Volume 03: Letters of John Macarthur to his sons, 1815-1832

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be very reluctant to say much unless he should previously receive some assurance from Downing Street that their hostile feelings are changed - If you speak of this it must be done with the greatest Circumspection, for the communication was made to me under an understanding of strict secrecy - I omitted to inform you that the Governor conditioned when he agreed for the young Rams, that Government were to have the right reserved for them of paying me fifteen hundred Guineas if they proposed it, and of annulling the Grant of Land - but I suppose there can be little danger of their pressing to pay that sum in money to reserve Land in New South Wales - The Grant will be made out in the names of your Brothers, James and William - I have given it to them as the reward of their assiduous attention to their business. They have a promise also of two thousand acres from the Governor, the whole will make them a pretty Estate to commence the world with - Now I am upon the subject of Grants - I might as well explain what passed between Lord [indecipherable] and me about the Cow Pasture Grant It was at first absolutely settled that I was to receive Ten thousand acres but about a Week before I left England I met Lord Camden at Mr Cooks house by appointment - when his Lordship said in his cavalier like way Mr Macarthur I sincerely hope you will succeed in the business you have undertaken, and you may always depend upon my protection and interest - But it has been suggested to me that as no large Grant has now been given in N S Wales, ten thousand acres sounds a little excessive. You will therefore lay me under an obligation if you will consent to my taking off Five thousand of the ten I have promised you be assured that you shall have that quantity in a grant when your flocks are increased to require it - I answered that I was entirely in his Lordship's hands and should be satisfied with any arrangement he approved - he thanked me - repeated his assurance of patronage and we parted - how well his Lordship has kept his promise you leave Mr Watson Taylor will probably recollect. This, if you repeat it to him - He said when I acquainted him with what had passed between His Lordship and myself - this is Cooks doing at the instance of Sir Joseph Banks.

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5th I cannot see any cause for doubt about the propriety of asking for a Grant to the extent promised, if you are quite sure, that there is anything like a friendly feeling toward me – and the supply of Rams I have furnished for the Derwent, and the necessity of continuing it, with the wool I [indecipherable] of more extended pasturage for the increase of my Flocks, would I should think strengthen the claim – I thought I had been so explicit before respecting my plans for Your Brothers that no more need be said on that subject – You will beware of Course tell Mr. Campbell that we are properly sensible of his friendly recollection, but that William is a Shepherd from choice and will not be tempted to wield a sword unless in self defence. We are equally averse to all mercantile speculation for many reasons, but it is sufficient to assign one – Your Brothers have no time for any thing but the care of our Flocks and Herds, and in that they will soon require assistance – I shall really be very glad if young Duvillard came to us, and when I am able I will write to his Sister, tho' I suppose it will be settled whether he be to come or not by before any Letter from hence can reach Geneva. But alike we decline "mercantile affairs" I am quite of opinion with Mr. Barnard that respectable men should be encouraged to settle here and break down monopoly – with a view to this I have introduced to you a Mr Berry a Gentleman I have known many years - He and a Mr Woolstonecraft (a Nephew of the well known Mary Woolstonecraft) propose to form an establishment here. – Mr Woolstonecraft, I believe intends settling here, and Mr Berry in England – they are both sensible men – and I am of opinion very repu-table, and I know of none more likely to forward Mr. Barnard's views if he should be disposed to patronise them – I have in confidence told them what you wrote to me, and shall be glad if you can introduce Mr. Berry favourably in Downing Street, – or indeed pay him any other attention. – He was I fancy bred a Surgeon – has some philosophical attainments, and proposes I hear to write an account of the Colony – its present state, and future prospects – But, I am half inclined to think, had been

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talked into a Jealousy of me before I explained myself to him and offered him an introduction to you –

I have been highly pleased even with the distant prospect of your Brother Edward coming here in some respectable situation, and if it should be practicable to procure an appointment in a new Governor's family it would be more desirable But I do not revel much in this hope, - However the design merits my deepest approbation – I know not whether I shall be able to write to him upon this occasion – I fear not for I now write in Bed, and in great pain from warding Gout. You talk of the present Governor coming here. Take my word – he will never come unless ordered – It is a melancholy thing to think of, for the progress of his Convict System, his wasteful expenditure, and abroad management is ruining the Colony, and with every day increase the difficulties of his Successor, however able he may be. You will, perhaps be startled at my complaining of expenditure – it is hasting to ruin the Colony as much as any thing – and its painful effect, in the way it is chiefly directed, is to encourage ruin and profligacy, and to confirm the cultivation in a habit of looking altogether to the Govt. expenditure instead of industriously endeavouring to produce articles for exportation. The accounts you give of the Wool, and the purses of the Cash Sales are very encouraging, tho we are not a little alarmed at the subsequent repeat of depression in the market from the disordered State of Trade – we hope, however, that a favourable change had happened before the arrival of the Surry with her valuable consignment – The consignment we send upon the present occasion is in general in still better condition than that by the Surry. - There is much less coarse and a much larger proportion of the best and second quality – In another year we shall put it all up in equal condition, and the quantity of coarse wool will be still less and the fine greater, – We are sanguine enough to calculate that

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our improvement exceeds the depression if it should still continue – It had need to do I assure you – for our expenses, with the utmost frugality of management are very heavy. I have been constrained to draw upon you a Bill in favour of [Jones & Baily?] for 200 pounds, and another to Berry and Woolstonecraft for 90 pounds. both at 30 days sight and dated 25th Feb. and I fear I shall have occasion to draw for 800 pounds - or 1000 pounds more in the course of the Year, – I have only had the courage to glance over your bank account up to July, nor shall I say another word upon the subject of your expenses until I get your answer to my Letter by the Surry. Think well what you are doing – for depend upon it our present returns will not admit of your spending beyond the limit I have fixed – and if you will not regard that limit, you will impose upon me a painful task.

We are all much pleased with our Coats – the quality of the Cloth, I think cannot be exceeded, and I am well satisfied with what you have done in distributing coats – but let it stop there. I see no necessity for more presents, unless it be two or three Coats at the Colonial Office – Where, notwithstanding Mr Farquhars opinion to the contrary, I think it would have been prudent to have sent some at first – In the Bale No 32 there are some particular Fleeces labelled and numbered to attract I wish to bespeak the particular attraction of Mr Terry and yourself The Fleeces No 1 & 4 are from two Rams that I consider the finest in my Flocks, and by when I have had this year with my choicest woolled Ewes – I shall be glad of a particular report on the quality of these two fleeces, contrasted with No. 2 & 3 – Nos. 5,6,7, & 8 are the fleeces of three Rams and a Ewe, a remarkable variety there has sprung up in the pure Merino Flock – You will observe these fleeces are remarkably big and heavy, tho not so fine in the hair as the previously numbered It has struck me that this long wool may be valuable to use for worsted, to be used in the Shawl or Norwich manufactures, and I am

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desirous that they should be shown to some persons concerned in that Trade, and a valuation of them be obtained - If they should prove of greater value to be and in that way than in the manufacture of Cloth it may be worth attending to - You will not fail to keep in view their superiority of weight over the finer Fleeces, of shorter wool - We prepare to keep the breed distinct until we receive your reports, which they may be as ample as possible - not only respecting the long wool but all the numbered Fleeces. -

I have read Mr Wentworths Book, and am quite shocked at the delusive statements respecting the profits of breeding fine woolled Sheep - I trust you had no hand in it - it will be flatly contradicted by many and very properly so - respecting the general merits of the Book I think with Mr Brnard and you, that its heading is highly mischievous - His [indecipherable] is very obliging, and is I suppose intended in payment for the free use he has thought proper to make of my plans for the information and improvements of the Colony - I cannot, however, say, that they have received much benefit by the attitudes they have undergone in his hands. - The scheme for the Education of the Youth, and that of a bounty a premium on the employment of Persons is so charged, and fancifully arranged that I had some difficulty in recognising when as [indecipherable] - You must remember my decided disapprobation of Trial by Jury and of any they in the shape of a Legislative Assembly in the present condition of our society - and I hope you have not neglected to say so at the Colonial Office - The establishment of either the one or the other at this time would seal the destruction of every respectable person here - I refused to sign the Petition to the Prince Regent and gave great offence by so doing - Hannibal foolishly signed it, and I really believe did so contrary to his own conviction, from fear of offending

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