A recent message to this list contained the following:
It is important we remember the activities will be to COMMEMORATE not
CELEBRATE the first settlement of Europeans in the island. This is a
request from the State Government. We must bear in mind the indigenous
who were here first and were displaced by the Europeans and so it will
acceptable to commemorate but not celebrate.
With the full knowledge that this is an open list, and that messages sent
to this list are archived for the forseeable future, I would like to go on
record as saying:
I think the above policy from the State Government is a load of bollocks.
My ggg-grandfather was sentenced to death in England for a crime which --
as it later became apparent -- he did not commit. And what's more, this
happened four years before he had had a chance to sire my gg-grandfather! <g>
Petitions were made on his behalf by members of his community to spare his
life, and these petitions were successful, so that instead of being hanged,
he was transported to Van Diemen's Land in 1832. His son -- my
gg-grandfather --was then born at Oatlands, VDL in 1836. (Details on my
If new penal colonies had not been established in the Antipodes after the
loss of the American colonies by George III, what would have happened?
Possibly the petitions would have still been successful, but because
transportation was available as an alternative to capital punishment, maybe
it helped Thomas Burbury escape from the gallows, so that ultimately I
could be here today with all my outrage.
In addition, it seems that Thomas was *unemployed* at the time of his
arrest and subsequent trial. He was a weaver in Coventry at a time when the
weaving industry -- one of Coventry's principal industries at the time --
was in severe decline. After studying the situation in Coventry in general
and Thomas' own situation in particular, and comparing it with what Thomas
achieved after he came to VDL, I believe that being transported away from
Coventry to a new land filled with opportunity was probably the best thing
that could have happened to him.
And so I for one will be CELEBRATING the establishment of the penal colony
of Van Diemen's Land, and no politically correct doubletalk from the State
Government or *any* lobby groups will dissuade me.
E-mail: dburbury(a)vision.net.au ------------------ Launceston, Tasmania
(Burbury family page)
(My Yowie Swaps page)
Listowner: BURBURY Mailing List