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MARTIAL LAW PROCLAIMED WEST OF THE BLUE MOUNTAINS

In 1824 there was a recurrence of the circumstances that led to the posting of a military guard at Glenroy in 1816.  As a result of attacks made by aborigines upon settlers and their property in the neighbourhood of Bathurst, Governor Brisbane issued a proclamation dated August 14, 1824, “placing the Country beyond the blue Mountains, or West of Mount York, under a state of Martial Law”.  His proclamation repealing that of martial law was dated December 11, 1824.

In the mid twenties the military establishment at Cox’s River increased, and in April, 1826, instructions were given for the building there of a log hut thirty feet long by fifteen feet wide with a partition for the accommodation of a subaltern officer.  It is interesting to notice the rations allowed the troops in the neighbourhood of Cox’s River.  In an advertisement of October, 1826, for tenders for their provisionment the articles of daily rations were shown as follows:
1 lb. Bread or biscuit, or 14 oz. Flour
1 lb. Of fresh or salt beef
Women one-half and children one-quarter of the above
The bread to be the produce of wheat, from which at least 20 percent has been extracted as bran or pollard, and the flour of equal fineness
“AND AWAY WE CANTERED FOR COX’S RIVER”

So wrote a traveller in March, 1827, describing his journey westward after leaving Collits’ Inn.  “Here”, he continued, “was the first granite I had seen in the Colony, a granitic sand and small particles of quartz forming the dust of the road…  Five or six miles brought us to Cox’s River, where we had two most dangerous fords to pass the horses over, owing to the deep holes of the first stream and the loose stones of the main river.  The wreck of former bridges was lying on the spot, and apparently very old.  The two fords are not a stone’s throw from one another, and between them is the military station or barrack occupied by a non-commissioned officer, and ten or twelve men of the 57th under the command of a subaltern.  Half a dozen men from the staff corps might repair these bridges, I should think, in a fortnight.  I observed several soldiers belonging to the station enjoying themselves in perfect repose on benches, outside their neat whitewashed cottage, like so many pensioners at Chelsea, and while they sat looking at us almost breaking our horses legs through the ford, I wished that the active officer in charge of the roads and bridges had been with us, on a hundred guinea horse.  This is the last stream that runs towards Sydney, and whose estuary is ascertained, Cox’s River falling into the Warrugamba, the Warrugamaba into the Nepean, the Nepean into the Hawkesbury, and the Hawkesbury into the Pacific Ocean at Broken Bay.”
According to the Sydney Monitor of June 26, 1827, the bridge at Cox’s River had been repaired and the rocks impeding the ford had been removed.  During 1827 and 1828 Lieutenant Henry Shadforth of the 57th Regiment was quartered at Cox’s River as Assistant Surveyor of Roads.  On January 11, 1829, Jane, the wife of Lieutenant Kirkley of the 39th Regiment, died there after a severe suffering of three days.  In May, 1829 Major McPherson, who was military commandant at Bathurst, was instructed to withdraw from the station at Cox’s River the increase of the original cows provided for the use of the military there.  In August, 1830, Lieutenant Fitzgerald of the 39th Regiment proceeded to that station.  He was not required to act as a magistrate, but was instructed to inspect the road gangs in the neighbourhood. Early in 1831 orders were given for the repair of the house of the officer quartered at Cox’s River, since he had been evicted by numbers “of Bugs and other vermin contained in the Wood and Plaster of the Building…”
Not far from the site of the old military depot at Glenroy is a grave whose lonely headstone tells a poignant story in words of which the following is a running version:

SACRED To The MEMORY of ELIZA RODD who departed this life September 14the 1831 Aged 8 months and 6 days, daughter of J Rodd colour sergant in his MAGESTY 39th Regt foot  how can a tender Mothers care cease to love the child she bers how can my frends discontented be since my Savour has taken me
Near the site of the military depot at Cox’s River is the grave of the baby daughter of the colour sergeant there in 1831
Glenroy and Cox's River History.  Blue Mountains NSW
Glenroy ~ Cox's River History
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