Monday, March 28, 2016

BH 2.4 The Moreton Bay District Colony Governed by NSW prior to Separation

History it cannot be changed, all that can be changed is a person's perception of that history

Brisbane in 1830, was a very small settlement.

There are some very early prints of Brisbane in 1830 (above and 1860 below left), from the Brisbane City Council archives  

Many of the land dealings were in the period prior to 1859.  This account of Brisbane as it was in those days, provides some background and insight into the conditions of the colony.


"I am not unaware of the difficulties and dangers which may beset a writer who ventures to bring his narrative down, as it were, to the immediate present. I think it was old Fuller who remarked, that he who holds a candle to lighten posterity, may burn his fingers withal—a fate which might seem certainly to await one who has mingled not inactively in the disputes of the day.

 But as to this I must take my chance; being nevertheless of opinion that the historian who becomes a partizan, to the extent that he does so, discredits not only his judgment, but his accuracy. What facts are necessary for the elucidation and completeness of Queensland history, will be brought out with such clearness and vigor as I can exert; what is unnecessary to that main purpose, and would gratify only mere curiosity, or personal spite, will be as vigorously suppressed.

That some conclusions should be deducted, some opinions expressed, is inevitable; but I trust to escape the censure passed by one of our most brilliant British critics upon a colonial author—in his day eminent and useful nevertheless—that his history was one of his own sayings and doings, with some references to the colony of which he professed to write. In the first volume, the object is to preserve what would be useful and interesting of what would otherwise be lost; in the second, to present, in a connected and available form, information enabling the reader, whether in the colony or in the mother country, to understand how we arrived at our present position; what that is; and what our possible future may be; what is required to rectify the errors of our early career, and to make even our failures contributory to our success. On the accuracy of the statements made in both volumes, I challenge the criticisms of my fellow colonists: as to the value of conclusions drawn from them, that must be left to public opinion to decide"    

South Brisbane,
     January 1, 1882.

The Beginnings of Brisbane

The excerpts are interesting.................................  The first one he is discussing a report from James Backhouse and George Washington Walker, who describe the area in 1836.

The writer, James Backhouse, a benevolent Quaker, accompanied by his friend George Washington Walker, who afterwards settled in Tasmania, left England in 1831, and spent nearly seven years in travelling through the known Australian settlements of the day. Actuated, in the quaint language of the recommendatory letters of the society, by an apprehension of religions duty resting on their minds to visit in the love of the Gospel some of the inhabitants of the British colonies of New Holland, Van Diemen's Land, and South Africa, these benevolent minded men did not spare themselves in the execution of their design.

At some risk, and with some personal fatigue they travelled during nearly seven years through New South Wales and Tasmania, and visited Norfolk Island, and the result of their impressions, while not wanting in shrewdness, is singularly free from acrimonious or unnecessary censure. In the fourth year of their journeyings, they obtained permission from Sir Richard Bourke, at the time Governor of the colony, to visit Moreton Bay, where they arrived in 1836, and were received by Captain Fyans with "all the attention and accommodation our circumstances required." Their attention was first directed to the settlement, and I extract their description of Brisbane as it appeared to them.

"3rd month, 29th day:—After making a hearty breakfast, we set out to inspect the settlement of what is called Brisbane Town: it consists of the houses of the Commandant and other officers, the barracks for the military, and those for the male prisoners, a treadmill, stores, &c. It is prettily situated on the north bank of the River Brisbane, which is navigable fifty miles further up for small sloops, and has some fine cleared and cultivated land on the south side bank opposite the town.
Adjacent to the Government House, are the Commandant's garden, and twenty-two acres of Government gardens for the growth of sweet potatoes, cabbages, and other vegetables for the prisoners. Bananas, grapes, guavas, pine apples, citrons, lemons, shaddocks, etc., thrive luxuriantly in the open ground. The climate being nearly tropical, sugar canes are grown for fencing, and there are a few thriving coffee plants, but not old enough to bear fruit. The bamboo and Spanish reed have been introduced. . .

 Coffee and sugar will probably at some time be cultivated as crops. The surrounding country is undulating and covered with trees. To the west there is a range of high woody hills distant, in a direct line, four miles. . . . The treadmill is generally worked by twenty-five prisoners at a time, but when it is used as a special punishment, sixteen are kept upon it fourteen hours, with only the interval of release afforded by four being off at a time in succession. They feel this extremely irksome at first, but, notwithstanding the warmth of the climate, they become so far accustomed to the labour by long practice as to bear the treadmill with comparatively little disgust, after working upon it for a considerable number of days.

Many of the prisoners were occupied in landing cargoes of maize or Indian corn from a field down the river, and others in divesting it of the husks. To our regret, we heard an officer swearing at the men, and using other improper and exasperating language. The practice is forbidden by the Commandant; but it is not uncommon, and, in its effects, is, perhaps, equally hardening to those who are guilty of it, and those who are under them. . . . We visited the prisoners' barracks—a large stone building, calculated to accommodate 1,000 men, but now occupied by 311. We also visited the penitentiary for female prisoners, seventy-one of whom are here. Most of them, as well as of the men, have seen re-transported for crimes that have been nurtured by strong drink. The women were employed in washing, needlework, picking oakum, and nursing. A few of them were very young. Many of them seemed far from sensible of their miserable condition." *

[* Narrative of a visit to the Australian Colonies, by James Backhouse. London, 1843.]...........

The statistics of Moreton Bay at this time will probably provoke a smile from the reader, if sought for to substantiate "the commercial importance of the community." The number of houses in the then County of Stanley—which comprised all the country east of the Great Dividing Range—was, according to a census taken in the preceding March, 255, of which 41 were of stone or brick, and 214 of wood. But of these, 50 were unfinished, although only 6 were uninhabited. The population of North Brisbane was 483; of South Brisbane, 346; of Ipswich, 103; of the squatting stations, 452; and the military and government establishments numbered 185. There was the usual disproportion of the sexes—1,122 males, and 477 females. 538 could not read, and 857 could read and write.

There were 6 lawyers and 6 doctors, 14 clergymen, and 13 "other educated persons"—a rather ambiguous description. Only 23 were engaged in agriculture. On the Darling Downs 551 males and 107 females formed the population; 1 doctor served for the diseases of the people; and no lawyer being mentioned there, it is to be presumed that none existed at that time to vex the souls of clients with costs. Of "other professions"—a puzzling sort of nomenclature—there was 1; 147 out of the whole number could neither read nor write; and upon the whole, it does not seem to have been a very literate community. As to religion, the numbers of the various denominations stood thus:—Church of England, 1,110; Church of Scotland, 338; Roman Catholics, 575; Wesleyan Methodists, 24; other Protestants, 59; Jews, 10; Pagans and Mohammedans (coolies), 28; other persuasions, 13...............

.........When Macarthur and Marsden had demonstrated that wool of the required quality could be produced, they became prophets in the eyes of those who had derided them. The age of testimonials not having then arrived, their admirers desired to recognise their sagacity by participating in their success. The Government encouraged the pursuit by granting annual licenses for free occupation. One of the most ultra of the old squatting school thus summarises the progress it made, and the aims that progress suggested:—

"The lands were lying waste; the Government very wisely encouraged their occupation, and licensed any free and respectable person who wished to occupy them. Commissioners were appointed to manage these waste lands, and the occupants voluntarily paid an assessment to defray the Commissioners' expenses and that of the police under their direction, so that their occupation might not cost the Government anything.
But in the course of time when nearly all the available lands within a practicable distance were occupied, great evils were experienced from the arbitrary acts of these functionaries, who assumed great power in defining the extent of runs by lessening one run to enlarge another. They were accused of receiving bribes, and of acting very unfairly between man and man.

The occupants were powerless against the Government, as they had only an annual license—they could not be otherwise than dissatisfied—they required a better tenure to secure them against the irresponsible acts of an arbitrary Governor and his needy subordinates." **

[** The Crown Lands of Australia. By William Campbell, M.L.C. Blackwood, London and Edinburgh, 1855, p. 10. Campbell went to England as the representative of the Victorian squatters, to advocate their right to a "preferable right of purchase" over the whole or any part of their runs, and this book was part of his advocacy.]

.........The squatting license fee was £10 per annum. Sir George Gipps wished to compel the licensee, in addition to the payment of his fee and assessment, to buy annually 320 acres of his run, at a £1 per acre, the revenue thus raised to be applied to the increase of immigration. This was felt as a great grievance by the squatters, and was protested against as illegal and unconstitutional by many who had little general sympathy with them—foremost among whom was the Rev. Dr. Lang. When the squatters published their counter proposals, he, with equal vigour, contested their justice; they in turn resented his opposition and forgot his advocacy..........

....................What was of far greater moment to the people of Moreton Bay, was the commencement and partial success of a scheme for comprehensive and systematic immigration, of which the late Rev. John Dunmore Lang was the author. That exceedingly energetic man had long before this time exerted himself very efficiently in the promotion of free, as distinguished from convict, colonization; and, in pursuing that course, had brought himself into ill-favour, not only with a large class in the colony whose feelings and prejudices were offended by hostility always open and exasperating, but with the Colonial Office in England, and with the New South Wales officials, who, with more or less feebleness, reflected the opinions and endeavoured to serve the wishes of their employers.

 He had, to a great extent, identified himself with the public and social progress of the colony, and I remember very well the influence his "History of New South Wales" * exercised on its first publication on the commercial and emigrating public in the old country at a time when a great deal had been written upon, and something done in the way of colonization, and the merits of rival systems were discussed, sometimes with more temper than philosophy. I do not think it too much to say, speaking from my own recollection, that the exertions of Dr. Lang, at that time, in great measure, popularised the Eastern colonies of Australia with the British public. It sometimes belongs to men of great energy to misdirect it—of great determination of purpose to mistake the motives and underrate the integrity of their opponents.

And the greater their appreciation of their object, the more impatient will they be of opposition, and intolerant of those by whom they are opposed. Any man of such qualities living and acting in the early times of these colonies, would, no doubt, find full exercise for their most extreme development. And I am not at all surprised, that in the eyes of those who profited, or wished to profit, by such a state of things as seems to have existed during many years prior to the separation of Port Phillip from New South Wales, Dr. Lang was a very unpopular man.........................

............Dr. Lang, after his visit to the district in 1845, left New South Wales for England in the following year, and arrived there in December, when he immediately commenced what may be termed an emigration crusade; lecturing, writing in the public journals, corresponding and employing all the means that an enthusiast would be most likely to adopt in furtherance of his objects. After some time thus occupied, he attempted the formation of a company, called the "Cooksland Colonization Company," * and while engaged in that, applied to the Colonial Office for free passages for one hundred emigrants, to be selected by himself at Glasgow, and to be employed in the cultivation of cotton in Moreton Bay. On November 2, 1847, a reply to the application was given, to the effect, that—

[* Dr. Lang had previously published a volume, entitled "Cooksland," descriptive of the district.]

"if an association shall be actually formed for trying the cultivation of cotton, and should agree to purchase land belonging to the Crown on such terms as would be compatible with the existing law on the subject, there would be every disposition on the part of Her Majesty's Government to meet the association in the selection and despatch of emigrants to that land, but that Earl Grey could not begin by promising to send out the people, leaving it to be afterwards settled whether the body upon whom they were to be dependent, would be organised and would acquire the land upon which they were to be employed.".....................................

.......................He lost no time in answering this by a long letter, dated three days afterwards, in which he asked that the proposed association should be entitled to lease land, with liberty to select and purchase at the upset price, such as might be found most suitable for their purposes; the cost of carrying out the experiment, as well as the purchase money of the land bought, being allowed by the Government to go against the passages of the immigrants.

To this proposal a flat negative was given by Mr. Hawes, the Under-Secretary for the Colonies. He persevered, however, in his efforts for the formation of a company, and for an arrangement with the Government, finding, as I infer, from a diligent perusal of the papers before me, great difficulty in providing such a return as would give a commercial profit to shareholders, and yet keep within the limits imposed by the imperial and Local Acts and Regulations touching the sale of Crown lands, and the selection and passage of emigrants.

His first efforts at the formation of a company, met with many obstructions, and wore finally abortive, in the face of the difficulty I have referred to; but he nevertheless persevered, and chartered the Fortitude, ship, for the conveyance of passengers to Moreton Bay, committing most of the business arrangements to Mr. Arnold, a well-known and respectable London ship broker.

In his own letters, and in his evidence before a Select Committee of the Queensland Legislative Assembly, in 1860, he states that, prior to the departure of the vessel, in September, 1846, he had a personal interview with Mr. Hawes, then Under-Secretary for the Colonies, and received from that gentleman, if not an assurance, at least what amounted to almost as much, that the local government would allow to immigrants sent out by him a quantity of land equal, in proportion, to that made in the case of those sent out by purchasers under the Land and Emigration Commissioners.

Mr. Hawes did not, when called upon, recollect any conversation of the kind. These facts, however, are certain: Dr. Lang undertook the personal responsibility of sending out the emigrants, and was a heavy loser by the transaction; and he gave to them land orders at the rate of £16 for every £20 received from them, which orders he had no official authority—no authority that he could make legally available—to give.

But I am unable to come to any other conclusion, than that he fully believed those orders would be duly honoured by the local government, unless I assume him to be something akin to an idiot; for it is in the evidence of some of the most respectable of the passengers themselves that in not a few cases only a portion—sometimes half, or not so much—of the passage-money was paid to him or to his agent.

He himself asserts that his loss by the Fortitude was £1,300, most of which he had paid in London before his return. It is admitted now, on all sides, that he took great pains to promote both the physical and moral welfare of the emigrants while on board.

One witness, before the committee I have mentioned, declared the accommodation in the Fortitude to have been quite equal to that given to what were termed intermediate passengers, the ordinary charge to whom at the time was £35; and I am unable to find any trace of complaint touching the vessel, or the provisions, or any other matter incidental to the voyage, Nor is there, in the local records of those days, anything that can be construed into a charge of wilful deception made by a single person who came out by the first vessel.

But when the Fortitude arrived in Moreton Bay, on January 20, 1849, the people on board found that no local preparation had been made to receive them, and that the gentleman to whom the vessel had been sent, repudiated the agency.

The local authorities had received no warning, and the local newspaper complained that no previous notification of the precise nature of Dr. Lang's plans had been forwarded, or of the time when the first arrivals might be expected, and that he had committed the local charge of the whole matter "to a gentleman whom he had never consulted on the subject, who had never received, we believe, a line from the doctor since he left the colony;" and it trusted that he would be able to exonerate himself from the charge of indiscretion which it considered, under the circumstances, attached to him.

The local authorities acted with promptitude and consideration, in which they were well seconded by the residents. On examination by the health officer, it was found that two cases of fever had occurred within one month of the arrival of the vessel, and she was placed in quarantine. The sickness could not have been formidable, for, in a week the removal of the passengers to Brisbane was ordered by the Police Magistrate. It does not appear, that on their arrival, they suffered any unexpected inconvenience.
 "We gather from the statements made, that no expectations were raised of an immediate possession of land, and that the passengers were fully aware that they must shift for themselves for the present." I quote from the Moreton Bay Courier of February 19, 1849, from which I also gather that the character and conduct of the immigrants and their value to the district were fully appreciated by the residents, who were not slow to express their satisfaction; while the immigrants, in their turn, seemed quite content with the prospects before them.

Dr. Lang had sent out by the vessel a statement of claims on behalf of the immigrants, and on his own account, which was forwarded to Sydney, and in the meantime, the new settlers were provided with accommodation in various ways.

In a very short time almost all were engaged in business or in service, a few remaining to see when the promised land would be allotted to them, and they might commence their proposed agricultural pursuits. But in this their expectations were vain.

The New South Wales Government gave prompt orders for the removal of such of them as remained on the Crown lands they had been permitted to occupy, and the right to obtain land at all was peremptorily repudiated. In fact, the immigrants were most unjustly made to feel the consequences of the almost vindictive animosity which Dr. Lang had excited in the minds of Earl Grey and the then Governor, Sir Charles Fitzroy; and I regret to be compelled to say, that the official correspondence connected with this immigration scheme, was not in any way creditable to the writers.

For instance, in his statement of the circumstances attendant upon the arrival of the Fortitude, Sir Charles brought out the fact, that the vessel had been placed in quarantine; but he did not say, that within one week from the time this was done, the passengers were declared fit to be removed to Brisbane. Earl Grey caught with alacrity at the insinuated mischief, and, answering Sir Charles's letter, observes, "that they (the immigrants) arrived with fever prevailing in their ships, and that there had been several deaths an board. I cannot but fear," he sympathetically adds, "that this has arisen from the imperfect arrangements which had been made for the health and comfort of the passengers, as such an occurrence is so exceedingly rare in Australian emigration when properly conducted under the superintendence of the commissioners."

The total number of deaths on board the Fortitude in a voyage of 123 days, were eight out of two hundred and fifty-six—three adults and five children, and only a single death from fever is stated to have occurred in the bay. It proved an odd commentary on the Earl's eulogium on the commissioners, that in the Courier of August 10, 1850, in which his despatch was published, the arrival of the first emigrant vessel, afterwards sent under their auspices to the district, was announced with this addendum:—"We believe that there were seventeen deaths on the passage from typhus fever; that fifteen of the immigrants were reported sick; and that a death occurred yesterday."

Fourteen days afterwards, the vessel having been placed in quarantine, the surgeon's report was:—Sick, 56; convalescent, 63; and, ultimately, the number of deaths reached 10. I find no trace of official sympathy for the sufferers on this occasion; and not a word of rebuke to the commissioners or their agents. Earl Grey's animus towards the doctor was somewhat unworthily exhibited by what was practically a recommendation to Sir Charles, to encourage any disappointed immigrant to commence a criminal prosecution against him.

Scarcely had the Fortitude emigrants got settled in their places when the Chasely, bringing, in all, 225 passengers, arrived in the bay. The same negligence had been shown, and the same taking for granted that what was necessary would be done without preparation, just as if every possible precaution had been taken to secure it—as had characterised the want of arrangement in the case of the Fortitude.
The passengers, therefore, had to pay for their own conveyance from the bay to Brisbane. The Government gave them no welcome beyond a temporary accommodation in the empty barracks, and what else they required they had to find for themselves; but no sickness occurred on this occasion to excite the humane suspicions of either Colonial or Imperial officials.

The doctor forwarded a characteristic letter with the Chasely, addressed through the Courier to the inhabitants of Moreton Bay. Reverting to the Fortitude immigrants, he expresses misgivings as to their obtaining their lands, but as to those by the Chasely, he explicitly states:—
"I have succeeded, however, in making such an arrangement with the authorities here as will leave no uncertainty in regard to the acquisition of land for the immigrants per the Chasely, as was unavoidable iii the case of the Fortitude.

We have already deposited a certain amount in the Bank of England to the credit of the Commissioners of Land and Emigration for the purchase of land in the colony for those emigrants; and we expect to deposit so much more as will be necessary when the decision of the Commissioners upon the emigrants by that vessel generally will be given. They were only examined this day (December 22) by Lieutenant Lean, on account of the Commissioners; and the result of that examination will be known in a few days. It will be transmitted by the mail packet to the local government at Sydney, and the matter will only be subject to the delays arising from the official routine in regard to land."

...Lieutenant Lean expressed himself on board as highly satisfied with all he saw; and, on turning to the Commissioner's memorandum to Earl Grey, of November 30, 1849, I find that £500 was deposited on account of the Chasely with them. The Chasely left the Downs on December 27, 1848; and, as it was not till June, 1849, that they informed Dr. Lang that they would in future pass no emigrants for whom the deposit had not been previously paid, I infer that in the case of that vessel this prudent condition had not been enforced. It would follow, then, that the non-completion of the deposit was the cause of the non-availability of the promised land.....

...Carrying on the history of this scheme, I next come to the arrival of the Lima, on November 3, 1849, bringing eighty-four passengers. In the letters which accompanied her, Dr. Lang did not allude to either land orders or emigration companies, but the passengers brought out with them orders to the value of about £900, which were, with but a trifling exception, honoured.

There was some imputation made against him from transactions connected with the payment for the vessel, in which these orders were used for a time, but, as it appears to me, with but a very shadowy foundation. With the Lima, the introduction of immigrants on the proposed system, terminated here, and Dr. Lang found, in avocations involving less personal risk and pecuniary responsibility, full employment for the energy of which he had so superabundant a share....

I have said that criticism was becoming more precise and stringent, but it was not so one day before it was required. Two men in the Harbour Master's Department were sent down the bay in a boat, manned by six blacks of a tribe known to be hostile to the whites. They took with them a keg of spirits.

All that was found thereafter was the signs of a sanguinary struggle near Sandgate, and the men were no more seen. Although large sums of money had been spent in the purchase of land there, no one dare build or improve for fear of assaults from the aborigines—Mr. Dowse, as I have related, having been compelled to abandon the attempt.

Roads there were none, and the inhabitants of the two principal towns were unable to obtain leave to place their streets in a passable condition, while anything in the shape of assistance from Government was denied them, or, if promised, never forthcoming.

They derived little consolation from the discovery that, however small the profit derived from the land they bought, those who sold had the privilege of skimming the cream from what they paid.

The commissions paid to the Government officers, holding positions somewhat analogous to those of the Crown Lands Commissioners of our own time, were so large, as at last to attract the attention of the Executive Council. Between January 1, and December 19, 1854, Captain Wickham received £973 6s. 8d.—£473 more than his salary as Government Resident; and Colonel Gray, at Ipswich, between June 13, 1853, and June 31, 1854, £236 1s. 10d.
The public justly thought that those gentlemen would have been well remunerated by much less sums for attending two or three hours half a dozen times in the year, and that the balance might have been devoted to some of the local wants which pressed so heavily upon them. I forbear multiplying instances, but I am constrained to say, that in most of the official appointments of those days, the indirect emolument was often more than the direct salary, and the public service suffered accordingly.

.........The sales of public lands, when held, met with the usual response of ready buyers. One return gives the proceeds, during fifteen months, from April 1, 1854, to June 30, 1855, at Brisbane, at £25,347; at Ipswich, £14,355 18s.

During the period, from July 31, 1854, to June 30, 1855—eleven months—the commissions paid to the officers managing the sales at the two places, were, to Captain Wickham, £1,156 8s. 1d., and to Colonel Gray, £851 15s. 7d. Thus, the income of the then Government Resident at Moreton Bay, was more than that of the Premier of Queensland now, and of the Police Magistrate at Ipswich equal to it.....

................The stream of immigration flowed rather slackly during the year, and there was unfortunately a considerable migration southward from the district. The direct arrivals from Great Britain were 1.258, and of these some, despite the remonstrances of the inhabitants, were transhipped to Sydney. About 350 Germans were brought, of whom a portion was also forwarded to Sydney.

The Moreton Bay Land and Emigration Company assumed what may be termed a definitely passive shape; a board of directors being formed, and a call of half-a-crown per share being made, but only for the purpose of defraying the preliminary expenses incurred in passing the Act. All further action, it was announced, would be delayed until the result of an effort to be made in England to obtain the co-operation of capitalists there was seen................

.......In the meantime, the influx of population rendered some attempt at government indispensable. An assistant gold commissioner, a sub-gold commissioner, a sub-collector of customs, and a landing-waiter and tide-surveyor, and a small police force, were sent to Rockhampton, which had been proclaimed a township. Captain O'Connell, who had been gazetted, on September 17, as a gold commissioner, forwarded a report on the 27th, in which, while still expressing faith in the field, he confessed that he looked with some alarm at the unusual numbers said to be on their way, and feared that much disappointment and individual distress would be the result.

By the middle of October it was known, both in Brisbane and Sydney, that the supposed auriferous wealth of the district existed principally in the imagination, and that great misery existed there; while a considerable number of the later arrivals returned by the vessels in which they came.

There was some tendency to riot, and much wrath indulged in, at, what was termed, a swindling imposition. The inexcusable and unaccountable folly of the angry men was really most to blame. Captain O'Connell had much trouble in dealing with the disappointed adventurers, and his treatment of them was eulogised in the Melbourne Argus, at the time, as equally firm and conciliatory.

 On October 7 the numbers on the diggings were reduced to between four and five hundred; by the 15th they were reduced to two hundred and fifty, and thereafter, by degrees, the field became deserted.
In all, not less than ten thousand people were reported as having been attracted to the shores of the Fitzroy by this extraordinary delusion. One good resulted from it.

A site was surveyed for a township at Rockhampton, and the first land sales were held in Sydney on November 17 and 18. Captain O'Connell became again Resident at Port Curtis, and the other gold commissioners, I presume, went their ways. When the land sale was held a great number of lots were offered, and nearly all were sold. The average prices were, for half an allotment facing the river, £70; and for back allotments, £17.


As the immigrants arrived before separation from New South Wales, their future was in the hands of Captain J.C. Wickham.  The man in charge before separation.  The same man who would not record the arrivals of the settlers, who did not think they should be coming to his colony.

Perhaps then it became almost to a man, their resolve and determination to ensure that Queensland was separated from New South Wales, and allowed to become a Government in its own right.

The Officers of the Moreton Bay District in the Colony
 of New South Wales

Government Resident,-Captain J. C. Wickham, R.N.

Clerk,-Mr. C. Carrington.

Port Curtis-J. Jardine, Esqr. Leichhardt--H. Wiseman, Esqr. 
Burnett and Wide Bay-A. E. Halloran, Esqr.
Maranoa-H. Boyle, Esqr. 
Darling Downs-M. E. L. Barrowes, Esqr.

LAND AGENTS.-Brisbane-A. A. May, Esqr. 
Ipswich-  F. C. Daveney, Esqr.


Resident Judge, Hon. Samuel Frederick Milford. 
Registrar,  Gustavus Birch, Esqr. 
Judge's Associate and Registrar's   Clerk, Mr. G. R. Milford. 
Clerk for entering Deeds, George 1t. Watson. 
Tipstaff and Court keeper, John Halloran.
Messenger, Thomas Dickens.

CROWN LAW OFFICERS.-Crown Prosecutor, Ratcliffe
Pring, Esqr. Crown Solicitor, Robert Little, Esqr. Clerk to latter, Mr. Edwin Norris.

Sheriff, William Anthony Brown, Esqr. 
Bailiff, Mr. Jeremiah Daly. 
Bailiff's Assistant,  Charles Davis

Chief Commissioner of Insolvent Estates,His Honor Judge Milford. 
Official Assignee and Curator  of Intestate Estates, W. Pickering, Esqr.

John Clements Wickham (21 November 1798 – 6 January 1864) was a Scottish explorer, naval officer, magistrate and administrator. He was first officer on HMS Beagle during its second survey mission, 1831–1836, under captain Robert FitzRoy. 

The young naturalist and geologist Charles Darwin was a supernumerary on the ship, and his journal was published as The Voyage of the Beagle. After that expedition, Wickham was promoted to Commander and made captain of the Beagle on its third voyage, from 1837 and conducted various maritime expeditions and hydrographic surveys along the Australian coastline.

In 1843, after his retirement from the Royal Navy, Wickham was made Police Magistrate and, later, Government Resident of the Moreton Bay District, in the Colony of New South Wales (NSW). Wickham retired in 1859, when the Moreton Bay District was separated from NSW, forming basis of the Colony of Queensland. When the Queensland and NSW governments disagreed over which was responsible for his pension, Wickham moved to France, where he died.

Wickham became the police magistrate at the Moreton Bay District of New South Wales (now Queensland).

From 1853 he was Government Resident of the Moreton Bay District and resided at Newstead House, Brisbane.

Newstead House is the oldest surviving home in Brisbane, but not the oldest surviving building, built in 1846, for Patrick Leslie and his wife Catherine (née McArthur). In 1847 he sold Newstead House to his brother-in-law (married to Anna McArthur) the Police Magistrate and Government Resident.

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