Posts Tagged ‘Bidjigal’


Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

‘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

PICTURE – London Gazette

1790 – Sydney, June: Major Grose the Corps’ commander of the New South Wales Corps remained in London to recruit sufficient numbers to satisfy establishment requirements.

The power vacuum was filled by by Lieutenant John Macarthur a ruthless, ambitious junior officer. In Phillip’s judgement the Pitt Administration in far off England was in danger of losing New South Wales (Australia) in a military coup.

Most certainly the threat did not come from the First Nations’ People. The previous year 1789, 50% of local Eora Aborigines died after contracting smallpox. The survivors were struggling to regroup. See: A Lethal Weapon Smallpox – Boston 1775 – Sydney 1789

And there was a lot at stake. Not only was New Holland, known now as Australia, a gateway to India and China, its ‘proximity’ via the Southern Oceans to Spain’s South American ‘treasure’ colonies, drove the invasion.  See: Proximity Not Distance Drove Britain’s Invasion of New Holland.

1790 – Sydney, December : By December 1790 Governor Captain Arthur Phillip RN knew ‘certain officers’ of these newly arrived troops were circling the tents.

He had been down this road before. Then and now in the midst of a hostile soldiery, he had only one (1) option in his armoury – diversion. See: From Here to Eternity – Terror in Three Acts

And only one (1) sure arrow in his quiver. Previously (February 1788) the charismatic Thomas Barrett and in (December 1790)  M’Entire, the ‘hated’ convict, one (1) of  four (4) convicts authorised to carry a gun.

 1790 – Botany Bay, December 9: ‘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