Archive for March, 2020

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

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

‘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

At Lexington in April 1775 Britain went to war with her North American colonists. But not all of them. Those loyal to the Crown fought their Patriot brothers alongside British troops.

Against all odds General George Washington’s Patriot rebels, assisted by France and Spain, won America’s struggle for independence.

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.

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 Home Secretary Lord Sydney, Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. 1, Parts 1 & 2.

Skin in the game; to understand Phillip’s expressedinterest in Monte Video’  he had himself drawn up ‘secret plans‘ for the failed expedition.

The Portsmouth group were to rendezvous with a similar sized convoy sailing from the Indies

xxxxxxxxxxx

Though negotiations for the Treaty of Versailles that brought about a formal end to the American War were still in progress Britain aimed to harass’ the ‘Spaniards’ by mounting hit and run raids on Monte Video and Buenos Aires Spain’s South American colonial possessions.

In January 1783 Lieutenant Arthur Phillip as captain of HMS Europa , with three (3) other ships HMS Elizabeth, HMS Grafton and supply vessel, HMS Iphiguria departed Portsmouth under overall command of Sir Robert Kingsmill in  Elizabeth.

 

Fresh from Britain’s defeat in America’s Revolutionary War (1775-1783) Phillip regarded the group’s ‘failure to act’ had robbed the Royal Navy of much needed ‘glory’. 

The failure rankled and Phillip determined to make amends.  Securing a sea-route via the Southern Oceans to the Southern and Central America’s Pacific Coast  would expose  Spain’s ‘treasure’ colonies to attack.

The conquest of New Holland, now Australia,  deep in the South Seas would  provide a stepping stone to restoring ‘lost glory’.

If Phillip succeeded there would be an opportunity to prove the Pacific Coast of Spain’s Central and South American ‘treasure colonies’ would be  vulnerable to attack by the Royal Navy.

Rio – September 1787:  Phillip 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]. He went on to detail 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.

§

‘When you arrive on the Spanish Coast of the South Seas you are to do your best to annoy and distress the Spaniards… by sinking, burning or otherwise destroying all their ships and vessels that you shall meet’. Instructions to Commodore George Anson,  January 1740, cited Glyn Williams The Prize of All the Oceans,  Harper Collins, 2000

Strategically the conquest and dispossession of New Holland’s First Nations’ Peoples  was all about on-going global warfare. The Second Hundred Years’ War 1701 -1815.

The War of Spanish Succession (1701-14 – ) The French and Napoleonic Wars (1793- 1815) . See: Why New Holland – Britain + America + India + France + Spain  = European Australia

(more…)

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

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

‘Most histories of the American Revolution discuss the French Navy’s involvement only near the end of the war at the Battle of the Chesepeake in September 1781.

In fact from the moment France entered the war in 1778, its navy was fighting the British in many parts of the world, and this proved to be the most decisive factor in bringing the opposing parties to the peace Table’. Essays in the American Revolution – A World War, David K. Allison, Larrie D. Ferreiro, eds. Smithsonian

 

In 1775 at Lexington Britain had gone to war with her North American colonists. But not all of them.

Loyalists troops fought their Patriot brothers and neighbours ed by General George Washington. In 1778 France mobilised her navy and declared war on Britain. Spain followed in 1779.

French money, men, munitions and military know-how poured in to support Washington’s home-grown militia.

In September 1781 off Chesapeake a French squadron under Admiral de Grasses, although inferior in manoeuvrability to their British opponents, prevented reinforcements reaching  Lord Charles Cornwallis at Yorktown as he prepared for what proved to be the pivotal battle of America’s Revolutionary War of Independence(1775-1783).

In October 1781 Cornwallis’ large army  starved of men and heavy artillery fell to a combined army of French regulars and Washington’s militia.

Lengthy peace negotiations had began by mid 1782. Separate agreements were settled progressively culminating with a ceremonial signing of the Treaty of Versailles  in September 1783 bringing a formal end to America’s Revolutionary War.

London:  Meanwhile  in March 1782 Lord North resigned as Prime Minister. He was succeeded by Lord Rockingham. Four (4) months later – July 1782 – Rockingham died.  The  position passed to the then Home Secretary Lord Shelburne who held the Prime Ministership for a year. until July 1783.

London – 4 July 1782: Thomas Townshend, Lord Sydney – inherited the office of Home Secretary from William Petty, Lord Shelburne, along with a mountain of unfinished business.

Included were the bones of previous ventures aimed at gaining territory in order to establish a passage across a narrow isthmus that would expose Spain’s Central and South American colonial possessions to attack from both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. See: Proximity not Tyranny of Distance

 

The first of these  planned to launch marauding hit and run raids on Spain’s colonial territories  of 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, who had spent nigh on three (3) years in Rio Brazil seconded to the Portuguese Navy, design a strategy that would achieve this end.

The son of Jacob an ’emigre´ from Frankfurt Germany who taught languages his father is thought to have died round 1751.

We do know in June 1751Arthur entered the Greenwich Hospital School for sons of poor and/or sailors.

By then it appears Arthur was fluent in German and French with a firm grasp of Spanish and  Portuguese. Down the track this facility made Phillip an exceptionally effective spy.

‘Few personal documents relating to Phillip’s service survive; his low personal profile and the secret work in which he was sometimes involved make him one of the least-known founders of any modern  – in his case Australia’. Nigel, Rigby, Peter Van Der Merwe and Glyn Williams, Pacific Exploration, Voyages of Discovery from Captain Cook’s Endeavour to the Beagle, National Maritime Museum Greenwich, Bloomsbury, Adlard Coles 2018     

 

Arthur’s mother  Also his mother Elizabeth’s first husband John Herbert an able seaman serving on HMS Tartar died probably of yellow fever off Jamaica.   Elizabeth was closely related to Captain Michael Everitt RN.

deceased Phillip was accepted by then appears to have had a firm grasp on French, German, Spanish.

This made Phillip an exceptionally effective spy.

In Brazil he had access to a myriad of anti-Spanish dissenters ripe for rebellion and reported directly to Lord Sandwich at the Admiralty.

 

San Juan: Phillip’s plan sought to redress the glaring errors inherent in the hit and miss planning for the earlier San Juan (Dalling) Expedition of 1779-80 that; ‘cost the lives of more than 2500 men, making it the costliest British disaster of the entire [American] war’. John Sugden, Nelson: A Dream of Glory 1758-1797, Henry Holt, New York, 2004 

 

‘It will be asked why, when we have as great, if not a greater, force than we ever had, the enemy are superior to us. To this is to be answered that England till this time was never engaged in a sea war with the House of Bourbon thoroughly united, their naval force unbroken, and resources and having no other war or object to draw off their attentions and resources’. Lord Sandwich cited R.J. King, The The Secret History of the Convict Colony p. 35

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.

(more…)

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

Tuesday, 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

SEE  MAP (more…)

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

Tuesday, 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.

(more…)