Archive for the ‘The Botany Bay Medallion’ Category

A HATCHET JOB: HEADS OFF THE BIDGIGAL OF BOTANY BAY

Sunday, March 25th, 2018

‘In war the trophy head is a mark of supremacy and respect’. Frances Larson, Severed, Granta, 2015

1790 – 13 December, Sydney Cove: ‘The author of this publication [Captain Watkin Tench] received a direction to attend the governor [Arthur Phillip] at head quarters immediately.

I went, and his excellency informed me, that he had pitched upon me to execute the foregoing command…infuse universal terror…convince them of our superiority… if practicable, to bring away two [2] natives as prisoners and to put to death ten [10]. That we were to cut off, and bring in the heads of the slain, for which purpose, hatchets and bags would be furnished.

We were to proceed to the north arm of the [Botany] bay…destroy all weapons of war: no hut was to be burned: that all women and children were to remain uninjured’.  Marine Captain Watkin, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhadinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

Can we know what drove Governor Phillip’s ferocity? Yes we can – simmering rebellion centred on the newly arrived New South Wales Corps (June 1790) ‘certain  officers’ in particular Lieutenant John Macarthur. Infantry troops they were to replace the marines of Sydney garrison who, in January 1788, invaded the island continent of New Holland.

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INVASION – THE GREAT BLACK WHITE DIVIDE

Monday, June 20th, 2016

The Old Privy Council decision in Cooper V Stuart [1889] was based on the factual error that Australia was peacefully settled and that Aborigines were never in possession of the land. That case was also inconsistent with the common law decisions of the United States, Canada and New Zealand. In short, it was wrongly decided’. Professor Bruce Kercher, An Unruly Child, A History of Law in Australia, Allen & Unwin, 1994

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BRITAIN BY A NOSE

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016

1785 – August, Brest: ‘In 1785 Louis XVI quietly sent the Comte de la Perouse with two ships La Boussole & L’Astrolabe to survey likely spots for French settlements. Aboard were copper plates engraved with the royal arms to be used as permanent notification of French ownership’. Australian Discovery and Exploration, Michael Cannon, 1987  

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ARTHUR PHILLIP – HUNG OUT TO DRY

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

June 1790: In which long time no supplies [from England] had reached us. From the intelligence of our friends and connections we had been entirely cut off, no communication whatever having passed with our native country since the 13th May, 1787, the day of our departure from Portsmouth’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson,1961.

1790  – 3 June, Sydney: When on 3 June 1790  Lady Juliana with ‘London on her stern’ sailed into Sydney Harbour three (3) years had passed since a large convoy of eleven (11) English ships, known in Britain and Australia as the  ‘First Fleet’, sailed from Portsmouth, England bound for Botany Bay, New Holland.

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