Australasia 1829: Swan River Colony
Initial British claims to Australia were limited to the eastern portion of the continent; the western part being deemed unsuitable for colonization and already subject to Dutch claims. In 1826, with any Dutch claims waived and concerned about French intentions on the west coast of Australia, the British Colony of New South Wales built an outpost at King George Sound. Two and a half years later the British consolidated their presence in the region by establishing a more substantial British settlement on the Swan River. This new settlement would formally become the Colony of Western Australia in 1832.
20 Jul 1825–28 Mar 1830 Diponegoro War▲
In 1825 Diponegoro, a pretender to the throne of Yogyakarta, led a rebellion against increasing Dutch interference in central Java, besieging Yogyakarta. After the siege was broken by the Dutch colonial army, Diponegoro waged an extensive guerrilla war until being treacherously captured by the Dutch during ceasefire negotiations. The war was the bloodiest in Dutch colonial history, resulting in as many as 200,000 deaths (of which 7–8,000 were Dutch).
5 Mar 1826–Feb 1827 First NZ Company expedition▲
After unsuccessfully petitioning the British Government for a 31-year contract, the first New Zealand Company set out to colonize New Zealand regardless. Arriving off Stewart Island with the ships Lambton and Rosanna and about 60 prospective settlers, the expedition traveled up the east coast of New Zealand and explored Wellington Harbour before deciding to purchase Māori land in Hokianga. However, after several weeks the Company determined the settlement would be unprofitable and abandoned the £20,000 venture.
30 Dec 1826–7 Mar 1831 King George Sound settlement▲
In November 1826 Governor Ralph Darling of New South Wales sent the brig Amity, under the command of Major Edmund Lockyer, to establish an outpost in what is now Western Australia and thus signify the British claim to “the whole of New Holland”. Lockyer arrived at King George Sound on Christmas Day, disembarking troops and convict labor at the site of what was initially called Frederick Town (Albany) five days later. The following month the Union Jack was raised and the territory formally annexed for the British Crown. The settlement remained a military outpost of New South Wales until 1831, when it was transferred to the Swan River Colony.
9 Jan 1827 Wounding of Hongi Hika▲
In 1826 civil war broke out among the northern Māori of New Zealand when Hongi Hika of the Ngāpuhi decided to punish the Ngāpuhi subtribes of Ngāti Uru and Ngāti Pou for insults against him. While advancing from Whangaroa into the Hokianga, Hongi was shot through the chest with a musket in January 1827. Although he would linger on for over a year before dying of infection on March 1828, this wounding would mark the end of Ngāpuhi dominance as internal warfare became the norm in the north.
24 Aug 1828 Dutch claim to New Guinea▲
Following the Napoleonic Wars, the British recognized Dutch suzerainty over the western end of New Guinea. In August 1828 the Dutch attempted to establish a permanent presence in the region by founding the settlement of Fort Du Bus, announcing possession over the coast from 141°E in the south to the Kaap de Goede Hoop in the far north. Fort Du Bus would be abandoned due to disease in 1835 although the Dutch claim would continue.
18 Jun 1829 Swan River colony▲
In 1827 Captain James Stirling explored the Swan River area of what is now Western Australia and, returning to Britain, was granted the right to establish a colony there. The first settler ship arrived off nearby Garden Island in late April 1829, claiming British possession of Western Australia on 2 May. Additional ships arrived within the month and, after waiting out bad weather, reached the mainland on 18 June, where they established the colony at the site of Perth. The Swan River colony formally became the Colony of Western Australia in February 1832, when Stirling was appointed its first governor.