The John Baughan just mentioned had at least one exciting day in his career—a day that was nearly the end of it.
In the early part of 1796, Baughan occupied the position of foreman carpenter, and one day had a dispute with a soldier of the N.S.W. Corps who was working under him. The quarrel engendered hostility, and each sought revenge.
On February 4, the soldier was acting as a sentinel over a storehouse, but knowing that Baughan was working in a house some distance from his post he propped his musket against the side of the store and walked over to the house where Baughan was at work. Outside this, he met a friend, and in a loud voice, he gave the friend his plain unvarnished opinion of Mr. Baughan. This latter-named gentleman saw and grasped his opportunity. He stole out the back way, walked round to the soldier’s post, took his musket, carried it to the guardhouse, and delivered it to the sergeant of the guard. Naturally, the soldier was in hot water.
Early next morning all the corps off duty assembled and proceeded to the dwelling-place of Mr. Baughan, where, as the official records relate, they “broke open his gates, doors, and windows, entered his house, chopped the corner posts of it, broke his bedsteads and bedding, chairs window frames, drawers, chests, and, in short, completely demolished everything within his possession to a considerable amount.”
Governor Hunter naturally was very incensed. He uttered threats, whereupon the corps offered to reinstate Mr. Baughan’s house and property—an offer that was accepted.