London: James Ridgway, 1820.
Octavo, Aquarius binding of full navy calf, gilt spine.
Bennet's attack on Macquarie precipitating the Bigge enquiry
An important early colonial work, Bennet's attack on the administration of Governor Macquarie, was an important document that precipitated the enquiry by Commissioner Bigge and the end of Macquarie's command in New South Wales.
An important early colonial work, Bennet's attack on the administration of Governor Macquarie, was an important document that precipitated the enquiry by Commissioner Bigge and the end of Macquarie's command in New South Wales.Bennet (1777-1836) was a British politician who led a crusade to reduce crime, investigate prisons and transportation while reforming the London police. With a charge to 'to diminish the sum of human misery' Bennet worked tirelessly to expose maladministration and archaic practices in British gaols and the transportation system generally. In this published address to Lord Bathurst, Macquarie is accused of extravagance and autocracy. However, writing from England, Bennet relied upon prejudiced testimonies from Macquarie's enemies (including the indefatigable Reverend Samuel Marsden) and ultimately presented a biased version of events. Although Bennet's work in England was broad and enlightened, his critique of convict administration became a tool for colonial 'exclusives' who wished to end Macquarie's term as governor of New South Wales.A Letter to Earl Bathurst… remains a highly informative account of transportation and early colonial society generally, it includes useful statistical information including population figures, a civil list of persons holding government posts and shipping arrivals and departures for the years 1819-20. Furthermore, the appendix prints letters from Governor Macquarie, Samuel Marsden, W.H. Moore and others. Marsden's letter concerning affairs at the Parramatta hospital is a fine work of vitriol, asserting 'For the number of persons in the hospital, I do not believe that there is such an infamous brothel in the whole universe…I behold drunkenness, whoredom, sickness and death…in the room where the dead are lying, debaucheries are going on.'
Australian Rare Books, 44; Ferguson, 777.
Price (AUD): $3,450.00 other currencies Ref: #4302337