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1-159 (Text)

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SYDNEY, Thursday, 30th. January, 1817.
The Colonial vessel Mary, arrived at this port, yesterday from Port Stephens; brings the melancholy news of the discovery of part of the wreck of the Trial on a beach of a deep and extensive bay in latitude 30° 20' south.
For some time it had been reported by the natives that a vessel was on shore to the north of Port Stephens, and on the 12th. inst., the Lady Nelson, commanded by Mr. White, left Newcastle, for the purpose of running to the northwards to ascertain the fate of the survivors from the wreck.
It will be recalled that the brig Trial, which was lying down the Harbour, ready to sail from hence for Port Dalrymple as soon as the wind permitted, was on the 12th. of September last, piratically boarded by surprise, and taken away from her anchorage, which was near the Sow and Pigs, by a banditti of villains, whose names were as follows: - James Murphy (27 years of age), a mariner and a notorious offender; Manuel de Sylva (42), sailor and sailmaker; John Ferrara, native of Portugal and a mariner - generally in company with de Sylva - he belonged to the Boat's crew; Patrick Doyle (23), horse shoer; Thomas Dalton (35) groom and servant; Charles Dyche (40) a sawyer; Hugh Ward (23), a brass-founder; Thomas M'Grath (26), a stonemason, lately employed at Macquarie lighthouse tower; Nicholas Russell (28), ditto; Francis Harrison (30), ditto; James M'Mahon (25), Felix O'Neil (29), and Francis O'Hara (28), all in the stonemason's gang lately employed on Macquarie tower, which at the time of the piracy was less than half completed.
The pirates from their advantageous post of observation had noted the proximity of the Trial, and assisted by a dark night, had achieved their evil purpose without difficulty. They found on board the master (Mr. Burnett), the crew and passengers, among whom were Sergeant and Mrs. Annandale, and two other females, who were not landed by the miscreants. The pirates, who by deliberately forcing away the Trial's people, added to their premeditated crime of piracy, the destruction of from eight to ten innocent and unsuspecting persons, by whose unhappy destiny, the calamity of the vessel's loss has been so intensely heightened as scarcely to admit a parallel in these parts.
The Colonial vessel Rosetta, was despatched in pursuit of the banditti on the morning following the taking of the Trial, but the chase proved unsuccessful.
A party of six soldiers, who accompanied the recent excursion in the Lady Nelson, were for several days employed in running through the woods to ascertain the fate of the unfortunate people who had been taken away in the Trial. The soldiers had finally hailed the Mary from the shore of one of the bays at the northern entrance of Port Stephens, and it is from this party that we give the following interesting particulars.
Every enquiry with the natives by the soldiers proved abortive, further than that a part of the people, who were stranded in the vessel, built a small vessel out of her planks and timbers, and proceeded to sea. But whether they were swamped and went down, or only disappeared from the view of the black spectators on shore, could not be properly ascertained from the descriptive signs and gesticulations of the natives, who communicated the intelligence.
The captain, passengers and crew, it is believed, had endeavoured to get their way towards Newcastle, by taking to the bush, but of any of whom, not a single trace or vestige was to be discovered. The unfortunate woman, who it appears had secreted herself on board the Trial, with a young child, is supposed to be living among the natives, in a state the 'most distressing.
Like the unhappy seizure of the Harrington, and the melancholy business of the Venus brig, which was cut out at Port Dalrymple by Lancashire and other prisoners, the many examples of piracy have never succeeded, nor can they possibly succeed. If the example of the Trial, which is and it is hoped may ever remain the last of the disastrous catalogue, what miseries would have a little previous reflection upon the terrors of their crime have saved to all the persons, who unhappily embarked in it; - among the least of which may be mentioned the nearly inevitable certainty of shipwreck upon this long extended coast, every spot of which is inhabited, or rather infested by barbarous hordes of savages.

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