Posts Tagged ‘mary bryant’

BOSWELL GOES INTO BAT FOR THE BOTANY BAY ESCAPEES

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

‘Boswell appeared for the defence, sometimes in well-nigh hopeless cases. He was never deterred, however, either by the poverty of his client, or by the weight of the evidence against him. On the contrary he seems to have been prone to espouse the causes of the more forlorn the more pertinaciously. C.H Currey, The Transportation Escape and Pardoning of Mary Bryant, Angus and Robertson, 1963.

 1792 – July, Old Bailey London: In 1792  lawyer James Boswell appeared for the defence in a most extraordinary case. His clients, five convicts – Mary Bryant, William Allen, James Martin, Nathaniel Lilley and John Butcher known collectively as ‘the Botany Bay escapees’ .

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A VERY CONVENIENT THEORY – SMALLPOX 1789 – IT WAS THE MACASSANS STUPID

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Up to 1,500 Macassans a year would reach [northern] Australia and they did influence the Aborigines by trading iron axes, tobacco, cloth, knives and glass. They taught the Aboriginal of those parts how to make dug-out canoes, more substantial than the simple water-craft of stringy-bark’. Stewart Harris, Treaty, It’s Coming Yet, 1979  

1788: The Englishmen of the ‘First Fleet’ did not find Sydney’s Eora Peoples familiar with iron axes, knives, tobacco, cloth or glass but when these items were introduced they valued them highly.

1789, April: ‘Smallpox had decimated the indigenous population probably not brought by the Europeans, as first feared, but possible introduced by Indonesian traders visiting the far northern coast of Australia…By a strange coincidence, smallpox reached Port Jackson at about the same time as the First Fleet’. Cassandra Pybus, Black Founders, UNSW Press, 2006 

1789- April: If, in the light of Tench’s hard evidence ‘variolous matter in bottles’ smallpox reached Sydney; ‘by a strange coincidence’ it would have been very ‘strange’ indeed.        .

‘It is true, that our surgeons had brought out variolous matter in bottles’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

It has also been suggested, its appearance may have stemmed from an outbreak in Samartra in the early 1780s. However given the way smallpox presents; swollen mucous membranes with extreme thirst and, as it expresses on the body; face, eyes affecting sight, soles of the feet and palms of hands, that argument is risible.

Add to these physical difficulties strict protocols observed by Aboriginals entering the country of another clan either peaceful or hostile, it would not be feasible for Aborigines to travel such a great distance from the most northern tip of the continent in time to coincide with the arrival of the ‘First Fleet’ at Port Jackson.

‘April is the cruellest month’. T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land.

1789 – April, Sydney Cove: Smallpox appeared among local Aborigines a whole year after the ‘First Fleet’ arrived.

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PANDORA’S BOX & THE BOTANY BAY ESCAPEES

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

On 17th March 1790, a small paragraph appeared in the Times announcing that William Bligh,  fresh from his remarkable voyage across the Pacific, was expected in London later that afternoon. He had arrived in Portsmouth three days earlier’. John Toohey, Captain Bligh’s Portable Nightmare, 1998

1790 –  March, Portsmouth: Captain William Bligh RN arrived in England on the 14th March 1790 eager to give testimony to the Admiralty of the infamous ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’.   (more…)

THE GREAT ESCAPE FROM SYDNEY COVE

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

1792 – March, Africa: ‘They [the Botany Bay escapees] had miscarried in a heroic struggle for liberty after having combated every hardship and conquered every difficulty’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961.

1792 – March – Cape Town: Captain Tench, en-route from Sydney to England in HMS Gorgan with returning ‘First Fleet’ marines who had been stranded at Sydney Cove since January 1788 was astounded when, in March 1792, part of eleven (11) persons who escaped from Sydney sailed into Table Bay in a Dutch vessel as prisoners of Captain Edward Edwards RN commander of HMS Pandora.

The Admiralty had sent Edwards to Tahiti with order to round up and arrest the Bounty mutineers. See: HMS Gorgan and the Botany Bay Escapees

A year earlier – 28 March 1791 – convicts Mary and William Bryant baby Emanuel and Charlotte aged three (3), with seven (7) trusted companions, oars muffled on their stolen row-boat slipped silently through towering Sydney Heads out into the open sea and made for Timor.

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HMS GORGON & THE ‘BOTANY BAY ESCAPEES’

Friday, March 13th, 2009

‘I confess that I never looked at these people [the Botany Bay escapees] without pity and astonishment. They had miscarried in a Heroic struggle for liberty after having combated every hardship and conquered every difficulty’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench on HMS Gorgan at Cape Town, March 1792 – Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson 1961

1791 – 28 March, Sydney Cove: Ironically the hustle and bustle surrounding HMS Gorgan’s arrival at Sydney (15 March 1791) helped divert attention as, at midnight on 28 March 1791 with oars muffled on their stolen boat – Governor Phillip’s cutter –  convicts William and Mary Bryant, their children Charlotte three (3) years and baby Emanuel with seven (7) convict companions, slipped silently out of Sydney Harbour and set course for Timor.

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