This file updated 25 November 2006
By Dan Byrnes
(Revised 1996) (Note 1)
Author's note: This treatment is deeply indebted to the generosity of Neil Rhind, a local historian of Blackheath and secretary of the Blackheath Preservation Trust, for sharing research information in 1989.
(Total file words: 31,776, total pages 83. The 173 footnotes to this article and its three addenda are cast as endnotes)
Sharpening theory about the "foundation period" of Australia's early European history:
It is obvious that the early Australian colony of New South Wales (NSW) was greatly dependent on the use of shipping. A great deal is known about the achievements, or infamy, as the case may be, of many of the captains commanding convict transports. Much less is known about the employers of those captains. Those employers were London merchants, and it is anything but easily stated why they sent their ships to early New South Wales. The result of this rift in information is that unusual tensions exist between the implications arising from British naval and commercial maritime history, generally, between 1780 and 1800, and the maritime history of early Australia, more so when the "founding" of Australia is considered as a topic of precedence.
Alan Frost in his biography of Australia's first governor, Arthur Phillip, (Note 2) concisely lists the three basic positions adopted in discussing that "founding", as:
(1) "the dumping of convicts"; which is the "traditional view".
(2) the "trade" position, which can be related to Prof. Harlow's views on Britain's "swing to the East" after the close of the American War of Revolution, (Note 3) and;
(3) chiefly as outlined by Frost, the "strategic" or naval and Imperial position, a position also known as "the Imperial outlier".
With some overlapping being inevitable, the adoption of any of five or six positions on the questions involved is possible. This article discusses the trade position in order to assert the predominance of the convict dumping ground argument. In the conduct of the Botany Bay debate, the trade position has been consigned to a poor brother position. It has never been properly dignified by detailed research on the biographies of the merchants known to be involved, or suspected of having been interested in opportunities presenting themselves in the Australasian Pacific. This poor brother status, which was accorded most notably to K. M. Dallas' 1969 book, Trading Posts or Penal Colonies: Cook's Route To Pacific Trade, (Note 4) then to later treatments, has to some extent had an accidental origin.
In this article, Dallas' thesis is turned on its head in order to examine not how much investment English merchants made as Australia was settled, but how little. In the 1770s, at the time of Cook's voyages, Britain is said to have cherished a dream of settling the legendary "great Southland" awaiting discovery in the South Seas. The "Southland" turned out to be an arid Australia, which after 1788 was completely ignored by all but a handful of London merchants. This small band of merchants has been largely ignored, yet historians for generations have quoted material referring to Britain's original enthusiasm for the "great Southland", at the same time ignoring information on the merchants who were interested in the Pacific.
Some historians have wished to rebut Dallas' theory vehemently. Others have referred to it only when convenient. The Botany Bay debate was popularised especially after the publication in 1966 of Blainey's thesis, The Tyranny of Distance. (Note 5) Also popular with historians was the thesis of Prof. Harlow, elaborated in The Founding of the Second British Empire. Briefly, Harlow's thesis is that after the American Revolution, Britain in the Imperial and commercial areas made "a swing to the East". Harlow suggested that following the loss of the American colonies there was compensation to be found in the East, and that English merchants and their ships, and diplomacy, assisted in the creation of an increasingly strong presence in India and China, and also in Australasia and the wider Pacific. In the ambit of Harlow's thesis, the Australasian sector requires special attention, as will be shown.
Since the 1950s, Australian historians have experimented widely with non-traditional viewpoints, suggesting that commercial motives had a behind-the-scenes influence on the execution, if not the development, of some government policy on convict transportation and implicitly associated matters; that serious realpolitik was involved; with the idea that by securing a foothold at New South Wales, Britain would weaken if not destroy any aspirations the French or the Spanish might have had about creating or maintaining a formidable Pacific presence. To argue that such English motives were in play is to argue for the strategic importance, in Imperial terms, of the convict colony at Sydney.
In such a context, the traditional convict dumping ground argument became as though buried under layers of sediment. These fresh claims have had no more eloquent spokesman that Alan Frost, who expressed a unified view about such concerns with his book, Convicts and Empire. (Note 6) Whatever their involvement in the initial decision making process, or its execution, one might have expected that English merchants were willing to back a distinct imperial strategy with their own efforts. The proponents of the imperial or naval power position have not established this - and they have failed to establish it due to their habit of ignoring the relevant maritime history. That is, their position is contradicted by biographical information on the small band of London merchants who were interested in exploiting the Pacific.
It can however be readily conceded that Britain's Australasian presence did succeed in warning off the French and the Spanish. While some French and Spanish ships of exploration were encountered, (Note 7) British ships near Australia met few commercial ships flying Spanish or French flags. Nevertheless, evidence of safety for shipping in the Australasian region failed to become a factor encouraging London merchants to send more shipping into the region. Here, the peculiarly negative attitude of the East India Company to Pacific attractions needs to be reconsidered.
The adherents of the convict dumping ground theory, while willing to rebut the Imperial or strategic position, appear to have been unwilling to plumb the deeps of the trade position in search of evidence against those arguing the Imperial and strategic case. (Note 8) Thus, the trade position has been to an extent hijacked by the promoters of the Imperial and strategic position.
In an attempt then to redress the balance, this article argues along new lines. The thesis is not merely a presentation of many facts on the trading which English merchants conducted, or wished to conduct, in the Pacific and about Sydney. Nor does it merely consider the extent to which London merchants became involved in the transportation of convicts, some picture of which can be gained from Bateson's 1959 book, The Convict Ships. (Note 9) The thesis expressed here is that the merchants discussed under the umbrella of "the trade position" conducted much less trade than they might have, that they had heavier investments in other regions, that their ship deployments were tentative, that they invested less funds than has been imagined in order to back the shipping deployed, and that whatever their motives were for their involvements, their profits were not excessive. The modesty of profits then justified their caution in making their original plans and outlays. Where their ships had carried transportable convicts, that outlay had been reduced by payment made for engaging in transportation, but commercially, a great deal still depended on the next legs of their voyages.
This thesis relies also on an examination of the investment London merchants made in deploying shipping to Australasian waters. The approach may be new to both the enemies and friends of "the trade position". In general it fails to support the naval strategy theory. Instead, it seeks to strengthen the convict dumping ground theory while taking its own new tack, by stressing three basic propositions:
(1) the new convict settlement at Sydney was not perceived by London merchants as important in contemporary fact or theory; and;
(2) while merchants did confront each other in London about opportunities to deploy shipping in Australasian waters, (Note 10) the strategies they employed (Note 11) indicated that Sydney, for example, was but one of a chain of ports their ships could use, and was therefore only relatively important to them. The more significant commercial shipping calling at Sydney most often were whalers exploring the Australasian whaling grounds. (Note 12)
(3) that in 200 years, a great deal of relevant information has not simply been overlooked, it has literally, and mysteriously, disappeared - as will be shown.
Naturally, merchants letting their ships carry convicts to New South Wales require mention. To an extent, as will be shown, information on the owners of the commercial shipping contains surprises which can create unnecessary confusion. In general, however, it can be said that the present outlook on the merchant's investments in deploying shipping to an Australia perceived as relatively unimportant, is logically consistent with English maritime history generally, for the period 1780-1806.
The argument is that while Britain did indeed make "a swing to the East" following the loss of the American colonies, (Note 13) that in commercial terms, the swing was conducted according to a plan. Basic to the plan was a determination that never again would merchants place all their eggs in one colonial basket, as they had done in North America. That is, a merchant would direct elements of his portfolio to different geographic locations outside Britain. This principle was rigorously adhered to by the merchants associated with shipping, including convict shipping, sent to Australasian waters between 1786 and 1806. Other locations they examined were The Gambia, India, Canton for Chinese tea, Nootka Sound for furs; New Zealand, and the coasts of Peru, (as the whalers called that fishery off western South America).
Many of the voyages arranged by the merchants involved are now regarded, correctly, as historic. (Note 14) It would follow that the early colony at Sydney was seen by London merchants as relatively unimportant, this view being taken in a period when commercial opinion - often deliberately canvassed by government ministers - could influence British colonial policy making.
To be consistent with the evidence of history, including maritime history, these lines of argument should also explain why some merchants had an interest in reaching Australasian waters, and how and why their interest lapsed; and also why other merchants failed to become interested. This view of the trade position, then, emphasises not how much maritime investment was to be expended on the new convict settlement, but how little. The major problem for the historian is simply, why has so much information been lost, when voyages are considered as historic? The answer here - is simply that too few historians have wished to look closely at the commercial aspects of convict transportation to Australia.
There is a little if any evidence, even to 1806, that Cabinet ministers were disappointed about the overall lack of investment in the region of New South Wales. This ought to indicate that no greatly ambitious schemes had been ranged around the creation of a new convict settlement - except that it should fulfil its role as a convict dumping ground as cheaply as possible. Since it was more expensive than anticipated, parliamentarians naturally grumbled about the costs. (Note 15)
This in turn bears on the policies the British government first applied when the decision was made on 18 August, 1786 to establish a penal colony at New South Wales, the matter not debated by parliament. Tradition has it that the establishment of a penal colony was the prime aim of the decision, albeit, as some acerbic commentators have lately stated, the decision was unnecessarily brutal, rash, a desperate last resort, and shoddily implemented. (Note 16) It is true that a document created, supposedly, to help rationalise the 18 August decision, Heads of a Plan, (Note 17) did contain bait of a commercial character - suggestions that flax or timber or other products for possible naval or commercial use might become available at the new colony (and also from New Zealand). It is also true that government invested capital and personnel in exploring those possibilities. What is equally obvious is that neither the flax nor timber became available as hoped, and that London merchants failed to take the bait. The merchant group viewing such government-promoted "opportunities" with the greatest distaste - and hence the least investment - was the East India Company.
The main reason the British government made the investment it did was that its 1784 legislation on convict transportation required it to, since the government had made itself responsible for convicts once felons were transported. Legally, this had not strictly been the case before 1784. So, any "government investment in Australia" was purely the result of everyday governmental self-consistency. So to speak, there was in the 1784 legislation on convict transportation an "Imperial tone of voice" because the British government would now remain responsible for convicts once they had been transported and landed. If there is any seeming logical contradiction or paradox here, it is useful to emphasise one matter: after 1784, because government transported felons, it had a duty of care toward them. In all humanity, more so in the case of felons who were non-recidivists, that duty of care had to inspire improvements in conditions, not the opposite. Many of the improvements arising in the early Australian colony can be traced to inspiration from this duty of care. But in fact, many persons who gained an administrative sway over the affairs of the early Australian colony had some awareness of, or background in, slavery. Hence, in the early European history of Australia generally, and especially within the materials of maritime history, a pro-slaving outlook becomes juxtaposed with a more compassionate attitude, the duty of care that government imposed on itself. Once this is realised, many of the apparent paradoxes of early Australian colonial history begin to melt away into the standard Whiggishness that pervaded Australia's early economic development, and has often since pervaded discussions of that development.
* * * *
Some historiographical developments
To date, research and writing on the early periods of Australian European history has proceeded in several distinct phases. Three observations can be made about the production of this history:
(1) when the convict dumping ground theory was popularised between the 1930s and 1950s, the role of commercial shipping was minimised (paradoxically, though some work on the maritime was popularist, a great deal of useful work done on whaling sank almost without trace);
(2) when new, more sophisticated theories were advanced, from the mid-1960s to the present, the role of commercial shipping was either overstated, or inflated, in an inconsistent way, while the earlier minimisation of material on whaling was overlooked;
(3) throughout, the role of the East India Company has been over-glamourised to the extent that it has become almost impossible for the non-specialist in maritime history to know which ships were Indiamen, and which were not. Allied to this has been a downplaying of the quite obvious role played by the English South whalers - which leaves an unnecessary gap in the integrity of British maritime history, especially between 1780 and 1800.
This restatement of the "trade position", then, serves best of all as a correction to these three problems.
* * * *
Merchants and the American Revolution:
It is no accident that some merchants sending ships to Sydney as convict transports had lost money by the American Revolution. (Note 18) By 1786 and later they were successfully making a "swing to the East". They were also, however, protecting themselves from the kinds of losses they had sustained as a result of the American Revolution. Their tactic was to employ their resources in a variety of regions. That is, they diversified their portfolios. Many of those voyages were historic, by virtue of later-published books, or charts which inspired or guided future voyages and expeditions. The voyages created information, especially cartographic and hydrographic information, which served to heighten contemporary English interest in the Pacific. (Note 19) All this is supposed to be fundamental to Pacific history, yet the London alderman, George Macaulay, owner of Pitt in the early 1790s, has literally been written out of existence, ignored, and his absence not felt or noted. If Macaulay had gotten his way with government in 1786, he would have been responsible for mounting the First Fleet! Macaulay's offer of shipping here is a significant element in the feud between government and legal officials over delay in the resumption of transportation.
It may at first seem paradoxical that historic commercial voyages were made as part of a strategy that London-based shipmen had devised in order to protect themselves from the negative financial effects of land-based colonial uproars in North America. This paradox is resolved when the biographies of some of the ship underwriters are canvassed, and the role played by ship insurance is better established. I have identified some of those ship insurers - George M. Macaulay, and John St Barbe - in an earlier essay. (Note 20) That essay however was written before it was known that for many years, these two men lived quite close to each other in the same London suburb - Blackheath - as did the South whaler Samuel Enderby (Note 21) and the mentor of William Bligh, Duncan Campbell.
These neighbours, Macaulay and St Barbe, merchants and investors known at Lloyd's of London, backed historic commercial voyages into the Pacific between 1786 and 1806, and yet they have remained largely unknown. Their obscurity is unwarranted because such merchants assisted in creating important elements of early Pacific history. It is, after all, not obvious why London merchants would have let their vessels be chartered to so undeveloped an area as the Australian coast. (Note 22) Unfortunately for our exploration of their motives and movements, we have limited information as to when such vessels arrived back in London and what shipowners' reactions were. (Note 23) But when a ship did return to London, two things were possible. A shipowner either sent his vessel back to New South Wales, or he did not. In either case, his decision-making process bears investigation. Fortunately, there were only a small number of merchants involved.
The work of Bateson and Cumpston (Note 24) presents much maritime information, but the record on shipping to early New South Wales has not yet been adequately tied to information extant in London on more purely English maritime history, including the histories of the East India Company and the South Whale Fishery. Two things now seem clear:
(1) that as part of the creation of a myth of nation building, Australian historians have too much ignored the shipping, which includes a long-but-erratic burst into Pacific waters after 18 August, 1786, when Cabinet decided to create a new penal colony at New South Wales;
(2) that no Australian, it seemed, has hitherto mounted a research project relying on the collection of information enabling one to form a picture of what had happened in London only after the August decision.
A central record in this regard is the Duncan Campbell Letterbooks, which stretch from 1766 to 1797. (Note 25) These also reveal a good deal about the day-to-day handling of convicts. Campbell's life in other contexts also provides a skeleton framework for development of a chronology of what happened in the lives of many people (such as Evan Nepean) involved in administering prisons, transporting prisoners to New South Wales, and mounting shipping to proceed there, for example, while England began transporting Irish prisoners to the new penal colony from the time of the Third Fleet. But consulting Campbell's Letterbooks, and with them the career of William Bligh, creates another problem for consideration of the moves of English shipping into the Pacific as one long burst.
As "fascinating legend", the mutiny on HMAV Bounty is like a mysterious core installed within the record of English shipping sent to the Pacific. Campbell was the uncle-in-law of William Bligh, but this is a connection downplayed by some writers on Bligh or completely misconstrued by others. Meanwhile, as is the evidence from English histories of the Thames hulks, anyone considering Campbell's career as hulks superintendent is unlikely to follow a tangent and immerse themselves in the huge bibliography of books on Bligh. (Note 26)
Thus, Bligh, as a governor of New South Wales, has not been considered as a relative of the most successful of Britain's contractors for convict transportation, a highly skilled commercial administrator, who was also responsible for managing the hulks from 1776 until 1801. Other questions treated below, respecting what (for severely legal reasons) any governor of New South Wales must have known about London merchants taking contracts to transport convicts, are also pertinent to assessing Bligh's career as a governor.
The governors ought to have known which London merchants were engaging in convict contracting, and which were not, since the contracts made out by Thomas Shelton, the clerk at the Old Bailey, given to the governor or his staff, would have contained such information. I do not know which Sydney and Hobart merchants after 1800 were associated with such London convict contractors. Before 1800, however, many employees of convict contractors dealt with people in New South Wales; and it is hard to imagine such a pattern of commercial interaction being radically changed even by 1850, more so in Van Diemen's Land. The hypothesis here, provable so far only to about 1800, is that there was at Sydney a superstructure of commercial involvement built around the activities of the employees or agents of London's convict contractors. (Appended to this article is a revised review of the career and Australasian maritime involvements of the London whaler of Blackheath, Daniel Bennett).
From Duncan Campbell's letterbooks can be extracted lists of gaolers he contacted over the years, lists of his staff on merchant ships, information on his associates (including Evan Nepean and Thomas Shelton) and the dates of contacts made: information on his family, and a list of Campbell's landholdings in Kent, at Blackheath, and in London. (Note 27) The material is in such volume that it can be used to develop a far more detailed picture of the London which transported its convicts to New South Wales, a picture providing much that is new on the merchants concerned. This is the London, then, that was inhabited by the upper as well as the lower social classes: a society in the round.
Drawing still from the Campbell letterbooks, beside information on convict handling from Campbell's Letterbooks can be ranged detail on the English South Whale Fishery, (Note 28) the Home Office, (Note 29) the merchants named in the 1793-1794 Navy Office Accounts (Note 30); individual convicts, and trading in the new colony. (Note 31) In the Navy Office Accounts, the merchants of greatest interest mentioned are the First Fleet contractor, William Richards, (Note 32) alderman George Macaulay and his relatives the Larkins family, the whaler and marine underwriter John St Barbe (Note 33) and the whalers Enderby; and African Company merchants, William Camden, (Note 34) Anthony Calvert (Note 35) and Thomas King.
The firm Camden, Calvert and King is of interest because between late 1784 and mid-1786 its principals wished to carry convicts to Africa. Through their links with the Africa Company, they were by that time working toward developing a monopolistic grip on trade to and about Cape Coast Castle, on the West African coast. (Note 36) (They also sent large numbers of slaves to Jamaica). As they mounted the Second and Third fleets to New South Wales, their interests were in opening a trade from India in Bombay cotton, a trade which the East India Company would presumably have otherwise denied them. (Note 37) When their Second Fleet ships had returned, and they were preparing the Third Fleet ships, they had to cope in London with a furore over the brutality their captains had meted out to the Second Fleet convicts. While their Third Fleet ships were returning, they were involved in a fractious trade war on the African coast which came to the attention of the Board of Trade.
From about 1798 to 1816, John St Barbe and Camden, Calvert and King also became closely associated with a rebel group of underwriters at Lloyd's of London (the Red Book). Their independent-minded attitude about the Pacific was later mirrored in their attitude to the status-quo at Lloyd's, when they confronted establishment underwriters, presumably those led by John Julius Angerstein. These "rebels" were merchants aggressively ready to initiate change that suited their ambitions. Such traits did not characterise the contractor for the First Fleet, William Richards, who was always more than willing to try to abide by the wishes of the East India Company.
By 1799 their rebellious character had earlier been expressed in the methods they adopted with their efforts at opening the Pacific. Thus, the merchants named in the Navy Office Accounts were rebel entrepreneurs with an interest in opening the Pacific, generally, and more specifically with an interest in confronting the East India Company, in London, on a variety of issues. It is important here to note that other suppliers to early New South Wales, such as Alexander Davison and Neave and Aislebie, (Note 38) as with Richards, are not counted amongst these rebels - they were interested merely in provisioning, not taking risks with the opening of an ocean or broadening any interest they could have had in the Pacific.
As a London alderman, George M. Macaulay dealt with a wide range of London institutions, and he may have had some role in the agitation within the Corporation of the City of London for the resumption of transportation, in 1784-1786. London aldermen in March, 1786 strongly petitioned the king for transportation to be resumed. (Note 39) Later, Macaulay and another alderman, William Curtis, (Note 40) had a ship in the First Fleet, the Lady Penrhyn. Sir William Curtis, who was a banker, became Lord Mayor of London and was an MP for London for thirty years. He was to have no further involvement with ships to New South Wales, although his son, Timothy Abraham Curtis, a director of the Bank of England, was later to be a founding director of the Australian Agricultural Company. Macaulay wished to have further involvements to New South Wales and was more than once frustrated by the East India Company, whose directors were probably were well aware of his ambitions, (including from early 1787 his intended survey of Nootka Sound). Macaulay in 1791-1792 sent his East Indiaman Pitt to Sydney - but no further ships. He failed financially in the City in 1796-1797. (Note 41)
An examination of the shipping record, and more so the biographies of the principals of the English shipping sent to Sydney, tends to raise more questions than answers. Some serious questions involve the employees and partners of the London merchants - such as William Raven, a partner with John St Barbe - especially where those employees traded with officers of the New South Wales Corps. (Note 42) Such questions in turn relate to the use of government funding, the creation of credit for private individuals in the new colony, and the financial history of a settlement that was apparently not meant, originally, to have a distinct economy of its own.
The Londoners interested in opening the Pacific, a conspicuous minority amongst London's merchants generally, were such skillful merchants that the absence of recognition for their maritime achievements becomes more mysterious the more it is contemplated. Some merchants had wished to create further business to early New South Wales, and were prevented - their vain ambitions are recorded in the Historical Records of New South Wales (HRNSW). (Note 43) Merchants such as Enderbys employed ships captains skilled in navigation, (Note 44) but Enderbys remain all-too invisible in early Australian history, and despite the extensive history of the East India Company, and the less extensive history of the English south whale fishery, their careers do not have a conspicuous, much less a well documented, profile in the context of English maritime history. Just as Governor Bligh was closely connected with Duncan Campbell, his predecessor, Governor Philip Gidley King, was a family friend of Enderbys. (Note 45)
* * * *
Situations before the First Fleet sailed:
Duncan Campbell's home and office at 3 Robert Street, the Adelphi, (Note 46) from December, 1786 was one of a small number of points in London where the names of transportable convicts on the hulks were officially checklisted before the prisoners were delivered to First Fleet ships. Designed by the renowned Adam Brothers, the original and elegant building still stands, despite the precinct having been bombed during the Second World War. It is now owned by The Chartered Institute Of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). The management of CIPFA have been unaware of Campbell's residency there, and in their current (1989) "potted history" of the use of the building it is stated:
"The history of the site is quite interesting as the land beneath 2/3 Robert Street had at one time been the site of the London residence of the Bishop of Durham... demolished in the 1660s... acquired by the Duke of Buckingham, who leased it to the Adams brothers. Once completed, 3 Robert Street was occupied by Robert Adam from 1778 until 1785. At the beginning of the 19th century it was again in use as a private residence, and John Galsworthy and Sir James Barrie are both reputed to have lived here".
On the face of things, evidence and information on Campbell's occupancy there has been obliterated in London, and the complete history of the building has been gapped. By 1989 it was surprising, at least to me, that Australian tourists are not routinely confronted with historically interesting information as they explored London, that could lead them to view buildings in London relating to "convict history", or, to Britain's first settlements in Australia.
Near Campbell's old address is a building closely associated with the legend of the mutiny on the Bounty, the home of The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (R.S.A.), a body still actively and successfully exercising the role it played in Sir Joseph Banks' day. (Note 47) That address was then, and still is, 8 John Adam Street, the Adelphi. To walk from Campbell's old convict-administering address to the R.S.A. takes merely 45 seconds. That Campbell was a member of the R.S.A. is a fact of which no Bligh historian has apparently ever been aware. It seems crucial in understanding Campbell's part in the Bounty expedition - a role Campbell claimed in his letters to his eldest son Dugald on Jamaica. Dugald remained firm friends with Bligh and later would have been Bligh's executor, except that he predeceased Bligh.
The R.S.A. had been interested in promoting a voyage for Tahitian breadfruit from the early 1770s. Its efforts, and those of the lobby group, the (London-based) West India Merchants and Planters, had so far failed, but by early 1787, more definite plans were afoot in the light of the First Fleet's expected departure. (Note 48)
Sir Joseph Banks, influential at the R.S.A., was involved. The Institute of Commonwealth Studies in London now holds microfilm copies of minute books of the West India Committee, for Planters 1785-1822; and Planters and Merchants May 1785-December 1792. When these merchants met (from May 1784), Richard Pennant, Lord Penrhyn, MP for Liverpool, was usually in the chair. On 13 February, 1787, a note from the Prime Minister to Samuel Long was read as follows:
"Mr Pitt presents his Compliments to Mr Long and begs leave to acquaint him that directions have been given for collecting as many of the Bread Fruit Trees as possible, and that every Opportunity has been taken to have them conveyed to our West Indies Islands".
Despite what writers on Bligh usually assume about Duncan Campbell's status as an influential West India merchant, Campbell's name does not appear in the minute books and it seems that he was not, as a meeting-goer, influential among the merchants usually attending. However, formal meetings may be no more than surface activity.
Men often make important decisions, say, on a golf course. Information on golfing at Blackheath in London establishes that Duncan Campbell was a keen golfer, an aspect of his social life not mentioned once in his surviving letterbooks. Given Bligh's family links with Duncan Campbell and his status as Campbell's former employee, it is relatively simple to develop a new scenario concerning the way Bligh was promoted as a suitable master for a breadfruit voyage. (Note 49) The argument depends on seeing the golfing community at Blackheath as a focal point for a network of connections, especially among merchants of Scottish origin. Golfing was, to some extent, a ritual activity for a body of men with common commercial interests, a common ideology and a common attitude to the seas beyond Britain. The network of connections is further explored below.
Thus we have a scatter of evidence which makes up a tentative pattern. Campbell joined the R.S.A. on 9 May, 1787. (Note 50) This was four days before the First Fleet left. The vessels of the Fleet included Lady Penrhyn, on her maiden voyage and named for the wife of the chairman of the West India Merchants, Richard Penrhyn, Lord Penrhyn. (Lady Penrhyn, Susannah Anne Warburton, daughter of General Hugh Warburton, was herself an active politician in Liverpool). (Note 51) This vessel was owned by Alderman Curtis and chartered to Alderman Macaulay from Sydney to Nootka Sound (and possibly Tahiti) before she took China tea and came home. The Lady Penrhyn had the most complicated and interesting voyage ahead of her of all the First Fleet ships, yet her principals have languished in obscurity despite their links with the civic-minded London of their day. Like Campbell, Macaulay was a Scot. He was a provisioner to Canada and the West Indies for government, an underwriter at Lloyd's; and like Campbell he lived and golfed at Blackheath.
In command of Lady Penrhyn once she left Sydney was Lieutenant John Watts, (Note 52) who had been out with Cook and Bligh as a midshipman on the Resolution, Cook's tragic last voyage. Watts had secret orders from Macaulay to take the ship to Nootka Sound. It appears that Lady Penrhyn developed problems of seaworthiness, so Watts was forced to set aside these orders, and he went direct from Tahiti to China. (Note 53) (Note 54) A possible clue to Watts' purposes, delegated by Macaulay, is to be found in the February 1787 minutes of the West India merchants, and in the fact that in March, two months before the First Fleet departed, Sir Joseph Banks had made it his business to scotch an idea that a Botany Bay transport was to be detached to find breadfruit. It is not impossible that Lady Penrhyn had originally been intended to be the vessel detached from the First Fleet to go to Tahiti for this reason.
Meanwhile, in the months after the Fleet's departure, the R.S.A., with Campbell by then a member, laid its plans for the despatch of a ship specially fitted for a voyage devoted to transplanting breadfruit - HMAV Bounty. One supposes that, with Banks also being an influential Fellow with the R.S.A., Campbell helped push the breadfruit project to fruition mostly by proposing a suitable commander for the voyage - in which case it took Campbell from 9 May until early August to have Bligh named. As it turned out, Watts arrived at Tahiti first.
* * * *
From the Adelphi, off London's bustling Strand, by the Thames, near Coutts' bank, we turn to Blackheath, now, and probably then, the wealthiest sector of the area now called the Borough of Lewisham. Just south-east of the Thames riverside suburb, Greenwich, Blackheath still is, literally, what the poet William Blake must have meant when he wrote of "England's green and pleasant land". It covers about 275 acres. The Romans noted the strategic value of the area. Danish invaders camped there for two years in the Eleventh Century. (Note 55) The poet Geoffrey Chaucer, who worked as a clerk at the nearby Palace of Eltham, knew Blackheath. Docks were nearby on the river. When royalty and their retinue returned from abroad, they were greeted by London's Lord Mayors and retinue at Blackheath. Visiting foreign rulers were officially greeted at Blackheath. In 1381, Wat Tyler's 10,000 rebels gathered on Blackheath, as did rebel forces in later years. Wesleyan preachers moved crowds there. As Neil Rhind writes: there were "pageants, ceremonies, royal meetings and reviews, military parades, exercises". James I introduced the Scots game of golf ("goff") there. With Blackheath can also be associated not just maritime life and history, but also some of the formal organisation of sports and games, a centrality to British life that the West Indian historian and cricket writer, C. L. R. James, theorises about so brilliantly in his 1976 book, Beyond A Boundary. (Note 56)
In 1808, the poet Thomas Noble wrote: "Blackheath is the name of the place where I most frequently observed the beauties of the Creation and the productions of social ingenuity. One could behold the magnificence of a mighty city, intimately united with the rural cottages of the surrounding peasantry, the awful waters of a great commercial river, the abundant labours of agriculture".
There is a popular misconception that the heath took its name from its use as a mass graveyard during the time of the Black Death. Highwaymen and footpads frequented the area. It once provided quarries for chalk, limestone, sand and gravel - so it may be that the hulks overseer Duncan Campbell wanted land at Blackheath for access to quarrying areas for material to mix with the ballast and gravel his convicts heaved from the bed of the Thames. (Note 57) Certainly, Blackheath gravel was often used as ballast for ships leaving London without cargo.
Blackheath Common is divided by the boundaries of the boroughs of Greenwich and Lewisham, and Greenwich Park once adjoined the heath. Most significantly here, the heath included an estate owned, from the 1670s, by the Legge family, later the Earls of Dartmouth. We are here particularly concerned with Dartmouth Row and Dartmouth Grove, built by 1689; and with a house named The Orchard (which Duncan Campbell leased), built about 1781. From West Grove, at the hilltop at one end of Dartmouth Row, the Thames River, with its ships and docks and, perhaps, its prison hulks, could be observed through a telescope held, say, in an observation post placed atop a house. The whalers Samuel Enderby senior and John St Barbe lived in such houses in West Grove, virtually next door to each other. George Macaulay's business partner John Turnbull lived at 32 Dartmouth Row. Charles Enderby and George Enderby were neighbours at 20 and 22 Dartmouth Hill. Between 1788 and 1796 George Macaulay lived at Dartmouth Hill House, which later passed to John Pascal Larkins, a brother-in-law of George Enderby. One Thomas King lived at the Red House: but it is not yet established if he was the Thomas King who was a member of the firm Camden, Calvert and King. (Note 58)
Their landlord, the second Earl of Dartmouth, (Note 59) was a personal friend of George III. An "amiable and pious man", he was associated with the set of Lady Huntingdon, the "apostle of Methodism", which had long maintained a chaplain on the convict hulks, the Reverend Charles Lorimer. (Note 60) His grandfather, the first Earl, had been a Privy councillor, and involved in the administration of the colonies as a commissioner of the Board of Trade and Foreign Plantations. He died at Blackheath in 1750. The second Earl was also a step-brother of Lord North. Under Rockingham's administration in 1765, Dartmouth was appointed president of the Board of Trade and Foreign Plantations. In August, 1772 he became Colonial Secretary in Lord North's administration, until November, 1775, in which month, owing to the impending American Revolution, there surfaced civic concern about a bank-up of transportable convicts. This of course greatly affected Duncan Campbell, then the entirely-disarrayed former government convict contractor for transporting convicts from London and the Home Counties; as well as Lord North, and William Eden, who was under-secretary in charge of such matters. (Note 61)
Dartmouth could not make up his mind about ways of settling the American troubles, however, and Benjamin Franklin, who thought the Earl a good man, is reported to have noted that Dartmouth's energy did not seem equal to his good wishes in colonial matters. The Earl was given "the American olive branch" but refused it, and decided to resort to force. (Note 62) With the downfall of North's administration in March, 1782, (and the American peace treaty guided by Lord Sydney), Dartmouth resigned the Privy Seal and took no further political office. The end of the war did not fall so easily on some of his tenants. Duncan Campbell and other merchants hoping to recover some of their investments lost by the war, formed the Committee of The Merchants Having Traded to North America Prior To 1776, [the British Creditors] a futile move as it turned out. (Note 63) Campbell became the leader of this organisation, which finally had a membership stretching from London to Whitehaven, not necessarily (by some readings of available data) including merchants in Scotland.
It has long been believed that Britain's acquisition of Australian territory had had some connection to her loss of the American colonies, but the links are more sociologically and commercially complex and subtle than historians have often assumed. It seems no mere accident that at Blackheath there was concentrated an interest in convict transportation in the personal domain of an official who had helped lose the American colonies. It also seems no mere accident that at Blackheath was concentrated a resentment at British losses by the Revolution.
The men of Blackheath naturally possessed a variety of links of a personal, social, or of a family nature. Definite business links between them, relating to New South Wales or the Pacific), can be established in some cases, as in the case of the whaling promoters, Enderbys, and John St Barbe. St Barbe and Macaulay, who lived perhaps 200-300 yards apart at Blackheath, dealt together in 1791 with the contract for the Pitt's convicts. (Note 64) After the Pitt, the next convict transport sent was the Larkins family's East Indiaman, Royal Admiral 1 (Captain Bond). Macaulay was apparently related to the Larkins family by marriage.
With others of the merchants, it is difficult, if not impossible, to establish evidence on likely business links. Much can be made, however, of the strong links the Blackheathites had with Lloyd's of London, then an underwriters' market. The Pacific was found by underwriters to be less risky than expected, and therefore less expensive, so that if the Blackheath men underwrote each others' ships, as seems the case with the whalers, every firm benefited. There is a problem, however, in assessing how secret such movements might have been intended to remain. Considerable secrecy might have been necessary if some or all of the men of "the Blackheath connection" were planning to undermine the dominance of the East India Company, an ambition their connections at Lloyd's could have assisted. However, a conspiracy theory here is more entertaining than it is necessary. Very little evidence has survived. It may well be that so few London merchants were interested in the Pacific that the sheer unimportance of the overall exercise explains the lack of accurate information.
Some of the activities of these men are, however, well documented, in particular their interest in golf, and also in Freemasonry. Golf was popular amongst London Scots, who dressed in red coats to play as members of the Blackheath Golf Club, a summer-playing club. (Note 65) There was also at Blackheath from 1789 a winter-playing golf club known as The Knuckle Club. It was a Masonic Club, and it has become a connection well-known to the historians of golf in Britain. The Knuckle Club was established as a winter-playing club on 17 January, 1789 and disbanded for unknown reasons by the consent of its members in 1825. Once The Knuckle Club disbanded, also by consent of the members, the first several pages of its minute books were destroyed, which may suggest that its establishment, or its non-golfing philosophy, may have been other than innocuous. (Note 66) The Knuckle Club as a non-Masonic, winter-playing golf club was finally dissolved in 1844. How many members of the Blackheath Golf Club were Masons is not clear. The Knuckle Club was separate, and using surviving lists, it is difficult to establish precisely which golfers were Masons and which were not. In the present context, the most noted members, and also captains of the Blackheath Club, and/or The Knuckle Club, were Duncan Campbell and Alderman Macaulay.
The Masons of The Knuckle Club played each Saturday, probably like their summer-playing brothers using the old gravel pits of Blackheath as hazards. In those days only 5-7 holes were played per game. They played in the mornings or early afternoons, for "exercise". Customarily they repaired to a well-known hostelry, firstly The Chocolate House, then The Green Man, at about 4.30 p.m., for a meal and their Masonic meeting. The name "Knuckle Club" came from the dishes they were served at The Green Man. (Note 67) By 1787 the club membership was 55, of whom 30 were City merchants, and some 20 had residences at Blackheath. Gavels survive from the Knuckle Club of 1787-89, and golfers still play for a Knuckle Club gold medal. (Note 68)
Threaded through the Blackheath connection then is the mystique of Freemasonry. In the present context this might best be regarded as an earlier form of what today are called "service clubs", rather than any mystical, quasi-religious and also politically manipulative organisation. Freemasonry in England disputed little with government, (which was not the case on the Continent), and indeed, it supported government institutions and Empire so strongly that in 1813, the Duke of Kent, Queen Victoria's father, became one of England's senior Masons. (Note 69) In the 1780s, Masons travelling in England would have been able to meet with like-minded men for any number of reasons, including the promotion of business.
The Australian historian, George Mackaness, in the 1930s and 1940s compiled various books on Masonry. (Note 70) (Note 71) He also wrote a biography of Bligh, published by 1931, but he fails to note that Bligh was probably a Mason. Certainly in one portrait of Bligh, the governor wears a Masonic medallion depicting square and compass. (Note 72) Bligh's patron, Sir Joseph Banks, is known to have been a Mason, (Note 73) and so too was his valued mentor, Campbell. (Note 74) Bligh, as Mackaness noted, once named Campbell his "friend, guide, and philosopher", a term redolent of a formula of some kind. (Note 75) But at this point in discussion, some backtracking is required in maritime history...
* * * *
The Boston Tea Party revisited:
There is a legend - mischievous - that the cargoes of tea dumped into the sea at the Boston Tea Party had belonged to Samuel Enderby, (Note 76) who at the time was only beginning his career as a whaler. This legend is incorrect, but its inaccuracy does not completely divorce the history of English whaling from the event which helped provoke the American Revolution. By 1775, when the Revolution fully broke out, Enderbys, with the Rotch family of Nantucket (Note 77) and London alderman and underwriter, George Hayley, (Note 78) (brother-in-law of the London radical, John Wilkes) (Note 79) were backing a new venture, a South Whale Fishery, distinct from all other whale fisheries and operating in the South Atlantic. The American Revolution inconvenienced Enderby by ruining this venture. It seems that the links between Enderby, Hayley, the whalers Rotch of Nantucket, and possibly the American "patriot" merchant, John Hancock, (Note 80) are the inspiration for this legend that Enderby had any connection with the Tea Party.
The Boston Tea Party took place at Boston Harbour's Griffin's Wharf on 16 December, 1773. Americans dressed as "Mohawks" destroyed 90,000 pounds of tea. (Note 81) Though all their owners cannot easily be traced, the ships were all American-owned. The ships were:
(1) Dartmouth, Capt Hall, owned by the whalers William, Joseph and 23-year-old Francis Rotch, ex-Nantucket Island, of Dartmouth, Massachusetts (and thus having no direct connection with Lord Dartmouth as the ship's name might suggest);
(2) William, captain unknown, owned by Jonathan Clarke of Boston;
(3) Eleanor, Capt. Bruce, owned by John Rowe, "a moderate" Bostonian; and,
(4) Beaver, unknown captain and owner.
It has been suspected John Hancock owned an undisclosed portion of one of the tea ship cargoes. (Note 82) From information on Hancock's whaling connections, one would suspect the Dartmouth. (Note 83)
The house of Hancock had long been involved in smuggling cheap Dutch tea into Boston for sale at prices undercutting legal and dutiable English tea. In all, it appears that John Hancock and Thomas Hutchinson, governor of Massachusetts, were both involved in importing legal British tea. These two men headed camps with opposed views on the right of the British Parliament to tax the Americans, and the place of force in resolving the issue. Hancock and Hutchinson in different ways were both secretive and provocative, and this did nothing to ease the conflict that was bound to break out.
The whaling connections in both America and London involved in the notorious 1773 tea deal are fascinating. Historians usually mention only the problems the East India Company had in offloading its huge tea inventories at the expense of the American colonies, not the ideas that several merchants had, of carrying tea between London and America and sending whaling products from America to London as a regular trade, and a linked trade.
Something is gained by knowing that John Hancock's ship the Hayley, Captain James Scott, came into Boston Harbour from England, in November, 1773 with the provocative news that vessels with dutiable East India Company tea were on their way. Captain Scott had by September refused to take any East India Company tea under the terms proposed to him in London. (American historians suggest that the Hayley had left London at the same time as the controversial tea ships). Aboard the Hayley was Jonathan Clarke, a young Boston merchant who had in London obtained a tea cargo for his family firm, evidently carried on the William. By late September, Rotchs were expecting to ship whale oil back to London on Dartmouth's return trip, then to load London spring goods for Boston. (Note 84) Many indications suggest that once the original complicated tea deal had been made in London, Hancock and his whaling associates in London and America may have been planning to regularly ship English East India Company tea to America, and send whaling products back, providing, in Hancock's view, that England gave no offence by imposing tea duties.
Merrill Jensen estimates that the 1773 tea deal involved an ultimate 600,000 pounds of tea in 2000 chests, worth over £60,000, to be sold at 6 per cent commission for the American consignees, dutiable. (Note 85) Other writers suggest that the handling of the bills of exchange would also have financially disadvantaged the Americans. Jensen valued the loss of the Boston tea at between £7521 and £10,994, depending on the valuation of the wreck of the brig William. The London tea dealers were chiefly the directors of the East India Company, and their functionary, a clerk at their warehousing committee, William Settle. Chairman of the court of directors was Crabb Bolton. The Company's warehouse committee made a short list of American firms said to be interested. Final decisions on the participants in the deals were made between 4 and 20 August, 1773. The London merchants were then to book space on ships bound for America.
One London merchant experienced in American trade, Richard Reeve, wrote to Lord North that the terms of the deal - especially the time by which the tea duties were to be paid and other monies remitted to England - might be regarded as inflammatory in the colonies. His warnings, like other warnings, were not heeded. Alderman George Hayley offered the space on the ships Dartmouth and the London, which was also American-owned, at Charleston. By early September the shipping was organised. (Note 86)
Boston firms involved in the tea deal included the Hutchinsons of Boston, namely the governor's two sons, Thomas and Elisha (and, secretly, the governor himself). Governor Hutchinson had been writing to a London merchant, William Palmer, for some months. Also involved also were Richard Clarke and Sons. (Thomas Hutchinson Junior had married the daughter of Richard Clarke). By late September, another Boston consignee was Joshua Winslow. (Note 87)
After the Tea Party (22 December, 1773), the Hayley left Boston for London, arriving in late January, 1774. In London, Benjamin Franklin's first reaction to the news of the Tea Party was to suggest that Boston reimburse the tea merchants. The directors of the East India Company are said to have remained calm, and kept in touch with Lord Dartmouth. Dartmouth's secretary, John Pownall, (Note 88) was embarrassed that Dartmouth had not even known of the East India tea shipments. One of the London merchants' go-betweens with Lord Dartmouth appears to have been the Philadelphia merchant Gilbert Barkley. The London merchants made no bitter demands that the Bostonians be punished, and by March, 1774 were still confident that Boston would make reparations. Lord North did not appreciate their views, and when approached by merchants such as Champion and Dickinson, (Note 89) Hayley and Hopkins, and Lane, Son and Fraser, dismissed them, as he dismissed an offer by London's Lord Mayor that the City would cover the losses. In The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson, (Note 90) Bernard Bailyn suggests that the Bostonian George Erving was used as a go-between about July, 1774, arranging for a private group of Boston merchants to repay the Company for the loss of its tea - to a value of up to £16,000, some £6,000 or £7,000 above its value - if the then-imposed Act closing Boston Harbour was withdrawn.
Given alderman George Hayley's original role, it is curious that by January, 1775 (Note 91) he came to represent London merchants who were petitioning that the English merchants were threatened with ruin, since in view of the risk of hostilities there were serious doubts as to their ability to collect the large debts owed to them by American planters. All were exporters and importers, and/or handled Britain's manufactures, and some handled imports from the East Indies. It was estimated that North America owed the City £2,000,000 sterling "and upwards".
Later, clearly from 1790, if not before, Samuel Enderby deliberately waged maritime war on the East India Company - and as far as rights to sail the Pacific Ocean are concerned, he won. (Note 92) The whalers' strategy is evident both in the record on the deployment of shipping, and in successive Acts of Parliament governing which waters the whalers could sail. The origins of the English South Whale Fishery stem from about the time of the Boston Tea Party. There is no necessary connection between the Boston Tea Party, the outbreak of the American Revolution, Hayley's role as a whaling investor, Enderby's career as a whaler and the deployment of shipping to early New South Wales. Yet Enderby lived side-by-side at Blackheath with other merchants who had lost more heavily than he had by the American Revolution.
The merchants of "the Blackheath connection" all supported government policy on convict transportation. Most importantly, with the exception of Duncan Campbell, the Blackheath men let their ships to government as convict transport ships. Campbell sent no ships to Australasian waters. Rather surprisingly for a traditionally West India merchant, he conducted his own "swing to the East". From 1788 he involved his ships and his own son John, as captain on some of those ships, in East India Company trade to India (Madras). (Note 93)
I have earlier described the shipping, both naval and commercial, that Britain sent into Australasian waters between 1787 and 1800, as an extended "burst" of shipping. HMAV Bounty and HMS Pandora can also be regarded as part of this "burst". Spate's remark that Enderby's had always had their eyes on New South Wales is accurate. (Note 94) Admittedly, the shipping record in either primary or secondary sources does not encourage the impression that such ship deployment had been skilfully planned - but this matter will also be addressed here. Naturally, the oddities and accidents of maritime life disturbed the original patterning of the movements the ships were supposed to take over such long voyages.
If merchants were involved, was it worth their while commercially? Generally, William Richards excepted, they were involved in such a range of commitments and risk investments that their Australasian business did not dominate their concerns, and the profits they made on this business were not excessive - except in the case of the Second Fleet. The merchants were not specifically interested in developing a wide-scale interest in shipping to Australasia - exploration first had to be conducted and the opportunities available did not warrant a large investment. It may have been that by 1791-1792, William Richards had realised that this was the conclusion of his rivals. Then, Richards had attempted to step in to capture a larger slice of the business in his own right, a move the other merchants, or government, quickly stemmed. Indeed, one might be hard put to prove that London businessmen have ever taken a different view about Australasian investment opportunities available since 1788. (Note 95) For any individual businessmen who did not aim to leave England to go to Australia, investment in Australia would have been no more than an extra opportunity to form a more diverse and wide-ranging portfolio. Regarding the Botany Bay debate, this realisation puts the "trade position" squarely in its place, but it also affects the "convict dumping ground" position. (Note 96)
Up until 1797 the Blackheath men handled little more than £100,000 of the money the British government allocated for its penal colony at Sydney, about a third of the total allocated. (Note 97) This estimate does not include money reimbursed to a merchant not treated here, and not from Blackheath, Alexander Davison. (Note 98) Nor does it include the £54,000 reimbursed William Richards for the First Fleet. (Note 99) It does include the monies allocated to Camden, Calvert and King for the Second Fleet.
For the shipping used, this does not seem an excessive amount. However, once their ships were in Australasian waters, the merchants found that new opportunities arose which made their efforts worthwhile to them. This implies of course that as the whalers promoted their industry, lobbying politicians and seeing the passage of Acts of Parliament which expanded the waters legally available to them, (Note 100) that the whalers were carefully reassessing their options in the light of new information on the Pacific as it came to hand.
If Samuel Enderby lost money, reputation, or prestige when his hopes in 1775 for the development of a South Whale Fishery were dashed, it may have been that he remained resentful, not only at the rebellious Americans and their revolutionary war against England, he may also have carried a grudge against the East India Company. Certain aspects of his career appear to flesh out such a surmise. He was however not the only one of the Blackheath merchants under consideration here who lost by the American War. (Note 101) Duncan Campbell after the close of the American Revolution developed a habit of lobbying government about the debts he and other merchants had seen repudiated by the rebellious Americans. I have mentioned that merchants disgruntled about their losses in America during 1782-83 formed the Committee of Merchants Having Traded to America Prior to 1776. (The British Creditors). (Note 102)
By 1786, Duncan Campbell had become chairman of this national body of disgruntled merchants. On 30 November, 1791, Campbell and others lobbied government yet again on the issues. By 1791 he was associated in this with one John Nutt and one William Mollison, (both of whom apparently were new members of the Merchants Trading). Campbell said he had himself lost over £38,000 on his investments in Virginia and Maryland. The partners George Abel and George Macaulay had lost over £5,000 in South Carolina. Stevenson, Randolph and Cheston, the Bristol convict contractors, had lost £14,000 in Maryland. (Note 103) This lobbying late in 1791 was just after Macaulay's ship Pitt had taken convicts to New South Wales, and only shortly after the Third Fleet, which was half composed of vessels from the South Whale Fishery, had departed England. It was also only months before John St Barbe would send out the Britannia, the ship he part-owned with William Raven, who was so helpful to the early colony and the officers of the New South Wales Corps by sailing to various ports for stores. (Note 104)
* * * * *
Agitation for the resumption of transportation:
In the 1780s, agitation for the resumption of the transportation of felons (as it is usually viewed by historians) was taking effect in the political process. When Cabinet decided to send felons to Australia, there were few dissenters. Most of the country agreed with the measure, especially George III. Later, maritime links were forged between London and Sydney. As the links were forged, government was deliberately being prodded - and reminded that notable merchants had lost significant monies by the outcome of the American War. Where did some influential merchants live? In the domain of an aristocrat and minister, a friend of the King himself, and one who had failed to find a way to keep that conflict from escalating. James Mario Matra's well-known remark of 1783 - that Britain by settling the Pacific might "atone" for the loss of the American colonies - was perhaps a far more politically pointed remark than is usually thought, a jibe at Earl Dartmouth from a disenchanted Loyalist who knew some background on the outbreak of the hostilities. (Note 105)
The atoning was to a significant extent orchestrated from Blackheath, with repercussion in the City of London through various administrative offices and procedures, later echoing down the Thames and across to Botany Bay. The patterns in the maritime history, the "swing to the East", can encourage such a view. However, Blackheath, or London, did not house all the English merchants who had lost by the American War: some were in Glasgow. (Note 106) Blackheath in this light then was literally a hothouse for the resentment of London shipmen and merchants inconvenienced by the outcome of the American Revolution. Yet, histories can seem filled with inconsistencies. Watkin Tench of the marine detachment at Port Jackson remarked that New South Wales "stands unequalled" as a site for transportation, but "When viewed in a commercial light, I fear its insignificance will appear very striking". (Note 107) Sydney did better than insignificance, especially by the time its prospects had become known to American ships and to traders in India. Much could have been done by the British government to deliberately improve the colony's commercial vibrance, if it had chosen to do so.
With all business, the question "Where does the money go?" is relevant. With the case of some of the merchants who were dealing with Sydney and taking the long-term financial risk of opening the Pacific, it is now apparent that some of the profits from carrying convicts flowed straight back to Blackheath, and less so into the coffers of the those "dogs in the manger", as Sir George Young called them, the East India Company. (Note 108) The Company only wished to issue charter parties or licences for tea carriage. Some Blackheath merchants however coveted Pacific whale oil, and seal fur to gather, from Nootka Sound on the north-western coast of Canada, the nearest England would ever get to the fabled North West Passage. For others there was China tea and India cotton to bring home. The rest was politics - which is the art of the possible. In the circumstances, it is unwise to resort to a conspiracy theory about the support given to a new colony by merchants, and perhaps wiser to instead look for the victims of the politics undertaken.
The victims of government's policy on resuming transportation were many. Apart from Australian Aboriginals and the convicts, the victims included Jeremy Bentham with his hopes of building a new prison system styled after his panopticon; Alexander Davison, who despite his friendship with Nepean had his hopes of regularly supplying the colony dashed; and a variety of merchants who had backed out of any involvements by 1797. (Note 109)
Another victim was the East India Company, which had its monopoly charter abridged and then further eroded by government support for the whalers. The major victim of the politics was William Richards. The death throes of his ambitions are recorded in the Banks-Richards Correspondence in the Historical Records of New South Wales, (Note 110) which outlines Richards' campaign to keep business to New South Wales largely in his own hands. His ambition was not supported by government. From November, 1791, once he realised how he had been outmanoeuvred, Richards assailed Duncan Campbell's position as hulks overseer, in what resembles a concerted effort to overturn what had been done hitherto in the region of New South Wales by Camden, Calvert and King, and the whalers. Richards fought on two fronts. He claimed he could manage hulks in Britain - much as Campbell did, (Note 111) only more cheaply - at Milford Haven in Wales. Richards also wished to keep sending convict transports to New South Wales. Alluding to the Bounty voyage, he even suggested regular voyages to transplant Pacific flora in non-Pacific areas. Richards' campaign failed miserably.
Jeremy Bentham was also promoting his panopticon, and assailed Campbell's hulks management on quite different grounds. (Note 112) (By 1800 Bentham was aggressively challenging the very legality of transportation to New South Wales). By November, 1791, as I have mentioned above, Campbell and other merchants who had lost by the American War, including G. M. Macaulay, were yet again lobbying government, wishing for assistance in retrieving their debts. (Note 113) By December, 1791, Macaulay and St Barbe were arranging for Macaulay's East Indiaman, Pitt, (which Macaulay owned solely) to carry convicts to New South Wales. St Barbe was also arranging to send out Captain William Raven with the Britannia, which St Barbe co-owned, to explore the potential of Australasian sealing. And so in this sense, St Barbe's name could as easily be attached to the early maritime history of New Zealand, as Raven's name has been attached.
The range of the efforts the Blackheath merchants were making over 1791-1792 was considerable, and concerted, suggesting a determined gathering of energies to hold their plans together and to keep goals and achievements intact. It is easier to realise this than to make a full assessment of their motives; any such reassessment means examining each ship's voyage in detail. It seems also clear that the combination from 1793 of war and wartime inflation, fewer convicts being sent to New South Wales, and presumably the extent of their existing commitments, prevented merchants from creating a stronger profile in Australasian affairs. By the mid-1790s, the whalers had decided to concentrate more on the whaling grounds of the Peruvian coast. (Note 114) As with St Barbe's first explorations of sealing at Dusky Bay, New Zealand, their efforts must be seen as exploratory. Ways to profit were being sought, more than being relied on. But as ways were sought, the merchants involved, not unnaturally, had other business in London to supervise which had nothing to do with Australasia. Trade involving New South Wales was but one cog in a machine, that, as with the Nootka Crisis, occasionally needed violence, or the threat of violence, for it to be kept going.
* * * *
A new view on Camden, Calvert and King, London slavers:
Captain John Marshall of the First Fleet ship Scarborough had arrived back in London on 1 June, 1789. Within months he had been recruited by Camden, Calvert and King to return to Sydney with more convicts (along with surgeon Augustus Beyer, who later went to India as a trader). (Note 115) On 1 May, 1790 the African Company began overtures to the Board of Trade proposing the incorporation of a company, the St Georges Company, with an exclusive right to export to and import from the new colony of Sierra Leone. (Note 116)
While some historians have noted the close coincidence of the British efforts to colonise both Sierra Leone, and New South Wales, (Note 117) the interest of members of the African Company in both ventures has not been canvassed. Similarly unnoticed is the fact that the slavers attempted to undermine the efforts of more idealistic Londoners in respect of both these colonising efforts. The American Revolution was not the only reason why English merchants, including some of the Blackheath connection, turned their eyes to the East. Slavery and the slave trade made up another aspect of Atlantic commerce which was also suffering from the great political and ideological changes of the day. In London, one result was that Camden, Calvert and King moved their capital into underwriting at Lloyd's, and from 1800 they remained ensconced there in presumably relative comfort until their deaths. (Note 118) Thomas King later sat with the board of the innovative (some said destructive) Red Book at Lloyds from the late 1790s. (Note 119)
By May 1790, while the Second Fleet brutality was proceeding on ships managed by Camden, Calvert and King, the Board of Trade was considering various matters: trade possibilities at Nootka Sound, the cultivation of hemp in Quebec (but not New South Wales), the South Whale Fishery and a policy letter on whaling from the under-secretary of the Home Office, Evan Nepean. (On 7 April, 1786: a draft report of the Lords of the Committee for Trade commented upon earlier memorials concerning whaling. (Note 120) Lord Hawkesbury was enthusiastic about encouraging the whale fishery, with the idea that it could become a pioneer of commerce in unfrequented seas. (Note 121) This is just one detail in documentation illustrating the ambitions of Blackheath-based merchants).
Calverts were deeply involved in whalers' business at this time, keeping their eye on advantages they could link to Australasian possibilities. Since 1786 they had placed a few ships in the South Whale Fishery, operating off the African coast. (Note 122) From late 1790 with the whalers they mounted the Third Fleet. Then from November, 1791 they also became embroiled in another bitter argument over Africa trade in a way suggesting that their business methods were consistently arrogant, exclusivist, and brutal. (Note 123)
In December, 1791 one Joseph Sayver (Sawyer?) reported to Calverts on vexing issues, and in February 1792 one Martin Watt followed up with his own complaints that a merchant, Thomas Miles, had been trading on the African coast in American-built ships in defiance of regulations requiring the use of British-built ships. Since Calvert was on the board of the African Company (and, presumably, suffered a conflict of interest) Camden and King joined with another African merchant, Collow, in complaining to the Board about Miles' trading. (Note 124) Allegations were also made about irregularities in the governance by Richard Miles in the region of Annamboe. Liverpool slaving merchants meanwhile informed the Board they were willing to back Miles, and so a feud between London and Liverpool slavers may have been at the heart of this commercial conflict. (Note 125)
On 14 May, 1792 the Board again discussed the complaints of Camden, King and Collow about Miles' conduct, and also read a memorial from Miles' brother claiming that Calverts had been "cruel" to Thomas Miles, and that "these very men had been enjoying (and still continue to benefit by) a free and almost uninterrupted monopoly of the trade at Annamboe". On 18 May, 1792 Calvert and King and four other African merchants attended the Board conveying that Miles had broken navigation laws, had caused trade rivalries all along the African coast, by employing American-built ships, a practice forbidden by the African Company. The Board's enquiries continued at least until June. In the same month - June 1792 - Donald Trail was acquitted for alleged crimes with the Second Fleet trip. (Note 126) Thus, while Calverts were awaiting news of the success of their investments to Sydney and India by the Third Fleet to New South Wales, they were also shoring up their trade pattern about Africa by recourse to one of the highest bodies of appeal in the land. In time they would be forced to change their pattern as the anti-slaving lobby gathered momentum in London. And so they went into underwriting. The firm's links with both Africa and New South Wales, and their conjoint interest in trade to India (a matter on which the East India Company would have frowned), have been repeatedly overlooked.
All one can presently suggest is that more information on the destruction of the London slavers wrought by the abolition movement would throw more light on Calvert and Company. Lloyd's listings indicate that the firm split and then moved more into underwriting ship insurance as the rundown of slaving reduced its attractiveness as a commercial proposition. Meanwhile, Calvert's interest in New South Wales in strength or duration was equalled or bettered only by that of Macaulay, St Barbe and Enderbys.
Anstey has commented on the major London-based merchants in the slave trade, and has referred to Calvert and Collow as being active in a shipping business that was anyway running down and destined for abolition by 1807. (Note 127) (Far more detailed information is available on the Bristol and Liverpool slaving shipping as the abolition movement gathered force, than on the reactions in London, which rather makes the shadowiness of Calvert in London even more suspicious). Anstey notes that between 1789-1791, 50 London ships voyaged in the slave trade, 28 being connected with Anthony Calvert, Thomas King and William Camden; Richard Miles, J. B. Weuves, John and Alexander Anderson, and also one William Collow (whom Anstey does not note as a Calverts' ally).
From the point of view of the East India Company, the renegade character of Macaulay and others sending ships to New South Wales, and applying to send even more ships than they would actually be permitted to send, deserves close inspection. The indications are that an independently-minded and maverick group of merchants interested in opening the Pacific was based at Blackheath. It is probably more appropriate to regard them as pro-Pacific, rather than specifically pro-whaling or as anti-East India Company. In this sense, all connotations of pro and anti must be cast in terms of the East India Company's consistently negative attitude to opening the Pacific on anything but its own terms. As we see below, from the mid-1790s, the connections of the London Missionary Society at Blackheath were highly pro-Pacific and recruited independently-minded East India ships husbands to further their aims.
* * * *
The convict service and maritime history:
As historians have worked in Australia since World War II, they have observed, created, or re-created various traditions. This has been done by focusing attention on the early governors; sorting the extent of real versus alleged criminality in convict numbers; reassessing the significance in social history of the question of "the convict stain"; inserting much more information about Aboriginal peoples into the historical record; defining Australian nationalism; and commenting on the derivation, nature and character of the links between Australia and "mother England".
In so doing, they have inexplicably broken with a quite sensible tradition - sensible because it turns up indispensable information on maritime matters - that was established before World War II by historians interested in convict transportation to North America. In the way they treated transportation from England to North America from 1718 to 1775, writers such as Oldham and A. E. Smith (Note 128) clearly indicated that a suitable density of material exists concerning the involvement of merchants, and the exploitative style of their commercial dealings as they forged links between England and her colonies. (Note 129) None of these writers have had the benefit of access to the Duncan Campbell Letterbooks, which stretch from 1766, but nothing they suggest contradicts anything in those letterbooks. (Note 130)
Australian historians - excluding Bateson, who has been cited but not followed up - seem to have adopted the view that because transportation to Australia was officially conducted by government, unlike transportation to North America, it is unnecessary to look at the commercial behaviour of English (London) merchants in this connection. This view has damaged Australian economic history. The damage could be rectified with little effort.
Lists exist of the names of English merchants taking contracts to transport convicts, and an examination of their activities could well support a broad hypothesis that links between those merchants and Australian merchants and shipping agents had manifold ramifications for business generally in early Australia.
This situation has arisen partly because the roles of the East India Company and the South whalers have not been properly examined. Unexamined errors and misconceptions from the past have meant that, since so many ships which had merely been licenced by the Company for a Pacific voyage have been described as East Indiamen, when they were not listed by Lloyds as East Indiamen, a seal has inadvertently been placed on the biographies of shipowners. During the 1980s, a curious reaction to these problems set in, where more ships than the facts will allow were identified by historians as whalers. While both kinds of errors have persisted, Thomas Shelton's lists of shipowners sending convict ships to New South Wales have been ignored - and his lists contain more merchant names than does Bateson's book, The Convict Ships. (Note 131)
At the Old Bailey, and answerable to the Home Office, Thomas Shelton until his death in 1829 was the only official given the authority to make out contracts and bonds for convict transportation. (Note 132) By 1933, Oldham (Note 133) had looked over Shelton's Contracts but had not dwelt on convict contractor names beyond 1793. Bateson by 1959 had listed many contractor names from other sources, but had not perused Shelton's Contracts. In fact, Shelton's Contracts list many names Bateson does not, and so it is hard to explain why some merchants dealing with Shelton were interested. The greatest surprise with lists drawn from Shelton's Contracts is that between June 1817 (Contract 63) and June 1829, (Contract 228), Joseph Lachlan took 84 contracts to transport convicts. This seems an unreasonable number, more so if Lachlan's associates are unknown, as they are. (Bateson does not elaborate on Lachlan and may have been unaware Lachlan was so deeply involved). (Note 134)
Bateson has full listings of all convict ships. Should all the contracts be gathered for all convict transport ships sent to Australia, including the ships sent from Ireland, a full list of convict contractor names could be compiled. (Note 135) At present it is unknown what significance a formerly unknown merchant name such as that of Martin Lindsay might hold. The Blackheath Connection however holds up significantly in one case after 1800 - that of the name Dunbar. The fine ship, the Dunbar, Captain James Green, owned by the London shipowner Duncan Dunbar II, on its second trip to Australia, went down stormdriven off Sydney's South Head on 20-21 August, 1857, with only one life saved. In memory of that loss of lives, the anchor of the Dunbar has been implanted in cliff rock at Watson's Bay, Sydney. The attached plaque does not say that Duncan Dunbar, apart from being involved in passenger transport, was later a major convict contractor to Western Australia. He was also a member of the Blackheath Golf Club. (Note 136) In such a context, Joseph Lachlan, directing 84 ships, taking 84 contracts to transport convicts, poses many enigmas concerning the nature and extent of his other business in Australasia, and questions about those with whom he dealt.
In Australia, history students are placed in an unreasonable situation: one can read British maritime history, or Australian history - but to do both at the same time is lethal to the extent that glaring problems, contradictions of plain fact, errors, oversights and omissions, and obvious questions that mischievously remain unanswerable, arise numerously and quickly. Australian History generally is preoccupied with land-based questions. That this situation exists in a country so conspicuously situated on the rim of the Pacific Ocean, and wishing to take on a dominant role in that region, seems severely inappropriate when the mercantile aspects of convict transportation can still yield new material. One might almost say that the Australian public's emotions in this respect - curiosity about the Pacific - have been both captivated and captured by the legend of The Mutiny on the Bounty, and have progressed no further.
* * * *
Phases in The Blackheath Connection:
One more point can be made about Blackheath. (Note 137) The Blackheath Connection can be divided into phases. Phase 1 lasted from 1786 until 1797, when Macaulay busted financially and Samuel Enderby senior died. However, a second phase began about 1797. From 1795 there arose another influence on the Pacific - the London Missionary Society (LMS). After 1787 in London, the Reverend Thomas Haweis began reading on Cook's voyages. He become concerned that he "could not feel but deep regret that so beautiful a part of the creation" was, amongst other things, peopled with heathen cannibals. (Note 138) One of his associates became Joseph Hardcastle. (Note 139) Haweis, credited with the creation of the LMS, was chaplain to Lady Huntingdon, the aristocratic evangelist of Methodism whose mission had been aided by Lord Dartmouth. (Note 140)
Having heard of the mutiny on the Bounty and also that Bligh would command a second breadfruit voyage, Haweis conceived the idea of sending missionaries out by Bligh's ships to Tahiti. After the mutiny on Bounty, Peter Heywood had taken an opportunity to compile a vocabulary of the Tahitian language, a copy of which Haweis later managed to obtain. With the idea of sending two missionaries to Tahiti, Haweis met with Bligh one morning at Bligh's house and used every argument he could muster, including Bligh's own "miraculous escape" to Timor by the open boat voyage, to try to interest Bligh in the proposition. Elizabeth Bligh's warmth to the idea finally led Bligh to consent. Unfortunately for Haweis, the two young men initially volunteering to be trained as missionaries for the project withdrew. Afterwards, Haweis always bitterly referred to them as deserters.
By 1794, however, Haweis had realised that only an interdenominational organisation would suffice for the conversion of the Pacific heathens and so was formed the LMS. Maritime activity remained nil until a captain could be recruited. An ex-East India captain retired to Portsmouth, James Wilson, heard of Haweis' zeal and approached Haweis. By 1796 Haweis mounted the resources to prepare the ship Duff for a first missionary voyage. Chief mate for the voyage was Wilson's nephew, William Wilson. (Note 141) Whilst Duff was prepared, Joseph Hardcastle, a devout merchant of Ducksfoot Lane, London, and also Blackheath, originated a scheme whereby the missionary work might be made self-supporting by the sale of exotic artefacts imported from the Pacific. It was James Duncan of Blackheath, and lately involved in the convict service to New South Wales, who dealt with the East India Company when the LMS decided to backload China tea as a way of defraying the cost of the voyage after missionaries had been dropped at Tahiti. (Note 142) On 16 July, 1796, David Scott, chairman of the East India Company, required from Duncan an assurance the LMS equipment on Duff was not intended to invade the Company's privileges. The assurance provided, Duff received a charter to backload tea.
The Duff arrived at Tahiti on 5 March, 1797. Within two years, some of the missionaries had become so unpopular with the natives they were sent from the island, and travelled to Sydney on a ship commanded by Charles Bishop, (Note 143) who sailed for the Bristol South whaler, Sydenham Teast. Later, some of the missionaries were employed at Sydney by the noted merchant who had emigrated to there from India, and was commercially growing in stature yearly in Sydney, Robert Campbell. (Note 144)
The Duff meantime had proceeded north, and at Typa Harbour on 22 November met Britannia, the captain of which, Dennot, had only recently been exonerated at Sydney for brutality on his convict transport. (Note 145) There had been an inquiry after which Dennot had softly murmured "it is human to err" and been let go. Doubtless, Dennot gave William Wilson news of "Botany Bay" and its trading possibilities. Duff arrived back on the Thames with a convoy of East Indiamen on 11 July, 1798. Her tea cargo netted about £4,000. William Wilson then compiled a book on Duff's voyage, reputedly being given £2000 for the copyright. (Note 146) The book was printed by one T. Gillette, a name known also to the East India Company, as the family dealt to India. Such connections gave William Wilson further inspiration.
He shortly purchased from the Larkins family one third of their ship that had already been to New South Wales, Royal Admiral 1. (Note 147) On 23 July, 1799, Wilson wrote to Haweis that he had lately been at the office of the Duke of Portland, Secretary of State, where it had been agreed by the under-secretary that he might use his new vessel to transport convicts. Wilson had also looked for Sir Joseph Banks (who knew Haweis) but found Banks hard to find. When the Royal Admiral II reached Port Jackson in November, 1800, her owners were registered there as William Wilson and Gabriel Gillette. After the delivery of convicts and private trade goods at Sydney, Wilson met the missionaries who had already been banished from Tahiti, and through them met Robert Campbell. Later, Wilson dropped off his missionaries, took Royal Admiral II to Canton for tea, and sailed home. Later he sold the ship to government and by March, 1803, she is said (incorrectly) to have become a convict hulk on the Thames. In 1804 William Wilson was described as the London agent for Robert Campbell and the Reverend Samuel Marsden. William Wilson meanwhile entwined his business affairs so closely with Robert Campbell that when Campbell in 1805 unsuccessfully confronted the South whalers about an import to London of his own (Robert Campbell's) whaling produce, Wilson was bankrupted. (Note 148)
James Duncan when in 1798 contracting for the "fever ship" Hillsborough had also arranged for that ship to take several missionaries to Sydney. (Note 149) So he continued his association with the LMS, which in a sense became one of the band of operators in the convict service to New South Wales. For his part, William Wilson had seen his career take many strange twists and turnings, and with his associates he is yet another figure amongst the London merchants of the Blackheath connection. The evangelical persuasions meanwhile, originally shared by William Richards and Sir Charles Middleton in 1786, surfacing later at Blackheath in the form of the LMS and some of its associates such as Joseph Hardcastle, are curiously, like Freemasonry at Blackheath, another strong cultural influence linking Blackheath, New South Wales and the broader Pacific.
The inspection then of the milieu and biographies of the men of the Blackheath Connection enables one to press more deeply into the interstices of the institutions explicitly or implicitly used as the British government sent convicts to New South Wales. One finds more information on London's aldermen, on how contracts were allocated for transportation, on London's whalers, on marine insurers at Lloyd's, and on Australia's first industries, whaling and sealing.
Lack of space, however, makes it impossible to trace why Alexander Davison, prevented or dissuaded by circumstances from about 1792 from further provisioning of the colony at Sydney, expressed his disappointment as he did to Sir George Young in 1793. (Note 150) It has been impossible to explore some material related to various persons - such as Matra - who in 1783-1784 lobbied government about various forms for a colony at or near New South Wales, and whose ideas if adopted would have meant a greater influx of free people to Australia, and hence colonialism conducted with a different spirit. (Note 151) It has been impossible to explore relationships between ships captains employed by the Blackheath men, and the officers of the New South Wales Corps known to have engaged in trading.
It suffices then to have identified a London suburb where research may be focused in future, and to suggest that various profits arising after merchants resident at Blackheath had sent ships into Australasian waters, were concentrated back in that suburb. Specific arrangements between those merchants can be identified, but otherwise, too little is known. It does seem that while some commentators might object on moral grounds that merchants took any profit at all from deals relating to transportation, as they did, the profits do not seem to have been excessive (putting aside the case of the Second Fleet). What was far more objectionable, overall, was the financial behaviour and general attitude of the officers of the New South Wales Corps. It is not impossible, of course, that some of the London merchants involved had made arrangements with those officers before the officers had left England. Here, one would like to know more about merchants with whom John Macarthur, especially, became acquainted - or reacquainted? - whilst he was in London at various times. It may not have been accidental that the commandant of the New South Wales Corps, Major Francis Grose, embarked on Macaulay's ship Pitt for New South Wales.
The major finding is that whether such merchants had engaged in any kind of secretive conspiracy or not - and I conclude that they did not, except against the East India Company - their involvements with the early colony at Sydney did not loom especially large in their overall plans. After 1806, the institutional setting was more relaxed, Australasian opportunities were better measured. London merchants taking contracts were drawn from a different sector of the City - and had a different style of relationship with the East India Company and the whalers, both, a matter probably also linked to developments in the battle of the Red Book and the Green Book at Lloyd's.
Before 1806, Australasian involvements were an underpinning helpful to merchants' various strategies. Their common strategy was to outmanoeuvre the East India Company, a goal they achieved with a remarkable use of cunning and a goal not easily seen as obvious in studies on England's post-1783 "swing to the East". What is even more remarkable, given that these merchants sent ships onto waters, through climates and by coasts that were unfamiliar, is that they lost so few ships. St Barbe's last Australasian involvement was in 1806, when he did lose a ship, about the Philippines, the convict transport Tellicherry, usually used by him as a reliable East Indiaman, and listed as such at Lloyds. (Note 152) Overall, it is surprising that England did not send more commercial ships into the Pacific than were sent. Part of this surprise is how unknown are those few East India Company ships not managed by Company renegades, that did try Australasian routes. (Note 153)
Some historians writing on Britain's "swing to the East" after the loss of the American colonies have regarded the establishment of a new penal colony as part of that swing. In respect of the men behind the shipping sent into Australasian waters, their response to the attitude of the East India Company was to virtually demand a chance to participate in this "swing". Where the company was unco-operative, these merchants manipulated a wide range of measures to ensure their demands were met. Ultimately, it appears that the arc of this "swing" involving Australasian waters was captured at the expense of the East India Company, and represented a humiliation of the Company, a view which contradicts traditional lore on the political history of the Company, but is entirely supported by records on convict shipping and the activities of the South whale fishery. It is also supported by Lloyd's own separate published listings of ships and their principals in the service of the Company as well as an examination of names mentioned in Shelton's Contracts, since many convict transports bound for Australia were insured with Lloyd's.
The merchants of the Blackheath connection had such capital, resources, skills and opportunities, that they could in the strictly financial sense have done well enough without mounting their involvements to the new colony. This suggests that their deeper motives for being involved were strategic: they made a limited use only of the colony. Their motives were strategic in the way that daring entrepreneurs usually refine and exploit new opportunities - preferably with home government support, cunningly using institutions, engaging in self-interested propaganda exercises, opening new territory in their field, manipulating markets if possible, wishing to cross national borders, and utilising audacious blends of opportunistic, ad hoc planning, and controlled anarchy.
In all this the South whalers are conspicuous, and so far as some historians' arguments run, that the early colony at New South Wales might have supplied masts, spars, canvas, foods, sails, ropes water and other stores for naval ships or East Indiamen, it seems as relevant as it is obvious that convict transports, whalers, sealers and any other English ships in the Pacific, and, regulations permitting, American ships as well, would also have needed such equipage and more to the point, paid good money for it, if it could have been provided. To 1806, however, evidence of shipmen of any description making significant numbers of such financial transactions at Sydney is limited, to say the least.
New South Wales began as a place of punishment by exile. Initially, an overriding concern was that as a convict colony it would become self-sufficient. If, once "the length of the voyage", as Lord Howe called it, proved safe or inexpensive enough, and mercantile opportunities presented themselves, there were enough other merchants of means in Blackheath alone to have made moves which could have given the colony a different social and economic history.
Indeed, one can well wonder what happened in the minds of wealthy, competent and visionary Englishmen - there were plenty of them - to the dream that England had long cherished, of settling "the great Southland"? Port Jackson, as Governor Phillip said, possessed a safe harbour that could have kept a thousand ships of the line secure. We can paraphrase Phillip here as saying: a thousand commercial ships less the number of naval vessels anchored. We are left with the irony that the merchants who were most interested in Australasia have been much-forgotten, and that of all of them, the most genuine, humane and well-intentioned was probably William Richards, who mounted the First Fleet. Even today, his career can scarcely be termed accessible.
The senior echelons of England's merchants were often parliamentarians or were associated with the families of parliamentarians. If not entering the parliament, merchants could enjoy a political career as a common councilman or alderman of the Corporation of the City of London, or as members of merchant lobby groups. Sources of information on merchants are many. (Note 154) That England's senior merchants refrained from involvement with Australasia in such numbers as they did, seems to be adequate vindication of the traditional view - that initially, New South Wales was a mere convict colony - not particularly important and not particularly pleasant.
NB: (Several addenda follow. Numbered footnotes are given as endnotes after the addenda and include notes to the addenda)
+++++ Finis, The Blackheath Connection +++++
Addendum 1: Thomas Shelton and convict contractors, 1786-1829:
A mystery exists concerning Thomas Shelton, the Old Bailey and Home Office official responsible for drawing the bonds and contracts necessary for the transportation of convicts from Britain to New South Wales and, later, Van Diemen's Land. These contracts are held at the Public Record Office, at Kew, London, filed as papers handled by the Audit Office. Shelton's Accounts, some 228 contracts provide an indispensable list of shipowners contracting for the carriage of British convicts until 1829. Shelton's nephew John Clark did this work after Shelton's death. Clark was followed by Mr Peake.
Those familiar with Bateson's book, The Convict Ships, will find that Bateson had not named all such merchants involved as convict contractors. It is important to note that Shelton did not list merchants taking contracts for the transportation of Irish convicts. However, Bateson conveys a great deal on the transportation of Irish convicts, from the Third Fleet onwards, and so some merchants can be implicated by use of cross-referenced information based on awareness of the ships and ships captains employed. (Of course, it is extremely helpful to know about any of the other associates of these merchants, especially, as from Bateson, of their ships captains, agents and other employees).
Circumstantial evidence suggests that the merchants of Blackheath may have suborned Thomas Shelton. With Shelton's Contracts are filed letters indicating that between 1789 and 1829, Shelton never once asked for reimbursement for his work in making the contracts for transportation. He had once been ordered to do so, and still had not done it. On his death his nephew and executor, who knew before Shelton's death of this circumstance, asked government for reimbursement for Shelton's estate of up to £22,000. One question arises forcefully: how could Shelton have been able to afford to remain so much out of pocket for so long? Is such a question relevant?
The letters include: Thos Shelton to ??, nd, An Account of the Names Of The Offenders Who Have Been Convicted At Several Sessions Of The Delivery .... Newgate ....Ordered To Be Transported Beyond The Seas ... Since ... Delivered To Duncan Campbell ... And Also To Mr George [sic] Richards Who Contracted And Gave Security To Transport Them. Delivered To Mr Campbell 23rd May, 1785, [lists of names in batches, a total of 958 names, the packet countersigned Brummell, Shelton drawing a fee of £295/7/8 for each delivery]. I am still unsure to which batch of convicts this might refer, but it probably refers to convicts delivered to George Moore. Lord Sydney at Whitehall on 22 February, 1789, wrote to the Lords Treasury about an account from Shelton for fees due to him for delivering these felons (£295) and asking it be paid. So by early 1789, Shelton had only managed to ask for reimbursement for a convict contract of 1785. From December, 1786 he was very busy with First Fleet work. If this was Shelton's usual work pattern, he might then have ordered his convict documentation and evidence of his legal work having been done, and then asked for reimbursement perhaps about 1792 or 1793? But if this describes the usual lag with such paperwork, Shelton still behaved in an eccentric way.
John Clark first wrote as Shelton's executor to S. M. Phillips on 5 January, 1830. Clark as his uncle's executor asked that the estate be reimbursed up to £22,664/4/- as Shelton had never presented his accounts 1789-1829 for delivering convicts for transportation to New South Wales or Van Diemen's Land. This request caused a considerable stir amongst officials. Letters quickly wafted.
Robert Peel wrote to Goulbourn on 11 January, 1830. Undecipherable at the Treasury to ??, on 22 January, 1830, explained the matter in detail and asked for an explanation for My Lords, of why the account had been so long deferred? John Clark on 1 February, 1830 wrote to S. M. Phillips; Undecipherable at Treasury wrote to Commissioners Audit of Public Accounts, 12 February, 1830. John Clark wrote to Jn Lewis Hallett, 22 February, 1830. J. Stewart to Hallett, 24 February, 1830. John Clark, at Chelmsford, wrote to Jn Lewis Hallett, Audit Office, 10 March, 1830. Unknown wrote to S. M. Phillips, March 1830, a draft; possibly a record of interview with Clark or someone who had known of Shelton's situation.
A clerk for Mr Capper at Whitehall, (who was involved in convict transportation administration at the Home Office), Everest, wrote to Hallett, 17 April, 1830. J. Stewart wrote to Commissioners of the Audit, 5 June, 1830, a Memorandum Of Information From Mr Clark's Office, Sessions House, Old Bailey, 4 August, 1830, an attempt to explain how Shelton had derived his accounts, noting that Shelton had retained bonds and contracts, but that the assignments of the convicts were lodged at New South Wales [having been delivered to the governors there]. To Mr Andre at the Audit Office, John Clark, 21 August, 1830, wrote about the Stamp Act of 1804. Shelton had always paid his stamp duties on the contracts he made, as he had been obliged to do. Indeed, this was one absolutely unarguable facet of the claims for reimbursement being made by Clark.
On 27 August, 1830, arose a note on an idea of reducing the amount owed to Shelton's estate where King's ships had been used for convict carriage. (Sir?) G. Clerk for Sir Robert Peel to the Honble J. Stewart, 28 September, 1830, concerned a compromise reimbursement which had worked out by Peel for payment to Clark. J. Stewart to Commissioners Audit, 18 October, 1830, mentioned a sum of £17,436/17/10d to be paid to Shelton's estate.
On 22 October, 1830, was dated a Memorandum about Shelton's Account. John Clark to the Commissioners for the Audit Office on 9 December, 1830 conveyed that Clark had tried to contact a clerk who had worked for Shelton from 1789, and Clark here also was obliged to outline Shelton's authority and modus operandi for deriving contracts and subsequently costing his charges to government.
That is, in an effort to forestall such a reimbursement being made, the officials had even challenged the nature and legitimacy of the authority under which Shelton might have thought he (Shelton) had been operating. Which of course reveals that by 1830, officials involved in convict transportation administration had lost sight of the situation that had originally arisen in 1786-1787 with the deployment of the First Fleet, and the legislation relevant then. Of course, they were still sending convicts to Australia, too, under much-revised administrative arrangements. A note of 17 September, 1831 mentioned a revised reimbursement sum of £15,700 and outlined officials' continued disbelief at how cumbersome Shelton's system for making contracts before 1800 had been. They had taken the trouble to analyse that system. That analysis referred to relevant Acts on transportation, 1757, 1776, 1777, 1783, 1 August, 1795, 1797 July and August, 1801, 1804 and 1808. Surprisingly, the crucial legislation, the Act of 1784, Act 24 Geo III, c.56, was not mentioned in the analysis, which seems peculiar indeed.
On Shelton's death the official drawing the contracts for transportation became - John Clark. His contract making can also be traced. In the Corporation of London Record Office, (Index to Catalog at the Guildhall), is, however, a peculiar entry which indicates among other things that the entire series of contracts for convict transportation to Australia has probably never been perused by a single human eye. It is: "Transp 209D, Account of John Clark, Clerk Of The Peace etc., relating to convicts transported to New South Wales or the islands adjacent, 13 July, 1829 - 8 December, 1840. 1 Vol., Accounts for making lists, drawing up contracts, etc.".
This volume was deposited with the Corporation of London Record Office by Mr. H. Collingridge, of the Public Record Office, on 9 June 1955. Once Clark had ceased drawing contracts, such work was taken over by one Peace (Peake), an official first mentioned in J. C. Sainty's book on Home Office officials, (p. 23), as early as 1798. Some contracts for transportation following Shelton's set are held also at Chancery Lane  as TS/460-515, then T1/1308-1361, to 1842-43. TS/461 is for the transport Waterloo, 28 May, 1842, 220 male convicts Sheerness to Van Diemen's Land. TS/515 is contract for the Hougoumont, dated 15 October, 1867 for 280 named male felons. Other information on convict shipping not to Australia is held at PRO (1850-1870) as HO11/20ff and HO11/21ff. HO11/21 records overall numbers of felons transported between 1787-1870.
Presumably, analysis of the relevant contracts in an Irish archive would clarify information on merchants taking contracts. For example, some merchants making few contracts with Shelton may have made many in Ireland. It would be premature here to suggest which names might be on such an Irish-derived list. The names of contract takers for Irish transportation could very easily confirm, or disconfirm, some claims outlined in this article.
Some merchant names Shelton dealt with between 1800-1820 are: (Note 156) By 1820, Joseph Pinsent, one contract, ship Juliana. By 1820, George Lyall, three contracts, including Shipley. By 1820, Magnus Johnson [master/owner], three contracts. By 1820, George Longster, one contract, ship Earl St Vincent. By 1819, Charles Johnson, one contract, ship Malabar. By 1819, George Faith, two contracts, ship Canada. By 1818, Henry Taylor, one contract, ship Hibernia. By 1818, John Short, one contract, ship Lord Sidmouth. By 1818, John Robertson Bell, five contracts including ships Globe, Lord Melville. By 1818, Robert Granger (a Blackheath name), one contract, ship General Stuart. By 1818, Samuel Francis Somes [noted shipowning family], one contract, ship Maria. By 1817, Charles Enderby* [whalers], four contracts. By 1817, Matthew Boyd, one contract, ship Almorah. By 1816, John Nichols, one contract, ship Sir William Bensley. By 1816, Aaron Chapman, one contract, ship Mariner. By 1816, Thomas Barrick, one contract, ship Atlas. By 1815, Charles Raitt, one contract, ship Ocean. By 1815, Alexander John Milne, one contract, ship Mary Anne. By 1815, Thomas Henry Buckle [EICo], four contracts including ship Baring. By 1814, Thomas Robson, one contract, ship Indefatigable. By 1814, James McCall, one contract, ship Marquis of Wellington. By 1814, John Goodson, one contract, ship Somersetshire. By 1814, Kenard Smith, one-two contracts, ship Broxbournbury. By 1814, James Smith, one contract, ship Surrey of 1814. By 1813, James McTaggart, one contract, ship General Hewett. By 1813, Henry Moore, one contract, ship Wanstead. By 1813, Martin Lindsay, one contract, ship Earl Spencer. By 1812, Peter Everett Mestaer [wharfinger?, whaler], three contracts including ship William Pitt of 1805. By 1810, George Garnett Huske Munnings, one contract, ship Indian of 1810. By 1809, Messrs Buckle and Boyd [EICo], two contracts including ship Ann of 1809. By 1809, Daniel Bennett [whaler], four contracts. By 1808, William Wilson* [a merchant "pioneering" Pacific trade, who had links with the London Missionary Society and a man of an East India family, Gabriel Gillett and a Blackheath broker who handled several other convict ships, James Duncan], two contracts. By 1806, William Bignell [general shipper, partner with Green and St Barbe*], one contract, ship Sydney Cove of 1806. By 1806, Messrs Mestaer [see above] and Locke, two contracts. By 1805, Messrs Reeve [connected with St Barbe] and Wigram, two contracts, including ship Coromandel after 1803, and Experiment. By 1802, Joshua Reeve, one contract, ships Perseus and Coromandel of 1802. By 1801, Thomas Hurry [whalers], one contract, ships Minorca, Canada and Nile of 1801.
Mysteriously, then, Shelton had not asked for reimbursement. Had Shelton been suborned by any of the merchants named in his set of contracts, or not? Immediately such a question is asked, all the varied implications of a yes, a no or a maybe begin to invade not just the topic of convict transportation to Australia... Many questions arise about how and why British merchants explored and exploited the Pacific Ocean.
Mention in this context of the merest possibility of Shelton having been suborned so that merchants might keep contracts in their own hands, should not be taken as referring to anything necessarily conspiratorial. Corruption among legal gentlemen (magistrates) was common in the period. David Ascoli mentions: "The Middlesex Justices Act was introduced in March, 1792 with the purpose of ending the age-old scandal of magisterial corruption." (Note 157) If this is what happened with Shelton then we must look for a group of merchants who might have been able to co-operate in such an exercise, and the men of Blackheath - bound by neighbourhood and Freemasonry - are an obvious possibility. Certainly, without some such solution it is hard to understand how such a very large sum of money went unpaid for so long. However, finding proof about any such matters remains difficult. (Note 158)
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Addendum 2: On London's merchants:
Questions related to Freemasonry quite apart, it is obvious that many influential London merchants, who could have been interested in early New South Wales, were not. Thus the merchants who were involved are given a profile. For comparative purposes I have compiled the following lists of prominent London merchants from the annually-issued Royal Calendar.
The Russia fleet: Influential merchants handling the Russia Fleet in 1781 included Edmund Boehm, J. Thornton, Thos Raikes; later, W. Raikes. The Russia Company in 1793 included governor Edward Foster, T. Raikes, and consuls John Cornwall, Robert Thornton, W. Raikes, Godfrey Thornton, Roger Boehm, Samuel Thornton, Edmund Boehm, Moses Yeldham, R. Thornton Jnr., William Raikes, S. Thornton.
The Africa Company: Members of the Africa Company in 1784 were Anthony Calvert (London), Gilbert Ross, Charles Cleland for Bristol, Justinian Casamajor for Bristol, John Taylor Vaughan, Thomas Farr for Liverpool, RC. Other London Africa Company merchants included Richard Miles, John Shoolbred, John Bourke, Nathaniel Bogle French.
The Turkey Company: Members of the Levant or Turkey Company, in 1792 included Samuel Bosanquet, treasurer S. Smith.
The East India Company: East India Directors in 1793 included chairman Francis Baring (who in the early 1790s suggested that the East India Company was nursing a serpent at Botany Bay); deputy chairman John Smith Burgess, plus Jacob Bosanquet, Lionel Darrell, John Hunter, Thomas Fitzhugh, Rbt Thornton, William Money, Thomas Cheap, William Devaynes, Ald. Paul Le Mesurier, Sir Stephen Lushington, Thomas Pottle, secretary William Ramsay. Other prominent East India Company merchants included: in 1782, Robert Gregory, John Manship, Lionel Darrel; in 1783, Jacob Bosanquet, Stephen Lushington; in 1784, Edmund Boehm, Charles Boddam, Hugh Inglis, [Alderman] Paul Le Mesurier; in 1787, Abraham Robarts (a partner in banking with William Curtis); in 1789, Robert Thornton; in 1790, Will. Money, David Scott.
From the list of East India Company directors above, only two names can be associated with convict transportation, and these only peripherally, if at all: Paul Le Mesurier as an alderman; and Abraham Robarts, a partner in banking with Alderman William Curtis.
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Addendum 3: On Daniel Bennett, whaler of Blackheath:
The British historian of whaling, A. G. E. Jones, has listed the whaler Daniel Bennett as having had an address at Blackheath by 1799, and often after. (Note 159) In one of his articles, Jones has viewed Bennett as a more successful and productive whaler than the Enderbys, who were more vocal as promoters of whaling than successful as gatherers of whaling products. (Note 160)
Chronologically, Bennett enters and exits my shipping records as follows. About June 1794, Daniel Bennett whalers had out the whaler Fanny, when Thomas King (perhaps the Thomas King of Camden, Calvert and King?) had out a whaler Spry; and Thomas Yorke had out New Hope, Capt. Joshua Bunker. On 24 November, 1794 (Note 161) Bennett with Thomas Spencer, Thomas King and Robert Donald wrote a letter to Treasury concerning ships and bounties for the South Fishery - the matter was referred to customs by Charles Long. By December, 1794, Bennett had had out the ship Lord Hawkesbury, Capt. Henry Mackie.
Thomas Shelton's Contract No. 11, dated 27 January, 1795, with Alexander Towers named, involved the ship Sovereign, Captain George Storey. I have no information at all on Towers, but suspect he had interests in India, as Sovereign, and Captain George Storey, appear to have had connection with other links between India and Sydney, via the activities of the to-be-noted Sydney merchant, Robert Campbell. Sovereign departed England for Australia on 25 May, 1795, a storeship of 362 tons. She left with Young William, a storeship for Botany Bay owned by whaler Daniel Bennett.
Shelton's Contract No. 11 is slightly mysterious, as it noted one Scots convict for whom Shelton had written to the Crown Agent at Edinburgh about a certificate, with the contract taken in 1795 by a name unknown to Bateson, Alexander Towers. Sovereign took one convict only. Capt. Storey may have earlier traded for the Sydney merchant Robert Campbell in India. Sovereign arrived at Sydney on 5 November, 1795 and sailed later to Bengal. (Note 162)
Capt. Storey when he departed Sydney made for Calcutta, where he gave to the Calcutta Gazette, about May 1796, a story on trading prospects at Sydney. Steven (Note 163) tenuously suggests that Storey had previously traded with Campbell and Clarke of Calcutta. Whatever the case, the news on Port Jackson prompted Robert Campbell, a junior partner in Campbell and Clarke, to examine the prospects for trading to NSW, and it was Campbell who later did much to firm the small "country trade" between NSW and India. Daniel Bennett's operations became an element in Campbell's schemes. Young William storeship, Capt. George Storey had arrived at Sydney by 5 November, 1795. (Note 164).
Shelton's Account No. 12 dated 17 October, 1795, was taken with Daniel Bennett for the Indispensable, Capt Wilkinson, 351 tons. Again, Shelton is mysterious. He made a copy certificate of the conviction of Rachel Turner "by Mr Pollocks desire and delivered same to Mr White, Surgeon-General of NSW to take out with him... The like of Margaret Dawson"... (Note 165) A. G. E. Jones is unclear whether Indispensable was owned by Enderby or Bennett, but from Shelton's contract, one would guess Bennett was the owner. (Note 166) Indispensable did not go whaling, but continued to Canton having been chartered by the East India Co. (Note 167)
In 1795-1796, Young William owned by Bennet, and Sally, owned by Thomas Guillaume, became the first British vessels to go to South Georgia. (Note 168)
Shelton's Contract No. 17 dated December, 1798 indicates that the contract taker for the "fever ship" convict transport, Hillsborough, Capt. William Hingston, was Daniel Bennett, of High Street, Wapping. Some 95 of 300 convicts died aboard, and some died after being landed. (Note 169)
Frank Clune (in Rascals, Ruffians and Rebels of Early Australia. Sydney, Angus and Robertson, 1987., pp. 66ff), notes that Jorgen Jorgensen reported that he arrived at the Cape of Good Hope in March, 1799. William Noah in his diary written on Hillsborough once wrote: "Arrived this day the ship Fanny, a whaler belonging to our owner, Mr [Daniel] Bennet. Means to get a load off this coast, as the blubber whales are here in plenty." Clune (p. 67) says Fanny arrived on 23 May. After loading wood and water, Fanny sailed 700 miles north to Walvis Bay, where whales were supposed to be plentiful. Jorgen deserted, he said, and walked 700 miles (?) to Cape Town. Then Jorgensen put himself in the British navy. In 1800, Jorgensen left the navy and sailed for Michael Hogan on Harbinger, 56 tons, Capt John Black, with wines and spirits. Harbinger sailed from the Cape of Good Hope in November, 1800, went through Bass Strait, the second vessel to do so from the west, discovered King Island, and got to Sydney on 12 January, 1801 (Clune says 1800). Later, Black disappeared on the ship Fly. Jorgensen sailed awhile on Lady Nelson ("HM Tinder Box", developed for exploration by Capt John Schank) as second mate. Lady Nelson met Baudin's ships Naturaliste and Geographe. Lady Nelson discovered Westernport Bay, and named Port Phillip Bay in 1801.
Stackpole has some enigmatic information which may relate to Bennett's activities. (Note 170) Stackpole mentions a London whaleship, Elligood, Capt. Christopher, owned by Bennett, which may have by 27 August, 1800 been at Kangaroo Island (on Australia's southern coasts). (This has been followed up in Rhys Richards, 'The Cruise of the Kingston and the Elligood in 1800, and the Wreck found on King Island in 1802', The Great Circle, Vol. 13, No. 1, 1991., pp. 35-53). Elligood was possibly wrecked there by 1802. A Cape Town newspaper in May, 1801 reported Elligood had returned to that port that month with the master and nine men dead by scurvy. This would mean than Bennett had reacted quite quickly to new geographic information, since Bass Strait was not "discovered" until 1798. (Note 171) There is little reason to believe that any merchants actually interested in the Pacific ever acted with less speed.
Listed in Lloyd's Red Book as ships insured in 1799-1800 were: Yare (or Care?), Brig, London/Yarmouth, owners Hurry, for Ya Baltic. Hurrys later had out to Australia the ship Ocean which with HMS Calcutta was part of the 1803 effort to settle Port Phillip Bay (Melbourne), and later sailed to Hobart to begin the settlement of Tasmania. Insured in 1799 was William 1799-1800, Capt. S Bacon for D Bennett Lo SSeas.
My records on Bennett fade out between 1800-1805. William Wilson, who had surfaced as a connection of the London Missionary Society from 1796, mounted the convict ship Royal Admiral II. Wilson and others had bought this vessel from the relatives of George Macaulay, the Larkins family of Blackheath. Later as the London agent for the Sydney trader Robert Campbell, Wilson figured in the mid-1805 "Lady Barlow affair", a dispute between Sydney and London sealing interests. The London faction was headed by Enderbys and Mathers, who wanted no competition from Sydney with a Pacific fishery they had worked since 1786 to establish. Visiting London, Robert Campbell with Lady Barlow also had ambitions of becoming Sydney agent for the whalers, Daniel Bennett. (It is not impossible that Enderbys and Mather attacked Robert Campbell as part of an intra-London battle with Daniel Bennett's firm). (Note 172)
In October, 1806, in London, William Wilson and William Fairlie of the India House, Fairlie Ferguson and Company offered to act as a security for the future financial good behaviour of Robert Campbell. The affair however finally destabilised Wilson so much that he bankrupted around 1810. By then he had opened the sandalwood trade to Fiji. (Note 173) In all, it seems then that Robert Campbell, Sydney's first merchant of note, had become aware of "the Blackheath Connection" by 1805, his informant probably having been William Wilson. It is not impossible that certain London merchants destroyed Wilson as a punishment for his commercial audacity in the Pacific region - and perhaps Robert Campbell's hopes to link with Bennett were a factor here as well?
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Some 173 Endnotes begin here for The Blackheath Connection (these Endnotes include notes to the three addenda)
Note 1: This treatment is deeply indebted to the generosity of Mr Neil Rhind, a local historian of Blackheath and secretary of the Blackheath Preservation Trust, a body devoted to retention of the splendid architectural and cultural heritage of Blackheath. Mr Rhind (who is not of course responsible in any way for any of my own opinions presented here) provided me with maps old and new of the area, and opened his files, many of which he had inherited from local historians working earlier in Lewisham. Suffice to say, we were both surprised at the implications arising once we had matched lists of names arising from our independent researches. Two of Neil Rhind's titles in a series on Blackheath Village and environs, 1790-1970 are: Blackheath In Lee: From Lloyds Place to Dartmouth Row. (Vol. 3). The Heath: A Companion Volume to Blackheath Village and Environs. London, Bookshop Blackheath Ltd., 1987. (Vol. 4).
Note 2: Alan Frost, Arthur Phillip, 1738-1814: His Voyaging. Melbourne. 1987., p. 291.
Note 3: V. T. Harlow, The Founding of the Second British Empire., Two Vols., London, 1952, 1964. Wide ranging commentary on Harlow's thesis in this context is given in Ged Martin, (Ed), The Founding of Australia: The Argument about Australia's Origins. Sydney, 1978., p. 57. Michael Roe, `Australia's Place in "the swing to the East" 1788-1810', in Martin, Founding, pp. 59-61. Also, David Mackay, In The Wake of Cook: Exploration, Science and Empire, 1780-1801. Wellington, 1985. Also, Wilfrid Oldham, Britain's Convicts to the Colonies. Sydney. 1990 (An ms written in 1933 as a Ph.D thesis for London University).
Note 4: K. M. Dallas, Trading Posts or Penal Colonies: The Commercial Significance of Cook's New Holland Route to the Pacific. Hobart, 1969.
Note 5: Geoffrey Blainey, The Tyranny of Distance: How Distance Shaped Australia's History. Melbourne, 1966.
Note 6: Alan Frost, Convicts and Empire: A Naval Question, 1776-1811. Melbourne, 1980.
Note 7: A variety of essays on such topics is given in John Hardy and Alan Frost, (Eds.), European Voyaging towards Australia. Canberra, 1990.
Note 8: Mollie Gillen, 'The Botany Bay Decision, 1786: convicts, not empire', English Historical Review, Vol. 97, October, 1982., pp. 740-766, rebuts Frost in Convicts and Empire. Also, David L. Mackay, A Place of Exile: The European Settlement of New South Wales. Melbourne, 1985.
Note 9: Charles Bateson, The Convict Ships, 1787-1868. Sydney, 1969.
Note 10: The merchants were placed under a new light in Dan Byrnes, '"Emptying The Hulks": Duncan Campbell and the first three fleets to Australia', The Push From the Bush, No. 24, April, 1987.
Note 11: Dan Byrnes, 'Outlooks for the English South Whale Fishery 1782-1800, and the "great Botany Bay debate"', The Great Circle, Vol. 10, No. 2, October, 1988., pp. 79-102.
Note 12: Complete ship listings are available in J. S. Cumpston, Shipping Arrivals and Departures: Sydney, 1788-1824. In three parts. Canberra, 1963-1964. This argument does not embrace consideration of the activities of American shipping, which are outlined in L. G. Churchward, Australia and America 1788-1972: An Alternative History. Sydney, 1979., pp. 5ff.
Note 13: London Lord Mayor William Beckford (1709-1770) had been advocating an English "swing to the east" in the mid-1760s, via an increasing emphasis on the East India Company, according to Merrill Jensen, The Founding of a Nation: A History of the American Revolution, 1763-1776. London, 1968., pp. 219ff. From the late 1760s, more parliamentarians began investing in the Company.
Note 14: Colin Jack-Hinton, The Search for the Islands of Solomon, 1567-1838. Oxford, 1969. On pp. 311-327, Jack-Hinton details Pacific voyages he regards as historic made by (Governor) John Hunter in Waaksamhey'd, 1791; Capt. Edwards of HMS Pandora; Capt Manning of the Pitt owned by Macaulay, 1792, Capt Bond of Royal Admiral 1 (owned by the Larkins family of Blackheath), Capt Boyd of the Bellona, Wilkinson of the Indispensable organised by Daniel Bennett of Blackheath; James Mortlock of the whaler Young William; and Michael Hogan of the Cornwallis. Jack-Hinton usefully relates how navigational details of these historic voyages contributed to information later published in widely-distributed charts, but incorrectly regards as East Indiamen a few ships which were not East Indiamen, but which merely had licences reluctantly issued to them by the East India Company. There were fewer East Indiamen in the Pacific between 1784 and 1800 than Jack-Hinton states. By a similar token, the backers of several trailblazing voyages were London merchants who have received too little proper credit for opening the Pacific. Some other relevant names here included William Wright Bampton of the Shah Hormuzear; Michael Hogan of Marquis Cornwallis, a master-owner; John St Barbe's employee, Captain William Raven.
Note 15: Owing to complaints about the costs of the convict colony, George Rose, Secretary of the Treasury, compiled the Navy Office Accounts, 1793-1794, (HRNSW, Vol. 2, pp. 39ff). These accounts contain details on monies allocated London merchants who had engaged in transporting convict to New South Wales. A. G. L. Shaw, Convicts and the Colonies: A Study of Penal Transportation from Great Britain and other parts of the British Empire. London, 1966. Shaw (pp. 58ff), has many details and costings of relevance here. Especially, Shaw says (p. 59), that many Treasury Bills drawn between 1793-1796, after the Third Fleet, were presented to the Treasury in 1797. What is not known, is just who presented them: that is, who had collected the money in London. Shaw (p. 58) suggests that "In 1798 the House Of Commons Select Committee of Finance, alarmed by the sudden presentation... of bills amounting to nearly £80,000, investigated its expenditure". One suspects the Committee was also alarmed, or surprised, by the identity of the presenters of the bills. Dallas also provides names and figures (p. 79).
Note 16: John Molony, The Penguin Bicentennial History of Australia: The Story of 200 Years. Melbourne, 1987., (p. 1) "the decision ... was made with breathtaking nonchalance and almost criminal negligence". Molony like most writers, however, refers to the relevant shipping only as "the merchantmen". Martin in his Founding of Australia (p. 7), makes an interesting claim that this sort of Australian judgement on the original English nonchalance serves only to bolster Australian self esteem in relating to the mother country. Martin possibly underestimates the intensity of England's contempt for its convicts in 1786.
Note 17: Martin, Founding of Australia, pp. 18ff.
Note 18: Among these were G. M. Macaulay and Samuel Enderby; and Duncan Campbell, who did not send ships to NSW. These matters are treated below.
Note 19: Jack-Hinton, pp. 311-327.
Note 20: Notes on Macaulay are contained in my essay, 'Outlooks on the English South Whale Fishery', op. cit. See also Macaulay's Journal, held as George Mackenzie Macaulay, [original diary] Occurrences and Observations, Journal 1796-98. BL Add: Mss. 25,038. An underwriter with Abel and Macaulay (Lloyd's Register 1778, list of subscribers), Macaulay (1750-1803) by 1781 was a London common councilman, elevated to alderman by 1782. In 1784 he purchased an East Indiaman, Pitt, which from 1786 made annual voyages to China. Macaulay sold Pitt in the mid-1790s. (Byrnes, '"Emptying the Hulks"'). With aspirations of becoming Lord Mayor, he was a Sheriff by 1790-1791. He associated often with Alderman (Sir) William Curtis (Lord Mayor 1795-96, MP, City of London), and, in 1796, with a director of the Bank of England, Joseph Nutt. As an alderman, Macaulay worked the ward system conscientiously. In 1796-97 he made two references to New South Wales in his journal, one concerning the "Scottish martyrs" indicating that he bitterly resented "Scotch persecution", what he saw as an outcome of a policy of Pitt's administration. A Whig and a virulent anti-Pittite, Macaulay seems to have had an ambivalent attitude to the penal colony, recommending it as a penal measure but, typical of men of his ilk, enormously resentful of the cost. I am indebted to researcher Gillian Hughes and to the Sydney publisher, Library of Australian History, for tracing Macaulay's journal and his family history.
Note 21: In about 1788 the Enderbys rented land at Blackheath from Morden College, ground known as Bridgehouse land. It is difficult to imagine the governor of New South Wales, P. G. King, a friend of Enderbys, remaining unaware of this. T. Frank Green, Morden College, Blackheath. (10th Monograph London Survey Committee). Green's listings indicates that Alderman Richard Clark, a noted proponent of transportation, was on the managing board of the college. On Clark and all London aldermen mentioned here, see A. B. Beaven, The Aldermen of the City of London. London, 1913.
Note 22: Merchants' decision-making processes on the maritime questions involved are not for example easily evident from Martin, Founding of Australia, nor in Jack-Hinton's work, though it is more orientated to maritime questions; nor in Bateson.
Note 23: The dates of the return to Gravesend, England, of some of the non-naval First Fleet ships were, in chronological order: Borrowdale, on 13 April, 1789. Prince of Wales, on 29 April, 1789. Fishburn, Deptford, 25 May, 1789. Scarborough, 1 June, 1789. Alexander, 3 June, 1789. Charlotte, 5 June, 1789. Golden Grove on 5 June, 1789. Lady Penrhyn in August, 1789. Friendship was scuttled. This information is courtesy of Mollie Gillen, pers comm. Captain Marshall of Scarborough was employed by Camden, Calvert and King to return to Sydney: Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet. Sydney, Library of Australian History, 1989., p. 430.
Note 24: Much maritime information, especially on whaling, was enthusiastically collected in the 1930s, but it was not absorbed into information handled by historians working later, when questions about the social legacies of convictism in Australian life seemed more important. J. S. Cumpston, Shipping Arrivals and Departures, Sydney, 1788-1825, cited above.
Note 25: Duncan Campbell Letterbooks, ML, A3225-A3231; plus the associated work in Campbell family history of a descendant, W. D. Campbell, ML A3232.
Note 26: One wonders how many friends or enemies of Governor Bligh ("Bounty Bligh" as his enemies called him) in NSW knew (or cared?) about Bligh's earlier links with Campbell. It is difficult to believe that Bligh as governor would not have been influenced in his views on convict handling by his long-time mentor, Duncan Campbell. Alan Atkinson, 'The Little Revolution in New South Wales, 1808', International History Review, Vol. 12, No. 1, February, 1990., p. 68. Two recent titles on Bligh have been Gavin Kennedy, Bligh. London, 1978; and Glynn Christian, Fragile Paradise: The Discovery of Fletcher Christian, Bounty Mutineer. London, 1982.
Note 27: Relevant Kentish local history is contained in Edward Hasted, The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent. Four Vols. Canterbury, 1778-1799, Vol. 3, pp. 330, 353, 480. I am grateful to Mollie Gillen for pointing this title out to me, and also the contents of Duncan Campbell's will (PROB/11/1388). On landholdings generally in Lewisham and Blackheath, see the Lewisham Land Tax Records, Lewisham Local History Centre, London, PT86/527/7-9ff; PT86/527/12; PT80/409/2). I am greatly indebted to Mr. Carl Harrison of the Lewisham Local History Centre, who keeps the documentation indicating who had paid rent - mostly to the Earl of Dartmouth - for land at Blackheath. Also, for Lewisham, The Surveyor's Rate Book and Book of Accounts, A58/7/1. The Renterwarden's Accounts Book, Parish of Lewisham, A58/7/2, also lists many merchant names discussed here. The Lewisham Local History Centre is in the former residence of the banker Francis Baring, The Manor House, Old Road, Lewisham, London.
Note 28: On Samuel Enderby and London alderman and underwriter George Hayley (d. 1781) and for the origins of the English South Whale fishery, see Eduoard Stackpole, Whales and Destiny: The Rivalry between America, France and Britain for Control of the Southern Whale Fishery, 1785-1852. Boston, 1972. Also, Byrnes, 'Outlooks', op. cit.
Note 29: John C. Sainty, Home Office Officials, 1782-1870. London, 1975.
Note 30: Navy Office Accounts, 1793-1794, HRNSW, Vol. 2, pp. 39ff.
Note 31: Gillen, Founders, cited above, treats individual convicts. See also for example, Anne Needham, (work in progress), The Women Transported on the 1790 Neptune, available from Library of Australian History, Sydney; D. R. Hainsworth, Builders and Adventurers: The Traders and the Emergence of the Colony, 1788-1821. Melbourne, 1968; D. R. Hainsworth, The Sydney Traders: Simeon Lord and his Contemporaries, 1788-1821. Sydney, 1971.
Note 32: Roger Knight, `The First Fleet, its State and Preparation, 1786-1787', in John Hardy and Alan Frost, (Eds.), Studies from Terra Australis to Australia. Canberra. 1988, pp. 121-136; Victor Crittenden, A Bibliography of the First Fleet. Canberra, 1982. Another view of the First Fleet shipping contractor is to be found in Jillian Oppenheimer's contribution (Chapter 5) to G. Connah, M. Rowland and J. Oppenheimer, Captain Richards' House at Winterbourne: A study in historical archaeology. Armidale, 1978.
Note 33: John St Barbe suggested in October, 1790 that whale ships take convicts to New South Wales and then proceed whaling. Samuel Enderby Jr. to Evan Nepean, HRNSW, vol. 1, I, p. 407. On St Barbe and whaling generally, Margaret Steven, Trade, Tactics and Territory: Britain in the Pacific, 1783-1823. Melbourne, 1983.; Stackpole, Whales and Destiny; and Byrnes, 'Outlooks', op. cit. John St Barbe, ex-RN, (1742-1816) lived at 17 West Grove and from 1784-1816 at nearby 26 Dartmouth Row at Blackheath.
Note 34: On sugar refining, Kent's Directory (London) 1792, listing Camden, Lear and Co., sugar-bakers. Of course, any such firm would have had links with West India merchants.
Note 35: Oldham, pp. 97, 107, and variously. On Calvert as an Elder Brother of Trinity House, Walter Mayo, The Trinity House London: Past and Present. London, Smith Elder and Co., 1905., pp. 33ff, 79ff; for a list of portraits of Trinity House Elder Brethren, including Thomas King and Anthony Calvert, see pp. 92ff. Calvert and Co. as slavers are mentioned in Roger Anstey, Atlantic Slave Trade and British Abolition, 1760-1816. London, 1975., p. 6.
Note 36: Board of Trade In-Letters, Ships captains of the Liverpool Slave Trade including John Davies of the ship Hero, to the Committee of the Merchants Trading to Africa, November 10, 1791, and the Memorial Remonstrance of Wm Camden, Thomas King and Wm Collow of London, Merchants, To The Committee of the Company of Africa Merchants, 1 November, 1791, BT1/1 (Public Record Office). These issues connected with allegations Camden, Calvert and King were making about the (illicit) trading using American-built vessels of Miles, the governor of Cape Coast Castle. This matter occupied much of the Board of Trade's time over the next year.
Note 37: Evidence that Calverts with their ships to Australia wanted to import Bombay cotton is contained in T1/687, No. 1932.
Note 38: Neave and Aislebie, a well-known firm: Richard Neave in 1787 was a director of the Bank of England (Royal Calendar). Davison is treated in more detail below.
Note 39: Geoffrey Ingleton, True Patriots All, Or News from Early Australia as Told in a Collection of Broadsides. Sydney, 1952., reproduces the statistics-laden March, 1786 Petition from London aldermen to the King on the resumption of transportation. The original draft petition is held at the City of London Record Office as part of Rep 190. The C.L.R.O. "Reps" (the records on Aldermen's meetings and matters relating) are separately and extensively indexed by subject category. The indexes form a separate and often illuminating set of concentrated, subsidiary information revealing how aldermen's affairs were linked to matters of prisoner management.
Note 40: On William Curtis: Michael Banks, Merchants of Tottenham. (unpublished ms, 1982). I am grateful to Mr Banks in litt for information on Curtis. Curtis is mentioned in Valerie Hope, My Lord Mayor. London, 1988., p. 132. In Board of Trade Papers, BT5/8, p. 212, (Board Meeting, 15 October, 1792) it is noted that aldermen Curtis and Brook Watson, with Phineas Bond Esq., HM Consul at Philadelphia, and corn factors Claude Scott, and Robert Wilson attended to discuss corn dealing especially to the West Indies. Alexander Davison, of Harpur St. was called in also in his capacity as a merchant trading to Canada.
Note 41: Other information on aldermen Curtis and Macaulay is available in Beaven, op. cit. Lists derived from the annually-issued Royal Calendar can be used to outline groups within the London establishment which were and were not linked with the events of the "founding" of Australia. Information on Curtis' son Timothy, in 1824, is per Ms Pennie Pemberton, a student of the Australian Agricultural Company, in litt. In 1991, Ms Pemberton completed a Ph. D. thesis on the company, entitled The London Connection. Menzies Library. ANU. Also see Macaulay's original diary: Occurrences and Observations, loc. cit.
Note 42: Titles containing information on William Raven include: 'Thomas Dunbabin, William Raven RN and his Britannia, 1792-95', The Mariner's Mirror, Vol. 46, No. 4, November, 1960. Valerie Ross, (Ed.), The Everingham Letterbook: Letters of a First Fleet Convict. Sydney, 1985., pp. 72ff; On Raven's trading with officers of the New South Wales Corps, D. R. Hainsworth, Builders and Adventurers, op. cit. On related matters of the Corps officers and their trading: Pamela Statham, 'A New Look at the New South Wales Corps, 1790-1810', Australian Economic History Review, Vol. 30, No. 1, March, 1990., pp. 43-53. Captains such as Raven, William Bampton and Charles Bishop are treated in R. J. B. Knight and Alan Frost, (Eds.), The Journal of Daniel Paine, 1794-1797. Sydney, 1982., p. 97.
Note 43: Merchants, including Macaulay, prevented from being involved in creating business with the early colony and further afield in India are listed variously in HRNSW. Various vain expressions of interest in HRNSW include those from William Richards, Macaulay; and Waugh, who wanted to trade between India and Sydney and was ignored; Welbank, Sharpe and Brown and Petyt, who in 1787 had tendered the ship Bethia, which was fitted out as HMAV Bounty for the breadfruit voyage. In the 1790s there are other vain expressions of interest from Calvert, or St Barbe, by way of offers of ships found unseaworthy for the voyage to New South Wales. The list of merchants making vain applications is almost as interesting as the list of merchants allowed into the business.
Note 44: On the Enderby's whaling captain, Eber Bunker: R. Hodgkinson, Eber Bunker. Canberra, 1975. Bunker (1761-1836) founded the Sydney suburb of Liverpool and was regarded as the "father of Australian whaling". I have seen unverifiable information that at his death, Bunker had sheep at Keepit on the Namoi River, NSW, near my home town, Tamworth. On Raven, see Dunbabin, op. cit.; Byrnes, 'Outlooks', op. cit., p. 85. See also Statham, cited earlier.
Note 45: On the King-Enderby connection, Byrnes, 'Outlooks', Note 52.
Note 46: Campbell moved from Mincing Lane to the Adelphi in mid-1786. One William Hamilton in 1786 moved into Duncan Campbell's former premises in Mincing Lane, when Campbell moved into the Adelphi (Duncan Campbell to William Hamilton, 21 June, 1786, ML A3229), which suggests that all Campbell's convict records were shifted at the same time. This may have been the same William Hamilton listed in the Navy Office Accounts, involved with freighting a ship to New South Wales; including the Justinian, (HRNSW, Vol. 2, pp. 39ff). Hamilton's involvement with New South Wales was brief. Charles Dickens once wrote that the vaults beneath 3 Robert Street were a place to avoid for risk of murder: William Kent, An Encyclopaedia of London. 1937., item: The Adelphi.
Note 47: Banks' dealings on breadfruit matters are recorded in Warren R. Dawson, (Ed.), The Banks Letters. London, 1958.
Note 48: Gavin Kennedy, Bligh. London, Duckworth, 1978., pp. 15-27. Richard B. Sheridan, 'The Wealth of Jamaica in the Eighteenth Century', Economic History Review, Series 2, Vol. 18, 1965., pp. 292-311, has some information on Richard Pennant (1737-1808), first Baron Penrhyn.
Note 49: William Innis (1719-1795), a West India merchant and a golfer at Blackheath is a likely contender here as a link-man between Campbell and the West India merchants' lobby group. Innis is illustrated in Plate 82 in Neil Rhind, The Heath. On the Royal Blackheath Golf Club, its antecedents and a notorious winter-playing club for golfers who also were Freemasons, The Knuckle Club: Robert Browning, A History of Golf: The royal and ancient game. London, 1955; Ian T. Henderson and David Stirk, Royal Blackheath. London, Henderson and Stirk Ltd., 1981. And, W. E. Hughes, Chronicles of Blackheath Golfers. London, Chapman and Hall, 1897. Campbell, often named as a golfer, was a captain of the Blackheath Golf Club in 1783. Hughes (p. 6) records he was on the committee in 1789. One William Hamilton was a captain of Blackheath Golf Club in 1788. On the Blackheath Golf Club in modern days, Sir Peter Allen, The Sunley Book of Royal Golf. London, Stanley Paul, 1989. pp. 50ff; Mitchell Platts, Illustrated History of Golf. London, Bison Books, 1988., pp. 12, 17, 25.
Note 50: Subscription Books of the Society Of Arts, 1773-1802 (The Premium Society), R.S.A. Library, London. I am obliged to Mr. John Goddard, R.S.A. Librarian, for checking these sources.
Note 51: Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 15, p. 765. According to Bateson, (p. 118) after her First Fleet voyage, Lady Penrhyn was sold to West India merchants, Wedderburns. It may have been that she had originally been intended for the London-Jamaica run.
Note 52: The Journal of A. Bowes-Smith, Surgeon in the Lady Penrhyn, 1787-1789. Sydney, 1979. (Entries for May 1788 on Watts' secret orders). Many early clues used here about Curtis and Macaulay come from Arthur Phillip, The Voyage of Governor Phillip to Botany Bay. Sydney, 1982. (Originally published in London in 1789). In the section therein by Macaulay's employee, Lt. Watts (Chapter 20), is recorded information useful in piecing together the involvements of Macaulay and Curtis. On Macaulay's Pitt in 1792, Jack-Hinton, pp. 318 (Note 3), 319. Also, Mackay, In the Wake of Cook, pp. 57-120; Frost, Arthur Phillip, His Voyaging, p. 305; Oskar Spate, Paradise Found and Lost. Canberra, 1988.
Note 53: The Lady Penrhyn's voyage as a Botany Bay ship is referred to in Ruth Campbell, 'New South Wales and the Glocester Journal, 1787-1790', Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 68, 1982., pp. 169ff. Also, Mackay, In the Wake of Cook, Chapter 5, p. 141 (Note 5). Interestingly, in Alan Frost, 'New South Wales as Terra Nullius*: The British Denial of Aboriginal Land Rights', Historical Studies, Vol. 19, No 77, October, 1981., pp. 517-518, it is reported that Sir Joseph Banks retained an interest in the exploitation of Nootka Sound's resources, that there had once been an idea for Gov. Phillip to send a party from Botany Bay to form a settlement there and that Nepean had drafted relevant instructions. Since Macaulay was an "insider", it is hard to imagine Macaulay did not know of this by the time he gave secret orders to Lady Penrhyn. * terra nullius: literally, "no persons' land", unpopulated, belonging to no one.
Note 54: On Watts harbouring first at Tahiti: Kennedy, Bligh, p. 59, (Note 2). Kennedy (p. 20) suggests that Bligh would have learned something of the proposed breadfruit voyage from Duncan Campbell, but does not specify how Campbell might have known. Indeed, no writer on Bligh has ever specified how Campbell might have known of Bligh's appointment.
Note 55: Neil Rhind, The Heath, p. 9.
Note 56: C. L. R. James, Beyond A Boundary. London, Stanley Paul, 1976.
Note 57: References to the hulks are contained in Byrnes, '"Emptying The Hulks"'. See especially, Oldham, Britain's Convicts, op. cit.
Note 58: The name King was common in the Blackheath area (information from Neil Rhind). Our Thomas King was to be well-known in London port circles by 1800. For assistance here I am indebted to Mr Robert Aspinall, of the Library of the Port of London Authority, Poplar. No evidence has been sighted suggesting that Governor P. G. King of NSW was related to Thomas King the slaver of Camden, Calvert and King.
Note 59: Dictionary of National Biography; Barbara Tuchman, The March of Folly. London, 1985., pp. 239, 242ff, 259ff; Lewisham Land Tax Records, PT86/527/7; PT86/527/9, LLHC. On the Blackheath land developers, Bradshaw and Co., see PT 80/409/2, LLHC.
Note 60: Oldham, Britain's Convicts, p. 57. On Earl Dartmouth's role at the Board of Trade and Foreign Plantations: Benjamin W. Labaree, The Boston Tea Party. New York, 1968., p. 83; A. J. Langguth, Patriots: The Men who started the American Revolution. New York, 1988., pp. 184ff; Mark Mayo Boatner III, Encyclopaedia of the American Revolution. New York, 1976; Bernard Bailyn, The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson. Boston, Mass., 1974., p. 212.
Note 61: Sociologically, the hulks were part of London's sewerage system. London and Thames River historians almost universally have held the prison hulks in odium and contempt. Their enthusiasm has been reserved therefore for the abolition of the hulks system, not the departure of convicts for Australia. Douglas Parode Capper, Moat Defensive: A History of the Waters of the Nore Command, 55BC to 1961. London, 1963. Here, a section on convict hulks has a mighty disapproval of Duncan Campbell; W. Branch-Johnson, The English Prison Hulks. London, 1957; W. T. Vincent, The Records of the Woolwich District. Two Vols. nd.
Note 62: On the political implications of the Boston Tea Party and later developments, Tuchman, op. cit.
Note 63: On the Merchants Trading (The British Creditors), Duncan Campbell to Nathaniel Polhill, 1 April, 1782, ML A3228, p. 7. Per Duncan Campbell, a more important document is a printed Memorial from the Merchants Trading to Lord Carmarthen, dated probably 4 March, 1786 (ML A3232), although the precise date is uncertain, but could have been April, 1786. Two copies of the Memorial survive. Dan Byrnes: 'A Bitter Pill: an assessment of the significance of the meeting between Thomas Jefferson and Duncan Campbell of the British Creditors in London, 23 April, 1786'. Self-published, Armidale New South Wales, 1994.
Note 64: Navy Office Accounts, 1793-1794, in HRNSW, cited above.
Note 65: W. E. Hughes, Chronicles of Blackheath Golfers. London, 1897. Robert Browning, A History of Golf: The royal and ancient game. London, 1955. Ian T. Henderson and David Stirk, Royal Blackheath. London, 1981. A golf club had been established at Blackheath from 1766, the game then known as "goff". The club captain in 1766 was Alexander Duncan, "a Master Mason". The players formed the Blackheath Golf Club, mostly a summer-playing club. By early 1789, some keen golfers wished to play all year, and they established a winter-playing club called The Knuckle Club, which also became a Masonic Club. By 1989, at Blackheath and in golfing history, the Masonic aspect of things had given the Knuckle Club an enduring notoriety. According to a golfing historian, Browning, the Knuckle Club had a distinct "mystical element", which he labelled "puerile" due to the use of initiation rites and elaborate ritual. (The present Royal Blackheath Golf Club has been shifted from Blackheath to Eltham in London).
Note 66: On the Masonic element in the disbandment of the Knuckle Club, Browning, p. 40; Hughes, p. 18; Henderson and Stirk, p. 53.
Note 67: See Note 65 above.
Note 68 : The Green Man was demolished in 1970.
Note 69: See for example, John Hamill, The Craft: A History of English Freemasonry. London, Crucible, 1986., p. 87. Hamill is the librarian of the United Grand Lodge of England. He read History and Fine Art at Oxford Polytechnic and studied librarianship at Newcastle Polytechnic.
Note 69: Chapter 2 of Henderson and Stirk is entitled: "The Organisation by Scottish Freemasons of the Early Golfing Societies".
Note 70: C. Belton, Grand Master's Lodge No. 1: Record of Members 1759 to 1895. London, 1895., p. 11. Belton's volume contains lists of various Lodges No 1. It also provides some history of Freemasonry in Canada, South Africa, and America, but not Australia. England's senior Masons monitored Masonic lodges in the colonies, but it appears from listings that they paid more attention to Canada and South Africa than to Australia. Also, J. Lane, Handy Book to the Study of the Lists of Lodges, 1723-1814. London, 1889., pp. 102, 196ff. The Eighteenth Century Dukes of Atholl, Scottish peers and hereditary Lords of the Isle of Man were prominent Masons. From 1765 to 1789, the father-in-law of William Bligh, Glaswegian Richard Betham, was the customs controller of the Isle of Man. He had married Duncan Campbell's sister Mollie, and hence, the later development of Bligh's links with the Isle of Man and Duncan Campbell stemmed from Bligh's marriage to Elizabeth Betham. It may be that the family connections were reinforced by Freemasonry, at least for the males.
Note 71: Including, George Mackaness and Karl R. Cramp, A History of the United Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of New South Wales. Sydney, 1938. Two Vols. Also, the entry on Freemasonry, Australian Encyclopaedia, Grolier, 1958-1962, which gives 1797 as the earliest date for Masonic activity in Australia, probably on Norfolk Island. Anthony Fenn Kemp was active in the Scottish rite by 1802 and the well-educated Irish convict, Sir Henry Brown Hayes from 1803 promoted the English rite.
Note 72: William Bligh wearing a Masonic symbol is depicted in a colour brochure prepared for the National Maritime Museum's 1989 major exhibition: Mutiny on the Bounty, 1789-1989. London, Manorial Research PLC. 1989., p. 64 (iii).
Note 73: Recently a list of Masons influential in early Australian history was published. (See The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 August, 1988, 'Masons Still Have Secrets', an article by Tony Stephens). Much information therein was apparently derived from Mackaness and Kramp cited above. The list included: Sir Joseph Banks, Masons unnamed on the First Fleet, convict architect Francis Greenway, Governor Lachlan Macquarie, W. C. Wentworth, explorer and publisher Hamilton Hume. Thus, at a level of Masonic influence too networked, or weblike, to ignore, Masons of varying respectability were influential in both London and at Sydney during the "founding" of Australia.
Note 74: Mackaness had the Duncan Campbell Letterbooks in his possession from the late 1920s until his death, when in the early 1950s they went to the Mitchell Library in Sydney. Byrnes, 'Commentary', in Oldham, Britain's Convicts, p. 255.
Note 75: George Mackaness, The Life of Vice-Admiral Bligh, Vol. 1., Sydney, 1931., p. 37.
Note 76: This legend was discovered in a book of popularist history containing eyewitness accounts of noted events. W. J. Dakin also misleadingly discussed it in the introduction to his book, Whalemen Adventurers in Southern Waters. Sydney, 1977. [Originally published in 1934]. The account here is particularly indebted to Benjamin W. Labaree, The Boston Tea Party. New York, 1964. Labaree drew heavily on Francis Drake, Tea Leaves. Boston, 1884.
Note 77: The role of the Rotch family is also ironic. Stackpole treats the Rotch family, and says that Francis Rotch with the death of George Hayley became associated with a new firm (a firm also investing in whaling), Champion and Hayley, and became the consort of Hayley's widow, Mary, who was the sister of the London radical, John Wilkes. Stackpole, p 7. Merrill Jensen also treats Rotch and the widow Hayley in The New Nation: A History of the United States during the Confederation, 1781-1789. New York, 1958., pp. 185-188.
Note 78: On Hayley: Beaven, op. cit.; Valerie Hope, op. cit.; Stackpole, op. cit.
Note 79: Wilkes' career is treated in Hope, op. cit.; and Beaven, op. cit. An interesting view of Mary Wilkes' brother, the radical London alderman, John Wilkes, is given in Richard Ketchum, The Winter Soldiers: George Washington and the Way to Independence. London, Macdonald, 1973., pp. 68-73.
Note 80: On the career of John Hancock: Melvin Maddocks, The Seafarers: The Atlantic Crossing. Amsterdam, 1981., pp. 55ff.
Note 81: The commercial connections of the Blackheath Freemasons and their links with colonialism as outlined here conform poorly with a variety of treatments of the history of Freemasonry in London in the late 1780s. Martin Short, Inside The Brotherhood: Further Secrets of the Freemasons. London, 1990. Short treats some historical English developments from the 1740s. In Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, The Temple And The Lodge. London, 1990., is a treatment of Freemasonry and the American Revolution, with extensive material on the Boston Tea Party, especially on the merchant John Hancock and Paul Revere as Masons. But see Hamill, The Craft, cited above.
Note 82: A. J. Langguth, Patriots: The Men who started the American Revolution. New York, 1988., pp. 178ff.
Note 83: Maddocks, op. cit. Labaree, p. 34.
Note 84: Labaree, p. 131.
Note 85: Jensen, The Founding of a Nation, cited above, pp. 437, 453.
Note 86: Among the London dealers were Walter Mansell and Company, Arthur Lee, Thomas Walpole, the later alderman Brook Watson and his partner Rashleigh, Champion and Dickinson, Hayley and Hopkins, Lane Son and Fraser, Davidson and Newman, Abraham Dupois, Pigou and Booth; and John Fothergill. Merchants who may have been Londoners, or Americans, it is difficult to say, included James Hall, Hugh Williamson and John D. Whitworth, who with William Rotch later contacted the Privy Council on 19 February, 1774 (Labaree, p. 295, [Note 36]; pp. 89-95). Other merchants listed by Labaree include: Brook Watson of Watson and Rashleigh, Garlick Hill, London. Joshua Winslow of Boston (late of Nova Scotia), Robarts, Payne and Roberts, Kings Arms Yard, London (Robarts here was possibly Abraham Robarts, later a banker partner with Alderman William Curtis noted herein). At Charleston, South Carolina, Andrew Lord and George Ancrum; George Hayley and John Blackburn; William Palmer of Devonshire Square; John Nutt of New Broad Street Buildings; and Roger Smith of South Carolina. John Nutt acted with Duncan Campbell in 1791 as two of the Merchants Trading [British Creditors] who lobbied government over losses by the American Revolution.
Note 87: Labaree, p. 122. Other Boston consignees included Thomas Lushing, and, possibly one Henry Ford.
Note 88: Labaree, p. 171.
Note 89: Champions were investors in the London-based South Whale Fishery by the late 1790s. On Lane, Son and Fraser, new information has been presented in Michael Scorgie and Peter Hudgson, 'Arthur Phillip's Familial and Political Networks', Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 82, Part 1, June, 1996., pp. 23-39.
Note 90: Bernard Bailyn, The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson. Boston/Harvard, 1974., p. 280.
Note 91: This petition is cited in Henry Steele Commager, Documents of American History. New York, 1973., pp. 87ff.
Note 92: Byrnes, 'Outlooks', op. cit., variously.
Note 93: This traffic occupied his son John, who from 1783 had been trained as a seaman by William Bligh, from 1788 until 1797. In 1797 the ageing Campbell sought to have John installed as hulks deputy superintendent. John obtained this post and worked at it until 1801, when the Campbells relinquished their private enterprise system of hulks management and the hulks came under a fully public overseership for the first time. Duncan Campbell to East India Company, 20 February, 1788, A3229; Duncan Campbell to Evan Nepean, 4 January, 1797, DCL Private Letterbooks, Vol. III, p. 14, A3231; Duncan Campbell to George Rose, 7 January, 1797, DCL Private Letterbooks, Vol. III, p. 15, A3231.
Note 94: Spate, p. 281.
Note 95: With the exception of relatively rare cases such as that of Thomas Potter MacQueen, (listed in Australian Dictionary of Biography).
Note 96: William Richards' ideas, closely adapted to government's apparent stance on the form the convict colony would have, and despite their probable usefulness and sanity, have never received analysis from any proponent of the three basic positions which can be adopted for the Botany Bay debate.
Note 97: To derive an approximate figure of £100,000 I have considered the sums mentioned in the Navy Office Accounts, 1793-1794, plus a variety of estimates on monies allocated to ships captains employed by Blackheathites at Sydney, including sums listed in Hainsworth, Builders and Adventurers. Considerable monies reimbursed to non-Blackheath contractors for New South Wales, Alexander Davison, and Neave and Aislebie, are not included in this count. One cannot guarantee that double counting can be avoided. Overall, the figures available are not very accurate, and provisions on copyright may put paid to ambitions one might have to try to accurately codify information available in sources other than official records. Shaw, pp. 58ff, p. 71; Oldham, Appendix 11ff, pp. 207ff.
Note 98: On Alexander Davison: Canadian Dictionary of Biography, Vol. 4, entry on George Davison, the brother of Alexander Davison, a supplier to HM forces in Canada, a friend of Nepean, sometime freighter to New South Wales and a merchant employing 300 staff at one point. George Davison was on the Canada Legislative Council, and sat on a Canadian committee on hemp growing. Alexander was the entrepreneur providing George with risk capital. In 1786 George and Alexander obtained a lease of the King's ports for over ten years, thus gaining a monopoly on fur trading and fisheries on the north shore of lower St Laurence. This was worth £2,500 per year. By 1791, Alexander Davison was the supply agent for HM forces in Canada, succeeded by his brother in 1794. From other sources (Davison's Accounts, treated below) it is known that from about 1794, Davison, with the De Lanceys, organised a huge supply agency for the forces in and to the east of England, and sweeping down to the Mediterranean. The Davison Brothers' Canadian connections plus Alexander's friendship with Nepean could help explain the way Turnbull, Macaulay and Gregory were finally prised away from their business of provisioning the forces in Canada and West Indies, after (a) Turnbull, Macaulay and Gregory had offered enough shipping for a First Fleet; (b) Macaulay and Curtis had wanted Lady Penrhyn to go to Nootka Sound; (c) Macaulay sent out the Pitt to New South Wales. The Second Fleet ship Lady Juliana after her Australian voyage was bought by the London coal factors Henleys, who were associates of Alexander Davison's supply agency to the forces: The Henley Papers, National Maritime Museum. Also, Ann Currie, 'Henleys of Wapping, A London Shipowning Family, 1770-1830. London, 1988. I am indebted to Robert Baldwin, curator of Hydrography, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, for referring me to the Henley Collection. On the later career of Alexander Davison and allegations that as a major supplier he had cheated the army: T1/3651 PRO: Mr Alexander Davison's Account, 15019/26 (1809-1812). Davison in a 77-page document defended himself against charges he had overcharged the army by over £32,000 since 1794.
Note 99: Oldham, Appendix 11, p. 207. Sums later expended are referred to in G. J. Abbott, 'A Note on the Volume of NSW Treasury Bill Expenditure, 1788-1821', Australian Economic History Review, Vol. 6, February, 1966., pp. 81-84.
Note 100: Byrnes, 'Outlooks', p. 81, p. 89.
Note 101: Nor were the Blackheath merchants the only English merchants who had lost by that war. Numerous articles now decades old treat the question of England and the United States settling on the debts English merchants wished to recover from Americans. The career of Duncan Campbell raises new questions about that settlement.
Note 102: Apart from his Letterbooks, there is only one other example of Campbell's lobbying about American debts. This is with the Melville Papers, William Clements Library, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan. I am grateful to Dr. Alan Atkinson for pointing out these papers. The Melville Papers information is apparently unique in its mention of Abel and Macaulay losing by the American War. Also, mention there of John Nutt and Campbell fits with another Blackheath link (recorded in Macaulay's Journal, 1796-1797) between G. M. Macaulay and Joseph Nutt a director of the Bank of England. Joseph Nutt and Macaulay associated often, Macaulay for example being attentive to the older man's birthday.
Note 106: Kenneth Morgan, 'The Organisation of the Convict Trade to Maryland: Stevenson, Randolph and Cheston, 1768-1775', William and Mary Quarterly, Series 3, Vol. 42, No. 2, April, 1985., pp. 201-227. Note 106: See Harlow, Vol. 1, op. cit., p. 273, (Note 99), citing a Shelburne Manuscripts item, a Memorial of the Merchants In Glasgow Interested In The North American Trade previous to the Year 1776, dated 30 May, 1792, representing 69 business houses in Glasgow claiming they [as British Creditors] were owed £1,300,000 by the Americans. Campbell's group apparently had no known link to this Glasgow group, although the similarity in names for the groups might suggest that a national network of aggrieved merchants had been set up.
Note 107: Watkin Tench, Sydney's First Four Years. (Ed., L. F. Fitzhardinge). Sydney, 1979., p. 74.
Note 108: Matra is quoted in Martin, Founding of Australia, pp. 9ff: A. Giordano, A Dream of the Southern Seas: The life story of James Mario Matra, the spiritual father of Australia. Self-published, Adelaide, 1984., especially pp. 85-87. Since Turnbull, Macaulay and Gregory had been contractors to Canada, it was likely they knew of the ambitions of the Loyalists in Canada whose interests James Matra professed to have at heart. But given that Macaulay and Turnbull lived close to the whalers Enderby and St Barbe, it is also likely that Macaulay was aware, as the whalers were, of government's attitude to the Loyalists on Nova Scotia, some of whom were ex-Nantucket whalers. That is, it is possible that with their deeper knowledge of, and involvement in, current affairs, the Blackheathites could have outmanoeuvred Matra and his associates. This is a speculation entirely, although it could equally be entertained concerning Alexander Davison also being aware of Loyalists' sentiments. Also, Sir George Young to Alexander Davison, HRNSW, Vol. 2, pp. 9ff. Also, Alan Frost, Dreams of a Pacific Empire: Sir George Young's Proposal for a Colonization of NSW, 1784-1785., Sydney, 1980. Davison's freight to New South Wales is mentioned in the 1793-1794 Navy Office Accounts, HRNSW, Vol. 1, pp. 39ff and pp. 220ff, and amounted to about £31,139. Sir George Young is often mentioned in Martin's Founding of Australia.
Note 109: As is evident in Bateson, London merchant houses in the late 1790s, except for the whalers, tended to ignore New South Wales. Several master-owners stepped into the convict service, some of them with minor commercial links in India. (Captains Hogan, Dennot, et al). It was during this phase that merchant Robert Campbell emigrated from India to Sydney. Later, Campbell wished to form business links with the Blackheath whaler, Daniel Bennett. (Further information on Bennett is noted further in an appendix to this article).
Note 110: J. H. Maiden, Sir Joseph Banks: The 'Father of Australia'. Sydney and London, 1909. This title has the Banks-Richards correspondence appended gratuitously; the same correspondence is included in HRNSW, Vol. 1, ii, pp. 508-642. Richards after organising the First Fleet and the Lady Juliana, managed to mount only two more ships, the Boddingtons (Captain Robert Chalmers departing England and Ireland February-April, 1793; and the Sugar Cane (Captain Thomas Musgrave), departing about the same time (Bateson, pp. 43ff, pp. 145ff).
Note 111: Much loathed in London, Campbell's original management of the hulks from 1776 is detailed in O. F. Hogg, The Royal Arsenal: Its Background, Origin and Subsequent History. Vol. 1. London, 1963. It is hard to believe that Richards' proposed hulks management would have been more efficacious, or useful as a rehabilitative measure, than Campbell's efforts, if only for budgetary reasons. As a "private enterprise criminologist", Campbell was shrewd, to say the least. He was often criticised for the incidence of gaol fever on his hulks, yet he had no control over which convicts, healthy or otherwise, entered his hulks from on-shore prisons.
Note 112: On Bentham: F. L. W. Wood, 'Jeremy Bentham versus New South Wales', Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 19, 1933., pp. 329-351. The effort of the legal and penal reformer Jeremy Bentham, an enemy of the New South Wales penal colony, to have the hulks system dismantled and for the establishment of his system of land prisons, has never been adequately related by English scholars to the long career of the hulks, and their administrators, Campbell, then magistrate Aaron Graham, along with various Home Office officials, nor to transportation. Thus, Bentham's career to date still lacks treatment of a significant relationship in England between forms of prisoner handling, colonisation, early Australian history and the trend of penal reform. And this remark is sans analysis of William Richards' fight against the hulks, which was conducted more in terms of the economic links between convictism and colonisation than was Bentham's more idealistic struggle. Bentham with a cheerful malice on 2 July, 1792, wrote to the treasurer of Lincoln's Inn, Francis Burton, "Did Sr C Bunbury tell you as he told me of a conversation between him and Mr Campbell in which Mr Campbell began with I am sorry Sir Charles to see you should so much be my enemy..." (Cited in: A. T. Milne, The Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham. Vol. 4. London, 1981., p. 371). Bentham then went on nevertheless to quote a hulks price for prisoner handling: he had closely researched the way Campbell was paid by government for handling convicts. Here, a certain cynicism about the nakedly commercial aspects of Bentham's plans seems as warranted as it is for Campbell's operations as hulks overseer.
Note 113: Despite the fact that Britain's loss of the American colonies has long been adduced as one reason for the acquisition of an Australian colony, specific merchant names have not been related to such claims. Amongst merchants disrupted by the American Revolution should also be named Henry Chapman (whose son, William Neate Chapman, spent much time on Norfolk Island and is entered in the Australian Dictionary of Biography): George Mackaness, (Ed.), Sir Frederick Chapman, Governor Phillip in Retirement. Sydney, 1962. (Reprinted. Review Publications. Dubbo. NSW).
Note 114: After the Third Fleet, with five or six whale ships involved, the South whalers made no significant moves concerning Australasian waters until 1797, which disappointed Governor Phillip, who before he retired had correctly suspected the whalers had become more interested in the western coasts of South America. (Dakin, cited above, p. xvii). However, in 1797-1799, permitted by Act 38 Geo III, c.57, the whalers mounted an eleven-ship whaler flotilla which came to Sydney, including the ships Sally, Bligh, Cornwall, Swain, Pomona, Clark, Diana, Lock, Britannia and Nautilus: HRNSW, Vol. 3, p. 741. Mention of Nautilus suggests that this vessel, owned by the Bristol Quaker, Sydenham Teast, had been registered with the London whalers, that is, Enderbys. Regardless of the lapse of about six years, the doubling of the number of whalers for Australasia was however a considerable feat in commercially promoting the region's whaling prospects.
Note 115: Mollie Gillen has provided this date. Beyer remained a shadowy figure in circles trading between India and Sydney.
Note 116: Shoolbred, Secretary to the Africa Company, and the Board of Trade, 1 May 1790. PRO BT6. A rare mention of Camden, Calvert and King as a slaving firm is contained in Herbert S. Klein, 'The English Slave Trade to Jamaica', Economic History Review, Series 2, Vol. 31, No. 1, February 1978., pp. 25-45
Note 117: For example, Dallas, Chapter 8; Bolton, 'The Hollow Conqueror: Flax and the Foundation of Australia', in Martin, Founding of Australia, p. 103.
Note 118: This impression is derived from a survey of Lloyd's listings between 1780 and 1820, made in order to establish that subscribers to Lloyd's to be possibly named could not be termed fly-by-nighters.
Note 119: The battle of the Red Book and the Green Book at Lloyd's from about 1797 (coincidentally when the Bank of England stopped payment), was greatly involved with the methods that groups of underwriters might use as they attempted to lead the market. (The clearest book on the battle is George Blake, Lloyd's Register of Shipping 1760-1966. London, nd. On the stoppage of payment question: Sir John Clapham, The Bank of England: A History. Cambridge, 1944. Closely related issues were profits on shipbuilding and protocols on surveying ships, which in turn bore on the touchy question of shipping valuations. In 1799-1800, the new Red Book appeared, labelled as a shipowners' book, while the Green Book related more to the interests of underwriters. The extended battle between the two books is widely regarded as having been ruinous to all concerned, a fair indication of the stakes at risk when the battle started. Reports from Lloyd's historians can be unclear on the battle, but much is made of the role of John Julius Angerstein, highly influential and a clear market leader. (Cyril Fry, 'The Angersteins of Woodlands', Transactions of the Greenwich and Lewisham Antiquarian Society, 1961-1963, Vol. 7, No. 1, London, The Society, 1964). Angerstein lived on the border of Greenwich and Blackheath. The agreement amongst Lloyd's historians is that Angerstein developed a "cabal" of underwriters which "managed" Lloyd's, no easy feat with such a subtle and arcane field of finance. Lloyd's then behaved with a casualness all the more difficult to understand precisely because it worked so well. The cabal was forced to surface into public view in the late 1790s by a combination of resentment from non-cabal Lloyd's subscribers to the then Green Book, the only book subscribers could view, and various subtle forces native to the financial market. There was also pressure from official and naval sources for reliable information on events on the high seas and foreign events which could affect shipping. There was an increasingly strong link between Lloyd's and the Admiralty, (formed partly through the agency of Evan Nepean, who worked at the Admiralty after his period at the Home Office, assisted by Angerstein). Meanwhile a breakaway group had formed a rival Red Book: among the leadership were John St Barbe and Thomas King. By 1800 the Angerstein-led committee managing the Green Book included other who had been involved in shipping to early New South Wales: Alexander Champion, and one William Hamilton, who may have been the Blackheathite freighting some ships to New South Wales before, like Davison, abandoning the connection. Henry M. Grey, Lloyd's Yesterday and Today. London, 1922; Glyn Griffith, The Romance of Lloyd's: From Coffee House to Palace. London, 1932; Richard Straus, Lloyd's: A Historical Sketch. London, 1937; Frederick Martin, The History of Lloyd's and of Marine Insurance in Great Britain. London, 1876; D. E. W. Gibb, Lloyd's of London: A Study in Individualism. London, 1957; Raymond Flower and Michael Wynn Jones, Lloyd's of London: An Illustrated History. Newton Abbot, 1974; Stackpole, op. cit.; Also, Lloyd's Register of Shipping 1760-1966.
Note 120: PRO, T1/687, No. 1932 and BT5, p. 201 (Bombay cotton); BT6, 27 May, 1790 (Nootka Sound); BT6, 7 June, 1790 (hemp); BT6, 13 July, 1790 (whaling). Also, Byrnes, 'Outlooks', p. 83, p. 93.
Note 121: Note 126: Board of Trade In-letters from 1 November, 1791, BT1/1, pp. 135-138; Board of Trade meeting, 5 November, 1791. BT5/8. Also Board of Trade Papers, PRO, BT5/3, pp. 334-339.
Note 122: On Richard and Thomas Miles, J. J. Crooks, Records Relating to the Gold Coast Settlements from 1750 to 1874. London, 1973. For Collow: Roger Anstey, Atlantic Slave Trade and British Abolition, 1760-1816. London, 1975., p. 6.
Note 123: Ships Captains of Liverpool, including John Davies of the Hero, to (London) Committee of the Company of Merchants Trading to Africa; 10 November, 1791, BT1/1 (testifying that they had always found Miles honourable and fair in his commercial transactions).
Note 124: BT5/8; Crooks, op. cit.; relevant chapters of Oldham. On Camden, Calvert and King: Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet: Britain's Grim Convict Armada of 1790. Sydney, Library of Australian History, 1993.
Note 125: Anstey, p. 6.
Note 126: A. E. Smith, Colonists In Bondage: White Servitude and Convict Labour. University of Carolina Press, 1947; Oldham, Britain's Convicts, earlier cited; A. Roger Ekirch, 'Bound For America: The Transportation of British Convicts to the Colonies, 1718-1775'. Oxford, 1987. Also Peter Wilson Coldham, The Complete Book of Emigrants in Bondage, 1614-1775. Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1988. Coldham lists convicts per ship between England to North America and appends lists of ships and ships captains 1716-October 1775. Most of Duncan Campbell's ships are referred to but unfortunately not the ships used by Randolph, Stevenson and Cheston of Bristol.
Note 127: Frost in Phillip, His Voyaging, p. 223, suggests that Phillip once he had arrived back in London, would conceivably have mentioned to senior ministers "the need to contain the rapaciousness of those contracting to transport the convicts".
Note 128: Only two sets of business house papers survive concerning transportation to North America - those of Duncan Campbell in London, and those of Stevenson, Randolph and Cheston in Bristol, as discussed in Morgan, op. cit. Remarkably, and until further notice appears, it seems that not a single set of London business house papers referring to transportation to Australia has survived.
Note 129: Surprisingly, in 1793, 39 ships sailed for the South whalers, while 33 sailed for the East India Company. This is contained in: Reports from Committees of The House of Commons, Vol. XIV, 1793-1802. Reprinted by Order of the House in 1802. From p. 492 is published an appendix: An Account of the Total Number of Ships, and their Tonnage, Port of London, 1792-98., (Port of London Authority Library). In this account, Botany Bay is classified with the East Indies, and so relevant figures for Botany Bay-only are disguised. There is room for the belief that England's whalers formed a far larger industry than has been thought to date.
Note 130: In the 1790s, the Transport Board, partly under the direction of Alexander Macleay, who was later in New South Wales, was charged with the responsibility of vetting ships offered for convict carriage. How much effect this had on Shelton's work of drawing contracts is difficult to assess. M. E. Condon, 'The Establishment of the Transport Board - A Subdivision of the Admiralty, July 4, 1794', The Mariner's Mirror, Vol. 58, No. 1, February, 1972.
Note 131: Oldham refers to Shelton's Accounts on p. 244, p. 133, pp. 139-140 and pp. 167-168. On Shelton, see Addendum 1 at the end of this article. By 1803, Shelton was also a London coroner.
Note 132: Some names taking contracts that are not listed by Bateson, and so remain unknown and inexplicable, but with whom Shelton surely dealt include: Contract No. 20 in 1800, John Wilsone (sic), ship Earl Cornwallis; No. 34 in 1810, George Faith, ship Canada, 3 March, 1810; No. 35 in 1810, George Garnet Huske Munnings, the ship India; No. 40 in 1813, Martin Lindsay, the ship Earl Spencer; William Wilson, to be encountered in more detail below, took Contract No. 30 for Speke, signing on 22 March, 1808.
Note 133: Hughes, op. cit., p. 109 lists Duncan Dunbar as a member of the Blackheath Golf Club on 10 April, 1830. Henderson and Stirk, p. 154, mark Dunbar as a club captain in 1839. Bateson, p. 299.
Note 134: On Blackheathites and the LMS: Hughes, Chronicles of Blackheath Golfers, presents A List of the Commissioners of The Land and Assesses Taxes, 1814, residing at or near Blackheath, p. 275; including Joseph Berens, Essex Henry Bond (a captain who visited Sydney in Royal Admiral 1) who sailed for the Larkins family, East India Company ships husbands); Samuel, George, and Charles Enderby, John Green, John Pascal Larkins (a relative of George Macaulay), Thomas Larkins, John Raines. Hughes, pp. 276ff, lists Trustees of the New Cross Turnpike Roads, (the London-Dover Road): including J. J. Angerstein, Benjamin Aislabie, James Chapman, William Curling, James Beveridge Duncan; Enderbys, George, at Dartmouth Row; Stewart Erskine, probably the former deputy superintendent of the hulks managed by Campbell; Joseph Hardcastle (of the London Missionary Society), J. P. Larkins, Thomas Larkins, and Mumford(s) (probably of the family of Duncan Campbell's second wife, Mary Mumford).
Note 135: The Haweis Journal, ML B1176, Vol. 1, 1773-1796.
Note 136: Joseph Hardcastle's role with the LMS is outlined in John Morison, The Fathers and Founders of the London Missionary Society. London. Fisher Son and Co., Two Vols. nd.
Note 137: On Lady Huntingdon: Dictionary of National Biography.
Note 138: Blainey, The Tyranny of Distance, p. 62.
Note 139: On Duncan: Bateson, Chapter 8, (Note 40). Duncan: probably, James Beveridge Duncan of Blackheath. James Duncan was an East India broker of Great Tower Hill who helped the Rev. Thomas Haweis, founder of the London Missionary Society, to despatch the first LMS missionary ship, the Duff, by enabling negotiations with the East India Company. In a letter, James Duncan to Haweis, 17 July, 1796, Duncan mentioned Sir Charles Middleton, former comptroller of the navy. Roger Knight, op. cit., suggested in 1988 that William Richards had evangelical links with Middleton. Such links seem to have resurfaced with the Blackheath personnel assisting the LMS to mount Duff's voyage as well as later voyages taking missionaries out to the Pacific. Such a suggestions deserves closer inspection. A variety of original material on the LMS is held by the Australian National Library; some collected by Rex Nan Kivell, held in the Pethryk manuscript reading room; some listed with a Chronological Index. Amongst this material are: London Missionary Society, Microfilm, Box 1, Items 1-17, 1796-1803. As a convict contractor, Duncan exploited the broach the whalers had made in the East India Company monopoly. Few full-time East India ships husbands dealt with ships for Sydney, and so Duncan is conspicuous in such activities. He contracted for Capt. Michael Hogan's Marquis of Cornwallis, T1/799 (also, T1/829). For Captain Hingston's Hillsborough in 1798: Bateson, pp. 167ff. In 1801 James Duncan was linked to Brown, Welbank and Petyt re contracts for the convict transports Coromandel and Perseus (Bateson, p. 20). However, Shelton's Contracts, op. cit., indicate that the contract takers were: for Hillsborough, Captain Hingston, and the whaler Daniel Bennett; In 1802, Shelton listed Joshua Reeve with the Coromandel and Perseus. (Shelton did not list Marquis Cornwallis as she carried Irish convicts). On 11 August, 1796, sailed Ganges (Bateson, p. 157; and Eris O'Brien, The Foundation of Australia, 1786-1800: A Study in English Criminal Practice and Penal Colonization in the Eighteenth Century. London, Sheed and Ward, 1937. Also the second edition, 1950), her master being a part-owner, Captain Thomas Patrickson from St. Albans Street; HRNSW, Vol. 3, p. 67, p. 140, suggesting the contractor was James Duncan. But Shelton lists Captain Patrickson as the contract taker for Ganges. About 5 June, 1797, James Duncan as an East India Company ships husband sent Earl Spencer Capt. C. Raitt, coast and bay 645 tons, in his normal line of business: Lloyd's Green Book Register for 1799: E.I.C. ships.
Note 146: On Charles Bishop: Michael Roe, 'Charles Bishop, Pioneer of Pacific Commerce', Tasmanian Historical Research Association, Vol. 10, No. 1, July, 1962. Many ships captains named herein are treated in respect of the Pacific trade in pork in H. E. Maude, Of Islands and Men. Melbourne, 1968. Maude treats the aftermath of the Bounty mutiny, obscure East India Company ship movements in the Pacific 1783-1790, whaler Capt. Eber Bunker, Royal Admiral II, and Charles Bishop.
Note 141: Robert Campbell had no connections familial or otherwise with Duncan Campbell the hulks overseer. On Robert Campbell: Margaret Steven, Merchant Campbell - 1769-1846: A Study of Colonial Trade. Melbourne, 1965.
Note 142: William Wilson, A Missionary Voyage to the South Pacific Ocean, 1796-98. (Rare, Copy, Dixson Library, University of New England). The book was printed for T. Chapman of 151 Fleet Street by T. Gillette, printer, Sainsbury Square. Chapman also sold Wilson's maps and charts of Duff's voyage. The preparation of the book was overseen by an LMS committee. Other details used here are from: HRNSW, Vol. 3, p. 731; Dawson, The Banks Letters, p. 402, Haweis to Banks, 6 May 1799; W. P. Morrell, Britain in the Pacific Islands. Oxford, 1960., p. 36 re missionaries on Royal Admiral II; T1/809, a Memorial from James Wilson to customs re Pacific artefacts. A variety of letters between William Wilson and Haweis are held in the Australian National Library, Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection Reading Room, Chronological Index, MS 4104. Also there from the Rex Nan Kivell Collection, NK 2610, MS 4105; NK 2611, MS 4103; NK 2609, MS 4126. Capt James Wilson died about 1814. Many original manuscripts and books on the LMS are also listed in the highly-detailed bibliographies on early Australian history, those by Phyllis Mander-Jones and Ferguson.
Note 143: William Wilson's book is cited elsewhere herein.
Note 144: Royal Admiral, designated 1 and II on her two voyages, is listed in Bateson, variously.
Note 145: HRNSW, Vol. 4, p. 469, 22 November, 1800, with general merchandise, 11 missionaries aboard, plus 300 convicts, 43 having died on fever as had the LMS surgeon, Samuel Turner, earlier on Duff. Gaol fever had raged "malignantly" on Royal Admiral II and on 30 October, 1802, Governor King declared that many of her prisoners would never recover the strength of men. Also, T1/836, T1/856, T1/898ff.
Note 146: T1/898ff.
Note 147: But it is not yet known if the Capt. James Wilson arriving in Port Jackson on 10 April, 1804, from Calcutta or Bengal with a consignment for Robert Campbell on the ship Mersey was the uncle of William Wilson, James Wilson ex-captain of Duff; Sydney Gazette, 15 April, 1804.
Note 148: Wilson bankrupting: The slow development of the export trade of the early colony at New South Wales is presented in several books on Robert Campbell by Margaret Steven; and by D. R. Hainsworth, Builders and Adventurers, op. cit., p. 84. "The Lady Barlow affair" demonstrated the touchiness the South whalers had about their industry. Before 1812 the South whalers had been prepared to purchase sealskins from New South Wales and even been prepared to allow colonists to sell seal skins to the Chinese. But any incursion on their London markets was anathema. Early in 1805, Robert Campbell loaded his ship Lady Barlow with seal skins and oil, not without encountering resistance from Governor King, who had required the astonishing sum of £10,000 with himself as governor of New South Wales and the Court of Directors of the East India Company, that Campbell not deal in any goods from the Honourable Company's territories. Campbell sailed with his ship with Capt. McAskill, late of the ship Castle of Good Hope, and arrived on the Thames on 13 July, 1805. Soon his vessel was seized by the East India Company. On 18 July, Enderbys and John Mather for the whalers wrote to the Board of Trade complaining of the Lady Barlow's cargo. Finally the Company decided to allow Campbell to sell his cargo at a Company sale, and later freed the ship from prosecution. (The apparent links existing between the Company and the whalers have never been explained). Campbell met a loss of £7,000 and the late return of his vessel, which the Company allowed to Bombay to take a cargo. Campbell's London agent was then William Wilson. In London, Campbell had attempted to become the business agent at Sydney for Daniel Bennet, South whaler, and had enlisted also the support of David Scott Jnr., whose father David Scott had literally worked himself to death as a chairman/director of the East India Company. In October, 1806, in London, William Fairlie of the India house of Fairlie Ferguson and Co. with William Wilson offered themselves as security for the further financial "good behaviour" of Robert Campbell, but the affair destabilised Wilson so much he bankrupted, and from February, 1811 he ceased as Robert Campbell's agent. Having opened the sandalwood trade to Fiji, Wilson with his other activities had acted as a great populariser of the Pacific and its trading potential. Wilson in effect vindicated the ideas of Joseph Hardcastle and the LMS, developed in the late 1790s, about the trading possibilities of Pacific artefacts.
Note 149: T1/829. Frank Clune, Bound For Botany Bay - A Narrative of a Voyage in 1798 aboard the death ship Hillsborough. Sydney, 1964.
Note 150: Young to Davison, HRNSW, Vol. 2, pp. 9ff. Davison's freight to NSW, (mentioned in the 1793-94 Navy Office Accounts, HRNSW, Vol. 1, pp. 39ff and pp. 220ff) amounted to about £31,139. Sir George Young is referred to often in Martin, Founding of Australia, op. cit. Researchers discussed in Martin's book may have been unaware that Davison's London and Australasian business interests were intertwined with the interests in Canada of his brother George.
Note 151: Matra is extensively treated in Martin, Founding of Australia, throughout.
Note 152: Bateson (p. 190) describes St. Barbe as "a prominent London merchant and shipowner" but not as an influential whaler/underwriter helping manage the Lloyd's Red Book. Tellicherry was to load China tea, a good indication that by 1805, a former whaler could deal with the East India Company without animosity.
Note 153: Dallas p. 33, p. 88. Dallas records that two East India Company ships under Commodore Hayes explored the Derwent in 1794. Hayes lost his charts and journals and so could influence no one. Dallas notes also that in 1806, a convoy of ten Indiamen was ordered to use the Bass Strait route to China. Additional information on these Company experiments is difficult to find and the implications of these voyages are therefore difficult to assess. Promoters of an alleged role for the East India Company in the "founding" of Australia have not exploited material on these voyages.
Note 154: These sources include Kent's London Directory, 1792, The Annual Register, The Royal Calendar, Lloyd's Register and other Lloyd's listings, and the bibliography relating generally to the Corporation of the City of London.
Note 155: Shelton's Accounts are held at the Public Record Office, Kew, as AO 3/291, which are papers which have been officially audited. They are in two parts (boxes) which contain in sequence 228 contracts dated 1789-1829, for the carriage of English convicts to New South Wales. Each contract names the merchant(s) giving bonds and securities for execution of the contract. In Box 2 is a bundle of letters initially dated 1829 from Shelton's executor, his nephew John Clark, also a legal official at the Sessions House, the Old Bailey, to various officials at the Home Office and the Audit Office. Wilfrid Oldham in 1933, who appears to have been the only Australian looking for contracts over, did not delve into these letters, which had been placed under the last contracts placed in the bottom of the second box. Leon Radzinowicz, A History of English Criminal Law and its Administration from 1750: The Movement for Reform. London, 1948., p. 21, Note 62, concerns Shelton, Clerk of Arraign at the Old Bailey. Shelton was appointed to this duty by December, 1786 as someone responsible to both the Old Bailey and the Home Office. By 1803, he was also a London coroner.
Note 156: Some merchant names in Shelton's Contracts are: By 1800, John Wilsone [a new name], 1 contract, ship Earl Cornwallis. By 1800, Gabriel Gillett* [EICo], 1 contract (with William Wilson* [London Missionary Society, broked by James Duncan]*). ship Royal Admiral II. By 1799, Samuel Enderby, [whaler] 3 contracts, including ships William, Britannia, January, 1798. By 1798, William Hingston [master/owner], 1 contract, ship Hillsborough. By 1797, Edward Redman [unknown new name] ship Barwell, with William Lennox [unknown new name], 1 contract. By 1796, Thomas Patrickson [master/owner?] ship Ganges, 1 contract. By 1795, Alexander Towers [unknown new name] ship Sovereign, 1 contract. By 1794, Anthony Calvert* [slaver, sealer, whaler, Africa merchant]. 3 contracts including the Second and Third Fleets to Australia as block contracts. Shelton did not list William Richards the contractor for the First Fleet, as he has no such contract as a single document. He did list George Whitlock, who, as mentioned by Bateson, brokered the Second Fleet contract for Camden, Calvert and King*).
Note 157: David Ascoli, in The Queen's Peace: The Origins and Development of the Metropolitan Police 1829-1979. London, 1979., p. 50. This Act enabled Patrick Colquhuon to begin his career in policing as a Worship St. magistrate, a career culminating in the more efficient policing of the Thames' ports and wharves.
Note 158: Here, further inquiries were made of Irish archivists in 1992. Sets of contracts for the transportation of Irish convicts do not seem to be available in Ireland, and if they are in London, they remain difficult to track down. In this case, it remains impossible to list the merchants, especially the London merchants, taking such contracts.
Note 159: A. G. E. Jones, Part 2 of an article in The Great Circle, 1981 - 'The British Southern Whale and Seal Fisheries', The Great Circle, Vol. 3, No. 1, 1981. (Part 1 of a two-part series). Part 2 was to be published in the October, 1981 issue of The Great Circle. See also, A. G. E. Jones, Ships Employed in The South Seas Trade, 1775-1861. Parts 1, 2, 3. Canberra, Roebuck, 1986.
Note 160: T1/740ff.
Note 161: By 21 June, 1796, Bennett had Lord Hawkesbury out again. A. G. E. Jones, a 1968 unpublished paper, "Daniel Bennett and Co.", available in some London archives.
Note 162: Bateson, p. 147. Margaret Steven, Merchant Campbell 1796-1846. Melbourne, 1965., p. 22. Also, C. E. T. Newman, The Spirit of Wharf House. Sydney, 1961.
Note 163: Steven, Merchant Campbell, p. 22.
Note 164: Bateson, p. 147.
Note 165: I have not followed up these convicts.
Note 166: A. G. E. Jones, Part 2 of his article in The Great Circle, 1981, p. 92.
Note 167: Bateson, p. 147. Arriving Sydney, 30 April, 1796: Indispensable storeship and transport, Capt William Wilkinson, owned Daniel Bennett, from Portsmouth, 131 female convicts and provisions, later to Canton for Bennett.
Note 168: A. G. E. Jones, p. 22.
Note 169: Bateson, pp. 167ff.
Note 170: Stackpole, p. 303.
Note 171: In 1798, Charles Bishop, sailing for the Quaker whaler Sydenham Teast at Bristol, established a boiling works at Cape Barren Island, not long after he had returned survivors of the Sydney Cove to Sydney. Later he sold 12,500 skins and 650 gallons of oil to the China market. Bishop is said by August, 1798 to have sold seal skins worth £14,000 to the noted Hoong merchant, Ponqua.
Note 172: By early 1799 a whaler fleet was sailing, arriving at Sydney in June, 1799 with Bligh and Cornwall. All ships sailed in line with available information on the most convenient season for whalers in the fishery. Also, 8-9 November, 1799, Saunders Newsletter, London, regarding 15 whalers taken by Spanish cruisers off the coast of South America (HRNSW, Vol. 3, p. 741) and reporting that early in 1799, the following vessels, Sally, Bligh, Cornwall, Swain, Pomona, Clark, Diana, Lock, Britannia, Nautilus, left Sydney to find employment in the NSW fishery.
Note 173: William Wilson, A Missionary Voyage to the South Pacific Ocean, 1796-1798. (Rare, copy, Dixson Library, University of New England). Printed for T. Chapman, No. 151 Fleet Street, by T. Gillette, Printer, Sainsbury Square. Chapman also sold James Wilson's maps and charts of Duff's voyage. HRNSW, Vol. 3, p. 731. Dawson, Banks Letters, Haweis to Sir Joseph Banks, May 6, 1799, p. 402. W. P. Morrell, Britain in the Pacific Islands. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1960., p. 36 regarding missionaries on Royal Admiral II. T1/809 is a memorial from James Wilson to customs on Pacific artefacts. A variety of letters between William Wilson and Haweis are held in the Miscellaneous Ms, Collection Reading Room, Chronological Index, MS 1404, Australian National Library, Canberra. Also, from the Rex Nan Kivell Collection: NK. 2610. MS 4105; NK 2611. MS 4103; NK 2609. MS 4126. Capt. James Wilson died about 1814.
++ Finis the endnotes for The Blackheath Connection ++
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