Archive for February, 2017

A VICIOUS CIRCLE – THE HANGMAN’S NOOSE

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

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

1788 – 26th January, Sydney Cove: About 750 (570 male and 193 female) of England’s convicted criminals disembarked from the ‘First Fleet at Sydney Cove on 26 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’. 

Britain’s invasion and colonisation of New Holland brought the First Nations’ Peoples starvation, disease and a racist caste system based on colour. Well practised retribution was meted out when they dared to challenge the predators who stole their land and plundered their resources.

Although the unjust consequences of invasion stand in plain sight, because of widespread ignorance of our nation’s history in mainstream non-Aboriginal Australia, these go largely unrecognised and unacknowledged or, if acknowledged, the First Australians are ‘blamed’.

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

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CATCH 22 – JAMES FREEMAN

Tuesday, 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. See: Rules of Engagement

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

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

Tuesday, 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: On that day 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. Found guilty all were sentenced to death with the execution to take place later that day.

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FROM HERE TO ETERNITY – THOMAS BARRETT

Tuesday, 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.

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JOHN M’ENTIRE – DEATH OF A SURE THING

Tuesday, 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 had 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.

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THE IRISH & THE ENGLISH KING IN AUSTRALIA

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

‘In 1800 and 1801 many hundreds of Irish prisoners  arrived, pushing the percentage of Irish to more than one-third of those under sentence and one-quarter of the white population. Governor King nervously estimated that more than half of the recent arrivals were Catholic ‘Defenders’, summarily transported  for their part in the massive Irish rebellion of 1798′. Marian Quartly, Creating a Nation 1788-1990, Chapter 2, 1990

1800 – September, Sydney: Governor Phillip Gidley King RN, on the departure of Governor John Hunter RN, took up his commission as Britain’s third naval Governor of Australia in September 1800.

King found himself juggling many balls; an unruly soldiery, a tsunami of grog, French colonial ambition and a simmering Irish rebellion. The Irish, many sentenced to death following the uprisings of 1798 on home soil, and reprieved death on condition of transportation to Australia, appeared to pose the most immediate threat.

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ALICE – DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE WITH KING

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

‘A knowledge of the position of the military and their immediate friends occupied from 1792-1810, affords a key to the whole history of the colony; and without this knowledge many important transactions, affecting the civil, social and political  interests of the community would appear almost incomprehensible’. Samuel Bennett,Australian Discovery and Colonisation, Vol. 1 to 1800.

1800 – 15 April, Sydney: Lieutenant Phillip Gidley King RN, Britain’s third naval governor of New Holland, now  Australia, arrived in the colony aboard HMS Speedy in the middle of April 1800.

Gidley King delivered Captain John Hunter RN, the incumbent governor, a Home Office dispatch dated 5 November 1799 it; ‘severely censured Hunter and ordered him to return to England by the first safe conveyance’.

Tragically for both the colony and Australia’s First Peoples, London could not have devised a more destabilising arrangement than King’s ‘anomalous…dormant commission’ effective only if Governor Hunter ‘died or was absent from the colony’.  

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MACHIAVELLIAN MACARTHUR

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

1790: ‘On 14 December [1790] a troop of over 50 men departed for Botany Bay armed with muskets, hatchets for beheading and bags for carrying the heads. Michael Pembroke, Arthur Phillip Sailor Mercenary Spy Governor, Hardie Grant Books, 2013

Governor Phillip’s orders of 14 December 1790 ‘differing in no respect from the last’ were repeated on 22 December 1790 with the same intent ‘catch, kill, behead‘ – a diversion. See: Arthur’s Algorithm

Marine Captain Watkin Tench to whom the orders were given, tells of Governor Phillip’s ‘fixed determination to repeat [them] whenever any future breach of good conduct on their [Aborigines’] part render it necessary’ they served as a template for; ‘twenty-five regiments of British infantry’ who served in Australia between June 1790 and September 1870. 

1792 – 12 December, Sydney: Governor Arthur Phillip RN, after five (5) traumatic years as Britain’s first Governor of New South Wales and repeated requests for repatriation, sailed home to England in the Atlantic on 12 December 1792. See: M’Entire – Death of a Sure Thing 

London failed to commission an immediate successor. 

1794 – February 6 London: ‘His [Hunter’s] commission as captain-general and governor-in-chief was dated 6 February 1794 [he] did not sail until 25 February 1795′.

1795 – September 7, Sydney: ‘[Hunter] arrived 7 September 1795 and assumed office four days later. For the length of the interregnum the British government was greatly at fault.’ Hunter, J.J. Auchmuty, Australian Dictionary of Biography

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