A letter from David…


1830, November 20th

David Hoy Master Shipwright to Commandant Briggs

For some time past I have considered my salary I receive is not adequate to my services as Ship Builder. I therefore, respectfully request that you will apply to the Lieutenant Governor and recommend that His Excellency may be pleased to augment the same.
When I agreed to come to this place I was led to believe that if I remained longer than two years my salary would be increased. I have now been upwards of three years in this settlement ad I humbly trust that my conduct has met with your approbation and that my services have been found beneficial.
I beg leave to state that except for a short time after my arrival here, I had no assistance but from prisoners taken out of the gangs, only one or two of which had ever handled a sharp-edged tool. At present there is about ten of these as well qualified in ship and oat building as most shipwrights in Hobart Town.
There are a few others employed with me who are learning tolerably well and I have no doubt that what those have learned and are learning from me will be of service to the Government and indeed to the Colony at large as well as benefit to the individuals themselves.
It is unnecessary for me to state the privations of this settlement, and my pay is very little superior to a journeyman shipwright in Hobart Town. And as a Master Builder (certificated of which I have from England , and likewise the work I have done here I trust will prove me to be) I hope that His Excellency will not consider me presumptuous in making the application.

I wonder if David received his deserved reward? He was at this time at the shipyards of Sarah Island working in what must have been horrific conditions and yet building and completing ship after ship using unskilled labour as he so clearly describes in this brief letter.

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