Monte Video – Lord Sydney, Arthur Phillip & ‘Hush Christopher Robin’ Mark 1

London – 4 July 1782: Lord Sydney inherited the office of Home Secretary and a mountain of unfinished business from William Petty, Lord Shelburne. Included were the bare bones of what has become known as the Dalrymple Plan. See: Proximity not Tyranny of Distance

Whitehall – House of Commons:  The Dalrymple approved by Shelburne before he succeeded Lord North as Prime Minister, aimed to launch marauding hit and run raids on Spain’s colonial territories firstly Monte Video, present-day Uruguay, then onto  Buenos Aires, present-day Argentina,  on the Atlantic Coast of South America.

Brazil: To design a strategy and achieve this end Lord Sydney tasked Lieutenant Arthur Phillip RN who had spent nigh on three (3) years in Brazil seconded to the Portuguese Navy.

Rio: Fluent in French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Hebrew and Portuguese, Phillip was an exceptionally effective spy. Based in Rio, he had access to a myriad of anti-Spanish dissenters ripe for rebellion.

During this term of his ‘secret service’ Phillip reported directly to fellow linguist Lord Sandwich at the Admiralty.

1783: Britain, driven by the loss of her ‘Empire in the West, the thirteen (13) American ‘middle colonies’, was determined to penetrate Spain’s colonies in South America.

San Juan: Phillip’s plan sought to redress the glaring errors in the hit and miss planning for the earlier San Juan (Dallling) Expedition of 1779-80 that; ‘cost the lives of more than 2500 men, making it the costliest British disaster of the entire [American] war’. John Sugden, Nelson: A Dream of Glory 1758-1797, Henry Holt, New York, 2004 

Monte Video: To maintain utmost secrecy Lieutenant Phillip planned only four (4) vessels would sail from England. After rendezvousing at sea with a larger group sailing from the East Indies, sorting the logistics, the combined force would proceed to mount marauding raids on the two (2) locations.

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Portsmouth: Captain Phillip HMS Europa 64 guns, HMS Grafton 70 guns and a supply frigate HMS Iphigenia 32 guns, under overall command of Sir Richard Kingsmill HMS Elizabeth 74 guns, departed Portsmouth on the 16th January 1783.

Paris: The expedition was abandoned in mid-ocean when it became known to Sir Kingsmill terms of a peace treaty between Spain and Britain had been settled.

This was first of a series of agreements forming the Treaty of Versailles. When signed off in September 1783 the Treaty brought a formal end to the American War of Independence 1775-1783.

Versailles: But did the 1783 Treaty bring lasting peace? Some modern military historians regard the ‘brittle and precarious’ outcome more truce than treaty. It served as a mere breathing space.

Time in which to sort out alliances, organise, refit, re-arm and re-position for further conflict. The invasion of New Holland falls into the planning arc of the next global war 1793-1815. See: Why New Holland – Britain + America + India + France + Spanish South America = European Australia

‘There were plans to use the corps in expeditions against Panama, Peru and the Philippines, but nothing eventuated’. Dr.Peter Stanley, The Remote Garrison, The British Army in Australia 1788 -1870, Kangaroo Press, Sydney, 1986

Epilogue

London – Court of St James:  ‘We reposing especial trust and confidence in your loyalty, courage and experience in military affairs, do by these presents, constitute and appoint you Governor of our territory called New South Wales  from the northern cape or extremity on the coast of Cape York…to the southern extremity of New South Wales or South Cape, in latitude 43° 39′…according to the rules and disciplines of war’. King George 111 to Arthur Phillip, 25 April 1787. Historical Records of New South Wales Vol. 1 See: Botany Bay – Lord Sydney, Arthur Phillip & Christopher Robin – Mark 2

Invasion 1788: Britain’s conquest and occupation of Australia’s Sovereign First Nations’ Peoples’ lands, fits neatly into the hiatus created by the Treaty of Versailles and must be considered contemporaneous with the American War of Independence. See: Shelburne and the Treaty of Versailles (pending)

‘The troops sent to garrison the Australian colonies participated in the great struggle at the heart of the European conquest of this continent…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 of southern Africa’. Stanley. ibid. 

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‘Hush hush whisper who dares’. A.A. Milne, Vespers, When We Were Very Young

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