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Title: A Journal of a Voyage from Portsmouth to New South Wales and China
Author: Arthur Bowes Smyth (edited by Colin Choat)
eBook No.: 2000051h.html
Language: English
Date first posted: January 2020
Most recent update: August 2022
This eBook was produced by: Colin Choat

Creative Commons Licence

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia Licence.

Arthur Bowes Smyth's Journal of a Voyage from Portsmouth to New South Wales and China

edited by

Colin Choat

Published 2020



Smyth's bound journal


This ebook is based on a transcript of Arthur Bowes Smyth's Journal, compiled during 1787, 1788 and 1789,, a copy of which is located at the State Library of New South Wales

The present ebook builds on the transcript to provide a more readable book, without most abbreviations and without archaic spelling. In the journal many nouns were capitalised, as was common usage at the time. Most are not capitalised now, as it is not common usage to do so. Further, minor changes in sentence structure have occasionally been made to improve readability.

Smyth placed the date for each entry he made in a margin on the left of the page. In this ebook, each date is shown as a header.

As a matter of interest, Smyth notes, on 23 December 1787, that "the method of reckoning time at sea is the reverse of what they do on shore. From 12 o'clock at noon of one day to 12 at noon the next is a day, whereas on shore they reckon from midnight to midnight."

Pages in the journal are not numbered. The page numbers in this ebook were allocated by the original transcriber.

I have set out to produce a readable version of the journal and trust that you will enjoy it. If you want a verbatim transcript, or to view page images, you must go to State Library of NSW web site, via the links below.

Colin Choat
January 2020

Source documents are available from the following pages:

All documents are from the State Library of New South Wales

* * * * *

Readers might also be interested in checking out:

Arthur Bowes Smith's Journal has not been published. As such, it would still be copyright in Australia, except for a recent change to Australian copyright law. This change ended the outdated concept of perpetual copyright for unpublished works, as it related to thousands of documents held by public libraries. The production of this ebook is a celebration of this change in the law which sees the liberation of numerous documents, which have languished in the stack areas of public libraries, so that they can be freely accessed.

The following is quoted from Copyright Term Changes Coming 2019 published by the Australian Libraries Copyright Committee. It can be downloaded from Australian Libraries Copyright Committee web site, accessed December 2019.

In 2017 the Australian government introduced major changes to the copyright term provisions of the Australian Copyright Act, as part of the Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Act 2017. These changes replace Australia's existing copyright term provisions with new rules that make them more consistent for different materials, and provide clearer rules for materials whose author is not known. As a result the copyright term of materials in Australia will be simpler and fairer and a large number of old materials previously locked up will be freed for use by all.

The new term provisions have been introduced primarily to end the outdated concept of perpetual copyright for unpublished works. This legacy rule meant that unpublished materials like letters and diaries never fell into the public domain. This means that materials that are hundreds of years old—such as the Captain Cook diaries and the Jane Austen letters held in the collection of Australia's National Library—were still protected by copyright in Australia. Under the new rules, materials in Australia will have the same protection whether or not they are published.

The result of these changes is that on 1 January 2019 (when they came into effect) hundreds of thousands, possibly even millions, of theses diaries, letters and other old unpublished works held in our national collections, instantaneously entered the public domain, making them free for anyone to access and use.


1.List of the different places touched at in the Voyage
2. Ships making up the fleet bound to New South Wales
3. Crew of the Lady Penrhyn
4. List of convicts (23 females listed, ship not specified)
5. List of convicts on board the Lady Penrhyn (109 females listed)
6. Children, brought out and born on board ship
7. Untitled table (Senior people in the administration)

March 1787 — April 1787
May 1787
June 1787
July 1787
August 1787
September 1787
October 1787
November 1787
December 1787

January 1788
February 1788
March 1788
April 1788
May 1788
June 1788
July 1788
August 1788
September 1788
October 1788
November 1788
December 1788

January 1789
February 1789
March 1789
April 1789
May 1789
June 1789
July 1789
August 1789

Appendix. List of sketches included in the journal.

Sketches from the Journal included in this ebook

[Refer to the appendix for a full list of the sketches in the journal. Only those listed below are included in this ebook.]

Emu, or 'New species of bird at Botany Bay, 1788'
Grass tree, or 'A view of the tree at Botany Bay, which yields the yellow balsam; and of a wigwam'
Dolphin, 'Exact representation of a dolphin (as soon as it was out of the water) taken by Richard Young, our steward of the Lady Penrhyn, 1789.'
Sword fish, 'Representation of the fish taken by the steward.'
Coot, 'Representation of a bird of the coot kind, found at Lord Howe Island'
Curtis Isles
McCauley Island, 'N by EE, 3 or 4 miles E. Long. 18059'30"S, lat. 307'26"S, discovered 1788 by the "Lady Penrhyn" merch. William Cropton Sever, Commander'
The bread fruit

[Page 3]

A Journal of a Voyage
from Portsmouth
New South Wales and China,
the Lady Penrhyn, Merchantman,
William Cropton Sever, Commander
Arthur Bowes Smyth, Surgeon


Title page in Smyth's journal

[Page 4]

List of the different places we touched at in our Voyage





Porta Praya — St. Jago's


Rio de Janeiro

South America

Cape of Good Hope


New South Wales


Lord How Island

( Do. discovered by Lieutenant Ball 1788

Curtis's Islands

( Do. discovered by the Lady Penrhyn 1788

M'Cauley Island

( Do.


in Asia



Penrhyn Island

Do. discovered by the Lady Penrhyn 1788 but did not land





Grafton Island (one of the Bashees)




Wampoa [now Pazhou Island. See Wikipedia]


Si moan


Pulo Pissang


Pulo Auor. (or Pulore)






St. Helena


[Page 5]

On the 22nd March 1787 I came on board the Lady Penrhyn, lying at the Mother Bank, at Portsmouth, in company with the following ships bound to New South Wales, with convicts on board to form a settlement there:

[* These three had no surgeons.]

The Scarborough, Charlotte and Lady Penrhyn were chartered by the East India Company to proceed afterwards to China for tea.

Having said above that the Lady Penrhyn had 109 female convicts on board I shall, on the other side, give a list of their names, crimes, ages, trades, and term of years they are transported for.

The crew of the Lady Penrhyn consists of the following:

Captain Sever
Captain Campbell of the marines
Lieutenant Johnston of Do.
Lieutenant Collins of Do.
Mr. Watts, Lieutenant of the navy, going to China
Mr. Nicholas Anstis, chief mate
Mr. Squires 2nd mate
Mr. Ball 3rd mate
Mr. Holmes 4th mate
William Young, steward
Sisson the cook
Smyth, surgeon to the ship
Alltree, surgeon to the convicts
John Ross, son to Major Ross
James Campbell a child, relation of Captain Campbell
Mr. J. Smith, going to Botany Bay
3 servants to the marine officers
[a carpenter, a cooper, a boatswain, 36 sailors,
4 of whom were made quarter masters and 5 Boys]
[manuscript damaged]

[Page 6]

List of the Convicts [Females. Ship not specified. 23 on list.]*

[* The next page of the journal is blank. Smyth began this list then stopped making it and listed only the convicts on the Lady Penrhyn, the ship on which he was the surgeon to the ship's company.]





Term (years)

Francis Davis





Ann Yates



House breaking


Mary Love



Lamb Stealing


Ann Colepits



Privately Stealing


Elizabeth Lock





Mary Gamboll





Olivia Gascoin





Mary Tilley





Sarah Davis


Glove Maker



Ann Inett


Mantua Maker



Mary Wilkes, alias Turner



Privately Stealing


Elizabeth Bird



Lamb Stealing


Ann Dawly, alias Twifield



Highway Robbery


Sarah Bellamy



Privately Stealing


Mary Davis





Mary Mitchell



Privately Stealing


Mary Bolton





Mary Dickenson


Barrow Woman



Amelia Levi





Elizabeth Hall





Margaret Fownes



Highway Robbery


Hanah Mullins




For Life.

Elizabeth Beckford





[Page 7] [blank page]

[Page 8]

List of the Female Convicts on Board the Lady Penrhyn, 1787





Term (years)

Francis Davis





Ann Yates



House breaking


Mary Love



Lamb Stealing


Ann Colepits



Privately Stealing


Elizabeth Lock





Mary Gamboll





Olivia Gascoin





Mary Tilley





Sarah Davis


Glove Maker



Ann Inett


Mantua Maker



Mary Wilkes alias Turner



Privately Stealing


Elizabeth Bird



Lamb Stealing


Ann Dawly alias Twifield



Highway Robbery


Sarah Bellamy



Privately Stealing


Mary Davis





Mary Mitchell



Privately Stealing


Mary Bolton





[Page 9]





Term (years)

Mary Dickenson


Barrow Woman



Amelia Levi





Elizabeth Hall



House Robbery


Margaret Fownes



Highway Robbery


Hanah Mullins




For Life.

Elizabeth Beckford





J. Jones alias Osborn





Elizabeth Colley





Elizabeth Lee





Mary Brenham





Elizabeth Hipsley



Picking Pockets


Ann Read



Street Robbery

For Life.

Susan Hufnall



Buyg. Stolen Goods


Eleona M'Cave





Mary Finn





Martha Eaton



Buyg. Stolen Goods


Mary Greenwood



Street Robbery


Elizabeth Cole



Shop Lifting


[Page 10]





Term (years)

Catharine Hart



Privately Stealing


Mary Hill



Picking Pockets


Margaret Dawson



Privately Stealg.


Elizabeth Dalton





Elizabeth Marshall





Mary Moulton





Ann Morton





Elizabeth Evans





Mary Humphreys



Picking Pockets


Ann Ward


Lace Maker



Elizabeth Needham


Maker of Child Bed Linen



Lucy Wood alias Bran



Picking Pockets


Ann Martin



Shop Lifting


Mary Harrison


Silk Winder



A. Sandlyn alias Lyon alias Bretton



Petty Larceny


Ann Green alias Cowly


Mantua Maker

Privately Stealg.


Rebecca Davison



Picking Pockets


Mary Cooper


Chair Woman



Ann Davis





Ann Dutton



Privately Stealg.


[Page 11]





Term (years)

Mary Carroll


Mantua Maker

Privately Stealing


Ann Thornton





Mary Smith


Mantua Maker



Ann George


Shoe Binder

Picking pocketts


Esther Howard



Privately Stealing


Mary Cockran



Receiving Stolen Goods


Sophia Lewis





Ann Morton





Mary Jackson



Picking Pockets


Elizabeth Fowles




7 7

Mary Adams



Privately Stealing

7 7

Mary Parker





Mary Dicks


Stay Maker

Picking Pockets


Mary Williams



Privately Stealing


Margaret Bourn



Picking Pockets


Ann Powell



Privately Stealing


Dorothy Handlyn alias Grey





Mary Lawrence



Privately Stealing


Sarah Partridge


Mantua Maker



[Page 12]





Term (years)

Mary Slater


Watch-Chain Maker



Sarah Piles



Picking Pockets


Jane Creek



Privately Stealing


Phoebe Norton





Elizabeth Bruce





Elizabeth Anderson



Recg. Stolen Goods


Susan Trippett


Artificial Flower Maker

Picking Pockets


Mary Conner alias Allen



Shop Lifting


Catharine Henry





Elizabeth Fitzgerald





Elizabeth Leonard





Mary Alien



Picking pocketts


Mary Jackson





Martha Baker





Martha Burkett





Charlotte Sprigmore


Silk Winder



Thamasin Alien



Picking Pockets


Mary Marshall




For Life

Mary Springham





Ann Smith





[Page 13]





Term (years)

Sarah Purdue


Mantua Maker



Maria Hamilton


Lace Weaver

Privately Stealing


Charlotte Cook


Tambour Worker



Sarah Hall





Elizabeth Haward





Sarah Parry




For Life

Isabella Lawson


Mantua Maker

Privately Stealg.


Jane Parkenson



Died on the passage


Esther Abram





Mary Harrison





Maria Martin





Sarah Smith





Frances Anderson





Susan Blanchard





Marearet Blades


Pedlar and Chapwoman



Memorandum: The Rev. Richard Johnson, Chaplin to the Settlement. His wife came out with him in the Golden Grove, Captain Sharp.

[Page 14]

Children, brought out and born on board ship

Jenny Jones

8 [years]

Mary Mullins

3 [years]

Mary Fowles

4 [years]

William Tilley

2 [months]

Jo. Harrison

15 Yrs. not a Convict

Ed. Parkinson

3 [years]

Ed. Smith

1 [year]

William Green

1 [year] dead

John Sandlyns

[1/2 year] dead

John Hart

(an Infant)

Joshua Morton


William Colley

Do. Dead

Jno. Colepits

Do. dead

Thomas Mitchell


Joseph Bellamy


Jno. Burleigh


John Bunham


Charles M'Cave


Danl. Finn


Phillip Langly


Jno. Lawson

Do. dead

Joseph Yates



Untitled — [Senior people in the administration]*

Arthr. Phillip Esquire


Alexander Ross, Major,

Lieutenant Governor

[Mr.] Halt

Surveyor General

[Mr.] Brewer

Provost Martial

Thomas Collins, Esquire

Judge Advocate

Andrew Miller, Esquire


George Johnstone, (1st Lieutenant of Marines)

Aide de Camp to the Governor

[Mr.] Furzer

Quarter Master

[Mr.] Long (Lieutenant of Marines)


Captain James Campbell

Senior Captain Of Marines

NB If the Governor should die, the charge would devolve on Captain Hunter of the Sirius and not on the Lieutenant Governor, Major Ross

John Shortland, Lieutenant of the Navy

Agent to the Ships

Zachariah Clark

Deputy Agent Victualler
for Mr. Richards of Portsmouth

[Page 15]

March 1787 — April 1787

I came down in the Portsmouth mail coach on the 20 of March 1787 and on the 22nd I went on board the Lady Penrhyn lying at the Mother Bank with the rest of the fleet from different parts, for Botany Bay, New South Wales, being then in hourly expectation of the arrival of Governor Phillip, but he did not arrive till the afternoon Monday, 7th of May and weighed anchor on the 13th of the same month.

Went with Lieutenant Collins to visit Lieutenant Bourbon (his brother in law) on board the Rose frigate of war, lying at Spithead. This day Lieutenant Johnston, the senior Lieutenant on board, issued orders to keep the women from the sailors. Surgeon Alltree very ill for some time past with a fever of the putrescent kind and some days ago went to lodge at Ryde.

April 1787

6 April 1787

Went on shore to Ryde to see Surgeon Alltree and found him dangerously ill taking medicines of Mr. White's prescribing.

7 April 1787

The guns from all the ships in harbour fired on the arrival of Admiral Lord Hood at Portsmouth.

8 April 1787

This day Rev. Mr. Johnson, the chaplain appointed to the colony was to preach on board the Alexander in the forenoon and the Lady Penrhyn in the afternoon but something happened to prevent him. This day went to Ryde accompanied by Captain Sever and Lieutenant Collins to see Mr. Alltree, who continues very ill.

9 April 1787

The weather very fine. Nothing material happened this day.

12 April 1787

Mr. Considen, first assistant surgeon to the settlement, arrived from London at the Motherbank and went on board the Scarborough, Captain Marshall.

[Page 16]

13 April 1787

Went on shore at Ryde to visit Mr. Alltree and had the pleasure to find him much better. Walked with him some miles at Ryde, which is a most beautiful spot. This day Mr. Balmain delivered one of the convict women on board the Lady Penrhyn of a boy who is likely to do very well. This day Lieutenant Shortland, the navy sgent to the expedition, who has till now been in the Alexander, shifted his station to the Fishburn, Captain Brown, one of the victuallers.

Elizabeth Bruce, one of the convicts on board the Penrhyn, fell from the forecastle and broke her right leg just at the articulation of the ankle.

16 April 1787

Accompanied Captain Sever and Lieutenant Johnstone to Portsmouth.

This day we got up the anchor and sailed from the Motherbank to Spithead and back again. The anchor not foul. A very fine day. Went in the jolly boat to Wooton Bridge, in the Isle of Wight and walked from thence to Ryde, a very pleasant walk.

The church, situated about the midway between Wooton Bridge and Ryde, is in a remarkably romantic situation; a beautiful little cottage, thatched, with sash windows and surrounded by evergreen trees, and a garden adjoining, contiguous to the church yard, must attract the notice of every stranger, from whence you have a most beautiful view over the whole of the Motherbank, Spithead, the towns of Portsmouth and Gosport. In this cottage occasionally lives the clergyman of the parish, whose chief residence is at Newport.

In the church yard are many tombstones, some of which are neatly engraved in basso relievo*, particularly one of a person who was shot by a custom-house officer of Portsmouth in his cutter, as he was steering her, and supposed to have had smuggled goods on board.

[* basso relievo = bas relief. A sculptural relief in which forms extend only slightly from the background; no figures are undercut.]

[Page 17]

18 April 1787

Lieutenant Collins and I dined on board the Alexander with Mr. Balmain, the surgeon, and Lieutenant John Johnstone. In the evening of this day I was sent for on board to the steward, Mr. Young, who was taken suddenly ill. The wind this night very high at NW.

19 April 1787

This day Mr. Anstis the Chief Mate went to London; Reed, intelligence that Governor Phillip's business is at last all finally settled and he may be expected at the Mother Bank on Saturday next.

This night at 10 o'clock Lieutenants George Johnstone and William Collins went down into the women's berths and called over the names of the convicts. Found 5 missing; 4 with the sailors and 1 with Squires, the 2nd mate. They ordered all the 5 women to be put in irons and removed forward and Mr. Johnstone declared he would the next day write to Major Ross at Portsmouth about this affair and to have the 2nd mate removed from the ship for disobeying the orders of Captain Sever and the two Lieutenants on board. Very calm weather.

This day Lieutenant Collins read a letter from his brother, Captain Collins, in London, who is going with the fleet as judge advocate to the new settlement, acquainting him that all the business was fully settled respecting the code of laws to be in force at Botany Bay or wherever else the settlement should be formed in New South Wales, and that the Governor (Phillip) would certainly be down on Saturday.

This day I attended, at the request of Mr. Balmain, on the woman with the fractured leg, and removed the bandage and dressed it up again. Before the bandage was removed, the woman was in the most excruciating pain, but very soon after removing it she became perfectly easy and continued so. A corpse sewed up in a hammock floated alongside our ship. The cabin, lately occupied by the 3rd mate, Jenkinson, who died of a putrid fever the night before I came on board and was buried at Ryde, was fresh painted and fumigated for me to sleep in.

[Page 18]

20 April 1787

This morning a pretty fresh breeze. Engaged fitting up my cabin. Had a large parcel of water cresses sent me as a present from Portsmouth.

21 April 1787

Went to Portsmouth and in our way called on Captain Gillbert of the Charlotte who accompanied us. We landed at Stoke's Bay and walked to Gosport at which place we took a boat across the water to Portsmouth. This walk at this season of the year is most delightful. The church yard at Stokes Bay has a prodigious number of tombstones in it. The clergyman of this parish enjoys the singular privilege of marrying couples without a licence or banns being published, for which reason great numbers marry there. Every child born on board a ship at sea, belongs to the parish of Stepney.

22 April 1787

Sunday. The wind very high and the sea very rough. Kept on board all day. Mr. White, the Surgeon General, visited us, as did also Mr. Denis Considen, the First Assistant Surgeon, who dined on board. Captain Sever slept on shore and returned this day to dinner. This day a large Danish east indiaman arrived at Spithead.

Wind pretty brisk, but not so high as yesterday. My cabin finished, except putting in the bedding. This day Mr. Anstis, our Chief Mate, arrived from London and brought with him letters from Captain Collins to his brother William in our ship, acquainting him that Governor Phillip was to take leave of Lord Sydney on Saturday last and that he would not continue in London more than 48 hours,

[Page 19]

and after that he meant to sail as soon after his arrival at Portsmouth as possible. This day two of the convicts put in irons for fighting. Went on shore with Captain Sever and Lieutenant George Johnstone to Wooton Bridge. Called on and received a most friendly entertainment there from Mr. Ballard, merchant at Newport, who has also large ovens and biscuit warehouses at Wooton Bridge.

24 April 1787

The wind very high and rains very much. The boat of the Alexander, with Mr. Long, the 1st mate and 5 sailors in her, was upset close by us, by the beef sloop dragging her boat over the Alexander's boat. The boat was bottom upwards and all the men in the water, but fortunately none were drowned. Captain Sever and Lieutenant G. Johnstone went to Ryde. The Sea very rough. Hugh Sandlyn, a child belonging to one of the convict women on board, aged about 18 months, died.

25 April 1787

A rainy morning. Wind not so high.

26 April 1787

Rainy and squally. A corpse floated alongside.

27 April 1787

Fine in the morning. Went with Captain Sever to Portsmouth in the pinnace, returned in the evening. The wind extremely high and a great swell of sea. Arrived about 8 o'clock. Very wet. During the night the wind increased from the NE. This day Mr. Alltree returned on board the ship from Ryde, perfectly recovered.

28 April 1787

Saturday. Wind NW continues very high, with a great swell. Our Ship dragged her anchors about 12 o'clock at noon. Another anchor let go, which she also dragged a little about 2 pm. The women very sick with the motion of the ship. There are frequent sudden squalls of wind. Captain Campbell was to have come on board this day, but the sea runs so high the pinnace could not go off to fetch him.

[Page 20]

29 April 1787

The wind continues very high at west, with rain.

30 April 1787

Wind W and NW continues high. About noon it increased to a perfect hurricane with hail and rain. No possibility of sending the boat on shore. In the afternoon the wind fell much.

May 1787

1 May 1787

The wind pretty high; pm, much sunk. The boat went to Portsmouth.

2 May 1787

A fine morning. Alderman Curtis, Captain Leigh, the ship's husband, and Mr. Watts dined and drank tea on board. In the evening, Mr. Curtis and Mr. Watts went to Ryde and from thence to Newport where they slept and Captain Leigh slept on board. The Alderman and Mr. Watts returned the next day.

3 May 1787

Went to Portsmouth in the pinnace with Alderman Curtis, Captain Leigh, Captain Sever and Mr. Watts. The boat returned about 9 at night. This day 36 female and 3 male convicts with 2 children arrived at Portsmouth and were shipped off from the Motherbank to be distributed to the different ships. We had the good fortune to receive none of them. This day Captain Hunter of the Sirius read a letter from Governor Phillip, informing him that he should be at Portsmouth on Sunday next. Captain Campbell, little John Ross, Captain Campbell's nephew, and servant came on board. Captain Sever returns tomorrow.

5 May 1787

Saturday. Orders arrived at Portsmouth for the Hyena frigate, the Hon. Captain D'Courcy, Commander, to be ready to sail to escort the Botany Bay fleet to a certain latitude. A new east indiaman of 1100 tons,

[Page 21]

the Belvedere, anchored close by the Penrhyn. She was built at a dock in Sussex and is a very noble Ship. Mr. Orton, a Lieutenant of the Navy, who is going 4th mate in her to China, did me the favour to call on me this afternoon and invited me to dine with him in the Belvedere tomorrow, which I did. Revd. Mr. Johnson preached on board us. A smuggler was chased by a custom house cutter, within sight of us, fired upon and boarded. Captain Sever, Lieutenants G. Johnstone and Collins and Mr. Anstis went on shore at Ryde.

7 May 1787

Reported that Governor Phillip is come down. Lieutenant Shortland and his two sons are gone to Portsmouth to pay their respects to him. Mr. Alltree, surgeon to the convicts, went to mess in the steerage. At 4 o'clock this afternoon, the Governor arrived at Portsmouth.

Dined on board the Belvedere. Mr. Orton Lodged in Dean Street in London in the same house I lodged in about a week previous to my coming down to the Motherbank. He left town the day before me.

8 May 1787

Wind at east. Governor expected on board but did not come.

9 May 1787

Went to Portsmouth to purchase different necessary articles previous to our sailing. The Governor came on board the Sirius this forenoon.

10 May 1787

Thursday. This morning very fine. Wind at NE. At eight o'clock the commodore made the signal for preparing to sail the next morning. An order sent on board all the ships for all dogs to be sent on shore. pm, very rainy.

[Page 22]

11 May 1787

Friday. Wind WSW. Ships all very busy in completing their bread and water.

12 May 1787

Little wind and that at NE. An order sent on board all ships to desire no men be suffered to leave their respective ships. At 9 am the Sirius made the signal for weighing all anchors and sailing, and at 4pm the Sirius got under weigh and the whole of the fleet, except the Charlotte, the Lady Penrhyn and Prince of Wales, as their bread and water were not completed. Went in the afternoon with Captains Campbell and Sever to Ryde and returned about 9 o'clock in the evening on board.

13 May 1787

Sunday. This morning at 5 o'clock the Lady Penrhyn set sail, as did all the fleet attended by the Hyena frigate, Hon. Captain D'Courcy, Commander, which accompanied us about 100 leagues to the westward. A very fine day with a good breeze at ESE. The fleet went through the Needles, at 11 am A signal for crowding sail* and coming up with the Commodore. At 3 pm, signal for all ships to keep closer together and bear up to the Sirius. The Charlotte, a remarkably slow sailer, several miles astern. Fish for mackerel off Portland. Within sight of where the Halswell east indiaman was lost.

[* To crowd sail: To carry an unusual amount of sail in an attempt to accelerate the speed of a vessel.]

14 May 1787

Monday. A rainy morning, a gentle breeze. The whole fleet 1 league ahead of us. In the afternoon, the wind sunk and we came up with the fleet opposite Devonshire, which is the only land now in sight and that lies about 5 or 6 leagues distant. A number of small yellow birds are perching upon the rigging and on the decks. Many on board engaged fishing for mackerel with success. This day a Dutch dogger, a French ship and an English west indiaman passed us at a small distance. This day Mr. Watts [was] very ill with a dyspnoea. Ordered the pediluvium and administered the lac amm spr. ether and elix paregori, which greatly relieved him. This day killed 2 sheep.

[Page 23]

15 May 1787

Got up with the fleet. Spoke [to] the Alexander and the Supply brig. All well. Got sight of the Lizard. A great many casks of geneva floating on the water, of which the Fishburn picked up 35 and the Scarborough 25. A lugger from Falmouth came alongside. All the hands in her very drunk. Bought some soft bread of her.

16 May 1787

Brisk gale. Cleared the English Channel. About 9 am a Swedish brig passed us.

17 May 1787

A great swell. Wind WSW.

18 May 1787

Wind the same, and very rainy.

19 May 1787

Ditto. A great many bottle-nosed porpoises about the ship.

20 May 1787

Sunday. A signal for all ships' boats to go on board the commodore. This day the Hyena left us in 47 degrees N. latitude and this day the convicts on board the Scarborough attempted to rise, but their scheme was discovered by one of the accomplices. Two of the ringleaders sent on board the Sirius, very heavy ironed, where they each received 24 lashes and were sent on board the Prince of Wales. Wind WNW.

21 May 1787

A fine day. Wind WSW.

[Page 24]

24 May 1787

Thursday. A rainy morning turned out a fine day, with a brisk breeze. Go 7 knots. One of the pigeons went overboard and was drowned.

25 May 1787

Wind WNW. A very fine day. A boat from the Fishburn, The agent's ship, to desire a list of the convicts, with their crimes, time of trial and the term of their transportation. Go 4 knots. This day Elizabeth Evans miscarried.

26 May 1787

A remarkably fine day. Wind NE. A fine breeze. At 8 am a great many porpoises about the ship's bows.

27 May 1787

In lat. 3840', long. 13 Captain Campbell caught a large bonito. Many shearwaters about, a species of sea gull. This day saw 2 sail at a distance. Could not discover of what country. Many porpoises about. William Moran, sailor on board us, put himself under my care for the lues venerea.

29 May 1787

At 4 pm the Supply brig carried away her main top gallant mast. A great swell. Killed a pig. The commodore sent the Supply brig ahead to look out for land. The Friendship carried away her main top gallant mast.

30 May 1787

At 5 this morning, discovered the island of Porto Santo, belonging to the Portuguese at 9 league's distance. A large shark seen astern.At 12 at noon passed the Deserters. Passed the Madeiras in the night. This day the agent had another list of the convicts, etc.

31 May 1787

A fine morning. The commodore lay to for the ships to speak to him. Mr. Watts's goat had 2 kids, a male and female. At 3 pm. Isabella Lawson, one of the convicts, was delivered of a girl. Passed the Salvages. A very large shark seen near the ship.

[Page 25]

June 1787

1 June 1787

Friday. In the morning very little wind, but about 10 am a pleasant breeze sprung up. Many albatrosses about the ship.

2 June 1787

A Calm. Mr. White, surgeon to the settlement, came on board to request of me in the name of the Governor and himself to undertake the care of the convicts on board the Lady Penrhyn, in the room of Mr. Alltree who, he said, should be provided for on his arrival at Botany Bay in some other line and in the mean time to continue on board the Lady Penrhyn and act as my assistant. The Governor would reward me for my trouble in such a way as should prove satisfactory to me, and the Surgeon General would give me a certificate. 10 am saw the peak of Teneriffe about 18 leagues distant. Some amazing large rocks appear not far from us.

Arrive at Teneriffe, lat: 2825'S, long: 1625'N.

A great many boats with lights in them fishing great part of the night amongst the fleet. We stayed at Santa Cruz 1 week, watering the ships etc. Santa Cruz is rather a mean town, the houses not very lofty and all have lattice windows. It produces Indian corn, goats, poultry, bananas, water melons, almonds, figs, cherries, mulberries, pears etc. etc. There are two churches in the town which are elegantly furnished, with good organs in each. A great many grampuses near the ship.

8 June 1787

On the eighth of this month a large Dutch east indiaman came to an anchor. In the evening, an affray happened on shore between the sailors of the indiaman and the sailors of the Sirius, attended with no other ill consequences than some broken pates and bloody noses. The commodore received an invitation to dine with the Governor at Santa Cruz. Went on Thursday, accompanied by Major Ross, Captain Hunter and Captain Campbell.

[Page 26]

Captain Sever procured some goats, fowls, ducks, geese, a quantity of wine and vegetables. One of the convicts on board the Alexander, Powers, on Friday night, 8 June, escaped by getting out at the stern into the jolly boat, with which he went off unperceived, but upon a party being sent out next morning along shore to look after him he was discovered about 6 leagues off, asleep on the shore, with the boat lying among the rocks, and brought back to the fleet and confined.

10 June 1787

Weighed anchor at 5 am and left the harbour of Santa Cruz. Very little wind. The peak discerned very plainly, the atmosphere being very clear. Intensely hot. At 3 pm, within a league of the Grand Canaries, which lie almost opposite Teneriffe. Not the least wind. Lie directly opposite the peak, whose summit reaches far above the clouds and very near its top the snow was perfectly seen in large quantities. A rock of very considerable extent near the water appeared red at top and had ridges all the way down its sides to the sea, very much resembling lava.

[In margin] The height of the peak of Teneriffe is 4399 yards. Tableland at the Cape of Good Hope is 1224 yards. Mount Aetna is 4000 yards. Highest land at Madeira is 5132 yards.

11 June 1787

Calm continues. Two sail seen to the northward, supposed them to be English, but at too great a distance to be certain.

12 June 1787

The calm continued till about 10 am of this day when a gentle breeze sprung up. The view we had of the peak at this time was truly beautiful, its summit being clearly discerned some miles above the clouds. Several of the sailors this day, it being intensely hot, went in to the water, and shortly after a very large shark was seen astern, for which reason the captain desired them not to bathe any more as it was attended with so much danger.

13 June 1787

A fine breeze at NE. Go 5 knots. An albacore under the bows which weighed at least 100 lb. attempted in vain to strike it with the grains. Lat. 26.

[Page 27]

15 June 1787

Fine breeze at NE. Go 5 knots. Many flying fish about the ship. This day we crossed the line and the ceremony of ducking the ship's company was performed on all who had not passed the line (Tropic of Cancer). Captain Campbell this day caught a very large bonito.

16 June 1787

In lat: 8725'. A fine breeze. Go 6 knots. Many flying fish seen.

17 June 1787

Captain Sever very ill. Gave him an emetic and cath. A strange sail seen with English colours, supposed to be going from the coast of Guinea to the West Indies, with slaves. About 11 o'clock the Sirius fired a gun and hoisted 2 lights as a signal to take in sail.

18 June 1787

Breeze continues. About 10 am saw the Isle of Sal and at 2pm. saw the island of Buena Vista. A flying fish dropped on deck which I preserved. About 3 o'clock Captain Campbell caught a very large dolphin. It weighed 36 lb and measured exactly five feet from head to tail. The colours it exhibited whilst dying were beautiful in the extreme. In of an hour after, he caught a bonito. A signal made for anchoring. Two boatswain birds over the dolphin whilst he was hauling up.

19 June 1787

At 9 this morning passed the Isle of Mayo and at 12 saw St. Jago. At 2 pm arrived at the mouth of the harbour of Porta Praya and expected to go St. Jago in, but the surf beating very high on the shore induced the commodore (after he had made the signal for anchoring, and a gun had been fired from the forts, to the great disappointment of all [manuscript damaged, several words lost]

[Page 28]

...fleet to join him and get into their station. A very large shark close alongside and soon after a shoal of fish and a dolphin.

20 June 1787

Mr. Watts very ill with his asthmatic complaint. This day many many flying fish and a remarkably large albacore, supposed to weigh not less than 150 lb., was under the bows for several hours, struck at with the grains, but missed.

21 June 1787

Nothing material.

22 June 1787

A perfect calm, only 1 knot per hour. This day one of the convicts (Ann Read) took a draught of solution of mercur: sublimat corrosiv:* instead of water. Gave her a strong emetic and afterwards repeated large doses of ol: ricini** and she did very well.

[* corrosive sublimate of mercury: a white crystalline solid, very toxic to humans]

[** ricini oleum = castor oil]

23 June 1787

A fine breeze. A bonito caught at the bows by the sailors. A number of flying fish seen. Captain Ball of the Supply came on board about 5 pm. A sudden squall came on, attended with much thunder and lightning, which obliged all the fleet to take in most of their sails. It continued violently for at least an hour. No accident happened to any of the fleet.

24 June 1787

Quite a calm. About 4 pm another thunderstorm, attended with very vivid lightning, came on and continued about 1 hour. No accident to the fleet. Many bonitos about; caught two.

25 June 1787

Monday. At 3 o'clock this morning a most violent storm of thunder and lightning came on and continued 2 hours with very heavy rain. The ship's company caught many casks of rain water off the awnings, etc. About 12 o'clock noon a very large shovel-nosed shark swam for a considerable time around the ship. A boat from the Supply was coming on board us.

[Page 29]

The shark swam close by the side of it and they made a stroke at it with their boat hook and missed it. It was at least 8 feet long and caught with a hook a few hours after by the sailors of the Sirius.

26 June 1787

A perfect calm. Captain Sever and Lieutenant George Johnstone dined on board the Charlotte. This day Captain Shea and Lieutenant Shortland dined on board us and adjusted the measures for the convicts' provisions. This day sent Mr. Alltree on board the Charlotte to Mr. White for a supply of medicines, the greater part of which he got. Thermometer at 85.

27 June 1787

About 4 am a very heavy shower of rain attended with very high wind, but no lightning. This day the steward caught a shark. There were many pilot fish about him which followed him alongside the ship till he was drawn up. Many sucking fish were also adhering to him, one of which I preserved in spirits. This evening about 5 o'clock a very heavy shower of rain came on, attended with dreadful flashes of lightning and some very loud peals of thunder. The lightning was much more red than I ever saw it in England. The sailors caught 6 butts of water from the awnings.

28 June 1787

Very little wind. About 5 pm a heavy shower of rain attended with some lightning.

29 June 1787

A brisk breeze at SW. A strange sail seen at about 4 leagues distant, supposed from Ceylon, which afterward proved a Portuguese.

30 June 1787

Very little wind. The Portuguese almost up with the fleet. This day many nautiluses, or Portuguese men of war, as they are vulgarly called, passed the ship.

[Page 30]

July 1787

1 July 1787

Sunday. This day Mary Love, one of the convicts, aged 60, fell down the steerage and broke two of her ribs and otherwise very much bruised herself. Cupped her and administered the usual medicines in such cases and she perfectly recovered. This day also, William Henderson, Sailor, received a bad wound on the head from the fall of a block.

2 July 1787

Long. 194'W, lat. 636'N. A brisk breeze. Many fish about the ship.

4 July 1787

This day delivered Elizabeth Colley, one of the convicts, of a dead boy.

5 July 1787

Captain Ball, by order of the Governor, came on board the Lady Penrhyn to enquire into the state of the water.

A signal for all masters to repair on board the Sirius.

Orders for all officers and men to be at an allowance of [illegible text]* of water per day, except the surgeon who was to have what he thought proper for the sick.

[* On 29 July there was "an order issued for lb. 4 of water to be allowed to the convicts every day, instead of lb. 3," so this illegible text could be "lb. 3", or 3 pounds weight. Three pounds weight of water equals about 1.5 litres or 2.5 imperial pints.]

Also for all the transports to answer signals by hoisting a Dutch jack at the top mast head.

Mr. White came on board at 12 o'clock this day to enquire into the state of the sick. Perfectly satisfied with the account and pronounced the Lady Penrhyn the most healthy ship in the fleet. He informed us that Captain Shea of the Scarborough was very dangerously ill of a mortification of the salival glands, a phrenitis, etc. and that he did not expect his life an hour.

Many have died on board the Alexander and some were dangerously ill on board the Charlotte. Three of the Lieutenants on board the Sirius have been afflicted with ruptures, two of whom are to return home from Rio Janeiro.

6 July 1787

A brisk breeze. Great number of flying fish, many of which dropped on the deck. Six albacores and bonitos caught by the sailors in about a quarter of an hour.

[Page 31]

This day an English mogen sloop was spoken to by the Supply. She was about 5 leagues from the fleet. she was bound from London to the Falkland Isles, had been 3 months from London and 30 days in these latitudes.

8 July 1787

A strange sail* seen at a great distance. Did not speak to her.

[* Nautical terminology for a ship]

A great many bonitos, albacores, skipjacks and dolphins about the ship. Preserved the wings of some flying fish. This evening we caught a large shark. a very large sucking fish was adhering to it, at least a foot in length.

9 July 1787

This day a remarkably fine terrier dog of Mr. Watts' went overboard and was drowned, supposed to have been maliciously drove over by some one in the ship. Seldom a day passes in these latitudes but Captain Campbell (whose line is constantly out) catches one or more fish.

11 July 1787

This day Elizabeth Beckford, a convict on board us, aged 82, died of a dropsy with which she had been long afflicted. She died about 9 in the evening and about 10 her corpse was committed to the deep with the usual form. The burial service was read by Mr. Ball, 3rd mate.

About noon this day, a very large fish was seen floating on the surface of the water, supposed to be a sea devil, which it afterwards proved to be, being caught by the people of the Sirius.

About 12 o'clock at night the sea was covered for some miles round with luminous bodies, which gave a most beautiful appearance. Some of them I had taken up in a bucket of water and preserved in spirits. There are a great many very large porpoises about the ship this evening.

[Page 32]

12 July 1787

Thursday. This day Captain Sever appointed 4 quarter masters out of the ship's company to run the ship, viz. William Marshall, Joseph Downey, Charles Roach and William Crudis, all very good men and able sailors.

14 July 1787

Saturday. Crossed the equinoctial line exactly at 12 o'clock this night. Many of the convicts fell ill of fevers this day.

16 July 1787

This day the sailors scraped the ships sides as far as they could reach, as there were many barnacles adhering, which hindered her sailing. A booby alighted on the yard arm and was taken by one of the sailors. Lieutenants Johnstone and Collins both very ill with a bilious disorder. This day killed 1 pig, 1 goat and 1 sheep.

18 July 1787

About 4 pm a signal from the Sirius for the surgeon general to go on board the Alexander, who are very sickly. This day one of the hens [went] overboard and drowned.

19 July 1787

This day an order issued for 4 lbs. of water to be allowed to the convicts every day, instead of 3 lbs.

20 July 1787

Several dolphin about. Brewed spruce beer this day for the use of the cabin.

21 July 1787

This morning, just before the sun arose, some clouds high in the atmosphere appeared of a most beautiful grass green colour, which went off as the sun got up. We have on board small salad raised on wet flannel in wooden trays. There is this day a very great head swell, with flying showers, and a moderately brisk breeze. Our ship very much to leeward of the fleet.

[Page 33]

22 July 1787

Sunday Almost a calm. About 12 o'clock at noon a very large whale rose about 20 yards from the ship's side, and blew the water very high with a great noise. I was standing on the poop with Captain Sever and looking directly at the spot in which it arose and being the first whale I had ever seen it startled me not a little. It was full as long as the ship, spouted the water several times, swam majestically along by the ship's side, crossed the stern, blew as it went down, head foremost, and its enormous tail a great height out of the water. The value of this single fish, in the opinion of several on board who had been employed in the whale fishery at Davis's Strait, was at least 1000 pounds. About one hour after seeing this whale, 3 others quite as large were plainly seen about 2 leagues distant.

Frequent squalls of rain and wind during this day.

23 July 1787

The Sirius, in a squall, carried away her main topsail yard.

24 July 1787

The squalls continue very frequently and the ship often lies down so much we can scarcely keep our seats at table and everything thereon obliged to be confined. About 12 o'clock at noon the braces of the fore top gallant sail gave way, and it was expected that the foretop mast would have gone, but by the sailors going up immediately and taking in sail it was prevented. We have rolls baked every day for breakfast.

25 July 1787

Frequent squalls, during one of which our foretop gallant mast broke, at 9 at night. The longitude this day 155'42"W.

About 3 pm during a squall, the Alexander backed her topsail and hoisted out her boat, and in a few minutes after the Supply brig bore down to the Alexander.

[Page 34]

There was a very great swell. The boat was out a good while and went a great way astern, which induced us to believe somebody was overboard.

26 July 1787

Frequent squalls, every half hour or hour, with a heavy swell. The Golden Grove (Sharp) carried away her main topsail sheet.

27 July 1787

The squalls still very frequent. Our foretop gallant sail split in several places by the violence of the wind.

About 8 o'clock this morning a large whale passed close alongside us. This day about 12 at noon the commodore went a point or two more before the wind. There is a great swell indeed, so great that we frequently could not see the hulk of the Golden Grove though she is not 3 cables length from us. Captain Campbell this day caught 2 large albacores. These fish, as also dolphin and bonito, are very dry eating, but go down at sea where there is frequently a scarcity of fresh provisions.

28 July 1787

About 5 pm the Supply brig spoke to us and informed us that the accident which happened on board the Alexander on 25th, was one of the convicts had fallen overboard and though every endeavour was used to save him, the swell was so great he was drowned.

He also acquainted us that the Governor had learnt there was an island in these latitudes, not laid down in any charts, for which he requested all the fleet to keep a good lookout. However, though his request was strictly complied with, day and night, none was seen.

[Page 35]

29 July 1787

Sunday. A very fine breeze, go 5, 6 and 7 knots. The longitude this day 3312'W. We have this day about 500 miles to Rio de Janeiro.

This day the last English goose made it's appearance at dinner with raw salad etc.

30 July 1787

A brisk breeze. The Sirius's men employed painting the ship previous to the fleet's getting to Rio de Janeiro.

31 July 1787

In the first of the morning very little wind but it freshened up about 12 at noon. This day spoke to the Sirius, who informed us we were, at 12 of this day, in longitude 368'W. Soon after spoke to the Alexander who confirmed the loss of the man on 25th. He was drowned about 2 miles astern.

Two very large whales seen which from their throwing the sea about in a prodigious manner were supposed to be fighting. A most beautiful moonlight night.

August 1787

1 August 1787

Wednesday. This day the commodore hoisted his broad pendant. A fine breeze, go 5 knots. Now about 90 leagues to Rio de Janeiro.

2 August 1787

A fine breeze, go 6 knots.

At 5 am saw a sail about 1 league before the fleet, which proved to be a Portuguese snow with slaves from the coast of Guinea, bound to Rio de Janeiro. Soon after she had passed us, a large whale rose and blew just under our stern.

This day saw many mother carey's chickens, a kind of sea swallow, which the sailors consider as a prognostic of wind. We also saw a booby, which is a certain sign of being no great distance from land, as they are never known to go far to sea.

About half after 3 pm the Supply brig made the signal for seeing land. In two hours after it was plainly discerned by all the fleet.

[Page 36]

In the evening, a little before dark, all the fleet, by signal, took in sail in order to their keeping together during the night and at nights the commodore hoisted lights as a signal for all ships to keep near him.

3 August 1787

A perfect calm. The peak of Rio about 8 leagues off. Sailors busy in clearing the boats and getting up the cable ready for anchoring. Many mother carey's chickens about. A grampus arose near our stern. The calm continued all the day and it was very hot. The fleet lay to all night.

4 August 1787

Saturday. A signal at 5 am to make sail but so little wind, are fearful we shall not get in today. Many grampuses and some very large boobies seen. The land (which is the south coast of America) appears very mountainous. Calm continues all day.

5 August 1787

This morning quite calm. saw several canoes, but none of them came alongside. Great shoals of horse mackerel about the ship. Steward shot a man of war bird. We are now about 4 leagues from the shore, which appears a white sandy beach. we can distinctly see the trees on the mountains, many of which are very peaked and like Teneriffe, far above the clouds.

The depth of water here is 42 fathoms, with a bottom of mud and small shells. The appearance of the country is beautiful, consisting of lofty mountains and verdant valleys, the one covered with lofty trees etc., and the other with oranges, lemons, limes etc. Sugar canes also grow here in great abundance.

[Page 37]

6 August 1787

Monday. Just off the mouth of the harbour; no wind. Can see the city of St. Sebastion about 2 leagues distant. The appearance of the country, with the number of detached islands about the entrance of the harbour, is beautiful and picturesque to a degree, the soil being everywhere covered with evergreen trees and shrubs. This evening a sailor belonging to the Scarborough fell from the main yard arm into the water and in his fall, striking against some part of the ship, fractured his skull etc. in a dreadful manner. I learn 5 more of the convicts have died on board the Alexander.

Anchored at Rio'Janeiro, lat. 2254'S, long. 4240'W.

About 5 o'clock this evening entered the harbour and the lofty conical hills were exquisitely beautiful. About 6 o'clock were opposite the fort which the commodore saluted with 13 guns and the fort returned the same number.

Soon after, two large canoes, with painted red and white awnings, with 3 Portuguese gentlemen in each, paddled by. Four naked negroes went round most of the ships. They were invited, in French, to come on board, but politely declined accepting the invitation, informing us, in French, that till the fleet had been visited by the captain of the fort and the health boat, the viceroy would not permit them to come on board.

Every ship was towed up by her boats to within 1 mile of the city and there dropped anchor. At night the town was most beautifully illuminated, and the tops of the churches and several monasteries also, in honour of the commodore who had some years ago been employed with much credit in the Portuguese Service. Great many of various kinds of fish all over the harbour.

7 August 1787

Tuesday. A remarkably fine morning. Many canoes came alongside, rowed by naked negroes, with great quantities of very fine oranges which they sold, 24 for 6d., and afterwards double that number. They had also the cassada root, powdered, with which they make bread, but the slaves eat the dry powder.

[Page 38]

They had also fish similar to the sprats in England, but much larger. about 2 pm started the anchor and dropped it again just before the town. About 12 at noon Captain Sever and Mr. Watts went in the jolly boat on shore and at their return gave a most satisfactory account of the reception they met with there. Upon their landing, a soldier, a sergeant who could talk a little English, was appointed to attend them to see they were not imposed upon. They first went up to the viceroy's palace to pay their compliment to the captain of the guard there, who informed them they had liberty to go to whatever part of the city they pleased.

As the Captain's chief business on shore was to procure fresh provisions and vegetables for the ship, he went first to the market. The sergeant informed him that the two grand market days were Tuesdays and Fridays and that in order to have the greater choice he should be there at 7 o'clock in the morning

However, notwithstanding they were so late, they found a plentiful supply, and between 1 and 2 o'clock they returned with a large quantity of the finest cabbages I ever saw; also yams, bananas, guavas, limes, lettuces, barangoles and oranges; also some very tolerable beef.

Tomorrow the captain, Mr. Watts and myself are to go on shore at 7 o'clock. The soldiers here make a very respectable appearance. The country is beautiful in the extreme, indeed so much so that I find myself inadequate to the task of doing it justice by any description I could give of it.

This day Mr. Worgan, surgeon of the Sirius, dined on board, to whom I was introduced by Mr. Watts, and received an invitation to dine with him in the Sirius, and to hear his piano forte. He is a son of Dr. Worgan, D.Mus., and seems a very sensible good kind of man.

8 August 1787

Wednesday. The Captain went early on shore and brought off great plenty of vegetables, fruits, etc. The canoes alongside brought prodigious quantities of oranges of 2 sorts, one very small, of a dark red colour, very sweet and rich flavoured, and the other remarkably large.

[Page 39]

The officer of the guard boat brought a bucketful, as a present, of the largest I ever saw, which measured a foot in circumference, with the stalks and leaves adhering to them. The captain brought off some very fine plantains and large turnips, radishes, cabbages, endives and some very good beef.

Captain Campbell applied to the viceroy for leave to haul the seine, which was immediately granted, and a sergeant appointed to attend us. Mr Watts accompanied Captain Sever on shore this morning where they fell in with 6 masters of the different ships who were there marketing, and afterwards they all adjourned to a coffee house to breakfast, where they had coffee in great plenty, sweetmeats and a great variety of rich cakes and though there were 8 breakfasted the whole reckoning did not exceed 2s. 6d.

This day the commodore went on shore, and some miles up the country, and the night proving very rainy and a high wind, he slept on shore. The captain this day brought some fine green pease which to us who had not seen any for so long a time, were a great luxury. The yams he brought off this day weighed, many of them, 10 or 12 lb. each.

9 August 1787

Thursday. The wind and rain continued all night. In the morning several of the ship's boats were broke lose and one was filled with water. The captain this day, as usual, returned from shore, with the boat well stowed with beef and a variety of vegetables. Many curious birds were brought alongside in canoes, for sale, some of which were purchased by different people in the ship, but all died, on going to sea.

Went on shore with Mr. Balmain, Lieutenants G. Johnstone and Poulden.

10 August 1787

Friday. The town of Rio de Janeiro is very large and some of the streets very long and wide, with many very good houses. went through the 2 market places, where we saw great variety of fruits, vegetables, fish, etc.

[Page 40]

Amongst other articles I purchased, some very curious preserved birds, natives of this place; also some papaya apples. In walking up some of the streets of Rio de Janeiro, the effluvia from the orange and other trees was very grateful (sic), which were in great profusion, full of fruit in a gradation of ripeness and in full blossom at the same time.

The aqueduct in this place is well worthy of notice. It consists of brick, and is built with a great many regular and lofty arches. The churches in this city are very elegant.

In this place we met with a young man of the name of Dagnell who came from Coventry in the Berborough east indiaman and deserted about 11 months since, at this place. We found him very useful, being complete master of the Portuguese language. He seemed very desirous of leaving Rio and once applied to me for leave to attend me as a servant to Botany Bay and elsewhere. But this, from prudential reasons, I declined, especially as no individual is suffered to leave this place clandestinely.

Upon our return in the evening, on board I found Major Ross and Captain Hunter of the Sirius, to whom I was introduced by Major Ross.

11 August 1787

Being very much fatigued with my long walk of yesterday, I remained on board all this day. Nor is it to be wondered at that I should be a good deal tired, having been without any exercise for 9 weeks. This night one of the Portuguese officers, belonging to the guard boat, dined, supped and slept on board the Sirius.

12 August 1787

Sunday. A very fine day. Boats constantly passing and repassing to and from the town and the opposite shore.

[Page 41]

13 August 1787

Monday. In the afternoon accompanied Captain Sever on shore and bought some cotton in the pod, with the seeds. Saw many black slaves leading about the streets to be sold. Went into several churches, which were very elegantly ornamented.

This day, Captain Tench and Lieutenant Poulden of the Charlotte dined on board us.

This day, Captain Campbell very ill with a violent pain in his head and a bilious disorder. Some prawns were bought this day, the largest I ever saw. Some of them when extended were near a foot in length, and their bodies as big as my finger.

14 August 1787

Went on shore and purchased some medicines for my use at sea. This day one of the Portuguese officers dined on board us was a very civil, polite behaved man. He was greatly delighted with my phosphoric tapers. I broke one to show him the nature thereof and made him a present of one in a tin case. This day I purchased 31 plumes of birds, natives of Rio de Janeiro, of the Brazilian magpie kind, very beautiful.

This evening Signor Ildefonso, a Portuguese physician, with 6 other Portuguese gentlemen, came on board with Major Ross and drank tea. Nobody on board but Captain Campbell, myself and Mr. Anstis, the chief mate, all the other gentlemen being gone on the shore, opposite the town, to drink tea in the orange grove. Signor Ildefonso is the chief physician at Rio and upon the first vacancy is to be appointed physician to the Queen of Portugal. He gave a very polite invitation to me to visit him and to see all the curiosities which the Queen's Museum in this place consists of, and which I should gladly have accepted of, but unfortunately a sister of the physician's happened to die the next day.

[Page 42]

Therefore he could not make his appearance in public for some considerable time after, without the greatest indecorum, he appeared to be an intelligent good kind of man, about 40 years of age. Previous to his leaving the ship he left a considerable sum of Portuguese money, not less than forty shillings English, for the convicts, to be expended for their use in such articles as Captain Sever should think most beneficial to them in their unhappy predicament.

This afternoon a snow from the coast of Guinea moored very near us, with a cargo of some hundreds of black slaves for the slave market at Rio.

At daylight in the morning I was awoke with their singing, as is their custom previous to their being sold or executed. They were all naked. In the evening the party returned from drinking tea in the orange grove. The account they gave of the country was enchanting. Within less than 100 yards of the beach they were surrounded by orange, lemon and lime trees; also indigo, pineapples and many other kinds of plants and fruits, all which they may have for the gathering. There were also great numbers of birds and enormous butterflies, both extremely beautiful of their kind.

This evening a large monastery, situated on a rock on the left side of the bay, was most superbly illuminated in honour of some one of their saints, and many curious fireworks were displayed, the best of which undoubtedly were the sky rockets, which were very good, mounted a great height, and some had gold and silver rain, others very good stars. Captain Campbell better.

[Page 43]

15 August 1787

Wednesday. Went on shore to see a grand procession. About 3 pm the whole of the streets were crowded with people up to a very elegant church situated on the top of a high hill, which overlooks the town and harbour. The church was decorated in a most superb manner. There was a band of music playing in the church yard consisting of 2 French horns, 1 violin, 1 clarinet and a drum, somewhat like a kettle drum. The ladies who appeared publicly at the windows and in the procession were elegantly dressed, notwithstanding which they bore no small resemblance to the actresses at a puppet show in Bartholomew fair, their heads plastered and dressed up in a very similar manner. There were very few amongst them who could be called tolerably handsome.

At night there was a grand display of fireworks off the top of one of the churches and an awning spread from the church door quite across the street to the opposite house, over the door of which, in an elegantly ornamented recess, stood an image of the Virgin Mary and Child most superbly dressed. Under the awning and in the centre of the street hung a very large chandelier and an orchestra was erected over the entrance of the church, in which was an organ and a band of vocal and instrumental performers. We left the town about 9 o'clock, but the ceremony did not close till near 11 at night.

16 August 1787

16th. This day hauled the seine, but it being late in the day, very few fish caught.

This day I accompanied Lieutenant Timmins of the Prince of Wales to the town and went up to a very large monastery on the top of a hill, just without the town. The friars treated us with the greatest civility, as indeed did everyone on both sides the bay, and seemed very fond of the English.

[Page 44]

They showed us every part of the monastery. To describe the elegance and richness is no easy task. Suffice it to say that the different apartments were very lofty and spacious, the ceiling of many of them painted in a most capital manner, descriptive of religious history, with a great profusion of carvings and gildings. The figures of the Mother and Child, St. Antonio, Mary Magdaline and some others were done in the most costly manner, particularly the Virgin Mother which held a bouquet in her hand, which extended as high as her shoulder, set very thick with very valuable brilliant diamonds. She also had a plain white riband round her neck with a large brilliant diamond in the centre of it, as big as the top of my thumb. The lamps and candle sticks were very large and all of solid silver.

The friars took us into the gardens, which are little more than bare enclosures, very little art being bestowed upon them, as I am informed there is not a gardener in the town. [but] where nature spontaneously produced double myrtles, now in full blossom, oranges, lemons, limes, bananas, plantains and many other sorts of fruits to which I am a stranger. From this garden you command a prospect all over the town, the harbour and the country for many miles round, till the view is intercepted by successive ranges of lofty mountains.

17 August 1787

Friday. The first of the morning it rained pretty hard but about 10 am it cleared up. I went on shore on the opposite side to the town, accompanied by Mr. James Smith and Captain Campbell's servant. We caught many beautiful butterflies and other insects and collected many curious leaves etc. There are here large plantations of indigo and the castor nuts grow wild about the hedges; also pineapples, aloes, sugar canes, etc., etc.

[Page 45]

An old gentleman, who afterwards we found was captain of a fort nearby, seeing us pass his garden, by signs invited us in and treated us in the most friendly manner, insisting upon our eating of every fruit his garden afforded, viz. oranges of many sorts, sweet and sour lemons, pineapples, bananas, guavas. He also loaded us home with presents of each. He also insisted on making us some punch and produced a bottle of excellent port wine. He also presented us with a large quantity of the marmalade of guava, of his own making and which was an exceedingly good sweetmeat.

He had in his pocket a silver watch, capped and jewelled, made by Markham of London, and which he appeared to set a great value upon.

He had many negro slaves about him, who seemed all perfectly happy in his service, nor indeed could they be otherwise if I am not grossly deceived in my opinion of his humanity and goodness of heart.

18 August 1787

Mr. Worgan did us the favour of his company to dinner this day, and made me promise to dine on board the Sirius with him on Monday and proposed, after dinner, going into the town to visit two monasteries where there were excellent organs.

19 August 1787

Sunday. Nothing material.

20 August 1787

Monday. Went, accompanied by Mr. Watts, to dine on board the Sirius with Mr. Worgan. When I went on board the Sirius, Governor Phillip and Captain Hunter were both walking the quarter deck and behaved very politely to me. There were present at dinner Lieutenant Maxwell; Lieutenant Long, the adjutant of marines; Mr. Worgan, the surgeon; Mr. Palmer, the purser; and 3 other gentlemen unknown to me.

[Page 46]

After dinner, Major Ross and Mr. White, who dined that day with the Governor on board, came down to us to hear the piano forte. About 6 o'clock I left the Sirius and returned, accompanied by Mr. Watts, Mr. White, and Mr. Worgan, on board the Lady Penrhyn, where they all stayed for supper, it being too late to go to the town as we at first proposed.

The city of St. Sebastian has 11 churches, 6 monasteries and 2 nunneries. The country abounds in mines of precious stones, the chief of which are topazes, some of which we saw of a very large size, particularly a large head of a walking cane, beautifully cut and polished, one entire topaz of an immense value.

The Queen of Portugal obliges them to send all precious stones found here to Lisbon to be cut and polished and those we saw had been returned from thence. You might purchase a stone here for a guinea and a half, or two Guineas, worth ten in England.

I believe no part of the habitable globe produces so great a variety of beautiful insects as the Brazils do.

21 August 1787

Tuesday. This day being the birthday of the hereditary prince of Brazil, Joseph Francisco Xavier, the commodore displayed the Portuguese colours at the foremast head; the commodore's broad pendant at the main top mast head; the union jack at the mizzen top; and the English ensign at the stern.

The Portuguese colours were flying at all the forts round the bay. At 1 pm the commodore saluted with 21 guns and all the forts did the same. The day concluded with bonfires, brilliant illuminations and very good fireworks.

22 August 1787

This day Major Ross, Captain Shea, Lieutenant Sharpe, Surgeon Balmain, Lieutenant Poulden and a Portuguese officer dined with us.

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23 August 1787

This day Mr. James Smith and I devoted in searching for butterflies, insects etc. etc. Every native we fell in with treated us with the greatest civility. The old gentleman, captain of the fort, made me a present of 3 fine diamond beetles. Another presented me with a rosary of beads, an artificial shell work flower, some beautiful flies and a walking leaf. I collected many natural curiosities, spent the day very agreeably and returned on board in the evening, with Mr. Smith who was highly pleased with his day's excursion. Captain Sinclair lent me his boat.

24 August 1787

Dined on board the Alexander with Lieutenant John Johnstone and Mr. Balmain. Mr. Watts also accompanied me. After dinner Mr. Watts and I went on shore, where we were presented by a gentleman, shortly after our landing, with many diamond beetles and many other curious insects. I extracted a tooth for his lady who, all agreed, was by far the handsomest woman we had seen at Rio.

I prescribed for a negro slave near the above gentleman's house, who was very ill. To the above gentleman, Mr. Watts presented an English razor and some cheese and I gave him a pair of plaited English shoe buckles and 2 phosphoric tapers, all which were highly acceptable. The gentleman and 2 ladies danced to a viol played by a negro slave and made Mr. Watts and me dance with them. Their dancing consists of little else than footing, turning round and snapping their fingers to the music.

Scarcely a day passes without our going on shore and collecting some curiosity or other, till our leaving Rio.

3 September 1787

This day Henry Hill, one of our sailors, who was a Roman Catholic about 21 years old, eloped from the ship and concealed himself in the town. Captain Sever was not sorry at his loss as he behaved very exceptionably on board.

[Page 48]

This evening I made a point of going on shore to take my final leave of the old captain of the fort, as he had behaved so remarkably friendly to me. I had a sailor with me who talked Portuguese. He told me the old gentleman was very desirous of my staying in the country. Some few days since, I taped him for a hydrocele and drew off near 4 pints of water.

September 1787

4 September 1787

At break of day the fleet sailed from Rio de Janeiro. Mr. Morton, late master of the Sirius, Mr. Sealy, a midshipman of ditto, and another gentleman, who were all invalids, and left at St. Sebastian to return to England by a whale fisherman, then lying under repair there, the Diana, Murry, commander, belonging to Boddy of London, accompanied the fleet in a Portuguese yacht till it reached the mouth of the harbour. The fort saluted us as we passed it with 21 guns, which the commodore returned with the same number.

The Governor of St. Sebastian, out of a compliment to Governor Phillip, dispensed with the port duties, which are 10 pounds, viz. 5 pounds coming in and 5 pounds going out, and 5 shillings a day during the stay there, for every ship. The whole sum, amounting to 155.5s.0d. The Sirius and the Supply brig are excepted in this acct, as being King's ships. They not paying port duties in any part of the world.

The water at Rio de Janeiro is not good tasting, nor will it keep long at sea. During the continuance of our stay at this place every man had 2 lb. of fresh meat allowed him every day with plenty of vegetables, etc. etc. The watering place at the town is opposite the viceroy's palace

[Page 49]

5 September 1787

Very little wind.

6 September 1787

A fine breeze, go 5 knots. Several weather gauls* seen. The Lady Penrhyn sails much better than before we came into Rio. We were supplied very amply with plantain suckers for the stock and their eating very voraciously thereof, occasioned them to be very ill. The goat Mr. Collins brought at Teneriffe died.

[* gulls?]

8 September 1787

A fine breeze. In the night a violent storm of thunder and lightning. Captain Campbell's kid broke its thigh, by the chicken coops falling on it, by the ship's rolling.

9 September 1787

A fine day and gale continues.

10 September 1787


11 September 1787

A brisk gale. A very large shark alongside.

12 September 1787

The gale increased and the sea runs very high. Lat. 2836'.

13 September 1787

A rainy morning. About 10 am a violent squall came on which laid the ship so much down that the sea ran into the lee port-holes. Everything moveable was thrown down and the usual confusion at such times ensued. The squall lasted about 20 minutes, and it continued to rain the whole day. It rained afresh in the night and, about 4 am,

14 September 1787

another violent squall came on which lasted some hours with heavy rain. About 8 am it fell calm and continued so all day. A pigeon went overboard and was lost.

16 September 1787

About 6 o'clock a large whale passed close alongside.

A new mainsail and a new fore topsail bent this day.

[Page 50]

This day, I took a jiggerworm from my foot and dressed it with petroleum.

18 September 1787

Very wet with frequent squalls of wind.

19 September 1787

The squalls and rain continue. Suppose someone has fallen overboard from the Charlotte as she back her topsails, though it then blew very strong and was a heavy squall coming on.

20 September 1787

A fine morning with a brisk gale. The thermometer stood at 57 at 8 am. The gale continued all day, and night much the same.

23 September 1787

Sunday. This day a breeze came on about 7 am which blew very strong all day with a mountainous sea, many of which [waves] broke over the poop.

24 September 1787

A heavy gale and a great swell. Many albatrosses and pintado birds astern. In the night there were many heavy squalls. The ship rolled so very much that everything in the cabin gave way. Much lightning and thunder and hail. Mr. Watts hurt himself by being thrown over the chairs. Many of the women also received hurts and bruises from falls. I could get no sleep all night, the roll of the ship was so great.

25 September 1787

The gale continues, with frequent squalls. Go 7 knots.

27 September 1787

At 11 at night the wind carried away the boom of the fore steering sail.

28 September 1787

The wind very high. Supposed this day to be in the meridian of London. Many grampuses seen near the ship. About 6 pm it fell almost a calm and the wind came on at south very high with rain and frequent squalls.

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29 September 1787

Saturday. A very wet morning with the wind at south, very cold. A great sea.

30 September 1787

A total calm. About 2 o'clock a gentle breeze sprung up and continued all night.

October 1787

1 October 1787

Monday. The brig spoke to us and informed us that the longitude was 34' by the timekeeper on board the Sirius.

2 October 1787

This day, just one month from leaving Rio de Janeiro, killed a sheep and sent a quarter on board the Alexander. Hung out a table cloth as a signal, which was previously agreed upon.

4 October 1787

A fine breeze. Many birds and porpoises about the ship.

5 October 1787

About 7 o'clock this morning 5 very large spermaceti whales very near the ship for a considerable time together.

6 October 1787

This day sent for by Captain Sharp of the Golden Grove, who is very ill. A signal from the commodore for all ships to go into his wake. There was a list of day and night signals sent on board every ship, but as they are long and, I think, foreign to the purport of this journal, I shall not here enumerate them.

7 October 1787

Sunday. This day Revd. Mr. Johnson delivered some great and small tooth combs to deliver out to the convicts at my discretion.

8 October 1787

Tuesday. A gentle breeze. This day killed a sucking pig. Something supposed to be amiss on board the Alexander from the manoeuvres of the ships.

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9 October 1787

A fine morning with a gentle breeze, go 4 knots. This day the Charlotte spoke us and informed us that on 19th of last month, in the squall, one of the male convicts on board her had fallen overboard and was drowned, notwithstanding every means was employed to save him.

This day about 10 am the Supply brig spoke to us and informed us that there was bad work on board the Alexander. So much so that he apprehended there would be some hanged as soon as we arrived at the Cape. We had not the particulars as Captain Ball was not very near us when he spoke to us but we apprehend it to be a mutiny amongst the ship's company and convicts, as they were very mutinously inclined when at Rio de Janeiro and threatened Captain Sinclair and Mr. Long, the chief Mate, and Mr. Dunnivan, 2nd Mate, much, declaring they would do as they pleased, for all Captain Sinclair [said], who they said had no power over them, and who indeed appeared to have lost all authority over his people. For what reason I am at a loss to guess, but I apprehend from his not exerting a proper spirit amongst them. We reckon ourselves this day about 520 miles distant from the Cape of Good Hope.

10 October 1787

A fine breeze. In the night Captain Sever saw a whale close alongside.

13 October 1787

Saturday. The Lady Penrhyn hoisted the signal for seeing land, The Cape of Good Hope, about 5 o'clock in the morning about 14 leagues distant. The commodore lay to in the night and filled his sails again about 4 am.

[Page 53]

A fine breeze, go 6 knots. Exactly 2 minutes before 6 pm we dropped anchor in Table Bay, directly before Cape Town and the Table Mountain.

Anchored at Cape of Good Hope. Lat. 3422'S, long. 1845'E.

The face of the country appears beautiful. The town is backed by very lofty mountains, many of which are covered with verdure, and great flocks of sheep feeding thereon, particularly that called the Lion's Rump.

The town is pretty large and appears to have many exceedingly good houses in it. There are many gallows and other implements of punishment erected along the shore and in the front of the town. There were also wheels for breaking felons upon, several of which were at this time occupied by the mangled bodies of the unhappy wretches who suffered upon them. The right hand was cut off and fixed by a large nail to the side of the wheel, the wheel itself elevated upon a post about 9 or 10 feet high, upon which the body lies to perish.

To the right of the wharf is the principal fort. There are also two other forts, not very strong, to the left of the town, erected by order of the French officers, whilst at the Cape in the service of the Dutch. This day Major Ross supped on board us.

14 October 1787

This morning the commodore saluted the fort with 14 guns which was returned by the fort with 14. Went with Lieutenant G. Johnston on board the Alexander. Many of the convicts and marines dangerously ill of a kind of putrid fever. Whilst I was there Surgeon White

[Page 54]

came on board, who had been very ill. He informed me that upwards of 30 had been very ill with a putrid fever and dysentery on board the Charlotte, so that he expected the death of 3 of them this day. Major Ross and Lieutenant J. Johnstone dined on board us.

This day 3 of the sailors belonging to the Alexander were sent on board the Sirius for being concerned in a plot with the convicts to seize upon and run away with the ship. Some of the convicts concerned in it were chained to the decks. What punishment the commodore means to inflict on them is, at present, unknown. This day I find myself very ill with a pain in my head, back etc.

29 October 1787

This day, the 2nd mate of the Friendship, Patrick Vallance, being much intoxicated, fell overboard and never came up again. He was about 45 years of age.

November 1787

1 November 1787

Phoebe Norton, a convict on board us, fell from the head, into the sea, It was a remarkably calm day, therefore before she had time to go down, two men jumped overboard and saved her by hauling her into the pinnace, which was fastened at the stern.

2 November 1787

This day the signal was hoisted on the Lyon's Rump, the sugar loaf mountain, and on Penguin Island, for seeing a sail. It came in about 1 pm and proved to be the Rainger packet, Captain Buchan, from London to Bengal. She was saluted with huzzas as they passed a large Danish east indiaman and also by the Sirius people as they passed it.

[Page 55]

She came last from Falmouth and to our great disappointment brought no letters or news. It was 2 months since she left Falmouth. The long boat belonging to a Dutch east indiaman in this harbour, with 6 hands in her, deeply laden, was by a very sudden squall of wind overset and 2 of the hands drowned, notwithstanding it happened in the midst of the fleet and many boats were put off to save them. the boat was got up the same day.

This bay is very subject to heavy squalls, which come so suddenly from the adjacent mountains as renders it extremely dangerous, at certain times, to go in small boats with a sail. This day a quarter master belonging to the Danish east indiaman died and was carried on shore about 1 pm to be interred. one gun was fired upon the boat's leaving the ship. By the Rainger we read the news of Boston, in America, being destroyed by fire. The Rainger stayed no longer than to take in water, to complete which as soon as possible she borrowed many long boats from the Botany Bay fleet and sailed again on the 5th.

5 November 1787

About this time another ship came into the harbour, which proved to be a Portuguese east indiaman, lately the Blandford of England. This day we received on board 1 stallion, 3 mares and 3 colts for Governor Phillip's use at New South Wales.

The streets of Cape Town are very wide and long and intersect each other at right angles. The fronts of the houses are most of them white with ornamental cornices, urns, and figures on the top, painted green. In most houses the lower apartments are very lofty and, in general, much better furnished than the upper ones.

[Page 56]

And before many of the houses are rows of oak trees of a much softer nature than the English oak, and in general they do not seem to flourish very well as you often saw some of them stunted and others quite dead.

There are two churches in the town, a Lutheran and a Calvinistical. In a large square at the entrance of the town are two conduits, which are constantly and plentifully supplied from Table Mountain and these furnish a fifth of the whole town with water, which the slaves are constantly carrying in pails or buckets. There is also, just without the town a new hospital, very spacious and well calculated for the accommodation of the sick. There are no taverns or coffee houses in this town, but spelmerup houses, as they are called, but these houses are by no means calculated for the accommodation of gentlemen, being in general frequented by the lowest class of people.

Therefore, if a gentleman means to dine or sleep on shore he must find out accommodations at some private house, in doing which he need not be much at a loss, as there are scarce any private houses in Cape Town where they will not put up with the inconveniences of taking lodgers or transient passengers for the sake of the profit, which is two dollars a day.

Nor do I conceive there is any part of the Dutch possessions better calculated to exemplify the characteristic of Dutch avarice than Cape Town. Every article while the fleet lay here was advanced to treble its usual price and should ships touch at any port where necessaries are to be procured, previous to their arrival at the Cape, it will be not a little to their interest to purchase all they can, rather than to pay so exorbitant as they do here for every article.

[Page 57]

The Company's gardens are by far the pleasantest spot about town. In them is the Governor's house, with a pleasant garden and walks shaded by trees. In the garden is a walk planted on each side with very lofty oak trees and clipped myrtle hedges, very wide and nearly as long as the mall in St. James's Park, at the end of which is the menagerie, containing a tiger, a secretary bird, an hyena, two wolves, a tiger cat, a jackal, some spring deer, two or 3 ostriches, a cassowary, a zebra, and a very large baboon, which has been chained at one corner of the garden many years. There are also many sorts of water fowl in a basin of water in the centre of the square.

The present governor it seems is not fond of natural history, therefore his collection of beasts and birds is very circumscribed, being destitute of the most curious productions of nature in that quarter of the globe in which he resides, viz. lions, buffalo and many other species.

12 November 1787

The fleet left this place without much regret on 11th of November at 1 pm. The fort saluted with 13 guns in return for 13 fired by the commodore. On the fleet's sailing, on passing Penguin Island we met a large Dutch ship with soldiers for the Cape. A few days previous to our sailing an American ship from Boston came into Table Bay, on her way to India.

12 November 1787

Saw a sail 3 leagues distant. Some of the fleet spoke to her and found her to be an English south whaler.

[Page 58]

Captain Sever laid in a plentiful stock at the Cape, notwithstanding the dearness of them, viz. sheep, remarkable for the enormous size of their tails; geese, 5s. each; fowls, 2s. 6d. each; goats; hogs; etc. etc.

While at Cape Town, Governor Phillip gave fresh beef and mutton with plenty of vegetables, every day to the convicts, and soft bread.

15 November 1787

A brisk gale, but quite against us. This day Ann Morton, one of the women on board our ship, delivered of a boy. The fleet cannot yet make the tack for doubling the Cape.

16 November 1787

Towards night, 3 whales rose near the ship, one of which almost touched the ship's side. Every morning since our leaving the Cape has presented us with 4, 5 and 6 dead fowls.

18 November 1787

Three more whales seen. This day Jane Parkinson died.

19 November 1787

Been out just one week and the wind directly against us all the time. Two more whales just under the bows. A signal from the commodore for every ship to pass in succession under his stern. Major Ross came on board with orders from the commodore to allow every man only 3 pints of water a day. He also acquainted us that the commodore would go from the Sirius into the Supply brig which, with the Alexander, the Scarborough and the Friendship, would proceed as fast as possible to Botany Bay without waiting for the rest of the fleet, in order to cut down trees and provide other matters against their arrival, who are to follow with all expedition. This day 6 or 8 spermaceti whales rose very near the ship. The Lady Penrhyn getting water this day out of

[Page 59]

the Scarborough, on account of her having so much stock on board, and settling other matters previous to a gale's springing up when the fleet is to separate and the 4 ships before mentioned are to make the best of their way to New South Wales.

Captain Hunter remains in the Sirius and Major Ross goes in the Scarborough. Lieutenant Shortland is to go in the Alexander and is to navigate that ship in company with the Scarborough and the Friendship to Botany Bay, with all possible dispatch. The Supply, with the Governor in her, and Captain Ball, goes off first, and the seven remaining ships of the fleet are to follow.

This day many butts of water and some hay brought on board us from the Scarborough. This day received a present of a rich waistcoat from Captain Campbell.

20 November 1787

A calm. Not steerage way. About 3 am, 3 spermaceti whales playing very near the ship a great while together. Nine fowls found dead this morning. At 5 pm a gentle breeze sprung up at NW. and increased gradually all day, till we go 6 knots. Many more whales seen at a distance.

23 November 1787

Captain Sever and Henderson, one of the sailors, very ill, both with bilious disorders. In the night the wind increased and blew very hard, with heavy rain.

24 November 1787

Frequent squalls.

25 November 1787

Very little wind in the morning and the day remarkably fine.

[Page 60]

The fleet separates.

About 9 o'clock am the Sirius hoisted a signal for all the fleet to lie to and send out their boats. Major Ross came on board us and informed Captain Campbell that he was going from us into the Scarborough and that he was to have a party of marines there with him from the Sirius and other ships of the fleet. Soon after, we saw the commodore leave the Sirius and go on board the Supply brig.

It took up about 3 hours in adjusting all matters preparatory to the Supply, the Scarborough the Alexander, and Friendship setting off, as mentioned before, very shortly after which, a gentle breeze sprung up which increased during the night. The fleet all made sail between 12 and 1 o'clock and next morning the 4 racers were out of sight.

The Governor's design in thus separating the fleet was this. As there were several of the ships but very slow sailers and, I am very sorry to say, the two ladies, viz. the Charlotte and Lady Penrhyn, stood foremost in the list, he made choice of the 3 ships above mentioned as being the best sailers hitherto, and these 3 ships were, by his express order, put under the direction of Lieutenant Shortland the navy agent.

The Supply was the swiftest sailer in the fleet in light breezes, but so low that she could make no way when there was much wind or swell, being then almost constantly under water and, in every respect, a most uncomfortable ship. The Governor therefore, depending upon the season of the year for light winds and fine weather, meant to explore the coast of New South Wales previous to the arrival of the rest of the fleet, but in order to have had this scheme succeed he should have put his plan in force long before he did as it

[Page 61]

could not with the smallest degree of probability be supposed that the fleet would arrive long enough after him to complete such a work of time as that of exploring any considerable a part of so extensive a coast as that of New Holland. Had he conceived the idea, and put it in practice at leaving Rio de Janeiro it might have succeeded in some measure but as it was now produced it was a mere abortion of the brain; a whim which struck him at the time, as the sequel will sufficiently evince.

27 November 1787

Tuesday. A brisk breeze. Captain Sever was standing on the quarter deck and exclaimed that there was a rock ahead which, in the first moment of surprise, alarmed many of us; but upon a second view it proved to be a dead whale of a most enormous size. In all probability it had been dead some time, as it was prodigiously swelled. The skin off its back, which was a great height out of the water and at first sight had very much the appearance of a rock, especially as it was in a manner covered over with a variety of sea birds. Notwithstanding that it was at least half a mile from the ship, the stench of it was almost intolerable.

29 November 1787

Wind very high with a prodigious sea which continued all night and during the night the ship rolled to very much that everything movable was thrown down, in every part of the ship. I was this day dressing a blister for a sailor in the steerage and had it not been for the chest of one of the seamen, I must inevitably have had both my legs crushed to atoms, as the whole of the great cable tear(?) gave way and took the above chest in its passing,

[Page 62]

which fortunately pitched against the foot of the steerage ladder and stopped its progress, just as it had drove my legs between two large chests so as to press them gently.

This day a shark, not less than 15 feet in length, seized a pair of white trousers of mine which were towing astern and snapped a new cord as big as my little finger in pieces, gave a great plunge and went under the stern. I and several others happened to be on the round house at the time and looked over immediately and in a few minutes after saw the trousers come up again and float astern and the shark following them.

December 1787

1 December 1787

Fine breeze, go 6 knots. The 7 ships of the fleet all in sight and not far from each other. The Sirius rather ahead of the fleet.

This day, Mr. James Smith, passenger in our ship, made me a present of the 4 volumes of the Dictionary of Arts and Sciences.

This day one of the convicts in our ship, Margaret Burn, scalded her leg in a dreadful manner. It is pretty extraordinary how very healthy the convicts, on board this ship in particular, and the fleet in general, have been during so long a passage, and where there was a necessity of stowing them so thickly together. If I except the Alexander, where many of the convicts were embarked from the different goals with malignant disorders upon them, and consequently had many died on board, not less than 30, the Scarborough, where they were embarked

[Page 63]

in a healthy state, had not lost a single person during the passage. But this phenomenon will not appear so strange when I inform my readers how very well government has provided for the accommodation of the convicts.

I believe I may venture to say that few marines going out of England upon service were ever so amply provided for as these convicts are, and the surgeons and officers of the different ships pay such strict attention to their keeping themselves and their berths well aired and perfectly clean, together with the remarkably fine weather we have experienced during the whole of the voyage. Therefore, I must again repeat, had the convicts been all embarked in that perfectly healthy state which government meant they should have been and believed were, I firmly believe very few, if any, would have died hitherto.

In the Lady Penrhyn only 2 women have died since leaving England; one, 82 years of age, of a dropsy which had long rained upon her; and the other, of a consumption, sent on board the Lady Penrhyn in the last stage thereof, from the Friendship, whilst we were at the Cape of Good Hope.

This day almost a calm, the having, barely steerage way. At 3 pm saw a whale, which tinctured the water with blood for a considerable space round it every time it rose, wherefore we concluded it might have been wounded by a swordfish, the avowed enemy of the whale, especially as we saw no whale fishers in these parts.

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2 December 1787

A fine breeze, go 6 knots.

A discovery made of Thomas Kelly, a convict, sent on board from the Alexander to superintend the Governor's horses, having broached a puncheon of rum between decks, and drank and given to the women a considerable quantity. As it appeared pretty clear that he was instigated by the women to do it the captain did not get him punished but took care to secure the rum in future, so far as it was possible to do it.

3 December 1787

Fine breeze, which keeps increasing till we go 6 and 7 knots. A great swell. Ship many heavy seas.

About 4 pm a very large whale rose and blew close alongside on the larboard side of the ship and in a few minutes after another rose on the starboard side with many large white spots on its back. Saw several sea snakes.

Killed a pig this day.

This day, by observation, we were ten thousand five hundred miles and upwards from England. Have now upwards of five thousand five hundred miles to New Holland.

4 December 1787

This morning very rainy and wind very high and in the night the ship rolled gunnel under.

Many albatrosses about the ship. One of them the steward caught with a hook baited with fat, but it broke lose before he could haul it up. They, in general measure, from the tip of one wing to the other when extended, 12 foot and some, I believe, more. They are, in general, of a black and white colour.

The steward got up a large black kind of gull and preserved it. The last hen pigeon went overboard and drowned.

5 December 1787

Almost a calm. A great swell. One of the Cape sheep died of the cold.

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6 December 1787


Looks very dirty but at present almost a calm. Towards evening a gentle breeze sprung up. The sow littered and had 6 pigs.

7 December 1787

So very hot can scarcely bear to sit upon the round house. Towards evening the breeze died away and it fell almost calm.

10 December 1787

Monday. Spoke to the Sirius about 10 o'clock am. The long. 58. Since Commodore Phillip left us the remaining 7 ships of the fleet have kept much better together as Captain Hunter does not carry such a press of sail as the commodore used to do.

This day I had the box of necessaries got up out of the gun room where, from the rolling of the ship, it had been staved and some of the sugar had fallen out, and stowed the contents in the lockers of my own cabin. This box was sent on board for the use of the sick amongst the convicts and under the care of the surgeon.

It consisted of the following articles: about 40 lb. of moist sugar; 6 lb. of currants; 6 lb. of sago; 1 lb. of almonds; a small quantity of mace, cinnamon etc.; a hundredweight of fine rice; a large quantity of French barley; a 10 gallon cask of red port wine; some potable soup; tea, lump sugar; 10 tin saucepans and mugs; two kegs of fine essence of malt.

The provisions for the convicts were also very good of their kind. The beef and pork, in particular, were excellent.

A retrospective view of these different articles may serve to justify the observation I made some way back in this journal, that I believe few marines or soldiers going out on a foreign service under government were ever better, if so well, provided for, as these convicts are. It is also asserted there are not less than 2000 (Lw or Sw?) of medicines of different kinds in the fleet.

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I wish I could with truth add that the behaviour of the convicts merited such extreme indulgence, but I believe I may venture to say there was never a more abandoned set of wretches collected in one place at any period than are now to be met with in this ship in particular, and I am credibly informed the comparison holds with respect to all the convicts in the fleet. The greater part of them are so totally abandoned and calloused to all sense of shame and even common decency that it frequently becomes indispensably necessary to inflict corporal punishment upon them,* and sorry I am to say that even this rigid mode of proceeding has not the desired effect, since every day furnishes proofs of their being more hardened in their wickedness.

[* Smyth's note: Upon any very extraordinary occasion such as thieving fighting with each other or making use of abusive language to the officers, they have thumb screws put on, or iron fetters on their wrists of this form^^ and sometimes their hair has been cut off and their head shaved, which they seemed to dislike more than any other punishment they underwent.

At first 1 or 2 were flogged with a cat of 9 tails on the naked breech, but as there are certain seasons when such a mode of punishment could not be inflicted with that attention to decency which everyone whose province it was to punish them wished to adhere to, it was totally laid aside. They were also, whilst under punishment so very abusive that there was a necessity for gagging them.

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Nor do I conceive it possible in their present situation to adopt any plan to induce them to behave like rational or even human beings. Perpetually thieving the clothes from each other, nay almost from their backs, may be ranked amongst the least of their crimes, though it is the crime for which most of them are in their present disgraceful situation. The oaths and imprecations they daily make use of in their common conversation, and little disputes with each other, by far exceeds anything of the kind to be met with amongst the most profligate wretches in London.

Nor can their matchless hypocrisy be equalled, except by their base ingratitude, many of them plundering the sailors, (who have at every port they arrived at, spent almost the whole of the wages due to them in purchasing different articles of wearing apparel and other things for their accommodation) of their necessary clothes and cutting them up for some purpose of their own.

11 December 1787

Tuesday. A fine breeze.

12 December 1787


13 December 1787

Ditto, with rain.

14 December 1787


15 December 1787

A large whale rose close under the stern about 12 o'clock at noon and at 6 pm another equally large rose near the ship.

This day a fine kid, of Mr. Watts, was frightened overboard by Captain Campbell's servant and drowned.

16 December 1787

A fine breeze, go 8 knots. About 10 am a whale close by the stern and many albatrosses about the ship.

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Many sand pipers, a dozen or more in a flock, about the ship, which we thought an indication of there being land at no great distance, however we saw none.

17 December 1787

A fine breeze, go 7 knots. Another large whale seen; blew thrice and then went down. About 8 pm, 3 very large whales were seen for a considerable time together, very near the ship. We supposed them to be 2 males and a female and that they were engendering.

18 December 1787

This day, Mary Davis one of the convicts, fell down the fore hatchway and pitched on her head, which being well defended by false hair, rolls, etc. etc., she sustained no material injury.

I must here make a digression to take notice of the beautiful appearance of the sea about 9 o'clock at night. The moon shone very bright and its silver beams reflecting upon the waves, whose edges seemed tipped with silver, exhibited a sight, the beauty and novelty whereof no one who has not been a spectator of a similar scene can form an adequate idea of.

This day it was very cold. the thermometer was down to 49. Many very large albatrosses about

19 December 1787

But little wind.

Captain Hunter sent Mr. Waterhouse, a midshipman of the Sirius, on board us with a parcel of magazines of June last, which he procured out of the Rainger packet, which came into the Cape a little before we left it. This afforded us a great treat, as the chief parts of the contents were perfectly new to us, having left England on the 12th of May.

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Mr. Waterhouse acquainted us, that Captain Hunter desired he would mention to us that it was his intention, if he found the hay and provender, for the stock on board the fleet falls short (which there was great reason to apprehend it would unless he had a much quicker passage than he had reason to expect) to touch at Adventure Bay, or Van Diemen's Land, which is the southernmost cape of New Holland, about 10 on this side of Botany Bay.

Two of the cows on board the Sirius have calved, both of which calves are dead. Also many of the sheep on board the Fishburn have died, as also the greatest part of the poultry throughout the fleet.

In our ship, there are not 1 dozen remaining, of 9 which the captain purchased. The rest of the stock have done very well. Yesterday the Golden Grove, Mr. Sharpe, carried away her foretop gallant mast, which is the 3rd or 4th she has carried away on the passage.

20 December 1787

Very cold. Spoke to the Fishburn, Mr. Brown, who tells us he has lost 3 dozen fowls out of 4 dozen; many sheep have died and others are now very ill. Soon after we spoke, the Golden Grove, Mr. Sharpe, who has also lost the greatest part of his fowls, and parties agree in suspecting that the Dutchmen at the Cape must have given them something to occasion such a fatality amongst them, and in so unusual a way. He informed us that Mrs. Johnson, the parson's wife, and Barnes his clerk were both very ill.

21 December 1787

This day some rock weed floated by the ship's side.

This day it became foggy and the breeze increased. Go 7 knots.

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22 December 1787

Saturday Go 7 and 8 knots, with a great swell which is with us. Several of the Victuallers some miles astern. A signal hoisted on board the Sirius for them to make more sail.

23 December 1787

A very hollow sea with a great swell, so much so that the hulk of the Prince of Wales, who is within hale of us, is frequently out of sight. Spoke to the Prince of Wales this day and learned from her that she had lately spoke to the Charlotte and found they were very sickly on board, of a violent flux and that one of the marines was dead.

He says that he also has lost almost the whole of his fowls, in a very odd manner. This day 2 geese, 1 sheep and a pig were killed against Tuesday (Christmas Day). The whole of the sheep for the ship's company.

It is not dark here now till half after eight o'clock. The method of reckoning time at sea is the reverse of what they do on shore. From 12 o'clock at noon of one day to 12 at noon the next is a day, whereas on shore they reckon from midnight to midnight.

We have on board two dry, or filtering, stones to clarify the water, and also a tin apparatus called a ventilator, for sweetening the water, but it has proved so very good hitherto that we have had no occasion to make use of it. This day a large whale rose by the ship. It's back was covered over with barnacles. By the time piece on board the Sirius, today the longitude was 97, latitude 4129'S.

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This being Christmas Eve, we all drank a cheerful glass to the health of our friends in England, as indeed we do every Saturday night. I never called to mind my relations and friends with such sensations as I now do, being so many thousand leagues distant from them. Nor did I ever more cordially drink to their health than now. Many past scenes of my life recurred to my busy thoughts and occasioned such sensations as those only who are acquainted with my history, especially the latter part of it, can better conceive than I describe! Last year I was, even at this season, far, very far, from happy, but I thank God, comparatively speaking, I am now happy, except wanting the presence of my relations and friends, in England.

25 December 1787

Christmas Day.

We are now about 2000 miles distant from the South Cape of New Holland with a fine breeze which carries us 8 knots.

This being Christmas Day, I gave a quantity of currants out of the box of necessaries, of which I had a good quantity remaining, to the 3 marines on board, to make a plumb pudding; also to the boatswain and carpenter's mess, with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th mates in them. The captain allowed them a reasonable quantity of grog to cheer their hearts and to distinguish this day as being the most remarkable in the year and which generally brings with it mirth and glee to the hearts of all, except the truly miserable.

As this journal is intended solely for the eye of my relations and most intimate friends, I am to take notice of many things which would be thought impertinent to the subject of a journal intended for the perusal of the public, but which at the same time will

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not prove unpleasing to an intimate friend, if I may be allowed to judge from my own feelings, had I a brother or a most intimate acquaintance in a similar predicament with myself. For which reason, I shall remark that we constantly breakfast at 8 o'clock, dine at 1 and sup at 8; that our accommodations on board ship are far superior to what any on shore, who has not experienced a life at sea, can form a just conception of, and though I must allow we are constantly in want of many articles of cookery which those on shore can command, yet allowing for the inconveniences, we labour under, I believe I may venture to say, our cates* on board ship will yield the palm to few tables on shore, and we sometimes have the superiority of producing dishes at our sea table which no fortune can command on shore.

[* cate = choice food or delicacy.]

Now to give an account of my usual method of employment during the day. As soon as breakfast is over. I set about visiting my patients, first paying the compliment to my own ship's company.

Then I visit the sick among the convicts, after which I put up such medicines as are wanting. Then I fill up this journal to the moment, and lastly adjourn to the round house or poop, where I generally meet with Mr. James Smith, and though I had not the pleasure of personally knowing him before I met with him in this ship, yet from his being a very intelligent, good disposed man and having a thorough knowledge of my intimate acquaintance in the County of Essex, I find in my conversation with him no small abatement of that irksomeness which must otherwise have prevailed in a voyage of this kind where I was another stranger to every one on board. Mr. Alltree also, late surgeon to the convicts, generally makes up the trio.

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26 December 1787

Wednesday. A fine breeze. About 10 at night a large whale rose close alongside the Ship. It is supposed it must have gone under the ship.

27 December 1787

Go 7 knots. We suppose ourselves not more than 420 miles from the most south westerly coast of New Holland, called by Peter Nutz, who first discovered this part of the coast), the Land of Lyons, or Shark's Bay. Some rock weed and blue petrels seen.

29 December 1787

The bilge water very offensive in mine and Mr. Collins' cabins; obliged to keep our doors open. It spoiled two mezza-tinted prints in my cabin. The swell of the sea this day was thought by everyone to be greater than at any other time since we left England. About 11 am a whale was seen near the ship. We reckon ourselves this day about 1000 miles from the South Cape and 2000 from Botany Bay. This day I distributed a quantity of sago and soft sugar to every birth of the women as an indulgence, as I had plenty of both by me.

30 December 1787

It rained a great part of the night and the sea very high. We sometimes shipped seas fore and aft and the water was sometimes ankle deep on the quarter deck. This day by the log we sailed 200 miles.

31 December 1787

This day many of the women were washed out of their berths by the seas we shipped. The water was brought out from between decks with buckets. This night was a dreadful one indeed. The sea was mountains high. Sometimes it seemed as if the ship was going over. The chicken coops, which were on the round house, and fastened very

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securely as it was thought, gave way and came with such violence against the side as to drive the goat house all in pieces and lamed the goat and kid. The sea was so very outrageous as to throw the weed and grass, which adhered to the bottom of the ship, halfway up the main sail where it remained. The fore topsail was also split from top to bottom. Many port egmont hens about. It continued to rain chief of the night and at one time some hail fell.

January 1788

1 January 1788

This day spoke to the Sirius and the longitude, by the time piece, 23. This day at 6 pm the rudder rope broke. The wind, fortunately at this time, did not blow quite so strongly, it being in the daytime and the captain and Mr. Anstis being instantly made acquainted with it, it was soon repaired and the ill consequences, had it happened in the night, avoided. This day Lieutenant G. Johnstone made me a present of the two folio volumes of Hamilton Moor's Voyages and Travels.

This day the sea ran so very high and we shipped such heavy seas so often, as made it absolutely necessary to clap the close hatches over the convicts, otherwise the ship would have been in danger of being sunk.

Just as we had dined, a most tremendous sea broke in at the weather scuttle of the great cabin and ran with a great stream all across the cabin and, as the door of my cabin happened not to be quite close shut, the water half filled it. The sheets and blankets being all on a flow, the water ran from the quarter deck nearly into the great cabin, and struck against the main and mizzen chains with such force as at first alarmed us all greatly, but particularly me, as I really believed the ship was drove in pieces. No sleep all this night.

[Page 75]

The sea which broke in just after dinner had nearly washed Mr. Alltree overboard, who was in the round house eating his dinner, but luckily, catching hold of the mizzen mast, he saved himself. His plate, knife and fork and beef were afterwards found in the mizzen chains by the boatswain where the sea had washed them.

2 January 1788

The wind still so high, obliged to strike the mizzen top gallant mast. About 5 pm a large whale arose very high out of the water, close alongside. Several sea hawks and blue petrels seen.

3 January 1788

Saw a seal for a long time together jumping out of the sea and following the ship. Towards night it was seen again. Saw many sorts of birds this day.

4 January 1788

A fine breeze and pleasant morning. A large school of porpoises about the bows. This afternoon the Sirius hoisted the signal for the longitude, which was 3530'.

5 January 1788

A fine breeze. This night it was so very hot I was obliged to throw off the bedclothes. There are now in the cabin geraniums in full blossom and some grape vines which flourish very much. There are also myrtles, bananas and several other sorts of plants brought from Rio de Janeiro. A whale, some rock weed and a seal seen this day.

6 January 1788

Sunday. A fine morning. Saw a seal about 11 am and many very large albatrosses. Spoke to the Sirius about 11 o'clock am. Captain Hunter informed us he did not mean to touch at the South Cape if the wind continues, but go round it and proceed without delay to Botany Bay.

[Page 76]

The sheep from the Cape of Good Hope have all got the scab. This day a bird of a black plumage and in every respect like the English crows flew over the ship. At 2 pm the Prince of Wales hoisted the signal for seeing land, exactly 8 weeks this day and this hour of the day from our weighing anchor at the Cape of Good Hope, at half after 3 pm the Mewstone, a large pyramidical rock, was distinctly seen and about 5 pm we were abreast of it, at about 2 miles distant. This rock was detached from the mainland and there were also several other rocks between the Mewstone and the main.

The country is very hilly, thickly set with trees of a large size and many spots between the hills appeared very green. At 9 o'clock in the evening saw a large fire on one of the hills, though we did not mean to touch at this spot, yet, it being a part of New Holland, the destination of the fleet, as soon as we saw it we drank each 2 bumpers of claret: one, success to the undertaking in general, the other to our safe anchoring in Botany Bay.

8 January 1788

A good deal of wind and some rain. The fleet dispersed a good way from each other.

9 January 1788

Wind very high and frequent squalls, with a greater swell than at any other period during the voyage. Obliged to run out to sea. The provender for the stock almost all expended, not more than one day's hay left. With the heavy rolling of the ship the tubs in the cabin with the banana plants, grape vines etc., broke from their

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fastenings and were thrown out of the tubs and much hurt.

About 5 pm the sky appeared black and dismal and in half an hour lightning and thunder began most dreadfully. The lightning was the most forked and vivid I ever saw. It rained very fast and the storm continued till almost night. Towards morning it hailed and was very squally. A seal was jumping out of the water for a long time together; was fired at with a rifle gun but missed.

10 January 1788

The wind directly against us. A signal from the Sirius for all masters to go on board her. Upon return of Captain Sever about l hour after we learnt that almost all the sheep on board the Sirius, 13 goats out of 15, one cow, big of a cow calf, and almost the whole of the poultry had died. He brought back with him a sack of barley for the stock. Captain Hunter said he could not now possibly put into any place with safety till he reached Botany Bay, which he hoped to be able to accomplish in a week.

The masters had not returned to their different ships more than half an hour before the sky blackened, the wind arose and in half an hour more it blew a perfect hurricane, accompanied with thunder, lightning and rain. In an instant, as we sat at table, the cloth just removed, the ship was laid alongside so very much as alarmed everybody. Some prodigious flashes of lightning and loud thunder immediately followed. The Fishburn was very near us on the starboard side and to leeward of us, and everybody expected we must have been foul of each other. Everyone left the table and went upon deck. I never before saw the sea in such

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a rage. It was all over as white as snow. The storm lasted about half an hour, so very heavy, afterwards gradually abated. Everybody who was able to haul a rope was employed and I am happy to say our ship sustained no other damage than splitting the jib sail, which could be again repaired in half an hour.

Every other ship in the fleet, except the Sirius, sustained some damage. The Prince of Wales carried away her main yard and sail and main topsail. The Charlotte carried away her main sail. The Borrowdale split her fore topsail. The Fishburn's jib sail was split all in pieces. The Golden Grove, in which were the parson and his wife, split her foresail and main topsail all in pieces.

During the storm the convict women in our ship were so terrified that most of them were down on their knees at prayers, and in less than one hour after it had abated, they were uttering the most horrid oaths and imprecations that could proceed out of the mouths of such abandoned prostitutes as they are!

Towards evening it cleared up and we have a gentle breeze. A whale and 2 grampuses arose near the ship.

11 January 1788

Now about 520 miles from Botany Bay, 40 leagues off shore, with a stiff breeze. At 2 pm hove the lead but found no bottom with 95 fathoms.

12 January 1788

Very little wind. A very large sting ray under the bows.

13 January 1788

A good breeze, which came on in the middle watch. One of the mares very ill with the gullion, and Captain Campbell's cow will neither eat or drink. It has got a violent flux, supposed from eating the barley.

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We have now nothing on board for the stock to eat but sea bread. Expect the cow, if not the mare will die before we reach Botany Bay.

14 January 1788

Almost a calm, go only 1 knot.

15 January 1788

Very little wind till about 9 am when there was a large school of porpoises about the ship and, very shortly after, a breeze came on which carried us 5 knots. So very hot this night that I was obliged to throw off the bedclothes. The thermometer up to 73. This morning the Prince of Wales was so far astern that the fleet was obliged to lie to, for her coming up with us.

16 January 1788

Wind quite against us with a heavy swell. The wind this morning felt very hot, as if it proceeded from the mouth of an oven. At 6 am the thermometer was up at 74; at 1 pm it was at 75. Lieutenant G. Johnstone and myself this night were both seized with a griping and flux and many others in the ship complain of the same disorder. This morning at 5 o'clock the Sirius tacked and stood in for the land and at 12 at noon he put about again and though we are now not more than 200 miles from Botany Bay, are fearful we shall not get in this week. In the night much thunder and lightning.

17 January 1788

Almost calm, go only 1 knots. About 9 at night the wind came favourably for us. It is so intensely hot we are obliged to sit with all the cabin windows open, and I sleep with my cabin door open. Mr. Johnstone and myself both much better.

The thermometer this day stood at 76. A large school of porpoises about.

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18 January 1788

A gentle breeze. Expect to see land this evening. A noddy taken on the yardarm. No land seen at 8 o'clock for which reason the fleet were ordered to lie to all night. The wind increased in the night and the ships rolled very much.

19 January 1788

Saturday. This morning I arose at 5 o'clock in hopes of seeing land, but was disappointed. The Sirius and all the fleet made sail about 4 o'clock in the morning and at 7 am we discovered land about 40 miles distant. The joy everyone felt upon so long wished for an event can be better conceived than expressed, particularly as it was the termination of the voyage to those who were to settle at Botany Bay, and it is 10 weeks on Monday since we left the Cape of Good Hope, the longest period of any we had been at sea without touching at any port. The sailors are busy getting up the cables and preparing all things for anchoring, to lie to all night.

20 January 1788

Sunday. Arrive at Botany Bay.

The Sirius made sail at 4 o'clock this morning with a fine breeze, go 4 knots. About 8 o'clock we came abreast of Point Solander and sailed into the bay, where we were very happy to find the 4 ships who had parted with us, all safe at anchor.

The Supply brig got there on Friday night, but the Alexander, Scarborough and Friendship reached it but the evening before us!

We saw by the assistance of a glass 7 of the natives running amongst the trees.

[Page 81]

This evening I went on shore in the boat, with some of the ship's company, to the north side of the bay to haul the seine, and caught a great many fish, all excellent eating.

Upon first sight, one would be induced to think this a most fertile spot, as there are great numbers of very large and lofty trees, reaching almost to the water's edge, and every vacant spot between the trees appears to be covered with verdure. But upon a nearer inspection, the grass is found long and coarse, the trees very large and, in general hollow, and the wood itself fit for no purposes of building or anything but the fire.

The soil, to a great depth, is nothing but a black sand which, when exposed to the intense heat of the sun by removing the surrounding trees, is not fit for the vegetation of anything, even the grass itself, then dying away, which in the shade appears green and flourishing. Add to this that every part of the ground is in a manner covered with black and red ants of a most enormous size.

21 January 1788

Accompanied several gentlemen on shore to the south side of the bay, in order to haul the seine. Upon our landing, 7 or 8 of the natives came close up to us. They were all provided with lances of a great length pointed with the bone of a sting ray at one end and a piece of oyster shell at the other, grown or rubbed to a fine edge, and one of them had a heavy bludgeon which I persuaded him to exchange with me for a looking glass. They were all perfectly naked, rather slender, made of a dark black colour, their hair not woolly but short and curly.

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Every one had the tooth next the fore tooth in his upper jaw knocked out, and many of them had a piece of stick about the size of a tobacco pipe and 6 or 8 inches in length, run through the septum of the nostrils, to which, from its great similitude, we ludicrously gave the name of a spritsail yard. They all cut their backs, bodies and arm, which heal up in large ridges and scars.

They live in miserable wigwams near the water, which are nothing more than 2 or 3 pieces of the bark of a tree, set up sideways against a ridge pole fastened to two upright sticks at each end. They are about 2 or 3 feet high, and few amongst them are to be found which are weather proof.

Their principal food consists of fish, which they in general eat raw. Sometimes they feast upon the kangaroo, but I believe them to be too stupid and indolent a set of people to be able often to catch them. From the appearance of many of the lofty trees we saw, some way up the country, having regular steps chopped at about 2 foot asunder in the bark of the tree quite up to the top, where the tree begins to branch out, there is reason to suppose they mount these with large stones, where they lie in ambush till some kangaroos come under to graze, when they heave the stone upon them and kill them. There are great numbers of kangaroos but so extremely shy that it is no easy matter to get near enough to them even to shoot them, and very few in comparison of the great numbers there are, were shot during our stay at New Holland.

As there is a most exact print of this uncommon animal in Captain Cook's account of this country, I shall not take the trouble to describe it.


'The Kangaroo'

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There are many cabbage trees, but scarce any fruit whatever. There are some tolerable springs of fresh water and but few running streams, and those chiefly towards the sea, which are many of them quite dried up in summer.

The animals we saw during our stay at New Holland (in describing Botany Bay I take in Port Jackson also, being only 5 miles distant and in most respects the same), I say then, that during our stay there of 3 months, the different animals we saw were kangaroos, about as big as a large sheep; a very large species of lizard; dogs; rats; raccoons; flying squirrels; very large snakes; a bird of a new genus, as large and high as an ostrich; many species of cockatoos; parrots; louries and lorikeets; eagles; hawks; rooks and wild fowl of many sorts viz. duck, teal, pigeon, etc. the same as in England; with an infinity of small birds, some of them very handsome plumage, but none that we heard of were singing ones.


Emu, or 'New species of bird at Botany Bay, 1788'

There are also, as mentioned above, great quantities of ants of 8 or 10 different species and many flies and mosquitos. The women are also quite naked and go in miserable bad canoes to catch fish. The women in general fish with a hook and line, the men strike them with a kind of spear. The hook is made of the convoluted part of the ear shell, sharpened on a stone to a fine point. The natives do not besmear their hair or bodies with any kind of oil or paint as many indians do. Their teeth are in general white but both their skin and hair have a remarkably strong fishy scent. They wear their beards, which are quite black and inclined to be curly. They did not appear hostile. Their language is excessively loud and harsh and seems to

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consist of a very short vocabulary. They seemed surprised at the sight of the ships. I presented many of them with glass beads and several gentlemen put ribands and glass trinkets about their heads, but they seemed altogether a most stupid insensible continued set of beings. They seemed most desirous of hats, from their attempting to seize the hats of many persons on shore.

They seemed to express a wish to know of what sex we were and several of the persons onshore satisfied them in that particular. When they found we were men, like themselves, they expressed their joy and astonishment by loud exclamations and grotesque gestures, and immediately shook hands with us. Their huts, or wigwams, are dispersed about and cat paths leading from one to the other.

Having wandered some distance into the woods in search of insects and other natural curiosities, I lost myself and could not find my way back to the wooding party, which threw me into no small panic least I should meet with any of the natives before I could extricate myself from the labyrinth I had got into. At one time I was surrounded by fern, exactly the same as in England, on every side above my head, and in this awkward situation I came very near wigwams, or huts, in which I heard the voices of men and women.

I was apprehensive I should be seen by them, but, I crawled along gently and had the good luck to escape being noticed by them and, to my inexpressible joy, I shortly after got sight of the bay. I bent my course towards it and, upon clearing the wood, I found myself upon a point of rock at least a mile from the guard and wooding party. I directed my course along shore till I reached the party and in my way there I fell in with a canoe

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which was dragged up amongst the grass etc., a little way from the beach. It way at least 14 ft long and not more than 2 feet wide, made entirely of the bark of a tree, with a stick the size of my finger bound round the edge of it with the inner bark of a tree. The ends of it were drawn together in form of a purse and fastened also with strips of the inner bark.

22 January 1788

I went on shore and stayed all day collecting different natural productions and Mr. Palmer, the purser of the Sirius and myself walked a great way along the beach, at least 2 miles, and on looking back we perceived, about the midway between us and the watering party, who were entirely out of sight by means of a point of land intervening, 3 of the natives and immediately turned back with no very pleasing reflections on our imprudence in trusting ourselves so far, not knowing the consequence of being intercepted by a party of the natives.

They talked very loud and stayed till we came up with them. Before we reached them they whooped very loud and 2 other natives came from the woods to them and upon their continuing to whoop two others joined them so that by the time we came up with them there were 7 in number. We thought it most prudent not to appear frightened nor to walk fast from them.

They walked close to us and talked very loud. None of them had any spears or offensive weapon. In order to keep them in good humour I hung a string of beads over the ear of one of them, and Mr. Palmer also presented some painted paper and some trinkets to several of them. They behaved very friendly and one of them took hold of Mr. Palmer's arm and walked with us very sociably. Mr. Palmer happened to have his

[Page 86]

pocket pistols about him, loaded, one of which he delivered to me and the other he kept himself in case we should be under the disagreeable necessity of using force in defence of our lives, but we were very happy to find no occasion for making use of them.

After walking with them in this manner some considerable time we got sight of the guard at the watering place and the natives were going very amicably along, but on seeing a boat with a sail coming on shore from the fleet they could not by every entreaty we could make use of, be prevailed upon to accompany us any further, but took themselves into the woods.

As soon as they left us Mr. Palmer and I both congratulated each other upon the very fortunate issue of this event, making a resolve at the same time never more to run such risks in future. The seine was seldom hauled but many of the natives attended and it was a general custom to distribute fish pretty freely to all of them.

23 January 1788

This day the Governor returned from exploring the coast and determined to go to Port Jackson, about 5 miles distant from Botany Bay by land, but 10 or 12 by sea. This is certainly, in the opinion of everyone, one of the finest harbours in the world, not excepting that of Trincamale in the East Indies and, was the adjacent country fertile, instead of being so barren as it is, it would exceed anything yet known. It abounds with many capacious bays and coves for many miles up the country and all these surrounded with rocks of stone exactly similar to the

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Portland stone, and which extends in ridges some miles up the country. The water close to the sides of these rocks in all the coves is deep enough for a line of battle ship to lye close. With respect to the soil etc., it differs so very little from that of Botany Bay as not to merit a particular description.

During our stay in Botany Bay I one day went in the long boat with Downey, captain of her, attended by Mr. J. Smith and Mr. Alltree to the extreme southern part of the bay with my oyster drudge, hoping to get some hamar oysters, which Cook mentions, and are said to be so very valuable for the singular form of their shell. Of these, however, nobody saw any during our stay in Botany Bay, though that is the spot in which Captain Cook says he found his. We caught one very large oyster with the drudge, and only one, exactly like what we in England call the kentish oysters.

I opened it and was very good tasted. On our return we saw many white cranes standing on the mud by the side of the water, at least 5 ft. high.

24 January 1788

This morning, to the infinite surprise of everybody, we saw 2 large ships in the offing, standing in for the bay. Our conjectures upon this event were various, some supposing them to be two English ships sent out after us with convicts and more stores. Others, that they were Dutch ships sent after us to oppose our landing. The wind then blowing very strong out of the bay prevented the ships coming in.

[Page 88]

The Governor sent the Supply brig out of the bay with orders to hoist his colours and if possible discover what nation they belonged to. He shortly returned with the intelligence that they were certainly not English but either French, Spanish or Portuguese, but were at too great a distance for him to ascertain which. We then concluded they were the two French ships which had been so long out upon discoveries in the South Seas.

The Governor had English colours hoisted on the south side of the bay near the watering place, called Sutherland Point, so named from Forby Sutherland, one of Captain Cook's sailors dying at this place and being there buried. He also issued orders for no person whatever to be suffered to go on board either of the ships if they came in, as he did not wish to let them know particulars, especially that we were upon the eve of leaving this place and going to Port Jackson.

The wind continued to blow strong all this day and in the afternoon it became hazy at sea and we lost sight of the two ships. In the evening there was a good deal of thunder and lightning This evening Major Ross came on board us and informed us that the Governor was resolved at all events to leave the bay at daybreak in the morning. He also gave orders to Lieutenants G. Johnstone and Collins to leave our ship upon a signal, which was fixed upon, and proceed on board the Supply brig, to go with a detachment on shore at Port Jackson, and also for the whole of the fleet to get under weigh and follow the Governor as soon as they possibly could.

25 January 1788

This morning though the wind blew very strong right into the bay, a sergeant of marine came on board us at 4 o'clock for Lieutenants Johnstone and Collins. The Supply brig loosened her topsails and everyone was in a bustle to depart. Our anchor was got up about 5 am

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as were also the anchors of most of the other ships and we were endeavouring to work out of the bay, but were obliged to drop anchor again as did also the Supply. But about 12 at noon she again loosened her topsails and with the greatest difficulty got out of the mouth of the bay, and we endeavoured in vain to follow her, the wind being directly against us, blowing very strong and rather increasing. At 2 pm it blew almost a hurricane, with thunder and lightning and rained very much.

26 January 1788

The fleet having thrice attempted to get out of the bay yesterday and being prevented, lay at single anchor till this morning but though there is now not much wind, what there is still continues to blow directly into the bay.

About 10 am the two ships mentioned above came into the bay, and proved to be La Bussole and La Astrolabe (the Compass and Quadrant) fitted out at the port of Brest in 1785 to make discoveries in the south sea. They meant to be out one year longer. They said they had made no important discoveries, that they came last from Kamschatska, that at Beaumaris or Navigators Isles they had the misfortune to have two boats' crews totally cut off and destroyed and the boats tore in pieces by the natives. Amongst the number of the unhappy sufferers was the captain of one of the ships, Monsieur D'Langle.

We were obliged to work out of the bay and, with the utmost difficulty and danger with many hairsbreadth escapes, got out of the harbour's mouth about 3 pm. The Charlotte was once in the most imminent danger of being on the rocks. The Friendship and Prince of Wales, who

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could not keep in stays, came foul of each other and the Friendship carried away her jib boom. The Prince of Wales had her new mainsail and main topmast staysail rent in pieces by the Friendship's yard. The Charlotte also afterwards ran foul of the Friendship and carried away a great deal of the carved work for her (the Charlotte's) stern, and it was with the greatest difficulty our ship avoided the same fate.

However at last the whole fleet got clear of the harbour's mouth without any further damage being sustained, every one blaming the rashness of the Governor in insisting upon the fleets working out in such weather, and all agreed it was next to a miracle that some of the ships were not lost, the danger was so very great.

We reached the mouth of Broken Bay, Port Jackson, about 7 o'clock pm and sailed about 8 miles up to Sydney Cove, where the settlement is made. As I have already endeavoured to describe the appearance of the different bays and coves in this harbour, I shall just observe here that there are many islands in the centre of most of the coves which have a very novel and romantic appearance. The soil and produce of all of them the same, as mentioned of the other parts.

The ships, many of them lie so near the shore that they might with ease be fastened by ropes to the trees instead of putting down their anchors.

27 January 1788

This morning by daylight a long boat full of convicts from the Scarborough was set on shore to assist in cutting down trees and clearing

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the ground etc. The thermometer at 74. Many tents pitched this day on shore. Upon our entering the harbour mouth, we saw many natives on the top of the high rocks. None of them have appeared since we anchored. No boats suffered to go out of the cove, nor any sailors to be on shore, after sunset.

28 January 1788

Two boat loads more convicts from the Scarborough and half the marines landed. This day Lieutenants G. Johnstone and William Collins took their leave of the ship and pitched their tents on shore. Very hot.

The Governor has appointed several coves for the different ships' boats to go to, to haul their seines, upon first calling on board the Sirius to let them know the boat is going and either the master himself, or one of the mates, must be in the boat. In general the boats were very successful in catching a great number of fish of a variety of sorts.

All the rocks near the water are thick covered with oysters, which are very small but very finely flavoured. They also adhere to the branches of the mangrove trees. I frequently brought the branch of a tree, thus loaded with oysters, on board. This day visited Captain Campbell in his marquee, who presented me with some curious insects and a lorikeet.

30 January 1788

This day, Lieutenant King came on board to consult me respecting the characters of 5 or 6 women whom he meant to take with him to New Norfolk being, by his Excellency A Phillip, appointed Governor of that island, for which place he was to set out in about 8 or 10 days.

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Mr. Jameson, the first surgeon's mate on board the Sirius, a very sensible good disposed man, is going with him as surgeon. He takes with him 8 of the convict men and 6 women. He has made choice of such of both sexes whose behaviour on board during the voyage has been the least exceptionable and has held out such encouragement to them upon their behaving properly, as must render their situation much more comfortable than it could have been had they been at Port Jackson. At the same time he assured them that he should not take upon him to punish them in case of misbehaviour, that, as the greatest punishment he thought he could inflict upon them, he should send them back again to Port Jackson there to be deal with according to their demerits.

He also assured them they would not be hard worked and would be conveyed home to England, if they chose it, upon the expiration of their term of transportation. He also informed them that it was the Governor's pleasure, that if any partiality or reciprocal affection should take place between the male and female convicts going there, or after their arrival at New Norfolk, they might marry and that he had authorized the surgeon, Mr. Jameson, to perform that Office, and after a time the clergyman would be sent there to remarry them.

The women I recommended and who consented to go with him were:

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New Norfolk is situated about a fortnights sail to the northward from hence, and is more adapted to the cultivation of sugar canes, indigo etc. than New Holland. Lieutenant King being Aide de Camp to his Excellency, and being appointed Governor of New Norfolk, Governor Phillip appointed Lieutenant G. Johnstone his Aide de Camp in his room.

This day all the horses were landed from our ship in excellent condition. Captain Hunter, in exploring the bays and coves up the country, fell in with a party of about 100 natives, men and women, who presented the captain and gentlemen that were with him, with laurel leaves and behaved very friendly, and in return the captain and those who were with him put strings of beads about the women's necks and gave them other trinkets.

This night about 10 o'clock a most outrageous storm of thunder lightning and rain came on, and continued with great severity for some hours. The heat during the whole of this night was almost intolerable.

February 1788

2 February 1788

Friday. This day I caught many small birds with bird lime. Mr. Alltree this day shot 2 curious macaws which, at my return on board, he presented to me.

3 February 1788

Sunday. This day Reverend Mr. Johnson preached on shore for the first time.

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4 February 1788

This day our boat's crew and a boat and crew from one of the other ships went in to a cove near the entrance of the harbour to haul the seine and were opposed by a party of the natives, who pelted them with stones and seemed to threaten throwing their lances. This night a violent storm of thunder and lightning. A tree not far off split in pieces.

5 February 1788

At night another storm of thunder and lightning. Very hot, thermometer at 78. Lightning almost incessant the greatest part of the night.

This day Mr. Miller, the commissary with Mr. Shortland, the navy agent, and Mr. Freeman, the commissary's clerk, came on board and issued out slops of every kind to all the women and children. On board, previous to their landing tomorrow, one woman, Ann Smith, who had always behaved amiss during the voyage, upon giving her some slops and, at the same time, Mr. Miller taking notice of the very indifferent character she bore and how little she merited the slops, threw 'em down on the deck and would not have anything.

Five of the women, who supported the best characters on board, were this day landed on the Governor's side of the encampment, and had tents pitched for them not far from the Governor's house. He brought out a canvass house with him from England, which was erected in a few days.

6 February 1788

At 5 o'clock this morning all things were got in order for landing the whole of the women and 3 of the ships' long boats came alongside us to receive them. Previous to their quitting the ship a strict search was made, to try [to see] if any of the many things which they had stolen on board could be found, but their artifice eluded the most strict search and about 6 pm we had the long-wished for pleasure of seeing the last of them leave the ship.

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They were dressed, in general, very clean and some few amongst them might be said to be well dressed. The men convicts got to them very soon after they landed, and it is beyond my abilities to give a just description of the scene of debauchery and riot that ensued during the night.

They had not been landed more than an hour before they had all got their tents pitched or anything in order to receive them, but there came on the most violent storm of thunder, lightning and rain I ever saw. The lightning was incessant during the whole night and I never heard it rain faster.

About 12 o'clock in the night one severe flash of lightning struck a very large tree in the centre of the camp, under which some places were constructed to keep the sheep and hogs in. It split the tree from top to bottom, killed 5 sheep belonging to Major Ross and a pig of one of the lieutenants. The severity of the lightning, this and the 2 preceding nights, leaves no room to doubt but many of the trees which appear burnt up to the tops of them were the effect of lightning.

The sailors in our ship requested to have some grog to make merry with upon the women quitting the ship. Indeed the captain himself had no small reason to rejoice upon their being all safely landed and given into the care of the governor, as he was under the penalty of 40 pounds for every convict that was missing. For which reason he complied with the sailors' request, and about the time they began to be elevated, the tempest came on. The scene which presented itself at this time, and during the greater part of the night, beggars every description, some swearing, others quarrelling, others singing, not in the least regarding the tempest, though so violent that the thunder shook the ship, exceeded anything I ever before had a conception of.

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I never before experienced so uncomfortable a night expecting every moment the ship would be struck with the lightning, the sailors almost all drunk and incapable of rendering much assistance, had an accident happened, and the heat was almost suffocating.

7 February 1788

This morning at 11 o'clock all who could leave the ships were summoned on shore, to hear the Governor's Commission read; and also the Commission constituting the Court of Judicature. The marines were all under arms and received the Governor with flying colours and a band of music. He was accompanied by the Judge Advocate, Lieutenant-Governor, Clergyman, Surveyor-General, Surgeon-General etc. After taking off his hat and complimenting the marine officers, who had lowered their colours and paid that respect to him as Governor which he was entitled to, the soldiers marched with music playing drums and fifes and formed a circle round the whole of the convict men and women, who were collected together.

The convicts were all ordered to sit down on the ground. All Gentlemen present were desired to come into the centre, where stood the Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Judge-Advocate, Clergyman, Surgeon etc. A camp table was fixed before them and 2 red leather cases laid thereon, containing the Commissions etc., which were opened and unsealed in the sight of all present and read by the Judge Advocate, Captain Collins, constituting Arthur Phillip, Esquire, Governor-General,

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Commander-in-Chief over all those territories belonging to his Britannic Majesty George, III, (King of Great Britain, France and Ireland) and called New South Wales and parts adjacent, with full power and authority to build forts, castles and towns, and to erect batteries etc. etc. as shall seem to him necessary, with full power also to appoint and: constitute officers of every kind as he shall judge proper.

In short I shall not attempt to follow the commission through its various parts. I shall only observe that it is a more unlimited one than was ever before granted to any governor under the British crown. After the Commission was read, the Governor harangued the convicts, telling them that he had tried them hitherto to see how they were disposed; that he was now thoroughly convinced there were many amongst them incorrigible; and that he was persuaded nothing but severity would have any effect upon them to induce them to behave properly in future.

He also assured them that if they attempted to get into the women's tents of a night, there were positive orders for firing upon them; that they were very idle, not more than 200 out of 600 were at work; that the industrious should not labour for the idle; if they did not work they should not eat.

In England thieving poultry was not punished with death, but here, where a loss of that kind could not be supplied, it was of the utmost consequence to the settlement, as well as every other species of stock, as they were preserved for breeding. Therefore, stealing the most trifling article of stock or provisions would be punished with death; that, however, such severity might militate against his humanity and feelings towards his fellow creatures, yet justice demanded such rigid execution of the laws, and they might implicitly rely upon justice taking place.

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Their labour would not be equal to that of an husbandman in England, who has a wife and family to provide for. They would never be worked beyond their abilities, but every individual should contribute his share to render himself and community at large happy and comfortable as soon as the nature of the settlement will admit of it. They should be employed erecting houses for the different officers, next for the marines, and lastly for themselves.

After this harangue they were dismissed in the same form as they were assembled, after which the Governor retired to a cold collation, under a large tent erected for that purpose, to which the general officers only were invited, and not the least attention whatever was paid to any other person who came out from England.

The masters of the different ships paid him the compliment of attending on shore, during the reading of the commission, which they were not under any obligation to do, notwithstanding which there was no more notice taken of them or even to provide the slightest accommodation for them, than the convicts themselves.

8 February 1788

Dined this day with Mr. Jameson, surgeon's 1st mate, going to Norfolk Norfolk. I this day found a considerable quantity of centaurium minus, the same as that we find in England. This day upon Lieutenant King's going to Norfolk Norfolk, Lieutenant G. Johnstone succeeded to his appointment of aide de camp to the Governor. He is a very able officer and a very gentlemanlike man and I am much mistaken if he does not acquit himself in his new appointment to the satisfaction of the Governor and all his friends.

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9 February 1788

This day 2 of the natives came down very near the camp. They came to within a small distance of the Governor's house but could not by any entreaty be prevailed upon to go into the camp. They were both men, pretty much advanced in life; had each of them long spears in their hands. The Governor went to them, attended by several officers and presented one of them with an hatchet and bound some red bunting about their heads with some yellow tinfoil. They sat down under a tree and could not be prevailed upon to go any further. They appeared to express very little surprise at the Governor's house, which was very near them. They sit in the same form in which the tailors in England sit and one of them, while in this attitude, sharpened the point of his spear with an oyster shell, rubbed to an edge and fastened in to a stick about a foot long, on the bottom of his foot.

While I was standing by them a black boy belonging to one of the ships in the fleet came up to look at them. They appeared pleased to see him, felt his hair, opened his shirt bosom and examined his breasts and, by signs, expressed a wish to have a lock of his hair, which I made the boy let me cut off and presented to them, and in return I cut off some of their hair. They put the boy's hair carefully by in a wreath of grass, twisted round one of the Spears.

They stayed here at least an hour, then betook themselves into the woods, and nobody has been near the camp since. This day one of the sailors was caught in the women's tents and drummed out of the camp, with his hands fastened behind him and the fife and drum marching before him playing the pursuit.

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11 February 1788

During our stay in this place I frequently made excursions up the country for some miles, in company, and at those times generally collected some natural curiosity or other. At some times we shot birds and at others collected a large quantity of yellow balsam from a tree, or rather a shrub, which grows in great numbers on the sandy hills near Botany Bay, called balsam of tolu. At least there is no doubt of this balsam possessing medicinal virtues, as it has been repeatedly made use of by the gentlemen of the faculty in the settlement in the same cases where they would have used the balsam tolu or any other medicine in pulmonary disorders, and with success.

It dissolves perfectly in spirits and is of a most fragrant and aromatic taste and smell. I have etched the likeness of the tree which produces this gum, with my pen, which I have subjoined, and is no very bad resemblance of it.


Grass tree, or 'A view of the tree at Botany Bay, which yields the yellow balsam; and of a wigwam'

This day Captain Shea shot a kangaroo and it was brought into the camp. It is said to be nearly equal in goodness to venison.

This day our carpenter, one of our sailors, and a boy belonging to the Prince of Wales, were caught in the women's tents. They were drummed out of the camp with the rogue's march playing before them and the boy had petticoats put upon him. They had both of them their hands tied behind them. The anarchy and confusion which prevails throughout the camp, and the audacity of the convicts, both

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men and women, is arrived to such a pitch as is not to be equalled. I believe, by any set of villains in any other spot upon the globe, the men seize upon any sailors on shore who are walking near the women's camp, beat them most unmercifully and desire them to go on board.

This day, Thomas Bramwell a marine, lately servant to Lieutenant G. Johnstone in our Ship, got amongst the women and beat one of them, Elizabeth Needham, a most infamous hussy, with whom he had had connections while on board us, and this day he received 100 lashes and is to have 100 more. One of the convicts who had struck a sentry on duty received only 150 lashes.

The severity shown to the marines, and lenity to the convicts, has already excited great murmuring and discontent among the corps and where it will end, unless some other plan is adopted, time will discover.

13 February 1788

This day I dined with a party on board the Scarborough, it being Captain Marshall's birthday.

14 February 1788

This day, nine years, Captain Cook was killed at Hawaii. Lieutenant King set off this day for his government of New Norfolk. The 5 women from our ship and Mr. Alltree went from us at 6 o'clock in the morning on board the Supply. This day Ann Smith, the woman who refused taking the slops on board from Mr. Miller, the commissary, eloped from the camp, as she often, when on board, declared she would, as soon as she was landed.

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15 February 1788

A Servant of Mr. Poulden, Lieutenant of Marines, who was with his master in the woods shooting, last Saturday, strayed away so far from him that he was lost and has not since been heard of. This day, whilst I was in the camp with Major Ross a large female kangaroo was brought into the Camp, and likewise a young one which was found in its false belly, and appeared not to have been long dropped.

This Animal is so well described, and so excellent an engraving is given of it in Captain Cook's Voyages, that I shall not say anything of it here. I have a young one, a male, preserved in spirits. I have several times tasted the flesh of this animal, cooked different ways, and at such a place as Port Jackson, where fresh meals are a great rarity, it is thought a luxury, but I cannot be so partial as to say it equals venison, as some gentlemen reported, or that it is even so good as mutton. It is totally destitute of fat, and the flesh as dark coloured as venison.

A herd of 11 kangaroos were this day startled near the camp, by one of the masters of the ships. A very large eagle alighted on the arm of a tree close by the water's edge and directly opposite our ship. The steward fired a ball at it from a rifle piece and cut the branch in sunder on which it sat, but did not kill the bird.

This day the Governor sent for Mr. J. Smith in our ship and told him that though he

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knew nothing of his being in the fleet, till he arrived at the Cape of Good Hope, yet in consequence of what was urged in the petition, the Governor having peremptorily refused his staying at Botany Bay, I drew up a petition for Mr. Smith which was presented to the Governor by his aide de camp, Mr. G. Johnstone, and from the extraordinary good character which Mr. G. Johnstone, who came out in the same ships with him and Mr. Bowes the surgeon of that ship, and Captain Campbell, all joined in giving him, he had altered his mind and wished him to go on shore on Monday, by which time there should be a tent erected for him, a piece of ground should be allotted to him for a garden, and he would be supplied by the Governor's orders with every necessary sort of seeds.

He was to officiate as headborough, and the chief he would have to do at present would be to superintend the convicts who were at work, and if any of them misbehaved to inform the Governor or Judge Advocate therewith. He also assured him he should, in due time, be further promoted.

The cook of the Prince of Wales, a Negro, going on shore from the ship by the hawser rope which was fastened to the rocks, two of the boys of that ship playing tricks with him shook him off the rope and the poor fellow sunk down and was drowned, not being able to swim. Many sailors jumped overboard to save him but he sunk and did not come up again. An alligator 8 feet long has several times been seen near the camp and among the shrubs behind the camp

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near the run of water which supplies the camp. This day Adjutant Long, of the marines, was put under an arrest by Captain Campbell in consequence of some words which passed between them.

17 February 1788

The Governor and Mr. G. Johnstone, his aide de camp, and a small party of marines went in two boats, some miles up the Country. They saw many of the natives along the shore, but no women were amongst them. This day, being Sunday, Reverend Mr. Johnson went on shore to preach and administer the sacrament.

18 February 1788

Three of the convicts were tried for stealing and sentenced to receive 150 lashes each.

Drank tea this day with Major Ross and Captain Campbell.

This day, 8 canoes, with 2 of the natives in each of them, came in sight from the nearest point and paddled cross the cove in which the fleet lies, Sydney Cove. They passed between the Sirius and the rest of the ships. They seemed to take no sort of notice of the ships. Their canoes are the worst ever seen, not more than 2 inches out of the water, made of the bark of a tree, tied together with slips of bark at the ends. There were 2 men in each and they paddled along with incredible swiftness.

In the course of the day several of them landed on a little island within sight of the Sirius, where the Sirius's garden is, and Mr. Hill, a midshipman, with 2 marines were there on guard. The Natives stole an axe and a spade and would persist in going off with them, which obliged Mr. Hill

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to give orders to the marines to fire at their legs, which they did with small shot, and the fellow dropped the axe but the spade they got clear off with.

This day, 3 Frenchmen from the ships in Botany Bay came overland to Sydney Cove. The Frenchmen have erected a fort with 2 or 3 guns near the shore at Botany Bay. This day 3 of the convicts died.

20 February 1788

This day, in the hospital tent, the thermometer was up at 105.

This day Captains Marshall, Read, Sharp, Brown and Mason dined on board us.

21 February 1788

This day, Mr. J. Smith left the ship, to continue on shore. He had a convict, a black man, and the boy, Joseph Harris, appointed to wait on him.

22 February 1788

A large lizard, such as described some way back in this journal, was presented by Mr. Smith to me.

23 February 1788

The Governor sent for, and severely reprimanded, Captain Marshall for suffering his steward to purchase an animal of the squirrel kind from one of the convict men, and giving him liquor for it. He told him that all the convicts got was the property of government, took away the animal from Captain Marshall, and had the steward punished with 50 lashes.

At first he was ordered 100 but upon the application of several gentlemen who respected the man and thought it rather a hard case, among which number was Captain Marshall, who would have given any sum rather than his steward should be so severely punished for a fault committed inadvertently and in which himself bore so great a share, I say in consequence it was lessened to 50 lashes.

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And it appears to many a stretch of the Governor's prerogative to inflict so severe a corporal punishment upon a seaman, for a crime, which at the time it was committed was not known to be a crime, and that without any form of legal trial.

In short, at present, I am sorry to say this government, if a government it can be called, is a scene of anarchy and confusion. An evident discontent prevails among the different officers throughout the settlement. The marines and sailors are punished with the utmost severity for the most trivial offences, whilst the convicts are pardoned, or at most punished in a very slight manner, for crimes of the blackest dye. I do not except even stealing, which the Governor himself, in his address to them after the commission was read, assured them should be punished capitally. What will be the result of such an inconsistent and partial mode of acting, time, and I may venture to say a very short time, will show. At least it is pretty certain no good effects can proceed from it.

25 February 1788

Monday Barrett, Lovall, Hall and another convict were tried for stealing bread, pork, etc. The 3 former received sentence of death, to be executed tomorrow, and the last was ordered 300 Lashes.

26 February 1788

This day, agreeable to their sentence, Barrett, Lovall and Hall and 5 other prisoners were brought from the quarter guard tent, heavy ironed, about 6 pm, the 3 former for execution. The arm of a

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large tree, situated between the tents of the men and women convicts, was fixed upon as a gallows. To this tree the eight unhappy wretches were conducted with a party of marines walking before them, well armed, and Mr. Johnson the clergyman attending them. A large party of marines were drawn up opposite the gallows and all the convicts were summoned to see the deserved end of their companions.

When they arrived near the tree, Major Ross read a respite of 24 hours for Lovall and Hall, but Barrett, who was a most vile character, was turned off about half after 6 pm. He expressed not the least signs of fear, till he mounted the ladder, and then he turned very pale and seemed very much shocked.

It was some time before the man, a Convict who had undertaken the office of hangman, could be prevailed upon to execute his office, nor would he at last have complied if he had not been severely threatened by the Provost Marshal, Mr. Brewer and Major Ross threatened to give orders to the marines to shoot him.

Just before Barrett was turned off he confessed the justice of his sentence and that he had lead a very wicked life. He requested leave to speak to one of the convict men, a very bad kind of man, one Seddiway, which was granted him, and he also expressed a wish to speak to one of the women convicts, but was refused. He then exhorted all of them to take warning by his unhappy fate and so launched into eternity. The body hung an hour and was then buried in a grave dug very near the gallows.

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The Reverend Mr. Johnson prayed very fervently with the culprit before he was turned off, and performed every office appertaining to his function with great decorum.

28 February 1788

This day, by invitation, I accompanied Mr. Holt, midshipman of the Sirius, in the Sirius's pinnace to a cove a great distance from Sydney Cove, where we saw great numbers of the natives; men, women, and little children. I got a hatchet for one of them. They were very social, assisted in drawing the seine and made a fire at the bottom of the rocks as soon as they saw us coming, to cook the fish with.

In our return we passed by 18 Canoes with men and women in them fishing. Every canoe had a fire in the midst of it, made upon a hillock of earth, placed there for that purpose to broil the fish upon.

Upon our reaching the Sirius I was invited to dine on board by several gentlemen, but it having proved a very wet day and I being wet through and very uncomfortable, refused accepting their invitation and got on board my own ship as soon as possible, where I found Captains Marshall, Sever, Sharp and Walton and Mr. Watts, who jeered me not a little upon my day's excursion, being obliged to strip everything off me before I could eat any dinner.

This evening, the respite for Lovall and Hall expiring, they were taken as before from the quarter guard and conducted to the place of execution, where they received a further respite for 24 hours.

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29 February 1788

At 5 o'clock pm the two Convicts Lovell and Hall, who had received 24 hours respite, were again conducted to the place of execution and the ladder was set to the tree. They were joined by two other convicts who were tried yesterday for stealing wine and provisions from Mr. Clark, the agent victualler, out of the store house. There were three tried but one turned evidence. Whilst they stood at the place of execution, expecting every minute to be ordered to mount the ladder, Major Ross informed them that his excellency the Governor, wishing still to try what influence mercy would have upon them, authorized him to acquaint them that he would pardon them upon the following terms.

March 1788

The two who were to have suffered with Barrett were to be transported to wherever his excellency should think proper. One of those convicted of stealing wine etc. should be the common executioner. The other had his free pardon. Major Ross then informed all the convicts that the Governor declared, upon his word and honour, that whoever after this was found guilty of theft should most assuredly suffer and that no interest or application whatever should save them.

This day Phillip Screven, one of our foremast men, was missing. Lieutenant Collins, formerly in our Ship, is very ill with a dysentery and is expected not to live. There are now on shore upwards of one hundred sick.

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March 1788

1 March 1788

This day Reverend Mr. Johnson was taken dangerously ill with a dysentery. In the afternoon I called upon him. No intelligence of our sailor, Phillip Screven. I suspect he is lost in the woods, or that the convicts have murdered him, as the last time he was seen was near the women's tents, just before dark on Friday evening.

2 March 1788

Sunday. Mr. Johnson continuing very ill, no service this day. No news of our sailor. This morning, early, the Governor set out in a boat with his aide de camp etc. upon another excursion up the country, and means to stay 4 or 5 days. I went this day in our jolly boat with Captain Campbell, Mr. J. Smith and Major Ross's gardener, up to a cove some distance off, to look at the soil of a spot of ground which Captain C. and Major R. mean to fix upon to build a house and cultivate the land.

3 March 1788

As we can hear nothing of Phillip, our Sailor, two of the sailors in our ship asked leave of Captain Sever and Major Ross to go up the country into the woods with a firelock, and look for him. I furnished them with a small pocket compass lest they also should be lost. A very large alligator said to be seen near the tents, 14 ft. long.

4 March 1788

This day the natives were very troublesome to our sailors, who were hauling the seine at a cove near the mouth of the harbour.

This day our sailors returned without hearing or seeing anything of Phillip Screven.

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8 March 1788

Saturday. This day, Mr. Bryant, mate of the Sirius, made me a present of a flying squirrel. Drank tea with Major Ross and learned from him that the natives had killed several of the convicts who had eloped from Port Jackson and taken up their residence near Botany Bay, by the side of a lagoon. It was certain that two men, Allen and Macdonald, were killed as their clothes were found hanging up in a tree in triumph.

9 March 1788

The Governor returned in perfect health, and as wise as he set out, having made no discovery of the smallest importance.

In the afternoon one Allan, gamekeeper to the governor, who is almost constantly out in the woods shooting, happened on our missing sailor, about 8 miles off the camp, beyond Botany Bay, half starved and perished and quite naked, and conducted him home to the ship, to the surprise and joy of his messmates. He was a very good man. He said that in all the time he had been absent he had eaten only 1 dozen perriwinkles which he picked up on the rocks; that he fell in with a party of the natives who stripped him and pelted him with stones; that he got sight of the ships lying in Botany Bay and bent his course that way, but was always opposed by the natives who would, he believes, at last have murdered him, but he ran into a swamp up to his neck and there lay concealed among the rushes. He continued very weak and feeble for along time, but, by proper means, perfectly recovered.

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10 March 1788

Monday. Five of the convict men died last week. There is a great number ill on shore now, chiefly of dysenteries. Lieutenant Collins, some days ago went, by the advice of the surgeon on board the Sirius, for the change of air. At first he thought himself better, but he has relapsed and Mr. White thinks him in the greatest danger. His disorder is a dysentery.

Several store houses on shore are finished, for the reception of stores from the different ships, and there is a wharf building on the south side of the cove opposite the Governor's house.

11 March 1788

Very hot; the thermometer is at 80. This day 2 of the convict women eloped from the camp and took their beds and baggage with them.

Several of our ship's company are now ill of a dysentery and it prevails very much in the camp.

The two French ships left Botany Bay on Sunday last, of this month, and which way they steered their course we know not.

15 March 1788

Two kangaroos shot. This day, one of the convict men was wounded on the collarbone with a spear which one of the natives threw at him as he was cutting rushes in a cove some distance from the governor's farm, in company with 4 other convicts. He said the natives wanted their tools but, on refusing to give them, they hove their spears at them and afterward pelted them with stones. They immediately returned to the farm.

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19 March 1788

Wednesday. This day, the Supply brig returned from New Norfolk. Three day after she sailed from Port Jackson she discovered an island, but did not touch at it in going. The surf at New Norfolk was so very great that they could not effect a landing till the 4th day after their arrival and even then one of the quarter Masters was washed out of the boat and drowned. The soil of New Norfolk is described to be quite as bad as that of Port Jackson. It abounds in fine timber chiefly of the pine kind.

The Supply, in her return, landed at the island she made in going out, and all were very agreeably surprised to find great numbers of fine turtle on the beach and, on the land amongst the trees, great numbers of fowls very like a guinea hen, and another species of fowl not unlike the landrail in England, and all so perfectly tame that you could frequently take hold of them with your hands but could, at all times, knock down as many as you thought proper, with a short stick.

With inside the reef also there were fish innumerable, which were so easily taken with a hook and line as to be able to catch a boat full in a short time. She brought 13 large turtle to Port Jackson and many were distributed among the camp and fleet. The dysentery prevails very much on shore and many have died of it. We are now getting out government stores and hope to be discharged the service very shortly.

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25 March 1788

This evening about 7 o'clock died John Fisher, seaman on board our ship, of a dysentery. Several of the men on board had the same disorder and recovered, and I attributed the death of this young man, about 20 years old, in a great measure to his own imprudence, in swimming on shore naked in the middle of the night to one of the convict women with whom he had formed a connection and who had a child by him while on board. He would lie about with her in the woods all night in the dews, and return on board again a little before day light, whereby he caught a most violent cold and made his disorder infinitely more putrid than it would otherwise have been, if he did not wholly occasion it by such improper conduct.

The sailors of the Sirius this day caught a shark alongside, upwards of 13 feet in length, its jaws when extended were two ft. wide.

There are now upwards of 200 sick in the hospital on Shore. This day the ship was discharged from government service.

29 March 1788

Saturday. Went with the steward of the Golden Grove, Stephen More, to the hills near Botany Bay to collect balsam tolu and in our return he shot a female kangaroo, with a young one in its false belly. The young one I preserved in spirits and the other he stuffed for himself. Got home just after dark. I collected some seeds from a plant in blossom which was exceedingly handsome and different from any shrub I ever before saw.

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April 1788

1 April 1788

Went into the woods with the steward of the Golden Grove and our own steward to collect balsam and other things. the steward of the Golden Grove killed a very large snake, among some rushes in a swampy place. It was nearly as big as my arm, upwards of 8 ft. long, a very wide mouth with 2 rows of very sharp pointed teeth in the upper jaw and 2 in the under one. The teeth were inch long. It was of a very dark colour, approaching to black, with large bright yellow spots regularly dispersed over the whole body.

19 April 1788

Saturday. Our steward shot a kangaroo about 3 parts grown. We had a leg of it roasted for dinner on the Sunday and was tolerably good eating.

20 April 1788

Sunday. Weighed anchor about 7 am and dropped down out of Sydney Cove astern of the Sirius, meaning to water the ship on the north shore. The captain means to leave Port Jackson on Sunday next, 27th inst. This day I applied to the Governor for his letter to the Secretary of State respecting my superintending the convicts and to the surgeon of the settlement (Mr. White) for his certificate. Received very politely by the Governor.

20 April 1788

And I am promised the letter and certificate to morrow.

On Friday night, about 8 o'clock, Mr. Watts, very much intoxicated, fell over the jolly boat's stern in coming from the Sirius and very narrowly escaped drowning, not being able to swim, and only 2 boys

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in the boat, but it being a very moonlight night they backed astern in time enough to haul him into the boat before he sunk.

21 April 1788

Received my Letter from the Governor and certificate from Mr. White, with thanks for my attendance.

May 1788

2 May 1788

Another convict boy, about 18 years old, hanged for stealing.

3 May 1788

Weighed anchor and fell down below Convict Island, near the entrance of the harbour, as did the Scarborough soon after us.

This day, many gentlemen paid us the compliment of coming down to us in boats, to take their final leave, which we did with some reluctance, notwithstanding our wishes to get to sea in hopes of falling in with some island which would afford us fresh provisions which this place would not do, for after lying in a port so many months and being constantly visited or visiting, it had some resemblance to our first parting with our acquaintance in England.

5 May 1788

(Sailed) Monday 5th am from Port Jackson.

At day break all hands called to weigh anchor, and set sail about 7 o'clock.

A very rainy morning, but a gentle breeze and quite fair for carrying us out of the harbour. The Scarborough did not follow us till the next day. The breeze continued till almost 10 am when it fell almost calm and so continued till about the middle watch in the night when

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a gentle breeze sprung up, directly ahead of us from the NE. The captain determined to find out Lord Howe Island, if possible, in hopes of getting some turtle which would have been an almost invaluable acquisition to the ship's company, after living so long on salt provisions.

7 May 1788

At break of day discovered the Supply brig on our lee bow, at no great distance, but soon lost sight of her. It rained this morning, very heavy with a good deal of thunder and lightning and frequent squalls. Many albatrosses, pintado birds and a very large shark (14 ft. long) seen this day, and also several mother carey's chickens.

8 May 1788

This morning it appeared very greasy all round, but only slight showers ensued, and at length it fell almost calm. About 11 am a large turtle seen under the stern.

9 and 10 May 1788

It looked very dirty in the morning all round and a large water spout was seen in the western quarter at no great distance from the ship, which continued sucking up the water from the sea for at least half of an hour and at 8 am another was seen on the eastern quarter still larger which drew up the spray of the sea to an astonishing height, near as high as the top of our main mountain, and continued near half an hour. These are the only water spout hitherto seen during the voyage. Upon the first appearance of these water spouts a breeze sprung up which carried us 3 and 4 knots but, soon after, it fell calm again and continued so all this night and Saturday (10th) except now and then a squall of very short continuance, after which it fell calm as before till about 7 o'clock in the morning of

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11 May 1788

Sunday, when a fine breeze from the NW sprung up and increased gradually till we go 3 and 4, 5 and 6 knots an hour. The sky cleared and the breeze continued all day.

First appearance of the scurvy.

We are in hopes of reaching Lord Howe Island by Tuesday and there to supply ourselves with turtle and vegetables which is a first object not to be lost sight of, as the scurvy begins to make its appearance among the seamen.

This day killed a very fine pig which we hope will last the cabin 4 days and in that time, with any tolerable good, we must see Lord Howe Island.

12 May 1788

A fine day with a gentle breeze, go 4 knots, till about 7 pm when the breeze sunk and continued so all night. Went only 1 knots. The scurvy begins to appear among several of the sailors, their gums are principal parts affected at present. I give them bark and elixir of vitriol 3 times a day and have essence of malt brewed for them every morning, of which every man has 1 pint at 10 am Fixed on one of the sailors, who has been dangerously ill with a dysentery. He is much better and in a fair way of recovery.

13 May 1788

This day a gentle breeze. By our observations on board we reckon ourselves about 49 miles from Lord Howe Island.

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In the afternoon we caught a very large shark, surrounded by pilot fish, 6 or 8 of which were taken with a small hook. These fish appear very beautiful in the water, but not so much so when out of it. They are about the size of a herring, are of a shining white, barred with black. They are exceedingly good eating, very much resembling a mackerel in taste. I preserved the jaws and fins of the shark.

14 May 1788

At 6 am, a very fine breeze and at that time had a very clear sight of Lord Howe Island to the NE. But about 8 am the breeze fell and we go only 1 and 2 knots and, the sun being directly over the land, could not see it till about 12 o'clock at noon, when we again had a perfect sight of it and also of a pyramidical rock about 1 league distant from the island, which was called Ball's Pyramid from Lieutenant Ball, who discovered the island. About 3 pm the horizon appeared very black astern and we heard thunder at a great distance, and a breeze, attended with a slight shower, sprung up which carried us 5 knots. At 4 pm we were about 5 leagues distant from the island.

15 May 1788

Lay to all night and about 10 this morning it blew a gale. At 6 am we set sail and go 5 knots, bout 4 leagues from the land. At 7 am we discovered the Supply brig about 3 leagues to the westward and at 8 am she tacked and stood towards the island.

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Arrival at Lord Howe Island.

We shortly after hoisted our colours and at 9 a.m. she fired a gun, which we perceived only by the smoke, the wind blowing so very high we did not hear the report, as we thought, to speak to us. We therefore shortened sail. In about an hour after, she came up with us and informed us that we were too near the reef, we were then within a a mile of it; that it was a most dangerous place, and that he had narrowly escaped being lost the night before, being obliged to cut away his anchor; that he had seen a turtle since he came there. We did not attempt to land this day, but Mr. Anstis went in the pinnace to sound the shore and make every necessary examination. He, upon his return, confirmed the report of Captain Ball and said the swell near the reef was so very great as obliged him to return to the ship.

16 May 1788

A very fine day and the wind very much sunk. This forenoon the Charlotte (Gilbert, commander) hove in sight in the offing and soon after came and spoke to us and the Brig.

This forenoon I went shore with Captain Sever and Mr. Watts in the pinnace. We went through an opening in the reef over which the sea broke with a tremendous noise and swell. We landed in Hunter's Bay and saw great numbers of boobies, pigeons, and many other birds.

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The Captain and Mr. Watts returned to dinner but as Mr. Anstis was coming on shore after dinner I continued there, hunting birds etc. in the woods. Mr. Anstis and the steward, with several of the ship's company, came in the afternoon and stayed on shore all night. The sport we had in knocking down birds etc. was great indeed, though at the expense of tearing most of the clothes off our backs. We made a fire under the trees and supped upon part of our game, broiled, which was very sweet and good. The pigeons were the largest I ever saw.

We afterwards slept in thick great coats carried on shore for that purpose, covered over with the leaves of the cabbage tree, which are here innumerable and many of them so small and tender that you may cut them down with a pocket knife.

When I was in the woods, amongst the birds, I could not help picturing to myself the golden age, as described by Ovid, to see the fowls or coots, some white, some blue and white, others all blue with large red bills and a patch of red on the top of their heads, and the boobies in thousands, together with a curious brown bird about the size of the landrail in England, walking totally fearless and unconcerned in all part around us, so that we had nothing more to do than to stand still a minute or two and knock down as many as we pleased with a short stick. If you threw at them and missed them, or even hit them without killing them, they never made the least attempt to fly away and indeed they would only run a few yards from you and be as quiet and unconcerned as if nothing had happened.


'Representation of a bird of the coot kind, found at Lord Howe Island'

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The pigeons also were as tame as those already described and would sit upon the branches of the trees till you might go and take them off with your hand or, if the branch was so high on which they sat, they would at all times sit till you might knock them down with a short stick. Many hundreds of all the sorts mentioned above, together with many parrots and parakeets, magpies and other birds, were caught and carried on board our ship and the Charlotte.

There has never been any quadruped or reptile seen on the island, which is 5 or 6 miles in length and 1 mile broad, at the broadest part, and in some parts not so much. The trees on it are chiefly mangroves, cabbage trees, bamboo canes, a species of large aloes plants. After describing the number and tameness of the feathered inhabitants of this island, I must take notice that our surprise was no less in the morning upon going into the pinnace to fish with hooks and lines in the bay, within side the reef.

The water in many parts is not more than 4 or 5 ft. deep, with a fine white sandy bottom with coral, brain stones and many other marine plants growing at the bottom, with the sun shining bright upon them, and the innumerable quantities and varieties of fish swimming amongst this coral grove, if i may be allowed the expression, exhibited such a novel and beautiful a scene as but few places in the world, I believe, will afford. The fish bit so very fast that in about 2 or 3 hours we had caught some hundredweight and the pinnace was half loaded. The bait made use of was a piece of the flesh of the boobies of which we had some hundreds also, alive and dead, in the pinnace.

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I must not omit to mention that this island produces, broad beans, exactly in pod, size and taste, the same as the windsor bean; scurvy grass; samphire; endive; and spinach.

The fish we caught in the space of 3 hours served the whole ship's company 3 days.

17 May 1788

About 11 am Mr. Anstis, myself, and the rest of the people belonging to our ship, returned on board. As soon as we had cleared the reef we descried a ship in the offing which we judged to be the Scarborough, Captain Marshall, and so it proved to be. He came on board our ship in the afternoon and Captain Sever and Mr. Watts returned with him on board his ship, where they supped and, at 11 o'clock this night, we made sail.

18 May 1788

At 7 o'clock on Sunday morning, we were 30 miles to the northward of Lord Howe Island, with a fine breeze.

Captain Marshall meant to stay there about 24 hours to get some birds and vegetables for the ship's company which they stood much in need of. No turtles were seen during our stay there, which induced us to think those Captain Ball was so lucky to fall in with when he first landed there, were on their passage to some more northern islands.

This day at 12 o'clock in the presence of Mr. Watts, Captain Sever, Mr. Anstis and myself, the papers relative to our future destination were opened, which specified that Mackenzie M'Cauly had engaged

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to pay such a sum of money per month for the hire of the ship after she was discharged at Botany Bay, for so many months previous to her going to China, the ship to be navigated by Captain Sever under the direction of Mr. Watts, all unforeseen accidents or contingencies excepted.

Now the plan was for the ship to go to the north west coast of America, to trade for furs, under the management of Mr. Watts whom M'Cauly had appointed to that trust.

After which the ship was to proceed on her voyage to China, where she was chartered to take in a cargo of tea on account of the East India Company, but as the voyage was rather an uncomfortable one and not free from danger it was thought necessary to promise premiums to the different officers and people in the ship, and which premiums Mr. Watts was authorized to use his discretion in giving, so as the sum so distributed did not exceed two hundred pound and which he intended upon his arrival at China to assign as follows.

Details               Amount ()                 Total ()
Captain                  50                       50
Chief mate               20                       20
Surgeon                  10                       10
Second mate              15                       15
Third mate               10                       10
Four quarter masters      4 each                  16
Steward                   6                        6
Boatswain                10                       10
Carpenter                12                       12
Cook                      4                        4
Thirteen seamen           3 each                  39
To one ordinary seaman    1.l5s.0d.                1.15s.0d.
To 5 Boys                 1.10s.0d. each           7.10s.0d.
                                                 201. 5s.0d.

19 May 1788

Fine weather and a good breeze, go 5 knots. Sometimes squalls of short continuance, which being astern all help us on.

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This day one of the boys, David Duncan, overset a pot of boiling pitch on his foot which covered the whole of it and hit his toe and scalded him most terribly.

The breeze continued all Tuesday and Wednesday.

20 May 1788

A hog killed this day, for the ship's company. A very large flying fish dropped on the deck this day.

23 May 1788

A tropic bird seen; frequent squalls.

27 May 1788

About 2000 miles from Tahiti. A sea hawk seen over the ship. Calms prevailed till 30th.

30 May 1788

A breeze sprung up and carried us 3 knots. Many large flocks of birds about the ship, with great numbers of flying fish.

31 May 1788

Saturday A fine breeze, go 5 knots. At 3 pm discovered 2 islands, the one bearing NEE, 6 leagues, the other E by S, seven or eight leagues. The joy which this circumstance afforded is not to be described. The greater part of the sailors labouring, at this time, under evident symptoms of scurvy and which was hourly gaining ground upon them, the hopes we entertained of finding vegetables and other antiscorbutics were very sanguine. Besides, the honour of having been the first to discover an island was no unpleasant circumstance. About 8 pm we tacked and stood off from the island till 2 o'clock on Sunday morning, when we put about and stood for it again.

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June 1788

1 June 1788

Sunday. At eight o'clock a.m. within 3 leagues of the southernmost isle. It appears of a huge pile of rocks, with here and there a spot of verdure. Upon approaching them we found them to be 2 huge rocks, distinct from each other, without the smallest appearance of soil upon them, only here and there a patch of green moss. We did not think it at all necessary to land upon them as we were at last so very near them as to see they were nothing more than mere rocks, however as it is highly proper to lay down these rocks, that future navigators may avoid the danger of coming foul of them, we called them Curtis's Isles in honour of Messrs. William and Timothy Curtis of London, part owners of the Lady Penrhyn, and I have subjoined an etching, with my pen, of them, as they appeared at first view like one island.


'Curtis Isles'

Arrived at M'Cauley* Island, lat.307'26"S, long. 18059'30"E

[* The island is now known as 'Macauley Island']

After this we put about and stood to the leeward island about 16 miles distant. We came up with it about after one pm. It had a very different appearance from Curtis's Isles, there being many trees, shrubs and grass upon it. It was about 3 miles in length and a mile broad, surrounded on all sides by rocks, upon which the sea broke in a dreadful surf, except one small spot where Captain Sever and Mr. Anstis, with the first greatest danger and difficulty, effected a landing, being obliged to watch their opportunity of jumping out of the boat on the rocks and there hung by their hands to prevent the surf washing them off again.

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They also carried a rope with them, of several fathoms long, whereby they descended in their return from the rocks. Otherwise they could not have got off the island. They found some mangrove trees upon it and some low insignificant shrubs. Many of the mountains were composed entirely of a pumice stone which plainly indicates that the island originated from a volcano.

The soil was very sandy, with a mixture of rotten leaves and the dung of sea fowls, many sorts of which resort to this island. There were many tropic birds under the trees, some of which were asleep, and those they took by hand and brought on board with them. They also knocked down some parakeets, several of which they brought on board also.

Mr. Anstis also brought on board some small pieces of the pumice stone rock mentioned above, and also some of the largest limpet shells I ever saw. He said also that there were, in the standing waters in the cavities of the rocks, many crab fish of peculiar beauty, that he took several of them in order to bring on board, but that they all twisted off their legs as soon as he took hold of them, for which reason he did not bring any away with him. They also saw both rats and mice on shore. How these vermin could possibly come there,

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where no ship had ever before been, and situated, as this island is, in the midst of a prodigious ocean, is a matter to be considered by future naturalists.

I intended going on shore myself but the jolly boat having lain bottom upwards for so long a time, since we left Botany Bay, leaked so very fast that it kept two men constantly employed with 2 buckets to bale the water out. And notwithstanding this, before the captain and Mr. Anstis went from alongside, the water in the boat was nearly up to their knees.

This alarmed me so much that I declined all thought of going on shore and it was a fortunate circumstance that I did, for the difficulty of getting on shore was so great that I should not have left the boat, and the difficulty of getting from the rocks in to the boat again was still greater.

It was with the greatest difficulty imaginable that Captain Sever could get into the boat, the surf was so very great. Indeed, the difficulty of landing was so much that neither the captain nor Mr. Anstis would have attempted it, if it had not been to have hung up a quart bottle with a note in it, wrote upon parchment, strongly corked up and rosined over the cork, with a bladder tied over all with strong twisted wire, and which they did hang under a rock which projected immediately opposite the only landing place round the island.

The note in the bottle was written by Mr. Watts and is as follows:

Navis "Lady Penrhyn" 1st June 1788, Jno. Watts, Gulielmus Sever, Prost. Geo. 1st. III Rex. We called it M'Cauley Island*, in honour of Alderman M'Cauley of London, who was Mr. Watts' friend and an intimate acquaintance of Messrs. Curtis.

[* The island is now known as 'Macauley Island']


'McCauley Island, N by EE, 3 or 4 miles E, long. 18059'30"E, lat. 307'26"S, discovered 1788 by the "Lady Penrhyn" merch., William Cropton Sever, Commander'

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The Captain and Mr. Anstis returned on board about 5 pm and we very soon after made sail for Tahiti. The drawing of this island I have delineated in the best manner I was able with my pen and is subjoined.* A small detached island near the extremity of M'Cauley Island we named Roaches Isle, from Charles Roach a very good seaman on board and one of the quarter masters, who was the first that discovered this and Curtis's Isles.

[* Not included in this ebook.]

2 June 1788

A gentle breeze, go 3 knots. many tropic birds seen.

About 5 pm discovered land of a very considerable extent to the southward 10 or 12 leagues distant, but being to windward of us and at so considerable a distance the captain thought it most advisable to pursue his course to Tahiti, as we were certain of meeting there with plenty of vegetables and pigs which we could not tell this island would have afforded us, had we spent two or three days in the experiment. Indeed, in the present situation of our ship's company, not an hour was to be thrown away, as the scurvy now began to make great havoc amongst the sailors, and in spite of medicine was gaining ground daily.

4 June 1788

This morning Captain Sever had a sheep killed for the ship's company. The scurvy now making a formidable appearance amongst them.

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5 June 1788

A gentle breeze.

This day gave every scorbutic patient a quantity of lime juice to mix with his water. Every day fresh men are complaining of foul gums, swelled legs and pains in their knees, attended with great lassitude and debility. This morning Mr. Watts gave me 1 pound canister and lb do. of powdered sago for the use of the sick who were not able to eat the sea bread from the rottenness of their gums. There is, in the ship, a great deal of most excellent sour grout which is delivered out to the people every day and of which they eat plentifully. I am sorry to say the essence of malt is all expended, there being only one cask which I saved out of 3 which were sent on board for the use of the convicts and it is much to be lamented that so essential an article as this should have been neglected to have been supplied by the ship's husband (Captain Leigh) especially in so long and tedious a voyage, where it could not but be expected that the scurvy must prevail more or less, and so very ill we could bear the loss of 3 or 4 or dozen hands out of the complement we had on board.

6 June 1788

A brisk breeze. The ship barely lies her course. About 5 pm the wind increased and it blew so very hard all night that the ship rolled, gunnel in; the fore topsail was carried away and several of the ropes gave way. The constant hard

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rolling of the ship, with the motion of the round house, so much loosened all the seams in the different cabins, and it raining very hard, all the beds were on a flow. I did not get one wink of sleep all the night. The captain was on deck greatest part of the night. I got up at 6 o'clock, every part of the bedclothes being wet through, and it blew a perfect hurricane, rained very hard and looked very greasy, and so continued till noon.

The mischief done amongst the different articles in the steward's pantry and great cabin was great. Some iron pigs, for ballast in the steerage, gave way and staved the boatswain's cabin in. Mr. Anstis, chief mate, had the misfortune to have the cleats of his bureau give way, which was upset. The drawers were all thrown out and the leaf of the bureau split in half. The carpenter's large pitch pot was split asunder, and many of the sailors who were sick below were thrown out of their hammocks and some of the hammocks themselves were broke down. In short, this has been the most tremendous night I have ever experienced since I have been at sea.

7 June 1788

Saturday. A fine breeze, many albatrosses and pintado birds about. Dried my bedclothes, etc.

8 June 1788

A fine breeze on our quarter, which carries us 7 knots. About 10 am a very large blubber whale rose very near the ship and kept up a

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considerable time. It spouted the water in one stream and that forward. It's tail was not forked, as we in general saw them, but rounded at the extremity, as were also the tails of several large porpoises which were near the ship at the same time. Many of those luminous bodies appeared in the water this night, the same as mentioned to have been seen near Teneriffe.

9 June 1788

But little wind, go on 2 knots. The scorbutic patients get no worse, but others are coming into the list. Many albatrosses near the ship.

This morning I was seized with a gripping and flux.

The steward is employed in cleaning up all the ship's muskets and hangers, pistols etc. and in making up cartridges for the great guns. Towards evening we go 7 knots, the breeze has so much increased.

10 June 1788

This morning 105(?) knots. This day killed a boar, about 1 years old, for the accommodation of the sick, having no other fresh stock on board except a breeding sow, which was now in pig. The weather now very cold.

11 June 1788

This day fair, which did not pass unthought of. Nothing material seen.

12 June 1788

A foul wind. The scorbutic patients no worse, but the list increases.

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14 June 1788

Saturday. The wind continuing directly against us, the captain put about ship and stood to the southward about 12 o'clock at noon.

This day I found myself very ill with cold chilly fits and pains about me, the effect of cold from damp bed etc.

The scurvy does not abate and its ravages in the ship are so great that few are totally exempt from this, their greatest enemy. I cannot help again regretting the sordid negligence of those concerned in fitting out this ship, that scarcely any article necessary to cope with this grand pest of the seamen in long voyages was provided, and particularly that that most material one, essence of malt, should be totally omitted. Whereas, had that been supplied liberally so as to have enabled me to have distributed it to all the seamen at so critical a juncture, to those who had the scurvy in copious quantities, and to those who had it not, more sparingly by way of preventative, I would gladly have dispensed with a large catalogue of other medicines, which are called antiscorbutic and which are a mere ship in wort(?), since I am firmly persuaded that that alone, given in proper quantities, would have kept this dreadful disorder in narrow bounds, if it would not altogether have eradicated it, which nothing else yet discovered which can be carried to sea in long voyages, will effect. But as we are circumstanced, and the case is irremediable, I greatly fear we shall not carry home half the men we brought out of England with us.

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Sunday. The wind as yesterday. Many porpoises about the ship, one of which the steward struck with a harpoon, but did not hold it, immediately after which all of them disappeared in pursuit of that which had been wounded, which they constantly do, and tear it in pieces and devour it.

16 June 1788

Wind the same. The carpenter is so reduced and the scurvy increases so rapidly, I am apprehensive of his not living and nothing, but shortly arriving at some port, can save his life. Both him and the boatswain have a 1 lb. of wort, morning and night, out of the few pounds of essence of malt remaining of the cask saved at Port Jackson.

We are now about 300 miles from Tahiti. I confess I have apprehension of danger, even at Tahiti, when I consider the smallness of our ship and the very few hands on board able to crawl out of their hammocks, and on the other hand, how very numerous and artful the Tahitians are and the daring attack they made upon Captain Wallis who first discovered this island.

We have all the great guns loaded as also the firelocks and the hangers are all ready to defend us with, should we be under the disagreeable necessity of using force. At all events it is prudent to be prepared for every emergency to make the most formidable appearance we can to deter them from any sinister attempts.

[Page 135]

The ship's company have had rum served out to them twice a week for grog but the scurvy making so formidable an appearance amongst them, I judged it would conduce more to the checking that disorder to substitute wine in its room, which the captain agreed to. Therefore all the sick had lb. of wine every day and those who were free from the scurvy had 1 pint, 3 times a week, in order, if possible, to keep them so. At least it would have the good effect of keeping them in spirits, which is no small point to be considered in the present alarming situation of the ship's company.

The winds are extremely unfavourable, for this day at 12 at noon we were obliged to tack ship again and stand to the southward.

Many albatrosses and blue petrels about the ship. Notwithstanding the scurvy was making such progress amongst the sailors, it was astonishing with what obstinacy they at first refused eating the sour grout, nor could anything but the fear of dying prevail upon them to eat it, and when they did, they liked it very well. Everything proposed to ignorant sailors on board a ship, though ever so calculated to promote their health, if it has the least appearance of novelty, is sure to meet with an incorrigibly obstinate opposition, nor is it in the power of the most potent arguments to induce them to change their

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notions, till death stares them in the face, when they will conform to anything proposed and are in general the greatest of cowards. Such, I believe I may venture to say, is the general characteristic of two thirds of the British sailors.

17 June 1788

The wind the same. Sailors no worse, nor are they at all better. Employed chief of the forenoon putting up medicines for them.

18 June 1788

At 2 o'clock am the wind came a little more favourable, at the same time put about ship and, it blowing very hard, about 4 am carried away the main topsail and at 9 o'clock am the fore topsail went away. A great swell blows very hard. Extremely cold. Many albatrosses about. The sick much the same as yesterday.

19 June 1788

The wind the same. Sick getting rather worse. The wind in the forenoon rather sunk. Therefore, there not being so great a head swell, the ship lies up better ENE and we gain something. It is impossible for those not used to sea and to the disorders concomitant upon long voyages to form an idea of the anxiety and ardent wishes of a ship's crew to reach a port when diseases prevail which turn every day with danger of the most fatal consequences and which no medicines that can be administered at sea can vanquish!

[Page 137]

The utmost that can be expected from them, in the sea scurvy at least, is to keep the disorder from increasing and even this consolation is not always to be acquired, it depending in a great measure upon the constitution of the patient previous to his being attacked. I this day gave flor. camomal. to those who were most affected, to chew instead of tobacco, with strict directions to swallow their spittle as I judge there is considerable antiscorbutic properties in them, taken in this manner.

20 June 1788

The wind continues the same as it has been for 8 days past. The scurvy gains ground. Most of the sick getting worse. One of the boys, Richard Dawson, who is naturally of an indolent disposition and by no means a cleanly boy, has several very foul ulcers on his legs, and though they are daily dressed with powerful digestives and he takes the bark in substance 3 times a day, yet still his blood and juices are so vitiated and impoverished by the scurvy, that nothing will make them digest or remove a disagreeable livid hue, which they have constantly assumed.

I am this day very ill with pain and, in my head, a tertian ague from cold, caught by the dampness of my cabin. I am taking the bark during the intermission. A shoal of porpoises about the bows, and many pintado birds.

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21 June 1788

Saturday. Very squally all night and this day, with a great swell and some flying showers. The sick much as yesterday. Mr. Anstis, chief mate, ill with a rheumatic complaint. The cabins all leak very much. The carpenter too ill to caulk them.

Sometimes the sea gives the ship such prodigious shocks that it throw us from one side of the cabin to the other and yesterday one of the nails which holds my medicine case drew out of the board, with a violent roll of the ship, just at the time I had opened the door to get something out and it was with the greatest difficulty I could secure it till assistance came. Otherwise everything in it must have been broken and been destroyed and, notwithstanding, a great many curious insects which I had got at Port Jackson and were in a deal box in the upper part of the case, fell out and were totally demolished.

22 June 1788

This day very little wind. Two more sailors taken to their hammocks. There are now so few hands on board capable of doing duty that the captain himself and the chief mate are forced to do the duty of a foremastman.

23 June 1788

The sick, except the boatswain, who grows evidently worse, are much the same as yesterday. There being a considerable quantity of wine in the ship, I requested the captain would allow a pound a day to every man who was well, in order, if possible, to keep them so, as it answers a double good purpose, first by obviating access of the scurvy, and secondly, by keeping them in good spirits.

[Page 139]

This the captain very readily agreed to; as also to my request to allow a quantity of tea for breakfast every morning to all the sick, who have wine in such quantities besides, as I judge necessary. Indeed, I must do the captain the justice to acknowledge he was never reluctant to giving up any indulgences from himself, for the accommodation of the sick, and that all in the cabin most readily coincided with him in so laudable a resolution.

About 8 pm it became suddenly so dark you could scarce see your hand, if held up, and shortly after the rain descended in perfect torrents attended with almost incessant flashes of lightning and some very loud peals of thunder, with the wind outrageously high, the great cabin and almost all the sleeping cabins on a flow. One very deep roll threw Mr. Watts, who was sitting at the table, with great force against the door of the captain's state room, and the back of the chair went through the sash door. The storm continued without any abatement till near 11 o'clock at night when the wind sunk and came about to the southward and the ship lay her course.

24 June 1788

A gentle breeze with the wind fair, go 4 knots. The sick not worse. The other sailor in much better spirits for being allowed the pound of wine a day.

25 June 1788

The breeze continues fair. This day at 12 noon, 100 knots on the board.

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The sick, much as yesterday, except the carpenter who is getting rather worse. This night a good deal of lightning but no thunder.

26 June 1788

The weather much warmer and the breeze continues. This day at noon 113 miles on the board. Hope to reach Tahiti in 5 days.

Several different species of birds about at noon of this day. Bore down towards Tahiti with a fine breeze, go 7 knots, and the ship quite easy.

27 June 1788

It fell almost calm. Mr. Holmes, 4th mate, much worse with the scurvy. His Legs very much swelled and very livid, with petechiae all over them.

28 June 1788

Wind very high. Several of the braces broke and the sails split and it rained violently all day. A great sea.

The captain, mate, steward and Mr. Watts, in this critical conjuncture, laboured as hard as any of the sailors. Indeed, if they had not there would not have been hands sufficient to have done the necessary work. This weather lasted till 12 at night when the wind shifted and came fair for us.

29 June 1788

This morning gave out 32 dwt.* of tea to every sick man on board, 17 in number. Scarce a day passes without one or more of the sailors throwing up working and, to do several of them justice, I must say they kept the deck beyond expectations.

[* Dram weight. One dram = one sixteenth of an ounce. Therefore, 32 drams = 2 ounces, or .0567 kilogram.]

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At the same time, I cannot help observing that several of those who have been so long laid aside, retired from doing their duty long before there was an absolute necessity for so doing.

30 June 1788

Monday. A fine morning and gentle breeze, go 3 knots. This day another of the sailors took to his hammock and the quartermasters are obliged to take the wheel, as the watch on deck is reduced to so very few.

A strong breeze from NW directly in our teeth, a very disheartening circumstance in our critical situation.

The sick are all getting worse, and medicines of every kind seem totally thrown away upon them. several of them bleed at the nose every day, their hams more contracted, their legs more swelled and blacker, and their bodies emaciated very much.

July 1788

1 July 1788

This day the sow littered and had 7 pigs. The captain and Mr. Anstis both very much indisposed from cold, being often wet through for several hours together. About 11 at night it thickened very much and began to blow very hard and at 12 pm it rained prodigiously and blew so very hard that they were obliged to double reef the topsail. The sea was very high. We are now about 560 miles from Tahiti.

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2 July 1788

Wednesday. A fine morning, a gentle breeze. The ship lies her course. Some sea weed passed the ship. The boatswain is worse, the rest of the sick, much as yesterday. Two or 3 gulls about the ship.

3 July 1788

Breeze continues. At 5 o'clock this morning died John Robinson, lately from the Supply Brig, in exchange for Bruce, of an ulcer in the neck of the bladder or in the prostrate gland. He was an old man and the disorder had been on him long before he came on board us. He had but very slight symptoms of scurvy.

The rest of the sick are much as yesterday. Phillip Screven, the sailor who was lost at Port Jackson and returned on board in such an emaciated state, is so extremely debilitated that he cannot get out of his hammock and I am fearful of his not reaching Tahiti. With respect to all the rest I am in great hopes they will weather it. Mr. Watts gave me 3 cakes of portable soup for Screven's use, all he had, which will make him 2 lb. of soup every day and may contribute to saving his life, as he can eat nothing else.

All the 7 pigs littered a few days ago are dead, none of them would suck the sow.

At 5 pm Robinson was committed to the deep with the usual ceremony. The captain read the burial service.

This day some disagreement happened betwixt the captain and Mr. Watts respecting going to the NW as the ship's company were in so deplorable a situation.

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4 July 1788

This day fine and warm, thermometer at 70 at 6 o'clock am. Very light breezes. Now about 400 miles from Tahiti. Several small birds, called egg birds, seen. The sick much as they were.

This day Joseph Downy, one of the quartermasters, an old seaman, as he was standing at the wheel was suddenly seized with a violent spasm in the breast attended with a great sickness at his stomach and vomiting. I gave him 32 dwt. of ricini and afterwards an opiate draught and he is somewhat better. The weather is now very warm and pleasant, therefore I compelled all the sick who could possibly be got on deck to be got up and to have their hammocks got up also and aired and this day they seem better, which I attribute in a great measure to the warm weather. The lividness of their limbs is evidently better and their spirits also are much better.

At 8 o'clock in the evening crossed the Tropic of Capricorn.

6 July 1788

Last night thunder and lightning very much.

7 July 1788

It rained very hard with a great deal of thunder and lightning and now, 9 o'clock am, looks very greasy and unsettled. In the night the ship's head was all round the compass, it being quite calm. At 7 o'clock am a gentle breeze sprung up SW which carries us 3 knots.

The sick are no worse except the boatswain, who gets weaker, and his jaws and gums are very putrid and swelled very much, which he may attribute to his obstinacy in peremptorily refusing to take

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any medicines to stop the progress of the disease. All those who have taken medicines, and whose symptoms at first were as alarming as the boatswain's, are now by no means in so bad a state as him, which plainly demonstrates that medicines will check the progress of the scurvy at sea, though there is but little room to expect they will effect a cure.

The greater part of the medicines are expended, especially those most essential ones: bark, salts, cream of tartar, elixir of vitriol, essence of malt, portable soup.

Downey, the quartermaster, much better of the spasm in his breast. This day several weather gulls seen.

8 July 1788

Tuesday. Loaded all the great guns and muskets, ready for use, as should the breeze which we now have continue, we expect to get in tomorrow night. The sick no worse. St noon this day 112 knots. on the log board.

9 July 1788

Saw Osnaburg Island, called Miatea in the Indian language, about 6 passed leagues distant and at 10 o'clock am saw the high land of Tahiti, from the masthead. Three or 4 whales near the ship at 7 o'clock am. Two or three canoes came on board with bread fruit.

10 July 1788

Arrive at Tahiti, lat. 1730'S, long. 150W.

Thursday. About 10 o'clock am anchored safely in Matavi Bay, Tahiti. In the morning the wind was very high and directly against us, which forced us to work in, being very dubious of

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fetching the bay, but by great good fortune we got in as mentioned above. The joy which possessed every breast upon this happy and long wished for event was not a little, especially when we saw, before we dropped the anchor, many double canoes coming off to us. As the Tahitians know the English colours from those of Spain and France, the captain ordered the union flag to be hoisted, immediately upon which we could hear the natives in the canoes shout and seemed very pleased.

Upon the canoes coming near the ship, they stopped and called out taio or tyo, which signifies a friend, and held out green branches as signals of peace. They very soon found we were from Britannia, as they call it, and that we could converse with them in their own language, whereupon many of them came on board and brought with them coconuts and bread fruit, which we had cooked for supper and was to us, in our present situation, a great treat

Before night many more canoes came along side with several chiefs and brought with them hogs, bananas, bread fruit, coconuts etc. in great plenty. The chiefs came on board and enquired after tutee, Captain Cook. We told them that he was alive in Britain, but an old man. They appeared very highly delighted and stayed till near dark, when they took their leave, not forgetting to ask permission to come on board again

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tomorrow and bring with them war kow war kow* hogs, bananas, coconuts, yams, tarra**, fowls, bread fruit and, in short, everything the island afforded.

[* a great many.]

[** probably taro.]

11 July 1788

Friday. By daybreak the canoes were alongside in great numbers and frequently we had not less than 500 on board at a time. They stuck about every part of the rigging and ship's sides like ants upon a hill.

The men are a race of as fine, tall, muscular people as any in the world, and they have certainly a great share of understanding, and are by no means bad mechanics as many of their utensils testify. Every chief upon his first coming on board selected his taio, with whom he exchanged names and ever after his attachment and friendship to him was unalienable, and scarcely a day passed but they came on board loaded with presents of hogs, Tahitian cloth, fowls, bananas, coconuts, bread fruit and all the catalogue of things which their island produces, each for his taio.

These people are extremely docile and it is in the power of their taio to keep them in as much awe as they please. The name of Mr. Watts's taio was Mona, of mine was Pooetare, of Mr. Anstis's was Tarta, the king brother, and the Captains was Otoo, the king himself who, not being at Matavi Bay when we arrived there, but at Operree, he sent a dog as a present, and notice that he would come to us the next day loaded with everything the country afforded, which he thought we stood in need of.

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12 July 1788

This day, as usual, the ship was surrounded by canoes innumerable, both double and single, and not a single canoe came off without something of eatables or presents in it, amongst which this day were hogs, sucking pigs, some alive, others barbecued, bread fruit, both green and baked, yarva, coconuts, cloth of various kinds and patterns, and many other articles too numerous to mention.

I should not have forgot fish, of many sorts, some weighing 12 or 15 lb a piece, all which were purchased by a hatchet, a spike nail, a piece of an iron hoop about 5 inches long, beads, 2nd knives, looking glasses, a few red feathers etc. and a hog of 8 or 10 score was readily parted with for a 9d. hatchet.

In short, the presents we daily received from our taio's were more than sufficient to keep the ship's company with, though we have been in so little awhile. There are 12 large hogs and 8 small ones alive for stock, and many dozen fine fowls, coconuts innumerable, and we have daily more provisions brought than we can tell what to do with.

It is with great pleasure I can pronounce all the sick better, to admiration, though we have not been in harbour more than 48 hours. This night 8 or 10 of the Tahiti girls slept on board and, in the evening, they all danced the heeva on the quarter deck and their different attitudes and gestures during the dance were grotesque and laughable to a degree.

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There are constantly some of the sailors walking the decks with cutlasses and firelocks in case of any disturbance happening and sometimes the ship has been so immoderately thronged with natives that there was not room for the sailors to do their necessary business, for which reason they were obliged to drive them away, when they would jump overboard by 20 or 30 at a time into the sea, both men and women, and swim like fish.

The men are such very expert divers that we frequently amused ourselves, for a considerable time together, with throwing small nails into the sea, when 5 or 6 natives would dive down after them, and so very swift were they in their motions that it very rarely happened that one or other of them did not bring it up with them. The same by a piece of iron hoop.

Frequently, when the ship has been 4 or 5 miles from the shore, numbers that had no canoes would swim off to the ship, sometimes making use of only one hand, holding up a roll of cloth for sale in the other, which would be irrecoverably spoiled if it got wet.

With respect to the general manners and customs of the Tahitians, they are already so well and accurately described by Captain Cook that it would be superfluous to repeat them here. I shall therefore only observe such particulars as have escaped notice, and which I think ought to be mentioned. Their heeva, or dance, consists of as many girls as are present, and there are very few of

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those girls but can blow the pipe, which they do with one nostril, compressing the other with the thumb of the left hand with, which they hold the pipe. They have a variety of different figures and attitudes in their dances, and some they accompany with a droll kind of song of which we were not sufficient masters of their language to understand any part.

The greater part of their action during the dance would, in England, be thought the height of indecency and, indeed, they seem calculated to excite venereal desires to a great degree, as we have reason also to think their songs are.

They are very cleanly and, in general, good looking people, but by no means so delicate a complexion as the plates in Captain Cook's Treatise represent them. The men are exactly the colour of a new halfpenny and the women, at least many of the young ones, are much fairer, but not to be compared to a European.

13 July 1788

Saturday. This day, as usual, brought us plenty of visitors and plenty of presents. We are to go on shore tomorrow to bring Otoo, the king, on board.

14 July 1788

Several chiefs came to inform us that Otoo waited our going on shore for him. A boat was therefore immediately sent, the pinnace, in which went the Captain, Mr. Watts and Mr. Anstis, I, being engaged at the time, did not accompany them. I do not exceed the bound of truth when I say there were 10,000 natives assembled upon the beach

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when the king and queen came into the pinnace and an innumerable quantity of double and single canoes all round the ship and the whole face of the water between the ship and the shore in a manner covered with them.

The king was attended by many aurees, or chiefs. The dress of the king exactly corresponded with that of the chiefs only that he had more cloth about his waist, his hair was some of it fastened back with plaits and stuck with yellow flowers of a very fragrant smell, and a blossom of the cape jasmine in his ear. He is at least 6 ft. 3 in. high and a very muscular strong made man, and by no means bad featured. He dined on board and was fed by an attendant, and the coconut shell was also held up to his mouth by an attendant when he wanted to drink, he never lifting his hand to his mouth.

The quantity they all of them eat at a meal is astonishing and it is a universal custom amongst them to fill the mouth as full at a time as they possibly can. After the king and chiefs have dined they drink off a coconut shell of the juice of the yarva root, which two attendant prepared for him while he ate his dinner, by first chewing the root fine and afterwards straining the juice through some fibres of the coconut tree, rinsing their mouths with coconut milk, which is also strained through the fibres, and all together makes a most delicious draught for his majesty. This was the only custom, bordering upon uncleanliness, which we observed during our stay amongst them.

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The women never attempt to eat in the presence of the men. A little before dark our royal guests took their leave. The Captain, Mr. Watts, Mr. Anstis and myself accompanied them on shore. We walked about half a mile amidst groves of coconuts, bread fruit, plantains, bananas, etc. till we arrived at the house of one of the chiefs. The king stopped a little before he came to the house. We all went in except the king who retired to a little distance and there sat under a tree for, had he entered one of the houses, the populace would have demolished it as soon as he had quitted it, as nobody would afterwards have been permitted to have entered it.

15 July 1788

The king came on board this morning and brought with him, in great pomp, Captain Cook's portrait, painted by Webber in 1777. It was very little damaged by keeping. It was fixed in the cabin in full view of all and he left it on board till the next day, when he sent a messenger for it.

He brought with him exceedingly large pieces of thick cloth, which was hung all round the outside of the ship and a large quantity of the same kind of cloth was spread on the quarter deck to lay the other presents upon, which consisted of 4 very large live hogs, great quantities of bread fruit, green and baked, coconuts, fowls, bananas, mahy, mangoes, etc. He returned on shore a little before dark and invited us to go on shore next day.

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16 July 1788

This day, agreeable to invitation, we went on shore and were introduced to the houses of many of the chiefs, where large presents were made by our different taios to the Captain, Mr. Watts and myself. Mr. Watts' taio, Moreea, was under a tree at some distance from any house, sitting by many articles which were intended as presents for Mr. Watts and are as follow.

Several rolls of cloth and matting, all which were put round him, and a tawmy, or war gorget, hung round his neck, and the weather so very hot that he was in no very comfortable situation before he got on board, two large live hogs and a large string of cocks feathers tied round his waist.

My taio also, Pooetare, presented me with a very large piece of fine white cloth which he put over one shoulder and fastened round my waist in many folds, and his madua put a tawmy on my neck and a machine made of cock's feathers in my hand, to brush off the flies etc.

The heat of the sun, and walking under such a load of cloth and feathers, made me almost ready to faint. The king, we then saw at a small distance, sitting as usual under a tree, a little distance from a house, and his queen by him. He accompanied us to the boat and on board, and stayed 3 or 4 hours. I fastened up his hair with some long iron pins with cut glass heads, and presented him with same and a small pair of tweezers, to pluck his beard with, which pleased him very much, in return for which I received a piece of figured cloth and a lock of his hair.

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The king and most of the aurees seldom miss a day coming on board and frequently dine on board. The crowd of natives, whenever we went on shore and sat down on the mats in any of the houses, was so great, and they surrounded the house in such a manner, that we could hardly breathe, till one of the chiefs would rush out with a large stick and make all fly before him. By this means a passage on each side of the house was kept open which admitted a free draught of air and made it comfortable.

Their houses are nothing more than long sheds, open all round and very strongly and neatly thatched with plantain leaves. Their furniture in the houses consists of some clean dried grass on which mats are spread, and some concave stools, which they call pillows and which they make use of as such when they sleep. We have now at least 30 hogs on board besides a considerable quantity salted. The sick mend daily.

18 July 1788

Wednesday. Many flying fish, the largest I ever saw, with some very fine crawfish, were this day brought to us. The crawfish do not seem wholesome, as most of us that eat of them were seized in the night with fluxes. Shell fish also abound here, and I have some mussel shells at least a foot in length and 8 inches in breadth.

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The heeva is danced on the quarter decks every evening by as many girls as are on board, seldom less than 10 or 12, and the men are mending so astonishingly fast, that those whom a fortnight ago we daily expected to throw overboard, increase the number by getting bedfellows. These girls are total strangers to every idea of shame in their amours.

19 July 1788

This day I was tattooed on both arms, as were the captain and most of the people on board. The Tahitians, seeing the smallness of our ship in comparison of Captain Cook's, and the small number of hands, and most of of those valetudinarians, plainly hinted to us how easy a matter it would be to take the ship from us, though they never showed the least inimical disposition towards us, but on the contrary supplied us daily with such a quantity of everything their island produced that we had more than we could well dispense with.

In consequence of the ship's company being so amazingly recovered as to be able, to a man, to do duty, we determined to sail on Wednesday 24 July, just one fortnight after our arrival, and at the same time not to let the natives know the day of our sailing, least anything should be attempted against us, as in that case we must either have fallen a sacrifice or have been under the disagreeable necessity of killing great numbers of them.

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24 July 1788

Therefore, the day preceding our sailing, we told them, as they were very often enquiring how long we should stay sailed on, that we should sail in 4 days, but they, seeing the preparations the day before, and the sails loosened at day break on Wednesday morning, suspected we were about sailing and came off immediately.

The king; queen, Mona; Mr. Watts' taio; and Pooetare, my taio; Tarta, the King's brother; and Mr. Anstis's taio; and every one's taio throughout the ship; came on board and the canoes which attended were almost innumerable.

The king, queen and all the chiefs attended us for about 6 or 7 miles, when they all took a most affectionate leave of us, first extorting a promise from us that we would shortly visit them again. Many, both men and women, shed tears at parting. Odiddee, who was with Captain Cook and sailed with him to the southward, cried much, and both his wives. He would gladly have accompanied us to England could we have permitted him. Previous to our parting most of our taios requested us to exchange a lock of hair with them, which we readily complied with.

As the king always expressed a wish to hear the great guns, two of them were fired off a little before he left the ship, which greatly delighted and astonished him and all the natives, especially when they beheld the ball strike the water at so great a distance! There cannot be a more affectionate people than the Tahitians nor is any country

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more capable of affording refreshments of various kinds, both animal and vegetable, to ships long at sea, or any people more ready to part with them, and all for the trifling barter before mentioned viz. hatchets, knives, nails, old hoop, looking glasses, red feathers etc. etc.

We have now on board at least 70 live hogs, small and large, 2 goats, each for a 9d. hatchet, and 2 kids, each a 2d. knife, great quantities of bread fruit, green and baked, and sour, called maki, plantains, bananas and yams in great abundance, sweet potatoes, tarra, and coconuts without number, and great plenty of mangoes, pumpkins and plantain stalks to feed the stock with.


'The bread fruit'

Two days since, the only surviving sheep, got at Ryde in the Isle of Wight, died by eating too freely of bananas etc., to the regret of all of us. He was in very good condition and the captain meant, if possible, to have carried him back again to England, there to have kept him well, as long as he lived.

It was observed, in all Captain Cook's voyages to these islands, that the natives were universally addicted to theft, but we have been so remarkably fortunate in that respect, from the strict precautions we took to guard against it, that we have lost only a knife out of the steward's pantry and a small hatchet which the steward used for his purposes on board ship, and which was incautiously left on the outside of the door. This I should deem a temptation equal, to a Tahitian, with that of a diamond to an Englishman. Therefore the blame, if any, rested upon the steward for his carelessness in leaving the valuable articles exposed to their view.

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25 July 1788

I had the misfortune to lose my pocket book on shore, containing a pair of small silver baise scissors in a silver case, and some private memorandums, which I had very fortunately transcribed into another book. Therefore the loss was the less as I never recovered the book. I made a point of procuring as many of the different articles of this country as I could, to oblige my friends with them at my return.

Their cloth stands first in the list of curiosities as it discovers no small degree of ingenuity to manufacture it, even in the manner in which it is done. It must be considered that it is in its original state, nothing more than the simple bark of a tree (the paper mulberry tree) and the art consists in properly blending the different lamina of it with each other so as to make cloth of different consistencies, and in the 2nd place of colouring it, together which their discovery of the proper menstrua to tincture it, and by the bye it ought to be observed by me that at the time Captain Cook was amongst these islands, many of the patterns which now exist among them and of which I have specimens, were never seen. Therefore we may rationally conclude that they borrowed the idea from the patterns of those English linens which Captain Cook and his ships' company distributed amongst them in the way of trade, and is a very strong indication of the ingenuity of these people and how very serviceable and clever they might become under proper instructors. It is with concern we learn from every inquiry we have made that Omai died

[Page 158]

some years ago at Ulietea, where he went to reside and indeed it was the place of his birth, though he was left at Huahiene. From every account we could possibly collect from repeated enquiries, both of the chiefs and others, he died a natural death, and the different European articles of domestic and culinary use which he had been liberally supplied with by government, upon his return with Captain Cook, were in so little esteem, or at least the use of them was so little known or attended to by his countrymen, that several of the articles were brought on board us and offered for sale, viz. a cast iron pot which Mr. Watts purchased and several other articles. His firearms were, from every account we could collect, totally destroyed and broke in pieces, as there was reason to apprehend he had made rather too free a use of them.

26 July 1788

This day, a gentle breeze. We discovered the island of Huaheine, about 4 pm and lay to all night. During the night a heavy squall came on, attended with thunder and lightning of short duration and after it abated the wind sprung up directly off the island which makes it impossible for us to fetch it till the wind shifts.

The Captain does not mean to go into the harbour, but to ply off and on, to give the natives an opportunity of coming off in their canoes, to supply the deficiency since we left Tahiti. This island produces exactly the same as Tahiti and their customs and manners exactly correspond.

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3 pm. The wind continued to blow directly from the land. We tacked twice and hope to reach the island tomorrow.

27 July 1788

A fine morning. Tacked twice in the night and this morning, at 9 o'clock, we are about 2 leagues from the shore. The islands of Ulietea, Otatia and Bolabola are all in sight. During the day, made off the frequent tacks and each tack fetched nearer the shore. At 5 pm, only 4 miles distant, a canoe with 9 natives came alongside and 2 of them came on board. They brought some coconuts which we purchased for some small nails. They informed us that Omai was dead but that one of the horses left there by Captain Cook was still living and invited us strongly to go on shore but, as that was not our intention at calling there, we declined all thoughts of quitting the ship.

Island of Huaheine, lat. 1830'S, long. 150W.

28 July 1788

This morning many canoes came off with coconuts, bananas, fowls, bread fruit etc. and before noon we had 20 or 30 canoes alongside. Some few hogs were also brought and many of the natives came on board, behaved very friendly and entreated us much to go on shore, but not choosing to depend too far on their friendship, nobody went on shore, as nothing was wanting but a supply of plantains and coconuts with some few hogs, to supply the consumption since our leaving Tahiti.

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Amongst other articles, we purchased 2 or 3 bushels of most excellent yams, a quantity of tarra and some sweet potatoes. One of the chiefs dined on board. They are rather lighter coloured than the Tahitians, but in every other respect exactly similar. The island of Huaheine is very similar to Tahiti excepting that about the centre of it there is a very deep bay with a reef of coral rock almost across the entrance, but yet a ship might go in. The coconuts and bread fruit trees, as at Tahiti, extend almost to the water's edge.

Like the Tahitians also, the natives live upon the plains between the sea and the mountains and in the valleys between them, and none inhabit the mountains themselves. Every night brings so many canoes on the reefs near the shore to fishing with lights in each, (the doe nuts?), that it has very much the appearance of a town illuminated. Several of the chiefs came on board and several girls, who slept on board.

29 July 1788

This morning we were a considerable distance from the shore. No canoes came off till pretty late in the forenoon which at first we thought had rather an unfavourable appearance, but it afterwards turned out to be owing to the distance we lay from shore,

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as many canoes came off about 10 o'clock with hogs, fowls, etc. as usual.

This day, Captain Sever bought a live turtle of 20 lb. weight for a 2d. knife. Three or 4 whales were this day seen 3 or 4 miles from the ship. They spouted up the water very high. It was quite calm and very hot.

30 July 1788

This morning we sailed round to the other side of the island, to Owharree harbour, and soon after eight o'clock am many canoes came off with plenty of provisions and the natives on this side of the island were equally friendly as those on the other side.

During our standing off and on in the afternoon we were at one time so near the reef of coral rock which everywhere surrounds this part of the island, that it was with the greatest difficulty we could clear it, the ship not staying, and being obliged to wear ship. Many on board, who knew the danger we were in, were not a little alarmed. For my own part, though I was on the round house at the time, I was under no apprehensions, not knowing the critical predicament we stood in.

31 July 1788

Thursday. During the night we tacked ship again and stood in for the island, and about 8 o'clock in the morning many canoes came off and many girls in them, several of whom slept on board.

This day intensely hot.

A pretty large quantity of provisions brought off this day. A very large shark was near the ship, amidst the canoes, which the natives caught in a most dexterous manner, by fixing a bite of a rope round the tail and hauling it into the canoe, first knocking its brains out by the side of the canoe.

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August 1788

1 August 1788

Friday. About 5 pm we made sail and steered for Tinian in the South Seas, Our taios at this place also first taking a most affectionate leave of us.

My taio at this place was a lad about 16 or 17 years old. His name was Taaree. I cannot take a final leave of Huaheine without observing the very great friendship with which we were treated by the natives. They brought off every produce of their island in as liberal a manner as the Tahitians did, and, as at Tahiti, upon our parting with them many of them shed tears.

Several of the natives of this island also voluntarily offered to accompany us to England and all expressed the most fervent wishes for our welfare and return to the island before long. It is very fortunate that we had no fracas or disturbances with the natives during our stay among them.

2 August 1788

At daylight we had quite lost sight of the Society Islands, having a very fine breeze which carries us 6 knots. It rained hard once or twice in the night and is now very hot. The thermometer this morning 81.

3 August 1788

The breeze continues. 94 miles on the board this morning. Two of the sows we had from Tahiti pigged this day.

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The sailors are now all able to do duty. There are none now on the sick list. Many birds seen this evening and amongst them a booby, which induces us to think we are at no great distance from land. There is constantly a man on the forecastle looking out for land or rocks, as the tract we are now in was never before navigated.

4 August 1788

The breeze continues. The weather very hot, the thermometer 84. Many flying fish about. Mr. Watts a good deal indisposed.

5 August 1788

Almost a calm. Thermometer at 87. Several tropic birds over the ship. This day another of the sows from Huaheine pigged. Mr. Watts, the Captain and Mr. Anstis all not at all well, nor am I very well. My right leg and foot swelling and pitting very much, I believe the effects of cold. Caught a noddy on the mizzen top yard arm. Extracted a tooth for Mr. Watts.

6 August 1788

The breeze continues. This day made mould candles for the use of the ship for the first time. Burnt extremely well. Stowed away a cask of shells, the joint property of the steward and myself.

7 August 1788

Breeze as yesterday. Killed a pig and a kid. There are generally 2 hogs killed every day for the accommodation of the cabin and the ships company. Thermometer this day at 81. A man of war bird seen.

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Many flying fish about. This day I prepared [2 lbs?] of k. cort. hux, having fortunately a sufficient quantity of ingredients in my own medicine case for that purpose.

8 August 1788

At daybreak discovered land to the NE, about 3 leagues distant. It appeared flat and to be at least 12 miles in length. We could very plainly discern the coconut trees on the island, but as it was to windward of us and we had a plentiful stock of hogs, poultry and vegetables on board, it was most likely to produce the same kinds of refreshments as we had already got as much of as we could dispense with, while it was good the captain did not think it advisable to lose a day or two in bearing down to it. We called it Penrhyn Island. This day the k. thebaic. being all expended I prepared some fresh from my own ingredients. Several man-of-war birds seen.

I am a good deal indisposed, and took some blood from my arm.

9 August 1788

The breeze continues. All the bananas and plantains were got from between decks, where they were rotting and injuring the casks, and hung over the sides of the round house. Some of them are remarkably large. I measured one which was 10 inches in circumference.

This day, made up 5 bails of Tahiti cloth, the joint property of Mr. Young (the steward) and myself. Each bail contains at least 25 pieces of cloth.

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10 August 1788

Sunday. A fine breeze, go 4 knots. Two blue petrels seen. The thermometer at 9 o'clock this morning was at 87. Many bonitos about the bows. I am much better, as is the captain and Mr. Watts. At 12 o'clock, at noon, the thermometer was up to 90.

11 August 1788

Several squalls in the night, of short continuance, attended with pretty heavy rain, and this morning the showers continue with a gentle breeze. Go 4 knots. We have not expended any fresh water, except for tea in a morning, since our arrival at Tahiti, constantly using coconut milk.

12 August 1788

A fine breeze. We are now in a regular trade wind which, upon an average, carries us not less than 5 knots, and which has attended us ever since we left the Society Islands.

13 August 1788

The breeze as yesterday. Many tropic birds about and some man-of-war birds. I cannot get rid of the odematous swelling of my Legs. It is attended with red blotches as high up as the calves of my legs.

14 August 1788

Breeze continues. Many tropic birds about and great numbers of flying fish.

15 August 1788

This night at 12 crossed the equinoctial line.

16 August 1788

Many porpoises about the bows. The steward struck one with a harpoon in the middle of its body and it was stowed alongside a considerable time, bleeding at a prodigious rate, but afterwards tore out

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the harpoon and got away, but was directly surrounded by great numbers of porpoises and torn in pieces by them. A noddy taken this evening on the main yard arm.

17 August 1788

Breeze as usual. The steward caught a shark. Many flying fish seen.

18 August 1788

Fine breeze. Two curlews seen.

19 August 1788

Do. A Noddy seen. Frequent squalls.

20 August 1788

A fine breeze. Another porpoise struck with the harpoon by the captain and after it was got close alongside the steward struck him with the grains, notwithstanding which he got away by breaking off one of the wings of the harpoon and tearing out the grains, and as usual was immediately devoured by the other porpoises in our sight.

About 5 pm several on board thought they saw land on the larboard side to leeward, therefore the captain lay to all night and in the morning it proved to be only clouds. Set sail after 5 a.m.

21 August 1788

A fine breeze. Go 4 knots.

22 August 1788

Do. A noddy taken on the yard arm.

23 August 1788

Fine breeze, go 5 knots. Just before dark a very large man-of-war bird over the ship. The cabin boy sent up to the maintop gallant masthead where he very soon after had an opportunity of catching hold of its wing and one of the sailors going up to his assistance, he brought it down safely. It measured 6 ft. 9 inches from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other and 2 ft. 9 inches

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from the tip of its bill to the tip of its tail. Its feet were webbed, its wings and back of a rusty black, its head white and the breast white tinged with orange. Its bill was very remarkable and 6 inches long.

This night lay to, as there are some rocks and shoals laid down in some charts (in this latitude, 9) just above and in many parts level with the water.

24 August 1788

Set sail again this morning about 6 o'clock with a fine breeze. Go 6 knots.

25-28 August 1788

25. Breeze continues.

26. Do.

27. Do.

28. Do. Nothing material happened on these last 4 days.

29-31 August 1788

29. Caught a bonito. Breeze continues. Killed the last remaining sheep purchased at the Cape of Good Hope. We have now got about 1800 miles to Tinian which, with the favourable breeze we have, we hope to reach in about a fortnight.

30. Nothing material happened.

31. Nothing material happened.

September 1788

1-4 September 1788

Nothing material. The breeze continued as usual, and on the 4th a very large shoal of bottle-nosed porpoises were alongside.

This day at 12, at noon, 910 miles from Tinian.

7 September 1788

This evening the moon, being very bright, exhibited a very curious and, to me, a very novel sight viz. a complete rainbow, which was perfectly white, and reflected another all round it, which also, occasioned by the rays of the moon reflecting on some very

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light misty clouds, as the sun occasions those we see in the daytime in England. It continued at least of an hour, when a very light misty rain fell and in a few minutes after, it totally disappeared. This sight several on board have seen at sea before, though they are not common, nor do the sailors like their appearance, conjecturing they portend bad weather.

8 September 1788

In the morning it fell calm at 6 o'clock and continued so for Monday about 3 hours, when a gentle breeze sprung up. We now seldom see any birds except now and then a tropic bird. During the calm this morning it was very hot, the thermometer at 84. We are now about 500 miles from Tinian, expect to get there about Saturday next. The carpenter is repairing and caulking the jolly boat to be ready again when we get in.

9 September 1788

Tuesday A gentle breeze, with frequent showers of rain.

10 September 1788


11 September 1788

Thermometer at 83.

This day, not more than 250 miles from Tinian. In the afternoon thermometer 84. The sun bears so great a power on the poop that it burn through the thick soles of our shoes in such a manner that it is impossible to stand long from under the awning. The tar which was this day put on the jolly boat boils up with the heat of the sun, the same as if it was over the fire!

12 September 1788

A fine breeze, go 4 and 4 knots. This day at noon a booby was near the ship.

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13 September 1788

Saturday. Almost a calm, go only 1 knot. Many birds, boobies, noddies and small white birds about. About 97 miles from Tinian.

14 September 1788

Do. Weather: thermometer 81, very sultry. This morning caught a large shark. Its liver was remarkably large which was saved for its oil, for the lamp. Frequent heavy rain but little or no wind.

15 September 1788

Looks very greasy. A large shark alongside and a dolphin also, but could not take either. About 12 at noon saw land. Toward evening a breeze came directly off the land and the horizon looked very black all round. This night the moon was at the full.

16 September 1788

A fine morning with a gentle breeze. The island of Saypan about 10 leagues distant and Tinian and Aiguigan are both in sight. In the afternoon it fell quite calm.

17 September 1788

Close hauled, go 3 knots, but could not weather the point of Tinian, but drove between that island and Saypan.

During the night the current was so very great as to drift us very near the rocks of Saypan, and we were preparing off Saypan to drop anchor to prevent going on shore, but fortunately she drifted in the north, off again. Mr. Anstis went in the boat to examine the shore and found Pacific Ocean. We might anchor there in case of necessity.

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While Mr. Anstis was sounding the bay he saw a guanaco on shore. Very hot, the thermometer at 88.

18 September 1788

Quite calm. About 8 o'clock a.m. the pinnace and jolly boat hoisted out and 10 hands in them to tow the ship round the point of Tinian which is about 3 miles from us, but they could gain very little and the weather was so intensely hot that, being fearful the men would throw themselves up with the fatigue, the boats were ordered alongside again and Mr. Anstis, the chief mate, with 4 hands in the jolly boat, with each a musket, went on shore.

Early in the morning we could, with a glass, distinctly see a herd of at least 50 wild bulls etc. feeding on the lawns. They are perfectly white except the tips and insides of their ears which are quite black.

About 9 o'clock a.m. a very large shark some distance from the ship. Its fin on the back was at least a foot out of the water so that it must have been of an enormous size.

Mr. Anstis had his instructions. Were to come to us in case a breeze should spring up during the time he was on shore, which did come on very gently about 1 pm and carried us round the point and we lay there all this night directly opposite the sandy beech described in Lord Anson's account of this island. About nine o'clock in the evening Mr. Anstis returned and brought off with him part of a fine bull

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they had shot, soon after their landing, with which we immediately had some broth made for the cabin etc., all the ship's company, and some steaks also were cooked for the cabin, but they, I confess, required very sound and sharp teeth to get them in pieces. However, anything fresh, though ever so tough, was better to us than salt meals. Therefore what we could not chew we swallowed whole. The broth was excellent. About 12 at night a violent squall came on with heavy rain.

Arrive at Tinian

At 7 am a gentle breeze came on and about 9 we cast anchor in 18 fathoms, about 2 miles from the shore, Aiguigan being about 3 miles on our stern. As soon as we made sail in the morning we discovered, between us and the shore, two buoys, with an anchor to one of them.

19 September 1788

(Cast anchor in the North Pacific Ocean.)

These, we were sure, must have been left here by some ship that had been blown out and obliged to cut her cable, and as we had reason to think that either the Scarborough, Captain Marshall, or the Charlotte, Captain Gilbert, or both, meant to touch here in their way from Port Jackson to China, we naturally concluded it belonged to one of them. Especially as, by the appearance of the buoys and cable, they could not have lain here longer than a month or 6 weeks, and the next day our conjecture was verified, since upon getting up the anchor (a very large one) it proved to be the Charlotte's as its name was upon the anchor stock. Also, upon going on shore we discovered, a little way up from the

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beach, 3 water casks and a number of top gallant masts and spars standing, which had been a tent for the sick, and a bag was also left there with a quantity of bread in it, and one of the people's shoes.

These things convinced us that Captain Gilbert had met with dreadful weather here and put us upon our guard to be always ready to sail at a short warning and never to leave any article on shore for the night, and if there was the least appearance of bad weather, everyone on shore was strictly enjoined to hasten down to the beech without delay otherwise there might be no possibility of avoiding their being left behind, as the ground would not hold at all if it came on to blow hard and it was almost everywhere covered with patches of sharp coral rocks. For though the depth of the water where we lay was 108 feet, yet you could clearly perceive the rocks and fish at the bottom.

This island abounds in cattle, hogs and fowls, many of which were taken and served to refresh us greatly during our short stay here of 10 days. There are also prodigious quantities of limes, many oranges, very large and between the seville and the china orange, not so sweet as the latter nor so acid as the former. There were also many coconut trees, bread fruit, guavas and papas, but these were most of them in a green state and therefore not so

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good as they would have been if we had arrived here a month later. The plumage of the cocks and hens is very beautiful. There are here also great numbers of remarkably large bats, just the same as those at Sir Ashton Lever's in Leicester Square, which I think he says came from the island of Madagascar. Many of these we shot but it was impossible to preserve them, either dry or in spirits as they were fly-blown in 5 minutes after they were taken.

To say how numerous the flies are here would exceed all belief, but this I may vouch as a fact, that it was totally impossible to open your mouth to speak, but several would be down your throat, and this evil, the greatest, except the heavy squalls, we experienced at Tinian prevailed nearly as much on board as on shore.

There are various kind of shrubs which bear berries but being totally new to us we did not venture to eat any of them. There are also great numbers of cotton trees and an herb somewhat like mint, also wild indigo in great abundance. We saw very few esculent plants. Butterflies were also very numerous, some of them very large and handsome. other insects were but few in comparison of the flies and butterflies.

There were many huts, not ill built, and covered with coconut leaves, which the Spaniards erect every year near the shore when they come here from Guam to jerk beef and continue here for several months.

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The usual season of their coming is from November to June. There is a spring of excellent water very near the huts, which enabled us to replenish all our empty casks, together with the Charlotte's 3 which we found on the first beach we landed at. There were 3 canoes left in one of the huts but the greatest curiosity we saw at Tinian remains yet to be mentioned viz. many stone pillars, some 7 or 8 ft., others from 18 to 30 ft. high, square with semi-globes inverted upon their tops.

The semi-globes were clearly a composition of the shore sand and some kind of cement, but many of the pillars were real stone. There were generally 4 of these very lofty ones together and in form somewhat like this, with many others in regular rows for some paces from them and others lying almost flat on the ground. At first sight they do not look very unlike Stone Henge on Salisbury Plain.

There were also a great many square, flat stones about all parts of the woods, with a cavity which would contain about a quart or 3 pints of water, which was certainly done by art and designed most probably to catch the rain water for the use of the natives before the Spaniards expelled them, as we saw no spring anywhere in the island except that already mentioned near the huts. The form of these stone reservoirs, as I may call them, was not unlike this.

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The hogs are universally black, and some of the old boars are of a great size. The bats mentioned above measured 3 ft. and upwards from the extremity of one wing to that of the other and they emitted a very rank and disagreeable scent from the skin, very like to that of a fox's kennel. Their colour is black except part of the head and neck which is of a foxy colour. They fly by day as well as night and when upon the wing appear quite as large, and not unlike, the English raven.

Many limes have been brought on board and squeezed for the juice, to take to sea with us. About the full, and change of, the moon at this season, this road is very subject to most violent squalls of wind and rain, though we have been so fortunate during our being here, one week, as to have had none very heavy. Once we were obliged to sail out a little way to sea in consequence of our dragging the anchor, and 3 or 4 (people) were on shore at the time, but had the good luck to fetch in again and drop anchor. The pinnace and jolly boat are hoisted in every night.

27 September 1788

Went in the jolly boat with Mr. Anstis on the reef to collect shells and coral. Got many large clamps which were cooked for supper and were very good. The cattle now are so very shy that the gunners are obliged to go 3 or 4 miles up the woods before they can fall in with any. Then the intense heat, together with those torments the flies render, the bringing the beef down to the beech is a task of such labour and fatigue as more than compensates for the use of them.

[Page 176]

The hogs are extremely lean indeed, but the fowl very fine and their flesh the whitest I ever saw. Mr. Watts very much indisposed with a sore throat and fever.

This morning it rained very hard and some loud peals of thunder. Steward went on shore about 6 o'clock am and having shot a fine boar pig about half grown, returned on board with it about 9 as it looked very black and squally.

This evening, from the appearance of the sun's setting and the horizon all round, there was reason to expect bad weather, and our fears were but too well grounded.

29 September 1788

Sail from Tinian

Monday. At day break the horizon looked dreadful, and about 7 o'clock am a most violent squall of wind and rain came on. The pinnace was already in and the jolly boat was soon got in also. In a very short time after, it began to blow the ship, as usual dragged her anchor and she went a great pace bodily to leeward. Luckily nobody was on shore and we got up the anchor and cable safe and just weathered the point when another violent squall succeeded and the captain put to sea, determined no more to subject himself longer to the dangers attendant upon lying in this very unsafe road. There is every appearance of a continuance of bad weather. We are now steering for the Bashees and from thence to China.

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30 September 1788

Tuesday. It rained all last night and this morning; looks very wild and greasy; a gentle breeze.

October 1788

1 October 1788

A fine morning with a moderate breeze, go 2 knots. A great many boobies and tropic birds about the ship all day. This evening the wind shifted and came directly ahead of us, but did not continue so more than 2 or 3 hours. This is the only time we have had a foul wind since we left the Society Islands. It rained very hard all this night and the wind very high. A little before dark a large shark was caught. Preserved its jaws. Thermometer at 80.

2 October 1788

A fine morning and but little wind. A large shark astern carried away my biggest shark hook in its jaws, having snapped in sunder a large line. Thermometer 83.

3 October 1788

A good deal of rain fell in the night. This day a gentle breeze and fine morning. A booby caught on the poop by the steward. Thermometer 84.

4 and 5 October 1788

Fine breeze with frequent showers. A heavy swell, ship rolls much.

6 and 7 October 1788

Both these days it blew a gale with frequent heavy squalls. The horizon looks very black and unsettled. As the captain wishes not to get into the China Seas till after the full of the moon, about 6 days hence, he goes under a very easy sail, only the fore and main topsails and those double reefed, in order to avoid, if possible, the

[Page 178]

breaking up of the monsoons, which happens in these seas, generally about the full of the moon in this month, and are usually dreadfully heavy, Great numbers of tropic birds about.

It now look very black astern.

8 October 1788

Blows a gale with a mountainous sea. Many birds among which were 3 or 4 swallows, exactly the same as those in England, about the ship. Also great shoals of fish. Took 2 large bonitos which were stewed for dinner and very good. Frequent heavy squalls accompanied with some lightning. Wind extremely variable and the sky very wild. Thermometer 84.

9 October 1788

Gale keeps up and it still continues to look very wild. Many fish and some swallows about. Killed a pig.

About 700 miles this day from the Bashees. In the morning at 8 o'clock the thermometer 84, at noon, 89.

10 October 1788

The swell of the sea very much sunk and the wind also. Many dolphins about the ship's bows. Could not strike any. Also many bonitos and skipjacks. At 9 am thermometer 86. This day some rock weed swam by us.

11 October 1788

A fine morning with pretty breeze, go 3 knots. Many dolphins about, two of which were caught in the space of a of an hour, one with a hook and line the other struck with the grains. These were dressed

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for dinner and, not being very large, were very fine eating. The beauty and variety of colours these fish exhibit whilst dying, which is in about 10 or 15 minutes after they are out of the water, would beggar all description. Many large dragon flies, the same as in England, about the ship.

12 October 1788

Sunday. A fine morning and gentle breeze. Weather appears much more settled.

The moon at the full on Tuesday next when, if no bad weather prevents, the captain means to push for China with all speed. Thermometer at 86, 9 am. About 9 o'clock at night, the moon shining very bright, one of the sailors struck a very fine dolphin with the grains. It weighed 25 lbs. after it was gutted. Thermometer 86.

13 October 1788

The breeze increased during the night and seems freshening. This morning the horizon looks wild. Go 5 and 6 knots. Thermometer 83, at noon 90. Many dolphins and flying fish about. Killed a sucking pig.

14 October 1788

Clear weather and a fine breeze.

At noon, upwards of 100 miles on the board, now about 20 leagues from the Bashees. Thermometer 85. Some rock weed passed the ship. A land hawk seen. Many flying fish and dolphins about. This night, during a heavy squall, the ram goat went overboard and was drowned.

15 October 1788

Wednesday. At 2 o'clock this morning passed Grafton Island, one of the Bashees, exactly situated as laid down by Dampier. It blows a gale with frequent squalls of wind and rain with a very great and hollow sea.

This day all our sugar expended. Killed a sucking pig.

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About 10 o'clock, abreast of the Island of Formosa. Looks very dirty all round. Go 6 knots. 124 miles on the board at 12 at noon. About 10 at night the gale died away and we went only 3 knots. The cat went overboard and drowned.

16 October 1788

But little wind in the morning, but increased towards noon. Go 4 knots. 112 miles on the board at noon. Thermometer 80.

We are now about 70 leagues, or 210 miles, from the Grand Ladrones. Hope to arrive at China about Monday next. About 8 o'clock am a large trunk of a tree passed the ship.

17 October 1788

Blew strong all night and this morning a very heavy swell. 102 knots on the log board at 7 o'clock.

This morning a hawk taken on the mizzen top, very similar to the sparrow hawk in England. About 2 pm saw many fishing boats, but none came alongside us. Hove the lead and got bottom with 50 fathom, soil mud and small shells.

18 October 1788

At day-break saw a great number of islands and many Chinese junks. About 9 o'clock am a boat came alongside with a pilot. The Peak of Lantau ahead of us, in sight.

[Page 181]

The pilot at first asked 80 dollars to take the ship up to Macau, but afterwards consented to take 35, and came on board accordingly. In the afternoon 4 compradores came on board from Macau. The office of a compradore is to attend upon the ship every day during its stay in China, to take orders for whatever is wanting and bring it on board. Their usual salary is 200 dollars. The captain did not engage any of these, rather choosing not to stop till he arrived at Wampoa, and see his friend Captain Marshall of the Scarborough.

Arrival at Macau.

We got within 4 miles of Macau when the wind came directly ahead of us and blew strong. Dropped anchor. It continued to blow strong all night. Many porpoises seen which were quite white!

19 October 1788

Sunday. Continues to blow strong. Got up anchor about 11 o'clock am. This morning at day break saw an American ship at anchor about 1 league astern of us. She proved to be the Washington, Captain Donnalson, from Rhode Island.

Thermometer at 66. We are now surrounded by some hundreds of fishing boats. Dropped anchor at 6 pm.

20 October 1788

Still blows hard and directly against us. There are now some hundreds of islands around us, some of them of considerable extent but most of them barren rocks. The fort on the island of Macau is in sight. Got up anchor at 9 am and endeavoured to work the ship nearer in. Thermometer 68 at 9 o'clock am.

[Page 182]

21 October 1788

At 11 o'clock am got up abreast of the city of Macau. About 1 league distant, the Captain and Lieutenant Watts went on shore in the jolly boat . Soon after at 8 o'clock am a sanpan came alongside, similar to the bumboats in England, with oranges, the pomelos, tea, sugar, soft bread, eggs, bananas etc. etc., which in England were greedily purchased by us, and sold very reasonably.

We this morning enjoyed the luxury of eggs, and sugar to our tea, which we had been long since obliged to drink without, being all expended.

About 2 pm, 2 Chinese pilots came on board from Macau, to enquire what we were, from whence we came, the name of the captain, the ship, number of guns and men, and repeatedly asked if we were truly not Americans.

He assured us if we were Americans and went to Macau, he should lose his head for giving in a false account of us. We now sent our first pilot on shore, thinking very soon to get another to carry us up to Wampoa, but we were much disappointed in our expectations, for after waiting in vain for 2 or 3 days no pilot came nor could the captain, in conjunction with a Mr. M'Intyre, who resided at Macau, make interest enough to procure one.

The case was this: when the 2 Chinese mentioned above learnt we had no dollars on board or any other loading but fire wood on board, brought from New Holland, they took it into their head to fancy we were a ladrone ship, (pirates) especially as they saw we were so very inferior in size to the indiamen. Therefore the captain weighed anchor and

[Page 183]

determined, by the assistance of his charts, to carry up the ship himself. We took in 4 gentlemen from Macau to give them a passage to Wampoa, viz. Captain Beckett, Captain Naison, Captain Wilson and a French padre,* going to Cochin, China.

[* Pulo Penang a new settlement of the French.
The reference here is as it appears in the manuscript. However, the meaning seems unclear. Ed.]

We passed 2 forts when the ship was aground, notwithstanding the boat was ahead and the lead kept constantly going. There was only 2 fathom water. It was the extreme point of a sand which ran out a great way, upon which she struck and was very soon got off again.

The appearance of the country round us was very beautiful, and the fishing boats were innumerable. We were now in no want of boats alongside, with great variety of provisions and fruits.

Upon entering the Bocco Tigris* 2 Mandarins came on board and enquired if we had a pilot. We told them one was shortly expected to follow us from Macau, that we were blown out of the roads and could not wait for him. They procured us a pilot and stayed on board themselves till we arrived at Wampoa, which was 7 days from leaving Macau.

[* or, Boca Tigris; now Humen Strait]

Sailing up the river was very pleasant, verdant hills and paddy fields on both sides of us, and when I say there were between Macau and Wampoa at least 10,000 boats of different kind I shall not be thought to exaggerate by those who have been eye witnesses of this scene.

As soon as we arrived at Wampoa, sampans came alongside with washing girls in them, to ask for our washing.

[Page 184]

The day after our arrival, Captain Marshall of the Scarborough came on board and dined on board us. The joy every breast felt upon meeting again so much sooner than we expected may be better conceived than expressed; but we learnt from Wampoa that since we parted at Lord Howe Island he had lost his brother, his boatswain and a sailor by sickness.

26 October 1788

Sunday. I accompanied Captain Sever, Captain Humphreys, Captain Willson and Mr. Anstis on board his ship to dinner, where we met a Mr. Nason, Chief Officer of a large Swedish indiaman lying at Wampoa, and Mr. Hibbs, chief mate of Captain Humphrey's ship, the Carnatic.

Went on board the Shaw D'Adheseer, Captain Ramsay, a country ship, by far the handsomest fitted up of any of the country ships I saw.

Mr. Watts left our ship a few days after our arrival and chiefly resided at Captain Humphreys' factory at Canton. The gentlemen at the factory live very freely and it is a very expensive place, paying most exorbitantly, not only for the use of the factory, but for every article of provision.

Went on board the Lord Camden indiaman to look at some madras cotton for shirts, where I met a Mr. John Timins, brother to Mr. Thomas Timins, who came out with our fleet to Botany Bay as a marine officer, and who was very glad to hear of his brother.

Captain Marshall of the Scarborough supplied me with some papers and magazines for 1788, which afforded me no small pleasure, having heard nothing from England for so long a time.

[Pages 185-188]

Thinking it may not prove unentertaining, to some whose hand this journal may fall into, to know the number of ships lying at Wampoa with their commander's names, and the different places they came from, I have procured a list thereof, as accurate as I have been able, and are as under.

List of the Ships lying at Wampoa October 1788

Ship's Name


Where from


Lady Hughes




Admiral Do.



1 ) All

Shaw D'Adheseer



2 ) these




3 ) are

Shaw Biramgore



4 ) Country




5 ) Ships













Solomana, Grab








Victoria, Snow







12 ) All




13 ) these




14 ) are

Britannia, Snow



15 ) Country




16 ) Ships









General Elliott


Malay Coast














Prince of Wales



23 )




24 ) — missing





Ships missing from India

Ship's Name


Where from


Soloman Shaw.








D'Adheseer, (Grab)




Indiamen from London 1788

Ship's Name


Where from










Lord Hawkesbury




General Coote




Earl Talbot




















Prince of Wales


N.W. Coast of America




London and Botany Bay


Lady Penrhyn


Do. Do.




Do. Do.


Lord Camden




The Neptune








The Britannia


French Ship.

The only one there this season


) Barry




) Traxton

New York



) Thompson

American Ships — Do.



) Donaldson

Rhode Island


The Gottenburgh


a Swedish Ship and 2 others (names unknown)


Three Danish Ships

— —



Four Dutch Do.




One Spanish Do.



from Manilla — with dollars

The Dutton




Lord Cornwallis




The Albion




The Deptford




[Page 189]

November 1788

15 November 1788

This day, William Gunthorpe, the boatswain, was turned before the mast and William Marshall, late quarter master, elected in his room.

December 1788

17 December 1788

The Shaw Biramgore, a country ship from Bombay, sailed 17 December. About this time we received intelligence of an American brig having been cut off with a great part of her crew, near some of the islands not far distant from the Bocca Trigris. This ship had been cruising a long time among the islands in a contraband trade and this was the occasion of the 2 pilots who came on board us off Macau enquiring so particularly if we were not Americans.

This day sailed the Scarborough, Captain Marshall for England, as also the Charlotte, Captain Gilbert for Do.

This day wrote to brother A and Sister A and Mr. Hays, by Captain Marshall of the Scarborough, entrusted to the care of Lieutenant Watts, going home in that ship, passenger, who promised to deliver them himself at No. 12 Mark Lane.

We have now got in our China Boheas* and expect to sail in 3 weeks. We have been in this harbour now 6 weeks and have had, in all that time, only one slight shower of rain and that in the night. The weather here is sometimes extremely cold and the damps which constantly arise from the circumjacent paddy grounds occasion frequent agues, fluxes, and other disorders incident to similar situations.

[* Wuyi tea, formerly known by the trade name Bohea in English, is a category of black and oolong teas grown in the Wuyi Mountains of northern Fujian, China.]

[Page 190]

Stayed a week at Canton at Captain Humphreys' factory. Saw the padre house and the grand country seat of a hong merchant. Roses and many other fine aromatic flowers were presented to us there and tea, with dried sweetmeats, served out to us in one of the apartments in the garden. Saw an aviary in which were some of the largest and most beautiful peacocks I ever saw.

As the manners and customs of the Chinese are so well described by different authors, as well as known to the different ship's companies who annually visit this fertile quarter of the globe, I judge it would be superfluous for me to say anything more on that subject, than add voice to the united assent of all who have seen them, that they are a most ingenious and subtle set of people, polite to all degrees, but at all times ready in their dealings with Europeans to impose upon them, if they do not use the utmost caution with them. One remark I hope to be excused making, as it struck me so forcibly, viz. that the fish here, which abound in variety and numbers, are carried about the streets alive in float tubs of water and are at all times to be had in the greatest perfection.

[Page 191]

I mention this with astonishment when I consider how well known this mode of preserving the fish in China is in London, that a similar method should not long ago have been adopted there.

In their markets it was no unusual sight to see great numbers of dogs, rats and cats fleed (flayed?) and split and exposed to sale. The immense flock of wild geese and ducks seen flying over the river are incredible. Their beef is small and by no means equal to the English.

Their china manufactory is exceedingly ingenious, but it would exceed the bounds of a journal to describe the different processes of it.

The impositions of the mandarins, who abound in every part of the Chinese territories, are too well known all over Europe to need describing here. I have only to observe that I think them one of the greatest nuisances in the Chinese dominions, not only when viewed with respect to their insufferable conduct towards Europeans, but even to their own people, the greatest part of whom are kept in the most abject poverty in order to aggrandize a set of worthless miscreants, of no use whatever to the community.

[Page 192]

With respect to the washing girls, they apply upon all the ships daily and the terms they wash for are very inconsiderable, viz. now and then a few fragments from the table, and at going away they expect a dollar or 2, but their method of washing is so very bad, and it so frequently happens that the things are miscarried to other ships and too often altogether lost, that I would recommend no one to have the clothes they set any store by, washed by them but sent by the compradore up to Canton, where they are much better done and much more likely to return safe to you.

In going up and down to and from Canton there are no less than 3 different chop houses, where every boat with Europeans is obliged to put in and suffer their parcels to be overhauled by the mandarins, and they frequently exact bribes from those who are not acquainted with the manner of treating them.

18 December 1788

This day I got a supply of medicines from Mr. Fea, surgeon of the Button east indiaman, who made me a present of 3 very good cornelian stones, cut and polished.

This morning Captain Hunt of the Button Indiaman had the misfortune to be drowned. He had been indisposed, it seems, for some days

[Page 193]

and, it is conceived, jumped overboard in the night in a frenzy, as he was not missing till the morning and was soon got up with nothing but his shirt on. He was directly under the ship's counter. Mr. Hutchinson, late chief mate, took command of the ship.

It is a pretty singular circumstance that the father of Captain Hunt was some years ago drowned at Wampoa by being knocked overboard by a sail.

19 December 1788

This evening the body of the late unfortunate Captain Hunt of the Button was interred with every requisite solemnity on Dane's Island, a boat attending from every English ship in the harbour, and all the ensigns hoisted half staff up. The burial service was read by Mr. Fea, surgeon of the Dutton.

At Xmas night the jolly boat was cut away and never could be found again.

January 1789

10-11 January 1789

Weighed anchor and dropped down below the shipping and this evening Captain Sever and Captain Humphreys returned from Canton with the company Wampoa packet and on 11th the pilot came on board about 12 o'clock and about 4 pm weighed anchor and let go again about 6 pm.

[Page 194]

12 January 1789

At 3 o'clock pm weighed anchor and dropped down very near the 2nd bar, directly opposite the 2nd bar pagoda, then brought to and, when the anchor was let go, from the unskilfulness of the pilot and the cable being a very old one used ever since we left England, it parted and a day or two was lost in attempting to recover it, but to no purpose as one was got up in sight which, instead of our own, proved to be the large anchor of some indiaman, with the stock broke.

14 January 1789

It was therefore let go again and the captain thought it not prudent to lose any more time in trying to recover it. He therefore, as there was a favourable breeze, made sail which, by daylight on 14th, carried us out of sight of the grand ladrone and the breeze increased as we got out to sea. The ship sails remarkably easy but is very crank.

The joy which every breast felt in the idea of being returning to their native home after so long an absence was great and will operate as a counterpoise to many little disasters, should we be unfortunate enough to meet with any.

At 11 o'clock am the pilot left us abreast of Macau, with a fine breeze.

15 January 1789

Saw a sail at a distance, which proved to be a Chinese junk loaded with cotton, supposed from Formosa.

[Page 195]

17 January 1789

A fine breeze and fair. The ship very easy. 120 knots on the board at 8 o'clock am. In the night it rained pretty hard and about 2 o'clock in the morning there was a squall.

22 January 1789

At 2 o'clock am saw Pulo Sapata. Breeze continues.

23 January 1789

At 5 o'clock am saw Pulo Condore, 5 leagues distant. Many flying fish, boobies and gulls about.

27 January 1789

At 5 o'clock am saw Pulo Timon. Abreast of it about 10 am with many small rocky islands on both sides of us. The Malay coast about 10 leagues on our starboard side. Saw 2 large sea snakes close alongside.

The side of a rock in the island of Timon, close by which we sailed, at least a mile in height from the level of the sea, exhibited a most novel and beautiful sight, viz. a very extensive cascade, which fell from a prodigious height. It emerged from thick groves of trees of a beautiful green, then fell from rock to rock which were bare of trees and therefore, by the reflection of the sun upon the water, attracted our notice, till at last it was lost in thick clusters of trees similar to those it emerged from.

[Page 196]

Passed Pulo Pissang about 8 o'clock am and very shortly after dropped anchor in a very fine sandy bay a mile from the shore of Pulo Auora, commonly called Pulore, where we stayed 2 days to complete our water which we got from a very fine running stream not 100 yards from the beach.

Anchor at Pulore or Pulo Auora

We also exchanged old cloth, handkerchiefs, etc. with the natives for fowls, coconuts, which everywhere abound in this island, baranjoles, marrow apples, a small live turtle etc. This island produces the above mentioned articles besides a great quantity of pineapples which grow amongst the rocks in all parts. There are also goats, and squirrels innumerable.

It is not very numerously inhabited. The natives are of a copper colour and always appear with large knives, or krises, in their hands or concealed under their garment. Their dress consists of a short pair of trousers and a covering, in form of a mantle, loosely thrown over them with a handkerchief fastened about their head in the manner of a turban, all of the Malay manufacture. They many of them had silver and gold rings on their fingers with ordinary stones in them, and some of their principals had belts with large silver wrought clasps, and silk trousers embroidered with gold.

[Page 197]

Our people never went on Shore without being well armed and always strictly on their guard and, under these precautions, this island is a very commodious and safe place for ships to and from China to water at, being infinitely more thinly inhabited than Prince's Island, which lies at the extremity of the Straits of Sunda, whereas this lies just at the entrance of the Straits of Banca, in lat. 2N.

Several boats' crews have lately been cut off at Princes Island, for which reason, we being a small ship and but thinly manned, took the advice of Captain Humphreys, as he had himself touched here and watered in the Carnatic.

They have many canoes neatly made of plank and some larger craft which would carry 10 or 12 tons, 4 of which lay at anchor near the shore, loaded with coconuts etc. They are immoderately fond of chewing the betel nut with chenam* and whereby their teeth are rendered very black, rotten and disgusting to look at.

[* The word in the original journal is "Chenam". Betel nut is often chewed with powdered lime. The place, Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is still a major producer of powdered lime. It is likely that "Chennai" is the word which Bowes Smith intended to use, it being at that time synonymous with the word "lime". See Wikipedia regarding the use of powdered lime with betel nut. Ed.]

30 January 1789

At 6 o'clock am weighed anchor and left Pulore with a fine breeze. Very hot. We now found the ship so very crank and, from the great weight upon deck, it was found indispensably necessary to shift every weighty article below and get up lighter in their stead.

[Page 198]

31 January 1789

At 5 o'clock am saw Pulo Lingin.

February 1789

1 February 1789

Saw Pulo Taya at day break and shortly after saw the 7 isles. All of today the surface of the sea was covered for miles together with the spawn of fishes, which gave it a red appearance. At 10 pm dropped anchor at the entrance of the Straits of Banca. The weather very hot and in the evening very much lightning. Got soundings in 12 fathoms water; sand and small shells.

2 February 1789

At day break weighed anchor and at 8 o'clock am Sumatra was on our starboard side, Banca on our larboard. The distance from shore to shore about 3 leagues. The island of Sumatra is much larger than England and on this side, for many hundreds of miles together, very low and flat.

It was, some few years ago, no unusual thing for ships passing through these straits to be attacked by the Malay prows, and sometimes taken by them, but now they have had experience of the ships being properly fitted up for their reception they seldom venture to attack them. Sumatra is very rich in most productions of the east, gold dust in particular, in great abundance. It belongs to the Dutch.

[Page 199]

At noon, abreast of Monopin Hill in the Isle of Banca. Let go the anchor about 9 pm and weighed again about day break on the [3rd].

3 February 1789

At 8 o'clock am abreast of Mt. Parmasan; Point Lalang in sight. A very light breeze.

4 February 1789

A very gentle breeze abreast of Lucypara. The island of Java on our larboard side. Sumatra still in sight.

5 February 1789

Almost a calm. Saw 2 large ships under the land of Sumatra about 3 leagues distant. About 5 pm two Malay prows came off to us with each an officer on board, one a Dutch, the other a Portuguese, in the Dutch service. They were both loaded with a great variety of articles for sale viz. fowls, turtles, eggs, sweet potatoes, great quantities of pines, very large and high flavoured, a fruit called mangostine, which is a prodigious fine fruit and its rind a certain specific against all fluxes and dysenteries.

I purchased 18 very fine pines for a silk handkerchief, which cost, in China, only 2s.6d. The captain bought 8 fine live turtles for a musket, a little powder and 2 dollars. They had also many sorts of birds and monkeys, many of which were purchased for old clothes etc.

[Page 200]

The parakeets are very beautiful. They had great numbers of canes (sic).

We learnt from these people that the 2 ships under the land were an American and a Dutchman and were last from Batavia, waiting for the arrival in the straits of a Dutch ship from China to get anchors and cables from. Another ship has just now hove in sight ahead of us. Cannot yet discover what it is.

The weather extremely hot and sultry.

6 February 1789

At 6 o'clock am came up with and spoke to the above mentioned ship which proved to be the Button indiaman from which the late unfortunate Captain Hunt was drowned at Wampoa. This day almost calm. Rather gain upon the Button, are now nearly out of the straits of Sunda.

7 February 1789

Sunday. Calm continues now very near the Button. Killed 3 turtle for the use of the cabin and ship's company. There are, this day, frequent squalls.

8 February 1789

A brisk breeze, many heavy squalls gone astern, some of them white squalls. This day, many pieces of timber floated by us. The small turtle washed overboard in a squall last night.

9 February 1789

Wind directly against us. A great many tropic birds about.

[Page 201]

10 February 1789

Wind continues the same. A great many birds; a booby caught on the yard arm. Many dolphins about the ship's bows. Frequent heavy showers and cloudy.

11 February 1789


12 February 1789

Do. And many tropic birds about the ship.

13 February 1789

Almost a calm and exceedingly hot. The Button in sight from the masthead. At night some lightning and showers.

14 February 1789

Very little wind, and that very variable. Many tropic birds and boobies about. Many very large pieces of bamboo floated alongside.

15 February 1789

Sunday. Almost quite calm. The poop so very hot that it blisters the feet through the shoes to stand long upon it. The sun is now nearly vertical. A very large shark seen.

16 February 1789

Very little wind. This day caught 2 sharks, one a very large blue one, measured 9 ft. in length. 9 or 10 dolphins about the ship; one or 2 hooked but not got in. Great numbers of tropic birds about. frequent appearances of wind and rain but comes to nothing.

17 February 1789

Very little wind; very hot and sultry.

18 February 1789

Two very large logs of wood on our larboard bow. Captain Humphreys, with 3 hands in the canoe which he purchased at Pulo, paddled to them.

[Page 202]

They were covered with boobies and surrounded by great numbers of sharks, old wives and a variety of other fish. Some of the sharks were very large. They caught a small shark and a booby, and could have taken many more but, a breeze springing up and looking like a squall coming on, they judged it most prudent to return in board. It rained pretty smartly, but little wind and that of short duration; extremely hot.

19 February 1789

But little wind and that very unfavourable. Several men of war birds, tropic birds, boobies and albacores about the ship. Prodigious shoals of squibs seen, with albacores and bonitos pursuing them. This day caught a very large blue shark. Wind very frequently changing.

20 February 1789

Wind very unfavourable and very hot; disagreeable weather. Made but 5 miles southing, the last 24 hours. Wind still the same, and very hot.

22 February 1789

At 5 am a gentle breeze came on fair for us, with frequent heavy showers of rain and extremely hot and at 11 o'clock am the breeze increased.

This day about 5 pm the carpenter's dog, jockey, a great favourite of all the ship's company, went overboard and was drowned.

23 February 1789

This morning a fine breeze; go 4 and 5 knots; 70 miles on the log board at 9 o'clock am.

[Page 203]

24 February 1789

Tuesday. The breeze continues; go 4 knots. Not quite so sultry as yesterday.

25 February 1789

Breeze freshens; go 5 and 6 knots; 121 miles on the board at noon. Many albatrosses, bonitos and flying fish about.

26 February 1789

Fine breeze; 135 miles on the board at noon. Many shoals of albacores, flying fish, squibs etc. about. The steward struck an albacore with the grains, but it got off again.

27 February 1789

Breeze continues; 141 miles at noon on the board.

28 February 1789

Continuance of the breeze; 134 miles on the board at noon; many flying fish about.

March 1789

1 March 1789

Breeze continues; 150 knots at noon on the board.

2 March 1789

Do. 154 knots at noon on the board. Many flying fish and some tropic birds about. A great swell. At 5 pm the steward caught a fine dolphin, weighed 15 lb, the best flavoured I ever tasted.

3 March 1789

Breeze continues; 154 knots at noon; many flying fish about.

4 March 1789

Do. 137 miles at noon; many flying fish about.

5 March 1789

Do. 152 miles on the board at noon.

6 March 1789

Do. 150 at noon on the board.

[Page 204]

This day, upon examination, I found my Sandwich Island mats and cloth very damp and getting mouldy, with a profusion of small ants about them. Got them all on the poop, aired and brushed them well and took every precaution to annihilate them in future. This day many flying fish about and some shearwaters.

8 March 1789

Sunday rather less wind. 120 knots on the board at noon.

9 March 1789

Very light breeze. go only 3 knots. Weather very sultry. Many flying fish about.

10 March 1789

Breeze rather freshens; go 4 knots; 100 knots on the board at noon.

11 March 1789

Very little wind; go only knot; 75 knots on the board at noon.

12 March 1789

But little wind till 4 pm when a fine breeze sprung up. Go 4 and 5 knots. Day excessively hot. In the evening, as soon as the sun was down, it began to lighten, and continued to do so, at a great distance, till about 11 at night, when a most violent storm of thunder, lightning and rain came on, without much wind, which lasted till one o'clock in the morning when it gradually abated. During the storm what wind there was, was ahead of us.

[Page 205]

An Account of the number of Miles the ship has gone from Portsmouth.

From Portsmouth to Teneriffe


Teneriffe to Rio de Janeiro


Rio de Janeiro to the Cape of Good Hope


Cape of Good Hope to Botany Bay, New South Wales


Botany Bay to Port Jackson, Do.


Port Jackson to Lord Howe Island


Lord Howe Island to M'Cauley Island


M'Cauley Island to Tahiti


Tahiti to Huihane


Huihane to Tinian


Tinian to the Bashees


Bashees to Wampoa (China)


Wampoa to Pulore


Pulore to St. Helena


St. Helena to Culver Cliff, Isle of Wight, England


Total No. of Miles


[Page 206]

13 March 1789

A gentle breeze; go 3 knots. Looks very unsettled. Many bonitos about the ship, one of which, (weighing 14 lb, was taken by a hook and line by one of the sailors. Many tropic birds and shearwaters about. It rained chief of this night.

14 March 1789

Very light breeze and that not very fair; looks wild and unsettled. This day crossed The Tropic of Capricorn. Frequent squalls.

15 March 1789

Sunday A fine morning though but little wind; go 3 knots. We are now in the latitude of Madagascar. At 2 pm a very large water spout seen to the westward. Looks very squally all round. The wind almost ahead, frequent showers and squalls which come on very suddenly and continue by but a short time. Large flocks of gulls seen.

16 March 1789

Very little wind and very hot.

17 March 1789

Little wind. This being St. Patrick's Day, the sailors were indulged with grog to pay the annual tribute to the saint, which they did in the usual way by drinking, singing, fighting, bloody noses etc. etc. There are several Irishmen amongst the ship's company.

18 March 1789

About 4 o'clock am a gentle breeze sprung up; go 3 knots.

[Page 207]

Many bonitos and tropic birds about.

19 March 1789

A gentle breeze; 83 knots on the log at noon. Many tropic birds and some bonitos about, one of which was caught by the steward.

20 March 1789

Breeze rather freshens; go 4 and 5 knots; 104 miles on the log at noon. Still many tropic birds about this day. One of the sows, which was diseased, was knocked on the head and thrown overboard by the captain's order.

21 March 1789

A gentle breeze. Still attended by many tropic birds, and some very large flying fish about.

22 March 1789

But very little wind; go only 2 knots. Some tropic birds and dolphin about. Last night caught a remarkable fish astern. It was somewhat similar to the barracuda, with a fin extending the whole length of the back. A great shoal of dolphin about, 3 of which were caught with hooks and got on board and 3 others were hooked but dropped off again. In the evening, just before dark, 3 large sharks astern, two of which were caught at the same instant and got on board. They measured between 14 and 15 ft each in length. I preserved the jaws and fin of one of them. Many pilot fish about.

[Page 208]

23 March 1789

Very little wind and very hot. Many pilot fish about the ship's bottom. Also many tropic birds and shearwaters about. All the dolphin left us. This day Squires, 2nd mate, tied a large stone to the neck of his Chinese dog, Buff, and threw him overboard, in consequence of the captain's speaking to him for cruelly treating his, the captain's, Tahiti goat! This day the captain ordered a hog to be killed for the officers.

24 March 1789

A gentle breeze; very hot; 80 miles on the board at noon.

25 March 1789

A fine morning and a good breeze. Many flying fish, bonitos etc. about.

26 March 1789

A fine morning and a moderate breeze. Rained very hard in the night. It is worthy of remark that we have been exceedingly fortunate in all our stock on board, but particularly the hogs, the increase of which, since we left Wampoa, has been so great that the number is as great as when we sailed from thence.

About 3 pm discovered a sail from the foretop, a great distance ahead, and shortly after, another. The breeze rather freshens.

27 March 1789

Friday. At day break could plainly discern two sail ahead, from the deck, and at the same time saw another sail on the NE quarter,

[Page 209]

about 3 leagues distant.

This morning, a great many flying fish, gulls and large albatrosses about and a very large shoal of bonitos about 7 of which were caught with Tahiti fish hooks and 4 struck with the grains. There is now a fine breeze and a great swell. Go, 6 knots.

28 March 1789

Breeze kept up all night and still continues. 140 miles on the board at noon. Many flying fish, bonitos and boobies about and many albacores about, 1 of which the steward caught weighing 15 1b.

About 4 pm it fell almost calm and soon after the wind came directly ahead. Many black shearwaters and some flying fish about the ships, all out of sight.

29 March 1789

Sunday. Rains very hard, with a very black, dismal looking atmosphere. Could plainly see 3 Ships on our larboard bow, about 3 leagues distant. There is every appearance of a heavy gale of wind, therefore every precaution was taken to be ready to receive it, and about 8 o'clock am it began to blow, and continued all that day, with the wind ahead.

Last night, during the calm, a grampus arose near the ship's stern and blew twice or thrice.

Down fore and mizzen top gallant yards at 8 o'clock am and close reefed fore topsail and double reefed the main topsail. Handed mizzen topsail and reefed main all etc. etc.

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PM, still continues to blow very hard and every reason to expect its blowing harder. It rained very hard and, towards evening and during the whole of the night, it blew a perfect hurricane.

30 March 1789

The gale not at all abated, but rather fairer. Ship lies her course and goes 4 knots. Many bonitos about, some of which were taken by hooks and some by the grains. Plenty of fish now for all hands. Many flying fish, gulls, boobies etc. about the ship.

This day a great quantity of rock-weed floated alongside us. At noon the wind rather abated and came more favourable. There was such a mountainous sea as to wash away great part of the pumpkins, which were slung under the cabin window, and of a pair of shark's jaws I had hung there to dry. The dead light was put into the quarter gallery window, which was the lee side of the ship. About 6 pm the wind and swell were both much abated.

31 March 1789

Fine breeze on the beam; go 6 knots; 120 miles on the log at noon. Many albacores, flying fish and bonitos about. Caught many bonitos with hooks and line. The albacores were supposed to weigh not less than 150 lb. each.

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April 1789

1 April 1789

About 4 o'clock am the wind shifted and came nearly ahead with light rain. Many gulls and shearwaters about.

2 April 1789

Brisk wind but still ahead. Ship does not lie her course by 5 points. Many fish and birds about. Steward caught 2 bonitos and 1 albacore.

3 April 1789

Wind not so much but still foul. Steward caught another albacore, weighed 17 lb., and 2 or 3 bonitos. Great shoals of different kinds of fish about. About noon the wind began gradually to subside and by 3 pm it was nearly calm, and continued so the remainder of the day and all night, the ship's head being all round the compass. The calm continued till about 8 o'clock in the morning of the 4th,

4 April 1789

when a gentle breeze sprung up, fair for us, which seems gradually increasing. Go 2 knots. Very large shoals of albacore about which, about 4 pm, began to take the bait and between that time and dark there were no less than 25 taken with the pearl fish hooks, and got safe on board, besides many that were hooked but dropped off again. Upon an average they weighed 16 or 17 lb. each, so that now there was great plenty of fish for all hands, both to eat fresh, as also to salt.

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The flesh of the albacore is very white and sweet tasting, though rather dry but, in my opinion, far exceeds the bonitos or dolphin. This day a large shark was caught which came along with the shoal of albacores.

5 April 1789

Sunday. A fine breeze and fair; go 6 and 7 knots. Great numbers of bonito all round the ship, 9 of which were caught this day by the ship's company.

6 April 1789

Wind came ahead and there was every appearance of an approaching gale. All hands called to furl sails etc. It rained slightly for about of an hour. There were some few flashes of lightning and peals of thunder, when it cleared away and the wind was moderate though still ahead. There were 11 miles on the log at the time the wind came foul.

The air is extremely cold and there are very heavy dews fall at night. A very large albatross seen about 12 at noon. It blew strong. Captain weered* ship. Still continues very cold. We are now, by calculation, about 808 miles from the Cape of Good Hope.

[* weered, weared, wore: turned the ship away from the wind.]

7 April 1789

Wind still the same, but not so strong. Weered ship at noon. A large albatross seen. still continues very cold with a heavy swell.

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8 April 1789

Wednesday. The wind still the same, but rather less of it. Swell greatly abated. At 8 o'clock am it became more favourable but continued so for only a short time, when it returned to it's old quarter.

9 April 1789

Wind directly ahead, and very cold. The ship does not lie her course by 3 points.

This being the birthday of Captain Humphreys, passenger, the same was observed with the usual ceremonies. A ham and chickens, a goose, and some apple pies, made of dried apples from the Cape of Good Hope constituted the dinner, with excellent sherry and grog in plenty.

This day a very large bat, vulgo, a flying fox, was seen flying near the ship, which soon alighted on the mizzen top and was taken by the carpenter. It appeared so exhausted as to be near dropping into the sea once or twice before it alighted, and 'tis most probable it had flown from the island of Madagascar which abounds in these kinds of animals, as well as the whole sea coast of the continent of Africa, from which we are not many 100 miles distant. It was exactly similar to those in the late Sir Ashton Levers museum, which came from Madagascar.

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10 April 1789

The wind still foul and blows pretty brisk. A great many mother carey's chickens about.

11 April 1789

Wind came on fair about 1 o'clock pm. I am very much indisposed with a violent eruption all over me, and itching. Took 16 ounces of blood from my arm. Used cathartics and other antiphlogistic medicines. The weather exceedingly cold.

12 April 1789

Sunday. The ship has barely steerage way. A very fine morning and much the warmer than yesterday. A large albatross about. Many mother carey's chickens about in the evening. Looked very cloudy, but very little wind. About 6 pm 2 grampuses arose near the ship. In the night it rained pretty smartly and about 7 o'clock am fair.

13 April 1789

A gentle breeze came on and: seemed increasing, and is fair. A large shoal of mackerel seen at a small distance from the ship, but there is not wind enough to attempt catching any of them. It fell calm about 11 o'clock am. The water appears very green, which induces us to suppose there is a bank near. Last night there was a most remarkable heavy dew fell. In the evening very much lightning.

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14 April 1789

The first watch last night it fell calm, but about 12 o'clock a gentle breeze sprung up. Many shearwaters, gulls and mother carey's chickens about. This day, by lunar observation, we are exactly 600 miles from the Cape of Good Hope, 3041'45"E from Greenwich. Go 4 knots. At 8 pm, go 6 knots and continue to go so, all night.

15 April 1789

Breeze continues. Go 6 knots. 124 miles on the log at noon. Many large white gulls and some large flying fish about. Not so cold.

We are now, by calculation, 480 miles from the Cape of Good Hope. Rained pretty hard this night.

16 April 1789

But little wind, directly aft. Go 3 knots. Increased towards noon and in the afternoon a thick haze came on and a breeze with it. Go 5 knots. Very much lightning last night. Several albatrosses about. At 10 pm a violent tempest of thunder and lightning came on, which continued the greater part of the night. The lightning was almost incessant and at one time very near us as the thunder succeeded very quickly after. It rained very hard.

17 April 1789

This morning very little wind, but a great swell, directly aft,

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which came, at one time, into the cabin windows and washed away the pumpkins which were at the stern. Now very little wind and that very variable, the ship's head being round the compass. There is a very strong current. Several very large albatrosses about. About 10 o'clock am a breeze came on directly ahead. Very thick and foggy this morning, but towards noon it cleared up, and was a clear afternoon and in the evening it fell calm.

At 12 at noon tacked ship. This day, a young Tahiti sow killed for all hands. In the evening very little wind. Some lightning at a great distance. A shark seen astern at night, but would not take the bait.

18 April 1789

Calm all night and this morning, go only l knots. Many mother carey's chickens and black shearwaters about. At 11 am a gentle breeze came on upon the quarter and seems gradually increasing. Go 3 knots.

This afternoon, Joseph Downy, one of the quarter masters, being intoxicated, and playing tricks, fell down and dislocated his left shoulder. At 7 pm the breeze increased and we go 4 and 5 knots all night.

19 April 1789

Sunday. A fine breeze this morning; go 6 knots. A remarkably thick fog all night and this morning till about 8 o'clock, when the sun dispersed it and the breeze continued. Many shearwaters, mother carey's chickens and albatrosses about. Seaweed floated alongside. At 2 o'clock pm the wind came directly ahead which cast us all into the dumps as we have been

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14 weeks from Macau and hoped to have been round the Cape long before this time. Besides, many matters in the ship do not wear so pleasing a prospect as could be wished. With respect to our stock we have plenty yet, viz. 49 fowls, 18 hogs and pigs besides several sows which are near pigging. Great plenty of salt provisions and rice and about 6 weeks water. But then our provisions for the stock begin to grow low. This day caught a curious large moth, though so very far from land.

This evening and the greater part of the night very much lightning all round the atmosphere, with some distant thunder, and looks very dirty. Lightning and thunder all this night.

20 April 1789

The wind foul. Ship does not lie her course by 1 point, and still looks very dirty. About 10 am it fell calm and at 11 looked very black to the southward and thundered at a great distance. The tempest did not come on, but it rained the greater part of the day, and was very cold. At 2 pm it again fell calm.

21 April 1789

A gentle breeze, go 3 knots; ship 1 point from her course, and sometimes 2 or 3 points. Sky looks very wild and unsettled all round. At 11 am a squall came on with a very mountainous sea and blew very hard chief part of the day. An appearance of a heavy squall arising to the west. The most complete rainbow I ever saw, its two extremities reaching from the water, almost to the ship's side.

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Many mother carey's chickens about. At 8 pm the tiller rope broke and as it was blowing very hard at the time the consternation this untoward accident occasioned was great, but fortunately, at the time it happened, several of the sailors were down in the steerage and saw the rope break and had the precaution to seize the end of the broken rope and secure it round a stanchion, till another rope was fixed which, by great exertion, was accomplished in about half an hour without any accident happening to the ship, since it very frequently falls out upon such an accident that a ship is either pooped or carries away some of her masts.

There is now a very great sea. At 12 o'clock at night we were all a good deal alarmed by Squires', the 2nd mate, calling out in a strange manner. A sudden shift of wind took the ship all aback, however by proper exertions and the captain jumping immediately upon deck, the danger was soon obviated, by taking in sail veering ship etc. etc.

This accident also frequently occasions, like the tiller rope's breaking, a ship's carrying away the masts or being pooped, but these disasters were prevented by the indefatigable exertions and constant watchfulness of the captain, since I am sorry to say the conduct of some of our officers is such as renders it totally unsafe to rely either upon their zeal or abilities.

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22 April 1789

The wind and weather still very unsettled, the ship seldom lying her course for an hour together. About 11 o'clock am hove the deep sea lead, and found sounding at the depth of 80 fathoms, small shells and sand, which afforded great satisfaction as it gave us a reasonable presumption of shortly getting round the Cape, which the foul winds, which have for a long time baffled us, prevented our accomplishing, and as our water is so far expended, if the wind should continue unfavourable much longer we must have been under the disagreeable necessity of standing for Madagascar and losing our passage round the Cape for this year. This day it is very cold indeed with a thick fog. Many gannets about.

23 April 1789

A fine morning but very cold. No wind, but a very strong current. At daybreak saw land all along, upon our starboard quarter (the continent of Africa). At 10 pm tacked ship. This night was calm.

24 April 1789

At one time the ship drifted bodily on shore which, in the morning, was not more than 1 league distant. This alarmed us not a little and the cable was got up and anchors prepared, to let go in case of necessity, but fortunately, about 10 o'clock am, a breeze came off the land. Tacked ship and in a short time were relieved from our fears of going ashore. Caught some few fish, a red snapper and some weakfish.

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25 April 1789

A fresh breeze, but directly ahead. The land almost out of sight. At 7 pm a ship passed our stern, going before the wind at a great rate. She did not speak to us, and we conceive she did not see us.

26 April 1789

Sunday. Blows very hard; as it has done all last night, with a prodigious sea and the wind directly in our teeth. Down top gallant yard. Weather exceedingly cold.

The captain took off 1 pint of water a day from every man's allowance, which used to be 5 pints, till we get round the cape, and we discontinued to have tea of an afternoon in the cabin, in consequence of the small stock of water on board. Some porpoises, gulls, shearwaters and boobies about.

27 April 1789

Wind still continues foul. At 8 o'clock last night tacked ship and at 7 o'clock this morning, veered.

28 April 1789

Wind still foul, though but very little of it, being almost calm. At day break saw a point of land about 2 leagues ahead, but could not ascertain whether it was Cape Agulhas. At the same time saw a ship on our larboard quarter about 3 leagues distant, upon the same tack as ourselves. At 4 pm a gentle breeze came on which gradually increases and is fair for us. About 12 this night weathered Cape Agulhas with a staggering breeze.

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29 April 1789

A fine breeze directly aft; go 6 knots. At day break saw a sail on our larboard quarter. At 7 o'clock am she hoisted Dutch colours and a long pendant, which we directly answered with our ensign. She bore down to us about 2 o'clock and spoke to us. She proved to be a Dutch packet from Batavia to Holland and was going into the Cape of Good Hope. At 10 o'clock am the wind again drew forward, and we are now close hauled. Land in sight on our larboard quarter. All the news we could learn from Europe by the packet was, "that there was war" between the Russians and the Swedes.

30 April 1789

But little wind this morning, and that foul; the weather fine. At 10 o'clock it came on to rain and a fine breeze came with it, quite fair for us, which carries us 4 and 5 knots, whereby we hope to be able very shortly to get round the Cape of Good Hope. The fair wind continued all night.

May 1789

1 May 1789

The breeze continues; go 6 knots. 109 miles on the board at noon. Many albatrosses and large bottle nosed porpoises about.

2 May 1789

A staggering breeze and fine morning. Went 7 and 8 knots all night and also this morning. At noon this day 172 miles on the board, which is a greater log than we have had before, since we left New South Wales.

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3 May 1789

Sunday. A fine breeze, and a fine day. 177 miles on the board at noon. A great swell of sea. Many port egmont hens about. Wind directly aft.

4 May 1789

A fine steady breeze; go 5 knots. Not so cold. 141 miles on the board at noon.

5 May 1789

A fine morning with a gentle regular breeze, go 3 knots. 92 miles on the board at noon.

6 May 1789

A fine grey morning and fresh breeze; go 5 knots. 122 miles on the board at noon. A large piece of seaweed floated alongside at 9 o'clock am. A very large fish rose alongside. It was nearly as big as a whale, and supposed to be not less than 40 feet in length. It had a remarkably sharp long snout and a blow hole situated a considerable way back from the snout. It had a large fin on its back, near the tail. The oldest sailor in the ship never saw any fish of the kind before.

About the same time, from the masthead saw a ship about 3 leagues distant on our starboard quarter. A shoal of porpoises near the ship in the evening. All this night but very little wind.

7 May 1789

Nearly calm this morning. The ship seen last night astern of us about 3 leagues is, this morning at day break, about 2 leagues distant on our larboard bow.

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A grey morning with some few heavy clouds to eastward. It continued nearly calm till towards night when a foul wind sprung up directly ahead. This evening the sea was covered with porpoises as far as the eye could reach.

8 May 1789

The foul wind continues. The ship does not lie her course by several points. It looks very squally. The ship seen on our starboard bow last night is now out of sight.

9 May 1789

At 9 o'clock this morning a heavy squall came on, with rain, which continued about 1 hour. Wind still continues foul. There is not much of it, but what there is is directly against us. A remarkably heavy swell rolling in from the westward, which induces us to think it has blown very hard to W.

A large shoal of small fish called yellow tails, about the size of a herring, about the ships bottom and stern, several of which were caught with a crooked pin, and one put on a hook over the stern, which about 7 pm caught a very fine dolphin. At 11 o'clock at night, the shark hook being put overboard before we went to bed and a string fastened to the rope and tied to the cabin bell, we were awoke by a violent ringing of the bell and found a very large shark hooked which was got in.

10 May 1789

The seventeenth Sunday from our leaving Wampoa.

Sunday. A fine morning but calm, as it has been almost all night. The shoal of yellow tails still about the ship, many of which were caught this morning by the sailors. Also another very large shark was alongside, but would not take the bait.

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11 May 1789

Still calm. The shark caught at 4 pm. At 7 o'clock am a breeze came on and seems increasing. In the forenoon a large shoal of dolphin astern. Caught 3 and got them on board and 4 others were hooked and nearly got up but broke the hooks and fell into the water again.

12 May 1789

A moderate breeze, go 3 knots. 84 miles on the log at noon.

13 May 1789

A fine morning and gentle breeze, go 4 knots. 110 miles on the log at noon.

14 May 1789

Do. 111 miles at noon on the log.

15 May 1789

Fresh breeze, 120 miles at noon on the log. A very large shoal of bottle nosed porpoises alongside. A flying fish dropped on the main deck this morning.

16 May 1789

A close, dull morning with a fresh breeze. 96 miles on the log at noon. A large albacore and shoals of flying fish about.

17 May 1789

Eighteenth Sunday from Wampoa

Sunday A fine morning and regular breeze, go 4 knots. 7 albacores astern; caught 4 of them.

18 May 1789

Arrive at St. Helena.

At day break, saw the island of St. Helena. The Captain was the first who saw it.

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A gentle breeze, go 5 knots. But toward noon the breeze failed and we do not expect to get in to night. But shortly after, the wind freshened again and we neared the island very much. At 4 pm the 3rd mate was sent on shore in the pinnace, with a note to the governor, to signify what ship we are and from whence we came, as no ship is suffered to pass the first fort without this ceremony, otherwise they would be fired at from the fort, and a large board is fixed on the most conspicuous part of the rock signifying that they must send their boat on shore etc. etc. It is written in English, French and Portuguese.

The pinnace, returning at 7 pm, we learnt that there was war between Denmark Russia and Sweden, the 2 former against the latter, and also the melancholy news of the distressful situation of our king with the appointment of the Prince of Wales to the regency etc. etc.

There is now in this road the Carnatic indiaman, Captain Conner, which came in yesterday from China.

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Two large Danish indiamen. We learned that 2 large Swedish men had left St. Helena a few days since and were waiting a small distance from the island for the Danes, which we heard would continue here till the arrival of a Danish Man of War to protect them, but however they sailed in company 2 days before we sailed. They, each of them, mounted 26 guns and were determined to risk an engagement should they fall in with the Swedish ships.*

[* The above paragraph is shown as it is written in the journal, although it does not entirely make sense. It seems that there are some words missing near the beginning. Editor.]

The Britannia store ship, Captain Cuming, was also at anchor here.

The Captain was invited to dine at the governor's, Robert Brooke, Esquire, tomorrow, which he accepted and went accompanied by Captain Humphreys. The appearance of the town from the ship is exceedingly picturesque, the church. The governor's house, a straw-coloured front, the principal street, with the stupendous rocks on each side the valley in which the town is situated, with the forts and batteries on the tops of them, and the platform with the large guns, 32 lbs. and a beautiful row of banyan trees in the front of the governor's house, altogether form an assemblage of beauties, of which it is easier to form an idea, than to give a just description with the pen.

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We also learned that Mr. William Collins, Lieutenant of Marines who went out with us to Botany Bay and whom we left at Port Jackson in a very ill state of health, had arrived here in a foreign ship in his way to Europe. It seems the Governor of New South Wales, Arthur Phillip, having lost his stock, was under the necessity of sending the Sirius to the Cape of Good Hope for a fresh supply, in which ship Lieutenant Collins came to the Cape and from thence got a passage in a foreign ship as above.

We received letters at this place from Captain Marshall and Lieutenant Watts of the Scarborough, which informed us of the very melancholy fate of several of ships of the Botany Bay squadron, which we left at Port Jackson viz. that the Alexander, Captain Sinclair, had proceeded to sea in company with the Friendship, Captain Walton; that the crew of the Alexander had been so distressed with the scurvy as to bury 18 hands in 3 weeks; and the Friendship had suffered, though not in so great a degree from the same dreadful disorder, whereby they were necessitated to scuttle and sink the Friendship, Captain Walton, and take over the remainder of her crew to strengthen that of the Alexander.

Captain Mason of the Prince of Wales died at sea, soon after leaving Port Jackson and Captain Read of the Borrowdale, one of the victuallers, parted company with the Alexander and Friendship and, after enduring very great

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hardships in her passage round Cape Horn, at last arrived safe at Rio de Janeiro with only 4 hands able to stand the deck. The Golden Grove, Captain Sharp and The Fishburn, Captain Brown, were detained at Port Jackson by the Governor. They were ill provided with necessaries when we left them and the scurvy had begun its ravages, wherefore there is every reason in the world to conclude the most fatal consequences have ensued 'ere this!

Thus fatally, and thus unexpectedly, has terminated the famous Botany Bay Expedition and I presume so soon as this dismal account reaches England it will prove a difficult matter to procure sailors to engage in a future voyage to this unpropitious settlement, without a very considerable advancement of wages or some other very lucrative offers.

St. Helena abounds in innumerable flocks of pheasants and partridges and pigeons. Great numbers of rabbits and the air is sometimes darkened by the prodigious flocks of avedevats, but as these delicate little birds will not long survive their being confined in cages, few people who touch here choose to purchase

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them, for which reason the inhabitants had none to sell. The road abounds in small mackerel, many thousands of which were caught in a day. There are also many very large albacores, many of which we saw in the boats alongside, which weighed at least 60 lb. each. There are also many other sorts of fish which we met with at gentlemen's table where we dined.

The Captain and Captain Humphreys returned on board about 12 o'clock at noon. They learned there had been an earthquake at Botany Bay since we left it, and that Captain Campbell had been dispatched up the country with a party of 40 marines.

I received a letter by Captain Sever from Lieutenant Watts, left to the care of Major Robson, the Lieutenant Governor of St. Helena, and at the same time an invitation to dine on the morrow with him in company with Captains Sever and Humphreys. Lieutenant Watts had mentioned me in the most respectful terms to the major, who assured him he should be happy to show me every attention to render my stay at St. Helena agreeable, which promise he most amply fulfilled, as I never received so much friendship and civility from any family, to whom I was a stranger, as I received, from his.

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19 May 1789

The major is a great virtuosi and has, without exception, the first private collection of natural curiosities I ever saw, which I was very happy to increase by some few articles I possessed and which he thought worth his acceptance, and for which I received other curiosities in return.

The major is a man totally devoid of all state and pomposity, and seems never so happy as when he is in the company of persons of a similar cast of temper with himself, and his lady is also a most agreeable accomplished woman. They have a numerous little family about them and I must do them the justice to declare I never saw domestic happiness shine so conspicuously before, as in this circle.

We dined and drank tea several times at the major's town house, and we all went one morning, by the major's invitation, to his country house to breakfast. Three horses were provided by him and Mr. Kennedy, the gentleman at whose house we lodged, for our accommodation, which we used alternately. It is about 6 miles from the town, and one of the most beautiful spots on the island.

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The major has a small organ and a very good toned forte piano and, as I received a general invitation, I frequently called and had a tune upon them. Mrs. Robson also presented me with a parcel of magazines and 2 packages of newspapers, which will prove an acquisition at sea.

20 May 1789

At the desire of Captain Sever I went on shore and lodged at Mr. Kennedy's, where the Captain and Captain Humphreys lodged, at 12s.6d. a day each, and I continued on shore till the day we sailed. Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy are both very polite, good, kind of people and treated us with every mark of attention and respect, the parting with whom, as also with Major and Mrs. Robson, from whom we had received such marks of friendship and esteem, exhorted tears on both sides.

Having been so long from home, and strangers to the face of any European will, I hope, plead in excuse for a sympathizing tear upon so affecting an occasion, especially when we reflected that, in all human probability, we should never see each other more. Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy are both natives of the island, nor were either of them ever out of it.

Three days previous to our leaving St. Helena a small Danish ship arrived, Captain Kurt, in which came passengers from India, the Countess of Berkhausen and Captain Loy, her husband, who took lodgings at

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Mr. Kennedy's by the recommendation of Major Robson, and shortly after they engaged a passage to England in our ship, as the Danes were at war and they saw the risk of being taken prisoners.

The island of St. Helena abounds in a variety of articles which a stranger, on first arriving there, could not possibly expect to meet with viz. pheasants, partridges, (no hares), rabbits, pigeons, turkeys, bullocks, sheep, hogs, goats, fowls, the hogs and sheep very indifferent. It abounds also in water cresses and purslain, potatoes and many other species of kitchen vegetables. The fruits here are apples, bananas, figs, some few peaches, and melons, pomegranites and some few other things, oranges and lemons, chillies, cucumbers etc.

There is a most beautiful cascade about 1 mile out of the town, to which Captain Sever, myself and Mr. Kennedy walked one afternoon. The stream of water [falls] from a perpendicular height of at least 100 yards, upon a bed of rock in the valley beneath and, the column of water being in its descent dispersed by the wind, falls in the form of a heavy shower of rain. It takes its course from the valley in a meandering stream, edged on both sides with prodigious thrifty watercress,

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to the town, where it terminates in a very handsome conduit for the accommodation of the inhabitants.

The water is extremely clear and pure. Our ship's company were refreshed with 2 fresh meals of beef and vegetables by the captain during our stay here, which was as often as could be granted by the governor.

An accident happened during our stay here, to one of the artillery men at the battery on ladder hill. In returning the salute of the Danish indiamen, through inattention in springing the gun before it was loaded again, it went off and blew off one hand and 2 fingers of the other hand, besides shattering the bones of the elbow etc. It is supposed the man cannot survive.

27 May 1789

Leave St.Helena

We dined this day at one o'clock and about 4 pm Captain Sever, Captain Humphreys, the Countess and Captain Loy, accompanied by Major Robson, his son, and Mr. Kennedy, took leave of this hospitable isle and proceeded on board ship. The Major and Mr. Kennedy stayed on board about 1 hour, when we made sail with a most propitious breeze and, by the following night, we lost sight of the island.

29 May 1789

Saturday. A fine morning and gentle breeze; 49 knots at noon on the log board.

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30 May 1789

Saturday. A fine breeze, 129 miles on the log at noon.

31 May 1789

A fine breeze. 123 miles at noon.

June 1789

1-6 June 1789

1. A fine breeze. 128 miles at noon.

2. A fine breeze. 131 miles at noon. Very hot

3. A fine breeze. 142 miles at noon. Very hot

4. A fine breeze. 102 miles at noon. Very hot

5. A fine breeze. 104 miles at noon. Very hot

6. Almost a calm. 60 miles at noon on the log.

7 June 1789

Hardly steerage way and intensely hot. A shark caught. This day a devil fish astern with 2 very large white sucking fish adhering to it, which gave it a very grotesque appearance. A dolphin also astern which would not take a bait. this night it rained in torrents and very hot.

8 June 1789

Looks very heavy and squally with frequent showers, and very hot. Another shark caught this afternoon.

There is one circumstance which I forgot to mention in my description of St. Helena which, as it redounds so much to the credit and humanity of the Governor, I must not omit, viz. there is just

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without the town, in the valley, a most beautiful and useful garden, to which the governor has very emphatically given the name of Botany Bay. This spot, upon the arrival of the present governor, Robert Brooke, Esquire, 2 years ago, was a barren rock with here and there detached patches of soil. The very laudable method he took to improve and fertilize this barren spot, as well as to show his humanity to delinquents, was to send every defaulter who was convicted of crimes, which in general are punished with flogging, to work in this garden, some for a fortnight, others for a week, 3 or 4 days etc. etc. according to the heinousness of their crimes and if they quit their work but a single day before the expiration of the term they are sentenced to work, they undergo the flagellation the same as if they had not worked there at all. They are left to their choice, to receive the lashes or work in the Botany Bay garden, and it very rarely happens that any one prefers the former as they would be stigmatized as idle worthless fellows by their messmates.

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9 June 1789

But little wind and very sultry.

10 June 1789


11 June 1789

A fine breeze; go 4 knots. (Memorandum: T.D. Fair?)

We crossed the equinoctial line about 4 o'clock this afternoon.

12 June 1789

A gentle breeze; go 3 and 4 knots. Many flying fish about the ship. This morning saw a sail about 3 leagues distant. Caught a large shark in the middle watch. Very hot.

13 June 1789

Almost a calm and very hot. The sail we saw yesterday is still in sight, but a considerable distance astern and is steering a different course. A large shoal of dolphin about the ship. Caught 3 or 4 of them.

14 June 1789

Very little wind and very hot. The ship out of sight. We suppose her to be a Portuguese going to the coast of Guinea for slaves for Rio de Janeiro. Many dolphins about the ship, but will not take the bait as the ship has so little way through the water. Many nautiluses on the water.

15 June 1789

Not much wind and very rainy, chief part of the day. It rained greatest part of this night with some thunder and lightning

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16 June 1789

This morning, and the greater part of the day, the rain descended in perfect torrents and the atmosphere looks very dirty and squally all round. There is a pretty brisk breeze; 101 miles on the log at noon.

17 June 1789

A fine morning with a moderate breeze; go 3 knots. 87 miles on the Log at noon. Now got into the NE Trades.

18 June 1789

Fine morning with a brisk breeze, but wind not so fair as we could wish; go about 4 knots. 94 miles on the log at noon.

19 June 1789

A fresh breeze, but not very fair; much cooler than it was. I am much troubled with an odematous swelling in my left leg.

20 June 1789

NE trades, as before.

21-23 June 1789

21. Do.

22. Do.

23. Do. A large shoal of porpoises, bottle nosed.

24 June 1789

A moderate breeze. A ship seen about l miles to leeward of us, on our larboard quarter, which we suppose to be an English east indiaman. Did not speak to her.

25 June 1789

The ship out of sight. The trades the same as yesterday. Wind the same; go 3 and 4 knots. In the afternoon the breeze freshened.

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26 June 1789

A gentle breeze; go 3 and 4 knots. 90 miles on the board at noon. In the afternoon it fell almost calm and continued so all night.

27 June 1789

Calm this morning, hardly steerage-way, and very close and warm.

28 June 1789

Quite calm this day and all night.

29 June 1789

A light breeze sprung up this morning about 8 o'clock and the ship lies her course, but soon after it fell almost calm and continued so all day and night.

30 June 1789

A brisk NE trade wind. The ship does not lie her course by 3 or 4 points.

July 1789

1 July 1789

A brisk breeze. The ship does not lie her course by 3 points. At day break saw a sail about 2 miles off on our larboard quarter. She was a sloop and supposed to be a Portuguese from some of the Cape de Verde islands, to Rio de Janeiro with wines.

2 July 1789

A gentle breeze; go 4 knots.

3 July 1789

A brisk breeze; go 3 knots; trade wind continues the same. This morning early, crossed the Tropic of Cancer. No birds of any kind seen for this week past.

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4 July 1789

Do., wind and weather. Great quantities of gulf weed all round the ship, which continued to float by for a week in prodigious quantities. Frequent squalls all day with slight showers of rain. 95 miles on the log at noon.

5 July 1789

Sunday. Pleasant morning with a gentle breeze; go 3 knots. At 9 o'clock am a ship in sight on our NW quarter. Supposed to be a homeward bound east indiaman from China.

6 July 1789

A fine morning and a gentle breeze. The ship seen yesterday is now about 2 miles distant. Proved to be a Spanish palacre. The sea almost covered with gulf of florida weed.

7 July 1789

A stark calm this morning and very close and hot. Looks squally about. Many bonitos about the Ship.

8 July 1789

A breeze came on about 8 o'clock last night, and continues this morning, but directly ahead. Ship does not lie her course by 4 points. No bird of any kind seen for this fortnight past.

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9 July 1789

Fine morning, gentle breeze, but foul.

10 July 1789

About after 7 o'clock am wind came fairer; go 4 knots. Large parcels of gulf weed continue to float by us.

11 July 1789

Almost calm and very hot. More sea weed floating alongside.

12 July 1789

Sunday A fine breeze and the wind fair. At daybreak saw 2 sail on our larboard quarter, about 3 leagues distant, one about 1 mile astern of the other. They both appeared to be large ships. At 9 am they dropped astern very much and, in the afternoon, were quite out of sight. These 2 ships we afterwards learned, from a Danish ship which spoke to them, were the 2 large Danish indiamen which sailed from St. Helena 7 days before us.

13 July 1789

A fine morning and moderate breeze. About 8 o'clock this morning the steward caught a very fine dolphin as this fish is esteemed the most beautiful of all others, both in the water as also whilst it is dying, which is in about 10 minutes after it is out of the water, for the variety and vividness of the colours it exhibits, and as, in general, you very rarely see a good likeness of it painted, I think it will not be amiss to

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subjoin a painting of it, whilst dying, taken by Richard Young, our steward, in the best manner the time and circumstances would admit of.


'Exact representation of a dolphin, as soon as it was out of the water, taken by Richard Young, our steward of the Lady Penrhyn, 1789.'

14 July 1789

Almost calm and very hot. About 10 o'clock am a large log of wood floated alongside. By its being covered with barnacles we judged it to have been a long time at sea. About 10, also a sail was seen ahead of us which, by the glass, we discovered to be a brig. A large shoal of dolphin alongside, 3 or 4 whereof were taken.

15 July 1789

About 7 o'clock am a gentle breeze came on; go about 3 knots. At 6 pm a large turtle passed us and about the same time the breeze freshened. Go 4 knots, 6 fathoms. A shoal of porpoises seen.

16 July 1789

About 3 o'clock this morning the wind being very foul, put about ship and tacked. Again at 7 o'clock am but very little wind and that very foul. Three grampuses or spermaceti whales near the stern. The brig about 3 leagues distant on our larboard quarter.

17 July 1789

But little wind and that very foul. At 8 o'clock am tacked ship. The brig we saw yesterday is now about 1 league distant, on our larboard bow. At 10 o'clock am tacked ship again. At 12 o'clock we had 6 different sail in sight, but none near enough to speak to them. The brig is also 1 league ahead of us and we are in expectation of coming up with and speaking to her shortly.

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18 July 1789

A fine morning and moderate breeze. Ship lies better up. The brig seen yesterday is about 4 miles distant, on our larboard bow. Three more sail in sight on our larboard bow, seen from the mast head, and one very large ship in sight from the deck on our starboard quarter. A small turtle passed us this day. At 3 pm the wind came fair. Ship lies her course, but shortly after she broke off again. Several mother carey's chickens astern in our wake. No rock weed seen now.

19 July 1789

Sunday. A brisk breeze and quite fair; go 6 knots. At 1 o'clock this morning the steward caught a very curious fish. It was taken just out of the water, with the line, and held there till it was struck with the grains. It was of the xiphias, sword fish, genus, was 6 ft. 4 in. in length and weighed 80 lbs. The flesh of it was very white and good tasting. After taking what was wanting for the cabin, it afforded a fresh meal for all hands on board. On the other side [below, in this ebook] is an exact representation of it. The 2 fins under its belly were elastic and black, exactly like whale bone. It had no teeth but the inside of its snout or beak was very rough. It had a number of small fish in its maw, of the gemfish genus.


'Representation of the fish taken by the steward and described above.'

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The brig and 4 ships all out of sight this morning.

20 July 1789

A fine breeze all night and this morning; go 5 knots, 4 fathoms. 123 miles on the log at noon. A sail seen on our larboard quarter about 3 leagues distant, and is coming towards us very fast. Looks very squally all round. There is the appearance of a thunder storm coming on from both the E and W quarter. It thunders pretty much to the westward, and some flashes of lightning. At 10 o'clock am the ship was about 5 miles distant on our larboard quarter and fired a gun to windward and hoisted Danish colours, and hauled up to us.

We showed our colours and took in spinanker etc. Shortened sail, and about 2 o'clock she was pretty well up with us in our wake, when Captain Sever, at the request of Captains Loy and Humphreys, ordered the pinnace to be hoisted out, and they went on board her. She proved to be the (Norge) Norway, Captain Kraig, from Bombay and was going to Fayall, there to wait for a convoy. She carried 20 guns. She sailed from Bombay in February last and stopped at the Cape where she stayed 8 days.

She informed us that she, 3 days since, passed 2 Danish indiamen, the 2 mentioned some way back, which sailed 7 days before us from St. Helena, which were bound, by express orders from Denmark, to Fayall, there to meet a convoy or, if the convoy was not in waiting there, to stay till it arrived.

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They presented us with 2 fine geese, 6 bottles of Constantia wine, a large bag of almonds and another of raisins, and half a gag of very good butter. She yesterday spoke to the Northumberland east indiaman. Almost calm for some hours.

21 July 1789

About 3 o'clock a gentle breeze came on again; go about 3 knots.

22 July 1789

Last night there was a storm of thunder, lightning and rain. Fine this morning, with a gentle breeze. At noon 100 miles on the log board. Many bonitos about. We are now about 1190 miles from the Lizard, having weathered the northernmost of the Azores and are steering a straight course to the English Channel. Mother carey's chickens astern.

23 July 1789

A fine morning, with a gentle breeze; go 3 knots, 4 fathoms. Wind frequently shifting from SE to NE.

24 July 1789

Almost calm this morning; go only 1 knots. The sea quite full of a singular kind of blubber or jelly, near 8 feet in length and 6 or 8 inches wide, sometimes coiled up in a circular form and of various colours.

At 2 pm saw a sail ahead, coming towards us. When she was about 1 league distant, it being almost calm, the captain ordered the pinnace to be hoisted out, and himself, Captain Loy and Captain Humphreys, with six hands in her, went on board her.

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She was an American brig, called the Joseph, from the Isle of Rhee, in the Bay of Biscay, bound to Boston in America. She went to the Isle of Rhee loaded with butter etc. and had met with a very bad market. She had got a quantity of salt on board from the isle. She had been beating about with contrary winds for 28 days since she left the isle and they were in great want of provisions to carry them home. There were only 6 hands and a boy on board. Captain Sever spared them cask of pork and a bag of rice and, in exchange took 2 gags of bad wine and 2 cags of worse butter, which was equally served out amongst our ship's company.

The captain of the brig was himself at the wheel and was so exceedingly illiterate and unintelligent a man that we could not even learn from him for a certainty whether the King of England was living or dead. He said he heard some English lady at Rhee say he was alive and well. When our pinnace was hoisted out they tacked ship and endeavoured to avoid its getting on board her, suspecting we were Algerines. When the gentlemen went on board they had got up all their cutlasses and one swivel, but they had no powder on board.

[Page 246]

Soon after, we parted company and saw another sail (a snow) about 6 miles distant on our starboard quarter, but were never nearer to her. About 3 pm a spermaceti whale arose 3 or 4 times near the ship. It rained pretty much in the night and there was but little wind all night.

25 July 1789

Very moderate breeze this morning and that very variable. Several mother carey's chickens about.

26 July 1789

Sunday. A gentle breeze; go 3 knots; There are now very great dews falling on an evening and during the night, the decks being as wet with them as if it had rained this day. The colour of the water appears to be changed. There are many nautiluses passing by the ship. At noon, 80 miles on the log. A shearwater seen in the afternoon. About 2 o'clock the breeze increased; go 5 knots.

27 July 1789

A light breeze and very thick fog. Several shearwaters about. A shoal of bottle-nosed porpoises. But very little wind all day. Many nautiluses passing by all day. This day, the steward caught 2 albacores, which were equally divided amongst the ship's company, after saving a small piece for the cabin.

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28 July 1789

The fog nearly dispersed this morning and a gentle breeze; go 4 knots. At 9 o'clock am the fog rather increased again.

29 July 1789

A fine morning and gentle breeze; go 4 knots. At 7 o'clock am the wind was directly aft which made the ship roll a good deal, being so light up on deck, but at 8 o'clock the wind came more upon the quarter and she is easier. A shearwater and several gulls seen a little before dark. 2 grampuses near the ship and shortly after a large shoal of bottled-nosed porpoises.

30 July 1789

A fine breeze; go 4 knots, but a very thick fog and a heavy swell. Rained very heavy all night.

31 July 1789

A fine breeze. The fog cleared away and a fine morning, but soon after breakfast it thickened and rained for a great part of the day. At 3 pm a sail in sight about 4 miles distant, on our NW quarter.

August 1789

1 August 1789

It rained chief part of last night and about 12 at night it blew very hard and still continues to rain this morning and looks thick all round; a fine breeze; go 6 knots; a heavy swell. We are now about 370 miles from Scilly.

[Page 248]

100 miles on the log at noon. Last night, in the middle watch, a large whale alongside for 2 hours.

2 August 1789

A foggy morning and very little wind; go 2 knots.

3 August 1789

A gentle breeze; go 3 knots. Two gannets flew over the ship. At 12 at noon, hove the lead and found bottom with 95 fathoms, a grey sand. A sail in sight at this time from the deck, a brig. This afternoon, at the request of the sailors, the captain delivered every man his account for cash had at different ports, slops etc., since we left England in 1787.

About 4 pm the captain confined the chief mate Nicholas Anstis, to his cabin for repeated abuse and improper language received from him on the quarter deck. Three sail in sight from the masthead, on our larboard bow. About 8 pm hove the lead again; 90 fathoms, grey sand, as before.

4 August 1789

This morning little wind and that foul. Ship does not lie her course by 3 or 4 points. A ship in sight on our larboard bow, about 2 miles distant, standing the same way as us.

[Page 249]

A large shark alongside this morning. Four sail in sight this afternoon, standing towards the channel. At 11 o'clock am the wind came fair; go 4 knots. A ship passed us in the night.

5 August 1789

A very fine breeze; go 6 knots. Sometimes pretty clear, at others, hazy. A ship on our lee bow and another astern of us. At 8 o'clock am saw the rocks of Scilly, about 6 leagues ahead of us. At 10 am it blew strong. At 4 pm passed the Lizard. A great many ships, brigs, snows, etc. in sight.

6 August 1789

A fine morning and a good breeze. At 7 o'clock off the Start. About 3 pm a pilot boat from Cowes, in the Isle of Wight, Phillip Francis, master, came alongside. The captain agreed with him to take Captain Humphreys, with the company's packet, Captain Loy and the Countess of Berkhausen, passengers from St. Helena, on shore at Portsmouth, for 6 guineas, half to be paid by the captain and the other half by Captain Loy. They left the ship about 4 pm and expected to reach Portsmouth

[Page 250]

about 12 at night.

When they were to set off post for London with the packet, I sent letters by Captain Humphreys to brother, a sister, and Mrs. Hays, all to be left at no. 12 Mark Lane. Just before the pilot came on board us, the King passed us in the Magnificent, 74 guns. He generally cruises for 15 or 20 miles out from Weymouth every day, for the benefit of the sea air it afforded all on board. Great satisfaction to learn the King was living and so much recovered. We also learned of the disturbances which had happened in France, and this was the very first opportunity we have had of hearing any news since we left St. Helena.

7 August 1789

At 6 o'clock this morning, the Culver, or Swan Cliffs, at the easternmost extremity of the Isle of Wight are on our larboard quarter, about 6 miles distant. At 3 pm a boat from Dover came alongside to enquire if we wanted a pilot or any provisions from shore. They asked a guinea to fetch a pilot, but the captain offered them a half guinea which, at last, they agreed to take and set off, leaving one hand on board till we were off Dover, when they would return with the pilot and some fresh

[Page 251]

provisions. At 2 o'clock in the morning, let go the stream anchor, till the next tide at 1 o'clock, when got up anchor.

8 August 1789

A fine warm morning. At 11 o'clock am off the high land of Fair Leigh, with the town of Hastings in Sussex and several other towns in sight, with some gentlemen's seats on the hills. The beautiful appearance of this fertile county was picturesque to a degree.

At 7 o'clock am hove short; at half after 7, weighed anchor and came to sail under reefed topsails; At 8, made all sail; at half past, tacked ship and worked up during the tide, and continued tacking and working up all day; at 10 o'clock am saw Dungeeness Light House. The wind piercingly cold.

9 August 1789

The wind still foul and very cold. At 5 pm we were off Folkestone about 2 miles from shore, Dover town and castle in sight. At 7 pm, the wind blowing fresh, went in shore, and anchored directly opposite Sandgate Castle, just below Folkestone, and at about half mile from shore, in 12 fathom water.

Soon after we were at an anchor a boat came off

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from shore, to know if we wanted anything from shore to be brought off. The captain commissioned them to bring off a half of mutton, some loaves of bread, vegetables, butter, cheese and with which they returned about 11 o'clock and charged 15 shillings.

10 August 1789

At 2 o'clock this morning, got up anchor and set sail. At 4 were off Dover when the pilot, Mr. John Cowley, came on board and the people in the boat brought off the different articles which the captain had ordered them to bring, viz. a of fine beef, do. of mutton, 2 loaves, butter, cabbages, lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, cheese etc.

At 6 o'clock the pilot let go the anchor again, till 12 o'clock at night, when we again set sail. When the boat returned on shore the captain sent letters to his owners acquainting them of the safe arrival of his ship off Dover and, having got a pilot on board, this pilot went with us as far as Gravesend, when a river pilot would come on board.

11 August 1789

At after 4 pm anchored with the small bower, in 15 fathom water. The Southforeland Lighthouse and Dover Castle in sight. At noon hove anchor and came to sail under single reefed topsails and courses, it blowing fresh. At 5 pm let go the anchor again, Deal Mill, Deal Castle, the buoy of the break, and Sandown Castle in sight.

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Two leagues distant of shore. At 12 at night hove anchor and got under way.

12 August 1789

At 4 this morning, abreast of Ramsgate. In Kent, at 7 am. The fine seat of Lord Holland on the Northforeland, near Margate, in sight. At 10 am hauled up for the Queen's Channel. At half after, spoke to the honourable East India Company yacht, who informed us there would not be water enough on the flats for us to get over, for half an hour and she, directly after, dropped astern of us and lay to, by backing her topsail, and we did the same for half an hour, when we made sail, preceded by the yacht, with a fine fair breeze at 12 o'clock, opposite Mersea Island.


List of sketches included the journal

All of the sketches included in the journal can be accessed from The State Library of NSW.


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