Len Kenna 07.04.2015
The Second Fleet arrived in 1790, two years after the landing of the First Fleet, and found that the newly formed Colony was on the verge of collapse, because of a severe lack of food and the whole Colony was surviving on short rations. A supply ship loaded with food and other supplies had been dispatched from England earlier, but it collided with an iceberg and had to return to the Cape of Good Hope, leaving the Colony in desperate need of food and other essential materials. The Second Fleet, when it landed in New South Wales, was carrying over 1,000 convicts and a limited amount of food, but not enough to sustain the Colony for more than a short time.
To correct the situation Governor Phillip hired the sailing vessel, the “Atlantic” and appointed Lieutenant Bowen as Supercargo, in charge of purchasing supplies, including food and dispatched him to India on an urgent mission to purchase food in an attempt to save the Colony from starvation.
The mission was so successful that Lord Grenfell from the Colonial Office in London issued an official Order that changed the histories of both India and Australia, and united us together for the first 100 years of Settlement. He ordered that, from that time on all supplies, including livestock for New South Wales were to be purchased in India if they could not be purchased at a cheaper rate elsewhere.
This order from the Colonial Office altered the relationship between the two countries and opened the flood gates: and from that time on, goods and livestock from India flooded into New South Wales. These imports completely changed the bloodlines of all of the livestock in New South Wales and New South Wales from that time on became dependant on India for most, if not all of its needs. This Order by Grenfell was a defining moment in our history as it shifted the burden of supporting the Colony away from the English Government in England and onto Traders in India and the Governors of New South Wales. However, this Order and the benefits that resulted from it have been ignored by the recorders of our early history and the administrators of Government of New South Wales and later all of the other Colonies. It has also been ignored by Historians who in the main use secondary sources, i.e., written history. They don’t refer to original documents and so this omission has been repeated time and time again, and it glorifies the English contribution to the building of our country, to the detriment of the Indian and Australian contribution.
This aspect of our history should be known by all Australians, including Australians from India, and I call on each and every person that reads this article to bring it to the attention of his or her friends and family.