Archive for February, 2009

AN EVACUATION – SAVING LIEUTENANT WILLIAM COLLINS

Monday, February 9th, 2009

‘It is probable the ships’ company will be on salt provisions for some months after they arrive on the coast of New South Wales, [I] will be glad of two hundred pounds [91kg]of portable soup in addition to fifty pounds [23kg] already supply’d. Arthur Phillip to Admiralty, 22nd March 1787, Historical Records of New South Wales.

‘Portable soup’ a dried concoction made from; ‘all the offals of oxen killed in London for the use of  the navy’ was capable of re-constitution.

1787 – 13 May, Portsmouth: Led by flagship HMS Sirius a large armed squadron of eleven (11) ships commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip RN with a complement of 1500 souls, known in Britain and Australia as the ‘First Fleet’, sailed from England to Botany Bay on the south eastern coast of ‘New South Wales’ in mid May 1787.

1788 – 18/20 January, Botany Bay: After eight (8) months voyaging via Tenerife, Rio de Janeiro and Cape Town, within thirty-six (36) hours between 18-20 January, the entire English Fleet were riding at anchor inside Botany Bay.

1788 – 24 January, Botany Bay: La Boussole and L’Astrolabe, two (2) French ships commanded by Comte Jean- Francois La Perouse appeared in the entrance to the bay. The French battling high winds and rolling seas, sailed south to shelter from the storm and seek safety from Sirius’s guns. See: Eyes Wide Shut – A Military Campaign and Arthur Phillip

‘Phillip ordered a party to be sent [there] Point Sutherland to hoist 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

1788 – 25 January, Port Jackson: Captain Phillip aboard HMS Supply quit Botany Bay ordering the fleet follow when bad weather abated.

By 7 pm that night Supply anchored in Sydney Cove situated deep within Port Jackson. Guarded by towering headlands ‘here’ Phillip reported to London ‘a thousand Ship of Sail of the Line may ride in the most perfect Security’. Historical Records of New South Wales

1788 – 26 January, Sydney Cove: At first light –  26 January 1788 – Captain Phillip, some marines and convicts landed from Supply and ‘English Colours’ the Union Jack were hoisted from a hastily erected flagpole to signify that, in the race for New Holland England had beaten France her arch-enemy and shattered the long-standing ambition of the Bourbons to dominate the Indian and Southern Oceans. See: Britain by a Short Half-Head Captain Arthur Phillip & Comte Jean-Francoise La Perouse

‘When Phillip planted the flag at Sydney Cove in 1788 he was not claiming the land away from the aboriginal people but to make sure the French did not to make the claim first’. Professor Larissa Behrendt,The Honest History Book, ed. David Stephens & Alison Broinowski, New South Publishing, 2017

By night-fall – 26 January – the remaining English ships were anchored alongside HMS Supply.

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