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Original Documents on Aborigines and Law, 1797-1840

Document 67

Original Document 67

The Rev. Mr Watson to Mr Justice Burton of the conduct of Messrs. Maughan and Raymond at the Mission Station, Wellington. 2 June 1838 




                        To His Honour

                                                            Mr Justice Burton M.C.

                                                                        &c.   &c.   &c.

   Well. Valley Sydney


2nd June 1838

Rev   W. Watson


Mr Justice Burton

on the conduct

of Messrs. Maughan

and Raymond

24   67


Mission House   Wellington Valley 2 June 1838

My Dear Sir

                        You are aware that between the departure, from this Colony, of Sir Richard Bourke, and the arrival of His Excellency Sir George, the Acting Governor appointed that Wellington Valley should be the residence of a Police Magistrate - Constables - Scourger &c &c.   Although the land had been devoted to Missionary purposes by order of the Honourable the Secretary of State for the Colonies and the boundaries gazetted by order of Sir Richard Bourke.   My late journey to Sydney was to endeavour to procure an alteration of this appointment which if established would ruin our mission.   His Excellency The Governor intimated that the greatest difficulty would arise from Messrs Maughan and Raymond having been permitted to occupy one of the Government Buildings here for the last three years.   It is necessary for me to state the circumstances under which they were allowed to occupy one of the buildings which were there.   In the beginning of 1835 Mr Raymond Esq. having selected his grant of land adjoining the Mission Land requested leave to occupy one of the Government Buildings at Wellington Valley, under my charge, until he should have erected a house on his Estate, to this I gave a direct refusal stating as my reason for so doing, that, his servant men would be an annoyance to the Mission in reference to the female Natives, to which W.R. Esq. replied, that the time would be short, and that they should have but one servant, however he did not obtain permission.   A short time afterwards, I received a note of which the following is a copy

Bathurst 20 March 1835


            With reference to a conversation Mr William Raymond had a short time since, on the subject of obtaining from you the accommodation of a temporary residence in one of the [375] unoccupied Govt. buildings under your charge at Wellington Valley.   I was connected with that gentleman and having got up all our stores thus far for commencing operations on the grant near the caves altho' quite a stranger to you refrain from seconding the request he has made, with which should you deem it expedient - we may I should think be mutually useful to each other - in as far as we are concerned by promoting your object with the Natives and on your part for affording us for a short while that protection to our persons and property which we might in vain seek to obtain by other means than those you have it in your power to afford on the present occasion.


                                                                                    Yours very obediently

                                                                                                Signed [?] Maughan


The Rev

Mr Watson

            Mission House }

            Wellington         }

To this request under their circumstances I could not but agree - they came and were allowed the use of a paddock which this season they refused to give up.   When they had no protection for their wool from the rain they were allowed to store it in one of our Buildings, and on our third application for the Building which we want immediately they state that "We shall suit our convenience as to vacating the same at some period ere the expiration of six months from the date of the full notice."

Although they requested permission, only for a short while, and indeed were allowed the Building to store their wool only for that season, they seem to imagine that they can require six months notice, notwithstanding [376]no such agreement was made, nor have they ever contributed anything toward the Mission as an acknowledgment for the privileges they have been favoured with here.   Moreover we have reason to believe - that they gave been the principal contrivers of the Police Establishment at Wellington Valley .

His Excellency the Governor told me the other day that I ought to have applied to the Government to have had them removed long ago.   We gave them notice yesterday to leave the Mission Establishment altogether within a month from the date.   The mail leaves Wellington Valley on Sundays in Midst of Divine Service, and the person whom [?] Mr Raymond entertains as Post Master desecrates the Sabbath on the Mission Premises in the presence of many Natives by Shooting - playing at Balls. and you will naturally infer the evil influence which such conduct must have on the Native minds. The [??] refused to take any notice of the behaviour of Messrs Maughan and Raymond (who are on their way to Sydney ).   I therefore thought that from the interest you take in our Mission you would have the Kindness to give us your advice, or act for us in this case as you shall see desirable.

                                                                                    I have the honour to be

                                                                                                My dear Sir

                                                                                                            Yours faithfully

                                                                                                            W. Watson

To His Honour

            Chief Justice Burton


            Approved   James Gunther


[1]We would like to thank volunteer Steve Salter for his meticulous transcription and presentation of this document.

Published by the Centre for Comparative Law History and Governance of Macquarie University, and State Records NSW