Governor Phillip and the Eora | The Dictionary of Sydney
Theatre are telling are telling the story of the relationship between the first fleet's on Bennelong Point, where once the Eora warrior Bennelong lived; kidnapped and brought there so Governor Arthur Phillip could learn more about . Small or big, every contribution you give will help us reach our goal. Arthur Phillip (), admiral and governor, was born on 11 October in the The marriage was celebrated on 19 July , but could scarcely have been .. He made them presents, placed two, Colebe and Bennelong, under his . in as commander of the Hampshire Sea Fencibles whose purpose was to. to use writing to express and further their own social, cultural and political goals. Literature () with Bennelong's letter to Governor Arthur Phillip. that Bennelong, through the course of this colonial relationship with Phillip, also.
Guns made the first meetings possible but they also stopped the process of communication and friendship in its tracks, and the officers knew it. But by anyone he meant convicts. He had them severely punished for doing so and for stealing from Eora. But this did not mean that officers and other military did not shoot at Aboriginal people — they did, usually with small shot, usually because warriors were throwing spears and stones at them.
The first fatality may have occurred in September when Henry Hacking shot into a group while out hunting on the North Shore. When this hope faded, the Eora tried to keep the Berewalgal quarantined in their country, Warrane, Sydney Cove.
They attacked unarmed convicts and fishermen, and occasionally even armed officers and soldiers, whenever they trespassed on lands away from Warrane. In response, he sent two armed parties out to Botany Bay and other places in October to show them, as Collins wrote, 'that their late acts of violence would neither intimidate nor prevent us from moving beyond the settlement whenever occasion required'.
Biography - Arthur Phillip - Australian Dictionary of Biography
The town depended on the food and building resources of the wider region and so he was determined to demonstrate that they would go where they wished. Part of Phillip's early plan for peaceful co-habitation had been to persuade some Eora — preferably a family — to come and live in the town with the British.
Not only could the British then learn about the Eora, their language, beliefs and customs — the Eora might be convinced of the newcomers' friendly and peaceful intentions.
They could also be introduced to the wonders and comforts of the British way of life and then act as envoys, spreading the message of goodwill and civilisation among their own people. While they were very interested in the Eora, Phillip and the officers seem to have had little inkling that they already had their own complex social and cultural systems and were in no need of British ones.
The idea that the Eora would or could abruptly drop their entire culture and way of life for a British one seems bizarre to us. But that is what the British assumed would happen. When it didn't, they were confused. How could anyone not want to be British? The Eora were also theoretically already British subjects because they were not considered to be the sovereign occupants or owners of the land.
Thus they were — supposedly — subject to British justice — also considered a great gift. When forced to watch floggings, for example, they were horrified.Kevin Hart Relationships
In their own system of justice, the guilty were not bound and helpless but could defend themselves against the spears by parrying with shields. He still had no idea of Eora numbers or their intentions towards the settlers and the warriors had attacked and killed a number of convicts.
Phillip decided on a more ruthless strategy: After he died of smallpox, caught during the smallpox epidemic that decimated the Eora from Aprilthe violent skirmishes again escalated. Phillip sent the boats out once more to Manly Cove, and two more warriors were taken — Coleby and Woolarwarree Bennelong. They were tied up and held prisoner and under guard at Government House. Coleby soon escaped but the extroverted, charismatic Bennelong remained.
Bennelong seemed to be the breakthrough Phillip and the officers were hoping for. Eventually Bennelong and Phillip developed a kind of friendship, walking out together companionably. Phillip seems to have thought of these names in father-son terms: As a warrior enmeshed in the complex, post-smallpox, inter-tribal politics of the region, he seemed to be learning all he could about the Berewalgal, their allegiances, their fighting power, their great reserves of food, and he was doing all he could to please them and make them his allies.
In April the fetter was struck from his leg, and Bennelong stripped off his clothes and escaped. Phillip and the officers were bereft. Yet another cross-cultural experiment seemed to have failed.
If the perpetrator could not stand trial, then someone of his or her family or clan would have to stand for them. Guilt was transferrable to family and clan.
Several historians, including William StannerInga Clendinnen and Keith Vincent Smithbelieve that before any further relations could occur, Phillip had to stand trial and be punished according to Aboriginal Law for his crimes and the crimes of his people.
He and some of the officers hurried over in a boat and were greeted there by Bennelong. Relations were friendly and jovial, just like old times. But Phillip suddenly found himself surrounded by warriors and was then swiftly speared in the shoulder. There was panic as the officers and men rushed him into the boat and back to Sydney. But the spear was not a death spear and the wound was not fatal. Most importantly, he refused to retaliate, suggesting that he sensed the purpose of the spearing.
Finally, after much negotiation, Bennelong was persuaded to 'come in' to Sydney, along with his family and friends. Bennelong was like a returning king: He asked for a British style gunyah house to be built for him on Tubowgully Bennelong Point and Phillip obliged. For Bennelong and his people, this move was very likely seen as taking possession of this country at Warrane. Law [media] Phillip and the officers expected the Eora would now obey British law, not only in town but throughout the whole colony.
They were seemingly still unaware that payback was Aboriginal Law and had to be upheld. Because the Eora continued to extend their Law to white colonists, conflict was inevitable. McIntyre had earlier wounded a warrior and probably his spearing was payback. Many believed he had committed other serious crimes as well. The Eora needed to be taught a terrifying lesson, once and for all. As well, he wanted ten more men beheaded, and their heads brought back to town. Friendly relations of all kinds were suspended: Phillip agreed but insisted that those not executed would be exiled to the small colony at Norfolk Island.
He added that if warriors could not be arrested, they were to be summarily shot. The party was provided with hatchets for the chopping and bags to carry the heads, so presumably the beheading order was still in force. Despite marching around the area all day, Tench wrote that they failed to find a single person. So they headed east towards the 'south west arm' of Botany Bay — Georges River.
But their guides lost their way and they found themselves on the 'sea shore…about midway between the two arms' that is, the Georges and Cooks Rivers where they saw and tried to surround five Aboriginal people. But these people escaped, disappearing into the bush. Tench then marched the party to a known 'village' of huts on the 'nearest point of the north arm' — most likely on the south shore of Cooks River near its mouth present day Kyeemagh.
But here again the Aboriginal people swiftly paddled to safety to 'the opposite shore'. The mosquito-bitten party returned to Sydney, exhausted and frustrated. He sent Tench and the soldiers out again. The second expedition, on December 22, left Sydney at sunset, in the hope they would surprise, arrest or kill people while asleep in their camps by now the British knew that the Eora were heavy sleepers.
The party forded two rivers before almost drowning in quicksand in a creek. When they arrived back at the village on Cooks River, it was deserted and had been for some days.
A final attempt to locate, arrest or shoot warriors was made at 1. Tench says he gave up four hours later and marched the soldiers back to Sydney. Contrary to Tench's account, Private Easty says they finally found a group of Aboriginal people on the beach at Botany Bay — but then returned to Sydney. Those who admire Phillip find it difficult to accept that the enlightened, fair-minded and humane governor gave such gruesome orders and intended the arrest and execution of innocent people rather than just the guilty man.
Inga Clendinnen, taking cues from Tench's perhaps unintentionally comic account, interprets the whole incident as an elaborate piece of farcical theatre performed for the benefit of the unruly and resentful convicts.
Wise Phillip knew the party would not find anyone, she says, let alone behead them. He never intended anyone to get hurt, and just to make sure, he put the sympathetic Watkin Tench in charge. As we have seen, guns and the threat of violence were fundamental to the settlement project from the start.
Once Bennelong and his people agreed to 'come in' to Sydney in latePhillip believed he had an agreement that the attacks and killings of unarmed convicts would stop because he thought he had finally brokered peaceful relations via leaders Bennelong and Coleby.
Bennelong - WikiVisually
When McIntyre was speared and killed, Phillips saw it not only as a final betrayal of all his kindness and patience, but also as a breaking of the 'agreement' for peaceful relations.
The fact that Phillip sent out two expeditions, rather than just one, is significant. Had this been a piece of theatre for the benefit of the convicts and others, one would surely have sufficed. Two — the second starting out at dusk to catch people while they slept — signifies the seriousness of Phillip's intent.
Bennelong’s grave: how history betrayed Australia’s first diplomat
So does the fact that Tench scoured the country from the head of Botany Bay to the coast — thus while the intended targets may originally been Pemulwuy's Bidgigal clan, other groups were soon hunted as well. Lieutenant William Daweswho was also sympathetic to the Eora, at first refused to take part but was then persuaded to go. Afterwards he was disgusted with the whole expedition and would not retract this opinion.
He was forced to leave the colony as a result, even though he wanted to stay. It is also possible that someone was wounded. Tench was not entirely truthful in his account — Collins reported that the soldiers on the expedition did in fact shoot at Aboriginal people, though he insisted that they failed to hit anyone.
But there are no more details on what happened that night. To return to the key question: As an eighteenth century naval officer, his actions were not out of character — though grandiose play-acting would have been. Nor did his orders constitute unusual conduct, any more than for succeeding governors, including Governor Lachlan Macquariewho despatched even larger, and fatal, military reprisal parties against Aboriginal people. Botany Bay Project [media] Meanwhile the larger Botany Bay Project was already unfolding up the Parramatta River on the clusters of small, carefully planned farms Phillip had set out there.
Here it is important to note that we cannot separate Phillip's relations with Eora and the inland Aboriginal people from his role as the founder of this colony. New South Wales was, after all, never intended as a gaol, or a dumping ground for convicts, but a colony — a rather astonishing penal experiment in making a new society from transported felons.
Convicts who were pardoned or had done their time were to be given land and everything they needed to become farmers. They would thus 'cease to be enemies of society… and became proprietors and cultivators of the land'.
But the lynchpin of the whole Botany Bay Project, the path to redemption for the convicts, was land, taken from Aboriginal people. And so it was on those early farms that the first signs of frontier conflict broke out in the latter months of Visit to England[ edit ] Bennelong and another Aboriginal man named Yemmerrawanne or Imeerawanyee travelled with Phillip on the Atlantic to England in Many historians have claimed that they were presented to King George IIIbut there is no direct evidence that this occurred.
A boat was hired, and they went bathing. They went to the theatre. While in London they resided with Henry Waterhouseand when Yemmerrawanne became sick, they moved to Eltham and resided at the house of Edward Kent, where they were tended by Mr and Mrs Phillips, and met Lord Sydney. Bass nursed him back to health and in exchange Bennelong taught him a sufficient amount of Dharuk to enable the former to communicate with the indigenous Eora on arriving in Sydney.
A letter he had drafted in to Mr and Mrs Phillips, thanking Mrs Phillips for caring for him in England, and asking for stockings and a handkerchief, is the first known text written in English by an Indigenous Australian.
Many colonial reports complain of his refusal to rejoining 'polished society'. By the early 19th century, he was the leader of a strong clan living on the north side of the river to the west of Kissing Point in Wallumedagal country. Among many others, Manning Clark wrote: Bennelong's friendship with British colonists brought other Indigenous people into contact with the Sydney Cove colony. In contributing to some of the first cross-cultural communication between the groups, he helped establish a short period of relative peace between the two peoples.
A memorial in Cleves Park in Putney, Sydney, marks the area near where he was thought to be buried. The seat of Bennelong in the Federal parliamentwhich includes Putney, is named after him; Bennelong was the first Indigenous Australian to be honoured in the name of an electoral division. Bennelong Pointtoday the site of the Sydney Opera Houseis named after him.