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additional quantity of provisions, to serve until we are about to 1785 raise some for ourselves. The brig or schooner is principally 13 Jan. wanted to explore the coast on our arrival, for notwithstanding a
Exploring convenient place is already mentioned for the purpose, nature ship. and experience inform me a navigable river may be found on such an extensive coast, which, when discovered, she may be then dispatched to England with an acccount of our proceedings. In the meantime, the store-ship may be sent to the Friendly Islands for inhabitants and useful plants.
The settlement being thus established, any difficulties that may arise from the great distance of New South Wales obviated in the manner following :- The China ships belonging to the East India Company, after leaving the Cape of Good Hope, and keeping more to the southerd than usual, may land the felons on the Route for
the China coast, and then proceed to the northerd, round New Ireland,
; ships. &c., or through Saint George's Channel, and so on to the island Formosa for Canton. With a little geographical investigation, this
passage will be found more short, easy, and a safer navigation than the general route of the China ships—from Madrass through the Streights of Malacca.
Perhaps the number of the felons, after the present are disposed of, may not require more than two ships in the coarse of a year. The expence thereof attending the transporting of them by this Cheap transmethod must certainly be much less than by any other whatever, portation. without even the most distant probability of their return. Every ship may take any number of felons not exceeding seventy. Necessary Implements :-
Hatts and caps
Wheels of barrows
Seeds and plants
Articles of trade with natives
of the islands, &c.
Grain of sorts
Coals as ballast
Some leaden pumps, &c.
Pewter and earthenware.
1786 LORD SYDNEY TO THE LORDS COMMISSIONERS OF THE TREASURY. 18 Aug. My Lords,
Whitehall, 18th August, 1786. The several gaols and places for the confinement of felons crowded. in this kingdom being in so crowded a state that the greatest
danger is to be apprehended, not only from their escape, but from infectious distempers, which may hourly be expected to break out amongst them, his Majesty, desirous of preventing by every possible means the ill consequences which might happen from
either of these causes, has been pleased to signify to me his royal Convicts to commands that measures should immediately be pursued for be
sending out of this kingdom such of the convicts as are under transported
sentence or order of transportation.
The Nautilus, sloop, which, upon the recommendation of a committee of the House of Commons, had been sent to explore the southern coast of Africa, in order to find out an eligible situation for the reception of the said convicts, where from their industry they might soon be likely to obtain means of subsistence, having lately returned, and it appearing by the report of her officers that the several parts of the coast which they examined between the latitudes 15° 50' south and the latitude of 33° 00' are sandy and barren, and from other causes unfit for a settle
ment of that description, his Majesty has thought it advisable to Botany to fix upon Botany Bay, situated on the coast of New South Bay.
Wales, in the latitude of about 33 degrees south, which, according to the accounts given by the late Captain Cook, as well as the representations of persons who accompanied him during his last voyage, and who have been consulted upon the subject, is looked upon as a place likely to answer the above purposes.
I am, therefore, commanded to signify to your Lordships his
Majesty's pleasure that you do forthwith take such measures as Order for may
for providing a proper number of vessels for the first flect.
conveyance of 750 convicts to Botany Bay, together with such provisions, necessaries, and implements for agriculture as may be necessary for their use after their arrival.
In order that a proper degree of subordination and regularity may be preserved in this new intended settlement, his Majesty has been pleased to give orders that an officer and proper assistants
shall be appointed to superintend it, and that three companies of darines. the Marine Corps shall be stationed there so long as it may be
The officers and marines will be embarked on board a ship of war and a tender, which the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty have been directed to provide for this service, the commanders of which will be instructed to take under their protection the ships on board of which the convicts may be embarked, and to regulate their sailing to the place of destination.
The crews of the ship of war and the tender, as well as the Marine Corps, will be victualled by the Naval Department during
their passage ; but your Lordships will please to take notice that 1786 the marines are to be provided for after their landing, and supplies 18 Aug. of provisions, as well as implements for agricnlture, should also be procured for their use. The number may amount to about 180, to which is to be added the staff establishment, consisting of fifteen, and perhaps 200 females, which your Lordship will see by Island a sketch of the plan for forming this new settlement, herewith women. transmitted, * are likely to be procured from places in its neighbourhood, as companions for the men.
If the persons who may contract for the passage of the convicts Guard for should be desirous of obtaining military assistance for their greater transports, security, they may be accommodated with a part of the marines, who would otherwise be conveyed to the new settlement in the ship of war and the tender. According to the best opinions that can be obtained, it is Two years'
. supposed that a quantity of provisions equal to two years' consumption should be provided, which must be issued from time to time, according to the discretion of the superintendent, in the expenditure of which he will, of course, be guided by the proportion of food which the country and the labour of the new settlers may produce.
From the length of the passage to New South Wales, the commanding officer will most likely find it necessary to call at the Cape de Verd Islands, as well as at the Cape of Good Hope, for the purpose of recruiting the water. At the latter of these places he will, in all probability, be enabled to obtain cattle and hogs, as well as seed grain, all of which must be procured for grain from the new settlers, with a view to their future subsistence, and the Cape. as expenses will thereby, of course, be incurred, it will be necessary that your Lordships should authorize the naval commander, or the superintendent, to draw upon you for the amount; and that, in addition thereto, a quantity of merchandize should be put on board the ship of war or the tender previous to their sailing, sufficient to obtain supplies of live Barter. stock by the means of barter with the inhabitants of the islands contiguous to the new intended settlement, from whence such supplies may at all times be obtained.
A small quantity of garden seeds should be sent out from Garden hence, together with some seed grain, to prevent inconveniences and grain. that might happen should any difficulties arise in procuring a supply, particularly of the latter, at the Cape of Good Hope.
The tools for erecting habitations, and implements for agri- Tools and culture, which it is supposed will be most useful in the implements. settlement, are specified in the list accompanying this, and with
* Post, p. 17. + Women from the Islands. This part of the plan was not carried out.
1786 which it will be proper to supply the marines and the convicts 19 Aug.
after their landing at the settlement. It is, therefore, his Majesty's further pleasure that these articles be also provided
and sent out, together with bedding for each of the convicts, Clothing and a proportion of cloathing agreeably to the estimate enclosed.
The marines will be supplied with bedding from the ship of war. Instruments I have it in command from his Majesty only further to
acquaint your Lordships that a quantity of surgical instruments medicines.
and medicines and necessaries for the sick will likewise be wanted, and as soon as an estimate can be formed it shall be transmitted to your Lordships, together with the staff establishment.
In the meantime, I have only to recommend it to your Lordships to cause every possible expedition to be used in preparing the shipping for the reception of the said convicts, and for transporting the supplies of provisions and necessaries for their use to the place of their destination.* I have, &c.,
1786. Tools and
List of Tools, Utensils, dc., necessary for the Convicts and Marines intended utensils
to proceed to New South Wales.
437 10 0
20 0 0
43 15 0 Frame saws, 40, @ 16s. each
32 0 0 Adzes, 100, @ 2s. each
10 0 0 Broad axes, 100, @ 2s. 6d. each
12 10 0 Hammers, 1 for every 4 men, @ls. each
8 15 0 Augers, 140, @ ls. each
7 0 0 Drawing knives, 140, at ls.
7 0 0 Chissels and gouges, 300, @ 7d. each
8 15 0 Planes, 100, & 28. 6d. each
12 10 0 Iron forges, anvils, and hammers, 10, @ £3
30 0 0 Grindstones, 30, @ 10s. 6d. each
15 15 0 Wheelbarrows, 40, @ 10s. each
20 0 0 Pickaxes, 50, @ 5s. each
12 10 0 Ploughs, 12, @ £4 each
48 0 0 Iron hand mills, 40, @ £2 each...
SO 0 0 Coopers' tools, 10 setts, @ £1 158. each
17 10 0
£823 10 0 * The King's Speech (George III) read at the opening of Parliament, on the 23rd January, 1787, contained the following passage :-"A plan has been formed, by my direction, for transporting a number of convicts in order to remove the inconvenience which arose from the crowded state of the gaols in different parts of the kingdom; and you will, doubt not, take such further measures as may be necessary for this purpose."
£ 8. d. 823 10 0 100 0 0 30 0 0 6 13 4
5 0 0 170 00
33 6 8 100 0 0
1786 18 Aug. Tools and utensils.
£1,268 100 Estimate of clothing to serve a male convict for one year.
£ s. d. Jackets, 2, @ 4s. 6d.
0 0 Wollen drawers, 4, @2s.
0 8 0 Hat, 1, @2s. 6d.
0 2 6 Shirts, 3, @ 38.
090 Worsted stockings, 4 p'r, @ 1s.
0 4 0 Frocks, 3, @2s. 3d.
0 6 9 Trousers, 3, @2s. 3d.
0 6 9 Shoes, 3, @ 4s. 6d.
0 13 6
£2 19 6 The expence of clothing female convicts may be computed to amount to the same sum. A proportion for two years to be provided.
HEADS OF A Plan.* Heads of a plan for effectually disposing of convicts, and Proposal for rendering their transportation reciprocally beneficial both to settlement. themselves and to the State, by the establishment of a colony in New South Wales, a country which, by the fertility and salubrity of the climate, connected with the remoteness of its situation (from whence it is hardly possible for persons to return without permission), seems peculiarly adapted to answer the views of Government with respect to the providing a remedy for the evils likely to result from the late alarming and numerous increase of felons in this country, and more particularly in the metropolis.
It is proposed that a ship of war of a proper class, with a part
That, in addition to their crews, they should take on board Marines. two companies of marines to form a military establishment on shore (not only for the protection of the settlement, if requisite, against the natives, but for the preservation of good order), together with an assortment of stores, utensils, and implements, Stores and necessary for erecting habitations and for agriculture, and such provisions. quantities of provisions as may be proper for the use of the crews.
* Ante, p. 15.