Critial Review Extract ‘Convicts, Jailers and Colonists’ 1779-1821

Colonial Experiment 1788 – 1918 Assignment 1 – Review In the extract ‘Convicts, jailers and colonists’ 1779-1821 from the book , Sources of Australian History(1971), the Author Manning Clark uses the primary resource from Lord Sydney to the lords and commissioners of the treasury in 1786 to support the text which discusses the problem of overcrowded jails in England and the proposal for a convict colony in Australia in 1784 – 1786.
The primary resource is a dispatch that was spoken by Lord Sydney to the Lords and commissioners of the treasury on the 18th of August 1786 in White hall, announcing the decision of the British Government to establish a convict colony at Botany Bay. Along with many other Books and journals such as Manning Clarks, Sources of Australian History (1971), the Dispatch from Lord Sydney was originally printed in the Historical records of New South Wales.
In this review, I summarize the source and analyses what relation it has to the historical subject as well as what the article says about the aspect of history it addresses. Critical Analysis – In the primary source Lord Sydney to the Lords and commissioners of the treasury, the text implies that Lord Sydney is speaking to the Lords of the treasury on behalf of the King for the funding of the expedition of a new settlement for convicts. The text shows that the over occupied jails in the state of Britain were so full that the king of England had decided that measures be taken immediately in relocating the convicts.

Originally the idea been proposed to send the convicts to south Africa, however after sending out a scout ship it was discovered that the area that was desired for settlement was too sandy and barren among other reasons for being unfit. Lord Sydney (1786) then goes on to discuss how instead the convict settlement would be on the Land known as Botany Bay as discovered by James Cook. Lord Sydney(1786) then states on behalf of the king that the treasury supply the money for vessels to transport 750 convicts as well as Naval Crews and 3 companies of marines .
It is also mentioned that a quantity of provisions for sustaining the people for two years be provided as well as ,necessaries such as bedding ,medical supplies and housing materials in order to erect habitation along with tools for agriculture and clothing also be funded as well as contingency solutions for food such as seed for growing grain and other garden seeds. Also it is noted that upon arriving at Botany bay water be procured as Lord Sydney (1786) states the plan for a vessel to stop at Cape de verda Islands as well as Cape of good hope to do so.
The text has great relevance to the historical subject as because of this event Australia was colonized by The English. This Source can be considered a factual piece of historical evidence as it was a British parliamentary documented report and the decision to enforce the plan to move the convicts to Australia was a proposal from his majesty the King. The Source is an objective piece of evidence as it is an account of what was said in British parliament and throughout the text it can be seen that during that period of time the British had planned to make the colony self-sufficient after a certain period of time in order to minimize cost .
This can be seen as in the text it is stated that “According to the best opinions that can be obtained a quantity of provisions equal only to two years should be provided”. Ultimately the Source from Lord Sydney to the lords and commissioners of the treasury in 1786, is a parliamentary documented source that explains how the plan to colonize Australia was set in motion, as the text shows Lord Sydney Outlines what things such as provisions, medical supplies, bedding and Argicultultural equipment would be needed to be funded in order to make the voyage to the new Land.
References Clark, M (ed) 1971, ‘Convicts, jailers and colonists 1779-1821’, In Sources of Australian History, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, pp. 60-75. Bibliography Clark, M (ed) 1971, ‘Convicts, jailers and colonists 1779-1821’, In Sources of Australian History, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, pp. 60-75. Lord Sydney to the Lords commissioners of the treasury, on the 18th of August 1786, White hall, Historical records of New South Wales, Vol. 1 pt. 2 at pp. 14 – 19

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