The Old Whaling Days
Magisterial Report to Governor Darling
Magisterial Report to Governor Darling.
7th February, 1831.
We have the honour to report to you for the information of His Excellency the Governor that having been apprized that a transaction of a criminal character had taken place at New Zealand in which the Captain of the Elizabeth Brig, John Stewart, and some other persons in that vessel took a prominent part. We have taken the examinations of several witnesses (and more evidence in confirmation can be procured) which we have the honor to transmit herewith.
From a perusal of these Documents it will appear that a Native Chief of New Zealand has been received on board the Elizabeth Brig, and in a treacherous manner given up to certain other natives, his enemies, by whom he was put to death. That such conduct as is detailed in the evidence taken, would generally entail a capital punishment on the parties implicated, there can be no doubt; but as there is some doubt existing as to the extent of the Criminal Jurisdiction given by the Act of 9 George 4th, Cap: 83 as applicable to this case.
We have the honor to request that the opinion of the Crown Officers may be taken upon the question of how far page 382 the Magistrates are justified in proceeding with a view of putting the apparent criminals on their trials for murder. As the vessel is on the eve of departure we beg to suggest that an immediate answer may be given.
We have &c.
T. Rossi J.P.
F. Hely J.P.