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Historical Records of New Zealand


page 655

To His Excellency Lieutenant-General Darling. Captain General, and Commander-in-Chief in and over the Territory of New South Wales and its Dependencies.

The memorial of John Busby, Civil Engineer and Mineral Surveyor, sheweth,

That your memorialist volunteered his services to take off H.M. colonial brig Elizabeth Henrietta, stranded on the coast of New Zealand, at great risk of danger to his person and professional character, conceiving that he should thereby perform an acceptable service to the Government.

That your memorialist fully succeeded in his undertaking, after encountering great dangers and privations.

That although upwards of ten months have elapsed since the return of your memorialist from New Zealand he has never been able to bring the case under the notice of the Colonial Government, to whose favourable consideration he conceives himself entitled for the following reasons:—

That such a service lying out of the line of his duty, the undertaking was altogether voluntary.


That in accomplishing such an undertaking he conceives he has afforded an example which, in similar cases, may prove important in saving the property of the Crown.


That, in consequence of the undertaking, the pecuniary gain to Government has been very considerable, to a large share of which your memorialist would have been entitled by law had the property been private, even had it been considered recoverable, but it was abandoned after the fruitless endeavours of H.M.S. Tees to take her off.

That in addition to the saving of the vessel the undertaking was otherwise the means of large gain to Government.


In accomplishing the object for which the Elizabeth Henrietta was fitted out and sent on the voyage, at an expense which must be underrated at £1,000.


In being the means of procuring the greatest portion of ten tons of flax, valued at £1,000, which flax but for his undertaking could not have been procured, nor supposing it procured, could have been brought home.

That although your memorialist did not receive even an approval of his conduct and exertions in having saved the vessel, yet in the same business Government recognised a claim for hazardous employment by allowing the master and officers of the Elizabeth Henrietta, in addition to their pay, a share of the value of the flax, although merely engaged in the execution of their duty.

page 656

That your memorialist submits the following statement of property saved to Government:—

£ £
Value of Elizabeth Henrietta 1,600
Do. of flax 1,000
Do. of object attained 1,000
From which deduct—Value of stores which the cutter could have brought away 500
Salary of memorialist while employed on that service—say, 3 months 90
Expense of 2 carpenters and 1 blacksmith (prisoners) for 3 months, say 50
Materials, say 50
The cutter having been sent expressly to bring home the stores, her time can only be valued while employed in collecting flax—say, 3 months 300
Value saved 2,610

That your memorialist humbly and respectfully solicits that Your Excellency would be pleased to cause an investigation to be made into the circumstances of the case, in order that such remuneration may be rewarded him as the merits of it shall be found to warrant.

And your memorialist will ever pray, &c., &c. Sydney,9th January, 1826.