Archive for the ‘Conflict’ Category

THE SWITCH 1790 – CONTEXT GLOBAL WAR 1775 – 1815

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

‘For a brief moment there was hope…within a matter of years violence had broken out on both sides and Phillip would now instruct raiding parties to bring back the severed heads of warriors. The birth of Australia was meant to be so different…it need not have been this way’. Stan Grant, Talking to My Country, Text Publishing, 2017

Why is Australia ‘this way’ a divided nation? See: G is for Genocide- Colonial Breeding

‘Phillip…had instructions to deal with the ‘natives’ with ‘amity and kindness’. Professor Larissa Behrendt, The Honest History Book, – Invasion or Settlement, NewSouth Press, 2017   

What had gone so wrong with the ‘deal’? 

‘Within a generation the heads of Aborigines were shipped to Britain in glass cases to be studied as relics of a doomed race’. Grant. ibid.

What flipped the switch from ‘amity and kindness’ to ‘nasty’ creeping frontier wars that by 1838 had brought about the near destruction of Australia’s First Nations?

London – 1838:  ‘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. Still it is impossible that the government should forget that the original aggression was ours’. Select Committee of the British Parliament, Lord John Russell to [Governor] Sir George Gipps, 21 December, 1838. Historical Records of New South Wales Vol.1

First Nations’ authors, Stan Grant and Larissa Behrendt, hone in on a critical pinch-point that occurred in the first decade of Britain’s ‘original aggression’.

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

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

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

‘The cultural arrogance of the British was evident even before the First Fleet sailed.There was no recognition that the Aborigines had their own notion of right, that from their point of view they were entitled to defend themselves from invasion’. Professor Bruce Kercher, An Unruly Child, A History of Law in Australia, Allen and Unwin, 1995

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1790 – April: ‘per week without distinction…to every child of more than eighteen (18) months old and to every grown person two [2] pounds of pork, two and a half [2 ½] pounds of flour, two [2] pounds of rice, or a quart of pease.

The pork and rice we brought with us from England; the pork had been salted between three and four years, and every grain of rice was a moving body, from the inhabitants lodged within it’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. L.F. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1961

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‘On the 9th of the month [December 1790], 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.

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1790 – Sydney Headquarters, 13 December:  ‘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 Tench. ibid

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1790 – Botany Bay, 10 December: Governor Phillip’s General Orders were issued in response to the wounding of convict John McIntyre by the Bidjigal warrior  Pemulwuy.

McIntyre was one (1) of three (3) ‘First Fleet’ convict marksmen licensed to carry firearms.

Mc Intyre was alive. Pemulwuy  with a ‘blemish in his left eye’ was the known single assailant.Yet the General Orders were ‘Indiscriminate and disproportionate’.  They put no limit on barbarity.

‘But in this business of M’Entire I [Phillip] am fully persuaded that they [Aborigines] were unprovoked’, cited Tench.

Governor Phillip’s ‘but’ refers to his ‘own spearing’ by Wileemarrin, ‘a native from Broken Bay’. That action had taken place three (3) months previously – September 1790. See: Manly, Location Location Location

‘Unprovoked’ . ‘ A shooting party…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’). Tench. op.cit.

A year earlier (December 1789) Bennalong had, on Phillip’s orders, been kidnapped from Manly Beach. He was held captive within British lines until he escaped in May of 1790.See: Kidnapped – Manly What’s In A Name

bbbbbbbbbbb So that’s the background to the 13th of December 1790

The men, women and children of the ‘First Fleet’ had been abandoned and left to fend for themselves. See: Abandoned and Left to Starve @ Sydney – January 1788 to June 1790

‘Perched precariously on the edge of an impenetrable continent, the threat of starvation constantly present, death was never remote from the tiny colony’. Dr. Bryan Gandevia, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 61, Part 1, 1975

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ARTHUR PHILLIP & JOHN MACARTHUR ‘A MAN WHO MADE ENEMIES’

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

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 [Australia’s European] history – Horatio Nelson, William Bligh and Arthur Phillip. Andrew Tink, Life and Times of Tommy Townshend, 2001

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‘The arrival [of the British] in January 1788 did not merely presage disasters that were to follow. It was the precise moment when the tragedy began relentlessly to unfold. And once the British claimed both the sovereignty and all the property, there was no turning back. The dark seeds of disaster had been sown’. Henry Reynolds, Truth-Telling, NewSouth Publishing, Sydney 2021

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

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‘1992  The High Court hand[ed] down the Mabo case in which it recognis[ed] native title and reject]ed] the idea that Australia was terra nullius, or no man’s land at the time of British settlement. 1993 [Prime Minister] Keating legislat[‘d] native title into law’. Megan Davis & George Williams, Everything You Need to Know About The Uluru Statement From the Heart, NewSouth Publishing, Sydney 2021

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RULES OF ENGAGEMENT- TAKE TWO – CAPTAIN ARTHUR PHILLIP RN & MAJOR ROBERT ROSS – MARINE COMMANDER

Friday, September 8th, 2017

‘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 Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 92, 2006

1788 – Sydney: The chain of command at Sydney was dysfunctional. For many reasons relations between Captain Arthur Phillip an officer of the Royal Navy and Marine Commander Major Robert Ross of the Royal Navy’s military arm were toxic.

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LIEUTENANT WILLIAM DAWES – THE ‘ETERNAL FLAME’ & THE SHOCK OF THE NEW SOUTH WALES CORPS

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

‘He [Dawes] was the scholar of the [First Fleet] expedition, man of letters and man of science, explorer, mapmaker, student of language of anthropology, teacher and philanthropist’. Professor G.A. Wood, Lieutenant William Dawes and Captain Watkin Tench, Royal Australian Historical Society Journal, Vol. 19, Part 1, 1924

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‘English clockmaker John Harrison, a mechanical genius who pioneered the science of portable precision timekeeping…invented a clock that would carry the true time from the home port, like an eternal flame, to any remote corner of the world’. Dava Sobel, Longitude, Fourth Estate, 1998

1788 – Warranne – Sydney Cove, 26 January:  K I – a faithful replica of H-4 John  Harrison’s ‘sea-going pocket watch’ fetched up at one particular ‘remote corner of the world’ aboard HMS Supply one (1) of  eleven (11) ‘First Fleet’ ships with a complement of 1500 souls.

While Indigenous Australians know of Marine Lieutenant William Dawes non-indigenous Australians ‘and from all the lands on earth we come’ know almost nothing of Dawes.

And it appears northing at all of Harrison’s chronometer H-4. The ‘portable precision timekeep[er]’  whose ‘eternal flame’, played such an important role in the invasion of New Holland and dispossession of its First Peoples?

Harrison H-4 Chronometer

‘When leaving Botany Bay [for Sydney Cove] Phillip noticed [La Perouse with] two French ships in the  offing….there would seem to be “some justification for the saying that England won Australia by six days”. Edward Jenks, History of the Australian Colonies, cited H.E. Egerton, A short History of British Colonial Policy, Methuen, London 1928

 

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MACARTHUR THE GREAT DISRUPTER & ARTHUR PHILLIP

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

‘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 inclusion of some ‘First Fleet’ Journals onto UNESCO’s World Heritage List. AM Programme, Australian Broadcasting Commission, 15 October 2009

A great change came with the arrival of John ‘MacMafia’ Macarthur the teetotaller who introduced ‘firey India rum’ into the equation via the infamous New South Wales Rum Corps.

‘The great change came in the arrival with the Second Fleet of the first companies of the New South Wales Corps [and] Lieutenant John Macarthaur – a central figure in the military ‘mafia’ which quickly established itself as Australia’s first governing and property elite’. Nigel Rigby, Peter van der Merwe, Glyn Williams, National Maritime Museum Greenwich, Pacific Explorations, Bloomsbury, Adlard Coles, London 2018

The first Corps of infantry was raised  in October 1789 to replace the four (4) companies of marines who (more…)

JOHN M’ENTIRE – DEATH OF A SURE THING

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

‘The bloody raw power of decapitation…the eternal tension between drama and control…lies at the heart of the death penalty’. Frances Larson, Severed, Granta Books, London 2015

PICTURE – London Gazette

1790 – Sydney, June: Major Grose the Corps’ commander of the New South Wales Corps remained in London to recruit sufficient numbers to satisfy establishment requirements.

The power vacuum was filled by by Lieutenant John Macarthur a ruthless, ambitious junior officer. In Phillip’s judgement the Pitt Administration in far off England was in danger of losing New South Wales (Australia) in a military coup.

Most certainly the threat did not come from the First Nations’ People. The previous year 1789, 50% of local Eora Aborigines died after contracting smallpox. The survivors were struggling to regroup. See: A Lethal Weapon Smallpox – Boston 1775 – Sydney 1789

And there was a lot at stake. Not only was New Holland, known now as Australia, a gateway to India and China, its ‘proximity’ via the Southern Oceans to Spain’s South American ‘treasure’ colonies, drove the invasion.  See: Proximity Not Distance Drove Britain’s Invasion of New Holland.

1790 – Sydney, December : By December 1790 Governor Captain Arthur Phillip RN knew ‘certain officers’ of these newly arrived troops were circling the tents.

He had been down this road before. Then and now in the midst of a hostile soldiery, he had only one (1) option in his armoury – diversion. See: From Here to Eternity – Terror in Three Acts

And only one (1) sure arrow in his quiver. Previously (February 1788) the charismatic Thomas Barrett and in (December 1790)  M’Entire, the ‘hated’ convict, one (1) of  four (4) convicts authorised to carry a gun.

 1790 – Botany Bay, December 9: ‘On the 9th of the month, a serjeant of marines, with three convicts, among whom was M’Entire, the governor’s game-keeper (the person of whom Bannelon had, on former occasions, shewn so much dread and hatred) went out on a [kangaroo] shooting party’. Marine Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

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ALICE – DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE WITH KING

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

‘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.

Sydney -1800 – 15 April: Lieutenant Phillip Gidley King RN, Britain’s third naval governor of New Holland, now Australia, arrived here in the middle of April 1800 aboard HMS Speedy.

Gidley King brought Governor John Hunter RN  bad news. A Home Office dispatch dated 5 November 1799 ‘severely censured Hunter and ordered him to return to England by the first safe conveyance’.

Whitehall: Tragically for Australia’s First Peoples, London could not have devised a more destabilising arrangement than King’s ‘anomalous…dormant commission’. It  became effective only if Governor Hunter ‘died or was absent from the colony’.  

‘It is probable, therefore, that the home department was not prepared to give King the full appointment of governor-in-chief in the year 1799…[His] limited commission was practically the appointment of a locum tenens or a  governor-in-chief on probation, and was recognised as such by both King and the English officials, when it became operative’. Commentary, Historical Records of Australia, Series 1, Vol 3.

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MACHIAVELLIAN MACARTHUR

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

‘Twenty- five [25] regiments of British infantry served in the colonies between [June] 1790 and 1870 they participated in the great struggle at the heart of the European conquest of this continent…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, 1986, Kangaroo Press, 1986

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‘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.

Though Phillip recommended Lieutenant Gidley King RN replace him as Governor government failed to commission an immediate successor exposing the First Australians to the brutality of the infantry troops of the New South Wales ‘Rum’ Corps.

The first contingent of the Corps had arrived in June 1790 aboard the second fleet. But the Corps commander Major Francis Grose  remained in London to recruit and satisfy establishment requirements.

‘The other great change came in the arrival with the second fleet and the first companies of the New South Wales Corps of Lieutenant John Macarthur  – a central figure in the military ‘mafia’ – which quickly established itself as Australia’s first governing and property owning elite.

This shift was commercially launched in 1793 when Macarthur organised a cartel that using credit accessed against pay bought 7,5000 gallons of rum and other cargo of an American trader [Hope], and sold it in the colony at a huge profit’. Pacific Explorations, Voyages of Discovery from Captain Cook’s Endeavour to the Beagle, Nigel Rigby Peter Van Der Merwe & Glyn Williams, Maritime Museum Greenwich, Bloomsbury, Adlard Coles, London 2018  etc ....

There was intense dissension within its senior officer ranks. Lieutenant John Macarthur, an ambitious junior officer, moved swiftly to fill the vacuum.Britain’s Grim Armada’. See: Dancing With Slavers – A Second Fleet

1792 -Sydney Cove, December 12 : Following repeated requests for repatriation Governor Arthur Phillip RN, after five (5) traumatic years as Britain’s first Governor of New South Wales, sailed home to England in the Atlantic.

By default, between December 1792 and September 1795, ‘the plentitude of power’ Britain vested in its naval governors fell into the hands of the military.

For the length of the interregnum the British government was greatly at fault’. Hunter, J.J. Auchmuty, Australian Dictionary of Biography

1794 – London, February 6: Eventually Captain John Hunter RN,  hero of the ‘First Fleet’ expeditionary force, was ‘commission[ed] as captain-general and governor-in-chief’ at the beginning of February 1794 [but] did not sail until 25 February 1795′.

1795 – Sydney, September 7: Governor Hunter arrived in the colony on September 7, 1795 and assumed office four [4] days later.See: A Black Hole: The First Interregnum 1792-1795

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COUP-EE – AN ARMED INSURRECTION – 26 JANUARY 1808

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

‘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’. The Puritan Gift – Forward – Russell Lincoln Ackoff, Kenneth Hopper and William Hopper,  I.B. Tauris, New York, 2009.

1770:  Without consent of its First Peoples, Lieutenant James Cook RN, in the name of George III of England, laid claim to the entire eastern portion of a territory, known then as New Holland now Australia; ‘from the Northern extremity of the coast called Cape York…to the Southern extremity…South Cape’. See: A Cracker-Jack Opinion – No Sweat

1788, 26 January, Sydney: By ‘ effective occupation’ – invasion – Captain Arthur Phillip RN commander of the ‘First Fleet’ raised the Union Jack at Sydney Cove on 26th January 1788. In doing so he consolidated Britain’s tenuous 1770 ‘discovery’ claim to the island continent of New Holland.

‘From 1788 there had been continuous disputation between the civil power represented by the autocratic uniformed naval governors and the military. In 1792 the military power was significantly strengthened when Phillip, due to ill health, returned to England’. John McMahon, Not A Rum Rebellion But A Military Insurrection. Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 92, 2006.

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