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Port Macquarie

Back To 48th Foot .The Northamptonshire Regiment 1817 - 1824
Information below has been given (with thanks) by the following organisations
1 ) Members of the 48th Regiment of Foot Re-enactment Group. ( P.O. Box 1480 Port Macquarie )
2 ) Port Macquarie Historical Court House Museum ( Clarence Street Port Macquarie )
3 ) Port Macquarie Museum ( Port Macquarie Historical Society )
On the 11th of March 1821 records show that Captain Allman embarked for Port Macquarie on board the
Briganteen "Lady Nelson". She was accompanied by the cutter "Mermaid" and the schooner "Prince Regent". The detatchment consisted of two officers, one being Captain Francis Allman the other Lieutenant Wm Wilson , one surgeon , two Sergeants , two Corporals , one Drummer, and thirty three Privates
With the 48th detatchment was Stephen Partridge , Superintendent of Convicts , one convict Doctor , sixty
convict labourers, some women and children . The detatchment in some ways set up and began the settlement at Port Macqarie for free settlement . Port Macquarie was originally set up as a penal colony for the hardened convicts (Secondary offenders since arriving in the colony of New South Wales).
Excerpt from : On Parade the 48th Northamptonshire Regiment
With provisions for 6 months a company of 40 soldiers of the 48th Regiment under the command of
Captain Allman ,together with Superintendent of Convicts , one convict Doctor , sixty convict labourers, some women and children, disembarked from 3 small vessels at the mouth of the Hastings River on the 17th of April 1821,having being despatched by Govenor Macquarie from Sydney Town to establish a penal colony at Port Macquarie .
John Oxley, Australia's first Surveyor General, had previously surveyed the area and furnished a report to
the govenor, who favoured the site as a secondary place of punishment for the worst offenders, those who had re-offended since being transported The regiment being awarded battle honours at Talavera during the Napolionic Wars was to remain (only a small part of the regiment served in Port Macquarie) in Port Macquarie for three years,guarding the convicts and protecting the infant colony before sailing from Australia for further active service in India.
Port Macquarie was the third Penal settlement in the colony of New South Wales . The 48th Regiment
played an important role as vast areas of the colony began to be settled.
When John Oxley followed the Hastings River to the coast after crossing the mountain ranges , he
stumbled across an area that he believed to be of great potential. The Govenor of the day Lauchlan Macquarie acted an Oxley's advice and sent a detatchment of soldiers and a number of convicts to establish a settlement at Port Macquarie. Govenor Macquarie needed another penal colony to replace the one at Newcastle and following further examinations of Newport and Jervis Bay, the former was chosen to house the growing population of convicts who had been double convicted.
The Govenor chose Captain Francis Allman of the 48th Regiment to lead the expidition . A Military
detatchment along with 60 volunteer convicts was despatched they were to prepare the site for settlement.
The detachment sailed from Port Jackson on the 3rd of March 1821, in the Brig " Lady Nelson" the cutter
" Mermaid " and the schooner " Prince Regent " on arrival at Port Macquarie high seas prevented the ships from crossing the bar (entrance to a harbour). They were forced to take shelter at Trial bay and await better conditions. With more favorable sea's the " Prince Regent " crossed the bar of the new port on the evening of the 17th of April 1821. She was forced to anchor of shore as she had damaged her rudder on a submerged rock,this left her unable to steer . On the following morning ( the 18th of April 1821) the "Mermaid" made her bar crossing attempt , but she too found trouble. The "Mermaid had ran aground damaging her stern plates and also losing her rudder. The "Lady Nelson" made it across the bar that day with no mishap. The first camp was set up near the river and consisted of only temporary shelters.
By August Captain Allman had moved the settlement to more permanent quarters back from the river . The
settlement was becoming more and more self sufficient with gardens for cultivation . Just prior to Govenor Macquarie vacating his post on the 22nd of July 1822 he recorded the state of the settlement as having weatherboard accomodation for the Commandant of the Military , Military Houses , Comisariate Stores & temporary accomodation for 100 soldiers and 300 convicts . The Officers and Soldiers were accomodated at Allmans Hill while the convicts were accomodated near the propsed future town .


On the 17th Day of April in the yera of our lord 1821.
I Francis Allman Captain of the 48th Regiment of Foot,as the Commander and Magistrate appointed by his Excelency the Govenor & Commander-in -Chief in the Colony of New South Wales Lauchlan Macquarie.
As directed by his Excelency. Know all men by his prescence this Penal Settlement shall be known as a place of Secondary Punishment with in the Colony of New South Wales.
They are charged to administer Justice with clemency. It is my duty unswervingly to keep all convicts at constant hard labour to prevent their escape .
Let it be known to all that his Excelency directs all residents to partake of frequent bathing in the sea, such being condusive to cleanliness and good health.
The Govenor further directs that all fellons be informed, each may be rewarded with a ticket of leave or a conditional Pardon after 18 months of satisfactory service.
His Excelency desires of the affairs of the Settlement be so managed that with the fullness of time Port Macquarie shall develope into a place of freedom, progress and proseraty for all.

God Save the King

Three Regiments served in Port Macquarie from 1821 to 1823, the 48th Northampton Regiment of Foot, the Third Regiment (The Buffs) & the 39th Dorsetshire Regiment .Pictures of the colours are located in the steeple gallery of St Thomas Church ,Port Macquarie. They were presented to the church on the 8th of December 1974 by Sir Roden Cutler, Govenor of New South Wales at that time
Accounts from local residents & library material
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Copyright B & M Chapman (QLD) Australia
Last revised: August 05, 2001.