Page:A colonial autocracy, New South Wales under Governor Macquarie, 1810-1821.djvu/63

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35
THE DEPOSITION OF BLIGH.

profit somehow. Probably they were right, for Macarthur was not the man to hold power idly, and if he had ever suffered a grievance would have used every weapon that came to his hands to redress it. The officers themselves who had accepted his interpretation of the law and acted in ignorant good faith began to wonder if Macarthur, in seeking to form a new Government, had not been furthering some schemes of his own.

But however much the settlers feared and distrusted Macarthur, they had more to suffer under Foveaux. He and Macarthur had long been on bad terms, and with his arrival the Colonial Secretary fell into the background. The new Lieutenant-Governor was a clever and vigorous man, and had no need of the strengthening arm on which Johnston had leant. But his administrative training had been gained in the bad school of Norfolk Island, where harsh and rapid measures had been adopted to govern a small isolated community of convicts and soldiers, often on the verge of famine or insurrection. Foveaux could deal adequately with the commercial and agricultural needs of the country, but in ruling men he relied too much on the methods of sudden arrests and quick and arbitrary punishments. When Paterson did at last reach headquarters in January, 1809, Foveaux remained the real though no longer the nominal chief. Paterson went up to Paramatta and nursed his infirmities at the Governor's cottage in peaceful retirement. The Government went on in his name, and it was nominally under his orders that Macarthur and Johnston sailed for England in the Admiral Gambier merchant vessel in March, 1809. They went to lay their case against Bligh before the Home Government, and in the same month Bligh also set sail in His Majesty's Ship Porpoise of which he held the command. At first he was to have been sent off in the Admiral Gambier but after long negotiations an agreement was drawn up and signed by him and Paterson, and he was allowed to set forth upon the journey on his own quarterdeck. By the terms of the agreement Paterson was to allow him the number of attendants and companions he desired, while he was bound on his side to sail straight to England. The terms were broken by both, and Bligh put in at Van Diemen's Land, where he remained until the beginning of 1810.