Admiral Phillip

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Portrait and signature of Arthur Phillip



ADMIRAL PHILLIP


THE FOUNDING OF NEW SOUTH WALES


BY

LOUIS BECKE

AND

WALTER JEFFERY



LONDON
T. FISHER UNWIN
PATERNOSTER SQUARE
MDCCCXCIX



Copyright by T. Fisher Unwin, 1897, for Great Britain and the United States of America


PREFACE


Another Boswell would fail if he attempted to tell, in the words of Arthur Phillip himself, the story of 'Governor' Phillip's life. Only some half-a-dozen years of his career are fully known to us, and in that time Phillip worked harder and talked and wrote less about himself than most men would have done under such trying circumstances. From 1786, when he was chosen to found the settlement of New South Wales, till his return to England in 1792, his despatches and a few contemporary chronicles—now become rare books—are the only sources from which a knowledge of the man can be gathered. The chroniclers were all officers of the settlement, and their books, like the despatches, are but the dry bones of history. The Government of New South Wales has been for some time searching for information relating to the first Governor of the colony; but with such small result that even his burial place remained unknown till the end of 1897, when the tomb was unexpectedly discovered in the ancient parish church of St Nicholas at Bathampton, near the City of Bath, by the vicar, the Reverend L. J. Fish. And the authors believe that it may be taken for granted that, beyond what personal detail is given in this volume and its appendices, there is little else to be found. The discovery of the hitherto unpublished record of Phillip's service under the Portuguese Government was made through the persistent efforts of the Editor; the writers having, after several attempts, failed to obtain more than the bald fact that Phillip had served in the Portuguese Navy. Even his descendants could throw no light whatever upon the point.

This book, therefore, is rather a narrative of the founding of New South Wales than a biography of the colony's first Governor. It ought not to lack interest on this account; for it tells the story of the beginning of Greater Britain in the South.

Of the personality of Phillip, as we have said, little is really known. He was an obscure naval captain selected by the Government of the time to establish a penal settlement at the other side of the world. He landed on the shores of a country which, to all his companions, appeared a most forbidding and unpromising land—one that 'would never be worth anything to anyone.' Phillip, a few months after his arrival, wrote to England to assure his superiors that it would prove 'the most valuable acquisition Great Britain ever made.'

For these prophetic words alone, the man who uttered them, so far as we can come to a knowledge of him, is worth knowing. Such an understanding of his character as can be gathered by industry of research, this book endeavours to furnish.

The writers are, of course, greatly indebted to the old chroniclers, to the Historical Records of New South Wales, and the Official History by Mr G. B. Barton; and (for the use of papers and 'clues') to Mr David Scott Mitchell, the well-known collector of Australian literature. The Editor's acknowledgments to those who have supplied him with the materials for the two Appendices dealing with Phillip's collateral descendants, and his service in the Portuguese Navy, are separately made. The portrait of Phillip is taken from the frontispiece to his Voyage a volume published in 1789; and the two maps represent respectively the area of the first British Government in Australia, and the site of the earliest settlement at Sydney.


LOUIS BECKE.
WALTER JEFFERY.

June 1899.


CONTENTS
page
Preface, xi

CHAPTER I
Phillip's Descent—Apprenticeship to a Seafaring Life—Entrance into the Navy—Services to Portugal—Return to England—A Personal Description, 1

CHAPTER II
The Inception of the Scheme to colonise Australia—Matra and Sir Joseph Banks—The Decision of the Government to found a Penal Settlement—Phillip's Instructions from Lord Sydney, 8

CHAPTER III
Preparations for the Voyage—Official Blunder—Phillip's Foresight—Pitiable Condition of the Convicts, 18

CHAPTER IV
The Voyage Out—Phillip's Subordinates—Ross the Malcontent—Phillip's Reception at Rio—Arrival at the Cape—Letters from Collins and Young Southwell—Contrast between the Voyages of the First and Second Fleet, 31

CHAPTER V
Phillip's Choice of a Site—La Perouse — Selection of Port Jackson—Outbreak of Scurvy—The Character of the Convicts—The First Execution—The Official Proclamation of the Colony—Phillip's Address to the Convicts—Expedition to Norfolk Island—The Condition of the Settlement, 45

CHAPTER VI
Phillip and the Blacks—His Description of their Appearance, Manners, Customs and Mode of Life generally—Arabanoo—Bennilong—Phillip Wounded—Bennilong's Visit to England—A Savage Order of Reprisal, 60

CHAPTER VII
The Antagonism of Major Ross—The Marines—The Quarrel between Ross and His Officers—Phillip's Action—Ross's Opinion of the Colony's Prospects—His Complaints—The 'Watch' Dispute—Phillip's Forbearance—The Court-Martial on Meredith—Phillip's Detractors—Southwell and His Letters, 82

CHAPTER VIII
King sent to Norfolk Island—The Explorations of Phillip and His Officers—Tench's Description of the Country seen—His Poor Opinion of it—The Blue Mountains—King and His Island Colony—Plot and Disaster—The Harvest—Phillip's Farm at Rose Hill—A Hopeful Letter Home, 105

CHAPTER IX
Forgotten by England—Scarcity of Food—Phillip still Cheerful—White's and Tench's Letters—'The Outcast of God's Works'—Letters from Home at Last—More Convicts announced—Another Expedition to Norfolk Island—Approach of Famine—Starvation Allowance—Loss of the 'Sirius,' 126

CHAPTER X
Famine and Disaster—Bad News from Norfolk Island—Desperate Situation of the Colony—The 'Supply' sails for Batavia—The Situation on Norfolk Island—The Loss of the 'Guardian'—Arrival of the Second Fleet—The Horrors of the Passage—The Third Fleet, 141

CHAPTER XI
Phillip's Methods of Rewards and Punishments—Ruse, the First Farmer—Expert Rogues—A Code of Regulations—Time-Expired Convicts—Phillip's Power of Emancipation—Attempts to Escape, 163

CHAPTER XII
Progress of the Settlement—Tench's Account—Rose Hill—Land for Convict Settlers—Total Population—Hunter's Voyage Home—Affairs on Norfolk Island—King's Voyage Home—Phillip's Last Long Despatch from Sydney, 187

CHAPTER XIII
Society in Botany Bay—The King's Birthday—Barrington, the Convict—The Rev. Richard Johnson—Wilberforce's Letter—Address to the King, 203

CHAPTER XIV
Society in 'Botany Bay' (Continued)—The New South Wales Corps—A Duel—Mrs Parker's Visit—The Rum Traffic and its Evil Effects, 215

CHAPTER XV
The Disposal of Crown Lands—Phillip's Suggestions—The Convict Assignment System—The First Bona-Fide Emigrants—The Inception of the Whaling Industry—Phillip's Failing Health—His Departure for England, 227

CHAPTER XVI
Later Landmarks in Australian History—Phillip's Arrival in England—A Pension granted Him—Favourable Comments upon His Work—His Naval Promotion—His Retirement to and Death at Bath, 241

Appendix I.—Phillip's Collateral Descendants, 255

Appendix II.—Documents from the Archives at Lisbon relating to Phillip's Service with the Portuguese Navy (1775-1778), 259
1. From Senhor Luiz Pinto de Souza to Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro, 260
2. From Rear-Admiral the Hon. Augustus John Hervey to Senhor Luis Pinto de Souza, 263
3. From Senhor Luiz Pinto de Souza to Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro, 265
4. From Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro to Senhor Luiz Pinto de Souza, 266
5. From Senhor Luiz Pinto de Souza to Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro, 270
6. Extract from a Letter of Senhor Luiz Pinto de Souza to Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro, 272
7. From Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro to Senhor Luiz Pinto de Souza, 273
8. From Senhor Luiz Pinto de Souza to Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro, 276
9. From Rear-Admiral the Hon. Augustus John Hervey to Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro, 278
10. Royal Appointment of Arthur Phillip to be Captain in the Portuguese Fleet, 279
11. Extract from the Marine Archives at Lisbon, 1775, 280
12. Do.do.,do., 280
13. Do.do.,do., 281
14. Do.do.,do., 282
15. List of the Ships of the Line, 31st January 1776, 283
16. Extract from a Letter of Captain MacDonell to the Marquis do Lavradio, 283
17. Extracts from a Letter of Captain MacDonell to the Marquis do Lavradio, 284
18. Extracts from a Letter of the Marquis do Lavradio to Captain MacDonell, 285
19. From the Marquis do Lavradio to Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro, 289
20. Extract from a Letter from the Marquis do Lavradio to the Marquis de Pombal, 294
21. Extract from a Letter from the Marquis do Lavradio to Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro, 295
22. Extract from a List of the Officers and Vessels of War serving in the Fleet, 27th November 1776, 296
23. Extract from a Letter of Francisco Jose da Rocha to the Marquis do Lavradio, 297
24. From the Marquis do Lavradio to the Marquis de Pombal, 297
25. Opinions of the different Commanding Officers of the Vessels composing the Fleet, 304
26. The Marquis do Lavradio to Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro, 309
27. Extract from a List of the Officers of the Fleet, 22nd October 1777, 317
28. Do. from a List of Rigging, etc., supplied to Arthur Phillip, 318
29. Do. from a List of the Crew of the Santo Agostinho, 23rd October 1777, 318
30. Extract from a Letter of the Marquis do Lavradio to Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro 318
31. Extract from the Marine Archives at Lisbon, 1778, 320
32. Do.do.,do., 321
33. Do.do.,do., 322
34. Do.do.,do., 323
35. Note by General Jacintho Ignacio de Brito Rebello,  324




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Arthur Phillip, from the Portrait prefixed to 'Phillip's Voyage,' 1789, Frontispiece

Map of the Eastern Half of Australia, showing Extent of Phillip's Government, 1787, To face page 15

Sketch of Sydney Cove, Port Jackson, 1788, To face page 56


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.


The author died in 1922, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.