Archive for April, 2020

STEALING STUFF

Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

‘The colours of England, were, in their imagination, already in the wall of Lima’. Roger Knight, The Pursuit of Victory: The Life and Achievement of Horatio Nelson, Westview Press UK

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‘Only 10 of the 200 crew members [survived] from the twenty-eight gun frigate HMS Hinchinbrooke,commanded by Nelson who was himself forced to return [from Nicaragua] to Jamaica where he was nursed back to life by a slave woman, Cuba Cornwallis’.  O’Shaughnessy,  Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy, The Men Who Lost America, Yale University Press, New Haven, London 2013

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‘Since the Age of Elizabeth 1, the British had had global ambitions in which possession of Central America offered the prospect of opening a path between the Atlantic and Pacific’. 

Spanish South America – 1558-1603: From the time of Tudor Elizabeth, despite determined efforts by the ‘Virgin’ Queen’s buccaneers – Sir Jack Hawkins, Sir Francis Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh and, a myriad privateers, England failed to oust Spain from her conquered territories, strung tantalisingly along the Pacific and Atlantic Coasts of Central and South America.

England: To fill Elizabeth’s dwindling coffers Treasury came to rely on looted gold, silver and diamonds, snatched by swarms of Englishmen at the point of the sword, from ‘treasure laden galleon’s en-route from Peru, Nicaragua, Panama and Chile to Spain.

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New Holland +Britain + Independent America + India + France + Spanish South America = European Australia

Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

‘As for India, it had to remain a strategical back-water while Britons had their backs to the wall in so many other vital theatres. The interventions of the French navy, in the Channel, off Gibraltar, in the West Indies, off Yorktown, had clearly played a considerable part in Britain’s failure to win the war in America’. Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery, 3rd ed. Fontana Press, 1991 

Whitehall :Lord George Germain, Secretary of State for America since 1775 the beginning of America’s War of Independence (1775-83, despite General Charles Cornwallis’ defeat at Yorktown October 1781,spied from his vantage point in far-off London ‘a clear vision of victory’.

A Dictionary of British History, Secker & Warburg, edited by J.P. Kenyon.

Germain’s ‘vision of victory’ was based on many factors. Among them; .’rumours Vermont would declare for the British‘ – George Washington’s Continental Army was ‘on the verge of collapse....good reason to believe that France and Spain might end their involvement in the war’. Andrew Jackson O’Shaunghnessy, The Men Who Lost America, Yale University Press, New Haven, London. 2013 

Germain was wrong. Even after Britain’s disastrous defeat at Yorktown, a smallpox epidemic, a bitter winter, shortage of ammunition and  food, he urged Parliament continue a now manifestly un-winnable war.

‘Wthout the direct intervention of Britain’s adversaries, France and Spain, on America’s side, the colonies could not [have] hope[d] to prevail against the superior British army and navy to win their independence outright’. Larrie D. Ferreiro, Introduction, Brothers At Arms, American Independence and The Men of France and Spain Who Saved it. First Vintage Books Ed. New York, 2017

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A ‘NASTY WAR’ & A WALL OF SILENCE

Friday, April 3rd, 2020

‘The troops sent to garrison the Australian colonies participated in the great struggle at the heart of the European conquest of this continent’. Dr. Peter Stanley, The Remote Garrison The British Army in Australia 1788-1870, Kangaroo Press, Sydney 1986

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‘In determining the daily ration no distinction was drawn between the [First Fleet] marines and the [male] convicts’. Wilfrid Oldham, Britain’s Convicts to the Colonies, ed. W. Hugh Oldham, Library of Australian History, Sydney, 1990

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Within a matter of years  [1790] violence had broken out on both sides and Phillip would instruct raiding parties to bring back the severed heads of the local warriors’. Stan Grant, Talking To My Country, Harper Collins, Australia, 2017

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‘Military and police raids against dissenting Aboriginal groups…had commenced by  December 1790. Professor Bruce Kercher, An Unruly Child,  A History of Law in Australia, Allen & Unwin 1995

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Bring in six [6] of those natives who reside near the head of Botany Bay; or if that should be found impracticable, to put that number [6] to death…bring back the heads of the slain’. Governor Arthur Phillip RN, General Orders to Marine Captain Watkin Tench, 13 December 1790. Ccited  Watkin Tench , Sydney’s First Four Years, L.F. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, Sydney 1961

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‘Lieutenant William Dawes’ whose tour of duty it was to go out with that [December] party refused that duty by letter’. Professor G.A. Wood, Lieutenant William Dawes and Captain Watkin Tench, Royal Australian Historical Society Journal; Vol. 19, Part 1, 1924

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‘Once more the discoveries of Captain Cook were influencing the direction of Britain’s overseas expansion’. Vincent T. Harlow, Founding of the Second British Empire 1763-1793, Vol. II, 1964.

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