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Decisions of the Nineteenth Century Tasmanian Superior Courts

Notice 7 [1830]

Source: Hobart Town Gazette, 2 October 1830

By His Excellency Colonel
GEORGE ARTHUR, Lieutenant 
Governor of the Island of
Van Diemen's Land
and its Dependencies.

WHEREAS, by my Proclamation bearing date the first day of November, One thousand eight hundred and twenty-eight, RECITING (amongst other things) that the Black or Aboriginal Natives of this Island, had for a considerable time, carried on a series of indiscriminate attacks upon the persons and property of His Majesty's Subjects, and that repeated inroads were daily made by such Natives into the settled Districts, and that acts of hostility and barbarity were there committed by them, as well as at the more distant stock runs, and in some instances upon unoffending and defenceless women and children, and that had become unavoidably necessary for the suppression of similar enormities, to proclaim Martial law in the manner thereinafter directed, I the said Lieutenant Governor, did declare and proclaim, that from the date of that my Proclamation, and until the cessation of hostilities, Martial Law was and should continue to be in force against the said Black or Aboriginal Natives within the several Districts of this Island, excepting always the places and portions of this Island in the said Proclamation aftermentioned:-- And whereas, the said Black or Aboriginal Natives, or certain of their Tribes, have of late manifested, by continued repetitions of the most wanton and sanguinary acts of violence and outrage an unequivocal determination indiscriminately to destroy the White Inhabitants whenever opportunities are presented to them for doing so: -- And whereas, by reason of the aforesaid exceptions so contained in the said Proclamation, no Natives have been hitherto pursued or molested to any of the places or portions of the Island so excepted, from whence they have accordingly of late been accustomed to make repeated incursions upon the settled districts with impunity, or, having committed outrages in the settled Districts, have escaped into those excepted places, where they remain in security; And whereas therefore, it hath now become necessary, and because it is scarcely possible to distinguish the particular Tribe or Tribes by whom such outrages have been in any particular instance committed, to adopt immediately, for the purpose of effecting their capture if possible, an active and extended system of Military operations against the Natives generally throughout the Island, and every portion thereof, whether actually settled or not.
Now, therefore, by virtue of the powers and authorities in me in this behalf vested, I the said Lieutenant Governor do, by these presents declare and proclaim, that from and after the date of this my Proclamation, and until the cessation of hostilities in this behalf shall be by me hereafter proclaimed and directed, Martial Law is and shall continue to be in force against the Black or Aboriginal Natives, within every part of this Island, (whether excepted from the operation of the said Proclamation or not,) excepting always such Tribes, or Individuals of Tribes, as there may be reason to suppose are pacifically inclined, and have not been implicated in any of such outrages: And for the purpose aforesaid, all Soldiers and other His Majesty's Subjects Civil and Military, are hereby required and commanded to obey and assist their lawful Superiors in the execution of such measures as shall from time to time be in this behalf directed to be taken. But I do, nevertheless, hereby strictly order enjoin, and command, that the actual use of arms be in no case resorted to, by firing against any of the Natives or otherwise, if they can by other measures be captured; that bloodshed be invariably checked as much as possible; and that any tribes or individuals captured, or voluntarily surrendering themselves up, be treated with the utmost care and humanity; And all Officers Civil and Military, and other persons whatsoever, are hereby required to take notice of this my Proclamation, and to render obedience and assistance accordingly.

Given under my hand and seal
At arms, at the Government
House, Hobart-Town, this 
first day of Oct. in the Year
of our Lord, One Thousand
Eight Hundred and Thirty.
By His Excellency's Command,

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University and the School of History and Classics, University of Tasmania