Tag Archives: settlement

Australia and Irish settlement: The Famine years

Unlike the United States and Britain, Australia did not receive a great flood of immigrants following the Great Famine. ‘Fast relief was necessary and Australia’s colonies offered no analgesic to the famine’s distress.’[1] The famine emigration came too early for … Continue reading

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Eardley-Wilmot as governor

During Eardley-Wilmot’s tenure as governor, the colony experienced further depression and he tried to reduce the expense of the public service without seriously affecting the police.[1] He courted Stanley’s anger by intimating that the colony would require some help with … Continue reading

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Squatting and the colonial state

This resolution proved difficult. Coincidentally with their squatting march, the leading Sydneyside landowners acquired the magisterial, executive and legislative power to preserve their hold on the land while newer immigrant squatters brought with them the matching political power of family … Continue reading

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From grants to sales in the 1820s

When the Blue Mountains were crossed and the value of the lands beyond was appreciated, capital as well as immigration was attracted. The implementation of Bigge’s report paved the way for the settlement of vast tracts of land by British-backed … Continue reading

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Macquerie and Bigge

Between 1809 and the Colonial Office’s change of policy in 1817, Macquarie based his land policy largely on free settler immigration and launched a comprehensive policy of settlement in the ‘interior’ rather than on the more dangerous flood plains. Military … Continue reading

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Land policy under King and Bligh, 1800-1810

When Philip Gidley King, Hunter’s replacement arrived, he found depressed settlers, flourishing middleman, labourers demanding high wages and farming devastated by a combination of flood and bush fires.[1] His immediate aim was to reverse Hunter’s policies by treating all settlers … Continue reading

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Granting land under Grose and Hunter, 1793-1800

Grose’s land policy was widely and justifiable criticised by contemporaries and has subsequently been called ‘anarchical’.[1] His administration was lax and the widespread lack of deeds and non-transfer of title left many poor farmers officially landless. The provision of additional … Continue reading

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Settler Australia, 1780-1880, Volume 1

JUST PUBLISHED Settlement, Protest and Control examines the way in which Australia developed. It is divided into two parts: establishing a colonial state and violence and protest. Uniquely in Britain’s growing empire, the colonies in New South Wales and Van … Continue reading

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Terra nullius and Australia

When the British settled at Sydney Cove in 1788 the colonial government in Australia claimed all lands for the Crown from the formal declaration of annexation on 7 February 1788.[1] The notion that Australia was terra nullius was used as … Continue reading

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Macquarie: opposition and reform

Macquarie’s support of emancipists resulted in sustained opposition almost from the beginning of his governorship. Early in 1810 the senior chaplain, Samuel Marsden[1], refused outright to serve with the emancipist justices, Simeon Lord[2] and Andrew Thompson on the turnpike board … Continue reading

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Change under Macquarie

Major-General Lachlan Macquarie, the fifth governor of NSW but the first military officer (Phillip, Hunter, King and Bligh had all been naval men) held office from April 1809 (he took up his commission as governor on 1 January 1810[1]) until … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Philip Gidley King: the making of a Governor

It was Arthur Phillip who chose King[1] as second lieutenant on HMS Sirius for the expedition to establish a convict settlement in NSW. King had served with Phillip before the First Fleet and was regarded as his protégé. Phillip certainly … Continue reading

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Military and civil tensions under Hunter

The population of NSW in 1795 was 3,211 of whom 1,908 or 59 per cent were convicts. The remainder were largely military and administrative personnel and prisoners whose terms of servitude had ended. These expirees posed a problem for Hunter … Continue reading

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Restoring autocratic rule: Hunter faces new problems

John Hunter faced three major problems in running the colony. [1] First, there was a division of responsibility between different institutions in London. As governor, Hunter was responsible to the King through the Duke of Portland, Secretary of State for … Continue reading

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