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The First Fleet was a fleet of 11
ships A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep Sea lane, waterways, carrying goods or passengers, or in support of specialized missions, such as defense, research, and fishing. Ships are generally disti ...

ships
that brought the first European settlers to
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
. It was made up of two
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
vessels, three store ships and six convict transports. On 13 May 1787 the fleet under the command of Captain
Arthur Phillip Admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the highest rank. In the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth nations and the United States, a "full" admiral is equivalent to a "full" general officer ...

Arthur Phillip
, with over 1400 people (
convicts A convict is "a person found Guilt (law), guilty of a crime and Sentence (law), sentenced by a court" or "a person serving a sentence in prison". Convicts are often also known as "prisoners" or "inmates" or by the slang term "con", while a common ...
,
marines Marines, or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate in Littoral Zone, littoral zones in support of naval operations. Historically, tasks undertaken by marines have included helping maintain discipline and order aboard th ...
,
sailor A sailor, seaman, mariner, or seafarer is a person who works aboard a watercraft Watercraft, also known as water vessels or waterborne vessels, are vehicles used in water, including boats, ship A ship is a large watercraft that travel ...

sailor
s, civil officers and free settlers), left from
Portsmouth Portsmouth ( ) is a and island with status in the of , southern . It is the most densely populated city in the , with a population last recorded at 238,800. The city forms part of the , which also incorporates , , , , , and . Located mainly ...

Portsmouth
,
England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east and the to the south. The country cover ...

England
and took a journey of over and over 250 days to eventually arrive in
Botany Bay Botany Bay (: ''Kamay''), an open ic embayment, is located in , , , south of the . Its source is the of the at and the at , which flows to the east before meeting its at the , midpoint between the suburbs of and . The northern headland ...
,
New South Wales New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...
, where a
penal colony A penal colony or exile colony is a settlement used to exile prisoners and separate them from the general population by placing them in a remote location, often an island or distant colonial territory. Although the term can be used to refer to ...
would become the first European settlement in Australia.


History

Lord Sandwich
Lord Sandwich
, together with the President of the
Royal Society The Royal Society, formally The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, is a learned society and the United Kingdom's national academy of sciences. Founded on 28 November 1660, it was granted a royal charter by Charles II of ...
, Sir
Joseph Banks Sir Joseph Banks, 1st Baronet, (19 June 1820) was an English Natural history, naturalist, botanist, and patron of the natural sciences. Banks made his name on the 1766 natural-history expedition to Newfoundland and Labrador. He took part in ...
, the eminent scientist who had accompanied Lieutenant
James Cook Captain Captain is a title for the commander of a military unit, the commander of a ship, aeroplane, spacecraft, or other vessel, or the commander of a port, fire department or police department, election precinct, etc. The captain is a milit ...

James Cook
on his 1770 voyage, was advocating establishment of a British colony in
Botany Bay Botany Bay (: ''Kamay''), an open ic embayment, is located in , , , south of the . Its source is the of the at and the at , which flows to the east before meeting its at the , midpoint between the suburbs of and . The northern headland ...
,
New South Wales New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...
. Banks accepted an offer of assistance from the American
Loyalist Loyalism, in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. ...
James Matra James Mario Matra (174629 March 1806), sailor and diplomat, was an American-born midshipman on the voyage by James Cook to Botany Bay in 1770. He was the first person of Corsican heritage to visit the future nation of Australia. Biography His fath ...
in July 1783. Under Banks's guidance, he rapidly produced "A Proposal for Establishing a Settlement in New South Wales" (24 August 1783), with a fully developed set of reasons for a colony composed of American Loyalists, Chinese and South Sea Islanders (but not convicts). The decision to establish a colony in Australia was made by Thomas Townshend, Lord Sydney, Secretary of State for the Home Office. This was taken for two reasons: the ending of transportation of criminals to North America following the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colo ...
, as well as the need for a base in the
Pacific The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. ...

Pacific
to counter French expansion. In September 1786, Captain
Arthur Phillip Admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the highest rank. In the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth nations and the United States, a "full" admiral is equivalent to a "full" general officer ...

Arthur Phillip
was appointed
Commodore Commodore may refer to: Ranks * Commodore (rank) Commodore is a senior naval rank used in many navies which is equivalent to brigadier and air commodore that is superior to a navy captain, but below a rear admiral. It is either regarded as ...
of the fleet, which came to be known as the First Fleet, which was to transport the convicts and soldiers to establish a colony at Botany Bay. Upon arrival there, Phillip was to assume the powers of
Captain General Captain general (and its literal equivalent in several languages) is a high military rank of general officer grade, and a Governor, gubernatorial title. History The term "Captain General" started to appear in the 14th century, with the meaning of ...
and Governor in Chief of the new
colony In political science, a colony is a territory subject to a form of foreign rule. Though dominated by the foreign colonizers, colonies remain separate from the administration of the original country of the colonizers, the ''metropole, metropol ...
. A subsidiary colony was to be founded on
Norfolk Island Norfolk Island (, ; Norfuk language, Norfuk: ''Norf'k Ailen'') is an States and territories of Australia, external territory of Australia located in the Pacific Ocean between New Zealand and New Caledonia, directly east of Australia's Evans ...
, as recommended by Sir John Call and Sir George Young, to take advantage for naval purposes of that island's native flax ( harakeke) and timber. The cost to Britain of outfitting and despatching the Fleet was £84,000 (about £9.6 million, or $19.6 million as of 2015).


Ships


Royal Naval escort

On 25 October 1786 the 20 gun , lying in the dock at Deptford, was commissioned, and the command given to Phillip. The armed tender under command of Lieutenant
Henry Lidgbird Ball Rear-Admiral of the Blue, Rear-Admiral Henry Lidgbird Ball (1756–1818) was a Royal Navy officer, best known for discovering and exploring Lord Howe Island. Early life The son of George Ball, gentleman, and his wife Lucy Stringer (name), Stringe ...
was also commissioned to join the expedition. On 15 December, Captain John Hunter was assigned as second captain to ''Sirius'' to command in the absence of Phillip, whose presence, it was to be supposed, would be requisite at all times wherever the seat of government in that country might be fixed.


HMS ''Sirius''

''Sirius'' was Phillip’s
flagship A flagship is a vessel used by the commanding officer The commanding officer (CO) or sometimes, if the incumbent is a general officer A general officer is an officer of high rank in the armies, and in some nations' air forces, spac ...
for the fleet. She had been converted from the merchantman ''Berwick'', built in 1780 for
Baltic Baltic may refer to: Geography Northern Europe * Baltic Sea, a sea in Europe * Baltic region, an ambiguous term referring to the general area surrounding the Baltic Sea * Baltic states (also Baltics, Baltic nations, Baltic countries or Baltic rep ...

Baltic
trade. She was a 520 ton, sixth-rate vessel, originally armed with ten guns, four six-pounders and six carronades, Phillip had ten more guns placed aboard.


HMS ''Supply''

''Supply'' was designed in 1759 by shipwright Thomas Slade, as a
yard craft A yard craft is a vessel which performs utility work in a shipyard. Typically, these included tugs, coalers and other supply ships. Smaller ships no longer suitable for active service are sometimes used. See also * Admiralty Yard Craft Service Ref ...
for the ferrying of naval supplies. Measuring 170 tons, she had two masts, and was fitted with four small 3-pounder cannons and six -pounder swivel guns. Her armament was substantially increased in 1786 with the addition of four 12-pounder carronades.


Convict transports


Food and supply transports

Ropes,
crockery upright=1.3, Table laid for six at the Royal Castle, Warsaw, (18th-19th century fashion) Tableware are the dishes or dishware used for setting a table, serving food and dining. It includes cutlery Cutlery includes any hand implement used i ...
, agricultural equipment and a miscellany of other stores were needed. Items transported included tools, agricultural implements, seeds, spirits, medical supplies, bandages, surgical instruments, handcuffs, leg irons and a prefabricated wooden frame for the colony's first Government House. The party had to rely on its own provisions to survive until it could make use of local materials, assuming suitable supplies existed, and grow its own food and raise livestock.


''Golden Grove''

The reverend
Richard JohnsonRichard Johnson or Dick Johnson may refer to: Academics * Dick Johnson (academic) (1929–2019), Australian academic * Richard C. Johnson (1930–2003), professor of electrical engineering * Richard A. Johnson, artist and professor at the Universit ...
, chaplain for the colony, travelled on the ''Golden Grove'' with his wife and servants.


Legacy

Scale models of all the ships are on display at the
Museum of Sydney The Museum of Sydney is a historical collection and exhibit, built on the ruins of the house of New South Wales' first Governor, Arthur Phillip Admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the hi ...

Museum of Sydney
. The models were built by ship makers Lynne and Laurie Hadley, after researching the original plans, drawings and British archives. The replicas of ''Supply'', ''Charlotte'', ''Scarborough'', ''Friendship'', ''Prince of Wales'', ''Lady Penrhyn'', ''Borrowdale'', ''Alexander'', ''Sirius'', ''Fishburn'' and ''Golden Grove'' are made from Western Red or Syrian Cedar. Nine Sydney harbour ferries built in the mid-1980s are named after First Fleet vessels. The unused names are '' Lady Penrhyn'' and ''Prince of Wales''.


People

The majority of the people travelling with the fleet were convicts, all having been tried and convicted in
Great Britain Great Britain is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll (), ...

Great Britain
, almost all of them in England. Many are known to have come to England from other parts of Great Britain and, especially, from Ireland; at least 14 are known to have come from the British colonies in North America; 12 are identified as black (born in Britain, Africa, the West Indies, North America, India or a European country or its colony). The convicts had committed a variety of crimes, including theft, perjury, fraud, assault, robbery, for which they had variously been sentenced to death, which was then commuted to
penal transportation Penal transportation or transportation was the relocation of convict A convict is "a person found guilty Guilty or The Guilty may refer to: * Guilt (emotion), an experience that occurs when a person believes they have violated a moral st ...
for 7 years, 14 years, or the term of their natural life. Four companies of marines volunteered for service in the colony, these marines made up the
New South Wales Marine Corps The New South Wales Marine Corps (1786–1792) was an ad hoc volunteer unit that the British Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populo ...
, under the command of Major
Robert RossRobert Ross may refer to: Academia * Robert Ross (entrepreneur) (1918–2011), founder of Ross University * Robert J. S. Ross (born 1943), American professor of sociology and activist * Robert S. Ross (born 1954), American professor of political sc ...
, a detachment on board every convict transport. The families of marines also made the voyage. A number of people on the First Fleet kept diaries and journals of their experiences, including the surgeons, sailors, officers, soldiers, and ordinary seamen. There are at least eleven known manuscript
Journals of the First Fleet There are 20 known contemporary accounts of the First Fleet The First Fleet comprised the 11 Age of sail, ships that departed from Portsmouth, England on 13 May 1787 to New South Wales, the penal colony that became the first European settlem ...
in existence as well as some letters. The exact number of people directly associated with the First Fleet will likely never be established, as accounts of the event vary slightly. A total of 1,420 people have been identified as embarking on the First Fleet in 1787, and 1,373 are believed to have landed at Sydney Cove in January 1788. In her biographical dictionary of the First Fleet, Mollie Gillen gives the following statistics: While the names of all crew members of ''Sirius'' and ''Supply'' are known, the six transports and three store ships may have carried as many as 110 more seamen than have been identified – no complete musters have survived for these ships. The total number of persons embarking on the First Fleet would, therefore, be approximately 1,530 with about 1,483 reaching Sydney Cove. According to the first census of 1788 as reported by Governor Phillip to Lord Sydney, the white population of the colony was 1,030 and the colony also consisted of 7 horses, 29 sheep, 74 swine, 6 rabbits, and 7 cattle. The following statistics were provided by Governor Phillip: The chief surgeon for the First Fleet, John White, reported a total of 48 deaths and 28 births during the voyage. The deaths during the voyage included one marine, one marine's wife, one marine's child, 36 male convicts, four female convicts, and five children of convicts.


Notable members of First Fleet


Officials

* Captain
Arthur Phillip Admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the highest rank. In the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth nations and the United States, a "full" admiral is equivalent to a "full" general officer ...

Arthur Phillip
, R.N,
Governor of New South Wales The governor of New South Wales is the viceregal A viceroy () is an official who runs a polity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of institut ...
* Major
Robert RossRobert Ross may refer to: Academia * Robert Ross (entrepreneur) (1918–2011), founder of Ross University * Robert J. S. Ross (born 1943), American professor of sociology and activist * Robert S. Ross (born 1954), American professor of political sc ...
,
Lieutenant Governor A lieutenant governor, lieutenant-governor, or vice governor is a high officer of state, whose precise role and rank vary by jurisdiction. Often a lieutenant governor is the deputy, or lieutenant A lieutenant ( or abbreviated Lt., Lt, LT, L ...
and commander of the
marines Marines, or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate in Littoral Zone, littoral zones in support of naval operations. Historically, tasks undertaken by marines have included helping maintain discipline and order aboard th ...
* Captain
David CollinsDavid Collins may refer to: Sports * David Collins (Hampshire cricketer), 18th-century cricketer associated with Hampshire * David Collins (New Zealand cricketer) (1887–1967), played for Wellington and Cambridge University * David Collins (Scottis ...
,
Judge Advocate The Judge Advocate General's Corps, also known as JAG or JAG Corps, is the military justice Military justice (also military law) is the legal system (bodies of law and procedure) that governs the conduct of the Active duty, active-duty pers ...
* Augustus Alt,
Surveyor Surveying or land surveying is the technique, profession, art, and science of determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional positions of points and the distances and angles between them. A land surveying professional is called a land surveyo ...

Surveyor
* John White, Principal Surgeon *
William Balmain William Balmain (2 February 1762 – 17 November 1803) was a Scottish-born naval surgeon and civil administrator who sailed as an assistant surgeon with the First Fleet The First Fleet comprised the 11 Age of sail, ships that departed from P ...
, assistant Surgeon *
Richard JohnsonRichard Johnson or Dick Johnson may refer to: Academics * Dick Johnson (academic) (1929–2019), Australian academic * Richard C. Johnson (1930–2003), professor of electrical engineering * Richard A. Johnson, artist and professor at the Universit ...
, chaplain


Soldiers

* Lieutenant George Johnston * Captain
Watkin Tench Lieutenant General Lieutenant general (Lt Gen, LTG and similar) is a three-star rank, three-star military rank (NATO code OF-8) used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages, where the title of lieutenant general was ...

Watkin Tench
* Lieutenant
William Dawes William Dawes Jr. (April 6, 1745 – February 25, 1799) was one of several men who in April 1775 alerted Thirteen Colonies, colonial Minutemen (militia), minutemen in Massachusetts of the approach of British army troops prior to the Battles o ...
* Lieutenant
Ralph Clark Lieutenant (navy), Lieutenant Ralph Clark (30 March 1755 or 1762 – June 1794) was a British officer in the Royal Marines, best known for his diary spanning the early years of History of Australia (1788–1850)#Colonisation and convictism, Briti ...

Ralph Clark


Sailors

* Captain John Hunter, commander of HMS ''Sirius'' * Lieutenant
Henry Lidgbird Ball Rear-Admiral of the Blue, Rear-Admiral Henry Lidgbird Ball (1756–1818) was a Royal Navy officer, best known for discovering and exploring Lord Howe Island. Early life The son of George Ball, gentleman, and his wife Lucy Stringer (name), Stringe ...
, commander of HMS ''Supply'' * Lieutenant William Bradley, 1st lieutenant of HMS ''Sirius'' * Lieutenant
Philip Gidley King Captain (Royal Navy), Captain Philip Gidley King (23 April 1758 – 3 September 1808) was the third Governor of New South Wales. When the First Fleet arrived in January 1788, King was detailed to colonise Norfolk Island for defence and foraging ...
, commandant of
Norfolk Island Norfolk Island (, ; Norfuk language, Norfuk: ''Norf'k Ailen'') is an States and territories of Australia, external territory of Australia located in the Pacific Ocean between New Zealand and New Caledonia, directly east of Australia's Evans ...
*
Arthur Bowes Smyth Arthur Bowes Smyth (23 August 175031 March 1790) was a naval officer and surgeon on the First Fleet The First Fleet comprised the 11 Age of sail, ships that departed from Portsmouth, England on 13 May 1787 to New South Wales, the penal colo ...
, ship’s surgeon on ''Lady Penrhyn'' * Lieutenant
John Shortland John Shortland (1769–1810) was a naval officer, the eldest son of John Shortland (Royal Navy officer), John Shortland.John Shortland John Shortland (1769–1810) was a naval officer, the eldest son of John Shortland (Royal Navy officer), John Shortland.Thomas Barrett, first person executed in colony *
Mary Bryant Mary Bryant (1765 – after 1794) was a Cornish Cornish is the adjective and demonym associated with Cornwall, the most southwesterly part of the United Kingdom. It may refer to: * Cornish language, a Brittonic Southwestern Celtic language of ...

Mary Bryant
, with her husband, children and 6 other convicts escaped the colony and eventually returned to England *
John Caesar John Caesar (1764 – 15 February 1796), nicknamed "Black Caesar", was the first Australian bushranger and one of the first black people, people of African descent to arrive in Australia. Biography It is believed that Caesar was born in Madagasc ...
,
bushranger Bushrangers were originally escaped convicts in Australia, convicts in the early years of the History of Australia (1788–1850), British settlement of Australia who used The bush#Australia, the bush as a refuge to hide from the authorities. B ...
* Henry Kable, businessman * James Martin, was part of the escape with Mary Bryant, wrote autobiography *
James Ruse James Ruse (9 August 17595 September 1837) was a Cornish farmer who, at the age of 23, was convicted of burglary Burglary, also called breaking and entering and sometimes housebreaking, is illegally entering a building or other areas to c ...
, farmer, one of the only ones in the colony at its establishment * Robert Sidaway, baker, opened the first theatre in
Sydney Sydney ( ; Dharug The Darug or Dharug people are an Aboriginal Australian people, who share strong ties of kinship and, in Colonial Australia, pre-colonial times, survived as skilled hunters in family groups or clans, scattered througho ...

Sydney
*
James Squire James Squire, alternatively known as James Squires, (18 December 1754 – 16 May 1822) was a First Fleet The First Fleet comprised the 11 Age of sail, ships that departed from Portsmouth, England on 13 May 1787 to New South Wales, the penal ...
, brewer


Voyage


Preparing the fleet

In September 1786 Captain
Arthur Phillip Admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the highest rank. In the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth nations and the United States, a "full" admiral is equivalent to a "full" general officer ...

Arthur Phillip
was chosen to lead the expedition to establish a colony in
New South Wales New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...
. On 15 December, Captain John Hunter, was appointed Phillip’s second. By now had been nominated as flagship, with Hunter holding command. The armed tender under command of Lieutenant
Henry Lidgbird Ball Rear-Admiral of the Blue, Rear-Admiral Henry Lidgbird Ball (1756–1818) was a Royal Navy officer, best known for discovering and exploring Lord Howe Island. Early life The son of George Ball, gentleman, and his wife Lucy Stringer (name), Stringe ...
had also joined the fleet. With Phillip in
London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerc ...

London
awaiting Royal Assent for the bill of management of the colony, the loading and provisioning of the transports was carried out by Lieutenant
John Shortland John Shortland (1769–1810) was a naval officer, the eldest son of John Shortland (Royal Navy officer), John Shortland.Mother Bank,
Isle of Wight The Isle of Wight () is a Counties of England, county and the List of islands of England, largest and second-most populous island of England. It is in the English Channel, between two and five miles off the coast of Hampshire, from which it is ...

Isle of Wight
. His Majesty's frigate ''Sirius'' and armed tender ''Supply'', three store-ships, '' Golden Grove'', ''
Fishburn Fishburn is a village and civil parish in County Durham, in England. It is situated about 12 miles west of Hartlepool. It had a population of 2,454, increasing to 2,588 at the 2011 Census. Location The village lies scattered along a dry swell o ...
'' and ''
Borrowdale Borrowdale is a valley and civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of Parish (administrative division), administrative parish used for Local government in England, local government. It is a territorial designation which is th ...
'', for carrying provisions and stores for two years; and lastly, six transports; '' Scarborough'' and '' Lady Penrhyn'', from
Portsmouth Portsmouth ( ) is a and island with status in the of , southern . It is the most densely populated city in the , with a population last recorded at 238,800. The city forms part of the , which also incorporates , , , , , and . Located mainly ...

Portsmouth
; ''
Friendship Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection Affection or fondness is a "disposition A disposition is a quality of character, a habit A habit (or wont as a humorous and formal term) is a routine of behavior Behavior (America ...
'' and ''
Charlotte Charlotte ( ) is the most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city, as not all cities in all jurisdictions are classified using the same criteria. Cities may be defined as the city proper, cities p ...
'', from
Plymouth Plymouth () is a port city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: ...

Plymouth
; ''
Prince of Wales Prince of Wales ( cy, Tywysog Cymru, ) is a title traditionally and ceremonially granted to the heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line o ...
'', and ''
Alexander Alexander is a male given name. The most prominent bearer of the name is Alexander the Great, the king of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia (ancient kingdom), Macedonia who created one of the largest empires in ancient history. Etymology T ...
'', from
Woolwich Woolwich () is a district in southeast The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydros ...
. On 9 May Captain Phillip arrived in Portsmouth, the next day coming aboard the ships and give orders to prepare the fleet for departure.


Leaving Portsmouth

Phillip first tried to get the fleet to sail on 10 May, but a dispute by sailors of the ''Fishburn'' about pay, they refused to leave until resolved. The fleet finally left Portsmouth, England on 13 May 1787. The journey began with fine weather, and thus the convicts were allowed on deck.Frost 2012, pp.165–167 The Fleet was accompanied by the armed frigate until it left English waters.Parker 2009, pp.77–78 On 20 May 1787, one convict on ''Scarborough'' reported a planned mutiny; those allegedly involved were flogged and two were transferred to ''Prince of Wales''. In general, however, most accounts of the voyage agree that the convicts were well behaved. On 3 June 1787, the fleet anchored at
Santa Cruz Santa Cruz (or Santacruz) is a Spanish language, Spanish or Portuguese language, Portuguese term meaning "holy cross" and referring to the Christian cross, cross on which Crucifixion of Jesus, Jesus was crucified. Santa Cruz may also refer to: Pl ...
at
Tenerife Tenerife (; ; formerly spelled ''Teneriffe'') is the largest and most populous island of the Canary Islands The Canary Islands (; es, Canarias, ), also known informally as the Canaries, are a Spanish archipelago An archipelago ( ) ...

Tenerife
. Here, fresh water, vegetables and meat were brought on board. Phillip and the chief officers were entertained by the local governor, while one convict tried unsuccessfully to escape. On 10 June they set sail to cross the Atlantic to
Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro (; ), or simply Rio, is the List of largest cities in Brazil, second-most populous city in Brazil and the Largest cities in the Americas, sixth-most populous in the Americas. Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the Rio de Janeiro (s ...

Rio de Janeiro
, taking advantage of favourable
trade wind The trade winds or easterlies are the permanent east-to-west prevailing winds that flow in the Earth's equatorial region. The trade winds blow mainly from the northeast in the Northern Hemisphere The Northern Hemisphere is the half of E ...
s and ocean currents. The weather became increasingly hot and humid as the Fleet sailed through the tropics. Vermin, such as rats, and parasites such as bedbugs,
lice Louse (plural: lice) is the common name for members of the clade A clade (), also known as a monophyletic group or natural group, is a group of organisms that are monophyly, monophyletic – that is, composed of a common ancestor and al ...

lice
, cockroaches and fleas, tormented the convicts, officers and marines.
Bilge The bilge of a ship or boat is the part of the hull that would rest on the ground if the vessel were unsupported by water. The "turn of the bilge" is the transition from the bottom of a hull Hull may refer to: Structures * Chassis, of an armo ...

Bilge
s became foul and the smell, especially below the closed hatches, was over-powering.Parker 2009, pp.87–89 While Phillip gave orders that the bilge-water was to be pumped out daily and the bilges cleaned, these orders were not followed on ''Alexander'' and a number of convicts fell sick and died. Tropical rainstorms meant that the convicts could not exercise on deck as they had no change of clothes and no method of drying wet clothing. Consequently, they were kept below in the foul, cramped holds. On the female transports, promiscuity between the convicts, the crew and marines was rampant, despite punishments for some of the men involved. In the doldrums, Phillip was forced to ration the water to three pints a day. The Fleet reached Rio de Janeiro on 5 August and stayed for a month. The ships were cleaned and water taken on board, repairs were made, and Phillip ordered large quantities of food. The women convicts' clothing had become infested with lice and was burnt. As additional clothing for the female convicts had not arrived before the Fleet left England, the women were issued with new clothes made from rice sacks. While the convicts remained below deck, the officers explored the city and were entertained by its inhabitants. A convict and a marine were punished for passing forged quarter-dollars made from old buckles and pewter spoons. The Fleet left Rio de Janeiro on 4 September to run before the
westerlies The westerlies, anti-trades, or prevailing westerlies, are prevailing winds In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences which includes atmospheric chemistry and atmospheric physics, with a major focus on weather f ...
to the
Table Bay Table Bay (Afrikaans Alaric speaking Afrikaans. Afrikaans (, ) is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demog ...

Table Bay
in southern Africa, which it reached on 13 October. This was the last port of call, so the main task was to stock up on plants, seeds and livestock for their arrival in Australia.Parker 2009, p.100 The livestock taken on board from
Cape Town Cape Town (Afrikaans: Kaapstad ; Xhosa language, Xhosa: ''iKapa;'') is the second-most populous city in South Africa, after Johannesburg, and also the legislative Capital city, capital of South Africa. Colloquially named the Mother City, it is ...

Cape Town
destined for the new colony included two bulls, seven cows, one stallion, three mares, 44 sheep, 32 pigs, four goats and "a very large quantity of poultry of every kind".Chisholm, Alec H. (ed.), ''The Australian Encyclopaedia'', Vol. 4, p. 72, "First Fleet", Halstead Press, Sydney, 1963 Women convicts on ''Friendship'' were moved to other transports to make room for livestock purchased there. The convicts were provided with fresh beef and mutton, bread and vegetables, to build up their strength for the journey and maintain their health. The Dutch colony of Cape Town was the last outpost of European settlement which the fleet members would see for years, perhaps for the rest of their lives. "Before them stretched the awesome, lonely void of the Indian and Southern Oceans, and beyond that lay nothing they could imagine." Assisted by the gales in the "
Roaring Forties The Roaring Forties are strong westerly winds found in the Southern Hemisphere The Southern Hemisphere is the half (Hemispheres of Earth, hemisphere) of Earth that is south of the Equator. It contains all or parts of five continents (Ant ...
" latitudes below the 40th parallel, the heavily laden transports surged through the violent seas. In the last two months of the voyage, the Fleet faced challenging conditions, spending some days becalmed and on others covering significant distances; ''Friendship'' travelled 166 miles one day, while a seaman was blown from ''Prince of Wales'' at night and drowned.Parker 2009, pp.106–108 Water was rationed as supplies ran low, and the supply of other goods including wine ran out altogether on some vessels.
Van Diemen's Land Van Diemen's Land was the original name of the island of Tasmania during the European exploration of Australia in the 19th century. A British settlement was established in Van Diemen's Land in 1803 before it became a separate colony in 1825. ...
was sighted from ''Friendship'' on 4 January 1788. A freak storm struck as they began to head north around the island, damaging the sails and masts of some of the ships. On 25 November, Phillip had transferred to ''Supply''. With ''Alexander'', ''Friendship'' and ''Scarborough'', the fastest ships in the Fleet, which were carrying most of the male convicts, ''Supply'' hastened ahead to prepare for the arrival of the rest. Phillip intended to select a suitable location, find good water, clear the ground, and perhaps even have some huts and other structures built before the others arrived. This was a planned move, discussed by the Home Office and the Admiralty prior to the Fleet's departure. However, this "flying squadron" reached
Botany Bay Botany Bay (: ''Kamay''), an open ic embayment, is located in , , , south of the . Its source is the of the at and the at , which flows to the east before meeting its at the , midpoint between the suburbs of and . The northern headland ...
only hours before the rest of the Fleet, so no preparatory work was possible. ''Supply'' reached Botany Bay on 18 January 1788; the three fastest transports in the advance group arrived on 19 January; slower ships, including ''Sirius'', arrived on 20 January. This was one of the world's greatest sea voyages – eleven vessels carrying about 1,487 people and stores had travelled for 252 days for more than 15,000 miles (24,000 km) without losing a ship. Forty-eight people died on the journey, a death rate of just over three per cent.


Arrival in Australia

It was soon realised that Botany Bay did not live up to the glowing account that the explorer Captain
James Cook Captain Captain is a title for the commander of a military unit, the commander of a ship, aeroplane, spacecraft, or other vessel, or the commander of a port, fire department or police department, election precinct, etc. The captain is a milit ...

James Cook
had provided. The bay was open and unprotected, the water was too shallow to allow the ships to anchor close to the shore, fresh water was scarce, and the soil was poor. First contact was made with the local indigenous people, the
Eora The Eora (''Yura'') are an Aboriginal Australian people of New South Wales. Eora is the name given by the earliest European settlers to a group of Aboriginal people belonging to the clans along the coastal area of what is now known as the Sy ...
, who seemed curious but suspicious of the newcomers. The area was studded with enormously strong trees. When the convicts tried to cut them down, their tools broke and the tree trunks had to be blasted out of the ground with gunpowder. The primitive huts built for the officers and officials quickly collapsed in rainstorms. The marines had a habit of getting drunk and not guarding the convicts properly, whilst their commander, Major
Robert RossRobert Ross may refer to: Academia * Robert Ross (entrepreneur) (1918–2011), founder of Ross University * Robert J. S. Ross (born 1943), American professor of sociology and activist * Robert S. Ross (born 1954), American professor of political sc ...
, drove Phillip to despair with his arrogant and lazy attitude. Crucially, Phillip worried that his fledgling colony was exposed to attack from those described as "Aborigines" or from foreign powers. Although his initial instructions were to establish the colony at Botany Bay, he was authorised to establish the colony elsewhere if necessary. On 21 January, Phillip and a party which included John Hunter, departed the Bay in three small boats to explore other bays to the north.Parker 2009, pp.115–116 Phillip discovered that
Port Jackson Port Jackson, consisting of the waters of Sydney Harbour, Middle Harbour Middle Harbour (or ''Warring-Ga''), a semi–mature tide (U.S.), low tide occurs roughly at moonrise and high tide with a high Moon, corresponding to the simple ...

Port Jackson
, about 12 kilometres to the north, was an excellent site for a colony with sheltered anchorages, fresh water and fertile soil. Cook had seen and named the harbour, but had not entered it. Phillip's impressions of the harbour were recorded in a letter he sent to England later: "the finest harbour in the world, in which a thousand sail of the line may ride in the most perfect security ...". The party returned to Botany Bay on 23 January. On the morning of 24 January, the party was startled when two French ships, the ''Astrolabe'' and the ''Boussole'', were seen just outside Botany Bay. This was a scientific expedition led by
Jean-François de La Pérouse Jean-François is a French given name. Notable people bearing the given name include: * Jean-François Champollion (1790–1832), French Egyptologist * Jean-François Clervoy (born 1958), French engineer and astronaut * Jean-François Corminboeuf ( ...
. The French had expected to find a thriving colony where they could repair ships and restock supplies, not a newly arrived fleet of convicts considerably more poorly provisioned than themselves. There was some cordial contact between the French and British officers, but Phillip and La Pérouse never met. The French ships remained until 10 March before setting sail on their return voyage. They were not seen again and were later discovered to have been shipwrecked off the coast of
Vanikoro Vanikoro (sometimes wrongly named ''Vanikolo'') is an island in the Santa Cruz Islands, Santa Cruz group, located to the Southeast of the main Santa Cruz group. It is part of the Temotu Province of the Solomon Islands. The name ''Vanikoro'' is a ...

Vanikoro
in the present-day
Solomon Islands Solomon Islands is a sovereign country A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, in ...
. On 26 January 1788, the Fleet weighed anchor and sailed to
Port Jackson Port Jackson, consisting of the waters of Sydney Harbour, Middle Harbour Middle Harbour (or ''Warring-Ga''), a semi–mature tide (U.S.), low tide occurs roughly at moonrise and high tide with a high Moon, corresponding to the simple ...

Port Jackson
. The site selected for the anchorage had deep water close to the shore, was sheltered, and had a small stream flowing into it. Phillip named it
Sydney Cove Sydney Cove, officially dual-named with its original Aboriginal Aborigine, aborigine or aboriginal may refer to: * Indigenous peoples, ethnic groups who are the original or earliest known inhabitants of an area **List of indigenous peoples, ...

Sydney Cove
, after Lord Sydney the British
Home Secretary The home secretary, officially the secretary of state for the Home Department, is a Secretary of State (United Kingdom), secretary of state in the Government of the United Kingdom, with overall responsibility for all Home Office business. The ...
. This date is celebrated as
Australia Day Australia Day is the official of . Observed annually on 26 January, it marks the 1788 landing of the at and raising of the by following days of exploration of in . In present-day Australia, celebrations aim to reflect the diverse society ...

Australia Day
, marking the beginning of British settlement. The
British flag The national flag of the United Kingdom is the Union Jack, also known as the Union Flag. The design of the Union Jack dates back to the Act of Union 1801 which united the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland (previously in pers ...

British flag
was planted and formal possession taken. This was done by Phillip and some officers and marines from ''Supply'', with the remainder of ''Supply''s crew and the convicts observing from on board ship. The remaining ships of the Fleet did not arrive at Sydney Cove until later that day. Writer and art critic Robert Hughes popularized the idea in his 1986 book ''
The Fatal Shore ''The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia's Founding'' by Robert Hughes is a history of the early years of British colonisation of Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country ...
'' that an
orgy In modern usage, an orgy is a sex party consisting of at least five members where guests freely engage in open and unrestrained sexual activity Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the manner in w ...
occurred upon the unloading of the convicts, though more modern historians regard this as untrue, since the first reference to any such indiscretions is as recent as 1963.


First contact

The First Fleet encountered
Indigenous Australians Indigenous Australians are people with familial heritage to groups that lived in Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continen ...
when they landed at
Botany Bay Botany Bay (: ''Kamay''), an open ic embayment, is located in , , , south of the . Its source is the of the at and the at , which flows to the east before meeting its at the , midpoint between the suburbs of and . The northern headland ...
. The
Cadigal The Cadigal, also spelled as Gadigal and Caddiegal, are a group of indigenous Australians, Indigenous people whose traditional lands are located in Gadi, on Eora country, the current location of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The Gadigal ori ...
people of the
Botany Bay Botany Bay (: ''Kamay''), an open ic embayment, is located in , , , south of the . Its source is the of the at and the at , which flows to the east before meeting its at the , midpoint between the suburbs of and . The northern headland ...
area witnessed the Fleet arrive and six days later the two ships of French explorer La Pérouse, the ''Astrolabe'' and the ''Boussole'', sailed into the bay. When the Fleet moved to Sydney Cove seeking better conditions for establishing the colony, they encountered the Eora people, including the
Bidjigal The Bidjigal (also spelt Bediagal) people are an Aboriginal Australian people whose traditional lands are modern-day Western Sydney, western, Hills District, north-western, Botany Bay, south-eastern, and Southern Sydney, southern Sydney, in New So ...
clan. A number of the First Fleet journals record encounters with Aboriginal people. Although the official policy of the British Government was to establish friendly relations with Aboriginal people, and
Arthur Phillip Admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the highest rank. In the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth nations and the United States, a "full" admiral is equivalent to a "full" general officer ...

Arthur Phillip
ordered that the Aboriginal people should be well treated, it was not long before conflict began. The colonists did not sign treaties with the original inhabitants of the land. Between 1790 and 1810,
Pemulwuy Pemulwuy (also rendered as Pimbloy, Pemulvoy, Pemulwoy, Pemulwy or Pemulwye, or sometimes by contemporary Europeans as Bimblewove, Bumbleway or Bembulwoyan) (c. 1750 – 2 June 1802) was an Aboriginal Australian Aboriginal Australians are th ...

Pemulwuy
of the
Bidjigal The Bidjigal (also spelt Bediagal) people are an Aboriginal Australian people whose traditional lands are modern-day Western Sydney, western, Hills District, north-western, Botany Bay, south-eastern, and Southern Sydney, southern Sydney, in New So ...
clan led the local people in a series of attacks against the colonists.


After January 1788

The ships of the First Fleet mostly did not remain in the colony. Some returned to England, while others left for other ports. Some remained at the service of the Governor of the colony for some months: some of these were sent to
Norfolk Island Norfolk Island (, ; Norfuk language, Norfuk: ''Norf'k Ailen'') is an States and territories of Australia, external territory of Australia located in the Pacific Ocean between New Zealand and New Caledonia, directly east of Australia's Evans ...
where a second penal colony was established. 1788 * 15 February – HMS ''Supply'' sails for Norfolk Island carrying a small party to establish a settlement. * 5/6 May – ''Charlotte'', ''Lady Penrhyn'' and ''Scarborough'' set sail for China. * 14 July – ''Borrowdale'', ''Alexander'', ''Friendship'' and ''Prince of Wales'' set sail to return to England. * 2 October – ''Golden Grove'' sets sail for Norfolk Island with a party of convicts, returning to Port Jackson 10 November, while HMS ''Sirius'' sails for
Cape of Good Hope A cape is a sleeveless outer garment, which drapes the wearer's back, arms, and chest, and connects at the neck. History Capes were common in medieval Europe, especially when combined with a Hood (headgear), hood in the Chaperon (headgear), ...

Cape of Good Hope
for supplies. * 19 November – ''Fishburn'' and ''Golden Grove'' set sail for England. This means that only HMS ''Supply'' now remains in Sydney cove. 1789 * 23 December – carrying stores for the colony strikes an iceberg and is forced back to the Cape. It never reaches the colony in New South Wales. 1790: * 19 March – HMS ''Sirius'' is wrecked off Norfolk Island. * 17 April – HMS ''Supply'' sent to
Batavia, Dutch East Indies Batavia, also called Batauia in the city's Malay vernacular, was the capital of the Dutch East Indies The Dutch East Indies (or Netherlands East-Indies; nl, Nederlands(ch)-Indië; ) was a Dutch colony The Dutch colonial empire ( nl, ...
, for emergency food supplies. * 3 June – '' Lady Juliana'', the first of six vessels of the Second Fleet, arrives in Sydney cove. The remaining five vessels of the Second Fleet arrive in the ensuing weeks. * 19 September – HMS ''Supply'' returns to Sydney having chartered the Dutch vessel '' Waaksamheyd'' to accompany it carrying stores.


Legacy


Last survivors

On Sat 26 January 1842 The ''Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser'' reported "The Government has ordered a pension of one shilling per diem to be paid to the survivors of those who came by the first vessel into the Colony. The number of these really 'old hands' is now reduced to three, of whom, two are now in the Benevolent Asylum, and the other is a fine hale old fellow, who can do a day's work with more spirit than many of the young fellows lately arrived in the Colony." The names of the three recipients were not given, and is academic as the notice turned out to be false, not having been authorised by the Governor. There were at least 25 persons still living who had arrived with the First Fleet, including several children born on the voyage. A number of these contacted the authorities to arrange their pension and all received a similar reply to the following received by John McCarty on 14 Mar 1842 "I am directed by His Excellency the Governor to inform you, that the paragraph which appeared in the Sydney Gazette relative to an allowance to the persons of the first expedition to New South Wales was not authorised by His Excellency nor has he any knowledge of such an allowance as that alluded to". E. Deas Thomson, Colonial Secretary. Following is a list of persons known to be living at the time the pension notice was published, in order of their date of death. At this time New South Wales included the whole Eastern seaboard of present day Australia except for Van Diemen's Land which was declared a separate colony in 1825 and achieved self governing status in 1855-6. This list does not include marines or convicts who returned to England after completing their term in NSW and who may have lived past January 1842. *Rachel Earley: (or Hirley), convict per ''Friendship'' and ''Prince of Wales'' died 27 April 1842 at Kangaroo Point, VDL (said to be aged 75). *Roger Twyfield: convict per ''Friendship'' died 30 April 1842 at Windsor, aged 98 (NSW reg as Twifield). *Thomas Chipp: marine private per ''Friendship'' died 3 July 1842, buried Parramatta, aged 81 (NSW Reg age 93). *Anthony Rope: convict per ''Alexander'' died 20 Apr 1843 at Castlereagh NSW, aged 84 (NSW Reg age 89). *William Hubbard: Hubbard was convicted in the Kingston Assizes in Surrey, England, on 24 March 1784 for theft. He was transported to Australia on ''Scarborough'' in the First Fleet. He married Mary Goulding on 19 December 1790 in Rose Hill. In 1803 he received a land grant of 70 acres at Mulgrave Place. He died on 18 May 1843 at the Sydney Benevolent Asylum. His age was given as 76 when he was buried at Christ Church St. Lawrence, Sydney on 22 May 1843. *Thomas Jones: convict per ''Alexander'' died Oct 1843 in NSW, aged 87. *John Griffiths: marine private per ''Friendship'' who died 5 May 1844 at Hobart, aged 86. *Benjamin Cusely: marine private per ''Friendship'' died 20 Jun 1845 at Windsor/Wilberforce, aged 86 (said to be 98). * Henry Kable: convict per ''Friendship'' died 16 Mar 1846 at Windsor, aged 84. *John McCarty: McCarty was a marine private who sailed on ''Friendship''. McCarty claimed to have been born in Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland, ''circa'' Christmas 1745. He first served in the colony of New South Wales, then at Norfolk Island where he took up a land grant of 60 acres (Lot 71). He married first fleet convict Ann Beardsley on Norfolk Island in November 1791 after his marine discharge a month earlier. In 1808, at the impending closure of the Norfolk Island settlement, he resettled in Van Diemen's Land later taking a land grant (80 acres at Herdsman's Cove Melville) in lieu of the one forfeited on Norfolk Island. The last few years of his life were spent at the home of Mr. William H. Budd, at the Kinlochewe Inn near
Donnybrook, Victoria Donnybrook is a suburb of Melbourne Melbourne ( ; wyi, Naarm) is the List of Australian capital cities, capital and List of cities in Australia by population, most-populous city of the States and territories of Australia, Australian state ...
. McCarty was buried on local land 24 July 1846, six months past his 100 birthday, although this is very likely an exaggerated age. *John Alexander Herbert: convict per ''Scarborough'' died 19 Nov 1846 at Westbury Van Diemen's Land, aged 79. *Robert Nunn: convict per ''Scarborough'' died 20 Nov 1846 at Richmond, aged 86. *John Howard: convict per ''Scarborough'' died 1 Jan 1847 at Sydney Benevolent Asylum, aged 94. *John Limeburner: The ''South Australian Register'' reported, in an article dated Wednesday 3 November 1847: "John Limeburner, the oldest colonist in Sydney, died in September last, at the advanced age of 104 years. He helped to pitch the first tent in Sydney, and remembered the first display of the British flag there, which was hoisted on a swamp oak-tree, then growing on a spot now occupied as the Water-Police Court. He was the last of those called the 'first-fleeters' (arrivals by the first convict ships) and, notwithstanding his great age, retained his faculties to the last." John Limeburner was a
convict A convict is "a person found guilty Guilty or The Guilty may refer to: * Guilt (emotion), an experience that occurs when a person believes they have violated a moral standard Law *Culpability, the degree to which an agent can be held respon ...
on ''Charlotte''. He was convicted on 9 July 1785 at New Sarum, Wiltshire of theft of a waistcoat, a shirt and stockings. He married Elizabeth Ireland in 1790 at Rosehill and together they establish a 50-acre farm at Prospect. He died at Ashfield 4 September 1847 and is buried at , death reg. as Linburner aged 104. *John Jones: Jones was a marine private on the First Fleet and sailed on ''Alexander''. He is listed in the N.S.W. 1828 Census as aged 82 and living at the Sydney Benevolent Asylum. He is said to have died at the Benevolent Asylum in 1848. *Jane/Jenny Rose: (nee Jones), child of convict Elizabeth Evans per ''Lady Penrhyn'' died 29 Aug 1849 at Wollongong, aged 71. *Samuel King: King was a scribbler (a worker in a scribbling mill) before he became a marine. He was a marine with the First Fleet on board . He shipped to Norfolk Island on ''Golden Grove'' in September 1788, where he lived with Mary Rolt, a convict who arrived with the First Fleet on ''Prince of Wales''. He received a grant of 60 acres (Lot No. 13) at Cascade Stream in 1791. Mary Rolt returned to England on ''Britannia'' in October 1796. King was resettled in Van Diemen's Land, boarding ''City of Edinburgh'' on 3 September 1808, and landed in Hobart on 3 October. He married Elizabeth Thackery on 28 January 1810. He died on 21 October 1849 at 86 years of age and was buried in the Wesleyan cemetery at Lawitta Road, Back River. *Mary Stevens: (nee Phillips), convict per ''Charlotte'' and ''Prince of Wales'' died 22 Jan 1850 at Longford Van Diemen's Land, aged 81. *John Small: Convicted 14 March 1785 at the Devon Lent Assizes held at Exeter for Robbery King's Highway. Sentenced to hang, reprieved to 7 years' transportation. Arrived on Charlotte (1784 ship), ''Charlotte'' in First Fleet 1788. Certificate of freedom 1792. Land Grant 1794, 30 acre "Small's Farm" at Eastern Farms (Ryde). Married October 1788 Mary Parker also a First Fleet convict who arrived on Lady Penrhyn (1786 ship), ''Lady Penrhyn''. John Small died on 2 October 1850 at age of 90 years. *Edward Smith: aka Beckford, convict per ''Scarborough'' died 2 Jun 1851 at Balmain, aged 92. *Ann Forbes: (m.Huxley), convict per ''Prince of Wales'' died 29 Dec 1851, Lower Portland NSW, aged 83. *Henry Kable Jnr: aka Holmes, b. 1786 in Norwich Castle prison, son of convict Susannah Holmes per ''Friendship'' and ''Charlotte'', died 13 May 1852 at Picton, New South Wales aged 66. *Lydia Munro: (m.Goodwin) per ''Prince of Wales'' died 29 Jun 1856 at Hobart, reg as Letitia Goodwin, aged 85. *Elizabeth Thackery: Elizabeth Thackery, Elizabeth "Betty" King (née Thackery) was tried and convicted of theft on 4 May 1786 at Manchester Quarter Sessions, and sentenced to seven years' transportation. She sailed on ''Friendship'', but was transferred to ''Charlotte'' at the Cape of Good Hope. She was shipped to Norfolk Island on in 1790 and lived there with James Dodding. In August 1800 she bought 10 acres of land from Samuel King at Cascade Stream. Elizabeth and James were relocated to Van Diemen's Land in December 1807 but parted company sometime afterwards. On 28 January 1810 Elizabeth married "First Fleeter" Private Samuel King (above) and lived with him until his death in 1849. Betty King died in New Norfolk, Tasmania on 7 August 1856, aged 89 years. She is buried in the churchyard of the Methodist Chapel, Lawitta Road, Back River, next to her husband, and the marked grave bears a First Fleet plaque. *John Harmsworth: marine's child b.1788 per ''Prince of Wales'' died 21 Jul 1860 at Clarence Plains Tasmania, aged 73 years.


Smallpox

Historians have disagreed over whether those aboard the First Fleet were responsible for introducing smallpox to Australia's indigenous population, and if so, whether this was the consequence of deliberate action. In 1914, John Cumpston, J. H. L. Cumpston, director of the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, Australian Quarantine Service put forward the hypothesis that smallpox arrived in Australia with First Fleet.Cumpston, JHL "The History of Small-Pox in Australia 1788–1908", Government Printer (1914) Melb. Some researchers have argued that any such release may have been a deliberate attempt to decimate the indigenous population. Hypothetical scenarios for such an action might have included: an act of revenge by an aggrieved individual, a response to attacks by indigenous people,Bennett, MJ, "Smallpox and Cowpox under the Southern Cross: The Smallpox Epidemic of 1789 ...", ''Bulletin of the History of Medicine'', 83(1), Spring 2009, pg 48. or part of an orchestrated assault by the
New South Wales Marine Corps The New South Wales Marine Corps (1786–1792) was an ad hoc volunteer unit that the British Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populo ...
, intended to clear the path for colonial expansion. Seth Carus, a former Deputy Director of the National Defense University in the United States wrote in 2015 that there was a "strong circumstantial case supporting the theory that someone deliberately introduced smallpox in the Aboriginal population." Other historians have disputed the idea that there was a deliberate release of smallpox virus and/or suggest that it arrived with visitors to Australia other than the First Fleet. It has been suggested that live smallpox virus may have been introduced accidentally when Aboriginal people came into contact with variolation, variolous matter brought by the First Fleet for use in anti-smallpox inoculations. In 2002, historian Judy Campbell offered a further theory, that smallpox had arrived in Australia through contact with fishermen from Makassar in Indonesia, where smallpox was endemic.Judy Campbell, '' Invisible Invaders: Smallpox and Other Diseases in Aboriginal Australia 1780–1880'', Melbourne University Press, 2002, Foreword & pp 55, 61, 73–74, 181 In 2011, Macknight stated: “The overwhelming probability must be that it [smallpox] was introduced, like the later epidemics, by [Indonesian] Trepanging, trepangers ... and spread across the continent to arrive in Sydney quite independently of the new settlement there." There is a fourth theory, that the 1789 epidemic was not smallpox but chickenpox – to which indigenous Australians also had no inherited resistance – that happened to be affecting, or was carried by, members of the First Fleet. This theory has also been disputed.


Commemoration Garden

After Ray Collins, a stonemason, completed years of research into the First Fleet, he sought approval from about nine councils to construct a commemorative garden in recognition of these immigrants. Liverpool Plains Shire, Liverpool Plains Shire Council was ultimately the only council to accept his offer to supply the materials and construct the garden free of charge. The site chosen was a disused caravan park on the banks of Quirindi Creek at Wallabadah, New South Wales. In September 2002 Collins commenced work on the project. Additional support was later provided by Neil McGarry in the form of some signs and the council contributed $28,000 for pathways and fencing. Collins hand-chiselled the names of all those who came to Australia on the eleven ships in 1788 on stone tablets along the garden pathways. The stories of those who arrived on the ships, their life, and first encounters with the Australian country are presented throughout the garden. On 26 January 2005, the First Fleet Garden was opened as the major memorial to the First Fleet immigrants. Previously the only other specific memorial to the First Fleeters was an obelisk at Brighton-Le-Sands, New South Wales. The surrounding area has a barbecue, tables, and amenities.


See also

* Australian frontier wars * Convicts in Australia * Convict women in Australia * European maritime exploration of Australia, European exploration of Australia * History of Australia (1788–1850) * History of Indigenous Australians *
Journals of the First Fleet There are 20 known contemporary accounts of the First Fleet The First Fleet comprised the 11 Age of sail, ships that departed from Portsmouth, England on 13 May 1787 to New South Wales, the penal colony that became the first European settlem ...
* Penal transportation * Prehistory of Australia * Second Fleet (Australia) * Terra nullius#Australia, Terra nullius * Third Fleet (Australia)


References


Citations


Bibliography

* * * * * * * * *


Further reading

* *


Fiction

*James Talbot, ''The Thief Fleet'', 2012, *Colleen McCullough, ''Morgan's Run'', *Timberlake Wertenbaker, ''Our Country's Good'', *Thomas Keneally, ''The Playmaker'', *William Stuart Long, ''The Exiles'', (hardcover, 1984) (paperback, 1979) (mass market paperback, 1981) *William Stuart Long, ''The Settlers'', (hardcover, 1980) (paperback, 1980) (mass market paperback, 1982) *William Stuart Long, ''The Traitors'', (hardcover, 1984) (mass market paperback, 1981) *D. Manning Richards, ''Destiny in Sydney: An epic novel of convicts, Aborigines, and Chinese embroiled in the birth of Sydney, Australia'', *Marcus Clarke, ''For the Term of his Natural Life.'' Melbourne, 1874


External links


Complete list of the convicts of the First Fleet



The First Fleet – State Library of NSW

State Library of NSW – First Fleet Re-enactment Company records, 1978–1990: Presented by Trish and Wally Franklin

State Library of NSW – First Fleet Re-enactment Voyage 1987–1988

The First Fleet (1788) and The Re-enactment Fleet (1988) Some Untold History – Dr Wally Franklin and Dr Trish Franklin: An address to celebrate the 229th Anniversary of the sailing of the First Fleet from Portsmouth on 13th May 1787
* *


Convict Records

Convict Transportation Registers Database (Online)
University of Queensland. Accessed 9 February 2015.
"St. John's First Fleeters"
in Michaela Ann Cameron (ed.),
The St. John's Cemetery Project
'' (2018): an edited collection of biographies and profiles on the 50+ First Fleeters buried in Australia's oldest surviving European cemetery: St John's Cemetery, Parramatta {{Authority control 1788 in Australia History of immigration to Australia Convictism in Australia History of New South Wales Maritime history of Australia First Fleet,