The Falkland Islands – History & Timeline

Falkland Wars 1480 – now!

1850 – 1899 Argentina’s Rise

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1850 – January 9th, the agreement between the British Government and Samuel Lafone is modified. The changes extend Lafone’s right to the wild cattle till 1856 and his purchase of land is extended to; “.. all that peninsular or tract of land, part of the island of East Falkland (whatever be its extent), lying south of a line of demarcation running from a point in Darwin harbour, to a point in Brenton Sound, on the other side of the island, and which line of demarcation was fixed and indicated by the late Governor Moody by stakes and mounds, …”

Resuming his operations on East Falkland, Lafone proposes the formation of a new company to be called ‘The Royal Falkland Land, Cattle, Seal and Whale Fishery Company.’

January 24th, the Chamber of Representatives authorises Governor Rosas to ratify the “Convention of Peace, between the Argentine Confederation and the United Kingdom of Great Britain” when Britain’s ratification is presented. The treaty is recognised as; “.. a Convention of Peace, signed by the Argentine and British Plenipotentiaries, …”

May 15th, ratifications of the Treaty are exchanged in Buenos Aires.

“The treaty of peace leaves every thing in the state in which it found it, unless there be some express stipulation to the contrary. The existing state of possession is maintained, except so far as latered by the terms of the treaty. If nothing be said about the conquered country or places, they remain with the conqueror, and his title cannot afterwards be called in question.” [Halleck 1866]

The Convention of Settlement was an international agreement between Britain and Argentina. It was a peace treaty, so by ratifying it in 1850, Argentina accepted that the Falklands were legitimately British and no longer regarded them as Argentine territory.” [Pascoe & Pepper 2012]

Algernon Sidney Montagu, is appointed resident magistrate and coroner to the Falkland Islands.

July 9th, the survey vessel, HMS Rattlesnake, now commanded by Lieut. Charles Yule following the death of Capt. Owen Stanley, anchors at Port Stanley during her return from the Pacific. Due to bad weather the ship remains until the 25th.

September 12th, while in the United States, William Horton Smyley is appointed Consul at the Falklands by Secretary of State Daniel Webster.

December 11th, the coal carrier Waldron is abandoned on fire between Carcass Island and New Island.

1851 – in January, a Committee is formed in London to consider the possibility of purchasing Samuel Lafone’s interests in the Falkland Islands.

In February, US Consul Smyley presents himself to the Governor at Stanley.

April 24th, Samuel Lafone sells his rights on the Islands, but he is to remain as a Director in the new Company with 20% of the share issue. Lafone is also designated as ‘Manager at the Falklands.’

… but serious problems lay ahead. The whole edifice was based on a grossly inflated valuation of the assets taken over (£212,000) without any attempt to audit them, and whatever his title Lafone was anything but an on-site manager.” (Tatham 2008)

A population census estimates the peoples present on the Islands at 287, including 78 gauchos working for Samuel Lafone.

Captain Campbell of the ship, Levenside, is granted a licence to investigate the guano deposits of New Island.

July 14th, in a House of Commons debate, the settled population of the Falklands is put between 100 and 120 people. Before agreeing £5,000 for the islands’ expenses, the MP’s notes that no troops are stationed there. Mr. Hawes, Government spokesman, says; “The Falkland Islands are, in point of fact, a naval station of great benefit and advantage to the power and general trade of this empire; and when we possess a station of that sort, of course it is necessary we should have some kind of government, and proper officers to carry it into effect. It was always considered of great importance that England should possess this naval station; … “

August 6th, the Armantine, with a cargo of wines and silks, is wrecked at Cape Frechel.

1852 – January 10th, the Royal Falkland Land, Cattle, Seal and Whale Fishery Company changes its name to the Falkland Islands Company and introduces Cheviot sheep to the Islands. The company also signs a 7 year contract with the British Government for the conveyance of mail, by ship, between Montevideo and the islands for £700 per annum.

The transference to the Falkland Islands Company of the large interests held by Mr. Lafone, and the commencement by that corporation of a more comprehensive system of operation, supported by a large capital, gives me very favourable hopes of benefit to the colony,…” (Rennie 1853)

January 26th, the Levenside founders in Port William. The Governor is on board.

In February, after a voyage lasting over 3 years, Capt. Hiram Clift returns to the Mystic seaport in Hudson, with 2,382 barrels of whale oil and 18,000 lb of bone, taken from around the Falkland Islands.

February 3rd, General Rosas is defeated at the battle of Caseros and flees the country.

April 28th, Plymouth newspapers report the arrival of Juan Rosas in England as a political refugee.

May 7th, Luis Vernet, now in London, submits a claim for compensation to the British Government; .. for the restitution of his private property taken possession of on East Falkland Island or such compensation as may be deemed reasonable and just ..”

In his initial submission Vernet states that he has been unable to pursue the claim until this date due to his constrained circumstances suffered as a result of the loss of the settlement at Port Louis. He states a case for £14,295 to cover lost horses, loss of domesticated cattle, the use (by the British) of horses, boats, stone houses and beef left at the settlement. Adding interest Vernet puts the value of his losses at £28,000.

June 2nd, Vernet’s submission is referred to the Secretary of State for the Colonies; I am directed by the Lord of Malmesbury to transmit to you, in original, a Memorial and its enclosures, from Mr. Lewis Vernet, whom the records in the Colonial Department will show to be the individual by whose means the Government of the Argentine Confederation attempted to obtain a footing and to establish a settlement in the Falkland Islands some years ago…”

In the Falklands, cattle loss to trespassing whalers increases; “ .. this is the very locality now resorted to by marauders for stealthily obtaining beef, not merely for present supply, but for committing so wholesale a destruction as will enable them to salt down sufficient for a long cruise. It is pretty well known that in numerous vessels from England, America, and other places, a stock of salt is taken out for the purpose of curing a supply of provisions at the expense of these islands.”

In July, Hudson, again captained by Hiram Clift, with a tender, Washington commanded by Capt. Eldridge, sails again for New Island.

September 6th, Vernet submits further documents in support of his claim including allegations that Samuel Lafone “usurped” his interests and acts as an “obstacle” to the speedy colonisation of the Islands. Vernet complains that he was not invited to return when his experience could have been of benefit.

1853 – January 8th, Governor Rennie writes to Sir John Packington; Governor Rennie writes to Sir John Packington; “… In the year ending December 1851, 17538 tons of shipping from England and foreign parts entered this harbour; in the year ending December 1852, there were 22,024 tons, being an increase of 4,486 tons. This augmentation necessarily produces a demand for produce, labour and stores of every description, affording remunerative profits to the storekeepers and employment at good wages to the labouring classes, unskilled 3s to 5s per diem, and skilled 6s to 10s. Provisions are abundant, and at reasonable prices. …  The grumbling and discontent manifested by a portion of the enrolled pensioners settled here has subsided since the notification to them by the Secretary-at-War that they were at liberty to return to England if they preferred to do so, nor has even one of them up to the present time availed himself of the permission. ..”

January 27th, a Canadian barque, Actaeon, puts into Stanley. After being declared unfit, she is scuttled.

In February, the Governor announces the discovery of large quantities of guano on the Islands.

At Rennie’s urging, the British Government complains to the US Government of; “ .. the depredations being caused at the islands by persons landing from vessels of the United States.” The Americans are informed that Britain intends to send a force to the Falklands in order to prevent further attacks.

Norberto Riestra travels from Buenos Aires to London to pay off 24 years of arrears to Barings Bank.

May 26th, the Department of State in Washington publicly announces; “ Official information has been received at this Department that the British authorities at the Falkland island having complained to their Government that the wild cattle on those islands are frequently killed, and that other depredations are committed there by persons landing from vessels under the flag of the United States, it is the intention of the British Government to send a force thither competent to prevent a repetition of such acts. Consequently, masters of vessels and other citizens of the Untited States resorting to that quarter are warned that, if they commit spoliations in the Falkland islands, they will incur the penalties which may be prescribed therefor.”

US Secretary Marcy acknowledges the complaint and advises the British Government that he has issued a warning note to the captains of US whalers and sealers informing them that they may incur penalties. Governor Rennie copies the official complaint to William Smyly who responds that 9 out of 10 US citizens are unaware that the Falklands are occupied.

October 31st, the population on the Falkland Islands reaches 500 and Port Stanley is described as a, “ .. really decent-sized little town, with its church, exchange, two public houses called hotels, and two billiard-rooms, with a port full of vessels at anchor, including two large American ships; all had put in for repairs, for which the port affords every facility… Nine hundred thousand acres of land in these islands are sold or leased, and three million acres remain to be sold.”

1854 – January 9th, deserters from US whalers Hudson and Washington, arrive in Stanley where they allege that the captains of the two vessels have authorised the killing of a large number of wild pigs – on which they’d lived for some eight months. Hudson’s commander, Hiram Clift, already has a previous conviction for taking cattle belonging to Lafone and had been fined in 1849. Warrants are issued for Clift and Capt. Eldridge.

Governor Rennie sends a message to the Rio Station requesting a ship of the Royal Navy to enforce the warrants, while US Consul Smyly notifies the Commodore of the US squadron. Smyley claims that it is Rennie’s intention to oppose American fishing rights in the south Atlantic; describing Rennie as, “ the despotic power which here exists.”

January 24th, Hilario Cordoba murders Jean Cousteau, a 19 year old Basque labourer.

February 18th, Commander William Francis Lynch, in USS Germantown is ordered by Commodore Salter to proceed to Port Stanley to protect “American interests.”

February 26th, HMS Express, commanded by Capt. Boys and with the Falklands Constable aboard, finds Hudson and Washington at New Island.

.. HBM sloop Express, Commander Boys, made her appearance, having on board a sheriff with a warrant to arrest Captains Clift and Eldridge for killing 30 wild pigs in August, 1853 – Captain B. having also an order from the Governor to bring both vessels to Port William. He boarded the Hudson, and the civil officer having read his warrant, Capt. Boys read the order of the Governor to take the ship, then demanded of Capt. Clift the ship’s papers which he took and kept possession of. On board the Washington the order to take the schooner was first read and the papers demanded and received, and then the civil process was served. … the next day Capt. Clift went on board the Express and begged of Capt. Boys not to take the Hudson from her fishing, as they just beginning the best of the season, and offering to go in the Washington with Capt. Eldridge to Port William and abide the event of the criminal process. But Capt. B. said his orders were peremptory. … “

In March, the Argentine Confederation elects Justo Jose de Urquiza as its President while the Province of Buenos Aires declares its independence.

March 2nd, USS Germantown, arrives off Port William. On arrival the frigate; “beat to quarters and shotted its guns,” causing alarm in the town. Lynch and Smyly call on Governor Rennie and the conversation quickly deteriorates into a row – Lynch employing threats and bluster. Unperturbed, Rennie shows Lynch a copy of the warning note issued by the US Secretary of State the previous year.

.. I went to see the Governor for the first time, before I knew of the circular (of) Minister Marcy, which I had never heard of … but the rest, this pretension was far from being regarded as indisputable: I knew our business in Buenos Ayres (and) it was very seriously disputed, and even absolutely denied by the Argentine Government. .. ”

Lynch attempts to ignore the notice by claiming that the pigs and livestock had been put on the islands by US sealers during the previous 30 years and that therefore, they are not owned by the British Government.

The Germantown’s commander refuses to acknowledge British sovereignty, asserting that his countrymen have the right to fish off all uninhabited islands around the archipelago. Lynch calls the warrants “illegal,” and declares; “The United States, ample in their domain, prefer no claim to these inhospitable rocks and bogs; but their government will, if I mistake not, maintain the unrestricted rights of its citizens to use the uninhabited islands of this group for the purposes of fishery, & refreshment of their vessels, & to navigate the bays, & straits & circumjacent seas.”

Governor Rennie, whilst acknowledging Germantown’s superior fire-power, makes it clear that he will not have his authority challenged and is quite prepared to fight. Lynch accepts an invitation to dinner.

March 3rd, Washington arrives at Port William; “ … as she passed close under one quarter of the Germantown, the fact that an English officer and some men of war were on board of her was observed, and immediately Capt. Lynch ordered a boat and Lieut. Crosby to go and recapture the schooner, if she was held in military distress…”

Hudson and Express arrive shortly after.

Governor Rennie and Capt. Boys call on Lynch, being met with full honours and a 21 gun salute from Germantown. Lynch again complains to the Governor about the detention of the two US sealers to which Rennie responds by presenting another copy of the US Secretary of State’s warning of May 26th, 1853. Once they have left, Capt. Lynch repositions his vessel to threaten HMS Express with his guns.

Capt. Clift is placed in custody to the fury of Lynch who insists that all future communication must be in writing.

.. master of an American whaler, touching at the Falklands, is charged with the slaughter of twenty-two hogs. The commander of a man-of-war which unfortunately happens to be on the station, is employed to arrest the captain, but he does more, he arrests the ship, takes her from her moorings, and brings her into port, as if she had been guilty of the depredations on the swine. ..”

March 6th, the USS Germantown anchors opposite the local Magistrates Court, on which its guns are trained.

March 7th, at his trial, Capt. Clift, who has taken responsibility for all the acts of the two ships, admits to killing 22 pigs – in breach of a local Ordinance which makes it an offence to kill, “cattle etc.” The local prosecutor claims that the pigs fall under the “etc.” and that killing them without authority is punishable by a £40 fine for each animal. Clift is found guilty and fined a ‘mitigated£1 for each animal plus costs of £5 16/-.

March 14th, the Hudson and Washington leave the Falklands; refusing to carry on sealing despite Lynch’s assurances that he will protect them.

Incensed at the result, Capt. Lynch writes to other American vessels in the area; “I have enjoined upon the officers of these vessels and desired them to pass the word round their associates that, if they have but one charge of powder or ball on board and any naval officer of any nation but their own, at sea or in port, attempt, without leave obtained, to plant his foot upon the deck of a vessel protected by the American flag, to shoot him without a moment’s hesitation.”

Capt. Lynch “unceremoniously”declines further invitations to meet with Governor Rennie although he writes to question British sovereignty; “The US have not thought proper to take possession of this group of islands, but have used them for longer period and more extensively than all other nations combined. The group of islands with their harbors, bays and straits embrace an area of nearly 9000 square miles, and for a governor of a very small settlement in the remotest eastern point of the entire group to assume absolute sovereignty over the whole reminds me, Your Excellency will pardon me, of the fly which, looking down from the dome of St. Peters, fancied that the immense structure was raised expressly for its accommodation.”

March 18th, Hilario Cordoba, convicted of murder, is hung in the dockyard.

March 20th, the USS Germantown finally leaves Falkland waters bound for Montevideo.

April 1st, the Courier is wrecked on Bull Point.

In London, a bill is presented to the Court of Chancery alleging ‘fraudulent representation’ against Samuel Lafone.

April 4th, in Montevideo, and still fuming, Lynch writes an article for the Comercio del Plata claiming that it had been his presence that forced the Court to ‘mitigate’ the fines levied against Clift; “ .. instead of about £100 Sterling, as had been  anticipated, there was imposed on the captain a fine of £50 which we paid.” By way of a parting shot, Lynch sends a copy of the newspaper to Governor Rennie.

June 9th, in the House of Commons a question is put to Mr. Peel by George Dundas about whether; “ .. any official information has been received regarding a fracas said to have occurred at the Falkland Islands, in which the American whaler Hudson was seized by Her Majesty’s ship Express…”

The official response is that the circumstances are; “.. under consideration, and that it would be inconvenient at present to produce the correspondence.”

As a result of the threats by the Americans, a volunteer defence force is established for the islands.

June 12th, the Colonial Office is assigned to a new Secretary of State for the Colonies, Sir George Grey.

June 22nd, The New York Times notes British Parliamentary business; “ On the notice book, is a motion for an inquiry into the seizure of Americans at Falkland Islands.”

July 1st, US Secretary of State Marcy writes to the British Ambassador in Washington alleging that the warning issued by the Department of State the previous May; “… said nothing about the sovereignty of the islands… if the fact, however, be admitted that these islands were British territory, the treatment of the American ships must be considered as exceedingly hard. A still graver matter of complaint is the pretension set up by these authorities to exclude our citizens from fishing and taking whale in the waters about these islands. This right they have long enjoyed without its being questioned.”

The US Government registers an official protest based on the seizure of the vessels rather than the prosecution and fine levied on Capt. Clift; demanding compensation for the owners.

August 15th, reported in the Geelong Advertiser & Intelligencer of Victoria; “The fracas as Falkland Islands is likely to be settled in the one proper way, vis., by payment of compensation to the American captain whose ship was arbitrarily seized by an English ship of war, against the law and usages of nations.”

September 21st, responding to the American protest, British Foreign Secretary, Lord Clarendon, disavows the action by Express when it forced the offending vessels to sail to Port Stanley, but complains about the “insulting language and arrogant behaviour ..” of Lynch, which he calls to be “disowned” by the USA.

Clarendon also expresses surprise that Secretary Marcy should; “.. appear to call into question the right of Great Britain to the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. Her Majesty’s Government will not discuss that right with another power, but will continue to exercise, in and around the islands of the Falkland group, the right inherent under the law of nations in the territorial sovereign, and will hold themselves entitled, if they think fit, to prevent foreigners, to whatever nation belonging, from fishing for whale and seal with three marine miles of the coast, or from landing on any part of the shores of the Falkland Islands for the purpose of fishing or killing seals. Furthermore, and to prevent all possibility of mistake.

Her Majesty’s Government declare that they will not allow the wild cattle on the Falkland Islands to be destroyed, or other depredations to be committed on the islands by any foreigners, to whatever nation they may belong, and that all persons committing any such spoliations on the islands will be proceeded against under the enactments of the colonial laws.”

September 27th, Secretary Marcy instructs the US Ambassador in London to file a claim against the British Government, but then, in a private letter, cancels the instruction.

[ This letter has never been published, but the reasoning appears to be that the submission of a claim would provide tacit recognition of the right of sovereignty vesting in the British. US foreign policy called for neutrality on the question. cf. Moore 1906]

Sir Robert Phillimore considers legals aspects of sovereignty; “ .. writers on international law agree that the Use and Settlement, or, in other words, continuous use, are indispensable elements of occupation so called. The mere erection of crosses, landmarks and inscriptions is ineffectual for acquiring or maintaining an exclusive title to a country of which no real use is made …. A different opinion appears, indeed, to have been entertained by the officers of Great Britain in 1774, at the period of her temporary abandonment of the Falkland Islands.”

October 17th, the Glaucus is wrecked at Governor Island.

November 26th, the George Butz is wrecked on Grand Jason.

1855 – February 5th, a missionary station is built on Keppel Island, by the South American Missionary Society.

“As for the mission station at Keppel Island, no one could be so blind as not to see what it was most like – another speculation! Natives imported to work there under various pleas! one hundred and thirty head of cattle to be bought! shares and profits talked about, and such like, did not savour much of what was said to be merely a mission to the natives.”

March 12th, acting Colonial Secretary J. Longdon prepares a report on the number of foreign vessels warned to leave the Falkland Islands since 1833.

April 25th, the New York barque Ortona, carrying timber, is lost to a fire in Port William.

June 7th, Thomas Warwick Brooke is appointed Stipendiary Magistrate on the Falkland Islands.

August 9th, the Carlton is wrecked at Cape Carysford.

August 12th, the Herald is wrecked on Bird Island.

In November, Capt. Thomas Laws Moore takes over as Governor.

December 1st, Cape Pembroke light tower commences operation.

1856 in an initial attempt to settle Luis Vernet’s compensation claim against the British Government, the Colonial Office offers to pay £2400 for the horses less £850 against possible claims against Vernet emanating from the Falkland Islands; arising from the use by Matthew Brisbane of promissory notes.

May 5th, Luis Vernet writes to Lord Harrowby; “… the wish, to get my Colony under the British Flag, was in accordance with my own interests and those of my colonists, which required such change of flag; because situated as we were on the Highway of Nations, we could not expect permanent prosperity, unless placed under the sovereignty of a Government capable of protecting us against filibustering or other aggressions. As to the grants of Land, wild cattle, and privileges, these were originally obtained not with the view to establish any claim to the Islands on the part of Buenos Ayres, but merely to secure the best protection I could for my new colony, from the Authorities for the time being, regardless who they might be.”

May 10th, Luis Vernet has a letter published in the Illustrated London News. “Having just seen in your paper of the 12th instant an article accompanied by some sketches, on the Falkland Islands, for which you say you are indebted to the courtesy of the late Governor of those islands, I beg leave to ask you upon what grounds, or with what intention, in my name has been so unwarrantably handled therein, especially as I am at present in London, and in correspondence with the present Government, for the purpose of claiming British protection and justice against the arbitrary acts and misrepresentation of certain British authorities, which have been the cause of my remaining, for these last eighteen years, dispossessed of my private property in the East Falkland Islands, after an honourable possession of very many years previous. It cannot, therefore, be expected that I shall, after so many years of unmerited grievances, pass over in silence any new misrepresentations or ex parte statements, which, if left uncontradicted, may have a tendency to injure me in the estimation of the public, as I possess ample evidence to convince every impartial man that I was perfectly justified in pursuing the course I did with regard to the Falkland Islands.”

March 9th, the surveying vessel Pandora, arrives from New Zealand, on her way to England.

April, The constable, Parry, is an old hand,… Parry’s wife, a coloured woman, was I believe a resident at Port Louis when the murder of Mr. Brisbane took place; as also was another woman by name Antonini, a half caste Spanish American, and now employed at the Falkland Company’s Farm, at Hope-place. Whaling is followed up principally by the Americans, who occasionally make their call at Stanley, but form their headquarters at New island, in the Western Falklands… As a class they are a highly intelligent and competent body of men; … That they have a stern and often unpleasant bearing when called upon to acknowledge aught wherein British rights are claimed is too evident to be denied.”

May 26th, an officer aboard the Pandora writes to a friend in Tasmania; “ .. I will endeavour to give you a few words about the Falkland Islands. Since your day the Seat of Government has been removed to Stanley Harbour, S. side Port William. It is not very far from the old site, being only the next Island South of Port Berkley, but as Port William is only 4 miles deep, it is more accessible than Port Berkley, which is 12; moreover the prevailing wind blows athwart the entrance to Stanley harbour, so that vessels may sail through almost any day, while at Port Louis the entrance lay in the direction of the wind, it was therefore difficult to access. The present Governor, Capt. T.E.L. Moore R.N., who has only been there since last November, is a straightforward, honest man, anxious to do everything to improve the place; the other two (his predecessors) Moodie and Rennie, appear to have been most extraordinary geniuses, the latter in particular, his great object appearing to have been if possible to annihilate the Falkland Island Company. Jealousy was probably the cause of this; the Company’s agent employing most of the people, had of course most influence. The present Governor appears to have none of this petty jealousy, but is rendering all the assistance he can to the Company’s agent, Mr. T. Havers. Already I am told there is a great improvement in many ways, and as Mr. Havers is a most energetic, talented man, I have no doubt there will be still further improvements.

The population of Stanley is about 300, and about 100 more are scattered throughout the Islands. …

The cattle on East Falkland Island (there are only a few on West Falkland) have been variously estimated at from 15,000 to 50,000; … The Tussock grass is quite gone as a staple; the cattle wasting large quantities to get at the roots, it is now almost unknown about their feeding districts.”

In August, the Rev. Mr. Despard, missionary for the South American Missionary Society, arrives at Stanley.

1857 – February 9th, a second offer is presented to Luis Vernet by the British Government – £2400 reduced by £550 to £1,850 because of outstanding promissory notes. As a final offer, Vernet is also required to sign an agreement waving any further claims.

Juan Bautista Alberdi, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Courts in London and Paris starts negotiations with Spain for an acknowledgment of independence for Argentina.

Catholic residents on the Islands write to Cardinal Wiseman, archbishop  of Westminster, asking for a priest to be sent to attend their spiritual needs. The request is passed on to the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Dr. Mariano Escalada, who recommends that a priest from Argentina visit every 7 years.

Friar Lawrence Kirwan goes to Port Stanley and puts together a committee which has the objective of collecting enough money to buy a pot of land so that a Catholic chapel can be built.

July 27th, in The New York Times, “ That Great Britain entertains for a moment the abandonment or relinquishment of the Falkland Islands …. as has been intimated, is not be conceived for a moment.”

August 7th, Lieut. Charles Compton Abbott is gazetted to be the Commanding Officer of the Detachment of Troops ‘to be employed in the Falkland Islands.”

US Consul, William Smyley is accused, and convicted, of stealing cattle. He is fined £2.

September 17th, Christopher Murray is convicted of murdering his wife and sentenced to 14 years transportation.

October 24th, the US ship, Antoinette, founders. Part of the crew manage to get to Port William and report the incident to the US Consul, Capt. Smyly, who takes a boat out to rescue the remaining members of the crew.

November 23rd, Antoinette is wrecked on Sea Lion Island. The crew are saved in two boats.

1858 –  February 1st, Vernet, writing from Paris, reluctantly accepts the compensation offered by the British Government but asks that the sum of £550 for “counter-claims” is not deducted; “.. for the reason that they arise from the acquisition of property to which H.M. Government does not recognise me any right.”

He also asks; “.. as a matter of equity, something more than the £2400 in consideration of my so very unfortunate case, of having lost my whole fortune and many years of toil in the establishment of a Colony on the East Falkland Island, of the lands and cattle of which I considered myself to be the proprietor, having enjoyed their possession from 1823 to 1833, with the full consent of the Government under whose flag those islands then were, and with the tacit consent of the British Government, whose representatives in that quarter were well acquainted with my undertaking… “

April 12th, Leopold is wrecked on Grand Jason.

May 26th, local merchant, John Markham Dean is gazetted Consul in the Falkland Islands for the King of Denmark.

July 5th, The New York Times estimates that there are 20 – 30,000 wild cattle on the Falkland Islands, and some 800 inhabitants.

The British Government sends out 35 married marines as garrison and potential settlers.

1859– July 9th, a ‘Treaty of Recognition, Peace and Friendship’ is signed in Madrid between Spain and the Argentine Confederation.

.. When, finally, Spain agreed to recognise the independence of Argentina in 1859, it was Argentina without the Falklands, with no explicit transfer of any rights which Spain may have held over the archipelago. As Britain was mediator between the newly constituted nation and the former mother country, it would have been most unlikely that she would have permitted any such transfer or allowed into the treaty of recognition anything which could be interpreted as a challenge to British sovereignty in the islands.” (Metford 1968)

.. independence was not recognized by Spain until 1859, twenty-six years after the Falklands had come back under British control, and involved no explicit transfer of sovereignty over the islands.” No act of cession or ‘quasi-cession” of rights in the Falklands took place, and, as Judge Huber remarked in the Island of Palmas arbitration, ‘it is evident that Spain could not transfer more rights than she herself possessed.’ “ (Calvert 1983)

Queen Isabella acknowledges the Argentine Confederation as a; “free, sovereign and independent nation.” Isabella renounces, for herself and her successors, Spanish sovereignty over the territory of the Argentine Confederation.

September 4th, the American clipper, Russell, strikes Billy Rock and sinks in Berkeley Sound.

November, the Province of Buenos Aires negotiates to join the Confederation.

1860 – the Falkland Islands Company is given sole rights to the cattle in the south of East Falklands. The right to other wild cattle on the islands reverts to the Government, which moves to protect them.

April 20th, Captain William Surtees Cook is appointed Commanding Officer of the Detachment of Troops.

May 3rd, 160 acres of New Island is leased to Smith Brothers & Co. of Montevideo and, on the same day, the Rev. Charles Bull is appointed Colonial Chaplain.

In June, the Treaty of Union between the Argentine Confederation and Buenos Aires is signed and the united country is to be known as the República Argentina. Changes to the agreed Constitution however require a new Treaty of Recognition with Spain.

June 27th, the exchange of ratifications of the 1859 Treaty between the Argentine Confederation and Spain take place in Madrid.

August 16th, the Colonsay, a British ship out of Glasgow, is wrecked on Speedwell Island.

September 5th, Alexander, a Liverpool built barque, is wrecked at Mengeary Point, Port William. All the crew are saved.

September 25th, the new Constitution of the Argentine Republic takes effect.

“Article 35: The names of “The United Provinces of the River Plate,” “The Argentine Republic,” “The Argentine Confederation,” adopted in succession ever since 1810, shall be allowed in the future to be used indistinctively for the official designation of the government and the territory of the Provinces; but the name of “The Argentine Nation” shall be used in the enactment and approval of the laws.

Article 67: The National Congress shall have power: … 14. To settle finally the limits of the Republic, to fix those of the’ Provinces, to create new provinces, and to provide by special laws for the organization and the administration of the government of the national territories, which may be left outside the limits of the Provinces…”

1861 – A population census estimates the peoples present on the Islands at 541.

A ‘Shipping Register’ is opened at the Falklands.

March 20th, reported in the New York Times; “ The British bark True Briton, with a cargo valued at $200,000, from London to Victoria, sustained serious damage off Cape Horn, and put into Falkland Islands, where her cargo will be sold to pay expenses.”

A parcel of land is purchased for the building of a Catholic chapel.

April 25th, Edward Wallace Goodlake is gazetted Stipendiary Magistrate at Stanley.

August 1st, James Robert Longden is appointed Postmaster.

1862 – a French map shows Patagonia as terra nullius.

March 31st, Edward Macartney is appointed Colonial Secretary on the Islands.

September 10th, Capt. James George Mackenzie is Governor.

In November, Vice-Admiral Luiz Hernández de Pinzón leads a diplomatic mission to Argentina where he discusses with President Mitre the formulation of a new Treaty with Spain that will include the Province of Buenos Aires. Modifications to the Treaty of 1859 are agreed by both sides.

[Photograph taken from one of the Spanish ships]

18631863 – February 27th, the Falkland Islands receive the Pinzón mission. Admiral Pinzón arrives in the Resolucion and fires a salute to the British ensign before inviting the Governor on board his flagship. Diplomatic gifts are exchanged. Governor MacKenzie writes to the Secretary of State; “ .. it gives me great pleasure to inform you of the friendly spirit evinced by the Spanish Admiral who, although I previously informed him that I was unable to return a salute, fired the usual number of Guns to our Flag.”

February 28th, the Spanish vessel, Nuestra Senora del Triunfo, arrives at Stanley to join her sister ship.

March 20th, Pinzón’s log notes the presence of an Argentine sealer at Stanley.

March 25th, representatives of a Welsh immigration society arrive in Buenos Aires to discuss the founding of a Welsh settlement in Patagonia. Discussions involve the British charge d’affairs in Buenos Aires to whom it is suggested; “ … that the Argentine Congress would approve the settlement if the British Government would cede the Falkland Islands to Argentina. The charge responded that it would be wrong for the Argentine Congress to consider that there was the slightest hope of this happening.” (Tatham 2008)

April 9th, the two Spanish vessels depart.

June 15th, Edward Rogers Griffiths is appointed Stipendiary Magistrate.

In September, the Welsh society hear from Buenos Aires that their application has been refused.

September 21st, a ‘Treaty of Recognition, Peace and Friendship’ is signed by Spain and the Argentine Republic in Madrid: “Article 1: Your Catholic Majesty recognises the Republic or Confederation of Argentina as a free, supreme and independent nation that consists of all the provinces mentioned in its present federal Constitution, and other legitimate territories that belong or could belong in the future. According to the Spanish Parliament Act of December 4th 1836, the kingdom renounces any rights and actions on the territory of the Republic.”

In October, Foam is purchased by the Emigration Board for the carriage of mail between Stanley and Montevideo.

October 4th, the Adeline, a Prussian barque loaded with sugar, is wrecked off East Falkland.

1864 – October 17th, John Rodgers Rudd, camp manager for the Falkland Islands Company, is murdered by a gaucho.

December 26th, William Valpy is gazetted as Colonial Surgeon for the Islands.

1865 – Friar Patrick Dillion visits the Islands and administers to the 200 Catholics he finds there.

May 1st, President Bartolomé Mitre refers to the 1850 Treaty in his opening address to the Argentine Congress; ” … there was nothing to prevent the consolidation of friendly relations between this country and those governments.”

May 20th, Horace Watts MD takes over as Colonial Surgeon.

During the course of the year 15 vessels arrive seeking repair, 24 wanting provisions and 31 looking to trade.

1866 – farming established on West Falkland.

On May 1st, Vice-President Marcos Paz opens Argentina’s  Congress and refers to an old dispute with some British citizens; “The British Government has accepted the President of the Republic of Chile as arbitrator in the reclamation pending with the Argentine Republic, for damages suffered by English subjects in 1845. This question, which is the only one between us and the British nation, has not yet been settled.”

USS Kansas makes an official visit to the Falkland Islands.

May 19th, William Cleaver Francis Robinson becomes Governor.

May 31st, La Santiago, an Argentine ship, is wrecked on George Island.

September 25th, an American passenger vessel, Charles Cooper, arrives crippled at Stanley harbour.

1867 it is reported that 4 vessels employed in the penguin and seal oil trade in the Falklands have collected 50,700 gallons of penguin oil during the season. Governor Robinson imposes a system of licensing on penguin oil whereby a tax of £10 is payable on each 8000 gallons of oil obtained from Crown Lands.

Sheep are introduced to West Falkland by James Waldron.

May 31st, a British barque, Coquimbana, carrying copper and barley, is wrecked in Falkland Sound.

August 11th, Adolphe Alexandre Lecomte arrives at Stanley in the coal-ship Epsilon, with instructions from the Zoological Society of London to collect specimens for the zoo’s collection.

1868 – April 19th, Italian barque Peru, is wrecked in Albemarle Waters.

The Government in Buenos Aires grants Staten Island to Luis Piedra Buena. Having formed part of Luis Vernet’s grant in 1828, his sons demand compensation which they are given.

In August, Lecomte arrives back in England after a difficult journey with one sea-lion, some birds and a Warrah for exhibition at London Zoo.

The only quadruped native to the island, is a large wolf-like fox, which is common to both East and West Falkland. Have no doubt that it is a peculiar species and confined to this archipelago … These wolves are well known from Byron’s account of their tameness and curiosity …Their numbers have rapidly decreased … in all probability this fox will be classified with the dodo, as an animal which has perished from the face of the earth.”

1869 – On May 1st, in his ‘Message to Congress’, Argentina’s President Domingo Sarmiento announces; ” Nothing is claimed from us by other nations; we have nothing to ask of them except that they will persevere in manifesting their sympathies, with which both Governments and peoples have honoured the Republic, both for its progress and its spirit of fairness.. “

Antonina Roxa, one of Vernet’s orginal settlers, dies on her farm in the Falklands.

June 14th, Frederico Cobb is appointed Italian Consul in Stanley.

Augusto Lasserre, retired Commodore of the Argentine navy, visits Port Stanley to assist in the investigation of an incident involving an Italian vessel; subject of an insurance claim presented to the Asociación de Seguros de la Marina Italiana. Writing about what he found, Lasserre notes that; “.. very few Argentines have remained in the Falklands after the unjust occupation of the English. Not more than twenty, all of them employed as labourers or foremen for the foreigners..”

October 9th, Luis Vernet and his eldest son, Don Emilio Luis Vernet, contract that Emilio will pursue his father’s claims against the United States, Britain and the owner of the Superior, Silas E. Burrows.

November 26th, in receipt of a letter from Lasserre, José Hernández, publishes and piece in the El Rio de la Plata: “Meanwhile, the Argentine government, which has fully paid all debts arising from injury to foreign nationals, which has to date had close and cordial relations with all European and American governments, except in Paraguay, has not obtained redress for the serious damage caused to a citizen of Argentina for the destruction of the colony Soledad, not least by the usurpation of the Falkland Islands, seized by the British …. We believe that this is due to the indifference of our government, or the weak efforts that have been submitted to the foreign cabinets.”

December 29th, Waite Hockin Stirling is consecrated as the first Bishop of the Falkland Islands. The bishopric is responsible for Seven consular chaplaincies in South America.

1870 – February 24th, William Colonel George Abbas Kooli D’Arcy is gazetted Governor.

March 31st, Don Jose Sanchez Bazan becomes the Consul for Chile in Port Stanley.

July 12th, the Alto, a United States whaling barque, is wrecked when it unexpectedly encounters Jason Cay West, an islet in the north-west of the archipelago. The islet is not marked on the ship’s charts.

December 4th, the Prussian schooner Vampyr is wrecked in Low Bay.

1871 – January 7th, Luis Vernet dies, aged 79, in San Isidro, Argentina.

Although he is celebrated on Argentine stamps as a patriot, specialist Argentine historians consider him a traitor, because of his dealings with Britain, both before and after the British return to the Falklands. He was not always truthful in what he said, and his falsehoods have sometimes mislead historians. … He is remembered by mount Vernet west of Stanley.”  (Pepper in Tatham 2008)

Around the same time, one of the black slaves he took to Port Louis, Gregoria Madrid, also dies – at her home in the Falklands.

February 24th, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, visits the Falklands in HMS Galatea.

March 3rd, Prince Alfred sails away.

May 8th, the Treaty of Washington makes provision for remaining differences between Britain and the United States to go to arbitration before a panel to be constituted in Geneva. If complaints are upheld, they will be dealt with by way of compensation to be set by the arbitrators.

A population census identifies 811 people present on the Islands.

May 16th, the US Senate calls for the papers relating to the seizure of the Hudson and Washington by British authorities at the Falkland Islands in 1854.

May 17th, US Secretary of the Navy, George M. Robeson, writes to his Government; “I have the honor to acknowledge your reference to this Department of a copy of the Resolution, adopted by the Senate of the United States on the 16th instant, calling for information on the subject of the seizure of the American ships Hudson and Washington at the Falkland Islands, by the British Authorities, in the year 1854; and to transmit herewith a copy of a despatch dated April 1, 1854 from Commo. W.D. Slater, at that time commanding the Brazil Squadron, together with the report and correspondence therein mentioned, from Commander W.F. Lynch, regarding the subject of the Senate’s inquiry.”

June 19th, the British barque, Princess, loaded with pig iron, sinks in Port Sussex.

December 15th, the USA submits its complaints to the arbitration panel sitting in Geneva.

1872– the Reverend Yeoman arrives at Darwin to administer to the members of the Free Church of Scotland who are resident in that area.

January 16th, President Grant writes to the Senate; “In answer to the Resolution of the Senate of the 6th of May last, calling for papers, correspondence and information relating to the case of the ship Hudson and the schooner Washington I transmit reports from the Secretaries of State and of the Navy, and the papers by which they were accompanied.” [Author’s note – too late for their inclusion into the arbitration proceedings.]

A Buenos Airean merchant applies to the Governor for a lease covering Beauchene Island for the purpose of collecting guano.

September 8th, the British ship, City of Amoy, is wrecked at Mengeary Point after its cargo shifts.

1873 – an iron built church is shipped from Scotland to Darwin.

April 11th, the Neptune is wrecked on Kelp Islands.

June 15th, the Stella Maris Catholic chapel is completed.

1874– February 7th, following an outbreak of cholera in Buenos Aires, the Health Officer at Stanley is to be; “.. be very guarded in giving pratique to vessels arriving”, from that port.

April 18th, the Anne Brookes is wrecked in Fox Bay.

April 30th, a 33 year old gaucho, James Millet, is murdered by Robert Gonzales who hangs himself the following day.

A tallow works is set up at Darwin by the Falkland Islands Company.

September 4th, San Greal is lost in Ruggles Bay. A three masted schooner under the command of Captain Samuel Kent.

Chile and Argentina agree to put their various border disputes, including the Strait of Magellan, to arbitration.

1875 – the United States of America opens a consulate in Stanley.

Argentina cancels its agreement regarding arbitration with Chile.

October, Friar James Foran takes up the position of the first resident Catholic priest at Stanley.

1876 – January 22nd, HMS Challenger arrives in Port Stanley on the final stage of her hydrographic survey circumnavigation. The ship also visits Port Louis to make magnetic and tidal observations. The crew host dinner parties and dances for the colonists.

January 31st, Able Seaman Thomas Bush is lost overboard from HMS Challenger in Stanley Harbour.

February 6th, HMS Challenger sails for Montevideo.

April 28th, Supplemental Letters Patent are issued; making further provision for the government of the “Settlements in the Falkland Islands and their Dependencies.”

May 13th, Fortunate is wrecked in Uranie Bay.

May 18th, Jeremiah Callaghan takes over as Governor.

June 20th, Lieut. Alfred Carpenter is awarded the Albert Medal for his attempt to save Able Seaman Bush.

The Falkland Islands wolf is declared extinct.

In December,  Diego Dumble Almedia, the Chilean Governor of Punta Arenas, arrives at Port Stanley in the corvette Chacabuco to establish trade links with the archipelago.

1877 – the Falkland Islands are accepted as a member of the General Postal Union.

March 14th, Juan Manuel de Rosas dies and is buried at Southampton Old cemetary. The Government of Buenos Aires forbids any commemoration.

June 12th, George Markham Dean is appointed Consul for the King of Sweden/Norway, in Stanley.

Lowther Brandon, a Church of Ireland clergyman, takes up the position of Chaplain.

December 6th, Lord Carnarvon writes to Governor Callaghan; “I have the honor to inform you that having received a representation from the Falkland Islands Company on the subject of providing the Colony with a distinctive postage stamp and having been advised by Lord John Manners of the desirability I have directed the Crown Agents to take immediate steps for procuring the material necessary for providing your Government with stamps of 2 denominations viz 1d & 6d in value. I presume that 2 kinds will be sufficient …”

1878 –  April 1st, Argentina joins the General Postal Union. [Argentina registered no objection to the membership of the Falkland Islands on its accession.]

April 9th, during a debate on Russia, MP Henry Richard, says; How have we been occupied during the same 100 or 120 years? I will tell the House. During that time, from the French we have taken Canada, the Mauritius, Nova Scotia, Dominica, Tobago, St. Vincent, Granada, and St. Lucia. From the Spaniards we have taken Gibraltar, Jamaica, Trinidad, Honduras, and the Falkland Islands. From the Dutch we have taken the Cape, Ceylon, Essequibo, Demerara, Berbice, and St. Helena.”

June 19th, the first 1d, 6d and 1 shilling Falkland Islands stamps are issued featuring the profile of Queen Victoria.

Sheep numbers are estimated at 312,000.

November 30th, the peat bogs on the heights above Stanley give way and an avalanche of mud engulfs part of the town.

1879the General Postal Union is renamed the Universal Postal Union.

1880 – September 13th, Thomas Kerr is gazetted Governor.

The population of the islands is now 1,497.

November 15th, G. F. Haendal, carrying coal and general goods, is lost to a fire in Port William.

November 24th, the new Governor arrives at Stanley.

1881 – a population census identifies 1510 people present on the Islands.

July 2nd, Henry Lasar is appointed Consul for the United States of America in Stanley.

August 30th, already fighting Bolivia and Peru, and not wishing to open up a 3rd front with Argentina, Chile is forced to agree to a treaty delineating the borders between Argentina and Chile and giving Argentina a large portion of Tierra del Fuego. The treaty recognises the Strait of Magellan, and the land south of the Beagle Channel, as belonging to Chile.

In order to avoid problems with other nations who now see Argentina occupying land either side of the Strait, Article 5 states; ” The Straits of Magellan shall be neutralized for ever, and free navigation assured to the flags of all nations. In order to assure this freedom and neutrality, no fortifications or military defences shall be constructed on the coasts that might be contrary to this purpose.”

A penal colony is established at Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego leading to its development as a town.

October 16th, the US sealer Wanderer is wrecked at the Falklands.

December 10th, HMS Dwarf is sent from Montevideo to assist in the control of illegal sealing operations still being carried out by American vessels.

Sealing activities are regulated under the Falkland Islands Government Ordinance No.4.

1882 – in Port William, the British barque, Leon Crespo, with a cargo of coal, burns.

Map_of_Argentina_by_Francisco_Latzina,_1882 OriginalArgentina’s Government finances the publication and distribution of the ‘Latzina Map’ to its consulates worldwide. As with most maps, there are different colours for different countries. The colour used for Argentina is not the same as that used for the Falkland Islands – clearly indicating different sovereignty.

March, the US Flagship Brooklyn, visits Port Stanley.

May 31st, the Star of Brunswick, a British ship, is lost at Bull Point with 5 dead.

October 9th, the Avona, carrying a cargo of coal, is wrecked on Cape Frechel.

A meteorological observatory is operated at Stanley by Capt. Seemann for the German International Polar Year Expedition.

1883 – Falkland Islands’ stamps are produced on watermarked paper for the first time. West Falkland gets its first resident Doctor.

May 5th, in a letter to Britain discussing the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty of 1850 and Belize, the US State Department refers to the Falklands: “The parallel with the Falkland Islands does not seem convincing, for these islands were ceded by France to Spain in 1763. By Spain they were in turn ceded absolutely to Great Britain in 1771, but their possession was abandoned, until, in 1820, Buenos Ayres occupied the islands as derelict, and colonized them. Later, in 1831, after a difficulty between the settlers and American sealing vessels, the United States ship of war Lexington broke up the settlement and removed the settlers to Buenos Ayres, and it was not until 1833 that Great Britain enforced her claim under the cession of 1771.”

1884 – January 28th, from Buenos Aires, Foreign Minister, Fransisco Ortiz, instructs Argentina’s representative in Washington, Luis Dominguez, to raise the issue of the Lexington Raid.

April 25th, Minister Dominguez responds that the matter was resolved by the 1853 Treaty of Friendship between Argentina and the USA. JHowever, Ortiz insists that an official protest is submitted to the US Government, complaining of the actions of the USS Lexington, fifty-three years earlier. Ortiz instructs Dominguez to pursue a claim for 200,000 pesos, as the value of Vernet’s colony, and propose that the issue be taken to arbitration. Under no circumstances, however, is the issue of sovereignty to be discussed.

There are rumours, reported in the press both in New Zealand and Australia, that the British Government may exchange the Falkland Islands for New Caledonia, in a deal with France.

May 30th, in Buenos Aires, during an informal conversation with British Minister Edmund John Monson,  Ortiz suggests that Argentina wished to revive its claims to the Falkland Islands; “… now the country was consolidated and rounding off its territory.”

He thought it a question which might fairly be settled by arbitration. Great Britain having already set so good an example to the world in accepting the principle of arbitration, the Argentine Government felt convinced beforehand that they might safely appeal to her Majesty’s Government to give this proposition their most equitable consideration. Mr. Monson replied that, if the Argentine Government contemplated so serious a step, the better and more regular plan would be to cause a communication on the subject to be made to Her Majesty’s Government by the Argentine Minister in London; but that, if Dr. Ortiz would not do so, he would agree to become the channel of his communication to Her Majesty’s Government.” [Bernhardt 1911]

June 6th, Monson reports to Earl Granville; “In the interests of civilisation they may have been justified in dividing with Chile the unexplored Pampas, hitherto only populated by nomad indians. The pretext does not serve with regard to the Falklands which have by English occupation been converted into a peaceable and prosperous settlement.”

Monson also acquaints the Governor at Port Stanley of the projectentertained by the Argentine Government.

July 28th, London instructs Ambassador Monson; .. to remind Dr. Ortiz that the Argentine Government had repeatedly been informed that Her Majesty’s Government could not permit any infringement of Her Majesty’s rights of sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, and that, in their opinion, no good could possibly arise from an attempt to reopen the question.”

August 19th, the Rotomahana with a cargo of coal and salt is on fire at Elephant Cay.

In September, Ambassador Dominguez submits Argentina’s claim to US Secretary Frelinghuysen.

Dr. Ortiz received Mr. Monson’s communication very imperturbably. He regretted that Her Majesty’s Government had such a decided view, because his Government had an equally decided view in an opposite sense. It was not a question, he said, that could ever be a pretext for violent measures, but that the Republic could not but regard the Falkland Islands as both naturally and legally hers; naturally by reason of their geographical position, and legally as part of her inheritance from the mother country. Dr. Ortiz reverted to the Secret Understanding between Great Britain and Spain of 1771, and Mr. Monson expressed his surprise at his so doing, because, unless he had made some fresh and improbable documentary discovery, there was absolutely no pretext for any such argument. He, however, made it with all seriousness and gravity; and Mr. Monson answered him that Her Majesty’s Government had clearly established during the former controversy that no such Secret Understanding had ever been entered into.” [Bernhardt 1911]

September 8th, Monson reports Ortiz’z reaction to London.

September 16th, a British barque, C.A.Belyea, is wrecked on Volunteer Point.

October 30th, reflecting on his recent exchange with Dr. Ortiz, Monson reports; .. that the only reason which presented itself to his mind as the motive for this extraordinary policy was the effect which the action of the Government might have upon the next presidential election.”

November 13th, a coal carrying vessel, the Menai Straits, burns in Salvador Waters.

December 8th, the Argentine Geographical Institute announces in El Nacional, the preparation of an Atlas of the Republic which is to include the Falkland Islands within Argentine territory.

December 16th, Monson sends a private note, to the Foreign Minister, protesting.

Dr. Ortiz at first professed his inability to give a categorical answer, either as to the official character or the scope of the map … but afterwards he gave Mr. Monson a verbal assurance that the Argentine Government did not consider the map official, and were in no way responsible for its contents.”

December 26th, disbelieving Dr. Ortiz, Monson submits a formal protest to the Argentine Government.

1885 – January 2nd, the Argentine Government responds to Monson’s Protest; “Your Excellency should bear in mind that a map neither gives nor takes away rights, and that those of England or the Argentine Republic in this case are not to be settled by tinting the islands blue or red on the map.”

In his reply, Dr. Ortiz characterised the protest as “inconsequent” both in form and substance, and said that the map could not be considered official until the Government sanctioned it as such.”

Dr. Ortiz attaches a Memorandum to his response, containing an abstract of the grounds upon which the Argentine Government bases its sovereignty claims over the archipelago. These include an assertion that Buneos Aires had posted a Governor to the Falklands in 1820 and, for the first time, that the British action of 1833 was proscribed by the Nootka Sound Convention 1790.

Ortiz claims that Palmerston, and more recently Ambassador Monson, had admitted that the sovereignty dispute was still “pending,” and, in a reference to arbitration, expresses; “ .. the hope that means might be found for settling the question in the way adopted by civilised nations for the solution of similar difficulties.”

In his response, Minister Monson repudiates the suggestion that sovereignty remains a “pending question,” and refers the Foreign Minister to Lord Aberdeen’s note of March 5th, 1842; “He reminded Dr. Ortiz that he had ignored the British protest of the 19th November, 1829, and told him that what he had called “an aggressive occupation” was the logical and justifiable consequence of that protest.”

Carlos Maria Moyano arrives in the Falkland Islands with the purpose of persuading Islanders to transfer to Patagonia as few settlers from the north of Argentina are interested in colonising the barren areas to the south. Moyano purchases 600 sheep and convinces 15 shepherds, together with their families, to make the move. Governor Kerr reports to London; “I am of the opinion that his visit was undertaken on his own responsibility and solely for the purpose which he intimated.”

April 8th, Lord Granville instructs Monson not to respond to Dr. Ortiz’s Memorandum – nor continue any further discussion on the matter; verbally or in writing.

April 28th, Perthshire, loaded with salmon, sinks at Blind Islands.

April 29th, Yarra Yarra, a British barque sinks at Beaver Cliffs with the loss of all hands.

May 5th, in a short letter Ambassador Monson informs Dr. Ortiz that Britain accepts that the map complained of is not ‘official.’

May 6th, Ortiz responds expressing his satisfaction.

July 20th, in the USA, Daniel Webster responds to Ambassador Dominguez’s fourth protest note, and tells him the matter of the Lexington must await a time when Argentina settles the matter with Britain.

September 4th, Luigraf, with a cargo of marble statues, is wrecked on Ruggles Island.

December 8th, Argentina’s protest regarding the actions of USS Lexington is dismissed by US President Cleveland in his State of the Union address; ” The Argentine Government has revived the long dormant question of the  Falkland Islands by claiming from the United States indemnity for their loss, attributed to the action of the commander of the sloop of war Lexington in  breaking up a piratical colony on those islands in 1831, and their subsequent  occupation by Great Britain. In view of the ample justification for the act of  the Lexington and the derelict condition of the islands before and after their  alleged occupation by Argentine colonists, this Government considers the claim  as wholly groundless.”

Argentina’s new Ambassador, Vincente Quesada, protests again, saying that his country’s claim cannot be called “wholly groundless”, without it being adjudicated, and that Baylies’ support of the British reoccupation was; “in flagrant opposition to the declarations of Monroe.”

Sheep farming commences on Kepple Island.

1886 – January 16th, Arthur Barkly becomes Lieutenant-Governor of the Islands and Dependencies.

Construction of Stanley Cathedral commences.

February 10th, Argentina presses for a response to the Memorandum attached by Dr. Ortiz to his January 2nd, 1885 letter.

A despatch was therefore addressed to Her Majesty’s Charge d’Affaires at Buenos Ayres, instructing him to remind the Argentine Minister for Foreign Affairs verbally of the notes to Senor Moreno of the 8th January, 1834, and the 15th February, 1843, and especially to Lord Aberdeen’s note of the 5th March, 1842, in which he was informed that the discussion was closed so far as Her Majesty’s Government were concerned; and to inform him that …. they could not consent to reopen the matter.” (Bernhardt 1911)

March 18th, US Secretary of State Bayard writes to Minister Quasada; “This Government is not a party to the controversy between the Argentine Republic and Great Britain; and it is for this reason that it has delayed, with the tacit consent of the former, a final answer to its demands. For it is conceived that the question of the liability of the United States to the Argentine Republic for the acts of Captain Duncan, in 1831, is so closely related to the question of sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, that the decision of the former would inevitably be interpreted as an expression of opinion on the merits of the latter. Such an expression it is the desire of this Government to avoid, so far as an adequate reference to the points of argument presented in the notes recently addressed to this Department on behalf of your Government will permit. . . .

As the resumption of actual occupation of the Falkland Islands by Great Britain in 1833 took place under a claim of title which had been previously asserted and maintained by that Government, it is not seen that the Monroe doctrine, which has been invoked on the part of the Argentine Republic, has any application to the case. By the terms in which that principle of international conduct was announced, it was expressly excluded from retroactive operation. If the circumstances had been different, and the acts of the British Government had been in violation of that doctrine, this Government could never regard its failure to assert it as creating any liability to another power for injuries it may have sustained in consequence of the omission. . . .

But it is believed that, even if it could be shown that the Argentine Republic possesses the rightful title to the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, there would not be wanting ample grounds upon which the conduct of Captain Duncan in 1831 could be defended. … On the whole, it is not seen that the United States committed any invasion of the just rights of the Government of Buenos Ayres in putting an end in 1831 to Vernet’s lawless aggressions upon the persons and property of our citizens.”

May 25th, the SS Great Britain puts into Stanley for repairs. These being found to be uneconomical, she is sold as a hulk to the Falkland Islands Company for the storage of wool, grain and coal.

June 2nd, two islanders die in a peat slip

In July, a cargo of Falklands mutton arrives at the Port of London where it sells for 5d a pound.

The Falkland Islands Meat Company contracts to deliver 60,000 sheep carcases a month to Australia.

September 28th, the Sidney Dacres sinks at Billy Rock.

In December, Governor Kerr returns after an illness.

1887 – A post office opens in Stanley. 1887

March 11th, Buenos Aires instructs its Minister in London to press for an answer to Ortiz’s Memorandum.

May 4th, in the USA, Vicente Quesada submits to Secretary Bayard a lengthy note on the subject of the Falklands Islands; arguing in favour of undisputed Spanish jurisdiction over the island of Soledad, he asserts that Britain’s 1833 occupation of Soledad was in violation of the Monroe doctrine as Britain had taken control for the first time. “… the undersigned will prove with documents, that possession of East Falkland  or Soledad, was never disputed by Britain, until the unfounded protest of Parish in 1829. .. such protest did not weaken the title of the first occupant in that it was based on the possession that the Argentine Government, as successor of Spain, had East Falkland in 1831.”

“The honour and the justice of the people and the government of the United States as well as the aspiration which they cherish of furnishing an example of impartiality and of prudence in the international relations of the republics of the continent encourage the presumption that, when the facts of this claim are known, its right proved, and its bases justified, the government of the United States will accept the proposed arbitration in order to close a debate, the settlement of which was long ago postponed.”

The US Government does not reply.

June 27th, the British barque, Star of Scotia is wrecked at Bull Point.

Captain R.D. Inglis RN (retired) applies for a sheep farming lease on South Georgia. The Governor informs him that the island is covered in snow and the matter is not pursued.

November 3rd, in London, Argentina’s Minister writes to Lord Salisbury reminding him that no response has as yet been received to Dr. Ortiz’s Memorandum of January 2nd, 1885 although the matter had been raised verbally with Lord Roseberry in 1886.

November 9th, Britain’s Ambassador to Argentina, Frances Packenham, writes to Foreign Minister Querno Costa.

November 14th, Minister Dominguez is asked to refer to the previous communications in a letter written by the British Minister, Francis Packenham, in Buenos Aires.

The Colonial Office Yearbook specifies that South Georgia is one of the ‘Dependencies.’

1888 – January 20th, Minister Costa again protests against Britain’s possession of the Falkland Islands in a letter addressed to Francis Packenham. Costa cites the events of 1771 and 1774 and suggests that the Treaty of 1790 between Spain and Britain; .. was tantamount to acknowledging the right of occupation of the Falkland Islands by that Crown at that date.”

” The Argentine Government maintains its protest with respect to the illegitimate occupation of the Malvinas Islands ; it does not abandon, and never will abandon, its rights to these territories ; and at all times, until justice is done, it will regard them as forming an integral part of the Argentine dominion, founded on priority of discovery, on priority of occupation, on possession initiated and exercised, on tacit and explicit recognition, and on acquisition by treaty of those titles which belonged to Spain.”

April 13th, Britain responds; “ .. that Her Majesty’s Government declined to enter into any discussion of the right of Her Majesty to the Falkland Islands which, in their judgment, was not open to doubt or question.”

On the same day, the Argentine Minister in London writes to Lord Salisbury; “.. expressing the hope that Her Majesty’s Government would reopen the discussion on the Falkland Islands.”

April 19th, the Catholics on the Islands are administered to by the Salesian Fathers.

April 21st, the Argentine Ambassador is given the same reply as that sent to his Foreign Ministry.

June 12th, in Buenos Aires, Minister Costa has a conversation with Britain’s charge d’affairs Jenner; “.. the Republic does not consider that its sovereignty is compromised … by the silence that the British Government keeps with regard to the proposals to submit the matter to arbitration made by the Argentine Government, …”

June 18th, the Colonial Office is informed that Lord Salisbury does not propose to take any notice of this fresh protest from the Argentine Government.

1889 – March, Queen Victoria donates £30 towards Bishop Stirling’s church fund

September 23rd, Charles Dean is appointed Consul in Stanley, for the King of Denmark.

October 2nd, at the first Pan-American Conference in Washington, Argentina demands that the US protests Britain’s occupation of the Falkland Islands.

1890 – the foundation stone of Christ Church Cathedral is laid by Bishop Stirling and Governor Kerr.

February 13th, in the House of Commons, the MP for Donegal, John MacNeill; .. I would urge upon the Colonial Office the desirability of extending the principle of self government still further amongst the colonies. Going from a Crown to a self-governing colony, one is struck by the 287 enormous change which is wrought by the spirit of independence. There are groups of colonies which are eminently suited for self government. In the Colony of the Falkland Islands self government would be a blessing to it, and a benefit to ourselves.

The colonies under Responsible Government comprise 8½ millions, and the colonies governed by the Colonial Office comprise 7½ millions of population. The colonies under Responsible Government are of temperate climate, and the European population predominate—the great majority being English and Irish; and, of course, some Germans. The Crown Colonies comprise 7 millions, 175,000, or 2½ per cent., being Europeans. The Falkland Islands are well worthy the attention of the House. The colony now comprises 1,583 villagers. I have received from some of the colonists piteous complaints of the petty despotism from which they are suffering. They have no power of helping themselves, no representative Government, and the Council of the Governor can simply do anything they choose. This state of things should not exist in an ordinary Crown Colony, much less in a colony composed of our own kith and kin, who leave this country as freemen.”

August 10th, the St. Mary is wrecked between Burnt Island and Elephant island. The Captain commits suicide.

Argentina defaults on its loans precipitating what becomes known as the Baring Crisis.

1891 – February 3rd, Sir Roger Tuckfield Goldsworthy is gazetted Governor.

A population census identifies 1,789 people present on the Islands.

1892 – February 25th, Letters Patent are issued by the British Government regarding the “Settlements in the Falkland Islands and their Dependencies,” designating them a Crown Colony.

March 2nd, in the London Gazette; “ The Queen has been pleased to direct Letters Patent to be passed under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom, erecting Her Majesty’s Settlements in the Falkland islands and their dependencies into the Colony of the Falkland Islands, constituting the office of Governor and Commander-in-Chief, and providing for the Government thereof.”

Islanders’ celebrate their new status with a 17 gun salute.

March 4th, HMS Beagle, commanded by Captain Richard Penrose Humpage, arrives at Port Stanley.

March 10th, Viscount is wrecked on Sea Lion Islands.

In April, the Governor and Islanders send condolences to Queen Victoria on the death of her husband, Prince Abert.

April 20th, Mr. Baillon is appointed Italian Consul.

May 7th, the Dennis Brundritt is wrecked on Centre Island.

In June, the Falkland Islands Volunteers are sworn in as a defence force by the Governor.

Christchurch Cathedral consecrated by Bishop Stirling.

September 22nd, Mr. Baillon is additionally appointed Swedish and Norwegian Consul at Port Stanley.

1893 – January 23rd, Mr. Baillon adds the Consulate of Germany to his duties.

A teacher is appointed for Lafonia.

June 17th, the Argyllshire, a British barque, is wrecked on Flat Jason.

In December, Carl Anton Larsen in the Jason, visits the South Shetland Islands, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands.

1894 – the Falkland Islands Defence Force Rifle Club founded.

February 21st, Thomas Augusust Thompson is appointed Judge, and Police Magistrate in Stanley.

March 10th, Thompson is also made deputy-Governor.

March 13th, Larsen and the Jason return to the Falklands before sailing on to South Georgia to meet up with Castor and Hertha.

April 5th, Thompson is appointed to the Legislative Council.

July 27th, John Miller is gazetted Consul for the USA at Port Stanley.

July 31st, Frederick Graig Halkett is appointed Colonial Secretary.

August 23rd, Baillon is also appointed Consul for Chile.

1895 – a Magistrates office is established on West Falkland.

Britain and Venezuela go to arbitration over the border dispute between Venezuela and British Guiana.

Carl Anton Larsen receives the Grant Award from the Royal Geographical Society in London for his exploration work in the South Atlantic and around the Antarctic Peninsula in the Jason.

December 17th, the Glengowan, anchors at Port William, with its cargo of anthracite coal and coke on fire. After failing to extinguish the fire, surveyors from Stanley recommend that the vessel is scuttled.

December 19th, the Glengowan is driven on-shore in Whalebone Bay.  Blacksmiths remove rivets from her side plates and a fire engine attempts to pump water into the hold.

December 21st, the burning ship is abandoned.

1896 – January 27th, an inquiry is held into the loss of the Glengowan.

In February, Carl Anton Larsen writes to the Royal Geographical Society in London, enquiring about leasing South Georgia as a site for a whaling station.

May 2nd, a Court of Inquiry in Stanley considers the loss of the barque,  Bankville, abandoned on April 22nd after suffering severe damage in a storm. The inquiry finds the abandonment, ‘necessary’.

May 14th, City of Philadelphia is wrecked on Billy Rock. Attempts to rescue the crew and passengers fails due to heavy seas.

September, 281 bales of wool arrive in London from the Falkland Islands.

1897– February 12th, following a Court of Inquiry held at Stanley, Captain Tovar of the ship, Pass of Balmaha, has his certificate suspended for misconduct and neglect of duty through excessive drunkenness.

March 4th, Sir William Grey-Wilson is to take over as Governor.

March 27th, In his last communication as Governor, Sir Roger Godsworthy, complains about resistance to his ideas of smaller farms, allowing more of the Islanders to benefit from the land; “.. I can unhesitatingly affirm that a Governor can never hope to succeed in doing justice to the Colony where he finds himself handicapped on every side by the influence that the Falkland Islands Company can bring to bear – where they exercise a monopoly detrimental to the Colony’s best interests and progress and where such monopoly is fostered and encouraged by facilities being afforded and advantages given to the Company which are not accorded to ordinary traders.”

1898 – the mission on Kepple Islands moves to Tierra del Fuego.

April 30th, John E. Rowan is appointed Consul for the United States in Stanley.

The Government of Argentina offers a reward for the discovery of coal on South Georgia. [Headland 1992]

1899 – June 25th, the John R. Kelly is wrecked at Port William.

Seal Fishery Ordinance No.1 is enacted to control sealing in the Dependencies.

July 29th, Permanent Court of Arbitration is established by the ‘Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes’, following the first Hague Peace Conference. Signed by a diverse range of countries including most of Europe, the UK, USA, Russia, China, India, Japan, Persia, and even Siam, the signatories; “Resolved to promote by their best efforts the friendly  settlement of international disputes.”

Falkland Islands banknotes are introduced, pegged to sterling.

A new Catholic chapel is constructed at Stanley.

Written by Junius

October 22, 2011 at 6:31 am

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