Joseph Foveaux (1767 – 20 March 1846) was a soldier and convict settlement administrator in colonial New South Wales, Australia.
Foveaux was baptised on 6 April 1767 at Ampthill, Bedfordshire, England, the sixth child of Joseph Foveaux and his wife Elizabeth, née Wheeler.Family tradition maintains he was actually born almost a year earlier, on 10 April 1766.
Foveaux was an ensign in the 60th regimentand then joined the New South Wales Corps in June 1789 as lieutenant and reached Sydney in 1791. There he was promoted to major and, as senior officer between August 1796 and November 1799, he controlled the Corps at a time when the senior officers were making fortunes from trading and extending their lands. He soon became the largest landholder and stock-owner in the colony.
In 1800, having established a reputation as an able and efficient administrator, Foveaux offered to go to Norfolk Island as Lieutenant-Governor. Finding the island run down, he built it up with particular attention to public works, for which he earned the praise of Governor King.
During this period, part of the first settlement of Norfolk Island (1788–1814), Norfolk Island was basically a free settlement with convicts making up no more than 10 per cent of the population. While some individuals were sent from Sydney as a means of isolation, the Island was not a place of secondary punishment as it became in the second settlement (1825–1855).
Judgements of Foveaux's career are often clouded by a manuscript purporting to be the recollections of Norfolk Island gaoler Robert Jones. This document is dated 1823, five years after Jones's death. It contains paintings of buildings on Norfolk Island which were not erected until the 1840s. Modern scholarship reveals it to be a forgery from after 1850 which contains no valid evidence on Foveaux's life and career.
Robert Hughes writing in The Fatal Shore relied on the false Jones document, as did Robert Macklin in Dark Paradise (2013).
In September 1804 Foveaux left Norfolk Island for England to attend to his private affairs and seek relief for the asthma that affected him.
Having recovered, he returned to New South Wales on the Sinclair to serve as Lieutenant-Governor, but on arrival in July 1808, he found Governor Bligh under arrest by officers of the New South Wales Corps in the event known as the Rum Rebellion. Foveaux assumed control, stating that he was not favouring either Bligh or the rebels. His control was characterised by a desire for cheap and efficient administration, improvement of public works, and encouragement of small-holders.
In January 1809, the acting Lieutenant-Governor, Colonel William Paterson, returned and Foveaux remained to assist him and his successor, Major-General Lachlan Macquarie.
Macquarie was impressed with Foveaux's administration and put him forward as Collins's successor as Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen's Land, because he could think of no one more fitting, and considered that he could not have acted otherwise with regard to Bligh. However, when Foveaux returned to England in 1810, Macquarie's recommendation was put aside. Foveaux was promoted to Inspecting Field Officer in Ireland and in 1814 became a major-general.
He pursued an uneventful military career after that, rising to the rank of lieutenant-general in 1830.In 1814 he married Ann Sherwin, his partner since 1793, and they had a daughter born in 1801.
He died in London on 20 March 1846 and was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery.
Surry Hills near the centre of Sydney was once a farming area owned by Foveaux. His property was known as Surry Hills Farm, named after the Surrey Hills in Surrey, England. The main east-west street through the suburb is Foveaux Street, which gave its name to Kylie Tennant's 1939 novel Foveaux about inner city slum life.
Foveaux Strait in New Zealand is named in his honour, as are streets in the Sydney suburbs of Airds, Barden Ridge, Bella Vista, Cromer, Harrington Park, Lurnea and Surry Hills, the Maitland suburb of Metford, and the Canberra suburb of Ainslie.
The Rum Rebellion of 1808 was a coup d'état in the then-British penal colony of New South Wales, staged by the New South Wales Corps in order to depose Governor William Bligh. Australia's first and only military coup, its name derives from the illicit rum trade of early Sydney, over which the 'Rum Corps', as it became known, maintained a monopoly. During the first half of the 19th century, it was widely referred to in Australia as the Great Rebellion.
Captain Philip Gidley King was a British politician who was the third Governor of New South Wales.
The New South Wales Corps was formed in England in 1789 as a permanent regiment of the British Army to relieve the New South Wales Marine Corps, who had accompanied the First Fleet to Australia, in fortifying the Colony of New South Wales. It gained notoriety for its trade in rum and disobedient behaviour during its service and was disbanded in 1818.
Surry Hills is an inner-city suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Surry Hills is immediately south-east of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of the City of Sydney. Surry Hills is surrounded by the suburbs of Darlinghurst to the north, Chippendale and Haymarket to the west, Moore Park and Paddington to the east and Redfern to the south. It is often colloquially referred to as "Surry".
Colonel William Paterson, FRS was a Scottish soldier, explorer, Lieutenant Governor and botanist best known for leading early settlement at Port Dalrymple in Tasmania. In 1795, Paterson gave an order that resulted in the massacre of a number of men, women and children, members of the Bediagal tribe.
William Redfern was an English-raised surgeon in early colonial Australia who was transported to New South Wales as a convict for his role in the Mutiny on the Nore. He is widely regarded as the “father of Australian medicine“.
John Macarthur was a British Army officer, racketeer, entrepreneur, grazier, usurper, politician, and highly influential figure in the early British colonisation of New South Wales. Macarthur is recognised as the pioneer of the Australian Merino wool industry. He was instrumental in agitating for, and organising, a rebellion against the colonial government in what is often described as the Rum Rebellion.
John Piper was a military officer, public servant and landowner in the colony of New South Wales. The Sydney suburb of Point Piper was named in his honour.
William Hutchinson was a British convict who was transported to the Australian colonies, ultimately to become a successful public servant and businessman.
Major Joseph Childs (1787–1870) was a British Royal Marines officer and penal administrator; he was commandant of the second convict settlement at Norfolk Island, from 7 February 1844 to August 1846.
Esther Abrahams was a Londoner sent to Australia as a convict on the First Fleet. She was de facto wife of George Johnston, who was for six months acting Governor of New South Wales after leading the Rum Rebellion. Later they married.
Joseph Holt was a United Irish general and leader of a large guerrilla force which fought against British troops in County Wicklow from June–October 1798. He was exiled in 1799 to the colony of New South Wales where he worked as a farm manager for NSW Corp Paymaster Captain William Cox and later returned to Ireland in 1814.
Lieutenant-Colonel George Johnston was briefly Lieutenant-Governor of New South Wales, Australia after leading the rebellion later known as the Rum Rebellion. After serving as a young marine officer in the American Revolutionary War, Johnston served in the East Indies, fighting against the French, before volunteering to accompany the First Fleet to New South Wales. After serving as adjutant to Governor Arthur Phillip, Johnston served in the New South Wales Corps and he was a key figure in putting down the Castle Hill convict rebellion in 1804. He led his troops in deposing Governor Bligh in the Rum Rebellion in 1808; which led to his court martial and subsequent cashiering from military service. In his later life, he returned to New South Wales as a private citizen, raising a family in the colony and establishing a successful farm around Annandale in Sydney.
By the end of the year reports from London regarding Napoleon's retreat from Moscow, and from the Bay of Islands regarding the hospitality of the Māori, encourage Samuel Marsden into thinking the time for the establishment of a Christian mission to New Zealand is now imminent.
There is a drastic decline in the number of ships visiting New Zealand from the previous year. An economic depression starts in New South Wales as a result of the escalation of war in Europe and the consequent reduction in the number of convicts being transported. In March news of the Boyd massacre reaches Port Jackson and a punitive expedition is sent to New Zealand and bombards the village of the incorrectly blamed chief, Te Pahi. After this the few whaling ships that later head for New Zealand usually prefer to avoid landing, especially in the Bay of Islands.
Edward Abbott was a soldier, politician, judge-advocate and public servant who served at Parramatta, the Hawkesbury River and Norfolk Island in the colony of New South Wales, now part of present-day Australia. He also served at the settlements of Launceston and Hobart in Van Diemen's Land, which was part of New South Wales until 1825, when Van Diemen's Land became a self-governing colony.
Anthony Fenn Kemp was a soldier, merchant and a deputy judge advocate of the colony of New South Wales. He was one of the key participants in the "Rum Rebellion" that removed William Bligh, the appointed governor of the colony, and established an interim military government. He was later permitted to settle in Van Diemen's Land and became a successful merchant and farmer there.
Martin Mason was a surgeon, magistrate and commander who is notable as a pioneer settler of Australia, and also as a supporter of Captain Bligh following the 1808 Rebellion at Sydney, New South Wales.
Mary Bligh, Lady O'Connell (1783–1864) was the Lady of Government House, New South Wales, Australia during the period her father William Bligh was the Governor of New South Wales.
Andrew Thompson was transported at the age of 18 to New South Wales, arriving in Sydney on 14 February 1792. He rose to become a respected chief constable in the Hawkesbury district, a successful farmer and businessman, and eventually the wealthiest settler in early colonial Australia. In 1810 he was the first ex-convict to be appointed as magistrate.