Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Sunday, 9th July, 1837

As if it wasn't enough that I had to give money to Charlie Howard for the building of an Anglican church (and have yet to see any progress on that front, I might add), this week he was back at me asking for money for the building of a Wesleyan Church.

Just how many Churches does this man represent? He'll be raising money for a Temple to Diana if he gets half a chance. He wittered on in his usual pompous way about "those who dread the evil of our becoming a Sabbath desecrating, and consequently a Godless people, will readily contribute towards so desirable an object as the erection of a house of worship." and  I gave him five pounds just to get rid of him. He went on his way, as happy as a sand boy, but I cannot help but feel that the man is lining his own pocket.

He is certainly in a state at the moment, caught up in the Machiavellian intricacies of church politics. It appears that His High and Mightiness William Broughton of Sydney has decided that, as he rejoices in the title "The Lord Bishop of Australia" then Charlie Howard and what the Lord Bishop has graciously named "The Parish of the Holy Trinity" will henceforth come under his jurisdiction and what little property Charlie Howard has managed to collect for his church will become Broughton's property. What is more Charlie and his flock will pay money to Sydney for the privilege! Charlie has been informed that he is to consider himself Broughton's "surrogate" and will collect fees on The Lord Bishop's behalf,

Will he, bollocks!

The Lord Bishop has graciously let it be known that a marriage licence in Adelaide will cost three pounds, of which, two pounds will go into the coffers of the church in Sydney. This is the only example of the Bishop's parsimony Howard gave me, but I feel certain there are others. I do not doubt that every time a South Australian is hatched, matched or dispatched, the Church in Sydney will have their hands out for their fee.

I do believe that the Council will be communicating with the Lord Bishop of Australia in the near future so that we might offer him the use of one of Widow Harvey's largest saucepans so that he might go and boil his fat head!

Clearly his bed time reading has not included "An Act to empower His Majesty to erect South Australia into a British Province or Provinces and to provide for the Colonisation and Government thereof [15th August 1834] " whereas this delightful and instructive volume has been my constant companion for nigh on two years.

If he had given it the attention it deserves then he would know that His Majesty has given assent to the simple notion that "every person who shall at any time hereafter inhabit or reside within his majesty’s said province of South Australia shall be free and shall not be subject to or bound by any laws orders statutes or constitutions which have been heretofore made, or which hereafter shall be made ordered or enacted by for or as the laws orders statutes or constitutions of any other part of Australia but shall be subject to and bound to obey such laws orders statutes and constitutions as shall from time to time in the manner hereinafter directed be made ordered enacted for the government of his majesty’s province of South Australia." 

In short, not only has Our Gracious Majesty William of Hanover given royal assent to William Broughton boiling his fat head, but, given the opportunity, would probably put a pan of water on the fire so he could do it.

The Colony of South Australia has been established to make up its own mind, not be lectured by some jumped up cleric with delusions of grandeur who condescends from Sydney to tell us what we must do. Be buggered! We will make our own arrangements for ourselves and the great and mighty Sydney can go hang.

And, to be honest, the last person we need in South Australia is a man like William Broughton. A man who believes that the world is made up of two kids of people - the Anglican Church and the damned - is not what we want in our Colony. We have every brand of religion here in the colony you might imagine. Anglicans, Catholics, Jews, Scots Kirk, every kind of dissenter imaginable. (At last count we had five different sorts of Wesleyan, but that was a week or two ago and they might well have had another schism or two since.) I have heard that Joseph Bruce hopes to bring Mohammedan workers to the Colony and of course if Angas has his way we will have Lutherans arriving before long. What a staunch member of the Established church might make of all this I cannot imagine.

And really, does his High and Mightiness really think that he can place a part of our colony under a separate jurisdiction without at least mentioning it to the Government. Which is to say, ME! He could have at least asked first. I would still have said no, but it would have been polite.

Besides, Charles Beaumont Howard, for all his faults, is private property, bought and paid for by the South Australia Company, Old Charlie might not be up to much, but he's ours and The Lord Bishop of Australia can keep his fingers off.

Extraordinary scenes this week as Fisher and his cabal attempted a coup!

Earlier this week I was informed in writing that the Council was to meet at Fisher's house at one in the afternoon. This, it transpired, was incorrect and the Council arrived at Fisher's house for the meeting at ten in the morning. It seems that everyone else's notes had the correct time written on the them, but mine had the nought left off. "10 o'clock" on everyone else's. "1 o'clock" on mine.

I am assured that this was a mere slip of the pen and an accidental oversight, but I am not convinced and suspect foul play.

Well, they sat about twiddling their thumbs for a time and when that lost the value of novelty, sat about twiddling each other's; then they took it into their heads that since I was clearly not attending the meeting they would procedd with the business before the Council without me.

Gilles at least had the good manners to send me a boy with a hastily scribbled note asking me if I was planning to come.

I was out in the garden planting potatoes and onions when the boy arrived and as soon as I read his message I hurried to the meeting. I had time to remove my gardening gloves, but not my boots and Fisher tut tutted about the mud on his floor. His dirt floor I might add.

Mud on his floor? I gave him mud in his eye! giving the lot of them a right bollocking! I told them that it was a most unwarrantable proceeding to take it upon themselves to undertake the business of Council without me and that I viewed it as an attempt to wrest from my hands the powers entrusted to me by His Majesty's Commission.

Well of course they all acted like schoolboys caught behind the sheds. Fisher tried to be as smooth as butter and assured me that no such disrespect was meant and that it was all the merest misunderstanding.

Well! I accepted their grovelling apologies but I shall continue the straightforward exercise of my appointed and important duties without reference to the conduct of these coxcombs. I do not intend to allow their tomfoolery to impede me in the conduct of public affirs and have written to London to tell them so. 

My plan to advertise for a replacement cook came to naught, I am afraid. There was only one applicant, who said that she was highly skilled as a cook: that she always endeavoured to give satisfaction, bur that her current employer was a tyrant and she was looking for a more reasonable position. Stevenson told her my generous terms of employment and we made a time for an interview. I suppose I should have guessed, but the only applicant was, in fact Widow Harvey. Lucrezia Borgia, the mad poisoner herself. 

Well of course, after what happened last time I attempted to hire a cook I decided I should best re-employ the mad woman, lest there be trouble from Mrs Hindmarsh. But the Widow had heard that there was more generous remuneration on offer and so I find myself paying sixteen pounds instead of ten for the same execrable food, I have gained the reputation of "a tyrant" and, to gild the lily, Lucrezia told Mrs Hindmarsh all about it and I am now made a figure of fun in my domestic circle, 


Young Bingham Hutchinson has published an account of his ascent of Mount Lofty. He will, no doubt, be surprised to read it as it bears little relation to his original draft.When I read his original I suggested to our editor at the Register that he soften it down a little. Hutchinson does have a tendency to get carried away at times.

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