August 01, 2007

15 January 1807 part 2, by Elizabeth Macarthur


Governor Bligh - a pencil sketch

Mr. Macarthur may well contend with Mr. Bligh, but I see no reason for Mrs. Macarthur and Mrs. Putland not to enjoy one another's company. Today was quite the finest event we've seen staged here in Parramatta at this time of the morning. Anna Josepha attended, along with Governor King, and Mrs. Palmer made her appearance along with her sister, Mrs. Campbell, myself and my girls, it was quite a lovely do. Mrs. Putland's chef excelled again and good French champagne was served along with English porter and the finest tea, so really no-one could complain. The Governor was asked to describe the famous open boat voyage he was forced to undertake when he was put overboard from his ship - I had not been aware that his had been the only Commissioned vessel to have sailed without Marines, and that subsequently the policy was forever altered to preclude any Royal Navy officer from being left in such straits. Mr. Bligh certainly don't lack bravery, and a very civil tongue today, surrounded by we women, at least. A marquee was erected next to the House and acceptable and liveried servants circulated. I was asked to play a tune and fortunately refused, for Mrs. Putland demonstrated some mastery on the clavichord, and I would have been shamed. Elizabeth however made quite the sight, easily accompanying Mrs. Putland on all the latest songs from Home, and several Continental numbers as well. A s several of the men-folk made an appearance later in the day - Mr. King and Mr. Marsden, along with Mr. Palmer - the Governor inquired as to the whereabouts of Mr. Macarthur. "He's not well, your Honour", was the best I could do. I could hardly state that he was apoplectic about the rumoured actions of the Governor himself, could I? I do hope we can find some reconciliation on this point of the grant.

1 comment:

Mousie/Paisible said...

do you know Mary Robinson (18th century) poem: The camp...reminded me the marquee...