King as Governor

Authorised to assume office as soon as Hunter could arrange his departure and already irritated by the delays in England, King was anxious to set in motion radical reforms in the colony and worried about his pay. During the transition King’s previously good relationship with Hunter became strained and his correspondence suggests that Hunter thought the King had an ‘unbecoming impatience’ for him to leave.[1] King did not assume command until 28 September 1800[2], but had earlier assured Under-Secretary John King that his taking over was ‘well-liked and anxiously looked for’[3]. King wrote gloomily of existing conditions, insisted that ‘nothing less than a total change in the system of administration’ was necessary, and forecast that ‘discontent will be general’ when this took place.[4] His task would be ‘laborious and highly discouraging’ but he would not be ‘at all intimidated’ and, although he had no formal instructions until raised from the status of lieutenant-governor to governor in 1802,[5] he improvised them for himself from the dispatches to Hunter[6] and elaborated them in the orders he gave to Major Joseph Foveaux whom he appointed to replace himself as lieutenant-governor of Norfolk Island in June 1800.[7]   King’s first task was to attack the misconduct of monopolist traders and traffickers in spirits.

Cellars from the better sort of people to the blackest characters among the convicts are full of that fiery poison.[8]

In March 1799, the commander-in-chief had ordered Colonel William Paterson, when he was leaving England to re-join his corps, to inquire into his officers’ trading activities.[9] This gave King the opportunity, even before Hunter had left, to ask Paterson to act.[10] As soon as he assumed command, King issued orders that he had already prepared, including a new set of port and price regulations intended to curb exploitation and the liquor traffic.[11] He felt compelled to allow Surgeons William Balmain[12] and D’Arcy Wentworth[13] to sell 4,359 gallons of spirits which they had on hand[14], but was able to reduce the rate of spirit imports to about a third that of the last months of Hunter’s administration. He tried to persuade the government in Calcutta and British consuls in the United States to discourage the shipping of liquor to NSW and to offer the colonists an alternative beverage, he began the construction of a brewery.[15] It only began production in 1804, and in his efforts to reduce spirit drinking he faced the refusal of most convicts to work ‘in what they emphatically call their own time for any other mode of payment’[16], but he cut spirit consumption per adult male in 1801-1804 to about two and a half bottles a month. Despite this, King found increasing difficulty in suppressing illicit local distillation or sly-grogging, even though he issued repeated orders against it. He imposed a duty of 5 per cent on imports to raise revenue, as Hunter had suggested in 1798, but did not anticipate the later policy of reducing the profits of illegal grog-selling by allowing unrestricted imports of spirits subject to a moderately heavy duty.

Philip Gidley King and Family, 1799, by Robert Dighton

In June 1800, King had protested to Hunter against the ‘exorbitant demands of creditors’ in the colony.[17] He felt that the poorer settlers could best be protected by price control and by the ‘establishment of a public warehouse’[18], such as he had advocated for Norfolk Island in 1796 and Hunter had also referred to but then had not told the authorities in London what goods were needed. King’s detailed requests were at once acted on and merchandise was sold through it at a price only 50 per cent above cost to cover transport and selling charges. The increasing quantities imported commercially weakened the monopolists’ grip on the colony’s economy and improved the colonists’ means of obtaining supplies. King tried to control, not always with success, prices, wages, hours of work, the employment of convicts, baking, butchers, interest rates, weights and measures and the value of all the many kinds of currency circulating in the colony.[19] He sought to reduce forgeries by introducing printed forms for promissory notes, but they were usually ignored. He recalled all the officers’ servants in excess of two each reducing the number provisioned by the Crown from 356 to 94. [20] The position of the Colonial Office was clear

I entirely approve the measures you have taken for reducing the expenses of the settlement, by discharging from the stores all those convicts who are not altogether employed in the service of the Crown, with the exception of two convicts allowed as servants to each civil and military officer; but it should be understood by those officers, that in all cases where they themselves cultivate lands and raise stock that they are to feed all the convicts allowed to them, without any exceptions whatever. The five convicts allowed to each magistrate, appears to me to be too many, but knowing your attention to publick economy, I am willing to leave it to your local experience and discretion to diminish that number in such degrees as you may think proper.[21]

King increased the number of convicts on the public farms from 30 to 324 and had quadrupled their cultivated acreage by 1803. Later he allowed them to decline, following orders from London for an increase in private agriculture.[22] He helped private farmers by land grants, by the issue of seed, tools, sheep and rations and by hiring oxen. Contrary to his instructions, he postponed the purchase of grain by tender and kept its price up to 8s a bushel, by ordering the government stores to buy direct from the grower and by distributing government breeding stock as a reward ‘to those whose exertions…appeared to merit that encouragement’.[23] He also increased the size of land grants and made reservations for pasturage adjacent to them. The result was that only 56 out of 646 farmers were ‘on the stores’ in 1806, compared with 110 out of 401 in 1800. Smallholders had done much better than before, particularly during the first half of his administration and the colony seemed to be self-sufficient in grain though the disastrous Hawkesbury floods in 1801[24] and 1806[25] postponed King’s hopes in this regard.[26]

During King’s administration the government’s flocks and herds quintupled.[27] He bought cattle from India to improve the quality of the government stock[28], and though disavowing the idea of the government concerning itself with ‘fine-woolled sheep’, and mindful of the importance to the small settlers of the ‘weight of Carcase’, he was able by careful breeding to produce ‘a total change in Government Flock from Hair to Wool’[29] and to distribute ewes to settlers in expectation of a general improvement in the flocks of the colony.[30] He began the mining of coal, which he hoped would be a profitable export[31], was interested in timber cutting and encouraged experiments in growing vines, tobacco, cotton, hemp and indigo. Although in the opening sentence of the first journal of his experiences from 1787 to 1790, published with minor revisions as an appendix to Hunter’s Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island in 1793, King had affirmed the contemporary opinion that Botany Bay was founded simply as a penal settlement. By 1791, he was expressing great hopes for it as a Pacific base for flax cultivation and for whaling. Flax was not a success but whaling was, and both it and later sealing owed much to King’s encouragement. He was a friend of whale fleet owner Samuel Enderby[32] and advised the British government to allow the whalers to carry merchandise to NSW. He encouraged sealers to go to Bass Strait and whaling ships to visit New Zealand and the Pacific.[33] By 1792, there was a whaling industry off the south coast of New Zealand and by 1800 whaling and sealing had extended into the Bass Strait. [34]

Letter received by Sir Joseph Banks from Philip Gidley King, 5 June 1802

In 1804, King encouraged Robert Campbell[35] to send a shipment of oil and skins from Sydney to London in the Lady Barlow in contravention of the monopoly of the East India Company that he had constantly urged the government to modify. Campbell believed that it was time for a more generous definition of the commercial rights of New South Wales as the colony lacked established staples and was hampered by trade monopolies. Though the Lady Barlow was duly seized for illegal entry to the Port of London, her position was resolved with little commercial loss to Campbell. With the support of Sir Joseph Banks, he secured permission for a second colonial cargo to follow the Lady Barlow. Under this impetus a bill was drawn up to recognise NSW as a regular colony with valuable trade concessions, but the Grenville ministry lost office in March 1807 before it could be passed. King sought permission at the same time to open up trade between NSW and China[36] and decided that VDL was preferable to Port Phillip as a further penal settlement.[37]

King could, of course, never forget that he was in charge of a convict colony. He had to keep the prisoners in subjection, but at the same time he could not ignore the growing number of emancipists, and firmly reminded Major George Johnston that the British government had not intended the prisoners to be consigned ‘to Oblivion and disgrace for ever’.[38] King appointed emancipists to his bodyguard and enrolled them in the Loyal Associations, as had been done in the NSW Corps. Apart from the rather special case of appointing as military engineer, George Bellasis[39], a former officer in the East India Company who had killed an opponent in a duel, he placed men like Richard Fitzgerald[40], James Meehan[41], David Mann[42], Andrew Thompson[43], Rev. Henry Fulton[44] and Father James Dixon[45] in administrative positions. He took firm measures to regulate the position of assigned servants, even if at first they were often disobeyed and laid the foundation of the future ticket-of-leave system by granting ‘annual certificates’ to prisoners deserving indulgence. Though he granted pardons to about 50 per cent more convicts every year than Hunter had done, he had about 30 per cent more to deal with and they included many political prisoners. Of these, especially the Irish, King was at first perhaps unduly alarmed, though he had been in England during the disturbances in Ireland from 1797 to 1799.[46] However, after initial forebodings, in both 1801 and 1802 he was able to report their ‘regular and orderly behaviour’ and to compare their conduct most favourably with that of the military officers. He was again rather over-excited at the time of the Irish conspiracy in 1804, but he seems to have felt more secure after it had been suppressed and he had divided the ring-leaders between the different settlements, including Newcastle, which he re-established in 1804 largely in order to take them. [47] When war with France resumed in 1804, to supplement the battery on Dawes Point King began to build the citadel at Fort Phillip, intending that it would also be a place of refuge in case of an internal rising; but it turned out to be of little strategic value.[48]

King was faced with the British government’s persistent demands to reduce the costs of the colony.[49] The general success of his policies enabled him to cut the proportion of the population drawing government rations from 72 per cent in 1800 to 32 per cent in 1806 and the amount of their indebtedness to the government was reduced. Fortunately trouble with the Treasury over his expenditure when on Norfolk Island made him meticulous in keeping accounts and he drew Treasury bills for stores at a rate about 20 per cent less than Hunter had done in 1796-1798 for only three-quarters the number of people. In June 1802, King imposed a 5 per cent duty on imported spirits and on merchandise brought from east of the Cape and not of British manufacture.[50] King’s decision was not legally authorised but this was not questioned and by using the revenue raised for the gaol and orphan funds he began the appropriation of colonial revenue for local purposes. He was interested in the girls’ Orphan School, and though he regretted that he could not establish a similar institution for boys, he took several day-schools ‘under the protection of Government’ and by apprenticeship taught convict boys to become skilled tradesmen. He asked the British government to send out supplies of smallpox vaccine, and so enabled the surgeons to perform the first successful vaccination in the colony.[51] In March 1803, he permitted the government printer, George Howe[52] to establish the Sydney Gazette, allowing him use of the government press and type.[53] He was sympathetic to the missionaries who visited the colony, welcomed Maori and Tahitian visitors to Sydney and sought to keep peace with Aborigines. These, he told Governor William Bligh, he ‘ever considered the real Proprietors of the Soil’. He refused to allow them to be worked as slaves, tried to protect their persons and their property and to preserve a ‘good understanding’ with them; but he found them ‘very capricious’, often ‘sanguinary and cruel to each other’, and like his contemporaries failed to understand what he called their ‘most ungrateful and treacherous conduct’. [54]

King had always aimed at promoting ‘the prosperity of the colony, and giving a permanent security to the interests of its inhabitants’. He knew he could not satisfy all, and had faced ‘scurrility and abuse, clothed with darkness and assassination’. This abuse has harmed his reputation that is undeservedly lower today. In the end he was defeated by the officers of the NSW Corps. That he would have to confront them he knew when he arrived in Sydney in 1800 and even before he had assumed office he was regretting that Hunter had allowed Captain George Johnston to return to England for his trial on charges of trading in spirits. Johnston soon returned untried, but trials in the colony were not successful and King found the military intransigence that he had faced at Norfolk Island was now exacerbated by his policies that threatened the military elite’s economic position. He badly needed capable law officers and a change in the personnel of the NSW Corps, but the British government ignored his requests. He was faced with frequent disobedience and insolence that early in 1803, immediately after he had refused to allow a cargo of spirits to be landed from the Atlas, culminated in the circulation of libellous ‘pipes’ against him and his officials.[55] The investigations and courts martial that followed revealed the animosity that existed between the governor and the corps. King declared that ‘for the prosperity of His Majesty’s subjects in this territory…some change is absolutely necessary in our criminal courts’. With this Colonel Paterson entirely agreed, asserting that ‘most of the disquiet that has agitated this settlement…is chiefly to be attributed to the unfortunate mixture of civil and military duties’.[56] In November 1801, King had repeated Hunter’s action and sent home an accused officer, John Macarthur, charged with fighting a duel with his commander, Paterson, itself the result of a quarrel with the governor.[57] But in July 1805, Macarthur returned but had not been court-martialled. He had resigned his commission and obtained an order for 5,000 acres of the best land in the colony for his sheep-breeding.[58] Although King recognised the economic importance of Macarthur’s proposals for sheep farming for the colony and supported them, he had received little political support in London. The same occurred when he complained of the proceedings of the local courts martial as vitally affecting the peace of the colony, the judge-advocate in London in January 1804 coldly told him that ‘for the sake of harmony’ he would ‘pass over any seeming irregularity’.[59] Disputes with the NSW Corps and a recurrence of gout led King to ask for leave of absence in May 1803 while an inquiry was held into the state of the colony.[60] In November, the secretary of state received King’s request and immediately accepted what he was quick to interpret as an offer of resignation.[61] After King received Hobart’s reply in June 1804 his activities slowed down. However, he was not relieved until August 1806[62] and in the interval he suspected that other critics especially Maurice Margarot, Henry Hayes, Michael Robinson and William Maum were blackening his reputation in England.[63] This negative view of King remained and Watson concluded on 1915 that

…it is difficult to trace any direct influence of the governor [King] in the improvement of the conditions of life in the colony. The colony made considerable progress, but probably all the development was due to automatic and general causes, unaided by the personality or direction of the administrator.[64]

The problems faced by Hunter and especially by King have tended to be seen in terms of the breakdown in relations between their successor, William Bligh, and the NSW Corps. This judgement is particularly unfair as far as King was concerned since he made a significant contribution to the economic development of the colony especially the move away from a government-led economy to one in which private enterprise played an increasingly important role.

Initially a colony of convicts and guards, under Phillip, Hunter and King NSW was ruled by a military government though there was an element of civilian rule in the person of civil magistrates and, from the outset, an embryonic notion of the rule of law.[65] The persistent problem of a colony faced with endemic shortages and the real threat of periodic starvation was far from resolved by 1806 when the disastrous floods again demonstrated just how precarious survival could be.[66] Successive governors were increasingly faced by the changing nature composition of colonial society as convicts gained their freedom and free settlers began to arrive. This, combined with the growing power of the NSW Corps that exploited the colony in its own economic interests, created growing problems with military rule. Colonists had access to the courts but those courts were dominated by military personnel who often had little sympathy for the plight of either emancipists or free settlers. The need to rein in the power of the NSW Corps and especially its officer elite led to a division within the ruling elite as Hunter and then King sought to assert their gubernatorial authority. Faced by a military elite with sympathetic access to the decision-making process in London and the problem of retaining support from successive secretaries of state whose policies were rarely consistent, neither Hunter, who was recalled or King, who ‘resigned’ made any permanent inroads into the power of the Corps. When Governor William Bligh (1806-1810)[67] vigorously challenged the near-monopoly of trade and land grants being exercised by army officers of the NSW Corps and their associates amongst the leading landowners, he was arrested by the army in 1808 in Australia’s only military coup.[68]

[1] See, for example, Hunter to King, 11 July 1800, HRNSW, Vol. 4, pp. 175-176.

[2] King to Portland, 28 September 1800, HRNSW, Vol. 4, pp. 177-195 is his first despatch where he used the title ‘Acting Governor’.

[3] King to Under-Secretary King, 3 May 1800, HRNSW, Vol. 4, p. 83.

[4] King to Under-Secretary King, 3 May 1800, HRNSW, Vol. 4, p. 84.

[5] Hunter embarked on board H.M.S. Buffalo on 28 September, 1800 and King assumed the administration on the same day by virtue of a dormant commission issued to him in May 1798. It was not until 20 February 1802 that Hunter’s commission was revoked and King appointed Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief. For King’s Commission and Instructions dated 20 February 1802, see, HRNSW, Vol. 4, pp. 697-711, HRA, Series I, Vol. 3, pp. 384-398.

[6] Hunter made his commission and instruction available to King on 19 April 1800, HRNSW, Vol. 4, p. 80 but, according to Hunter to King, 11 July 1800, King did not replicate, HRA, Series I, Vol. 2, p. 662.

[7] See, King to Portland, 29 April 1800, HRNSW, Vol. 4, p. 79 makes clear King’s decision and King to Foveaux, 26 June 1800, HRNSW, Vol. 4, pp. 96-108 details Foveaux’s appointment and instructions.

[8] King to Sir Joseph Banks, 3 May 1800, HRNSW, Vol. 4, pp. 82-83.

[9] The Horse Guards to Lieutenant-Colonel Paterson, 6 March 1799, HRNSW, Vol. 3, pp. 639-640. Paterson arrived in Sydney in November 1799.

[10] King to Paterson, 8 September 1800, HRNSW, Vol. 4, pp. 139-140.

[11] Regulations were issued on 10 September 1800, HRNSW, Vol. 4, pp. 144-146 and in greater detail on 1 October 1800, HRNSW, Vol. 4, pp. 220-222.

[12] Fletcher, B.H., ‘Balmain, William (1762-1803)’, ADB, Vol. 1, pp. 51-52.

[13] Auchmuty, J.J., ‘Wentworth, D’Arcy (1762-1827)’, ADB, Vol. 2, pp. 579-582.

[14] On this decision see the correspondence in September 1800, HRNSW, Vol. 4, pp. 141-143.

[15] King received support from London in the form of hop plants: Hobart to King, 24 February 1803, HRNSW, Vol. 5, p. 48; Hobart to King, 9 May 1803, HRA, Series I, Vol. 3, p. 79 stated that a brewery was being established.

[16] King to Portland, 10 March 1801, HRA, Series I, Vol. 3, pp. 7-8 for King’s concerns about spirits brought from the United States and, despite instructions from London to the contrary, from India. See also, HRNSW, Vol. 6, p. 150.

[17] See, King to Hunter, 6 July 1800 and subsequent correspondence, HRNSW, Vol. 4, pp. 170-177.

[18] HRNSW, Vol. 4, p. 377.

[19] See, for example, King’s general orders on 2-3 October 1800, HRNSW, Vol. 4, pp. 222-224.

[20] Government and General Order, 11 June 1801, HRNSW, Vol. 4, pp. 402-403 re-established the notion of only two assigned convicts for military officers.

[21] Portland to King, 19 June 1801, HRA, Series I, Vol. 3, p. 99. The number of assigned servants (not convicts employed as labourers) for magistrates was reduced to four, Government and General Order, 16 December 1801, HRA, Series I, Vol. 3, pp. 467-468. Hobart to King, 5 April 1803, HRA, Series I, Vol. 4, p. 63 increased the salaries of civil officials (but not military) and removed assigned servants from both: ‘I have received His Majesty’s commands to direct you to withdraw from all the officers of the civil and military establishment of the settlement the two convicts who have hitherto been allowed to them by Government. The augmentation of the salaries of the civil officers will enable them to pay for the services of such convicts as they may choose to employ, in lieu of the two hitherto allowed them, and

the military officers can have no claim, in the present advanced state of the colony, to any aid of this kind, beyond what is allowed to military officers serving in other colonies.’

[22] Hobart to King, 24 February 1803, HRNSW, Vol. 5, p. 45: ‘I observe that the quantity of land cultivated for Government has been of late considerably increased…I am inclined to think it would not be advisable to augment it to any considerable extent beyond that proportion.’

[23] King to Hobart, 14 November 1801, HRA, Series I, Vol. 3, pp. 324-325 saw prices rise to 15s a bushel though by January 1802 prices had returned to 8s a bushel, HRA, Series I, Vol. 3, p. 607. In early 1803, this was further reduced to 7s 6d at Sydney and Parramatta and 7s at Hawkesbury, King to Hobart, 1 March 1804, HRA, Series I, Vol. 4, pp. 518-519.

[24] HRA, Series I, Vol. 3, pp. 134-136 details a petition from Hawkesbury settlers on 21 August 1801 and King’s response.

[25] The most extensive report was in Sydney Gazette, 30 March, 1806. There had been floods previously in 1799 and 1800 and later in 1809. This led to later Macquerie townships being built on higher land and remained largely dry in the floods in 1816 and 1819. However, the area remains prone to flooding.

[26] On King’s assessment of the state of the colony on 31 December 1801 and 30 October 1802 see HRNSW, Vol. 4, pp. 651-670, 866-880.

[27] King’s perceptive remarks on Macarthur’s livestock showed his grasp of the need to improve government cattle and sheep, HRNSW, Vol. 4, pp. 114-115.

[28] HRA, Series I, Vol. 3, pp. 29-32, HRNSW, Vol. 4, pp. 312-315, HRNSW, Vol. 5, pp. 113-114.

[29] HRNSW, Vol. 5, p. 556. See also Macarthur’s comments, HRNSW, Vol. 5, pp. 173-175.

[30] On sheep farming in 1805 see, King to Camden, 2 October 1805, HRA, Series I, Vol. 5, pp. 555-568.

[31] King to Portland, 8 July 1801, HRA, Series I, Vol. 3, p. 116 stated that coal was already being exported to India at £3 a ton

[32] Dallas, K.M., ‘Enderby, Samuel (1756-1829)’, ADB, Vol. 1, p. 357.

[33] As early as 1792, Sydney Cove was the centre for the profitable whale and seal trade around the southern coasts. Under Governor King, if not necessarily because of him, the colony made great strides. Whaling brought profit to its shores, for the ships came into Sydney to refit. King referred to whaling as the only ‘staple’ and saw visions of secondary profits. The American whalers provided a market for foodstuffs, water and timber. By 1800, London was unloading 300 tons of sperm oil fished off the coast of NSW. The whaling and sealing industry was quite unregulated and King recognised that this uncontrolled slaughter would ruin the industry and on 9 May 1803 he wrote to Nepean, HRA, Series I, Vol. 4, p. 249, ‘Although a vast quantity of Sea Elephants and Seals have been taken and still abound about Hunters Island and Kings Island, yet from the different communications I have received I shall find it expedient to restrain individuals from resorting there in too great numbers, and to fix certain times for their visiting these places, to prevent the destruction of that commercial advantage. Since I took command 16,000 gallons of oil and 27,800 seal skins have been imported from thence by individuals, 1,063 tuns of spermaceti oil have also been procured by the south whalers, all which I need not point out as a rising nursery for Seamen.’

[34] On the development of the South Sea whale-fishery, see, minutes of the Board of Trade, 4 December 1801, HRNSW, Vol. 4, p. 630. See also, Little, B., ‘Sealing and Whaling in Australia Before 1850’, Australian Economic History Review, Vol. 9, (1969), pp. 109-127.

[35] King to Hobart, 14 August 1804, HRA, Series I, Vol. 5, p. 9, 20-22, 53-63. Steven, Margaret, ‘Campbell, Robert (1769-1846)’, ADB, Vol. 1, pp. 202-206 and the more detailed Merchant Campbell 1769-1846, (Melbourne University Press) 1965. King had a high regard for Campbell commenting to Bligh that he had been ‘the greatest services to the inhabitants…that the price of his merchandise was the same in time of scarcity as in abundance, that he had advanced a great sum of money, and protected the poor and distressed settler; and that in fact he was the only private pillar which supported the honest people of the Colony’.

[36] King to Camden, 30 April 1804, HRNSW, Vol. 5, p. 603, King to Hobart, 14 August 1804, HRA, Series I, Vol. 5, p. 9. East India Company to Sir Stephen Cottrell, HRNSW, Vol. 5, pp. 644-645 gave its response to King’s proposal.

[37] King to Lieutenant-Governor Collins, 26 November 1803, HRNSW, Vol. 5, pp. 263-268.

[38] HRNSW, Vol. 5, p. 28.

[39] ‘Bellasis, George Bridges (- 1825)’, ADB, Vol. 1, p. 83. See also, King to Hobart, 9 May 1803, HRA, Series I, Vol. 4, pp. 173-174.

[40] MacLaurin, E.C.B., ‘Fitzgerald, Richard (1772-1840)’, ADB, Vol. 1, pp. 383-384.

[41] Perry, T.M., ‘Meehan, James (1774-1826)’, ADB, Vol. 2, pp. 219-220.

[42] Parsons, Vivienne, ‘Mann, David Dickenson (1775?-1811?)’, ADB, Vol. 2, pp. 201-202.

[43] Byrnes, J.V., ‘Thompson, Andrew (1773?-1810)’, ADB, Vol. 2, pp. 519-521.

[44] Cable, K.J., ‘Fulton, Henry (1761-1840)’, ADB, Vol. 1, pp. 421-422.

[45] Parsons, Vivienne, ‘Dixon, James (1758-1840)’, ADB, Vol. 1, p. 309.

[46] Hunter to Officers, 4 September 1800, HRNSW, Vol. 4, pp. 119-130 details the inquiry into an Irish plot in 1800 and King to Banks, 8 October 1800 on a threatened rebellion by United Irishmen at Parramatta, HRNSW, Vol. 4, p. 229 and pp. 235-238

[47] On the ‘Irish rebellion’ of 1804, see below pp. 495-526.

[48] King to Hobart, 14 August 1804, HRA, Series I, Vol. 5, p. 2. King to Camden, 20 July 1805, HRA, Series I, Vol. 5, p. 529 indicated the state of work on Fort Phillip and its armaments.

[49] This is evident particularly in correspondence between Hobart and King, for example, Hobart to King, 30 November 1803, HRNSW, Vol. 5, pp. 271-272: ‘I approve the exertions you have made to effect this desirable object [reduction of Treasury Bills]….at the same time [I] remark that the supplies of all descriptions which have been sent to the colony…have been extremely liberal…’

[50] Government and General Order, 14 June 1802, HRNSW, Vol. 4, pp. 789-790.

[51] King to Hobart, 9 May 1803, HRNSW, Vol. 5, p. 115. Vaccinations occurred at Norfolk Island, in Sydney and on the Derwent in VDL.

[52] Byrnes, J.V., ‘Howe, George (1769-1821)’, ADB, Vol. 1, pp. 557-559. King to Hobart, 9 May 1803, HRA, Series I, Vol. 4, p. 85.

[53] King to Hobart, 9 May 1803, HRNSW, Vol. 5, p. 118.

[54] King to Bligh, n.d., 1807, Mitchell Library, Philip Gidley King Papers, C189, p. 273 cit, Banner, Stuart, Possessing the Pacific: land, settlers, and indigenous people from Australia to Alaska, (Harvard University Press), 2007, p. 31.

[55] The deteriorating relationship between King and the military in early 1803 is detailed in HRNSW, Vol. 5, pp. 22-37. Some of these libels are printed in HRNSW, Vol. 5, pp 123-127; see also, King to Hobart, 9 May 1803, HRA, Series I, Vol. 4, pp. 159-160, 167-173.

[56] Paterson to War Office, 24 August 1801, HRA, Vol. 3, p. 292.

[57] King to Portland, 25 September 1801, HRNSW, Vol. 4, pp. 529-533, 559-582 considers the duel between Paterson and Macarthur; King to Portland, 5 November 1801, HRNSW, Vol. 4, pp. 609-610, HRA, Series I, Vol. 3, pp. 280-286, 296-298 on the duel, its causes and on sending Macarthur to England for trial. However Adjutant-General Calvert to Under-Secretary Sullivan, 31 January 1803, HRNSW, Vol. 5, pp. 11-13 made clear the impossibility of trying Macarthur in England and remitted the trial back to NSW.

[58] Camden to King, 31 October 1804, HRA, Series I, Vol. 5, pp. 161-162 detailed the land and convicts Macarthur was to receive. King to Camden, 20 July 1805, HRNSW, Vol. 5, pp 660-662, HRA, Series I, Vol. 5, pp. 510-512 suggest King and Macarthur were reconciled as King was prepared to give him assistance with his land grant and sheep farming.

[59] Judge-Advocate Morgan to King, 4 January 1804, HRNSW, Vol. 5, pp. 301-302.

[60] King to Hobart, 9 May 1803, HRNSW, Vol. 5, p. 130.

[61] Hobart to King, 30 November 1803, HRNSW, Vol. 5, pp. 273-274.

[62] Castlereagh to King, 20 November 1805, HRNSW, Vol. 5, p. 735, HRA, Series I, Vol. 5, p. 489 informed King that Bligh was his replacement.

[63] King’s concerns about Margarot and Hayes were initially expressed in a letter to Under-Secretary Sullivan, 21 August 1804, HRNSW, Vol. 5, pp. 450-451. King to Under-Secretary Cooke, 20 July 1805, HRNSW, Vol. 5, pp. 663-667 detailed his concerns about what he saw as their ‘vile assassinating acts’.

[64] Watson, Frederick, ‘Introduction’, HRA, Series I, Vol. 5, p. xiii.

[65] On this issue, see below, pp. 305-326.

[66] On the Hawkesbury flood, March 1806, see, King to Camden, 7 April 1806, HRNSW, Vol. 6, pp. 59-65. Over 23,000 bushels of wheat and 3,500 livestock plus 7 lives were lost and over 36,000 acres of land inundated.

[67] For Bligh’s commission and instructions, dated 26 May 1804, see, HRNSW, Vol. 5, pp. 628-641.

[68] On Bligh as governor of NSW and the Rum rebellion, see below, pp. 527-564.

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