Posts Tagged ‘La Perouse’

ARTHUR PHILLIP – SPOOK & EVEN NEPEAN – HANDLER – A MILITARY CAMPAIGN HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

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 history – Horotio Nelson, William Bligh and Arthur Phillip. Lord Sydney [the life and times of Tommy Townshend] Andrew Tink, 2011.

2020:  It is time to kill that old chestnut – Captain Arthur Phillip RN was ‘plucked from obscurity’ to command the First Fleet’.

Brazil: Key to the success of Britain’s Expeditionary Force, known as the ‘First Fleet’, had been laid nearly a decade earlier during Arthur Phillip’s three (3) year sojourn in Brazil.

Like ‘amity and kindness’ Australia’s foundation myth – benign colonisation; ‘New South Wales…peacefully annexed’ U.K. Privy Council [11] Cooper V Stuart [1889]’ nothing ‘plucked from obscurity’ does not pass the pub test.

Britain invaded New Holland on the cusp of ‘the greatest event of the late eighteenth century’ – the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars – February 1793 to June 1815.

New Holland guaranteed Britain domination over alternate sea routes to and from India , the Philipines and China. Via the Southern Oceans Spain’s South American Pacific Coast  ‘treasure colonies’ were vulnerable to attack.  See: Proximity Not Distance Drove Britain’s Invasion of New Holland

Rio de Janeiro: Seconded to the Portuguese Navy Phillip, fluent in Portuguese, established good relations with Viceroy Lavradio.  Based in Rio he reported directly to Lord Sandwich at the Admiralty.

When the fleet, en-route to Botany Bay put into Rio for supplies (August-September 1787), Phillip found Marquess Vasconcelos, Lavradio’s successor, held him in high regard.

In the race for New Holland Vasconcelos’ support proved vital to Britain’s victory over France. See: Britain By A Short Half-Head Arthur Phillip and Jean Francois La Perouse

‘The short term consequence [loss of America] were less dramatic than many expected. Though Britain’s eclipse as a world power was confidently predicted her economic recovery was swift and the colonial development of Australia, New Zealand, India and part of Africa went some way to compensating for the loss of the first British Empire’. J.A. Cannon, Emeritus Professor of Modern History, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, ed. Oxford Companion to British History.

 

‘In November [1784] Henry Dundas, possibly Pitt’s closest advisor, warned that ‘India is the first quarter to be attacked, we must never lose sight of keeping such a force there as well be sufficient to baffle or surprise’. Henry Dundas, cited Michael Pembroke, Arthur Phillip Sailor Mercenary Governor Spy, Hardie Grant Books, Victoria, 2013

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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 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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RULES OF ENGAGEMENT- TAKE TWO – CAPTAIN ARTHUR PHILLIP RN & MAJOR ROBERT ROSS – MARINE COMMANDER

Friday, September 8th, 2017

‘From 1788 there had been continuous disputation between the civil power represented by the autocratic uniformed naval governors, and the military’. John McMahon, Not a Rum Rebellion but a Military Insurrection, Journal of Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 92, 2006

1788 – Sydney: The chain of command at Sydney was dysfunctional. For many reasons relations between Captain Arthur Phillip an officer of the Royal Navy and Marine Commander Major Robert Ross of the Royal Navy’s military arm were toxic.

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AUSTRALIA – BRITAIN BY A SHORT HALF-HEAD: CAPTAIN ARTHUR PHILLIP & COMTE JEAN-FRANCOISE LA PEROUSE

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

‘From the coast of China it [New Holland] lies not more than about a thousand leagues and nearly the same distance from the East Indies, from the Spice Islands about seven hundred leagues, and near a month’s run from the Cape of Good Hope…or suppose we were again involved  in a war with Spain, here are ports of shelter and refreshment for our ships, should it be necessary to send any into the South Sea’. Admiral Sir George, Historical Records of New South Wales. Vol.1

Captain Louis Antoine de Bougainville’s A Voyage Round the World published in 1771; ‘raised the stakes in the race to see who would open up the Pacific first’. Arthur Herman, To Rule The Waves, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 2005

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CAPTAIN ARTHUR PHILLIP & COMTE JEAN-FRANCOIS La Perouse A BAND OF BROTHERS AND MORTAL ENEMIES

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

‘All was set in the mid-eighteenth century scene, the contest between Great Britain and the Bourbon powers…different branches of the family of Louis XVI…for sea supremacy and oceanic empire, which was the background of the life of every sailor of Cook’s Age’. J.A Williamson, Cook and the Opening of the Pacific, Hodder & Stoughton , London 1946

1785 and the race for New Holland was on. Britain having just lost the American War of Independence (1775-1783) and the thirteen (13) colonies that made up her ’empire in the west’ had missed the jump in the race to establish ‘sea supremacy’ in the Indian and Southern Oceans.

Brest – 1785, August 1:In 1785 Louis XVI quietly sent the  Comte de la Perouse with two ships La Boussole & L’Astrolabe to survey likely spots for French settlements. Aboard were copper plates engraved with the royal arms to be used as permanent notification of French ownership’. Michael Cannon, Australian Discovery and Exploration, 1987

Portsmouth – 1787, May 13: The ‘First Fleet, a large armed convoy of eleven (11) ships with a complement of upwards of 1500 souls, one-half convicted criminals ‘rationed as troops serving in the West Indies‘, commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip RN, sailed from England on 13th May 1787 to invade the island continent of New Holland, now Australia.

Fully funded by government the ‘First Fleet’ was an invasion fleet; ‘but not a hint of it shall ever transpire’. Anon, Bladen, Historical Records of New South Wales

Botany Bay –  January 18/20:  Within thirty-six (36) hours, after eight (8) months voyaging across 13,000 miles (21,000 km) of ‘imperfectly explored oceans’, the English convoy found safe anchorage in Botany Bay between 18 to 20 January 1788.

21 January: Next day Phillip with Captain  Hunter RN and other officers and marines set off in three (3) smalls ship’s boat to search for what in 1770 Captain Cook had named  ‘Port Jackson’.

Nine (9) miles (14 km) north of Botany Bay they found and entered its towering headlands into a magnificent harbour of it Phillip wrote ‘here a Thousand Sail of the Line may ride in the most perfect Security’.

Sydney Cove: ‘Four (4) miles’ within the vast excpance, from a myriad bays and inlets, Phillip settled on a ‘snug’ cove naming it after Lord Sydney.

23 January – Botany Bay: ‘The boats returned on the evening of the 23rd…it was determined the evacuation of Botany Bay should commence next morning’. Tench. ibid

24 January:  But ‘next morning ….suprize…at first I [Tench] only laughed’ two (2) French ships La Boussole and L’Astrolabe,  under command of Jean-Francois La Perouse stood off the entrance to Botany Bay.

Contrary winds,churning seas and the Sirius’ menacing cannon, forced the French ships to seek shelter at Point Sutherland.

Captain Phillip had not raised ‘English Colours’ at Port Jackson. ‘‘Consternation’   he needed to return there but was hampered by the bad weather.

25 January:   Not until after mid-day was Phillip able to quit Botany Bay aboard HMS Supply arriving just on nightfall of the 25th.

26 January – Sydney Cove:   At first light with his officers and marines Phillip landed and from a ‘hastily erected flag-staff’  the Union Jack of Queen was hoisted.

Governor Phillip proclaimed Britain’s victory over France.  See Australia – Britain By a Nose

Treacherous weather held up the English fleet’s departure from Botany Bay until the afternoon of the 26th when the fleet managed a dramatic exit and made for Sydney Cove.

Cross-currents and sudden wind shifts cross-currents very nearly cost lives and ships. Three (3) Charlotte, Friendship, Prince of Wales swung across each other coming near to crashing onto rocks.

HMS Sirius was last of the fleet to leave. Captain Hunter stayed to guide L’Astrolabe and La Boussole to safe anchorage in Botany Bay at a spot known today as Frenchmens Bay.

 By 6 pm on the evening of the 26th all English ships were riding at anchor alongside HMS Supply.

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BRITAIN BY A NOSE

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016

1785 – August, Brest: ‘In 1785 Louis XVI quietly sent the Comte de la Perouse with two ships La Boussole & L’Astrolabe to survey likely spots for French settlements. Aboard were copper plates engraved with the royal arms to be used as permanent notification of French ownership’. Australian Discovery and Exploration, Michael Cannon, 1987  

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