WHY TRANSPORTION TO BOTANY BAY † FOR CONVICTS?
There were numerous reasons why the British established what became their colony in Sydney. Look at each reason based on Robert J. King’s crystalisation in his brilliant work, “The Secret History of the Convict Colony” about Alexandro Malaspino’s report on the British settlement of New South Wales. In any consideration of the issues on this subject this work should be seriously referenced with much admiration. King’s work would better be quoted than another work as to the reasons “Why Botany Bay?” Too many lazy academics simplify the answer to this question by merely citing a contemporary British Cabinet Minute seeking and, on approval, the authorisation for the transportation of convicts to Botany Bay.
That document was not a stand-alone action; it merely follows on from a part of the submission of Mario Matra, who incidentally suggested other options as well, all aimed at settling Botany Bay for British interests. Other options included the recruitment of Chinese Coolies and resettlement of American Loyalists. The influence of the powerful, Captain Sir George Young was paramount in the passage of Matra’s proposal. According to King, Matra with embellishments by the politically significant and powerful Sir George Young cited;
1. A base from which to exploit the fur trade of the Aleutian Islands
2. Trade with China, the Cape of Good Hope, Korea. Japan. the Moluccas, the Spice Islands and the Friendly Islands
3. Suitable compensation for displaced American Loyalists.
4. To grow crops
5. Exploit New Zealand hemp or flax
6. The trade advantages of a settlement relative to Spanish America in times of peace.
7. Exploration for metals
8. The naval strategic advantages of a settlement relative to Spanish America, Lima, Peru and Bolivia being within 1,600 leagues of Botany Bay.
9. Shelter and refreshment for British ships in the event of war with Spain.
10. A suitable location for the transportation of...