Archive for May, 2010

THE GREAT ESCAPE FROM SYDNEY COVE

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

1792 – March, Africa: ‘They [Botany Bay escapees] had miscarried in a heroic struggle for liberty after having combated every hardship and conquered every difficulty’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961.

1792 – Cape Town, March: Captain Tench, aboard HMS Gorgan¬†en-route from Sydney to England with returning ‘First Fleet’ marines who had been stranded at Sydney Cove since January 1788 was astounded when some of eleven (11) convicts who had escaped from Sydney in 1791 sailed into Table Bay, prisoners of Captain Edward Edwards RN, on board a Dutch vessell. See: HMS Gorgan and the Botany Bay Escapees

1791 – Sydney, March: A year earlier – 28 March 1791 – convicts Mary and William Bryant their baby Emanuel and Charlotte, born during ‘First Fleet’ voyage, baptised at Cape Town and now aged three (3) years, with seven (7) trusted companions, oars muffled on their stolen row-boat – Governor Phillip’s cutter – had slipped silently through towering Sydney Heads out into the open sea and made for Timor.

The Admiralty gave Captain Edward Edwards command of HMS Pandora and sent him to Tahiti with orders to round up and arrest the Bounty mutineers and bring them to England for court-martial. See: Pandora’s Box¬†

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