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Act 4 8 people---4 boys-- 4 girls

ACT 4 Introduction. 1 girl

At this time in the colonization of Australia, things had settled down. The British Government recognized Australia as proper colony, requiring some support. From the Governor downwards the threat of starvation, proper employment of the convicts, self sufficiency was of vital importance. The Governor still had to deal with the NSW Corps, his only “Police Force” for Law and Order. They seemed to become more important than the Governor.

Ships of Convicts and Free settlers continued to arrive. Ships also arrived from “anywhere” to sell or barter goods. People just made the best of where they lived and the misfortunes or opportunities that came up.

Were the French at war with Britain? After the War of American Liberation, where the French aided and fought with the Americans against the British. Both the French and British people were wary of each others intentions.

Both countries had diplomatic arrangements. Joseph Banks arranged Matthew Flinders Passport with the French, to say that he was on an" Exploring Voyage and not a War Voyage." The French did the same with Commodore Baudin’s voyage of "Scientific Study and Exploration."

Mrs. Macarthur, ran Elizabeth Farm during John Macarthur’s absences. She, more than Macarthur actually made the “Farm” pay its way, and probably gave Macarthur financial security to enable him to engage in other business affairs, in England and Australia.

SCENE: The French Expedition Leader, and Peron an expedition member, with a group of influential people.

PLAYERS: Commodore Baudin. Francois Peron.

Lt. Charles Robbins, Captain of the ship Cumberland.

Charles Grimes, Government Surveyor.

Mrs. Macarthur. Mrs. Elizabeth Rouse Susannah Larra. Mary McDonald

The Play ACT 4

LIEUTENANT CHARLES ROBBINS. Well Charles, I have my ship the Cumberland , ready to sail the moment the French sail out of Sydney. The Governor was very clever in giving the French that land and beach next to Mathew Flinders campsite on the North side of the Harbour. We can see every move they make.

CHARLES GRIMES: Our mission is very important. The Governor does not want the French Expedition to plant a French Flag on any Bass strait islands, and claim it as part of French Territory.

LIEUTENANT CHARLES ROBBINS: I think Commodore Baudin and Captain Hamelin could be convinced to do so by that fellow Peron. We all think he is a proper spy for the French Government.

CHARLES GRIMES: I know he has been talking to that Spanish Jewish fellow, released convict James Lara, who owns that Public House the Freemasons Arms at Parramatta. Also when the good ladies of the Colony, organize carriage rides for the French Officers so that they are not bored and also so they can see the country, Mr. Peron takes a lot of notes.

LIEUTENANT CHARLES ROBBINS: Well he is an ex soldier, so he would value information. Anyway I have a few cannons on my ship that could persuade them to go away. Oh! Oh! Here comes Mrs. Macarthur and some other women with Commodore Baudin.

CHARLES GRIMES: Well at least my wife isn’t with them. She would tell Mrs. Macarthur that I supported her husband Captain John Macarthur of the NSW Corps, before he got sent back to England on Court Martial charges.

LIEUTENANT CHARLES ROBBINS: Well I also know a little about Mrs. Macarthur. She was great friends with Surgeon Worgan of the Sirius and purchased his piano from him. She was also good friends with Captain Watkin Tench and Lt. William Dawes from the First Fleet arrivals. She is also aware that they and Governor Captain Arthur Philip, Captain Hunter and others wrote articles for London newspapers.

MRS. MACARTHUR: Good afternoon Gentlemen. May I introduce Commodore Baudin, who commands the French Expedition.

COMMODORE BAUDIN: Bonjour gentlemen. I hope we have been forgiven from flying your English flag from the wrong place on our ship when we entered Port Jackson. That place is where we fly the French Flag.

LIEUTENANT CHARLES ROBBINS: Forgiven Sir! Although I must admit we did think you were insulting us.

COMMODORE BAUDIN: Is that your fine ship, the Cumberland moored opposite us on the other side of the Harbour?

LIEUTENANT CHARLES ROBBINS: Yes it is. The Governor has ordered me to be ready to sail anytime.

CHARLES GRIMES: More to the point Commodore Baudin, your two French Officers were proved by a Court, to not guilty of trading in rum. Something the Governor is against.

COMMODORE BAUDIN: It was only ignorance of the situation, not a deliberate attempt to cause trouble. Ours is a Scientific Expedition, the third one I have commanded. It’s not meant to be a French expansion. We are trying to complete a map of Australia. Although when I met your Captain Flinders in a place he called Encounter Bay, we realized that the English Government and the Colony here in Sydney regard all of Australia as English.


COMMODORE BAUDIN: You will have heard that I purchased the Casuarina from Governor King. Ever since we left France I have lost crewmen either through illness of desertion in fact it is impossible to sail the two large ships. So I crew up Le Naturaliste and send her back to France with scientific items. The crewing of the Casuarina will only be 5 or 6 hands, so we can continue to sail Le Geographe and use the Casuarina sloop for close inshore work..


COMMODORE BAUDIN: Mrs. Macarthur, I have brought 50 poundsof English money, to give to the Governor’s wife, Mrs. King. It is for her to spend on the Woman and Girls Factory at Parramatta. I am very impressed with her work there, and with  all the other Ladies, such as Mrs. Marsden, and including you of course Mrs. Macarthur.

MRS. MACARTHUR: I’m sure that Anna King will be grateful for your donation Commander. I will pass on the money to Mrs. Mary McDonald here to give to Anna. I’m not to welcome at Government House. My husband is quick to become aggrieved, and after his duel with Bill Paterson, then Lt. Governor and the Corps Commanding Officer, Governor King has sent him back too England to face a Courts Martial.

COMMODORE BAUDIN: I hear that your Husband Captain John Macarthur has take your eldest Daughter and Son back to England with him, so that they may be educated in England. It must be lonely for you?

SUSSANAH LARRA: Lt. Robbins and Mr. Grimes, have you met Monsieur Peron, the Expeditions Zoologist and Naturalist. He has stayed for several days at Mr. Larra’s Freemason’s Inn at Parramatta. Mr. Larra cannot come today he has religious duties to perform.

MONSIEUR PERON: Excuse me gentlemen my English is very bad. I have been very impressed with this English Colony. Some of your Governments expeditions to Newcastle and the Hawksbury River, were very well planned and carried out. That brave Frenchman Francis Barrallier is now to go to the nearby Blue Mountains and find a waythrough, if he can.

SUSSANAH LARRA: Do you still strongly feel that this colony should be French Monsieur Peron. Particularly after two Frenchmen have planted about 10,000 grape vines?

MONSIEUR PERON: Well Madam, you cannot deny that Louis de Bougainville should have landed on the eastern shores of Australia before Captain Cook. Bruny D’ Entrecasteaux, sailed through some islands attached to Van Diemans land, and Compte de La Perouse arrived of Botany Bay the same time as your Fleet led by Captain Arthur Philip. We French have had a lot to do with this land.

MRS. ELIZABETH ROUSE: You shouldn’t forget that the Spanish ships of Commodore Allesandro Malespina arrived here in 1793.so they were earlier than your current expedition.

MRS. MACARTHUR: I notice you limp a lot Monsieur Peron. I feel also that you are somewhat a testy person. Maybe its because of your years as a prisoner of war. You appear to be like my husband Captain John Macarthur. Look what that has done to his prospects.

SUSSANAH LARRA: That limp is from an old war wound, when you were fighting the Prussians, and was captured. Isn’t that correct Monsieur Peron? Then you were imprisoned for nearly two years. That’s also how you lost sight in one eye isn’t it Monsieur Peron. Anyway that’s what you told my husband.

MONSIEUR PERON: That is true Madam.

COMMODORE BAUDIN: Your Governor King has been most kind. He invited me to stay at his residence for several days. He took that opportunity to tell me how much he enjoyed visiting Compte La Perouse at Botany Bay in 1788. The La Perouse expedition, was also on a scientific and discovery expedition like ours . Did you know that our First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte when he was a young military student applied for a position with that Expedition. Luckily for France he was denied permission, so that he did not disappear with La Perouse and his shipmates.

MONSIEUR PERON: I think that it is likely that our First Consul will soon proclaim himself the highest leader in France. He will give himself an office grander than First Consul. Maybe Emperor. For the betterment of France.

SUSSANAH LARRA: We enjoyed having you having you at the Freemasons Arms in Parramatta, but my husband, James Larra, has had some criticism for looking after members of your expedition Monsieur Peron. We have quite a few Frenchmen here, in Sydney Town including a Baron.

MONSIEUR PERON: Well Madam, Mrs. Macdonald here, and Madam Macarthur, can vouch that I have always been interested in the people of the colony and what they do. It seems to be very egalitarian society just like in France after we got rid of the nobility.

MRS. MARY MACDONALD: Well Commander Baudin and you Monsieur Peron, you cannot deny that ladies of this colony have taken you and your Officers for drives around our Colony. But I must say that we have all felt that you Frenchmen feel that you own our land. Remember it was Captain Cook that sailed all along our Eastern Coast.

COMMODORE BAUDIN: Madam, I hope we have not given you the wrong impression, but you must also remember that the Dutch and Portuguese people discovered and landed on your Western Coast on their way to China and the Dutch East Indies. Long before Captain Cook.

MRS. MARY MACDONALD: Well we claim this large country as English. Mathew Flinders is still away circumnavigating and mapping our country. Our Governor King speaks very good French, in fact he visited La Perouse on his ship at Botany Bay. While you Commander Baudin, have lived at our Governor’s King’s Mansion here in Sydney for 3 days.

MRS. ELIZABETH ROUSE: Well as you know Mary, my Husband and I sailed to this Colony on the Nile, with a letter of introduction from the Duke of Portland. Governor King gave him 100 acres of land to be farmed at North Richmond. We are very happy with this country.

MRS. MARY MACDONALD: I wonder if that religious group of settlers who paid their own passage and have settled at Portland Head on the Hawksbury River feel the same. They are lucky the Aboriginal rebel chief Permulwuys was shot some time ago. Even though he inhabited the Parramatta area he would have roamed through the Hawksbury river area, and escaped convicts, who we call Bush Rangers, are prevalent in that area.

MRS. MACARTHUR: They will have to adapt like we have all done ladies. As you know my husband Captain John Macarthur, like a lot of his fellow Officer’s from the NSW Corps, had no experience at soldering or becoming Land Owners, or of the conditions that would exist here. I believe all of us women here in the Colony, have worked hard to support our husbands and families.

MRS. ELIZABETH ROUSE: The Hawksbury river area is quite a way from Sydney Town, but I believe the Sydney Merchant Mr. Robert Campbell supports their Religious Group in England.. That is something that my Husband who is a very strong Anglican, does not believe in. Even for me to get here for this Farewell, it has been a quite lengthy and arduous journey.. I feel the Religious Group settlers will be like the rest of us. Work hard so that they will never be hungry and cold again. And be lucky.

MRS. MARY MACDONALD: Lt. Robins, does your ship the Cumberland, have on board a cannon suitable for a Salute to the King, for when you and Mr. Grimes follow the French Expedition if they visit the islands between Australia and Van Diemans land, to prevent them claiming any part for France?.

MRS. ELIZABETH ROUSE: Mr. Grimes, I believe you were at Norfolk Island with Lt, Governor King, when the Spanish expedition of two ships with Alessandro Malaspina as Commodore, visited Sydney in March to April in 1793. Were you aware that the Spanish had visited Sydney Commodore Baudin? And that many of the people at this party were here when the Spanish were honored. Just like the Governor is honoring you today

MRS. MACARTHUR: You Commodore actually sailed in many of the areas that Captain Cook, Compte La Perouse and Alessandro Malaspina sailed and mapped, before calling in here to Sydney.

MRS. ELIZABETH ROUSE: Good luck in the remaining part of your Expedition Commodore Baudin.


· William Dampier, sailed around the world 3 times. He was on the ship that marooned Alexander Selkirk (Robinson Crusoe) ashore on an island. On his second voyage around the world, Alexander Selkirk was picked up from the island. Daniel Defoe’s novel is based on this event.

· Captain Cook, only became aware of the discovery of the Islands of Tahiti’s existence, 2 weeks before his scheduled departure from Britain to find “somewhere in the Pacific” where the Transit of Venus measurements could take place.

· Captain Cook’s widow, fare welled the First Fleet from Portsmouth.

· Arthur Philip, fell out of his wheelchair from a second floor window and died.

· When William Paterson died his wife then went to England and married Major Grosse a previous Lt. General.

· King died very poor, but he had arranged with Bligh, for him to set aside a lot of land in NSW, to which Josephina King returned to 20 years later. She remarked how little Mrs. Macarthur had changed.

· Alessandro Malaspino was an Italian working as a Spanish Naval Captain. His career was helped by a Chilean Naval Admiral who name was Ambrosia O’Higgins, a man of Irish extraction. After his 5 year expedition he demonstrated the feasibility of a possible Panama Canal, and drew plans for construction.

· Louis Freycinet re visited Sydney in 18xx as Commander of another French Scientific Expedition. His wife Rose stowed away on board to accompany him

· Hyacyinth Du Bougainville when a Baron, revisited Sydney in1825. Macarthur gave him 2 sheep from his Camden property. The sheep dies on route to France.

· Bishop became ill and could not sail with George Bass to South America. He later died insane.

· Peron did draft a secret memo, to French bureaucrats to enlist the aid of Irish convicts and take over Sydney for the French.

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