Charles Darwin University

CDU eSpace
Institutional Repository

CDU Staff and Student only

"...for the good of His Majesty's Service" : the archaeology of Fort Dundas, 1824-1829

De La Rue, Colin J. (2006). "...for the good of His Majesty's Service" : the archaeology of Fort Dundas, 1824-1829. Master Thesis, Charles Darwin University.

Document type: Thesis
Citation counts: Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Attached Files (Some files may be inaccessible until you login with your CDU eSpace credentials)
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Download this reading Thesis_CDU_6514_DeLaRue_C.pdf PDF version generated by Student application/pdf 70.24MB 118
Reading the attached file works best in Firefox, Chrome and IE 9 or later.

Author De La Rue, Colin J.
Title "...for the good of His Majesty's Service" : the archaeology of Fort Dundas, 1824-1829
Institution Charles Darwin University
Publication Date 2006
Thesis Type Master
Subjects 2199 - Other History and Archaeology
Abstract This thesis describes an historical archaeology programme designed to investigate and interpret apparent anomalies between the documentary accounts of the 1824–1829 British settlement on Melville Island and the information conveyed by its physical position and material construction, as demonstrated in the remaining ruins of the settlement. Information gained through a part-time project of four years of historical study, and three seasons of archaeological investigation of the settlement is compiled and presented. The archaeological work concentrated particularly on the stronghold, Fort Dundas, to evaluate the military component of the settlement. Both archival and archaeological evidence is considered, and the influences of the world and regional geopolitical context bearing on the British venture are evaluated. The thesis argues that, while the documentary evidence outlining the planning for the Melville Island outpost speaks in great part of the establishment of a commercial trading port, the implementation of the project by the Admiralty took the form of constructing an imperialist military station. Examination of the ruins of Fort Dundas and consideration of its geographical location reveal little orientation toward commercial activity, but considerable preparation for defence. This interpretation of the Melville Island venture throws doubt on its common description as a ‘failed settlement of the north’. Fort Dundas may more accurately be seen as the instrument of a military gambit, which served its purpose in British imperialist strategy and was retired once its function had been served.

© copyright

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in CDU eSpace. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact

Version Filter Type
Access Statistics: 152 Abstract Views, 120 File Downloads  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Thu, 18 Sep 2008, 09:44:41 CST