Posts Tagged ‘pemulwuy’

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

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

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, Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1961

Phillip’s orders put no limit on barbarity. The reason Phillip gave for his ‘indiscriminate and disproportionate’ directive was the spearing of convict John M’Entire by the warrior Pemulwuy that took place at Botany Bay in the early hours of 10 December 1790.

‘On the 9th of the month, 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.

Ostensibly the orders of 13 December were centred on Pemulwuy’s spearing of John M’Entire. But all was not as it seemed; ‘so much dread and hatred’.

‘Four companies of Marines landed with the first Europeans to settle in Australia’. Dr. Peter Stanley, The Remote Garrison, The British Army in Australia 1788-1790, Kangaroo Press, Sydney, 1986

Bennalong an Aboriginal warrior was the source of Phillip’s intelligence. Bennalong had been kidnapped on Phillip’s orders in December 1789. He was held captive within British lines until May 1790 when he escaped. See: Kidnapped – Manly What’s In A Name

‘But in this business of M’Entire I [Phillip] am fully persuaded that they [Aborigines] were unprovoked’. The ‘but’ refers to Phillip’s ‘own spearing’ by Wileemarrin on Manly Beach three (3) months previously – September 1790. See: Manly, Location Location Location

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