What a co-incidence that an explosive Royal affair was going on in England at the very time that the First Fleets were leaving Portsmouth with a cargo of convicts for the unknown south land known to the Dutch as New Holland (Australia).
A very convenient co-incidence.
The First Fleets sailed from England between 1787 and 1791 bound for New South Wales, as Australia had been named by Captain James Cook, in the land called New Holland by the Dutch (who first landed here in 1606), which some two thousand years ago had been referred to by the Alexandrian geographer Claudius Ptolemy as Terra Australis Incognita, the Unknown South Land.
The name ‘Australia’ first appeared on explorer Matthew Flinders’ map (1801-3) of the first circumnavigation of the continent.
This marked the beginning of a quiet invasion of an already inhabited land by hapless settlers, mostly convicts (often guilty of the pettiest crimes) banished from a homeland of overcrowded jails and hulks on the Thames that cared not of their unknown fate.
They left behind their families and loved ones knowing they would never see them again. Two seventeen year-old girls were transported for fourteen years for stealing ten yards of printed cotton. It’s said one woman died of a broken heart even before her ship sailed.
On the other hand it’s said that many were pleased to be leaving the awful conditions of the jails and hulks behind for a new land of fresh air and open spaces.
All the same many would die in shackles on the terrible journey which took nine months or more around the Cape of Good Hope and across the Roaring Forties.
These human lives were of no great concern to those sitting in the Parliament in London or, for that matter, to those on or close to the throne of England.
Except, perhaps, those whose only concern was to remove an unfortunate consequence of a certain secret Royal affair.
What if this co-incidence was used to conceal the evidence on the other side of the world?
I explore the evidence in my controversial non-fiction book (not a historic novel) ‘Back to the Wall’.
Order your copy here.