Archive for January, 2016


Monday, January 25th, 2016

1788 -Sydney Cove, July: ‘Yesterday twenty [20] of the natives came down to the beach, each armed with a number of spears, and seized on a good part of the fish caught in the seine [trawling nets]…several stood at a small distance with their spears poised ready to throw them if any resistance was made’. Governor Arthur Phillip to Under-Secretary Evan Nepean, July 10, 1788, Frank Murcott Bladen, Historical Records of New South Wales


‘They [Aborigines] are not pleased with our remaining amongst them, as they see we deprive them of fish, which is almost their only support’ . Governor  Philip to Evan  Nepean, September 1788  


Sydney- 1789, January:  ‘From the intelligence of our friends and connections we had been entirely cut off, no communication whatever having passed with our native country since the 13th of May 1787, the day of our departure from Portsmouth’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. L.F. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961


 Sydney – 1789, April: ‘An extraordinary calamity was now observed among the natives…pustules similar to those  occasioned by smallpox were thickly spread on the bodies but how a disease, to which our former observations had led us to believe them strangers could have introduced itself, and have spread so widely, seems inexplicable’. Tench. ibid.     


‘The epidemic not only killed a significant proportion of the indigenous population but also destabilised society…there is no easy answer to the fraught quest of [Aboriginal] clan boundaries in Sydney, particularly because an epidemic in 1789 caused massive disruption of the indigenous peoples in the area‘. Pauline Curby, Randwick [A History], 2010.


‘It is true our surgeons brought out variolous matter in bottles’. Tench. ibid


Why did Britain invade New Holland? See: Proximity not Distance drove Britain’s invasion of New Holland.

‘The voyage to and from Chilli and Peru would be Easy and Expeditious for a sailing from Port Jackson…the proximity of a Colony in that Part of the World to the Spanish settlement and the coast of Chile and Peru…makes it an important Post, should it ever be necessary to carry…war into those seas’. Captain John Hunter RNTransactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island, 1793, Bibliobaazar ed. 2008




Monday, January 11th, 2016

In 1792 the military power was significantly strengthened when Phillip, due to ill health, returned to England [from Sydney Cove]. Not a Rum Rebellion But a Military Insurrection. Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 92, John McMahon, 2006

1792 – Sydney, December: On the 12th of December 1792 Governor Arthur Phillip RN, after a five (5) year tenure as Britain’s first commissioned governor of New South Wales (1788-1792, departed Sydney for home and war with France.

Whitehall failed to appoint an immediate successor. By default the immense power invested in the naval Governor Arthur Phillip, said to be unique in Britain’s long history of colonisation, fell to the military.

In June 1790 the first contingent of infantry troops, the New South Wales Corps, arrived to relieve the four (4) companies marines of the ‘First Fleet’ overdue now for repatriation.

‘The other great change came in the arrival with the second fleet of the first contingent of the New South Wales Corps in June 1790’. Nigel Rigby, Pieter Van er Merwa, Glyn Williams,Pacific Explorations, Voyages of Discovery from Captain Cook’s Endeavour to the Beagle,  Adlard Coles, Bloomsbury 2018

London Gazette October 1789

Unfortunately for Australia’s First Nation’s Peoples Major Grose their Commandant remained in London and continued recruiting to satisfy establishment requirements.

Lieutenant John Macarthur, then a scheming parasitic junior officer, seized the opportunity to fill the ensuing power vacuum.

‘Lieutenant John Macarthur a leading figure in the military ‘mafia’…quickly established itself as Australia’s first governing and property owning elite’. Pacific Explorations.ibid.

1792 – Sydney, February:  Grose, a wounded veteran of the American War (1775-1783), arrived aboard Pitt a vessel of the 3rd fleet on the 14th of February 1792.

1792 – 13 December: The day following Phillip’s departure in the Atlantic, Major Grose ‘contrary to the Royal Instructions’ sacked all civil magistrates appointed by his predecessor.

‘Grose, commander of the New South Wales Corp must have realized that in superseding the magistrates he was making an alteration in judicial government which was expressed both in Phillip’s Commission and the Letters Patent establishing the Court of Law…The settlement [as a consequence] was ruled as a military oligarchy’. William Foster, Journal Royal Australia Historical Society, Vol. 1, part 3, 1968

1793: Grose proved a lackadaisical leader.However it must be acknowledged Grose inherited a nightmare.



Saturday, January 2nd, 2016

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