Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/117

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Early in the present century, Richard Atkins, Esquire, a gentleman who had not previously received a legal education, and who was consequently very ignorant in matters of law, was appointed Judge-Advocate, or principal law-officer, of the settlement. Conscious of his own deficiencies, he solicited and obtained Governor Bligh's permission to consult, in all difficult cases of law, a convict-attorney, of the name of Crossley, who had been convicted of perjury in London, and had been afterwards pilloried and transported; and the services of this individual having been especially rendered, in drawing up an indictment against a respectable inhabitant of the colony, who had previously been an officer of the New South Wales corps, for alleged resistance to the governor's authority, and contempt of the government regulations; the officers of that corps violently arrested the governor, and usurped the government of the colony,—pleading, as their principal excuse, the employment of Crossley as a confidential law-adviser of the government, in matters affecting the property and lives of respectable individuals. This insurrection proved a source of incalculable evil to New South Wales, and subjected the British government to enormous expense.

During the government of Major-General Macquarie, another convict attorney, of the name of