In 1802 the Baudin expedition stopped over in Sydney for provisions, botanical and other scientific pursuits and to collect military intelligence. Francois Peron was a naturalist on the expedition and also the principle spy. His assessment was found relatively recently in the Museum of Natural History L’Havre. It was a 122 page report on how best to attack Sydney. It can be seen that Botany Bay was the recommend route for a surprise overland attack on the Port Jackson colony
Péron proposed the French armada should enter Botany Bay at night. As quickly as possible the troops would be landed, near a malt house belonging to a man named Smith, and at daybreak rapidly marched into Sydney. The road the soldiers would take, which led through the brick fields, is clearly marked in Louis Freycinet’s map which accompanied the official record of the expedition.
In Botany Bay the main garrison was stationed at Bumborah Point as that was the main defence point against a ship incursion of the Bay. Only a few soldiers were stationed at the La Perouse casemate, the Macquarie Watchtower (photo of the 3 tier gun casemate at Bumborah Point. Note extensive wall running to the north. This would provide for land defence against an attack from the beach). Charles Abela took photographs of the foundations of the casemate around 1960 and noted the flatness of the sand within the circle, indicating that the floor stones were still in place and likely to be buried under the hard fill deposited by the Maritime Services Board when they used the area as a compound for machinery during the construction of Banks’ Revetment Wall in the 1970s. (Photo left taken 1951, John Cann).
Photos below show the position of Bumborah Point, now subject to a proposal for a 3000 site expansion by Botany Cemetery.
Bumborah is a recreation area. Photo left shows hangliding while other pursuits include scuba, snorkelling, swimming and fishing.
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