David Murrays Land Grants
John Burnett Esquire Colonial Secretary
Macquarie River 10th August 1830
I have to request you will bring under the attention of His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor the following statement of the situation in which I am unfortunately placed regarding that part of my original Grant of Land on which my house and improvements stand This I am aware has been already done by the Surveyor General as I received a letter from him dated 21s` ult. stating "that with reference to the circumstance of my encroachment on Capt Briggs Estate, a general arrangement is in contemplation to afford relief in all such cases as admit of it"; but as I apprehend some of the features of my case may have been omitted, and if so, I am sure from the strong interest he has taken in it since he was first acquainted with the circumstances, very accidentally omitted, I feel it incumbent on myself to bring it again under His Excellency's consideration in the hope of obtaining more speedy relief than the Surveyor General holds out to me.
I arrived in the Colony in September 1824 and I received a grant of 800 acres of land, which was held in reserve for me, in the administration of Lieut. Governor Sorrell, which grant His Excellency was pleased of date 11th Feby. 1825 to extend to 1000 acres, between the grants of Mr Milliken and Capt. Brigg's on the Macquarie River. At this time there was not line marked between Capt. Brigg's farm and the vacant land. I therefore applied by letter to Mr Scott, Surveyor, to know by what means I was to discover Capt Brigg's side line. He wrote me, saying, that I would find it by measuring 74 chains north from Mr. Milliken's side line which was then marked and to take that proportion of the 74 chains which 800 acres bore to 1500. He also sent me a chart wherein the vacant land was represented to be 1500 acres and to have 74 chains frontage, and agreeably to these instructions I settled and built my house where it now stands, leaving the unlocated portion of the land adjoining Mr Milleken, which was unoccupied till 26th Apl 1828 when His Excellency was pleased to bestow it on me, in consequence of the improvements which I affected on my original grant, and on that very part of it which has now been transferred to Capt. Briggs. In 1826 Capt Briggs came to settle on his farm and it was our mutual desire to have the side line measured and marked for the purpose of fencing it. We were not able in the first instance to get an official surveyor and Mr. Malcolm a private surveyor was employed, who cut 112 chain from my frontage. I was of course dissatisfied with the survey and Mr. Charles Wedge surveyed it officially — the result of which was the reduction of my frontage to about 64 chains. I remonstrated against this, to the Surveyor General, who condescended to make an investigation into it personally, and he discovered the true line to be 2 chains south of Mr. Wedge's, thereby curtailing my frontage to about 62 chains. I am thus, by the actual survey of the Surveyor General deprived of upwards of 12 chains of my authorized frontage, on which the major part of my buildings and improvements are situated, and of between 200 and 300 acres of the most valuable portion of my farm, and that without any error or incorrectness on my part. Lately I had the honour of an interview with the Surveyor General on the subject in the presence of Mr. Scott, when the latter gentleman acknowledged having sent me the chart which I possess, and which I then exhibited, and on the authority of which I grounded all my operations, and this chart Mr. Scott stated had been made by the late Surveyor General Evans. Upon this occasion Mr. Frankland expressed to me his belief that having been guided by such authority I would receive indemnification for the serious loss I was sustaining.
Having now expressed as concisely as I am able the grounds on which I crave indemnification I leave my case with confidence to the favourable consideration of His Excellency.
I am in total ignorance of the nature of the cases mentioned by the Surveyor General, but I trust I have succeeded in satisfying His Excellency that no encroachment was made by me on the estate of Capt. Briggs, but that I had the same right to build and improve where I have done as I could have had to do so, on any other part of my farm, and if my case cannot be separated from the others for which ultimate relief is in contemplation I should not be delayed in receiving compensation, considering that the part of my farm of which I am deprived and which constitutes its principal value and beauty is altogether in consequence of the misdirection of the Officers of the Government, and Capt Brigg's tenant has already called to request I would leave my house and that part of my cultivated ground which belongs to him, as he has been offered a considerable rent for them. The pasture land of 2 or 3 hundred acres has been in his occupation for several months. I may just add that the great loss I have sustained is materially increased by a loss of nearly five years of my life, which has been fruitlessly occupied, in buildings and improvements now not my own.
I have the honor to be
Your very obedt humble Sevt.