John H. W. Pettit letters to his family in England, illustrated with sketches by the writer, 1852-1868 - Page 284

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winding-up of the affairs.  Commercial matter in the neighbouring colony of New South Wales appear to be even worse than here.  Several large and influential houses have found it necessary to call their creditors together.  In each case it was decided to place the estates in the hand of trustees.
The banks now issue drafts on England at 69 days ' right at par.  Drafts against gold, etc., purchased at 1 per cent discount.  Freight on gold, per sailing vessels 2½d per ounce : per overland mail steamers, one per cent., deliverable at the Bullion Office, Bank of England.  After the arrival of the English May mail, however, they reverted to the practice of allowing interest on deposits at call, and on the monthly minimum balance of current accounts.  The rates adopted by the National Bank are as follows: - On deposits at call, 3 per cent. per annum ; on sums deposited, subject to three months' notice of withdrawal. 4½ do. : on do., subject to six months notice, 5½ do. do. :on do., subject to twelve months notice, 6 dp., do. the Banks of Australasia, New South Wales, Victoria, the London Chartered Union and Bank of Australasia have announced that they will allow interest on the monthly minimum balance of current accounts if not less than £200, at the rate of 3 per cent, per annum. The English Scottish and Australian Chartered Bank, the Oriental and Colonial Bank, allow 3 per cent interest on the daily balance of current accounts.  The Oriental also allows 3½ per cent interest on sums repayable on fifteen days notice. The English Scottish and Australian allows 4 per cent, on deposits at three days call, and the Colonial allows 3 per cent, on deposits at call. Discount at all the banks - under 95 days, 8 per cent.
The following are the latest share quotations : Bank of Victoria , £35 ;
National Bank, £3 to £3 2s. 6d. ; Australasian Insurance £​​​22s. 6d. ; Bagshot Mining shares, £4 12s. 6d. ' Long Gully, 17s. 6d to 18s. 6d. ; Myers' Flat, 22s. 6d. ; Nelson Reef, 23s. 6d. to 24s. ; Hobson's Bay Railway, £66 10s. ; Geelong and Melbourne, at par, Suburban Railway, £9 10s. ; St. Kilda and Brighton, £20.
During the month several of the mining companies have held meetings, and in several cases it has been decided to wind up.  Amongst these are the Bolinda, the Bank Vale, and the Chewton.  The Forest Creek company are in difficulties, and meetings have been held for the purpose of ascertaining the expediency of proceeding against the directors.  The Windlass Hill company appears to be doing well.  At a meeting recently held, it was announced that the prospects of the company were good; but, in consequence of the immediate want of funds, the directors were unable to carry on their operations.  The amount required was immediately subscribed.  The Nelson Reef company appears to be another which is likely to hold its way.  The differences between the shareholders and the directors having been adjusted by the latter declaring a dividend, it is to be hoped now that the company will go on prosperously.
The number of acquestrated estates during the month of February amount to 145.
During the month 123,800 ounces of gold have been transmitted to England, by the following vessels : On the 4th Omar Pasha, for London, 15,214 ozs. ; 7th Great Britain, for Liverpool, 47,742 ozs. ; 10th Southampton, for London, 19,250 ozs. ; 13th Dream , for London, 6618 ozs. ; 22nd Marco Polo, for Liverpool, 12,491 ozs. ; 26th Owen Glendower, for London, 22,755 ozs.
The following vessels have arrived from British and foreign ports during the month. March 1 - Gertrude, from London ; Europe, from Hong Kong, 2, D.F. Weber, from Liverpool: Royal Bride, from London, 3 - Miletus, from Glasgow ; Frebel, from Cadiz : Cecilia, from Gottenberg ; 5 - Maid of Judah, from London ; Blanche, from Foo Chow Foo ; Anne Bowen, from Baltimore ; Atlantic, from Gottenberg ;  Fanny, from Gottenberg ; Hannahwood, from Batavia. 6 -Amherst, from Hong Kong ; Schoonderloo, from Rotterdam ; Carlotta, from Manilla. 8 - Herbert, from Boston : Kime, from London. 11 - Emen,from Suez. 12 -Agincourt, from London ; Boejapore, from Liverpool ; Leaping Water, from Liverpool ;  Mary Bangs, from New York. 18 -General Wyndham, from London ; Marcellus, from Boston; Seringapatam, from Bristol ; Samuel G. Glover, from New York ; Jeanie Oswald, from Mauritius ; Martha, from New York ;Beechworth, from Liverpool, Flamingo, from Gottenberg ; George Warren, from New York ; Gottfried, from Mauritius ; Caesar, from Greenock ; Grecian Queen, from Mauritius. 20-Carleton, from London. 23 - Grace Darling, from London ; T.A. Cole, from Calcutta ; Manners Sutton, from Liverpool ; Bonnie Doon, from Mauritius. 27 - Lockett, from San Francisco ; Beatrice, from Hong Kong ; Orion, from Mauritius.
The following are the departures during the month. March 3 - Resolute, for Callao. 4 - Earl of Elgin, for Callao ; Veritas, for Callao ; Belsize, for Mauritius ; James Peabody, for Callao. 5 -John Knox, for Guam. 6 - Alice Thorndike, for Hong Kong ; Alciope, for Guam. 7 - Lucy A. Nickels, for Guam ; Great Britain (s.) for Liverpool. 8 -Golden Eagle. for Guam. 9 - Omar Pasha for London ; California, for Guichen Bay ;D.E. Perksson, for Callao. 11 -Anne Bowen, for Sydney ; Southampton, for London. 12 - Peru, for Callao. 13 - Spray, for Hong Kong ; Girica, for Callao. 14 -Forest Oak, for Callao ;Dream, for London. 16 - William Carvill, for Guam ; N.E. Althase, for Guam. 17 - Northam (s.), for Suez ; Anglo-Indian, for Guam. 20 - Edward Oliver, for Callao. 21 - Madras for Guam ; White Jacket, for Bombay ; Chantillon, for Guam. 22 - Caucatta for Guam ;Marco Polo, for Liverpool ; Industry, for Hong Kong ; Mary Whitridge, for Guam ; Glen Monarch, for Callao ; Hannah Nicholson, for Calcutta. 24 - Smallwood, for Guam. 25 - Owen Glendower, for London.

NEW SOUTH WALES -  The Snowy River diggings are still exciting great attention in this colony, and the most extraordinary finds of gold have been reported.  These diggings are likely to surpass any others, which have recently been discovered in New South Wales, but they will not be available until next spring, in consequence of the inclemency of the weather at this season of the year. About four or five thousand persons have visited the diggings, but numbers are now reported to be returning, being convinced that nothing can be done until the weather moderates, and the snow melts.  The great floods in the Bathurst district have subsided, but a great loss of property, with loss of life, has been the result. Subscriptions have been got up for the sufferers, which have reached £5000.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA. -The Parliament of South Australia has been dissolved preparatory to the general elections, which are now taking place. Such of the elections as have been completed have brought about unexpected results.  Many of the old members, including more the one member of the Ministry, have been rejected in favour of candidates who have been considered to hold more liberal views.  A political association, constructed from the democratic portion of the community, have by their influence put out several members. and put in others favourable to their code of principles. His Excellency, Sir Richard Macdonnell has been on a visit to Melbourne for  the last few days, and returned to Adelaide on Wednesday last, with Lady Macdonnell, who recently arrived from England.
TASMANIA . - The work of explorations still be carried on in this colony, and the discovery of some well-watered grazing country is [indecipherable]. No further auriferous indications of importance have yet been found.
NEW ZEALAND. - The most important news from this colony is the disaffection of the natives at Taranaki, who have resisted the Government in surveying land purchased from the natives. The consequence is that martial law has been proclaimed, and a considerable force has been sent from Auckland to Taranaki, to enforce the claim of the Government.  The land in question is some distance from the town of Taranaki, to which latter place the settlers were flocking, apprehending serious consequences from the war-like attitude of the natives. No news has yet been received as to the egress of the insurrection.
At the Royal the chief attraction has been a Miss Avonia Jones, who have been playing the principal parts in such pieces as "Modea", "Camille", and "Lucretia Borgia". She displayed some talent, but has been placed in a higher position than her experience qualifies her in holding. We believe that she will shortly pay a visit to Europe, with the view of studying hard at her profession. The burlesque of the "Nymph of Lurleyburg" has been produced with great success, the scenery and accessories having extremely beautiful. 
At the Princess's melodrama alternates with burlesque, and the version of "Modea" in which Robson created such a sensation, has been produced. Mr. Drew, who performs the Irish peasant better than any actor we ever remember seeing in that line of character, has been playing a farewell engagement at Cremorne, previous to his departure for England. The "Nymph of Lurleyburg, is also being played at this house.
Signor and Signora Bianchi are playing at Ballaarat, where Italian opera has for the first time been introduced.
Mr. G.V. Brooke has been starring at Beechworth, and Mr. and Mrs. Heir at Lamplough.  Indeed, our principal artistes find the provinces so attractive, that they can hardly be induced to stay in Melbourne.
A bazaar for the benefit of the Lying -in Hospital has been held at the Exhibition building. The receipts on the two first days were close upon £1400.
The Turf Club races are just over.  The sport was excellent, but the attendance was smaller than usual. The Flying Buck has changed hands, and instead of going to Goodwood, will be sent to Sydney to compete for the next champion sweepstakes.
The annual sale of the Bournefield and Woodlands yearlings took place on the Monday after the Turf Club races. Eight of the former sold at an average of £115; and five of the latter at an average of £80.
A pugilistic encounter for the championship of Victoria resulted in the victory of a Jerseyman named Curran, over Sallars, an American negro.

The action which has been pending for a long time between Vaughan and Wild and the Bank of Victoria, and which has caused some interest in financial circles, has at last been settled by the bank handing over to Messrs. Vaughan and Wild the deed which they held as security from Mr. Bruce, of the firm of Cornish and Bruce.
The total number of deaths which occurred in Melbourne and its suburbs during the month of January was 407, out of which 299 were children under five years of age.

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