When Sir John Franklin, polar hero and explorer,
succeeded George Arthur as governor of Van Diemen’s Land in January 1837, there
was an expectation among some of the colonists that the old, autocratic
bureaucracy would be broken up and replaced by a more liberal regime. Franklin
however was inexperienced in penal and colonial affairs, and naturally enough,
he could not easily evade the advice of Arthur’s close officials, or the
“faction” as they were known by their critics. A ‘change of men and measures’
however was not forthcoming, and Franklin placed almost unlimited confidence in
his predecessor’s favourites to administer the penal establishment.Craig Joel tells how a civil servant came to
usurp the Governor’s authority in his desire to curry favour with British
ministers, and in the process profoundly affected the political development of
the colony. Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2011.
The Royal Historical Society of Victoria was formed in 1909 and is a community organisation committed to collecting, researching and sharing an understanding of the history of Victoria.
With the support of a large number of volunteers, the RHSV provides a full program of activities (e.g. lectures, seminars, excursions and exhibitions) for the benefit of members and the general public. The Society publishes a bi-monthly newsletter, a reviewed journal and books of historical interest.