George Johnston

George Johnston (1764-1823) was a military officer, trader in spirits and successful farmer and grazier in New South Wales. As the most senior officer available when the conflict with Governor Bligh became critical in 1808, he was thrust into the leadership of the mutiny. He represented himself as an agent of the popular will but was cashiered for his action. Courtesy Australian Dictionary of Biography


26 January 1808

Rum Rebellion

Tensions over power in the new colony erupt when Governor William Bligh arrests John Macarthur, a prominent pastoralist, and refuses him the bail granted by an illegally constituted court. The commander of the NSW Corps, Major George Johnston, deposes Bligh and assumes government of the colony. Macarthur serves as colonial secretary until Bligh is replaced by Lieutenant-Colonel Foveaux. Johnston is later dismissed for his part in the mutiny, while Macarthur is exiled from the colony for seven years.


Arrest of Governor Bligh, January 26 1808.