14th April, 1848.
SIR, I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Despatch, No. 141, of the 11th of July last, with its enclosures, communicating the result of an enquiring which you had directed to be made by some of the officers of your Government, into the state of the instruments and books, &c., belonging to the Observatory at Parramatta in the charge of Mr. J. Dunlop, the Astronomer; and also reporting upon the state of the building itself.
In another Despatch, dated 30th August last, No. 176, you announce the resignation of that gentleman of his appointment, and that you had given the necessary authority for packing and depositing the above-mentioned books and instruments in the Ordnance Stores at Sydney. I approve of your having authorised the charging of the Engineer Branch of the Convict Service the expense which has been incurred in this service, and with further reference to the suggestion contained in Mr. Dunlop's letter which you have forwarded, of the 18th August, I847, you are authorised to make over the transit instrument to the possession of the Colonial Government, provided they should be willing to make arrangements for the construction and maintenance of a time ball establishment. As regards the other instruments, with the clocks and chronometers, no time should he lost in disposing of them to the best advantage, in the Colony, as they are likely soon to become deteriorated if left in the Ordnance Stores in Sydney.
I have, &c.,
Governor Sir Charles Fitzroy, &c., &c.
The Commanding Royal Engineer to the Honorable the Colonial Secretary, respecting the sale of instruments belonging to the Parramatta Observatory.
ROYAL ENGINEER'S OFFICE
Sydney, 31st October, 1848
SIR,Adverting to your letter of the 11th ultimo, conveying to me the orders of His Excellency the Governor to take the proper steps for selling to the best advantage the instruments, &c., belonging to the Parramatta Observatory. I have the honor to submit for the consideration and further orders of His Excellency the following observations:
After the most careful enquiry I am led to believe that it would not be expedient to sell on the spot the large instruments of the Observatory. I have consulted Captain King on the subject, and he agrees with me in opinion that there would be no competition for the purchase of these large instruments should they be offered for sale in the Colony.
The following are the instruments which it is considered could not be disposed of on the spot, and Captain King and myself think it would be expedient to cause them to be returned to England:
1st. The 42-inch meridian circle, by Jones; the vernier not graduated, and the instrument in other respects requiring to be put into the hands of a skilful instrument maker to render it serviceable. The late Mr. Dunlop never used it.
The 30-inch transit belonging to this circle Captain King thinks would be quite sufficient for the purposes of a time ball.
The 5-feet transit being unnecessarily large for the purpose, he thinks it would be advisable to return it to England, and keep the 30-inch instrument in the Colony.
2nd. The mural circle by Troughton.
3rd. The 16-inch repeating circle by Reichenbach.
5th. The zenith sector, in two cases, which appear to have never been unpacked.
I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your most obedient humble servant,
J. A. GORDON,
Lt.-Col. Com. Roy. Eng.
The Colonial Secretary, &c., &c.