previous
next

May 1789

                                                               
Week Days  Mo Days  Winds  Landing & Surf  Observation &c  Transactions on Norfolk Island state of Wr &c 
Friday  1st  NW.  Do  Dark Gloomy Weather, in the Evening had very heavy Showers of Rain, The People all employed as before 1 Man Lame 
Saturday  2nd  Varble  Very good Landing  On ye 7th I observed all the Wheat which had a very fine appearce was blighted in many places particularly where thinnest sown on looking into it found it was entirely covered by a small caterpillar which had eaten off ye stems that occasioned ye blades dying, it is rather alarming; as I did hope by the Wheat being sown at this time of ye Year that nothing would have infested it.  Little Wind & dark Cloudy Weather with heavy Showers of Rain— People working for themselves—1 Man Lame. & 1 Sick 
Sunday  3rd  W.S.W.  Indifferent Landing.  Moderate Breezes & Cloudy Weather at 10 AM Performed divine Service 2 Convicts Lame & one Sick. 
Monday  4th  WNW  Bad Landing  Do Wr 3 Gangs Clearing away Ground, one Gang Rolling Wheat, one Gang Sawing making & Drawing Shingles, 2 Sawpits, sawing Weather boarding for ye Store house 4 Men assisting the Midshipman & Surgeon in clearing away &c. 2 Men & all the Women washing Flax. 2 Convts Lame 
Tuesday  5th  West  Indifferent Landing.  Do Wr during ye night & till 8 in the Morng had very heavy rain, People all empd as Yesterday—1 Man Lame 
Wednesday  6th  North  Bad Landing.  At 8 P.M. ye Wind shifted to W.S.W. had Fresh Gales & Cloudy Weather with rain all the Day. People all employed as before—2 Convicts Sick & one Lame 
Thursday  7th  WSW.  Do  Very heavy Gales of Wind & dark Cloudy Weather with almost Continual Heavy Rain 2 Convicts Lame & 3 Sick— 
Friday  8th  SW  Do  Very Strong Gales of Wind & dark Cloudy Wr with heavy rain People all employed as before. 1 Convict Lame— 
Saturday  9th  South  A very heavy Surf  The immense quantity of Catterpillers that have settled on the Wheat is surprizing & hardly to be credited as they may be gathered off in handsfull. I am much afraid that the total destruction of the Wheat will follow, which will be an afflicting Circumce as I have only eight Bushell of seed reserved on the 9 I sent every person out to cut off the tops of 3 Acres which are the worst & hoping that their treading will kill some of them but I much the fear that the evil will not be removed. It is extraordy that nothing is hurt or touched in the Garden which lies between two patches of Wheat one of 3 Acres & ye other of 4 which is covered.  The Gale is Still very violent, accompanied with heavy Squalls of Rain. Sent all the Convicts into the Vale to Cut off the tips of the Wheat. 2 Convicts Lame. punished Elizh Pipkin Convict with 3 dozen for infamous beh[aviour] 
Sunday  10th  SE  Do  Strong Gales at times very Violent. at 11 AM Performed Divine Service. 
Monday  11  Little wind & Variable  Surf Increasg  Sent all the Women with Straw to beat the Ground where one acre of Wheat is quite eat close to the earth. An astonishing number were killed but in two hours after the Caterpillars were as numerous as ever. reced Fish enough to serve to ye People in lieu of 1 lb of beef—  Moderate Breezes & pleasant Weather a Frost in the Morning. at daylight Punished Wm Dring Convict with 3 dozen Lashes for absenting himself from the Settlement without Leave. Assembled Every person belonging to Settlement Marines & Free people under arms & Examined Witnesses on Oath against Thos Watson Convict & a Prisoner for stealing a Shirt from James Williams Private Marine. 4 Gangs Clearing away ground in Arthurs Vale. one Gang making & Drawing Shingles Sawyers at Taskwork sawing boards for ye Storehouse & Carpenters building it, four Men assisting Do in putting [shoars?] under it &c, The [blades of ye] Wheat is entirely eat off by the blight or Caterpillars, which Cover the whole [surface of ye] ground. 
Tuesday  12th  Varible in the NW  good Landing  I find this destructive Caterpillar is hatched from the Eggs of a Moth one species of which is about the size of a small Fly & the other is as large as a bee They Fly in a Cloud about sunsett & then deposit their Eggs which in the Morning covers the surface of the Ground on the [*]  Light winds & Variable with some heavy showers of Rain & dark Cloudy Weather. People all employed as before. 6 Men employed beating ye ground where the Wheat is eat away, with Turf beaters, to endeavor & kill ye Caterpillar. Reced Fish enough to serve half the people. 
Wednesy  13th  Varble S.W.  Do A great Surf:  The Catterpillars are beginning in the upper three Acres, the other four acres being quite destroyed—they are also got into the garden  Moderate Gales & Cloudy Weather People all employed as before. Reced Fish enough to serve all hands In the Evening & night, had Strong Gales with some Rain. 
Thursday  14th  From South to S.W.  Do  Very Strong Gales of Wind & Cloudy Weather all ye Tasks finished except one which began in ye middle of ye Month The Squalls heavy & very violent during ye Night— 
Friday  15  SE  Do  Moderate & Cloudy Weather. All ye Tasks finished Ground now Clear in All belonging to the Crown 13 Acres. 1 Man ss & 2 Lame. 
Saturday  16th  East  Good Landing  Do Wr People all employed working on their Gardens &c Sent ye Coble out to Fish at noon she returned with sufficient to serve most part of the People. 
Sunday  17th  NE  Do  Do Wr Performed Divine Service 
Monday  18th  NNE  good Landing  I do not think that beating the Wheat in order to kill the Caterpillar has answered any good end as in an hours time, they are as thick as ever. One only thing remains which is collecting all the Urine & mixing it with ashes (some who pretend to be farmers advise boiling it) & then Sprinkle or wash the Wheat & Vegitables with it but this, will take a long time to collect sufficient Urine for one Acre of ground however I have ordered & shall see the order enforced, that every person urines in tubs which are placed for that purpose, in the Camp & where the people work. I have ordered two men to collect it & boil it otherwise preparing it for laying on the Ground.  Light Winds & Cloudy Weather—6 Men employed Cutting a Road from hence to Cascade Bay. 12 Men beating down ye upper 3 Acres of Wheat (that is not quite destroyed) with Turf beaters, in order to destroy the Catterpillar if possible. 4 Clearing away Ground for putting the Vines &c in, that are expected here Sawyers & Carpenters employed about ye Store house & Blacksmiths Cutting & Splitting Wood for Charcoal. 1 Man Sick & 2 Lame. 1 Gang Splitting & drawing Shingles for covering the Store house. 
Tuesday  19th  North  Do  Fresh breezes & Cloudy People all employed as Yesterday 3 Men ss & one Lame. Reced fish enough to serve most of the people. 
Wednesday  20th  NNW  Do  Very Strong Gales & heavy rain during the whole day which prevented Working. 3 Men Sick & one Lame. 
Thursday  21st  Do SW  very good Landing a High Surf.  In the Morng light breezes & pleasant Weather. sent ye Coble out to fish. at 10 Came on a very heavy Squall of Wind & Rain which brought the Wind Round to SW. when it blew a heavy Gale The Coble being to Leeward of the Island & not being able to pull up & the landing being dangerous, made ye Sigl for her to go to Ball Bay where she was hauled up. The People all employed as before except 6 Men Sent to Ball Bay to haul up ye Coble 3 Men ss & 1 Lame. 
Friday  22nd  S.W.  A great Surf  The Urine & ashes have been tryed but without any Good effect whatever & the Caterpillears are times ten more numerous than ever, & grow very large some of them being an inch & half long. The Whole of the Corn is eat off Close to ye mold & I fear is quite destroyed—  Very heavy Gales of Wind & Squalls of Rain The Road to the Landing place & the Cascade, at Cascade Bay is finished. This being a broken Week People empd Variously 3 ss & 1 Lame 
Saturday  23rd  Do  Do  The Gale very violent & Squalls of Wind with Rain—People employed Working for themselves—1 Man ss & 3 Lame. The air is very raw & Cold— 
Sunday  24th  SW to South  Do  Do Wr with very heavy Squalls in the night at 10 AM performed Divine Service—1 ss & 3 Lame. Thos Jones who is become a Settler this day took possesion of a Lot of Ground near the Great Cascade— 
Monday  25th  Do  Do  The Gale is still very Violent. One Gang empd removing some of the Marines houses in order to create a Wooden one where they stood. the rest of the Convicts employed mending the road to the Plantation in Arthurs Vale. 1 ss & 3 Lame. 
Tuesday  26th  Varble WSW SSW  Do  had some very heavy Squalls of Wind & rain 3 Gangs Empd at Task Work in clearing away Cutting down & getting the Timber off 3 Acres of the Hill. The Carpenters finished the Store house & the 4th Gang finished their Task they have a week to Spare. 3 Men Lame & 2 Sick. 1 Blind. 
Wednesday  27th  Variable SE  Bad Landing  As the Cockswain of the Coble has been obliged to under-goe a Surgical operation the boat cannot be launched from Ball-Bay before his recovery.  Strong Gales & heavy Squalls of Wind & Rain, People all employed as before. Carpenters Employed putting some additional Shores under the Store house—3 Lame 2 Sick & one Blind— 
Thursday  28th  East.  good Landing.  As I perceive little or no alteration in the Caterpillars only that they grow much larger, it is my intention not to sow the remaining 3 bushell of Wheat Seed, untill ye latter end of June; As it may be, that these distructive Vermin may be gone & if they they remain all the Year, It will be a terrible Misfortune—note I much fear totally put a Stop to the raising of Wheat or Barley. I shall sew one acre in the Vale with Barley & Wheat drilling it in next Week—  Moderate Gales with a few Showers of Rain People all Employed as before 3 Men ss 2 Lame 1 Blind— 
Friday  29th  Do  Do  Do & pleasant Weather. Sowed My Town Garden which contains [*] Rods of Ground with 3 Pints of Wheat which I drilled in as recommended in Tullsnote horse hoeing husbandry. I believe much less Seed would have ansd ye purpose—Shifted all the Provisions & most of the Stores into the Store house I find the Quantity of Flour now in Store will last eight Months, supposing all the Cask to be good, 3 Men Lame & 2 Sick— 
Saturday  30th  NE  good Landing  Fresh Gales & dark Cloudy Weather people working in their Gardens &c. Sent Some Men round to Ball Bay to bring the Coble round. hauled Do up here 3 Lame & 1 Sick— 
Sunday  31st  NE North SW  No Surf—  Very Strong Gales of Wind & dark Cloudy Wr with heavy rain during the whole day, till 4 PM when the Wind Shifted to SW 2 Lame 1 sick— 

previous
next