Monday, 26 December 2011

Simeon Lord and Governor Bligh

Stephen Dando-Collins' book, Captain Bligh's other mutiny, contains a number of reference to Simeon Lord as he recounts the events that took place in Sydney on 26 January1808.

"From his sentry post, a bemused Private Gray watched as Captian Anthony Fenn Kemp and Lieutenants William Moore, William Lawson and Cadwallander Draffin tramped arm-in-arm from the Old Parade, then past Simeon Lord's mansion in Bridge Street, and across the brick and stone Tank Stream bridge that gave Bridge Street its name." (p18)

"Major Johnston himself, sword in hand, took up position on the path opposite the front door to Government House as his troops flooded along behind him. There Johnston would wait in expectation that of the news that Governor Bligh had been taken prisoner by the men of the Governor's Guard now inside the building. There too, in the twilight, Johnston was joined by Assistant Surgeon James Mileham, Surveyor-General Charles Grimes and several settlers and merchants - John Macarthur, Nicholas Bayley, Garnham Blaxcell, Simeon Lord, John Blaxland and his younger brother Gregory, Robert Townson, and Sydney flour-miller and baker James Badgery." (p 37)

"This was a requisition (from John Macarthur) to Major Johnston, calling on him to arrest Governor Bligh. It read:
The present alarming state of this Colony, in which every man's property, liberty, and life is endangered, induces us most earnestly to implore you instantly to place Governor Bligh under an arrest and to assume the command of the colony. We pledge ourselves, at a moment of less agitation to come forward to support the measure with ur fortunes and our lives.

When Johnston and the Corps had marched on Government House the previous evening, that document had carried just nine signatures. Macarthurs's was the first. The others were those of settlers John Blaxland and his brother Gregory, Assistant Surgeon James Mileham, wealthy merchant Simeon Lord, James Badgery the baker, Assistant Surgeon Thomas Jamieson, and Macarthur's bondsmen Bayley and Blaxcell." (After Bligh had been deposed Surveyor-General Grimes signed the petition and encouraged others to add their signatures.) (pp 67-8) Eventualy 150 people had added their name to this petition (p 222)

When Johnston set off to England to defend his actions Colonel Foveaux became leader of the Colony. He had the support of Major Abbott and D'Arcy Wentworth, now re-instated as assistant surgeon, both old friends of Foveaux. "What's more , Surgeon Harris and leading civilian rebels including Bayly, Lord, Kable, Blaxcell, and Gregory Blaxland would have all backed Foveaux in preference to Macarthur." (p 170)

At the court martial in London of Major George Johnston Captain Anthony Fenn Kemp made te following claim about Bligh, He " 'threatened to pull down houses in every direction, and to take leases away.' He told the court that he had warned the Governor in November 1907 that Simeon Lord, D'Arcy Wentworth and others were talking about raising £1500 to send John Macarthur to London to represent them in complaining about Governor Bligh to the Secretary of State." (p 275)

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