Archive for March, 2009

HMS GORGON & THE ‘BOTANY BAY ESCAPEES’

Friday, March 13th, 2009

‘I confess that I never looked at these people [the Botany Bay escapees] without pity and astonishment. They had miscarried in a Heroic struggle for liberty after having combated every hardship and conquered every difficulty’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench on HMS Gorgan at Cape Town, March 1792 – Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson 1961

1791 – 28 March, Sydney Cove: Ironically the hustle and bustle surrounding HMS Gorgan’s arrival at Sydney (15 March 1791) helped divert attention as, at midnight on 28 March 1791 with oars muffled on their stolen boat – Governor Phillip’s cutter –  convicts William and Mary Bryant, their children Charlotte three (3) years and baby Emanuel with seven (7) convict companions, slipped silently out of Sydney Harbour and set course for Timor.

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