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An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island


John Hunter

Vignette described




with the Discoveries which have been made in


since the publication of


compiled from the Official Papers;

Including the JOURNALS of Governor PHILLIP and KING, and of Lieut. BALL;

and the


from the first Sailing of the Sirius in 1787, to the Return of that

Ship's Company to England in 1792



Illustrated with seventeen Maps, Charts, Views and other embellishments

Drawn on the spot by

Captains Hunter and Bradley, Lieutenant Dawes and Governor King


Printed for John Stockdale, Picadilly

January 1, 1793.





The ships destined for Botany-Bay rendezvous at the Mother-Bank.--Leave that place, and proceed on the voyage.--The convicts on board one of the transports attempt an insurrection.--Are timely discovered, and the ring-leaders punished.--Arrived at Santa Cruz.--Transactions there.--Attempt of a convict to escape.--Description of Laguna, and the adjacent country. Departure from Santa Cruz.--Pass Cape Frio.--Arrive at Rio Janeiro. Transactions there.--City of St. Sebastian described.--Table of Winds, Weather, &c.


Anchor in Table-Bay.--Refreshments procured there.--Depart from the Cape of Good Hope.--Captain Phillip quits the Sirius, and proceeds on the voyage in the Supply.--The Sirius arrives in Botany-Bay.--Finds the Supply at anchor there.--Arrival of the Bussole and Astrolabe.--Leave Botany-Bay, and anchor in Port Jackson.--The Table of Winds, Weather, &c.


Frequent interviews with the natives.--Weapons described.--Ornaments.--Persons, manners, and habitations.--Method of hunting.--Animals described.--Birds, and insects.--Diary of the weather.--Departure of the Bussole and Astrolabe.--A convict pretends to have discovered a gold mine.--The fraud detected.--Observations for the longitude, &c


The Sirius leaves Port Jackson.--Sails for the Cape of Good Hope, by the Eastern Passage.--Falls in with many large islands of ice.--Casts anchor at Robin's Island.--Tables of the winds, weather, &c.


Depart from Robin's Island, and anchor in Table Bay.--The sick sent on shore.--Arrival of the Alexander transport.--Provisions procured for the settlement at Port Jackson.--Departure of the Sirius.--In great danger from a violent tempest.--Arrives safe at Port Jackson.--Tables of the winds, weather, variation of the compass, &c.


The small-pox makes its appearance among the natives.--Its fatal effects.--A criminal court held.--Six marines tried and convicted.--Governor Phillip visits Broken-bay.--Explores its various inlets.--Returns to Port Jackson. Broken-bay surveyed.--Botany-bay surveyed.--Two natives brought to the settlement, and kindly treated.--One of them makes his escape.


The Sirius and Supply sail for Norfolk Island.--Land the marines and convicts.--Wreck of the Sirius.--Some provisions saved.--Martial Law established.--Ratio of provisions settled.--Vast numbers of birds caught.--In distress for provisions.--Receive a supply from Port Jackson.--Officers and crew of the Sirius leave Norfolk Island, and arrive at Port Jackson.--Norfolk Island described.--Its situation and extent.--Soil.--Climate, &c.--Table of Winds, &c.


Great improvement of the country at Rose Hill.--Vicissitude of the climate. Norfolk Island remarkably healthy.--A native runs away from the settlement.--Frequent visits from the natives.--Governor Phillip wounded by the natives with a spear.--Natives again visit the settlement.--Entertain the governor, &c. with a dance.--Decorate themselves for that purpose. Method of dancing described.--Music and singing.


Captain Hunter leaves Port Jackson in the Waaksamheyd transport.--In danger amongst some islands.--Isle of Pines described.--Stewart's islands discovered.--Fall in with Bradley's shoals.--Discover a cluster of islands.--Name them Lord Howe's Groupe.--The natives described.--Attempt to find anchorage on the coast of New-Britain.--Are disappointed.--Anchor at the Duke of York's island.--Attempt to procure water.--Are attacked by the natives.--A few shots fired.--The natives dispersed.--A reconciliation effected.--Natives described.--Weapons.--Ornaments, &c.--Produce and soil.--Leave the Duke of York's island.--Natives from the Admiralty islands visit the ship.--Their canoes described.--Phillip's islands discovered.--Anchor at Hummock island.--Refreshments procured.--Visited by the Raja.--A quarrel ensues.--Several of the natives killed.--Articles of barter in request.--Canoes described.--Leave Hummock island.--Anchor at Batavia.--Tables of latitude and longitude, &c.


Captain Hunter waits on the Governor at Batavia.--Applies for a passage to England.--Purchases the Waaksambeyd for that purpose.--Leaves Batavia.--Passes the Keelings.--Arrives at the Cape of Good Hope.--Leaves that place, and anchors at Saint Helena.--Departs from Saint Helena.--Arrives at Portsmouth.--Tables for the variation of the compass.--Captain Hunter's letter to the Lords of the Admiralty.


Lieutenant King visits Monsieur De la Peyrouse at Botany-Bay.--Polit reception there.--An account of his adventures.--Lieutenant King returns to Port Jackson.--Sent by Governor Phillip to form a settlement on Norfolk Island.--Leaves Port Jackson.--An island discovered. --Arrival at Norfolk Island.--Difficulty in finding a landing-place.--Lands the convicts, provisions, and stores.--Ground cleared, and tents fixed. --A store-house erected.--Vegetables, and various sorts of grain sown.--Distressed by rats.--General orders for the regulation of the settlement.


Regular employment of the convicts.--Meet with an unlucky accident.--Thefts detected.--The robbers punished.--Pestered with rats.--Method of destroying them.--Live stock on the settlement.--Trees discovered which afford food for hogs.--Some of the settlers poisoned.--Cured with sweet oil.--A convict punished for using seditious language.--Birds on the island. Description of Arthur's Vale.--His Majesty's birth-day kept.--Flourishing state of the gardens.--Arrival of the Supply.--Four persons drowned.--Provisions and stores received.--Queries from Governor Phillip, and the answers.--Ball-Bay described.--The landing-place cleared.--Arrival of the Golden Grove transport.--Marines and convicts brought in the Golden Grove.--Provisions and stores.


Quantity of provisions received by the Golden Grove.--Timber sent to Port Jackson.--Observations on the navigation near Norfolk Island.--Number of persons on the settlement.--Nepean and Phillip Islands described.--Corn reaped.--A party sent to Ball Bay.--Talk-work of the convicts.--The free people exercised.--Plot to seize the island discovered.--Orders made public for the preservation of regularity.--Oath of allegiance administered.--Provisions and stores examined.


A violent hurricane at Norfolk Island.--Arrival of the Supply.--Convicts sent from Port Jackson.--Provisions and stores.--Departure of the Supply.--Robberies committed.--Employment of the convicts.--Wheat infested with caterpillars.--A store-house erected.--Arrival of a party of marines from Port Jackson.--Thefts committed.--Orders read for preserving regularity.--A female convict punished.--Pernicious effects of the grub-worm.--Gardens plundered.--A granary erected.--Wheat destroyed by paroquets.--Number of inhabitants on the island.


The arrival of the Sirius and Supply at Norfolk-Island.--The loss of the Sirius.--Captain Hunter and the crew saved.--A general meeting of the officers convened.--Sundry regulations adopted.--Martial-Law proclaimed.--Lieutenant-Governor Ross takes the command.--Lieutenant King leaves Norfolk-Island.--Description of Norfolk-Island.--Face of the country.--Water--Soil--Climate--Timber--Insects--Fish--Seasons--Winds--Coast, and Bays.--Present state of cultivation.--General behaviour of the convicts.--Number of inhabitants on the island.--Grain and live-stock.--Lieutenant King arrives at Port Jackson.--Finds the country greatly improved.--Manners and customs of the natives.--Vocabulary of the language.


Lieutenant King sails for Batavia.--Meets with a dangerous shoal.--Discovers Tench's-Island.--A description of the inhabitants.--Prince William-Henry's Island described.--Touches at Kercolang.--A description of the inhabitants, their cloathing and utensils.--Passes through the Streights of Salayer.--Arrival at Batavia.--Interview with the governor.--Batavia described.--Situation and extent.--Manners and customs of the inhabitants.--Government and police.--Annual exports.--Departure from Batavia.--Mortality amongst the sailors.--Arrival at the Isle of France.--An account of that island.--Sails from the Isle of France.--Arrival in the English Channel.


The Lady Juliana Transport arrives at Port Jackson.--Loss of the Guardian.--A settlement made at Sydney-Cove.--A state of the settlements at Sydney-Cove and Rose-Hill.--A general return of male convicts, with their employments.


An excursion into the country.--An interview with the natives.--Governor Phillip wounded with a spear.--A second interview with the natives.--Occurrences on that occasion.--Five convicts effect their escape in a boat.--The settlement visited by the natives.--Their customs.--Arrival of the Supply from Batavia.


Fruits in season described.--The manners of the natives.--Disputes with them.--Arrival of a vessel from Batavia.


The depredations of the natives.--Bannelong's behaviour.--The Supply sails for Norfolk-Island.--The quantity of provisions brought in the Waaksam-heid from Batavia.--The appearance of a prodigious number of Bats.--The return of Bannelong.--The manners of the natives further described.


An excursion into the country.--Occurrences on the journey.--Surprising dexterity of the natives in climbing trees.--Their superstition.--Their method of curing wounds.--Their language.--Their manners and disposition.


A second excursion into the country.--The first grants of land to settlers.--A barter with the natives established.--The arrival of several vessels from England.--A new harbour discovered.--The names of the first settlers.


Arrival of the Gorgon, and several transports at Port Jackson.--The number of convicts brought out in these vessels.--A whale-fishery established on the Coast of New South Wales.


The Supply leaves Port Jackson.--Receives some damage in a storm.--Doubles Cape Horn.--Passes Staten's land.--Anchors at Rio Janeiro.--Refreshments procured.--Departure from Rio Janciro.--Proceeds towards England.--Arrives off the Lizard.--Particulars respecting Norfolk-Island.


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1. Captain Hunter

2. Vignette on the Title Page. (Vignette described)

3. A Map of New South Wales

4. View of the Settlement on Sydney Cove, Port Jackson

5. The Southern Hemisphere, showing the Track of the Sirius

6. A Chart of Botany-Bay, Port Jackson, and Broken-Bay, with the Coast and Soundings

7. View at Rose-Hill

8. A Man of Lord Howe's Groupe

9. A Man of the Duke of York's Island

10. Canoes of the Duke of York's-Island

11. Canoes of the Admiralty Islands

12. Track of the Waaksamheyd Transport

13. A Plan of Norfolk-Island

14. A Family of New South Wales

15. Non-Descript Shells, of New South Wales, Plate I.

16. Non-Descript Shells, of New South Wales, Plate II.

17. Non-Descript Shells, of New South Wales, Plate III.

Captain Hunter

A Map of New South Wales


Chapter I

October 1786 to September 1787

The ships destined for Botany-Bay rendezvous at the Mother-Bank.--Leave that place, and proceed on the voyage.--The convicts on board one of the transports attempt an insurrection.--Are timely discovered, and the ring-leaders punished.--Arrived at Santa Cruz.--Transactions there.--Attempt of a convict to escape.--Description of Laguna, and the adjacent country. Departure from Santa Cruz.--Pass Cape Frio.--Arrive at Rio Janeiro. Transactions there.--City of St. Sebastian described.--Table of Winds, Weather, &c.

It being the intention of government to remove the inconvenience, which this country suffered, from the goals being so exceedingly crouded with criminals, who had been by the laws condemned to transportation, the east coast of New Holland was the place determined upon to form a settlement for this salutary purpose. The east coast of New Holland is that country, which was discovered and explored by Captain James Cook, in his first voyage round the world, and by him called New South Wales. Botany Bay, the only place he entered with the ship, which could be called a harbour, having been mentioned in the narrative of that voyage, as a convenient place for a settlement, was fixed upon by government for the intended design.

On the 25th of October, 1786, his Majesty's ship Sirius, lying in the dock at Deptford, was commissioned, and the command given to Arthur Phillip, Esq; the Supply armed tender was also put in commission, and Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball was appointed to command her.

The Sirius was a ship of about 540 tons burthen, exceedingly well calculated for such a service; she mounted 20 guns, and had a spar deck over them, was of a round full built, and was all together a very capacious and convenient vessel. The Supply armed tender was a brig, and was one of the vessels which were employed in carrying naval stores from one of his Majesty's dock-yards to another; she was a very firm strong little vessel, very flat floored, and roomy, mounted eight guns, and had a deep waist, which I feared would be found a very great, if not a dangerous inconvenience in so low a vessel on so long a voyage. The Sirius's compliment was 160 men; that of the Supply, 55 men. These two ships were intended, after having performed the service of escorting the convicts to the place of their destination, to remain in the country to be employed as the governor might find necessary for the public service, until they should be relieved by other ships from England.

I had some reason, during the equipment of those ships, to think I might be employed upon this service, in some way or other; and as Captain Phillip was appointed governor of the new settlement, and of course had much business to transact in London, I frequently visited the Sirius, and frequently received his directions in any thing that related to the fitting her; she was out of the dock and the rigging in hand when I first went on board, On the 9th of December, the ship being ready to fall down the river, we slipped the moorings and sailed down to Long-Reach, where we took in the guns and ordnance stores. On the 15th, I was informed by a letter from Mr. Stephens, Secretary to the Admiralty, that there was a commission signed for me in that office, and desiring I would come to town and take it up. The nature of the service upon which the Sirius might be employed in those seas to which she was bound, having been considered, it was judged necessary that an officer, bearing a certain rank, should command that ship in the absence of Captain Phillip, whose prefence, it was to be supposed, would be requisite at all times wherever the seat of government in that country might be fixed. In consequence of Mr. Stephens's letter, I repaired to the Admiralty, and received a commission, appointing me Second Captain of his Majesty's ship Sirius, with the rank of Post Captain, and with power to command her in the absence of her principal Captain; subject nevertheless to his controul, and to such orders and directions for my proceedings as he might see occasion to give me, for the good of the service. This appointment of a Second Captain, to a private ship, being the first instance in our service, it could not, consistent with the established regulations of the navy, take place, but by the authority of the King's order in council: an order from his Majesty in council, authorizing the Lords of the Admiralty to make such appointment, was therefore given.

On the 30th of January, 1787, two transports, one having male, the other female convicts on board, dropt down to Long-Reach, but they having business to transact with the owners of the ships, relative to their ships companies, were permitted to proceed as low as Gravesend, where the Sirius joined them the next day, and proceeded immediately to the Nore, where we anchored the same day, and were joined by his Majesty's armed tender Supply: on the 4th of February, we anchored in the Downs, and were detained there by bad weather and contrary winds, until the 19th, when we put to sea in company with the Supply and transports, and arrived on the Mother-Bank on the 21st: at this anchorage, all the transports and store-ships were directed to rendezvous; the latter were already arrived, and, while we lay here, the other transports joined us from the westward.

On the 9th of May, Captain Phillip arrived in Portsmouth, and the next day came on board, and issued the signals and other necessary orders to Lieutenant John Shortland, the agent for transports, to be delivered to the masters of the different ships.

On Sunday the 13th, we sailed from the Mother-Bank in company with the Supply armed tender, six transports, having on board 600 male, and 200 female convicts, and three store-ships, carrying provisions and various other stores: on board the ships carrying convicts, were embarked 160 marines, with their proper officers; Major Robert Ross was commandant of the battalion, and appointed lieutenant-governor of the new settlement; a surgeon and three assistants were also embarked in the transports, with medicines and necessaries for the people under their care. The wind being easterly, we ran out at the Needles, and were accompanied by his Majesty's ship Hyena, Captain De Coursey, who had received orders from the Admiralty to see us 100 leagues to the westward.

We had light breezes with fair and pleasant weather down the channel, but had the mortification to find that two of our transports sailed exceedingly bad; one of which, the Hyena towed two or three days. On the 15th, at sun-set, the Start Point bore north-east half east by compass, distant seven or eight leagues: at noon on this day (which finishes the nautical and begins the astronomical day) the longitude, by account, was 5°. 01'. west of the meridian of Greenwich, and by a timepiece made by Mr. Kendal, with which the Board of Longitude had supplied us, it was 4°. 59'. west; we had a variety of weather from this time till the 21st. when being in latitude 47°. 52'. north, and longitude 12°. 14'. west, Captain Phillip put his dispatches on board the Hyena; she saluted us with three cheers, and we parted company; the wind was now, and had been for some days before, in the south-west quarter, with hazy weather, our progress to the southward was therefore but slow; much attention was required on our part to the rate of sailing of the different transports, in order to prevent separation.

At this time a report was made from one of the transports, both by the commanding marine officer on board, and the master of the ship, that a discovery had been made of an intended insurrection amongst the convicts in that ship; in which, if they had succeeded, they were to have quitted the fleet in the night, and afterwards to have made such use of the ship, as they should, upon farther consideration of the matter, determine amongst themselves. Captain Phillip had very humanely, a few days previous to this scheme, directed that the irons with which most of the male convicts had hitherto been confined, should be taken off them generally, that they might have it more in their power to strip their cloaths off at night when they went to rest, be also more at their ease during the day, and have the farther advantage of being able to wash and keep themselves clean; this indulgence had no doubt left it more in the power of those who might be disposed to exert their ingenuity, in so daring an attempt, to carry their plan into execution with a greater probability of success; but I am thoroughly convinced, that so strict an attention to duty was paid by the whole of the marines employed on this service, that such an attempt would have terminated in the destruction of those who appeared most active and forward in it. Two of the principals were brought on board the Sirius, severely punished, and sent on board another transport, properly secured in heavy irons.

On the 23d, the wind inclined to the north-west, and, after heavy rain, settled in that quarter; by the favour of this change we proceeded to the southward, at the rate of between 70 and 100 miles in 24 hours. On the 26th, the wind shifted to the northward, and from that to the north-east; our latitude at this time was 42°. 10'. north, and the longitude 11°. 36'. west; variation of the compass, 20°. 19'. west.

On the 29th in the evening, (as we intended making the islands of Porto Sancto and Madeira) being but a little distance from the former, and the weather being hazy, we shortened sail, to prevent the convoy from falling suddenly in with the land in the night: at day-light the next morning, we saw the Deserters off Madeira, bearing west-south-west, five leagues distant; we had passed the island of Porto Sancto in the night, having steered to pass eight or nine leagues to the eastward of it; we found the ship set this last 24 hours 12 miles to the southward of the log. At noon the south-easternmost Deserter bore by compass north 17°. west, by which we made its latitude 32°. 29'. north, and its longitude by the time-keeper 16°. 38'. west of Greenwich; the variation of the compass was here 17°. 00' west: from hence, with a light breeze from the northward, we steered south half west, by compass, and at five P.M. on the 1st of June, we made the Salvages; which was rather sooner than we expected, by the distance we had run from the Deserters off Madeira, and the latitude observed the preceding noon, by which we judged ourselves not less than 17 leagues from them. At midnight we were exactly in their parallel, and saw them very distinctly by the light of the moon, which was very clear; their latitude, deduced from the preceding, as well as following meridian observations, is 30°. 12'. north, which is 12 miles to the northward of what they are generally placed, either in tables or charts; their longitude, by our time-keeper, is 15°. 53'. west. I had never seen these rocks before, and always understood them to be small inconsiderable spots, but the largest is so high as to be seen at the distance of seven or eight leagues, and appears to be about a mile and a half in length, from north-west to south-east; there are a few scattered rocks appear above water, to the westward; and I have been told, that a reef of considerable extent stretches out from them to the westward.

From the time of our passing these rocks until the evening of the 3d, we had very light airs and variable, but mostly from the south-west quarter, and every day found we were affected by a southerly current of 10 or 12 miles in 24 hours. The wind now sprung up from the northward, and we steered for the island of Teneriffe, directing our course by the longitude determined from the time-keeper, the account being 1°. 04'. to the westward of it, and our lunar observations within three miles of it: at day-light in the morning we saw the island of Teneriffe, and at noon Point de Nagara, or north-east point, bore south-west by south, distant five leagues; some of the convoy being considerably astern we brought to, and in the afternoon, there being a fresh of wind from the north-east, we bore away and made the signal for the convoy to make all the sail possible, in order, as we were strangers to Sancta Cruz road, that we might save day-light to the anchorage, which we effected, and had the whole convoy in before dark; at half past six in the evening we anchored in 15 fathoms water, soft ground, being a mixture of sand and black mud: we moored with the bower anchors, and had the church of St. Francisco south 73°. 00'. west, the easternmost point in sight, called Point Roquet, (from a small rock which lies a little detached from it) north 78°. 00'. east, and a fort to the south-west of the town, south 45°. 00'. west, distant from the nearest shore about two and a half cables length. The ground all over this bay is said to be foul; we therefore buoyed up our cables, but had no reason, upon examining them afterwards, to believe there was any foul ground where we lay.

The next morning, Captain Phillip sent an officer to wait on the governor with the usual information of whom we were, and our business at that island; but, previous to our anchoring, the master attendant, and some other officers, were on board the Sirius for this very purpose; a ceremony which I believe is seldom neglected. When the officer returned, he brought a very polite reply from the governor, signifying his sincere wishes that the island might be capable of supplying us with such articles as we were in want of, and his assurances that every refreshment the place afforded we should certainly have. Captain Phillip then waited on the governor, accompanied by Major Ross, myself, and several other officers; we were most politely received by him, and he repeated his hope that Teneriffe might afford every refreshment which we had occasion for.

Two days after this visit, the governor, who was then the Marquis Branceforte, and captain-general of the whole of the Canary Islands, notwithstanding he had the day before returned Captain Phillip's visit by an officer, came on board himself, attended by several officers. He remained about an hour on board, and asked many questions respecting the extent of our voyage, and situation of the place where we were going to settle, all of which we explained to him by a general chart of the world. A day or two after this visit, Captain Phillip received an invitation to dine with him, and to bring as many of the principal officers as could be spared from the ships: we waited on him in a party about twelve, and were very hospitably and politely entertained; in short, on the whole, I never met with so polite and so pleasant a man in any foreign port I have ever visited.

During the time we lay in this road, the ships companies, the marines, and convicts, were every day supplied with fresh provisions, of which there appeared to be great abundance on the island: vegetables and fruit were at this time scarce; potatoes, onions, and pumpkins only were to be had, and those but in small quantities. It was Captain Phillip's intention, when we arrived here, to have remained only three or four days, but we found that the watering of the ships was a business which could not be completed in so short a time. During our stay, the watering the ships was our principal consideration, and it was often unavoidable to be employed in this necessary business on board the transports after dark; the watering-place being only contrived to load two boats at a time.

A convict one evening, while every body was employed in clearing a boat of water, contrived to slip into a small boat, and dropt away from the ship unperceived; when he got to some considerable distance off, he then exerted himself at his oars, and got on board a foreign East-India ship, which was lying here, and offered himself as a seaman, but was refused; finding himself disappointed in his hope of getting off in that ship, he judged it necessary, knowing that he would very soon be missed, and search made after him, to quit that ship; he landed to the westward of the town, but on a place where there was a good deal of surf, and where the rocks behind him were inaccessible. The officer of marines on board that transport, having ordered the convicts to be mustered as usual at setting the watch, when they were always put below, found this man was missing, and immediate information of it sent to Captain Phillip; who next morning sent an officer from the Sirius to the governor, requesting his assistance in recovering the deserter; orders were immediately given by the governor for that purpose; in the morning early, boats were dispatched from the ships to row along shore to the westward, to endeavour to recover the boat he had taken away, and a little to the westward of the town, they discovered the boat beating on the rocks; and rowing in to pick her up, they discovered the fellow concealing himself in the cliff of a rock, not having been able to get up the precipice: the officer presented a musket at him, and threatened if he did not immediately come down and get into the boat he would shoot him; the fellow complied, rather than run the hazard of being shot, and was taken on board, punished, and put in irons until we got to sea, when he was liberated in the same manner as the rest.

Before we were ready to put to sea, a party of us had determined to make a short excursion into the country, where we had no doubt of finding its aspect more inviting than the prospect from the ships: for this purpose, we set out one morning very early, accompanied by two British gentlemen, who were merchants resident here, (Mr. Little and Mr. Armstrong,) and who had shown us upon every occasion much civility and attention: those gentlemen had previously provided horses, mules, provisions, &c. We directed our journey to the city of Laguna, which was, and is still called the capital of the island; it is said to be but three or four miles from Santa Cruz; but, whether from the badness of the road, (which is certainly the worst I ever saw in any country,) or the slowness of our progress from that cause, I thought it not less than twice that distance.

When we arrived at Laguna, we walked through many of the streets, which are very regular, and cross each other at right angles; the buildings in general are good, and some of the streets are wider than you generally see them in any of the Spanish or Portuguese towns: there are two parish churches, which have short square steeples, but they appear above all the other buildings; there are also two nunneries, and three or four convents, which are built in a quadrangular form, and have good gardens. In the middle of the town is a conduit, which supplies the inhabitants with water. This city stands on a plain of considerable extent, over part of which we rode, until we came to the foot of the hill from whence the town is supplied with water. We ascended the mountain, and traced the stream to its fountain-head, where we found it issuing from cavities in several parts of the hill, and was conveyed down the declivity in stone-troughs, and received on the plain by troughs of wood, supported about seven or eight feet above the ground by props; through this aqueduct, the water is carried to the center of the city, over a plain, from a distance of four or five miles.

The plain on which Laguna stands, is pleasant and fertile; it was now the height of their harvest, and many people were employed in cutting down the corn, with which this plain seemed to be well planted; there were also many pleasant gardens here, and the soil in general appeared rich. The plain is surrounded by very high mountains, down the sides of which in the rainy season, (for their rains are periodical,) vast torrents of water run, from which cause, I apprehend, its unhealthiness must proceed; for I was told, when remarking how thinly the town of Laguna appeared to be inhabited, that very few, who had it in their power to choose their place of residence, would continue in Laguna. The governor has a palace here, but generally resides at Santa Cruz; and this city, once the residence of persons in great authority, is now quite deserted by people of any distinction. I saw nothing of the lake from which it derives its name, but was given to understand that it was now a very inconsiderable piece of water; probably the accounts given of there having been a large lake here, may have originated from the plain being quite a swamp during the fall of the heavy rains. We returned to Santa Cruz the same evening, very much pleased with our excursion: I regretted much, that the time proposed for settling our business here, would not admit of a visit to the Peak, a mountain so much spoken of by all who have visited this island, for its wonderful height.

The bay of Santa Cruz is defended by many small batteries of four or five guns each, which are placed at certain distances from each other, round the bay, and close to the water-side, which exposes them much to the annoyance of ships; but their principal fort is near the landing place, and is a strong work, but the water being deep very near in, they are all exposed to the attack of ships: on the whole, it is said, they mount near one hundred pieces of cannon.

The town of Santa Cruz is very irregularly built; the principal street is broad, and has more the appearance of a square than a street; the governor's house stands at the upper end; it is but a mean looking building, and has more the appearance of a country inn, than the palace of a governor: at the lower end of the street there is a square monument, commemorating the appearance of Notre Dame to the Guanches, the original inhabitants of the island. The out-skirts of the town have more the appearance of a place deserted and in ruins, than a place of trade, for many of the houses there are either left half built, or have fallen to decay from some other cause, and the stone walls, which were their principal fences, are broken down and in ruins.

On the ninth of June, in the afternoon, the transports having completed their watering, the signal was made from the Sirius for every person of our fleet to repair immediately on board their respective ships, and on the 10th, in the morning, we put to sea with a light air of wind from the land.

The island of Teneriffe is situated in latitude as observed in the road, 28° 29' 5" north, and longitude, determined by the time-keeper, 16° 18' 00" west.

We steered to the south-west until we were near the meridian of the island of Sal, the northernmost of the Cape De Verde Islands, and then shaped our course so as to fall in a little to the eastward of it. At 10 in the evening of the 18th, being at no great distance from the island, we made the signal for the convoy to shorten sail, the distance not being sufficient to admit of our carrying sail all night; at nine the next morning we saw the island bearing north-west by north, distant four leagues: I make the latitude of the north end 16° 48' north, and its longitude, determined by the time-keeper, is 23° 03' west, the south end is in latitude 16° 39' north. We steered from abreast the center of this island, south half east by compass, which carried us about three or four miles wide of the reef, which extends from the north-east part of Bonavista, and runs from the shore in a south-east direction three or four miles: it was about two o'clock in the afternoon when we made the island of Bonavista, so that we had a very good opportunity of seeing the reef, from which I observe Captain Cook says, in one of his voyages, he was in great danger, and that it lies off the south-east part of the island; which is certainly a mistake, for we ran down the east side of the island, at the distance of three miles from the reef, and I make its latitude and longitude as follows:--

Island of Bonavista:
Latitude of the north end 16° 13' north.
Longitude by time-keeper 22° 51' west.
Latitude of the south end 16° 00' north.
Variation of the compass 11° 19' west.

At twelve o'clock at night, having an intention of anchoring in Port Praya Bay, in the island of Saint Jago, we made the signal and brought-to till day-light; we then made sail, the weather very hazy, which is generally the case among these islands: we ran close round the south end of the isle of May, and stretched over for the south end of Saint Jago; but when we opened Port Praya Bay, we were suddenly taken aback with the wind from north-west, and every ship appeared to have the wind in a different direction. In this situation it was thought that any attempt to gain the anchorage under such unfavourable circumstances might be attended with the danger of some of the ships getting on board each other; it was therefore determined to give up the intention, and the signal was made for that purpose.

The object for which we endeavoured to get into this bay, was, a supply of fresh vegetables for the ships companies and convicts, an article with which we had been but scantily provided at Teneriffe. Port Praya Bay, on the island of Saint Jago, is situated in latitude 14° 54' north, and longitude 23° 37' west. This was about noon of the 20th of June, and we took our leave of these islands, and steered to the southward, intending to cross the equator, if possible, two or three degrees to the eastward of the meridian of Saint Jago.

We had a fresh gale from the north-east until we were in the latitude of 10° 30' north; the north-east trade now became faint and variable, and in 9° 30' north we had frequent calms, with dark cloudy weather, and heavy showers of rain; squalls were seen now rising from every part of the horizon, and appeared to threaten much wind, but they seldom contained any thing but torrents of rain; the breezes, which were very light, and were generally from the southward, very much retarded our progress towards the line. In latitude 8° 30' north, the wind fixed in the south-west quarter (rather an extraordinary circumstance in these latitudes) and blew a fresh gale, with which we stood to the eastward; but as it was generally far southerly, we were soon in longitude 18° 26' west, by the time-piece, on which we had more reliance than on the dead reckoning, for here we found a current setting considerably strong to the eastward; our lunar observations, which we never failed to make at every opportunity, constantly confirmed the truth of the watch.

Finding no prospect of a change of wind by continuing to stand to the eastward, we tacked in the above longitude, and latitude 6° 48' north, and stood to the westward; for the wind now appeared fixed between south-west and south, a steady gale with a large sea from the southward; many of the convoy sailed so heavy, and were so leewardly, that to gain ground thus circumstanced was impossible; we had therefore only to hope, that by standing off to a greater distance from the coast of Africa, we might find the wind incline to the eastward of south: we, therefore, kept working in this manner for twelve days, in the course of which time our dead reckonings were four degrees to the westward of the truth, occasioned by the the strong easterly currents; in the latitude of 4° 30' north, and longitude, by the time-keeper, 19° 40' west, the wind began to incline to the south-south-east, which gave us some reason to hope that the south-east trade wind was at no great distance.

It continued wavering between the south by east and south-east until we had got another degree to the southward, when it settled at south-east a steady breeze; but the easterly current, which would now have been an advantage to us by keeping the transports to windward, had ceased, and we found a strong westerly one running for several days, from 30 to 45 miles in 24 hours, by which our account was brought back to its original agreement with the time-keeper and lunar observations. The greatest velocity of the westerly current, was between latitude 3° 00' north and the line, and its direction appeared to have been nearly west, for we never found our observations for the latitude materially affected by it; the same was the case with the easterly current, which may account for the ships from the northward, bound to the coast of Brazil, who may have no other way of determining their longitude but by account, scarcely having been sensible of any current; so very nearly does the westerly set, counteract, in the passage, that to the eastward.

On the 14th of July, in the evening, we crossed the equator in longitude 26° 10' west, and with 5° 00' of west variation. The south-east trade wind now made us ample amends for the failure of the north-east, for it blew a fresh and steady breeze from east-south-east to east, which I believe is rather uncommon when the sun has so great north declination: if the wind had not favoured us so much, we must have fallen in with the coast of Brazil, far to the northward, which, with this convoy, would have been attended with much loss of time, and some degree of danger; however, with this favourable slant, we carried all the sail possible, and were enabled to keep at a distance from the coast, but not so far as to be able to make the island of Trinidada, which it was Captain Phillip's intention to have done, had the wind permitted.

We passed its parallel 4° 30' to the westward of it, and had for several days kept a look out for an island, which the Portuguese call Ascencao, and is said to lie between Trinidada and the coast of Brazil; but the existence of which there is much reason to doubt. We did not see any thing until the 3d of August, when we made Cape Frio; at 12 o'clock at night we were right abreast of it, and had it bearing north half west five or six miles; its longitude, by the time-keeper, is 41° 40' west of the meridian of Greenwich* and its latitude is 22° 58' south. This cape is an island distant two or three miles from the main land; we had very light airs and variable weather between the Cape and Rio Janeiro, which is a distance of 18 or 20 leagues; we never approached the shore nearer than five or six miles, at which distance we had 30 fathoms water over a soft bottom, and at four leagues distance had 42 and 43 fathoms, with the same soft ground.

[* It will appear hereafter that we had not the true rate of the watch, and consequently that the above longitude is not correct.]

On the 6th of August, a light breeze from the sea carried us within the islands which lie off the harbour, where we anchored for the night, with the convoy, in 14 fathoms water, clear soft ground, the island Raz (a low flat island) bearing south by west two miles, and Rodondo (a high round island) south-west by south. The next morning an officer was sent to the town, to wait on the viceroy, and give him information who we were, and for what purpose we had visited that port: in the afternoon of the 7th, with a breeze from the sea, we weighed, and, with the whole convoy, sailed into the harbour.

As we passed Fort Santa Cruz, we saluted with 13 guns, which was returned by an equal number from the fort; we anchored off the town in 17½ fathoms water, over a good soft bottom, and moored with best bower to the south-east, and the small bower to the north-west; Fort Santa Cruz south 36° 00' east; the Sugar Loaf south, 7° 00' east; and the Flag-Staff, on the Island Cobres, north 78° 00' west, distant from the town one mile and a half. In going into the harbour, there being very little wind, some of our convoy were alongside of each other, and were drifting in with the tide; at which the master of the port, who was on board the Sirius, expressed much uneasiness; but he was told our seamen knew very well how to manage their ships, and that there was no danger: the Portuguese will not allow more than one of their ships in the narrows at a time.

The ships in general had been remarkably healthy; the whole number buried since we left England was sixteen, six only of that number had died between Teneriffe and this place, which certainly is a very trying part of the voyage to people who have not been accustomed to warm climates, and being fed wholly on salt provisions; many of those whom we had lost since we left Portsmouth, had been lingering under diseases with which they were afflicted when they embarked; consequently little hope could be entertained of their recovery in such a situation and under such circumstances.

On our arrival here, there were but four out of the whole number in fevers, and a few others with various but trifling complaints; and between 20 and 30, in whom symptoms of the scurvy had lately appeared, the seeds of which it was hoped and expected would be effectually eradicated before we left this place. Fresh provisions were immediately provided on our arrival, and served to the ships companies, marines, and convicts; vegetables were also provided, of which they were to have a proportion served with their other provisions every day whilst we remained here; oranges and other tropical fruits were in vast abundance at this time; the convicts also had a proportion of oranges with their other provisions, this fruit being in such great plenty, that the expence attending the purchase of a few for each individual a day, was too inconsiderable to be noticed. Indeed, it was no uncommon thing to see the country boats, as they passed the ships, throw in a shower of oranges amongst the people.

We had not been ten days in this harbour, before we found the convicts in every ship much more healthy than when we left Spithead. Much pains had been taken by some (who, from whatever cause, were averse to the expedition) to make the world believe that we were, whilst lying at the Mother-Bank, so very sickly as to bury eight or ten every day; and that a malignant disease raged with great violence on board the transports: how far those reports were true, will best appear by the returns which will no doubt be sent to England from this place. Among such a number of people confined in small ships, to have no sick on board, was not to be expected; but the reports spread by some industrious persons exceedingly exaggerated our numbers. I may, without a probability of being much mistaken, venture to say, that there are few country towns in the island of Great-Britain, which contain 1500 inhabitants, (the number which the ships employed on this service had on board) which have not frequently as many sick as we had, at the time it was given out we buried such numbers daily.

At this place we met with every thing that was civil and polite; a day or two after our arrival, the whole of the officers were introduced and paid their respects to the Vice-King, who seemed desirous of making the place as convenient and pleasant as possible, consistent with his instructions, relative to foreigners, from the court of Portugal.

It has ever been a custom here, that when any foreign ships are in this harbour, a guard boat rows constantly night and day, and when any boat from such foreign vessel goes on shore, a soldier is put into the boat, and continues on board her during her stay on shore: this custom is intended to prevent smuggling, a crime which is punished here with the utmost severity; and when any foreign officer lands, an officer from the guard is ordered to attend him wherever he goes: this restraint, which would certainly have been very ill relished by us, however necessary it might have been for our own convenience to have complied with it--was not even in the beginning offered, but every officer permitted to walk where he pleased, except in the forts; a liberty never granted to strangers; nor was any centinel ever placed in any of the King's boats at landing, not even in those of the transports; an extraordinary mark of civility and confidence, and of which every officer in our fleet was perfectly sensible. But when the masters of the transports went on shore, a non-commissioned officer from the guard attended them wherever they went, and their sailors were attended by a private soldier.

During our stay here, we were permitted to erect a tent on the island Enchados, (a small island about a mile and a half farther up the harbour than where we lay with the ships,) for the purpose of landing a few of the astronomical instruments which were necessary for ascertaining the rate of the time-keeper; they were put under the charge and management of Lieutenant William Dawes, of the marines, a young gentleman very well qualified for such a business, and who promises fair, if he pursue his studies, to make a respectable figure in the science of astronomy.

The weather was rather unfavourable, during the time the instruments were on shore for ascertaining the rate of the time-keeper, but as constant attention was paid, every opportunity that offered was made use of, and the watch was found to be 2"-27. which is near a second more than was its rate at Portsmouth.

The 21st of August being the anniversary of the Prince of Brazil's birth-day, at sun-rise in the morning we displayed the flag of Portugal at the fore top-mast head, and that of our own nation at the main and mizen: half an hour after ten, the Vice-King received compliments upon that occasion; all the officers of our fleet which could be spared from duty on board, landed, and in a body went to the palace to make their compliments upon this public day; the viceroy upon this, as well as upon every other occasion, showed us particular attention. We were the first company admitted into the levee-room, then the clergy and military, after which, the civilians and some of the military promiscuously.

When we entered the room a signal was made from the palace, and the fort began to fire. Orders had been left with the commanding officer on board the Sirius, to begin to salute after the fort had fired two guns, which was particularly attended to, and a salute of twenty-one guns was given. It is rather uncommon upon such occasions, for an English ship of war to salute at so early an hour, but certainly the greatest compliment which we could at such time pay them, was to observe in this case the custom practised by their own ships.

On Monday the 3d of September, the watering of the convoy, and every other part of their refitting being compleated, the signal was made from the Sirius for every person to repair immediately on board their respective ships, and at the same time the signal for unmooring was shown; and on Tuesday morning, with a light breeze from the land, we weighed with the convoy. When the Sirius had got within about half a mile of Fort Santa Cruz, that castle saluted us with 21 guns, which was answered by us with the same number; a very high and uncommon compliment, and such I believe as is seldom paid to any foreigner; but was no doubt meant as a suitable return to the attention paid by his Majesty's ship to the birth-day of the Prince of Brazil. We carried wind enough out to run us clear without the islands before night.

The harbour of Rio de Janeiro may be known when you are off it, by a remarkable hill at its entrance, called Pao d'Asucar, from its resemblance to a loaf of sugar; but there is a hill to the south-east of the harbour, which is called by some the False Sugar-loaf; but which, as you view it from the eastward, I think has more the appearance of a church, with a short spire steeple; this hill points out the harbour to ships at a distance, much better than Pao d'Asucar. The land to the westward of the harbour is high and broken, and is commonly so covered with clouds, that you cannot discover the true make of it.

Right off the harbour lie several small islands, all steep to, or nearly so; a few rocks project a very small distance from some of them, but which cannot be considered dangerous, as no person possessed of common prudence would ever take a ship so near as they lye; within those islands (if you have not wind to carry your ship into the harbour) you may anchor; the best birth for getting under way with any wind, is to bring the island Raz (a low island) to bear south or south half west one mile, in 14 or 15 fathoms water, soft bottom; there is nothing in the way between this anchorage and the harbour; you will observe in the entrance a small island or rock, fortified, called Lage; you sail about mid-channel between this island and Fort Santa Cruz, observing that the tide of flood sets upon Santa Cruz point, and the ebb upon the island; the soundings from the outer anchorage decrease from 14 fathoms, where we lay, regularly, till near abreast of the Sugar-loaf, where it is six and a half fathoms: from this depth you drop into 12, 14, and 16 fathoms. Run up, and anchor off the town in 17 or 18 fathoms, clear soft ground.


Latitude: 22° 54' 13" south

Longitude, deduced from our time-keeper of the meridian of Greenwich, and which agrees with that laid down in the new requisite tables, but which certainly are not correct: 42° 44' 00" west.

Longitude, determined by two astronomers sent from Portugal for that and other purposes: 43° 18' 45" west.

Longitude, by an eclipse of Jupiter's third satellite, taken by Lieutenant Dawes, on the island Enchados: 43° 19' 00" west.

Longitude, by a mean of several distances of sun and moon taken by me at the outer anchorage: 43° 11' 15" west.

Longitude, by Lieutenant Bradley: 43° 33' 00" west.

The tide flows here at full and change of the moon, north-east by north and south-west by south, and rises between six and seven feet.

The harbour is very extensive and commodious; there are many convenient bays in it, where a vast many ships may be laid up in perfect security from any bad weather. The town is large, well built, and populous, but ill situated for the health of its inhabitants: it stands upon low ground, which was formerly swampy, and is surrounded with hills of immense height, which entirely exclude the benefit of the refreshing sea and land breezes; so that in the summer time, it is really suffocating hot, and of course very unhealthy. The streets, some few of them, are pretty wide, the others in general rather narrow, and mostly intersect each other at right-angles. The square, or parade, opposite to which the boats land, is large, and the buildings round it are good, and on the south side of this square stands the viceroy's palace. The churches are very good buildings, and their decorations exceedingly rich, and they seem to have excellent organs in them; all those which I saw here, as well as at Teneriffe, had what in a large church I conceive to be a considerable improvement, and it is what I never have seen applied to any of our organs, even in the largest churches in England; each pipe of the organ has a tube which projects from its lower part in a horizontal direction, and is wide at the outer end, like a trumpet: these tubes throw every note distinctly into the church, and prevent, what I have frequently observed, in many of our organs, some of the tones being almost lost in the body of the instrument.

I observed here, that the different mechanics carry on their business in distinct parts of the town, particular streets being set apart for particular trades; you find one street filled with taylors, another with shoemakers, a third with carpenters, &c. &c.

As far as numerous forts and guns can be said to give strength to any place, the city of Saint Sebastian may be considered as strong; the island of Cobres, which overlooks and lies close to the town, has a strong work upon it, the east end of it is rather low, and there is good depth of water off it, so that ships of very large size may come very near in, and there are many hills very near, which command the town and most of the works which defend it.

The annual exports from Rio de Janeiro are, 3,200 arobes of gold, which are sent to Portugal, and of which the King has a tenth part; 6,000 cases of sugar, each weighing 40 arobes; 5,000 cases of rice, and 1,500 casks of rum, each cask containing eight almudas*.

[* An arobe is thirty-two pounds; an almuda, four gallons and a half.]

Before we left this port, we took on board the following seeds and plants, viz.

Coffee plant and seed, cocoa-seed, jalap, ipecacuhana, tamarind, banana, orange, lime, and lemon-trees, guava seed, prickly pear, with the cochineal in seed upon it, pomrose, grape, tobacco, and rice for seed.

A TABLE of the WINDS and WEATHER, &c. &c. in the Passage from the Island of Teneriffe to Rio de Janeiro, Coast of Brazil, on board His Majesty's Ship SIRIUS.

Chapter II

September 1787 to January 1788

Anchor in Table-Bay.--Refreshments procured there.--Depart from the Cape of Good Hope.--Captain Phillip quits the Sirius, and proceeds on the voyage in the Supply.--The Sirius arrives in Botany-Bay.--Finds the Supply at anchor there.--Arrival of the Bussole and Astrolabe.--Leave Botany-Bay, and anchor in Port Jackson.--The Table of Winds, Weather, &c.

We had light and variable winds for the two first days after leaving Rio de Janeiro, then it veered round to the north-east, and freshened up, and was some times as far to the northward as north by east; we steered off east-south-east and south-east. In latitude 25° 50' south, the weather became dark and cloudy, with much rain and lightning all round the horizon, which shifted the wind to the southward, and the weather cleared up. On the 19th, we saw several Pentada birds. On the 29th, having had thick hazy weather during the night, some of the convoy had been inattentive to the course, and were found at day-light considerably scattered and to leeward; we bore down and made the signal for closing. Nothing worth relating happened this passage. On the 12th of October, as we were expecting every hour to make the land, the weather being hazy, with a strong westerly wind, at midnight we made the signal and brought to; at day-light we bore away and made sail, and at six o'clock saw the land, distant 10 leagues; at noon, the entrance of Table-Bay, at the Cape of Good Hope, bore east three leagues. At the distance of seven or eight leagues from the land, the Supply armed tender being ordered to wait for the sternmost of the convoy, Lieutenant Ball took that opportunity of sounding, and at the before-mentioned distance had 115 fathoms, over a black sandy bottom; and at five leagues distance he had 90 fathoms, sand with small stones. The water appeared, at a much greater distance, considerably discoloured, from which I think there is reason to suppose that the soundings from this part of the coast run farther off to the westward. We were all this time in the parallel of 34° south. On the 14th of October, at five in the evening, we anchored with all the convoy in Table-Bay, Cape of Good Hope, and at sun-rise the next morning we saluted the fort with 13 guns, which was answered by the same number.

By altitudes taken this morning for the time-keeper, it appeared that we had not had sufficient time at Rio Janeiro for ascertaining the true rate of the watch's going, having determined what we have allowed this passage, viz. 2"-33 from a very few observations, and those not to be relied on, the weather having been very unfavourable; for, by the difference of time between the meridian of Rio Janeiro and the cape, both which places are well determined, the watch has lost at the rate of 3"-17, which we shall hereafter allow to be the true rate; and as a proof of that having been really its rate all along, by allowing it from the time of our leaving Portsmouth, until our arrival at Rio Janeiro, we shall have the longitude of that place 43° 33' 30" west of the meridian of Greenwich, which is 45' 45" to the westward of that laid down in the new Requisite Tables, and which agrees very nearly with the observations made on the spot.

As Table-Bay was the last port at which we could touch for refreshments during our voyage, such articles as we were in want of, both for present consumption, and for stocking the intended settlement, were applied for, in such quantities as we could find room for on board the different ships. Eight or ten days elapsed before any answer could be obtained from the council, what necessaries and in what quantities they could supply us with: this delay occasioned our passing more time here than was at first intended or expected.

A few days before we sailed, having compleated such articles of provisions as we wanted, we embarked on board the Sirius six cows with calf, two bulls, one of which was six or seven months old, with a number of sheep, goats, hogs, and poultry of different kinds; on board one of the transports were put three mares, each having a colt of six months old, and a young stallion; a quantity of live stock was also put on board the store ships; so that the whole on government account, I think, amounted nearly to one stallion, three mares, three colts, six cows, two bulls, forty-four sheep, four goats, and twenty-eight hogs. The officers on board the transports, who were to compose the garrison, had each provided themselves with such live stock as they could find room for, not merely for the purpose of living upon during the passage, but with a view of stocking their little farms in the country to which we were going; every person in the fleet was with that view determined to live wholly on salt provisions, in order that as much live stock as possible might be landed on our arrival.

November 12th, having completed all our business at the Cape, we made preparations for our sailing; and on the 13th, we weighed with the whole convoy, and stood out of the bay.

During the time we lay in this bay, I took a considerable number of lunar observations, by a mean of which I make Cape Town, in longitude 18° 24' 30" east of the meridian of Greenwich: latitude observed in the bay, 33° 55' south, and variation of the compass, observed about 18 leagues to the westward, 21° 52' west.

We had fresh gales from the south-south-east and south-east, and sometimes at south, for the first eight days, which, with a large sea, so very much distressed our cattle, that we were very apprehensive we should lose some of them. On the 25th, being in latitude 38° 40' south, and longitude 25° 05' east, Captain Phillip embarked on board the Supply, in order to proceed singly in that vessel to the coast of New South Wales, where he made sure of arriving a fortnight or three weeks before us, as some of the convoy sailed very heavy; he took with him from the Sirius, Mr. Philip Gidley King, second lieutenant, and Lieutenant Dawes, of the marines, who had hitherto kept an account of the time-keeper, which he also took with him; several carpenters, sawyers, and blacksmiths were likewise put on board the Supply, in order, if they arrived in sufficient time, to examine the place attentively; and the governor had fixed on the most eligible spot to build upon, there to erect some temporary store-houses for the reception of the stores, when the convoy arrived; but as a number of working people would be wanted in carrying on such service, three of the best sailing transports, under the command of Lieutenant Shortland, the agent, were also directed to quit the convoy, and make the best of their way to Botany-Bay; Major Ross, the lieutenant-governor, embarked in one of those transports; the remaining transports and store-ships were left under the care of the Sirius.

The next day, after parting company, the Supply was in sight from the mast-head, and the three transports were about seven or eight miles from us, but the wind having shifted to the south-east in the night of the 27th, we stood to the southward and saw no more of them. I was at this time of opinion, that we had hitherto kept in too northerly a parallel to ensure strong and lasting westerly winds, which determined me, as soon as Captain Phillip had left the fleet, to steer to the southward and keep in a higher latitude.

We had the winds from the north-east with squalls and hazy weather, until the 29th, when it backed round to the westward again, and the weather became fair. After the time-keeper was taken from the Sirius, I kept an account of the ship's way by my own watch, which I had found for a considerable time, to go very well with Kendal's; I knew it could be depended on sufficiently to carry on from one lunar observation to another, without any material error; for although its rate of going was not so regular as I could have wished, yet its variation would not in a week or ten days have amounted to any thing of consequence; it was made for me by Mr. John Brockbank, of Cornhill, London, upon an improved principle of his own. The lunar observation, which I never failed to take every opportunity, and which Lieutenant Bradley also paid constant attention to, gave me reason to think, by their near agreement with the watch, that it continued to go well. On the 1st of December our longitude, by account, was 36° 42' east; by the watch 36° 48' east; and by distance of sun and moon 36° 24' east: latitude 40° 05' south, and the variation of the compass 29° 40' west.

For three successive days both Mr. Bradley and myself had a variety of distances, by which our account seemed to be very correct. I now determined (if I could avoid it) never to get to the northward of latitude 40° 00' south, and to keep between that parallel and 43° or 44° south. After the 3d, I found, by altitudes taken for the watch, that we went farther to the eastward than the log gave us, and no opportunity offered for getting a lunar observation to compare with it until the 13th, when both Mr. Bradley and I got several good distances of the sun and moon, by which our longitude was 70° 22' east, by the watch 70° 07' east, and by account 67° 37' east.

On the 14th, the weather being very clear, we had another set of distances, which gave our longitude 73° 06' east, by the watch 73° 09' east, and by account 70° 34' east. Again, on the 15th, I observed with two different instruments, one by Ramsden, and the other by Dolland, and the results agreed within ten miles of longitude; the mean was 75° 18' east, by the watch 75° 16' east, and by account 72° 49' east. Mr. Bradley's mean was also 75° 18' east; so that, as I have already observed, the ship seemed gaining on the account; but there was no reason to believe, that in the middle of this very extensive ocean we were ever subject to much current: I therefore attribute this set to the eastward, to the large following sea, which constantly attended us, since we had taken a more southerly parallel. The variation of the compass continued to increase pretty fast, until we were as far to the eastward as 39° 00' east, where we found it 31° 00' west; from that longitude to 54° 30' east, it increased very slowly to 32° 00' west, which was the highest we had; during all that time we were in the parallels of 40° 00' and 41° 00' south.

We saw many whales, of a very large size, during this part of our passage, but very few birds. On the 16th, we saw a quantity of sea weed, which I suppose might have come from the island of Saint Paul, as we were now near its meridian, and not more than 60 leagues from it. We had at present every prospect of an excellent passage to Van Diemen's Land: for although the wind sometimes shifted to the north-east, it seldom continued more than a few hours; then backed round again to north-west and south-west, between which quarters it seemed to blow as a trade wind; from north-north-east to the westward, and round to south-south-west are in general its limits: we had frequently hazy weather, but not so thick as to be called foggy; the wind in general very fresh.

Whenever there was an appearance of hazy weather coming on, the signal to close was always made, and the convoy kept in as close order as possible, to prevent those ships which sailed heavy from the risk of being separated from the Sirius. On the 20th, the wind increased and was steady between west-north-west and south-west; we seldom sailed less than 50 leagues in the 24 hours, and frequently more. With the north-west winds we generally had foul weather, but whenever the wind changed to the south-west quarter, it cleared up and became pleasant. It seems to be exactly the reverse of the effects produced by those winds in the northern hemisphere, where it is well known to seamen, that southerly and south-west winds are generally attended with hazy and foul weather, often accompanied with strong gales; it was exactly so here with the wind from the north-west. We knew by experience, when in the open ocean at a distance from land, in either hemisphere, that the winds which blow from those quarters of the compass next to the elevated pole, are generally dry and clear, and from the opposite, generally wet and hazy.

On the 1st of January we had a very heavy gale of wind from north-north-west to west-north-west, attended with frequent and very violent squalls or gusts, and hazy weather; the convoy in general were brought under a reefed fore top-sail, and the Sirius carried her three storm stay-sails; so that the transports should not find it necessary to attempt carrying more sail than was consistent with safety: the sea was very high and irregular, and broke with great violence on some of the ships; the rolling and labouring of our ship exceedingly distressed the cattle, which were now in a very weakly state, and the great quantities of water which we shipped during this gale, very much aggravated their distress; the poor animals were frequently thrown with much violence off their legs, and exceedingly bruised by their falls, although every method, which could be contrived for their ease and comfort, was practised; the ship was very ill fitted for such a cargo; and the very lumbered condition she had constantly been in rendered it impossible to do more for them, except by putting slings under them; a method which, when proposed, was rejected by those to whose care and management they were intrusted; from an idea, that they would entirely lose the use of their legs by such means, although it were only practised in bad weather.

We perceived the sea now covered over with luminous spots, much resembling so many lanthorns floating on its surface; whether this appearance proceeded from the spawn of fish, which may swim in small collected quantities, or from that animal of a jelly-like substance, which is known to sailors by the name of blubber, I cannot tell, but I believe the latter, as we had seen in the day some of a large size. We had now also many sea-birds about the ship, such as albatrosses, gulls of different kinds, and a large black bird, which, in the motion of its wings, had much the appearance of a crow, but its neck and wings are longer than those of that bird, and it is altogether larger.

On the 4th of January we had a number of good observations for the longitude, and as it was probable they might be the last we should have an opportunity of taking, before we should make Van Diemen's Land, the result, which gave 135° 30' east, was marked with chalk in large characters on a black painted board, and shown over the stern to the convoy; at the same time a signal was made which had been previously appointed.

On the 6th in the evening, as I intended running in for the land all night, I made the signal for the convoy to close, and to drop into the Sirius's wake, under an easy sail; the night was dark, but clear in the horizon, so that we could see near two leagues a-head. This night the aurora austreales were very bright, of a beautiful crimson colour, streaked with orange, yellow, and white, and these colours were constantly changing their places: the highest part was about 45° above the horizon, and it spread from south by east to south-south-west. On the next morning at sun-rise, one of the transports having pushed a little a-head, made the signal for seeing the land, in which, however, she was mistaken: we at this time judged ourselves not less than 33 or 34 leagues from it, deducing our distance from the last lunar observation.

It may not be improper, before I proceed farther, to observe of the compass, that its westerly variation decreased from the longitude of 54° 30' east, where it was greatest, (viz. 32° 10' west,) to longitude 135° 30' east, where it was 1° 00' east.

We continued steering in for the land, and the weather being cloudy, in order to make sure of our latitude, which, in our present situation, was of consequence, we took two altitudes before noon, by which we were in 44° 05' south, which being seventeen miles to the southward of the rock, called the Mewstone, we hauled from east-north-east to north-east, and at three P.M. of the 8th, (by log,) we made the land in that direction, stood well in with the Mewstone, and, as the wind was fresh from the westward, I would have gone within it, and ranged along the coast from point to point; but having a convoy of transports and store-ships astern, who were to be led by the Sirius, I was apprehensive, in case it fell little wind under the land, and night set in, an accident might have happened to some of those ships, which all the knowledge I could have gained, by a nearer examination of the coast, would not have compensated: I therefore stood on without the Mewstone, and steered in for the south cape, which we passed at three miles distance, leaving the rocks Swilly and Eddistone without us. The south cape terminates in a low rocky point, and appears to be a bold shore, and the hills within it, which are moderately high, appear to have many tall trees upon them, which are very streight, and seem to have no branches, except near the top; from which circumstance, I suppose them to be the palm or cabbage tree.

To the eastward of the south cape, between that and the next point of land, which is called Tasman's-head, is a large bay, at the bottom of which there appears to be an island or two; from the south-west cape to the south cape there are several bays, and pretty deep bights, which may probably afford some good harbours; there are also several appearances of islands on this part of the coast, but most of them seem to lie pretty near the land, except the Mewstone, (a high ragged rock) which is about ten miles off, and Swilly and Eddystone, which lie about south by east from the south cape, about five leagues distant. Swilly is a high rock, and the Eddistone has, at a distance, the appearance of a sail; these two rocks are at the opposite ends of a ledge of sunken rocks, on which the sea seemed to break very high: this ledge lies east-north-east and west-south-west; the two rocks are in one with that bearing.

The latitudes and longitudes of the different points or capes, seem to have been very correctly determined by Captains Cook and Furneaux, when they were here; it would therefore be superfluous to mention them here from any other authority; they have settled them as under:

South-west cape        - lat 43 37 00 S. long 146 07 00 E. of Greenwich
South cape             - lat 43 42 00    long 146 56 00
Tasman's-head          - lat 43 33 00    long 147 28 00
Swilly Island, or rock - lat 43 55 00    long 147 06 00
Adventure bay          - lat 42 21 20    long 147 29 00

Such observations as we had an opportunity of making near this coast, agree very well with the above.

We had just got to the eastward of the south cape as it became dark, and were about four miles from it when it fell calm, and soon after a very light air sprung up from east-north-east, which, with a large westerly swell, scarcely gave the ships steerage way: this situation gave me some anxiety, as I was uncertain whether the sternmost ships had seen Swilly, and they were at this time a little scattered; the breeze, however, favoured us, by freshening up at north-east, which enabled the whole of us to weather those rocks, without the apprehension of passing too near them in the dark: in the morning at day-light they bore west-south-west three leagues.

Here we saw many animals playing along-side, which were at first taken for seals; but, after having seen a considerable number of them, I did not think they were the seal, at least they appeared to me a very different animal from the seals to be met with on the coast of America and Newfoundland; for they have a short round head, but these creatures heads were long, and tapered to the nose; they had very long whiskers, and frequently raised themselves half the length of the body out of the water, to look round them, and often leaped entirely out; which I do not ever recollect to have seen the seal do: from these circumstances, I judged them to be something of the sea-otter.

On the night of the 8th, it blew so strong from north-north-east and north, as to bring us under close reefed main top-sail and fore-sail; this gale was accompanied with thunder, lightning, and rain, which soon changed it to the south-west quarter, and immediately cleared the weather. On the 10th, we had two very violent white squalls from north-west, with lightning, thunder, and rain: these squalls came on so very suddenly, that some of the convoy were taken with too much sail out, which obliged them to let go their tacks and sheets, by which means one ship carried away her main-yard in the slings, another had her three top-sails blown from the yards, and a third lost her jibb, and some other trifling accident: this occasioned a short delay, but as soon as these accidents were repaired we made sail, and availed ourselves of every slant of wind, to get in with the coast. I was desirous of falling in with it about Cape Howe, which is in latitude 37° 30' south, and longitude 150° 00' east, and from thence to have run down along the coast to Botany-bay; but the wind prevailed so long from the north-ward and north-west, that we could not fetch that part of the coast.

On the 15th, by a good lunar observation, I found our longitude to be 152° 43' east, which was twenty-five leagues farther from the coast than I expected we were. Every endeavour was exerted to get to the westward, and on the 19th in the evening, judging from the last observation, (the dead reckoning being out,) that we could not be above eight or nine leagues from the land, the wind being from the eastward, I made the signal and brought to with the convoy till day-light, when we made the land in latitude 34° 50' south, six or seven leagues distant. We steered in slanting to the northward, until we were within about six or seven miles of the shore, and then steered along the coast at that distance, not choosing, as the wind was easterly, to carry the convoy nearer.

At noon, we were abreast of Red-point, which is well determined by Captain Cook: I observed its latitude to be 34° 29' south; this point being only ten leagues from Botany-bay, I made sail a-head of the convoy, in order if possible, to get sight of its entrance before night. There are a number of projecting points hereabout, which by being so near in shore deceived us a good deal; however, we perceived from the masthead before dark, what I had no doubt was the entrance of the bay, as we were now near its latitude; which is certainly the only true guide whereby you can find it; for the coast has nothing so remarkable in it as to serve for a direction for finding this harbour.

About three leagues to the southward of Botany-bay, there is a range of whitish coloured cliffs on the coasts, which extend some distance farther south, and over these cliffs the land is moderately high and level; on this level land there is a small clump of trees, something like that on Post down hill, near Portsmouth: these, I think, are the only remarkable objects here.

As soon as we had brought the entrance of the bay to bear north-north-west, we brought to, and made the signal for the convoy to pass in succession under the Sirius's stern, when they were informed, that I intended, as the wind was easterly, to keep working off under an easy sail till day-light, and that the entrance of the harbour bore north-north-west seven or eight miles; which I supposed they could not have been near enough to have seen before dark.

The next morning being fair, with a south-east wind, we made sail at day-light for this opening, and, by signal, ordered the ships into the Sirius's wake. When the bay was quite open, we discovered the Supply and the three transports at an anchor; the former had arrived the 18th, and the three latter the 19th. At eight A. M. of the 20th, we anchored with the whole of the convoy in Botany-bay, in eight fathoms water.

As the ships were sailing in, a number of the natives assembled on the south shore, and, by their motions, seemed to threaten; they pointed their spears, and often repeated the words, wara, wara. The Supply had not gained more than forty hours of us, and the three transports twenty. We probably met with fresher winds than they had done, otherwise I think these ships, all sailing well, should have had much more advantage of the heavy sailing part of the convoy.

On the first day of my arrival, I went with the governor to examine the south shore, in order to fix on a spot for erecting some buildings; but we found very little fresh water, and not any spot very inviting for our purpose: we had a short conversation with a party of the natives, who were exceedingly shy. During the time we lay here, we sounded the bay all over, and found a considerable extent of anchorage in four, five, six, and seven fathoms water, but wholly exposed to easterly winds, and no possibility of finding shelter from those winds in any part of the anchorage.

We anchored on the north shore, off a sandy bay, which I think as good a birth as any in the bay; Cape Banks bore east-south-east, and Point Solander south-south-east, the ground clear and good. The wind, either from the north-east or south-east quarters, set in a prodigious sea. Higher up the bay there is a spot of four fathoms, where a few ships might be laid in tolerable security, but they must be lightened, to enable them to pass over a flat of twelve feet, and that depth but of narrow limits.

The day after my arrival, the governor, accompanied by me and two other officers, embarked in three boats, and proceeded along the coast to the northward, intending, if we could, to reach what Captain Cook has called Broken-bay, with a hope of discovering a better harbour, as well as a better country; for we found nothing at Botany-bay to recommend it as a place on which to form an infant settlement. In this examination, a large opening, or bay, about three leagues and a half to the northward of Cape Banks, was the first place we looked into: it had rather an unpromising appearance, on entering between the outer heads or capes that form its entrance, which are high, rugged, and perpendicular cliffs; but we had not gone far in, before we discovered a large branch extending to the southward; into this we went, and soon found ourselves perfectly land-locked, with a good depth of water.

We proceeded up for two days, examining every cove or other place which we found capable of receiving ships; the country was also particularly noticed, and found greatly superior in every respect to that round Botany-bay. The governor, being satisfied with the eligibility of this situation, determined to fix his residence here, and returned immediately to the ships.

On the 25th, we received the time-keeper from the Supply, which I am sorry to say, had been let down while on board her, during the passage from the Cape of Good Hope; and the same day, the governor sailed in the Supply, with a detachment of marines, to the new harbour, which Captain Cook had observed as he sailed along the coast, and named Port Jackson; he did not enter it, and therefore was uncertain of there being a safe harbour here: it has the appearance from sea of being only an open bay.

The convoy was again left to my care, the masters of the ships having had previous orders from Captain Phillip to prepare for sea. On the 26th, I made the signal for the transports to get under way. We perceived this morning two large ships in the offing, standing in for the bay, under French colours: these ships had been observed two days before, but the wind blowing fresh from north-west, they were not able to get in with the land. I sent a boat with an officer to assist them in, and about an hour after, a breeze sprung up from the south-east, and they were safely anchored in the bay. I then got under way, and with the transports worked out of the bay, and the same evening anchored the whole convoy in Port Jackson.

The two strangers proved to be the Bussole and Astrolabe, which sailed from Brest in June, 1785, upon discoveries, and were commanded by Mons. de la Perouse; Mons. de L'Angle, who commanded one of the ships when they left France, had been lately, when the ships were at the Islands of Navigators, murdered, with several other officers and seamen, by the natives; who had, before that unfortunate day, always appeared to be upon the most friendly and familiar terms with them. This accident, we understood, happened when their launches were on shore filling water, on the last day which they intended remaining at those islands: during the time they were employed in filling their water-casks, having the most perfect confidence in the friendly disposition of the natives, the sailors had been inattentive to the keeping the boats afloat; some misunderstanding having happened between some of the seamen and the natives, an insult had been offered by one or other, which was resented by the opposite party; a quarrel ensued, and the impossibility of moving the boats, exposed the officers and crews to the rage of the multitude, who attacked them with clubs and showers of stones, and would inevitably have massacred the whole, if there had not been a small boat at hand, which picked up those, who depending on their swimming, had quitted the shore.

Many of the natives were killed upon this occasion; and the loss of the ships was said to have been fourteen persons killed, including Captain de L'Angle, and some other officers; several were much wounded; and the boats were entirely destroyed.

This account of the accident is by no means to be considered as a correct statement of it; as it is only collected from little hints dropt in the course of conversation with different officers of those ships: they did not appear disposed to speak upon that subject, we therefore did not presume to interrogate. The voyage of those ships will no doubt be published by authority; till then we must wait for the particulars of that, and another unfortunate accident which happened to them upon the west coast of America, where they lost two boats and twenty-two men, including six officers, in a surf.

A TABLE of the WINDS and WEATHER, &c. &c. on a Passage from Rio de Janeiro to the Cape of Good Hope; and from thence to Botany-Bay, on the East Coast of New Holland, on board His Majesty's Ship SIRIUS, in 1787, and Beginning of 1788.

Chapter III

January 1788 to August 1788

Frequent interviews with the natives.--Weapons described.--Ornaments.--Persons, manners, and habitations.--Method of hunting.--Animals described.--Birds, and insects.--Diary of the weather.--Departure of the Bussole and Astrolabe.--A convict pretends to have discovered a gold mine.--The fraud detected.--Observations for the longitude, &c.

A Few days after my arrival with the transports in Port Jackson, I set off with a six oared boat and a small boat, intending to make as good a survey of the harbour as circumstances would admit: I took to my assistance Mr. Bradley, the first lieutenant, Mr. Keltie, the master, and a young gentleman of the quarter-deck.

During the time we were employed on this service, we had frequent meetings with different parties of the natives, whom we found at this time very numerous; a circumstance which I confess I was a little surprized to find, after what had been said of them in the voyage of the Endeavour; for I think it is observed in the account of that voyage, that at Botany-bay they had seen very few of the natives, and that they appeared a very stupid race of people, who were void of curiosity. We saw them in considerable numbers, and they appeared to us to be a very lively and inquisitive race; they are a straight, thin, but well made people, rather small in their limbs, but very active; they examined with the greatest attention, and expressed the utmost astonishment, at the different covering we had on; for they certainly considered our cloaths as so many different skins, and the hat as a part of the head: they were pleased with such trifles as we had to give them, and always appeared chearful and in good humour: they danced and sung with us, and imitated our words and motions, as we did theirs. They generally appeared armed with a lance, and a short stick which assists in throwing it: this stick is about three feet long, is flattened on one side, has a hook of wood at one end, and a flat shell, let into a split in the stick at the other end, and fastened with gum; upon the flat side of this stick the lance is laid, in the upper end of which is a small hole, into which the point of the hook of the throwing stick is fixed; this retains the lance on the flat side of the stick; then poising the lance, thus fixed, in one hand, with the fore-finger and thumb over it, to prevent its falling off side-ways, at the same time holding fast the throwing-stick, they discharge it with considerable force, and in a very good direction, to the distance of about sixty or seventy yards*. Their lances are in general about ten feet long: the shell at one end of the throwing-stick is intended for sharpening the point of the lance, and for various other uses. I have seen these weapons frequently thrown, and think that a man upon his guard may with much ease, either parry, or avoid them, although it must be owned they fly with astonishing velocity.

[* I have since seen a strong young man throw the lance full ninety yards; which, till then, I did not believe possible. I measured the distance.]

While employed on the survey of the harbour, we were one morning early, in the upper part of it, and at a considerable distance from the ship, going to land, in order to ascertain a few angles, when we were a little surprized to find the natives here in greater numbers than we had ever seen them before in any other place: we naturally conjectured from their numbers, that they might be those who inhabited the coves in the lower part of the harbour, and who, upon our arrival, had been so much alarmed at our appearance, as to have judged it necessary to retire farther up; they appeared very hostile, a great many armed men appeared upon the shore wherever we approached it, and, in a threatening manner, seemed to insist upon our not presuming to land.

During the whole time we were near them, they hailed each other through the woods, until their numbers were so much increased, that I did not judge it prudent to attempt making any acquaintance with them at this time: for, as I have already observed, we had only a six-oared boat and a smaller one; our whole number, leaving one man in each boat, amounted to ten seamen, three officers, and myself, with only three muskets; we therefore for the present, contented ourselves with making signs of friendship, and returned to the ship.

In two days after, we appeared again in the same place, better armed and prepared for an interview. Their numbers were not now so many, at least we did not see them, although it is probable they were in the wood at no great distance; but having occasion to put on shore to cook some provisions for the boats crews, I chose a projecting point of land for that purpose, which we could have defended against some hundreds of such people: I ordered two marine centinels upon the neck, in order to prevent a surprize, and immediately set about making a fire.

We soon heard some of the natives in the wood on the opposite shore; we called to them, and invited them by signs, and an offer of presents, to come over to us, the distance not being more than one hundred yards across: in a short time, seven men embarked in canoes and came over; they landed at a small distance from us, and advanced without their lances; on this I went up to meet them, and held up both my hands, to show that I was unarmed; two officers also advanced in the same manner; we met them and shook hands; but they seemed a good deal alarmed at our five marines who were under arms by the boats, upon which they were ordered to ground their arms and stay by them; the natives then came up with great chearfulness and good humour, and seated themselves by our fire amongst us, where we ate what we had got, and invited them to partake, but they did not relish our food or drink.

I was one day on shore in another part of the harbour, making friendship with a party of natives, when in a very short time, their numbers encreased to eighty or ninety men, all armed with a lance and throwing-stick, and many with the addition of a shield, made of the bark of a tree; some were in shape an oblong square, and others of these shields were oval; these were the first shields we had seen in the country*. Upon examining some of these shields, we observed that many of them had been pierced quite through in various places, which they by signs gave us to understand had been done with a spear; but that those shields will frequently turn the spear, they also showed us, by setting one up at a small distance, and throwing a spear at it, which did not go through. They were much surprized at one of our gentlemen who pulling a pistol out of his pocket, that was loaded with ball, and standing at the same distance, fired the ball through the thickest part of the shield, which they examined with astonishment, and seemed to wonder, that an instrument so small should be capable of wounding so deep.

[* It has since been found that the shields are in general made of wood.]

Our numbers at this time were what I first mentioned, with only three muskets, one of which I carried. The natives were very noisy, but did not appear disposed to quarrel; we gave them such little presents as we had with us, with which they seemed well pleased; although we had much reason afterwards to believe, that such trifles only pleased them, as baubles do children, for a moment: for at other times we had frequently found our presents lying dispersed on the beach, although caught at by these people with much apparent avidity at the time they were offered.

While we were employed with this party, we observed at a distance, a number of women, who were peeping from their concealments, but durst not gratify their natural curiosity, by appearing openly and conversing with us; as the men appeared here to be very absolute. I signified to the men that we had observed the women, and that I wished to make them some presents, if they might be permitted to come forward and receive them. The men seemed unwilling to suffer them to advance; for we had frequently observed, that they took particular care upon every occasion to keep the women at a distance, and I believe wholly from an idea of danger. They desired to have the presents for the women, and they would carry and deliver them, but to this proposal I positively refused to agree, and made them understand, that unless they were allowed to come forward, they should not have any. Finding I was determined, an old man, who seemed to have the principal authority, directed the women to advance, which they did immediately, with much good humour; and, during the whole time that we were decorating them with beads, rags of white linen, and some other trifles, they laughed immoderately, although trembling at the same time, through an idea of danger. Most of those we saw at this time were young women, who I judged were from eighteen to twenty-five years of age; they were all perfectly naked, as when first born.

The women in general are well made, not quite so thin as the men, but rather smaller limbed. As soon as the women were ordered to approach us, about twenty men, whom we had not before seen, sallied from the wood, compleatly armed with lance and shield; they were painted with red and white streaks all over the face and body, as if they intended to strike terror by their appearance: some of them were painted with a little degree of taste, and although the painting on others appeared to be done without any attention to form, yet there were those who, at a small distance, appeared as if they were accoutred with cross-belts: some had circles of white round their eyes, and several a horizontal streak across the forehead: others again had narrow white streaks round the body, with a broad line down the middle of the back and belly, and a single streak down each arm, thigh, and leg. These marks, being generally white, gave the person, at a small distance, a most shocking appearance; for, upon the black skin the white marks were so very conspicuous, that they were exactly like so many moving skeletons. The colours they use are mostly red and white; the first of which is a kind of ochre, or red earth, which is found here in considerable quantities; the latter is a fine pipe-clay.

The bodies of the men are much scarified, particularly their breasts and shoulders; these scarifications are considerably raised above the skin, and although they are not in any regular form, yet they are certainly considered as ornamental.

The men, thus armed and painted, drew themselves up in a line on the beach, and each man had a green bough in his hand, as a sign of friendship; their disposition was as regular as any well disciplined troops could have been; and this party, I apprehend, was entirely for the defence of the women, if any insult had been offered them. We also observed at this interview, that two very stout armed men, were placed upon a rock, near to where our boats lay, as centinels; for they never moved from the spot until we left the beach: I therefore suppose they were ordered there to watch all our motions. We left these people, after a visit of about four hours, both parties apparently well satisfied with all that passed.

In the different opportunities I have had of getting a little acquainted with the natives, who reside in and about this port, I am, I confess, disposed to think, that it will be no very difficult matter, in due time, to conciliate their friendship and confidence; for although they generally appear armed on our first meeting, which will be allowed to be very natural, yet, whenever we have laid aside our arms, and have made signs of friendship, they have always advanced unarmed, with spirit, and a degree of confidence scarcely to be expected: from that appearance of a friendly disposition, I am inclined to think, that by residing some time amongst, or near them, they will soon discover that we are not their enemies; a light they no doubt considered us in on our first arrival.

The men in general are from five feet six inches, to five feet nine inches high; are thin, but very straight and clean made; walk very erect*, and are active. The women are not so tall, or so thin, but are generally well made; their colour is a rusty kind of black, something like that of soot, but I have seen many of the women almost as light as a mulatto. We have seen a few of both sexes with tolerably good features, but in general they have broad noses, large wide mouths, and thick lips; and their countenance altogether not very prepossessing; and what makes them still less so, is, that they are abominably filthy; they never clean their skin, but it is generally smeared with the fat of such animals as they kill, and afterwards covered with every sort of dirt; sand from the sea beach, and the ashes from their fires, all adhere to their greasy skin, which is never washed, except when accident, or the want of food, obliges them to go into the water.

[* See a plate of the natives in Phillip's Voyage.]

Some of the men wear a piece of wood or bone, thrust through the septum of the nose, which, by raising the opposite sides of the nose, widens the nostril, and spreads the lower part very much; this, no doubt, they consider as a beauty; most of those we had hitherto met, wanted the two foremost teeth on the right side of the upper jaw; and many of the women want the two lower joints of the little finger of the left hand, which we have not as yet been able to discover the reason or meaning of. This defect of the little finger we have observed in old women, and in young girls of eight or nine years old; in young women who have had children, and in those who have not, and the finger has been seen perfect in individuals of all the above ages and descriptions; they have very good teeth in general; their hair is short, strong, and curly, and as they seem to have no method of cleaning or combing it, it is therefore filthy and matted.

The men wear their beards, which are short and curly, like the hair of the head. Men, women, and children go entirely naked, as described by Captain Cook; they seem to have no fixed place of residence, but take their rest wherever night overtakes them: they generally shelter themselves in such cavities or hollows in the rocks upon the sea shore, as may be capable of defending them from the rain, and, in order to make their apartment as comfortable as possible, they commonly make a good fire in it before they lie down to rest; by which means, the rock all round them is so heated as to retain its warmth like an oven for a considerable time; and upon a little grass, which is previously pulled and dryed, they lie down and huddle together.

And here, we see a striking instance of the particular care of Providence for all his creatures. These people have not the most distant idea of building any kind of place which may be capable of sheltering them from the severity of bad weather; if they had, probably it would first appear in their endeavours to cover their naked bodies with some kind of cloathing, as they certainly suffer much from the cold in winter.

Their ignorance in building, is very amply compensated by the kindness of nature in the remarkable softness of the rocks, which encompass the sea coast, as well as those in the interior parts of the country: they are a soft, crumbly, sandy stone; those parts, which are most exposed to, and receive the most severity of the weather, are generally harder than such parts as are less exposed; in the soft parts time makes wonderful changes; they are constantly crumbling away underneath the harder and more solid part, and this continual decay leaves caves of considerable dimensions: some I have seen that would lodge forty or fifty people, and, in a case of necessity, we should think ourselves not badly lodged for a night. Wherever you see rocks in this country, either on the sea-shore, or in the interior parts, as they are all of this soft sandy kind, you are sure of finding plenty of such caves.

In the woods, where the country is not very rocky, we sometimes met with a piece of the bark of a tree, bent in the middle, and set upon the ends*, with a piece set up against that end on which the wind blows. This hut serves them for a habitation, and will contain a whole family; for, when the weather is cold, which is frequently the case in winter, they find it necessary to lie very close for the benefit of that warmth to which each mutually contributes a share. These bark huts, (if they deserve even the name of huts) are intended, as we have lately discovered, for those who are employed in hunting the kangaroo, opossums, or in short, any other animals which are to be found in the woods; for at certain seasons, when those animals are in plenty, they employ themselves frequently in catching them.

[* For an exact description and representation of this hut, see Governor Phillip's Voyage.]

As most of the large trees are hollow, by being rotten in the heart, the opossum, kangaroo rat, squirrel, and various other animals which inhabit the woods, when they are pursued, commonly run into the hollow of a tree: in order, therefore, to make sure of them, which they seldom fail in, when they find them in the tree, one man climbs even the tallest tree with much ease, by means of notches at convenient distances, that are made with a stone hatchet; when he is arrived at the top, or where there may be an outlet for the animal, he sits there with a club or stick in his hand, while another person below applies a fire to the lower opening, and fills the hollow of the tree with smoak; this obliges the animal to attempt to make its escape, either upwards or downwards, but whichever way it goes, it is almost certain of death, for they very seldom escape. In this manner they employ themselves, and get a livelihood in the woods.

They also, when in considerable numbers, set the country on fire for several miles extent; this, we have generally understood, is for the purpose of disturbing such animals as may be within reach of the conflagration; and thereby they have an opportunity of killing many. We have also had much reason to believe, that those fires were intended to clear that part of the country through which they have frequent occasion to travel; of the brush or underwood, from which they, being naked, suffer very great inconvenience. The fires, which we very frequently saw, particularly in the summer-time, account also for an appearance, which, when we arrived here, we were much perplexed to understand the cause of; this was, that two-thirds of the trees in the woods were very much scorched with fire, some were burnt quite black, up to the very top: as to the cause of this appearance we differed much in our opinions; but it is now plain, that it has ever been occasioned by the fires, which the natives so frequently make, and which we have seen reach the highest branches of the trees: we sometimes, upon our arrival here, conjectured that it proceeded from lightning, but upon looking farther, it appeared too general amongst the woods to have been occasioned by such an accident.

We had reason to believe, that the natives associate in tribes of many families together, and it appeared now that they have one fixed residence, and the tribe takes its name from the place of their general residence: you may often visit the place where the tribe resides, without finding the whole society there; their time is so much occupied in search of food, that the different families take different routs; but, in case of any dispute with a neighbouring tribe, they can soon be assembled.

We are well informed by those whom we have had among us, that they sometimes have quarrels, and that they endeavour from concealments, to destroy those they are at war with. They are by no means a brave and determined people, except when passion overcomes them, and when they act as all savages do, like madmen. In all their quarrels with one another, they put themselves under the direction of a chief: how those chiefs are chosen we have not learnt, but have reason to believe it is from an opinion of their dexterity in war.

All the human race, which we have seen here, appear to live chiefly on what the sea affords, and consequently we find the sea-coast more fully inhabited than the interior, or that part of the country which we have had an opportunity of visiting more remote from the sea. The men fish with a spear, or fish-gig, in the use of which, it is apparent they are very dextrous. The fish-gig is in length something more than the war lance, but they can, according to the depth of water, increase its length, by a variety of joints; some have one, some two, three, or four prongs, pointed and barbed with a fish, or other animal's bone. We have sometimes, in fine weather, seen a man lying across a canoe, with his face in the water, and his fish-gig immersed, ready for darting: in this manner he lies motionless, and by his face being a little under the surface, he can see the fish distinctly; but were his eyes above, the tremulous motion of the surface, occasioned by every light air of wind, would prevent his sight: in this manner they strike at the fish with so much certainty, that they seldom miss their aim.

The women are chiefly employed in the canoes, with lines and hooks; the lines appear to be manufactured from the bark of various trees which we found here, of a tough stringy nature, and which, after being beaten between two stones for some time, becomes very much like, and of the same colour as a quantity of oakum, made from old rope: this they spin and twist into two strands: in fact, I never saw a line with more than two. Their hooks are commonly made from the inside, or mother of pearl, of different shells; the talons of birds, such as those of hawks, they sometimes make this use of; but the former are considered as best.

In this necessary employment of fishing, we frequently saw a woman with two or three children in a miserable boat, the highest part of which was not six inches above the surface of the water, washing almost in the edge of a surf, which would frighten an old seaman to come near, in a good and manageable vessel. The youngest child, if very small, lies across the mother's lap, from whence, although she is fully employed in fishing, it cannot fall; for the boat being very shallow, she sits in the bottom, with her knees up to her breast, and between her knees and body, the child lies perfectly secure. The men also dive for shell-fish, which they take off from the rocks under water; we frequently saw them leap from a rock into the surf or broken water, and remain a surprizing time under: when they rise to the surface, whatever they have gathered they throw on shore, where a person attends to receive it, and has a fire ready kindled for cooking.

They have no other method of dressing their food, than that of broiling. Boiling water they have no conception of, as appeared very lately; for when one of our boats was hauling the seine, one of the sailors had put a pot on the fire ready to dress some fish, and when the water was boiling, some fish were put in; but several natives, who were near, and who wished to have more fish than had been given them, seeing the fish put into the pot, and no person watching them, a native put his hand into the boiling water to take the fish out, and was of course scalded, and exceedingly astonished.

With respect to religion, we have not been able yet to discover that they have any thing like an object of adoration; neither the sun, moon, nor stars seem to take up, or occupy more of their attention, than they do that of any other of the animals which inhabit this immense country.

Their dead they certainly burn, of which I have been well convinced lately, when employed on the survey of a distant branch of Port Jackson. Some of my boat's crew having, when on shore, discovered a little from the water-side, upon a rising ground, what they judged to be a fresh grave, I went up and ordered it to be opened; when the earth was removed, we found a quantity of white ashes, which appeared to have been but a very short time deposited there: among the ashes we found part of a human jaw-bone, and a small piece of the scull, which, although it had been in the fire, was not so much injured, as to prevent our distinguishing perfectly what it was. We put the ashes together again and covered it up as before; the grave was not six inches under the surface of the ground, but the earth was raised the height of our graves in Europe.

In the months of March and April, we found the natives to decrease in their numbers considerably; but we have no reason to suppose that they retire back into the interior parts of the country; for in all the excursions which have been made inland, very few have been seen. The sea-coast, we have every reason at present to believe, is the only part of this country which is inhabited by the human race; the land seems to afford them but a very scanty subsistence. We have seen them roast and chew the fern-root. There is a small fruit here, about the size of a cherry; it is yellow when half grown, and almost black when ripe; it grows on a tree, which is not tall, but very full and bushy at the top; of this fruit we have often seen them eat: it has a good deal the taste of a fig, and the pulp, or inside, very much resembles that fruit in appearance: but the sea is their principal resource, and shell, and other fish, are their chief support.

They frequently attended our boats when hauling the seine, and were very thankful to the officer for any fish he might give them, as in cold weather the harbour is but thinly stocked; indeed, when we arrived here it was full of fish, and we caught as many as we could use, but in the winter they seem to quit our neighbourhood. I had reason to think, that the people who inhabited Port Jackson when we first entered it were gone farther to the northward, and that it is their constant custom, as the cold weather approaches, to seek a warmer climate, by following the sun; and in this practice they have another very powerful incitement, as well as the comfortable warmth of the sun, which is, that the fish incline to the northward, as the cold weather comes on: this conjecture seems, in some degree, to account for Captain Cook's having seen so few natives while he lay in Botany-bay, and that it appeared to him the seacoast was thinly inhabited; for I think it was in April, or May, that he was there.

The animal described in the voyage of the Endeavour, called the kangaroo, (but by the natives patagarang) we found in great numbers; one was lately shot which weighed 140 pounds; its tail was 40 inches long, and 17 in circumference at the root; it is very well described in Phillip's Voyage: we ate the flesh with great relish, and I think it good mutton, although not so delicate as that which we sometimes find in Leadenhall-market. The strength this animal has in its hind quarters is very great: in its endeavours to escape from us, when surprized, it springs from its hind legs, which are very long, and leaps at each bound about six or eight yards, but does not appear ever in running to let its fore-feet come near the ground; indeed they are so very short, that it is not possible that the animal can use them in running: they have vast strength also in their tail; it is, no doubt, a principal part of their defence, when attacked; for with it they can strike with prodigious force, I believe with sufficent power to break the leg of a man; nor is it improbable but that this great strength in the tail may assist them in making those astonishing springs.

We for some time considered their tail as their chief defence, but having of late hunted them with greyhounds very successfully, we have had an opportunity of knowing that they use their claws and teeth. The dog is much swifter than the kangaroo: the chase, if in an open wood, (which is the place most frequented by that animal,) is seldom more than eight or ten minutes, and if there are more dogs than one, seldom so long. As soon as the hound seizes him, he turns, and catching hold with the nails of his fore-paws, he springs upon, and strikes at the dog with the claws of his hind feet, which are wonderfully strong, and tears him to such a degree, that it has frequently happened that we have been under the necessity of carrying the dog home, from the severity of his wounds: few of these animals have ever effected their escape, after being seized by the dog, for they have generally caught them by the throat, and there held them until they were assisted, although many of them have very near lost their lives in the struggle.

Some of the male kangaroos are of a very large size; I have seen some, that when sitting on their haunches, were five feet eight inches high, such an animal is too strong for a single dog, and although he might be much wounded, would, without the dog had assistance at hand, certainly kill him. We know that the native dogs of this country hunt and kill the kangaroo; they may be more fierce, but they do not appear to be so strong as our large greyhound; there was one not long ago seen in pursuit of a kangaroo, by a person who was employed in shooting, who mistaking the two animals as they passed him to be of the kind he was looking for, he fired at the hindmost and brought him down, but when he came up it proved to be a native dog.

Of those dogs we have had many which were taken when young, but never could cure them of their natural ferocity; although well fed, they would at all times, but particularly in the dark, fly at young pigs, chickens, or any small animal which they might be able to conquer, and immediately kill, and generally eat them. I had one which was a little puppy when caught, but, notwithstanding I took much pains to correct and cure it of its savageness, I found it took every opportunity, which it met with, to snap off the head of a fowl, or worry a pig, and would do it in defiance of correction. They are a very good natured animal when domesticated, but I believe it to be impossible to cure that savageness, which all I have seen seem to possess.

The opossum is also very numerous here, but it is not exactly like the American opossum; it partakes a good deal of the kangaroo in the strength of its tail and make of its fore-legs, which are very short in proportion to the hind ones; like that animal, it has the pouch, or false belly, for the safety of its young in time of danger, and its colour is nearly the same, but the fur is thicker and finer. There are several other animals of a smaller size, down as low as the field-rat, which in some part or other partakes of the kangaroo and opossum: we have caught many rats with this pouch for carrying their young when pursued, and the legs, claws, and tail of this rat are exactly like the kangaroo.

It would appear, from the great similarity in some part or other of the different quadrupeds which we find here, that there is a promiscuous intercourse between the different sexes of all those different animals. The same observation might be made also on the fishes of the sea, on the fowls of the air, and, I may add, the trees of the forest. It was wonderful to see what a vast variety of fish were caught, which, in some part or other, partake of the shark: it is no uncommon thing to see a skait's head and shoulders to the hind part of a shark, or a shark's head to the body of a large mullet, and sometimes to the flat body of a sting-ray.

With respect to the feathered tribe, the parrot prevails; we have shot birds, with the head, neck, and bill of a parrot, and with the same variety of the most beautiful plumage on those parts for which that bird here is distinguished, and a tail and body of a different make and colour, with long, streight, and delicate made feet and legs; which is the very reverse of any bird of the parrot kind. I have also seen a bird, with the legs and feet of a parrot, the head and neck made and coloured like the common sea-gull, and the wings and tail of a hawk. I have likewise seen trees bearing three different kinds of leaves, and frequently have found others, bearing the leaf of the gum-tree, with the gum exuding from it, and covered with bark of a very different kind.

There are a great variety of birds in this country; all those of the parrot tribe, such as the macaw, cockatoo, lorey, green parrot, and parroquets of different kinds and sizes, are cloathed with the most beautiful plumage that can be conceived; it would require the pencil of an able limner to give a stranger an idea of them, for it is impossible by words to describe them*. The common crow is found here in considerable numbers, but the sound of their voice and manner of croaking, is very different from those in Europe. There are also vast numbers of hawks, of various sizes and colours. Here are likewise pigeons and quails, with a great variety of smaller birds, but I have not found one with a pleasing note.

[* See very accurate representations, drawn from nature, and described by that ingenious and able naturalist, John Latham, Esq; in Phillip's Voyage.]

There have been several large birds seen since we arrived in this port; they were supposed, by those who first saw them, to be the ostrich, as they could not fly when pursued, but ran exceedingly fast; so much so, that a very strong and fleet greyhound could not come near them: one was shot, which gave us an opportunity of a more close examination. Some were of opinion that it was the emew, which I think is particularly described by Dr. Goldsmith, from Linneus; others imagined it to be the cassowary, but it far exceeds that bird in size; it was, when standing, seven feet two inches, from its feet to the upper part of its head; the only difference which I could perceive, between this bird and the ostrich, was in its bill, which appeared to me to be narrower at the point, and it has three toes, which I am told is not the case with the ostrich: it has one characteristic, by which it may be known, and which we thought very extraordinary; this is, that two distinct feathers grew out from every quill*. The flesh of this bird, although coarse, was thought by us delicious meat; it had much the appearance, when raw, of neck-beef; a party of five, myself included, dined on a side-bone of it most sumptuously. The pot or spit received every thing which we could catch or kill, and the common crow was relished here as well as the barn-door fowl is in England.

[* See an elegant engraving of the Cassowary in Phillip's Voyage.]

Of insects there are as great a variety here as of birds; the scorpion, centipede, spider, ant, and many others; the ants are of various sizes, from the smallest known in Europe, to the size of near an inch long; some are black, some white, and others, of the largest sort, reddish; those of this kind are really a formidable little animal; if you tread near the nest, (which is generally under ground, with various little passages or outlets) and have disturbed them, they will sally forth in vast numbers, attack their disturbers with astonishing courage, and even pursue them to a considerable distance; and their bite is attended for a time with a most acute pain. Some build their nests against a tree, to the size of a large bee-hive; another kind raises little mounts on the ground, of clay, to the height of four feet.

In speaking of the spider, it would be improper to be silent upon the industry of this little creature; I call them little, although, if compared with our common spider, they are very large; they spread their web in the woods between trees, generally to a distance of twelve or fourteen yards, and weave them so very strong, that it requires considerable force to break them. I have seen the silk of which the web is composed, wound off into a ball, and think it equal to any I ever saw in the same state from the silk worm; it is of the same colour, a pale yellow, or straw colour. None of the gentlemen employed here have as yet made any particular observations upon the manner in which this animal is produced, or how they prepare their silk. I have found upon bushes, on which the web has been hanging in clusters, a thin shell, something like that wherein the silk-worm prepares its silk, but of this shape , and, upon opening them, I have seen a quantity of this silk within, in which a spider was found wrapped up.

Of reptiles, there are snakes from the smallest size known in England, to the length of eleven feet, and about as thick as a man's wrist; and many lizards of different kinds and sizes.

The natives we have seen accompanied by dogs, which appear to be domesticated the same as ours in Europe; they are of the wolf kind, and of a reddish colour.

When speaking of birds, I should have mentioned, that some of our gentlemen have seen in the lagoons and swamps which they have fallen in with, in their shooting excursions, the black swan, which is said to have been found in some parts of the west coast of this country; the extremity of their wings are described to be white, and all the rest of the plumage black. I have seen one which has been shot. It answered the above description as to colour, but the bill was a pale pink or crimson; it was about the size of a common white swan, and was good meat.

The vast variety of beautiful plants and flowers, which are to be found in this country, may hereafter afford much entertainment to the curious in the science of botany; but I am wholly unqualified to describe the different sorts with which we find the woods to abound; we sometimes met with a little wild spinach, parsly, and sorrel, but in too small quantities to expect it to be of any advantage to the seamen. The flax plant has been found here in several places, but not in any considerable quantity; I have heard it reckoned a good kind, but in that also I must confess my ignorance.

In the infancy of a distant settlement, the want of timber to carry on the necessary buildings, will be allowed to be a very great inconvenience; but we were here in the middle of a wood, in which were trees from the size of a man's arm to twenty-eight feet in circumference; but they were either so very crooked, so rent, or so very rotten in the heart, that we could scarcely get one sound or serviceable in a dozen; and what in our situation was a very great misfortune, we had not as yet found one piece of timber that would float in water. The wood is so exceedingly heavy, that when a large tree was cut down, in order to clear a piece of ground, it would sometimes take a party of men three or four days to dispose of it, or move it from the place.

We arrived in this country in the end of January, 1788; the weather was then very fine, though warm; the sea and land breezes pretty regular, and Farenheit's thermometer was from 72° to 80°.

In February, the weather was sultry, with lightning, thunder, and heavy rain; this sort of weather continued for a fortnight, with few and very short intervals of fair weather; a flash of lightning fell one night near the camp, and struck a tree near to the post of a centinel, who was much hurt by it; the tree was greatly rent, and there being at the foot of it a pen in which were a sew pigs and sheep, they were all killed. Towards the latter end of the month the weather was more settled, little thunder, lightning, or rain, and the thermometer from 65° to 77°.

In the middle of this month, Lieutenant King of the Sirius, a master's mate, and surgeon's mate, with four other men from the ship, together with a few men and women convicts, embarked on board the Supply armed tender, and she sailed with them for Norfolk Island. In the passage thither, they fell in with a small island which had not before been discovered; it lies in latitude 31° 36' south, and about 140 leagues to the eastward of this coast; lieutenant Ball named it Lord Howe's Island. After having landed the party intended to remain on Norfolk Island, with their provisions and stores, Mr. Ball, in his return to Port Jackson, called at Lord Howe's Island, in order to examine it more particularly. He found anchorage on the west side of it, but the bottom was coral rock. He landed, with his boat, within a reef, and caught a number of excellent turtle upon a sandy beach: this island also abounded with a variety of birds, which were so unaccustomed to being disturbed, that the seamen came near enough to knock down as many as they wanted with sticks.

In March, the weather was variable, sometimes strong gales from the southward and south-east, with moist and hazy weather; a great sea rolling in upon the coast. This month the marines were ordered to clear ground and begin to build huts and barracks for the winter; the convicts were also directed to employ certain hours in the same necessary work for themselves. The mornings and evenings were now rather cold; the thermometer from 60° to 75°.

In the month of April the weather was much the same as in March; rather variable; a few days of cloudy weather with rain, which generally fell in the night, and southerly and south-east winds; but when the wind shifted to the westward or north-west, the weather became fair and pleasant, and this weather was frequently attended with sea and land breezes; the mornings and evenings cold, and the middle of the day (if calm) very hot. Thermometer from 68° to 72°.

The beginning of this month much bad weather; strong gales from south to south-east, generally attended with rain in the night; middle of the month fair and settled weather for several days together, with a regular land and sea wind; towards the end of the month the wind prevailed between south-west and south-east, weather unsettled, showers of rain commonly in the night; in the day little wind and warm weather. The thermometer from 56° to 67°.

The beginning of June fair and pleasant weather, attended with land and sea breezes; from the middle to the latter end, stormy weather with much rain, wind chiefly from the south-east quarter. The thermometer from 52° to 62°.

This month begun as the last ended, with blustering, rainy weather; the middle was less windy, though cloudy and dull, with frequent showers; the end of the month fair weather with westerly winds. The thermometer from 52° to 63°.

This month commenced with cloudy weather and much rain, southerly and south-east winds; the middle moderate and fair with variable winds; the latter part was fair weather with light and variable winds. The thermometer from 56° to 72°.

From the beginning till about the 20th, the weather was cloudy with frequent showers of rain; but the latter part had strong gales from the south-east quarter.

I was furnished with the following months by Lieutenant William Dawes, of the marines.

The first and middle parts of this month the weather was moderate and cloudy, and the wind very variable, frequent thunder and lightning with showers of rain; the latter part was clear, fine weather in general, with distant thunder and lightning, and a few violent squalls of wind, which happened generally in the night. The Thermometer from 49° to 81°.

In the beginning of this month the weather was generally cloudy and hazy, the wind from the eastward; the middle part also cloudy with frequent light showers of rain, thunder, and lightning, sometimes distant and sometimes very heavy; latter part, cloudy and hazy, with violent thunder, lightning, and rain; wind from north-east to south-east; and the thermometer from 53° to 93°.

The first part was cloudy and hazy, with some thunder, attended with light rain; middle, same kind of weather, with frequent and light showers of rain; latter part, moderate weather with a good deal of rain; the wind chiefly from the northward and eastward. The thermometer from 53° to 102°.

During the whole of this month, the weather was cloudy and hazy, with light showers of rain, and sometimes distant thunder; the wind chiefly, though from the north-east and south-east, and during the night, westerly, or land winds. The thermometer from 63° to 112°.

The thermometer, as marked for these last four months, was in the open air occasionally exposed to the sun and wind.

I judged it better, while mentioning the weather during the different months, to go on with that by itself, and not to mix it with any other occurrences: I must, therefore, return back as far as the beginning of March, at which time, as the two French ships already spoken of were preparing to leave this coast, I determined to visit Monsieur de la Perouse before he should depart; I accordingly, with a few other officers, sailed round to Botany-Bay, in the Sirius's long-boat. We staid two days on board the Bussole, and were most hospitably and politely entertained, and very much pressed to pass a longer time with them.

When I took my leave the weather proved too stormy to be able to get along the coast in an open boat; I therefore left the long-boat on board the Bussole, took my gun, and, with another officer and two seamen, travelled through the woods and swamps, of which there were many in our route. We directed our course by a pocket compass, which led us within a mile of our own encampment; the distance from Botany-Bay to Port Jackson, across the land, and near the sea shore, is, in a direct line, eight or nine miles; and the country about two miles to the southward of Port Jackson abounds with high trees, and little or no underwood; but between that and Botany-Bay, it is all thick, low woods or shrubberies, barren heaths, and swamps; the land near the sea, although covered in many places with wood, is rocky from the water-side to the very summit of the hills.

Whilst walking on shore with the officers of the French ships at Botany-Bay, I was shown by them a little mount upon the north shore, which they had discovered, and thought a curiosity; it was quite rocky on the top, the stones were all standing perpendicularly on their ends, and were in long, but narrow pieces; some of three, four, or five sides, exactly (in miniature) resembling the Giants Causeway in the north of Ireland.

The Bussole and Astrolabe sailed from Botany-Bay the 11th of March.

As I have mentioned something of the country between Botany-Bay and Port Jackson, I must farther observe, that in the neighbourhood of Sydney Cove, which is that part of this harbour in which Governor Phillip has fixed his residence, there are many spots of tolerably good land, but they are in general of but small extent; exclusive of those particular spots, it is rather a poor steril soil, full of stones; but near, and at the head of the harbour, there is a very considerable extent of tolerable land, and which may be cultivated without waiting for its being cleared of wood; for the trees stand very wide of each other, and have no underwood: in short, the woods on the spot I am speaking of resemble a deer park, as much as if they had been intended for such a purpose; but the soil appears to me to be rather sandy and shallow, and will require much manure to improve it, which is here a very scarce article; however, there are people whose judgment may probably be better than mine, that think it good land; I confess that farming has never made any part of my studies. The grass upon it is about three feet high, very close and thick; probably, farther back there may be very extensive tracts of this kind of country, but we, as yet, had no time to make very distant excursions into the interior parts of this new world.

On the 6th of May, three of the transports, which were chartered by the East-India Company to load tea at China, sailed from this port; the Supply also sailed for Lord Howe Island.

The carpenter of the Sirius, with his crew, had been constantly employed on shore since our arrival in this country, assisting in erecting store-houses, and other necessary buildings. The ship's company were variously employed out of the ship upon the business of the settlement. The scurvy had, for some time past, appeared more amongst the seamen, marines, and convicts, than when on board the ships, which will appear strange, after having enjoyed the advantage of being much upon the land, and eating various vegetable productions; but this the gentlemen of the faculty say is no uncommon thing, particularly when men are under the necessity of continuing the same salt diet; setting aside this, and a few with dysenteries, the health of the people cannot be said to be bad.

About the middle of this month a convalescent, who had been sent from the hospital to gather wild spinach, or other greens, was murdered by the natives; there were two of them together, the one escaped, but was wounded, the other has never been heard of since; but as some part of his cloaths were found which were bloody, and had been pierced by a spear, it was concluded he had been killed. A short time after this accident, a report prevailed, that part of the bones of a man had been found near a fire by which a party of the natives had been regaling themselves; this report gave rise to a conjecture, that as this man had been killed near this place, the people who had committed the murder had certainly ate him.

Whether any of the natives of this country are cannibals is yet a matter on which we cannot speak positively; but the murder of two other men, as related immediately after this, seems to contradict the conjecture that they are cannibals, as the men were left on the spot where they were killed: however, the following circumstance may, in some degree, incline us to believe, that although the natives in general do not eat human flesh, yet that that horrid custom is sometimes practised. I was one day present when two native children were interrogated on the subject of the quarrels of their countrymen; they were particularly asked, what the different chiefs did with those they killed; they mentioned some who burnt and buried the slain, but they also particularly named one who ate those he killed.

Some short time after the before-mentioned accident happened, two convicts who had been employed at a little distance up the harbour, in cutting rushes for thatching, were found murdered by the natives. It has been strongly suspected that these people had engaged in some dispute or quarrel with them, and as they had hatchets and bill-hooks with them, it is believed they might have been rash enough to use violence with some of the natives, who had, no doubt, been numerous there; be that as it might, the officer who went to look after those unfortunate men, and to see what work they had done, after hailing some time for them without any reply, set his boat's crew upon the search, who, having found a considerable quantity of blood near their tent, suspected what they soon found to be the case: for they discovered the two men immediately after, lying in different places, both dead; the one had his brains beat out with a club or stone, besides several other wounds; the other had many wounds, and part of a spear, which had been broke, sticking quite through his body. Their tent, provisions, and cloaths remained, but most of the tools were taken away.

The 4th of June being the birth-day of our much beloved sovereign, and the first we had seen in this most distant part of his dominions, it was celebrated by all ranks with every possible demonstration of loyalty, and concluded with the utmost chearfulness and good order.

Having at this time of the year much bad weather, and very heavy gales of wind, I must observe, that I had, as well as many others, believed till now, that the gales had never blown upon the coast in such a direction, but that a ship, on being close in with the land when such a gale commenced, might gain an offing on one tack or the other; but we now found, that those gales are as variable in their direction upon this coast as any other during the winter season: I would, therefore, recommend it to ships bound to any port here to the southward of latitude 30° 00' south, at this time of the year to get in or near the parallel of their port, before they attempt to make the land; as in that case, if a gale from the eastward should take them when near the land, they would have their port under their lee, for it would be next to an impossibility for a ship to keep off the land with such a sea as these gales occasion.

In the month of July, our scorbutic patients seemed to be rather worse; the want of a little fresh food for the sick was very much felt, and fish at this time were very scarce: such of the natives as we met seemed to be in a miserable and starving condition from that scarcity. We frequently fell in with families living in the hollow part of the rocks by the sea-side, where they eagerly watched every opportunity of moderate weather to provide shell or other fish for their present subsistence: if a bird was shot, and thrown to them, they would immediately pluck off the feathers, put it upon the fire without taking out the intestines, and eat the whole; sometimes they did not pull off the feathers, and, if it were a small bird, did not even throw the bones away.

This season, in which fish is so scarce, subjects these poor creatures to great distress, at least we were apt to believe so; they were frequently found gathering a kind of root in the woods, which they broiled on the fire, then beat it between two stones until it was quite soft; this they chew until they have extracted all the nutritive part, and afterwards throw it away. This root appears to be a species of the orchis, or has much of its nutritive quality.

Large fires were frequently seen in this season upon some of the hills, and we had been much at a loss to know for what purpose they were so frequently lighted, at this time of the year; but in going down the harbour one day, with an intention to get upon the North Head, for the purpose of ascertaining its exact latitude, we observed on a hill near that point, one of those large fires, which (with the first lieutenant and surgeon who were with me) we determined to visit; and as we thought it might probably be some funeral ceremony, which we were very desirous of seeing, we took our guns, and intended getting up amongst them unperceived; but when we arrived at the place, to our very great disappointment, not a person was to be seen: I believe there were not less than three or four acres of ground all in a blaze; we then conjectured that these fires were made for the purpose of clearing the ground of the shrubs and underwood, by which means they might with greater ease get at those roots which appear to be a great part of their subsistence during the winter. We had observed that they generally took the advantage of windy weather for making such fires, which would of course occasion their spreading over a greater extent of ground.

On the 14th of July four transports, under the command of Lieutenant Shortland, sailed for England; they intended going to the northward, and passing through the streights of Macassar and Sunda, the season being too early either to attempt going round Van Diemen's land, and to endeavour to get to the westward by that tract, or to go to the eastward by Cape Horn.

The 12th of August being the birth-day of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, a salute of 21 guns was fired from the Sirius and Supply, and the officers of the settlement and ships dined with the governor, as on His Majesty's birth-day.

We began at this time to take equal altitudes for ascertaining the exact rate of the time-keeper. On the 17th, the governor directed two boats from the Sirius, with a proper officer in each, to go up the harbour; one to take the north, the other the south side; they were to enter every cove in their way up, in order to ascertain, as exactly as possible, the number of canoes and natives within the harbour of Port Jackson; for the same purpose, two other boats went down the harbour; in one of which the governor went, and I proceeded in the other; in the lower or north part of the harbour there was a considerable number of canoes, some of which were then employed in catching fish.

Upon my going round the coves, they all left their work and pushed with great precipitation for the land, which convinced me that they were women who were thus employed; as they had always shown a desire, as much as possible, to avoid us. I did every thing in my power to prevent their being alarmed, or in any respect uneasy, by keeping at a distance from them, and making every friendly signal I could, but to no purpose; for although there was no other boat in company, they did not seem disposed to trust us near them: there were many men upon the shore, who spoke to us in their usual familiar and chearful manner, and invited us with much apparent earnestness and friendship to come on shore, which, however, I declined, in order to prosecute the business I was engaged in; although I own I thought the counting them from the boat was a very uncertain method of coming at their numbers.

It blew fresh, and there was so much surf on shore, that it was impossible to land where the people stood, without the danger of hurting the boat, otherwise it is probable that I, together with Lieutenant George Johnston, of the marines, who was in the boat with me, should have landed: we went as near as possible to the shore, I believe within twenty yards, and whilst in friendly conversation with them, and lying upon our oars, we observed one of them place his lance upon the throwing-stick, but had no idea that he meant to throw it amongst us, after so friendly an invitation as we had received from them to land: but I was now convinced, that they only wanted us within their reach, no doubt from an opinion that we had no fire arms, as they did not appear: as soon as they thought that they could throw it with effect, a lance was discharged, which passed about six feet over our heads; I saw the lance in the air, and immediately snatched up my gun, which, as they run off the moment they had shown their hostile intention, I was determined to discharge amongst them, and should probably have killed one of their number, if my gun had not missed fire. Mr. Johnston, upon my gun having missed, immediately discharged his into the bushes in which they had sheltered themselves from our sight; but as it was charged only with small shot, I think it could not have hurt any of them.

What reason they could have had for this treacherous kind of conduct, I am wholly at a loss to guess, for nothing hostile or mischievous had appeared on our part; on the contrary, the most friendly disposition had been manifested in every thing we said or did; even when their women took the alarm upon our approach, I spoke to them, and made such signs of friendship as we judged they would understand, and went round at a distance to prevent their apprehension of any insult. It was perhaps fortunate that my gun did not go off; as I was so displeased at their treachery, that it is highly probable I might have shot one of them.

On comparing the accounts, which were taken by the different boats employed upon this business, it appeared that we had seen--Canoes 67--men 94--women 34--children 9,--which is by no means a just account of the numbers who, at that time, lived in and about this harbour; for I have since seen in one part of the harbour more than that number.

On the 27th, the Supply tender arrived from Norfolk Island, where she had been with a quantity of provisions and stores for that settlement; she brought the melancholy account of the loss of Mr. James Cunningham, and four others, who were drowned in the surf, by their boat being overset in landing the stores from the Supply; so exceedingly difficult of access is the shore of that island, from an almost continual surf breaking on a reef which encompasses the coast on that part where the settlement is formed.

In this month a report prevailed in the settlement, which seemed at first to gain some credit:--It was, that one Dailey, a convict, had discovered a piece of ground, wherein he had found a considerable quantity of a yellow coloured ore, which, upon its being tried, appeared to have a certain proportion of gold in it; at this time the governor happened to be absent on a short excursion into the country, to the northward: the report having been made to the lieutenant-governor, he, of course, examined the man, who had made the discovery, and who told his story with so much plausibility, that it was not doubted but an ore of some kind had been sound.

Dailey was interrogated as to the place, but this he refused to give any information of until the return of the governor, to whom he would give a full account of the discovery, provided he would grant him what the discoverer considered as but a small compensation for so valuable an acquisition; this reward was, (as there were ships upon the point of sailing) his own and a particular woman convict's enlargement, and a passage in one of the ships to England, together with a specified sum of money, which I do not now recollect. The lieutenant-governor insisted, that as he had already mentioned the discovery he had made, he should also show what part of the country it was in, otherwise he might expect punishment, for daring to impose upon those officers to whom he had related this business: the fear of punishment disposed him to incline a little, though apparently with much reluctance; he proposed to the lieutenant-governor, that an officer should be sent down the harbour with him, for the mine, which, he said, was in the lower part of the harbour, and near the sea shore, and he would show the place to the officer.

Accordingly, an officer, with a corporal and two or three private soldiers were sent with him; he landed where he said the walk would be but short, and they entered the wood in their way to the mine; soon after they got among the bushes, he applied for permission to go to one side for a minute upon some necessary occasion, which was granted him; the officer continued there some hours without seeing the discoverer again, who, immediately on getting out of his sight, had pushed off for the camp by land, for he knew the road very well, and he had cunning enough to persuade the officer to send the boat away as soon as they had landed, as he supposed he would not choose to quit the place until a good guard came down; for which purpose, the officer was to have dispatched a man by land, as soon as he arrived at the place, and was satisfied that it merited attention.

The convict arrived in camp pretty early in the afternoon, and informed the lieutenant-governor, that he had left the officer who went down with him in full possession of the gold mine; he then got a few things out of his own tent, and disappeared; the party, after waiting for some hours hooping and searching through the woods for the cheat, left their stations and marched round to the camp, where they arrived at dusk, heartily tired, and not a little chagrined at the trick the villain had played them. The want of provisions soon brought him from his concealment, and a severe punishment was the necessary consequence of this imposition: however, he still gave out, that he had made the discovery which he before had mentioned, and that his reasons for quitting the officer who went with him was, that he thought, if he gave the information to the governor himself, he should certainly get what he had asked.

When the governor returned, another officer was sent with him, although every person now believed that there was no truth in what he had hitherto reported. This officer informed him, in going down in the boat, that he would not suffer him to go three yards from him when landed, and that he would certainly shoot him if he attempted to run from him; for which purpose he showed him, that he was loading his gun with ball: this so terrified the cheat, that he acknowledged he knew of no gold mine. He was then interrogated respecting the ore which he had produced, and he confessed he had filed down part of a yellow metal buckle, and had mixed with it some gold filed off a guinea, all which had been blended with some earth, and made hard. The man who tried the ore was bred a silversmith, and upon separating the different parts, he discovered that it contained a small quantity of gold: the inventor was, of course, well punished for his trick.

The observations which I made here, both for the latitude and longitude, as well as those that were made by Lieutenant Bradley, were the same as are inserted in the following tables.

Chapter IV


September 1788 to January 1789

The Sirius leaves Port Jackson.--Sails for the Cape of Good Hope, by the Eastern Passage.--Falls in with many large islands of ice.--Casts anchor at Robin's Island.--Tables of the winds, weather, &c.

In the month of September, Governor Phillip signified to me, that it was his intention very soon to dispatch the Sirius to the Cape of Good Hope, in order to purchase such quantity of provisions as she might be capable of taking on board; and that she might be made as light as possible for that purpose, he desired I would land eight or ten of her guns and carriages, with any other articles which I judged the ship could spare, for the time she might be absent, and which might answer the purpose of lightening the ship and the making of room.

In consequence of this order, eight guns, with their carriages, and 24 rounds of shot for each gun, 20 half barrels of powder, a spare anchor, and various other articles, were put on shore at Sydney-cove: he also directed that I should leave the ship's long-boat behind for the use of the settlement: this order I confess I with reluctance obeyed, as the want of such a boat has often been very severely felt; at the same time I was desired to endeavour, on my arrival at the Cape, to purchase such a boat for the settlement; and that written directions for that and other purposes would be given me, when I received my final instructions. Whilst upon this subject, I thought it a proper opportunity to represent, that the Sirius was (except in the carpenter's department,) perfectly ready for sea; but the carpenter's crew, together with the carpenter of the ship himself, having all been employed constantly on the business of the settlement, since our arrival in this country, the ship had, in consequence, been much neglected in that department; and as she was soon to go to sea, it was highly necessary that those people should be immediately sent on board to prepare her for a voyage.

We had, it is true, (upon my representing the absolute necessity of having the ship's decks and sides caulked,) employed an old man, the carpenter's yeoman, and a convict caulker, upon the weather work of the ship; but that work, we had afterwards reason to know, had not been so well executed as it might have been, had the carpenter of the ship been permitted to stay on board and attend so necessary a duty.

On Tuesday the 30th of September, I received my final orders, and on Wednesday the Ist of October, unmoored the ship; the governor and his family dined on board, and the wind being easterly, we got under weigh and worked down to the lower anchorage, where we came to, intending to take advantage of the land wind in the morning to put to sea. The Golden Grove store-ship also came down and anchored below, having on board provisions and other stores, for Norfolk Island; she had also on board a number of men and women convicts for that island; I think twenty men and twelve women, together with six marines and three seamen from the Sirius. In the evening, the governor and the other gentlemen who were with him took their leave, and early in the morning of the 2d, with the wind at south-west, we sailed out of the harbour.

As I have not at any time, when speaking of this harbour, given any description of it, or any directions for sailing into it, I will take this opportunity.

The entrance of the harbour of Port Jackson has nothing in its appearance, when six leagues from the land, by which it may be known; your latitude will be your most infallible guide to this harbour, or indeed to any other upon this coast. Steer in for the land, which here lies about north by east half east and south by west half west; keep as near as you can in latitude 33° 50' south; the entrance, when you come near, will show itself, by the heads on each side, which are high, steep, perpendicular cliffs, of a light reddish colour; a ship bound in here, may run in without fear between the heads, which are distant from each other one mile and three quarters; there is nothing in the way, and the shore pretty steep to on each side; the sea breaking, which it does even in fine weather, will show any rocks which may lie near under the shore. Steer in between the heads for a high bluff point, which is called Middle Cape or Head, and is steep to, until you open to the southward of you a very extensive arm of the harbour.

If the wind be sufficiently large to run up this branch, (which lies by compass south-west by south) on either shore, haul round the east-most point of this arm, which is called the Inner or South Head; it is a low rocky point; give it a birth of two-thirds of a cable, and steer right in for the first sandy cove above it, on the same side, called Camp Cove; keep at a convenient, but small distance from the shore, in three and a half and four fathoms, and observe, that right off this cove, and near mid-channel, lies a patch of rocks, which appear at half-tide; the shoaling toward them is gradual all round, upon a smooth sandy bottom; it is rocky only about half a cable's length from the dry part; you may keep near the upper point of Camp Cove, in six and seven fathoms, and from thence steer directly up the harbour. If you intend to go on the west shore, and to leave this patch of rocks to the eastward of you, steer in as before for Middle Head, and when within a cable's length of it, steer up for the next point above it, on the same side, observing not to make too free with that point, as it is rocky something more than half a cable's length off. In this channel, which is much the best, being rather broader than the eastern channel, you will have four, four and a half, and five fathoms. When you are above this second point, on the west shore, you may take what part of the channel you please, or anchor wherever you wish, there being nothing in the way from shore to shore.

The chart will certainly be the best guide in going in. If the wind should be southerly, a stranger would not venture to work up, but he might anchor with safety in the north part of the harbour, which he will perceive by the chart, to which I would refer him, rather than to a written description*.

[* For an accurate survey of this harbour, see a Chart of Port Jackson, by Captain Hunter, in Phillip's Voyage, 4to. Edition.]

We were no sooner clear of the harbour, than the wind veered more to the southward, and began to blow strong, with thick, hazy, and dirty weather; and, what gave me privately a good deal of concern, the carpenter reported, that the ship, which had hitherto been very tight, now made water. This piece of information, with such a voyage as the Sirius was now entered upon, was no doubt very unwelcome; and more particularly so, when it was considered, that the ship's company, from having been long upon salt diet, without the advantage of any sort of vegetables, were not so healthy and strong as a leaky ship might require.

I had often observed, that when this voyage, upon which we were now entered, was the subject of conversation, in company with the governor, he always spoke in favour of the passage round Van Diemen's land, and to the westward; but when I signified a wish that he would direct by what route I should endeavour to perform the voyage, he declined that; and said that I should be governed by circumstances, and that he should leave it to my discretion and judgment; at the same time expressing his opinion strongly in favour of the western route; which I confess I was a little surprised at, as it had never yet been attempted, not even by ships employed in that kind of service which leaves it in their power to make experiments.

I do not say that the passage from Van Diemen's land to the Cape of Good Hope, by the westward, is impracticable, as that remains yet to be tried; but from my own experience of the prevalence of strong westerly winds across that vast ocean, I am inclined to think it must be a long and tedious voyage; and at the same time so very uncertain, that the time for which the Sirius was victualled, (for four months, and of some articles not more than two weeks, for the number of men on board; having left a considerable quantity of our provision for the use of the settlement,) and the nature of the service she was going upon, which was no doubt of considerable consequence to the colony, was not an opportunity for trying such an experiment; as the consequence of a disappointment would have been, that I must have returned again to Port Jackson for a fresh supply of provisions, and the season for another passage would have been too far advanced. I therefore determined, judging from the experience of those who had before made the eastern passage, to pass to the southward of New Zealand and round Cape Horn.

We stood off to the eastward, determined as early as possible to get an offing of fifty or sixty leagues; the wind continued to the southward, with the same hazy and squally weather, until the 5th, when it shifted to south-south-east; by this time we were about 70 leagues from the coast, which enabled us to tack and stand to the south-west: with this change of wind from the south-west to the south-east quarter, the same squally and unsettled weather continued. The ship upon the larboard tack made much more water than on the starboard, so much as to render it necessary to pump her every two hours, to prevent too long a spell; she made in general from ten to twelve inches in two hours.

There was reason to conjecture, from this difference on the opposite tacks, that the leak was somewhere about the starboard bow, and near the surface of the water, and if it proved so, I had a hope that we might, the first moderate weather, with smooth water, be able to come at and stop it. I was the more sanguine in this expectation, as the carpenter, in a few days after, discovered it to be under the after part of the fore-channel, a little below the surface of the water; and seemed to think it proceeded from one of the butt-bolts being corroded by the copper, which I now understood had never been taken off since the ship's being first sheathed, which was now more than eight years.

On the 6th, the weather cleared up, and both Mr. Bradley and myself had a few distances of the sun and moon, by which our longitude was 157° 10' east, by the time-keeper 156° 55' east, and by account 156° 17' east; the latitude 34° 49' south; variation per Azimuth 11° 40' east. At noon, the wind got round to east and east by north, with which I steered south-south-east; still favouring our endeavours to get to the southward; it next came to north-east and north, and in latitude 40° 33' south, it came to north-west, but the weather still continued squally and unsettled. As the weather began now to be rather cold, and as in the track I meant to prosecute my voyage by I might expect to have it considerably colder, and consequently the ship's company would require a shift of cloathing, slops were served to all who stood in need of them.

On the 9th, we were near as far to the southward as Van Diemen's Land, or South Cape of New Holland; and the wind being apparently settled in the south-west quarter, I steered a course for the south cape of New Zealand. From Port Jackson to Van Diemen's Land we had run parallel to the coast, at the distance of 60 leagues from it, and have not seen any thing; so that we may venture to say, that there are no islands lie off that part of the coast, at the above distance from it. On the afternoon of this day (9th) we had several good setts of distances of the sun and moon, by which our longitude was 157° 26' east, by the time-keeper 157° 19' east, and by account 157° 48' east; the latitude 43° 30' south; the thermometer was now 57°.

On the 12th, we passed the south cape of New Zealand, but the weather being very hazy and squally, we did not attempt to make it, but kept a degree and a half to the southward of it; here we met with vast numbers of birds of various kinds, mostly aquatic, such as albatrosses, pentada birds, divers, peterels, and a variety of gulls; some of a kind I had not before seen during the voyage, very large, of a dark brown or mouse colour; and another sort not quite so large, with a white body, dark wings, and the head of a light blue or lead colour: much sea-weed was also seen here in very large patches.

We now had the wind fresh from the north-west quarter, with frequent squalls, attended with rain, and the weather cold. We found the variation of the compass 40 leagues south-south-east from the south cape of New Zealand, to be 16° 54' east. Mr. Worgan, the surgeon, having recommended the essence of malt to be served at this time to the ship's company, a certain quantity of wort was made every morning, and a pint served to each man.

On the 15th, by an observation of the moon's distance from the star aquila, our longitude was 171° 16' east, the latitude was 50° 45' south, and the variation of the compass 16° 20' east; longitude by the time-keeper 171° 32' east, and by account 172° 10' east. From this time to the 22d, we had light and variable winds, sometimes from the south and south-east, and sometimes from the northward, with moist and hazy weather.

On the 22d, the wind inclined from the westward, and the weather became fair; we had this day a set of distances of the sun and moon, which gave our longitude 182° 46' east, the time-keeper 182° 37' east, and the account 184° 10' east; the latitude 51° 03' south; the variation was now 13° 45' east, and the thermometer 48°. For three successive days we had lunar observations, by which it appeared that the reckoning a few days before had been more than a degree and a half to the eastward of the observations and time-keeper; but by our last distances of the sun and moon (26th) the ship was gaining on the account; these differences seem wholly to proceed from the sea, occasioned by the prevailing winds for the time; the easterly variation was decreasing, being now only 11° 00' east, in latitude 52° 42' south, and longitude 196° 11' east. We now very frequently heard the divers in the night, and as often saw them in the day; it is really wonderful how these birds get from or to the land, at such an immense distance from it as from 800 to 1000 leagues: they undoubtedly lay their eggs, and hatch them on shore, and yet we plainly perceived that those we met were of the penguin kind, and could not fly: from the slow progress such a bird can make in the water, it might be supposed that it would take them many years (were instinct to point out the direct and shortest course for them) before they could possibly reach any land, unless there are islands in these seas, and not far from our track, which have not yet been discovered.

I endeavoured, in sailing from New Zealand to Cape Horn, to keep as much as possible in a parallel between the tracks of the Resolution and Adventure; so that if any island lay between the parallels in which these ships sailed, we might have a chance of falling in with them. We have bad very variable weather for some days past, with equally variable winds, and a confused jumble of a sea, which the very frequent shifting of the wind occasioned.

On the 2d of November, by a lunar observation, we were in longitude 214° 27' east; the time-keeper gave 214° 19' east, and by account 213° 02' east; the latitude 55° 18' south, the variation was here 11° 00' east, and the height of the thermometer was 50°. From the 2d to the 6th, we had the winds from north by west to north-north-east: on the 6th and 7th, we had very good observations for the longitude by the sun and moon; the former gave 223° 57' east, and the latter 227° 58' east; the longitude by account was 226° 20' east, the latitude 56° 12' south: the variation increased again, being in this situation 12° 20' east, thermometer 46°.

From the 7th until the 17th, the weather was very variable, and the wind very unsettled, between the south-east and south-west quarters, attended with strong gales and dark hazy weather, with frequent showers of snow and hail; the thermometer was down at 42° in the cabin, where we sometimes had a fire, but in the open air it was at 35°; the showers were commonly accompanied with heavy gusts or squalls of wind. Notwithstanding we were, with these winds from the southward, subject to snow and hail, yet we frequently found that some of the gales which had blown from the northward were attended with a more piercing degree of cold. On the 18th, the weather became more moderate and fair, and the wind shifted to west, with a moderate breeze: we were now in longitude 261° 50' east, and latitude 55° 23' south, and had 14° 43' east variation. On the 19th, we found that the variation had increased, in a run to the eastward of 25 leagues, to 17° 30' east.

On the 22d, we had several good distances of the sun and moon, and found our longitude to be at noon 280° 22' east, by the time-keeper 281° 08' east, and by account 283° 09' east; the latitude was 57° 15' south; the variation of the compass increased very fast as we approached Cape Horn, being now 20° 30' east; and on the next day (23d) 22° 30' east; but a table of the variation will be inserted at the end of the chapter, where it will appear at one view.

We now very frequently fell in with high islands of ice. On the 24th, we had fresh gales with hazy and cold weather, and met so many ice islands, that we were frequently obliged to alter our course to avoid them. On the 25th, we had strong gales with very heavy and frequent squalls: as we were now drawing near Cape Horn, and in all the charts of Terra del Fuego which I had seen, there is an island laid down, bearing from the Cape about south-south-west, and called Diego Ramirez, distant from the land ten or twelve leagues; and as I do not find that the existence of such an island has ever been contradicted by any person who has sailed round this promontory, I determined to keep as near as possible in its parallel, the wind being from west-north-west to west-south-west, and the weather rather hazy; if I should make it, I could pass either within or without, as might be convenient; and it would be as good a land-fall as the Cape itself, as, in case the wind should incline to the southward, we should have offing enough to clear the land, which, to us who were upon a service that would not admit of any loss of time, was of consequence.

At noon on the 26th, we had a good meridian observation, and were exactly in the parallel of Diego Ramirez; and at eight A. M. an opportunity offered, for about an hour, for taking a set of distances of the sun and moon, of which both Mr. Bradley and myself availed ourselves; the result of which was (taking the mean of both observations, which agreed within a few miles) 292° 38' east, at the time of observation; so that we must then have been very near the place in which this island is laid down, for we could rely upon the observations: but as nothing appeared, we hauled in for the land, the looming of which we frequently saw, but the heavy black squalls which were constantly gathering upon it, rendered it too indistinct to be able to determine any particular point.

At this time several long strings of wild ducks flew past the ship: in the evening the weather cleared a little in the horizon, and we set the extremes of Terra del Fuego from north by west to west-north-west, distant about 10 leagues. We continued our course north-east, and I think we may safely venture to determine, that there is no island so situated from Cape Horn as this Diego Ramirez is said to be.

For several days before we made the land, and every day after we left it, until the 27th, we fell in with a great number of very high ice islands. Here also we met with divers and seals. We had got but a very small distance to the eastward of the cape, when the winds inclined to the northward, and from that to the north-east, and blew a fresh gale.

From the 27th of November until the 12th of December, we had the wind constantly in the north-east quarter, which I believe to be rather uncommon near Cape Horn for such a length of time; as ships in general, that are bound into the south sea, find it rather tedious getting to the westward round this cape.

The ship's company now began to show much disposition to the scurvy, and what made it more distressing, we had nothing in the ship with which we could hope to check the progress of that destructive disease, except a little essence of malt, that we continued to serve to the ship's company. We had only to hope for a speedy passage to the Cape of Good Hope, where we should, without a doubt, with the good things which were to be had there, be able to re-instate their health perfectly: I was so far from being surprised at this appearance of the scurvy amongst the company of the Sirius, so soon after leaving her port, that it was with me rather a matter of wonder that it had not shown itself sooner; and so it must be with every person who considers how they had lived since we left the Cape outward bound; during that time (about 13 or 14 months) they had not tasted a bit of fresh provisions of any kind, nor had they touched a single blade of vegetables.

We began now to be subject to hazy moist weather, with frequent very thick fogs; the latitude 55° 30' south, and longitude 306° 00' east; the weather was very cold, and very high islands of ice were seen in every quarter, some of a prodigious size: for fourteen days after we got to the eastward of Cape Horn, we were beating to the north-east, anxious to get so far to the northward as to feel the influence of the summer sun, by which it was to be hoped and expected our scorbutic patients might be much relieved. In latitude 52° 30' south, and longitude 318° 20' east, the wind inclined to the southward of east, with hazy moist weather, and we steered to the north-east. We found many large whales here; they seemed to go in droves of from five and six to fifteen and twenty together, spouting within a cable's length of the ship, and sometimes so near that it would have been no difficult matter to harpoon them from the fore part of the ship as they passed under the bows.

On the 12th of December, Henry Fitz-Gerald, a feaman, departed this life; he was troubled with a disease in his lungs, but the scurvy was his principal malady.

On the 13th, in the morning, we passed one of the largest ice-islands we had seen; we judged it not less than three miles in length, and its perpendicular height we supposed to be 350 feet.

In latitude 51° 33' south, and longitude 321° 00' east, the wind seemed set in at south-west, and blew a fresh steady gale, frequently attended with showers of snow or hail; the variation of the compass decreased fast, as will appear in the table annexed. On the 16th the wind shifted suddenly to the north-west quarter, and blew a steady gale. On the 19th, it blew very strong from west-north-west, with hazy weather, and frequent showers of rain, which again changed the wind to the south-west quarter, and the weather, as usual upon those changes, became fair and pleasant.

We now seemed to have got out from among the ice-islands, with which, from South Georgia to the latitude of 46° south, this ocean seems at this season of the year to be overspread. In latitude 44° 00' south, we saw the last piece of ice, and in the whole, we had been twenty-eight days among the ice, and sailed a distance of 800 leagues. We had run for several days together, at the rate of from 50 to 60 leagues in the 24 hours, in a north-east direction; and had passed through a lane or street, if it may be so called, of ice-islands, the whole of that distance: in general they were from the size of a country church, to the magnitude of one, two and three miles in circumference, and proportionably high.

Were it not that at this season of the year we had in such high latitudes very short nights, and scarcely an hour which could be called dark; it would certainly be attended with considerable danger to run in the night, the ice islands were in such vast numbers; indeed, we seldom sailed more than three or four miles, without having several upon each beam. I think the direction, in which those pieces of ice seemed to have been driven, is a strong proof of the prevalence of south-west winds in this part of the ocean. It is highly probable that they had been formed upon the coast of South Georgia and Sandwich Land, and separated from the ground early in the spring, or probably in a gale of wind during the winter. Many of them were half black, apparently with earth from the land to which they had adhered, or else, with mud from the bottom on which they had lain: for it is well known, that ice-islands, after having been driven about at sea for a length of time, become so light and spungy in that part which has been immersed in the water, that the upper part becomes heavier, and thereby they frequently overset, and may, by such a change, show some part of the ground on which they had rested. Others had large and distinct portions of them thoroughly tinged with a beautiful sea-green, or bright verdigrease colour.

In latitude 45° 30' south, and longitude 342° 00' east, the variation of the compass, which had decreased very gradually, was only 00° 4' east. We carried on strong westerly winds with us, which amply compensated for the northerly and easterly gales which detained us so long between Cape Horn and South Georgia; and it was exceedingly fortunate for us that we were so favoured by the winds, for the ship's company were falling down very fast with the scurvy; and as I have already observed, we had nothing on board with which we could hope to check its progress, much less to cure it.

Nothing certainly can promise so fair to effect so desireable a purpose, as carrying a good stock of various vegetable acids in every ship, but particularly in ships employed upon such services as the Sirius was. The elexir of vitriol, hitherto allowed, and formerly considered, not only as a preventive, but as a cure, was found by no means to answer the purpose of the former, far less of the latter. The vegetable acids, which might be provided for the use of ships upon long voyages, I apprehend would be found to occasion a very small additional expence, if any; and I am convinced in the end would be found a considerable saving.

Having on the 25th of December arrived upon the meridian of Greenwich, from which we had sailed in an easterly direction, and completed 360° of east longitude, and consequently gained 24 hours, I dropt 360° and repeated, Thursday, 25th December.

On the 30th, John Shine, a seaman, died of the scurvy.

On the 31st, I had a few sets of distances of the sun and moon, by which our longitude at noon was 17° 16' east; by Mr. Bradley, it was 16° 58' east; the mean of both gave 17° 07' east, and by the time-keeper it was 18° 10' east; and we had not yet made the land; the latitude was 33° 48' south. This was a proof that the time-keeper must have altered its rate since we left Port Jackson; we had then determined it to be losing 4"-77. This change of its rate, since we left Port Jackson, I had some time suspected, and attributed it to the effects of the weather we had off, and near, Cape Horn. This evening we made a short trip off till midnight, when we tacked and stood for the land again: Joseph Caldwell, a seaman, died of the scurvy. At day-light we saw the land; the nearest, or that part which we were a-breast of, was distant about four leagues, and the Table Mountain bore south by east about nine or ten leagues; the wind, for the last twenty-four hours, had been strong from the southward, and we had, occasioned by there being too much of it, fallen to leeward.

Nothing could have been more correct than our observations for the longitude. The wind coming from the sea, we stood along shore to the southward, and in the afternoon were a-breast of Robin's Island, but could not fetch round the reef, and into Table Bay.

The weakly condition of that part of the ship's company, who were able to do duty upon deck, and the very dejected state of those who were confined to their beds, determined me, if possible, to bring the ship to an anchor before night; as the very idea of being in port, sometimes has an exceeding good effect upon the spirits of people who are reduced low by the scurvy; which was the case with a great many of our ship's company; and indeed, a considerable number were in the last stage of it.

After endeavouring in vain to weather the reef off the south end of the island, I bore away, and ran round the north end, and anchored within, right off the flag-staff and landing-place, in nine fathoms water, coarse ground; the flag-staff bearing west, and the south end of the island, just on with the Lyon's Rump.

Chapter V


January 1789 to May 1789

Depart from Robin's Island, and anchor in Table Bay.--The sick sent on shore.--Arrival of the Alexander transport.--Provisions procured for the settlement at Port Jackson.--Departure of the Sirius.--In great danger from a violent tempest.--Arrives safe at Port Jackson.--Tables of the winds, weather, variation of the compass, &c.

As soon as the ship was anchored, we sent a boat with the first lieutenant on shore to the island, for such news from Europe as the commanding officer there might be able to give; I wished also to know if Governor Van de Graaff was still at the Cape, and if Colonel Gordon was still commander in chief of the troops in garrison there.

The officer commanding at the island was exceedingly civil to the lieutenant who went on shore, and gave him every information he could; but it was unfortunate that the one could not speak a word of English, nor the other understand a word of Dutch: however, it was observed, that he wore a large orange cockade in his hat, and although he could not converse, he made the officer sufficiently understand, by broken expressions of half English and half Dutch, that the English and Dutch were very good friends again, and that the French had no connection at all with Holland: from all which I conjectured, that some considerable changes had taken place in the affairs of the republic, since our departure from England, and that the Stadtholder had been reinstated in all his rights.

On hearing what a long voyage we had come, the officer was so kind as to send a basket of such fruit as his garden afforded; which, (to make the dejected sick well assured we were really in port,) were sent down and divided among them, for until then some of them very much doubted.

In the morning of the 2d of January, with a fine breeze from the northward, we got under way, and sailed up to Table Bay. I had generally understood, that the depth of water between this island and the anchorage in Table Bay, was so very considerable as to be unsafe for anchorage, in case of being becalmed, or otherwise not able to reach the proper anchoring ground. I was the more inclined to believe that to be the case, from never having seen the soundings laid down in any chart of this bay, except where ships commonly anchor: I therefore, to ascertain whether that were the case or not, determined to go up under an easy sail, and to keep the lead going; the soundings were regular, and the deepest water was 15 fathoms; the ground was hard and probably not very clear, but still there is anchorage, which I did not before know.

At ten o'clock in the morning, we anchored in Table Bay, in seven and a half fathoms, and moored a cable each way. As soon as the ship was secured, I sent an officer to wait on the governor, and to inform him of the business I was come upon: he very politely informed the officer, that there was great abundance of every thing to be had, and that I had nothing to do but to signify in writing the quantity of each article wanted, and directions would be immediately given respecting it. His excellency also took that opportunity of sending me information, that he should in a few days, send a ship for Amsterdam; and, that if I had any dispatches to forward, and would send them to his house, he would answer for their being delivered into the custody of the British ambassador, at the Hague, as far as the safety of the ship could be depended on.

The governor also confirmed the political accounts we had (though imperfectly,) received at the island: he sent me the treaty of alliance formed between the Kings of Great-Britain and Prussia, and also that between the States-General and these two sovereigns, which was a very pleasing piece of intelligence. Every person here, either military or civil, wore a mark of their attachment to the Orange party and the old constitution; the former by an orange cockade, the latter, by a bit of ribbon of that colour, either at the breast, button-hole, or sleeve.

Immediately after our arrival, I directed that sick-quarters should be provided for the sick, which was done; and the invalids, to the number of forty, were landed under the care of Mr. Worgan, the surgeon of the ship. Their expeditious recovery was of much consequence to the service upon which I was at that time employed; and it was also of consequence to that service, that they should be perfectly recovered before they were taken on board again; as we had yet a very long voyage to perform before we could arrive at any port, after leaving the Cape. When we arrived in this bay, we had just twelve men in each watch, and half that number, from scorbutic contractions in their limbs, were not able to go aloft.

Every person here, with whom any of the officers fell in company, spoke of our voyage from the east coast of New Holland, by Cape Horn, to the Cape of Good Hope, with great surprise, not having touched at any port in our way, and having sailed that distance in ninety-one days.

I was now very anxious to get some account of the transports, which, under the command of Lieutenant Shortland, the agent, had left Port Jackson on the 14th of July, 1788, and which I was sorry to understand had not been in this bay: for I thought it highly probable, that as their route was to the northward, by the Molucca Islands and Batavia, they would certainly touch here in their way home. It being now seven months since they sailed, I was apprehensive for their safety; particularly when I considered the very weakly condition of some of their crews, by the scurvy, when they left us, and not a surgeon in any one of the ships. This must be allowed to be very improper oeconomy in the owners of those ships, when the extent of the voyage they had undertaken is considered, together with the well known impossibility of their being able to procure seamen, or any recruit of strength to their ships companies, in that inhospitable and far distant part of the world.

I cannot help here taking the liberty of saying, that it is much to be lamented, when ships are hired for the service of government, to perform such long and trying voyages to the health of those employed in them, that it is not made a part of the contract and practice, that they carry a surgeon; for I know well, that seamen, when taken ill upon such long passages, are, at the very idea of being without the assistance of a surgeon, (although careless and void of thought at other times, when in perfect health,) apt to give way to melancholy, and a total dejection of spirits; and that many a valuable subject has been lost to the country by such a trifling saving. Out of the nine transports which were employed on this service, one only had a surgeon; and that one, had she not been bound upon some other service, after leaving Port Jackson, would in all probability have been without one also.

On the 5th, a Dutch India ship arrived here from Rio de Janeiro: by this ship I received information of the arrival at that place of two vessels from the east coast of New Holland; that they arrived singly, and in very great distress, from sickness, and the death of many of their people; that the first which arrived, had her name on her stern, (Prince of Wales, of London;) from which circumstance, there could be no doubt of its being one of our transports: the other vessel was also so well described, that I knew it to be the Borrowdale store-ship. The officers of this India ship observed farther, that they were so weak, that had they not been boarded by boats without the harbour, they had been unable to bring their vessels into safety.

These ships, I apprehended, had parted company with Lieutenant Shortland, soon after sailing from Port Jackson, and had then determined to go to the eastward by Cape Horn; but they were wrong in my opinion, (and I judge from my own experience,) after passing Cape Horn, in preferring a port at Rio de Janeiro to the Cape of Good Hope, which last place, I have no doubt, they would have reached in less time, and with considerable less fatigue to their sickly crews; beside the advantage of being able to procure more seamen, if they were in want; which I apprehend they will find much difficulty in obtaining at Rio de Janeiro.

As westerly winds are prevalent between Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope, if it should so happen that these winds blow more from the north-west than the south-west quarters, their progress to the northward would be but slow along the coast of South America; but from both these quarters it is fair, if bound over to the coast of Africa: and farther, with respect to a passage to Europe, they would have been more conveniently situated at the Cape of Good Hope, than at Rio de Janeiro, for making that passage with expedition; for at Rio you are within the limits of the south-east trade, and upon that coast are consequently to leeward; so that you may be obliged to stretch as far from thence to the southward as the latitude of 30° 00' south, and sometimes 32° 00' along that coast, before you can tack and stand to the north-east, in order to be able to cross the equator far enough to the eastward, to ensure a tolerable passage across the north-east trade; but at the Cape, you are far to windward, and steer to the northward with a large wind.

On the 19th, a small Dutch frigate arrived here from Batavia; from which I learned, that Lieutenant Shortland had arrived at that port with a single ship, about the beginning of December, in a very distressed condition; that he had buried the greatest part of the ship's company, and was assisted by the officers and company of the above frigate to secure his vessel and hand the sails, which he could not have done without assistance; and that he had been reduced to the necessity, some time before he arrived, to sink the other vessel which was in company with him, for the purpose of manning one out of the remaining part of the two ships companies; without which, he never could have reached Batavia with either: for when he arrived there, he had only four men out of the two crews, who were capable of standing on the deck. I was now particularly anxious for the arrival of Mr. Shortland at the Cape, that I might have something more authentic than these reports to give Governor Phillip, on my return to Port Jackson.

By altitudes taken for the time-keeper, since we had been here, we found its error to be 1° 31' easterly, and Brockbank's watch erred 3° 01' easterly also; from which I conjecture, that the very cold weather which we experienced some time before we reached, and for a considerable time after we passed, Cape Horn, had affected the watch's going: when we made Terra del Fuego, it appeared to be about 1° 00' to the eastward. I made a present of a dog from New South Wales, to a gentleman who came on board, and thought it a curiosity: it was taken by many who visited the Sirius for a jackall, as it was much of that make and colour.

On the 18th of February, to my no small satisfaction, (for I was preparing to sail the next day,) Mr. Shortland arrived in the Alexander transport. I was going off from the shore, when I discovered the ship coming round Green Point; I rowed directly on board, and his people were so happy to see their old friends in Table-Bay, that they cheered us as we came alongside. I now received from Mr. Shortland an exact confirmation of all the intelligence which I had received concerning him from the officers of the Dutch frigate. The two ships which I had collected some accounts of from Rio de Janeiro, he told me, had parted company with him two days after he left Port Jackson; and that he was nineteen weeks and four days on his passage to Batavia.

On the 20th of February, I sailed from Table-Bay, after having taken on board twelve months provisions for the ship's company; and, in addition, about six months flour for the whole settlement; together with various stores for the colony, and many private articles for the different officers, &c. &c. in short, the ship's hold, between decks, every officer's apartment, and all the store-rooms were completely filled.

During the time we lay in Table-Bay, I received many civilities, indeed many marks of the most polite and friendly attention from Governor Van de Graaf, Colonel Gordon, and many other officers of this settlement.

Before we embarked any of the provisions, we heeled the ship, to endeavour to stop the leak, which had kept the pumps so much employed during the voyage, and which I mentioned before, I was in hopes of being able, in fine weather, to get at, and stop at sea; but, after several attempts, we found it impracticable: we were now so fortunate as to get at it; it proceeded from an iron bolt, which had been corroded by the copper, and by the working of the ship had dropt out, and left a hole of more than an inch in diameter. A wooden plug was put in, and covered again with copper. But beside this leak, there were many other smaller holes, which were occasioned by the decay of long spikenails with which the skirting-board (which secures the upper edge of the copper) had been fastened on, and had gone quite through the main plank of the ship's bottom. All were closed, as far as we examined, and the ship for the present made less water, but was not so tight as formerly; it was therefore my intention, upon my arrival at Port Jackson, to represent to Governor Phillip the necessity there was to lighten and examine the ship some distance below the wales; that such defects as we might find might be remedied while they were trifling.

The time-keeper, which I have already mentioned to have had upon our arrival here an error of 1° 31', seemed, during the time we lay in Table-Bay, to have gradually recovered its original rate, (viz. 4"-77,) it was now losing 4"-78; this served to convince me of the justice of my conjecture, that it had been considerably affected by the very cold weather we had near Cape Horn.

After we left the Cape of Good Hope, we had, for three weeks, strong gales from the southward, with squally disagreeable weather, which sometimes reduced our sails as low as courses; we did not meet with westerly winds quite so soon as I expected, or as we had done the last time we made this passage. In latitude 38° 30' and in the meridian of the Cape, we had, for two days, a current to the northward of 44 miles each day; and in latitude 40°, and longitude 22° east, we were, in two days, set 68 miles to the southward, and by the watch, 60 miles to the eastward, more than the log gave. In latitude 41° 50' south, and longitude 28° 09' east, the wind shifted from the southward to the north-north-east, and blew a very strong gale for two days; it then settled in the north-west quarter.

At that time, being in latitude 43° 00' south, and longitude 37° 30' east, we found the variation of the compass had encreased as high as 32° 20' west, before we had reached as much east longitude as we found that variation in last passage; but we were now in a higher latitude, as will appear by the variation table which is annexed at the end of this chapter.

On the 20th of March, having sprung the trussle trees of the main-top-mast, we struck and unrigged them, and fitted new ones. On the 22d, we had a very heavy gale of wind from north-north-east and north, with a prodigious high broken sea; our course (east-south-east) being at right angles to the wind, we kept the ship in the trough of the sea, which occasioned our shipping several heavy seas, and made me very apprehensive for the safety of the boats and booms; I was therefore under the necessity of laying the ship to, under a balanced mizzen, for about four hours; when the wind shifting suddenly to north-west, enabled me to bear away and set the reefed fore-sail.

It continued to blow very hard all night, and we shipt much water, but the ship having a flush deck, no weight could lay on it, the only danger was that of filling the boats; to prevent which, I, after this gale, had them turned bottom up; the ship now made about as much water as she did on the former passage. The wind continued in the north-west quarter, and blew strong until the 8th of April, when it inclined a little to the eastward of north for two or three days, but it had not so much easting in it as to be unfavourable for our course. On the 16th, we were in latitude 44° 45' south, and in longitude 135° 30' east; and at night we perceived the sea spread over with luminous spots, resembling lanthorns floating on its surface; when nearly about the same longitude on the last voyage we discovered the same appearance upon the sea: this observation may have its use, and serve as a hint for your being at no great distance from Van Diemen's Land. On the 20th, we had a strong gale from west-north-west to north-north-west, which suddenly moderated in the night, and veered round to the westward, with a light air at south-west by south, by which we were encouraged to make all the sail possible; but we had no sooner got every thing set, than the wind veered round to the southward, and began to blow; in a few hours it increased to a very violent gale of wind.

We were now in latitude 44° 29' south, by account, and longitude 144° 30' east, being so near Van Diemen's Land, and so well to the southward as I supposed we were, I had no doubt of being able to cross it, and, availing myself of this southerly wind, to run along the coast to the northward, and reach Port Jackson in a few days; but as we drew near the meridian of the south cape, the gale increased to a mere tempest, attended with thick hazy weather, and a most astonishing high sea; this brought us under a reefed fore-sail, balanced mizzen, and the three storm stay-sails.

At day-light on the morning of the 21st, the fore, main, and mizzen stay-sails were all split by the violence of the wind; by this accident we were reduced to the reefed fore-sail and balanced mizzen; and for some time we were under the necessity of handing the fore-sail, the gale still continuing to increase rather than abate; and inclining to the eastward of south, was in our situation at this time particularly unfortunate: for we were now so far advanced to the eastward as to hope that in a few hours we should have been able to have made a fair wind of it, if it had continued to the southward.

I still flattered myself, that we were so far to the southward, as not to have a doubt of passing some distance to the southward of Rock Swilley, and consequently at a sufficient distance from the south cape, which is the southern point or extremity of this promontory; for this rock, or ledge of rocks, is not less than fifteen miles from the south cape, and we were now about its meridian, both by the longitude carried on from the last lunar observations, which were taken five days before, and by our time-keeper, from which our situation had been determined since these observations, as long as the sun was to be seen in any part of the day: it now blew a most violent gale of wind, with thick hazy weather.

It may not be improper here to observe, that three days had now elapsed without a sight of the sun during the day, or a star during the night, from which we could exactly determine our latitude; but as every allowance had been made for the drifting of the ship to leeward, under a very low sail, and an exceeding heavy sea, and for every other disadvantage attending such a situation; there remained not a doubt with me, or any officer on board, but that we were near half a degree to the southward of the south cape, and as the distance from west to east, across this promontory, is not more than a degree and a half of longitude, or about twenty or twenty-two leagues in distance, (that is, from the south-west cape to Tasman's Head) we had every reason to think we were near round it; but at half past three in the afternoon it cleared a little in the horizon, and we saw the land bearing east; the haze was such that we could not well guess the distance, but it was very near; on this we wore the ship immediately, and stood to the westward.

The wind had now got to south-south-east, but continued to blow with great violence, the ship upon this tack lying up south-west, we set the reefed main-sail, and at half past six we saw the land again, through the haze close under our lee bow, and the sea breaking with prodigious force upon it it, was impossible to weather it; therefore we wore the ship immediately, while there was a chance of having room for doing so. I now found that we were embayed, and the gale not in the least likely to abate, and the sea running mountain high, with very thick weather, a long dark night just coming on, and an unknown coast I may call it, (for although it has been seen by several navigators, it is not yet known) close under our lee; nothing was now left to be done but to carry every yard of canvass the ship was capable of bearing, and for every person on board to constantly keep the deck, and attentively to look out under the lee for the land, and as often as it might be discovered, to wear, and lay the ship's head the other way: but as we knew not what bay, or part of the coast we were upon, nor what dangerous ledges of rocks might be detached some distance from the shore; and in our way, we had every moment reason to fear that the next might, by the ship striking, launch the whole of us into eternity.

Our situation was such that not a man could have escaped to have told where the rest suffered: however, whatever might have been the private feelings of each individual, I never saw orders executed with more alacrity in any situation; every officer and man took his station for the look-out; and, the ship being wore to the eastward, notwithstanding the strength of the gale, the close reefed fore and main top-sails were set over the reefed courses.

Fortunately at this instant the wind favoured us near two points, and the ship lay better up upon this tack, than her course upon the other had promised, but still the weather was so thick, the sea so high, the gale so strong, and so dead upon the shore, that little hope could be entertained of our weathering the land. We stood on to the eastward, and the ship, to my astonishment, as well as to that of every person on board, bore such a press of sail wonderfully. We had, about midnight, run back the distance made from the first land we saw to the second, and perceived, through the haze, the looming of that land under our lee, nearly on the beam; this advantage we had gained by the shifting of the wind two points. We now stood on, and I had hopes that this might be the most projecting land; but at two in the afternoon, as I was looking from the quarter deck very anxiously to leeward, I observed the looming of a high and very steep point of rocky land, and the sea foaming with frightful violence against it. I made no mention of it; but just at that instant it was discovered by the sailors stationed forward, and they called out, "Land, close under our lee;" I replied it was very well, I had seen it some time, and that as it was now upon our beam (which it really was, for I discovered it through the main shrouds) there could be no danger from it, we should soon pass it: if this land had been seen a little sooner, the fear of not being able to weather it might have occasioned our wearing, which would have been unfortunate, as the weather just cleared up at a time when we could see that no danger was to be apprehended from it.

The ship was at this time half buried in the sea by the press of sail, since she was going through it (for she could not be said to be going over it) at the rate of four knots.

We soon shot past this head, and from the course we had made, I was convinced it was Tasman's Head, which is the eastern point of a bay, of which the south cape is the western, and was called by Tasman, Storm-Bay. The first land we had seen was within the bay, on the east shore, not so far out as Tasman's Head; and the western land, under which we wore at half past six, was the south cape.

After passing Tasman's Head, we kept our wind still, and carried sail, in order, if possible, to weather Maria's Islands, which lay about six leagues to the north-east, for we had no sooner got round the last head, than the wind headed us, and we fell off from east by south to east by north; had this change taken place a little sooner, it must have proved fatal to us.

At eight the next morning, we passed to the windward of Maria's Islands, which, from the haziness of the weather, we did not see until they were upon the lee quarter. If I had found it impossible to have got round those islands, it was my intention to have stood back to the westward, and have got sight of the land, between Tasman's Head and Adventure-Bay; to have run along the coast, close in, until I found the opening of that road, and there to have depended upon our anchors.

In this trying situation, the ship being leaky, our pumps during such a night were a distressing tax upon us; as they were kept constantly at work.

I do not recollect to have heard of a more wonderful escape. Every thing which depended upon us, I believe, was done; but it would be the highest presumption and ingratitude to Divine Providence, were we to attribute our preservation wholly to our best endeavours: his interference in our favour was so very conspicuously manifested in various instances, in the course of that night, as I believe not to leave a shadow of doubt, even in the minds of the most profligate on board, of his immediate assistance!

After having weathered Maria's Islands, we continued to stand on with a press of sail to the eastward, for I was anxious to gain an offing from the coast, the ship being exceedingly disabled. All the rails of the head, round houses, and figure of the head, were washed entirely away; and the rails to which the bumkins were secured were so much weakened as to require to be frapped down to the knee of the head; the jibboom, the sprit-sail-yard, and the fore-top-gallant mast were necessarily kept down upon deck to ease the bow-sprit, in case any of its securities should be in danger from the shattered condition of the cutwater.

We were no sooner to the eastward of Maria's Islands, than the wind shifted round to south-east and east-south-east, which brought us again upon a lee shore, for we could not weather Maria's Islands upon one tack, nor Shooten's Isles and Bay of Shoals upon the other; however, as it did not now blow so hard, and the land was near 20 leagues distant, I was not under any apprehensions from it.

On the 26th, the wind set in from the northward, and blew fresh, frequently attended with the most violent squalls; it continued northerly until the 2d of May, when it inclined to the southward, and from that to the eastward: I had on this day several distances of the sun and moon, the result of which was 155° 25' east longitude, which was little more than one degree to the eastward of the time-keeper. On the 6th, in the morning, we made the land in latitude 33° 30' south; and at noon Cape Three Points bore west by south, distant off shore four leagues. Here, upon a rough examination of the error of the time-keeper, it appeared to be a degree or little more to the westward of the Truth, but we expected, upon our arrival at Port Jackson, to examine its error more particularly.

On recurring back to the last altitudes taken for the time-keeper before our making Van Diemen's Land, and carrying it on by the log, we found that the error on making that land was but a very few miles of longitude, and that error most probably was in the carrying on the log; so that there was every reason to think, that the violent agitation of the ship during that time, was the cause of that change in the watch, and which I own I was not at all surprised at, but think it highly probable, as the watch lay in a box upon soft cushions, and that box screwed down to a place securely and firmly fixed for that purpose: I cannot help thinking but that so very valuable a piece of watch-work (for I do really think, from the experience I have had of it, that a superior piece of work was never made) would be better fixed upon a small horizontal table, made on purpose, and well secured; and under the box which contains the watch, a kind of spiral spring or worm, which, with every jerk or pitch of the ship, would yield a little with the weight of the watch, and thereby take off much of that shock which must in some degree affect its going.

The winds now (rather unfortunately for us), after 24 hours calm, inclined again to the southward, and we kept plying to windward with all the sail we could carry. Right off Cape Three Points, at six leagues distance from the shore, we sounded in 75 fathoms, over a bottom of fine grey sand.

On the 8th, a light air from the northward in the night, carried us by day-light in sight of the entrance of Port Jackson; and in the evening of the 9th, we entered between the heads of the harbour, and worked up to Sydney Cove, where we anchored before dark, after an absence of 219 days, 51 of which we lay in Table-Bay, Cape of Good Hope: so that, although during this voyage we had fairly gone round the world, we had only been 168 days in describing that circle; and, by taking a mean of the highest and lowest latitudes we sailed in, we shall find our track nearly in latitude 45° south. We found in the cove the Supply armed tender.

Our passage, since we came round Van Diemen's Land, had been attended with much bad weather, very violent squalls, and a thick haze; particularly with the wind from the eastward: I had before observed, that in the winter-time, upon this coast, we were subject to much bad weather; and this passage convinced me of the necessity, when ships are intended to be sent to this settlement, that the season should be considered and attended to. During the summer months we were sometimes subject to thunder, lightning, and strong squalls; but in general the weather is fine. If in the fairest weather you observe it to lighten in the lee part of the horizon, you should prepare for a squall from that quarter, which is in general pretty severe.

In passing (at a distance from the coast) between the islands of Schooten and Furneaux, and Point Hicks; the former being the northermost of Captain Furneaux's observations here, and the latter the southermost part, which Captain Cook saw when he sailed along the coast, there has been no land seen, and from our having felt an easterly set of current, when the wind was from that quarter (north-west) we had an uncommon large sea, there is reason thence to believe, that there is in that space either a very deep gulf, or a straight, which may separate Van Diemen's Land from New Holland: there have no discoveries been made on the western side of this land in the parallel I allude to, between 39° 00' and 42° 00' south, the land there having never been seen.

Chapter VI


May 1789 to January 1790

The small-pox makes its appearance among the natives.--Its fatal effects.--A criminal court held.--Six marines tried and convicted.--Governor Phillip visits Broken-bay.--Explores its various inlets.--Returns to Port Jackson. Broken-bay surveyed.--Botany-bay surveyed.--Two natives brought to the settlement, and kindly treated.--One of them makes his escape.

As soon as the ship was secured, I went on shore to wait on the governor, whom I found in good health; he was sitting by the fire, drinking tea with a few friends; among whom I observed a native man of this country, who was decently cloathed, and seemed to be as much at his ease at the tea-table as any person there; he managed his cup and saucer as well, as though he had been long accustomed to such entertainment.

This man was taken from his friends, by force, by Lieutenant Ball, of the Supply, and Lieutenant George Johnston, of the marines, who were sent down the harbour with two boats for that purpose; the governor having found that no encouragement he could give the natives, would dispose them to visit the settlement of their own accord: this method he had therefore determined upon, to get one man into his possession, who, by kind treatment, might hereafter be the means of disposing his countrymen to place more confidence in us. This man, whose name was Ara-ba-noo, was taken, as I have already said, by force, and in the following manner.

After having been a short time in conversation with some of the gentlemen, one of the seamen, who had been previously directed, threw a rope round his neck, and dragged him in a moment down to the boat; his cries brought a number of his friends into the skirts of the wood, from whence they threw many lances, but without effect. The terror this poor wretch suffered, can better be conceived than expressed; he believed he was to be immediately murdered; but, upon the officers coming into the boat, they removed the rope from his neck to his leg, and treated him with so much kindness, that he became a little more chearful.

He was for some time after his arrival at the governor's house, ornamented with an iron shackle about his leg, to prevent his being able to effect his escape with ease; this he was taught to consider as bang-ally, which is the name given in their language to every decoration; and he might well believe it a compliment paid to him, because it was no uncommon thing for him to see several (of the most worthless of the convicts, who had merited punishment) every day shackled like him; the cause of which he could not of course understand. However, he was very soon reconciled to his situation, by the very kind treatment he received from every person about him, and the iron growing uneasy, it was taken off, and he was allowed to go where he pleased.

He very soon learnt the names of the different gentlemen who took notice of him, and when I was made acquainted with him, he learnt mine, which he never forgot, but expressed great desire to come on board my nowee; which is their expression for a boat or other vessel upon the water.

The day after I came in, the governor and his family did me the honour to dine on board, when I was also favoured with the company of Ara-ba-noo, whom I found to be a very good natured talkative fellow; he was about thirty years of age, and tolerably well looked.

I expressed, when at the governor's, much surprize, at not having seen a single native on the shore, or a canoe as we came up in the ship; the reason of which I could not comprehend, until I was informed that the small-pox had made its appearance, a few months ago, amongst these unfortunate creatures, and that it was truly shocking to go round the coves of this harbour, which were formerly so much frequented by the natives; where, in the caves of the rocks, which used to shelter whole families in bad weather, were now to be seen men, women, and children, lying dead. As we had never yet seen any of these people who have been in the smallest degree marked with the small-pox, we had reason to suppose they have never before now been affected by it, and consequently are strangers to any method of treating it: and, if we consider the various attitudes, which the different dead bodies have been found in, we may easily believe, that when any of them are taken ill, and the malady assumes the appearance of the small-pox, (having already experienced its fatality to whole families,) they are immediately deserted by their friends, and left to perish, in their helpless situation, for want of sustenance. Some have been found sitting on their haunches, with their heads reclined between their knees; others were leaning against a rock, with their head resting upon it: I have seen myself, a woman sitting on the ground, with her knees drawn up to her shoulders, and her face resting on the sand between her feet.

Two children, a boy of six or seven years of age, and a girl about ten, were lately picked up, labouring under the same disease; two old men, whom we had reason to believe were the fathers of the two children, were picked up at the same time, and brought to the hospital, and much care taken of them: the two men lived but a few days, but the children both recovered, and seemed well satisfied with their very comfortable situation. Through the means of these children, if they should retain their native language, a more intimate and friendly intercourse with the people of this country may in time be brought about.

Five or six days after my arrival, poor Ara-ba-noo was seized with the small-pox, and although every possible means for his recovery were used, he lived only till the crisis of the disease. Every person in the settlement was much concerned for the loss of this man.

I was exceedingly concerned on hearing of the death of Captain Shea, of the marines, which happened while we were absent; his disorder was a general decay, which I think must have taken place very suddenly, for he was apparently strong and healthy when the Sirius sailed from Port Jackson.

Several people had been lost in the woods during our absence, and had either been killed by the natives, or perished there.

Another melancholy piece of information which we received on our arrival, was, that six marines had been tried by a criminal court, and found guilty of robbing the public stores: they were sentenced to death, and executed accordingly. It appeared upon the trial of these infatuated men, that they had carried on this iniquitous, (and I may add from our situation) dangerous practice to the settlement at large, for several months; and all originally occasioned by some unfortunate connections they had made with women convicts.

The settlement had been, during our absence, remarkably healthy.

Before the Sirius sailed from Port Jackson, the governor had determined to send a detachment of the marines, with a considerable number of convicts, for the purpose of clearing as much as might be necessary, and preparing a tract of land at the head of this harbour, (which place I have already mentioned) in order to sow corn. When we returned from our voyage, I went up to see what progress was made at this farm, which had been named Rose Hill: it certainly very much exceeded my expectations; the quantity of ground prepared for receiving grain at the proper time, was considerable; a number of huts were built, the gardens were in tolerable appearance, and there was altogether every prospect, in due time, of a very extensive farm; and we knew that if there were people enough to labour, it might be carried at least twenty miles to the westward, and every foot of the ground apparently as good as that on which they were now at work; but we found here, that although the land was tolerable, there would be great, and I think an insurmountable difficulty, in attempting an extensive farm, chiefly for want of water.

At Rose Hill, there is in dry seasons but very little water, and that by no means good; but farther back to the westward, you can but now and then meet with as much as will quench the thirst of a traveller: you may walk many miles, particularly in hot dry summer weather, without meeting with as much as you may want for drinking; this scarcity, though I do not pretend to any knowledge in farming, I cannot help thinking, were water wanted only for the use of a family, a vast difficulty, and an inconvenience not to be got the better of, unless it were possible to get water by sinking wells at every half mile distance.

There have been several attempts made by the gentlemen here, who had little farms in the neighbourhood of Sydney Cove, to raise grain of different kinds, for the purpose of feeding a few pigs, goats, or poultry; but although their endeavours seemed for a time to promise an ample reward, for the corn shot up very quickly, yet it no sooner formed into ear, than the rats (with which, as well as other vermin, this country is over-run) destroyed the whole of their prospect: the Indian corn, which was remarkably promising, was destroyed in a night; but I am sorry to say, that such of the corn as had escaped the vermin, notwithstanding its very promising appearance in the beginning, turned out the most miserable empty straws I ever beheld; the greatest part was mere straw of about two or two feet and an half high, and the whole produce of a patch of an acre, when cut down, could be carried in one hand.

Having, since our arrival, examined the error of the time-keeper, we found it amount to 5' 20", or 1° 20' of longitude westerly, which made the error, in sailing the whole circle, only 00° 11' of longitude easterly; and as I had kept Brockbank's watch going the whole time, I examined its error also: I have already mentioned that it was, upon our arrival in Table-Bay, 3° 01' eastward; but upon our return to this place, it was correct to the fraction of a second; so that whatever its errors might have been during the voyage, it had none upon our arrival. I did not keep the account of longitude by it, but every day, when the sun could be seen, I determined our place by the time-keeper; in doing which, I generally compared my own watch with it, both before and after the altitudes were taken, and carried it upon deck, the time-piece being fixed in the cabin.

On the 6th of June, I was engaged in a party, with the governor, on a visit to Broken-Bay, in order to examine some part of that harbour which had not been (for want of time and opportunity) noticed in his last visit to that place; two boats were dispatched under the care of Mr. Keltie, master of the Sirius, with provisions, &c. And the party, which consisted of the governor, Captain Collins (the judge-advocate), Captain Johnston, of the marines, Mr. White, principal surgeon of the settlement, Mr. Worgan, Mr. Fowell, and myself, from the Sirius, and two men, all armed with musquets, &c.

We landed on the north part of Port Jackson, and proceeded along the sea coast to the northward; in the course of our march, we had many long sandy beaches to cross, which was a very fatiguing part of the journey: when we ascended the hills, we had frequently thick woods to pass through, but as we often fell in with paths, which the natives in travelling along the coast had trod very well down, these paths rendered our march, not only on account of pointing to us the most easy and accessible parts of the hills and woods, but, in point of direction, the shortest which could be found, if we had even been better acquainted with this tract.

We left Port Jackson at six o'clock in the morning, just as the day was dawning, and arrived at the south branch of Broken-Bay at three in the afternoon, after a pretty warm and fatiguing journey, loaded as we were with provisions for several days, water, and ammunition: when we arrived at the water-side, we found our boats, which had left Port Jackson at midnight, were safely arrived. As it was now too late in the day, and we were all too much fatigued to attempt any part of the main business upon which we came here, we pitched our tents, and hauled the Seine for fish, and being successful, we sat down to regale ourselves on fresh fish and salt beef, and rested the remainder of the day.

In the course of the little excursions of our boats' crews this afternoon, a native woman was discovered, concealing herself from our sight in the long grass, which was at this time very wet, and I should have thought very uncomfortable to a poor naked creature. She had, before the arrival of our boats at this beach, been, with some of her friends, employed in fishing for their daily food, but were upon their approach alarmed, and they had all made their escape, except this miserable girl, who had just recovered from the small-pox, and was very weak, and unable, from a swelling in one of her knees, to get off to any distance: she therefore crept off, and concealed herself in the best manner she could among the grass, not twenty yards from the spot on which we had placed our tents. She was discovered by some person who having fired at and shot a hawk from a tree right over her, terrified her so much that she cried out and discovered herself. Information was immediately brought to the governor, and we all went to see this unhappy girl, whom we found, as I have already observed, just recovered from the small-pox, and lame: she appeared to be about 17 or 18 years of age, and had covered her debilitated and naked body with the wet grass, having no other means of hiding herself; she was very much frightened on our approaching her, and shed many tears, with piteous lamentations: we understood none of her expressions, but felt much concern at the distress she seemed to suffer; we endeavoured all in our power to make her easy, and with the assistance of a few expressions which had been collected from poor Ara-ba-noo while he was alive, we soothed her distress a little, and the sailors were immediately ordered to bring up some fire, which we placed before her: we pulled some grass, dried it by the fire, and spread round her to keep her warm; then we shot some birds, such as hawks, crows, and gulls, skinned them, and laid them on the fire to broil, together with some fish, which she eat; we then gave her water, of which she seemed to be much in want, for when the word Baa-do was mentioned, which was their expression for water, she put her tongue out to show how very dry her mouth was; and indeed from its appearance and colour, she had a considerable degree of fever on her.

Before we retired to rest for the night, we saw her again, and got some fire-wood laid within her reach, with which she might, in the course of the night, recruit her fire; we also cut a large quantity of grass, dried it, covered her well, and left her to her repose, which, from her situation, I conjecture was not very comfortable or refreshing.

Next morning we visited her again; she had now got pretty much the better of her fears, and frequently called to her friends, who had left her, and who, we knew, could be at no great distance from her; she repeated their names in a very loud and shrill voice, and with much apparent anxiety and concern for the little notice they took of her intreaties to return: for we imagined, in all she said when calling on them, she was informing them, that the strangers were not enemies, but friends; however, all her endeavours to bring them back were ineffectual, while we remained with her; but we were no sooner gone from the beach, than we saw some of them come out of the wood; and as there were two canoes on the shore belonging to this party, they launched one into the water, and went away.

We employed this day in going up the south branch which the governor named Pitt Water, and so much of the day was spent in examining it, that when we returned down near the place where we had passed the last night, it was thought too late to proceed farther; we therefore encamped on the same spot. Our tents were no sooner up, than we went to visit our young female friend, whom we found in a little bark hut upon the beach; this hut was the place in which she and her friends were enjoying themselves, when the arrival of our boat alarmed them. She was not alone, as before, but had with her a female child, about two years old, and as fine a little infant of that age as I ever saw; but upon our approach (the night being cold and rainy, and the child terrified exceedingly) she was lying with her elbows and knees on the ground, covering the child from our sight with her body, or probably sheltering it from the weather, but I rather think on account of its fears.

On our speaking to her, she raised herself up, and sat on the ground with her knees up to her chin, and her heels under her, and was at that moment, I think, the most miserable spectacle in the human shape I ever beheld*: the little infant could not be prevailed on to look up; it lay with its face upon the ground, and one hand covering its eyes. We supplied her, as before, with birds, fish, and fuel, and pulled a quantity of grass to make her a comfortable bed, and covered her little miserable hut so as to keep out the weather: she was now so reconciled to our frequent visits, seeing we had nothing in view but her comfort in them, that when she wanted baa-do, or ma-gra, which signifies fish, she would ask for them, and when she did, it was always supplied her: in the morning we visited her again; the child had now got so much the better of its fears, that it would allow us to take hold of its hand; I perceived, that young as it was, it had lost the two first joints of its little finger, of the left-hand, the reason or meaning of which we had not yet been able to learn.

[* See the Vignette in the Title Page.]

We gave her all the fish we had remaining, and having put a quantity of fire-wood and water within her reach, we took our leave. We embarked in the boats, and sailed across the bay to the north branch, which has a very shoally and narrow entrance. We proceeded but a small distance up, before we landed on the west shore and refreshed ourselves; after which we rowed round the first opening on the east side; this we followed up until we came to its head. It is very shallow and narrow, and ended in a large bason, full of shoals, and surrounded with mangroves; it extended near four miles to the north and eastward.

When we returned from this branch, we pitched our tents on the west shore for the night, and early the next morning we proceeded to the northward: in this route we fell in with many shoals of considerable extent; and after rowing about six or seven miles up, we arrived at the head of it, which divides into two large bays, in one of which I observed the latitude to be 33° 26' 30" south. We returned from hence to a point near the entrance of this north harbour, where we encamped and spent the night; in this harbour we did not see more than twenty natives, some few of whom came and conversed with us.

Across the mouth of this north harbour there is a bar or spit of sand, which extends from the sandy beach, or west point of the entrance, almost over to the eastern shore, and on which, from the wind having been from the southward the preceding night, the sea broke prodigiously from side to side, so that near low water it was impossible for the boats to get out; we were on that account obliged to remain there until it was more than two-thirds flood, when, in the deepest part of the channel, where the sea did not break, we pushed out, and pulled over for the south-west arm, or harbour, up which we went; but as part of this branch had not been looked into last winter, we entered an arm on the north side of it, and proceeded up about a mile and a half to an island we had visited the last winter.

Here we encamped for the night, and hauled the seine with great success; and from the vast quantity of excellent mullet and other fish caught here, it got the name of Mullet Island. Next morning we rowed into a branch, which the boats had been in the last time we were here, but had not thoroughly examined; we proceeded to the top, and found it very shoally, extending to the northward about four miles, and navigable only for boats, having but four, five, and six feet water in it. After having satisfied ourselves as to the extent of this arm, we returned to Mullet Island, where we caught fish and dined.

In the afternoon, the governor and myself went in one of the boats, leaving the rest of the party with the tents on Mullet Island; we entered another branch which had also been seen last winter, but was not examined; we rowed up this about seven or eight miles, until it became so very narrow and shoally, having scarcely water enough to float the boat, or room to use the oars, that we thought it was not worth prosecuting any farther discovery at the risk of grounding the boat, and being left during the night; we therefore returned to Mullet Island, and spent another night upon it. This branch is all shoal water, only five and six feet.

The next morning we struck our tents and proceeded, in the boats, to examine a point of high land, which, from our situation in the boat the day before, had the appearance of an island; of this we were determined to be satisfied, and we found it to be an island as we had conjectured. In examining this, we were led into a branch which had not before been discovered: we proceeded up this for a considerable distance, found good depth of water, and every other appearance of its being the opening of an extensive river: we continued to row up in it the whole of this day, and in the evening we went on shore, on the most commodious spot we could find, which was a low marshy point. Here we raised our tents, and spent the night.

At day-light in the morning it was so foggy, that we were obliged to defer our departure from this situation until ten o'clock, when the influence of the sun dispelled the mist, and we continued our course upwards, still finding good depth of water and strong tides; both which we considered as indications of a considerable river. The whole of this day was employed in exploring and making what progress we could; the ebb tides we observed thus far up were considerably stronger than the floods, and the water had very little the taste of sea water; indeed, it scarcely could be called brackish. We continued going up until the evening, when it was found impossible, at this time, to make any farther discovery; our provisions being nearly expended: we filled our water-casks, where we gave up the pursuit, and there, although the tide was high, the water was perfectly fresh.

The general depth of this river was from three to seven fathoms, and its breadth was from 100 to 300 fathoms. There are some shoals, but they generally extend from low mangrove or marshy points. Its general direction, as far as we were up, is to the north-west. We were, when farthest up, about twenty miles from the entrance of the south-west arm of Broken-Bay. The banks of the river, on the lowest part, had many mangrove trees along it; higher up, reeds grew along its margin, and behind these reedy banks were immense perpendicular hills of barren, rocky lands, with trees growing from between the rocky cliffs; the depth of the river, when we were highest up, was six and seven fathoms.

We were so anxious to prosecute this discovery, that we did not think of returning until it was near dark; and in our present situation, there was not a spot on which we could erect a tent, so very steep were the shores, except where they were marshy. We pushed down as fast as possible, in order to find a landing-place, before it should be very late; and soon after dark, we put a-shore on a parcel of rocks, which was, indeed, the only spot near on which we could find room for our tents, and here we passed the night.

The morning of the next day was again foggy, until the sun had sufficient power to disperse it; we then returned down the river, and as the wind was fair, and blew fresh, we sailed down, and in the afternoon arrived in the south branch, or Pitt-Water, fixed our tents for the evening, and caught some fish, in order to spin out our provisions. Our female friend had left this place.

The governor was now determined to return as fast as possible to Port Jackson, and, after resting a few days, to prosecute this useful discovery to its source. We struck the tents at night, and embarked them in the boats; for, as the wind was northerly, it was intended they should sail at midnight; a wigwam was made to shelter us during the night, and a large fire before it, by which we lay till day-light. The boats having sailed in the night, we set off at dawn of day in the morning by land; we found an easier path than that by which we came, and arrived at the north cove of Port Jackson by two in the afternoon, where the boats were already arrived.

In our journey we fell in with several dead bodies, who had probably fallen by the small-pox, but they were mere skeletons, so that it was impossible to say of what disease they died.

Boats were upon our arrival immediately ordered to be prepared, and provisions got ready for another excursion, the same party being engaged to go again, and, if possible, trace this river to its source. As far up as we advanced, I made an eye sketch of it.

On Sunday the 28th of June, the boats being ready, provisions embarked, and the wind fair for another visit to Broken-Bay, they sailed before day-light on Monday morning; the party engaged to go by land were put on shore at the north part of the harbour at six o'clock; the same gentlemen who were on the former expedition were on this also, and an addition of five marines; on the whole, our numbers amounted to about forty, including those in the boats: we were all well armed, and capable of making a powerful resistance, in case, as we advanced up the river, we should find the interior parts of the country well in-habited, and the people hostile.

Having, on our last expedition, found a good track to travel by, we were soon in the neighbourhood of the south branch of Broken-Bay, at which place one boat had been ordered to meet us, in order to save us by much the worst part of the journey. We arrived at the head of Pitt-Water before eleven o'clock, but no boat appeared, which obliged us to walk round all the bays, woods, and swamps, between the head and entrance of this branch; by which, when we joined the boats, we were exceedingly fatigued; the weather being rather warm, and each person having his knapsack and arms to carry, this last part of our journey increased the distance from twelve or fourteen miles to about twenty-five; in the course of which we had very high and steep hills to climb, and many deep swamps to wade through: by the time we joined the boats the day was too far advanced to think of proceeding any farther, we therefore pitched the tents, and occupied the spot which we had formerly done when here.

On Tuesday the 30th, we embarked in the boats at day-break, intending to reach as high up this day as possible; we passed Mullet Island, and proceeded into the river, and before night, we had advanced as far up as a point on which we had rested a night the last time we were here, and which was within three or four miles of the place, where we left off the pursuit: here we slept for the night, and at day-light on the 1st of July we embarked, and after advancing a very little way beyond our farthest discovery, the river divided into two branches, one leading to the north-west, the other to the southward.

We took that which led to the north-west, and continued all day rowing up this arm, which was in general shoal water, from four to ten and twelve feet, and its breadth from about 20 to 40 fathoms; the banks of this branch were in general immense perpendicular mountains of barren rock; in some places the mountains did not reach the margin of the river, but fell back a little way from it, and were joined by low marshy points, covered with reeds or rushes, which extended from the foot of the mountains to the edge of the river. At five in the evening, we put on shore, and raised our tents at the foot of one of the mountains, where we found a tolerable dry spot for that purpose; and in the morning of the 2d, we proceeded higher up, but this morning's progress was a good deal retarded by many large trees having fallen from the banks, and which reached almost across the river; for here it was so narrow, that it hardly deserved that name.

By ten o'clock we were so far up, that we had not room for the oars, nor indeed water to float the boats: we therefore found it necessary to return, and before noon we put on shore, where I took the meridian altitude of the sun, which gave our latitude 33° 21' south, and we judged, by the estimated distances marked in my sketch, that we were about thirty-four miles above Mullet Island.

At the place where we passed the last night we were examining the ground round us, as was customary wherever we placed our tents for the night; and about half a mile distant, some of the gentlemen found a small hut; they saw a person whom they took for a native woman, and who, upon our approach, fled with great precipitation into the woods. They went to examine the hut, and found two small helpless children in it; the poor little creatures were terribly frightened, but upon their being kindly treated, they seemed to recover a little from their fear. They appeared to be in great distress, apparently for want of food; they had a little fire by them, and in it was found a few wild yams, about the size of a walnut: upon a supposition that the parents of these children would soon return, after our leaving the place, a hatchet and some other trifles were left in the hut.

Next morning, while the people were employed in striking the tents, some of the gentlemen again visited the hut which they now found unoccupied; the whole family were gone, and the hatchet, &c. were left lying by it. It is really wonderful, that these people should set so little value upon such an useful article as an axe certainly must be to them; this indifference I have frequently seen in those who have been shown the use of it, and even when its superiority over their stone hatchets has been pointed out by a comparison. It is not easily to be accounted for.

We had now a strong ebb tide, and we rowed late, in order, if possible, to get out of this branch before we stopt for the night. About six o'clock in the evening we entered the southern branch, and very soon after encamped for the night. The next morning (Friday 3d) we proceeded up this arm for about seven or eight miles, where it again divided into two branches; thus far we found the depth from three to nine fathoms, and the breadth of the river from 100 to 150 fathoms; we took the branch which led to the northward, (the other went to the southward) but we had not advanced more than a quarter of a mile before we found the water very shoally; however, as it might lead to a good country, the governor determined to go as high as the boats could find water; we went through various windings, and met with many difficulties from the shoallyness of the water: notwithstanding which, we made shift to get about 13 miles up; the depth was from four to twelve feet, and the breadth from 20 to 50 fathoms; the banks of this branch were the same as the last, high, steep, and rocky mountains, with many trees growing down their sides, from between the rocks, where no one would believe there could be any soil to nourish them.

Both this and the last branch we examined, probably extend many miles farther than we with our boats could trace them, but they did not appear, where we left off the examination of them, to be navigable for any vessel but the canoes of the natives, which do not draw more than two or three inches water. We saw several natives in these branches, but they fled into the woods on our approach: the wretched condition of the miserable natives who have taken up their residence, for a time, so far back from the sea coast, where no fish are to be had, is far beyond my description; they, no doubt, have methods of snaring or killing the different kinds of animals which are to be found here, otherwise I think it impossible they could exist at any distance from the sea: for the land, as far as we yet know, affords very little sustenance for the human race.

Having advanced as far as possible with the boats, we returned, and having rowed two or three miles down to a point where there was tolerable landing, we put a-shore, and pitched the tents for the night. In the morning of the 4th, while the tents were putting into the boats, I measured the height of the opposite shore, which I found to be 250 feet perpendicular above the level of the river, which was here 30 fathoms wide: at seven o'clock we embarked, and rowed down until we came to the entrance of the second southern branch, where we found good depth of water, in six and seven fathoms. This, from its depth, encouraged us to hope that it might extend a great distance to the westward: we went up this branch about 13 or 14 miles before we put on shore for the night: in this distance, the general depth of water was from two to seven fathoms, and the breadth of the river from 70 to 140 fathoms; but the country still wore a very unpromising aspect, being either high rocky shores, or low marshy points.

After having rested for the night, we were again under way at day-light, and this day advanced about fourteen miles against the tide. In the woods we frequently saw fires, and sometimes heard the natives; in the afternoon we saw a considerable number of people in the wood, with many fires in different places; we called to them in their own manner, by frequently repeating the word Co-wee, which signifies, come here; at last, two men came to the water-side with much apparent familiarity and confidence: I thought, from this circumstance, that they had certainly seen us before, either at Botany-Bay, Port Jackson, or Broken-Bay; they received a hatchet, and a wild duck, which had been just before shot from the boat; and in return, they threw us a small coil of line, made of the hair of some animal, and also offered a spear, which was refused. The only argument against their having seen us before is, that they were the first we had met with who appeared desirous of making a return for any present they received.

Here the banks of the river are low and covered with what we call the pine-trees of this country; which indeed have received that name merely from the leaf, which is a good deal like the pine, but the wood is very different.

The natives here, appear to live chiefly on the roots which they dig from the ground; for these low banks appear to have been ploughed up, as if a vast herd of swine had been living on them. We put on shore, and examined the places which had been dug, and found the wild yam in considerable quantities, but in general very small, not larger than a walnut; they appear to be in the greatest plenty on the banks of the river; a little way back they are scarce.

We frequently, in some of the reaches which we passed through this day, saw very near us the hills, which we suppose as seen from Port Jackson, and called by the governor the Blue Mountains.

At five in the evening, we put ashore at the foot of a hill, where we passed the night; and at day-light in the morning of the 5th, we embarked, and continued our way up the river; in which we still found good depth of water, from two to five fathoms, and 60 or 70 fathoms wide. As we advanced, we found the river to contract very fast in its breadth, and the channel became shoaler; from these circumstances, we had reason to believe that we were not far from its source: the ebb tides were pretty strong, but the floods were only perceptible by the swolling of the water.

In the evening we arrived at the foot of a high mountain, which was spread over with Iofty trees, without any underwood; and saw a pleasant looking country, covered with grass, and without that mixture of rocky patches in every acre or two, as is common in many other places: we ascended some distance, and erected our tents for the night. The river here is not more than twenty fathoms wide. In the night, when every thing was still, we heard distinctly the roaring of what we judged to be a fall of water; and imagined from this circumstance, that we should not be able to advance much farther.

In the morning, we walked to the top of the hill, and found we were not more than five or six miles from a long range of mountains, between which, and that where we stood, there is a deep valley, or low country, through which, probably, a branch of this river may run. This range of mountains we supposed to be those which are seen from Port Jackson, and called the Blue Mountains: they limit the sight to the west-north-west. In that range of high land there is a remarkable gully, or chasm, which is seen distinctly at a distance, and from which we appeared to be distant about five miles. The hills on each side of this gap were named by Governor Phillip; on one side the Carmarthen, on the other, the Lansdown hills; and that on which we stood was called Richmond-hill.

In the morning of the 6th, we examined the river, which, as I have before observed, was narrow and shoally; its bed was composed of loose round stones and sand: it was now low water, and not a sufficient depth to float the boats: we therefore delayed any farther attempt to get up until it should be near high water; and, in the mean time, determined to take a view of the country round this hill; which, had it been clear of trees, would from its commmanding height, have given a most extensive prospect to the eastward, northward, and southward; but the range of hills before-mentioned were still higher, and of course limited our view to the westward.

While the other gentlemen of the party were along with the governor, examining the country, I employed myself in taking the meridian altitude of the sun, by which I found the highest part of the hill to be in latitude 33° 37' south.

The gentlemen spoke highly in favour of the country as far as they walked; it was perfectly clear of any kind of under-wood; the trees upon it were all very tall, and stood very wide apart; the soil was also examined, and found very good: a small patch was dug up, and a few potatoes, Indian-corn, melon, and other seeds sown. This was a common practice, when a piece of ground, favourable from its soil, and being in an unfrequented situation, was found, to sow a few seeds of different kinds: some of the little gardens, which had been planted in this manner, and left to nature, have been since visited and found thriving, others have miscarried.

After making these observations, the tide being made, we put off in the boats, and endeavoured to get higher up, but were frequently aground: by the time we had reached half a mile higher than the foot of Richmond-hill, we met the stream setting down so strong, that it was with much difficulty we could get the boats so high. We here found the river to divide into two narrow branches, from one of which the stream came down with considerable velocity, and with a fall over a range of stones which seemed to lye across its entrance: this was the fall which we had heard the night before from our situation on the side of Richmond-hill.

We found too little water for the boats which we had with us to advance any farther, and the stream was very strong, although weak to what it may reasonably be conjectured to be after heavy rains; for here we had evident marks of the vast torrents which must pour down from the mountains, after heavy rains. The low grounds, at such times, are entirely covered, and the trees with which they are overgrown, are laid down (with their tops pointing down the river,) as much as I ever saw a field of corn after a storm; and where any of these trees have been strong enough to resist in any degree the strength of the torrent, (for they are all less or more bent downwards) we saw in the clifts of the branches of such trees, vast quantities of large logs which had been hurried down by the force of the waters, and lodged from thirty to forty feet above the common level of the river; and at that height there were great quantities of grass, reeds, and such other weeds as are washed from the banks of the river, hanging to the branches.

The first notice we took of these signs of an extraordinary swelling of the water, was twelve or fourteen miles lower down, and where the river is not so confined in its breadth: there we measured the same signs of such torrents twenty-eight feet above the surface of the water: the common rise and fall of the tide did not appear to be more than six feet.

On the banks here also we found yams and other roots, and had evident marks of the natives frequenting these parts in search of them for food. They have no doubt some method of preparing these roots, before they can eat them; for we found one kind which some of the company had seen the natives dig up; and with which being pleased, as it had much the appearance of horse-radish, and had a sweetish taste, and having swallowed a small quantity, it occasioned violent spasms, cramps in the bowels, and sickness at the stomach: it might probably be the casada root.

We found here many traps, for catching animals, in which we observed the feathers of many birds, particularly the quail.

We now gave up the hope of tracing this river higher up with our boats; and, as in case of heavy rains setting in, which might be expected at this season of the year, there would be considerable danger, while confined in this narrow part of the river, we pushed down and encamped the night of the 6th, about seven miles below Richmond-hill.

In the morning early, we set off on our return, and encamped on the 7th at night, about twenty-six miles down: at seven in the morning of the 8th, we embarked again, and by four in the evening had reached a point about forty-three miles down, where we pitched our tents for the night, which was very foggy. In our way down, we stopped, and measured the perpendicular height of a hill on the north side of the river, (or more properly one of the banks of the river; for it is a long range of level land, and nearly perpendicular from the water; the opposite shore is low and marshy;) which I found to be 399 feet: the river was here 120 fathoms wide.

On the 9th in the morning, we proceeded to examine some of the inferior branches; their general direction was to the southward, and the longest was not more than five or six miles in length, and was navigable for such boats as ours; the general depth was three and four fathoms for about four miles up, and then shoal water; the others were inconsiderable.

In one of these branches we passed the night of the 9th, and saw a few natives, who came off to us in their boats with much chearfulness and good humour; I thought I had seen them before: they received a few presents, among which was a looking-glass, which we took much trouble to show them the use of: they were some time before they observed their own figure in the glass, but when they did, they turned it up and looked behind it; then pointed to the water, signifying that they could see their figure reflected as well from that.

Having now examined every thing which was thought worth our attention, we made the best of our way to Mullet-island, where we landed on the 10th in the evening, and caught some fish. This night, and all the next day, (11th,) it blew a gale of wind from the southward, so that we were obliged to pass a second night here. In the morning of the 12th, it was more moderate, although very squally and unsettled; we struck our tents and sailed for Pitt-water, where about noon we encamped upon a point pretty high up.

In our way, we put ashore to fill some fresh water, and in a cave near the stream we found a native woman, who appeared to have been dead some time, for her skin was as hard as a piece of leather; it was impossible to know whether she had died of the small-pox or not.

In the morning of the 13th, as we intended to land well up this branch, in order to avoid the most difficult and tiresome part of the road to Port Jackson. We embarked, after we had breakfasted, and rowed up about a couple of miles, when the party for walking went on shore, each with his arms, and knapsack, containing two days provisions; we were about half an hour in getting through the wood, which led us to the sea-coast, where we fell into our old and well known path, and by four o'clock in the afternoon arrived at the north part of Port Jackson; but we might as well have been fifty leagues off, for here we could have no communication either with the Sirius or the settlement, and no boat had been ordered to meet us. We went immediately to work and made a large fire, by which we lay all night, which happened to be very cold.

The next day we crossed the hills, and came to the mouth of the north-west harbour, but could not find the means of crossing it; muskets had been frequently fired during the night, in hopes that some boat might have been down the harbour fishing, and heard them. We found this morning a canoe upon the beach, with which we had no doubt of getting two men across the water, who could in a short time walk over to the cove where the Sirius lay; but this prospect was disappointed by the first man who entered the canoe having overset her, and she immediately sunk, and he was obliged to swim ashore: after this we went to work and made a catamaran, of the lightest wood we could find, but when finished and launched, it would not, although pretty large, bear the weight of one man.

It was now proposed to walk round the head of the north-west harbour, which would have been a good long journey for at least two days, and our provisions were nearly expended; to this proposal I was under the necessity of objecting, for want of shoes, the last march having tore all but the soals from my feet, and they were tied on with spun-yarn; I therefore declined the proposed walk, and determined to go back to Broken-bay and rejoin the boats; which I had no doubt of being able to effect in the course of that day, and with far more ease than I could, without shoes, climb such rocky mountains, and thick woods, as lay in the way round the head of the north-west harbour. But as it was likely I might fall in with some parties of the natives in the way, I wished to have a companion.

Captain Collins preferred accompanying me in the intended walk, and we were just upon the point of setting out, when two of the people who were with us proposed swimming over the water, and to cross through the wood to the Sirius; the distance they had to swim was not more than two cables length, or four hundred yards; they immediately stripped, and each having had a dram, they tied up in a handkerchief a shirt, trowsers, and a pair of shoes each, which was rested upon their shoulders: thus equipped, they took the water, and in seven minutes landed on the opposite shore; but one being seized with the cramp, was obliged to disengage himself from his bundle, which was of course lost: they set off through the woods, and in a short time got on board the ship, the one with his shirt and trowsers, the other perfectly naked.

Upon their information, a boat was sent down, and took us on board, after a pretty fatiguing journey. I cannot help here remarking how providential it was, that we did not all agree to walk round the north-west harbour. At eight in the morning we heard the report of a great gun, which led me to suspect that some person belonging to the Sirius was missing, and had probably been lost in the woods; we frequently fired muskets that morning, and sometimes imagined we heard a musket at a considerable distance in the woods; in consequence of this suspicion, we frequently fired several together, and as often heard the report of that which we believed was meant to answer us.

In short, by means of these repeated vollies, we drew nearer to that which answered us, and by hallooing all together, found we had got within hearing of the person who had answered our firing; for, after calling out, we listened attentively, and heard a very faint voice in answer; in that direction we walked, and at last, by frequent calling, and answering, we found the person out, who proved to be Peter White, sail-maker of the Sirius; who had been four days lost, and when he set out from the ship had not more than four ounces of biscuit with him, one ounce of which he had still left; he was very faint, and appeared to us to be stupid and almost exhausted, for he staggered like a man drunk; we took him with us, and by giving him such provisions as we had, in small proportions, he was in a few hours a good deal recovered; but I think if he had not been found as he was, in twenty-four hours more he would not have been able to make any farther effort to save himself, and must have perished where he lay down.

It is remarkable, that the flint of his gun being worn to a stump, he could not get fire out of it the whole of the day before, when trying to shoot some birds for his subsistence, until night came on, when it was necessary for him to have a fire to sleep by; he then tried it again with very little hope of succeeding, but contrary to his expectations he got a fire and sat by it the whole night; the next morning it failed him repeatedly, until he had occasion to answer our musquets, when it struck fire every time he wished to answer us, otherwise, in all probability, we should not have found him. This is exactly his own account.

In the end of August, the governor having expressed a wish to have a survey made of Broken-Bay and Botany-Bay, I offered to perform that service. The Sirius had some time ago been removed from Sydney Cove, to a cove on the north side of the harbour, much more convenient for giving her those repairs of which she now stood so much in need. The carpenter and his crew, who had been employed on shore upon the business of the settlement, ever since our return from the last voyage, were now ordered on board, to attend the repairs of the ship; a temporary wharf was built by the ship's company, and a piece of ground levelled to receive the provisions and stores: every person was now employed in lightening the ship, and in cutting down timber for the repairs wanted.

A survey upon the defects of the ship was ordered by Captain Phillip, and she was reported to be very weak in her upper works; several bolts were decayed under her wales, which occasioned her making much water at sea; and that it was absolutely necessary to examine as many of the butt bolts as possible: it was also thought necessary to fix seven pair of top riders on each side, to strengthen her upper works; various other defects were given in.

While the ship's company were employed in lightening the ship, and the carpenters were cutting down timber for riders and plank, I determined, before any thing material in the repairs was set about, to go round and make a survey of Broken-Bay: in this excursion I was accompanied by several gentlemen of the settlement; the boats were dispatched round, under the care of Lieutenant Bradley, by whom, and Lieutenant Ball, of the Supply, I was assisted in this work: the party went by land, but as I wished also to make a sketch of the coast between the two harbours, we determined to be two days on the journey, and to lye all night in the woods. After taking a sketch of the coast, we arrived at Pitt-Water, and joined the boats in the afternoon of the second day. We visited all those parts, which are navigable for shipping, and having before very particularly sounded and examined all the branches here, the business was finished in little more than a fortnight. Mr. Bradley returned with the boats, and we walked along shore to Port Jackson.

The entrance of Broken-Bay lies in latitude 33° 34' south, and longitude 151° 27' east; the bay is large and clear; the distance from north to south head, is two miles, and the depth is eight, ten, and twelve fathoms; but as you run up the bay it shoals to six, seven, and five fathoms. Just within the north head of the bay is the entrance of the northern branch, which, from the shoalness of the water, is only navigable for boats, or small vessels; the channel going in is very narrow, occasioned by a long spit of sand, which extends from a low sandy point on the west side of the entrance, and on which, when the wind is from the eastward, the sea breaks very high.

A little within the south head of the bay is the entrance of the Southern Branch or Pitt-Water; this is a good harbour, though the entrance is rendered rather narrow by a shoal bank, which extends from the eastern point full two-thirds across; keep the west shore on board, which is pretty bold, and is a high, steep, rocky point, and steer right up the branch; three fathoms is the most you will have at low water, and that depth is only in the narrows, which are of very short extent, for as you run up, you very soon deepen to four, five, six, and eight fathoms; to the shoal which narrows the entrance, it is very gradual soundings. When you are above the second point on the west shore, you have good depth of water and good room; you may run up in mid-channel without fear; both shores are pretty bold to, except off the points, from some of which it is shoal a small distance: in this branch there are several coves, in which a ship might lighten and careen; there is also fresh water in various parts of this harbour, with wood in abundance, and fish may be caught in all the sandy bays.

The entrance of this branch is divided from the south-west arm by several rocky points; the land over them high and steep; between which are some small sandy bays; and right off the mouth of this arm is a very high rocky island, of but small extent; its eastern end is very high and perpendicular; this island is a good mark, for any part of the bay may be known, with certainty, by the situation of it, which the chart will point out. If a stranger were coming in here for shelter in a gale of wind, I would recommend his pushing up the south-west arm, and steering in for the island, which is now called Mount Elliot, from its similarity to the north end of Gibraltar Rock.

You may pass on either side, but the south side is fairest for going up the south-west arm; keep mid-channel between the island and south shore: this shore is so bold that you may run within two cables length of it. In your way up you will perceive a branch on the north side, which runs up north-west; when thus high, you are above a bank or middle ground, on which the least water is 16 feet; you may, by keeping near the shore, pass on either side of this shoal, which has gradual soundings to it; the south side has most room and deepest water; the north side has five fathoms: when above this, you may keep in the middle, if you wish to go higher, and the least water will be five or six fathoms for several miles higher: from this south-west arm several branches extend, most of which have good depth of water, but the chart will be the best guide.

If you wish to enter the north-west branch, enter it by keeping the larboard shore on board, and for some distance up, as from the starboard shore a shoal extends one-third of the distance over.

After having rested a few days, I determined not to lose any time, but go immediately and make a survey of Botany-Bay, while the weather was cool and pleasant.

Towards the end of September, two boats with provisions, tents, &c. were got ready, and dispatched round, under the care of Mr. Keltie, the master of the Sirius, by whom, and Mr. Blackburn, the master of the Supply, I was assisted in my work at Botany-Bay. A few gentlemen of the settlement having signified a wish to accompany me, the party resolved to walk over and meet the boats there; this route being now well known, and the path well trodden, it was not an unpleasant walk. We joined the boats about noon, and found our tents pitched.

The same afternoon we began our operations, and in about ten days had finished the survey of the bay. The anchorage in this bay, as I have before observed, is extensive, and the passage into it easy; there is a cluster of rocks, which lie south-south-east, about two cables length from a little bare island on the north shore, on which the sea frequently breaks very high; but if you keep Cape Banks open, you will avoid them; both shores are bold to, till you come thus high. A little above Point Southerland (south shore) is another patch of rocks, which, to avoid in turning, keep the land below this point open. Although the anchorage here is extensive, yet by looking at the chart, it will appear a small spot for so very large a piece of water: from both the north and south sides, and from the bottom of the bay, the flats run off a great distance, from four to fifteen feet water.

I did formerly believe, that there was an easy channel over the flats into the west river, but on this examination I think it rather difficult, if practicable at all, as the soundings are very irregular.

This river in some parts has good depth, and that near and within its entrance; but higher up it is all shoal water, and full of knowls of sand; in short, it is only to be navigated by boats: it has two branches, in which there are several coves, or bays, containing shoal water.

After having gone to the head of this river, and returned to the bay again, we then entered a small river which empties itself in the north-west part of the bay; this river, as far as I went up, which was about five miles, is all shoal water (it has since been examined to the head by Lieutenant Bradley): in short, these rivers were with me no object at this time to throw away time upon; I therefore made no other survey than an eye sketch; every reach is laid down true with respect to direction; the soundings are the depth at or near low water; and the distance is estimated by short portions at a time, that they might be the more correct.

It will easily be perceived, by looking at the draft of this bay, that it is not possible to lie land locked with a ship in any part of it; you will always be exposed to the large sea which tumbles in here with an easterly wind. The edge of the flatts (in three fathoms) is determined by many intersections, so that its extent is pretty nearly ascertained.

In the end of October it was judged necessary to shorten the allowance of provisions one-third; for although we might expect store-ships from England by the end of January, 1790, yet as there did not remain above five months provisions in the settlement, the governor thought it necessary to issue an order for two-thirds allowance to commence the 1st of November.

Having finished the placing of the top riders in the Sirius by the end of October, we took our provisions and stores on board; and on the 7th of November, we moved the ship from Careening Cove over to Sydney Cove.

A few days before that time, John Mara, the gunner's mate, had been missing, and was supposed to have been lost in the woods; parties were sent out in search of him: the third day after he disappeared, I was going up the harbour in a boat early in the morning, and some distance up, I thought I heard the voice of a man upon the north shore; we lay upon the oars a considerable time, and listened attentively; we again heard the voice, and rowed immediately towards that part of the shore from whence the voice came, and there we found the person missing: he was sitting upon a rock, was exceedingly faint, and scarcely able to get into the boat; having had nothing to eat during his absence but an herb which the people use by way of tea, and which is so palatable they can drink it without sugar; it has exactly the taste of liquorish root. I interrogated him with respect to the manner of his losing himself; he said, "That having been sent on shore in the evening to fill a few water-casks, which were landed at a run of water near the ship, and that having just before he was sent on shore taken a copious drink of grog, he felt himself, soon after he landed, a good deal disposed to sleep; that the weather being warm, and the evening well advanced, he laid down upon the hill, some distance from the run of water, and fell fast asleep upon the grass; that he did not wake until it was late, and the night being dark, and he a little confused when he awoke, he went farther into the wood instead of coming out of it, and by that means lost himself entirely." He also said, "That when I took him up, he was so exhausted that he should not have been able to walk much longer, and that he had only reached the water-side the night before."

He had no arms of any kind; it was therefore fortunate that he did not fall in with any of the natives, as we have much reason to believe that they are disposed to take the advantage of those they meet without fire-arms.

The night before we left Careening Cove, Mr. Francis Hill, one of the master's mates, had desired permission to go over to Sydney Cove, and to return early the next morning; he went over, and was the next morning early put across to the nearest part of the north shore, intending to walk round to the ship, a route which had been often taken by many of our gentlemen, and was not more than an hour and a half's walk, but in this short distance Mr. Hill lost himself. The next day, parties were sent out different ways, and boats were sent both up and down the harbour in search of him; a gun for their and his direction was fired from the ship every two hours, and this continued for two days. The third day, many additional parties were sent, to the number of nine or ten; in short, every piece of ground where it was thought possible he might have passed, was traversed over and over by the different parties, but without effect; we had, therefore, much reason to believe that he fell in with a party of the natives, who probably murdered him, for he had no arms of any kind with him.

That this opinion of a disposition in the natives to take advantage of a single person, particularly when unarmed, is not ill founded, we have had many instances to prove; one of which in this place may suffice, as it had happened very recently, and near to the place where Mr. Hill was lost. A man belonging to the Sirius, who had generally been employed in shooting for the officers, was, a few days previous to the supposed death of Mr. Hill, in the woods looking for game, and had been seen by a party of the natives from the skirts of a wood; they had not been observed by him, and taking the advantage of that, threw a large stone at him, which very narrowly missed his head, at which it was very well aimed; had it hit him, it would have knocked him down and deprived him of his senses, which opportunity they would no doubt have availed themselves of to dispatch him; but as they did not succeed in their attempt, they stood their ground, and he fired a charge of small shot at them, which I suppose they felt no inconvenience from, as they laughed at him, and advanced with their lances; he was pretty quick in loading his gun again, into which he put a heavy charge of buck shot, and as they appeared to him to be determined on mischief, he resolved, for his own safety, to be before-hand with them; he took very good aim, and fired right amongst them; two of them fell, and the rest, with great precipitation, made off, but he believed they carried their wounded (probably dead) friends with them; he stood where he was and loaded his gun, then came towards the ship without seeing any more of them. They are exceedingly terrified by fire-arms.

There was one circumstance which disposed me to believe that Mr. Hill had been murdered by the people of the country, which was, that one of the boats which went down the harbour to look for him put a-shore in one of the coves in the north part of it; the young gentleman who had charge of this duty went up the beach, with five of the boat's crew, while two remained to take care of the boat; they had only been landed a few minutes, and were near the skirt of the wood, when two spears were launched from a rising ground; one of which struck the hat of one of the seamen; and as no fire-arms had appeared, the natives showed themselves, to the number of between twenty and thirty; the midshipman and the sailors returned to the boat, and brought up a musquet loaded with ball, which the natives observing, all disappeared, except two, and the ball was fired at them; whether with or without effect we knew not, but they also disappeared immediately.

These hostile appearances, I think, may have been the effect of their success, in having lately murdered some of our people; for as we have had several such accidents here, we have had an opportunity of remarking, that they have generally shown immediately after them, a more than ordinary degree of hostility.

The want of one of the people of this country, who, from a habit of living amongst us, might have been the means of preventing much of this hostile disposition in them towards us, was much to be lamented. If poor Ara-ba-noo had lived, he would have acquired enough of our language to have understood whatever we wished him to communicate to his countrymen; he could have made them perfectly understand, that we wished to live with them on the most friendly footing, and that we wished to promote, as much as might be in our power, their comfort and happiness.

The two children mentioned formerly, and who were very happy amongst us, were yet too young to be of use in reconciling the natives to us; they now understood almost every thing we said, and could make themselves very well understood; but the governor was desirous of having a man or two in our possession, to whom we might teach enough of our language without the danger of losing any part of their own, to render them useful to their countrymen; it had therefore for some time past been in agitation to endeavour, by force, to secure one or two.

For that purpose, on the 25th of November, Lieutenant Bradley, with some other officers, and a party of men, were sent down the harbour in an armed boat: they went to the north part of the harbour, where, upon one of the sandy beaches, they observed two native men walking; they immediately formed a scheme to entice them to a conversation; for that purpose, a few large fish were held up, and they were called to, which had the desired effect; the men with much confidence came forward unarmed, and with much chearfulness received the fish, and held a conversation with those who presented them.

At this time there were about five of our people upon the beach, and the boat lying afloat, with her stern close to the shore, and the sailors lying on their oars: Mr. Bradley, who was in the stern of the boat, seeing the opportunity good, gave the signal for securing them; in a moment their heels were knocked up, and they were tumbled into the boat, followed by those who secured them, and the boat pulled immediately off. They called out to their friends the moment they were taken hold of, but though a considerable number appeared in the skirt of the wood, on seeing arms in the hands of those in the boat, who stood up ready to fire, they did not venture an attack. The men were lashed to the thwarts of the boat, on their first being taken into her, but after having got to such a distance from the shore, as to prevent the possibility of an escape, their hands were loosed, and they were secured by only one leg; but until they were thus far liberated, their terror was considerable.

On their being landed at Sydney-Cove, they were immediately taken up to the governor's house, where they were very kindly treated; but to prevent any attempt to escape being at all probable, they had each an iron-shackle put on one of their legs, to which a piece of rope was spliced, and a man was ordered for each, who was to be answerable for their security; wherever they went those keepers accompanied them, holding one end of the rope. When these two strangers landed in Sydney-Cove, many people, prompted by curiosity, went to see them; among that number were the boy and girl, natives, whose names, I think, when speaking of them, I have never yet mentioned; the girl was called A-ba-roo, and the boy Nan-bar-ry, or Bal-der-ry: the moment they saw the men, they with raptures of joy called them both by their names; the children were also known to them, and it was not improbable but that their very comfortable appearance, after having lived so long amongst us, might, in some degree, calm that perturbation of mind, which we would naturally believe might attend them in such a state of captivity; for it should be recollected, that not one of those natives whom we have had amongst us, had ever returned to inform their friends, what kind of treatment they had met with from us; it was therefore not to be wondered at, if they supposed that such as fell into our hands were put to death.

The two old men who were picked up when very ill with the small-pox, at the time A-ba-roo and Nan-bar-ry were found, (and whom we believed to be the fathers of the children) died very soon. Poor Ara-ba-noo, who was at liberty to go where he pleased some time before he died, was so well reconciled to us, that he never showed the smallest inclination to go from us; he unfortunately did not survive the small-pox, and the girl and boy were now so accustomed to our manner of living, that it was not at all probable they would relish that of their own country.

We soon discovered, upon the arrival of these two strangers, whom the children called by name, that one was a chief, or distinguished person, among those of the tribe of Ca-di-gal; his name was Co-al-by; he was a man of about 35 years of age; the other was about 25 years old, and was called by several different names, such as Ba-na-lang, Vogle-troo-ye, or Vo-la-ra-very; the first we thought his proper name, the others we understood from himself were names by which some of his particular connections were distinguished, and which he had, upon their death, taken up: this man was a very good looking young fellow, of a pleasant lively disposition.

The presence of Co-al-by seemed to be a check upon the chearful temper of Ba-na-lang, which inclined us to think that he paid a kind of deference to him; he was always very silent in his company.

Seventeen days after these people were taken, they appeared so well satisfied, that their keepers began to be less apprehensive of their attempting to make their escape, which they did not fail to notice, and had no doubt laid a plan to avail themselves of, for they were very far from being destitute of observation and cunning. One evening, when it was pretty dark, their keepers were sitting within the door of their house, eating their supper; Ba-na-lang was within also, and employed in the same manner; Co-al-by was at the door, sitting just on the outside, and had with him something for his supper, which he pretended to be employed about, the end of his rope was in the hand of his keeper; while they in the inside were thus amused, Co-al-by drew the splice of his rope from the shackle, and in a moment was over the paling of the yard, and out of sight; an immediate search was made for him, but without effect, we saw him no more: however we heard afterwards that he joined his friends again, and will no doubt be careful how he confides hereafter in us: his friends would certainly be something surprized to see him so well cloathed, for he carried off his whole wardrobe. I suppose it would cost him some trouble to get the shackle from his leg, which was riveted on.

The other man was much more chearful after Co-al-by's absence, which confirmed our conjecture, and the children's account, that he was a man more distinguished in his tribe than Ba-na-lang.

In the month of January, 1790, in every company, the conversation turned upon the long expected arrivals from England, which we had been for some past in daily expectation of, with a supply of provisions; our store here was now in a very exhausted state, much more so than we ever expected it would have been: for it was the general opinion, that I should the last year, on my arrival at the Cape of Good Hope, have there met with store-ships bound to this country, as it was always understood that the settlement would never have been reduced lower than one year's provisions in store.

We landed in this country with two years provisions, at least with what was supposed, when we sailed from England, would be the case; that time was now elapsed, yet we had not been visited by any ships from Europe, and we still had remaining provisions, at half allowance, to last until June. We all looked forward with hope for arrivals with a relief; and that every assistance necessary for strangers might be at hand, I offered, with a few men from the Sirius, to go down to the south head of the harbour, there to build a lookout-house, and erect a flag-staff upon the height, which might be seen from the sea; and which might also communicate information of ships in the offing to the governor at Sydney-cove.

The governor approved my proposals. I went down with six men, and was accompanied by Mr. White and Mr. Worgan, the surgeons of the settlement and Sirius. We erected a flag-staff, and lived in a tent for ten days, in which time we compleated a tolerably good house. At the end of ten days, I was relieved by Mr. Bradley with a fresh party.

Chapter VII


February 1790 to February 1791

The Sirius and Supply sail for Norfolk Island.--Land the marines and convicts.--Wreck of the Sirius.--Some provisions saved.--Martial Law established.--Ratio of provisions settled.--Vast numbers of birds caught.--In distress for provisions.--Receive a supply from Port Jackson.--Officers and crew of the Sirius leave Norfolk Island, and arrive at Port Jackson.--Norfolk Island described.--Its situation and extent.--Soil.--Climate, &c.--Table of Winds, &c.

In February, we began to look a little serious on our disappointment of arrivals: we had not now more than provisions till June, at the allowance I have already mentioned. The governor now saw a necessity for dividing the settlement, and signified his intention that such division should take place soon, by sending a certain number of marines and convicts, under the command of Major Ross, the lieutenant-governor, to Norfolk Island; at which place he understood there were many resources, which Port Jackson, or the country round it, did not afford; and the gardens and cultivated lands here also would then be more enjoyed by the remaining numbers.

Accordingly an arrangement took place, and on the 26th of February, I received an order to prepare the Sirius for sea, and to embark the lieutenant-governor, with one company of marines, and the officers, baggage, and also 186 convicts; in all, 221 persons; with such a proportion of the remaining provisions and other stores, as the settlement at that time could furnish; and I was directed to land them upon Norfolk Island: Lieutenant Ball, commander of his Majesty's armed tender Supply, was ordered under my command, and he also embarked a company of marines, and twenty convicts.

We sailed from Port Jackson on the 6th of March, and the wind being from the westward, we made Lord Howe's Island on the 9th, at four in the afternoon, bearing east-north-east, distant about 16 or 18 leagues. The south end of this island is two very high mountains, nearly perpendicular from the sea; those hills are the only land you see until you come within six or seven leagues, when the lower land begins to appear, extending from the foot of the mountains, northward: it was calm most of the night, with now and then a light air, with which, and an easterly set of current, which is generally found here, we were enabled to get in with the land by noon of the 10th. I made the Latitude of the southermost hill:

(Mount Gower) 31° 35' S.
Longitude, by time-keeper, 159° 10' 30" E. of Greenwich.
Longitude, by distance of the sun and moon, taken at 10, A. M. 159° 08' 00" E.

There is a very remarkable rock, which lies about 12 or 14 miles to the southward of the island, and which is named Ball's-pyramid, and has much the appearance of a church steeple at a distance; but as you come near, it is exceedingly high and perpendicular: we passed in the evening between the island and the pyramid, and had 26 fathoms within two miles of Mount Gower, over a rocky bottom. This island I judge to be about three miles and a half long, north-north-west and south-south-east; it is very narrow across. There is anchorage on both sides of it, but the bottom is foul. On the west side there is a bay, off which lies a reef parallel to the shore, with good swatches, or passages through for boats; this reef breaks off the sea from the shore, which is a fine sandy beach, so that there is no difficulty in landing. I have observed before, that turtle are sometimes caught here, and that there are many birds upon the island.

On the 13th, at two o'clock in the morning, we made Norfolk Island, which I did not expect we should have done quite so soon, but the easterly current, which is commonly found here, had been strong: we brought to till day-light, and then, as the wind was fresh from the south-west, I well knew there could be no landing in Sydney-bay, where the settlement is fixed, on account of the high surf, which southerly winds occasion, I therefore bore away, and ran round to the north-east side of the island into a bay called Cascade-bay; where, after a few days of moderate weather, and an off-shore wind, it is possible to land; but that only on one spot, which is a rock that projects some distance into the sea, and has deep water to it: on that rock I landed, on the afternoon of the 13th, all the marines, and a considerable number of the convicts, but being set to the eastward in the night, I did not land the remainder until the 15th, when they were also put on shore on the same place.

These people were no sooner on shore than the wind shifted to the eastward, and the weather became hazy and blew strong, so that I had no prospect of being able to land any part of the provisions. We had put on shore from the Sirius and Supply 270 people, and had no opportunity of sending any stores with them, as we were now driven out of sight of the island. I knew the exhausted state of the stores there; I was also acquainted with the many difficulties which Lieutenant Ball, commander of the Supply, had met with in the different voyages he had made from Port Jackson to this island, with provisions; and the length of time he had, in some of these voyages, been obliged to cruize, before he could have any access to the shore; so continually does the surf break all round it: these considerations gave me much anxiety and uneasiness.

On the 19th, a slant wind from the south-east brought me again in with the island: the Supply had the preceding night parted company, but as they were better acquainted here than we were, I judged they had stood for the land in the night before I did. As we stood in, finding we could fetch the windward part of the island, I steered in for Sydney-bay; and as we drew near, I observed the Supply lying to in the bay, and the signal upon the shore was flying, that long-boats, or any other boats might land, without any danger from the surf. Anxious to avail myself of this favourable signal, I steered in as far as I judged safe, and brought to with the ship's head off shore, in the south-east or windward part of the bay, hoisted out the boats, loaded them with provisions, and sent them in; but observing that the ship settled fast to leeward, we made sail, and immediately hauled on board the fore and main tacks, the Supply had also made sail, and was to leeward of the Sirius.

There is a reef of sunken rocks, which lies off the west point of the bay, and which (as the wind freshened and the sea rose) broke a considerable way out; the Supply having drawn a-head, could not weather this reef: on this she tacked; and, as we drew near, I plainly perceived that we settled so fast to leeward that we should not be able to weather it: so, after standing as near as was safe, we put the ship in stays; she came up almost head to wind, but the wind just at that critical moment baffled her, and she fell off again: nothing could now be done, but to wear her round in as little room as possible, which was done, and the wind hauled upon the other tack, with every sail set as before; but, still perceiving that the ship settled into the bay, and that she shoaled the water, some hands were placed by one of the bower anchors, in five fathoms water; the helm was again put down, and she had now some additional after-sail, which I had no doubt would ensure her coming about; she came up almost head to wind, and there hung some time; but by her sails being all a back, had fresh stern way: the anchor was therefore cut away, and all the haulyards, sheets, and tacks let go, but before the cable could be brought to check her, she struck upon a reef of coral rocks which lies parallel to the shore, and in a few strokes was bulged.

When the carpenter reported to me, that the water flowed fast into the hold; I ordered the masts to be cut away, which was immediately done. There was some chance, when the ship was lightened of this weight, that by the surges of the sea, which were very heavy, she might be thrown so far in up the reef, as to afford some prospect of saving the lives of those on board, if she should prove strong enough to bear the shocks she received from every sea.

It was now about eleven o'clock in the forenoon, and after the masts were gone, all hands were employed in getting out of the hold such provisions as could be come at, and securing them upon the gun-deck, that they might be at hand in case any opportunity offered of floating them on shore.

In the evening the wind freshened still more, and the surf was considerably increased; in consequence of which, it was strongly recommended by the gentlemen on shore, who knew the place much better than we could, that every person should quit the ship: for this purpose the end of a small rope was floated through the surf, and over the reef, to the shore, by an empty cask; and by that rope a seven inch hawser was hauled on shore, with a wooden heart upon it for a traveller, and the end was made fast to a tree.

By this traveller I corresponded with those on shore, and received their opinions. To the traveller three or four sailors at a time were made fast, and were hauled by the people on shore through the surf, and over a ragged reef to the land; another part this evening, and the remainder the next day. The whole crew were intended to have been landed that night, but when it became dark the hauling rope of the traveller got often foul of the rocks, which might have occasioned the drowning of those who were at such a time on the traveller: for the long scope of hawser (nearly the length of two hawsers) by the weight of three or four people, was more than two-thirds of the way in the surf, and the men on it under water.

The second day after the landing of the crew, the weather being more moderate, and the surf less dangerous, a few of the seamen, who could depend, in case of accident, upon their good swimming, were got on board by the hawser, and the utmost exertion used to get some part of the provisions sent on shore; but it was the fifth day before any could be landed.

We were now upon this little island 506 souls, upon half allowance of provisions; and that could, with our present numbers, last but a very short time; as the supply intended for the island was yet on board the Sirius; and consequently its safety very uncertain.

Providence was kind to us. We had for several days the weather fine, and the surf uncommonly smooth, for this place: for although there was a continual surf breaking upon the ship, and all the way between her and the shore, yet it was considered here as uncommonly smooth: each of those fine days we got on shore from twenty to thirty casks of provisions, with various other articles of both public and private property; such articles as would swim were entrusted to the chance of being thrown on shore by the surf: all that I or any other officer saved, was found washing upon the beach; but as the shore was lined with the marines, to prevent the convicts from committing depredations, it was much, but not wholly prevented. Every thing which came on shore was placed under the care of centinels, until claimed by the proprietor, before certain officers.

But that success which attended those things that were committed to the sea, proved at last a misfortune; for it occasioned their trusting every thing promiscuously of private property to the surf; by which many valuable articles of mine and some of the officers were lost, being too heavy to float, a circumstance that those who threw them overboard had not considered. The provisions being the first object, nothing besides was allowed to be sent by the traveller; and notwithstanding it was all dragged through the sea, the damaged part was but trifling. Some casks were washed out of the slings, dashed to pieces upon the rocks, and of course lost; but, taking the whole together, we saved more provisions than we could have reasonably expected.

By the time we had landed the principal part of the provisions, the weather began to be rather unfavourable to our wishes and endeavours; the wind set in from the southward, the sea rose and occasioned a very high surf, which rendered it unsafe for any person to remain on board; the small bower cable, which had hitherto kept the ship's head to the sea, being cut by the rocks, and the ship being considerably lightened by what had been taken out of her, she was lifted so high by every sea, as to occasion her striking very heavily; and by those repeated shocks she was thrown for a short time broad-side to the sea: had she kept in that position, she would soon have gone to pieces; but from her being very light forward, the iron ballast having dropt out of her bottom, she was lifted fairly round, and was thrown more than her own length nearer to the shore, and was, by this change in her position, almost out of the reach of the break of the sea; that is, the surf, which before generally broke upon her, now broke outside, and its force was considerably spent, before it reached her; so that when the weather was moderate and the surf low, we got with more ease on board, and could remain there with less danger.

One of the bow ports was enlarged for the purpose of getting casks and other parcels out; the hauser and traveller were also fitted and hove taught from the bow, and various stores were sent on shore with more ease and certainty than before; but the knees of the beams, being many of them broke, and the ends of the beams being dislodged from the clamps, the orlop deck blown up, and the lower deck beams loose, and many of them broken, it was dangerous to attempt going into the hold; for by every stroke of the sea, the decks were all in motion: however, every thing that could be got at by the sailors on board was sent on shore.

A few days after the unfortunate loss of the Sirius, the ship's company being all on shore, with very little provisions on the island for so great a number of people, and the supply from the wreck being yet in a very precarious situation, the lieutenant-governor assembled all the officers in the settlement together; and in order that the description of people now among us in so considerable a number, (I mean the convicts, who I believe to have been some of the worst characters ever sent from Great-Britain) should fear the commission of any crime here, more than they had ever done under the laws hitherto established in this settlement, it was unanimously judged necessary for the general safety and good of the whole, that martial law be now established in this island until such time as we might be relieved from the distressing prospect that was now before us, by a supply of provisions, or until the governor in chief of his Majesty's territory in this part of the world might think fit, either to approve or disapprove of it.

The necessity of such a measure in the situation we were now reduced to, I apprehend, will be apparent to every considerate person. By the proclamation of the law martial, which was generally consented to, not by an oath, as I believe is commonly the case, where it is found necessary: but, the service we had to perform not admitting of the delay that such ceremony would have occasioned, the general approbation was taken by every individual passing under the king's colours, which were displayed for that purpose; that ceremony every person was previously informed would be considered as an assent, and which was done with a degree of solemnity, and at the same time an apparent chearfulness through the whole.

By this proclamation of the law martial, much mischief I am of opinion was prevented: hitherto, every convict, or any other person on this island, who had committed any crime which merited a trial by the criminal court, were to be sent the first opportunity to Port Jackson, with all the necessary evidence, and there to be tried. This, in our situation, would have been attended with innumerable inconveniences and many bad consequences, which, as I have already said, I confidently believe were prevented by this proclamation; which may be said to have been held out in terrorem only: for, during the whole time of its existence, we had but once occasion to put it in force; the fear of an immediate trial, and, if found guilty, immediate execution, kept every body tolerably honest and attentive to the necessary duties, which it became the whole of us now to look forward to.

As the Supply tender sailed from this island on the 24th of March, which was the fifth day after the loss of the Sirius, and we had not at that time been able to get any part of the provisions from the wreck; she could not carry to the governor any certain account, whether we should or should not be able to get any thing on shore, to help out the very scanty proportion of provisions which now remained in the store; we therefore entertained a glimmering of hope that she might, in the course of five or six weeks, return to us with the very comfortable news of arrivals from England.

However, after the expiration of that time, during which we looked anxiously to the sea, our situation began to wear a very alarming aspect. We now had no doubt, but that in consequence of a disappointment in the expected arrivals, the governor had found it necessary to dispatch Lieutenant Ball to some European settlement, and that he could not relieve us with provisions from Port Jackson. In consequence of this deplorable situation, on the 14th of May, the officers composing the council met the lieutenant-governor agreeable to appointment, and published the following orders:--

"At a meeting of the governor and council held to consider of the very exhausted state of the provisions in this settlement, and to consult upon what means are most proper to be pursued, in order to preserve life until such time as we may be relieved by some arrivals from England, of which we have been so long in expectation, but probably disappointed by some unfortunate accident having happened to the ships intended for this country. The state of the provisions having been laid before the council, and the alarming situation of the settlement having been taken into the most serious consideration, the following ratio of provisions was unanimously resolved and ordered to take place on Saturday the 15th instant, viz.
Flour--three pounds per week, for every grown person.
Beef--one pound and an half per ditto; or, in lieu of the beef.
17 ounces of pork.
Rice--one pound per ditto.
Children above twelve months old, half the above ratio. Children under twelve months old, one pound and an half of flour and a pound of rice per week. In future, all crimes which may by any three members of the council be considered as not of a capital nature, will be punished at their discretion, by a farther reduction of the present allowance of provisions."

Every day, and during every breeze from the westward, we now looked out upon the sea; but on this unfrequented ocean we could expect nothing to appear but what might be intended for us. Day after day we talked to each other respecting our situation, as no other subject seemed to occupy the mind of any one among us. We were here situated upon an island of only five miles long, and three in breadth, three hundred leagues from the nearest part of the Coast of New South Wales, deprived of every hope of finding any relief by a change of situation, and we had the additional mortification of anticipating, in a short time, a farther reduction of our allowance of provisions.

At this particular season we had one advantage, which, when that leaves us, will reduce us to very great distress; I think, then, that many of the convicts (who are indolent to astonishment, and who can, and frequently do, eat at one meal what they are allowed for a week) must, when the resource I am going to mention fails, perish for want, or suffer death for the depredations they are so much inclined, even in times of plenty, to commit upon others.

In the month of April we found that Mount Pitt, which is the highest ground on the island, was, during the night, crowded with birds. This hill is as full of holes as any rabbit warren; in these holes at this season these birds burrow and make their nests, and as they are an aquatic bird, they are, during the day-time, frequently at sea in search of food; as soon as it is dark, they hover in vast flocks over the ground where their nests are. Our people, (I mean seamen, marines, and convicts) who are sent out in parties to provide birds for the general benefit, arrive upon the ground soon after dusk, where they light small fires, which attract the attention of the birds, and they drop down out of the air as fast as the people can take them up and kill them: when they are upon the ground, the length of their wings prevents their being able to rise, and until they can ascend an eminence, they are unable to recover the use of their wings; for this purpose, nature has provided them with a strong, sharp, and hooked bill, and in their heel a sharp spur, with the assistance of which, and the strength of their bill, they have been seen to climb the stalk of a tree sufficiently high to throw themselves upon the wing. This bird, when deprived of its feathers, is about the size of a pigeon, but when cloathed, is considerably larger, for their feathers are exceedingly thick; they are webb-footed, and of a rusty black colour; they make their holes upon the hills for breeding their young in; they lay but one egg, and that is full as large as a duck's egg.

They were, at the end of May, as plentiful as if none had been caught, although for two months before there had not been less taken than from two to three thousand birds every night; most of the females taken in May were with egg, which really fills the whole cavity of the body, and is so heavy that I think it must fatigue the bird much in flying. This bird of Providence, which I may with great propriety call it, appeared to me to resemble that sea bird in England, called the puffin: they had a strong fishy taste, but our keen appetites relished them very well; the eggs were excellent*.

[* For a further description, and an engraving of this bird, see the Norfolk-Island Petrel, in Phillip's Voyage, 4to Edition.]

We were highly indebted to Providence for this vast resource; but as these singular advantages could only be for a season, we reflected, with pain, that they must have an end, and that in all probability this would be the case before we got a relief. Fish was generally mentioned by Governor Phillip, when speaking of this island, as an inexhaustible resource; he also mentioned the vast quantity of birds (tropic birds and gannets) which were to be caught here upon the two small islands (Mount Pitt was not then known to be the resource we have found it).

If the governor had ever been here himself, or spent a winter upon Norfolk Island, as I have done, he certainly would not have laid any stress upon resources so very precarious as we had found them; and consequently not to be depended upon as a certain advantage. I have seen the weather so stormy, and the surf so high for near a month together, that a boat could not be launched more than twice during that period, and then only for a few hours; and even when they had got out, they would sometimes bring in a hundred fish of from two to four pounds weight, and at other times only five or six fish: so that this supply was very uncertain and very trifling, when it was considered that we were above 500 people.

The procurement of the birds upon the small islands was attended with the same disadvantages, by the difficulty of landing, from the constant surf.

In the end of May the wreck of the ship still held together, but the beams and knees were all either broken or loose; she was so much out of the reach of the surf when it was very heavy, that it broke with considerable less force upon her than formerly. Every time that the weather would admit, a few sailors were sent on board to save whatever articles could be got at, and to send them on shore.

Our distress did not occasion us to forget that the 4th of June was the birth-day of our much beloved sovereign. On the morning of this day the colours were displayed, and at noon three vollies of musquetry were fired by the marines; as an acknowledgment that we were Britons, who, however distant and distressed, revered our king, and loved our country.

The seamen, having but little to do on the wreck, were now employed in clearing ground for a garden, that they might have a few vegetables to lengthen out their pittance of provisions. About the middle of this month I sent some sailors on board to see if any alteration had taken place in the wreck, that might render it possible to get at the best bower and sheet cables, or any cask from the hold; but it was found impracticable, from the orlop and lower decks lying down on the contents of the hold.

On the 6th of July, a convict man who had been out in search of birds, reported, that he had been robbed of his shirt by three other convicts, who, being too lazy to work, had left the business they had been employed at, and had taken shelter in the woods: and as it became necessary to check an evil of so dangerous a nature as early as possible, lest from any inattention to it many of the very worthless characters, which were now upon the island, might be encouraged to assemble in considerable numbers, to the very great annoyance of the more industrious part of the settlement, the lieutenant-governor directed two small parties of marines, and expressed a wish that I would also order two parties of the seamen, who might probably be less suspected of any design, to apprehend them. Each man sent upon this duty was provided with a ship's pistol, and a few charges of powder and ball: in the evening of the same day on which the parties went out, the culprits were brought in, pinioned by two of the seamen who had been sent after them. A few days after, a court-martial was assembled for the trial of the above convicts, and they were sentenced to receive 300 lashes each.

The Sirius's men were now wholly employed, when the weather would admit, in fishing for the settlers; and when the surf was too high, in making fishing-lines and hooks. A party of marines, and all the convicts, were employed in clearing ground for corn and potatoes. On the 24th of July, there being at that time no more than ten or twelve days salt provisions left, at the short allowance before-mentioned, and as birds, though growing scarce, were yet still to be had, it was judged necessary by the lieutenant-governor and council to stop the salt provisions entirely during the time which birds were to be caught; so that the ratio now was three pounds of flour, and one pint of rice per week, or in lieu of the flour, the same quantity of Indian corn meal, or wheat ground, with the husks and bran in the meal.

The people in general were now reduced so low in bodily strength for want of a sufficiency of food, that much work could not be expected; however, it was absolutely necessary that something should be done to get seed into the ground. A considerable portion of the cleared land was planted with potatoes, as the first thing from which we could expect any relief.

On the 4th of August, one of the seamen who had been walking towards the south-east part of the island, casting his eyes towards the sea, saw a sail; without waiting a moment to examine her particularly, he ran back with as much speed as possible, calling out as he ran, A ship! a ship! This news was all over the settlement in a few minutes, and men, women, and children were hastening in different directions to welcome the expected relief. I took a spy glass in my hand, and went to the place from whence the ship had been seen, and there, to my very great happiness, I observed a ship with an English ensign flying, not more than six or seven miles off shore.

The wind at this time blowing strong from south-west, it was not possible for her to appear off Sydney-Bay, she therefore wore, and seemed to intend going under the lee of the island, in order to land a boat there. Captain Johnstone, of the marines, and myself, agreed to walk across the island and receive them. We set off, and when we arrived at the sea-side, it is impossible for me to describe our feelings, when we observed the ship before the wind, and making sail from the island. We did all we could to show ourselves, but they did not think proper to speak to us.

The effect this disappointment had upon every individual on the island will be easier to conceive than to express by words. Every one agreed in opinion, that it would have been much better if no ship had been seen. There surely was an appearance of a great want of the common feelings of humanity in the commander of this ship: for although we afterwards knew that he had no relief for us, he had it in his power to have given us some comfort, some hope of relief being at no great distance; that would, in a considerable degree, have relieved the anxiety of mind under which we had laboured for five months past, and he would not have lost two hours in doing it.

As Captain Johnstone and I were on our way home, lamenting our disappointment, it struck me that this ship must be from Port Jackson, and that the commander was bound to China; had nothing on board for the island, and therefore did not choose to lose any time; but if this conjecture should be just, he must have known from our friends what the probable state of this island was, and therefore might readily suppose that five minutes conversation would have been a vast relief to our anxiety.

After having determined to believe that he was from Port Jackson, and that we should soon have something from thence, we kept a very good look-out, and, to our great happiness, on the 7th, a ship was discovered in the offing, and towards the evening, another appeared in sight; the surf being low, a boat was sent immediately off to go on board the nearest: they proved to be the Justinian and the Surprize, from Port Jackson, with provisions for the relief of this island, and with an addition to the number of convicts, of about 200. The masters informed us, that five ships had arrived in New South Wales with 980 convicts, and provisions for the settlement, and that they had been arrived about two months; a delay of great length, when it is considered that our situation, when the governor last heard from us, was rather an alarming one: nothing had then been saved out of the wreck of the Sirius, so that there was no certainty that we had been able to exist. Such were the reflections which I made during a moment of anxiety, and which, in a period of quiet, I do not wish to repeat.

We received information, by these ships, of the unfortunate accident which befel his Majesty's ship Guardian, in her passage to this country, with provisions and stores; and also that the Gorgon was fitting, to bring farther supplies, with another lieutenant-governor, who commanded a corps that had been raised for this particular service, the marines being ordered for England.

The Justinian and Surprize, by the good fortune of an uncommon time of fine weather, were cleared in little more than three weeks, and proceeded upon their voyage to China on the 30th. If these ships had been here two months before they did arrive, the weather was such that they could not have been cleared two days before the time that they were. We were now looking eagerly for the arrival of the Gorgon, which ship, the governor informed me by letter, was to take the Sirius's crew and marines off this spot, which has cost me so much distress.

As soon as the above ships arrived, and we had communication with them; for their safety, as well as for the more expeditiously landing the provisions, I sent Lieutenant Bradley on board the one, he being now perfectly acquainted with the set of the tides, their uncertainty, and all the other dangers around the island; I also sent Mr. Donovan, a midshipman, on board the other, he having been near two years upon duty on this island, and was well acquainted with the above particulars: this assistance enabled them at all proper times to make more free with the shore. Mr. Keltie, the master of the Sirius, and Mr. Brooks, the boatswain, attended with me the whole day at the landing-place.

The boats employed on this business were manned by the Sirius's crew; so that every possible attention to prevent danger or accident was used: but, notwithstanding which, on the 17th of August, in what was considered as good landing, one of the boats, in coming into the passage, was overtaken by a succession of heavy surfs, which threw her on one of the reefs, where she parted in less than two minutes, and seven people were drowned. I was with several other officers within twenty yards of them, and with at least thirty people beside, and could render them very little assistance.

Of the persons who were drowned, there were two of the boat's crew, who belonged to the Sirius; three women convicts, who were coming from the ship in this boat, a child, and one convict man, who went off with many others to try to save the women. There were two women brought on shore, by the exertions of the people on the reef, who were, when landed, apparently dead, but recovered by the surgeons; one was mother of the child which was lost; one convict man, who was exerting himself to save others, was himself brought on shore apparently drowned, but was also brought to again. The people who were lost, were carried out by the outset from the shore, which at a certain time of tide is so strong that a boat can scarcely pull a-head against it, even when calm.

This serves to convince me of the unfounded illiberality of an observation which I have seen in a certain publication, lately come out from England, wherein it is mentioned, when speaking of this island, that there was a boat's crew drowned at a certain time, but that it was occasioned by the imprudence of the midshipman, who did not attend to the orders which were given him: yet certain it is every officer here, at this time, was fully satisfied it had not been in his power to obey, owing to the out-set above-mentioned: and therefore it is equally certain, the reflection upon that gentleman's conduct was highly unjust. If there had been any act of imprudence committed at that time, it was not by the midshipman, whose duty it was to obey orders, but by sending in that narrow and intricate passage, one boat to meet another, where they must be in each other's way, and subject, by that means, (if a surf should rise at the moment) to very great danger.

I found it necessary, in unloading the ships which arrived at this time, (in consequence of seeing the boats going out and meeting those coming in considerably endangered by the entangling their oars, so narrow is the passage in its most dangerous part,) to give orders that no boat should put off from the shore, when a loaded boat was near in, nor indeed until such loaded boat was safely landed.

The arrival of supplies for our relief at this very critical juncture, was truly comfortable, and a strong instance of the kindness of Divine Providence to us: for our great and indeed only resource began to fail us very fast,--the Mount Pitt birds, on which it may justly be said we had for a very considerable time principally lived, were now very scarce; many people who went out to catch them, were frequently, after remaining a whole night on the ground, where they were, during the plentiful season, so very numerous, contented to bring in six or eight birds, and were sometimes unable to find one. The fish also failed us entirely; for the ships, during the time they were cruizing about the island and landing the provisions, did not catch one fish: it will therefore appear, that had not these supplies arrived so timefully, or had they been detained six weeks longer, through any accident, or other cause, what a deplorable situation we should have been reduced to.

Thank God, such consequences as must have attended it, were prevented by this providential relief, and the dejected gloom, and pale sickly look, which was to be seen in every countenance, now gave way to a chearful and happy appearance of satisfaction.

In the month of January, 1791, finding it impossible to get any of the remaining stores out, which were under the lower and orlop decks of the wreck, I determined to attempt getting the guns out, which, until then, I did not incline to try; the gun deck being in so infirm a state, I was suspicious, that by moving the guns, which had hitherto (being housed) hung chiefly by the bolts in the side, it might cause the deck to fall in, as the beams, from the opening of the ship's sides, did but barely keep hold of the clamp, the bolts of the knees being all broken: had this deck fallen in upon the others, it would have prevented every endeavour to save such stores as were under it, and which, from time to time, by the alterations which every heavy surf made on the wreck, we were sometimes enabled to get at: however, after every thing, which there was any possibility of getting at, was saved, we began with the guns, and in a few days got every gun and carriage on shore, by means of a traveller upon a nine inch hawser; there were only of our ordnance two carronades lost, which were carried away by the fall of the masts.

We had just compleated this business of the guns, when a sail was discovered in the offing, which we all believed to be the Gorgon, that we had so long expected; but upon her nearer approach, we discovered it to be the Supply armed tender. She had been, upon her return from Norfolk Island with the account of our misfortune, immediately dispatched to Batavia; where Lieutenant Ball was directed to endeavour to hire a vessel, and to load her with such articles of provisions as he could procure, for the relief of the settlement: this service Mr. Ball succeeded in; having procured a Dutch snow, of about 300 tons, and put on board such provisions as he could procure; consisting of beef, pork, flour, rice, and various hospital stores. The season, at Batavia, while the Supply was there, was very sickly; he lost many of his men by fevers, and among the number was Mr. Newton Fowell, the second lieutenant of the Sirius, who had been put on board to assist in bringing the vessel, which might be hired, to Port Jackson. I was exceedingly concerned for the loss of this young gentleman, who was a good, well disposed, and promising young man.

Mr. Ross, the gunner of the Sirius, who had been left at Port Jackson on duty, when she sailed for Norfolk Island, died also at Batavia: he had been put on board the Supply, in order to be landed at Norfolk Island, if she should be able to reach that place in her way to Batavia.

After the return of the Supply to Port Jackson, she was found to require some repairs, which having been compleated, she was ordered upon the service wherein we now found her, viz. bringing a few stores for Norfolk Island, with orders to embark the remaining officers and crew of the Sirius, and to return with them to Port Jackson.

This information I received with joy, as our situation was now become exceedingly irksome: we had been upon this small island eleven months, and during great part of that time, through various causes, had been oppressed by feelings more distressing than I can find words to express. On the 11th of February, I embarked, with the officers and ship's company, on board the Supply, having taken my leave of a place which had cost me so much distress and vexation. We had fine weather during our passage to Port Jackson, where we arrived on the 27th, and were kindly and hospitably received by all our friends there.

I now understood from the governor, that he had entered into a contract with the master of the Dutch snow, for carrying the officers and ship's company of the Sirius to England; a piece of information which I did not by any means feel a pleasure in hearing: for, anxious as I was to reach England as soon as possible, I should with much patience rather have waited the arrival of an English ship, than to have embarked under the direction, or at the disposal, of a foreigner: however, preparations were then making for sending us off as fast as possible.

As I have spent so much time upon an island, which has of late been much spoken of, and of which many flattering accounts seem to have been given, it will be expected that I should say something concerning it.


Mount Pitt, or the highest land, lies in Latitude 29° 02' south. Longitude 168° 05' east of the meridian of Greenwich.

Ships, on making Norfolk Island*, may stand boldly in, there not being any thing farther out than half a mile from the shore to take them up. If the wind is west to south or south-east, there is generally too much surf in Sydney-Bay for boats to land, which circumstance is signified from the shore by not hoisting any flag at the lower flag-staff; in which case you will generally find good landing in Cascade-Bay, where I think there would not be any difficulty in landing provisions from a ship.

[* The remarks and directions for Norfolk Island and Sydney-Bay were made by Captain Bradley.]

If she should put in here, she might always be getting her cargo out either there or at Sydney-Bay, as the winds that prevent landing in Cascade-Bay generally make smooth water in Sydney-Bay. People may at times be landed in Ball-Bay, Duncombe-Bay, and Anson's-Bay, but neither stores nor provisions can be landed, on account of the perpendicular hills that surround them. The ground of the north side of the island is clearer of rocks than in Sydney-Bay.

Great attention should be paid to the tides, and on the south side of the island particularly; with southerly and south-east winds I have known the tide shift six points, at different times, in the space of half an hour; and if you cannot lie up south-south-west, standing off upon the larboard tack, the ebb tide will heave you in upon the shore. There is a mud bank to the north-east by north of Nepean's island, where a ship might safely anchor in westerly winds, and prevent being driven off Norfolk Island.


Lies in latitude 29° 05' south; longitude 168° 02' east; and variation 11° 00' east. The tide flows full, and changes at three quarters past seven, and rises from five to seven feet: the flood runs to the south-west by south; and the ebb to the north-east by north.

[* For Sydney-Bay, Norfolk Island, upon a large scale, see Phillip's Voyage.]

In general the tides are equal each way, the ebbs and the flows regular along the shore six each tide: the eastern tide is stronger than the western tide; sometimes the eastern tide runs several hours beyond its usual course, and sometimes the western tide thus irregularly, which irregularities, although they seldom happen, make it necessary to bring to, and try the tide before you come within the outer part of the Nepean Island; and be aware of an indraught, which sometimes sets into the bight on the west side of the bay, on both tides, while you are baffled by the south-east and southerly winds, as you come in with Sydney-Bay.

All within Nepean Island is foul ground, and very irregular soundings, and no safe passage between it and Point Hunter; but if a ship should be pressed by necessity, I would recommend keeping within half a cable's length of Nepean Island, after having passed the bed of rocks to the westward of the little bay.

Norfolk Island lies north-west by north and south-east by south, and is in this direction about five miles long, and nearly three in breadth; it is very thickly covered with wood, of which there are six or seven different kinds, and some I believe might be applied to naval purposes.

The Pines, which has been particularly spoken of by Captain Cook, and by others, who have lately visited this island, is the most conspicuous of any tree here; they grow to a prodigious size, and are proportionably tall, being from 150 to 200 feet, and in circumference from 12 to 14 feet, some to 28 and 30 feet. These trees, from their immense height, have a very noble appearance, being in general very straight, and free from branches, to 40, sometimes 60 feet, above the ground; they have been by some thought fit for masts, for ships of any size; in length and diameter they certainly are, but with respect to quality they are, in my opinion, wholly unfit; even admitting them to be found, which, from experience, I know is seldom the case.

I employed the carpenters of the Sirius, while here, to cut down a few sticks, which it was intended should be sent home by the first opportunity, in order for trial in his Majesty's dock-yards, to see if they were, as had been said, fit for his Majesty's navy, or not. In providing a top-mast and a top-sail-yard for a seventy-four gun ship, a thirty-two, a twenty, or a sloop, and one rough spar, in all seven sticks, 34 trees were cut down, 27 of which were found defective. When these trees were falling, it was observed that most of them discharged a considerable quantity of clear water, which continued to flow at every fresh cut of the axe; there is no turpentine in these trees but what circulates between the bark and body of the tree, and which is soluble in water. It is a very short grained and spongy kind of timber, and I think fit only for house-building, for which we know it to be very useful.

When fresh cut down, five out of six will sink in water, the wood is so exceedingly heavy: and, if we suppose for a moment, that great part of the pine timber were fit for naval purposes, the great difficulty, and indeed I may say impossibility, of getting it from the interior parts of the island to the sea, would render it of little value, if designed for masts; but if for plank, it could be cut up where fallen. Those which grow on the south-east point of the island, where the land is low, are those which have hitherto been made use of.

Norfolk Island, if correctly laid down in a plan, with all the hills and vallies represented accurately, would very much resemble the waves of the sea in a gale of wind; for it is composed wholly of long, narrow, and very steep ridges of hills, with deep gullies, which are as narrow at the bottom as the hills are on the top, so that there is scarcely any level country upon it; but as viewed from the sea, it appears quite level, the different ridges being nearly the same in height.

Arthur's Vale, which is near the settlement, and the first place which was cleared for cultivation, is a pretty spot of level ground, and the most extensive flat yet cleared; it contains eleven acres. This very great unevenness of the ground occasions much labour in cultivation, and renders it wholly impossible to use the plough, even if the ground were sufficiently cleared, and there were cattle to work; every labour of that kind must be done by hand. There was, when I left the island, in February, 1791, something more than 100 acres cleared for the public, exclusive of private gardens, but all the roots of the trees were left in the ground, which would no doubt occupy a fifth part of it, for many of them were very large.

The soil over the whole of this island is generally allowed to be remarkably fine, and it is very deep; indeed, the luxuriance with which almost every thing grows sufficiently indicates a very rich soil: it seems to be composed principally of a deep, fat clay, and decayed vegetable matter; in short, without pretending to natural knowledge, that unhappily I do not possess, I shall only observe, that a more luxuriant soil I never met with in any part of the world.

The flax plant mentioned by Captain Cook grows chiefly on the sea coast, or on points which project into the sea; but as these points seem to have the same kind of soil as the other parts of the island, there can be no doubt of its succeeding in the interior parts, if planted there.

In the very sanguine opinions which we find have been given of this island, since we arrived in this southern part of the world, it appears that the size of it has been wholly overlooked, otherwise I think such expectations and opinions of its value, as appears to have been entertained, could not have taken place. I only judge of such expectations by the number of people which Governor Phillip has thought proper to send there: opinions have been given, that it will maintain 2000 inhabitants; if it were all cleared and cultivated, it would no doubt furnish many of the necessaries of life for such a number; but in its present state, I should think a fourth part of that number too many, and, in my humble opinion, they should be such as have forfeited every hope of seeing their native country again; such a description of people would find it their particular interest to be industrious, as their existence might depend upon it.

The crops here are very subject to blights from the sea winds, and there are immense numbers of the grub worm and caterpillars: there is also a fly of a very destructive nature to the gardens and corn; but when such vermin do not appear until the crops have arrived at a certain age, and have gained their strength, their effects are not so very ruinous; there is no certain period at which they appear; probably when a large extent of ground is cleared these vermin may not be so frequent.

Indian corn grows here with great advantage, producing from forty to fifty bushels an acre, planted with about a peck. This little island is extraordinary well watered; there are several fine streams which seem to flow from the body of Mount Pitt, and empty themselves on both sides of the island into the sea. On the north side, in Cascade-Bay, there are two pretty falls from steep cliffs into the sea; there are two streams upon this island, which I have often noticed even in very dry weather, and thought them capable of turning a mill.

With respect to landing upon the shore, as it is frequently attended with great difficulty and danger, stores should never be sent here but in the summer time, when there is much fine weather and easy landing; but when the landing is impracticable in Sydney-Bay, it is possible to get light stores a-shore in Cascade-Bay, which will then be smooth, if it do not blow hard; when it does, the whole island is inaccessible, for it is not of sufficient extent to prevent the sea, occasioned by bad weather, from affecting every part of the shore.

A TABLE, distinguishing those Days on which Landing was good, and those of High Surf, when there could be no landing, at the annexed Landing Places, in Norfolk-Island, between the 19th of March, 1790, and the 12th of Feb. 1791. By CAPTAIN BRADLEY.

Chapter VIII

February 1791 to March 1791

Great improvement of the country at Rose Hill.--Vicissitude of the climate. Norfolk Island remarkably healthy.--A native runs away from the settlement.--Frequent visits from the natives.--Governor Phillip wounded by the natives with a spear.--Natives again visit the settlement.--Entertain the governor, &c. with a dance.--Decorate themselves for that purpose. Method of dancing described.--Music and singing.

After my arrival at Port Jackson I went to Rose Hill, where great improvements were carrying on; a considerable town was laid out, many good buildings were erected, and roads were cut, with about two hundred and thirteen acres of land cleared for corn, and eighty acres for buildings and gardens; that is, the trees were cut down, but the roots remained in the ground, which would certainly lessen the quantity of cleared ground; this ground being grubbed up and laid open, gave me an opportunity of examining what the soil consisted of, and although I do not pretend to any knowledge in farming, yet I thought it required no very great judgment to perceive and determine this favourite spot (which, to do it justice, is certainly better than any upon or near this harbour) to be a poor, sandy, steril, soil; the surface is covered a few inches deep with a soil which seems to be produced from decayed vegetation, rotten leaves, burnt and withered grass; and under that is a mere bed of sand.

Rose Hill is certainly a pretty situation, but the country will require much manure, much dressing, and good farmers to manage it, before good crops can be expected from it; the best they have ever had, I have been informed, has amounted only to six or seven to one, and this last season has been little more than two to one, but that may in some measure be accounted for by there being a great scarcity of rain.

If it be the determination of government to persevere in establishing a settlement in this country, upon an extensive plan, the nation must be contented to submit to a very heavy expence. It must be stocked with cattle, were it only for the manure, for without manure this country is too poor ever to yield tolerable crops; and if it should be resolved upon to stock it with cattle, it will be found highly necessary to employ a considerable number of people in the care of them, to prevent their being frequently attacked by the natives, whom we know are frequently driven to very great distress for food.

The country about Rose Hill, which I have formerly mentioned as requiring not much labour in clearing, from its being covered only with lofty, open woods, without any underwood, and which I then observed ran to the westward about twenty miles, has since been travelled over by several gentlemen, who admit that that kind of country does extend near the distance above-mentioned to the westward, but in a north and south direction, it does not extend more than three or four miles, when you come again into barren, rocky land, wholly unfit for cultivation; in short, as I have walked over a good deal of ground since I have been here, and have frequently travelled from Botany-Bay to Broken-Bay along the sea coast, I can with much truth declare, that I have never met with a piece of ground any where sufficient for a small farm, which has not been so rocky as to be unfit for cultivation; the best of it appears to be a poor, miserable, sandy soil; and what must subject those who live on it to much inconvenience is, the very great scarcity of water.

Upon my arrival here from Norfolk Island, all the streams from which we were formerly supplied, except a small drain at the head of Sydney-Cove, were entirely dried up, so great had been the drought; a circumstance, which from the very intense heat of the summer, I think it probable we shall be very frequently subject to. This frequent reduction of the streams of fresh water disposes me to think, that they originate from swamps and large collections of rain water, more than from springs.

When the sudden vicissitudes of heat and cold are considered, we might be too apt to pronounce this country very unhealthy; but near four years experience has convinced us that it is not the case: it is no uncommon thing at Rose Hill, and frequently at Sydney, for the thermometer to be in the morning at 56° or 60°; and by two hours, afternoon, at 100°, sometimes 112°; and after sun-set, down to 60° again; this is, with the thermometer exposed to the air, in a shade, and not within the house. When I went last to Rose Hill, I left Sydney at five o'clock in the morning, and rowed up the harbour, a great coat was then comfortable; at noon I walked over the cleared ground, the thermometer was then more than 100°.

Norfolk Island is also subject to such sudden changes, but is also remarkably healthy. I do not think I can give a stronger proof of the salubrity of the climate, than by observing, that I never saw the constitutions either of the human race or any other animal, more prolific in any part of the world; two children at a birth is no uncommon thing, and elderly women, who have believed themselves long past the period of child-bearing, have repeatedly had as fine healthy strong children as ever were seen. And there has but one old woman, who was sickly before she came to the country, and one infant, died of a natural disease on the island, since it has been settled.

I have some time ago mentioned the name of Ba-na-lang, a native man, who had been taken in the lower part of the harbour, with another of the name of Co-al-by, who soon after made his escape. Ba-na-lang had been kept in his shackle, and treated with so much kindness, that it was now supposed he might be trusted with his liberty, without any fear of his leaving us; he was therefore, in the month of April, 1790, which was soon after we left Port Jackson for Norfolk Island, set at liberty, and did not appear at all disposed to leave the governor's house, or absent himself from his new acquired friends; this appearance of satisfaction he feigned with success for several days, for no person seemed to suspect him; he at last, however, took French leave; having, after dark, one evening, stripped himself of his very decent cloathing, left them behind, and walked off. Both he and Co-al-by were frequently seen by our fishing-boats, and were so familiar as to converse with the people, who often invited them to come up to Sydney (the name by which the settlement is called) but this invitation they were not much disposed to accept, until the governor in person should invite them, and give them his promise that they should not be detained; the governor did invite them, and promised to give them many things, of which they were very much in want.

It was scarcely to be expected that these people, who had been deprived of their liberty in so treacherous a manner, and had been so long detained from their families and connections, should have had confidence enough to trust their liberty again in our hands; however, as the governor and every other person in the settlement had ever been kind to them, they were inclined to depend on the governor's promise, and did come to Sydney; were kindly received, went from house to house, and saw all their old acquaintances; they received many little presents, and returned to their friends when they thought proper.

This confidential visit from two men, who appeared to have some influence among their countrymen, soon brought about a more general intercourse, and the next visit from those men brought the same favour from their wives and families, whose example was followed by many others; so that every gentleman's house was now become a resting or sleeping place for some of them every night; whenever they were pressed for hunger, they had immediate recourse to our quarters, where they generally got their bellies filled. They were now become exceedingly fond of bread, which when we came here first, they could not bear to put into their mouths; and if ever they did, it was out of civility to those who offered it; but now the little children had all learnt the words, hungry, bread; and would, to show that they were hungry, draw in their belly, so as to make it appear quite empty.

Co-al-by's wife had a young female child in her arms, about three or four months old; this little creature had a ligature round the little finger of the right hand, in order to separate the two lower joints, which in the course of three weeks or a month it effected: I saw it just as the finger was about dropping off, but as it hung by a bit of skin, they begged Mr. White, the surgeon, to take it off, which he did, with a pair of scissars, and which the child did not seem to feel. This taking off the finger of the right hand appeared to be a mistake in the mother, who frequently pointed that it should have been the left hand.

A short time previous to this friendly and general visiting from the natives, the governor, as I have already observed, in order to dispose them the more to confide in us, went down the harbour himself, to see and converse with our old friends Ba-na-lang and Co-al-by, and to invite them to come to his house, where they should get whatever they might be in want of; and be permitted to return when they pleased. The governor having received information that these two men with several other natives were in Collins's-Cove, went thither, accompanied by several other gentlemen, and they were all unarmed; this unfortunate want of necessary caution had very near proved fatal to the governor; the particulars of this accident were related to me by an officer who was of the party, and were, as near as I can recollect, as follows:

On Thursday the 7th of September, the governor, with a few other gentlemen, went down to the look-out, in order to fix on a spot for erecting a column, or pyramid, as a mark, by which strangers might, at sea, the better know the harbour; and were returning, when they were met by a boat which had been landing a party of gentlemen, who intended walking along the coast to Broken-bay: by the cockswain of this boat, the governor was informed, that Mr. White, who was one of the above party, had seen Co-al-by and Ba-na-lang, and had a long conversation with them; that these men enquired for every body they knew, and particularly for the governor; that they had sent his excellency a piece of whale, which had been thrown on shore, and which they had been regaling themselves upon; that Ba-na-lang would go up to Sydney, if the governor would come for him.

In consequence of this information, the governor returned to the look-out, and got together every thing that he could find, which he thought would be acceptable to his old friends: he also took with him four muskets, and went immediately to Collins's-Cove, where those people had been seen. In their way they examined the muskets, and found that only two of the four would strike fire, and these they loaded: when they reached the place, they observed a number of the natives sitting round a fire which was near the place where the dead whale lay; the governor stood up in the boat, and asked in their language where Ba-na-lang was; Ba-na-lang answered, I am here; the governor then said, I am the governor your father; (a name he wished the governor to be known by when he lived with him.) The governor, after desiring Captain Collins and Mr. Waterhouse to remain in the boat, and to have the muskets ready, landed, and walked up the beach with his arms extended, to show that he was unarmed, and that they might not be alarmed: they did not seem inclined to meet him; however he followed them into the wood, and one of them frequently called out governor and father; in consequence of this, and having shook hands in a friendly manner, the governor returned to the boat, and desired one of the men to bring up some wine, beef, and bread, and a jacket or two, which had been brought on purpose, and went back with those articles to them: on his holding up a bottle, one of them called out wine, and repeated several English words; two of the natives came forward and received the things, and one drank a little wine; they had likewise received from the governor a few knives.

In a short time, the governor came to the boat again, and mentioned all that had happened; observing at the same time, that Ba-na-lang and Co-al-by were not among the number: he asked Captain Collins to walk up with him, and desired Mr. Waterhouse to stay by the boat. When they went up, Mr. Waterhouse frequently heard one of the natives call to Ba-na-lang, and informed him of what observations he made upon those who remained in the boat, the people being employed in keeping her afloat, upon her oars. Shortly after, one of the men came down from the governor, and informed Mr. Waterhouse, that both Ba-na-lang and Co-al-by were there, and that the former had frequently asked for Mr. Waterhouse, and the governor desired he would come up, which he did. On his arrival, he observed a considerable number of the natives on each side, and eight or ten in front, all armed with their spears, except two, with whom the governor and Captain Collins were in conversation.

Mr. Waterhouse went up, but did not know Ba-na-lang, until he was pointed out to him; he then shook hands with him and Co-al-by. Ba-na-lang had at this time two jackets on, which he had received from the governor and Captain Collins; Co-al-by had also a jacket given him; after Ba-na-lang had been asked several questions, he took Mr. Waterhouse round the neck and kissed him; these questions were relative to various circumstances which happened while he lived with the governor, all of which he seemed to recollect very well: Co-al-by shook hands again with Mr. Waterhouse, and begged him to put on the jacket which had been given, and which he held in his hand, not knowing how to put it on himself, which Mr. Waterhouse did for him. Ba-na-lang, on the governor's first meeting him, had a remarkable fine spear, which the governor asked him for, but he either could not or would not understand him, but laid it down on the ground.

During all this time, there was the greatest appearance of harmony and friendship. However, the natives seemed closing round the party, which being observed, the governor proposed going down to the boat, for they had by this time nearly formed a crescent, and had the governor's party in the centre: there were now nineteen armed men near, and a considerable number in the wood out of sight. The governor now told Ba-na-lang that he would return in two days, and bring him the cloaths he used to wear when in his house, and would also bring him a couple of hatchets for himself and Co-al-by; with which promise they seemed well pleased, and often repeated that it might not be forgot.

Just as the governor and his party were going, Ba-na-lang pointed out and named several of the natives who were strangers, one of whom the governor went up to and offered to shake his hands, at which the man seemed much terrified, and immediately seized the spear, which Ba-na-lang had laid on the ground, fixed it on the throwing-stick, and discharged it with astonishing violence: he with all his associates made off with the utmost precipitation. The spear entered the governor's right shoulder, just above the collar-bone, and came out about three inches lower down, behind the shoulder-blade.

Mr. Waterhouse, who was close by the governor at the time, supposed that it must be mortal, for the spear appeared to him to be much lower down than it really was, and supposed, from the number of armed men, that it would be impossible for any of the party to escape to the boat. He turned round immediately to return to the boat, as he perceived Captain Collins to go that way, calling to the boat's crew to bring up the muskets; the governor also attempted to run towards the boat, holding up the spear with both hands, to keep it off the ground, but owing to its great length, the end frequently took the ground and stopped him (it was about twelve feet long). Governor Phillip, in this situation, desired Mr. Waterhouse to endeavour, if possible, to take the spear out, which he immediately attempted, but observing it to be barbed, and the barb quite through, he saw it would be impossible to draw it out; he therefore endeavoured to break it, but could not.

While he was making this attempt, another spear was thrown out of the wood, and took off the skin between Mr. Waterhouse's fore-finger and thumb, which alarmed him a good deal, and he thinks added power to his exertions, for the next attempt, he broke it off. By this time, the spears flew pretty thick, one of which he observed to fall at Captain Collins's feet, while he was calling to the boat's crew: the governor attempted to pull a pistol out of his pocket, but the spears flew so thick, that it was unsafe to stop: however he got it out and fired it, upon a supposition, that their knowing he had some fire-arms would deter them from any further hostility.

The whole party got down to the boat without any further accident, and in two hours they arrived at the government-house, when the surgeons were sent for: Mr. Balmain, who was the first that arrived, after examining the wound, made every body happy, by assuring them he did not apprehend any fatal consequences from it; he extracted the point of the spear, and dressed the wound, and in six weeks the governor was perfectly recovered.

Immediately on the arrival of the governor at Sydney, it was judged necessary to send an armed party of marines towards Broken-bay, to escort the gentlemen who had walked that way back again; lest the same hostile disposition in the natives, should incline them to make an attack on them on their return.

Before I left Port Jackson, the natives were become very familiar and intimate with every person in the settlement; many of them now took up their rest every night in some of the gentlemen's houses; their very unprovoked attack on the governor and his party being passed over and almost forgot.

We have frequently observed, since this familiar intercourse took place, that they often had a dance amongst themselves at night, on the lower part of Sydney-cove, where a small house had been built by the governor's order, for their accommodation. It had been signified to some of the principal amongst them, that we should be glad to have an opportunity of seeing them dance, which they readily agreed to, and the following night was appointed, when the governor and a considerable number attended; every one being provided with arms of some kind: a caution which, notwithstanding friendly appearances, was generally allowed to be necessary; for experience had convinced us that these people have a good deal of treachery in their disposition.

Preparatory to this exhibition, much attention was paid to the decorating themselves; they were all Adams and Eves, without even a fig-leaf, but without their dignity. The young women were employed with all their art in painting the young men, who were chiefly ornamented with streaks of white, done with pipe-clay, and in different forms, according to the taste of the man himself, or to that of the lady who adorned him: no fop preparing for an assembly was ever more desirous of making his person irresistibly beautiful. This paint, so much in use among them, could not be applied without a little moisture, and the lady, in drawing those marks on the face, which were so essential a part of the decoration, I observed frequently to spit in the face of her friend, whom she was employed in adorning, in order to make the white clay mark the stronger. When they were all prepared, we walked down to the place appointed, after dark, for they prefer taking their amusement by fire-light; we found several fires lighted, and a considerable number of people assembled. We walked round to see that there were no armed lurkers among the bushes.

The dancers being ready, we were placed in a semicircle, by Ba-na-lang, and Co-al-by, who seemed to have the chief authority and direction. The dance was begun by a few young boys, and was encreased by men and women, chiefly by the former, until their number amounted from twenty to twenty-six. Their dance was truly wild and savage, yet, in many parts, there appeared order and regularity: one man would frequently single himself out from the dance, and running round the whole of the performers, sing out in a loud voice, using some expressions in one particular tone of voice which we could not understand: he would then join the dance, in which it was observed that certain parties alternately led forward to the front, and there exhibited with their utmost skill and agility, all the various motions which, with them, seemed to constitute the principal beauties of dancing: one of the most striking was, that of placing their feet very wide apart, and by an extraordinary exertion of the muscles of the thighs and legs, moving the knees in a trembling and very surprizing manner, such as none of us could imitate; which seemed to show that it required much practice to arrive at any degree of perfection in this singular motion.

There appeared a good deal of variety in their different dances; in one of which they paired themselves, and frequently danced back to back; they then changed suddenly and faced each other: sometimes all the performers sat down on the ground with their feet under them, and at a particular word, or order, they all raised themselves up: this motion they performed without any assistance from the hands; now they ran back in direct rows, then advanced in the same order; again they would form a circle, with some distinguished person in the center, and sometimes the whole of the performers would appear with a green bough in their hands, which they held up in a conspicuous manner.

In all the different figures which they performed, I observed that they generally finished by certain numbers of their principal dancers advancing to the front, and going through that favourite part of the dance, the quivering motion of the knees; whenever this was done, the whole company faced to the front and went through the same motions; but it was noticed that some were more frequently in the front than others, and those, I concluded, were such as had great confidence in their own skill in the execution of this very difficult part of the performance, and no doubt were vain enough to outshine in their ability the rest of the company.

On the whole, this exhibition was well worth seeing; and this was the first opportunity that had offered for us to see any thing of the kind, since we had been in the country. Their music consisted of two sticks of very hard wood, one of which the musician held upon his breast, in the manner of a violin, and struck it with the other, in good and regular time; the performer, who was a stout strong voiced man, sung the whole time, and frequently applied those graces in music, the piano and forte; he was assisted by several young boys and girls, who sat at his feet, and by their manner of crossing the thighs, made a hollow between them and their belly, upon which they beat time with the flat of their hand, so as to make a kind of sound which will be better understood from the manner of its being produced, than from any verbal description: these children also sung with the chief musical performer, who stood up the whole time, and seemed to me to have the most laborious part of the performance.

They very frequently, at the conclusion of the dance, would apply to us for our opinions, or rather for marks of our approbation of their performance; which we never failed to give by often repeating the word boojery, which signifies good; or boojery caribberie, a good dance. These signs of pleasure in us seemed to give them great satisfaction, and generally produced more than ordinary exertions from the whole company of performers in the next dance.

Chapter IX


March 1791 to September 1791

Captain Hunter leaves Port Jackson in the Waaksamheyd transport.--In danger amongst some islands.--Isle of Pines described.--Stewart's islands discovered.--Fall in with Bradley's shoals.--Discover a cluster of islands.--Name them Lord Howe's Groupe.--The natives described.--Attempt to find anchorage on the coast of New-Britain.--Are disappointed.--Anchor at the Duke of York's island.--Attempt to procure water.--Are attacked by the natives.--A few shots fired.--The natives dispersed.--A reconciliation effected.--Natives described.--Weapons.--Ornaments, &c.--Produce and soil.--Leave the Duke of York's island.--Natives from the Admiralty islands visit the ship.--Their canoes described.--Phillip's islands discovered.--Anchor at Hummock island.--Refreshments procured.--Visited by the Raja.--A quarrel ensues.--Several of the natives killed.--Articles of barter in request.--Canoes described.--Leave Hummock island.--Anchor at Batavia.--Tables of latitude and longitude, &c.

On the 27th of March, 1791, every thing being embarked, we left Sydney-cove, in the Waaksamheyd transport, and sailed down the harbour; when we were accompanied by the governor, and most of the civil and military officers in the settlement. When we passed the lower point of the Cove, all the marines and the New South Wales corps, who were off duty, came down and cheered our people, by way of taking leave, and wishing us a good passage.

Never, upon any service, did there a better, or a more friendly, understanding subsist between different corps, than had ever been the case between the seamen and soldiers employed upon this. When we came near the lower part of the harbour, our friends took leave, and soon after the wind setting in from the sea, we were obliged to anchor until the next morning, when a land wind carried us clear out. The master of the ship had orders from Governor Phillip to call at Norfolk Island, in order to take on board the dispatches of Lieutenant-Governor Ross; but this order was meant only in case it could be done without any material loss of time.

We were in all, on board that little vessel, one hundred and twenty-three souls, victualled for sixteen weeks. We had a very long voyage before us. It was my wish, if possible, to avoid touching at Batavia, in order to prevent sickness among our people, in the very crouded state they were in, which, at the season we should probably be there, was much to be dreaded. I had expressed a desire to pass through amongst the Molucca Islands, and endeavour to call at Timor, for the purpose of watering, and getting such other articles as could be had there; as by the time we could arrive among those islands, the easterly wind would be set in strong; and from thence, to have proceeded as far as I could with the provisions I had, either to the Mauritius, or the Cape of Good Hope.

We therefore could not afford to lose much time in an attempt to call at Norfolk Island; three weeks, however, we persevered in endeavouring to reach it, and had arrived within twenty-five leagues of it, when the wind set in strong from the eastward. I now called the officers and the master of the ship together, to consider of our situation, with respect to water and provisions. We had been fitted out in a very hasty and careless manner, with water-casks built from old worm-eaten staves, which had been laying exposed to the sun for more than a year; so that by the time we had arrived within the above distance of the island, we had lost by leakage full three weeks water, and had every reason to fear the loss of much more from the same cause: it was not therefore time, with a heavy sailing vessel, to attempt beating to windward, in order to reach a place, which we knew we could not gain without a change of wind; and the very great difficulty and uncertainty of getting a supply of water there, determined every one's opinion in favour of bearing away to the northward.

Much time had already been lost in making the attempt, we therefore steered to the northward, intending to pass between the New Hebrides and Nova Caledonia; but in this intention we were disappointed. Upon making the Isle of Pines, (on the 23d of April,) which lies off the south end of New Caledonia, (the island bore when we made it north,) the wind blew so strong from the northward of east, that we could not weather and pass to the eastward of it. We had not Cook's Second Voyage on board, so that we had no account of this land, and as I had always understood that the Isle of Pines was a small inconsiderable spot, with many tall pine-trees upon it, we all concluded, that, what afterwards proved really the island was the land which Captain Cook had called the Prince of Wales's Foreland, and is the south-west part of New Caledonia.

We had moreover farther reason to believe this to be the case, from the circumstance, that from this land to the south-east there lay a low island on which grew high pine-trees; from which circumstance, we considered it to be the Isle of Pines; and being unable, as I have already observed, to weather it, we bore away, intending to run along the western coast of New Caledonia: this mistake had nearly proved of fatal consequences to us, for after we had coasted along for a few leagues, and had been employed in taking angles for ascertaining the shape of the coast, as we sailed along it, land was discovered a-head; upon which the course was altered: soon afterwards, more land was seen still a-head, and as we hauled up to avoid it, more land and broken keys or low islands were discovered a-head, and as far to windward as the eye could reach; we consequently hauled our wind, and stood towards it, in order to discover our situation with more certainty.

We soon found that we had sailed into a very deep bay, formed between the Isle of Pines to the eastward, and a most dangerous reef on the west, which extended from the high land or south-west point of New Caledonia, not less than ten or eleven leagues, and was nearly that distance in a south-west direction from the high part of the Isle of Pines: in this situation there was no alternative; for we must either beat to windward to go round the reef, find a channel through it, or go on shore: the first, therefore, we determined to attempt, so we made all the sail the ship could bear, and stood towards the reef, and it being then evening we wished to ascertain our exact situation before dark.

We found the reef composed of a number of low islands or keys, and many rocks above the water, and of considerable breadth; in short, there was not the smallest hope of passing through it, the sea broke very high on every part of it, which we could reach with the eye from the mast-head. As soon as it was dark, and we thought ourselves near enough to it, we tacked, and kept every person upon deck during the night. We had, during the time we were running to leeward and making observations on the coast, passed by a number of low islands, covered with trees or shrubs, and had observed they were all surrounded with a reef, which the sea broke upon, and among these little islands were many reefs, which appeared only by the breaking of the sea: we were then thoroughly sensible of our mistake, and that the land which we had taken from its extent to be a part of New Caledonia, was the Isle of Pines; and that the height which we had steered down for, and thought to be a part of the coast which Captain Cook had not seen, was what he called the Prince of Wales's Foreland, and was the farthest land he had seen to the westward.

We kept working to windward all night, between that extensive reef to the westward, and those small keys and reefs which lay between us and the land, and of which I have since observed, Captain Cook, in his sketch, takes no notice; the outer reef he marks, but leaves a large open space between it and the land, which describes the reef to be a round cluster of rocks above and under water: he probably had not an opportunity of observing this dangerous place so near to the land as we had: there may be a channel to the leeward between the inner end of this reef and the shore, but it had very little the appearance of it; as we saw many low shrubby islands between us and the shore, to which they were probably connected by a reef under water, which, at the distance we were from it, could not be ascertained.

At day-light in the morning of the 24th, we observed with no small degree of pleasure, that we had gained ground to windward; but this we knew was not owing to any weatherly qualities in the ship, but to the wind having varied several points during the night, and of which we had availed ourselves: by noon we were so far to windward as to perceive the utmost extent of the reef to the southward under our lee, and we had a prospect of weathering it; we, of course, carried a press of sail, and did weather it about two or three miles: when a-breast of it, the highest part of the Isle of Pines was just to be seen above the horizon, which was very clear, and it bore by compass north-east by north, distant ten or eleven leagues; having passed without the reef, at noon we observed our latitude to be 23° 7' south, so that the south extremity of this dangerous reef lies in latitude 23° 00' south nearly: as soon as we were fairly clear of this situation, we bore away to the westward.

The Isle of Pines, so far from being an inconsiderable spot, as I had believed, is not less than 14 or 15 miles over in a south-east and north-west direction; it is high and remarkable in the middle, being quite a pointed hill, sloping towards the extremities, which are very low; the low land had many tall pine-trees upon it; these trees, in length, seemed exceedingly to surpass those of Norfolk Island, but their branches did not appear to extend so far from the body of the tree.

We continued to steer to the north-westward without seeing any thing, and when we had reached the latitude of 19° 00' south, which is supposed to be as far to the northward as any part of New Caledonia extends, we hauled to the north-east, so as to pass between Queen Charlotte's Islands and that large track of land which had been seen by Monsieurs Bougainville and Surville formerly, and lately by Lieutenant Shortland, in the Alexander Transport, and more recently still by Lieutenant Ball, in his Majesty's armed tender Supply. The part seen by Lieutenant Ball is, I believe, more to the southward, than that seen by the French, and is no doubt the same as that seen by Lieutenant Shortland; but the one sailed along the east, the other along the west side of it. It is highly probable that there is a continuation of the same track, and it is farther probable, by the breaks which have been observed in it, that it is a chain of islands extending in a south-east and north-west direction, and very nearly connected with the coast of New Guinea.

On the 5th of May we were near as far to the northward as the southermost part of this land, but did not see it, being by our longitude in 163° 33' east, which is more than a degree to the eastward of the south part seen by the Supply; the weather was now dark and gloomy, with heavy rain at times, and light, variable winds. Queen Charlotte's Islands certainly lie farther to the eastward than has generally been supposed, otherwise we must have made them, for we crossed their latitude in 163° 30' east longitude, which is nearly what the west end of Egmont Island is said to lie in.

On the 8th of May we had a number of very good observations of the sun and moon's distance, by which our longitude was at noon 163° 32' east, and the latitude at the same time 9° 33' south. On the 10th, in the morning, we saw land bearing west-north-west, distant about seven leagues; we bore down to make it plain, and it proved to be a cluster of small islands, five in number; they were well covered with trees, amongst which we thought we observed the cocoa-nut.

These islands, when we first discovered them, appeared as only one, which induced me to think it might be Carteret's Island; and had it not been that by going nearer we discovered that there were five of them, and that they did not at all answer the description of that given by Captain Carteret, I should have concluded that it was so, although the longitude of his island must have been very erroneous, had it been the case. Their latitude is 8° 26' south, which is nearly the latitude of Carteret's; and their longitude, deduced from the preceding day's observations, is 163° 18' east. We steered from them directly to the northward, in order to see if we could discover Gower's Island, which Captain Carteret says lies about ten or eleven leagues to the northward of Carteret's; but as we saw nothing, I concluded they had never been seen before; I therefore called them Stewart's Islands, as a mark of my respect for the honourable Keith Stewart.

The two largest of the islands just mentioned I judged to be about three miles in length; whether they were inhabited or not we could not discover: we passed to windward of them, and not being situated conveniently for making discoveries, or exploring unknown lands, we made the best of our way to the northward: just after we left these islands, we passed through a very strong ripling of a tide or current, and saw the trunks of several large trees in the water. On the 12th, at nine o'clock in the morning, the man at the mast-head discovered breakers on the starboard bow, and not more than six miles distant; soon after, breakers were seen on the starboard quarter, and on the beam, extending in the direction of east-south-east and west-north-west five leagues distant: at eleven, breakers were seen on the larboard beam, in different patches about two miles long, and lying parallel to those on the starboard side.

On this we brought to, and sounded with 130 fathoms of line, but had no ground. This had the appearance of a dangerous cluster of shoals, for being situated in a climate where it seldom blows so strong as to raise a large sea, a ship might in the night, without a very good look-out, be in very great danger before they could be perceived: they appeared to be sand shoals, and very little below the surface: the passage we sailed through is in latitude 6° 52' south, and longitude 161° 06' east: these patches should not be crossed in the night: I called them Bradley's Shoals. The variation was here 8° 01' east.

On the 14th, at day-light in the morning, we saw land, and at sunrise we observed this land to be a number of islands; some were of considerable extent, and many of a smaller size. Thirty-two were distinctly counted from the mast-head, bearing from north-west half north to north-east half east; many of them were considerably distant, so far as to make it probable that we did not see the whole of this extensive groupe. At ten o'clock we perceived six or seven canoes coming off, with large triangular sails; a little after noon, one of them, with nine men in it, came up with us, although we did not shorten sail: we could not persuade them to come along-side, or touch the ship, but we threw a few beads and nails, and other trifles, into their boat, with which they appeared much pleased; and in return, they threw some pieces of cocoa-nut on board; at one o'clock a fresh breeze sprung up, and they left us. The men in this boat were a stout, clean, well made people, of a dark copper colour; their hair was tied in a knot on the back of their head, and they seemed to have some method of taking off their beards; for they appeared to us as if clean shaved, but they had an ornament, consisting of a number of fringes, like an artificial beard, which was fastened on between the nose and mouth, and close under the nose; to that beard hung a row of teeth, which gave them the appearance of having a mouth lower than their natural one; they had holes run through the sides of the nose into the passage, into which, as well as through the septum, were thrust pieces of reed or bone; their arms and thighs were marked in the manner described by Captain Cook, of some of the natives of the islands he visited in these seas, called tatowing; and some were painted with red and white streaks; they wore a wrapper round their middle. Their canoe was about 40 feet long; it was badly made, and had an out-rigger.

The islands appeared very thickly covered with wood, among which the cocoa-nut was very distinguishable; I think it highly probable that there may be good anchorage amongst them, but my situation would not admit of my examining into that matter. They lie in an east and west direction along that side on which we sailed (south side), and their latitude on that side is 5° 30' south, the longitude from 159° 14' east to 159° 37' east*.

[* These islands I called Lord Howe's Groupe.]

On the 18th, at eight o'clock in the morning, we saw three small islands bearing west-north-west, and very high land bearing south-west: at eleven o'clock two more islands were in sight from the mast-head, and two smaller ones, which appeared no larger than rocks: at noon five islands and two rocks were to be seen; they seemed all to be connected by a reef which on the west side extended some distance from them; great part of a sand bank within the reef appeared dry, and some natives were seen upon it; two canoes, with triangular sails, endeavoured to reach the ship, but it blew very fresh, and we could not afford to lose time. These I took to be a part of Captain Carteret's nine islands; they seemed to lie in the direction of south-east and north-west.

We sailed round the south end, from which, to the westward, a reef extends about two miles. The southermost island lies in the latitude of 4 53' south, and longitude 155° 20' east; the south-westernmost island is in 4° 50' south, and longitude 155° 13' east. The land seen in the south-west was exceedingly high, and bore at noon south-south-west half west: at sun-set, the extremes of the high land bore from south by east to west-south-west, and seemed to terminate to the northward in a low woody point; about the middle part of this high land there is a considerable breach or opening, which had much the appearance of a streight or passage through; and as I judge this is the land, along the west side of which Lieutenant Shortland, in the Alexander transport, sailed, until he found an opening through which he passed to the eastward, I think it highly probable that this may be the streight; particularly as he says, "That soon after he was clear, and stretching to the north-east, he fell in with four islands, which he took to be part of Carteret's nine islands*." This opening was intersected from two stations, and the run of the ship, and was found to lie in the latitude of 5° 25' south, and longitude 154° 30' east.

[* See Shortland's Journal and Charts in Phillip's Voyage, fourth Edition; and "Discoveries of the French," by M. Fleurieu, late minister of the French Navy: a very ingenious and able work on the discoveries of the French and Spaniards in the South Seas.]

Whether these islands, which I have last mentioned are Captain Carteret's nine islands, or those Lieutenant Shortland saw, I will not be very positive; he says, they extended north-west by west and south-east by east; the direction is nearly the same, and the distance in that direction is fifteen leagues, and their number nine. We did not see much more than half that distance, in which seven only were to be seen.

Our latitude, considering that he passed round the north end, and we the south, will agree very well; and with respect to longitude, his was determined by the reckoning of the ship, mine by lunar observations, and the difference is only about a degree.

At day-light in the morning of the 19th, we saw Sir Charles Hardy's Island, bearing north 2° 00' west, five leagues distant; and Winchelsea, (or Lord Anson's Island, as marked in Captain Carteret's chart) south 48° 00' east; this last was certainly the point which terminated the high land before-mentioned, for we had kept it in sight since the evening before, and were a-breast of it at two in the morning, and were not more than fourteen or fifteen miles from it. Its latitude will be 5° 08' south, and the longitude 154° 31' east. Sir Charles Hardy's Island is low, level, and covered with wood; its latitude is 4° 41' south, and the longitude 154° 20' east.

At noon on the 19th, we saw high land bearing from west to west-north-west. It was very cloudy over it, so that we could not see its extent to the northward; it was distant eight or nine leagues: the west point of it was, no doubt, Cape Saint George, New Ireland. At six in the afternoon of the 20th, Cape Saint George bore north 80° 00' west, five leagues distant. We had light winds during the night, and in the morning, the land was so covered with clouds that we could not discover the extremity or point of the Cape; we steered to the north-north-west, having found, from the general bearings of the land, that we had been set to the southward during the night: at noon it was clearer, and the Cape bore north 14° 00' east ten or eleven miles distant. We had very light and baffling airs during the night of the 21st, which made me apprehensive, from what Captain Carteret has said of strong westerly currents here, that as we had now opened St. George's Channel, we might be set past both Gower and Carteret's harbours, before we could get as much wind as would command the ship; for she was as dull and heavy sailing a vessel as I ever was embarked in, and in my opinion was wholly unfit for the service she was now employed in. When any other vessel would be going three knots with a light wind, we could scarcely give her steerage-way.

In the evening, finding, as I apprehended, the ship setting fast to the westward, we hauled up to the eastward, in order to keep as near the Cape as possible, until day-light. That night also we had little wind, and that was variable; we kept her head as much as possible to the eastward, and at eight in the morning the Cape bore north 16° 00' east, distant eleven or twelve miles; which was much farther off than I wished; at the same time, a projecting point on the coast of New-Britain bore west north-west: we were becalmed most of this day, and were still setting to the westward. In the afternoon of the 22d, a very light breeze sprung up from the eastward, with which we endeavoured to get within Wallis's island; we sounded frequently, but had no ground with 130 fathoms of line: this situation was truly distressing, for although we had every thing set, we could not force the ship more than a knot and a half through the water, and had the mortification to see that we were driving to the westward: about two o'clock the breeze freshened up a little, and although we were within three miles of anchorage in Gower's harbour, we saw plainly we could not fetch it; however I had hope, as Carteret's harbour is laid down in the chart four leagues to leeward of it, that we might with ease get in there; we had a boat in shore at this time sounding, and it was the general opinion, that unless we bore away soon, we should not run the distance before dark, we therefore made the signal for the boat, and bore away.

The northermost point in sight from the ship was, according to the sketch made in the Swallow, Point Carteret; we considered the north-west entrance as near to that point, but intended of course to avail ourselves of being to windward to go in at the southermost passage. The distance, as I have already mentioned, being marked four leagues from Wallis's Island to Carteret harbour, unfortunately deceived us; and Cocoa-nut island being low, when compared with the high land under which it lies, appeared like a low point projecting from it: we were past the south entrance of this harbour, before we thought ourselves within six miles of it, and had now a strong south-east wind, which two hours sooner, would have enabled us to have got into English Cove, in Gower harbour: the distance from harbour to harbour did not appear to me to be more than two leagues, if so much. It was our misfortune, that the distances marked in the sketch just mentioned, did not agree with our judgment of them.

And there is another error which I must take the liberty to correct, and which also tended to deceive us; Point Carteret, in the Swallow's sketch, is the extremity of the land westward, which can be seen from a ship off Gower harbour, and the land from that point inclines immediately to the northward; but there is a point which lies north-west from Point Carteret, not less than four miles, and from that point the land trends to the northward: this point comes suddenly down from very high land to a round bluff point, which is steep to, and Point Carteret is low and woody. We discovered our mistake when it was too late to recover it in such a vessel.

We ran along the shore close in, and endeavoured to find anchorage; we had also a boat a-head for the same purpose, but although we went sometimes within a cable's length of the shore, we could not find bottom. Our situation now became serious, for our water was become short, and we had yet a long voyage before us; it was now absolutely necessary to look for some supply of that article, and as we were only victualled for sixteen weeks when we left Port Jackson, and had already been eight at sea, we could not on that account lose much time, lest we should meet with calms as we came near the Line. Full allowance of water, in so sultry a climate, and so crowded a ship, was a matter which I was exceedingly anxious about, for without a sufficiency of that article, sickness amongst the people was much to be dreaded.

Before we went any farther to the northward, I was determined to try the coast of New-Britain; we therefore stood over for that land, intending, if possible, to find an anchoring place. On the morning of the 22d, we came within three or four leagues of the shore; it then fell calm, and the boat was sent in shore with Mr. Keltie, the master of the Sirius, who had directions to make a certain signal if he found anchorage: in the afternoon, a light breeze sprung up, which enabled us to stand in and meet the boat. Mr. Keltie reported, that the part of the coast which he had been in with, was streight, and had no appearance of any sort of bay, or the smallest probability of anchorage; that he had frequently tried to get bottom within three cables length of the shore, but without success. On this coast we found a regular tide, its general direction was south-east and north-west.

The hills mentioned by Captain Carteret, on the coast of New-Britain, by the name of the Mother and Daughters, are very remarkable; a little way within the south-eastermost Daughter, there is a small flat-top'd hill, or volcano, which all the time we were within sight of it, emitted vast columns of black smoke. On this coast there appeared many extensive spots of cleared, and apparently cultivated land.

The next step that was to be pursued, was to examine the Duke of York's Island, and on the night of the 22d, we ran off the east point of it, with a light air from the westward, and brought to till day-light; having been near enough to the south-east part of the island the whole of the preceding day, to discover that there was little prospect of anchorage on that side. In the night we heard breakers at no great distance from us; this we found at day-light was a spit, which runs a small distance off the east point of the island.

On the 23d in the morning, we had very little wind, and the boat was sent in shore to sound; the ship was at this time about a mile and a half off. Many canoes came off, with every appearance of friendly disposition; we gave them a few trifles, and they seemed to insist on making a return for every thing they received; cocoa-nuts, yams, and bananas, were held out on the point of a long spear, or pole, for they seemed afraid to touch the ship; the boat which was sounding endeavoured to make them understand that we wanted water, and showed a small keg, intimating by signs that they wanted it filled; the people in one of the canoes went to the boat, received the keg, went immediately on shore, filled it, and brought it back to the boat: the officer then gave them another small keg, which he meant as a present, but it was immediately sent on shore by another canoe: in the mean time a breeze sprung up, the boat steered along shore and the ship followed: the people who had taken the last keg, after having filled it, followed our boat with the utmost speed, came up with her and delivered it; this I thought a striking proof of the honesty of these people, and it will particularly appear so, when it is considered, that the keg was hooped with iron.

As we ran round the western side of the island, we observed a small bay or cove, into which the boat went, followed by many canoes, and an immense multitude of people on the shore. We shortened sail to give the boat time to examine it; she very soon returned, and Mr. Keltie informed us that there was anchorage in the bay; we immediately made sail into it, and at noon of the 23d, anchored in twenty-one fathoms soft ground, with some loose patches of coral; here we were within a cable and a half of the beach.

In the afternoon, we sent the boats armed to look for fresh water; a vast multitude of the natives were by this time assembled on the shore, and the bay was filled with canoes; in consequence of which we got the ship's guns loaded and ready; (she mounted six three-pounders) but although they were exceedingly clamorous, they were still apparently well disposed; they showed the officer in the boat how to find water by digging holes in the sandy beach, in the manner frequently practised in the West-Indies; we followed their advice, and sunk a cask in the sand; the water flowed into it, but was too much mixed with the sea water to be used. Some of the natives, however, afterwards pointed out another place, from which the fresh water issued in a considerable stream, out of chasms in the rocky face of a high bank: this discovery set our people upon farther searches, and they found several such discharges from the side of the bank, enough to answer our purpose, if the natives remained quiet and friendly.

This business I was particularly desirous we might be able to effect, without being under the necessity of convincing them of our superiority in arms. The first day was spent in endeavouring to show them, that we were desirous of a friendly intercourse with them, and that we wanted nothing but water, which they could well spare: however, on discovering that water was to be had, we were of course determined to have as much as might be necessary for our purpose, and by such means as might be found necessary and effectual.

This first night there was a very strict look-out kept, as well by the natives as by us; they had a regular watch-word, which they sung out in a very pleasing and musical manner, and it was answered by those on the next post, and so all round the skirt of the wood. The next morning we loaded one boat with empty casks, and had the other armed, to lie off the shore and cover the people employed filling water; the ship's guns were loaded with round and grape shot, and were within less than two cables length of the watering-place; twelve men, with small arms, attended on shore with the waterers.

The watering business was now begun, and might have satisfied the natives what our business was there; however, their numbers increased to such a degree, all armed, and they were so very troublesome, that very little work could be done in the watering. An old man, who was powdered all over with a white powder, and who seemed to possess great authority and influence amongst his countrymen, disposed them to be more and more troublesome; presents were offered him, but he rejected every thing with a very surly and determined air; in short, he seemed resolved that we should not fill water, or remain upon their territory; he carried every appearance of an intention to dispute the point by force; every means were used to please this old fellow, but without effect.

At last some stones were thrown from a sling, but this was not done until the principal part of the natives had retired to some distance from the place where our people were employed; the men who were armed for the protection of the waterers, stood the whole time with their arms ready to fire at a moment's notice, and the natives, ignorant of what the musquets were, had certainly taken them for clubs. Some of the stones, which they threw, came with the force of a shot from a gun among the sailors. The consequence of this unmerited attack was, that the officer was obliged to fire, the covering boat fired, and a few shot were fired from the ship: at this time, there were thirty or forty canoes about the ship, full of people; their terror and consternation at the noise, and probably the effect of the guns, was such, that many leaped from their boats overboard, and swam under water as far as they were able; such guns as were fired from the side on which the canoes were, were pointed well over them, being more intended to intimidate than destroy. This firing occasioned a general dispersion of the natives, and the filling of water was carried on with case and expedition.

We received on board that afternoon about seven tons. The next morning, before the boats went on shore, we fired a few grape shot into the woods, and the boats landed without seeing any of the natives; at the same time we warped the ship within a cable's length of the watering-place, and secured her head and stern for covering the party on shore; the covering boat was directed to fire whenever any of the natives were seen in the woods over the watering party, which, in the course of the day, they had frequent occasion to do.

Many canoes came into the bay this day, but kept at an awful distance, holding up green boughs as a signal of peace and amity; to some we made signs to go away; to others, who ventured a little nearer, we showed signs of friendship, and made them perfectly understand, that our firing was occasioned by their slinging of stones among our people, who were watering: after these hostilities, our watering went on without the smallest interruption, except that the covering boat had occasion sometimes to fire a few musquets into the woods over the watering place.

In four days we compleated our water, and on the last evening, as the sailors were coming from the shore, a number of the natives from the woods right above the watering place, came down to the beach with green boughs in their hands, bringing with them cocoa-nuts, yams, plantains, &c. accompanied by a song of friendship: they seemed earnestly to with for a reconciliation, and took every means in their power to testify their concern for what had happened; a boat was sent on shore to meet them, with a green branch in the bow, and the boat's crew were desired to spread open their arms when they came near the breach, to show they were well disposed to peace.

When the boat landed, the natives retired back a little, but not out of sight; having piled up upon the beach their peace-offering, which consisted of yams, cocoa-nuts, plantains, bananas, sugar-cane, and some other articles: on the top of this pile was laid a small living male and female dog, with their mouths and feet tied: (they appeared to be of the small terrier kind) in the middle of the heap was stuck in the sand, a young tree of the palm kind, upon a branch of which were hung a number of braded lines, like what is called by seamen, sennit, and much of the same colour, being made of the bark of a particular tree: what this could mean we were wholly at a loss to comprehend, unless, as the head of this young tree was designedly bent down by the lines above-mentioned, it was meant as a token of submission; be that as it might, they received the boat's crew, &c. with every demonstration of a true concern for what had happened; and I fear and believe they had much cause to be sorry, for I think some must have lost their lives by the grape shot from the ship.

It is much to be regretted, that after having seen us employed in getting what we wanted, in doing which every person was completely employed, and not the most distant appearance of insult, or any sort of provocation had been offered them, they could not have desisted from hostility until some kind of offence had been offered, a circumstance which, during the whole time, was most particularly guarded against in those employed on shore: but from an ignorance of the effect of our arms, and from their very superior numbers, they were inclined to be insolent and troublesome; our sailors on shore were so very few, when compared with their numbers, that it became absolutely necessary to resent the first unprovoked offence which they gave, and thereby to convince them, before it might be too late, that although their numbers far exceeded ours, their real force was very inferior.

After peace had been re-established on shore, the conk shell was sounded, which is the signal whereby they assemble considerable numbers; and in a very short time, they appeared coming from all parts of the wood round the bay, and were met by those who had been the means of bringing about a reconciliation, with a song of friendship, in which the whole joined, and which was really harmonious and very pleasing: the canoes crowded the bay from different parts of the island, and were as familiar as ever, except that they would not now venture on board, which many had done before this quarrel: every boat brought a green bough, that was conspicuously held up; they also brought many things to barter, and were pleased with such trifles as we had to give them in return.

They are, I believe, the only people in those seas, who do not set a value upon iron work, in preference to any other thing; beads or looking-glasses they were not much pleased with, but rags of white linen, strips of scarlet cloth, or any thing of gay colours, they were very anxious to have: nails they would not accept at all.

The natives of the Duke of York's Island are a stout, robust, well made people, of a light copper colour; I saw none who could be called black; they go entirely naked; the hair is woolly, but it is so managed by some sort of grease or ointment, and a white or red powder with which they dress it, that it hangs on some like so many candle wicks, or rather like the thrums of a new mop reversed, or turned upside down; they are generally as fully powdered as a beau dressed for an assembly; some have their hair of a yellow, sun burnt colour, others quite red, as if powdered wholly with the true marechall; none are seen with the hair of its natural colour.

This yellow or red appearance, I believe, may be occasioned by this universal method of powdering, for the powder seems to be made from burnt shells, or coral, and is really a kind of lime; they generally carry a small goard or box filled with it about them, and when they are hostilely disposed, they frequently take a quantity of this powder into the hollow of the hand, from which, with a strong blast from the mouth, they blew it before them; and at a small distance it has exactly the appearance of firing gunpowder, and no doubt is meant as a token of defiance. This practice is certainly used by the people of New Guinea, for Captain Cook takes notice of it when his boat landed on that coast near Cape Walsh, and says, that he supposes those people have some method of producing fire in that sudden manner.

He also observes, that they had a bamboo or hollow cane from which fire and smoke was observed to issue; but I am disposed to think, that the conjecture of having seen fire could only have been occasioned by the appearance of smoke, which we naturally suppose to have proceeded from fire, for it is probable that fire and smoke being projected suddenly from any confined engine, would occasion some degree of explosion, although it is also probable that the gentlemen in the Endeavour's boat might not have been near enough to have heard it: however, after all, there is much reason to believe, that what Captain Cook saw upon that coast was the very practice used here, where we saw it in a much nearer interview, as some of our people had it blown in their eyes. Their chief, upon hostile occasions, powdered his body all over, so that it was no difficult matter to discover him.

They also upon such occasions painted their faces red; some had marks upon their arms and shoulders, occasioned by scarifying those parts in long stripes, and letting the sore rise above the surface of the skin; they frequently wore a bone or reed thrust through the septum of the nose, and, like the natives of Lord Howe's Groupe, had also holes cut through the wings of the nose, into which were fixed short pieces of hollow reed, as ladies wear wires to keep the ears open when newly bored; into these hollows or rings they occasionally stuck long pieces of reed, which are no doubt considered by them as ornamental. The men in general were well looking people, but such of their women as I saw were very ordinary.

The weapons used by the people of this island were lances of different kinds, some were made of a kind of ebony, or hard wood, about ten feet long, frequently ornamented with feathers of different colours at the upper end; others were made of bamboo, pointed with hard wood; the lance is thrown by hand, but they had not the use of the throwing stick, like the natives of New South Wales: they also, in their quarrels, used the sling for throwing stones, which appears to be made of some tough dried leaf, several times doubled; the strings were manufactured from some soft, silky, and fibrous plant; they throw a round hard pebble, of which they generally carried a small nett full about them; the stones were about the size of a small fowl's egg, and flew with much force, and great exactness from the sling: they had also a long unhandy kind of club. They used, in fishing, a fishing spear, small seine netts, and hooks and lines; their hooks were of tortoise-shell, from which circumstance there can be no doubt but they have either turtle in their neighbourhood, or the tortoise upon the island.

They had a kind of musical instrument, with which they sometimes, in their canoes alongside, endeavoured to amuse us; it was composed of a number of hollow reeds of different lengths, fastened together, but they did not seem to be very expert in proportioning their lengths, or tuning them to harmony: sound, not concord, seemed to be all they expected from it; they blew into the mouth of the different reeds by drawing the instrument across their lips, and in that manner they produced sounds: their vocal music was far more harmonious, although there was not much variety in it. Those who were considered as people of distinction were always to be found in a better sort of boat than common; and I observed, that when any canoe came near the ship with people of distinction on board, the higher ranks were always to be known by a man sitting in the middle of the boat, who held a wooden instrument in his hand, resembling in shape a common paddle, but handsomely carved and painted, with its handle finished something like the hilt of a sword.

When those people were disposed to be kind and friendly, they frequently sung out in one particular tone, in which, if there were five hundred together, the nicest ear could not discover one to differ in the tone or particular note; and immediately after they all mimicked the barking of a dog: this was meant by them as a certain proof of their friendly disposition. Before we had cause to quarrel with them many came on board and were shaved, an operation with which they were much pleased.

This island, by its appearance from the sea, I judged to be about ten miles long, in a south-south-west and north-north-east direction; it is not high, nor can it be called low land, but appears, when near it, of moderate height and flat: it is well covered with wood, and along the sea shore were to be seen many huts of the natives, which were small and neatly made; they were chiefly built of bamboo, and generally situated under the shade of a grove of cocoa-nut trees, with a fence or railing before them, within which the ground was well cleared and trodden, which gave their little habitations a very neat and cleanly appearance: I examined whilst we lay there several neat and well fenced inclosures, in which were the plantain, banana, yam, sugar cane, and several other articles, which they seem to take some pains to cultivate.

In short, from what we could discover in the little time we remained there, I may venture to pronounce the island a perfect garden, as far as it can with propriety be called so in the hands of a people, who, no doubt, trust chiefly to nature, and who are ignorant of the means of assisting her, in the improvement of those advantages, which she has so bountifully bestowed upon them.

Although our time here was so short, we had an opportunity of knowing that this island produced cocoa-nuts, yams, plantains, bananas, sugar-cane, beetle-nut, mangos, bread-fruit, and guavas. There are also dogs, hogs, and the common fowls, and some spices, (the nutmeg I saw). Most of the natives chew the beetle, and with it used the chenam and a leaf, as practised in the East-Indies; by which the mouth appeared very red, and their teeth, after a time, became black.

Their canoes were neatly made, and of various sizes, with an out-rigger to balance them. I sent the carpenter of the Sirius on shore, to examine the different kinds of timber; he reported to me, that he found one tree which was hard, and had something like the appearance of ebony, but was not quite so black; all the others he tried were soft and spongy, like the palm or cabbage tree.

The soil I think for richness beyond any I ever saw; it exceeded Norfolk Island in that respect: I had a man with me who had been upon that island from its first settlement, and who had cleared and cultivated land there; he assured me that this was superior to any he had ever opened at that island.

On the 27th in the morning, we prepared for sailing; before we got under way, two English pointers, male and female, which had been given to the master of the ship at Port Jackson, were sent on shore, and given to a party of the natives, who seemed highly delighted with them; a cock and hen were also given to them.

At ten o'clock we sailed out of the bay. This bay was named Port Hunter; its latitude is 4° 7' 30" south, and longitude 152° 42' east; although it is not large, it is convenient and safe at this season; it lies on the north-west part of the island, and you may anchor in any part of it, from twenty-five to fifteen fathoms, but the shoal-water has the worst ground: in twenty fathoms it is soft, with loose patches of coral; the watering place is on the east side, but as the tide flows up to the place from whence the fresh water issues, it is best to fill from half ebb to half flood. The water is so exceedingly soft, that there were some amongst us who were so prejudiced against it that they believed it brackish; a quality I own which I never could discover in it; I was therefore of opinion that this prejudice could only have proceeded from knowing that the salt water was so very near it at high water time; such opinions were not however confirmed from experience, as we never felt any inconvenience from it. The tide here seemed to rise five or six feet, but the exact period of high water was not noticed, we had so much business to do.

We steered north-west by west, and west-north-west, and at eight o'clock in the morning, saw Sandwich Island, bearing north-west; at noon, our latitude was 3° 13' south, and longitude 150° 42' east; the south-west point of Sandwich Island bearing north 45° west, distant from the nearest shore six leagues. The latitude of the south-west point will be 2° 58' south, and its longitude 150° 27' east. This island is of moderate height, and well covered with wood; we passed on the south side; its general direction is about east-north-east and west-south-west, and in that direction is about seven leagues in length: it appeared to be of considerable breadth at its eastern end, and narrow towards its western, where it terminates in a narrow point, off which lies a small woody island, with a narrow passage between that and the main island, to which it appears connected by a reef. On the north side of Sandwich Island, we observed the remarkable peaked hill mentioned by Captain Carteret, and also the corresponding one on the coast of New Ireland.

As soon as we were passed Sandwich Island, we observed that the western current, which we had hitherto experienced in this strait, now took a turn more northerly, having opened the strait, or passage between New Ireland and New Hanover, which last land we saw before night. We steered during the night west by north by compass, intending to pass at a convenient distance from the Portland Islands, but at day-light we were obliged to haul up west by south, having been more to the northward than we expected: we passed them at four miles distance; they are nine in number, are low and covered with wood; the center of them is in latitude 2° 38' south, and longitude 149° 08' east.

During the night of the 30th, we had heavy dull weather, with light and variable winds, and the appearance of the wind threatened much rain, which, however, fell only in light showers. At seven the next morning, we saw an island bearing north-west by west, and at eight, saw more land from the mast-head, bearing west; those we supposed to be part of the Admiralty Islands: the wind was now at south-west, and we could not weather the southermost, on which we bore away and passed between them. The smaller, which we left to leeward, was a pretty looking spot, of moderate height, its latitude was 2° 19' south, and longitude 147° 52' east. As we had seen much land, and in different directions, before dark, we determined to bring to for the night; it then fell calm, so that we had by the morning only drifted a little with a current to the north-west.

At day-light of the 31st, we saw much land to the northward and westward. Five large canoes came off from the nearest island, in each of which were eleven men; six paddled, and five stood up in the center of the boat, who appeared to be of the better sort, being painted and ornamented, and seemed as if intended for war; but when they came near, they showed no hostile appearance: we invited them by signs to come on board, but they would not venture near the ship; they held up various articles, which they seemed desirous of exchanging; such as lines, shells, ornaments of different kinds, and bundles of darts or arrows: they were a stout well-looking people, rather darker than the natives of the Duke of York's Island; their hair appeared woolly, and and was knotted or tied upon the top of their head; they wore a wrapper round their waist. One of them made various motions for shaving, by holding up something in his hand, with which he frequently scraped his cheek and chin; this led me to conjecture, that some European ship had been lately amongst them, and I thought it not improbable, that it might have been Mons. de la Perouse, in his way to the northward from Botany-Bay.

Their canoes appeared from forty to fifty feet long, were neatly made, and turned a little up at the extremities; there was a stage which lay across the midships of the boat, and projected out some distance on one side; it was bent upwards a little at the outer end, to prevent its dipping in the water, by the motion of the boat; this stage seemed intended for the warriors to use their weapons upon: on the opposite side, was fitted in a different manner, an out-rigger to balance the boat; three of the rowers sat before and three abaft the stage, so that those intended for battle were not at all incommoded by them.

A heavy black squall coming on at this time, they all pushed for the land, otherwise I believe we might have prevailed on them to come alongside.

The north-west end of this island is in latitude 2° 21' south; longitude 147° 28' east; and the southermost point in sight was in latitude 2° 28' south, and longitude 147° 33' east. A fresh breeze now sprung up, and we wished if possible to clear the islands before night: all sail was made, and as we ran past this large island, we raised many others; in short, land was seen in every direction; four islands were seen from the mast-head, bearing east-north-east, and two low level islands a-head, between which there appeared an open passage; we steered for it, and at noon passed through it: its latitude is 2° 10' south; longitude 147° 26' east.

At four in the afternoon, the western extremity of a very long island bore west half south, and we steered west-north-west, determined to run no farther during the night than we could see before dark. The night was very dark, with heavy rain, and a very light air of wind.

At day-light the extremity of a very large island, bore from south-east to south-west by south; at noon the latitude observed was 1° 44' south, and the extremes of this island, as far as the eye could reach, bore from south 23° 00' east, to south 50° 00' west, distant from the nearest shore five leagues. This island is so very extensive, that I believe it to be the largest of the Admiralty Islands: I do not think that we saw its western extremity, for as far as we could discern from aloft, trees were to be seen just above the horizon: the westermost point seen from the ship was in latitude 1° 59' south, and the longitude of it was 146° 30' east.

This groupe of islands is very extensive, as well in a north and south direction as east and west. Having now got to the westward of the Admiralty Islands, I considered myself clear of St. George's Channel; and I agree perfectly with Captain Carteret, in thinking it a very safe, and (to ships bound northward, which want water,) a very convenient navigation; his chart was of much use to us in coming through, although, had time permitted, considerable additions, and some improvements, might have been made to it.

On the 3d of June, we saw land, about two points before the starboard beam; this proved to be two islands: at eight o'clock the next morning, we saw another island, bearing south 42° 00' west; and by intersections taken by the ship's run, this last island was ten leagues distant; it was high land: at noon we determined that island in the south-west to be in latitude 1° 36' south; longitude 145° 35' east; and those to the northward, I judged to be in latitude 0° 55' south; longitude 146° 09' east. I think it probable that these islands may have been seen before, as in a general chart of these seas which I have seen, there are three islands laid down nearly in this situation.

From those islands we steered to the north-west and west-north-west, with light and variable winds, and sometimes squally and very unsettled weather, with a disagreeable head-sea, against which we made very slow progress. On the 8th, at noon, by a considerable number of very good lunar distances, our longitude was found to be 144° 13' east, which agreed so very near with our account carried on from the last observations, that I think the longitude of the different lands, as marked in this Journal, will not be found very erroneous. In this part of our passage, we saw many very large trees floating about the sea.

We now found the ship had set fourteen or fifteen miles a day to the northward more than the log gave; and in the parallel of 4° 00' north, or nearly, we found, that for the space of eight days, from the 19th, we had been set to the eastward at the rate of thirty-nine miles in the twenty-four hours; and there was much reason to fear, that from the next observations for the longitude which we might have, we should have the mortification to find, that this easterly current continued; for at that time, (the 28th of June,) the wind seemed to be set in from west-north-west to west-south-west.

On the 30th died William Phillips, seaman.

On the 5th of July, by observations of the sun and moon, we were in longitude 140° 32' east, which was 10° 10' eastward of our account, and the wind continued fixed from the westward. On the 11th of July, necessity obliged us to reduce the allowance of water; the whole allowance now to each man for all purposes, cooking, drinking, &c. was two purser's quarts for twenty-four hours, and the weather was exceedingly sultry, which made it the more distressing.

On the 13th, I found it necessary, from the very unfavourable prospect before us, to call together my own officers, and the master of the ship, and to consult upon the most eligible plan to be pursued, for enabling us to reach some port or settlement, where it might be possible to obtain some supply of provisions and water, sufficient for the relief of one hundred and twenty-one men, the number now on board this small vessel. The general opinion was, that it would be highly imprudent in the present reduced state of our provisions and water, to persevere any longer in an attempt to reach the strait of Macassar, in the face of fresh westerly winds and a strong easterly current; particularly, in a vessel so very ill constructed for working to windward; and what rendered it still more necessary to give up such an attempt in our situation was, that the master of the ship, (who had been a number of years in the Dutch service among the Molucca Islands) assured me, in the presence of some of the officers, that he did not know of any one place in our route, short of Batavia, where any supply for our numbers could be had. The quantity of provisions now on board, at half allowance, was a supply for about ten weeks, and the water at about two purser's quarts a man per day, was a supply for the same time, provided we had no leakage.

We were now driven by currents, notwithstanding our utmost endeavours to get to the westward, eleven degrees of longitude, or 220 leagues farther to the eastward than the account by the ship's run; and that had happened within the last month, and between the latitudes 3° 00' north, and 6° 30' north.

On the 13th of July we bore away to the northward, it being determined either to attempt the strait through which the Acapulco ships pass to the port of Manilla, or to go round the north end of Luconia, and endeavour to fetch Macao, in China, though we were a little doubtful about fetching the latter in so leewardly a vessel. It appeared from the winds that we then had, that the south-west monsoon at times blows very strong through the opening between the islands of Mindanao and Celebes, and reaches a considerable way to the eastward; I can with certainty say as far as 142° 00' east longitude.

On the 14th in the morning, we saw land bearing north; this we found to be two islands joined together, or nearly so, by a long sandy spit, above water, which reached for about two-thirds of the distance from the eastermost or largest island, to the westmost, which is small. All round the largest is a sand-bank above water, which extends from the foot of the higher land about half a mile into the sea, and may have shoal water from it. We saw on the beach a few natives running along shore, as the ship sailed past. These islands are dangerous to people in the night, on account of the sandy spits which project from them; they were covered with shrubs, and had but few tall trees on them, and the land is but low: the latitude of the large or eastmost island, is 8° 06' north, and longitude 140° 03' east. I did at first suppose them to have been part of the New Carolines, but they seem to lie quite alone, and are about five miles asunder. I called them Phillip Islands, after Arthur Phillip, the governor of New South Wales.

On the 17th of July in the morning, we saw land from the mast-head, bearing west by south nine or ten leagues distant; at noon we could see it from the deck, and it appeared to be three islands; at four in the afternoon, they bore south by west three-quarters west, and were by intersections taken from the ship, distant eight leagues. A considerable number of fish being at that time round the ship, the people, in looking over the side at them, discovered rocks under the bottom; we immediately sounded, and had fifteen fathoms: the rocks appeared very large, with patches of white sand between them; in twenty minutes, the water appeared to deepen, and we had no ground with forty fathoms of line. This ridge of rocks appeared to be about half a mile in breadth, and was seen from the mast-head to stretch to the southward towards the islands, and considerably to the northward of the ship; although it be of great extent in a north-north-east and south-south-west direction, yet I do not think there is any very shoal water upon it, for we saw no break, surf, or rippling, which would indicate shoal water; and there was a sufficient swell of the sea to have occasioned some appearance where any ship would have struck the ground.

These islands lie in the latitude of 9° 33' north; longitude 137° 30' east, and are probably a part of the New Carolines; at least, from the situation of those islands in the charts, they answer to the place of some of them; but as the New Carolines are marked as very numerous, and very contiguous to one another, I did expect to have seen many more; there were of these, three only; the largest was very high, but not extensive. From the time of our making these islands until the 23d, when we were in latitude 11° 56' north; longitude 132° 20' east, we had light and variable winds, but chiefly from the eastward; in the above latitude and longitude it inclined to the northward, and from that to the westward, and became very squally and unsettled weather, with very heavy rains at times.

During these heavy showers, which were in our situation very comfortable, whether in the day or night, every one was employed in spreading his blanket or rug, for the purpose of saving as much water as he could for his own use; for, as we had no means of providing a quantity for the general good, every one did the best he could for himself. The sun being almost vertical, and the weather exceedingly sultry, the scarcity of water was very much felt.

It continued this squally and unsettled weather until the 30th, during some part of which time it blew so strong as to bring the ship under her reefed courses: after the 30th, the wind shifted to west and west by south, with which we stood to the south-ward; for with this wind we could not now fetch the Bashee Islands, and upon the southern tack we could not reach in with any part of the coast of the Philipine Islands; it was therefore, in our situation, judged best to keep as near in with the parallel of Cape Espiritu Sancto as possible, that being the nearest land, which with a hope of a short spurt of wind from the eastward, or a slant either from the northward or southward, would serve to carry us in with the coast: we were then in latitude 13° 25' north; longitude 128° 37' east; Cape Espiritu Sancto bearing south 75° 00' west, 58 leagues distant.

It was very clear to me, from the winds we had experienced since we came to the northward of the Line, that at this time of the year, and generally during the height of the south-west monsoon, in the China seas, these winds do sometimes extend far to the eastward of the Philipine Islands, and frequently blow in very heavy gales. The easterly winds, which we had after crossing the Line, had been constantly so very light, that the run for the twenty-four hours, seldom exceeded from twenty to fifty miles.

The wind now became very variable, but chiefly from the south-west quarter. On the 2d of August, it shifted to west-north-west, and we stood to the south-west. On the 4th, we made the land, bearing west-south-west twelve leagues; the next morning, it bore from west-south-west to west, and at noon we saw it from south-west to west half south; this proved to be the north end of the island of St. John, and is in latitude 9° 30' north; longitude 126° 32' east. From the 31st of July to this time, we had been set to the southward one hundred miles. The wind being again set in at south-west, we could only now stand to the southward, and avail ourselves of the strong southerly current which we every day experienced so much assistance from, and which we had some reason to hope would lead us to the southward of Mindanao.

If this current should fail us, we could not expect to get to the southward, but must then have steered along the coast to the northward, as far as Cape Espiritu Sancto, and enter the Strait of Manilla, where probably we might have found some settlement, short of that port, capable of assisting us with such relief as might have enabled us to proceed on our voyage.

On the 6th, we saw the coast of Mindanao from south to north-west by west; it is very high land in the interior parts of the country, but moderately so on the sea-coast, which makes it rather difficult to judge of your distance from it. The current to the southward still continued from thirty to fifty miles in twenty-four hours.

On the 8th, in standing to the southward, we saw an island bearing south five or six leagues; this, from its situation, must have been the island of Palmas; it seemed to lie east by south, sixteen or seventeen leagues distant from the south-east point of Mindanao; it is a high round hummock at the north-east end, and runs out in a low point to the south-west, on which are a number of round lumps or hillocks, that at five leagues distance appear like rocks just above water. Its latitude is 5° 33' north, and its longitude is 127° 00' east. Being now to the southward of Cape Augustine, which we never saw distinctly, we carried all the sail possible to get to the westward. On the 9th in the afternoon, the south-east point of Mindanao bore north 20° 00' west, five or six leagues distant.

At day-light the next morning, the coast of Mindanao bore from west by north to north by east, and a high island west by south, off shore five leagues: at noon, the south point of Mindanao bore north 76° 00' west: we intended to have passed to the south ward of this island, but the wind inclining from that direction, we could not weather it, we therefore bore away, intending to pass between it and Mindanao.

We now observed that what we had taken for one island, was three distinct islands; the westmost is very high, and is that which Captain Carteret saw from his anchorage on the south coast of Mindanao, and called Hummock Island; it appeared to be six miles long from north to south; the next, to the eastward of it, is about the same length, moderately high and level, and the eastmost of the three, is a little round spot, covered with small trees or shrubs; from the east side of this small island there is a reef stretches to the eastward a considerable distance, and on which the sea generally breaks: the other islands appear to be quite encircled by a reef, at the distance of a cable and a half from the shore. We passed between the small island and the next, having previously sent a boat to try the channel; we found it a clear safe passage, of one mile and a half wide; we kept about one-third of the distance from the largest island, and had from ten to twenty-five fathoms: in the shoalest water the ground was hard, but in sixteen and eighteen fathoms it was soft: here the tide or current set strong through to the westward; I rather think it a regular tide, for we did not drift at the same rate all day.

We continued to work between the south point of Mindanao and these islands, during the remainder of the day; in the afternoon, a boat was seen coming off from the high island, with twelve persons on board, and a white flag flying; we stood towards them, and answered their signal with a white flag at the ensign staff; they came within a little distance of the ship, and asked a variety of questions, whether we came from Ternate, (a small island among the Moluccas, on which the Dutch have a factory) and if we were going to Batavia; to which they were answered in the affirmative; the conversation was carried on in the Malay language, of which the master of the ship had some knowledge, and as he had for a part of his crew twelve or fourteen Javanese, who all spoke that language, and who also spoke Dutch, we could be at no loss to be understood, or to understand those with whom we conversed. Dutch colours were hoisted to confirm the answer given: from this boat we learnt, that they were upon intimate and friendly terms with the Dutch, and that we might have as much water, wood, and various articles of refreshment as we wanted. They desired to have a note from the master of the ship to the Raja, by whom these islands were governed, which was given them, with such information as might be necessary.

A larger boat armed came off also the same evening, but as it was dark they did not choose to come on board, but conversed with us at a distance. The next morning (the 11th) we stood in for Hummock Island, and sent a boat in shore to search for anchorage, which she very soon made the signal for having found; and at noon we came to in twenty-two fathoms water, over a bottom of coarse sand and loose coral, about one mile from the shore. A short time before we got into anchorage, the same canoe which had spoken us the evening before, came off again with Dutch colours flying, and brought a note from the Raja to the master, written in the Malay characters, signifying, that we should have what we wanted.

In the afternoon we sent a boat to look for water, which was found in great abundance under the high land near the north-east point of the island; we went immediately to work to water the ship, and very soon had a number of canoes from the shore, on board, with a variety of refreshments, which we were very much in want of; a brisk trade was carried on for poultry, goats, fruits of various kinds, honey, sago, and tobacco; but what we wanted principally was rice, to issue to the sailors at sea, being now exceedingly short of every species of victualling. Those who were employed on shore were kindly treated by the natives, and every thing bore the most friendly and promising appearance. This day the Raja, according to previous information, which he had given, came on board in a large boat, and did us the honour of a visit; this boat was covered with an awning of split bamboo; he was attended by the person next in authority, and a considerable number of people, and was, on his arrival, saluted with five guns. Upon this occasion, it was thought necessary to have a party of ten men armed, placed on the top of the round house abaft, where they continued during the Raja's visit. The Raja and his attendants were, on coming on board, led down to the cabin, and he had every mark of civility and attention shown to him: on his taking leave, he was presented by the master of the ship with a very handsome piece of silk, and on embarking in his boat, was saluted with a volley of musquetry. While he remained on board much conversation passed between him and the master of the ship, but it being carried on in the Malay language, I could only collect, that the Raja was strongly pressed to assist us with a quantity of rice, or paddy, (which is the rice in husk.) He showed us, while in the cabin, that he was supported in his authority over these islands by the Dutch East-India Company, by producing his written appointment, which he had brought with him for that purpose: this writing I looked at, but being in the Dutch language, I did not understand it, but observed, that it was subscribed by a number of officers in the Company's service; I also perceived it was subscribed by a very respectable officer in the naval service of the States, with whom I had the pleasure of being a little acquainted, the last time I was at the Cape of Good Hope: so that the interest of the Dutch Company seemed to be well established in these islands.

When the Raja left us, he promised to be on board the next day, and said, he would bring with him the articles that we were in want of. All this time we were busily employed in getting water on board, and refitting the rigging; intending, as soon as the water was completed, to employ one day in cutting wood.

The next day, (the 14th) in the afternoon, the Raja again came on board, but, to our very great disappointment, instead of the expected supply, he produced four small baskets of sago powder, and one bag of paddy, which would scarcely have maintained two men for a week; this return for the civilities he received the day before, was by no means a proper one, particularly as I was told he had been given to understand, that we were much in want of provisions, and he had been greatly pressed for a quantity of paddy, sufficient to serve two hundred men, until we could reach Batavia, to which place he was told we were going; and he was also informed, that it should be paid for in bar iron and other articles.

Our demand was more than perhaps might have been necessary, but it was made large from an opinion that we might not get near the quantity applied for. We had reason to believe, that the island could well furnish the supply we had asked for, without any inconvenience to the inhabitants; for eight hundred weight had been purchased out of a common boat the day before, for a few pieces of bar iron, and the natives appeared to make more use of sago and fruits than of paddy: the master of the ship showed some displeasure, and I own (if he had made our wants well understood the day before, which I had my doubts of) not without cause: he came to me at the gangway, and told me he intended to detain the Raja until he sent some of his boats on shore for the paddy wanted: I advised him against any violent measures, left our wants had not been perfectly understood; and that I did not see, that it could, in our present situation, answer any good end: at this time we had a boat and several people on shore.

I recommended to him to endeavour to make the Raja understand, that unless he sent for the supply we had asked, and he had promised, that he, as commander of the Company's ship, would represent his conduct to the governor and council at Batavia, who would certainly take notice of it; I thought a threat of that sort might answer our purpose better than the means he proposed: for we were in no respect prepared for a quarrel with those people, the meanest of whom wore a cress or dagger constantly by his side, and the decks were at that time almost full of them; many of our people were also upon deck, but wholly unarmed and off their guard.

The master of the ship returned, and entered again into conversation with the Raja, who was on the after part of the quarter deck, but what was said I did not understand: however, I joined them, and again recommended prudence and moderation to the master of the ship, and desired he would recollect, that we were not prepared for such violent measures as he seemed inconsiderately disposed to; that as there were a few stand of arms in the ship, and a few pairs of pistols among the officers, they should have been upon deck, and people stationed with ammunition for them; instead of which, we had not one armed man upon deck, nor a single necessary for using the carriage guns; all which rested with him, such articles being in his care and custody as master, for his owners: notwithstanding this, the violence and perverseness of his temper was such as to dispose him (probably because he was advised against it) to create a disagreement between those people who were all armed, and our people who were defenceless.

Some of these islanders paid much attention to the nature and extent of our force, and some of them shrewdly observed, that the great guns were very good at a distance, but of no use when boats got alongside of the ship; if they had any fear of us, it proceeded from our numbers, which amounted now to one hundred and twenty, and when all upon deck in this small vessel, they appeared still more numerous.

During the conversation between the Raja and master of the ship, our people were employed in hoisting the long boat in, at which the Raja seemed very much agitated, and at this very juncture, the master having ordered some cutlasses upon deck, of which he had but very few in the ship, they were imprudently laid down on the quarter deck, in the presence of the Raja and his attendants; this conduct confirmed me in the opinion I already entertained, that he had made use of some threats which made such preparation necessary: be that as it might, the Raja was alarmed for his liberty; his people took the alarm also, and called their companions from their boats, who boarded us with drawn daggers: an old man, about seventy years of age, who stood near the Raja and held him by the sleeve, drew his dagger, and in great rage endeavoured to reach and stab the master of the ship, but was held back by the Raja; on this, the master snatched up a hanger to defend himself, and with great vehemence called out for small arms.

I was close to him at the time, and however much I disapproved of his general conduct, (which was certainly, in our unguarded situation, destitute of thought, common sense, or discretion, and was the effect of one of the most perverse and diabolical tempers I ever met with,) I judged it necessary to draw my sword and defend him: he continued to call for small arms with much agitation, which should have been previously prepared.

A number of my sailors being on the fore part of the deck, trading with the natives, (a considerable number of whom were on board, but who all drew their cresses upon the alarm given by their countrymen) armed themselves with handspikes, billets of wood, or whatever lay in their way, while the petty officers of the Sirius got up the small arms, and kept up a smart fire on the natives, who were in a short time driven overboard; some into their boats, and others were obliged to take to the water; the Raja, during the scuffle, tumbled himself from the gunwall into his boat, accompanied by his faithful attendants, who certainly did themselves much honour by their attention to his safety.

If I had been prepared with my loaded pistols, as I was upon the Raja's first visit, I should certainly have shot the old man before-mentioned, although I am sure, that upon a little serious reflection, and consideration of the motives of his conduct, I should have exceedingly regretted having done so: he certainly in some respect occasioned the disturbance, (although it originated with the master of the ship) but it was in consequence of an indignity offered to the person of his sovereign in his presence: we should, therefore, be disposed more to commend than condemn his conduct; the insult was too much for a loyal and affectionate subject to bear; he therefore preferred certain death in his defence, to that of living to see him so degraded.

As soon as the Raja and his people were in their boat, they cut the rope which held them, and pulled from the ship with the utmost precipitation; many were killed in their boats, which (now that this affair had arrived at such length) became really necessary, to prevent their rallying and reboarding the ship; for after they got into their boats, many lances were thrown into the ship, which occasioned the fire of musquetry to be kept up something longer than it would have been. I saw the Raja pulling at an oar himself, and did every thing in my power to prevent his being shot: for as every person knew him by his dress, it was probable he might be particularly marked; I fear much he was wounded, perhaps mortally, notwithstanding my endeavours to save him, as he dropt his oar several times: during the short time, which I had been in his company, I was much pleased with him; there was a certain graceful ease and affability in his manner, which was highly prepossessing, and a degree of dignity, which bespoke him of superior rank: he appeared to be about forty-three or four years of age.

In this unlucky rencontre, we were so fortunate as not to have a man wounded, which was rather extraordinary, and I believe must have been owing to the panic occasioned by so sudden and unexpected an alarm.

Our boat returned from the shore just at the conclusion of this unlucky scuffle; which common prudence, or a disposition to benefit by the advice that had been offered, might have prevented; for whatever may be the natural disposition of the inhabitants of these islands, they had shown nothing either unfriendly or suspicious to us; at the same time, to place implicit confidence in the friendly disposition of such people, I think, would be highly imprudent. A ship calling here for water should be ever on her guard, a precaution which was not in any one respect taken by the master of the ship, except upon my proposing, on the Raja's first visit, to have ten of my men placed with small arms upon the top of the round house abaft, from which situation they could command the whole deck: this proposal he agreed to, which was more than I expected; for it was no uncommon thing with him to reject any plan, however necessary, which his duty should have suggested, without the assistance of other opinions.

These observations I cannot help making; for they naturally arise from the distressing situation in which I found myself and officers who were placed under the direction of this most ignorant and disagreeable man. If he had felt himself qualified to have navigated a ship in the seas we had to pass through, his conduct would in all probability have been more unsufferable, if possible, than it was; but our assistance was absolutely necessary, otherwise I believe his vessel had never reached Batavia.

At eight o'clock in the evening we weighed from the road and put to sea; one unfortunate Javanese seaman was by accident left on shore, but he spoke a language which most of these people understand. I therefore hope it might be the means of saving his life, but as their rage, when once roused, does not quickly subside, I feared much for the safety of this innocent man: this unlucky affair prevented our being able to complete our water, or cut any wood; however, we had filled as much as would prevent our being distressed for some time, and the sailors had received many refreshments, of which they were much in need.

These islands, I have already mentioned, are three in number: Hummock Island, on which the Raja resides, is exceedingly fertile, and seemed to produce most of the tropical fruit; we found here rice, sugar cane (exceedingly fine and large), pine apple, mango, sour oranges, limes, jack, plantain, cocoa-nut, sago, sweet potatoes, tobacco, Indian corn, and a small kind of pea: dogs, goats, fowls (very fine), parrots, and many other more useful articles; but I judge that their principal article of trade with the Dutch is bees-wax, of which they appear to have a considerable quantity, and of course much honey.

The islands lie about five leagues south, from the southern point of Mindanao: the road where we anchored is on the north-east side of Hummock Island, and is in latitude 5° 27' north, longitude 125° 12' east: there appeared to be a passage between this island and the next to it, lying in a north and south direction, but there is a long rocky spit, which runs from a low point on Hummock Island, and seems to throw the channel through upon the other shore: we had not an opportunity to examine it, but we found here a regular tide, which was high at full and change of the moon at seven o'clock, and rose by the shore six or seven feet. There were several inlets or openings on the west shore of the other island, which may be probably convenient and well sheltered coves.

The articles, which seemed of most value here in exchange for stock, were light cloathing of white or printed linens, or cottons, such as loose gowns or jackets, coloured handkerchiefs, clasp knives, razors, and bar iron; metal buttons had for some time a good run, which a stranger on board here would soon have perceived, as there was scarcely a coat or jacket to-be seen upon deck with a button on it. The natives on these islands are the same sort of people, and speak the same language, as people on Mindanao; they have a great deal of the Malay both in appearance and disposition; they are nearly the same size, make, and colour, and have many of their features; they wore in general jackets and trousers, but the lower orders had seldom any thing but a wrapper round the waist; they commonly wore a handkerchief, or other piece of linen round the head, in the manner of a turban. In the sash or wrapper, which all wear round the waist, they had their cress or dagger stuck, the scabbard of which was a case of wood. Many of these natives were troubled with a disease much resembling the leprosy; their skins were covered with a dry scurf, like the scales of a fish, which had a very disagreeable appearance.

Their canoes were of various sizes; the bottom is hollowed out of the trunk of a tree, and they were generally raised with an upper work of split bamboo, which was set very close and light; they had an outrigger on each side to balance them; they had also a larger boat on which they mounted three small pieces of cannon, of brass; these pieces, I was told, were of their own manufactory, which I could readily believe, as they were of a very different make to any I had ever seen; they were very long, and of narrow bore, and were mounted with a swivel, upon posts, placed one at each end, and one in the center of the boat; they had a long wooden tail fixed to them, by which they turn about and point them.

These boats will contain and conceal a great number of men; they were commonly covered with an awning of split bamboo, raised some distance above the gunwall, like the ridge of a house. Their mast was composed of three bamboos, two of which stood as a pair of sheers, and required no shrouds; the third stood forward, and answered the purpose of a stay; and upon this mast they set a square sail. On Hummock Island, as well as the south side of Mindanao, were many pleasant looking spots, which appeared to be cultivated land.

When we left these islands, the wind being from the westward, we steered to the southward. At seven o'clock in the morning, we saw a small island, bearing south-west; at ten, we saw two more, and by four in the afternoon of the 15th, there were seven islands in sight, bearing from south-west to west-north-west: at six o'clock we saw a large island a-head, with a number of smaller ones, and some single rocks of considerable height above the water, lying off it: at noon, we were near enough to observe, that several of the rocks and smaller islands had reefs lying from them, on which the sea broke. Here we found a strong south-west set of current; we sounded, and had seventy-two fathoms, over a bottom of coarse sand and coral.

One of the small islands was distant little more than a mile. This island, which is very high land, is that laid down in the chart by the name of Poolo Sanguy: we observed the latitude of its north end to be 3° 44' north, and its longitude 125° 11' east; there is a continued chain lying in a north and south direction from the south coast of Mindanao thus far to the southward; and, by such charts as I have seen, this chain seems to be continued from Poolo Sanguy quite over to the north-east point of Celebes. Poolo Sanguy is a large tract of land.

The wind now inclined from the southward, otherwise we should have stood on, with a view of reaching some of the Dutch settlements amongst the Molucca Islands, in order to endeavour to procure some sort of supply of provisions, as we were now reduced very low; but with this southerly wind we could only stand to the westward and push for the Strait of Macassar: the wind continued from the southward and sometimes from the south-east, but in very light airs.

At day-light in the morning of the 25th, we made the island of Celebes, bearing from south 11° 00' east, to south 54° 00' east, distant eight or nine leagues: at noon on the 26th, the north-west point of Celebes bore south-south-east about ten leagues. This part of the coast runs down in a low point into the sea, and a little way back, rises in a round hill or hummock, but considerably lower than the back land, which is very high; from this point the land seems to take its direction about south-west by west. The latitude of the north-west point is 1° 22' north, and the longitude, by lunar observations, 121° 00' east.

On the 27th at noon the land of Celebes was distant about eight or nine leagues; between us and the southermost land in sight there was a small island. Ever since we had made the coast of Celebes we had very little wind, and that had generally been from south-east to south-west; no current was perceptible; the weather was exceedingly sultry; the freshest winds we had were from south-west; on which account, we endeavoured to get over on the Borneo shore. At four in the morning of the 29th, we had a very heavy squall from west-north-west, which obliged us to clew all up.

On the 30th, at five in the morning, we saw the island of Borneo, bearing west-north-west; this part of the coast is high land: we saw, at the same time, from the mast-head, a small island, bearing west-north-west; this I took to be one of the small islands which are laid down to the southward of the Taba Islands, and near in upon the coast: at eight in the evening, we tacked, and in the night, the wind came from the land, but squally, with which we stood to the southward. This part of the coast of Borneo seems to be a projecting point, and is in the latitude of 1° 02' north; longitude 119° 00' east.

On the 31st, at day-light, the land of Celebes bore east by north half north; we had a heavy squall of thunder, lightning, and rain.

On the 1st of September, about eight o'clock at night, when it was very dark, we suddenly discovered something on our weather quarter, which had much the appearance of a large row-boat, and there being but a very light air of wind, we prepared, with all possible silence, for the reception of a pirate; but as it did not approach us as we expected, we supposed it to have been a large tree adrift.

In crossing from Celebes to Borneo and back, we passed nearly over the place where seven islands are laid down in the charts, about 00° 40' to the northward of the line; but, as we saw nothing, I conclude, as Captain Carteret did, "that they exist only upon paper;" or that they may have been some of those islands which have been seen near the coast, and by an incorrect account of their situation, in point of longitude, have been placed here in mid-channel. In the morning, the Island of Celebes bore from east half north to south-south-east, and a small island covered with wood bore south-east half east, four or five miles distant. This island is in latitude 00° 03' south, longitude 119° 54' east; it lies off the opening of a large bay. On the 5th, we were in the latitude of 00° 50' south, and longitude 119 06' east, and were about six or seven leagues from the coast of Celebes; here the land near the sea is of a moderate height, but the back land is remarkably high.

On the 7th, we saw two large proas, in the south-west; we were standing towards them, and as they were at some distance from each other, the one bore down and joined the other, and both stood for the land; we however judged it necessary to be prepared for them all the succeeding night: they might have been trading vessels, but as they can conceal their numbers, and as we knew that these seas are infested with piratical vessels of that description, it was necessary for us to be on our guard.

At noon we were in latitude 1° 47' south; longitude 118° 50' east, and no part of the Celebes shore in sight. I am convinced, from the many observations made for the longitude here, by myself, as well as by Lieutenants Bradley and Waterhouse, that the west coast of Celebes is laid down in all the charts which I have seen, much farther to the westward than it should be. On the 8th, in the evening, we were looking out for the Little Pater Nosters, being near the latitude of their north end, as determined by Captain Carteret; but although we stood to the westward all night, we saw nothing of them; I therefore suppose they lay nearer the Celebes shore than we were at this time.

On the 9th in the morning, observing the water much discoloured, we sounded, and had thirty-five fathoms over a sandy bottom; soon after, we saw, from the mast-head, a small sandy island, bearing south-west by west: at noon we were within five miles of it, and observed several shoals breaking to the northward and southward of it, with some dry patches of sand. These shoals have been taken by some for the Little Pater-Nosters, but are called by the Dutch, the Triangles; they lie in latitude 2° 58' south; longitude 117° 53' east: they are so very low, that a ship in the night would be ashore before they could be perceived; there are good soundings at some distance to the eastward of them.

The whole time we had been in this strait, the wind had been variable from south-south-west to west-north-west; in the night it sometimes inclined in very light airs from south-south-east to south. On the 11th, in the afternoon, as we were standing to the westward, the water appeared suddenly of a very light colour, and on looking over the side, we perceived the ground under the ship: before we had time to heave a cast of the lead, it appeared to be deeper, and we had ten and twelve fathoms; but I am inclined to think, from what I saw of the bottom, that there could not have been more than five or six: the bottom was white sand, with some dark patches upon it. From the mast-head, at the same time, was seen a dry sand-bank, bearing north-north-east six miles distant; a little way to the eastward of it, the water seemed to break. This shoal is very dangerous, and does not appear in any chart which I have seen: there is a shoal marked in the Dutch charts, nearly in the same parallel, but it is so very much misplaced in its longitude, or distance from the land, that I cannot suppose it has been meant for the same shoal. The latitude of this shoal is 3° 37' south, and the longitude 117° 54' east; it extends from the two small islands which are called the Brothers, and lie off the east part of Borneo, east half north, distant fifty-one miles.

We made the Brothers at day-light in the morning, after passing this shoal, and at ten o'clock we passed within three miles of them, in from twenty-two to seventeen fathoms water, over a sandy bottom. The latitude of the Brothers is 3° 41' south, and the longitude 117° 00' east. We stood on to the south-west, after passing the Brothers, expecting that course would have carried us clear of every part of Borneo, but the south part of Borneo, and the large island called Poolo La'oot, form a considerable bight; into this bight we found a strong in-draught, by which, and the wind being light, we were drawn, and could not fetch round Borneo; we stood off and on there with light and baffling winds, and a short chop of a sea, and gained no ground: after passing two days and a night in this situation, we got a breeze, which enabled us to weather the Brothers again, and stand to the eastward, where we had more room. This situation gave me some uneasy moments; for we dropt in so fast upon the shore, that we found it necessary to prepare for anchoring; this would have occasioned a loss of time, which, from a variety of circumstances, we could not afford: the anchorage off here is clear soft ground, and shoals regularly to the shore; we had twelve fathoms four miles off. This bight ought to be carefully avoided, for certainly during the prevalence of the easterly monsoon here, there is a very strong set into it: it would be much better for ships bound to the westward to get as far to the southward as the south point of Borneo, before they stretched to the westward of the Brothers, unless they may have a fresh gale that they can depend on.

The southermost part of Borneo which we saw, lies in latitude 4° 00' south, and longitude 116° 35' east, but there is land to the southward of that, which appeared to us like two islands, on the northermost of which are two remarkable round hills; whether these are really islands, or any part of Borneo, we could not ascertain; but in all the charts the south part of Borneo is laid down farther south than that land which we at first supposed to be it, and agrees nearly with this which appeared to us like two islands, the southermost of which is in latitude 4° 15' south, and longitude 115° 16' east.

Having determined after we got out of this bight and to the eastward of the Brothers, to endeavour to get nearer the Celebes shore, and to work up on that side to the southward of 4° 00' south latitude, before we should attempt to cross the meridian of the Brothers, we stood to the eastward, and had the wind in the fore part of the day from south-south-east and south-east, and after sun-set it inclined to the south-west, but in very light airs; however, with these slants we got southing; but if ever the south-south-east breeze continued long enough to carry us in sight of the south east part of Borneo, we were then sure to be set to the northward: this having been the case, on the 15th, it obliged us to stand to the eastward, although it were an unfavourable tack.

At day-light in the morning, we tacked to the southward, and again fell in with the dry sand-bank already mentioned; we passed it at four miles distance, and had thirty-five fathoms water (to the eastward). The dry part of this sand-bank is so very small, that in bad weather the sea must break entirely over it: there is regular soundings between it and the Brothers, from twenty-five to seventeen fathoms. Being now determined not to stand farther to the westward than we could by that means gain southing, we, by the different changes of the wind, got, by the 19th, as far as 4° 42' south latitude: that morning, as we were steering to the westward, ground was discovered under the ship which of course drew every body on deck; we had ten fathoms, over a rocky bottom, which we saw very distinctly. The latitude of this ridge is 4° 35' south, and longitude, observed that morning is 117° 19' east: I judge that it must extend from some small islands, which are laid down in most of the charts, and which we supposed lay at that time directly to the southward of us, but we saw nothing of them.

From this reef we steered west-south-west, and at six in the afternoon, we saw an island bearing west half south; we hauled to the southward to weather it, and at day-light in the morning of the 20th, it bore north, distant seven leagues; its latitude is 4° 56' south, and the longitude observed that morning 115° 40' east; this we supposed to be Poolo Laut: we kept the lead going all night, and had from twenty to twenty-eight fathoms; the wind fresh from south-east by south.

We continued to steer west-south-west, and, for about fourteen leagues, we crossed a flat of sixteen fathoms. At midnight on the 21st, we saw an island bearing west-north-west three or four miles distant; this we supposed to be the island of Solombo; its latitude is 5° 42' south, and the longitude 114° 24' east. We continued to steer to the westward, and had from twenty-five to thirty-five fathoms until day-light in the morning of the 23d, when we made the islands called Cariman Java; the middle or principal one is large, and of very considerable height; it is encompassed by many smaller ones, some of which are well covered with wood: the latitude of the south side of these islands is 5° 21' south, and the longitude 110° 33' east.

On the morning of the 24th, we saw a number of water spouts and whirlwinds, some of which came so very near that we fired a few guns, in hopes that the concussion of the air would have dispersed them; but our guns were too small to give a sufficient shock to the atmosphere; however, a good breeze of wind sprung up and carried us clear of them. We steered from Cariman Java, west, and in the evening of the 25th, we made the small islands called the Boomkins, which lie about five leagues from the Coast of Java; we passed about three miles within them, and saw the shore of Java. During part of the night we steered west-north-west to avoid some sunken rocks which are laid down to the westward. The south side of the Boomkins lies in latitude 5° 56' south, and longitude 108° 21' east.

In the morning, we saw Carawang Point on Java, bearing south-south-west six or seven miles; and at five in the afternoon of the 27th, we anchored in Batavia Road, after a passage from Port Jackson of twenty-six weeks.

Chapter X


September 1791 to April 1792

Captain Hunter waits on the Governor at Batavia.--Applies for a passage to England.--Purchases the Waaksambeyd for that purpose.--Leaves Batavia.--Passes the Keelings.--Arrives at the Cape of Good Hope.--Leaves that place, and anchors at Saint Helena.--Departs from Saint Helena.--Arrives at Portsmouth.--Tables for the variation of the compass.--Captain Hunter's letter to the Lords of the Admiralty.

The master of the ship went immediately on shore, to inform his owner (the Shebander) of his arrival: that gentleman wrote me a note the same night, begging to see me the next morning as early as possible, that he might introduce me to the governor; he informed me at the same time, that it was quite unnecessary to write to the governor upon any business I might have to settle with him, (which the master of the ship informed him I intended) as my business could be done with more ease in a personal interview.

I landed the next morning, and went with the Shebander (who spoke English) to the governor, who lived about three miles out of town. I had previously told the Shebander, in writing, what my business was, which he thought necessary for enabling him the better to interpret between us. I informed the governor, that Governor Phillip had found it necessary, for the forwarding of his Majesty's service, to employ the vessel in which I was embarked to convey to that port the officers and company of his Majesty's lost ship the Sirius, with a view, that after we had procured the necessary provision and refreshments, we should be permitted to proceed in the same vessel to England: I therefore desired permission to have her refitted, and to proceed with all possible expedition.

The governor, in answer to my request, informed me, that he could not consent to any vessel belonging to the company being employed as a transport, and that it was contrary to the established regulations of the company to permit that vessel, as Dutch property, to proceed from thence to Europe.

I desired that he would take the trouble to consider the nature of my application; and I begged he might understand, that I was not soliciting a favour to myself, as an individual, but that I was an officer in the king's service, and that although I was not at that port in the command of one of his Majesty's ships, that I nevertheless was in actual service, and had at that time a ship's company, and their proper officers, under my command; that he would be pleased, therefore, to understand me correctly, that it was for his Majesty's service I was then making the application he had heard; and I hoped, and believed, that himself and the council would find no difficulty or inconvenience to the company's concerns, in deviating a little from their established rules for the accommodation of his Britannick Majesty's service.

To this he only replied, he could do nothing of himself, and that my application must be made to the council; to which, I informed him, I had no sort of objection.

The Shebander, therefore, wrote an application from me in the Dutch language, founded on the letter which I had written to him on that subject; to which he added one paragraph that, he said, would very much facilitate the business, and prevent delay; this was, after having desired permission to let the vessel proceed to Europe, "That if it were impossible, consistent with the established rules of the company, to grant such a request, that they would be pleased to give permission for my purchasing the vessel, if I could settle the business with the proprietor."

I waited on the governor and council in person, and received my answer from the governor, which was, that the council had complied with my request, and would permit me to purchase the vessel; a business which the proprietor and I had previously settled. I cannot help noticing here, that this vessel was sometimes considered as belonging to the company, and at other times as the sole property of a private individual; probably, those gentlemen who hold considerable appointments under the company, and are at the same time employed in an extensive commerce on their own account, may be authorised to use the name of the company, whenever it may be necessary to promote their own private interest.

This gentleman, whose name was Engelhard, acted with much liberality in the equipment of his ship, although those whom he employed on that business did not act with the same good intention: he was, upon every occasion, civil and attentive.

A short time before we arrived here, the town of Batavia had been very unhealthy, and was, though much better, still sickly. Our sailors continued to enjoy good health until about a week before we were ready for sea, when they fell down fast with a fever which had raged much at Batavia: this fever was, however, in some of the seamen, brought on by a little intemperance. On the 19th of October died Daniel Buddle, seaman.

On the 20th, we left the road and sailed to the island of Onrust, where we anchored and received some stores for the use of the ship. On the 22d, we sailed from Onrust, and the 26th cleared the streight of Sunda: at this time Terence Burne, seaman, died, and we had twenty-two down with the Batavia fever; it was of the intermitting kind, and exceedingly obstinate and difficult to remove; it reduced the patient to a very weakly state in a very short time, and occasioned much sickness at the stomach, and a loathing of every kind of food.

On the 30th, as we were steering south-west, we kept a good lookout all night for the islands called Keelings, or Cocos Islands; being uncertain whether their situation was well ascertained: at noon on the 31st, the latitude observed was 12° 10' south; this I supposed to be rather to the southward of them, and altered the course to west-south-west: at three in the afternoon, we discovered the islands under our lee, distant about four leagues: there are three of them well covered with wood, but they are very low and flat; there are several smaller spots like rocks above water; the larger islands have sandy beaches, and in many places there were very high breakers: the latitude of the south side is 12° 06' south; the longitude by account from Java Head, but afterwards confirmed by observations of is 98° 03' east.

On the 14th of November, Robert Henderson, seaman, died; and on the 11th of December died Edward Moore, seaman.

On the 15th we made Cape Lagullus, and the 17th anchored in Table-Bay, at the Cape of Good Hope; but it blew so strong from the south-east that we were not able to fetch the upper anchorage: it continued to blow from the same quarter for several days, and on the 20th, it blew so violent a gale, that the two bower anchors would not hold the ship: finding in the evening that the gale did not in the smallest degree abate, and that if I continued to trust any longer to anchors, which it was plain were too light for the ship, we should run a risk of being drove upon the reef off Robbin's Island in the night, for every heavy gust set the ship a-drift, we cut both the cables before dark, and had just day-light enough to run to sea under the foresail. When we got a few leagues to sea we found the weather quite moderate, and made sail, with the hope of being able to recover the bay again.

On the 22d, in the evening, we fetched close round Green Point, and hoisted the signal of distress, having but one small anchor left: his Majesty's ship Providence, the Assistant armed tender, and Pitt transport, being in the bay, repeated our signal with many guns, and sent all their boats; several English whalers and some Americans also sent their boats with anchors and hausers, and we were very soon got into safety.

I was much obliged to Captain Bligh, as well as to the commanders of all the other ships for their exertions, without which we must again have been driven to sea. The same night we received anchors and cables from the shore, and secured the ship. The anchors which we had left being far down the bay when we quitted them, were entirely lost.

On the 23d, the Providence and Assistant tenders left the bay, and on the 24th the Pitt transport sailed for New South Wales.

As our sick, from the very low state they were in when we arrived, were likely to detain me longer here than it was my wish or intention to have staid, I determined to avail myself of that time, and convert a spare top-mast into a mizen-mast; the ship being in certain situations, very unsafe for want of after-sail; and the head of the main mast being much crippled by the weight of the try-sail, I set the carpenters immediately to work upon this job, which was soon completed; but on examining the head of the fore-mast, I found it was also very defective, which determined me to reef both the top-masts.

On the 13th of January, 1792, having completed our provisions for sixteen weeks, I directed that such of the men as were sufficiently recovered to proceed upon the voyage, might be discharged from sick quarters and sent on board. On the 18th, with a breeze from south-south-east, we ran down to Robbin's Island, where, it falling calm, we anchored. On the 19th, with a south-west breeze, we stretched out to sea. We left five men at sick quarters who were too weakly to be taken on board.

On the 4th of February, at five in the afternoon, we saw the island of Saint Helena, and at noon we anchored off James's Valley in fourteen and a half fathoms, and moored ship: I sent an officer on shore to wait on the governor, who wrote me a very polite note, expressing his concern for the misfortune I had met with, and offering every refreshment the island could afford to my seamen. On the 5th, I landed, and was received by the governor under the usual salute given to captains of his Majesty's ships (eleven guns). On the 13th, we left the island, having received fresh beef for our ship's company during our stay there, and having completed our water.

I should very ill deserve the civilities I received here, if I were not to take this opportunity of expressing my obligations to Lieutenant Colonel Brooke, the governor of this island, and to every individual of his family, for their great politeness and very friendly attention to myself and officers whilst we remained at this island.

On the 22d of April we arrived at Portsmouth.

A Voyage From Port Jackson to England

The LORDS of the ADMIRALTY, from a zealous wish to promote the nautical interests of Great-Britain, were pleased to permit the publication of the following letter from CAPTAIN HUNTER; which gives his opinion on the best course from NEW SOUTH WALES to EUROPE; and which closes the instructive communications of that able navigator.


My Lords,

As the settlement, which is now established on the coast of New South Wales, will no doubt occasion a frequent intercourse between the Mother Country and that part of the world, I conceive it to be a duty in those, who, from their own experience and observation, may be qualified to give any information in their power, relative to the navigation to and from that distant country: it is with this hope, that I presume to trouble your lordships with an opinion, which, I can with truth say, has been founded on my own experience and observation.

The passage from England to the Cape of Good Hope is already so well known that it would be superfluous in me to make any observations upon it. From the Cape to our settlement at Port Jackson, the navigation is now much better known, than it was when the first convoy to that country was left in my charge; it is a plain and easy track; any person who is acquainted with the common rules of navigation, and finding the variations of the compass, may, with the necessary look-out, run across that extensive ocean without danger: I have sailed over it twice, and it has been crossed by many other ships since. The advantage of being able to ascertain the ship's place in longitude, by observations of the moon, will ever be satisfactory, but more particularly through so vast a tract of sea, in which the error of the log may considerably accumulate, when ships arrive upon that coast where the land lies so nearly in a north and south direction, there can be no difficulty in discovering what part of the coast they are upon, their latitude observed will always point that out, by applying to the general chart, given from the authority of that most correct and able navigator Captain Cook. When they arrive off Botany-Bay, Port Jackson, or Broken-Bay, they will I hope receive some assistance into any of these harbours, from the surveys done by me, copies of which I delivered to the governor, as the different harbours were completed, in order that fair copies might, as early as he should judge proper, be transmitted home: but that nothing in my power may be wanting to assist those who may be strangers on their arrival off that part of the coast, separate copies of those ports, with directions more full than were given with the first, will be delivered at your lordship's board, with this, and also a copy of the three harbours, on one sheet, connected with the intermediate coast.

It is the return from that country immediately for Europe, by the safest, most certain, and expeditious route, that should be the object of our particular attention. The passage from Van Diemen's Land westward, to the Cape of Good Hope, has never yet been attempted; we can therefore say but little upon it; some, however, are of opinion, that a passage may be made that way with as much ease and expedition as by any other route. I confess that I differ from these opinions: I admit that the passage may be made; but I think, whenever it is tried, that it will be found tedious, and fatiguing to the ship's company. The ship which pursues that route should be strong and well found, and her crew healthy and capable of bearing much blowing, and some cold weather. It is not from a single voyage that we are to judge of the eligibility of this passage; it will happen in some seasons that the wind may be more favourable for making that passage than in others; but it is on the general prevalence of westerly winds here, and the heavy sea which is constantly rolling from the westward, that I conceive this route may be tedious and fatiguing, and on which account I give the preference to the southern route by Cape Horn. This passage has been frequently tried, and never yet failed of being safe and expeditious; the other never having yet been tried, leaves in my mind some doubt of its certainty and expedition, and a strong suspicion, that whenever it is, it may be found twice out of three times, attended with the difficulties I have hinted at; but if from repeated experience it should be found to be as practicable, expeditious, and certain, as some imagine, it will no doubt be preferable to all the others, as being a shorter distance.

This passage will of course be attempted only in the Summer months: for admitting a ship to have gained so much to the westward, as to enable her to clear the west coast of New Holland, and to stretch to the northward, until she falls into the south-east trade wind, she will carry this trade in the Summer time probably quite home to the Cape; but in the Winter, north-west winds prevail in the neighbourhood of that coast, which would exceedingly retard her arrival there.

The passage southward by Cape Horn, I have sailed, and as a proof of the prevalence of westerly winds in those high latitudes, I made my voyage to the Cape of Good Hope, in ninety-one days, from Port Jackson, although I was so unlucky as to be detained beating off Cape Horn for seventeen days, with a north-east wind; which I believe is not very common there. This is rather a long voyage to be performed in that time, and yet I think it will be done twice in three times in less, although a distance of about 3300 leagues.

The northern passage, which can only be attempted during the Winter season, in the southern hemisphere, on account of the periodical trade winds in the Indian seas, and undertaken in such time as to ensure their reaching Batavia, before the setting in of the westerly winds there, which is generally in the middle or end of October. The dangers, currents, calms, and other delays to which we are liable in these little known seas, and of which we had much experience in the Waaksamheid transport, is the subject of the preceding narrative, which was written particularly for the information of your lordships, and principally with a view of showing the very great uncertainty of an expeditious voyage to Europe by that passage. I sailed from Port Jackson in March, and I can take upon me, without, I hope, being supposed to have presumed too much on my own judgment and experience to assert, that a ship leaving that port in the end of September, or beginning of October, taking her route by Cape Horn, would have reached England as soon as I have. The time I stopped at such places as I was obliged to touch at, will appear in the narrative.

If ever government should find it necessary to send ships to that country, which may be intended to return immediately from thence to England, I beg leave to suggest to your lordships, that the particular seasons in the southern hemisphere should be considered, in order to prevent those delays in the return of the ships which must inevitably attend their sailing at an unfavourable time.

If such ships leave England in February, or earlier, if found more convenient, they should refresh at Rio de Janeiro in preference to the Cape of Good Hope; as by the time they could arrive at the Cape the north-west winds will be setting in there, which will oblige them to go into the False bay; this will considerably encrease their expences, and probably occasion some delay: sail immediately from Rio Janeiro for the coast of New South Wales, where, if they are not uncommonly unfortunate, they will arrive early in September; this is giving them good time.

They will then have time to clear, ballast, and to refresh their people for six weeks or two months, and return by Cape Horn; or, if the western passage be found preferable, the season will be equally favourable for it. If they should take their route by Cape Horn, as they will no doubt require to refresh somewhere in their voyage home, they may either stop at Santa Catherina or Rio Janeiro, on the Brazil coast, or go to the Cape; in this case I would recommend the Cape, as more convenient, in more respects than one. If they are sickly, there they may get a supply of men, which it is well known they cannot at either of the other places; and in sailing from the Cape homeward they will have the advantage of being to windward; however, if as late as April, they would probably prefer Brazil. If water only were wanted, that could be had at Falkland's Islands.

In taking the liberty to offer these hints, I mean only, that in order to prevent any loss of time, upon such a service, the ships may be dispatched from England in such time as to insure their having the Summer months to return either by Cape Horn, or the western route, as may be directed.

The ships upon this service will no doubt be under the inconvenience of coming upon the coast of New South Wales in some of the Winter months; we have some bad weather on that coast in the Winter, and some smart gales of wind; the easteriy gales always bring thick or hazy weather: I would recommend the not making too free with the coast, until they be near the parallel of their port. In steering in for Port Jackson, if they should fall to leeward, either with a northerly or southerly wind, they can avail themselves of either Botany-Bay or Broken-Bay, Port Jackson being the center harbour.

In the sketches which will accompany the narrative of my last passage, I beg leave to inform your lordships, that the bearings and relative situations of the different lands which we fell in with were determined by intersections taken from the ship by Lieutenants William Bradley and Henry Waterhouse, who paid particular and constant attention to those very necessary observations; and that the situations of the lands in general were determined by observations for the longitude as well as latitude, which were made by myself and the above officers.

I have now only to request that your lordships will do me the honour to believe, that in the liberty I have taken, I am prompted wholly by a sense of duty, and that I am, with the utmost respect,

My Lords,

June, 1792.

Your Lordship's most obedient and devoted humble servant,



The public owe an obligation, and the publisher a kindness, to Sir Joseph Banks and Mr. Stephens, of the Admiralty, to whose charge Lieutenant King had committed his journal, for liberally allowing the free use of this intelligent manuscript, in order to the publication of such parts of it as might be supplementary in its notices to the foregoing narrative of Captain Hunter.

The journal of Lieutenant King, like the narrative of Captain Hunter, begins with the plan of a settlement on the coast of New South Wales, for the present banishment of convicts, in the hope of future benefit to the nation; and with the outfit of the ships which had been appointed for this uncommon expedition. Like Captain Hunter, under whom he sailed in the Sirius, he conducts their little fleet from England to the Canaries; from these islands to the Brazils; from Rio de Janeiro to the Cape of Good Hope; recording such professional notices, and making such useful remarks, as occurred on a voyage, which being now perfectly known, could afford in the recital little diversity, and could furnish in the publication neither information nor amusement.

Of the Sirius, which was never more to return to the Thames, he tells the following anecdote: "She was built in the river for an east country ship; and in loading her, she took fire and was burnt down to her wales. The government wanting a roomy vessel to carry stores abroad, in 1781, purchased her bottom, which was rebuilt with such stuff as, during the war, could be found. She went two voyages as the Berwick store-ship; and without any repairs she was reported, when the present expedition was thought of, as fit for the voyage to New Holland, when she was named The Sirius." Experience, however, evinced, that she was altogether adequate to the service for which she was destined; and carried her crew safe through one of the most tremendous gales, on a lee shore, that the oldest seaman remembered.

Lieutenant King describes the Cape of Good Hope, of which so many accounts have been given. Here was it determined, that with Governor Phillip and other officers, he was to change his ship from the Sirius to the Supply, an armed tender of one hundred and seventy tons: but this measure was not executed till the fleet had sailed 352 miles from the Cape of Good Hope, when they yet had 5582 miles of an ocean to traverse, before they could expect to see the south cape of New Holland, the object of their hopes. Soon after they had parted from their associates in the voyage, they were alarmed in the night with the cry of rocks under the lee bow: but having put the helm a-lee, they soon perceived, that the Supply had passed over two enormous whales, which gave her a shock that was felt by all. Without any other accident, though they had heavy gales and a boisterous sea, they anchored at Botany-Bay on the 19th of January, 1788, after a voyage of thirty-seven weeks and a day, since their departure from England.

On the fifth day after their arrival, two strange ships were seen standing into the bay, which proved to be the La Boussole and L'Astrolabe under the command of Monsieur De la Peyrouse, and which have been long wishfully looked for by all the good and wise of Europe.

Chapter XI


February 1788 to April 1788

Lieutenant King visits Monsieur De la Peyrouse at Botany-Bay.--Polite reception there.--An account of his adventures.--Lieutenant King returns to Port Jackson.--Sent by Governor Phillip to form a settlement on Norfolk Island.--Leaves Port Jackson.--An island discovered. --Arrival at Norfolk Island.--Difficulty in finding a landing-place.--Lands the convicts, provisions, and stores.--Ground cleared, and tents fixed. --A store-bouse erected.--Vegetables, and various sorts of grain sown.--Distressed by rats.--General orders for the regulation of the settlement.

On the 1st of February, at day-light in the morning, Lieutenant Dawes, of the marines, and myself, left Sydney Cove in a cutter, in order to proceed to Botany-Bay, and visit Monsieur De la Peyrouse, on the part of Governor Phillip, and to offer him any assistance he might stand in need of. We soon got down to the harbour's mouth, and finding a light breeze from the southward, we were obliged to row all the way: we arrived on board the Boussole at ten o'clock in the morning, and were received with the greatest attention and politeness by Monsieur Peyrouse, and the few officers he had.

After delivering my message to him, he returned his thanks to Governor Phillip, and made us similar offers to those he had received, adding at the same time, that he should be in France within the space of fifteen months, and as he had stores, &c. sufficient to serve him for three years, he should be happy to send Governor Phillip any thing that he might want. Monsieur Peyrouse informed me, that a number of the convicts had been to him, and wanted to enter on board his ships, but that he had dismissed them with threats, and had given them a day's provisions to carry them back to the settlement.

The wind coming on to blow fresh from the northward, I accepted Monsieur Peyrouse's invitation to pass the day with him, and to return to Port Jackson the next morning.

In the course of our conversation, I learned that he had touched at, and been off, the following places, viz. Madeira, Teneriffe, and Santa Catherina: he had run down the coasts of Chili and California, on the last of which he had lost boats, officers, and men, by the surf. He had been at Kamschatka, where he replaced the wooden inscription that had been erected to the memory of Captain Clerke, (which was nearly defaced) with a copper one: for this attention I thanked him. From Kamschatka, he went to Macao; from thence to the Phillippines, the Sandwich Islands, Isles des Navigateurs, Friendly Islands, and Norfolk Island, from whence he came to Botany-Bay.

At the Island Macuna, (one of the Isles des Navigateurs) in latitude 14° 19' south, longitude 173° 00' 20" east of Paris, he had been so very unfortunate as to lose Monsieur De Langle, captain of the L'Astrolabe, together with eight officers, four sailors, and one boy; all of whom were killed by the natives, besides a number who were wounded. This melancholy affair happened in the following manner: The two ships had been at the island just mentioned some days, and were on very good terms with the natives, who had furnished them with every article of stock in the greatest profusion, for barter: Monsieur De la Peyrouse, however, had sound it very necessary to be on his guard against a treacherous disposition which he discovered in them. When every thing was ready for their departure, and the ships were under weigh, De Langle requested M. Peyrouse to permit him to get another turn of water; this M. Peyrouse consented to, but with as much reluctance as De Langle seemed solicitous to obtain his request: as the long-boats were not hoisted in, they were sent on this service, with two other boats to attend them, under the direction of the unfortunate De Langle. At this time the ships were lying to, and a strong current set them round a point out of sight of the place where the boats were to land. When the boats landed, the men were, as usual, surrounded by the inhabitants, who did not immediately discover any hostile intention: unfortunately, the sailors in the long-boats had suffered them to take the ground, and whilst they were endeavouring to get them afloat again, the natives were very troublesome, and pressed close in upon the sailors; on this, De Langle ordered the men in the rowing-boats to be ready to fire on the natives, but not to do it until he ordered them. Some altercation happening at this juncture, in consequence of their pressing so close upon the French, probably occasioned a blow with a club from one of the natives, which was instantly taken as a signal by the rest, and the massacre began. The natives were armed with short heavy clubs, by which means they rendered the fire-arms useless. Orders were given to fire the swivels, &c. in the rowing boats, but it was too late, although the natives fled the moment they were fired, dragging the dead bodies after them.

It was supposed that thirty of the natives were killed in this unfortunate affray. Those belonging to the ships, who escaped the massacre, swam to the rowing boats, and were carried on board the ships: many of them had received violent contusions on the head, as all the blows were aimed at that part.

De la Peyrouse thought proper to quit the island immediately, after endeavouring to regain his long-boats, which he found the natives had destroyed: he describes the inhabitants of these islands as a very strong and handsome race of men; scarcely one was to be seen amongst them less than six feet high, and well proportioned; the women are delicately beautiful; their canoes, houses, &c. are well constructed, and they are much more advanced in internal policy and order than any of the islands in the Pacific Ocean. These, islands are surrounded by a coral reef, but boats may land with great safety.

After dinner I attended M. Peyrouse and his officers on shore, where I found him quite established; he had thrown round his tents a stockade, which was guarded by two small guns, and in which they were setting up two long boats, which he had in frame. After these boats were built, it was the intention of M. Peyrouse to go round New Ireland, and through the Moluccas, and to pass to the Island of France, by the streights of Sunda. An observatory tent was also fixed on shore, in which were an astronomical clock, a quadrant, and other instruments under the care of Monsieur D'Agelet, Astronomer, and a member of the Academy of Sciences at Paris: he, as well as Monsieur De la Peyrouse, informed me, that at every place they had touched at, and been near, they had found all the nautical and astronomical remarks of Captain Cook to be very exact and true; and he concluded with saying, "Enfin Monsieur Cook a tant fait, qu'il ne m'a rien laissè a faire, que d'admirer ses oeuvres."

In the evening I returned on board the Boussole, and was shown all the drawings they had made during their voyage; and at five o'clock the next morning I set out on my return to Port Jackson, but did not arrive on board the Sirius before seven in the evening, having been obliged to row all the way against the wind and a great swell.

On the 4th, I went by land to Botany-Bay, accompanied by Lieutenant Ball, and some other officers: we found the country between that place and Port Jackson to consist chiefly of deep bays and sand hills, interspersed with a vast number of rocks: we did not return until the evening of the 5th.

About this time two criminal courts were assembled in order to try offenders, and as the proceedings in these cases are, in a great measure, new, a short account of them may not be unacceptable.

The judge-advocate issues his precept for the three senior naval officers and three military officers to assemble at the time appointed, dressed in their uniforms and their side-arms: when they are met, the judge-advocate administers an oath to the members, similar to that which is used at military courts-martial; afterwards, one of the members administers the same oath to the judge-advocate, who presides at the court, and the rest take their seats according to their rank. The prisoner is then asked, whether he is guilty or not, and, as the general answer is, "not guilty," the accusations against him are read, and witnesses are examined on oath to support or prove the charge; after which the prisoner enters on his defence, and brings evidence to prove his innocence: the court is then cleared, and the members consider what sentence to pronounce; if it be death, five out of the seven must concur in opinion. The governor can respite a criminal condemned to die, and the legislature has fully empowered him to execute the sentence of the law, or to temper it with mercy.

Actions for debt, for a certain amount, are cognizable by this court, as are all other actions at common law, where they are decided according to the law of England, as nearly as the situation will allow.

On the 6th, Governor Phillip signified his intention of sending me to Norfolk-Island, with a few people, and stock to settle it, and lieutenant Ball was ordered to receive on board the Supply the stores and provisions necessary for that purpose: this business engaged the whole of my attention until the 15th, when, having received my commission and instructions from the governor, (and taken the oaths of fidelity and allegiance, &c. &c. and the customary oath as a justice of the peace for Norfolk-Island;) by which I was appointed superintendent and commandant of Norfolk-Island, I embarked the following persons, who were appointed to go along with me, viz. Mr. James Cunningham, master's mate of the Sirius; Mr. Thomas Jameson, surgeon's first mate of the Sirius; Mr. John Altree, assistant to the surgeon; Roger Morly, weaver; William Westbrook, and ---- Sawyer, seamen; Charles Heritage, and John Batchelor, marines; with nine male and six female convicts; in all, twenty-three persons.

We sailed from Sydney-Cove at seven o'clock in the morning, with a fine breeze at west-south-west, and at eight, we got out of the harbour, when we found it blew very fresh, and as we got off the land it came on to blow a perfect hurricane, with a most tremendous sea running, which often broke into the vessel: the gale kept up with great violence, as did the sea during the whole day, and I often thought the vessel in a critical situation.

At two o'clock in the morning, the wind veered round to south-by-west, and moderated, but a heavy sea was still running. At noon, the latitude was 32° 22' south, 154° 11' east longitude. In the evening, a flying-fish flew on board, which is rather an extraordinary event in this latitude. At day-break in the morning of the 18th, land was discovered bearing east-south-east; and, from its appearance, we judged it to be two small rocks or islands, not more than six leagues distant. At the time we first saw the land, we were standing to the northward, with the wind at east-south-east: at eight in the morning, we tacked towards the land, but the wind being light during the whole day, our progress was very slow.

Early the next morning, having neared the land considerably, we perceived a pointed rock right a-head, at some distance from the island; on which, we hove to, and soundings were tried for with 120 fathoms of line, but we got no bottom. At day-light we made sail, and perceived that the two islands or hills we had seen the day before, were two very high rocky mountains, on the south side of an island, extending from north 37° east, to north 55° east. This side of the island formed a deep bay, in which there appeared to be good shelter from the north-east. At noon, we had a very good meridian altitude, by which the latitude was 31° 40' south, and the center of the island bore north 40° west, distant about six miles; consequently, its latitude is 31° 35' south, and the longitude 159° east of Greenwich.

The form of the island is a crescent, and it is very small in proportion to the two stupendous rocky mountains which rise at its southern extremity. One of the rocks rises perpendicularly from the sea, and has the appearance of a regular pyramid, when seen from the westward: we sailed from it in a direct course 22 leagues, and could then see it very plainly. Lieutenant Ball, who was certainly the discoverer of this island, has named its points and rocks, as they are marked in the chart*. At noon on the 20th, we lost fight of Ball's pyramid in the haze, after having run 22 leagues from it in the direction of east by south: I think, in clear weather, it may be seen at the distance of thirty leagues. We had light winds and pleasant weather until the 24th, when we had very strong gales from east-south-east, with a high cross sea.

[* For this Chart, and a View of Ball's Pyramid, with a full Description, see Phillip's Voyage, 4to. Edition.]

Early in the morning of the 28th, the wind veered to south-west, and, imagining ourselves to be about fifteen leagues to the westward of Norfolk-Island, we hove to at seven in the evening. The next morning, at day-light, we made sail, steering east: we had great numbers of birds round us, and the clouds hanging very thick to the eastward, indicated our being near the land; but it was not till eleven o'clock in the forenoon that we made the largest of the two small islands which lie off the south-west end of Norfolk-Island, bearing east 16° north, five leagues distant.

At noon, the body of Norfolk-Island bore north 61° east, distant seven or eight leagues. At four in the afternoon, we rounded the northern point of the island, which I named Point Howe, in honour of the first lord of the admiralty, at the time we left England: we soon after hove to, off a cascade, which is situated near the middle of the north side of the island: the boat was hoisted out, and lieutenant Ball and myself went to examine if it were possible to land on a stony beach, which is situated a little to the eastward of the cascade; but we found so great a surf rolling on the shore, that the loss of the boat, and perhaps of the sailors lives, would have been the consequence of our attempting to land; so that at sun-set we returned on board, and the boat was hoisted in.

Early the next morning, lieutenant Ball and myself went in a boat to examine whether we could find a landing-place from the southermost, or Point Ross, to the north-west, or Point Howe, which was (the wind being then west-north-west,) the lee side of the island. From the cascade to a small bay, which lies on the north-east side of the island, we found the shore lined with steep inaccessible cliffs, against which the sea broke with great violence, and rendered the boat's approach impracticable. The small bay, which I named Ball-bay, (after lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball) lies in a west-north-west, and east-south-east direction, and is about four cables length deep, and two cables length wide: the bottom of the bay is a stony beach, on which the surf broke with too much force to risque the boat; though at times, the surf probably may be less.

From this bay, we rowed round the south-east point, and opened the two islands, the largest of which, I named Phillip-Isle, after Governor Phillip; and the smallest, Nepean-Isle, after Evan Nepean. The point of Norfolk-Island, opposite Nepean-Isle, I called Point Hunter, after captain John Hunter, of his Majesty's ship the Sirius.

Between Point Hunter and Point Ross, there is a large, though not a deep, bay, with several fine sandy beaches; but without the beaches, there runs a reef parallel with the shore, which seemed to prevent any landing on it; and, as we were opening the weather side of the island, and a great swell running, which prevented us from pulling the boat a-head, we returned along shore, and endeavoured to land on a stony beach to the westward of the cascade, but could not: we then rowed to the north-east point of the island, off which lies a cluster of high rocks; I called them Cook's rocks, in memory of the late Captain James Cook, who discovered this island, and landed near these rocks in 1774: but we found landing impossible, on account of the surf, which broke every where, though this may not be the case in fine weather. In the evening we returned on board, without being able to set our feet on shore.

During the night, we had light winds from the south-west; and a current, or tide, had set us a considerable distance to the north-east of the island; which, at eight o'clock the next morning, bore south-east, eight miles distant: from this time, until three in the afternoon, we were employed in working up under the north-east point of the island, where we anchored in nineteen fathoms, distant from the nearest shore one mile. A boat was hoisted out, and after two attempts, I landed with Lieutenant Ball, on the side of a large rock, which lies close to the shore, at the west end of a small stony beach; it must have been on this rock that Captain Cook landed, as there is no other place at this side of the island, where it is possible to attempt a landing at any time, and that is only practicable here, from half ebb to half flood, in very fine weather, and the wind off the island. As it was near the evening when we landed, we very soon returned on board again, with a quantity of sorrel that we had gathered. We found this a very improper place to land either people or stores, it being impracticable to get them further than the beach, and there was no fresh water near it.

At day-light in the morning of the 3d, I left the Supply, and went in her boat along with Mr. Cunningham, to examine the south-west side of the island, which we rowed round, until we opened Phillip and Nepean Isles off the south point; but it blew too hard, and there was too great a sea running for us to pull the boat any farther, so that at two in the afternoon we returned on board.

There is only one place on this side of the island, where landing is at all practicable, and that is in a small bay just within the west point: the bottom of it is a fine sandy beach, but the surf broke on it with such violence, as to put landing out of the question.

As it blew very fresh all night, I landed the next morning abreast of the Supply, with the midshipman and surgeon: we walked across the island to the bay which I had seen the day before. After ascending a very steep hill, we got to the top of the island, which we found to be a plain, but every foot of ground was covered with trees, or the large roots of trees which rose above the surface of the earth; these were not the only impediments to our march, as it was impossible for us to walk four yards, without encountering an almost impenetrable net-work, composed of a large kind of supple-jack, or vine; which was so very strong, as to suppress the growth of several trees, by bending them in every direction; and they so completely stopped our progress, that we were obliged to cut our way through them. No grass, or herb of any kind, grew between the roots of these trees, although the soil every where was extremely rich and good; but this may be attributed to the total exclusion of the sun, and the want of air, which doubtless prevent this sort of vegetation.

The pines, which are numerous, are of an incredible growth: one of them, which had been blown down, or had fallen by age, measured 140 feet in length, and several which were measured standing, were 30 feet in circumference: they grow quite straight, and have no branches for near 80 feet from the ground.

We found it impracticable to get into Anson's bay, although we saw down into it; but the hill over it was a perpendicular cliff, with a large kind of iris growing on the sides of it, which was a providential circumstance, for, in our endeavour to get into the bay, we were all in the greatest danger of falling down the cliff; indeed, if the iris had not been sufficiently strong to have supported our weight, we must have fallen down a depth of 90 feet. We were too much pleased with, and thankful for our escape, to attempt a second trial, as the whole of this side of the island had the same steep appearance.

In our return, we frequently heard a very distinct cry of "yaho," which seemed as if it was uttered by an animal or bird.

During this excursion, we did not see a leaf of flax, or any herb whatever; the ground, although a rich and deep soil, being quite bare, which is rather extraordinary, as Captain Cook says that the flax plant is rather more luxuriant here than at New Zealand. We saw pigeons, parrots, parroquets, doves, and a variety of other birds, in great numbers, and so very tame, that they might be knocked down with a stick.

Large pieces of pumice stone were seen in every part; probably a crater, or the remains of one, may be found at, or near a mountain, which rises to a considerable height in the middle of the island, and which I called Mount Pitt, in honour of the chancellor of the exchequer.

As the sandy bay, on the south-west side of the island, had not been examined to my satisfaction, Lieutenant Ball proposed going round in the brig, and endeavour to land, which there was a great probability of effecting, as the wind was then at east-north-east: accordingly, at day-light in the morning of the 5th, we weighed, and ran round to the bay, which I had named Anson-bay, after the parliamentary representative for Litch-field. We found the surf too violent to land there, and I now began to think it would be impossible to land on the island; as I had nearly made a circuit of it, and had not found a place where I could attempt landing.

There yet remained one place unexamined, which was the south side of the island, in a bay, that appeared to be entirely lined with a reef, on which the surf broke with great violence. The wind being at east-north-east, we worked up for the bay, and at noon, the master was sent to examine if there were any opening through the reef; on his return he informed us, that landing in the bay was very safe and practicable, as the reef terminated about two-thirds of the bay over, and round the point of this reef, landing was easy and safe.

On hearing this report, Lieutenant Ball and myself went to examine the place, and found it exactly to answer the master's description. The shore, close to the beach, was covered with a long kind of iris, within which was an impenetrable forest: the soil was good. Here I resolved to fix, and was pleased at having found a place where I could make a commencement. I had no doubt but water would be procured, and that at no great distance from the spot; but as it was very late in the evening, I returned on board the Supply, and she was soon after brought to an anchor in 20 fathoms, over a sandy bottom.

At day-light on the 6th, I left the Supply with two boats, having in them all the persons belonging to the settlement, together with the tents a part of the provisions, and some of the most useful tools; all which we landed, and began clearing a small piece of ground to erect the tents on: the colours were hoisted, and before sun-set, every person and article belonging to the settlement were on shore, and the tents pitched. Before the colours were hauled down, I assembled my small colony under them, (Lieutenant Ball and some of his officers being present,) and drank the healths of his Majesty, the Queen, the Prince of Wales, and success to the settlement: and, as we had no other way of testifying our loyalty, we gave three cheers on the occasion.

The wind blew very hard the whole of the 7th, and the surf ran so high that no boat could land: the Supply still remained at anchor in the road. This day I began to clear a piece of ground for sowing some seeds; the spot, which I fixed on for that purpose, is on the east side of an hill which has a tolerable easy ascent, and the soil is rich and deep. Soon after landing, we found a very fine rivulet of water, which ran close at the back of the ground where the settlement was made.

I took the first opportunity of examining the island around me, and found it almost impenetrable from the size of the trees, and the entangled state of their roots, which were in general two feet above the ground, and ran along it to a considerable distance. On the spaces of ground unoccupied by these roots, there grew a kind of supple-jack, which in general was as thick as a man's leg; these supple-jacks ran up the trees, and as they grew in every direction, they formed an impenetrable kind of net-work; bending some trees to the ground, and then taking root again, they twined round other trees in the same manner, until the whole became an impervious forest.

As I had only twelve men, (one of whom was seventy-two years old, and another a boy of fifteen,) exclusive of the mate and surgeon, my progress for some time must of course be very slow. On the 8th we had strong gales of wind and cloudy weather: at nine in the morning, we hoisted the colours in a west, as a signal that the Supply's boat might land; and at eleven, we received the last of our baggage, provisions, and stores, and hauled the boat up. In the afternoon, Lieutenant Ball came on shore to ask if I had any farther occasion for the Supply, and, as I had not any, he took leave and returned on board; and in the afternoon sailed for Port Jackson. I sent by him a journal of my proceedings to Governor Phillip.

The 9th, being Sunday, every person in the settlement assembled in my tent, where I performed divine service; after which my commission from the Governor, to whom we were subordinate, was read, appointing me superintendant and commandant of this island: I then assured every person, that my intention was to forward the King's service to the utmost of my power; and (addressing myself to the convicts) I endeavoured to convince them, that those who were idle or dishonest should not escape that punishment, which is due to useless and destructive members of society: I also informed them what ration of provisions would be allowed daily, and I held out every encouragement for them to behave with propriety and industry.

In the afternoon I saw some turtle lying on a sandy beach at the east end of the bay; two of which we turned and brought to the tents for general use; they were issued out in lieu of salt provisions. Finding we had turtle on the island, I gave strict orders that no person whatever should go near the beach where they were seen, in order to prevent them from being frightened, which might occasion the loss of this valuable resource: the two turtle we had caught weighed two hundred weight each. From this time until the 15th, every person was employed in clearing away, and turning up the garden ground, which, when finished, was enclosed by a hedge, and sown with a small quantity of all the different kinds of seeds I was furnished with. The size of the enclosure was eighty-seven feet square: the soil very rich and deep.

This afternoon I turned three more turtles, which were brought to the settlement. We generally saw three lying on the beach at low water, in clear weather, but when cloudy, they never land; this, together with there being no appearance of any pits where they lay their eggs, leads me to suppose that they do not breed on any part of the island; especially as this is the only place where there is a possibility for them to make their pits.

The 16th, being Sunday, I performed divine service. Two convicts, whom I had given leave the preceding day to take an excursion into the interior part of the island, returned this day at noon quite naked: they had several cuts in different parts of their bodies, some of which were deep, occasioned by the entangled state of the woods, and the sharpness of the briars: they had not been an hour from the settlement before they lost sight of the sun from the thickness of the woods; this caused them to wander about till eleven o'clock, when they heard the noise of our church bell, which was a man beating on the head of an empty cask, and presently afterwards they returned to the settlement.

As my own situation, and that of every other person was very uncomfortable, owing to the tents being close to the sea shore, on which a heavy surf continually beats: I set the people to work on the 17th, to clear a piece of ground to the right of the garden, and a little above it; here I intended to move the tents, or to build houses; and having two sawyers and a carpenter, I set them to work in digging a sawpit, in order to saw pine for building a store-house for the provisions and stores, they at present being lodged in my tent, which was made of the Sirius's sprit-sail.

The surgeon, in walking about the island, found out the flax-plant, which proved to be what we had hitherto called the iris: not having any description of this plant, I had no idea of its being what Captain Cook calls the flax-plant of New Zealand; the cliffs and shore near the settlement were covered with it; its root is bulbous, and eight leaves issue from it, which are, in general, five or six feet in length, and about four inches broad, close to the root: the plant bears a great resemblance to the iris, except that the leaves are much thicker and larger; the flaxy part is the fibres, which extend the whole length of the leaf; towards the root they are very thick and strong, and diminish in size as they approach the end of the Jeaf. This plant, in its green state, is of a surprising strength: from the quantity of dead leaves about the root, I imagine it is an annual, and that the root sends forth fresh leaves.

The method of preparing the New Zealand flax not being described by Captain Cook, I caused three bundles of ours to be put in the rivulet to soak, intending to try it after the European method of dressing flax. The sawpit being finished on the 18th, a small pine was cut down near it, which measured 115 feet in length, and two feet six inches diameter at the base: a twelve foot length was got on the pit, and the sawyers began sawing it into framings and scantlings for the store-house. By the 19th, the greatest part of the seeds we had procured at the Cape of Good Hope, and sown in the garden, were out of the ground, and seemed likely to do well; but scarcely any of the English seeds grew, they, in general, being spoiled.

From this time till the 1st of April, two men were employed in sawing up wood for the store-house; one man was building it, six were clearing away the ground, and the women burnt up the small boughs.

The store-house was finished on the 2d: its dimensions were twelve feet square, and nine feet high. All the provisions and stores were immediately brought from my tent and deposited in the store-house.

During the last three days the wind blew very strong from the south-west, which blighted every plant that was come up and doing very well; I had also the mortification to find that the rats were very numerous; they destroyed some Indian corn which was three inches out of the ground.

As there was every reason to suppose that the south-west winds would be frequent during the winter, I began to clear the ground on the north-east side of the hill, (which I named Mount George) which, of course, would be sheltered from the south and south-west winds; and it was my intention to continue clearing the ground in that situation until the middle of June, when I purposed sowing it with wheat and barley. I now found that no vegetables would thrive at this season of the year on the south side of the mount; I therefore ordered the garden ground to be turned up and sown with wheat.

The ground which we had for some time been clearing to fix the tents upon, being now ready for that purpose, all the tents were moved to it on the 3d, and some of the men began to build huts: the sawyers were employed in sawing scantling, and other necessary timber to build me a house.

I had much reason to fear that the turtle were frightened away, as we had not seen any on the beach since the 14th of March, although every precaution had been used to prevent their being molested. This resource we could not help feeling the want of, as its good effects had already been experienced by every person on the island; indeed, there was not an individual who had not the scurvy on landing, and some of the convicts had it very bad; but they were now quite recovered.

Another unfortunate circumstance was, that as yet we had not brought any vegetables to perfection; however, to make some amends for this accident, we found a vast number of cabbage-trees, the excellence of which are well known: they are a very good substitute for other vegetables, but one tree produces only a single cabbage.

The wheat, which was sown in the garden ground on the 2d, was entirely eat up with rats by the 4th; they did not leave a single grain in the ground. As I had no cats, and only one dog, these vermin were likely to prove a serious nuisance; however, in order to rid ourselves of them as much as possible, I caused all the empty casks to be converted into traps.

Behind the hill where the settlement was fixed, there was a very large swamp, occasioned by the overflowing of the rivulet: at the head of this swamp there is a fine valley, in which a number of plantain or banana trees were found on the 5th; and a small spot being near them which would not cost so much pains or trouble to clear as many other places, I judged this would be a very good place for a garden; especially as the surrounding hills entirely sheltered it from the sea winds, and, from the appearance of the banana trees, I expected they would thrive very well when cultivated; at present, they were in thick clusters, choaking each other; and being covered with wild vines and aquatic shrubs, their growth was considerably retarded. Some fruit was found on them, but the birds had destroyed it before it was ripe.

The sixth, being Sunday, I performed divine service; and as some irregularities had taken place, that did not merit corporal punishment, being anxious to prevent any ill behaviour, which might render such a step necessary, I read the following orders for the preservation of regularity and decorum.


As it is highly necessary, for the preservation of good order, regularity, and cleanliness, to establish certain rules and regulations, the following are to be observed and performed with the strictest attention.

I. No person is to absent himself from public worship, which will begin every Sunday morning at eleven o'clock, in the commandant's house, when every one will come clean and orderly, and behave themselves devoutly.

II. The hours of work are as follow: until further orders, to begin work at day-light, and work till half past seven; at half past eight, to work again until half past eleven; and then to work again at two until sun-set.

III. In order to encourage the cultivation of gardens, every one will have the Saturdays to clear away and cultivate gardens for themselves; and those who are industrious will be encouraged, but those who misapply that indulgence will be deprived of it.

IV. On application, at the proper time of the year, seeds will be distributed to those who have cleared away garden ground; and those who raise the greatest quantity of seeds and vegetables will be encouraged and rewarded.

V. The women are to sweep round the houses or tents every morning, and to cook the victuals for the men; and every person is strictly forbid cleaning any fish or fowls in or near the houses, but to go to the sea-side for that purpose.

VI. Every person is strictly forbid going near Turtle Bay, and those who are found in it, or going there, will be instantly and severely punished.

VII. The women are to collect the dirty linen belonging to the men every Friday, and to return each man his proper linen, washed and mended, on the Sunday morning.

VIII. No person is to cut down or destroy any banana tree.

IX. Exchanging or selling cloaths by the convicts is strictly forbid. As their cloathing is the property of the crown, they are not to dispose of it. A disobedience of this order will be deemed a theft, and meet with a suitable punishment. It is recommended to every one to be careful of their cloathing and bedding, as accidents may happen which may prevent a speedy supply.

X. Great care is to be taken of all the tools; each man taking his axe or hoe to his tent, or delivering them to the store-keeper, that they may not be injured by the weather.

XI. As the future welfare of every person on this island depends on their good behaviour, it is recommended to them to persevere in that willing disposition to work which they have hitherto shown; and above all, to be honest and obliging towards each other, which will recommend them to those who may have it in their power, and who have a wish and inclination to serve them: but the dishonest or idle may not only assure themselves of being totally excluded from any present or future indulgences, but also that they will be chastised, either by corporal punishment on the island, or be sent to Port Jackson, to be tried by a criminal court there.

Chapter XII


April 1788 to October 1788

Regular employment of the convicts.--Meet with an unlucky accident.--Thefts detected.--The robbers punished.--Pestered with rats.--Method of destroying them.--Live stock on the settlement.--Trees discovered which afford food for hogs.--Some of the settlers poisoned.--Cured with sweet oil.--A convict punished for using seditious language.--Birds on the island. Description of Arthur's Vale.--His Majesty's birth-day kept.--Flourishing state of the gardens.--Arrival of the Supply.--Four persons drowned.--Provisions and stores received.--Queries from Governor Phillip, and the answers.--Ball-Bay described.--The landing-place cleared.--Arrival of the Golden Grove transport.--Marines and convicts brought in the Golden Grove.--Provisions and stores.

The settlement being now brought to some degree of order, I distributed the people into regular working parties, in order to facilitate the different operations which I was anxious to get forward as fast possible. Five men were sent to clear away ground on the north-east side of Mount George; two were employed in clearing a road from the ground where we had pitched the tents, to the fresh-water rivulet; two sawyers were sawing timber to build me a house; two men were employed in building huts; and I sent Mr. Altree, (the surgeon's assistant) to the valley which has already been mentioned, in order to make a commencement there, but as he had only a boy to assist him, his progress was of course very flow.

For some time, the people were thus invariably employed; but the work was often retarded by colds, which was the only sickness we had as yet experienced: the workmen, indeed, had been often blinded for four or five days together, by the white sap of a tree, which getting into their eyes, occasioned a most excruciating pain for several days. The best remedy we could apply, was Florence oil; which, dropped into the eye, destroyed the acrimony of the sap. One man was totally blinded with it, for want of making timely application to the surgeon.

On the 17th, I detected John Batchelor, one of the marines, in my tent, stealing rum out of a small vessel, which contained what was drawn off to serve the officers and men belonging to the Sirius; and was kept in my tent, as I had not a more secure place to put it in. In the afternoon, I assembled the settlement, and punished the thief with three dozen lashes; causing him to be led by a halter to the place of punishment: I also stopped the deficiency of rum out of his allowance.

Though there was reason to hope that this example would deter others from committing crimes of the like nature, yet it had not the desired effect; for on the 20th, a convict boy was detected stealing the surgeon's allowance of rum, out of his tent. This boy was only fifteen years old, and was transported for seven years. I ordered him to be punished with an hundred lashes, which I hoped would have a good effect.

We now had two formidable enemies to encounter in the rat and grub-worm, both which were very numerous and destructive: some wheat had been sown in the garden ground on the 11th, and the next morning there was not a grain of it left, being all eat up by the rats; and the few potatoes and other vegetables, which escaped the bad effects of the southerly wind, were all eat up by the grub-worm. I have before observed, that on our first discovering the rats to be numerous, I ordered the empty casks to be converted into traps, and for some time they were very successful, thirty or forty rats being caught for several nights together: these were killed, and scattered about the garden, to deter the rest from coming to the place; but they soon grew too cunning to be caught in the traps, and too bold to be intimidated by their dead companions. I next caused some glass to be pounded very fine, and mixed with oatmeal, which being distributed about the garden, killed vast numbers of them.

To prevent the bad effects of the grub-worm, I tried ashes, lye of ashes, and urine, but to no purpose, so that the women were kept constantly employed in picking them off the few plants we had left.

Out of six ewes which I brought to the island, five died with the scab, notwithstanding every possible care was taken of them; and one of my sows was poisoned, by eating something noxious in the woods. The remainder of my small stock was likely to do very well: it consisted of two ewes, three sows, two boars, four hens, one cock, three ducks, one drake, and one goat.

The sugar-cane, two Rio Janeiro banana trees, and two orange trees, which I brought with me, were kept in tubs, until I should find a sheltered situation to plant them in. The wind seemed now to be set in from the southward, and the weather was very raw and cold, so that I called this the beginning of winter. Another of my sows was poisoned on the 24th, so that I found it necessary to confine them in a hog-pen, which, in regard to feeding them, was a great inconvenience, as they used to provide very well for themselves in the woods; fortunately, however, a tree was found which afforded them very good food: this tree grows to the height of eighty feet, and the branches, which resemble those of the palm-tree in their growth, fall off every year, leaving an indentation in the trunk. The leaves of these branches, which are twelve in number, are much like the heath-fern, from whence this tree obtained the name of the fern-tree. The middle of the tree, from the root to the apex, consists of a white substance resembling a yam, and when boiled, it tastes like a bad turnip; this the hogs fed on very eagerly: the outside of the trunk is hard wood, and full of regular indentations from the top to the bottom. The tree is found in great plenty in all parts of the island.

At the end of this month, I sent some of the people to assist Mr. Altree, at the plantation in Arthur's Vale, which was the name I gave to the valley he had begun to clear; the rest were employed in clearing the ground at Mount George, except three men, whom I set to dig a cellar under my house.

On the 8th of May, the two sawyers, the carpenter, and three convicts were poisoned, by eating some beans, which had a very tempting appearance, and much resembled the Windsor bean: they had gathered a quantity, which were boiled, and afterwards fried with butter: in two hours time, they were seized with violent gripings, retchings, and cold sweats; fortunately, I had a gallon of sweet oil, which, with other medicines administered by the surgeon, happily gave them relief; but they were so much weakened and exhausted that they were not able to work for a week afterwards.

For some time past, we had seen no turtle, and it was probable that the cold weather had driven them to a warmer climate.

As we could catch no fish from the shore, I launched the boat on the 9th, and sent her into the roads to fish; they returned with the boat in two hours, and brought thirty-six very fine fish, weighing from six to eight pounds each: these I caused to be issued out in lieu of salt provisions, at the rate of six pounds of fish for one pound of beef. The boats grapnel was left in the road, and being hooked in the rocks, we never could clear it.

This ample supply of fish was a most fortunate event; yet they could not be depended on as a constant resource; for sometimes it would happen, that a boat could not go without the reef for a fortnight together, on account of the very violent surf; but when a boat could be sent out, there was no danger of catching a vast quantity.

On the 10th, I was obliged to inflict a punishment of forty lashes on one of the convicts, for making use of very threatening and seditious language. I had received orders from Governor Phillip, to make a saving of the salt provisions, whenever fish or turtle could be obtained, in order that they might last as long as possible: the putting this order in execution when the turtle were caught, produced murmuring; but, when the fish was issued on the 9th, the convict who was punished, said, "the people (meaning those in the settlement) were fools for suffering their salt provisions to be stopped," and "that the convicts would soon be the strongest, and then it would be seen who were masters." As I thought this language deserved punishment, I assembled the people, and pointed out to them, that, independent of the orders I had received, I saw the greatest necessity for making every possible saving of the provisions: I represented to them that misfortunes might happen to vessels, provisions might get spoiled, and many other accidents might happen, which would render it necessary for us to go to a short allowance; and, that the greater quantity of provisions which could be saved would be so much the better for the whole settlement: I concluded with assuring them, that I should invariably attend to my orders, and put them in execution; and that a very severe punishment would be inflicted on any who presumed to excite sedition, or behaved improperly on that, or any other pretext.

On our first landing, we found a great number of pigeons, which were so tame, that we knocked them down with sticks; but latterly they quitted the low boughs, and generally harboured about the tops of the pines: when plucked and drawn, they weighed from three-quarters, to one pound each. The parrots are numerous, and the ugliest bird of the kind I ever heard of; this, added to the harshness of their note, makes them a very disagreeable bird. The parroquets are entirely green, except a red tuft on their head. Hawks are numerous and of two different kinds, the grey and blue: they were great enemies to the young chickens, and it was no unusual sight to see them take up the rats. Quails and curlews are plentiful, but very shy. The owls, which have very handsome plumage, make a noise like one man calling to another, and they pronounce the word "yaho" very distinctly. Many of the smaller birds have a most melodious note, and their plumage is very beautiful.

There are also a species of birds which burrow in the ground like rabbits, where they hatch their eggs, and rear their young: they are web-footed; which is rather extraordinary, and their bill is like that of other sea-fowl; but they have not the least fishy taste, and their flesh is very fine. These birds never quit their holes till sun-set; from which time, until midnight, the air is full of them: they afforded us many fresh meals.

I now set the two sawyers and two carpenters to work in building houses; one man was employed in making a crab to heave the boat by, another attended the live-stock, and the remainder were busied in clearing ground at Mount George, and Arthur's Vale.

By the 17th, the rain was almost incessant, and, as I had every reason to suppose it would continue so three or four months longer, which would endanger the health of those who lived in tents; I caused the provisions to be removed from the store-house to a cellar under my house, which was dry, and the stores I put into a loft; and, as five men and three women lived at present in tents, I put them into the store-house, until they could build huts for themselves. The whole settlement were now well sheltered, except the surgeon and the midshipman; for whom I proposed to begin a house immediately.

On the 18th, the shell of my house was finished: its dimensions were twenty-four feet long by twelve feet wide, and eight feet under the eaves: the sides and roof were weather-boarded.

I sent the boat out this afternoon, and she returned with fifty very fine fish, which were issued out as usual.

I set out on the 19th, with an intention of tracing the rivulet which runs through Arthur's Vale, to its source, and likewise to examine the extent of the valley; but, after wandering about the greatest part of the day, I returned back, much fatigued, and all the cloaths torn off my back by the briars and the entangled state of the woods.

Arthur's Vale is situated between the north side of Mount George and the opposite hills: its direction is about north-north-west into the interior part of the island. The bottom of this valley, in some places, is not more than thirty yards wide; in others, at least three hundred. The hills on each side are cloathed with a thick forest; their ascent is not too steep for cultivation, and the soil is excellent, being a fat brown earth.

A very fine rivulet runs through this vale, sufficiently large to turn any number of mills. As the bank of the sea-shore is considerably above the level of the rivulet, it sinks into the earth; and, after passing under the bank, it forces a passage for itself through a fissure of the rock, on Stony Beach and Turtle Bay, between high and low water marks, where it boils up with great force, and is excellent water. As the whole of this water is not carried off by the passage just mentioned, sufficient to keep the low ground clear, what does not pass under the bank, overflows the lower part of the valley, for the space of half a mile: this swamp might be drained by cutting a channel for the rivulet to empty itself on the sea-shore; but the operation would require time and a number of hands, and, when finished, it is not clear but that the force of the sea would soon fill the channel up again.

I cannot ascertain the length of this vale, but I think it runs as far as Mount Pitt, where, most probably, the rivulet takes its rise. That part of the vale which I have already said Mr. Altree was clearing, is half a mile from the settlement, near a large cluster of plantain trees; he transplanted some of the young suckers, an operation which was likely to improve them much: a garden, which measured ninety rods was planted, and most of the plants were up and likely to do very well. The sugar-cane, orange trees, and Rio Janeiro plantains, which had hitherto been kept in tubs, were now planted in the vale, and I had hopes they would thrive, as the situation was well sheltered: I also planted a quantity of cotton seeds, as some which were sown when we first came on shore, rotted in the ground.

The 1st of June, being Sunday, I performed divine service as usual. In the afternoon, I went in the boat, and attempted to land on Nepean Isle, on the south-west side of which is a small creek that goes in a considerable way, with a small sandy beach at the end of it; but as there was a number of rocks in the creek, and a surf beating on the shore, I did not land. This island is covered with pines, which grow at a distance from each other: there is a reef off the south-east side, which stretches near a mile; within a ship's length of it, there is fourteen fathoms water, and nine fathoms all round the east side, within half a mile of the shore. The passage between Point Hunter and Nepean Island is a very good one, there being three fathoms close to Nepean Isle, and eight fathoms in mid-channel. I sounded close along the back of the reef which runs along Sydney-Bay, and found four fathoms within a ship's length of the reef. I returned at sun-set, having caught thirty-six very fine fish, which were issued out as usual.

I brought only five months bread and flour to the island, and it being now expended to three casks of each, which was two months bread at full allowance, and as I had near six months salt provisions, I put myself and every person on the island to two-thirds allowance of flour and bread on the 2d, until the arrival of more provisions.

The 4th, being the anniversary of his Majesty's birth-day, I caused it to be observed as a holiday. The colours were hoisted at sun-rise; every person had a good dinner, of the produce of the island, and I gave the convicts some liquor to drink their sovereign's health: the evening concluded with bonfires, which, exclusive of the joy we felt at the return of his Majesty's birth-day, and the celebrating it in this distant part of the globe, we with pleasure saw some large piles of wood burnt that had been along time collecting, and which were a great incumbrance to us.

At day-light in the morning of the 15th, the midshipman and four men went out in the boat to fish: they were returning at nine o'clock, and in passing the point of the reef, the fine weather, and the absence of surf, threw them so much off their guard, that the boat shipped a sea which filled her, and washed John Batchelor, a marine, overboard: the boat, with the rest of the men, drove in among the rocks to the westward of the landing-place, where they were saved with great difficulty, having received violent contusions. The boat was got round to the crab and hove up; she was much damaged, and her repairs were likely to take up a considerable time, as I had only two men who could assist in this business.

The wheat which was sown on the north-east side of Mount George, the 15th of June, being all rotten in the ground, except 260 blades, which I transplanted and put together, that patch of ground was sown with barley on the 1st of July. The wheat had a very bad appearance when put into the ground, being much heated and destroyed by the weevil.

The labourers were employed the greatest part of this month in clearing away and turning up some ground near my house, for a garden; its size about thirty rods. The barley which was sown on the 1st came up on the 10th, and every thing at the plantation had a promising aspect. On the 15th, the last cask of beef and pork were opened, which would serve forty-four days at full allowance; it therefore was my intention to put every person to half allowance on the 28th, should no provisions arise before that period.

On the 17th, we had a most tremendous gale of wind from the northward, accompanied by a deluge of rain. The gales of wind were now very frequent from the south-west and north-west, but it seldom blew hard from the eastward. These gales generally happen about the full and change of the moon, and continue three or four days.

We planted upwards of one thousand cabbages on the 23d, and every vegetable at the plantation was in a thriving state: we had turneps, carrots, lettuces of three sorts, onions, leeks, parsley, cellery, five sorts of cabbages, corn sallad, artichokes, and beet in great forwardness; but there was reason to fear that the potatoes and yams were quite destroyed by the grub-worm.

At five in the evening of the 26th, his Majesty's armed tender the Supply hove in sight, coming round Point Ross: she ran to leeward of this island, between Nepean and Phillip Isles, to ride out the gale, which blew very strong at west-south-west. Mr. Waterhouse, and a midshipman belonging to the Supply, arrived at the settlement on the 27th, with my dispatches from the governor; they were sent by Lieutenant Ball, who landed them in Ball's Bay. I found the Supply had brought provisions, tools, and seeds of various kinds for the settlement. I was informed by Governor Phillip, that as the Sirius would go to the northward in the month of September, he had deferred sending any more convicts until he heard my account of the island; and that if he thought it adviseable to send more settlers, they would be brought in the Sirius, which ship he intended sending among the islands, to procure stock for breeding. At day-light on the 28th, the midshipman returned to Ball Bay, in order to go on board the Supply. The labourers were employed in removing some large stones from the landing-place, and making a road to roll up the casks.

I received a message from Lieutenant Ball on the 29th, intimating, that as the wind was southerly and blew strong, he meant to anchor under the north-east part of the island; and as I expected he would anchor in Cascade Bay, I sent a man across the island on the 30th with a letter for him.

At ten in the morning of the 31st, the Supply's boat landed with some light articles; Lieutenant Ball sent a carpenter in her to offer his assistance in building a convenient boat for the use of the settlement: I directed him to begin his work immediately, and set the sawyers to work in sawing plank for his use. The other workmen were employed in turning up a piece of ground to sow two pecks of good seed wheat on, which came in the Supply.

From the 1st to the 4th of August, the wind blew very strong from the southward, which prevented the Supply from coming on that side of the island; but at sun-set on the 4th, the wind veering to north-east, she came round Point Ross, and anchored in the roads. The man whom I sent on the 30th of July across the island to find the Supply, returned this day at noon, much exhausted and fatigued: he had lost his way, and had been without food for three days; fortunately, the Supply was standing in for the shore and saw him, otherwise he must have perished.

Landing was very safe in the afternoon of the 5th, and we received on shore a part of the provisions and stores.

At day-light in the morning of the 6th, we hoisted the colours as a signal that the landing was safe, and at seven o'clock the colours were struck half staff, this being the signal that landing was dangerous, the surf having considerably increased with the flowing tide. At half past seven the Supply weighed, and soon afterwards she hove to and hoisted her boats out, and sent them towards the shore. I perceived her small boat was determined to come in, and being apprehensive that some accident might happen, I ordered Mr. Cunningham (the mate) into our boat, with four men, to lie within the point of the reef, in order to assist the Supply's boat, should any misfortune happen to her.

Unfortunately, our boat was swept away to the westward by the tide, and whilst they were endeavouring to get under the point of the reef again a heavy surf broke on her broad side and overset her. The anguish I felt at this shocking accident may be more easily conceived than described: small as our numbers were before, they were now decreased by the loss of Mr. Cunningham, (whom I sincerely cherished as a good young man) the sawyer, and one of the best of the convicts; a seaman belonging to the Supply was also drowned, and another convict narrowly escaped the same sate. Immediately after this dreadful misfortune the Supply's jolly-boat landed with three casks of flour, and as the large boat was coming near the shore, I ordered some musquets to be fired, on which she returned on board: the Supply bore up, and ran to leeward of the island. At one o'clock, there being scarcely any surf, the jolly-boat went off, and ran to leeward of the island, to get on board the brig.

On the 7th, I was obliged to punish one of the convicts with thirty-six lashes, for stealing a hatch of eggs from under a hen which was sitting on them.

At day-light on the 8th, the Supply anchored in the road, and the landing being good, we received part of the provisions and stores; the remainder were landed on the 10th.

Our new boat being finished, I sent the carpenter and Mr. Waterhouse on board the Supply, in the morning of the 11th, with my letters for the Governor; and soon afterwards she hoisted her colours, and set sail for Port Jackson.

I received from Governor Phillip seventeen queries, which, with my answers to them, are as follow:

Query 1. In what time do you think the island will be able to support the people you have with you, independent of supplies from this settlement?

Answer. From the excellence of the soil, and the present appearances, the island will produce more than a sufficiency of grain in two years: animal food depends on the supply and breeding of stock; and cloathing on the flax-plant being brought to work.

Q. 2. Do you wish to have more people sent you, and what number of men and women do you wish to have in addition to those you have already.

Ans. With twenty more men, and women in proportion exclusive, I should be able to make a little progress in clearing and cultivating the ground.

Q. 3. In what time do you think the island will be able to maintain the additional number of people you wish to have sent you?

Ans. I think in two years, but in three at most, as answered by the first question.

Q. 4. What ground have you in cultivation?

Ans. Two acres and an half in barley, and one acre in garden ground: in September I shall have an acre in Indian corn and rice.

Q. 5. Have you discovered the flax-plant?

Ans. Yes: some bundles of the flax-plant which I put into water on the 17th of March were taken up the 27th of July, when we found that the thick vegetable of the fibres had rotted away, but still they were covered with an hard woody substance, from which we have ineffectually tried to separate the flaxy part, which I have no doubt would make good cordage, canvas, and linen, as it appears to be of a fine and strong texture. Some lines were made of it, which were tolerably strong and good; but the want of a method to separate the woody part from the flax, will be a great hindrance to its being made useful.

Q. 6. How many acres of clear ground have you found in the island?

Ans. Not a yard square.

Q. 7. Have you any place round the island at which a vessel of thirty or forty tons can remain at anchor in security all the year round?

Ans. None; without removing to the lee side of the island as the wind changes. Anchorage is good all round the island, as the bottom is a coral sand: at about two miles from the land the circular depth is twenty-two fathoms. An harbour might be made by cutting a channel through the reef about four hundred feet long, but it would be necessary to blow up some sunken rocks to facilitate the entry: if it should ever be thought proper to do this, five vessels of seven feet draught might lie all the year round in security within the reef: they will not be able to enter but in the finest weather, with the wind from north-east to north-west, and then they must warp in: perhaps less difficulty will be found when I am informed of the state of the weather during the Summer months.

Q. 8. How far will it be possible to load any ship hereafter with spars for ships of the line; I mean with respect to the great difficulty, I am told, there is to land any thing on the island, or to take any thing off?

Ans. I cannot answer this question so fully as I could wish, until I am acquainted with the state of the weather during the summer months. In fine weather, with the wind at north-east, spars of any dimensions may be sent off from Sydney-Bay, by mooring a boat without the reef, and hauling the spars off. I have great reason to suppose anchorage will be very safe off Sydney-Bay in the summer. I think vessels might be built and launched in Ball-Bay; and when the flax-plant can be brought to work, cordage and sails can be made of the finest and strongest sort.

Q. 9. How does your stock thrive, and what does the island produce?

Ans. Of the stock I brought with me, five ewes are dead with the scab, and two sows poisoned: the rest are all very thriving and likely to do well. The productions of the island, are timber for the construction of vessels, pines for masting them, and, when the flax-plant can be worked, a sufficiency of cordage for the navy of Great-Britain, which needs no cultivation, as the island abounds with it, and fresh leaves shoot from the roots. Pigeons, parrots, parroquets, and other birds, are in abundance; the sea abounds with fish, and probably we may have turtle during the summer months. A number of banana trees have been found on the island.

Q. 10. What live stock do you wish to have sent you?

Ans. Stock of any kind would be acceptable for breeding. I have no she-goats. The leaves of the trees and underwood, afford ample and wholesome food for many animals, and the fern-tree, which is very plentiful, is very good food for hogs.

Q. 11. Are those who are with you satisfied, or do they wish to be relieved?

Ans. Every one is satisfied, and no person wishes to be relieved.

Q. 12. What weather have you in general?

Ans. During the months of March and April, we had very fine weather; since when, it has been variable; and when the wind has been at south, and south-west, the air was raw and cold. The full and change of the moon has generally been accompanied with very heavy gales of wind and torrents of rain, from the north-east, or south-west, both of which have been very violent at times. We have had no thunder or lightning, nor ice.

Q. 13. What are the prevailing winds?

Ans. The winds have been variable: westerly winds appear to be most frequent during the winter, and I have great reason to suppose easterly winds are constant during the summer.

Q. 14. Have you been at the small islands?

Ans. I have been round Nepean Island once, but could not land on it, the wind being westerly, which made a great break in the small sandy bay which lies on the south-west side of that isle. My not having men to row, and the uncertainty of the weather, has prevented my going to Phillip isle.

Q. 15. Are there any animals on the island, and of what kind are they?

Ans. None but rats, which are distructive, and have been very numerous; but now they are much thinned.

Q. 16. Have you found any lime or chalk stone?

Ans. None.

Q. 17. Have you been supplied with fish?

Ans. Fish in great numbers, and of a large size, abound all round the island. Some turtle were caught soon after I landed, but the approach of cold weather drove them off. I have not been able to send the boat off so often as I wished, not having men to row, but when she has gone out, a plentiful supply of fish has been obtained.

At sun-rise on the 12th of August, we hoisted the colours, in observance of the birth-day of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales; and the same day a rood and an half of ground was sown with a peck of seed wheat, which I received by the Supply.

From this time till the 17th, every person was employed in clearing a piece of ground to sow the remainder of the seed wheat, which was brought by the Supply; and this being completed, I sent the labourers to clear away, turn up, and plant half an acre of ground in Arthur's Vale, with Indian corn.

The frequent accidents which had happened to boats here, made me anxious to search for a better landing place, or a place where landing might be practicable, when the surf ran too high to land in Sydney-Bay; and Lieutenant Ball having mentioned one as likely in Cascade-Bay, on the north side of the island, I set out at day-light in the morning, taking three men along with me, in search of it; proposing, at the same time, to examine Ball-Bay in my road. I left the surgeon commanding officer at the settlement, and I cannot help testifying the great satisfaction I felt at having a person of his character, to superintend the work in my absence, and his steadiness and general knowledge, made him a valuable associate. After climbing and descending a number of steep hills, and cutting our way through the thick woods which covered some small plains, we arrived at a gully to the westward of Ball-Bay, about eleven o'clock; from whence we walked round to the bay by the sea-shore, it being low water.

The distance between the two points of Ball-Bay is about a mile and a half; it goes in west-north-west, and is nearly a mile deep. At the distance of two hundred yards from the shore, the bay is entirely surrounded with steep hills, except in the center, where there is a valley, down which, a stream of fresh water runs, and empties itself on the beach. The sides of these hills are cloathed with pines and the flax-plant; the beach is covered with large round stones, under which is a hard bottom, formed by the incrustation of sand and shells. The wind being now at south-south-east, there was not the least surf on the beach; and I apprehend, that when the wind blows from the south-west, which makes very bad landing in Sydney-Bay, the landing is very good here; so that, should I not find Cascade-Bay a more eligible place than this, it was my intention to make a creek on the beach, by removing the stones for the breadth of twenty feet, until the bottom is clear, and as they are very heavy, I do not think it would be liable to fill up again.

I passed the remainder of the day here, and slept under a tent which I had brought with me. The next morning at day-light, we set out from Ball-Bay in order to go to Cascade-Bay, on the north side of the island, which is not more than three miles distant, yet we did not arrive there before five o'clock in the afternoon, quite exhausted and fatigued; having been under the necessity of cutting our way through the entangled underwood, which intercepted us in every direction.

The landing place mentioned by Lieutenant Ball, is on a rock, a little detached from the island, and has communication with it at half tide: there is no objection to this being a very good landing place, if it were not for the almost total impossibility of getting any article of provisions or stores further than the rock, which is at least three hundred yards from the valley that leads down to it. Between this rock and the cascade, there is a stony beach, similar to that at Ball-Bay, on which landing is very good, with southerly winds, and they generally prevail during the winter. Spars might be sent off from hence with great ease; but should the island remain settled, it will be necessary to make the landing at this place more convenient than it is at present. We passed the night in the valley above the cascade: this valley is extensive, and a very large deep rivulet runs through it.

At day-light on the 19th, we set out on our return to Sydney-Bay, where we arrived at four in the afternoon, with scarcely a rag to cover ourselves, the cloaths being torn off our backs by the briars.

I observed the soil to be very good in every part of the island I visited during the excursion, and it was well watered; but the woods were almost impassable. There is a deal of level ground on the tops of the hills, and most of them will admit of cultivation; and where they are too steep for that purpose, the timber which grows on them might he reserved for fuel.

The wheat which we had sown on the 12th and 17th, was all out of the ground by the 24th, and had a very promising appearance.

Early in the morning of the 25th, the surgeon, with six men, went to Ball-Bay, to make a commencement on the creek; taking a week's provisions and four tents along with them.

I visited this party on the 27th, and found they had made good progress, considering that their labour was greatly retarded by neap tides, and an easterly wind, which threw a great surf upon the beach.

The surgeon and his party returned on the 30th, and the next morning, at day-light, I set out, with some men, to see what further could be effected: we got to the bay by half past eight o'clock, and found the tides of the preceding day had thrown a number of loose small stones into the cut. As the tide ebbed, I directed the labourers to clear away a number of large stones which lay in the entrance of the cut; and at low water, all the stones were removed as far out as possible, which was compleated at five o'clock in the afternoon. The out was about three feet deep, and at half tide there was upwards of six feet at the entrance: with any other wind than between south-west and north-west, there is a surf on the beach, which often breaks with so much violence, as to render any attempt to land highly dangerous. As I found every thing done at this place, which could be effected with the small number of men I had, we returned to Sydney-Bay on the 3d.

Hitherto, the people on the settlement had not done much work for themselves; and, all the good seed of Indian corn being sown, I gave every person liberty from this time till the 14th, to clear away their gardens, and sow them. For four days past, a single turtle had been observed on the beach; I was loath to turn it, hoping it would draw others on, but finding that did not happen, it was turned on the 6th day, and brought to the settlement, where it was served out as usual.

This turtle had been recently wounded between the shoulders with a kind of peg; which circumstance, together with some pieces of canoes, a wooden image resembling a man, and a fresh cocoa-nut, found in Ball-Bay, induced me to suppose that there is a considerable island undiscovered, not far from the eastward of Norfolk-Island. The Indian-corn sown during the last and present month, was now all up, and likely to do well.

I set off at day-light in the morning of the 15th, and went to the western or rocky point. The entangled state of the woods on this part of the island, were worse, if possible, than any where else, but the soil and general appearance was much the same. From Point-Ross to Rocky-Point, the shore is inaccessible; consisting altogether of steep cliffs, which rise perpendicular from the sea. I returned at sun-set, much fatigued, and my cloaths, as usual on these excursions, were torn from my back.

As the houses and tents were surrounded by a thick wood, I set the men to make an opening to the sea-side, by cutting down the trees and piling up the timber.

In the course of this month, we saw a great number of whales and thrashers, some of which came close to the reef: indeed, on our first landing here, I found the entire skeletons of two whales, which had every appearance of having been driven on shore, and the flesh destroyed by rats and birds.

On counting some of the plants of barley, I found one grain produced 124 stalks; this pleasing prospect induced me to set about building a granary of eighteen feet long by twelve feet wide; and I set the sawyers and carpenters to work in sawing wood for that purpose: some of the labourers were ordered to assist them in placing the granary on posts, others were employed in making shingles to cover it with, and the rest were digging a cellar under the surgeon's house, for stowing provisions: the women were employed in picking grubs off the Indian corn.

In the beginning of October, we found a sensible alteration in the weather, it being very warm, except the mornings and evenings, which were still cold: gales of wind were less frequent, and the landing was better in general than it had been for two months back. Some heavy rain fell on the 3d, which lodged the barley, that had been some time in ear, and the rats got to it, so that our return was likely to be but small.

The Indian corn, which was about eight inches high, suffered greatly from the grub-worm, which got into the plant and cut it off close to the ground, destroying forty or fifty plants in the course of one night, which obliged me to keep the women constantly employed in picking them off: every other remedy was tried; such as sprinkling ashes, and lye of ashes round the roots, but with no good effect.

I made an excursion to Mount Pitt in the morning of the 4th, and arrived there at noon: from the top of this mount, I had a complete view of the whole island, and a part of its sea-coast. The whole exhibited a picturesque scene of luxuriant natural fertility, being one continued thick wood, and I found the soil every where excellent. Within a mile of the summit of Mount Pitt, the ground, which is a red earth, was full of very large holes, and I fell into one of them at every step, as they were concealed by the birds making their burrows aslant. Near the summit of the mount, there grew a number of very large pines, which I was surprised at; it is indeed wonderful how they can withstand the violent gales of wind which often blow here.

On the 13th, at day-light, we saw the Golden-Grove transport lying at an anchor in the road, and soon afterwards, Mr. Donovan, a midshipman belonging to the Sirius, came on shore, and delivered the governor's letters: by this gentleman I also received a letter from Mr. Blackburn, the master of the Supply, informing me that he sailed from Port Jackson on the 24th of September, being ordered by Governor Phillip to conduct the transport to this island; that he had brought Mr. Donovan, a serjeant, a corporal, and five private marines, two gardeners, who were seamen belonging to the Sirius, and twenty-one men and eleven women convicts; also the Supply's jolly-boat and boat's crew, to assist in unloading the Golden-Grove.

In the course of the 15th, we received on shore the party of marines and all the convicts; also most of the stores, and some provisions. The next day we landed 56 casks of flour, and 18 casks of salt provisions, besides a quantity of stores.

This day I turned a turtle, which weighed 200 pounds.

Towards evening, the Golden-Grove weighed, and stood off and on during the night. Ever since her arrival the weather had been fine, and not the least surf.

Chapter XIII


October 1788 to February 1789

Quantity of provisions received by the Golden Grove.--Timber sent to Port Jackson.--Observations on the navigation near Norfolk Island.--Number of persons on the settlement.--Nepean and Phillip Islands described.--Corn reaped.--A party sent to Ball Bay.--Talk-work of the convicts.--The free people exercised.--Plot to seize the island discovered.--Orders made public for the preservation of regularity.--Oath of allegiance administered.--Provisions and stores examined.

The flood tide running strong all the morning of the 16th, and the wind being to the eastward, prevented the Golden Grove from working up; and though she fetched Point Ross in the afternoon, the flood making, she was swept to leeward.

Having received instructions from Governor Phillip to send all the useful timber I conveniently could to Port Jackson, I set the men to work in cutting spars, and sawing boards for that purpose. At day-light in the morning of the 17th, the Golden Grove stood into the road and anchored, but the surf ran so high that no boats could pass before low water, which was at three in the afternoon, when I sent the Coble off; but as the surf increased, I made the signal for her to be hoisted in, and soon afterwards the transport got under weigh.

The next forenoon, the coble came on shore, and soon afterwards the Golden Grove anchored in the road. The same afternoon we landed eighteen casks of flour, and ten of salt provisions.

Landing was very good until the evening of the 21st, and during that time we received the whole of the stores and provisions from the Golden Grove: I also received two sows and fourteen young pigs belonging to the crown, and a she-goat, which was the property of Mr. Collins, the judge-advocate. The provisions received were--one hundred and twenty-six barrels of flour, thirty-nine tierces of beef and twenty-two tierces of pork, twenty-three firkins of butter, thirty-three casks of peas, and five puncheons of rum, which were about seventeen months provisions at the following ratio:--For one man for a week, flour, seven pounds: beef, three pounds and a half: pork, two pounds: butter, six ounces: peas, three pints. For one woman for a week, flour, four pounds and a half: beef, two pounds and a quarter: pork, one pound and a quarter: butter, four ounces: peas, two pints. It should be observed, that the above ratio was full avoirdupoise weight, without any deduction whatever.

During the night of the 22d, we had very strong gales of wind, and at day-light, I perceived the Golden Grove had left the road; I afterwards learnt that she parted her cable at ten o'clock, and was not more than her own length to windward of the reef of rocks which lie off the south-east end of Nepean Island in passing it.

From this time to the 28th, we had only three days good landing, during which a number of spars and planks were sent on board the Golden Grove, for Port Jackson. Previous to the departure of that vessel, I wrote a letter to Mr. Blackburn, requesting him to communicate his remarks on the navigation round these islands; as he had a better opportunity of making himself acquainted with it than I possibly could have, to which he returned the following answer; and, from the abilities of this officer, I believe his observations are very accurate.

"North-north-west, about five miles from Duncombe Bay, there is a bank of coarse sand and coral, with sixteen and seventeen fathoms on it, between which and the anchoring place there are twenty-five fathoms: there are also soundings north-east from Phillip Isle, from thirty-five to twenty-five fathoms at least four leagues off; at which distance it is foulest and shoallest. The bearings, when at anchor in Duncombe Bay, were Cook's rocks east-south-east, and the rocks off Point Howe, west-south-west one quarter west, the landing rock south, distance off one mile; the depth nineteen fathoms, coarse sand and coral. The best anchorage in the Cascade Bay is with the great cascade south-west, and Cook's Point north-east; distance off shore about a mile and a half; the ground tolerably good. Cascade Bay is a very good road in the strong south-west wind, and very smooth water; the landing is easy, as is the access to the island. As the ebb goes very strong nine hours to the eastward, the most convenient place for anchoring off Sydney Bay, on account of the boats, is, with the body of Nepean's Isle east-north-east half east, or east by north; the flag-staff north-north-east half east, Point Ross north-west by west, and the west end of Phillip Isle south-south-east nineteen fathoms; but here the ground is rocky: the best anchoring is with the middle of Nepean Isle east-north-east half east, the west end of Phillip Isle south by east, the outermost breaker off Point Ross north-west by west half west, the flag-staff north by east half east, and Collins's Head north-east by east half east, seventeen fathoms clear ground.

"The tides round the island are very strong, and from the observations I have been able to make, and the difficulty we always found in the Supply of getting from Cascade Bay round to Sydney Bay, (which ever end of the island we tried at) I have every reason to believe that the flood sets south-south-west, and the ebb north-north-east: it flows about seven o'clock all round the island: now as the ebb runs nine hours north-north-east, it strikes directly against Rocky Point, which divides the tide, the eastern part runs with rapidity through the islands, and then resumes its former course of north-north-east: the other part goes north-north-west past Anson Bay, round the west end of the island, and then north-north-east; so that in coming from the north side of the island (unless the wind gives aslant) you have the tide right a-head which-ever end of the island you attempt to get round. As to the flood it runs but three hours, and with little strength."

The master of the Golden Grove's observations, which I requested him to communicate to me, are as follow:--"The flood comes directly from the south-east, strikes in with Ball Bay, and sets up through between the islands: the other part, as it divides itself, sets round the north-east part of the island; so that a ship coming round from Cascade Bay, can never work up with the wind to the southward and westward, as both tides take her directly on the weather bow. From what I have seen of Ball Bay, I by no means like it; my reason is, it is a bay that a ship can never get out of with an in-blowing wind, and I do not think it a safe one to ride in: the Cascade Bay I give much the preference to, as it can hardly happen but a ship can get to sea on one tack or another, and ride in very smooth water at anchor. I could load the Golden Grove very well with timber or masts, taking the advantage of the winds in Cascade and Sydney bays."

As I was very much in want of a carpenter, a man who had been discharged from the Sirius, and was on board the Golden Grove as a sailor, offered to remain on the island on any terms, but I could make no agreement with him, not being impowered to take any step of that kind; I therefore informed him, that if he chose to remain he must take it on himself: this he with great readiness consented to, and I found him a great acquisition.

The Golden Grove sailed for Port Jackson on the 29th.

As an encouragement to the convicts who came by the Golden Grove, I gave them from the time of their landing until the 30th to build houses for themselves, and to clear away a little garden ground. The huts were very soon built, being composed of logs, and thatched with bullrushes and flaggs, which made them very comfortable; and as a farther encouragement, I gave some of them (who had the best characters) permission to build their houses in the vale, and to clear away ground near them for their own use.

The settlement now consisted of the following persons, viz.

Mr. Stephen Dunnavan, midshipman of the Sirius                    1
Mr. Thomas Jamieson, surgeon's first mate of ditto                1
Mr. John Altree, assistant-surgeon                                1
Roger Morley, Robert Webb, Thomas Webb, seamen belonging to ditto 3
John Livington, carpenter, late belonging to ditto                1
Serjeant, corporal, six private marines                           8
                                                                 16 free.
Male convicts                                                    29
Female convicts                                                  17
The total number, besides two children,                          62

Soon after the departure of the Golden Grove, I made public the following extract from Governor Phillip's letter to me:--

"You will return any marine, convict, or other person, with whose conduct you are not satisfied; and you are at liberty to permit those, whose good behaviour merits the indulgence, to work one day in the week on lots of land, one or two acres of ground to a convict, which you will cause to be pointed out for that purpose, and which they may consider as their own property while they behave well; after the time for which they are sentenced may expire, lands will be granted them, if they wish to remain as settlers, and you may give them such part of the public stock to breed from, as you may judge proper, forbidding any person on the island ever to sell any fowl, hog, or any other animal, without having first obtained your permission; and you are not to permit the killing of any live stock until you have a sufficient quantity on the island for your support, except in cases of sickness.

"You will make the report to me, when opportunity offers, of such who are not convicts, and who are desirous of settling on the island; and you are at liberty to permit them to cultivate ground for their own benefit, not exceeding ten acres to any one person; they will receive the indulgence of such part of the live stock as you may judge necessary to give them, but neither settler, nor any other person on the island, is to be at liberty to kill any animal without having obtained your permission. Hereafter, grants will be made to those who wish to remain on the island, of a larger extent of ground."

During the month of November, the weather was very warm, except four days, when we had strong gales of wind from the southward, which made it as cold as winter.

On the 14th, I planted about thirty rod of ground with Indian corn: some which had been planted in September was now five feet high, and the wheat grew so very rank that I was obliged to crop it.

I went out in the coble on the 22d, and sounded between Point Hunter and Nepean Isle: there is a good channel, and there are not less than three fathoms close to Point Hunter; and on the north side of Nepean Isle in mid-channel, there are eight fathoms water.

On the 29th, I landed on Nepean Island, and found it to consist entirely of one mass of sand, held together by the surrounding cliffs, which are a border of hard rocks: notwithstanding there was not the least appearance of earth or mould on the island, yet there were upwards of two hundred very fine pines growing on it; the surface was covered with a kind of coarse grass.

The weather being now very hot, I changed the working hours, and gave the labourers from half past ten o'clock until half past twelve, to avoid the heat of the sun: they were employed in clearing ground for cultivation, making shingles, cutting a road from the settlement to Ball Bay, and reaping wheat and barley.

The heat of the sun split the weather boarding with which my house was covered; and it being very leaky, I fet the carpenters and sawyers to work to put a new roof on, and to raise the house five feet, in order to make room for stores and provisions.

At day-light in the morning of the 2d of December, I went in the coble to Phillip Isle, where I landed on a rock, in a small bay on the north side. It was with difficulty that I ascended the first hills, which were covered with a sharp long grass that cut like a knife; this was interspersed with brushwood. The soil is a light red earth, and was so full of holes, which had been made by the birds, that walking was very laborious. A small valley runs the whole length of the island, in which, and on some of the hills, a few pines grow, but I think the whole island does not produce more than one hundred and fifty. I found no fresh water on the island, but probably there may be some, as I saw a number of hawks, pigeons, and parrots; but as I had only two convicts to row the boat, I left the island, and got to Sydney Bay in the evening.

On the 8th, I housed all the barley which had been raised on an acre of ground, and was sown in June and July. During the first of its growth, it had a most promising appearance, but when the ear was shot and nearly filled, some heavy rains in September laid a great part of it down, and the quantity destroyed by the rats and quails was almost incredible: there was every prospect of getting at least fifty bushels of grain, but the whole quantity, when gleaned, yielded only ten bushels. The barley was very fine, and 116 ears were produced from one grain. Garden vegetables throve very well, and cabbages were cut weighing twenty-six pounds each. I have no doubt but potatoes would thrive very well here; unfortunately, we had only two sets on the island, which were brought by the Golden Grove. Most of the marines and convicts had now very good gardens, but the grub-worm was a great and perpetual enemy to their vegetables.

It has already been observed, that 260 plants of wheat were transplanted the beginning of June; these were threshed on the 15th, and the produce was three quarts of a very fine full grain.

The weather often was very favourable for landing in Sydney-Bay, and the boat was frequently sent out; but the surf often rose presently afterwards which made it dangerous for her to come on shore, so that she was obliged to go to Ball Bay, and men were sent from the settlement to haul her up, which occasioned a great loss of time: I therefore resolved to send Mr. Altree, who was a very trusty young man, a gardener, and one convict, together with three women to remain there, as they would not only cultivate the ground in the valley, but would, at all times, be ready to assist in hauling the boat up.

This party went to Ball-Bay on the 18th, where they found landing as fine as could be wished, though the surf ran very high in Sydney-Bay; the wind being at south, and blowing hard.

Some wheat was reaped on the 22d, which had been sown on the 11th of August: the grain was very full and fine, but as it was sown late the stock was not so fine as might have been expected.

The 25th, being Christmas-day, it was observed as a holyday. The colours were hoisted at sun-rise: I performed divine service; the officers dined with me, and I gave each of the convicts half a pint of rum, and double allowance of beef, to celebrate the festival: the evening concluded with bonfires, which consisted of large piles of wood, that had been previously collected for the occasion. Spring-tides were now at the height, and I sent every person on the 26th to Ball-Bay to make the cut deeper, and to clear away some stones which were washed into it. The wheat which was sown the latter end of August, was reaped on the 29th, and the Indian corn was nearly fit for the sickle.

I now began to perceive a very great difference between the work done since the arrival of the convicts by the Golden-Grove, and what was done before, in proportion to our numbers; the reason was, that when the number of convicts was increased, I had not persons sufficient to overlook them and keep them at work: I therefore adopted the plan of talking them; for which purpose I consulted those whom I thought conversant in the different employments that were carrying on; and their opinions, added to what I had observed myself, determined me to six the different tasks as follow, with which they were all contented. Six men were to cut the timber down on an acre of ground in one week: six men to clear away and turn up an acre of ground fit for receiving seed, in twenty-eight days: two sawyers to saw one hundred feet of sawing each day. At these tasks the convicts would have an opportunity of saving time to themselves; and, as that time was to be employed in clearing gardens and ground to cultivate for their own use, what was thus saved from the public work would not be lost to society; although it was to be feared that some would pass their time in idleness.

Having six musquets on the island, exclusive of the marines arms, I thought it necessary to instruct the few free persons I had (which were six) in the use of fire-arms, in case the marines should be sick, or any other exigency should happen; I therefore gave orders to Mr. Dunavan to exercise them every Saturday morning; and the serjeant was to exercise the marines at the same time, or oftener: I intended that the former, after they were a little expert, should fire half a dozen rounds once a month.

I went in the boat on the 5th, and examined the north and west side of the island, which I found every where surrounded by perpendicular cliffs. I landed on the beach in Anson's-Bay, where I found the remains of a canoe, which had been washed there by the tide; a very good cocoa-nut was also found. This beach is very small, and appeared to be a mere quicksand; there is no fresh water near it, and the bay is surrounded by steep hills, on which there grows a quantity of the flax-plant.

The 8th ushered a male child into the world, and as he was the first born on the island, he was baptized by the name of Norfolk. At noon on the 15th, parties were sent out in search of the cockswain of the coble, who had lost himself in the woods, as he was returning from Ball-Bay, where the boat had been hauled up the preceding day at sun-set: he was found on the 18th, naked and almost exhausted, insomuch that he was obliged to be carried to the settlement, having received several deep cuts and bruises which rendered him incapable of getting out of his bed for some time.

Thomas Watts, a convict, was punished with twenty-four lashes, on the 19th, for contemptuously refusing to work, and being abusive to the corporal of marines, who reprimanded him for not going to work with the rest of the convicts.

The weather, during this month, was very fine and settled, and the wind northerly until the 22d; from which time to the end of the month, we had constant heavy rain, without an hour's interval of dry weather: such a continuance of rainy weather I never heard of, and it was frequently attended with heavy gales of wind from the north-east.

In consequence of some irregularities which had happened, I found it necessary to assemble all the free people on the 23d, and to read the articles of war.

The next day, Robert Webb, a seaman belonging to the Sirius, but who was employed as a gardener on the island, came to me, and signified a wish to speak with me in private, which being granted, he informed me that a plan had been concerted among the convicts, to surprize me, with the rest of the officers, marines, and free people; and to possess themselves of the public stores, and afterwards to endeavour to surprize the Supply, or any other vessel that might come here, and make their escape from the island. On my interrogating him, he said that Elizabeth Anderson, a female convict, who lived with him, had given him this information the day before, and on his doubting the truth of what she advanced, she offered to convince him of the truth of her assertion, by bringing him within hearing of a convict whom she would entice to relate the plan; which being agreed to by Webb, this morning (the 23d.) Elizabeth Anderson invited William Francis (a convict) into the hut, to drink a dram, when he related the circumstances of the plan, and how it was to be carried into execution; Webb being at this time hid from the view of Francis, by a piece of tent which was hung before the bed he lay in.

As I thought it necessary to substantiate this information, I caused Robert Webb and Elizabeth Anderson to be kept apart, and took their depositions on oath separately, both of which perfectly agreed in every particular, and were in substance as follow:

"That yesterday (the 22d.) between nine in the morning and noon, Elizabeth Anderson being washing, she sighed, when William Francis, who stood near her, asked what she sighed for; she answered, she was very low; William Francis then asked her, if she could get her liberty, whether she would leave Webb, and on her saying yes, he said, the first ship that comes here, except the Sirius, we will every man and woman have our liberty, to which we were all sworn last Saturday; and we (the convicts) would have had it already, if the Sirius was not the first ship expected, and the day that Watts was flogged was intended to have been the day for making Mr. King and the free people prisoners."

Francis added, "that it was proposed to take the Golden-Grove on her passage, as they (the convicts) were all for it, except one man, and he was the forwardest in the present plot. Robert Webb appearing, put an end to this conversation; and Elizabeth Anderson repeated to Webb all that passed between her and Francis: on Robert Webb's suspecting the story being an invention of hers; they agreed that he should lie concealed in the bed, which had a curtain made of a piece of tent, while she should endeavour to draw from Francis a fuller account of the plan laid by him and the rest of the convicts; and this morning (the 23d.) at day-light, Robert Webb being still in bed, Elizabeth Anderson got up, and on seeing Francis near the hut, she wished him the 'good morrow,' and informed him that Webb was gone to town to grind his tools; she then said, 'come Bill, sit down and drink a little rum, it will do us both good, and drink to the boys of the ship that will take us from this place:' to which health they both drank. Elizabeth Anderson then asked Francis how long it was since they (the convicts) had planned the scheme; he said they were all sworn on this Saturday month past, at Thompson's, in the vale, excepting Widdicome and Rice, (convict rope-makers,) who were Mr. King's right-hand men, and therefore not to be trusted: Lucas (the convict carpenter) had not been asked, but they were sure he would be on their side, when they (the convicts) got the day.

"Francis continued saying, 'I'll tell you how it is to be done; the whole is left to my management, and the best time will be the first Saturday after the arrival of any other vessel than the Sirius. Most of the marines and free people will be a-cabbaging*, and as Mr. King generally goes to the farm twice a day, in his absence I will step into his house and hand out the arms** to my men; then I will go out and take Mr. King, and after that the other officers, and what marines are in camp, and the rest as they come in from cabbaging: we will then put them all in irons, two and two together, when they will be as helpless as bees. We will then make the signal for a boat, and when she lands, we'll nab the boat's crew; then send the coble off with Mr. King's compliments, and request another boat may be sent to carry off plank, as the first boat was stove, and the coble could not carry luggage: when the second boat comes, the people belonging to it will be nabbed, and the two boats with the coble will be filled with our people (the convicts) and the women, and take possession of the ship. Three of the sailors might remain, if they were willing, and one officer should be kept to navigate the ship; the rest of the officers and ship's company will be left on Nepean or Phillip-Island, with the coble, from whence they might go to Norfolk-Island and liberate the commandant.

[* Getting the wood-cabbages.]
[** The marines arms were kept in my house.]

"Elizabeth Anderson then expressed her wishes that it might succeed, and Francis left her."

The taking Webb and Anderson's depositions, and interrogating them, took up two hours; and it being Saturday, most of the convicts were out getting cabbages: there was a possibility that the accusation against William Francis might be an invention; yet, having received that information, it became necessary to use every precaution against a surprize; I therefore ordered a constant guard of three privates, to be commanded by Mr. Dunavan, the serjeant, and corporal, and a guard-house was built between my house and the surgeon's, in which the provisions and stores were deposited. The store-house occupied by the marines, I removed from the water side nearer to my house. Every person, without exception, was ordered to live in the town, or camp, and I recalled the party who had been sent to Ball-Bay.

Being still desirous to obtain fuller proof the criminality of the parties concerned in this diabolical scheme, I desired Messrs. Dunavan and Jamieson to watch the return of John Bryant, a convict, who had always behaved very well: they were to interrogate him respecting the plan laid by the convicts, and to assure him of a pardon, if he would discover all he knew. I also sent to the house of William Thompson, in the Vale, to search for any written agreement that might have been drawn up, but none was found; however, the persons employed in this search found a quantity of Indian corn in a chest in Thompson's house, which, from its not being quite hard, must have been stolen from the King's grounds in Arthur's Vale, as there was no other on the island.

The next step I took was to order William Francis, John Thompson, Samuel Picket, and Joshua Peck to be taken into custody, on their return from cabbaging.

Messrs. Dunavan and Jamieson met John Bryant, and persuaded him to discover all he knew about the plot; presently afterwards, they brought him before me, when he was sworn on the cross, being a catholic, and I took his deposition; the substance of which was as follows:

"That on the passage from Port Jackson to Norfolk-Island it was talked among the convicts to take the Golden-Grove transport from the officers and crew and run away with her, and on its being proposed to Bryant he said they could be only fools to think of such a thing. That in going out to work on the 14th of this month with all the convicts, Samuel Picket remarked how easy it would be to take the island, by making the commandant prisoner, when going to, or returning from the farm in Arthur's Vale; after which, coming in and seizing the arms, and making prisoners of the marines and other free people. It was soon after agreed that the rest of the convicts were to be consulted, and if they were willing, a meeting was to be held at John Thompson's house in the Vale; Samuel Picket and Joshua Peck being inmates of his."

The remainder of Bryant's deposition, respecting how the island was to be taken, agreed in every particular with the testimony of Elizabeth Anderson and Robert Webb.

I next sent for Joshua Peck, and examined him on oath, and after much prevarication, he gave nearly the same account how the business was to be conducted as the others had done, except as to the manner how the officers were to be made prisoners, which was, "that after "they had secured me, they were to go to Mr. Dunavan's house at "the entrance of the vale, and take him and conduct him to the farm, "where we were to be tied back to back; after which, one of the "convicts was to be sent in with a message as from me, to speak with "the surgeon, serjeant of marines, and the rest, and they were to be "secured one by one as they came out."

To Bryant and Peck, I put the two following questions, telling them, that as their depositions and examination would be sent to the Governor, it was necessary that they recollected the nature of the oath they had taken, and to give a just answer.

Question.--Can you assign any reason for the aforesaid plot being formed? Answer.--None, but the hopes of regaining our liberty.

Question.--Have you at any time heard any convict on the island express any discontent at the conduct of officers, or on any other ground? Answer.--None.

It was now clear to me that a scheme had been entered into, in which all the convicts were concerned, except the rope-makers and carpenter already mentioned; and their succeeding in it, so far as regarded the taking myself and the officers prisoners was not to be doubted; for, I must own, that I was not sufficiently upon my guard against the description of people I had to deal with; as the apparent satisfaction which they often expressed at being on this island in preference to Port Jackson, added to the great indulgences they had frequently received from me, lulled any suspicion of their having the most distant idea of the kind.

The second part of their plan, viz. that of taking any ship which might come to the island, was very doubtful; but had the first succeeded, the destruction of the provisions and stores would have followed; and it is difficult to say what fatal consequences would have ensued from the drunken state they would have been in whilst the rum lasted: indeed, I must in justice to them observe, that no sanguinary measures were thought of; on the contrary, they proposed good treatment to myself and the free people; but how far that intention would have been observed by a set of men of their description, when in a state of drunken madness, may easily be conceived.

I ordered Samuel Picket and William Francis to wear irons, and the next day (Sunday), after prayers, I addressed the convicts, and pointed out to them the absurdity of their plan, admitting they had made themselves masters of a vessel. I endeavoured to convince them of the advantages they enjoyed on this island, where nothing but industry was requisite to insure them a happy and comfortable livelihood; after which, I exhorted them to let their future conduct wipe away the present impropriety of their behaviour: those who distinguished themselves by a regular, honest, and industrious line of conduct, I promised to countenance and encourage, whilst those of a contrary description were sure to be made severe and dreadful examples of. I likewise cautioned them against stealing and plundering the grounds and gardens; assuring them that they would be severely punished on detection.

Having finished my address to the convicts, I caused the following orders to be read, in addition to those which were before made public for the preservation of order.

"The commandant strictly forbids any officer, soldier, free person, or convict, male or female, ever absenting themselves from the camp or town for ten minutes together, without having first obtained leave from the officer charged with the guard, who will obtain the commandant's leave, if he should think fit to grant it. The officer of the guard will take an account of the names of those who are absent on leave, on a slate, which will be kept in the guard-house for that purpose.

Every person returning from that leave, is to acquaint the officer of the guard of their return.

Every convict who is observed to go over the hill to the farm, without having obtained leave, or going to work there, will be fired at by the centinel.

The convicts, and not more than three together, are to build houses for themselves, at their leisure hours, in such places as will be pointed out.

No person for the future will be suffered to live out of the camp.

John Thompson and Samuel Pickett are dispossessed of their garden ground, in consequence of their ill behaviour.

Though I had not the most distant reason to suspect any free person whatever, of being in the least disaffected, yet I judged it necessary to finish this affair by administering the oaths of allegiance and fidelity to the officers, marines, and free people individually, in the presence of the convicts. The theft of the Indian corn being fully proved, on the 26th, I ordered William Thompson to be punished with fifty lashes; and Thomas Jones, another convict, was punished with thirty-six lashes, for abuse and insolence to Messieurs Jamieson and Dunavan.

The whole of the convicts were now employed in cutting down trees, and clearing the ground near the houses, in order to give more room for building others.

As the rains were very violent, and seemed to be set in, and the heat of the weather had made much of our Indian corn to shoot out, I began gathering that which was sown in September.

Joseph Long, a convict, was punished with twelve lashes on the 28th, for quitting his work and absenting himself without leave.

The month of February commenced with heavy gales of wind and deluges of rain, which greatly damaged the Indian corn, and different plants that were seeding. The small patch of barley which was cut on the 20th of last month, was quite spoiled by the constant rain, and the swamp was entirely overflowed. On the 6th, we had a very heavy gale of wind from the northward, attended with lightning, which was the first I had seen since my arrival on the island.

Two convicts were punished on the 9th, for absenting themselves after ten o'clock at night from their quarters, with a bad intention.

The 15th, being Sunday, after performing divine service, and reading the orders, I forgave the prisoners, Samuel Pickett and William Francis, for their ill behaviour in the affair of the plot; but it was my intention to send Francis to Port Jackson the first opportunity, as he was a worthless, troublesome villain.

The heavy rains had now in a great measure subsided, and the weather on the 16th being fair, we embraced that opportunity of examining the provisions which were stowed in the cellars. On getting up the ground tier of flour casks from under the surgeon's house, I found a quantity of water had lodged amongst them; and although they were well dunnaged, yet we found many of the casks much damaged, and the flour in them spoiled; but the quantity lost could not immediately be ascertained: however, it was of the utmost consequence to have the whole overlooked, and every person was employed till the 21st in cleaning the flour and separating the damaged part of it from that which was dry and in good condition.

Chapter XIV


February 1789 to March 1790

A violent hurricane at Norfolk Island.--Arrival of the Supply.--Convicts sent from Port Jackson.--Provisions and stores.--Departure of the Supply.--Robberies committed.--Employment of the convicts.--Wheat infested with caterpillars.--A store-house erected.--Arrival of a party of marines from Port Jackson.--Thefts committed.--Orders read for preserving regularity.--A female convict punished.--Pernicious effects of the grub-worm.--Gardens plundered.--A granary erected.--Wheat destroyed by paroquets.--Number of inhabitants on the island.

The interval of fine weather, which gave us an opportunity of examining the state of our provisions, and cleaning the damaged flour, was succeeded by a hurricane that was dreadful beyond description. In the morning of the 25th, we had light winds from the north-east, and very dismal, dark, cloudy weather, with constant torrents of heavy rain: towards noon, the wind blew a heavy gale, and kept increasing in violence. At midnight, it shifted to east-south-east, and blew with great fury, attended with constant deluges of rain. At four o'clock the next morning several of the largest pines were blown up by the roots, one of which fell on the hog-stye and killed a very fine English sow and a litter of seven pigs that were my property, and three sows and two boars belonging to the crown. This was a severe loss to young colonists, but a still worse accident afterwards happened, and which had nearly deprived us of our flour.

From four in the morning until noon, the wind increased to a very severe hurricane, with the heaviest rain I ever saw or heard of. Pines, and oak-trees of the largest size, were blown down every instant; the roots were torn up, together with rocks that surrounded them; frequently leaving pits at least ten feet deep. Some of the very large trees, which measured 180 feet in length, and four feet diameter, were thrown by the violence of the tempest to a considerable distance from the place where they grew; and others, whose roots were too deep in the earth to be torn up, bent their tops nearly to the ground.

In addition to the horror of this scene, a very large tree fell across the granary and dashed it to pieces, staving a number of flour casks that were in it; but by the general activity of every person on the settlement, the flour, Indian corn, and stores were in a short time collected, and removed to my house, with the loss of a few pounds of flour and some small stores that were blown away.

The gale now raged with the most violent fury, which defies all description: whole forests seemed, as it were, swept away by the roots, and many of the trees were carried to a considerable distance. By one o'clock in the afternoon, there were as many trees blown down round the settlement as would have employed fifty men for a fortnight to cut down. The swamp and the adjoining vale were overflowed, and had every appearance of a large, navigable river: the surf ran mountains high, but did not overflow the bank, although very near its level: in the road, the sea ran very high, often eclipsing Nepean Isle.

At two in the afternoon, the gardener, two convict men, and one woman, who lived in the vale, came to the settlement, having narrowly escaped with their lives from the falling of trees, and great depth of water in many parts of the valley; and their houses, which had been built and framed with strong logs, were blown down. Three acres of ground that had recently been cleared were almost covered with trees: every thing in the gardens was nearly destroyed, and an acre of Indian corn, which was in a promising state, and nearly fit for reaping, was laid flat and covered with water four feet deep; nay, incredible as it may appear, the violence of the wind blew up cabbages, turnips, and other vegetables by the roots; and what remained in the gardens were turned as black as if they had been burnt.

At three o'clock, the wind veered round to south, and moderated, and at sun-set, the weather was very pleasant.

It was a providential circumstance that the discovery of the plot (as has already been related) happened previous to this dreadful storm, as, on that account, the convicts had altogether been employed in cutting down large trees round the settlement, to make room for building other houses: had not this been done, our houses would probably have been destroyed and many lives lost, as we had no asylum or retreat whatever: fortunately, however, only one man was hurt; he received a violent contusion on his right side by the branch of a tree falling on him. There was no appearance on any part of the island of such a storm having ever happened before.

During the remainder of the month we had very pleasant weather; the wind at south-west, but a heavy surf kept still running.

On the 2d of March, at day-light, we saw the Supply in the road; on which I sent Mr. Dunavan on board her: he soon returned, bringing letters for me from Governor Phillip, who, I learnt, had sent twenty-one men and six women convicts, with three children in the Supply, to be landed on this island. As I had the fullest confidence in the few free persons who were with me, I did not hesitate one moment in receiving the additional number of convicts who were now arrived, although some of them had very bad characters. By the Supply I also received a bushel of potatoes, and some seed-wheat and barley, that had been saved at Port Jackson; and in the course of the day, all the convicts and the greatest part of the provisions and stores were landed. One turn of provisions were got on shore early the next morning, but the surf increasing, no more boats passed that day.

Landing was very practicable on the 4th, and we received the remainder of the provisions and stores; also two three-pounders and their carriages belonging to the Supply, which should have been landed when I first came to the island, but were prevented by the surf. The surf ran so high on the 5th, that no boats could land: at two o'clock the Supply parted her cable, and stood off and on during the night. The Supply's boats were employed during the 6th, in sweeping for her anchor, as no landing could be attempted; but the surf abating on the 7th, we received every article on shore that was intended for the settlement.

I now ordered the surgeon to examine all the convicts who had lately arrived, in order to discover if any of them were infected with diseases, or troubled with complaints of any kind; but on examination, he found them all healthy.

The Supply having ineffectually swept for her anchor till the morning of the 10th, she made sail for Port Jackson at ten o'clock in the forenoon. The ground in the road off Sydney-Bay is very foul in general, although there may be some clear spots. The Golden-Grove parted her cable in the road, but regained her anchor, which the Supply was not lucky enough to accomplish; and she had the additional misfortune of nearly ruining two new cables in sweeping for it. It is somewhat remarkable, that the beach in Sydney-Bay has at times five feet of sand on the stones, and at other times it is all cleared away: this has happened when the wind has been at south-east, and when the beach was filled with sand, the wind has been at south-west: this probably may be the case in the road.

I gave the convicts who were newly arrived until the 18th, to build habitations for themselves; the others were employed at task-work. The numbers now on the island were as follows, viz.

Officers, marines, and free men, 16
Male convicts,                   50
Female convicts,                 23
Children,                         5
Total                            94

In order to prevent the water from overflowing the cultivated grounds in the upper part of Arthur's Vale, I set eight labourers to work on the 19th, in cutting a water-way of sixty rods long, by six feet deep.

I have hitherto forborn mentioning the numerous thefts that had almost daily been committed; and, notwithstanding the utmost vigilance, we had not been able to detect any person. Gardens had been constantly plundered; the harness cask, containing the provisions that were daily issued out, had been robbed; and one night an attempt was made to get into the upper part of my house, where the slops were deposited. Great rewards had been offered to tempt one or other to discover their accomplices, but without effect: however, at eleven o'clock in the night of the 23d, Thomas Watson, a convict, was detected in another convict's house, stealing a bag of flour.

From the number of daring thefts which had been committed, without my being able to fix on the thief, it became necessary to inflict a very severe punishment on this offender; and as I had no authority to give him any very severe corporal chastisement; after examining witnesses upon oath, and fully proving the theft, I ordered him into confinement, with an intention of sending him to Port Jackson to take his trial. In order to prevent these depredations as much as possible in future, I gave orders for the convicts to be mustered in their huts three times every night, and the hour of muster to be constantly changed: this had a good effect, but did not entirely prevent robberies from being committed.

James Davis, a convict, was punished with twenty-four lashes, on the 25th, for using seditious expressions, and throwing away some fish which had been issued, in a contemptuous manner.

On inspecting the seed-wheat, I found the weevil had begun its depredations, on which, I set some of the labourers to winnow and clear it. On the 30th, some atrocious villain stabbed one of the hogs belonging to the crown, which occasioned its death: this, amongst many other actions which happened, of a similar nature, served to show that there are wretches equal to any act of inhumanity and barbarity.

The sugar-cane, which I planted soon after my arrival on the island, being in a very exposed situation, I removed it on the 31st, and planted out 106 very good joints, which were produced from only four canes. The Indian corn, that had been damaged by the hurricane, was reaped this afternoon.

The different employments of the convicts were as follows:

At task-work, clearing away ground for cultivation,     30
Sawyers, sawing boards, for building a store-house,      2 2 free.
Carpenters, building a store-house,                      2 1 free.
Blacksmith, making fish-hooks, and other necessary work, 1 1 free.
Coble-men fishing,                                       3
Gardeners,                                               3 1 free.
Making shingles,                                         4
Schoolmaster, 1; officers servants, 3; care of stock, 1, 5
Total                                                   50 5

On the 2d of April, three quarters of an acre of ground was sown with wheat, the produce of that ground which had been first cleared on the north side of Mount George. The season for sowing wheat was as yet rather early, but I did it to try different periods, and to see which would answer best.

April On the 5th, (Sunday) after divine service, Thomas Jones, a convict, acquainted me that the term of his transportation expired that day. I had been informed by Governor Phillip that the different terms for which the convicts were sentenced was not known, as the masters of the transports had left the papers necessary for that information with their owners; but that he had wrote to England for them, and until their arrival no steps could be taken, as the convicts words were not sufficient: I therefore informed Thomas Jones that he was at liberty to work for whom he pleased, and if he chose to work for the public good, he would be used the same as others were, until I received further orders concerning him.

An acre of ground, in Arthur's Vale, was sown with wheat on the 6th; and on the 8th, Noah Mortimer, a convict, was punished with sixty lashes, for refusing to work, on being ordered by the overseer, and being abusive. The 10th, being Good-Friday, I performed divine service, and no work was done on the settlement.

On the 13th, three acres of wheat were sown with four bushels of seed. Every garden vegetable, now growing, were much blighted by west and south-west winds; indeed, this was a very improper time to sow any garden seeds, it being the commencement of winter; but the potatoes I had by me grew out so very fast, that I was obliged to sow them all. I had found the last year that June and July were the best months for sowing the general crop. We had a very heavy gale of wind this day from the south-west, which was the first southerly wind that had blown with any degree of force since last August; and the last year, the southerly winds did not begin until the 10th of April: from which I conclude that southerly and westerly winds are not frequent in the summer; especially as we had not one gale from that quarter during the last summer.

Three acres of wheat were sown in Arthur's vale on the 16th, and by the 21st eight acres of wheat were up, and had a promising appearance.

As there was a projection of the reef where boats used to land, which, if taken away, would greatly lessen the danger of landing; I set six men to work about removing it on the 22d, with orders to continue at the employment every tide until it was finished.

Notwithstanding every convict had suffered exemplary punishment for their crimes, whenever they were detected; yet this was not sufficient to keep the free people in proper subordination; for on the 26th, John Williams, a marine, quitted his guard, and raised a quarrel in a convict's house; the consequence of which was a battle between himself and another marine: on which, I assembled the marines and all the other free people under arms, under the flag-staff, on which the colours were hoisted; and I punished him with twenty-four lashes, for quitting his post, and fighting with his comrade.

I observed on the 7th of May, that all the wheat which hitherto had a very fine appearance, was blighted in many places, and particularly where it was thinnest sown: on examining it, I found it entirely covered with a small black caterpillar, which had eat off the stems within an inch of the ground: these destructive vermin kept on the wheat during the whole month; they began on the lower part of the eight acres that were sown in Arthur's Vale, and proceeded regularly through it, destroying every blade. We tried various methods to extirpate them, such as rolling the wheat with a heavy roller, and beating it with turf-beaters, in order to kill them, but with little effect; for in an hour's time they were as numerous as ever, and daily increased in size. I found they were bred from a small moth, vast numbers of which infested the air in the mornings and evenings: the number of these caterpillars on the wheat was incredible; and they were so thick in the gardens that we swept them in heaps: the adjoining rivulet was also covered with them. The whole wheat of eight acres (which was a foot high when these pernicious vermin first attacked it) was eat close to the ground by the 28th, and three acres of it never grew afterwards. Having gone through the gardens and wheat, these destructive insects left us on the 29th.

The carpenters had now finished the new store-house: its dimensions were thirty feet long by eighteen feet wide, and ten feet under the eaves: the sides were covered with weather boarding, and the roof was shingled. I ordered the provisions to be brought from my house and from the surgeon's, and deposited in the new store-house: the stores were also removed, and lodged there.

The 4th of June, being the anniversary of his Majesty's birth-day, it was observed as a holiday. The colours were hoisted at sun-rise: at noon, the marines and free people drew up under arms, to the right and left of the two three-pounders which were on the parade, in front of my house. The male convicts were also drawn up on the right, and the females on the left. Three rounds of the guns and musquetry were fired; after which, the whole party gave three cheers, and were dismissed.

In consideration of the behaviour of the convicts on the day when the hurricane happened, and their general conduct since the discovery of the plot, I was induced to let them partake of the general festivity of the day; and ordered half a pint of rum for each man, and a pint of wine for each woman, for them to drink his Majesty's health: the officers dined at my table, and on our drinking the King's health after dinner, three rounds of the great guns were fired: in the evening bonfires were lighted up, and the front windows of my house were illuminated with the initials G. R.

When every person was assembled, and before the firing began, I ordered the prisoner, Thomas Watson, who was in confinement for a theft, (and whom I proposed sending to Port Jackson to be tried) to be brought out, and in consideration of the day I forgave him.

The remaining four acres of wheat, which the caterpillars had not totally destroyed, were now shot out again, and had a very promising appearance.

On the 11th, I drilled thirty pints of wheat into sixty roods of ground; and, as I had but little seed left, this was, in my own opinion, disposing of it to the best advantage; especially as it was probable that the increase would be equal to that which had been sown at a broad cast: I also drilled in eighteen pints of marrow-fat peas.

At day-light in the morning of the 13th, we perceived his Majesty's armed tender, the Supply, in the road: the surf at that time ran very high in Sydney-Bay, and there being but little easterly wind, with a strong flood-tide, she could not get to Ball-Bay before three o'clock in the afternoon; when I received my letters from Governor Phillip, who informed me, that he had sent Lieutenant John Cresswell, of the marines, with fourteen privates, to the island; that Mr. Cresswell was to put himself under my command; and that in case of my death, or absence, the government of the island was to devolve on him. I had also the pleasing satisfaction to find that my conduct was approved of by Governor Phillip.

The surf ran very high on the 14th, until three o'clock in the afternoon, when Lieutenant Cresswell landed with his detachment and part of their baggage; but nothing else could be received on shore until the 17th, when part of the provisions and stores were landed. As another boat was now become necessary for the use of the settlement, I wrote to Lieutenant Ball, requesting him to send his carpenter on shore to build a coble, that being the most convenient sort of boat for going out and coming into this place. The carpenter landed in the afternoon, and immediately got to work in building a boat.

During the 18th, all the provisions were received on shore, except sixteen casks of flour; but the surf increasing very much in the evening, I made a signal for the Supply to hoist the coble in. The sea ran so very high, that no boat could land until the 21st, when we received the remainder of the provisions and stores; after which, the boats were employed in carrying off water for the Supply, and planks for Port Jackson.

Two pecks of wheat were drilled into an acre of ground in Arthur's Vale, on the 24th; and on the next day, one acre and a quarter was sown with half a bushel of wheat at a broad cast.

We now had very strong gales at south-west, and at nine o'clock in the morning the Supply passed between Nepean Isle and Point Hunter. The gale continuing heavy from the south-west, I sent a person round to the lee side of the island on the 26th, to look for the Supply; but she could not be seen until day-light in the morning of the 30th, when she was perceived hull down to the southward, and working up to the island. By this time the new boat was in great forwardness, and my own workmen being able to finish it, I sent the carpenter of the Supply on board; and at four in the afternoon that vessel made sail for Port Jackson.

Lieutenant Ball had orders to examine a shoal, which was seen by the master of the Golden Grove, on her return from this island in October last, in latitude 29° 25' south, longitude 159° 59' east of Greenwich: he was also to look for an island and shoal that were seen by Lieutenant Shortland, in the Alexander transport: the shoal, in latitude 29° 20' south, longitude 158° 40' east, and the island 28° 10' south latitude, and 159° 50' east longitude. Mr. Shortland named them Sir Charles Middleton's Island and Shoal, and imagined they were joined together.

On the 1st of July, the new coble was finished, and her bottom payed: her dimensions were twenty-two feet long, by six feet six inches wide. This business being compleated, the sawyers and carpenters began to erect a house for Lieutenant Cresswell, of eighteen feet long, by 12 feet wide, with a back part nine feet square. The garden in Arthur's Vale being quite exposed and open, I employed six men to surround it with a wattled hedge.

Edward Gaff, a convict, was punished with 100 lashes on the 6th, for stealing three quarts of wheat: indeed, scarcely a day passed without complaints being made of thefts, which were committed with such dexterity that it was impossible to detect them. That thefts in so small a society should so frequently happen was really astonishing; but when it is considered, that the greatest part of that society were hardened villains, the wonder will cease.

Eleven acres of wheat were now up in Arthur's Vale, and had a very promising appearance: every vegetable in the gardens were also in a thriving state.

Nothing material happened in the course of this month until the 28th, when a tree fell on John Bryant, a convict, which bruised his head so much that he died two hours afterwards. This man was one among the very few honest convicts which I had on the island.

Two bushels of seed wheat, being the remaining part of what I had left, was sown this day, on the sides of Mount George, on two acres of ground. Most of the marines who came to the island with Lieutenant Cresswell, had now very comfortable huts and good gardens.

In the month of August we had, in general, heavy gales of wind, chiefly at north-west and south-west, attended with rain.

The general employment of the convicts was now as follows:

Clearing away ground for cultivation and other necessary work 30
Sawyers sawing scantlings, and boards for buildings            2 2 free.
Carpenters building a house for Lieutenant Cresswell           2 1 free.
Blacksmith making and repairing necessary iron work            1 1 free.
Coblemen fishing                                               3
Gardeners                                                      2 1 free.
Making shingles                                                4
Schoolmaster 1, officers servants 3, care of stock 1           5
Total                                                         49 5

The 12th, being the anniversary of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales's birth-day, the colours were hoisted at sun-rise, and it was observed with the same ceremony as his Majesty's birth-day, except giving liquor to the convicts, as their recent behaviour, with regard to thefts, had totally excluded them from that indulgence. As the wheat in Arthur's Vale grew very rank, I was advised to crop it, which was done on the 13th: however, I let three acres remain in order to see which way it would be most productive.

The carpenters having finished the shell of Lieutenant Cresswell's house, I employed them in building an addition to the back part of my habitation, as I was apprehensive of its being blown down by the violent south-west winds, which were now almost constant. After divine service on the 16th, (Sunday) the following orders were read for preserving regularity and good order among the inhabitants of the island.


I. All persons on the island are regularly to attend muster and divine service, unless prevented by sickness: a disobedience of this order will be punished by extra-work, or by stopping a day's provisions for the first offence; which, if repeated, will be punished by corporal chastisement.

II. No persons are to absent themselves from their quarters, either by night or day, except they have obtained leave, or are going to their respective work; and if any one is observed lurking about after the watch is set, he will be fired at by the centinel.

III. The working hours are to be regularly attended to, and all persons absent from their work after the drum beats for that purpose, will lose a portion of the time they may save from their tasks; and in case of a second offence, they will be severely punished.

IV. The tasks will be continued as usual, and the time saved by the gangs is at their own disposal: those who distinguish themselves by employing their time in cultivating their gardens, and clearing ground for their own use, will meet with encouragement and reward.

V. If the overseers, or the greatest part of any gang, should have reason to complain of the idleness of any one man belonging to that gang, and the complaint should be found just, the offender will be severely punished.

VI. Those who render themselves unable to work by their neglect or obstinacy, in not building themselves warm huts, or who cut themselves through carelessness, will have a part of their provisions stopped until they are able to go to work again.

VII. All the tools and utensils are to be returned regularly every night to the store-house when the retreat beats; and any person who is found secreting any tool, or any article of the King's stores, or committing any robbery whatever, will, on detection and conviction, receive such punishment on the island as his Majesty's Justices of the peace may judge the offence deserves; or the offender will be sent to Port Jackson, to be tried by the criminal court, as the commandant may judge proper.

VIII. It is recommended to every one to be very careful of their cloathing, and every free person or convict is strictly forbid buying or selling any article of slop cloathing: those who disobey this order will be prosecuted for buying or selling the King's stores, whether free people or convicts.

IX. Whenever it may be necessary to make any complaint, the person making the complaint is to inform the corporal of the guard, who will immediately report it; when the commandant (or, in his absence, Lieutenant John Cresswell,) will hear the complaint and decide upon it.

X. Disobedience of orders, insolence to officers or overseers, or any other improper behaviour, tending to the disturbance of the peace, or hindrance of the King's service, will meet with severe punishment; and a regular, honest, good behaviour, will meet with encouragement and reward.

His Majesty's justices of the peace for this island, viz. the Commandant and Lieutenant John Cresswell, (on whom the government of the island devolves, in case of the commandant's death or absence) have appointed Roger Morley and John Altree, to hold the office of constables; and every person is ordered to be assisting to either or both of them in the execution of their office.

Such were the laws, which our then situations required.

Four acres of ground in Arthur's Vale were planted with Indian corn on the 24th; and, as the rats had dug up most of that which had been planted in the gardens, I replaced it, putting five grains of corn into each pit. During the remainder of this month, we had heavy gales of wind from the south-west, which turned all the wheat quite black, that was growing on the south side of Mount George: but I did not apprehend that it was otherwise injured than by being kept back. This gale was of longer duration, and blew with greater force than any I had hitherto observed.

On the 29th, Ann Coombs, a female convict, received fifty lashes at the cart's tail, for defrauding Thomas Jones, of some provisions: this punishment, however, did not deter her from committing crimes of a similar nature; for the very next day she was detected stealing two new check shirts from Francis Mew, a private marine, and was punished with 100 lashes.

The weather during the month of September was variable; we had some heavy gales of wind from the south-west and east-north-east, but they were not of long duration.

Frequent notice has been taken of the destructive effects of the grub-worm, and they were now as troublesome as ever. These pernicious vermin are generated from the eggs of a fly, which are left on the leaves of plants: here they come to life, and daily gathering strength and vigour, they destroy the leaves; and afterwards, falling on the ground, they cut off the roots and stalks. The surgeon, who, with great perseverance and industry, had got a very good garden, and every thing in it in great forwardness, had all his plants and vegetables nearly destroyed by the grub-worm, and most of the other gardens shared the same fate. The mischief done at my garden in Arthur's Vale was not so great, which I attributed to the quantity of cultivated ground near it; and, probably, when more extensive pieces of ground come to be cleared, the bad effects of the grub-worm will be in a great measure prevented, but at present, these destructive vermin, and the depredations of the convicts, rendered the cultivation of gardens very discouraging to individuals.

The corporal of marines, who was a very industrious young man, had cleared and planted a piece of ground, and by attention and assiduity, had raised a quantity of vegetables, besides a very fine crop of potatoes, which would have yielded him at least five bushels; but, on the evening of the 5th, between sun-set and the time of the watch being set, some villains dug up every one of the potatoes, and destroyed a quantity of other vegetables; and although the convicts were mustered in their huts at sun-set, and three times more during the night, yet the theft was not discovered until the next morning, when a very strict search was made, in order to find out the offender, but to no purpose, as the potatoes were (in the cant phrase) all planted; viz. buried in the ground, so as to be taken out as they were wanted.

This was one of the many acts of villainy that were daily committed by these atrocious wretches.

Catherine Johnson, a female convict, was punished with fifty lashes on the 7th, for abusing the store-keeper, and accusing him of theft wrongfully.

Two acres were sown with Indian corn on the 16th, and the ground being quite shaded from the sun, I employed a gang of labourers to cut down the trees from three acres of land, in order to let the sun in upon the corn. On the 28th, the produce of 240 sets of potatoes, which had been planted on three roods of ground the first of June, were dug up, and yielded five bushels of very fine potatoes.

During the month of October, the weather was in general very mild; the wind chiefly from the south-east. On the 1st, the carpenters, with two men to assist them, began framing a barn, which I proposed to erect in Arthur's Vale. The grub-worms were still very numerous, notwithstanding the women convicts were daily employed in picking them off the plants and out of the ground: they totally destroyed one acre of Indian corn, and cut off every cabbage and other plants as fast as they sprang up.

As it would be very convenient to have a path to the west side of the island, I employed six men to cut a road from the settlement to Mount Pitt, and from thence to Anson-Bay, which business was completed on the 21st.

I went out in the morning of the 23d, to survey the west side of Sydney-Bay, in the course of which, I found most of the bones belonging to the body of one of the men who were drowned on the 6th of August, 1788: I brought them to the settlement, where they were interred.

On the 27th, we had a strong gale of wind from the east, attended with heavy rain, which was the first that had happened since the 23d of September, and was much wanted. Fifteen acres of wheat were now in ear, and had a good appearance; and the Indian corn, of which we had seven acres, was in a thriving state, although much thinned by the grub-worm: one acre of barley was also in ear, and the garden vegetables were in great forwardness. The grub-worm had totally disappeared, but still our calamities were not at an end; for the parroquets (of which we had myriads) were constantly destroying the wheat, and the garden productions; insomuch that we were obliged to keep a number of persons employed in beating them away with long poles.

During the month of November, the weather was hot and sultry, with only one shower of rain; the wind from the east-south-east. The carpenters finished the barn on the 9th: its dimensions were 30 feet long by 16 feet wide, and 17 feet under the eaves, with a loft over it. The roof was well shingled, and the sides weather-boarded: in short, it was a complete building, and conveniently situated, being in the center of the cultivated grounds in Arthur's Vale.

On the 13th, Lieutenant Cresswell turned a turtle in a small bay, to the westward of the settlement, which he distributed amongst the free persons and others, as far as it would go.

Robert Webb, a seaman belonging to the Sirius, went on the 15th, to the valley above the Cascade-Bay; having obtained my permission to become a settler, if Governor Phillip should have no objection to it.

Some barley which had been sown the latter end of May, about three quarters of an acre with one bushel and an half of seed, was cut this day, and the produce was twenty-three bushels of a very fine full grain. The potatoes which were sown during the month of September, in Arthur's vale, were all running to stalk, and not one potatoe formed at the roots: the fibres were very strong and shooting out of the ground, notwithstanding they had been well earthed: this was probably owing to the very great heat and drought which we had recently experienced. Large flocks of parroquets still infested the wheat, and made great havock in one acre; but as it ripened very fast, I did not apprehend much farther damage from them or the caterpillars, which were again become very numerous.

As it would be necessary to have the hogs and poultry near the granary, during the time of harvest, I employed a party of labourers in bringing logs to make an inclosure round the barn, and other conveniencies for the stock; and on the 30th, we began the wheat harvest.

On the 3d of December, at day-light, the Supply arrived in the road, and soon afterwards, I received my letters from Governor Phillip. In the course of the day, six men and eight women convicts were landed, with some provisions and stores for the settlement. By an order from Governor Phillip, all persons on the island were to be put to two-thirds allowance of provisions, which commenced on the 5th: the settlement at Port Jackson went to this allowance in November. Having received every thing from the Supply, that vessel sailed for Port Jackson on the 7th.

All the labourers were now employed in reaping, stacking, and thatching the wheat, which business was all finished by the 24th. Four acres of the wheat were greatly damaged by some very heavy rain, which fell from the 14th to the 18th, and caused it to shoot out; but this was put into a stack by itself for present consumption. The wheat now reaped had been sown at different periods, notwithstanding which, it was ripe nearly at the same time; but the last sown did not stock so well as that which was put more early in the ground: that which was sown in drills, suffered much from the blighting winds; and, as this island is subject to these winds at all times of the year, the method of drilling wheat or barley in rows, will not answer so well as when sown at a broad cast. The best time for sowing wheat, is from the latter end of May to the middle of June; indeed, that which was sown in August, yielded a very large sound grain; but, (as I have already observed) it did not stock so well as the other.

At sun-rise on the 25th, the colours were hoisted, in observance of Christmas-day; divine service was performed at ten o'clock, and I ordered two hogs, belonging to the crown, to be killed and issued out to the free people and convicts, at the rate of one pound and an half to each person: and, as the crop of wheat had turned out tolerably well, I ordered two pounds of flour to each man, and the women one pound each, to celebrate the festival.

During the month of January, the weather was very variable, with frequent strong gales of wind from the south-east. The general employment of the labourers was clearing away ground for the next season, and turning up the fifteen acres of wheat stubble, threshing, making shingles, cutting logs, to make a log-house for the store-keeper, and other necessary business.

The small union flag had hitherto been used as a signal for landing, but as it could not easily be distinguished from the roads, on the 11th, I had a flag-staff fixed in the front of my house, the lower mast of which was 20 feet long, and the top-mast 36 feet; on which a large union was occasionally to be hoisted.

Some villain stabbed a very fine sow which was near farrowing, on the 18th, but though the strictest enquiry was made, I could not discover who was the perpetrator of this atrocious act.

Most of the labourers were now employed in cutting down, gathering, and cleaning the Indian corn, a vast quantity of which was destroyed by the parroquets, although men were constantly employed in beating them off with long poles.

A greater number of people were sick during this month, than had been the case since my landing on the island. The complaint, in general, was a diarrhoea, but those who had this disorder were soon recovered. The surgeon was of opinion that the great change of weather which had happened, joined to the great quantity of vegetables that were daily consumed, was the cause of this sickness.

The appearance of a vessel in the road at day-light in the morning of the 29th, caused the greatest acclamations of joy through the whole settlement; every person imagining that ships had arrived from England; especially as the Supply had been with us so recently: but, presently afterwards, we perceived it to be that vessel; and on receiving my letters from the governor, I found that no ships had arrived from our native country; which piece of intelligence being circulated through the settlement, a dejection took place equal to the joy that was visible a short time before.

Twenty-two male convicts and one female arrived by the Supply, but no provisions were sent along with them, there being only a sufficient quantity at Port Jackson to serve until the latter end of May, at the present allowance; and as our crops had been good, and our resources, with respect to fish and vegetables, were greater than at Port Jackson, the governor had thought proper to send this additional number of convicts.

Our present numbers were now as follow, viz.

Civil and military, 32
Male convicts,      79
Female convicts,    33
Children,            5
Total              149

I was also informed by Governor Phillip, that as it was necessary for the Sirius to have her full complement of officers, he had ordered me to be discharged from that ship; and had appointed Mr. Newton Fowell to be second-lieutenant in my room, and Mr. Henry Waterhouse to be third-lieutenant, instead of Lieutenant George William Maxwell, who was reported by the surgeons to be insane.

Having received all the convicts from the Supply, and sent my letters for Governor Phillip on board, she set sail for Port Jackson on the 2d of February.

During this month we had heavy gales of wind, with some intervals of fine weather, and the rain becoming frequent, I ordered sheds to be built over the saw-pits, that the sawyers might work without interruption.

Those few amongst the convicts who had been industrious, were now rewarded for it, as some had raised from one thousand to fifteen hundred cobs of Indian corn; which, together with the fish that was procured from time to time, was of great service to them now that their allowance of salt provisions was reduced. The remainder of the Indian corn was got in on the 19th.

Richard Phillimore, a convict, had informed me that the term of his transportation expired on the 16th of January; and having taken the oath administered on that occasion, he signified a wish of becoming a settler: as he was a sober, industrious man, I gave him time to consider of it, and to look out for a situation where he would like to settle at: he informed me on the 22d, that he still was desirous of fixing on the island, and had found a spot where he wished to reside; on which, I sent some labourers to build him an house, and to clear away a little ground for a commencement; I also gave him a sow with young, and some poultry, and he was fully of opinion, that in one year, or two at farthest, he should be able to support himself, without any assistance from the settlement.

During the month of March, we had a deal of blowing weather, and much rain; the wind generally from the south-west. The labourers were employed in clearing ground for cultivation, husking and stripping Indian corn, and other necessary work; and six men were sawing frames for building barracks.

Chapter XV


March 1790 to April 1790

The arrival of the Sirius and Supply at Norfolk-Island.--The loss of the Sirius.--Captain Hunter and the crew saved.--A general meeting of the officers convened.--Sundry regulations adopted.--Martial-Lawproclaimed.--Lieutenant-Governor Ross takes thecommand.--Lieutenant King leaves Norfolk-Island.--Description of Norfolk-Island.--Face of the country.--Water--Soil--Climate--Timber--Insects--Fish--Seasons--Winds--Coast, and Bays.--Present state of cultivation.--General behaviour of the convicts.--Number of inhabitants on the island.--Grain and live-stock.--Lieutenant King arrives at Port Jackson.--Finds the country greatly improved.--Manners and customs of the natives.--Vocabulary of the language.

At the break of day on the 13th of March, I was alarmed with a tumultuous noise of huzzaing and rejoicing; on enquiry into the cause, I found that two vessels were seen in the offing. Every one of us were now fully persuaded that the long looked for and much expected relief was at length arrived, and we began to felicitate each other that the time was now come, when we should hear news from England: some of us anticipated pleasing and unpleasing accounts from our friends in the northern hemisphere, as we had been near three years absent, without having received the least intelligence from our relatives, or native country.

As the wind blew strong at south-west, and a great sea was running in the bay; the vessels, (which we found were the Sirius and Supply,) bore up for Ball-Bay, to which place I went, and received from Lieutenant Ball my letters from Governor Phillip. Our expectations were once more blasted, for, instead of those pleasing hopes being realized, which the appearance of the vessels had created in the morning, we were informed that no relief had arrived, nor had any intelligence been received from England.

I found by the governor's letter, that he had sent Lieutenant-Governor Ross in the Sirius, to take the command at Norfolk-Island, as the service rendered it necessary for my returning to England, in order to give such information to his Majesty's ministers, respecting the settlement I had established, as could not be conveyed by letter. I was also directed to furnish Lieutenant-Governor Ross with copies of all such orders as I had from time to time received from the governor, and which had not been put in execution; together with all the information I had acquired respecting the nature of the soil, and the mode of cultivation which had been followed; as also my observations respecting the climate, and the general line of conduct of the people under my direction; and to leave him such rules and regulations as I had established for preserving good order and regularity among the convicts.

I was farther directed to embark on board the Sirius, whose commander had orders to receive me on board, with all such petty officers, seamen, and marines, belonging to that ship, who were not desirous of becoming settlers; directions having been given the Lieutenant-Governor to that effect. Lieutenant-Governor Ross brought with him, one captain, five subalterns, a number of non-commissioned officers and privates, with the colours: also a number of male and female convicts, and children; with their proportion of cloaths, provisions, and stores.

The two vessels went round to Cascade-Bay, where part of the detachment of marines and some of the convicts were landed; and the next forenoon, the remainder of the marines and convicts, with a great part of their baggage, were landed, and they marched to the settlement. The Lieutenant-Governor arrived at the settlement at noon. In the orders for the night, he requested that I would continue the command of the island until my departure.

On the 15th, the remains of the provisions and other stores on the island were surveyed by Captain Johnston and Lieutenants Cresswell and Clark: after which, I got the receipts from Mr. Roger Morley, to whom I had given an order to act as store-keeper, with the approbation of Governor Phillip. The wind blew strong from the east-south-east; and on the 16th, we had strong gales from the north-east, with almost constant heavy rain. The Sirius and Supply were seen from Mount Pitt, some distance at sea, in the south-east quarter.

This day, Jeremiah Leary, a convict, ran the gantlet among the convicts for a theft, and was severely punished.

We had very strong gales from the north-east on the 17th, attended with almost constant rain. The two vessels were working up for the island; and at one o'clock in the afternoon, the Supply came into the road, and landed a quantity of luggage, some stock, and thirteen casks of provisions. No landing could be attempted on the 18th, the wind still blowing very strong at north-east; but on the 19th, the wind shifted to the east-south-east, and grew more moderate; so that at day-light, the Supply came into the road, and the Sirius was at some distance to the southward, standing in for the island. There being very fine landing, I made the signal that large boats could land safely, and by ten o'clock every thing was received from the Supply.

Soon afterwards, the Sirius hove to, in order to hoist her boats out, which, being accomplished, she made sail; but the tide of flood still ran very strong, and she could not weather the outer rock of the reef which runs off Point Ross: after an unsuccessful attempt to stay, she wore and came to the wind on the starboard tack: unfortunately, the wind shifted to the south-east, and the strong hold which the tide had on the ship, forced her near the island, and she got to the back of the reef: she was now hove in stays, but having fresh stern way, she tailed on the reef and struck. The masts were instantly cut away, and the surf increasing along-side of her, only two boats load of provisions could be got out: an anchor was let go, which prevented the ship from coming broadside to on the reef. From noon until four o'clock, every person was employed in getting a hawser from the ship, and fastening it to a tree on the shore: a heart was fixed on the hawser as a traveller, and a grating was slung to it, fastened to a small hawser, one end of which was on shore and the other end on board.

At five o'clock, the surgeon's mate came on shore by the grating, being hauled through a very great surf: he brought me a note from Captain Hunter, desiring to know if I thought it would be safe for the sailors to abide by the wreck all night. The wind was now at south, and the weather had a very threatening appearance, and as the surf had risen considerably, I thought there was the utmost danger of the ship's parting at the flowing tide, the consequence of which must have been the destruction of every person on board: I therefore made a signal for the wreck to be quitted, and by the time it grew dark, the captain and most of the sailors were on shore, being dragged through a very heavy surf; many of them received violent blows from the rocks over which they were dragged.

Captain Hunter and Mr. Waterhouse were got on shore together, and just as they got footing on the reef, the captain was so much exhausted, that he had nearly quitted his hold: the first and second lieutenant, with some of the sailors, remained on board all night.

The instant the ship struck, Lieutenant-Governor Ross ordered the drums to assemble all the marines and convicts: martial law was then proclaimed, and the people were told that if any one killed any animal or fowl, or committed any robbery whatever, they would be instantly made a severe example of. The officers and marines were ordered to wear their side-arms: guards were set over the barn and store-houses, and some other necessary regulations were ordered by the Lieutenant-Governor.

On the 20th, we had very strong gales of wind at south, and a great surf running: by four o'clock, every person were got out of the wreck without any other accident than receiving a few bruises. Those who came last from the wreck, reported, that the beams of the lower deck were started from the side, and that at high water, the sea came to the after hatchway on the lower deck, the fore part of the ship being under water; and that the provisions were mostly on deck.

The gale continued very strong on the 21st, with a heavy surf running; but the wreck being in the same position as the preceding day, we entertained the pleasing hopes of being able to save all the provisions, and most of the ship's effects.

At ten in the morning, Lieutenant-Governor Ross, Captain Hunter, all the commissioned officers of marines and of the Sirius, and myself, assembled in the government-house, when the lieutenant governor laid the situation of the island before the meeting, and pointed out the necessity of a law being made, by which criminals might be punished with death for capital crimes, there being no law in force on the island that could notice capital offences: he also proposed the establishment of martial law until further orders, which was unanimously agreed to; and that in all cases where sentence of death was pronounced, five persons out of seven should concur in opinion: it was also resolved, that all private stock, Indian corn, and potatoes should be given in to the store-keeper, and appropriated for the use of the public; and that every person should go to half allowance of provisions until it should be known what quantity could be saved from the wreck; also, that three locks should be put on the store-house and barn; one key to be in the possession of Captain Hunter, another in possession of a person to be named by the lieutenant-governor, and the third to be kept by a person to be named by the convicts.

These resolutions were agreed to, and signed by the lieutenant-governor and the rest of the officers assembled.

At eight o'clock in the morning of the 22d, all persons on the island were assembled near the lower flag-staff, on which the union was hoisted: the marines were drawn up in two lines, leaving a space in the center, at the head of which was the union. The colours of the detachment were then unfurled, and the Sirius's crew were drawn up on the right, and the convicts on the left, the officers being in the center. The proclamation was then read, declaring, that the island was to be governed by martial law, until further orders: the lieutenant-governor next addressed the convicts, and, after pointing out the situation of the settlement, he exhorted them to be honest, industrious, and obedient. This being concluded, the whole gave three cheers; and every person, beginning with the lieutenant-governor, passed under the union flag, taking off their hats as they passed it, in token of an oath to submit and be amenable to the martial law, which had then been declared.

After this ceremony was concluded, the convicts and the Sirius's crew were sent round to Cascade-Bay, where a proportion of flour and pork was received from the Supply, and brought round to the settlement.

In the afternoon, John Brannagin and William Dring (two convicts) offered to go on board the wreck, in order to heave the live stock over-board; and having obtained the permission of Captain Hunter and the Lieutenant-Governor, they went to the wreck, and sent a number of pigs and some poultry on shore, but they remained on board; and at the dusk of the evening, a light was perceived in the after part of the ship; on which, a volley of small arms were fired, to make them quit the wreck, or put the light out; which not being done, a three pounder shotted was fired into the wreck, but with no effect: on this, John Arscot, a convict carpenter, offered to go off; and although it was quite dark, and the surf ran very high, yet he got on board, and obliged the other two convicts to quit the wreck by the hawser. Arscot hailed the shore, but we could not understand what he said, except that he should stay on board the wreck. Brannagin (one of the convicts) was drunk when he came on shore.

On the 23d, we had very strong gales of wind at west by north, but the landing was good early in the morning, and the large coble was sent on board the Supply, (which was in the road) with some of my baggage, and the officers and men belonging to the Sirius, who were going to Port Jackson. The master of the Sirius, with eight men, went on board the wreck by the hawser, and a triangle was erected on the reef, to keep the bight of the hawser from the ground; which would greatly facilitate the landing any article from the wreck. The master informed Captain Hunter, by a note, that Brannagin and Dring (the two convicts) had set fire to the wreck, which had burnt through the gun deck; but had been happily extinguished by Arscot, who went on board to send them out of the ship: on this, they were ordered into confinement previous to their being tried for setting fire to the wreck.

The weather being moderate and pleasant in the morning of the 24th, I went on board the Supply, along with Lieutenants Waterhouse and Fowell, and twenty-two of the crew, belonging to the late Sirius; and at noon, we made sail for Port Jackson.

As I have now taken leave of this island, I shall add my general observations on it; and although several of them may probably have been made before, in the course of this journal, yet it perhaps may not be amiss to collect them together in one point of view.

Norfolk Island.

By the mean of several meridional altitudes of the sun, and a great number of lunar observations, the latitude of Sydney-Bay is 29° 04' 40" south, and its longitude 168° 12' east, of Greenwich. The form of the island is a long square, and it contains about fourteen thousand acres: it is six miles in length and four in breadth.

Face of the country.--The island is very hilly, and some of the valleys are tolerably large, considering the size of the island; but most of them are only deep hollows, formed by the steep hills on each side, some of which rise so perpendicular that they cannot be cultivated. There are some extensive plains on the summits of the hills. Mount Pitt is the only remarkable hill on the island, and is about two hundred fathoms high. The cliffs round the island are about forty fathoms high, and are quite perpendicular: the basis of them, as well as most of the rocks and reefs round the island, is a hard, firm clay, of a very fine texture. The whole island is covered with a very thick forest, choaked up with underwood, which makes it impassable until it is cleared away.

Water.--The island is well supplied with many streams of very fine water, some of which are sufficiently large to turn a number of mills: it is probable that most of these rivulets originate from springs near Mount Pitt. On a hill, near the middle of the island, between Cascade and Sydney bays, there is a pond of fresh water, about half an acre: there is no rivulet near it, nor can any spring be perceived, yet, in the greatest drought, it constantly remains full, and has a very good taste. All these streams abound with very fine eels.

Soil.--From the sides of the cliffs which surround the coast, to the summit of Mount Pitt, there is a continuation of the finest soil, varying from a rich brown mould to a light red earth. Some large stones are found on different parts of the island.

Air.--As a proof of the salubrity and wholesomeness of the air, it is to be remarked, that there had been scarcely any sickness since I landed, nor had we any illness whatever, except a few colds.

Timber and trees.--There are only five sorts of trees on the island which can be called timber; viz. the pine, a wood resembling the live oak; a yellow wood; a hard black wood; and a wood resembling the English beech. The pine-trees are of a great size, many of them being from one hundred and eighty to two hundred and twenty feet high, and from four to eight feet diameter some distance from the ground. Those trees, which measure from one hundred to one hundred and eighty feet high, are in general sound, and are without branches for eighty or ninety feet, but the upper part is too knotty and hard to be useful; indeed, it frequently happens, that after twenty feet have been cut off from the butt, the trees becomes rotten and shaky, and is also very brittle; for which reason, no dependance can be put on them for masts or yards. The turpentine which exudes freely from the bark, is of a milk-white glutinous substance; but it is rather remarkable, that there is none in the timber. We tried to render this turpentine useful in paying boats, and other purposes, but without success; as it would neither melt nor burn: we also tried to make pitch or tar, by burning the old pines; but there being no turpentine in the wood, our efforts were useless. The pine is very useful in buildings, and being dispersed in various parts of the island, is well calculated for such buildings as hereafter may be necessary: from what I have been able to observe, it is very durable, as that which we had used for erecting houses, stood the weather very well. Two cobles were built of this wood, one of which was built in June, 1788: she was water-soaked, owing to our want of any kind of stuff to pay her with.

The live-oak, yellow-wood, black-wood, and beech, are all of a close grain, and durable; in general they are from fourteen to twenty inches diameter. The branches of the live-oak are fit for timbers and knees of boats or small vessels.

There are a variety of other small trees on the island, but as they are not useful, it is unnecessary to enumerate them here; though I should not omit the fern-tree, the bark of which serves many purposes, instead of twine and rope. The cabbage-palm were in great plenty when I first landed on the island, but, by continual cutting, they were almost destroyed. There is a plant among the underwood, which produces a kind of pepper; its leaves are broad, and have an aromatic, pungent taste: the core which contains the seed, shoots out between the leaf and the stalk, and is in general two or three inches long, and full of small seeds, which have nearly the same taste as the leaves; but, on their being dried, the smell and taste leaves them: it is also difficult to find them in a state of ripeness, as the parroquets destroy them before they can arrive at any degree of perfection.

The flax-plant of New Zealand, grows spontaneously, and in great quantities on many parts of the island, but chiefly on the coasts and in the vallies near the sea: the leaves of this plant, when full grown, are from six to eight feet long, and six inches wide at the bottom: each plant contains seven leaves, and a woody stalk rises from the center, which bears the flowers: it seeds annually, and the old leaves are forced off by the young one every year. The method of soaking and preparing European flax and hemp, had been tried, but with no other effect than separating the vegetable part from the fibres; and a ligneous substance still remaining, it could not be reduced to an useful state. Some lines have been made of it, but they were not very strong; though the flax appears capable of being worked into a very fine substance, if the method of preparing it were known.

Insects.--These have already been described. The ground is much infested by the grub-worm, which are very destructive to the growth of vegetables: they are mostly troublesome about the spring. Various methods have been tried to destroy these vermin, but without effect. The caterpillar has also been very troublesome in the spring; having destroyed acres of Indian corn and acres of wheat: they came in upon the grain quite suddenly, and after remaining three weeks, they went away with the same rapidity.

Fish.--The coasts of the island abound with very fine fish, which are principally the snapper, and weigh from four to eight pounds each. A few fish are at times caught from the shore; this, however, happens but seldom; so that a supply of fish must depend on the weather and the surf permitting boats to go out. In moderate weather, boats might land in Collins's-Bay, on Phillip-Island, where a great quantity of fish might be cured, from March to September; after which time the fly prevents it.

Seasons.--The spring is very visible in August, but the trees on many parts of the island are in a constant succession of flowering and seeding the whole year round. The summer is very hot: I had no thermometer to determine the degree of heat, but it is excessive. From the 23d of September, 1789, to the 22d of February, 1790, not one drop of rain fell, excepting on two days in December; but it should be remarked, that we had no drought in the former year. All the grain, and the European plants seeded in December. From February to August may be called the rainy season; not that I think there is any regular time of rains during these months, as the weather is sometimes very fine for a fortnight together; but when the rain does fall, it pours in torrents. I do not recollect more than three claps of thunder, or lightning, during the time I remained on the island. The winter, (which may be said to commence in April, and end in July,) is very pleasant; there is never any frost; but when the south-west winds blow, which are very frequent and violent in these months, the air is raw and cold. It is very remarkable, that during some days in December and January, the weather has been much colder than in the winter months. The south-east, and east winds are very parching and dry, as no dew falls when those winds prevail.

Winds.--During the winter months, the wind is mostly from south to west, blowing with great violence for a week together; afterwards it veers round to the southward and south-east, which brings fine weather for a few days, then it veers to east, north-east, and north-west, blowing in heavy gales, and generally accompanied with violent torrents of rain: after which it shifts to south-west: indeed, I do not remember one instance of the wind coming to the north-east, round by west. The south-east wind blows during the summer with very little variation, and sometimes very strong.

Coasts of the island.--The coasts of the island are in general steep to, and (excepting Sydney, Anson, Ball, and Cascade Bays,) are inaccessible; being surrounded by steep cliffs, which rise perpendicularly from the sea. A number of large rocks lie scattered about close to the shore, on which a continual surf breaks with great force.

SYDNEY-BAY, (which was so named after Lord Viscount Sydney,) lies on the south side of the island, and here the settlement was formed: this bay is formed by Point Hunter and Point Ross, which lie east half north, and west half south of each other, and are about a mile and three-quarters asunder. A reef of clay and coral extends from Point Hunter, at the distance of 150 yards from the shore, and parallel to it, for about three-quarters of a mile: close to the back of this reef, there is four fathoms water; it terminates abreast of the settlement with a corner, round which is the landing place; but, as the surf breaks with great violence on the reef, it sometimes breaks into the passage off the corner, so that landing is then impossible. The landing in this bay, entirely depends on the state of the sea without, and the direction of the wind; great attention should also be paid to the signals from the shore. I have seen the landing, for a month together, as good as could be wished; and sometimes a very heavy surf would continue for a fortnight: on the whole, the best time for landing is from half ebb to half flood, and an easterly, north-east, and north-west wind, generally make smooth water.

There is another reef off Point Ross, which stretches about half a mile into the sea; and no vessel ought ever to go within the outer breaker of this reef, and the south point of Nepean-Isle. The tide sets right through between the islands, and when the flood runs to the westward, it sets very strong round Nepean-Island into the bight of Sydney-Bay; therefore all vessels ought to be particularly cautious not to go within Nepean-Island with an inblowing wind: should the wind be from the eastward or westward, vessels might stand very close in; but even this ought not to be done, except for the purpose of taking a boat up, and then the tide must be considered.

The passage between Point Hunter and Nepean-Island is a very good one, there being three fathoms water close to Nepean-Isle, and nine fathoms in mid-channel. There lies a rock off Point Hunter in the direction of south-west with one fathom and a half on it, but it is out of the passage. The tide occasions a very strong race between the islands, which makes it very difficult for vessels to have communication with the shore, as they cannot anchor, the bottom being rocky. The ebb runs nine hours to the east, and the flood three hours to the west, but at times, the flood has been observed to run five hours: it flows in this bay at seven hours and an half, full and change, and rises seven feet perpendicular.

ANSON-BAY, (which was named after George Anson, the member of parliament for Litchfield,) is a small bay with a sandy beach: the landing here is tolerably good in settled weather, and when the sea is quite smooth; but as the interior parts of the island are so very difficult of access from thence, no ship's boats have ever landed there.

BALL-BAY, (which was named after Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball,) goes in about three-quarters of a mile: the beach is formed of large loose stones, which renders beaching boats here dangerous, though it often happens that the landing here is very good when the surf has increased so much in Sydney-Bay as to render landing there impracticable. A good landing place was cleared away here, but in the course of three months the stones were washed into it again, although many of them weighed two hundred pounds each. This bay is surrounded by very steep hills, which renders the access to the settlement from hence rather difficult.

CASCADE-BAY.--The south-west winds, which generally prevail during the winter months, make this the best side of the island for landing on at that season. A good landing place may easily be made, where any thing might be landed from half ebb to half flood. It is the intention of the lieutenant-governor to erect a store-house, and make a good landing place; indeed this would have been done before, but the want of hands prevented it. The Golden-Grove and Supply have both lain at anchor in this bay, bringing the great Cascade to bear south-west, at one mile from the shore, in seventeen fathoms coral and sand, but the bottom is foul, as there is great reason to suppose it is all round the island.

Present state of cultivation.--The proper time for sowing wheat or barley is from May to August: that which is sown in sheltered situations, should be sown in May, June, and July: and that which is sown in places that are exposed to the sea-winds on the south side of the island, should not be sown before July; and if so late as August, it would yield well. The wheat, which has been sown, produced more than twenty fold; and, I think in future, it will yield a still greater increase. We have found a bushel and an half of seed sufficient for an acre of ground newly broke up. Two bushels of barley sown in May on an acre of ground yielded twenty-four bushels. Indian corn should be planted from June until August, in places not much exposed to the sea winds: it yields well, and is in my opinion the best grain to cultivate, on account of the little trouble attending its growth, and the manufacturing it for food.

The sugar-cane grows very strong, and I think will come to perfection; although it suffers much from the blighting winds, and the grub-worm. Vines, orange, and lemon trees, are in a very thriving state: the banana trees found growing on the island, will, I make no doubt, thrive very well, when those which have been planted out from the old trees come to perfection; indeed some of them have already yielded good fruit. That useful article of food, the potatoe, thrives amazingly, and two crops a year may be obtained with ease: I have seen 120 potatoes at one root, 80 of which were larger than an hen's egg. Every kind of garden vegetable (which the grub spares,) grows well and comes to great perfection: cabbages weigh from ten to twenty-seven pounds each: melons and pumpkins also grow very fine.

I think situations might be found on the island, where cotton and indigo will thrive: of the latter, there are two trees, both which are very large and fine, but the ant destroys the blossom as fast as it flowers. Rice has been sown twice, viz. once each year, but the south-east winds blighted a great part of it: that which escaped the blight, yielded a great increase. The quantity of ground cleared and in cultivation on the 13th of March, 1790, was thirty acres belonging to the crown, and about eighteen acres cleared by free people and convicts, for their gardens.

It was my intention to put as many labourers as could be spared from other necessary work, to clear ground for cultivation; and I had reason to believe that I should have had from fifty to seventy acres sown with grain by the end of October: I purposed to continue clearing ground in Arthur's Vale, and on the hill round it, in order to have all the cultivated lands belonging to the public as much connected together as possible; this would have answered much better for the growth of wheat, Indian corn, or barley, than their being sown in confined situations; which experience had shown were not at all productive: the parroquets and other birds would not have destroyed so much of the grain before it was got in, and it might be much better guarded from thieves than if the cultivated grounds were dispersed in different parts of the island: another very material reason for clearing all the ground in this particular situation was, that the barn was situated in the center of the vale.

I proposed building a strong log store-house at Cascade-Bay, and making the landing place there more easy of access; which, from the increased number of the inhabitants on the island, was now become absolutely necessary; especially as landing there is much oftener practicable than in Sydney-Bay: indeed, I should have got this business done, but that it would have been a great hindrance to cultivation, which I ever thought was the principal object to attend to. The other buildings which I meant to erect, were barracks for the soldiers, of 54 feet long by 16 feet wide; a granary, 36 feet long by 20 feet wide, and a store-house, 60 feet long by 24 feet wide; all which, I hoped, would have been completed by the ensuing December.

Respecting the flax, although we made repeated trials, yet, having no person conversant in the preparation of it, I found it could not at present be brought to an useful state: but I may venture to say, that if proper flax-dressers could be sent to New Zealand, to observe their method of manufacturing it, they might render it a valuable commodity, both to furnish the inhabitants with cloathing, and for other purposes.

It was my intention to have built an house and a shed on Phillip-Island, and, after landing three or four months water on it, to have sent six convicts with a boat to catch and cure fish; this would have been a great resource for Norfolk-Island; but the fish must have been cured from April to September, on account of the fly.

I apprehend, from the goodness of the soil, that Norfolk-Island is very capable of maintaining at least one hundred families, allowing to each an hundred acres of ground, and reserving two thousand acres for fuel: with industry, they would have in a short time, all the necessaries of life, except cloathing, and that must depend on the flax of the island, or the growth of European flax.

The want of a safe harbour for vessels to lie in, is a very great inconvenience, and renders it difficult to have access to the island; indeed, vessels may load and unload, by going to the lee-side, and embracing other favourable opportunities, but unfortunately the vast quantity of coral rocks which cover the bottom, render anchorage very unsafe.

However, should the settlement at Port Jackson be continued, in the course of a few years these difficulties will scarcely be thought on, when compared with the advantages arising from the quantity of grain that there is every reason to suppose may be drawn from this island, for the support of the inhabitants of New South-Wales.

General behaviour of the convicts, and other remarks.--The few convicts that first landed with me, in general behaved well; but, as their numbers increased, they renewed their wicked practices: the most artful and daring thefts were now almost daily committed, and the perpetrators could seldom be discovered; and nothing but the certainty of meeting with a very severe punishment, and the mustering them frequently during the night in their huts could prevent these thefts in any degree whatever: indeed, they were often troublesome, and some of them were incorrigible, notwithstanding every encouragement was held out to them, and the indulgencies they received were fully sufficient to convince them that they would be treated according to their deserts: some few of them were susceptible of the advantages arising from industry and good behaviour; those of this description had the satisfaction of enjoying a quantity of Indian corn, potatoes, and other vegetables, which were a great assistance to them at the time they were put to short allowance of provisions; and some of them had cleared from one to three acres of ground, which they proposed sowing with Indian corn and potatoes: these formed a respectable set of convicts, compared to the greater part, who were idle, miserable wretches.

When I first landed on the island, the convicts were kept at day-work, having stated times for their dinners and other meals: this method answered very well whilst there were few to look after; but when their numbers increased, I had not people of confidence to overlook them and keep them at work: I therefore judged it would be more eligible to task them, taking the opinion of those whom I thought most conversant in the different kinds of work that were going forward.

The numbers of inhabitants I left on Norfolk Island were as follow:

Civil, military, and free 90
Belonging to the Sirius   80
Male convicts            191
Female convicts          100
Children                  37
Total                    498

The quantities of grain, potatoes, and live stock I left were
as follow:

Wheat,       from 250 to 300 bushels.
Barley                     6 bushels.
Indian corn       130 to 140 bushels.

Potatoes, one acre, would be ready to dig in May.

Hogs, large and small, belonging to the public, 26, besides 18
hogs, a quantity of poultry, 3 goats, and 1 ewe, my property; and
some stock belonging to individuals.

Before I take my final leave of this island, (where I remained two years) I cannot help acknowledging the great assistance I have received from the few officers I had with me; nor was this propriety of conduct confined to the officers alone, as all the marines and other free people were steady and regular in their behaviour; and it gives me a sensible satisfaction to remark, that, excepting on one or two occasions, I never had any reason to be dissatisfied with any of the few free persons I had under my command.

Exclusive of this general approbation of the good conduct of the free people, I must particularise Mr. Cresswell, the officer of marines; Mr. Stephen Dunavan, midshipman; and Mr. Thomas Jamieson, surgeon's mate, of the Sirius, I feel the greatest satisfaction in saying that a constant, uniform propriety of conduct, and a readiness in forwarding the service, were ever zealously shown by these gentlemen.

At noon on the 24th, the Supply made sail, and we arrived at Port Jackson on the 4th of April.

When I left Port Jackson in February, 1788, the ground about Sydney-Cove was covered with a thick forest, but on my arrival at this time, I found it cleared to a considerable distance, and some good buildings were erected. The governor, the lieutenant-governor, the judge-advocate, and the greatest part of the civil and military officers were comfortably lodged. The governor's house is built of stone, and has a very good appearance, being seventy feet in front. The lieutenant-governor's house is built of brick, as are also those belonging to the judge and the commissary: the rest of the houses are built with logs and plaistered; and all the roofs are either covered with shingles or thatched. The hospital is a good temporary building: the soldiers were in barracks, and the officers had comfortable huts, with gardens adjoining to them; but unfortunately, these gardens afford but little, as there is not more than two feet of soil over a bed of rocks, and this soil is little better than black sand; and to this inconvenience must be added, the depredations of rats and thieves.

At the distance of an hour's walk from Sydney-Cove, the soil is better in some places, and these are occupied by the officers and others, as their farms: there are also brick-kilns and a pottery, both which articles they make very well, but a great inconvenience arises in their not being able to glaze the earthenware.

From the little I saw of the soil about Sydney-Cove, I think it is very bad, most of the ground being covered with rocks, or large stones, which are used for building, and when cut, greatly resemble the Portland stone; they are easily worked, and harden very much after being wrought. A little below Sydney-Cove, there is another, called Farm-Cove, at the head of which there are about fifteen acres of ground in cultivation, but the soil is very indifferent.

Governor Phillip, it seems, had made several excursions, in order to inform himself more fully about the nature of the soil, and to find out a place more proper for cultivation, than the land about the lower part of the harbour; and, at length, had fixed on a situation at the head of it, about eleven miles from Sydney-Cove. The soil here was found to be much better than at Sydney-Cove, and a number of convicts were sent there in 1789, with a captain's guard, in order to prevent any disputes with the natives, and to preserve regularity amongst the convicts.

I accompanied Governor Phillip to this place, which is named Rose-Hill, on the 9th: we left Sydney-Cove at eight in the morning, and arrived at Rose-Hill before noon. About two miles below this settlement, the harbour becomes quite narrow, being not more than ten or twelve yards across, and the banks are about six feet high: here, the country has the appearance of a park. In rowing up this branch, we saw a flock of about thirty kangaroos or paderong, but they were only visible during their leaps, as the very long grass hid them from our view. We landed about half a mile from the settlement, and walked up to it.

This settlement is on an elevated ground, which joins to a fine crescent, as regular as if formed by art; it is probable that this crescent, and the regular slopes which surround the settlement, have been formed by very heavy rains. The soil is loam, sand, and clay: the trees are not so large here as lower down the harbour, but the large roots lying on the ground render it difficult to clear. A fine stream of fresh water runs into the head of the harbour, which, in the winter, and when heavy rains fall, sometimes rises seven or eight feet, and becomes a rapid torrent. A redoubt is constructed here, in which are very good barracks for officers and soldiers: there is likewise a store-house.

On the opposite side of the brook, there is a farm-house, where a servant of Governor Phillip's resides, who is charged with the superintendence of the convicts and the cultivation of the ground; to which charge he is very equal, and is of the greatest service to the governor, as he has no other free person whatever to overlook any piece of work carrying on by the convicts. Near to this farm-house, there is a very good barn and a granary. The convicts houses form a line at some distance, in front of the barracks, with very good gardens before and behind each house: indeed, the whole, joined to the pleasantness of the situation, makes it a beautiful landscape.

In 1789, the quantity of ground sown with wheat here, and at Sydney-Cove, was twenty-two acres; with barley, seventeen acres; flax, Indian corn, and beans, three acres. The quantity of wheat raised was two hundred bushels; of barley, sixty bushels; flax, beans, and other seeds, ten bushels: the wheat is a fine full grain. This year (1790) near one hundred acres will be cleared at Rose-Hill, of which forty are to be sown with wheat.

After dinner, I accompanied the governor from Rose-Hill to Prospect-Hill, which is about four miles distant: we walked through a very pleasant tract of country, which, from the distance the trees grew from each other, and the gentle hills and dales, and rising slopes covered with grass, appeared like a vast park. The soil from Rose-hill to Prospect-Hill is nearly alike, being a loam and clay. It is remarkable, that although the distance between these two places is only four miles, yet the natives divide it into eight different districts.

Prospect-Hill is a small elevation, which commands a very extensive prospect of the country to the southward: a range of very high mountains bound the view to the westward: these mountains, which lie nearly north and south, are about forty miles from Prospect-Hill; and the intervening country is a thick forest: the northernmost of these mountains is called Richmond-Hill, at the foot of which the Hawkesbury takes its rise from a bed of fresh water coal.

A river has been discovered by Captain Tench, of the marines, which runs near the foot of Lansdown-Hills; its direction appears to be north and south, but how far it runs to the southward cannot be ascertained, though there is great reason to suppose it runs a considerable way, as it does not empty itself into Botany-Bay, it therefore appears probable that it may come into the sea about Long-Nose, or Cape St. George, where there is an appearance of a good harbour.

There were at this time three of the natives who lived at Port Jackson, viz. a man about twenty-eight years old, a girl about thirteen, and a boy about nine years old. The man was taken by stratagem, by Lieutenant Bradley, who enticed him and another native to the boat by holding up a fish: they were both secured, a number of the natives being at the same time on the shore; these threw a number of spears, and although they are only made of wood, yet one of them went through four folds of the boat's sail, and struck the apron of the boat's stern with such violence as to split it. One of these natives made his escape presently afterwards, but the other grew reconciled to his situation, and lives with the governor: he is a very intelligent man, and much information may, no doubt, be procured from him, when he can be well understood. Mr. Collins, the judge-advocate, is very assiduous in learning the language, in which he has made a great progress.

This native has no less than five names, viz. "Bannelon, Wollewarre, Boinba, Bunde-bunda, Wogé trowey," but he likes best to be called by the second: he is a stout, well made man, about five feet six inches high, and now that the dirt is washed from his skin, we find his colour is a dark black: he is large featured, and has a flat nose; his hair is the same as the Asiatics, but very coarse and strong: he is very good-natured, being seldom angry at any jokes that may be passed upon him, and he readily imitates all the actions and gestures of every person in the governor's family; he sits at table with the governor, whom he calls "Beanga," or Father; and the governor calls him "Dooroow," or Son: he is under no restraint, nor is he the least aukward in eating; indeed, considering the state of nature which he has been brought up in, he may be called a polite man, as he performs every action of bowing, drinking healths, returning thanks, &c. with the most scrupulous attention. He is very fond of wine, but cannot bear the smell of spirits, although they have often tried to deceive him, by mixing very weak rum or brandy and water, instead of wine and water; but he would instantly find out the deception, and on these occasions he was angry: his appetite is very good, for he soon began to perceive the difference between a full and a short allowance.

He walks about constantly with the governor, who, to make him sensible of the confidence he placed in him, always took off a small sword which he usually wore, and gave it to Wolle-warrè, who put it on, and was not a little pleased at this mark of confidence. His dress is a jacket, made of the coarsest red kersey, and a pair of trowsers; but on Sundays, he is drest in nankeen. The governor's reason for making him wear the thick kersey is, that he may be so sensible of the cold as not to be able to go without cloaths.

Wolle-warre has had a wife, who, it seems, died a short time before he was taken: he sometimes mentions this circumstance, and it occasions a momentary gloom; but this his natural gaiety soon dissipates: he sings, when asked, but in general his songs are in a mournful strain, and he keeps time by swinging his arms: whenever asked to dance, he does it with great readiness; his motions at first are very slow, and are regulated by a dismal tune, which grows quicker as the dance advances, till at length he throws himself into the most violent posture, shaking his arms, and striking the ground with great force, which gives him the appearance of madness. It is very probable that this part of the dance is used as a sort of defiance, as all the natives which were seen when we first arrived at Port Jackson, always joined this sort of dance to their vociferations of "woroo, woroo," go away.

To what I have already said, respecting this man, a few more particulars will be added in the following vocabulary, which Mr. Collins permitted me to copy.

The native boy lived with Mr. White, the surgeon, who, with that humanity for which he is distinguished, cured both the boy and girl of a confluent small-pox, which swept off hundreds of the natives in the winter of 1788. This dreadful disorder, which, there is no doubt, is a distemper natural to the country, together with the difficulty of procuring a subsistance, renders the situtation of these poor wretches truly miserable.

The girl lived with the chaplain's wife, and both she and the boy were very tractable; but the girl at times would be out of temper, and could not bear to be thwarted.

I shall now add a vocabulary of the language, which I procured from Mr. Collins and Governor Phillip; both of whom had been very assiduous in procuring words to compose it; and as all the doubtful words are here rejected, it may be depended upon to be correct*.

[* This Vocabulary was much enlarged by Captain Hunter.]

Allocy, To stay.
Annegar, To ask any thing.
A-ra-goon, A war shield.
Ar-row-an, Distant, or far off.
Bòe, or Bo-y, Dead.
Bourbillie remul, Buried.
*Bado-burra, or Burra-bado, To pour water.
[* It should be observed, that in speaking, Wolle-warre frequently changes the position of his words, as in Bado-burra: so when walking one night from Prospect-Hill to Rose-Hill, we frequently stumbled against the roots, and he exclaimed "Wèrè Wadè, and Wadè Werè," bad wood, or bad roots.]
Bado-go-bally-vuida, I am dry, or I want water to drink.
Barong-boruch, A belly-full.
Boor emil diow, To put on.
Bo-me, To breathe.
Bo-gay, To dive.
Boorana, Yesterday.
Boora-Carremay, A fine day.
Beal, or Bidgeree, Good.
Byalla, To speak.
Bomar, A grave.
Bourra, A cloud, or the clouds.
Bengalle, Ornaments in general.
Barrong, The belly.
Booroow, The testicles.
Boon-abbiey, To kiss each other.
Berille, The finger
Bib-be, The ribs.
Boot Boot, The heart.
Bur-ra, A fish-book.
Bur-boga, To rise.
Bir-ra, The cheek.
Bin-ning, The leg.
Bin-yang, A bird.
Bee-an-bing, A quail.
Ba-ra-goo-la, The flood-tide.
Birrang, The stars.
Be-anga, A father.
Boon-ya, To kiss.
Ban-ga-ray, The red kanguroo.
Bo-ra-ya, To sing.
Bur-ra-doo, or Moona, A louse.
Ba-rin, An apron worn by young females.
Bin-ny, With young.
Bul-mie, To clap hands in dancing.
Ba-na-rang, The blood.
Barbuka, To get up.
Boming, A bird called the red-bill.
Bun-ya-dil, To singe the beard off.
Bolwara, To stare, or open the eyes.
Bur-ra-nè, To-morrow.
Baggy, The skin.
Boo-roo-an, An island.
Bò-ye, Death, or a ghost.
Cowull, The male of animals.
Car-re-nar-e-bille, To cough.
Cannadinga, To burn.
Can-no-can, Any vegetable fit to eat.
Cà-ma, To call.
Carre-mille-bado, To soak, or wash in water.
Coing-bibo-la, The sun-rise.
Coing-burra-go-lah, The sun-set.
Camurra, A day.
Chiang, or Chang-ulah, To chew.
Cot-ban-jow, Broken.
Cot-bàniè, or Cot-barry, To cut.
Carra-duin, A fishing-line.
Canno, A belly-full.
Caberra, The head.
Cad-lwar, or Col-liang, The neck.
Corungun, A nail.
Carra-mah, A gut.
Camye, A spear, or lance.
Ca-la-ra, A large fish-gig, with four prongs.
Ca-rall, The black cockatoo.
Ca-ra-ga-rang, The sea.
Ca-ra-goo-la, The cbb-tide.
Cow-ee, To come.
Can-ning, A cave in the rock.
Can, A snake, guana, or lizard.
Ca-la-ba-ran, A large sword, or scymetar.
Ca-ra-goon, A centipede.
Cud-yal, Smoak.
Ca-ban, An egg.
Cal-loo-a, To climb.
Cur-ra-yura, The sky.
Cot-ban-la, It is broke.
Cot-ban, To break.
Diera, A bone.
Din, and Din aillon, Women.
Derra-bangel-dion crelli bow, To take off, or imitate.
Dyennibbe, Laughter.
Dère-nignan, To sneeze.
Didgerry-goor, I thank you.
Didgerry goor Wogul Banne, I thank you for a bit.
Die, Here.
Diàm-o-wau, Where are you?
Dara, The teeth.
Diwarra, The hair.
Da-ma-na Beril, The hand and fingers.
Duralia, A hearn.
Doo-roy, The grass.
Doo-ra, A musquito.
Doo-ra-gy-a, To spit.
Door-a-lang, To prick.
Dir-gally, To scratch.
Dar-ra-Burra-Boorià, To pick the teeth.
Dooroow, A son.
Eo-ra, Men or People.
Era-mad-ye-winnia, To snatch.
Eranga, T'other side of the hill.
Eri, Full.
Elabi-la-bo, To make water.
E-roo-ka, To sweat.
E-li-mang, A small shield, made of bark.
Gall Gall, Small-pox.
Gnoowing, The night
Gna-oong, The nose ornament.
Gnia-na, To sigh.
Go-wally, A shag, or cormorant.
Goomun, The fir-tree.
Godie-by, Rotten, or decayed.
Go-roon, A muscle.
Gorey, Juice.
Gnia, I myself!
Ger-rub-ber, Any thing that gives fire, as a gun, &c.
Gorai, The ear.
Gor-rook, The knee.
Gading, The arm.
Gwo-meil, Feathers,
Gnal-loa, To sit.
Go-ril, A parrot.
Ga-ra-way, A white cockatoo.
Girra-girra, A fishing-gull.
Gwarra, The wind.
Gur-gy, The fern-root
Gon-yi, A house or hut.
Goor-ing, A female child.
Gwee-ang, Fire.
Gar-ree, To cough.
Go-mi-ra, A hole.
Goon-gan, A barbed spear, for close fighting.
Gur-go, A meteor, or shooting star.
Gong-ara, Ornamental scars on the body.
Gweè-rang, Ornaments made of reeds, and strung round the waist or neck.
Gna-ra, A knot in a line.
Goora, To drown.
Gu-na-murra, A stink, or bad smell.
Gitte-Gittim, To tickle.
Go-roo-da, To snore when asleep.
Ilga, To leap.
Jamel Jamel, A hawk.
Kalga, The mouth.
Kamai, A spear.
Kibba, A rock.
Ka-ra-ma, To steal.
Mogo, A stone hatchet.
Mulla, A man.
Moola, Sick, to vomit.
Maugerry, Fishing.
Murray, Every thing large.
Murray-nowey, The Sirius.
Murray-cara-diera, Swelled wrist.
Mediey, I do not know.
Maracry, or Mar-ry-ang, The emu.
Mullin-ow-ule, To-morrow morning.
Murray-yannadah, Full moon.
Marroway, To creep.
Manioo, To pick up any thing.
Morun-gle, Thunder.
Moor-rone, A large fly that bites.
Morungle-birrong mongle, Struck with thunder and lightning.
Murong, Sand.
Man-ye-ro, I do not know.
Mi, The eye.
Murray-can-na dinga mi, The effect of the hot burning sun on the eye.
Menoe, The foot.
Me-noe-wa, The feet.
Moo-tang, A small fiz-gig.
Mur-tin, Milk.
Med-yanq, A sore.
Ma-gra, Fish.
Mang-a, Lightning.
My-ang-a, A fly.
Mong, An ant.
Man-a-ro, The navel.
Moo-tang, Living.
Me-gal, Tears.
Ma-na-ran, The teeth of the kanguroo stuck in the head with gum as an ornament.
Mawn, A ghost or apparition.
Moono, The bill of a bird.
Mo-ro, A path or road.
Min-ney, To scrape.
Myi-mogro, To shut the eyes.
Maur, To take hold.
Narrong, Any thing small.
Nowey, A canoe.
Narrong nowey, The Supply.
Narra-dew, To hear.
Noone, Now.
Nogur, The nose.
Naga, The liver.
Nar-ra-mee, A net.
Nan-ga-ra, To sleep.
Nabanq, Womens breasts
Nul-la, The forehead.
Na-ro-wang, A paddle.
Nang-oon, A bone or piece of wood thrust through the septum of the nose.
Nam-mel, A sinker for a fish-line.
Narri-keebu, Stand on the rock.
Oôna, The elbow.
Pyalla-pya-bow, To fight or beat.
Pan-nie-jeminga, To give one the hand.
Patanga, An oyster.
Paddewah, A fish called a flat-head.
Parry-buga, To-morrow.
Paran-banie-diow, Eating (the act of).
Pa-boo-nang, A black ant.
Parra-berry, Empty.
Par-rangle, The throat.
Pan-ne-ra, The blood.
Pow-book, An owl.
Pan-na, Rain.
Pa-ta-ga-rang, The large grey kanguroo.
Pil-lia, To laugh.
Pe-mall, Earth or clay.
Po-cul-bee, The flag or iris of this country.
Teura, A musquito.
Teura-dieny, Musquito bite.
Tag-go-rah-yago, To shiver.
Taboa-millie, Painted white.
Tonga-doro, You must say.
Talling, or Ta-lang, The tongue.
Tamira, The hand.
Tarra, The leg.
Tarong, The shoulder.
Troo-gad-ya, A large gull.
Ta-ga-ra, Cold.
Tingo, A dog.
Tonga, To weep.
Tang o-ra, To dance.
Te-re-nang, To sneeze.
Ta-ra, Teeth.
Ter-ra-wan-a, A magpie.
Ta-lang-a, To yawn.
Ter-ral, Feathers used as an ornament for the head.
Taman, A berry.
Toon, The tail of a bird, or any animal.
Tan-naing, Mine. (My property.)
Ury-diow, To sit nearer any one.
Wering, Female.
Womerraa, To run.
Womerra-berra, To jump.
Wèrè, Bad.
Wadby, To swim.
Warre-wee, To stand.
Wanne-bow, To throw away.
Waltegal, A large fish.
Woolamie, A fish called a light-horseman.
Waré, Where.
Wogan-minnering, Cutting off.
Womar, A throwing-stick.
Wea-ja-minga, Wea-jow-inia. Wianga, Relating to the giving of any thing.
Wal-lu-merun-wea, Will you have any more?
Walloo-bu-diown, To turn when walking.
Woroo-woroo! Go away, or an exclamation of defiance.
Willin, The lips.
Wallo, The chin.
Woo-da, A club.
Wee-de, To drink or suck.
Wan-aree, The eyebrow.
Wee-lang, Lips.
War-ra, The breast of a man.
Wa-gan, A crow.
Wir-gan, A bird called fryar.
Wad-dy, A stick or tree.
Wong-ara, A male child.
Wy-anga, A mother.
Wo-la-ba, A young kanguroo.
Waregal, A large dog.
Wy-a-jenuriga, Give me.
Wur-ra, A rat.
Wil-bing, To fly, or the wing of a bird.
Wa-ra-bee, A cockel.
Worgye, To whistle.
Wya-bo-in-ya, Take this.
We-ring, The female of animals.
Wa, Where.
Wong-ara jug-ga-me, A child carried on the shoulder.
Yenu, Yenmow, Yenminia, Yen, The termination of the verb--to walk.
Yu-ru-gurra, Hungry.
Yenna, Gone.
Yennibun, Walking away.
Yagoona, To-day.
Yannadah paragi, New moon.
Yery, or Curna, To throw.
Yery-dioma, To fall down.
Ya-ban, To sing.
Yarre, or Yerring, A beard.
Yer-ra, A sword.
Yen-our-yenna, Go away.
Yo-ra, A number of people.
Goang-un, A spear about eight feet long, with four barbs on each side.--The natives make use of this spear when they advance near their adversary, and the thrust, or rather the stroke, is made at the side, as they raise the spear up, and have a shield in the left-hand. A wound from this spear must be mortal.

The only colours we have as yet discovered they have any knowledge of, are--Red, Morjal; White, Taboa; Black, Nand; Green, Boolga.

The females of each tribe are distinguished by the word "Leon," added to the name which distinguishes the chief: it is supposed that the word "Gal," signifies tribe, and the word preceding it is the word of distinction; probably, it is the place where the tribe resides.

The following instances may serve to confirm these suppositions.

MEN.                     WOMEN.
Camera-gal               Cameragal-leon.
Cadi-gal.                Cadigal-leon.
Won-gal.                 Wongal-leon.
Gwea-gal.                Gwea-gal-leon.
Boora me di-gal.         Booramedigal-leon.
Norongera-gal.           Norongera-gal-leon.
Wallume-de-gal.          Wallume-degal-leon.
Borogegal-yurrey.        Borogegal-leon.
Gommerigal-tongara.      Gommerigal-leon.

We have every reason to believe, that the natives are divided into tribes, and that the persons belonging to each tribe derive their name from the chief. We have heard much of Camme-ro-gal, who lives in the interior part of the country, and is a great warrior. Wolare-warrè must have had some severe conflicts with this chief, as he showed several scars which proceeded from wounds that he had received from him.

The tribe of Camerra inhabit the north side of Port Jackson. The tribe of Cadi inhabit the south side, extending from the south head to Long-Cove; at which place the district of Wanne, and the tribe of Wangal, commences, extending as far as Par-ra-mata, or Rose-Hill. The tribe of Wallumede inhabit the north shore opposite Warrane, or Sydney-Cove, and are called Walumetta. I have already observed, that the space between Rose-Hill and Prospect-Hill is distinguished by eight different names, although the distance is only four miles.

Wolare-warrè has given us to understand, that there are apparitions in the country which he calls "Manè:" he describes them as coming up with a strange noise, and catching hold of any one by the throat: he made use of many words on this occasion, and pointed up to the sky: he also informed us, that these apparitions singe the beards and the hair: this, he describes as a very painful operation, rubbing his face after every application of the brand.

They put their dead, for some time, in a fire, after which they are laid at length in a grave, dug very clean out, the bottom being first very carefully covered with long grass, or fern; the body is then put in, and covered over with long grass, and the grave is then filled with earth, the mould rising above it as in England.

No signs of any religion have been observed among them, yet they are not entirely ignorant of a future state, as they say the bones of the dead are in the grave, and the body is in the clouds; or, as those we have had with us may have been misunderstood, they probably mean that the soul is in the clouds: Wolare-warrè once asked the judge-advocate, if the white men went to the clouds also. The sun, moon, and stars, they call Werè (bad): the native girl once went into very violent convulsions on seeing a falling star, and said that every body would be destroyed, although some who were about her observed, that she particularly alluded to the "Murray nowey," the Sirius.

The Emu, (Maroang) the Patagorang, and the Menagine, (a small animal) are all named "Goa-long," which term is supposed to mean an animal, as Wolarewarrè uses it in contradistinction to a bird or a fish: on being asked, if the Emu was a bird, (Binyan) he shook his head, and said, "Goa-long." He calls Governor Phillip, Beanga (father); and names himself, Dooroow (son): the judge and commissary he calls Babunna (brother). He sings a great deal, and with much variety: the following are some words which were caught--"E eye at wangewah-wandeliah chiango wandego mangenny wakey angoul barre boa lah barrema." He throws the spear ninety yards with great force and exactness. In counting the numerals, he cannot reckon beyond four; viz. One, Wogul, or Ya-ole; Two, Bulla and Yablowxe; Three, Boorooi, or Brewè; Four, Cal-una-long. On laying down a fifth object, he named it with the rest, "Marry-diolo." He calls the four principal winds by the following names:--The North, Boo-roo-way; The South, Bain-marree; The West, Bow-wan; The East, Gonie-mah.

The natives sing an hymn or song of joy, from day-break until sunrise. They procure fire with infinite labour, by fixing the pointed end of a round piece of stick into a hole made in a flat piece of wood, and twirling it round swiftly betwixt both hands, sliding them at the same time upwards and downwards until the operator is fatigued, when he is relieved by some of his companions, who are all seated in a circle for that purpose, and each takes his turn in the operation until fire is procured: this being the process, it is no wonder that they are never seen without a piece of lighted wood in their hand.

Chapter XVI


April 1790 to December 1790

Lieutenant King sails for Batavia.--Meets with a dangerous shoal.--Discovers Tench's-Island.--A description of the inhabitants.--Prince William-Henry's Island described.--Touches at Kercolang.--A description of the inhabitants, their cloathing and utensils.--Passes through the Streights of Salayer.--Arrival at Batavia.--Interview with the governor.--Batavia described.--Situation and extent.--Manners and customs of the inhabitants.--Government and police.--Annual exports.--Departure from Batavia.--Mortality amongst the sailors.--Arrival at the Isle of France.--An account of that island.--Sails from the Isle of France.--Arrival in the English Channel.

Having received the dispatches for his Majesty's principal Secretary of State, and for the Secretary of the Admiralty, from Governor Phillip, together with his order for me to go on board the Supply, and to proced in her to Batavia, and from thence, to make the best of my way to England, with the above dispatches, and Lieutenant Ball having also received his orders, I took my leave of the governor, and at noon on the 17th of April, we set sail; carrying with us the fervent prayers of those we left behind, for our safety.

From this time till the 22d, we had variable weather, the wind in general from the south-east. Lieutenant Ball was directed to call at Norfolk-Island, if it did not occasion him too much loss of time; but, as the winds seemed to hang to the eastward, there was every probability of losing at least a fortnight; and, as the Supply did not carry any thing which could be of the least assistance to those on the island, he thought proper to proceed on the voyage, and accordingly bore up in order to go to the westward of the shoal seen by the Golden-Grove, in latitude 29° 25' south, and 159° 59' east longitude: Lieutenant Shortland also saw another shoal, as hath already been mentioned, which may probably be the same, if they exist: this, however, seems to be a matter of doubt, as Lieutenant Ball, in July, 1789, cruized in these and the adjacent latitudes and longitudes for a fortnight, and could not see the least appearance either of an island or shoals; although Mr. Blackburn, the master of the Supply, who was at that time on board the Golden-Grove, is very confident that a shoal was seen in that vessel.

We had very heavy gales of wind from east until the 28th, with violent squalls, attended with rain: the air in general thick and hazy, and a high hollow sea running. At one o'clock on the 28th, we perceived a great alteration in the sea, which was become so smooth, that at four o'clock it was, comparatively speaking, smooth water: at half past five, the man who was stationed at the mast-head, saw breakers in the south-east, which were found to be a shoal, bearing from south-east by east to east-south-east, about seven miles distant: it appeared to trend south-south-east and north-north-west; and the north end seemed to break off suddenly in a small bluff.

The man at the mast-head had seen this shoal a considerable time before he spoke of it, and, when asked why he did not mention it sooner, he said that he took it for the reflection of the setting-sun; forgetting that the sun, if it had been visible, set to the westward: this circumstance occasioned Lieutenant Ball to name it "Booby shoal:" its latitude is 21° 24' south, and the longitude, by the time-keeper, 159° 24' east of Greenwich. Immediately after passing this shoal, we found the same high hollow sea running as we had in the morning.

At noon on the 3d of May, our latitude was 12° 13' south, and the longitude, by the time-keeper, 161° 33' east. We were now drawing near the situation in which Lieutenant Shortland had discovered land, and being surrounded by birds, and a number of trees floating about the vessel, we were induced to suppose ourselves not far distant from it. In the evening of the 4th we sounded, but got no ground with 150 fathoms of line. The next morning high land was seen, bearing from north-north-west to west-north-west, seven or eight leagues distant; it seemed to trend about north-north-east, and south-south-west. At noon, the latitude was 11° 7' south, and the longitude 162° 34' east: the northernmost land bore north by west, five leagues distant: it appeared like a small island covered with trees; and in the center of it there is a conspicuous mount, formed by some very high trees: the land to the west-ward, which extends from this island as far as north-west a quarter north, is low, and in clumps like islands. The weather now was very hot and sultry, with dark heavy clouds all round the horizon: we had also a great deal of thunder and lightning, attended with heavy rain.

In the afternoon of the 6th, we perceived the northernmost land to be two small islands, which appeared to trend north-north-east and south-south-west; the main land lying a little to the westward of them. The easternmost of these two islands Lieutenant Ball named Sirius's-Island; it is situated in 10° 52' south latitude, and 162° 30' east longitude: the other was named Massey's-Island. We observed by the land, that a very strong current, or tide, set us fast to the northward. It is unfortunate that the changeable state of the wind and weather did not permit us to range this coast, by hauling in with the land, as something might have probably been discovered, without occasioning any loss of time. In the evening we had very heavy squalls, attended with rain, thunder, and lightning.

At eight o'clock the next morning, we saw land, which had the appearance of a large high island, lying along the shore: Lieutenant Ball named it Smith's-Island; it is situated in 9° 44' south latitude, and 161° 54' east longitude. On the 8th, at day-light, the land bore from west by south to south by west, seven or eight leagues distant: Smith's Island then bearing south-south-east ten leagues.

This land in general is very high, and appears well wooded: there is the appearance of a number of openings, resembling bays or harbours; but our distance from shore was too great to ascertain any observation of that kind. At noon our latitude was 9° 00' south, and the longitude 161° 41' east; and the land trending away to the north-west, it was evident that we had rounded the east part of that island which Lieutenant Shortland coasted on its south side, from the latitude of 10° 44' south longitude 161° 41' east, to 6° 55' south latitude, and 156° 30' east longitude.

As Lieutenant Shortland made the land on the opposite side of this island in latitude 10° 44' south, longitude 161° 30' east, and the Supply being this day in latitude 9° 00' south, longitude 161° 41' east; there remains a space between the situation of the two vessels, which, reduced to bearings and distances from these latitudes and longitudes, will give south 6° east; distance 104 miles: now, the Supply was ten leagues off shore, and, admitting the Alexander (Lieutenant Shortland's ship,) to have been four leagues, it will make the breadth of the island 62 miles, and its length and bearings will be south 57° east, and north 57° west, 436 miles.

The eastern extremity of this land is an island about 18 miles in circuit, lying at a small distance from the main island: I have before observed that it was named Sirius-Island, between which, and the Queen Charlotte's Islands, there cannot be many leagues, supposing Captain Carteret's longitude to have been right.

The north-east coast of this island Lieutenant Ball named "Ball's Maiden Land;" and the passage between Sirius and Queen Charlotte's Islands, "Supply's Passage."

At day-light in the morning of the 9th, land was seen, bearing from south to west, eleven leagues distant; it was very high, and there appeared to be a number of openings in it. Our latitude at noon on the 10th, was 7° 16' south, and the longitude 162° 23' east. We now daily found the vessel set considerably to the northward and westward, and on the 16th she was set 48 miles west-north-west during the 24 hours.

A different kind of sea-fowl was seen about the vessel to any we had hitherto met with; it was of the ganet kind; the back, wings, and head being a glossy black, and the breast entirely white.

At ten o'clock in the morning of the 19th, we saw an island bearing west by north six or seven leagues distant: the latitude at noon, was 1° 44' south, and the longitude 150° 39' east. With a fine breeze at east-south-east, we steered for the island, as it lay directly in our course, and soon perceived that it was inhabited, as we saw a number of people standing on the south point, and a great many canoes were coming off to meet us; but as the vessel approached them they paddled towards the shore; yet they seemed desirous to have some communication with us, and the vessel being hove to, in a short time they came near us, but no invitation or intreaty could prevail on them to come along-side.

At length, two of the canoes, which had seven men in each, and two others, with two men each, came close under the stern, but none of them would venture on board, and it was with great difficulty they were persuaded to come near enough to receive a string of beads which were let down over the stern; after this, they all paddled on shore.

During the time these canoes were near the vessel, the beach on the island was covered with natives; and on the south point of the island, a man stood alone, with a long pole in his hand, which had something large at the end of it, and which he seemed to use as a signal to those in the canoes. These canoes appeared to be made out of a large tree, and were well shaped, with a hook made of wood at each end, the use of which we could not possibly guess: the largest of them appeared to be about 28 feet long. Each canoe had a long out-rigger, to prevent them from oversetting.

The natives who were in the canoes, were the stoutest and healthiest looking men I ever beheld; their skin was perfectly smooth and free from any disorder: they were quite naked, and of a copper colour; their hair resembled that of the New-Hollanders. Some of their beards reached as low as the navel, and there was an appearance of much art being used in forming them into long ringlets; so that it should seem as if the prevailing fashion on this island was that of keeping the beard well combed, curled, and oiled. Two or three of the men had something like a bead or bone suspended to a string, which was fastened round the neck. The size and very healthy appearance of these people excited our admiration very much; indeed it is wonderful how so small a spot of ground can support the vast number of inhabitants we saw on the island, all of whom appeared equally strong and handsome as those who were in the canoes.

The island cannot be more than two miles in circumference: it is low, but entirely covered with trees, many of which are the cocoa-nut; we likewise saw a number of large trees which bore a very fine red blossom, but the red was so very conspicuous, that I am inclined to think the leaves were of that colour. These trees reached to the margin of a very fine sandy beach, which entirely surrounds the island; a great number of canoes were lying on the beach, and, from the number of natives we saw there, besides what were in the canoes, there cannot be less than a thousand inhabitants on the island. Lieutenant Ball named this place Tench's Island, after Captain Watkin Tench of the marines: it is situated in 1° 39' south latitude, and 150° 31' east longitude.

After lying-to near an hour, and finding we could have no farther intercourse with the natives, without considerable loss of time, we bore up and kept on our course, steering west by north. At sun-set, we saw another island bearing west by north, Tench's Island bearing east half north. The next morning at day-light, the island seen the preceding evening, bore from south by west, to west by south, about three leagues distant; on this, we altered our course, in order to run along the shore. This island is pretty high, and appears to be about 70 miles in circumference, if I may judge from the length of its east side, which I measured by angles. It is well wooded, and there were a number of clear cultivated tracts of ground, on which something was growing that had the appearance of Indian corn, or sugar-cane.

As we ran along shore, we could not perceive any place of shelter for a vessel on the east side of the island, but there probably is on some part of it. The island is surrounded by a sandy beach, on which the surf beats with some violence: a number of canoes were lying on the beach, and some parts of the shore were covered with the natives; but none of them attempted to come off, although the vessel was not more than a mile and a half from the shore. We saw several houses amongst the trees, which appeared to be large and well constructed. This island has a luxuriant and picturesque appearance, and there can scarcely be a doubt but it is very fertile and well peopled. The natives were quite naked, and seemed to be the same sort of people we had seen at Tench's Island; and their canoes were apparently of the same construction.

At ten o'clock in the forenoon, being abreast of the south-east point of the island, we bore up and made sail, steering west-north-west. Lieutenant Ball requesting me to name this island, I called it Prince William-Henry Island, in honour of his Royal Highness the Duke of Clarence. In making this island from the eastward, a very high mount rises in the center of it, which Lieutenant Ball named Mount Phillip, in honour of Governor Phillip: it lies west-north-west from Tench's-Island, and is situated in 1° 32' south latitude, and 149° 30' east longitude.

At midnight on the 22d, we had a perfect deluge of rain, but it did not continue more than a quarter of an hour. We had now a vast number of tropic birds and ganets round the vessel: the sea was covered with trees of the largest size, which had both roots and branches to them; there were also cocoa-nut trees, sugar-cane, bamboo, and a variety of other drift wood: many of the trees were so large, that we could plainly see them at the distance of two leagues: most of the roots lay to the west-north-west, from which circumstance, and the vessel being considerably to the westward of account by the time-keeper, we were induced to suppose that a strong current set in that direction. We steered west-north-west until the 4th of June, with moderate breezes from the eastward, and pleasant weather: the sea was constantly covered with large entire trees, junks of wood, bamboos, and a variety of other drift wood and rock weed. Our latitude at noon on the 4th, was 4° 33' north, and the longitude, by the time-keeper, 127° 58' east.

At day-light the next morning, we saw an island bearing north-west, which is called Kercolang in the charts; finding we could not weather the south end, we bore up to go to the northward of it. At noon, it bore from north 68° west to south 41° west: our latitude was 4° 25' north, and the longitude, by lunar observation, 126° 50' east. Another island, called Kerolang in the charts, bore from north to north 14° east; having a remarkable hummock on the east end of it.

At eight o'clock in the morning of the 6th, being close under the east side of Kercolang, we saw a canoe with a matt sail coming towards us: the natives soon came under the stern without any signs of fear. There were twelve Malays in this canoe, who were all cloathed: the outriggers of the canoe, which were long and slight, would not permit them to come alongside, but a jacket and a hatchet being given them, and signs made for them to go on shore and bring something to eat, they left the vessel and went towards the shore, where we followed them. Before they landed, a still larger canoe, with fifteen Malays in it, went to the canoe which had left us; and as we were not more than two miles from the shore, Lieutenant Ball and myself went in the jolly-boat and joined the two canoes; on this, two of the Malays jumped out of the canoes into our boat, and went immediately to the oars: such a step could not be misunderstood, it was saying, "we put ourselves entirely in your power without any precaution."

When we came near the beach, observing the surf to break on it, we made signs for the canoes to go on shore, and bring us some cocoa-nuts and plantains, as we saw vast quantities on the trees. They were very desirous for our boat to land; but that not being agreed to, they left a native in the jolly-boat, and one of our men went on shore in the canoe: he soon returned with several canoes which were laden with cocoa-nuts, yams, plantains, sweet potatoes, rice, a little flour, and several other articles, all which we purchased for axes and other barter: soon afterwards we returned on board, and were followed by upwards of an hundred canoes. At noon, a breeze springing up from the northward, we made sail, and many of the canoes followed us to a considerable distance.

The latitude of the north end of Kercolang is 4° 28', and the longitude of the center 126° 31' east. This island is between eighty and one hundred miles in circumference, and is in general of a very good height: the face of the country seems to be steep hills and extensive vallies, and every part of it was covered with trees and verdure: there were also some cultivated grounds which had a very pleasant appearance. These Malays wore no erid or cress, nor did we see any offensive weapons amongst them, excepting two which were on the beach, who had something like halberts in their hands, but whether they were of iron or wood we could not discern. The houses stood on posts; they appeared to be well built, and neatly thatched.

Their canoes were also neatly made, being hollowed out of trees, with bamboo outriggers on each side to prevent them from oversetting; a piece of wood is left at the stern, which projects like a proa, to break the water before it comes to the bow: each canoe has a mast, on which they hoist a square piece of matt as a sail. Their fishing-hooks and lines are mostly European, and it is possible that there is a Dutch resident on the island, as we saw a small Dutch flag placed before a house to the northward of the place where we went with the boat; though it is natural to suppose, that if any European had been there, he would have come to the boat, or that the natives would have made us understand there was one on the island.

The cloathing these people in general wore, was made of a coarse kind of callico, though some of them wore silk, and most of them had something resembling a turban round their heads; a few, indeed, wore a Chinese pointed hat. There can be no doubt but the Dutch supply these people with cloathing and other necessaries, which, of course, must be for some production of the island. I showed one of the natives some cloves, and he gave me to understand that they had the same. I do not think the Dutch send very often to this island, from the extreme avidity the natives showed in purchasing our hatchets and cloathing: they are mild, and apparently a quiet people, and the confidence they placed in us was sufficient to prove that strangers were not unwelcome guests among them.

From the 6th to the 10th, we had fresh gales of wind at west, with very heavy squalls and much rain, which often obliged us to clew all up. During the last four days we only got eight leagues on our course, and there being every appearance of a continuation of westerly winds, (this being the south-west monsoon in the China seas) with heavy squalls, or rather tornados of wind and rain, which endangered the masts: on the 10th, Lieutenant Ball relinquished the purpose of going through the streights of Macasser, and adopted that of making the passage between Celebes and Gilolo, through the Moluccas and the streights of Salayer; accordingly, at six in the morning, we bore up for the south point of Lirog, which lay south-east by east twelve or fourteen leagues distant. At day-light on the 12th, we saw the island of Morotia, which bore from south 31° east, to south 4° east.

At noon, we were in 2° 36' south latitude, and 127° 51' east longitude: in a chart of Hamilton Moore's, there is an island without a name laid down exactly in that situation; but, as the weather was very clear, and no such land could be seen, the existence of it is very doubtful. The weather was now extremely pleasant, with light winds from south by west to south-east. At noon on the 14th, Gilolo bore from south by west half west, to east by north: there is a chain of small islands laying the whole length of these bearings about two leagues from Gilolo; between which and that island, there appears to be good shelter. On the 16th, we were directly opposite three remarkable conical hills; they are very high; the southernmost lies in 1° 30' north latitude, and 127° 5' east longitude. The land near this situation is high and well wooded, with some cultivated spots: the shore appears bold to. At midnight, we had a perfect deluge of rain, attended with loud thunder and very fierce lightning, which lasted two hours; after which, the weather became serene and pleasant.

The next morning, the island of Ternate bore south-south-east, and a little to the northward of it there appears to be a large and safe harbour, on the island of Gilolo, which now bore east by south five or six leagues distant. Ternate rises in a high conical mount; its latitude is 00° 50' north, and the longitude 127° 4' east. A very pleasant little island lies about two miles to the north-north west of Ternate, which, in the charts, is called Heri; it is pretty high, and not more than two miles in circumference. The cultivated spots on this island, contrasted with the brown shade of the trees, and the interspersed situation of the houses, give this little spot a most picturesque appearance: it appeared, as well as Ternate, to be in a perfect state of cultivation; and from the number of houses we saw, they must both be well inhabited. The latitude, at noon, was 1° 2' north, and the longitude 126° 49' west: Heri then bore south-east by east; the peak of Ternate, south-east half south; the south point of Tidere, south by east, and Makian, south-south-east.

All these islands are very high; they rise in peaks, and are well cultivated. We saw a vast number of fires on Ternate, which probably were lighted for a signal. Besides the island of Makian, which is not more than two miles in circumference, there are a number of other small islots, which form a considerable group, and they were all cultivated. A number of boats were passing from one islot to another, with some Europeans in them. The weather was excessive hot and sultry; the thermometer, when in the open air and shade, being 91°.

On the 19th, we perceived a great ripling on the water, which appeared to be a strong current, and we afterwards found it had set the vessel considerably to the westward. At noon, the north-west point of Manere or Batachina bore east-north-east nine leagues distant; its latitude is 0° 16' south, and the longitude 126° 41' east. At noon on the 20th, an island a head, which we took to be Pulo Oubi, bore east half south about twelve leagues distant, and Stemo Sulla, south-south-west thirteen leagues: the latitude was 1° 17' south, and the longitude 126° 22' east. Hitherto, we had found the currents set us to the westward; but in the morning of the 21st, a strong ripling of a current set the vessel considerably to the east-south-east, which may easily be accounted for: the passage between New Guinea and Aigeu was quite open, and bore from us south-east, and I think that the current we now felt is an out-set; and as we had experienced a southerly current ever since we made the island of Morotia, it may be presumed that there is an indraught between the Celebes and Gilolo; and an out-set between Gilolo, New Guinea, and Aigeu, which is called "Pitt's Passage."

In the afternoon, the boat was hoisted out in order to try the current, when it was found to set east by south, at the rate of a mile and an half an hour; however, the current among these islands is by no means certain, as we found, on the 22d, a strong current or tide setting to the north-west. A great number of very large whales were seen, which moved exceeding slow, and came very near the vessel. At noon, the center of Burro bore south, and the south point of Sulla Bessi, north 76° west. Burro is a very high island, and may be seen at the distance of twenty leagues with great ease.

As the following latitudes and longitudes were taken with great exactness, they perhaps may not be unacceptable.

                               South latitude.  East longitude.
                               °  '          °  '
East point of Burro                3  7            126 38
West point of ditto                3  4            125 41
North-east point of Sulla Mangol   2  0            126  3
South point of Sulla Bessi         2 29            125 57

In the afternoon of the 23d, being clear of the south point of Burro, we found a strong south-east trade, with which we steered south-south-west. We passed a great quantity of drift wood, and some very large trees with both roots and branches to them, some of which were so large as to be taken for vessels.

In the morning of the 25th, we saw two small islands bearing south-east about six miles distant; we imagined them to be the northernmost of the small islands, called Touchaeilly, in the charts: soon afterwards, we saw land bearing south-west, which we took to be Bouton, but we soon perceived it to be three islands lying nearly north and south. At this time, our longitude, by the time-keeper, was 123° 39' east, and the latitude, by two altitudes, was 5° 36' south.

Concluding the islands we saw in the morning were those of St. Matthew's, and the others Touchaeilly, we bore up in order to run between the northernmost and middle of three islands in sight. In our run from Burro to St. Matthew's Island, we found a strong current setting to the south-east. St. Matthew's Islands are situated in 5° 23' south latitude, and 123° 51' east longitude. With a moderate breeze from the south-east, we steered west-south-west between the Toucaheilly Islands; and at noon on the 26th, we passed a sandy key, which had a tuft of green bushes on its north end, and its south end runs off in a long spit for three or four miles, on which the sea breaks very high. These islands are covered with wood, and well cultivated.

At four o'clock in the afternoon we hove to, and soon afterwards a small proa came alongside loaded with cocoa-nuts, which we purchased. The people in this canoe gave us to understand, that the island on our starboard hand was called Combado, and that on the larboard Toucambaso. At half past four, we made sail, and soon afterwards, a man, who was stationed at the mast-head, said he saw a shoal a-head of the vessel; on this we looked out, and saw a reef about six miles distant, extending from the west-north-west as far as the eye could reach in a south-east direction: on this, we hauled the wind and lay under Combado during the night.

The next morning, we made sail and steered west-north-west, looking out for the shoal and running along its eastern side about four miles distant. This reef is very large, and its eastern side is bound with rugged rocks, and when the water is smooth there is no breaker on it. At four in the afternoon, we rounded the shoal at two miles distance, and steered for the south end of Bouton, which we passed early the next morning, and soon afterwards passed the streights, steering west half north. When you are to the eastward of Camborra, the entrance of the streights of Bouton may be known by three small islands which lie off the east point that forms the streights, one of which is large, and the other two are small: off the large one lie several rocks, but at no great distance. The only chart we had on board, which took any notice of these islands and the shoal, was one of Hamilton Moore's, which we found tolerably correct, except in some instances where the islands are misplaced, as St. Matthew's Islands, Toucambessis, the south end of Bouton and Kercolang, with some other trifling differences; however, upon the whole, it may be called a good chart.

At day-light, the island of Salayer bore from south 40° west to north 80° east, and the entrance of the streights north 70° west. On entering the streights, we found a very strong ripling of the sea, which we were apprehensive were overfalls; but we found it was a strong current setting to the westward. At noon, being through the streights, we hauled up west by south. The best passage through these streights is between the two small islands, the southernmost of which lies close to Salayer. The island of Salayer appears to be well inhabited, and cultivated to advantage, as each piece of ground was fenced in, and the houses appeared to be very good ones.

The course from the streights of Salayer to Cambona is east by south eighty-four miles: they lie west by north half north, and east by south half south, about five miles through: the entrance to the westward is in 5° 45' south latitude, and 120° 3' east longitude. This latitude was determined by a good meridional altitude, and the longitude by the time-keeper and lunar observations, so that there is a very considerable mistake in Hamilton Moore's chart respecting the position of these streights. At three in the afternoon, a man, who was stationed at the mast-head, said he saw a great ripling, and on looking over the side, the bottom was distinctly seen; on this, we hauled off to the southward, and hove the lead, but got no ground, and the vessel going very fast, we immediately lost sight of the bottom, and soon afterwards steered west by south. At the time we were on this bank, the south end of Salayer bore south-south-east, and the north end, east.

In my opinion, ships going through the streights of Salayer from the westward, should bring the north point of Salayer to bear east, or east half north, with which course there could be no risk from that bank. We now steered west by south, and having run sixty-six miles in that direction from the streights of Salayer, on the morning of the 29th, we saw some high land on the Celebes, bearing north-east nine leagues distant; this must be the land between the south-west point of Celebes, and the islands called, by Captain Carteret, Tonakiky; so that the end of Celebes from the streights of Salayer to the south-west point cannot be more than twenty leagues, as Mr. Dalrymple has already observed in a small pamphlet.

Lieutenant Ball directed the vessel to be kept north-north-west, in order to make the land plainer; but the charts we had on board differed so much in the position and extent of the land, and some time might perhaps be lost in looking for Tonakiky, to take a departure from, Mr. Ball determined on bearing up and running in that parallel of latitude which was likeliest to keep the vessel clear of danger, viz. 5° 45' or 5° 50' south. At noon, the observed latitude was 5° 48' south, and the longitude 118° 44' east. At half past two in the afternoon, having steered west twelve miles since noon, we saw what we took for Tonyn's Islands, or Sarras, bearing north. Hamilton Moore's chart places the south end of this shoal in 5° 58' south, but it cannot be farther than 5° 40' south at most, as we were now in latitude 5° 48', and the island could only be seen from the mast-head, bearing north: the longitude of the south end of these islands and shoal (if there be any) is 118° 11' east.

On the 30th, at ten in the forenoon, we saw the great Solombo bearing north by west half west two leagues distant. On sounding, we struck the ground with 32 fathoms, over an oozy bottom. The next morning, the island of Lubeck bore from south 14° west to south 55° west, five leagues distant. This island is considerably misplaced in the charts. A very good altitude was got at eight in the morning, for the time-keeper, and a very good meridional altitude was also taken for the latitude; which, with the bearings of Lubeck in the morning and at noon, places it in 5° 50' south latitude, and 112° 22' east longitude.

On the 3d, at three o'clock in the afternoon, the isles of Cariman Java were seen, bearing south 79° west. During the night, the weather was very squally, attended with much thunder and lightning. The latitude of Cariman Java is 5° 56' south, and the longitude 110° 12' east.

At half past three o'clock in the morning of the 5th, we saw a small island bearing west half south, not more than a mile and a half from the vessel; on this we hauled our wind to the southward, and tacked occasionally until day-light. We sounded with twenty-six fathoms, over a bottom of blue mud. This island is called in the charts Pulo Packit: it is very low and covered with trees. There are two islands laid down in Dunn's and Moore's charts, but we only saw one island, and a rocky reef: this island is laid down in Dunn's chart in 6° 18° south, but its real latitude is 5° 50' south: this mistake had very near proved fatal to the Supply, but it being a moon-light night, the danger was discovered, though at the distance of two miles only. Ships bound to the westward, or to Batavia from Carimon Java, should steer west half north, or west by north, to avoid the shoal to the northward of Pulo Packit.

In the afternoon, seeing a brig at anchor under the land, we bore up in order to speak her, and in standing in, had regular soundings to seven fathoms. I went with Mr. Ball on board the brig, where we learned that the point of Pamonakan bore south-south-west from us; on this, we returned on board the Supply and made sail, and in the afternoon of the 6th, we anchored in Batavia Road. Upwards of thirty Dutch ships were lying there, besides a number of snows and Chinese junks.

The next morning, I waited on the general, at the request of Lieutenant Ball, and settled the salute, which took place at five in the evening, when the Supply saluted the fort with nine guns, which were returned by an equal number.

On the 8th, Lieutenant Ball waited on the general, accompanied by the Shebander and myself. As the general could not speak any other language than Dutch, and the Shebander could not speak sufficient English to explain himself, I was obliged to interpret between Lieutenant Ball and the latter; and I beg here to remark, that during this conversation, which was in the general's office, we were not asked to sit down; indeed, had the general been polite enough to have made the offer, there was not a second chair in the room; so unusual a thing is it to be seated in the general's presence, when talking to him on business.

After Lieutenant Ball had signified his business, and the service he was sent on, a number of frivolous enquiries were made respecting the setlement at New South Wales, and much astonishment was expressed, that we came from that country and could not tell what became of the Bounty, Lieutenant Bligh's Ship.

No other answer could be got, than that the council were to be requested to permit Lieutenant Ball to purchase whatever he wanted, and to hire a vessel to carry what he might want to Port Jackson: this being settled we took our leave. The Shebander drew up a request, which Lieutenant Ball signed, and the next day it was presented to the council, (at which the director-general presided, on account of the general's indisposition) when every thing was granted; but they refused to interfere in taking up a vessel, or in purchasing provisions, saying, that those matters were to be managed by Lieutenant Ball.

As every vessel here either belonged to the company, or were too flimsy to go on such a voyage, it was for a short time doubtful whether one could be procured: at length, the Shebander hearing that a snow of 250 tons or upwards lay at a port called Samarre, on the east side of Java, he offered her to Lieutenant Ball; saying that he would purchase her and fit her out completely, if Mr. Ball would contract with him to pay eighty rix-dollars a ton for the voyage; the Shebander to take all risques upon himself, with respect to the loss of the vessel. As the necessity for a supply of provisions was very great, and as there was no other vessel to be procured, Lieutenant Ball was obliged to make the agreement, and the snow was sent for. Provisions were easily purchased, and at a cheap rate: very excellent beef and pork at six-pence per pound. Of flour, there was little to be procured, as all the people here eat rice, Europeans as well as natives.

Batavia has been so very well and so fully described in Captain Cook's first voyage, that any attempt of mine to describe this vast and splendid settlement may be deemed superfluous; however, as these pages may probably fall into the hands of some who have read no other account, I shall subjoin what few remarks occurred to me during my stay there.

According to the best accounts I could obtain, the city and its environs cover a space of eight square miles: it is situated about half a mile from the sea-shore, and has communication with it by a canal, which will admit vessels of eight feet draught of water. The city stands on a flat, which extends forty leagues to the foot of the nearest mountains. Two large rivers, which are divided into a number of canals, run through all the principal streets of the city, and on both sides of the different roads: these canals are navigable for large boats; they are planted with trees on each side, which are kept cut in the form of a fan.

The streets are all drawn at right angles, and are in general wide, with very good pavements; along the sides of which a double row of trees are planted, which greatly prevents the circulation of air, and tends very much to increase the natural unhealthiness of the place. Within the past four years, most of the canals which contained putrid water have been filled up, and great attention is now paid to removing dirt and other nuisances.

All the houses are well built; indeed, some of them are magnificent buildings, and are finished with elegant neatness; which, added to the great cleanliness observed by the inhabitants, renders them very agreeable retreats from the intense heat which is constant here.

No European can do without a carriage, the paint of which, and his other equipage, denote the rank of the owner; to whom the necessary respect must be paid by people of an inferior rank; for a noncompliance with this custom, a fine is levied by the Fiscal. The town is but indifferently defended, as the fortifications are irregular and extensive, and the walls (which are painted) are very low: it is surrounded with a deep and wide canal, but the best defence of this settlement is its extreme unhealthiness. The citadel, or castle, stands on the right of the city: in it are deposited a vast quantity of cannon and other munitions of war: the governor-general, and the rest of the company's servants, have apartments in it, and here the governor and council meet twice a week, to transact public business.

The police of this city is strictly attended to, and is calculated to preserve great order and regularity; but it is attended with some mortifying and degrading circumstances, which Europeans find great difficulty and repugnance in complying with; however, the inhabitants and the company's servants must observe its rules with a scrupulous attention, not only to avoid paying the fines, but also to avoid the resentment of those who have it entirely in their power to advance or retard their promotion.

The suburbs are inhabited by the Chinese and Portuguese: the houses of the former are very numerous, but they are low and dirty. The number of Chinese resident in and about Batavia in 1788, was 200,000: it is these people who are the support of this important settlement; and if they were obliged to abandon it by any impolitic measure, it would soon lose its splendor. The Chinese carry on every trade and occupation; the better sort are very rich, but they are subject to great exactions from the company, or their servants. They are suffered to farm the duties of exportation and importation, for which they pay the company 12,000 rix-dollars in silver money per month. All goods belonging to the company are exempt from duties, but those of every other person pay eight per cent.

About three quarters of a mile from the city is the Chinese burying-ground, consisting of fifteen or twenty acres: for the annual rent of this ground they pay 10,000 rix-dollars, and, at the end of every ten years, they repurchase it for a very great sum, which in general is regulated by the governor and council. A person of consequence assured me, that the Chinese pay a tax of 20,000 rix-dollars a year, for the privilege of wearing their hair queued; and, besides what I have already mentioned, these industrious people are subject to many more exactions.

The Chinese are subject to a set of officers (appointed by the governor and council) who are Chinese, and are previously chosen by that people: they are called captains and lieutenants, and hear all complaints, and their sentence is decisive; but cases of property, above a certain sum, and all felonies, are taken cognizance of by the fiscal and court of justices. The police established among them is so very good, that, except in cases of property, the fiscal or justices are seldom troubled with a Chinese criminal. They trade to every part of India, and the number of large junks which arrive annually from China, is between thirty and forty.

It is remarkable that the Chinese are the only strangers which are not affected by the unhealthiness of this place: indeed, much may be said in favour of their temperance and regular manner of living, although one would imagine that the close manner in which a number of them live together could not fail to produce diseases, but it certainly does not.

The roads, or rather handsome avenues, which lead from the different gates of the city, are lined with buildings, where nature and art have been exhausted to render them elegant and commodious beyond description: each house has a large garden, in which a degree of elegance and convenience is observable, equal to what there is in the magnificent piles which they surround. These houses are inhabited by the principal people of Batavia, where they pass most of their time, and those amongst them who have no inducement to return to Europe, and who enjoy their health, may spend their days very comfortably here.

The government of this island, and indeed of all the Dutch possessions in India, is lodged in the governor-general, who is assisted by a number of counsellors, called "counsellors of India," or "edele heerens:" twelve of these counsellors must reside at Batavia, but the number is not fixed; at this time, there is one who governs at each of the following places, viz. Cochin, Ceylon, Macasser, and at the Emperor's court at Jamarre, or Java, where, I am told, 400 European cavalry are kept, to do honour to the emperor.

The council meet every Tuesday and Friday in the council-room at the castle; the general presides, but, if prevented by ill health or any other circumstance, the director-general supplies his place, who, as well as the edele heerens, are received into the castle, and conducted to the council-room with great pomp and ceremony. Every thing relating to the civil and military government, commerce, and every other concern of the company, is transacted by this council, but the governor-general has a plenary power to put into execution any measure he may judge necessary for the good of the company.

The present governor-general, whose name is William Arnold Alting, has been resident upwards of thirty years at Batavia, eleven of which he has been governor-general: I am told his private character is very amiable and respectable, but how any man possessed of common feelings, can suffer such humiliations from those around him, I cannot conceive. When any person approaches the general to speak to him, his behaviour and address must be the most abject imaginable, and the respect and profound submission which every servant of the company, and every inhabitant must necessarily assume on these occasions, are little short of the adoration paid to the Divinity: this homage is carried to so great a height, that when the general enters the church, although the congregation may be at prayers, yet every person is obliged to get up and face him until he is seated in his pew, bowing as he passes.

The deference paid to the several ranks, is not confined to carriages, but extends to the cloathing of individuals, as no person under the rank of an edele heeren is permitted to wear velvet: there are a number of other distinctions in dress equally ridiculous, but they seem to be wearing away: a few years ago, the women were strictly forbid wearing any European dress, and ordered to conform to the Malay custom.

At the time I was at Batavia, there were only five European women on the island of Java, the rest being born of Malay or Creole mothers; and it is really distressing to see how much they affect the manners of their Malay slaves in chewing beetle, and other actions equally disagreeable. Their dress is a loose white or flowered muslin robe, which is open and large, reaching to the wrists and neck: but if the adjustment of their garments does not take up much time at the toilet, the arranging of their hair makes sufficient amends for it: they have in general very thick long black hair, which is gathered into a knot on the back part of the head, and is so nicely combed that not a single hair is out of its place; round this a wreath of diamonds is fixed, which is more or less valuable, according to the circumstances of the wearer. In the evenings, a large wreath of jessamine is also put round the hair, which gives a very agreeable perfume. Not more than two women in Batavia could speak any other language than Dutch or Malay, the former of which they understand very imperfectly, always preferring Malay.

The office of shebander is a principal one in this place, and is a situation of much profit; no stranger can transact the least business without his permission; the exports and imports are entirely regulated by him; every boat which goes into the road pays him a certain sum; he also regulates and comptrols the Chinese in the receipt of duties: this post is very laborious, but is also very lucrative.

Nineteen thousand pekul* of tin are brought every year from Palambam, or Sumatra, to the company's stores on Onrust, which is sent in their ships to China. The company send annually from hence to Europe 20,000 pekul of pepper, for which they pay on an average two stivers and an half per pound, and sell it in Europe for fourteen stivers per pound: they also export annually 200,000 pekul of coffee, at two stivers and an half per pound, which is sold in Holland at ten stivers per pound.

[* A pekul is equal to 130 pounds.]

Onrust is a very small island, about a quarter of a mile in circumference, and situated about two leagues and an half from Batavia: here the company's ships refit and heave down, there being very good wharfs for that purpose, at which five ships may heave down at one time; there are also large machines for dismasting vessels. Small as this island is, there are generally from five to six hundred people on it; of which number, one hundred are European carpenters, but, excepting a few officers and a few other Europeans, the rest are slaves. The baas, or master carpenter, is the commandant of the island: an under merchant is also resident here, to receive and take care of the tin, pepper, and coffee, which is brought into the company's stores here, from Sumatra and different parts of Borneo and Java. Onrust is surrounded by guns, and there is a kind of citadel on it; but as no troops are kept there, in the war, the carpenters were trained to the use of great guns.

It is supposed that Onrust is more healthy than Batavia, and it may be so; but when I say that twenty men are constantly employed in making coffins for those who die on this island, it cannot be supposed to have a very healthy scite.

During my stay at Batavia, I lived at the hotel, which was the governor-general's house at the time Captain Cooke was here: it is a large and spacious building, divided into two parts, one of which is occupied by strangers, and the other by Dutch. Every person, who is a stranger, is obliged to live at this hotel: the terms are three rix-dollars a day, for which you have good lodging, and a well furnished table is provided. Gratitude induces me to say, that I received the greatest attention and civility from many of the first people at Batavia, who, not content with showing me every politeness in their power during my stay there, extended their good offices to me after my departure.

On the 21st of July, the Snelheid, a packet of 140 tons, belonging to the company, arrived at Onrust, and I made application to the governor and council for a passage to Europe in that vessel: on this, the captain of the packet was ordered to receive me, for which I paid 190 rix-dollars into the company's chest. The order to the captain specified, that in consideration of that sum being paid, I was to have a passage to Europe in the Snelheid, and to be accommodated and victualled as a sailor: I therefore found myself necessitated to make a further agreement with the captain for the use of half of his cabin, (Mr. Andrew Millar, late commissary of stores and provisions at Port Jackson having the other half) for which I was to pay him 300 rix-dollars, and my proportion of what provisions were laid in by him, above what the company allowed.

Being informed that the packet would be dispatched in a few days, I went to Onrust on the 31st, in order to be in readiness. Lieutenant Ball expected to sail for Port Jackson on the 8th of August, and the snow which he had taken up was to be dispatched on the 24th.

The captain of the packet having received his final orders, we sailed from Onrust on the 4th of August; and in the evening of the 5th, were clear of the streights of Sunda.

It was now that the pestiferous air of Batavia began to show itself; for the vessel had not been five days at sea before six men were taken ill with the putrid fever; and very soon afterwards, the captain, his two mates, and all the sailors, except four, were incapable of getting out of their beds; and what aggravated the horror of this situation was, that the surgeon, who indeed knew very little of his profession, was so ill that he could not even help himself.

In this dilemma, I found it absolutely necessary to use every means for self-preservation; and having obtained the consent of the captain (who was not yet delirious) and the chief mate, I spoke to the only four men who were well, and represented to them, that going below would subject them to the infection; I assured them that I would never go below myself, except on extraordinary occasions, when I should use every precaution against the infection; and I further observed, that the preservation of our lives and the vessel, with the recovery of those who were sick, depended on their conforming to my orders; and that I hoped, with God's assistance, not only to preserve them in health, but to get the vessel into a port.

They promised me implicit obedience, and I began to make a tent on the after part of the quarter deck, for us to lie under. I had great difficulty to make them relinquish the drams of new arrack, of which they got ten a day; but this was effected, and in lieu of it, I gave to each man three large wine glasses of port wine, with two tea-spoons full of bark in each glass: fortunately, I had a small supply of those articles, as there were not any medicines on board. Three of the sick men soon died of the putrid fever, their faces being covered with purple spots: I ordered them to be lashed up in their hammocks, and hove overboard with their cloaths, making those who performed that office, wash themselves very freely with vinegar, and fill their noses with tobacco. The captain was now delirious, as were most of those who were sick.

On the 12th, I obtained the captain and chief mate's consent to bear up for the Isle of France, when we should get into the latitude of it. The chief mate's complaint terminating in an intermitting fever, I prevailed on him to lie under the tent; and by a plentiful administration of bark and port wine, he became able to keep a day watch.

On the 14th, my friend and companion Mr. Millar was taken ill, and the captain and most of the sailors were dying, not having had any medicine administered to them during their illness: three or four among them, of a strong constitution, were in a state of raving madness, uttering dreadful imprecations against the doctor, so that I was obliged to order them to be lashed in their hammocks, and they died a few days afterwards.

Being in 18° 46' south latitude, and 80° 59' east longitude, after some persuasion, the chief mate consented to bear up for the Isle of France; it may, indeed, be thought strange that he should hesitate one moment in our present distressing situation: however, going to the Isle of France did not destroy the hopes he had formed, when he objected to bearing up. Between the 12th and the 27th, five men died; and on the 28th, Mr. Millar departed this life: the whole were carried off by a most malignant putrid fever.

On the 29th, we made the Island of Mauritius, and anchored the same day at the entrance of the north-west harbour. The captain and three sailors died as we were carrying them on shore.

Most providentially, we had a succession of the finest weather and the fairest winds we could have wished, from the time we left the streights of Sunda until our arrival at the Isle of France; and another great consolation was, that the vessel was perfectly tight.

From the direction of the wind being at south-east, all vessels going to the north-west harbour, must luff close round the gunner's quoin, and haul over for the island, taking care to avoid the reefs with which the shore is lined, and on which the surf breaks with great violence. A continuation of forts and batteries extend from the harbour's mouth as far as it is possible for any vessel to fetch; though, independent of these forts, landing here must be attended with much danger, from the constant surf which breaks on the reefs already mentioned; and as the wind always blows out of the harbour, every vessel is obliged to warp in. No vessel ought to touch at this island during the hurricane months*, as the harbour cannot afford shelter for more than six or eight vessels. In 1788, six large ships were wrecked in this harbour.

[* October, November, and December.]

At this time there were lying in the harbour, La Thetis, of 38 guns, commanded by Compte M'Namarra, Chef de Division; La Nymphe, 38 guns, Le Compte de Forineaux, Chef de Division; La Medusa, 38 guns, Le Compte de Rossilly; three American vessels, and a great number of French merchant ships.

The revolution of this island, which had taken place about three weeks before our arrival, was attended with great excesses by the people, who carried Le Compte M'Namarra to the gallows, where he was near being executed. The governor, Le Compte de Conway, had resigned his government to a Monsieur De Caussigny, commandant of Bourbon, who arrived here only three days before us. Monsieur de Conway waited the equipment of La Nymphe frigate, in which ship he proposed returning to France.

The town of Port Louis is large, and covers a deal of ground, but the houses are in general paltry buildings. Here are large stores, and every thing necessary for the equipment of fleets. The number of inhabitants on the island, exclusive of the military, is about 8000; and blacks, 12,000.

Fresh provisions, especially butchers meat, are very scarce here; what there is costs 20 sous per pound; but turtle is procured from St. Branden, and sold at a much cheaper rate.

The general object of cultivation on this island is the indico, of which from four to five crops a year are procured: one person sent to Europe 30,000 lb. in 1789, of a very superior quality. Attempts have been made here to rear cochineal, as the island abounds with the plant which the insects lie on, but a small bird destroys the insect. The soil of this island is little superior to that at Port Jackson. At the distance of three leagues from the port, is le gardin du Roi, which is kept with the utmost care: a gardener lives here at the King's expence, who rears the plants, and distributes them, gratis, to the colonists. This year the following plants were to be distributed to those who chose to ask for them.

300 True acacias.
150 Bibeaux.
84 Avocayers.
10 Baobabs.
180 Bibaciers.
80 Bilembiers.
300 Badamiers.
17 Brindaonniers.
86 Cocoa-nut trees.
50 Camphor trees.
104 Caneficiers.
148 Caramboliers aigres.
50 Ditto - doux.
10 Quince trees.
200 Dolbiers.
20 Foccias.
4163 Clove trees.
50 Illipes. 
50 Jamiers.
12 Jaquiers, large kind.
8 Jambou--boles.
3000 Jambou--rosadiers.
92 Lataniers nains de la chine.
23 Longaniers.
20 Lit-chis, grosse espee.
36 Sapotes, negros de Moluquas.
30 Tata-mapacas of Madagascar.
3000 Small voakoas.
80 Mangostans.
56 Molavis.
1544 Nutmeg trees.
218 Sweet oranges.
4 Peach trees.
50 Perchers.
40 Rangoustans.
400 Rouffias.
40 Savonniers des Antillas.
80 Spirceas de la China.
300 Sagoutiers.
145 Wova-jourindis of Madagascar
40 Wouau guasailliers.

It should be observed, that 550 of the nutmeg trees were reserved for Cayenne, St. Domingo, Martinico, and the Seyehilles.

I cannot omit mentioning the great civilities I received from Messieurs De Conway, M'Namarra, Fourneaux, Rossilly, and in short all the respectable people here, who all did their utmost to persuade me to take my passage in La Nymphe frigate: Monsieur de Fourneaux very politely offered me half his cabin, and no inducement was wanting to make me accept it; besides, there was a probability of the fever not being totally eradicated in the packet; but as I heard of a misunderstanding between England and Spain; I thought it my duty to remain with that vessel. I mention this circumstance for no other reason than to express my gratitude to the above officers for their polite attention to me during my short stay at this island.

The packet being thoroughly cleansed, and a fresh crew entered, which was composed of all nations, we sailed on the 21st of September, having only four sailors on board out of the twenty-six, which came from Batavia, the rest being either dead, or left at the hospital with little hopes of recovery.

Nothing material happened during our passage from the Isle of France until our arrival at the Cape of Good Hope, on the 9th of October. Here I found Lieutenant Riou waiting for orders from England. As I understood that all vessels belonging to the Dutch Company were strictly forbid stopping at any port, or having communication with any vessels during their passage from the Cape to Amsterdam, I wrote a letter to Mr. Van de Graff, the Dutch governor, representing my being charged with dispatches, and requesting that the captain might be permitted to heave the vessel to, off the most convenient port in the English channel, in order to land me with the dispatches: this request he very readily granted, giving the captain an order for that purpose, and furnishing me with a copy of it.

Five large French ships put in here loaded with slaves from the east coast of Africa, and bound to the West-Indies. On the 20th of October, La Nymphe frigate arrived here from the Isle of France, and the same day the packet sailed. On the 2d of November, we passed the Island of St. Helena, with a strong gale at south-east; and on the 7th, we saw the Island of Ascension. We crossed the equator in 20° 18' longitude west of London. The south-east trade carried us as far as 5° north latitude, when we got the north-east trade, which did not come to the eastward of north-east until we got near the western islands.

After a pleasant voyage of two months from the Cape of Good Hope, I arrived in England on the 20th of December, having been absent on the public service, in various stations, and in different places, in the southern hemisphere, three years and seven months.

Here ends Lieutenant King's Journal, which, as it gives an authentic account of the first settlement of a new colony, in a very distant region, must ever be interesting to those, who delight in tracing the origin of nations. The following Narrative was taken from the official dispatches of Governor Phillip, and forms a continuation of the history of the people and country under his charge, from the conclusion of his late Voyage to the I test period.

Chapter XVII.


June 1790 to July 1790

The Lady Juliana Transport arrives at Port Jackson.--Loss of the Guardian.--A settlement made at Sydney-Cove.--A state of the settlements at Sydney-Cove and Rose-Hill.--A general return of male convicts, with their employments.

The Lady Juliana transport, which sailed from England in September, 1789, arrived at Port Jackson on the 3d of June, 1790, bringing supplies from England, and also dispatches from the Guardian at the Cape of Good Hope; which having sailed from England in August, struck unhappily on the 23d day of December, 1789, in 44° south latitude, and 41° 30' east longitude, on an island of ice.

By the unfortunate loss of the Guardian the colony was deprived of those liberal supplies, which had been sent from England, the want of which threw the settlement back so much, that it will require a length of time to put it in the situation it would have been in, had the Guardian arrived before Governor Phillip was obliged to send away the Sirius, to give up labour, and to destroy the greatest part of the live stock.

Nevertheless, the settlers had little to apprehend from the natives; against whom, no one ever thought any defence necessary, more than what out-houses and barracks afforded: indeed, at the first landing, a barrier would have been very desirable; but at that time, and for months afterwards, the slighest defence could not have been made, without neglecting what was so absolutely and immediately necessary, for securing the stores and provisions. There is, however, little reason to think that the natives will ever attack any building, and still less to suppose they will attack a number of armed men: not that they want innate bravery, but they are perfectly sensible of the great superiority of fire-arms. Setting fire to the corn was what was most feared, but this they had never attempted; and, as they avoided those places, which were frequented by the colonists, it was seldom that any of them were now seen near the settlement.

If the natives should find any cattle in the woods, they undoubtedly would destroy them, which mischief is all that the settler would have to apprehend. They naturally attack the strangers, who go out to rob them of their spears, and of the few articles they possess; and who do this too frequently; since the punishments that the delinquents sometimes meet with are not attended with the desired effect.

The situation of Port Jackson, between two harbours, so that if a ship fall in with the coast in bad weather, a few miles either to the northward or to the southward, she can find immediate shelter, is a great advantage; and it perhaps will be found hereafter, that the seat of government has not been improperly placed. Governor Phillip observes, that they, as first settlers, laboured under some inconvenience from not being able to employ the convicts in agriculture on the spot where the provisions and stores were landed; but this was the only inconvenience, as having the convicts at some distance from the military was attended with many advantages.

When the governor first arrived, he had little time to look round him, as his instructions particularly pointed out, that he was not to delay the disembarking of the people, with a view of searching for a better situation than what Botany-Bay might afford. He was obliged to look farther, but did not think himself at liberty to continue his searches after he had been Sydney-Cove.

Had he seen the country near the head of the harbour, he might have been induced to have made the settlement there, but nothing was known of that part of the country, until the creek which runs up to Rose-hill was discovered, in a journey that the governor made to the westward, three months after they landed; and although he was then fully satisfied of the goodness of the soil, and saw the advantages of that situation, most of the stores and provisions were landed, and it required some little time to do away the general opinion, that such a situation could not be healthy, and that he was inclined to think himself, until he had examined the country for some miles round, and was satisfied that there was a free circulation of air, in the goodness of which, few places equal it. The numbers of people, who had been settled at Rose-Hill, on an average for eighteen months, exceeded one hundred; and during that time they had only two deaths: a woman, who had been subject to a dropsy, and a marine, who had been there but a very short time before he died.

It is in that part of the country, that the governor proposed employing the convicts in agriculture, and in the neighbourhood of which, he proposed fixing the first settlers who might be sent out.

The impossibility of conveying stores and provisions for any distance inland obliged the governor to mark out the first township near Rose-Hill, where there is a considerable extent of good land: the sea-coast does not offer any situation within their reach at present, which is calculated for a town, whose inhabitants are to be employed in agriculture.

In order to know in what time a man might be able to cultivate a sufficient quantity of ground to support himself, the governor, in November, 1789, ordered a hut to be built in a good situation, an acre of ground to be cleared, and once turned up: it was then put into the possession of a very industrious convict, who was told, if he behaved well, he should have thirty acres. This man had said, that the time for which he had been sentenced was expired, and he wished to settle: he has been industrious, has received some little assistance, and in June, 1790, informed the governor, that if one acre more were cleared for him, he would be able to support himself after next January: this was much doubted, but it was thought he would do tolerably well, after being supported for eighteen months. Others may prove more intelligent, though they cannot well be more industrious.

The river Hawkesbury will, no doubt, offer some desirable situations, and the great advantages of a navigable river are obvious; but before a settlement can be made there, proper people to conduct it must be found, and they must be better acquainted with the country.

The Lady Juliana being the only vessel, which was at that time in the country, Governor Phillip was obliged to send her to Norfolk-Island with a part of the provisions; and had not that ship been chartered for China, he proposed sending the Sirius's officers and men to England in her; but this intention was laid aside, as the master of her informed him, that it would be attended with a loss of more than six thousand pounds to the owners, and consequently might occasion an expence to government, which would exceed what attended their remaining a few months longer in the country: besides, he was not willing to break through the charter-party, as other ships were coming out. As the Lady Juliana was to touch at Norfolk-Island with provisions, and one of the superintendants professed himself to understand the cultivation and dressing of the flax-plant, the governor sent thither most of the women who came out in that ship, and he intended to send an equal number of male convicts, when other ships should arrive.

Of the superintendants sent out in the Guardian, for the purpose of instructing the convicts in agriculture, five only arrived in the Lady Juliana, and of the five superintendants who arrived, one only was a farmer; two said that they were used to the farming business when seventeen and nineteen years of age, but they were then unable, from the knowledge they formerly obtained, to instruct the convicts, or direct a farm. The two gardeners were said to be lost, having left the Guardian in a small boat after the unfortunate accident, which deprived the colony of her invaluable cargo.

The Neptune, Surprize, and Scarborough transports arrived at Port Jackson the latter end of June, 1790, with about six hundred casks of beef and pork, which were sent round from the Guardian, and nineteen convicts, who had been transported in that ship.

In order to ascertain the time in which it is probable the colony will be able to support itself, it will be necessary to point out those circumstances, that may advance or retard the settlement. It will depend on the numbers who are employed in agriculture, and who, by their labour, are to provide for those that make no provision for themselves.

Governor Phillip did not reckon on the little labour which may be got from the women, though some were employed in the fields; as the greatest part would always find employment in making their own, and the men's cloathing, and in the necessary attention to their children. The ground, which the military may cultivate, will be for their own convenience. The providing of houses and barracks for the additional number of officers and soldiers, the rebuilding of those temporary ones, which were erected on their first arrival, and which must be done in the course of another year, as well as the building of more store-houses and huts for the convicts as they arrive, employed a considerable number of hands, and works of this kind will always be carrying on.

Temporary buildings on their first landing were absolutely necessary; but they should be avoided in future; as, after three or four years, the whole work is to be begun again; and the want of lime greatly increases the labour of building with bricks, as the builders are obliged to increase the thickness of the walls, which cannot be carried to any height; at the same time, if very heavy rains fall before the houses are covered in, they are considerably damaged.

The annexed return will show in what manner the convicts are employed at present; and the governor had increased the number of those employed in clearing the land for cultivation, as far as it would be possible to do it before January, 1791, except by convalescents, from whom little labour could be expected. He hoped next year, that a very considerable quantity of ground would be sown with wheat and barley: but the settlement has never had more than one person to superintend the clearing and cultivating of ground for the public benefit, or who has ever been the means of bringing a single bushel of grain into the public granary. One or two others had been so employed for a short time, but were removed, as wanting either industry or probity; and if the person who has at present the entire management of all the convicts, who are employed in clearing and cultivating the land, should be lost, there would be no one in the settlement to replace him.

It was originally supposed that a sufficient number of good farmers might have been found amongst the convicts to have superintended the labours of the rest; and men have been employed who answer the purpose of preventing their straggling from their work; but none of them were equal to the charge of directing the labour of a number of convicts, with whom most of them were connected by crimes, which they would not wish to have brought forward. From their former habits of life, it may easily be supposed, that few of the convicts would be good farmers.

From what has been said, it may be seen how impossible it was to detach a body of convicts to any distance, if there had been any necessity for it. The land at Rose-Hill is very good, and in every respect well calculated for arable and pasture ground, though it be loaded with timber, the removal of which requires great labour and time; but this is the case with the whole country, as far as had been seen, particular spots excepted. As the good land could not at present be cultivated by the colonists, it was reserved for the first settlers that should come out.

The consequence of a failure of a crop, when the colony can no longer expect supplies from Great-Britain, is obvious; and to guard against such consequences, it would be of great use to have a few settlers, to whom great encouragement should be given. The fixing the first settlers in townships would, indeed, tend to prevent that increase of live stock, which might be raised in farms at a distance from villages, where the stock would be less liable to suffer from the depredations, which may be expected from the soldier and the convict, and against which there is no effectual security.

The many untoward circumstances which the colony had hitherto met with were done away; and at length there was reason to hope, that after two years from July, 1790, they would want no farther supply of flour, though various accidents might render a supply necessary after that period. How long a regular supply of beef and pork would be necessary depended on the quantity of live stock which might be introduced into the settlement, and on its increase, of which no judgment could be formed.

A town was now laid out at Rose-Hill, of which the principal street was to be occupied by the convicts: the huts were building at the distance of one hundred feet from each other, and each hut was to contain ten convicts. In these huts they will live more comfortably than they could possibly do if numbers were confined together in larger buildings; and having good gardens to cultivate, and frequent opportunities to exchange vegetables for little necessaries which the stores do not furnish; these accommodations will make them feel the benefits they may draw from their industry.

Some few inconveniences, indeed, ensue from the convicts being so much dispersed, but their being indulged with having their own gardens is a spur to industry, which they would not have, if employed in a public garden, though entirely for their own benefits, as they never seemed to think it was their own; and it was not observed, that many of those who had been for some months in huts, and consequently were more at liberty than they would be if numbers were confined together, had abused the confidence placed in them, any farther than the robbing of a garden.

A GENERAL RETURN of MALE CONVICTS, with their respective employments, on the 23d of July, 1790.


40 Making bricks and tiles.
50 Bringing in bricks, &c. for the new store-house.
19 Bricklayers and labourers employed in building a store-house and huts at Rose-Hill.
8 Carpenters employed at the new store, and in building huts at Rose-Hill.
9 Men who can work with the axe, and who assist the carpenters.
2 Sawyers.
9 Smiths.
10 Watchmen.
40 Receiving stores and provisions from the ships.
12 Employed on the roads--mostly convalescents.
18 Bringing in timber.
4 Stone-masons.
10 Employed in the boats.
3 Wheelwrights.
6 Employed in the stores.
38 Employed by the officers of the civil and military departments at their farms. These men will be employed for the public when the relief takes place.
2 Assistants to the provost marshal.
3 Gardeners and labourers employed by the governor.
3 Coopers.
6 Shoe-makers.
4 Taylors.
5 Bakers.
6 Attending the sick at the hospital.
3 Barbers.
3 Gardeners, and others, employed at the hospital.
3 Employed by the governor bringing in of wood, &c.
413 Under medical treatment


2 Employed at the store.
3 Servants to the three superintendants.
1 Employed in taking care of the stock.
2 Employed at the hospital.
5 Men who work with the axe in building huts.
1 Baker.
1 Cook.
4 Boys variously employed.
1 Assistant to the provost marshal.
3 Thatchers.
1 Servant to the store-keepers.
1 Ditto to the assistant surgeon.
4 Overseers.
25 Sick.
113 Clearing and cultivating the ground.
12 Sawyers.

Chapter XVIII


August 1790 to October 1790

An excursion into the country.--An interview with the natives.--Governor Phillip wounded with a spear.--A second interview with the natives.--Occurrences on that occasion.--Five convicts effect their escape in a boat.--The settlement visited by the natives.--Their customs.--Arrival of the Supply from Batavia.

Towards the latter end of August, 1790, several officers made an excursion into the country, and going south-south-west from-Prospect-Hill for twenty miles, they came to a run of water, which they supposed to be the head of the Nepean river. They described the country through which they passed to be good land for ten miles, the rest ordinary ground, intersected by deep ravines and a large marsh, which they supposed, formed a very extensive piece of water, after heavy rains.

A number of convicts going out to search for sweet tea, some of them separated from the rest, and were lost in the woods for several days, and one of them was never heard of afterwards. It is hardly possible to conceive the obstinacy and inattention of many of these people, even in matters which concern only their own safety.

In the morning of the 7th of September, Governor Phillip went down the harbour to fix on a spot for raising a brick column, which might point out the entrance to ships which were unacquainted with the coast, as the flag-staff could not be seen by vessels until they drew very near the land, and was also liable to be blown down.

A rising ground at the distance of a cable's length from the south head was chosen, and the stone necessary for the base of the column being already cut, that work was immediately begun, and the party were returning to Sydney, when the governor was informed by some officers, who had landed in Manly-Bay, and who were going on a shooting excursion, that they had seen Bannelong, a native who had ran away from the settlement, and who had enquired after all his friends, and received several presents. It seems Bannelong, and Colebe, another native who had escaped from the settlement, with near two hundred others, were assembled in Manly-Bay to feast on a dead whale which was lying on the beach. Bannelong sent a large piece of it to the governor, as a present, which the sailors had in the boat: he was very glad to see those he knew of the party, particularly a native boy named Nanbarre, but seemed afraid of being retaken, and would not permit any one to come so near as to lay their hands on him.

As Governor Phillip had always been desirous of meeting with this man, and had sought an opportunity from the day he left his house, he returned to the look-out, and collecting every little thing which was likely to please him, went to the spot where he had been seen. Several natives appeared on the beach as the governor's boat rowed into the bay, but on its nearer approach, they retired amongst the trees.

It had ever been the governor's opinion, and what he had observed of these people confirmed it, that the best means of obtaining the confidence of a native was by example, and by placing confidence in him; with this purpose, he left the judge-advocate and Lieutenant Water-house, who had accompanied him in the boat, and landed himself, followed only by a seaman who had some beef and bread, with a few other articles which he was desirous of giving to such of the natives as might join him: after calling repeatedly on his old acquaintance by all his names, he was answered by a native who appeared with several others at a distance, and as he increased his distance from the boat, the native approached nearer, and took a number of little presents, on their being laid down at the distance of a few paces; but he would not come near the governor, although in answer to the question--"where was Banne-long?" he repeatedly said he was the man; this, however, could not be believed, as he was so much altered: at length a bottle was held up, and on his being asked, what it was in his own language, he answered, "the King;" for as he had always heard his Majesty's health drank in the first glass after dinner at the governor's table, and had been made to repeat the word before the drank his own glass of wine, he supposed the liquor was named "the King;" and though he afterwards knew it was called wine, yet he would frequently call it King.

This convinced the governor that it could be no other than Bannelong, and every method was tried to entice him to come near, but he always retired on their approaching him nearer than he wished, so that they were presently out of sight of the boat, though at no great distance from it; but on eight or ten of the natives placing themselves in a situation to prevent Bannelong being carried off, had it been attempted, he came up, together with Colebe, and held out his hand; but he was so changed, and appeared so poor and miserable, that even then there was a doubt whether he were the man, though Colebe was well known.

After some conversation, Governor Phillip went down to the beach, and the two officers came on shore; the boat's crew, with the arms, were still in the boat, for as the natives kept the position they had taken, which showed they were under some apprehensions, he was afraid of alarming them. Bannelong appeared glad to see his old acquaintances; he was very chearful, and repeatedly shook hands with them, asking for hatchets and cloaths, which were promised to be brought him in two days: he pointed to a small fire which was burning near them, and said he should sleep there the two nights until the governor's return. Knives, hats, and various other articles were given to him and Colebe; and the latter, laughing, showed them that he had got the iron from his leg by which he had been secured when at the settlement: he also seemed glad to see his former acquaintances, and made himself very merry at the manner of his friend Bannelong's getting away from Sydney, by laying his head on his hand, shutting his eyes, and saying, "Governor nangorar," (asleep) and imitating the manner in which his companion had ran off.

The governor and his party now began to retire towards the beach, when they were joined by a stout, corpulent native who had been for some time standing at a small distance; he approached them under strong marks of fear, but this soon subsided on his being treated in a friendly manner, and he became very conversable: he showed them a wound he had received in his back with a spear; Bannelong also was desirous of showing that he had been wounded in various parts of the body since he left the settlement; one of his wounds was made with a spear which went through his left arm, and was pretty well healed, but another dangerous one over the left eye was not in so good a state: these wounds, he said, were received at Botany-Bay.

After a pretty long conversation, our party were going away, but they were detained by Bannelong, who was still solicitous to talk about the hatchets and cloaths he was to have sent him in two days, and a native who had been standing for some time at the distance of twenty or thirty yards, was pointed out by him in a manner which showed he wished him to be taken notice of; on this, the governor advanced towards him; and on the man's making signs that he should not come near, and appearing to be afraid, he threw his sword down, still advancing towards him, at the same time opening his hands to show that he had no arms.

In the course of this interview, they had stopped near a spear which was lying on the grass, and which Bannelong took up; it was longer than common, and appeared to be a very curious one, being barbed and pointed with hard wood; this exciting Governor Phillip's curiosity, he asked Bannelong for it; but instead of complying with this request, he took it where the stranger was standing, threw it down, and taking a common short spear from a native who, with several others, stood at some distance behind him, he presented that and a club to the governor, which gave reason to suppose that the spear which had been asked for did not belong to him. As Governor Phillip advanced towards the man whose fears he wished to remove, he took up the spear in question, and fixing it in a throwing-stick, appeared to stand on his defence; but as there was no reason to suppose he would throw it without the least provocation, and when he was so near those with whom our party were on such friendly terms, the governor made a sign for him to lay it down, and continued to approach him, at the same time repeating the words--weree weree, which the natives use when they wish any thing not to be done that displeases them.

Notwithstanding this, the native, stepping back with his right leg, threw the spear with great violence, and it struck against Governor Phillip's collar bone, close to which it entered, and the barb came out close to the third vertebrae of the back. Immediately after throwing the spear, the native ran off, as did Bannelong and Colebe, with those that were standing to the right and left; and the latter, in their retreat, threw several spears, which, however, did no farther mischief.

As bringing any arms on shore would probably have prevented an interview taking place, the musquets had been left in the boat; but the governor having a pistol in his pocket, he discharged it as he went down to the beach, as several of the natives stopped at no great distance, and the cockswain coming up at the same instant, fired a musquet, though there was no reason to apprehend the natives meant to molest them any farther.

The conduct of this savage may be supposed to do away any idea that had been formed of the natives not abusing a confidence placed in them; and yet, there is no great reason to draw that inference from the accident just mentioned; for, it should be remembered that the man who wounded Governor Phillip was a stranger, and might fear their taking him away, as they had carried off others; against which he might not think their numbers a sufficient security; besides, he had not joined the party, nor probably thought the friendship, which-subsisted between them and others of a different tribe, any way binding on him; for it is supposed the different tribes are in every respect perfectly independant of each other. This man had stood for some time peaceably and quietly, and the governor certainly was more in his power before he went to call the officers out of the boat, than at the time the spear was thrown; it is therefore most likely that the action proceeded from a momentary impulse of fear; but the behaviour of Bannelong on this occasion is not so easily to be accounted for; he never attempted to interfere when the man took the spear up, or said a single word to prevent him from throwing it; he possibly did not think the spear would be thrown, and the whole was but the business of a moment.

A few minutes before this affair happened, nineteen of the natives had been counted round our party, and the position they took showed their judgment: on the ground where Bannelong and Colebe joined them, the trees stood at the distance of forty or fifty feet from each other, and, had the natives kept together, shelter might have been found from their spears behind a tree; but whilst four of them remained in front, at the distance of forty yards, four or five others placed themselves on the right, and the same number on the left, at about the same distance; others again were planted between them and the beach, at the distance of ten or fifteen yards, which rendered it impossible either to carry off their companions or to gain shelter from their spears, if hostilities commenced; and though these people do not always keep their spears in their hands, they are seldom without their throwing-sticks, and generally have a spear lying near them in the grass, which they move with their feet as they change their ground: however, it is not likely that this disposition was made with any bad intention, but merely as a security for Bannelong and Colebe; indeed, these men directed the manoeuvre and waited till it was made, before they came near enough to shake hands.

It may naturally be supposed that many would be desirous of punishing what was generally deemed an act of treachery, but Governor Phillip did not see the transaction in that light, and as soon as he arrived at Sydney, he gave the necessary directions to prevent any of the natives being fired on, unless they were the aggressors, by throwing spears; and, in order to prevent the party who were out on a shooting excursion from meeting with an attack of a similar nature, an officer and some soldiers were sent after them: they returned the next day, and coming by the place where the accident happened, some of the natives appeared on an eminence; on their being asked who had wounded the governor, they named a man, or a tribe, who resided to the northward: the boy, Nanbarre, was their interpreter, and he said the man's name was Caregal, and that he lived at, or near Broken-Bay. Nanbarre was also directed to enquire after Bannelong and Colebe, and those to whom the question was put, pointed to some people at a distance.

One of these natives threw a spear to an officer who asked for it, and this he did in such a manner that very particularly marked the care he took it should not fall near any person.

It may be thought remarkable that, after what had happened, the natives should appear in the fight of seventeen armed men; and what was more extraordinary, the cockswains of the two boats which lay at anchor all night near the beach, with several soldiers in them, said, that after the party they landed were gone off, the natives returned, made up some fires, and slept there all night; but, as the officer who went to bring home the party that were out a shooting, found by the marks on the sand, when he was returning the next morning, that he had been followed by three men and a dog, it is probable that they had others looking out likewise, and had the boats approached the beach in the night, they would have immediately fled into the woods.

It was Governor Phillip's intention, as soon as he should be able to go out, to endeavour to find Bannelong, and, if possible, to have the man given up who wounded him, or some of his tribe; not with a view of inflicting any punishment, but of detaining one or more of these people till they understood each other's language.

Some days after this affair, as several officers were going down the harbour, they saw some natives, and amongst them Bannelong and his wife; on this, the boat's head was put to the rocks, and he came down, shook hands with several of the party, and enquired if the governor was dead; they told him no; on which he promised to come and see him; said he had beat the man who wounded him, and whose name he told them was Wil-le-me-ring, of the tribe of Kay-yee-my, the place were the governor was wounded.

The native boy and girl were in the boat, and through them this conversation was held: the girl pointed out one of the natives who she said was her father: none of these people showed any signs of fear, though they saw the officers were armed, and the girl was very desirous of remaining with them; she was now of an age to want to form a connection with the other sex, which she had no opportunity of doing in the clergyman's family where she lived, and very innocently told him, when she asked to go away, that she wanted to be married. As it would be difficult to prevent her getting away, if she was determined to go, it was thought most prudent to consent to her leaving the settlement, and she was told that she would be permitted to go, and to take all her cloaths with her; and that whenever she chose to come and see her friends, whatever she wished for should be given her; at the same time, several reasons were urged, that were likely to induce her to remain in her present situation a few months longer, as she did not sufficiently understand the language to explain their intentions towards the natives so sully as could have been wished.

On the 16th of September, a shoal of fish appeared on the coast, which extended as far as the eye could reach, and part of them entering the harbour, as many were caught at two hauls with the seine, as served the whole settlement: there were not less than three thousand, which, on an average, weighed about five pounds each. As a party were going to visit Bannelong, some fish were sent him, which he received, and appeared free from any apprehensions; and the same afternoon, the commissary and Governor Phillip's orderly serjeant, for whom he had always showed great friendship, went with an additional supply: they found him on the rocks with his wife, who was fishing, and though on their first approach he ran into the woods, yet as soon as he knew them he returned, and joined them when they landed, bringing down his wife, as he had done to those who visited him before, and on these occasions, he showed that he was still fond of a glass of wine.

Governor Phillip was so well recovered of his wound, as to be able to go in a boat on the 17th, to the place where Bannelong and his wife then resided: he found nine natives on the spot, who informed him that Bannelong was out a fishing; the native girl was in the boat, and her father being among the natives, a hatchet and some fish were given him; in return for which, he gave the governor a short spear that had been pointed with a knife, which the natives now used when they could procure one, in preference to the shell.

The party had just left these people, and were going farther in quest of Bannelong, when they perceived four canoes coming towards them, in one of which was the person they wanted; on this they returned to the Cove. As soon as Bannelong had laid up his canoe, he came to the boat, and held up both his hands, to show that he had no arms: presently afterwards, the party landed, and he joined them very readily, asked Governor Phillip where he was wounded, and said that he had beat the man who wounded him, and whose name he repeated: being told that the man would be killed for this treacherous action, he desired it might be done. A hatchet, some fishing-lines, and several other articles were given him, and he wanted to have some presents that were brought for his wife Ba-rang-aroo, but this being refused, he readily went to fetch her: a petticoat, and several other little presents were given to the lady, and a red jacket with a silver epaulet, which Bannelong used to wear when at the settlement, were now given him, which pleased him more than any thing else.

On being asked to dine with Governor Phillip the next day, he readily consented, and promised to bring his wife: he likewise pointed out a youth and two men to whom hatchets had been given, and said he would bring them with him also.

Bannelong's wife, Ba-rang-aroo, appeared to be older than himself, and had had two children by a former husband, both of which were dead: this probably was the woman he had so often mentioned when at the settlement, and whom he had taken as a wife since he left it; she likewise had been twice wounded by spears, one of which had passed through her thigh.

Though Bannelong probably might be glad that Governor Phillip was not killed, yet there is not doubt but that the natives throw their spears, and take a life in their quarrels, which are very frequent, as readily as the lower class of people in England strip to box, and think as little of the consequences.

Mau-go-ran, the father of the native girl who lived with the clergyman, bad a bad wound on the back of his head, which he told the surgeon who dressed it, was done by a spear: it seems a dispute had taken place amongst these people, about sharing the whale, in which several lives were lost, and this man got his wound; and on the girl naming to her father a youth at Kay-yee-my, who she said would marry her, he told her not to go there, for they had quarrelled, and would throw spears, and that they would also throw spears at any white man; indeed, if this man's information could be depended on, the natives were very angry at so many people being sent to Rose-hill; certain it is, that wherever our colonists fix themselves, the natives are obliged to leave that part of the country.

The weather being now very dry, the natives were employed in burning the grass on the north shore opposite to Sydney, in order to catch rats and other animals, whilst the women were employed in fishing: this is their constant practice in dry weather.

Though Bannelong did not pay Governor Phillip a visit, as he had promised, he readily joined those he saw in different parts of the harbour, notwithstanding they were armed, and went in his canoe to the longboat, though he saw several musquets in her: his wife was along with him in the canoe, and he gave those in the boat to understand that he would pay the governor a visit; probably the fear of being detained had hitherto prevented him, but whilst there was the least chance of his coming voluntarily, Governor Phillip was not willing to take him a second time by force, as it was likely he would soon be reconciled to pass a considerable part of his time at Sydnev, when he found he could be his own master, and go and come when he pleased.

On the 19th, Governor Phillip went to Rose-hill and returned to Sydney in the evening. The corn looked better than could be expected; but, the earth was so parched up by the dry weather that they could not get the remainder of their Indian corn into the ground until some rain fell. The weather for the last fortnight had frequently been cloudy and unsettled, and some light showers of rain had fallen at different times, but very little compared to what the ground required, or what might have been expected at this season. In the night of the 24th it began to rain, and some smart showers fell the next day, which enabled them to sow the remainder of their Indian corn; it was also of great service to the wheat and the vegetables in the gardens.

The column intended as a mark for the entrance of the harbour was now finished; it stands (as has already been observed,) on a cliff, a cable's length from the south-head: it is a brick column on a stone base, and rises to the height of thirty feet.

In the night of the 26th of September, five convicts took a punt from Rose-Hill, in which they came down to the look-out, where they exchanged the punt for a four-oared boat, and got off undiscovered. These people certainly meant to go along the coast to the northward, and to attempt getting to some of the Friendly islands; but this project must be almost impossible, and there was every reason to suppose they would perish in a very few days.

As Governor Phillip and a party were going to Rose-Hill towards the latter end of September, a native was seen on one of the points; and being asked where Bannelong was, he replied, Memilla (at Memill): on this, they rowed up to the island, and when they drew near the rocks, Bannelong came down to the boat, and brought his wife without the least appearance of fear, though they were the only persons on the island. There was no fish in the boat, but they were glad of some bread, and presently afterwards the governor and his party left them, and from the confidence Bannelong now placed in his visitors, there was no doubt but he would soon come to the settlement as usual. On the governor's return, two days after this meeting, Bannelong had left the island. The governor again went to Rose-Hill on the 6th of October, and on his return he was repeatedly called to by Bannelong, who was on the north shore with several officers; and the surgeon, in whom he placed great confidence, being of the party, persuaded him to come over to the governor: he brought three natives in his canoe, and they were all well pleased with hatchets and fishing-lines which were given them. It seems Bannelong's wife had opposed his coming, and finding her tears had no effect, she flew into a violent passion, and broke a very fine fiz-gig, for which she would probably have been very severely chastised on her husband's return, but for the interference of the surgeon, who carried these people back to their cave on the north shore, where they intended to reside for some time.

Bannelong appeared very much at his ease, and not under the least apprehension of being detained; promising, when he went away, to bring his wife over, which he did two days afterwards: his sister and two men came likewise, and a third soon followed: blankets, and some cloathing were given them, and each had a belly-full of fish; Bannelong sat down to dinner with Governor Phillip, and drank his wine and coffee as usual.

The governor bought a spear from one of his visitants, and endeavoured to make them understand that spears, lines, birds, or any thing they brought should always be purchased; at the same time he promised Bannelong a shield, for which he was to bring a spear in return, as accustoming these people to barter was judged the most likely means of bringing them to reside amongst the colonists. The next day, a large party came over for the shield, but it was not finished: two men of this party were owned by the native girl, who lived with the clergyman, as her brothers, and for whom she procured two hatchets, which appeared to be the most valuable articles that could be given them. When Bannelong came for his present, those who accompanied him, after staying a short time, went away, but he staid dinner, and left the place highly delighted with his shield, which being made of sole leather and covered with tin, was likely to resist the force of their spears.

As it was late in the afternoon before Bannelong thought of departing, his wife and sister, with two men, came over in their canoes to fetch him, so that there was every appearance of these people being perfectly reconciled, and no doubt could be entertained but that they would visit the settlement as frequently as could be wished.

Some days after this interview, a canoe with Bannelong's sister and several young people coming to one of the points of the cove, the girl who had now lived seventeen months with the clergyman's wife, joined them, and was so desirous of going away that it was consented to: the next day she was seen naked in a canoe, but she put on a petticoat before she joined the clergyman and some others who went to visit her; she appeared to be pleased with having her liberty, and the boy, Nanbarre, who was of the party that went to see her, now wished to stay with the natives all night; he was left behind, but the next morning he returned to the surgeon, with whom he lived, and having fared but badly, did not seem inclined to go to them again.

The very little rain, which had fallen since the latter end of June, had destroyed all their hopes of good crops, and which they had every reason to expect till the beginning of September: at present, there was the appearance of rain, though it was feared, that it would come too late to be of any great service to the corn, though it might save the few vegetables they had in the gardens which were parched up. Some rain fell on the 14th and 15th of October, but it was barely sufficient to refresh the ground.

The natives now visited the settlement daily, and Bannelong, who had not been there for several days, came early in the morning of the 17th, but took leave of Governor Phillip after breakfast, saying, that he was going a great way off, and would return, with two young men who were with him, after three days: there was reason to suppose that he was going to fight.

If the natives of this country be less civilised than the inhabitants of the neighbouring islands, they are much honester; for they very seldom attempt to take any thing by stealth; and, it is certain, that when a thief is caught, they beat him to death with sticks. On the 18th, Governor Phillip was informed, that Colebe, with two little girls and two young men who had before been at the settlement, were waiting at the next cove to see him; on this, he went to the place: a hatchet was, as usual, desired and given, and Colebe promised to come to dinner the next day.

A convict had been missing some time, and was reported to have been killed by the natives: those who could have given any information of this man must have been with him, and consequently expected punishment, if they were known, for having left their huts contrary to orders; it was, therefore, impossible to fix the report on any individual, and no information could be gained by those who were sent to search the country for some miles round; but two parties of the natives had been seen, one party consisting of about forty, the other not more than half that number: soon afterwards, Bannelong, with sixteen men and boys, were met by a serjeant and three men who had been sent after the convict that was missing; Bannelong pressed them very much to return with him and kill a native who was well known from having lost an eye, and who was supposed to be a leader of the tribe that reside about Botany-Bay; but this request not being complied with, the natives continued their route, and Colebe, who was of the party, came to dine with the governor as he had promised, Bannelong and several others accompanying him.

At dinner, Bannelong observed that his shield was a good one, and said, that he had been to fight the man who had some time before wounded him, and that his spear had gone through both the shield and hand of his antagonist; he also said, that the people he had been to fight with had killed the man who was lost: however, admitting that to be the case, it is more than probable that he had been found by the natives stealing their spears or gum, and which the convicts continued to procure, and contrive to secrete until ships arrive.

On the 18th of October, the Supply armed tender returned from Batavia: they had lost a lieutenant, the gunner of the Sirius, and several seamen at that unhealthy settlement. The commander of the Supply had intended to go through the streights of Macasser; but when to the westward of Kercolang, meeting with strong gales from the westward, he bore away to the southward, running down near the small islands which are on the western coast of Gillola; and going to the westward of the island of Bouro, to the southward of Bouton, and between Salayer and Celebes, had fine weather and favourable winds.

Ships leaving the coast of New South Wales for Batavia, between the months of April and September, should keep to the southward, and go between New Guinea and Gillola; they then might make their passage in seven or eight weeks, probably in less time. The Supply was eighty days on her passage, and sixty-four on her return.

On the 28th of October, two convicts suffered death for robbing a hut, and dangerously wounding a man who endeavoured to prevent their carrying away his property.

The settlement had now some heavy showers of rain, and the weather continued showery for several days, but the long drought had destroyed a very considerable part of the wheat and barley.

The native girl, who had left the settlement, returned, after being absent fourteen days; but though she appeared to have fared badly, and had been beat by her friend Colebe, yet she would not remain at Sydney more than two days, after which she returned to her companions.

It now appeared, that Governor Phillip did not wrong the natives in supposing that they treated their women with very little tenderness; for Bannelong had beat his wife twice very severely in a short time, and for which, as far as could be learnt from the girl, he had very little reason: still she appeared very fond of him, and he professed great affection for her, but laughed when he was told that it was wrong to beat a woman: he now visited the settlement daily, with his wife, several children, and half a dozen of his friends, and Colebe was generally one of the party.

Several of these people had recently a dispute, in which one of them received two severe wounds in the head from a spear, and two others were wounded in the head by hatchets; but the parties appeared two days after the affray as good friends as ever.

It has already been observed, that the natives have some idea of a future state, and that they believe in spirits; the following circumstance leaves no doubt but that they likewise believe in charms:--Bannelong's wife one day complaining of a pain in the belly, went to the fire and sat down with her husband, who, notwithstanding his beating her occasionally, seemed to express great sorrow on seeing her ill, and after blowing on his hand, he warmed it, and then applied it to the part affected; beginning at the same time a song, which was probably calculated for the occasion: a piece of flannel being warmed and applied by a bye-stander, rendered the warming his hand unnecessary, but he continued his song, always keeping his mouth very near to the part affected, and frequently stopping to blow on it, making a noise after blowing in imitation of the barking of a dog; but though he blew several times, he only made that noise once at every pause, and then continued his song, the woman always making short responses whenever he ceased to blow and bark.

How long this ceremony would have continued was uncertain, for Governor Phillip sent for the doctor, and she was persuaded to take a little tincture of rhubarb, which gave her relief, and so put an end to the business.

Bannelong, with his wife and two children, who appeared to have been adopted by him when their parents died, now lived in a hut built for them on the eastern point of the cove; they were frequently visited by many of the natives, some of whom daily came to the barracks: all of them were very fond of bread, and they now found the advantage of coming amongst the settlers.

The Supply immediately after her arrival began to refit, as Governor Phillip was desirous of sending to Norfolk Island some provisions, and many little articles which were wanted, and with which he now had it in his power to supply them; but on stripping the lower masts, the foremast was found to be so bad that it was necessary to get it out, and when examined, it proved to be so much decayed that they were obliged to cut several feet off the head of the mast, and several feet from the heel: the tops, likewise, were so much decayed, that they could not be repaired, so that new ones were to be made.

It had hitherto been the opinion at Sydney, that the custom of losing the front tooth amongst the natives was confined to the men only, but a woman was lately seen who had lost the front tooth, and two women were met with who had the septum of the nose perforated; one of them was Barangaroo, who now visited the settlement daily, in company with her husband, and seemed to be pleased as though she thought herself drest when her nose was occasionally ornamented with a small bone or a bit of stick: she is very strait and exceeding well made; her features are good, and though she goes entirely naked, yet there is such an air of innocence about her that cloathing scarcely appears necessary.

These people are frequently ornamented, or, to speak more properly, disfigured with broad white marks under the eyes and on the breasts; but they seem to have another motive for using this mode of ornament, besides a wish of appearing handsome, though as yet it had not been discovered. The red earth is likewise frequently used, generally about the nose and under the eyes.

Chapter XIX


November 1790 to December 1790

Fruits in season described.--The manners of the natives.--Disputes with them.--Arrival of a vessel from Batavia.

The new moon, in the beginning of November, brought a few hours thunder, and rain for a short time, which they still continued greatly to want.

Several fruits peculiar to the country were now in season: that which was supposed to be the fruit Captain Cook calls a cherry, the natives call mizooboore; the taste of it is insipid, and it differs little from another fruit similar in its appearance, but something smaller, and which, as well as the former, is found in great abundance: there is likewise a third sort which differs as little in appearance and taste. Though there is little variety either in the shape or taste of the fruits just mentioned, yet, it is very remarkable that the trees on which they grow are of very different kinds.

The fruits, or berries, just mentioned, have so insipid a taste, that they are held in very little estimation by our colonists; but that is not the case with the acid berry, which is about the size of a currant, and grows on a tree, the leaves of which resemble the broom: the acid of this fruit, even when ripe, is very strong, and is, perhaps, the purest in the world: it is pleasant to the taste, and Governor Phillip found it particularly so when on a journey in hot weather: the surgeon held it in great estimation as an antiscorbutic; and, with a large proportion of sugar, it makes excellent tarts and jellies.

There is also another fruit, which, when ripe, is of a transparent red colour, about the size of a currant, and shaped like a heart: it has an agreeable flavour, leaving an astringency on the palate, and cannot be otherwise than wholesome, as the settlers had ate great quantities of it at times, without any pernicious consequences.

There is likewise a nut, which had violent effects on those who ate it unprepared: the natives soak it in water for seven or eight days, changing the water every day; and at the expiration of that time they roast it in the embers; but the kernel is taken out of the hard shell with which it is enclosed, previous to its being put into the water: it is nearly equal to the chesnut in goodness.

Boorong, the native girl who had lived with the clergyman, returned to him again, after a week's absence: some officers had been down the harbour, and she was very happy to embrace that opportunity of getting from the party she had been with. By her own account, she had joined the young man she wished to marry, and had lived with him three days; but he had another wife, who the girl said was jealous, and had beat her; indeed, evident marks of this appeared about her head, which was so bruised as to require the surgeon's attention: in return for this unkind treatment, it seems her favourite had beat his wife.

But opportunities were not now wanting to show that the women are in general treated very roughly; for Colebe brought his wife to visit Governor Phillip, and though she was big with child, and appeared to be within a very few days of her time, there were several wounds on her head, which she said he had lately given her: he seemed to be pleased that she could show her marks, and took some pains to inform the governor that he had beat her with a wooden sword.

Early in the morning of the 13th of November, sixteen of the natives visited the settlement, and some fish being distributed amongst them, they made a fire in the governor's yard, and sat down to breakfast in great good humour: those that were strangers, appeared highly delighted with the novelties that surrounded them. Amongst the strangers, there was a woman whose skin, when free from dirt and smoke, was of a bright copper colour; her features were pleasing, and of that kind of turn, that had she been in any European settlement, no one would have doubted her being a Mulatto Jewess.

Bannelong, who had been for two days with some of his party at Botany-Bay, came along with these people and brought his wife with him: she appeared to be very ill, and had a fresh wound on her head, which he gave Governor Phillip to understand she had merited, for breaking a fiz-gig and a throwing stick. The governor's reasoning with him on this subject had no effect; he said she was bad, and therefore he had beat her; neither could it be learned what inducement this woman could have to do an act which she must have known would be followed by a severe beating; for Bannelong either did not understand the questions put to him, or was unwilling to answer them. When these people had finished their breakfast, they all went to the hospital to get the womens' heads dressed; for besides Bannelong's wife, a woman who was a stranger, had received a blow on the head, which had laid her scull bare.

After this business was over, most of them returned and sat down in the yard at the back of Governor Phillip's house; but Bannelong went into the house as usual, and finding the governor writing, sat down by him: he appeared very much out of humour, and frequently said that he was going to beat a woman with a hatchet which he held in his hand: it was impossible to persuade him to say he would not beat her, and after some time he got up, saying that he could not dine with the governor, as he was going to beat the woman.

Governor Phillip then insisted on going with him, to which he made no objection, though he was given to understand that he would not be suffered to beat any woman, and they set off for his hut at the point. The governor took his orderly serjeant along with him, and they were joined by the judge advocate.

Though Bannelong had frequently said he would kill the woman, when Governor Phillip was endeavouring to persuade him not to beat her, yet, it could not be believed that he had any such intention; nor did they suppose there would be much trouble in preventing his beating her; however, fearing he might strike her a blow with the hatchet which must have been fatal, it was taken from him before they got to the hut, and as he seemed unwilling to part with it, the governor gave him his cane; but his expressions and his countenance soon made them think even the cane too much for him to be trusted with, and that was taken from him also.

On their arrival at the hut, they found five men, two youths, and several women and children: some of these people were on the grass before the door of the hut, and though the governor fixed his eyes on Bannelong, in order to find out the object of his revenge, and whom he determined to protect, yet this furious savage seized a wooden sword, and struck a young female, who was either asleep, or seeing him coming had hid her face, over the head, and repeated his blow before the weapon could be wrested from him; he then got a hatchet, which was likewise taken away.

Reasoning with him was now out of the question; the savage fury which took possession of him when he found himself kept from the girl, who was lying senseless, is not to be described: he had now got another wooden sword, but the judge-advocate and the serjeant held him, and what passed being observed from the Supply, Lieutenant Ball and the surgeon of the hospital, came over to the spot armed, and the poor girl was put into the boat without any opposition on the part of the natives, who had armed themselves the moment they saw Governor Phillip and his party interfere, and one of them repeatedly pressed him to give Bannelong the hatchets and sword which had been taken from him.

None of these people, either men or women, (the two youths excepted, who appeared to be much frightened,) showed the least concern at the girl's fate, though they must have known, that Bannelong intended to kill her, and they certainly armed in his defence.

When the boat was gone off with the girl, our party returned to the governor's house, several of the native men and boys joining them, as well as Bannelong; and, after some time, when his passion began to subside, Governor Phillip gave him to understand, that he was exceedingly angry with him for attempting to kill a woman, and tried to divert him from his purpose by threats, telling him that if he did kill her, or even beat her any more, he should lose his life; but threats had no greater effect than entreaties, and all his answers showed that he thought himself greatly injured by having his victim taken from him; saying that she was his, that her father was the man who had wounded him over the eye, that all their tribe were bad, and that the governor should see he would kill her; and when the judge-advocate reasoned with him, and told him that if he killed the girl the governor would kill him, he marked with his finger those parts of the head, breast, and arms, where he said he would wound her, before he cut her head off: in this resolution he went away, and the girl was removed in the evening from the Supply to Governor Phillip's house, where a young man who lived with Bannelong desired to remain with her, and, from the tenderness he showed her when Bannelong was not present, was supposed to be her husband; though he had not dared to open his lips, or even to look dissatisfied, when her life was in danger.

Several of the natives came to see this girl, and (except the supposed husband) they all appeared very desirous that she might return to the hut, though they must have known that she would be killed; and, what is not to be accounted for, the girl herself appeared desirous of going.

After an absence of two days, Bannelong returned to the governor's house, apparently in good humour, and said he would not beat the girl; at the same time he gave them to understand, that he had again beat his wife about the head, and that he had received a severe blow on the shoulder from a club in return; on this, Governor Phillip proposed their going to the hospital to have his own shoulder and his wife's head drest, but this he refused, saying, that White (the surgeon) would shoot him, and that he durst not sleep in the house which had been built for him, as the surgeon would shoot him in the night.

This story was not told without many threats on his part; and during the recital, he twice went out to fetch a spear, which the governor had made him leave in a back room, in order to show that he was not afraid, and that he would use it if he saw the surgeon; however, Governor Phillip soon convinced him that he was not to be shot unless he killed the girl, or threw spears at the white men. The moment Bannelong was satisfied that the surgeon was still his friend, he said he would go to him for a plaister for his shoulder, and another for his wife's head; but, as the governor wished to be present when they first met, he sent for the surgeon, whom Bannelong received as usual, gave him part of what he was eating, and went with him to the hospital; after which, he went to the surgeon's house, and the girl being there to whom he had lately shown so much animosity, he took her by the hand, and spoke to her in a friendly manner.

But this attention so exasperated his wife, and put her in such a rage, that those who were present at the time could not, without some difficulty, prevent her from knocking the girl on the head with a club which she had taken from one of the men for that purpose; nor did her husband seem inclined to prevent her till he was spoke to, when he gave her a pretty smart slap on the face; on this, his wife left them crying with passion, and came over to the governor's house, where the girl was now brought for greater security, and was followed by several men.

Governor Phillip had ordered the girl to be put into his maid servant's room, with which Bannelong seemed pleased, and desired him to let the young man who had remained with her at the surgeon's, stay there likewise; in the mean time, his wife was very noisy, and used many threats; she had got her husband's spears, which she sat down upon, and would not give them up to a soldier, whom the governor had ordered to take them from her, until force was used; and when the soldier had them, Bannelong wanted to take them from him, saying he would give them to the governor: they were then delivered to him, and he immediately gave them to Governor Phillip, making signs for them to be put into the house: this, at a time when there was a guard of soldiers drawn up in the yard, and when he was telling his companions, that the soldiers would fire, showed that he placed some confidence in the governor; though at the same time, he was very violent, and appeared very much inclined to use his club against those who prevented his going into the house; and one of the natives who was generally his companion, seemed ready to support him in any attempt he might be disposed to make.

On this they were given to understand, that if any of the soldiers were struck, they would be put to death, and Governor Phillip immediately ordered them all to be turned out of the yard, except Bannelong and the young man he had desired might remain with the girl: Bannelong's wife was turned away amongst the rest, but this did not prevent his staying to dinner, and behaving with the same indifference as if nothing had passed; and, in the evening when he was going away, a scene took place which was little expected: the young man who had been so desirous of remaining with the girl, would now go away, and the girl cried, and forced her way out of the room to go with Bannelong: she was brought in again, and told if she went away she would be beat, but Bannelong said he would not beat her, neither was his wife angry with her now; and the young man pressed Governor Phillip very much to let her go, saying Barangaroo would not beat the girl, as her passion was over, and she was now very good.

As the information of Barangaroo's anger having so entirely subsided, could only have been brought by a boy, who had returned to the house in the afternoon, the governor was not the least inclined to let the girl go away; but there was no possibility of detaining her unless she was confined, and there appeared so much sincerity in Bannelong's countenance, when he said she should not be beat, that leave was given, and the moment the girl was without the gate, she ran towards Bannelong's hut, without waiting for those who were going along with her.

Governor Phillip himself was fully persuaded that Bannelong would keep his word, but the general opinion was, that the girl would be sacrificed; and in the evening, a considerable number of natives being seen about the hut, gave rise to various stories; but the next day, Bannelong came to dinner, and said, he had sent the girl to her father, which was afterwards confirmed by others.

How Bannelong got this girl into his possession could not be learnt; but it appeared she was the same girl whom he went to look after when he ran away from the settlement: she appeared to be about fifteen years of age, and when she went away, her wounds were in a fair way of doing well: fortunately for her, the weapon which had first presented itself when Bannelong beat her, was a boy's wooden sword, and made of very light wood; but these people pay little attention to wounds, and even those which by the faculty are deemed dangerous, do not seem to require the common attention of closing the lips of the wound and keeping it clean; this shows that they must be of a most excellent habit of body.

Governor Phillip having occasion to go to Rose-Hill, Bannelong said he would accompany him: accordingly they set out, and stopped at the point, in order to take Barangaroo into the boat; but she refused, and persuaded her husband not to go. On the governor's return to Sydney, he was informed that this party had been lamenting the loss of a brother, who had been killed by one of the Cammeragals: the women were crying in the usual manner, but their grief was not of long duration, and Bannelong went to breakfast with some officers, who, hearing the womens' cries, had gone to the hut to learn the cause; and as they were going down the harbour to look after a small boat belonging to the hospital, which had been lost, with five convicts, he desired them to land him on the north shore, in order, it was supposed, to collect all his friends, and revenge his brother's death.

However, he was seen soon afterwards with some of the Cammeragals, who were collecting the wild fruits which were now in season; so that he must have been misunderstood as to his intention of fighting with the Cammeragals; nor can we account for his being frequently with a tribe whom he always spoke of as bad, and desired Governor Phillip to kill; and what was equally mysterious, a man belonging to the Botany-Bay tribe had for more than a fortnight slept at his hut, though he said the man was bad, and spoke of him as his enemy.

The party who went in search of the boat found the wreck of her, and one of the bodies; as the boat had been seen under sail when it blew hard, it should seem that the men sent in her did not know how to manage her, and were driven on the rocks. Several natives assisted in saving the oars and other articles that were driven ashore; and Colebe, who was on the spot, exerted himself greatly on this occasion, and saved the seine, which was entangled amongst the rocks: for these services, they were all rewarded with blankets and some cloathing.

But, however well you may cloath these people, they generally return naked the next day. Of all the cloaths and the multiplicity of other articles which had been given to Bannelong, very little now remained in his possession; his shield, and most of his cloaths, were, by his own account, sent a great distance off; but whether he had lost them, or given them away, was uncertain.

In the evening of the 21st of November, Bannelong and his wife came to Sydney, and he requested leave to sleep in Governor Phillip's house, as there were a great number of people at Tubow-gule, the point on which their hut stood. Bannelong told the governor, that the Cammeragals had killed his friend, or relation, for we are not clear that these words in their language, which had been supposed to mean Father or Brother, are made use of by the natives in that sense: he said, they had burnt his body, which he seemed to lament; and being told, that Governor Phillip would take the soldiers and punish them, he prest him very much to go and kill them: indeed, from the first day he was able to make himself understood, he was desirous to have all the tribe of Cammeragal killed, yet he was along with that tribe when Governor Phillip was wounded, and, as hath already been observed, was seen with them since the loss of his friend, or brother.

After Bannelong and his wife had supped they retired to sleep in a back room, and he was particularly anxious for the governor to lock the door and put the key in his pocket; from which circumstance, it is probable he had other reasons for coming that evening to sleep at the governor's house, besides that of having a number of people at his own habitation.

When Governor Phillip's guests left him, the girl who lived with the clergyman went away with them, and slept at their hut, nor would she probably have returned till she was compelled by hunger, or had received a beating; but being seen the next morning in a canoe, fishing, she very readily returned with the person who had been sent to look after her.

Many of the small streams of water in different parts of the harbour were dried up, and at Sydney, the run of water was small, but it afforded sufficient for the use of the settlement; nor was there any reason to suppose they would ever want water. At Rose-Hill, the settlers never can be under any apprehensions on that head, and though from the stream being small in dry weather, the water has an unpleasant taste, occasioned by a number of dead trees falling into the brook, yet that may be prevented hereafter: it will also be necessary, at some future period, to make a dam across the creek, in order to prevent the tides making the water brackish at the lower part of it: when that is done, it will not be a difficult matter to carry a run of water at the back of those houses which are situated at the greatest distance from the brook.

A new store at Rose-Hill, which the workmen had been building for some time past, was tiled in on the 25th of November, and a barrack of the same dimensions (100 feet by 24 feet 6 inches) was immediately begun. At the latter end of the month, the weather was unsettled, with frequent showers of rain: most of the barley was now ripe, and they began to house it. The 3d of December was a day of constant rain, which continued during the night.

Governor Phillip had recently ordered a small hut to be built for his own accommodation at Rose-Hill, and he was going to remain there a few days, when several of the natives were desirous of accompanying him, amongst whom were Bannelong and Colebe: the governor got into his boat with three of them, and Bannelong, going to fetch his cloak, was detained by his wife; however, as they were going out of the cove, he appeared on the rocks, and got into the boat notwithstanding her threats; but, the moment the boat put off, she went to her canoe, which was a new one, and after driving her paddles through the bottom, she threw them into the water, and afterwards went off to their hut, probably to do more damage. The husband had endeavoured to pacify her, and promised several times not to be absent more than one night; as it was likely that he would prefer remaining behind, though he appeared unwilling to ask to be landed, it was proposed to him, and after picking up the paddles which his wife had thrown away, he was put on shore.

The governor then proceeded to Rose-Hill, with Colebe and two other natives, none of whom ever opened their lips during this altercation: indeed, none of these people have ever been seen to interfere with what did not immediately concern themselves.

The three natives slept that night at Rose-Hill, and though fed very plentifully, yet, the next morning, they were very desirous of returning; on this, Governor Phillip sent the boat down with them, on the return of which he fully expected to hear that mistress Barangaroo's head was under the care of the surgeon; but, to his great surprise, both she and her husband came up in the boat the next morning, and Bannelong said he had not beat her; but whether he was deterred by what had so frequently been said to him on the subject, or from some other cause, could not be known: however, a reconciliation had taken place, and they both dined with the governor in great good humour. Every thing this couple wished for was given them, and they had both fish and baggaray; but after dinner was over, the lady wanted to return, and Bannelong said she would cry if she was not permitted to go; so that late in the afternoon, the governor was obliged to send the boat down with them.

It is rather singular that none of the natives like Rose-Hill, probably because fish is seldom procured there: both Arrabannu and Bannelong, whilst they lived with Governor Phillip, always appeared to dislike going there, and after the first day, would be continually pressing him to return to Sydney.

Lieutenant Ball, who commanded the Supply, had been ill for some time; and when Governor Phillip returned from Rose-Hill on the 11th of December, the surgeon informed him that there were little hopes of Mr. Ball's recovery: at the same time he was told, that his game-keeper had been brought in so dangerously wounded by a spear, that there was little probability of saving his life.

It seems the game-keeper went out with three others, one of whom was a serjeant; and in the heat of the day, they retired to a hut which they had made with boughs, and went to sleep. One of them waking, and hearing a noise in the bushes, supposed it to be some animal; but on their coming out of the hut, four natives jumped up from amongst the bushes and ran away: the game-keeper, supposing one of them to be a man who had been at Sydney, as he appeared to have been shaved and his hair cut, followed them without his gun, (though the most positive orders had been given for no one ever to join the natives unarmed) calling on them to stop, and he would give them some bread; and observing that one of those who followed him from the hut had a gun in his hand, he bid him lay it down, saying, that the natives would not hurt him.

The game-keeper had now advanced forty or fifty yards before his companions, and was not more than ten yards from one of the natives, who stopped; and getting on a tree which had been burnt down, and was lying on the ground, he surveyed those who approached him: in a moment he found they were unarmed, so, fixing his spear, he threw it at the man who was nearest to him: the spear entered on the left side, and penetrated the lower lobe of the lungs: it was barbed, and consequently could not be extracted till a suppuration took place. Immediately after throwing the spear, the native fled, and was soon out of sight of the man who followed him.

As they were eleven miles from Sydney when this accident happened, it was not without some difficulty that the unfortunate game-keeper could be brought in after his strength failed him: he was of the catholic persuasion, but on being brought to the hospital, he desired to have the clergyman sent for, to whom he confessed that he had been a bad man, and desired his prayers; but, at the same time, he declared that he had never killed or wounded any native, except once; when, having had a spear thrown at him, he discharged his piece, which was loaded with small shot, and possibly wounded the man who threw the spear.

This declaration, made at the time he requested the surgeon not to attempt taking out the spear, until he had asked pardon of his God, whom, he said, he had often offended, added to the testimony of those who were with him, left no room to doubt that the native had taken the advantage of their being unarmed, without having received any kind of provocation.

The natives had been frequently told, that numbers of them would be killed if they continued to throw spears; and both Bannelong and the girl who lived with the clergyman had repeatedly said, that the tribes which resided about Botany-Bay and the inland parts near the head of that harbour, always killed the white men; yet, as it was evident that they had generally received some provocation on the part of our settlers, Governor Phillip was unwilling to proceed to extremities whilst there was a possibility of avoiding it: many of the natives had recently visited the settlement; they had all been well received, and some of their children frequently remained there for several days, without their parents ever seeing them; and if any of them were going where their children would be an incumbrance, they used to leave them at Sydney.

Bannelong, Colebe, and two or three others, now lived at Sydney three or four days in the week, and they all repeatedly desired those natives might be killed who threw spears; at the same time, Governor Phillip began to suspect, though very unwillingly, that there was a great deal of art and cunning in Bannelong; he had lately been at Botany-Bay, where, he said, they danced, and that one of the tribe had sung a song, the subject of which was, his house, the governor, and the white men at Sydney: the people of that tribe, he said, would not throw any more spears, as they and the Cammeragals were all friends, and were good men; this was only a few days after he had said that he liked his house at the point, because the Botany-Bay men and the Cammeragals would not come to it on account of the white men; and had, as usual, whenever those tribes were mentioned, requested the governor to kill them all.

The game-keeper was well known to those natives who frequented Sydney, and when they saw him at the hospital, they expressed great marks of sorrow, all the women and several of the men shedding tears. Colebe, who, it seems, understood the nature of wounds, and their method of drawing teeth, said, that the spear must remain for some time before it was drawn out, as it was barbed: at the same time he made signs that the man would die.

It appeared rather extraordinary that the natives should immediately know the man who wounded the game-keeper, and his tribe; they said, his name was Pemullaway, of the tribe of Bejigal, and both Colebe and Bannelong promised to bring him to the settlement; but the former, after remaining at Sydney that night and part of the next day, went off, as was supposed, to Botany-Bay; and Governor Phillip going down the harbour, in consequence of a number of natives being seen armed at the look-out, found Colebe there, who returned to Sydney the next day, did not seem inclined to give himself any trouble about Pemullaway, but left the governor's house after dinner, to go, as he said, to his wife, who was at Botany-Bay. Bannelong had not appeared for some days; he was said to be gone to assist at the ceremony of drawing the front tooth from some young men, and as he went to the district in which the Cammeragals reside, there can scarcely be a doubt but that the tooth is paid as a tribute.

The native girl who lived with the clergyman, had left his house some time, and now resided with the Cammeragals: on going away, she promised to return with the young man she wanted to marry, and his present wife; from which circumstance it seems pretty clear, that when a native can procure two women, the custom of the country allows them to have two wives; and there is some reason to suppose that most of their wives are taken by force from the tribes with whom they are at variance, as the females bear no proportion to the males.

It became absolutely necessary to put a stop to the natives throwing spears, against which it was impossible to guard in going through the woods, and Governor Phillip wished to do it with as little severity as possible; yet he was well convinced that nothing but a severe example, and the fear of having all the tribes who resided near the settlement destroyed, would have the desired effect: for this purpose, a party were sent out on the 14th of December, consisting of two captains, two lieutenants, four noncommissioned officers, and forty privates: the surgeon, and a surgeon's mate belonging to the Sirius, went with the party, and the three persons who were with the game-keeper when he was wounded, went as guides.

The governor's motive for sending so large a party was, that if a number of the natives should be found together, they might be deterred from making any resistance, or attempting to rescue those who might be secured as prisoners.

The officer who commanded this party was directed to proceed to the spot where the game-keeper had been wounded, and to search for the natives in that part of the country; six of whom were to be secured and brought in as prisoners; or if that was found impracticable, six of them were to be put to death; spears, and all other weapons which they happened to meet with, were to be destroyed and left on the ground, that the natives might see it was intended as a punishment inflicted on them; particular attention was also to be paid to the women and children, who were not to be injured on any account whatever; and, as Governor Phillip wished to impress the natives with an idea that no deceit was ever used, and that they might always depend on having protection after it had been once offered; on this occasion, none of the party were ever to hold up their hands, (which, amongst the natives, is a signal that they come as friends) nor to answer that sign of friendship if made to them.

It was more than probable that the man who threw the spear would not be found, though Colebe had said he might easily be known by the toes of his left foot having been bruised with a club; and there was reason to fear that the innocent might suffer; but the natives had lately behaved with a boldness and insolence on several occasions, which it was absolutely necessary to check, and the punishments inflicted on a few, would, in the end, be an act of mercy to numbers.

A suppuration taking place in the game-keeper's wound, the spear was taken out; it was armed with small pieces of red stone, and had penetrated seven inches and an half into his body, though the point was broke off by striking against a rib: from this circumstance, some judgment may be formed of the force with which these spears are thrown. They generally are armed for seven or eight inches from the point, with small bits of sharp stone, bone, or shells; and, since our settling amongst them, bits of glass bottle: these are fixed on with the yellow gum, which is softened by fire, and afterwards grows hard and firm, making a very good cement; this the natives also use to stop the leaks in their canoes.

The spear with which the game-keeper was wounded, being shown to one of the natives, he immediately named the tribe to whom it belonged; which shows that some of them arm their weapons differently from others, and that they are all marked; this, as they have no places to secure them in, effectually prevents their robbing one another.

The party who had been sent out in search of the natives, returned on the 17th of December, without being able to get near any of them, as they all fled at their approach, and eluded their pursuit. They found Colebe near the head of Botany-Bay, where he was striking fish, and ran some risk of being shot.

The same afternoon, the vessel arrived which had been hired at Batavia to bring provisions to the colony, having been eighty-eight days on her passage, and buried sixteen of her crew.

In the evening of the 22d, a party were again sent out towards the head of Botany-Bay; they were to endeavour to secure some of the natives, and had the same orders as were given before on that head. They left the parade in the evening, and hopes were entertained that they would be able to surprize some of the natives at their fires; but they did not see a single inhabitant during two days which they remained out.

Colebe had left his wife at Botany-Bay, and she came over to Sydney on the 23d of December, bringing an infant with her not more than two or three days old; the child was laid on a piece of bark, and both the parents appeared to treat it with great tenderness: they took up their residence for that night in Governor Phillip's house, and a family, who accompanied Colebe's wife, gave an opportunity of observing, that the marriage ceremony in this country, whatever it may be, is not very binding: this man belonged to the tribe who reside about Botany-Bay, but he had occasionally lived at Sydney for some time past, and a woman whose name was Mawberry, had been his wife; but, it seems, he had broke her arm with beating her, and had turned her away; and he had got another woman for a wife, who came along with him, bringing also a child about three years of age. Mawberry, his first wife, happened to be at the governor's house when he came in, and did not seem pleased at the meeting.

This man, with his wife and child, after remaining at Governor Phillip's two days, were going away; and, as usual, had bread and fish given them for their journey; but, it should seem, that they could not agree, for he took away his first wife, and left the woman and child who came along with him behind. The poor woman shed tears when Governor Phillip enquired into the matter, and, after repeatedly using the word yalloway, which is a term of execration, she said she would live with his servants, which she was permitted to do.

Besides this person, Governor Phillip had a further addition to his family of a young woman, who for some time had been desirous of being received amongst his maid servants, and a youth about fourteen years of age, both of whom appeared much pleased with their situations.

The weather was so intensely hot on the 27th of December, that the thermometer stood at 102° in the shade.

Chapter XX


December 1790 to February 1791

The depredations of the natives.--Bannelong's behaviour.--The Supply sails for Norfolk-Island.--The quantity of provisions brought in the Waaksam-heid from Batavia.--The appearance of a prodigious number of Bats.--The return of Bannelong.--The manners of the natives further described.

Several of the natives who had been pretty constant visitors at Sydney for some weeks, were detected stealing potatoes on the 28th of December; and, on the person they belonged to, endeavouring to drive them out of his garden, a fiz-gig was thrown at him.

These people had lately made a practice of threatening any person whom they found in a hut alone, unless bread was given to them; and one of those who were suspected in the present instance, had, on several occasions, shown himself to be a daring fellow, who did not seem to dread any consequences. As it was necessary to prevent these depredations in future, a serjeant and six privates were sent out in order to secure the three natives who had been digging up the potatoes, and particularly the man who threw the fiz-gig; but not to fire on them, unless they made use of their spears or other offensive weapons.

Governor Phillip, accompanied by two or three officers, followed the party to a place where the natives had retired and made a fire; at which, the serjeant, who arrived there a few minutes before, found two men, one of whom he laid hold of, and the other was seized by the surgeon's mate of the Sirius, who went with the party, as he knew the men they were in search of: both these men, however, got away; and a club, which at first was taken for a spear, being thrown by one of them, three musquets were fired. Two women and a child were found at the fire, but as it was then dark, it was in vain to look for the two men, though one of them was supposed to be wounded. The women were brought away, together with several sticks, which the natives use for digging roots, and some other articles, in order to learn more fully who were the aggressors.

The women, though alarmed at first, yet, when they got to Governor Phillip's house, appeared under no concern, but slept that night in a shed in the yard, as much at their ease as if nothing had happened; though it was impossible for them to know that the men fired at were not killed; and one of them was husband to one of the women: the other woman was she who had been left at the governor's house, when her husband took away a former wife.

The fiz-gig, which had been thrown at the man in the garden, being shown to these women, they said it belonged to a native who has already been noticed as a daring fellow; indeed he was so much so, that though Governor Phillip thought it necessary to watch for an opportunity of checking his insolence, he could not but admire his spirit. Some bread and fish being given to the women the next morning, they went away, well pleased with their reception.

On the 29th of December, Bannelong made his appearance at Governor Phillip's house, after an absence of ten days, and brought his wife with him: he said he had been with a great number of the Cameragals, and they had drawn the front tooth from several young men, and had raised those scars which the natives regard as ornaments. The largest of these scars are made by cutting two lines through the skin, parallel to each other, with a sharp shell, and afterwards stripping off the intermediate skin: this operation is repeated till the wound rises considerably above the flesh, after which, it is suffered to heal over. These scars, or ornaments, are not very common among the women, yet some have them on the arms, back, and breasts.

Bannelong had a throwing-stick, which he took pains to show had been cut for the purpose of knocking out the front tooth, and there was some reason to think he had performed that office: it seems, he was now on good terms with the Cameragals, as he said they were all good men; and being asked if he had seen the man who threw the spear at Governor Phillip, he said yes, and had slept with him; nor was there any reason to suppose he had ever beat, or even quarreled with him on that account.

Bannelong's wife, who had been with him on this excursion, was painted in a different manner to what she had been seen before, and it appeared to have been done with a good deal of attention: her cheeks, nose, and upper lip, were rubbed over with red ochre, on which, and under the eyes, some white clay was laid in spots; the small of her back was likewise rubbed with red ochre, and she seemed to be sensible that she was finer than common.

After dinner, this couple went away, and the girl who had been desirous of living with the governor's servants, wanted to go along with them, which she was permitted to do. This girl, who might be about eighteen years old, stripped herself before she went away, but kept her night-cap to sleep in, as her head had been shaved when she was first taken into the governor's family: she never had been under any kind of restraint, so that her going away could only proceed from a preference to the manner of life in which she had been brought up, and which is rather surprising, as the women are certainly treated with great cruelty; this, however, the custom of the country seems to have perfectly reconciled them to.

Two colonists, who had been in a boat fishing, returned with a piece of intelligence very little to the credit of Bannelong, who had robbed them of what fish they had caught; and, as they had no arms, and he had several spears in his canoe, along with his wife and sister, they were deterred from making any resistance. In consequence of the fishing-boat being robbed, orders were given that no boat in future should go out of the cove unarmed, and the natives were forbid ever going to the western point of the cove, where they stole the potatoes and threw the fiz-gig.

Three convicts, who went into the woods contrary to orders, were lost for several days; and when found, they were pretty severely punished: this, however, did not prevent one of these men from going out again, and he had now been so long absent, that there was no doubt but that he perished from hunger: another fell into the brook at Rose-Hill, and was drowned.

The number of deaths this year, 1790, were,

From sickness,              142
Lost in the woods,            4
Executed,                     4
Drowned,                      6
The total number of deaths, 156

On the 3d of January, 1791, several of the natives came to Governor Phillip's house, and told him that the native who had been fired at on the 28th of December, was wounded and would die; it was explained to them, that the reason of his being fired at, was, his attempting to wound a white man: on this, they did not appear dissatisfied.

Bannelong and his wife came in soon afterwards, and Governor Phillip charged him with taking the fish from the two colonists, which he denied; saying he had been a great way off; but when the two persons were sent for, and he found himself known, he entered into a long conversation, the purport of which was, an endeavour to justify himself; and this he did with an insolence that explained itself very clearly: he frequently mentioned the man who had been wounded, and threatened revenge; but appearing to recollect himself, he offered the governor his hand, which not being accepted, he grew violent, and seemed inclined to make use of his stick. One of the centinels was now called in, as it was much feared he would do some violent act, that would oblige Governor Phillip to order him to be put to death; for his behaviour was the height of savage insolence, and would have been immediately punished in any other person; but this man had so often made use of the word be-ah-nah, that they wished to bring him to reason without proceeding to force; especially, as it was suggested by an officer who was in the room, that he might not be understood clearly, and the governor was very unwilling to destroy the confidence Bannelong had for some time placed in him, which the slightest punishment or confinement would have done: he therefore told him to come near, for he was then standing at some distance, but he refused and went away.

Bannelong had not left the governor with any intention of returning; for, in passing the wheelwright's shop, the workmen being at dinner, he stole a hatchet, with which, though pursued he got clear off.

In the afternoon of the 3d, the surgeon and some others went to the place where the wounded native was said to be, having directions to bring him to the hospital, if there were any hopes of his recovery.

When they got to the spot to which the native boy and girl, who were in the boat, directed them, two natives appeared; one of whom, having been concerned in stealing the potatoes, kept at a distance; the other came near enough to converse with them, and said, the man they were in search of was dead, in an adjoining cove, whither they went and found his body. The ball had passed through the shoulder, and had cut the subclavian artery: the body was warm, and as his friends had left it covered with some boughs and fern, it was probable they did not intend either to bury or burn it. It proved to be the man who had thrown the fiz-gig; and as there was a necessity for firing on him, the taking place of the ball was rather to be wished for.

The woman who had been deserted by her husband, after remaining eight or ten days at Governor Phillip's house, went away on the 5th of January, and was reconciled to him again; his first wife now lived with another man, but she frequently visited Sydney, and was said to have granted favours to several of the convicts.

All the wheat and barley was now housed, except what was sown very late, and yielded better than could have been expected after the long drought. On the 18th, her Majesty's birthday was celebrated with the customary marks of respect. The Supply, having been put into thorough repair, sailed out of the cove on the 19th, with provisions and stores for Norfolk Island; but the wind coming round to the south-east, she was obliged to anchor, and did not get out of the harbour till the 22d.

The game-keeper, who was wounded on the 9th of December, as hath already been related, died on the 20th of January: his death was sudden, as at one time he was thought to be in a very fair way of recovery, being able to walk about. On opening the body, it appeared that the lungs on the left side, which had been wounded, were entirely wasted away: the pleura firmly adhered to the ribs for some inches round the wound; several of the small stones with which the spear had been armed, were found adhering to the side, and the rib against which the spear had broke, was splintered.

A considerable quantity of ground was now cleared, and large enclosures were made for cattle, which there was reason to hope would be brought from the Cape of Good Hope, by the ships daily expected to arrive with the remainder of the corps raised for the service of this country, and the convicts from Ireland.

The person who had hitherto superintended the labour of the convicts, died on the 28th of January. This man left England with Governor Phillip, as a servant; but he had employed him in the public service from their first landing, and few men, who may hereafter be placed in his situation, will attain that ascendency which he had over the convicts, or be able to go through so much fatigue. He was replaced by a superintendant who came from England in the last ships.

The Dutch vessel, which had been hired at Batavia to bring provisions purchased for the Colony, and which arrived at Port Jackson on the 17th of December, 1790, was cleared, and was ready for sea by the 5th of February. The provisions brought in her consisted of one hundred and seventy-one barrels of beef, one hundred and seventy-two barrels of pork, thirty-nine barrels of flour, one thousand pounds of sugar, and seventy thousand pounds of rice: five pounds in the hundred were to be allowed as loss on the rice; and after that deduction, there was a deficiency of forty-two thousand nine hundred pounds; for which, the master of the vessel would only allow the commissary at the rate of one halfpenny a pound; or, if paid in butter, at the rate of one pound of butter for eighteen pounds of rice: he had rice and flour on board, which he called his own property; and as he was a foreigner, and particularly circumstanced, the commissary was ordered to accept the butter in lieu of the deficiency of rice.

This vessel was hired by the officer, who commanded the Supply armed tender, and who was obliged to accept her at three hundred and fifty tons measurement, though she did not measure three hundred tons: the freight for bringing the provisions was fixed at twenty-eight thousand rix-dollars; bills for which had been given at Batavia. The master on his arrival, said, that after leaving Port Jackson, he should proceed to New Guinea in search of spices, which that island was supposed to produce; he was also to stop at Timur and several other settlements before he returned to Batavia: at the same time, he offered the vessel for sale, or to lett her on freight; but as he conjectured that the colony wanted such a vessel, his demands were exorbitant. He first valued her at sixty thousand rix-dollars, and before he was ready to sail, he offered her for two and thirty thousand rix-dollars. If she was hired, he talked of eleven pounds sterling per month; but no attention being paid to any of these demands, he came down to forty shillings sterling a ton per month, if let on freight to carry the officers and seamen who had belonged to the Sirius to England; that freight to be paid until the vessel should return to Batavia. He was now ready to sail, and finding no attention would be paid to any such proposals, he offered to sell the vessel for thirty thousand rix-dollars, or to go to England on freight at forty shillings per ton; the vessel to be continued in pay for two months after her arrival at Portsmouth or Plymouth; or to have twenty thousand rix-dollars for the voyage.

A considerable time had passed since Governor Phillip had reason to expect the arrival of some ships from England, and he wished to secure a vessel for sending home the officers and men who had belonged to the Sirius, or to send for a farther supply of provisions, should no ships arrive before the month of March: the Dutch vessel was, therefore, hired at twenty shillings per ton.

Two native youths who had frequently left Governor Phillip's house, in order to have their front teeth drawn, had now been absent several days for that purpose. They were seen in a bay down the harbour on the 8th of February, where a considerable number of the natives were assembled, it was supposed not less than a hundred, including women and children. Most of the men were painted, and it should seem that they were assembled for the purpose of drawing the front teeth from several men and boys. Soon afterwards, the two youths returned to the governor's; they had their heads bound round with rushes, which were split, and the white side was put outwards: several pieces of reed were stuck through this fillet and came over the forehead; their arms were likewise bound round and ornamented in the same manner, and each had a black streak on his breast, which was broad at one end, and terminated in a point. They had lost their front teeth, and considering their manner of drawing teeth in this country, it was not surprising to see that one of them had lost a piece of his jaw-bone, which was driven out with the tooth.

Both these boys appeared to be in pain, but they would not own it, and seemed to value themselves on having undergone the operation; though why it is performed, or why the females lose a part of the little finger, could not as yet be learnt.

The weather was very close and sultry, and the natives having fired the country for several miles round, the wind, which blew strong on the 12th, was heated to a very extraordinary degree, particularly at Rose-Hill, where the country was on fire for several miles to the northward and southward.

Great numbers of parroquets were picked up under the trees, and the bats, which had been seen frequently flying about Rose-Hill soon after the evening closed in, and were supposed to go to the southward every night, and return to the northward before the day broke, now appeared in immense numbers: thousands of them were hanging on the branches of the trees, and many dropped down, unable to bear the burning winds.

The head of this bat strongly resembles that of a fox, and the wings of many of them extend three feet ten inches: Governor Phillip saw one which measured upwards of four feet from the tip of each wing. Some were taken alive, and would eat boiled rice, or other food readily out of the hand, and in a few days were as domestic as if they had been bred in the house: the governor had one, a female, that would hang by one leg a whole day without changing its position; and in that pendant situation, with its breast neatly covered with one of its wings, it ate whatever was offered it, lapping out of the hand like a cat. Their smell is stronger than that of a fox; they are very fat, and are reckoned by the natives excellent food. From the numbers which fell into the brook at Rose-Hill, the water was tainted for several days, and it was supposed that more than twenty thousand of them were seen within the space of one mile.

The dry weather still continued, and many runs of water which were considerable at this season the last year, were now dried up; but the brook at Rose-Hill, though greatly reduced, was still a run of water that would supply more inhabitants than that settlement is likely to contain for many years; and in all the ponds there was plenty of good water; nor had the dry weather affected a spring that rises on the side of a hill, the water of which is better than what the brook affords. At Sydney, the run of water was now very small, but was sufficient for all culinary purposes; and should it hereafter be found necessary, wells may easily be made: a well at Governor Phillip's house was very little affected by the drought.

The natives continued to visit Sydney after Bannelong stole the hatchet, and behaved in a manner that gave every one reason to think he never would return; this, however, was not the case; for, after having frequently visited the fishing-boats, and made many enquiries to know if Governor Phillip was angry, and would shoot him, he ventured to go to the hospital, and seemed very desirous of knowing if he might come to the governor's house; at the same time, he named a man who, he said, had stolen the hatchet, and denied having ever used any threats: however, not being satisfied with the answers which were given to him, he went away.

But some days afterwards he came to the governor's, who, happening to be in the yard when he came to the gate, ordered him away. He was seen soon afterwards, and as he appeared very desirous of being received again, and disclaimed any knowledge of the hatchet, or any intention of revenging the death of the native who had been shot, Governor Phillip appeared to believe him, and he was permitted to come into the yard, which was always open to the natives, and some bread and fish were given him; but he was no longer permitted to enter the house; this was putting him on a level with the other natives, and he appeared to feel his degradation; but it did not prevent him from repeating his visits very frequently.

By-gone, who has been mentioned as the daring fellow who lived with Bannelong, and was in campany with the man who had been shot, ventured to come to Rose-Hill; and as Governor Phillip wished for a friendly intercourse to be kept up with the natives, he was well received, and no notice was taken of past offences, so that he soon became perfectly at his ease.

A second store-house of brick was now tiled in, and though the crops in the ground had suffered from the very dry weather for the last eight months, it had been favourable for the buildings. The barrack at Rose-Hill was nearly ready to receive the men, and one wing of the officers barracks was ready for tiling.

The Supply returned from Norfolk Island on the 26th of February, with the officers and seamen who had remained there after the loss of the Sirius; and the Dutch vessel being hired to carry them to England, she began to prepare for the voyage.

In the night of the 27th, they had very heavy rain, which was highly acceptable. On the 28th, it blew very fresh, and a fishing boat, in working up the harbour, filled; fortunately, she was an English cutter, and did not sink. A young woman, a little girl, and two children, (all natives) were in the boat when the accident happened: the young woman had the two children on her shoulders in a moment, and swam on shore with them; the girl also swam on shore, as did such of the boat's crew that could swim. Several of the natives seeing this accident as the boat drove towards the rocks, gave them every possible assistance, without which, in all probability, one of the crew would have been drowned. After clearing the boat, they collected the oars and such articles as had been driven on shore in different places; and in these friendly offices, Bannelong was very assiduous: this behaviour gave Governor Phillip an opportunity of receiving him in a more kindly manner than he had done since his bad behaviour.

Though our colonists had never been able to learn the reason for the females losing two joints of the little finger, they now had an opportunity of seeing in what manner that operation is performed. Colebe's wife brought her child to Governor Phillip's house a few days after it was born, and as it was a female, both the father and mother had been repeatedly told, that if the finger was to be cut off, the governor wished to see the operation. The child was now two months old, and a ligature was applied round the little finger at the second joint; but two or three days afterwards, when she brought the child again, the ligature was either broke, or had been taken off: this being mentioned to the mother, she took several hairs from the head of an officer who was present, and bound them very tight round the child's finger. After some time, a gangrene took place; and though the child appeared uneasy when the finger was touched, it did not cry, nor was any attention paid to it after the ligature was applied.

It has already been observed, that this operation always took place on the left hand of the females; but this child was an exception, for it was the little finger on the right hand on which the ligature was applied: this bandage was continued until the finger was ready to drop off, when its parents carried it to the surgeon, who, at their request, separated it with a knife.

Making love in this country is always prefaced by a beating, which the female seems to receive as a matter of course. The native girl, who still resided occasionally at the clergyman's, had been absent two days, when she returned with a bad wound on the head, and some severe bruises on her shoulder; the girl whose life Governor Phillip had saved, returned with her; she also had a wound on her head, and one of her arms was much bruised by a blow with a club: the story they told was, that two men who frequently visited the settlement, wanted to sleep with them, and on their refusing, had, as usual on such occasions, beat them most unmercifully.

Bannelong, after an absence of several days, returned to the settlement; and the services he had rendered the boat's crew when they were in danger of being lost, being considered as an atonement for his past offences, he was admitted into Governor Phillip's house; in consequence of this reconciliation, the number of visitors greatly increased, the governor's yard being their head quarters.

Chapter XXI


April 1791 to May 1791

An excursion into the country.--Occurrences on the journey.--Surprising dexterity of the natives in climbing trees.--Their superstition.--Their method of curing wounds.--Their language.--Their manners and disposition.

On the 11th of April, 1791, Governor Phillip left Rose-Hill with a party, intending to reach Hawkesbury-River, opposite Richmond-Hill; and, if possible, to cross the river and get to the mountains. Besides the governor, the party consisted of a servant, and three convicts, who were good marksmen, eight soldiers, two serjeants, one captain, Lieutenant Tench, and Lieutenant Dawes; they took seven days provisions with them.

As a few hours heavy rain would raise the waters at the head of the Hawkesbury, and render their return very difficult, if not impracticable, the party were made so considerable, that they might divide if it was possible to cross the river, which the governor meant to do with only half a dozen persons; leaving the remainder to prepare a raft of light wood, if any could be found, or to assist their return, with lines carried for that purpose.

It was near eleven o'clock when the party set off, and, after crossing Rose-Hill creek, they went to the northward, as Governor Phillip wished to see if, after so long a drought, there was any water in a ravine near to which he intended to place a settler, the ground being good, lying well for cultivation, and having plenty of water where the farm-house was intended to be fixed. This track of good ground runs to the eastward, and was separated from the cultivated land on the north side of Rose-Hill creek by a small patch of brush-wood, and a narrow slip of poor sandy soil.

Water being found in the bottom of the ravines, our party shaped their course so as to cross a part of the country, with which they were unacquainted, going north-west by the compass, and counting their paces. Colebe, and Ballederry, the young man who has been mentioned as living chiefly at Governor Phillip's house, were desirous of joining this party; and, as much information was expected from them, they were encouraged to go, and they carried their own provisions.

After passing several deep ravines, and going round the heads of others, over a barren country for an hour, the land grew better, and was tolerable, till one o'clock, when it again grew bad and rocky. The natives informed them that this part of the country was inhabited by the Bidjigals, but that most of the tribe were dead of the small-pox. Though the country they passed over in their morning's walk was chiefly poor stony ground, it was covered with timber, and was pleasing to the eye. At half past one o'clock, the party came to a low piece of ground where they found water, and which, in any future excursion, would be a good sleeping place. The country continued a dry, arid soil, and the surface was mostly covered with loose stones, till forty minutes past three o'clock, when they came to some pools of good water, which were very acceptable, as one of the party was taken ill. Here they made fires and laid down for the night. In the course of the day, they had seen numbers of Pattagorong, and Baggaray; in one herd, it was supposed there could not be less than forty.

Soon after the fires were lighted, the voice of a native was heard in the woods, hunting his dog; and, as Colebe and Ballederry were very desirous of having an interview with him, though they said the tribe of Bu-ru-be-ron-gal, who were bad men and their enemies, resided near the spot, they frequently hallooed, and were answered by the stranger; and, as the voice drew nearer, they desired our party would all lie down and keep silence. A light was now seen in the woods, and our natives advancing towards it, a pretty long conversation ensued between them and the stranger, who approached them with great precaution: a little boy who was with him carried the fire, which was a piece of the bark of the tea-tree. This boy being sent forward first, joined Colebe and Ballederry, who, having told the stranger their names, the tribe to which they belonged, and received the like information from him, they joined, and the stranger was now told the names of the party who remained at the fire; at the same time, some of them were desired to speak.

At Governor Phillip's approach, the boy ran away, and the man did not appear perfectly at his ease when he saw four or five persons near him, though none of them were armed. They were all introduced to the stranger by name, and he was pressed to come to their fire, which was forty or fifty yards distant; but this he declined, saying he would go and fetch his family, and would return in the morning. Colebe and Ballederry told this man that their party were going to the river, which he pointed out as lying in the direction they had taken.

When these natives first endeavoured to make themselves heard by the stranger, they had advanced some little distance from the rest, but as he approached them they retreated, and wanted the serjeant, in whom they always placed great confidence, to take his gun, and go with them, which was not permitted: this showed that they, as well as the other native, thought there was some danger in the meeting; and the caution with which the stranger approached them was very great; by sending the boy before him with the fire, he could see if those he was going to join were armed or not, whilst the trees kept him from their view. This man had a stone hatchet, a spear, and a throwing-stick, which one of our natives was very desirous of his leaving; probably as a pledge for his returning in the morning, but this he refused: he was a young man, of the tribe of Bu-ru-be-ron-gal, and named Bur-ro-wai; his hair was ornamented with the tails of several small animals, and he had preserved all his teeth. On Colebe being asked how this man lived, he said that he had no canoe, but lived by the chace.

The next morning, (the 12th of April,) our party set off at half past six o'clock, keeping their course north-west, through a poor country, though covered with timber, till three quarters past eight, when they saw the river, which, in this situation, is about 300 feet wide: the banks are high, and the soil a light sand, but producing fine strait timber: this sand, which in some places does not appear to have any mixture of mould, extends several hundred yards from the river. The party were now eighteen miles and an half from Rose-Hill, which bore from them north 28° west.

The current in the river was running down, and they set off at half past ten o'clock, to follow its windings, as it ran to the eastward. The person who was charged with counting his paces, and setting the objects to which they directed their march, had hitherto gone first; but the long sedge, the dead branches which had fallen from the trees, the nettles, and a weed resembling ivy which entangled the feet, made walking on, or near the banks of the river very fatiguing; he was therefore directed to follow the party, and to take the bearings of those who went before him from time to time, still counting his paces, that they might always know their situation in the woods, and the direction it would be necessary to take when they returned across the country.

They proceeded in an Indian file, the person who went first, always falling into the rear whenever he found himself fatigued.

Several good situations were seen on the opposite side of the river as our party went along, and the ground appeared to be good: they also passed some good spots on their side of the river, and saw several places where the natives had slept on its banks. Ducks were seen in great numbers, but the party seldom got a shot.

In the afternoon, a creek obliged them to leave the banks of the river, and go round its head, as it was too deep to cross: having rounded the head of this creek, they found themselves on the borders of a river not more than eighty feet wide; the banks were low, and covered with a thick brush, which did not make walking less laborious to those who went first. Their view was now very contracted, the ground rising on the right so as to confine the prospect to fifty or one hundred yards; and what they could see was mostly a poor stony soil. In the afternoon, they fell in with one of the native's hunting-huts, which Colebe and Ballederry would have cut to pieces, had not Governor Phillip prevented them; they said it belonged to their enemies, and they were much displeased at not being permitted to destroy it.

The natives were known to eat a grub which is found in the small gum-tree, and when our party came to the creek already mentioned, a native fled on their approach, leaving his fire, and some decayed wood he had drawn out of the creek, for the purpose of procuring a large worm which is found in it, and which they eat. The smell of this wood is so strong, that few Europeans are able to bear it for any length of time; indeed, it cannot be distinguished from the foulest privy.

At four o'clock the party halted and made fires for the night, being all pretty well tired. Just before they stopped for the night, several natives were heard, and Colebe and Ballederry wanted to join them, but they went away in their canoes.

In the morning of the 13th, the party set off again, still following the creek, which was now little larger than a good ditch, and went through a very barren rocky country, until noon, when, being at the head of the creek they crossed it, and, after resting some time, they endeavoured to go to the north-west, in order to fall in with the river which they had lost by going round the creek in the afternoon of the preceding day; but they were soon stopped by a deep ravine; and the surgeon going to a rising ground on the left, saw the country open to the westward, and thought he could distinguish Richmond-Hill; this led them all to the spot, and, from the break in the mountain, and the trending of the land, Governor Phillip imagined it to be Richmond-Hill, which they saw, being the southern extremity of a range of hills. It bore west by south, and appeared to be from eleven to thirteen miles distant, as near as could be determined.

The place from whence our party had this prospect, was called Tench's Prospect-Hill, that officer being of the party, and having from thence seen Richmond-Hill for the first time.

The spot where they had made the river on the 12th, being little more than four miles distant, it was thought best to return there, and from thence to trace the river to the westward till they got opposite to Richmond-Hill. The Governor was well aware of the difficulties they would have to encounter on the banks of a river where walking was laborious, and every little creek they met with would oblige them to follow it up the country till they could cross it; but in a country like this, you may travel many miles through the woods and not get sight of very high land, though it may not be half a mile from you.

Our party set off, in order to get back to sleep near the head of the creek, which they had crossed at noon, and which they soon attained: it was flood-tide when they got there, and they found the tide to rise about eighteen inches, making high water at nine o'clock: this was on the night of the 13th. After crossing the creek at half past seven o'clock the next morning, they shaped a course that was likely to carry them to the river, without being embarrassed with the bad walking on its banks, or the windings of the creek, until they got near the spot, from whence they proposed taking a fresh departure.

After crossing the creek, and some very rocky ground, they had good walking over a country, full of timber and pleasing to the eye; but the ground was poor, and the surface mostly covered with stones. Here some ants nests were seen, composed of an amazing number of small stones, which formed a circle of five or six feet diameter, rising regularly in the center to the height of twenty or thirty inches. An hour and a half s walking brought them to a swamp, where they stopped to fire at some ducks, and then crossing it, they continued their course nearly west 8° north till eleven o'clock, when they came to a pool of good water. The country was now sandy, and presently afterwards, they arrived on the borders of the river, and soon got to the place where they first stopped in the morning of the 12th.

Several canoes being seen, our two natives were very desirous of speaking to the persons in them, and the party were all desired to hide themselves in the grass until the canoes should come abreast of them; Colebe and Ballederry also concealed themselves, but the canoes stopping on the opposite shore before they came near, one of our natives was told to call to them, which he did, and was soon answered by an old man, who, after a short conversation, came over in his canoe, being known to Colebe.

This man joined the party without the least fear; and from the questions that were put to him respecting the river, Colebe and Ballederry concluded they had come this journey in order to procure stone hatchets, as the natives get the stones whereof they make their hatchets from that part of the river near Richmond-Hill, which the old man said was a great way off, and the road to it was very bad.

Colebe and Ballederry had at first supposed, that Governor Phillip and his party came from the settlement to kill ducks and patagorongs; but finding they did not stop at the places where those animals were seen in any numbers, they were at a loss to know why the journey was taken; and though they had hitherto behaved exceedingly well, yet, as they now began to be tired of a journey, which yielded them no sort of advantage, they endeavoured to persuade the governor to return, saying, it was a great way to the place where the stone hatchets were to be procured, and that they must come in a boat.

On the party leaving this place, the old native returned to his canoe, but he joined them soon afterwards, and gave Governor Phillip two stone hatchets, two spears, and a throwing-stick: this present was made in consequence of our two natives telling him who all the party were. In return for the old man's present, he had some bread, some fish-hooks, and a couple of small hatchets given him. The spears were well made; one of them had a single barb of wood fixed on with gum, the other had two large barbs cut out of the solid wood, and it was as finely brought to a point as if it had been made with the sharpest instrument. The throwing-stick had a piece of hard stone fixed in gum instead of the shell which is commonly used by the natives who live on the sea coast: it is with these stones, which they bring to a very sharp edge, that the natives make their spears.

The old native followed our party in his canoe as they kept along the banks of the river, and another canoe, with a woman and child, joined him: the old man observing that they did not keep near enough the water's edge to have the least fatigue in walking, came out of his canoe and took the lead, and he soon brought them to a path made by the natives, where it was very good walking, and which ran alongside the river. It was near four o'clock when they stopped for the night, and were joined by a young man and a lively little boy, who they soon found intended, as well as the old man, to take up their residence with them, though their families were on the opposite bank, and they had two fires lighted.

Though our natives appeared to be on very friendly terms with their new acquaintances, yet they certainly had no particular affection for them, and spoke of them very lightly when they were out of hearing; particularly Ballederry, who said the youngest man of the two was bad: his name was Yal-lah-mien-di; they supposed him to be the old man's son, and the child to be his grandson. The old man called himself Go-me-bee-re, and said the child's name was Jim-bah; they were of the tribe of Bu-ru-be-rong-al.

Colebe and Ballederry, in describing that tribe on the second day's journey, had called them climbers of trees, and men who lived by hunting; certainly, no persons can better deserve the appellation of climbers, if we may judge from what was seen of Go-me-bee-re, who, for a biscuit, in a very few minutes cut his notches in the bark of a tree and mounted it with surprising agility, though an old man. These notches are cut in the bark little more than an inch deep, which receives the ball of the great toe; the first and second notches are cut from the ground; the rest they cut as they ascend, and at such a distance from each other, that when both their feet are in the notches, the right foot is raised nearly as high as the middle of the left thigh: when they are going to raise themselves a step, their hatchet is held in the mouth, in order to have the use of both their hands; and, when cutting the notch, the weight of the body rests on the ball of the great toe: the fingers of the left hand are also fixed in a notch cut on the side of the tree for that purpose, if it is too large to admit their clasping it sufficiently with the left arm to keep the body close to the tree.

In this manner do these people climb trees, whose circumference is ten or fifteen feet, or upwards, after an opossum or a squirrel, though they rise to the height of sixty or eighty feet before there is a single branch.

Governor Phillip had occasionally seen a few of the natives climb the trees at Sydney and Rose-Hill, but this old man greatly surpassed them. In the evening, the four natives and the child took their places at the fire, and a scene ensued which shows that these people are not a little superstitious.

Colebe had been wounded below the left breast with a fiz-gig, and though it must have been done many years back, or the wound must have been slight, as it was difficult to discover any scar, yet it was supposed he felt some pain, though it probably might be occasioned by the straps of his knapsack; however, the youngest of the two strangers was applied to for relief.

He began the ceremony by taking a mouthful of water, which he squirted on the part affected, and then applying his mouth, he began to suck as long as he could without taking breath; this seemed to make him sick, and when he rose up, (for his patient was sitting on the ground) he walked about for a few minutes, and then began to suck again, till it was again necessary for him to take breath: this was repeated three times, and he seemed, by drawing in his stomach, to feel the pain he had drawn from the breast of his patient; and having picked up a bit of stick or stone, which he did with so little caution that several of the party saw him, he pretended to take something out of his mouth and throw it into the river. He certainly did throw something away, which must be what he picked up; but Colebe, after the ceremony was over, said it was what he had sucked from his breast, which some understood to be two barbs of a fiz-gig, as he made use of the word Bul-ler-doo-ul; but Governor Phillip was of opinion he meant two pains.

Before this business was finished, the doctor felt his patient's back below the shoulder, and seemed to apply his fingers as if he twitched something out; after which, he sat down by the patient, and put his right arm round his back; the old man, at the same time, sat down on the other side the patient, with his face the contrary way, and clasped him round the breast with his right arm; each of them had hold of one of the patient's hands, in which situation they remained a few minutes.

Thus ended the ceremony, and Colebe said he was well. He gave his worsted night cap and the best part of his supper to the doctor as a fee; and being asked, if both the men were doctors, he said, yes, and the child was a doctor also, so that it may be presumed the power of healing wounds descends from father to son.

This affair being finished, most of the party fell asleep, whilst the two doctors were amused by Colebe and Ballederry, with an account of the buildings at Sydney and Rose-Hill, and in what manner the colonists lived: in this history, names were as particularly attended to as if their hearers had been intimately acquainted with every person who was mentioned.

Though the tribe of Buruberongal, to which these men belonged, live chiefly by hunting, the women are employed in fishing, and our party were told, that they caught large mullet in the river. Neither of these men had lost their front tooth, and the names they gave to several parts of the body were such as the natives about Sydney had never been heard to make use of. Ga-dia (the penis), they called Cud-da; Go-rey (the ear), they called Ben-ne; in the word mi (the eye), they pronounced the letter I as an E; and in many other instances their pronunciation varied, so that there is good reason to believe several different languages are spoken by the natives of this country, and this accounts for only one or two of those words given in Captain Cook's vocabulary having ever been heard amongst the natives who visited the settlement.

Having taken leave of their new friends the Car-ra-dy-gans (doctors), our party set off at a quarter past seven o'clock in the morning of the 15th of April, and followed the natives path along the banks of the river, walking at a good pace till a quarter past eight o'clock, when they came to a creek which was too wide to be crossed by cutting down a tree, and was too deep to be forded; they were, therefore, obliged to follow its windings till they supposed themselves at the head of it, and then they endeavoured to regain the banks of the river; but they presently found that they had only rounded a small arm of this creek, the principal branch of which they continued to trace with infinite fatigue for the remainder of the day.

It was high water in this creek at forty minutes past twelve o'clock, and at half past three, they found it divide into two branches, either of which might have been crossed on a tree; but by this time the party were tired, and threatened with heavy rain, which would make their night very uncomfortable, as they had no tent; they therefore took up their residence at a spot where a quantity of timber, from trees, which had already been burnt down by the natives, promised them good fires with little labour.

The rain went off after a few light showers, but our two natives now began to grow quite impatient to return home. Colebe talked about his wife, and said his child would cry; and Ballederry lost all patience when the rain began, telling the governor, that there were good houses at Sydney and Rose-Hill, but that they had no house now, no fish, no melon (of which fruit all the natives are very fond); and there is no doubt but they would have left the party, had they been acquainted with the country through which they had to return. It was most likely that the greatest part of the next day would be spent in getting to that part of the river which the creek had obliged them to quit, so that two days would be taken up in getting to the opposite side of a creek, not one hundred feet wide; it was, therefore, determined to return to Rose-Hill, which bore from the sleeping place south-east, sixteen miles distant.

The river which Governor Phillip had named the Nepean in a former excursion, was then traced for some miles, and he expected to have fallen in with it this journey, and to have traced it down to where it empties itself into the Hawkesbury, which it is supposed to do above Richmond-Hill: indeed, during the first day of this excursion, he supposed it possible that the river they were then tracing might be the Nepean, but what they saw of it afterwards, left no doubt but that they had fallen in with the Hawkesbury some miles below Richmond-Hill.

In the morning of the 16th of April, at half past seven o'clock, Governor Phillip and his party set off on their return to Rose-Hill; and, as soon as they were clear of the creek, they went south 40° east, which, they supposed, would carry them into the path leading from Rose-Hill to Prospect-Hill.--The face of the country where they slept, and for several miles in their road, was a poor soil, but finely formed, and covered with the stately white gum-tree. At noon, they came to a hollow, in which they found some very good water; here they stopped near an hour: after passing this gully, and a rocky piece of ground, the soil grew better, and they soon came to a brook of good water, which they had occasion to cross twice; the soil was good, and covered with long grass: they were now drawing near to Rose-Hill, where they arrived a little before four o'clock.

The dry weather still continued, and though they had a few showers, the quantity of rain which fell in the month of April, was not sufficient to bring the dry ground into proper order for sowing the grain; a few acres, however, of what was in the best condition, were sown with wheat the last week in the month. This long continuance of dry weather, not only hurt their crops of corn very much, but the gardens likewise suffered greatly; many being sown a second and a third time, as the seed never vegetated, from the want of moisture in the soil; this was a double misfortune, for vegetables were not only growing scarce, but seed also.

The expected supply of provisions not arriving, Governor Phillip was obliged to reduce the ratio of daily subsistence; but this reduction did not extend to the women and children.

After saying that there were many of the convicts, who, if not attended to, ate their week's allowance of provisions in two or three days; it will be obvious that the labour hitherto drawn from that class of people, must be greatly lessened by the necessity the Governor was under of reducing even that allowance; indeed, it was felt by every individual, for the daily ratio of provisions issued from the public stores, was the same to the convict as it was to the governor.

Two seamen, who had belonged to the Sirius, became settlers, and were fixed on the creek leading to Rose-Hill, where they had sixty acres of ground each allotted them, and they were to be victualled from the public store for eighteen months. A person who was sent from England to superintend the labour of the convicts, also became a settler, and one hundred and forty acres of land were allotted him on the creek: he was allowed the labour of four convicts for a year, and himself and his daughter were to be victualled from the public store for twelve months.

Several convicts, whose terms for which they were sentenced were expired, were permitted to cultivate ground at the foot of Prospect-Hill, and to those who became settlers, Governor Phillip gave what live stock he could spare, as there was not any belonging to the public in the settlement; nor were individuals possessed of any considerable quantity of live stock, the greatest part having been killed the last year, when they were distressed for want of provisions; and those who were able to cultivate a little maize, were glad to make use of it as a substitute for bread.

Little more than twelve months back, hogs and poultry were in great abundance, and were increasing very rapidly; but, at this time, a hen that laid eggs sold for twenty shillings; pork sold for a shilling per pound, but there was seldom any to sell; a roasting-pig sold for ten shillings, and good tobacco for twenty shillings per pound: tobacco, the growth of this country, which, if properly cured, would probably equal the best Brazil tobacco, sold in its green state, for ten shillings per pound.

Such was the state of the colony at this time.

All the maize was now got in, and, notwithstanding the extraordinary drought for some time before, and long after it was put into the ground, the crop was not a bad one, and the cobs were remarkably large where the ground had been well prepared.

In the beginning of May, the officers and men of the New South-Wales corps went into the new barrack at Rose-Hill. The barrack for the soldiers had been finished some time, but one of the wings, which was intended for the officers, could not be compleated before the end of the month.

Those natives who had been most accustomed to live at the settlement, would now leave it frequently for several days together, as they found plenty of fish towards the head of the harbour.

The savage ferocity of these people shows itself whenever they find themselves thwarted. Bannelong and Colebe with their wives, dined at the governor's on the 8th of May, and came in as usual, to have a glass of wine and a dish of coffee; after which they left the house to go and sleep at Bannelong's hut on the point; but, in the middle of the night, Governor Phillip was called up by the cries of the young girl whom he had formerly rescued from Bannelong: she, it seems, had gone to sleep in a shed at the back of the governor's house, and Bannelong, Colebe, and two others got over the paling, and were endeavouring to carry her off, which the centinels prevented; and, as Governor Phillip did not know at the moment, but that Bannelong and those who were with him, had returned to sleep in the yard after he went to bed, and before the gate was locked, they were permitted to escape; which, indeed, could only have been prevented by ordering them to be put to death.

One of these men was seen the next day, and, being taxed with attempting to carry off the girl, he denied the charge; as the natives always do when they are not caught in the fact. Bannelong and Colebe were not seen for a week, and the latter appearing first, when accused, said he was asleep at the time, and laid the blame on Bannelong, who coming soon after, and not being able to make any excuse, or to deny being in the yard, appeared sullen; and when Governor Phillip told him that he was angry, and that the soldiers should shoot him if he ever came again to take any woman away, he very cooly replied, that then he would spear the soldier; at the same time, he said he was very hungry; and, as no advantage would have followed punishing him, he was ordered something to eat, after the threat had been repeated of his being shot, if ever he came again in the night.

It was probable, that the displeasure of Governor Phillip with Bannelong would have a better effect than any corporal punishment, which might only lead him to revenge himself on some of those who frequently went into the woods unarmed; at the same time, orders were given for the centinels to fire on any of the natives who might be seen getting over the paling in the night, and the sleeping of the women in the yard when their husbands were not with them was discouraged,

The girl was asked if the natives were going to take her away in order to beat her,--she said no, it was to force her to sleep with them; at the same time these men had left their own wives at their fires.

The Supply had now so far exceeded the time in which she generally made the voyage to and from Norfolk-Island, that fears were entertained for her safety, but they were removed by her arrival on the 30th of May. As she was the only vessel in this country, it was not without great concern that Governor Phillip found the necessary repairs she wanted would require more time than he could have wished her to remain in the harbour.

Chapter XXII


June 1791 to September 1791

A second excursion into the country.--The first grants of land to settlers.--A barter with the natives established.--The arrival of several vessels from England.--A new harbour discovered.--The names of the first settlers.

The weather continuing dry, two officers (Tench and Dawes,) who were with Governor Phillip on his last excursion, and two soldiers, set off in the beginning of June, 1791, to trace the Hawkesbury, from the place where the former party were turned off by the creek. They got opposite Richmond-Hill on the 5th day after their departure, and were assisted in crossing the river by a native, who lent his canoe to one of the soldiers that could not swim; but they afterwards found the river so very shallow near the fall, that the water did not reach above the ancles. It has already been observed, that when the floods come down from the mountains, the flat country near the head of the Hawkesbury is, in many places, under water, and the river, in that part, rises to a great height.

It now appeared that the Nepean does, as was supposed, empty itself into the Hawkesbury; and, in Governor Phillip's opinion, the fall and the sudden contraction of that noble river are very sufficient reasons for confining its name from where it empties itself into Broken-Bay up to the fall; and for continuing the name given to the river (Nepean) which was discovered in going westward from Prospect-Hill.

The buildings at Rose-Hill being carried on so far as to form hereafter a regular town between Rose-Hill and the landing-place in the creek, Governor Phillip named it Parramatta; the name given by the natives to the spot on which the town was building. Grants of land were now given to those who became settlers; and those who had been permitted to clear ground in their leisure hours, and on one day of the week which was allowed them for that purpose, went on very well.

The grants which had already been made, were, to James Ruse, thirty acres, which is called in the grant Experiment Farm: to Philip Schaffer, who came from England as a superintendant, one hundred and forty acres; called in the grant, the Vineyard: to Robert Webb and William Reid, who were seamen, lately belonging to the Sirius, sixty acres each, and which were called in the grants, Webb and Reid's Farms.

On the 4th of June, the anniversary of his Majesty's birth-day was celebrated, and, on this occasion, an addition was made to the daily ratio of provisions; a pound of pork and a pound of rice were given to each man, half that quantity to every woman, and a quarter of a pound of pork, with half a pound of rice to every child.

Some refreshing showers of rain had lately fallen, but not sufficient to bring up the wheat that was sown in April and the beginning of May; however, some came up well where the ground, lying low, had a little moisture in it.

The Supply's main-mast being got out was found very rotten, and that vessel wanted repairs which they found difficult to give her.

A soldier of the New South Wales corps, going from Parramatta with some of his comrades for the purpose of procuring sweet tea, left them to go after a pattegorong, and lost himself in the woods: after roving about for some time, he saw a number of the natives, who fled on seeing his gun, except one that had frequently visited the settlement, and was known by the name of Botany-Bay Colebe. This man joined the soldier, and was followed by one of his companions; the soldier, to gain their good-will, and in hopes of inducing them to show him the way to Parramatta, offered them some of his cloaths, which were not accepted; he made them understand where he wanted to go, but they were on the point of leaving him till he offered his gun, which the native, who was known at the settlement, took, and then conducted him to Sydney; making him understand that Parramatta was a great way off.

When they drew near to Sydney, Colebe returned the soldier his gun, and, bidding him tell Beanah, (the governor) that he was Botany-Bay Colebe, he left him, without even taking what the soldier had first offered him as a present.

As the natives frequently caught more fish than was necessary for their own immediate use, and such of them as had lived amongst the colonists, were very fond of bread, rice, and vegetables; some pains had been taken to make them carry the surplus of what fish they caught near the head of the harbour, to Parramatta, and exchange it for bread, &c. Several of them had carried on this traffic lately, and Governor Phillip had reason to hope that a pretty good fish-market would be established the ensuing summer. Amongst those who thus bartered their fish, was a young man that had lived some months with the governor, but had left him from time to time in order to go a fishing: his canoe was a new one, and the first he had ever been master of, so that it may be supposed he set no small value on it.

Strict orders had been given, that the natives' canoes should never be touched, and the interest which both the soldiers and the convict had in inducing them to bring their fish, which they exchanged for a very small quantity of bread or rice, would, it might have been supposed, have secured them from insult; but this barter had not been carried on many days, when the young man just mentioned, came to Governor Phillip's hut at Parramatta in a violent rage, said the white men had broke his canoe, and he would kill them: he had his throwing-stick and several spears, and his hair, face, arms, and breast were painted red, which is a sign of great anger: it was with some difficulty that he was made to promise not to kill a white man; which he at length did, on the governor's telling him, that he would kill those who destroyed his canoe. A short time afterwards, the villains were discovered and punished: they were convicts, and the young native saw the punishment inflicted, yet it was thought necessary to tell him that one of the offenders had been hanged, with which he appeared to be satisfied; but, whilst these men were under examination, his behaviour showed, that he thought it belonged to him to punish the injury he had received; and three weeks after the loss of his canoe, when every one thought he was sufficiently repaid for his misfortune by several little articles, which Governor Phillip had given him, by his seeing the aggressor punished, and by his supposing one of them had been put to death, he took his revenge; which confirmed the general opinion, that these people do not readily forgive an injury until they have punished the aggressor.

A convict, who strayed some distance from the settlement, was met by two young native men, a woman, and two children, who passed by him, but immediately afterwards he was wounded in the back with a spear; several spears were thrown at him, and he received a second wound in the side; however, he got away; and as it did not appear that the natives followed him to get his cloaths, or attempted to take any thing from him, there was no doubt but the canoe being destroyed was the cause of this attack; especially as the same evening, when Governor Phillip was returning from Parramatta to Sydney, he saw some natives assembled round a fire, and asking them who it was that wounded the white man, he was immediately answered, Ballederry; (the owner of the canoe which had been destroyed) he was also told the name of the young man who was with him, and of the women and children.

Indeed, it is not a little extraordinary, that these people always tell the names of those who have thrown a spear, or who have stole any thing, if the question is asked them, though they know that you intend to punish the offenders; and it cannot be from a principle of strictly adhering to truth; for, should one of them be charged with doing any thing wrong, he is sure to deny it, and to lay the blame on another who is not present; and it is not only surprising that they should always tell the name of the offender, but that they do it openly; nay, often in the hearing of women and children.

The destruction of this canoe was very unfortunate, as it was likely to prevent the natives carrying up their fish to barter; and no canoe was seen in the creek for some time afterwards. Ballederry, the owner of the canoe, was one whom Governor Phillip had hopes of attaching to himself, and intended bringing him to England.

Hawks and crows were now frequently seen in great numbers, though, at times, several months would pass without one of either species being seen. At Parramatta, after the wheat was sown, the crows were very troublesome, and though frequently fired at, they did great damage.

On the 21st of June, they had rain, which continued till the morning of the 24th, and, at times, was very violent; indeed, more rain fell in three days than had done in many months past, so that the low grounds were thoroughly soaked.

On the 9th of July, our colonists had the pleasure of seeing the signal made for a sail, and the next day, the Mary Ann transport anchored in the cove, having on board one hundred and forty-one women, and six children, all very healthy, some few excepted, who had disorders which were contracted in England, and only three persons died on the passage.

This vessel had passed through the Downs on the 25th of the preceding February, and stopped eight days at St. Jago. By this ship our colonists received some stores, and nine months provisions for the women who came in her: they had also the satisfaction of hearing that the Gorgon, whose arrival had been expected for twelve months back, was safe, and was to sail for the colony a week after the Mary Ann.

Two pounds of rice were now added to the weekly ratio of provisions, the stores not admitting a greater addition; for though an ample supply of provisions might reasonably be expected by the middle of the ensuing month, yet their situation did not admit their trusting to the various accidents, which had hitherto been so very unfavourable to the colony: however, they were now convinced, that from the plan proposed by government for furnishing the settlement with provisions until it could support itself, there was no reason to fear in future those inconveniences which they had already laboured under.

In the night of the 16th of July, a serjeant, going the rounds, found the door of the spirit cellar open, and the centinel in the cellar, drawing off wine: this man, being ordered for trial, offered himself as an evidence for the crown, and charged two of his comrades with having frequently robbed the store, of which there was not the least doubt: however, the only evidence against these men being that of an accomplice, it was not sufficient to convict them, and he saved his own life by being admitted as an evidence for the crown. He was afterwards tried by a batallion court-martial, (as being a marine, he could not be tried by a general court-martial) and sentenced to receive corporal punishment, and to be drummed out of the corps. The men he had accused were the two who had been charged with robbing the store at Rose-Hill, by one of those marines who suffered death for robbing the store at Sydney in 1788, at which time, likewise, they escaped, the only evidence against them being an accomplice under sentence of death.

The rice which they received from Batavia was not of the best kind, and was very full of dirt and wevil when landed; and the wevil had now increased to such a degree that a very considerable quantity of rice was destroyed: indeed, what remained had been thought too bad to issue to the garrison, had the stores admited of its being given to the hogs. Five pounds of this rice were estimated as only equal to two pounds of flour, with respect to the nourishment it afforded, and this estimation was deemed pretty just.

It being the intention of government, that as the time for which the convicts were sentenced, expired, they should be permitted to become settlers; those who chose to accept this bounty were received as such, and lands were granted them in the following proportion; viz. Thirty acres to the single men, fifty acres to those who were married, and ten acres more for every child. It had been proposed to victual and cloath them from the public store for twelve months, from the time they became settlers; but to encourage those who first offered themselves, Governor Phillip promised to cloath and support them for eighteen months from the public stores: they were to have the necessary tools and implements of husbandry, with seeds and grain to sow the ground the first year; two young sow pigs were also to be given to each settler, which was all the governor's stock would afford, and it has already been observed, that they had no live stock in the settlement belonging to the crown. On these conditions, twenty-seven convicts were admitted settlers; twelve of them were fixed at the foot of Prospect-Hill, four miles from Parramatta, and fifteen, at some ponds, an eligible situation about two miles to the northward of those settlers who were placed on the creek leading to Parramatta.

In laying out the different allotments, an intermediate space, equal to what was granted the settler, was retained between every two allotments, for the benefit of the crown; and as this set them at some distance from each other, and there being a wood between every two settlers, in which the natives might conceal themselves, if they were inclined to mischief, several musquets were distributed amongst the settlers, and they took possession of their allotments on the 18th of July, and began to erect their huts: however, very few days elapsed before a large body of the natives appeared in the grounds of one of the new settlers at Prospect-Hill, who, alarmed at the sight of a number of natives, (by his account more than a hundred) fired off his musquet and retreated; this, of course, encouraged them, and they advanced, and set fire to his hut, which was nearly finished.--On hearing the report of a musquet, another settler took up his arms, and running to the spot, fired on the natives, who retired to some distance.

As soon as this affair was known at Parramatta, a party of soldiers were detached, who, getting sight of about fifty of the natives, obliged them to disperse.

This circumstance induced Governor Phillip to deviate from the royal instructions, which pointed out in what manner the allotments of land were to be made; and as the only means of enabling the settlers to defend themselves against similar accidents, he granted all those intermediate lands which had been reserved for the use of the crown, to the settlers: by this means, all the land would be cleared of timber, so that the natives could find no shelter, and, in all probability, there would be little danger from them in future: however, a noncommissioned officer and three privates were detached to each settlement, with orders to remain there until the lands were cleared.

In making this arrangement, no additional ground was given to the settler, but their allotments were brought more into a square, and the ground not occupied at present, would be granted to others in future. When these settlers were placed at such a distance from Parramatta, it was on account of the soil being good, and that their live stock and gardens might not be so liable to depredations as they would have been if nearer the town.

On the 1st of August, the Matilda transport anchored at Sydney, with cloathing, provisions, and two hundred and five male convicts. She sailed from England on the 27th of the preceding March, in company with four others, and parted with them the first night. Although this ship had made so good a passage, she buried twenty-four convicts; twenty were sick, and many were in so emaciated a state, that scarcely any labour could be expected from them for some months. The Matilda had lost three days in endeavouring to get into St. Jago; she lay nine days at the Cape of Good Hope, and was two days at anchor on the Coast of New South Wales, within an island in the latitude of 42° 15' south, where the master found very good anchorage and shelter for five or six vessels. This island, by the master's account, lies twelve miles from the main.

Off Cape Dromedary, he saw a small island, which bore south-west by west, seven miles from the cape; within which, he was of opinion, two or three ships would find good shelter. An ensign and twenty privates, of the corps raised for the service of this country, came out in the Matilda, and a serjeant died on the passage.

Governor Phillip intended to have sent the Matilda to Norfolk Island, with the stores, provisions, and convicts she had brought out, as soon as the sick were landed; but she being leaky, her cargo was put on board the Mary Ann, with one hundred and thirty-three male, and one female convict; and that vessel sailed on the 8th of August. A noncommissioned officer, and eleven privates of the New South Wales corps, were sent for the security of the ship, and they were to remain on the island.

Ballederry, the young native who absented himself after wounding a man, in revenge for some of the convicts having destroyed his canoe, had lately made several enquiries by his friends, whether Governor Phillip was still angry; and they were always told in answer to those enquiries, that he was angry, and that Ballederry should be killed for wounding a white man; yet this did not deter him from coming into the cove in a canoe, and the governor being informed of it, ordered a party of soldiers to go and secure him; but Bannelong, who was present at the time, seeing the soldiers go towards the point, gave him the alarm, and he went off.

Governor Phillip was in the garden at the time Bannelong was talking to the young man who was in his canoe going out of the cove, and gave him to understand, that Ballederry should be killed; on which, he immediately called to him, and said, the governor was still very angry: Ballederry, on hearing this, went off pretty briskly to the other side of the harbour, but, in answer to the threats of punishment, spears were mentioned, though he was then at so great a distance that the governor could not distinguish whether it was himself or the soldiers which he threatened: certain it is, that these people set little value on their lives, and never fail to repay you in kind, whether you praise or threaten; and whenever a blow is given them, be it gentle or with force, they always return it in the same manner.

The Atlantic transport, Lieutenant Bowen, who was one of the agents to the transports, arrived on the 20th of August. This ship sailed from Plymouth the 23d of March, in company with the Salamander and the William and Ann, but she parted with the former vessel on the 5th of July, and with the latter on the 12th. These vessels had been to Rio de Janeiro, where they anchored the 28th of May, and sailed from thence on the 12th of June, 1791.

The Atlantic's passage may be reckoned a very good one, particularly from Rio de Janeiro to the South Cape, which was only sixty-nine days. This vessel brought out a serjeant and seventeen privates, belonging to the New South Wales corps; also provisions, stores, and two hundred and two male convicts. One soldier was lost in a gale of wind, and eighteen convicts died on the passage: few of the convicts were sick when landed, but many of them were very weak, and in a few days, forty were under medical treatment.

Lieutenant Bowen had stood into a bay on this coast, which has been mentioned as promising a good harbour, and of which he gave the following particulars.--"The latitude where he made his observation was 35° 12' south, the entrance from a mile to a mile and a half wide; the southernmost point of which is an island, almost connected with the main land; the north point is pretty high, and rises perpendicularly out of the sea. It is the southern extremity of a peninsula, that at first was taken for a long low island: the entrance runs in west-north-west for about a mile, and then turns suddenly round to the northward, forming a very capacious bason, three or four miles wide, and five or six miles in length. The soundings, as far as they could be examined, were very regular, with a bottom of slimy sand; the depth, for a considerable extent round the middle of the bay, is from thirteen to fourteen fathoms. The west side, and the head of the bay, is a white sandy beach; the eastern shore is bold and rocky. There is a small ledge or shoal in the middle of the entrance, bearing about south from the second point on the north shore, on which there was conjectured to be twenty feet water*."

[* It does not appear that there is any shoal in the entrance, as it has since been examined by the Master of the Matilda.]

The Salamander arrived on the 21st; she brought out twelve privates belonging to the New South Wales corps, and one hundred and fifty-four male convicts, with stores and provisions. Most of the convicts on board this ship were in a weak emaciated state; and they complained that they had not proper attention paid to them, after parting company with the agent. The master of the Salamander was ordered to proceed to Norfolk-Island, with the convicts, stores, and provisions he had brought out; but unfortunately it had not been foreseen that it might be expedient to send some of these ships to land their cargoes at that place, and it was therefore necessary to clear this vessel of the greatest part of the stores, in order that they might be stowed in such a manner as to permit the landing of the cargo, where, there being no good anchorage, it must be done with the ship under sail, and subject to blowing weather, where there was a necessity of keeping her always in proper trim for working.

On the 23d of August a number of natives visited the settlement, and six men, with seven or eight and twenty women and children came to Governor Phillip's house; amongst whom some bread was dividing, when he was informed that Ballederry was on the opposite side of the cove, with a number of the natives, and that he was armed, as were most of his companions.

Whether his coming in, after what had passed, proceeded from an opinion that Governor Phillip would not punish him, or from supposing himself safe whilst surrounded by so many of his countrymen, it was thought necessary to order him to be seized, as soon as those who were then in the yard eating what had been given them should be gone; for, as Ballederry could not be taken without their hearing the dispute, it was probable they would suppose themselves in danger, and make use of their spears against those who were treating them with kindness; in which case some of them must have suffered; indeed, this was the more likely to happen, as several of these men and women were strangers, who had now come to Sydney for the first time.

This party were going to dance at Botany-Bay, and, having finished their meal, and received some fish-hooks, they set off; immediately after which, a party of soldiers were ordered out to secure Ballederry; but before they got sight of him, the boy Nanbarre had heard what was going forward and left the place: on this, a serjeant with a party were sent after him; they came up with several natives, who joined them in a friendly manner, and, whilst they were talking to the serjeant, one of them attempted to wrest a firelock from a soldier, and immediately afterwards a spear was thrown, supposed to be by Ballederry. Two musquets were then fired, by which a native was wounded in the leg; but unfortunately it was neither the man who attempted to take the musquet, nor the person who threw the spear.

Soon afterwards, the natives were said to be assembled near the brick-fields; an officer was therefore ordered out with a strong party to disperse them, and to make a severe example of them, if any spears were thrown; but they never saw a native, for the boy Nanbarre, true to his countrymen, on seeing the soldiers form on the parade, ran into the woods, and stripping himself, that he might not be known, joined the natives, and put them on their guard; after which, he returned, and seeing the governor go past with some officers, whilst he was hid in a bush, he afterwards showed himself to an officer's servant, and asked where the governor and the soldiers were going, and being told, he laughed, and said they were too late, for the natives were all gone.

Bannelong came in soon afterwards with his wife, and though he was told that the soldiers were gone out to punish Ballederry for wounding a white man, yet this intelligence did not prevent him from eating a hearty dinner; and when he was going away, he left a large bundle of spears, fiz-gigs, and various other articles under Governor Phillip's care.

It might be supposed that the natives, after being fired at, and one of them being wounded, would not have trusted themselves again at the settlement for some time: this, however, was not the case: they very well understood that nothing more was intended than to punish the person who wounded the white man, and that they would not have been fired on, had not a spear been thrown at the party, who, they well knew, were looking for Ballederry; and, on the 24th, more than twenty of them called at Governor Phillip's house, in their way from Botany-Bay to the lower part of the harbour, where most of them resided; and others went to those with whom they were acquainted, with the same freedom as if nothing had happened. On enquiry being made after the man who had been wounded, they said he was gone to his tribe. Several of these people remained at the settlement all night, and amongst them were two strangers, who seemed as much at their ease as those who were old acquaintances.

Bannelong's wife was now very near her time, which gave our colonists an opportunity of seeing the preparations the women of New South Wales make on these occasions: she had two nets hanging from her neck, one of which being new, Governor Phillip was desirous of obtaining, and it was given him, after she had taken a large piece of the bark of the tea-tree out of it, nicely folded up, and which was intended to lay her infant upon; this seems to be the only preparation, which is made by lying-in women in that country.

The bark of the tea-tree is thick in proportion to the size of the tree, and is composed of a great number of layers of very thin bark, in appearance not unlike the bark of the birch-tree; but it is so very soft, that nothing this country affords can be better calculated for the purpose for which it was intended: Bannelong, however, desired to have a blanket for the child, which was given him, and the next day, a net made in the English manner, which appeared more acceptable to his wife than the one she had parted with. He told Governor Phillip that his wife intended doing him the honour of being brought to bed in his house; but the governor at length persuaded him that she would be better accommodated at the hospital.

The women do not appear to suffer any great inconvenience, while in this state, and they all seem best pleased with having boys: Bannelong often said his was to be a son.

A disorder had frequently been seen amongst the natives, which had the same appearance as the itch, and yielded to the same remedies; it was now so common, that nearly the whole of them were infected with it, and several boys were cured at the hospital by rubbing in of brimstone. Bannelong was a perfect Lazarus, and though he was easily persuaded to go to the hospital and rub himself, yet it was not possible to make him stay there till he was cured.

On the 28th of August, the William and Ann transport anchored in the cove. This vessel brought out stores and provisions, with a serjeant and thirteen privates belonging to the New South Wales corps, and several of their wives and children; also one hundred and eighty male convicts: seven died on the passage, and thirty-six were sick when they landed.

The continuance of the dry weather gave our colonists reason to fear that their crops would suffer more this year than they did the last: it was now the season for putting the maize into the ground, which was so extremely dry that there was little probability of its vegetating, if sown, before some rain fell: the sun also began to have great power, and several ponds, adjoining to which Governor Phillip had placed several settlers, were losing their water very fast.

It has already been observed, that on some particular days, the winds were heated to such a degree as to be almost insupportable, which had always been imputed to the country round the settlement being fired by the natives. Early in the morning of the 31st of August, the wind was northerly, and heated as though it came from the mouth of an oven, though no fires could then be seen; however, as the day advanced, smoke appeared over the hills, and in the evening, a considerable tract of country was seen to be on fire; some natives were likewise burning the ground on the north side of the harbour, opposite the settlement: this firing of the country, which the natives constantly do when the weather is dry, renders any observation made by the thermometer very uncertain. But if the 31st of August was an unpleasant day, the evening made ample amends, for it began to rain, and continued raining until the next day at noon.

Although few of the convicts were sick when they were first landed from the transports, yet many of them were extremely weak from long confinement, and a few days carried numbers of them to the hospital. The surgeon's returns, on the first of September, were two hundred and eighty-five convicts under medical treatment: several soldiers and seamen were likewise in the hospital with a fever of a bad sort, which was supposed to be brought on board by the convicts.

On the 4th of September, the Salamander sailed for Norfolk-Island, with one hundred and sixty male convicts, some stores, and provisions: two non-commissioned officers, and eleven privates of the New South Wales corps went as a guard.

The Mary-Ann transport returned from Norfolk-Island on the 8th, having landed all the stores, provisions, and convicts safe; but they had lost a boat in going off from the island: the sailors, however, were all saved.

A number of emu's had been seen lately, and this appears to be the season in which they breed, as a nest was found near some fresh water, at the head of the harbour, containing fourteen eggs. The nest was composed of fern, but it had more the appearance of a quantity of fern collected for a person to sit on, than a nest. Soon after taking these eggs, an old emu was seen near Prospect-Hill with some young ones; several of the settlers chased them, and the young birds were taken: they did not appear to be more than a week old, and great pains were taken to rear them, but they died, after being in Governor Phillip's possession near five weeks. Thirteen of these old birds were seen together in the course of this month, but it was a considerable time since an emu had been shot.

The pattagorong and baggaray frequently supplied our colonists with fresh meals, and Governor Phillip had three young ones, which were likely to live: he has not the least doubt but these animals are formed in the false belly, having frequently seen them in that situation, when they were so small, that it did not appear possible for them to be placed there by the female for the purpose of gaining strength, which is the general opinion, and for which purpose it is supposed nature has given them the false belly; indeed, the idea of their being formed in the false belly, and not in the womb, seems to be confirmed from the following particulars, communicated to Governor Phillip by a person who had a male and a female opossum in his possession near two years.

"On the 10th of May, I discovered the young one in the belly of the female opossum, apparently not larger than the end of my little finger. I do not exactly recollect when I had examined before, but I am sure it could not have been long, as I made a constant practice of searching for what I then found, but always had much difficulty in introducing my finger, the female contracting the orifice so extremely close. The belly of the female had for some days been observed to be increasing in size, and on the 15th of August, I saw a young one, for the first time, the mouth, or opening of the false belly, being very much dilated. In the first week of September, it was compleatly haired, and it ventured out, getting on the mother's back, but on the least alarm, it instantly returned to the false belly. On the 18th of September, I observed the young one eating sow-thistle, and it continued on the mother's back, but at night it got into the false belly. From the day I first saw the young one until now, I have generally seen the mother licking it with her tongue, and it is to be remarked, that she has driven the male away from her since the 15th of August."

Notice has already been taken of those persons who became settlers, and of the quantity of land allotted them; however, as the subjoined table shows every particular respecting them in one point of view, it may not, perhaps, be unacceptable.


Names.           When became       Quantity of  Place where.
                 Settlers.         land granted.

Philip Schaffer. Superintendant.   One hundred  and On the north side
                 30th March, 1791. forty acres. of the creek leading
                                                to Parramatta.
                 The following were
                 all marines or sailors.
Robert Webb.     Ditto             Sixty acres.
William Reid.    Ditto             Sixty acres.
Robert Watson.   5th April.        Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
John Drummond.   5th April.        Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
James Proctor.   5th April.        Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
Peter Hibbs.     5th April.        Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
Owen Cavenaugh.  5th April.        Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
James Painter.   5th April.        Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
William Mitchell.5th April.        Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
William Hambly.  5th April.        Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
Charles Heritage.5th April.        Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
Samuel King.     5th April.        Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
William Mitchell.                  Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
Thomas Bramwell.                   Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
Thomas Bishop.                     Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
John M'Carthey.                    Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
Lawrence Richards.                 Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
John Munday.                       Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
Thomas Chipp.                      Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
William Strong.                    Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
James M'Manus.                     Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
Thomas O'Bryen.                    Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
Richard Knight.                    Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
Abraham Hand.                      Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
William Dempsey.                   Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
Thomas Sculley.                    Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
John Barrisford.                   Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
James Redmond.                     Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
William Tonks.                     Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
Thomas Halfpenny.                  Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
William Standley.                  Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
John Gowen.                        Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
Thomas Dukes.                      Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
James Williams.                    Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
Daniel Standfield.                 Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
John Roberts.                      Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
William Simms.                     Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
John Foley.                        Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
Patrick Connell.                   Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
John Redman.                       Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
Thomas Spencer.                    Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.
John Scott.                        Sixty acres. Norfolk Island.


Names.           When became       Quantity of   Place where.
                 Settlers.         land granted.

James Ruse.      30th March, 1791. Thirty acres. Parramatta.
Charles Williams.18th July.        Thirty acres. South side of the
                                                 creek leading to
James Stuart.    18th July.        Twenty acres. South side of the
                                                 creek leading to
George Lisk.     18th July.        Thirty acres. Four miles to
                                                 the westward of
William Kilby.   18th July.        Fifty acres.  Four miles to
                                                 the westward of
William Butler.  18th July.        Fifty acres.  Ditto.
John Nicholls.   18th July.        Thirty acres. Ditto.
John Ramsay.     18th July.        Fifty acres.  At the ponds, two
                                                 miles to the
                                                 north-east of
Mathew Everingham.18th July.       Fifty acres.  Ditto.
John Summers.    18th July.        Thirty acres. Ditto.
John Richards.   18th July.        Thirty acres. Ditto.
William Field.   18th July.        Fifty acres.  Ditto.
Joseph Bishop.   18th July.        Fifty acres.  Ditto.
Curtis Brand.    18th July.        Thirty acres. Ditto.
John Silverthorn.18th July.        Thirty acres. Four miles to the
                                                 westward of Parramatta.
Thomas Martin.   18th July.        Thirty acres. Ditto.
Samuel Griffiths.18th July.        Thirty acres. Ditto.
James Castles.   18th July.        Thirty acres. Ditto.
Joseph Morley.   18th July.        Fifty acres.  Ditto.
William Hubbard. 18th July.        Fifty acres.  At the ponds, two miles
                                                 to the north-east of
John Anderson.   18th July.        Fifty acres.  Ditto.
William Elliott. 18th July.        Thirty acres. Ditto.
Joseph Marshall. 18th July.        Thirty acres. Ditto.
Edward Varndell. 18th July.        Thirty acres. Ditto.
Simon Burn.      17th August.      Fifty acres.  At the northern boundary
                                                 farms, two miles from
John Brown.      17th August.      Sixty acres.  Ditto.
William Moulds.  17th August.      Thirty acres. Ditto.
John Baffen.     17th August.      Fifty acres.  Ditto.
John Williams.   17th August.      Fifty acres.  Ditto.
Edward Pugh,     17th August.      Seventy acres.Four miles to the
                                                 westward of Parramatta.
William Parish.  17th August.      Sixty acres.  Ditto.
Robert Forrester.                  Ten acres.    Norfolk Island.
James White.                       Ten acres.    Norfolk Island.
William Cross.                     Ten acres.    Norfolk Island.
James Walbourne.                   Ten acres.    Norfolk Island.
Benjamin Fentum.                   Ten acres.    Norfolk Island.
Peter Woodcock.                    Ten acres.    Norfolk Island.
Edward Kimberly.                   Ten acres.    Norfolk Island.
John Welch.                        Ten acres.    Norfolk Island.
William Bell.                      Ten acres.    Norfolk Island.
John Turner.                       Ten acres.    Norfolk Island.
Thomas Kelley.                     Thirty acres. At the ponds, two miles
                                                 to the north-east of
William Parr.                      Fifty acres.  At the northern boundary
                                                 farms, two miles from
John Herbert.                      Sixty acres.  Four miles to the
                                                 westward of

Chapter XXIII


September 1791 to December 1791

Arrival of the Gorgon, and several transports at Port Jackson.--The number of convicts brought out in these vessels.--A whale-fishery established on the Coast of New South Wales.

On the 21st of September, 1791, the Gorgon, Captain John Parker, came into the harbour. She sailed from Spithead on the 15th of the preceding March, had stopped at Teneriff, St. Jago, and the Cape of Good Hope; and having received on board as much of the provisions and stores, which were of the Guardian's cargo, as the ship could stow, together with three bulls, twenty-three cows, four rams, sixty-two ewes, and one boar; she left the Cape on the 30th of July.

Captain King returned in this ship, his Majesty having been pleased to give him the rank of master and commander in the navy, with a commission as Lieutenant-Governor of Norfolk Island, in consideration of his useful services.

The chaplain of the New South Wales corps, and several who were appointed to civil employments, came out likewise in the Gorgon, and as she was to bring out stores and provisions, her lower deck guns were left in England, and her complement reduced to one hundred men. Of the cattle received on board the Gorgon, at the Cape of Good Hope, three bulls, six cows, three rams, and nine ewes died on the passage; one cow died soon after landing, and the ewes were severely afflicted with the scab, but it was hoped they would soon recover: the bulls all dying was an unfortunate circumstance; however, our Colonists had a bull calf and patience still left. Seed and a variety of fruit-trees in good condition were likewise received by the Gorgon; and when she left the Cape, five transports were preparing to leave it for this colony.

Thirty male convicts were on board the Gorgon, and assisted in working the ship, her complement as a store-ship being only one hundred men, officers included. On the 26th of September, the Queen transport, having Lieutenant Blow on board as an agent, arrived from Ireland with provisions, and one hundred and twenty-six male, and twenty-one female convicts: seven male convicts and one female died on the passage.

The Active transport arrived the same day with provisions, and one hundred and fifty-four male convicts: both these ships brought a part of the Guardian's cargo from the Cape of Good Hope, and detachments from the New South Wales corps.

The weather still continued showery, and the gardens began to promise plenty of vegetables; the wheat also, which, it was feared, would have been lost by the long continuance of dry weather, improved greatly in appearance: nearly all the maize was put into the ground, and the greater part of it was up. The weather had lately been very unsettled, but better than what Governor Phillip ever found it in the Brazils at this season of the year.

The surgeon's return of sick was greatly increased since the arrival of the last vessels; for though the number of sick convicts were not considerable when landed from the ships, they were, in general, greatly emaciated, and appeared starved, and worn out with confinement. The return of sick on the 1st of October was three hundred and four convicts. One soldier, fifteen male, and one female convict, with three children, died in the last month; and two convicts were lost in the woods.

The Albemarle transport, Lieutenant R. P. Young as agent, arrived on the 13th, and the Britannia came in the next day: the Albemarle brought out twenty-three soldiers and one woman of the New South Wales corps, two hundred and fifty male, and six female convicts, one free woman, a convict's wife and one child. Thirty-two male convicts died on the passage, and forty-four were sick on their arrival. The Britannia brought out thirteen soldiers, one woman, and three children of the New South Wales corps, and one hundred and twenty-nine male convicts. One soldier and twenty-one convicts died on the passage, and thirty-eight were sick when landed.

When these vessels came in, the Admiral Barrington transport was off the port, but it blowing hard on the night of the 14th, that ship was not in sight the next day.

The convicts on board the Albemarle, during the passage, attempted to seize on the ship, and the ringleader, having knocked down a centinel, and seized his sword, got on the quarter-deck, and was going to kill the seaman at the helm; but the master of the ship, hearing a noise, took up a blunderbuss, which was loaded, and discharged it at the villain, who finding himself wounded, dropped the sword and ran away. Many of the convicts had got their irons off, and were rushing aft for the quarter-deck; but, on seeing their leader wounded, they ran forward and hid themselves, so that the whole business was put an end to in a few minutes.

After a short conversation amongst the officers, two of the ringleaders were hanged, and two seamen, who had furnished the convicts with knives, and who were to have conducted the ship to America after all the officers and ship's company, with the soldiers, had been put to death, were landed at Madeira, in order that they might be sent to England: they were both Americans, and one of them had a superficial knowledge of navigation.

The Admiral Barrington arrived on the 16th of October. This ship brought out a captain, three noncommissioned officers, and twenty-four privates of the New South Wales corps, with two hundred and sixty-four male convicts: four women came out with their husbands, who were convicts, and two children. Ninety-seven were sick on board this ship.

The whole number of convicts embarked on board the ten transports, including thirty in the Gorgon, were one thousand six hundred and ninety-five males, sixty-eight females, and eleven children; of whom, one hundred and ninety-four males, four females, and one child died on the passage.

What provisions were in the store, added to those which were brought out in these transports, would not furnish many months provisions for this colony; Governor Phillip, therefore, took the Atlantic into the service as a naval transport.

The Lieutenant-Governor of Norfolk Island, Captain Paterson, of the New South Wales corps, with part of his company, twenty-nine marines who had been discharged to become settlers; several convicts, whose time of transportation being expired, were admitted as settlers, with thirty-three male, and twelve female convicts, and a considerable quantity of stores and provisions were embarked on board the Atlantic, for Norfolk Island, under the direction of Lieutenant Bowen, as naval agent; who, after landing what he had on board for the island, had orders to proceed to Calcutta, where he was to load with provisions for the colony.

The great number of spermaceti whales that had been seen on the coast of New South Wales, induced the masters of those vessels which were fitted out for that fishery, and intended, after landing the convicts, to proceed to the north-west coast of America, to try for a cargo here: indeed, the master of the Britannia, a vessel belonging to Messieurs Enderbys, of London, who have the merit of being the first that adventured to the South Seas for whales, assured Governor Phillip, that he had seen more spermaceti whales in his passage from the south cape to Port Jackson, than he had ever seen on the Brazil coast, although he had been six years on that fishery.

No time was lost by the masters of these ships in getting ready for sea: the Britannia sailed on the 25th of October, in company with the William and Ann: the Mary Ann and the Matilda sailed the day before, and the Salamander sailed on the 1st of November. The Britannia returned from her cruize on the 10th of November, being the first ship which had ever fished for whales on the coast of New South Wales.

The following letter from the Master of the Britannia, to Messrs. Enderbys, his owners, we subjoin for the reader's satisfaction, because it shows the first introduction of a whale-fishery, on the coast of New South Wales.

Ship Britannia, Sydney, Port-Jackson,

November 29, 1791.

Messrs. Samuel Enderby and Sons,


I have the pleasure to inform you of our safe arrival in Port Jackson, in New South Wales, October 13, after a passage of fifty-five days from the Cape of Good Hope. We were only six weeks from the Cape to Van Diemen's Land, but met with contrary winds after we doubled Van Diemen's Land, which made our passage longer than I expected. We parted company with our agent the next day after we left the Cape of Good Hope, and never saw him again till we arrived at Port-Jackson, both in one day. The Albemarle and we sailed much alike. The Admiral Barrington arrived three days after us. I am very well myself, thank God, and all the crew are in high spirits. We lost in all on our passage from England twenty-one convicts and one soldier. We had one birth on our passage from the Cape. I tried to make and made the island of Amsterdam, and made it in the longitude of 76° 4' 14" east from Greenwich, by a good lunar observation: my intention was to run close to it to discover whether the sealing business might not have been carried on there; but the weather was so bad, and thick weather coming on, I did not think it prudent to attempt it, likewise to lose a night's run, and a fair wind blowing.

The day before we made it we saw two shoals of sperm-whales. After we doubled the south-west cape of Van Diemen's Land, we saw a large sperm whale off Maria's-Islands, but did not see any more, being very thick weather and blowing hard, till within fifteen leagues of the latitude of Port Jackson. Within three leagues of the shore, we saw sperm whales in great plenty: we sailed through different shoals of them from twelve o'clock in the day till after sun-set, all round the horizon, as far as I could see from the mast-head: in fact, I saw a very great prospect in making our fishery upon this coast and establishing a fishery here. Our people were in the highest spirits at so great a sight, and I was determined, as soon as I got in and got clear of my live lumber, to make all possible dispatch on the fishery on this coast.

On our arrival here, I waited upon his Excellency Governor Phillip, and delivered my letters to him. I had the mortification to find he wanted to dispatch me with my convicts to Norfolk-Island, and likewise wanted to purchase our vessel to stay in the country, which I refused to do. I immediately told him the secret of seeing the whales, thinking that would get me off going to Norfolk-Island, that there was a prospect of establishing a fishery here, and might be of service to the colony, and left him. I waited upon him two hours afterwards with a box directed to him: he took me into a private room, he told me he had read my letters, and that he would render me every service that lay in his power; that next morning he would dispatch every long-boat in the fleet to take our convicts out, and take our stores out immediately, which he did accordingly, and did every thing to dispatch us on the fishery. Captain King used all his interest in the business; he gave his kind respects to you.

The secret of seeing whales our sailors could not keep from the rest of the whalers here, the news put them all to the stir, but have the pleasure to say, we were the first ship ready for sea; notwithstanding they had been some of them a month arrived before us. We went out, in company with the William and Ann, the eleventh day after our arrival. The next day after we went out, we had very bad weather, and fell in with a very great number of sperm whales.

At sun-rising in the morning, we could see them all round the horizon. We run through them in different bodies till two o'clock in the afternoon, when the weather abated a little, but a very high sea running. I lowered away two boats, and Bunker followed the example; in less than two hours we had seven whales killed, but unfortunately a heavy gale came on from the south-west, and took the ship aback with a squall, that the ship could only fetch two of them, the rest we were obliged to cut from, and make the best of our way on board to save the boats and crew. The William and Ann saved one, and we took the other and rode by them all night with a heavy gale of wind. Next morning it moderated, and we took her in; she made us twelve barrels.

We saw large whales next day, but were not able to lower away our boats; we saw whales every day for a week after, but the weather being so bad, we could not attempt to lower a boat down: we cruized fifteen days in all, having left our sixty shakes of butts on shore with the Gorgon's cooper, to set up in our absence, which Captain Parker was so kind as to let us have, and wanting to purchase more casks of Mr. Calvert's ships, and having no prospect of getting any good weather, I thought it most prudent to come in and refit the ship, and compleat my casks and fill my water, and by that time the weather would be more moderate.

The day after we came in, the Mary-Ann came in off a cruize, having met with very bad weather, shipped a sea, and washed her try-works overboard. He informed me, he left the Matilda in a harbour to the northward, and that the Salamander had killed a forty barrel whale, and lost her by bad weather. There is nothing against making a voyage on this coast but the weather, which I expect will be better next month; I think to make another month's trial of it.

If a voyage can be got upon this coast, it will make it shorter than going to Peru; and the governor has been very attentive in sending greens for refreshment to our crew at different times. Captain Parker has been kind, and has given me every assistance that lay in his power; he carries our long-boat home, as we cannot sell her here: he will dispose of her for you, or leave her at Portsmouth: he will wait upon you on his arrival in London. Captain Ball, of the Supply, who is the bearer of this letter, has likewise been very kind, and rendered us every service that lay in his power; he will wait upon you likewise.

The colony is all alive, expecting there will be a rendezvous for the fishermen. We shall be ready to sail on Tuesday the 22d, on a cruize. The Matilda has since arrived here; she saw the Salamander four days ago: she had seen more whales, but durst not lower their boats down: she has been into harbour twice. We have the pleasure to say, we killed the first four whales on this coast.

I have enclosed you the certificates for the convicts, and receipts for the stores. Captain Nepean has paid every attention to me, and has been so kind as to let us have a cooper: he dines with me to-morrow. I am collecting you some beautiful birds, and land animals, and other curiosities for you. The ship remains tight and strong, and in good condition. I will write you by the Gorgon man of war; she sails in about a month or six week's time.

I am, Sirs,

Your humble servant,


The Matilda and the Mary-Ann transports returned from their fishing-cruize on the 10th of November. These vessels had run to the southward in search of seals, and met with very bad weather, but saw no fish. The Matilda had put into Jervis-Bay, which, according to the master's account, is a very fine harbour, the anchorage very good, and capable of receiving the largest ships. These two vessels, after refitting, sailed again to try for fish on this coast.

Our colonists began to reap the barley on the 22d of November, and the wheat was getting ripe.

The Supply armed tender, after having been under repair from the time she returned from Norfolk-Island, was found, on a survey, to be in so bad a state, that the best repair which could be given her in this country, would only render her serviceable for six months longer; Governor Phillip, therefore, ordered her to England, and she sailed on the 26th of November.

From the debilitated state in which many of the convicts were landed from the last ships, the number of sick were greatly increased; the surgeon's returns on the 27th, being upwards of four hundred sick at Parramatta; and the same day medicines were distributed to one hundred and ninety-two at Sydney. To the number of sick at Parramatta, upwards of one hundred may be added, who were so weak that they could not be put to any kind of labour, not even to that of pulling grass for thatching the huts. Forty-two convicts died in the month of November, and in these people nature seemed fairly to be worn out; many of them were so thoroughly exhausted that they expired without a groan, and apparently without any kind of pain.

Showers of rain had been more frequent lately than for many months past, but not in the abundance which the ground required; and, from the extreme dryness of the weather, and from the ground not being sufficiently worked before the maize was put into it, a great number of acres were likely to be destroyed. This was one of the many inconveniencies the settlement laboured under, from the want of people to employ in agriculture, who would feel themselves interested in the labour of those that were under their direction, and who had some knowledge as farmers.

The following parcels of land were in cultivation at Parramatta, in November, 1791.

351  2  5 in Maise.
 44  1  8 Wheat.
  6  1 30 Barley.
  1  0  0 Oats.
  2  0  3 Potatoes.
  4  2  0 Not cultivated, but cleared.
  4  2 15 Mostly planted with vines.
  6  0  0 The governor's garden, partly sown with maize and wheat.
 80  0  0 Garden-ground belonging to individuals.
 17  0  0 Land in cultivation by the New South Wales corps.
150  0  0 Cleared, and to be sowed with turnips.
 91  3  2 Ground in cultivation by settlers.
 28  0  0 Ground in cultivation by officers of the civil and military.
134  0  0 Inclosed, and the timber thinned for feeding cattle.

The above grounds were measured by David Burton, the public gardener, who observes, that the soil in most places is remarkably good, and only wants cultivation to be fit for any use, for the ground that has been the longest in cultivation bears the best crops.

Of the convicts who were received by the last ships, there were great numbers of the worst of characters, particularly amongst those who came from Ireland, and whose great ignorance led them into schemes more destructive to themselves than they were likely to be to the settlement. Some of these people had formed an idea that they could go along the coast, and subsist on oysters and other shell-fish, till they reached some of the Chinese settlements: others had heard that there were a copper coloured people only one hundred and fifty miles to the northward, where they would be free. Full of these notions, three parties set off; but, after straggling about for many days, several of them were taken, and others returned to the settlement. Governor Phillip was less inclined to inflict any punishment on these people, than to punish those who had deceived them by the information of "not being far from some of the Chinese settlements, and near people who would receive them, and where they would have every thing they wanted, and live very happy:"

These reasons most of them assigned for going into the woods, and where some of them still remained, dreading a severe punishment if they returned: a general pardon was therefore promised to all those who came back within a certain time, as several were supposed to be lurking in the woods near the settlement; however, some of these wretches were so prepossessed with the idea of being able to live in the woods and on the sea-coast until they could reach a settlement, or find a people who would maintain them without labour, that several who were brought in when almost famished, and carried to the hospital, went away again as soon as they were judged able to return to their labour; and although what would be called a day's work in England is very seldom done by any convict in the settlement, yet some of them declared that they would sooner perish in the woods than be obliged to work; and forty were now absent.

In order to give those who might be still lurking near the settlement an opportunity of returning, all the convicts were assembled, and a pardon was promised to all who returned within five days; at the same time they were assured that very severe punishment would be inflicted on any who were taken after the expiration of that time, or who should in future attempt to leave the settlement.

Several appeared sensible of the lenity shown them when their irons were taken off, but some of them appeared capable of the most desperate attempts, and even talked of seizing on the soldiers arms; they were, however, informed, that no mercy would be shown to any who were even seen near those that might make an attempt of the kind.

All the whalers who came into the harbour to refit, sailed again by the 1st of December, and the Albemarle and the Active transports sailed on the 2d for Bombay, where they were to load with cotton for England.

A new store was now covered in at Sydney, which was the best that had been built in the colony; and was intended for the convicts cloathing and the implements of husbandry: it has a second floor, and is eighty feet in length by twenty-four feet in breadth. A building of fifty-six feet by twenty-four was likewise covered in at Parramatta, and was intended for a place of worship, until a church could be built.

The idea of finding a Chinese settlement at no great distance to the northward, still prevailed amongst the Irish convicts; and on the 4th of December, two of them stole the surgeon's boat, but they only got a few miles to the northward of the harbour when they were obliged to run her on shore. Some officers who were out a shooting, saw this boat on the beach, and stove a plank in her, that she might not be carried away; they also saw the two men, who ran into the woods; however, a convict who had been six weeks in the woods, and was scarcely able to walk, gave himself up to the officers, and, with their assistance, was able to return to Sydney.

Many of those convicts who left the settlement, as has already been related, came back; some were still missing, and several were said to be killed by the natives. The miserable situation of those who returned to the settlement, would, it was believed, most effectually prevent any more excursions of the like nature.

On the 5th of December, the Queen transport returned from Norfolk-Island, with the lieutenant-governor of the territory, who was relieved by Lieutenant-Governor King; a detachment of marines who had been doing duty on the island; a party of the New South Wale corps, who were relieved by Captain Paterson, and some convicts, whose times for which they had been sentenced were expired.

By the 7th, the Gorgon was nearly ready for sea, and the detachment of marines who came from England in the first ships was ordered to hold themselves ready to embark, except one captain, three lieutenants, eight non-commissioned officers, and fifty privates, who were to stay at Port Jackson until the remainder of the New South Wales corps should arrive: those marines who were desirous of becoming settlers, remained likewise, to the number of thirty-one.

Governor Phillip had frequently been solicited by Bannelong, to receive Ballederry, the native who wounded a convict in June, 1791, into favour again, but he always refused; however, on the 14th of December, he was informed that Ballederry was extremely ill. The surgeon had been to see him, and found him in a fever; and the first question he asked was, whether the Governor was still angry, or if he would let him be brought to the hospital to be cured. Bannelong had fetched the surgeon to Ballederry, and returned with him to Governor Phillip; who saying he was not angry, and telling him to bring his companion to the settlement, he said he would; so, early the next morning, Ballederry was brought in. At first, he seemed under great apprehensions, but they presently subsided, on the governor taking him by the hand, and promising that when he was recovered he should reside with him again. Poor Ballederry appeared to be very ill, and went with the surgeon to the hospital.

Of those convicts who were received from the last ships, one hundred and fourteen males, and two females, died before the 15th of December: the number of sick had considerably decreased lately; the surgeon's list being now reduced from six hundred and two to four hundred and three.

The Matilda and the Mary-Ann transports came into the harbour on the 16th; these ships had been out but nine days. The Matilda had been into Jervis-Bay, but had not seen any spermaceti whales. The Mary-Ann fell in with one shoal; it was in the evening when all the boats were absent from the ship: the master was in hopes they should have the fish about them the next morning, but he had the mortification to find that a current had driven the ship fifty miles to the southward.

The Gorgon dropped down the harbour on the 17th of December, Captain Parker intending to sail the next day. The detachment under the command of Major Ross were embarked, agreeable to the orders which had previously been given.

Here closes the Journal of Governor Phillip; which contained the latest accounts from New South Wales; being received by the Gorgon, that left Port Jackon in December, 1791.

The following Journal of Lieutenant Ball of the Supply, is subjoined; because it contains an account of a voyage from Port Jackson by the route of Cape Horn, which was made in a shorter time than had ever been performed by any other vessel.

Chapter XXIV


November 1791 to April 1792

The Supply leaves Port Jackson.--Receives some damage in a storm.--Doubles Cape Horn.--Passes Staten's land.--Anchors at Rio Janeiro.--Refreshments procured.--Departure from Rio Janciro.--Proceeds towards England.--Arrives off the Lizard.--Particulars respecting Norfolk-Island.

Having received orders from Governor Phillip to get the Supply ready for sea, I had every thing in readiness by the 25th of November; and early the next morning, we weighed anchor, and stood out of Sydney Cove, with a moderate breeze at east-north-east, and pleasant weather.

I had a Kanguroo on board, which I had directions to carry to Lord Grenville, as a present for his Majesty.

Governor Phillip, accompanied by Captain John Parker, of the Gorgon, breakfasted on board the Supply the morning of our departure; and soon afterwards they left us, and proceeded to the look-out at Port Jackson.

At four o'clock in the afternoon, we lost sight of the land, and stood to the southward, with a moderate breeze at north-east. In the forenoon of the 29th, the wind shifted to the southward, and blew a very strong gale, which brought us under low sail, but at five o'clock the weather grew moderate.

A vast number of birds were about the ship, and a land bird, of a singular kind, was caught: our latitude, at noon, was 38° 31' south, and the longitude 154° 23' east.

On the 2d of December, we saw a whale; our latitude, at noon, was 44° 21' south, and the longitude, by lunar observation, 156° 20' east: the variation of the compass, 10° 00' east. I now ordered the ship to be well cleaned every day between decks, being firmly convinced that cleanliness conduces very much to preserve the health of seaman. On the 4th, we had light, variable winds, chiefly from the northward: the latitude, at noon, was 47° 10' south, the longitude, by observed distances of the sun and moon, 160° 20', and the variation of the compass 11° 20' east.

In the afternoon, a thick fog came on, with light drizzling rain, which continued till the forenoon of the 5th, when the fog dispersed, and the weather cleared up. We saw some rock weed, and a great number of blue petrels and albatrosses were about the ship. In the afternoon, we passed more rock weed, and saw a number of whales. On the 6th, we had a fresh gale from the southward, and saw a vast number of petrels; albatrosses, &c. were about the vessel: we passed a great quantity of rock-weed, and perceiving the water to change colour, we hove to, and sounded, but got no bottom with 120 fathoms of line. The wind continued to blow strong from the southward, which brought on a very high, irregular swell, and occasioned the ship to labour and work very much: we still passed vast quantities of rock-weed, and had a number of birds about the ship. The latitude, at noon on the 8th, was 50° 44' south, and the longitude, by the time-keeper, 172° 56' east. The ship laboured greatly, which occasioned her to make water in her top-sides.

Great numbers of petrels, gulls, albatrosses, &c. were daily seen about the ship, and a whale was seen in the afternoon of the 10th. The wind continued to blow from the southward, strong and in squalls, until the 12th, when it shifted to the northward and westward. The latitude, at noon, was 53° 56' south, and the longitude, by the time-keeper, 188° 49' east.

At two o'clock in the morning of the 13th, the ship was pooped with a very heavy sea, which entirely stove in the two midship windows of the stern, and filled the cabin with water, great part of which ran down into the bread-room. In the afternoon of the 14th, a violent squall came on from the westward, which at six o'clock increased to a perfect storm, with an exceeding high sea; this occasioned me to keep the ship before it, and I found her steer very well; indeed, much better than I could possibly have expected in such a situation.

The weather continued squally, with hail and snow, until the morning of the 16th, when the wind shifted to the southward, and the weather grew more moderate. The latitude, at noon, was 52° 58' south, and the longitude 207° 09' east. On the 20th, we passed a large patch of sea-weed; several gulls and divers sea-birds were at that time about the ship. Portable soup, essence of malt, and sour krout were now served out to the ship's company. The weather was thick and foggy, which prevented us from getting any observation until the 22d, when our latitude, at noon, was 53° 59' south, and the longitude, by the time-keeper, 231° 36' east. A number of sheerwaters and petrels were about the ship. We had frequent squalls, attended with hail and snow.

On the 24th, the wind shifted to the eastward, and the weather was more moderate, but on the 27th, it again got to the westward, blowing strong, and in violent squalls, attended with snow and hail. A great number of albatrosses, blue petrels, and sheerwaters were about the ship; a high, irregular sea caused her to labour much, and she made a deal of water in her topsides. The latitude, at noon, was 57° 32' south, and 245° 42' east longitude. On the 29th, the longitude, by the time-keeper, was 259° 16' east, and by account 256° 50' east; at the same time the latitude was 56° 30' south. The wind was still to the westward, attended with very heavy rain. In the morning of the 31st, the wind blew strong from the northward. Great numbers of gulls were about the ship, and we passed a deal of rock-weed.

During the 1st and 2d of January, 1792, the wind was variable, frequently shifting from north-north-west to west-south-west and south-east by east. At noon on the 3d, we were in 56° 15' south latitude, and 281° 57' east longitude. The next forenoon, we saw a seal, and had a number of albatrosses about the ship: we now had strong gales from the north-east quarter, attended with snow and sleet. A heavy squall came on in the morning of the 5th, and in hauling down the main-top-mast staysail, the brails broke, and the sail was blown in pieces, the greatest part of which fell overboard before it could be got down and stowed.

In the afternoon, we saw several gulls, a seal, and some shell-drakes. At noon on the 6th, we saw Cape Horn, bearing west-south-west half west, and the northernmost land in sight, west half south, distant six or seven leagues. At that time, our latitude was 56° 02' south, and the longitude 291° 45' east. At eight o'clock in the morning of the 7th, we saw Staten Land, bearing from north by west to north-west by west half west, twelve or thirteen leagues distant: at noon, the north point bore north, a little westerly, distant about eight leagues. In the afternoon, several whales were seen near the ship, the body of Staten Land then bore south-south-west. The wind, which for some days had been to the southward, shifted, in the morning of the 8th, to north-west, with a moderate breeze and fine weather. In the afternoon, we passed some pieces of sea-weed, amongst which was a seal; we also saw another seal and some penguins: several whales and large flocks of blue petrels were about the ship. The next forenoon, we passed some sea-weed and a number of penguins; on which we sounded, but got no ground with 100 fathoms of line. Our latitude, at noon, was 52° 58' south, and longitude, by the time-keeper, 296° 13' east. We sounded again in the evening, but got no ground with 145 fathoms of line. At midnight, we had a calm for about two hours, the weather thick and foggy, with thunder and lightning to the southward.

Early in the morning, the fog cleared a little, and a light breeze sprung up from the northward. Many seals and whales were about the ship; and in the afternoon, we saw a number of penguins. At eight o'clock in the evening we sounded, and had 96 fathoms of water, over a bottom of fine sand and mud. During the night, we had moderate breezes from the southward, attended with small rain. In the forenoon of the 11th, we saw a great number of whales, and several penguins. During the afternoon and night, we had strong gales from the southward, attended with frequent squalls. The next forenoon, we saw several large patches of sea-weed: the wind still continued to blow very strong from the southward, which occasioned a high sea; and the ship rolling very much, occasioned her to make a deal of water in her upper works. In the morning of the 13th, the weather grew more moderate: we saw a port Egmont hen, and several pieces of rock-weed. At noon our latitude was 45° 46' south, and the longitude 302° 49' east.

On the 15th, the weather grew moderate, the wind to the northward. Some observed distances of the sun and moon on the 16th, gave 305° 46' east longitude; the latitude at that time was 42° 34' south. In the afternoon of the 17th, we had a strong appearance of a current, and passed a large number of whales. The next day, the water being discoloured, we sounded with 160 fathoms of line, but got no ground. The wind still kept to the northward, with moderate breezes and fine weather.

Essence of malt and vinegar were served to the ship's company on the 24th, and every precaution was taken to preserve their health. In the evening, we had much lightning to the northward: the wind blew fresh from the north-east, and we had frequent heavy squalls attended with rain. Towards noon on the 26th, the wind grew light and variable: the latitude was 32° 20' south, and the longitude 311° 02' east. In the evening, we had much lightning to the northward: towards midnight, a fresh breeze sprung up from the south-east.

The next forenoon, we saw a turtle and several flying-fish; and at six o'clock in the afternoon, we saw a brig to the northward, and soon afterwards spoke with her. At six o'clock in the morning of the 28th, we saw the land bearing from north-west to west-south-west. We sounded in 26 fathoms of water, over a bottom of soft mud. At eight o'clock, some high level land bore west half south, eight or nine leagues distant. I ordered the jolly-boat to be hoisted out, and we tried the current, which was found to set north-east by north, at the rate of half a mile an hour, or nearly. At noon, we had clear soundings in 24, 22, 20, and 18 fathoms over a bottom of fine brown sand and mud. At six o'clock, we tacked, the extremes of the land bearing from south-west to north by east; the nearest land about four miles distant. During the night, we had regular soundings from 13 to 25 fathoms.

The next morning, we tacked and stood towards the land, with light variable winds. At noon, the extremes of the land were from north to south 50° west; the nearest land about ten miles distant. In the afternoon, we saw a large turtle; and at three o'clock, we sounded in 19 fathoms, over a muddy bottom. At six o'clock, the nearest land bore north by west half west, about three leagues distant. During the night, we had a light breeze from the westward: we frequently sounded, and had from 17 to 23 fathoms water.

At noon on the 30th, the nearest land bore north 75° west, eight or nine miles distant. We stood along shore, with a light breeze at south-south-east; and at sun-set, the land bore from north 32° west to south 50° west. The next morning, we steered along the island of St. Catherine; and at four o'clock in the afternoon, were abreast of the Fort of Santa Cruz.

I sent an officer on shore to the fort, and soon afterwards we anchored in five fathoms water; the fort of Santa Cruz bearing north-north-west, and the opposite fort north-east. We saluted the fort with nine guns, which was returned by an equal number. The next morning, we weighed, and anchored nearer to the watering-place; mooring the ship with a cable each way, (north-east and south-west) in three fathoms and a half, over a muddy bottom. In this situation, the fort of Santa Cruz bore north-north-east, the opposite fort, south-east; the point to the southward of the watering-place south-west, and the watering-place west, half a mile distant.

We erected a tent on shore for the cooper, who was busily employed in repairing our casks, and the other hands were employed in watering and other necessary duties.

As we had now made 310° 43' of east longitude, which is equal to 20 h. 42 min. 52 sec. of time, we, of course, dropped one day, and called the 5th of February, Saturday the 4th. This afternoon I sent two boats on shore for various refreshments, having nearly completed our water. In the morning of the 5th, the cutter swamped at her moorings aftern; the oars and tiller washed out of her, and were lost.

On the 7th, most of our business being finished, we unmoored; and after standing a little farther out of the harbour, we anchored with the small bower, in five and a quarter fathoms; the Fort of Santa Cruz bearing north-north-west, and the opposite fort, north-east. We completed our water and every other duty on the 8th, and the next morning weighed and made sail. At eleven o'clock, we saluted the fort with eleven guns, which was returned by an equal number: at noon, we were abreast of Santa Cruz Fort.

With a light breeze from the northward, we were employed in turning down the harbour; and at seven o'clock, we came to in five fathoms, over a muddy bottom; the Island Averade bearing north-east half north, and Santa Cruz Fort south-west by west. Early the next morning, we weighed and stood out of the harbour, and the wind being very light, the jolly-boat was sent a-head to tow the vessel: in the afternoon, a moderate breeze came on from the eastward.

At noon on the 11th, the land bore from south 57° west, to north 82° west: the wind being variable, we tacked occasionally. Our latitude was 27° 19' south, and the longitude 48° 21' west. 'Till the 17th, we had light winds, chiefly from the north-east quarter, and fine clear weather; the wind then shifted to the westward, with frequent squalls and heavy showers of rain. The latitude, at noon, was 29° 27' south, and 41° 14' west longitude. On the 20th, we had the ship well cleaned between decks, and thoroughly washed with vinegar. The variation of the compass was 4° 40' easterly.

At noon on the 21st, a severe squall came on, attended with thunder, and very heavy rain; the wind all round the compass: this occasioned us to clew up the top-sails, and reef the foresail; however, towards evening, the weather growing more moderate we set the top-sails.

We opened a cask of beef on the 22d, which was marked R. H. N° 72, and was received from the commissary at the victualling-office, Port Jackson: it contained sixty-six double pieces, which was four double pieces short of the number there ought to have been.

During the 23d and 24th, we had light easterly winds, with intervening calms, and dark cloudy weather, attended with rain. On the 25th, in latitude 26° 13' south, and 31° 33' east longitude, we found 1° 22' easterly variation; and on the 27th the variation was 00° 45' westerly; the latitude being 22° 32' south, and the longitude 29° 03' west. I ordered the cables to be hauled up, the tier to be well cleaned, and washed with vinegar. The wind now hauled to the westward, with a moderate breeze and clear weather. On the 28th, the wind shifted to the northward, and at one o'clock in the morning of the 29th, a very severe squall came on from north-north-east, attended with heavy rain: soon after day-light, the weather moderated.

We now had a settled easterly wind and fine weather, until the morning of the 6th of March, when the wind blew strong and in squalls, and continued very unsettled till the afternoon of the 7th, when it grew moderate. The latitude was 14° 26' south, and the longitude 23° 02' west. On the 12th, we were in 02° 11' south latitude, and 25' 16" west longitude, and in the afternoon we saw a sail to the northward; we bore up and spoke her; she proved to be the Cleopatra, of Boston, bound to Calcutta. I ordered the jolly-boat to be hoisted out and sent on board her; at six o'clock the boat returned, we got her on board, and made sail.

From the 16th to the 18th, we had squally unsettled weather, attended with thunder, lightning, and heavy rain. Our latitude at noon on the 20th, was 08° 45' north, the longitude 30° 16' west, and the variation by azimuth 7° 52' west: the wind blew strong from the north-east, which occasioned a very high sea.

On the 22d, John Miles was punished for sleeping on his watch, neglect of duty, and contemptuous behaviour.

In the morning of the 28th, having a strong gale of wind at east, we clewed up the sails, and kept the vessel before the sea, whilst the masts were stayed, and the rigging set up; which being completed, and the weather growing moderate, we made sail. During the forenoon, we saw a deal of gulph weed. Our latitude was 20° 25' north, and the longitude 37° 06' west.

On the 1st of April, we mustered the ship's company, and read the articles of war to them: our observation at noon, gave 29° 14' north latitude, the longitude was 39° 05' west, and the variation of the compass 07° 45' west. On the 5th, we had 11° 04' westerly variation; our latitude, at that time, was 35° 39' north, and the longitude, by lunar observation, 36° 16' west. The trade wind had now left us, and we had strong breezes generally from the north-west quarter. The variation, by azimuth, on the 13th, was 22° 00' west; the latitude at noon being 47° 09' north, and the longitude 17° 46' west.

In the morning of the 15th, we saw several vessels standing to the westward, and at ten o'clock, spoke a sloop from Bristol, bound to Saint Michael's. At six o'clock in the afternoon of the 17th, we sounded and struck the ground in sixty-five fathoms, over a bottom of fine sand, mixed with black specks. Our latitude at noon, on the 19th, was 49° 23', and the longitude, by lunar observation, 6° 56' west. At four o'clock in the morning of the 20th, we saw the land, bearing north-north-west, and at noon the Lizard bore from north-north-east, to north-east by east, five miles distant.

Transactions at Norfolk Island

The following particulars, respecting NORFOLK-ISLAND, which comprehend the substance of Lieutenant-Governor King's latest dispatches, being dated the 29th of December, 1791; and which were received the 30th of November 1792, by the William and Anne transport, that ought to have touched at Port Jackson, but was forced by contrary winds to bear away for England.

The wheat harvest at Norfolk-Island was finished by the 10th of December, 1791; when about one thousand bushels of wheat were got in, and well thatched in stacks. The Indian corn had suffered by a series of dry hot weather ever since the preceding July.

Lieutenant-Governor King finding great inconvenience from the size and construction of the frame of a store-house, which was 80 feet long by 24 feet wide, as well as from its situation, it being near the shore, determined to build one, 40 feet by 24, on the Terrace, at Mount-George: he had also found it necessary to build a goal, opposite the barrack-yard, and another at Queensborough.

A good road has been made to the landing rock in Cascade-Bay, so that now, any thing may be landed with the greatest safety.

Eighteen copper bolts, six copper sheets, two sixteen-inch cables, two hundred weight of lead, one fish-tackle fall, twenty pounds of chalk, three rudder chains, two top-chains, and iron-work of various sorts, had been saved from the wreck of the Sirius; the greatest part of these articles, Lieutenant-Governor King proposed sending to Port Jackson.

Ten settlers, who lately belonged to the Sirius, were doing exceedingly well, but there was reason to fear that great part of the marine settlers, when the novelty of their situation was gone off, would have neither ability nor inclination to improve the portions of ground allotted them: they had already been extremely troublesome, and the lieutenant-governor had been under the necessity of imposing heavy fines on two; the first, for beating the watch and using inflammatory language, and the second, for cruelly beating a convict woman.

The convict settlers were all doing very well, and were quiet, attentive, and orderly: they were increased to the number of forty; the whole number of settlers on the island were eighty, and it will be difficult to fix more until the ground is farther cleared.

A quantity of coral and other testaceous substances, with different kinds of stones, were burnt forty-eight hours, and produced a very fine white lime, much superior to any lime made of chalk, and it proved a very tough cement.

Eighteen convicts, under the direction of an overseer, who is a settler, were employed in making bricks. A bricklayer was much wanted, as one who was sent in the Queen, died on the passage.

Lieutenant-Governor King finding it necessary to discharge Mr. Doridge, the superintendant of convicts at Queensborough, has appointed Mr. D'arcy Wentworth to succeed him: Mr. Wentworth had behaved with the greatest attention and propriety as assistant-surgeon, which duty he still continued to discharge. Mr. W. N. Chapman was appointed store-keeper at Phillipsburgh.

A corporal and six privates were stationed in a house with a good garden to it, on an eminence commanding Queensborough, and a serjeant and ten men were fixed in a similar situation at Phillipsburgh, and they were kept as separate from the convicts as possible.

The lieutenant-governor had been under the necessity of appointing a town-adjutant and inspector of out-posts, and he named Lieutenant Abbott for these duties; he also established rules and regulations for the observance of every person on the island, and for keeping a night-patrole: a deputy provost-marshal was also appointed.

The wreck of the Sirius went to pieces on the 1st of January, 1792, and every thing possible was saved out of her. The same day, every person on the island went to a reduced allowance of provisions, but the fish daily caught was sufficient to serve all the inhabitants three times over.

Some of the settlers were permitted to employ the convicts as their servants, on condition of maintaining them without t