Report from Goulburn

The Sydney Morning Herald

15 January 1844

Goulburn. January 9.- On the evening of the last Saturday of 1843, we were visited by one of the most terrific thunder storms we ever remembered to have witnessed, and which continued in violence several hours; the electric fluid struck in several instances in the very heart of the township, but happily did no damage - the weather had been for some days previously, unusually sultry, and this storm it was generally expected, would produce a change, but Sunday was nearly as hot as before, and it was not till we had several more peels of thunder on Monday, and the following days, when the atmosphere was cooled down by a very heavy fall of rain, which still continues. The reaped wheat in the field is likely to suffer considerably from the effects; but being that it has proved a most seasonable supply, the plains are clad in living green, and present a most delightful contrast to their former appearance.

Our Police Magistrate ceased to attend the Bench at the close of the year, and the necessary duties now devolve on one or two of the Magistrates. It is absolutely necessary to have others appointed to hold the Commission of the Peace, and we hope that His Excellency will make such a selection as will add dignity to the Bench, and that the gentlemen so appointed will take a part of the duties upon their shoulders, and not as is the case with some, who never think it to be their duty to attend to Bench duties.

There has been some demur against those Councillors who voted with D. Murphy at a late meeting of the District Council, and significant expressions used as to who shall receive votes at the election in May.

It is high time the Government seriously entered upon the home custom of affording protection to the mail and Her Majesty's lieges who may have occasion to travel therewith, for not a week passes now but some band of lawless scoundrels are doing something to interrupt the regular conveyance. On the 28th December, the Yass mail was robbed by an armed bushranger, named Holloway, and yesterday morning, at four o'clock, it was again robbed near Captain Edenborough's, by two mounted and armed men, who cut open the Port Phillip, Yass, Gunning, and Gundagai bags. The contractor sent an express to the Mounted Police, who were quickly on the spot where the robbery was committed, and tracked the fellows to the valley at the back of the Church, Goulburn, and then off again in the direction of the old Township. The horse-flesh that will necessarily be spent in pursuit of these rascals would have kept a guard running with the mail for a month - unfortunately, our Chief Constable cannot afford, on account of his reduced salary, to keep horses for his men te join in the pursuit.

It is said that an affair of honour took place a few days ago, between two sparks, one the son of an officer, and the other a superintendent of a farming establishment. When they came to the scene of action, the former was attended by a son of Mars, and the other by the brother of a celebrated London wool broker; but the affair ended in a bottle of smoke - no coroner's inquest - no nothing - as one of the pistols would not go off. Was it for want of nerve? What an amount of satisfaction was obtained.

There is a custom now in progress, by some gentlemen in Sydney, who allow their superintendent to draw out orders on them, and who from some motive have gone to the Bank and left orders for their agents net to cash them - if it is for the purpose of keeping them afloat, like bank notes, till they become insolvents, it is a despicable way of gaining time. If it is from any other motives, they are no for the benefit of the public, and it would be better for them to instruct their superintendents not to draw any more orders, as it would save a great amount of trouble to those in business.

The gentlemen connected with the Racing Fund provided sport for the lovers of the turf, and other sports on the occasion of the holidays at the commencement of the year; but the weather being unfavourable, few seemed inclined to avail themselves of the festivities.