Image Map

Journal to and from Van Diemen's
Land to Sydney in N.S.Wales

Monday 4th. Novr. 1811.
At 6 a.m. Left Government House at Sydney accompanied by Mrs. Macquarie, Capt. Antill, Major of Brigade, Lieut. Maclaine, Aid de Camp, and Mr. James Meehan, Acting Surveyor Genl. and proceeded in the Government Barge Elizabeth to embark on board His Majesty's Colonial Brig Lady Nelson commanded by Mr. Bryan Overand; Lieut. Governor O'Connell and several other friends accompanying us from Government House to the wharf, where we took leave of all of them, excepting Secry. Campbell and Dr. Redfern, who accompanied us on board the Nelson -- then lying at Anchor near the South Head, about six miles down the Harbour. ---We reached and got on board the Nelson at 7 o'clock and found our accommodation clean, neat, and comfortable; all which, as well as the laying in Provisions and everything necessary for the Voyage, was arranged and directed by Mrs. Macquarie, and who deserves great praise for the taste and Judgment she has evinced on this occasion.---

The Wind and Tide being both against our turning out of Port Jackson to Sea clear of the Heads, we were obliged to remain at Anchor till half past Ten till the Tide of Ebb commenced, when we weighed anchor and began Turning out of the Heads, which it required a great many Tacks to accomplish. ---At Half past 11 o'clock, some time after we had Breakfasted, Secry. Campbell and Dr. Redfern took their leave of us, as did Mr. Nichols the Prinl. Supdt. of Convicts, who had also attended us from Sydney in his own Boat on board the Lady Nelson.---

By one o'clock we had completely cleared the Heads and got out to Sea, steering our Course about North East, so as to get a good offing before dark; --the wind being about North by East -- and blowing a fine fresh Breeze -- but with a considerable swell and Head Sea, which occasioned much motion -- and made Mrs. M. and all of us very Sea-Sick. ---We sat down to Dinner at 5 p.m. -- but none of us were much disposed to eat.---

The Wind continued fair for us till Sunsett [sic], when it came round more to the Eastward. ---It blew pretty fresh all night, with a great swell and Head Sea, which made the Vessel Roll and Pitch very much, and made us all very Sick.

Tuesday 5th. Novr. 1811.
At 7 o'clock this morning we were nearly abreast of Jarvis's Bay, about 80 miles to the Southward of Port Jackson; and the Wind being at this time blowing directly against us -- from the Southward -- we determined to put in to Jarvis's Bay, and there remain at anchor for a change of Wind. ---We accordingly made directly in for the Land, and anchored in Jarvis's Bay at 1 p.m. under the Lee of Bowen Island, in six fathom water, and most excellent safe anchorage -- within a mile or three quarters of a mile of the western shore of Bowen Island. ---This is a noble Capacious Bay, not less than Fifteen miles deep from the Entrance to its Head, and about 12 miles across from the Northern to the Southern Shore of it in the Broadest part. The Entrance to it is perfectly safe and is formed on the North by a very high Rocky Cliff or Head Land (resembling the North Head of Port Jackson) and Bowen Island on the South -- the Channel between being nearly two miles across -- and very deep water close to either Shore. ---Bowen Island is separated from the Southern shore by a very narrow channel or Strait of not more than a quarter of a mile Broad -- with a reef of Rocks all the way across and over which a heavy surf breaks constantly, so as to prevent even small Boats passing through this Channel with any safety. ---Bowen Island is about three quarters of a mile long from North to South, rises to a considerable height towards the Center, is verdant, and covered with Honey-Suckle and other smaller Trees and Shrubs. ---There is also a small Lagoon of very good fresh water on the west side of it very near the Beach; and upon the whole it may be called a very pretty Island. ---But tho' there is tolerable good verdure, the Soil is sandy and bad.

As we were all very Sea Sick during the morning, we did not breakfast until after we had anchored in Jarvis's Bay at a late Hour in the Day. ---Between 3 and 4 o'clock we went on shore on Bowen Island, and walked on it for some time. ---From the Highest part of it we had a fine extensive view of the Sea on one hand and of the Bay on the other -- and of the distant Mountains inland. ---The Pigeon House an immense High Prominent Hill to the Southward, and Hat-Hill to the Northward of Jarvis's Bay, we could see very distinctly. ---After remaining for about an hour on Bowen Island, we crossed to the South shore of the Main Land in Jarvis's Bay, and walked there for another Hour, along the Sea Shore, Picking a few Shells and Pebles [sic] as we went.

Here we saw nothing like runs or Springs of Fresh Water, altho' we conclude there must be some further inland, as a great number of Natives inhabit this part of the Bay -- having seen many of them at a distance in the course of the day. ---The first we saw were three men on Bowen Island as we were passing in through the Entrance into the Bay; they then Holloed to us, and afterwards, when anchored, came off to us in their Canoes with Fish, which they willingly bartered for Biscuit and Tobacco. ---They were very stout well-made good-looking men, and seemed perfectly at their ease and void of fear. ---We remained on shore till sunset and then returned to the Vessel, dining immediately after coming on board. ---Mr. Overand and the Sailors caught a number of young Sharks during the Day, this Bay abounding in them and a great variety of good Fish. ---The Soil on the main land, as far as we walked along shore, is sandy and barren, but the woods are very close and thick a little way from the Beach.

Wednesday 6th. Novr. 1811.
The wind being still contrary this morning, Mr. Overand set out in his Boat at 7 o'clock to Survey the Bay and take the Soundings of it, with the Bearings & Distances of its Entrance and Shores. ---We Breakfasted at 9 o'clock, and amused ourselves during the forenoon in reading and examining the Charts & Maps of the Coast of N.S. Wales, and of Van Diemen's Land; and more particularly those of the Settlements of the Derwent and Port Dalrymple on that island. ---Several Natives came off to us in their Canoes, and remained along side for some time, speaking to us in their gibberish, and trying to repeat our names and other English words. ---One of them came on board and got himself shaved. ---Mr. Overand returned on board at 2 p.m. and delivered me a Sketch of his Survey of the Bay very well executed. ---He brought on board several very fine looking Fish, very much resembling Salmon -- or white Salmon Trout, and like which they eat.---

At 4 o'clock we sat down to Dinner. At 1/2 past 5 p.m. we went to take a walk on shore at the Head of the Bay on the South Shore. ---Mrs. M. and myself went to see two Native Huts close to the Beach, constructed in a very superior manner to any we had seen before in the Colony, being larger and better secured from the effects of the weather. ---We expected to have seen a great number of the Natives here, but were disappointed, not one having appeared during this Excursion. We went a little way into the Forest to view the different sorts of Trees and the Soil. ---There are no great variety of the Former, which principally consist of the white and Blue Gums and Honey-Suckle, but which are generally stunted and grow to no great Size. ---The Soil is very indifferent, being generally Sandy with a very small mixture of Earth. ---Near the spot where we landed from the Boat, we fell in with a very pretty little Stream of good fresh water, which falls into the Bay here, and would afford an equal Supply as the Stream passing, through the Town of Sydney.

The Land along the Bay is low for about a mile backward from the Beach, and then begins to rise into lofty Hills, the whole being thickly covered with wood. ---

After perambulating for about two hours along the Beach, and in the adjoining woods, and rowing along the Shores of this fine Bay, we returned on board the Lady Nelson at 1/2 past 7 o'clock.

Thursday 7th. Novr. 1811.
At 5 o'clock this morning, the Wind being fair, we weighed anchor from Jarvis's Bay and stood out to Sea with a very light Breeze at N.East; but the wind soon died away entirely after we had got clear of the Heads of the Bay, and we remained becalmed till 10 o'clock; when the Sea Breeze set in, and enabled us to steer our course, S.S. West, along shore, being distant from it about 12 miles at Noon, when we were abreast of the Pigeon House, an immense Conical Peak a considerable distance inland. ---At Noon the Breeze freshened up a little, and we were going 3 1/2 Knots. At 10 p.m. we were abreast of Mount Dromedary, with a fine smart fair Breeze of Wind, and going at the rate of 6 1/2 Knots an hour.

Friday 8th. Novr. 1811.
At Sunrise we were abreast of Twofold Bay, and at Noon we were abreast of Cape Howe in Latd. 37°30', forming the North Head-Land of the Entrance into Bass's Straits. ---The Wind continues perfectly fair, and we are going 6 1/2 Knots, with very little motion.

Saturday 9th. Novr. 1811.
We have had a very good run all Night and a smart Breeze till 8 o'clock this morning when the Wind died away and a Calm ensued.

No Land in Sight but we hope to see Cape Barren, in the Straits, as soon as the Sea Breeze sets in, as we have run 120 miles since 12 o'clock yesterday by our reckoning.---

The Calm continued till about 3 o'clock this afternoon, when a fresh Breeze at S.West sprang up and continued to freshen till Sunset, at which time it came on to blow a very smart Gale of Wind, with a high Sea running. ---The Gale increased considerably between 8 and 9 o'clock and continued to blow most violently during the whole Night, and obliged us to ly-too [sic], not being able to carry any Sail, the vessel having great motion and labouring excessively.---

Sunday 10th. Novr.
The Gale continued all this day & Night to blow as violent as ever, with a tremendous high Sea, but the Vessel being tight and sound, well found and well-manned, she stands out the Gale delightfully and is certainly the best and safest Sea-Boat I ever sailed in. Mr. Overand the Commander and his Crew are extremely attentive and I have every reason to be highly pleased with their conduct.

Monday 11th. Novr.
We have passed two most uncomfortable Days and Nights -- and the Gale still continues to rage with unabated violence --; the Sea also continues as high as ever, very short and cross, which occasions the Vessel to labour excessively; she however makes good weather of it, is quite dry, and never ships any Seas or Water. ---We are unable to have any regular Cooking and are obliged to eat on the Cabin Floor on very common fare.---

Tuesday 12th. Novr. 1811.
It blew a perfect Storm all last Night, and was by far the most violent we have experienced since the commencement of the Gale; it blowing much stronger and with a very tremendous high Sea. ---Our tight little Bark however Swam on the top of those terrific Billows like a Feather and surmounted all the dangers that threatened her. ---There were several severe hail showers fell in the course of last Night and this forenoon, and the Weather is extremely cold, altho' this is the Summer Season.---

At Noon this Day it was a complete Storm, nor was there the least appearance of the Gale abating; so that we are still obliged to continue lying-too,[sic] there being an immense Sea.

At 3 p.m. the Sky cleared up and it began to moderate a little. ---At 4 p.m. the Sea was considerably fallen and by 5 p.m. the Gale had abated very much indeed; and at 6 p.m. the weather was so moderate that we were able once more to carry Sail on our little tight Bark -- steering westerly so as to close in again with the Land, from which we had drifted very much whilst laying too [sic] for the last three days.

Wednesday 13th. Novr.---
We have had a fine moderate Night and the Gale -- thank God! is entirely over without our sustaining any accident whatever.---

My poor dear Elizabeth has suffered a great deal from Sea Sickness during the Storm and from the violent motion of the Vessel; -- but she makes a most excellent brave Sailor, never expressing the least fear or apprehension of danger during the whole Storm; which was enough to alarm most Landsmen in so very small a Vessel; Mr. Overand himself confessing it to be one of the worst and most violent Gales he ever experienced. ---Our Little Party assembled sociably to a very comfortable Breakfast in our own little snug Cabin this morning for the first time these four days past -- all in good health.

Wednesday 13th. Novr. 1811
At Noon our Latitude by Observation was 408' South; our Course W.S.West, the Wind being nearly West. ---We suppose ourselves to be at least 100 miles to the Eastward of Cape Barren in the mouth of Bass's Straits -- being the nearest Land to us at present.---

At 5 p.m. The Wind shifted round to the West N.West, blowing a very fine fresh Breeze, and which enabled us to steer our Course South West by South, going at the rate of 6 Knots an hour. By 10 p.m. The Breeze freshened considerably and enabled us to steer our Course for Cape Pillar quite free -- going 8 Knots an hour.---

Thursday 14th. Novr.---
We have had a very fine run all last Night, and at 8 this morning we had ran down 120 miles of our Voyage since yesterday Noon.

At Noon this day we were in Latd. 41 57' by Observation -- and abreast of St. Patricks Head on Van Diemen's Land; but the weather being at this time very dark and hazey, [sic] no Land can be seen, tho' we must be pretty near it.

At 10 minutes past 1 o'clock Land was clearly seen from the Deck -- distant about 12 Leagues or 36 miles, and supposed to be St. Patrick's Head on Van Diemen's Land. --At the same time Scouten's Islands were seen almost right ahead, St. Patrick's Head having been seen off the Beam. ---We are now steering for Oyster Island (to the Southward of Scouten's Islands) in sight from the Main Top and distant about 50 miles from us.---

At 5 p.m.The wind unfortunately suddenly veered round to the westward, blowing a smart gale, which obliged us to stand off again from the Land -- and shortly afterwards to ly-too [sic] during the remainder of the Night, a very high Sea rising with the Gale, which made the Vessel labour very much, and consequently rendered the Night uncomfortable for all of us.---

Friday 15th. Novr. 1811.
The Gale continues unabated this morning blowing hard at South West -- with a heavy Sea, and still lying-too.[sic] ---At Noon we were in Latd. 42. 23' South, by observation -- but no Land in Sight. ---At 7 p.m. The Gale began to abate and the wind shifted to the North, which enabled [us] to make sail and steer our course S.West. The wind was irregular during the Night and frequently bordering on a Calm.---

Saturday 16th. Novr.
The Wind was still fair this morning, and enabled us to steer directly West by South -- in for the Land -- which we reckon not to be more than 30 or 40 miles from us at 8 this morning. ---At Noon it became very cloudy and hazey and prevented our having a good observation -- but by the one taken we were in Latd. 43. ---No Land was to be seen -- which induce to believe that a current has driven us farther to the Eastward than we imagined. ---At one o'clock p.m. it came on a heavy Rain & Calm.

At 4 p.m. A light Breeze at S.East sprung up and the Haze clearing a little about half an Hour afterwards, we got sight of Cape Pillar, distant 7 or 8 miles on our Larboard Bow. ---This Head Land we hoped and expected to double in about an hour; but just as we got within four mile of the Cape, the Wind shifted suddenly round to the South West, blowing a smart gale with a high Sea running, which obliged us to abandon the intention of doubling Cape Pillar this Night. ---It was consequently determined on to steer back along the Land to the Northward, so as, if possible, to get in to Oyster Bay then within about 35 miles to the Northward of us. ---This we had nearly effected, having reached to within half an hour's run of the anchoring Place, when the Gale became so violent with a terrible Sea running, that it was quite impossible any longer to carry sail to it. ---We accordingly stood out again to Sea between 12 and 1 o'clock at Night and lay too [sic] the remainder of the Night -- during which it blew a perfect storm with a tremendous high Sea.---

Sunday 17th. Novr. 1811.
The Gale continued to blow the whole of this day with unabated violence, with a heavy high Sea running, which occasioned the Vessel to labour excessively -- but still dry and making excellent weather of it. ---At 10 a.m. it blew a tempest, and we were about 6 or 7 miles distant from Oyster Island -- still lying too, [sic] and drifting slowly to the Eastward.

After Breakfast Capt. Antill read Prayers to us. ---At 5 p.m. Oyster Island was nearly out of Sight -- and the Gale continues as violent as ever.

Monday 18th. Novr.
Fortunately for us, the Gale began to abate between 1 and 2 o'clock this morning, and at 4 we were able once more to carry Sail. ---At 9 a.m. we were close abreast (within 4 miles) of Scouten's Islands, and within sight of Oyster Island -- distant about 12 miles -- steering our course South by West, with a light Breeze at East. ---At Noon our Latd. was 42 26' South -- the Breeze very light -- and consequently creeping very slowly through the water -- about 2 Knots an hour. At 5 p.m. we were immediately abreast of Oyster Island, and in sight once more of Cape Pillar, distant 30 miles -- Steering South, the Wind East -- blowing a light Breeze only -- but wafting us along at the rate of 4 Knots an hour. ---At 12 o'clock at Night, the Breeze having freshened up, we had doubled Cape Pillar, and were standing for Cape Basaltes and Betsy's Island, in hopes of entering the River Derwent by Day-break.---

Tuesday 19th. Novr.---
The Wind having shifted to the North West at 2 this morning, our proceeding farther up the River was rendered impracticable -- and therefore we ran down for Adventure [Bay] in Isle de Biune, where we anchored in 16 Fathom water within a quarter [of] a mile of the S.E. shore at 9 o'clock this morning. At 1 p.m. seeing no appearance of a change of wind, Mrs. M. and myself, accompanied by our Party -- and Mr. Overand went on shore to take a walk, and returned again on board at 1/ 2 past 3 p.m. with a Cask of Fresh Water from a fine Lagoon near the Beach, some grass for the sheep & goats, and a quantity of Muscles, [sic] with [which] the Rocks abound. ---The island is mountainous & woody but the Soil is bad.---

Wednesday 20th. Novr. 1811.---
The Wind continuing contrary, and blowing hard at W.N.West, we were obliged to remain all this day at Anchor in Adventure Bay. ---

Thursday 21st. Novr.---
There being some appearance of a fair wind this morning at Day-break, we weighed anchor and made sail out of Adventure Bay at 1/2 past 5 o'clock -- but soon afterwards the Wind returned to its old Quarter of N.West, and we were obliged to work out of the Bay. ---By 10 o'clock we had doubled Cape Frederick Henry, but the wind at this time blew very fresh and in short sudden Squalls, so that we did not make much progress in working up to get into the Derwent River. ---We persevered however from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in hopes of getting into the River but without accomplishing our object tho' within 3 miles of the entrance of the River.

At 3 p.m. We bore away for Frederick Henry Bay, and at 4 p.m. anchored there close to the N.East side of Betsy's Island about 14 miles from Hobart Town.

Friday, 22d. Novr. 1811
The Wind still continuing contrary & blowing hard at N.West with a heavy rolling Sea, it was deemed necessary to change our Birth [sic] from Betsy's Island, and to remove farther up Frederick Henry Bay to a more secure anchorage. We accordingly weighed anchor at 1/2 past six o'clock this morning, and at 1/2 past 9 a.m. anchored in a small Cove about 10 [?] miles from our last anchorage within about half a mile of the Shore, on the S.West of the Bay; where a narrow neck of Land of 3 quarters of a mile separates this from Ralph's Bay, and which last communicates with the River Derwent; our present anchorage being only 7 or 8 miles distant from the Settlement of Hobart Town.

At 11 a.m. I sent off Mr. Meehan, the Surveyor, to proceed overland to Hobart Town to apprise the Commandant of my being here, and desiring him to send down Boats immediately to Ralph's Bay to convey ourselves and Baggage to the Settlement.---

At 10 p.m. Capt. Murray of the 73d Regt. and Comdt. of Hobart Town came on board the Lady Nelson to wait on me, being accompanied by Mr. Meehan the Surveyor, and having brought the Government Barge down to Ralph's Bay for conveying us up to the Settlement tomorrow morning; it being now too late to leave the Vessel this Night.---

Saturday 23d. Novr. 1811.
At 1/2 past 6 o'clock this morning Mrs. Macquarie and myself, accompanied by Capt. Murray (who slept on board the Nelson last night) and the three Gentlemen of our Family, left the Lady Nelson in her Boat, which landed us in [the] adjoining Bay or Cove, about two miles N.West of our anchorage; and from whence we walked across the neck of Land which divides Frederick Henry Bay from Ralph's Bay, to Mr. Stanfield's Farm in the District of Clarence Plains on the latter Bay, where Capt. Murray had his elegant Government Barge ready waiting to receive us -- our Baggage having been sent thither the preceeding Evening. ---The place the Boat was at is about three miles by Land from the Bay we landed at this morning from the Lady Nelson. ---We left Stanfield's Farm at 20 minutes past 8 a.m. in Capt. Murray's Barge (the Derwent), and at 11 a.m. we landed at Hobart Town, close under the Government House, after a very pleasant Rowe [sic] of ten miles from Ralph's Bay and up the River Derwent; the lofty beautiful Hilly Banks of which are extremely grand and picturesque -- the Breadth of the River being nowhere less than two miles all the way up to the Town. ---As we approached the Town, the Favorite, Colonial Brig, Capt. Fisk, fired a Salute and cheered us as we passed, and on my landing a salute was fired from the Guns on the Parade near the Government House; a great concourse of People being assembled on the occasion near the Landing Place, cheered us also as we passed. ---Capt. Murray conducted us to a very pretty little Cottage of his own to take up our residence in, the Government House being much out of repair. ---In this neat cottage we took a hearty Breakfast at 12 o'clock.---

I left orders with Mr. Overand to bring up the Lady Nelson to Hobart Town as soon as the Wind changed sufficiently to enable him to do so, leaving some of our Servants and heavy Baggage to come up to Town in her.

I issued General Orders to announce my arrival to inspect this Settlement and also my intention of visiting & inspecting the several Farms in it in the course of the ensuing week. ---I then dressed and went out to take a walk with Mrs. Macquarie through the Town before Dinner. ---We walked in the Government Garden, and afterwards on the Hill intended to build the new Barracks on.---

Capt. Murray, Lieuts. Gunning & Campbell, & Asst.. Surgeon Dermott of the 73d. Regt. besides our own family, dined with us today, and in the Evening the Town was very handsomely illuminated, and large Bone-fires were made by the Troops, the free Inhabitants, and Convicts, in compliment to my arrival at this Settlement. ---Some of the Houses were very fancifully and prettily illuminated, and the Inhabitants & Troops & Convicts continued singing and dancing around their Bone-fires to a late hour. The Favorite Brig was also very beautifully illuminated.---

Sunday 24th. Novr. 1811.
Mrs. Macquarie and myself attended Divine Service; which was performed at 11 o'clock this day at the Government House by the Revd. Mr. Knopwood, the Chaplain of this settlement, who gave us a most excellent discourse. After Divine Service I took a walk through the town with the view to lay down and frame a regular plan of it, none having ever been yet laid down for it.---

In the afternoon I sent off a dispatch to Major Gordon, Comdt. of Port Dalrymple, to announce my arrival here, and my intention to set out for that Settlement overland on Monday the 2d of next month.---

The Revd. Mr. Knopwood & the officers of the Detachments of 73d. & Royal Marines (including Lt. Breedon of the latter) dined with us today.---

Monday 25th. Novr. 1811.
I this forenoon inspected the Detachments of the 73d. Regt., and Corps of Royal Marines, both which I found in very good order -- clean and properly dressed.---

I afterwards visited the Civil and Military Hospitals, found the former in very bad, but the latter in very good order. ---I also visited the Provision Store, Gaol, and Guard House, and the several other Public Buildings.---

The officers of the two Detachments and Mr. Knopwood dined with us.

Tuesday 26th. Novr. 1811.
I went after Breakfast to inspect the different Farms in the District of New Town -- 2 miles from Hobart Town. ---Visited the Government Farm -- a very beautiful spot -- called on Capt. Murray at his Farm -- and also on Mr. A. Whitehead, a respectable Farmer. ---I rode to a very pretty Point of Land on the west side of Newtown Bay, which commands a most extensive fine prospect down the River to Hobart Town -- and which I have named "Macquarie Point". ---I returned home to Dinner and we had our usual Party, with the addition of Messrs. Fosbrook, Humphry, and Loane to dine with us. Recd. an Address from the Inhabitants of this Settlement this afternoon.

Wednesday 27th. Novr. 1811.
At 6 o'clock this morning Mrs. M. and myself, on Horseback, accompanied by the Gentlemen of our Family and Lieut. Gunning, set out from Hobart Town on purpose to visit and inspect the Farms in the District of New Norfolk. ---We rode to a Farm called Black Snake Point on the South side of the River about Twelve miles from Hobart Town, where we halted to Breakfast; after which we proceeded on Horseback again to Tea-Tree Point, three miles farther up the River, where we embarked on board of Capt. Murray's Barge, which we found waiting for us there. ---We set out in her at 12 o'clock, and after two Hours and a half's rowe [sic] up this fine River, we arrived at Mr. Dennis Mc.Carty's Farm in the District of New Norfolk; 5 miles from Tea Tree Point on the north side of the River, where, finding a comfortable Farm House, and a hearty rural honest welcome, we took up our residence for this day and Night.---

At 1/2 past 3 p.m. Mrs. Macquarie & myself attended by the Gentlemen of our Party, and Mr. Mc.Carty, crossed the River to the South side to visit the Government Farm & Stock-Yard, running along this fine long reach of the River for about three quarters of a mile N.East & S.West. ---The Land here is quite clear of Timber and the view from this Farm is beautiful and extensive; having a very pretty Rivulet of Fresh water running at the back of -- the Farm being elevated, and running along a fine Ridge between the great River and the Rivulet. ---This Situation appeared to me so eligible and so remarkably well adapted for a Township, being Twenty miles only from Hobart Town, that I have determined to erect one here for the District of New Norfolk, naming it "Elizabeth-Town", in honor of my dear good wife, and I have christened the Rivulet "The Thames". After a delightful walk at Elizabeth Town, we re-crossed the River to Mr. Mc.Carty's, where we had a most excellent Dinner.---

A great number of the Settlers received us with many Cheers and Huzzas on our first landing at Mc.Carty's Farm, where they continued drinking, singing, and making Bone-fires the greater part of the Night. ---We went in the Boat to see the 1st. Fall after Dinner.---

Thursday 28th. Novr. 1811.
At 1/2 past 5 a.m. we got up, and at 6 o'clock Mrs. M. & myself on Horseback, attended by the Gentlemen of our Party and Mr. Mc.Carty on foot, set out to visit and inspect the several Farms of this District, proceeding first along the Front Line of Farms on the Banks of the River, as far as William Clarke's Farm, beyond the 2d. Fall, and about 4 1/2 miles above Mc.Carty's Farm (which is reckoned Twenty five miles from Hobart Town), and returning by the back Line of Farms to Mc.Carty's at 10 o'clock to Breakfast. ---We were all very highly gratified with our morning's ride through this beautiful rich and Picturesque Country; the Soil of the Farms in general is excellent and there is at present every appearance of a plentiful and abundant Harvest; but the Houses of the Settlers are mean and badly built, and themselves miserably clothed.

The greater part of the Settlers attended at Mc.Carty's on our departure thence and after speaking to them all on their several claims, and exhorting them to persevere in their present habits of industry, honesty, sobriety, and morality, I took my leave of them and we set out on our return to Hobart Town in Capt. Murray's Barge at 12 o'clock. ---We had a pleasant Rowe [sic] down the River as far as Tea Tree Point; but the Tide & Wind being there against us we were obliged to land; and having walked 3 miles to Black-Snake-Point, we found our Horses waiting there for us, and rode home from thence; arriving at Hobart Town at half past 7 o'clock, very keen set for our Dinners. On our way through New Town we called on Capt. Murray, whom we were rejoiced to find very much recovered--; being much indisposed for these three days past.---

Friday 29th. Novr. 1811.
I went this day on Horseback, accompanied by Lieut. Duncan Campbell, to visit and inspect the principal Farms in Sandy-Bay, to the South East of Hobart Town, lying along the River, and extending in that direction to Brown's River for 9 miles. ---The Farms in this District are generally very indifferent ones and the Farm Houses are miserably bad.---

We entertained the whole of the Gentlemen of the Settlement this day at Dinner at Government House.

Saturday 30th. Novr. 1811.---
At 5 o'clock this morning, I set out on Horseback, accompanied by Capt. Antill and a Guide to explore and survey a High Hill, situated about 4 miles South East of Hobart Town, for the purpose of ascertaining whether it was an eligible situation for erecting a Signal Post on; and having explored the Summit of this Hill, I found it commands a most extensive and noble prospect in every direction -- for a vast distance to Sea as far as the Eye can reach -- has a full view of Frederick Henry Bay, Ralph's Bay, the Heads & Entrance of Adventure Bay, and the Heads & Entrance into the River Derwent, including Betsy's Island. ---I have therefore determined that a Signal Post shall be established on the Summit of this Hill, which I have named Mount Nelson; and have issued the necessary orders to the Commandant to have a Flag Staff and Guard House erected there immediately, with a Corporal's Guard stationed there furnished with the necessary Flags for making Signals.

I did not return home from Mount Nelson till half past 9 o'clock, and after Breakfast I transacted business with several Settlers and other Inhabitants of this Settlement.---

At Noon Mr. Mc.Carty waited on me with an Address from the Settlers and other Inhabitants of the District of New Norfolk, to which I made a suitable reply in writing.---

In the evening we sent off our Servants, Horses & Baggage in Boats up the River to Stanfield's Farm on the North side of the River, Twelve miles from Hobart Town, to be on so far before us, preparatory to our setting out for Port Dalrymple, overland, on Monday next. We had the usual Party of friends to dine with us today, including Mr. Knopwood.

Sunday 1st. Decr. 1811.
Went to Church and had an excellent Sermon from the Revd. Mr. Knopwood at the Government House. ---I issued General Orders this day respecting the dividing of Hobart Town into one Principal Square and Seven Streets, to which I have given names, and have framed a regular Plan of the Town which is to be in future rigidly adhered to in carrying on and constructing the Buildings in it.---

At 5 p.m. I walked out with Mrs. M. to see Lieut. Campbell's and Mr. Fosbrook's Farms in the vicinity of Hobart Town, ---and returned home to Dinner at 1/2 past 6 p.m.; our usual Party including Mr. Knopwood, dining with us.

At 7 p.m. the Lady Nelson sailed for Port Dalrymple with a fair wind, in Company with the Brig Favorite Capt. Fisk, bound for Port Jackson.---

Monday 2d. Decr. 1811.
I intended setting out early this morning for Port Dalrymple -- but the weather proved so boisterous and rainy in the morning that I postponed my departure in hopes of its proving more moderate in the afternoon.

I pointed out to the Inspector of Works this morning where the new Military Barracks & Hospital are to be built on Barrack Hill, a little South East of the Town. ---Also where the new Genl. Hospital and County Jail are to be built -- on an eminence to the Westward of the Town and near the West Bank of the River. ---I had the names of the Great Square & Principal Streets Painted on Boards and this morning erected on Posts at the Angles of the Square & Streets to define & mark out their respective limits and direction; naming them as follows: vizt. George's Square --1 Macquarie (Main) Street -- Liverpool Street -- Argyle Street -- Elizabeth Street, Murray Street, Harrington Street -- and Collins Street; being 3 long and 4 Cross Streets as per Plan of the Town. ---In the 3 Angles of the Square, the new Church, Court House, and Main Guard are intended to be built.---

The Weather having cleared up today between 3 and 4 o'clock, I resolved on commencing my Journey to Port Dalrymple, having now finished all my business & Inspections at the Derwent.---

At 4 p.m. we all set out from Hobart Town in Capt. Murray's Barge to proceed up the River to Stanfield's Farm on the N.East side of the River, and from whence we are to commence our overland Journey; our Servants, Horses & Baggage having gone on there before us. ---On going to the Place of Embarkation, the Gentlemen & Principal Inhabitants of Hobart Town met us and attended us to our Boat and gave us 3 cheers on going on board.

The Military were drawn out to receive me in passing through Macquarie Street, and a salute of 19 Guns was fired from the Battery; the Military & Inhabitants cheering us again as the Boat put off from the Wharf. ---Capt. Murray accompanied us as far as New Town, we landed him after taking his leave of us. ---Lieut. Gunning accompanied us to Stanfield's Farm -- and Lieut. D. Campbell is to make one of our Party all the way to Port Dalrymple. ---At 6 p.m. arrive at Stanfield's Farm, where we take up our Quarters for this Night, disce. 12 miles.---

Tuesday 3d. Decr.---
The last part of our Baggage having been sent off at 4 a.m. we set out ourselves (Mrs. M. myself and Capt. Antill on Horse back, and Lieut. Maclaine & Campbell & Mr. Meehan on foot) from Stanfield's Farm at Half past 8 o'clock in the morning, after taking leave of our friend and Conductor, Lieut. Gunning, previously Breakfasting at Stanfield's.---

Crossed a small Rivulet, that falls into Herdsman's Cove within about a mile of Stanfield's House, travelled over Bagdad Plains -- and along Bagdad River to the foot of Constitution Hill -- 12 miles from Stanfield's; ascended the Hill -- about 1 mile to the other side in ascending and descending into Glen-forsa (now named so by me), which continues for 3 miles to the Green Ponds. ---From thence travelled through a broad, fertile, and beautiful Valley, skirted by very fine Hills & Eminences for 5 miles; which I have named Elizabeth Valley (in honour of Mrs. M.); halted at the extremity of this Valley, and at the entrance of Serpentine Valley, close to a Pond of good fresh water, with a rich extensive meadow in our front. ---Here we arrived at 1/2 past 6 p.m. and took up our Ground for the Night, disce. 21 miles from Stanfield's House. ---I have named this Ground "Govr. Macquarie's Resting Place". ---We have travelled through a very fine, fertile, and beautifully Picturesque Country all this day and were much gratified.

Wednesday 4th. Decr. 1811.
At 1/2 past 5 a.m. -- we decamped from Govr. Macquarie's Resting Place; -- and travelling through Serpentine Valley for 4 1/2 miles to the foot of Spring Hill, ascended 1/2 a mile to the summit of it, and rested there for an hour & a half till all the baggage had passed. ---In the meanwhile Mrs. M. Capt. Antill, Mr. Meehan, & myself went up to the top of a very high Hill in the neighbourhood of Spring Hill, from whence we had a very fine extensive view of Table Mountain (over Hobart Town), Mount Dromedary, Western Table Mountain, and Ben-Lomond; and saw several distant Hills covered with Snow. ---

I have named this High Hill or mountain on account of the fine view it commands, Prospect Hill. ---After descending from this Hill, we pursued our Journey to Jerico Plains, where we halted at 1/2 past 10 a.m. close to the River Jordan, a small stream running through an extensive meadow; this being 8 miles distant from our last Ground; we Breakfasted here and rested till 3 o'clock in the afternoon. ---At 1/2 past 3 p.m. moved on again. ---We travelled over a succession of very fine Hills and fertile Vallies for 10 miles to a Jungle with fine Springs of fresh Water in, arriving there at 8 p.m. and here we Encamped for the Night; the distance from the Ground we left in the morning being 18 miles. ---I have named this Ground "Macquarie Springs" -- or Governor's 2d. Resting Place.---

Thursday 5th. Decr.
At 4 a.m. Capt. A. set out in front with part of our Baggage, and at 6 we followed him ourselves with the remainder. ---Travelled through Meehan Valley (named so by me) for 2 miles, to very fine beautiful extensive Plains, about 4 miles extent, and which I have now named "York-Plains" in honor of H.R.H. The Duke of York. ---These Plains are skirted by very fine well-wooded Hills; three of them being of Conical or Sugar Loaf shapes. The name these Plains have hitherto been called by is Scantling Plains, from an out-law runaway Convict of that name having been killed there. ---At 10 a.m. arrive at "Antill's Ponds" (so named by me) at the entrance of Salt Pan Plains; distance from last ground 12 miles.---

At 1/2 past 3 p.m. Pursued our Journey over Salt Pans [sic] Plains, which are about Ten miles in extent -- hardly a tree on them, and a very poor barren Soil. ---Passed several of the Salt Pans; one of which, about 7 miles from Antill's Ponds, is a very large one, and now almost half covered over with fine Salt, which I examined and tasted. ---About half a mile farther on, and to the right of our Track, is a very beautiful and singular round Hill, with the top perfectly flat -- hitherto called Donn's Battery -- but which I have now named "Mount Henrietta"-- in honor of Mrs. M. ---I rode up to the top of it and from the summit had a fine view of the Plains and adjoining Hills and Mountains, including the one called Grimes's Sugar Loaf. ---I saw many Native Fires in the faces of the neighbouring Mountains -- but saw none of themselves.---

Having left Salt Pans [sic] Plains, and passed Grimes's Lagoon, a very fine one a quarter of a mile long, on our left, we entered Argyle Plains (so named now by me, being formerly called Cock-Pitt-Plains) and Encamped on the Banks of "Macquarie River" (so named now) which flows out of Grimes's Lagoon and runs by many windings all the way to Port Dalrymple. ---Here we arrived at 7 p.m. and halted for the Night; disce. 21 miles from Macquarie Springs.

Friday 6th. Decr. 1811.
At 6 a.m. Set out from Macquarie River -- travel for 3 miles through Argyle Plains -- which contains good Pasturage; thence through Hills & Vallies for 3 miles more -- poor Soil -- to "Mount Campbell" (named after D. Campbell by me -- and formerly called Mount Augustus) leaving it on our left; then enter "Maclaine Plains" and travel through them for 2 miles to a rising Ground covered with wood, which separate them from the next Plains. Thence travel two miles over "Antill Plains" (so named by me after Capt. Antill), which are beautifully interspersed with Trees and contain good Pasturage for Cattle. ---At 10 a.m. halted on the Left Bank of Elizabeth River (so named now by me in honor of Mrs. M. being formerly called the Relief Creek) in Antill Plains; disce. from last Ground being 10 miles.

Here we found, just arrived about an hour before us, a Party of Gentlemen from Port Dalrymple, consisting [of ] Capt. Kenny, Lieut. Lyttleton, and Dr. Mountgarret; together with Ten fresh Draught Bullocks, and some Refreshments sent by Major Gordon for us.

We Breakfasted -- and rested here during the Heat of the Day. At 1/2 past 3 p.m. Pursued our Journey from Elizabeth River, which we forded close to where we Encamped, and travelled for 7 miles across "Macquarie Plains" (-- now so named & commencing from Elizabeth River, and which is 40 miles from the settlement at Port Dalrymple); these Plains are very extensive and beautifully interspersed with Trees and small Eminences and skirted by fine ranges of Hills, well calculated for grazing of Horned Cattle & Sheep, the Plains also being in most Places a good Soil for Tillage & Pasturage. ---Six miles from Elizabeth River, leave on our left a large Lagoon of fresh Water, near which are some rising Grounds.

At 6 p.m. Halted at the northern Extremity of Macquarie Plains, at the edge of Epping Forest (now so named by me) disce. 17 miles from Macquarie River. ---The Party from Port Dalrymple having joined our own, dined with us on this Ground.---

Saturday 7th. Decr. 1811.
At 1/4 past 4 a.m. Capt. Antill set out with the first part of the Baggage; and at 20 minutes before 6 a.m. we followed; -- travelling for Ten miles through Epping Forest, which is all very poor bad soil, to the open Plains; which I have named Henrietta Plains; travelled for about two miles across these Plains to our Tent, which we reached at 10 a.m.; finding Breakfast ready prepared for us. ---These Plains are by far the richest and most beautiful we have yet seen in Van Diemen's Land; forming a grand, and interesting fine Landscape, and having a fine noble view of Ben-Lomond, the Butt, and a long lofty Range of smaller Mountains on the East and West of our Track, extending all the way to Port Dalrymple; the New River, or South Esk, meandering in a beautiful manner through the Plains, making the Landscape complete. ---The Soil and Herbage of Henrietta Plains far excel anything of the kind we have yet seen.---

The Port Dalrymple Party Breakfasted with us here; and the Men & Cattle being sufficiently refreshed, Capt. A. with the first part of the Baggage set out from Henrietta Plains at 1/4 past 1 p.m.---

At 3 p.m. we followed and pursued our Journey for three miles through Henrietta Plains to their northern termination in an open wood; travelled for 2 1/2 miles through this wood (which is generally good Soil with tolerable Pasturage) to the Ford on the South Esk, where this River was pretty deep; and up to the axle-Trees of our Carts; thence travelled for 2 1/2 miles through "Gordon Plains" ( -- now so named by me -- being formerly called the Long Plain) to Honey-Suckle-Bank, which terminates a fine Reach of the South Esk River, and on which Bank we halted and Encamped for the Night; disce. from Macquarie Plains 20 miles.

Sunday 8th. Decr. 1811.
At 5 a.m. Capt. Antill set out from Honey Suckle Bank with the first part of the Baggage, and at 7 a.m. we followed with the remainder; our Port Dalrymple Friends still remaining with us. ---Travelled the first 3 miles over beautiful Verdant Hills and Vallies alternately; thence three miles through rich winding Vallies to the Sugar Loaf Hill, situated in the middle of Camden Valley, and close to which is the Government Stock-Yard.

We found our Tent Pitched on a fine Bank at the foot of the Sugar Loaf Hill, where we arrived at 9 o'clock, and Breakfasted immediately afterwards.

At 12 o'clock, Major Gordon joined us at the Sugar Loaf. ---We all then proceeded to the Government Stock-Yard, where I inspected the Government Cattle, consisting of 613 Head of Horned Cattle, and 624 Sheep; finding the former in most excellent condition, but the latter not in such good order. ---From the Stock-Yard we proceed to the Top of the Sugar Loaf on Horseback, from whence we had a very fine view of the Valley below and the adjoining Hills & distant mountains. ---Descending the Sugar Loaf Hill we pursued our Journey for 2 1/2 miles through Camden Valley to the Corri-Linn Cascade (so named now by me in honor of the Patriot Chief of Scotland, Wm. Wallace) about 1/2 a mile east of Paterson's Island, on the North Esk River. ---We enjoyed this wild romantic view very much, which we had gone a little out of our way to see, but were amply compensated for our trouble. ---From the Corri-Linn, we pursued our Journey through Lt. Rose's Farm, and along the other Farms in Paterson's Vale for about two miles; thence along fine verdant Hills and open wooded Country for 4 1/2 miles to the Town or rather Village of Launceston, situated at the Confluence of the North & South Esk Rivers, which together form here the Great River Tamer,[sic] or Port Dalrymple. ---On reaching Launceston, I was received with Military Honors by the Commandant, Major Gordon (who had left us about an hour before and gone on to Town for this purpose); the Troops being drawn out and forming a Lane at the Government House, and the New Colours on a new Flag Staff erected on the Summit of the Hill immediately above Government House, having been hoisted at the very moment I appeared coming round the Hill in sight of the Town, a Salute of 19 Guns Commencing from the Artillery at the same instant, with 3 Vollies from the Troops, drawn up in front of Government House, on Mrs. Macquarie and myself entering it; whilst the Government small Cutter was Saluting on the River North Esk, running immediately in front of the House and at the bottom of the Garden. ---The Major's highly officer-like Conduct in this Ceremonial is highly creditable to him. ---The grand view, and noble Picturesque Landscape, that presented themselves on our first coming in sight of Launceston and the three Rivers, and fertile Plains and Lofty Mountains by which they are bounded, were highly gratifying and truly sublime; and equal in point of beauty to anything I have ever seen in any Country. ---We arrived at Launceston at 5 p.m. and found neat, clean, excellent accommodation ready prepared for us by Major Gordon at the Government [House]; where he gave us a most sumptuous good Dinner at 6 o'clock; the principal Civil & Military officers dining with us. ---In the Evening the Houses in Town were illuminated, and several Bone-Fires by the Inhabitants and the Soldiers were made in honor of our arrival --; the People frequently cheering and huzzaing during the Evening.

This day's Journey from HoneySuckle-Bank to Launceston was only 15 miles!

Monday 9th. Decr. 1811.
I staid at Home all this day to write my orders and receive Visits. ---This Day Major Gordon & the officers of the Detachment dined with us, as we now commence to keep our own Table during our stay here.

The Lady Nelson has not yet made her appearance, which must be owing to her having met with contrary winds.---

Tuesday 10th. Decr. 1811.
At 11 a.m. I inspected the Detachment of the 73d. Regt. stationed at Launceston and found them in good order. ---I afterwards proceeded to inspect the Men's Barracks and Hospital --; the former I did not find so clean as they ought to be, and the latter fortunately is empty, there being no sick either Military or Civil to occupy. ---I then visited the Public Stores, and Military & Civil Officers Barracks. ---The latter were clean & neatly kept, but the former in many respects, require improvement and better arrangement.---

I issued some Genl. Orders respecting the Inspection of the Troops, and directed Half a Pint of Spirits to be issued to each Soldier to drink the King's Health.

The Officers Civil & Military dined with us today.

Wednesday 11th. Decr.
At 5 a.m. I set out with Major Gordon &c. &c. to visit & inspect the several Farms on both Banks of the North Esk River as high up on the west side as Lt. Rose's Farm, and as far down on the East side as Dr. Mountgarrat's Farm; the Soil & Grazing of all of them good, with fine promising Crops; but the Habitations of the Settlers are wretchedly mean & themselves dirty and badly clothed.

I named a pretty little Island in the North Esk, in Paterson's Vale, "Charles Island" in honor of my Brother. We returned home to Breakfast at 1/2 past 10 a.m.

At 5 o'clock this Evening Mrs. M. and myself, on Horseback, accompanied by Major Gordon and Lieuts. Rose, D. Campbell, & Lyttleton, made a Party to go to see the Bason and surrounding Grand Scenery on the South Esk River about two miles from Town, and one mile above the Cataract. ---On our arrival at the Bason, we were very highly gratified and pleased with it and the grand Picturesque Scenery of the Surrounding Hills and high Rocks which tower above it, and confines within a narrow chasm the channel or Bed of the River, foaming through this narrow Gap in a most beautiful manner.---

After our return from viewing the Bason, we embarked on board Major Gordon's Cutter on the South Esk, and proceeded up that River for about a mile to view the Cataract or Fall; with which, and the high rocky Cliffs which confine the River here, we were very much pleased and delighted. ---We did not get home to Dinner till near 8 o'clock at Night.

Thursday 12th. Decr. 1811.
At 1/2 past 5 o'clock this morning I set out, accompanied by Major Gordon, Lieut. Rose, Doctor Mountgarrat, and Mr. Meehan & Mr. Mills (the Surveyor & Depy. Surveyor) on a Tour of Inspection to the interior parts of the Country Situated between Launceston and the River South Esk; my principal motive in so doing being to select and fix upon an eligible and good part of the Country -- not too far from this Settlement -- for giving Farms to the Norfolk Island Settlers, whatever time they may happen to be removed from that Island on my receiving orders to evacuate it. ---We rode over several fine verdant Hills and Vallies, fit both for Tillage and Pasturage. ---A fine Tract of Country, commonly known by the name of Brumbey's Plains, but which I have now named "Breadalbane Plains", is by far the richest soil and best Pasturage we saw in this day's ride; they are well watered by a succession of fine copies [sic] Springs, containing many thousand acres of most excellent -- most beautiful situation -- being a succession of Plains, valleys, and gentle Eminences, only about two miles from the North Esk, and about 5 miles from Launceston. ---We rode over several other good Tracts of Land, lying between Breadalbane Plains and the South Esk River, to which we penetrated -- within two miles below Honey-Suckle Bank, and rode for several miles along the Right Bank of that River, till we came to very fine extensive rich Plains, hitherto without any name and which I have now christened Norfolk Plains; conceiving this fine rich Tract of Country to be a most eligible and convenient Situation for accommodating the Norfolk Island Settlers with Farms, on that Settlement being entirely withdrawn.

This fine rich Tract of Country extends for 5 or six miles along the Bank of the River South Esk; the Eastern extremity of them commencing about half a mile below where the Macquarie River (formerly known by the name of the Lake-River) falls into the South Esk, and extending for about two miles to the foot of the Hills in the Center part of them; the Hills themselves having excellent Pasturage, and the River flowing along these fine Plains, render them highly advantageous for small Settlers, as the distance from Launceston -- by which a good Cart Road might be made -- does not exceed nine miles. The Plains facing them, on the Left Bank of the South Esk, appear equally good and fit Tillage and Grazing.---

Having sufficiently explored this Part of the Country, we returned home by a different route to that we went, and arrived at Launceston at 1/2 past 12 o'clock, after a long but pleasant Ride of at least Thirty Miles!---

Thursday Continued
On my return home I received accounts of the arrival of the Lady Nelson in the River, yesterday morning, and that she was lying at Anchor about 25 miles below Launceston. ---I sent orders to Mr. Overand not to bring up the Lady Nelson any farther -- but to remain where he is till I embark, which I intend doing on Saturday morning next. ---Our Servants Thomas Arnold and his wife came up with our Baggage from the Vessel this morning to Launceston.---

Dr. & Mrs. Mountgarrat and Mr. & Mrs. Mills dined with us this day, and also the officers of the Detachment.---

Friday 13th. Decr. 1811.
I received this day an Address from the Settlers and other Free Inhabitants of Port Dalrymple, and have appointed 9 o'clock tomorrow morning for delivering a suitable reply in writing to the Committee who presented it. ---I staid at home all this day to receive Petitions and Memorials from the Settlers and other Inhabitants of Launceston, and in making preparations for my departure hence.---

Saturday 14th. Decr. 1811.
I finished all my business this forenoon at this Settlement and drew out some written Instructions for Major Gordon's guidance as Commandant, which I delivered to him at 2 p.m. this day.---

The Lady Nelson had unfortunately come up as far as Launceston on Thursday night, the orders I sent to her Commander to remain at his first anchoring Place down the River having reached him too late on that day. At 3 p.m. sent on board the Lady Nelson our Servants and all our Baggage, and took an early Dinner with Major Gordon previous to our Embarkation. ---At 9 p.m. we embarked on board the Lady Nelson lying at anchor in the River Tamer[sic] about a mile off from the Town. ---Major Gordon and all the officers Civil & Military attended us to the Place of Embarkation, where we took leave of them; the Major and a few other friends having engaged to follow us tomorrow down the River to Dinner. ---We got on board the Lady Nelson at half past 9 p.m; -- and went early to Bed.---

Sunday 15th. Decr. 1811.
At 2 a.m. this morning weighed anchor and dropped down the River with the Tide, having a Party of the 73d. in the Launch belonging to the Town to assist in towing the Vessel down the River, on account of the wind being directly against us. We had only dropped down about one mile below the Place we had left when, through the stupidity of the Pilot (Robinson) the Vessel got aground and stuck in the mud close to the Right Bank of the River, where we must ly [sic] till the Tide makes again before we can get off.---

At 20 minutes past 1 p.m. The Tide having made we got off at high water, and were towed down about two miles; but the wind being too strong against us, we were obliged to come to anchor again at 10 minutes past 2 p.m. ---At 5 p.m. weighed again and dropped down about a mile, but were then again obliged to come to anchor.---

Our Port Dalrymple Friends came off to dine with us, and left us again late in the Evening to go to sleep on shore. ---At 7 p.m. I received an Express from the Derwent with Letters for me from thence and from Sydney -- the latter having been brought by the new Colonial Ship Governor Macquarie commanded by Capt. Bunker: -- No news! all Friends at Sydney in good health and as we left them. ---We were obliged to remain at anchor all Night.

Monday 16th. Decr. 1811.
The weather was so very foggy and dark this morning that we could not avail ourselves of the morning Tide to drop down the River, and by the time it cleared up the Tide of Ebb was nearly spent; so that we did not gain above half a mile this Tide in our Voyage.

Our shore Friends came on board to Breakfast with, and at noon left us to proceed down the River in their own Boat to reconnoitre the Peninsula I intend to remove the Settlement to from Launceston. ---I sent Mr. Meehan the Actg. Surveyor with them in order to explore and survey the Ground for the Town -- and report to me thereon. I wrote some Letters to the Derwent by the man who brought the Express from thence.

At 1/2 past 4 p.m. weighed anchor and attempted to turn down the River with the Tide of Ebb --; but the wind being right ahead we make very slow progress. ---At 7 p.m. Passed Pig-Island, which is 5 miles below Launceston, and at 8 p.m. we anchored about a mile below Pig-Island, the Tide of Ebb being then spent.

Tuesday 17th. Decr. 1811.
At 4 a.m. the Tide of Ebb having made, weighed anchor and dropped down with it, the two Boats towing the Vessel at the same time -- but the Wind still being against us, made very slow progress down the River. ---At 9 a.m. the Tide turned and forced us to come to anchor at the Crescent Shore -- having made only between 7 and eight miles this Tide. ---Fired a gun for the Cutter to be sent us from One Tree Point, distant about 7 miles from us; the Port Dalrymple Party being there, and this being the Signal established between us for their sending back the Cutter when required; Mrs. M. Capt. A. and Lt. M. and myself intending to proceed in it to One Tree Point. ---The River Tamer, [sic] properly speaking, ends at the Crescent Shore, to which part the Fresh water only extends, and the Salt water begins at low Tide; and consequently the lower part of this large River ought to be called Port Dalrymple. ---The Cutter not having been sent, owing, as we suppose, to our signal Gun not having been heard, we set out at 11 a.m. in the Whale Boat, rowed by five men, from the Ship for One Tree Point. ---At Swan Point near Egg-Island, met the Government Launch coming back from the Party with Letters from Major Gordon and the Surveyor, both reporting that after attentively exploring the Peninsula of One Tree Point it appears an unfit situation for a Town from the great scarcity of Fresh Water -- no adequate supply being found in any part of the Peninsula -- altho' in all other respects a very fit situation for a Town and Port for shipping. ---Sent the Launch back to Launceston -- and proceeded on ourselves to One Tree Point -- distant about 9 miles from where we left the Lady Nelson. ---Here we arrived at 1/2 past 2 p.m. and joined the Port Dalrymple Party, who accompanied us two miles further down the River to a little Cove on the opposite (or Left Bank) of it, where we all landed and dined together. ---I sent the Surveyor again to survey more minutely the opposite Peninsula of One Tree Point and to endeavour to find Water near Eastern Arm (the Place deemed most eligible for a Port for shipping); but after a fruitless search, he returned in the Evening and confirmed his former report -- of no water to be found in sufficient quantities for a Settlement. I have consequently relinquished entirely every intention of removing the Settlement to this Peninsula, and must now direct my thoughts to Outer Cove as the next eligible Situation.---

Having remained with our Port Dalrymple Friends till half past 7 p.m. we took leave of them to return to the Lady Nelson, promising to meet them at Breakfast next morning at York-Town, about 12 miles farther down the River, situated in Western-Arm. ---We met the Lady Nelson about a mile above One Tree Point, and got safe on board of her at 8 p.m. a few minutes before she came to anchor in a small Bay or Bend of the River formed by that Point.---

Wednesday 18th. Decr. 1811.
At 4 a.m. the Lady Nelson weighed anchor and dropped down the River with the Tide and the assistance of the Boats towing her; the Wind still continuing to blow directly up the River and against us.---

At 1/2 past 8 a.m. we anchored near Middle Island, the Tide of Ebb being spent; distance from last anchorage being about 9 miles.---

At 9 a.m. Mrs. M. & myself, accompanied by Capt. Antill and Lieut. Maclaine, with materials for our Breakfast, set out from the Lady Nelson in the Whale Boat for York-Town, which we reached at 11 a.m.; the distance being about six miles, three of which is up Western Arm, at the head thereof York-Town is situated on the Right Bank of a very pretty little stream of Running Fresh Water; a few Houses remain still standing in this miserable barren spot but no Inhabitants but the Guard, and the Gardner [sic] left to take care of the Government Garden. ---It appears extraordinary that any man of common Judgment or understanding should have formed the Chief Settlement here, as there is nothing to recommend it for such a purpose excepting this little Stream of Fresh Water; it being impossible for large Vessels to enter Western Arm at any time of Tide, and even small Boats not being able to come up to the Town at Low Water.---

On our arrival at York-Town our Port Dalrymple Friends met us at the Landing Place at a Point a mile from the Town, from whence we walked to the Government House; where we Breakfasted and afterwards walked in the Garden, which is very tastefully laid out on the Bank of the Rivulet. ---Having sufficiently surveyed this deserted dessolate [sic] Village, we took our departure from it at 1/2 past 1 p.m. attended by the Port Dalrymple Gentlemen in their own Boat, and bent our course for Outer Cove; where we arrived and landed on a very pretty Bank on the West Side, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, and had our Tent immediately Pitched on a fine level spot, open to the Cove and near the River that falls into the Head of it; distance from York Town being about Five miles.---

This being the Ground intended for removing the Chief Settlement of Port Dalrymple to, in case it should appear on examination to be an eligible situation for it; I proceeded immediately on landing to explore it, attended by Mr. Meehan the Surveyor, Major Gordon, Doctor Mountgarrat, &c. &c. We first examined the River as far as the Tide flows up it, which it does for about 300 yards, where the water becomes fresh, issuing from a variety of Springs along both Banks of the Rivulet. ---We discovered and tasted two Copious Springs on the Right Bank of it, containing most excellent water and in considerable abundance; and on the Left Bank also there appeared many small Springs which only require opening and clearing to afford a good supply of fresh water. ---From the River we explored the Grounds to the Northward & Westward for about a mile in each direction, and found the Soil very good for both Pasture and Garden Ground and likewise fit for Building on, being perfectly dry and firm in all parts. ---There is also from the appearance of the Ground, and the great number of Tea Trees growing on it, every reason to believe that plenty of Water is to be procured here for the use of Man and Beast by sinking Wells a sufficient depth. ---On a review of all these circumstances, the contiguity of OuterCove to the Sea, and the safety of its Harbour for Shipping, I have come to the resolution of removing the Chief Settlement of Port Dalrymple hither as soon as such an important measure can conveniently be carried into effect.---

In pursuance of this Plan, I have resolved to erect a new Town here according to a well digested regular Plan, and to name it "George-Town" in honor of our beloved Sovereign; and to name this Cove (which has hitherto been called Outer Cove) York-Cove -- and the Rivulet York-River -- in honor of His Royal Highness The Duke of York. ---The Town to extend to both sides of the Cove, but the larger Portion of it to be on the west side of the River, on account of the Ground there being so much superior to that on the East Side. ---I gave orders to the Surveyor to make a Compleat Survey of the Ground for a mile on each side of York-Cove, explore it minutely, and endeavour to discover whether there be any freshwater Lagoons or more Springs within that distance; reporting to me early tomorrow the result of his researches. ---At 6 p.m. we returned from our excursion -- and in half an hour afterwards the Lady Nelson arrived and anchored in York-Cove. ---At 7 p.m. Our Dinner having been Cooked on board, and brought on shore, we dined very comfortably in our Tent, and drank prosperity to George Town, shortly intended to be erected here. ---The Evening being very fine Mrs. Macquarie and myself Slept on Shore in our Tent, which was Pitched on the future scite [sic] of the new intended Town, and probably on that part of it in which the principal Square will be erected and formed.---

Thursday 19th. Decr. 1811.
I got up early and proceeded along with the Surveyor and Dr. Mountgarrat to explore the East Side of York Cove; Mr. Meehan having made his report to me of the result of his researches -- which being favorable beyond my most sanguine expectations, I wished to see with my own Eyes the advantages of this Situation. ---He accordingly pointed out to me several Springs of good fresh water along the Beach on the East Side of the Cove, and a pretty considerable Lagoon of Fresh water within a quarter of a mile of the Beach, which must contain a large supply of water in all Seasons of the Year. ---This morning's excursion has confirmed me in the opinion that this is by far the most eligible spot in all Port Dalrymple for the establishing and erecting the Chief Settlement in.

After we had Breakfasted I had two Boards, with George Town painted on them, nailed up to conspicuous Trees on the West and East side of the Cove, to mark out the intended Scite [sic] of the new Town; that on the West Side being nailed on a Tree close to our Tent. ---I also marked out the proper place for a Government Wharf and Public Stores & Granary to be built on the west side of the Cove; and near the Point on the same side, I had a Tree marked where the Government House is to be built, with a suitable Piece of Ground to be annexed thereto as a Domain. ---Whilst I was thus employed Mrs. M. and Lieut. Lyttleton were taking drawings of York-Cove, Green Island at the entrance of it, the River, and fine surrounding Scenery. ---All our Labours being now over, we assembled at 3 p.m. on the Beach, where we drank success to George Town and the Harbour of York-Cove previous to our taking leave of our Friends from Launceston. ---They accompanied [us] on board immediately afterwards, and there we took finally leave of them and our young relation Lieut. Duncan Campbell, who now returns to the Derwent.

At 6 p.m. weigh anchor and set sail with the Tide of Ebb and Boats towing us, from York-Cove; and at 1/2 past 7 p.m. anchored at Lagoon Beach, near Low-Head, two miles below York-Cove, and close in shore in good anchorage.---

Friday 20th. Decr. 1811.
At 7 a.m. weighed anchor from Lagoon Beach and set sail on our Voyage back to Sydney through Bass's Straits; but the Wind being Easterly and unfavorable we were obliged to steer a North by West Course through the Straits.

Saturday 21st. Decr. 1811.
The Wind still continues unfavorable. ---At 2 p.m. saw Curtis's Islands, and at 4 p.m. the Rodondo, and the rocks called the Twins -- and at 5 p.m. saw the Breakers between the latter and Rodondo -- on which we tacked and stood away from them to the Southward.

Sunday 22d. Decr.---
At 10 a.m. Passed to the Eastward of the Rodondo, and at 11 a.m. Passed between the Twins (a narrow Sound only half a mile wide), at 5 p.m. we were within 2 miles of Hogan's Group (four low Islots [sic]) when we tacked and stood to the Southward to prevent getting embayed; being then within a few miles of the Main Land near Wilson's Promontory, which we plainly saw all this day as also the Judgement Rock.---

Monday 23d. Decr.---
The Wind still continues to blow against us from the North East -- and prevents our making any progress in our Voyage through the Straits. ---At Noon we were in sight of the Islands called Kent's Group -- and within about 12 miles of them.---

Tuesday 24th. Decr.
It has been calm almost the whole of last night and this day. At Noon we were within 5 or 6 miles of Kent's Group, and at the same time in sight of the Main Land, Wilson's Promontory, the Rodondo, Judgment Rock, Curtis's Islands, and the Twins. It continued calm all day -- and we remained stationary.

Wednesday 25th. Decr. 1811!!!
After being baffled and teased for these last five days with contrary winds and Calms, and tacking backwards and forwards in all directions between the numerous Islands and Rocks with which these Straits abound, the Wind at length shifted round to the South West at 2 o'clock this morning, and blew a fine fresh Breeze driving us on to our destined Port at the rate of Five Knots an hour: thus we have at length a prospect of getting out of Bass's Straits in the course of 24 hours in case the Breeze lasts as it is now at Noon -- when we were going six Knots. ---The Wind continued all day equally good & fair. ---We sat down in consequence of this agreeable change in the weather, in very good spirits at 5 o'clock to our Christmas Dinner in Bass's Straits; having ordered a good Dinner with some Drink for the Sailors in honor of this holy and sacred Day!

Thursday 26th. Decr.---
At 8 a.m. we were abreast of the Ram-head on the Main Land in the Entrance of the Straits, and at half past 3 p.m. we were abreast of Cape Howe, and consequently are now entirely clear of the Straits. ---The Wind continues still fair. At Sunset the Wind failed us, and it came on a Calm which lasted the greater part of the Night.---

Friday 27th. Decr.---
At 8 a.m. the Wind blew strong against us at N. East and continued all Day in that quarter. ---We tacked alternately from and to the Land but made no Progress, there being a strong current against us, setting to the Southward.

Saturday 28th. Decr. 1811 !!!
This day two years I arrived at Port Jackson from England!---

At 8 a.m. the wind blew very fresh against us at North East, with a heavy sea running and a strong Current setting us to the Southward. ---At Noon we were driven to the Southward within a few miles of Cape Howe.

At 1/4 past 4 p.m. the Wind shifted round very suddenly to the South West, blowing a strong Gale, with a heavy Sea, which enabled us once more to steer our Course, and to sail at the rate of 7 Knots an hour. ---At 6 p.m. we were abreast of Twofold Bay.---

Sunday 29th. Decr.---
The Wind still continues fair and to blow a fresh gale with a very high Sea. ---Hazy weather with some Rain, and no observation at Noon. ---It clearing up in the Evening at 5 o'clock, we saw the Land about Jarvis's Bay, and at 6 p.m. it bore South West of us.---

Monday 30th. Decr.---
At Noon this day we were in the Latitude of Port Jackson, namely 33. 53' South, and within sight of Port Jackson Heads, having thus only gained 75 miles of real distance in 18 Hours last past; that being the distance between Jarvis's Bay and Port Jackson, the former of which places we were abreast of at 6 o'clock last Night; whilst by our Log we ran no less than 124 miles in these 18 hours; consequently we lost 49 miles by the Current setting to the Southward, notwithstanding there was a strong gale of wind with a high following Sea driving us on at the rate of 7 miles an hour on an average all yesterday and last Night.

Intending always to visit Port Stephens, and the Settlement of Newcastle in Hunter's River, previous to my return to Sydney, this coming within the scope of my present Tour of Inspection; I gave orders to Mr. Overand the CoMr. of the Lady Nelson to steer direct for Port Stephens, which is about Eighty miles to the northward of Port Jackson, in order to afford me an opportunity of examining that Harbour -- which is reported to me to be not only very capacious but also a very safe and commodious one for shipping easy of acces [sic] in all winds, and well supplied with fresh water.---

At 7 p.m. we were in sight and within ten miles of the Point to the Northward of Hunter's River and on which is the Settlement of Newcastle. ---The wind still continues fair and blowing a fresh Breeze at South West but a strong Current against us.

Tuesday 31st. Decr. 1811.
At 2 o'clock this morning, having arrived off Port Stephens, we hove-to till Daylight, in order to see our way in.---

At 6 a.m. made sail towards the Land, then about 5 miles distant from us, the morning being rainy & hazy. At 1/4 past 7 a.m. we passed through the Entrance into Port Stephens formed by the North & South Heads, two remarkable high Peaked Hills, resembling two Islands at a distance --; the breadth between those Heads being about a mile and a half -- having a Bar across the Channel the whole way -- but perfectly safe for Ships of the largest Burthen -- having no less than 4 1/2 Fathoms Water in the shoalest part of it even at low water. ---At Half past 7 a.m. we anchored in Port Stephens -- in the first Bason -- in 5 1/2 Fathom water, very fine anchorage and protected from all winds.

At 8 a.m. we saw some Natives on shore on the South side of the Bay, and four of them came off in their Canoes (there being two in each) soon afterwards to the vessel, came on board, eat some Biscuit, and seemed void of any fear or apprehension of us. ---They were stout, tall and well made People.---

At 10 a.m. Mrs. M. and myself, accompanied by the Gentlemen of our Family & Mr. Overand, made an Excursion to the North side of the Bay, landed and walked across a narrow Neck of Land, not more than 200 yards broad, to a large capacious Bay running East & West (Parallel with Port Stephens) with a fine Island at the mouth of it, which serves to shelter Vessels that might anchor in this Bay from all winds. I have named this fine capacious Bay, Clarence Bay, in honor of His R.H. the Duke of Clarence -- and the Island at the Entrance of it I have named Elizabeth Island after Mrs. M. ---I have also named the Bay formed by the South Head of Port Stephens and Point Stephens, on the South side of the Entrance of the former, York-Bay in honor of H.R.H. the Duke of York; and the Island at the Entrance of Port Stephens I have named Inch Kenneth, from its resemblance to the Island of Inch Kenneth in Argyleshire.---

After walking for about an hour on shore we returned on board again; but just as we had set out in our Boat from the Beach, a single Native came running after us, holding up a Fish in his hand, which he seemed disposed to give us. ---We put back to the shore to speak to him; he approached towards the Boat with great caution, and apparently under fear of being molested. ---He however ventured near enough to the Boat to hand his Fish to Mrs. M., who gave him a piece of Tobacco in return, with which he seemed much pleased -- but would by no means either come into the Boat or shake hands with any of us. ---After the Boat had put off from the Beach he strutted and walked about on it in a very conceited fantastical manner -- dancing and capering and making a number of signs which we did not understand.

The Outer or first Bason of Port Stephens, in which we are now lying at anchor, is about three miles in breadth from the North to the South side of the Bay, and about ten miles in depth, from the Entrance to an Island due west from it, which Island is centrically situated between two Points; the three forming the boundary line between the Outer and inner Basons of Port Stephens. ---This Island I have named Meredith Island in honor of Mrs. M's esteemed friend Miss Meredith. The Land, as far as we can see, round this Outer Bason, is well wooded, being a succession of moderately high Hills, but a poor barren soil. ---The Harbour however is good, safe, and capacious, and affords shelter for vessels from all winds. ---There is also plenty of good fresh water to be procured on shore in Lagoons and springs contiguous to the Beach on the South Side of the Bay, and very near our present anchorage off the Nelson's Head.---

On the turn of the Tide of Flood, we weighed anchor and stood up the Harbour, at 1/4 before 7 p.m., and at 9 p.m. we anchored again within a quarter of a mile of Meredith Island, which is nine miles from our last anchorage at the Nelson's Head. The Lady Nelson is the first vessel that ever came up this far!

Journal entries continued in
1812 Journal [January 1st]

Copyright © 1998-2009 Macquarie University.
All rights reserved.