Colonial powerplays explored in next Port Arthur Talk
Honorary Research Associate at UTAS, Craig Joel, will reveal the story of how a civil servant came to usurp the Governor’s authority in his desire to curry favour with British ministers, and in the process affected the Colony's political development.
When Sir John Franklin, polar hero and explorer, succeeded George Arthur as Governor of Van Diemen’s Land in January 1837, there was an expectation among some of the colonists that the old, autocratic bureaucracy would be broken up and replaced by a more liberal regime.
Franklin however was inexperienced in penal and colonial affairs, and naturally enough, he could not
easily evade the advice of Arthur’s close officials, or the “faction” as they were known by their critics. A ‘change of men and measures’ however was not forthcoming, and Franklin placed almost unlimited confidence in his predecessor’s favourites to administer the penal establishment.
Against a ‘backdrop which ranges from London to Hobart, from the imperial metropolis to the colonial frontier, from the empire’s hub to its rim’, Craig Joel tells how a civil servant came to usurp the Governor’s authority in his desire to curry favour with British ministers, and in the process profoundly affected the political development of the colony.
Craig Joel is an Honorary Research Associate in the School of History and Classics at UTAS and Associate Editor of the resumed series of Historical Records of Australia comprising despatches and papers relating to the history of Tasmania.
His talk, entitled 'A tale of ambition and unrealised hope: John Montagu and Sir John Franklin' will be given at the Port Arthur Talk on July 12. All are welcome, admission free.
Thursday 12 July, 2012 at 5.30pm
Junior Medical Officer’s Conference Room, Port Arthur Historic Site
For more information call 03 6251 2324
More on the Port Arthur Talks program