Posts Tagged ‘Major Grose’

A WORM-HOLE: RICHARD ATKIN’S DIARY & THE FIRST BLACK HOLE

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

‘You are also with the consent of the natives to take possession of convenient situations in the country in the name of the King of Great  Britain, or if you find the country uninhabited take possession for His Majesty by setting up proper marks and inscriptions as first discoverers and possessors’. British Admiralty Instructions to Lieutenant James Cook RN, 1768. 

1770 – April, Possession Island: In 1770 in the name of His Majesty King George III of England Lieutenant James Cook RN laid claim to New Holland, naming the country New Wales.

1788 – January 26/27/28, Sydney: Commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip RN a British army – 1455 – comprising five hundred and seventy (570) male criminals – ‘rationed as troops serving in the West Indies’ – two hundred (200) Royal Naval personnel, two hundred and forty-five (245) marines, four hundred and forty (440) merchant seamen and twenty (20) officials disembarked at Warrane (Sydney Cove). See: A Tale of Two Fleets

‘Military power was the most decisive fact about the early settlements; it was the frame within which everything else happened’. R. Connell and T.H. Irving, Class Structure in Australian History, Documents, Narrative and Argument, 1980.

1788 – 7 February, Port Jackson: Captain-General, now Governor Arthur Phillip RN, raised the Union Jack and; ‘using a form of words’ took ‘effective occupation’ of the island continent of New Holland, now Australia, for the British Empire.

‘You cannot overrate the solicitude of H.M. Government on the subject of the Aborigines of New Holland. It is impossible to contemplate the condition or the prospects of that unfortunate race without the deepest commiseration. Still it is impossible that the government should forget that the original aggression was ours’. Lord John Russell to Sir George Gipps, Despatch, 21 December 1838, Series 1, Vol. XX.

The winner-takes-all mindset of Britain’s ‘original aggression’ laid down in 1788 was set in stone during two (2) critical periods of absolute military rule between 1792-1795 and 1808-1810.

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A BLACK HOLE – THE FIRST INTERREGNUM 1792-1795

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

‘Twenty-five regiments of British infantry…fought in one of the most prolonged wars in the history of the British empire and for the first half of their stay were probably more frequently in action than the garrison of any other colony besides that of southern Africa’. Dr Peter Stanley, The Remote Garrison, The British Army in Australia 1788-1870, Kangaroo Press, 1986

1788 – January, Sydney Cove: In 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip RN established naval and military bases and an open prison for England’s criminals at Port Jackson (Sydney Cove). Criminals with a difference – all male convicts were combatants, rationed as British troops ‘serving in the West Indies’. 

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MISSING IN ACTION – HMS SIRIUS & HMS SUPPLY

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

‘Dismay was painted on every countenance, when the tidings were proclaimed at Sydney’. Marine Captain Watkin, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L, Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

1790 – March 19, Sydney: ‘the tidings’; loss of HMS Sirius the ‘First Fleet’s flagship – ‘dismay’ all hope of a China rescue  gone.

Norfolk Island: Sirius was at the bottom of the sea off Norfolk Island and her crew, one hundred and sixty naval (160) personnel, now stranded along with 50% of the white population evacuated from Sydney to save them from imminent starvat1on.

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MACARTHUR THE GREAT DISRUPTER

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

‘What is the most arresting thing in all these recordings is the way in which they perceive Aboriginal Australians on not exactly equal terms, but on terms of people who have a right to the occupancy of this land’. Dr Nicholas Brown,  Australian National University and National Museum of Australia, on inclusion of some ‘First Fleet’ Journals onto UNESCO’s World Heritage List. AM Programme, Australian Broadcasting Commision, 15 October 2009

1790 – June, Sydney: What went so wrong? Lieutenant John Macarthur the teetotaller who arrived in Sydney with a second fleet in June 1790 and put ‘Rum’ into the New South Wales Corps,

‘Macarthur’s haughty quarrelsome nature which manifested itself on the 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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MACHIAVELLIAN MACARTHUR

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

1792 – 12 December, Sydney: Governor Arthur Phillip RN, after five (5) traumatic years as Britain’s first Governor of New South Wales and repeated requests for repatriation, sailed home to England in the Atlantic on 12 December 1792.

Phillip had recommended Lieutenant  Gidley King replace him. Whitehall not only rejected his government failed to commission an immediate successor.

1794 – 6 February, London: Eventually Captain John Hunter RN, a hero of the ‘First Fleet’ expeditionary force was; ‘commission[ed] as captain-general and governor-in-chief was dated 6 February 1794 [he] did not sail until 25 February 1795’.

By default between December 1792 and September 1795 ; ‘the plentitude of power’ Britain vested in its naval governors fell into the hands of the military, exposing the First Australians to the brutality of British infantry.

1795 – September 7, Sydney: ‘[Hunter] arrived 7 September 1795 and assumed office four days later. For the length of the interregnum the British government was greatly at fault.’ Hunter, J.J. Auchmuty, Australian Dictionary of Biography

1790 – June, Sydney: The first contingent of British infantry – the New South Wales Corps – arrived in June 1790 aboard ‘Britain’s Grim Armada’.  See: Dancing With Slavers – A Second Fleet

‘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, Facsimile Edition, 1981.

Major Francis Grose their commander remained in London to recruit. There was intense dissension within the officer ranks and Lieutenant John Macarthur, a junior officer, moved swiftly to fill the command vacuum. See: A Black Hole: The First Interregnum 1792-1795

‘Twenty- five [25] regiments of British infantry served in the colonies between [June] 1790 and 1870 they participated in the great struggle at the heart of the European conquest of this continent…’or the first half of their stay were probably more frequently in action than the garrison of any other colony besides that of southern Africa’. Dr Peter Stanley, The Remote Garrison, 1986, Kangaroo Press, 1986

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