From Here to Eternity – Thomas Barrett

September 21st, 2021

‘Just three [3] weeks before half a continent had been declared Crown land in one of the most remarkable acts of plunder in modern times…five [5] men were convicted of theft and condemned to death, illustrating that property was more sacrosanct than life itself. Henry Reynolds, Searching for Truth-Telling, History, Sovereignty and the Uluru Statement From the Heart, NewSouth Publishing 2021

 

The death penalty was brought to Australia with the First Fleet’. Mike Richards, The Hanged Man, The Life and Death of Ronald Ryan, 2002

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‘When leaving Botany Bay [25 January 1788] Phillip noticed two French ships in the offing…there would seem to be ‘some justification for the saying that England won Australia by six days’. Edward Jenks, History of the Australian Colonies, cited H.E. Egerton, A Short History of British Colonial Policy, Methuen, London, 1928

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Jean-Francois de Galaup, Comte de la Perouse [was] hanging around [at Botany Bay] on an expedition with two [2] ships’.  Professor Larissa Behrendt, The Honest History Book, eds. David Stephens & Alison Broinowski, NewSouth Publishing Press, 2017

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‘New Holland is a good blind, then,  when we want to add to the military strength of India’.  Anon.  to Evan Nepean, Frank Murcott Bladen, Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol.1 1892

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Sydney Cove 1788 – 27 February:   One (1) month after disembarking from the ‘First Fleet’ convicts Thomas Barrett, John Ryan, Henry Lavell and Joseph Hall were charged with stealing food from the government store-house.

All were found guilty as charged and sentenced to death. ‘The arm of a large tree…fixed upon as a gallows’  the execution to take place that same day.

The death penalty was brought to Australia with the First Fleet’. Mike Richards, The Hanged Man, The Life and Death of Ronald Ryan, 2002

But only Thomas Barrett died that day

A small plaque at the corner of Harrington and Essex Streets in Sydney’s Rocks area marks Barrett’s fleeting presence in Australia. His passing goes un-remarked.

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A MILLION DOLLAR BABY – THE BOTANY BAY MEDALLION & THOMAS BARRETT

September 22nd, 2020

‘The ‘Botany Bay Medallion’ a skillfully engraved metal medallion inscribed with a relief description of the voyage dated 20 January 1788 and a representation of the Charlotte riding at anchor at Botany Bay.  Mollie Gillen, Founders of Australia,

image of charlotte medal

Thomas Barrett is thought to ‘have been the maker of the Botany Bay Medallion.’ Also known as the Charlotte Medal,  it measures 74 mm (3 inches).

One side bears a precise reckoning of the First Fleet’s gruelling eight (8) months voyage across 13,000 miles (21,000 km) of largely ‘imperfectly explored oceans’ from England to conquer New Holland, now Australia.

It appears to have been fashioned from a silver-coloured metal medical dish owned most likely by Dr. John White the fleet’s chief medical officer.

The face of the medal depicts Charlotte  one (1) of the fleet’s six (6) convict transports – Alexander, Friendship, Lady Penrhyn, Prince of Wales and Scarborough, chartered by the British government to ship 750 convicted criminals  (570 males, 190 women) from England to Australia, together with three (3) stores-ships, Golden Grove, Borrowdale and Fishburn.

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STEALING STUFF – ‘Panama, Peru and the Philipines’

April 7th, 2020

 ‘Since the Age of Elizabeth 1, the British had had global ambitions in which possession of Central America offered the prospect of opening a path between the Atlantic and Pacific’.  Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy, The Men Who Lost America, Yale University Press, New Haven, London 2013

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‘From  the first decades of their colonizations, the British had envied the Spanish the riches of bullion and production they obtained from the World. Drake’s and Hawkin’s raids were early and brutal manifestations of envy’. Alan Frost, Arthur Phillip His Voyaging 1738 – 1814, Oxford University Press, Auckland, London, 1987

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[Commodore] George Anson’s voyage of 1740-44 marked a return to the earlier, more immediately effective, approach of decisive plundering; be it too had the broader dimension of subversion and future trade.

As well as with the treasure of the annual Manila galleon, Anson returned with developed ideas of how to open a trade along the Pacific coasts of America and he sought to implement  his scheme when he joined the Board of Admiralty in 1748.

‘From this time until well into the nineteenth century, whenever Britain was at war with Spain, administrations received proposals for expeditions against Spanish America’. Alan Frost, Arthur Phillip His Voyaging, Oxford University Press, 1987 p.106

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[San Juan – 1799] ‘The colours of England, were, in their imagination, already in the wall of Lima’. Roger Knight, The Pursuit of Victory: The Life and Achievement of Horatio Nelson, Westview Press UK

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‘Only 10 of the 200 crew members [survived] from the twenty-eight gun frigate HMS Hinchinbrooke,commanded by [Horatio] Nelson who was himself forced to return [from San Juan] to Jamaica where he was nursed back to life by a slave woman, Cuba Cornwallis’.  O’Shaughnessy op.cit.

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[1783] ‘The place New South Wales holds on our globe might give it a very commanding influence in the policy of Europe. If a colony from Britain was established in large tract of country, and if we were at war with Holland and Spain we might powerfully annoy either state from our new settlement.

We might with equal facility invade the coast of Spanish America, and intercept the Manilla ships [galleons] laden with the treasures of the west….Sir Joseph Bank’s highest approbation of the scheme which I have proposed deserves the most respectful attention’. James Maria Matra,  Plan for Botany Bay, 23 August 1783,  Frank Murcott, Bladen, Historical Records of New South Wales 1892, Nabu Public Domain Reprint

READ MORE

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A ‘NASTY WAR’ & A WALL OF SILENCE

April 3rd, 2020

‘Once more the discoveries of Captain Cook were influencing the direction of Britain’s overseas expansion…During the period 1763 and 1793 the character of the Second British Empire was being formed…the empire of commerce in the Indian and Pacific Oceans’.  Vincent T. Harlow, Founding of the Second British Empire 1763-1793, Vol. II, 1964.

DEFENSIVE – RETENTION

‘New Holland is a good blind, then, when we want to add to the military strength of India…I need not enlarge on the benefit of stationing a large body of troops in New South Wales. They may be transported thither before our enemies in Europe knew anything of the matter’. “W. Raleigh”. Dispatch to Under Secretary Evan Nepean, 1789.Frank Murcott Bladen, Historical Records of New South Wales

OFFENSIVE – EXPANSION

‘The place New South Wales holds on our globe might give it a very commanding influence in the polity of Europe…we might….invade the coast of Spanish America, and intercept the Manilla ships, laden with the treasure of the west’. James Matra [Joseph Banks] Plan for Botany Bay, August 23, 1783. Bladen. Ibid.

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‘After an absence of 219 days [2 October 1788 to 8 May 1789] 51 of which lay in Table Bay Cape of Good Hope, so that, although during the[Sirius] voyage we had fairly gone around the world, we had only been 168 days in describing that circle…makes it [Port Jackson] an important Post, should it ever be necessary to carry…war in those seas…[Pacific] Coast of Chile and Peru’.  John Hunter, Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island, 1793, 2008 ed.

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‘The troops sent to garrison the Australian colonies participated in the great struggle at the heart of the European conquest of this continent’. Dr. Peter Stanley, The Remote Garrison The British Army in Australia 1788-1870, Kangaroo Press, Sydney 1986

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‘Military and police raids against dissenting Aboriginal groups…had commenced by  December 1790. Professor Bruce Kercher, An Unruly Child,  A History of Law in Australia, Allen & Unwin 1995

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Within a matter of years  [1790] violence had broken out on both sides and Phillip would instruct raiding parties to bring back the severed heads of the local warriors’. Stan Grant, Talking To My Country, Harper Collins, Australia, 2017

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Bring in six [6] of those natives who reside near the head of Botany Bay; or if that should be found impracticable, to put that number [6] to death…bring back the heads of the slain’. Governor Arthur Phillip RN, General Orders to Marine Captain Watkin Tench, 13 December 1790. Ccited  Watkin Tench , Sydney’s First Four Years, L.F. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, Sydney 1961

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‘Lieutenant William Dawes’ whose tour of duty it was to go out with that [December] party refused that duty by letter’. Professor G.A. Wood, Lieutenant William Dawes and Captain Watkin Tench, Royal Australian Historical Society Journal; Vol. 19, Part 1, 1924

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Botany Bay – Lord Sydney, Arthur Phillip & ‘Hush Christopher Robin’ – Mark 2

March 3rd, 2020

‘It will be asked why, when we [Britain] have as great if not a greater, force than we ever had, the enemy are superior to us. To this it is to be answered that England till this time [1778-83] was never engaged in a sea war with the House of Bourbon [France and Spain] thoroughly united, their naval force unbroken, and resources, and having no other war or object to draw off their attentions and resources’. Lord Sandwich cited Robert .J. King, The Secret History of the Convict Colony, Sydney 1990 

 America – 1775: At Lexington in April 1775 Britain went to war with her North American colonists. But not all of them. Those loyal to the Crown fought their Patriot brothers alongside British troops.

Against all odds General George Washington’s Patriot rebels won America’s struggle for independence.

France – 1778: In February 1778 France signed a formal alliance with the United States.

England- 1778: The following month, March 1778, Britain declared war on France.

Spain – 1779:  In 779 Spain entered the conflict and assisted the French with logistical support.

‘Although Spain never officially allied with the United States its entry into the Revolutionary War alongside France turned a regional North American conflict into a global war and forced Britain to divert its vaunted Royal Navy to defend other interests around the world’.  The American Revolution – A World War, eds .notes, Spanish Naval Operations.  Ed. David K. Allison & Larrie D. Ferreiro, Smithsonian Books, Washington D.C. 2013

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Monte Video – Lord Sydney, Arthur Phillip & ‘Hush Christopher Robin’ Mark 1

March 3rd, 2020

‘It is thought’ ‘* probably’*  ‘ possibly’ * ‘it appears’

‘Few personal documents relating to Phillip’s service survive; his low personal profile and the secret work in which he was sometimes involved make him one of the least-known founders of any modern state  – in this case Australia’. Nigel, Rigby, Peter Van Der Merwe and Glyn Williams, Pacific Exploration, Voyages of Discovery from Captain Cook’s Endeavour to the Beagle, National Maritime Museum Greenwich, Bloomsbury, Adlard Coles 2018 

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London – 1787 – 25 April:  ‘We reposing especial trust and confidence in your loyalty, courage and experience in military affairs, …under the Great Seal of Great Britain [do] constitute and appoint you Governor and Commander-in-Chief of our territory called New South Wales….according to the rules and disciplines of war’. Court of St James King George III to Arthur Phillip, 25 April 1787. Bladen, Historical Records of New South Wales Vol. 1 See: Botany Bay – Lord Sydney, Arthur Phillip & Christopher Robin – Mark 2

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‘The troops sent to garrison the Australian colonies participated in the great struggle at the heart of the European conquest of this continent…They fought in one of the most prolonged frontier wars in the history of the British empire, and for the first half of their stay were probably more frequently in action than the garrison of any other colony besides of southern Africa’. Dr. Peter Stanley, The Remote Garrison, The British Army in Australia 1788-1870, Kangaroo Press Sydney 1986 

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Australia’s First Peoples & Britain’s ‘Empire in the South’

March 3rd, 2020

‘The short term consequences of the American War of Independence] were less than many expected.Though Britain’s eclipse as a world power was confidently predicted her economic recovery was swift, and the colonial development of Australia, New Zealand India and part of Africa went some way to compensating for the loss of the first British empire’. Professor J.A.C Cannon, Oxford Companion to British History, ed. John Cannon, 1997

The establishment of a ‘Second British Empire’ followed on quickly from America’s War of Independence 1775-1783.

Britain’s loss of her ‘Empire in the West’ the thirteen (13) ‘middle colonies’ – New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Carolina North and South, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island drove the invasion of New Holland and the brutal conquest of its Sovereign Peoples.

‘That the fighting against France in what was originally and essentially a European war should have spread so swiftly to the tropics was a result of many factors, most of them predicable’. Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery, Fontana Press, 3rd Ed. London, 1976

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BREXIT THE CROWN & CONTINUING CONNECTION

February 9th, 2020

Sydney Cove – 7 February, 1788: ‘We have come today to take possession of this fifth great continental division of the earth on behalf of the British people. I do not doubt that this country will prove the most valuable acquisition Great Britain ever made’. Governor Arthur Phillip RN, Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol.1

The island continent of New Holland, now Australia, was seized by force of arms in 1788.

Captain-General Governor Arthur Phillip RN on the 7th of February 1788 proclaimed ‘British Sovereignty’ over New Holland from ‘Cape York in the most northern extremity to the southern extremity… South Cape’.

The First Peoples did not give consent, nor was a treaty entered into. It remains to be done.

‘To seize from its original occupants all their symbols and monuments, probably forms the most enduring injury which one group of people can inflict upon another’. C.D. Rowley, The Destruction of Aboriginal Society, Penguin, 1974

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THE SWITCH 1790 – CONTEXT GLOBAL WAR 1775 – 1815

April 9th, 2019

‘For a brief moment there was hope…within a matter of years violence had broken out on both sides and Phillip would now instruct raiding parties to bring back the severed heads of warriors. The birth of Australia was meant to be so different…it need not have been this way’. Stan Grant, Talking to My Country, Text Publishing, 2017

Why is Australia ‘this way’ a divided nation? See: G is for Genocide- Colonial Breeding

‘Phillip…had instructions to deal with the ‘natives’ with ‘amity and kindness’. Professor Larissa Behrendt, The Honest History Book, – Invasion or Settlement, NewSouth Press, 2017   

What had gone so wrong with the ‘deal’? 

‘Within a generation the heads of Aborigines were shipped to Britain in glass cases to be studied as relics of a doomed race’. Grant. ibid.

What flipped the switch from ‘amity and kindness’ to ‘nasty’ creeping frontier wars that by 1838 had brought about the near destruction of Australia’s First Nations?

London – 1838:  ‘On the subject of the Aborigines of New Holland...It is impossible to contemplate the condition or the prospects of that unfortunate race without the deepest commiseration. Still it is impossible that the government should forget that the original aggression was ours’. Select Committee of the British Parliament, Lord John Russell to [Governor] Sir George Gipps, 21 December, 1838. Historical Records of New South Wales Vol.1

First Nations’ authors, Stan Grant and Larissa Behrendt, hone in on a critical pinch-point that occurred in the first decade of Britain’s ‘original aggression’.

‘Military and police raids against dissenting Aboriginal groups lasted from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. These raids commenced by December 1790’. Professor Bruce Kercher, An Unruly Child, A History of the Law in Australia, Allen & Unwin, Sydney 1995

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DARK MATTER – ‘McMafia’ MACARTHUR & ‘FIERY INDIAN RUM’ THE TEETOTALLER’S DRUG OF CHOICE FOR OTHERS

April 9th, 2019

Sydney – June 1790: ‘On a high bluff, called South-head, at the entrance of the harbour…every morning from daylight until the sun sunk, did we sweep the horizon, in the hope of seeing a sail.

No communication  whatever having passed with our native country since the 13th May 1787 the day of our departure from Portsmouth….The misery and horror of such a situation cannot be imparted even by those who have suffered under it’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. L.F. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

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‘Until, the year 1823 the government of New South Wales was vested entirely in the Governor who worked under the control of the Secretary of State for the Home Department.

He was an autocrat, wielding the widest powers, amenable to no criticism but than of the Minister [13,000 miles (21,000 km) away] in England’. Professor Ernest Scott, A Short History of Australia, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1953

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London – January 1790: ‘I am commanded to signify to you the King’s pleasure that directions be immediately given for the embarkation of the Corps raised for service in New South Wales and commanded by Major Grose’. Right Hon.W.W. Grenville to Secretary of War, London, 20 January 1790

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‘It does not appear that Grose’s antecedents had qualified him in any way for the performance of gubernatorial functions. He had been trained from his youth to arms and was essentially and only a soldier’. M.H. Bladen, Journal Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. I

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‘[Grose] had not been many hours in charge before [13 December 1792] he introduced into the Government of the colony the same system, and very much the same forms, which prevailed in his regiment…From this period, the ascendancy of the military dates. They became an aristocracy’ .Bladen. op.cit. 

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‘It was a great misfortune that this period of military rule occurred because in the course of it the colony was brought to degradation by drink, corruption, and general iniquity, which required years to mitigate’. Ernest Scott. op.cit.

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‘For the length of the interregnum the British Government was greatly at fault’. J.J. Achmutty, John Hunter, Australian Dictionary of Biography See: A Black Hole the First Interregnum December 1792-September 1795

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‘Military power was the most decisive fact about the early settlements; it was the frame within which everything else happened’. R. Connell and T.H. Irving, Class Structure in Australian History, Documents, Narrative and Argument, 1987

Sydney – 1790, June: The first contingent, one hundred and fifteen (115) ,Officers NCOs and ORs of the New South Wales Corps, reached Sydney in June 1790.

Major Francis Grose their commander remained in England to recruit sufficient numbers to meet establishment requirement.

Lieutenant John Macarthur, an ambitious self-centred junior Corps Officer, took advantage of deep dissensions among his fellow officers and moved swiftly to fill the power vacuum created by Grose’s absence. See: The Switch 1790 – Context – War With France 1793-1815

Sydney -1792, 14 February:  Pitt  a convict transport with three hundred (300) male prisoners reached Sydney on Valentine’s Day 1792.  The Pitt also brought Major Grose with an additional two hundred (200) infantry troops.

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