Posts Tagged ‘settlement’

EYES WIDE SHUT – A MILITARY CAMPAIGN & ARTHUR PHILLIP

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

1787 – London, 25 April:  ‘You  are to endeavour by every means possible to open an intercourse with the natives, and to conciliate their affections enjoining all or subjects to live in amity and kindness with them…and if any of our subjects shall wantonly destroy them, or give them any unnecessary interruption in the exercise of their several occupations, it it our will and pleasure that you do cause such offenders to be brought to punishment according to the degree of the offence’. King George III to Captain Arthur Phillip RN, Frank Murcott Bladen, Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. 1 Parts 1 and 2 

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1790 – 13 December Sydney: ‘Bring in six [6] of those natives who reside near the head of Botany Bay; or if that should be found impractical…put that number [6] to death…hatchets to cut off the heads….bags provided…bring in the heads of the slain…ropes to bind…bring away two [2] prisoners to execute in the most public and exemplary manner, in the presence of as many of their countrymen as can be collected’.  General Orders: Governor Arthur Phillip RN to Marine Captain Watkin Tench. Cited Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961.

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Britain invaded New Holland because; ‘From the coast of China it lies not more than about a thousand leagues, and nearly the same distance from the East Indies, from the Spice Islands about seven hundred leagues, and near a month’s run from Cape of Good Hope…or suppose we were again involved in a war with Spain, here are ports of shelter and refreshment for our ships, should it be necessary to send any into the South Sea’. Admiral Sir George Young, Plan [New Holland] to Home Secretary Lord Sydney. Bladen 

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Extravagant lies, none are more destructive than ‘amity and kindness’.

‘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, 1788-1870, Kangaroo Press, 1986

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Why did Britain invade New Holland? ‘In the first place, Pitt, Dundas, Castlereagh and other British ministers were to a great extent advocates of ‘maritime’ strategy as Dundas argued in 1801;

“From our insular position, from our limited population not admitting of extensive continental operations, and from the importance depending in so material a degree upon the extent of our commerce and navigation, it is obvious that, be the causes of the war what they may, the primary object of our attention ought to be, by what means we can most effectually increase those resources on which depend our naval superiority, and at the same time diminish or appropriate to ourselves those which might enable the enemy to contend with us in this respect”. Henry Dundas, cited Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery, Fontana Press, 3rd ed. London 1976

What took Governor Arthur Phillip from ‘amity and kindness’ to ‘bring in the heads of the slain’?

The revival of Tudor ambition, the return to an ideal of trade…the search for a new Cathay led unexpectedly perhaps not to Nootka Sound as a halfway house to Canton or to a business deal between George III and the Emperor of China but to settlement in Australasia’. Vincent T. Harlow, The Founding of the Second British Empire 1763-1793, Vol 2. Longmans 1964

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1787 – Portsmouth, 13 May: Captain Arthur Phillip RN commander of a large armed squadron of eleven (11) ships – two (2) warships, six (6) troop transports, three (3) supply vessels, known in Britain as the ‘First Fleet’ set sail from England to invade the island continent of New Holland.See: A Riddle – When an invasion fleet was not an invasion fleet? When it’s the ‘First Fleet’.

 

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