Arthur Phillip

Admiral Arthur Phillip (11 October 1738 – 31 August 1814) was an English Royal Navy officer and the first Governor of New South Wales who led the British settlement and colonisation of Australia. He established a British penal colony that later became the city of Sydney, Australia.[1]

Arthur Phillip
Captain Arthur Phillip, 1786, by Francis Wheatley
1st Governor of New South Wales
In office
7 February 1788  10 December 1792
MonarchGeorge III
Preceded byPosition Established
Succeeded byJohn Hunter
Personal details
Born(1738-10-11)11 October 1738
Cheapside, London, England
Died31 August 1814(1814-08-31) (aged 75)
Bath, Somerset, England
Military service
AllegianceKingdom of Great Britain
Branch/serviceRoyal Navy
RankAdmiral
Battles/wars

After much experience at sea, Phillip led the First Fleet as Governor-designate in the Australian settlement of New South Wales. In January 1788, he selected its location to be Port Jackson (encompassing Sydney Harbour).[2]

Phillip was a far-sighted governor who soon saw that New South Wales would need a civil administration and a system for emancipating the convicts. But his plan to bring skilled tradesmen on the voyage had been rejected, and he faced immense problems of labour, discipline and supply.

The arrival of the Second and Third Fleets placed new pressures on the scarce local resources, but by the time Phillip sailed home in December 1792, the colony was taking shape, with official land-grants and systematic farming and water-supply.

Phillip retired in 1805, but continued to correspond with his friends in New South Wales and to promote the colony's interests.