‘It is well known…without a sufficient proportion of that [female] sex…it would be impossible to preserve the settlement from gross irregularities and disorders…HMS Supply…may be employed in conveying to the new settlement a further number of women from the Friendly islands, New Caledonia etc…from whence any number may be procured without difficulty’. Home Office, Heads of a Plan for Botany Bay, Frank Murcott Bladen, Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol 1


‘Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethical, racial or religious group, such as;

killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

imposing measures intending to prevent births within the group;

transferring children of the group to another group’. Article 2, United Nations 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.


“Rape is a biological possibility for the male”. Cited, Anne Summers, Damned Whores and God’s Police, Penguin, 1975


London –  1786, August 8: ‘His Majesty [George III] has thought advisable to fix upon Botany Bay…. orders …issued for two companies [of marines] to form a military establishment…the transportation of six hundred and eight (680) males and seventy (70) female convicts…to New South Wales’. Heads of a Plan for Botany Bay, Bladen, Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol 1


1786 – August 21: Lord Sydney the Home Secretary informed Treasury; prisoner numbers had been amended;‘six hundred (600) men… two hundred (200) women’.

‘It was the custom in the eighteenth century for the authorities to consider the sex problems of convicts or others in similar positions’. Commentary, Bladen, Historical Records of New South  Wales, Vol. 1


‘Four companies of Marines landed with the first Europeans to settle in Australia, and twenty five regiments of British infantry served in the colonies between 1790 and 1870’. Dr Peter Stanley, The Remote Garrison, The British Army in Australia 1788-1870, Kangaroo Press, Sydney,1986

All ‘First Fleet’ males were combatants – convicts ‘rationed as troops serving in the West Indies’. Wilfrid Oldham, British Convicts To The Colonies, Library of Australia, Sydney 1990

‘Several convicts had been tried as early as 1781 and 1782…many had already served five-sevenths of their time on embarkation and six-sevenths on disembarkation at Sydney’. Dr John Cobley, Crimes of the First Fleet, Angus and Robertson, 1982

1786-1868:  During the period 1786 to 1868 Britain transported approximately 163,000 convicted criminals to New Holland, now Australia. Of these  25,000 were women. One-half (12,500) were sent directly to Tasmania.

West Australia: Between 1858 and 1868 the embryonic white settlement in the west, where transportation to Australia ended in 1868, received ten thousand (10,000) male criminals and zero (0) women prisoners.


1787 – Portsmouth, January 6: The first male prisoners boarded the troop transport Alexander from a Thames River prison-hulk at the beginning January 1787.

Commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip RN the large convoy of eleven (11) vessels, known in Britain and Australia as the ‘First Fleet’, consisted of two (2) warships HMS Sirius and HMS Supply, with two hundred (200) Royal naval personnel, six (6) chartered transports, Alexander,  Charlotte, Prince of Wales, Friendship, Scarborough, Lady Penrhyn and three (3) store-ships Fishburn, Golden Grove and Borrowdale, is

Two hundred and forty-five (245) marines, five hundred and eighty-three (583) male convict combatants,twenty (20) officials, a foreign correspondent, nine (9) physician/surgeons and approximately four hundred and forty (440) merchant seamen the ‘First Fleet’ was a formidable invasion force. See:  Riddle -When was an invasion force not an invasion force?

1797 – England, May 13: In mid May 1787 this biological time-bomb with a complement of 1500 souls – 1300 men and 222 women departed English waters to sail 15,000 miles (23,000 km) across the globe to Botany Bay, New Holland now Australia.

Botany Bay – 1788, 18/20 January: After eight (8) months voyaging ‘imperfectly explored oceans’ the fleet reached Botany Bay.


‘We had scarcely bid each other welcome on our arrival, when an expedition up the Bay was undertaken by the Governor….in order to explore the nature of the country, and fix on a spot to begin our operations upon.

None, however, which could be deemed very eligible, being discovered his Excellency proceeded in a boat to examine the opening to which Mr. Cook had given the name of Port Jackson an idea that a shelter for shipping within it might be found’.  Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. L.F. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, Sydney 1961

Port Jackson: – 21 January:  Next day Governor Phillip found Captain Cook’s ‘eligible’ situation marked ‘Port Jackson’.

Sydney Cove: From a myriad bays and inlets in that vast harbour Phillip chose a ‘snug’ deep-water cove with fresh running water, naming it for Home Secretary Lord Sydney.

Botany Bay – 23 January: The boat ‘ Tench says ‘returned on the evening of the 23d, with an account of the harbour and advantages attending the place…..it was determined the evacuation of Botany Bay should commence the next morning’.

24 – January ‘ I[Tench] rose at the first dawn….was dressing…when the cry “another sail” struck on my astonished ear’.

Not one (1) but two (2) French ships La Boussole, Comte Jean-Francois La Perouse at the helm with L’Astrolabe astern.

Although the weather was ‘foul’ the Sirius cannon denied La Perouse entry and the French ships turned away.


‘Phillip was alarmed…he ordered a party to be set to Point Sutherland to hoist English colours. He also stipulated that the move to Port Jackson be kept secret and that no one was to go on board the French ships.’ John Moore, First Fleet Marines, 1786-1792, University of Queensland, 1987

Phillip was especially  ‘alarmed’ because the day before he had not raised ‘English Colours’ at Port Jackson.

If La Perouse sailed north, entered Port Jackson and raised French Colours there ‘a state of war’ would exist between Britain and France.

‘When Phillip planted the flag at Sydney Cove in 1788 he was claiming the land for the British to take it away from the Aboriginal people but to make sure the French did not make the claim first. Larissa Behrendt,  Settlement or Invasion, The Honest History Book,  NewSouth Publishing  2017

Sydney Cove – 25 January:  Soon after mid-day Phillip made a dash for Sydney Cove. Just on dark HMS Supply  dropped anchor there.

26 January:  At dawn Phillip landed with a detachment of marines and raised the ‘Union Jack of Queen Anne’.  In fading light, following a dangerous exit from Botany Bay ,the rest of the fleet processed up the harbour to anchor alongside HMS Supply.

‘Owing to the lateness of our arrival, it was not my [Tench] good fortune to go on shore [for] three [3] days‘.

Sydney Cove: Tench was not on the ground when the ‘Colours’ were flown neither were any women. See ? Aside from seagulls how many white birds were on the ground on the 26th of January 1788 – None 

6 February: Between 6am and 6pm the fleet’s two hundred and twenty (222)  women and their children were rowed ashore.

7 February: Proclamation Day:  Captain-General, Governor Arthur Phillip,’using a form of words’ claimed British Sovereignty over ‘Our territory New South Wales from Cape York in the most northern extremity…to South Cape’.


‘Four companies of Marines landed with the first Europeans to settle in Australia, and twenty five regiments of British infantry served in the colonies between 1790 and 1870’. Dr Peter Stanley, The Remote Garrison, The British Army in Australia 1788-1870, Kangaroo Press, Sydney,1986    

In Britain’s long history of colonisation the invasion of Australia was unique. The first generation of occupiers 1788 – 1813 were almost exclusively male – naval, civil, criminal, military and merchant-men.

1788 – September: By the middle of September 1788 eight of nine (9) chartered vessels Alexander, Charlotte, Prince of Wales, Friendship, Scarborough, Lady Penrhyn,  and two (2) of three (3) supply vessels Fishburn and Borrowdale, with approximately four hundred and forty (440)  merchant seamen, had departed.

It is not possible to know how many Aboriginal women were raped  between their arrival and  departure.


‘The important investigations of [Manning] Clark, [L.L.] Robson, [A.G.L] Shaw have revealed that the majority of [male] convicts were sentenced at urban courts, usually single, aged between 20-45, commonly convicted of theft and the majority were convicted more than once’. Stephen Garton, Out of Luck, Poor Australians and Social Welfare 1788-1988, Allen and Unwin, 1990

We know from Governor Phillip’s dispatches he did not as directed ‘procure a further number of women’ from the Friendly Islands [as] ‘our present situation [starvation] would answer no other purpose than…[to] bring them [here] to pine away’.

In the same dispatch however he emphasised; ‘the very small proportion of females makes the sending out of an additional number absolutely necessary’.

‘Comfort women’; Australia’s First Nations’ women were conscripted to satisfy the sexual needs of criminal and conqueror. They bore the brunt of the; ‘gross irregularities and disorders’ flagged so clearly in the ‘Heads of a Plan for Botany Bay’. See: Apocalyptic Day – 26 January


1790January 1: ‘No communication whatever having passed with our native country since the 13th of May, 1787, the day of our departure from Portsmouth…We have now been two [2] years in the country, and thirty-two [32] months from England, in which long period no supplies…’ Tench ibid.

The Robinson Cruscos of the ‘First Fleet’, English men, women and children, confined mainly to an area centred on Sydney’s deep-water  quay, were callously left to starve. See Abandoned and Left To Starve at Sydney Cove January 1788 to June 1790 

‘The misery and horror of [our] situation cannot be imparted even by those who have suffered under  it…Here on the summit of the hill [South Head], every morning from daylight until the sun sunk, did we sweep the horizon, in the hope of seeing a sail’. Tench. ibid.

As ‘dejection overspread every countenance’ Tench turned to Shakespeare’s Othello ‘pride, pomp and circumstances of glorious war were no more’.


1790 – Sydney Cove, June 3:  When at the beginning of June 1790  Lady Juliana dubbed the ‘Brothel Ship’  broke the ‘misery and horror’ of profound isolation, Sydney Harbour was  empty of English ships. See: Missing In Action HMS Sirius –wrecked–  HMS Supply (@ Jakarta

Lady Juliana, the first of four (4) vessels that made up a second fleet, brought two hundred and twenty-six (226) ‘useless’ women prisoners and eight (8) children.

Other than a small flock of sheep salvaged from HMS Guardian she brought few supplies. See: Titanic – HMS Guardian Australia’s Titanic


By the end of June 1790 the fleet’s death ships Suprize, Scarborough and Neptune, arrived with another thousand (1000) men.

One hundred and fifteen (115) officers and rank and file, first contingent of infantry, the New South Wales Corps, acted a prison guards on the voyage. See: 1790 – ‘Bring in the heads of the slain’ Governor Phillip’s painful pivot to Spain’s Silver and Gold

Aptly named ‘Britain’s Grim Armada’, of one thousand and six (1006) convicts (928) men (78) women embarked at Plymouth  ‘256 men and 11 women had died…at least 486 were landed sick’. Charles Bateson, The Convict Ships 1787-1868, Brown, Son & Ferguson, Glasgow, 1959

Of the sick 15% died within weeks of landing. Many survivors remained permanently physically, psychologically and morally damaged by their experience.


Charles Darwin arrived in Sydney aboard the Beagle in January 1836.He found [men in] iron gangs or parties of convicts who have committed here some offence, appeared the least like England. They were working in chains, under the charge of sentries with loaded arms’.

A few days later the young experienced horseman struck out westwards towards Bathurst to visit “Wallerwang” a sheep station. There he found ‘menI believe the years of assignment are passed away with discontent and unhappiness.

As an intelligent man remarked to me, the convicts know no pleasure beyond sensuality, and in this they are not gratified’. Charles Darwin,Voyage of the Beagle

Britain’s brutal penal system produced cruel debased human beings. Emotionally diminished, morally degraded, when released these hardened, profligate men fell on the ‘other’ – the Aboriginal.

‘The usual number of assigned convict-servants here [Wallerawang] is about forty [40] but at present time there were rather more…Although the farm was well stocked with every necessary, there was an apparent absence of comfort; and not one single woman resided here.

The brightest tints on the surrounding woods could not make me [Darwin] forget that forty hardened, profligate men were ceasing from their daily labour, like the slaves from Africa, yet without their holy claim for compassion’. Darwin.  op. cit.

Darwin, born in 1809, was similar in age to the prisoners he encountered. After five (5) years on Beagle separated from friends and, a family more closely entwined than most, there is no doubt Darwin, who went on to father ten (10) children, identified as seminal the prisoners’ sexual desires and needs.

‘I call upon you to remember that cruel punishments have an inevitable tendency to produce cruelty’. Sir Samuel Romilly, House of Commons, Hansard.

Demand for heterosexual intercourse generated the ‘gross irregularities and disorder’ inherent in the British Government’s ‘Plan for Botany Bay’.

‘Without a sufficient proportion of that [female] sex…it would be impossible to preserve the settlement from gross irregularities and disorders’.


‘To bestow a life which may either be a curse or a blessing, unless the being on whom it is bestowed will have at least the ordinary chances of a desirable existence, is a crime against that being’. John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, Collins Fontana, 1977 

As Anne Summers argues the ‘disposition amongst men to view sexual intercourse as one additional piece of weaponry in their armoury of power, one that they can use whenever and upon whomsoever pleases them [where] men monopolized political, economic, legal, military, religious and [all] other forms of power’.

Given the differential in power and capacity to coerce, for Australia’s First Nations’ women and girls there was no refuge, no avenue of appeal from cruelty and sexual violence.

James Lavell, born in Sydney in 1788, was the first named Anglo-Aboriginal child. His mother’s name is not known. Henry, his father, was one (1) of a rare breed, the convict who returned to England a free man. See: Blind Man’s Bluff


Following World War II 1933-1945 and the near destruction of European Jewry – The Holocaust – The United Nations 1948 Genocide Convention codified conduct constituting the crime of genocide in International Law.

‘Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, such as: killing…causing serious bodily or mental harm…deliberately inflicting…conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction…imposing measures intending to prevent births within the group…transferring children of the group to another group’.

White Mischief gross, gender imbalance and Australia’s First Peoples –  See: G – for Gender – Colonial Breeders




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