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This is extraordinarily long. What’s that phrase… too much information…? Cobley’s amazing feat was to bring together all the extant information in one place… but that was his feat – not mine. I’ll edit it soon.

Sunday, 6th June

Collins wrote: “The Lady Juliana was, by strong westerly winds and bad weather, prevented from reaching the cove until the 6th, when, the weather moderating, she was towed up to the settlement. The convicts on board her appeared to have been well treated during their long passage, and preparations for landing them were immediately made; but, in the distressed situation of the colony, it was not a little mortifying to find on board the first ship that arrived, a cargo so unnecessary and unprofitable as two hundred and twenty-two females, instead of 3. cargo oC provisions; the supply of provisions on board her was so Inconsiderable as to permit only an addition of one pound and a half of flour being made to the weekly ration. Had the Guardian arrived, perhaps we should never again have been in want.”

Phillip signed the pardon referred to on the 4th of June by Collins and addressed it to “the Judge Advocate and to the Provost Marshall of theTerritoryofNew South Walesand to all others whom it may Concern” .

“Whereas Accounts have been received of His Majesty’s Happy Recovery from a dangerous and alarming illness for which Public thanksgivings have been offered up to Almighty God, throughout all his Majesty’s Kingdoms, and Dominions, and other tokens of general satisfaction have been manifested.

“In pursuance of the Power and Authority vested in me I do hereby grant a full Pardon to all offenders now in Custody for Trial or who, having been tried, are waiting the execution of their several sentences.”

Robert Haynes, a convict, was buried.

Monday, 7th June and Tuesday, 8th June

No extant record.

Wednesday, 9th June

“Being the day appointed for returning thanks to Almighty God for his Majesty’s happy restoration to health, the attendance on divine service was very full. A sermon on the occasion was preached by the Rev. Mr Johnson, who took his text from the book of Proverbs, ‘By me kings reign.’ The officers were afterwards entertained at the governor’s, when an address on the occasion of the meeting was resolved to be sent to his Majesty.” (Collins) Tench wrote that “all public labour was suspended; and every person in the settlement attended at church”.

1′hursday, I0th June

No extant record.

Friday, 11th June

Collins wrote of the disembarkation of the female convicts. “Many of them appeared to be loaded with the infirmities incident to old age and to be very improper subjects for any of the purposes of an infant colony. Instead of being capable of labour, they seemed to require attendance themselves, and were never likely to be any other than a burden to the settlement, which must sensibly feel the hardship of having to support by the labour of those who could toil, and who at the best were but few, a description of people utterly incapable of using any exertion toward their own maintenance.”

Saturday, 12th June

Collins and Alt sat as magistrates. “John Jeffries and Robert Abel were accused of taking several Pounds of sugar from on board the Lady Juliana Transport in Spring Cove the 4th June 1790.” John Nicol, the cooper of the Lady Juliana,Bryan, Mr John Thomas Dodge (one of the superintendents) and the prisoners gave evidence. They were found guilty and sentenced “to receive each Two hundred Lashes”,

Sunday, 13th June

There were two christenings. The son of Edward Powell, a sailor, and of Sarah Dorset, a convict, was christened Edward Dorset Powell, and the daughter of a sailor named Thomas Shaw and of a convict named Mary Holley was christened Elizabeth Shaw.

Collins wrote: “The female convicts who had lately arrived attending at divine service on the First Sunday after their landing, Mr Johnson, with much propriety, in his discourse, touched upon their situation, and described it so forcibly as to draw tears from many who were the least hardened among them.”

Monday, 14th June

The officers compiled an address and directed it to Governor Phillip. “We, his Majesty’s most dutiful and loyal subjects, the officers of the Civil and Military Establishments in New South Wales, filled with the deepest sence of gratitude for the mercies of Almighty God in restoring our most Gracious Sovereign to health from a dangerous and afflicting sickness, most humbly beg to approach your Excellency with our sincere and heartfelt congratulations on that happy and distinguished event, and to declare our unshaken loyalty and attachment to his Majesty’s

person and government.               ‘

“The little community which has now the honor of addressing your Excellency for the first time cannot pass it by without anticipating in Idea the many and memorable occasions which will be presented hereafter to his Majesty’s faithful subjects of this distant settlement to congratulate him and his illustrious descendants-whether extending the arts and blessings of peace, or covered with the trophies of necessary land glorious war.

“Although from remoteness of situation, and want of intercourse with the seat of government, we are the last in his Majesty’s far extended empire to testify our joy on this occasion, we trust that our zeal and fidelity to his Royal person will for ever remain unquestioned, as we know them to be pure and unalterable.

“Actuated by the warmest wishes to promote the interests of our muntry, and the increasing splendour of his Majesty’s auspicious reign, in which can add to his domestic felicity must ever be regarded by us as sacred and inviolable. .

“We further beg leave to assure your Excellency that we shall not f ail with our unfeigned thanks to offer up our most sincere and fervent prayers to that Being in whom alone are the issues of life for the continued safety, long life, and prosperity of his Majesty and his illustrious House. And that his Royal Consort, our revered Queen, may conjointly with him continue to receive and enjoy every earthly felicity, is what we do and shall humbly and ardently supplicate of the Dispenser of all Good.”

This document was signed by the officers in the settlement, with the exception of Captain Campbell and Lieutenants Sharp and Timins.

Phillip wrote two letters to Grenville. In one, he acknowledged Grenville’s letter of the 19th of June 1789 and enclosed the address from the officers. In the other, Phillip congratulated Grenville on his appointment.

Phillip wrote toNepeanand acknowledged receipt of the Estimates and Grants forwarded on the 2nd of June 1788 and on the 3rd of June 1789.

Phillip wrote a second letter toNepeanto acknowledge a letter written in June 1789 with directions about rations.

Tuesday, 15th June

                No extant record.

Wednesday, 16th June

Phillip wrote toNepean. He acknowledged Nepean’s 20th of June 1789 and added: “I ‘have, sir, received Mr Secretary Grenville’s letters respecting the supplies sent out, and the instructions for the granting lands, but I have not received the remittance intended for paying the marine artificers, nor can I learn from any person on board the Lady Juliana whether it was on board the Guardian or not.

“By the unfortunate loss of that ship this colony was deprived of those very liberal supplies ordered by Government, the want of which has thrown the settlement back so much that it will require a length of time to put it in the situation it would have been in at this moment had the Guardian arrived, as she would have done but for that unhappy accident, before I was obliged to send away the Sirius, to give up labour, and destroy the greater part of the live stock. The Sirius did not sail until the 6th of March, and the Guardian would have arrived by the first week in February.”

Thursday, 17th June

Phillip wrote to Grenville. He acknowledged Grenville’s despatches and the Royal Instructions. This letter continued: “The dispatches sent home by Lieutenant King, who sailed forBatavia, the 17th of April, in the Supply, tender, will shew that settlers have little to apprehend from the natives, against whom I have never thought any defence necessary .

“When we first landed it was to have been wished, but at that time, and for that time, and for months after that period, the slightest defence could not have been made without neglecting what was so immediately and absolutely necessary-the securing of stores and pro¬visions. I believe there is little reason to think that the natives will ever attack any building, and still less to suppose they will attack a number of armed men; not that I think they want innate bravery-they certainly do not-but they are sensible of the great superiority of our arms. Setting fire to the corn I most feared, but which they never have attempted; and as these avoid those places we frequent, it is seldom that any of them are now seen near the settlement. The cattle, if they find them in the woods, they undoubtedly will destroy, which is all I believe the settlers will have to apprehend. Their attacking straggers is natural, for those people go out to rob the natives of their spears and the few articles they possess; and as they do it too frequently with impunity, the punishments they sometimes meet with are not to be regretted-they have had a good effect.

“The detaching a body of convicts to any distant place, which the soil and other circumstances might render desirable, as pointed out in the letter of the 19th, would at present be attended with many inconveniences. On the borders of the several rivers which have been discovered there are some desirable situations, but superintendants and store-keepers must be sent with convicts who are detached, and stores must be erected. A superintendant at a distance should be not only a good farmer, but a man who would feel himself interested in the convicts labouring successfully for the benefit of the Crown; and barns and houses are works of labour which require time to erect.

“If settlers are sent out many difficulties will be removed; they may choose those situations to which, for the above reasons, I cannot at this moment detach convicts; and I have had the honor of observing in my former dispatches that settlers appear to be absolutely necessary. If they bring with them people to clear and cultivate the land, and provisions to support those they bring with them, they will want very little assistance from Government after they arrive; but no soldier or other person in this settlement could at present accept of the assistance of convicts in cultivating the land which might be granted them on the conditions pointed out in the instructions-’of feeding and cloathing them.’ I believe, sir, that it will be little less than two years from the time of granting the lands before those lands will support the cultivators. I may err, but I give my opinion to the best of my judgment.

“At Norfolk Island settlers may be able to support themselves in less time; perhaps one year’s support from the Crown may be thought sufficient, for there the soil is very rich, and when the pine-trees are cut down the roots soon rot in the ground; but here the soil, though very good, is less luxuriant, and the roots of the large gum-trees, if not grubbed up, will remain in the ground for years, and the labour of clearing the land of such heavy timber is very great.

“A settler who has to depend on his own labour will get on very slowly, but as there are some places on which but little timber is growing,such spots shall be selected for those non-commissioned officers and privates who may be inclined to settle; and I shall govern myself by the instructions I have received, unless otherwise directed.

“If the settlers first sent out are, in addition to their knowledge as farmers, possessed of some little property, will it not, sir, act as a security for their industry? Men able to support themselves, if intelligent and industrious, I think cannot fail; but if people come out (and such, I fear, may offer) who are indolent, and having nothing to lose want that spur to industry, they may become a burthen to the settlement, for they cannot be left to starve. Could an hundred of those who have been sent out to form this colony be removed it would be greatly benefited, since they are as great burthen here as they would be to their parishes if inEngland.

“As it may appear that we have not made that advance toward. supporting ourselves which may have been expected, I will, sir, beg leave to observe that in addition to those untoward circumstances, which have thrown the settlement so far back, it never yet has been possible to direct the labour of more than a small part of the convicts to the principal object. A civil and military establishment form a considerable part of our numbers, which is increased by women and children, all of whom are undoubtedly necessary, but are a deadweight on those who have to render the colony independent for the necessaries of life. Stores, barracks, and houses have required time, and we have still stores and barracks to build in the stead of those temporary ones at first erected. Settlers will secure themselves and their provisions in a short time, and everyone they feed will then be employed in cultivation.

“To makingNorfolk Islandthe principal settlement there is one objection, which, I think, renders it impossible to be done until that island is so far cultivated that it can support itself. There is no harbour or good roadstead, and landing provisions is attended with some difficulties. I hope the loss of the Sirius will not set the island in a  most unfavorable point of view, for which, with the loss of that ship, I saw no reason. It was an accident; but, sir, you will be fully informed as to what may be expected from Norfolk Island by the officer who made the settlement-an officer of merit, and who could be ill-spared; but I thought it necessary to send home some person to give that information which could not so well be conveyed in letters, and it was my intention to have detained that officer here until the Sirius returned from China, that he might have had more perfect knowledge of tht’ country round this settlement, but which the loss of that ship prevented.

“The situation of Port Jackson between two harbours, so that It a ship falls in with the coast in bad weather a few miles either in the northward or the southward she can find immediate shelter, is a great advantage; and I believe it will be found hereafter that the seat of Government has not been improperly placed.

“We, as first settlers, labour under some inconvenience from not being able to employ the convicts in agriculture on the spot where the provisions and stores are landed, but this is the only inconvenience, as having the convicts at some distance from the military is attended with many advantages.

“I had little time to look round me when I first arrived, for my instructions particularly pointed out that I was not to delay the disembarking the people, with a view of searching for a better situation than what Botany Bay might afford. I was obliged to look farther, but 1 did not think myself at liberty to continue my research after I had seen Sydney Cove. Had I seen the country near the head of the harbour I might have been induced to have made the settlement there, but we knew nothing of that part of the country until the creek which runs up to Rose Hill was discovered in a journey I made to the westward three months after we landed; and although I was then fully satisfied of the goodness of the soil, and saw the advantages of that situation, most of our stores and provisions were landed, and it required some little time to do away with the general opinion that such a situation could not be healthy, and which I was inclined to think myself until 1 had examined the country for some miles round, and was satisfied that there was a free circulation of air, in the goodness of which few places equal it. The number of people who have been settled there on an average for eighteen months exceed one hundred, and in that time we have had only two deaths-a woman who had been subject to dropsy, and a marine who had been there but a very short time before he died.

”It is, sir, in that part of the country, and which I have endeavoured to describe in my last despatches, that I propose employing the convicts in agriculture, and in the neighbourhood of which I proposed fixing the first settlers who might be sent out.

“The impossibility of conveying stores and provisions for any distance inland will oblige me to mark out the first township near Rose Hill, where there is a considerable extent of good land. The sea-coast does not offer any situation within our reach at present which is calculated for a town whose inhabitants are to be employed in agriculture.

“As I thought the first settlers sent out might require more encouragement than those who might come out hereafter, I proposed in my last despatches giving them a certain number of convicts for two years, and supporting them during that time at the expense of the Crown. The number intended to receive that indulgence may be limited to the first fifteen; but I think, sir, much will depend on ensuring the success of the first settlers sent out, and who I presume will be good farmers. The assistance proposed for them will certainly put them at their ease, if they are industrious men, and would not, I apprehend, be any great loss to the Crown.

“In order to know in what time a man might be able to cultivate a sufficient quantity of ground to support himself, I last November ordered a hut to be built in a good situation, an acre of ground to be cleared, and once turned up it was put into the possession of a very industrious convict, who was told if he behaved well he should have thirty acres. This man had said the time for which he had been sentenced was expired, and wished to settle. He has been industrious, but received some little  assistance from time to time, and now tells me that if one acre more is cleared for him he shall be able to support himself after next January, which I much doubt, but think he will do tolerably well after he has been supported for eighteen months. Others may prove more intelligent, though they cannot well be more industrious.

“I mention the particulars respecting this man that some judgment may be formed of what an individual will be able to do if no assistance is given him more than the year’s provisions.

“I am desirous of securing the success of the first settlers, but shall attend to the instructions I have received until I am honored with an answer to my last despatches; and, as I have before observed, if settlers coming out bring people with them, and provisions to support those they bring, the assistance they will want may be given at a very small expence on the part of the Crown.

“The river Hawkesbury will, I make no doubt, offer some desirable situations, and the great advantages of a navigable river are obvious; but before a settlement can be made there proper people to conduct it must be found, and we must be better acquainted with the country. Setden may be sent there hereafter, but then we must have small craft to keep up communication.

“The Lady Juliana being the only vessel in this country, I am obliged to send her to Norfolk Island, with a part of the provisions we have received; and had not that ship been chartered for China, I should have sent the Sirius s officers and men to England in her, but which 1

do not, as the master of her says that it would be attended with a loss of more than six thousand pounds to the owners, and consequently might occasion an expence to Government which would exceed what attends their remaining a few months longer in this country, and I am not willing to break through the charter, as other ships are coming out. As the Lady Juliana must go toNorfolk Islandwith provisions, and one of the superintend ants professes himself to understand the cultivation and dressing of the flax-plant, I shall send thither most of the women brought out in that ship. When the ships arrive with the male convicts an equal number shall be sent, and the number of convicts on that island shall be increased in future as directed.

“But in addition to the officers I shall be ‘able to send, I presume two or three magistrates will be necessary; if settlers come out for that island, perhaps some amongst them may be found to answer the purpose.

“As the number of convicts sent toNorfolk Islandwill require an officer of some experience, you will, sir, please to determine how far the second person in this colony may be the most eligible. I found it necessary to send the Lieutenant-Governor to replace Mr King, but if the Lieutenant-Governor commands the corps coming out some difficulties will occur in sending them there, as only one company can be sent to the island, and the head-quarters of the corps should be with the commandant.”

Friday, 18th June

No extant record.

Saturday, 19th June

John Thomas was brought before David Collins “charged with Insolence to Simon Burn, an Overseer, and resisting his Authority”. Simon Burn, Mr Palmer and the prisoner gave evidence. Thomas was found guilty and sentenced to receive one hundred lashes.

An account to this date of the provisions and liquor due to the superintendents who embarked on the Guardian was completed by N. Divine.

Sunday, 20th June

Phillip again wrote to Grenville. He discussed the loss of the Guardian, and wrote: “Of the superintendants sent out in the Guardian for the purpose of instructing the convicts in agriculture, five only are arrived in the Lady Juliana; and of the five superintendants who have arrived one only is a farmer, two say they were used to the farming business when seventeen and nineteen years of age, but they cannot, from the knowledge they then obtained, be able to instruct the convicts or direct a farm; and we are in great want of a good master carpenter, brick and tile maker. The two gardeners are said to be lost, having left the ship in a small boat after that unfortunate accident which deprived the colony of those supplies which had been so liberally provided by Government. . . .

“The artificers which were sent out in the Guardian have been detained at the Cape of Good Hope; and from what the officers on board the Lady Juliana says it is probable they will be returned toEngland. The great want of those people to carry on the necessary buildings will appear from the few artificers now in the settlement, and which are specified in the margin. Carpenters are most wanted – of the six we have only three merit the name of carpenters. In our present state but little preparation can be made for the accommodation of a thousand convicts which are to follow the Guardian. A roof for a store-house, which has been framed several months, still remains 0n the ground, for it has not been possible to get the walls up; but the provisions sent out in the Lady Juliana and the seventy-five casks of flour put on board of that ship at the Cape from the Guardian, having enabled me to order the ration issued since the loss of the Sirius to be increased to four pounds of flour, two pounds of pork, and two pound. of rice for each person for seven days, a little more work will now be done.”

The Justinian storeship, Benjamin Maitland master, arrived in Port Jackson. Collins wrote: “Mr Maitland, on the 2d of this month, the day preceding the arrival of the Lady Juliana, was off the entrance of this harbour, and would certainly have been found by that ship at anchor within the heads, had he not, by a sudden change of the wind, aided by a current, been driven as far to the northward as Black Head, in latitude 32oS. where he was very nearly lost in an heavy gale’ of wind; but which he providentially rode out, having been obliged to come to an anchor, though close in with some dangerous rocks. The wind was dead on the shore, and the rocks so close when he anchored, that the rebound of the wave prevented him from riding any considerable strain on his cable. Had that failed him, we should never have seen the Justinian or her valuable cargo, which was found to consist uf stores and provisions, trusted, it was true, to one ship; but as she had happily arrived in safety, and was full, we all rejoiced that we had not to wait for the arrival of a second before the colony could be restored to its former plenty.  .

“We now learned that three transports might be hourly expected, having on board the thousand convicts of whose destination we had received some information by the Lady Juliana, together with detachments of the corps raised for the service of this country. The remainder of this corps (which was intended to consist of three hundred men) were to come. out in the Gorgon man of war, of forty-four guns. The. ship was also to bring out Major Grose, who had been appointed lieutenant-governor of the territory in the room of Major Ross, which officer, together with the marines under his command, were intended to return to England in that ship.

“Of the change which had been effected in the system of government in France we now first received information, and we heard with pleasure that it was not likely to interrupt the tranquillity of our own happy nation-happy in a constitution which might well excite the admiration and become the model of other states not so free.”

Tench was “joyfully surprised. . . to see another sail enter the harbour. She proved to be the Justinian transport, commanded by captain Maitland; and our rapture was doubled on finding that she was laden/ entirely with provisions for our use. Full allowance, and general congratulation, immediately took place. This ship had leftFalmouthon the preceding 20th of January, and completed her passage exactly in five months. She had staid at Madeira one day, and four at Saint Jago; from which last place she had steered directly for New South Wales, neglecting Rio de Janeiro on her right, and the Cape of Good Hope on her left; and notwithstanding the immense tract of ocean she had passed, brought her crew without sickness into harbour. When the novelty and boldness of such an attempt shall be recollected, too much praise, on the spirit and activity of Mr Maitland, cannot be bestowed.”

The writer of a letter in March 1791 expressed concern for the marines in the colony. “The marines, who are to be relieved by the new corps, feel great satisfaction at the prospect of getting home; but they are surprised to learn that the cause of their being relieved is attributed to disagreements among the officers. That very unpleasant differences have taken place between their commandant and the Governor we are all well aware of. Who is right or who is wrong will certainly hereafter be made known. But it is a grievous hardship that unconcerned individuals should, by misrepresentation, be involved in such affairs, or be deprived of that merit which is so dearly bought by their services in this country.”

The Governor received letters from Sir Joseph Banks by the Justinian. This ship brought a portable hospital for the colony.

There were two baptisms. The daughter of Private John and Mrs Susannah Turner was christened Elizabeth Mima Turner, and the daughter of Edward Scott, a sailor, and of Mary Pardanex, a convict, was christened Ann Scott.

Monday, 2Ist June

“Every thing seemed getting into its former train; the full ration was ordered to be issued; instead of daily, it was to be served weekly as formerly; and the drum for labour was to beat as usual in the afternoons at one o’clock. How general was the wish, that no future necessity might ever occasion another deduction in the ration, or an alteration in the labour of the people!” (Collins)

Tuesday, 22nd June

No extant record.

Wednesday, 2]1′d June

“Early in the morning. . . one of the men at the Look-out discerned a sail to the northward, but, the weather coming on thick, soon lost sight of it.” (Collins)

Thursday, 24th June

Friday, 25th June

Scott wrote that “the Signal was made for a ship being off the Harbour’s Mouth”. Collins noted that “word was brought up to the settlement that a large ship, apparently under jury-masts, was seen in the offing”.

The Governor wrote to Grenville. He acknowledged the invoice. sent by the Guardian and the Lady Juliana, and continued: “. . . you will, sir, excuse me if I repeat what I have mentioned in my letter oC “. . . the Surprise transport, Nicholas Antis master, (late chief mate of the Lady Penrhyn,) anchored in the Cove from England, having on board one captain, one lieutenant, one surgeon’s mate, one serjeant, one corporal, one drummer, and twenty-three privates of the New South’ Wales corps; together with. two hundred and eighteen male convicts. She sailed on the 19th of January fromPortsmouthin company with two other transports, with whom she parted between theCape of Good Hopeand this place.

“We had the mortification to learn, that the prisoners in this ship were very unhealthy, upwards of one hundred being now in the sick list on board. They had been very sickly also during the passage, and 224 had buried forty-two of these unfortunate people. . . . The signal was flying at the south head for the other transports.” (Collins)

Sunday, 27th June

John Palmer condemned 1,028 pounds of rice.

Monday, 28th June

Easty wrote: “The Nepturn Transport Arivd hear with 500 Convicts and the Scarborough with 250 and 105 Soldiers of the new South Wailis Corps, the Convicts all very Sickly.” Collins stated that the “transports anchored offGardenIsland”.

A marriage was registered. William Whiting was married to Mary Williams, in the presence of John Parker and Susanna Hunt.

By the Scarborough Phillip received a despatch dated the 24th of December 1789 from Grenville, who wrote:


In my letters of the 20th June and 24th August, I informed you that it was the intention of Government that a farther number of convicts should be sent out in the autumn, with a view to your making such arrangements as might be necessary for their reception. I am now to acquaint you that measures have been take for that purpose, and that nine hundred and thirty males and seventy-eight females have been embarked on board the ships named in the margin, now assembled at Spithead, and in readiness to depart the moment the wind proves favourable for their proceeding down Channel.

“The number of female convicts bearing a great disproportion to that of the males, it was thought adviseable that such of the latter as were married should be allowed to take their wives with them on board the ships in which they have been embarked, or even women that cohabited with them; but notwithstanding the indulgence held out to them of supplies of provisions and clothing, very few of the two latter descriptions of women have been prevailed upon to accede to the proposal. Such of them, however, as shall arrive within the limits of your Government are to be furnished with the same proportions of those articles as the female convicts.

“The three ships above mentioned, and the Justinian, which has been taken up as a store-ship, and now in the river are under orders to follow, contain a large supply of clothing, provisions, tools, &c., the particulars of which are specified in the enclosed estimates. All these articles will be found to be of the first quality, and will, I hope, be applied to the best possible advantage.

“After the arrival of these ships it will be extremely desirable that you should, if no other more eligible situation shall have presented itself to you since your last communications, take the earliest opportunity that circumstances will admit of detaching a considerable number of the convicts toNorfolk Island, with a suitable proportion of provisions, &c. But as the ships in which they are now embarked are chartered by the East India Company to bring home teas from China, it will be necessary that the convicts, with the stores, provisions, &c., on board them, should be landed at Sydney, and that the ships should be discharged, and left at liberty to proceed upon their voyage as soon as possible, employing the services of the Supply, tender, in removing such convicts and stores to Norfolk Island or elsewhere whenever that arrangement can be carried into effect. The disembarking the convicts at Sydney, exclusive of the consideration before mentioned, seems indeed to be a measure highly necessary, as from the length of the passage from hence, and the nature of their food, there is every reason to expect that many of them will be reduced to so debilitated a state that immediate relief will be found to be expedient for the preservation of their lives,

“The corps which I before informed you was to be raised to serve within your Government, instead of the marines now doing duty there, has been complete for some time past. A detachment from it, consisting of about 100 officers and men, has been put on board the convict ship. for their greater security against any attempts which the convicts might meditate, and the remainder, under the command of Major Grose, amounting, as you will see by the enclosed establishment, to upwards of 200 more, will, I expect, embark at Portsmouth on board her Majesty’s ship the Gorgon in the course of a few days.

“Major Grose has been appointed to succeed to the Lieut-Government of N.S.Wales, and on his arrival you will direct Major Ross and. the.’ officers of the marine corps serving under his command, together with such of the non-commission officers and private men as may be desirous of returning home, to be embarked as soon as possible for that purpose, “I am led to hope from the bounty and other indulgences which you have been authorized to offer to the non-commission officers and men that many of them will be induced to remain within your Government; and if such a number of them as shall be sufficient to compose a company equal to those of the new corps can be prevailed upon to accede to your proposals, his Majesty in such case has signified his intention of allowing you to recommend any three officers from amongst the marines already holding the rank of captain, 1St lieutenant, and 2d lieutenant, whom you may judge to be most deserving of his Majesty’s favor, to be appointed to that company, and to be incorporated in the new corps with the rank of captain, lieutenant, and ensign. This measure will, however, be notified to you through his Majesty’s Secretary at War by the Gorgon. In the meantime you will make your arrangements accordingly.

“From the present crowded state of the hulks, and the increase which must be expected of the number of felons under sentence of transportation, not only in this kingdom, but inIreland, after the next Spring Assizes, it is intended that about one thousand men shall be sent abroad, and preparations must be made for their reception. With these last-mentioned convicts it is proposed that an additional company of troops shall be embarked, which, upon their arrival within your Government, will be annexed to the new corps, and will compose a force, I hope, competent to every necessary service that may occur.

“The promoting Lieutenant King to the rank of master and commander cannot be done without much difficulty and inconvenience; but as his services at Norfolk Island merit some mark of favor, I have submitted to his Majesty’s consideration the appointing Mr King to be Lieutenant-Governor of that island; and I have the pleasure of informing you that his Majesty has been pleased to order a commission to be prepared for that purpose, to which appointment will be annexed a salary of £250 per annum, payment of which will be provided for in the next estimate to be laid before Parliament, together with a salary for the Deputy-Commissary of Stores and Provisions.”

William Sutton and Samuel Burt commenced work under the supervision of the Commissary, the former in the provision store and the latter in the clothing store.

Tuesday, 29th June

The Neptune and theScarboroughwere warped into Sydney Cove. An extract from a letter published later in the Bee described the state of the convicts. “It was shocking to behold the deplorable condition to which the poor wretches were reduced by dysentery and scurvy. The liberal supply of hospital stores enabled us to assist them with some comforts as well as medicines. But the miserable state to which the poor wretches were reduced by perpetual confinement below throughout the passage put it beyond the power of art to restore many of them. The sole direction of them on board was left to the masters of transports, who, either from inclination or a want of knowledge, denied them those indulgences which might have been a means of preserving their health, or at least of preventing so great a mortality.

“The Justinian and Surprize were ordered to be cleared as fast as possible, that they might carry a supply of stores and an additional number of people toNorfolk Island. We entertained many doubts with respect to their situation at that place; and, unfortunately for us, we had no prospect of making ourselves acquainted with their state before the return of the Supply fromBatavia, as the ships on clearing at that port were to proceed immediately toChina. I shall not attempt to describe the confusion that existed at that time in our colony.

“The Governor now perceived the necessity of providing habitations for the people that had disembarked, as well as those that were expected soon to follow; for the little conveniences that had been raised, chiefly at the expence and labor of the first colonists, were everywhere crowded by the newcomers, both bond and free; and it was said that no houses could be considered as the private property of any individual on the settlement.

“Our new guests expressed great concern at not finding everything here in a very prosperous state. They had been led to believe that matters were in a very fair train, and that plenty of conveniences were ready for their reception at landing; but they found quite the contrary to be the case.”

Collins wrote a long account of the distress of the convicts. “By noon . . . two hundred sick had been landed from the different transports. The west side afforded a scene truly distressing and miserable; up. wards of thirty tents were pitched in front of the hospital, the portable one not being yet put up; all of which, as well as the hospital and the adjacent huts, were filled with people, many of whom were labouring under the complicated diseases of scurvy and the dysentery, and others in. the last stage of either of those terrible disorders, or yielding to the attacks of an infectious fever.

“The appearance of those who did not require medical assistance was lean and emaciated. Several of these miserable people died in the: boats as they were rowing on shore, or on the wharf as they were lifting out of the boats; both the living and the dead exhibiting more horrid spectacles than had ever been witnessed in this country. All this was to be attributed to confinement, and that of the worst species, confinement in a small space and in irons, not put on singly, but many of them chained together. On board the Scarborough a plan had been formed to take the ship, which would certainly have been attempted, but for a discovery which was fortunately made by one of the convicts (Samuel Burt) who had too much principle left to enter into it. This necessarily, on board that ship, occasioned much future circumspection; but Captain Marshall’s humanity considerably lessened the severity which the insurgents might naturally have expected. On board the other ships, the masters, who had the entire direction of the prisoners, never suffered them to be at large on deck, and but few at a time were permitted there. This consequently gave birth to many diseases. It was said, that on board the Neptune several had died in irons; and what added to the horror of such a circumstance was, that their deaths were concealed, for the purpose of sharing their allowance of provisions, until chance, and the offensiveness of a corpse, directed the surgeon, or some one who had authority in the ship, to the spot where it lay.

“A contract had been entered into by government with Messrs  Calvert, Camden, and King, merchants of London, for the transporting of one thousand convicts, and government engaged to pay 17£ .7s.6d. per head for every convict they embarked. This sum being as well for their provisions as for their transportation, no interest for their preservation was created in the owners, and the dead were more profit­able (if profit alone was consulted by them, and the credit of their house was not at stake) than the living.

“The following accounts of the number who died on board each ship were given in by the masters:

On board the Lady Juliana………….. 0, 5 2
the Surprise . ……… …….. 42 0 0
theScarborough . …………. 68 0 0
theNeptune …… …. …….. 151 II 2
Total 261 16 4

“All possible expedition was used to get the sick on shore; for even while they remained on board many died. The bodies were taken over to the north shore, and there interred.              .

“Parties were immediately sent into the woods to collect the acid berry of the country, which for its extreme acetosity was deemed by the surgeons a most powerful antiscorbutic. Among other regulations, orders were given for baking a certain quantity of flour into pound loaves, to be distributed daily among the sick, as it was not in their power to prepare it themselves. Wine and other necessaries being given judiciously among those whose situations required such comforts, many of the wretches had recourse to stratagem to obtain more than their share by pre­senting themselves, under different names and appearances, to those who had the delivery of them, or by exciting the compassion of those who could order them.

“Blankets were immediately sent to the hospital in sufficient numbers to make every patient comfortable; notwithstanding which, they watched the moment when anyone died to strip him of his covering, (although dying themselves,) and could only be prevented by the utmost vigilance’ from exercising such inhumanity in every instance.

“The detachment from theNew South Walescorps, consisting or one captain, three subalterns, and a proportionate number of non. commissioned officers and privates, was immediately disembarked, and room being made in the marine barracks, they took possession of the!’ quarters allotted for them.

“Lieutenant Shapcote, the naval agent on board of the Neptune, died between theCape of Good Hopeand this place. A son of this gentleman arrived in the Justinian, to which ship he belonged, and received the’ first account of his father’s death, on going aboard theNeptuneto congratulate him on his arrival.

“An instance of sagacity in a dog occurred on the arrival of the’ Scarborough, too remarkable to pass unnoticed; Mr Marshall, the master of the ship, on quitting Port Jackson in May 1788, left a Newfoundland dog with Mr Clark, (the agent on the part of the contractor, who remained in the colony,) which he had brought from England. On the return of his old master, Hector swam off to the ship, and getting on board, recognised him, and manifested, in every manner suitable to his nature, his joy at seeing him; nor could the animal be persuaded to quit him again, accompanying him always when he went on shore, and returning with him on board.”

Tench commented on the high mortality and gave figures differing slightly from those of Collins. Tench wrote that the ships “brought out a large body of convicts, whose state and sufferings will be best estimated by the following return.

Names of the                                      Number of

                Ships                                     people embarked

Neptune. .. . .. . . . .                                          Surprise ……….                                Scarborough. . . . . .

530                                                                         252                                                         256


Number of persons who died on the passage

163 42 68


Number landed sick at Port


                269 .


96 486

“N.B. Of those landed sick, one hundred and twenty-four died in the hospital atSydney.

“On our passage fromEngland, which had lasted more than eight months, and with nearly an equal number of persons, only twenty-four had died, and not thirty were landed sick. The difference can be accounted for, only by comparing the manner in which each fleet was fitted out and conducted. With us the provisions, served on board, were laid in by a contractor, who sent a deputy to serve them out; and it became a part of duty for the officers of the troops to inspect their quality, and to order that everyone received his just proportion. Whereas, in the fleet now arrived, the distribution of provisions rested entirely with the masters of the merchantmen, and the officers were expressly forbidden to interfere in any shape farther about the convicts than to prevent their escape.

“Seventeen pounds, in full of all expence, was the sum paid by the public for the passage of each person. And this sum was certainly competent to afford fair profit to the merchant who contracted. But there is reason to believe, that some of those who were employed to act for him, violated every principle of justice, and rioted on the spoils of misery, for want of a controlling power to check their enormities. No doubt can be entertained, that a humane and liberal government will interpose its authority, to prevent the repetition of such flagitious conduct.

“Although the convicts had landed from these ships with every mark of meagre misery, yet it was soon seen, that a want of room, in which more conveniences might have been stowed for their use, had not caused it. Several of the masters of the transports immediately opened stores, and exposed large quantities of goods to sale, which, though at most extortionate prices, were eagerly bought up.”

Collins wrote of the Lady Juliana’s store. “A shop was opened on shore by the master of this ship, at the hut lately occupied as a bakehouse for the Supply, for the sale of some articles of grocery, glass, millinery, perfumery, and stationary; but the risk of bringing them out having been most injudiciously estimated too highly, as was evident from the increase on the first cost, which could not be disguised, they did not go off so quickly as the owners supposed they would.”

Scott wrote of the store in greater detail. “The Master of the Lady Julian Sent a Great Quantity of Goods (his Owne privet Property) On shore to be sold, but At An Exorbetant price.

“Moist Suger that Could be purchesd at Rio for a Vinten or three halfpence a pound, he sold for Eighteen pence in Bills and Sixteen Redey Money Sope 3/ R Money Tobacco 88/ Fourpeney thread 28/ per Oz Eightpeney Ribband from 2 to 35 and 9d per yd, Bread 611 per lb Sixpeney Papper at 25/ per Quire and Everey thing Else in like Proportion.”

John Nicol, the steward of the Lady Juliana, wrote that the Captain had linen on board which the convicts made into shirts. “He got them made cheap, and sold them to great advantage upon our arrival, a. the people in the colony were in want of every necessary. . . .

“A sergeant of marines supplied the Lady Julian with potatoes and garden stuff for half-a-crown a day. There were thirty-six people on board and we had as much as we could use.”


The flour in twenty of the casks brought in the Lady Juliana was found quite unfit for use.

The Governor caused a contradiction to be published in orders of the rumour that Mr Johnson had received articles for the comfort of the convicts. Mr Johnson wished the convicts to be informed that any articles handed out by him were his own belongings, and therefore that they would be given to convicts only of his own selection.

Collins wrote: “At a muster of the convicts which was directed during this month, one man only was unaccounted for, James Haydon. Soon after the muster was over, word was brought to the commissary that his body had been found drowned in Long-Cove, at the back of the settlement. Upon inquiry into the cause of his death, it appeared that he had a few days before stolen some tobacco out of an officer’s garden in which he had been employed, and, being threatened with punishment, had absconded. He was considered as a well-behaved man; and if he preferred death to shame and punishment, which he had been heard to declare he did, and which his death seemed to confirm, he was deserving a better fate.”

Lieutenant Long was appointed acting Town Adjutant.

Thursday, 1st  July

“The melancholy scenes which closed the last month appe’ared unchanged at the beginning of this. The morning generally opened with the attendants of the sick passing frequently backwards and forwards from the hospital to the burying-ground with the miserable victims of the night. Every exertion was made to get up the portable hospital.” ( Collins)

Southwell received letters from Mr Butler. During the day, he set out with a friend to walk from the flagstaff at South Head to Sydney Cove. They met some natives. “InRoseBayfell suddenly in with eight or nine of them about their fire, which they precep’y left and hid in the thicket. I called repeatedly to them ‘Cae’ (which signifies come hither), and made the aforementioned enqu’ [about Bennilong] but they did not chuse to answer. There was a new canoe on the beach and several bundles of spears, fishing tackle, &c.; but, set’g aside any danger that might have attended a seizure of them, I could not, from principle, have made a seizure-indeed, it must be a heavy loss to these people when deprived; and there is much reason to conclude that the rage for curiosity, and the unjust methods made use of to obtain them, have occasioned much of that misunderstanding that has hitherto subsisted between us and them. We had a gun and amun’, without which it is by no means advisable to go about the country, especially along shore, as our course mostly lay on this occasion.”

The son of Sergeant James and Mrs Jane Scott was christened William Boxell Scott.

Friday, 2nd  July

The Lady Juliana was discharged from government service.

Phillip wrote to Grenville. He enclosed copies of the letters sent by Lieutenant King, and a copy of his orders to Lieutenant Ball.

Four burials were registered. They were Thomas Delling, William Budge, a person named Owlit, and another whose name was unknown. All were convicts.

Palmer noted the stores received by the Lady Juliana, including those forwarded from the Guardian

Saturday, 3rd July

There were seven burials. The names registered were Thomas CArlI”. William Glover, William Dubbell, John Shellick, Daniel Jones, Willhuu Richards and Alexander Aspernel, all convicts.

Sunday, 4th July

Two convicts named James Robbenot and John Gray were buried,

Monday, 5th July

William Bead, William Pointon, John Bland, Frances McGurk /llId  John Cumson, convicts, were buried.

Tuesday, 6th July

Seven convicts were buried. They were Benjamin Creamer, Johll Lufbridge, Edward Glin, Edward Bonnock, Cornelius Broad, AIIII Hardyman and William Tilbrook.

Wednesday, 7th July

The portable hospital was completed and immediately filled whh patients.

Two convicts named Richard Johnston and John Williams, and II sailor named William Elivin were buried.

Thursday, 8th July

The register records the burial of three convicts, Joseph Chant, Jnrn~1 Jones and George Admes

Friday, 9th July

Sydney King Inett was baptized. He was the son of Lieutenant Philip Gidley King and of a convict named Ann Inett.

Four convicts were buried. They were Daniel Gardener, Willinm Bateman, John Atwood and Matthew Riddy.

Saturday, 10th July

Thomas Freeman was appointed by the Governor’s warrant to act as Deputy Commissary of Stores and Provisions atNorfolk Island.

Phillip wrote toNepean.


I have in my former letters requested the necessary information respecting the time for which the convicts sent out by the first ships were sentenced, and the intentions of Government respecting those convicts who, when that time is expired, may refuse to become settlers, nnd demand liberty to return toEurope. We have now near thirty under the” circumstances, and their numbers will increase, as well as their discontents.

“Ships stopping at this port, on their way toChina, will always be ready to receive a certain number of healthy, able-bodied men, and those nre the men we shall be the most desirous of retaining. You will, sir, be so good as to give me the necessary information on this head, if you have not already done it by the Gorgon. The indentures and assignments received from- the Surpriz~, Neptun~, and Scarborough are very clear as to the term for which the convicts sent out in those ships have been sentenced, but no account has been sent out by the Lady Juliana for the women who embarked in that ship; however, the women will give LIS n6 trouble on that head.”

Two convicts named James Hunt andThomas Lanewere buried.

Sunday, 11th July

“General Orders.

“Lieutenant John Long is appointed to act as Town Adjutant ’till further orders.”

Susannah Mely Screech was christened. She was the daughter of William Screech, a labourer, and of Susannah Screech, a convict.

William Threadel, Daniel Millar and Thomas Locke, convicts, were buried.

Monday, 12th July

There were three weddings. John Rowe was married to Isabella Manson, John Curse to Elizabeth Ayres and William Hatfield to Eliza¬beth Cook. The signatures were witnessed in each case by George Clare and William John Roberts.

Three convicts, James Richards, John Nott and William Markes, were buried.

Tuesday, 13th July

Phillip wrote to Grenville. He referred to the letter written by Gren¬ville on the 24th of December 1789 and to the arrival of the second Acct.

“. . . The enclosed return will show the state of the convicts landed from those ships, and the numbers that died on the passage. I will not, sir, dwell on the scene of misery which the hospitals and sickl!’lIl, exhibited when those people were landed, but it would be a want of ,hl\ y not to say that it was occasioned by the contractors having crowded Ifill many on board those ships, and from their being too much con(inl’d during the passage. The convicts having the liberty of the deck dependrd on the agent and on the masters of the ships; the agent died on Ilif passage, and the masters say it was granted so far as was consiSl!’l1t with their own safety, and that many of the convicts were sick when At’1I1 from the hulks.

“I believe, sir, while the masters of the transports think their Clwn safety depends on admitting few convicts on deck at a time, and mCl’1 of them with irons on, which prevent any kind of exercise, numbt’n must always perish on so long a voyage, and many of those now received are in such a situation from old ‘complaints, and so emaciflll’d from what they have suffered on the voyage, that they never will hI capable of any labour.       .

“As I.had no vessel to carry provisions to Norfolk Island, the Lady Juliana was cleared, and carpenters sent to refit her for that purpo’t, but finding that the necessary repairs rendered it uncertain in what timr that ship could be got ready, I have discharged her from Governmenl employ; and the Justinian and Surprize will be sent on that servicr I after landing the necessary stores and provisions, they will proceed 10 China according to their contract with the East India Company. I shnll send some female convicts by these ships, and when the relief is sent 10 the island a proportion of male convicts shall accompany them.

“The preparations directed to be made. . . for one thousand morc convicts shall be attended to, but the building of stores and barracks will find full employment for the few artificers in this settlement for somc months; and the number of sick will employ all our carpenters for somc’ time in procuring them shelter.

“By the surgeon’s returns of this day there are 488 under medienl treatment; when the ships arrived we had not fifty people sick in lht” colony.”

The return showed:¬”Ship.

Neptune. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . Died on their passage…………………….

Surprize               . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

                Died …………………………………..




                Died      ………..

Males. Females.




Embarked’ ………………………………….

                Died before leavingEngland. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Sailed. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Number returned from the ships previous to their leavingEngland:¬

Neptune. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

                Surprize               2

                Scarboro’              . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6

Convicts received from the Guardian on board the different ships at theCape:¬

Neptune Scarboro’



Three convicts, Henry Parmont, William Basset and Huser Brewe alias Bereugh, were buried.

Males. Females.

424         78

147         II

256         ..

36           “

Wednesday, 14th July

Phillip wrote two letters to Grenville. In one he referred to the personnel who had been employed in the colony in the public service. These were Henry Brewer, Henry Edward Dodd, Thomas Freeman, Zachariah Clark, William Broughton, Walter Brody, John Irving and Roger Morley, “who you are pleased to say shall be recommended for a suitable compensation, if brought forward in my contingent account”. In the other he again acknowledged Grenville’s despatch of the 24th of December 1789. He discussed the reorganization of the Marines and the administration ofNorfolk Island. He wrote: “I presume the Admiralty will replace the Sirius, and one or two small vessels are much wanted; they will be useful on many occasions, and give me a necessary knowledge of the coast between this harbour and theSouth Cape. From what I saw when I came on the coast in the Supply, I make no doubt but that several good harbours will be found, and it would, sir, be a very unpleasant circumstance, after being settled on the coast for such a length of time,. to have those harbours first made known by ships of a foreign nation. The circumstances which prevented the Sirius or Supply from having been employed on this service have been pointed out in my former letters. If the small vessels are sent out in frame, shipwl’lMIII’ must be sent out in them; and I see no reason why they rony 1111\ make the voyage; they should be coppered, and I have written to 1111′ Admiralty for that purpose.”

William Field and Elizabeth Robinson were married in the pl’l.’!lr II I I of Patrick Burn and Sarah Gregory.

John Cook and John Jones, convicts, were buried.

Thursday, 15th July

                No extant record.

Friday, 16th July

Two convicts named David Morris and Andrew Shillinsworth wc II’ buried.

Saturday, 17th July

Phillip wrote again to Grenville.


Having answered all the letters with which you have honored mt. I shall once more advert to the state of this settlement, in order to give, as fully as is in my power, the information required as to Ih(‘ time in which I suppose the colony may be able to support itself withoul any further supplies from Great Britain.

“My letters will, sir, inform you of the stores and provisions we hAvt received by the different ships and of the miserable state in which I hI’ convicts’ were landed. To mark the time it may be supposed the colony will be able to support itself it will be necessary to point out those circumstances which may advance or retard that period. It will depend on the numbers employed in agriculture, who by this labour arc to provide for those who make no provision for themselves; those OI’C the civil and military, those who are employed in buildings and othcr necessary works, the aged, and others who have been sent out incapable of providing for themselves, and the women and children. These people form . . . of the whole number in the settlement, and are the many who arc to be provided for by the few. I do not reckon on the little labour which may be got from the women, tho’ some are employed in lhc fields, and their numbers will be increased, as the greatest part will always find employment in making their own and the men’s cloathing, and in the necessary attention to their children. The ground which tlw military may cultivate will be for their own convenience, and nothing from that quarter or from the officers in the civil department can be cxpected to be brought into the publick account. The providing houses and barracks for the additional number of officers and soldiers, rebuilding those tempo(ary ones which were erected on our first arrival, and which must be done in the course of another year, as well as building more stone houses and huts for the convicts as they arrive, will employ a con­8iderable number of people; and works of this kind will always be carrying on. Temporary buildings, when we first landed, were absolutely necessary; bUt they should be avoided in future, as after three or four years the whole work is to be begun again; and the want of lime greatly increases the labour in building with bricks, as we are obliged lO increase the thickness of the walls, and cannot carry them to any height; at the same time if any heavy rains fall before they are covered in they are considerably damaged.

“The inclosed return will show in what manner the convicts are employed at present, and I have increased the number of those employed in clearing the land for cultivation, as far as it will be possible to dp it before next January, except by convalescents, from whom little labour can be expected.

“Experience, sir, has taught me how difficult it is to make men industrious who have passed their lives in habits of vice and indolence. In some cases it has been found impossible; neither kindness nor severity have had any effect; and tho’ I can say that the convicts in general behave well, there are many who dread punishment less than they fear labour; and those who have not been brought up to hard work, which are by far the greatest part, bear it badly. They shrink from it the moment the eye of the overseer is turned from them. “The public farm at Rose Hill goes on well, but the loss of the Guardian, which obliged me to send many of the best men to Norfolk Island, and the little labour which could be drawn from those who remained, when on so reduced a ration, has prevented more than acres of wheat, and      acres of barley being sowed this year. About         Bushels of wheat and barley remain from our last year’s crop, and I hope that next year a very considerable quantity of ground will be sown; but, sir, this settlement has never had more than one person to superintend the clearing and cultivating ground for the public benefit or who has ever been the means of bringing a single bushel of grain into the public granary. One or two others have been so employed for a short time, but removed as wanting either industry or probity; and should the person who has at present the entire management of all the convicts employed in clearing 111111 cultivating the land be lost, there is not anyone in the settlement In replace him. Of the five superintendants sent out one only is a farmer. When he gets his health he will make a very useful man.

“I do not wish for many farmers to be sent out as superintends for few farmers will be found equal to the charge of a considerable number of convicts; but if two good men could be found, who, as well as being good husbandmen, had sufficient spirit to discharge the trust which must be reposed in them, they will be of great use.

They will be necessary as the number of convicts increase, and then more so as the person who at present has that charge will not settle in the country. It was supposed that a sufficient number of good farmers might have been found amongst the convicts to have superintended the labours of the rest; and men have been found who answer the purpose of preventing their straggling from their work, but none of them are equal to the charge of directing the labour of a number of convicts, with whom most of them are linked by crimes they would not wish to have brought forward, and very few of the convicts have been found to be good farmers.

“You will, sir, from what I have said, see how impossible it is for me to detach a body of convicts to any distance, as they must have II sufficient person to superintend and direct their labours, and a storekeeper to be charged with their provisions; nor do I at this moment see any necessity for it. The land at Rose Hill is very good, and in every respect well calculated for arable and pasture ground, though certainly loaded with timber, the removal of which requires great labour and time; but it is the same with the whole country as far as I have seen, particular spots excepted, and which, as they cannot at present be cultivated by us, for we cannot make detachments of convict”. I proposed giving to the first settlers who came out, . . . and if settlers should arrive before I receive any further directions on this head, and they should wish to be placed in such distant and separate farms, I presume complying with this request will not be deemed an imprope’r deviation from my instructions.

“The consequence of a failure of a crop, when we no longer depend on any supplies from Great Britain, will be obvious, and to guard against which is one reason for my being so desirous of having a few settlers, and to whom, as the first settlers, I think every possible encouragement should be given. In them I should have some resource; and amongst them proper people might be found to act in different capacities, at little or no expence to Government, for as the number of convicts and others increase civil magistrates, &c., will be necessary.

“The fixing the first settlers in townships will, I fear, prevent that increase of live stock which would be raised in farms at a distance from a great body of people, where the stock will be less liable to suffer from the depredations which may be expected from the soldier and the convict, and against which there is no effectual security. The convicts, if they Arc to be employed by the settlers, or those people they may bring with them, will be more industrious, and lay under less temptation to be dishonest, if living only twenty or thirty together, and detection will be easier.

“I wish, sir, to point out the great difference between a settlement formed as this is and one formed by farmers and emigrants who have been used to labour, and who reap the fruits of their own industry. Amongst the latter few are idle or useless, and they feel themselves interested in their different employments. On the contrary, amongst the convicts we have few who are inclined to be industrious, or who feel themselves anyways interested in the advantages which are to accrue from their labours, and we have many who are helpless and a deadweight on the settlement. Many of those helpless wretches who were sent out in the first ships are dead, and the numbers of those who

remained are now considerably increased. I will, sir, insert an extract from the surgeon’s report, who I directed to examine these people.

“‘After a careful examination of the convicts, I find upwards of one hundred who must ever be a burden to the settlement, not being able to do any kind of labour, from old age and chronical diseases of long standing. Amongst the females there is one who has lost the use of her limbs upwards of three years, and amongst the males two who are perfect idiots.’

“Such are the people sent from the different gaols and from the hulks, where it is said the healthy and the artificers are retained. The sending out the disordered and helpless clears the gaols, and may ease the parishes from which they are sent; but, sir, it is obvious that this settlement, instead of being a colony which is to support itself, will, if the practice is continued, remain for years a burthen to the mother country. The desire of giving you a full and clear information on this head has made me enter into this detail. Of the nine hundred and thirty males sent out by the last ships, two hundred and sixty-one died on board, and fifty have died since landing. The number of sick this day is four hundred and fifty; and many who are not reckoned as sick have barely strength to attend to themselves. Such is our present state; and when the last ships arrived we had not sixty people’ 81dl

in the colony. But, sir, I hope the many untoward circumstances which the colony has hitherto met with are now done away; and I flatter myself that after two years from this time we shall not want any further supply of flour. At the same time, I beg to be understood that vonOl1l accidents may render a supply necessary after that time. How IOIl~ II regular supply of beef and pork will be necessary depends 0n how the quantity of live stock which may be introduced into the settlement,

and of its increase, of which I can form no judgment. The livestock with which we first landed was very inconsiderable, and has been accounted for in former letters. We have not at present any black sindl in the settlement, what swine remained soon after we landed having been sent toNorfolk Islandor distributed amongst the convicts.

“Pease and such articles as formed the established ration will of course be expected by the regiment and the Civil Department; 11111 flour, beef, and pork are the only species yet received. It was supposed some saving might have been made by the fish which would have been caught, but I have always found that the established ration was expected while the store was able to furnish it.

“I am laying out a town at Rose Hill, in which the principal Settlement will be occupied by the convicts; the huts are building at the distance of one hundred feet from each other, and each hut is to contain 10 convicts; in these huts they would live more comfortable than they could possibly do if numbers were confined together in large building and having good gardens which they cultivate, and frequently having it in their power to exchange vegetables for little necessaries which the stores do not furnish, makes them begin to feel the benefits they may draw from their industry. The huts now building are for the convicts who came out last, and they will form a street of one mile in length

and two hundred feet in breadth. Some little inconveniencies attends the convicts being so much dispersed, but the being indulged with having their own gardens is a spur to industry, which they would not have if employed in a publick garden, tho’ intirely for their own benefit, OM

they never seemed to think it was their own; and I do not find that many of these people who have now been some months in huts, and consequently more at liberty than they would be if numbers were confined together, have abused the confidence placed in them; when they have, it has been only by robbing a garden.

“The convicts who will occupy the huts now building will be removed in a few years to cultivate lands at a distance, and I should suppose that settlers will hereafter be glad to build on the ground, which

wiII remain the property of the Crown, as well as all the lands to a certain distance round the settlement, and increase in its value.

“Here, sir, in consequence of what is said in the letter which accom­panied the; directions for granting lands, I shall take the liberty of offering to your consideration whether it would not be to the advantage of the Crown, and in nowise distressing to those to whom lands may be granted, if, in the room of the fine of one shilling to be paid for every fifty acres of land, a small proportion of grain was to be paid to the Crown, after the expiration of ten or fifteen years, was to be paid for every acre of grain sown.

“The quantity being small would not, I apprehend, be felt by the cultivator of lands not subject to any other tythe, and would hereafter furnish a very considerable quantity of grain for the service of the troops.

“There may be objections to a fine of this nature which I do not see, and I only give an opinion on a matter with which I am so little acquainted, as being desired to point out any regulation which might appear to me as tending to the advantages of the colony, and which will, I presume, hereafter support its garrison.

“It now only remains for me to assure you, sir, that everything which is possible shall be done to render supplies of provisions from England no longer necessary, and to make this colony answer the intentions of Government, in which I feel myself so much interested, and which has ever been the guide of my conduct, independent of every other consideration.”

Phillip enclosed returns of the convicts employed at Sydney Cove and Rosehill.

The Governor wrote to Stephens and acknowledged Stephens’ letters of the 28th of August 1789. He referred to the loss of the Sirius, and repeated his request for a ship and for two small vessels.

Philip Schaffer wrote a letter toNepeanfrom RosehiII. This letter was written in German and has been translated:

“Honoured Sir,

I have most humbly to inform your Excellency that we arrived safely in Port Jackson on the 5th July, and I have had the honour of meeting your brother, Capt. Nepean, who is in the best of health.

“Our voyage fromEnglandto theCape of Good Hopewas tolerable, but on the 23rd Dec. 1789 the ship came upon a great island of ice at 4 or 45 degrees South. Capt. Riou put two boats out in order to investigate it. These two boats were forced to make haste to return to the ship and be hoisted on board on account of a strong wind. It rained and the weather closed in. An hour later the ship ran on to the same ice and was helpless, lost her rudder and sprang a leak. The master inspected her closely and declared her lost. So it was that 50 men left the ship safely at 12 noon, Friday December 25th, and the jolly boat with 7 or 8 men with the Doctor was stove in and sent to the bottom beside the ship. It was very cold and my poor innocent child did not know what to do for fear of death at any moment, .and you may guess how I felt to see a child in such a state. But the Almighty and Great God held his hand over us and brought us safely ashore. On 22nd February we reached theCape of Good Hopeafter a voyage of nine weeks of suffering on the sea and the sadness and toil were

beyond description.        .

“Capt. Riou kept himself to his cabin for 24 hours until the people left him no peace to know what we should do, for we had pumped out 4 feet of water in 24 hours and the ship had 18 to 20 feet of water

in her and was [only] 4 feet [of water] lighter.

“Capt. Riou behaved like a savage for the whole 9 weeks he shouted and said he had nearly killed himself. He called me a fervent rascal and ill-treated me. My poor child had to stand all night in water, and had to serve the men with liquor when they rested from the pumps and do other work as well.

“As she is very delicate, Governor Phillip took her in in order to help her, and she has the honour of eating at his table until I am better settled.

“Since leavingEnglandI received only half my daughter’s allowance of liquor, and left the rest in store in order to have some in Port Jackson, which Capt. Riou allowed. From the 22nd Feb. 1790 till the 28th March at the Cape of Good Hope I was sick and received no support, no provisions and nothing, and since the ship the Lady Juliana left theCape, I got no liquor on the whole passage to Port Jackson although full King’s allowance was allowed on the voyage which is very hard. Had I not met with good friends I should have been in want.

“My chest. . . went overboard, so that my poor child and I were left with nothing but our lives, and had to go ashore at theCapewithout shoes and hats, with swollen legs and sick, and without any help from  Capt. Riou. So it was that if I had not had good friends among gentle­ men I could well have suffered the greatest need, for Capt. Riou did nothing for us.

“I beg Your Excellency most humbly to assist me to make good my losses and the King’s allowance that stands to my credit.

“Capt. Riou never let one speak openly with him, and handled e’veryone worse than convicts. Everyone on board the ship and at theCape of Good Hopesaid that his like must no longer. . . .

“I therefore address myself to Your Excellency and humbly beg you to help me or to send a couple. . . to his Excellency Gov. Phillip, which would be :i comfort.”

William Ayres and Mary Potton were married in the presence of William Bransley and Sarah

McCormick. Joseph Herbert, a convict, was buried.

Sunday, 18th July

Charles Baughan, the son of John and Mary Baughan, convicts, was christened.

Four convicts and a convict’s child were buried. The convicts were Thomas Rowell, Benjamin Smith, Thomas Edwards and William Hughes; the child was Ann Higgins.

Monday, 19th July

“The Justinian was cleared of her cargo, excepting about five hundred casks of provisions, which were not to be taken out until she arrived atNorfolk Island.” (Collins)

Joseph Soffley, Charles Keeling and Lazarus Camp, convicts, were buried.

Tuesday, 20th July

John Peter Shapcote appeared before the Judge Advocate and the Reverend Richard Johnston and “claimed Administration of the Estate of his late Father, Mr John Shapcote, a Lieutenant in His Majesty’s Navy, who died on board the Neptune Transport, at Sea, intestate”. Shapcote identified himself and swore that he would administer the estate properly. He entered into a bond for eighty pounds, with Mr White and John Palmer as sureties. The magistrates directed him to bring an account of his administration before them on Saturday, the ~~~ .

Shapcote’s bond was marked “There is not any Stamped Paper in the Colony.”

Peter Sampson and Sarah Taylor were married, in the presence of

William Howell and Elenor McDonald.

John Coope, a convict, was buried.

Wednesday, 21St July

Thomas Woobe, a convict, was buried.

Thursday, 22nd July

Daniel Wright, a convict, was buried.

James Ferguson sat up late writing to his father.

Friday, 23rd July

A return of convicts employed at Port Jackson and Rosehill WIIR completed. This was enclosed in Phillip’s letter to Grenville of the 17th of July. Southwell wrote aboUt an accident on the harbour: “Having long been without a boat (which by-the-bye is cruel), we are at times glad to meet with a conveyance up to Sydney Cove. How pleasant and shininH was the day when our much-esteemed and sadly-regretted companion and messmate, Mr Jno. [James]Ferguson, as we wanted provision, took the opport. of a boat which had been down the harbour fishing I He also had with him Jno. Bates (a marine), a man who from his. Good conduct had deservedly become a favorite with us; and I reflect with peculiar complacency that at my last seeing him I had in the course of express’g my satisfaction of his behaviour signified my determination of repeating my good opinion where it might be of service. His character lay under a stigma; the charge could never be proved, tho’ investigated by the process of a severe examinat. He steadily denied it. We found him strictly honest, nor was he that I find ever till then suspected. He was regularly acquited, but it lay heavy on his mind, and seemed to bow it down. He was ever industrious, but seldom cheerful. . . . having

breakfasted here, these two got into a little flatbottomed boat originally calculated for shuting in shoal water (call’ by us a pont). Besides these were two marines who had been trying their luck all night, and called in here, as we had given them leave (for they were good lads) any time to do. They had not got above one 3d of the way, being a short mile below p’t Bradley, and nearly in the mid-streme, when a great whale app’d (for the first time since we have been here) in the harbour, spout.

ing and dashing about in their usual manner. This monstrous creature, either thro’ being mischievous or playful, no sooner espied the boat than he pursued and never left her till he had overturned and sent her to the bottom. For more than ten minUtes were these unfortunes a prey to inexpressible anguish and horror. At first, in rising, he haff filled the b’, and with their hands against the whale did they bear the boat off. In vain they thro’ out their hats, the bags for our provis’s, and

the fish they had caught, in hopes to satisfy him or turn his attention. It seemed bent on their distruction, and with one sudden and tre­ mendous gamboll consigned three of their number to their hapless fate IInd an endless eternity. Neither of those I’ve ment’d by name could swim; the survivor’s comrade could, even the best, but thro’ being heavily claQ went down, after having several times complained of his inability to hold up, the other affect’y encour’ing him, but in vain; they Were friends, and greatly attached.

“One gained the rocks a small dist. belowRoseBay, with much diffi’y, and returning to the Look-out related this afflicting circumstance. The poor fellow was sadly affected, and indeed disordered.” Scott wrote of the tragedy: “The Punt or Small Boat which they ware in was Attacked by a Wheale (that came in to the Harbour,) and beat her All to piceses and three of the Men Drownded. Viz Mr Ferguson, Mateshipman, John Bates and Thos Harp Marines:-Jn Wilkins Marine was Saved bySwiming Up Wards of A Mile. He Got Safe on theSouthShore. and prosseeded to the Look Out House With the Disagreeable News of Such a Sad Catastrophey. Wilkins Relates that the Endavoured to pull from the Whale every Way the Could Devise but he Still contineued to follow the punt. They had several Large fish in the punt Which they throughd over board thinking that the fish would Cause him to Lave the Boat but to no Effect. He further sease that the Boat was twise on his Back and lastly that he tost it Several Yards Up in the are, Which Broak it all to pieces. Wilkens Says that after the boat Was Stove that he was on the back of the Whale for some time, before he attempted to make for the Shore.”

In a return of marines on the 24th of July,Campbellwrote: “I

private died 23rd July.”

Joseph Ward, Richard Horthorne and Thomas Morris, convicts, were


Saturday, 24th July

Wilkins with “such little assistance as could here be given him. . . was able to return to camp in a boat which came down with two officers, the masters of these unlucky soldiers grown uneasy by their unusuall stay.” (Southwell)

The Governor added a postscript to his letter of the 17th of July to Stephens. “I am this moment informed of the following accident:­A boat in its return from fishing, was pursued and overset by a whale, by which accident Mr John Ferguson, midshipman, and two marines were drowned.”

Phillip wrote toNepean.


SYDNEYCOVE 1789-179<>



As the iron mills sent out for the purpose of grinding wheat are’ easily rendered useless, and destroyed, and will require great labor to grind corn for a considerable number of people, wind-mills will be’ wanted, and for the sending out of which I am to request that. you, sir, will take the necessary steps, if it is approved of by Mr Secretary Grenville, to whom I have written on the subject.

“As we have not any good millwright in the colQny, I presume some convicts who have been brought up in that branch might be procured. A miller will be necessary, and as he will have a trust reposed in him he should not be a convict.

“No butter, oil, or pease have been received for the use of the colony. At present there are not any spirits in the settlement, to continue which for three years a promise was made to the marines when they were embarked; nor will there be any for the officers of the Civil Depart

ment until sent out; if intended to be continued. . . .”

The Governor also wrote to the Commissioners of the Navy. Captaw.Campbell completed a return of the marine detachment and

Captain Nicholas Nepean a return of theNew South Walescorps.


“Captains:-Nicholas Nepean, William Hill. Lieutenants:-Sydney, John McArthur, Edward

John Townson.

Ensign:-John Thomas Prentice.

Surgeon’s Mate:-John Harris.

Serjeants :-F our.

Corporals :-Four.

Drummers :-Four.

Privates:- Thirty-three.

Three privates had died since October 22nd, 1789.

One drummer and six privates had deserted.”

Abbott; Rose Hill,

These returns were enclosed with Phillip’s letter to Grenville of the 14th of July.

A female convict who arrived in the Lady Juliana wrote a letter, extracts from which were later published in the Morning Chronicle. “We arrived here safe after a long voyage, in very good health, thanks to our good agent, on board, and the gentleman in England who sent us out, as we had everything that we could expect from them, and all our

provisions were good. We landed here 223 women and twelve children;

only three women died, and one child. Five or six were born on board the ship; they had great care taken of them, and baby linen and every necessary for them were ready made to be put on. The greatest part of the wom;n were immediately sent toNorfolk Island, a place about 100 miles from here, but very bad for shipping; there is no place to land at but in very fine weather. The Sirius, man-of-war, was lost at this place about six or seven months ago, when she carried some men and women from here. She landed them all safe, but lost almost all their provisions. This place was in a very starving condition before we arrived, and on allowance of only 2 lb. of flour and 2 lb. of pork for each man for a week, and these were almost starved, and could not work but three hours in the day; they had no heart, and the ground won’t grow anything, only in spots here and there. There is a place called Rose Hill, about twenty miles from this, where, they say, there are four cornfields, but it does not grow much wheat; we ~re now much in want of almost everything; we have hardly any cloaths; but since the Scarborough, Neptune, and Surprize arrived we have had a blanket and a rug given us, and we hope to have some cloaths, as the Justinian, a ship that came from London with provisions, is bringing some cloth :Jnd linen, and we are to make the cloaths. Ohl if you had but seen the shocking sight of the poor creatures that came out in the three ships it would make your heart bleed; they were almost dead, very few could stand, and they were obliged to fling them as you would goods, and hoist them out of the ships, they were so feeble; and they died ten or twelve of a day when they first landed; but some of them are getting better. There died in their way on board the Neptune, 183 men and 12 women, and in theScarborough, 67 men, and in the Surprizc, 85. They were not so long as we were in coming here, but’they were confined, and had bad victuals and stinking water. The Governor was very angry, and scolded the captains a great deal, and, I heard, intended to write toLondonabout it, for I heard him say it was murdering them. It, to be sure, was a melancholy sight. What a difference between us and them. God bless our good agent (I don’t mean the captain). We had no reason to complain against him for anything; all our provisions and cloaths were good. I don’t think I ever shall get away from this place to come again to see you without an order from England, for some of the men’s times were out, and they went and spoke to the Governor of it, and told him that they would not work. He told them he could not send them home without orders from London, and if they would not work they should have nothing to eat, so they almost all went again to work, except ten, who were saucy, and the Governor ordered them a good flogging; but all that came from London in the First Fleet time will be out in less than two year’s time. I hope YOll will try to get an order for me, that I may once more see you all.”

John Brewin and William Ranson, convicts, and a marine of lheNew South Walescorps named Joseph Stephens were buried.

Sunday, 25th July

Easty wrote that “the Lady Julianne Saild from this place forNorfolkandChinaand from there toEngland”.

Nicol wrote: “The days flew on eagle’s wings, for we dreaded the time of separation, which at length arrived. It was not without the aid of the Military we were brought on board. I offered to lose my wages, but we were short of hands. . . . The captain could not spare a man, and requested the aid of the Governor. I was thus forced to leave Sarah, but we exchanged faith; she promised to remain true, and I promised to return when her time was expired, and bring her back toEngland. I wished to have stolen her away, but this was impossible, the convicts were so strictly guarded by the marines. . . . With a heavy heart I bade adieu to Port Jackson.”

Nicol added: “There was an old female convict, her hair quite grey with age, bu face wrinkled, who was suckling a child she had born in the colony: ‘Every one went to see her, and I among the rest. It was a strange sight, her hair was quite white. Her fecundity was ascribed to the sweet tea.”

John Palmer wrote a letter to Phillip Stephens and signed a return of the people victualled inNew SOUth Walesand atNorfolk Island. The numbers respectively were 1,715 and 524. The return was enclosed in the letter of the 24th of July from Phillip toNepean.

Four convicts were buried. They were Richard Hicks, Richard Litteale, Robert Murrel and William Faircloth.


Monday, 26th July

                Peter John Shapcote swore the accounts of his father’s estate before

the Judge Advocate.

Captain William Hill wrote to Mr Wathen. In this he repeated a long section of a letter he had written to Mr Wilberforce. “We left theCapethe 29th of April, and anchored in this beautiful harbour the 26th of June. Would I could draw an eternal shade over the remembrance of this miserable part of our voyage-miserable, not so much in itself, as rendered so by the villany, oppression, and shameful peculation of the masters of two of the transports. The bark I was on board of was, Indeed, unfit, from her make and size, to be sent so great a distance; if it blew but the most trifling gale she was lost in the waters, of which she shipped so much, that, from the Cape, the unhappy wretches, the convicts, were considerably above their waists in water, and the men of my company, whose berths were not so far forward, were neady up to the middles. In this situation they were obliged, for the safety of the ship, to be pen’d down; but when the gales abated no means were lIsed to purify the air by fumigations, no vinegar was applied to rectify the nauseous steams issuing from their miserable dungeon. Humanity shudders to think that of nine hundred male convicts embarked in this fleet, three hundred and seventy are already dead, and four hundred and fifty are landed sick and so emaciated and helpless that very few, if any of them, can be saved by care or medicine, so that the sooner it pleases God to remove them the better it will be for this colony, which is not in a situation to bear any burthen, as I imagine the medicine­ chest to be nearly exhausted, and provisions are a scarce article. The irons used upon these unhappy wretches were barbarous. The con­tractors had been in the Guinea trade, and had pUt on board the same shackles used by them in that trade, which are made with a short bolt, instead of chains that drop between the legs and fasten with a bandage about the waist, like those at the different gaols; these bolts were not more than three-quarters of a foot in length, so that they could not extend either leg from the other more than an inch or two at most; thus fettered, it was impossible for them to move bUt at the risk of both legs being broken. Inactivity at sea is a sure bane, as it invites the scurvy equal to, if not more than, salt provisions; to this they were consigned, as well as a miserable pittance of provisions, altho’ the allowance by Government is ample; even when attacked by disease their situations were not altered, neither had they any comforts admin­istered. The slave trade is merciful compared with what I have seen in this fleet; in that it is the interests of the masters to preserve the healths and lives of their captives, they having a joint benefit with the owners; in this, the more they can withhold from the unhappy wretches the more provisions they have to dispose of at a foreign market, and the earlier in the voyage they die the longer they can draw the deceased’s allowance to themselves; for I fear few of them are honest enough to make a just return of the dates of their deaths to their employers. It, therefore, highly concerns Government to lodge, in future, a controlling power in each ship over these low-lifed, barbarous masters, to keep them honest, instead of giving it to one man (an agent) who can only see what is going forward in his ship. As there will be, generally, officers of the Navy coming out, men disinterested and, it is to be hoped, possessing humanity, and that point of honour which is expected from the profession, that power can nowhere be better lodged than in them.

My feelings never have been so wounded as in this voyage, so much so, that I never shall recover my accustomed vivacity and spirits; and had I been empowered, it would have been the most grateful task of my life to have prevented so many of my fellow-creatures so much misery and death.

“It is now our winter season, and had I superior abilities to any man that ever wrote it would be impossible for me to convey to your mind a just idea of this beautiful heavenly clime. Suffer your imagination to enter the regions of fiction, and let fancy in her liveliest moment paint an elysium, it will fall far short of this delightful weather. It is well we have something to keep up our spirits, everything else but climate is unpromising, and did the gloomy months prevail here as inEngland,

it is more than probable that the next reinforcement, on arrival, would find a desolated colony. At this moment I am at a loss how to guide my pen; were it honourable, I surely would put the present state of this colony in more than a favourable point of view, because a true and just narration may shew an inefficacy in the government of this isle, may evince that the measures pursued here are on too contracted a principle, and will never answer to the means and intentions of the British Govern­

ment; and. I am well persuaded, nothing draws on persecution by those in power sooner than the speaking of disagreeable truths, ’tis therefore I would not be particular in stating facts had you not a claim on me for truth. I look upon it as unpardonable, not having a greater knowledge of the country, the same pains that have been taken to explore would, if rightly planned, have been successful. A party is sent out with a few days’ provisions on their backs, perhaps as much as they

can well carry; this, with other impediments, prevents them from getting over much ground, and they consequently are obliged to return with the knowledge only of a few miles of country; yet there are two or three colts and their dams in the colony that would be the better for gentle work, and to burthen them but slightly with provisions would be a means of penetrating twenty times as far as we already have; but effectually to do so, depots should have been formed soon after Governor Phillip’s

arrival, which, had he placed progressively as he advanced on discovery, he might by this period have transmitted toEnglandan ample know­ ledge of a great part of this territory.

“I have been once kangooroo-shooting, and lay in the woods for that purpose; the ground they generally feed on is, apparently, very fine, and not quite so woody, and much to be preferred to that which surrounds our settlement, which is little better than a sandy desert. There can b~ no doubt that some of this immense tract be free from wood, and has a diversity of soil and country equal to any; yet what we have nlready seen, even the best, such as the settlement at Rose Hill, that maiden land, will not produce the quantity that is sown after the first year without great quantities of manure, of which all the stock that is in the colony would not make so much as is covenanted to be put on an estate in England of thirty pounds annual value. I have heard (and I beg to remark it only as hearsay, being no politician) that above half a million has been expended already in planting and supporting this colony, and must lament that there are no means used, or even thought of, to remove the burthen from my native country. Had half that sum been laid out in the purchase of cattle this place had now been tenable, and we should have wanted very little, if any, assistance from the British Government; we might by this time have established a market, and improv”ed the lands unincumbered with timber, by manure and culture; as it is, two or three thousand souls are continued to be fed with salt rations, flour, and every other necessary provisions from England, neither can it be otherwise till other steps are taken, and even then it will require great time. That is a melancholy truth, and galls on reflection, that so many should be subsisted without making the smallest return, or even a possibility of it while the same measures are pursued by our chief. All here, the officer, soldier, sailor, and convict, have the same ration allowed by the Governor; and to enter no farther into the detail of our miserable existence, I will give you a just account how I am situated, which is preferable to many by my being second captain in the regiment, consequently entitled to a second choice of quarters. Here I am, living in a miserable thatched hut, without kitchen, without a garden, with an acrimonious blood by my having been nearly six months at sea, and tho’ little better than a leper, obliged to live on a scanty pittance of salt provision, without a vegetable, except when a good-natured neighbour robs his own stomach in compassion to me; not a mouthful of fresh meat to be obtained, and if, rarely, such a thing should present itself, not to be purchased but at an exorbitant price (eighteen pence per Ib). Fish is by no means plenty, at least, they are not caught in abundance-not enough to supply the sick; but, should one be offered for sale, ’tis by far too dear for an officer’s pocket. Tho’ I have been here so little time, yet, when my salt ration has been set before me unaccompanied by either vegetable, vinegar, or other thing to render it palatable or wholesome, I have felt the con­tention between hunger, &c., as described by Sterne of the pannicred ass. A soldier should endure all hardships chearfully when the servict’ requires it, but when they are occasioned by ignorance, incompetency, injustice, or oppression, he has a right to complain. With a wish to prt’. serve my health as much as possible from the inroads of scurvy, nnd

counteract the effects of the diabolical morsel I am daily obliged to eAl, I purchased some wine, being a vegetable juice, and obtained it as 1\ favour-port wine at forty shillings the dozen, and sherry fifty. I had also the offer, a few days ago, of three small pigs, very poor, and not old enough for roasters; my mouth literally watered at the sight of thcm, but the price of fifteen shillings each was too great for my purse; I therefore had the resolution to withstand the powers of appetite, which

were very acute. Soap is from three to four shillings the pound; blld Irish salt butter, eighteen pence; sugar, two shillings; flour, when any can be bought, a shilling; teas exorbitantly dear. S.o that from a principlt’ of saving, and induced by a laudable motive (I hope), I have journeyed thus far to live miserably and yet to spend every farthing of my income, which would have supported me very comfortably, if not genteely, illEngland. InAmericathe officers and settlers had grants of land in

proportion to their rank; but those of the marines who are now hcre, and have borne every hardship, have no such thing, neither is there an intention of giving each their portion. In my humble opinion nothing can be more impolitic. Industry is the first essential to the welfare of any kingdom, consequently all measures that are adopted to promole: it are highly commendable; and I am well persuaded Britain will not thank our Governor for acting, not only on a mean, but on an unstable ~, to the great disquiet of every individual in the colony, and the certainty of bringing an endless burthen on the mothcr country. It rests with you, sir, to give much or little credit to the:

public accounts of this place; you will know that many in a public character, impulsed, perhaps, by vanity, or other hobby horsical frailties, perhaps the love of governing, have been led, first to deceive them. selves, and then impose error on the world. Tho’ it may appear to you I write animated, I hope you will consider I write as an honest man; he that adds ought, or diminishes ought, in narrative, can have no pretensions to the gentleman. I have been misled in the opinion of the land at Rose Hill, and here beg to rectify the mistake. It produces the first year nearly sevenfold, the second year not so much, and the third year rather better than the seed sown; afterwards, by sowing a bushell you may probably reap a quart or two. The natives continue to shun us. I have not yet seen one, except a boy and girl we have in the colony, who begin to speak our language, and have no wish to leave us. It must be admitted there are now great obstacles 10 our establishing an intercourse with them; but were we uniform in our plans, and earnest in our wishes to accomplish it, ’tis very practicable. Here is an ample field for the botanist or naturalist, the most beautiful shrubs, and the greatest variety of any in the world. The plumage of the birds is uncommonly beautiful, some of which (as I am informed) are a new species; or rather nondescripts, such as the emu, having no wings, but they run very fast. Seven officers have dined abundantly off the sidesman or sidebone of this creature, which cut up IInd was in appearance like a loin of veal, such is its immense size.”

Phillip wrote to Sir Joseph Banks.

                “My Dear Sir,

I am favored with your letters and receive them as marks of a confidence and friendship, which I shall always be happy in cultivating. You will know the situation in which the I ustinian leaves us, from Mr Nepean; and you will, before this can reach you, have heard of the accident the Guardian met with; it has been a fatal one to this Colony by its consequences, for it has thrown us back almost to where we were a. few months after landing. Still my obligations to Sir Joseph Banks for his friendly intentions are the same, and he will I hope persevere in sending out a Gardener. King will call on you by my desire. He will tell you what a general despondency took place after the loss of the Sirius, and he will give you a Copy of the Chart of the three Harbours. The Hawkesbury will I hope prove a valuable dis­covery, and I hope in the course of a few months to be able to give some little account of the Country farther inland.

“The Master of one of the Ships now here, tells me . that the Kangurroo I sent to Lord Sydney, was stowed away in the fore part of the Ship where he saw it laying on the Deck-no wonder that it was destroyed. Shortland promised me it should remain in the Cabin where it would have been dry, and if your seeds were taken no more care of, they could not be otherwise than spoiled. I will endeavor to collect what I can, but this is not the proper Season and Mr King’s departure was sudden and unexpected. I sent what I had by me that I thought were good, and a few seeds of two very very beautiful Trees. You have not mentioned receiving the plants I sent by the Master of the Sirius, who left the Ship at the Rio de Janiero. Amongst the few were the different kinds of the Ipecacuanha. They were numbered.. and what the faculty in that Country esteem the best was described as such.

“Rose Hill answers my expectations, tho’ the clearing the ground of Timber is not done without great labour. Indian Corn answers we’ll, and I hope next year to have a very considerable quantity in the Ground, this year we shall only have a few acres. If Mr Grenville or Nepenn mentions farmers to you, for I want two Good Men who are intelligent, and have spirit to take charge of a number of Convicts, be so kind as to give any assistance in your power to procure such. They will be an acquisition; but if not very good men, we shall be better withoUt them. You’ll excuse the trouble I wish to give you, and the liberty I take in desiring it, it is for the Colony.

Wedgwood has showed the world that our Welch Clay is capable of receiving an Eligant impression, and I return thanks for the Cup and Medallions. There is a better Clay in the Country and which

I have seen amongst the Natives-it will be found by us hereafter. “Our Native has left us, and that at a time whe appeared to be happy and contented. This too is unlucky for we have all the ceremony

to go over again with another and I think that Mans leaving us proves that nothing will make these people amends for the loss of their liberty.

The Girl who still remains says he went after a Woman he had often mentioned and who I had as often told him to bring to live with him.

“As the Iron Mills require great labour and are frequently out of Order, I have desired a Good Windmill or two to be sent out and then we. shall want an honest Miller.

“One of the Superintendants sent out says he has been used to the Cultivation of the flax and that he can dress it. He goes toNorfolk Islandfor that purpose and I hope he’ll succeed.

“You talk of sending toNew Zealandfor flax dressers. If I do it must be in anl:”pen Boat, for I have nothing else at present.

“I have about a thousand cutting of Vines now in the ground and have had a few grapes, and many as fine figs as ever I tasted in  SpainorPortugal. Still my Orange Trees want a Gardener, and all my endeavors to send good seeds for His Majesty’s Garden, withoUt one, will I fear prove fruitless. It is surprising to me how the Vines thrive and I am in hopes next year of having a Vineyard of five or six acres. Great effort will be made this year and I hope after all our disappointments, that two years more will fix this Colony beyond the reach of accidents from the Ice, tho’ I almost doubt holding out so long; for I find my health declines fast. I have however one satisfaction, the more exercise I take the better I am. My complaint is want of sleep, of which I sometimes dont get more than a few hours in many nights, and at times a severe pain in the Side.


“I shall send skulls by the Gorgon. The Midshipman shall be remembered when he arrives and I shall always be happy on receiving your Commands.

“I hope the Ladies in your family are well, and have the pleasure of hearing that our friendNepeanis better than he was when your letter was dated. His loss would be a loss indeed.

“You will receive some Clay by the Gorgon, for W edgwood. I think that is the least we can do for him. Hereafter we will search for black lead.

“Once more, My Dear Sir, let me thank you for your kind atten­tion to this Colony, which is all I attend to, or interest myself in at present. If it fails I shall fail with it, but of which I really have no apprehensions, and if any of my letters have been written in a doubtful stile, it would not be wondered could it be known how I have been harassed for full thirty months; with the loss of these ships and a hundred more disagremens than you would conceive possible to exist.

“Health and Pleasure await ’tis the wish of a sincere and much obliged friend

and Humble Servant.

A. Phillip.

“I have received Rose. She is to be soon Married, and to one of the best men in this place.” Nicol referred to this woman. “Upon our arrival, we found a pardon lying at Port Jackson, and a chest of excellent clothes sent by the Magistrates for her use in the voyage home. She lodged all the time I was there in the Governor’s house, and every day I took her allowance to her.”

Governor Phillip wrote to Lord Sydney.

“My Lord,

It was with great satisfaction that I heard by Your Lordship’s letter fromWeymouth, that His Majesty was happily recovered; and I very sincerely hope that you’ll continue to enjoy the confidence of a Soveriegn, you have so long and faithfully served, for many, very many years. The happy event of ;His Majesty’s recovery was celebrated in this Settlement with every mark of Loyalty and joy our situation admitted; and I after­wards received an Address on the occasion, which is forwarded to Mr Secretary Grenville, but the difference of opinions, which has from the begining made the Detachment of Marines doing duty in this Settle­ment unpleasant to themselves, and which has given me so much trouble, prevented unanimity even on this occasion; one Captain declined sign­ing the address and two young men followed his example, for which I never have heard any reason assigned, nor have I ever asked the question.

“It is with pleasure that I hear Mr Townshend has a Seat at the Admiralty, and I trouble Your Lordship with my Compliments on the occasion.

“While the Sirius remained, I should never have asked from the Admiralty any change in my situation, Commanding as a Private Captain, such of His Majesty’s Ships or Vessels as may be employed on this Station, tho’ the innovation in the Service by which I was sent out a Private Captain, with a Captain under me, subjected me to many inconveniences. At present as the Sirius is lost and must be replaced, I request of Lord Sydney, to submit to the consideration of Lord Chatham, whether the employing an Officer on a Service which renders the appointing of a Second Captain to that Ship necessary, and refusing at the same time to give the Commanding Officer a dis­

tinguishing Pendant, as is the established custom of the Service, is not injurious to the Character of that officer, as it points out the Service on which he is employed, as demanding something more than a Private Captain, to carry it on; and at the same time deems that Officer as ineligable for the rank which the custom of the Service has established on similar occasions. I cannot write to the Admiralty on the occasion, as having no reason to suppose so very extraordinary an innovation in

the Service will be continued, as it cannot possibly tend to any real advantage of His Majesty’s Service, and their Lordships must see that the Service cannot well be carried on by a private Captain, who may  at times find it necessary to visit different parts of the Coast, when he cannot do it in the ship of which he is the Captain; and his being on board any Vessel as a Passenger, must be attended with many in­ convenienC’_.

“I have deferred writing till I am prest for time as the Justinian is ready to Sail. Your Lordship will make my respectful Compliments acceptable to Lady Sydney. I am much obliged by your attention in

what was sent out in the Guardian, bUt Lord Sydney’s letters will always be the most acceptable proof of a friendship which it will ever by my wish to merit, being with great truth and esteem

“I do not trouble Your Lordship with any particulars respecting this Settlement, as my friendNepeancan give every information on that subject.”

There \Vere four weddings. James Saxelby was married to Sarah Dring; James Richard to Ann Evered; John Coen Walsh to Sarah Witlum; and Thomas Collins to Sarah Mills. William John Roberts, John Richardson, and one other person were the witnesses.

Tuesday, 27th July

TheScarboroughwas discharged from Government contract.

Southwell wrote to the Reverend W. Butler. He referred to the arrival of the ships and to the deaths of his brother officers. He added some details aboutNorfolk Islandand Port Jackson and of his own station on South Head.

“At Port Jackson, as I have formerly mentioned, our little settlem’t, called Rose Hill, is the most flourishing, and is intended to be the principal seat. Here is to be the chief town, and here they are planning out a church, a house for the Gov’r, principal officers, petty officers, &c., &c., &c. Down by Sydney Cove the brick manufacture seems a concern of great utility, and succeeds exceeding well; the earthenware, from causes arising here from want of some certain ingredients, has not hither-too succeeded; they glaze nothing here, and the ware is soft and also brittle; its quality, I have heard, is fine. Of this and several other trifles as may fall within my reach I propose to bear away a few, no otherwise acceptable bUt as little mem’s to my friends that I have been here, and while here recollected you were such.

“Our infant garden at this place exhibits a pleasing prospect of vegi­tation. Seven or eight thousand head of green, and daily planting some bed of turnip, radish, &c., have rewarded our little labour, which, when first pursued, we sowed not expecting to reap; however, unlooked for accident have detained us here, and we unexpectedly eat the fruit of disinterested industry.

“Our numbers lately were eleven; my companion, self, and seven men, are all upon this little settlement; one man looks out for the expected Gorgon, and is relieved in turn at every four hours between the dawn and setting of the day. Mr. Harris and myself occasionally go up thither when led by hope or inclination to walk. It is up a craggy eminence about a mile from this spot, where are the houses, or rather whitewashed cottages, in a valley adjoining to the garden, and near the bech. The ground for a good space about here is unusually clear, with here and there a shrub, and at a dist. in passing looks like a pleasant lawn. We have a rill of fresh water at a stone’s throw on each hand, and if our situation was but seconded with more attention and civility we might feel less solicitous for our return hence. Indced we are considered as much negl’d by many kind friends who now speak with reserve, and who on their return will probably speak with less. In the meantime, I shall pursue such a conduct as my best judgem’l can suggest, in short (G- P-) is universally censured, and that lIy many cool, nay charitable gents, and I begin to regard him as a reed  ofEgypt.

“I like much to coincide with those whose judg’m’t I honor and esteem, but your expectation of many advantages to accrue from Olll’ colony are rather the effusions of phylantrophy than positively expressl.”d opinion. The vast difficulty of clearing this craggy country, the very bnd prospect of cattle of all descriptions; this last is of a g’t object, and if we should, of which at present there are no signs, be vigorollft supplied in that way as the cost will be enormous and the loss attene!. the conveyance g’t. The Romans had these and many other good. Thingft at hand, and in a country famed for its luxuriance. ‘Tis not only libberal but truly Christian to trust that these outcasts, or at least their descendants, may by a parity of reasoning improve and furnish good members to society. But after all, men of estimable and weighty judgem’t fail not to say that this scheme seems to hold out no other than prospects of long-continued heavy expence to the m’r country. a meer burthen, and that ‘twould have been only candid, not to sny noble, had this plain statement of the case been made, and not one of  a contrary tendency; indeed, this is here so generally the opinion that it may be called an universal one. . . .

“This place, we learn from Nanbarry, is famed for great engagl.’” ments, and here are some graves of their dead. It is remarkable that at the first establishment of the Look-oUt this young lad, being here for a few $Jys, after dark expressed a dislike to stir from the hut, and plainly intimated his superstitious fears of seeing some of the departed.

Their battles, from our imperfect information, are sometimes concerninR’ the right of fishing or dwelling in some particular cove, and frequently about the fair sex, for we learn that parties of the men at times come suddenly on the women, and while their husbands are probably in the canoes at a distance or otherwise emp’d they fail not to take the most unpardonable liberties. . . .

“Here where I reside the stone is now shaping for a look-out to be built on the high land by the flagstaff; and to command a good view of the offing, we have lately had a couple of little hutts built for selves and people, and there are. some vegetables in the ground coming on very well. The situation, however, flags upon too long and close acquaintance, and we look out sharply for the Gorgon (44), daily expected here. It is intended for that ship to convey us hence, and ‘tho sufficient to acc’date the marine batallion and their increased familys and effects, &c., now relieved by the new company, must no doubt be much crouded by the addition of our late ship’s Sirius’s company. . . .” Your Lordship’s

                Obliged friend

                and most obedient

                Humble servant

                A. Phillip

Southwell wrote to his Mother a letter which he dated “27-30 July,            179<>.”

Isaac Matthews, John Hales and Michael Bryon, convicts, were buried.

John Palmer listed the stores received by the Justinian and theScarborough, including those brought in the former for the Sirius and in the latter from the Guardian. He also listed the stores being forwarded toNorfolk Islandby the Justinian.

Wednesday, 28th July

Scott wrote: “The Justinia Sailed for Norfolk Island with provision &c., and then to proseed on her Voyage toChina.” Collins noted that she carried despatches from the Governor to the Secretary of State.

John Millman, Thomas Scott and George Kent, convicts, were buried.

Thursday, 29th July

A letter was written by Phillip to the Commissioners of the Navy.

This letter has not been found.

Patrick Burn and Mary Newton were married, in the presence of John Parker and Mary Tufft.

Friday, 30th July

Six weddings were celebrated. In five of these, the marriage took place before the banns had been published three times, as the parties were about to leave forNorfolk Island.

Thomas Sargent married Jane Taylor, with William Sherburd and William Thorn as witnesses; John Blundel married Elizabeth Hander­son, with William Thorn and Elizabeth Clayton as witnesses; John Young was carried to Mary Winspear, with Thomas Till and Mary Davis as witnesses; Martin Searle and Mary Stolz were married and William Sherburd and Esther Thornton, with Thomas Sargent and Margaret Wood as witnesses. William Davis married Jane Reed, in the presence of William Thorn and Mary Mitchell.

The last date on Southwell’s letter to his Mother is the 30th July. He ended by writing that Harris “is just now come with a boat, and t a doz. of porter from our dear Dawes. H. and myself have just now drank to all our relations, and you in particular.”

Palmer listed the stores being forwarded toNorfolk Islandby the Surprize.

Saturday, 31st July

There were two weddings, in both of which the banns had only been published twice. Thomas Morphy was married to Mary Craig, and Henry Palmore to Elenor Kirvin. The witnesses to both weddings were Hannah Peat and Elizabeth Jones.

Robert Savage and Joseph Jeffreys, convicts, were buried.

The convicts who were leaving forNorfolk Islandwent on board

the Surprize.

John Palmer listed the stores received by the Surprize, including those forwarded from the Guardian. He issued 60 pounds of flour to J. Harpur, a marine, “for his having detected a man robbing a garden”.


Collins wrote: “Such of the convicts from the ships as were in a tolerable state of health, both male and female, were sent up to Rose’ Hill, to be employed in agriculture and other labours. A subaltern’s detachment from theNew South Walescorps was at the same time sent up for the military duty of that settlement in conjunction with the marine corps.

“There also the governor. . . laid down the lines of a regular town. ‘”

“While these works were going on at Rose Hill, the labouring convicts at Sydney were employed in constructing a new brick store­house, discharging the transports, and forming a road from the town to the brick-kilns, for the greater ease and expedition in bringing in bricks to the different buildings. . . .

“ThAady Juliana. . . sailed a day or two after the Justinian for

Canton. From the extravagant price set on his goods by the master, his shop had turned out badly; and it was said that he took many articles to sea, which he must of necessity throw overboard before he reachedCanton. . . .

“AboUt the latter end of this month a spermaceti whale was seen in the harbour, and some boats from the transports went after it with harpoons; but, from the ignorance of the people in the use of them, the fish excaped unhurt. . . .

“Much irregularity was committed by the seamen of the transports, who founs! means to get on shore at night, notwithstanding the port orders; and one, a sailor from theNeptune, was punished with twenty­five lashes for being found on shore without any permission at eleven o’clock at night.

“The sick list, now consisting of only three hundred and thirty-two persons, was found to be daily decreasing.”

Sunday, 1St August

Scott wrote: “The Surprise Sailed for Norfolk Island, with pro­vision and convicts &c and then to poseed toChina. One Tucker, a Convict Carpenter, is supposed to have made his Escape in the above Mentioned ship Surprise.”

Easty stated that the Surprize carried one hundred and fifty women and thirty men. Collins gave thirty-five as the number of men. He also recorded that Mr Thomas Freeman, appointed deputy commissary to theIsland, two of the superintendents who had recently reached the colony, and Mr Wentworth left in the ship. He wrote that Mr Went­worth “was now sent toNorfolk Islandto act as an assistant to the surgeon there, being reputed to have the necessary requisites for such a situation”.

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