Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
Philip Gidley King - official journal being a narrative of the preparation and equipment of the First Fleet and voyage to New South Wales, 1786 - December 1790; compiled 1790
Journal of P.G. King,
1786 -1790 : [a narrative of the preparation and equipment of the First Fleet, the voyage to New South Wales in H.M.S. Sirius, events in N.S.W. and Norfolk Is., and the voyage to England in H.M.S. Supply. It contains a full account of events previously recorded by King in his Remarks & journal , but has more material and is continued up to Dec. 1790. The handwriting closely resembles that of King, and is probably a copy of his original journal made by himself]
Composed of Volunteer Officers & Privates from the different Divisions of Marines, Who by a publick Letter from the Admiralty, were informed that on their Arrival in New South Wales, they were to be supplied with tools & implements for Cultivating the Ground for their use, those among them, who (when the Detatchment might be relieved at the end of Three Years) wished to remain as Settlers, were to have a Grant of Ground Given to them, And those who returned to England at the relief, were promised their discharge from the Marine Corps, if they wished it. The Detachment was to consist of, a Major Commandant, Two Captains, Two Capt. Lieutenants. Ten First Lieutenants, Four Second Lieutenants, a Quarter-
Master, Adjutant & Judge-Advocate.
Major Commandant, Robert Ross Esq.r
Captains. James Campbell & John Shea.
Captain Lieutenants, James Meridith & Watkin Tench
First Lieutenants, *Geo.e Johnston, John Cresswell,
John Kellow, James Furzer, John Poulden, Jn.o Johnston
Tho.s Davy, James M. Shairp, Tho.s Timmins,
Second Lieutenants. Ralph Clark, Wm Faddy,
John Long William Collins.
Quarter Master, James Furzer
Adjutant, John Long.
Judge Advocate. David Collins.
*First Lieutenant James Maxwell, omitted, He returned to England for his health in the first Ships that returned from Port Jackson as did Second Lieut.t Will.m Collins.
A plan having been adopted by the Ministry to rid the Kingdom of the numerous felons with which the jails were crowded in different parts of the Nation; And the Eastern Coast of New Holland (discovered by Capt. Cook in 1770 & by him called New South Wales) being judged the most eligible place to send them to, & where it was probable they might in a certain time support themselves, and be usefull to the Mother Country, it became necessary to form a Civil & Military Establishment for the Government of the Territory & to second the views of the Ministry in forming the intended Colony. The prescribed limits of the Territory, is from the 44th degree of South Lattitude to the 10th & from the 135th degree of East Longitude to the Eastward including the Island discovered by the
English in the Pacific Ocean.
Civil Establishment. Salary
Governor in Chief & Captain General, His )1000
Excellency Arthur Phillip Esq.r )
Lieutenant Governor, Robert Ross Esq.r 250
Commisary of Stores, Andrew Miller Esq.r 182
Judge Advocate, David Collins Esq.r 365
Chaplain, Reverend Richard Johnson 182
Surveyor General, Augustus Al.t, Esq.r 182
Surgeon, John White Esq.r 182
Assistant Surgeons - Dennis Considen 91
William Balmain 91
Tho.s Arndell Gents. 91
Provost Marshall Henry Brewer. 91
The construction of a Kings Ship not being deemed proper for this Service, the Berwick Store Ship of 612 Tons & twenty Guns was fixed on by the Admiralty & Navy Boards, & her name changed to the Sirius, She had been purchased in 1781, and was sent once to America during the War, & once after the peace to the West Indies since when she had lay’n in ordinary at Deptford untill named for this service when she was taken into a dry Dock, where some of the Copper was taken off & her bottom looked at, which was reported very good & the Ship fit for the Voyage for which she was intended to perform. The Supply was a Navy Transport of 170 Tons & built in but having had frequent repairs since, She is a very strong Vessell, altho’ rather too small for the Service she is intended for. She was taken into Dock & Coppered, & ordered to Mount 4 three pounders
Twelve pound, Carronades, with Musquetoons mounted in the place of Swivels.
Establishsment of His Majestys Ship Sirius, & Supply
Armed Tender. viz.
- Sirius -
First Captain Arthur Phillip Esq.r
Second Captain, John Hunter Esq.r
Lieutenants. William Bradley, Philip Gidley King, and George William Maxwell.
Master, Micah Morton. Boatswain Tho.s Brooks, Gunner Peter Ross, Carpenter W.m Parker, Purser Jn.o Palmer.
Surgeon Geo.e Worgan. Second Lieutenant of Marines William Dawes;
3 Masters Mates, 9 Midshipmen, 2 Surjeons Mates, 1 Clerk. 1 Master at Arms, 1 Corporal, Armourer & Mate 2,
Sailmaker & Mate 2, Steward 1, Boatswains Mates 3, Gunners Mates 2, Gunners Crew 4, Carpenters Mates 3, Carpenters Crew 6, Cook & Shifter 2, Cockswain 1, Quarter Masters 6, Seamen 78, Marines 22 in all 160. The distant situation of the place where this Service is intended to be performed, And as the Governor of the Settlement may find it necessary to send from the Colony, the Sirius, of which Ship he is Captain, & it being more than probable that the Service onshore would require his constant attendance & it being thought improper to leave the Ship under the Command of a Lieutenant, gave rise to the Singular appointment of a first & second Captain, on which occasion Captain John Hunter was promoted from the Rank of Master & Commander to that of Post Captain by an order of His Majesty in Council; in case of Governor
Phillip’s death, the Government devolves on Captain Hunter he being the next in Rank.
Supply Armed Tender.
Commander, Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball. Master, David Blackburn, Boatswain Goold, Gunner Gavin Dunlap, Carpenter Robinson Reid, Surgeon J.o Callam. Petty & Able
The Commissions for the Staff were delivered to the different Officers, between the 12th & 24th of October 1786; the Sirius was commissioned the 24th. as was the Supply a few days after, both Vessells were ordered to be fitted out with the utmost dispatch, the Officers of the Yard were ordered to make what alterations the Commanders of the Sirius & Supply might think necessary, and the Storkeeper was ordered
to supply them with any Quantity of different Stores, that those Officers might think proper to demand.
Directions were given by Captain Phillip that usefull Handycraft men, & Artificers should be entered on board the Sirius, when that Ship had got a Sufficient number of good Seamen; A great number of Seamen were at this time out of Employ, & the Dock Yard was constantly crowded with them; which prevented any difficulty in manning the Sirius & Supply, as well as other Frigates & Kings Vessells then fitting out.
The Transports taken up for this Service are as follows, with their Tonnage, Complement of Men, & of Number of Marines & Convicts in each.
|Ships Names||Kings Ship, Transport or Victualler||Tons||Guns||Men||Officers of the staff||Marine Officers & Privates||Male convicts||Female convicts|
|Supply||D.o Arm’d Tender||150||8||50||“||“||“||“|
|Prince of Wales||“||350||29||1||29||2||47|
|Fishburn||Victualler Agents Ship||378||22||1||“||“||“|
Women allowed to each Company of Marines in All 31 onb.d the Different Transp.ts
The terms of the Contract with the Owners of the Transports are, for the Alexander, Prince of Wales & Friendship, 10 Shillings a Ton p. month, untill they return to Deptford after the Voyage is performed; for the Lady Penryhn, Scarborough & Charlotte, Twelve Shillings a Ton p Month, untill they are cleared at the place they are destined for, when they are no longer in the Service & a fresh Agreement then takes place with the East India Company & the Owners of the above three Ships, which are then to proceed to China & Carry a Cargo of Tea to England on Account of the India Company. The contract with the owners of the Victuallers is the same as the Alexanders &c. Lieut Jn.o Shortland of the Navy has the Appointment of Agent for Transports & is to return to England with the above Six Ships, when they are
cleared of their lading in New South Wales.
The Transports are fitted up for the Convicts, the same as for carrying troops; Except the Security, which consists in very strong & thick bulkheads, filled with nails, & ran across from side to side of the ‘tween decks abaft the Mainmast with loop holes to fire through, in case of any irregularitys among the Convicts, the hatches are well secured by Cross bars bolts, & strong locks, they are likewise railed round with large oak stantions from deck to deck. Centinals are placed at the different hatchways & a Guard always under Arms on the Quarter deck.
The Steerage of each transport is appropriated for the use of the Marines & every precaution is used to prevent any intercourse between them & the Convicts
Each Transport has onboard a certain quantity of the different utensils & implements, as also of the different kinds of Stores for the use of the intended Colony, which are so distributed, that an accident happening to one Ship, would not be attended with such disagreeable consequences, as if, the whole of one Species of Stores or Utensils was on board any one of the Transports that an accident might happen to in the course of the Voyage.
The Victuallers are loaded with Provisions of all species, which are to last two Years from the first day of landing in New South Wales; The Provisions are distributed on board the Victuallers, in the same manner, as the Utensils & Stores are onboard the Transports.
The Sirius & Supply dropped from Deptford to Longreach on the 10th day of December. Where they took in their Ordnance Stores, they remained there untill the 30th of January waiting for the Alexander & Lady Penrhyn, who were taking in their Convicts at Gallions, we anchored in the Downs the 4th of February with the above two Transports & the Supply, & were detained there by very violent & constant hard gales of Wind from the S.W. untill the 19th, on the 20th the Wind came from the NE, with which we weighed & anchored on the Motherbank the 22nd, where we found the three Victuallers, Scarborough, & Prince of Wales Transports; The convicts were all embarked on the 6th of March, & the Charlotte & Friendship Transports from Plymouth joined us soon after; It was not till the
11th of May, that the Governor joined us, having been detained waiting for his final instructions.
On the 12th The Ships Company were paid their two Months advance, & on the same day, we were joined by His Majesties Ship Hyena, Capt De courcy, who was ordered to proceed a certain distance with us.
On the 13th the Fleet weighed with a breeze at SSE intending to go round Dunnose but it falling calm soon after obliged us to anchor near the Horse. The Seamen belonging to the Victuallers & some of the Ships were not got under weigh for want of the Seamen, who had left the Vessells & gone on Shore; the reason given for this conduct, if it does
not wholly excuse the Seamen, it cannot reflect any credit on the Masters. The Seamen had been in employ more than seven Months, during which time they had received no pay except their River pay, & one Months advance: The length of the Voyage rendered it necessary that they should have more money to fit themselves out with & to purchase such necessarys as were really indispensable. But it became the Masters interest to withold their pay from them, which would oblige the Seamen to purchase those necessarys from the Masters, during the Voyage at a very exorbitant rate; Our sailing the next day, obliged those who did not wish to loose their pay & employ to return to their Ships, others compromised with the Masters & The Fishburn left 5 men who never returned.
On the 14th of May at Day break we weighed & run thro’ the Needles & by noon got a Good Offing with the Wind at E.S.E. The 15 at Noon we took our Departure from the Start, bearing NEbE eight Leagues, had the wind then at S.W. but in the Evening it shifted to S.E. and the next day to West, where it continued untill the 21st. when the Governor not having any further occasion for the Hyena, he directed Captain De courcy to return to England. Whilst we were lying too, The Master, & Commanding officer of the Marines onboard the Scarborough, brought two Convicts onboard the Sirius, & made complaint of some very ill behaviour, they were punished & sent onb.d of Prince of Wales; at 5 in the Evening the Hyena saluted us with three cheers, which was returned, when she bore up & parted company.
On the 22nd the Transports were hailed & the Convicts were ordered to be liberated, they having been hand-cuffed together, from the time of their embarkation. From the 21st to the 26th had variable winds from S.W. to S.E. with very fine pleasant Weather, the Thermometer since we left England has not been lower than 60° or higher than 64°; On the 26th we were in the Lattitude 40°.42’ N.& the Longitude by Kendals Time piece (NI) 12°.20’.20” E.t of Greenwich, the Variation 20°.27’ W.t On the 29th at Noon the Supply was ordered ahead to look out & at day light she made the Signal for seeing land,+ at Noon the center of the Eastermost Deserter bore N17° W.t distant 4 Leagues. The 30th at Noon we took our departure from the Latt.de observed 32°.18’ No & Longitude by the Time keeper 16°.29’ W.t+ the Eastermost
Deserter then bearing N17° W.t distant 4 Leagues; the 30th and 31st had the Wind, fr.WNW to S.W. with some calms, at noon of the 31st being then in Lattitude 30°.47’ N.o & Longitude 17°.10’ West by the Time Keeper, the Supply was ordered ahead to make the land, at half past three P.M. she made the Signal for having discovered it; by our run from the deserters as well as our observations of to day & Yesterday, we find the Exact Lattitude of the Salvages to be 30°.13’ N.o, in most tables of Lattitudes & longitudes it is laid down in 30°:00’ N which is a manifest Error, Capt. Cook takes notice of that error in a table or list of days works from England to Teneriffe in his last Voyage; their Longitude by the time-keeper is 15°:5’6 W.t the Variation by a medium of a great number of Azimuths & Amplit.ds 18° W.t
At four A.M. of the same day (the 31st) we took our departure from the largest of the Salvage Rocks, which then bore N.W.½W 5 Leagues, the Wind blew from the S.W. in which Quarter it continued veering to the Westward, till the 3rd of June in the night, when it shifted round to North & NNW, at Day light we saw the Island of Teneriffe bearing S.W.B.W. 15 Leagues, the Weather was so thick & hazey that we could not distinguish the peak, or even the forming of the Land, the eastern point is very high & bluff, off which lye four high rocks; We rounded this point steering SW. The distance from this point to the Town of Santa Cruz is about four Leagues, this side of the Island, does not give a very flattering idea of its being that fruitfull & plentifull spot that it really is, altho’ the prospect of it from the Sea, is
like a heap of rocks piled the one on the other; & cut into very deep ridges without the least appearance of any verdure. At seven o’clock in the Evening we anchored & moored ship, in Santa Cruz Bay in 15 f.m water when moored the Eastermost point of the Bay or Le Roquet, bore N78°E. the Fort to the Southward of the town S.o45° W.t & the Church of S.t Francisco S73°W.t distance off shore about half a mile. No soundings can be got going into this bay till within a mile of the Shore; there are two rocks in the Bay, the Smallest lyes in 7 fathoms close in with the Eastermost Fort & has fourteen feet water on it; The other bears SSE from the Pier head & has 50 fathoms water on it, both of them are very small. The best way of mooring here is to lay the Anchors North & South of each other on account of
the violent winds, which often blow from the N.E. & S.W. The Bay is open from E.N.E. to S.W. the anchorage is in General very good, but it absolutely necessary not to omit the precaution of having the Cables floated with Casks, [indecipherable] some of the Transports which neglected doing it, had their cables much rubbed.
The morning after our arrival (June 4th) An Officer was sent onshore to wait on the Governor, & to signify Governor Phillips intention of visiting him, & at the same time to apologize for not saluting the Fort on account of the Gun deck being so much lumbered with Casks &c that prevented us from paying the usual respect to His Majestys Birth day; The Officer that went with this Message was told that a Message was just going to be sent onboard
to request that no salute might be made, as it could not be returned,
guns of the Fort being dismounted. At 10 o’clock Governor Phillip with the Officers of the Staff, Sirius & Supply & as many of the Marine Officers as could be spared from the different transports, went on shore & visited the Marquis de Brance-forte Governor-General of the Canaries & a Brigadier General in the Spanish Army they were received by him with the greatest politeness & attention; the next day he returned the visit on board the Sirius accompanied by nine officers, Soon after he went onshore his Aid-de-comp returned on board
invitation from His Excellency, to Governor Phillip with an
invitation to them & twelve of his Officers to dine onshore the next
day; which mark of attention
Governor Phillip accepted of. We were received & entertained with that liberality & Elegance, for which the Spaniards are so distinguished.
The Marquis de Brance-forte (from whom we received the greatest attention & politeness during our stay at this place) is a Neapolitan & Nephew to the Cardinal of the same name, he has resided here five Years, as Governor General of the Canaries, altho’ the seat of Government is at the Grand Canarie, where the Bishop & all the Gens de droit resides.
The unbounded liberality, and great humanity which characterizes this worthy Governor, & which thousands daily experience, will make his loss be sensibly felt by the inhabitants of this Island, when ever he is recalled which he expected would happen very soon.
Amongst a number of humane & publick Spirited actions which has marked the whole of his Government, there is one which does infinite honour to the head & heart of this estimable Nobleman. On the day we dined with His Excellency, after having taken leave of him, we were carried by an English Merchant to see a truly charitable institutution formed at the Marquis’s expence entirely. On arriving at the building which has been erected for the purpose, we saw a Number of Old Men, Women & Children at work, some at weaving, knitting, sowing & many other employments, within this building which serves as one side of a Quadrangle open at each Corner is another building which occupies all the Center; this building is sufficiently large to carry on a Manufactory of Coarse linnens, & Woollens, Ribbons, Tape &c which is performed by Children, & Women, from seven Years old
to Eighty, they are selected from among the most indigent people on the Island, & every female child who is left an Orphan, or who is distressed, has only to present themselves in order to partake of the humane benevolence of the founder; When we visited this place the Number of Females were one hundred & twenty from seven Years old to twenty, & Sixty from twenty to ninety; the sale of their work (for which there is a great demand among the other Islands) Maintains them & the surplus goes to a fund for portioning off those that has been partakers of this Charity for the term of Seven Years, from the Age of twelve, and to provide for those whose ages &c may exclude them from being married.
The town of Santa Cruz has a
good appearance from the bay. A very good stone pier is run out, which breaks the sea considerably, & on which the water is conducted down by pipes or troughs, so that Ships may fill their water in their own boats. the streets are wide but ill paved, there are some Good houses here which are augmenting daily, as this is the Center of Commerce of all the Islands with Spain & the Carraccas, there are two Convents of Men, the Franciscan & the other Dominicans both of which are poor, altho’ their Churches are elegantly decorated, & are not wanting in a certain degree of Catholic beauty in their construction.
The principal Fortification is a fort to the Eastward of the town it did not appear to be well provided with Cannon but we were informed that they have a Masked battery of eighteen
guns near the fort to the Eastward of the town, but whether it is so or not I cannot say, as no person was suffered to go near it.
During our short stay here we made a party to visit Laguna & the Country, of which we had not formed any very favourable idea: Having provided our selves with Horses, Mules & asses, each of which had a conductor whose principal business was to accelerate the motion of the Cavalry, with long staffs pointed with an iron spike; the load for the first mile was very uneven & full of large loose stones, nor did the appearance promise any prospect of finding that fine Country we got into after we passed the first hills, on which a redoubt was thrown up, during the last War & intended for the Garrison of Santa Cruz to retire to in case of the town being taken; the scene
was now changed & instead of barren burnt rocks, the eye was agreeably diverted with corn fields & Vineyards &c & the tops of the surrounding hills covered with trees. From the redoubt to Laguna the distance is about three Miles, thro’ a very pleasant pictoresque Country, the beauties of which were much heightned by the harvest they were at this time getting in. The City of Laguna stands in the Center of a very extensive plain bounded to the Westward by very high hills which forms an amphitheatre, The Streets are wide & well paved, the houses are also very well built, many of which have the appearance of Hotels with porte-cocheres. The Plain on which the town stands was formerly a Marsh, it was drained, but not sufficiently to exclude very obnoxious damps & fogs, particularly in the Winter which renders this
this a very unwholsome situation, & it is principally on this account that the inhabitants are taking up their residence at Santa Cruz. these makes Laguna appear like a deserted City, there are some Convents of Males & Females the inhabitants of which appear to be as much at their ease as they are in every other Catholic Country.
From Laguna we went to the Summit of the first hills beyond the plain on which the City stands; & had it not been for the excessive heat we should have found our excursion very pleasant On one of those hills we found a small plain, which is called the plain of the Wanches, or the original inhabitants of the Island, A number of large stones were dispersed about, which looked like the remains of an altar or place
of Worship, at little distant from this plain on the side of a hill, we found the Spring of Water (which is walled round) & conducted through wooden trunks or troughs across the plain & through Laguna & Santa Cruz to the pier.
We returned down the hill about half way when we halted at a small Chappel where we found our provision Mule waiting for us, & here we dined, having a fine coup d’œil of Laguna on the plain below us, & the Hills on both sides covered with a beautifull verdant wood, contributed to make our repast one of the pleasantest I ever made, at 6 in the Evening we returned to Santa Cruz, being much amazed on the road with the singing & mirth of our sun-burnt guides.
We could not learn that there is any remains of the original Inhabitants except their name & some few Corpses which have been lately found, & in as perfect a state as the Egyptian Mummies, the bodies appeared to have been embowelled & sowed in four different Skins of Animals so very tight as to exclude the least air, these bodies must have lain at least a Century in the situation they were found in.
The only fruits this season afforded is figs & Mulberries. Pumpkins & onions were very plenty, Poultry dear, the Beef with which the Ships Companys, Marines & Convicts were supplied with dayly, was very indifferent the Market price of Which was two pence halfpenny a pound. Goats were tolerable plenty, & of a very good breed. Wine is an article of which there is a great plenty at
all times of the Year, & of different prices; there is but one kind of Wine, that assumes different names & prices, according to the number of times it is racked off & its Age. A very good kind of it called the Vidonia, sold when we were here for Fifteen pounds a pipe & the Contract price is one Shilling & ten pence a Gallon. An Officer called the Port Master has the discetion of the Vessels in the road & decides all disputes among the Merchantships, the port duties are
On the 8th of June, two days before our departure from this place, a convict onboard the Alexander, found means to cut a boat from the Stern during the night, he was missed about four hours after his evasion A search was made for him by some boats belonging to the Ship, & the Marquis with great readyness sent out several parties in quest of him, at eight the next morning he
was found by one of the boats, among some rocks to the Southd of the Bay, where the boat he was in had drifted; We found that he had offered himself onboard a Dutch India-man which lay astern of the Alexander, but was refused. By a very good Meridian Altitude the Lattitude of the Bay is 28°:28’ N. & the Longitude by Kendals Time Keeper, deducd from the several equal altitudes of the Sun 16°:17’:30” West of Greenwich the Variation
On the 10th the Fleet having compleated their water & other necessaries, the Signal was made for every Person to repair onboard their respective Ships, & unmoored; the next Morning at day light we weighed with a light air at NNW which lasted long enough to give us an offing, when it fell Calm & sometimes light airs from the S.W. which prevented
us from clearing the Islands before the 13th when we got the N.E. trade, the Peak of Teneriffe then bore N39°Wt at the distance of fifty Miles; We steered S.W. ½S till the 18th our Latitude was 18°:44’No Longitude by Time Keeper 22°:17’ West, we then steered SSW & at 9 in the morning saw the Island of Sal bearing N58° W.t about three Leagues off. By a good Meridian Attitude & the Time keeper the Latitude of the North end of Sal is 16°:51’N Longitude 22°:51 W.t In making & passing thro’ these Islands we had a very strong trade Wind & very hazy which is the General Weather among these Islands, At ½ past 10 we were abreast of the South end of Sal at a distance of four Leagues from the Shoar, from whence we steered S½E by compass, at half past two p.m. of the 19th saw Bonavista bearing SW four Leagues. In rounding this Island which we did within two or three Leagues
from the Shore, we had a very good view of the ledge, which lies along the N.W. side of the Island, if it does not join to the shore it cannot be far from it, it is about two miles in length & spits of about two Miles, the Sea breaks very high on it. Ships intending to pass to the Eastward of those Islands should always endeavor to make Sal, from which Island, steering a South Course, will carry them well without the ledge of Bonavista, & in no danger of the Porgas bank & Bonetta Rocks. The Lattitude of South end of Sal is 16°:36’ No Lattitude of the North end is 16°:51’ No & the Longitude of the Center on the East side is 22°:51’ West We ran that night (19th) S.W.6S. till 12 when the Signal was made to bring too, to the Eastward, at daylight we saw the Isle of May bearing NW6W four miles, at Noon the East end of S.t Iago
bore W.S.W. two Leagues.
Ships bound into Port Praya may run close along the Isle of May, &
Steer over from thence West by compass which will fetch about two Leagues
to the N.E. of the Port. As the N.E. trade in general blows fresh it will
be best to keep close in with the Island, untill the reef which lies of
the West point of Praya bay opens, (within which lie the Isle of Quails)
then luff close round the Eastern Point of the Bay, when the Fort &
Flagg on it, will open, bring the Flag to bear NW½N. the East
point E½S. & the West point S.W.6W. with which bearings there
seven good anchorage in seven fathoms Mud & Clay,
those remarks I made when here in the Europe in 1783.
At half past noon on the 20th
we opned the reef off the Western point of the Bay, & had at that time a very strong breeze from the NbE, but in hauling round the East point we were taken aback with the wind at S.W. and soon after it fell quite calm, with partial Cats paws, We observed by the Flagg on the Fort, & by a snow lying in the Bay, that the Wind blew right in & very fresh, The Convoy came about us, in a cluster & were also becalmed. A great Swell was running, & had we persevered in endeavouring to get into the Bay, it was more than probable that some one or more of the Ships might have been disabled by carrying away in a Boltsprit or some such accident, which would at these Islands have been irreparable; Many of the transports were not more than half a mile from the reef, there was no regular Wind
in the Bay & however anxiously it might have been wished for by many of us to have recruited our Stock at this place, Yet there can be no doubt that the resolution of proceeding on our Voyage was very prudent compared with the almost inevetable misfortune of disabling a Ship by persisting in getting in. At two in the Afternoon we got into the true wind & proceeded on our Voyage steering South. Ships never ancher at Port Praya during the autumnal months, but it is rather early to have the SE wind here during this month (June) On the 21st the day after we left S.t Iago observed a boat going from one Transport to another the signal was made for the Master of the Transport & he was severely reprimanded, this is a custom that ought to be dis-countenanced as it has often dangerous consequences, & if licenced must greatly retard a Voyage. We kept the NE trade, steer-
steering South, ‘till the 24th when we were in Latitude 9°:02 South Longitude by Time keeper W.t From this day to the 7th July had the Wind from the S.W. Quarter, seldom varying two points, attended with frequent squalls of very heavy rain, Thunder & Lightning, our run between the above dates were seldom more than 45’ a day & we generally found the observation from twelve to eighteen miles, to the Northward of the reckoning each day & once it was twenty six miles, We also found by the Time-keeper & Lunar observations that the Ship had been set in a like proportion to the Eastward. On the 7th July, when we got the S.E. trade we were four degrees to the Eastward of our Reckoning, our Lattitude at that time was 5°:16’ North Longitude by the Time-keeper 18°:57 W.t & by mean of twenty Eight distance of Sun & Moon 18°:36’ Long.de by Account 22°:46’. This afternoon we spoke an English Sloop of Forty Tons, bound to Falkland Islands, she had been
twelve weeks from England & five from the Isle of May; the Master of this Vessel told us he had had the Wind from the S.W. for more than three Weeks. The Wind continued in light Breezes from the S.S.E. untill the 12th of July, with very pleasant Weather, from this date to our crossing the Equator we found the Ship was set considerably to the Westward of our reckonings, the Time-keeper & Lunar observations giving some days 30, 40, & even 50 miles a day more than the Log w.d give, which caused us to cross the line much farther to the Westward than was intended, altho’ no opportunity was ever lost of getting Easting. We crossed the Equator the 15th at 8 P.M. with a moderate breeze at S.EbE. pleasant Weather & smooth water, Longitude by Time-keeper was 26°:10’ W.t by account 26°:19’ W.t. The Variation by thirty Azimuth & amplitudes the preceeding day was 5°:20’ W.t. These cannot be
a better proof that the currents about the Equator are entirely directed by the Winds, than this, We were set to the NE dayly, while to the Northward of the Line and had the Wind from the S.W. insomuch that in getting the S.E. trade we were 4° to the Eastward of Account, & from the time we did get the SE trade we were set so much to the Westward, that our Longitude by Time Keeper & dead reckoning agreed very nearly when we crossed the line.
From the 15th July to the 20th had moderate breezes & often a great head swell with the wind from S.E.bE. to E.b.N. some days we were set from 12 to 22 miles a day to the Northward & Southward alternately, which may be attributed to the head Swell & not having distance enough given, & perhaps a Current may have had a great share in this error, which was not confined to the Lattitude, as we found the ship
was generally to the Westward of Account. On the 20th our Latitude was
6°:57’ S.o Long.de by Time-keeper
27°:09’ & by the Dead reckoning 26°:12’ Variation
of the Compass 6°:52’ W.t; From this date to the
29th the Wind continued well to the Eastward accompanied at times with
heavy squalls of Wind & rain, in one of which, the Main topsail Yard
was carried away in the Slings (it being found rotten) & was soon
replaced with another. On the 29th the Latitude was 19°:37’
South Longitude by Time-keeper Variation 3°:30’ E.t
The wind shifted round to N.E. with very fresh gales & in general
Clear Weather which continued till we made Cape Frio. The morning on
we made the Cape at 3 P.M. we spoke a Portuguese Snow from Guinea to the Rio. Cape Frio bore from him West 15 Leagues Our Latitude observed at noon was 23°:02’ S.o Long.de by Time keeper 40°:31’ W.t and by Account 36°:12’ W.t at which time Cape Frio
bore from us by the former N83° W.t distant 21 Leagues, & by the latter N88° W.t 96 Leagues. We then Steered W½N Miles till three P.M. when we made Cape Frio bearing W½S.o seven Leagues. We then ran W.S.W Miles, untill twelve at night, when the Cape bore N.N.W. at which time we were abreast of it. Our Course & distance worked back to noon is S84° E.t distant 64 miles; from our getting within the Cape till the 5th we were mostly becalmed or had light airs of Wind off the land & that Evening we anchored within the Isle of Raz which bore S.b.W. one mile the Sugar loaf at the Entrance of the harbour N.W.½N & Rodondo SWbS The next morning an Officer was sent by Governor Phillip to wait on the Vice-roy at Rio-de-Janeiro & ask permission
to enter the harbour for refreshments & water, & to assure himself that an equal number of Guns would be returned to the Salute that was intended to be made, all which being agreed to with the greatest readiness, the Officer returned onboard, & at three o’clock a sea breeze springing up we weighed & entered the harbour on passing the Fort of Santa Cruz we saluted it with thirteen guns, & an equal number were returned at seven in the Evening, we anchored with all the Convoy, the next morning we moor’d Ship a Cable each way, the Best Bower to the S.E. & Small Bower to the S.W. the flagg-staff on the Island of Colses W.b.N. Flagg-staff on Santa Cruz S.E.bS. and the Sugar loaf S¼E off the town one mile & a half The remainder of this day was taken up, in going thro’ the usual Ceremonies of
passing an Enquiry made onboard the Ship by a certain Number of the
Officers of the Police, which Enquiry principally consists in assuring
themselves that the Ship is in the Service she is reported to be in, that
she has no articles of trade whatever with any inhabitant, & that it
is necessity that has forced her into that port, the Surgeon of the Place
is among the other Officers, to inspect into the health of the Ships,
after this form is gone thro’, two Officers
belonging to the Ship are sent onshore to sign an instrument containing
the result of the above enquiries, after which the port is opened. A
guard boat rowing round the Ships cannot be dispensed with, & it is
customary for every person who go onshore from Strange Ships to have
Officer, Non-commissioned Officer, or Private, to attend them wherever they go, acording to their rank, but this disagreeable restraint we did not experience.
The next morning August 7th the Governor & as many Officers of the Kings Ships & Marines as could be spared from their duty, went onshore to pay their respects to the Viceroy; Governor Phillip was received at the Landing place by the Captain of the Guard, & a Religieux who conducted him & the other Officers to the Pallace (which is near the landing place) where we waited about five minutes in an Ante-chamber, when a Curtain was drawn, which discovered the Vice-King in the drawing-room, to whom we were seperately introduced by our Governor. We were all received with great
courtesy & politeness, refreshment was offered, & after a short conversation we withdrew and took our leave.
During our Stay here Governor Phillip received the same honours from the Guards &c as is paid to the Vice-Roy; the extreme hospitality and attention to every person in the Fleet, by the inhabitants of this place, merits the warmest Gratitude on our part, and It is pleasing to reflect, that no improper behaviour of either Sailor, Soldier, or any person belonging to us, gave them any reason to be sorry for their civility to us. Some of the Convicts found means to make a dye & cast some Counter-feit dollars & smaller pieces, a few of which were passed off but was soon detected, a restitution was made to those who had taken them, & the offenders were punished.
We got every article of refreshment in the greatest plenty & very
cheap, such as Beef (with which every person was daily supplied) Mutton,
Poultry of all kinds, Vegetables European & Tropical in great
quantities, oranges and Bannanas perhaps the finest in the World, & a
variety of other fruits. The Convicts & Marines were
were victualled with every necessary, in a far greater
proportion than the usual allowance, for three-pence half penny a day.
The water is very good & is filled in the boats with a hose, which
leads from a fountain near the landing place.
In falling in with Cape Frio, which is an Island & makes in a saddle like two hills; Ships should not risque making the land to the Northward of the Cape, which runs into a deep bay, in which are several Islands, called
the Islands of Ancosa, and Saint Anne. But if a Ship should be forced in among them by a S.E. wind, there is good Anchoring within the largest of the Ancosa Islands in 15 fathoms at one leagues distance from the Island. It often happens that the Weather on this Coast is very thick, therefore care should be taken in running for Cape frio, to keep the lead going, as the soundings do not extend above 10 Leagues off where there is 150 fathom & if at all to the Southward of the Cape the bottom is a kind of Yellow mud, these sounding decrease gradually, & the depth from the Cape to the Isle of Raz is from forty two, to fifteen fathoms. The harbours mouth bears from the Cape West, eighteen Leagues. No time should be lost in getting in, as it sometimes happens that the Sea Wind
does not come in for days together, ‘tho in general the land & sea Winds are regular. We were four days getting into the Harbour, after being abreast of the Cape. In standing to the Westward from Cape Frio, for the harbours mouth, two Sugar loaf hills will be seen, the Western of which is that at the harbours mouth; in thick Weather the one is sometimes taken for the other, which has occasioned the loss of some Vessells, the difference is easily known as the Eastern Sugar-loaf bilges out to the Westward, & the Western one, bilges out to the Eastward they are some distance asunder. The Islands of Paya & Maya may be sailed round by a first rate, so close as to touch her sides without any danger. If there is not sea breeze sufficient to carry a Vessell into the harbour, they may
anchor within the Isle of Raz, bringing it to bear South, one Mile, or nearer. The Island called Rodondo, & other Rocks and Islands to the N.W. is a sufficient shelter against any Wind but the S.E. and with that wind they may run into the Harbour; There is no danger in going in but what is visible, the inside of the harbour is the same. the Marks to sail in are to steer towards the Sugar loaf at the entrance of the harbour, till the Church of Notre dame de bon Voyage, is open of the Fort at the right hand of the entrance (called Santa Cruz) opposite to which about three quarters of a mile is a fort on an Island called Lege, when between those two forts which may be called the Bar, there is six fathom water. it is necessary to guard against being set
into either of the bights between those two Forts, as the Ebb tide sets strong into that of Lege, & the Flood into that of Santa Cruz, but of the two, it is better to get into that of Santa Cruz where there is tolerable anchorage, which is not the case with the other side it being a sharp rocky bottom, the Cato Admiral Parker from not knowing this, let go an anchor & the Cable was soon cut thro’. From Santa Cruz run up for the Island of Cobres & bring the bearings on which I mentioned before for our mooring the bottom is a good holding ground. Ships which intend remaining here any time go behind the Island of Cobres where the Portugueze Men of War, and the Brazil-men lye. On that Island are rings to heave down by.
The harbour is spacious & safe, the tide flows in
2 hours & half full & change & rises about four feet perpendicular but this depends on the wind. There are forty Islands in the harbour the largest of which is called Governador, this Island would have been the healthiest situation for the town; Its present scite is not the healthiest, as the high Mountains which surround it entirely excludes the Sea-breezes, which renders it excessive hot & sultry, altho’ the Streets & places are in general of a great width. There are some good buildings the principle of which are the Churches & Convents. The Vice Roys Pallace which is a very spacious & not inelegant building, near it are his Stables the Mint & Opera Court of Justice &c. His title is Vice Roy & Captain General of the Brazils by Sea & Land, his fixed salary is, two thousand pound sterling a Year. An officer of the Rank of Lieut.t Colonel who is called
Adjutant d’ordres is in constance attendance on the Viceroy to give out orders & transact all the Military & most part of the Civil business, there are besides this Officer, a great number of others who are on constant duty at the same place. The Troops are well disciplined & appointed, subordination is strictly enforced, When we were there the garrison consisted of about Five thousand troops viz the regiments of Braganza, Estra- Modo, and Moira, these three regiments came from Lisbon in 1768 & were to remain only three Years, but there is no likelihood of their being soon relieved; here are besides, two Companies of very good cavalry, & four companies of Artillery, also three Provincial Corps of one thousand men each which are mostly doing duty in the Country as Garrisons to forts & stopping up the different avenues to the Gold & diamond Mines. The town can arm
Six thousand trained men; According to a statement made in 1784 the City & its bas-lieu contained about 30,000 Souls, but we were credibly informed that this account is far short of the number. The Fortifications in the harbour & about the town are well distributed, but are not kept in the best order.
The country about the town & round the harbour, is romantic & pictoresque beyond description, and was it in possesion of any other European power (except Spain) it might produce every article of necessity and luxury, in the greatest abundance, lately a few publick spirited people have altho’ made a change in the native indolence of the Portugueze who contented with the native riches of this country, are not sollicitous about cultivating it.
In the year 1760 all the necessaries of life except animal food were
the Lizbon, but at this time they are much
improved as I before remarked, by the example shown by the Vice Roy &
a Mr. Hopman; Exclusive of a very ample supply for the use of the
inhabitants & the Ships that trade here, they are enabled to export
Yearly 6000 Cases of Sugar, at 1240lbs each, 5000 Cases of
Rice, 36,000 pds of Indigo, 2000 pipes of Rum, besides Cochineal &
Woods for dying, A great trade is also carried on Coastwise in different
articles. A Kings Ship comes here once a Year to carry home the Diamonds
& Gold. The quantity of Diamonds which are sent to Portugal yearly or
their value could not be obtained; the Quantity of Gold is 32,000
lbs. or 3200 Arobes. This information I got from a person who
from his situation was very conversant & fully acquainted with this
On our arrival here Governor Phillip got permission to land Lieut.t Dawes of the Marines, with the Astrononomical Instruments, viz Quadrant, Clock, & Time Keeper &c. on the Island of Anchaded which bore from the Sirius N50° W.t distant 2 miles & three quarters Mr Dawes remained there till the day we sailed, but unfortunately the state of the air was always too Cloudy to observe the Eclipses of Jupiters Satellites, but by some good distances of the Moon, from the Sun and Stars, he fixed the Longitude of that Island to be 43°:21’ W.t of Greenwich, & the time keeper agreed exactly with the medium of the distances. Having finished our business at this Port we sailed the 5th of September
having staid here just one Month; On passing the Fort of Santa Cruz we were saluted with twenty one Guns to which we returned an equal number, this was the last mark of attention & respect we met with from Luis Velasque de Concierge, Viceroy of the Brazils.
We lost sight of the Land on the evening of the 5th. On the 6th the
Wind freshned from the N.E. & E.N.E. in which Quarter it remained
till the 8th at midnight when it shifted round to the WNW & South,
with heavy squalls of Wind, Rain, Thunder & lightning, our
Latt.de at that time was 25°:54’ South the Longitude
by Time Keeper 39°:39’ W.t From our loosing sight of
the Coast of Brazil till the eleventh, we in general found a strong
to from the Southward, from which
Quarter we had a swell. On the 12th we had the Wind at ENE from whence it
shifted round to North with a great Western Swell accompanied with
violent Squalls of Wind & Rain the 15th was calm & tolerable
[indecipherable] for the first time since we left the Rio, which enabled
us to get some good altitudes for the Timekeeper, which made our
Longitude 31°:39’ W.t Latitude
The thermometer at 67°:40’ & the Barometer 30:17. From
the 15th to the 20th we had the wind from the Northward backing round to
South. On the 22nd at 3h:58’ the Longitude by a mean of
many distances of the Sun & Moon 22°:34’:30”
W.t by the Time keeper 22°:33’ W.t
ongatitude 33°:04’ South
Variation of the Compass 2°:33’ W.t The 23rd had hard gales & a high Sea running from the NE. The 24th the Wind shifted to N.W. and blew with great violence accompanied with very heavy Squalls of Wind, Rain, Thunder & lightning which continued till the 27th the Wind veering to the Westward & S.W. Some good altitudes were got this day which makes the Longitude by the Timekeeper to be
9°:02’:30” W.t by Dead reckoning 8°:31’:00” W.t Latt.de was 34°:26’ So The Course we have steered when the Wind permitted it was E.b.S.
Having had the Wind nearly right aft
for these some days past, & a heavy rolling sea the Ship has laboured very much, which obliged us to house the guns & lash the ports in fore & aft, a discovery was now made, which does not redound to the Credit of the Officers of the Dock Yard where the Sirius was fitted out at. It being necessary to rip up the lead which lined one of the Scuttles, a piece of rotten wood was broke off from one of the Top-timbers, & an inspection, not only the whole of the top-timbers, but also many of the Futtocks were in the same condition, this discovery was productive of the following anecdote respecting the Ship. She was built in the River & intended for an East Country Ship, in loading her, she took fire & was burnt down to her wales, Government being in want of a burthersome ship to carry Stores abroad, the Navy-board purchased her
bottom, it was taken into dock & she was rebuilt with any stuff that could be found, I have already said, she went two Voyages as a Store-Ship, since when she has had no repair as the Surveyor of th Navy & Builders of the Yard at Deptford reported her fit for the Voyage to which she is destined.
From the 27th to the 1st of October we had Fresh Gales of Wind & a great Sea running, after which till the 5th we had moderatye winds & rain, at this time our Lattitude was 35°:51’S.o Long.de 3°:55’ E.t The Supply spoke us & informed the Governor that the Charlotte was getting sickly, having upwards of thirty in her sick list, mostly Convicts. On the 6th the Alexander hailed us, & soon after the Master of that Transport & the
Commanding Marine Officer came onboard, & said that a plan had been laid by the Seamen & some of the Convicts, to give all the latter their liberty when we arrived at the Cape of Good hope, for which purpose, Iron Crows, & other utensils had been furnished them by the Seamen, The principal ring-leaders of the Convicts were stapled to the deck, & four of the Seamen were brought onboard the Sirius, & an equal number of the Sirius’s people were sent onboard in their Room. On the 7th & 8th had the Wind from the N.E. with very fine Weather & smooth Water, On the 9th the Latitude was 36°:28’ Sousth Longitude by Time keeper 9°:39’ E.t We found a strong current on the 10th & eleventh which set us eleven miles to the Northward of our account each day. On the 12th the Latt.de was 34°:28’ S/o Long.de by time keeper 16°:59’ E.t By Account 16°:39’ E.
From the time we left the Brazils to our Arrival at the Cape we were constantly attended by the Pintada bird, which we first saw in Latitude 32°:10’S.o Long.de 25°:25’ W.t The black, White, & Grey Gulls & Gannets, with the brown & black peterels & Albatross were very numerous all the passage.
On the 13th at noon being by our reckoning only Thirty nine leagues from the land of the Cape of Good-Hope, the Supply was sent ahead to make it at six in the Evening the Cape town bore by the Time Keeper N E distant Leagues, and by the Dead reckoning N E distant Leagues, from which time till we anchored in Table Bay we ran East Fifty
At 6 in the Evening of the 13th We anchor’d in Table Bay with all the Convoy in 6 fathom water & Moored Ship a Cable each way, the Best bower to the S.W. & Small Bower to the N.E. Robbin Island bore N½E. Green point NW Green point NW½W & the Flaggstaff Wb.N. We found riding here a Dutch Frigate, & several Dutch, Danish, & two French India Ships. On coming to an anchor an officer was sent on shore to wait on the Dutch Governor Mr. De Graaff, who received him with politeness & assured him that the Salute should be returned with an equal number of Guns from the Fort, & that all our wants should be supplied excepting Grain, & flour, to which he could give no present answer, on account
of the great scarcity of corn the last two Years, Mr. de Graaf requested the Officer would assure the Governor (Phillip) that in case of desertion either of Soldier or Sailor from the Ships under his Command every means should be used by him to discover the deserter, & to deliver him or them up, & he hoped the same line of conduct would be pursued with respect to any deserters from his Government; on the Officers return on b.d the Sirius saluted the Fort with thirteen guns, to which an equal number were returned & the Sig.l was made to the Transports &c that the port was opned.
The next morning October ye 14th Governor Phillip attended by a Lieutenant of the Sirius waited on the Dutch Governor who received them with
the greatest politeness. The Conversation began on the subject of our Wants which consisted of Cattle for breeding, grain for seed, Flour & Wine for the Ships use, & a quantity of the former for the Settlement, & bread for the dayly use while in this port as also Fresh meat, Mr. De Graaf readily assented to the Cattle & Wine as also a daily supply of fresh meat, but respecting the corn & flour, he could not give any answer, untill Governor Phillip should state in writing (addressed to the Governor & Council) an account of what Quantity of grain & flour he wanted, which he requested might be done as sparing as possible, nor could he promise the smallest quantity to us untill an account of what Quantity was in the Country. (It was with great difficulty an order was got for the dayly supply of bread three days after,
our arrival) The reasons given by Mr. De Graaf for this restriction was the great famine which had prevailed for the two preceeding Years, he admitted that the present harvest promised much, but there was a great demand from the Isle of France, and Batavia, to the former he was bound in Gratitude to send what quantity he could, as the Cape had been greatly assisted from thence during the famine, to the latter (Batavia) they were obliged to send a certain Quantity yearly and this was the first Year out of three, that he had a prospect of complying with his orders. Mr. Phillip urged the great necessity we were in for those Articles, & hoped that every thing he wanted would be granted. A Letter was wrote the next day & sent to the Council who were then sitting, but it was not till the
twenty third, ten days after our arrival that any answer was given, repeated messages were sent from Governor Phillip to Mr. de Graaf who said the delay was occasioned by the Farmers report not being received from the Country, but the day preceeding the letter being sent from the Council, an officer was sent to Mr. De Graaf to say, that if an immediate answer was not sent to the requisition, Governor Phillip would consider himself as obliged to leave the port, for want of that assistance & relief which he had a right to expect from the subjects of a power in friendship & alliance with Great Britain, this message was sent at six o’clock at night, & at eight the following morning the letter was received granting every thing that was asked & as much more as was wanted. The Contractors were Petrus de Wit & Johannes Kerstan, whose integrity & probity ought ever to recommend them to whatever
Ships may touch here, there was great reason to suppose an opposition against those Young men was in a great measure the cause of the delay in our demand being comply'd with.
The whole number of sick in the fleet on the day of our arrival did not Exceed twenty, & those were perfectly recovered a few days after our arrival; We landed neither Officer, Soldier, or Sailer at Sick Quarters which is a very rare circumstance at this place.
As some of my friends may read this, who have not read any account of this place, I shall add a short description of it, which to the generality of people may appear impertinent, as such good accounts have been given of it by Navigators & travellers; but as the whole of this is wrote, with a wish of gratifying the curiosity
of a few friends, & never intended to be published, I do not feel myself alarmed at any ill natured remarks that it may occasion.
The Cape Town is situated on an Amphitheatre at the head of Table Bay, the Table Hill, Devils Hill, Sugar loaf & Lions rump from the Amphitheatre which has a most pictoresque appearance. The Streets are Wide & drawn at right-angles & in conformity to the Dutch mode Canals of Water run through them, some of which are stagnant the houses are all well built & commodious, & are in general kept very clean. There is a square in the Center of the Town in which the Market is held, & in it is a Court house which has a good appearance. The Bay is well fortified by a number of Forts & batteries which are judiciously
placed, The principal fortification is the Citadel which is situated close to the shore at the foot of Charles’s Mount or the Devils Hill which is a place of Considerable strength, & not only guards the Landing, but also serves as a Barrier, to prevent any attack from the Country. The Governors house is situated in the Center of the Companys Garden which is laid out with great judgment, small canals of water running thro’ it, & the different beds sheltred from the Wind by very thick fences of Oak trees & Myrtles, at the head of this Garden is a Menagerie, & Aviary,but at this time there were but very few Animals or Birds in it. The Companys Affairs here are transacted by the Governor whose title is Governor
and Director, he is assisted by a Council, & all publick business is transacted in the Citadel or Fort.
Every European in this Settlement is in the Service of the Company, either in a Civil or Military Capacity, & as the means of Commerce is removed from them, by prohibiting the purchace or building any kind of Vessell whatever, the greatest part of the Inhabitants, turn their attention towards supplying the wants of these Ships that may put in here, almost every house is a lodging & boarding house, for which the proprieter pais a duty to the Company. The houses are kept extremly clean, the General terms are six shillings or a Ducatoon p Day for which the Guest is supplied, with Breakfast
Dinner, Supper, and Lodging, the people of the House expect the privelege of purchasing every article their Guests may want, on which they charge a Commission of 5 p cent, & if they give mony for Bills of Exchange on Europe the discount is 8 p cent. The Population was ascertained to be in 1784 Whites Blacks throughout all the Settlements, the European inhabitants of the Town are formed into a Corps of Infantry & the inhabitants of the Country into a Corps of Cavalry, which meet at the town, once a Year, & exercise every day during a fortnight. They are a good looking healthy body of Men, & would be found a formidable
obstruction to the taking of this place.
The present Garrison consists of the Regiments of Gordon & Wurtemberg in all about 2500 Men, besides a good Corps of Artillery which are well trained & disciplined.
There are plantations at 180 leagues distant from the Cape Town nearly in land, but the plantations along the Coast are at a much greater distance, the Ground that all these Colonies take up would form an immense Colonie, if the different habitations were near each other, but as the Cultivater has chosen the best Ground & the most fertile pasturages, they are at a
very great distance from each other;
The fertility of the soil & the number of Flocks, enables the inhabitants to live very cheap, which is by no means the case with strangers who visit this place in foreign Vessels; The Company reserves to themselves the right of furnishing them with provisions, Stores & Workmen at an exhorbitant price
The prices of the different articles were when we were here, as follows. viz..t A Grown Cow 40 Spanish Dollars, A Sheep 4½ D.s Fowles 2 Shillings Each, Turkies 8 Shillings Each, Geese 6 shillings each, Potatoes 19d a sack (about 150 lbs) , Cabbages 6d each, Stallion 150 S.D., Mare 40 Sp.D., Bull 30 R.D. Bull Calf 18 R.D
Barley 4d a bushell, Mutton or Beef bought When killed 4d p pound & every other article in proportion.
The Air of the Cape is generally thought very fine, But the inhabitants think it is rather an unwholsome place for those who remain any time here, but admit of its being very salutary for those who come from India, or who touch here;
The Violent S.E. winds which blow with great force here from May to August, is very disagreeable on shore, as the Streets & Houses are filled with the sand, that is raised by the Great violence of the Wind, & passing the Streets at this time is almost impracticable
On the 10th of Nov.r we embarked the Horses Cattle & Live stock intended for Breeding which consisted of 4 Mares, 1 Stallion, 1 Stone Colt, & 2 mare colts, 6 Cows, 1 Bull, 1 Bull calf Ewes 120, Rams 2, Goats & fowls a great Quantity,
Having finished our business at the Cape, the Fleet unmoored on the 11th, & would have sailed on the same day, but the Wind being at NW on that & the following day, we did not sail untill the 13th at 2 in the afternoon with a fresh breeze at S.S.E. On hauling round Penguin or Robbin Island we spoke the Kent of London, she had been four months from England but last from S.t Helena Bay, where she had got 40 Tons of Oyl & was bound to cruize to the Eastward of
the Cape in search of Whales,
The Wind continued still at NE with a great Swell from the Southward, this day the whole fleet was put to an allowance of two Quarts of Water p day Latt.de at noon 35°:14’ South Long.de by the Timekeeper 15°:07 East of Greenwich
The Wind at South with fresh breezes at 9 in the morning tacked to the Eastward. Latitude at noon 35°:22’S.o Longitude by Time Keeper 13°:29’ East. Variation of the Compass 22°:23’W We found that the Ship had been set 12’ to the North.d of Account in the 24 hours.
The Wind the same as Yesterday at 8 in the Evening tacked to the Westward, Latt.de at Noon 35°:43’S.o Long.de 12°:450’ E.t found the Ship ten miles to the North.d of Account.
Wind still from South to S.S.E. with Small drizzling rain Latitude 36°:40’ S.o Long,de 11°:452’ East
The Wind as Yesterday, with Moderate Breezes, Saw a great number of Whales about the Ship. Lattitude 37°:13S.o Longitude by Time-Keeper 10°:43’ E.t by a mean of thirty distances taken by four Observers 10°:43’ E.t wherefore we are 2°:29’ to the Westward of the Account, The Variation by several Azimuths & Amplitudes is 21°:03’ W.t
The Wind veered to E.S.E. the latter part of the 24 hours Calm with a great Swell from the Westward. Latitude at Noon 37°:40’ Longitude by time-keeper 10°:21’ E.t Variation 20°:54’ W.t This day at noon Governor Phillip signified
his intention of going onboard the Supply & proceeding with that Vessell, the Scarborough, Alexander & Friendship, Transports to the place of our destination; but in case the above transports (which are the best sailers in the Fleet) should not be able to keep up with the Supply, they are to be left under the direction of Lieutenant Shortland, the Agent, who is furnished with very ample instructions, in what manner the Vessells under his charge are to be conducted.
Captain Hunter is to make the best of his way in the Sirius with the rest of the Convoy, consisting of the Lady Penrhyn, Charlotte, Prince of Wales, & the three Victuallers, Governor Phillip Lieut.t Dawes of the Marines & myself are to embark onboard the Supply with six Artifi-
cers belonging to the Sirius & some Convict Artificers from the Transports. Major Ross, the Lieutenant Governor, & the Adjutant of Marines are to go in the Scarborough at the particular request of Major Ross & the Agent of Transports removes from the Fisburn, into the Alexander.
The end proposed by this seperation is, that the Governor hopes to arrive at the place of our Destination (Botany Bay) time enough before the rest of the Fleet, to determine whether that, is a proper place for the Settlement to be fixed at, & if not, it is his intention to Examine Port Jackson & the other ports to the Northward, and should Botany Bay answer our Expectations, and the
Supply arrive there any length of time before the Transports, it is his intention to build a temporary Store-house for the reception of the Provisions & Stores, which will hasten the departure of the Transports & Victuallers for England. It being calm the afternoon of this day the Signal was made for the Transports to come under the Sirius’s Stern & some arrangments previous to the intended seperation, were executed, & at sunsett every thing was ready, but it was deferred untill the Fleet should be One Hundred Leagues to the Eastward of the Cape of Good Hope.
It continued calm all this day untill noon when a light breeze sprung up at N.E.b.E. with which we steered S.E.
The constant Southerly winds which we have had since our leaving the Cape, & the Western current has set us considerably to the Westward. The Longitude by a mean of Fifty good distances is 10°:44’ & by the Time keeper 10°:21’ E.t the Longitude by account is 13°:26’ E.t Latitude 37°:38’ South Variation of the Compass 18°:00’ W.t
The Wind increases gradually at N.b.E. with a following Sea Latt.de 38:40’ Longitude 12°:57’ E.t Variation 20°:56’ W.t found the Ship was set 11’ to the Southward of Account.
The Wind veered to W.N.W. & N.N.W. with fresh Gales & a following Sea, Latitude at noon 39°:00 S.0 Longitude by Time Keeper 15°:48’ E.t Variation 20°:03’ W.t A great number of petrels Albatrosses & Whales about the Ship
Had very Strong Gales & a great Sea till 4 P.M. then Moderate Gales at West, NW, & SW untill the 26th.
At noon of this day the Governor, Lieut.t Dawes of the Marines & myself went onboard the Supply, the other changes also took place as was mentioned on the 19th & at 1 P.M. we parted Company with the Fleet, which at Sunsett were hull down When we left the Sirius the South Cape of New Holland bore S86°:55’ E.t distant 5582 miles & the Cape of Good Hope N44°:04’ W.t dist.t 352 miles –
At day light the Sirius & her convoy were out of sight, A great number of black & blue petrel about the Ship & a vast quantity of large Whales,
At 11 P.M. the Look out forward gave the alarm of rocks
under the lee bow, the Helm was instantly put a-lee & instead of rocks we passed over two enormous large Whales, the Shock of the Brig striking against them was felt by every one onboard. This day we had very Strong gales of Wind, heavy Squalls & a great sea running. In the direction of the Wind from NNE. our course steered is E.S.E. The Brig labours very much & is very uncomfortable, It must be acknowledged that ease & convenience were by no means our errand onboard this Vessell.
In the Evening we had Squalls of Wind & Rain, and one
of the most confused tumbling Seas I ever saw, the Squalls brought the Wind round to the W.N.W. and the Sea abated much; the latter part of the day had Moderate breezes & pleasant Weather, which in a Vessell of this kind is a very desirable circumnstance, if it were only to dry ones things as the Sea Yesterday made fair breaches over the Brig & many of them Wet the head of the Fore-top-sail, A vast number of Albatrosses & Pettrels round the Brig, some Altitudes were taken this day for the first time since the 27th by which we find our Longitude at Noon to be 34°:18’ E.t Lattitude 39°:44’ S.o
Very fine weather, the Wind S.W.b.S. the Mean of the Variations in the Morning & Evening 30° West. A great Quantity of different birds in sight, amongst them are a great number of the Petrels which are thus distinguished. The small birds of a sooty brown colour, which in flying trip one leg on the Water is called the Mother Cary’s Chicken, the large bird of the same colour & form is called Mother Carys Goose; the small white bird is also called the blue Pettrell, from having a blue spot on its back: during our run from Rio de Janeiro to the Cape we were accompanied by the pintatada bird, or Cape Petterel, but on leaving the cape they forsook us, altho’ we have daily a great
Number of Albatrosses, Gannets, Gulls, pettrels &c. about. Fresh Gales accompanied with very heavy Squalls of Wind & Rain Lattitude 39°:45’ Longitude by several distances of Sun & Moon centers 38°:52’ E.t by the time-keeper 38°:37’ Variation 29°:23’ W.t
The second, third & fourth had Strong Gales & a heavy Sea from the Westward, the wind veered round to N.W. & NbE & from thence shifted suddenly on the 4th p.m. in a Squall to SbE & S.S.E. with rain, which made it so very cold that the people were sensibly affected by it. It is to be observed that in our run from the Brazils to the Cape, & on our present tack, that the wind commences after a Calm to blow at West and N.W. from whence
it was round in Squalls of rain, to North & SW round by the Westward, I never recollect the wind shifting round by the East
Moderate breezes at W.S.W. with a great Western Sea.
Wind from EbS to NEbN with very heavy rain and thick foggy weather, & distant Thunder in the SW Quarter
Wind Moderate in the NW Quarter, had a very thick fog all day, which makes our situation rather unpleasant As no Ship ever ran in this parrellel of Latitude before, so far to the Eastward. Latt.de by a Meridian Alt.de 41°:13’ So No altitudes could be taken for the time keeper.
Fresh Gales which veered from NW to NE & back again to NW. a Very high sea running which makes
the Brig labour very much, the distance run by the Log 158 Miles the Lattitude 41°:01’. Saw a number of Whales & Threshers.
From the 8th to the 14th the Wind has generally been variable in the
N.E. Quarter, the Weather in General fresh Gales with Squalls of heavy
rain & a high Sea running from the W.S.W. A vast Quantity of
Albatrosses, Pettrels & other Sea fowl flying about; our run each day
about 160 miles, keepg.
in the parrellel of 41°:30’ S.o We this day at Noon passed the Meridian of Island of S.t Pauls with a fresh Gale at SW & Clear Weather Latitude at noon 41°:41’ Longitude by Time keeper 78°:48’ E.t Variation 25°:15’ W.t The Birds which we have seen those two days past have
differed much to what they were before, instead of there being so many pettrel, there are now an amazing number of very large Gulls & enormous Albatrosses, also a large bird which is quite brown except a white spot in the Extremity of its Wings, it is fan-tailed like a Pidgeon, We have also passed a great quantity of Rock Weed, which may be accounted for from our vicinity to the Islands of Saint Paul, & Amsterdam, which bears this day at Noon, by the Time-Keeper N14° W.t dist.t Seventy nine Leagues.
15th & 16th
Had fresh breezes & clear weather, Wind from the N.W. We have seen very few birds these two days past, but have passed a great quantity of rock Weed Lattitude on the 16th
at noon 41°:41’ S.o Long.de by Time Keeper 84°:08’ E.t Variation 23°:04 W.t
Fresh Gales and Cloudy with a following Sea, passed a great Quantity of Gannets, Sheerwaters, & Rock weed
Strong Gales of Wind from the WSW with a very high Sea Latitude at noon 41°:44’ Longitude by time-keeper 91°:05
The wind & weather continues as Yesterday, with very violent & frequent Squalls of Wind & Sleet Latitude 41°34’ Longitude by Sun & moon 96°:03’ by the Time keeper 95°:58’
Very heavy Squalls of Wind & hail from the West
The same Weather as Yesterday with a Mountainous Sea Latitude 41°:39 Long.de 102°:01’ E.t Variation 21°:34’ W.t
Fresh Gales 7 Cloudy with a very high sea running several
of which the Brig shipped, this is the first day since we left the Cape that we have not seen any birds round us.
Strong Gales of Wind & Squalls of Hail, rain & Sleet Latitude 41°:59’ Longitude 109:45
The same weather as Yesterdy with a high following Sea which makes the Brig labour very much, she is constanly under water, which makes the situation of every person onboard truly uncomfortable & the Weather is as cold now (altho’ the height of Summer) as in England at this time of the Year. From the 24th to the first of January we had Heavy gales of Wind with much rain Thunder & lightning the wind in general in the NW
Quarter, with a very great Sea running, A vast number of large Albatrosses & petrels flying about
Had fresh brezzes from the North & hazey Weather, in the morning we saw a small Land bird flying about the ship Sounded every four hours but could get no bottom, Latt.de at Noon 43°:49’ S.o Longitude in 140°:46’ E.t Variation 2°:0 W.t
Untill 6 AM had Moderate Gales & Cloudy from the North after which had heavy Gales of Wind & a Tremenduous Sea running, which makes the Brig labour very much & obliged us to hand all her sails. Latitude at Noon 44°:06’ Longitude 143°:42’ E.t Variation by some good Azimuths taken in the Evening 36’ East
January 2nd / 3
Had Fresh breezes from NW to West with dark Cloudy Weather, & a head sea running which may be taken for an indication of our being very near the South Cape. In the night we had very dark Cloudy Weather & very fierce forked lightning; at ½ past ten in the morning we had the satisfaction of seeing Van Diemens Land off the deck & at Noon the South Cape of New Holland bore E½N. Nomans land NbE. & the Southermost land E½S. Latitude 43°:39’ S.o Longitude by Time Keeper 145°:40’ E.t and by several very good distances of the Sun & Moons Centers 145°:16’.34” E.t The Land about here is very uneven & has a most barren Appearance.
As the Wind blew very fresh from the Westward no time
was lost in making the best of it steering ESE at eight oclock at
night the Swilly rocks bore N.W.½W 5 or 6 miles off at eleven the
Course was changed to E.N.E. & at five in the morning to NNE at which
time the South Cape bore WNW about 7 Leagues off & the Northermost of
the Marianne Islands NNW½W7 Leagues.
Moderate breezes & Cloudy the Wind at Northd NNE. Latitude at noon 43°:27’ Long.de by Sun & Moon 149°:56 found a current had set us 15’ to the SE in the 24 hours. The Variation by several very good Azimuths 5°:5’ East.
The Wind still from the Northward with fresh breezes untill 8 in the Evening, when it shifted very suddenly to S.W. in a heavy Squall which gave but little
warning Latitude this day at noon 41°:39’ Longitude by
time-keeper 151°:17’ East which gives 17 miles to the Eastward
of the Log
The Wind Variable from SE to North with Moderate Weather The Variation found by 58 good Azimuths & Amplitudes is 10°:00’ E.t Latitude at Noon 40°:44’ Longitude by Time-Keeper 150°:26’ found a current had set us 10’ to the Southward in the 24 hours.
Had in general light winds from the Northward & thick Foggy weather Latitude 40°:05’ S.o Longitude by Time-keeper 149°:41’ East, 17 Miles to the Eastward of that the run will give Sounded often with 120 f.m line but found no ground
From the 8th to the 13th had in general Variable Weather, with the Wind from the Northward & Westward, with a great head Sea Latitude the 12th at noon 35°:42’ Longitude by Time keeper 152°:02’E,t
Had the Wind from E.S.E. veering round to NNW with pleasant weather, at ¼ past 9 in the morning saw the Coast of New South Wales, extending from N36° W.t to S67° W.t atg Noon we were about 5 Leagues off the nearest shoar, Latitude 34°:48 South & an Eminence on the Land which is level at the top base at Noon WbS. 4 Leagues, this hill we take for the mountain mentioned by Capt Cook which resembles a hat, he places it about 9 miles to the NW of red point
Soon after noon a breeze sprung up at S.b.E. we made sail immediately & steered along shore NNW, at half past four finding the breeze was not sufficiently strong to run down the distance to Botany Bay before dark, it was thought proper to shorten sail & stand off & on till morning, it soon after came on to blow strong from the Southward with a great swell at 8 p.m. being close in shore we tacked & stood off till 12 & then wore & stood in till 2 am when the brig was brought too with her head off shore till day light when we saw the land bearing from NbE to WNW. which resembled an Island, but we soon after found it was a projection of the land which was Chalk Clifts & its end
resembles the North, and South Foreland, at Noon our Observation gave 35°:14’ which is 26 miles to the Southward of our Yesterdays observation, notwithstanding we have run 22 miles to the Northward & according to our Calculation have made 6 miles more Northing since we shortned sail to lye on & off This Current or tide must have ran with great Strength & right against the Wind; at noon Cape Long-Nose bore NW 14 miles, the Southermost Land West & the North point of the Land we made in the morning NNW, we could see the Land farther to the Eastward but it being so very Cloudy we could not determine its extent.
Throughout this 24 hours we had Fresh Gales from North to
to NNE with a great Swell, Working to Windward, but found we lost
ground very considerably on each board, from Noon untill 4 pm we altered
the bearings of Cape Long nose & points to the Northward, lying off
East & in N.W. at noon of this day we found the Latitude to be
35°:58’ The Log gives with every possible allowance a due East
Course since Yesterday at noon, wherefore a Current has sat us 44’
to the Southward in 24 hours.
In the beginning of this day, the wind was moderate still from the Northward at six P.M. it increased so much as to oblige us to hand the Top-sails & ballance reef the Main sail, a Great Sea running & very Cloudy dirty
Weather, at 9 am. it moderated, the Latitude 326°:17’ agrees
very well with the run.
Wind still at North & NNE with strong squalls of Wind in the night, & heavy rain with lightning from the Northward, we this day found a Current had set us 21 miles to the Northward of Account. Latitude 35°:39’, Longitude by Time-keeper 152°:52’30”. The Longitude by dead reckoning, brought on from the Lunar observations & Time Keeper on the 15th when in sight of Long-nose, gives 151°:35’ which makes a difference of 72 miles to the Eastward of Account.
The first part of this 24 hours we had fresh breezes from the NW, at midnight it shifted to S.W. at 6 p.m. by a
Meridian altitude of the Moon we found our Lattitude was 35°:01’ South which is 7 miles to the North.d of what the log will give, at 8 in the morning Saw the land from WSW to NW, & at the same time saw the Hill resembling the Crown of a hat which bore W½S, we stood in NWbW & NW ‘till within three miles of the shoar, when we steer’d along-shore North; Excepting a few sandy beaches the Clifts of the Shoar are very steep, & a great surf beats on it, the Hills are cloathed with a Verdant Wood & there are many beautifull slopes covered with grass. In running along-shore we saw a number of Cascades of fresh water falling into the Sea from the Hills –
At noon the Latitude observed was 34°:14’ at the same time a
very high Chalk Clift which rose perpendicularly from the Sea bore NWbN
& the Northermost Land in sight bore N.N.E. As Capt. Cook’s
direction for knowing this Bay is fully sufficient, I shall pass on to
¼ past 2 in the Afternoon of the 19th when we hauled in for Botany
Bay, When we were abreast of Cape Solander we saw several of the Natives
running along the Top of the Hills brandishing their Spears &
hallooing. We anchored on the North Side of the Bay in 8½ fathoms
soft mud, & when moored
Cape Solander bore Point
Sutherland bore SSE & the Bare Island S.E. At three o’clock the
Boats were hoisted out & some officers belonging to the Supply with
myself & Lieut
Dawes & Accompanied the Governor on shore, we landed near a party of the Natives which we saw from the Vessell sitting in a Group, but on our approach they went away, We found this side of the Bay covered with small trees & a brush underwood which was not more than sixty Yards wide, & behind it was an extensive Marsh or Swamp, The soil was nothing but sand, with long grass growing between the trees, we went into the boats & rowed along this (the North side) side of the Bay to look for the stream of Fresh Water which Capt.n Cook describes, but not finding any, we returned to the Shore abreast of the Supply, where we observed a number of the Natives had assembled together,
The boats were put onshore near where we saw two Canoes were lying, on which the Natives (who before were sitting down) got up, & called to us in a very menacing & vociferous tone of voice, at the same time poising their Spears or Canoes as if intending to throw them at us. The Governor shewed them some beads & ordered a Man to fasten them to the stern of one of the Canoes, & on our rowing off the shore they fetched the beads we then made signs to them for Water to drink, on which they pointed round the point on which they stood, On landing they directed us by pointing to a very good stream of fresh water, The Governor advanced toward
them alone & unarmed, an old man walked to meet him but would not go near enough to receive the beads which the Governor held out for him, but seemed very desirous of having them & made signs for them to be laid on the ground, which was done, he (the Native) advanced with fear & trembling & at the same time sollicitous that we should not think he was alarmed, he took the beads up but did not express any sensation of pleasure or curiosity, by degrees he as well as some of the rest came so near as to receive Looking Glasses &c & seemed astonished at our Cloathing, they being all quite naked. We were soon after very great with the old man but night coming on, obliged us to return onboard.
At daylight we went onshore to haul the seine on the North side of the Bay, but caught very fish, on going into the boats some of the Natives came down & were more confident than they had been the preceeding night. At eight o’clock we were very agreeably surprized with the appearance of the Alexander Scarborough & Friendship coming round point Solander, They anchored near the Supply about 10 oclock in the morning, having saluted us with three Cheers. Major Ross at this time came onboard & as preparations were made in the morning to explore & examine all the North side of the bay, Major Ross was added to our party, which consisted of the
Governor, Lieut.s Ball, Dawes, Long, & myself, in three
boats. A Shoal which lay a long way off stretching near the middle of the
Bay, prevented our keeping near the Shoar, but its edge directed us to
the opening of the river at the NW side of this Bay, which River we went
up to the distance of five or six miles finding the country low &
boggy & no appearance of Fresh Water, we returned & rowed along
the upper part of the Bay to the intrance of a Creek on the SW side which
is rather wide in this place here we
went ashore landed
& walked along shoar for some distance & could find only one
small run of very indifferent water, which was drained from a Swamp
we saw several of the Native huts, some of which the natives had very recently left, perhaps on our approach, As we found bundles of Spears, Sticks, Nets, fishing lines and a fire alight, on one of which we found a fish boiling & a number of Oysters lying beside it, at a small distance from some of the Huts we saw large heaps of Oyster Shells & the bones of an animal which we apprehended had been eat. As an order was given not to take any thing belonging to the Natives, everything we found was left in the state we found, Except a piece of Baize which was tied round their Spears &c. “The Huts are only made to shelter them from the rain, or to hide them in when they lye in wait for the Animals they
they must feed on when they quit the Sea Coast. The Hut being composed of only one single piece of Bark as taken from the tree about eleven feet in length the breadth according to the size of the tree from three feet to five, this piece of Bark being bent in the middle, as children bend cards & set them up, is left open at both ends & afford just room enough for a man to coil himself up like a Dog. some few of the Huts are covered at one end, generally towards the South & at the other end without, the fire is made At 6 in the evening we returned onboard again not having found any place that was proper to fix at, as what we have hitherto seen of the Country is nothing but sand
& bogs, with little or no fresh water.
At eight in the morning we had the pleasure of seeing the Sirius & all her Convoy coming round Point Solander. at ½ past nine they anchored in the Bay. As the Sirius Arrival may be termed the End of the Voyage it will be necessary to remark here, that only thirty two have died on the passage, which was thirty seven weeks & two days from our leaving England to our arrival in Botany Bay out of which we had been Days in port.
When the very crowded state of the Marines & Convicts onboard the different Transports, & the habitual dirtiness of the Convicts, together with that indolence which is so prevalent onboard
Merchant Ships, in not keeping them clean & wholsome and the
different Climates we have passed thro’, are Considered, it may be
a subject of Wonder, at the very healthy state of the Fleet, which is to
be attributed to the activity & vigilance of the Officers of Marines
onb.d the different Transports in
causing them to be kept constantly clean & wholsome, & to the
great regularity observed onboard; The abilities of the Surgeon & his
assistants were also a great means of keeping the Fleet healthy &
what contributed as much as the above reasons, was the goodness of the
provisions, which were all wholesome & good. I believe every person
in the Fleet were fully sensible of this advantage, which cannot fail of
doing credit to the Contractor, Mr. Richard
who contracted with Government to furnish the provisions &c for the Marines & Convicts from England to Botany Bay. Excepting some Complaints from the Masters of the Transports of a few of their seamen being riotous There was no irregularities or improper beheaviour among the Free people, it was natural to expect bad behaviour from the Convicts but it must be confessed that they were on the whole very quiet & orderly; The uniform good behaviour of the Marines from their first embarkation to the day of their landing was acknowledged by the Governor approving of their conduct in publick orders. No accident whatever has happned to the Transports, which is to be wondered at as most of them were very badly found.
At 10 oclock the Governor, Major Ross & Captain Hunter went over to the South side of the Bay in order to examine it, I was ordered with Lieut.t Dawes, to examine the Inlets or Creeks which were at the S.W. side of the Bay & to trace them as high as possible. Towards the head of the harbour there is a flatt reaches right across with a Chanell of 18 feet at highwater above which there are some large Lagoons of very deep water which run a great way up, I landed on a point of land, where I saw a Native dog & as there was a likelihood of finding fresh water I went to the top of the Hill (which is not of any great height) with Lieut.t Dawes & two Marines, we soon
saw a party of the Natives who hallood & made signs for us to return to our boats, I advanced towards them without any Arms, & held out beads & other trifles, two of the Natives then approached but kept their Spears poised, being fearfull of the Marines who were at some distance in the rear, the Natives were so very cautious that they would not come nearer than thirty or forty Yards on which I tied the beads &c to a tree, & walked towards my party, when the two Natives took the beads & some baize I had left with them, which they tied round their heads, they then in a very vociferous tone made signs for us to go away & one of them threw a lance wide of us, in order to shew the force & power
of their arms, the distance it was thrown was as near as I could guess
about forty Yards, & when it was taken out of the Ground it required
an Exertion to pull it out. As this might be deemed a threat, which was
accompanied with much generosity in shewing the power of their Arms, I
advanced again towards them, on which they retreated backwards, &
seeing that no advantage could be gained by a longer stay I joined the
party & we went down the hill to go to the Boat we had scarcely got
to the foot of the hill when a lance was thrown amongst us, but without
any striking any person, As they appeared on the top of
the Hill & seemed disposed to throw more
lances I ordered one of the Marines to fire his musquet with powder only, on which they flew with great haste.
At the head of the Inlet we met another party of the Natives, As the Water was very shoal here we made signs to them & a number came round the boat, to whom we gave what few ornaments we had but what attracted their notice most was our Cloathing particularly the Great Coats & hats, which they were very desirous of obtaining. They came round the boat in such numbers & every one of them armed with a short stick which had a hook at one end of it, others with Short Bludgeons & some with stone hatchetts, that I found it necessary to be on my guard against a surprize
The natives wanted much to know of what sex we were, they certainly took us for women as we had not our beards grown, They expressed a great desire to be have their Curiosity satisfied on which I ordered one of the boats Crew to satisfy them in this respect. On which they set up a shout, & pointed to the Shore where a number of Women & Children were sitting all in puris naturalibus, but it is to be observed that the heel of the right foot answers the end of a Fig-leaf when in this position. The Natives round the boat made signs for us to go to them & made us understand their persons were at our service, this mark of their Hospitality I declined but shewed a handkerchief which I offered to
one of the Women, pointing her out she immediately laid her child down
& came alongside of the Boat, when I applied the handkerchief where
decency seemed to demand it, the natives on the shore & round the
boat set up another very great shout & my female visitor retired, As
the Evening was nearly closed, & the Boat was twelve miles from the
Fleet, I returned onboard about eleven at night, when I found the
Governor preparing to go the next morning with the Longboats to Examine
Port Jackson & Broken Bay, I was ordered to pursue the examining the
upper part of Botany Bay.
At 6 in the Morning Governor Phillip, Capt. Hunter, & the Judge Advocate, with the Masters of the Sirius & Supply, & some Petty Officers, sett off in three boats to examine Port Jackson & Broken Bay, and Mr. Dawes, with
myself & a midshipman went away in two boats to examine the coves &c in the upper part of this Bay After rowing about the whole day & landing on several places we returned onboard again about eight oclock at night & as Governor Phillip was absent I made my report to the Lieut.t Governor.
Above the bar which lies at the S.W. extremity of the Bay are a vast number of deep coves & large lagoons, in some of which we found 9 fathom water In most of these coves a first rate ship might lye along side the rocks with which every part of the Shore is lined except at the head of some of the Coves, where it is covered with Mangroves & where this is
the case the ground behind it is a Bog. In some small spots I found a tolerable good soil it was black & very sandy, but there was not the least appearance of any fresh water, Except the few small spots which I have mentioned the whole of this part of the Bay is covered with Rock & Stone. The Country is covered with trees & long grass wherever there is a foot of soil or Sand.
Before Governor Phillip went to examine Port Jackson &c he had given orders to land a party of the Convicts & A Guard with them on the South side of the Bay, within Point Sutherland & to begin a Saw pit, as that was the only place where a commencement could be made, in case no
better situation could be found, this work was carried on with the saw pit nearly finished, altho’ the Timber of which the side-sticks were made was found exceeding hard & difficult to be worked as it turned the Edge & broke the Tools.
At 4 in the Evening Governor Phillip & his party returned from their examination of Port Jackson & orders were immediately given to get the Transports & Victuallers ready to sail next morning, As Port Jackson was judged to be more eligible to make the Settlement at than this place
At daylight two Strange Ships were seen standing in for the Bay, one of which had a White broad pendant at her main top mast-head & the other a Common
White pendant from which circumstance we judged them to be the two Ships under the orders of Monsieur de la perouse. The Wind coming to blow fresh from the NNE prevented their getting in, or our going out, at four in the Afternoon they were out of sight, having made several ineffectual attempts to get into the Bay.
At daylight in the Morning we weighed in the Supply having received onboard a Company of Marines & 40 Convicts, The Wind blew so strong from the SSE & the tide of flood running in strong, obliged us to anchor again under
the South head point Sutherland At
noon the tide being slack we weighed & turned out of the Bay it
blowing very hard from the SSE with much rain. In running along shore for
Port Jackson, we observed a number of
steep rocky Clifts, & after having run about three Leagues we were
abreast of some high Sand Clifts, at the Northern extremity of which, the
land of the entrance of Port Jackson commences, it is soon discovered
lying between two Steep bluff heads, there is no danger entering the
harbour but what is visible. The larboard Arm heads up to the Cove where
the Settlement is made, which Governor Phillip has named Sydney Cove, in
honor of the Lord Sydney, His Majesties Principal Secretary of State for
the home department. at the entrance of the Larb.d arm a Rock
tailing off to the Westward, lyes in the Mid the shoal of which extends
about a cables length round it this rock is just covered at high water.
The Settlement lyes about six miles from the Entrance of the Harbour
& is a
Sydney Cove will admit of the largest Ships lying alongside the Shoar.
The safety & extent of this Harbour, makes it the first port in
the World, but not the most favorable for Cultivation as all the
cover most of them too rocky for
Cultivation, altho’ covered with wood, & when a spot is found
clear of rocks, the soil is a sand with a black colouring, occasioned by
the rotting of leaves & other vegetable substances, in some small
spots the soil is much better, & the whole is covered with a long
grass. A Stream of Fresh water runs into the head of Sydney cove, which
appears sufficiently large for culinary purposes. In the Harbour are
eight or nine small Islands which are covered with rocks & Trees
& these Islands with the headlands of the different
Coves & the rocks, form a pictoresque appearance which has a pleasing effect. We Anchored in Sydney Cove at 7 in the Evening of the 25th.
At day light the Marines & Convicts were landed from the Supply & the latter began clearing away a piece of Ground to erect the tents on, after noon the Union Jack was hoisted on shore & the Marines being drawn up under it, The Governor & officers to the right & the Convicts to the left. Their Majesties & the Prince of Wales health, with success to the Colony was drank in four glasses of Porter, after which a feu-de-joii was fired & the whole gave three Cheers, which ceremony was also observed on board the Supply. At Sunset the Sirius & all the Convoy anchored in the Cove;
Captain Hunter informed the Governor, that the two French Ships seen on the 24th had anchored in Botany Bay just before he left it, & that they were La Boupole and L’Astrolabe commanded by Monsieur de La perouse which Vessels sailed from France on discoveries in June 1785, & that they came to Botany Bay to build two Long boats (which they had in frames) to replace, their Long boats which were destroyed by the Natives of Maouna one of the Isle des Navigateurs.
A great part of the Marines & Convicts were landed & the latter were immediately set to work clearing away ground for the Encampment. The place on which the Settlement is to be made is at the head of Sydney Cove
in the Center of which a stream of fresh water emptys itself, the Shoar on each side is bounded by rocks within which there is a very indifferent sandy soil & full of very large timber; the Marines & greatest part of the Convicts are to be encamped on the West side, The Governor & staff with a small part of the Convicts on the East side of the Stream
All the Marines & Male Convicts were disembarked from the different Ships & encamped, The Females were kept onboard untill the ground was further cleared there not being room to put them in a situation apart from the men. The Stock for breeding was landed this day which consists of 4 Mares, 2 Stallions, 2 Cows, 1 Bull & 1 Bull Calf with Ewes a good stock of Poultry & Hogs
which are the property of Government & the Governor, the Officers private Stock has been well preserved.
A great deal of Work has been done in clearing away the ground to pitch the Tents on, Some Carpenters preparing for fixing the Governors Portable House, which is framed & the sides &c of painted Canvas. A number of convicts digging up ground for a Garden.
This day was observed as a holiday. At nine o’clock The Marines were drawn up, & the Convicts assembled in their Front, the Governor & officers in the Center When His Excellencys Commission was read, together with the Commission for holding a court of Criminal Indicature & the Act of Parliament authorizing that Court to assemble
& pronounce sentence, When the Judge Advocate had finished reading
the Commission &c The Governor addressed the Convicts & in a very
pointed & clear manner exhorted them to behave
propriety well & to be assiduous in promoting the general
good; Encouragement, & protection, were promised to those who might
be deserving of it & the Idle & dissolute were assured of an
exemplary punishment. After his Excellency had finished, the Marines
fired three rounds, the colours unfurled & the Band playing
“God save the King” after which the whole gave three cheers,
when the detachment marched off the Ground as they came on, with Musick
playing & the Colours Flying, to the part of their Camp where
were drawn up & reviewed by the Governor who was received with the
honours due to his rank & situation At two o’clock the Governor
with all the Naval & Military Officers partook of a cold collation
which had been provided &
the day ended several
loyal Toasts were drank & others applicable to the present situation
& the day ended with great good humour. Ever since our arrival here
we have found a great deal of Thunder & lightning which far exceeds
any thing of the kind I ever saw before. We have observed at Botany Bay
& this place several trees which bore evident marks of being
splintered by lightning, which with an accident that
happned on the 2nd of February, viz a Tree
being splintered by lightning & a Centinel having a narrow escape, & on the following night another tree was splintered & shook to pieces, by which accident some sheep that had got round it for shelter, were struck dead, these frequent accidents by lightning, seems to threaten our settlers with a very great calamity but it is to be hoped that when the country is a little cleared its effects will be considerably lessned.
At day light Lieut.t Dawes of the Marines and myself left Sydney Cove in a Cutter to go to Botany Bay & visit Monsieur De la Perouse on the part of Governor Phillip, & to offer him
any assistance he might need, we soon got down to the harbours mouth & finding a light breeze from the Southward we were obliged to row all the way & arrived on board the Boupole at 10 oclock in the morning, where we were received with the greatest attention & politeness by Monsieur Perouse & the few officers he had, After delivering my message to him, he returned his thanks to Governor Phillip & made the same offers he had received & added that as he should be in france in fifteen months, & having stores &c sufficient for three Years he should be happy to send Governor Phillip any thing that he might want. Monsieur Peyrouse informed me that a number of the Convicts had
been to him & wanted to enter onboard his Ships but he had dismissed them with threats, & gave them a days provisions to carry them back to the Settlement
The Wind coming on to blow fresh from the Northward I accepted Mons.r Perouses invitation to pass the day with him & return to Port Jackson the next morning. In the course of my conversation with him, he informed me that he had touched at & been off the following places viz Madeira, Teneriffe & S.t Catherina, he had run down the coasts of Chile & California, On the last coast he lost Boats Officers & men by the Surf. He had been at Kamschatka where he replaced the wooden inscription (which was
nearly defaced) with a Copper one, for which I thanked him, From
Kamschatka he went to Macoa, the Phillipines Sandwich Islands, Isles des
Navigateurs, Friendly Isles & Norfolk Island, from
which whence he came on this Coast. At the Island Maouna
(one of the Isles des Navigateurs) in Latitude 14°:19’
So Longitude 173°:00’20” E.t of
Paris) he was so very unfortunate as to lose Monsieur De Langle Captain
of L’Astrolabe eight Officers, four men, & one boy, who were
killed by the Natives, besides a number wounded which happned as follows.
The two Ships had been some days at this e Island &
had been on very good terms with the Natives, who had furnished him with
of Stock in the greatest profusion for barter; He found it very necessary to be on his guard against a treacherous disposition which he discovered in them, when every thing was ready for their departure & the Ships were under weigh, De langle requested perouse would permit him to get another tun of water, which Perouse consented to with as much reluctance as De langle seemed solicitous to obtain his request As the long boats were not hoisted in they were sent on this service with two other boats to attend them, under the direction of the unfortunate De langle The Ships were lying too & a strong Current set them round a point, out of sight of the place where
the Boats were to land. When the Boats landed the people were as usual surrounded by the Inhabitants who did not immediately discover any hostile intentions Unfortunately the sailers in the long boats had suffered them to take the ground & in using means to get them afloat again, the natives were very troublesome & pressed close in upon the Seamen. De langle order’d the people in the rowing boats to be ready to fire on the Natives but not to do it untill they were told by him, some altercation happening in consequence of their pressing so close on the French, might have produced a blow with a Club from one of the Natives, which was instantly taken as a signal by the rest, & the Massacre
began. The Natives were armed with short heavy Clubs by which means they rendered the Fire arms useless, orders were given to fire the swivels &c in the rowing boats, but it was too late altho’ the Natives fled the instant they were fired, dragging the dead bodies after them it was supposed that thirty of the Natives were killed, Those belonging to the Ships that had escaped the massacre swam to the rowing boats, & were carried onboard the Ships, many of them had received violent contusions on the head as all the blows were aimed at that part. De la peyrouse thought proper to quit these Islands immediately, after
endeavouring to regain his long-boats, which he found the Natives had destroyed. He represents the Inhabitants of these Islands as a very strong & handsome race of Men, scarce one among them less than six feet high & well sett. The Women are delicately beautiful, Their Canoes, Houses &c are well constructed & they are much more advanced in internal policy & order than any of the Islands in the Pacific ocean They are surrounded by a Coral reef, but boats may land with great safety. When his boats are built it is his intention to go round New Ireland, & through the Moluccas & to pass to the Island of France, by the Straights of Sunda, After dinner I attended Mons.r
Perouse & his officers onshore, where I found him quite established, having thrown round his tents a Stoccade guarded by two small guns, in which he is setting up two Long boats, which he had in frame. An Observatory Tent was also fixed here, in which was an Astronomical Clock Quadrants, &c under the care of Monsieur D’Agelet Astronomer & one of the Academie of Sciences at Paris, he as well as Monsieur De la perouse informed me that at every place which he has touched at & been near, he has found all the Nautical & Astronomical remarks of Capt Cook to be very exact & true & concluded saying “Enfin Monsieur Cook
a tant fait, qu’il n’a me rien laisse’ a faire que
d’admirer ses œuvres” In the Evening I returned onboard
the Boupole & was shown all the drawings
made on the Voyage & the next morning at five o’clock I set out on my return to Port Jackson but did not arrive onboard the Sirius before seven in the Evening having been obliged to row all the way, against the wind & a great swell.
The Governors Commission &c were read this day instead of the 30th January
This day Lieut.t Ball, & some other Officers with myself went by land to Botany Bay
& we found the Country
between those places was deep bogs & sand hills with a vast quantity
of rock we
did not return untill the next Evening
Governor Phillip having signified his intention of sending me to Norfolk Island with a few people & stock to settle it Lieutenant Ball was ordered to receive onboard the Supply, the Stores & provisions necessary for that purpose, the Superintending of which & other necessary business prevented my paying attention to what passed at this place previous to my departure which happned on the 15.
Between the above two dates two Criminal Courts were assembled to try offenders, & as the proceedings is in a great measure a novelty I shall give a short account of it. The Judge Advocate issues his precept for the three Senior Naval Officers &
three Military Officers, to assemble at the time appointed, when they
are met, dressed in their Uniforms & their Side Arms, the Judge
Advocate administers a similar Oath to the Members, as is used at
Military Courts Martial, & one of the Members administers the same
Oath to the Judge Advocate who presides at the Court, & the rest take
their seats according to their ranks, The Prisoner is asked whether he is
guilty or not, & as the general answer is “not guilty”
The accusations against him are read, Witnesses are examined on oath to
support or prove the Charge, after which the Prisoner enters on his
defence & brings evidence to prove his innocence, after which the
Court is cleared & the Members consider what
sentence to pronounce If it is death, five out of the seven, must concur
opinion, The Governor can respite a Criminal sentenced to die, &
the Legislature has fully empowered him to execute the sentence of the
Laws, or to temper them with mercy. Actions for debt of a certain amount
are cognisable to this Court & all other actions of Common Law, where
they are decided according to the Laws of England as much as the
situation will allow.
Having received my Commission & Instructions from the Governor*, by which I was appointed Superintendant & Commandant of Norfolk Island, & embarked those who were to go with me which consisted of the following persons viz.t Mr. James Cunningham Masters Mate of the Sirius Mr. Thomas Jamieson Surgeons first Mate of the Sirius, Mr.
*And taken the Oaths of Fidelity & allegiance, &c. & the Customary Oath as a Justice of the Peace for Norfolk Island
Mr. John Altree Assistant to the Surgeon, Roger Morly, Weaver,
W.m Westbrook, Sawyer. & Seamen Charles Herritage &
Jn.o Batchelor Marines belonging to the Sirius, with nine
male, & six female Convicts in all twenty three Persons; We sailed
from Sydney Cove at seven in the morning with a fine breeze at WSW &
at eight we got out of the Harbour, when we found it blew very fresh
without, & as we got off the Land, it came on to blow a perfect
Hurricane with a most tremendous sea running many of which broke into the
Vessell, The Gale kept up with great violence, as did the Sea during the
whole day, & I often thought the Vessell in a critical situation
At 2 in the morning the Wind veered round to SbW & moderate but a heavy Sea was still running. at noon the Gale & Sea
decreased gradually the Latitude was 32°:22’ S.o
Longitude 154°:11’ E.t In the Evening of this day a
flying fish flew onboard which is rather an extraordinary event in this
Had Fresh breezes from the S.E. with some strong Squalls.
At day break Land was discovered bearing E.S.E. & from its appearance we judged it to be two small rocks on Islands & not more than six leagues off. At the time we first discovered the Land we were standing to the Northward with the wind at E.S.E. at 8 in the morning we tacked towards the Land but it being light wind all the day, we made but little way.
At 4 in the morning having neared the Island considerably we perceived a pointed rock right ahead, at some distance
from the Island, on which the main topsail was hove to Mast &
soundings were tried for with 120 fathoms of line, but no bottom, the
highest hill bearing N.E.b.E. At day light we made sail & found the
two Islands or hills, we had seen the day before were two immense high
rocky mountains, on the South side of an Island Extending from N°37
E.t to N55° E.t & this side of it forming
good shelter a deep bay in which appeared good shelter
from the N.W. All the land, except the two Mountains appeared cloathed
with wood at noon we had a very good Meridian Altitude by which the
Latitude was 31°:40’ S.o & the center of the
Island bore N30° W.t distance about six miles consequently
its Latitude is 31°:35’ South & Longitude 159: East of
Greenwich. The form of the Island is
a Crescent & is very small in proportion to the two Stupenduous Rocky Mountains which rises at its Southern extremity, at one in the Afternoon we were between the South end of the Island & the high rock which lye from each other NW½W & SE½E about 13 miles asunder, they have every appearance of being very steep too. This singular rock rises perpendicularly from the sea, & seen from the Westward it has the appearance of a regular pyramid & rises to a very great height, we sailed in a direct course from it twenty two Leagues, when we could see it very plain, there are some rocks which spit off from the S.W. side of this Pyramid at about a miles distance, but there is a rock which lyes SE½E from it about one & half miles. Except these
rocks it appears clear all round. Lieutenant Ball who was certainly
the discoverer of this Island has named its points & Rocks as marked
in the Chart.
At noon we lost sight of the Island & pyramid in the haze after having run twenty two Leagues from it steering E.b.S. I think in clear weather it may be seen at the distance of thirty Leagues.
Between the above dates had very pleasant Weather & smooth water, with light winds from E.S.E. to E.N.E. in the Latitude of 31° we saw several Tropic Birds of which we have vast quantitys every day about the Vessell with a great number of Gannets pettrel & other Sea fowl.
Between these days had very Strong Gales of Wind from the E.S.E.
with a high cross Sea running. Latitude 28°:34 Long.de
The Wind veering early in the morning to SW & imaging ourselves to be about fifteen Leagues to the Westward of Norfolk Island, we hove too at seven in the Evening
& next morning at daylight made sail steering East, the great number of Birds round us & the Clouds hanging so very thick to the Eastward, indicates our being near the Land, but it was not till eleven in the forenoon that we made the largest of the two small Islands which lye off the S.W. end of Norfolk Isle, bearing E16°N distant 5 Leagues & at noon the body of Norfolk Island bore N.61°E.t 7 or 8 Leagues off. The Latitude by observation was 20°:08’ S.o At 4 in the Afternoon we rounded the Northern point of the
Island, which I named Point Howe in honour of the First Lord of the Admiralty at the time we left England; we soon after hove too off a cascade, which lyes near the middle of the North side of the Island, & down which a very fine fall of water fell with great force & noise, the Boat was hoisted out & Lieut.t Ball & myself went to examine if it was possible to land near the cascade on a stony beach which lyes just to the Eastward of it but we found so great a surf rolling on the shore, that the loss of the boat & perhaps the peoples lives must have been the consequence of our attempting to land, at Sunset we returned onboard & the boat was hoisted in, Stood off & on with the Brig all night, the Wind moderate at S.W.
Early in the Morning Lieut.t Ball & myself went in a boat to examine whether we could find a landing place from the Southermost or point Ross, to the NW or point Howe which is with the present wind W.N.W. the Lee side of the Island, From the Cascade to a small Bay which lyes on the N.E. side of the Island, we found the Shoar was lined with steep inaccessible Clifts against which the sea broke with great violence, which rendered the boats approaching the Shoar impracticable. The small bay which I named Ball Bay, after Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball, lies in & out W.N.W. & E.S.E. about four Cables lengths deep & two wide; The bottom of the bay was a stony beach on which the Surf broke with too much force to risque the Boat, but it may be that at times there is less surf.
from this bay we rowed round the SE point & opned the two Islands,
the largest of which I named Phillip Isle after His Excellency Governor
Phillip, & the smallest Nepean Isle after Evan Nepean
Esq.r Under Secretary of State, the point of Norfolk Island,
opposite to Nepean Island, I called Point Hunter, after Captain John
Hunter of His Majesties Ship the Sirius, between Point Hunter & Point
Ross lies a
large long but not a deep bay with several
fine sandy beaches, but without the beach there run a reef parrellel with
the Shoar which seemed to prevent any landing in it & as we were
opening the Weather side of the Island, & a great Swell running which
disabled us from pulling the boat ahead we returned along shore, &
endeavoured to land on the stony beach to the Westward of the Cascade,
but could not, we then
to the NE point of the Island off which lye a Cluster of high rocks, which I called Cooks rocks in Memory of the late Captain James Cook who discovered this Island & landed near those rocks in 1774, but we found landing impossible on account of the surf which broke every where, but this may not be the case in fine weather in the Evening we returned onboard not being able to set our feet onshore
During the night we had light winds from the S.W. which with a Current or tide had set us a considerable distance
from to the NE
of the Isle, which at eight in the morning bore S.E. eight miles, from
which time untill three in the Afternoon we were Employed working up
under the N.E. point
of the Island, where we anchored at ½ past three in nineteen
fathoms with coarse sand & coral: Cooks rocks bore E.S.E. & the
rocks off point Howe W.S.W. ¼W distant from the nearest Shore, one
Mile: A boat was hoisted out & after two attempts I landed with
Lieut.t Ball, on the side of a large rock, which lies close to
the shore, & at the West end of a small stony beach, it must have
been on this rock that Capt. Cooke landed, as there is no other place
on at this side end of the Island,
where it is possible to attempt a landing at any time, & landing here
is only practicable from half Ebb, to half flood, in very fine
& the wind off the Island. As it was near Evening when we landed, we very soon returned onboard again with a quantity of sorrel that we had gathered we found this a very improper place to land either people or stores, it being impracticable to get them farther than the beach, & no fresh water near it.
At day light in the morning I left the Supply & went in her boat with Mr. Cunningham, to examine the S.W. side of the Island, which we rowed round untill we opned Phillip & Nepean Isles, of the South point of Norfolk Island, We found it blew too hard & too Great a sea running to pull
the boat any further, at two in the afternoon we returned onboard, on
this side of the Island there is only one
where landing is at all practicable, which is in a small bay, just within
the West point of the Island, the bottom of it is a fine sandy beach, but
the Surf broke on it with such violence as to put landing out of the
As it blew very fresh all night, I landed abreast of the Supply next morning with the Midshipman & Surgeon, & walked across the Island to the
place Bay which I had seen the Day before, After
mounting a very steep hill we got on the top of the Island which we found
plain, but every foot of ground was covered with trees or the large roots of Trees which rose above the Surface of the Earth, this was not the only impediment to our march, as it was impossible to walk four Yards without encountering an almost impenetrable net work of a large kind of supple Jack or vine, which was so very strong as to suppress the growth of several trees bending them in every direction, & so compleatly stopping the way that we were obliged to cut our way through them. No grass or herb grew between the roots of the trees or Vines, altho’ the Soil was every where extreemly rich & good, but this may be attributed
to the total exclusion of sun or air, which may prevent this kind of
Vegetation. The Pines which are numerous, are of an incredible growth,
one of them which had been blown down, or
fallen by age, measured 140 feet in length & several which was
measured standing were 30 feet in circumferce they grow quite
straight & for nearly eighty feet from the ground they have no
branches, the other kinds of trees appeared to be very good timber; We
passed several small Springs of fresh water we found getting into Anson
Bay impracticable altho’ we saw down into it, the hill over it was
cular Clift, & with a large kind of Iris growing on the sides of it, which was a providential circumstance as they served us to hold by, when we were all falling, & had they not been sufficiently strong to support our weight we must have fallen down a depth of 90 feet, we were too much pleased and thankfull for our escape, to attempt a second trial as every part of this side of the Island had the same appearance, In returning we frequently heard a very distinct cry of Yaho’ which seemed as if uttered by an animal or Bird, during this excursion we have not seen a leaf of flax or any herb whatever, the
ground altho’ a deep & rich soil being quite bare, which is rather extraordinary, as Capt. Cooke says that the Flaxplant is rather more luxurious here than at New Zealand. Pidgeons, parrots, perroquets, Doves, & a variety of other birds we saw in great
Quantitys Numbers & so very tame that they might be
knocked down with a stick, we every where saw large pieces of Pumice
Stone, It may be that a Crater, or the remains of one, may be found at or
near a mountain which rises to a considerable height in the middle of the
Island, which I called Mount Pitt, in honour of the Chanceller of the
As the Sandy bay on the SW side of the Island had not been examined to my satisfaction Lieutenant Ball proposed going round in the Brig & endeavor to land which there was a great probability of effecting as the wind was now at E.N.E. At day light in the morn.g we weighed & ran round to the Bay which I named Anson Bay after the Member for Litchfield, We found the Surf too violent to land here, & I now began to think it would be impossible to land on the Island, as I have nearly made a circuit of it & have not found a place where I could attempt landing. One place remained unexamined which was the South side of the Island in a bay which appeared to be entirely lined with a reef on which
I had no doubt but water would be procured & that at no great distance, As it was very late in the evening I returned onboard the Supply, she was soon after brought to an anchor in 20 fathoms sandy bottom.
At day-light I left the Supply with two boats, having in them all the people belonging to the Settlement, the tents a part of the provisions, & some of the most usefull tools, which we landed, & began clearing away a small spot of Ground to erect the tents on, & the Colours were hoisted before sunsett every person & thing belonging to the Settlement were onshore & the tents pitched, before the Colours were hauled down, I assembled my small Colony under them, Lieut Ball & some of his Officers being present
I drank the healths of His Majesty, the Queen, Prince of Wales & success to the Settlement, & as we had no other means of testifying our loyalty, we gave three Cheers on the occasion
& every one
celebrated the Evening with
It blew so very hard all this day & the Surf ran so
strong high, that no boat could land, the Supply still
remain’d at Anchor in the road. I made a commencement this day in
clearing away a piece of Ground for sowing some seeds in The spot I am
clearing is on the West East side of a hill which has a
tolerable easy ascent, & the Soil is rich & deep, soon after
landing we found a very fine rivulet of Water, which runs close at the
back of the ground where the Settlement is made; having had a little time
to examine round me I found the Island was almost impenetrable from the size of the trees, the entangled state of their roots which were in general two feet above the ground, & ran along it to a considerable distance, the one being interwoven with the other, [indecipherable] spaces of ground unoccupied by those roots grew a kind of supple Jack or bear-bind, which in general were as thick as a mans leg, these ran up the Trees & as it grows in every direction it formed an impenetrable kind of net work, bending some trees to the ground & then taking root again, it embraces the other trees in the same manner untill the whole becomes an impervious forest. As I have only, As I have only twelve men, (one of which is 72 years old &
another a boy of 15) exclusive of the Mate & Surgeon, my progress for some time will be very slow
This day we had strong gales of Wind & Cloudy Weather at 9 in the morning hoisted the colours in a Weft, as a Signal that the Supplys boats might land, & at eleven received the last of our baggage, provisions, & stores, & hauled the boat up, in the Afternoon Lieutenant Ball came onshore to ask if I had any farther occasion for the Supply & not having any, he took leave & returned onboard & in the Afternoon sailed for Port Jackson, by Lieutenant Ball I sent a Journal of my proceedings to the Governor The People continued employed clearing away ground & as the roots of the trees are grubbed up their progress is slow
Landing very safe
This being Sunday Every person in the Settlement assembled in my tent, when I performed divine Service, after which my commission from His Excellency the Governor was read, appointing me Superintendent & Commandant of this Island;
[indecipherable] I assured
every person of my intention of forwarding the Kings Service as much as
in my power; to the honest & industrious, I promised every
encouragement, & I endeavoured to convince them, that those who were
Idle or dishonest, would not avoid that punishment which was due to
useless & destructive members of Society, I also informed them of the
ration of Provisions allowed them daily
& held out every encouragement for them to behave with industry & proprietey. In the Afternoon of this day I saw some turtle lying on a sandy beach at the East end of the Bay, two of which we turned & brought to the tents for publick use where they were issued out in lieu of Salt provisions, On finding that there were Turtle on the Island I gave very strict orders that no person whatever, went near the beach where they were seen, in order to prevent the Turtle from being frightned, which would occasion the loss of this valuable resscource, the two turtle which we turned weighed each two hundred weight.
From the 9th to the 15th Every person was employed clearing away, & turning up the garden ground, when finished, it was enclosed by a hedging, & sowed with a little of all the
the interior of the Island, returned at noon, quite naked, &
several cuts in different parts of their bodies some of which were deep,
occasioned by the entangled state of the Woods & the sharpness of the
Briars, they had not been an hour from the Settlement when they lost
sight of the sun from the thickness of the Woods, & kept wandering
about untill eleven this day, when they heard the noise of our Church
bell, which was a man beating on the head of an Empty Cask, they soon
after returned & as their journey was not a very long one their
relation is not very inter
As the present situation of myself & every other person is very uncomfortable, the tents being close to the
sea shore, on which a
constant & continual heavy
Surf beats I set the people to work, to clear away a piece of Ground to
the right of the Garden & above it, for to move the tents to it or
build houses on it, having two Sawyers & a Carpenter I set them to
work digging a saw pit, in order to saw up pine for building a store
house for the provisions & stores, they being at present lodged in my
Tent which is made of the Sirius’s Spritsail, The Surgeon in
walking about found out the Flax plant, which is what we have hitherto
called the Iris, from not having a description of this plant I had no
idea of its being what Captain Cook calls the Flaxplant of New Zealand,
The Clifts & shore near the settlement is covered with it, its Root
is bulbous, from which
eight leaves issue which are in general five or six feet in length & about four inches broad close to the root, the plant bears a great resemblance to the Iris except that the leaves are much thicker & longer, the Flaxy part is the fibres which extend the whole length of the
root leaf towards the root it is very thick & strong
& diminishes in size as it approaches the end of the leaf, in its
green state it is of a surprizing strength, from the Quantity of dead
leaves about the root I imagine it is an annual & that the roots send
forth fresh leaves. As the preparation of the New Zealand flax is not
mentioned by Capt. Cook, I caused three bundles of it to be put in the
rivulet to soak intending to try it after the European
manner of dressing Flax
As the Sawpit was finished a small
pine Pine was fallen
near it which measured 115 feet in length & two feet, six Inches
diameter at the base, a twelve foot length was got on the Pit, & the
Sawyers began sawing it into Framing & Scantling for the Store
Most part of the Cape Seeds are out of the ground & doing very well, but scarce any of the English seeds grow, they being in general spoiled.
From the 19th, to the 1st April, two men sawing up stuff for the Store house, one Man building it, Six clearing away the Ground & the Women burning up the small boughs.
The Store house this day was finished its dimensions are twelve feet square & nine feet high Got all the provisions & Stores from my tent, & put them into the Store house. during the last three days the wind has blown very strong from the S.W. which has blighted every
thing plant that was come up & doing very well, I
had also the mortification to find that, the rats were very numerous,
some indian corn which was three inches out of the ground were destroyed
by them. As there is every reason to suppose the S.W. winds will be
frequent during the Winter, I began clearing away on the N.E. side of the
hill (which I named Mount George,) which will be sheltred from the
South, and South West winds, I mean to continue Clearing away here untill the middle of June, when I shall sow it with Wheat & Barley, & as I find that no vegetables will thrive at present on the South side of the Mount, I turned the garden ground up & sowed it with Wheat,
The ground which I began clearing on the 17th March to remove the tents to, being cleared, I removed my tent as well as the peoples to it, some of them began building huts. The Sawyers were employed Sawing Scantling &c for building a house for me; I much fear that the turtle are frightned away as we have not seen
more any on the Beach
since the 14th March altho’ every precaution has been used to
being molested; this is a ressourse which we shall feel the want of
it as its good effects has been felt by every person on
the Island, As there was not one person who had not the Scurvey on
landing & some of the Convicts had it very bad, but at this time they
are quite recovered, & if we have been unfortunate in not getting our
Vegetables to thrive, we have been fortunate in finding a vast quantity
of Cabbage trees, the Excellence of which are well known &
which it is an excellent succadaneum for other Vegetables but
unfortunately a tree produces but only one Cabbage
The Wheat which was sowed the 2nd in the Garden ground is entirely eaten up by the rats, which have not left
present they are in thick clusters, choaking each other, & being
covered with wild vines & acquatic shrubs their growth is
considerably retarded; some fruit was found on them, but the birds
destroy it before it is ripe.
This being Sunday I performed divine Service & as some irregularitys had taken place which did not merit corporal punishment, & being anxious to prevent any ill behaviour which might render that step necessary I read the following orders for the preservation of regularity & good order in the Settlement, which were as follows:
As it is highly necessary for the preservation, of good order, regularity, & Cleanliness to establish certain rules & regulations, the following are to be observed & performed with
the strictest attention
1st. No person is to absent themselves from Publick Worship, which
will begin every Sunday Morning at eleven o’clock in the
Commandants house, when every one will come, clean & orderly, &
behave themselves devoutly.
2nd. The hours of work, are as follows, untill further orders, to begin work at daylight & work till half past seven, at half past eight to work again untill half past eleven, & then to work again at two, untill Sunsett.
3rd. In order to encourage the Cultivating of Gardens Every one will have the Saturdays, to clear away &
cultivate Gardens for themselves & those who are industrious will
be encouraged, but those who misapply that indulgence will be deprived of
4th. On application at the proper time of Year, Seeds will be distributed to those who have cleared away garden ground, & those who raise the greatest Quantity of seeds & vegetables, will be encouraged & rewarded.
5th. The Women will sweep round the houses or Tents every Morning & cook the Victuals for the Men, & every person is strictly forbid cleaning any fish or fowls, in or near the houses, but to go to the Sea side
6th. Every person is strictly forbid going nearby the Turtle bay, those who are found in it, or going there, will
meet a severe & instant punishment.
7th. The Women will collect the dirty linnen belonging to the men, Every Friday & return to each Man his proper linnen washed & mended on the Sunday morning.
8th. No person is to cut down or destroy any Banana tree.
9th. Exchanging or selling cloaths by the Convicts is strictly forbid. As their cloathing is the property of the Crown, they are not to dispose of it, a disobedience of this order will be deemed a theft, & meet with a suitable punishment. It is recommended to every one to be carefull of their Cloathing, & bedding as accidents may happen which may prolong a farther supply.
10th. Great care is to be taken of all the tools, each man taking his
ax or hoe to his tent, or delivering them to the Store keeper, that they
may not be injured by the Weather.
11th. As the future Welfare of every person on this Island depends on their good behaviour, It is recommended to them, to persevere in that willing disposition to work, which they have hitherto shown, & above all to be honest & obliging towards each other, which will recommend them to those who may have it in their power & who have a wish & inclination to serve them; But the dishonest or idle person may not only assure themselves of being totally excluded from any present or future indulgencies, but also that they will be punished, either by Corporeal punishment
on the Island or be sent to port Jackson to be tried by the Criminal Court there
God Save the King
The people distributed as follows, 5 men clearing away ground on the N.E. side of the hill, 2 men clearing away a road from the ground where the tents are pitched on to the Fresh water Stream, 2 Sawyers sawing plates &c for building a house for me, 2 men building huts, I sent Mr. Altree out to the Valley in order to make a commencement there, but his progress will be very slow having only a Boy to assist him.
7th & 23rd
From the 7th to the 23rd the people were invariably employed as yesterday, but the work was often retarded by Cuts & Colds which is the only sickness we have as yet experienced, excepting the people being often blinded for four or five days together by
April 7th & 23rd
the white sap of a tree which getting into their eyes,
them occasions a most excruciating pain which lasts for two or
three days, the best remedy for this is Florence oil dropped into the
Eye, which destroys the acrimony of the sap; one man has been totally
blinded with it, for want of of making timely
application to the Surgeon. On the 17th I detected John Batchelor one of
the Marines in my Tent, stealing rum out of a Barreea which contained
what was drawn off to serve the Officers & Men belonging to the
Sirius, & was kept in my tent, not having a more secure place to put
it in, In the Afternoon I assembled the people & punished the thief
with three dozen lashes, causing him to be led by a halter to the place
of Punishment, I also stopped the deficiency of Rum in the Barrea out of
his Allowance; This example was not sufficient to deter a Convict Boy
from robbing the Surgeons
tent of his allowance of rum, on the 20th; This boy is not more than
15 Years old, & is transported for seven Years, I ordered him to be
punished with a hundred lashes, which I hope will have a good effect. I
now find we have two formidale enemies to encounter, which are the Rat
& Grub-worm both of which are very numerous & destructive,
destroying every seed & vegetable On the 11th I sowed some Wheat
& Barley in the garden & the next morning there was not a grain
of it left being eaten by the rats, the few potatoes & vegetables
were left escaped the bad effects of the Southerly
Wind, have been eaten off by the Grub worm which are very numerous &
destructive, On first discovering the rats to be so numerous I fitted up
the empty Bread Casks as traps, in which twenty or thirty were caught for
several nights together, they were killed & thrown about
the Garden, to deter the living ones, but they soon grew too cunning to be caught in the cask, & too bold to be intimidated by their dead companions, not having any kind of poison or Cats I caused some glass to be pounded very fine & mixed with oatmeal, which being distributed about the garden killed vast Quantitys of them; To prevent the bad effects of the Grub Worm I have tried ashes, lye of ashes, & urine, but with no effect, the women are kept constantly picking them off the few plants which are left. Out of six Ewes which I brought onshore five are dead with the scab, notwithstanding every care was taken of them & one of my sows was poisoned by eating something noxious in the woods, the remainder of my small stock does very well, which consists of Two Ewes, three Sows, two boars, four hens, one Cock, three Ducks & one drake, & one he goat.
April 7th to ye 23rd
The sugar cane, two Rio Janeiro bannana trees & two orange trees,which I brought with me, I still keep in tubs, untill I have a sheltred situation to plant them in, as the Southerly Winds blow very frequent & are very raw & cold, I call this the commencement of the winter.
As another of my sows was this day poisoned, I found it necessary to make a hog-pen to confine them in, A great inconvenience will arise respecting the feeding of them, as they used to provide very well for themselves about the woods, but fortunately a tree grows here which affords them very good food, This tree grows to the height of 80 feet high & the branches which resemble those of the Palm trees in their growth fall off every Year leaving an
indentation in the trunk of the tree, the leaves of those branches which are twelve in number are much like the heath fern, from whence we call this tree the fern tree, the middle of the tree from the root to its apex consists of a white substance which resembles the Yam being glutinous like it, & when boiled it tastes like a bad turnip, this the swine eat very eagerly, the outside of the trunk is a hard wood & full of regular indentations from the top to the bottom, the tree is very plenty & found in all parts of the Island.
24th April to the 13th May
From the 24th April to the 13th of May, the people were employed clearing away the ground on the NE side of the hill, & at the Plantation in Arthurs Vale, which is the name I give to the Valley where Mr. Altree has began clearing, three men employed four days digging a Cellar under my house. On the 8th
the two Sawyers, Carpenter, & three other Convicts were poisoned by eating some beans which had a very tempting appearance much like the Windsor bean, they had gathered a Quantity of them & boiled them afterwards frying them with butter, in two hours time they were seized with violent gripings, reaching, & cold sweats, I had fortunately a Gallon of Sweet oil, which with the other medicines given by the Surgeon, eased them greatly, but they were so much weakned & exhausted as not to be able to work during a week, there is no doubt but those beans were the cause of the Sows death -- The Turtle have now left us, whether the coldness of the weather, or their being frightned is the cause I cannot determine but am inclined to think the former reason has drove them to a warmer climate, As we cannot
catch fish from the shore I launched the boat on the 9th, & sent
her into the roads to fish, in two hours she returned with 36 very fine
fish weighing from six to eight pounds each, these Fish I caused to be
issued in lieu of salt provisions at the rate of six pounds of fish for
one pound of Beef, The grapnel was left in the road, which we never could
get clear as it hooked the rocks. The getting of fish
here is not certain as it sometimes happens that for a fortnight together
no boat can go without the reef on account of the very violent surf &
sometimes landing is very good for a week or a longer time together, but
when a boat can go out, there is no fear of catching a vast quantity. On
the 10th I was obliged to inflict a punishment of forty lashes, on one of
the Convicts for making use ing of very threatning &
seditious language, I had
received orders from Governor Phillip to make a saving of the salt provisions, whenever fish or Turtle could be obtained in order to make the salt provisions last as long as possible, the putting this order into execution when the turtle were caught, produced grumbling, but when the Fish was issued yesterday (the 9th) the Convict who was punished said the “people (meaning those in the Settlement) were fools for suffering their salt provisions to be stopped, & that the Convicts would soon be the strongest & then it would be seen who were Masters”. As I thought this language deserved punishment I assembled the people & pointed out to them that exclusive of the orders I had received, I saw the greatest necessity for making every possible saving of the provisions, that accidents might happen to Vessells, provisions might get spoiled, & many other accidents might happen which would render it necessary to go to a short
allowance & the greater quantity of provisions that could be saved
the better it would be for the whole, I concluded by assuring them that I
should invariably attend to my orders & put them into execution,
& that a very severe punishment would be inflicted on any who
presumed to excite a sedition or any improper behaviour, on that or any
other pretext. On first landing we found a great quantity of pidgeons
which were so tame that they were knocked down with sticks, but they soon
grew wild, they are a large bird, & when drawn weigh one & three
quarters of a pound, their feet & bills are of a deep red, their
breasts are quite white & the back & wings a deep
red green, as I before observed on landing here they
were very tame, but latterly they have quitted the low boughs, & in
general they now remain about the tops of the pines. The Parrots are the
ugliest bird of the kind
I ever heard of, which added to the harshness of their note makes them a very disagreeable bird, the parroquets are very numerous & entirely green except a red tuft on their head. Hawkes are numerous & of two different kinds, the Grey & Blue, they are very destructive to the Young Chicken & it is not an unusual sight to see them take up the rats. Quails & Curlews are plentifull but very shy The Owl which has a very handsome plumage makes a noise like one man calling to another & very distinctly pronounces Yaho! Many of the smaller birds have a most melodious note & beautifull plumage. Here are a species of Birds which burrow in the ground like rabbits where they hatch their eggs & rear their Young ones, it is rather extraordinary that they are web footed & their bill like other sea fowl, but they
have not the least fishy taste, & their flesh is very fine, the Young ones make very good oil, these birds never quit their holes until sunsett, from which time till midnight, the air is full of them, making a great noise & like the sea Gull, these birds afford us many fresh meals.
13th to 31st
From the 13th May to the 31st the people were employed as follows four clearing away on Mount George, two at the plantation two Sawyers & two Carpenters, building houses, one Man making a crab to heave the boat up by, & another attending the stock.
As the rainy Weather is now become almost incessant & as there is every reason to suppose it will continue so three or four months longer, which will endanger the peoples healths by remaining in the Tents, I caused the provisions to be shifted from the Store-house to a cellar which is dry under my house, & the
May 13th to 31st
Stores I have put in the loft, As there are five Men & three Women who are in Tents, I put them into the Store house untill they can build huts for themselves, the whole are now under shelter excepting the Surgeon & Midshipman a house for whom will be immediately begun, The shell of my house was this day finished its dimensions are 24 feet long by 12 feet wide, & eight feet under the Eaves, the sides & roof are weather boarded. the boat went out & returned with fifty very fine fish, which were issued as usual.
I set out with an intention of tracing the rivulet which runs thro’ Arthurs Vale to its source, as well as to examine the Extent of the Valley, but after wandering about most part of the day, I returned much fatigued & all the clouths torn off my back by the briars & entangled state of the woods, which render them impassable, except where paths are cut. Arthurs Vale is that which
May 13th to 31st
lies between the North side of Mount George, & the opposite hills, its direction is about NNW into the interior part of the Island. in some places
it the bottom is not more than thirty Yards wide,
& in others Three Hundred, the Hills on each side are cloathed with a
thick forest, they are of an easy their ascent is not
too steep for Cultivation, & the soil is excellent; being a fat brown
earth, A very fine rivulet of water runs thro’ this Vale, which is
sufficiently large to turn any number of Mills, As the bank of the Sea
shoar is considerably above the level of the rivulet, it sinks into the
Earth, & after passing under the bank it forces a passage for itself
thro’ th fissures of the rocks on Stony beach & turtle bay,
between high & low water marks, where it boils up with great force
& is excellent water, as the whole of the body of water cannot pass
off fast enough to keep the flat ground clear of water, what does not
pass off under the bank, overflows the lower
May 13th to 31st
part of the Valley, to the distance of about half a mile from the Bank, this Swamp might be drained by cutting a channel for the rivulet to empty itself on the sea shore, but this operation would require a number of hands & time & when finished it is not clear but the force of the sea would very soon fill it up again. The length of this Vale I cannot ascertain, but I think it runs as far as Mount Pitt where it is very probable the rivulet takes its rise, the spot which Mr. Altree is clearing away at, is half a mile from the Settlement near a large cluster of Plantain trees, he has transplanted a number of the young suckers, which may improve them much, A small garden of ninety rod is planted & most of the plants are up & doing very well, I have also planted the Sugar cane, orange trees, & Rio Janeiro Plantains here, & from the
May 13th to 31st
Sheltred situation of the Vale, I hope they will thrive, I have also planted a quantity of cotton seed, I planted some when first I came on shore, but they rotted in the ground.
This day being Sunday, I performed divine Service. In the Afternoon I went out in the boat & attempted to land on Nepean Isle on the SW side of which, there is a small creek which goes in a good way & a small sandy beach at the end of it, but as there was a number of rocks in it, & a surf beating on the shore, I did not land, The Island is covered with pines which grow at a distance from each other, off the SE side of this Island lyes a reef which stretches off about a mile, within a ships length of it there is four fathom water, & nine fathoms all round the East side within half a mile of the Shoar. The passage between point Hunter & Nepean Island is a very good one, there being three fathoms close to Nepean Isle
& eight fathoms in mid Channell. I sounded close along the back of the reef which runs along Sydney Bay & found four fathoms
close along the within a Ships length of the reef, at
Sunset I landed, having caught 36 very fine fish which were issued as
As I brought only five months bread & Flour & it being expended all to three cask of each, which is two months
provisions bread at full allowance, & as there is
near six months of salt meat, I this day put myself & every person in
the settlement, to an 2/3 allowance of two
thirds Flour or bread, untill the arrival of more
This being the Anniversay of His Majesty’s Birth day I caused it to be observed as a holiday, the colours were hoisted at Sunrise. Every person had a good dinner, of the produce of the Island,& I gave the convicts some liquor to drink their Sovereigns health. the day ended with a number of bonfires, which exclusive of
Joy we felt at the return of His Majestys Birth day, & celebrating it in this distant part of the Globe, we with pleasure saw some large piles of Wood burnt which had been collecting for a long time, & which was a great incumbrance to us & served to clear the Ground.
5th to the 30th
From the 5th to the 30th the People were employed as follows four Men finishing, Turning up, & Sowing, three Quarters of an Acre of Ground on the North side of Mount George with Wheat, Two Men at the plantation, two Sawyers & two Carpenters about a house for the Surgeon & Midshipman, one attending the Stock & one repairing the boat.
At day light the Midshipman & four men, went out in the Boat to fish, at nine o’clock they were returning & in passing the point of the reef, the fineness of the Weather & their being little or no surf, threw them so much off their guard, that the boat Shipp’d a Sea, which filled her, & washed Jno Batchelor a Marine overboard
June 5th to the 30th
the boat with the rest of the people drove in among the rocks, to the Westward of the landing place, where they were with great difficulty saved, having received violent Contusions, got the boat round to the crab & hove her up, she was much damaged & her repairs will take a considerable time as I have only one man that can assist in repairing her.
The Wheat which was sowed on the 15th June on the North side of Mount George being all rotten in the ground, except 260 blades which I have transplanted & put together.* I this day sowed this patch of ground with Barley.? The Wheat had a very bad app.ce when put into the ground, being much
onheated, & destroyed by the
2nd to the 25th
From the 2nd to the 25th the Labourers were employed clearing away & turning up a garden ground near my house, its size ? about
*Gathered Dec.r Yield 3 Quats. of fine Wheat ?reaped Nov.r 15th. Yielded 10 Bush.ls Nov.r 15th
Thirty Rods, The Barly which was sowed on the 1st came up on the 10th
Every thing at the Plantation is very thriving, On the 15th the last cask
of Beef & Pork were opened, which will last 44 days longer at full
allowance therefore I intend putting myself, Officers & people, to
half allowance on the 28th of this month in case no supply of provisions
arrive before this time. 17th. We had a very tremenduous gale of Wind
from the North.d which blew with great violence accompanied by
a deluge of rain The Gales of Wind are very frequent from the S.W. &
NW, very seldom blowing
very hard from the East, these
Gales generally happen about the full or change of the moon, & last
for three or four days. On the 23rd upwards of a thousand cabbage plants
were planted out, Every Vegetable is very thriving at the plantation,
& here we have Turnips, Carrots, Lettuces of three sorts, onions,
leeks, Parsley, Cellery, five sorts of Cabbages, Corn Sallad, Artichokes
& Beet in great forwardness. I much fear
the potatoes & Yams are quite destroyed by the Grub-worm.
At 5 in the Evening His Majesties Armed Tender the Supply hove in sight coming round point Ross. The run between Phillip & Nepean Isles to Leeward of this Island, where I imagine she is gone to ride the Gale out which blows very Strong at West, S.W.
This day served full allowance of Flour. Mr. Waterhouse & a Mid. belonging to the Supply Arrived here with my despatches from the Governor, they being sent by Lieut. Ball who landed them in Balls Bay, I find the Supply has brought, provisions Tools, & Seeds, of different kinds for the settlement, I was also informed by the Governor, that as the Sirius would go to the Northward in the month of September, he deferred sending any more people untill he heard my account of the Island, & that if he thought it advisable to send more settlers they could be sent in the Sirius, which ship he
intended sending among the Islands to procure stock for breeding, about the latter end of September
Wind SSW good landing
The Wind still blows very strong from the S.S.W. At noon the landing was very good, at daylight the Midshipmen returned to Ball Bay to go onboard the Supply, the people were employed rolling some large Stores out of the Landing place, & make a road to roll the Casks up & the Sawyers sawing boards to send to port Jackson.
Wind SSE but little surf
I received a Message from Lieut Ball saying that as the wind was Southerly & blew strong, he meant to anchor under the N.E. part of the Island.
ESE no Surf
I sent a man
over across the Island with a letter for
Lieut. Ball as I imagine the Brig is at anchor in Cascade Bay.
South 31st No Surf
At 10 in the morning the Supplys boat landed here with some light articles, in her came the Carpenter who was sent by Lieut.t Ball to offer his assistance to build a convenient Boat for the going
in and out of this place, I directed him to commence his work & employed the Sawyers sawing plank, & gave him every other assistance. The rest employed turning up a piece of ground to sow two peck of good seed wheat on which is come in the Supply.
August 1st to the fourth.
During these three days the wind has blown very strong from the Southward which prevents the Supply from coming on this side of the Island. On the 4th at sunsett the Wind having veered to N.E. she came round point ross & anchored in the road, at noon of this day the 4th. The man which I sent on the 30th across the Island to find the Supply returned much exhausted & fatigued, having lost himself & been without any food for three days, fortunately the Supply was standing inshore & saw him, otherwise he would have perished,
This day had fresh breezes & in the afternoon had good landing
when we received on shore a part of the provisions & stores
At daylight in the morning hoisted the Colours as a signal that the landing was good, at seven the Colours were struck half staff being the Sig.l that landing was dangerous, the surf having considerably increased with the flowing tide, at ½ past 7 the Supply weighed & soon after hove too & hoisted her boats out, & sent them
for towards the shore, As I perceived her small boat was
determined to come in & being apprehensive that some accident might
happen, I ordered the Mate Mr. Cunningham into the boat with four men to
lye within the point of the reef in case any accident might happen,
unfortunately the our boat was swept away to the
Westward by the tide, & in endeavouring to get under the point of the
reef again, a heavy surf broke on her broadside & over set her, the
anguish I felt at this shocking accident event may be
more easily imagined, than I can describe it, small as our
numbers were, they were now decreased by the loss of the Mate Mr. Cunningham whom I sincerely cherished as a good young man, the Sawyer, & one of the best of the Convicts, A seaman belonging to the Supply was also drowned & one convict with great difficulty escaped the same fate, Immediately after this dreadful misfortune the Supply’s Jolly boat landed with three cask of Flour & one of rum in great safety, As the Supply’s large boat was coming near the shore, I ordered some musquets to be fired on which she returned onboard, & the Supply bore up & run to leeward of the Island At o’clock there being much less surf the Jolly boat went off, & ran to Leeward of the Island to get onboard the Brig.
I was obliged to punish one of the Convicts with 36 lashes for stealing a hatch of Eggs from under a hen which was sitting on them.
At day light the Supply anchored in the road & the landing being good
August 8th & 9th
a part of the provisions & stores were landed, at sunset the Brig weighed.
The last of the provisions was received from the Supply
At 9 in the morning the Supply came into the road & sent her Jolly boat onshore, the coble being finished I sent the Carpenter & Mr. Waterhouse onboard with my letters for the Governor, & soon after the Supply hoisted her colours & made sail for Port Jackson. I received from the Governor seventeen Queries, which with their respective answers are as follows. Viz.
In what time do you think the Island will be able to support the people you have with you, independant of Supplys from this settlement?
A. From the Excellence of the soil & present appearances, the Island will produce more than a sufficiency of grain in two years, Animal food depends on the supply & breeding of stock; & cloathing on the Flax plant being brought to work
Do you wish to have more people sent you, & what number of
men & women do you wish to have in addition to those you already have?
A. With twenty more Men, & Women in proportion exclusive, I
be able to make a little progress in clearing & Cultivating the ground.
In what time do you think the Island will be able to maintain the additional number of people you wish to have sent you?
A. I think in two Years but in Three at most, as answered by the
What ground have you in cultivation?
A. Two acres & half in Barley & one in garden ground, In
September I shall have an acre in Indian corn & rice
Have you discovered the Flax plant?
A. See page . The B of the Flax plant which I put into
soak on the 17th March was taken up the 27th July when we found that the thick vegetable covering of the Fibres had rotted away & left them in their intire length, but still they were covered with a hard ligneous substance, from which we have ineffectually tried to seperate the flaxy part, which I have no doubt would make good cordage, canvas & linnen, as it appears to be of a fine & strong texture, some lines were made of it which are tolerable strong & good, but the want of a method to seperate the woody part from the flax, will be a great hindrance to its being made usefull.
How many Acres of clear ground have you found on the Island?
A. Not a Yard Square.
Have you any place round the Island at which a Vessell of Thirty or forty Tons can remain at anchor in Security all the year round?
A. None; Without removing to the Lee side of the Island as the wind changes, Anchorage is good all round the Island, as the bottom is a coral sand, at about two miles from the land the circular depth is 22 fathoms, A harbour might be made, by cutting a Channell thro’ the reef about 400 feet long, where marked in the sketch, it would be necessary to blow up some sunken rocks to facilitate the entry. If it should ever be thought proper to do this; Five vessells of 7 feet draught, might lie all the Year round in Security within the reef, they will not be able to enter but in the finest weather with the wind from N.E. to NW & then they must warp in. It may be less difficulty will be found when I am informed of the state of the weather during the Summer months.
How far will it be possible to load any Ship hereafter, with Spars for ships of the line. I mean with respect to the great
difficulty I am told there is to land any thing on the Island or take any thing off?
A. I cannot answer this query so fully as I wouldl wish untill I
acquainted with the state of the weather during the Summer months, In fine weather with the wind from N.E. spars of any dimensions may be sent off from Sydney Bay, by mooring a boat without the reef & hauling the spars off. I have great reason to suppose anchorage will be very safe off Sydney Bay in the Summer. I think vessells might be built & launched in Ball Bay & when the Flax plant can be brought to work, cordage & sails can be made of the finest & strongest sort.
How does your stock thrive, & what does the Island produce?
A. Of the Stock I brought with me, five Ewes are dead with the
& two Sows poisoned, the rest are all very thriving & will do well
The productions of the Island are Timber for the construction of Vessells, vines for masting them & when the Flax plant can be worked a sufficiency of cordage for the Navy of Great Britain, which needs no cultivation as the Island abounds with
it & fresh leaves shoot from the roots,* Pidgeons, parrots,
perroquets &c in abundance, the Sea abounds with very fine fish, & probably we may have turtle during the Summer months. a number of Banana trees have been found on the Island,
What live stock do you wish to have sent you
A. Stock of any kind would be acceptable for breeding: I have no she
goats. The leaves of the trees & underwood afford ample †
& wholesome food for ruminating animals & the Fern tree† which is very plentifull is very good food for Swine.
Are those who are with you satisfied, or do they wish to be returned?
A. Every one is satisfied & no person wishes to be relieved.
What weather have you in general?
A. During the months of March & April we had very fine weather
since when it has been variable & when the wind has been at South & S.W. the air is raw & cold. The full & change of the Moon has generally been accompanied with very heavy gales of Wind & torrents of rain from the N.E. or S.W. both of which have
been very violent at times, We have no Thunder or lightning - nor Ice
What are the prevailing winds?
A. The Winds have been variable; Westerly winds appear to be most
frequent during the winter, & I have great reason to suppose Easterly winds are constant during the Summer.
Have you been at the Small Islands?
A. I have been round Nepeans Island once, but could not land on it
wind being Westerly which made a great break in the
small sandy bay which lyes on the S.W. side of the Isle. My not having men to row & the uncertainty of the weather, has prevented my going to Phillip Isle.
Are there any Animals on the Island, & of what kind are they?
A. None but rats, which are destructive & numerous altho’
Have you found any lime or chalk stone?
Have you been supplied with Fish &c.
A. Fish in great Quantitys & of a large size abound all round
Island, some Turtle were caught soon after I landed but the approach of cold weather drove them off. I have not been able to send the boat off so often as I wished, not having men to row, but when she has gone out a plentifull supply of
fish were received.
At sunrise hoisted the colours in observance of the Birth day of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. I this day sowed a Rood & half of ground with a peck of seed wheat received by the Supply.
12th to the 17th.
From the 12th to the 17th, every person was employed clearing away a piece of ground to sow the remainder of the Seed wheat on, which was received by the Supply.
17th to 24th
The people were employed clearing away, turning up &
sowing planting half an acre of ground in Arthurs Vale
with Indian Corn. The Sawyers & Carpenter about a house for
themselves. The accident which had happned here to boats, made me anxious
to search for a better landing place, or a place where landing might be
practicable, when the surf run too high to land in Sydney Bay, &
Lieut.t Ball having indicated one, in the Cascade Bay on the
North side of the Island.
I set off at daylight in the morning of the 17th taking three men with me to go in search of it, intending to examine Ball Bay, by the way I left the Surgeon commanding officer at the Settlement, & I cannot help testifying the great satisfaction I felt at having a person of his character, to superintend the work going on in my absence as his steadyness & general knowledge made him a valuable associate. After climing & descending a number of steep hills & cutting our way thro’ the thick wood which covered some small plains, we arrived at a Gully to the Westward of Ball Bay about eleven o’clock, from whence we walked round to the Bay by the Sea shore, it being low water, The distance between the two points of Ball Bay is about 1½ mile it goes in about WNW & is about a mile deep; at the distance of about 200 Yards from the shore the Bay is entirely surrounded with steep hills, exept in the Center where there is a Valley, down which a stream of fresh water runs &
empties itself on the beach, the sides of these hills are covered with
pines, & flax plant, The beach is covered with a large
loose round stone, under which is a hard bottom formed
by the incrustation of sand & Shells As the wind is now at S.S.E.
there is not the least surf on the beach, & I apprehend that when the
wind blows from the S.W. which makes very bad landing in Sydney bay, the
landing is then very good here, & it is my intention if I do not find
the Cascade Bay a better place than this is, to make a Creek on the beach
by removing the stones for about the breadth of twenty feet, untill the
bottom is clear & as the stones are so very heavy, I do not think it
will be liable to fill up again. I think in the course of time Vessells
might be built here & launched. I passed the remainder of this day
here & slept under a Tent which I had brought with me. The next
morning at day light we set out from Ball Bay to go to
to the Cascade Bay on the North side of the Island, the distance is not more than three miles, but it was not till five in the Evening that we got there quite Exhausted & fatigued, being obliged to cut our away thro’ the very thick wood fens which abound every where, The landing place menntioned by Lieut Ball is on a rock which is a little detatched from the Island, but has a communication with it at half tide, there is no objection to this being a very good landing place, if it was not for the almost total impropibility of getting any article of provisions or stores further than the rock, which is at least 300 Yards from the Valley that leads down to it, between this rock & the cascade is a
sandy stony beach like that at Ball Bay,
& on which the landing is now very good; which is in general the case
with the Southerly Winds which are the reigning winds in the Winter.
August 17th to the 24th
Spars might be sent off from hence with great ease. Should this Island remain settled it will be very necessary to make the landing at this place more convenient than it now is. We passed the night in the Valley above the Cascade, This Valley is extensive (for the size of the Island) & a very large & deep rivulet runs through it & at day light in the morning we set out on our return to Sydney Bay, where we arrived at four in the Afternoon with scarce a rag to cover ourselves with, our Cloaths being torn off our backs by the Briars &c. I observed the same good soil in every part of the Island I visited in this Excursion & it is very well watered, but the Woods are every where the same viz. almost impassable. On the Tops of the Hills there is a deal of level of ground, & most of the hills will admit of being cultivated, & where they are too steep for that purpose, the Timber that grows on them may
be reserved for fuel, The Wheat which I received from the Supply & sowed the 12th & 17 is all up & has a good appearance.
At day light the Surgeon & six men went to Ball Bay to make a commencement on the Creek, taking with them a weeks provisions & four tents
At daylight I went to Ball Bay & found a very good commnencement had been made there, but the work is much hindred by its being neap tides & the wind being Easterly throws a great surf in,
The Surgeon & the people returned from Ball Bay.
I set out at day light with the people to see what further could be done in Ball Bay. I got there at ½ past eight & found that the tides of Yesterday had thrown a number of loose small stones into the Cut. As the tide Ebbed I employed the people in clearing away a number of large stones which lay in the entrance
of the Cut, & at low water all the stones were removed as far out as possible, which was finished at 5 in the Evening, the Cut is about 3 feet deep & at half tide there is upward of six feet at the entrance, with any other wind than between S.W. & N.W. there is a surf on the beach, which often breaks with so much violence as to render any attempt to land highly dangerous. As I find no thing more can be done here, with the few men I have, I intend returning with them to morrow.
3rd to 14th
As the people have not had much time, I gave them untill the 14th to clear away their Gardens & to sow them, as all the good seed of Indian Corn &c. that I have is sowed. between the above Dates a single turtle has been observed for four day running, on the beach, at first I did not like to turn it, hoping he would draw others in, finding this did not happen I turned him on the sixth day & brought him to the
Sept.r 3rd to 14th
settlement where it was issued out as usual; this Turtle had been recently pegged between the shoulders, which together with the pieces of Canoes, a Wooden image of a man, & a fresh Coco-nut which was found in Ball Bay leads me to suppose that there is a considerable undiscovered Island not far to the Eastward of this.
The Indian corn which was sown this & the last month is all up & looks very well, On the 14th the Carpenter & Sawyers finished their house.
At day light I set off taking a man with me & went to the Western or Rocky point, If it is possible this part of the Island is much worse for the entangled state of the woods than any other, But the soil & appearance is much the same, from Point Ross to
rocky point, the Shoar is inaccessible being steep clifts rising
perpendicularly from the Sea. I returned at sunsett much fatigued &
as usual with my Cloaths torn off
Septr 16th to 24th
From the 16th to the 24th. As the Houses & tents are surrounded by a thick wood, The people were employed making an opening to the Sea Side by cutting down the trees & piling the Timber up. During this month we have seen a great number of Whales & Thrashers some of which were close into the Reef, On landing here I found the intire Skeletons of two Whales which had every appearance of having been driven on shore intire, & the flesh destroyed by the rats & Birds. The Sawyers & Carpenters sawing stuff for building a granary of eighteen Feet long by twelve wide. On counting some of the plants of the Barley, there is 124 stalks from one grain.
25th Sept.r to 12th Oct.r
The people Employed between the above dates as follows, assisting the Carpenter in placing the Granary on posts, digging a cellar under the Surgeons House for putting provisions in, making Shingles to cover the granary with; & clearing away a piece of ground on the S.E. side of the
September 25th to Oct.r 12th
hill & picking grubs off the Indian Corn. We find a very sensible alteration in the weather it being very warm but the mornings & Evenings are cold. The gales of Wind are less frequent & the
good landing is more frequently good than it was two
months ago. The Barley was in ear the 20th but some heavy rain which
happned about the 3rd has lodged it & the rats have got at it, so
that I am afraid our return will be but small, but it is to be hoped a
sufficiency of seed will be saved to sow a larger piece of ground next
Year when I hope the rats will be thinned. The Indian corn which is about
eight inches high, suffers greatly from the Grub worm, which gets into
the heart of the plant & cuts it off close to the ground, destroying
40 or 50 plants in a night, which obliged me to keep the women picking
them off. Every other remedy has been tryed such as sprinkling ashes,
& lye of ashes, &c round the roots but with no good effect. On
the 4th I went to Mount Pitt, setting off at Day light and arriving there
Sept.r 25th to Oct.r 12th
from the Top of this mount I had a thorough view of the whole Island & a part of its sea coast, which exhibited a striking scene of a luxuriant natural fertility the whole Island being one continued thick wood, I found the soil every where extremely good, within a mile of the summit of Mount Pitt the ground which is a red earth is full of very large holes & at every step I fell in to a hole which was concealed by the birds making their burrows slant-wise, very near the summit of the Mount there are a number of very large Pines growing, it is wonderfull how they can withstand the very violent gales of wind which often blow here
On the 13th October at Daylight we saw the Golden grove Transpt lying at an anchor in the road & soon after Mr Dunavan a Midshipman belonging to the Sirius came on shore, & delivered the Governors Letters &c by this Gentleman I also received a letter from Mr. Blackburn Master of the Supply informing me that he sailed from Port Jackson 24th September, being ordered by
Governor Phillip to conduct the Transport to this Island, that he had brought Mr. Dunavan a Serjeant, Corporal, & five private Marines, two Gardners who were seamen belonging to the Sirius & 21 men & 11 Women convicts, Also the Supplys Jolly boat & boat crew to assist in unloading the G. grove.
In the course of the day, received onshore the party of Marines & all the Convicts, with most of the Stores & some of the Provisions.
Wind S.W. 15th
Received on shore 56 casks of Flour & 18 cask of salt provisions besides a Quantity of Stores. I this day turned a Turtle of 200lbs. In the Evening the golden grove weighed & stood off & on for the night The Weather has been very fine ever since the 12th & not the least surf.
The people cutting spars, & sawing boards, to send to Port
Jackson The Flood tide running strong all the morning & the wind to the Eastward has prevented the Golden grove from working up in the afternoon she fetched point Ross but the flood making she was swept to leeward.
At day light the Golden Grove stood into the Road & anchored As the Surf ran high no boats could pass before low water, at three p.m. when I sent the coble off, but as the surf increased I made the signal for her to be hoisted in, & the g. grove soon after got under weigh.
At eleven in the morning the coble came onshore & at two the golden grove came into the Road & anchored, in the course of the day 18 cask of Flower & 10 of Salt provisions were received onshore.,
In the course of this day received 68 casks of Provisions.
October 20th and 21st
In the course of those two days received every thing from the Golden Grove except 3 cask of Rum, in the Evening of the 20th made the Signal for the Golden grove to hoist our coble in, as she would not be able to reach the Shoar before dark.
During the night had very strong gales of Wind & heavy gust at day light perceived the golden grove had left the Road, I afterwards learnt that she parted her Cable at 10 o’clock & was not more than her own length to windward of the reef of rocks which lie off the S.E. end of Nepean Island, in passing it.
23rd to 29th
Between these dates we had only three days good landing in which time a number of Spars & planks were sent onboard the golden grove for Port Jackson. On the 29th she sailed for that port. As an encouragement to the convicts who came by the Golden grove I gave them untill the thirtieth to build houses for themselves & to clear away a little garden ground
The huts are very soon built, being composed of logs & thatched with Bull rush & Flaggs, which makes them very comfortable & as a further encouragement I gave some of them (who had the best character) permission to build their houses in the Vale & to clear away ground round them, for their own use. My numbers now are as follows viz.
Mr Stephen Dunnavan Mid. of His Majesties Ship Sirius
Mr. Tho.s Jamieson, Surgeons first Mate of Do.... 1
Mr. Jn.o Altree Assistant Surgeon ............................... 1
Roger Morley, Robert Webb, Tho.s Webb, Seamen belonging to D.o ........... 3
John Livingstone Carpenter late belonging to D.o ........ 1
Serjeant, Corporal, & Six private Marines .................................. 8 Free
Male Convicts ..................................................................................... 29
Female Convicts ..................................................................................17
___ In all 62 N.oo 2 Convicts Children.
The Sirius sailed the same day as the Golden grove did she being
ordered to the Cape of Good Hope for a Cargo of Flour, it being found
that there was little more than months of that Article of Provisions in
Store. Soon after the golden groves departure I made publick the
following Extract from the Governors publick letter,
“You will return any Marine, Convict or other with whose conduct you are not satisfied, & you are at liberty to permit those whose good behaviour merits the indulgence to work one day of the week for themselves on lots of land, one or two acres of Ground to a Convict, which you will cause to be pointed out for that purpose, & which they may consider as their own property, while they behave well, & after the time for which they are sentenced may expire, Lands will be granted them if they wish to remain as settlers: & you will give them such part of the publick stock to breed from, as you may judge proper, forbidding any persons on the Island ever to kill any fowl, hog, or any
other Animal, without having first obtained your permission & you are not to permit the killing of any live stock untill you have a sufficient Quantity on the Island for your Support, except in cases of sickness. You will make the report to me when opportunity offers, of such who are not Convicts, & who are desirous of settling on the Island; & you are at liberty to permit them to cultivate ground for their own benefit, not exceeding 10 acres, to any one person, they will receive the indulgence of such part of the live stock as you may judge necessary to give them, but neither Settler or any other person on the Island, is to be at liberty to kill any animal without having obtained your permission, Hereafter grants will be made to those who wish to remain on the Island of a larger extent of ground” By the golden grove I received a she goat, two Sows & fourteen Young pigs, the latter belonged to the crown & the former to the
Judge Advocate Mr. Collins, I also received a Quantity of Stores of every different kind, also 126 barrells of Flour, 39 t.... of Beef & 22 of Pork, 23 Firkins of Butter 233 Cask of Pease & 5 Puncheons of Rum, which was about 17 months provisions at the following ration. For one man for a week, Flour 7lbs. Beef 3½ lbs. Pork 2lbs. Butter 6 oz. Pease 3 pints. For one Woman for a Week 4½ lbs. Flour. 2¼ lbs Beef. 1¼ lbs. of Pork. 4 oz. Butter 2 pts. of Pease. When the Sirius returns from the Cape the Allowance will be 8 lbs of Flour a week to the men, & in proportion to the Women, it is to be observed that the eighths are not deducted from the above weight but the full avoirdupois weight is given without any deduction whatever. As I was very much in want of a Carpenter a Man who was discharged from the Sirius & was onboard the Golden Grove as a sailer, offered to remain on the Island, on any terms, As I could not make any terms with him not being impowered to take any step of that kind, I informed
him that if he chose to remain he must take it on himself which he with great readiness consented to, & in him I found a great acquisition.
During this month the people in general were employed as follows. 18 clearing away ground. 4 making shingles, Sawyers & Carpenters about the granary - & the others occasionally. The general weather this month has been warm & the weather fine, the 10th, 11th, 12th, & 13th we had some strong gales from the Southward which made it as cold as in Winter; during the month there has been twenty two days very good landing. I should have mentioned before that previous to the golden groves departure, I wrote a letter to Mr. Blackburn the Master of the Supply requesting him to communicate his remarks on the navigation round these Islands as he had a better opportunity of making himself acquainted with it, than I could possibly have: to which he gave the
following answer, & from the abilities of the Officer I believe his observatns. are very accurate “NNW about 5 miles from Duncimbe Bay there is a bank of coarse sand & coral with 16 & 17 fathom on it between which & the anchoring place there is 25 fathoms; There is also soundings N.W. from Phillip Isle from 35 to 25 f.m at least four Leagues off, at which distance it is foulest & shoalest. The bearings when at anchor in Duncimbe Bay were Cookes Rocks E.S.E. & the rocks off Point Howe WSW¼W The landing rock South, distance off 1 mile the depth 19 fathom course sand & coral. The best anchorage in the Cascade Bay is with the great cascade SW & Cooks point S.E. distance off shore about 1½ mile & the ground tolerable good. Cascade Bay is a very good road in the strong SW wind & very smooth water, the landing is easy as is the access to the Island
As the Ebb goes very strong 9 hours to the
Eastward the most convenient place for anchoring off Sydney Bay on account of the Boats &c is with the body of Nepeans Isle ENE½E or EbN the Flag-staff NNE½E Point Ross NWbW & the West end of Phillip Isle SSE 19 fathom, but here the ground is rocky The best anchoring is with the middle of Nepean Isle ENE½E 17 fathom clean ground.
The Tides round the Island are very strong & from the observations I have been able to make, & the difficulty we always found in the Supply, of getting from Cascade Bay round to Sydney Bay (which ever end of the Island we try’d at, has given me every reason to believe that the Flood sets SSW & the Ebb NNE it flows about seven o’clock all round the Island. Now as the Ebb runs 9 hours N.N.E. it strikes directly against Rocky point, which divides the tide, the
Eastern part, runs with rapidity through the Island & then resumes its former course of NNE, The other part goes NNW past Anson Bay, round the West end of the Island & then NNE so that in coming from the North side of the Island (unless the Wind gives a slant) you have the tide right ahead which ever end of the Island you attempt to get round, As to the Flood it runs but three hours & with little strength”
The Master of the Golden Groves observations are as follows which I requested him to communicate to me. “The flood comes directly from the S.E. strikes in with Bell Bay & sets up through between the Islands. The other part as it divides itself sets round the NE part of the Island so that a Ship coming round from the Cascade Bay, can never work up with the wind to the southward & Westward, as both tides take her directly on the Weather Bow. What I have
seen of Ball Bay I by no means like it, my reason is it is a Bay a Ship can never get out of with an in blowing wind & I do not think it a safe one to ride in. The Cascade Bay I give much the preference to, as it can hardly happen but a ship can get to Sea on one tack or another & ride in very smooth water at anchor. I could load the Golden Grove very well with timber or Masts taking the advantage of the Winds in Cascade & Sydney Bays”
This day I planted about thirty rod of ground with Indian Corn that which I planted in September is now five feet high & will tassell very soon, The Wheat grows so very rank that I have obliged to crop it, It has a very good appearance.
I went out in the coble & sounded between point Hunter, & Nepean Isle, where there is a good Channell & not less than 4 fathom close to p.t Hunter, & the North side of Nepean Isle, in mid-channel
there is 8 fathoms. On the 29th I landed on Nepean Island, which I found a
lump mass of sand, kept together by the Clifts which
are a border of hard rocks, notwithstanding there is not the least
appearance of earth or mold. Yet there are upwards of two hundred very
fine pines growing on it, the suface is covered with a kind of coarse
grass. On account of the great heat I changed the working hours, giving
the Labourers from ½ past 10 to ½ past 2 to avoid the heat
of the Sun which is very great.
The coble has been out fishing seven times this month she has been fortunate & the Fish were distributed as usual Only two turtle have been turned since September.
During this month the labourers were generally employed clearing away ground for cultivation, making & drawing shingles, cutting a Road from the Settlement to Ball Bay, Reaping Wheat, & Barley & thrashing the latter out. The Roof of my house being very leaky &
open, the Sun having split the weather boarding with which it was covered, I set the Carpenters & Sawyers to work, to put a new roof on & to rise the house 5 feet in order to give more room for storing the Stores & provisions a great part of which are in it.
From the 17th to the 20th. The Wind blew very hard from the W.S.W. On the 26th, 27th & 28th we had a hard Gale of Wind from the S.E. with which wind it was as cold as in the month of June, but in the Valley the weather was very pleasant. Excepting the above dates the Weather has been very pleasant & in general very good landing.
At day light I went in the coble to Phillip Isle, where I landed on a rock, in a small bay on the North side of the Isle at ½ past 7. I with great difficulty climbed up the first hills which I found covered with a sharp long Grass, which cut like a knife, a small quantity of Brush wood grew amongst it The soil is a light red earth & full of Bird holes which rendered walking here very laborious, as at every step we sunk to the middle in
This day I housed all the Barley, which has been raised on an acre & quarter of ground, it was sowed in June & July.
During its growth it had a most promising appearance but when the ear was shot out & nearly filled, in September some heavy rains, laid a great part of it down, which drew the rats & quails to it, & the quantity they destroyed in a
fortnight was very great, As there was every appearance of getting 40 or 50 Bushells of Grain, the whole quantity of
Thrashed out & Cleaned is ten Bushells, the Grain is very fine &
116 full formed Ears were produced from one Grain of Barley. Every kind
of Garden Vegetable thrives very well. Cabbages have been cut weighing 26
pounds. I have no doubt but potatoes would thrive very well here, but
unfortunately we have only two sets on the Island, which were brought
here by the Golden Grove, Most of the Marines & Convicts have very
good gardens, & every Vegetable thrives very well, but the grub-worm
is a great & perpetual enemy.
The 260 plants of Wheat which I transplanted June 1st was cut this day & on being threshed out, its produce is three Quarts of a very fine full grain.
As the Surf rises very soon here, after having been good landing, which often renders it dangerous for the boat to land; in which case she is obliged to go to Ball Bay, & people are sent from the Settlement to haul her up, which occasions a loss of time; I have therefore resolved on sending the Assistant Surgeon Mr. Altree, who is a very trusty young man, a Gardner who is a Seaman belonging to the Sirius, & one Convict to remain there, with three Women, they will cultivate the ground in the Valley & be at all times ready to assist in hauling the Boat up, which will prevent the inconvenience of sending people from hence. I this day sent the afore-named persons to Ball Bay, where the landing is as fine as can be wished, & in this bay the Surf runs very high the Wind being at South & bearing hard.
This day the Wheat which was sowed on the 11th August was
reaped, it is a very full grain, but as it was sowed so late, it had not time to stock, or tiller. All the Vegetables are now going to seed & there is every appearance of having a plenty of garden seeds.
This being Christmas day was observed as a Holy day., the Colours were hoisted at sunrise, I performed divine Service, The Officers dined with me, & I gave the convicts half a pint of rum each man, & double allowance of meat to celebrate this festival & the Evening concluded with the lighting & burning Bonfires which had been previously collected for the occasion.
Today being the height of Spring tides I sent every person to Ball Bay to make the cut deeper & to clear away some stones which has washed into it.
This day the wheat which was sowed on the 18th August was reaped The whole quantity sowed on the 11th & 18th August, was two pecks, & when Threshed out & cleaned the produce was
The Grain large & full. The Indian Corn will be soon fit for gathering
I find a very great difference between the work done since the arrival of the Convicts by the Golden Grove, to what was done in proportion to the numbers before. The occasion is that as their numbers are increased I have not people to overlook them & keep them at work, I have therefore adopted the plan of tasking them, for which purpose I consulted those whom I thought conversant in the different Work that was going on, this with what I had observed myself determined me to fix their tasks as follows & with which they were all contented & thankfull Six men, to cut the timber down on an acre of ground in one week.
Six men, to clear away & turn up one acre of ground, fit for receiving Seed in twenty eight days.
One pair of Sawyers to saw One Hundred feet of Sawing each day.
At this task they will save time to themselves & as that time will
be employed in clearing away gardens
for themselves and
to cultivate their own use. the time they so save from the publick work will not be wholly lost to Society, altho’ there may be some few who will pass their time in Idleness. Untill the 23rd
Three Two Gangs of six men each were employed cutting
down, clearing away, & turning up one two acres of
ground. Carpenters & sawyers, about my house, two men threshing out
wheat, four making shingles, & the Blacksmith & the others
employed respectively. The weather during this month was very fine
settled warm weather the wind Northerly untill the 22nd from which time
to the end of the month we had constant heavy rain without an hours
interval of dry weather, such a continuance of rainy weather I never
heard of, this bad weather was frequently attended with heavy Gales of
Wind from the N.E. As I have six Musquets on the Island exclusive of the
I thought it necessary to instruct the few free people I have on the Island (which are six) in the use of fire arms, in case of the Marines being sick or any other exigency. I therefore gave orders to Mr. Dunavan to exercise them every Saturday morning & to the Serjeant to Exercise the Marines at the same time or oftener, when the former are a little expert I mean that they shall fire half a dozen rounds, once a month.
I went afloat & Examined the North & West side of the Island which I found every where surrounded by perpendicular Clifts. I landed on the beach in Anson Bay, where I found the remains of a canoe which had been washed here by the tide. A very good coco-nut was also found here. this beach is very small &
the it appears to me to
be a quick sand, there is no fresh water near it, & the Bay is
surrounded by steep hills, on which a quantity of the Flax plant
A Male Child was this day born & as it was first, he was baptised by the Name of Norfolk.
From the noon of this day, untill the 18 at Sunsett, partys were out looking after the cockswain of the coble, who had lost himself in the woods, as he was returning from Ball Bay where the boat was hauled up on the 14th at Sunsett. On the 18th he was found naked & almost exhausted, & was obliged to be brought to the Settlement having received several deep cuts & bruises, he remained for some time incapable of getitng out of his bed.
Tho.s Watts was punished with 24 lashes, for contemptuosly refusing to go to work, & being abusive to the Corporal of Marines who reprimanded him for not going to work with the rest of the convicts.
In consequence of some Irregularitys I found it necessary to assemble all the free people & to read the Articles of War,
At 9 oclock this morning, Robert Webb, Seaman, belonging to the Sirius, & employed as a Gardner on this Island came to me & signified a wish to speak with me in private, when he informed me that a plan had been concerted among the Convicts to surprize me, with the rest of the Officers, Marines, & free people; & possess themselves of the publick stores &c. & afterwards to endeavour to surprize the Supply or any Vessell that might come here & make their escape from the Island. On interrogating him he informed me that Elizabeth Andersson a female convict who lives with him, had given him this Information on the 22nd & on his (Webbs) doubting what she advanced, she (Elizh Andersson) offered to convince him of the truth of her assertion by bringing him within hearing of a convict, whom she would entice to relate the plan &c, which proposal being agreed to by Webb, this morning Elizabeth Andersson invited W.m Francis into the Hut
to drink a dram, when he related the circumstances of the plan how it was to be carried into Execution &c Robert Webb being at this time hid from the view of (Francis) by a piece of Tent which was hung before the bed he lay in. As I thought it necessary to substantiate this information I caused Robert Webb & Elizabeth Andersson to be kept apart & took their depositions on oath seperately & both of which perfectly agreeing in every circumstance the following is the substance of the two depositions
“That Yesterday between nine in the morning & noon, Eliz.h Anderson being washing, she sighed, when W.m Francis who stood near her, asked her what she sighed for, she answered she was very low; W.m Francis then asked her, If she could get her liberty whether she would leave Webb, & on her saying yes, he (Francis) said, The first ship that comes here
except the Sirius we will every man & woman here have our liberty To which we were all sworn last Saturday, & we (the convicts) would have had it already if the Sirius was not the first ship expected, & the day that Watts was flogged was intended to have been the day for making Mr. King & the free people prisoners. he Francis added that it was proposed to take the Golden Grove on his passage, as they (the convicts) were all for it except one man, & he was the forwardest in the present plot. Robert Webb appearing put an end to this conversation, Elizabeth Anderssen repeated to Webb all that had passed between her & Francis, On Robert Webbs suspecting the story being an invention of hers; they agreed that he (Webb) should lie concealed in the bed which has a curtain made of a piece of Tent, while she (Anderssen) should endeavour to draw from Francis, a fuller account of the Plan laid by him & the rest of the Convicts. This morning at day light
Vessell than the Sirius; Most of the Marines & free people will be a. acabbaging, & as Mr. King generally goes to the Farm twice a day
a. getting the Wood Cabbages
In his absence, I will step into his house & hand out the Arms b. to
b. The Marines Arms were kept in my house.
my Men; Then I go out & take Mr. King, & after that the other officers & what Marines are in Camp, & the rest as they come in from cabbaging. We will then put them all in Irons two & two together, when they’ll be as helpless as Bees, We will then make the Signal for a boat, & when she lands we’ll nab the Boats Crew; Then send the coble off with Mr. Kings Compliments & request another boat might be sent to carry off plank as the first boat was stove & the coble could not carry luggage: when the second boat came the people belonging to it were also to be nabbed, & the two boats with the coble were to be filled with our people (the Convicts) & the Women, & take possession of the Ship. Three of the sailers might remain if they were willing, & one Officer should be kept to
navigate the Ship, the rest of the Officers & Ships Company were to be left on Nepean or Phillip Island, with the Coble, from whence they might go to Norfolk Island & liberate the Commandant &c. Eliz.a Andersson then expressed her wishes that it might succeed & Francis left her. The taking Webb & Andersons depositions & interrogating them took up two hours, it being Saturday most of the Convicts were getting Cabbages, & as there was a possibility, that the Accusation against William Francis might be an invention; & having received that information it was necessary to use every precaution against a Surprize, I ordered a Constant Guard of three privates to be commanded by Mr. Dunavan, the Serjeant & Corporal, & built a Guard house between my house & the Surgeons, in which the Provisions & Stores were stowed, the old Store house in which the Marines lived, I removed from the Waterside nearer
my house. I ordered every one without exception to live in the town or Camp, & recalled the people I sent to Ball Bay. As I wished for a fuller proof of the Criminality of the Party concerned I desired Messieurs Donavan & Jamieson, to watch the return of John Bryant a Convict who had always behaved very well & to interrogate him respecting the plan laid by the Convicts, & to assure him a pardon if he would discover all he knew about it. I also sent to the house of W.m Thompson in the Vale, to search for any Covenant or Agreement, but none was found, In a Chest in the above house a quantity of Indian Corn was found which from its not being quite hard, & there being no other on the Island must have been stolen from the Kings Grounds in Arthurs Vale. I then ordered W.m Francis, John Thompson, Samuel picket & Joshua Peck to be taken into Custody on their
return from Cabbaging. Mess.rs Jamieson & Dunavan having met John Bryant & persuaded him to discover all he knew about the scheme, & soon after brought him before me, then he made a deposition
to this purpose & was sworn on the Cross being a
Catholic, the substance of his deposition was as follows.
That on the Passage from P. Jackson to Norfolk Island, it was talked among the Convicts to take the Golden Grove Transport from the Officers & people & run away with her, & on its being proposed to John Bryant he said it would be only fools to think of such a thing. That in going out to Work on the 14th of this month, with all the Convicts, Samuel Picket remarked, how easy it would be to take the Island, by making the Commandant prisoner
when going to, or returning from the Farm in Arthurs Vale, after which
coming in, & seizing the Arms & making prisoners of the Marines
& other Free people, It was soon after agreed that the rest of the
Convicts were to be consulted, & if agreable a meeting was to be held
at John Thompsons house in the Vale Samuel Picket & Joshua Peck being
inmates of his. the remainder of Bryants deposition respecting how the
Island was to be taken, &c. agrees in every particular with
William Eliza.h Andersen, & Robert Webbs.
I next sent for Joshua Peck & examined him on oath & after much
prevarication he gave nearly the same account how the business was to be
conducted, as I have mentioned before, except.g as to the manner how the
Officers were to be made prisoners, which
was to be as follows. “When they had secured me, they were to go to Mr. Dunavans house (which is at the entrance of the Vale) & take him, & conduct him to the Farm where we were to be tied back to back, after which one of the Convicts was to be sent in with a Message as from me, to speak with the Surgeon, Serjeant &c. to secure them one by one as they came out.”
To Jn.o Bryant & Joshua Peck I put the two following Questions, telling them, that as the depositions & examination would be sent to the Governor, It was necessary that they recollected the Nature of the Oath they had taken & to give a just Answer. Q. Can you assign any reason for the aforesaid plot being formed? Answer. None, but the hopes of regaining our Liberty. Question. Have you at any time heard any Convict on the Island Express any discontent at the Conduct
of Officers or on any other just or unjust ground? Answer Never
It was now Clear to me that a plan or scheme had been entered into, in which the Whole of the Convicts were concerned except the three before mentioned. The succeeding of the first part viz. of taking the Officers &c Prisoners, was not to be doubted, As I must own that I was not sufficiently on my guard, against the description of people I had to do with, As their apparrent satisfaction which they often expressed at being on this Island in preference to being at Port Jackson added to the great indulgencies they have received here Culled any suspicion of their having the most distant Idea of the kind. The second part of their plan viz. of taking any Ship was very doubtfull But had the first succeeded, the destruction of the Provisions & Stores would have followed, & it is difficult to say what fatal consequences would have resulted, from the Drunken state they would have been in, while the rum
lasted, altho’ I must in justice to them observe, that no sanguinary measures were thought on by them, on the Contrary they proposed good treatment to my self & the Free people, but how far that intention would have been observed by a sett of people of their description, when in a state of Drunken madness may be easilier imagined than described. I
Sunday 25th ordered Samuel Pickett, & William Francis, to wear Irons, & the next day after prayers, I addressed the Convicts & pointed out to them the absurdity of their plan & the certain destruction that would have followed them, admitting that they had made themselves Masters of a Vessell. I endeavouredd to persude them of the advantages they enjoyed on this Island, where nothing but industry was requisite to ensure them a happy & honest livelihood after which I exhorted them to let their future Conduct, wipe away
the present impropriety of their behaviour, & those who distinguished themselves by a regular,
& honest, & industrious
line of conduct would be countenanced, while those who acted contrary
would be made severe & dreadfull Examples of; I likewise cautioned
them against Stealing & plundering Grounds, Gardens, &c assuring
them that they would receive very severe punishment or detention after
which the following Orders were read in addition to those which were
before made publick for the preservation of Order &c.
The Commandant strictly forbids any officer, Soldier, Free person or
Convict Male or Female ever absenting themselves from the Camp or Town,
for ten minutes together, without having first obtained leave from the
Officer charged with the Guard who will obtain the Commandants leave if
judge think fit to grant it. The Officer of
the Guard will keep an account of the Names of those who are absent on
leave, on a Slate which
will be kept in the Guard-house for that purpose
Every person returning from that leave will acquaint the Officer of the Guard of their return.
Every Convict who is observed going over the hill to go to the farm without having obtained leave, or going to work there, will be fired at by the Centinel.
Every Convict, or not more than three together will build houses for themselves at their leisure hours, in such places as will be pointed out.
No person for the future will be suffered to live out of the Camp. John Thompson & Samuel Peckitt are disposessed of any Garden Ground in consequence of their Ill behaviour. Altho’ I had not the most distant reason to suspect any free person whatever of being the least
disaffected. Yet I judged it necessary to finish this affair by administring the Oath of Fidelity & allegiance to His Majesty, to the Officers, Marines, & Free people, individually in presence of the Convicts.
This day The theft of the Indian Corn being fully proved I ordered William Thompson, to be punished with 50 lashes & Thomas Jones, another Convict with 36 lashes for abuse & insolence to Mess.rs Jamieson & Dunavan. The whole of the Convicts were employed the remainder of this Month & untill the 6th February in Cutting down Trees & clearing the ground near where the houses stand in order to give more room for building others.
As the rains are very violent & seem to be set in, which with the disagreeable heat of the Weather, had made a deal of the Indian Corn shoot out, I began gathering that which was sowed in
September. Joseph Long a Convict was punished with 12 lashes for leaving his work & absenting himself without leave
From the 22nd of last month untill the 13th of the present we have had constant heavy Gales of Wind & deluges of rain, after which we had variable Weather & rain, but dry at intervals, on the 26th* the Hurricane happned, which was dreadfull beyond description. Untill
*see that day
the 6th all the Convicts were employed Cutting down & Clearing away the ground near where the houses stand & round them, from the eight to the 15th. They were employed building houses for themselves after which they were employed at task work in clearing away Ground for Cultivation. & all the Carpenters building a house for the Serjeant of Marines.
The Indian Corn, & different Plants that were seeding, have received much damage from the Constant rain which has fallen since the 22nd January. The small patch of Barly which was
cut on the 20th is quite spoiled by the Constant rain & the Swamp is overflowed, We had this day a very heavy Gale of Wind from the Northward & lightning for the first time since I have been here.
Two of the Convicts were punished, the one with 3 doz.n & the other with one dozen lashes for absenting themselves from their Quarters after 10 o’clock at night with a bad intention
Today being Sunday, after divine service, & reading the Orders, I forgave the two prisoners viz Samuel Pickett, & W.m Francis for their ill behaviour in the affair of the plot, but it is my intention to send Francis to Port Jackson as he is a worthless troublesome Villian.
This being the first opportunity that we have had to examine the provisions that were in the Cellars, on account of the constant heavy rains, on getting up the Ground tier of Flour Cask from under the Surgeons house, I found a Quantity of Water had lodged among
them, & although they were well dunnaged Yet we found many of the Casks much damaged & the flour in them spoiled, the Quantity lost cannot be ascertained untill the whole 36 Casks are Issued, but as we Cleaned it immediately & their being only 3 Casks of damaged Flour I am hopefull that the loss will not be considerable. Yet small as it is, in our present situation it is of the greatest consequence, & [indecipherable]
16th to 21st
People all Employed Cleaning the Flour,
In the Morning of this day, we had light winds from N.E. to East & very dismal dark Cloudy Weather with Constant torrents of very heavy rain, after noon we had heavy Gales of Wind, which kept increasing in Violence, At Midnight it shifted to E.S.E. & blew with great fury,
& constant deluges of rain. at 4 in the Morning, several of the largest pines were blown up by the roots, one of which fell on the Hogstye & killed a very fine English sow & a litter of 7 pigs
belonging to me & 3 Sows & 2 boars belonging to the Publick, this was a severe loss to Young Colonists, but an accident which followed had nearly deprived us of our Flour. From 4 in the Morning untill noon the Wind increased to a very severe Hurricane, with the heaviest rain I ever saw, or heard of. Pines & live oak trees of the largest sizes were blowing down every instant tearing up their Roots & rocks with them, leaving pits ten feet deep; some of these very large trees measuring in general 180 feet in length & 4 feet diameter, were thrown by the violence of the Wind to some distance from the place where they grew. Some pines whose roots were too deep to be torn up, bent their tops very near the Ground, what added to the horror of this scene, was a very large tree falling across the Granary & dashing it to pieces, A Number of the Casks of Flour that was in it were stove, but by the General Activity of
every person, the Flour, the Indian Corn, & Stores were in a short time collected, & removed to my house with the loss of about pounds of Flour blown away & the loss of some small stores. At Noon the Gale blew with the utmost fury, sweeping Woods of trees up by the roots & carrying some of them to a considerable distance, at One in the Afternoon there were as many trees
fallen blown down round the
Settlement, as would have employed 50 Men a fortnight to fall. The Swamp
& Vale were overflowed by eleven o’clock & had every
appearance of a large navigable river. The Surf ran Mountains high, but
did not overflow the Bank, altho’ it was very near its level. In
the Road the Sea ran very high, often eclipsing Nepean Isle. At two in
the afternoon the Gardner & 2 Convict Men & one Woman who lived
in the Vale, came in, having had several narrow escapes, by the falling
of trees & great depth of
Water in many parts of the Valley. Their houses which were built & framed with strong logs were all blown down, The dreadfull Effects of the Hurricane is beyond belief. Whole Woods were blown up by the roots & many large trees blown on three Acres of Cleared Ground Every thing growing in the Gardens is nearly destroyed, An Acre of Indian Corn which would have been fit to gather in a fortnight, & was in a promising state was all laid flatt, & covered four feet with the Water, The violence of the wind incredible as it may appear blew many of the Vegetables such as Cabbages & turnips &c up by the roots & those which remained were as black as if they had been burned. The discovery of the Plot was a providential circumstance in the present instance, As a Great number of Pine & other large trees were fallen round the Settlement to make room for the Convicts to build their houses, had not this been done, the houses would have been destroyed & some lives lost as there was no asylum or
or retreat whatever, fortunately only one Man was hurt who received a
violent contusion on his right side, by a branch of a tree falling on
two three o’clock in the Afternoon the
Wind veered round to South & it Moderated. at Sunsett it was very
pleasant Weather. There was no appearance on any part of the Island of a
Gale of wind of this kind having ever happned before. The Swamp &
Vale continued overflowed untill the 8th of March.
27th & 28th
Very pleasant Weather. Wind at S.W. & a very heavy Surf.
During the first part of this month we had in general pleasant Weather, after which had Fresh Gales & Variable Weather.
At day light we saw His Majesties Armed Tender the Supply in the road. I sent Mr. Dunavan onboard, & he soon after returned with my letters &c. from Governor Phillip
by which I found that twenty one Men & 6 Women Convicts, with 3 Convicts Children, were arrived in the Supply. & to be landed here, As I had the fullest confidence in the few free people that there was on the Island, I did not hesitate an instant receiving the additional number of Convicts now arrived, some of whom
had brought very
bad characters with them. By the Supply I also o
received a Bushell of potatoes & some Seed Wheat & Barley saved
at Port Jackson. In the Course of the day, all the Convicts & most
part of the provisions & stores were received on Shore, the Supply
having anchored in the Evening she got under weigh & stood off &
on during the night. A Female Child was born this day.
At day light received on shore one tun [?] of Provisions but the Surf increasing no more boats passed during the day
Received all the rest of the Provisions & Stores, also two, three
pounders & their Carriages belonging to the Supply, which were intended to have been landed when first I came here, but the Surf prevented it, The Convicts who came by the Supply building houses for themselves & the rest at task Work as usual
The landing very bad no boats came onshore, at 10 in the Morning the Supply Anchored in the road & at 2 she parted her Cable & stood off & on during the night.
The Supply sweeping for her Anchor.
Received on shore all the Ordnance Stores belonging to the two three pounders, also four pairs of pistols & one half barrell of Gunpowder.
The Supply’s boats still sweeping for her anchor, I ordered the Surgeon to examine all the people who came last by the Supply in order to discover if any of them were infected
March 8th 9th & 10
with a Venereal the Surgeon reported them all well
The Supply having ineffectually sweeped for her anchor, at 4 in the Afternoon of the 10 She made sail to return to Port Jackson The Ground in the Road off Sydney Bay is very foul Altho’ there may be some few Clear spots, the Golden Grove parted her Cable but regained her anchor, which the Supply was not so fortunate in accomplishing, but had the additional misfortune of almost ruining two new Cablets in sweeping for it
It is very remarkable that the Beach in Sydney Bay which at times has five feet of Sand on the Stones, & at other times it is all carried away; the Winds which have blown when the Sand recedes, is the SE & when it comes on again the Wind is at S.W. May not this be the Case in the Road?
10th to 18th
The people were all employed at Task work, except those who came last, who had till the 18th given them to build their houses &c
March 18th to 31st
From the 18th to the 31st. All the Labourers viz 30 were Employed clearing away ground for Cultivation. The Carpenters lining a part of my house & putting up a partition.
Numbers on the Island
Officers, Marines & Free 16
Male Convicts 50
Female Convicts 23
In order to prevent the Water from overflowing the Cultivated Grounds in the Upper part of the Vale, a Water way was this day begun to be cut by eight labourers, of 60 Rods long, & six feet deep
I have hitherto forbore mentioning the Numerous thefts that have been daily committed, & notwithstanding the utmost vigilance, it has not been possible to
make a detection detect any one.
Gardens have been constantly plundered, the harness Cask robbed, & one night an attempt was made to get into the upper part of my house where the
provisions slops was lodged, Great rewards
have been offered to tempt some one to discover but all without effect
untill this night at 11 o’clock one of the Convicts
Tho.s Watson was detected in another Convicts house stealing a
bag of flour.
From the Number of daring thefts that had been committed, without being able to fix on the thief, it became necessary to inflict a very severe punishment on this Offender & as I had no authority to inflict any very severe Corporeal punishment, After having examined Witnesses on oath & fully proved the theft, I ordered him into Confinement intending to have sent him to Port Jackson to take his tryal. I gave orders that for the future the Convicts should be mustered in their huts three times during the night, & to change the times of muster every night, which I afterwards found was a great check altho’ the robberys still went on
James Davis a convict was punished with 24 lashes for seditious expressions, & throwing away some fish which had been issued in a contemptuous manner
I find the Weevil has began on the seed wheat, Employed some people winnowing & Cleaning it.
Some atrocious Villain stabbed one of Governments Sows, which occasioned its death, this amongst many other similar Villanies
work shows that these wretches are equal to any act of
The Sugar Cane which I planted soon after landing, being in a very exposed place, I this day shifted it into the Vale & planted out 106 very good joints, which were produced from only four joints. The Indian Corn which was damaged by the Hurricane was this day
Had many heavy Gales of Wind during this Month mostly from the East & N.E. & some heavy rains.
The Employment of the Convicts this Month as follows.
At Task Work Clearing away Ground for Cultivation 30
Sawyers sawing boards for building a Store house 2 - 2 Free
Carpenters Building Do 2 - 1 Free
Blacksmiths, making Fish hooks & other necessary work 1 - 1 Free
Coble Men fishing 3
Gardners 3 - 1 Free
Making Shingles 4
School-Master 1, Officers Servants, 3, Care of Stock 1. 5 Total 50
I this day sowed ¾ of an acre of Wheat, It is rather early to sow it, but it is to try the different times of Sowing & to see which answers best. this Wheat was sown on the Ground first cleared on the North side of Mount George, where the barly grew last year
This being Sunday, after Prayers Thomas Jones a Convict acquainted me that the term of his transportation Expired this day, As I had been informed by the Governor that the terms for which the Convicts were sentenced was not known as the Masters of the Transports, had left the papers necessary for that information with their owners, & that he had wrote to England for them, & untill their arrival no step could be taken, as the Convicts words were not sufficient I therefore told Tho.s Jones that he was at liberty to work for whom he pleased & if he chose to work for the publick he would fare the same as the rest, untill I received further orders respecting him
This day an Acre of Wheat was sowed in Arthurs Vale.
Noah Mortimer a Convict was punished with 60 lashes for refusing to work on being ordered by the Overseer & being very abusive
This being Good Friday, no work was done, At eleven I performed Divine service.
Sowed 3 Acres of Wheat with four Bushells of Seed. Every Garden Vegetable now growing is very much blighted by the Westerly & S.W. Winds; This is a very improper time to sow any Garden seeds being the Commencement of Winter, I found last Year that June & July were the best months for sowing the General crop. As the potatoes grow out so very fast I am obliged to sow them all. This day we had a very Gale of Wind from the S.W. which is the first Southerly wind that has blown with any degree of force since last August. Last Year the South.y Winds did not begin untill the 10th of April, which makes me imagine that the Southerly & Westerly Winds are not frequent in the Summer not having had one Gale from that Quarter during the last Summer.
Sowed three Acres of Wheat in Arthurs Vale
Eight Acres of Wheat are up & have a very fine Appearance, viz.
Seven Acres in the Vale & one on the North side of Mount George.
As there is a projection of a part of the reef where the boats land which if taken away would greatly lessen the danger of landing here, I this day employed six Men about it who will continue at it every tide untill finished.
John Williams a Marine having quitted his Guard Yesterday (Sunday) & having raised a Quarrell in a convicts house, the Consequence of which was a battle between him & another Marine, I assembled the Marines & free people under-Arms, under the Flag-staff on which the Colours were hoisted, & punished him with twenty four lashes, for quitting his post & striking & fighting with his Comrade
I observed all the Wheat which had a very fine appearance till now, was blighted in many places, particularly where thinnest sown, On looking into it, I found it was entirely covered
by a small black Caterpillar which had eaten off the Stems within an inch of the Ground, from the 7th untill the 31st these destructive Vermin kept on the Wheat, they began on the lower part of the eight acres of Wheat sowed in the Vale & proceeding regularly through it, cutting every blade down. Various methods were tried such as rolling the Wheat with a heavy roller, beating it with turf beaters in order to kill them, but in an hours time they were as numerous as ever, they every day increased in size, I found they were
produced bred from a small moth
which we find flying about in great Quantity in the Mornings &
Evenings. The Quantity which is on the Wheat is incredible, & they
are so very thick in the Garden that they are swept up in heaps, the
rivulet is also covered with them. On the 28th the whole eight Acres of
Wheat (which was a foot high when first attacked by the Caterpillar,) was
eat off close to the Ground, & three Acres of it was quite destroyed
& never grew again. On the 29th after
having gone through the Gardens & Wheat this insect went away. The loss of so much good seed Wheat is a great misfortune, particularly as I have but three bushells more of Seed which I shall not sow untill June, & as I have so little seed I mean to drill in three Acres.
From the 7th untill this day most of the labourers have been employed in using every means to save as much of the Wheat as possible from the Catterpiller. The Carpenters finished the Store house. its size is 30 feet long, & 18 feet wide, 10 feet under the eaves. the sides covered with Weather boarding & the roof Shingled, All the provisions were put into it out of my house, the Surgeons &c, & Shifted all the Stores into the Store house
During this month the people in general Employed as in the Month of April; Had several very heavy Gales of Wind mostly from the S.W. & S.E. with a great deal of rain.
At Sunrise hoisted the Colours in observance of the Anniversary of His Majesty’s Birth day, on which occasion the day was observed as a Holy day. At Noon the Marines & Free people drew up under arms to the right & left of the two three pounders which were on the Parade in front of my house. The Male Convicts were drawn up on the right & the Female on the left. Fired three rounds of the Guns & the Musquetry, after which the whole gave three cheers, & were dismissed. In consideration of the behaviour of the Convicts on the day of the Hurricane, & their General Conduct since the affair of the Plot, I was induced to let thm partake of the General festivity of the day, & ordered them half a pint of Rum each man & a pint of Wine each Woman to drink His Majesty’s Health, The Officers dined with me, & on drinking His Majestys’ health, three rounds
of the Great Guns were fired. At Night Bonfires were lighted, & the front Windows of my house was illuminated with the initials G.R. As this is the first Celebration of our Most Gracious Sovereigns Birth day, in this remote part of His Dominions, When every person was assembled & before the firing began, I ordered the prisoner Tho.s Watson who was in confinement for a theft (& intended to be sent to port Jackson to be tried) to be brought out & in consideration of the day I forgave him. The remaining four Acres of Wheat which the Catterpillar did not destroy, is shot out again & has a very good appearance.
T this day drilled in 30 pints of
pease Wheat into 60
Rods of Ground. As I have so little seed left, I think that will be
disposing of it to the best advantage, & it may be that
the increase will be nearly as great as if sowed at a broad cast, I also sowed 18 pints of Marrow fat pease in drills
At day light perceived His Majesty’s Armed Tender the Supply in the Road; The surf here ran very high, & there but little wind Easterly with a strong flood tide she could not get to Ball Bay before three in the Afternoon when I received My letters from His Excellency Governor Phillip; by which I found that Lieutenant John Cresswell of the Marines, with fourteen privates, were arrived in the Supply & that Lieutenant Cresswell had orders to put himself under my Command, & that in case of my death or absence the Government of the Island devolved on him. I had also the satisfaction to find that my Conduct was approved of, by His Excellency the Governor
Some provisions & a few Stores are also onboard for the use of the Settlement.
As the Surf ran very high untill high water no boats could pass untill 3 in the Afternoon, when Lieut.t Cresswell & the detatchment landed with a part of their baggage.
No boats could land the Surf ran so high
No landing till after high water, received onshore some baggage
Good landing to day, when a part of the Provisions & Stores were landed, As another boat was become very necessary here I wrote to Lieutenant Ball requesting him to permit his Carpenter to be landed for that purpose. This day the Carpenter landed & began building a Coble, as I find that is the best kind of Boat for going in & out of this place. Every person assisting the Carpenter.
During this day all but 16 cask of Flour were received
Course on shore, but the surf increasing very much in the
Evening, I made the Signal for the Supply to hoist the Coble in.
19th & 20th
The Sea & Surf ran so very high y.t no boat could land.
By noon we received all our provisions & stores from the Supply
21st to 24th
Sent off Water to the Supply & plank for Port Jackson. On the 24th drilled two peck of Wheat into one acre of Ground in the Vale.
Had some very Strong Gales from the S.W. at nine in the morning the Supply passed between Nepean Isle & Point Hunter, one acre & a quarter of
Whe ground was sowed with one & half
Bushell of Wheat at a broad cast.
A heavy Gale from the S.W. I sent a person round to the lee side of the Island, but the Supply could not be seen.
William Holmes a Convict was punished with 36 lashes for leaving his work
At day light the Supply hull down to the Southward & working up for the Island. As the Island Carpenters can finish the boat, I sent the Carpenter of the Supply onboard & at 4 p.m. she made sail. The Supply is ordered to examine a Shoal seen by the Golden Grove on her return from this Island in October last, in Latitude 29°:25’ South Longitude 159°:59’ East of Greenwich. As also for an Island & shoal seen by the Alexander Transport the Shoal lies in Latitude 29°:20’ South, & Longitude 158°:40’ E.t of Green? the Island, (both of which Lieut.t Shortland named Sir Charles Middletons Island & Shoal) lies in 28°:10’ South & 159°:50’ E.t Lt Shortland imagined that the Shoal
& Island joined together. By an Officer belonging to the Sirius I received the following account of her Voyage to the Cape,
“We sailed from Port Jackson the 2nd of October, a Gale of Wind immediately came on from the Southward & the third day after sailing, it Shifted to the N.E. On finding a long Western Swell Captain Hunter determined on making the passage by Cape Horn, On the 13th we passed the South Cape of New Zealand at the distance of 20 Leagues, on the 17th we were near the Antipodes of London, & met with nothing remarkable untill the 22nd of November, when we were in the Latitude of 58°:00’ South Longitude 283°:00’ East, we discovered several very large Islands of Ice, after this we daily saw several Islands of Ice some of which were very large. The Wind was generally from the Westward, On the 25th we passed Cape Horn, but had a very indistinct view of the Land about Terra-del-Fuego: The Scurvy now began to be very rife, & the 10th December we had only 12
Men in a Watch, & some of them not able to go aloft: The wind now
came to the N.E. where it blew from the 25th of November till the 13th.
of this month (December) so that on the one hand we had the Falklands
Islands, & Coast of Brazil as a lee shore, & on the other we
could not weather South Georgia, & to have gone to the Southward of
it would have been death to half our people, On the 25th December we
crossed the Meridian of Greenwich in Latitude & having
13th Dec.r got a fair wind compleated the Circle of 360° consequently gained a day, & therefore repeated Christmas day. It is remarkable having two Christmas days in one Year & in all 367, it being Leap Year We did not loose sight of the Islands of Ice untill we were in Latitude 44°:30’ S.o On the first of January we arrived at the Cape of Good-hope having lost only three
men who died with the Scurvey; In consequence of a late Treaty of Alliance between England, Prussia, & Holland we were well received & had immediate permission to get whatever we wanted. On the 18th February the day intended for our sailing, the Alexander Transport arrived from Batavia. We learnt that she had been 19 weeks & 4 days from Port Jackson to Batavia, at which place she arrived in a deplorable situation having only three people able to stand the deck. The Friendship & Alexander had kept company together to the Straights of Macasser where Lieut.t Shortland found it necessary to sink the Friendship, to man the Alexander so many of her people being dead. A Dutch Man of War lying at Batavia, sent their boats & brought the Alex.r to an Anchor, furled her sails & sent her people to the Hospital.
We left the Cape of Good hope the 20th February, & it was three Weeks before we got to the Eastward of it, having almost all that time a constant Gale of Wind at South, the wind afterwards came to the Westward & we had some very fine runs, Still it was eleven Weeks before we reached Port Jackson. On the 20th April when near the South Cape it blew a hard Gale from the S.W. & supposing our selves near the land we hove too for the night, by the morning the Wind shifted to the South, we were then under the Storm Stay-sails & expected to weather the land, but unfortunately all the Stay sails were split or blown out of the Bolt ropes, & while we were bending others we were driving bodily to Leeward under the ballanced Mizens, On the 22nd the haze cleared away at 4 in the Afternoon which shewed us the land about a point on the Lee bow, the Weather then closed again, the Ship was
immediately wore & we were in hopes of clawing off the Shoar as most supposed it to be the South or S.W. Cape, the Fore sail was set & no more land was seen till dark, when the haze cleared away again just to shew us land ahead, about ¾ of a mile off, the Ship was again wore, & close reefed Main & Fore topsails, & double reefed Mainsail were set, not a Star was to be seen & raining with great violence & a tremendous Sea running, Not a person was below, & the awfull silence that was preserved through the Ship joined to our critical situation the Sea making fair breaches over the Ship rendered it a scene impossible to describe, about 9 land was again seen under the Lee Bow, but we had now no alternative either to carry past it or go on shore, we stood on this way till two in the Morning, the Wind blowing a heavy Gale from South to S.S.E. At 12 o’clock we saw some
land on the Lee beam, but at some
this led us to suppose we were clear of all, but at 2 oclock in the
morning there was a general cry of Land, close to the Lee beam!
Immediately a large bluff head was seen just before the Beam & as
there was not room to ware, we were obliged to stand on. This bluff every
one supposed was Tasmans head, & Capt. Cooke mentions a number of
Black rocks being off the head, Every one now thought their dissolution
inevitable, & for near a quarter of an hour were expecting the
dreadfull stroke, however fortunately no rock was seen, at four
o’clock the Wind veered to S.E. had it come round an hour sooner we
must have gone onshore & it is needless to say that the destruction
w.d have been General, we continued carrying a Great press of
sail untill daylight, when no land was to be seen, we found
the figure & head rails washed away, the Stern much damaged & the Ship little better than a wreck. On the 8th May we Anchored in Sydney Cove, The Ship is to go to the North side of the harbour to be careened in order to stop some leaks which has occasioned us to pump every hour, the Ships upper works are also very weak, & it is meant to put in a few top riders”
The Sirius brought with her from the Cape lbs of Flour for the Settlement & twelve months provisions for her ships Company –
Had some strong Gales of Wind & rain druing this Month, & at intervals Very fine Weather. The labourers & the rest of the Convicts were in General employed Clearing away Ground for Cultivation & other necessary work. The Sawyers & Carpenters building a house for Lieutenant Cresswell of 18 feet long, by 12 feet wide, with a back part 9 feet by 9.
This day the New Coble was finished & her bottom payed her size is 22 feet long by 6 feet 6 inches wide
As the Garden in the Vale is exposed & open I employed Six Men surrounding it with a wattled hedge
Edward Gaff Convict was punished with 100 lashes for stealing 3 Quarts of Wheat. It is really astonishing that thefts in so small a society should be so frequent, but when it is considered that the greatest number of that Society are hardned thieves the wonder will cease, scarce a day passes but complaints are made of thefts, which are made with such dexterity that it is impossible to detect them.
Eleven Acres of Wheat are now up in Arthurs Vale & have a very promising appearance, Every Vegetable is very thriving. Nothing material happned this Month
untill the 28th when a Tree fell on John Bryant a Convict, & bruised his Head so much that he died two hours after
This was one among the very few honest convicts I had on
the Island. I this day sowed the remainder of the Seed Wheat which was three Bushells on two Acres of Ground on the sides of Mount George. The Marines who came here with Lieut.t Cresswell have most of them very comfortable huts, & good Gardens,
During this month we have in General had heavy Gales of Wind, mostly from the N.W. & S.W. with some rain. The General Employment of the Convicts this month as follows –
Clearing away Ground for Cultivation & other necessary
Sawyers sawing Scantlings & boards for buildings..............2.....2 Free
Carpenters building a house for Lieut Cresswell finished ye) 2 Shell 15th. then Employed about an addition to my house & lining it ) 1 Free
Blacksmiths making & repairing necessary Iron Work...........1...1 Free
Coble men fishing........................................................................................3
School Master, Officers Servants 3 Care of Stock 1 .................. 5. 49 in all
At Sunrise hoisted the Colours in observance of the Anniversary of the Birth day of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, & observed it with the same Ceremony as His Majestys Birth day Excepting giving any liquer to the Convicts, As there late behaviour, with respect to Thefts &c totally excludes them from that indulgence
As the Wheat in the Vale Grows very rank, I was advised to Crop it, which was done this day, letting three acres remain uncropped to see how it answers each way.
The Carpenters having finished the Shell of Lieut.t Cresswells house I set them to work building an addition to the back part of my house as I am apprehensive of its being blown down in the Violent S.W. winds. The Sawyers
employed sawing Framing &c for building a Barn, which I intend erecting in the Center of the Cultivated Grounds in Arthurs Vale
This being Sunday, after divine Service, The following Orders were read for preserving regularity & good order among the Inhabitants of this Island.
Every person on the Island will regularly attend Muster & divine Service, unless prevented by Sickness, a disobedience of this Order will be punished by Extra Work, or a days provision stopped for the first Offence, which if repeated will be punished by a Corporeal punishment.
No person is to absent themselves from their Quarters either by night or day, except they have obtained leave or going to their respective Work, & if any one is observed
lurking about after the Watch is set they will be fired on by the
The Working hours are to be regularly attended to, & every person absent from their work (after the Drum-beat for that purpose) will loose a portion of the time they may save from their tasks, & in case of a second offence they will be severely punished.
The Tasks will continue as Usual, & the time saved by the Gangs is at their own disposal: Those who distinguish themselves by employing their spare time in Cultivating their Gardens, & Clearing away Ground for themselves will meet with encouragement & reward.
If the Overseers or the greatest part of any of the Gangs should have just reason to complain of the Idleness of
any one Man belonging to the Gang, & the Complaint should be found just, the Offender will be severely punished.
Those who render themselves unable to work, by their neglect or obstinacey, in not building themselves warm huts, or who cut themselves thro’ carelessness will have a part of their provisions stopped untill they are able to go to Work again
All the Tools & utensils are to be returned regularly every night to the Store house when the retreat beats & any person who is found secreting any Tool, or any article of the Kings Stores, or Committing any robbery whatever, will on detection & conviction receive such punishment on the Island as His Majesties Justices of the Peace, may judge the Offence deserves Or the Offender will be sent to Port Jackson to be
tried by the Criminal Court, As the Commandant may Judge proper.
It is recommended to every one to be very carefull of their Cloathing & every free person & Convict is strictly forbid, buying or selling any Article of Slop Cloathing, Those who disobey this Order will be prosecuted for buying or selling the Kings Stores, whether Free people or Convicts –
Whenever it may be necessary to make any Complaint, the person making the complaint is to inform the Corporal of the Guard, who will immediately report it, when the Commandant (or in his absence John Cresswell Esq.r) will hear the Complaint & decide upon it –
Disobedience of Orders, Insolence to Officers or Overseers, or
or any other improper behaviour, tending to the disturbance of the peace, or hindrance of the Kings Service, will meet with severe Punishments, & a regular honest, & good behaviour will meet with encouragement & reward.
His Majesties Justices of the Peace for this Island viz the Commandant & John Cresswell Esq.r (on whom the Government of the Island devolves in case of the Commandents death or Absence) have appointed Mr. Roger Morley & Mr. John Altree to hold the Office of Constables & every person is ordered to be assisting to either or both of them in the Execution of their Office.
God save the King
This day Four Acres of Ground in Arthurs Vale was planted with Indian Corn, as the rats have dug up a number of Grains of
Indian Corn that was planted in the Gardens, I put five grains in each pit
From 22nd to 28th
Had very heavy Gales of Wind from the SW, which has turned all the Wheat quite black, which is growing on the South side of Mount George, but I do not imagine it will be otherwise injured than being kept back. This Gale has blown a longer time & with greater force than I have yet seen. On the 28th the people were all employed making drains & Sluices, & sowing 3 peck of rice in a part of the Swamp.
Ann Coombs, a female convict was whipped at the Carts tail receiving 50 lashes for defrauding Thomas Jones of a Quantity of his provisions.
The above Female Convict was punished with 100 lashes for stealing two new Cheque Shirts from Francis Mee private Marine. Mess.rs Cresswell & Jamieson went to
Anson Bay by land, they found it very difficult to get down into it landing was very good there, but no fresh water
within half a mile of it. - During this month we had variable Weather with some heavy Gales from the S.W. & ENE. but of short duration. The labourers & the rest of the convicts in general employed as last month.
N.b. the Grub worm breed from the Eggs of a fly, they come to life on the leaves of the plants, where they remain destroying them & gathering vigour & strength, they then fall on the ground & destroy, the root or Stalk as they increase in size.
The Grub worm is now very troublesome destroying every Vegetable which
was growing very fine. The ?Surjeon who had with Great preserverance got
a very good Garden & every thing in a state of Great forwardness, has
lost almost every thing, the rat digging up the Indian corn as fast as it
is put in the Ground & the Grub worm destroying what grows, most of
the Peoples share the same fate, At my Garden in the Vale the Mischief is
not so great, which I attribute to the Quantity of Cultivated Ground near
and I think when more extensive pieces of ground are cleared the ill effects of the Grum Worm, will be greatly lessned but at present they are very destructive which joined to the depredations of the Convicts, renders cultivation of Gardens &c very discouraging to individuals. The Corporal of Marines a very industrious Young man had cleared & planted a piece of Ground, by his assiduity & attention he had raised a very fine crop of Potatoes which would have yielded him five bushells besides a quantity of other Vegetables, on the Evening of the 5th between Sunsett & the Watch being sett* some Villians dug up every one of the potatoes, & destroyed a quantity of other Vegetables, which was not discovered untill the next morning when a very Strict Search was made, but to no purpose. As the
*At Sunsett the Convicts are mustered in their huts; & three times more during the night.
potatoes were (in the Scamp phrase) all planted, viz buried in the Ground & taken out as they are wanted. This is one among many other acts of Villany which are daily committed by those Wretches.
Punished Catherine Johnson Female Convict with 50 lashes for abusing the Store keeper & accusing him of theft wrongfully
The four Acres of Indian Corn sowed the 24 Aug.t planted over again the Rats having dug up the greatest part of it.
A Female child was born.
Sowed two Acres of Indian Corn
As the last sown two acres of Indian Corn are shaded from the Sun by the Trees I employed a Gang cutting down three acres of Trees to let the Sun in upon the Ind.n corn
This being the Anniversary of His Majestys Corronation hoisted the Union at Sunrise.
Four Casks of Flour were found damaged & lbs Short of Weight. The Women are constantly employed picking the Grubs off the Indian Corn.
This day the produce of 240 setts of Potatoes planted on 3 Rods of Ground, on the 1st of June, was dug up & Yielded 5 Bushells of very fine Potatoes.
The Weather during this month has in general been very mild, the Wind mostly from the S.E. The People were in general employed as in the last month.
The Carpenters began framing the Barn, with 2 men to assist them
Three Convicts were punished with 24 lashes each
for lortering & idling their time when at Work
Sowed a quarter of an Acre, in Arthurs Vale with Indian Corn. The Grub worms are still very numerous, notwithstanding the Women are daily employed picking them off the plants & out of the ground, they have totally destroyed one acre of Indian Corn. Every Cabbage & other plant is eat off as fast as it comes out of the ground
As it is very convenient to have a road go to the West side of the Island I employed six men Cutting a road from the Settlement to Mount Pitt & from thence to Anson Bay which was finished on the 21st.
Six men repairing the road to Ball Bay.
I went out this morning Surveying the West side of the Bay where I found most of the Bones belonging to one of the Men who
was drowned August 6th 1788, which I brought to the Settlement where they were interred.
This day had Strong gales of Wind from the East & heavy rain, which is the first shower we have had since the 23rd September & was much wanted. Fifteen acres of Wheat are in ear & has a good appearance, the Indian Corn of which there is 7 Acres is very thriving, altho’ much thinned by the Grub Worm. One Acre of Barly is also in Ear, the Grub has totally disappeared, but that calamitys may not be wanting, the Perroquets of which there are Myriads, are destroying the Wheat, & garden seeds, insomuch that we are obliged to keep a number of People beating them off. Every Garden Vegetable is now very thriving.
During this month had very hot Sultry Weather, & only one Shower of rain during the Month, the Wind in General from the E.S.E. The Carpenters finished the Barn on the 9th but as they were tasked their time does not expire before the 1st of next Month The size of the Barn is 30 feet long, by 16 Feet wide, with a loft, it is 17 feet under the eaves & the roof well Shingled, the sides are Weatherboarded & it is a very compleat building situated in the Center of the Cultivated Grounds in Arthurs Vale.
Lieutt Cresswell this day turned a Turtle in a Small Bay to the Westward of the Settlement, which he distributed among the Free people & others as far as it would go.
Robert Webb a Seaman belonging to the Sirius went to the Valley above the Cascade Bay, he having obtained my permission to become a Settler, if His Excellency the Governor has no objection to it - Cut the Barly which was sowed the latter end of May, the Ground sowed was about
¾ of an Acre with one bushell & a half of Seed & the produce was 23 Bushells of a very fine full grain.
The Potatoes which were sowed during the month of September in Arthurs Vale, are all running to Stalk, & not a single Potatoe forming at their Roots the fibres run very strong & shoot out of the ground, notwithstanding they have been well earthed I think it is owing to the very great heat & drought, & I have no doubt but there will be a very plentifull crop. The Perroquets which are in very large flocks are destroying the Wheat having made great havock in one Acre, but as it ripens very fast I do not apprehend much damage from
Perroquets them or the Catterpillars which are now again very
numerous, covering the path ways. As it will be necessary to have the
Swine & poultry about the Barn when the Thrashing begins, I
employed a Party of labourers bringing in logs for making an inclosure round the Barn, & other conveniences for the Stock.
This day began the Wheat Harvest on the ripest.
The Weather in general during this month has been very Sultry, but pleasant, & the Winds in General from the East:
At day light perceived His Majestys Armed Tender the Supply in the road, at 8 I received my letters &c from His Excellency the Governor & in the Course of the day Six Men & eight Women convicts were landed, with a part of some provisions & Stores which the Supply has brought.
The Supply sail’d for Port Jackson. On the 5th. Every person in the Settlement went to an allowance of 2/3 of all Species p order of His Excellency the Governor. At Port
Jackson the short allowance commenced November.
From the 8th to the 24th all the people were employed reaping, carrying, Stacking & Thatching the Wheat which was all finished by the 24th altho’ four acres suffered very much from some very heavy rain which fell from the 14th to the eighteenth which caused a great deal of the Wheat to shoot out, but as it was put in a Stack by itself it will do for eating. Nothwithstanding the difference of time there was between the different patches being sowed Yet it all ripened nearly at a time, but the late sown did not stock so well as the early sown, That which was sowed in drills suffered much from the blighting Winds, Altho’ the Grain was very good. As this Island is so subject to the blighting winds at all times of the Year
John Anderson Conv.t was detected plundering a Garden & received 200 lashes.
the method of drilling Wheat or Barley in, in rows or drills will not answer, As the Wind does more damage to it in that state, than when sowed at a broad cast. The best time for sowing Wheat is from the latter end of May to the Middle of June, that which was sown in August Yielded a very large sound Grain, but as I before observed it did not Stock so well as the other.
At sunrise hoisted the Colours in observance of Christmas day & at ten performed divine Service. I ordered two Hogs belonging to the Crown to be killed & issued them out to the Free people & Convicts at 1½ pounds each man, & as our Crop of Wheat has turned out tolerable well I ordered each man 2 lbs of Flour & the Women one pound each, to celebrate this festival
Lieut.t Cresswell & Mess.rs Jamieson & Dunavan went to Phillip Isle, but they could not find any fresh Water on it.
A flagg staff in Front of my house the lower mast of which is 20 feet long, & the Topmast 36 feet on which a large Union will occasionally be hoisted.
Some Villian this day Stabbed a very fine Sow which was near farrowing, the strictest enquiry could not lead to any discovery.
From the 20th to the 30th employed most of the people breaking down, gathering & husking the Indian Corn, The perroquets are so numerous that Men are kept beating them off with long poles, notwithstanding they destroy a vast quantity of Indian corn.
James Burn Convict was punished with 25 lashes for stealing Indian Corn. During this Month a greater number of the People have been sick, than has hitherto been the case, since I landed. The complaint is in general a diarhoea, but they soon recover of it. The Surgeon thinks that the great changes of Weather we have had
during this month joined with the Quantitys of Vegetables which are eaten is the cause of this Sickness.
At daylight the Appearance of a Vessell in the road strike>created caused the greatest acclamations of Joy, Every one being persuaded that Vessells had arrived from England, as the Supply had been here so lately. I soon after perceived it was the Supply & on receiving my letters &c from the Governor & the news being circulated of no Vessells having arrived, as great a dejection took place, as the signs of Joy were visible before. I found that 22 Male Convicts & 2 females were arrived by the Supply. No provisions were sent with them, there being only provisions at the present allowance untill the latter end of May at Port Jackson & as our crops have been
good & our ressources greater with respect to fish & Vegetables than at Port Jackson the Governor thought proper to send these additional Number of Convicts
The Present Numbers are as follows
Civil & Military 32
Male Convicts 79
Female Convicts 33
In all 149
I was also informed by the Governor that as it was necessary that the
Sirius should have her full complement of Officers he had ordered me to
be discharged from that Ship, & had appointed Mr. Newton Fowell
Second Lieutenant in my room & Mr. Henry Waterhouse Third Lieutenant
in the room of Lieut.t George W.m Maxwell who was
reported insane by the Surgeons
Having received all the Convicts from the Supply & sent my letters &c for the Governor, she sailed the 2nd Instant.
During this Month had strong Gales of Wind at times & some intervals of fine Weather. The people in General Employed as during the last Month. As the Rainey Weather is now very frequent I ordered Sheds to be built over the Saw pits.
The few amongst the Convicts who have been industrious feel the reward
of it at present as some of them have raised from a thousand to fifteen
hundred Cobs of Corn, which with the fish they get from time to time, is
a great relief to them now that their allowance is reduced
The last of the Indian Corn was got in
Richard Phillimore a Convict having informed me that
the term of his Transportation expired on the 16th of Jan.y & having taken the Oath administred on that occasion, he signified his wish of becoming a Settler. As he is an industrious, sober man I gave him untill this day to consider of it & to look out a place to settle at. On his informing me that he was still of the same mind, I ordered some men out to the Ground he had fixed on to build him an house & to clear away a little Ground for him to make a commencement, & he is fully persuaded that he shall in the course of one or two Years at most be able to Maintain himself, I gave him a Sow with Young & some Poultry. John Boyle a Convict was punished with 25 lashes for absenting himself from Work.
During this Month there has been a deal of Blowing Weather & much rain The Wind in General from the S.W.~
The Labourers employed Clearing away Ground, Hussking & stripping
Indian Corn, bringing in logs & erecting a Stoccade Thrashing & a
number of other necessary Jobs - 3 Sawpits sawing framing for building
Barracks. a Marine & Convict Blacksmith employed making hinges for
the Barrack bed steads
This Morning at the dawning of day I was alarmed with a tumultous noise, of huzzaing & on enquiring into the Cause I found Two Vessells were seen in the Offing. Every one now was fully persuaded that the long looked for & much expected relief was at length arrived & we were all felicitating each other in hearing the News from England, some amongst us anticipating pleasing & unpleasing accounts from our Friends in the Northern Hemisphere,
As we had now been Two Years & ten Months from England without having received the least accounts from our friends or parent Country, As the Wind blew strong at S.W. & a great Sea running in the Bay the Vessells (which we found was the Sirius & Supply) bore up for Ball Bay, where I went, & received from Lieutenant Ball my Letters from the Governor. Our Expectations were once more blasted, & instead of those pleasing ideas which the appearance of the Ships created in the Morning, we were informed that Lieutenant Governor Ross, was arrived in the Sirius, to take upon him the Government of this Island & that no relief had arrived, I was informed by the Governors Letter that Lieut.t Governor Ross was directed to take the Command at Norfolk Island, the Service making it necessary for my returning to England, in order to give such information to His Majestys Ministers, respecting the
the Settlement I had established as could not be conveyed by letters. I was also ordered to furnish the Lieutenant Governor with Copies of all such Orders as I had from time to time received from the Governor & which had not been carried into Execution; & with all such information as I had acquired respecting the nature of the Soil & the mode of Cultivation which had been followed, as well as all such observations made by me respecting the Climate & general line of Conduct of the People under my direction & leaving with him such rules & regulations, as I had established for preserving good order & regularity among the Convicts
I was further directed to Embark onboard His Majesties Ship the Sirius, whose Commander had orders to receive me onboard, & all such petty Officers, Seamen & Marines, belonging to that Ship who were not
desirous of becoming Settlers, directions being given the Lieutenant Governor to that Effect. I found Lieutenant Governor Ross had brought with him One Captain, five Subalterns, & Non commisisioned Officers & Privates, with the Colours. Also Male Convicts Females Children, with their proportion of Provisions Slops & Stores, The Sirius & Supply went round to Cascade Bay where a part of the detatchment of Marines, & Convicts were landed.
All the detatchment & Convicts with a great part of their Baggage was landed in Cascade Bay & marched to the Settlement. At Noon the Lieutenant Governor &c came to the Settlement, In the Orders for the night he requested that I would continue the command of the Island untill
the I should embark.
The Wind blowing strong from the E.S.E. the Sirius & Supply
were off the N.W. end of the Island. This day the remains of th Provisions & other Stores were Surveyed by Captain Johnstone Lieutenants Cresswell & Clark. After which I received the Receipts from Mr. Roger Morley, whom I had given an Order to, to act as Store Keeper, With the Approbation of Governor Phillip,
Had Strong Gales of Wind from the N.E. & thick Cloudy Weather with almost constant heavy rain, the Sirius & Supply were seen from Mount Pitt, they were some distance at Sea in the S.W. Jeremiah Leary Convict ran the Gauntlet among the Convicts for a theft & was very severely punished.
Very Strong Gales from the N.W. with almost constant rain The Sirius & Supply working up at 1 P.M. the Supply came into the Road & received a quantity of Luggage, some stock & 13 Cask of Provisions from her.
Very Strong Gales still from the NE.
Moderate Gales at ESE. at day light the Supply in the Road, & the Sirius at some distance to the Southward standing for the Island, there being very fine landing, made the Signal that the large boats could land, at 10 o’clock Every thing was received from the Supply, & soon after The Sirius wore & hove too to hoist her boats out; the tide of flood which still ran very strong, swept her to the Westward, when the boats were out, she made sail, but could not weather the outer rock of the reef which runs off Point Ross, after attempting to stay her without succeeding, she was wore & came to the Wind on the Starboard tack, Unfortunately the Wind came to SE & the strong hold which the tide had on the Ship, forced her near the Island; when she got to the back of the reef she was hove in stays, & having fresh stern-way she tailed on the reef, & Struck! the Masts were instantly cut away & The Surf increasing along side of her only two boats load of
Provisions could be got from her, An Anchor was let go which prevented the Ship coming broad side too on the reef; from Noon till four o’clock every one was employed Getting a hawser from the Ship, which was fastned to a tree on the Shoar, A keast was fixed on the Hawser as a Traveller, & a Grating slung to it having a small hawser fastned to it one end of which was onshore & the other onboard, at 5 o’clock the Surgeons Mate came onshore by the Grating being hauled thro’ a very Great Surf & brought me a note from Capt Hunter desiring to know if I thought it would be safe for the People to remain by the Wreck all night, As the wind was now at South & it having a dirty appearance, & the Surf having rose considerably I thought there was the utmost danger of the Ships parting on the flowing tide, the consequence of which must
have been the destruction of every person onboard, I therefore made signs from the Shoar, for the Wreck to be quitted & by dark The Captain & most of the people were on shore being dragged thro’ a very heavy surf, some of them received very violent blows from the rocks over which they were dragged, Capt. Hunter & Mr. Waterhouse came together & Just as they got footing on the reef Captain Hunter was so much exhausted that he was near letting go his hold. The first & second Lieut.t with a
great part of the people
remained onboard all night. The instant the Ship struck the Lieutenant
Governor ordered the Drums to assemble all the Marines & Convicts,
Martial law was proclaimed, & the people were told that if any one
killed any animal or Fowl or committed any robbery whatever they would be
made a severe Example of. The Officers & Marines were all ordered to wear their side Arms, & some other necessary regulations respecting guards over the Barn & Storehouses were ordered by the Lieut.t Governor.
Very Strong Gales of Wind at South & a great Surf running, by four in the Afternoon every person was got out of the Wreck without any other accident than a few bruises, the Ship lies off & on, & as the Surf breaks right ahead of her it is hoped she will not part before the provisions can be got out of her, Those who came last from the Wreck say that the beams of the lower deck are started from the side & that at high water the water comes to the After hatch way on the lower deck, the fore part of the Ship being under water. The provisions are mostly on deck –
The Gale still blows very hard, the Wreck is in the same position as Yesterday & altho’ a very heavy Surf runs, Yet she appears in the same situation as Yesterday, which gives us the pleasing hopes of saving all the provisions & most of the Ships Effects. At 10 this Morning, the Lieutenant Governor, Captain Hunter all the Commissioned Officers of the Marines & His Majesties late Ship the Sirius & myself assembled in the Government House, when the Lieutenant Governor laid before every one the situation of the Island & pointed out the necessity for their being a law by which Criminals could be punished with death, for Capital Crimes As there was now no law in force on the Island that could take notice of Capital crimes & proposed the Establishment of Martial Law untill further orders, which was unanimously agreed to & that all in cases of Sentence of Death being pronounced five out of seven must concur in Opinion, it was also resolved
that all private stock, Indian Corn & potatoes should be given in to the Store-keeper & appropriated for the use of the Publick, Also that Every person should go to half allowance of Provisions untill it
was should be known what quantity of Provisions Could be
saved from the Wrecks, & that two three locks were
to be put on the Store-house & Barn one of which was to be in
Possession of Capt.n Hunter, another in possession of a person
named by the Lieut.t Governor & the third in possession of
a Person named by the Convicts. These resolutions were agreed to &
signed by the Lieutenant Governor & the rest of the Officers
Fresh Gales of Wind from the SW to WSW with a very heavy Surf still running, at 8 a.m. Every person was assembled near the lower Flagg staff on which the Union was hoisted, The Marines were drawn up in two lines leaving a Space in the
Center at the head of which was the Union, the Colours of the detachment were unfurled, & the Sirius Ships Company were drawn up on the right, & the Convicts on the left, the Officers in the Center, the proclamation was then read, declaring the Law Martial to be that by which the Island was to be governed by, untill further orders, &c. The Lieut.t Governor then addressed the Convicts & pointed out the situation of the Settlement & recommended them to be industrious & obedient &c after which the whole gave three Cheers, & then Every person beginning with the Lieut.t Governor passed under the Union taking off their hats as they passed it, in token of a promise or Oath to submit & be amenable to the Martial Law then declared. The Convicts & Sirius’s Crew were then sent round to Cascade Bay, where a proportion of Flour & Pork was received from the Supply & brought round to the
Settlement. Some of my baggage was also sent onboard the Supply Two of the Convicts Jn.o Brannagen & W.m Dring having offered to go onboard the Wreck & heave over board the live stock had permission from Capt.t Hunter & the Lieut.t Governor they sent a number of Pigs &c on shore, but they remained on board & at dusk a light was perceived in the after part of the Ship, a Volley of Small Arms were fired to make them quit the Wreck or put the light out, which not being done, a three Pounder shotted was fired into the Wreck but with no Effect. John Asscot a Convict Carpenter then offered to go off, & altho’ it was quite dark & the Surf ran very high, yet he got onboard & obliged the other two Convicts to quit the Ship by the Hawser, he hailed the Shoar but we could not tell what he said, except that he should stay onboard, One of the Convicts Branagin
This day had very strong gales of Wind at WbN. but the landing was good. The large coble was sent onboard the Supply which was in the road, with some of my baggage & the Officers & people belonging to the Sirius who are going to Port Jackson, but at 10 there being too much Sea between the Island the Supply bore up & ran to Leeward. At day light the Master of the Sirius & eight men went onboard by the Hawser, A triangle was erected on the reef to keep the light of the Hawser up, which will greatly facilitate getting provisions &c out of the Wreck. The Master of the Sirius informed Capt. Hunter, by a note, that the two Convicts (Branagin & Dring) had set fire to the Wreck which had burnt through the Gun deck, but was happily extinguished by Asscot who went onboard to send
them out of the Wreck, Branagin & Dring were ordered into confinement & will be tried for setting fire to the Wreck.
Moderate Breezes & pleasant Weather at 8 in the Morning I sent onboard the Supply with Lieutenants Waterhouse & Fowell & 22 of the Sirius’s Ships Company, at noon we made sail for Port Jackson, when I left Norfolk Island, there was
every the greatest
probability of saving every thing being saved from the Wreck, & as
the Provisions are all on the Gun & Spar deck they will not be
damaged. As I have now taken leave of this Island, I shall add my general
observations on it, as also, a diary of the Weather &
Surf State of landing at Sydney Bay, the monthly account
of Work done & the Quantity of Grain raised on the Island,
By a mean of several Meridional Altitudes of the Sun, & a great
the distances of the Sun from the Moon &
Stars the Latitude of Sydney Bay is 29°:04’:40” South
& its Longitude 168°:12’ East of Greenwich, the form of the
Island is a long square, & it contains about fourteen thousand Acres,
it is Six miles in length & four in breadth.
Face of the Country
The Island is very hilly, & some of the Valleys are tolerable large considering the size of the Island, but most of them are deep ridges formed by the steep hills on each side, some of which are so steep that they cannot be cultivated, but where such situations are they may be reserved for fuel; On the tops of the Hills are some extensive flats, Mount Pitt (named after the Right Honourable W.m Pitt Esq.r) is the only remarkable hill on the Island, & is about 200 fathoms high.
The Clifts round the Island are about 40 fathoms high, & quite perpendicular, the basis of them as well as most of the rocks & reefs round the Island, is a hard firm Clay, which is of a very fine kind. The Whole Island is covered with a very thick forest Choaked up with underwood, which makes it impassable untill it is cleared.
The Island is well supplied with many streams of very fine Water, many of which are sufficiently large to turn a number of Mills, It is probable that most of the rivulets originate from Springs near Mount Pitt, near the Middle of the Island between Cascade & Sydney Bay is a very large pond of Fresh Water, about half an acre in Circuit, & on the top of a hill, no rivulet is near it, nor can any Spring be perceived, Yet in the greatest drought it constantly remains full, & has a very good taste.
All these streams abound with very fine eells.
From the sides of the Clifts which surround the Coast of the Island to the Summit of Mount Pitt, is a continuation of the finest soil, varying from a rich brown mole to a light red Earth. Some large Stones are found on different parts of the Island.
As a proof of the Salubrity & wholesomeness of the air, it is to be remarked that there has been no sickness whatever, since I landed, or have we had any illness whatever except a few colds –
Timber & Trees.
There are only five kind of Trees which can be termed Timber viz. the Pine, a wood resembling the live Oak, a Yellow wood, & a hard black wood, & a Wood resembling the English beach.
The Pine Trees are of a great size, many of them being from 180 to 220 feet high, & from four to eight feet Diameter breast high. Those trees which are from 100 to 180 feet high are in general sound, for 80 or 90 feet from the root to the first
first branches, & the root is too knotty & hard to be made any use of, it often happens that after cutting off twenty from the Butt, the tree becomes rotten & Shakey, for which reason no dependance can be put in them for Masts or Yards, exclusive of its being a very brittle wood The turpentine is of a milk white glutinous consistence with the smell of Turpentine, it exudes very freely from the bark, but it is remarkable that there is none in the Timber, We have tried to render the turpentine usefull in paying &c. but without succeeding, As it will not melt or burn. We have also tried to make pitch or tar by burning the old pines, but there being no turpentine in the Wood rendered our efforts useless –
The Timber of the Pine is very usefull for Buildings
& its dispersed situation is well calculated for such Buildings as may be necessary in the different parts of the Island From what I have observed of the Wood I think it is very durable in buildings, as that which has been used for the houses stands the Weather very well. Two Cobles were built of it, one of which was built in June 1788 & has been in constant use, she is water soaked, which is greatly owing to the want of any kind of Stuff to pay her with, altho’ the Wood is very porous. The live Oak, Yellow wood, Black wood, & Beech are all of a close grain, & durable, they run from 14 to 28 Inches through & are in general of a good height & grow straight. The branches of the Live Oak is fit for timbers & knees of Boats or Small Vessells. There are a Variety of other small trees, but as they are no ways usefull, it
is not worth enumerating them, there is a Small Tree whose bark serves many purposes of twine & Rope but it rots when wet.x
x See description of Fern Tree page.
The Cabbage Palm was very plenty when we first landed, but they are now mostly destroyed. Among the Underwood is a plant which produces a kind of Pepper, its leaves are broad & have an aromatic pungent taste & the Cone which contains the seeds shoots between the leaf & the Stalk, it is in general about two or three inches long, & full of small seeds, which have nearly the same taste as the leaves, but on their being dryed the smell & taste leaves them, it also difficult to find them in a state of ripeness, as the vast quantitys of perroquets destroy them before they can arrive at perfection.
The Flax plant of New Zealand grows spontaneously & in great Quantitys on many parts of the Island, but mostly abound on the Coasts & in the Valleys near the Sea. The leaves (of which the Flax is made) is when full grown from six to eight feet long, & six inches wide at the bottom; each plant contains seven leaves, A Woody Stalk rises from the Center, which bears the flowers, it seeds annually & the old leaves are forced off by the Young ones every Year, The Method of soaking & preparing the European Flax & Hemp has been tried, but with no other Effect than ye seperation of the Vegetable part from the Fibres, but as a ligneous substance remains round them, it cannot be culled in a usefull state; untill that is done, Some lines have been made of it which
are not very Strong. but the Flax appears capable of being worked into a fine hemp if the method of preparing it could be known + See description of Birds page
The Ground is much infested by the Grub-Worm which are very destructive to the growth of Vegetables they are mostly troublesome about the Spring, Various methods have been tried to destroy these Vermin but without Effect. The Catterpiller has also been very troublesome in the Spring having destroyed Acres of Indian Corn & Acres of Wheet, they came in all at once & after remaining three Weeks they went away as suddenly as they came on.
The Coasts of the Island abound with very fine fish
was the principal of which is the Snapper
which weighs from four to eight pounds, Some few fish are at times caught from the Shoar, but this is seldom, & a Supply of fish must depend on the Weather or State of the Surf admitting the Boats to go out. In moderate Weather a boat could be loaded in Collins’s Bay on Phillip Island, in a short time; With two or three boats, a great Quantity of fish might be cured from March to September, after which time the Fly prevents it.
The Spring is very visible in August, but the Native trees on many parts of the Island are in a constant state of flowering & seeding, the Summer is exceeding hot, I had no Thermometer to determine the degree of heat, but it is excessive. From the 23rd of September 1789 to the 22nd of February not a drop of rain fell excepting two days in December, but it is to be remarked we had no drought in the former Year.
All the Grain & European plants seeded in December. From February to August may be called the rainy season, not that I think there is any regular time of rains in these months, as it is sometimes Very fine Weather for a fortnight together but when the rain does fall it is in torrents, I do not remember above three Claps of Thunder or Lightning during the time I remained on the Island. The Winter, which may be deemed to commence in April & end in July, is very pleasant it never freezes, but when the S.W. Winds blow which is very frequent & violent in these Months, the Air is raw & Cold. It is remarkable that during some days in December & January it has been much colder than in the Winter Months. the SE or East Wind is very parching & dry, as no dew falls with those Winds
During the Winter Months viz. from April to August are mostly from South to West blowing with Great Violence for a Week together. when it veers round to the Southward & S.E. which brings fine Weather for a few days, when it veers to East NE. & NW accompanied very often with heavy Gales of Wind & torrents of rain after which it shifts to S.W. And I do not remember an instance of the Wind coming to the NE round by West. In the Summer the SE wind blows with very little variation & sometimes very strong –
Coast of the Island
The Coasts of the Island are in general steep too & excepting Sydney, Anson, Ball & Cascade Bays, they are inaccessible being surrounded by Steep Clifts rising perpendicularly from the Sea. Some large rocks are scattered about close to the Shore on which a continual Surf breaks with great force
Sydney Bay named after the Right Honourable the Lord Sydney, lies on
the South Side of the Island & it is here that the Settlement is
made, the Bay is
very formed by Point Hunter & point
Ross which lie E½N. & W½S of each other & about a
mile & ¾ a part. A reef of Clay & Coral extends from Point
Hunter at the distance of 150 Yards from the Shoar & parrellel to it,
for about ¾ of a mile. close at the back of this reef is four
fathom Water, it terminates abreast of the Settlement with a rock round
which is the landing place, but as the Surf breaks with great force on
the Reef, it sometimes breaks in the passage or off the rock at which
times landing is impossible, The landing in this Bay entirely depends on
the State of the Sea without, as also the direction of the Wind Great
attention should be paid to the Signals from the
Shoar. I have seen very good landing during a Month as good as could be, & I have seen a very heavy Surf continue for a fortnight together, the best time for landing is from half Ebb to half flood. An Easterly, NE & N.W. Wind in general makes smooth water. Off Point Ross lies another Reef which stretches about ½ a mile in to the Sea, No Vessell ought ever to go within the outer breaker of this reef & the South point of Nepean Isle. The Tide sets right through between the Islands, & when the flood runs (to ye Westward) it sets very strong round Nepean Island into the bight of Sydney Bay. Therefore all Vessells ought to be particularly cautious in not going within Nepean Island with an in blowing Wind, With the Wind from the Eastward or Westward, Vessells might stand very close in, but this ought not to be done except to pick a boat up, & then the tide
must be considered, The passage between Point Hunter & Nepean Island is a very good one, there being 3 fathom close to Nepean Isle & 9 fathom in mid channell. Off Point Hunter in the direction of SW lies a Rock with 1½ fathom on it, but it lies out of the passage. The Tides occasion a very Strong race between the Islands, which makes it difficult for Vessells to have Communication with the Shoar as they cannot anchor the bottom being rocky. The Ebb runs nine hours to the East & the Flood 3 hours to the West, but at times the Flood has been observed to run 5 hours. It flows in this bay at 7 hours & half full & change & the tide rises 7 feet perpendicular.
Named after George Anson Esq.r Member for Litchfield Is a small Bay with a sandy beach, the landing here is tolerable good in Settled Weather, & when the Sea is
quite smooth, but as the interior parts of the Island are so very difficult of access from thence no ships boats have ever landed there.
Named after Lieut.t Henry Lidgbird Ball Commander of His
Majesties Armed Tender the Supply, this Bay goes in about ¾ of
amile. the Beach is a large loose stone, which renders beaching boats
here dangerous, but it often happens that landing is very good here. As
our Coble has landed here frequently when the Surf has increased so much
in Sydney Bay, as to render landing there dangerous. A good landing place
was cleared away here, but in the course of three Months it was filled up
again with the stones
which that were removed out of it,
many of which weighed two Hundred pounds This bay is surrounded by very
steep Hills, which renders the access to the Settlement from hence rather
The SW winds which are the General Winds during the Winter months, makes this the best side of the Island for landing on at this Season. A good landing place may be made there where any thing may be landed from the Ebb to ½ flood. It is the intention of the Lieut.t Governor to erect a Store house there & make a good landing place of it, this would have been done before, but the want of hands, prevented it. The Golden Grove & Supply have both lay’n at Anchor in this Bay, bringing the Great Cascade to bear SW at one mile from the Shore in 17 f.m Coral & Sand, but the bottom is foul. As there is great reason to suppose it is all round the Island.
present state of Cultivation
The proper time for sowing Wheat or Barley is from May to August, that which is sowed in Sheltred situations should be sown in May, June, & July, & that which is sown in places exposed to the Sea Winds on the South side of the Island should not be sown before July, if sowed as late as August it will Yield well, the Wheat sowed has produced more than twenty fold, I think it may Yield a still greater increase, We have found a bushell & half of Seed, sufficient for an acre of newly broken up Ground
Two Bushells of Barley sowed in May on an Acre of Ground Yielded 24 Bushells.
The Indian Corn should begin planting in June & continue till August, in places not too exposed to the Sea winds, it produces well & is in my opinion the best grain to cultivate, on account of the little trouble attending its Growth & Manu-
facturing for eating. The Sugar Cane Grows very strong & I think will come to perfection altho’ it suffers much, as does every thing else from the Blighting winds & the Grub-Worm, which are almost constant plagues
Vines, Oranges, & Lemon Trees are very thriving
The Bannana trees found on the Island will I dare say thrive very well, when those which are planted out from the Clusters come to fruit, Some of them have Yielded a very good fruit. That usefull Article the Potatoe thrives amazingly, two Crops a Year may be got with ease, I have seen 120 potatoes at one root eighty of Which were larger than a hens Egg. Every kind of Garden Vegetable (which the Grub spares) grows well & comes to great perfection, Cabbages weigh from 10 to 27 lbs each Melons & Pumpkins grow very fine. I
think situations may be found on the Island where Cotton & Indigo will thrive, of the latter there are two Trees which are very large & fine, but the Ant destroys the blossom as fast as it flowers Rice has been sowed twice viz once each Year but the S.E. winds has blighted a Great part of it, that which did well Yielded a great increase The Quantity of Ground cleared & in Cultivation on the 13th of March 1790 was 30 Acres belonging to the Crown & about eighteen Acres cleared by free people & Convicts for their Gardens &c.
It was my intention to put as many labourers as could be spared from other necessary work, to clear away the Ground for Cultivation & I had reason to believe that I should have had from 50 to 70 Acres of ground sowed with Grain by the end of October, I meant to continue clearing Ground
in Arthurs Vale & on the Hills round it, in order to have all the Cultivated Grounds, belonging to the publick as much connected together as possible, which would have answered much better for the growth of Wheat, Indian Corn, or Barley, than being sowed in confined places, which was found not to answer at all; The Perroquets & other birds would not have destroyed so much of the Grain before it could be got in, & I might have been much better guarded from being plundered, than if the Cultivated Grounds were dispersed about in different parts of the Island. Another very material reason for clearing away all in this place, is the Barn being situated in the Center of the Vale, I did intend to have sown 2/3rd of the Ground this Year with Indian Corn for the reasons before mentioned. See page
I purposed building a Strong log store-house at the Cascade Bay & to have made the landing place there more easy of access, which from the increased Number of Inhabitants is now become absolutely necessary, & landing in that Bay is much oftner practicable than in Sydney Bay, This work would have been performed before, but it would have been a great hindrance to Cultivation which I thought was the first object to attend to.
The other Buildings which I meant to erect, were Barracks for the Soldiers of 54 feet long, by 16 feet wide. A Granary 36 feet long, by 20 feet wide, & a Store house 60 feet long by 24 feet wide, all which buildings I hoped to have compleated by the ensuing December.
respecting the flax after having made
repeated trials, & not having had any one conversant with the preperation of it, I find it can not at present be brought to any usefull state, but I think if proper Flax dressers could be sent to New Zealand to observe how it is manufactured there, that it might not only be improved on, but rendered a valuable commodity by furnishing the Inhabitants with Cloathing, as well as for other purposes, St It was my intention to have built a House & Shed on Phillip Island, & after landing three or four months Water on it, to have sent six convicts & a boat there to catch & cure fish, which would have been a great resscource to Norfolk Island, The Fish must have been cured from April to September, on account of the Fly.
I think from the goodness of the soil that Norfolk Island is very Capable of maintaigning of at least a hundred Family’s allowing to each family a hundred acres of Ground & leaving Two Thousand Acres for fuel, they would (with Industry) have in a Short time all the necessaries of life except cloathing, which must depend on the Flax of the Island, or the Growth of European Flax. The want of a place of safety for Vessells to lye in is a very great inconveniencey, & renders it very difficult to have an access to the Island, Vessells may load & Unload by going to the Lee side of the Island, & taking other favorable opportunitys but unfortunately the Vast quantity of Coral rocks which cover the bottom renders Anchorage very unsafe But if the Settlement at New South Wales is Continued it will be found in the course of a very few Years
that those difficultys will be thought but little of, when compared with the advantages arising, from the Quantity of Grain, that there is every reason to suppose may be drawn from the Island, for the Support of the Inhabitants of New South Wales.
General Behaviour & other remarks on the Convicts
The few Convicts that landed with me in general behaved well, but as
their Numbers were increased so they renewed their former practices;
Thefts of all kinds from the most daring, to the artfullest, were
frequently committed & but seldom
& nothing but a certainty of a very severe punishment, & their
being mustered frequently during the night in their Huts, prevented these
Thefts & other irregularitys being more frequent. They were often
troublesome & some among them incorrigible.
notwithstanding every encouragement was held out to them & the indulgencies they received, were fully sufficient to convince them that they would be treated according to their deserts Some few among them were susceptible of the Advantages which followed Industry & good behaviour, the few of this description had an opportunity of enjoying the satisfaction of having grown a quantity of Indian Corn, Potatoes & other Vegetables, which was a great resscource to them at the time the short allowance began, some of them had cleared away from one to three Acres of Ground, which they proposed sowing this Year with Indian corn & potatoes, this with the addition of some live stock, formed a sett of respectable Convicts, compared to the Greater part Who were Idle, dirty, Wretches.
When first I landed the Convicts were kept at day-work having stated times for their dinners & other Meals, This did
very well while there was but few to look after; but when their Numbers encreased, I had not people of confidence that I could place to over look them & keep them at their Work; I therefore judged it would be more eligible to task them, taking the Opinion of those I thought most conversant in the different kind of Work going on
One of the Convicts whose time expired in is become a Settler & is doing very well, Some of the Marines & Free people also wished to become Settlers.
The Number of People I left at Norfolk Island as follows.
Civil, Military, & Free 90
Belonging to the Sirius 80
Male Convicts 191
Female Convicts 100
In all 498
The Provisions remaining in Store as follows viz.
Pork lbs Flour lbs Rice lbs
Exclusive of which lbs of Flour lbs of Pork were landed from the Supply & Sirius, & I have no doubt but the remaining provision onboard the Sirius's Wreck would be saved.
The Quantity of Grain, Potatoes & live stock I left as follows.
Wheat about 250 or 300 Bushells
Barley 6 Bushells
Indian Corn 130 or 140 Bushells
Potatoes 1 Acre will be fit to dig in May
Hogs large & small 26 belonging to the Publick & 8 to me
Poultry a Quantity belonging to me
Goats 3 belonging to me
Ewe 1 belonging to me
Beside a quantity of Stock belonging to individuals.
Before I take my final leave of this Island where I remained Two
Years, I cannot help
observing acknowledging the great
assistance I have received from the few Officers I had with me nor was
this propriety of Conduct confined to the Officers alone As all the
Marines & other free people, were steady, & regular, in their
behaviour, & it gives me a sensible satisfaction to remark that
excepting on one or two occasions, I had never any reason to be
dissatisfied with any one of the few free people I had under my Command.
As this general approbation of the good conduct of the free people cannot
particularize Messieurs Cresswell, (the Officer of Marines) Mr Stephen
Dunavan, (A Mid) & Mr. Thomas Jamieson, Surgeons Mate of the Sirius,
I feel a great satisfaction in saying that a constant uniform propriety
of conduct, & a readyness for forwarding the Service, was ever
zealously shewn by these Gentlemen ---
At noon the Supply made sail for Port Jackson, with Moderate Breezes & very pleasant Weather, the Wind from the S.E. On the 31st at three
in the morning we passed between Lord Howe Island & Ball’s
April 2nd Pyramid & on the 2nd April we made the Land of New South Wales bearing from NbW to South at Noon the Latitude by Account was 33°:10’ South Cape Three points bore SW½W & the Northern Hat Hill NWbW
The Wind at SSE & squally Weather with heavy Thunder, lightnings & hard rain. A Strong Current sets to the Southward, it is a remark of Lieut.t Balls that the Current always sets very strong along the Coast, which always goes against the Wind.
At day light bore up for the entrance of Port Jackson which bore West 7 Leagues. at eight we were within the Heads, & as the Wind was down the Harbour, at 9 Lieut Ball & myself left the Supply & soon after met the Governor & some other Officers coming
down the harbour. The General consternation which the News of the Sirius’s loss occasioned may be more easily imagined than described, when it is considered that in the present exhausted state of Provisions & no relief having arrived, the Sirius was the only ressource, & it was the Governors Intention to have sent that Ship on her return from Norfolk Island to China or Batavia for Provisions, but the unfortunate dissolution of that Ship put an end to that intention & no other resscource remained than the Supply.
At six o’clock in the Evening all the Civil & Military were assembled at the Government house, when in consequence of the unfortunate loss of His Majesty’s Ship the Sirius, the Governor communicated the present state of the Settlement respecting the provisions: the quantity which remained in Store was as follows lbs. Pork lbs of Beef of Flour.
of Rice. His Excellency pointed out the great necessity there was for an immediate reduction of the present ration which was half of the full allowance, Every Officers opinion was asked how low the rations could be reduced. What was the best mode that could be adopted to prevent the robbing of Gardens, Processing Fish to make a saving of the Salt provisions &c. When after hearing every ones opinion it was determined to commence the following ration on the 12th Instant if no relief arrived before that time. viz. Two pounds & half of Flour, Two pounds of Pork & two pounds of rice for seven men for one day at which ration the provision will last untill the following dates viz. Pork untill ye 26th of August, Rice untill ye 13th September, Flour untill ye 19th December. The Publick & private Boats were also to be constantly employed fishing & the large boat was to go to Botany Bay for that purpose, An Officer was constantly to superintend the Fishing, Every one taking it in
Turns, The most expert marksmen were to be employed killing Kanguroo; Nothing was settled respecting the preventing Garden Robbery’s excepting that the most suspicious of the Convicts were to be locked up every night.
The Governor signified his intention of sending His Majesties Armed Tender the Supply to Batavia, to get as much provisions as she could stow with safety & to take up a Vessell to bring six months provisions to the Settlement, as there was now no doubt but some misfortune had happned to the Vessells destined for this Colony with provisions. It was the Governors intention to have detained me at Port Jackson untill the return of the Sirius from China or Batavia, or untill the return of any Storeships which might arrive, when I was to be sent home with the despatches, but as the unfortunate loss
of the Sirius, required the speediest exertions for procuring provisions for the Colony, & judging it necessary to send an Officer with his despatches for the Ministry, I was ordered to be ready to embark onboard the Supply & proceed in her to Batavia from whence I was ordered to make the best of my way to England.
The Short time I stayed at Port Jackson did not enable me to inform myself so fully of that place as it was the Governors intention I should have been, & which the Sirius’s unfortunate loss prevented.
When I left Port Jackson in February 1788 the Ground about Sydney Cove was covered with a thick forest therefore every work which has been done since, I was unacquainted with. The Ground about the Cove is considerably cleared & some good Buildings are erected, the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Judge & most part of the Civil & Military Officers are comfor-
tably lodged, The Governors house is built of Stone & has a very good appearance having a front of about 70 feet, The Lieut.t Governors house is built of Brick, as is the Judge & Commissary’s, the rest of the houses are built with logs & plastered, & all the roofs are Shingled or thatched. The Hospital is a good temporary building, the sides of which are weatherboarded. The Soldiers are in Barracks & the Officers have comfortable huts, with Gardens to them, but unfortunately little is got from the gardens about Sydney Cove, as there is not more than two feet of soil above a bed of rocks, & this soil is little better than a black sand, to this inconvenience must be added that of rats & thieves; At the
distance of an hours Walk from
Rose Hill Sydney Cove,
the Soil is in some places better & occupied by the Officers &c
as their farms, here are Brick Kilns & a pottery, both these articles
are well made, but there is an inconvenience in not being able to glaze
the Earthen ware. I think from the little of what I saw of the Soil about
Sydney cove, that it is very bad, most part of the Ground is covered with
rocks, or large stones, which is used for building, & is when cut,
much like the Portland Stone, it is easily worked & hardens
considerably after it is worked. At the Head of the Cove, below Sydney
Cove, (Called Farm Cove) is a farm where there are about 15 Acres of
Ground in Cultivation, The soil is very indifferent.
Governor Phillip having been several journeys the intent of which were to inform himself fully of the Country & to find out a better place for Cultivation, than the land about the lower part of the harbour is which is invariably a Sandy Soil, covered with rocks; at length fixed on a situation at the head of the harbour which is about eleven miles from Sydney Cove, the Soil here was found much better than at Sydney Cove A Number of Convicts were sent there in 1789 with a Captains Guard (which was afterwards reduced to a Lieut.ts) to prevent any disputes with the Natives & to preserve Order among the Convicts. On the 9th I attended Governor Phillip to Rose-hill the name of the above place. We left Sydney Cove at eight in the morning & arrived at
Rose-hill at ½ past eleven, at about two Miles below the Settlement the harbour becomes quite narrow not being more than ten or twelve Yards across & the banks are about six feet high here the Country has the appearance of a Park, in rowing up this branch we saw a flock of Kanguroos or Padegorang, I suppose there might be about thirty, it was only during their leaps that we could perceive them as the very long grass hid them. We landed about half a mile from the Settlement & walked up to it. The Settlement is on an elevated Ground, which joins to a very fine Crescent, as regular as if formed by art, It is supposed that this Cresscent & the regular Slopes which surround the Settlement has
been formed by very heavy rains, The Soil is loam, Sand & Clay, & the trees are not so large here as lower down the harbour, but the large roots lying on the Ground renders it difficult to clear. A fine Stream of fresh Water runs into the head of the harbour, which in the Winter & heavy rains sometimes rises 7 or 8 feet & is a rapid torrent. A redoubt is constructed here in which are very good Barracks for Officers & Men, also a Storehouse. On the Opposite Side of the Brook is a farm house, where a Servant of Governor Phillips lives, & who is charged with the Superintendance of the Convicts & the Cultivation of the ground, to which charge he is very equal, & is of the greatest use to the Governor, as he has no other free person whatever to overlook the least
piece of work carrying on by the Convicts; near this Farm house is a very good Barn & Granary, the Convicts houses form a line at some distance in front of the Barracks, with very good Gardens before & behind each house; the whole joined to the pleasantness of the situation makes it a fine landscape. In 1789 the Quantity of ground sowed with Wheat
sowed here & at Sydney Cove was 22 Acres, with
Barley 17 Acres, Flax & Indian Corn Beans &c 3 Acres. For the
Cultivation of Wheat & other Grains, nearly One Hundred Acres will be
cleared this Year at Rose Hill of which 40 will be sowed with Wheat. The
quantity of Wheat raised last Year was 200 Bushells, Barley 60 Bushells.
Flax, Beans & other seeds 10 Bushells. The Wheat is a full good
After dinner I accompanied Governor Phillip from Rose Hill to Prospect hill, which is about
It is remarkable that the Natives divide the dist.ce between Rose Hill & Prospect Hill, which is only four miles into Eight diff.t districts.
4 Miles from the former, we walked thro’ a very pleasant tract of Country, which from the distance the Trees grew from each other, & the gentle Hills & dales & rising Slopes covered with grass, appeared like a Vast park. The Soil from Rose Hill to Prospect hill is much the same, a loan & clay. Prospect hill is a Small Elevation which commands a very extensive prospect of the Country to the Southward. A range of very high Mountains bounded the View to the Westward,
These Mountains which lye nearly North & South are about 35 or 40 miles from Prospect hill, & the Space between is a thick Forest, the Northermost of those Mountains is called Richmond Hill, at the foot of
which the Hawesbury takes its rise from a bed of fresh water Coal. A River was discovered by Capt Tench of the Marines which runs near the foot of Landsdown hills its direction appears to be North & South, how far it runs to the Southward cannot be ascertained, but there is great reason to suppose, it runs a very considerable way to the southward, as it does not empty itself into Botany Bay, & it appears probable that it may come into the Sea about long nose or Cape S.t George where there is an Appearance of being a good harbour.
[Blank, apart from small sketch]
There are now three of the Natives at
Port Jackson The
Settlement, a Man about 28 Years old, a Girl about 12 or 13 & a boy
about 9. The Man was taken by Stratagem by Lieut.t Bradly, who
inticed him to the boat, by holding up a fish which drew two of them to
the boat when they were both secured, A number of the Natives were on the
Shoar, they instantly thew a number of Spears & altho’ only
made of Wood, one of them went thro’ four folds of the boats sail
& struck the Apron of the boats stern with such force as to split it;
One of these two Natives made his escape, soon after, the other which is
now at the Settlement is very well rconciled, he lives with the Governor,
& is a very intelligent Man, much information may be got
from him when he can be better understood, Mr. Collins the Judge
Advocate is very assiduous in learning the language in which he has made
a great progress, this Native
whose has 5 names which
are “Bannelon, Wollarewarre’ Boinba Bunde-bunda
Woge’-trowey” he likes best to be called by the second, he is
a Stout well made Man about five feet six inches high & now that the
dirt of his Skin is removed, we find his colour is a dark black, his
features are large & his nose flatt, the hair of his head is the same
as the Assaties but very Coarse & strong, he is a very good natured
fellow, & has a great deal of humour, being seldom angry at whatever
jokes are passed on him, readily imitating all the actions & Gestures
of every person in the Governors family, As he sits at table with the
Governor, whom he calls “Beanga”
Father, & the Governor calls him “Doorow” Son) he is
under no restraint, nor is he the least awkward in Eating, &
considering the State of Nature he has been brought up in may be called a
polite man As he performs every action of bowing, drinking healths,
returning thanks &c with a scrup
he is fond of Wine but cannot bear the Smell of Spirits, it has often
been tried to deceive him by mixing very weak rum or brandy & water,
instead of Wine & Water, but he instantly finds the trick out, &
on this occasion he is angry, his appetite is not easily satisfied &
he began to perceive the difference between full & Short Allowance.
As I said before he is perfectly
satisfied with his situation & walk about constantly with the
Governor, who to make him sensible of the confidence he places in him
always takes off a small sword he generally wears & gives it to [?]
Wollare warre’ who puts it on & is not a little pleased at this
mark of Confidence His dress is a Jacket made of the coarsest red Kersey
with a pair of Trowsers; On Sundays he is drest in Nankeen, the Governors
reason for making him wear the thick Kersey is that he may be so sensible
of the Cold as not to be able to do without Cloaths, he has had a Wife
who died some time before he was taken, he sometimes mentions this
Circumstance which occasions a momentary Gloom, which his natural Gaiety
soon dissipates, When asked he sings which in general is in a mournfull
which he keeps time by Swinging his arms, he dances when asked with great readyness. the motions at first are very slow which are regulated by a dismal tune which as the dance advances grows quicker, till at length they throw themselves into the posture represented in the drawing striking the Ground with the greatest force & Shaking their arms which gives them the appearance of being in a fit of Madnes, This part of the dance may be probably a War dance or dance of defiance as all the natives which were seen when first we came here alway joined this dance to their vociferations of “Woroo Woroo” go away. to what I have already mentioned respecting this man more will be added in the Vocabulary
which Mr. Collins permitted me to copy. The Boy lives with Mr. White the Surgeon, who with great humanity (for which his character is very conspicuous) Cured both the Boy & Girl of a Confluent Small pox which swept off hundreds of the Natives in ye winter of the Year 1788. This dreadfull disorder which there is no doubt is a distemper natural to this Country, must with the difficulty of procuring a subsistance, render the situation of those poor wretches truly miserable. The Girl lives with the Chaplains Wife, they are both tractable but the Girl at times is very angry & cannot bear being thwarted. I shall now add a Vocabulary of the language which I got from Mr. Collins+ & Governor Phillip,+ both having been very assiduous in getting words to compose it, which they
U as all the doubtfull words are rejected,
it is a very Correct Vocabulary
Mogo - a Stone hatchet
Diera - A Bone
Termination of the Verb to Walk
Gall Gall - Smallpox
Bourbillie remul - buried
Mulla - Man
Din & Din aillon - Women
Eora - Men, or People
Cowull - Male of Animals
Wering - Female
Gnoowing - Night
Cammurru - Day
Womerraa - To run
Womerra-berra - To jump
Good - Beal or Bidgeree
Moola - Sick
Maugerry - Fishing
Bado-burra or Burra-bado - To pour Water
It is observed that in speaking
Wollarewarre’ changes the position of the words as in bado-burra,
When walking from Prospect hill to Rose hill it being night, we
frequently stumbled against the roots, when he exclaimed
We’re’ Wade’, & Wade’ We’re’ bad
wood or bad roots.
It is observed that in speaking
Wollerewarré changes the position of the words as in bado-burra,
When Walking from Prospect hill to Rose hill it being night, we
frequently stumbled against the roots, when he exclaimed
Wèrè, & WadèWèrè, bad woods or bad
Pyalla pya bow - To fight or beat
Bado-go-bally-vuida - I am dry
Yu-ru-gurra - Hungry
Barong-boruch - Belly-full
Gna-oong - Nose ornament
Derra-bangel diow or elli bow - To take off
Boor emil diow - To put on
Dyennibbe - Laughter
Era-mad-ye-winnia - To snatch
Gnia-na - To sigh
Bo-me - To breath
Dère-nognan - To sneeze
Car-re-nar-e bille - To cough
Wadby - To swim
Bo-gay - To dive
Teura - A mosquito
Teura-diery - Musquito bite
Go-wally - A shag
Murray - Every thing large
Narrong - Any thing small
Murray Nowey - The Sirius
Nowey - A Canoe
Narrong Nowey - The Supply
Cannadinga - To burn
Yenna - Gone
Yennibun - Walking away
Can-no-can - Any Vegetable fit to eat
Goomun - The Fir tree
Eranya - t’other side of a hill
Narra-dew - To hear
Cà-ma - To call
Warre-wee - To stand
Annegar - to ask any thing
Wannabow - to throw away
Godie by - rotten or decayed
Murry Cara diera - Swelled wrist
Mediey - I do not know
Carre mille bado - to soak or wash in water
ie-nie-je-minga - to give one a hand
Petanga - An Oyster
Go-roon - A Muscle
Maracry - The Emu
Feathers - Gwo-meil
Waltegal - A large Fish
Paddewah - Fish called a flat head
Woolamie - Fish called, light horse man
Yagoona - To day
Parry-buga - To morrow
Mullin-ow-ule - To morrow Morning
Coing-bibo-la - Sun-rise
Coing-burra-go-lah - Sun-set
Yannadah Paragi - New Moon
Murry Yannadah - Full Moon
Gnoowing - Night
Cammurra - Day
Boora-Carremay - Fine Weather
Mo-run-gle - Thunder
Noone - Now
Where - Warè
Yery or Curua - To throw
Yery dioma - To fall down
Byalla - To speak
Cannadinga - To burn
Tag-go-rah-yago - To shiver
Marroway - To creep
Chiang or Chang-ulah - To chew
Ury diow - To sit nearer anyone
Manioo - To pick up any thing
Paran-banie-diow - Eating ([indecipherable] act of)
Taboa-millie - Painted White
Wogan-Minnering - Cutting off
Tongay-doro - You must say
Pa-boo-nang - A black Ant
Moor-rone - A large fly that bites
Broke - Cot-ban-jow
To Cut - Cot-bànièor Cot barry
Carra-duin - Fishing line
Canno - A belly full
Morungle-birrong-Mongle - Struck with Thunder & light.g.
Grave - Bomar
Kamai - A spear
Womar - Throwing Stick
Bourra - A cloud
Murong - Sand
Ya-ban - To sing
Eri - Full
Parra-berry - Empty
Juice - Gorey
Related to giving anything
Wal-lu-merun wea. Will you have any more?
Walloo-bu-diown - To turn when walking
Didgerry-goor - I thank you
Didgerry-goor Wogul Banne - I thank you for one bit
Gnia - I myself!
Die - Here!
Diam-o-waw - Where are you?
Bengalle - An Ornament
Man-ye-ro - I do not know
Yanga - To copulate
Go away - Waroo-Woroo!
To stay - Allocy
Ger-rub-ber - that gives fire
Head - Caberra
Eye - Mi
The effect of hot burning sun on the Eye - Murray Can-na dinga Mi
Nose - Nogur
Mouth - Kalga
Lips - Willin
Teeth - Dara
Tongue - Talling
Chin - Wal-lo
Ear - Gorai
Neck - Cad-lwar
Beard - Yarre
Belly - Barrong
Penis - Gadi
Liver - Naja
Testicle - Booroow
Knee - Gor-rook
Foot - Menoe
Arm - Gading
Hand - Tamira
Finger - Berille
Nail - Corungun
Leg - Tarra
Backside - Bory
Ribs - Bib-be
Throat - Par-rangle
Blood - Pan-ne-ra
private parts of Women - Bubla
Hair of Do. - Woe
Heart - Boot Boot
Gut - Carra-mah
Goang-un. A Spear about eight feet long, & which has four Barbs on each side of, this Spear they use when they advance near their adversary & the thrust is made at the side, or rather the Stroke. for the Spear is raised & the Shield is in the left hand, A would from this Spear must be mortal.
The only Colour we have yet discovered that they have any knowledge of are,
Red - Morjall
White - Taboa
Black - Nana
Green - Boolga
We have every reason to think they are divided into Tribes. The Chief of which gives names to the tribe & those who rank themselves under him, are said to be
of that name or tribe. We hear much of Camme-ra-gal who lives in land
& is a great Warrior. Wolare warreé must have had some severe
Conflicts with him. As he shews several Scars of Wounds inflicted by him.
The females of each tribe are distinguished by the
word "leon" Added to the name that distinguishes the man it is imagined
the word "Gal" signifies tribe & the word preceeding it is the word
of Distinction - perhaps it is the place where the tribe resides.
Men - Women
Cameragal - Cammeragal-leon
Cadigal - Cadigal-leon
Wongal - Wongal-leon
Gwea-gal - Gweagal leon
Boora me de gal - leon
Norongera-gal - Norongera gal-leon
Wallume de-gal - Wallume degal-leon
Borogegal - Turrey - Boroegal-leon
Gommerigal-Tongara - Gommerigal-leon
The Tribe of Camerra, inhabit the North part of Port Jackson which is somewhere named Camerra. The tribe of Cadi
are on the South side extending from the South head to Long Cove, at which place the district of Wanne & the tribe of Wangal commences, extending as far a Par-ra-mata’ or Rose hill. The Tribe of Wallumede, inhabit the North shore opposite Warrane or Sydney Cove & called Walumetta. I before remarked that between rose Hill & Prospect Hill the Ground between is distinguished by eight different names, & the distance is only four miles. Wolarewarre’ has made us understand that there are Apparitions in the country which he calls “Mane’”, he describes it as coming up with a strange noise & catching hold of any one by the Throat, he made use of many words on this occasion & pointed up to the Sky, he tells us that they singe their beards & the hair of the privities
The latter is done by Men & Women, he describes it as a painfull
operation, rubbing his face after every application of the brand. They
burn their dead, after which they are laid at length in a grave dug very
clean out, the bottom being first covered with great care with long grass
or fern, the body is then put in, & covered
with Grass & then filled up with Earth, rising the Mold about it as
No signs of any Religion has been observed among them, but they are not ignorant of a future state, as they say the bones are in the Grave & the Body in the Clouds. As those who have had with us, may be misunderstood it may be imagined that they mean the Soul is in the louds. Wolarewarre’ once asked the Judge-Advocate if the White men went to the Clouds also?
The Sun, Moon, & Stars they call Were’ (Bad) The Girl once
went into very violent Convulsions at seeing a falling star, & said
ye `everybody would be destroyed’
*some say she particularly alluded to the Murry Nowey ye Sirius
The Emu (Maroang) the Patagorang & ye Menagine (a small animal) Are named “Goa-long”. It is thought he means animal, he ye Native uses it in contradistinction to Bird or fish he was asked if the Emu was a bird (Binyan) he shook his head & said “Goa-long”.
Boon-albiey - To kiss which he says the Natives do i.e. ye Men Kiss the Women. He calls the Governor Beanga (Father) and names himself Dooroow (Son & calls the Judge & Commissary Babunna (Brother).
He sings a great deal & with much variety. Yaban or Bouraya (to Sing) The following are some words which were caught “E eye at wangewah wandeliah chuingo
wandego Mangenny wahey angonl Barreboa lah Barrema”.
He throws the Spear 90 Yards with great exactness & force.
He cannot count beyond four “One, Wogul or Ya’ole. Two “Bulla, & Ya-blowse” Three “Boorooi or Brewe’” Four “Cal:una-long. On laying down the fifth object he named it with the rest “Marry diolo”
He names the four Principal Winds.
North Boor-roo-way South Bain-marree
West Bow-warr East Gonie-mah
The Natives sing a hymn, or Song of joy, from Day break untill Surise. Fire is procured by infinite labour by fixing the pointed end of a round piece of Stick, into a hole made in a flat piece, the Operation is twirling ye round piece swiftly between both hands, Sliding them upwards & downwards
untill he is fatigued, at which time he is relieved by another of his Companions, who are all seated for this purpose in a Circle, & each one takes his turn untill fire is procured. No wonder this being the process that they are never seen without a lighted piece of Wood in their hand
Having received the dispatches for His Majesties Principal Secretary of State for the home department & for the Secretary of the Admiralty from Governor Phillip, together with his order to me for going inboard His Majesty’s Armed Tender the Supply & proceeding in her to Batavia from whence I was to make the best of my way to England with the above despatches, & Lieutenant Ball having received his Orders, I took leave of His Excellency & at Noon we sailed, with the Wind at S.W. carrying with us the fervent prayers of those we left behind for our safety. At 1 in the P.M. we were abreast of the heads of the Entrance of Port Jackson, & at Sunset it bore W.S.W. 15 Miles.
From the 17th to the 22nd had variable Weather & the Wind in General from the S.E. the 22nd at Noon our Latitude was 31°:31’ South & Longitude by Kendals Time Keeper 158°:32’ East. Lord Howe Island bore S85° E.t distant eighty Miles. Lieutenant Ball being directed to call at Norfolk Island if it did not occasion him the loss of some time, & as the Winds seemed to hang to the Eastward, there was every probability of loosing at least a fortnight on the Voyage, & as the Supply did not carry any thing which could be of the least assistance to those on the Island, he thought proper to proceed on the Voyage & at 9 in the Morning, he bore up in order to go to the Westward of the Shoal seen by the Golden grove in Latitude 29°:25’ Longitude 159°:54’ E.t Lieutenant Shortland also saw another as mentioned in page
which may be the same if they exist; Lieutenant Ball in July 1789 cruised in these & ye adjacent Latitudes & Longitudes a fortnight, but could not see the least appearance of Island or Shoals, altho’ Mr. Blackburn the Master of the Supply, who was at that time onboard the Golden Grove is very confident, that a Shoal was seen in that Vessell. From the 22nd untill the 29th had very heavy Gales of Wind from East with Violent Squalls attended with rain, the Air in general thick & hazey, & a high hollow Sea running, which makes the Vessell labour much & Ship many Seas. As the nights are very dark & the Brig going 7 miles an hour, She was hauled close to the Wind during the Night & in the day kept North, in the Meridian of 158° to 160°. On the 28th from 1 p.m. we observed
a great alteration in the Sea which was become so smooth that at four o’clock it was comparatively smooth water at half past five the Man at the Mast-head saw Breakers in the S.E. which was found to be a Shoal bearing from S.E.b.E. to E.S.E. about 7 or 8 Miles off, it appeared to trend S.S.E. & N.N.W. & the North end (on which the Sea broke very high) appeared to break off suddenly in a small bluff The Man at the Mast head had seen this Shoal a considerable time before he spoke of it, & when asked why he did not mention it, he said he took it for the reflection of the Setting sun, forgetting (that the Sun (if it had been visible) set to the Westward; this circumstance occasioned Lieutenant Ball to call it “Booby Shoal” Its latitude is, deduced from a good Meridional Altitude at Noon 21°:24’ South & the
Longitude by the Time keeper for which Altitudes were got in the Morning is 159°:24’ East of Greenwich, Immediately after we passed it we found the same high hollow Sea as we had in the Morning before we got as far as the Shoal. In the Evening of this day the gale moderated
April 20th to
Fresh breezes & Cloudy Weather at noon the Latitude was 17°:55’ So Longitude by Time keeper 161°:06’ E.t & at 9 P.M. by distances between the Moon & Regulus 161°:08’ having steered N29° E.t 29 miles since noon.
From the 29th to the 3rd May had little wind from ye Southward & pleasant Weather, with a quantity of Boobys & Egg birds flying about On the 4th at Noon the Latitude was 12°:13’ S.o & the Longitude by the Time Keeper was 161°:33’ E.t Variation of the Compass 8°:07’ E.t As we are now drawing near that situation
in which Lieutenant Shortland discovered Land viz in Latitude Longitude 1 E.t & being surrounded by birds & Trees floating about the Vessell, leads us to suppose our selves not far distant from it.
Had light Winds SW & Cloudy Sultry Weather & Squalls rising round the Horizon with a very dark appearance, We passed a vast quantity of drift wood, on a piece of which we saw a young Turtle.
Much the same Weather as Yesterday in the p.m. at 8 hauled up N.N.E. & sounded with 150 f.m but could get no ground. At eight in the Morning saw the Land bearing from NNW to WNW 7 or 8 Leagues off It is very high & seems to trend about NNE & S.S.W. altered the Course to N.b.W. in order to make the land plainer. At noon the Latitude by two Altitudes was 11°:07’ S.o Longitude by time keeper 162°:34’ E.t
NNE & SSW the Main land lying a little distance to the Westward of them but from the Cloudy state of the air we can
just distinguish it. the Eastermost of those two Islands which Lieutenant
Ball names Sirius’s Island bears from NbW½W to NW¾N.
Sirius’s I.d 10°:52’S.o Longitude 162°:30’ E.t
Leagues, The other which Lieutenant Ball names Massey’s Island bears from N.W. to N.W.b.W. distance 3 Leagues. at eight in the Evening hove too & sounded with 150 f.m could get no bottom, Lay too most part of the night with light winds from the NE & heavy rain Thunder & lightning. We observed by the Land that a very strong Current or tide set us fast to the Northward. At 6 in the morning bore up & steered NNW. Sirius’s Island bearing SSW 5 or 6 Leagues & the Westermost land S.W.bW about eleven Leagues off, at 9 Came
on a very heavy rain & thick Weather with the Wind at S.W. with which we steered NNW It is unfortunate that the changable state of the Wind & the Weather will not permit us to range this Coast, by hauling in with the land, as something might be discovered without occasioning the loss of any time The Latitude by two Altides was 10°:18 S.o & Longitude by Time keeper 162° 31’ E.t
Moderate Weather & Wind Variable from SW to S.E. Made & Shortned Sail according to the appearance of the Weather & the Squalls. at 8 in the
morning Evening had very heavy Squalls of Wind
Rain Thunder & lightning, at eight A.M. saw the Land which had the
appearance of a large high Island lying along the Shoar,
Smiths I 9°:44S.o 161°:54 E.t by time keeper & [sun] & [moon]
which Lieut.t Ball calls Smiths Island ye center of it bears SW¼W 11 or 12 Leagues Latitude at Noon 9°:26’ S.o Longitude by Time keeper ) 162°:22
O & ) 162: ]
Light Winds & hazey Weather with frequent Calms during this 24 hours. at Sun-set the body of Smiths Island bore SSW¼W at daylight the land bore from W.b.S. to S.b.W. distance off Shore 7 or 8 Leagues. Smith’s Island then bearing SSE 10 Leagues. The land in general runs very high & appears well wooded There is the appearance of a number of Openings in it like Bays or harbours, but our distance off shoar is too great to ascertain any observation of that kind. As we are this day at Noon in Latitude 9°:00’ South & Longitude 161°:41’ E.t by the Time keeper & the land trends away to the NW. It is clear we have rounded the East part of that Island which Lieutenant Shortland coasted on its South side from the Latitude of 10°:44’ South Longitude 161°:41’ E.t to the Latitude of 6°:55’ South Longitude 156°:30’
where he passed thro’ a Streight, which is near the Situation of the Surville in & the Streights passed by Bougainville in which he has called .
As Lieut.t Shortland made the land, on the opposite side of this Island in Latitude 10°:44’ S.o & Longitude 161°:30’ E.t & the Supply being this day in Latitude 9°:00’ S.o Longitude 161°:41’ E.t there remains a space between the two Vessells situations, which reduced to bearings & distances from the above Latitudes & Longitudes will give SobE.t distance 104 Miles: The Supply being now 10 Leagues off Shore & supposing the Alexander (Lieut.t Shortlands Ship) to have been 4, will leave the breadth of the Island about 62 miles. & its length (if it is all one piece of land) is by the Latitudes & Longitudes
S57° Et & N57° W.t 436 Miles. The Eastern Extremity of this land (which is by Lieut.t Shortlands account called “Cimbo”) is an Island of about 16 or 18 Miles in circuit lying a small distance from the Main Island. I before said Lieut.t Ball called this Island Sirius Island between which & Queen Charlottes Islands there cannot be more than Leagues supposing Capt Carteret’s Longitude to have been right. The North East Coast of this Island Lieutenant Ball names “Balls Maiden land”. & the passage between Sirius & Queen Charlottes Islands “Supply’s passage”.
Had light Wind & some Squalls, at Daylight saw the Land bearing from South to West, eleven Leagues from the Shoar
The land is high & there appears a number of openings in it.
Had light airs of Wind from ye South.d with a Swell from the Southward at day light saw the land bearing WSW or 15 Leagues off Steering NNW & NWbN we have found a Current which has set the brig 20’ to the North.d of Account. Latitude 7°:16 S.o Longitude 162°:23’ by Account.
10th to 19th
From the 10 to the 19 had light Winds from the Westward with Squally Weather During this time we have daily found the Brig set considerably to the Northward & Westward, on the 16th she was set 48’ WNW in the 24 hours. On the 17th The Ships Company were put to an allowance of two Quarts of Water p Day. We now see a different kind of Sea fowl to what we have hitherto
1790 May 10th to 19
seen it is of the Gannet kind, the back, wings & head being a glossy black & the breast quite White
Moderate Wind ESE & very pleasant fine Weather & quite Smooth water, at ½ past 10 A M saw an Island bearing WbN 6 or 7 Leagues Latitude at Noon 1°:44’ South Longitude by Time keeper 150°:39’ E.t Variation 6°:01’ E.t
Very Pleasant fine Serene Weather & a fine breeze at ESE with very Smooth Water. Steering for the Island it lying directly in our Course. At ½ past one we perceived that the Island altho’ very small was inhabited there being a number of people standing on the South point of it & a great number of canoes with Natives in them paddling off to meet Us but when the brig approached them they paddled towards the Shore again
but seemed desirous of having some communication with us, The Brig was hove too with her head to the Eastward & in a short time they came near us but no invitation or intreaty could prevail on them to come along side Four of the Canoes, two of which had seven Men in each & ye other two, came close under the Stern but would not venture onboard & it was with great difficulty, that the people in one of the Canoes could prevail on themselves to come near enough to receive a String of beads which was let down over the Stern, after this they all paddled onshore. During the time these Canoes were near the Brig the Beach on the Island was
covered with the Natives, & on the south point of the Island a Man stood singly with a long pole which had something large at the end of it & which this person seemed to use as a Signal to those in the Canoes. These Canoes the largest of which appeared to be about 27 or 28 feet in length & about a foot & ½ wide on the Gunnels [sketch] appeared to be made out of a large tree, & were well formed, with a large hook of wood at each end, ye use of which we could not guess [sketch] each Canoe had a long out rigger to prevent them from over setting - The Natives who were in them were the stoutest & healthiest looking men I ever beheld, Their Skin was perfectly clear of any disorder, they were quite naked, & Copper Coloured having hair like the New Hollanders, Their
beard were grown & some of them reached as low as the Navel, & there was an appearance of much art being used in forming it into long ringlets, which looked as if the only fashion observed on this Island was that of keeping the beard well combed, curled & oiled two or three of them had something like a bead or bone hanging to string round their neck. The Size & very healthy appearance of these people created much admiration it is wonderfull how so small a spot of ground could support the vast number of Inhabitants we saw on the Island all of whom appeared equally strong & handsome as those we saw in the Canoes. The Island cannot be more than
two miles (at most) in Circuit, it appears to be steep too, it is low but entirely covered with trees most of which are Coco-nuts, We likewise saw a number of large trees which bore a very fine red blossom, but from the red being so very conspicuous on those trees I am inclined to think the leaves were of that colour. These Trees reached to the Margin of a very fine Sandy beach which entirely surrounds the Island, we saw a number of Canoes lying on it, which with the number of Natives we saw on the beach there cannot be less than a thousand Inhabitants on it. This Island Lieutenant Ball called Tenches Island after Captain Watkin Tench of the Marines it is in Latitude 1°:39 S.o Longitude 150°:31 E.t of Greenwich, After lying too about an hour & finding we could have no further communication
with the Natives without loosing some time we bore up & kept on our Course steering W.b.N. At Sunsett we saw another Island bearing W.b.N. Tenches Island bearing E½N. at day-light ye Island seen in the Evening bore from S.b.W. to W.b.S. about 3 Leagues off the nearest shore, Altered the Course to run along shore. This Island is tolerable high & appears to be about 70 or 80 Miles in Circuit, (from the length of its East side which I measured by Angles) It is well wooded & there is a number of Clear Cultivated Tracts of Ground on which something was growing which had the appearance of Indian Corn, or Sugar cane, As we ran along shore we could not perceive any place of Shelter for a Vessel on this (ye East) side of ye Island but there certainly is on some part of it. The Island is surrounded with a
Sandy beach on which ye Surf beats with some violence We
saw a number of Canoes lying on the beach & some parts of the shore
covered with the natives, but none of them attempted to come off
altho’ the Brig was not more than a mile & half from the shore.
The houses which we saw among the trees appear to be large & well
constructed This Island has a luxuriant & pictoresque appearance
& I have no doubt but it is very fertile & well peopled. The
Natives were quite naked & with the assistance of our Glasses we
judged them & the Canoes to be of the same kind as those we saw
Yesterday at Tenches Island, at ½ past 9 A.M. being abreast of the
SE point of the Island we bore up & made sail steering W.N.W.
Lieutenant Ball having requested me to name this Island I called it
Prince William Henry Island, In Honour of His Royal Highness,* In
*On hearing of His Royal Highness’s being created Duke of Clarence, I call it in my Chart the Duke of Clarences I.d
Making this Island from the Eastward a Very high Mount rises in the Center of it which Lieutenant Ball named Mount Phillip in honor of His Excellency Gov.r Phillip. This Island lies W.N.W. from Tenches Island & is in Latitude 1:32 South Longitude 149°:30’ East, At Noon Mount Phillip bore SE½E 12 miles
21st & 22nd
Little Winds at Midnight of the 22nd Came on a deluge of rain which lasted about a quarter of an hour, A great quantity of Tropic birds & Gannets round the Brig & the Sea covered with Trees of the Largest size with their Roots & branches to them also Coco nut trees, Sugarcane Bamboo, & a variety of other drift wood Many of the Trees are so large that they are plainly seen at 2 Leagues distance Most of the roots of those trees lye to the W.N.W. from which circumstance & the Vessell being
considerably to the Westward of Account by the Time Keeper leads us to suppose a Strong Current sets in that direction Latitude at Noon of ye 21st 32’:23” South Longitude by Time Keeper 147°:51’ East Variation of the Compass 6°:03’ East.
22nd to 4th June
From the 22nd to the 4th Augus had Moderate Breezes from the East & ESE with pleasant Weather & in general smooth Water A quantity of Sea fowl flying about & the Sea constantly covered with large entire trees, Junks of Wood, Bamboes & a variety of other drift wood & Rock weed having steered about WNW from the 22nd we this day (the 4th) were in Latitude 4°:33’ N Longitude by Time Keeper 127°:58’ E.t Variation of the Compass 1°:20’ E.t
Light Breezes & Cloudy Weather the Wind at SEbS. at Day light saw the land bearing WSW which is an Island called Kercolang in the Charts, which is misplaced in the
Directory & Hamilton Moores Chart. finding we could not Weather the South End of Kercolang bore up to go to the Northward of it, at Noon it bore from N 68° Wt to S41°W.t distance from ye nearest shore about 4 Leagues Another Island with a remarkable Hummock on its East end bore from North to N14° E.t This Island is called in the Chart Kerolang Latitude at Noon 4°:25’ N.o Longitude by Sun & [moon] 126°:50’ E.t
Light airs Variable from West to SW with Calms at eight in the Morning being close under the East side of Kercolang saw a Canoe with a Mat sail making towards us They soon came under the Stern without any signs of fear There were twelve Malays in this Canoe who were all cloathed, Their outriggers which were very long & slight would not permit them to
come along side, but on a Jacket & a hatchet being given them & signs made for them to go onshore & bring somethg. to eat they left the Brig & went towards the Shore where we followed them. Before they landed a still larger Canoe with 15 Malays in it went to the Canoe which had left us & as we were about two Miles from the Shore Lieutenant Ball & myself went in the Jolly boat & joined the two Canoes when two of the Malays jumped out of the Canoes into our boat & went immediately to the Oars, Such a step could not be mis-understood it was saying “We put ourselves entirely in your power without any precaution” When we came near the beach observing a break of a Surf on it, we made signs for the Canoes to go onshore & bring off some Cocoa-Nuts & plantains &c of which we saw Vast quantitys on the trees, They were very desirous for the boat to land
but that not being agreed to, they left a Native in the jolly boat & one of the Supplys men went onshore in the canoe, & soon after returned with several Canoes laden with Coco Nuts, Cocos or Yams, Plantaines, Sweet potatoes, Rice, a little Tobacco & other articles which we purchased for Axes & other Truck. We soon after returned onboard & several canoes followed us, the Brig was surrounded by upwards of a hundred Canoes, A breeze of Wind Springing up at Noon from the Northward, we made sail from the Canoes many of which followed us a considerable distance. Latitude at Noon 4°:30’ N Longitude by Time Keeper & & 126°:39’ The Latitude of the North end of Kercolang is 4°:28’ N Longitude of the Center by Time Keeper & Sun & Moon 126°:31’ E.t The Island Kercolang is between Eighty & a Hundred Miles in Circumference & is in General
of a very good height. The face of the Country seems to be steep hills & extensive Valleys & every part covered with trees & verdure, there are some Cultivated grounds which have a very pleasant Appearance. These Malays wore no crid or Criss, nor did we see any offensive Weapon among them, Excepting two which we saw on the beach who had something like Halberds in their hands, but whether it was of Wood or Iron we could not tell. Their Houses which appeared well built & neatly thatched stood on posts, Their Canoes were also neatly made being hollowed out of trees, with bamboe outriggers on each side to Keep them from oversetting, At the Stern a piece of dead Wood is left, projecting like a proa, to break ye Water before it comes to the bow [sketch] each of those Canoes have a Mast on which they hoist a piece of
square Mat as a sail. Their fishing hooks & lines are mostly European, it is possible that there is a dutch resident on this Island, We saw a small dutch Flag which was placed before a house to the Northward of the place where we went with the boat, but I think if any European had been there he would have come to the boat or that the Natives would have made us understand there was one there. The Cloathing of these people were a coarse kind of Callico some had silk most of them had something like a Turban about their heads, & a few wore the Chinese pointed Hat There can be no doubt but the Dutch supply those people with Cloathing & other necessarys, which of Course must be in Exchange for some production of the
Island. I shewed one of them some Cloves & he gave me to understand that they had them. I do not think the Dutch send very often to this Island from the extreme Eagerness they shewed in purchasing our hatchets & Cloathing. They are a mild & apparently quiet people & the Confidence they placed in us, was sufficient to prove that Strangers were not unwelcome guests among them.
From the 6th to the 10th had Fresh Gales of Wind at West with very heavy Squalls attended with much rain. Thick Squalls of Wind obliged us often to Clew all up, On the 10th having got only 8 Leagues since the 6th. & there being every appearance of a continuation of the Westerly Winds continuing (this being the SW monsoon in the China Seas) with those heavy Squalls of Wind or rather Tornadoes of Wind & rain, which endangered the Masts, Lieutenant Ball gave up the idea of going
thro’ the Straits of Macasser, & adopted that of making the
passage between Celebes & Gilolo, through the Moluccas &
Straights of Salayer. at 6 in the morning bore up for the South point of
Lirog which bore SebE 12 or 14 Lgs.
Had light winds & hazey Sultry Weather at day light Lirog bore NW 11 or 12 Leagues We must have been set thro’ between those Island & to the S Eastward considerably during ye night. Tacked occasionally as the Wind gave a Slant which veered from SbW to S.S.E. Latitude at Noon 3°:10’ S.o Longitude 126°:34’ E.t
The same Winds & Weather as Yesterday at Day light saw the Island of Morotay or Morotia bearing from S31° E.t to S4½° E And Gilolo from S36° E to S12° E.t There is an Island without a name laid down in a
Chart of Hamilton Moores, which is exactly in the Situation which the Supply is now in at noon i.e. 2°:36’ S.o Long.de by Time Keeper 127°:51’ E.t & as the Weather is very clear & no such land to be seen the Existance of it is very doubtfull.
Light airs & Cloudy untill 2 p.m. then Calm untill 7 after which had light Winds from SbW to S.E. during the night had fierce lightning from the Southward Working to Windward, the Water quite smooth & the Weather extremely pleasant & serene Latitude at Noon 2°:32’ N. Longitude p T.K. 127°:23’ E.t Variation 0°:7’ W.t Gilolo bears from S½E to SE½ E & Morotay from SEbE to E½N. The Southern Land in sight makes in three high conical Mountains
At Noon Latitude 2°:19 N Long.de p T.K. 127°:22’ E.t
The same Winds & Weather as Yesterday. Working to Wind ward, at Noon Gilolo bore from SbW½W to EbN. There are a chain of small Islands lying the whole length of the
above bearings, which are about two Leagues from Gilolo & we are three Leagues from them, there appears to be some good Shelter between them & Gilolo.
at Noon Latitude 2°:07 N Long.e by T.K. 126°:52 E.t
Fresh breezes & Cloudy Weather with Squalls the Wind South, Working to Wind ward & tacking occasionally as the Wind favours us, at Noon the Extreems of Gilolo from South to E½N.
Latitude 1°:34’ N Longitude 126°:47 E.t Variation 0°:35’ E.t
Light winds & Cloudy with some Calms at 2 A.M. got the land breeze which lasted till 10 when it fell calm at 11 Got the Sea breeze from ye Westward with which we steered to ye Southward at Noon the Extreems of Gilolo bore from NE½E to South & a Small Island under the Shore NEbE 10 miles. The three remarkable conical hills which I mentioned on the 13th we are now abreast of they are very high the Southermost lyes in 1°:30’ N. & 127°:05’ East Longitude The
Land about here is high & well wooded with some Cultivated Spots & the Shoar appears bold too.
Light Winds & Cloudy hot Sultry Weather, had land & Sea breezes with Calms between them, had very fierce lightning in the night & at Midnight came on a deluge of rain with much Thunder & lightning which lasted two hours & then had very Serene pleasant Weather. At day light The Island of Ternate bore S.S.E. A little to the Northward of Ternate there appears to be a large & safe harbour on the Island of Gilolo, which now bears EbS 5 or 6 Leagues Ternate rises in a high Conical Mount its Latitude is 00° 50’ North Longitude 127°:04’ E.t A very pleasant little Island lies about two Miles to the NNW of Ternate which in the Charts is called Heri it is of a good height & not more than a Mile & half or two mile in Circuit
Lat.de at Noon 1°:02 N
Long.de 126:49 E.t
The Cultivated Spots on this Island contrasted with the brown shade of the trees & the interspersed state of the houses gives this little Spot a most pictoresque appearance. This Island as well as Ternate appears to be in a perfect state of Cultivation & from the number of houses they must be both well inhabited at Noon Heri bore S.EbE½E The Peak of
Ternate SE½S & ye South point of Tedire which is just opening with ye South end of Ternate SSE½E The Middle Island (Mathan) SSE & ye Southermost Island SbE¾E.t All these Islands are very high & rise in peaks, & are well cultivated. Saw a vast number of Smokes on Ternate which appeared as if light for Signals.
Light Land & Sea breezes & Clear Weather at day light Makian
Latitude at Noon 3”.0 So
bore E½ N 6 or 7 Miles Ternate & Tidore NbE besides the Island of Makian there are five other small Islets which with some other which form a considerable groupe, all of them are cultivated at 8 ye body of Makian (which is not more than 2 miles in Circuit) bore NEbE Saw some boats passing from one Islet to another in which were some Europeans. at Noon Makian bore NE½E 17’ & Batachina S 6 leagues the Weather excessive hot & Sultry Thermometer at Noon in the Air & Shade 86° at noon 91°.
Lat.de 29’:00” So
Long.de 126’:17” Et
[sun] & [moon] 126°:00
Light airs Variable & some Calms a great rippling on the Water which appeared to be a strong Current which we afterw.s found had set the Brig considerably to the Westward. at Noon the NW point of Manese or Batachina bore ENE½N 9 Leagues. its Latitude is 16’:00” South Longitude 126:41’ E.t
Variable Winds & Calms at 6 p.m. the Center of Manese Bore ENE at noon a Island ahead which we take to be Pulo
Lat.de at Noon 1°:17 S.o
Subi bore E½S 12 or 13 Leagues & another Island on the Starboard Beam which is Sterno Sulla bore SSW 12 or 13 Lgs. A Very high mountain on Manere or Batachina WbN.
Latitude at Noon 1°:59’S.o
Long.de & K 126°:36’ E.t
Light Winds from SbW. WbS. & NW during this 24 hours we have observed a very strong rippling of a Current between 8 in the morning & noon. We were set very Considerably to the ES.E. As the Passage between New Guinea & Aigeu is quite open & bears from us SE I think there is a great probability that the Current we now feel, is an outsett, & as we have experienced a Southerly Current ever since we made ye Island of Morotay, it may be presumed that there is an indraught between the Celebes & Gilolo & an outset between Gilolo, New Guinea & Aigeu which is called the Pits passage
Light Winds which were Variable In the Afternoon hoisted the boat out & tryed the Current found it sett EbS 1½ miles an hour
Latitude at Noon 2°:34’ S.o
Longitude 126°:03’ E.t
at 5 am the Wind came from ye SSE. The Extremes of Burro from S14° E.t to S35° W.t ye NE point of Sulla Mangol N42° E.t & ye South point of Sulla bessi N76° W.t at 11 saw a very great rippling between the Brig & Bourra which we found was a strong Current or tide setting to the NW Saw a great Number of very large Whales which moved exceeding slow at Noon the Center of Burro bore South & ye South point of Sulla bessi N76° W.t Burro is a very high Island & may be seen 20 Leagues off with great ease.
[Table not transcribed]
Light Winds from the NE & Calms. An astonishing Number of the largest Whales playing about some of which came near the Brig. at noon ye West point of Burro bore S40° E.t 5 Leagues.
Latitude at Noon 3°:55 South
Longitude 124°:50’ E.t
At 6 p.m. when we were Clear of the South point of Burro found a strong S.E. trade, at 8 a.m. ye Extreems of Burro from NE½ E to EbS 12 or 14 Leagues at Noon had a Strong trade Wind & no land in sight, steering SSW. passed a Great Quantity of drift Wood & some very large trees with the Branches & roots to them, many of these trees were so large as to be taken for Vessells.
Fresh breezes ESE & Cloudy Weather Steered SSW 64’ till 12 pm & then WSW 27’ till day light when we saw two small Islands bearing S.E. about 6 miles off, at this time they were in one, we imagine them to be the Norther.st of the Small Islands called Toucaheilly in the Charts, soon after saw land bearing S,W. which we take to be Bouton steered S
N½E at 9 perceived
ye land bearing SW was three Islands lying nearly North &
South The Longitude at 9 by the Time Keeper 123°:39’
E.t Latitude by two Altitudes
Latitude at Noon 5°:37 So
Long.d 123°:27’ E.t
at 9 o’clock is 5°:36’ South, concluding the Islands we saw in the Morning were those of S.t Mathews & ye others Toucaheilly we bore up at 11 o’clock to run between the Northermost & middle of the three Islands in sight. at noon ye Center of the Starboard Island N82° W.t & ye center of the larboard one S47° W.t Steering between them W.S.W. Saw more Island to the SSE In our run from Burro to S.t Mathews Island we found a Strong Current setting to the S.E.
S.t Mathew’s Islands Latitude 5°:23’
S.o Longitude 123°:51’
Moderate Breezes from the SE & very pleasant Weather with smooth water, running WSW between the Toucaheilly Islands, at noon passed a Sandy Key which we left on the larboard hand it has a tuft of green bushes on its North end & its South end runs off in a long spit for 3 or 4 Miles on which the Sea breaks very high, these
At Noon Latitude 5°:29’ S 123°:07 E.t
Island are covered with Wood & are well cultivated at 4 pm hove too & a small proa came alongside loaded with Coco-nuts which we purchased of them the people in this Canoe made us understand ye Island on our Starboard Hand was called Combado & that on the larboard hand Toucambaso, at ½ past 4 made sail again steering W.b.S. at ½ past 5 the Man at the Mast head said he saw a Shoal ahead. Saw a reef about 3 miles off extending from the WNW as far as the Eye could reach in a SE direction, hauled our Wind & lay under
at 6 am Bouton bore from WbN. to NWbN.
Combado during the night, at day light made sail & steered WNW looking out for the Shoal & running along its Eastern side at about 4 miles off. This reef is very large & its Eastern side side is bound with ragged rocks. the Water being very smooth there is no break on it.
Very Pleasant Weather & quite Smooth Water Wind from
SSE to NNE at one P.M. saw the North end of the Shoal bearing & at 4 o’clock rounded it at 2 miles distance & steered over SWbW½W for the South End of Bouton at 4 in the Morning rounded the South end of Bouton & at 9 passed the Streights
bearing Steering W½N At Noon ye West
end of Cambyna N48° W.t 36 miles, the S.W. point of Bouton
N55° E.t When to the Eastward of Cambona the Entrance of
the Straits of Bouton may be known by the three small Islands which lye
off the East point that forms the Straits, one of which is large &
ye other two are small. Off ye large one lye
several rocks but at no great distance. As I was very exact in taking the
Angular Bearings in runnng thro’ the Toucaheillys as far as Cambona
I refer to the Sketch for a further description of that dangerous Shoal.
The only Chart which took any notice of those Islands & the Shoal,
that was onboard, was one of Hamiltons Moores which we have found
excepting in some cases where the Islands are mis-placed as S.t Mathews Islands, Toucambesois, South end of Bouton & Kercolang, with some other trifling differences but on the Whole it may be called a good Chart.
Moderate breezes at ESE Steering WbN at 6 p.m. we were abreast of the West point of Combona which bore N8° W,t distant 5 Leagues, Steered West all night & at day light the Island of Saleyer bore from S40° W.t to N.80° E.t the entrance of the Straits N70° W.t at half past 11 a.m. entered the Straights & found a very strong rippling of the Sea which we were apprehensive were overfalls but we found it was a Strong Current or tide setting to the Westward, at noon we got thro’ ye Straits & hauled up WbS the best passage thro’ these straights is between the two Small Islands, the South.d of which lyes close to Salayer, there is no appearance of
Fortifications on either of these Islands. The Island of Salayer appears well inhabited, & has the appearance of being cultivated to advantage as each piece of Ground is fenced in & the houses appeared to be very good ones The Course from the Straits of Salayer to Cambona is EbS eighty four miles, the Straits of Salayer lye WbN½N & EbS½S about 5 miles through the Entrance to the Westward is in 5°:45’ S.o Longitude 120°:o3’ E.t A very considerable mistake is in Hamilton Moores Chart respecting the position of the Straits which are further to the than he lays it down. The latitude was determined by a good Meridional Altitude & the Longitude by the Time Keeper & Lunar Observations
Moderate breezes from the Eastward & very pleasant Weather with smooth Water, from Noon at which time we were abreast of the NW point of the Island of Salayer, we steered
WbS12’ till ¼ before 3 p.m. when the man at the Mast head said he saw a great rippling & on looking over the side the bottom was very distinctly seen, hauled off to the Southward, & hove the hand lead but could get no bottom the Brig going very fast, we immediately lost sight of the bottom & soon after steered WbS, at the time we were on this bank ye South end of Salayer bore SSE½E North end East. The South part of Celebes N52°D.t & a hill on the Celebes which we take to be Bonthain hill N½W. I think Ships going through the Strait of Salayer from ye West.d should bring ye North point of ye Island of Salayer to bear East or E½N. with which course there would be no riske from that Bank. At 6p.m. the Extreems of Celebes bore fron NW to NNE½E.t Steered WbS from Noon untill Midnight when we had run 66 miles in that direction
from the Straits of Salayer, the Brig was then hove too with her head to the NNE untill day light, when we saw some high land on the Celebes bearing NE½E 9 or 10 Leagues, which must be the land between ye SW point of Celebes & the Islands called by Capt.n Carteret Tonakiky, wherefore this end of the Celebes viz from the Straits of Salayer to ye SW point cannot be more than 20 Leagues As Mr. Dalrymple observes in a small pamphet. Lieut Ball directed the Brig to be kept NNW to make the land plainer, but as the Sun was in a very unfavourable direction for that purpose & the Charts differing so much in the position & extent of this land, & perhaps some time might be lost in looking for Tonikaky to take a departure from made Mr. Ball determine on bearinig up & running in that parrellel of Latitude which was likeliest to run the Vessell clear of Danger. i.e. about 5°:45’ or 5°:50’ at 8 am our Longitude by the Time Keeper
118°:44’ E.t At noon had dark Cloudy Weather & an appearance of a Current, but did not find any the account agreeing with the observed Latitude & Longitude at noon which was 5°:48’ S.o & 118°:44’ E.t
Fresh breezes & dark Cloudy Weather Wind from the ES.E at ½ past two p.m. Having steered West 12 miles since noon saw what we take to be the Tonyns Islands or South end of Sarras bearing North, Hamilton Moores Chart places this Shoal in 5°:58’ South It cannot be farther than 5°:40’ South at most as we are now in Latitude 5°:48’ & the Island can only be seen from the Mast head bearing North the Longitude of ye South end of those Islands (& Shoal if there is any) is 118°:11’ E.t During this 24 hours we have passed thro’ some strong ripplings like Currents, at 2 in the Morning the Latitude by a Meridional Altitude of the Moon 5°:59’ South. A beautifull
King-fisher flying about the Brig the Weather very dark & Cloudy & has a threatning apapearance. Latitude at Noon 5°:53’ Longitude 116°:20’ E.t Long.de made from Salayer 3°:35’ W.t
Fresh breezes & cloudy Squally Weather, with heavy rain Thunder & Lightning to the Northward at 10 a.m. saw the Great Solombo bearing NbW½W 2 Leagues. Sounded 32 from oozy Ground the Longitude of Solombo is 113°:59’ E.t its Latitude 5°:40’ South Variation 12°: Wt
Light breezes & dark cloudy Weather with Thunder, lightning & heavy rain in the Evening it cleared up at 4 p.m. Solombo bore NEbE½ at 6 a.m. The Island of Lubeck bore from S14° Wt to S55° W.t the Center hill S39 Wt distant 5 Leagues This Island is considerably misplaced in the Charts, a very good Altitude was got at eight in the morning for the time-keeper, & a very good meridional Altitude was got for the Latitude
which with the bearings of Lubeck in the Morning & at noon places it in 5°:50’ S.o Long,de 112°:22’ E.t Latitude of Brig at noon 5°:38’ S.o Longitude 112°:22’ E.t Long.de made from Salayer 7°:09’ W.t
Moderate & Cloudy Weather in the night had much Thunder & lightning from the SW Wind EbS. Latitude at noon 5°:44’ S.o Long.de 110°:50’ E.t
Variation 0°:30’ W.t
Long.de made from Salayer 8°:35’ W.t
Moderate Breezes & Cloudy with some Squalls, at 3 p.m. saw the Isles of Carimen Java bearing S79° W.t at Midnight the Westermost of the Carimen Java Isles bore S½E Squally Weather with much Thunder & lightning from the SE. From Midnight steered W½S Latitude at Noon 5°:45’ Long.de 110°:12’ Et Long.de made from Salayer 10°:07’ W.t Latitude of Carimen Java 5°:56’ So. Longitude 110°:12’ Et
Light Winds from ye Eastward & Cloudy Weather at ½ past 3 AM saw a small Island close to us bearing W½S about a mile & ½
off. hauled our Wind to the South ward & kept Tacking occasionally untill day light Sounded 26 fathoms blue mud This Island is very low & covered with trees, this Island is called in the Charts Pulo Packit & there are two Islands laid down in Dunn & Moores Charts but we only saw one & a rocky reef about a league to the Northward of the Island which is very dangerous.
Ships bound to the Westward or Batavia from Caniman Java should steer W½N or WbN to avoid the Shoal to ye Northd of Pulo Packit
In Dunns Chart this Island is lay’n down in 6°:18’ S.o but its real latitude is 5°:50’ S.o this Mistake had very near been fatal to the Supply but it being a moon light night the danger was discovered at the distance of two miles only. at 8 a.m. ye Small Island Called by Dunn Boomkin & by Moore Pulo Packit bore ENE & a remarkable Mountain on Java S½E between 10 am & noon had very Variable Winds with heavy Torrents of rain Thunder & lightning. Saw a Ship at Anchor under ye land of Java. Latitude at noon 6°:00 Longitude by Time Keeper 108°:06’ L made from Salayer 11°:42’ W.t
Moderate Breezes & Squally with much rain at 5 P.M. saw a brig at anchor under the land bore up to speak her in standing in had regular soundings to 7 f.m I went onb.d the Brig with Mr. Ball when we found that the point of Pamorakan bore SSW from us, returned onbd again & made sail out of the bight we were in steering NWbN had regular soundings from 9 to 25 f.m blue Mud. at Day light saw the land from SebE to SWbW, steering West passed a Ship standing to the Eastward at Noon the Island of Edam bore SW 6 or 7 Leagues. Latitude at noon 5°:45 S,o Long.de by Time Keeper 106°:32’ E.t Carawang Point S¼E dist.ce 3 miles.
Moderate & Cloudy Steering in between the Islands of Leyden & Alkmaar for Batavia road where we anchored at 5 p.m. with the Best Bower in 3¼ fathoms soft mud, Isle of Edam bore NbE Carawang point E¾N & the Chanel
South, found lying here, & at Onrust, upwards of thirty Dutch Ships, besides a number of Snows, & Chinese Junks. at 8 in the Morning I waited on the General at the request of Lieut.t Ball & settled the salute which took place at 5 in the Evening, when the Supply saluted the Fort with 9 Guns, to which salute an equal number was returned by the Fort.
Lieut Ball waited on the General accompanied by the Shebander & myself
where As the General could not talk any other
Language than Dutch, & the Shabander could not talk sufficient
English to explain himself, I was obliged to interperet between Lieut
Ball & the latter, & I must here remark that duirng the
Conversation which was in the Generals Office, we were not asked to sit
down, had the General been polite enough to have made the offer, there
was not a second Chair in the room, so unusual a thing is
it, to be seated in the Generals presence when talking to him on business. After Lieut.t Ball had signified his business, & the Service he was sent on; a number of frivolous enquiries were made, respecting the Settlement at New South Wales, & much astonishment expressed that we came from that Country, & could not tell what became of the Bounty, “Lieut.t Bligh’s Ship.” No other answer was got, then that the Council were to be requested, to permit Lieut.t Ball to purchase whatever he wanted, & to fix a Vessell to carry what he might want, to Port Jackson, After which we took leave of His ----------- I leave this Blank for a Dutch man to fill up, as an English man cannot find a term equal to what the Dutch idiom conveys, for
this Governors title. The Shebander drew up a request which Lieut Ball signed, & the next day it was presented to the Council, (at which the Director General presided, on account of the General’s indisposition) When every thing was granted; But the Governor General & Council, refused having any thing to do with taking up a Vessell, as that was to be managed by Lieut.t Ball, as well as purchasing the provisions &c. As every Vessell here either belonged to the Company, or were too flimsy to go on such a Voyage; It was for a short time doubtfull whether a Vesselll could be got, but the Shebander found that a Newa Snow of 250 Tons or upwards, was at a Port called Samarre (on the East side of Java) Offered Lieut Ball that Vessell, & that he would purchase her, & fit
her out completely for the Voyage, for which Lieut.t Ball
was to contract with him, to pay 80+ Rix dollars a Ton for the Voyage,
the Shebander to take all the risques upon himself, with respect to the loss of the Vessell; As the necessity for a Supply of provisions was great & there being no other Vessell, Lieut.t Ball was obliged to make the Agreement, & the Vessell was sent for: Provisions were easily purchased & at a Cheap rate. Very Excellent beef & pork at 6d. p lb. Flour there was little or none, to be purchased, As all the people here eat Rice, Europeans as well as Natives.
As Batavia has been so very well, & fully described, in Capt Cookes first Voyage
Any attempt on mine, or any other person to describe this vast & splendid Settlement, may be deemed impertinent; but as a Friend may sacrifice an hour or two in reading these ill-wrote pages; I shall add what few remarks occurred to me during my stay here.
According to the best accounts I could obtain, the City & its environs cover a Space of Eight Square miles: it is situated about half a mile from the Sea Shore, & has communication with it, by a Canal which will admit Vessells of 8 feet draught of water. The City stands on a flatt; which flatt extends Forty leagues, to the foot of the nearest Mountains.
Two large Rivers which are divided into a number
number of Canals (which are navigable for large Boats)
which runs thro’ all the principal Streets in the
City, & on both sides of the different roads; The Sides of those
Canals are planted with trees which are kept Cut, in the form of a fan;
The Streets are all drawn at right angles, & are in general wide,
with very good pavements, Along the Sides of which, & the Canals, are
planted a double row of Trees, which totally prevents the circulation of
air, & tends very much to increase the natural unhealthiness of the
Place, Within these four Years past, most of the Canals, which contained
putrid water, have been filled up, & a great attention is now paid to
removing dirt &
other nuisances, All the Houses are well built, some of which are Magnificent Buildings, & finished with Elegant neatness, which added to the great cleanliness observed by the inhabitants, render them very agreeable retreats, from the intense heats which are constant here
No European can do without a Carriage the paint of which, & other Equipage, denote the rank of the person to whom it belongs, & to whom the necessary respect must be paid by people of an inferior rank; for a non-compliance with which, a fine is levied by the Fiscal.
The Town is but indifferently fortified, being an irregular extensive fortification & the Walls (which are painted) are very low. it is surrounded with a deep & wide canal, but the best defence of this
Settlement is its extreme unhealthiness; The Citadel or Castle, stands on the right of the City In it, are deposited a vast quantity of Cannon & other Munitions of War, The Governor General & other Idoleer, as well as the rest of the Companys Servants have apartments in it, & here the Govenror & Council meet twice a week, for transacting publick business.
The Police of this City is strictly attended to, & is calculated to preservwe great order & regularity, but it is attended with some mortifying & degrading Circumstances, which Europeans find great difficulty & repugnance in complying with, but the Inhabitants & Companys Servants must pay a scrupulous attention to it,
not only to avoid paying the fines, but also to avoid the resentment of those, who have it entirely in their power to advance & or retard their promotion
The environs or Suburbs of this City is inhabited by the Chinese & portuguese, the houses of the former are very numerous, low, & dirty, the number of Chinese resident in & about Batavia was in 1788 200,000. It is these people that are the Support of this important settlement, & if by any impolitic measure they were obliged to abandon it, it would soon loose its lustre, The Chinese Carry on every trade & occupation, the better sort are very rich, but are subject to great exactions from the Company, or their Servants; They are
suffered to [?] the duties of Exportation & Importation for which they pay the Company 12,000 Rx Dollars in Silver money p month. All goods belonging to the Company, are exempt from Duty & all others pay Eight p Cent.
At about 3/1 of a Mile from the City is the Chinese burying Ground, which contains from 15 to 20 Acres of Ground, for the Annual rent of this Ground they pay 10,000 Rx Dollars, & at the end of every ten Years they repurchase it, at a very great Sum, which in general is regulated by the Governor & Council. Whether what I am going to advance is true or not I cannot tell, but a person of consequence at Batavia assured me, that the Chinese paid a tax of 20,000 Rx Dollars a Year for permission to wear their hair cued.
Besides what I have already mentioned those industrious rogues, are subject to many more exactions.
The Chinese are subject to a sett Officers, appointed by the Governor
& Council, who are Chinese & previously chosen by that People;
they are called Captains & Lieutenants, & hear all complaints,
& their sentence is decisive,
even in cases of life &
death but cases of property above a certain Sum, & all
felonies, are taken cognisance of by the Fiscal & Court of
The police established among them is so very good, (that except in cases of property) the Fiscal or Justices are seldom troubled with a Chinese criminel, They trade to every part of India, & the Number of large Junks, which arrive
annually from China is between 30 & 40. It is remarkable that the Chinese are the only strangers which are not affected, by the unhealthiness of this place, much may be said in favor of their temperance & regular manner of living, but one would imagine that the Close manner in which a number of them live together, could not fail to produce disease, but it certainly does not.
The Roads or rather, handsome Avenues which lead from the different
Avenues gates of the City, are lined with Buildings
where Nature & Art has been exhausted to render them Elegant &
Commodious beyond description, Each house has a large garden, in which an
equal degree of Elegance & Convenience is observed
as there is in the Magnificent piles which they surround. These houses
are inhabited by the principal people of Batavia, where they pass most of
their time, & those among them, who have no inducement to return to
Europe & who enjoy their health, may pass their time very
comfortably here. The Government of this Island & all the Dutch possessions in India, is lodged in the Governor General, who is assisted by a number of Counsellors, who are called Counsellors of India or Edele Heerens, There must be 12 of those Concellers resident at Batavia, but the number is not fixed; at this time there is one who governs at each of the following places. i.e. Cochin, Ceylon, Macasser, & at the Emperors Court at
Samarre on Java; where I am told 400 European Cavalry are kept, to do honour, to the Emperor of Java ----- The Council meets every tuesday & friday in the Council room, in the Castle, The General presides, but if prevented by ill health &c. the Director General presides, who as well as the Edele Heerens are received into the Castle & conducted to the Council room with great pomp & Ceremony: Every subject relating to the Civil & Military Government, Commerce, & every other concern of the Company, is transacted by this Council; But the Governor General has a plenary power, to put into Execution any measure he may judge necessary for the Good of the Company,
The present Governor General whose name is William Arnold Alting, has been resident upwards of thirty Years at Batavia, Eleven of which he has been Governor General; I am told in his private Character he is a very respectable & amiable character, but how any Man possessed of common feelings can suffer such humiliations, from those around him, I cannot conceive; When any person approaches the general to speak to him, his behaviour & address must be the most abject imaginable, & the respect & profound submission which every servant of the Company & inhabitant must necessarily assume when speaking to him, is little short of the adoration paid to the Divinity
[The adoration if I may be allowed the term is carried to so great a height, that on the General or an Idoleer entering the Church (altho’ the Congregation may be at prayers) Yet every person in the Church is obliged to get up & face him, untill he is seated in his seat, bowing as he passes.]
The difference paid to the Several ranks, is not confined to Carriages &c. but extends to the Clouthing of Individuals, No person under the rank of an Edele heeren is permitted to wear Velvet. A Number of other distinctions in dress equally as ridiculous, is now wearing away. A very few Years ago the Women were strictly forbid wearing any European dress & to conform to the Malay Costume –
At the time I was in Batavia there were only five European Women on the Island of Java, the rest being born of Malay or Creole Mothers, & it is really distressing to see, how much they affect the manners of their Malay slaves, in chewing Beetle &c.
Their dress is a loose White or flowered Muslin, Robe, which is open & large, reaching to the wrists & neck. but if the adjustment of their Garments do not take up much time at their toilets, the arranging of their hair makes sufficient amends for it. They have in general very thick, long black hair, which is gathered into a knot, on the back part of the head, & is so nicely combed, that there is not a hair out of its place, round this
is a wreath of Diamonds, which according to the wearers circumstances or vanity, is more or less valuable
In the Evenings a large wreath of Jassamine is also put round the knot, which gives a very agreeable perfume, Not more than two Women at Batavia could speak any other language than Dutch or Malay the former of which they talk very imperfectly, always preferring Malay.
The office of Shebander is a principal one in this place, & is a situation of much profit, No stranger can transact the least business without his permisision, the exports & Imports are entirely regulated by him, Every boat which goes into the road pay’s him a certain sum, he also regulates & Comptrolls the Chinese, in the receipt of Duties
His post is very laborious, but very lucrative ------- 19,000 Pekul of Tin is brought every Year from Palambam or Sumatra, to the Companys Stores on Onrust; which is sent in their Ships to China. The Company sends, annually to Europe from hence - Pepper - 20,000 Pekul, for which they pay on an average 2 Stivers & half a pound & sell it in Europe for 14 Stivers a pound ---
Coffee 200,000 Pekul* at 2 Styvers & ½ a pound, which is
sold in Holland at 10 Styvers a lb.
*equal 130 lbs.
Onrust is a very small Island,about a quarter of a mile in circuit, & is about 2½ Leagues from Batavia, here the Companys Ships refit & heave down, there being very good Wharfs for that purpose
at which five Ships may heave down at a time here are also large Machines for dismasting Ships. Small as this Island is there are generally from 5 to 600 people on it of which Number 100 are European Carpenters, Excepting the Officers & a few other Europeans the rest are Slaves, the Baas or Master Carpenter is the Commandant of the Island.
An Under Merchant is also resident here to receive & take care of the Tin, Pepper, & Coffee which is brought into the Companys Stores here, from Sumatra & different parts of Borneo & Java, Onrust as well as Huyfer, ( which is of the same size & quite close together) is surrounded by Guns, On Onrust there is a kind of Citadel
but no troops are kept on it, In the War, the Carpenters were trained to the use of Great Guns.
It is supposed that Onrust is healthyer than Batavia, It may be so, but when I say that 20 Men are constantly employed making Coffins for those who die on this Island, it cannot be supposed to have a very healthy scite.
During the time I stayed at Batavia I lived at the Hotel, which was the Governor Generals house, at the time Capt Cooke was here, it is a large & spacious building divided into two parts, one of which is occupied by Strangers, & the other by Dutch, As every person who is a Stranger, is obliged to live at this Hotel, the terms are three Rex dollars a
day, for which the Lodging is good, & a well furnished table is provided - I cannot help saying that I received the Greatest Attention & Civility from many of the first people at Batavia, who not content with having showed me every civility in their power during my stay there, extended their civilities to me after my departure from Batavia.
The Snelheid a packet of 140 Tons belonging to the Company arrived at Onrust on the 21st July, I made application to the Governor & Council for a passage in that Vessell
The Captain of the Packet was ordered to receive me, for which I paid 190 Rx Dollars into the Companys Chest, The Order to the Captain specified
that in consideration of that Sum being paid, I was to have a passage to Europe in the Snelheid, & to be accomodated & victualled as a Sailer; I therefore found myself necessitated to make a further agreement with the Captain for the use of half his Cabbin, (Mr Andrew Millar late Commissary of Stores & Provisions at Port Jackson having the other half) for which I was to pay him three Hundred Rix dollars & my proportion of what provisions were lay’n in by him above what the Company allowed.
Being informed that the packet would be dispatched in a very few days, I went from Batavia to Onrust to be in readiness, Lieut.t Ball expected to sail
on the 8th August for Port Jackson. The Snow which he had taken up would also be dispatched on the 24th August ---
The Captain of the Packet, having received his orders &c. We sailed from Onrust on the 4th & in the Evening of 5th we were clear of the Straits of Sunda. It was now that the pestifirous air of Batavia began to show itself, for the Vessell had not been five days at Sea, before Six Men were taken Ill with the putrid Fever, & very soon after the Captain, his two Mates, & all the people except 4, were incapabable of getting out of their Beds, & what aggravated the horror of this situation was, that the Surgeon, who knew
very little of his profession, was so ill that he could not help himself, In this situation I found it necessary to use means for self preservation, & having obtained the consent of the Captain (who was not delirious) & the Chief Mate, I spoke to the only four men who were well, & represented to them that going below w.d subject them to the Infection, & that I should never go below but on very extraordinary occasions when I should use every precaution against an infection, that the preservations of our lives, & the Vessell, with the recovery of those who were sick, depended on their conforming to my orders, & that I would with good assistance, not only preserve them in health, but that we would get the
Vessell into a Port, They promised an implicit obedience to my orders, & I began by making a tent on the after part of the Quarter deck to lye under, I had great difficulty to make them relinquish the drams of new arrack, of which they got ten a day; but this was effected & in lieu I gave each man three large Wine Glasses of Port Wine with two tea spoons full of Bark in each, fortunatelly I had a small provision of those articles, as there was not any medecine onboard.
Three Men are now dead with the putrid fever, their faces being covered with purple spots, I ordered them to be lashed up in their hammock’s & hove over board with all their Cloaths &c, making those who performed that Office wash themselves very freely with Vinegar & plug their nose with Tobacco, The Captain
was now delirious, as was most of those who were sick
Latitude 14°:20’ So
Longitude 94°:12’ E.t
On the 12th I gained the Captain & Chief Mates Consent to bear up for the Isle of France when we should get into the Latitude of it, The Chief Mates Complaint terminating in an intermitting fever, I prevailed on him to lye under the Tent, & by a plentifull administration of Bark & Port Wine, he was able to keep a day Watch,
My Friend & Companion Mr. Millar was taken ill The Captain & most of his people were dying, not having had any medecine administred to them since their Illness, three or four among them of a Strong Constitution were in a state of raving madness, uttering dreadfull imprecations against the Doctor.
I was obliged to order those unhappy wretches who died a few days after, to be lashed to their hammock to prevent them wreaking their vengeance on the Surgeon,
Latitude 18°:46’ So
Longitude by [sun] & [moon] 80°:59 E.t
After some persuasion the Chief Mate consented to bear up for the Isle of France. It may be thought strange that he could hesitate in the Situation the Vessell was in, but going to the Isle of France did not destroy those hopes he formed, when he objected
going to bearing up,
between the 12th & 27th, five Men died, & on the 28th, Mr. Miller
died, the whole having a most malignant putrid fever. On the 29th we made
the Island of Mauritius, & Anchored the same day at the entrance of
the NW.t Harbour. The Captain & three Men
died as they were carrying on shore,
Most providentially we had a succession of the finest Weather & the fairest Winds we could have wished, from the time we left the Straits of Sunda untill our arrival at the Isle of France, & what was a great consolation to us was, that the Vessell was perfectly tight;
From the direction of the Wind being at S.E., all Vessells going to the N.W. harbour, must luff close round the Gunners Quoin, & haul over for the Island, taking care to avoid the reefs, with which the Shoar is lined & on which the Surf breaks with great violence, A Continuation of Forts & Batteries
Extend from the Harbours Mouth as far to the East.d as it
is possible for any Vessell to fetch; Independant of these forts Landing
here must be attended with much danger, from the constant Surf there is
on these reefs; As the Wind always blows out of the Harbour, Every
Vessell is obliged to Warp in, No foreign Vessell ought to touch at this
Island during the Hurricane Months +, as the harbour cannot afford
+October November December
more than Six or eight Vessells. In 1788 six large Ships were Wrecked in the Harbour, At this time there were lying in the harbour, La Thetis of 38 Guns Commanded by Compte M.r Nemarra, Chef de Division, La Nymphe 38 Guns, Le Compte de Fourneaux Chef de division, Le Meduse 38 Guns Le Compte de Rossilly. 3 Americans & a great number of French
Merchant ships, The revolution of this Island which had taken place about 3 Weeks since, was attended with great excesses by the people, who carried Le Compte M.r nemarre to the Gallows, where he was near being executed. The Governor Le Compte De Conway, had resigned his Government to a Monsieur de Coussigny, Commandant of Bourbon, who arrived here three days ago. Monsieur de Conway waits the Equipment of La Nymphe Frigate in which Ship he returns to France.
The Town of Port Louis is large & covers a deal of Ground, but the houses are in general paltry buildings, here are large Stores, & every thing necessary for the Equipment of Fleets, The Number of Inhabitants on the Island exclusive
of the Military is about 8000, & Blacks 12,000.
Fresh provisions i.e. Butchers Meat is very scarce here, what there is costs 20 sous a lb but Turtle is procured from S.t Branden & sold at a much cheaper rate. The General object of Cultivation on this Island is the Indigo, of which from 4 to 5 crops a Year is got, one [?] Sent to Europe last Year 30,000 lb. It is of a very Superior Quality, Attempts have been made to rear the Cochineal As the Island abounds with the plant which the Insects lye on but a small Bird destroys the Insect. The Soil of this Island is little superior to that of Port Jackson, at a distance of three Leagues from the port is Le Gardin du Roi, which is
taken great care of. A Gardner is kept here at the Kings Expence who rears plants &c & distributes them Gratis to the Colonists, this Year the following plants were to be distributed to those who chose to ask for them –
[Table not transcribed]
I cannot omit mentioning the great civilities I received from Messieurs De Conway, M.r Nemarre, Fourneaux, Rossilly & in short all the respectable People here, who all did their utmost to persuade me to take my passage in Le Nymphe Frigate, Monsieur de Fourneaux, very civilly offered me half his Cabbin & no inducement was wanting to make me accept it, added to the probability of the Fever not being totally eradicated in the Packet, But as I heard of a mis-understanding between England & Spain, I thought it my duty to remain where I was I mention this circumstance for no other reason than to express my Gratitude to the above Officers for their attention to me during my Short stay at this Island.
The packet being thoroughly cleansed, & a fresh Crew (composed of all Nations) entered, we sailed on the 21st September having only 4 onboard, which came from Batavia in the Vessell out of 26. the rest being dead & left at the Hospital with little hopes of a recovery.
Nothing particular happned During our passage from the Isle of France untill our arrival at the Cape of Good hope on the 9th of October, I found Lieut.t Riou here waiting for orders from England.
As I understood that all Vessells belonging to the Dutch Company were strictly forbid stopping at any port, or having Communication with any Vessells during their passage from the Cape, to Amsterdam; I wrote a Letter to Mr. Van de Graaff the Dutch Governor representing my
being charged with despatches, & requesting that the Captain might be permitted to heave the Vessell too, off the most convenient Port in the English Channell in order to land me with the despatches; this he very readily granted, giving the Captain an Order for that purpose, & furnishing me with a Copy of the order, Five large French Ships, put in here, from the East Coast of Africa, loaded with Slaves, & bound to the West Indies. On the 20th La Nymphe French Frigate arrived from the Isle de France, & the same day the Packet sailed.
On the 2nd November, we passed the Island of S.t Helena with a Strong Gale at S.E. & on the 7th we saw the Island of Ascencion & crossed the Equator in Longitude 20°:18’ West of London
The SE Trade carried us as far as 5° North Latitude when we got the N E trade, which did not come to the Eastward of NE untill we got near the Western Islands. On the 29th we were in Latitude 28°:40’ North Longitude by Account 34°:06’ W.t I took 26 very good distances of the [sun] & [moon] nearest limits, & 10 Distances of * Pollux from the Moon, the result of which gives the Longitude 41°:18’ which is 7°: 12’ to the Westward of account, but this Error is not to be wondered at, when it is December
recollected that there is neither log line or Glass onboard the Vessell, The distance being estimated by guess. On the 7th We Spoke an American from Virginia bound to Lisbon, his Longitude by Account, is 33°:06’ W.t & ours by & is 31°:32’ Wt
We now got a Gentle Breeze at WSW. which kept gradually increasing, On the 11th I took
I took 10 very good distances of the [sun] & [moon] nearest limbs the result of which gave the Longitude 23°:49’ Wt.The Longitude brought on from the observations on the 29th Nov.r is 23°:17’: The Error of Run, or Observations between the two dates is 0:23‘ ---- On the 12th it blew a heavy Gale of Wind & a high following Sea running.