Posts Tagged ‘First Fleet’

‘ENGLAND EXPECTS’ -1790 – BRING IN THE HEADS OF THE SLAIN – Governor Phillip’s barbarous path to secure Spain’s silver and gold for Britain

Tuesday, June 29th, 2021

‘The combination of French and Spanish naval power had proven fatal for Britain in the American War [1775-83] as Lord Sandwich admitted frankly’. Lord Sandwich cited, R.J. King, The Secret History of the Convict Colony,  Allen and Unwin, Sydney 1990

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1788 – 25 January: ‘When leaving Botany Bay [for Sydney Cove] Phillip noticed two [2] French ships in the offing‘. Hugh Edward Egerton, A Short History of British Colonial Policy, Methuen, London 1928 

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‘There would seem to be’ “some justification for saying that England won Australia by six [6] days”. Edward Jenks, cited Egerton. op.cit.

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‘Actually, when Phillip planted the flag at Sydney Cove in 1788 he was not claiming the land for the British to take it away from the Aboriginal people but to make sure the French did not make the claim first’.  The Honest History Book, Larissa Behrendt, eds. David Stephens & Alison Brionowski, NewSouth Publishing, 2017

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‘When I conversed with Lord Sydney…The place New South Wales holds on our globe might give it a very commanding influence in the policy of Europe.  If a colony from Britain was established in a large tract of [that] country…

The check which New South Wales would be in time of war…make it a very important object when we view it in the chart of the world with a political eye…and if we were at war with Holland or Spain, we might very powerfully annoy either State from our new settlement’.  James Matra, Plan for Botany Bay, August 23rd 1783, Frank Murcott Bladen,Historical Records of New South Wales  1892. Nabu Public Domain Reprint

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‘Without the direct intervention of Britain’s adversaries, France and Spain, on America’s side, the colonies could not hope to prevail against the superior British army and navy to win their independence outright’.Larrie D. Ferreiro, Brothers at Arms, American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved it. First Vintage Books, 2017

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Our wealth and power in India is their [France’s] great and constant object of jealously; and they will never miss an opportunity of attempting to wrest it out of our hands’. Sir James Harris [1784], cited Michael Pembroke, Arthur Phillip Sailor Mercenary Governor Spy, Hardie Grant Books, 2013

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

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A MILLION DOLLAR BABY – THE BOTANY BAY MEDALLION & THOMAS BARRETT

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020

‘The ‘Botany Bay Medallion’ a skillfully engraved metal medallion inscribed with a relief description of the voyage dated 20 January 1788 and a representation of the Charlotte riding at anchor at Botany Bay.  Mollie Gillen, Founders of Australia,

image of charlotte medal

Thomas Barrett is thought to ‘have been the maker of the Botany Bay Medallion.’ Also known as the Charlotte Medal,  it measures 74 mm (3 inches).

One side bears a precise reckoning of the First Fleet’s gruelling eight (8) months voyage across 13,000 miles (21,000 km) of largely ‘imperfectly explored oceans’ from England to conquer New Holland, now Australia.

It appears to have been fashioned from a silver-coloured metal medical dish owned most likely by Dr. John White the fleet’s chief medical officer.

The face of the medal depicts Charlotte  one (1) of the fleet’s six (6) convict transports – Alexander, Friendship, Lady Penrhyn, Prince of Wales and Scarborough, chartered by the British government to ship 750 convicted criminals  (570 males, 190 women) from England to Australia, together with three (3) stores-ships, Golden Grove, Borrowdale and Fishburn.

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

Tuesday, 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

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

Wednesday, 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

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

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

‘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

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1790 – April: ‘per week without distinction…to every child of more than eighteen (18) months old and to every grown person two [2] pounds of pork, two and a half [2 ½] pounds of flour, two [2] pounds of rice, or a quart of pease.

The pork and rice we brought with us from England; the pork had been salted between three and four years, and every grain of rice was a moving body, from the inhabitants lodged within it’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1961

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‘On the 9th of the month [December 1790], 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.

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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 Tench. ibid

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‘Indiscriminate and disproportionate’ Governor Phillip’s directive, putting no limit on barbarity, was his response to the warrior Pemulwuy’s wounding of  convict John  McIntyre.

‘But in this business of M’Entire I [Phillip] am fully persuaded that they [Aborigines] were unprovoked’.

Phillip claimed a targeted attack that took place at Botany Bay in the early hours of 10 December 1790 was  unprovoked’.

Yet Phillip had detailed knowledge of McIntyre, his own game-keeper, one (1) of three (3) convicts marksmen licensed to carry firearms,  makes nonsense of the claim.

And what of ‘they’?  When Pemulway with a ‘blemish in his left eye’ was the known single assailant.

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, in December 1789, on Governor Phillip’s orders, Bennalong had been kidnapped.

Held captive within British lines until escaping in May of 1790, Bennalong was the source of Phillip’s ‘dread and hatred’ intelligence . See: Kidnapped – Manly What’s In A Name

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Previously ‘Terror’ Now -ARTHUR PHILLIP & JOHN MACARTHUR ‘A MAN WHO MADE ENEMIES’

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

‘Macarthur’s haughty quarrelsome nature which manifested itself on the [second fleet] 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

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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

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‘The whole claim of sovereignty and ownership on the basis of terra nullius was manifestly based on a misreading of Australian circumstance, not that prevented Phillip from hoisting the Union Jack in 1788 and expropriating the owners at Sydney Cove’. Stuart Mac Intyre,  A Concise History of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 2004

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‘The arrival, in January 1788 did not merely presage disasters that were to follow. It was the precise moment when the tragedy began relentlessly to unfold. And once the British claimed both the sovereignty and all the property, there was no turning back. The dark seeds of disaster had been sown’. Henry Reynolds, Truth-Telling, NewSouth Publishing, Sydney 2021

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‘1992  The High Court hand[ed] down the Mabo case in which it recognis[ed] native title and reject]ed] the idea that Australia was terra nullius, or no man’s land at the time of British settlement. 1993 [Prime Minister] Keating legislat[ed] native title into law’. Megan Davis & George Williams, Everything You Need to Know About The Uluru Statement From the Heart, NewSouth Publishing, Sydney 2021

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A PLAGUE OF LOCUSTS – THE ENGLISHMEN OF THE FIRST FLEET

Wednesday, 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

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A HATCHET JOB: HEADS OFF THE BIDJIGAL OF BOTANY BAY

Sunday, March 25th, 2018

‘In war the trophy head is a mark of supremacy and respect’. Frances Larson, Severed, Granta, 2015

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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’.  

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

Wednesday, 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 & North American Indian Wars:  General Thomas Gage served as second-in-command to General Amherst in the North American theatre of the (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’. Amherst, cited Professor Elizabeth A. Fenn, Pox Americana, The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82, 2001

In 1763 General Gage was implicated in the distribution of blankets seeded with smallpox 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: Britain between 1718 and 1775 exported approximately fifty thousand (50,000) convicted criminals to America.

Tied twice yearly to Assize and County Court Sittings some convicts – reprieved death on condition of exile ‘from the realm’were sentenced ‘for transportation to America’.

They were sold at regular ‘slave scrambles’ to plantation owners. Most were unskilled men and served their sentence labouring alongside African slaves shipped to America to work the tobacco and cotton fields. Most women prisoners were purchased as house-servants.

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SMALLPOX – A BIOLOGICAL WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION – 1789

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

‘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

Botany Bay – January 1788: At 2.15pm on 18 January 1788 HMS Supply, first of a large armed expeditionary force of eleven (11) ships, known in Britain and Australia as the ‘First Fleet’ with a complement of 1500 souls anchored in the entrance to Botany Bay, New Holland now Australia.

Governor Phillip estimated local Aborigines numbered 1500. The fleet’s complement had doubled the population.

‘The main battle was about having enough to eat’. The Story of Australia, Don Watson 1984.

Sydney Cove 1789:   White survival and starving on the streets of Sydney.  In April 1789 viral smallpox wiped out 50% of Sydney’s Aboriginal families. See: Smallpox and Starvation Dead Aborigines Don’t Eat

‘Inexplicably, the epidemic did not affect the [invading] European population’.  People of Australia, Macquarie Series, Ed. Bryce Fraser, 1998

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