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Tasmania's Part

In Development

Of Commonwealth

?.???"."??.».?»»...?.?.By Basil W. Rait. .»....

: A CENTURY and a half has passed since Capt. Arthur \ : ii. Phillip founded the infant settlement upon the shores j j of Sydney Cove that was destined to become one of the j : greatest cities of the British Empire, and, from which was j j born the Australian Commonwealth. The story of the . : colonisation and development of the island continent : j forms one of the most remarkable chapters in the history j : of the Dominions. Although Australia is celebrating the : j sesquicentenary of the foundation of the first settlement . : in 1788, its scientific and aboriginal history may be traced j : back for a far greater period. :

THE dawn of the 17th century.

' marked the beginning of a ;new era in world history, which >vas to witness not only the dis- covery of a portion of the north jcoast of Australia near Cape .York by William Jansz, a Dutch ^explorer, in 1606, but the visit of William Dampier, the first Eng- lishman to land in Australia, and the discovery of Tasmania. In 1622, it is recorded, the English ship Trial was wrecked off the ;coast" of West Australia, but as far as'is known, no member of the Crew reached the shore. More than 150 years elapsed before colonisation was considered.

, ' ? In 1642 Abel Janszoon Tasman, a

Dutch explorer, while seeking the southern continent, discovered and named the island of Van Diemen'« Land, now Tasmania, 128 years be- fore Lieut. James Cook visited Bot- any Bay and Port Jackson. In 1688, William Dampier, the first-known Englishman to land in Australia, ar- rived off thc western coast near Cape Leveque in the Cygnet, and the 250th anniversary of his visit occurred on January 4 of this year.

Folio wine; Dampier's second visit In ICO!), almost 100 years passed before Australia again occupied the attention of English explorers. In 1768 Lieut, .lames Cook sailed from England with a party of scientists in the Endeavour primarily to visit Tahiti to witness the transit ot Venus. On April 20,-1770, Lieut. Hicks sighted the coast of New South Wales, nnd Cook named the southernmost point seen-Point Hicks after Its discoverer. This is now shown on Admiralty charts at Cape Everard. After sailing along the coast, Cook en- tered Botany Bay on Sunday, April 30. After spending a week in the har- bour Cook sailed farther north, and en- tered Port Jackson, which he so named In honour of Slr George Jackson, of thc British Admiralty.

Following Cook's voyage, Marlon Du Frcsne, a French explorer, visited the east coast qt Tasmania in 1772, and in 1773 Capt. 'Tobias Furneaux, while with Cook on his second voyage, ex- plored along the south coast of the island, and anchored in tho bay on Bruny Island, which was named after his vessel, Adventure Bay. Then in 1777 Cook, oh his third and last voyage, came once more to Australian waters, and visited Bruny Island.

* . * *

JN 17SB the British Government de-

cided to attempt the formation of a colony In Australia, or New Holland as It was then known. The command of the expedition to New South Wales was given to Capt. Arthur Phillip, and the first fleet, which consisted of the Sirius (flagship) of 20 guns, the Supply (armed brig), three storeships, and six transports, sailed on May 13, 1787, from Splthcad.

,,the officers of the expedition In- cluded: David Collins, a captain of the Royal Marinos, who was destined to beepme the, founder of Hobart, as Judge Advocate;'. Thomas Davey, a lieutenant of the Marines, who later

succeeded Collins as second governor o£ Tasmania; and William Collins, 2nd lieutenant, understood to have been the brother o£ the.Judge Advocate. Alto-

gether the fleet had a complement of 1,482 persons. ... '

According to - . Surgeon-General White's account of the settlement, published in the Universal Magazine in 1790, those on board the Charlotte sighted the . coast of Tasmania i on January 7, and the Sirius, under Capt. John Hunter, with the storeships and three transports, arrived at Botany Bay on .January .20. Phillip, however, had -arrived In the Supply on Janu- ary 18, and tho other three transports on the following day..

On January 21 Phillip, with Capt. Hunter, and masters of the two men of-wars, with a party of marines,' set off in two rigged long-boats to exam- ine Port Jackson, and tho party re- turned on January 23, Phillip, accord-

ing tb White "full of praise on-;the

extent, and excellence of the harbour, as well as the superiority of' the ground, water and situation to that of Botany Bay." ... .

The Governor, having determined to establish his settlmerit 'at Port Jackson, reUirhed there In the Sup- ply, leaving Capt. Hunter to super- vise the removal of the transports ' and storeships to the harbour. '

As Hunter was leaving Botany Bay with his ships on -January 24, he en- countered two, strange vessels, which it transpired ' formed . the expedition

under Count La" Perouse, the French explorer. The latter had decided to visit Botany'Bay to'replace tho long- boats belonging to his vessels, which had been destroyed by natives in the Samoan group.

When all the ships of tho first fleet had been safely anchored in Port Jackson on the evening ot January 2G, 178S, the British colours were hoisted on the flagstaff that has been erected on the site of the proposed settlement, and the healths of His Majesty and members ot the Royal Family were drunk by Phillip and his officers, with .success to the new colony. The Gov- ernor named the cove upon which he established lils settlement Sydney Cove after Lord Sydney, then Secre- tary of State for the Home Depart- ment, whose name is also perpetuated in the City of-Sydney.

The colony, which at one time, com- prised the Mainland east of 135 degrees east longtitude, including Tasmania, was named by Capt. Cook, who called it New AVales, because he considered its coastline resembled that of Wales, and from this came the title New South Wales.

* * * *

Çyx February 7 Judge Advocate David

Collins, before the assembled set- tlers, read the proclamation and Royal Commission appointing Capt. Arthur Phillip as the first Captain-General and Governor-ln-Chlef of the colony of New South Wales. By the end of the year Phillip had established a settlement on Norfolk Island under Lieut. P. G. King, and when ho returned to England in 1792 the colony was well on the way to becoming one of the most Important o£ the British possessions. For the next three years.New South Wales was ad- ministered by two military officers, Major Francis Grose and ' Capt. Wil- liam Paterson. The latter, became the founder ot Launceston, Northern Tas- mania. In 1795 Capt. J. Hunter was ap

Capt. James Cook (top left), who proclaimed Australia a British possession in 1770; Capt. Arthur Phillip (top right), founder and first Gover- nor of New South Wales; and Capt. David Collins, founder

of Hobart and first Lieut.- ' Governor of Tasmania.

pointed Governor, and he was respon- sible for the epic voyage in 1798 by Bass and Flinders, who discovered Bass Strait, and proved Tasmania's exist- ence as an island. "When Hunter re- turned home in 1800, Capt. P. G. King assumed the administration of the colony. In 1803 he sent Lieut. John Bowen to establish a settlement on the Derwent'River, In Southern Tasmania, and in the following year he was re- sponsible for the expeditions which laid the foundation of Hobart and Launces- ton.

* * * *

rPHE fourth Governor of Now South

Wales was Capt. William Bligh, who, In the year of the foundation of the first Australian settlement in 1788, caused the first fruit trees to be planted In Tasmania, Bligh was succeeded by Lleut.-Col. Lachlan Macquarie, under whose administration the colony of New South Wales was greatly developed. The Blue Mountains were crossed by Gre- gory Blaxland, AV. C. Wentworth, and W. Lawson In 1813, and this made pos- sible the extension of settlements to tho Inland regions. Previously attempts had been made on the mountains, and among the first were those of William Paterson, the founder ot Launceston, and G. AV. Evans, one of the most cele- brated of tho early explorers of New South AVales, whose grave is in St. John's cemetery, New Town.

Macquarie visited Tasmania in 1811 and again in 1821. He caused Hobart to be laid out on a regular plan, named the principal streets, and selected, among others, the sites for the town- ships of Brighton, Oatlands, Camp- bell Town, Ross, and Perth.

Sir Thomas Brisbane succeeded Mac- quarie in 1821, and during his regime the Supreme Court was established at Hobart, and settlements were formed in 1824 at Moreton Bay, Queensland, and at Melville Island, but the latter was subsequently abandoned. Major-Gen- eral Ralph Darling was appointed Gov- ernor of New South AVales In 1825, and In the same year he visited Hobart, and on December 3 proclaimed the estab- lishment of the Independent colony of Tasmania, of which ho actually became Governor for three days.

Before 1S30 settlements had been es-

tablished at Albany, on King George's Sound, and also on the Swan River, and under Darling's Commission the boun- dary of New South AA'ales was extended to embrace the 129th parallel ot East Longitude. A settlement was attempt- ed at AAresternport in 1820, but was abandoned, and it was not until 1834 that Tasmanian pioneers were success- ful In founding the first Victorian set- tlement South Australia was colonised in 1836. Victoria was separated ironi New South AVales in 1.851,:.and;.the-ln-' dependent colony of Queensland was. proclaimed in 1859.' In'-1886 the'first! meeting of tho Federal Council,Consist-: lng of representatives of all colonies,; was held at Hobart for the purpose of discussing the question of tho federa- tion of the colonies. Eventually, in 1901, the Commonwealth of Australia' was established.'

The history of the founding of Sydney, the colonisation of New' South Wales, and the development of Australia, is a story of heroic endeavour, , and as Sydney cele- brates its scsqiiicentcnary, Tas . mania may rejoice that it has in-

deed played its part in the making of Australia.