ONLY MEN ? ASIDE FROM SEAGULLS HOW MANY WHITE BIRDS WERE ON THE GROUND @ SYDNEY COVE ON 26 JANUARY 1788 – NONE

January 15th, 2019

1788 – Wednesday 6 February, Sydney Cove: ‘The day the convict women disembarked…they landed by rowing boats between 6 am and 6 pm.’ John Moore, First Fleet Marines 1786-1792, Queensland University Press, 1986

THE BACK STORY

1786 – 18 August, Westminster: Lord Sydney advised; ‘His Majesty has thought advisable to fix upon Botany Bay’.

1786 – 21 August, London: Admiralty informed Treasury;‘orders had been issued for the transportation of 680 male convicts and 70 female convicts [amended] to New South Wales’.

1787 – 25 April, London: ‘We have ordered about 600 male and 180 female convicts…to the port on the coast of New South Wales…called Botany  Bay.

And whereas, from the great disproportion of female convicts to those of males..and without sufficient proportion of that [female] sex it is well known that it be impossible to preserve the settlement from gross irregularities and disorders…it appears advisable that a further number…should be introduced’. Heads Of a Plan for Botany Bay, Historical Records of New South Wales. Vol. 1

Read the rest of this entry »

ARTHUR PHILLIP – TRADE – THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ARTHUR & THE DEFENCE OF TRADE

October 17th, 2018

There can be no question of right or wrong in such a case [as New Holland]. The only right is that of superiority of race, and the greater inherent capability on the part of the whites; the only real wrong on the part of the blacks their all-round inferiority and their inability to till the ground or even make use of its natural pastures. Their disappearance was a natural necessity’. James Collier, The Pastoral Age in Australasia, London, 1911. Reprint, Forgotten Books, 2018

‘The essentials of Britain’s foreign policy are bound to be basically two; trade and defence, particularly the defence of trade. There is no hard and fast line between foreign policy and other aspects of policy; domestic, economic and colonial’. C.M. Woodhouse, British Foreign Policy since WW II, 1961

As the 1600s morphed into the 1700s science progressed and maritime technology advanced exploration and exploitation. Competing territorial and trade ambitions burgeoned throughout Europe, none as fierce as those between traditional enemies Britain France and Spain.

‘When the expanding [colonial] plantation economy demanded more labor than could be supplied by white servants, Africans were imported as slaves: that is ‘chattel’ slaves…chattel slavery, the most debased form of bondage.

In its most extreme form it evolved in British America, took form in British-American law, in response to the need for a totally reliable, totally exploitable, and infinitely creatable labour force’. Professor Bernard Bailyn, The Peopling of the British Peripheries, Esso Lecture, 1988, Canberra.

The Treaty of Utrecht (1713) a series of agreements brought a formal end to the War of Spanish Succession (1701-14). Under its terms Britain became the largest exporter of ‘chattel’ slaves.

In 1772 Britain’s participation in the very profitable cruel  Atlantic Negro slave trade came under closer scrutiny when:

‘Lord Mansfield made his famous judgement in Somerset’s case (1772), by which slavery was declared illegal in this country‘. J.H. Plumb, England In The Eighteenth Century (1714-1815), Pelican 1965, p. 159 

Following the Mansfield decision William Wilberforce and the anti-slavery movement in general redoubled efforts to abolish all forms of human trafficking including England’s export of convicted criminals.

Since legislation, Geo. 1 The Transportation Act of 1717[18], each year Britain off-loaded 1000 prisoners reprieved death on condition they be transported ‘out of the realm’.

Shipped to America they were sold at regular ‘slave scrambles’. To be more precise – their labour was sold through a middle man. Sex, skill, physical and mental condition determined the sale price, buyers were mainly plantation owners. See: Britons Never Never Shall be Slaves

‘The factors who handled convict sales often had pre-existing customer orders that they met when convicts with the desired appropriate skills became available’. Edith M. Ziegler, Harlots, Hussies & Poor Unfortunate Women, Crime, Transportation & The Servitude of Female Convicts 1718-1783, University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, 2014

Read the rest of this entry »

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

July 11th, 2018

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

The reason Phillip gave for his ‘indiscriminate and disproportionate’ directive, putting no limit on barbarity, 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.

‘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

Ostensibly Phillip’s orders of 13 December centred on Pemulwuy’s spearing of John M’Entire. But Phillip’s knowledge of M’Entire, his own game-keeper, makes nonsense of his claim they were unprovoked’.

‘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.

‘But in this business of M’Entire I [Phillip] am fully persuaded that they [Aborigines] were unprovoked’. The ‘but’ refers to Phillip’s ‘own spearing’ by Wileemarrin on Manly Beach three (3) months previously – September 1790. See: Manly, Location Location Location

A year earlier, December 1789, on Governor Phillip’s orders Bennalong had been kidnapped. He was held captive within British lines until escaping in May of 1790. Bennalong was the source of Phillip’s intelligence ‘dread and hatred’. See: Kidnapped – Manly What’s In A Name

Read the rest of this entry »

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

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

Horatio Nelson, Governor Phillip and Governor Bligh each linked to the dreadful suffering experienced by Australia’s First Peoples following Britain’s invasion of New Holland, now Australia, as does the presence of John ‘MacMafia’ Macarthur who arrived at Sydney in June 1790 with the Second Fleet. See: A Tale of Two Fleets 

Nelson: It is believed Horatio Nelson’s favourable character reference led to the acquittal of Captain Donald Trail. Trail master of Neptune a convict transport of the second fleet ‘Britain’s Grim Armada’ appeared at the Old Bailey accused of the murder of two (2) of Neptune’s crew.

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

‘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

Macarthur: Lieutenant John Macarthur a junior officer of the New South Wales Infantry Corps arrived in Sydney in June 1790 aboard Scarborough, one (1) of three (3) death ships of ‘Britain’s Grim Armada.

‘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

Bligh: 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 the 26th of January 1808 Major George Johnston commander of the New South Wales Corps, at the instigation of John Macarthur by then an -ex-officer, seized and imprisoned Governor William Bligh RN. See: Australia Day Rebellion 26 January 1808

Read the rest of this entry »

TITANIC: HMS GUARDIAN – AUSTRALIA’S TITANIC

June 6th, 2018

‘The poor aborigines were quickly reduced to a state of starvation, and it is believed that many of them actually perished for want of food during the first few months of the occupation of their country’. Samuel Bennett, Australian Discovery and Colonisation, Vol 1 – 1800, facsimile ed. 1981

Documentary evidence supports the claim that Governor Phillip expected logistical support to reach him soon after the ‘First Fleet’ expeditionary force reached its destination but the expected ships never came.

1788 – July, Sydney:  ‘They [Aborigines] are now much distressed for food, few fish are caught & I am told that many of them appear on the Beach where the Boats  go to haul the Seins [trawling nets], very weak & anxious to get the small fish, of which they make no account in the Summer nor can we give them much assistance as very few fish are now caught, & we have many sick’. Arthur Phillip to Joseph Banks, 2 July 1788. Oxford Book of Australian Letters, ed. Brenda Niall, John Thompson, 1998   

The direst consequences of Britain’s callous abandonment of her country-men fell on the Aborigines of the Sydney area who; ‘were quickly reduced to a state of starvation’. See: Abandoned and Left to Starve Sydney Cove January 1788 to June 1790

1790

1790 – I January: ‘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 of May, 1787, the day of our departure from Portsmouth. We had now been two years in the country and thirty-two months  in which long period no supplies had reached us from England. from Portsmouth. Famine besides was approaching with gigantic strides’. Tench. ibid.    

Britain’s abandonment of the ‘First Fleet’ amounted to treachery. What was devastating for the English was catastrophic for Australia’s First Peoples. See: Arthur Phillip – Hung Out to Dry

Read the rest of this entry »

A PLAGUE OF LOCUSTS – THE ENGLISHMEN OF THE FIRST FLEET

April 4th, 2018

‘A very tasty pea and ham soup washed down with tea from the leaves of the local sarsaparilla vine. In fact being British the colonists drank so much of the stuff that sarsaparilla remains almost extinct in the area around Sydney’. Tony Robinson’s History of Australia, Penguin 2011.

1788 – 18 January, Botany Bay: HMS Supply, the first of eleven (11) vessels making up the ‘First Fleet’ with a complement of 1500 hungry souls, reached Botany Bay, in the island continent of New Holland, now Australia on 18th January 1788, almost immediately Supply deployed her seine [trawling] nets.

‘No sooner were the fish out of the water than they [Aborigines] began to lay hold of them as if they had a right to them, or that they were their own; upon which the officer of the boat, I think very properly, restrained them giving, however, to each of them a part. They did not at first seem very well pleased with this mode of procedure, but on observing with what justice this fish was distributed they appeared content’. John White, Chief Medical Officer, First Fleet Journal

Read the rest of this entry »

A HATCHET JOB: HEADS OFF THE BIDJIGAL OF BOTANY BAY

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: ‘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’. 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 ‘certain  officers’ of the newly arrived New South Wales Corps (June 1790) one in particular Lieutenant John Macarthur.

‘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…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’.  

Read the rest of this entry »

SMALLPOX – A LETHAL WEAPON- BOSTON 1775; ROBERT ROSS & DAVID COLLINS – SYDNEY 1789; MAJOR ROSS & CAPTAIN COLLINS

March 21st, 2018

‘From time to time throughout history, peoples and governments around the world have used micro-organisms as efficient and cost-effective weapons of mass destruction’. Professor Dorothy H. Crawford, The Invisible Enemy, Edinburgh University Press, 2000.

BOSTON

In 1763, in the earliest recorded deliberate release of a virus, Sir Jeffrey Amherst, British Commander-in-Chief in North America, authorized the distribution of smallpox-contaminated blankets to native Americans who were harassing European settlers around the garrison at Fort Pitt in Pennsylvania’. Crawford. op. cit.

Britain & the North American Indian Wars: Britain’s General Thomas Gage served as second-in-command to General Amherst during the Indian Wars (Seven Years War) 1756-1763.

 ‘We gave them two Blankets and an Handkerchief out of the Small Pox Hospital, I hope it will have the desired effect’. Cited, Pox Americana: Professor Elizabeth A. Fenn, The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82, 2001

In 1763 General Gage was implicated in the distribution of infected blankets to local Indian tribes At Fort Pitt now Pittsburgh.

“This act had the sanction of an impressive array of British officers, including Sir Jeffery Amherst, commander in chief at the time, and General Thomas Gage, who replaced Amherst and signed off on reimbursements for the “Sundries” used ” to convoy the Smallpox to the Indians”. Fenn. op. cit.

America – 1718-1775: Convict transportation to America: Britain between 1718 and 1775 exported approximately fifty thousand (50,000) convicted criminals to America. Tied to twice yearly Assize and County Court Sittings convicts sentenced ‘for transportation to America’ were sold to plantation owners at regular ‘slave scrambles’.

Most men worked alongside African slaves shipped to America to labour on tobacco and cotton plantations. Most women prisoners were purchased as house-servants.

Read the rest of this entry »

SMALLPOX – A BIOLOGICAL WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION – 1789

March 14th, 2018

‘From time to time throughout history, peoples and governments around the world have used micro-organisms as efficient and cost-effective weapons of mass destruction’. Professor Dorothy H. Crawford, The Invisible Enemy, Edinburgh University Press, 2000

Sydney Cove 1789:  While Indigenous Australians experienced viral ‘mass destruction’ in 1789 ‘inexplicably, the epidemic did not affect the European population’.  People of Australia, Macquarie Series, Ed. Bryce Fraser, 1998

Governor Arthur Phillip, on arrival in 1788, estimated local Aborigines to number 1500. The First Fleet’s complement of 1500 doubled that number. In April 1789 smallpox wiped out 50% of Aboriginal families in the Sydney area.

‘The body of the [Aboriginal] woman showed that famine, superadded to disease, had occasioned her death‘It is true, that our surgeons had brought out variolous (smallpox) matter in bottles’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1961 See: Smallpox Dead Aborigines Don’t Eat

Read the rest of this entry »

ARTHUR PHILLIP – SPOOK & EVEN NEPEAN – HANDLER – A MILITARY CAMPAIGN HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT

March 6th, 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 history – Horotio Nelson, William Bligh and Arthur Phillip. Lord Sydney [the life and times of Tommy Townshend] Andrew Tink, 2011.

2020:  It is time to kill the old chestnut – Captain Arthur Phillip RN was ‘plucked from obscurity’ to command the First Fleet’.

Like ‘amity and kindness’ Australia’s foundation myth – benign colonisation; ‘New South Wales…peacefully annexed’ U.K. Privy Council [11] Cooper V Stuart [1889]’ nothing could be further from the truth.

Brazil: Key to the success of the ‘First Fleet’ expedition had been laid nearly a decade earlier during Arthur Phillip’s three (3) year sojourn in Brazil.

Rio de Janeiro: Seconded to the Portuguese Navy Phillip, fluent in Portuguese, established good relations with Viceroy Lavradio. Based in Rio de Janeiro from there he reported directly to Lord Sandwich at the Admiralty.

In August 1787, the fleet en-route to Botany Bay put into Rio for supplies. Phillip found Lavradio’s successor Marquess Vasconcelos, Lavradio’s successor, held him in high regard.  Vasconcelos’s support in the race for New Holland proved vital to Britain’s victory over France. See: Britain By A Short Half-Head Arthur Phillip and Jean Francois La Perouse

‘The short term consequence [loss of America] were less dramatic than many expected. Though Britain’s eclipse as a world power was confidently predicted her economic recovery was swift and the colonial development of Australia, New Zealand, India and part of Africa went some way to compensating for the loss of the first British Empire’. J.A. Cannon, Emeritus Professor of Modern History, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, ed. Oxford Companion to British History.

New Holland – 1788: On the cusp of ‘the greatest event of the late eighteenth century’ – the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars – February 1793 to June 1815 – New Holland guaranteed Britain domination of alternate sea routes to and from India, China and, via the Southern Oceans Spanish South America.

‘In November [1784] Henry Dundas, possibly Pitt’s closest advisor, warned that ‘India is the first quarter to be attacked, we must never lose sight of keeping such a force there as well be sufficient to baffle or surprise’. Dundas, cited Michael Pembroke, Arthur Phillip Sailor Mercenary Governor Spy, Hardie Grant Books, Victoria, 2013

Read the rest of this entry »