Arthur Phillip

Arthur Phillip (1738-1814) was a naval officer appointed as the first governor of New South Wales (1788-92). Inspired by his vision of a new outpost of empire in the South Seas, he nursed the penal settlement through its precarious early years with rational policies, humane treatment of convicts and Aborigines and sound administration. He finished his career as an admiral. Courtesy Australian Dictionary of Biography


12 October 1786

Establishing the new colony

The British Government selects Captain Arthur Phillip to establish a new British colony, to become known as New South Wales. His first Commission is signed on 12 October 1786. A second Commission issued in April 1787 appoints Captain Phillip as Captain-General and Commander-in-Chief of the First Fleet, and a third Commission, dated 24 April 1787, provides him with details concerning the limits of the new colony and sets out his general tasks.


Shilling — Australian proclamation coin, 1787, minted in Great Britain.
26 January 1788

First Fleet lands

On 19 January the First Fleet enters Botany Bay under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip, and on 26 January, from the landing site at Port Jackson in Sydney Cove, he proclaims the new colony of New South Wales. The First Fleet comprises 1030 people including male and female convicts, marines and civil officers and their wives, and 37 children.


Convicts embarking for Botany Bay.