John Pascoe Fawkner's Constitution

Reproduction of third page of Fawkner's Constitution.


Created by John Pascoe Fawkner, circa 1832.


Accession number: MS 13273


From the State Library of Victoria's Manuscripts Collection.


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Man naturally is free Absolutely so, and is endowed by nature with strong innate perceptions of good and evil, but not according to the Code of the so called, British Laws, Nature never ordained nor does true civil liberty require, either the game laws, or than a Human life should be sacrificed for a piece of the Flesh of a Sheep, Yet at Launceston under the Judgeship of One Wylde, Two men were actually put to death by Hanging for one Shoulder of Mutton, supposed to have been the property of Thomas Archer, Such Laws we mutually pledge ourself to prevent in this our infant settlement


The Natural liberty of Man consists, in each individual acting as to him may seem just and conductive to his interest, Comfort or Whim, This natural liberty as also freewill was the Gift of God to man at the Creation. But Man being by nature both cowardly and sociable, consequently longs to associate with his species for mutual comfort and support, This was the origin of Society, not for the Sole benefit of Princes & Rulers / But man in order to enjoy the benefits of this state is compelled to concede a portion of his natural liberty in order to cement the bonds of Fellowship, I will give one Instance, each man in a state of Free natural liberty has a right to make a fire for his use & convenience where he likes, But in society it would be of infinite injury if any man could light his fire at his neighbours hay or Corn Stack or field, this is the Kind of Concession which each man is called upon to make, to enjoy the benefits of mutual cooperation and support, and when he is not called upon for more than this, he enjoys the real and true blessings of Civil liberty, when laws are made at variance with this one principle they are unjust or Tyrannical and are made for the benefit of the few & not for the real good of Society

Fawkner's constitution