Posts Tagged ‘provisions’

ASLEEP IN THE DEEP – MERCHANT MEN OF THE FIRST FLEET

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

‘By Alexander, under care of Lieutenant Shortland, agent for the transports, I have sent dispatches to the Right Honourable the Lord Sydney and yourself, with a rough survey of Port Jackson….Lieutenant Shortland is likewise charged with a box of letters from Monsieur La Perouse for the French Ambassador’. Governor Phillip to Under-Secretary Nepean, July 10th 1788.

1787 – 13 May, Portsmouth England: A flotilla of eleven (11) ships commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip RN, known in Britain and Australia as the ‘First Fleet’ with a complement of approximately 1500 souls (one-half convicted criminals), set sail from Portsmouth on a voyage of 13,00 miles (21,000 km) to Botany Bay, New Holland on the 13th May 1787.

Two (2) warships HMS Sirius and HMS Supply carried two hundred (200) Royal Naval personnel. Twenty (20) officials and two hundred and forty-five (245) marines, guarding seven hundred and fifty (750) convicted criminals, were distributed throughout nine (9) chartered vessels.

‘New Holland is a good blind, then, when we want to add to the military strength of India’. Historical Records of New South Wales. Anon.

The mission of this large naval expedition, fully funded by government, was to invade, conqueror and claim sovereignty over the entire east coast of New Holland in order to gain supremacy over alternate trade and logistical sea-routes to and from India and China via the southern oceans.

Merchant ships were crewed to a formula related to tonnage; eight (8) seamen and one (1) boy per one hundred (100) ton. With specialist warrant officers, the number of crew on the fleet’s nine (9) chartered vessels, would have numbered approximately four hundred and forty (440).

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HMS GORGON & THE ‘BOTANY BAY ESCAPEES’

Friday, March 13th, 2009

‘I confess that I never looked at these people [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 when, at midnight on 28 March 1791 convicts William and Mary Bryant, their children Charlotte three (3) years and baby Emanuel with seven (7) convict companions, oars muffled on a stolen boat – Governor Phillip’s cutter – slipped silently out of Sydney Harbour and set course for Timor.

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AN EVACUATION – SAVING LIEUTENANT WILLIAM COLLINS

Monday, February 9th, 2009

‘It is probable the ships’ company will be on salt provisions for some months after they arrive on the coast of New South Wales, [I] will be glad of two hundred pounds of portable soup in addition to fifty pounds already supply’d. Arthur Phillip to Admiralty, 22nd March 1787, Historical Records of New South Wales.

Made from; ‘all the offals of oxen killed in London for the use of  the navy’ portable soup was a dried concoction suitable for re-constitution.

1787 – 13 May, Portsmouth: Led by HMS Sirius a large armed squadron of eleven (11) ships commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip RN with a complement of 1500 souls, known in Britain and Australia as the ‘First Fleet’, sailed from England to New South Wales in mid May 1787.

1788 – 26 January, Sydney Cove: Eight (8) months later, on the  26 January 1788, Phillip raised the Union Jack at Sydney Cove and proclaimed British sovereignty over New Holland.

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