Sunday, 29 June 2014

The Rum Rebellion: Restoring legitimacy

Following Bligh’s overthrow Johnston had notified his superior officer, Colonel William Paterson[1], who was in Tasmania establishing a settlement at Port Dalrymple (now Launceston) of events. Paterson was reluctant to get involved until clear orders arrived from England.[2] When he learned that Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Foveaux[3] was returning to Sydney with orders to become acting Lieutenant-Governor, Paterson left Foveaux to deal with the prevailing situation. He arrived on 28 July and immediately took over the colony but he left Bligh under house arrest. He felt that Bligh’s behaviour had been insufferable but, personal feelings apart, restoring the deposed governor scarcely practicable since the NSW Corps would certainly have opposed such a move.[4] He at once took secure hold of the reins of government, dispensing with the services of John Macarthur who as ‘Secretary’ had been the power behind Johnston. The broad outlines of his policy were influenced by the same desire for cheap and efficient government that had guided his work on Norfolk Island and he sought to make his administration acceptable to London by pursuing objectives it had long favoured. He attacked the liquor trade and tried to reduce expenditure, reform the administration of the commissariat and improve public works turning his attention to improving the colony’s roads, bridges and public buildings. Efforts were made to encourage the raising of beef and mutton, while he tried to persuade smallholders to breed additional swine, thereby providing an outlet for their surplus maize. His land policy was moderate and he made few grants, though he did alienate some town land that was properly available only for lease.

Annandale House, on the estate of Lt. Col. George Johnston

Little exception can be taken to these aspects of Foveaux’s rule. However, his treatment of the pro-Bligh faction was severe and sometimes unfair. The troublesome Bligh refused to depart and was bitterly criticised in Foveaux’s dispatches.[5] George Suttor[6] and a group of his associates were imprisoned for challenging his authority by refusing to attend a muster. He disallowed Robert Campbell’s contract with David Collins to import cattle to the Derwent, criticised Campbell’s assistance to Bligh and accused Campbell and John Palmer of benefiting greatly from the liquor trade.[7] It has been argued that advice from officers who were jealous of Campbell’s trading position underlay these moves and that Foveaux, acting as their tool, sought to destroy the merchant. If true, it was a serious flaw in what was quite an enterprising administration.

When there was still no word from England, he summoned Paterson to Sydney on 9 January 1809 to sort out matters.[8] Paterson sent Johnston and Macarthur to England for trial[9] and confined Bligh to the barracks until he signed a contract agreeing to return to England.[10] His opinion of Bligh was not high and he certainly regarded Bligh as culpable in causing the rebellion

He bore the most rancorous ill-will to every Officer and Inhabitant who he conceived could possibly in the remotest manner interfere with a matured plan of exercising the high command with which he was honoured in the purposes of gratifying his insatiably tyrannic Disposition and advancing his pecuniary interest.[11]

Paterson, whose health was failing, then retired to Government House at Parramatta and left Foveaux to run the colony. In January 1809, Bligh was given the control of HMS Porpoise on condition that he returned to England.[12] However, Bligh sailed to Hobart in late March seeking the support of the Tasmanian Lieutenant-Governor David Collins to retake control of the colony.[13] Collins did not support him[14] and on Paterson’s orders Bligh remained cut off on board the Porpoise moored in Hobart until January 1810. [15]

It was two years before the rebellion was finally quenched. The threat of Napoleon was a more important threat as his armies trampled across Italy and Spain and Britain also became involved in an unhelpful conflict with the United States that eventually led to war in 1812. After considerable delay, the Colonial Office decided that sending naval governors to rule the colony was untenable. Instead the NSW Corps, now known as the 102nd Regiment of Foot, was to be recalled to England and replaced with the 73rd Regiment of Foot, whose commanding officer would take over as Governor.[16] Bligh was to be reinstated for 24 hours and then recalled to England. Johnston was to be sent to England for court martial and Macarthur tried in Sydney though both were already on their way to London. Major-General Lachlan Macquarie was put in charge of the mission after Major-General Miles Nightingall fell ill before departure.[17] Macquarie took over as Governor with an elaborate ceremony on 1 January 1810.[18]

Portrait of Lachlan Macquarie attributed to John Opie

Governor Macquarie reinstated all the officials who had been sacked by Johnston and Macarthur and cancelled all land and stock grants that had been made since Bligh’s deposition, though to calm things down he made grants that he thought appropriate and prevented any revenge.[19] When Bligh received the news of Macquarie’s arrival, he sailed from Hobart to Sydney, arriving on 17 January 1810 to collect evidence for the forthcoming court martial of Major George Johnston.[20] He departed for the trial in England on 12 May aboard the Hindostan, with recalled NSW Corps soldiers and witnesses including Atkins and Paterson, who died en route, for the trial against Johnston arriving on 25 October 1810. Mary Putland, recently remarried to Lieutenant-Colonel Maurice O’Connell remained in Sydney. Macquarie investigated the mutiny and reported finding no evidence that the insurrection resulted from any direct fault on Bligh’s part. Nor did he attribute the blame to any incident in the prolonged power struggle between the naval ‘Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief’ and the military force under his orders. In May 1810, Macquarie wrote to the Secretary of State in London that it was

...extremely difficult to form a just Judgement on this delicate and mysterious subject... in justice to Governor Bligh...I have not been able to discover any Act of his which could in any degree form an excuse for, or in any way warrant, the violence and Mutinous Proceeding pursued against him.[21]

Given that he did not respect Blight and regarded him as a ‘most unsatisfactory Man to transact business with’, Macquarie’s statement appears unbiased.[22] However, he refrained from commenting possibly deliberately as he had served with George Johnston in North America in 1777, on who, or what set of circumstances was responsible for the mutiny.

The ambiguity in this investigation was perpetuated in the subsequent court martial in England. On 3 April 1811, the newly appointed Prince Regent ordered the court martial of Johnston and on 7 May 1811, fifteen high-ranking officers and Judge Advocate General convened a court martial. The trial lasted 13 days, with 22 witnesses plus Bligh for Crown and 18 witnesses for Johnston. Having informally heard arguments from both sides, the government authorities in England were not impressed by either Macarthur’s or Johnston’s accusations against Bligh or by Bligh’s ill-tempered letters accusing key figures in the colony of unacceptable conduct. Against the patent fact of mutiny was set nothing more substantial than the governor’s temper, and unproven and irrelevant allegations of cowardice at the time of the arrest. On 6 June, Johnston was found guilty and cashiered from the military ‘for suffering to be led by Macarthur’, the lowest penalty possible.[23] His barrister, John Adolphus who held the view that Johnston was a misled man, wrote after the trial

I always considered and indeed understood that the parties who led you into your present most unpleasant and unfortunate situation, would, at least, have taken off your shoulders the expense of the present prosecution, but as you refer in your letter to the smallness of your means, I beg you will consider me as entirely satisfied.[24]

A similar note was struck by Johnston himself when he wrote in June 1820

Every person that promised [at the time of the deposition of Bligh to support me with their lives and fortunes] has risen upon my ruin. I alone am the sufferer, having lost my commission, and upwards of 6000 pounds for conceding to their requests. [25]

He was then able to return as a free citizen to Annandale his estate in Sydney.

Legal opinion was that none of the civilians involved could be tried for treason in England. Macquarie received instructions from Lord Castlereagh that ‘as Gov'r Bligh has represented that Mr McArthur has been the leading Promoter and Instigator of the mutinous Measures...you will, if Examinations be sworn against him...have him arrested thereupon and brought to Trial before the Criminal Court of the Settlement’. Macarthur’s obvious course was to remain in England and exert every influence to have this obstacle removed. Because of the uncertainty of his position he toyed with the idea of taking ‘a small Farm of about a Hundred a Year’ to help to balance his living expenses. At the same time he tried to resolve the problem of returning to NSW at personal risk and the alternative of withdrawing his family from ‘plenty and affluence’ in the colony to a life of ‘pinching penury’ in England. He became increasingly convinced that unless their colonial property would yield the £1,600 a year necessary to support the family and educate and establish his sons, he would have to return. Initially, none of Macarthur’s efforts in England clarified his position and it was not until early in 1817 that he received permission to return to NSW on condition that he should not become involved in public affairs. Exile itself was some sort of punishment.

Bligh’s promotion to Rear Admiral was delayed until the end of Johnston’s trial. Afterward it was backdated to 31 July 1810 and Bligh took up a position that had been kept for him. He continued his naval career in the admiralty in unspectacular fashion and died in 1817. Macquarie had been impressed with Foveaux’s administration. He put Foveaux’s name forward to succeed Collins as Lieutenant-Governor of VDL because he could think of no one more fitting and considered that he could not have acted otherwise with regard to Bligh.[26] However, when Foveaux returned to England in 1810, he narrowly escaped court-martial for assenting to Bligh being deposed and imprisoned and Macquarie’s recommendation was ignored.[27] Foveaux was taken back into active service and given command of a light regiment in 1811 and pursued an uneventful military career after that, rising to the rank of Lieutenant-General.[28]


[1] Macmillan, David S., ‘Paterson, William (1755-1810)’, ADB, Vol. 2, pp. 317-319. Johnston’s letter is lost but Paterson’s reply on 12 March 1808 is printed in HRNSW, Vol. 6, pp. 536-538.

[2] Paterson to Castlereagh, 12 March 1808, HRNSW, Vol. 6, pp. 538-539. Bligh to Paterson, 8 August 1808, HRA, Series I, Vol. 6, pp. 601-601 was the first direct contact between Bligh and Paterson since the coup in which Bligh asked Paterson ‘to use your utmost endeavours to suppress this Mutiny of the Corps under your command, that I may proceed in the Government of the Colony according to the powers delegated to me by our Gracious Sovereign.’

[3] Ibid, Whitaker, Anne-Maree, Joseph Foveaux: Power and Patronage in Early New South Wales, pp. 103-116 deals with his months in charge. See also, Fletcher, B.H., ‘Foveaux, Joseph (1767-1846)’, ADB, Vol. 1, pp. 407-409.

[4] Bligh appealed to Foveaux to be reinstated: Bligh to Foveaux, 29 July 1808, HRNSW, Vol. 6, p. 713 but Foveaux refused to interfere. His justification can be found in Foveaux to Castlereagh, 4 September 1808, HRNSW, Vol. 6, pp. 728-735 and HRA, Series I, Vol. 6, pp. 623-631.

[5] This was particularly evident in a private letter from Foveaux to Under-Secretary Chapman (?), 10 September 1808, HRNSW, Vol. 6, pp. 749-754 and in Foveaux to Under-Secretary Cooke, 21 October 1808, pp. 783-784 where he suggested that Bligh was conspiring with settlers to support his restoration.

[6] Parsons, Vivienne, ‘Suttor, George (1774-1859)’, ADB, Vol. 2, pp. 498-500. Suttor was a firm supporter of Bligh and a leader among the settlers. In May 1808, he was instrumental in drawing up an address of welcome to Paterson, anticipating his arrival in Sydney and asking him to take action against the rebels; but as Paterson did not come it was not presented. In November, Suttor drew up another petition to be sent to the Colonial Office and with Martin Mason was chosen for a mission to London to explain the abuses in the colony and ask for the reinstatement of Bligh: Settlers’ Petition to Castlereagh, 4 November 1808, HRNSW, Vol. 6, pp. 802-804. In the meantime, however, Suttor was imprisoned for six months for failing to attend Foveaux’s general muster and for impugning his authority. In 1810, Bligh took Suttor with him in the Hindostan as a witness against the rebel leader, Colonel George Johnston.

[7] Steven, Margaret, ‘Campbell, Robert (1769-1846)’, ADB, Vol. 1, pp. 202-206. During the events that culminated in the deposition of Bligh, Campbell publicly and privately supported the governor’s attempts at reform, convinced that it was his liberalising economic measures that had goaded his opponents into open rebellion. In Campbell’s opinion Bligh ‘wished to administer justice to all ranks of people’. This exposed him to the hostility of the rebels and this had such adverse effects on his business interests that he claimed he was never fully able to repair the damage. When Bligh was deposed, Campbell was put under military arrest and subsequently was dismissed as treasurer, Naval Officer and collector of taxes. On the grounds that he was suspected of trying to establish a trading monopoly in collusion with Bligh, the rebel faction supervised the activities of Campbell & Co., supporting without investigation any damaging allegations concerning irregularities in their trade. In June 1809, Campbell was tried for disobedience in refusing to officiate as coroner. He argued that as he had been charged officially with certain offences he deemed himself incompetent to hold any civil position until such charges had been disproved; but the court, whose authority Campbell refused to acknowledge, found him guilty and fined him £50. Although his business partner and his brother-in-law, Commissary John Palmer, were both gaoled by the rebels, Campbell openly remained a supporter of their victims and a focus for Bligh’s allies. In January 1810, he was one of the first of those reinstated in their former offices by Macquarie. On 12 May Campbell, with his family, sailed unwillingly for England in the Hindostan to appear as a witness for Bligh at Lieutenant-Colonel George Johnston’s trial.

[8] In poor health and drinking heavily, Paterson was a weak ruler. He spent most of the year at Parramatta as an invalid and the clique that had overthrown Bligh had the real control of affairs. Macquarie reported later, Paterson was ‘such an easy, good-natured, thoughtless man, that he latterly granted Lands to almost every person who asked them, without regard to their Merits or pretensions’. Foveaux to Castlereagh, 20 February 1809, HRA, Series I, Vol. 7, p. 3.

[9] On 29 March 1809, Macarthur, Johnston and others sailed for England to participate in Johnston’s court-martial for mutiny arriving on 9 October.

[10] Like Foveaux, Paterson refused to intervene in the Bligh affair, Paterson to Bligh, 21 January 1809, HRNSW, Vol. 7, pp. 8-9.

[11] Paterson to Castlereagh, 12 March 1809, HRA, Series I, Vol. 7, p. 18.

[12] Agreement between Bligh and Paterson, 4 February 1809, HRNSW, Vol. 7, pp. 17-18, HRA, Series I, Vol. 7, pp. 45-46.

[13] Bligh’s Proclamation of his authority at the Derwent, 29 April 1809, HRNSW, Vol. 7, pp. 108-110, HRA, Series I, Vol. 7, pp. 96-99.

[14] Collins to Bligh, 4 May 1809, HRNSW, Vol. 7, p. 125 with Bligh’s response, 7 May 1809, HRNSW, Vol. 7, pp. 125-126.

[15] See Paterson’s Proclamation against Bligh, 19 March 1809, HRNSW, Vol. 7, p. 81.

[16] Duke of York to Castlereagh, 30 October 1808, HRNSW, Vol. 6, pp. 782-783.

[17] Nightingall to Castlereagh, 6 December 1808, HRNSW, Vol. 6, pp. 810-811; he accepted the commission. Nightingall to Castlereagh (?), 20 March 1809, HRNSW, Vol. 7, p. 64 on the onset of the illness that prevented him from taking up his commission.

[18] Macquarie’s Commission, 8 May 1809, HRNSW, Vol. 7, pp. 126-133 and his Instructions, 9, 14 May 1809, HRNSW, Vol. 7, pp. 122-140, 143-147.

[19] Proclamation, 4 January 1810, HRNSW, Vol. 7, pp. 255-257.

[20] Bligh to Castlereagh, 9 March 1810, HRNSW, Vol. 7, pp. 309-312.

[21] Macquarie to Castlereagh, 10 May 1810, HRNSW, Vol. 7, p. 378.

[22] HRA, Series I, Vol. 7, p. 331.

[23] Ibid, Ritchie, John, A Charge of Mutiny: The Court Martial of Lieutenant Colonel George Johnston for Deposing Governor William Bligh in the Rebellion of 26 January 1808 is the most detailed account. On 12 November 1811, Bligh published his account of the court martial.

[24] Cit, Yarwood, A.T., ‘Johnston, George (1764-1823)’, ADB, Vol. 2, p. 21.

[25] Cit, Yarwood, A.T., ‘Johnston, George (1764-1823)’, ADB, Vol. 2, p. 22.

[26] Foveaux to Earl Liverpool, 6 July 1811, HRNSW, Vol. 7, pp. 553-554 wishes to succeed Collins in VDL but in Liverpool’s response, 11 July 1811, HRNSW, Vol. 7, p. 555 his application was refused. On 18 July, Foveaux then asked Liverpool that arrears in pay owing him should be paid, HRNSW, Vol. 7, pp. 556-557.

[27] Martin Mason to Earl Liverpool, 26 January 1811, HRNSW, Vol. 7, pp. 490-491 recounted charges against Foveaux,

[28] Ibid, Whitaker, Anne-Maree, Joseph Foveaux: Power and Patronage in Early New South Wales, pp. 162-194 considers his career after 1812.

Monday, 23 June 2014

A pointless activity…and I’m not just talking about England’s performance in the World Cup!

I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m heartily sick of sports coverage on the television…it simply seems to drown out virtually everything else. The last straw was the coverage of Wimbledon today.  From 1.45 through to 6.00 tennis it is on both BBC1 and BBC2.  Now I may be stupid but even I know that you can’t watch both channels at the same time.  I’m sure that the BBC would say well it gives you the choice of which match to watch and of course they’re right but isn’t that what the red button is about…something used to considerable effect during the Olympics in 2012.  Am I being unreasonable?  Well to sports nuts I suppose I am but if, like me, you really don’t give a damn if Murray wins a second title or whether England will fail to progress further than the first round of the World Cup (yes I know they haven’t) it begs the question what am I actually paying my licence fee for?  At least when I subscribe to Sky I have a choice of whether I pay for the Sports Channels or not…and of course I don’t.
England players in training
The problem appears to be that if you don’t like sport you are, in some way or other, an incomplete person.  That was the tenor of the response from the BBC when I complained about the tennis coverage last year.  It really is about time that those of us for whom sport is a worthless experience stood up and said so.  My visceral distaste for any sport goes back to my experience in school where everyone was expected to be good at it…healthy body, healthy mind…tell that to Stephen Hawkins.  My sports lessons were a combination of collective humiliation and patronising involvement.  I remember on one occasion playing football and received the usual token one pass during nearly an hour’s play and being in the last group of students to complete the weekly cross country run in the Spring term and being yelled at by the PE teacher for not trying.  I couldn’t see the point of it then and I still don’t…for me cross country is , to parody Wilde, a good walk ruined. 
Now I’m not knocking exercise and keeping fit, if only as a means of staving off ill-health though I do object to be lectured by the fascistic sports enthusiasts and health experts about what is best for me.  Surely I’m old enough to make decisions for myself.  I’m fed up with seeing sportsmen baring all when they lose (which they will inevitably will) as if they’ve let the country down…they simply didn’t win, get used to it. 

The Rum Rebellion: Purging Bligh

Those who had taken power were not confined by the effective operation of the rule of law, save insofar as ultimate retribution from London was anticipated.[1] Until a superior officer to Johnston arrived six months after the coup, John Macarthur was effectively in control.  During that period the rudimentary legal system was abused, where not suspended and the courts used as a tool of political revenge.[2] Magistrates loyal to Bligh were dismissed.[3]  Other loyalists were subject to a parody of justice.  Gore and George Crossley[4], the dubious ex-lawyer who had some role in advising Bligh on the rebellion were convicted on bogus charges and transported to the coal mines at Newcastle for seven years.  In March 1809, John Palmer[5], Bligh’s Commissary was charged with sedition for distributing Bligh’s Proclamation that the Corps was it a state of mutiny, denied the competency of the court and refused to plead but was unlawfully gaoled for three months and fined £50.[6] The civil court processes were also abused.[7] However, with the exception of these politically motivated cases, the legal system continued to operate more or less as before. Commerce was adversely affected as it was uncertain whether the negotiable bills payable in sterling that had traditionally been used for transactions with the government, would be honoured in London.[8] No one who lived through these months was in little doubt that the rule of law was severely compromised. 

Atkins was replaced[9] and Johnston initially appointed Charles Grimes[10], the Surveyor-General, as Judge-Advocate and ordered that Macarthur and the six officers be tried; on 2 February, they were found not guilty.[11] By contrast, Bligh supporters were sentenced harshly with Provost-Marshall Gore sentenced to seven years for causing the arrest of Macarthur.[12] On 3 April, Grimes resigned after George Johnston, who was acting as governor, had criticised some extraordinary proceedings in the court over which he presided. Though these were partly due to his ignorance of the law or, as Johnston said, ‘errors of judgment more than of design’, Grimes was regarded as one of the opponents of his administration. Macarthur was then appointed as the so-called ‘Secretary’ and effectively ran the business affairs of the colony.[13] Another prominent opponent of Bligh, Macarthur’s ally Thomas Jamison, was made the colony’s Naval Officer (the equivalent of Collector of Customs and Excise). Jamison was also reinstated as a magistrate, which enabled he and his fellow legal officers to scrutinise Bligh’s personal papers for evidence of wrong-doing by the deposed governor. In June 1809, Jamison sailed to London to bolster his business interests and give evidence against Bligh in any legal prosecutions that might be brought against the mutineers. Jamison died in London at the beginning of 1811 and did not have an opportunity to testify at Johnston’s court martial later in the year. However, the unity of the rebels quickly dissipated. [14] Johnston and Macarthur fell out with Blaxland[15] and Macarthur even managed to alienate the NSW Corps previously his staunchest supporters.[16]


[1] Johnston did not inform Castlereagh of Bligh’s arrest until 11 April 1808, HRNSW, Vol. 6, pp. 575-589. For correspondence between Bligh and the rebels see, Johnston to Castlereagh, 11 April 1808, HRA, Series I, Vol. 6, pp. 242-271 and Johnston’s General Orders, HRA, Series I, Vol. 6, pp. 271-276.

[2] HRNSW, Vol. 6, pp. 435-453, Johnston to Castlereagh, 11 April 1808, HRA, Series I, Vol. 6, pp. 276-291 print the Colonial Secretary’s Papers of the examination of officers after Bligh’s arrest.

[3] Government and General Order, 27 January 1808, HRNSW, Vol. 6, p. 453.

[4] Allars, K.G., ‘Crossley, George (1749-1823)’, ADB, Vol. 1, pp. 262-263.

[5] Steven, Margaret, ‘Palmer, John (1760-1833)’, ADB, Vol. 2, pp. 309-311. See also, Palmer to Bligh, 2 March 1808, HRNSW, Vol. 6, pp. 530-531 in which he reaffirmed his support for Bligh.

[6] Palmer was reinstated by Governor Lachlan Macquarie but failed to receive any official compensation for deprivations suffered in the rebellion. Though the secretary of state instructed Macquarie to examine the commissariat accounts and see that the office was placed on a proper footing, he observed that as the complaints against Palmer ‘have been chiefly brought forward since the arrest of Governor Bligh, it is probable they are exaggerated’. Palmer’s examiners at the Comptroller’s Office in London held that the charges ‘seemed to have arisen as much from private pique as from zeal for the public service’ and were too vague to justify a formal inquiry. However, they thought it inexpedient to restore Palmer because of his long tenure in office (since 1791) and recommended the appointment of another commissary. On 25 July 1811, Palmer was demoted to assistant commissary and placed on half-pay and next year the entire commissariat system was reorganised.

[7] Ibid, Kercher, B., Debt, Seduction and Other Disasters:  The Birth of Civil Law in Convict New South Wales, pp. 41-42.

[8] Curry, J.E.B., Reflections on the Colony of New South Wales: George Caley, (Lansdowne), 1966, p. 157.

[9] He was, however, reinstated as Judge-Advocate on 13 December 1808, a decision he accepted despite having played the critical role in the case that precipitated the rebellion. Aitken’s conversion to the rebel cause was motivated largely by financial considerations, the capacity of the Corps to pander to his alcoholic tastes and a free grant of 500 acres in the Minto District.

[10] Dowd, Bernard T., ‘Grimes, Charles (1772-1858)’, ADB, Vol. 1, pp. 487-488 and ‘Charles Grimes: The Second Surveyor-General of New South Wales’, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 22, (4), (1936), pp. 247-288.

[11] HRNSW, Vol. 6, pp. 465-510 and HRA, Series I, Vol. 6, pp. 291-352 detail the trial. Johnston then appointed Anthony Fenn Kemp to the post. Aitkens and especially Kemp and Grimes were incompetent but more importantly made judicial decisions unfavourable to Macarthur. Foveaux had little choice but to reinstate Aitkens: Foveaux to Castlereagh, 20 February 1809, HRA, Series I, Vol. 7, p. 2 ‘I had no choice left but to restore Mr. Atkins, or expose the public to the serious inconveniences which must inevitably have followed from leaving so indispensable a department vacated.’

[12] Gore denied the authority of the rebel court that would not give bail and refused to plead; he was kept in gaol without trial for more than two months, and in a letter to Bligh unfavourably compared his treatment by the NSW rebels with that by the Irish rebels ten years before. On 30 May Gore was again brought before a rebel court and again refused to plead. He was sentenced to transportation for seven years and was sent to Coal River (Newcastle) where he laboured with ordinary convicts. See, HRA, Series I, Vol. 6, pp. 555-563 for a statement of Gore’s refusal to recognise the court, his defence and correspondence with Bligh.

[13] Government and General Order, 12 February 1808, HRNSW, Vol. 6, p. 519.

[14] Macarthur to Captain Piper, 24 May 1808, HRNSW, Vol. 6, pp. 643-644 indicated that unity was short-lived: ‘...some of our old acquaintances have behaved most scurvily...’

[15] Johnston to Castlereagh, 30 April 1808, HRA, Series I, Vol. 6, pp. 453-516 provides details for the reasons behind the rift between the Blaxlands and Johnston and Macarthur.

[16] Johnston to Castlereagh, 30 April 1808, HRA, Series I, Vol. 6, pp. 518-520.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

The Rum Rebellion: Bligh’s overthrown

On the morning of 26 January 1808 Bligh ordered Provost-Marshall William Gore[1] to arrest Macarthur and again called for the return of the court papers that were now in the hands of officers of the Corps. At 10 am, the officers responded with a request for a new Judge-Advocate and the release of Macarthur on bail but they had received no reply by 3.00 pm and adjourned the court. In the afternoon, Bligh sent a note to the officers summoning them to Government House at 9 am the following morning, indicating that Atkins had charged them with certain crimes, but not revealing what these were.[2] An hour later, Bligh informed Johnston of his action and additionally told him that the actions of his officers were considered treasonable.[3] As the officers were to appear before Bligh and all the magistrates, this would be a charge under criminal not military law. The charge, if proven, was a capital offence. [4] To make this threat against officers was an intemperate and extreme move. There could be no greater slur on their honour.

Bligh’s charge of treason may have been the turning point. Johnston appears to have felt his relationship with Bligh had broken down so much that there was no point in talking to him. It was unlikely that Bligh would have executed the officers; but very likely they might be sent to gaol pending further advice. If this had happened, there would have only remained, apart from Johnston himself, two other officers in Sydney. One of these, Cadwallader Draffin, was mentally unstable. [5] Johnston later maintained that if the officers had been gaoled, the soldiers would have rioted and perhaps killed Bligh. He arrested Bligh for his own protection. Johnston was not particularly close to Macarthur and had in fact been one of the magistrates who ordered Macarthur arrested over the incident that led to this court case. He was an experienced officer, had been in the Colony since 1788, and was apparently highly regarded by his men. What Macarthur had started, Johnston would finish in a way perhaps Macarthur never imagined, though Macarthur certainly supported it.

At 5.00 pm, Johnston went to the barracks and ordered Macarthur’s release assuming, with no legal authority, the title of Lieutenant-Governor.[6] After discussions with his fellow officers and some wealthy civilians now including Macarthur, decided to depose Bligh. Macarthur then drafted a petition calling for Johnston to arrest Bligh as a tyrant and take charge of the colony.[7] This petition was signed by the officers of the Corps and other prominent citizens but, according to Evatt, most signatures had probably been added only after Bligh was safely under house arrest. Johnston then consulted with the officers and issued an order stating that Bligh was ‘charged by the respectable inhabitants of crimes that render you unfit to exercise the supreme authority another moment in this colony; and in that charge all officers under my command have joined.’ Johnston went on to call for Bligh to resign and submit to arrest.[8]

At 6.00 pm the Corps, with full band and colours, marched to Government House to arrest Bligh. They were hindered by Bligh’s recently widowed daughter and her parasol at the gates but Captain Thomas Laycock finally found Bligh after an extensive search, in full dress uniform, behind his bed where he claimed he was hiding papers. Bligh was painted as a coward for this but Duffy argues that if Bligh was hiding it would have been to escape and thwart the coup.[9] Stephen Dando-Collins suggests that Bligh was attempting to travel to Hawkesbury and lead the garrison there against Johnston. [10] On 27 February, with Bligh confined at Government House, Johnston revoked martial law and dismissed officers of Bligh’s government including Atkins and Provost-Marshall Gore. There were all-night celebrations across Sydney that included drinking and dancing around bonfires, burning of effigies, satirical posters, oil-lamp transparencies in windows and ‘Bligh under the bed’ cartoon displayed in soldiers’ homes. During 1808, Bligh was confined to Government House. He refused to leave for England until lawfully relieved of his duty.[11]

Johnston had no prospect of material advancement from dismissing Bligh; in fact, he was putting his future income as an army officer at grave risk. He was in no way Macarthur’s tool. This has been obscured by the enthusiasm of both Macarthur’s supporters and his detractors to place him more fully in the centre of the rebellion than his actions deserve. Johnston was a competent and independent official, whose motive in removing Bligh was to resolve a crisis in the colony’s administration and preserve public order.[12] This was not a rebellion in the sense of people grabbing power and possessions for themselves. A mutiny is much more restricted with the aim of removing a bad leader. There was a strongly held belief in the early nineteenth century that gentlemen had the right to overthrow leaders who abused their power. In this context, George Johnston’s action becomes much more principled and this was acknowledged during his court martial in 1811 when the leniency of his sentence was justified by reference to Bligh’s ‘impropriety and oppression’ when he was governor.

There is some debate over the nature of the ‘rebellion’ and the degree to which it was planned. Some historians argue that had Johnston been sufficiently well to meet Bligh on 25 January 1808 that the rebellion the following day would perhaps not have occurred. Had he already decided that Bligh would have to be removed and used his illness as an excuse to bring matters to a head? The same question could be asked of Macarthur’s actions on his trial. The problem is that, while both Johnston and Macarthur had grave doubts about Bligh’s method of ruling, there is no evidence to suggest that they colluded in precipitating rebellion, something that would anyway have proved difficult as Macarthur was under arrest for much of 25 and 26 January. The meeting with some of the wealthier citizens of Sydney on 26 January has been suggested as indicating the existence of some sort of conspiracy. However, Sydney was still a small community and calling important citizens together for an emergency meeting would not have proved difficult. The meeting’s importance lay in giving a degree of civilian legitimacy to the actions of the military. In fact, the rebellion did not require a great deal of planning and the NSW Corps was willing to support Johnston’s order to arrest Bligh. For the rebellion to succeed all that was necessary was to apprehend Bligh. [13]

In the days following the 1808 insurrection, Daniel McKay, a gaoler dismissed by Bligh as too brutal, then a pub owner, erected a sign outside his public house. It showed on one side a Highland officer thrusting his sword through a snake while a female figure of liberty presents him with a cap; on the other side, written in large type, was the phrase ‘The Ever Memorable 26th January 1808’.[14]


[1] King, Hazel, ‘Gore, William (1765-1845)’, ADB, Vol. 1, pp. 459-460.

[2] HRNSW, Vol. 6, p. 433.

[3] HRNSW, Vol. 6, p. 433, HRA, Series I, Vol. 6, p. 236.

[4] Ibid, McMahon, John, ‘Not a Rum Rebellion but a military insurrection’, p. 135.

[5] Duffy, Michael, Man of honour: John Macarthur, duellist, rebel, founding father, (Macmillan), 2003, p. 295.

[6] HRNSW, Vol. 6, p. 433.

[7] HRNSW, Vol. 6, p. 434, HRA, Series I, Vol. 6, p. 240. Apart from Macarthur and the Blaxland brothers, the petition was signed by James Mileham, James Badgery, Nicholas Bayly and by S. (Simeon) Lord.

[8] Johnston proclaimed martial law, HRNSW, Vol. 6, p. 434, HRA, Series I, Vol. 6, pp. 240-241 and sent Bligh a letter calling on him to resign, HRNSW, Vol. 6, p. 434, HRA, Series I, Vol. 6, p. 241.

[9] Ibid, Duffy, Michael, Man of honour: John Macarthur, duellist, rebel, founding father, pp. 297-298.

[10] Dando-Collins, Stephen, Captain Bligh’s Other Mutiny: the true story of the military coup that turned Australia into a two-year rebel republic, (Random House), 2007.

[11] Alan Atkinson, ‘The British Whigs and the Rum Rebellion’, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 66, (2), (1980), pp. 73-90.

[12] Johnston to Castlereagh, 11 April 1808, HRA, Series I, Vol. 6, pp. 208-221 provides Johnston’s justification for rebellion.

[13] Gore to Castlereagh, 26 April 1808, HRNSW, Vol. 6, pp. 602-606 gives an accout of Bligh’s arrest by a supporter. Bligh to Castlereagh, 30 April 1808, HRNSW, Vol. 6, pp. 607-629 gives his first account of the rebellion.

[14]For Bligh’s account of the rebellion, 30 June 1808, HRNSW, Vol. 6, p. 670. See also, Bligh to Castlereagh, 30 April 1808, HRA, Series I, Vol. 6, pp. 420-440.

Friday, 6 June 2014

The Rum Rebellion: Bligh versus Macarthur

John Macarthur, seen as the creator of the Australian wool industry, although his wife Elizabeth deserves the title more than he, precipitated the crisis.  Macarthur had arrived with the NSW Corps in 1790 as a lieutenant and by 1805 had substantial farming and commercial interests in the colony.[1] He had quarrelled with governors Hunter and King and had fought two duels. Michael Duffy sees his acute sense of the code of honour as the key to his character and actions. He challenged Bligh to what was, in effect, a political duel in defence of both his honour and his money.  Macarthur was as offensive, domineering, short-fused and arrogant as Bligh, but had an unscrupulous shrewdness, indeed subtlety that Bligh both lacked and could not discern in others.  Clearly, from the beginning of Bligh’s rule, Macarthur saw him as a powerful obstacle to the realisation of his ambitions. Bligh and Macarthur’s interests clashed in a number of ways.

John Macarthur

Macarthur’s wealth was regarded by Bligh as the most offensive example of private profit at public expense.  He was determined to confine and reduce it. Bligh refused to make a major land grant that Macarthur thought he had negotiated in London.  His tone was dismissive: ‘Are you to have such flocks of sheep and such herds of cattle as no man ever heard before.  No sir![2]  Macarthur was right to stress the shortage of herdsmen. Convict labour was scarce. No prisoners had arrived in 1805 and only about 550 males in 1806 and 1807, fewer than those freed by effluxion of time; but the shortage never affected the farm which Bligh himself had bought on the Hawkesbury. Bligh stopped Macarthur from cheaply distributing large quantities of wine to the Corps. He also halted Macarthur’s allegedly illegal importation of brewing stills. In March 1807, a still for Macarthur arrived in Sydney, sent unannounced by his London agent. Bligh impounded it as illegal. Macarthur successfully argued to have the copper body, with goods inside, sent to his private store. [3] In October 1807, Naval Officer Robert Campbell sent his nephew to retrieve the still from Macarthur’s store for return to England under Bligh’s order. However, his nephew had no official status and Macarthur successfully sued for wrongful seizure. Macarthur was less successful in a case of debt. Andrew Thompson, a pardoned convict who became Chief Constable under Hunter and a successful farmer, businessman, builder and trustee for Hawkesbury settlers, was manager of Bligh’s farms and received land grants from him. Before the 1806 floods, Macarthur bought a debt owed by Thompson, made out in bushels of wheat. After floods, price of wheat increased tenfold and Macarthur tried to enforce payment in wheat that was now ten times the price when debt was made. The court determined that the debt was for original value, not amount, of wheat. Macarthur appealed but in July 1807 Bligh intervened, dismissing the appeal.

Macarthur’s interest in an area of land granted to him by Governor King conflicted with Bligh’s town-planning interests. In December 1807, Bligh challenged Macarthur’s lease on Church Hill, given by governor King despite Phillip’s order of no private leases in Sydney town and on 20 January 1808 ordered the demolition of the fence on the lease Macarthur had begun six days earlier.[4] Macarthur and Bligh were also engaged in other disagreements, including a conflict over landing regulations. In June 1807, John Hoare a convict had stowed away and escaped in the Pacific Islands on the Parramatta one of Macarthur’s vessels.[5] In December 1807, when that vessel returned to Sydney, the £900 bond to the NSW government for assisting escape was deemed to be forfeited. The ship was consequently impounded. Macarthur now refused to pay or victual the crew, forcing them on 14 December to come ashore illegally breaching the landing regulations. In effect, he abandoned a ship worth £10,000 rather than pay a fine of £900.

Joseph Lycett, Residence of John Macarthur near Parramatta

Bligh had the Judge-Advocate, Richard Atkins, issue an order for John Macarthur to appear on the matter of the bond on the 15 December 1807.[6] Outraged, Macarthur sent an angry reply declaring his contempt for Atkins and the government. The following day, Atkins issued warrant for Macarthur’s arrest. Macarthur demanded to be brought before bench of magistrates. They granted him bail on condition he appeared again the following day where magistrates, including George Johnston, commit Macarthur to criminal trial and he was bailed to appear for trial at the next sitting of the Sydney Criminal Court on 25 January 1808. However, the Court did not define the charges.[7] The court was constituted of Atkins and six officers of the NSW Corps: Anthony Fenn Kemp, John Brabyn, William Moore, Thomas Laycock, William Minchin and William Lawson. Macarthur objected to Atkins sitting in judgement of him because he was his debtor[8] and inveterate enemy and read from a lengthy document declaiming towards the conclusion

You will now decide, gentlemen, whether law and justice shall finally prevail...You have the eyes of an anxious public upon you, trembling for the safety of their property, their liberty, and their lives. To you has fallen the lot of deciding a point which perhaps involves the happiness or misery of millions yet unborn. I conjure you in the name of Almighty God, in whose presence you stand, to consider the inestimable value of the precious deposit with which you are entrusted.[9]

This was grossly exaggerated. He then gave the Corps its rallying call:

It is to the Officers of the New South Wales Corps that the administration of Justice is committed; and who that is just has anything to dread? [10]

Macarthur’s ranting about the defence of liberty and property that were never in danger, gave Johnston excuse to claim that ‘insurrection and massacre’ were imminent because Bligh was planning ‘to subvert the laws of the country’ and ‘to terrify and influence the Courts of Justice’. [11]

Atkins rejected this, but ‘Macarthur’s protest had the support of the other six members of the court, all officers of the Corps. Atkins threatened to gaol Macarthur. Kemp retaliated by threatening to gaol Atkins who left for Government House, declaring that there was no court without him. In 1803, a similar manoeuvre had been tried. Kemp was defendant in a court case and this time Johnston, the acting commanding officer of the Corps, demanded that the Governor, King, replace the Judge-Advocate, John Harris. King buckled and replaced Harris. Bligh, however, stood firm. During the day, messages went backwards and forwards between the court and Government House over the position of Atkins. Around 12.30 pm, Bligh made it clear that he had no power to remove Atkins and without Atkins there was no validly constituted court but the officers refused to serve with Atkins. At 3.30 pm, Macarthur sought military protection due to unspecified threats. At 5.30 pm Bligh wrote to George Johnston, asking him to come to Government House.[12] It is noteworthy that Bligh wrote to Johnston in order to attempt to resolve this impasse rather than immediately resorting to action. Johnston sent a message to say he was too ill, as he had wrecked his gig on the evening of the 24 January on his way back home to Annandale after dining with officers of the Corps. It was increasingly clear that an impasse had been reached.


[1] Craig, R.J. and Jenkins, S.A., ‘The Cox and Greenwood ledger of the New South Wales Corps 1801-1805: the account of Captain John Macarthur’, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 82, (2), (1996), pp. 138-152.

[2] Ibid, Duffy, Michael, Man of Honour: John Macarthur-Duellist, Rebel, Founding Father, p. 255, n 10.

[3] Bligh to Windham, 31 October 1807, HRA, Series I, Vol. 6, pp. 160, 164-178 details the question of Macarthur’s still.

[4] Surveyor-General Grimes to Macarthur, 13 January 1808, HRNSW, Vol. 6, pp. 413-414 ordered Macarthur not to build on the lease on Church Hill with Macarthur’s response reluctantly resigning the land to please Bligh if Bligh allocated him as alternative lease. The matter escalated the following day with correspondence between Grimes and Macarthur in which Grimes made it clear that Macarthur’s proposal was unacceptable and that he was unwilling to receive further correspondence on the issue: HRNSW, Vol. 6, pp. 416-417.

[5] Macarthur’s ship and the Runaway, 27 June 1807, HRNSW, Vol. 6, p. 270.

[6] Bennett, J.M., ‘Atkins, Richard (1745-1820)’, ADB, Vol. 1, pp. 38-40.

[7] See Macarthur to Atkins, 20 January 1808, HRNSW, Vol. 6, p. 418 and subsequent correspondence on the imprecise nature of the charge, HRNSW, Vol. 6, pp. 418-420.

[8] During January 1808, Macarthur had tried to recall debt he held against Atkins but Bligh refused Macarthur’s requests to assist his recovery of debt. See Macarthur to Bligh, 29 December 1807, HRNSW, Vol. 6, pp. 395-396 and Macarthur to Bligh, 1, 12 January 1808, HRNSW, vol 6, pp. 411-412, 413. On Macarthur’s ‘trial’, see the succinct discussion in Woods, Gregory D., A history of criminal law in New South Wales: the colonial period 1788-1900, pp. 33-34.

[9]Johnston to Castlereagh, 11 April 1808, HRA, Series I, Vol. 6, p. 227.

[10] Johnston to Castlereagh, 11 April 1808, HRA, Series I, Vol. 6, p. 227.

[11] For Macarthur’s trial on 25-26 January 1808 see, HRNSW, Vol. 6, pp. 422-433 and Johnston to Castlereagh, 11 April 1808, HRA, Series I, Vol. 6, pp. 221-234.

[12] Secretary Griffin to Johnston, 25 January 1808, HRA, Series I, Vol. 6, p. 234.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

The Rum Rebellion: Bligh and the New South Wales Corps

By 1808, the New South Wakes Corps was a powerful Sydney institution. Its members comprised 10 per cent of the white population of 4,000 that included their families and a large number of former soldiers. The Corps owned a great deal of property and ran many businesses in Sydney, including one-third of the town’s pubs. The numbers of Corps and ex-Corps members, therefore, formed a substantial and influential group, exhibiting what Governor King had called ‘the jealousy but too often attendant on professional esprit de corps’.[1] The rank-and-file members of the Corps were not recruited from the dregs of society as has often been claimed. Over a third were skilled men. [2] Their life in NSW was a vast improvement on what they would have had in Britain and they would fight to retain it. They were used to power and influence. But Bligh did not treat them with respect. In October 1807, Major George Johnston wrote a formal letter of complaint to the Commander-in-Chief of the British Army, stating that Bligh was abusive and interfering with the troops of the NSW Corps. Before the rebellion, this was the only official complaint sent to London. However, the burden of his letter was that Bligh did not treat the Corps with the dignity it deserved. He spoke roughly to it, criticised it and insulted it: ‘his abusing and confining the soldiers without the smallest provocation’, ‘his casting the most undeserved and opprobrious censure on the Corps’.[3]

Watercolour portrait by R. Dighton: Major George Johnston, 1810

Some officers had built up capital during the 1790s and early 1800s when profits were high and through their preferential access to land grants, cheap labour by assignment of convicts and supply of provisions, livestock and equipment delivered for government purposes at the cost of the British taxpayer.  In 1808, many officers retained an interest in trade, which had become more diverse and much more competitive, but their principal economic interests now lay agricultural grants and in urban leaseholds in Sydney, where one sub-divided block changed hands for £900 just before Bligh’s arrival. Although those adversely affected by Bligh’s policies included many with no association with the NSW Corps, no coup could have occurred without the united resolve of the current officers.  Bligh had stirred the acute status anxieties of the officers by challenging their individual and collective reputation.  This was a serious affront under the code of honour that they regarded as the most important social bond of their lives.[4] He also offended members of this caste by his conduct, by his bearing and perhaps most of all, by his language. Bligh proved incapable of treating other gentlemen in the language or with the respect that the code of honour required.  Devoid of tact, quick tempered, infuriated by insubordination or incompetence, incapable of compromise, prone to indulge in mockery and abuse, he failed to respect the boundary between criticism and derision.[5] Manning Clark described him in the following terms

If anyone dared to object or remonstrate with him, he lost his senses and his speech, his features became distorted, he foamed at the mouth, stamped on the ground, shook his fist in the face of the person so presuming, and uttered a torrent of abuse in language disgraceful to him as a governor, an officer and a man.[6]

The officers of the NSW Corps, as well as most free settlers, were attracted to the colony precisely because their family background did not enable them to live as a gentleman should at home.  Commissions in the army were then bought and those who signed up for the NSW Corps could not afford to buy a commission in one of the more fashionable regiments.  The economic and, therefore, the social status of the officers were never secure. Bligh not only attacked their commercial and agricultural interests, he challenged the core of their personal identity.

Whatever his formal powers may have been, Bligh undermined what the local elite regarded as property rights, especially with respect to the urban leases.  This was fundamentally inconsistent with contemporary understanding of the rights of free Englishmen. Bligh, of course, relied on his formal authority and had the personal strength to exercise powers that his two predecessors, Hunter and King, had compromised.  They, Bligh believed, had permitted private men to grow wealthy at the expense of the Crown.  He was determined to reassert the public interest as he saw it and to act strictly in accordance with his instructions.  In most respects, his approach to governing was disciplined and purposeful.  However, even in a small settlement like Sydney, effective government required an understanding of communal expectations and an element of consent.  Bligh proved as oblivious to the fears and aspirations of the Sydney elite as he had earlier been to the delights that the crew of The Bounty had experienced in Tahiti. The scene was set for a conflict of institutional cultures between that of the navy, where authority was typically exercised in the confined autocracy of a ship and that of the army, where the exercise of authority often required interaction with a broader community.

Although Bligh had returned to England a hero in 1790 after the mutiny on the Bounty, he was on his second breadfruit voyage on HMS Providence between 1791 and 1793, when some of the mutineers captured at Tahiti were placed on trial in September 1792 and could not defend himself. As a result of the campaigns launched by Fletcher Christian’s brother and others to justify the actions of the mutineers, the view took hold in certain quarters that it was Bligh’s tyranny that had caused the mutiny. In NSW, those who wished to be rid of him realised that his reputation made him vulnerable. According to Surgeon Edward Luttrell before

Governor Bligh [came] into the colony a clamour [had] been raised against him, and an opposition formed to counteract his government’.[7]

The old rhetoric about tyranny, used against King, could be revived and intensified against Bligh, a known tyrant. The accusations, though, were long on rhetoric but short on actual examples. As early as January 1807, Elizabeth Macarthur had written to her friend at home, Miss Kingdon

The Governor has already shewn the inhabitants of Sydney that he is violent — rash — tyrannical. No very pleasing prospect at the beginning of his reign. [8]

Lieutenant William Minchin commented

...a deluge worse than that of the Hawkesbury has since swept off every path to...industry and happiness...if a Military Officer might be allowed to use the words Tyranny and oppression, I would inform you that until now I never experienced their weight. [9]

John Harris, the Corps’ surgeon, who had been dismissed from his positions of naval officer and magistrate, reported

...it is completely the reign of Robertspere [sic], or that of Terror...I have heard much said of Bounty Bligh before I saw him, but no person could conceive that he could be such a fellow...Caligula himself never reigned with more despotic sway than he does. [10]

In October 1807, a verse with direct reference to the Bounty mutiny was circulating in Sydney:

Oh tempora! Oh Mores! Is there no Christian in New South Wales to put a stop to the Tyranny of the Governor.[11]


[1] King to Under-Secretary Cooke, 18 June 1808, HRNSW, Vol. 6, p. 656.

[2] McAskill, Tracey, ‘An asset to the Colony: The social and economic

contribution of Corpsmen to early New South Wales’, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 82, (1), 1996.

[3] Johnston to Sir James Gordon, military secretary to the Duke of York, 8 October 1807, HRNSW, Vol. 6, p. 652.

[4] The emphasis on the code of honour as a critical factor in the coup was first put forward by Parsons, George, ‘The Commercialisation of Honour: Early Australian Capitalism 1788-1809’, in ibid, Aplin, Graeme, (ed.), A Difficult Infant: Sydney Before Macquarie, pp. 18-41.  The theme was developed by ibid, Duffy, Michael, Man of Honour: John Macarthur, Duellist, Rebel, Founding Father.

[5] See, Denning, Greg, Mr Bligh’s Bad Language: Passion, Power and Theatre on the Bounty, (Cambridge University Press), 1992.

[6] Clark, C.M.H., A History of Australia, Vol. 1, (Melbourne University Press), 1962, p. 216.

[7] Surgeon Luttrell to Under-Secretary Sullivan, 8 October 1807, HRNSW, Vol. 6, p. 296.

[8] See, Elizabeth Macarthur to Miss Kingdon, 29 January 1807, ML A2908, Vol. 2.

[9] William Minchin to Philip Gidley King, 20 October 1807, ML MSS 681/2, pp. 397-399.

[10] John Harris to Anna Josepha King, 25 October 1807, ML A1980, pp. 237-248.

[11] John Harris to Philip Gidley King, 25 October 1807, ML MSS 681/2, pp. 401-408.