Rum Rebellion Part 3: The Viper

Rum Rebellion Part 3: The Viper

7th May 2015

In 1790, the rotting prison hulks of the disastrous second fleet limp into Sydney Harbour. Among the new arrivals is penniless British army officer John Macarthur, a lieutenant in the Rum Corps who duelled the captain of his ship before it even left the British Isles.

In this episode we track Macarthur’s meteoric ascent in NSW as he manipulates, intimidates and duels a succession of dumbfounded Governors and commanding officers. Back in England, Joseph Banks watches with horror as this “Australian Cromwell” rises up to dominate NSW, and hovers his hand above the Bligh Button.