Main content area

Blog post from Thursday, 11 December, 2014

On this day, 11th December 1792, Captain Arthur Phillip, the first governor of the colony of New South Wales, returned to England.

Governor Phillip had faced many obstacles in his attempts to establish the new colony. British farming methods, seeds and implements were unsuitable for use in the different climate and soil, and the colony faced near-starvation in its first two years. He also worked to improve understanding with the local Aborigines. The colony finally succeeded in developing a solid foundation, agriculturally and economically, thanks to the perseverance of Arthur Phillip.

Poor health forced Phillip to return to England in 1792. He departed for his homeland on 11 December 1792, in the ship “Atlantic”. Phillip resigned his commission soon after arriving back in England, and died on 31 August 1814.

The State Library of New South Wales holds manuscripts and pictures relating to Arthur Phillip.

[Captain Arthur Phillip, 1786] / painted by Francis Wheatley