough, but some of them looked like 
nothing but exhumed corpses. At length he turned, 
under the poop, and addressed us all. 

"Now, my lads," he spoke sharply and cheerfully. 
"I'm here to clear some of you out of this good ship 
and I don't suspect that those whom I choose will grumble 
very much at leaving her. Some of you look as though 
you were badly in need of a change, and the worst of it 
is that those are the men that I'm not going to take. I'll 
introduce myself to you. I'm Peter Collingwood, Sur- 
geon of the transport Olga, and because, in several voy- 
ages to Australia, out of some hundreds of prisoners 
whom I have conducted thither, I have had the good for- 
tune to lose no one by death, the Government is kind 
enough to allow me first pick of the hulks, when it comes 
to selection of passengers for the voyage. So you'll 
understand that I am not going to chance losing my 
record by taking any of you who look as if you might 


be likely to give me the slip on the way out. You will 
all be going, sooner or later, but those whom I select 
this morning will be somewhat sooner. I want you all 
to go to the port side of the deck, and as I call out each 
man's name I wish him to step up to me, and let me have 
a look at him." 

The lower deck shuffled across to our side of the ship, 
and, with a list in his hand, the Doctor began his choice. 
Those whom, after a careful scrutiny, and some ques- 
tioning as to health matters, he selected for his ship, he 
sent across to starboard, and when he shook his head at 
a man, the latter fell back into the mob. 

As soon as he had called our names and had identified 
us, he chose Brian and me at once, motioning with his 
hand for us to cross the deck. 

The Surgeon was very businesslike, and he had soon 
picked out some forty of us, whilst our less fortunate 
shipmates were driven below to their cells. We 
were told to wait where we were. They went 
down the hatchway sullenly muttering curses, and cast- 
ing envious glances at us who were chosen. It was 
something of itself to be envied the remaining on deck 
in the open air, whilst they were crowded back into their 
foetid and insanitary dungeons. 

"We're in luck," an old hand whispered to me. "I've 
heered tell of this covey, this here Peter Collingwood. 
They say he treats his pris'ners well tho' he aint to be 
put upon, so they say." 

In a little while, some bales of clothing were brought 
up from the storeroom, and we were required to doff the 
garments which we had been wearing, and were served 
out with complete outfits of jacket, trousers, shirt, and 
cap. Each of us was given two pairs of trousers, three 
shirts, and a couple of pairs of socks, besides new shoes, 
and a cloth cap. The clothing was rough and unsightly, 
and plentifully ornamented with broad arrows, but it was 
warm and serviceable, and there were not a few of our 
motley company who had never been so well tailored 
before. We made bundles of what we did not wear. 


After various formalities, having to do with the hand- 
ing over of our precious persons, four soldiers, with 
muskets loaded and bayonets fixed, came up the gang- 
way, and formed up on deck facing us. 

"Now, my lads," the Doctor cried cheerily. "We're 
all ready. Down the ladder, and into the boats with 
ye in single file. And mind now if any of you are so 
foolish as to jump into the river, either in the hope of 
escaping or of destroying himself, the guards have orders 
to fire. And I assure you they are all picked shots. 
Come now march!" 

We went through the gangway, and down the ladder 
into a barge, in which there were eight more soldiers 
under a sergeant. Another boat, rowed by sailors, came 
and took us in tow, and we went off down the stream. 

After we had proceeded for about a mile, "There's 
your future home for some months, my lads," said the 

He pointed with outstretched arm, and I turned to 
look. The Olga was a barque of some 500 tons or so, 
and, by her depth in the water, had evidently taken in 
all her stores and cargo, and was ready to go to sea 
at an early date. 

"Now, I want you to understand this," went on Mr. 
Collingwood. "For the next four or five, or maybe six, 
months I am going to be your father and mother, and 
your judge and your doctor, all in one. I may tell 
you that I take a pride in landing my men in good con- 
dition, and fit for a new life in the new country. If 
you treat me well, you'll be well treated. But if there 
is any nonsense, you'll find I can be as bad as the next 
man. I know prisoners' ways, and though some of you 
may get to windward of me for a time, be quite sure 
that the 'vantage will be with me in the long run, and 
the sorry feeling with you. Play fair, and you'll get 
fair treatment. Be insubordinate, or mutinous, or dis- 
honest and you will find that you have what ahem 
some of you term a 'leery cove' to deal with. Now, 
you'll all get a good chance. You're going to a new 


country, and it's a good one one of the best I have seen, 
and I've been about the world. Do your best with it. 
That's all I've got to say to you unofficially." 

Somehow this manly little speech put me in good heart. 
We had, at anyrate, a man to wield authority over us 
and, unless I was mistaken, a gentleman, too. So much 
could not be said of every naval surgeon of the period. 

"Sure, he talks fair, so he does," whispered Brian to 
me, as we drew near the Olga. 

But before we reached the ship we were to learn that 
Dr. Collingwood could act, as well as talk. 

She was lying close into the shore, not being more 
than some hundred and fifty yards, or thereabouts, from 
the Kentish bank of the river. As we drew near to her, 
a sudden commotion in the forepart of the barge arrested 
our attention. 

"Let me go," cried a shrill yoke, and I turned my 
head just in time to catch sight of a slim boyish figure 
that sprang with one foot on to the gunwale, paused a 
moment, and then took a header into the yellow stream. 
The splash of his dive drenched us where we sat. 

"Sit still, men!" sharply and peremptorily cried out 
the Surgeon. I turned my face to him, and saw him 
rise to his feet in the stern sheets. "Stop rowing," he 
shouted to the crew of the boat that towed us, and they 
lay upon their oars. As he called to them, the surgeon 
grasped a musket from the hands of the nearest soldier. 
He stood waiting the reappearance of the prisoner. 

"Come back!" he called sharply, as the head and 
shoulders of the man appeared above the tide. "Come 
back instantly or I'll fire!" 

The man gasped in a hasty breath, and dived below the 
surface again. We waited anxiously. Dr. Colling- 
wood slowly raised the musket to his shoulder and waited, 
with its barrel pointed towards where the rash fellow had 
gone under. In a few seconds that seemed an age 
to me the man's head broke through the surface of 
the stream, five or six yards further away towards the 


Instantly, there was the crack of the piece, and the 
white smoke floated away across the waters. 

The fellow threw his arms above his head, uttered a 
scream that was smothered by the waters closing over 
him, and sank with a choking, gurgling noise. 

"Give way!" called the Doctor, handing the musket 
back to the soldier from whom he had snatched it. 
"Alongside the ship !" he commanded. 

So we drew beside the Olga, having no doubt in our 
hearts as to the manner of man to whose keeping our 
souls and our bodies were committed. 


H.M. Transport Olga. 

The boat that had towed us was sent away to try and 
recover the body of the unfortunate youth who had so 
foolishly disregarded the Doctor's warning. In the 
course of the afternoon it was recovered, and it was 
found that the bullet had gone clean through his head. 
The incident made a deep impression on us, but I heard 
no one blame Mr. Collingwood for the prompt way in 
which he had carried out his duty. 

"The young fool was told, fair enough. He 

got what he was seeking," was the verdict of his com- 
panions in misfortune. 

It was customary, we learned, to iron all convicts prior 
to removing them from the hulks, and to keep them 
ironed throughout the long voyage to New South Wales. 
Dr. Collingwood, however, had long protested against 
this procedure, and, on account of his success in the diffi- 
cult business of the transport service, being in high favour 
with the authorities, had at length prevailed upon them 
to discontinue it in the case of the ship of which he had 
charge. What a mercy it was to us in our confined cir- 
cumstances, you may easily imagine. 

Such dark tales have been told of the horrors and 
miseries of convict ships and often with truth enough 
that I am tempted here to write at some length concern- 
ing the arrangements and routine on the Olga during our 
voyage. They will go to show that it was possible, when 



the ship was in charge of such a man as we had over us, 
to conduct the service decently. 

Down in the 'tween decks were the prison quarters. 
Two rows of sleeping berths, one above the other, ex- 
tended on each side of the ship, each berth being six 
feet square, and designed to contain four sleepers. That 
meant eighteen inches of space per man and it was cer- 
tainly not too bountiful an allowance, when some of the 
bed-fellows were sea-sick but, after all, it was not much 
closer crowding than soldiers sleeping in tents have to 
put up with though, to be sure, they have a more liberal 
supply of air than we enjoyed. 

In the forepart of the ship the hospital was situated. 
A bulkhead separated it from the prison. The boys 
were accommodated apart from the men an arrangement 
which saved them from contamination for as long as pos- 
sible, and operated against their education in more 
advanced criminality. Strong wooden stanchions, thickly 
studded with nails, were fixed round the fore and main 
hatchings, on the 'tween decks, in each of which was a 
door with three padlocks, to allow of ingress and egress, 
and to secure the prisoners at night. A ladder, which 
was pulled up at dark each night, being placed in each 
hatchway to go up and down by. The prisoners had no 
access to the hold through the prison. 

Scuttles, or port-holes, were cut along the ship's sides. 
A large stove, with a funnel leading through the deck 
above, provided for warmth and ventilation 'tween decks. 
There were small portable stoves also, to carry into damp 
corners. Everything that was possible to provide health 
and proper comfort for us during the voyage, was done. 
We had a bed, pillow, and thick rug given to each of us. 
Bibles and prayer-books were issued to each man. 

The rations were as good as we could expect in fact, 
a good deal better than we had been led to expect from 
their quality and quantity on the Prince Frederick. Three- 
quarters of a pound of biscuits were allowed to each 
man per diem, and for dinner, meat, pork and plum pud- 
ding, with pea soup four times a week, and a pot of gruel, 


with sugar or butter in it, every morning. Vinegar 
was issued to us weekly, and, after we had been three 
weeks at sea, as a preventive of scurvy, we were served 
daily with an ounce of lime-juice and an ounce of sugar. 
There were also three or four issues of a gill of wine each 
week, and our daily allowance of water was three quarts. 

We were divided into messes, which corresponded to 
our sleeping arrangements, and two delegates, chosen 
in rotation from each, superintended daily the weighing 
out of the provisions. 

Our berths were numbered, and any article of bedding 
and clothing allotted to us bore a corresponding number. 
In such a collection of thieves and super-thieves as we 
were, this was a very necessary precaution. 

Mr. Collingwood had a way of his own of policing his 
kingdom. So as to see to the due carrying out of orders, 
and to enforce discipline, the most trustworthy of the 
prisoners were appointed a species of petty officers. These 
were called "captains of the deck" and were six in num- 
ber. Two officiated on deck, and four in the prison. 
They were afforded little privileges, such as an extra 
allotment of wine, and an issue of rum every day, besides 
two pounds of tobacco for the voyage. To our delight, 
Brian and I were selected for duty on deck in this capa- 
city by far the best job on the ship. 

Each mess had a "captain" also, who was responsible 
for its cleanliness and good order. Various individuals 
were told off for small domestic duties, for attendance 
upon the hospital, and for sanitary arrangements. 

Every day the upper and lower decks were cleaned 
very thoroughly under the superintendence of the captains 
of the deck. They were scrubbed, swabbed, scraped, or 
dry holystoned, according to the state of the weather, 
and, until the prison was thoroughly dry, all hands were 
kept on deck. 

Three sets of rules, having been read out and explained 
to the convicts on the commencement of the voyage, were 
displayed in 'tween decks, one contained the duties of the 
"captains of the deck," "captains" of messes, and dele- 


gates for attending the ration issues. The second dealt 
with rules and regulations regarding Divine service, the 
cleaning of the deck, the cutting up and cooking of the 
meat ration, the washing days, musters, schools, and so 
on. The third set out a sort of criminal code, in which 
almost every possible offence against the ship's laws 
were laid down, and the punishments detailed. 

We were allowed a change of clothing weekly, and 
were shaved twice a week. One shirt and a pair of 
trousers were marked with the letter A above the numeral, 
and the others with a B, and a man wore A shirt and 
trousers one week, and B shirt and trousers the next. 
Every evening we were mustered in the prison, with 
shoes and stockings off, and trousers rolled up, to see 
that we washed adequately. Every second day, in the 
warm weather, we bathed upon deck. 

Oujr guard was composed of thirty-three soldiers, 
under the command of a commissioned officer. They 
did duty in three watches, and provided sentries for the 
prison and gangways. When we were on deck the guard 
was always under arms. 

Such were the general arrangements in H.M. Trans- 
port Olga. I understand that they differed materially 
from those in vogue on other ships, and that our con- 
dition under Dr. Collingwood was very much easier than 
it would have been under many others of the Surgeon- 
Superintendents. But there was no slackness in disci- 
pline. He ruled us with an iron hand. The slightest 
shortcoming met with its allotted punishment, and it was 
very seldom that punishment did not inevitably follow 
crime. The Doctor was quite conversant with the ways 
of convicts, and they found him to be indeed as he 
had put it in the boat when we were coming to the Olga 
from the Prince Frederick, a "leery cove." 

And now I may get on with my narrative. 

On the second day after our joining the ship, she was 
warped out into the stream, and anchored in readiness for 
our final departure, as soon as the last orders and the 
mails should have come on board. That afternoon we 


were all mustered on deck, and for the purpose of bidding 
farewell to friends and relatives, a few favoured visitors 
to certain of the prisoners were admitted to the vessel. 

My poor father was amongst those who made the dis- 
mal pilgrimage to Sheerness to see the last of us. I 
was called out to speak to him, and we were permitted 
to converse within the hearing of an armed sentry on the 

"Jack, my boy," he said, as he gripped my hand and 
it seemed to me that he had grown younger again since 
I had seen him in Newgate "keep up your courage. 
You are not a criminal, and have only had a misfortune. 
The blood of that unfortunate man, Hanrahan, is no 
more upon your head than upon mine. You are very 
young, and I do not despair of seeing you back again 
long before your sentence has expired. Now listen to 
me, in this particularly. We have an agent in Sydney, 
a Mr. George Blundell, through whom we do a fair 
amount of business. I have written to him a full account 
of your trouble, and have asked him to try and have you 
assigned to his service. It is very likely that you will 
be able to secure his interest for your friend McMahon 
also. I have mentioned him to Blundell in my letter. 
So you will never be in want, I have also in- 
structed him to advance you money up to a certain 
amount. They have told me at the Colonial Office that 
if your conduct is good you will, in all probability, be 
granted a conditional pardon in a few years, and it is 
my idea, when that happens, and provided I have a good 
account of you from Mr. Blundell, that Hawkins and 
Camford may establish a branch of the business in Syd- 
ney, with yourself as manager. I don't know that I 
may not make the voyage out myself, one of these days, 
to see what the prospects of a business such as mine 
might be in the colony. So there you are. Three 
months ago you were to be hanged to-day you are the 
advance agent of the firm's extension. Do your best, 
my dear Jack, and you will make your mother and my- 


self happier than we are now. Good-bye, my boy, and 
God bless you!" 

I watched his boat, as it made for the shore, with a 
full heart you may well believe with a full heart, and 
an honest determination to endeavour, by any means in 
my power, to counter the cruel blow that Fortune had 
dealt me, and to turn it to good account. 

I was still gazing after him when I heard my name 
called, and, turning, saw the Surgeon coming towards me. 
I saluted, as was laid down in the rules, and stood at 

"Carnford was that your father whom I just saw 
speaking with you?" he asked me, in a kindly fashion. 

"Yes, sir. He had come to wish me farewell." 

"Ah I wish I had spoken to him. I have heard my 
father speak of his firm Hawkins and Carnford, isn't 
it? But I'll do myself the honor of writing him a line 
before we sail, and will tell him that I will keep an 
eye on you. You ought not to be here, any more than 
McMahon should, to my thinking but, since you are, 
you must needs play your part. Now I'm going to 
give you and the red fellow some sort of official status 
only on good behaviour, mark you! But I hope you 
are sensible fellows, who will see how the land lies, and 
where your own interests lie in it, and do as well as I 
expect you to. If you treat me honestly, I'll do the 
same thing by you. Keep that in mind and don't be 
despondent. Your life is before you." 

I thanked him for the kindly words, and begged him 
to take care of a few guineas which my father had left 
with me. 

"Willingly!" he said, and laughed. "You're very 
wise, Carnford. If you had retained it on your person, 
I doubt if some of those experts in your company below 
deck would not soon have relieved you of all anxiety as 
to its safe keeping. I will give you a receipt for it 
later on." 

He told the sergeant of the guard that Brian and I, 
and a dozen others from whom he meant to select his 


"Captains" were to remain on deck, and that the other 
prisoners should be sent below, since the passengers were 
coming off directly. 

I found Brian a little down in the dumps. 

"Sure, Jack," he said, "I do think some on thim moight 
have come across to see the last of me. Bad luck to 
thim! Ye'd suppose they thought I'd killed Patsy 
Hanrahan and the O'Toole both, the way they treat me. 
Damme if me brother haven't the impudence to write to 
me about th' disgrace I've brought on thim an' him th' 
drunkenest, tearing'est rapscallion of a squireen in all 
County Kerry ! Ye'd think, t'see his letter, that he was 
the rale immaculate potato, so ye wud !" 

I cheered him a little by telling him what my father 
had done, and made it plain to him that he would share 
equally in any better fortune that might come my way. It 
had a good effect upon him, and he brightened up con- 

"Begorra," he said. "Whom have we here? Be th' 
houly piper, Johnyboy, cast y'er eye to th' gangway. 
Did ye iver in y'r life see such a beauty! 'Tis a sin to 
trust such a jool aboord amongst this collection of 
divilry, so it is." 

I turned to look. A very stately gentleman, dressed 
in the height of fashion, was handing to the deck the 
loveliest creature I have ever set eyes upon. The Captain 
of the ship came forward to meet them, and a lady's 
maid, I took her to be, followed after. They were 
evidently our passengers. 

From the moment I saw that divine creature I knew 
that I knew myself. Can you guess who she was, my 
children ? 


The Beast and the Beauty. 

The last of England that I saw was five days later, 
when we lay at anchor in the Downs, awaiting our convoy 
of men-o'-war. It was customary in those days of the 
Napoleonic struggle for all ships proceeding to India, or 
the Cape, or to New South Wales, to sail in company 
down the Channel, under a strong escort of warships. 
These saw them far out into the Atlantic, as a protection 
against enemy cruisers and privateers though since the 
immortal victory of the great Lord Nelson at Trafalgar, 
when the command of the sea had definitely fallen to the 
lot of Britain, the danger of attack had been greatly les- 

On that day, for the first time since the Olga had 
dropped down the river, we had been allowed upon 
deck. And a merciful relief it was, for though we had 
grown accustomed to confinement in 'tween decks of the 
hulk Prince Frederick, we had not, however wretched our 
situation may otherwise have been, in that unsavoury 
floating prison, been subjected to the miseries of sea- 
sickness. On the short run round to the Downs and 
while we lay at anchor there, most of us had experienced 
all the terrors of the brief but horrible malady which 
affects landsmen on making their first acquaintance with 
Father Neptune. Nor did the jeers and ribald pleasan- 
tries of those of the prisoners who had been seamen add to 
our enjoyment of the process of acquiring our sea-legs. 



We were allowed on deck in three batches, and the one 
to which Brian and I belonged was the first to be ac- 
corded the privilege of a breath of fresh air. It was 
a pale-faced and sickly collection of humanity that 
crawled painfully up the companionway in the main- 
hatch, and stood shivering on the deck behind the stout 
barricade that divided the prison portion of the ship from 
the quarter-deck and poop. 

A sentry with a drawn cutlass marched up 
and down upon the other side of the timber wall, 
and below the poop the guard was drawn up under arms, 
with muskets loaded and bayonets fixed. The escort 
of soldiers who accompanied us to Sydney consisted of 
thirty-three rank and file, with a commissioned officer in 
charge. They divided their duties into three watches, 
and one of the most rigorous rules which Dr. Colling- 
wood insisted upon was that there should be no com- 
munication between soldiers and prisoners. Like all 
prison rules, however, this one was frequently evaded. 

Ensign Keating, the officer in charge of our little 
garrison, was as choice a young blackguard as might 
exist anywhere. As an alternative to leaving the army, 
he had exchanged from his own regiment into the New 
South Wales Corps. A red-faced, bull-necked, cursing, 
gambling, drinking, cockfighting young blood. In Syd- 
ney, after our arrival, he soon made a name for himself. 
I shall have more to say of him later on. But my first 
acquaintance with him did not do much to prepossess me 
in his favour. 

When we came up, in company with the master of the 
ship, Captain John Colman a bluff old sea-dog, and a 
good man, he was walking up and down across the 
quarterdeck. He grinned, as he caught sight of us 
standing uncertainly about the deck, behind the barricade. 

"Aha, Mr. Colman," he exclaimed loudly. "Here 

they are ! A d d pretty lot of fellows, too. Come 

let us have a closer look at them." 

He advanced to the barricade, the Captain following 
him, a little unwillingly, so it seemed to me. 


"Well, my beauties," he jeered at us across the rails. 
"You're a nice lot of gallows-birds, aren't ye! Mr. 
Colman," turning to the Captain, "how do you like your 
cargo? Was you ever in the slave trade? I'll engage, 
if ye was, that you never carried so many ugly mugs as 
this lot, even if they were black ones." 

"I was never in the slave trade, Mr. Keating," replied 
the Captain "nor do I wish to be. But the looks of 
these poor fellows is not my affair. The navigation of 
the ship to Sydney is my only concern." 

There was a note of disapproval in the old sailor's 
tone, but it was lost on the gallant officer, who stood 
scowling and grinning alternately at us. I could see 
Brian flush to the roots of his close cropped hair, but, 
fearing an outbreak of his hasty Irish temper, I trod on 
his foot to check him. At that moment, Dr. Colling- 
wood come out of the cabin, with some papers in his 
hand. He was frowning slightly. He could not but 
hear the blatant voice of his military colleague. The 
latter went on. 

"See here, ye Houndsditch scum I'm here to look 
after ye. D'ye understand that? So no hanky-panky, 

or you'll find Jack Keating a d d tough nut to crack, 

d'ye see! I'll look after ye well enough trust me for 
that, and I've some good men behind me, who can easily 
deal with such a crew of hangdog ruffians as you are. 
I'll look after ye." 

"Mr. Keating!" 

It was the Doctor who had spoken, quietly and a 
little coldly. He had taken a few steps up the deck, 
whilst the officer was roaring his overbearing gibes. The 
latter turned. 

"At your service, Doctor," said he, saluting. 

"Mr. Keating, I have just overheard your remarks to 
my prisoners. I think that there may be a little mis- 
apprehension on your part as to the situation of affairs 
upon the Olga. If you will favour me by stepping to 
my cabin, I will read you my commission as Surgeon- 
Superintendent of this ship. I beg that you will do so, 


when it is convenient, and I shall be most happy to show 
you my instructions. I think that you will then agree 
with me that it is I, rather than yourself, who will look 
after these prisoners. I may have to call upon you for 
assistance, but until I have to do so I flatter myself that 
I am quite capable of discharging my duties. Would 
you wish to see the document now?" 

As he heard a slight titter amongst the convicts, the 
Ensign's face became almost purple. He spluttered as 
he spoke. 

"Oh, damme, not at all, Dr. Collingwood. I know 
that my detachment is here to enforce the authority of 
the civil power. I have my own orders. Not at all. 
I know how we stand. I was but just letting these 
fellows know it. That was all." 

We could see that he was furiously angry. 

"That is very well then, Mr. Keating. We under- 
stand the matter." 

The officer turned away, and walked aft. The Cap- 
tain had taken his telescope from under his arm and was 
busily engaged in examining the . shipping that lay all 
about. Dr. Collingwood studied his papers once more. 
Presently he looked up, and scanned our faces across the 

"John Carnford," he called. "I want you out here. 
Sentry, permit this man to pass through the gate." 

The soldier took a big key from his pocket, and un- 
locked the padlock that secured the single narrow gate 
in the barricade. Wonderingly, I stepped forward and 
passed through. The sentry secured the gate behind me. 
I stood and waited in front of the Surgeon. Before he 
spoke he eyed me keenly for a moment or two. 

"Prisoner," he said and I winced at the name "You 
have forgotten something." 

He spoke quietly. I continued to gaze at him, not 
knowing what he meant. 

"You have forgotten to salute," said he. "You must 
remember that we have discipline here." He did not 
speak unkindly. 


"I beg your pardon, sir," I stammered in confusion, 
touching my cloth cap. There was something so like- 
able about the man, something so just and honest in 
his face, that I felt ashamed in a personal way, rather 
than because I had committed a breach of discipline 
and I have seen men flogged for less. I mumbled some- 
thing about being unused to it. 

"That's all right," he said. "I want you in my cabin. 
Follow me, please." 

He was always like that kind, and firm, and just, 
and intently insistent upon duty. Long afterwards, I 
learned the heart of the man. The shooting of that boy 
who had tried to escape was a tragedy that he never 
forgot all his life. And yet, when they seemed to 
him to be his duty, he never hesitated to do such things. 
If any man ever deserved the much abused title of 
"gentleman," it was Peter Collingwood. 

With me following, he turned towards the cabin en- 
trance. As we came to the door, he stepped aside, and, 
taking off his hat, bowed to someone whom I could not 
see from where I was. 

"Welcome to the deck, Miss Nutting. I had begun 
to fear that you had gone overboard. This is your first 
appearance, is it not?" 

There was a musical laugh within the alleyway, and 
then she, smiling at the Doctor, and casting a sweet, shy, 
pitying glance upon the poor prisoner behind him, 
stepped out upon the deck. Somehow, the poor prisoner 
thrilled with a sort of hope that life was not altogether 
an evil thing. There was that in those brave, tender 
eyes that always so moved him. 

She was very beautiful, and very young, and carried 
herself with a sort of grace, and a quiet, calm dignity that 
seemed to me what the carriage of a young queen would 
be. So soon as she came on deck she seemed to cast 
the spell of her presence over all who were there sol- 
diers, sailors, and convicts. 

"Oh, Doctor," she cried, "I have been a sad sailor. 



"Oh, Doctor," she cried, "I have been a sad sailor.' 


But not so bad as poor Anne, my maid. And I think 
not as bad as poor papa. Have you seen him this 
morning? He is still very unhappy." 

"No, I have not had time to visit your father as yet 
this morning, Miss Nutting. But I'll do so presently. 
Have no fears for him he'll soon be himself. Once 
out of the Downs, with a fair wind behind us, he'll 
pick up amazingly. This preliminary run to the Downs, 
and our rolling at anchor here for a day or so, is just the 
thing to introduce us all to our long voyage. I'll stake 
my reputation he'll be well to-morrow." 

"Oh, I hope so," she laughed. "When papa is ill he 
is under no illusion as to how very ill he is. He be- 
lieves that he has never been so ill in his life before, 
and never will be well again. That is a bit of Deal 
over there, isn't it? And so this is our last look at 
England, is it?" 

"Yes for a while. But here is the Captain come to 
say good-morning. Will you excuse me, Miss Nutting? 
I have business to attend to." 

As she turned towards Mr. Colman, who offered her his 
arm, in a gallant old sea-dog fashion, to assist her up the 
poop-ladder, she smiled and nodded. Again her eyes 
rested on me for a moment, and I felt the gentle pity of 
her glance. 

Beckoning me, the Surgeon led the way in to the 
main cabin, where the steward was busily clearing away 
the breakfast things. Upon the port side of the ship 
we went into a smaller one, which was evidently an office, 
sleeping place, and surgery. The walls had shelves 
fitted round them, some of which held books, but for the 
most part they were filled with bottles containing drugs 
and medicines. 

"Carnford," he said, seating himself. "How old are 

"But just turned twenty, sir," I answered him, wonder- 
ing why he had brought me here, and what he might want 
of me. I stood fumbling with my cap, whilst he eyed 
me meditatively. For a little while he said nothing. 


Then he stood up, and taking a step towards me placed 
his right hand upon my shoulder. There was great 
kindness in his eyes as he spoke. 

"My poor boy," he said, "I have bad news for you. You 
must brace yourself well to bear it. It is from your 

I felt my heart check for a moment. 

"My mother!" 

"No your poor father. He had but just returned to 
London, it seems, after seeing you in the Thames the 
other day, when he dropped dead in his counting house 
in St. Paul's Churchyard. There, there my lad bear 
up. Sit ye down here. I will leave you for awhile. 
I have your word you will not leave the cabin?" 

"Yes, sir," I muttered too stunned to say more, as 
I sat heavily down upon the edge of his cot. 

"There is more to tell you, but it will keep awhile. 
It is good news of a sort, and affects your future strongly. 
But stay here, and I will return in an hour." 

He went out and closed the door, leaving me to my 

But I was not too unhappy to appreciate the goodness 
of the Surgeon-Superintendent of His Majesty's trans- 
port Olga. 


Fortune's Plaything. 

That evening, with a fair wind behind us, we sailed 
from the Downs, and in less than a week were well clear 
of the Channel and the Bay of Biscay, which, as we 
crossed its usually stormy bosom, smiled for us. By 
the end of the week, the monotonous routine of our five 
month's voyage had been well established, and all in 
the ship passengers, crew, sailors, and prisoners had 
settled down into the regular and unvarying life which 
was to be endured, with but brief intermission at the 
three ports we touched, until we should anchor in Port 

Nothing that is worth recording in any detail hap- 
pened on that long sailing round the world, except one 
thing, that had a great influence upon my whole life. 
We carried out our daily tasks and duties in a regular 
and well ordered fashion cleaned the prison, decks, and 
hospital, aired our bedding, drew our rations and ate 
them, took our daily two hours of fresh air behind the 
barricade on the upper deck, counted the time by the 
ship's bells and the changing of the guard. And so 
day after day and week after week the routine went on, 
until it seemed to me that I had always lived this sort of 
life, and was destined never to live any other. 

We called at Teneriffe, at Rio de Janiero, and the 
Cape of Good Hope none of which places we saw any- 
thing of, for we were kept below deck the whole time 



we remained in port. These intervals were unspeakably 
miserable, but as our longest stay was only for a day or 
so over a fortnight, at the Cape, they did not seriously 
affect the health of the prisoners as a whole. But we 
were none of us sorry when the pitching and rolling of 
the ship indicated to us that we were once more upon our 

A few days after our final departure from England, 
Mr. Collingwood again summoned me to his cabin. 

"Sit down, Carnford," he said, as I saluted. "Wait 
a few minutes until I have finished these returns. I 
have something further to tell you." 

I seated myself wonderingly, and presently, having 
signed the last of his papers, he turned round in his 
chair and spoke to me. 

"The other day," he began, "when I acquainted you 
with the melancholy tidings of your father's death, I men- 
tioned that there was something else to tell you, Carn- 
ford. I did not inform you of your good fortune then, 
because it hardly seemed decent to do so in the same 
breath that had uttered such unhappy news to you. But 
there is no reason why you should not know it now." 

"Good fortune, sir!" 

Could it be that I was to receive a free pardon on 
our arrival at Sydney? I could think of nothing better 
or more desirable than that I might be permitted to 
return at once from exile. He smiled a little at my 
look of astonishment. 

"Yes the best of good fortune. The only pity of it 
is that your present situation discounts it a little. What 
would you say were I to inform you that you were the 
richest man in the ship that, in fact, you could quite 
easily afford to buy the ship?" 

"You're joking, sir!" 

"No, indeed I'm not. To be brief, your father left 
over one hundred thousand pounds sterling. Forty thou- 
sand go to your mother, and the balance of the fortune 
is left to you in trust with Mr. Isaac Palfrey, your late 
father's manager. Besides that, there is the business, 


which is to be carried on until you have reached the age 
of twenty-five. So there you are. You might buy the 
Olga, cargo and all though I think you'd have a pretty 
bad bargain with the bulk of the cargo," he laughed. 

The news stunned me. I knew that my father was 
well off, for the firm of Hawkins & Carnford had been 
a prosperous one for many years. But I had no notion 
that he was such a rich man as his death had discovered 
him to be. Why, I had little doubt that I would be one 
of the wealthiest men in New South Wales when I should 
reach there. But a convict! 

My face must have expressed my thoughts. Mr. Col- 
lingwood laid a hand upon my arm. 

"I know what troubles you, Carnford. It would 
trouble any man. I don't think I have ever heard of 
such an ironical stroke of ill-fortune as has fallen upon 
you. You are, indeed, Fortune's plaything. To have 
become involved in the death of that unfortunate Sheriff's 
officer, through no fault but a little too much wine; and 
then to have escaped the gallows by a very narrow mar- 
gin, and to find yourself a convict transported for four- 
teen years; and to be overwhelmed with grief at the 
moment of sailing by the loss of a good parent; and 
now to learn that you are a rich man, and at the same 
time to be a prisoner of the Crown, condemned to penal 
servitude for so long a period ! Well, it is rough it 
is a little rough, to be sure." 

"What use is it to me, sir? Better if it had all gone 
to my mother or to some charity. It can do me no 
good," I said, gloomily. 

"Don't be so sure. A man would need to be in a 
very bad situation to whom sixty thousand pounds could 
not be of some advantage. Let me tell you what I see in 
it for you. I'm not at all sure that, getting this in- 
heritance in the way you are, it is not likely to be of 
much more benefit to you, in the long run, than if you 
had come into it in all your youth and inexperience, as a 
free man in London." 

"How so, sir?" I asked doubtfully. 


"Well, let us suppose that everything goes for you, 
from now on, as it may reasonably be expected to go. 
You land in Sydney with a good character from the Olga. 
I think I can safely predict as much as that," he 
laughed. "In Sydney you will be paraded for inspec- 
tion by the Governor, and, as a good conduct prisoner, 
will probably be selected immediately by some colonist 
in want of labour. In your case that is a certainty. 
Your father's agent, Mr. George Blundell, whom I know 
slightly, will apply for your services, and I've no doubt 
he will get them without question. Then you are as 
good as free. In a few years, if you conduct yourself 
well, I am certain that a conditional emancipation may 
be had for the asking. The very fact of your fortune 
will tell in your favour with the authorities. But even 
if you had to serve your whole sentence, fourteen years 
do not constitute an eternity. And in that time you will 
have become a man. You will not have been spared 
from temptations of even a worse sort than you would 
meet with at home but you won't have your fortune to 
waste on them. You will be going through a mill that 
will find you out as either of one of two things a good 
colonist and a man, or a hopeless wastrel. I have no 
fear of the latter result. You haven't got the makings 
of a good criminal in you even if you were going to the 
chain-gangs. And then you can go home again, or 
what I sincerely hope can take up a share in the develop- 
ment of this new country, which is, I am sure of it, de- 
stined to be one of the best in the world. We do not 
know it yet we are only perched upon its doorstep. I 
would like to see it a century hence. Now, go below 
again, and think over your situation. You'll find it is 
a brighter one, in its future, than most of your shipmates, 
myself included, may congratulate themselves upon. You 
are the luckiest transport I've ever known." 

It may be well supposed that this interview gave me 
a good deal to think over in the months that followed. 
It was a good thing for me that Mr. Collingwood had 
spoken to me as he did, for, if it did nothing else, it con- 


vinced me that there was, after all, something in my 
situation that might well excite the envy of others. It 
certainly did that, as I was destined to realise in a bitter 
enough fashion before many years were gone by. 

The incident to which I referred, a few pages back, as 
being the only thing noteworthy of record during our un- 
eventful voyage was this. 

One afternoon, some ten days after we had sailed out 
of Table Bay at the Cape of Good Hope, I was on deck 
with the rest of the division of prisoners to which I be- 
longed for "air and exercise" parades. It was a splen- 
did day, and the ship, with all her canvas straining and 
bellying overhead was plunging her bluff bows, in a 
kind of joyous frolic with the waves, through the white- 
crested, deeply blue waters at least, so it seemed to me. 

You may imagine how beautiful the brilliant sunlight 
and the dancing waters, and the flying sheets of spray, 
that hissed and splashed to port and starboard as we 
rushed on our heaving, rolling course, were, after twenty- 
four hours in the dimly lighted 'tween decks. It was 
like a draught of wine to me to come up from the reek- 
ing bowels of the ship, where there was an atmosphere 
of tar, bilge-water, and the odour of sweating human 
bodies, into the fresh wholesomeness of the winds of the 
sea and the light of the sun. Down below, in the ribald 
companionship of London thieves, and the dullness of 
poor yokels, one might well brood on the blackness of 
the present and the future, or dwell miserably on the 
mistakes and foolishness of the past. But, to any 
unhappy soul amongst us, the first glimpse of the sunlit 
sails, and the clear blue of the sky and the wide sweep 
of the encircling horizon, was a never failing tonic. Every 
second of the two hours was precious to me, and when 
the weather was bad, as it often was whilst we made our 
southing the two or three days confinement below the 
battened hatches was nearly as terrible as those dreadful 
weeks in the hulk Prince Frederick had been. 

Forward of the quarterdeck, behind our well guarded 


barrier, some fifty of us walked or sat in our yellow 
liveries. Fifteen or twenty of us Brian and myself 
included "followed our leader" round and round out- 
side of the deck, between barricade and f oc'sle, in a sharp 
run. Dr. Collingwood himself had instituted this diver- 
sion, and the exercise was indeed a blessing. Towards 
the stern, the white deck stretched to the poop, under 
the break of which the red-coated guard stood at ease, 
with bayonets fixed and muskets loaded. Just forward 
of the main mast, a small brass howitzer was cleated to 
the deck. It was loaded with grapeshot, and was 
pointed so as to cover the entrance to our playground. 

Further aft, on the poop, existed a little world that 
was miles away from ours. Here, under a canvas awn- 
ing, was Freedom located. To look across the inter- 
vening space of quarterdeck, and over the heads and 
gleaming bayonets of the soldiers, was like peering into 
another world. We could see the upper circumference 
of the wheel, and the head and shoulders of the steers- 
man. With regular stride, the officer of the watch, his 
dark blue figure seeming almost to be moved by clock- 
work, save when he paused for a moment to look at the 
binnacle, or to address a remark to the man at the wheel, 
paced up and down the weather side of the poop. Some- 
times the Captain, the passengers, the surgeon, and En- 
sign Keating formed a little group in chairs, drinking 
tea and gossiping, about the cabin skylight. 

I had dropped out of the leadership of the runners, 
and was getting my breath, just forward of the barricade, 
when something suddenly happened that was so quick 
in its happening I had not time to think of it, until I 
found myself battling with the water in the wake of the 

The breeze that came in over the stern wafted a merry 
peal of laughter down to us, and I saw the beautiful 
girl, Miss Nutting, suddenly run to the lee rail and seat 
herself upon it. I saw the crimson jacket of Ensign 
Keating flash into the sunlight towards her and then 


the ship gave a lurch. There was the quick gleam of 
her muslin dress as she lost her hold and fell into the 
sea. I was upon the top of the barricade, in a jump, 
and over into the seething waters. They told me after- 
wards that the sentry fired his musket at me as I jumped. 
But I did not hear it. I did not even know that I had 
jumped, until the cold shock of the sea sent the swift 
thoughts racing through my head. 

The Rescue. 

The dark chill of the hissing waters closed over me, 
and as they bore me away, their roar and rush seemed like 
a mill race. When I came to the surface, the heaving 
stern of the ship with its cabin windows gleaming and 
sparkling in the afternoon sun, and the water cascading 
and dripping from her wet counter was many yards 
from me. But already I could see, in one swift glance 
that I took from the crest of a surge, that the officer of 
the watch was taking steps to heave her to. T turned 
and struck out along her wake, away from her, straining 
my eyes for a glimpse of Miss Nutting. 

There was not much sea, but each time that I sank 
down into a trough of it I seemed to be hidden in a 
wide valley between towering hills of dark blue and 
green. It was not until I had been swung up to a crest 
some three or four times that I caught a momentary 
glimpse of her face and head, and a white, bare arm that 
waved appealingly, some thirty or forty yards away. 
Falling from the poop she had had a start of me, but 
my actions had been quick, and I had reached the water 
riot many seconds after she had done so. 

It was fortunate that she was a good swimmer, and that 
her courage and endurance equalled her skill. When 
I reached her, I found her actually swimming towards 
me, and she greeted me with the greatest coolness, even 
laughing, as she grasped one of my hands. 

"Thank you so much !" she spluttered, and because of 
a curling crest that slapped me in the face, my polite 
depreciation of her praise was lost. I put my arm 



about her, and we paddled gently towards the ship, which 
by this time had been brought to, but was a long distance 
from us. However, as we were heaved up on to the 
crests, we could see the boat that had left her side, and 
was making slowly towards us. A man at the mast- 
head of the Olga kept us in view, and made signals to 
the officer in charge of the boat. 

It was strange how small and desolate an object our 
floating world looked from our point of view, out there 
in the vast wilderness of the seas. Aboard, we seemed to 
be a large and densely populated community it was 
about three hundred souls, in all but from the tops of 
the waves the ship looked like a toy. Not, however, 
when we drew close alongside her. Then her vast hulk 
seemed to dominate the ocean. Even the boat, as it 
drew closer to us, took on an unnatural appearance of 

As I had swum towards her I had been making up 
my mind as to what I should do when I should reach 
her, should she lose her head and struggle. I had re- 
solved on the heroic course of stunning her with a blow 
from my fist. But her courage and coolness made me 
feel like a fool, for having so misjudged her. Positively, 
she seemed to be enjoying the adventure. 

"Isn't it jolly!" she laughed, her long hair streaming 
darkly out in the water, and her face rosy and glowing 
with excitement. Her splendid eyes shone with the 
sheer joy of it. Such a creature was worth saving. But 
I could hardly call myself her saviour. She had done 
as much for herself as I had. 

Each time we were lifted up we could see that the 
boat was making steady progress towards us, though 
pulling against the wind rendered it a slow business. 

"What is your name?" she cried to me, as we sank 
into a hollow. 

"John Carnford," I called back, as we lifted over the 
next wave. 

"You are one of the soldiers, I suppose?" 

I had taken my yellow jacket off before joining in the 


running game on deck, and she could not see my convict 
uniform. I was silent for a little while. But I re- 
flected that she'd know soon enough, and might as well 
hear it from me now as find out for herself, when we 
should be pulled into the boat. 

"No," I called shamefacedly, "one of the convicts." 

"A prisoner!" she gasped. "Oh, I am sorry for you. 
I'll never forget your bravery in jumping in after me. 
Papa will do something for you. I know he will." 

I was about to say something of a bitter sort, to the 
effect that it was out of the power of anyone to do any- 
thing for me when we were swung up again to a watery 
summit and saw the boat only a few yards from us. In 
the short vision which I had of her, I could see that they 
had lost sight of us, and did not realise that in the next 
few moments they would be upon us. I yelled loudly 
as we sank into the trough again and the next instant had 
a hasty sight of the white prow of the boat poised above 
us for a quiet second or so. Then down it came, plung- 
ing upon us, with a hissing curl of foam breaking under 
the stem. With all my might I shoved the girl away, 
out of the track of the deadly keel, and tried to dive, but 
I was too late. I knew of a crash, and the taste of salt 
water on my tongue, and of a vague sense of being driven 
down and down, into black darkness. And the next 
that I knew was that the pink sails of the ship, as they 
caught the last rays of the setting sun, looked very 
dazzling against the clear blue of the sky. After that, I 
had a faint view of Dr. Collingwood's face, as he bent 
>ver me, and heard him saying, as if it were from a dis- 

"He'll do now. Here, pick him up, a couple of you, 
and help him down to the hospital. But drink this 
first, Carnford. You'll be all right in the morning. 
Only a bit of a crack on the nut. You're not done yet." 
The Doctor held a glass of brandy to my lips. 

"He'll live to be hung yet," remarked a disagreeable 
voice behind me. I recognised it for the military 


As two of the guard assisted me to my feet, I saw her, 
with her wet hair hanging about her shoulders, over the 
seaman's pea jacket in which they had wrapped her in 
the boat. Her beautiful face was flushed with anger, 
and she stamped her foot upon the deck in vexation. 

"He is a good man," she said. "Men like that don't 
get hung. I'm ashamed of you, sir, for saying such a 

"Now, Miss Adelaide," said hex maid soothingly. 
"Do come down to your cabin, and change your wet 
things. You said you would, as soon as he had re- 

She suffered herself to be led away not, however, 
before she had thanked me in front of them all. 

"You are a brave man," she said, taking my hand for 
a moment. "I thank you with all my heart, Mr. Carn- 
ford. When the boat came down upon us, you saved 
my life, almost at the expense of your own. I do thank 
you indeed I do." 

Ensign Keating scowled, but said nothing, and walked 
away. They took me below, and put me into a berth 
in the prison hospital, between warm blankets. One of 
the convict attendants was feeding me with gruel, when 
we heard voices outside the door. One was Dr. Colling- 
wood's, but the other I did not recognise. 

"Damme! My dear Doctor," it was saying. "Posi- 
tively luxurious ! Splendid ! I had no ideah. Most 
interesting. Really excellent." 

A subdued titter came from the prison, as the hospital 
door was opened, and the Surgeon, with the passenger 
whom I only knew as Miss Nutting's father came in. 

"Well, Carnford, and how are you now?" the Doctor 
asked me cheerily, as he felt my pulse. "Here's Mr. 
Nutting, the young lady's father, come to see you. He 
wants to thank you, too. Indeed, we all must do that. 
I don't know what we would have done if we'd lost our 
little angel. Here he is, Mr. Nutting nothing much 
the worse for it." 

I looked up, and in the dim light of the lantern hang- 


ing from the beam in the middle of the hospital, in- 
spected at close quarters the figure of the exquisitely 
attired gentleman whom we beheld daily on the poop 
from behind our prison barricade. 

He was, indeed, in notable contrast with his surround- 
ings. Picture one of the bucks of the Regency in the 
dark 'tween decks of a convict vessel, and you will realise 
how much so. He was dressed as he might have been 
in Pall Mall on a spring afternoon beaver top hat, 
silken stock, ruffled shirt, blue cloth coat with gold but- 
tons, white buckskin breeches, and tasselled patent leather 
boots reaching half way up his shins. He peered at me 
through a single eyeglass, which was mounted upon a 
little ebony stick. 

"Haw, my good man," he addressed me in a high 
pitched, rather effeminate voice, with a somewhat affected 
drawl. "I am glad to see you are not much the worse 
for your bath. A brave action, damme, quite a brave 
action. I am immensely obliged to you, my good fellow. 
I will make it my business to speak to the Governor in 
your favour when we reach Sydney. Damme, so I will." 

"That will do you no harm, Carnford," said Dr. Col- 
lingwood. "Mr. Nutting goes out with very strong 
letters of recommendation to Governor Bligh, who is on 
his way out to the Settlement, and should reach Port 
Jackson a little before we do. We were to have sailed 
in his company had we not been delayed. I daresay 
Mr. Nutting won't be unwilling to do what he can fol 

"Damme, no, Doctor. I'm vastly indebted to the good 
fellow vastly indebted. Do anything I can to be 

He fumbled in his pocket and pulled out a guinea, 
which he held out towards me. 

"Haw a little something for you my man a little sum 
for refreshment, or tobacco. Take it, I beg of you." 

I shook my head. The Doctor roared with laughter. 

"My dear Nutting," he said. "It's a case of 'coals 
to Newcastle.' Do you know, this young man could 


buy and sell us all. This is the man I was speaking of 
the other evening at dinner the man whom I had to 
acquaint with the fact that he'd come into a fortune." 

"Damme, is that so? Most interesting, very curious 
indeed," said Mr. Nutting, regarding me with increased 
respect, I thought. "Damme, the fellow might tip me, 
by George that he might. Oh, well, you have my 
thanks my good man, my earnest thanks." 

To do Mr. George Mainwaring Nutting justice, he 
never forgot that I had gone into the water after his 
daughter. He was a strange character, but in all the 
years I knew him he was never anything but good and 
friendly to me. 

But I never spoke to either him or his daughter again, 
until we had arrived at the end of our voyage. 


Sydney Town. 

It was sometime in the night when we made the Heads 
of Port Jackson, and Captain Colman stood off and on 
until daylight, before attempting the entrance to the 
harbour. In order to assist the men in various duties 
incidental to our making port, a half-dozen or so of us 
were summoned upon deck by Dr. Collingwood. The 
sun was well up when we came up the hatchway, and 
we were beating against a westerly breeze, into what 
seemed to be a fairly large bay, but nothing very won- 
derful, considering all that we had heard concerning the 
extent and beauty of Port Jackson. The Heads looked 
like the pillars of a narrow gateway in a great wall of 
yellow sandstone, and opposite to them was another high 
bluff of rock Middle Head that seemed to me, at 
first, to limit the navigation of the harbour. I was a 
little surprised to see no shipping, and no town upon 
the heights of the South Head, nor any indication of a 
settlement save the flagstaff and a white hut at its foot. 

But what a revelation when we were once inside the 
Heads, and began to open up the glorious beauties of 
that magnificent sheet of water really a land-locked lake 
of almost indescribable splendour! 

Many a hundred times since that morning, half a cen- 
tury ago, have I sailed into Port Jackson, in fair wea- 
ther and in foul, and I have never tired of contemplating 
its marvellous beauties. Coming from my station on 
the Hunter River Ludgate Hill both in the old trad- 



ing schooners that used to ply between Sydney and New- 
castle, and latterly in the splendid steam vessels that can 
do the voyage from Morpeth, easily, in the twelve hours, 
I have never missed, in daytime or at night, being upon 
deck as we came through the Heads. The charm of 
Port Jackson never fails. But on that first morning, 
in August, 1806, its aspect almost bewildered me. Never 
had I imagined that there could be anything so beauti- 
ful in the way of natural scenery. Some of the sailors 
said that the harbour of Rio de Janiero was finer, but as 
we had been confined below deck all the time we were 
there, we had no means of comparing the two ports. 
If it is finer than Sydney, it must be something very 

We were all the morning working up the harbour 
against the westerly, which, as you know, is the prevail- 
ing wind of winter upon the coast of New South Wales. 
There was little sign of the town in those days, until you 
came right up to Sydney Cove. Its furthest outposts 
were about Woolloomooloo, and the heights which were 
afterwards called Darlinghurst. There were one or 
two country houses between them and the coast, belonging 
to officers of the garrison and well-to-do merchants, but 
they lay in a wild inhospitable desert of scrub and 
forest, and were as far removed from Sydney as are 
farms upon the Nepean and George's Rivers to-day. 

With every half mile we opened up some new vista. 
All the points and promontories were thickly wooded 
down to the water's edge, and here and there, in curving 
bays, white beaches gleamed between the dark foliage of 
the primeval forest and the blue water that lapped them 
gently. It was a brilliant forenoon, and we could 
hardly credit the fact that it was a winter's day. The 
islands were covered with scrub and timber also. One 
of the prettiest of them all the little one opposite Farm 
Cove, on which the hideous Port Denison has lately been 
erected, and which bore the elegant name of Pinchgut 
the natives called it Matte wai was ornamented with a 


gibbet, on which hung in chains the remains of some 
unfortunate wretch, who I afterwards learned, had been 
detected in robbing the Commissariat Stores. It was a 
grim sign post pointing the way to Sydney, and remind- 
ing us that, although we were coming to a new land, yet, 
after all, we were but entering the gates of a prison, 
New South Wales was nothing else until, in good 
Governor Macquarie's time, the barrier of the mountains 
to the westward had been scaled, and Australia began to 
be regarded as being intended as much for the freeman 
as for the felon. 

Just before noon, we dropped our anchor within the 
mouth of the little bay round which the town of Sydney 
clustered a primitive, quaint little place it was then, 
straggling up the valley of the Tank Stream, and upon 
the low hills to east and west of it, for about a mile in- 
land. There were a few public buildings, a fairly large 
military barrack, a gaol, and Government House. Some 
of the officers of the New South Wales Corps had fine 
residences, and up on the "Rocks," to the west of the 
Cove, there were one or two really pretentious dwellings, 
but for the most part the houses were small two- or 
three-roomed cottages, with tiny vegetable gardens in 
front of them, and with little claim to architectural 
adornment of any sort. They were very often the primi- 
tive wattle-and-daub structures which had been built in 
the opening years of the Settlement. And yet, con- 
sidering that the place had only been occupied by the 
English for eighteen years, Sydney in 1806 was no dis- 
credit to the British genius for colonisation. 

So soon as we had brought up to our moorings, boats 
put off to the ship, but the sentries warned them off, and 
nobody was allowed to come aboard before the Naval 
Officer the Harbour Master had visited us. He came 
off within the hour of our arrival, and Dr. Collingwood 
received him at the gangway, and conducted him aft to 
the cabin. I heard him remark to the surgeon, as they 
passed into the poop 


"The Governor is coming off to you this afternoon, 
Dr. Collingwood. Be prepared for him. He never 
lets us forget that he's a post-captain in the Royal Navy. 
Be sure and see to it that your military officer has the 
guard under arms, and all ready to accord him his salute. 
He's rather a stickler for that sort of thing, is His Ex- 

It was a little after two o'clock when the Governor's 
boat was observed to be putting off from the little jetty 
below Government House. We were immediately 
ordered to form up in a double rank in the waist of the 
ship, and along the port side, and the whole of the de- 
tachment, with Mr. Keating in command, of soldiers, 
fell in upon the quarterdeck. They were more spick 
and span than we had even seen them, and every button 
shone, while their belts were pipe-clayed to a snowy 
whiteness. Everybody in the ship wore the best clothes 
that they had. Captain Colman's blue cloth coat had 
never been used before, and was in imminent danger of 
splitting at the seams, since our good commander had put 
on flesh during the voyage. The most splendid looking 
personage in the ship's company, however, was Mr. 
Nutting. He might almost have been going to call on 
the Prince of Wales, or Mr. Brummell he was so gor- 
geously arrayed. 

The boat came alongside the ship in man-o'-war 
fashion, the crew tossing their oars, as the bow man 
hooked on to the side ladder. Dr. Collingwood and 
Captain Colman stood at the gangway to receive him, 
and, with the soldiers presenting arms, and us prisoners 
taking off our caps, His Excellency, Captain William 
Bligh, R.N., Captain- General and Governor-in-Chief in 
and over His Majesty's Territory of New South Wales, 
stepped aboard the Olga, and immediately said, 

"Damme, sir, your decks are not very clean." 
Now the decks had been washed down before the mid- 
day meal, and, indeed, were in very good order, but they 
were not snow white as a man-o'war's would have been. 



The most splendid looking personage in the ship's company 
was Mr. Nutting. 


However, it was characteristic of His Excellency to 
judge anything and everybody by the standards of the 
service to which he belonged. 

He inspected the guard, and Mr. Keating was intro- 
duced to him. To our great delight, he found fault 
with that gentleman, because a flint was missing from 
one of the soldier's muskets. 

"See to it that the man is punished, sir," he said point- 
ing at the unluckly private with his cane. "Give the 
a dozen, sir. 'Twill teach him better." 

Incredible as it may seem, the man was actually 
flogged in the barracks on the following day, and the 
mean-souled and vindictive Ensign Keating saw to it 
that he got two dozen. 

And then our turn came. 

The Governor, eyeing us keenly, walked along our 
ranks. Every now and again he would mutter, half to 

"A damned ill-looking crew," or "What scoun- 
drels !" 

It was little wonder that William Bligh could get him- 
self hated more bitterly than most men can. And yet 
he had a power of winning the respect and admiration of 
many of his fellow men, that can only be ascribed to his 
real possession of the most sterling qualities. To this 
day though I have never been blind to his faults I am 
glad to testify to the love and respect I bore Governor 
Bligh. He was a brave and an honest man but he 
had the temper of a devil, and the perversity of a mule. 

His Excellency addressed us in a short and characteris- 
tic quarter-deck oration, remarkable for the forcibleness 
of its diction rather than for the uplifting moral senti- 
ments it might have been expected to convey. 

"And let me tell ye this," it concluded. "Ye have 
to look to yourselves for whatever is coming to ye in the 
future. Be patient, submit to discipline, be industrious, 
sober, and well behaved and ye'll have good chances. 
But if ye are mutinous, idle, or drunken ye'll have h 1 


knocked out of ye. Mind yourselves, d n ye, mind 

yourselves. That's all I want to say to ye." 

Before we were dismissed to complete our prepara- 
tions for disembarkation, the Governor and Dr. Colling- 
wood conversed together in low tones that were inaudible 
to me. They seemed to be considering something that 
had to do with us, for they eyed us constantly, and once 
or twice Captain Bligh pointed to men in our ranks, and 
appeared to be questioning the Surgeon about them. At 
last Dr. Collingwood caught my eye, and beckoned to me. 

"Come forward, Carnford," he said. "His Excel- 
lency desires to speak to you." 

Wondering how I had attracted such august attention, 
I stepped out of the ranks, and, saluting, halted before 
the Surgeon and the Governor. The latter looked me 
up and down, searchingly, before he spoke. He turned 
to Dr. Collingwood. 

"Seems to be a likely fellow, Doctor. Strong, active, 
young and not so infernally ugly as some of these other 
villians. What's he here for! For what was he trans- 

"Well, your Excellency I am very sorry to say that 
he was sentenced to death for murder, and the death 
penalty was commuted to transportation for fourteen 
years. But I would say this " 

"Murder!" interrupted the Governor. "So ye're a 

d d assassin, are ye, my lad? We'll cure you of 

that, I promise ye." 

"He was an unfortunate accessory, your Excellency," 
said Dr. Collingwood. "He has a most exemplary 
character. I have trusted him fully during the voyage, 
and found him entirely worthy of such confidence. In- 
deed, your Excellency could not do better than choose, out 
of those we have aboard, this young man. I will answer 
for it that you will have little fault to find with him. I 
think he would answer your purpose admirably." 

"Oh, won't I !" grunted Bligh. "Let me tell you, Dr. 
Collingwood, there are d d few people I can't find 


fault with. I have not been a naval officer all these 
years for nothing, I can tell you. However, if you vouch 
for him, I'll take him. My experience leads me to 
believe that a murderer is generally more useful and 
desirable, as a servant, than a thief or a forger. You 
get your traps together, and come ashore in my boat. 
I'm going to take you into my service, so mind your 

d d p's and q's. I'll flog the guts out of ye, if ye 

disappoint me or make a liar of the Doctor." 

Dr. Collingwood signed me to be off, and I saluted and 
went below, to get my few possessions together. I was 
stooping over my berth when I experienced a slap on the 
back. I looked round, and saw Brian McMahon, his 
red face full of concern. 

"What's this, Jack! Are ye going off wid that little 
pepper-box of a Governor, an' lavin' me be me lone- 
some? Sure I thought better of ye than that, so I did." 

"I've no choice, Brian, old boy," I replied. "Captain 
Bligh has given me my orders, and you can see he's not 
the sort of man to question with. But I know Dr. 
Collingwood intends to look after us both, and I'm sure 
he'll see to it that you get something better than falls 
to the lot of the rest of this mob." 

"I suppose so, Johnnyboy," sighed my friend re- 
signedly. "Well, good-bye for the present. We'll 
stick to one another, Jack, won't we?" 

"Of course we will, old boy. I'll " 

But our farewell was cut short by the insistent bellow- 
ing of the sentry down the hatchway for "John Carn- 
ford." Hastily making a bundle of my belongings, I 
ran up the ladder, and saw the Governor talking to Dr. 
Collingwood at the gangway. 

"Come along, d n ye!" he roared at me. "Ye'll 

need to step more lively, blast ye, if you come into my 
service, my man." 

He ran down the ladder, and I followed him into his 
boat. As I passed Dr. Collingwood, he whispered 


"It's all right, Carnford you're in luck. I'll attend 
to your affairs, and look after Mr. Blundell, your agent. 
I'll see you in a day or two." 

As we rowed from the ship to the shore, I caught a 
glimpse of Miss Nutting, standing on the poop with her 
father. It may have been fancy, but I thought she 
nodded and smiled to me as we passed under the Olga's 

The Governor's Man. 

I propose to carry my story on, with only the briefest 
reference to the time that elapsed between my landing 
at Sydney, in August, 1806, and the beginning of the 
year 1808. After all, its main interest lies in the events 
which I witnessed and took part in during this stormy 
period of the Colony's history. That is to say the period 
preceding and subsequent to the deposition of Governor 
Bligh, and the usurpation of Government by the officers 
and friends of the New South Wales Corps. It is the 
one historic event of Australian life with which I am 
thoroughly familiar, and is, indeed, the event which had 
most to do with the shaping of my destiny. 

The position for which, at the recommendation of 
Dr. Collingwood, I was selected by Governor Bligh, was 
a curious one. I hardly know whether he regarded me 
as a valet, a bodyguard, a sort of assistant-secretary, a 
groom, a policeman, or a confidental agent. At some 
time or another I was one or more of these not infre- 
quently several of them simultaneously. What I under- 
stood from him in the beginning, was that he needed the 
services of someone whom he could trust implicitly, and 
who would be ready for any work that was required of 
him at any time. 

"I want you to 'stand by,' Carnford," he said to me. 
"D n your soul, I want ye to be always standing by." 

So I "stood by," and a queer variety of experiences fell 
to my lot. I almost lost my identity, because of my 



association with his Excellency. I was far better known 
as "The Governor's Man," than I was as John Carn- 

I knew afterwards that Dr. Collingwood had made it 
his business to inform the Governor concerning me as 
wholly as he was able. He had told him of the pecu- 
liar ill fortune which had involved Brian McMahon and 
myself in the death of Patrick Hanrahan, of the death of 
my father, and of my inheritance of a large fortune. 
He related to me, years afterwards, the fashion in which 
His Excellency had received the latter information. The 
Doctor, being entitled to put the magic letters "R.N." 
after his name, was in high favour at Government House, 
and it was when he was dining here, a few nights after 
our arrival in Sydney, that he told Captain Bligh all 
about me. 

The Governor looked at him curiously after he had 
finished the story, and said nothing for a little time. 
Then he banged his fist on the table, and said there 
were no ladies present, fortunately 

"D n his soul, Dr. Collingwood, does he suppose 

his sixty thousand pounds is going to buy him my favour? 
Do you suppose it is? Then let me tell you it will do 
nothing of the kind. He must serve his sentence. What- 
ever amelioration of circumstances may come his way, 
will depend altogether upon himself. I am a just man 
though some say I am a hard one and I will not 
favour this fellow because he is wealthy. In our service, 
Dr. Collingwood you know it as well as I know it 
there are many young gentlemen who are highly con- 
nected, and who have considerable private means of 
their own. Does that ever save them from dirty work, 
from dangerous work, from hard work, or from the 

masthead when they deserve it? No, sir. D n my 

soul, no. A midshipman, to me, is a midshipman 
and a convict is a convict. In both cases it is only dili- 
gence and good conduct that weighs favourably. If 
this young man is diligent and well conducted, I shall 


take notice of it. If he is idle, dissolute, or lazy, he 

will suffer. It rests with himself, d n him, it rests 

with himself." 

I know, however, that the Governor always took an in- 
terest in me, and I know that he came to think well of 
me, and to trust me. But his manner to me was often 
as rough and tyrannical as it might have been to any 
soldier, or any soldier's officer. He had a peculiar pre- 
judice against and antipathy to soldiers, which he never 
hesitated to make evident. Nor did they fail to re- 
ciprocate such sentiments. 

My father's agent, Mr. George Blundell, had come 
aboard the Olga the day after I left her to enter the 
Governor's establishment. Dr. Collingwood had seen 
him, and, in reply to his request that I should be as- 
signed to him, had informed him of the Governor's hav- 
ing selected me for his own service. Mr. Blundell had 
agreed that it would be as well not to attempt to inter- 
fere with that arrangement. But Dr. Collingwood had 
strongly recommended Brian, and Mr. Blundell had 
agreed to apply for him. His application was success- 
ful, and it was a great consolation to me that my friend 
had come into such good hands. 

Mr. Blundell was one of the first of the merchant 
traders of the new colony. He had been a stock-broker 
in London with a good connection, but, having married a 
lady who proved to be not only no better, but a great 
deal worse than she ought to have been, had come to ruin 
over her, through killing in a duel another man whom 
he had found with her in circumstances that admitted 
of no compromise. Like myself, he had been 
sentenced to death, and his sentence had been com- 
muted to transportation. He had come to the colony 
in Governor Hunter's time, and had almost immediately 
received a conditional pardon, which permitted him 
entire freedom in Australia, but did not allow him to 
return to England. So he had made the best of a bad 
business, had invested his capital in a trading venture in 


Sydney, had been eminently successful in it, and at this 
time was one of the leading business men of the place. 
He was an old friend of my father's, and to his good- 
ness and kindness I owe more than I say say. It is ten 
years since he died at Parramatta, and when I visit the 
place I always walk into St. John's Cemetery to stand for 
a few minutes beside the grave of my old friend and 

Of Mr. Nutting and his daughter, I saw very little in 
those two years. That exquisite gentleman, having a 
considerable sum of money to invest in its improvement 
and development, had received an extensive grant of 
land from the Government, at Emu Plains, and, after six 
months in Sydney, had gone to reside on his estate, tak- 
ing Miss Adelaide with him. It was a rough and un- 
usual life for a young girl fresh from home, but she was 
a girl of rare spirit and courage, and adapted herself to 
her new conditions after the brave and resolute fashion 
which so many of our pioneer women of Australia dis- 
played. I think, with the exception of one occasion, I 
only caught sight of her some two or three times during 
this period, but it was not long before our lives came to 
be so strongly interwoven as you will see they were in 
the story which I am writing for you. And, you C'arn- 
fords who read it may bless your good fortune that they 
were so interwoven. If there is any good in any of 
you, you got it from her. 

I accompanied the Governor wherever he went. He 
had fitted me out in a semi-military uniform somewhat 
against his liking, I think, but it was the only sort of rig 
which was available in the stores. He would have pre- 
ferred a naval dress, and, indeed, from force of habit, 
I suppose, he often addressed me as "coxswain." I dis- 
charged many of the duties which fell to the lot of a 
captain's coxswain in the Royal Navy. Sometimes we 
journeyed to the Green Hills, as the main settlement on 
the Hawkesbury was called it was afterwards named 
Windsor by Governor Macquarie. Sometimes we went 
and resided at Parramatta for several weeks. We made 


several expeditions by sea to Broken Bay, and once we 
sailed to the Coal River, now called Newcastle, of which 
I was before very long to have so bitter an experience. 

I have a vivid remembrance of one occasion when I 
was in attendance upon His Excellency. Since it was 
an incident that well may serve to illustrate Bligh's char- 
acter and bearing, I will relate it here. I could easily 
understand from it why the men of H.M.S. Bounty had 
found him so intolerable in his behaviour towards them. 

He summoned me one morning to accompany him on 
a walk into the town. I found him awaiting me, in a 
very bad temper, on the grand drive before the verandah 
of Government House. 

"Damn ye, Carnford, where have ye been! Am I to 
await ye all day, ye blasted lubber?" 

"I was copying those returns you gave me last night, 
your Excellency," I excused myself though I had come 
instantly, only waiting to buckle on the belt containing 
the brace of pistols which I always had to carry, as well 
as a cutlass or hanger. 

"Damn the returns !" he roared. "Follow me !" and 
he strode down to the gate, grudgingly acknowledging, 
by a wave of his stick that was almost minatory, the 
presented arms of the sentry. 

We went down the hill, and across the bridge that 
spanned the Tank Stream where Pitt and Bridge Streets 
intersect to-day. Up the other slope of the valley, ho 
led the way into George Street. Everybody we passed 
officers, soldiers, convicts, and civilians, manifested by 
their bearing the wholesome awe which His Excellency 
inspired. He returned their salutes in a manner that 
might almost have been regarded as a curse in panto- 
mime. Outside the gaol, the sight of a gang of pri- 
soners in chains, lazily carrying out a road mending task, 
excited his ire. He halted, and called the overseer to 
him. The poor man approached, in fear and trembling. 

"Hello, you! Come here, I say, ye! What do 


ye call this, hey? What do ye call this? Are these 
's amusing themselves, or what, pray?" 

"If ye please y'r Honour they be a'mending the 
roa-ad," answered their taskmaster, touching his cap. 

"Mending the road ! Damme, they're only playing 
with the work." The prisoners had become energeti- 
cally industrious when they saw who their critic was. He 
shook his fist at them. "Ye idle vagabonds, ye! 

D n my eyes, but I'll make ye work, instead of play. 

See here, you ," to the overseer, "how many of these 

gallows-birds have ye here?" 

" 'Tis ten in th' gang, y'r Honour." 

"Ten men ! Ten useless 's, ye mean ! Now 

see here, you , you select three of them, and report 

them for idleness, and tell the Superintendent I said they 
were to have two dozen apiece. And send the names of 
them up to Government House. I'll teach 'em they're 
not sent here to amuse themselves. I'll teach 'em 
and you too, ye useless wastrel. I've a mind to send ye 
back to the gang yourself. Come along, Carnford, 

d n ye. Don't stand staring there, like a stuffed 

monkey!" And His Excellency resumed his genial pro- 
gress through the capital of his dominions. 

We came at last to the end of the ridge upon which 
the western side of the little town lay, to Dawe's Point 
and Dawe's Battery, where there was a sergeant's guard 
over the little fortification which was the principal artil- 
lery defence of Sydney in 1806. The sentry recognised 
his august visitor at a distance, and had the guard turned 
out in good time. As we came abreast of the guard- 
room they presented arms in proper style, the sergeant, 
with his long halberd at the shoulder, standing stiff as a 
poker. His Excellency stopped opposite the little par- 
ade, and critically inspected it. The guard remained 
at the "present." 

Suddenly he took two quick steps to the right flank, and 
held out his stick behind him to me. 

"Hold that, Carnford, d n ye hold that stick." 


I took it, and the Governor immediately grasped the 
musket of the man before him. 

"Let me have it," he bellowed. The man, gaping 
with astonishment, yielded it up to His Excellency. Bligh 
turned it over in his hands, and examined it minutely, an 
angry frown on his face. 

"Dirty, dirty, filthy" he exclaimed. He tore the 
flint from the lock, and dashed it on the ground, thrust- 
ing the piece back rudely into the man's hands. 

"A pretty fellow, by G d, to call himself a soldier. 

Pretty fellow a useless , not fit to carry 


He repeated this performance with the whole six men 
of the front rank, using frightful language as he did so, 
and freely damning the eyes, limbs, and souls of each in- 
dividual soldier. I could not help noticing the face of 
the sergeant. It was white with rage and anger. One 
could see that he would have given his chance of eter- 
nal happiness to bring his halberd down to the charge, 
and transfix the Governor upon its shining spear head. 
If ever there was potential murder in a man, it was in 
the sergeant of the guard at Dawe's Battery that morning. 

The Governor took his stick from me, and called the 
sergeant out. 

"Come here, you! Come out here damme, move 
yourself." The sergeant stepped out to the front and 

"What do you call this, hey?" pointing to the flints 

lying in the dust before the line. "D d disgraceful. 

'Tis your fault, ye pasty faced , ye! Why do ye 

not see that your men keep their arms in proper condi- 
tion? I'll report this to your commanding officer, by 

H 1 I will. I'll have ye disrated, ye , crawling 

lubber. Dismiss the guard, and pick up those flints, 
and see that they are properly secured. Soldiers, by 

G d ! I'd not have one of them as a gift, if I 

was taking a press gang through Wapping. Ye're a 
disgrace to His Majesty's service, by G d ye are !" 

He turned about, and went back the way he had come, 


causing terror and apprehension along the whole course of 
his morning's walk. It would have been interesting 
and instructive to listen to the comments of the Dawes' 
Battery guard as they returned to the guard-room. I 
could swear, at least, that the sergeant's were forcible 
and bitter enough. 

The Road to the Green Hills. 

It was about Christmas week, 1806, that the Governor 
sent me on a message to the Hawkesbury, this being the 
first occasion when he had seen fit to entrust me with 
any responsible task that took me far out of his sight. I 
was to deliver a letter to Mr. Andrew Thompson, his 
agent at the Green Hills, who looked after his newly 
acquired farm, and attended to the breeding and pastur- 
ing of his stock there. 

It was about midday when I set out on my journey, 
which is one of close on forty miles. It was my pur- 
pose to stay in Parramatta for the night, and complete my 
ride in the early hours of the following morning. This 
would permit of my passing the next night, on my 
return journey, also in Parramatta, and of reaching Syd- 
ney about noon on the third day. I was to put up at 
the Governor's country residence in Parramatta, where 
I had often accompanied him, and was well known. 

When I turned my back on the blue waters of the har- 
bour it was a roasting hot day, and, crossing the bridge, 
rode into George Street, which was, as it is to-day, the 
road to Parramatta. I was riding the Governor's roan 
mare, Jessie, which was kept principally for use as a 
hackney by Mrs Putland, Captain Bligh's daughter. She 
was the wife of Captain John Putland, of H.M.S. Por- 
poise. The poor lady found little time for riding in 
these days, owing to the serious ill health of her husband, 
who was fast sinking into a decline, and who died in the 



following year. I was always a favourite of hers, and 
she did me many little kindnesses. She herself it was 
who suggested that I should exercise Jessie by using her 
for this journey. 

"See whether you can bring me back some little deli- 
cacy or other from the farm for Captain Putland, Carn- 
ford, if you please," she said, patting the mare's neck, as I 
awaited the Governor's letter before the house. I pro- 
mised to do my best. Just then the Governor came to 
the door, gave me the letter, and told me to get along 
and be d d to me, and not to dawdle. 

You had not to ride very far to leave Sydney behind 
you in those days. Once past the burial ground on Brick- 
field Hill, where St. Andrew's Cathedral stands now, 
and you were in the suburbs, so to speak. Half a mile 
past the further foot of the hill, the road turned to the 
westward, round the end of Cockle Bay which was sub- 
sequently called Darling Harbour, after the worst 
Governor the colony has had and you were in the coun- 
try. Beyond one or two isolated and rude little cottages, 
there was nothing but scrub and forest until, four miles 
out, you passed by Major Johnston's estate and house 
of Annandale. From that point onward it behoved 
the traveller to ride warily, and with his eyes open, on 
the look-out for bushrangers, who occasionally stuck up 
and robbed wayfarers using the Western Road. I had 
my brace of horse-pistols in my holsters, however, and 
being young enough to think I really was, felt myself 
a match for any desperado who might dare to molest me. 

But nothing at all happened to me, save the annoyance 
caused by the heat and the flies, and a little before sun- 
set I rode into Parramatta, and alighted in the stable- 
yard of Government House. Here I received a hearty 
welcome from Red Murphy, the Governor's groom at 
the place, who put me up in his own quarters, and at- 
tended to Jessie's wants most handsomely. 

"An 1 how is Billy Bligh?" he enquired solicitously. 
"Is th' timper of him afther showin* anny sign of an 


improvemint or is he jist th' same ragin' bellowin' divil 
as iver?" His Excellency's health was good, I informed 
Mr. Murphy, and his temper was normal which was 
only a polite way of intimating that he was still the same 
raging and bellowing devil as usual. 

We had a good supper, and afterwards sat out on the 
hillside, smoking, and gazing across the river and the 
beautiful valley through which it winds, to the distant 
heights about Castle Hill. Red Murphy entertained 
me with reminiscence and anecdote of the early days, 
some true, and some highly enough coloured. He had 
come out as a marine with the First Fleet, and had many 
tales of the privations and struggles of the first years of 
the settlement at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island. 
Later on was produced a rum bottle, of which I partook 
very sparingly, and Mr. Murphy very copiously. By 
bed time he was singing Irish songs lustily, and finally 
went to sleep in his chair, where he still snored fear- 
somely, when I rose at the first sign of dawn, to feed and 
water Jessie. But he was all right when he awoke, and 
we breakfasted heartily together at six o'clock. 

Wonderful hard heads had those old timers ! He had 
finished the bottle of very bad Bengal rum overnight, 
and seemed none the worse for it in the morning, barring 
what he called "a bit of a twisht to th' tongue." He 
untwisted it with a pannikin full, neat, out of a fresh 

Except for the first mile or two, through Castle Hill, 
the Windsor Road in those days was little better than 
a rude track that had been cleared of scrub and timber, 
and left to form itself. In wet weather it was almost 
impassable in places, for wheeled traffic. To-day, how- 
ever, it was a fair enough highway, and I passed several 
carts coming in with garden stuff for the market at 

I had ridden on my way for some two hours, or there- 
abouts, and reckoned that I had almost broken the back 
of my journey, when, as I was ambling through a forest 


of tall gum trees, I was startled by the sudden appearance 
in the roadway of four uncouth figures. They had 
sprung out of the undergrowth on either side, and, ex- 
tending across the road, barred my way with uplifted 
hands? I immediately reined the mare in, and snatched 
a pistol from my holster. 

A tall, thin man with a straggling black beard, bare- 
footed and barelegged, came towards me, crying out : 

"For th' love of th' Vargin, don't shoot, misther soger. 
If ye fire off y'r pistol, ye're a dead carpse entirely. 
'Tis thim that has ye covered from behind th' trees. 
We wish ye no harrum." 

I lowered the pistol. The tall man walked up and 
laid a gnarled hand on my reins, and the others, as ill 
clad and ragged as himself, crowded round. 

"What is it you want of me?" I demanded, as bravely 
as I could. As a matter of fact, I was in a sad funk. 

II 'Tis but a very little thing, masther wan that 'tis 
not in th' face of ye to rayfuse to half a dozen poor min 
in a bit of throuble for the want of it." 

"Is it money you want?" I asked. 

The man shook his head. " 'Tis not, thin. Sure, 
money's not much use to us. We've run away from over 
yander," pointing towards Castle Hill, "from th' 
shtockade, an we've a long, long way to go. But will 
ye not be ridin' in to th' bush for no more than a minute 
or two? 'Tis dangerous for us to be in th' road. They 
might be comin' afther us anny minit, so they might." 

I felt sure that they meant me no harm, so I suffered 
the tall man to lead Jessie into the timber. Some thirty 
yards in, we were hidden from the road, and, under a 
big tree, I found two more men seated, one of whom 
was washing, gently and carefully, the lacerated back of 
the other. There was no mistaking the flagellator's 

Of any men with firearms, who might have been cover- 
ing me from the bush, I saw no signs, and I asked the 
spokesman of the party where they were. He laughed. 


"Och, sure, y'r Honor, 'twas but a pretince, so it was. 
'Twas th' mortial drid I did be havin' y'd bang off y'r 
pistol at us, so I invinted thim for the occasion." 

The others joined in the laughter good-naturedly and 
gleefully, like children and from their conversation I 
gathered that they were all Irish. Some of the unfor- 
tunate peasantry who had been exiled in hundreds after 
the abortive rebellion of '98, no doubt. I could see 
that they meant me no harm, so I dismounted, and asked 
blackbeard what they were in such need of. 

"Sit ye down, Misther Soger-man. 'Twas mesilf that 
knew ye th' minnit I set eyes on ye. Ye're not wan of 
th' redcoats, so ye're not. 'Tis th' Governor's mahn 
himself ye are, I'll be thinkin'? I t'ought so much. 
Well, Misther Governor's Mahn, 'tis good talk I hear of 
ye, an' I know ye'll not be hard on us. We've cleared 
out last night, an' 'tis bate we are for th' bit of a fire to 
do some cookin' wid. Mabbe 'tis y'silf'd be afther havin' 
a flint an' steel, wud ye now? We'd buy it off of ye, if 
t'would be ye'd sell. But we must have fire, for we've 
far to go." 

"Where are you making for?" I asked him. 

"To Chiny," he said. "Arrah now- don't be tellin' 
TIS we can't get there, for we know better." 

"To China!" I exclaimed in astonishment. I had 
heard of the wild dream that many of the simpler and 
more illiterate of the convicts sometimes indulged in as 
to the possibility of finding an overland route into Asia 
but I had never believed that such ignorance was so 
possible, as to induce men to run away with the notion 
that it could actually be accomplished. And yet, here 
was the strange adventure in the making. "But, man," 
I said, "Australia's an island. You would have to cross 
the seas to get out of it to China, or to anywhere else." 

"Och, be jabers, we know better. 'Tis Michael Mul- 
doon himself has the map in his pocket, an' paid ten 
shillin' for it to ould Granny Dacey in Parramatta. 
Show the gintleman th' map, Mike; show him th' map." 


One of the men came forward, and exhibited the 
strange chart. It was a rude outline of Australia, and 
a convenient isthmus joined it in the North to a vast, 
vague, continent, which was labelled "China." A red 
line was traced over it, that went roughly westward, and 
then north, and blackbeard explained that this was the 
course they were to follow. 

"See here," he expounded eagerly, "we've to cross thim 
mountains over yonder, an' we're over th' worst of th' 
journey, for there is towns and villages beyant thim, 
where Granny Dacey's made thim marks th' mark of 
th' Houly Cross an' 'tis help we'll be gettin' there, for 
they're th' good people that's livin' in thim, so they are, 
says Granny. A wise woman she is, Misther Governor's 
Mahn, an' she do be knowin' many a thing, so she does. 
If she says 'tis to be done, thin so 'tis an' all th' talk 
in the wide worruld wouldn't prove her wrong. Anny- 
way, we can't be worse off than we are at Castle Hill an' 

Toongabbee. 'Tis h 1 we do be sufferin', so it is. 

I'd walk to h 1 to get away from it." 

For an hour or more, I sat and argued with the un- 
fortunate creatures but to no purpose. They would 
have it that their lunatic enterprise was possible of 
achievement, and nothing I could say would convince 
them otherwise. So I gave them my flint and steel, and 
tinder-box, and bade them farewell. I promised to say 
nothing of having met them when I should come to Green 

Poor devils! They learned their bitter lesson. Four 
of them perished in the wild fastnesses of the inaccessible 
Blue Mountains, and one was killed by the blacks, and 
blackbeard himself came into the Cow Pastures six weeks 
afterwards, the sole survivor of the little band of intrepid 
explorers. He was insane, and dying of starvation. But 
they nursed him up, and brought him back to such reason 
as was possible to him and then they flogged him, and 
sent him to Norfolk Island! It was a cruel world, the 
Australias, fifty years ago. It was more cruel to those 


simple Irishmen of '98, I believe, than it was to any 
others who had come there in bondage. None of them 
were criminals, but the dreadful system turned them, 
often, into wild beasts. 

As I came into the settlement at Green Hills I began 
to wonder how I would find out Andrew Thompson. 
This was my first duty. A group of soldiers, who seemed 
to be listening to someone who orated loudly in the road- 
way, attracted my attention, and I rode up to them. 
They were in various stages of undress, and one or two 
of them seemed to be the worse for drink. Judge of my 
astonishment, and my disgust, when I found that the loud 
voiced person who was making a speech was that same 
Ensign Keating who had commanded the guard on the 
transport Olga. He was very drunk indeed, very maud- 
lin, and discursive, and hospitable. He had a bottle 
in his hand, and was serving out rum to the soldiers, in 
turn, in a little tin pannikin. 

" 'S what I shay, boys 's what I'm shayin' to ye. 

Thish d n placesh no goo', no goo' tall. T' h 1 

with th' Green Hills s' what I shay. T' h 1 

with th' Green Hills. No s'ciety, no 'musements, no 
hon' an' glory 'tall. Rotten plashe. No goo'. No 
dam' goo'. Worsh'n Par'matta an' that's shayin' a 
lot. Hello old Cock where you come from? Gov'nor 

Bligh's man, by so it is. H 1 with 's Ex'lenshy, 

h 1 with him, I shay! 'M goin' 'bandon shettlement, 

'lease prish'ners, give up whole dam' 'stablishment. Have 
drink, old Gov'nor's man take drop rum. Won't hurt 
you 'pon word, honour, wouldn't hurt a babby." 

He fell over on the road, rolled on to his face, and 
fell fast asleep. I asked one of the soldiers, a corporal, 
who seemed more sober than the others, what was the 

"Matter!" he said, with a snort. "Oh, nothing's the 
matter. On'y our commandin' orf'cer a bit sprung before 
'is usual time. 'Ere, pick 'im up a couple of yous, an' 
carry th' swine to 'is quarters. 'E'll be floggin' some 


of ye in th' mornin'. This 'ere is our newly promoted 
Lootenant Keating a King's hard bargain, if ever there 
was one. Who d'ye want? Thompson Andrew Thomp- 
son? Yes, I'll show ye 'is 'ouse. Up th' road a bit 
'ere. Well an' 'ow's Sydney Town? Wish t' Gawd 
I was there, 'stead of this 'ole." 


Andrew Thompson. 

It is a beautiful place, that hill by the side of the 
noble river that winds down through green fields at the 
foot of the purple mountains. I have always regretted 
that Governor Macquarie thought fit to change its ori- 
ginal name to the one it bears to-day. It is not in the 
least like Windsor, really, and the old name of the Green 
Hills seemed to fit it better by far than this borrowed 
one. Only in one respect do the old and the new Wind- 
sor resemble one another at all. And that is in the charm 
of their loveliness, and quiet, peaceful beauty. 

There is another thing about the place, too, that 
always seems to me to lend it an interest beyond any other 
locality in the Colony. It was the real cradle of the 
Australian race the place to which someday, when Aus- 
tralia, as she inevitably must, has taken rank amongst 
the nations of the world, all her sons and daughters 
should turn as to the hearthstone of their ancestral home. 
For it was on the Hawkesbury that the first Australians 
were bred and wherever was there a finer breed than 
those Hawkesbury natives of the first generation? The 
strong men and fruitful women who were the fathers 
and the mothers of the people who are the backbone of 
the country to-day. The last ten years the years of 
the gold discovery have brought an influx of new blood 
into the country from all the races of the world a far 
stranger medley than came here in Arthur Phillips' little 
fleet in '88 but there has come no type that was a 


better one than was given birth to here. I should say, 
myself, that the true aristocracy using the word in its 
best sense of this splendid country is made up of the 
descendants of the people who were born, in the first 
quarter of the nineteenth century, on the Hawkesbury. 
I may be wrong, but so it seems to me. 

The Corporal walked along beside me till we came to 
Andrew Thompson's house not the fine two-storied one 
that he built during the government of General Mac- 
quarie, but the little cottage above the river which was 
the first dwelling place of this remarkable man, after he 
had begun to carve out his future. 

Already, Andrew Thompson was one of the leading 
men amongst the Hawkesbury settlers. He lived for 
little more than four years after this time, and was only 
in the early thirties when he died. But he died a 
wealthy man, this young Scot, who had been transported 
when he was only seventeen years of age for setting fire 
to a hayrick. Had another thirty years of existence 
been vouchsafed to him, there is no knowing how far 
he might have gone, or what he might not have done 
in the development of the country he had been forced 
to adopt. He had the pioneering spirit as few men have 
it a fact which his shrewd fellow countryman, Lachlan 
Macquarie, was not slow to recognise, nor backward in 

He received me with the grave courtesy which was 
characteristic of him, took the Governor's letter from 
me, read it as he stood in the sunlight on the threshold of 
his dwelling place, considered it for a few moments, 
and then stepped out and took Jessie's bridle reins from 
my hand. 

"Ye'll be John Carnford, I'm thinkin'? I've heard 
of ye, my mon, an' I bid ye welcome. We'll juist give 
the mare a likely animal she is a drink of water an 
a bite of hay, an' then ye'll tak a bite wi' me y'sel. I 
misdoubt ye'll have a fine appetite after y'r ride from 
Parramatta, where no doubt ye slept last nicht." 

His accent was north-country, but not very broad, 


and I found something likeable in his honest, shrewd 
face. I was always on good terms with Andrew Thomp- 
son, and count it an honour to have known him. And, as 
I have hinted above, I am always wondering what the 
man might not have done had he had more years to do 
it in than were allotted him. 

While we were at dinner, he questioned me closely 
as to the state of affairs in Sydney, more particularly with 
regard to the attitude of the officers of the garrison to- 
wards His Excellency. I told him that it seemed to 
me that there was little love lost upon either side. He 
shook his head and laughed. 

"Ye're richt, laddie I ken weel that ye're richt. 
There's no love at all. And I'll tell ye the why of it. 
Governor Bligh, for all that he's a rude mon, an' a 
harsh mon, an' a mon that it's ill to cross he's an honest 
mon, and has the welfare of the colony to heart. But 
the officers of the Corps ah, well, they're no quite so 
honest as they might be, an' some of them have better 
heads than His Excellency. And there's this difference, 
too. He's for the good of us all bond, emancipists, 
and free settlers but they are only for the good of them- 
selves. They're a poor lot, takin' them a' round, an' 
not one of them has ever had such chances as they've 
got here. They mean to make the most out of them that 
they can. He's for seeing that they dinna make it at 
the colony's expense an' loss. They won't be thwarted. 
No more will Captain Bligh. There'll be trouble will 
come out of it, laddie, there'll be trouble. I can see it 
coming. I can see big trouble an' not so far awa', 

He told me that the Governor had summoned him to 
Sydney, and that he would ride with me later in the 
afternoon, when it should grow cooler. If I would 
rest there for a few hours, he would go out and attend 
to some of his affairs, and we would make a start about 
five o'clock, carrying our supper with us, and eating it 
on the road. It would be a moonlight night, and we 


might make Parramatta between 9 and 10 o'clock, and 
go on to Sydney in the morning. 

He went about his business, and I snoozed in his 
living room throughout the warm afternoon. I was not 
sorry at the prospect of having company for the return 
journey. I had hopes that I might learn a good deal 
from him about the state of the Colony and its prospects. 
I was anxious to know all that it might be possible to 
find out, in view of the ultimate hope I had of investing 
my fortune in the new country. The more I saw of it 
the better I liked it, and although, just now, it was 
little more than a penal establishment, I was sufficiently 
wise, even at twenty years of age, to realise that it would 
not always remain such, and must inevitably have some- 
thing infinitely better in store for itself. 

We rode away from the Green Hills at the hour 
named by Mr. Thompson, and as we passed by the soldiers' 
barracks, I related to him my encounter with Mr. Keat- 
ing in the morning. An expression of disgust crossed 
his features. 

"Yes," he said, "the mon's a wastrel. He's naething 
at all but a drunken profligate a gambler, a rake, and 
a liar. I ken that weel. When he's in his cups he will 
brag an" boast about what he has been, an' what a great 
mon he is. When he's sober, so far as the performance 
of his duties goes, he's just an incompetent ass. If 
it were not for Seageant Allen the ordinary routine of 
the establishment would not be carried out at all. As 
it is, 'tis the hardest thing in the world to get him to do 
anything of the work for which he has been sent here. A 
little while back, the blacks became troublesome, and we 
sought the assistance of the military to punish them, and 
to drive them awa' frae th' pasture lands. D'ye think 
we could get him tae dae anything? Not a move would 
he make. 'Twas only when a couple of us conspired with 
the sergeant that we were able to use the soldiers. We 
plied him with wine all one night, and the whole of next 
day, and on the following night, at our suggestion, mind 
ye, he gave a drunken order simply that we might let 


him go to sleep that the so-and-so black somethings 
were to be dealt with, an' not tae bother him aboot it. 
I heard him tell Sergeant Allen so, cursing and threaten- 
ing to break him, if he did not leave him alone." 

"And did you deal with them?" 

"Aye that we did," he replied grimly. "We shot 
three of them, an' we hangit one to a tree in their camp, 
an' the rest fled across th' river to th' mountains. We've 
nae had ony trouble wi' yon black gentry syne. But 
'twas no thanks to Mr. Keating." 

Just as the sun set over the purple ranges behind us, 
in a glory of orange and crimson, we halted to make tea. 
Mr. Thompson carried a quart pot tied to his saddle, 
which we filled at a little creek in the bush. We soon 
had a fire going, and presently were enjoying a good meal 
which his housekeeper had prepared for us a cold fowl, 
and some delicious scones, with fresh butter, and, for 
dessert, some splended peaches, grown on his farm. 
We had taken the saddles from the horses, and they 
grazed quietly close beside our fire. After our repast 
we lay and smoked, until the moon was well above the 
dark tree tops. I told Mr. Thompson of my encounter, the 
day before, with the expedition to China. He laughed 

"Th' puir feckless loons !" he sighed. "Th' puir daft 
creatures ! Mon, it is a sin to treat those unhappy men 
in the fashion they do. Ever since the rebellion at 
Castle Hill two years ago, they have been driven like 
cattle, and worked like galley slaves. The authorities 
are in mortal fear of another outbreak, and they deal 
with them mercilessly. Why, I have seen a man flogged 
for turning his back on an overseer. No croppy escapes 
the gallows, if he's once committed a capital offence if 
'tis only stealing a half-a-dozen pumpkins from a gar- 
den. They are eager for any excuse to hang the un- 
fortunate Irish, an' they harry them an' torment them 
until they break out. And then, those they don't shoot 
or hang, or flog to death, they ship off in batches to the 
Coal River, or to Norfolk Island. And they say that 


Norfolk Island is worse than death itself. Ah, me 
man's a cruel deevil tae his fellow man. Look at me! 
They sent me round the world for what was on'y a boy's 
mischievousness, at the worst." 

Whilst the dancing flames lit up his sun-ti.nned, keen, 
clever face, he gazed into the fire for a little while with- 
out speaking. He laughed again. 

"But they puir fellies, an' their travels tae Chiny! 
Well, 'tis but a feast for th' dingoes they're providing. 
Maybe some stockman, mony years tae come, will find 
their bones, or some of them, in some wild glen of yon 
Blue Mountains. Maybe they'll eat one another as has 
been done before. But more like they'll stagger into 
some settlement in a few weeks' time, prayin' tae be 
flogged an' fed. 'Tis pitiful, the ignorance of them. 
If ever Government committed a crime, the English Go- 
vernment did when it shipped these simple, honest, harm- 
less lads to this sink of iniquity. But we'd better be gettin' 
on, I'm thinkin', if we wish tae sleep in Parramatta 
th' nicht." 

We caught the horses, saddled them, and rode on, the 
moonlight glinting on the polished brass barrel of the 
blunderbuss which Mr. Thompson carried across his 

" 'Tis a guid weepon in a mix up, laddie if 'tis nae 
to be relied on for any long distance shootin'," he said, 
when I pretended to admire the clumsy weapon, with its 
gaping bell mouth. 

As we rode down from Castle Hill, the lights of 
Parramatta twinkling in the valley below us looked 
pleasant and cheerful. A thin white haze floated in 
the moonlight above the river, and the hills to the south 
were flooded with pale radiance. The moon was full, 
and it was a perfect night. 

We came into the straggling street that led past the 
gaol it stood not far from the northern bank of the 
river and crossed over the wooden bridge that spanned 
those topmost waters of Sydney Harbour. Hardly had 


we gained the further shore when we were accosted by 
two women, who, with shawls over their heads walked 
along the uneven roadway of Church Street. 

"Good night to ye, boys," cried one of them, "an' 
where are ye a-ridin' this fine night? Do ye need a 
sweetheart, me pretty laddie," she said to me, as we 
involuntarily drew rein. "Will I do! Will ye not 
take me up ahint ye, an' ride away with me to Sydney 
Town? Do now, sweetheart." 

"Aw, t' h 1 with them, Mary !" hiccupped the other 

one, who swayed where she stood, and clasped a black 

bottle to her bosom. "T' h 1 with them. We don' 

want 'em. Let's get along home, an' finish th' bottle. 
'Tis good stuff. Mister Sinclair, th' sup'rintendent, give 
it me. Come along. Let 'em go to !" 

The girl who had first spoken came close to us, and 
peered up at us, and the moon lit her white face, and 
showed it singularly beautiful, with a wealth of black 
hair straying from under the folds of the shawl. It was 
a sweet face with something a little hard and sad in it. 
Mr. Thompson started, as he recognised it. 

"Good God Mary McBain!" he said. "What do 
ye with walkin' the streets at this time o' th' nicht? 'Tis 
ten o'clock, an' ye were best at home. Are ye not in 
service at Mr. Marden's? Get ye hame, like a good 
lass, or th' parson'll be sendin' ye back tae th' Fac- 
tory. Be a sensible girl, and leave this woman." 

"Home!" the girl laughed harshly. "Home! What 
home have I? Come, Mr. Thompson, you're from the 
Green Hills. Ask Mr. Keating about my home, an' why 
I left Parson Marsden's." 

She laughed bitterly, and then covered her face with 
her hands and wept. 

"Damn all you men!" she said, and fled down the 

bridge. "Yesh! To h 1 with ye, to h 1 with ye," 

screamed her drunken companion. "Th' whole d n 

biling of ye. Give me a bottle of rum before any man 


She howled out filthy blasphemies after us, as Andrew 
Thompson touched my arm, and we rode on. 

"The pity of it, th' pity of it," he muttered. "Poor 
Mary McBain. I knew her as a bairn, at home in Ayr- 
shire. The pity, th' pity of it." 

We rode to James Larra's Inn. stabled our horses, 
and sought our beds intending an early start for Sydney 
in the morning. 



The next year, for me, was passed for the most part, 
in such service upon His Excellency as I have detailed in 
the last chapters, combined with a good deal of secre- 
tarial work, and in a close attendance upon him whenever 
he went abroad. 

During the twelve months the breach between the 
Governor and the military caste gradually widened, until 
such an atmosphere of hostility prevailed between Go- 
vernment House and the Officer's Mess of the 102nd 
Regiment that must, it seemed inevitable, before very long 
result in an open rupture, and some kind of serious out- 
burst, provoked by one side or the other. The situa- 
tion had become too tense to last. And it was not to be 
very long before the storm should break. 

When Governor Bligh came to Sydney he found the 
New South Wales Corps in very questionable condition. 
It was perhaps the most singular regiment that had ever 
existed in the British Army. Specially raised to relieve 
the Royal Marines of the garrison duty that was no 
part of their function, it had been recruited almost from 
the gaols, and certainly from the dregs of society, and 
the leavings of other battalions. It was officered 
although it would not be fair to assume wholly so by 
gentlemen who had found it expedient to exchange from 
their former regiments, and by some whose only hope of 
escaping the debtor's prison, and even worse misfortune, 
lay in leaving England. It would have been impossible 



to expect, at a time when the Napoleonic wars were rag- 
ing in Europe, to find the flower of the British com- 
missioned ranks in it. No officei of real military ambi- 
tion and worth would have thrown away his chances of 
advancement by exiling himself, as a sort of glorified 
turnkey, to the other side of the globe, when such great 
things were doing in the profession of arms in the Old 
World. The best of the Corps' officers were those who, 
being possessed of limited private means and growing 
families, saw, in serving with its colours, an alternative 
to leaving the army altogether, and seeking a necessary 
competence in trade, or some civil employment. This 
class of officer, both from the army and the navy, is fre- 
quently to be found filling such positions as prison gover- 
nors, deputy governors, and small colonial appointments 
since it has found it impossible to exist upon its pay 
in either of the combatant services of the Crown. 

But the officers of the New South Wales Corps had 
come to regard their military duties as being very much 
subordinate to the advancement of their private interests. 
Many of them had seized eagerly at the chances they 
saw of becoming rich men, and they were not above 
making use of their necessarily exalted and privileged 
position in the community to further their interests very 
often with an entire disregard to any scruples as to 
whether their conduct was becoming in "an officer and a 
gentleman." They traded and trafficked, they specu- 
lated in land, and they dealt in spirits. Some of them 
actually owned in Sydney public houses and inns, that 
were no better than brothels. Some of them found 
profit in usury. So long as they derived a monetary 
advantage from doing it, some of them did not care a JOT 
what they did. 

Allied with them were many of the free settlers who 
bad brought money into the country, and were determined 
that it should breed and multiply itself, in a fashion that 
it would never have had an opportunity of doing had 
they remained in Great Britain. They introduced 
abuses into the commercial world of the colony for the 


furtherance of their own ends, and they found in the 
community ready aiders and abettors in the ruling mili- 
tary class. 

Captain Bligh was determined to thwart the schemes 
of these powerful factions. In his own way he was a 
just man, and had high ideals as to the proper discharge 
of his duties. He was appointed to rule over this vast 
and rich territory, he considered, not for the sake of 
amassing wealth himself, or of permitting other in- 
dividuals to do so but, before all else, for the good of 
the Territory, and the majority of its inhabitants. Being 
a determined man, of choleric habit and despotic in- 
clination, his attitude towards those whom he saw trying 
tc benefit themselves unfairly at the cost of the public 

welfare was, to put it in his own way, "He'd be d d if 

they should." So, before the storm burst, he had an 
anxious and troublesome term of office and, in the end, 
his enemies were too strong for him. 

One morning, he summoned me to him before break- 
fast, and told me to have his dingy made ready for him, 
as he intended to sail down the harbour, and would re- 
quire me to go with him. 

"Snail I warn the escort, your Excellency?" I asked 

"Damn the escort!" he said. "No, I'm going pri- 
vately. I shall only take you with me, Jack. So be 
ready after breakfast. We are going down to the South 
Head. I mean to have a day to myself, free from those 

d n fellows, and their eternal plotting and scheming. 

See about it, now. Nine o'clock sharp, I want the boat 
a.( the jetty." 

I departed gladly, looking forward to a day on the 
water with Bligh. He was in a good humour, too. He 
always was when he called me "Jack." I sent one of 
the orderlies down to the Government boat yard with 
the necessary instructions, and set about seeing to the 
commissariat side of our expedition. 

It was always a pleasure to me to make these boat 
expeditions with the Governor. He was a consummate 


seaman, and it was fine to see the way he could handle 
a boat. I always thought, when I was out with him, of 
the wonderful thing he had done, years before, when he 
navigated the Bounty's boat three thousand miles to 
Timor, after the mutineers had cast him adrift. I think 
he was more at home as a seaman than as an adminis- 
trator. At any rate, he was happier. 

It was a glorious morning, and the loveliness of the 
harbour seemed better than ever to me. The blue 
waters sparkled in the sunlight, as we rounded Bene- 
longs' Point, coming out of Sydney Cove, and every 
wooded point looked green and fresh, and the leaves 
of the gum trees sparkled in the sunlight, too. A gentle 
westerly filled our sail. Since it was early September, 
there was a smell of spring in the air. When we ran across 
the harbour, and coasted along the North shore, past 
Sirius Cove to Bradley's Head, we could see the golden 
wattle blooming in the dark green of the forests. 

When we came to Bradley's, the Governor altered his 
course, and we ran across the harbour by Shark Island, 
rounded those curious rocks which have been so curiously 
named "Bottle and Glass," and ran into the beautiful 
little bay, with a curving white beach, known as Vau- 
cluse. Our approach had evidently been observed, for, 
standing on the sands, with a telescope under his arm, 
was the owner of the beautiful estate himself that re- 
markable Irish gentleman, Sir Henry Browne Hayes. 
ex-Sheriff of Cork, and now in New South Wales under 
a sentence of transportation for life. 

The queer story of the offence for which Sir Henry 
was now paying the penalty of exile is a curious one. 
He had abducted a wealthy young Quakeress, against 
her will, the daughter of an Irish banker, had been out- 
lawed for the crime, evaded arrest for two years, with a 
reward offering for him of one thousand pounds, and had 
finally surrendered himself to stand his trial. The man- 
ner of his doing the last named was eminently charac- 
teristic. He had one morning walked into the estab- 
lishment of a hairdresser in Cork, of whom he and his 


family had long been clients, and suggested to the barber 
that, as he intended giving himself up, he, the barber, 
might as well have the thousand pounds as anybody else. 
Accordingly the barber filed an information and collected 
the reward. Sir Henry was tried, found guilty, sen- 
tenced to death, and finally transported for life. He was 
a wealthy man, and his means did much to soften his 
exile, but he was born for trouble, and was always in hot 
water during his residence in the colony. He had had a 
particularly bad time of it under Governor King, but 
was on good terms with Captain Bligh. They had 
common enemies in the officers of the Corps, some of 
whom had treated the unfortunate Knight rather badly 
and, as you shall hear, indeed, did so again after 
Bligh's deposition. 

Running the boat on to the beach, the Governor, bid- 
ding me furl the sail and make her fast, jumped out. Sir 
Henry advanced to meet him, bowing politely, and with 
great dignity. 

"Your Excellency honours me!" he said. 

"Pooh, pooh ! Not a bit of it, Hayes. Not a d d 

bit of it. Wanted a blow. Sick of those fellows up 
in Sydney, with their eternal complaints, and infernal 

rogueries. D d sick of John Macarthur. A villian, 

if ever there was one!" 

"Will you come up to the house, and take some refresh- 
ment? I am delighted to welcome your Excellency to 
Vaucluse. 'Tis a nate little place, I'm sure you'll agree, 
when you see it." 

"Delighed, delighted. D d pretty spot, my 

eyes, if it isn't!" responded the Governor, in high good 
humour. They walked up to the house, and I followed 
a few yards in the rear. 

Sir Henry and Bligh were somewhere about the same 
age, in the neighbourhood of fifty, and about the same 
stature. The former was a straightly built man, with 
a fresh complexion and brown hair. His skin was a 
little marked by the small-pox, and he grew rather re- 
markable side whiskers. He always dressed very neatly, 


and this morning was clad in spotless white duck, with 
a broad brimmed cabbage tree hat on his head. A bunch 
of seals depended from his fob, and he carried a yellow 
silk handkerchief in his hand, with which to flick away 
the flies. 

As we came up to the house, I caught sight of a white 
skirt, and a pink sunshade. A lady and a gentleman 
were strolling amongst the flower beds Sir Henry had 
a fine garden and, in the distance, something familiar 
in the bearing of the latter struck me at once. 

"You have company?" said the Governor. 

"Oh, yes, yes," replied our host. " 'Tis an old friend. 
Knew him in London, and he's stayed with me in the 
ould country. Maybe your Excellency will be knowing 
him. I think ye granted him some of his estate at Emu 
Plains. 'Tis George Nutting, of Mulgoa. He'll be 
honoured to meet your Excellency. Ah here they 
come to meet us." 

It was, indeed, my beautiful fellow voyager of the 
Olga, with her exquisite father. The latter was as 
scrupulously attired as ever, and as full of graces, and 
the pretty airs of Pall Mall. He bowed to Bligh, and 
Miss Nutting dropped a curtsey, which the Governor re- 
turned by bowing and raising his hat. 

"Glad to see you, Mr. Nutting and how is Mulgoa?" 

I saw that she recognised me. A quick light of re- 
collection shone in her dear eyes, and her face dimpled 
in a sweet smile. You can have no idea how elated the 
Governor's Man felt. But he remembered that he was 
the Governor's Man, and kept respectfully in the back- 

"Oh, vastly prosperous, your Excellency vastly pros- 
perous," replied Mr. Nutting to the Governor's polite 
enquiry as to his estate. "A charming spot a fairy- 
land. A little in the wilds, perhaps but quite charm- 
ing. Oh, very. Adelaide, will you join us in a glass 
of wine?" 

"Oh, no thank you, Sir Henry," laughed Miss Nutting. 
"I seldom touch wine. Papa may have my share. Pray 


do not trouble about me. I beg of you. I will wait 
your return in the garden. It is delightful, Sir Henry 
altogether delightful. 

"As you please, Miss Adelaide. My man," he said 
to me, "if you go round to the back, they will give you a 
glass of beer. Come, your Excellency, ye must have a 
thirst after your voyage. Come, Nutting. Get your 
beer, my man get a quart of beer, if you like." 

"Thank you, sir," I said, touching my cap. 

But I had no notion of leaving the garden while she 
was there. They went inside. I was left alone with 
her, amongst the flowers, with the blue bay behind us, 
and the far off shores of Manly in the distant background. 
Was there ever any joy like mine at that moment? 


Sir Henry Browne Hayes. 

She came to me at once, with outstretched hands. 
There was a look of gladness in her lovely face, and her 
eyes sparkled with animation. My heart was pound- 
ing against my ribs, and I felt that I was red, and knew 
that I was shy. 

"Oh, I am so glad to see you, Mr. Carnford. I have 
thought so often of my brave rescuer, and of those ter- 
rible moments we shared out in the ocean. I am glad. 

She took both my hands in her dear little ones, laugh- 
ing joyously, and I know that I looked like a silly fool, 
and I murmured something foolish. 

"It was nothing, Adel I beg your pardon," I stam- 
mered, "Miss Nutting." 

"Oh, yes it was," she said. "I wouldn't be here, en- 
joying Sir Henry's garden if it hadn't been for you. And 
my poor father would have been lost, for he never could 
have done without me. Now tell me about yourself, 
if you please. Why are you wearing that pretty uni- 
form, and why are you with Governor Bligh. Are 
you an aide-de-camp?" 

The idea of that made me laugh, and I lost my shy- 
ness. "No I'm scarcely an aide-de-camp, Miss Nut- 
ting. You see, I'm a prisoner, and they don't make 
aides out of prisoners. I hardly know how to 
describe myself, except as one of His Excellency's ser- 
vants. Everybody speaks of me as 'The Governor's 
Man." They don't use my own name. They call me 



that. I doubt if a good many of the people I come in 
contact with know that I've got a name." 

"How absurd," she laughed. Then she grew serious. 
"I do hope you'll remember one thing, Mr. Carnford. 
I hope you'll remember that I'm very, very grateful to 
you, and that I always want to be your friend. Will 
you promise me something?" 

"I would promise you anything, Miss Nutting and 
try and do it, too." 

"Well, I want you to promise to write to me now and 
then to tell me how you are getting on, and what 
you are doing. And I will write to you, too. I'm 
afraid I'm a little selfish in this, though. You see, you 
are at headquarters, and can tell me lots of interesting 
news, and I've nothing much to write about. Would you 
care to have an occasional letter from the bush?" 

"Care!" I stammered. "Oh, Ad Miss Nutting, it 
would make a heaven of this place to me, if you would 
deign to think enough of me to send me letters." 

I fear I was almost about to say, or do, something 
sentimental. I knew I could have kissed her and 
might have been fool enough to incur her resentment by 
attempting to do so. But we heard the voices of the 
gentlemen coming back, and she looked up in a startled 
fashion, hastily giving me her hand for a brief moment. 

"Don't forget!" she whispered and there were tears 
in those deep, tender grey eyes. But the next moment 
she was all smiles to the Governor. 

"So ye've been bewitching my man, have ye, Miss 
Nutting? I warn ye, he's incorruptible. Quite famous 

for it. One of the few I can trust, d ," the Governor 

remembered himself in time "bless my soul, so he is." 

"I am glad to hear your Excellency say so," she 
laughed, "for we are old friends. He saved my life 
on the voyage out, when I fell overboard from the ship 
in mid-ocean." 

"He did, did he ! Well, he's a lucky fellow, Miss Ade- 
laide to have earned your goodwill. Well, Hayes, let 


us have a look at your snake ditch. 'Tis the strangest 
whim I've heard of. And it really acts, you say?" 

"Not a doubt of it, your Excellency, not a doubt of it. 
The varmints won't come nigh the ould sod. I'm a 
good Protestant, and St. Patrick was a Roman but I'll 
say this for him. He knew how to put a good curse 
upon the serpent, so he did. And the virtue of it's 
lasted, too as I've proved. Step this way, if your 
Excellency pleases." 

Waving her hand, and smiling, Miss Nutting ran in- 
doors, and I followed the Governor and the other gentle- 

"Here we are, gentlemen," said Sir Henry, striking his 
toe into the soil, and kicking up a little fragment of it, 
which he stooped and picked up in his hand. "Here we 
are 'tis th' soil of Ireland itself, so it is. And divil a 
snake will cross it. Th' smell of it is enough for them. 
Sure it must have been a good curse, to last so long as 
it's done. See for yourself, your Excellency. Look at 
it, Nutting. Smell it man, smell it smell the howly 
Saint's curse in it !" 

"I vow I smell something strange in it," politely mur- 
mured Mr. Nutting, sniffing at a little pinch of the 
brown loam as he might have taken snuff. " 'Tis the 
snakebane, no doubt." 

His Excellency looked sceptical, but the eager knight 
would permit of no doubt upon the subject. 

" 'Tis the solemn truth, y'r Excellency and may I 
never spake another worrud if 'tis not so. The place used 
to be infested with snakes. Ye never saw anything like 
it in ye're born days. Black snakes, an' brown snakes, 
and yellow snakes, an' green snakes every sort of snake 
that's in Australia used to live round about this bay. 
An' the bouldness of them ! They'd come right into the 
house itself, so they would. I don't know how I stood 
them, indade I don't! And, by St. Patrick himself, 
wasn't I after finding one of them in me own bed ! What 
d'ye think of that?" 

"Oh, distressing!" murmured Mr. Nutting. The 
Governor smiled. 


" 'Twas too much for me. A bright thought came 
to me one night, when I was sitting up drinking rum 
with me friend Sam Breakwell. 'Sure, I'll spoil their 
game,' says I to Sam. 'How?' he asks me. But I'd 
not tell him. I wrote home to me agent in Cork, and 
instructed him to fill 500 barrels with good Irish soil, and 
ship them out to me here, as soon as maybe. And 
when they'd come by different ships, I tould Sam, and 
he agreed 'twas a great schame, entoirely. So last 
Patrick's day, on the seventeenth of March, I set me men 
digging. They were special men I'd hired for the day 
Irish, every mother's son of them. Not a Sassenach 
among them. We dug a trench six feet broad, and 
two feet deep, right round the house, and filled it up 
with the ould sod. An' there's not been a snake across 
it since. I give ye my worrud." 

"Well, well," said the Governor. "Indeed, there may 
be something in it. But 'tis a charm very few of us 

could afford. I'll wager it cost ye a d n fine sum 

to ship all this from Ireland to Sydney Harbour. Not 
many could stand for it. Eh! Mr. Nutting?" Mr. 
Nutting bowed respectful assent. 

"Faith, then, that's true enough, y'r Excellency. It 
made a big hole in me bank balance, so it did. But 
'twas worth it. Ye've no notion what a comfort it is 
to a man to go to his bed, an' find it free from serpents. 
'Tis that, indeed. But will ye not take a walk round the 
far-rum? Mr. Nutting, if ye've had enough exercise, 
don't trouble to come with us. Take your aise in the 
house. Ye know where to find the decanter, and there 
are cigars in the sideboard." 

"Thank you if your Excellency will excuse me," 
gratefully assented Mr. Nutting. "I feel the sun a 
little, to be sure," and the excellent gentleman who, 
whatever may have been his peculiarities, had the shining 
virtue, in my eyes, of being Adelaide's father went in- 

Sir Henry and the Governor proceeded to walk round 
the boundaries of the place, the formerly eagerly pointing 


out the improvements he had made since the farm had 
come into his hands. There was a sheepfold building, 
and Sir Henry mentioned that he intended to purchase a 
few head from Mr. Macarthur, as he had an idea of 
depasturing a small flock at Vaucluse. 

The Governor had been in a singularly gracious mood 
all the morning, but at the mention of Mr. Macarthur's 
name his strange temper burst out in one of its sudden 
and fiery eruptions. He halted, and stamped his foot 
on the ground. 

"John Macarthur ! Damme, yes our great sheep 
breeder. A pestilent fellow, Sir Henry a damnable 
fellow. "We'll have trouble with that fellow, very bad 
trouble. D n him, I say d n him!" 

"To be sure, your Excellency. But he is a success- 
ful sheep breeder," remarked the knight. 

"Oh, yes indeed, I admit that. But an artful villian, 

sir a d d artful villian. I know him. He'll not 

get to windward of me, sir. He'll not hoodwink William 
Bligh. Not that he hasn't tried. But, God bless 
my soul, I put him in his place when I first met him 
or I tried to. 'Tis hard to keep such pertinacious fellows 

"Now, thin, did you, your Excellency? I'm plazed 
to hear it. 'Tis small affection I have for John 
Macarthur and his friend, George Johnston, ayther. 
Will ye not be telling me how ye did it, y'r Excellency?" 

"Well, the d d fellow came to call on me at 

Government House, soon after my arrival in the colony. 
He was full of airs, and self-importance, of which I 
did not take a great deal of notice, and I affected to know 
very little of him. This wounded his self esteem. He 
bsgan to tell me all about himself how much land he 
had, and how many cattle and sheep, and what a great 

he was altogether. But I cut him short. 'What 

have I to do with your sheep, sir?' I asked him. 'What 
have I to do with your cattle? Are you to have such 
flocks of sheep and such herds of cattle as no man ever 
had before? No, sir,' I said, 'I have heard of your con- 


cerns, sir. You have got five thousand acres of land, 

sir, in the finest situation in the country, but by G d 

you shan't keep it." And then he had the impudence to 
flaunt it in my face that the land had been granted him 
at the recommendation of the Privy Council, and by order 

of the Secretary of State. 'D n the Privy Council,' 

I told him, 'and d n the Secretary of State, too. He 

commands at home I command here?' " 

"Ha, ha very good, y'r Excellency. And what did 
he say to that?" 

"He said nothing, sir nothing! But he went away 
somewhat crestfallen, I promise ye." 

"Look ve, Sir Henry," said the Governor, very 
earnestly, some time after, breaking in upon his host's 
eulogy of certain beds of potatoes which he had planted 
himself. "I came here to-day for a very express pur- 
pose. I know that your situation here is a difficult one 
but I know ye to be a gentleman, sir, and that your 
word is good." 

Sir Henry drew himself up, and bowed stiffly. The 
Governor went on. "We're going to have trouble here. 
I would not be in the least surprised if these fellows 
of the Corps, and the Macarthur faction, did not seek 
to upset my government in some fashion. I have cer- 
tain information. If it should be so, I want to know 
who are my friends, and the friends of the Government. 
I can count on many particularly at the Hawkesbury, 
and, indeed, in the country districts generally. Can I 
count on you?" 

Sir Henry seemed almost to inflate himself with loyalty. 
He tore open his waistcoat, and his shirt, and displayed 
a hairy chest. He slapped it vigorously with his open 
palm, and struck an attitude. There was fire in his 
eyes, and his whiskers almost seemed to bristle. He 
roared his response, as he seized the Governor's hand, and 
wrung it fervently. 

"To the death, your Excellency. To the last drop of 
me blood !" 


The Brink of Revolt. 

September passed away, and spring ripened into sum- 
mer, and Christmas drew near again. I continued, as 
I boyishly fancied, to assist Captain Bligh in his task 
of governing New South Wales.- More than a year of 
my sentence had passed away. It was, in fact, two 
years, for the term would date from the day when they 
had spared the lives of Brian and myself, and had 
avenged the murder of Patrick Hanrahan by the hanging 
of the O'Toole. 

And the governance of New South Wales was no light 
task in the year of our Lord, 1807. Each day it grew 
more difficult, and each day the vice-regal temper de- 
teriorated. The glass was falling very low indeed, and 
the political barometer was fast moving its hand round 
from "rainy" to "stormy." The bad time that the 
Governor was having reflected itself disagreeably on the 
Governor's Man very disagreeably indeed. 

A queer thing happened one Sunday, towards the end 
of the year, that always seems to me to have been very 
ominous of what was to happen at the beginning of the 
next one. 

As was his invariable custom, the Governor attended 
Divine Service in the morning. The service on Sun- 
day was a sort of obligatory parade of the whole com- 
munity. Everyone was expected to be there, and the 
head of the State was punctilious in setting an example 
to his subjects. Those of the soldiers who were not on 



duty were marched up from the barracks to the church, 
and the convicts were marched also. The Rev. Mr. 
Fulton never had to complain of a poor congregation. 
The sacred edifice, being a very small temple indeed, 
was always well filled and brimming over. Whether 
there was room for them or not, the military and the 
felonry were most strictly required to put in an appear- 
ance. I cannot say that these two elements constituted 
a very devotional gathering. They gathered there be- 
cause they had to not because they particularly liked it. 

Poor Mrs. Putland, but lately widowed, accompanied 
His Excellency, and occupied the front pew with her 
father. I sat immediately behind them, armed, as usual, 
with my two pistols, and becomingly arrayed in my best 
uniform. Behind, on our side of the church, the free 
inhabitants had seating accommodation, and across the 
aisle sat the soldiers. The back part of the church, on 
both sides, was filled up with prisoners, their superinten- 
dents and overseers interspersed among them. It was a 
horrible mockery, it seemed to me. to hear the chains 
clank and clatter, as we stood up and sat down, and knelt 
in prayer. A kind of sacrilege so it seemed. 

During the course of the service, something that had 
nothing to do with it seemed to be claiming the attention 
of part of the military congregation. Their officer, Lieu- 
tenant Cadwallader Draffyn the only officer present 
sat alone in front of them, and could not see what was 
going on, but I saw most of it. They were fooling in 
some way that I could not at first make out, and every 
now and again something very like a subdued snigger, 
instantly suppressed by nose sniffing and coughing, dis- 
turbed the decorum of the proceedings. More than once 
the parson glanced down at the troops, and paused for a 
moment in his conduct of the ritual. Every now and 
again the Governor, with a face as black as thunder, 
would glare across the church. Whenever he did so, 
there was an instantaneous hush. 

Something seemed to be troubling Mrs. Putland. She 
fidgeted in her seat continuously, and was nervous and 


ill at ease. All the time the current of irreverent dis- 
traction rippled amongst the scarlet figures of the mili- 
ary. I could not quite see what it was, but once I 
caught a glimpse of a fellow who held a piece of paper 
near the flaming red head of a man seated in front of 
him, drew it hastily away as if it had caught fire, and 
blew upon his fingers as though to cool them. Very 
likely this was the childish cause of the disturbance. 

Suddenly His Excellency rose to his feet, gave his 
arm to Mrs. Putland, and escorted her across the front of 
the altar she having her handkerchief to her face, and 
evidently being in great distress. He conducted her into 
the vestry, signing with his hand to Mr. Fulton to pro- 
ceed with the service. In five or ten minutes he came 
back to his place, his face white with passion, and an 
expression upon it which boded ill to somebody. He 
leaned over the back of the pew, and whispered to me, 

"Leave the Church, go round to the vestry, and take 
Mrs. Putland home in the carriage." 

So I tiptoed down the aisle, and did as I was ordered, 
finding the poor lady a little tearful, and a little hysteri- 
cal. As I passed through the congregation, I noted a 
look of consternation on every face. The soldiers be- 
came as demure as schoolgirls. I cursed my luck for 
not permitting me to see the finish of the thing. It 
might be comedy but the Governor's face held all the 
indications of tragedy. However, I heard what hap- 
pened. A private of the 102nd, a humorous individual, 
related it as follows : 

"As soon as Mr. Fulton finished up, an' gives us his 
blessin', an' all that, we stands up, waitin' for th' free 
people to go out before we does, as we always do, ahead 
o' th' prisoners. They goes out. Then up jumps Bread- 
fruit Billy. 

" 'Hold !' he sez an' we held. He comes ragin' into 
th' middle of th' church, an' sez to Draffyn, 'th' swine,' 
he sez. 'I say, sir listen to me, I say!' 

"An' that sez, like a lady, 'Yes, your Excel- 
lency, if you please?' 


" 'What's th" meanin' of this outrageous behaviour, 
sir?' says Billy. 

" 'What, sir? I beg your pardon, sir, sez Draffyn. 
'I've not noticed anything.' 

" 'What !' yells his Nobs. 'Not noticed anything. 

Good G d, sir, you must be blind, or mad, sir!' 

an' he's right there. The lootenant ain't called Daffy 
Draffyn for nothing. 

" 'But what is it, your Ex'lency,' he sez again. An' 
then Billy lets go. Right out in church an' all, an' 
parson ain't game to check him. 

" 'These scoudrels !' he sez. 'These 

gaol birds you call soldiers they've been makin' faces 

at my daughter. D n 'em; you, sir! I'll 

say nothing here. Take your scourings of h 1 away, 

sir!' he sez, 'an' send the Adjutant to me instantly!' 
An' Billy bolts out of church, an' off home, leaving that 
fool Draffyn near crying. An' all it was over was one 
of the drummers, young Micky Flower, pretendin' Tim 
Cayler's nob was afire. Th' boys couldn't but laugh, 
an' when they bursts into a giggle, they nat'rally looks 
across to see if th' Gov'nor twigs 'em. That's why 
she must ha' got it they was makin' faces. But I puts 
it to you, Mister Carnford them fellies can't help havin' 
such ugly mugs. Th' mere look of some of our chaps 
is a hideous grimace!" 

I saw the rest myself, when Mr. Minchin, the Adju- 
tant, came hurrying up the hill to Government House. 
He was full of apologies, but they were no use to His 
Excellency, who insisted that the soldiers had gone out 
of their way to insult his daughter. He simply raved. 
I had never heard him break out so strongly before. Mr. 
Minchin had to flee before his wrath. 

The truth of it was, the Governor's nerves were in 
such a state of tension that he was hardly responsible for 
himself. But this little incident did not add to the 
good relations that did not exist between Government 
House and the Corps. All ranks hated the Governor, 
and the Governor returned their hatred with bitter in- 


terest. Neither side did anything at all to bridge the 
gulf that lay between them, and circumstances seemed to 
combine to dig it deeper and wider. 

The Governor had, however, a strong backing. The 
settlers about the Hawkesbury remembered with grati- 
tude all he had done in attempting to relieve the dis- 
tress occasioned by the disastrous floods of 1806. They 
realised better than anyone else how anxious he was to 
encourage honest endeavour. Some of them even saw 
through his roughness and rudeness, and passionate ill 
temper, to the sound heart of the man. They knew 
that if they could pierce his prejudices, and bring a 
true realisation of their troubles home to him, they would 
get justice. They knew that they could trust him. 
The small men took him to be their friend, in resisting 
the oppression that was often put upon them by their 
wealthier and more powerful neighbours. If he were 
despotic, he was a benevolent despot. 

It was to the interest of the opposing faction to make 
out that the whole colony was tyrannised over unjustly 
and wrongfully by Bligh for the satisfaction of his male- 
volent impulses, and for his own personal gain. They 
lost no opportunity of slander. There was no public 
press whose influence they could use to their own ends 
the Sydney Gazette was little more than a vehicle for 
Government orders but they found other means. 

The fire smouldered for many months, gradually accu- 
mulating pent up heat, until it was ready to whirl into 
flame at a breath of wind. Finally, it burst out into 
raging violence, and the hand that fanned the embers of 
discontent and disloyalty into leaping flames of rebellion 
was John Macarthur's. 

Even to-day, half a century after it all happened, I 
do not feel sure that I know John Macarthur. I cannot, 
as I write of him, altogether feel that I am competent 
to judge him fairly. I can say this of him that he 
was a great m^n, a good man, a most able man, and a 
man who has been as useful to Australia as any man who 
ever came to the country, or was born in it. But he was 


a selfish man in the sense that he and his were more to 
him than anything else in the world. Let him alone, 
interfere not with his plans and arrangements for the 
advancement of the interests of his clan, and he was 
kindly, generous, considerate and public-spirited. Oppose 
him in his arrangements, venture to doubt that the good 
of John Macarthur was the same thing as the public 
good and he was obstinate, narrow and ruthless. You 
may add to this that he was a confirmed dyspeptic. I 
think that a good deal in him, that does not recommend 
him, was due to this last fact. 

Those last days were busy days for me. The Gover- 
nor worked me from morning to night, and from night 
to morning. I snatched sleep when I could, and took 
my food whenever I was able to make time to sit and 
eat it. I rode the horses in the stable to death, in ex- 
peditions to Parramatta and the Green Hills. Whenever 
I send a message by the electric telegraph to-day I always 
think of what it would have saved the Governor's Man 
in the beginning of 1808. His Excellency worked me 
mercilessly. He would trust no one else even if it was 
only to carry a letter down into the town. 

On the twenty-fifth of January, as I was riding back 
from Annandale, whither I had been sent with an urgent 
letter to Major Johnston, and just as I crested Brickfield 
Hill, I met with Andrew Thompson, riding out to Parra- 
matta on his way homeward to the Green Hills. I had 
not known that he was in Sydney and reined in my horse, 
gladly, to greet him, for I always had a feeling of affec- 
tion for the shrewd, kindly young Scotsman and I think 
he felt the same way towards myself. 

"Well, well, Jock Carnford, an' how d'ye find y'sel'?' 

He gripped my hand warmly, and looked at me with 
anxious eyes. Without waiting for my response he wenf 

"Mon I'm sore distressed an' worrit. Everything's 
amiss down here everything's wrong wi' th' Governor. 
Something's going tae happen, John something bad. 
mark my words. We're on the eve of an upset. I misdoubt 


but we're on th' brink o' revolt, here in Sydney. I wish 

tae G d His Excellency had but ta'en my advice. 

For twa solid hours, Jock, I've been beseechin' an' prayin' 
him to ride awa wi' me this nicht tae yon Green Hills. 
At anyrate, his pairson would be safe there. He has 
friends there guid friends. Here, he's surrounded wi' 
enemies, bitter enemies. But no he won't budge an 

inch. Asked me if I thocht him a d d coward that 

would strike his colours to any man, or any set of men. 
He's determined to face the trouble here. An' in twenty- 
four hours he'll have trouble enough to face. Mon," 
he whispered, "I fear for his life." 

"Good God, Mr. Thompson," I exclaimed, startled. 
"Is it so bad as that?" 

"Aye, laddie 'tis verra bad. As bad as it can be. 
I would stay mysel', but he has given me work to do 
out yonder," he pointed to the golden sunset in the 
west. "Guid nicht to ye, Jock, an' guid luck. I must 
get on." 

He gripped my hand, and rode down the hill. Sick 
with apprehension for I knew Andrew Thompson was 
no alarmist I rode through Sydney to Government 

It may have been fancy, but I thought I could see 
signs of the coming storm in the faces of the people. 
Outside O'Shaughnessy's "Square and Compass" Inn in 
George Street a drunken soldier called after me. 

"Hoo, hoo look at th' ! Look at Billy's pet 

boy. Ye'll be out of a job soon, ye flunkey." 

And a trollop that was with him threw a handful of 
mud that hit my horse on the rump, and accompanied it 
with a mouthful of cursings. 

"Go home to y'r daddy, ye ," she howled. 


The Rebellion. 

Early in the afternoon of the twenty-sixth of January 
the day after I had met with Andrew Thompson on 
Brickfield Hill as I snatched a brief rest on my bed 
I was awakened by a violent pounding upon the door of 
the outbuilding of Government House in which I slept. 
I was worn out from the fatigues of the previous day 
and night, and did not at first realise what the noise 
meant. But when I recognised that it was the voice 
of the Governor that broke in upon my dreams I was off 
my bed in an instant, and opened the door in my shirt 
and breeches, without waiting to put on my uniform 
the summons seemed so imperative. 

It was. I found His Excellency raging. 

"D n your eyes, Carnford," he shouted, "I thought 

ye was dead. Here, saddle Jessie, and ride with this 
letter to Annandale. I want it to go to Major Johnston 

immediately. Now, shake a leg, d n ye, shake a 


The letter was, of course, sealed, and was addressed 
to Major Johnston, an Officer Commanding His Majesty's 
102nd Regiment of Foot. Some years afterwards, when 
the proceedings of the trials in England of John 
Macarthur and Major Johnston were made available, I 
took a copy of it. Here it is. It will explain the 



"Government House, Sydney, 

"Sydney, 26th January, 1808. 

"Sir, In answer to my letter of yesterday, I received 
a verbal message by my Orderly from you that you were 
rendered by illness totally incapable of being at Sydney. 
I apprehend the same illness will deprive me of your 
assistance at this time, and the Judge-Advocate having 
laid a memorial before me against six of your officers 
for practices, which he conceives treasonable, I am under 
the necessity of summoning them before me, and all the 
Magistrates have directions to attend at nine o'clock to- 
morrow morning. 

"I leave it for you to judge whether Captain Abbott 
should be directed to attend at Sydney to command the 
troops in your absence. 

"I am, &c., 


This is what had happened. I will put it as briefly 
as possible. On the previous day John Macarthur had 
appeared before the Criminal Court, charged with two 
separate offences. The court was composed of six 
officers of the Corps, and was presided over by the Judge- 
Advocate, Mr. Richard Atkins a drunken humbug of a 
man, who should never have been in such a position. 
Still, there he was, as he was legally entitled to be ; and it 
is certain that without him the court would have had no 
jurisdiction. Macarthur immediately protested against 
being tried by Mr. Atkins, saying, amongst other things, 
that Atkins owed him payment for a bill drawn in 1793. 
Atkins refused to hear the protest read, but the six 
officers heard it in his absence. When he came back, 
the Judge-Advocate proposed to commit Mr. Macarthur 
to gaol. The officers interposed on his behalf, and, 
after a long dispute, the Judge-Advocate retired from 
the Court House, leaving his papers behind him. With- 
out ceremony, the officers took possession of the papers 
and investigated them. Then they discovered how the 
whole plan of the trial had been arranged and prepared. 


Then ensued a running to and fro between the Court 
and Government House. The members of it with, of 
course, the exception of Mr. Atkins maintained the pro- 
priety of Mr. Macarthur's objection to the Judge- Advo- 
cate, and the Governor insisted that the Judge-Advocate 
must preside at the trial. At three o'clock, as the' Governor 
had taken no notice of their protest, the members of the 
court adjourned, and, shortly afterwards, each one of 
them received a summons to appear before the Governor 
at nine o'clock on the following morning, to answer 
charges of treason, and usurpation of the Government. 

Then the letter which I have quoted above was written 
by His Excellency, and given to me for conveyance to 

I was not long in equipping myself for the road, and 
in saddling the mare. As I rode through the town, I 
was once or twice vigorously hooted by little groups of 
soldiers. It was easy to see that the whole place was 
seething with excitement. Nobody seemed to be at work, 
except the gangs of prisoners, and^ everybody was dis- 
cussing the doings between the Court, the Governor, and 
John Macarthur. 

I reached Major Johnston's country house a little 
after four o'clock, and gave the letter into his hands. 
He was very much agitated, and was suffering from a fall 
from his gig, which had injured his arm, and bruised and 
cut his face. He carried his arm in a sling, and could 
not therefore give me a written reply to take back to 
His Excellency. 

The reading of Bligh's letter added still further to 
Major Johnston's agitation. He said nothing to me, 
however, beyond offering me some refreshment, and tell- 
ing me to inform His Excellency that "he was so ill as 
to be unable to write, but that he would get somebody to 
write an answer in the evening." So I turned Jessie's 
head towards Sydney, and rode back to Government 
House to deliver my message. Immediately, Major 
Johnston hastened into town to the Barracks. 

Now followed two actions of Major Johnston's which, 


to my thinking, put it beyond all doubt that the Rebellion 
was deliberately planned and organised, and that Mr. 
Macarthur's trial was only the peg on which the cloak 
was hung. Of course, one did not know these things 
until after the business was all over. 

As soon as Major Johnston arrived at the Barracks, he 
assumed the title of Lieutenant-Governor, and signed a 
warrant for the release of John Macarthur from goal. 
Concerning this period of that eventful Anniversary 
Day, some of the finest lying was put up by the Gover- 
nor's opponents. 

So this was the situation, about six o'clock in the 
evening of the 26th. 

Without unsaddling her, I had put the mare in the 
stable, and was lounging about smoking, and enjoying 
the freshness of the evening. It had been :i hot day, 
but the cool nor'-easter was blowing in from the sea, 
and, at the back of the house, on the eminence on which 
it stood, as it swept up from the harbour, you got the 
full benefit of it. I strolled round to the end of the build- 
ing, and watched the sun setting behind the "Rocks" in 
a glory of purple and gold. I shall never forget that 
sunset. It painted itself on my brain. 

Down in the town there was an unusual hum of noise 
as of many people talking and arguing an extra- 
ordinary sound at this hour of the evening meal, when 
the place was wont to be so quiet. The blue smoke 
curled up into the clear air from many chimneys, and, 
except for the beehive hum of the distant voices, every- 
thing was very quiet and still. 

Suddenly, and very clearly, I heard a bugle peal and 
echo in the Barrack Square, and, a moment later came 
the rattle of drums, beating the "Assembly." The rat- 
tat-tat of them clattered across the valley, and seemed 
to shiver the evening with its harsh vibration. Heavens ! 
I thought, what on earth is this ? I stood still and watched. 
The Barrack Square, being on a slope, was almost 
wholly visible from where I stood, and I had a. fine view 
of anything that might happen in it. 


Presently I could see the soldiers pouring out of their 
barracks, and rapidly forming up on the parade ground 
in their companies. Soon they were in well ordered 
ranks, standing still and immovable. It was too far to 
see whether they carried their arms or not but I was not 
left long in doubt on that score. 

I saw a small body move out of a building on one side 
of the square and march across the parade, coming to 
a halt on the right of the leading company. It was the 

Then another and more scattered group came from 
the doorway of the officers' mess. I saw the com- 
manding officer's horse led up to the verandah, and saw 
him mount and ride out in front of the leading com- 
pany, where he seemed to be making a speech. The 
other officers took post with their respective companies. 
The colours, unfurled, were at the front of the regiment. 
There was no doubt that this extraordinary parade was 
being carried out with every proper attention to detail 
and decorum. 

Suddenly the double lines of the companies thickened 
they had formed fours. The colours were carried 
rapidly to the right of the leading company they had 
turned to the right. The commanding officer placed 
himself at the head of the leading company. A faint 
burst of cheering came from neai the Barrack gates. 

Then boom, boom the big drum struck up, the fifes 
squealed out "The British Grenadiers" ; the side drums 
banged and rattled in the stirring uproar of that brave 
old air, and the regiment moved off, wheeling to the left, 
in succession of companies. Presently the head of the 
column reached the gates, passed through them, and was 
lost to me in the houses of the town. A great roar rose 
up from the valley yells, and women's screams, with 
the barking of dogs and, above it all, the squeal of 
the fifes, and the boom, bang, and rattle of "The British 

Mrs. Putland had come out on to the verandah when 


the "Assembly" had sounded, and stood for a minute or 
more, shading her eyes with her hand, and gazing, pale- 
faced and disquieted, in the same direction as myself. 
Then she retreated hastily indoors again. I did not see 
the Governor, until long after the regiment had effected 
his arrest. 

I heard a noise down at the gate of Government House, 
and, turning my eyes in that direction, saw the guard 
tumbling hurriedly out of the guardroom, and forming 
up in front of it. Hardly were they in line before I 
heard the order given to them "With ball cartridge 
load!" Followed the rattle of the ram-rods, as they 
drove their charges home. 

Every moment the noise and uproar, and the shrill 
music, drew closer, and at last I saw the head of the 
column reach the bridge across the Tank Stream. The 
sun was behind the opposite range of hills by this time, 
but it was still quite bright and daylight. A yellow 
afterglow lit up the western heavens, and the waters of 
Sydney Cove reflected it. I remember noticing a black 
line of ibis winging their way in solemn procession across 
the brilliant hues of the evening. Strange, how a trifling, 
irrelevant thing like that remains in one's head after 
such an experience ! 

I stood rooted to the spot neglecting my duty, with- 
out a doubt, for I should have been at His Excellency's 
side. I wish that I had been, for then I could have 
refuted the cruel, lying gibes that were afterwards set 
afloat about Bligh's personal courage which I, for one, 
never have believed, and have never hesitated to give the 
lie direct to, whenever I have heard them spoken. But 
I was so dumbfounded by the amazing things that were 
taking place under my very eyes, that I forgot all that I 
should have remembered until it was too late. 

And now the regiment was very close indeed, marching 
up the hillside, with colours flying at their head and 
bayonets fixed, and Major Johnston sitting upon his 
horse at its head. The noise of the drums was deafen- 
ing now, and the fifes were ear-splitting. Out of the 


town, behind the troops came a mob that howled con- 
tinuously and without ceasing. 

At the gate, the column halted for a few moments. 
Then the guard broke ranks, and joined their companies. 
The next moment the head of the column passed through 
the gateway. Some orders were shouted, and the sol- 
diers came running along the drive, yelling and cursing, 
and hurrying to take up positions that would put them 
in the way of surrounding the house. In less time than 
I take to write it, they had drawn a cordon round Govern- 
ment House, and the last light of the fading day gleamed 
on the bare steel >f a ring of bayonets. 

As I saw the soldiers break into the double when they 
came running, my senses returned to me, and I jumped 
quickly behind a shrub. It came to me in a flash, what 
my duty was. At all events I must endeavour to escape, 
so that I could ride to the Hawkesbury, and warn the 
Governor's friends of the plight the danger that he 
was in. There was no knowing what this armed body 
of ruffians might take into their heads to do. At all 
costs, His Excellency must be rescued. 

I remembered the mare ready saddled in the stables. 
If I could only reach her, and find a way out through 
the Domain, and round the outskirts of Sydney into the 
open country! 

I dodged from bush to bush, from tree to tree, and 
passed unnoticed behind the soldiers. They were all 
intent upon the house, and had no eyes for a flitting: 
shadow in the fast darkening garden. At last I got 
into the stables, and found the roan mare as I had left 

"Steady, Jess, old girl," I whispered in her ear, as I 
led her out into the twilight. "Steady! We must do 

At last I got her through the fence, mounted her, and 
rode away into the night. 


The Bad Night. 

Macquarie Street in those days- was only the crest of 
the hill that I rode along towards what was then known 
as the Exercising Ground, and afterwards was the Race- 
course, and is now Hyde Park. There were one or two 
cottages bordering on the Government Domain, but these 
were now deserted and dark. I did not pass a single 
person between Government House and the eastern side 
of the Brickfields. All the inhabitants, even the chil- 
dren, had flocked into the town. Life in Sydney was 
too uniformly monotonous to permit of anyone missing 
such a rare and fascinating excitement as presented itself 
to-night. They were all down in the valley, or on the 
hillside below Government House, assisting in the howl- 
ing and yelling, and shouting that marked the disestab- 
lishment of the Government of Captain Bligh. 

In order to gain the Parramatta Road, I struck across 
the rough and broken area of claypits and kilns. As I 
approached it, I could see the glare of a fire glowing 
redly from behind a great pile of baked bricks. I did 
not pause to think what I was doing, but rode round the 
pile, and almost into the midst of a group of soldiers 
who were standing and sitting about the fire. The mare 
shied a little at the sudden glare, and, instantly, I found 
myself looking down the barrels of at least three muskets. 
One of the red coats sprang forward and seized my reins. 

"By G d, boys!" he yelled. "Here's a go'l 'Tis 

Billy's man himself." 

E 129 


Before I could draw a pistol which, perhaps, was 
just as well, half a dozen hands dragged me from the 
saddle, and had me on the ground. The mare snorted 
and pulled back, tearing the reins from the man who 
had first laid hold of them, and, lashing out vigorously, 
galloped off in the darkness. 

I had been captured by one of the guards which the 
rebel officers had quickly posted all about the town. This 
had been done with the object of preventing the Gover- 
nor's messages for assistance getting out, and possible 
sympathisers from getting it. 

"Search th' for papers," cried the sergeant who 

was in charge. "He may have something from the old 
devil in his pocket. Go through him properly, now." 

And they did. My jacket was torn asunder, every 
pocket turned inside out, and the lining slit open. But 
they found nothing, except a letter, written from Mul- 
goa, which I had received only a day or two before, from 
Adelaide. I cursed and struggled, when a fellow found 
this and held it to the fire light to examine. But it was 
no use they were too strong for me, and pressed me 
down on the ground, whilst the blackguard who had 
the letter proceeded to make merry over it." 

"Oh, th' sly dog," he howled in delight. " 'Tis a 
letter from his gur-r-1, so it is, no less. 'Me dear Mr. 
Carnford' and he proceeded to read out to them what 
was, after all, only a very ordinary and polite letter 
from my dear lady, but was to me a sacred thing, un- 
utterably profaned by the half -drunken wretch who jested 
over it. 

Suddenly he was stopped by the Sergeant, whose face, 
indeed, seemed familiar to me, and whom, when he spoke, 
I remembered to have been one of the two Corporals 
of the guard of the transport Olga. 

"That'll do, Mike. Give it him back. I remember 
this young fellow. We came out in th' same ship. 

Give him back th' letter, ye croppy. 'Tis a better 

man than you, this Carnford is. That's the lady he 
jumped overboard an' saved in mid-ocean so sweet a 


lady as ye'd ever see. Give it back, ye , or I'll 

crack y'r skull for ye, an' have ye to the orderly room in 
th' marnin'. Here, let him up, boys. He's not a bad 
lad, even if he is that old Bligh's orderly man." 

They released their hold upon me, and I stood up. 
The Irish soldier handed me back the letter with a grin. 

"Och sure, Sergeant dear, I've no wish for to thres- 
pass on our brave boy's presarves. He's welcome to 
his colleen's letters. Good luck to him!" 

I could have smashed him in the face with my fist for 
the impudent leer with which he said this. But there 
was no sense in those tactics, and I was lucky to remem- 
ber it. 

"I'll have to send ye down to the Barracks, Carn- 
ford," said the Sergeant. "Take my advice, an' go 
quiet. 'Tis orders. All Bligh's people is being made 

S'o I was marched off, a soldier on either side of me. 
As we went through Sydney, the town presented an 
extraordinary spectacle. In the main thoroughfare, at 
the intersection of cross streets, large bonfires had been 
lit, and a great show of public rejoicing was being made. 
Drunken soldiers and convicts shouted ribald songs, and 
danced about the fires. Women of the town screeched 
obscenities to them. Beer was on tap in barrels, and 
nearly everyone had a bottle or a flask of rum. There 
seemed to have been a little looting of the inns, or else 
the inn-keepers were terrified into making good fellows 
of themselves by providing the rowdy element with 

But the rejoicing seemed to me to lack spontaneity. 
I think that they had been mainly organised by the rebel 
leaders to lend the appearance of a universally popular 
movement to their mad deed. They were at the great- 
est pains, subsequently, to give it this aspect. But I am 
as sure as that I now sit writing, that it was not a 
genuine one. The people, as a whole, I am convinced, 
cared little about the business. It was the military 
officers and their friends who only really rejoiced. And 


in all their rejoicing was an element of fear, for the 
consequence of the outrageous thing they had done. The 
shadow of High Treason hung over them. And, when 
no one was looking, they shivered in it. 

We came down George Street to the Barracks, and I 
was marched straight across to the orderly room. 

The room was full of people who were in the custody 
of soldiers, and three officers sat at a table holding a sort 
of court of inquiry into the political views of the cap- 
tives. To mv astonishment, I saw Mr. Nutting, and 
my agent, Mr. Blundell, and many others whom I knew. 

I contrived to edge my way to where Adelaide's father 
stood dejectedly against the wall, awaiting his turn to go 
before the tribunal. I was anxious as to what might be 
happening to his daughter, rather than deeply moved 
on behalf of the unfortunate gentleman himself. When 
I spoke his name he looked up. 

"Ah, Carnford," he said mournfully. "This is very 
distressing very humiliating, is it not? Dear me! A 
sort of reign of terror a French Revolution, by George. 
Oh, Adelaide? She is quite well, I thank you. At 
Mulgoa. I wonder where Sir Henry is? These fel- 
lows will surely have him before long. And what of 
His Excellency, Mr. Carnford? Has he escaped?" 

I told him I did not think so, though I had seen 
nothing of him since he gave me the letter for Major 
Johnston early in the afternoon. I told him also how 
I had endeavoured to ride away to procure assistance, 
and how I had blundered into the soldiers' fire at the 
Brickfields, and been captured. He sympathised with 
me in his gentle way, and while he was speaking Mr. 
Blundell came away from the table, and spying me, edged 
his way over. 

"Jack," he whispered, "I fear you're in a bad way 
with these fellows. D'ye know what they're doing! 
Why, discussing what they'll do with each individual tha<- 
they arrest. They are sending those whom they think 
they can't trust to the Coal River. They had a very 
long debate over me, but have left the matter open 


telling me to go to my house, and stay there, for the 
present. But I fear they will deal harshly with you 
since you were so well known as being in His Excel- 
lency's confidence. I should not be surprised if they 
sent you away. But I think I'll get through with them. 
One or two are in my debt pretty deeply, and will, I 
think, be a little careful of giving me too much cause to 
remember them unpleasantly. If I stay in Sydney, I 
will see to all your affairs, and will take every oppor- 
tunity of serving your interests, and getting you back. 
Brian is well out of this. I sent him on a voyage to 
New Zealand last month. But, good-bye I must get 
away, or they may alter their mind. Keep your heart 
up. These fellows daren't go too far, and they can't 
last for ever. England is still England even though 
it is so far away." 

The good fellow wrung my hand, and slipped away 
out of the room unostentatiously 

Presently my name was called, and I was marched 
up to the table. Three officers sat there, and, to my 
sorrow, I recognised one of them as Mr. Keating. He 
was not quite drunk, but neither was he quite sober. He 
immediately recognised me. The other men were Cap- 
tain Kemp and Mr. Laycock. 

"Ho, by G d," said Mr. Keating. "Look, Kemp, 

look whom we have here ! Bligh's own man, by hea- 
vens ! I know the fellow, I know him. Came out in 
the Olga with me. A d d insolent fellow, a dan- 
gerous ruffian. Oh, by G d, we can't let him remain 

in Sydney. He was that Bligh's right hand man. 

Coal River for him, I say without question." 

Captain Kemp looked me up and down. 

"What d'ye say, Laycock?" he asked. 

That giant of a man, the Quartermaster of the Corps, 
shook his head. "Better send him away, sir. He'll 
be out of mischief up there. A little discipline will do 
him good. He's had a fat time of it with Bligh. Coal 
River, I vote." 

"You will go to the Coal River then, my man," said 


Captain Kemp, writing something against my name on a 
list he had before him. "See that you behave yourself. 
There are even worse places than Newcastle, you know. 
Take him away." 

So I was marched out of the Orderly Room, and out 
of the Barracks, and down George Street to the gaol. 

"And I'll see ye at the Coal River, my man," called 
that brute Keating after me, as I left the room. 

I shall never forget that night in Sydney Gaol. It 
was a night of the most unmitigated horror. 

Picture to yourselves that it was the middle of January, 
and that, even for January the day had been a warm one. 
Then picture that fearful prison, and its condition that 

The old gaol was a very primitive affair. There were 
only a few cells that were used for special prisoners. The 
bulk of the inmates were confined in a large building, 
that consisted of two rooms, each thirty-two feet long 
by twenty-two feet wide. I have heard that the average 
number of prisoners shut up in these apartments any 
evening was between eighty and ninety. Even then 
they were intolerably overcrowded. On the night of 
that famous Anniversary Day of 1808, the room in which 
I found myself had no less than one hundred and fifteen 
people in it. It was a veritable Black Hole of Calcutta! 

My fellows in misfortune were drawn from every class 
in the community the majority cf them, of course, being 
convicts. But there were also a large proportion of 
drunken sailors, a few soldiers, and very many of the 
civilian inhabitants had been committed there by the tri- 
bunal which had sat in judgment upon myself. We 
were terribly crowded. The windows were small, and 
high up in the wall, and we almost suffocated for lack of 
air. Add to this that it was impossible for the whole 
number of the inmates of the room to lie down at once. 
Even if they lay with their heads between the legs of 
their fellows, some twenty-five or thirty must still stand 
up. The room seemed to me to be quite sufficiently full 
when I came in about half-past nine. Right up till 


midnight further additions to our miserable company 
continued to be made by the gaoler. The count to 
which I referred above was made about two o'clock in 
the morning, by the light of one dim oil-lamp fixed to the 
wall near the door. Two of the unfortunates who had 
to stand up all night made it, and as I was one of them, 
and we went over it five or six times, I can vouch for its 

Never did I welcome the rays of dawn more gladly 
than when they came creeping into that stifling cess- 
pool, about four o'clock in the morning. By that time 
the atmosphere was almost unbearable. But it was 
not until six o'clock that they opened the door, and 
allowed us out into the yard. When they did so, I was 
literally gasping. 

We heard from late comers of most that had taken 
place on the night of the rebellion and a good deal 
that never took place at all. And afterwards I heard 
how His Excellency had sought to have me sent to him, 
but without avail. He himself was a close prisoner at 
Government House, with his daughter, Mrs. Putland. 

It is a strange thing to think of, that I never again in 
this life saw Captain Bligh though I was in correspon- 
dence with him up to the time of his death as a Vice- 
Admiral in 1817. When I came back to Sydney from 
the Coal River he had sailed in H.M.S. Porpoise to the 
Derwent, in Van Diemen's Land. When he returned, 
on the arrival of Major-General Macquarie, I was away 
from Sydney. So this strange day and night actually 
brought an end to my occupation of the office of Gover- 
nor's Man. 


At the Coal River. 

They fed us meagrely about seven o'clock dry bread 
and several great kitcheners of boiled maize meal 
hominy that did not go nearly round. However, those 
who had been drinking heavily the night before, and they 
were not a few, had no particular fancy for such a break- 
fast, and the scanty rations went further than they might 
have done, had it not been for the large number of aching 
heads and sick stomachs there were in the gaol that 

Soon after we had finished this elegant repast, the gate 
of the yard was opened, and some thirty soldiers were 
marched into it. Behind them came that damnable fel- 
low, Lieutenant Keating, accompanied by Mr. Nicholas 
Bayly, whom the rebel leaders had appointed Acting- 
Provost Marshal, in place of Mr. Gore, whom they had 
summarily imprisoned also. He had been considered of 
sufficient importance to be accorded the "luxury" of a 
cell, and was not one of our number. 

"Stand over there," shouted Mr. Keating, pointing to 
the wall opposite to the entrance of the yard. "Shove 
the 's back, men," he cried to the soldiers. 

With the butts of their muskets they drove us back 
in a dense mob there were, out of the two rooms, a 
good deal more than 200 of us and pressed us against 
the walls. They stood in line, threatening us with their 
muskets, and cursing us zealously. 

"Fix bayonets !" commanded Mr. Keating, and we 
cowered there, menaced by these truculent ruffians, whose 



inflamed faces and bloodshot eyed were good evidence as 
to how they had passed the night. 

"Merciful heavens!" exclaimed a weak voice behind 
me. "Do the dreadful creatures mean to butcher us !" 

I tried to reassure the speaker, and for the first time 
became aware that Mr. Nutting was a partner in my 
captivity. He was pale and tired looking, but, never- 
theless, in his dress and elegant appearance, was in sharp 
contrast with his surroundings. I was about to speak 
to him comfortingly, when the unlovely voice of Mr. 
Keating, who had been in conference with the Provost- 
Marshal, again afflicted us. 

"Now then, ye do^s, give attention. Listen to 

this list which Mr. Bayly is going to read to ye, and 
answer to your names." 

The Provost-Marshal stepped forward, with a paper in 
his hand, looking at us malevolently a moment, and then 
began to shout it at us. 

"John Carnford," he called. 

"Here," I replied. 

"Say 'Sir,' ye insolent swine!" roared Mr. Keat- 

"Here, sir," I answered, meekly enough to make the 
brute grin. 

"Get over there, d n, ye against the other wall, 

and stand still," he bellowed at me, and then added, for 
the benefit of the company in general. 

"Oho the Governor's Man! Billy wont get his boots 
cleaned this morning!" 

There was a roar of laughter from the soldiers, as I 
walked across, angrily, to the further side of the gaol 
yard. The Provost-Marshal went on calling names, 
and before long there were some forty of us, all selected 
as being adherents, or possible adherents, to the cause 
of Governor Bligh. Poor Mr. Nutting was one of the 

"It is Paris over again," he murmured dolefully. He 
fully believed, he told me, that we were chosen for execu- 
tion. His mind was possessed with recollections of the 


Terror. He had been in France during that fearful 

When the selection had been made, the soldiers drove 
those who had been left out of this interesting roll-call 
out of the way, formed us up in a little column of two 
abreast, surrounded us, and marched us out of the gaol 
into George Street. It was, of course, called High 
Street in those days. The names of Sydney's two prin- 
cipal thoroughfares, "Pitt" and "George," were bestowed 
by Governor Macquarie a few years later. 

As we went through the town towards Sydney Cove, I 
noticed a strange difference in the aspect of the place 
from what had obtained yesterday and last night. All 
the wild excitement had died away like the smouldering 
bonfires, at the intersection of the streets and the 
people's faces wore an anxious, half -terrified look. The 
seriousness of the business had begun to impress them, 
and the danger of it to make itself apparent. They 
were bewildered. They knew that the Governor was in 
prison in a big cottage upon the hillside, but they knew 
also that he was nevertheless the Governor, and that any 
act against him was High Treason against His Majesty 
and the realm. But in the Officer's Mess at the Bar- 
racks was established the government de facto, and it was 
a government to be feared, since its self-endorsed powers 
were without limit for the time being, at any rate. I 
think that the sight of us unfortunate victims of the 
rebels' distrust being sent away, no one knew whither, did 
much to augment this feeling. 

They took us down to the Government wharf, where 
one of the colonial schooners was alongside, marched us 
aboard, forced us into the hold, and clapped the hatches 
on. They did not take them off for three days, and 
when they did so after a miserable, dark period of sea- 
sickness and suffocation we were at anchor in the Coal 
River. A black nor'-easter had been blowing, and we 
had taken all that time to beat up the coast, sixty-two 
miles, against it. Mr. Keating accompanied us as the 
new Commandant of the settlement. 


Newcastle is a great port, and a fine town, to-day, in 
1858, but it was a queer place fifty years ago. When I 
came on deck that morning, after the first sensation of 
the glorious fresh air and sunlight in contrast to the hor- 
rible hold of the schooner, my heart sank, as I looked at 
the primitive, wretched little settlement that was to be 
our place of exile for heaven alone knew how long. Its 
appearance, even on such a bright and sunny morning, 
was sufficiently depressing to fill me with gloomy appre- 
hension as to our future. 

Poor Mr. Nutting, whom I had to assist upon deck 
he was so weak and ill was almost overcome by the 

"Good Lord, Carnford !" he whispered, "can they mean 
to keep us in this horrid place?" 

"I fear so, sir," I answered. "But there's one comfort 
they can't keep us here forever. Help will come from 
England, when they learn what has taken place, and 
these usurpers will find themselves in Queer Street. I 
would not like to be in Major Johnston's shoes, or Mr. 
Macarthur's. I think, on the whole, we are better off 
than they are." 

"Yes, yes but it will be months, it will be a year at 
least, before any help can come from London. And my 
poor little girl ! She does not even know yet what has 
become of me! The news of the rebellion must have 
travelled to Emu Plains by this time, and she will have 
heard it at Mulgoa. She will be a prey to the most 
dreadful apprehension. She is quite alone with me in 
this country and now I am snatched away from her in 
this fashion, and she does not even know where I am gone. 
It is too awful." 

"Cheer up, sir. I believe she knows by this time, and 
you will hear from her by the next vessel from Sydney. 
While we were in the gaol during the night I gave 
several written messages to a prisoner who stood near me 
all night. He is a man I know a good fellow, except 
that he drinks too much at times. He will see, somehow, 
that they reach their destination. I sent one to the 


Governor, one to Mr. Thompson at the Green Hills, one 
to Mr. Blundell, my agent and I took the liberty of 
sending one to your daughter. It seemed to me that 
you might be in the gaol too, and, if that were so, you 
would probably know nobody who was likely to get out, 
and would have no opportunity of communicating with 
Miss Nutting. I hope I did right, sir?" 

The poor gentleman grasped my hand and shook it 

"God bless you, my boy," he said, with tears in his 
eyes. "You have lifted a load from me. I feel better 
already. I cannot repay you." 

He cheered up wonderfully from that moment. I 
thought to myself that perhaps a time might come when 
he would be able to repay me though I scarcely dared 
to think that sweet thought. 

Newcastle, or, as it was called at that time, King's 
Town, was by far the most primitive outpost of British 
settlement in Australia. It had only been established a 
few years primarily for obtaining the coals which are 
so abundant there, and so easily to be worked. After- 
wards, very valuable timber was cut along the river and 
exported to Sydney principally the red cedar. And it 
was a convenient place to which to send prisoners who 
had incurred extra punishment. Norfolk Island, of 
course, was the ultimate destination of the worst of the 
convict populace and, unfortunately, of some who never 
deserved to go there but the Coal River was not re- 
garded by them as being at all desirable. Some of the 
worst and most abandoned of the iron-gangs were sta- 
tioned at Port Hunter. 

The settlement straggled from the riverside up the 
slope of the hills to the southward. Off the harbour, the 
Coal Island now known as "Nobby's," and joined to 
the mainland by a convict-built breakwater, marked the 
entrance to the noble river that found outlet to the sea 
at this part of the coast. Away to the north-east, on 
the southern side, a long white beach curved for nearly 
twenty miles to Port Stephens. The houses of the 


town, with the exception of the cottages of the military 
and civil officers, a storehouse and a primitive goal, were 
nothing better than miserable huts. You would scarcely 
recognise it for the same place to-day. At the most 
there were never more than three vessels lying at anchor 
in the stream. Generally there were none at all. Look 
at the shipping you may see there now both steam and 
sail and imagine, if you can, what it looked like at the 
end of January, 1808. 

In the afternoon we were taken ashore, a few tents 
were pitched, and in these we huddled for 
shelter at night, until we had made for ourselves more 
permanent dwellings. A good many of the prisoners 
were set to hard labour, but Mr. Nutting and I were 
spared this additional penalty. 

I should have referred, earlier in my narrative, to an 
event of much importance to me, which had occurred 
some four or five months previously the fact of which 
stood me in good stead now. Governor Bligh partly 
on the representations of Dr. Collingwood, on his next 
visit in the Olga to New South Wales, after my arrival, 
and, I believe, because he himself regarded my services 
as being worthy of such reward had granted me a con- 
ditional pardon. This meant that I was free within the 
Colony, but not at liberty to return to England until the 
term of my original sentence had expired. It meant 
here, in this horrible outpost, that I need not join in the 
forced labour of the convicts. Mr. Nutting, of course, 
was a free man. Fortunately for ourselves, our lack of 
private means did not necessitate our living "on the 
store," as it was termed when people were provided with 
Government rations by the Commissariat. Had we been 
forced to apply for such maintenance, I know well that 
the amiable Mr. Keating would have seen to it that we 
worked hard for our keep. 

We were able, after a couple of weeks, to obtain pos- 
session of a little house on the hillside, not far from 
the top of what is nowadays known as Watt Street. Its 
owner, a political prisoner of the Crown, had received 


his free pardon from the Home Government, and was so 
delighted with his good fortune that he generously pre- 
sented the title of it to Mr. Nutting and myself. 

He was a remarkable man, this Doctor Martin Boyle, 
a very remarkable man indeed and I could have wished 
for the opportunity of cultivating his acquaintance. On 
our first arrival at King's Town, he had been very kind 
to us, inviting us to his cottage, and helping us in every 
way he could. He was one of those good souls who is 
continually helping his fellow creatures, and always seek- 
ing to keep the fact that he has done so from public 
knowledge. I had suffered somewhat from that dis- 
tressing complaint known as varicose veins, and, on my 
mentioning it to Dr. Boyle, he offered to examine me. 
He did so, and was good enough to advise an operation 
which indeed, he offered to carry out himself, and only 
the uncertainty of my position prevented me from accept- 
ing his generous offer. I had it done, with entire suc- 
cess, twelve months afterwards in Sydney. 

He was a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, had 
travelled much, and was a man of wide reading and 
catholic literary taste. But all his life, from his student 
days, he had had a deep sympathy with the dog that was 
down, and the active expression of this had led him 
into trouble on more than one occasion. He was here 
now owing to an arbitrary action of the Governor's, in 
ordering the pulling down of some cottages in Sydney, 
which Captain Bligh maintained were built on Crown 
lands. The Doctor had valiantly espoused the cause 
of the unfortunate owners of the buildings, and had so 
fallen foul of His Excellency. The latter had peremp- 
torily ordered his deportation to the Coal River. He 
had been sent to New South Wales for the part that he 
had taken in the Irish Rebellion of 1798, when he had 
acted as a, strictly honorary, surgeon to the forces of 
"General" Joseph Holt, of Vinegar Hill fame. 

I always remember him with pleasure, and picture the 
three of us sitting outside his cottage in the summer even- 
ings, smoking and talking, as we gazed up the coast 


towards the blue mountains behind Port Stephens. He 
entertained us greatly with anecdote and reminiscence. 
Whenever I think of the Doctor, I always recall with 
amusement his discourse on the famous Mannequin of 
the City of Brussels in Belgium. He was said to be a 
very skilful surgeon, and I could well believe it but 
what I liked him most for was his genial red face, his 
prematurely silver hair, and his shrewd wit. I have 
met many worse than the Doctor, and Mr. Nutting, who 
hated Irishmen on principle, was pleased to make an 
exception in favour of Dr. Martin Boyle. 

One evening as we sat there, Mr. Keating walked, on 
his way down into the town, past the front of the cot- 
tage. He was obviously very drunk. The collar of 
his jacket was unbuttoned, and his stock was unhooked. 
He presented a pretty figure to point out to a stranger 
as the Commandant of the Settlement at the Coal River. 

The Doctor chuckled as he passed us, and Mr. Keating, 
with a drunken man's acuteness of hearing, turned in- 
stantly. He regarded the three of us with alcoholic 
fury for a few moments, and then laughed scornfully. 

"Ho!" he said, " 'tish th' croppy doctor, an' Billy 

Bligh's lickspittle man, an' th' d d old fool from St. 

James' an' all drunk. By G d, ye'd snigger as I 

go by, would ye?" He became angry again. "I'll teach 

ye, ye 's I'll teach ye! Watch I don't send ye to 

work at th' lime kiln, ye scum. I can do it, and by 
G d, I will, if I have any of y'r in-insholensh." 

He stumbled down the road. The Doctor laughed 
quietly. "Ha!" he said, "our noble Commandant is a 
little sprung. A pleasant fellow, isn't he? But I'd 
go carefully, if I were Mr. Keating. I would be careful 
of dark nights, and keep away from the cliffs, if I were 
him. There are several here who don't love him, but if 

Mary McBain get a chance, well ." The Doctor 

shrugged his shoulders. 

"Mary McBain?" I said vaguely, recollecting hayine 
heard the name somewhere before. 

"Yes a convict woman here. Living with a soldier. 


She was in service at Parson Marsden's at Parramatta 
when this bright and beautiful young man was in the 
garrison there. A pretty tale, gentlemen, a pretty tale." 
Then I remembered the girl whom Andrew Thomp- 
son and I had encountered that night in Church Street, 
as we rode into Parramatta from Green Hills. As 
I recalled the bitterness and loathing with which she 
had cursed the name of Mr. Keating, I, too, felt that 
she was no safe neighbour for that dashing officer. But 
I am not hypocritical enough to pretend that I was con- 
cerned for Mr. Keating' s safety. 



Dreary weeks that were to expand into dreary months, 
followed, and Mr. Nutting and I endured as patiently as 
we might our enforced residence on the banks of the 
Hunter River. 

Little news reached us from Sydney, but plenty of 
rumour was manufactured in King's Town, and some of 
it was so absurd as to be almost worthy of record. French 
troops had landed at Botany Bay and were besieging 
Sjdney. Sydney had been surrendered to the Napoleonic 
invasion by Major Johnston and the officers of the 102nd. 
Major Johnston had proclaimed John Macarthur King 
of Australia. The settlement had become a Republic, 
and Major Johnston had been elected its first Presi- 
dent. Governor Bligh had escaped, raised an army on 
the Hawkesbury, and was marching upon Sydney. Gover- 
nor Bligh had been hanged on Gallows Hill. These, 
and a hundred others of a similar sort, were the most 
frequent tidings we heard of the metropolis. It was 
extraordinary how such idle gossip was accepted as gospel 
by the convicts and private soldiers. I told Dr. Boyle 
that I half suspected him of devising many of them. I 
am not at all sure that he did not find diversion in invent- 
ing some. At any rate, he only winked at me when 
I challenged him about it. 

But, of course, we had letters. They were opened 
and read both by the authorities in Sydney, and by the 
valiant Commandant at the Coal River, and it was gall 



and wormwood to me to think of that drunken brute 
gloating over my dear girl's pretty handwriting, perhaps 
lifting the delicately scented note-paper up to his ugly 
countenance to smell. The filthy beast made a point of 
addressing me as "My dear Mr. Carnford," when he met 
me about the settlement. But I was careful to refrain 
from giving him the slightest pretext for exerting his 
authority, knowing that he would have been only too 

glad to do his best to make life a h 1, both for myself 

and Mr. Nutting. 

I had letters from Mr. Blundell, too, and from their 
guarded phrases learned something of the political situa- 
tion in the capital. The Governor was a close prisoner, 
and, later, was confined with his daughter in the Bar- 
racks. Though he could not say so, it was easy to infer 
from the worthy merchant's communications that the 
rebel leaders were making hay while the sun shone. 
They were granting each other tracts of land, issuing 
parabns to their sycophants among the convicts, and 
generally abusing the authority which they had so out- 
rageously assumed. It was most gratifying to hear all 
these transactions declared null and void by Governor 
Macquarie, when, in 1810, he arrived from England to 
assume the governorship. 

And then, one blessed morning, we saw the schooner 
from Sydney coming in round Coal Island, and, hasten- 
ing down to the River, were just in time to welcome 
whom do you think? 

Why Adelaide Nutting, and Sir Henry Browne 
Hayes ! 

The former had, thanks to Mr. Blundell's ceaseless 
efforts, been allowed to join her father at King's Town. 
What a joy it was to the latter to see her, you may 
imagine. And I don't mind confessing that it was a 
joy to me but perhaps you will have guessed that. 

As for the Knight of Vaucluse, he had, in his usual 
fashion, brushed the temporary authorities the wrong 
way, and was now doubly exiled. He was there for 
eight months, and departed when we did. But it was 


not so long before he was back again. I have a copy 
of a memorial he sent to Governor Macquarie. It 
refers to the latter occasion, and it is so amusingly char- 
acteristic of our good friend that I am going to insert 
part of it here. He states : 

"That in the month of May ( 1809) last your memorial- 
ist had occasion to come to Sydney to consult a physician 
on the state of his health, which was much impaired, 
and was walking peaceably in the town when he was sud- 
denly set upon by a party of armed men, who said they 
were constables. They proceeded to drag your memorial- 
ist to the common jail ; in committing which outrage on 
the person of your memorialist they tore your memorial- 
ist's clothes, wounded and bruised him, and at length, 
without any warrant or pretended authority bore off to 
prison your memorialist, whom they had thus over- 
powered. There your memorialist was that night con- 
fined, and early next morning, in like forcible illegal 
manner was sent off again to the Coal River (Newcastle), 
where, unfortunately for your memorialist, Lieutenant 
Lawson, 102nd Regiment, had got into the command. 
That on the fourteenth day of July, 1809, your memorial- 
ist was sent for by Lieutenant Lawson, and while your 
memorialist unconscious of having done any wrong 
or offended Lieutenant Lawson was proceeding to 
Government House there he was suddenly interrupted by 
Lieutenant Lawson, who vociferously called out to some 
of his people, and made use of the following words: 
'Seize the villian by the scruff of the neck and drag him 
to the guard house.' That your memorialist endeavoured 
by remonstrance to learn the cause of this fresh outrage, 
but was prevented by the constant vociferation of 
Lieutenant Lawson, who loudly called out that he would 
flay your memorialist and put him to work on the shell- 

On the present occasion, possibly because of some 
little influence which Mr. Nutting and myself may have 
had with him, the fiery Irishman managed to contain 
himself fairly well though I always dreaded an outburst 


whenever he met Mr. Keating, or even when he caught a 
glimpse of him. The sight of the dissolute Com- 
mandant's red coat was to Sir Henry what it might have 
been to a mad bull. 

Adelaide was prettier and sweeter in my eyes than 
ever. She was delighted to be with her father again, 
and brightened our lives by her happy presence. I felt, 
somehow, that she was a little happier for seeing me, 
though I hardly dared flatter myself to so great an ex- 
tent. Perhaps, reader, you have been through what I 
was going through then, and will remember how. at some 
moments, you were the happiest mortal on earth, and at 
others, the most wretched and miserable and, on the 
whole, what a fool you were. Perhaps you will recol- 
lect your own case. At anyrate, I do not apologise for 
mine. I was twenty-two, and she was nineteen and 
she was also Adelaide Nutting. That is all I have to 

And, one night, she and I saw the tragedy of the cliff. 
It was a beautiful, clear evening in May, the moon at 
the full, the sky cloudless, and the air still. We had 
left Sir Henry and Mr. Nutting over their pipes and 
arguments, and we had walked over towards the sea, 
coming to the edge of the cliffs just at the back of our 
cottage, and above the part of the beach that is almost 
a third of its whole length from the southern end. 

We stood there for a long time, gazing out over the 
glorious silver sheen that reflected itself from the surface 
of the placid ocean. Then, since it was such a fine 
night, and was yet very early, she proposed that we 
should walk a little further in the direction of Sydney. 
It was hardly eight o'clock. You may be sure that I 
was nothing loath to fall in with such a suggestion. 

By the jagged edge of the uplands we had rambled 
along slowly, talking those things that do get talked by 
people who are in the situation we both, I think, tacitly 
recognised which are to me yet too sacred to set down 
here and had gone about half a mile, when we came 
suddenly upon two people, a man and a woman. 


It was a beautiful clear evening in May. 


We were in a little hollow the undulation that held 
a tiny watercourse that only ran in rainy weather and 
they were on the crest of the next undulation. I don't 
know why we had not seen them before, unless it was 
because we were so absorbed in our own agreeable affairs. 
It was only because of the dreadful words that he made 
use of, that they attracted our attention. It was be- 
cause of them, too, that I seized Adelaide's arm, and 
drew her down on the grass out of sight. With that 
fierce threat, I could not leave the woman alone with the 
man. I had recognised his voice, and his figure was plain 
enough in the moonlight. It was the Commandant. 

"D n you, you trollop! I'll kill you for that!" 

The woman answered him. 

"Kill me then, John. Kill me. You've killed my 
soul. You made me kill my helpless bairn may God 
forgive you! You've killed a' that was guid in me, an' 
I wasna' a bad lass in that way until you made me 

bad. What am I now? A drunken . A common, 

drunken, sojer's mistress. An' 'tis you that made me 

That was all we heard. I never know what she had 
threatened to do. The whole thing was so mercilessly 
swift that I had no chance to interfere. 

He stood right at the edge of the cliff, and behind 
him was a sheer drop of at least one hundred feet. 
She stood opposite him, a yard away. 

I saw him raise his clenched first in the moonlight, 
as if to strike the cowering woman down. In a sort of 
paralysis of rage and hate, he seemed to hesitate. In 
that instant, she suddenly took one step forward, stretched 
out her open hand, and pushed him in the chest. He 
staggered back, trod on empty air, swayed with frantic 
arms clutching at the moonbeams and was gone in a 
second. One hoarse scream and then the rattle of 
stones and earth pouring down the face of the cliff, a 
dull thud and the woman screamed, and jumped as I 
darted towards her. 

I threw myself down on the edge of the cliff and tried 


to see them, but, ten feet down, it bulged a little, and I 
could not do so. I ran down into the dip, and Ade- 
laide clung to me, sobbing, and hiding her face in my 

I know I kissed her and that was our strange be- 
trothal. That was our mutual declaration of a love 
that has never waned, and that even the grave has not 
lessened for me. It was made above the bodies of that 
sinful man and that unhappy woman that lay on the 
rocks a hundred feet below us. Strange, that when our 
troth was plighted in such circumstances, so much hap- 
piness should have been our portion. 

We stayed there, clinging to one another for a few 
moments, until my wits came back, and I hurried my dear 
girl home, so that I might give the alarm, and seek help. 
Sir Henry and Mr. Nutting came, and we found some 
soldiers, and tore two shutters down from the windows 
of our little house, and went to seek what we knew we 
should find. We went along the beach, and over the 
flat rocks, until we came to them. 

He was quite dead. His neck was broken. She 
moaned a little when we lifted her, but before we had 
reached the top of the rough track that led from the 
beach to the cliff, she was dead, too. 

One of the soldiers and I heard after that it was the 
man she had lived with mumbled, as we put her body 
down for a brief rest on the top. 

"Poor Mary. 'Tis sorry I am for her. She was not 

so bad. But as for that , why he got what was 

coming to him !" 

And he spat on the ground, as he waved his hand con- 
temptuously towards the group that walked on with Mr. 
Keating's body. 

And that, as I have said above, was the strange manner 
of our betrothal. 

I do not think that there is very much in omens. 


In 'Fifty-Eight. 

And now, when I am coming to the beginning of my 
story, I must stop writing. I am essentially a person 
of respectable inclinations, and it seems a little hard 
that I should have to cut short my biography just when 
I have finished dealing with the disreputable period of 
my career. But a simple calculation will serve to 
show how impossible it would be for me to continue 
at the rate which I have been going. 

The foregoing veracious and spasmodic narrative 
covers a period of two years and five months, and some 
two hundred and odd pages of MSS. And this is the 
twentieth chapter Supposing I went on, and related 
to you all the adventures and vicissitudes of John and 
Adelaide Carnford, between May, 1808, and December, 
1858 do you think you would tackle the job of wading 
through those many volumes of small beer? It is a 
simple rule of three propositions. This unpretentious 
work runs into twenty chapters, over, say, two years. 
Therefore, fifty years would run into five hundred chap- 
ters, or twenty-five volumes. Do you suppose, my dear 
children and grandchildren, that all your unquestionable 
respect for the aged compiler of this magnum opus would 
induce you to read it all? Or, do you think that when 
he should have disappeared into the ground at Campbell's 
Hill, near West Maitland. your good wives and excellent 
husbands who, after all, are not so interested in your 
garrulous ancestor as you are yourselves would wish to 



continue to afford that bulky library house-room ? Well, 
I don't! 

So here endeth the lesson of John Carnford, and Ade- 
laide, his wife. And there is no particular moral to it. 
If I were inclined to point one, I should draw your atten- 
tion to the misfortunes of the late Admiral Bligh, and 
say "Don't swear at your subordinates." 

I asked Adelaide one day what she would have done 
since she insisted in demeaning her high estate, as 
daughter of George Mainwaring Nutting, Esquire, of the 
County of Bucks, and of Paddy's Flat, by marrying an 
Emancipist if Governor Bligh had not been so kind 
as to have granted him a conditional pardon. 

"My dear Jack," she replied, with her sweet smile and 
pretty little catch of a laugh "I should have used my in- 
fluence, and had you assigned to me. You know, Mrs. 
Macquarie and I are very good friends. She's a darling. 
That would have been simple." 

"Oh, would you," I said. "But you might have had 
occasion to flog me?" 

"You dear," she laughed merrily, "and it would have 
been so delightful to have handed you a little note to 
Mr. Mudie, requesting him, as a Justice of the Peace, to 
see that you received fifty lashes. Delightful !" Scream- 
ingly funny. Our neighbour Mudie, of Castle Forbes, 
was a great flogger. 

"Oh, don't, Jack," was the next thing she said. "You 
have rumpled all my hair. You great bear !" 

But in truth, Adelaide was a poor flogger. I was not 
much good myself, but I would occasionally bring an 
incorrigible criminal before the bench of magistrates, to 
be dealt with as they thought fit. She never would 
dreading the possible penalty even more than they did. 
When I was away from Ludgate Hill, superintending 
my other property on the Macintyre River, the discipline 
amongst the convict servants would go to pieces. But I 
always noticed, when I came back, some indefinable 
atmosphere of happiness about the place. They wor- 
shipped her, and I know of more than one life that was 


reclaimed by the sheer capacity she had of invoking the 
love of all with whom she came in contact. Not always, 

On one of my returns, I remember asking her how a 
certain Paddy-the-Goat had conducted himself. She 
replied, enthusiastically 

"Oh, Jack, dear, I am sure that poor man has been 
maligned. He has been an angel a positive angel. 
You know the poor fellow was transported for nothing" 
(they all were) "and has always been most terribly 
misunderstood. I am sure we are going to make a good 
man out of the poor fellow." 

A little investigation resulted in a discovery that Mr. 
Paddy-the-Goat had disposed of ten new scythes, a grind- 
stone, an anvil, and half a dozen picks. His tangible 
assets were two kegs of rum, and one empty one. But, 
even then, Adelaide was in tears when the infernal rogue 
departed for Maitland Gaol. I regret to say that he 
was eventually hanged for bushranging ; because I always 
had an idea that my dear wife held me partly responsible 
for this. 

But I cannot bear yet to write very much of that dear 
woman. If for some of you who are to come, and 
who did not know that saint of God I copy this short 
paragraph from The Maitland Mercury, of July the 3rd, 
1855. I know that you will forgive an old man with 
an aching heart, whose comfort is that he believes that he 
will be with her again ere many years are gone : 

"We regret to announce the death on Sunday last of 
Mrs. Adelaide Carnford, wife of John Carnford, Esq., 
M.L.A., of Ludgate Hill Station, near Singleton. The 
deceased lady was universally respected. She was the 
only daughter of the late George Mainwaring Nutting, 
Esq., of Mulgoa, and with her respected husband, who 
now represents it in Parliament, was one of the pioneers 
of the district in which she lived for so 
many years. Of a kindly, charitable and gener- 
ous disposition, Mrs. Carnford endeared herself 
to all with whom she came in contact, and the large 


gathering of mourners at Campbell's Hill Cemetery, 
where she was buried on Wednesday, was eloquent testi- 
mony to the esteem in which she was held. Mrs. Carn- 
ford leaves a family of two sons and three daughters to 
mourn her loss. The name of her eldest son, Colonel 
John Carnford, of the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots 
Greys), who so distinguished himself in the Crimea as 
to be awarded Her Majesty's new military decoration 
of the Victoria Cross, is fresh in the public memory. 
Her second son, Mr. George Nutting Carnford, is well 
known in this district, and in that of the Liverpool Plains, 
where he manages his father's properties. Lady Elstern- 
wick, wife of Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Elsternwick, 
R.N., who formerly held a command on the Australian 
station as Captain of H.M.S. Argonaut, is her eldest 
daughter. Another is Mrs. Brian MacMahon, widow of 
the late Mr. MacMahon, of Messrs. Blundell & Mac- 
Mahon, the well known wool-brokers and shipping agents 
of Sydney and Newcastle. The youngest daughter, 
Miss Hester Carnford, is unmarried, and resides with her 
father at Ludgate Hill. The deceased lady left eleven 
grandchildren, who may well be considered fortunate in 
having so virtuous, so benevolent, and so universally 
beloved a grandparent upon whom to model the pattern 
of their future careers. The district has sustained a 
severe loss in the person of Mrs. Carnford, who, with 
her husband, was one of the earliest settlers. Our sin- 
cere sympathies are extended to the bereaved family of 
this estimable lady." 

After all, that is the whole story of my dear one a 
good woman, a good wife, and a good mother. 

The first time I revisited my native country to see the 
last of my dear mother, whom I never could persuade to 
leave Harrow Weald was in the year 1827. One day, 
in the autumn of that year, whilst wandering about Lon- 
don, I found myself at the south side of the river, and 
close to Lambeth Palace. I was just outside Lambeth 
Parish Church. So, as I was not pressed for time, 
and only exploring the big city for my own amusement 


and instruction, I walked into the churchyard with an 
idea of taking a look over the church. Just inside the 
iron gates I encountered a great square tomb, of impos- 
ing dimensions. Walking round it, to inform myself as 
to the importance of the personage who was buried there, 
I read 



The Memory of 

Vice-Admiral William Bligh, 

Admiral of the Blue. 

&c., &c., &c. 

and a lengthy eulogy, of such a character that it could 
not possibly have been composed by my late friend, Mr. 
John Macarthur. 

So here was where my old master lay! How I went 
back over the years! How I remembered everything 
about that choleric man his favorite oaths, above all 
else. He had died in 1817, yet it only seemed yesterday 
since he gave me the letter for Colonel Johnston, at three 
o'clock on that memorable Anniversary Day in Sydney. 
And I had never seen him since ! 

Well, I liked Bligh. I liked him, and respected him. 
With all his faults, he was a Man and you cannot say 
more of any male human being than that. And he was 
a great seaman. Lord Nelson and Captain Cook have 
testified to that. As for his qualities as a Governor 
well, perhaps I had better refer you to the private jour- 
nals of Colonel George Johnston. Do you think so? 

His monument reminds me of another churchyard, far 
away from dingy Lambeth, where there is also a tomb- 
stone of great size, that reposes above the bones of 
Andrew Thompson. It is in St. Matthew's at Windsor. 
on the Hawkesbury. The young Scot died in 1810, and 
the memorial stone that marks his resting: place is fear- 
some with his virtues. They are recorded in the Mac- 
quarie manner, and it is also recorded that the good 


Governor paid for the stone, and, very naively, that 
Andrew Thompson left him a fourth of his fortune. 

During that visit to England, I journeyed to Cork, 
and did myself the honour of calling upon my friend. 
Sir Henry Browne Hayes. I found him an old man, 
and very glad to see me. He had received a pardon in 
1812, and had gone home at once. He was very keen 
on talking of the colony, and especially of Vaucluse. He 
never tired of railing against the "villains" who had 
persecuted him in Sydney. Of all of them, I think, he 
most disliked my friend, Mr. William Lawson. 

So I come to an end. I am writing this in the house 
of my old and well beloved friend, Dr. Peter Colling- 
wood, who is still alive and well, and says he is only 
fifty. But he is fifteen years older than I, and I blush- 
ingly confess to seventy-two. He has long retired from 
the fine practice he built up in Sydney after he left the 

Through the open window I look out from the North 
Shore, across that beautiful harbour, and dream many 
things. Where is the little town that I knew first of 
all? W T here is Governor Bligh's house? Where is 
old Sydney? Gone, gone, gone and yet it is the same 
beautiful place that could never be anything but lovely, 
even in its days of misery and sorrow. If you love 
Sydney as I have always loved it, and this splendid Aus- 
<ralia of ours well, neither city nor continent can com- 
nlain of the lack of a fervent and whole-hearted love. 
It is a great country, and someday the people will be 

Well, good-bye good-bye. 



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