Arthur Phillip

Arthur Phillip
1786 portrait by Francis Wheatley
(National Portrait Gallery, London)
1st Governor of New South Wales
In office
7 February 1788 – 10 December 1792
MonarchGeorge III
Preceded byPosition Established
Succeeded byJohn Hunter
Personal details
Born(1738-10-11)11 October 1738
Cheapside, London, England
Died31 August 1814(1814-08-31) (aged 75)
Bath, Somerset, England
Military service
AllegianceKingdom of Great Britain
Branch/serviceRoyal Navy
Battles/wars Australian Frontier Wars

Admiral Arthur Phillip (11 October 1738 – 31 August 1814) was a Royal Navy officer and the first Governor of New South Wales who founded the British penal colony that later became the city of Sydney, Australia.[1]

After much experience at sea, Phillip sailed with the First Fleet as Governor-designate of the proposed British penal colony of New South Wales. In January 1788, he selected its location to be Port Jackson (encompassing Sydney Harbour).[2]

Phillip was a far-sighted governor who soon saw that New South Wales would need a civil administration and a system for emancipating the convicts. But his plan to bring skilled tradesmen on the voyage had been rejected, and he faced immense problems of labour, discipline and supply.

The arrival of the Second and Third Fleets placed new pressures on the scarce local resources, but by the time Phillip sailed home in December 1792, the colony was taking shape, with official land-grants and systematic farming and water-supply.

Phillip retired in 1805, but continued to correspond with his friends in New South Wales and to promote the colony's interests.

Early life

Captain Arthur Phillip was born on 11 October 1738, the youngest of two children to Jacob Phillip and Elizabeth Breach. His father Jacob was born in Frankfurt, Germany. He was a languages teacher who may also have served in the Royal Navy as an able seaman and purser's steward. His mother Elizabeth was the widow of an ordinary seaman, John Herbert, who had served in Jamaica aboard HMS Tartar and died of disease on 13 August 1732. At the time of Arthur Phillip's birth, his family maintained a modest existence as tenants near Cheapside in the City of London.[3]

There are no surviving records of Phillip's early childhood. His father Jacob died in 1739, after which the Phillip family may have fallen on hard times.[4] On 22 June 1751 he was accepted into the Greenwich Hospital School, a charity school for the sons of indigent seafarers.[5] In keeping with the school's curriculum, his education was focused on literacy, arithmetic and navigational skills, including cartography. He was a competent student and something of a perfectionist. His headmaster, Reverend Francis Swinden observed that in personality Phillip was "unassuming, reasonable, business-like to the smallest degree in everything he undertakes".[6]

Phillip remained at the Greenwich School for two and a half years, considerably longer than the average student stay of twelve months.[7] At the end of 1753 he was granted a seven-year indenture as an apprentice aboard Fortune, a 210-ton whaling vessel commanded by merchant mariner Wiliam Readhead. He left the Greenwich School on 1 December and spent the winter aboard the Fortune awaiting the commencement of the 1754 whaling season.[8]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Arthur Phillip
العربية: آرثر فيليب
беларуская: Артур Філіп
български: Артър Филип
čeština: Arthur Phillip
español: Arthur Phillip
Esperanto: Arthur Phillip
français: Arthur Phillip
한국어: 아서 필립
Bahasa Indonesia: Arthur Phillip
italiano: Arthur Phillip
Bahasa Melayu: Arthur Phillip
Nederlands: Arthur Phillip
Nordfriisk: Arthur Phillip
Norfuk / Pitkern: Arthur Phillip
português: Arthur Phillip
русский: Филлип, Артур
Simple English: Arthur Phillip
українська: Артур Філіп