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Futile debate: Duncan Campbell moves his convict records: Lord George Gordon leaks the Botany Bay story: Diplomatic awareness of Britain's intentions in the Pacific: Lord Gordon's Prisoner's Petition: Robert Hughes and The Fatal Shore: Some conclusions on the Botany Bay debate: Convict shipping to Australia and The Navy Office Accounts: Possible personal intervention by George III: Bureaucracy, a variety of plans, and the First Fleet: The Botany Bay debate and terra nullius: London steps up the pressure about prisoners: Botany Bay becomes a real alternative: The anonymously written `Heads of a Plan': George Macaulay and a phantom First Fleet: The South whalers begin to explore the Pacific:

 

The Blackheath Connection

Chapter 33

 

Futile debate:

 

Stackpole ([1]) suggests the newly-reconstructed Board of Trade was not properly functioning till August 1786. The attitude of the East India Company in this context of flux has been subjected to inconsistent assessment pertaining specifically to the month of June 1786. By June 1786, with this and other developments, some historians feel, ([2]) the East India Company's rights in the Pacific were eventually breached, just as the India Act of 1784 had reduced the Company's powers in India. ([3]) This "breaching" had followed strong representation from St. Barbe, Enderby and Champions, ([4]) since January 1786, for help for the South Fishery.

 

A major theorist of British imperial moves here is Harlow ([5]), who regards a Company man, Samuel Smith, as a sympathiser with Pitt's intentions for the Company. But Philips suggests that Samuel Smith about 15 June, 1786, resigned his post, protesting against "the daily encroachment of the Board [of Control] on the Director's powers". ([6]) One historian here has misread the situation; Smith cannot simultaneously be loyal to Pitt's intentions for the Company and then be resigning because Pitt's Board of Control is daily encroaching on the Board's influence on directors.

 

Analysis falters here concerning conflict between Pitt's government and the East India Company. Nor have historians entered Pitt's policy on convict transportation into any such analysis. Also, historians tend almost unconsciously to be partisan about either the Company or the whalers. Between April 1786 and 1793, there was a brawl between government, the South Whalers, and the Company, which the Company lost. The prize at stake was the right of non-Company commercial vessels to sail in the Pacific, which the East India Company was letting go to waste!

 

Here, it seems Harlow was right about Smith's assessment. But, concerning matters Australasian, Harlow failed to follow points through logically in respect of whaling, because his prejudices lay with the East India Company. Harlow with his theory about a British "swing to the east" after the American Revolution never explained British whaling in the Pacific, and had too little information on individual British merchant careers. ([7])

 

Government by June 1786 remained in its self-imposed agony over where to transport convicts. Destinations mentioned were the West Indies, Canada, Newfoundland, the west coast of Africa. No decision could be reached. Other locations mentioned before had been Florida, any of the former American colonies, any areas under the control of the East India Company, an area of the Caffre coast, which Pitt later had in mind. Botany Bay and Norfolk Island had been suggested in the Pacific; New Zealand had been mentioned in passing. Increasingly, it was unlikely that Britain would build prisons.

 

London interests were skilfully trying to tip the political balance. Government was backing the whalers with what initially seemed like reasonable support for an important industry. Was Pitt secretly laying down circumstances on maritime matters which would enable the government to successfully confront the East India Company over the opening of the Pacific? Or not? For if the Company was negative to proposals, such a confrontation would become necessary when it was decided to send prisoners to Australia, no matter which non-Company London merchants became involved.

 

Much however depends on what Pitt knew, beforehand, would probably happen between his government, and the Company, and between the company and other shippers as new shippers were unleashed into the Pacific. Pro-Company historians have not bothered that the Home Office would assist the opening of a new ocean; pro-whaling historians have merely crowed that the whalers won a decisive political battle with the Company. It might have been anticipated that there would be a duel between the East India Company and the whalers for the prize of continued government support - it seems this possibility was well anticipated and that the whalers won the duel. What happened was that the whalers created problems with Spain, and there indeed were diplomatic incidents.

 

To examine the matter fully, it also becomes necessary to examine the London merchants who did not interest themselves in the Pacific. In all, to suggest that government ministers encountered any surprises in late 1786 with the reactions of the East India Company is to suggest that these same ministers had forgotten their dealings with whalers all through early 1786.. when it is hardly likely Britain's senior ministers forgot anything. On 7 June, 1786, the Whalefishery Bill was passed, 26 Geo III, c.50. Only two members spoke against it, near enough to unanimity. Premiums for the South Whalers were established. And on 1 June, 1786, ([8]) Calvert had replied to Nepean offering to transport felons to Africa. In London on 1 June, 1786, Calvert wrote to Nepean, said he'd had the misfortune of breaking a leg which had prevented him from answering Nepean's note sooner, regarding Nepean's request about 1000 convicts being sent to Cape Voltas, on the southern coasts of Africa, say 850 men and 150 women, from the Thames, Portsmouth and Plymouth. Calvert said he would agree to find ships with proper airports and gratings, but that he would need one ship of war attending such an expedition. ([9]) The New Zealand historian David Mackay suggests this was the first indication that government had now made a firm commitment to resuming transportation. ([10]) As well, even firmer commitments had been made to the whaling industry.

 

* * *

 

Duncan Campbell moves his convict records:

 

Much documentary material on convicts transportable and those at hard labour was kept by overseer Campbell. Now, Campbell was considering moving to a better address, the Adelphi. One indignity marred proceedings... By June 1786, Campbell was moving from Mincing Lane, on the north side of the Thames, to No. 3 Robert Street, the Adelphi, by the Strand, close to the Thames' north bank, with handy stairs down into the river. Moving to a better address was probably all the consolation Campbell could find after his failed meeting with Jefferson. Importantly for a merchant, there were cavernous storerooms under the new address. Presumably, Campbell also intended to move all his convict records. ([11])

 

Another Blackheath man, William Hamilton, was moving into Campbell's Mincing Lane address. Hamilton had the keys to there in June, but not before he and Campbell had squabbled over an iron bookcase, and who should possess it. Hamilton was probably the same William Hamilton later helping the supply ship, Justinian Capt. Benjamin Maitland, sail to Sydney. ([12]) Certainly, the Hamilton moving into Mincing Lane also once bid for Campbell at the sale of a ship, Stormont. Boyick concluded the squabble over the bookcase.

 

Campbell Letter 147:

Mincing Lane 21 June 1786

William Hamilton

My being obliged to set out early tomorrow Morning to meet the Duke of Richmond at Portsmouth has obliged me to leave a great share of the removal of my furniture to Mr Boyick, who will I doubt not be ready to surrender to you the Key of Mincing Lane house on Saturday or Monday as may be most convenient - The Cellarkey you may have tomorrow, if you wish it. I have desired Mr Boyick to deliver to you the Keys of the Safe &c - I sincerely wish you health to enjoy your new habitation & I remain ([13])

 

The dispute was resolved thus:

Campbell Letter 148:

Adelphi 18 April 1787

Mr Campbell presents his compts to Mr. Hamilton and sends him herewith the Iron Bookcase which was in question between him and Mr C who hopes this will put an end to all future Altercations on that score.

 

Mr Hamilton will also -

receive the Two Keys - ([14])< /p>

 

* * *

 

On 22 June, overseer Campbell was at Portsmouth with the Duke of Richmond, Master-General of the Ordnance, discussing convict employment on public works. As The Daily Universal Register tartly observed on 3 July, the government's task was to make convicts useful. But such comment was often short of common sense, people who made such remarks were always the first to complain about the cost of dealing with prisoners, of putting them into some "productive" capacity, to become bitter about the cost of sending prisoners to NSW.

 

Campbell's pleasure now was in settling into his new address

 

Campbell Letter 149:

3 Robert Street, the Adelphi.

London 23 June 1786

Saml Marsh Esq.

James Keach has applied to me for the place of my Upper Footman, he says he left your service two weeks since & that he has now the permision of staying in your house, till he finds a place. As he refers me to you for his Character, you will much oblige me by informing me what was his behaviour while in, & the cause of his leaving your service if he is perfectly honest & Sober, whether desirous of going often out? I ask this the rather as my Upper Servant is pretty much Confined. Will you also be pleased to inform me whether he is a Civil & good tempered Servant Your kindness in giving an answer & forgiving the trouble I am about to put you to will be conferring a singular favour Sir ([15])

 

Later, Campbell was to host members of an "Amicable Club" at the Adelphi. Naturally, he made efforts to employ the most even-tempered and obedient of servants. No. 3 Robert Street in 1786 was a select address and it remains so today. The address is lately owned by a British national organisation for accountants, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, CIPFA. The address was one of the few points in London from December 1786 where the names of transportable convicts on the hulks were checklisted before felons were delivered to First Fleet ships. By 1989 when I visited the Adelphi, it was surprising, at least to me, that Australian tourists were not routinely confronted with such historically interesting information as they explored London. ([16]) However, England's main checkpoint for the Australian tourist interested in this historical context is a display at Portsmouth, commemorating the departure of the First Fleet. That display utilises some information from the book - The Search for John Small - ([17]) by an expatriate Australian historian tracing her First Fleet ancestor, Mollie Gillen.

 

Charles Dickens once wrote that the vaults beneath Campbell's Adelphi building were a place to avoid for risk of murder. ([18]) The building at 2 and 3 Robert Street in the view of London's tourism promoters has mainly literary associations. The actor Garrick, the playwright Galsworthy resided there. The eccentric J. M. Barrie is reputed to have written Peter Pan there. Some editing of House of Commons Journal were handled at an Adelphi address for some time after the late 1790s, according to a note in those Journals.

 

The immediate area was bombed during World War Two. Some of the Adelphi buildings were rebuilt in order to preserve the integrity of a distinctive precinct. Campbell's old address however escaped bomb damage, as did the chambers at 8 John Adam Street of The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. (RSA) ([19]) Campbell's former address is also now used as a conference centre by CIPFA. According to CIPFA's 1989 promotional literature it is located "within a few minutes walk from both the Embankment and Charing Cross Station... one of the remaining parts of the original Adelphi development, built by Robert Adam and completed in 1774 ... Two large Adam style rooms ... form part of the conference and meeting room facilities". ([20]) Information on Campbell's residency there came as a surprise to CIPFA in 1989.

 

* * *

 

Lord George Gordon leaks the Botany Bay story:

 

At the time he sensationally warned prisoners about Botany Bay, Lord George Gordon had converted to Judaism and quarrelling with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Gordon later was had up for libelling the judges and the administration of the laws of England; and in a separate matter (the Case of the Diamond Necklace); and for libelling the Queen of France and the French ambassador as well. Gordon said the French Queen's character was such, it was impossible to libel her. ([21])

 

Mackay is probably correct in saying that by 10 June came the first indication that government had made a firm commitment to resuming transportation. The information was seemingly leaked to none other than the mad Lord George Gordon (1751-1793), who then leaked it to everybody. ([22]) Government took a highly punitive view of Gordon's actions, and their memories of his meddling resulting in the 1780 riots was probably strong. Gordon's warning delivered to prisoners in Newgate in mid-1786, that they would be sent to Botany Bay, has seldom been analysed. Where did Gordon get the information? How was it that he was correct? Why did he act against the possibility? These questions are relevant since they bear on a theoretical matter - was there a rivalry between European powers to create a power base in the Pacific? ([23]) The implication being, that Britain prevailed by being the first nation to create a Pacific base, staving off the French and the Spanish. As if the French and Spanish were genuinely interested in either the Pacific, generally, or Australia as mapped by James Cook in particular. (By 1775, there existed a fascinating map of the southern latitudes, the centrepiece being Antarctica, showing a useful shape of Australia and New Zealand, represented in a book by the whaling historian, A. G. E. Jones). ([24])

 

There was no significant rivalry between European powers in the Pacific, due to the continent's absence of large populations groups of the kind which interested the Mercantilists of the day. This meant that Oceania remained commercially uninteresting except to specific industry groups such as whalers. Brookes says, "That any other government [except Britain] ever seriously proposed to colonize in Australia is doubtful." ([25]) Of Europe's powers, only France ever seems to have even considered the idea. The Dutch, after some exploration which left place names still existing, seemed to think Northern Australia unprofitable, and they anyway needed population to assist belief in the gospel of coerced labour. The North Pacific was found more profitable than the South. After 1785, when Britain was interested in North-West America, Captain Kendrick of the Boston ship Columbia took news to Boston merchants eager to sell furs to Canton. The US ships used the respite of Hawaii. Kendrick later became the first US sailor to circumnavigate the globe; in 1789 he discovered sandalwood for the Chinese market. The East India Company regulations till 1813 anyway cruelled British designs. Brooks regards British claims in Australia as "abnormal", they could be easily nullified by another power. She mentions the "more highly developed acquisitive instinct in eighteenth century British navigators". (One might also mention Sir Joseph Banks' interest in marketable commodities derived from plants, or, cochineal.) In Napoleon's time, it had been noted there was no eastern limit stated by the British to their occupation of Australia and seemed to a French officer reporting to Mauritius that Britain seemed to be water-marching east from Australia to within striking distance of Spanish South America. By the 1820s, Russia had come close to partitioning Oceania, but it never happened. ([26])

 

The first threat of a Pacific "rivalry" grew with Napoleon sending out Baudin in 1800 to examine New Holland and Tasmania only, but there is no evidence of specific French political designs, except some apprehension of the French about 1825, when secret intelligence came to London that France planned a penal colony somewhere in Australia, there being enough room. Within months, with news of a French expedition being got up, the British government ordered Western Australia to be occupied; so arose Perth and Fremantle, lonely outposts facing the Indian Ocean. ([27])

 

The first concrete evidence of any competitive rivalry of European powers in Pacific was in 1788, with the convict colony, the settlement so insignificant on the bulk of Australia that the British felt uneasy lest another European power arrive. Brookes concludes, "There seems to have been neither political purpose nor political control involved in the Protestant missionary invasion of Oceania." So one might ask, what sense was there in establishing a convict colony at Botany Bay?

 

* * *

 

Diplomatic awareness of Britain's intentions in the Pacific:

 

What did foreign diplomats in London know or care about Britain's intentions in the Pacific? The Botany Bay project was reported in the London newspapers from mid-September, 1786 if not earlier, during the problem of Gordon's Prisoner's Petition. That would mean that the French and Spanish diplomats knew of it, and their superiors had until, say, January 1788 - about 17 months - to prepare a competing expedition. No such expeditions were mounted. The First Fleet itself was mounted only slowly, partly as legal matters - including the writing of Phillip's Commissions - took longer than expected. There needs to be a search for consistency... Agreement is, that the First Fleet was mounted very slowly, in eight months.

 

IF newspaper coverage of Gordon's mid-1786 "Prisoner's Petition" was taken seriously by diplomats in London who were wary of Britain's intentions in the Pacific, their governments had up to 20 months to mount an expedition to forestall Britain. The conclusion ought to be that if any European power had ambitions in the Pacific that would conflict with British intentions, but could not respond in less than twenty months, then there was no European rivalry over the resources of the Pacific. And it seems in fact, ([28]) when the First Fleet shipping was being ordered up, the Secretary of State was acting on original orders from George III. IF there was an intense rivalry between maritime powers over the Pacific, we speak also of maritime powers who cannot mount a competing expedition in eight months or longer, which is absurd.

 

The absence of a contest between European powers might explain the absence of a Spanish view on Britain's move into the southern Pacific. Spain cared little, though from 1789 it cared about British bombast expressed at Nootka Sound. France if it had seriously wanted to beat Britain to Australia, had from early September 1786 to mount a major expedition of whatever kind - there were only two French ships of exploration at Botany Bay when Phillip and his fleet arrived in January 1788. France was not serious. Spain was no contender. Holland was not interested.

 

* * *

 

Macintyre's book The Secret Discovery of Australia might indicate that in theory, eastern Australia was a Spanish territory by a Spanish Lake. It should be entertaining to ask, what was the official Spanish response when Britain first settled Australia? It is not interesting. The Australian Wilfrid Oldham asked this question before 1933 and found so little material on it, he changed his topic for his Ph.D. thesis to the transportation of convicts. Today, the question has been pursued by the Australians Robert J. King and Alan Frost. ([29]) But still, though it has been said that a minimal number of European observers thought Britain had executed a political and Imperial masterstroke by settling Australia - Peron for France ([30]) and Malasapina ([31]) for Spain - their governments reacted little. The conclusion is that Britain had no serious European rivals in the Pacific.

 

* * *

 

Lord Gordon's Prisoner's Petition:

 

Around mid-1786 - and a precise date is hard to find - Gordon wrote a letter to himself - The Prisoner's Petition. Then he "responded" by visiting prisoners. His intentions were to warn Newgate prisoners to "preserve their lives and liberties and prevent banishment to Botany Bay." Where did Gordon get his information, which was surprisingly correct? Gordon's Prisoner's Petition is mostly mentioned jocularly by historians, but there seems to have been a leak in government circles, and government did not appreciate the joke. Once word was out about Gordon's "petition", steps for legal action were taken against him. ([32]) Gordon in the Court of King's Bench was charged in mid-1787 with inflaming the prisoners of Newgate to mutiny against sentences of transportation to Botany Bay. ([33]) Strictly, however, in mid-1786, the words Botany Bay were not used in respect of any prisoner destinations mentioned by magistrates acting under any orders at all - such orders had not yet been issued. But in all, Gordon's leakage of information was the first serious hint that transportation to Botany Bay might or would occur. Gordon's pre-empting of any government announcements about Botany Bay was at least one month, and possibly as much as two months, ahead of the timing of events that historians prefer to mention. Gordon knew someone who knew something about Botany Bay.

 

* * *

 

By mid-July, there was a further rise in the public demand for a resumption for transportation. At the end of July, Nautilus returned to London from Africa with a negative report. Her officers reported unanimously their opinion that Das Voltas was an unsuitable location for landing convicts. Britain had recently "signed away Honduras", so no further transportation was possible to there. The negative report from Nautilus arrived also as government received reports from Holland, France and India that war was imminent. With La Perouse already in the Pacific, government made a sweeping territorial claim, Frost says, regarding Australia - New South Wales - and convict transportation.

 

Frost asserts the government warned the East India Company that certain moves would put off Britain's enemies about India, the situation being that if the enemy (the French) moved in India, this would prejudice the company's activities in the region. ([34]) It seems the Company took this view in a very sanguine light, for it certainly remained unimpressed by any government views about the strategic or commercial usefulness of a Pacific-Australian base, with or without convicts. The Company was far more motivated to damp the ambitions the whalers had about the Pacific.

 

Once the officers of Nautilus had scotched African destinations, there is no record of any last minute dash by any promoter of Norfolk Island or New South Wales, or of any special propagandising by any persons for any other location ever mentioned. Botany Bay was chosen because it was regarded, rightly or wrongly, as a distant, political/population vacuum. It created no new or extra problems. The location gave Britain a possibly-useful enhanced naval range at the expense of costs which could be written off against the political gain of a solution being obtained to "the convict problem". (The paradox reigns: if security can be reduced, surveillance must be increased).

 

As Blainey wrote in 1966, Britain seemed initially more interested in gaining control of Australasian waters, not territory. This is consistent with the establishment of a naval station. The remark underscores the necessary attention which government had to give to maritime matters; a naval governor would exert more or less martial law over a convict population. Meanwhile, Lord Sydney was responsible for policy. Nepean, the chronic worrier, looked after the details, and the offers from ship men.

 

Offers, such as, lately, those from Turnbull Macaulay and Gregory; and Camden, Calvert and King. There does seem to have entered into ministerial deliberations some practical matters, some emphasis, which made Botany Bay increasingly desirable despite its distance, despite its being entirely an unknown factor. (Sheer confidence in naval and navigational prowess was one significant factor). One factor regarded as having been important, although the precise moves are unknown, is the prestige of Joseph Banks. Banks is the only well-to-do Englishmen who continued to wish to have his name associated with the establishment of the colony at Sydney. Hence he is conspicuous - as it seems that many others shrank from being named.

 

By August 1786 it had been only months previous, when Nepean had been wanting from Campbell a copy of the 1779 report which contained Banks' recommendations of NSW for a convict colony, and Campbell could not find his copy. What then went on with the decision about Botany Bay? Botany Bay was dramatically different to all other locations suggested. It was commercially undeveloped, unexplored, very distant. Lord Howe of the navy thought it posed a severe maritime stretch. There was little if any evidence that other European powers were interested in the region. It lay near no immediately useful sea lane. It was not coveted by any civilized or uncivilized race (except the inhabitants). It had never been coveted by the East India Company which busily sailed wealthy ships north of Australia. Botany Bay was chosen precisely since it had nothing to recommend it. It was off the map of the mind of the world, and it would likely remain off the map. Therefore, the logic seemed to be, since transportable convicts could only be sent into a colony, make a colony for them in nowhere. Therefore, a "thief colony' was created ex nihilo.

 

This is all interesting, perhaps persuasive, but it cannot help explain why London ship men squabbled over who would send which ships to Australia with convicts, before the ships went elsewhere. If commercial shipmen had not wanted to send ships past Australia's eastern coast, then government, if Britain wanted to fulfill the community's obsession about convict transportation, government would have been obliged to use naval ships. It is unlikely the navy would have been impressed, and very likely that the admiralty lords would finally have revolted against such a distasteful duty. Why then, did commercial ship men bother?

 

Regarding Sir Joseph Banks, and convict transportation, his biographer, Carter, notes that... "The two themes of breadfruit and Botany Bay were now entwined with Banks at their centre." This is true, but how is it meaningful? What we notice here, is that Banks, interested in gathering specimens from distant areas, often used the services of captains employed by government contractors - including Blackheathites. That is, ships sailing London-Sydney at times brought specimens back to London for Banks, rather as though Banks was using a spy-ring. But ships contracted to government use of the day often carried sensitive information, and Banks' work was sometimes part of that sensitivity. Carter suggests that Banks' career is still rather "shadowy" to the English. One reason is that Banks' use of shipping can only be explained by reference to a coherent network of shipowners and ships captains who valued Banks' work - something like, a Blackheath Connection. As we have already suspected from Alexander Davison's suspicions, a "ring" of operators was used for convict transportation. A variety of historians have noticed apparently odd merchant behaviour, and commented on suspicions about how convict transportation was organised, but none of the suspicions make sense till it is realised that a trusted group of government contractors was used to open the Pacific. Which is hardly surprising, and which Banks well knew.

 

As is now known, Campbell was also involved in these two themes, but full information about his association with the breadfruit voyage has not arisen. About just the same day, 19 August, 1786, Carter says, that cabinet decided to settle Botany Bay, Hinton East, the receiver general of Jamaica and a planter of Liguanea, was talking to Banks about transplanting breadfruit from Tahiti to the West Indies. Banks about now was becoming friends with Lord Hawkesbury, Charles Jenkinson at the Board of Trade, and Banks was also aware the French were moving useful plants from the East to the West Indies. ([35]) From some points of view, Banks could be attributed with greater wisdom than the House of Commons and the House of Lords combined. As to commercial ship men in London, generally, evidence has never surfaced, that government ministers before 18 August, 1786 actually canvassed the views of the East India Company before they made their decision about Botany Bay, or, before Lord Gordon leaked the news via his Prisoner's Petition. Months before, a Company spokesman, Alexander Dalrymple, had energetically derided a plan to perhaps settle Norfolk Island.

 

Government may have failed to interview the East India Company for four reasons: (a) it cared little for the Company opinion but anyway expected no objection; (b) it thought the Company would have no objection; (c) if the Company did object, so what?; (d) secret plans had been laid ensuring that if the Company did object, it would be to no avail. The argument here is that government ministers chose option d. The secret plans involved the whalers. In which case, despite government denials, the East India Company directors had already been right in suspecting that by promoting the interests of the whalers from earlier in 1786, the government had in mind some ulterior motive which did not entirely respect the monopoly charter of the East India Company. This was, from the Company's point of view, duplicity. Politically, it put parliamentary shareholders of the Company in a double-bind. Get rid of convicts, annoy the Company: fail to get rid of convicts and annoy the entire country!

 

In many respects the Cabinet decision of 18 August, 1786, remains a riddle. And a tortured riddle, given that views exist, that by providing itself with a solution to a penal problem, Britain also acquired a point of tactical leverage for its Imperial expansion in the east. However, no shots were fired in anger near Australian territory due to Britain's presence there, except against Aboriginals. Shots in anger were certainly fired when British whalers sailed into formerly Spanish mains on the north and south western American coasts.

 

In a final state of embarrassment the government chose Botany Bay as a last resort, on 18 August, 1786. How significant was the involvement of Joseph Banks? If Banks' views were regarded as significant, then it seems that views in 1779, when he was asked where a convict colony could be located, finally filled a financial and political vacuum in 1786, when cabinet had to solve squabbling over prisoner accommodation because London had stepped up political pressure. Implicitly, Banks' view as a scientist would have been that mankind benefited from the acquisition of knowledge. Since Banks had been to Botany Bay, he was of the view that new knowledge would certainly arise from a settlement being created there, on the edge of an entirely unknown continent, and an ocean never properly explored or exploited. It would have been inconceivable to a man of Banks' intellect and experience, conviction, talent, and capacity to inspire other talented men, that Mankind could fail to benefit by settling what on the map looked already to be the size of half a continent. Banks had a similar attitude to Africa, and would shortly join an organisation devoted to assessing Africa. But who would pay for colonising Botany Bay? It seems, much of the money came from the king's Civil List. Botany Bay as a destination for unworthy people was almost a personal domain of George III, a royal convict colony!

 

It is likely that Banks would have been pleased to promote any kind of settlement at eastern Australia, if only for "purely scientific" reasons relating to furthering research in botany and natural history. In a word, Banks had "faith". Even so, Banks' interest in the matter merely placed a sprig of intellectual respectability on a profoundly irrational event - sending convicts halfway round the world with every hope and prayer they'd never return. The entire operation seems a matter of negative importance - to do something irrational only because to do nothing generates an even worse outcome.

 

There is, otherwise, a quality of allegorical horror about the "founding of Australia", which embraces the terrible moods of the malbowges of Dante's Inferno. There is the impatience, negativity and obsessiveness of the insistence that criminals continue to be banished. There is the neatly-written paper trail, enormous in scope, which has still not been fully researched by mystified historians continually needing to ask "why?". And joking that maybe one day a document will be found which explains everything. There is an awful symmetry in the institutionalised spiritual corruption of the exercise by the crown of the prerogative of mercy, and Britain's lack of commonsense in failing to build domestic prisons for longer-term inmates.

 

* * *

 

Robert Hughes and The Fatal Shore: Some conclusions on the Botany Bay debate:

 

Few Australian novelists have tackled the First Fleet, although Eleanor Dark's trilogy assessing Aboriginal reactions after the arrival of the First Fleet should not be ignored. In Michael Talbot's novel, To the Ends of the Earth , ([36]) is evident much research on the kind of lives and milieu that convicts would have experienced. Startling in Talbot's novel s an idea that the First Fleet shipping was organised not by William Richards, but by an entirely fictional "Duncan Campbell shipping interest". As with Hughes' book, The Fatal Shore.

 

The fact is, even after a reading of Campbell's Letterbooks, and certainly beforehand, it is possible to remain very suspicious that Campbell, a skilled merchant, ship handler and organiser, and very close to government in the matter of handling convicts, had not manipulated something to his own advantage. Naturally, this suspicion would appeal to a novelist. In fact, there was no "Campbell shipping interest" but there was a Blackheath Connection with links to Lloyd's of London of even greater interest... As to themes of Crime and Punishment ... Robert Hughes said as he had finished his book, The Fatal Shore, ([37]) "The Fatal Shore and heaven and Hell in Western Art are very much linked"... He had a book about power and powerlessness, Hughes said... "The imagery of heaven and hell has a great deal to do with the combined aspect of Australia being at once a paradisiacal continent and a hell-hole - two aspects of Australia that predominate in its early culture".

 

To continue in the artistic dimension... Campbell in managing the hulks had kept on the Thames the malbowges of Dante's Inferno. A pedestrian fellow, intelligent, shrewd, but not so imaginative, Campbell achieved a sort of poetry - the poetry of the concentration camp. With the legislation of 1784, the British crown stepped into Campbell's shoes - and after August 1786 this concept for a concentration camp sailed by an entirely new route - the Southern Ocean - to Australia.

 

* * *

 

Convict shipping to Australia and The Navy Office Accounts:

 

And so we find, a historian, Hughes, and a novelist, Talbot producing equivalent fictions about Campbell mounting the First Fleet. In all fairness... Campbell as hulks overseer was privy to secretive government decisions. He commanded his own shipping, and in all Britain he was the man most experienced man at shipping convicts. It may even be surprising he was not asked by government to organise the First Fleet, and government may have even privately asked him. We do not know. There is only one set of records which can abolish any such suspicions about Campbell.

 

In the officially-edited Historical Records of New South Wales are a set of Navy Office Accounts. These accounts list the merchants supplying provisions to the First Fleet and shipping sent after 1788. These accounts also list the merchants who chartered their shipping to government for use as convict transports to early Australia; the dates contracts were made, the amounts the merchants were reimbursed. The dates given are consistent with only one set of analyses made by Australians of "the founding of Australia" - the analyses made by historians of whaling. There is a simple reason why this is so. The dates given in the Navy Office Accounts align well with the dates of other decisions being made by London's whalers as they considered the eastern and western Pacific. But to make all these dates consistent, one also has to consider a man who has been written OUT of the history - alderman George Macaulay, marine underwriter and Campbell's fellow-golfer at Blackheath. Analyses of early Australian history which fail to mention London's whalers cannot explain anything about Macaulay. One price of accepting the orthodox accounts of Australia's earliest European history is to obliterate Macaulay from the record. Obliterating Macaulay obliterates the need to assess the political activity of London aldermen in matters.

Now, it seems clear that the volume of business becoming available to the merchants-convict contractors supplying early Sydney was decidedly small beer compared to what they could easily have obtained by sailing to other destinations. Macaulay and his partners sent ships to eastern Canada, seeking business which however decreased in volume as England cut back her forces stationed in Canada. ([38]) Macaulay in his own right sent an annual ship to China for tea. But a contention that the South Whalers could have done without sending at least some ships by Sydney, or Australia, is highly debatable. The motives of the slavers, Camden Calvert and King are hardest to divine, yet their involvement with the Second Fleet to New South Wales, and the death rates of that fleet, still provoke a certain outrage in some historians. ([39])

 

Possible personal intervention by George III:

 

In January 1787, George III told Parliament, "A plan has been formed, by my direction, for transporting a number of convicts in order to remove the inconvenience which arose from the crowded state of the gaols in different parts of the Kingdom, and you will, I doubt not, take such further measures as may be necessary for this purpose". ([40]) Here, George III seems to say he has anyway given his ministers carte blanche in the matter. But had the king taken any steps apart from talking to his ministers? He may have, and some circumstantial evidence seems to surface at Blackheath. John Julius Angerstein, a personal friend of George III, the "father of Lloyd's of London" lived at Blackheath. ([41]) (One of the many questions not asked about the First Fleet, is: who insured the ships involved?) ([42]) Another possible connection of the king had relatives at Blackheath, the merchants Turnbull, Macaulay and Gregory, thus: ([43]) William Gregory (1750-1808), a sometime spy, was son of William Gregory and Jane Joliffe. He had been a consul at Mexico, Madrid, Lisbon and Barcelona, and married Mary Anne Suffield in 1780. He was at times employed on "confidential missions" by George III. ([44]) The unmarried Edward Gregory was later a "judge" at Sierra Leone. Lt. John Jervis Gregory RN died in Australia in 1840. Mark Gregory (1752-1793) was a consul at Malaga. MP Mark Gregory (died 1793), brother of William married to Mary Suffield, married Sarah Urry, a relative of "one of the great navigators of the period", Capt. John Urry RN. ([45]) Urry seems to have also been an uncle of alderman George Macaulay.

 

The contractor to government, the firm Turnbull, Macaulay and Gregory (TMG), was a part-product of intermarriages, and was usefully connected. It seems to be due to such connections that TMG became the first firm to offer shipping for what became the First Fleet, so quickly after a decision had been made, the matter smacked of insider knowledge. (But it is not known if the "sometime spy", William Gregory was in London at the time.) The TMG offer of a "First Fleet" was anyway a Blackheath Connection. And alderman Macaulay was upwardly mobile. At a Bowyers Company meeting at the King's head Tavern in the Poultry on Thursday 20 July, he was elected as an Upper Warden for the Bowyers Company, for two years, along with Matthew Wilson. But Macaulay was unsuccessful in plumbing for the position of master. ([46])

 

* * *

 

Bureaucracy, a variety of plans, and the First Fleet: The Botany Bay debate and terra nullius:

 

By 30 March, 1787 it was thought to detach a convict transport from Botany Bay for the purpose of a breadfruit voyage, since convict ships were going out. ([47]) Banks informed both Lord Liverpool and Lord Sandwich that a plan of sending out a vessel to Tahiti purely for breadfruit was more likely to be successful than an alternative one of detaching a Botany Bay transport. ([48]) Banks, anyway, became enthusiastic about the project. Rivals also were planning to transplant breadfruit in India, the French had breadfruit in their West Indies Islands. Banks wanted to get in first on the Indian plan. Botanical pressure was on. But can any new scenarios be drawn?

 

Valentine Morris, captain-general of British West India, owned "considerable property" and slaves near Kingstown, St Vincent. ([49]) ([50]) Morris had written to Joseph Banks on 17 April, 1772 noting a lack of food in the West Indies, and wanting to know from Banks if there was any likelihood that the seeds of the breadfruit could be successfully transplanted in the West Indies? Though nothing came of the idea immediately, Banks was not one to forget an interesting project. ([51]) The possibility kept a currency amongst botanists. Hinton East, ([52]) receiver-general of Jamaica (1786-1789), in 1786 again promoted the idea to Banks, but never lived to see the breadfruit actually planted in his own gardens, as he died in 1792.

 

By 1777, ([53]) The Society of Arts ([54]) had offered a Gold Medal as prize to anyone succeeding in transplanting the fruit to the West Indies. The offer proved insufficient incentive. Matters lapsed again, although a standing committee of West India planters resolved to supplement the offer of the medal. As we find, Campbell promoted his employee William Bligh for command of HMAV Bounty. The chronology of Campbell's efforts is buried deep inside the chronology of the First Fleet.

 

* * *

 

London steps up the pressure about prisoners:

 

London's aldermen were confronted with yet another prisoner-created problem. The index to The Corporation of The City Of London Archives, circa 1786 contains an entry, p. 182, "Newgate - ditto to consider of Mrs Wilmott case whose husband caught the jail distemper while putting up the ventilation [at Newgate] and who died therefrom &c". (Mrs Willmott was paid a mere 20 charity [folio 466] for the loss of her husband.

 

The Corporation's Reps ([55]) contain a petition from John Newman, Keeper of Ludgate Prison, 5 December, 1786 - who had been appointed in 1771 - a report on his incomes... that by an Act of 1784, gaolers were totally disqualified from selling beer, wine, spirits, and other liquors and from keeping any Tap for the sale of same ... the average profit from the Tap had been 72 annually, now wholly deprived. John Newman said he wanted to live in comfort and decency. Much the same had come or would come to aldermen's attention from other gaolers: Kirby the Keeper of the Wood St Compter for 25 years; Henry West, Keeper of the Poultry Compter; Richard Akerman at Newgate.(NB: from the index, the salary of the Newgate Ordinary [chaplain] was 165. Keeper Akerman's salary was 359). Other documents had streamed in. ([56]) Sheriffs desired to wait on Secretaries of State to request that the convicts assigned for Africa and Botany Bay may be removed from... to some other place of confinement... ([57]) Some aldermen acted as magistrates, and they would have been distressed when on 7 February, 1786, part of their Guildhall, their Chamberlain's Court or office, on the right hand of the Court of Kings Bench, burnt down. ([58])

 

Aldermen probably voted as follows out of a desire to see the Taps restored, as a way of creating more harmony in the gaol system... 21 February, 1786, the Court of Aldermen resolved unanimously that [City MPs] move in the House of Commons for leave to be given to bring in a Bill that the several Gaols of the City be exempted from the operation of Act 24 Geo 3 for "taking away the Taps", an Act made in the eleventh and twelfth year of the Reign of William III to enable Justices of the Peace to build and repair Gaols in their respective counties and for other purposes therein mentioned; the Court desired [aldermen] James Sanderson and Brook Watson to see Mr Pitt about the exemption. ([59])

 

By July 1786 the convict problem was so acute that Pitt's government was catapulted into establishing a penal colony. "So distant a site with high supply costs suggests an ulterior motive or a level of desperation which bordered on panic", writes Mackay. ([60]) One suspects the East India Company would have agreed, that some ulterior motive was at work. Meantime, between May and August, the Home Office looked again at projected NSW costs, and also assessed alderman Sir Watkin Lewes' plans to have 600 convicts from the hulks used in the Woolwich Rope Yards and a similar number in Scottish coal mines. ([61]) All ideas considered had to do with putting convict labour to some use based on a view of the public good. What won was the "out of sight out of mind" school of thought.

 

* * *

 

Before the First Fleet sailed from Portsmouth on 13 May, 1787, to arrive (officially) in Sydney Harbour on 26 January, 1788, ([62]) a good deal of confusion had already been expressed about the venture in English newspapers. ([63]) Long before July, 1786, there was rising public demand, especially in London, that something be done about the "gaols problem". The hulks housed disease, gaol fever and other infections. Boys learned crime from men. Sodomy was spoken of. Escapers were feared. As prison reformer, Jeremy Bentham deliberately played on such social disquiet as he promoted his own schemes for building penitentiaries, and his panopticon. Bentham's panopticon was an adaptation of an idea from Jeremy's younger brother, Samuel Bentham, who was later knighted. ([64]) Visiting Russia to inspect dockyard facilities, Samuel Bentham had noticed a Kafka-esque Russian design providing "central observation" of workers in a shortstaffed naval dockyards. Jeremy Bentham simply lifted this idea and applied it to prison management, the idea being, the design enabled prisoners to be closely inspected at all times. ([65])

 

Government - Nepean - was being reminded of earlier debacles in resuming transportation, since by July 1786, Treasury had paid George Moore his 500 for transporting prisoners by Swift. ([66]) Moore had lately sent a memorial to government - partly concerning the ship Fair American. ([67]) Moore memorialised that in 1782 and 1783, he had made a contact to shift 143, and then 179 convicts, men and women, but mutinies had occurred on his ships. He had suffered losses of 4500. In September 1785 he had contracted to shift another 29 convicts, to Honduras, with some indentured Negroes and other servants to be employed in felling logwood and other labor. Moore claimed his agents been obstructed by the settlers at Honduras, who claimed the convicts had not been ordered there expressly, and Moore had wanted from Lord Sydney some written orders directed to the superintendent at Honduras. He had then been assured verbally by Nepean that there would be no obstruction to the convicts being landed, so Moore had hired a vessel and the prisoners had arrived in December 1785. Lord Sydney had written to Col. Despard, the superintendent for Honduras, who was then at Jamaica. The felons had been put back on ship again, forcibly, and Moore found that trade to Honduras was being monopolised by a few persons; one, White, their agent, had a letter of 19 August, 1785. White claimed he had spoken with Lord Sydney. The situation seemed to be that Moore had been misled, since Lord Sydney backed White's word. And the owner of the vessel since it had been detained had billed Moore for 745/18/4d, for demurrage and incidentals, more than Moore can bear to pay. In all, claiming contradictory orders, Moore wanted the 745 plus another 841/13/7d which he had otherwise spent. ([68])

 

Moore also wrote to Nepean, "Sir, --" He then threatened with an action at law for the recovery of the damages the owner of the ship Fair American sustained - their vessel had been detained at the Bay of Honduras, and so had passage of convicts to Mosquito Shore. Moore wanted the favour of a copy of Lord Sydney's letter to Colonel Despard agreeable to a repeated promise, and please [will Nepean] declare in writing whether White had that Authority he attests he had from Lord Sydney to inform the inhabitants at Honduras they might receive the convicts - or not. Did White have authority to write as he did, "I shall consider myself shamefully used by Government" if White had not that Authority, "the least regard for Justice or common civility will I hope induce you [Nepean] to comply with my request", Moore went on... And so, Nepean was reminded again of all the difficulties which could arise if government did not have a suitable management of any destination for dumping convicts.

 

* * *

 

Botany Bay becomes a real alternative:

 

The African location examined at the request of Lord Beauchamp's 1785 committee of inquiry, Das Voltas, was scotched as a location for transportable convicts by 28 July, 1786. ([69])

 

During the next six weeks, and despite its distance, Botany Bay was given new currency as a possible destination for dumping convicts. During this six weeks was formulated a legal doctrine that has so distressed Australian Aboriginals, the doctrine of terra nullius - that under prevailing international law, Australia for all usual purposes of Imperialistic or colonial activity, was uninhabited. ([70])

 

A campaign was kept up in London over 5-24 August, 1786. Civic fathers renewed claims the hulks were havens for gaol fever, and that prisoners could escape easily into the city. On 5-8 August, 1786 The Whitehall Evening Post called the hulks "a scene of vice and profligacy too shocking to relate". A propaganda campaign was being waged, for and against, and the campaign set up such momentum, the political thrust could not be avoided. Government was forced to decide. Provincial officials, sensitive to government pronouncements, howled for sense to be made of the laws on transportation, but they knew they had little power to influence events. It was largely London pressure that tipped the scales.

 

* * *

 

The anonymously written `Heads of a Plan':

 

Historians dwell much on a document entitled Heads of a Plan, circulated at the 18 August Cabinet meeting, and speculate on its authorship (Joseph Banks?). It is often presumed that whoever compiled it had influence on the decision. Contemplation of the cabinet meeting and its decision-making that day ends as contemplation of a riddle. But looking at the shipowners or ships agents responding to the sudden government need for, say, eleven ships to take convicts and stores to Botany Bay, can be illuminating.

 

Heads of a Plan contained bait of a commercial character, as might appeal to a Mercantilist. Suggestions were made that flax or timber or other products for possible naval or commercial use might become available at the new colony. It is also true that government invested in exploring those possibilities. What is equally obvious is that neither the flax or timber became available as hoped, and that most London merchants anyway 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.

 

Anonymously written, perhaps influenced by Sir Joseph Banks' ideas, perhaps even written by Banks, some say, Heads of a Plan for Sending Convicts to New South Wales was made available to Cabinet and Treasury. At least six copies were made. ([71]) Because Heads of a Plan has directed attention away from the facts and motives of what happened, it should be regarded as a meretricious document: though it evidently made an original intention of misleading somebody, quite successful. ([72])

 

The Australian historian, Frost, has made much of the various ulterior motives Britain might have had in establishing its colony at Botany Bay. Frost argues that Britain had many strategic considerations in play, including the creation of a naval outlier useful for formal Imperial strategic purposes. I would argue that the commercial considerations in play have been largely ignored by historians. Too many merchant careers have been ignored, or, as in Macaulay's case, obliterated from the record. As for Imperial considerations, it might take an Australian to remark that Peron's observation on a "political masterstroke" was exaggeration spoken in a climate of non-contest. The first colony at Sydney was a naval station with a penal role, not a strategic one... a naval station all the same.

 

18 August, 1786: ([73]) "Frost's assertion that NSW was some sort of strategic substitute for the proposed site at Das Voltas Bay does not withstand scrutiny".

 

What is now called the doctrine, terra nullius, was implicitly referred to when Cabinet by 18 August, 1786, had decided to send convicts to New South Wales. On 24 August, only days after Cabinet had made its decision to establish "Botany Bay", The Daily Universal Register joked that those sinks of iniquity (the hulks) were to be scrapped "after the gentlemen in them had finished their academical studies". ([74]) The Register was wrong - the hulks remained on the Thames for almost a century longer - not until 1862 were various prison hulks at Bermuda broken up.

 

Pitt's Ministry, Mackay feels, knew it risked departing from one of Beauchamp's guidelines, that convicts should be employed "to the most useful Purposes" and that no purely penal colony be established. There could be no pretence the convicts would protect a sea route to India and. Mackay also suggests that convicts were irrelevant to any defence of India in eastern seas. New South Wales, Mackay suggests, was not incorporated into eastern strategies (that is, India) - rather it was increasingly isolated from them. ([75]) All this points to the creation of a convict colony - only.

 

* * *

 

The First Fleet should be seen in statistical proportion. In 1798 alone, Liverpool's 155 slave ships carried 57,104 slaves, about one third of the total number of convicts transported to Australia between 1786-1867, about 160,000 convicts. In 1795, one in four Liverpool ships were in the slave trade. Liverpool had 5/8ths of the British slave trade, and 3/7ths of the European slave trade. The average profit per slave was 16. Between 1783 and 1793, 878 Liverpool ships transported 303,737 slaves, of a value estimated at 15,186,850 sterling. These statistics put both Australia's early convict system, and the associated maritime history, into a realistic perspective. Compared to the slave trade, the early Australian situation was minuscule. Given all that has been written about early Australia, however, the statistics gruesomely indicate what human potential was lost by the slave trade - especially, potential for contentment in one's homeland. ([76])

 

"Between 1787 and 1867, about 163,000 convicts were transported as steerage passengers on sailing vessels to Australia. Of the 821 voyages, 784 went to the eastern territories of New South Wales, 1787-1850 ... An additional thirty-seven went to Western Australia between 1850 and 1867." The average voyage to eastern Australia was six months, declining to four months. It has been observed as late as 1990, that "only fragmentary evidence is available on the actual working of the tender system, such as the number of firms making bids" [for convict transportation]... ([77])

 

* * *

 

George Macaulay and a phantom First Fleet:

 

With surprising speed - and how did they find out such a government decision? - by 21 August, 1786, Turnbull Macaulay and T. Gregory (sic) offered government the use of enough shipping to send convicts to Botany Bay. ([78]) Why government rejected their offer is unknown. Probably, since it came from a London alderman, the offer was too quick, and too blatant as well. That is, officials may well have thought that given its petition of March, 1786, London had got enough of its way, why encourage the aldermen further? It does not seem likely that at this early date, potential or actual conflict between the East India Company and government, or Macaulay and the East India Company, or with William Richards Jnr, would have had a bearing on Macaulay's offer being rejected. Lord Sydney had not yet begun his attempt, which failed, to obtain the full co-operation of the East India Company.

 

Incidentally, historians examining documents have read the partnership offering shipping by 21 August, as "Turnbull Macaulay and T. Gregory", and can be forgiven, as that is how the document is signed. Such a reading disguises the identity of any alleged "Mackenzie Macaulay". But does so much rest on the way a commercial document was signed in those days? Apparently, yes. There now exists in history books a spurious identity, Turnbull Macaulay, who disguises the existence of alderman George Macaulay.

 

As noted, the first chronological record on Macaulay is for 10 May, 1786. Around then, Evan Nepean at the Home Office at the request of Prime Minister Pitt had asked a number of merchants to estimate the cost of sending prisoners to Das Voltas (Africa). He had heard back from Macaulay and Gregory, and by 1 June, from Anthony Calvert, of Camden, Calvert and King. (Some of Nepean's activities are remarkable. House of Commons Journal records that between 1787-1788 he expended 18,989/6/8d on "presents" for the Indians in Canada).

 

The South whalers begin to explore the Pacific:

 

Interestingly, a letter to Banks about whalers' hopes was written by Macaulay's Blackheath neighbours, Enderbys, only eight or nine days after cabinet had decided to settle "Botany Bay", and fewer days after Macaulay had offered to supply the required shipping. Macaulay may or may not have known that by 26 August, the Enderby whalers were considering exploring the waters off the west coast of South America, by Peru, up from Cape Horn. Macaulay seems to have been in co-operation with his neighbours, as far as whaling and sealing could be complementary activities.

 

Before getting their exploratory ship ready - the Emilia, Capt. James Shields - Enderbys by late August 1788 had asked Sir Joseph Banks if Juan Fernandez was settled? Was there any risk of a ship being detained by the Spanish? Were any sperm whales about Cape Horn? Were any charts available? Did Sir Joseph desire anything about the African Coast? There was a charming humility about the chieftains of a whale fishery asking the great scientist for such fundamental information for the development of their industry. But what the whalers lacked most of all was information on whales' migration patterns in the Pacific. To find this information, they had to send out reconnaissance ships. It was quite simple. If they placed ships in the First Fleet, some of the reconnaissance costs would be reimbursed. As well, they would have government backing for a venture liable to annoy the East India Company. ([79]) During 1789, Enderbys researched the Pacific waters off the west coast of South America, by Peru, up from Cape Horn. Their researcher was the first English whaler for the South Fishery, Emilia, Capt. James Shields. By 1788-1789, a friend of Enderbys, Philip Gidley King, was in command of a mini-colony at Norfolk Island, and he would become a naval governor of New South Wales. ([80])

 

There were two new ships built on the Thames, finding their way into the First Fleet. On 12 August, 1786, was launched Prince of Wales, built by Christopher Watson and Co. for her owner, James Mather, merchant of Cornhill, an investor in whaling and sealing since the early 1770s. Also newly- built on the Thames was alderman William Curtis' ship, Lady Penrhyn. Curtis was a sea biscuit manufacturer, a banker, a successful Greenland whaler - and a friend of Macaulay. ([81])

 

* * *

 

<Finis Chapter 34>

Words 10116 words with footnotes 12851 pages 34 footnotes 106

 



[1] Stackpole, Whales, pp. 52ff.

[2] Stackpole, Whales. Harlow, Founding of the Second British Empire, variously, on the career of the Nantucket whaler Rotch, whom Enderbys commercially boxed in so that Rotch finally gave his services to the French at Dunkirk. On Rotch see also Robert McCluer Calhoun, The Loyalists In Revolutionary America, 1760-1781. New York, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1973., p. 336.

[3] Stackpole, Whales, pp. 81ff, saw Jenkinson and the Board of Trade as having achieved a "breakthrough in the monopoly of the Honourable John Company...[of a scope not to be realised for several years to come]". East India Company historians tend to see it otherwise.

[4] Dallas, Trading Posts, p. 64.

[5] Harlow, Founding of Second British Empire, p. 178.

[6] C. H. Philips, The East India Company, 1784-1834. Manchester University Press, Manchester, 1940., p. 50, Note 2.

[7] Steven, Trade, Tactics and Territory, p. 75; Stackpole, Whales, p. 82. C. H. Philips, The East India Company, earlier cited; p. 50, Note 2. Philips usefully outlines the membership of the various interest groups formed amongst East India merchants. 15 June, 1786: One director of Company, Samuel Smith, resigned his post, protesting against "the daily encroachment of the Board [of Control] on the Director's powers". This view contradicts Harlow's view.

[8] Frost, Convicts and Empire, p. 110. T1/632. (XC/A/3016) courtesy PRO. Gillen, Botany Bay Decision, p. 743, citing HO 42/6 f.2. T1/632, XC/A/3016 PRO.

[9] T1/632ff 39-40 with enclosures, 70 ff 35-37. I am indebted to Mollie Gillen for this citation, pers comm.

[10] Mackay, Exile, p. 55.

[11] "Skipper Duncan" Campbell is noted in Dr. E. F. Bradford's book, MacTavish of Dunardry (privately published 1991, Whitby North, Yorkshire). Campbell here was also known as "Duncan of Adelphi" supposedly because he used "the Adelphi Hotel" in London as his business headquarters later in life.

[12] One William Hamilton was a captain of Blackheath Golf Club in 1788. One William Hamilton in 1786 moved into Duncan Campbell's former premises in Mincing Lane, when Campbell moved into 3 Robert Street, the Adelphi: Campbell Letterbooks - Campbell to William Hamilton, 21 June, 1786, when Campbell moved from Mincing Lane to the Adelphi, which suggests that all Campbell's convict records were shifted at the same time; Campbell to William Hamilton, 2 Jan., 1788, re sale of a ship. This may have been the same William Hamilton listed in the Navy Office Accounts, as involved with freighting some ships to NSW. Hamilton's involvement was relatively brief. See 1793 and 1794 Navy Office Accounts, HRNSW, Vol. 2, pp. 38ff; and a note below.

[13] Campbell Letter 147: Duncan Campbell Letterbooks: Transcript from ML A3229. The William Hamilton referred to may or may not have been the William Hamilton referred to in HRNSW, Vol. 1, part 2, 1793-1795, pp. 38-41, in Navy Office Accounts brought forward under the direction of George Rose, dated 30 May, 1793. The entry reads: The Justinian, pursuant to contract with Mr. Wm Hamilton, dated the 11 November, 1789, a balance after deducting 4019/14/6d received from the East India Company for freight home of a cargo of teas from China... 3504/17/4d.

[14] Campbell Letter No 147: Duncan Campbell Letterbooks: Transcript from ML A3229.

[15] Campbell Letter No. 149: Duncan Campbell Letterbooks: Transcript from ML A3229, p. 177. The Adelphi address: No. 3 Robert St. Servants: Campbell to Samuel Marsh, 23 June, 1786, on upper footman James Keach.

[16] Near the 250th anniversary of the birth of Joseph Banks, it was complained that Britain took little notice of Banks, president of The Royal Society for 43 years, and that "There is not even a blue [tourism industry] plaque on any of his London residences". The Independent on Sunday, 23 May, 1993, an article by a botanical correspondent.

[17] Sydney, Library of Australian History, 1985.

[18] William Kent, An Encyclopedia of London, 1937. [Item: The Adelphi].

[19] D. G. C. Allan, `The Society of Arts and Government, 1754-1800: Public Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce in Eighteenth Century England', Eighteenth Century Studies, Vol. 7, No. 4, Summer, 1974., pp. 434-452.

[20] CIPFA colour brochure, 1989. CIPFA is at 3 Robert Street, London. WC2N 6BH. Tel: 01 930 3456.

[21] Hibbert, King Mob, pp. 176ff. The Annals of Newgate. By J. Villette. London, 1776. (Mr. Villette was the Ordinary of Newgate).

[22] On Gordon's Prisoner's Petition, see an article, by F. J. Brewer, Sydney Morning Herald, 1 Feb., 1936, entitled "Botany Bay Scheme - opposed by Lord George Gordon. The Prisoner's Petition to preserve their lives and liberties and prevent banishment to Botany Bay.: Printed by Thos. Wilkins, No. 23 Aldermanbury, 1786.

[23] Alan Frost, `Science for Political Purposes: European Explorations of the Pacific Ocean, 1764-1806', pp. 27-44 in Roy McLeod and Philip .F Rehbock, (Eds.), Nature In Its Greatest Extent: Western Science in the Pacific. University of Hawaii Press, 1988.

[24] A. G. E. Jones, Ships Employed in the South Seas Trade, p. xi, a map engraved by Faden and Jeffreys, London, 29 May, 1775.

[25] Jean Ingram Brookes, International Rivalry in the Pacific Islands, 1800-1875. New York, Russell and Russell, 1961 Edn., p. 7, p. 10, p. 19.

[26] Brookes, International Rivalry, pp. 20-24.

[27] Brookes, International Rivalry, pp. 1-6.

[28] Maxine Young, `The British Administration of NSW, 1786-1812', pp. 23-41., here, p. 28, in J. J. Eddy and J. R. Nethercote, From Colony to Coloniser: Studies in Australian Administrative History. Sydney, Hale and Iremonger, 1987.

[29] Concerning the nature of the authority Phillip brought to NSW, see Robert J. King, `The territorial boundaries of New South Wales in 1788: the significance of the wording of the Commission or Patent appointing Arthur Phillip Captain-General and Governor of the Territory of New South Wales', The Great Circle, vol. 3, Oct. 1981, pp. 70-89.; Robert J. King, `Spanish Concern about a tiny island... [Norfolk Island] in Hemisphere, Vol. 28, No. 2, Sept.-Oct. 1983, pp. 103ff; Not finding anything on Spain's reaction to 1788, but aware of the Nootka incidents from 1789. Nootka, as one historian says, was a mountain made out of a molehill, though with Spain backing down. Adele Ogden, `The Californians in Spain's Pacific Otter Trade, 1775-1795', Pacific Historical Review, Vols. 1-4, 1932., pp. 424-444.

[30] Cited in R. A. Swan, To Botany Bay - Re-Appraisal.

[31] Robert J. King, The Secret History of the Convict Colony: Alexandro Malasapina's Report on the British Settlement of New South Wales. Sydney, Allen and Unwin, 1990.

[32] The petition was printed by Thos. Wilkins at No. 23 Aldermanbury. in 1786 nd. See an article by F. J. Brewer, Sydney Morning Herald, 1 Feb, 1936, entitled Botany Bay: opposed by Lord George Gordon; later noted in Ferguson's Bibliography, p. 5.

[33] References to Gordon's "petition" are contained in Ferguson's Bibliography and also Gordon's English DNB entry, but neither source gives the precise date in 1786 when Gordon wrote and distributed his "petition".

[34] Alan Frost, `The Colonisation of New South Wales', pp. 85-93, in European Voyaging Towards Australia, Edited by John Hardy and Alan Frost, Occasional Paper No. 9. Canberra, Australian Academy of the Humanities, 1990. Frost cites, Sydney/Nepean to the East India Company court of directors, 15 September, 1786. IOR E/1/79, item 187.

[35] Carter, Banks, p. 218.

[36] Michael Talbot, (fiction), To the Ends of the Earth. Glasgow, Fontana-Collins, 1988.

[37] Article, The Weekend Australian, 21-22 February, 1987.

[38] House of Commons Journal, Vol. 43... in July 1788, pp. 333-337, for January 1787, Turnbull, Macaulay and Gregory, total, 74,810.

[39] An overview is given in Flynn, The Second Fleet.

[40] 23 January, 1787, Parliamentary History, Vol 26, p. 211.

[41] J. J. Angerstein, one of the noted leaders of Lloyd's of London. His biography has been researched by Anthony Twist, of Cambridge, England. Mr. Twist conveys details such as that once, Angerstein bought a ship, Blagrow, from Duncan Campbell. Cyril Fry, 'The Angersteins of Woodlands', Transactions of the Greenwich and Lewisham Antiquarian Society, Vol. 7, No. 1, 1961-63. London, The Society, 1964., pp. 86-105. A letter-writer claims that in the huge greenhouse of Angerstein at Blackheath is "a magnificent pine from Tasmania". (Probably, a Huon or Norfolk pine.) The Sydney Gazette, 29 July, 1824.

[42] And in fact, it is difficult to say from research on underwriters at Lloyd's which underwriters actually can be identified as developing a "taste" for taking risks on ships sailing into the Pacific.

[43] On the genealogies of Macaulay and Gregory here: Burke's Landed Gentry for Gregory, and for Baynes. Burke's Peerage and Baronetage for Baynes. Some information on the family of alderman George Macaulay can be found in his surviving journal. Some members of his extended family can be found in the IGI (computerized version).

[44] Of the Gregory family, William Gregory (died 1651) was mayor of Nottingham. Philip Gregory was of the Isle of Wight, where alderman Macaulay grew up.

[45] He was probably the Capt. Urry who subscribed to the publication of the book, Transactions, produced by an early governor of New South Wales, John Hunter. Urry married a sister or other relative of alderman George Macaulay. Jonathan King and John King, Philip Gidley King: A Biography of the Third Governor of New South Wales. North Melbourne, Australia, Methuen Australia Ltd., 1981., Chapter 1, Note 14.

[46] 1786 July - fo. 104 From MS 5349/4 Bowyers Company Minute Book, 1775-1806, At a Court of Assistants, .... held at the King's Head Tavern in Poultry, Thursday 20 July, 1786, Upper Wardens were Mr. Alderman Macauley and Mr. Matthew Wilson. (Macauley elected, not successful for Master), fo 123 ... At a Bowyers court, 17 July, 1788, Master Mr. Alderman Macauley, Mr. Matthew Wilson; Macauley elected for two years, fo. 128; At a court, ordered that Maitland's History of London belonging to this Company be sent to the present Master, Mr. Alderman Macauley, fo 142 at a court; 16 September, 1790, two to attend Mr. Alderman Macauley one of the sheriffs, elect.

[47] It is known that after May, 1787, Gov. Phillip once hoped that the ship going for breadfruit would bring some articles to Botany Bay. When he had suggested that, Phillip did not of course know that HMAV Bounty was to be specially fitted out.

[48] Here I have also consulted for the period from 14 May, 1785, to 21 December, 1792, Microfilm of Minute Books of West India Committee. Reel 3, indexed. (M915, 17 reels). Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London.

[49] Carter, Banks, pp. 218ff.

[50] Mackaness, Life of Bligh; Also, Glynn Christian, Fragile Paradise, earlier cited.

[51] C. Knight, 'HM Armed Vessel "Bounty"', The Mariner's Mirror, Vol. 22, No. 2, April 1936., pp. 183-199.D. Bonner-Smith was the only writer of the 1930s to note Campbell's convict connections and his links with Bligh, in the same context, apart from reference to Campbell as "west India Merchant and rich shipowner". No one paid any attention. D. Bonner Smith, `Some Remarks about the Mutiny of the Bounty', The Mariner's Mirror, Vol. 22, No. 2, April 1936., pp. 200-237.

[52] Kennedy, Bligh, p. 15 mentions Hinton East, receiver-general for Jamaica, meeting Banks and discussing breadfruit in 1786 in London at 32 Soho Square. On 21 October, 1786, John Melville a surgeon of Arundel Street reluctantly informed Banks that even though he had the recommendation of Lord Mulgrave, he could not go on a voyage to the South Seas. Presumably he referred to a breadfruit (botanical) voyage: Dawson, Banks Letters, p. 604. Lord Mulgrave 1786, or, Baron3 Mulgrave (1755-1831), (GEC, Peerage, Mulgrave, p. 395). He had a maternal family link to the Earls/Barons of Bristol (Lords Hervey). The Phipps family produced George Augustus Constantine Phipps (1819-1890) a Governor of New Zealand, of Queensland and Victoria, third Viscount Normanby, son of Constantine Phipps, first Marquis Normanby, and Maria Liddell, daughter of Thomas Liddell, first Baron Ravensworth. George Augustus married Laura Russell. (His ADB entry. He had an uncle Charles who was private secretary to Prince Albert. ) Davis McCaughey, Naomi Perkins and Angus Trumble, Victoria's Colonial Governors, 1839-1900. Melbourne University Press, 1993., pp. 203-209. GEC, Creations after 1913, p. 175. GEC, Peerage, Mulgrave, , p. 395; Normanby, p. 640.

[53] The Society for the Encouragement of Arts, was not given the prefix "royal" until 1908: D. G. C. Allen, `The Society of Arts and Government', p. 435. This Society was and still is based at 8 John Adam Street, the Adelphi, by the Strand. of [The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, the Premium Society, or, the RSA]. This address is a 45-second walk from Campbell's chambers at 3 Robert Street, the Adelphi.

[54] Lists of interested West India merchants are contained in the early sections of Hall, A Brief History of the West India Committee; Christian, Fragile Paradise, pp. 53ff.

[55] Rep 191, pp. 42-54.

[56] CCLA Index p. 188, nd. Newgate, Petition of Keeper of Prisons for an allowance in lieu of Taps taken away by an Act of Parliament passed in 1784 - referred to Committee of the Whole Court (Rep 191, fo 42). Report thereon and proceedings to be laid before CoCo [Common Council]. A Return of Prisoners in several City Prisons (fo 203) was made by the late Sheriffs to the Court (fo 115). It was "Recommended to future Sheriffs to make a like return" (fo 116).

[57] CCLA Index, p. 188, nd, fo 116.

[58] From J. B. Nichols, A Brief Account of the Guildhall of The City of London. Printed by John Nichols and Son. Red Lion Passage, Fleet Street. 1819.

[59] Rep 190, pp. 110-111.

[60] Mackay, Exile, p. 9, p. 35.

[61] [Sir] Watkin Lewes was a Mason, as were many Lords Mayor of London later in the 1900s. See Valerie Hope, My Lord Mayor, p. 130. Lewes later fell into financial ruin and spent time in Fleet prison. C. Belton, Grand Master's Lodge No. 1: Record of Members 1759 to 1895. London, 1895., naming Lewes. Belton conveys some history of Freemasonry in Canada, South Africa, and America, but not Australia. See 22 December, 1787 - pp. 45ff, Record of members Grand Lodge, inc. joining in 1787, John Bunn, John Barnes, William Dunbar. in 1788, Ald. Sir Watkin Lewis, MP, City of London. On senior English Masonry, also, J. Lane, Handy Book to the Study of the Lists of Lodges 1723-1814. pp196. London, 1889; W. J. Hughan, History of Lodge England. London, 1892.

[62] Fix Which is the official date, although Governor Phillip made no ceremony about his commission until 7 February, 1788.

[63] On newspaper reportage, see Ged Martin, `A London Newspaper on the Founding of Botany Bay, August, 1786- May 1787', Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, June 1975, Vol. 61, Part 2. Also, Francis Williams, Dangerous Estate: The Anatomy of Newspapers. London, Arrow, 1959.

[64] Later, Sir Samuel Bentham was a correspondent of John Hunter RN (the later governor of NSW).

[65] Janet Semple, Bentham's Prison: A Study of the Panopticon Penitentiary. Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1993.

[66] A. Roger Ekirch, `Secret Convict Trade', pp. 1290, Note 19.

[67] I am grateful to Mollie Gillen, who sent a copy of George Moore's memorial, HO 42/9 fo. 565, annotated, "in July 13, 1786": HO 42/9, dated Westminster 14 August, 1786. 13 July, 1786: copy courtesy PRO, London. John Cobley, Crimes of the First Fleet Convicts. Also, Shaw, Convicts and the Colonies, p. 45.

[68] PRO Ref 4042/9, Westminster, 14th August, 1786.

[69] Steven, Trade, Tactics and Territory, pp. 109ff. Oldham, Britain's Convicts, pp. 107ff.

[70] J. M. Bennett and Alex C. Castles, (Eds.), A Source Book of Australian Legal History. Sydney, Law Book Co., 1979. Chapter V, `The Foundation Law'; Alan Frost, 'New South Wales as terra nullius: The British denial of Aboriginal land rights', Historical Studies, Vol. 19, No. 77, October 1981., pp. 513-523.

[71] Heads of a Plan is reprinted in Martin, Founding, p. 171.

[72] Martin, Founding, `Economic Motives Behind the Founding of Botany Bay', (Australian Economic History Review. XVI, No. 2, 1976)., p. 135ff of Founding, discusses the turning points of the "trade position" within the Botany Bay debate.

[73] Mackay, Exile, pp. 82-89.

[74] Ged Martin, `A London Newspaper', in Martin, Founding, earlier cited.

[75] Mackay, Exile, p. 66, and Ch. 6, variously.

[76] Eric Williams, From Columbus to Castro, p. 259.

[77] John McDonald and Ralph Shlomowitz, `The Cost of Shipping Convicts to Australia', International Journal of Maritime History, II, No. 2, December 1990., pp. 1-32, here, pp. 5-7.

[78] Oldham, Britain's Convicts, pp. 125ff; Jonathan King and King on Philip Gidley King, op cit.

[79] Steven, Trade, Tactics and Territory, p. 79.

[80] Dawson, The Banks Letters.

[81] Timothy and William and Clarke, Curtis, biscuit makers, 236 Wapping 1800 Holden's Directory referring to 1799 addresses; Alderman William Curtis and MP, merchant, Old South Sea House, 1800 Holden's Directory referring to 1799 addresses.

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