Well, to be completely honest, he died back in June and it has taken this long for the news to reach us, which means that the King's Birthday Ball we held back in August appears now to be in the poorest of taste, since the poor old devil was a month cold in his grave while we were all singing "Long live our Gracious King!" and drinking to his health.
I have recorded it in these pages, but I was presented to him before sailing for the Colony. A singularly unimpressive chap I thought, though I was struck by seeing how his wife's nose was startling in its prominence.
I am told that when the Commissioners were planning the Colony they begged permission to name the Capital City after the King - thinking they might call it Williams Town or Williamston or some such. Accordingly they petitioned the King to allow them to call the city after him "as he saw fit." See fit he did, and they received a note from the Palace informing them that "His Majesty would be greatly pleased to have the Capital of the new Colony of South Australia named in honour of Her Majesty the Queen." And so Adelaide it was.
In his youth, when Duke of Clarence, he had a multitude of illegitimate children by a well know actress, but produced no living heir by the Queen. And so his niece, the young Princess Victoria of Kent, is now our sovereign.
Just 18, a mere chit of a girl, I can't see her lasting. At the moment she'll no doubt be the puppet of Lord Melbourne, who'll be the real power behind the throne and soon they'll probably marry her off to some Prussian or Dane or Swede and we'll all end up in a joint Kingdom or some such.
Her coming to the throne does solve one problem here for us though. When we were naming the streets we gave the large square at the centre of the plan the name "Victoria Square" after Princess Victoria, the heir presumptive. To be honest, the name hasn't really taken. Light himself still refers to it as "The Great Square" and everyone else seems to call it "that big space in the middle". Naming it after a little princess was hardly conducive to having settlers remember what it was called on the map. But since it is now named after Her Gracious Majesty then I'll wager a turd to a shilling that all will remember to call it by its proper name. Victoria Square.
Well it is good to know that we need expect no more problems with that space.
If we had more lawyers in the place they'd all, of a certain, be raking in the cash just at present.
Gouger is still talking loud and long about his ten thousand pounds damages for wrongful imprisonment and is intending to return to London to pursue the case with the Commissioners.
I have put the kibosh on that plan by discovering that two thousand pounds that were in his keeping are missing and unaccounted for from the public funds. I have sought legal opinion (from Mann, so I don't hold out much hope) regarding these funds and if it is within my power to stop Gouger from leaving the Colony until said funds are recovered.
Fisher is still telling all and sundry that he will sue for libel regarding the anonymous letter published in the Gazette and Register.
I am pursuing a charge of seditious libel against Fisher for the handbill he published.
Fisher has a counter claim of libel against Stevenson for publishing my proclamation, claiming that it impugned his professional reputation as Resident Commissioner.
He also threatens to sue Gilles if OG pays Hutchinson a salary as Emigration Agent when, according to Fisher, Brown is still in the position.
Gilles is still threatening to pursue a charge of assault against Gouger, Morphett and Mann over the beating he received at their hands.
Black Alick is still being kept in a barrel by McLaren until Jeffcott returns and sorts out his Murder trial.
It wouldn't surprise me in the least if Black Alick decided to sue McLaren because he wanted a nicer barrel.
Well, when the Judge returns from Hobart Town he'll have his work cut out for him. And the best of luck!
I was greatly pleased and gratified to receive notice of a public meeting held two or three weeks ago in which colonists gathered in Bob Cock's sale room and voted unanimously to say that Brown was an arse, Fisher a cheat and I was the loving father of the colony and held the colonists gently in my loving bosom.
That, at least, was the gist of their meeting.
They also sent me a delightful address in which they expressed their indignation at the manner in which I have been treated at the hands of the villains that surround me and not only made clear their gratitude for my expulsion of Brown, but also urged me to remove Fisher from office as soon as possible.
Of course, there is nothing I would like more than to remove Fisher from office, but sadly the thing is not within my power and I can only refer the matter to the powers in London and see what those particular fatheads might do.
It was pointed out to me the other day that under the Marriage Law, for a marriage to be legal, Banns must be read aloud in the Parish church of both parties for the three Sundays before the wedding. Since we have no Parish churches, to the strict letter of the law any marriage solemnised in the Colony is invalid.
And so, when, in my darker moments, I talk of "the bastards who fill this colony" and mean it simply as a figure of speech; within a generation this expression might be no more than the simple truth!
Rectifying the situation would require a change to the Marriage Act and I can only imagine the howls of protest if I attempted that piece of quixotery.
No doubt the Howler in Chief would be The Reverend Charles Howard.
Under the act, for a marriage to be valid (unless you're something exotic like a Quaker or a Jew or Scottish) you must be married by a Minister of the Established Church. Since Charlie is the only such we have he has a monopoly on the marriage business sewn up.
And whilst he would no doubt counter a change to the Act with sound theology, one can not help but feel that him charging 5/- a skull for his services might be an influence.
Now, as delightful as a wedding service by Charlie Howard undoubtedly is (his sermon on "The Mysterious Sanctity of the Marriage Bed" drawing on Old Testament examples is said to be ninety minutes of rollicking hilarity) it might well be that a young dissenting couple - Baptists or Weslyans for example - might well prefer their own Minister of Religion to marry them rather than Charlie Howard. But to allow Dissenters to marry as they want would require a change to those Marriage Laws and I just don't have the stomach for it.