Archive for July, 2016


Friday, July 29th, 2016

‘From 1788 there had been continuous disputation between the civil power represented by the autocratic uniformed naval governors and the military’. John McMahon, Not a Rum Rebellion But A Military Insurrection, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society. Vol. 92, 2006


‘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.


‘There are two kinds of error: those of commission, doing something that should not be done, and those of omission, not doing something that should be done. The latter are much more serious than, the former’. Kenneth Hopper and William Hopper, The Puritan Gift, Forward Professor Russell Lincoln Ackoff, I.B. Tauris, New York,


‘For the length of the [first] interregnum [1792-1795] the British government was greatly at fault’. J.J. Auchmuty, Hunter, Australian Dictionary of Biography


‘His [Hunter’s] commission as captain-general and governor-in-chief was dated 6 February 1794 [he] did not sail until 25 February 1795…arrived [Sydney] 7 September 1795 and assumed office four days later’. Auchmuty. op.cit.


Following repeated requests for repatriation Governor Arthur Phillip RN received approval to return to England.

Sydney – 1792, December 12: Phillip departed Sydney for England at the end of 1792 in the Atlantic taking Bennalong and Yemmerrawannie a younger warrior  with him.

By default after Governor Phillip’s departure ‘the plenitude of power’ Britain vested in its naval governors fell into the hands of the military exposing the First Australians to the brutality of the New South Wales ‘Rum’ Corps. See:  Arthur’s Algorithm – Infuse Universal Terror – Open Sesame 

Shortly after reaching England Phillip resigned Governorship of New South Wales. His successor, the First Fleet’s courageous Captain John Hunter RN, was not commissioned until 6th of February 1794. See Proximity Not Distance Drove Britain’s Invasion of New Holland.



Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

A Time Line

Slavery as punishment… a king or magistrate could mercifully spare and enslave a man whose crime had forfeited his right to life. White Over Black — 1550-1812, Winthrop D. Jordan, 1969. 



Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

‘Hugh Grotius [1538-1645] remark[ed] that an act of discovery was sufficient to give clear title to sovereignty ‘only when it is accompanied by actual possession’. Cited, Henry Reynolds, Aboriginal Sovereignty, Three Nations, One Australia, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1996

Cape York, Possession Island:  Without consent, in the name of King George III of England, on 22nd August 1770 Lieutenant James Cook RN on Possession Island in the far north of an island continent then known in Europe as New Holland, now Australia, claimed ‘discovery’ of the entire eastern coast from ‘Cape York in the most northern extremity…to South Cape’ 

1771 – England, July: ‘Discovery’ Cook on his return to England from the Endeavour voyage (1786-1771) reported New Holland was inhabited.

‘The natives of the country…live in Tranquility which is not disturb’d by the inequality of condition; they covet not magnificent Houses, household stuff etc. They sleep as sound in a small hovel or even in the open as the King in His Pallace on a Bed of down’. Lieutenant James Cook, The Endeavour Journal

Eighteenth century European law held; ‘only if uninhabited could one country take effective possession of another country, claim ownership for itself and share it out among its own people’.

If inhabited territory was invaded and conquered by a foreign power, permission to use the land had to be sought. The rights of conquered peoples were to be respected and treaty entered into.



Tuesday, July 19th, 2016


‘During the period 1763-1793 the character of the Second British Empire was being formed…the empire of commerce in the Indian and Pacific Oceans’. Vincent T. Harlow, The Founding of the Second British Empire 1763-1793, Vol. 2 Longmans, 1963

1771 – England: Lieutenant James Cook RN returned to England from the Endeavour voyage (1786-1771). He reported the island continent named New Holland by Dutch explorers, known now as Australia, was inhabited.

‘The natives of the country…live in Tranquility which is not disturb’d by the inequality of condition’. James Cook, Endeavour Journal

According to eighteenth century international law only if territory was without inhabitants could it be claimed by another nation and taken over by that other nation’s citizens .

The whole claim of sovereignty and ownership on the basis of terra nullius was manifestly based on a misreading of Australian circumstance, not that this prevented [Arthur] Phillip from hoisting the Union Jack in 1788 and expropriating the owners of Sydney Cove. Stuart Mac Intyre, A Concise History of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 2004  

England’s lawyers burned midnight oil as they sought to establish legal grounds that would allow Britain take ‘effective occupation’ from those in ‘actual occupation’ of New Holland.

To that end they studied the tortuous twists and turns of English law, laid down in the ‘Commentaries’ of Sir William Blackstone England’s leading jurist of that time.