The Physical Endeavour: how a wooden ship shaped Cook’s first circumnavigationClaire Brennan

This article examines the role of his vessel in James Cook’s first Pacific voyage. The Endeavour strongly influenced what Cook was able to attempt and its limitations directed the course of the voyage. A close reading of the journals of Cook and Joseph Banks reveals the ways in which the physical conditions of the vessel influenced the voyage and casts fresh light on the Endeavour’s voyage around the world.

Governor King and the illicit distillers, 1800-1806 – Darren Hopkins

This article consists mostly of unpublished manuscript material concerning cases of illicit distillation brought before the Magistrates during the administration of Governor King, notably the first prolific period of colonial distillation during the last years of his governorship, 1805-06. Most of the distillers tried during this period were comprised of the ‘United Irishmen’ involved in the Irish Rebellion of 1798, who had begun to arrive in the Colony in 1800, but also consisted of a broader spectrum of the colonial population, such as the English convicts, free settlers, and ex-military personnel. This article also highlights the conflict regarding the prosecution of illicit distillers between the Governor versus the Judge Advocate and the Sydney, Parramatta and Hawkesbury Magistrates (some of whom were also distillers).

The 1820 influenza outbreak in Sydney and its impact on Indigenous and settler populations – Denis Gojak

Reflecting on its impending bicentenary, this paper explores Sydney’s first influenza epidemic in mid-1820 through a range of source material. It caused perhaps a hundred deaths among its settler inhabitants and affected all parts of the community. Less well understood is the impact it had on the Aboriginal people of southeastern Australia, although we know that many deaths resulted.

Although variable in its effects, the influenza epidemic had broader importance in weakening Indigenous resistance to pastoral expansion, as European expansion in Australia and the Pacific became increasingly associated with rapid transfer of infectious diseases. It presents a novel use of biographical and demographic data to understand the effects of influenza on isolated populations.

Enid and Elaine de Chair: Government House and Modernism in Sydney – Anne Sanders

Lady Enid de Chair was the very popular and active vice-regal wife of the 25th Governor of New South Wales, Admiral Sir Dudley Rawson Stratford de Chair, KCB, MVO.

Enid’s support of early Australian modernist artists in Sydney and her indefatigable support of women’s clubs and organisations, make her a very interesting subject in her own right. She amassed a significant Australian art collection, some of which has returned to Australia in auction sales. An energetic, enthusiastic and adventurous woman – born in South Africa, educated in England, started her married life in America – she travelled widely with a young family. During their vice-regal tenure, both de Chair women – mother Enid and daughter Elaine – were acknowledged as having played important roles as active, modern, forthright women. For Lady de Chair, as chatelaine of Sydney’s Government House by the glorious harbour, it was her happiest home.

Reverend George Soo Hoo Ten – Howard Le Couteur

The Reverend George Soo Hoo Ten was the first Chinese person ordained in the Anglican Church (Church of England) in Australia, in December, 1885. It was a time of rising anti-Chinese feeling, and his active ministry was backgrounded by a strong racist discourse. His ministry, though based amongst the Chinese population of Sydney, was not geographically limited, as he was regularly visiting Chinese communities in rural New South Wales and other Australian colonies. He was also very active in training Chinese catechists for the evangelisation of their countrymen. In fact, the ministry to the Chinese community was dependent on the work of these Chinese catechists. His story is part of a larger story of the work of various churches amongst Chinese settlers.

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