Object #1010064 from MS-Papers-0032-0291

4 pages written 9 Sep 1847 by Robert Gillingham in Auckland Region to Sir Donald McLean in New Plymouth District

From: Inward letters - Surnames, Gil, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0291 (7 digitised items). Correspondents:Agnes Gillies, Auckland, 2 undated letters; R Gillingham, Auckland, 1847 and undated (2 letters); Thomas Gillon, Wairoa, 1867 (1 letter); John Gilmour, New Plymouth, 1852 (1 letter); Thomas Gilpin, Havelock, 1868 (1 letter)

A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.

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English (ATL)

Blue Bell Inn, Auckland,
Sept. 9th, 1847.

D. Maclean Esqr. New Plymouth.
Sir,

You will probably be surprized at receiving a letter from me, but having thro the recommendation of Mr. Thatcher and Captain Symonds been offered a situation by Captain Murray of the 65 Regt. in the Public works department as director of a body of natives with a present salary of 70£ pr. anm. wh. I conditionally accepted, i.e. if Captain Atkyns would accept my resignation, wh. I have tendered to him today Mentioning the circumstance that there was every probability if I returned to New Plymouth Caupell would have returned to his duty before I got there and consequently my services would be no longer required - Captain Atkyns told me that he should offer no objections to my resigning and told me the proper course would be to state the circumstances of the case to the Col.Secty. who he added he had no doubt would agree to my wishes - Upon the strength therefore of this supposition I have commenced this letter as if I delayed it till after I had seen the Colonial Secretary and it met his approbation I should not have time to do myself the honor of writing you the particulars afterwards, as the Sarah Berry leaves soon after the Colonial Secretary's office will be open - I arrived at Manakou on the 20th and was compelled to wait there till the following Monday Evening before I could get a boat to cross in and delivered the despatches and Mails early Tuesday morning - I then delivered your letter to Mr.White and afterwards proceeded to the Police Office to report myself to Captain Atkyns who at my request relieved me from duty during the time I remained in Auckland excepting appearing on the Parade Ground 3 times pr day that he may know where to find me immediately the Col.Secy. had forwarded instructions to him for my return to enable me to attend more fully to my suit in the Supreme Court wh. I am happy to say is at last favorably progressing - on the following day I went to Mr.Lewis's with your letter and enclose herewith the rect. and from thence to the College but could not see Mr.Cotton I however left the packet with Mr.Fisher, who has forwarded by the Sarah Berry a parcel to Mrs. Bolland.

Mr.White has told me of your instructing him to advance me 20s or 40s if I should require it; but I shall have no necessity to do so and therefore would be obliged if you would settle the account with my brother whom I have directed to pay several small ac/s for me - Having now informed you of the manner in wh. I executed your commands, I shall proceed to acquaint you with the practice of the police force in this district as you directed, I can discover but very little difference between their drill and yours nor do I consider they are very far in advance notwithstanding they have the opportunity and advantage of being drilled by the best drill Sergeants from the 58th and 65th now in Auckland - the only discrepancy I have been able to discover is in coming to the load after firing as a Company - the carbine is brought from the firing position to the left of the left toe and the word of command "Shoulder Arms" appears to be quite extinct both in the police and Military for wh. they have substituted "Advance Arms" - The duties of the Police here are very severe and of course very unpopular amongst the men and I believe they are frequently, as at the present time in want of men - I believe the force is divided in this manner 6 at Oneonga Beach 4 and a Sergeant at the Bay of Islands and the remainder here for Town duty - About half of the resident police go on duty at a time one native and one white man being sent together day and night in Town watch, The same party keeps on for 24 hours commencing every morning at 8 o'clock. After stopping 4 hours on duty they return to the guard room where they may rest themselves for 2 hours and then go on duty for another 4 hours and so on for the 24 - so that they get every alternate night in - they keep the Town in excellent order and apprehend every party they find drunk whether he is disorderly or otherwise - I have attended several times at the resident Magistrates court at their examination wh. is exceedingly brief - the Policeman merely says "About such a time I found the prisoner drunk in Queen St. Magistrate, Have you any questions to ask?

Prisoner. No, Sir.

Magistrate. You will pay 5 shillings and costs.

I attended to-day at the Resident Magistrate's Court to hear a charge, brought against a Captain of small craft for removing powder without a licence - by the next mail I shall do myself the pleasure of transmitting you the particulars, to shew you how exceedingly particular they are with respect to this Ordinance - the slightest information is invariably siezed hold of by the police wh. affects in the most remote manner this Ordinance - Since I have been in Auckland the Race horse has brought in a Hobart Town Whaler from the bay for selling a musket etc. - She is now laying under the bows of the Race horse - full particulars you will find in the papers sent herewith

I have copied several of the notices wh. I found posted in the Guard Room and shall forward as many of them to you as I have time to recopy by this post they will put you in possession of the instructions delivered to the men of this force - perhaps I ought to say that on an officer entering the guard room, the men stand to "attention" but never take of their cap as at New Plymouth - on entering the Inspector's room for the purpose of speaking to him they salute him on entering and again on leaving but do not uncover.

The Arms they have here are something shorter than yours and of the most substantial and beautiful description if have an opportunity to speak to Mr.Thatcher I shall ask him to remind his Excellency of his promise to forward some of them to New Plymouth for I have heard from the police that there are plenty of spare ones.

With respect to the disposal of Powder etc. the plan the Merchants adopt here is to apply to the Inspector for permission to sell such an individual such a quantity of powder etc.

I have enclosed you two printed forms of the newest drill given me by one of the Sergeant Majors and beg to be allowed the honor to


Remain Your Most Obedt.Servant,
R. Gillingham.

Part of:
Inward letters - Surnames, Gil, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0291 (7 digitised items)
Series 1 Inward letters (English), Reference Number Series 1 Inward letters (English) (14501 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)

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