September 28th Captain Philip Gidley King RN

Launceston – born Captain Philip Gidley King (1758 – 1808) became the 3rd Governor of New South Wales on this day in 1800.

He joined the Royal Navy at the age of twelve and initially served on convict ships and at convict settlements.  Serving on the First Fleet, which arrived in January 1788, King was detailed to colonise Norfolk Island for defence and farming and foraging. In early 1789, he prevented a mutiny by some of the convicts who planned to take the officers prisoner and escape on the next boat to arrive.  Following the wreck of the prison ship, ‘Sirius’ in March 1790, King travelled to England to make a report on the difficulties of the settlements at New South Wales.

Returning to Norfolk Island, King found a poverty – stricken and desperate population but through development of farming and providing education he had, by 1794, established a self – sufficient population with a thriving beef  market.  He returned to England again in 1796 but arrived back in Australia, having been appointed Governor of New South Wales which office he assumed on this day in 1800. Rebellions continued, however, and in 1806, he resigned and was replaced by William Bligh (December 27th) who, himself, ended up imprisoned for almost two years by the rebelling convicts and forces.



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