Crown Lands Commissioners In Moreton Bay (1842-1859)
Dr Margaret Shield, Visiting Fellow 2017/2018

Stephen Simpson Letter 1842

November 10th 1842

To the Colonial Secretary,


(Para 6) I trust that the above explanation will satisfy his Excellency that I have neither been remiss nor inconsiderate in the discharge of my office – I cannot however, avoid stating that my duties as Commissioner will be irksome in the extreme if I am to be subjected to the surveillance of a person of Mr. Wade’s character and he is to be allowed to make private reports as to my conduct, without using the common courtesies usual among Officers acting in the same District, of even giving a notice of his intention, to say nothing of his gross neglect of duty in not communicating to me officially at the time of any objections he may have to my proceedings.


(Para 7) Lastly in justice to myself as well as to other Officers of the District whom he is doing all in his power to injure & annoy, I think it my duty to state that since Mr. Wade’s arrival in the District, his want of all the common courtesies usual amongst Gentlemen has placed him in a position of almost total seclusion from Society. He commenced his career by threatening to call out Dr. Ballow, after behaving most rudely to his Sister, while she was kindly attending his wife in her confinement. He next exchanged shots with Mr. Kent, who was at the time engaged to Miss Ballow, for interfering in the matter  & expressing his regret that he had not killed him, was seen the following morning practising Pistol firing at a mark. He subsequently threatened personal violence to the young Officer commanding the detachment & also to myself had I not been a Magistrate!! After grossly insulting conduct to me in my own house. And yet I have avoided all personal altercation with him & as everyone knows have made the greatest sacrifice of my personal feelings to keep the peace with him, as in duty bound; & it was only at the last extremity that I felt myself compelled to declare that I would have no further communication with him except officially, feeling that every man has a right to choose his own society.

(Para 8) I deeply regret being obliged to trouble his Excellency with what may be considered personalities, but perceiving that Mr. Wade has commenced a series of aggressions he has long threatened & holding the responsible situation which his Excellency has done me the honour to confer upon me, I think it right to state these few particulars, which are of public notoriety, that his Excellency may be enabled to form a correct estimate of Mr. Wade’s conduct.

Stephen Simpson



(Simpson, S. and Langevad, T., The Simpson Letterbook,/transcribed by Gerry Langevad, Cultural and Historical Records of Queensland, no.1, 1979, p. 4. (SLQ S994.3007)