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Australian History

Saturday, July 16, 1825. :   The western border of New South Wales is extended to offset French and Dutch interests in Australia's north coast.

     James Cook is remembered for being the first explorer to recognise the potential of Australia. In August 1770, he claimed part of the continent that was known as "New Holland" for Great Britain, renaming it "New South Wales". He took possession “of the whole eastern coast, from latitude 38 degrees S to this place, latitude 10.5 degrees S, in right of His Majesty King George the Third”. This essentially included just the eastern parts of what is now New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

The authorities in Great Britain felt it was necessary to establish a definite western boundary. This was largely because the Dutch had first landed on the continent and had a strong presence to the north, while the Portuguese still held strong interests in Timor. When Captain Arthur Phillip arrived in Port Jackson with First Fleet of convicts on 26 January 1788, he raised the British flag and claimed the entire eastern part of the Australian continent, including Van Diemen’s Land. As Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief of New South Wales, Phillip was required to take formal possession on behalf of the British Crown, of territory “... extending from the Northern Cape or extremity of the coast called Cape York, in the latitude of ten degrees thirty-seven minutes south, to the southern extremity of the said territory of New South Wales or South Cape, in the latitude of forty-three degrees thirty-nine minutes south and of all the country inland westward as far as the one hundred and thirty-fifth degree of east longitude reckoning from the meridian of Greenwich, including all the islands adjacent in the Pacific Ocean within the latitudes aforesaid of ten degrees thirty-seven minutes south and forty-three degrees thirty-nine minutes south”.

The western boundary had been established at 135 degrees E as this was not considered too close to Timor, and should appease Portugal, then Britain’s oldest ally. However, the French continued to hover off the coast, sending numerous scientific and exploratory expeditions. In 1824, the British trading post of Fort Dundas on Melville Island was established, in an attempt to offset French or Dutch plans to colonise any part of the northern coast. However, Fort Dundas lay just outside the western boundary. Thus, Governor Ralph Darling, following the Commission outlined in Letters Patent issued on 16 July 1825, extended the western boundary of New South Wales to 129 degrees E.

Formal possession of the remaining western section was undertaken when Captain Charles Fremantle took formal possession in 1829 of that part of New Holland “not included in the Colony of New South Wales”.


Today in History

Thought For Today
Accept one another, then, for the glory of God, as Christ has accepted you.
Romans 15:7 (c) GNB
Don't judge others because you are probably not any better than they! In the sight of God we are all loved despite our shortcomings.

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