Archive for the ‘Conflict’ Category

THE SWITCH 1790 – CONTEXT – WAR WITH FRANCE 1793-1815

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

‘For a brief moment there was hope…within a matter of years violence had broken out on both sides and Phillip would now instruct raiding parties to bring back the severed heads of warriors. The birth of Australia was meant to be so different…it need not have been this way’. Stan Grant, Talking to My Country, Text Publishing, 2017

2019: So why is Australia ‘this way’ a divided nation? A white first world dominating a third world defined by colour and hue and seen by the ‘entitled’ white world as a liability.  See: G is for Genocide- Colonial Breeding

‘Phillip…had instructions to deal with the ‘natives’ with ‘amity and kindness’. Professsor Larissa Behrendt, The Honest History Book, – Invasion or Settlement, NewSouth Press, 2017   

What went so wrong with the deal; ‘within a generation the heads of Aborigines were shipped to Britain in glass cases to be studied as relics of a doomed race’. Grant. ibid.

London: In 1838 a Select Committee of the British Parliament; ‘On the subject of the Aborigines of New Holland…It is impossible to contemplate the condition or the prospects of that unfortunate race without the deepest commiseration. Lord John Russell to [Governor] Sir George Gipps, 21 December, 1838. Historical Records of New South Wales Vol.1

So what flipped the switch from ‘amity and kindness’ to ‘nasty’ creeping frontier wars that by 1838 had brought about the near destruction of ‘that unfortunate race…the Aborigines of New Holland’?

Two (2) First Nations’ authors, Stan Grant and Larissa Behrendt, have honed in on a critical pinch-point that occurred in the first decade of Britain’s occupation of New Holland.

Although ‘amity kindness’ were the ‘weasel-words’ of their day, both Behrendt and Grant are satisfied Governor Phillip took the concept seriously. That was until December 1790 when Phillip’s absolute loyalty to ‘King and Country’ trumped ‘amity and kindness’.

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DARK MATTER – ‘McMafia’ MACARTHUR & ‘FIERY INDIAN RUM’ A TEETOTALLER’S DRUG OF RUIN FOR OTHERS

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

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SWORD AND WORD BOTH ARE MIGHTY – GOVERNOR ARTHUR PHILLIP’S MILITARY CAMPAIGN FOR KING AND COUNTRY

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

‘The cultural arrogance of the British was evident even before the First Fleet sailed. There was no recognition that the Aborigines had their own notion of right, that from their point of view they were entitled to defend themselves from invasion’. Professor Bruce Kercher, An Unruly Child, A History of Law in Australia, Allen and Unwin, 1995

1790 – 13 December, Sydney Headquarters:‘ Put to death ten…bring in the heads of the slain…bring in two prisoners…I am resolved to execute the prisoners…in the most public and exemplary manner, in the presence of as many of their countrymen as can be collected’. Governor Phillip, General Orders to Captain Tench, cited, Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1961

Phillip’s orders put no limit on barbarity. The reason Phillip gave for his ‘indiscriminate and disproportionate’ directive was the spearing of convict John M’Entyre by the warrior Pemulwuy that took place at Botany Bay in the early hours of 10 December 1790.

‘On the 9th of the month, a serjeant of marines, with three [3] convicts, among whom was 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 a shooting party’. Tench. ibid.

Kidnapped in December 1789 Bennalong had been held captive within British lines until he escaped in May 1790. Bennalong was the source of Phillip’s intelligence ‘dread and hatred’.   See: Kidnapped – Manly What’s In A Name

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‘TERROR’ ARTHUR PHILLIP & JOHN MACARTHUR THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

During Lord Sydney’s time as secretary of state, the Home Office was a clearing house. Its jurisdiction included overseeing of naval officers involved in trade regulation, secret service and special projects. As a result, Sydney crossed paths with three men who left their mark on [Australia’s European] history – Horotio Nelson, William Bligh and Arthur Phillip. Andrew Tink, Life and Times of Tommy Townshend, 2001

Admiral Nelson tangentially, Governor Phillip and Governor Bligh profoundly, have links to the fate of Australia’s First Peoples as does John ‘MacMafia’ Macarthur.

Captain Trail master of the second fleet death ship Neptune a convict transport of ‘Britain’s Grim Armada’ appeared at the Old Bailey accused of the brutal mistreatment of prisoners and murder of two (2) Neptune crewmen. It is believed Horotio Nelson’s favourable character reference led to Trail’s acquittal. See: A Tale of Two Fleets

‘There would be ‘some justification for the saying that England won Australia by six days’. Edward Jenks, History of Australian Colonies, cited Hugh E. Egerton, British Colonial Policy, Metheun, 1928

In January 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip RN, master-spy, master-mariner, master-strategist pulled off ‘a special project’ for the Home Office. In the race for New Holland he beat France to the punch.

Governor Phillip in mid December 1790 introduced ‘universal terror’ into the Aboriginal, non-Aboriginal equation.  See: A Hatchet Job – Kill 6 & Cut Off Their Heads

‘Macarthur’s haughty quarrelsome nature which manifested itself on the voyage was to provoke much more conflict after his arrival in New South Wales in June 1790’. Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet, Britain’s Grim Armada of 1790, Library of Australian History, Sydney 1993

Lieutenant John Macarthur a junior officer of the New South Wales Infantry Corps arrived in Sydney aboard Scarborough, one (1) of three (3) death ships of ‘Britain’s Grim Armada.

In August 1806 Captain William ‘Bounty’ Bligh RN arrived to take up his commission as Britain’s fourth ‘autocratic naval governor’ of New South Wales.

On 26 January 1808, at the instigation John Macarthur an ex-officer of the Corps,  the military seized and imprisoned Governor William Bligh RN. See: Australia Day Rebellion 26 January 1808

THE BACK STORY

‘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’. Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery, Fontana Press, 3rd ed. London, 1976

1785 – August, France: New Holland, now Australia, was all about global warfare.  In 1785 Arthur Phillip, hidden in shadows, watched as Comte Jean-Francois La Perouse in command of La Boussole with L’Astrolabe, sailed from Brest naval base on a wide-ranging expeditionary voyage.

Modelled on the voyages of Captain James Cook, doyen of Britain’s Royal Navy, the La Perouse voyage was intended to take three (3) years and to include New Holland.

1786 – 6 August, London: Following an attempt to assassinate King George III, ‘fear of the unruly mob’, fuelled by memory of the Gordon Riots (1780), reached fever-pitch among England’s elite.

1786 – August, Brazil: Phillip was in Rio de Janeiro keeping track of La Perouse when called on by the Admiralty to return home and head Britain’s race for New Holland. See: Arthur Phillip – The Spy Who Never Came In From The Cold  

1786 – 12 October, Court of St James: ‘George III & to our trusty and well-beloved Captain Arthur Phillip, We, reposing especial trust and confidence in your loyalty, courage and experience in military affairs constitute and appoint you to be Governor our territory called New South Wales’. Historical Records of New South Wales

1787 – 25 April, London: The future fate of Australia’s First Nations’ Peoples was sealed in London on 25 April, 1787; ‘Under our Great Seal constituting and appointing you [Arthur Phillip] to be our Captain-General and Governor- in-Chief of our territory called New South Wales the entire eastern coast of New Holland…Cape York to South Cape’.

‘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 predictable’. Kennedy. op.cit

France, not America’s Patriot rebels , had been largely responsible for Britain’s loss of her ;thirteen [13] middle colonies’ in the American War of Independence 1775-1783.

Following the British navy’s humiliating defeat at the hands of the French navy the ‘duel for command of the sea’ never ceased. Britain’s 1788 invasion of New Holland was ‘predictable’. 

Within five (5) years – 1793 – Britain and France were at war. That conflict morphed into twenty-five (25) years of global warfare – the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars 1793-1815.

‘New Holland is a blind, then, when we want to add to the military strength of India’. Anon, Historical Records of New South Wales.

With New Holland Britain gained secure alternate strategic and logistical sea-routes to and from India and Asia. The Southern Oceans not only had the potential to be a blockade-breaker in time of war the route opened a long sought opportunity to attack Spain’s Central and South American treasure colonies.

1787 – 13 May, Portsmouth: Captain Phillip RN in command of an armed squadron of eleven (11) ships, known in Britain and Australia as the ‘First Fleet’, sailed from England in mid May 1787 to invade the island continent of New Holland.

All males – convicts and marines – were rationed as ‘troops serving in the West Indies’. See: All The King’s Men The Criminals of the First Fleet 

1788 – January, Botany Bay: The large convoy with a complement of 1500 souls – 1300 men and 200 women – reached Botany Bay between 18-20 of January 1788. See: G for Genocide- Colonial breeders

1788 – 24 January, Botany Bay: Three (3) days later L’Astrolabe and La Boussole with La Perouse at the helm arrived at the entrance to  Botany Bay. The sight of Sirius  gun-ports open cannon at the ready, forced them back out to sea.

‘He [Phillip] ordered a party to be  sent to Point Sutherland to raise English Colours. He also stipulated that the move to Port Jackson be kept secret’. John Moore, The First Fleet Marines 1786-1792, Queensland University Press, 1987

But had La Perouse sailed north or south?

Phillip knew it was essential he get back to Port Jackson. Three (3) days earlier, 21 January, he had entered that vast harbour but did not raise ‘English Colours’.

If La Perouse went north and happened upon the harbour’s towering headlands, he would be first to raise ‘French Colours’ ‘[w]here ‘a thousand Ship of the Line may ride in perfect Security’.

But given the disposition of the protagonists, apart from rumours, the world may never have known La Boussole and L’Astrolabe  had reached New Holland. See: A Band of Brothers and Mortal Enemies.

1788 – 25 January, Port Jackson: Phillip quit Botany Bay aboard HMS Supply, sailed nine (9) miles (14km) north. Just on nightfall, Supply entered Port Jackson and anchored in a sheltered cove.

1788 – 26 January, Sydney Cove: Next morning at first light Phillip landed with a party of marines. A flag-pole was built and the Union Jack flown. See: Australia – Britain By A Short Half-Head

‘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’. Prof Larissa Berendt, The Honest History Book, Ed. David Stephens & Alison Broinowski, NewSouth Publishing, Sydney, 2017

By 8pm that night, after a hazardous exit from Botany Bay that put both ships and lives at risk, the entire English fleet was riding at anchor alongside Supply.

1788 – 27 January – 5 February: For ten (10) days in the intense heat and humidity of a Sydney February male convicts judged fit laboured under the lash to set up camp.

1788 – 6 February, Sydney Cove: Between 6 am and 6 pm on February 6 the fleet’s female complement – one hundred and eighty-nine (189) female prisoners – thirty- one (31) marine wives and, children of both, were rowed ashore from what had been their home for the best part of a year.

That dark and stormy night it is said a noisy ‘sexual orgy’ took place. Two hundred (200) women a heterosexual ‘orgy’ probably – 1300 men – homosexual certainly.

1788 – 7 February, Port Jackson: Captain, now Governor Phillip, per instructions issued him at the Court of St. James on 25 April 1787,  based on ‘legal fiction’‘ terra nullius’  the country had no inhabitants, proceeded to claim British sovereignty over ‘the entire eastern coast of New Holland from Cape York…to South Cape’.See: A Cracker-Jack Opinion – no Sweat

1788 – 10 March, Botany Bay:  A month later La Boussole and L’Astrolabe sailed for France, sadly La Perouse and his men were never seen again. See: A Band of Brothers & Mortal Enemies

Phillip had been told before leaving England more convicts and supplies would ‘shortly follow’. The first night out from Cape Town (13 November 1787) on the last leg of the voyage, great excitement, HMS Sirius spotted a ship flying ‘English Colours’.

Disappointment; she turned out to be Kent a whaler. Relief Kent signalled more ships were ‘being taken up for Botany Bay’.

Nothing could have been further from the truth. Dr John White, the Chief Medical Officer, via a convict transport returning to England in July of 1788, sent Lord Sydney a revealing dispatch. See: Abandoned and left to starve at Sydney Cove January 1788 to June 1790 

‘The prevalence of disease among the troops and convicts, who on landing [January] were tainted with scurvy…our situation, not having any fresh animal food, nor being able to make a change in the diet which has and must be salt meat, makes these things [medicines] more necessary here than, perhaps, in any quarter of the globe’. John White to Lord Sydney, Historical Records of New South Wales See: An Evacuation – Saving Lieutenent William Collins

1788 – September, Africa: When no supplies had arrived by the end of August 1788 Phillip ordered Captain John Hunter prepare Sirius for a  voyage to Africa where he was to buy food and medicines from the Dutch.

1788 – 2 October, Cape Town: Sirius sailed alone on a perilous passage to the Cape of Good Hope at the beginning of October 1788. The voyage took her deep into the Southern Oceans dodging ‘islands of ice’ – through the ferocious seas of Drake’s Passage – to round stormy Cape Horn.

1788 – 31 December, Manly: Meantime at Sydney with ‘famine approaching’ Phillip needed; ‘to learn whether or not the country possessed any resources, by which life might be prolonged’. To that end he ordered the kidnapping of Aboriginal men.

Two (2) warriors ‘enticed by courteous behaviour’ were seized. One (1) broke free and fled. The other Arabanoo ‘fastened by ropes to the thwarts of the boat’ was rowed across to Sydney where he was kept a prisoner within British lines. See: Kidnapped – Manly – What’s in a Name

1789

‘It is true that our surgeons had brought out variolous matter in bottles’. Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhardinge , Angus and Robertson, 1961

1789 – April, Sydney: Smallpox struck local Aborigines in April 1789 killing 50% of their number. Arabanoo was among them. See: Smallpox -A Lethal Weapon Boston 1775 – Sydney 1789

‘Not one case of the disorder occurred among the white people either afloat or on shore although there were several children in the settlement; but a North American Indian…took the disease and died’. Samuel Bennett, Australian Discovery and Colonisation, Volume 1 to 1800, facsimile edition 1981 See: Joseph Jefferies – From New York to Rio and Old Sydney Town – One – Then There Was None

1789 – April, Sydney: Sirius returned from Africa with medicines and 127,000 pounds of flour intended for the two (2) king’s ships and what could be spared for the colony.

1789 – 31 December, Manly: ‘Famine was approaching with gigantic strides’.  Phillip again turned to kidnapping. Bennalong and Colbee, both now heavily pockmarked were seized.

Colbee still ‘with a small iron ring round his leg’ escaped after a week and surveillance was stepped up on Bennalong. See: Manly Location, Location, Location

1790

1790 – 1 January,, Sydney: ‘We have 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…in which long period no supplies…had reached us’. Tench. ibid.

A look-out was erected on South Head; ‘here on the summit of the hill every morning from daylight until the sun sank did we sweep the horizon hope of seeing a sail’ all to no avail.

1790 – February, China: Tench; ‘vigorous measures were become indispensable…The governor, early in February, ordered the Sirius [Captain Hunter] to prepare for a voyage to China’.

1790 – 6 March, Norfolk Island: In early March with cooler weather fish left the harbour to spawn. HMS Sirius accompanied by HMS Supply evacuated 50% of Sydney’s starving white European population to Norfolk Island.

Sirius was then to sail onto China and arrange rescue.

1790 – 19 March, Norfolk Island: Sirius had unloaded her evacuees and most supplies when, caught by shifting winds, she swung wildly on her anchor and ran onto a submerged reef.

Held fast ‘in pounding surf’, Sirius broke up over a number of days. The crew, one hundred and sixty (160) naval personnel, were taken off but were now stranded on the island along with the evacuees.

‘Flags Up’ – Supply

1790 – 5 April, Sydney: ‘The flag on the South-head was hoisted…I [Tench] saw captain Ball make an extraordinary motion with his hand, which too plainly indicated that something disastrous had happened’. Tench. ibid.

Disaster – there would be no China rescue.

1790 – 6 April, Sydney:to every child of more than eighteen [18] months old and to every grown person [ration] to commence immediately, two pounds of pork, two pounds and a half of flour, two pounds or rice, or a quart of [dried] pease, per week [and] bring your own bread…even to the governor’s table’. Tench. ibid.

It’s now about two years and three months since we first arrived at this distant country; all this while we have been buried alive, never having the opportunity to hear from our friends…our hopes are now almost vanished’. Reverend Richard Johnson, cited Jack Egan, Buried Alive Sydney 1788-1792, Allen & Unwin, 1999

Governor Phillip had no alternate but to send HMS Supply to Batavia, modern-day Jakarta. She was to buy food and medicines and hire a Dutch ship to bring them to Sydney. See: Missing In Action – HMS Sirius & HMS Supply

1790 – 17 April, Batavia:Supply sailed for Batavia…and all our labour and attention were turned on one object – the procuring of food’. The distress of the lower classes for clothes were almost equal to their other wants’. Tench. ibid.

1790 – May: Bennalong managed to escape and returned to his family.

During his five (5) months in captivity, Phillip and Bennalong learned a lot about and from each other. One thing Phillip learned from Bennalong ‘dread and hatred’ would prove invaluable to him.

1790 3 June – ‘Flag’s up – with London on her stern’

1790 3 June: Tench; ‘at length the clouds of misfortune began to separate and on the evening of the 3d of June, the joyful cry of “the flag’s up” resounded in every direction’.

Lady Juliana with two hundred and twenty-six (226) ‘useless female’ prisoners broke the terrible silence. Not until June 1790 did the First Fleet castaways hear ‘news’ of their ‘native country’.

Of family, lovers, friends, of conflict with Spain, the ‘Madness of King George’, of revolution in France and impending war between these arch-enemies.

Dubbed the ‘Brothel Ship’ Lady Juliana  was first of four (4) ships of a second fleet ‘Britain’s Grim Armada’.

Government awarded the contract for Neptune, Scarborough, Suprize the fleet’s death ships to Camden, Calvert and King, a firm of Guinea slave traders working out of London.

One-quarter ‘of 1038 [mainly male] convicts embarked at Plymouth; 237 died on the voyage, 486 landed sick, of these 124 died in hospital at Sydney’. Charles Bateson, The Convict Ships 1787-1868, Brown, Son & Ferguson, Glasgow, 1959 See: Convict Transportation – The Hulks Act and When the mindset of Slavery Came to Australia

One hundred and fifteen (115) infantry troops, first contingent of the New South Wales Infantry Corps, were distributed throughout the three (3) ships. They included Lieutenant John Macarthur a junior officer, a man of overarching personal ambition, who would rightly earn his nick-name ‘The Perturbator’. See: Macarthur The Great Disrupter

1790 – 30 June, Sydney: Justinian the first relief store-ship from England arrived at the end of June 1790. See: Titanic – HMS Guardian Australia’s Titanic

‘You cannot overrate the solicitude of H.M. Government on the subject of the Aborigines of New Holland. It is impossible to contemplate the condition or the prospects of that unfortunate race without the deepest commiseration. Lord John Russell to Sir George Gipps, 21 December 1838, Historical Records of Australia, Series 1. Vol. XX

1790 – 7 September, Manly Beach: On a warm spring morning, three (3) months after John Macarthur’s arrival, a ‘monster’ whale beached at Manly. It proved to be the catalyst that changed the ‘condition’ and future ‘prospects’ of Australia’s First Nations’ Peoples.

The whale stranding caused great excitement in both camps. For local Aborigines it was their totem and held deep cultural and spiritual significance, prefacing as it did the return of summer’s abundance.

For Phillip, whose salt-water career began hunting whale in the icy Arctic, its presence evoked intense interest.  See: Arthur Phillip – Trade and the Defence of Trade

‘The Act of 1786 [Geo.III. c.59] for the Encouragement of the Southern Whale Fishery proved to be the foundation of an important industry…in the wake of whalers other British traders would follow. The furtherance of this plan became one of the central objects of Lord Hawkesbury’s commercial policy’. Vincent T. Harlow, Founding of the Second British Empire 1763-1793, Longmans, London, 1964

Phillip was well aware, foremost among the various plans that Prime Minister William Pitt and his ‘secretive inner circle’ of three (3) powerful politicians – Hawkesbury, Dundas and Mulgrave – had for New Holland, the establishment of a land base to support a ship-based whaling and sealing industry was high on the list.

Phillip, anxious to see if the ‘monster’ was a prized sperm whale, was rowed across to Manly where he met up with Bennalong. The two (2) men had not seen each other since Bennalong’s escape from custody. See: Kidnapped – Manly What’s in a Name

1790 – 7 September, Manly: Tench sets the scene. After some hesitation on Bennalong’s part; ‘they discoursed for some time, Baneelon expressing pleasure to see his old acquaintance…the governor… to try whether it [Bennalong’s love of wine] still subsisted, uncorked a bottle, and poured out a glass of it, which the other drank off with his former marks of relish and good humour, giving a toast, as he had been taught, ‘the King‘.

That done Phillip moved nearer the whale; ‘a native, [Wileemarin] with a spear in his hand came forward…His excellency held out his hand…advancing…the nearer, the governor approached, the greater became the terror and agitation of the Indian.

To remove his fear, governor Phillip threw down a dirk, he wore at his side…the other, alarmed at the rattle of the dirk and probably misconstruing the action, instantly fixed his lance, aimed his lance with force and dexterity striking the governor’s right shoulder, just above the collar bone’. Tench. ibid.

The spear could not be removed then and there but Midshipman Waterhouse manage to break off the long shaft. Phillip endured two (2) agonising hours as he was rowed across seven (7) miles of choppy waters to Sydney where surgeon William Balmain extracted the lance. Phillip had lost a lot of blood leaving him weak so recovery was slow.

Phillip knew in ‘throw[ing] down the dirk’ he had contributed to Willeemrin’s attack and ordered there be no reprisals.

 ‘What is the most arresting thing in all these recordings is the way in which they perceive Aboriginal Australians on not exactly equal terms, but on terms of people who have a right to the occupancy of this land’. Dr Nicholas Brown, Australian National University and National Museum of Australia, on the inclusion of some ‘First Fleet’ Journals onto UNESCO’s World Heritage List. ABC – AM Programme, 15 October 2009

Phillip’s ‘no reprisals’ decision supercharged a change in attitude. The commander of the New South Wales Corps, Major Francis Grose, had elected to stay in London and recruit to satisfy establishment requirements.

A junior officer Lieutenant John Macarthur ruthless, driven by over-arching personal ambition, aided by dissension among his fellow officers, moved swiftly to fill the power vacuum created by Grose’s absence.See: Sword and Word Both are Mighty- Governor Arthur Phillip’s Military Campaign For King and Country

Flags Up’  – HMS Supply

Since 1788 the English population, men women and children, had survived by raping the Aborigines’ resources. Scouring the bush taking their plants and vegetables. Shooting anything that moved or flew and trawling for fish, taking up ‘four hundred-weight’ at a time.

With Supply gone there could be no trawling starvation deepened; ‘to prolong existence…the best marksmen of the marines and convicts…put under the command of a trusty serjeant, with directions to range the woods in search of kangaroos’. Tench. ibid.

1790 – 19 October, Sydney: Six (6) months almost to the day from her departure Supply returned from Jakarta.

Sadly elation was touched with grief. Many crew contracted malaria and were buried at Jakarta. Lieutenant Newton Fowell, the fleet’s young letter-writer who then a midshipman, had sailed in the Sirius on her epic voyage of circumnavigation to and from Africa, had been buried at sea.

Lieutenant Ball, as Phillip instructed, had purchased tons of supplies and chartered a Dutch ship Waaksamheyd to bring them to Sydney. Supply herself brought as much flour and medicines as the tiny ship could carry but certainly not enough to make much difference to the starving Sydney settlement.

‘On the 9th of the month [December 1790], serjeant of marines, with three convicts, among whom was 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 a shooting party [to Botany Bay]’. Tench. ibid.

1790 – 10 December, Botany Bay: Tench was told in the early hours; ‘one of them [Aborigines] launched his spear at M’Entire and lodged it in his left side. The person who committed this wanton act, was described as a young man, with a speck, or blemish, on his left eye’.

The ‘young man’ was Pemulwuy.

‘But in this business of M’Entire I [Phillip] am fully persuaded that they [Aborigines] were unprovoked, and the barbarity of their conduct admits of no extenuation’.

Phillip’s ‘but‘ referenced his ‘own spearing’ by Willmeerin at Manly Beach in September 1790. His refusal to retaliate was seized upon by ‘certain officers’. Phillip’s reluctance created a perfect storm.

With ‘New Holland’ at stake Phillip was intent on saving the Sydney settlement from insurrection and anarchy. Bennalong’s intelligence ‘dread and hatred’ was the only arrow in Phillip’s quiver.

He sacrificed McIntyre to create a diversion and assert his authority over the enemy within ‘certain [corps] officers’. His response to McIntyre’s spearing ‘infuse universal terror’ was that of a proven strategist whose loyalty to King and Country was non-negotiable.  See: John M’Entire – Death of a Sure Thing

1790 – 13 December, Headquarters:His excellency pitched upon me [Tench]…be ready to march tomorrow morning at daylight to execute the…command…put ten (10) to death…bring in the heads of the slain…bring away two (2)prisoners…I [Phillip] am resolved to execute the prisoners…in the most public and exemplary manner, in the presence of as many of their countrymen as can be collected’. Governor Phillip, General  Orders, to Marine Captain Watkin Tench.

1790 – 14 December, Botany Bay: At first light ‘we marched’. After three (3) days thrashing about in the muddy flats of Cooks River the detachment turned for home with no ‘heads’ – no ‘prisoners’.

1790 – 17 December, Sydney: ‘Between one and two o’clock in the afternoon…we were glad to find ourselves at Sydney’.

Tench’s ‘glad’ is an understatement. At dawn that morning – 17 December 1790 – the Waaksamheyd arrived from Jakarta. The air filled  with the heady smells of cooking, the landing stage already crammed with barrels and bales.

1790 – 20 December: ‘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’.

Why did Governor Phillip order another raid against the Bidjigal of Botany Bay?

Phillip knew Waaksamheyd was a double edged sword. As well as food she brought hope. An opportunity to seize the vessel, a chance  to escape – either or both.

The Sirius cannon now came into play. Removed in 1788 to lighten the load on her gallant run to Cape Town they had been mounted at Dawes Battery (Observatory Hill). See: Lieutenant William Dawes & The Eternal Flame

In the hands of the few dependable naval men available to Phillip, Sirius’ cannon took the seizure of Waaksamheyd out of the equation. Escape however was realised. See: A Great Escape – The Botany Bay Escapees

EPILOGUE

‘Military and police raids against dissenting Aboriginal groups lasted from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries….These raids had commenced by December 1790’. Professor Bruce Kercher, History of Law in Australia, Allen and Unwin, 1995

Just as in June 1914 a shot fired on a Sarajevo street began the count-down to World War I, a spear thrown on Manly Beach in September 1790 began the count-down to a ‘nasty war that led to the near destruction of Australia’s First Peoples.

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

Governor Phillip’s perceived passivity had presented ‘certain officers’ with an opportunity for ‘mischief’ insurrection. Phillip judged his position, isolated in a sea of hostile military, would prove too great an opportunity for Lieutenant Macarthur and his cronies to pass up .See: Machiavellian Macarthur

ADDENDUM

‘Twenty-five regiments of British infantry served in the colonies between 1790 and 1870. They fought in one of the most prolonged frontier wars in the history of the British empire, and for the first half of their stay were probably more frequently in action than the garrison of any other colony besides that of southern Africa‘. Dr Peter Stanley, The Remote Garrison, The British Army in Australia 1790-1868, Kangaroo Press, Sydney 1986

Governor Phillip’s Orders placed no limit on brutality. ‘Infuse universal terror and my [Phillip] fixed determination to repeat it whenever any future breach of good conduct on their side, shall render it necessary’.

They served as the ‘Rules of Engagement’ in a ‘frontier war’ Dr Stanley has characterised as ‘nasty and decidedly lacking in glory’.

‘Still it is impossible that H.M. government should forget that the original aggression was ours’. Lord John Russell. Records. ibid

See:  Only Men ? Aside from seagulls how many white birds were on the ground at Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788 – None

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT- TAKE TWO – CAPTAIN ARTHUR PHILLIP RN & MAJOR ROBERT ROSS – MARINE COMMANDER

Friday, September 8th, 2017

‘From 1788 there had been continuous disputation between the civil power represented by the autocratic uniformed naval governors, and the military’. John McMahon, Not a Rum Rebellion but a Military Insurrection, Journal of Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 92, 2006

1788 – Sydney: The chain of command at Sydney was dysfunctional. For many reasons relations between Captain Arthur Phillip an officer of the Royal Navy and Marine Commander Major Robert Ross of the Royal Navy’s military arm were toxic.

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LIEUTENANT WILLIAM DAWES – ‘THE ETERNAL FLAME’ & ‘UNIVERSAL TERROR’

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

‘He [Dawes] was the scholar of the expedition, man of letters and man of science, explorer, mapmaker, student of language of anthropology, teacher and philanthropist. Professor G. Arnold Wood, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society Vol. X, 1924, Part 1

Aside from Kate Grenville’s 2008 fictional cardboard cut-out, star-struck Daniel Rooke of The Lieutenant, Australia knows very  little of Marine Lieutenant William Dawes and almost nothing of his pivotal role in revealing the why and wherefore of Britain’s military campaign against Australia’s First Nations –  a ‘war nasty and decidedly lacking in glory’. See: The Big Switch

‘English clockmaker John Harrison, a mechanical genius who pioneered the science of portable precision timekeeping…invented a clock that would carry the true time from the home port, like an eternal flame, to any remote corner of the world’. Dava Sobel, Longitude, Fourth Estate, 1998

1788 – 26 January, Warranne:  In Lieutenant Dawe’s care ‘an eternal flame’  K I – a faithful replica of John Harrison’s H – 4 ‘sea-going pocket watch’ fetched up at one particular ‘remote corner of the world’  – Sydney Cove – on 26 January 1788 aboard HMS Supply one (1) of eleven (11) ships of the ‘First Fleet’.

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MACARTHUR THE GREAT DISRUPTER

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

‘What is the most arresting thing in all these recordings is the way in which they perceive Aboriginal Australians on not exactly equal terms, but on terms of people who have a right to the occupancy of this land’. Dr Nicholas Brown,  Australian National University and National Museum of Australia, on inclusion of some ‘First Fleet’ Journals onto UNESCO’s World Heritage List. AM Programme, Australian Broadcasting Commission, 15 October 2009

1790 – June, Sydney:  What went wrong? Lieutenant John ‘MacMafia’ Macarthur, the teetotaller who put ‘firey India rum’ into The New South Wales Rum Corps arrived with the second fleet in June 1790.

‘The great change came in the arrival with the Second Fleet of the first companies of the New South Wales Corps [among them] Lieutenant John Macarthaur – a central figure in the military ‘mafia’ which quickly established itself as Australia’s first governing and property elite’. Nigel Rigby, Peter van der Merwe, Glyn Williams, National Maritime Museum Greenwich, Pacific Explorations, Bloomsbury, Adlard Coles, London 2018

Lieutenant Macarthur was among the first contingent of British infantry raised specifically to replace the First Fleet’s four (4) companies of marines who had left England in the ‘First Fleet’ as long ago as the 13th of May 1787 to invade the island continent of New Holland, now Australia.

‘Macarthur’s haughty quarrelsome nature which manifested itself on the voyage was to provoke much more conflict after his arrival in New South Wales in June 1790’. Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet, Britain’s Grim Armada of 1790, Library of Australian History, Sydney, 1993

1788 – 18-20 January: The ‘First Fleet,’ an armed squadron of eleven (11) ships commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip RN, reached  Botany Bay in mid-January 1788.

Botany Bay proved unsuitable for permanent settlement. After exploring adjacent countryside Sydney Cove nine (9) miles (14 km) to the north was chosen.

1788 – 26 January, Port Jackson: At dawn on the 26th of January Phillip with some officers and marines were rowed ashore from HMS Supply. The Union Jack was raised from a ‘hastily erected’ flagpole, a few shots were fired off and a loyal toast tossed down. See: Australia – Britain By A Short Half-Head – Captain Arthur Phillip & Jean Francois La Perouse

Britain had been stung by the recent loss of her ’empire in the west’ in the American War of Independence (1775-1783). The humiliating defeat had been due in so small part to French intervention. France had poured money, men and munitions into General George Washington and his Patriot militia of irregulars.

‘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-Francois, de Galaup, Comte de La Perouse, was hanging around [at Botany Bay] with two ships)’. Larissa Behrendt, The Honest History Book, Ed. David Stephens & Alison Broinowski, New South Publishing, 2017

The remaining English ships were held up by bad weather. They survived a dangerous exit from Botany Bay and arrived at Sydney Cove to anchor alongside HMS Supply about 8 pm on the 26th of January.

1788 – 7 February: ‘Without consent’ of its First Peoples or seeking a Treaty  Governor Arthur Phillip, first of four (4) ‘autocratic uniformed naval governors’, formally claimed British sovereignty over New Holland, now Australia.

England abandoned the Robinson Cruscos of the ‘First Fleet’ leaving her fellow country men, women and children to starve 13,000 miles (21,000 km) from their homeland. See: Abandoned and Left to Starve, Sydney Cove January 1788 to June 1790  1790

1790 – January, Sydney: ‘No supplies…we had now been two years in the country, and thirty-two months from England…entirely cut off since the 13th of May 1787…the day of our departure from Portsmouth…the misery and horror of such a situation cannot be imparted, even by those who have suffered under it’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961  

Major Robert Ross commander of two hundred and forty-five (245) marines, the military arm the Royal Navy, did not find it difficult to inculcate a spirit discontent and rebellion.

‘No one in the colony caused Phillip more trouble than Major Ross. Of all Phillip’s problems, including those of the terrible famine of 1789 and 1790, probably none was so harassing as the persistent antagonism, both covert and open, which Ross pursed against him’. John Moore, The First Marines 1786-1792, Queensland University Press, 1987

1790 – 6 March, Norfolk Island: Governor Phillip rid himself of Major Ross by appointing him Lieutenant-Governor of Norfolk Island some 1650 km to the west of Sydney.

In order to stymie La Perouse, in mid-February 1788, a satellite settlement had been established there. In March 1790 Phillip evacuated 50% of his starving ‘people’ to the island. See: Dead Aborigines Don’t Eat Smallpox & Starvation 1789

1790 – June, Sydney Cove: ‘No one in the colony caused Phillip more trouble than Major Ross’. This statement held true until June 1790 when Lieutenant John Macarthur landed from Suprize one (1) of second fleet’s three (3) death ships.

Major Robert Ross, the Corps’ commander, remained in London to recruit numbers sufficient to satisfy establishment requirements. War  with France was hanging in the air so recruitment proved difficult task and Grose sourced some ‘derelicts and delinquents’ from the Savoy military prison.

Lieutenant Macarthur a ruthless junior officer driven by over-arching personal ambition moved swiftly to fill the power vacuum created by Major Grose’s absence. Macarthur was quick to pick-up on the  existingantagonism’ and made it his own.

Governor Phillip with a wealth of experience could not have failed to recognise in John Macarthur a ruthless enemy not only to himself but to King and Country.

And the stakes were high.

‘From the coast of China it [New Holland] lies not more than about a thousand leagues, and nearly the same distance from the East Indies, from the Spice Islands about seven hundred leagues, and near a month’s run from Cape of Good Hope…or suppose we were again involved in a war with Spain, here are ports of shelter and refreshments for our ships, would it be necessary to sent any into the South Sea’. Admiral Sir George Young’s Plan to Home Home Secretary, Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol.1

Britain’s invasion of New Holland was remarkably prescient. First came conflict with Spain then, in February 1793, Republican France declared war on England.

‘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 predictable. Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery, 3rd ed. Fontana Press, London

‘Predictable’: There can be no doubt the pre-emptive positioning of a military presence and a naval base in the southern oceans had figured prominently in Prime Minister William Pitt’s plans.

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. op.cit.

If Phillip failed to hold the line against Macarthur and ‘certain’ of hisofficer’ cronies Britain’s chances of retaining the undoubted strategic advantages of; ‘stationing a large body of troops in New South Wales’ would be lost.

‘New Holland is a good blind, then…stationing a large body of troops in New South Wales…when we want to add to military strength of India’. Anon. Historical Records of New South Wales.

In June 1790 when the second fleet reached Sydney the harbour was empty of English ships. Governor Phillip had no naval support he was completely isolated in the midst of very hostile soldiery.  See: Missing in Action HMS Sirius & HMS Supply

HMS Sirius was at the bottom of the sea off Norfolk Island and her crew, one hundred and sixty (160) Royal Navy personnel were stranded on the island.

HMS Supply was at Jakarta to buy tons of supplies and medicines.. Her captain Lieutenant Ball was authorised to charter a Dutch vessel [Waaksamheyd] to bring them to Sydney as soon as possible.

‘Phillip was authorised to see to the defence of the colony’. Professor Bruce Kercher, An Unruly Child, A History of Australian Law in Australia, Allen and Unwin, 1995

That authorisation applied when ever, from where ever and from whom-so-ever such threat arose.

In 1790 the threat to Governor Phillip came not from the Bidjigal people of Botany Bay ravished by smallpox the previous year (1789) but from within military ranks. See: A Lethal Weapon – Smallpox: Boston 1775 – Sydney 1789

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Following the second fleet’s arrival well documented animosity surfaced between Phillip’s ‘people’ of 1788 and one thousand (1000) mainly male new comers, most fresh from the teeming streets of London and widespread fear gripped the newcomers.

And given the dire circumstances that fear was completely understandable; ‘per week to every child of more than eighteen months old and to every grown person without distinction…two pounds tof pork, two pounds and a half of flour, two pounds of rice, or a quart of pease…the public stores contained salt meat until…2d July; flour…20 August; rice, or pease in lieu…until 1st of October’ .

1790 – June Sydney: Justinian, a store-ship arrived with the first supplies from England.

‘We were joyfully surprised on the 20th of the month to see another sail [Justinian] enter the harbour…and our rapture doubled on finding that she was laden entirely with provisions for our use. Full allowance, and general congratulations immediately took place’. Tench. ibid

‘Full allowance (if eight pounds of flour, and either seven pounds of pork, served alternately per week, without either peas, oatmeal, spirits, butter or cheese, can be so called ) is yet kept up; but if the Dutch snow [Waaksamheyd] does not arrive soon  from [Jakarta] it must be shortened, as the casks in the store house, I observed yesterday are woefully decreased’. Tench, cited Egan, Buried Alive

The wretched condition of the second fleet survivors, the needs of the sick and dying, had radically altered the supply- demand equation for the worst.

1790 – July, Winter:fish is by no means plenty at least, they are not in abundance’ and local Aborigines were extremely hungry. Their fish, oysters and a wide variety of various crustaceans had kept the English alive for just on three (3) years now the locals quite rightly felt entitled to a fair share of Justinian’s bounty.

But in this they were proved wrong. What was given was given grudgingly; ‘they throng the camp every day and sometimes by their clamour and importunity for bread and meat (of which they now all eat greedily) are become very troublesome God knows we have little enough for ourselves!’. Tench. ibid

1790 – September, Spring: ‘The fishing boats had the greatest success…near 4000 of fish…being taken in two ]2] hauls of the seine….they were issued to this settlement [Sydney[ and at Rose Hill’. Tench.

1790 -September, Manly Beach: In an atmosphere of anger and betrayal born of hunger and fear of capture; ‘A native [Wileemarine] with a spear in his hand aimed his lance with such force and dexterity striking the governor’s right shoulder, just above the collar bone’. Tench. ibid. See: Manly – Location, Location, Location

Phillip was rowed back to Sydney where William Balmain, the fleet’s senior surgeon, extracted the spear. Phillip had lost a great deal of blood and recovery was slow.

Phillip’s refused to retaliate the military adjudged this weakness, linked to John Macarthur’s boundless personal ambition, Phillip’s passive response created a perfect storm.

EPILOGUE

‘The ability to shock bestows a kind of power’. Frances Larson, Severed, Granta, London, 2014

Wily experienced, a proven strategist intent on saving the Sydney settlement from insurrection and anarchy, Phillip had but one (1) arrow in his quiver – ‘intelligence’- its source Bennalong  – ‘M’Entire, the Governor’s game-keeper( the person of whom Baneelon had, on former occasions, shown so much dread and hatred’. Tench. ibid.

‘Military and police raids against dissenting Aboriginal groups lasted from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries…These raids had commenced by December 1790’. Kercher. ibid.

Phillip moved to assert his authority and ignited ‘one of the most prolonged frontier wars in the history of the British empire’. See: John M’Entire – Death of a Sure Thing

Twenty-five regiments of British infantry served in the colonies between 1790 and 1870. They fought in one of the most prolonged frontier wars in the history of the British empire, and for the first half of their stay were probably more frequently in action than the garrison of any other colony besides that of southern Africa’. Dr Peter Stanley, The Remote Garrison, The British Army In Australia 1788 to 1870, Kangaroo Press, 1986

 

 

 

 

JOHN M’ENTIRE – DEATH OF A SURE THING

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

‘Phillip was authorised to see to the defence of the colony’. Professor Bruce Kercher, History of Law in Australia, Allen & Unwin, 1995

1790 – December, Sydney: By December 1790 Governor Captain Arthur Phillip RN knew ‘certain officers’ of the newly arrived New South Wales Corps (June 1790) – led by Lieutenant John Macarthur an ambitious junior officer – were circling the tents.

In Phillip’s judgement the Pitt Administration in far off England was in danger of losing New South Wales ( Australia) gateway to India,  Asia and Spanish South American treasure colonies.

The threat however did not come from the First Nations’ People. The previous year 1789, 50% of local Eora Aborigines had contracted smallpox and were dead. The survivors were struggling to regroup. See: A Lethal Weapon Smallpox – Boston 1775 – Sydney 1789

Governor Phillip knew a serious threat to King and Country came from within the ranks of the military. But isolated in the midst of a hostile soldiery without naval support he had but one option in his armoury – diversion, and one (1) sure arrow, the ‘hated’ convict John M’Entire.  Missing in Action HMS Sirius & HMS Supply .

1790 – 9 December, Botany Bay: ‘On the 9th of the month, a serjeant of marines, with three convicts, among whom was M’Entire, the governor’s game-keeper (the person of whom Bannelon had, on former occasions, shewn so much dread and hatred) went out on a [kangaroo] shooting party’. Marine Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

Governor Phillip was on his own with his back to wall. HMS Sirius had been wrecked off Norfolk Island in March 1790 and her crew one hundred and sixty (160) were now stranded on the island

A month later April 1790, to save the starving settlement, HMS Supply sailed to Batavia, present-day Jakarta. Her captain Lieutenant Henry Ball RN was to buy urgently needed food and medicines and charter a Dutch ship to bring them to Sydney

Phillip, from intelligence gathered from Bennalong during his five (5) months held captive within British lines, hatched a plot he believed had every chance of success of changing the existing dangerous dynamic. See: Kidnapped – Manly – What’s in a Name

A practised strategist, but ailing following his own spearing in September 1790, Phillip had to box clever. He knew local Aborigines viewed John McIntyre, his personal game-keeper, with ‘hated and dread’. See: Manly Location, Location, Location

McIntyre with few friends in the white camp could be eliminated with little fear of back-lash from that quarter. An excellent ‘marksman’ he was the perfect patsy. See: April Fool’s Day – The Hulks Act 1776

What enabled Governor Phillip take such drastic action?  Legislation, the Hulks Act of 1776, deemed convicted criminals reprieved death on condition of ‘transportation out of the realm…their service is for the state’.

‘In determining the daily ration no distinction was drawn between the marines and the convicts except in respect of alcoholic liquors …the standard adopted was that of the troops serving in the West Indies’. Wilfrid Oldham, Britain’s Convicts to the Colonies, Library of Australian History, Sydney, 1990

All First Fleet males – marines and convicts ‘fed as troops serving…in the West Indies’ were combatants; their service was for the state.

Phillip’s disavowal; ‘in this business of M’Entire I am fully persuaded that they [Aborigines] were unprovoked’ does not hold water. McIntyre as both convict and combatant was over qualified and Bennalong’s ‘dread and hatred’ is strong evidence McIntyre’s inclusion in the ‘shooting party’ was designed to provoke.

Watkin Tench’s ‘First Four Years’ informs this narrative unless attributed otherwise.

1790 – 9 December, Sydney:  McIntyre with two (2) other armed convicts, accompanied by a senior NCO, set off from Sydney at dawn on the 9th of December to walk a well-trodden path to Botany Bay. They intended to sleep overnight in a recently ‘erected small hut formed of boughs’.

1790 – 10 December, Botany Bay: ‘About one o’clock, the sergeant was awakened by a rustling noise in the bushes…Indians…one [Pemulway]…launched his spear at M’Entire, and lodged it in his left side…the wounded man immediately drew back and joining his party, cried, ‘I am a dead man’.

1790 – 11 December, Sydney: The wounded convict ‘expressed a longing desire not to be left to expire in the woods’ and the group carried him back to Sydney.

1790 – 12 December, Sydney: ‘To gain knowledge of their [Aborigines’] treatment of similar wounds, one of the surgeons made signs of extracting the spear; but this they violently opposed, and said, if it were done, death would instantly follow’.

William Balmain the fleet’s senior surgeon rejected their advise; ‘the extraction was…judged practicable and was accordingly performed’.  Its removal however did McIntyre no favours. Death did not come quickly he died on 21 January 1791.

1790 – 13 December, Sydney Headquarters: ‘The governor was at Rose Hill when this accident happened. On the day after he returned to Sydney… I [Tench] received a direction to attend the governor at head quarters immediately.

His Excellency pitched upon me ready to march tomorrow morning at daylight to execute the command…put ten [10] to death…bring in the heads of the slain…bring away two [2] prisoners…I [Phillip] am resolved to execute the prisoners…in the most public and exemplary manner, in the presence of as many of their countrymen as can be collected’.

 COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT

Pemulway’s assault on McIntyre was a targeted attack by a known assailant – ‘put ten to death’ – indiscriminate retribution – punished both innocent and guilty.

Collective punishment: Governor Phillip’s savage General Orders put no limit on brutality and stunned Tench; ‘here the governor stopped and address[ed] himself to me’. See: The Switch – 1790 – CONTEXT – War With France 1793-1815

 ‘I begged to offer for consideration...instead of destroying ten [10] persons the capture of six [6] a part might be set aside for retaliation; and the rest, at a proper time, liberated, after having seen the fate of their comrades…this scheme his excellency was pleased instantly to adopt, adding “if six [6] cannot be taken let this number be shot”. See: Terror – Arthur’s Algorithm – ‘instil universal terror’Open Sesame

CATCH – KILL – BEHEAD

‘The bloody raw power of decapitation…the eternal tension between drama and control…lies at the heart of the death penalty’. Frances Larson, Severed, Granta Books, London 2015

Tench assembled a detachment of fifty (50) troops; ‘consisting of two [2] captains, two [2] subalterns, and forty [40] privates, with a proper number of non-commissioned officers, from the garrison’.

1790 – 14 December, Sydney: At four o’clock on the morning of the 14th...led by myself [Tench] we marched…by nine o’clock this terrific procession reached the peninsula, at the the head of Botany Bay’.

For Australia’s First Nations’ Peoples the make-up of this detachment is of utmost importance.

‘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’. Dr Peter Stanley, The Remote Garrison, The British Army in Australia, 1788-1870, Kangaroo Press, Sydney, 1986

Dr Stanley’s picture of starving lethargic despairing marines, England’s Robinson Cruscos marooned and left to starve, align with Tench’s assessment of his marines; ‘the misery and horror of our situation cannot be imparted even by those who have suffered under it’.

See: Abandoned and Left to Starve @ Sydney Cove – January 1788 to June 1790

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

It is safe therefore to assert the bulk of ‘forty privates’ in this ‘terrific procession’ were infantry-men of the New South Wales Corps recently arrived (June 1790) with a second fleet ‘Britain’s Grim Armada’. See: Dancing with Slavers – Britain’s Grim Armada- The Dead and the Living Dead

1790 – 14 December, Botany Bay: Soldiers heavily laden; ‘with three days provisions, ropes to bind our prisoners…hatchets and bags, to cut off and contain the heads of the slain’ thrashed about, sweating and swearing as magpies swooped and black cockatoos screeched overhead.

‘After having walked in various directions until four o’clock, without seeing a native, we halted for the night’.

1790 – 15 December, Botany : At first light next morning they spotted their quarry; ‘five Indians on the beach…before we came near enough to effect our purpose [they] ran off’.

But sloppy map-reading had led the detachment 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’.

Another stifling frustrating day spent in a muddy quagmire was followed by 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’.

1790 – 16 December, Sydney: Tench with provisions low and his troops exhausted abandoned the mission.

‘We bent our steps homeward, and after wading breast-high through two arms of the sea [Cook’s River] as broad as the Thames at Westminster, were glad to find ourselves at Sydney between one and two o’clock in the afternoon’.

1790 – 17 December, Sydney: The detachment straggled into camp hot thirsty, stinking uniforms stiff with salt and mud, only to find everything had changed.

At first light that very morning Waaksamheyd the 300 ton Dutch brig Lieutenant Ball of HMS Supply had chartered at Jakarta in July 1790  arrived from Batavia crammed with tons of food and medicines.

Tench reported to Governor Phillip; ‘Our expedition [had] totally failed’ there were no ‘heads in bags’ no ‘prisoners to execute in the most public and exemplary manner’.

Surely a win-win for Governor Phillip, he had asserted his authority at no cost; that should have been the end of it – but no.

‘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’.

Despite Waakssamheyd with her bounty, more probably because of her presence, Phillip ordered a second assault on the Bidjigal of Botany Bay.

Waaksamheyd was received with rapture but wily Governor Phillip smelt danger. Waaksamheyd was ripe for seizure and might facilitate a military insurrection. Even more than food she brought hope; of seizure and escape. Indeed for some escape and freedom was realised. See: The Great Escape – The Botany Bay Escapees

Deter Smidt, Waaksamheyd’s Dutch master assisted eleven (11) to escape – nine (9) convicts, Emanuel a baby and three (3) year old Charlotte, escaped in Governor Phillip’s own cutter and, in an epic sea-saga, rowed to Coupang, West Timor.  See: Pandora’s Box – The Bounty Mutineers and the Botany Bay Escapees 

The surviving ‘Botany Bay escapees’, as they became known in a high-profile court case, ended up in the Old Bailey where, years earlier their story had begun. See: Boswell Goes Into Bat for the Botany Bay Escapees

1790 – 21 December, Botany Bay: Meantime Phillip had ordered a a second raid; ‘the orders which I [Tench] was commanded to act differing in no respect from the last.

If six [6] cannot be taken let this number be shot…bring away two [2] prisoners…I [Phillip] am resolved to execute…in the most public and exemplary manner’.

1790 – 22 December, Sydney: ‘A little before sun-set on the evening of the 22d, we marched. Lieutenant Abbot, and ensign Prentice of the New South Wales corps, three [3] serjeants, three [3] corporals, and thirty [30] privates completed the detachment [with] ropes, hatchets and bags, to cut off and contain the heads of the slain’.

This time Tench went about the ‘business’ very differently. The second raid was a night raid.

‘In order to deceive the natives, and prevent them from again frustrating our design……it was now also determined, being full moon, that our operations should be carried on in the night, both for the sake of secrecy, and for avoiding the extreme heat of the day’.

1790 – 23 December, Botany Bay: The search to catch, kill and behead Aborigines began at dawn. Now as before seasonal king ‘Christmas’ tides surged in turning firm ground into muddy swampland.

Some soldiers weighed down by their heavy scarlet woollen uniforms nearly drowned when sucked into what Tench described ‘a rotten spongy…Serbian bog’.

Guns jammed with mud, their once sodden clothes now dry and stiff, the troops passed yet another night of ‘restless inquietude’.

1790 –  Christmas Eve, Sydney: ‘Our final effort was made at half past one o’clock  next morning…ending in disappointment and vexation. At nine o’clock we returned to Sydney to report our fruitless peregrination‘.

‘Disappointment’ yes ‘fruitless’ no.

Again it is Tench, caught in the eye of the storm, who tells us so.

1790 – 28 December, Sydney: ‘But if we could not retaliate on the murderer of M’Entire, we found no difficulty in punishing offences committed within our own observation.

Two natives robbing the potatoe [sic] garden…a party of soldiers dispatched…the[ir] ardour transported them so far, that, instead of capturing the offenders, they fired in among them…[one] Ba-g-ai…was dead’.

EPILOGUE

‘Military and police raids against dissenting Aboriginal groups lasted from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries…These raids had commenced by December 1790’. Professor Bruce Kercher, History of Law in Australia, Allen and Unwin, 1995

2019: The First Nations’ Peoples with laser accuracy can pinpoint their near annihilation to Governor Phillip’s absolute loyalty to King and Country.

In December 1790 there was one (1) player, Marine Lieutenant William Dawes who saw clearly the inevitable ‘future’ consequences of Governor Phillip’s General Orders.

Dawes initially refused to go on the raid of the 14th of December but, after consulting Reverend Richard Johnson the ‘First Fleet’ Chaplain, complied.

On returning to Sydney on the 17th Dawes addressed his objections, via Adjutant Lowe, to Governor Phillip in writing. He expressed regret for obeying in the first instance and stated he would not in future comply if given a similar order. See: Lieutenant William Dawes – ‘The Eternal Flame’& ‘Universal Terror’

Dawes, an officer with combat experience in the American War of Independence (1775-1783) did not consider either raid a ‘charade’ nor would he have put his life on the life for; ‘a melodramatic show of strength’.

Yet currently Governor Phillip’s General Orders of December 1790 have been written off as ‘charade – a melodramatic show of force’. While a recent high-profile publication omits all mention of a second raid.

ADDENDUM

1816 – April, Appin: Australia’s first officially designated ‘massacre’ met the criteria – fourteen (14) or more dead Aborigines in one (1) action – occurred in Sydney’s near south-west, Broughton Gorge at Appin, in April 1816.

There can be no  doubt Tench’s treacherous ‘night raid’ – 22nd December 1790 – set the precedent for ‘future’ confrontations between the invaders and the invaded.

Governor Lachlan Macquarie’s orders issued 10 April 1816 echo almost precisely Governor Phillip’s orders.

In daylight a number of Dharawal men were shot. ‘To instil terror’ as ordered their bodies were strung up in the trees. Two (2) named warriors were beheaded.

During the night of the 15th April 1816 Captain Wallis moved his troops onto the home camp at; ‘1 am [16th] my men held a child cry’. Some women were shot dead on the spot. While others, elders and mothers with their children were rounded up and driven to their death over Broughton Gorge.  See: Dark Matter, Lieutenant Mc Mafia Macarthur, The New South Wales Corps &  Governor Phillip, Major Grose, Captain Paterson, Governors Hunter, King, Bligh, Macquarie 

The heads of the Dharawal men from the initial raid were taken to Sydney and boiled down. The skulls were sent to the Anatomy Department at Edinburgh University from where they have recently been repatriated.

 

 

ALICE – DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE WITH KING

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

‘A knowledge of the position of the military and their immediate friends occupied from 1792-1810, affords a key to the whole history of the colony; and without this knowledge many important transactions, affecting the civil, social and political  interests of the community would appear almost incomprehensible’. Samuel Bennett,Australian Discovery and Colonisation, Vol. 1 to 1800.

1800 – 15 April, Sydney: Lieutenant Phillip Gidley King RN, Britain’s third naval governor of New Holland, Australia, arrived in the colony aboard HMS Speedy in the middle of April 1800.

Gidley King delivered Captain John Hunter RN, the incumbent governor, a Home Office dispatch dated 5 November 1799;  ‘severely censured Hunter and ordered him to return to England by the first safe conveyance’.

Tragically for both the colony and Australia’s First Peoples, London could not have devised a more destabilising arrangement than King’s ‘anomalous…dormant commission’ effective only if Governor Hunter ‘died or was absent from the colony’.  

‘It is probable, therefore, that the home department was not prepared to give King the full appointment of governor-in-chief in the year 1799…[His] limited commission was practically the appointment of a locum tenens or a  governor-in-chief on probation, and was recognised as such by both King and the English officials, when it became operative’. Commentary, Historical Records of Australia, Series 1, Vol 3.

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MACHIAVELLIAN MACARTHUR

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

1792 – 12 December, Sydney: Governor Arthur Phillip RN, after five (5) traumatic years as Britain’s first Governor of New South Wales and repeated requests for repatriation, sailed home to England in the Atlantic on 12 December 1792.

Phillip had recommended Lieutenant Gidley King replace him. Whitehall not only rejected Gidley King but government failed to commission an immediate successor.

‘Twenty- five [25] regiments of British infantry served in the colonies between [June] 1790 and 1870 they participated in the great struggle at the heart of the European conquest of this continent…’for the first half of their stay were probably more frequently in action than the garrison of any other colony besides that of southern Africa’. Dr Peter Stanley, The Remote Garrison, 1986, Kangaroo Press, 1986

By default between December 1792 and September 1795 ; ‘the plentitude of power’ Britain vested in its naval governors fell into the hands of the military, exposing the First Australians to the brutality of British infantry troops.

For the length of the interregnum the British government was greatly at fault’. Hunter, J.J. Auchmuty, Australian Dictionary of Biography

1794 – 6 February, London: Eventually Captain John Hunter RN,  hero of the ‘First Fleet’ expeditionary force, was; ‘commission[ed] as captain-general and governor-in-chief’ at the beginning of February 1794 [he] did not sail until 25 February 1795′.

1790 – June, Sydney: First contingent of infantry, the infamous New South Wales Corps, had arrived in June 1790 aboard the second fleet Britain’s Grim Armada’. See: Dancing With Slavers – A Second Fleet

‘A knowledge of the position of the military and their immediate friends occupied from 1792- 1810, affords a key to the whole history of the colony; and without this knowledge many important transactions, affecting the civil, social and political interests of the community would appear almost incomprehensible’. Samuel Bennett, Australian Discovery and Colonisation Vol. 1 to 1800, Facsimile Edition, 1981.

Major Francis Grose the Corps’ commander remained in London to recruit and satisfy establishment requirements. There was intense dissension within officer ranks and Lieutenant John Macarthur, a junior officer, moved swiftly to fill the command vacuum. See: A Black Hole: The First Interregnum 1792-1795

1795 – September 7, Sydney: Governor John Hunter RN arrived 7 September 1795 and assumed office four days later.   (more…)