Thursday, January 31, 2008

Rum Rebellion

No walkies today. It is too bloody hot and too bloody sticky. I am sitting on a wet towel praying for rain and learning about history.

I learnt about the Rum Rebellion at school and somehow came away with the idea it was connected to Slim Dusty's Pub with no beer.

It wasn't. The song's about a NSW pub drunk dry by American forces during World War II. The Rum Rebellion was essentially teething troubles in the young colony of New South Wales.

In 1808 the colony of New South Wales had been going for 20 years. And going badly. The whitefellas had few supply ships, not enough food and too many mouths to feed. The economy was in a nosedive and too many bigwigs were throwing their weight around.

Then Bligh gets sent out to be the next Governor*.

William Bligh

That's William Bligh. The same Bligh from the mutiny on the Bounty, arrived in August 1806. On the way from England he had a tiff with the captain of the other ship on the journey and relieved him of his duties.

When he arrived it was chaos. No-one was happy, everyone was miserable, the Corps (soldiers/prison-wardens), the convicts, the free settlers and of course the blackfellas.

Bligh was a bloke with a short fuse. The colony was already well supplied with blokes with short fuses and some of them were armed. 20 years to the day after the colony was founded (26th January 1788), some of those armed fuses decided to bung Governor Bligh under house arrest and run the colony themselves. So they did. Then they had a party.

It was Australia's only military coup. Plenty of people had hissy fits but not a shot was fired, not a drop of blood was spilled. Though Bligh's daughter apparently tried to fight off the whole NSW Corps (the arresting officers) with her brolly.


Bligh at Australian Dictionary of Biography


That is it from me today, peeps. I am hot, tired and buggered. If there's a storm tonight I can walk tomorrow.


* American readers, a Governor (in Australia) is the King's/Queen's Representative and a cross between a coach and an assistant manager. (Back)

2 comments:

James said...

Spike
I saw the turkey picture and it reminded me that 'ol Ben Franklin almost got his wish to make the wild turkey the national bird of the U.S. Funny because here we are today with a turkey runnin the country.
Your bud pet(James)

Spike said...

How long you got until you get rid of your turkey?

We got rid of ours a few months back.