Posts Tagged ‘exploration’

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 knowingly met. On opposing sides in peace and war yet as seafarers they shared a bond like no other.

‘His [Governor Phillip’s] failure to invite the French commander there [Port Jackson] reflect some fear that he [Phillip] might be known as a spy’. Alan Frost, Arthur Phillip 1738-1814, His Voyaging, Melbourne University Press, 1987

Phillip in an instant had recognised the French ships.

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

In August 1785 he had watched from the shadows as La Perouse led them out of Brest Harbour into the open sea at the beginning of a wide-ranging ’round-the-world expedition’ that was to include the South Pacific and New Holland.

 Arthur Phillip knew a great deal about La Perouse. It is impossible to believe he did not admire the gallant Frenchman who, at Hudsoon’s Bay during the American war, had earned a 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

England – 1787, 13 May: The ‘First Fleet’ an expeditionary naval force fully funded by government sailed under guise of a convict transportation fleet.

Its aim claim sovereignty over the island continent, now Australia before the French.

Its 570 male convicts were rationed ‘as troops serving in the West Indies’.  Overwhelmingly male – 1300 men, 222 women –  commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip RN the large armed convoy of eleven (11) ships sailed from Portsmouth to invade New Holland,.

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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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