Posts Tagged ‘crime and punishment’

BOSWELL GOES INTO BAT FOR THE BOTANY BAY ESCAPEES

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

‘Boswell appeared for the defence, sometimes in well-nigh hopeless cases. He was never deterred, however, either by the poverty of his client, or by the weight of the evidence against him. On the contrary he seems to have been prone to espouse the causes of the more forlorn the more pertinaciously. C.H Currey, The Transportation Escape and Pardoning of Mary Bryant, Angus and Robertson, 1963.

 1792 – July, Old Bailey London: In 1792  lawyer James Boswell appeared for the defence in a most extraordinary case. His clients, five convicts – Mary Bryant, William Allen, James Martin, Nathaniel Lilley and John Butcher known collectively as ‘the Botany Bay escapees’ .

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CONVICT TRANSPORTATION – THE HULKS ACT & HOW THE MIND-SET OF SLAVERY CAME TO AUSTRALIA

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

‘Transportation marked a profound transition in the history of British criminal justice’. Roger Ekirch, Bound for America: The Transportation of British Convicts to America 1718-1775, Clarendon Paperbacks, 1990

1603 – England: Following the death of childless Elizabeth Tudor in 1603 her second cousin, King James VI of Scotland, inherited the English Crown and reigned as James I of England and Scotland from 1603 to 1625.

‘Slavery as punishment…a king or magistrate could mercifully spare and enslave a man whose crime had forfeited his right to life’. Winthrop D. Jordan, White Over Black, 1550-1812, Pelican Books 1969  

James the First deemed transportation ‘out of the realm’ for those reprieved death as ‘tempering justice with mercy’. 

‘The strict legality of these measures may be questioned as Blackstone plainly states that no power on earth, except the authority of Parliament, could lawfully send a criminal out of England against his will’. Blackstone Commentaries; adapted by Kerr, 1862, cited in Wilfrid Oldham, Britain’s Convicts to the Colonies, Library of Australian History, 1990

Nevertheless under the auspices of James I an already existing irregular trade transporting convicts to America as slave labour flourished.

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ARTHUR PHILLIP AND “RULE 303”

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

1790 – 11 December, Sydney Cove: ‘Put ten [10] to death…bring in the heads of the slain…bring away two [2] prisoners…I am resolved to execute the prisoners…in the most public and exemplary manner’. General Orders, Governor Arthur Phillip RN to Marine Captain Watkin Tench. Cited in Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

1889 – April 3, United Kingdom: Judicial Committee of the Privy Council; Lord Watson, Lord Fitzgerald, Lord Hobhouse, Lord MacNaghton, Sir William Grove, Cooper V Stuart [1889] 14 AC ruled; ‘it [New South Wales] was peacefully annexed to the British Dominion’.

1790 – December: ‘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

Australia’s First Peoples can, with laser accuracy, plot their near annihilation from the raids of December 1790; ‘as if the invasion of their land would call for any other response but armed resistance’. Dr Peter Stanley, The Remote Garrison, The British Army in Australia 1788-1870, Kangaroo Press, 1986

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DEAD ABORIGINES DON’T EAT – STARVATION & SMALLPOX – JANUARY 1788 TO JUNE 1790

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

‘Before leaving Botany Bay Phillip had messages painted on the rocks of Bare Island near which the Fleet had been moored, to guide the ships which Phillip believed were following closely from England, around to Sydney Cove. Bruce Mitchell, The Australian Story and Its Background, Cheshire Press, 1965

1787 – 13 May, Portsmouth: A large convoy eleven (11) ships commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip RN, with a complement of fifteen hundred (1500) souls – one-half convicted criminals (580 male – 193 female) – sailed from England to New Holland now Australia .See: Lieutenant William Dawes & The Eternal Flame

‘In determining the daily ration no distinction was drawn between the marine and the [male] convicts …the standard adopted was that of the troops serving in the West Indies’. Wilfrid Oldham, Britain’s Convicts to the Colonies, ed. Hugh Oldham, Library of Australian History, 1990‘. See: All The King’s Men

1788 – 20 January, Botany Bay: Between 18-20 January 1788 the fleet known in Britain and Australia as the ‘First Fleet’, anchored in Botany Bay and almost immediately Supply played-out her trawling nets.

‘While the seine was hauling some of them [Aborigines] were present…No sooner were the fish out of the water than they began to lay hold of them as if they had a right to them, or that they were their own’. Dr John White, Chief Medical Officer, First Fleet Journal, Oxford City Press, 2011

1788 – 26 January, Port Jackson: Six (6) days later – 26 January – the fleet sailed nine (9) miles – 14 km – north to Port Jackson and anchored in Sydney Cove where, with military and naval bases, Britain established sea-supremacy over the southern oceans.

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

Securing safe alternate logistical routes to and from India, Asia and China guaranteed Britain a potential blockade breaker in time of war, and in peace time new avenues for profitable trade expansion.

1788 – 6 February, Sydney: By the end of the first week of February one thousand (1000) English men and two hundred and twenty-one (221) English women had disembarked from the ships.

Little did they know what lay ahead; the ‘misery and horror’ of absolute isolation, for they would not see another English ship or hear a word from England until June 1790.  See: Abandoned and Left To Starve Sy dney January 1788 to June 1790

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KETCH CONNECTION: THOMAS BARRETT SYDNEY 1788 – MICHAEL BARRETT LONDON 1868 – ROBERT RYAN MELBOURNE – 1967

Monday, July 13th, 2009

‘The death penalty was brought to Australia with the First Fleet’. Mike Richards, The Hanged Man, The Life and Death of Ronald Ryan, 2002.

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