September 04, 2007

4 September 1807, by Elizabeth Macarthur

Mr. Caley's plan of the mill at Parramatta

The Court of Civil Judicature has proven an effective means of meliorating Government's powers and we have come to rely upon it. However, John is now very concerned that the Court has ceased to distance itself from the Governor's intervention; this business with the still has worried him. Mr. Macarthur acknowledges that his decision to import a still was made with the very real possibility that it would be dis-allowed on application for entry, but reasoned that the copper boiler is a useful tool and we could easily fore go the coil. The still arrived earlier this year, filled with every conceivable article that could be placed into its commodious interior, and was declared in the ship's manifest, which are always hurried to Government House for review. The still was refused permission to be landed - or rather, that is what should have happened, and instead the still was ordered taken into the custody of the Naval Agent, Mr. Campbell. On discovering that the copper boiler was full of items, the boiler was transferred to my husband's partner's warehouse, Mr. Blaxcell's, while the coil remained at Mr. Campbell's. Now, the Governor intends shipping the stills away, and has asked for the boiler to be returned. John is of the opinion that a good still may be sold at an intermediate port, and does not need to be repatriated, as we can expect little cash value in return. However, Mr. Campbell junior has come to Mr. Blaxcell's storehouse and taken the boiler away, after emptying it. Now John is in Court, seeking the boiler's return and an admission that young Mr. Campbell acted illegally.
Unfortunately, Mr. Palmer at on the bench, uncle to Robert Campbell junior and brother by law to Mr. Campbell senior. And after the terrible judgement the Governor delivered in the case of Mr. Thompson, whom Bligh declared had only to pay us grain at the rate established when the promissory note was written, Mr. Macarthur is now reluctant to trust the Court to impartially decide any matter fairly.
Ruled by fiat, without recourse to impartial justice - what options do the English people here in Sydney have to gain the cherished rights that, as English, are theirs by birth? Fair trails by jury and security in property are looming as rallying calls, not simply abrogated rights.
I have attached a plan Mr. Caley gave me the other day, showing the water race for the mill on the river - we expect to reap a good crop this season, and the milling has proved a problem in the past, so may this mill answer our need.

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