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

April 7th, 2020

‘Only 10 of the 200 crew members [survived] from the twenty-eight gun frigate HMS Hinchinbrooke,commanded by Nelson who was himself forced to return [from Nicaragua] to Jamaica where he was nursed back to life by a slave woman, Cuba Cornwallis’.  O’Shaughnessy,  Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy, The Men Who Lost America, Yale University Press, New Haven, London 2013

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‘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’. 

Spanish South America – 1558-1603: From the time of Tudor Elizabeth , despite determined efforts by the Queen’s buccaneers – Sir Jack Hawkins, Sir Francis Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh and, a myriad privateers, England failed to oust Spain from her conquered territories, strung tantalisingly along the Pacific and Atlantic Coasts of Central and South America.

England: To fill Elizabeth’s dwindling coffers Treasury came to rely on looted gold, silver and diamonds, snatched by swarms of Englishmen at the point of the sword, from ‘treasure laden galleon’s en-route from Peru, Nicaragua, Panama and Chile to Spain.

New Holland: When the ‘First Fleet’ sailed from Portsmouth for New Holland, now Australia in May 1787, Governor Captain Arthur Phillip RN took with him ‘secret plans’ to attack Spain’s fabled Pacific ‘treasure’ colonies .See: Botany Bay – Lord Sydney, Arthur Philip & ‘Hush’ Christopher Robin’ Mark 2

London:  These ‘secret plans‘ were Phillip’s own. They had been drawn up in 1782, at the behest of Thomas Townshend Lord Sydney, the newly minted Home Secretary, while Britain was actively engaged in the American War of Independence 1775-1783 . See: Monte Video – Lord Sydney, Arthur Phillip & ‘Hush’ Christopher Robin’ Mark 1 

Jamaica: Phillip’s plans had their genesis in the failed 1779 San Juan Expedition the brain-child of the military Governor of Jamaica John Dalling.

Canada: Earlier  (1759) during the North American theatre of the Seven Years’ War 1756-63, Governor Dalling served under General James Wolfe.

Although wounded in the scaling of the Heights of Abraham from where British artillery bombarded into submission the French General Joseph Montcalm’s men camped on the Plains below, Dalling was present when Britain captured Quebec from the French in 1759.

In 1779 embroiled now in America’s Revolutionary War Dalling, driven no doubt by that past glory, devised a plan to attack Spanish Nicaragua.

The Nicaraguan plan, aimed to break Spain’s domination of Central and South America, had a lot to recommend it.

If successful, Spanish South America would be cut in half, giving Great Britain access from the Atlantic Coast across a narrow isthmus to the Pacific Coast, leaving Chile and Peru vulnerable to pincer attack from both land and sea.

‘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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‘It is generally appeared when we have been involved in a war with France, that Spain and Holland have engaged in hostilities against us’. John Hunter, Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island, 1793 Bibliobazzaar ed. 2008

America: At the time – 1779 – America’s Revolutionary war (1775-1783) was see-sawing between the opposing sides.

At Brandywine in the north – September 1777 – Washington’s Patriot militia was soundly defeated by the army of General William Howe. The British believed Howe’s victory had dealt independence a mortal blow.

‘Both France and Spain had allowed clandestine aid to flow to the Americans since that fighting started, but this was proving insufficient for the scale of the conflict’. Larrie D. Ferreiro., Brothers at Arm, American Independence, France and Spain and the Men Who Saved It’. First Vintage Books, New York, 2017

However at Saratoga in the south – October 1777 –  General John Burgoyne was forced to surrender his large army to America’s General Horatio Gates.

The home-grown revolutionaries’ victory at Saratoga proved a tipping point in favour of American independence.

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New Holland +Britain + Independent America + India + France + Spanish South America = European Australia

April 7th, 2020

‘As for India, it had to remain a strategical back-water while Britons had their backs to the wall in so many other vital theatres. The interventions of the French navy, in the Channel, off Gibraltar, in the West Indies, off Yorktown, had clearly played a considerable part in Britain’s failure to win the war in America’. Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery, 3rd ed. Fontana Press, 1991 

Whitehall :Lord George Germain, Secretary of State for America since 1775 the beginning of America’s War of Independence (1775-83, despite General Charles Cornwallis’ defeat at Yorktown October 1781,spied from his vantage point in far-off London ‘a clear vision of victory’.

A Dictionary of British History, Secker & Warburg, edited by J.P. Kenyon.

Germain’s ‘vision of victory’ was based on many factors. Among them; .’rumours Vermont would declare for the British‘ – George Washington’s Continental Army was ‘on the verge of collapse....good reason to believe that France and Spain might end their involvement in the war’. Andrew Jackson O’Shaunghnessy, The Men Who Lost America, Yale University Press, New Haven, London. 2013 

Germain was wrong. Even after Britain’s disastrous defeat at Yorktown, a smallpox epidemic, a bitter winter, shortage of ammunition and  food, he urged Parliament continue a now manifestly un-winnable war.

‘Wthout the direct intervention of Britain’s adversaries, France and Spain, on America’s side, the colonies could not [have] hope[d] to prevail against the superior British army and navy to win their independence outright’. Larrie D. Ferreiro, Introduction, Brothers At Arms, American Independence and The Men of France and Spain Who Saved it. First Vintage Books Ed. New York, 2017

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A ‘NASTY WAR’ & A WALL OF SILENCE

April 3rd, 2020

‘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…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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‘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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London – 1786, October 12:  ‘We, reposing especial trust and confidence in your loyalty, and experience in military affairs, do, by these presents, constitute and appoint you to be said Governor of our territory called New South Wales…from the Northern extremity… Cape York…to the Southern extremity…South Cape’. His Majesty King George III to our trusted and well-loved Captain Arthur Phillip, 12 October 1786.

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

March 3rd, 2020

Rio de Janeiro – 3 September 1787: ‘Dear Nepean, this is my last letter, as I hope to sail [for Botany Bay] tomorrow. You know how much I was interested in the intended expedition against Monte Video [1783], and that it was said that the Spaniards had more troops than I supposed’. Arthur Phillip to Evan Nepean Under Secretary to Lord Sydney, Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. 1, Parts 1 & 2.

Brazil – September 1787: As the First Fleet ‘bound for Botany Bay’ prepared to sail from Rio for New Holland via Cape Town, Captain Arthur Phillip RN ‘Sailor Mercenary Governor Spy’ was able to supply Evan Nepean, his long-time ‘handler’ at the Home Office, with vital information.

Skin in the game; to further understand Phillip’s ‘interest’  – not only had he drawn up Mark 1, the strategic plan for the failed Monte Video expedition, he had captained HMS Europa in the 1783 expedition under overall command of Sir Richard Kingsmill.

‘The combination of French and Spanish naval power had proven fatal for Britain in the American War 1775-1783]…as Lord Sandwich admitted frankly’. Lord Sandwich cited R.J. King, The Secret History of the Convict Colony, Sydney, 1990

Kingsmill’s ‘failure to act’ in 1783 had robbed the Royal Navy of much needed ‘glory’. That failure rankled. Phillip was determined to make amends. The conquest of New Holland, now Australia, would go a long way to restoring ‘lost glory’.

If Phillip succeeded he knew he would have an opportunity to prove Spain’s ‘treasure’ colonies on the Pacific Coast of South America were  vulnerable to attack by the Royal Navy via the Southern Oceans.

Rio – September 1787:  Phillip then went on to provide Evan Nepean with up-to-date intelligence ‘obtained from a person who was there [Monte Video] all of the war [1775-1783] on the number and disposition of troops, ‘and I am certain that the account is exact’. Phillip to Nepean, 3 September 1787. Historical Records. op.cit.

Strategically New Holland was all about global warfare. The invasion, dispossession of a Sovereign Peoples was about stealing stuff. See: Why New Holland – Britain + America + India + France + Spanish South America = European Australia

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

March 3rd, 2020

London – 4 July 1782: Lord Sydney inherited the office of Home Secretary from William Petty, Lord Shelburne, along with a mountain of unfinished business.  Included were the bare bones of what became known as the Dalrymple Plan. See: Proximity not Tyranny of Distance

Whitehall – House of Commons:  In March 1782 Lord North had resigned as Prime Minister. He was succeeded by Lord Rockingham who died in July 1782 when the position  passed to Lord Shelburne. He held the office for a year, until July 1783.

The Dalrymple mission aimed to launch marauding hit and run raids on Spain’s colonial territories firstly Monte Video, present-day Uruguay, then onto  Buenos Aires, present-day Argentina,  on the Atlantic Coast of South America.

Brazil: Lord Sydney tasked Lieutenant Arthur Phillip RN design a strategy that would achieve this end. Phillip had spent nigh on three (3) years in Brazil seconded to the Portuguese Navy.

Rio: Phillip was an exceptionally effective spy. Based in Rio, fluent in French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Hebrew and Portuguese, he had access to a myriad of anti-Spanish dissenters ripe for rebellion and reported directly to Lord Sandwich at the Admiralty.

1783: Britain, driven by the humiliation of defeat and the loss of her ‘Empire in the West, the thirteen (13) American ‘middle colonies’, was determined to penetrate Spain’s ‘treasure‘ colonies in South America.

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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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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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