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The First Fleet

The First Fleet of ships to carry convicts from England to Botany Bay sailed from Portsmouth, England, on 13 May 1787. It arrived at Botany Bay on 18 January 1788. When that place proved unsuitable for a settlement the fleet made its way a short distance up the coast and on 25 January 1788 entered what is now known as Sydney Harbour and anchored in Sydney Cove.

This page contains statistics relating to the people who made the voyage and provides details of the ships of the fleet. It also provides references for further inquiry, including details of several ebooks, which are held by Project Gutenberg Australia or Project Gutenberg, which provide first hand accounts of the voyage and describe the first efforts to establish the colony. 

Contents of this page

Right: The Bicentennial Monument, which commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet and lists the names of those who arrived at Botany Bay in 1788. The monument is at Brighton Le Sands, Sydney, and overlooks Botany Bay.

First Fleet Monument

 

Further Reading:

ebooks available from this site:

Other references

Particulars of the Voyage

Portsmouth to Tenerife
13 May - 3 June 1787

Tenerife to Rio de Jeneiro
10 June 1787 - 5 August 1787

Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town
4 September - 13 October 1787

Cape Town to Botany Bay
13 November 1787 to 20 January 1788

Arrived at Sydney Cove
26 January 1788

The Ships of the First Fleet 

"HMS Sirius"
Naval Flagship 520 Tons
Arrived Port Jackson 26 Jan 1788
Departed England 13 May 1787

Officers:
Captain Arthur Phillip.
Captain John Hunter.

See Wikipedia

"H.M.S. SUPPLY"
Naval Tender 170 Tons
Arrived Port Jackson 26 Jan 1788
Departed England 13 May 1787

Officers:
Lieutenant H. L. Ball.

See Wikipedia

6 Transports carrying the convicts. Each transport had a detachment of marines on board.
Lieutenant John Shortland, agent for the transports. The garrison was formed from the marines. 

"ALEXANDER"
TRANSPORT 452 TONS
Arrived Port Jackson 26 Jan 1788
Departed England 13 May 1787
210 men convicts
Officers:
Lieut. J Johnston
Lieut. Shairp

See Wikipedia

"SCARBOROUGH"
TRANSPORT 490 TONS
Arrived Port Jackson 26 Jan 1788
Departed England 13 May 1787
210 men convicts
Officers:
Captain Shea
Lieut. Kellow
Lieut. Morrison

See Wikipedia

"FRIENDSHIP"
TRANSPORT 274 TONS
Arrived Port Jackson 26 Jan 1788
Departed England 13 May 1787
80 men convicts, 24 women convicts
Officers:
Captain Lieut. Meredith
Lieut. Clarke
Lieut. Faddy

See Wikipedia

"CHARLOTTE"
TRANSPORT 335 TONS
Arrived Port Jackson 26 Jan 1788
Departed England 13 May 1787
100 men convicts, 24 women convicts
Officers:

Captain Tench
Lieut. Cresswell
Lieut. Poulden

See Wikipedia

"PRINCE OF WALES"
TRANSPORT 350 TONS
Arrived Port Jackson 26 Jan 1788
Departed England 13 May 1787
100 women convicts
Officers:
Lieut. Davy
Lieut. Timmins

See Wikipedia

"LADY PENRHYN"
TRANSPORT 333 TONS
Arrived Port Jackson 26 Jan 1788
Departed England 13 May 1787
102 women convicts
Officers:
Captain Campbell
Lieut. G. Johnston
Lieut. William Collins

See Wikipedia

Store Ships, with provisions, implements for husbandry, clothing, etc. for the convicts.

"GOLDEN GROVE"
STORESHIP 375 TONS
Arrived Port Jackson 26 Jan 1788
Departed England 13 May 1787

See Wikipedia

"FISHBURN"
STORESHIP 378 TONS
Arrived Port Jackson 26 Jan 1788
Departed England 13 May 1787

See Wikipedia

"BORROWDALE"
STORESHIP 375 TONS
Arrived Port Jackson 26 Jan 1788
Departed England 13 May 1787

See Wikipedia

 

 

 

Some First Fleeters and the positions held by them

The numbers

Gillen, p.445, gives the following statistics:

Embarked at Portsmouth

* Officials and passengers: 15
* Ships' crews: 323
* Marines: 247
* Marines wives and children: 46
* Convicts (males): 582
* Convicts (females): 193
* Convicts' children: 14
* Total embarked: 1420

Landed at Port Jackson

* Officials and passengers: 14
* Ships' crews: 306
* Marines: 245
* Marines wives and children: 54
* Convicts (males): 543
* Convicts (females): 189
* Convicts' children: 22
* Total landed: 1373

Gillen notes that "during the voyage there were 22 births (13 males, 9 females), while 69 people either died, were discharged, or deserted (61 males and 8 females). As no complete crew musters have survived for the six transports and three storeships, there may have been as many as 110 more seamen who have not been identified, thus giving approximatelt 1530 people who left England and 1483 who reached Sydney Cove.

Note that there is no definitive list of the people who arrived at Botany Bay in the First Fleet. We will probably never know the exact number and their names.

Updated 17 Sept 2014