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1-169 (Raw)

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addressee author,male,Petition of Gentlemen,un
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Government English
Petitions & Proclamations
Clark, 1977
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1-169-raw.txt — 3 KB

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The Humble Petition of the Gentlemen, Clergy, Settlers, Merchants, Land-Holders and other free Inhabitants of His Majesty's Territory of New South Wales, in a general Meeting duly assembled,
To His Royal Highness the Prince Regent in Council. Most humbly Sheweth, That your Petitioners, hitherto unaccustomed to approach the Throne, are now induced to exercise that invaluable priviledge for the purpose of most humbly laying before Your Royal Highness a Statement of the restrictions, disabilities and inconveniences under which His Majesty's Colony labours, respecting the several matters herein after stated, matters of the most vita consequence to its interests interest and prosperity. 
THAT the population of this Territory consists of upwards of 25,000 Souls, English, Scotch, and Irish-born Subjects of His Majesty and their Children, the greater part of whom, in the proportion of five sevenths, are free Settlers, Merchants, Land and House-holders. THAT on the Settlement of this Colony in the year 1788, a Court of Criminal Judicature was established by His Majesty's Letters Patent, a cursory review of the Constitution of which Court clearly shews that it could be intended only for a very small Community, and a state of society very much confined; but your Petitioners most humbly shew, that that state of society has long since past away, that the free and respectable Population is numerous, intelligent, and, as to Horned Cattle, Sheep and Land in cultivation, comparatively wealthy; that their habits, customs, and feelings are entirely British; that there is very little or no admixture of foreign Inhabitants, Manners, or Customs among them, and yet the Court of Criminal Jurisdiction has undergone no alteration since its establishment at the very infancy of the Colony.
[It is] a Court in its formation and proceedings, contrary to all our habits, feelings, and opinions as Englishmen, a Court unknown in our Mother Country, a Tribunal from a review of whose formation We most humbly beg leave to state to Your Royal Highness, we do not consider our lives and our liberties can be so well secured, as those of British Subjects should be, nor can the Laws of our Country be administered with sufficient purity and impartiality. [312] And humbly shew that there are now resident in this Colony, a great number of free respectable Inhabitants sufficient and perfectly competent for Jiirymen; Men, by whose Property, Exertions and Labour the Country has been cleared and cultivated, Towns built, and a thriving Colony (notwithstanding the many disabilities it labours under) reared up and established. [...] 
Your Petitioners having thus most humbly approached Your Royal Highness with a statement of the Disabilities, restraints and inconveniences under which the Inhabitants of this His Majesty's peculiarly British rising Colony labours with regard to the insufficiency of its Jurisprudence, the obstructions to its Agriculture, the impediments to its Navigation with our Mother Country, the operation of the Duties applying to its productions imported to England, as well as of those Colonial Duties imposed on its Exports here, they do most humbly trust that Your Royal Highness will lend a gracious Ear to their Complaints, and, of your Royal Clemency, direct that His Majesty's Colony may be put on the same footing with His Majesty's other Colonies, as regards the several matters herein before humbly set forth.