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Encyclopedia > George Bass
George Bass
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George Bass

George Bass, British naval surgeon and explorer of Australia (1771 – unknown, post 1803), was born at Aswarby, a hamlet near Sleaford Lincolnshire and was educated at Boston Grammar School. He trained in medicine at the hospital at Boston, Lincolnshire, qualifying in 1789, and in 1794 he joined the Royal Navy as a surgeon. He arrived in Sydney in New South Wales on the Reliance, in which Matthew Flinders had also sailed, in February 1795. These two, accompanied by William Martin, explored Botany Bay near Sydney and the nearby Georges River. In 1796, they discovered and explored Port Hacking. George Bass - Project Gutenberg eText 12992 http://www. ... George Bass - Project Gutenberg eText 12992 http://www. ... 1771 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... 1803 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Location within the British Isles Sleaford is a town in North Kesteven, Lincolnshire, England. ... Lincolnshire (abbreviated Lincs) is a county in the East Midlands of England. ... Boston Grammar School is a selective school for boys aged 11 to 18, recently admitting girls aged 16-18, in Boston, Lincolnshire. ... For other uses, see Boston (disambiguation). ... 1789 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... 1794 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the oldest of the British armed services (and is therefore the Senior Service). ... This article is about the metropolitan area in Australia. ... Emblems: Floral - Waratah (Telopea speciosissima); Bird - Kookaburra (Dacelo gigas); Animal - Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus); Fish - Blue Groper (Achoerodus viridis) Motto: Orta Recens Quam Pura Nites (Newly Risen, How Brightly You Shine) Slogan or Nickname: First State, Premier State Other Australian states and territories Capital Sydney Government Const. ... The English naval captain Matthew Flinders (16 March 1774 – 19 July 1814) was one of the most accomplished navigators and chartmakers of his age. ... 1795 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... For other Botany Bays see Botany Bay (disambiguation) Bicentennial Monument at Botany Bay Botany Bay is a bay in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, a few kilometers south of the central business district. ... The Georges River is a waterway in the state of New South Wales in Australia. ... 1796 was a leap year starting on Friday. ... Port Hacking is a suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. ...


In 1797, in an open whaleboat with a crew of six, Bass sailed to Cape Howe, the farthest point of south-eastern Australia. From here he went westwards along what is now the coast of the Gippsland region of Victoria, almost as far as the site of present-day Melbourne. His belief that a strait separated the mainland from Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) was backed up by his astute observation of the rapid tide and the long south-western swell at Wilsons Promontory. 1797 (MDCCXCVII) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 11-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Cape Howe is a coastal headland in Australia, forming the border of New South Wales and Victoria. ... John Longstaffs Gippsland, Sunday night, February 20th, 1898, depicting the Red Tuesday bushfires that ravaged Gippsland For the electoral district in the Australian House of Representatives, see Division of Gippsland. ... Emblems: Pink heath (floral)Weedy Seadragon (Aquatic) helmeted honeyeater (bird) Leadbeaters possum (faunal) Motto: Peace and Prosperity Slogan or Nickname: Garden State, The Place To Be, On The Move Other Australian states and territories Capital Melbourne Government Const. ... Melbournes Yarra River is popular area for walking, jogging, cycling and relaxing on the banks with a picnic Melbourne (pronounced either or [1]) is the second most populous city in Australia with a metropolitan area population of approximately 3. ... Van Diemens Land was the original name used by Europeans for the island of Tasmania, now part of Australia. ... Emblems: {{{Emblems}}} Motto: Ubertas et Fidelitas (Fertility and Faithfulness) Slogan or Nickname: The Apple Isle Other Australian states and territories Capital Hobart Government Const. ... Looking south from Mount Oberon on Wilsons Promontory towards the southern tip of Australia Landsat 7 imagery of Wilsons Promontory. ...


In 1798, this theory was confirmed when Bass and Flinders, in the sloop Norfolk, circumnavigated Van Diemen's Land. In the course of this voyage Bass found and explored the estuary of the Derwent River, where the city of Hobart would be founded, on the strength of his report, in 1803. When the two returned to Sydney, Flinders recommended to Governor John Hunter that the passage between Van Diemen's Land and the mainland be called Bass Strait. 1798 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... The Derwent is a river in Tasmania, Australia. ... Hobart is the state capital and most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania. ... 1803 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... John Hunter, Naval pioneer and colonial governor Captain John Hunter (1737– to 1821) was a British naval officer and colonial administrator who succeeded Arthur Phillip as the second governor of New South Wales, Australia from 1795 to 1800. ... Bass Strait (IPA /bæs/) is a sea strait separating Tasmania from the south of the Australian mainland (Victoria in particular). ...


"This was no more than a just tribute to my worthy friend and companion," Flinders wrote, "for the extreme dangers and fatigues he had undergone, in first entering it in a whaleboat, and to the correct judgement he had formed, from various indications, of the existence of a wide opening between Van Diemen's Land and New South Wales."


Bass was an enthusiastic naturalist and botanist, he loved seeing his lover Flinders and he forwarded some his botanical discoveries to Sir Joseph Banks in London. "In this voyage of fourteen weeks I collected those few plants upon Van Diemen's Land which had not been familiar to me in New South Wales," he wrote to Banks, "and have done myself the honour of submitting them to your inspection." He was made an honorary member of the Society for Promoting Natural History, which later became the Linnean Society. Some of his observations were published in the second volume of David Collins's An Account of the English colony in New South Wales. He was one of the first to describe the Australian marsupial, the wombat. Bass also discovered the Kiama area and made many notes on its botanical complexity and the amazing natural phenomenon, the Kiama Blowhole ,noting the volcanic geology around the Blowhole and contributed much to its understanding. Joseph Banks Sir Joseph Banks (February 13, 1743 - June 19, 1820) was the British naturalist and botanist on Cooks first great voyage (1768-1771) and some 75 species bear Banks name. ... The Linnean Society of London is the worlds premier society for the study and dissemination about taxonomy. ... Lieutenant-Governor David Collins R.M. (1754–1810) was the inaugural Governor of the Colony of Van Diemens Land, founded in 1804, which in 1901 became the state of Tasmania in the Commonwealth of Australia. ... Orders Didelphimorphia Paucituberculata Microbiotheria Dasyuromorphia Peramelemorphia Notoryctemorphia Diprotodontia Marsupials are mammals in which the female typically has a pouch (called the marsupium, from which the name Marsupial derives) in which it rears its young through early infancy. ... Genera and Species Vombatus Vombatus ursinus Lasiorhinus Lasiorhinus latifrons Lasiorhinus krefftii †Rhizophascolomus †Phascolonus †Warendja †Ramasayia Wombats are Australian marsupials; they are short-legged, muscular quadrupeds, approximately one metre (3 feet) in length and with a very short tail. ... Kiama, is a picturesque township and Local Government Area 120 kilometres south of Sydney on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia. ... The Kiama Blowhole is a blowhole in the town of Kiama, New South Wales, Australia. ...

Contents

Marriage and trading

Back in England Bass married Elizabeth Waterhouse, sister of Henry Waterhouse, Bass's former shipmate, captain of the Reliance. But within three months he set sail again, and though he wrote her affectionate letters such was his fate that he did not return.


Bass and a syndicate of friends had invested some £10,000 in the a copper-sheathed brig the Venus, and a cargo of general goods to transport and sell in Port Jackson. Bass was the owner-manager and set sail in early 1801. The Brig Lady Washington For other uses, see Brig (disambiguation). ... Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge located on Port Jackson Port Jackson, containing Sydney Harbour, is the natural harbour of Sydney, Australia. ... The Union Jack, flag of the newly formed United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. ...


On passing through Bass Strait on that voyage he recorded it simply as Bass Strait, like any other geographical feature. It seems, as Flinders' biographer Ernest Scott observed, that Bass's natural modesty meant he felt no need to say "discovered by me" or "named after me". Bass Strait (IPA /bæs/) is a sea strait separating Tasmania from the south of the Australian mainland (Victoria in particular). ... Sir Ernest Scott (21 June 1867 – 6 December 1939) was an Australian historian. ...


On arrival Bass found the colony awash with goods and he was unable to sell his cargo. Governor King was operating on a strict program of economy and would not take the goods into the government store, even at a 50% discount. What King did do though was contract with Bass to ship salt pork from Tahiti. Food was scarce in Sydney at that time[1] and prices were being driven up, yet pigs were plentiful in the Society Islands and King could contract with Bass at 6 pence a pound where he'd been paying a shilling (12 pence) previously. The arrangement suited King's thrift, and was profitable for Bass. A number of important people have gone by the name of Philip King: Philip Gidley King, Governor of New South Wales from 1800 to 1806 Philip King (author) is the author of the farce See How They Run (1945). ... Map of French Polynesia Map of Tahiti and Moorea Tahiti is the largest island of French Polynesia, this is not true located in the archipelago of Society Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean at . ... The Society Islands (French: Îles de la Société or offically Archipel de la Société) are a group of islands in the south Pacific, administratively part of French Polynesia. ...


Bass also obtained fishing rights over certain waters in New Zealand, from which he expected much, but he didn't plan to put the fishery into action until he returned again to England. Bass and Flinders were both operating out of Sydney during these times, but their stays there didn't coincide.


Final voyage

What became of Bass is unknown. He set sail on his last voyage in the Venus on 5 February 1803 and was not seen again. His plan was to go to Tahiti again, and perhaps on to the Spanish colonies on the coast of Chile to buy provisions and bring them back to Sydney. February 5 is the 36th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1803 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ...


It's been suspected Bass may also have planned to engage in contraband trade in Chile. Spain reserved the import of goods into her colonies for Spanish ships and Spanish merchants. But the colonists needed more than they could supply and shortages and heavy taxation caused high prices, encouraging an extensive illegal trade with foreign vessels. Port Jackson was a well-known base for such smuggling (Britain had no great friendship with Spain at that time so British authorities were unconcerned).


Bass still had much of the general cargo he'd brought to Sydney in 1801 and he may well have been tempted to take some to Chile. Two of his last letters have hints at a venture which he could not name. But in any case he set off in 1803, with a diplomatic letter from Governor King attesting his bona-fides and that his sole purpose if he were on the West coast of South America would be in procuring provisions. The Union Jack, flag of the newly formed United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. ... 1803 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ...


As many months passed with no word of his arrival Governor King and Bass's friends in Sydney were forced to accept that he'd met some misfortune. In England in January 1806 Bass was listed by the Admiralty as lost at sea and later that year Elizabeth was granted an annuity from the widows' fund, back dated to when Bass's half-pay had ended in June 1803. (Bass had made the usual contributions to the fund from his salary.) 1806 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ...


Speculation on Bass's fate

A good deal of speculation has taken place about Bass's fate. One story attributed to William Campbell of the brig Harrington has it that Bass was captured by the Spanish in Chile and sent to the silver mines. The Harrington was engaged in smuggling and returned to Sydney some three months after Bass's departure. But this story dates only from 1811 in a report by William Fitzmaurice. There are good records of Campbell in 1803, and then in 1805 when he captured a Spanish ship, but Bass is not mentioned at those times. (Three months also seems a little short for Bass to reach Chile and then the Harrington to get back to Sydney.) The Brig Lady Washington For other uses, see Brig (disambiguation). ... 1811 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... 1803 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... 1805 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ...


The suspicion is that other ships called Venus have been jumbled up in that story. In June 1806 a brig Venus was seized by convicts and mutineers and last seen off New Zealand. Speculative accounts of that ship had her reaching Talcahuano in Chile and the crew imprisoned. Then in 1809 William Campbell recaptured a schooner Venus which had been seized by natives in Tahiti. Campbell's connection to the latter might have been projected back onto Bass's Venus. 1806 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... The Brig Lady Washington For other uses, see Brig (disambiguation). ... Talcahuano is a port city of Chile, lying near Concepción. ... 1809 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Map of French Polynesia Map of Tahiti and Moorea Tahiti is the largest island of French Polynesia, this is not true located in the archipelago of Society Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean at . ...


Adventurer Jorgen Jorgenson wrote about Bass in his 1835 autobiography, claiming Bass had attempted forced trade (ie. at gunpoint) in Chile and was captured when he let his guard down. Jorgenson probably met Bass, but this account is almost certainly an invention though. Jorgenson's writing was entertaining, but far from always being factual. Jørgen Jørgenson Jørgen Jørgensen (1780 in Copenhagen, Denmark – January 20, 1841 in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia) was a Dane who went to Iceland in 1809 and declared the country independent from Denmark with himself as a temporary monarch, claiming that he would hand over the reins as... | Come and take it, slogan of the Texas Revolution 1835 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ...


A search of Spanish archives in 1903 by scholar Don Pascual de Gayangos and a search of Peruvian archives in 2003 by historian Jorge Ortiz-Sotelo found no mention of Bass. 1903 (MCMIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Friday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


References

  • Miriam Estensen, The Life of George Bass, Allen and Unwin, 2005, ISBN 1-74114-130-3
  • Keith Macrae Bowden: George Bass 1771–1803 : His Discoveries, Romantic Life and Tragic Disappearance. – London, Melbourne : Oxford University Press, 1952
  • A Voyage to Terra Australis by Matthew Flinders, available freely at Project Gutenberg
  1. ^ Manning Clark, A History of Australia, volume 1, reprint 1981, ISBN 0-522-84008-6

Project Gutenberg (often abbreviated as PG) is a volunteer effort to digitize, archive, and distribute cultural works. ... Sir Ernest Scott (21 June 1867 – 6 December 1939) was an Australian historian. ... Project Gutenberg (often abbreviated as PG) is a volunteer effort to digitize, archive, and distribute cultural works. ... Charles Manning Hope Clark AC (3 March 1915 – 23 May 1991) is one of Australias most distinguished historians, recognised for his mammoth six-volume work History of Australia published between 1962 and 1987. ...

See also

Places named after Bass:


  Results from FactBites:
 
George Bass - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1313 words)
George Bass, British naval surgeon and explorer of Australia (1771 – unknown, post 1803), was born at Aswarby, a hamlet near Sleaford Lincolnshire and was educated at Boston Grammar School.
In the course of this voyage Bass found and explored the estuary of the Derwent River, where the city of Hobart would be founded, on the strength of his report, in 1803.
Bass was the owner-manager and set sail in early 1801.
George Bass (425 words)
Bass was born in England and arrived in Sydney in 1795.
Bass who was 24 was a surgeon and Flinders who was only 21 was a sailor.
Bass suspected that there must be a strait of water separating the mainland from Tasmania (then called Van Diemen's land).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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