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2-052 (Original)

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addressee,male author,male,Darling, Ralph,55
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Government English
Imperial Correspondence
Ward, 1969
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2-052.txt — 3 KB

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Governor Darling to Sir George Murray
Government House, 5 October 1830.
I am sorry to have occasion to report that the Colony has been a good deal disturbed of late by 'Bushrangers', who have put on a more formidable appearance than heretofore. In the earlier part of the year, they infested the Roads about Parramatta and Committed Several Acts of Outrage even in the Neighbourhood of Sydney. The Leaders of two Parties, MacNamara and Donahoe, who had been long at large, were Shot in an encounter with the Police, and several Men have been executed.
A Party of from 12 to 15 in Number, lately assembled at Hunter's River, plundered the Settlers of Horses, Arms, etc, and with difficulty were driven from that part of the Country, it having been impossible to come up with them after the first Skirmish, in which three Men were Killed, from the Circumstance of their being all well Mounted. They directed their Course across the Country towards Bathurst, and I am sorry to add that the Men belonging to one of the Establishments in that District, about 13 in Number, have recently risen, and, proceeding to the neighbouring Farms, plundered them of what was necessary for their Equipment. They are now well Armed and provided with Horses. Parties of Troops and of the Mounted Police were immediately sent in pursuit, and the latter, having come up with them, I regret to say were beaten off and obliged to retire with the loss of two Men and five Horses after a very smart engagement, which I am informed continued a quarter of an hour. It is the more to be regretted as an incident of this Nature cannot fail to encourage such of the Convicts as may be disposed to join them in the same degree as it depresses the Settlers. Many of the latter in the first Moments of Alarm quitted their Farms, and the Consternation was pretty general. I lost no time in sending reinforcements of Troops to the different Stations and of placing Detachment so as to furnish Guards over the Iron Gangs and Road Parties, as should these people rise, who are 1,500 in number, the Consequences might prove of the most serious nature. [229] Our deficiency however, at this moment, is in a Mounted Force, an the Infantry have no chance of coming up with the Bushrangers, who seize on fresh Horses, whenever they require them. I have therefore made arrangements for immediately augmenting the Mounted Police, which at present consists of about 68 Troopers, to 100 in the first instance, so as to encrease their numbers at the three principal Stations, the North, West and South, to such an extent as will enable them to Act with effect at once in checking any disposition to revolt, which may appear on the part of the Convicts.
I am sorry to observe that the Natives have also Manifested a disposition of late to be troublesome. They have Killed Cattle at Several Stations, which has hitherto been unusual, and have menaced the Settlers on the borders of Argyle and St. Vincent. The almost boundless extent of this Country will render a large Mounted Force necessary, should the Natives proceed to the same lengths as at Van Diemen's Land The Accounts, which I have received from Lieut. Governor Arthur, the particulars of which have no doubt been communicated to you, have induced me to place a much larger Force at his disposal than can be conveniently spared from this: but I have made the exertion previous to forwarding the 57th Regiment to India, being aware of the importance of the Atrocious proceedings of the Natives being promptly and effectually checked.
I shall do myself the honor to report by the next opportunity the completion of the arrangements, which are now making for the Augmentation of the Mounted Police, and shall be glad, if enabled to inform you that the country has been Cleared of Bushrangers, and the Natives have ceased their hostility.
I have, &c,