Philip Gidley King

Philip Gidley King ( born April 23 1758 in Launceston in Cornwall, † September 3, 1808 ) was a captain of the Royal Navy and colonial administrator in Australia. He is best known as the official founder of the first European settlement on Norfolk Iceland and as the third Governor of New South Wales.

Norfolk Iceland

King joined with 12 years in as Captain 's Servant of the Royal Navy and was in 1778 appointed lieutenant. He served under Arthur Phillip, who made him for an expedition to establish a penal colony in New South Wales for the second officer of HMS Sirius. Upon arrival at the January 1788 King was appointed to lead a small group of convicts and guards and to establish with them a settlement on Norfolk Iceland.

On March 6, 1788 landed King and his group with difficulties on the island as a suitable harbor was missing. They built huts, rodete the country, put on plantations and fought against maggots, salt air and hurricanes. More convicts were sent to the colony, which sometimes proved problematic. Early in 1789 King prevented a revolt in which some convicts had planned to capture him and other officers and to escape to the next boat would arrive.

On his return to Norfolk he found that had grown to about 1000 people in the greatest discontent that had been created by the strict regime of the Major Robert Ross. He sets out to improve the conditions and encouraged the colonization of former convicts or Marines and took into account their opinion in regard to wages and prices. 1794, the island could supply them with grain itself, a surplus of pigs was sent to Sydney. Many settlers subsisted rather from the storehouses of the government and a few wanted to leave Norfolk.

In February 1794 King was confronted with unfounded accusations by members of the New South Wales Corps on the island, he will punish them severely and the convicts too little when it came to disputes. As their behavior approached a mutiny, he sent 20 of them to Sydney before the court-martial. There criticized Vice- Governor Francis Grose King's behavior and issued orders that gave the military a wrongful authority over the civilian population. Although Grose later apologized for the conflict with the military loaded but King continued.

At the gout suffering King returned in October 1796 to England. After his health was restored, he resumed his naval career on again and became the successor of John Hunter on the post of governor of New South Wales determined.

Governor time

King was born on September 28, 1800 to the Governor and began to reform the administration. He appointed Major Joseph Foveaux for Lieutenant Governor of Norfolk Iceland.

He first went against the misconduct of the officers of the New South Wales Corps, specifically the illegal trade in spirits, especially rum before. He tried to impede the import of alcohol and began to build a brewery. However, he had increasing problems to do something about the further flourishing illicit distillation in the country and the refusal of the convicts to work in their free time against other forms of payment.

He was further confronted with the military arrogance and disobedience of the New South Wales Corps. He also got in England no support when he sent back the officer John Macarthur for a trial before the court-martial.

However, King also had some success. The he initiated regulation of prices, wages and working hours, financial agreements and the use of convicts brought the less wealthy settlers some relief and reduced the number of people living at government expense. He promoted the construction of barracks, wharves, bridges, houses, etc. The livestock in government ownership grew significantly. He also encouraged experiments with the cultivation of wine, tobacco, cotton, hemp and indigo. Whaling and seal hunting were important sources of oil and skins, coal mining was taken. King also promoted the education system and established schools to retrain convicts to craftsmen. He sat down for a smallpox vaccination, was open-minded missionaries over and strove to live with the Aborigines in peace. The establishment of the first newspaper in Sydnes, of The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, found his support.

Although he was well aware that Sydney was a penal colony, he was also the " Emancipists ", partially or completely pardoned convicts a chance, because he said that ex-convicts should not live forever in disgrace. He called some of them in positions of responsibility and laid the foundation of the "ticket of leave" system for the rehabilitation of convicts.


During his time as commander in Norfolk Iceland King had a relationship with the convict Ann Inett, with whom he had two sons. The first was on January 8, 1789 born, the second by the name of Sydney in 1790.

After the shipwreck of the Sirius at Norfolk Iceland in March 1790 King returned to England to report on the problems of the settlements in New South Wales. Ann Inett stayed with the children in Sydney back in 1792, she married another man and led a comfortable and respected life in the colony. King, who had arranged this marriage may itself also enabled the education of his sons in England, after which they were officers in the Navy.

During his time in England, King married on March 11, 1791 Anna Josepha Coombe and returned shortly thereafter with the HMS Gorgon back to take up his post as vice-governor of Norfolk Iceland to an annual salary of £ 250. King's first legitimate son, Philip Parker King, was born there on 13 December 1791 followed by four daughters. Voyages of discovery led to the exploration of the Bass Strait and Western Port, the discovery of Port Phillip Bay and the system of settlements in Hobart and Port Dalrymple (now Launceston ) in Van Diemen's Land, later Tasmania.

Although he benefited directly from a number of trade agreements, livestock sales and land grants, he was in relation to most of his subordinates rather modest in his claims.

The increasing hostility between King and the New South Wales Corps led to his resignation and his replacement by William Bligh in 1806. King returned to England, where his health deteriorated rapidly and he died on September 3, 1808.

Although he worked hard for the welfare of New South Wales and it left in a much better state than he found it, his reputation suffered by the verbal attacks of the officers. Disease and the harsh conditions of service had finally reamed him. Of all the members of the First Fleet Philip Gidley King was perhaps the most to the prosperity of the colony at in their early years.

The botanist Robert Brown in 1826 named after him and Philip Parker King, the Australian plant genus of the family Kingia Dasypogonaceae.