TENCH, Watkin (c. 1758-1833)


TENCH, Watkin (c. 1758-1833)
lieutenant-general, author
was born, probably in Great Britain, between May 1758 and May 1759; he was 74 at the time of his death in May 1833. He was well educated, and entering the British forces was commissioned a lieutenant in 1778. On 13 May 1787 he left England as a captain-lieutenant of marines, so described in an official document, but he was generally called captain, and arrived at Botany Bay on 20 January 1788. He remained in Australia until 18 December 1791 and kept a diary throughout his stay. In 1789 he published at London A Narrative of the Expedition to Botany Bay, a most interesting account of the voyage and the early days at the settlement. This went into three editions and was also translated into French, German, Dutch, and Swedish. After his return to Europe Tench wrote A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson, which was published in 1793. This carried his account up to the end of 1791 and is a well-balanced and interesting document. Towards the end of 1794 Tench became a prisoner of war, his ship, the Alexander, having been captured by the French. He published in 1796 an account of his experiences, Letters written in France to a Friend in London. He had been promoted major in 1794, became a colonel in the army in 1808, major-general in 1811 and lieutenant-general in 1821. The last years of his life were spent at Plymouth and Devonport, where he died on 7 May 1899. He married Anna Maria Little, who survived him.
A fellow officer, Lieutenant Daniel Southwell, described Tench as "polite and sensible". He was a good officer and appears to have had a charming personality, though like nearly everyone else, he fell foul of Major Ross. He did some useful exploring, and wielding a lighter pen than most writers of the time, his two books on the beginnings of Australia are both very readable and valuable
The Gentleman's Magazine, 1833, vol. I, p. 477; G. C. Boase and W. P. Courtney, Bibliotheca Corunbiensis, vol. II, p. 710; Historical Records of Australia, ser. 1, vol. 1, G. Arnold Wood, Journal and Proceedings Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. X, pp. 15-22; G. Mackaness, Admiral Arthur Phillip. Interesting references to Tench will also he found in Eleanor Dark's historical novel, The Timeless Land.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tench, Watkin — ▪ British army officer born c. 1758, , England? died May 7, 1833, Devonport, Devonshire, Eng.       British army officer whose two books about early Australia have become classics.       Commissioned a lieutenant in the British army (1778), Tench …   Universalium

  • Watkin Tench — Naissance 6 novembre 1758 Chester Décès 7 mai 1833 Devonpo …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Watkin Tench — Infobox Person name = Watkin Tench image size = caption = Portrait of Watkin Tench birth date = 6 Nov 1758 birth place = Chester, county of Cheshire, England death date = 7 May 1833 death place = Devonport, England education = occupation =… …   Wikipedia

  • 1758 in Great Britain — Events from the year 1758 in the Kingdom of Great Britain.Incumbents*Monarch George II of the United Kingdom *Prime Minister Thomas Pelham Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne, WhigEvents* 21 April Thomas Secker enthroned as Archbishop of… …   Wikipedia

  • 1758 — Year 1758 (MDCCLVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 11 day slower Julian calendar). Events of 1758 January June * April 29 Battle …   Wikipedia

  • Littérature australienne — La littérature australienne a pris naissance peu après la colonisation du pays par les Européens. Parmi les thèmes fréquemment abordés, on retrouve l identité indigène; le mateship (ou fidélité fraternelle), l Égalitarisme et la Démocratie, l… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Histoire de Sydney — L Opera de Sydney avec le Drapeau de l Australie, Australia Day 2004. L histoire de Sydney détaille le développement de la capitale de la Nouvelle Galles du Sud depuis le début de la colonisation européenne jusqu à son épanouissement en un centre …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.