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. Andrew Tink, Life and Times of Tommy Townshend, 2001

Nelson Phillip Bligh Phillip – all have links to the fate of Australia’s First Peoples as does John ‘MacMafia’ Macarthur.

Nelson tangentially the others profoundly.

Captain Trail master of the second fleet death ship Neptune a convict transport of ‘Britain’s Grim Armada’ appeared at the Old Bailey accused of the brutal mistreatment of convicts and murder of two (2) Neptune crewmen. It is believed Admiral Horotio Nelson’s favourable character reference led to Trail’s acquittal. See: A Tale of Two Fleets

In January 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip RN, master-spy, master-mariner, master-strategist pulled off ‘a special project’ for the Home Office. He beat France to the punch In the race for New Holland.

‘There would be ‘some justification for the saying that England won Australia by six days’. Edward Jenks, History of Australian Colonies, cited Hugh E. Egerton, British Colonial Policy, Metheun, 1928

In June 1790 John Macarthur arrived in Sydney aboard Scarborough, one (1) of three (3) death ships of ‘Britain’s Grim Armada’, the second fleet.

‘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

In August 1806 Captain William ‘Bounty’ Bligh RN arrived to take up his commission as Britain’s fourth ‘autocratic’ naval governor of New
South Wales.

On 26 January 1808, at the instigation of ex-officer Macarthur of the New South Wales ‘Rum’ Corps, the military seized and imprisoned Governor William Bligh RN. The question is why? See: Australia Day Rebellion 26 January 1808

1790 – December, Botany Bay: Phillip in mid December 1790 introduced ‘universal terror’ into the Aboriginal, non-Aboriginal equation. The question is why?  See: A Hatchet Job – Kill 6 & Cut Off Their Heads

‘Parallel to, and dependent upon, the Anglo-French duel for command of the sea went their struggle for overseas bases and colonies; here too, the culminating point in a century-long race was reached, with Britain emerging in 1815 with a position so strengthened that she appeared to be the only real colonial power in the world’. Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery, Fontana Press, 3rd ed. London, 1976

‘Predictable’ – Britain’s invasion of New Holland was remarkably prescient, within five (5) years  1793 – Britain and France were at war. That conflict morphed into twenty-five (25) years of global warfare – the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars 1793-1815.

‘That the fighting against France in what was originally and essentially a European war should have spread so swiftly to the tropics was a result of many factors, most of them predictable’. Kennedy. op.cit

With New Holland Britain had gained secure alternate strategic and logistical sea-routes to and from India and Asia via the Southern Ocean and a potential blockade-breaker in time of war.

New Holland is a blind, then, when we want to add to the military strength of India’. Anon, Historical Records of New South Wales.


1785 – August, France: New Holland – Australia – was all about global warfare.  In 1785 Phillip, hidden in shadows, watched as Comte Jean-Francois La Perouse in command of La Boussole with L’Astrolabe, sailed from Brest naval base on a wide-ranging expeditionary voyage.

Modelled on the voyages of Captain James Cook, doyen of Britain’s Royal Navy, the La Perouse voyage was intended to take three (3) years and to include New Holland.

1786 – 6 August, London: Following an attempt to assassinate King George III, fuelled by memory of the Gordon Riots (1780), ‘fear of the unruly mob’, ramped up among England’s elite.

1786 – August, Brazil: Phillip was in Rio de Janeiro keeping track of La Perouse when called on by the Admiralty to return home and head Britain’s race for New Holland. See: Arthur Phillip – The Spy Who Never Came In From The Cold  

1786 – 12 October, Court of St James: ‘George III & to our trusty and well-beloved Captain Arthur Phillip, We, reposing especial trust and confidence in your loyalty, courage and experience in military affairs constitute and appoint you to be Governor our territory called New South Wales’. Historical Records of New South Wales

1787 – 25 April, London: The future fate of Australia’s First Nations’ Peoples was sealed in London on 25 April, 1787 when; ‘Under our Great Seal constituting and appointing you [Arthur Phillip] to be our Captain-General and Governor- in-Chief of our territory called New South Wales the entire eastern coast of New Holland…Cape York to South Cape’.

1787 – 13 May, Portsmouth: Captain Phillip RN in command of a large armed squadron of eleven (11) ships, known in Britain and Australia as the ‘First Fleet’, sailed from England in mid May 1787 to invade the island continent of New Holland.

All males – convicts and marines – were rationed as ‘troops serving in the West Indies’. See: All The King’s Men The Criminals of the First Fleet 

1788 – January, Botany Bay: A large convoy, with a complement of 1500 souls – 1300 men and 200 women – the fleet reached Botany Bay between 18-20 of January 1788. See: William Dawes & The Eternal Flame

1788 – 24 January, Botany Bay: Three (3) days later L’Astrolabe and La Boussole with La Perouse at the helm arrived at the entrance to  Botany Bay. The sight of Sirius – her gun-ports open and cannon at the ready – forced them back out to sea.

‘He [Phillip] ordered a party to be  sent to Point Sutherland to raise English Colours. He also stipulated that the move to Port Jackson be kept secret’. John Moore, The First Fleet Marines 1786-1792, Queensland University Press, 1987

But had La Perouse sailed north or south?

Phillip knew it was essential he get back to Port Jackson. Three (3) days earlier he had entered that vast harbour but had not raised ‘English Colours’.

If the French had gone north and happened, as he had upon the harbour’s towering headland, La Perouse would have entered and planted ‘French Colours’.

Given the disposition of the protagonists the world may never have known La Boussole and L’Astrolabe had reached the Great South Land. See: A Band of Brothers and Mortal Enemies.

1788 – 25 January, Port Jackson: Phillip quit Botany Bay aboard HMS Supply, sailed nine (9) miles (14km) north and, just on nightfall, Supply entered Port Jackson and anchored in a sheltered cove.

‘Here’ Phillip wrote ‘a thousand Ship of the Line may ride in perfect Security’.

1788 – 26 January, Sydney Cove: Next morning at first light Phillip landed with a few marines. A flag-pole was built and the Union Jack flown.

‘Raising the flag was one of the acts recognised as an assertion of a prior claim against other colonial powers eyeing off the same land’. Prof Larissa Berendt, The Honest History Book, Ed. David Stephens & Alison Broinowski, NewSouth Publishing, Sydney, 2017

By 8pm that night, after a hazardous exit from Botany Bay that put both ships and lives at risk, the entire fleet was riding at anchor alongside Supply. See: Australia – Britain By A Short Half-Head

1788 – 27 January – 5 February: For ten (10) days in the intense heat and humidity of a Sydney February those male convicts judged fit laboured under the lash to set up camp.

1788 – 6 February, Sydney Cove: Between 6 am and 6 pm on February 6 the fleet’s female complement – one hundred and eighty-nine (189) female prisoners – were rowed ashore from what had been their home for the best part of a year.

That dark and stormy night it is said a noisy ‘sexual orgy’ took place. Two hundred (200) women a heterosexual ‘orgy’ probably – 1300 men – defintely a homosexual ‘orgy’. See: G for Genocide 

1788 – 7 February, Port Jackson: Captain, now Governor Phillip, per instructions issued him on 25 April 1787, although based on a ‘legal fiction’, proceeded to claim British sovereignty over ‘the entire eastern coast of New Holland from Cape York…to South Cape’.See: A Cracker-Jack Opinion – no Sweat

1788 – 10 March, Botany Bay:  A month later La Boussole and L’Astrolabe sailed for France, sadly La Perouse and his men were never seen again. See: A Band of Brothers & Mortal Enemies

Phillip had been told before leaving England more convicts and supplies would ‘shortly follow’.

The first night out from Cape Town (13 November 1787) on the last leg of the voyage to Botany Bay- excitement – HMS Sirius spotted a ship flying ‘English Colours’.

Then disappointment; she turned out to be Kent a whaling ship. Then relief,  Kent signalled more ships were ‘being taken up for Botany Bay’.

But nothing could have been further from the truth. See: Abandoned and left to starve at Sydney Cove January 1788 to June 1790 

1788 – July, London: Dr John White, the Chief Medical Officer, via a convict transport returning to England in July of 1788, sent Lord Sydney a revealing dispatch. See: An Evacuation – Saving Lieutenent William Collins

‘The prevalence of disease among the troops and convicts, who on landing [January] were tainted with scurvy…our situation, not having any fresh animal food, nor being able to make a change in the diet which has and must be salt meat, makes these things [medicines] more necessary here than, perhaps, in any quarter of the globe’. John White to Lord Sydney, Historical Records of New South Wales

1788 – August, Africa: When no supplies had arrived by the end of August 1788 Phillip ordered Captain John Hunter prepare Sirius for a  voyage to Africa where he was to buy food and medicines from the Dutch.

1788 – 2 October, Cape of Good Hope: Sirius sailed alone on a perilous passage to Cape Town at the beginning of October 1788. The voyage took her deep into the Southern Oceans dodging ‘islands of ice’ – through the ferocious seas of Drake’s Passage – to round stormy Cape Horn.

1788 – 31 December, Manly: Meantime at Sydney with ‘famine approaching’ Phillip needed; ‘to learn whether or not the country possessed any resources, by which life might be prolonged’. To that end he ordered the kidnap of Aboriginal men.

Two (2) warriors ‘enticed by courteous behaviour’ were seized. One (1) broke free and fled, the other Arabanoo, was ‘fastened by ropes to the thwarts of the boat’ and rowed across to Sydney where he was held within British lines. See: Kidnapped – Manly – What’s in a Name


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

1789 – April, Sydney: Smallpox struck local Aborigines in April 1789 killing 50% of their number; Arabanoo among them. See: Smallpox -A Lethal Weapon Boston 1775 – Sydney 1789

‘Not one case of the disorder occurred among the white people either afloat or on shore although there were several children in the settlement; but a North American Indian…took the disease and died’. Samuel Bennett, Australian Discovery and Colonisation, Volume 1 to 1800, facsimile edition 1981 See: Joseph Jefferies – From New York to Rio and Old Sydney Town – One – Then There Was None

1789 – April, Sydney: Sirius returned from Africa with medicines and 127,000 pounds of flour intended for the two (2) king’s ships and what could be spared for the colony.

1789 – 31 December: ‘Famine was approaching with gigantic strides’ .Phillip again turned to kidnapping. Bennalong and Colbee were seized. Both, heavily pock-marked, had survived the smallpox virus.

Colbee still ‘with a small iron ring round his leg’ escaped a week or so later. Surveillance was stepped up on Bennalong. See: Manly Location, Location, Location


1790 – 1 January: ‘We have been entirely cut off, no communication whatever having passed with our native country since the 13th May, 1787 the day of our departure from Portsmouth…in which long period no supplies…had reached us’. Tench. ibid.

A look-out was erected on South Head, Tench; ‘here on the summit of the hill every morning from daylight until the sun sank did we sweep the horizon hope of seeing a sail’ all to no avail.

1790 – February, China: Tench; ‘Vigorous measures were become indispensable…The governor, early in February, ordered the Sirius [Captain Hunter] to prepare for a voyage to China’.

1790 – 6 March, Norfolk Island: In early March cooler weather and fish began to leave the harbour to spawn. HMS Sirius accompanied by HMS Supply evacuated 50% of Sydney’s starving white population to Norfolk Island.

Sirius was then to sail onto China and arrange rescue.

1790 – 19 March, Norfolk Island: Sirius had unloaded her evacuees and most supplies when caught by shifting winds she swung wildly on her anchor and ran onto a submerged reef.

Held fast ‘in pounding surf’, she broke up over a number of days. Her crew, one hundred and sixty (160) naval personnel, were taken off but were now stranded on the island along with the evacuees.

‘Flags Up’ – Supply

1790 – 5 April, Sydney: ‘The flag on the South-head was hoisted…I [Tench] saw captain Ball make an extraordinary motion with his hand, which too plainly indicated that something disastrous had happened’. Tench. ibid.

HMS Sirius was at the bottom of the ocean; there would be no China rescue.

1790 – 6 April, Sydney:to every child of more than eighteen [18] months old and to every grown person [ration] to commence immediately, two pounds of pork, two pounds and a half of flour, two pounds or rice, or a quart of [dried] pease, per week [and] bring your own bread…even to the governor’s table’. Tench. ibid.

There was nothing for it but to send HMS Supply to Batavia, modern-day Jakarta. She was to buy food and medicines and hire a Dutch ship to bring them to Sydney. See: Missing In Action – HMS Sirius & HMS Supply

1790 – 17 April, Batavia:Supply sailed for Batavia…and all our labour and attention were turned on one object – the procuring of food’. The distress of the lower classes for clothes were almost equal to their other wants’. Tench. ibid.

With Supply gone isolation was absolute.

It’s now about two years and three months since we first arrived at this distant country; all this while we have been buried alive, never having the opportunity to hear from our friends…our hopes are now almost vanished’. Reverend Richard Johnson, cited Jack Egan, Buried Alive Sydney 1788-1792, Allen & Unwin, 1999

1790 – May: Bennalong managed to escape and returned to his family.

During Bennalong’s five (5) months in captivity, Phillip and Bennalong learned a lot about and from each other. Intelligence, what Phillip learned proved invaluable.

‘To prolong existence…the best marksmen of the marines and convicts…put under the command of a trusty serjeant, with directions to range the woods in search of kanguroos’. Tench. ibid.

June – ‘Flag’s up – with London on her stern’

1790 3 June: Tench; ‘at length the clouds of misfortune began to separate and on the evening of the 3d of June, the joyful cry of “the flag’s up” resounded in every direction’.

Not until June 1790 did the First Fleet castaways hear ‘news’ of their ‘native country’.

Of family, lovers, friends, of conflict with Spain, the ‘Madness of King George’, of revolution across the Channel and impending war with France.

Lady Juliana with two hundred and twenty-six (226) ‘useless female’ prisoners broke the terrible silence. Dubbed the ‘Brothel Ship’ Lady Juliana  was first of four (4) ships of a second fleet ‘Britain’s Grim Armada’.

Government awarded the contract for Neptune, Scarborough, Suprize the fleet’s death ships to Camden, Calvert and King, a firm of slave traders working out of London.

One-quarter ‘of 1038 [mainly male] convicts embarked at Plymouth; 237 died on the voyage, 486 landed sick, of these 124 died in hospital at Sydney’. Charles Bateson, The Convict Ships 1787-1868, Brown, Son & Ferguson, Glasgow, 1959 See: Convict Transportation – The Hulks Act and When the mindset of Slavery Came to Australia

One hundred and fifteen (115) infantry troops, first contingent of the New South Wales Corps, were distributed throughout the three (3) ships.

They included Lieutenant John Macarthur a junior officer, a man of overarching personal ambition, who would rightly earn his nick-name ‘The Perturbator’. See: Macarthur The Great Disrupter

1790 – 30 June, Sydney: Justinian the first relief ship from England arrived at the end of June 1790. See: Titanic – HMS Guardian Australia’s Titanic

1790 – 7 September, Manly Beach: On a warm spring morning, three (3) months after Macarthur’s arrival, a ‘monster’ whale beached at Manly. It proved to be the catalyst that changed forever the ‘condition’ and ‘prospects’ of Australia’s First Nations’ Peoples.

‘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. Lord John Russell to Sir George Gipps, 21 December 1838, Historical Records of Australia, Series 1. Vol. XX

The whale stranding caused great excitement in both camps. For local Aborigines it had deep cultural and spiritual significance, prefacing as it did the return of summer’s abundance.

For Phillip, whose salt-water career began hunting whale in the icy Arctic, its presence evoked intense interest.  See: Arthur Phillip – Trade and the Defence of Trade

‘The Act of 1786 [Geo.III. c.59] for the Encouragement of the Southern Whale Fishery proved to be the foundation of an important industry…in the wake of whalers other British traders would follow. The furtherance of this plan became one of the central objects of Lord Hawkesbury’s commercial policy’. Vincent T. Harlow, Founding of the Second British Empire 1763-1793, Longmans, London, 1964

Phillip was well aware, foremost among the various plans that Prime Minister William Pitt and his ‘secretive inner circle’ of three (3) powerful politicians – Hawkesbury, Dundas and Mulgrave – had for New Holland the establishment of a land base to support a ship-based whaling and sealing industry was high on the list.

Phillip, anxious to see if the ‘monster’ was a prized sperm whale, was rowed across to Manly where he met up with Bennalong. The two (2) men had not seen each other since Bennalong’s escape from custody. See: Kidnapped – Manly What’s in a Name

1790 – 7 September, Manly: Tench set the scene. After some hesitation on Bennalong’s part; ‘they discoursed for some time, Baneelon expressing pleasure to see his old acquaintance…the governor… to try whether it [Bennalong’s love of wine] still subsisted, uncorked a bottle, and poured out a glass of it, which the other drank off with his former marks of relish and good humour, giving a toast, as he had been taught, ‘the King‘.

That done Phillip moved nearer the whale; ‘a native, [Wileemarin] with a spear in his hand came forward…His excellency held out his hand…advancing…the nearer, the governor approached, the greater became the terror and agitation of the Indian.

To remove his fear, governor Phillip threw down a dirk, he wore at his side…the other, alarmed at the rattle of the dirk and probably misconstruing the action, instantly fixed his lance, aimed his lance with force and dexterity striking the governor’s right shoulder, just above the collar bone’. Tench. ibid.

The spear could not be removed then and there.

The long shaft was broken off and Phillip endured two (2) agonising hours as he was rowed across seven (7) miles of choppy waters to Sydney where surgeon William Balmain extracted the lance. Phillip had lost a lot of blood leaving him weak so recovery was slow.

Phillip knew in ‘throw[ing] down the dirk’ he had contributed to Willeemrin’s attack and ordered there be no reprisals.

 ‘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 the inclusion of some ‘First Fleet’ Journals onto UNESCO’s World Heritage List. ABC – AM Programme, 15 October 2009

All that changed with the coming of Lieutenant John Macarthur in June 1790. Phillip’s ‘no reprisals’ decision in September 1790 drove that change.

Major Francis Grose commander of the New South Wales Corps had elected to stay in London and recruit to satisfy establishment requirements.

Macarthur ruthless, driven by over-arching personal ambition, aided by dissension among Corps officers, moved swiftly to fill the power vacuum created by Grose’s absence.

And Macarthur did not have too long to wait. See: Sword and Word Both are Mighty- Governor Arthur Phillip’s Military Campaign For King and Country

‘Flags Up’  – Supply

1790 – 19 October, Sydney: Six (6) months almost to the day Lieutenant Henry Ball RN brought HMS Supply back through the Heads. Sadly elation was touched with grief. Many of her crew had contracted malaria and were buried at Jakarta.

Young Lieutenant Newton Fowell, the fleet’s letter-writer who, earlier a midshipman (1788/89), had sailed in the Sirius on her epic voyage of circumnavigation to and from Africa, had in August died at sea.

Lieutenant Ball, as Phillip instructed, had purchased tons of supplies and chartered a Dutch ship to bring them to Sydney.

Supply herself had brought as much flour and medicines as the tiny ship could carry but certainly not enough to make much difference to the starving Sydney settlement.

Since 1788 the English population, men women and children, had survived by raping the Aborigines’ resources. Shooting anything that moved or flew, trawl fishing taking up ‘four hundred-weight’ at a time and scouring the bush for their plants and vegetables.

In desperation; ‘on the 9th of the month [December], serjeant of marines, with three 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 [to Botany Bay]’. Tench. ibid.

1790 – 10 December, Botany Bay: Tench had been told that in the early hours; ‘one of them [Aborigines] launched his spear at M’Entire and lodged it in his left side. The person who committed this wanton act, was described as a young man, with a speck, or blemish, on his left eye’.

That ‘person’was Pemulwuy. M’Entire was the bait.

‘But in this business of M’Entire I [Phillip] am fully persuaded that they [Aborigines] were unprovoked, and the barbarity of their conduct admits of no extenuation’.

Phillip’s ‘but‘ referenced his ‘own spearing’ by Willmeerin at Manly Beach in September 1790. Then Phillip had ordered no reprisals.

His refusal to retaliate however was seized upon by ‘certain officers’. Seen as weakness, even cowardice, his reluctance created a perfect storm.

Aware, wily and experienced, Phillip was intent on saving the Sydney settlement from insurrection and anarchy.

Bennalong’s intelligence ‘dread and hatred’ was the only arrow in Phillip’s quiver and he used it to create a diversion and assert his authority over the enemy within – ‘certain [army] officers’. See: John M’Entire – Death of a Sure Thing

Phillip’s response to M’Entire’s spearing ‘infuse universal terror’ was that of a proven strategist whose loyalty to King and Country was non-negotiable.

At stake; ‘New Holland…I need to enlarge on the benefit of stationing a large body of troops in New South Wales’. Records. ibid.

1790 – 13 December, Headquarters: ‘.His excellency pitched upon me [Tench]…be ready to march tomorrow morning at daylight to execute the…command…put ten (10) to death…bring in the heads of the slain…bring away two (2)prisoners…I [Phillip] 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 Marine Captain Watkin Tench.

1790 – 14 December, Botany Bay: At first light next day ‘we marched’.

After three (3) days thrashing about in the Cooks River’s muddy flats with no result – no ‘heads’ – no ‘prisoners’ the detachment turned for home.

1790 – 17 December, Sydney: ‘Between one and two o’clock in the afternoon…we were glad to find ourselves at Sydney’.

Tench’s ‘glad’ is a great understatement. For at dawn that morning – 17 December 1790 – the Dutch ship Waaksamheyd had arrived from Jakarta. The air filled now with the heady smells of cooking and the landing stage was crammed with barrels and bales.

1790 – 20 December: ‘Our first expedition having so totally failed, the governor resolved to try the fate of a second; and the ‘painful pre-eminence’ again devolved on me. The orders under which I [Tench] was commanded to act differing in no respect from the last’.

The number to be killed had earlier (13 December) been reduced to six (6). But why did Governor Phillip order another raid against the Bidjigal of Botany Bay?

Phillip knew Waaksamheyd was a double edged sword. As well as food she brought hope. An opportunity to seize the vessel or a chance  escape – either or.

Now the Sirius cannon now came into play. Removed in 1788 to lighten the load on her gallant run to Cape Town they had been mounted at Dawes Battery (Observatory Hill).

In the hands of the few dependable naval men available to Phillip, Sirius’ cannon took the seizure of Waaksamheyd out of the equation.

But as it turned out not escape. See: A Great Escape – The Botany Bay Escapees


‘Military and police raids against dissenting Aboriginal groups lasted from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries….These raids had commenced by December 1790’. Professor Bruce Kercher, History of Law in Australia, Allen and Unwin, 1995

Just as in June 1914 a shot fired on a Sarajevo street began the count-down to World War I, a spear thrown on Manly Beach in September 1790 began the count-down to a war that led to the near destruction of Australia’s First Peoples.

‘The tremendous monster who had occasioned the unhappy catastrophe just recorded [Phillip’s spearing] was fated to be the cause of further mischief to us‘. Tench. ibid.

Governor Phillip’s perceived passivity had presented ‘certain officers’ with an opportunity for insurrection and Phillip judged his position, isolated in a sea of hostile military, would prove too great an opportunity for Lieutenant Macarthur and his cronies to pass up .See: Machiavellian Macarthur


‘Infuse universal terror and my [Phillip] fixed determination to repeat it whenever any future breach of good conduct on their side, shall render it necessary’ placed no limit on brutality.

Governor Phillip’s Orders served as the ‘Rules of Engagement’ in a war Dr Stanley has characterised as ‘nasty and decidedly lacking in glory’.

Twenty-five regiments of British infantry served in the colonies between 1790 and 1870. They fought in one of the most prolonged frontier 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 1790-1868, Kangaroo Press, Sydney 1986

‘Still it is impossible that the government should forget that the original aggression was ours’. Lord John Russell. Records. ibid


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