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. F.L. 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 – 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 Tench. ibid

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‘Indiscriminate and disproportionate’ Governor Phillip’s directive, putting no limit on barbarity, was his response to the warrior Pemulwuy’s wounding of  convict John  McIntyre.

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

Phillip claimed a targeted attack that took place at Botany Bay in the early hours of 10 December 1790 was  unprovoked’.

Yet Phillip had detailed knowledge of McIntyre, his own game-keeper, one (1) of three (3) convicts marksmen licensed to carry firearms,  makes nonsense of the claim.

And what of ‘they’?  When Pemulway with a ‘blemish in his left eye’ was the known single assailant.

The ‘but’ refers to Phillip’s ‘own spearing’ by Wileemarrin on Manly Beach three (3) months previously – September 1790. See: Manly, Location Location Location

A year earlier, in December 1789, on Governor Phillip’s orders, Bennalong had been kidnapped.

Held captive within British lines until escaping in May of 1790, Bennalong was the source of Phillip’s ‘dread and hatred’ intelligence . See: Kidnapped – Manly What’s In A Name

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Previously ‘Terror’ Now -ARTHUR PHILLIP & JOHN MACARTHUR ‘A MAN WHO MADE ENEMIES’

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

‘Macarthur’s haughty quarrelsome nature which manifested itself on the [second fleet] 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

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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 – Horotio Nelson, William Bligh and Arthur Phillip. Andrew Tink, Life and Times of Tommy Townshend, 2001

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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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‘The arrival, 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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‘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[ed] 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

‘When leaving Botany Bay [for Sydney Cove 25 January 1788] Phillip noticed 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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‘Our wealth and power in India is their [France ] great and constant object of jealously; and they will never miss an opportunity of attempting to wrest it out of our hands’. Sir James Harris cited, Michael Pembroke, Arthur Phillip Sailor Mercenary Governor Spy, Hardie Grant Books. Melbourne, London, 2013

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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

Harrison H-4 Chronometer

‘Military and police raids against dissenting Aboriginal groups lasted from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries…These raids had commenced by [on 14th] December 1790’.  Professor Bruce Kercher, An Unruly Child, A History of Law in Australia, Allen & Unwin, 1995.

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‘Bring in six [6] of those natives who reside near the head of Botany Bay; or if that should be found impracticable, to put that number [6] to death…bring back the heads of the slain’. Governor Arthur Phillip RN, General Orders to Marine Captain Watkin Tench, 13 December 1790. Cited Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, L.F. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, Sydney 1961

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‘Lieutenant William Dawes whose tour of duty it was to  go out with that party refused that duty by letter’. Professor G.A. Wood, Lieutenant William Dawes and  Captain Watkin Tench, Royal Australian Historical Society Journal; Vol. 19, Part 1, 1924

Australia knows little of the ‘eternal flame’ or the remarkable role it played in the invasion of New Holland, and dispossession of its First Peoples.

Warranne – 26 January 1788:  K I – a faithful replica of John  Harrison’s  H-4 a ‘sea-going pocket watch’, given by Astronomer Royal Nevil Maskelyne into the care of marine  Lieutenant William Dawes, fetched up at one particular ‘remote corner of the world’  – Sydney Cove – aboard HMS Supply one (1) of the First Fleet’s eleven (11) ships.

It was the essential ingredient in both the survival of the British invaders and near destruction of Australia’s First Nations’ Peoples.

‘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. Arnold Wood. op.cit.

However, aside from Daniel Rooke, Kate Grenville’s star-struck cardboard cut-out hero of The Lieutenant, non-indigenous Australians know almost nothing of him.

‘Dawes whose tour of duty it was to go out with that [14 December 1790] party [refused that duty by letter’. Wood. ibid.

Australia either knows nothing of, or turns a blind eye, on Lieutenant Dawes’ pivotal role in revealing the how ,why and wherefore of the ‘war nasty and decidedly lacking in glory’ Britain waged against Australia’s First Nations’ Peoples. See: The Big Switch

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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

What went wrong?

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 1788 to 1870, Kangaroo Press, 1986

The first Corps of infantry, raised  in October 1789 replaced the First Fleet’s four (4) companies of marines who departed England in the ‘First Fleet’ on the 13th of May 1787 to invade the island continent of New Holland, now Australia.

‘The great change came in the arrival with the Second Fleet of the first companies of the New South Wales Corps [among them] 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

John ‘MacMafia’ Macarthur the teetotaller who put ‘firey India rum’ into the infamous New South Wales Rum Corps.

England – 16 October: 1789: ‘ War-Office – A Corps of Foot for New South Wales, Major Francis Grose of the late 96th Regiment is appointed to be Major Commandant’. The London Gazette, issue: 13140, October, 1789

Sydney – June 1790: The first contingent arrived with the second fleet at the end of June 1790. Among them; lowly placed  ‘Ensign M’acarthur, from the 68th Regiment, to be Lieutenant.

‘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

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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

Sydney: By December 1790 Governor Captain Arthur Phillip RN knew ‘certain officers’ of the newly arrived New South Wales Corps (June 1790) – led by Lieutenant John Macarthur an ambitious junior officer – were circling the tents.

In Phillip’s judgement the Pitt Administration in far off England was in danger of losing New South Wales (Australia) gateway to India,  Asia and its  ‘proximity’ to  Spain’s South American ‘treasure’ colonies. See: Proximity Not Distance Drove Britain’s Invasion of New Holland.

However the threat did not come from the First Nations’ People. The previous year 1789, 50% of local Eora Aborigines had contracted smallpox and were dead. The survivors were struggling to regroup. See: A Lethal Weapon Smallpox – Boston 1775 – Sydney 1789

Governor Phillip knew a serious threat to King and Country came from within the military ranks. Isolated, without naval support in the midst of a hostile soldiery, he had only one (1) option in his armoury – diversion.

And to deliver it only one (1) sure arrow, his personal convict game-keeper, the ‘hated’ convict John M’Entire.  Missing in Action HMS Sirius & HMS Supply .

1790 – 9 December, Botany Bay: ‘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

‘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.

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

Whitehall: 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 British infantry troops.

‘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

Sydney  – 1790 June: First contingent of infantry, the infamous New South Wales Corps, had arrived in June 1790 aboard the second fleet Britain’s Grim Armada’. See: Dancing With Slavers – A Second Fleet

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

Major Francis Grose the Corps’ commander remained in London to recruit and satisfy establishment requirements. There was intense dissension within officer ranks. Lieutenant John Macarthur, a junior officer, moved swiftly to fill the command vacuum. See: A Black Hole: The First Interregnum 1792-1795

London – 1794, 6 February,: 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′.

Sydney – 1795, September 7: Governor John Hunter RN arrived 7 September 1795 and assumed office four days later.   (more…)

COUP-EE – AN ARMED INSURRECTION – 26 JANUARY 1808

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

‘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.

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

‘In the beginning, the population of New South Wales was entirely official or criminal’. H.V. Evatt, Rum Rebellion, 1978. 

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