‘Once more the discoveries of Captain Cook were influencing the direction of Britain’s overseas expansion…During the period 1763 and 1793 the character of the Second British Empire was being formed…the empire of commerce in the Indian and Pacific Oceans’.  Vincent T. Harlow, Founding of the Second British Empire 1763-1793, Vol. II, 1964.


‘New Holland is a good blind, then, when we want to add to the military strength of India…I need not enlarge on the benefit of stationing a large body of troops in New South Wales. They may be transported thither before our enemies in Europe knew anything of the matter’. “W. Raleigh”. Dispatch to Under Secretary Evan Nepean, 1789.Frank Murcott Bladen, Historical Records of New South Wales


‘The place New South Wales holds on our globe might give it a very commanding influence in the polity of Europe…we might….invade the coast of Spanish America, and intercept the Manilla ships, laden with the treasure of the west’. James Matra [Joseph Banks] Plan for Botany Bay, August 23, 1783. Bladen. Ibid.


‘After an absence of 219 days [2 October 1788 to 8 May 1789] 51 of which lay in Table Bay Cape of Good Hope, so that, although during the[Sirius] voyage we had fairly gone around the world, we had only been 168 days in describing that circle…makes it [Port Jackson] an important Post, should it ever be necessary to carry…war in those seas…[Pacific] Coast of Chile and Peru’.  John Hunter, Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island, 1793, 2008 ed.


‘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


‘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


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


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


‘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


Paris – September 1783:  Conflict, following lengthy negotiations between Britain, France, Spain and the Dutch, America’s Revolutionary War of Independence (1775-83), ended formally on 3 September 1783 with the signing the Treaty of Versailles.

Via the treaty Britain lost herNew World’ empire; the thirteen (13) American ‘middle’ colonies; North and South Carolina, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia.

Along with them went the right, legislated  by England’s King George I in 1717-18, to export primarily to America, those convicted criminals reprieved death on condition they must be ‘transported out of the realm’.

Hard on the heels of at least two (2) failed attempts by Britain (1783, 1784) to defy Congress and reinstate ‘transportation to America’  Lord Sydney  advised Treasury that King George III had designated New Holland to be Britain’s permanent place of exile for those considered ‘too evil to remain within the kingdom’. See: Mutiny on Swift and Mercury

Whitehall –  1786 August:  ‘According to the accounts given by the late Captain Cook His Majesty…having been pleased to signify his Royal Majesty Commands that 750 convicts now in this kingdom under sentence of transportation should be sent to Botany Bay on the coast of New South Wales‘. Bladen, Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. 1

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

New Holland’s geographical position in the Indian, Pacific and Southern Oceans made it perfectly placed for global war and empire buildingSee: Proximity Not Distance Drove Britain’s Invasion of New Holland.



‘By 1784…it had become clear that the upsurge in French shipbuilding activity had reached new heights and that the French and the Dutch were manoeuvring for advantage in the India and the East’. Michael Pembroke, Arthur Phillip Sailor Mercenary Governor Spy, Hardie Grant Books, Melbourne, London, 2013


 ‘Captain Arthur PhillipWe, reposing especial trust and confidence in your loyalty, and experience in military affairs, do, by these presents, constitute and appoint you to be said Governor of our territory called New South Wales…from the Northern extremity… Cape York…to the Southern extremity…South Cape’. His Majesty King George III to our trusted and well-loved Captain Arthur Phillip, Court of St James, 12 October 1786.

‘Especial trust and confidence in your [Phillip’s] loyalty, and experience in military affairs’ makes it clear there was much more to Botany Bay than convicts.

A permanent military and naval presence in New South Wales at the confluence of the Southern Hemisphere’s Pacific and Indian Oceans would secure Britain strategic and ‘commercial’ advantage by controlling trading routes to and from India, China, the Dutch East Indies and the coast of Spanish South America.

‘It is generally appeared when we have been involved in a war with France, that Spain and Holland have engaged in hostilities against us’. Hunter, Bibliobazaar ibid.

Just as importantly the sea-route from Port Jackson via the Southern Oceans made Spain’s Central and South American Pacific Coast ‘treasure’ colonies vulnerable to attack from the Royal Navy.

‘The way of war is a way of deception. When able feign inability; When deploying troops Appear not to be’. Sun-Tzu, The Art of War, John Minford Translator, Penguin, 2009

A pre-emptive strike –‘Heads of a Plan for Botany Bay’ – was hatched. Under guise of  ‘convict  transportation’ a combined naval and military campaign was mounted to dispossess Australia’s First Nations’ Peoples of their homelands.

A large expeditionary force, known in Britain and Australia as the ‘First Fleet’, was fully funded by the government of Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger. It had the approval of his ‘secretive’ inner cabinet -Lords Hawkesbury, Mulgrave and the Home Secretary Henry Dundas.


Portsmouth – May ’87: Commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip RN, thee convoy of eleven (11) ships, sailed from England at dawn on the 13th of May 1787 to invade the island continent of New Holland.

The fleet’s complement, upwards of 1500 souls, was overwhelmingly male. One-half were convicted criminals – 190 women camp followers 570 male convicts rationed as ‘troops serving in the West Indies’. Oldham. Op.Cit.

 See: G is for Genocide

HMS Sirius and HMS Supply were crewed by 200 Royal Navy personnel, 20 officials, 223 marines, 31 marine wives, 45 free children.

Approximately 440 merchant seamen crewed six (6) troop carriers Alexander, Scarborough, Friendship, Prince of Wales, Charlotte, Lady Penrhyn (female) and store-ships Fishburn, Golden Grove and Borrowdale .

1788, January 20:   The fleet via Spanish Tenerife, Portuguese Brazil and Dutch Cape Town, after a passage of 8 months voyaging 13,000 miles (21,000 km) of ‘imperfectly explored oceans’, reached Botany Bay within 36 hours between 18-20 January 1788. See: Apollo 11 – Fly Me To the Moon

Botany Bay: Following an examination of the beach-head Phillip deemed it not an ‘eligible situation for fixing a settlement’.

Port Jackson  – 21 January: Taking Captain Cook’s 1770 charts he set out with officers and surveyors in three (3) small open row- boats to search for Cook’s ‘Port Jackson’.

Late in that afternoon, nine (9) miles (14km ) north of Botany Bay, they spotted its towering headlands guarding an entrance ‘a quarter-mile wide across nd rowed through into a vast harbour.

Sydney Cove – 22 January: From a myriad bays and inlets Phillip chose a ‘snug cove’ for permanent settlement naming it for Lord Sydney.  See: Botany Bay – Lord Sydney, Arthur Phillip & ‘Hush’ Christopher Robin Mark 2

Botany Bay – 23 January: By nightfall of the 23nd the party was back in Botany Bay with good news. The ‘First Fleet’ had found its home.  Phillip ordered; ‘evacuate at  sun-up tomorrow.’


24 January: ‘Alarm’ – at dawn two (2) French ships  L’Astrolabe and La Boussoule, under command of Jean-François La Perouse, appeared on the horizon. The Sirius cannon and rough weather forced them back out to sea.

‘Consternation’  Phillip had failed to raise ‘English Colours’ at Port Jackson. According to 18th century Eurocentric international law New Holland was still up for grabs.

‘Raising the flag was one of the Acts recognised as an assertion of a prior claim against other colonial powers eyeing off the same land. (Jean-Franςois de Galaup Comte de La Perouse was hanging around on an expedition with two [2] ships’. The Honest History Book, Larissa Behrendt, (16) Settlement or Invasion. The colonist’s quandary, Eds. David Stepehns & Alison Broinowski, New South Press. 2017 

But where had La Perouse gone?  Phillip sent a party of marines to Point Sutherland to raise ‘English Colours’.

25 January:  Phillip boarded HMS Supply at first light. In case La Perouse made another attempt to enter Captain John Hunter RN, his 2-I-C  was ordered to keep the fleet in Botany Bay.

Rough seas held up Phillip’s departure until after mid-day. Not until just on nightfall did Supply drop anchor in the newly named Sydney Cove.

‘There…would seem to be “some justification for the saying that England won Australia by six days”. Edward Jenk’s, History of Australian Colonies,  cited British Colonial Policy, Hugh E. Egerton, Methuen 1928

Sydney Cove – 26 January:  At sun-up, intent on claiming victory over France, Phillip was rowed ashore and raised the Union Jack ‘from a hastily erected flag-staff’.

During the day the remaining English vessels managed an albeit dangerous exit from Botany Bay. By evening on the 26th all were moored alongside Supply. See: Australia – Britain By A Short Half-Head


‘Owing to the multiplicity of pressing business necessary to be performed immediately, after landing, it was impossible to read the public commissions and take possession of the colony in form, until the 7th of February’. Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. L.F. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, Sydney 1961

The following day most marines and male convicts landed to begin the ‘pressing business’. Latrines and fire pits replaced trees. Tents erected, duck boards laid,  garden plots were dug and a parade ground levelled.

A gallows-site was chosen;  a mighty tree standing between the convict and military lines.

Before the end of February it would claim its first victim, Thomas Barrett maker of Australia’s premier colonial icon the million dollar ($100.000) Botany Bay Medallion. See: From Here To Eternity 

Ten (10) days of intense labour passed before Phillip gave orders sufficient had been done to allow the fleet’s one hundred and eight-nine (189) women prisoners, thirty-one (31) wives of marines and approximately fifty (50) free children, leave the ships that had been home for just on a year.

6 February ’88: Between 6 am and 6 pm’ ,dressed in their best kept especially for the occasion,  the ladies of the fleet were rowed ashore.

It is said on that dark and stormy night of thunder and lightning a ‘sexual orgy‘ took place!!!!!!! See: Brokeback Mountain

7 February ’88: ‘On that day…marine battalion drawn up…music playing… colours flying …convicts were assembled.

His Majesty’s commission read appointing His Excellency Arthur Phillip….Governor and Captain-General in and over the territory of New South Wales and its dependencies…three vollies were fired in honour of the occasion, and the battalion marched back to their parade, where they were reviewed by the Governor’. Tench. ibid.

There the Robinson Cruscos of the ‘First Fleet’ stayed completely isolated from the outside world. Not until June 1790 was the long silence broken. See: Abandoned and Left to Starve at Sydney Cove January 1788 to June 1790 .

‘The misery and horror of such a situation cannot be imparted even by those who have suffered under it’. Tench


‘The main battle was about having enough to eat’. The Story of Australia, Don Watson, 1984

When Golden Grove, Borrowdale and Fishburn the fleet’s stores-ships were unloaded an inventory confirmed Governor Phillip’s worst fears. ‘Every specie of provisions’ were found deficient in quality and quantity.

Worse was to come. Most sheep purchased at Cape Town, fed dry fodder on the long sixty-eight (68) day leg to Sydney, when turned out onto fresh green grass most developed acidosis and died.

It became plain European survival would depend on fish.  Sydney’s Eora Peoples’ main source of protein.

‘Our customary method was to leave Sydney Cove about four in the afternoon and go down in the harbour and fish all night’. Tench. ibid.

March – ’88: ‘a deduction of 13 lb per 100 cwt. [hundredweight] of beef and 8 lbs in 100 cwt. of pork’.

May – ’88:  An inventory of livestock: ‘7 horses 2 bulls 6 cows 29 sheep 19 goats 74 pigs 18 turkeys 29 geese 35 ducks, 122 fowl, 87 chickens and 5 rabbits’.

May –  ’88: In the middle of May two (2 ) bulls and (5) cows wandered off into the bush. The remaining cow, separated from the herd, went mad, was shot and eaten.

June – ’88:  Winter, fish left the harbour to spawn. ‘Now’ Phillip wrote ‘the fish caught were trifling’.

July – ’88:  They [Aborigines] seem very badly off for food, not having any fish’.

August – ’88: ‘Our stock of flour bore no proportion to the salt beef and pork’. Tench

With fish scarce the starving English population turned to gathering the plants that in winter were essential to the health and well-being of local Aboriginal families.

Many salutary herbs that made a wholesome drink and [are] of great use to our sick. Here is spinach, parsley, a sort of broad beans, several unknown vegetables…a sort of green berries that are pronounced a most excellent antiscorbutic [anti-scurvy] are gathered in abundance and a specie of sorrell, all of a peculiar fine acid’. Tench

Creeping starvation forced Phillip take radical action.

We had long turned our eyes with impatience towards the sea [in] the hope of seeing supplies from England…but none arriving…the Sirius sailed for the Cape of Good Hope’. Tench.

Africa: The Governor ordered Captain John Hunter RN prepare HMS Sirius for a voyage to the Cape of Good Hope to buy urgently needed food and medicines from the Dutch.

Cape Town –  2 October ’88: A leaky Sirius sailed out through Sydney Heads at the beginning of October 1788.  Captain Hunter headed into the Southern Ocean’s freezing waters with its myriad  icebergs on a lone perilous voyage to Cape Town via Cape Horn.  See: Titanic – Australia’s Titanic HMS Guardian

‘I endeavoured in sailing from New Zealand to Cape Horn to keep as well as possible on a parallel between the track of Cook’s the Resolution and Adventure [1772-1775] voyage. Hunter, Journal of Transactions at New Holland and Norfolk Island, 1793, Bibliobaazar ed. 2008

Hunter was an exceptional and courageous navigator, with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the world’s winds and ocean currents. With Captain James Cook’s experience in mind he took advantage of prevailing winds and set his course for Africa via Cape Horn.

I am determined judging from the experience of those who had before made the eastern passage to pass southward of New Zealand and around Cape Horn’. op.cit.

Sirius battled through tumultuous Drake Passage ‘frequently obliged to alter our course to avoid high islands of ice’  all aboard suffered severe sea-sickness.

Cape Horn – Christmas Day – ’88:  ‘Strong gales…heavy frequent squalls’ taking on water, all hands to the pumps, there was no time to celebrate.

Robbin Island – New Year’s Day – ’89: Hunter brought Sirius to anchor off Robbin Island just shy of Cape Town on the first day of January 1789.


Sydney – November ’88: Meanwhile Sydney in summer fish returned to Port Jackson. HMS Supply’s trawling nets deployed constantly brought the English some relief. Little wonder Phillip wrote; ‘unabated animosity continued to prevail between the natives and us’.

By now the Aborigines knew who to trust and who to avoid. Not so Phillip’s ‘people’ they needed knowledge of the local language to sort friend from foe.

Manly Beach – December ’88:  To alleviate ‘unabated animosity’ at the end of December the Governor ordered the kidnapping of two (2) Aboriginal warriors.

One youth escaped, Arabanoo was ‘held fast’. Bound, thrown into a small boat, he was rowed across choppy seas to Sydney Cove and held captive within English lines.


Sydney – 1 January  1789:  On New Years’ Day Arabanoo lunched with Governor Phillip who named him Manly. He ate the fish and roast pig on offer but refused wine.

Meanwhile in the rough and tough convict lines desperation deepened and thieving increased. On the 10th of January Thomas Sanderson a convict,  found guilty of stealing from government stores, was hanged.

Tempers flared – convict to marine – ‘you can kiss my arse…100 lashes’. Thieving was punished at the triangle by the vicious cat-o-nine tails.

Rebecca Holmes stole a shirt; ‘stripped…tied to a cart…50 lashes – 20 on the east side, 20 on the west side and 10 at the farm’.

February – ’89:  Ever increasing brutality, John Russell a man of sixty-five (65) years 300 lashes. John Rugless a convict of whom a great deal is known – 700 lashes. See: Three Amigoes + One  

March – ’89 : Thieving was not confined to convicts. A broken key was found stuck in the lock of the government storehouse on the 25th March 1789.

Investigations revealed seven (7) marines using counterfeit keys had, over several months, had systematically robbed the stores. Tried, found guilty,  all were sentenced to death.

One, said to be the ring-leader, ratted. On the 27th of March ‘at 9 o’clock 6 marines were executed’. See: Catch 22


Sydney – April – ’89: ‘The body of the [Aboriginal] woman showed that famine, super-added to disease had occasioned her death…but how a disease [smallpox] to which our former observations had led us to suppose them strangers could at once have introduced itself and have spread so widely seemed inexplicable’. Tench. ibid

An unknown number of counterfeit keys were still in circulation in April 1789 when smallpox struck local Eora Aborigines killing 50% of their numbe.r

‘It is true that our surgeons had brought out varilous [smallpox] matter in bottles’. Tench

The  source of smallpox 1789 is contested. The why – only Sydney’s Aborigines were infected with the smallpox virus – has not  yet been subjected to rigorous scientific investigation.

‘1789: A smallpox epidemic struck the Aboriginal population around Sydney. Inexplicably, the epidemic did not affect the European populaton but Phillip estimated that it resulted in the death of 50% of the local Aboriginal  community. People of Australia, Macquarie Reference Series. Ed. Bryce Fraser, 1998 

‘Inexplicable…that which cannot be explained’  may meet the dictionary definition. But in light of Covid 19 ‘cannot be explained‘ is  grossly inadequate for the death of 50% of Sydney’s Aboriginal families .

Smallpox Sydney 1789 where ‘the young and old died indiscriminately’  is indicative of a virgin outbreak. See:  Dead Aborigines Don’t ‘Eat                                                                                                                                 


Sydney – May ’89:  ‘The night carried us [HMS Sirius] by daylight in sight of the entrance of Port Jackson and in the evening [8 May] we entered between the heads of the harbour and worked up to Sydney, where we  anchored before dark after absence if 219 days – 51 of which we lay in Table Bay Cape of Good Hope, so that, although during the voyage we have fairly gone around the world, we had only 168 days in describing that circle’. Hunter, Journal. ibid.

HMS Sirius’ safe return from Africa with medicines, some rice and 127,000 lbs of urgently needed flour was welcome relief for the starving settlement.

However it was Captain John Hunter’s stunning achievement in describing that circle’ – circumnavigation of the globe in 219 days -that   confirmed the vulnerability of ‘the Spanish settlement[s] and the coast of Chile and Peru…makes it [Port Jackson] an important Post, should it ever be necessary to carry…war into those seas’. Hunter Journal. ibid.

Map with possible route to Peru and Chile


Sydney – May ’89:  Arabanoo died of smallpox on the 18th of May 1789 .

Of him Tench wrote; ‘a gentle and placable temper[who] knew he was in our power, but the independence of his mind never forsook him. If the slightest insult were offered to him, he would return it with interest’ .

Many Aborigines were sick,  some dead, even more dying.  The survivors struggled to regain strength and regroup. See: Smallpox – A Lethal Weapon

As for the English 1789 continued as before dominated by hunger,  increasing fear and desperation.

June ’89: Elizabeth Fowles -stealing; ‘public flogging 50 lashes for 3 successive Thursdays [from 25 June] to have her head shaved and to wear a canvas cap with the thief on it.’

William Boggis – stealing; ‘100 lashes on his bare breach…work with an iron on his leg’. John Ferguson; ‘100 lashes [for]writing a scandalous and obscene paper’.

Marine Major Robert Ross the recalcitrant marine commander, ever a thorn in Phillip’s side, refused to allow his troops act as policemen.

August ’89: Sensing rebellion Governor Phillip, in an effort to enforce law and order made, on the 10th of August 1789 what was, given the times, an outrageous decision.

He set a thief to catch a thief. A ‘night watch’ –  headed up by Herbert Keeling an educated raffish one-eyed convict – was established. See: Mutiny on Swift and Mercury

The ‘watch’ comprised; ’12 [convict] persons, divided into four parties…fully authorized to patrol all hours in the night…visit such places as may be deemed necessary for the discovery of any felony, trespass, or misdemeanour and for the apprehending and securing for examination any person or persons’. Historical Records of New South Wales. ibid.

Major Ross was outraged; a permanent state it appears. For as well as stalking and accosting convicts Phillip allowed; ‘any soldier or seaman found straggling after the beating of the taptoo; or may be found in a convicts’ hut, is to be detained; and information of him immediately given to the nearest guard’. Tench. ibid.


Lord Howe Island: HMS Supply hoping to make up some protein short-fall sailed to island for turtle meat but managed to capture only three (3) animals.

Butter being expended….This was the first of the provisions brought from England which had wholly failed’. Weekly ration; ‘5 lbs 5 oz of flour…3 pounds 5 oz of pork, and 2 pints of pease’. Marine Captain David Collins, Journal, September 1789

September  ’89: With warmer weather fish returned to the harbour. HMS Supply made large hauls, so many fish ‘taken up‘ her nets broke. The catch was issued to the Europeans. The Aborigines demanded a  fair share but what was given was given grudgingly.

October  ’89: Rats proved very troublesome, destroying the few vegetables grown by enterprising individuals.  More serious yet they attacked the settlement’s slender reserves of flour and rice.

Except for a recent settlement at Rose Hill, hemmed in by bush and fronting a vast ocean,  the English were confined to an area centred on Sydney’s semi-circular quay.

November – ’89:  Following the loss of Arabanoo Phillip again turned to kidnapping. Tench says ‘for the purpose of knowing whether or not the country possessed any resources, by which life might be prolonged’.

Manly:  Two (2) Aboriginal men – Bennalong ‘robust…haughty’ Colbee ‘less sullen…not so robustly framed’ were seized from the beach, taken to Sydney and imprisoned within British lines.

December – ’89:  Subsequently a party was sent beyond Rose Hill towards the Carmarthen [Blue] mountains in search of much needed ‘resources’.

‘But they found the country so rugged, and the difficulty of walking so excessive, that in three [3] days they were able to penetrate only fifteen [15] miles; and were therefore obliged to relinquish their object’. Tench. ibid.

1 JANUARY 1790

1790 – January:  ‘Since the 13th May, 1787, the day of our departure from Portsmouth…From the intelligence of our friends and connections we had been entirely cut off, no communication whatever having passed with our native country’.

Tench greeted the new year with intense trepidation.

‘Our impatience of news from Europe strongly marked the commencement of the year. We had now been two years in the country, and thirty-two months from England, in which long period no supplies, except what had been procured in the Cape of Good Hope by the Sirius, had reached us’.

February – ’90: A generous supply of fish, oysters and a variety of crustaceans kept the Europeans alive during Sydney’s hot summer months.

‘The public stores; ‘contained salt meat sufficient to serve until the 2d of July; flour until the 20th of August; and rice, or pease in lieu of it, until the 1st October [1790]’. Tench. ibid.

‘When the age of this provision is recollected its inadequacy will more readily appear. The pork and rice were brought with us from England….pork salted between three and four years, and every grain of rice was a moving body from the inhabitants lodged within it’. Tench.

April – ’90:  The inventory revealed it was crunch time; ‘famine was approaching with gigantic strikes, and gloom and dejection overspread every countenance’. 

March ’90:  ‘From 27th of March;’the governor directed that the provisions should in future be served daily…without distinction…the ration issued for the week to consists of 4 lb flour, 2 & one-half pound salted pork, and 1 & one-half lbs of rice.’

 Phillip knew if he did nothing ‘his people’ were doomed. The previous year (1789) 50% of local Aboriginal families had died from smallpox relieving pressure on shared resources.  See: Smallpox – Dead Aborigines Don’t Eat

Drawing on that knowledge Phillip decided on a logistical nightmare; evacuate 50% of the Sydney settlement to Norfolk Island two (2) weeks sailing time away.


Earlier  (February 1788) to stymie the French from settling there, Lieutenant Phillip Gidley King RN, had established a satellite settlement on the island.  There fish were plentiful year-round and vegetables thrived in fertile soil.

Norfolk Island – March ’90:  HMS Supply  (Lieutenant Ball RN) accompanied by HMS Sirius (Captain Hunter RN) departed Sydney for Norfolk Island in the first week of March 1790.

Both ships were loaded with marines, convicts, flour and rice, essential carbohydrates not available on the island.

China:  Afterwards Sirius  with its full complement, one hundred and sixty (160) naval personnel, was to sail onto China and organise a rescue mission.

Lieutenant Gidley King RN was to hand over command to Marine Major Robert Ross and return to Sydney in HMS Supply

Governor Phillip was isolated amidst an increasingly disaffected soldiery. Led now by Ross’ replacement the arrogant and equally disgruntled Marine Captain James Campbell.

Phillip was in great need of a trust-worthy ally. Who better than Gidley King a fellow naval officer and long-time friend.  See: Monte Video – Lord Sydney, Arthur Phillip & ‘Hush’ Christopher Robin Mark 1


Norfolk Island:  In high winds, while disembarking her cargo, HMS Sirius swung on her anchor and struck a submerged reef. Caught in ‘pounding surf on every side’ she broke up over a number of days.

There would be no China rescue. No lives had been lost but her crew (160) were stranded on the island along with the evacuees.

Sydney – April ’90: ‘Flags Up’ –  HMS Supply sailed back through the Heads on the 5th of April 1789.

‘When the [China] tidings  were proclaimed at Sydney dismay was painted on every countenance…At six o’clock in the evening, all officers of the garrison, both civil and military, were summoned to meet the governor in council’.

Among the decisions taken was a reduction in the ration. An increase in the number of hunting parties with; ‘the best marksmen of the marines and convicts…the immediate departure of the Supply for Batavia was also determined’. Tench

During Supply’s projected absence there could be no large-scale trawling so further a reduction was made in the ration.

April  ’90:  ‘To every child of more than eighteen months old and to every grown person, two & half pounds of pork, two & ½ pounds of flour, two pounds of rice, or a quart of pease, per week, and…under eighteenth months old, same quantity of rice and flour, and one pound of pork’.

Jakarta: HMS Supply  (Lieutenant Henry Ball RN) departed Sydney for Batavia, modern day Jakarta, on 17 April 1790.

When Supply disappeared over the horizon with her went any possibility of communicating with the outside world and all hope of escape.

Not for the first time Tench turned to Virgil; ‘In te omnis domus inclinata recumbit’ – ‘thou the support of all [t]his tottering house’ .

A willing team had worked feverishly to strengthen Supply’s warped timbers, repair her sails ropes and gear. But surely few who stepped aboard thought she would reach Batavia.

Let alone purchase tonnes of supplies, charter a Dutch ship to bring them to Sydney and, return in quick time with sufficient food and medicines to save the settlement from complete disaster.


Supply’s only ‘hope’ lay with K1 an exact replica of John Harrison’s  original ‘pocket watch’ –  H-4 – the chronometer so disgracefully denied the then Lieutenant James Cook RN for the Endeavour voyage 1769-71. See: James Cook, John Harrison, Charles Green – Three Yorkshire-men Walked Into A Bar –  Nevil Maskelyne – Astronomer Royal &  Endeavour 

K-1 had accompanied Captain Cook on his second and third voyages proving beyond doubt the ‘pocket-watch‘ kept ‘true time’ essential for the calculation of longitude when a ship was at sea, beyond sight of land. See: Lotto and Longitude

Captain John Hunter RN had taken K-1 to Africa  on the Sirius  (1788-9).  He made sure it was the first thing taken from Sirius before she sank off Norfolk Island in March 1790.

Jakarta: Marine Lieutenant Dawes, into whose care K1 had been entrusted for the voyage to Botany Bay, by no less a figure than Britain’s fifth Astronomer Royal, the Rev. Nevil Maskelyne,  instructed Lieutenant Ball on the intricacies and use of this ‘precision’ time-piece.

Lieutenant Phillip Gidley King RN also boarded Supply.  He took with him details of Captain Hunter’s triumphant African voyage.

King was to  make his way to England by whatever means and report to the Admiralty of the enormous benefits to be derived from having a naval base at Port Jackson.



Sydney – May ’90: ‘The distress of the lower classes for clothes was almost equal to their other wants…the stores had been long exhausted, and winter was at hand’.

Tench echoed Shakespeare’s Othello as he watched his near skeletal men parade bare-foot in tattered uniforms; ‘pride, pomp and circumstance of glorious war were no more’.

Work hours were further reduced. Severity of punishments increased. A convict stole potatoes; ‘300 lashes immediately, to be chained for six months to two other criminals…and have his allowance of flour stopped for six months’. Tench. ibid


Sydney – 1790 – 3 June:  Lady Juliana – The Brothel Ship – ‘with two hundred and twenty-five [225] of our countrywomen, whom crime or misfortune had condemned to exile’. Tench. ibid.

The first of four (4) vessels of the Second Fleet Lady Juliana broke the terrible isolation.  The fleet’s death ships of ‘Britain’s Grim Armada‘  Suprize Scarborough and Neptune with approximately 850 male convicts arrived by the end of June 1790.

.London Gazette Extract

‘Nothing will make these people amends for the loss of their liberty’. Governor Phillip,  September  1788 Historical Records of New South Wales.

The second fleet also brought the  first contingent of enforcers, infantrymen of the New South Wales Corps, raised to replace the garrison marines.

The infantry’s mission was to consolidate the invasion of New Holland. To expand the settlement and ‘drive’ the First Peoples off their lands and, in ‘a war’ characterised by Peter Stanley as ‘nasty and decidedly lacking in glory’  deprive them of their resources.

Excited crowds gathering at the landing stage to greet the prisoners gasped as gaunt near-naked men in chains, covered in vomit and faeces, appeared on deck.

Tethered two (2) together at the ankle by a short bolt – the ‘Guinea slave shackle’ unable to stand,  they had to be carried from the ships. See: Britain’s Grim Armada, The Dead and the Living Dead


William Wyndham Grenville, a cousin of Prime Minister Pitt, had replaced Lord Sydney as Home Secretary in 1789.   Grenville issued contracts to Camden, Calvert and King a London firm of Atlantic slavers.

‘The contractors had been in the Guinea trade, and had put on board the same shackles used by them in that trade…thus fettered it was impossible for them to move but at the risk of both their legs being broken’. Captain William Hill, Sydney Cove, July 28, 1790, Historical Records of Australia

Of 1038 convicts embarked at Plymouth 78 were women, of whom eleven (11) died on the passage. One-quarter (25%) of male prisoners  died during the voyage and 15% landed alive died within weeks of arrival.

July – ’90: Captain Hill sailed in Suprize.  He wrote to William Wilberforce England’s leading parliamentary anti-slavery advocate.

‘The slave trade is merciful compared with what I have seen in this fleet [in] the most trifling gale…the convicts were considerably above their waists in water….The irons used upon these unhappy wretches were barbarous’. Hill. op.cit

The immense task of caring for the sick and dying fell to ‘First Fleet’ physicians whose medicine chest was all but empty. The second fleet and the one following, with more than 2000 mainly male criminals, were an integral part of Britain’s slave trade. See: How the mind-set of slavery came to New South Wales


But it was what traumatised survivors of ‘Britain’s Grim Armada’ saw or, rather didn’t see, that filled them with horror. Six (6) months from England’s hustle and bustle,  most from the teeming streets of London, nothing was familiar.

Man, woman, soldier criminal, none could comprehend their surroundings. No cobbled streets, no houses or shops, no horses or carriages, no spires or bridges, no taverns, coffee houses, rag-fairs or gin and no pockets worth picking.

A number panicked at the prospect of such isolation. ‘All’ Tench says ‘came out on the last fleet…with a view of asserting their freedom’ simply took off and walked north in the hope of reaching China.

Growing resentment between Phillip’s ‘people’, both military and criminal, and these newcomers, -military and criminal – are well documented.

A fifth vessel Justinian  ‘a fully laden store-ship’ had also arrived before the end of June. While her supplies were welcomed Justinian strangely added to the discontent.

In a bizarre twist, except for goods marked on the ship’s manifest for the Government’s storehouse, her bounty – dresses, bonnets,  parasols, gloves, ribbons, shirts, boots – everything was up for sale to the highest bidder.

Known for his insight Phillip could not have failed to recognise a stirrer in young arrogant ambitious Lieutenant John Macarthur.   A loose- cannon, already seriously at odds with his senior officers, this newly minted junior officer of the New South Wales Corps, came with a pregnant wife Elizabeth and James their toddler son.

Not the first time Phillip sniffed rebellion and moved to snuff it out. See: A Vicious Circle – The Hangman’s Noose


Following Captain Hunter’s return from Sirius’ voyage to the Cape of Good Hope via Cape Horn (October 1788-May1789) Governor Phillip was armed with the knowledge that, from Port Jackson, the dazzling wealth of Spain’s Central and South American Pacific Coast  ‘treasure’ colonies were vulnerable to attack from a humiliated Royal Navy bent on revenge.

‘The French Revolution of 1789 with all the attendant circumstances of that wonderful and unexpected event continued to amaze us’. Tench. Ibid.

Revolution, the news of it brought Governor Phillip realisation India, while the French were fighting each other could, at least for a time, be taken out of the immediate equation.

There were plans to use the corps in expeditions against, Panama, Peru and the Philippines’. Dr. Peter Stanley,. Ibid.

To Phillip’s hard won success, keeping ‘his people’ alive, now was added a personal element that fed a steely determination.  New South Wales must be held for ‘King and Country’. See:  ‘Hush’ Christopher Robin Mark 2


Since the time of Queen Elisabeth the First, 1558-1603, snatching the fabulous riches of the ‘Spanish Conquest’ –  looted from Peru, Chile, Panama and Nicaragua – had been restricted mainly to bloody pirate attacks on Spanish ships making their way to Lisbon laden with gold, silver and diamonds.

With France in flames  New Holland, now a proven jumping off point for South America had, in Phillip’s estimation, risen to the top of Britain’s must-keep pile.

Nothing demonstrates his loyalty to ‘king and country’ and single-minded resolution as a military commander, than two ( 2) incidents that took place three (3) months apart – September and December 1790.


A year earlier  (November 1789) on Phillip’s orders, two more (2) warriors Bennalong and Colbee had been kidnapped from Manly Beach. When Colbee with Bennalong’s  help escaped,  minus the  rope but still ‘with a small iron ring round his leg…it was thought proper to continue a watch over him [Bennalong]. See: Kidnapped – Manly What’s In A Name 

During captivity Bennalong quaffed the Governor’s fine French reds and relished what his ‘French cook’ offered. But he escaped when the ‘watch over him’ relaxed.

Manly Beach – September ’90 : At the beginning of September a ‘monster’ whale stranded on the sand. Phillip whose sea-going career began hunting whale in the Arctic was rowed over to Manly.

There Phillip and Bennaloong met up again. The meeting was cordial with a curious undertone.

‘Bennalong love[d] wine and the governor, to try whether it still subsisted uncorked a bottle of wine and poured out a glass of it which the other drank off with his former marks of relish and good humour, giving for a toast, as he had been taught, ‘the king’. Tench. ibid.

A knot of Aborigines stood a little way off watching this bizarre pantomime. A solitary warrior described as ‘middle-aged, short of stature, sturdy, and well-set’, identified later as Wileemarin, detached himself from the group.

When Phillip ‘threw down a dirk [its] rattle alarmed the man…he aimed his lance with such force and dexterity…striking the governor’s right shoulder…it came out at his back’. Tench. ibid.

The spear armed with a single barb, intended to injure not kill, struck Phillip and exited below his shoulder.  Two (2) hours in agony and bleeding profusely he was rowed across the choppy waters to Sydney Cove where Surgeon William Balmain removed the lance.

Advised by local Aborigines his wound was regularly irrigated with a diluted antiseptic solution distilled from the tips of eucalyptus leaves. Although infection free Phillip had lost a lot of blood and recovered slowly.

‘The tremendous monster, who had occasioned the unhappy catastrophe just recorded [Phillip’ wounding] was fated to be the cause of further mischief to us’. Tench. ibid.

Phillip knew in throwing ‘down a dirk’ he had contributed to the attack and ordered there be no reprisals. It is highly likely his no retaliation response, judged weakness by ‘certain officers’ led by land-hungry Lieutenant Macarthur encouraged ‘further mischief’.


October 17:  ‘Joy sparkled in every countenance to see our old friend the Supply enter the harbour from Batavia,…We had witnessed her departure with tears: we hailed her return with transport’. Tench. ibid.

Despite HMS Supply’s return with the news, Waaksamheyd  chartered at Jakarta should soon arrive with supplies, a mood of despair continued to grip the colony.

November:’ ‘Troublesome... natives throng the camp every day for bread and meat. God knows we have little enough for ourselves! The casks in the storehouse I observed yesterday are woefully decreased…If the Dutch snow does not arrive soon…’ Tench. ibid. 

Phillip, faced with feeding an influx of physically sick, psychologically damaged men from the second fleet, scaled up numbers of official hunting parties.  

Since 1788 these parties of ‘the best marksmen of the marines and convicts’ had been essential to survival.

December – 9: At dawn ‘a serjeant of marines with three [3] convicts, among them was M’Entire, the governor’s game-keeper (the person of whom Bennalong had on former occasions, shewn so much dread and hatred) went out on a shooting party’ set off to walk the rough well-trodden path to Botany Bay. Tench. ibid.

The plan, sleep overnight in ‘a small hut formed of boughs which had lately been erected on the peninsula’, to be ready at first light to hunt kangaroos necessary to supplement a ration that, for a prolonged period, stood just shy of starvation.

December – 10, Botany Bay: ‘About I AM the sergeant was awakened by a rustling noise in the bushes…supposing it to proceed from a kangaroo…two [2] natives with spears… one [Pim-el-wi] launched his spear at M’Entire, and lodged it in his left side’.

The shooting party returned to Sydney with the injured M’c Intyre in bad shape but still alive.

Aborigines advised leaving the multi-barbed spear in place. Their advice was rejected and the spear removed. John Mc Intyre lingered on dying on 20 January 1791.

An autopsy revealed seeds and sharpened stones, torn from the shaft during removal, were embedded in his left lung.


When Captain-General Arthur Phillip RN wrote; ‘nothing will make these people amends for the loss of their liberty’  he acknowledged role of aggressor and conqueror.

Phillip had intelligence.  ‘M’Entire, the governor’s game-keeper (the person of whom Baneelon had, on former occasions, shewn so much dread and hatred) went out on [the] shooting party’. Tench. ibid.

December 13:  Yet after the attack on McIntyre he addressed Captain Tench; ‘I am fully persuaded that they [Aborigines] were unprovoked, and the barbarity of their conduct admits of no extenuation…the natives will be made severe example of whenever any [English]man is wounded by them’.

John Mc Intyre was one (1) of three (3) convict marksmen (John Randall and Patrick Burn) licensed by Phillip to carry firearms.  But the only one regarded with ‘dread and hatred’. John Mc Intyre – Death of a Sure Thing


‘Military and police raids against dissenting Aboriginal groups lasted from the eighteenth into the twentieth centuries regardless of legal status of these subjects. These aids had commended by December 1790. Professor Bruce Kercher,. op.cit.

Once more it fell to Watkin Tench, ever present witness caught in the eye of the storm, to record the events of December 1790..

Sydney Headquarters – December 13: ‘Instil universal terror …’bring away two [2] prisoners and put ten [10] to death…cut off, and bring back the heads of the slain; for which purpose ropes to bind our prisoners, hatchets and bags were provided’. Governor Phillip, General Orders to Captain Watkin Tench

Pemulway was the known assailant in a targeted attack.

Proceed to the peninsula at the head of Botany Bay…destroy all weapons of war…bring away two [2] natives..as prisoners:  put to death ten [10]…cut off the heads of the slain’.

Punishing both the innocent as well as the guilty, Captain Tench expressed shock at Phillip’s ‘rules of engagement’ . ‘His excellency’ paused and invited Tench’s input.

The scope of orders were amended;  ‘march to-morrow morning [14th] at daylight, in order to 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 to death…bring in the heads of the slain’.

Captain Tench assembled; ‘A party consisting of two [2] captains [Tench, Hill] two [2] subalterns, and forty [40] private, with a proper number of non-commissioned officers, from the garrison with three [3] days provisions, ropes to bind our prisoners with, and hatchets and bags, to cut-off and contain the heads of the slain’. Lieutenant William Dawes, The Shock of the New South Wales Corps and ‘The Eternal Flame’.


Captain William Hill’s position as Tench’s second-in-command, indicate most ‘forty privates’  were  infantrymen of the New South Wales Corps.

‘The insufficiency of our ration soon diminished our [marines] execution of labour…Both soldiers and convicts pleaded such loss of strength, as to find themselves unable to perform their accustomed tasks’. Tench. ibid.

When the New South Wales Corps arrived six (6) months earlier (June 1790) the marine garrison was a spent force. End stage syphilis hung over many.  Some officers, as had their men, gone blind, mad or both.

‘The Marines, members of the Royal Navy…prey to starvation, lethargy and despair…remained in New South Wales only as long as they had to, and from 1790 Australia was to be garrisoned by the army’. Peter Stanley. ibid.

1790 – 14 December, Botany Bay: By 9 o’clock; ‘this terrific procession reached the peninsula…after having walked in various directions until four o’clock, without seeing a native, we halted for the night’ .

15 December -Botany Bay:  Sloppy map-reading had led them astray; ‘instead of finding ourselves on the south-west arm, we came suddenly upon the sea shore, at the head of the peninsula, about midway between the two arms’.

Tench’s men spied their quarry; ‘five [5] Indians on the beach…before we could near enough to effect our purpose [they] ran off’. The entire day was spent thrashing about.

The overnight bivouac was anything but comfortable; ‘a night of restless inquietude, where weariness is denied repose by swarms of musquitoes and sand-flies, which…bite and sting the traveller, without measure or intermission’.

16 December: Beaten by guile, without success low on water and provisions; ‘we bent our steps homeward and after wading breast-high through two arms of the sea as broad as the Thames at Westminster, were glad to find ourselves at Sydney between one and two o’clock in the afternoon’.


Governor Phillip holding firm  to the premise there was much at stake, either could not accept, or be seen to accept, failure. He ordered a second raid.

‘Our first expedition having so totally failed, the governor resolved to try the fate of a second; and the ‘painful pre-eminence again devolved on me….The orders under which I [Tench] was commanded to act differing in no respect from the last’.


Tench’s orders for the second raid may not have differed. His methods however differed markedly.

‘In order to deceive the natives we feigned that our preparations were directed…against the man [Will-ee-marin] who had wounded the governor. It was also determined being full moon , that our operations should be carried out in the night both for the sake of secrecy, and for avoiding the extreme heat of the day.

Lieutenant Abbot, and ensign Prentice of the New South Wales Corps, were the two officers under my command, with three serjeants, three corporals, and thirty privates, completed the detachment’.

Sydney – 22 December:  ‘A little before sun-set on the evening of the 22ndwe marched’  weighted down by muskets and ammunition  ‘our knapsacks burdened by…ropes to bind our prisoners, hatchets [to] cut off heads… for which purpose, hatchets and bags would be furnished’.

Botany Bay – 23 December: At sun-up just as Christmas high tides began their surge the troops set out to hunt down some Aborigines. But ‘we were suddenly stopped by a creek, about sixty yards wide, which [before] appeared dry from the tide being out.

[in scarlet woollen uniforms]] we were immersed, nearly to the waist in mud, so thick and tenacious…I am sinking…resounded on every side….Our distress would have terminated fatally, had not a soldier called out to those on shore to cut boughs off trees and throw them to us; a lucky thought, which certainly saved many of us from perishing miserably’.

After a ‘fruitless day’ the men, stinking uniforms now stiff with dried mud, spent another night swatting sand-flies and mosquitoes.

1790 – 24 December: ‘at nine o’clock we returned to Sydney to report our fruitless peregrination’.


‘But if we could not retaliate on the murderer, we found no difficulty in punishing offences committed within our own observation. Two [2] natives, about this time, were detected robbing a potatoe garden, when seen, they ran away, and a serjeant and a party of soldiers were dispatched in pursuit…. the ardour of the soldiers transported them so far, that instead of capturing the offenders, they fired in  among them….next day, one a [wounded] man named Ban- g-ài [found] dead’. Tench.ibid

Were Phillip’s rules of engagement consistent with what England expected of a British officer engaged in defence of His Majesty’s territory ‘called New South Wales…from the northern extremity coast called Cape York…to the southern extremity South Cape’?


London –  1787, 25 April: ‘You [Arthur Phillip] are to endeavour by every possible means to open an intercourse with the natives, and to conciliate their affection, enjoining all our subjects to live in amity and kindness with them’. Court of St. James, H.M. Government Instructions Captain Arthur Phillip, 25 April 1787. Historical Records of New South Wales

‘Amity, kindness’ weasel words Britain saw their – fair land as fair game.

Phillip addressed the ‘amity’ concept;. He gave orders; ‘no signal of amity or invitation should be used to allure them to us’. 

Despite Phillip’s hand-washing Lieutenant William Dawes most certainly believed His Excellency’s General Orders were unlawful.

‘He was the scholar of the expedition…whose tour of duty it was to go out with that party[14 December] made a ethical  judgement even after the Governor had taken great pains to point out the consequences of his being put under an arrest… refused that duty by letter.Prof. G.A. Wood. Op.Cit.

At Tench’s suggestion the scope of the orders had been amended so it appears he may well have come to the same conclusion but was not willing to put his life or career on the line.

‘A smokescreen of legal confusion and argument covered up a continuing pattern of killings at the frontiers of the Australian colonies. Bruce Kercher. ibid.

There is ample evidence,  stemming from intense fear and simmering rebellion, both raids were primarily diversionary tactics. See: A Tethered Goat – John McIntyre – 10 December 1790

Who then was the enemy?  Not the Bidjigal of Botany Bay whose numbers had been so drastically affected by smallpox.



 ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ‘Military and police raids against dissenting Aboriginal groups lasted from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries regardless of the legal status of these subjects. Under English law, groups of British subjects could not be punished for the actions of individuals, and there could be no corporal or capital punishment without trial except in self-defence or in the heat of battle in a period of martial law’.  Kercher . ibid.

A forensic examination of how Capture Tench dealt ‘when the painful pre-eminence [again] devolved’ on him reveals a very different mode of procedure.


25 April  ‘Amity and kindness’


As for the legal smokescreen Australia must again look at  UK Privy Council – Cooper V Stuart 1889 – New South Wales ‘peacefully annexed to the Dominion’.

‘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





Sydney Cove: In July 1791 Mary Anne with 150 female convicts ‘after an uneventful passage of 143 days’ arrived from England. ‘This was fastest passage yet made by a convict ship’. Charles Bateson,  The Convict Ships, Brown, Son & Ferguson Ltd., Glasgow 1959

Tench says one of the first of a myriad questions asked of Mark Munroe, her captain and part owner; ‘have the French settled their government’.



Bits and pieces For Dawes – the Shock of the New South Wales Corps –  .

Governor Arthur Phillip was the main reason any First Fleeters were still alive when, in June of 1790, the second fleet reached Sydney and broke the mind-bending isolation of the Robinson Cruscos marooned13,000 miles (21,000 km) from their homeland.

At this point it is essential to back-track. A time-line for the year 1790 is necessary to understand the sequence of events that had devastating and on-going consequences for Australia’s First Nations.


Marine Captain Watkin Tench, ever present witness caught in the eye of the storm, tells it best. ‘No communication whatever having passed with our native country since the 13th May, 1787, the day of our departure from Portsmouth. From the intelligence of our friends and connections we had been entirely cut off.’

Tench greeted 1790 with intense trepidation; ‘Our impatience of news from Europe strongly marked the commencement of the year. We have had been two [2] years in the country and thirty-two [32] months from England. Famine besides was approaching with gigantic strides, and gloom and dejection overspread every countenance’. See: 1790 – The Year of Living Dangerously [pending]


The Act of 1786 [ Geo.III. c. 50] for the ‘Encouragement of the Southern Whale Fishery’ proved to be the foundation of an important industry. The furtherance of this plan became one of the central objects of Lord Hawkesbury’s commercial policy’. Harlow. op.cit

‘Commercial policy’ – just as importantly New Holland Britain gained a land base to support a ship-based ‘Southern Whale Fishery’ [and] in the wake of the whalers other British trades would follow. 

YYYYYYImage London Gazette for Second Fleet

‘The Second Fleets arrival [with] the first companies of the New South Corps proved a water shed….Lieutenant John Macarthur – a central figure in the military ‘mafia’…[the Corps] quickly established itself as Australia’s first governing and property owning elite’. attributeXXXXX ….


QED –  Britain’s  ‘plans to use the corps in expeditions against Panama, Peru, Chile   via the southern oceans were viable.

YYYYYOn the 14th of December 1790 Governor Arthur Phillip ditched ‘amity and kindness’ for; ‘bring in six [6] of those natives who reside near the head of Botany Bay, or if that should be found impractical put that number [6] to death…bring in the heads of the slain’. Extract, General Orders, Governor Phillip to Marine Captain Watkin Tench, 14 December 1790, Historical Records of New South Wales.YYYYYY xxxxx John Macarthur the Great Pretender and Treasure Island ……Word and Sword are Mighty Macarthurxxxxx

Macarthur’s insidious white-anting went on to destroy Governor Arthur Phillip’s immediate successors the naval Governors John Hunter and Phillip Gidley King. In 1808 he instigated the ‘Rum Rebellion’ that saw Corps’ officers depose and imprison Captain William Bligh RN of HMS Bounty fame or infamy. See: Nine Months…In a Leaky Boat

Later still, there can be little doubt Macarthur’s scurrilous ‘pipes’ in support of Commissioner Bigge, sent from London to spy on Lieutenant-Colonel Governor Lachlan Macquarie played no small a part in the downfall Britain’s fifth Governor of New South Wales, the first drawn from military ranks.

‘For the British army, fights on the Australian frontier…that war nasty and decidedly lacking in glory’. Dr. Peter Stanley, The Remote Garrison, The British Army in Australia 1788-1870, Kangaroo Press, Sydney, 1986

‘For the British army, fights on the Australian frontier…that war nasty and decidedly lacking in glory’. Peter Stanley, The Remote Garrison, The British Army in Australia 1788-1870, Kangaroo Press, Sydney, 1986


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