1786 portrait by Francis Wheatley
(National Portrait Gallery, London)
|1st Governor of New South Wales|
7 February 1788 –10 December 1792
|Succeeded by||John Hunter|
|Born||11 October 1738|
Cheapside, London, England
|Died||31 August 1814 75) (aged|
Bath, Somerset, England
|Allegiance||Kingdom of Great Britain|
|Battles/wars||Australian Frontier Wars|
Admiral Arthur Phillip (11 October 1738 – 31 August 1814) was a Royal Navy officer and the first Governor of New South Wales who founded the British penal colony that later became the city of Sydney, Australia.
Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navies, and in many navies is the highest rank. It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM". The rank is generally thought to have originated in Sicily from a conflation of Arabic: أمير البحر, amīr al-baḥr, "commander of the sea", with Latin admirabilis ("admirable") or admiratus ("admired"), although alternative etymologies derive the word directly from Latin, or from the Turkish military and naval rank miralay. The French version – amiral without the additional d – tends to add evidence for the Arab origin.
The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is known as the Senior Service.
The Governor of New South Wales is the viceregal representative of the Australian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, in the state of New South Wales. In an analogous way to the Governor-General of Australia at the national level, the Governors of the Australian states perform constitutional and ceremonial functions at the state level. The governor is appointed by the queen on the advice of the premier of New South Wales, for an unfixed period of time—known as serving At Her Majesty's pleasure—though five years is the norm. The current governor is retired General David Hurley, who succeeded Dame Marie Bashir on 2 October 2014.
After much experience at sea, Phillip sailed with the First Fleet as Governor-designate of the proposed British penal colony of New South Wales. In January 1788, he selected its location to be Port Jackson (encompassing Sydney Harbour).
The First Fleet was the 11 ships that departed from Portsmouth, England, on 13 May 1787 to found the penal colony that became the first European settlement in Australia. The Fleet consisted of two Royal Navy vessels, three store ships and six convict transports, carrying between 1,000 and 1,500 convicts, marines, seamen, civil officers and free people, and a large quantity of stores. From England, the Fleet sailed southwest to Rio de Janeiro, then east to Cape Town and via the Great Southern Ocean to Botany Bay, arriving over the period of 18 to 20 January 1788, taking 250 to 252 days from departure to final arrival.
New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In March 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 7.9 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.
Port Jackson, consisting of the waters of Sydney Harbour, Middle Harbour, North Harbour and the Lane Cove and Parramatta Rivers, is the ria or natural harbour of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The harbour is an inlet of the Tasman Sea. It is the location of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. The location of the first European settlement and colony on the Australian mainland, Port Jackson has continued to play a key role in the history and development of Sydney.
Phillip was a far-sighted governor who soon saw that New South Wales would need a civil administration and a system for emancipating the convicts. But his plan to bring skilled tradesmen on the voyage had been rejected, and he faced immense problems of labour, discipline and supply. His friendly attitude towards Aboriginal people was also sorely tested when they killed his gamekeeper, and he was not able to assert a clear policy about them.
The arrival of the Second and Third Fleets placed new pressures on the scarce local resources, but by the time Phillip sailed home in December 1792, the colony was taking shape, with official land-grants and systematic farming and water-supply.
The Second Fleet was a convoy of six ships carrying settlers, convicts and supplies to Sydney Cove, Australia in 1789. It followed the First Fleet which established European settlement in Australia in the previous year.
The Third Fleet comprised 11 ships that set sail from the United Kingdom in February, March and April 1791, bound for the Sydney penal settlement, with more than 2,000 convicts aboard. The passengers comprised convicts, military personnel and notable people sent to fill high positions in the colony. More important for the fledgling colony was that the ships also carried provisions.
Phillip retired in 1805, but continued to correspond with his friends in New South Wales and to promote the colony's interests.
Captain Arthur Phillip was born on 11 October 1738, the youngest of two children to Jacob Phillip and Elizabeth Breach. His father Jacob was born in Frankfurt, Germany. He was a languages teacher who may also have served in the Royal Navy as an able seaman and purser's steward. His mother Elizabeth was the widow of an ordinary seaman, John Herbert, who had served in Jamaica aboard HMS Tartar and died of disease on 13 August 1732. At the time of Arthur Phillip's birth, his family maintained a modest existence as tenants near Cheapside in the City of London.
Frankfurt is a metropolis and the largest city of the German federal state of Hesse, and its 746,878 (2017) inhabitants make it the fifth-largest city of Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Cologne. On the River Main, it forms a continuous conurbation with the neighbouring city of Offenbach am Main, and its urban area has a population of 2.3 million. The city is at the centre of the larger Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region, which has a population of 5.5 million and is Germany's second-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr Region. Since the enlargement of the European Union in 2013, the geographic centre of the EU is about 40 km (25 mi) to the east of Frankfurt's central business district. Like France and Franconia, the city is named after the Franks. Frankfurt is the largest city in the Rhine Franconian dialect area.
An able seaman (AB) is a naval rating of the deck department of a merchant ship with more than two years' experience at sea and considered "well acquainted with his duty". An AB may work as a watchstander, a day worker, or a combination of these roles. Once a sufficient amount of sea time is acquired, then the AB can apply to take a series of courses/examinations to become certified as an officer.
An ordinary seaman (OS) is a naval rating of the deck department of a ship. The position is an apprenticeship to become an able seaman, and has been for centuries. In modern times, an OS is required to work on a ship for a specific amount of time, gaining what is referred to as "sea time". For centuries, the term ordinary seaman was used to refer to a seaman with between one and two years' experience at sea, who showed enough seamanship to be so rated by their captain.
There are no surviving records of Phillip's early childhood. His father Jacob died in 1739, after which the Phillip family may have fallen on hard times.On 22 June 1751 he was accepted into the Greenwich Hospital School, a charity school for the sons of indigent seafarers. In keeping with the school's curriculum, his education was focused on literacy, arithmetic and navigational skills, including cartography. He was a competent student and something of a perfectionist. His headmaster, Reverend Francis Swinden observed that in personality, Phillip was "unassuming, reasonable, business-like to the smallest degree in everything he undertakes".
The Royal Hospital School is a British co-educational independent day and boarding school with naval traditions. The school admits pupils from age 11 to 18 through Common Entrance or the school's own exam. The school is regulated by Acts of Parliament.
Phillip remained at the Greenwich School for two and a half years, considerably longer than the average student stay of twelve months.At the end of 1753 he was granted a seven-year indenture as an apprentice aboard Fortune, a 210-ton whaling vessel commanded by merchant mariner Wiliam Readhead. He left the Greenwich School on 1 December and spent the winter aboard the Fortune awaiting the commencement of the 1754 whaling season.
Phillip spent the summer of 1754 hunting whales near Svalbard in the Barents Sea. 's thirty crew members supplemented their diet with bird's eggs, scurvy grass and where possible, reindeer. The ship returned to England on 20 July 1754. The whaling crew were paid off and replaced with twelve sailors for a winter voyage to the Mediterranean. As an apprentice, Phillip remained aboard as Fortune undertook an outward trading voyage to Barcelona and Livorno carrying salt and raisins, returning via Rotterdam with a cargo of grains and citrus. The ship returned to England in April 1755 and sailed immediately for Svalbard for that year's whale hunt. Phillip was still a member of the crew, but abandoned his apprenticeship when the ship returned to England on 27 July. On 16 October he enlisted in the Royal Navy and was assigned the rank of ordinary seaman aboard the 68-gun HMS Buckingham.As an apprentice, his responsibilities included stripping blubber from whale carcasses and helping to pack it into barrels. Food was scarce and Fortune
As a member of Buckingham's crew, Phillip saw action in the Seven Years' War, including the Battle of Minorca in 1756. By 1762 he had transferred to HMS Stirling Castle, and was promoted to Lieutenant in recognition of active service in the Battle of Havana. The War ended in 1763 and Phillip returned to England on half pay. In July 1763 he married Margaret Denison, a widow 16 years his senior, and moved to Glasshayes in Lyndhurst, Hampshire, establishing a farm there. The marriage was unhappy, and the couple separated in 1769 when Phillip returned to the Navy. The following year he was posted as second lieutenant aboard HMS Egmont, a newly built 74-gun ship of the line.
In 1774 Phillip joined the Portuguese Navy as a captain, serving in the War against Spain. While with the Portuguese Navy, Phillip commanded a frigate, the Nossa Senhora do Pilar. On this ship he took a detachment of troops from Rio de Janeiro to Colonia do Sacramento on the Rio de la Plata (opposite Buenos Aires) to relieve the garrison there. This voyage also conveyed a consignment of convicts assigned to carry out work at Colonia. During a storm encountered in the course of the voyage, the convicts assisted in working the ship and, on arrival at Colonia, Phillip recommended that they be rewarded for saving the ship by remission of their sentences.A garbled version of this eventually found its way into the English press when Phillip was appointed in 1786 to lead the expedition to Sydney. Phillip played a leading part in the capture of the Spanish ship San Agustín, on 19 April 1777, off Santa Catarina. The San Agustin was commissioned into the Portuguese Navy as the Santo Agostinho, and command of her was given to Phillip. The action was reported in the English press:
Madrid, Aug. 28. Letters from Lisbon bring the following Account from Rio Janeiro: That the St. Augustine, of 70 Guns, having been separated from the Squadron of M. Casa Tilly, was attacked by two Portugueze Ships, against which they defended themselves for a Day and a Night, but being next Day surrounded by the Portugueze Fleet, was obliged to surrender.
In 1778 Britain was again at war, and Phillip was recalled to active service, and in 1779 obtained his first command, HMS Basilisk. He was promoted to post-captain on 30 November 1781 and given command of HMS Europa.
Correspondence of Luís, 2nd Marquis Lavradio, Viceroy of Brazil, 1778.
In July 1782, in a change of government, Thomas Townshend became Secretary of State for Home and American Affairs, and assumed responsibility for organising an expedition against Spanish America. Like his predecessor, Lord Germain, he turned for advice to Arthur Phillip. Europa, or Europe. Shortly after sailing, an armistice was concluded between Great Britain and Spain. Phillip learnt of this in April when he put in for storm repairs at Rio de Janeiro. Phillip wrote to Townshend from Rio de Janeiro on 25 April 1783, expressing his disappointment that the ending of the American War had robbed him of the opportunity for naval glory in South America.A letter from Phillip to Sandwich of 17 January 1781 records Phillip's loan to Sandwich of his charts of the Plata and Brazilian coasts for use in organising the expedition. Phillip's plan was for a squadron of three ships of the line and a frigate to mount a raid on Buenos Aires and Monte Video, then to proceed to the coasts of Chile, Peru and Mexico to maraud, and ultimately to cross the Pacific to join the British Navy's East India squadron for an attack on Manila. The expedition, consisting of the Grafton, 70 guns, Elizabeth, 74 guns, Europe, 64 guns, and the frigate Iphigenia, sailed on 16 January 1783, under the command of Commodore Robert Kingsmill. Phillip was given command of the 64-gun HMS
After his return to England from India in April 1784, Phillip remained in close contact with Townshend, now Lord Sydney, and the Home Office Under Secretary, Evan Nepean. From October 1784 to September 1786 he was employed by Nepean, who was in charge of the Secret Service relating to the Bourbon Powers, France and Spain, to spy on the French naval arsenals at Toulon and other ports.There was fear that Britain would soon be at war with these powers as a consequence of the Batavian Revolution in the Netherlands.
Portraits of the time depict Phillip as shorter than average, with an olive complexion, dark eyes and a "smooth pear of a skull".His features were dominated by a large and fleshy nose, and by a pronounced lower lip.
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At this time, Lord Sandwich, together with the President of the Royal Society, Sir Joseph Banks, was advocating establishment of a British colony in New South Wales.A colony there would be of great assistance to the British Navy in facilitating attacks on the Spanish possessions in Chile and Peru, as Banks's collaborators, James Matra, Captain Sir George Young and Sir John Call pointed out in written proposals on the subject. The British Government took the decision to settle what is now Australia and found the Botany Bay colony in mid-1786. Lord Sydney, as Secretary of State for the Home Office, was the minister in charge, and in September 1786 he appointed Phillip commodore of the fleet which was to transport the convicts and soldiers who were to be the new settlers to Botany Bay. Upon arrival there, Phillip was to assume the powers of Captain General and Governor in Chief of the new colony. A subsidiary colony was to be founded on Norfolk Island, as recommended by Sir John Call, to take advantage for naval purposes of that island's native flax and timber.
In October 1786, Phillip was appointed captain of HMS Sirius and named Governor-designate of New South Wales, the proposed British colony on the east coast of Australia, by Lord Sydney, the Home Secretary.
Phillip had a very difficult time assembling the fleet which was to make the eight-month sea voyage to Australia. Everything a new colony might need had to be taken, since Phillip had no real idea of what he might find when he got there. There were few funds available for equipping the expedition. His suggestion that people with experience in farming, building and crafts be included was rejected. Most of the 772 convicts (of whom 732 survived the voyage) were petty thieves from the London slums. Phillip was accompanied by a contingent of marines and a handful of other officers who were to administer the colony.
The 11 ships of the First Fleet set sail on 13 May 1787. The leading ship, HMS Supply reached Botany Bay setting up camp on the Kurnell Peninsula, on 18 January 1788. Phillip soon decided that this site, chosen on the recommendation of Sir Joseph Banks, who had accompanied James Cook in 1770, was not suitable, since it had poor soil, no secure anchorage and no reliable water source. After some exploration Phillip decided to go on to Port Jackson, and on 26 January the marines and convicts landed at Sydney Cove, which Phillip named after Lord Sydney.
Shortly after landing and establishing the settlement at Port Jackson, on 15 February 1788, Phillip sent Lieutenant Philip Gidley King with eight free men and a number of convicts to establish the second British colony in the Pacific at Norfolk Island. This was partly in response to a perceived threat of losing Norfolk Island to the French and partly to establish an alternative food source for the mainland colony.
The early days of the settlement in New South Wales were chaotic and difficult. With limited supplies, the cultivation of food was imperative, but the soils around Sydney were poor, the climate was unfamiliar, and moreover very few of the convicts had any knowledge of agriculture. The colony was on the verge of outright starvation for an extended period. The marines, poorly disciplined themselves in many cases, were not interested in convict discipline. Almost at once, therefore, Phillip had to appoint overseers from among the ranks of the convicts to get the others working. This was the beginning of the process of convict emancipation which was to culminate in the reforms of Lachlan Macquarie after 1811.
Phillip showed in other ways that he recognised that New South Wales could not be run simply as a prison camp. Lord Sydney, often criticised as an ineffectual incompetent, had made one fundamental decision about the settlement that was to influence it beneficially from the start. Instead of just establishing it as a military prison, he provided for a civil administration, with courts of law. Two convicts, Henry and Susannah Kable, sought to sue Duncan Sinclair, the captain of Alexander, for stealing their possessions during the voyage. Convicts in Britain had no right to sue, and Sinclair had boasted that he could not be sued by them. Despite this, the court found for the plaintiffs and ordered the captain to make restitution for the loss of their possessions.
Further, soon after Lord Sydney appointed him governor of New South Wales Arthur Phillip drew up a detailed memorandum of his plans for the proposed new colony. In one paragraph he wrote: "The laws of this country [England] will of course, be introduced in [New] South Wales, and there is one that I would wish to take place from the moment his Majesty's forces take possession of the country: That there can be no slavery in a free land, and consequently no slaves."Nevertheless, Phillip believed in severe discipline; floggings and hangings were commonplace, although Philip commuted many death sentences.
Phillip also had to adopt a policy towards the Eora Aboriginal people, who lived around the waters of Sydney Harbour.Phillip ordered that they must be well treated, and that anyone killing Aboriginal people would be hanged. Phillip befriended an Eora man called Bennelong, and later took him to England. On the beach at Manly, a misunderstanding arose and Phillip was speared in the shoulder: but he ordered his men not to retaliate. Phillip went some way towards winning the trust of the Eora, although they remained wary of the settlers. Soon, a virulent disease, smallpox that was believed to be on account of the white settlers, and other European-introduced epidemics, ravaged the Eora population.
The Governor's main problem was with his own military officers, who wanted large grants of land, which Phillip had not been authorised to grant. Scurvy broke out, and in October 1788 Phillip had to send Sirius to Cape Town for supplies, and strict rationing was introduced, with thefts of food punished by hanging. He recorded: "The living conditions need to improve or my men won't work as hard, so I have come to a conclusion that I must hire surgeons to fix the convicts."[ citation needed ]
Phillip insisted that no retaliation be taken to avenge his own non-fatal spearing. Convict John MacIntyre had been fatally speared during a hunting expedition by unknown Aboriginal people apparently without provocation. MacIntyre swore on his death bed that he had done them no harm, but marine officer Watkin Tench was suspicious of the claim. Tench was sent on a punitive expedition but finding no Aboriginal people other than Bennelong took no action.
Phillip, growing frustrated with the burdens of upholding a colony and his health suffering, resigned soon after this episode.
By 1790 the situation had stabilised. The population of about 2,000 was adequately housed and fresh food was being grown. Phillip assigned a convict, James Ruse, land at Rose Hill (now Parramatta) to establish proper farming, and when Ruse succeeded he received the first land grant in the colony. Other convicts followed his example. Sirius was wrecked in March 1790 at the satellite settlement of Norfolk Island, depriving Phillip of vital supplies. In June 1790 the Second Fleet arrived with hundreds more convicts, most of them too sick to work.
By December 1790 Phillip was ready to return to England, but the colony had largely been forgotten in London and no instructions reached him, so he carried on. In 1791 he was advised that the government would send out two convoys of convicts annually, plus adequate supplies. But July, when the vessels of the Third Fleet began to arrive, with 2,000 more convicts, food again ran short, and he had to send the ship Atlantic to Calcutta for supplies.
By 1792 the colony was well established, though Sydney remained an unplanned huddle of wooden huts and tents. The whaling industry was established, ships were visiting Sydney to trade, and convicts whose sentences had expired were taking up farming. John Macarthur and other officers were importing sheep and beginning to grow wool. The colony was still very short of skilled farmers, craftsmen and tradesmen, and the convicts continued to work as little as possible, even though they were working mainly to grow their own food.
In late 1792 Phillip, whose health was suffering, relinquished his governorship and sailed for England on the ship Atlantic , taking with him many specimens of plants and animals. He also took Bennelong and his friend Yemmerrawanne, another young Indigenous Australian who, unlike Bennelong, would succumb to English weather and disease and not live to make the journey home. The European population of New South Wales at his departure was 4,221, of whom 3,099 were convicts. The early years of the colony had been years of struggle and hardship, but the worst was over, and there were no further famines in New South Wales. Phillip arrived in London in May 1793. He tendered his formal resignation and was granted a pension of £500 a year.
Phillip's estranged wife, Margaret, had died in 1792 and was buried in St Beuno's Churchyard, Llanycil, Bala, Merionethshire.In 1794 Phillip married Isabella Whitehead, and lived for a time at Bath. His health gradually recovered and in 1796 he went back to sea, holding a series of commands and responsible posts in the wars against the French. In January 1799 he became a Rear-Admiral. In 1805, aged 67, he retired from the Navy with the rank of Admiral of the Blue, and spent most of the rest of his life in Bath. He continued to correspond with friends in New South Wales and to promote the colony's interests with government officials. He died in Bath in 1814. His Last Will & Testament has been transcribed and is on-line.
Phillip was buried in St Nicholas's Church, Bathampton. Forgotten for many years, the grave was discovered in 1897and the Premier of New South Wales, Sir Henry Parkes, had it restored. An annual service of remembrance is held here around Phillip's birthdate by the Britain–Australia Society to commemorate his life.
In 2007, Geoffrey Robertson QC alleged that Phillip's remains are no longer in St Nicholas Church, Bathampton and have been lost: "Captain Arthur Phillip is not where the ledger stone says he is: it may be that he is buried somewhere outside, it may simply be that he is simply lost. But he is not where Australians have been led to believe that he now lies."
A number of places in Australia bear Phillip's name, including Port Phillip, Phillip Island (Victoria), Phillip Island (Norfolk Island), Phillip Street in Sydney, the federal electorate of Phillip (1949–1993), the suburb of Phillip in Canberra, the Governor Phillip Tower building in Sydney, and many streets, parks and schools including a state high school in Parramatta. A monument to Phillip in Bath Abbey Church was unveiled in 1937. Another was unveiled at St Mildred's Church, Bread St, London, in 1932; that church was destroyed in the London Blitz in 1940, but the principal elements of the monument were re-erected at the west end of Watling Street, near Saint Paul's Cathedral, in 1968. A different bust and memorial is inside the nearby church of St Mary-le-Bow.There is a statue of him in the Botanic Gardens, Sydney. There is a portrait of him by Francis Wheatley in the National Portrait Gallery, London.
Percival Serle wrote of Phillip in his Dictionary of Australian Biography:
Steadfast in mind, modest, without self seeking, Phillip had imagination enough to conceive what the settlement might become, and the common sense to realize what at the moment was possible and expedient. When almost everyone was complaining he never himself complained, when all feared disaster he could still hopefully go on with his work. He was sent out to found a convict settlement, he laid the foundations of a great dominion.
Michael Pembroke's biography of Phillip adds that he was also a highly skilled international spy employed by the British government.
As part of a series of events on the bicentenary of his death, a memorial was dedicated in Westminster Abbey on 9 July 2014.In the service the Dean of Westminster, Very Reverend Dr John Hall, described Phillip as: "This modest, yet world-class seaman, linguist, and patriot, whose selfless service laid the secure foundations on which was developed the Commonwealth of Australia, will always be remembered and honoured alongside other pioneers and inventors here in the Nave: David Livingstone, Thomas Cochrane, and Isaac Newton."
A similar memorial was unveiled by the outgoing 37th Governor of New South Wales, Marie Bashir, in St James' Church, Sydney on 31 August 2014.
A bronze bust was installed at the Museum of Sydneyand a full-day symposium planned on his contributions to the founding of modern Australia.
Phillip is a prominent character in Timberlake Wertenbaker's play Our Country's Good , in which he commissions Lieutenant Ralph Clark to stage a production of The Recruiting Officer . He is shown as compassionate and just, but receives little support from his fellow officers. He is also prominent in Banished and is played by David Wenham.
Phillip is referred to in the John Williamson song "Chains around my ankle".
Phillip is a prominent character in a 2005 film The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant where he is portrayed by Sam Neill.
Kate Grenville's 2008 novel The Lieutenant portrays Phillip through the character Commodore James Gilbert.
HMS Sirius was the flagship of the First Fleet, which set out from Portsmouth, England, in 1787 to establish the first European colony in New South Wales, Australia. In 1790, the ship was wrecked on the reef, south east of Kingston Pier, in Slaughter Bay, Norfolk Island.
Vice Admiral John Hunter was an officer of the Royal Navy, who succeeded Arthur Phillip as the second governor of New South Wales, Australia and served as such from 1795 to 1800.
Captain Philip Gidley King was the third Governor of New South Wales, and did much to organise the young colony in the face of great obstacles.
Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney PC, was a British politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1754 to 1783 when he was raised to the peerage as Baron Sydney. He held several important Cabinet posts in the second half of the 18th century. The cities of Sydney in Nova Scotia, Canada, and Sydney in New South Wales, Australia were named in his honour, in 1785 and 1788, respectively.
Lady Penrhyn was built on the River Thames in 1786 as a slave ship. For her first voyage she transported convicts to New South Wales as part of the First Fleet. On her voyage back to Britain she was the first European vessel to pass by the Kermadec Islands, and the Penrhyn Atoll in the Cook Islands. She also carried a cargo for the British East India Company (EIC). The French captured her in the West Indies in 1811 and scuttled her.
Friendship was a merchant brig built in Scarborough, England, and launched in 1784. She is most notable for her transport of convicts as part of the Australian First Fleet. Due to problems manning her, her crew scuttled her in 1788.
Alexander was a merchant ship launched at Hull in 1783 or 1784. She was one of the vessels in the First Fleet, that the British government hired to transport convicts for the European colonisation of Australia in 1788. On her return voyage from Australia the British East India Company permitted her to carry a cargo from Canton back to Britain. Thereafter she traded out of London until 1809, when she is no longer listed.
The history of Australia from 1788–1850 covers the early colonial period of Australia's history, from the arrival in 1788 of the First Fleet of British ships at Sydney, New South Wales, who established the penal colony, the scientific exploration of the continent and later, establishment of other Australian colonies.
The following lists events that happened during 1788 in Australia.
The following lists events that happened during 1790 in Australia.
The following lists events that happened during 1791 in Australia.
Thomas Jamison was a prominent surgeon, government official, mercantile trader and land owner of Sydney. Jamison was also a member of the First Fleet expedition of 11 ships which founded the Australian colony of New South Wales in 1788. Twenty years later he participated in the Rum Rebellion, which deposed the colony's governor, William Bligh.
Jacob Nagle (1761–1841) was an American and British soldier, sailor, and, above all, diarist who provides an exceptional first hand account of many of the dramatic events of his lifetime.
James Squire, was a first fleet convict transported to Australia. James Squire is credited with the first successful cultivation of hops in Australia around the start of the 19th century. First officially brewing beer in Australia in 1790; James later founded Australia's first commercial brewery making beer using barley and hops in 1798, although John Boston appears to have opened a brewery making a form of corn beer two years earlier.
Peter Kenney Hibbs was an English mariner and a member of the First Fleet to Australia in 1788.
There are 20 known contemporary accounts of the First Fleet made by people sailing in the Fleet, including journals and letters. The eleven ships of the Fleet, carrying over 1,000 convicts, soldiers and seamen, left England on 13 May 1787 and arrived in Botany Bay between 18 and 20 January 1788 before relocating to Port Jackson to establish the first European settlement in Australia, a penal colony which became Sydney. At least 12 people on the Fleet kept a journal of their experiences, some of which were later published, while others wrote letters home during the voyage or soon after their arrival in Australia. These personal accounts of the voyage were made by people including surgeons, officers, soldiers, ordinary seamen, and Captain Arthur Phillip, who commanded the expedition. Only one known account, that of James Martin, was by a transported convict. Their journals document the day to day experiences of those in the Fleet, and record significant events including the first contact between the European settlers and the Aboriginal people of the area. In 2009, the manuscript journals were included in The Australian Memory of the World Register, a regional register associated with the UNESCO international Memory of the World programme.
James Maitland Shairp was an officer in the British Marines and a member of the First Fleet which founded European settlement in Australia.
Arthur Bowes Smyth was a naval officer and surgeon on the First Fleet that established the colony of New South Wales. Smyth kept a diary and documented the natural history he encountered in Australia.
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