Posts Tagged ‘hawkesbury’


Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

‘A knowledge of the position of the military and their immediate friends occupied from 1792-1810, affords a key to the whole history of the colony; and without this knowledge many important transactions, affecting the civil, social and political  interests of the community would appear almost incomprehensible’. Samuel Bennett,Australian Discovery and Colonisation, Vol. 1 to 1800.

1800 – 15 April, Sydney: Phillip Gidley King RN, Britain’s third naval governor of Australia, arrived in the colony aboard HMS Speedy in the middle of April 1800.

Lieutenant Gidley King delivered Captain John Hunter RN, the incumbent Governor of New South Wales, a Home Office dispatch dated 5 November 1799 that; ‘severely censured Hunter and ordered him to return to England by the first safe conveyance’.

Tragically for the colony and Australia’s First Peoples, London could not have devised a more destabilising arrangement than Phillip Gidley King’s ambiguous appointment. It was an ‘Anomalous… dormant commission’  to became effective only if Governor Hunter died or was absent from the colony.