The Rum Rebellion III - The Day of the Rebellion

Back to the Bibliotheca
Back to the Atrium

The Arrest of Bligh.
From: Picman

The Day of the Rebellion

On the 24th of December, 1807, on the night before the trial of John Macarther, a group of people met together and formed a plot to overthrow the governor of NSW of the time - William Bligh.

On the day of the trial, Macarther challenged the authority of the judge, which caused a lot of confusion. Macarther simply walked out unnoticed whilst all this was happening. He was later re-arrested for treason, and so he wrote to a Major Johnston of the NSW Corps, onthe 26th of January, 1808. In this letter, Macarther wrote that himself and seven others were imploring the Major to place Governor Bligh under house arrest, as "every Man's Property, Liberty and Life [was] endangered" by Bligh.

On the morning of the rebellion, Johnston left his home in Parramatta at 4am and went to the Barracks in Sydney. He wrote to Bligh asking him to resign, as the colony was on the brink of rebellion. Bligh furiously disagreed.

At 10 am, Johnston and his troops went to Government House, with an orchestra playing the song of the NSW Corps. This brought people out of their houses to watch, as entertainment like that was rare and not to be missed.

When they reached Government House, Johnston proclaimed that Bligh was a despot, a tyrant and a trampler of the rights of Englishmen. Troops entered the house, and arrested Bligh.

I'll get back to you on this one!

Back to the Bibliotheca
Back to the Villa