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Assault with firearms.

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Wednesday 14 January 1846, The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser

Maitland Quarter Sessions.

Monday, January 12, 1846.

(Before Dr. Raymond, Chairman, E. D. Day, Esq., Andrew Lang, Esq., Captain Smith, E. M. McKinlay, Esq., and C. L. Brown, Esq.)

The court was opened this morning in the usual form. The Chairman took his seat on the bench soon after ten o’clock. The members of the bar in attendance were Messrs. Purefoy, Dowling, and Holroyd. Mr. Callaghan was in his place as Crown Prosecutor, and Mr. Joseph Chambers as Clerk of Arraigns. Mr. N. D’E. Parker and Mr. Dunscombe, attorneys of Sydney, were also in court.

[…]

ASSAULT WITH FIRE-ARMS.

Ralph George Martin, on bail, appeared when called upon, and was indicted for having, at Armidale, in New England, on the 31st August last, discharged a pistol loaded with ball at John Simon Mann, and thereby maimed the said Mann ; a second, a third, and a fourth count varied the offence charged, as being with intent to disfigure, to disable, or to do grievous bodily harm.

Mr. Purefoy appeared for the defence.

It appeared from the evidence of J. S. Mann, that on the 31st August (Sunday), he went to the house of the prisoner, who was an innkeeper, for the purpose of procuring a bottle of gin. He was a stranger there, and did not know one door from another. It happened that he went to the front door. The prisoner asked him what he wanted, and on being answered, told him to go to the kitchen and wait a little. He waited there accordingly, in company with a man named Abdy, who accompanied him, for about five minutes. He then returned to the house, and pushed gently with his toe against the door, upon which the prisoner suddenly opened it and discharged a pistol in his face, by which he was slightly wounded in the temple. He distinctly saw the pistol.

Cross-examined : Was senseless for about two minutes after the shot; had been drinking, and was not rightly sober when he got home; was at work next morning as usual ; was sure he did not kick the door violently enough to force it in ; it was a glass door, and if he had done so he would have broken the glass; was sure the prisoner did not tell him that he knew he did not serve at that hour; it was then about 8 o’clock ; might have said to the prisoner that he was a traveller, and must be served ; the kitchen was the place where travellers of witness’s class were usually entertained ; was sure he saw nobody after the shot but Abdy and the police ; he got drink from the prisoner at 4 o’clock the same afternoon, when he told the prisoner that he was Major Innes’s blacksmith ; the prisoner must have known him again.

Thomas Abdy corroborated the evidence of Mann ; he saw the prisoner step back into the house after the shot was fired, but witness did not see it fired, as he had gone to the end of the verandah, and turned his back at the moment. The prisoner said nothing in answer to witness’s exclamation of “Martin, you’ve shot the man.” Witness was quite sober.

Cross-examined : Did not hear the prisoner say that it was too late, and he would not serve him that night ; could not say whether it was past the usual hour for publicans serving on Sundays; thought they might do so till nine, and it was then eight o’clock ; he was sure the prisoner did not go up to Mann, and lifting up his hair, say, “Is that like a man that was shot ?” if he said so, witness did not hear it ; was not aware of there being any understanding between the police and Martin, that if any row should occur he was to fire a pistol ; he saw Dr. Smith dress the wound on Mann’s head.

Peter Rowan, house servant to the prisoner, deposed that Mann and Abdy were in the kitchen on the night in question. They came to the gate, and asked for a couple of bottles of grog, to which he replied that he could not get it for them at that time on Sunday night ; about half an hour after that he heard a shot fired in the verandah ; that was a short time after he heard Mann and Abdy asking for grog ; he could not say how much time had elapsed ; he did not stir from the kitchen until called by Mrs. Martin, when he saw Mann sitting against the verandah post; the prisoner came out and asked him where he was shot ; by the time this was all over it was nine o’clock ; the prisoner was not tipsy that night; he said nothing to witness about the pistol since.

Cross-examined : Abdy was not present when witness went out and saw Mann bleeding; from the appearance of the door it must have been kicked very violently ; the pistol was one which the prisoner usually kept in his bed-room.

By a juror: Had been twelve months in prisoner’s service, and never heard a shot fired before.

Mr. Purefoy submitted that there was no case for the jury, inasmuch as the indictment alleged the pistol to have been loaded with a leaden bullet, and there was no proof what- ever that such was the case.

The Chairman decided that the objection was not a question of law, but of fact, and therefore must be left to the decision of the jury, who were to judge whether or not the pistol contained a bullet.

Mr. Purefoy, with great respect, contended that the proof of there being a bullet was in this case an impossibility, and requested the Chairman to take a note of the objection. The learned counsel then addressed the jury on behalf of his client, telling them, in the first place, that he would prove by evidence that there was an understanding between the prisoner and the police that he should fire a pistol as a signal on the occasion of a disturbance. He should also prove, by medical evidence, that the wound of the prisoner was a slight abrasion of the skin, and had been caused neither by a bullet or by gunpowder, but by a blow from the projecting ramrod of a large pistol. He then called Dr. William Smith, who deposed that he attended Mann for a supposed wound on the head, but found it to be an abrasion of the skin, so slight as not to come under the denomination of a wound of any kind ; it could not possibly have been caused by a bullet, but it might have been caused by a blow from the muzzle of a pistol, or by the ramrod projecting beyond the muzzle.

Cross-examined : Witness never saw a bullet wound, but had obtained from reading such a knowledge of gun-shot wounds as enabled him to say that the wound in question had not been caused by a bullet ; a bullet would cause a contused wound, and shot would cause an incised wound, or a simple abrasion of the skin. Witness had studied in the College of Edinburgh, and had walked the hospital there four years. It was not till next morning, when he learned the distance at which the shot was fired, that he felt quite sure that the wound could not possibly have been caused by a bullet.

Re-examined: If the wound had been caused by gunpowder, the man’s face must have shown marks of it, which it did not.

Here the Chairman interposed, and informed the jury that in law they could not but acquit the prisoner, as the evidence went to show that the pistol had not contained a bullet, without which the indictment could not be sustained.

A verdict of not guilty was then recorded, and the prisoner was discharged.

Tuesday, January 13.

(Before Dr. Raymond, Chairman, E. D. Day, Esq., John Blaxland, Esq., C. L. Brown, Esq., and A. Glennie, Esq).

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Hunter River District News

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Tuesday 27 May 1856, The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser

(From the Armidale Express, May 17.)

CIRCUIT COURTS,-The great inconvenience experienced by the inhabitants of the Northern districts of the colony, from the want of Circuit Courts nearer than Maitland, has a very injurious tendency, inasmuch as serious crimes have repeatedly been overlooked, solely on account of the difficulties and expense of prosecuting them, at Maitland. Maitland is 250 miles from Armidale, and persons accused of criminal offences are often sent there from a much greater distance than Armidale. It is surprising that, although the inhabitants of the Northern districts have complained of this (great grievance.for years past, the Government have remained inert, and little has been done towards removing it. New England is rapidly acquiring an extensive population. At the Rocky River diggings, alone we believe that there are from twelve to fifteen hundred people, and this number is being augmented every day. There is every prospect of such an extensive development of new gold fields in this district, that the population must largely increase. Geologists are of opinion that the greater part of New England will yet be proved a gold- producing country. With such facts before us, it requires no prophet to foretell a large accession to our population – in fact, our present numbers may be trebled within the next year. In whatever different lights, the occupation of gold digging may be viewed, there is one subject on which people generally will agree – that much greater facilities for the commission of prime are presented at diggings than in the midst of well-ordered, settled communities. A vigorous movement has been going on for some time past respecting Circuit Courts at Tamworth. We consider they are necessary there also. Tamworth is 175 miles from Maitland, and is the capital of the Liverpool Plains district. It is consequently, as the centre of a large tract of country, possessing already considerable population. Although only 75 miles from here, there is very little connection between Tamworth and Armidale. Liverpool Plains and New England are separate and distinct from each other; and we think that, instead of any jealousy existing about which should gain the establishment of Circuit Courts – thereby throwing the other out of consideration – the inhabitants of both out to combine their best efforts to obtain assizes for each.

CENSUS FOR ARMIDALE AND THE POLICE DISTRICT.-The following is a comparative statement, based upon the official census returns for the town and police district of Armidale, for which we are indebted to the courtesy of Mr. Bligh, C.P.S. :-

              1856.                   1851
Armidale. -     Males..... 499}  858     Males}  556
                Females... 359}        Females}
Remainder of
police dis-         Males 1971} 3020     Males} 2759
trict of Ar-      Females 1049}        Females}
midale ...                      ----            ----
Total population of police dis. 3878            3315 

From the above statement it will be seen that the increase in the population of this township during the past five years has been – Males, 170; females, 132; in the aggregate 302, or about 52½ per cent. In the remainder of the police district the increase has been – Males, 111; females, 150; in the aggregate 261, or nearly 9½ per cent. We think the above results are nothing more than might be expected to accrue from the influences to which the district has been subjected during the period referred to. The main deduction from these premises are that the number of persons in the township has increased in the ratio of five to one, as compared with those occupied in pastoral pursuits ; and taking into consideration the fact that the occupation of gold digging employs a considerable number of those set down for the district population, it may fairly be assumed that the pastoral interest in this district in the year 1856, employs a smaller number of people than it did in 1851.

GOODS BY THE CLARENCE LINE. – During the past week, four heavily loaded drays have passed the Express Office, from the Clarence. We have also been informed that a dray lately arrived at Hillgrove, from Grafton, bringing up supplies and a family. These are proofs, amongst many others, that the Clarence line might be made a most desirable road for the transit of goods and produce to and from New England.

THE ROADS. – We have been informed by a gentleman who had occasion to travel over the Moonbies lately that the condition of the roads about that locality was scandalous. There were nine drays waiting at the foot of the first pinch until the road should dry – two of the drays having families with them. The road at the time was so extremely bad that our informant believed fifty bullocks could not have taken up a loaded dray. He also stated that he had passed on the road about 150 men, women, and children, bound for the Rocky River diggings.

THE ROCKY RIVER. – The diggings here are going ahead greatly, and the number of fresh arrivals is astonishing. On Tuesday last I saw a specimen of gold in quartz-not one speck only, but completely encompassing the stone. It is a handsome specimen, and I suppose worth about £2. The finder declared he procured it on these diggings. Our population is increasing with extraordinary rapidity : we want population to open up the hitherto undeveloped resources of New England. It is the opinion of most persons that New England is a gold field more or less, throughout. I have heard of several parties who have struck upon fresh discoveries of the precious metal outside the limits of the diggings. All parties appear doing well, a proof of which is the extraordinary demand for buckets, ropes, shovels, calico, and all sorts of digging tools. Two or three accommodation houses have been opened-one, in particular, which deserves that liberal support its enterprising proprietor is sure to receive.

Rocky River, May 14.

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August 23, 2010 at 8:08 pm

A gold-digger’s money

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Wednesday 18 February 1920, The Argus (Melbourne)

Ballarat Rush Recalled.

SYDNEY. Tuesday – An echo of the Ballarat gold rush was heard in the Probate Court to-day, when an application was made by Alfred Henry Tinson, a nephew of Benjamin Baker, formerly of West Maitland, now alleged to be dead, for leave to swear to Baker’s death in the course of application for letters of administration. It was stated during the hearing, that Benjamin Baker, who had been at the Rock River diggings, near Tamworth, returned in October, 1852, to the home of his sister, Elizabeth (Mrs. Cooper) who then lived at Horseshoe Bend, West Maitland. He remained there for some little time and eventually set off with a party to the Ballarat gold diggings leaving in the hands of his sister’s husband a sum of £256, to be kept until his return and taking £200 with him. Nothing further was heard of the party. Moses Baker, brother of Benjamin, who had set out with him, reappeared, but was suffering so severely from the effects of sunstroke, that be could give no coherent account of the fate of the diggers who were generally supposed to have been waylaid and killed by bushrangers or blacks. The sum of £256 left behind by Benjamin Baker was deposited with the Government Savings Bank, and with interest accumulated had increased to £525, which was the sole asset in the estate. The Court granted leave to the applicant to swear that death had occurred on or since October 27, 1852.

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Captain Thunderbolt at work

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Tuesday 22 December 1863, The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser

HIGHWAY ROBBERIES ON THE GREAT NORTHERN ROAD.

No little degree of excitement was caused nn Maitland, yesterday morning, by rumours tortured into every shape relative to a number of highway robberies, which had early that morning been committed within a short distance of town. Residents of the Northern district who have read the accounts which so frequently of late have been given of the robberies committed in the less favoured West, could hardly credit them, or believe it possible that one individual could, with impunity, stick up from ten to twenty persons, in a day ; but they yesterday had a practical lesson in the way it is done. Of course, the stories relative to the affair varied considerably as they passed from one narrator to another, and lost nothing of their extravagance by that process. The particulars, so far as we could ascertain upon strict inquiry of the persons who had been submitted to the highwayman’s pleasure, and from others who had subsequently seen him escaping from the police, are as follows: About a quarter to five o’clock yesterday morning a man about five feet nine inches high, of light but strong build, dark complexion, slight beard and whiskers, presented himself at the doorway of the toll-keeper’s house, alongside the toll-bar between Maitland and Rutherford. The door had been opened a few minutes before, and William Delaney, who, with the lessee, Michael O’Brien, resides in the toll house, entered the room from the back. He saw the highwayman with a revolver In his hand pointed at him. Delaney was commanded to get into a corner near the dresser, and he obeyed. The highwayman then said “give me your money,” to which Delany answered that he had none. “Give me your money or l’ll blow your brains out.” Again the answer ” I have none” was made. The robber, who all this time was standing near the doorway, advanced a few steps, and with one hand opened cupboard that was near the door, whilst with the other he kept Delaney covered with the revolver. From the cupboard he took the cash box which, however, only contained about 4s. in copper. Without opening it he said good morning and crossed the road. Inside the fence he had a horse tied up to a tree ; he loosed the bridle, mounted, and rode on along the road in the direction of Anambah, giving tho toll-keeper the pleasing information that he was Captain Thunderbolt. Shortly after, a man named Moore was passing along the road, and he was told of the robbery, and desired to inform the police of the matter. Delany then went to the Spread Jingle Inn, opposite the Rutherford race-course, expecting to meet the robber, which he was fortunate enough to do. As they approached the house, the robber said ” Well, you are the chap I stuck-up this morning at the toll-bar. I suppose you have come after me ?” Delaney said he had not – that he was going to the public house. He then said, “I suppose your mate has gone for, the crushers.” Delaney said, “No, there’s no one to mind the toll bar.” The bushranger then put his hand in his pocket and gave back to Delaney the coppers he had taken from the box, remarking, “I am a bushranger, and you might meet a worse one than me; I was put on a lay to stick up your place ; I was told there were 200 sovereigns there. I thought it was Young, the flash fighting man, who kept the place ; if I met him, I’d take it out of him.” Delany then asked where was the box, and was told he would find it on the old road in (through) the bush. Delany says he then wished him “good bye.” The cash-box was searched for, and found where “Thunderbolt” said it would be.

It would appear that immediately after robbing the toll-bar the robber proceeded to the Spread Eagle Inn, as Mrs. Byrne found him at the door when she first opened it. He was, as she alleges, armed with a belt of revolvers, and had others in his pockets, He asked for something to eat, and bread and meat were given to him ; having eaten them he asked what he had to pay, and being told that there was no charge for a thing like that, said, “I came to rob you, but as you are so hospitable I won’t do so.” He then purchased a bottle of rum, drunk part of it, and fastened the rest, with some bread and cheese, to his saddle ; he remained nearly two hours at this place, and was going away when Delaney came up and met him.

From further enquiries it appears that after parting with the toll-bar-keeper the bushranger met a man named Godfrey Parsons about half a mile beyond the Spread Eagle Inn. Parsons was bringing his wife in a spring cart from Anvil Creek, where he resides, to Maitland for medical attendance, when the robber came riding across the green from the road which there leads off to Anambah. He pulled up when he came to the cart, bidding Parsons stop and give up his money, at the same time presenting his revolver to enforce the demand. Parsons (who had about £30 in his possession) answered that he had only two pounds, and was coming into Maitland for a doctor’s advice for his wife. Mrs. Parsons was much terrified, and began to cry. The robber then said, as the money was wanted for the doctor he wouldn’t take it ; he was an outlaw, and knew he would got fifteen years if he was caught. He then rode off along the road until he came to where some teamsters were camping; he entered into conversation with them, but did nothing more. He subsequently met Mrs. Friend, Mrs. Clarke, her two daughters, and a man named James Kavanagh,- the last named four together. He stopped them, but we have not heard whether he robbed them of anything. He then met a constable, who was on foot, and asked the constable if it was not he whom he was looking after, and challenged him to fight him. He then rode back to the Spread Eagle Inn, and again entered into conversation, patronised the publican, and talked contemptuously of constables; stating that they chased him near Armidale, and when they got to the Black Rock they got afraid and went back, saying their horses got bogged in the Green Swamp. He further said they took a saddle and bridle from him at Black Rock. When he the second time called at the Spread Eagle he did not dismount ; he drank some tea and ate some bread and meat which were supplied to him. He soon afterwards rode away, and four mounted policemen went out in pursuit. When the police enquired at the Spread Eagle Inn for the robber, they learnt that he had taken the road leading through Anambah ; one of them (mounted) overtook him speaking to a tenant of Mr. G. J. Cobb’s ; he rode up and asked if they had seen any bullocks about, to which the robber answered ” No.” The constable (who was in disguise) then drew out his revolver, pointed it at him, and said, ” You are my prisoner.” The fellow coolly turned round, looked at the constable, put spurs to his horse, and galloped away, the constable in pursuit. Several shots are alleged to have been fired by the trooper when within a few yards of his man, but without effect. Through Anambah the bushranger rode at the topmost speed of his horse. Near Mr. Cobb’s place the trooper was within fifty yards of him, but his horse was blown. He dismounted and took a horse belonging to Mr. Walter Sparkes which was saddled and bridled near a blacksmith’s forge. The bushranger in the mean time, had improved the distance between himself and his pursuer, the trooper kept him in view until the river was reached ; but crossing it he lost sight of him. Other troopers have been been despatched in search of the marauder and last evening were in pursuit. At eight o’clock last evening the four troopers had returned, without the slightest success.

In another column will be found a short notice of the robbery of the Merton mall. This, however, is not the only recent mail robbery in the Northern district. The mail that should have brought our Tamworth and Armidale letters and papers was stopped, as we are informed, on Sunday morning, at Doughboy Hollow, and the robbers after cutting open the bags, and extracting therefrom what they chose, made off. The scattered remains of the mail were gathered together by the mailman, and forwarded, yesterday, to the General Post Office, to be sorted afresh, and sent to their respective destinations. It is stated that Mr. P. Quinn was one of the parties robbed. These particulars, with the additional details contained in the Empire’s telegram which appears elsewhere constitute the whole of the information which has as yet reached us, nor have our inquiries at the Police Office elicited anything further.

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The Gold Escort

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Wednesday 2 February 1853, The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser

THE NORTHERN GOLD FIELDS.

THE ESCORT.

The escort from Tamworth arrived at Maitland on Sunday evening, after an interval of three weeks, bringing 952 oz. 5 dwts.. 9 grs. of gold from the Hanging Rock and Peel, but none from Bingara, or the Rocky River. We have not heard, indeed, whether arrangements have yet been made for extending the opportunity of conveyance by escort to the Rocky River, but the quantity of gold stated to be now produced there renders it very desirable.

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May 17, 2010 at 2:03 pm

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On the best means of obtaining good Cartes-de-Visite

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Saturday 2 March 1867, The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser

A FEW HINTS
BY
MESSRS. LIDDELL AND YOUDALE,

Photographic Artists,
High-street, West Maitland,

ON THE BEST MEANS OF OBTAINING GOOD
CARTES-DE-VISITE,

The best time is the forenoon, or early in the afternoon
before the artist has met with some nervous, restless sitter
or spoiled child, to try his patience ; for, if the photo-
grapher is in good humour, you will be more likely to
have a pleasant expression.

In dressing, remember that in photography blue ¡s light,
and red or orange dark: and therefore the more blue any-
thing contains, the lighter it will be ; and the more red, or
orange, the darker it will be. Thus purple, violet, mauve,
magenta, will be light, because they contain a large propor-
tion of blue; scarlet, and brown, and olive-green will be
dark, because it contains a large proportion of orange, or
red. Another thing to be particularly observed ¡s, that
whatever reflects light comes out white-such as the
polish on boots, the gloss on silks, oil on the hair, &c. ;
henoe, black hair, with much oil, will come out as if
grey.

THE GALLERY HAS BEEN RE-ARRANGED, and provided
with a choice selection of pure chemicals, and a variety
of artistic scenes, so as to give the greatest possible
finish to his portraits.

CARTES-DE-VISITE taken—standing or sitting—One
for 2s. 6d. ; four, 5s ; twelve, 10s. 6d.

LIFE-SIZE PORTRAITS finished in the highest style of
art, in oil or crayons.

Specimens on view. 7886

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Tender for conveyance of Mails

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Monday 14 September 1846, The Sydney Morning Herald

CONVEYANCE OF MAILS.

(From Friday’s Government Gazette.)

Conveyance being required for the Post Office Mails, from, and to the undermentioned places, for one year, from the 1st January, 1847, persons disposed to contract for providing the same are invited to transmit their offers, in writing, to the Colonial Secretary’s Office, before twelve o’clock, on Monday, the 9th November, endorsed “Tender for conveyance of Mails.”

From and to Windsor, Parramatta, and Sydney daily (Sundays excepted.)
From and to Windsor and Richmond, daily (Sundays excepted).
From and to Windsor, Pitt Town, Wilberforce, and North Richmond, three times a week.
From and to Windsor and Wiseman's Ferry, once a week.
From and to Penrith, Parramatta, and Sydney, daily (Sundays excepted)
From and to Penrith and Bathurst, via Hartley, three times a week
From and to Bathurst and O'Connell, once or twice a week.
From and to Bathurst and Carcoar, twice or three times a week.
From and to Carcoar and Canowindra, once a week.
From and to Bathurst, Molong, and Wellington, once a week.  
From and to Mudgee and Hartley, once a week.
From and to Liverpool and Parramatta, daily (Sundays excepted).
From and to Sydney, Liverpool, and Campbelltown, daily (Sundays excepted).
From and to Campbelltown, Appin, Wollongong, and Dapto daily.
From and to Dapto and Kiama, twice a week.
From and to Kiama and Shoalhaven, twice a week.
From and to Shoalhaven, Huskisson, and Ulladulla, once a week.
From and to Ulladulla and Broulee, once a week.
From and to Campbelltown, Camden, Picton, Berrima, Marulan, and Goulburn, daily or four or five times a week.
From and to Goulburn, Gunning, and Yass, twice or three times a week.
From and to Marulan and Bungonia, daily.
From and to Bungonia and Braidwood, three times a week.
From and to Bungonia and Queanbeyan, via Bungendore, three times a week.
From and to Queanbeyan and Maneroo, once or twice a fortnight.
From and to Raymond Terrace and Sawyer's Point, twice a week.
From and to Raymond Terrace and Dungog, via Seaham, and Clarence Town, twice a week
From and to Morpeth and Paterson, daily.
From and to Gresford and Paterson, three times a week.
From and to Maitland, East Maitland, and Morpeth, daily.
From and to Maitland and Wollombi, once a week.
From and to East Maitland, Maitland, and Singleton, daily.
From and to Singleton, Muswellbrook, and Scone, three times a week.
From and to Scone and Murrurundi, twice a week.
From and to Murrurundi and Tamworth, on the Peel River, once a week.
From and to Tamworth and Armidale, in New England, once a week.
From and to Singleton, Jerry's Plains, and Merton, three times a week.
From and to Merton, Merriwa, and Cassilis, twice or three times a week.
From and to Macquarie and Armidale, in New England, via Kempsey, once a fortnight.
From and to Armidale and Alford's Inn, Darling Downs, once a fortnight.
From and to Brisbane and Alford's Inn, Darling Downs, via Ipswich, once a fortnight.

PORT PHILLIP.

From and to Yass, Gundagai, Albury, Oven, Seymour, Kilmore, and Melbourne, once or twice a week, for the whole distance, or separately for portions of the road.

It is to be understood that the Mails are to be despatched on the days and hours to be fixed by the Postmaster-General, either according to the present arrangement, or as he may afterwards determine for the public convenience.

Printed forms of tender and other particulars may be had on application at the General and all other Post Offices throughout the colony.

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