Friday, August 27, 2010

The Story of Patrick McCarthy - Part 1

Born in 1777 in the parish of KeelGardoff, County Cork, Ireland, Patrick became a weaver by trade. On 6 March 1800, Patrick enlisted in the British Army - the 25th Regiment of Foot. He was about 23 years old, 5ft 4ins in height with a fair complexion, round visage, hazel eyes and black hair.

While serving with the 25th Regiment of Foot, Patrick was stationed at Gibraltar, where he became involved in a mutiny.

The men of the garrison at Gibraltar had a relatively easy life until the arrival of the Duke of York (Prince Edward) in March 1802.  The Duke was unimpressed with the laxity of the men and imposed strict discipline.  In particular, he introduced evening curfews and rigourous training drills by day to improve the sobriety of the men.  A significant trade in alcohol had grown at Gibraltar, founded on sales to the soldiers of the garrison. 92 pubs serviced 7,000 soldiers and civilians.

Payment Method - Value One Quart (Payable at R.  Keelings, Gibralter [sic] 1802)

Eventually, the Duke closed down most of the taverns. A plot was hatched by some of the soldiers to kill the Duke of York. On Christmas Eve 1802, they marched on Edward's quarters, demanding their grievances be heard. They were dispersed by shots fired by loyal guards. Two days later, the rebellion again escalated. The mutineers were fired upon with cannon, wounding 6 and killing 3 in the brief action. Again, the mood settled into an uneasy calm, but on 31 December 1802, the mutineers tried to kill their own officers. The Duke arrested the mutineers and ordered an immediate court martial. It was quick and decisive - 10 men were condemned to death, but only 3 executions were carried out. The remaining 7 soldiers were sentenced to transportation to Australia for life.  One of these 7 soldiers was Patrick McCarthy.

On 4 January 1803, the 7 mutineers were shipped back to England. On arrival at Portsmouth, they were immediately transferred to HMS Calcutta, a naval ship loaded with convicts ready for transportation to Australia.  HMS Calcutta sailed very shortly afterward, with the supply ship Ocean, bound for Port Phillip and under instructions to establish a new settlement there.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Bit of Fun

The Matrix Blitz - an Excellent Adventure!

Starring: Laurence Fishburne and ... that guy (what's his name) ... oh yeah ... Keanu Reeves (thanks Google).

I was looking for the Oompa Loompa Band plays Ballroom Blitz (Spicks n Specks) ..... but found this instead.  It's pretty good - set to an absolute glam rock classic, I never really understood The Matrix, but now it all makes sense!
 ... are you ready Steve?
All right fellas ........... Let's GO!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Song of the Day

Uh-huh!  Musical interlude time. Necessary when the recent topic has been a tragic episode in history.Tonight - because its my blog and I can do what I like - more Norah Jones!! Yay!!

My mind's racing from Chasing Pirates (live):

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Van Diemen's Land

... by James Boyce. I just finished reading this excellent book.

With a family connection to the earliest days of the colony, this book is exactly what I needed to understand life in the early years.

The history of the island of Tasmania is fascinating yet tragic. For the first time I became aware of individual Tasmanian aboriginals, such as Mannalargenna, whose “influence amongst his people was great. He was universally admired by all the native tribes who knew him as being the most able and successful warrior of the Aborigines.” This was written by George Robinson, who I remember learning about when I was in [Lenah Valley] primary school. Robinson had been portrayed to me as simply someone who attempted to round up the Aborigines, but with little success. James Boyce demonstrates the critical role this materialistic, self-centred individual played in the demise of the Tasmanian Aborigines. Boyce also highlights how the convicts were induced to do much of the killing and how securing the material wealth of relatively few large land owners was a crucial driver of the Governor’s policies.

Thank you, James Boyce, for a fresh perspective on the social environment of those early years. Australians can grow by reading your book, which should become a mandatory high school text book.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Song of the Day

It's that time folks ...

Anybody remember Elvis? Or Cheap Trick, maybe?

This is the best cover I've heard, more upbeat than the original (the original is always the best) and the pregnant pause is very effective. Are the background dancers leftovers from Robert Palmer's Simply Irresistible shoot?
......... Don't be Cruel

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Silver Suited Kids Morph Into Real Individuals

I became a "follower" on Angela Cartwright's blog today! 43 years after getting hooked on the iconic sci-fi TV serial Lost in Space, I browsed through Angie's site and found an interesting artist and photographer. Be warned - her's is very much a girlie site. Nevertheless, I couldn't overlook the opportunity to follow her bloop .. I mean blog, for .. bloop .. old time sakes .. sorry AC!  By the way - if you check out her Altered Paradox blog page, have a look at her street scene paintings.  I wouldn't mind one those in my lounge room. Nice stuff Angela!

AC's blog also links to Bill Mumy's webpage.  He doesn't have a blog, but if you're also a Lost In Space fan, you might like to see what he's up to now.  He's much into music (always was). His webpage also has links to his kids sites (Seth and Lilliana). Lilliana especially has been busy in the Hollywood showbiz lifestyle.  
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