MISSING IN ACTION – HMS SIRIUS & HMS SUPPLY

March 21st, 2017

‘Dismay was painted on every countenance, when the tidings were proclaimed at Sydney’. Marine Captain Watkin, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L, Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

1790 – March 19, Sydney: ‘the tidings’; loss of HMS Sirius the ‘First Fleet’s flagship – ‘dismay’ all hope of a China rescue  gone.

Norfolk Island: Sirius was at the bottom of the sea off Norfolk Island and her crew, one hundred and sixty naval (160) personnel, now stranded along with 50% of the white population evacuated from Sydney to save them from imminent starvat1on.

Read the rest of this entry »

EYES WIDE SHUT – A MILITARY CAMPAIGN & ARTHUR PHILLIP

March 21st, 2017

‘The pattern of conflict in Australia ran parallel to the pattern of settlement. From the early days around Sydney Cove the hostility of the Aboriginal Peoples to the depredations of the whites was clear to all’. Jeffrey Grey, A Military History of Australia, The British Period 1788-1870, Cambridge Press, 2001

1787 – 25 April – London: ‘Live in amity and kindness with them’. His Majesty George III, Instructions to Captain Arthur Phillip RN commander of a large armed squadron of eleven (11) ships – two (2) warships, six (6) troop transports and three (3) supply vessels, known in Britain as the ‘First Fleet’. See: A Riddle – When an invasion fleet was not an invasion fleet? When it’s the ‘First Fleet’.

Extravagant lies, none are more destructive than, ‘amity kindness’.

Read the rest of this entry »

CAPTAIN ARTHUR PHILLIP & COMTE JEAN-FRANCOIS A BAND OF BROTHERS AND MORTAL ENEMIES

March 14th, 2017

‘All was set in the mid-eighteenth century scene, the contest between Great Britain and the Bourbon powers…different branches of the family of Louis XVI…for sea supremacy and oceanic empire, which was the background of the life of every sailor of Cook’s Age’. J.A Williamson, Cook and the Opening of the Pacific, Hodder & Stoughton , London 1946

The race for New Holland was on and Britain missed the jump

1785 – August, Brest:In 1785 Louis XVI quietly sent the  Comte de la Perouse with two ships La Boussole & L’Astrolabe to survey likely spots for French settlements. Aboard were copper plates engraved with the royal arms to be used as permanent notification of French ownership’. Australian Discovery and Exploration, Michael Cannon, 1987

A Band of Brothers: Captain Arthur Phillip RN and Comte Jean-Francois La Pèrouse never met. On opposing sides in war and peace yet as men of the sea they shared a strong bond. Phillip knew a great deal about La Pèrouse and it is impossible to believe he did not admire the gallant Frenchman who had a deserved reputation for compassion.

Read the rest of this entry »

JOHN MACARTHUR THE GREAT PRETENDER

March 14th, 2017

‘What is the most arresting thing in all these recordings is the way in which they perceive Aboriginal Australians on not exactly equal terms, but on terms of people who have a right to the occupancy of this land’. Dr Nicholas Brown, The Australian National University and National Museum of Australia, on inclusion of some ‘First Fleet’ Journals onto UNESCO’s World Heritage List. ABC AM Programme, 15 October 2009

1790 – June, Sydney: What went so wrong? Lieutenant John Macarthur the teetotaller who was to put rum into the New South Wales ‘Rum’ Corps arrived in Sydney with a second fleet in June 1790.

‘Macarthur’s haughty quarrelsome nature which manifested itself on the voyage was to provoke much more conflict after his arrival in New South Wales in June 1790’. Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet, Britain’s Grim Armada of 1790, Library of Australian History, Sydney, 1993

Read the rest of this entry »

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN: 1300 MEN & 200 WOMEN – 1788 – A MILITARY CAMPAIGN

March 7th, 2017

‘Dear Jack…I value Death nothing but it is in leaving you my dear behind and no one to look after you’. David Prendergast,  Oxford Book of Australian Letters, ed. Brenda Niall and John Thompson, 1998

1788 – 1868: Gender disparity characterised Britain’s invasion and occupation of the island continent of New Holland now Australia.

Of 163,000 convicted criminals transported from the British Isles to Australia between 1788 and 1868 only 25,000 were women, of these 12,500 went directly to Tasmania. See: G is for Genocide

‘The tender [Supply] may be employed in conveying to the new settlement a further number of women from the Friendly Islands, New Caledonia etc. from whence any number may be procured without difficulty; and without a sufficient proportion of that sex it is well known that it would be impossible to preserve the settlement from gross irregularities and disorders’. London, Heads of a Plan for Botany Bay.

Read the rest of this entry »

A VICIOUS CIRCLE – THE HANGMAN’S NOOSE

February 28th, 2017

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

1788 – 26th January, Sydney Cove: About 750 (570 male and 193 female) of England’s convicted criminals disembarked at Sydney Cove from the  ‘First Fleet’ on 26th January 1788; among them Thomas Barrett, Henry Lavell, Joseph Hall and John Ryan.

1788 – 27 February, Sydney: One (1) month after landing – 27 February – these four (4) young men stood under‘ a large tree fixt as a gallows’. 

For Australia’s First Nations’ Peoples Britain’s invasion and colonisation of New Holland brought starvation, disease, a racist caste system based on colour. Ruthless retribution was meted out when the First Peoples dared to challenge the predators who stole their land and plundered their food resources. The consequences stand in plain sight but go largely unrecognised and unacknowledged.

‘Imagine if we [non-Aboriginals] had suffered the injustices and then were blamed for it’. Redfern Speech, Paul Keating, 10 December 1992.

Read the rest of this entry »

CATCH 22 – JAMES FREEMAN

February 21st, 2017

 James Freeman – ‘Hang or be Hanged’. 

 

Part of the original document pardoning a convict if he acts as executioner

Extract showing a pardon on condition of becoming the public executioner. Dated 1 March 1788, signed by Governor Arthur Phillip.

‘For here was an opportunity of establishing a Jack Ketch who Should, in all future Executions, either Hang or be Hanged’. Dr John White, Chief Medical Officer, First Fleet Journal.

 1788 – 29 February, Sydney Cove:  Friday 29th February shaped as another busy day for the infant colony’s criminal court.

It was decided, after the long drawn-out dramas of the previous two (2) days, as well as to avoid Sydney’s intense midday sun and drenching humidity, court would convene earlier than usual. See: Blind Man’s Bluff

At 8 am convicts James Freeman and William Shearman, accused the previous day of stealing from government stores, appeared in the dock before a tribunal of six (6) military officers.

This judicial arrangement fed a deeply corrosive relationship already existing between the naval Governor Arthur Phillip RN and Marine Major Robert Ross commander of the Sydney Garrison.

Freeman and Shearman were found guilty as charged and sentenced to die later that day 29 February 1788.

Read the rest of this entry »

ACT 2: BLIND MAN’S BLUFF – A DOUBLE BILL- HALL & LAVELL

February 21st, 2017

‘The arm of a large tree was fixt upon as a gallows’. Arthur Bowes Smyth, Surgeon Lady Penrhyn, First Fleet  Journal, Australian Documents Library, 1979

1788 –  27 February, Sydney Cove: Four (4) convicts John Ryan, Thomas Barrett, Henry Lavell and Joseph Hall were accused ‘on shaky evidence’ of robbing or conspiring to rob food from the government storehouse, all were found guilty and sentenced to death with the execution to take place later that day.

Read the rest of this entry »

FROM HERE TO ETERNITY – THOMAS BARRETT

February 21st, 2017

FROM HERE TO ETERNITY  – THOMAS BARRETT

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

1788 – 27 February, Sydney Cove: One (1) month after disembarking from the ‘First Fleet’ Thomas Barrett was hanged. His execution was public theatre staged to instil terror into all spectators; be they convict, soldier, sailor or silent, unseen locals – The First Australians.

Read the rest of this entry »

JOHN M’ENTIRE – DEATH OF A SURE THING

February 14th, 2017

1790 – 9 December, Botany Bay: ‘On the 9th of the month, a serjeant of marines, with three convicts, among whom was M’Entire, the governor’s game-keeper (the person of whom Bannelon had, on former occasions, shewn so much dread and hatred) went out on a [kangaroo] shooting party’. Marine Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

1790 – December, Sydney: By December 1790 Governor Captain Arthur Phillip RN knew ‘certain officers’ of the newly arrived New South Wales Corps (June 1790) led by Lieutenant John Macarthur an ambitious junior officer were circling the tents.

In December 1790 Governor Phillip was in danger of losing New South Wales. The threat did not come from the First Nations’ Peoples as, the previous year 1789, smallpox killed 50% of local Aborigines. See: A Lethal Weapon Smallpox – Boston 1775 – Sydney 1789

‘Phillip was authorised to see to the defence of the colony’. Professor Bruce Kercher, History of Law in Australia, Allen and Unwin, 1995

Phillip knew a serious threat to Empire King and Country came from within military ranks but, isolated with no naval support, he had but one option in his armoury – diversion  and one (1) sure arrow, John M’Entire. See: Manly, Location, Location, Location

Read the rest of this entry »