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The Governor's main problem was with his own military officers, who wanted large grants of land, which Phillip had not been authorized to grant.
The officers were expected to grow food, but they considered this beneath them. As a result, scurvy broke out, and in October , Phillip had to send Sirius to Cape Town for supplies, and strict rationing was introduced, with thefts of food punished by hanging. By , the situation had stabilized. The population of about 2, was adequately housed and fresh food was being grown. Phillip assigned a convict, James Ruse, land at Rose Hill now Parramatta to establish proper farming, and when Ruse succeeded he received the first land grant in the colony.
Other convicts followed his example. Sirius was wrecked in March , at the satellite settlement of Norfolk Island , depriving Phillip of vital supplies. In June , the Second Fleet arrived with hundreds more convicts, most of them too sick to work. By December , Phillip was ready to return to England, but the colony had largely been forgotten in London and no instructions reached him, so he carried on.
In , he was advised that the government would send out two convoys of convicts annually, plus adequate supplies. But July, when the vessels of the Third Fleet began to arrive, with 2, more convicts, food again ran short, and he had to send a ship to Calcutta for supplies. By , the colony was well-established, though Sydney remained an unplanned huddle of wooden huts and tents. The whaling industry was established, ships were visiting Sydney to trade, and convicts whose sentences had expired were taking up farming.
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John Macarthur and other officers were importing sheep and beginning to grow wool. The colony was still very short of skilled farmers, craftsmen, and tradesmen, and the convicts continued to work as little as possible, even though they were working mainly to grow their own food. In late , Phillip, whose health was suffering from the poor diet, at last received permission to leave, and on December 11, , he sailed in the ship Atlantic, taking with him Bennelong and many specimens of plants and animals. The European population of New South Wales at his departure was 4,, of whom 3, were convicts.
The early years of the colony had been years of struggle and hardship, but the worst was over, and there were no further famines in New South Wales.
Who was Governor Arthur Phillip? | Sydney Living Museums
Phillip arrived in London, in May Phillip's wife, Margaret, had died in In , he married Isabella Whitehead, and lived for a time at Bath. His health gradually recovered and in , he went back to sea, holding a series of commands and responsible posts in the wars against the French. In January , he became a Rear-Admiral. In , aged 67, he retired from the Navy with the rank of Admiral of the Blue, and spent most of the rest of his life at Bath.
He continued to correspond with friends in New South Wales and to promote the colony's interests with government officials. He died in Bath, in Phillip was buried in St Nicholas's Church, Bathampton. A monument to Phillip in Bath Abbey Church was unveiled in There is an excellent portrait in the National Portrait Gallery, London. Percival Alan Serle wrote of Phillip in the Dictionary of Australian Biography: "Steadfast in mind, modest, without self seeking, Phillip had imagination enough to conceive what the settlement might become, and the common sense to realize what at the moment was possible and expedient.
When almost everyone was complaining he never himself complained, when all feared disaster he could still hopefully go on with his work. He was sent out to found a convict settlement, he laid the foundations of a great dominion. In , Geoffrey Robertson QC revealed that Phillip's remains are no longer in in St Nicholas Church, Bathampton, and have been lost: "…Captain Arthur Phillip is not where the ledger stone says he is: It may be that he is buried somewhere outside, it may simply be that he is simply lost.
But he is not where Australians have been led to believe that he now lies.
Robertson is campaigning for a rigorous search for the remains, which he believes should be re-interred in Australia. If we're going to treasure them and remember them properly, we have to do it ourselves. A commission to establish a penal colony, on the one hand, was not glamorous and a much less able man may well have been dispatched to the far side of the world. On the other hand, Britain was also interested in expanding her imperial interests in the region and in frustrating French ambitions.
The British authorities knew that a competent leader was needed both to accomplish the difficult task of starting a colony from scratch, and that of protecting British interests. Phillip proved himself to be the right choice, serving as governor with distinction. In some respects, Australia still struggles with at least one of the issues that plagued its first Governor, that of relations with the original population.
Their rights were violated by the very act of settlement, and continued to be violated for many years. Aborigines were regarded as barely human by many of the settlers and their heirs.
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In , the Mabo ruling of the High Court found in favor of "native title" for the first time. New World Encyclopedia writers and editors rewrote and completed the Wikipedia article in accordance with New World Encyclopedia standards.
Ambition and adventure: the early life of Arthur Phillip
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Next Arthur Rimbaud. Credits New World Encyclopedia writers and editors rewrote and completed the Wikipedia article in accordance with New World Encyclopedia standards. Categories : Biography History Politicians and reformers Credited. October 11, — August 31, London , England. Bath, England. Kingdom of Great Britain. Seven Years' War. On 15 May Governor Phillip laid the foundation plate to mark the start of the building of Government House. Skip to main content.
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Search Search. Museum of Sydney. Who was Governor Arthur Phillip? The life, achievements and legacy of Arthur Phillip were honoured at a series of commemorative events in Related stories. Read more. First Government House foundation plate First Government foundation plate detail.