Posts Tagged ‘john macarthur’

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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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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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 [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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‘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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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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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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While Indigenous Australia knows of Marine Lieutenant William Dawes non-indigenous Australia ‘and from all the lands on earth we come’ know almost nothing of Dawes or of the ‘eternal flame’ and the remarkable role it played in the invasion of New Holland and the dispossession of its First Peoples?

Harrison H-4 Chronometer

‘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

It fetched up at one particular ‘remote corner of the world’  aboard HMS Supply one (1) of  eleven (11) ‘First Fleet’ ships.

Warranne – Sydney Cove: 26 January 1788:  K I – a faithful replica of John  Harrison’s  H-4 a ‘sea-going pocket watch’, was given into Dawe’s care by Britain’s Astronomer Royal Rev. Nevil Maskelyne

‘When leaving Botany Bay [for Sydney Cove 25 January 1788] 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

1788 – Norfolk Island, 14 February:  Three (3) weeks later K-1 left Sydney in HMS Supply to occupy Norfolk Island, in order to prevent La Perouse, ‘hanging around at Botany Bay’ claiming it for France.

1788 – Africa,  2 October on Sirius sailed to Cape Town for food.

1789 – Sydney, 8 May Sirius returned with 127,000 lbs. of flour; ‘after an absence of 219 days of which lay in Table Bay Cape of Good Hope, so that, although during the voyage we had fairly gone around the world, we had only been 168 days in describing that circles…makes it [Port Jackson] an important Post should it ever be necessary to carry…war in those seas…Coast of Chile and Peru’. [John] Hunter, Journal Transactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island. ????? 

1790 – Norfolk Island, 6 March on Sirius to Norfolk Island with 50% of Sydney’s starving population.

1790 – 17 March: K-1 was removed from Sirius before she sank after striking a submerged reef off Norfolk Island.

1790 -Sydney,  6 April returned to Sydney on HMS Supply.

1790 – Jakarta, 17 April on Supply sailed to Batavia.

1790 – Sydney, 17 October arrived in Sydney on Supply from Jakarta where Lieutenant Ball had chartered a Dutch ship Waaksamheyd to bring tonnes of supplies to Sydney as soon as possible.

1790 – Sydney, 16 December Waaksamheyd arrived from Jakarta

Together ‘the man of science’ and the ‘pocket-watch’ that ‘wrested the world’s whereabouts from the stars’ can play a 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

‘The decision to colonise New South Wales cannot be isolated from the strategic imperatives of the world’s first global struggle, the Seven Years’ War (1757-1763). . Jeffrey Grey, A Military History of Australia, Third ed. Cambridge University Press, 2008

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A TETHERED GOAT – JOHN McENTIRE- DECEMBER 1790

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

Sydney – 1790 – January: ‘Since the 13th of May, 1787, the day of our departure from Portsmouthwe had been entirely cut off…from the intelligence of our friends and connections… no communications whatever having passed with our native country’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. L.F. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, Sydney 1961 

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‘Since we first arrived [January 1788] at this distant country all this while we have been as it were buried alive, never having the opportunity to hear from our friends…our hopes are now almost vanished’. Reverend Richard Johnson cited Jack Egan, Buried Alive, Eyewitness accounts of the making of a nation 1788-92, Allen and Unwin, Sydney 1999

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‘The other great change came [June 1790] in the arrival with the Second Fleet of the first companies of the New South Wales Corps’. Nigel Rigby, Peter van der Merwse, Glyn Williams. Pacific Explorations, Voyages of Discovery from Captain Cook’s Endeavour to the Beagle, Bloomsbury, Adlard Coles, London, 2018

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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 [14] December 1790’. Kercher, An Unruly Child. ibid.

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‘A smokescreen of legal confusion and argument covered up a continuing pattern of killings at the frontiers of the Australian colonies’. Professor Bruce Kercher, An Unruly Child, History of Law In Australia, Allen & Unwin, 1995

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1790 – 3 June:  Flags Up…a ship with London on her stern

Sydney – 1790 June: Six (6) months after ‘hope [had] almost vanished’ for the Robinson Cruses of the ‘First Fleet’ Lady Juliana, a convict transport with two hundred and twenty six (226) ‘useless’ women prisoners, broke the terrible isolation for English men, women and children marooned at Botany Bay since January 1788. See: Abandoned and Left to Starve @ Sydney Cove January 1788 to June 1790

Dubbed the ‘Brothel Ship’ Lady Juliana was first of four (4) vessels that made up the second fleet Britain’s Grim Armada’ . 

By the end of June 1790 Alexander, Scarborough Suprize the fleet’s death ships arrived with approximately one thousand (1000) men.

Distributed throughout were one hundred and fifteen (115) officers and other ranks, first contingent of the New South Wales Corps of Infantry, guarding the convicts.

London Gazette Extract

‘Military and police raids against dissenting Aboriginal groups lasted from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. These raids had commenced by [14] December 1790’. Kercher, An Unruly Child. ibid.

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MISSING IN ACTION – HMS SIRIUS & HMS SUPPLY

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Sydney – 5 April, 1790: ‘Dismay was painted on every countenance, when the tidings were proclaimed at Sydney’. Marine Captain Watkin, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L, Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

Norfolk Island  – 19 March 1790: the First Fleet’s flagship, while in the process of evacuating 50% of Sydney’s starving European population to Norfolk Island, ran aground on a submerged reef and sank. Her crew, one hundred and sixty naval (160) personnel, were marooned along with the evacuees.  See: Abandoned and Left to Starve @ Sydney Cove, January 1788 to June 1790

China: ‘Famine was approaching with gigantic strides’. Sirius was to have sailed on to China and arrange rescue. ‘Dismay’ all hope of rescue was gone.

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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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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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