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Blog post from Sunday, 31 August, 2014

On this day, 200 years ago, on 31st August 1814, Admiral Arthur Phillip RN died. Arthur Phillip was the first governor of New South Wales and the founder of the settlement which later became Sydney.

Read more about his extraordinary life and achievements in the Australian Dictionary of Biography. In his time Phillip journeyed across the world from England to France, crossing Spain to Brazil and onto Australia. Along the way he was employed by the English government as a spy and travelled far and wide on secret missions.

In October 1786, Phillip was appointed captain of HMS Sirius and named Governor-designate of New South Wales, the proposed British colony on the east coast of Australia, by Lord Sydney, the Home Secretary.The First Fleet left England on 13 May 1787 and arrived at Botany Bay on 18 January 1788 after a voyage whose success owed much to Phillip’s care. The original site proved unsuited to settlement. Three days later Phillip discovered an appropriate spot at Port Jackson and on 26 January landing operations began there

The State Library of New South Wales has original sources relating to Arthur Phillip, including manuscripts, paintings and portraits.

“The Founding of Australia. By Capt. Arthur Phillip R.N. Sydney Cove, Jan. 26th 1788” / Original [oil] sketch [1937] by Algernon Talmage R.A.