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    Re: Captain Bligh's other mutiny
    From: Peter Fogg
    Date: 2008 Jan 22, 05:18 +1100

     Isonomia says:
    It seems to me that Bligh was damned if he did take on the
    oligarchical group that seemed to run everything in NSW including the
    courts and damned if he did not.

    For another (the traditional) take on this:
    "For the first 35 years after Europeans arrived in NSW, the Governor was generally supreme in the colony. The Imperial Parliament - nearly 20,000 kilometres and 8 months away by sea - was the only superior authority but because communications with the British Parliament were slow and infrequent, the Governors could use wider powers than Parliament intended. The first real opposition to this had nothing to do with demands for democracy. When Governor William Bligh (1806-1810) challenged the near-monopoly of trade and land grants being exercised by army officers of the NSW Corps and their associates amongst the leading landowners, he was arrested by the army in 1808. This was in Australia's only military coup and for the next two years, until the arrival of a new Governor, officers of the Corps took the role of Governor upon themselves. The arrival of Governor Lachlan Macquarie with his own regiment in 1810 restored the power of the Governor and saw the NSW Corps disbanded."

    The early (even not so early) governors were, on the whole, a pretty motley and forgettable  bunch at best, and that has been their fate - mostly forgotten.  As an example, I suspect that most people, here as elsewhere, would only know of Bligh through the Bounty mutiny.

    If his successor, Lachlan Macquarie, has been and continues to be so revered (everything seems to get named after him) it is because as an able administrator he was so exceptional.  In other words, there was a different way to go about things, as shown by Macquarie (although note that he arrives with his own regiment!).

    Incidentally, this role of Governor of NSW still exists; the present incumbent is a distinguished lady of Lebanese descent.  We have become a very multi-cultural society.  At the bottom of that page is a list of governors.

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