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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PERU – SILVER AND GOLD

July 17th, 2021

‘There were plans to use the corps in expeditions against Panama, Peru and the Philippines but nothing eventuated’. Dr. Peter Stanley, The Remote Garrison, The British Army In Australia 1788-1870, Kangaroo Press, Sydney, 1986

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‘The British had long sought to penetrate Spain’s jealously guarded South American trade’. Nigel Rigby, Peter van der Merwe, Glyn Williams – Pacific Explorations, Voyages of Discovery from Captain Cook’s Endeavour to the Beagle, Bloomsbury, Adlard Coles, London 2018. 

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‘Without the direct intervention of Britain’s adversaries, France and Spain, on America’s side, the colonies could not hope to prevail against the superior British army and navy to win their independence outright’. Larrie. D. Ferreiro, Brothers at Arms, American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved it, First Vintage Books, 2017

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

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‘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’.  Stan Grant, Talking To My Country, Text Publishing, 2017

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‘Flag’s Up…[3 June 1790] Lady Juliana with London on her stern. Letters, Letters was the cry…for the first time we heard  of the French Revolution of 1789, with all the attendant circumstances of that wonderful and unexpected event, succeeded to amaze us’. Tench. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. L.F. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

 

‘Another great change came in the arrival [June 1790] with the Second Fleet of the first companies of the New South Wales Corps…  [among them] Lieutenant John Macarthur – a central figure in the military ‘mafia’ which quickly established itself as Australia’s first governing and property-owning elite’. Pacific Explorations. op.cit.

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‘his excellency pitched on me [Tench] to march tomorrow morning [14 December 1790] in order to “bring in six [6] of those natives who reside near the head of Botany Bay; or, if should be found impracticable, to put that number [6] to death…bring in the heads of the slain”. Governor Arthur Phillip RN, cited Tench. ibid

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

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‘ENGLAND EXPECTS’ – DECEMBER 1790 – BRING IN THE HEADS OF THE SLAIN – Governor Phillip’s barbarous path to secure Spain’s silver and gold for Britain

June 29th, 2021

Sydney Cove – 1790, 13 December: ‘Since our arrival in this country [ 20 January 1788] no less than seventeen [17] of our people have either been killed or wounded by the [Bidee-gall natives; – [of] the north arm of Botany Bay].

‘His [excellency’s] motive for having so long delayed to use violent means…that in every former occasion of hostility they [the Bidjigal] had acted either from  having received injury or misapprehension’.

Nevertheless:

Botany Bay – 1790 December: ‘At four o’clock on the morning of the 14th we [detachment of 50] marched…to Botany Bay to capture six  [6] [Bidjigal] with ropes to bind our prisoners ..if six cannot be taken…let that number [6] be shot… hatchets and bags, to cut off and contain the heads of the slain’.  Governor Arthur Phillip, cited Marine Captain Watkin Tench,Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. L.F Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, Sydney 1961

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

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‘The combination of French and Spanish naval power had proven fatal for Britain in the American War [1775-83] as Lord Sandwich admitted frankly’. Lord Sandwich cited, R.J. King, The Secret History of the Convict Colony,  Allen and Unwin, Sydney 1990

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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, Bladen, Historical Records

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1788 – 25 January: ‘When leaving Botany Bay [for Sydney Cove] Phillip noticed two [2] French ships in the offing‘. Hugh Edward Egerton, A Short History of British Colonial Policy, Methuen, London 1928 

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‘There would seem to be’ “some justification for saying that England won Australia by six [6] days”. Edward Jenks, cited Egerton. op.cit.

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‘Actually, when Phillip planted the flag at Sydney Cove in 1788 he was not claiming the land for the British to take it away from the Aboriginal people but to make sure the French did not make the claim first’.  The Honest History Book, Larissa Behrendt, eds. David Stephens & Alison Brionowski, NewSouth Publishing, 2017

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‘When I conversed with Lord Sydney…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 a large tract of [that] country…The check which New South Wales would be in time of war…make it a very important object when we view it in the chart of the world with a political eye…and if we were at war with Holland or Spain, we might very powerfully annoy either State from our new settlement’.  James Matra, Plan for Botany Bay, August 23rd 1783, Frank Murcott Bladen,Historical Records of New South Wales  1892. Nabu Public Domain Reprint

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‘Without the direct intervention of Britain’s adversaries, France and Spain, on America’s side, the colonies could not hope to prevail against the superior British army and navy to win their independence outright’.Larrie D. Ferreiro, Brothers at Arms, American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved it. First Vintage Books, 2017

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Our wealth and power in India is their [France’s] great and constant object of jealously; and they will never miss an opportunity of attempting to wrest it out of our hands’. Sir James Harris [1784], cited Michael Pembroke, Arthur Phillip Sailor Mercenary Governor Spy, Hardie Grant Books, 2013

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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

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A ‘NASTY WAR’ & A WALL OF SILENCE

April 3rd, 2020

‘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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‘In determining the daily ration no distinction was drawn between the [First Fleet] marines and the [male] convicts’. Wilfrid Oldham, Britain’s Convicts to the Colonies, ed. W. Hugh Oldham, Library of Australian History, Sydney, 1990

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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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‘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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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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‘Once more the discoveries of Captain Cook were influencing the direction of Britain’s overseas expansion’. Vincent T. Harlow, Founding of the Second British Empire 1763-1793, Vol. II, 1964.

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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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Proximity – Not Distance – Drove Britain’s Invasion of New Holland

March 3rd, 2020

Port Jackson – 1788: ‘Here a Thousand Ships of the Line may ride in Perfect Security’. Governor Arthur Phillip RN to Lord Sydney, Historical Records of New South Wales Vol. 1, Parts 1 & 2

England – May 1787: Captain John Hunter RN commander of HMS Sirius, flagship of the ‘First Fleet’ a fully funded naval expeditionary force and, second-in-command to Captain-General Governor Arthur Phillip RN, departed Portsmouth on the 13th May 1787 to invade the island continent of New Holland, now Australia.

Botany Bay – 1788: By the end of January 1788, after a voyage of eight (8) months by way of Spanish Tenerife, Portuguese Brazil and Dutch Cape Town, the eleven (11) ships with a complement of 1500 – 1300 men 221 – women, approximately 50 free children, were at anchor in Botany Bay. See: Botany Bay – Lord Sydney, Arthur Phillip & ‘Christopher Robin’ Mark 2

Port Jackson: Governor Phillip deemed Botany Bay difficult to defend. Hunter supported relocating to Port Jackson nine (9) miles to the north ‘[w]here’a thousand Ships…’

Sydney Cove – January 1788:  From myriad of bays and inlets Phillip chose a ‘snug’ cove deep within the vast harbour. He named it Sydney after Home Secretary Lord Sydney. By the end of January the entire fleet were anchored there.

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