Archive for the ‘Abandonment’ Category

MISSING IN ACTION – HMS SIRIUS & HMS SUPPLY

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Sydney – 5 April, 1790: ‘Dismay was painted on every countenance, when the tidings were proclaimed at Sydney’. Marine Captain Watkin, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L, Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

Norfolk Island¬† – 19 March 1790: the First Fleet’s flagship, while in the process of evacuating 50% of Sydney’s starving European population to Norfolk Island, ran aground on a submerged reef and sank. Her crew, one hundred and sixty naval (160) personnel, were marooned along with the evacuees.¬† See: Abandoned and Left to Starve @ Sydney Cove, January 1788 to June 1790

China: ‘Famine was approaching with gigantic strides’. Sirius was to have sailed on to China and arrange rescue. ‘Dismay’ all hope of rescue was gone.

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JOSEPH BANK’S GARDEN & HMS GUARDIAN – Integrate 55555

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

Integrate x 2

 

1790 – 1 January, Sydney Cove: ‘On the shores of this vast ocean…on the summit of the hill [South Head], every morning from day-light until the sun sunk, did we sweep the horizon, in hope of seeing a sail. At every fleeting speck which arose from the bosom of the sea, the heart bounded, and the telescope was lifted to the eye. If a ship appeared here, we knew she must be bound for us’. Marine Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, L.F. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

Since January 1788 the Englishmen of ‘First Fleet’ had been marooned at Sydney; ‘entirely cut off no communication whatever having passed with our native country since the 13th May, 1787, the day of our departure from Portsmouth… the misery and horror of such a situation cannot be imparted, even by those who have suffered under it’. Tench. op. cit.

Not until the middle of 1789 did the British Government make a move to resupply the ‘First Fleet’.

1789 – London, June: Home Secretary Lord Sydney authorised Lieutenant Edward Riou RN in mid June prepare his ship HMS Guardian to take relief supplies to the Robinson Cruscos of the ‘First Fleet’ marooned 13,000 miles (21,000 km) from England.

HMS Guardian’s maiden voyage could best be described as a ‘mercy dash’. Its purpose, deliver urgently needed medicines, tons of salted meats and flour, together with clothing, books and personal items belonging to marines of the Sydney garrison.

But that ‘mercy dash’ was hijacked by Sir Joseph Banks, the wealthy botanist whose money spoke loudly and, whose interest lay in plants and not starving Englishmen.

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