1786 – 8 August, London: ‘His Majesty [King George 111] has thought advisable to fix upon Botany Bay’

1788-1868: Britain transported approximately 163,000 convicted criminals to Australia in the period 1788 to 1868. Of these only 25,000 were women with a half – 12,595 – going directly to Tasmania.

1858 – 1868, England: Under Home Secretary Duke of Buckingham, Britain began shipping convicts to West Australia –  10,000 male and zero women prisoners.

1868 – Portsmouth: Hougoumont, the final convict transport sailed from England for Freemantle with two hundred and eighty (280) male convicts.

‘Without a sufficient proportion of that [female] sex it is well known that it would be impossible to preserve the settlement from gross irregularities and disorders’. Heads of a Plan for Botany Bay, Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. 1, Parts 1 & 2

1786 – August, London: An unsigned ‘Heads of a Plan for effectually disposing of convicts [and] the establishment of a colony in New South Wales [with] two [2] companies of marines to form a military establishment’ was circulated to the Admiralty via Treasury and the Home Office.

‘Orders had been issued for the transportation of six hundred and eight [680] males and seventy [70] female convicts to New South Wales’. Lord Sydney Home Secretary, orders to Treasury.

Following representations the numbers were amended, 600 male and 200 female convicts. See: G is for Genocide

1787 – 13 May, Portsmouth: A large armed squadron of eleven (11) ships, known in Britain and Australia as the ‘First Fleet’, commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip RN sailed from Portsmouth, England bound for Botany Bay, New Holland now Australia.

The fleet complement of 1500 souls was overwhelmingly male; four hundred and forty (440) merchant seamen, two hundred (200) Royal Naval personnel, two hundred and forty-five (245) garrison marines, twenty (20) officials including seven (7) physicians, one (1) stow-a-way, Chaplain Richard Johnson his wife Mary, thirty-one (31) marine wives and approximately thirty (30) free children of marines and convicts.

One-half, seven hundred and fifty (750) were convicted criminals. Five hundred and eighty (580) male prisoners, rationed ‘as soldiers serving in the West Indies’ and one hundred and ninety-three (193) women prisoner ‘camp-followers’.

Examined and found free of venereal diseases, records confirm most young women prisoners, were intended for the use of officers and records reveal many served that purpose. See: Clue of the Scarlet Cloth

‘The administration gave no consideration to the date of expiry of sentences and several of the First Fleet convicts had been tried as early as 1781 and 1782. As seven [7] years transportation was the most common sentence, many had already served five-sevenths of their time on embarkation and six-sevenths on disembarkation at Sydney’. Dr John Cobley, Crimes of the First Fleet, Angus and Roberson, Sydney, 1982

Although other European nations included criminals in their settler-mix Britain’s invasion and occupation of Australia was unique, in so far as the first generation (1788-1813), was almost exclusively criminal, military and male.

1792 – December: At the end of Captain Arthur Phillip’s five (5) year tenure as Governor of New South Wales – January 1788 to December 1792 – the settlement had received 3,346 male and 766 female convicts.

“Rape is a biological possibility for the male”. This biological fact; when situated in a culture in which men monopolize political, economic, legal, military, religious and other forms of power has the potential to create a disposition amongst men to view sexual intercourse as one additional piece of weaponry in their armour of power, one that they can use whenever and upon whomsoever pleases them’. Anne Summers, Damned Whores and  God’s Police, Penguin, 1975

By December 1792 upwards of three hundred and fifty (350) prisoners, mainly young men having completed their sentences.

Free, stranded 13,000 miles (21,000 km) from home, most lived isolated lonely lives on the thirty (30) acres of Aboriginal land granted as reward for their villainy.

After many years of ‘situational homosexuality’ most ex-convicts hungered for heterosexual intercourse to be exacted; ‘from whomsoever [it] pleases them’.

Testosterone; ‘rape [was] one additional piece of weaponry in their armoury of power’ for two hundred (200) sailors, two hundred and forty-five (245) soldiers, five hundred and eighty (580) male prisoners.

The First Nations’ women, conscripted as ‘comfort women’ for both criminal and conqueror, bore the brunt of the ‘gross irregularities and disorders’ so clearly flagged in the ‘Heads of A Plan for Botany Bay’.

The seeds of the Stolen Generations came with the ‘First Fleet’. James Lavell the first known named Anglo-Aboriginal child was born at Sydney in 1788. While his mother’s name is unknown his father, Henry Lavell, was one of few convicts who returned to England.

‘Before 1850 men greatly outnumbered women in the Australian colonies. For this there were three [3] main causes.

First and by far the most important the British Government transported…six [6] times as many male convicts as female. Colonial Eve, Ed.Ruth Teale, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1978

‘Push’ factors multiplied in England when, post the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1793-1815) unemployment ballooned.

‘Second, army and naval personnel [left] their families in Britain’. Colonial Eve. ibid.

Demobilized soldiers, thrown onto the unemployment scrap-heap joined desperate paupers, their ranks swollen already with Admiral Nelson’s men paid-off after the English fleet’s decisive defeat of the French and Spanish fleets at the battle of Trafalgar in October 1805.

‘Third, the major sources of income (whaling, sealing, farming and sheep breeding), were male preserves’. Colonial Eve. ibid.

‘Pull’ factors in New South Wales, land lots of so called terra nullius   ‘no mans land’free for the taking at the point of a gun.

‘The colony required that as many male convicts as possible should be sent thither, the prosperity of the country depending on their numbers; whilst, on the contrary, female convicts are as great a drawback as the others are beneficial’. Governor Lachlan Macquarie, Dispatch, 30 April 1810

PullPush drove a rapid escalation in transportation. The census of 1828 put the European mainland population at 27,000 men and 9,000 women.

In New South Wales an acute shortage of labour in the ‘male preserves…sheep breeding, sealing, whaling’ saw a steady rise in numbers of common criminals transported.

In Great Britain fear of the ‘mob’. England’s cities and towns teemed with pick-pockets, petty thieves,  hardened criminals. foot-pads and ruthless armed highwaymen terrorized travellers.

Add to the mix organized revolutionaries such as Ludities and Blankeeters, and pauperized rural, domestic and factory workers who eked out a bare living in slave-like conditions.

Add mutinous sailors rioting at Spithead and Nore for better wages and relief from the Royal Navy’s brutal disciplinary practices plus the  ‘impotent poor’  starving in parish work-houses

Additionally the Irish Potato Famine, a disaster exacerbated by greedy aristocratic absentee English landlords demanding more produce to fill their already groaning damask covered dining tables.

In Scotland too widespread destitution followed savage Highland and Lowland Clearances.

Jurist Sir Samuel Romilly sought radical penal reform and fought to end such horrors as; ‘the accused be taken from this place to a place of execution to be ‘hung’  [and while alive] drawn and quartered’. Hansard

Intellectuals, John Tooke and John Wilkes, agitated for a Bill of Rights. Reformers, among them Earl Shaftesbury, advocated for a ten (10) hour working day and moved to introduce a Mines Act.

The proposed Mines Act called for a halt to the use of boys as young as four (4) years, prodded to squeeze into the deepest, darkest underground spaces.

Under the legislation if passed women would no longer be employed in coal mines forced to work semi-naked in hot stifling conditions.

‘In the sixty [60] odd years after the First Fleeters landed at Sydney Cove the population increased slowly to 405,000’. Russell Ward. Australia, 1965

But by the end of 1831, approximately 59,000 British convicts had been transported to Australia – 73% male and 27% female. From 1832 Britain shipped prisoners at the rate of 5,000 per year.

Transportation to Tasmania began in 1803 and, after 1840 when it came to an end in New South Wales, male and female criminals were sent there directly.

During the period 1803 to 1852 approximately 67,200 convicts – 54,650 men and 12,595 women were transported to Tasmania.

‘Only 25,000 women, a seventh of the total number of convicts, were transported, creating a marked sex imbalance in the population, By 1820 there were nine [9] white men in New south Wales, and ten [10] men in Van Diemens Land [Tasmania] for every white woman. Stephen Garton, Out of Luck, Poor Australians and Social Welfare 1788-1988, Allen and Unwin, 1990 

Along with transportation came thousands of paupers. Those strong enough to survive the horrendous, demoralizing rigors of vile parish work-house were bundled into ships.

‘With the cessation of transportation to the eastern mainland thousands of assisted migrants were brought to supply the labour market’. Ward. ibid.

The ‘under-serving poor’ together with ‘bounty migrants’ assisted to escape the evil hell-hole that was Queen Victoria’s England supplied the slave labour that built modern Australia.

1850: As if two (2) genocidal gender assaults were not enough a third wave of men swamped the ‘wide brown land’.

1851-61: ‘In the decade of the Gold Rush, 1851-1861, this figure [405,000] grew to about 1,146,000.

In these ten [10] years the white population of the continent nearly trebled, while that of the infant colony of Victoria increased six-fold from 87,000 to 540,000′. Ward. ibid.

Australia’s First Nations’ Peoples were ravaged yet again by greed.

‘By 1859 there were around 50,000 Chinese in Australia…one (1) in four (4) miners on some Victoria fields were Chinese’. David Walker, Anxious Nation, Australia and the Rise of Asia 1850-1938, University of Queensland Press, 1999.

In terms of gender 50,000 was made even more extraordinary as it is estimated approximately twenty (20) of that number were women.

Chinese diggers were hated by second and third generation, so called ‘currency’ Australians, and by rapacious new-comers from Britain and America in the search of the ‘golden goose’.

The principal cause for this hatred sprang from the Chinese work ethic. Disciplined, industrious and collaborative, their methods stood in stark contrast to Europeans whose working life was dominated by self-obsession, single-minded greed and secretive practices.

At the time of Australia’s gold rush Britain and China were engaged in the Opium Wars 1842- 1859.

With the movement of Chinese diggers from Victoria to the rich fields of New South Wales the battle-lines of war extended from China to that outpost of Empire – Lambing Flats – now the peaceful town of Young.

1861 – July: Fear lust for gold would be matched by lust for white women ‘sparked a battle for supremacy’ culminating in the Battle of Lambing Flats in July 1861.

The British Government, through Lord Carrington Governor of New South Wales, encouraged ‘Britishness‘ insisting; ‘there was to be no intermarriage’.

‘To believe that Britain can forget is history is to believe that the Russians should not discuss the crimes of Stalin or the Germans the crimes of Nazism…There is a need for a re-writing of history, for the purging of some guilt by its contemplation’. Donald Horne, God is an Englishman, Penguin.


‘Historians have argued that…imbalance [of the sexes] was responsible for a high incidence of male sexual violence towards women in the colony’. Stephen Garton, Out of Luck, Poor Australians and Social Welfare 1788-1988, 1990.

 2018 –  ME TOO  – First Australian women ‘comfort women’ for criminal and conqueror.

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