On Tuesday the 28th of November 1809, says the Sydney Gazette, a Court of Criminal Judicature was convened for the trial of James Heath, and Henry Williams, who were indicted for breaking and entering a mill at Pyrmont, belonging to G. Blaxcell, Esq. and stealing there from seven canvass bags, containing fifteen bushels of wheat; to which charge both the prisoners pleaded guilty, and received sentence of condemnation.
Upon this awful occasion the judge advocate pathetically admonished the prisoners to repentance, setting before them at the same time the mirror of their transgressions, which arbitrarily demanded the interposition of the legal power. The unhappy men appeared to be much affected at the situation in which their crimes had brought them, and evinced sincere contrition.
A representation of the circumstances having been subsequently made to his Honour the Lieutenant Governor, his Honour was pleased to extend the royal grace and pardon to both the criminals, conditionally on their serving as transports for life within the limits of this territory.
In the same paper we find no bad specimen of Botany Bay poetry; and, as the subject comes within the scope of our work, we present it in this place to our readers.
THE POOR CONVICT.
"By fortune discarded- a prison my doom,
Ah why do I sadly survive,
But to end an existence, mayhap, in this tomb,
That's prepared for the wretch while alive.
"If a brother in durance hail freedom's return,
To transport my heart doth incline;
But transient's the joy-with impatience I burn,
And I wish the same blessing were mine.
"Now hope grows too feeble my spirits to cheer;
Reflection consoles me no more;
For thought but informs me my lot is severe,
That I live but new ills to endure.
"From whom shall the convict immur'd beg relief;
Or who his misfortunes befriend,
When the wants of his children but adds to his grief,
And their tears they unheeded expend?
"Ye generous few, who can kindly bestow
A mite on the suffering poor,
Compassionate this my sad story of woe,
And to liberty open the door.
"Or if by mishap be unheeded my pray'r,
And I sink beneath usage unkind,
The grave puts an end to all miseries here
And in death a true friend I shall find."
FORGERY IN BOTANY BAY.
Some ingenious person or persons, continues this Gazette, having passed several forged bills, written with a pen so as to imitate printing, the public are cautioned against the fraud; and, in order to put a stop to it, are recommended to bring to immediate detection any person from whom any such may have been received, or by whom such future imposition shall be attempted.
PROCLAMATION FOR REGULATING THE HOURS OF WORK, OF THE
CONVICTS AT BOTANY BAY.
"Head Quarters, Government House,
Sydney, 20th January 1810.
"In consequence his Excellency the Governor having been enabled to augment the ration, the hours for labour for working gangs in the employ of government will be as follows,
"From day light till 8 o'clock work; from 8 o'clock till nine, rest. From nine o'clock till 3 in the afternoon, labour, at which time it ceases for the day; and on Saturday, from day light till ten o'clock, at which time the labour ceases until Monday following,
"By Command of His Excellency,
"JOHN. T. CAMPBELL, Secretary."