Archive for the ‘Criminals – Australia’s Founding Fathers’ Category

A MILLION DOLLAR BABY – THE BOTANY BAY MEDALLION & THOMAS BARRETT

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020

‘The ‘Botany Bay Medallion’ a skillfully engraved metal medallion inscribed with a relief description of the voyage dated 20 January 1788 and a representation of the Charlotte riding at anchor at Botany Bay.  Mollie Gillen, Founders of Australia,

image of charlotte medal

Thomas Barrett is thought to ‘have been the maker of the Botany Bay Medallion.’ Also known as the Charlotte Medal,  it measures 74 mm (3 inches).

One side bears a precise reckoning of the First Fleet’s gruelling eight (8) months voyage across 13,000 miles (21,000 km) of largely ‘imperfectly explored oceans’ from England to conquer New Holland, now Australia.

It appears to have been fashioned from a silver-coloured metal medical dish owned most likely by Dr. John White the fleet’s chief medical officer.

The face of the medal depicts Charlotte  one (1) of the fleet’s six (6) convict transports – Alexander, Friendship, Lady Penrhyn, Prince of Wales and Scarborough, chartered by the British government to ship 750 convicted criminals  (570 males, 190 women) from England to Australia, together with three (3) stores-ships, Golden Grove, Borrowdale and Fishburn.

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DARK MATTER – ‘McMafia’ MACARTHUR & ‘FIERY INDIAN RUM’ THE TEETOTALLER’S DRUG OF CHOICE FOR OTHERS

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

Sydney – June 1790: ‘On a high bluff, called South-head, at the entrance of the harbour…every morning from daylight until the sun sunk, did we sweep the horizon, in the hope of seeing a sail.

No communication  whatever having passed with our native country since the 13th May 1787 the day of our departure from Portsmouth….The misery and horror of such a situation cannot be imparted even by those who have suffered under it’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. L.F. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

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‘Until, the year 1823 the government of New South Wales was vested entirely in the Governor who worked under the control of the Secretary of State for the Home Department.

He was an autocrat, wielding the widest powers, amenable to no criticism but than of the Minister [13,000 miles (21,000 km) away] in England’. Professor Ernest Scott, A Short History of Australia, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1953

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London – January 1790: ‘I am commanded to signify to you the King’s pleasure that directions be immediately given for the embarkation of the Corps raised for service in New South Wales and commanded by Major Grose’. Right Hon.W.W. Grenville to Secretary of War, London, 20 January 1790

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‘It does not appear that Grose’s antecedents had qualified him in any way for the performance of gubernatorial functions. He had been trained from his youth to arms and was essentially and only a soldier’. M.H. Bladen, Journal Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. I

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‘[Grose] had not been many hours in charge before [13 December 1792] he introduced into the Government of the colony the same system, and very much the same forms, which prevailed in his regiment…From this period, the ascendancy of the military dates. They became an aristocracy’ .Bladen. op.cit. 

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‘It was a great misfortune that this period of military rule occurred because in the course of it the colony was brought to degradation by drink, corruption, and general iniquity, which required years to mitigate’. Ernest Scott. op.cit.

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‘For the length of the interregnum the British Government was greatly at fault’. J.J. Achmutty, John Hunter, Australian Dictionary of Biography See: A Black Hole the First Interregnum December 1792-September 1795

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‘Military power was the most decisive fact about the early settlements; it was the frame within which everything else happened’. R. Connell and T.H. Irving, Class Structure in Australian History, Documents, Narrative and Argument, 1987

Sydney – 1790, June: The first contingent, one hundred and fifteen (115) ,Officers NCOs and ORs of the New South Wales Corps, reached Sydney in June 1790.

Major Francis Grose their commander remained in England to recruit sufficient numbers to meet establishment requirement.

Lieutenant John Macarthur, an ambitious self-centred junior Corps Officer, took advantage of deep dissensions among his fellow officers and moved swiftly to fill the power vacuum created by Grose’s absence. See: The Switch 1790 – Context – War With France 1793-1815

Sydney -1792, 14 February:  Pitt  a convict transport with three hundred (300) male prisoners reached Sydney on Valentine’s Day 1792.  The Pitt also brought Major Grose with an additional two hundred (200) infantry troops.

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ARTHUR PHILLIP – TRADE – THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ARTHUR & THE DEFENCE OF TRADE

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

There can be no question of right or wrong in such a case [as New Holland]. The only right is that of superiority of race, and the greater inherent capability on the part of the whites; the only real wrong on the part of the blacks their all-round inferiority and their inability to till the ground or even make use of its natural pastures. Their disappearance was a natural necessity’. James Collier, The Pastoral Age in Australasia, London, 1911. Reprint, Forgotten Books, 2018

‘The essentials of Britain’s foreign policy are bound to be basically two; trade and defence, particularly the defence of trade. There is no hard and fast line between foreign policy and other aspects of policy; domestic, economic and colonial’. C.M. Woodhouse, British Foreign Policy since WW II, 1961

As the 1600s morphed into the 1700s science progressed and maritime technology advanced exploration and exploitation. Competing territorial and trade ambitions burgeoned throughout Europe, none as fierce as those between traditional enemies Britain France and Spain.

‘When the expanding [colonial] plantation economy demanded more labor than could be supplied by white servants, Africans were imported as slaves: that is ‘chattel’ slaves…chattel slavery, the most debased form of bondage.

In its most extreme form it evolved in British America, took form in British-American law, in response to the need for a totally reliable, totally exploitable, and infinitely creatable labour force’. Professor Bernard Bailyn, The Peopling of the British Peripheries, Esso Lecture, 1988, Canberra.

The Treaty of Utrecht (1713) a series of agreements brought a formal end to the War of Spanish Succession (1701-14). Under its terms Britain became the largest exporter of ‘chattel’ slaves.

In 1772 Britain’s participation in the very profitable cruel  Atlantic Negro slave trade came under closer scrutiny when:

‘Lord Mansfield made his famous judgement in Somerset’s case (1772), by which slavery was declared illegal in this country‘. J.H. Plumb, England In The Eighteenth Century (1714-1815), Pelican 1965, p. 159 

Following the Mansfield decision William Wilberforce and the anti-slavery movement in general redoubled efforts to abolish all forms of human trafficking including England’s export of convicted criminals.

Since legislation, Geo. 1 The Transportation Act of 1717[18], each year Britain off-loaded 1000 prisoners reprieved death on condition they be transported ‘out of the realm’.

Shipped to America they were sold at regular ‘slave scrambles’. To be more precise – their labour was sold through a middle man. Sex, skill, physical and mental condition determined the sale price, buyers were mainly plantation owners. See: Britons Never Never Shall be Slaves

‘The factors who handled convict sales often had pre-existing customer orders that they met when convicts with the desired appropriate skills became available’. Edith M. Ziegler, Harlots, Hussies & Poor Unfortunate Women, Crime, Transportation & The Servitude of Female Convicts 1718-1783, University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, 2014

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A HATCHET JOB: HEADS OFF THE BIDJIGAL OF BOTANY BAY

Sunday, March 25th, 2018

‘In war the trophy head is a mark of supremacy and respect’. Frances Larson, Severed, Granta, 2015

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1790 – 13 December, Sydney Cove: ‘If practicable, to bring away two [2] natives as prisoners and to put to death ten [10]. That we were to cut off, and bring in the heads of the slain, for which purpose, hatchets and bags would be furnished’. Marine Captain Watkin, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhadinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

Can we know what drove Governor Phillip’s ferocity? Yes we can – simmering rebellion centred on ‘certain  officers’ of the newly arrived New South Wales Corps (June 1790) one in particular Lieutenant John Macarthur.

‘The author of this publication [Captain Watkin Tench] received a direction to attend the governor [Arthur Phillip] at head quarters immediately.

I went, and his excellency informed me, that he had pitched upon me to execute the foregoing command…infuse universal terror…convince them of our superiority…we were to proceed to the north arm of the [Botany] bay…destroy all weapons of war: no hut was to be burned: that all women and children were to remain uninjured’.  

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ARTHUR PHILLIP – SPOOK & EVEN NEPEAN – HANDLER – A MILITARY CAMPAIGN HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT

Tuesday, March 6th, 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 history – Horotio Nelson, William Bligh and Arthur Phillip. Lord Sydney [the life and times of Tommy Townshend] Andrew Tink, 2011.

2020:  It is time to kill that old chestnut – Captain Arthur Phillip RN was ‘plucked from obscurity’ to command the First Fleet’.

Brazil: Key to the success of Britain’s Expeditionary Force, known as the ‘First Fleet’, had been laid nearly a decade earlier during Arthur Phillip’s three (3) year sojourn in Brazil.

Like ‘amity and kindness’ Australia’s foundation myth – benign colonisation; ‘New South Wales…peacefully annexed’ U.K. Privy Council [11] Cooper V Stuart [1889]’ nothing ‘plucked from obscurity’ does not pass the pub test.

Britain invaded New Holland on the cusp of ‘the greatest event of the late eighteenth century’ – the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars – February 1793 to June 1815.

New Holland guaranteed Britain domination over alternate sea routes to and from India , the Philipines and China. Via the Southern Oceans Spain’s South American Pacific Coast  ‘treasure colonies’ were vulnerable to attack.  See: Proximity Not Distance Drove Britain’s Invasion of New Holland

Rio de Janeiro: Seconded to the Portuguese Navy Phillip, fluent in Portuguese, established good relations with Viceroy Lavradio.  Based in Rio he reported directly to Lord Sandwich at the Admiralty.

When the fleet, en-route to Botany Bay put into Rio for supplies (August-September 1787), Phillip found Marquess Vasconcelos, Lavradio’s successor, held him in high regard.

In the race for New Holland Vasconcelos’ support proved vital to Britain’s victory over France. See: Britain By A Short Half-Head Arthur Phillip and Jean Francois La Perouse

‘The short term consequence [loss of America] were less dramatic than many expected. Though Britain’s eclipse as a world power was confidently predicted her economic recovery was swift and the colonial development of Australia, New Zealand, India and part of Africa went some way to compensating for the loss of the first British Empire’. J.A. Cannon, Emeritus Professor of Modern History, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, ed. Oxford Companion to British History.

 

‘In November [1784] Henry Dundas, possibly Pitt’s closest advisor, warned that ‘India is the first quarter to be attacked, we must never lose sight of keeping such a force there as well be sufficient to baffle or surprise’. Henry Dundas, cited Michael Pembroke, Arthur Phillip Sailor Mercenary Governor Spy, Hardie Grant Books, Victoria, 2013

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TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD – THOMAS BARRETT

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

‘He [ Barrett] may have been the maker of the Botany Bay Medallion…a skilfully engraved metal medallion inscribed with a relief description of the voyage dated 20 January 1788 and a representation of the Charlotte at anchor in Botany Bay. Mollie Gillen, Founders of Australia, Library of Australian History, Sydney, 1990

image of charlotte medal

The Charlotte Medal, created by Thomas Barrett

Sydney Cove 1788 – 27 February 27: A lifer’  Thomas Barrett was the first Englishman hanged in European Australia.

Barrett fashioned the ‘Botany Bay Medallion’ AKA the ‘Charlotte Medal from a ‘silver coloured metal kidney dish’ thought to belong to Dr. John White. The fleet’s Chief Medical Officer White would have certified Barrett’s death. See: From Here to Eternity 

An excellent medical administrator White nevertheless was a flawed character.  Controversy over provenance of paintings;  ‘by  the artist known as the Port Jackson Painter’ in the Watling Collection, London Natural History Museum, remains current to this day.

London: Barrett, probably son of Irish immigrants, was born in London in 1758. His profile is not that of the usual illiterate dead-beat English common criminal. Unusual for those times he could read and, as exemplified by the medallion, wrote a find hand.

In September 1782 Barrett stood in the dock of the Old Bailey accused of stealing clothing and ‘a silver watch with chain’ from an unoccupied house, described as ‘up for rent’.

Found guilty as charged, sentenced to hang, he spent the following twelve (12) months on ‘death row’ in one of London’s appalling prisons.

On 11 September 1783 the death penalty was commuted for ‘transportation to America’ for the ‘term of his natural life’ . Barrett was transferred to Censor a Thames River prison-hulk to await shipment.

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A WORM-HOLE: RICHARD ATKIN’S DIARY & THE FIRST BLACK HOLE

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

‘The natives of the country [New Holland] live Tranquilly which is not disturb’d by the inequality of condition’. Lieutenant James Cook RN, HMS Endeavour Journal.

 

‘You are also with the consent of the natives to take possession of convenient situations in the country in the name of the King of Great  Britain, or if you find the country uninhabited take possession for His Majesty by setting up proper marks and inscriptions as first discoverers and possessors’. British Admiralty Instructions to Lieutenant James Cook RN, 1768. 

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‘An effective resolution will require what the British required as long ago ago as 1768 ‘the consent of the natives’. G. Nettheim, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Monograph No. 7, May 1994, ed. W. Sanders, Australian National University, Goanna Press, 1994

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1770 – August, Possession Island: Nevertheless Cook  ‘with[out] consent’ of its inhabitants, Australia’s  First Peoples, in the name of His Majesty King George III of England, marked a tree, ran up a flag, and named their territory New Wales. See: Captain Cook, Charles Green, John Harrison – Three Yorkshirmen Walked Into A Bar – Nevil Maskelyne

‘Military power was the most decisive fact about the early settlements; it was the frame within which everything else happened’. R. Connell and T.H. Irving, Class Structure in Australian History, Documents, Narrative and Argument, 1980.

1788 – January,  Warrane – Sydney Cove: ” Began…At 6 am …on the 28th the disembarkation’ of a large amphibious army commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip RN.John Moore, The First Fleet Marines 1786-1792, Queensland University Press, 1986

Two hundred and forty-five (245) marines, two hundred (200) Royal Naval personnel, five hundred and seventy (570) male convicts ‘rationed as troops serving in the West Indies’ , twenty (20) officials, a lone male stowaway and four hundred and forty (440) merchant-seamen made up the fleet’s male complement, 1300 souls.See: ? Aside from Seagulls How Many White Birds Were On The Ground At Sydney Cove On 26 January 1788 – None

1788 – 6 February: ‘The day the convict women [189],  marine wives [31], children [29 free]… landed by rowing boats between 6am and 6 pm’. John Moore, The First Fleet Marines. ibid.

1788 – 7 February, Port Jackson: Governor Arthur Phillip RN, ‘using a form of words’ proclaimed the conquest – ‘effective occupation’ – of the island continent of New Holland, now Australia, for the British Empire.

‘It is impossible that… H.M. Government…should forget that the original aggression was ours’. Lord Jon Russell, to Sir George Gipps, 21 December 1838, Historical Records of Australia, Series 1, Vol. XX

The winner-takes-all mindset of Britain’s ‘original aggression’ – laid down in 1788 – was set in stone during two (2) critical periods of absolute military rule between 1792-1795 and 1808-1810.

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ANALYSE THIS

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

‘On 1 April 1776 [‘whereas the transportation of convicts to H.M. Colonies in America is found to be attended with various inconveniences’] Lord North moved to bring in a Bill to authorise for a limited time punishment, by hard labour, of offenders who were liable to transportation’. Wilfrid Oldham, Britain’s Convicts to the Colonies, Library of Australian History, Sydney, 1993

1775- April, America: Conflict between England and her American colonies – the War of Independence (1775-1783) – brought a sudden halt to convict transportation to America.

‘Convict transportation in its original manifestation [Geo.1 C.11-23-29] was a uniquely American phenomenon.’ Anthony Vaver Bound With An Iron Chain, The Untold Story of How the British Transported 50,000 convicts to Colonial America, Pickpocket Publishing, 2011

England’s gaols, previously short-term holding pens for convicted criminals,reprieved death and commuted ‘for transportation to America’, were quickly overwhelmed.

During eight (8) years of conflict approximately 10,000 prisoners were held over.

1776 – 23 May, England: The Hulks Act – 16 Geo. III, c 43 – received Royal Assent on 23rd May 1776. Lord North’s Bill was a game-changer. It changed the status of prisoners sentenced ‘for transportation’.

The legislation introduced a legal distinction that applied only to those criminals reprieved death on condition they be ‘transported out of the realm…beyond the seas’. See: April Fools Day

Deemed ‘Servants of the Crown’ until expiry of the term of sentence, their ‘service’ was for the ‘nation’, thereby ensuring ‘its original [1717-18] manifestation [remained] ‘a uniquely American phenomenon’.

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‘TERROR’ – ARTHUR’S ALGORITHM – OPEN SESAME!

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

‘The ability to shock bestows a kind of power’. Frances Larson, Severed, Granta, London, 2014

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Sydney – 1790 – 13 December:   Governor Arthur Phillip RN to Marine Captain Watkin Tench; ‘Infuse universal terror…put ten [10] to death…cut off, and bring back the heads of the slain….two [2] prisoners I [Phillip] am resolved to execute the prisoners who may be brought in, in the most public and exemplary manner, in the presence of as many of their countrymen as can be collected’.  Cited Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Year, ed. L.F. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

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‘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

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‘The warrior skilled at stirring the enemy proffers the bait’. Sun-Tzu, The Art of War, Penguin Books, 2009 

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[December 13]and my [Phillip’s} fixed determination to repeat it, whenever any future breach of good conduct on their side, shall render it necessary’.  Tench. op.cit.

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‘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

Australia’s First Nations’ Peoples can, with laser accuracy, plot their ‘future’ near annihilation – from Governor Phillip’s Orders of the 13th of December 1790.

‘For the Sydney people to lose 50% or more of their military capability in a few weeks was a crushing blow’. Stephen Gapps, The Sydney Wars, NewSouth Books, 2018

From where lay the threat to Governor Phillip in December 1790? Certainly not with the Bidjigal of Botany Bay.

The ‘crushing blow’:  An outbreak of smallpox in April the previous year (1789) killed 50% of Sydney’s Aborigines leaving its pock-marked survivors struggling to regroup. See: Smallpox – A Lethal Weapon Boston 1775, Sydney 1789 – Robert Ross and David Collins

If not the Bidjigal who was Phillip’s ‘enemy’? See: A Clash of Giants – Arthur Phillip & John Macarthur – The Great Pretender

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THREE AMIGOS – WOODHAM RUGLESS LIMPUS + ONE – THOMAS BARRETT

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

‘The grand consideration seems to be, to get them [convicted criminals] out of Europe at all Events…simply landing these people in Africa., to let them shift for themselves’. Governor Richard Miles, Cape Coast Castle to Home Office, London. Cited Mollie Gillen, Founders of Australia, Library of Australian History.

London – 1781 May 30: Samuel Woodham and John Rugless, aged about 16 years – described as ‘boys’ in court papers  appeared at the Old Bailey indicted for assault and highway robbery.

Africa: Found guilty of stealing a silver shirt buckle, a cotton handkerchief and 14 (fourteen) shillings in coin they were sentenced to hang. Reprieved, commuted for a life-time of military service in Africa, both were lodged in London’s infamous Newgate gaol to await shipment.

London – 1782  October 8:  Thomas Limpus appeared at the General Quarter Sessions at the beginning of October 1782 charged with theft of a handkerchief. Found guilty he was sentenced to seven (7) years exile in Africa.

Biographical information is taken from Mollie Gillen’s fabulous Founders of Australia (more…)