Genies' Jottings

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THE PARKHURST BOYS

From the Southern Cross Saturday 3rd February 1844

We have spoken strongly against the importation of these boys, because we believe the Home Government is acting unjustly both by themselves and by this Colony in sending them to this place, but while we are opposed to the Policy of sending them to this Country, we must say that we are still more opposed to any thing like an improper treatment of them. Being once here, it is our duty to act kindly and charitably by them and to endeavour to do all we can for the purpose of improving their moral and physical condition. We are surprised that no report has ever been published in the colony since their arrival. Surely their Guardian might let the Public know how they are behaving themselves.

We were very sorry to hear the other day that several of them were employed on the roads without shoes and stockings. This is not by any means proper. If the Government work them, they ought to keep them in food and clothing. We have also heard some remarks made about the manner in which they are lodged. We trust that in the multiplicity of his other avocations, their guardian does not neglect them. It is not enough to attend a Police Court and endeavour to get them off, (if possible) whether right or wrong. Humanity, as well as the Home Government, require that they should be properly cared for. We trust Mr Rough will be able to prove that the report we heard is incorrect and yet we have heard it from good authority. At all events we ask him if not to disprove, at least to account for its existence.

The transportation of Parkhurst apprentices to this Colony appears by late accounts from England to be regarded by the friends of New Zealand as an evil and an act of injustice which should not be tolerated. In the Parliamentary intelligence of the Times on July 7th, we find that "The Archbishop of Dublin presented petitions from persons connected with the colony of New Zealand, praying that in future no emancipated convicts should be conveyed there as settlers. The persons who established that colony had a positive promise from the Government that no convicts should be sent to their settlement, yet recently two shiploads of convicts who had served their time had arrived from Parkhurst prison. It was a mere evasion to say that they were not convicts because they had served their period of imprisonment. To him it appeared that a convict and an emancipated one were much the same as a wild beast, loose and a wild beast chained. The petitioners were very anxious that they should have no more such imports.

"After a few words from Lord Wharncliffe, which were not heard.

"The Earl of Devon said that the prayer of the petition was well entitled to the careful consideration of the house. He did not think that the petitioners had been fairly treated."

From the above we have every reason to hope that no more of the unfortunate Parkhurst Boys will be inflicted on this Colony."


Every care possible has been taken with these records but, as usual, remember to check original sources of **everything** for yourself.

Transcribed: January, 2001 by Jackie Walles, New Zealand
 

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2003

March, 2001