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Australian History Briefs # 3

Grandpa Pencil takes a brief look at some
early Governors of New South Wales.


Arthur Phillip

Having determined that Port Jackson would be better able to support the nearly 1500 people in his care than the original destination of Botany Bay, Governor Phillip established the new colony on the western side of what is now Circular Quay in Sydney.
The rest, as they say, is history.


John Hunter

John Hunter was the second Governor of New South Wales and first visited Australia with the first fleet in 1788.
He took up his post as Governor in 1795 and was recalled in 1800 because he was unable to manage the army officers who had taken over control of lands, stores, labour and trade.


Phillip King

Phillip Gidley King arrived in Sydney on the 15 th. April, 1800 to take his post but Governor Hunter was not ready to hand over the reins.
At forty two years old this navy man had already had twelve years experience running the penal settlement of Norfolk Island and was well capable of taking firm action where necessary.
King's main task through his four years of Governorship was to attempt to clean up the corruption that permeated every class of people in the colony.


William Bligh

In 1806 Captain William Bligh replaced King.
The Captain had gained notoriety earlier when the crew of his ship, the Bounty, had mutinied in the Pacific.
Bligh threatened the Corps with the loss of their monopoly.
His actions were met by the so called Rum Rebellion and on 26 th. January, 1808 officers of the Corps arrested him.


John Macarthur

The Rum Rebellion

John Macarthur, the main agitator, according to Bligh, considered that the capricious administration of Governor Bligh had resulted in 'Every man's property, liberty and life being endangered'.
Macarthur thought Bligh a tyrant and requested that Major Johnson, of the Corps, place him under arrest and assume the command of the colony himself.


Lachlan Macquarie

Bligh's replacement, Lachlan Macquarie, served as Governor from 1809 to 1821.
Considered the most talented Governor since Phillip, he also became the most powerful.
The New South Wales Corps was sent home and because the economy had improved, the government gained stability.
Macquarie began an extensive, and excessive, public works programme employing an ex-convict, Francis Greenway, to design buildings in Sydney.


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