Captain (later Vice-Admiral) Arthur
[Courtesy of Government House,
Historic Houses Trust]
of New South Wales. Known at the time as "Captain General and
Born in England.
Appointed 12 October,1786
as the representative of the British Crown in an area embracing roughly
half of eastern Australia and Norfolk Island.
His powers in
the colony of New South Wales were absolute. He was only accountable
to the Colonial Secretary in England then to the Prime Minister and
then to the King. This meant he had complete authority over the inhabitants
and gave him the right to make regulations touching practically all
aspects of their lives. He could also had the authority to grant land
to approved persons.
The NSW Army Corps
was a group of men that were sent out from England to replace the
original marines that Phillip had with him. The marines claimed that
they were not accountable to Phillip but to the Admiralty. After Phillip
wrote to his superiors in England about this matter, they were replaced
except for some who volunteered to stay and join the newly arrived
corps. Having some of the originals in the corps caused the whole
corps now to be less respectful than the original marines and Phillip
advised the home office to that effect. This would cause problems
He combined executive
and legislative functions and could remit sentences imposed by the
Civil and Criminal Courts within the new colony. In this way, he had
the powers of the Chief Justice.
He named and helped
design Sydney and established Parramatta in 1788 for agricultural
purposes. Parramatta soon became the main economic centre of the colony.
a building program and built the first government house.
He sought to maintain
harmony with the Aboriginal people while gradually persuading them
of the superiority of the British civilization. Official British policy
was "to endeavour
to open intercourse" and to punish
any person who destroyed or interrupted them. This policy was to continue
without amendment for the next fifty years.
- Between 1792 and
1795, the colony was commanded by the Lieutenant Governor, the commander
of the New South Wales Army Corps, Major Grose. When he left two years
later, Lieutenant Colonel William Paterson, the senior military officer
in New South Wales, assumed control. During Grose and Patersons
rule law and order was disorderly. Grose allowed the soldiers to be
paid in rum. The Army Corps became known as the Rum Corps.
A', Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 2, ed. Douglas Pike, pp 326-33
(Melbourne University Press)