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Historical Records of New Zealand

Lieutenant-Governor King to Under Secretary Nepean.*

page 126

Lieutenant-Governor King to Under Secretary Nepean.*

Gorgon, Teneriffe, April 18th, 1791.

Dear Sir,—

After a very tedious passage of a month from Portsmouth we arrived here the 15th inst., and I suppose shall sail about the 21st; but as no vessel is yet at this place bound to Europe, it will be some time before you can receive this.

I must once more remind you of the necessity of some arrangement being made respecting the judicial proceedings on N.I. I am certain that when you consider the great number of inhabitants on that island, the necessity of that business being arranged will be obvious to you. A sett of common-form law books will be necessary, such as will give necessary information, and not lead one into the maze of law. I should think these books would be Burn’s “Justice,“ Jacobs’s “Law Dictionary,“ and Blackstone’s “Commentaries.“ Should any other be necessary, I should suppose that a list of the books supplied Mr. Collins might be found at some of the offices.

Coals, seines, fishing lines and hooks will also be great essentials, and absolutely necessary.

We have a great deal of room [rheum] on board the Gorgon, and I am fearfull we shall have as much all the passage.

Should the manufacturing of the flax-plant on Norfolk Island thought an object, which it must be, were it only to cloath those who are now there, two or three New Zealanders would be necessary to show how the operation of separating the flaxy from the vegetable part of the plant is performed, and without that assistance I do not think we shall succeed, as every method we could devise has been tried already, but without success.

If there could be a possibility of my being allowed the whole of the salary from my leaving Norfolk Island till I arrive there again, it would make a material sum to me. Major Ross receives his appointment as Lt.-Governor independent of N.I., and so I came home on service. I refer my claim to your friendship, and if it is customary to make any allowance for expences going out, it will be a little help to me, as my mess to New South Wales will be near £50. Should this be a customary allowance, I hope I shall not be excluded, and have desired my agent to wait upon you. If the first is improper, and the second unusual, no more can be done.

The enclosed is a letter for Mr. Davidson, in which is a receipt for some articles sent on board the Gorgon, and which would have been sent from Spithead, but as our departure from Spithead soon followed my getting to Portsmouth, and having much to do, it did not occur to me till too late.

page 127

Two English ships, which from their appearance we took to be transports, passed this island on the 16th, standing to the southward. I believe Capt. P. [Parker] intends touching at St. Iago. I beg my respectfull comp’ts to Mrs. Nepean.

I am, &c.,

Philip Gidley King.

* A private letter.