Memorandum of Work

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Lieutenant-Colonel Henderson‘s departure had been planned for the beginning of 1863. His final report as Comptroller General of Convicts, before handing over the reins to Captain Charles Frankland Newland, included a detailed account of works performed during the first 12 years of the convict era. The detail was contained in a Memorandum prepared by James Manning, Clerk of Works and Captain Edward Metcalf Grain, RE. Grain would also leave the Colony in March 1863. The 20th Company, so central to these works, had already sailed on Lincelles in April 1862.

The Memorandum

Royal Engineer Office, Fremantle,
January 20, 1862.

MEMORANDUM showing approximately the Amount of Work performed by Convict Labour, from the arrival of the Scindian in June 1850, to November 30, 1862.

563 miles road cleared.
563     ”       ”     made and repaired.
167      ”       ”    drained.
4          ”       ”    paved with pitcher paving.
1          ”       ”            ”           wood blocks.
6,600 yards stone causeway made.
7¼ miles of earth embankment made.
239 bridges erected or extensively repaired.
12,900 yards of approach to bridges made.
158,300        ”     stone procured and stacked.
65,800          ”          ”    broken for macadamizing.
54,000          ”     gravel dug and screened.
4,000 trees felled and removed from roads.
543 culverts made and repaired.
44 wells sunk.
14½ miles of tramway laid and repaired.
2,650 loads mahogany timber cut into scantling.
2,260 yards fencing prepared and fixed.

Extensive additions and repairs to Mr. Scott’s premises, consisting of two large wards 150 feet x 24 feet, fitted with hammock bags, nine cells for separate confinement, quarters for deputy superintendent, bake-house, wash-house, cook-house, drying-room, &c., in one block, also enclosure wall to six town allotments included in the yard, quarters, &c. &c.
Commissariat offices, consisting of a building 86 x 28, and containing six rooms, strong fire=proof room, &c., connected by passages. Store, one wing 80 x 50, centre ditto 100 x 50, extra store 70 x 16. Guard-room and two-stall stable, enclosed by boundary wall.
Warders quarters, consisting of two blocks of six double houses, each to accommodate two families, allowing the same two rooms each; also one block of six double houses for 12 families allowing each family three rooms; also six quarters (two rooms each) for instructing warders.
Barracks for 20th Company of Royal Engineers, consisting of two rooms 30 x 16 for single men, staff-serjeant’s quarters, orderly-room, library, cook-house, and 28 rooms 12 x 10 for married men, the yard enclosed by palisade fence.
Pensioners’ barracks, a block of buildings 400 x 27, divided so as to give each family two rooms, armory, orderly-room, and room for single men 70 x 27; also detached wash-house, quartermaster’s store, and guard-room, enclosed by boundary wall.
Engineer officers’ quarters, consisting of seven rooms, hall, kitchen, and two small lean-to’s, with stables and saddle room.
Comptroller General’s quarters, consisting of hall, 10 rooms, kitchen, scullery, store, stable, saddle room and servants’ room, &c. & c.
Prison, a building about 500 feet x 45, divided into cells for separate confinement, with water laid on to each, and a table fitted in each cell; also four association wards.
Chapel, 75 x 44, fitted with seats, officers’ pews, pulpit, reading desk, communion table, gallery, and accommodation for officers underneath.
Cook-house, bake-house, and wash-house, a building 128 x 60, fitted with every conveniences for the several purposes.
Hospital, 130 x 70, divided into wards for various purposes, and fitted with all necessaries.
Workshops for carpenters and smiths, with enclosed yards.
Bath-house, 90 x 17, fitted with 25 baths, lined with lead, and supplied with hot and cold water.
Punishment cells, a building 71- 44, divided into six dark and 12 light cells with double doors, and enclosed by boundary wall.
Steward’s store, 140 x 25, divided and fitted for the several purposes required.
Guard-room for warders, 30 x 25, with guard bed, &c.
Engine-house, 20 x 12, and privies for officers.
Temporary ward, 100 x 24, used as tailors’ shop.
Front entrance, – these buildings contain 12 rooms and enclosed yards, and are occupied by the deputy superintendent and gatekeeper.
Superintendent’s house, a building 40 feet square, containing eight rooms, closets, and cellar, &c.
Offices, a similar building to the superintendent’s.
Surgeon’s and chaplain’s houses are similar in appearance to superintendent’s but do not contain so much accommodation by two rooms each.
Chief warder’s quarters, 34 x 26, containing five rooms, a separate kitchen, and enclosed yard.
Military guard-room, 57 x 19, fitted with guard bed, arm-racks, &c., for 19 men. Stables, 82 x 14, constructed on stone foundations, with slab, stone quarters, forage room, &c., all fitted for their several purposes.
Two detached quarters for warders on the back line of the boundary wall erected.
Water police quarters, for superintendent, containing 7 rooms, store, and outhouses; coxswain’s quarters, four rooms, barrack and sleeping room for 12 men, with privies and enclosed yard.
Jetties, south bay, 453 x 22, north bay, 205 x 11, with wide head, both furnished with hoisting cranes and guarded by post and rail, both constructed of mahogany, the piles driven into sandstone rock. Sea wall built in the south bay, 280 feet in length, which supports the roadway.
On the north beach about seven acres have been filled up and protected by a rough stone wall.
A powder magazine has been built in two separate compartments, and enclosed by a boundary wall; also a guard-room at a convenient distance.
Several swamps have been filled up in the town, and some of the streets have been graded and metalled and the paths laid with flagstones.

21 cottages, each containing two rooms 12 x 12, have been built with stone and roofed with shingles, and four with concrete roofs for pensioners; two large wooden depots, now used for invalids and a road party.

A wooden depot and quarters for two warders. Stores, &c. were built, but have been recently given up.

A depot of stone for 130 men, hospital, cook-house, guard-room, &c., and wooden quarters for three officers, office, store &c.

This has been deepened and improved for navigation by the removal of shoals &c., &c., and a large flat build for the ferry at North Fremantle.

Police buildings and lock-up in connexion have been erected, the police stables floored, a water tank with lead pipes, &c. constructed, also a well sunk and pumps provided.
A stable for six horses, with coach-house, harness-room, and servant’s-room for Government-house, paved with wood blocks and fitted with all necessaries for the various purposes.
A new Government House, 100 x 120. two stories high, with out-buildings, grounds terraces &c., entailing the removal of about 30,000 yards of soil. The building is covered in, and the interior is in an advanced state. Nearly the whole of the timber has been cut for this building , 1,010,000 bricks have been made and burned, and stone for the foundations and dressings has been quarried and conveyed in flats from Mount Eliza and Point Resolution.
Drainage – A vast amount of labour has been consumed in draining several large lakes at the back of the town, to render the land available for garden purposes.
Causeway – The two sides have been piled with mahogany, and the road made up about half a mile in length, and a sawn timber bridge erected of 20 feet span.
Perth streets – A very heavy cutting has been made in the main street, entailing the removal of many thousands of yards of sand; a portion of the roadway has been formed and metalled, and one and a quarter mile graded, paved, and metalled.
The channel from the jetty has been deepened for a distance of half a mile towards Mount Eliza.
A large amount of labour has been consumed in incidental repairs and improvements to the buildings in Perth.

A Depot – 70 x 25, cook-house, store, offices, cells, ablution shed, porter’s lodge, &c.,all enclosed with a boundary wall, constructed entirely of brick; quarters for six warders, with the necessary privies; commissariat store 70 x 24; quarters consisting of three rooms and office, cart-shed, stables for 10 houses, harness and forage rooms, all enclosed with palisade fencing.
Engineer officer’s quarters and district office. This building contains five rooms, with stable, sheds, &c.
Superintendent’s quarters, containing six rooms, with the necessary out-buildings.
A police station, containing quarters, cells, court-house &c., with stabling and hay loft, has been erected, also a carpenters’ and smiths’ shop.
Four cottages, of two rooms each, have been built for pensioners, and a block of land enclosed for 20 such cottages.

A Depot for 120 men, quarters for six warders (three of these are at present used by the police), cook-house, hospital, commissariat store, quarters, stables, forage-room, harness-room, together with the necessary out-buildings, have been erected; also superintendent’s quarters similar to those at Guildford (now occupied by the medical officer). The whole enclosed by a post and rail fence. 13 cottages of two rooms each, for pensioners, have been erected; also a lock-up and police quarters, built of stone.

A Depot for 120 men, quarters for six warders (four now occupied by the police), cook-house, hospital, and out-buildings; superintendent’s quarters, similar to those at Guildford (now occupied by the resident magistrate), and eight cottages of two rooms each, for pensioners, have been erected.

A Depot for 120 men, cook-house, bake-house, store, ablution room, workshops, and offices, as also all necessary out–buildings, all enclosed with a boundary wall and gates; quarters for two warders, commissariat store, with quarters and office, hospital, and the required out-buildings, have been erected; also 13 cottages for pensioners, court-house, retiring room, and quarters for one policeman.

A Depot for 60 men, quarters for four warders, cook-house, bake-house, lock-up, and quarters for one policeman; also commissariat store and quarters, and the necessary out-buildings, have been built; and also lighthouses at Break Sea and Point King, and quarters for light-keeper.

Stone, lime, and timber have been procured for police buildings and residence, consisting of quarters, stabling, cells, and enclosed yards and privies; a jetty has been constructed 300 feet long, into nine feet of water at low water; four cottages for pensioners have been built, and the necessary depot buildings, consisting of depot, cook-house, store, hospital, quarters, and the usual offices.

At this station a Depot has been erected, as also warders’ quarters for two warders, commissariat store and office, convict store, carpenters’ and smiths’ shops, hospital, surgery, and lock-up, &c., with the necessary out-buildings.

A boat-slip has been constructed, additions made to pilot’s quarters and light-house, a well sunk at the quarters, barn, stables, and shed built; a new house has been built for a marine residence for his Excellency the Governor, consisting of 12 rooms and the necessary out-buildings; a hay press screw has been made and sundry additions to the press, as well as various incidental services performed.
At and for all the foregoing stations a large amount of incidental repairs have been effected, furniture made and repaired, also coffins made, which, although they do not appear extensive in detail, absorb a large and continuous amount of convict labour.

JAMES MANNING, Clerk of Works.
R.E. E. M. GRAIN, Captain commanding Royal Engineers.
Lieut.-Col. Henderson, &c. &c.

Further correspondence on the subject of convict discipline and transportation, 1859-1865.  It is available in the Western Australian State Library in microfilm and electronic format.