Contact with Bennelong was again made at Manly Cove – the encounter was brief but cordial with Bennelong condemning the actions of the man responsible for the attack on Phillip. At this point Bennelong became the bridge between the two communities. He re-opened dialogue in the friendliest manner but set out complaints regarding the theft of his people possessions. Initially a reticent diplomat Bennelong was now preparing to re-engage on his terms. His language and attitude at this time is not those of submission or compliance. On 8 October 1790 a pre-arranged signal was made from the shore opposite the settlement allowing a party to visit Bennelong and his kin. This was followed at an interval by Bennelong returning to Sydney Cove of his own volition. It was during this brief return to the settlement that Bennelong demonstrated to his countrymen the knowledge gained during his imprisonment and the ease with which he moved within this alien society.
In this privileged role Bennelong certainly took care to advance his own position as well as that of his immediate kin. Social control within the surviving Eora was in the process of shifting from groups of elders to individual leaders – although the process of transformation still had some way to run. For the Europeans Bennelong was the single most important member of the Eora and it was through him that they would communicate. Bennelong’s return to the settlement at Sydney Cove stimulated other Eora to ‘come in’. This was generally welcomed as a sign that a peaceable relationship between the two societies was a possibility. John Harris, surgeon’s mate in the New South Wales Corps was less enthusiastic about the presence of the Eora at Sydney Cove. On 20 March 1791 he wrote that: The Whole Tribe with their visitors have plagued us ever since nor can we now get rid of them they come and go at pleasure. They are very fond of our Bread Beef etc and are amazing fraid of our Guns We indeed have been obliged to Shoot some of them but not lately.
As part of this arrangement Bennelong could make demands of the settlers and they would usually be met One such demand was the construction of a brick house for him to reside in when he visited the Sydney Cove settlement. In November 1790 a small brick house was constructed by Phillip at Tubowgulle, a site selected by Bennelong himself. Tubowgulle was referred to soon after this as Bennelong’s Point and now more familiarly as Bennelong Point. This location was visible from the settlement and from a large portion of the lower harbour. Tubowgulle was also on land traditionally held by the Cadigal possibly indicating that Bennelong was filling the vacuum left on the southern side of the harbour by the virtual extermination of the Cadigal.
Bennelong was also presented with a shield constructed of tin and leather. Other gifts followed but Bennelong was not a hoarder. As part of a network of exchange there was an expectation that any bounty would be passed on, enhancing one’s status in the process. Bennelong thus became the conduit for European goods, particularly hatchets, entering a network that extended beyond the territory of the Eora. That Bennelong didn’t accumulate the gifts that he received was interpreted variously as fecklessness, or simply that the indigenous population had very little interest in, or use for goods of European manufacture. The shield however, was confiscated at Manly Cove by the Gamaragal it being regarded an unfair advantage. That Bennelong was prepared to use such an object certainly suggests that he was willing to absorb aspects of the settlers’ culture that on reflection may have been deemed contrary to tradition. Bennelong and his family did not remain permanently at Sydney Cove. The hut was used on occasion when they visited the settlement but the importance of the hut and the presence of Bennelong was that other Eora were now prepared to enter the settlement and remain for short periods of time. By Bennelong’s own account his influence had grown so much that the Gamaragal and the people of Botany Bay who had displayed enmity against the settlers would not come to the settlement because of his (Bennelong’s) presence there. Phillip, however was beginning to suspect that there ‘was a great deal of art and cunning in Bannelong’ because of his open association with the groups that he had indicated were the greatest threat to the settlers.
In December 1790 events took a dramatic turn when John McIntyre (M’Entire), the Governor’s gamekeeper, was speared by Pemulwuy. This took place south of the settlement near the mouth of the Cooks River. The person responsible was identified by Eora as Pemulwuy who had previously visited Bennelong in Sydney. That the killing was accomplished with the use of a so-called death spear (cannadiul) indicates premeditation. Pemulwuy is described as both Bediagal and Tugagal – Hunter used the spelling Bidjigal that has somewhat confused matters. He was more closely associated with the peoples of Botany Bay than with the Eora of Port Jackson. Bennelong was disinterested in these events but promised to locate the killer. Instead he absented himself from the hunt citing initiation business in the land of the Gamaragal.
The killing of McIntyre did incite in Phillip the need for retribution and a need for a show of force. Two expeditions were launched in the following weeks to undertake reprisals. Whether Phillip realized it or not, the random killing that he had authorized was no different to that exacted on the rush-cutters Okey and Davis in 1788. The result was farce. Although it appears that Phillip may have despatched a party with a very low probability of carrying out his orders, they had fired on some of the Botany Bay people and had they brought back to the settlement the required number of heads, the expedition would have been deemed a success.. It has been argued that the reprisal party wounded Warungin Wangubile – also known as Botany Bay Colebee. Warungin Wangubile had exchanged names with Colebee of the Cadigal whose wife Daringa was from the Botany Bay region. Warungin Wangubile was also Bennelong’s brother-in-law through his sister Kurubarabula, Bennelong’s second wife. It is thus possible that the only known casualty of Phillip’s reprisal was a kinsman of the people he relied on most to keep the peace between the two communities.
Not considered at the time, or at least voiced, was the possible complicity of Bennelong and/or Colebee in orchestrating the murder. Like the spearing of Phillip the task was undertaken by someone outside the Eora. As with the spearing of Phillip, the Eora were willing to supply the name of the culprit without coercion but slow to fulfill promises of catching the culprit.
While the expeditions of retribution were being carried out a further incident at Sydney Cove had the potential to overturn the détente achieved by Bennelong’s presence at the settlement. Two men, Bangai and possibly Bi-gong removed potatoes from a garden on the western side of Sydney. Cove. A fishing spear and club was thrown with musket fire as the response. Bangai was shot. Two days later the body of Bangai was found and Bennelong took the leading role in protest over the shooting. This brought him into direct conflict with Phillip, resulting in Bennelong’s temporary exclusion from Government House. At this stage the leaders of both communities appeared to be losing control of their respective communities.
Bennelong was reconciled with Phillip in February 1791 following his assistance in the rescue of the people aboard the Government cutter that was upset in a squall. His rehabilitation was further confirmed in October 1791 when he took the bold step of sailing to Norfolk Island for a brief visit.
Bennelong’s domestic life also came under the scrutiny of the First Fleet chroniclers. His first wife, whose name is not recorded, had died before his capture in November 1789. Soon after his escape from custody Bennelong resumed living with Barangaroo, who, according to Collins, was ‘of the tribe of Cam-mer-ray’, that is a Gamaraigalyan. She had two deceased children from a previous husband. Barangaroo’s relationship with the Gamera lands may explain Bennelong’s regular presence at Manly Cove.
Barangaroo was often cited as a reason for Bennelong not participating in some ventures such as Phillip’s exploratory trip to the Hawkesbury-Nepean. Barangaroo gave birth to a baby girl named Dilboong, but she lived for only a few months. When Barangaroo died in late 1791, she, like Arabanoo and Dilboong, was buried in the garden at Government House. In November 1790, one month before the murder of McIntyre, Bennelong had fought a duel with the Gweagal elder Mety, at Botany Bay. Bennelong had abducted Kurúbarabúla or Goroobarooboollo, a Gweagaliang about 17 years of age and younger sister of Warungín, Wangubíle Kólbi (Botany Bay Colebee), who had exchanged names with the Cadigal leader Colebee.
Kurúbarabúla remained with Bennelong until he and Yemmerrawanne sailed to England in December 1792. While Bennelong was in England, she became the companion of Caruey, a young Cadigal related to Colebee.
Bennelong’s last wife, and the woman buried with him in his grave at Kissing Point was Boorong, sister of his allies Ballooderry and Bidgee Bidgee. She gave birth to a son in about 1804. This ‘son of the memorable Bennelong’, generally known as Dicky had been placed in the Native Institution at Parramatta during the Native Conference in 1816. He remained there until 1821, when he went to live in the house of the Wesleyan missionary, Reverend William Walker, who taught him to read and write and baptised him as Thomas Walker Coke at the Wesleyan Chapel at Parramatta on 8 September 1822.
Dicky Bennelong became ill and died early in February 1823 at the age of 19. He had been married briefly to an Aboriginal girl named Maria the sister of Colebee from Richmond. The couple had no children. In 1826 Bidgee Bidgee informed the French voyager Jules Dumont d’Urville he was the uncle of Bennelong’s son. It is not clear if this is a reference to Dicky, who was deceased at this time, or another, unrecorded son of Bennelong and Boorong.
One aspect of Bennelong’s relationship with his wives was the violence that was meted out to them. Barangaroo, unlike Bennelong’s other wives was prepared to resist and retaliate. Although the First Fleet chroniclers generally abhorred the violence Tench described Barangaroo as a ‘scold and a vixen and nobody pitied her’.
 On reaching Manly Cove, three Indians were observed standing on a rock, with whom they entered into conversation. The Indians informed them, that the man who had wounded the governor belonged to a tribe residing at Broken Bay, and they seemed highly to condemn what he had done.Our gentlemen asked them for a spear, which they immediately gave. The boat's crew said that Baneelon and Colbee had just departed, after a friendly intercourse. Like the others, they had pretended highly to disapprove the conduct of the man who had thrown the spear, vowing to execute vengeance upon him. From this time, until the 14th, no communication passed between the natives and us. On that day, the chaplain and lieutenant Dawes, having Abaroo with them in a boat, learned from two Indians that Wileemarin was the name of the person who had wounded the governor. These two people inquired kindly how his excellency did, and seemed pleased to hear that he was likely to recover. They said that they were inhabitants of Rose Hill, and expressed great dissatisfaction at the number of white men who had settled in their former territories. In consequence of which declaration, the detachment at that post was reinforced on the following day. (Tench 1793 :181)
 Before we parted, Baneelon informed us that his countrymen had lately been plundered of fish-gigs, spears, a sword, and many other articles, by some of our people, and expressed a wish that they should be restored, promising, that if they were, the governor's dirk should be produced and returned to us to-morrow, if we would meet him here.Accordingly on the following day we rowed to the spot, carrying with us the stolen property. We found here several natives, but not Baneelon. We asked for him, and were told that he was gone down the harbour with Barangaroo to fish. Although disappointed at his breach of promise, we went on shore, and mingled without distrust among those we found, acquainting them that we had brought with us the articles of which they had been plundered. On hearing this account, they expressed great joy, and Imeerawanyee darting forward, claimed the sword. It was given to him, and he had no sooner grasped it, than he hastened to convince his mistress, that his prowess in war, was not inferior to his skill in courtship. Singling out a yellow gum-tree for the foe, he attacked it with great fierceness, calling to us to look on, and accompanying his onset with all the gestures and vociferation which they use in battle. Having conquered his enemy, he laid aside his fighting face, and joined us with a countenance which carried in it every mark of youth and good nature.During this time, it was observed, that one of the Indians, instead of mixing with the rest, stood aloof, in a musing posture, contemplating what passed.When we offered to approach him, he shunned us not, and willingly shook hands with all who chose to do so. He seemed to be between 30 and 40 years old, was jolly, and had a thoughtful countenance, much marked by the smallpox. He wore a string of bits of dried reed round his neck, which I asked him to exchange for a black stock. He smiled at the proposal, but made no offer of what I wanted; which our young friend, Imeerawanyee, observing, flew to him, and taking off the necklace, directly fixed it about my neck. I feared he would be enraged, but he bore it with serenity, and suffered a gentleman present to fasten his black stock upon him, with which he appeared to be pleased. To increase his satisfaction, some other trifle was given to him.Having remained here an hour we went in quest of Baneelon, agreeably to the directions which his companions pointed out. We found him and Barangaroo shivering over a few lighted sticks, by which they were dressing small fish, and their canoe hauled up on the beach near them. On first seeing the boat, they ran into the woods; but on being called by name, they came back, and consented to our landing. We carried on shore with us the remaining part of the fish-gigs and spears which had been stolen, and restored them to Baneelon. Among other things, was a net full of fishing lines and other tackle, which Barangaroo said was her property and, immediately on receiving it, she slung it around her neck.Baneelon inquired, with solicitude, about the state of the governor's wound, but he made no offer of restoring the dirk; and when he was asked for it, he pretended to know nothing of it, changing the conversation with great art, and asking for wine, which was given to him.At parting, we pressed him to appoint a day on which he should come to Sydney, assuring him, that he would be well received, and kindly treated. Doubtful, however, of being permitted to return, he evaded our request, and declared that the governor must first come and see him, which we promised should be done. (Tench 1793 :185-187)
 On my return, I was surprised to see all our boats rowing towards home, and with them a canoe, in which sat two Indians paddling. I pulled to them, and found that Baneelon, and another Indian, were in one of the boats, and that the whole formed a party going over to visit the governor. I now learned, that during my absence, the governor had passed in a boat, on his return from Rose Hill, near the place where they were standing; and that finding he would not come to them, although they had called to him to do so, they had at once determined to venture themselves unreservedly among us. (Tench 1793 :188)
 We landed our four friends opposite the hospital, and set out for the governor's house. On hearing of their arrival, such numbers flocked to view them that we were apprehensive the crowd of persons would alarm them, but they had left their fears behind, and marched on with boldness and unconcern. When we reached the governor's house, Baneelon expressed honest joy to see his old friend, and appeared pleased to find that he had recovered of his wound. The governor asked for Wileemarin, and they said he was at Broken Bay.
The ceremony of introduction being finished, Baneelon seemed to consider himself quite at home, running from room to room with his companions, and introducing them to his old friends, the domestics, in the most familiar manner. Among these last, he particularly distinguished the governor's orderly sergeant, whom he kissed with great affection, and a woman who attended in the kitchen; but the gamekeeper, M'Entire, he continued to hold in abhorrence, and would not suffer his approach. (Tench 1793 :188-189)
 During the intervals of duty, our greatest source of entertainment now lay in cultivating the acquaintance of our new friends, the natives. Ever liberal of communication, no difficulty but of understanding each other subsisted between us. Inexplicable contradictions arose to bewilder our researches which no ingenuity could unravel and no credulity reconcile. Baneelon, from being accustomed to our manners, and understanding a little English, was the person through whom we wished to prosecute inquiry, but he had lately become a man of so much dignity and consequence, that it was not always easy to obtain his company. (Tench 1793 :200)
 ML A 1597 Microfilm CY 157, frames 854 – 887 John Harris - Papers, 1791-1837 a1369006
 Clothes had been given to him at various times, but he did not always condescend to wear them. One day he would appear in them, and the next day he was to be seen carrying them in a net slung around his neck. Farther to please him, a brick house of twelve feet square was built for his use, and for that of such of his countrymen as might choose to reside in it, on a point of land fixed upon by himself. A shield, double cased with tin, to ward off the spears of his enemies, was also presented to him, by the governor.
Elated by these marks of favour, and sensible that his importance with his countrymen arose in proportion to our patronage of him, he warmly attached himself to our society. But the gratitude of a savage is ever a precarious tenure. That of Baneelon was fated to suffer suspension….. (Tench 1793 :200)
 Collins 1975: 498
 The natives had been frequently told, that numbers of them would be killed if they continued to throw spears; and both Bannelong and the girl who lived with the clergyman had repeatedly said, that the tribes which resided about Botany-Bay and the inland parts near the head of that harbour, always killed the white men; yet, as it was evident that they had generally received some provocation on the part of our settlers, Governor Phillip was unwilling to proceed to extremities whilst there was a possibility of avoiding it: many of the natives had recently visited the settlement; they had all been well received, and some of their children frequently remained there for several days, without their parents ever seeing them; and if any of them were going where their children would be an incumbrance, they used to leave them at Sydney.
Bannelong, Colebe, and two or three others, now lived at Sydney three or four days in the week, and they all repeatedly desired those natives might be killed who threw spears; at the same time, Governor Phillip began to suspect, though very unwillingly, that there was a great deal of art and cunning in Bannelong; he had lately been at Botany-Bay, where, he said, they danced, and that one of the tribe had sung a song, the subject of which was, his house, the governor, and the white men at Sydney: the people of that tribe, he said, would not throw any more spears, as they and the Cammeragals were all friends, and were good men; this was only a few days after he had said that he liked his house at the point, because the Botany-Bay men and the Cammeragals would not come to it on account of the white men; and had, as usual, whenever those tribes were mentioned, requested the governor to kill them all. Hunter
 On the 9th of the month, a sergeant of marines, with three convicts, among whom was McEntire, the governor's gamekeeper (the person of whom Baneelon had, on former occasions, shown so much dread and hatred) went out on a shooting party. Having passed the north arm of Botany Bay, they proceeded to a hut formed of boughs, which had been lately erected on this peninsula, for the accommodation of sportsmen who wished to continue by night in the woods; for, as the kangaroos in the day-time, chiefly keep in the cover, it is customary on these parties to sleep until near sunset, and watch for the game during the night, and in the early part of the morning. Accordingly, having lighted a fire, they lay down, without distrust or suspicion. About one o'clock, the sergeant was awakened by a rustling noise in the bushes near him, and supposing it to proceed from a kangaroo, called to his comrades, who instantly jumped up. On looking about more narrowly, they saw two natives with spears in their hands, creeping towards them, and three others a little farther behind. As this naturally created alarm, McEntire said, "don't be afraid, I know them," and immediately laying down his gun, stepped forward, and spoke to them in their own language. The Indians, finding they were discovered, kept slowly retreating, and McEntire accompanied them about a hundred yards, talking familiarly all the while. One of them now jumped on a fallen tree and, without giving the least warning of his intention, launched his spear at McEntire and lodged it in his left side. The person who committed this wanton act was described as a young man with a speck or blemish on his left eye. That he had been lately among us was evident from his being newly shaved.
The wounded man immediately drew back and, joining his party, cried, "I am a dead man". While one broke off the end of the spear, the other two set out with their guns in pursuit of the natives; but their swiftness of foot soon convinced our people of the impossibility of reaching them. It was now determined to attempt to carry McEntire home, as his death was apprehended to be near, and he expressed a longing desire not to be left to expire in the woods. Being an uncommonly robust muscular man, notwithstanding a great effusion of blood, he was able, with the assistance of his comrades, to creep slowly along, and reached Sydney about two o'clock the next morning. On the wound being examined by the surgeons, it was pronounced mortal. The poor wretch now began to utter the most dreadful exclamations, and to accuse himself of the commission of crimes of the deepest dye, accompanied with such expressions of his despair of God's mercy, as are too terrible to repeat.
In the course of the day, Colbee, and several more natives came in, and were taken to the bed where the wounded man lay. Their behaviour indicated that they had already heard of the accident, as they repeated twice or thrice the name of the murderer Pimelwi, saying that he lived at Botany Bay.
To gain knowledge of their treatment of similar wounds, one of the surgeons made signs of extracting the spear, but this they violently opposed, and said, if it were done, death would instantly follow.
On the 12th, the extraction of the spear was, however, judged practicable, and was accordingly performed. That part of it which had penetrated the body measured seven inches and a half long, having on it a wooden barb, and several smaller ones of stone, fastened on with yellow gum, most of which, owing to the force necessary in extraction, were torn off and lodged in the patient. The spear had passed between two ribs, and had wounded the left lobe of the lungs. He lingered* until the 20th of January, and then expired. On opening the corpse, it was found that the left lung had perished from suppuration, its remains adhering to the ribs. Some pieces of stone, which had dropped from the spear were seen, but no barb of wood.
[*From the aversion uniformly shown by all the natives to this unhappy man, he had long been suspected by us of having in his excursions, shot and injured them. To gain information on this head from him, the moment of contrition was seized. On being questioned with great seriousness, he, however, declared that he had never fired but once on a native, and then had not killed, but severely wounded him and this in his own defence. Notwithstanding this death-bed confession, most people doubted the truth of the relation, from his general character and other circumstances.] Tench
 It appeared rather extraordinary that the natives should immediately know the man who wounded the game-keeper, and his tribe; they said, his name was Pemullaway, of the tribe of Bejigal, and both Colebe and Bannelong promised to bring him to the settlement; but the former, after remaining at Sydney that night and part of the next day, went off, as was supposed, to Botany-Bay; and Governor Phillip going down the harbour, in consequence of a number of natives being seen armed at the look-out, found Colebe there, who returned to Sydney the next day, did not seem inclined to give himself any trouble about Pemullaway, but left the governor's house after dinner, to go, as he said, to his wife, who was at Botany-Bay. Bannelong had not appeared for some days; he was said to be gone to assist at the ceremony of drawing the front tooth from some young men, and as he went to the district in which the Cammeragals reside, there can scarcely be a doubt but that the tooth is paid as a tribute. Hunter
 Karskens (2009) 395-397
 Two natives, about this time, were detected in robbing a potato garden. When seen, they ran away, and a sergeant and a party of soldiers were dispatched in pursuit of them. Unluckily it was dark when they overtook them, with some women at a fire; and the ardour of the soldiers transported them so far that, instead of capturing the offenders, they fired in among them. The women were taken, but the two men escaped.
On the following day, blood was traced from the fireplace to the sea-side, where it seemed probable that those who had lost it, had embarked. The natives were observed to become immediately shy; but an exact knowledge of the mischief which had been committed, was not gained until the end of two days, when they said that a man of the name of Bangai (who was known to be one of the pilferers) was wounded and dead. Imeerawanyee, however, whispered that though he was wounded, he was not dead. A hope now existed that his life might be saved; and Mr. White, taking Imeerawanyee, Nanbaree, and a woman with him, set out for the spot where he was reported to be.
But on their reaching it, they were told by some people who were there that the man was dead, and that the corpse was deposited in a bay about a mile off. Thither they accordingly repaired, and found it as described, covered--except one leg, which seemed to be designedly left bare—with green boughs and a fire burning near it. Those who had performed the funeral obsequies seemed to have been particularly solicitous for the protection of the face, which was covered with a thick branch, interwoven with grass and fern so as to form a complete screen. Around the neck was a strip of the bark of which they make fishing lines, and a young strait stick growing near was stripped of its bark and bent down so as to form an arch over the body, in which position it was confined by a forked branch stuck into the earth.
On examining the corpse, it was found to be warm. Through the shoulder had passed a musquet ball, which had divided the subclavian artery and caused death by loss of blood. No mark of any remedy having been applied could be discovered. Possibly the nature of the wound, which even among us would baffle cure without amputation of the arm at the shoulder, was deemed so fatal, that they despaired of success, and therefore left it to itself. Had Mr. White found the man alive, there is little room to think that he could have been of any use to him; for that an Indian would submit to so formidable and alarming an operation seems hardly probable.
None of the natives who had come in the boat would touch the body, or even go near it, saying, the mawn would come; that is literally, 'the spirit of the deceased would seize them'. Of the people who died among us, they had expressed no such apprehension. But how far the difference of a natural death, and one effected by violence, may operate on their fears to induce superstition; and why those who had performed the rites of sepulture should not experience similar fears and reluctance, I leave to be determined. Certain it is (as I shall insist upon more hereafter), that they believe the spirit of the dead not to be extinct with the body.
Baneelon took an odd method of revenging the death of his countryman. At the head of several of his tribe, he robbed one of the private boats of fish, threatening the people, who were unarmed, that in case they resisted he would spear them. On being taxed by the governor with this outrage, he at first stoutly denied it; but on being confronted with the people who were in the boat, he changed his language, and, without deigning even to palliate his offence, burst into fury and demanded who had killed Bangai. Tench
 One of the natives has taken a fancy to go with us to Norfolk Island & yesterday morning brought all his spears & fish gig stone Hatchet, bones for pointing his spears & his Basket to be packed up for him. The Governor is to give him two Nankeen dresses 6 white shirts & trunk to put them in which pleases him very much his name is Benelong he is a very well behaved man he drank tea & supped with us last night at the Governors. (SLNSW William Neate Chapman Letters A1974 CY866 18 October 1791 W. N. Chapman to Mrs Chapman)
 Collins 1975[1798–1802] I: 463
 Dil-boong, Bennillong’s infant child’, Collins 1975[1798–1802] I: 490
 Dawes 1791: 45.6; Collins 1975[1798–1802] I: 463–464.
 Sydney Gazette, 8 December 1816 and Sydney Gazette, 7 September 1822.
 Maria married convict carpenter Robert Lock in 1824 and became the ancestress of numerous descendants.
 Dumont d’Urville in Rosenman (1988): 85–90.
 Tench: 291