The Memorial and Justification of Mr. Barton … [bound with] The Affairs of the Australian Agricultural Company.

The Memorial and Justification of Mr. Barton…
The Memorial and Justification of Mr. Barton … [bound with] The Affairs of the Australian Agricultural Company.

Cornhill [and] London: Pelham Richardson, 1832 &, 1833.

Two works bound in one, octavo; the first 73 pp. with folding table; the second 33 pp.; tan half calf.

Scandals in the Australian Agricultural Company

Two very scarce works relating to the scandals that engulfed the Australian Agricultural Company, both written by the Company's agent William Barton, father of Sir Edmund Barton, the first Prime Minister of Australia. The Company was founded in London in 1824, with members of the Macarthur family actively involved in its establishment. On the advice of Commissioner Bigge, settlers with capital were encouraged to take up land in Australia: the Company took up a vast land grant in Port Stephens in early 1826 but despite huge support and investment, the venture initially struggled. During this period a quarrel between Barton, appointed as accountant in 1824, and the manager Sir William Parry, led to Barton's resignation.

Two very scarce works relating to the scandals that engulfed the Australian Agricultural Company, both written by the Company's agent William Barton, father of Sir Edmund Barton, the first Prime Minister of Australia. The Company was founded in London in 1824, with members of the Macarthur family actively involved in its establishment. On the advice of Commissioner Bigge, settlers with capital were encouraged to take up land in Australia: the Company took up a vast land grant in Port Stephens in early 1826 but despite huge support and investment, the venture initially struggled. During this period a quarrel between Barton, appointed as accountant in 1824, and the manager Sir William Parry, led to Barton's resignation.

The first book, therefore, is literally Barton's "memorial and justification", and of great interest for the correspondence that is printed, especially that of Barton himself and also Sir William Parry's. Barton's detailed publication is one of the more significant early works relating to Port Stephens and the Company generally. The second book, published the following year, was also an integral part of the public defence and remuneration claim of Barton against the Company. Barton published this text of the company's accounts 'incontestably to prove that it is not attributable to my conduct' that the reports from New South Wales were so brief and unpromising. He also appends letters from key figures in the Company, notably one from John Macarthur who, amidst complaints of shattered health, asserts 'The Grant, with a very slight exception, is a barren waste.'

Ferguson initially listed only the Mitchell Library copies of both of these works, but an additional copy of the Memorial and Justification (his own) and three of the Affairs appear in the Addenda volume.

Ferguson, 1511 (Memorial and Justification), 1628 (Affairs).

Price (AUD): $5,500.00  other currencies     Ref: #4107074

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