Posts Tagged ‘HMS Sirius’

ABANDONED & LEFT TO STARVE AT SYDNEY COVE JANUARY 1788 TO JULY 1790

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

1790 – 1 June, Sydney Cove: ‘No communication whatever having passed with our native country since the 13th May 1787, the day of our departure from Portsmouth…from the intelligence of our friends and connections we had been entirely cut off…the misery and horror of such a situation cannot be imparted, even by those who have suffered under it’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

1790 – weekly ration; ‘without distinction…to every child of more than eighteen (18] months old and to every grown person two [2] pounds of pork, two and a half [2½] pounds of flour, two [2] pounds of rice, or a quart of pease, per week…To every child under eighteen [18] months old, the same quantity of rice and flour, and one [1] pound of pork.

When the age of this provision is recollected, its inadequacy will more strikingly appear. The pork…from England had been salted between three [3] and four [4] years… a daily morsel toast[ed] on a fork catching the drops on a slice of bread, or in a saucer of rice…every grain was a moving body from the inhabitants lodged within it…flour brought from the Cape by Sirius [May 1789] soldiers and convicts used to boil it up with greens’. Tench op.cit.

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THE KING’S MEN- CRIMINALS OF THE ‘FIRST FLEET & SECOND FLEETS

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

‘In determining the daily ration no distinction was drawn between the marines and [male] convicts…the standard adopted was that of the troops serving in the West Indies’. Wilfrid Oldham, Britain’s Convicts to the Colonies, ed. E. Hugh Oldham, Library of Australian History, Sydney 1990

1787 – Portsmouth, May 13: The ‘First Fleet’ an armed squadron of eleven (11) ships, known in Britain and Australia as the ‘First Fleet’, commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip RN sailed from England to invade the island continent of New Holland, now Australia.

Of its overwhelmingly male complement, 1500 souls, seven hundred and fifty (750) were convicted criminals.

Its five hundred and eighty male (580) male convicts rationed;  ‘as troops serving in the West Indies’ were available for combat. See: April Fools Day – Hulks Act 

1788 – Botany Bay. January: After eight (8) months voyaging across 13,000 miles (21,000 km) of ‘imperfectly explored oceans’ via Spanish Tenerife, to Portuguese Rio, to Dutch Cape Town the convoy reached its destination Botany Bay.

On the lengthy last leg, sixty-eight (68) days Cape Town to Botany Bay, scurvy appeared throughout the fleet. There was an urgent need for fresh water and food.

The fleet’s warships HMS Sirius and HMS Supply  immediately deployed their trawling nets.

‘While the seine was hauling some of them [Aborigines] were present…no sooner were the fish out of the water than they began to lay hold of them as if they had a right to them, or that they were their own’. Dr John White, Chief Medical Officer, Journal of A Voyage to New South Wales, Oxford University Press, 2011

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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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A RIDDLE – WHEN IS AN INVASION FLEET NOT AN INVASION FLEET? WHEN IT’S THE FIRST FLEET

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

‘The Way of War is a Way of  Deception. When able, feign inability; when deploying troops appear not to be’. Sun-Tzu, the Art of War, Penguin ed. 2002

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In determining the daily ration no distinction was drawn between the [245] marines and the [580 male] convicts….the standard adopted was that of troops serving in the West Indies. Wilfrid Oldham, Britain’s Convicts to the Colonies, Library of Australian History, 1990

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‘Soldiers: three hundred knowing their work thoroughly may be stronger than three thousand less sure of their game. John Ruskin, The Cestus of Aglaia, 1866

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‘In writing of the recruitment of criminals into armed forces, Stephen Conway observed. ‘It was still found necessary periodically to clear both the putrid and congested gaols and the equally overcrowded and insanitary hulks’. Conway, cited in Alan Frost, Botany Bay Mirages, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1994

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‘From intelligence of of our friends and connections we have been entirely cut off no communication whatever having passed with our native country since the 13th of May, 1787, the day of our departure from Portsmouth’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. L.F. Hardinge, Angus and Robertson, Sydney 1961 :See Abandoned and Left to Starve January 1788-June1790.

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MANLY – LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

1790 – Manly Beach,3 September: ‘A native [Wileemarin] with a spear in his hand came forward…His excellency held out hand…advancing towards him…the nearer, the governor approached, the greater became the terror and agitation of the Indian’,

Starvation, kidnap, disease, death, dispossession and dispersal. Wileemarin, from Broken Bay, had every reason to fear the advancing Governor. See: Kidnapped – Manly What’s in a Name

When leaving Bay [24 January 1788] Phillip noticed two [2] French ships in the offing…there would seem to be “some justification for the saying that England won Australia by six [6] days”. Edward Jenks, History of the Australian Colonies, cited H.E. Egerton, A Short History of British Colonial Policy, Methueun, London 1928 See: Australia – Britain By A Short Half-Head

The spearing of Governor Phillip must be seen in the context of the race to invade and occupy the island continent of New Holland known now as Australia. Marine Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. L.F. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

‘To remove his fear, governor Phillip threw down a dirk, he wore at his side…the other [Wileemarin] alarmed at the rattle of the dirk, and probably  misconstruing the action, instantly fixed his lance, aimed his lance with such force and dexterity striking the governor’s right shoulder, just above the collar bone’.Tench. op.cit.

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BRITAIN BY A NOSE

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016

1785 – August, Brest: ‘In 1785 Louis XVI quietly sent the Comte de la Perouse with two ships La Boussole & L’Astrolabe to survey likely spots for French settlements. Aboard were copper plates engraved with the royal arms to be used as permanent notification of French ownership’. Australian Discovery and Exploration, Michael Cannon, 1987  

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ARTHUR PHILLIP – HUNG OUT TO DRY

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

June 1790: In which long time no supplies [from England] had reached us. From the intelligence of our friends and connections we had been entirely cut off, no communication whatever having passed with our native country since the 13th May, 1787, the day of our departure from Portsmouth’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson,1961.

1790  – 3 June, Sydney: When on 3 June 1790  Lady Juliana with ‘London on her stern’ sailed into Sydney Harbour three (3) years had passed since a large convoy of eleven (11) English ships, known in Britain and Australia as the  ‘First Fleet’, sailed from Portsmouth, England bound for Botany Bay, New Holland.

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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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