Archive for March, 2020

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

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

Rio de Janeiro – 3 September 1787: ‘Dear Nepean, this is my last letter, as I hope to sail 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 captained HMS Europa in the 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 admired frankly’. Lord Sandwich cited R.J. King, The Secret History of the Convict Colony, Sydney, 1990

The Kingsmill’s squadron’s ‘failure to act’ in 1783 had robbed the Royal Navy of much needed ‘glory’. That failure rankled and 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 would be vulnerable to attack by the Royal Navy.

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.

New Holland – Sydney Cove 26 January 1788 was about invasion, dispossession of a Sovereign Peoples and stealing stuff.

New Holland strategically was about global warfare. 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

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

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

Whitehall – House of Commons:  The Dalrymple approved by Shelburne before he succeeded Lord North as Prime Minister, 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: To design a strategy and achieve this end Lord Sydney tasked Lieutenant Arthur Phillip RN who had spent nigh on three (3) years in Brazil seconded to the Portuguese Navy.

Rio: Fluent in French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Hebrew and Portuguese, Phillip was an exceptionally effective spy. Based in Rio, he had access to a myriad of anti-Spanish dissenters ripe for rebellion.

During this term of his ‘secret service’ Phillip reported directly to fellow linguist Lord Sandwich at the Admiralty.

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

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Australia’s First Peoples & Britain’s ‘Empire in the South’

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

‘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

The invasion of New Holland, now Australia, and 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 that invasion.

‘The administration of the 24-year-old Prime Minister William Pitt was under no illusion about the pretensions of its enemies. In early October 1784, Lord Carmarthen, the Foreign Secretary, stressed the necessity of knowing the extent of the proposed French and Dutch forces in India.

The information was essential, he added, ‘in order that we may ascertain the number of ships to be employed by us in that quarter of the world’. Michael Pembroke, Arthur Phillip Sailor Mercenary Governor Spy, Hardie Grant Books, 2013

Westminster: In order to speed the ‘spread to the tropics’ and building a ‘second British Empire’ under the administration of the Younger William Pitt (1783-1801) Britain took pre-emptive steps to secure alternate sea-routes to and from India, Asia and, via the Southern Oceans, Spain’s rich South American colonies.

Britain’s humiliating defeat in the American war was due in large part to French money, men, munitions and military know-how.

New Holland would compensate for lost ‘bases and colonies’ and reposition for the next inevitable conflict with France and ‘a century-long race‘ with an eye to India, China, the Philippines and Spain’s South American treasure colonies, in order to establish Britain’s supremacy over the Indian, Pacific and Southern oceans. See: A Riddle – When was an invasion fleet not an invasion fleet? When it was the ‘First Fleet’.

‘Parallel to, and dependent upon, the Anglo-French duel for command of the sea went their struggle for overseas bases and colonies; here too, the culminating point in a century-long race was reached, with Britain emerging in 1815 with a position so strengthened that she appeared to be the only real colonial power in the world’. Kennedy. ibid.

New Holland:  The invasion of New Holland, announced by King George 111 in Parliament in August 1786 and confirmed by him on 25th April 1787, should be seen and treated as a continuum of the American War of Independence 1775-1783.

 

‘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

EPILOGUE

The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars 1793-1815 ended in Belgium with England’s Duke of Wellington’s defeat of France’s Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo in 1815.

Then with French ‘pretensions‘ out of the equation Britain turned rapacious eyes on India – the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ of Britain’s second Empire.

 

 

 

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

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

MAP

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 – 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, with approximately 50 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:  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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