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chapter 100978776      


Biographical notice of Captain Arthur Phillip-The landing at Botany Day, and the transfer of the settlement to Sydney Cove.

The publication of the narratives of Cook's   voyages excited great interest in England ; and when, a few years afterwards the result .of the American War. of Independance closed the plantations pf Virginia against the reception of transported offenders, the government were compelled to look out for a. place to.wliioh'might be sent some of the ¡prisoners who then filled tho gaols of Great Britain to overflowing. Under these circumstances no spot in the world seemed so suitable as the, shores of that bay, on the .eastern coast of Australia, bf which Cook lad given so favourable an account There . it was accordingly determined to form a

settlement. The execution of tito project ' was; however, delayed for several years, and

it was not until " 1786 that tho British Government .proceeded to carry out its in-

tention of planting a colony on tho remote j

shores,of the Pacific. , ? -

Orders in Council for establishing a settlement in New South "Wales were issued on the Gth December, 1786, and early in the following year the ships were prepared, and officers selected, for carrying ? the plan into- effect. The Isle of "Wight was appoiuted as a-rendezvous for the Hoot, con- sisting of. eleven sail. " The names of, the vessels were the Sirius, frigate; the.Supply, armed tender ¡.the Golden Grove, Fisliburn, -and Barrowdale, storeships ; and'the Scar- borough, Lady Penrhyn, .Friendship, Charlotte, Prince of "Wales, and Alexander, transports. Tho officers of the new colony were Captain Arthur Phillip, who ' was- styled Goyornpr and Commander-in Chief pf New South Wales; Major Robert Boss, Lieutenant Governor ; Richard John- son, chaplain ;, Andrew Miller, commissary ; David Collins, judge Advocate; John Long, adjutant; . James Furzer,, quartermaster; -Tonn "White, surgeon ; Thomas Arndell and "William. Balmain, assistant-surgeons ; John Hunter, Captain of the Sirius; Lieutenant H. L. Ball, in command of the Supply ; Lieu- tenant John Shortland, agent for transports. Tho garrison consisted of 200 marines, with the following officers :-Captains Campbell, .'Shea, Meredith, and Tench ; Lieutenants - Johnston, Collins, Kellow, Morrison, Clarke, '-Faddy, Cresswell, Poulden, Sharp, Davey, and Timmins. The persons under their . charge, who wore to remain in the settle .-mont, were, besides the 200 soldiers, forty

of whom were allowed to take thoir wives

and families, 81 free persons and 696 con -victs. The founders of the colony therefore

consisted of one free person to every two prisoners. The precise number of people embarked, was, 1044, vis. - Civil officers, 10 ; military, including officers, 212;. wives and families of military, (28 women and 17 children,) 45 ; other free persons, 81; total free persons, 348 ; prisoners, 696.

Of this number 1030 were safely landed in the colony. The exact proportion of ' the sexes among them is not known. Tho ?"females were probably loss ' than three, hun ? dred in number, of whom twenty-eight were . wives of the military and one hundred and "?ninety-two convicts. Tho prisoners were '.mostly young persons from the agricultural .äistricts of England, nine-tenths of them being natives of the south-western and mid -land counties. Vory few had been convicted

of serious crimes. Out of the whole six

bundred and ninety-six, only fiftyrfive were sentenced for longer periods than sevon

years, and the sentences of a large number i their landing. " '

The statements respecting the prisoners embarked in the "firstfloet" vary so much as to occasion some difficulty in ascertain . ing their prooise numbers. Those variations

Erobably arose from tho fact that all on

onrd tho several vessels who did not belong to tho marinos or tho crows-.who wore

. ueitho'r'soldiers nor sailors-appear to have

been inoludod in somo returns as belonging to the transports or convicts. This, how- ever, was not tho case, for although many of tlie freo persons wero probably the wives or children of prisoners,' who were allowed to accompany their "Imsbands or fathers into oxile, ' there were others who went out in tho situation of overseers, agricultural superintendents, and other

offices of trust. . would

'ithin two or threo years after

It must be confessed that tho materials were not the bestthat could bo soleoted for founding a new colony. But it should bo

remembered that at this time the laws of . .England wero administered with extreme

severity. Never, ' perhaps, in tho history of tho world wero criminals so soverely pun- ished for comparatively trifling offences as nt this timo. Cajñtnl convictions and ex- ecutions wero SQ frequent ns to excito little attention ; while the guols wore crowdod .with prisoners, largo numbers of whom had never boen aocused of anything worse than poaching or smuggling, and many wero suffering for political offences which in tho

r prosent day tho most, despotio government

in the -world would hardly havo thought deserving of notice. Tho convicts of 1788 -must not therefore, on the whole, be looked

upon ns so uttorly dopravod a class as tho murderers, garottors, and robbers, who are transported in tho present day. A century ago most of those who aro now transported "would have been hanged. It is also an

' undoubted fact, that some ot' .tue most

flourishing colonies of tho world, both in ancient and modorn times, have grown from .what upponrod at .first equally unfavour- able beginnings. Virginia, ono of Britain's earliest and most suooessful attempts at colo nisutiou, is a remarkable instance of this. Itobortson, in his History of America, speaking of tho porsons who formed , the settlement thoro under Lord Delaware, says : -" Several among them of botter rank wore suoh dissipated hopcloss young mon, . as thoir friends wore glad to send out in .quest ol' whatever fortuno might betido them < in 0,-foroign land.: Of tho lowor order many swore so profligate or desperate, thnt thoir country was happy to throw thom out ns nuisances in soeioly. All their subsistence was derived from tho stores which they had brought from England j theso wore soon

..consumod ; .then, .the domostio-animols- sent

out to breed in tho country , wore.devoured; and, by thia inconsiderate waste, they wore reduoed to such extremity of famine: asi-hpt only to eat the most nauseous roots and bérries, but to feed on the bodies of tho Indians whom they slew, and even on those of their companions who sunk under the oppression of such complicated distress." Tho number of convicts transported to Virginia in the early days of that colony was very large in proportion to tho whole population ; although neither as regards Virginia in particular nor tho American plantations in general of the. seventeenth century, have wo any moans of ascertaining with anything like exactness the precise proportions between the prisoners and the

fro G colonists. Bat we know that for upwards of a century and a half, great numbera of convicts were annually sent across the Atlantic, most of whom were sold to the planters for a term of years or for life ; and it is notorious that, for a con- siderable period, England derived a large revenue-amounting to more than £40,000 a year at times-from this source. The con- victs were sold to theplanters at an average of twenty pounds each. Many persons transported to Virginia ultimately rose to positions of wealth and influence, and not a few of the leading families of the " old Dominion .'' owe their origin to ancestors who left their country under the sentence of

the law.

Captain Arthur Phillip, the officer chosen for tho important duty of founding a settle- ment in a new world, was of German extraction, but born and educated in England. His father was Joseph Phillip, a native of Frankfort, who, after coming to England, maintained his family by teaching musio and languages. Captain Phillip, who entered the navy at sixteen years of age, and served with some distinc- tion, appears to have been eminently qualified for tho post to which Ivo was appointed. Ile was not a mere sailor, for, although he had adopted that as a profession in early lifo, ho : had afterwards paid much attention to agriculture, and had filled with far more than average ability the duties which usually fall to tho lot of English country gentlemen. The following short biographical sketch of Captain Phillip is prefixed to the earlier editions of his voyage to New South "Wales :

"Arthur Jt'hüiip is one oí those officers who, like Drake, Dampier, and Cook, has raised himself by his merit and his services, to distinction and command. His father

was Jacob Phillip, a native of Frankfort, in Germany, who having settled in England, maintained his family and educated his son by teaching the languages. His mother was Elizabeth Breach, who married, for her first husband, Captain Herbert of tho navy,

a "kinsman of Lord Pembroke. Of her

marriage with Jacob Phillip, was her son, Arthur, born in the parish of Allhallows, Broad-street, within the city of London, on tho 17th of October, 1738.

"Being designed for a seafaring life, ho was: very properly sent to tho school of Greenwich, whore he received an oducation suitable to his early propensities. At the age of sixteen, he began his maritime career, under the deceased Captain Michael Everet of the navy, at the commencement of hostilities, in 1755 : and at tho same time that ho learnt the rudiments of his

profession under that able officer, he partook with liim in .the early misfortunes and sub- sequent glories . of the seven years' war. Whatever opulence Phillip acquired from the capture of tho. Havannah, certain it is, that, at the age of ; twenty-three, he there was made a Lieutenant into the Stirling Castle, on the 7th of June, 1761, by Sir George Pocooke, an excellent judge of naval accomplishments..'

"But of nautical exploits, however' they may raise marine officers, there must be an end. Peace, with its blossings, was restored' in 17G3. And Phillip now found leisure to inarry ; and to settle at Lyndhurst, in the .New Forest, whore he amused himself with farming, and like other country gentlemen, disoharged assiduously thoso provincial offices, whichj howevor unimportant, occupy respectably the owners of land, who,'in. this island, require no office to make them import-


"But sailors, like thoir own element, are seldom at rest. Thoso occupations, which pleasod Phillip while they were now, ; no longer pleased him when they became

familiar. And he hásténedto offer his skill

and his services to Portugal when it ongagod in warfare with Spain. His offer was readily accepted, because such skill and services were necessary amidst an-arduous struggle with a too powerful opponent» And, suoh was his conduct and. such his BUCCOSS, that when the recent interference. of Franco, in 1778, made it' his duty to fight for his king, and to defend his country, the Portuguese court regretted his departure, but applauded

his motive.

" Ilia return -waa doubtless approved by those who, knowing his value, could advance

his rank: for he waa made master and

commander into tho Basilisk firoship, on the 2nd of September, 1770. But in her he had little opportunity of displaying his zeal, or of adding to his fame. This step, however, led him up to a highor situation j and he was made post-captain into the Ariadne frigate, on the 13th of November, 1781, whon' ho was upwards of three and forty. This is tho great epoch in tho lives, of'bur naval officers; because it is from this tba.t they date thoir rank. In tho Ariadne, he had little time for activo adventures, or for gaiuful prizes, being appointed to tho Europe of sixty-four guns, on, tho,23rd of Decembor, 1781. During the memorable year 1782, Phillip promotod its enterprises, and shared in its glorios. . And in January, 1783, ho sailed with a reinforcement to tho Enst Indies,, whore superior bravory con- tended against superior force, till tho polioy of our negotiators put an end to unequal hostilities by a neoossary peace..

" Tho activity, or tho zeal of Phillip, was now turned to more peaceful objects. And when it was determined to form a settle- ment on that part of Now Holland, denom- inated Now South Wales, ho was thought of as a proper oflicor to, conduct an onterprise which required professional knowledgd and habitual prudence; ' Whón tho tinio shall arrivo that tho prosont Europoau settlors on Sydney Cove domnnd their historian,

these authentic anecdotes of their-pristine legislator will be sought for ns ourious, and important." . :<?{

The fleet. Bailed on the 13th May; 1787; and having touohed , at .Teneriffe^,:'Rio Jahorio, and the Cape of Good Hoçe,' for water and provisions, the first . ship, the Sujj'ply, with Governor Phillip on board, sighted the coast of New. South "Wales on tho 3rd January, 1788. She anchored in Botany Bay on thé 18th, and. was, followed on the 19th and 20th by tho other ships¿ On landing the strangers were met , in a most peaceable' and friendly manner ' by' tho aborigines, who, on seeing Captain Phillip approach unarmed, immediately : threw down their spears and other weapons and readily accepted some trifling presents which

he offered them.

The following account . of ? Governor Phillip's landing at Botany Bay is from the history of his voyage published in 1789: -" At the very first landing of Governor Phillip on the shore of Botany Bay, January 18th, 1788, an interview. with the natives took pince. They were all armed, but on seeing the Governor .approaok. with signs of friendship, alone and unarmed, they readily returned his confidence by laying down their weapons. . They were perfectly devoid of olothing, yet seemed fond of ornaments, putting the beads and red" baize that were given them on their heads or

The "presents offered oy their new visitors were all readily accepted, nor did _ any kind of disagreement arise while the1'ships'-re- mained in Botany Bay. This very pleasing effect was. produced in no small degree hy- the personal address, as 'well as by tho great care and attention pf the Gover- nor. Nor were tho orders whioh enforced a conduct so humane, more honourable to the persons from whom , they - originated than the punctual execution pf them was to the officers sent out; it was evident their wishes coinoided with their duty; and that a sanguinary temper was no longer to

disgrace the European settlers iii countries . newly discovered.

necks, and

üeosed to wear them;'

" The nest care after landing was the examination of the bay itself, from which it appeared that, though extensive, it did not afford a shelter from the easterly winds ; "and that, in consequence of its shallowness, ships even of a moderate draught would always be obliged to anchor with the entrance of the bay open, where they must be exposed to a heavy sea, that rolls in whenever it blows hard from the eastward.

" Several runs of fresh water were found in different parts of the bay, but there did not appear to be any situation to whioh there was not some, very strong objection. In tho northern part of-it is a small creek, which runs a considerable way into the country, but it has water only for a' boat, the sides of it are frequently overflowed, and the low lands near it are a perfect swamp. The western branch of the bay is continued to a great extent, but tho officers sent to examine it could not find there any supply of fresh * water, except in very small


" Point Sutherland offerbd the most eligi- ble situation, having a run.of good water, though not in very great abundance. But to this part of the harbour the ships could not approach, and the ground near it, even in the higher parts, was in "general damp and spungy. Smaller numbers might indeed in several spots havo found a comfortable residence, but no place was discovered in tho whole circuit of Botany Bay, which seemed at all calculated for the reception of so large a settlement. 'While this exami- nation was carried on, the whole fleet had arrived. Tho Supply had not so much out- sailed the other ships as to give. Governor Phillip the advantage he had expected in point of time.' On tho 19th bf "January, 1788, the Alexander, Scarborough, and Friendship, cast anchor in Botany Bay ; and on the 20th, the Sirius, with the. remainder of the convoy. These ships had all con- tinued very healthy ; they had not) however, . yet .arrived at their final station."

Proceedings were immediately com- menced for landing the people ana .stores ; and mon were set to work to clear,a piece, of land on the south side of the bay about a mile from the entrance, and near the spot were Captain Cook had first stepped on shore eighteen years before.

The place, however, did not at all answer the expectations which the Governor and' his officers had beon led to form from tho description given by Cook; and no " taine was lost in making on examination of .tko .surrounding country in search of a' more favourable site. Tho first place to which

attention was directed was the ' harbour which Cook had described as existing a few miles north of Botany Bay, and -which he. had called Port Jackson, after thé'seaman who had descried it from the mast-head of

the Endeavour. ' The Governor proceeded to examine this harbour on the 23rd ; and was as muoh gratified with, its magnificent appearance, its sheltered position, deep water, and almost innumerable bays and bold headlands, as ho had been disappointed with tho place where he had at first landed. Ho thereupon decidod on removing. tho settlement tb Port Jackson, and 'fixed on a position about six miles inside the entrance, whore he discovered '<a fine run pf frosh water stealing silently through a thiok wood' and falling into a little bay, whioh lie. named Sydnoy Cove, in honour pf Viscount Sydney,

who was at that time at tho head of the

Colonial Office, and who had taken grent ' interest in tho' welfare of the expedition. 1 ,

Tho aborignos at Sydney Cove at. first showed signs of opposition towards the new comers; but they were quickly pacified by the tact and conciliatory conduot of the Governor. Tho leading men of the' tribe, after their first surpriso was over, behaved with a manly frankness, and o vine ed such an intelligent yot unobtrusive curiosity, a's greatly raised them in tho estimation bf the intending colonists. The ' historical, account of tho voyage says:

"On tho arrivai of tlio boats at Port

Jackson, a socond party of tho nutivos mado its appoarauco near tho piuco, of landing.

These also wore armed with lances, and at first woro very vociferous ; but tho Baino gentle means used'towards tho.others easily persuaded thom to discard ,th eir suspicions, mid to accept whatsoovor was offered. One man in particular/ who appeared.' to be tho' oiiiofof this tribe, ehowod yory'-singular

marks-both of confidence in Lia new friends; and>of 'determined résplútiob: ..Under the guidance of Governor Phillip, tb ,-ryhbm he voluntarily intrusted himself,' he. wont tb à part of the heaoh where the men belong- ing to the boats were then boiling their meat ; when he ' approachèd, the marines, who were drawn up near that place,! and saw that by proceeding ho should be sepa ratod;fronï his companions, who remained with several of the officers at some distance, he stopped, and with great firmness, seemed by words and gestures, ito threaten revenge if any advantage should be taken of his situation. *-,

"In passing near a i point of land in this harbour, the boats , were .perceived by à number of the natives, twenty of whom waded into the water unarmed, received what was offered them, and examined the boat with a curiosity which impressed a higher idea of them than any former account of their manners had suggested. This con- fidence, and manly behaviour, induced Governor Phillip, who was highly pleased with it, to give tho place the name of Manly Cove. The same people afterwards joinod the party at the place where they had landed io dine. They were then armed, two of them with shields and swords, tho rest with lanoes only. ' The swords [boomerangs]: were made' of wood,. . small in the gripe) and apparently loss

formidable than a good stick. One of. these men had a kind of white clay rubbed! upon the upper part of his face, so as to have' the appearance of a mask. This orna- ment, if it can be called such, is not common among them, and is probably assumed only on particular occasions, or as a distinction to a few individuals. One woman had been 6een on the rocks as the boats passed with her face, neck, and breasts thus painted, ¿nd to our people appeared the most disgusting figure imaginable; her own countrymen were'perhaps, delighted by the beauty of tho


"During the preparation for dinner the curiosity; of theso visitors rendered them yery troublesome, but an innocent contri- vance altogether removed the inconvenience. Governor Phillip drew a circle round the place where the English were, and without much difficulty made the natives understand that they were not to pass that lino ; after which they sat down in perfect quietness. Another proof how tractable these people aire, when no insult or injury is offered, and when proper means are employed to influence the simplicity of their minds.

" On the 24th of January, 1788, Governor Phillip, having sufficiently explored Port Jackson, andifound it in all respects highly calculated to, receive such a settlement as ho was appointed to establish, returned to Botany Bay. , On his arrival there, the reports made to him, both of the ground which the people were clearing, and of the uppor parts of the Bay, which in this inter- val had been moro particularly examined, were in the greatest degree unfavourable. It was impossible after this'tos hesitate con- cerning the choice of a situation ; and orders were accordingly issued for the removal of

the whole fleet to Port Jackson."

Captain Phillip having spent the 24th in an examination of the harbour, on tho 25th and 26th the ships and all the people, with ,the exception of a few left in charge of the' stores whioh had boen landed at Botany, were brought round to Sydhoy Cove.

The day before this transfer toole place 'considérable alarm was created by the sudden appearance, off Botany Heads, of two large ships" under French colours. They were soon after driven out of sight by con- trary winds, but entered on the following day, and proved to bo the Bussolo and Astrolabe) on a voyage of discovery. They I were under the command of Monsieur de la Peyrouse, who, with his offlcors and men, at onoo entered into the most friendly relations with Captain Phillip and the people whom they had so unexpectedly found in occupa- tion of tho place.

. On tlie evening of the 26th January 1788, all the ships having come round to Port, Jackson, and being safely anchored at Sydney Cove, the Governor took formal possession of tho country. by hoisting j British colours on a flagstaff erected on the

sito now occupied by Dawes Battery. The King's health- was then drunk by the Governor and offioials around tho flagstaff, and this proceeding was followed by en- thusiastic oheering and much excitement on the part of tho people.

On the following day .the work bf clear- ing a spot on, whioh. tents might bo fixed

and stores landed was commenced. The

place was ' so'heavily timbered that many

trees hnd to be. out ? down before room could be obtained for tho accommodation of, so large anumber of persons., ,. ' {\

(To bo continued.) .