August 1790

August 3. The Lieut.Governor assembled the Council for the purpose of determining on the best plan in our distress'd situation to secure to ourselves the means of subsistence until we may be releived by the arrival of some Ship, the Birds now became scarce & the young being nearly ready to fly are about to leave the Island: a Reduction of Provisions to 2lb of Flour & 1 pint of Rice pr Week was judged necessary to take place on Saturday the 7th following; It having been as Practice for some people to abscond from their Work & take to the woods living by plunder & the section of the Articles of War relating to Martial Law being established not being affecting the lives of such People without their having robb'd or plunder'd being fully proved, it became absolutely necessary from the situation we were reduced to, that a Law should be established deeming such as quitted their Work & were absent one week to be Out Lawed & to be put to Death if met with, or if brought in to be punished with Death on a proof of their having been absent one week.

The 4th: The appearance of a Ship to the Et.ward & working view facsimile

up towards the Island, filled every Soul with a most Heart felt Pleasure & extravagant Joy, some crying some laughing, Running about like People without Reason, Parties were sent to Balls Bay & Cascade Bay not doubting but b a boat would land there, but after standing close in with Cascade Bay about 4 O'clock in the afternoon She bore away & made sail to the No.ward, the Gloom with which the Island was now overspread our feelings on this disappointment cannot be expressed by words, such a sudden change almost threw every body into a state of despondency, the only Idea that could be suggested to rouse & give us hopes was that there were Ships at Port Jackson & that this Ship might have been order'd to shew herself off the Island, but the Commander of her not having any intercourse with us when he could so easily have done it & without loss of time is I think unpardonable & not worthy the character of a Man but rather that of a Brute: This disappointment had a very bad effect on the Working People who now consider'd themselves as without a hope of releif & the Birds being scarce impressed the Idea of distress more fully on their mind: The Idea of there having been arrivals at Port Jackson was encouraged by all the Officers, yet it had but little effect on the lower class.

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Saturday.7th. At daylight a sail being seen to the Southward again fill'd us with a sudden joy & hopes of being speedily releived from the gloomy prospects now before us, this was the day appointed for reading the Proclamation beforementioned respecting a new Law & & further reductions of Provisions, but it was deferr'd, a Ship being in sight although at too great a distance for a Boat to reach her:

Sunday.8th. At 3PM A Boat was sent out to the Ship in the Offing the Boat was scarce without the Reef when they saw another Ship coming close round the Island & to which they went found her to be the Surprise Transport form Port Jackson with Convicts & Provisions for this Island, that the Ship in the Offing was the Justinian also with Provisions & that the Ship that passed was the Lady Juliana which Ship had been clear'd at Port Jackson & dispatched on her Voyage to China; The Justinian & Surprise being also charter'd for China, we are yet without an opportunity of being removed form Norfolk Island: Besides these Ships, the Neptune & Scarborough had arrived at Port Jackson & altho' all these arrivals were in the beginning of June and in the course of the same month it was not judged necessary to send releif to the unfortunate on Norfolk Island 'till the 27th July & 1st August, on which days the Justinian & Surprise left Port Jackson, The reason for their having been so long detained seems view facsimile

only to be known to our very Humane Governor , who no doubt must have felt much for the distress'd situation of the five hundred Inhabitants on Norfolk Island: If we even allow him to possess only those feeling which a reasonable being would have for a fellow creature, it is unaccountable what could have kept him from releiving us sooner. These Transports besides Provisions, Stores & Convicts brought out part of the Forest Rangers an independt. Corps raised for the Protection of the Colony in New South Wales: We are informed that the Gorgon was very soon expected at Port Jackson with the new Lieut.Governor & the remainder of the Forest Rangers; Provisions Stores &c. The Marines are to be releiv'd by this Corps & we are informed by the Governor that the Officers & Company of the Sirius are also to return to England in the Gorgon. The Guardian a new 44 Gun Ship, Commanded by Lieut.Riou which sailed from England in Sepr. 89, with Provisions & Stores & very amply supplied with every necessary for the Settlement, had taken a great quantity of Cattle & other articles on board at the Cape of Good Hope & proceeding on her voyage, in Latd. 44° So. & Longde. 44° Et. unfortunately run upon a peice of drift Ice from an Ice Island which she struck on her bow, the Ice overset & as she passed struck her abaft carrying away the Rudder & part of the stern post, In this situation, which view facsimile

was thought impossible for her to keep above water long, she was deserted by part of the Officers & Crew who having permission took to the Boats, The Long boat in which was the Master, was taken up by a French Ship; which Ship the Justinian spoke with, the account they gave of the Guardian was that she had founder'd; This circumstance induced the Master of the Justinian to push for New South Wales with touching at the Cape of Good Hope supposing the Colony was much distress'd, By Letters recd. from Lieut.Riou we find that the Guardian was brought into the Cape & after laying some time was hauled on shore in Table Bay; We also hear that the Supply sailed from Port Jackson the 17th of April for Batavia, at which place a Ship was to be hired to take in Provisions for the releif of the Settlement, that she was order'd to call at Norfolk Island but not to lose more than 5 days in doing it; We conclude that the strong Easterly Winds which at that time prevailed, prevented Lieut.Ball from making the Island. The Governor has by these Ships order'd Spars for Masts to be got ready against the arrival of the Gorgon, which are intended to be taken in her to England for trial at the Kings Dock Yards. The 1st Lieut. of the Sirius was sent on board on of these Ships & a Mid. On board the other to assist them with the knowledge our own misfortunes had given us of the place: The 17th. A Cutter belonging to the Sirius with Provisions & Convicts in was thrown view facsimile

upon the Reef by a sudden Surf, the Boat instantly went to peices, 2 Seamen, 1 Convict Man, 3 Women & 1 Child were drown'd; Clearing these Ships was render'd very tedious by the Surf until the 22nd. When the weather settled Modt. & but little Surf on the 27th they were both clear'd, the same day Martial Law was discontinued, the cause for which it was judged necessary being done away by the Supply of Provisions landed from the two Ships, whole allowance was now issued

Monday. 30th. P.M. The Surprise sailed for China & at 11 AM the Justinian. The Island being now releiv'd & at full allowance of Provisions, every Publick work went on in the usual way according to the directions given by Major Ross who had a detached Party about 2 Miles to the Wt.ward of Sydney Bay building Huts &c. for the reception of People who were to be sent there to Cultivate that part of the Island. A Person who had been sent for the purpose of Manufacturing the Flax was settled at Cascade Bay at which part of the Island there was little else done altho' by far the most elligible part for settling The Hills surrounding the Valley first Cultivated by Mr. King employed the other labouring People.