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Biographical information
Stirling went on to South Asia after leaving Western Australia, reaching Java on 11 August 1827. The Success spent the next months in Madras, Penang and Ceylon. In Ceylon Stirling became ill - 'an intestinal inflammation with great derangement in the functions of the liver & bowels'. Certified to be unwell by Royal Navy surgeons, he was sent back to England on a merchant vessel, leaving the Success. He reached England on 7 July 1828. [1] After his initial trip, Stirling strongly advocated for a new colony in Western Australia. In his report to the Admiralty he concluded that 'I do not believe that a more eligible spot could be found in any part of the World.' [1, p 85] The Colonial Office had little interest in a new colony at Swan River, but Stirling was insistent in his campagining. [1, p 101]
Links to slaver
Stirling had multiple connections to the slave trade. His intergenerational family businesses traded in slave-produced goods in the United States and Caribbean. His brother Walter Stirling received compensation for the loss of enslaved people in Guiana and Barbados. Stirling was stationed in the Royal Navy at Jamaica, where his Uncle Charles Stirling was Commander-in-Chief. They received prize money for capturing ships, some of which contained slave-produced goods. Stirling's father-in-law James Mangles owned a ship which transported enslaved people between Africa and the Caribbean. [Georgie refs]
Attitudes around race
Back in England, Stirling came to know Major Thomas Moody, an ex-West Indian Plantation owner. Statham-Drew explains that 'Moody had apparently persuaded Stirling that he could get a number of individuals interested in settling the Swan River area under the umbrella of a private company.' Moody also had ideas to 'set up three classes of settlement - one for convicts on what he termed "the Dutch system", a second "for the profits of the association, conducted by the parish paupers & persons of that class in Ireland", and a third "for the encouragement of half castes from India, Chines and others who may be induced to settle in the northern climates of the Colony to raise cotton &c".' [1, p 105]
Attitudes around labour
1827 map of Stirling's journey up Derbarl Yerrigan:
Images notes
This 1827 map of Stirling's journey up Derbarl Yerrigan marks 'lands intended for settlers and public persons', 'to be granted to Mr. T. Peel' and 'granted to Captn. Stirling R. N.'