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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

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John Lakeland (1791–1828)

It is this week our melancholy duty to announce to our readers the death of John Lakeland Esq. Principal Superintendent of Convicts, after a short but severe illness, in the very prime of life. It would be vain as it would be presumptive in us to attempt to describe the inconsolable condition of his aflicted family, or the regret of, we may say, every one in the colony generally, at this sad and premature event. For it is a circumstance belonging to our small and isolated community, that when the hand of death is applied to any of us, it affects the survivors with a degree of poignant sympnthv, unknown to the inhabitants of older & more populous countries. We are ll known to each other, we see and have intercourse with one another every day, and when a blank thus suddenly takes place amongst us, we feel the deprivation with peculiar force, and are painfully reminded of the debt which we all owe and must, in like manner, shortly pay. The lesson comes home to our bosoms, & accompanies us round the table of our family parlours and the bed of our retired chambers. As a public officer Mr. Lakeland was a man singularly suited lo his situation. His upright, independent character, and clear discerning judgment gave him an influence over the prisoner population, and afforded him a peculiar facility in carrying into effect the intentions of His Excellency, with regard to the discipline of the prisoners, which have so greatly contributed to enhance the security of properly in the colony, and to improve the advantages to be derived from convict labour generally. So well adapted was Mr. Lakeland for his duty, that the very prisoners themselves whom he thus kept in wholesome subjection, lament his loss with little less regret than those in the higher walks of life. The change of a public officer in a colony so peculiarly situated as this, who can scarcely be expected to discharge his irksome duties with much satisfaction to himself or the public, until he has been qualified for his post by unceasing assiduity, and years of experience, may under any circumstances be considered a misfortune, but when that change is occasioned by the stroke of death, so little anticipated and so severe as the present, it amounts indeed to a colonial loss and public deprivation. By the notice of His Excellency in the Gazette of this day, our readers will perceive that the melancholy ceremony of interment will take place on Tuesday, at 3 o'clock.

Original publication

Citation details

'Lakeland, John (1791–1828)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 June 2024.

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