Posts Tagged ‘exploration’

New Holland +Britain + Independent America + India + France + Spanish South America = European Australia

Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

‘As for India, it had to remain a strategical back-water while Britons had their backs to the wall in so many other vital theatres. The interventions of the French navy, in the Channel, off Gibraltar, in the West Indies, off Yorktown, had clearly played a considerable part in Britain’s failure to win the war in America’. Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery, 3rd ed. Fontana Press, 1991 

Whitehall :Lord George Germain, Secretary of State for America since 1775 the beginning of America’s War of Independence (1775-83, despite General Charles Cornwallis’ defeat at Yorktown October 1781,spied from his vantage point in far-off London ‘a clear vision of victory’.

A Dictionary of British History, Secker & Warburg, edited by J.P. Kenyon.

Germain’s ‘vision of victory’ was based on many factors. Among them; .’rumours Vermont would declare for the British‘ – George Washington’s Continental Army was ‘on the verge of collapse....good reason to believe that France and Spain might end their involvement in the war’. Andrew Jackson O’Shaunghnessy, The Men Who Lost America, Yale University Press, New Haven, London. 2013 

Germain was wrong. Even after Britain’s disastrous defeat at Yorktown, a smallpox epidemic, a bitter winter, shortage of ammunition and  food, he urged Parliament continue a now manifestly un-winnable war.

‘Wthout the direct intervention of Britain’s adversaries, France and Spain, on America’s side, the colonies could not [have] hope[d] to prevail against the superior British army and navy to win their independence outright’. Larrie D. Ferreiro, Introduction, Brothers At Arms, American Independence and The Men of France and Spain Who Saved it. First Vintage Books Ed. New York, 2017

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A BAND OF BROTHERS & MORTAL ENEMIES

Saturday, February 17th, 2018

‘After delivering my message to him, he [La Perouse] returned his thanks to Governor Phillip, and made similar offers to those he had received’. Lieutenant Phillip Gidley King RN, First Fleet Journal, February 1788

Captain Arthur Phillip RN and Comte Jean-Francois La Perouse never met. On opposing sides in peace and war yet as seafarers they shared a bond like no other.

Phillip knew a great deal about La Perouse. It is impossible to believe he did not admire the gallant Frenchman who had a deserved reputation for compassion.

‘The Way of War is A Way of Deception. When Able, Feign inability; When deploying troops, Appear not to be’. Sun-Tzu, c.551-496 BC, Penguin, 2009

The ‘First Fleet’ an expeditionary force fully funded by government sailed under the guise of a convict transportation fleet. Its 580 male convicts wee rationed ‘as troops serving in the West Indies’.

Portsmouth – 1787, 13 May: Overwhelmingly male – 1300 men, 221 women –  commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip RN the large armed convoy of eleven (11) ships sailed from Portsmouth ‘Bound for Botany Bay’.

France:  Phillip knew  Comte Jean-Fancois La Perouse, with two (2) ships La Boussole and L’Astrolabe, was already on the high seas and making for New Holland. See: A Riddle – When was an invasion fleet not an invasion fleet? When it’s the First Fleet  

The squadron’s true intent was to invade and claim British sovereignty over the island continent of New Holland (Australia) before the French.

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MOON VERSUS MACHINE

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

‘John Harrison, the man who solved longitude in 1759’. Peter Ackroyd, Revolution, Macmillan, London, 2016

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‘With his marine clocks, John Harrison tested the waters of space-time….He wrested the world’s whereabouts from the stars, and locked the secret in a pocket-watch’. Dava Sobel, Longitude, Fourth Estate, London, 1998

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Compared with that of Banks, Mr. Green’s [Endeavour] equipment was comparatively modest’. H.C. Cameron, Sir Joseph Banks, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1966

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Who was Mr. Green? Charles Green was  Assistant Astronomer to Rev. James Bradley and Rev. Nathaniel Bliss, Astronomer Royals of Britain’s Greenwich Observatory.

Following his authorised participation in an official timed-voyage to Barbados aboard HMS Tarter,  Green was convinced of H-4’s reliability.

Yet, as designated astronomer in 1769, he was denied John Harrison’s chronometer for the Endeavour voyage with James Cook and Joseph Banks. See The Third Man – Charles Green

‘H-4 [was] bolted to a window seat in the Observatory’.  Dava Sobel, Longitude, Fourth Estate, London, 1998

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‘On May 5th, 1768, at a meeting of Council of the Royal Society it was resolved that the [Banks] instruments for the use of the Observers of the South Latitudes be the following:

Two [2] reflecting telescopes of two [2] foot focus…[1] brass Hadley’s sextant, [1] barometer bespoke of Mr Ramsden, [1] Journeyman’s Clock bespoke by Mr Skelton, two [2] Thermometers of Mr Bird, [1] Stand for Bird’s Quadrant, [1] dipping needle bespoke by Mr Ramsden’.  Cameron. op. cit.

Tahiti: After the Admiralty rejected Alexander Dalrymple, member of the influential Scots ‘Dalrymple Dynasty’, first choice of the Royal Society, that august body engaged Charles Green to represent them at Tahiti.

He would assist Lieutenant James Cook RN in observing and recording the Transit of Venus due to take place at Tahiti on 3rd June 1769. See: The Third Man

‘John Harrison, the man who solved longitude in 1759’. Peter Ackroyd, Revolution, Macmillan, London, 2016

So why ten (10) years after the longitude problem had been solved was Harrison’s marine chronometer ‘H-4 bolted to a window seat in the [Greenwich] Observatory’ and not aboard HMS Endeavour when Green set off in 1769 with Lieutenant James Cook for Tahiti. See: Captain Cook, John Harrison, Charles Green – Three Yorkshire Men Walked Into A Bar

No doubt H-4 sat under the watchful eye of Rev. Nevil Maskelyne Britain’s fifth Astronomer Royal.

Appointed to that high post in 1765 on the death of Rev. Nathaniel Bliss Maskelyne held a conservative stranglehold over the position until 1811.

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