Tag Archives: New South Wales

Pre-famine Irish transportation: New South Wales

John Dunmore Lang noted that the Irish were sent almost exclusively to NSW. He went on to observe that no less than one-third of the total population of the colony of NSW in 1837 was composed of Irish Catholics, of … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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The Rum Rebellion: Appointing William Bligh as governor

In the early years of the settlement, particularly during the three years between Governor Phillip’s retirement in December 1792 and the arrival of Hunter his successor in mid-1795, when Grose and then Paterson administered the colony, alcohol, generically referred to … Continue reading

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The Rum Rebellion: introduction

Just before sunset on 26 January 1808, the twentieth anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet, over 300 soldiers of the New South Wales Corps, the 102nd regiment of the British army expressly created to protect the new colony, … Continue reading

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The Castle Hill Rising: some conclusions

Unlike the Eureka rebellion at Ballarat, Victoria in 1854, Australian historians have been slow to recognise the 1804 convict revolt as a legitimate expression of political resistance. Established in 1788, the fledgling British colony of NSW was small and isolated, … Continue reading

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The Castle Hill Rising: Transportation

Most rebels were fiercely republican after having seen the successful creation of the United States and the changes caused by the French Revolution. Republican notions such as natural rights and a popularly elected upper house were a major threat to … Continue reading

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The Castle Hill Rising: the Irish context

From the early 1790s through to the last group of convicts transported to Western Australia in 1868, Australia was frequently the destination for Ireland’s political prisoners. The Defenders and United Irishmen were transported to NSW in the 1790s and early … Continue reading

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Judges and juries

The cautious approach to reform sought to define the powers of the governor and establish the principle of separation of powers in which the authority of the governor was constrained by the supervisory authority of the courts. Australian reformers drew … Continue reading

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I’m afraid not Darling: Forbes versus Darling

Appointed in 1823[1] and first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW until 1837, Francis Forbes had significant powers.[2] He was not only head of the judiciary but also a member of the Legislative Council and, ex officio, of … Continue reading

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New South Wales and the ‘rule of law’

NSW was by any standards a different sort of colony, like Newfoundland ‘an anomalous society too divided and too backward to be able to work the old representative system’.[1] In its early decades the lack of conventional legislative bodies and … Continue reading

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Policing in Australia: importance of the 1820s

In the early decades of NSW, a decentralised police system was in operation. Lay magistrates in rural areas controlled the police and had discretion to decide ‘what would and would not be policed.’[1] They used their power to protect their … Continue reading

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Managing gold in New South Wales

Sir Charles Fitzroy and Deas Thomson were initially sceptical about Hargraves. In late May, Fitzroy wrote that he did not think it was: ‘advisable to increase the very great excitement which is engrossing and unhinging the minds of all classes … Continue reading

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