1908 - McNab, R. Historical Records of New Zealand, Volume I - [Pages 50-99, 1786-1789]

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  1908 - McNab, R. Historical Records of New Zealand, Volume I - [Pages 50-99, 1786-1789]
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[Pages 50-99, 1786-1789]

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1786 Aug. 18.

Order for first fleet.


Island women.

Guard for transports.

Two years' provisions.

I am, therefore, commanded to signify to your Lordships his Majesty's pleasure that you do forthwith take such measures as may be necessary for providing a proper number of vessels for the conveyance of 750 convicts to Botany Bay, together with such provisions, necessaries, and implements for agriculture as may be necessary for their use after their arrival.

In order that a proper degree of subordination and regularity may be preserved in this new intended settlement, his Majesty has been pleased to give orders that an officer and proper assistants shall be appointed to superintend it, and that three companies of the Marine Corps shall be stationed there so long as it may be found necessary. The officers and marines will be embarked on board a ship of war and a tender, which the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty have been directed to provide for this service, the commanders of which will be instructed to take under their protection the ships on board of which the convicts may be embarked, and to regulate their sailing to the place of destination.

The crews of the ship of war and the tender, as well as the Marine Corps, will be victualled by the Naval Department during their passage; but your Lordships will please to take notice that the marines are to be provided for after their landing, and supplies of provisions, as well as implements for agriculture, should also be procured for their use. The number may amount to about 180, to which is to be added the staff establishment, consisting of fifteen, and perhaps 200 females, which your Lordship will see by a sketch of the plan for forming this new settlement, herewith transmitted, 1 are likely to be procured from places in its neighbourhood, as companions for the men. 2

If the persons who may contract for the passage of the convicts should be desirous of obtaining military assistance for their greater security, they may be accommodated with a part of the marines, who would otherwise be conveyed to the new settlement in the ship of war and the tender.

According to the best opinions that can be obtained, it is supposed that a quantity of provisions equal to two years' consumption should be provided, which must be issued from time to time, according to the discretion of the superintendent, in the expenditure of which he will, of course, be guided by the proportion of food which the country and the labour of the new settlers may produce.

From the length of the passage to New South Wales, the commanding officer will most likely find it necessary to call at

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1786 Aug. 18.

Cattle and grain from the Cape.


Garden seeds and grain.

Tools and implements.


Instruments and medicines.

Immediate action.

the Cape de Verd Islands, as well as at the Cape of Good Hope, for the purpose of recruiting the water. At the latter of these places he will, in all probability, be enabled to obtain cattle and hogs, as well as seed grain, all of which must be procured for the new settlers, with a view to their future subsistence, and as expenses will thereby, of course, be incurred, it will be necessary that your Lordships should authorize the naval commander, or the superintendent, to draw upon you for the amount; and that, in addition thereto, a quantity of merchandize should be put on board the ship of war or the tender previous to their sailing, sufficient to obtain supplies of live stock by the means of barter with the inhabitants of the islands contiguous to the new intended settlement, from whence such supplies may at all times be obtained.

A small quantity of garden seeds should be sent out from hence, together with some seed grain, to prevent inconveniences that might happen should any difficulties arise in procuring a supply, particularly of the latter, at the Cape of Good Hope.

The tools for erecting habitations, and implements for agriculture, which it is supposed will be most useful in the settlement, are specified in the list accompanying this, and with which it will be proper to supply the marines and the convicts after their landing at the settlement. It is, therefore, his Majesty's further pleasure that these articles be also provided and sent out, together with bedding for each of the convicts, and a proportion of cloathing agreeably to the estimate enclosed. The marines will be supplied with bedding from the ship of war.

I have it in command from his Majesty only further to acquaint your Lordships that a quantity of surgical instruments and medicines and necessaries for the sick will likewise be wanted, and as soon as an estimate can be formed it shall be transmitted to your Lordships, together with the staff establishment.

In the meantime, I have only to recommend it to your Lordships to cause every possible expedition to be used in preparing the shipping for the reception of the said convicts, and for transporting the supplies of provisions and necessaries for their use to the place of their destination. 3

I have, &c,

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1786 Aug. 18.

Tools and utensils.



List of Tools, Utensils, &c, necessary for the Convicts and Marines intended to proceed to New South Wales.

List of Tools, Utensils, &c, necessary for the Convicts and Marines intended to proceed to New South Wales.


Estimate of Clothing to serve a Male Convict for One Year.

Estimate of Clothing to serve a Male Convict for One Year.

The expence of clothing female convicts may be computed to amount to the same sum.

A proportion for two years to be provided.

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1786 Aug. 18.

Proposal for a penal settlement.

Ships. Marines.

Stores and provisions*

Live stock and seed.


Two years provisions.



HEADS of a plan for effectually disposing of convicts, and rendering their transportation reciprocally beneficial both to themselves and to the State, by the establishment of a colony in New South Wales, a country which, by the fertility and salubrity of the climate, connected with the remoteness of its situation (from whence it is hardly possible for persons to return without permission), seems peculiarly adapted to answer the views of Government. with respect to the providing a remedy for the evils likely to result from the late alarming and numerous increase of felons in this country, and more particularly in the metropolis.

It is proposed that a ship of war of a proper class, with a part of her guns mounted, and a sufficient number of men on board for her navigation, and a tender of about 200 tons burthen, commanded by discreet officers, should be got ready as soon as possible to serve as an escort to the convict ships, and for other purposes hereinafter mentioned.

That, in addition to their crews, they should take on board two companies of marines to form a military establishment on shore (not only for the protection of the settlement, if requisite, against the natives, but for the preservation of good order), together with an assortment of stores, utensils, and implements necessary for erecting habitations and for agriculture, and such quantities of provisions as may be proper for the use of the crews.

As many of the marines as possible should be artificers, such as carpenters, sawyers, smiths, potters (if possible), and some husbandmen. To have a chaplain on board, with a surgeon, and one mate at least; the former to remain at the settlement.

That these vessels should touch at the Cape of Good Hope, or any other places that may be convenient, for any seed that may be requisite to be taken from thence, and for such live stock as they can possibly contain, which, it is supposed, can be procured there without any sort of difficulty, and at the most reasonable rates, for the use of the settlement at large.

That Government should immediately provide a certain number of ships of a proper burthen to receive on board at least seven or eight hundred convicts, and that one of them should be properly fitted for the accommodation of the women, to prevent their intercourse with the men.

That these ships should take on board as much provisions as they can possibly stow, or at least a sufficient quantity for two years' consumption; supposing one year to be issued at whole

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1786 Aug. 18.

Guards for transports.


Further supplies.

Island women.


Expense not to be considered.


allowance, and the other year's provisions at half allowance, which will last two years longer, by which time, it is presumed, the colony, with the live stock and grain which may be raised by a common industry on the part of the new settlers, will be fully sufficient for their maintenance and support.

That, in addition to the crews of the ships appointed to contain the convicts, a company of marines should be divided between them, to be employed as guards for preventing ill consequences that might arise from dissatisfaction amongst the convicts, and for the protection of the crew in the navigation of the ship from insults that might be offered by the convicts.

That each of the ships should have on board at least two surgeons' mates, to attend to the wants of the sick, and should be supplied with a proper assortment of medicines and instruments, and that two of them should remain with the settlement.

After the arrival of the ships which are intended to convey the convicts, the ship of war and tender may be employed in obtaining live stock from the Cape, or from the Molucca Islands, a sufficient quantity of which may be brought from either of those places to the new settlement in two or three trips; or the tender, if it should be thought most adviseable, may be employed in conveying to the new settlement a further number of women from the Friendly Islands, New Caledonia, &c, which are contiguous thereto, and from whence any number may be procured without difficulty; and without a sufficient proportion of that sex it is well known that it would be impossible to preserve the settlement from gross irregularities and disorders.

The whole regulation and management of the settlement should be committed to the care of a discreet officer, and provision should be made in all cases, both civil and military, by special instructions under the Great Seal or otherwise, as may be thought proper.

Upon the whole, it may be observed with great force and truth that the difference of expence (whatever method of carrying the convicts thither may be adopted) that this mode of disposing of them and that of the usual ineffectual one is too trivial to be a consideration with Government, at least in comparison with the great object to be obtained by it, especially now the evil is increased to such an alarming degree, from the inadequacy of all other expedients that have hitherto been tried or suggested.

It may not be amiss to remark in favour of this plan that considerable advantage will arise from the cultivation of the New Zealand hemp or flax-plant in the new intended settlement, the supply of which would be of great consequence to us as a naval

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1786 Aug. 18.

Tropical products.

New Zealand timber

power, as our manufacturers are of opinion that canvas made of it would be superior in strength and beauty to any canvas made of the European material, and that a cable of the circumference of ten inches made from the former would be superior in strength to one of eighteen inches made of the latter. The threads or filaments of this New Zealand plant are formed by nature with the most exquisite delicacy, and may be so minutely divided as to be manufactured into the finest linens.

Most of the Asiatic productions may also without doubt be cultivated in the new settlement, and in a few years may render our recourse to our European neighbours for those productions unnecessary.

It may also be proper to attend to the possibility of procuring from New Zealand any quantity of masts and ship timber for the use of our fleets in India, as the distance between the two countrys is not greater than between Great Britain and America. It grows close to the water's edge, is of size and quality superior to any hitherto known, and may be obtained without difficulty.

Estimate of expenditure.

1-- Staff.

2-- Clothing.

Staff Establishment for the Settlement at New South Wales:--

Staff Establishment for the Settlement at New South Wales:--

Estimate of clothing to serve a male convict for one year:--

Estimate of clothing to serve a male convict for one year:--

The expence of clothing female convicts may be computed to amount to the like sum.

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1786 Aug. 31.

Convicts to be sent to Botany Bay.

Ships required.

Ship of war and tender.

Instructions for the commander.

Rendezvous at the Cape.



MY LORDS, -- Whitehall, 31st August, 1786.

The King having been pleased to signify his Royal Commands that 750 of the convicts now in this kingdom under sentence of transportation should be sent to Botany Bay, on the coast of New South Wales, in the latitude of 33° south, at which place it is intended that the said convicts should form a settlement, and that the Lords of the Treasury should forthwith provide a sufficient number of vessels for their conveyance thither, together with provisions and other supplies for their subsistence, as well as tools to enable them to erect habitations, and also implements for agriculture; and it being his Majesty's intention that a ship of war of a proper class, with part of her guns only on board, commanded by an able and discreet officer, and a sufficient establishment of inferior officers and men, together with a vessel of about 200 tons burthen, commanded also by an officer, should, as soon as the convict ships are ready, proceed with them to the new settlement, for the purpose of regulating their sailing, and for the preservation of peace and good order during the passage, as well as for other purposes after their arrival--

I am commanded to signify to your Lordships the King's pleasure that you do forthwith cause a ship of war and a tender for those services to be fitted for sea with all possible expedition, and when the said convicts shall be put on board the ships which are preparing for their reception in the river Thames, to instruct the commander of the ship of war to take the convict ships under his protection, and proceed with them and the tender (which he will employ as he shall find occasion) to Botany Bay, calling off Plymouth, on his way thither, for another convict ship, the master of which will be directed to join the convoy from thence upon its appearance.

From the length of the voyage to New South Wales, the convoy will, of course, find it necessary to put into port on their way thither, for the purpose of recruiting their water. Your Lordships will, therefore, give instructions accordingly, only taking care that one of the places to be fixed upon for a rendezvous may be the Cape of Good Hope, from whence it is intended that as many supplies as possible for the new settlement shall be procured.

As it has been thought advisable that some military establishment shall be made at the new intended settlement, not only to enforce due subordination and obedience, but for the defence of the settlement against incursions of the natives, and as from the nature of the service to be performed it is highly expedient that it should be composed of men accustomed to and under proper

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1786 Aug. 31.


The soldiers to be made comfortable.


Marines to be encouraged to volunteer.

Heads of a plan.

Commissions and instructions.

Officers to be under the Home Department.

discipline, his Majesty has been pleased to direct that 160 private marines, with a suitable number of officers and non-commission officers, shall proceed in the ship of war and the tender to the new settlement, where it is intended they shall be disembarked for the purposes before mentioned. They will be properly victualled by a commissary immediately after their landing, and provision has been also made for supplying them with such tools, implements, and utensils as they may have occasion for, to render their situation comfortable during their continuance at the new intended settlement, which it is designed shall not exceed a period of three years.

When these circumstances are known, it is very probable that many of the non-commissioned officers and men may express a desire of embarking upon this expedition; if the whole number to be employed upon it were to consist of persons of that description, it would upon many accounts be advisable to give them a preference. It is therefore his Majesty's pleasure that their wishes in this respect should as much as possible be attended to, and that your Lordships should, if there should be occasion, hold out such further indulgences to them as may induce them to embark voluntarily upon this service, either by bounty or promise of discharge should they desire it upon their return, or at the expiration of three years, to be computed from the time of their landing at the new intended settlement should they prefer the remaining in that country.

I enclose to your Lordships herewith the heads of a plan 5 upon which the new settlement is to be formed, for your further information, together with the proposed establishment for its regulation and government; and as soon as I am acquainted by your Lordships with the names of the officers intended to command the ship of war and the marine corps I shall receive his Majesty's further pleasure for preparing their commissions, and such instructions as may be requisite for their guidance.

From the nature of the services they are to execute under these instructions, entirely unconnected with maritime affairs, it would be proper that they should be immediately subordinate to the direction of this office, and upon that ground it is his Majesty's pleasure that they should be directed after their arrival at New South Wales to follow such orders and directions as they may receive from his Majesty thro' his Principal Secretary of State for this department.

I have, &c,

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British trade declining.

New source of trade required.

Importance of foreign trade.

The writer's experience.

Settlement of new lands.

Project communicated to Lord North.

To assist Chili and Peru against Spain.


[1783-86] 6

AT this juncture--when the ties of exclusive commerce with America are dissolved; when the trade to the East Indies is in a declining if not in a precarious state; when our trade to the Mediterranean has been long interrupted, and almost annihilated, and when that to Africa and the West Indies does not promise to be what it has been without a change of measures-- it will be highly commendable in any individual to point out a new source of trade, and form any probable scheme for encouraging attempts to lay the foundation of future sources. There is no object, except internal improvement and cultivation of waste land, which a Minister should so much encourage as foreign trade, especially where the exports are chiefly the manufactures of this country, and the imports ready money or raw materials. The merchant and husbandman are a reciprocal benefit to each other.

Having been employed abroad many years, and during that time acquired some degree of commercial knowledge, and having, moreover, made myself geographically and descriptively acquainted with the new discoveries of the late circumnavigators, I have often turned my thoughts to the advantages which may hereafter be derived from them, and the resources which Great Britain may find in some new establishments to recompense her in part for the losses of the late war.

In pursuit of such ideas, I formed a project early in 1779, which I communicated to Lord North, for an expedition to the South Seas, to give countenance and support to the inhabitants of Chili and Peru, by assistance of arms, ammunition, and troops from India, that these provinces or kingdoms might be enabled to fulfil their disposition and throw off the Spanish yoke. Had it been undertaken at the time and in the manner suggested, it must have been attended with great loss to the Spaniards, and probably with future advantages to this country in its consequences, because the natives soon after, without foreign assistance, attempted to liberate themselves, and tho' their endeavours are suppressed for the present, yet it is more than probable their efforts will in the end be successful.

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Prevented by peace with Spain.

Spanish yoke will be thrown off.

Suggests trade with Chili.

A delicate subject.

Gibraltar and Porto Rico.

Establishments at other parts.

New South Wales.

Probable rivers and spacious harbours.

The peace which is now concluded with Spain puts such an open enterprize at present out of the question; but it requires no great depth of penetration to foresee that the Spaniards will not be suffered long to enjoy the extensive trade to and possession of South America. One would have thought that the apprehension of such an event, as a natural consequence, would have made them backward in seconding the views of the thirteen colonies of North America. The people of these States have formerly tasted the sweets of the interloping trade, and will not let the Spaniards quietly carry to Europe the produce of the mines which the North Americans so much want. When contests of this kind happen (and most assuredly ten years will not first elapse), the Chilese and Peruvians will again attempt to throw off the yoke, and, after the example and on better pretensions than the North Americans, become free States, or subject only to a native government. A trade then with them on the footing of the most favored nation will be a very desirable object, and open a prospect of replacing what we have lost, or may lose, of our trade to North America.

But perhaps this is a delicate subject to touch on, and it may be held better policy to avoid giving Spain any grounds of jealousy; on the contrary, it may be a preferable object to endeavor to wean her from the family compact, and with that view to exchange the barren Rock of Gibraltar for the Island of Porto Rico and other advantages of commerce more desirable to this nation. Be it so, there are other matters of sufficient importance to draw the attention of his Majesty's Ministers to consider whether some establishments may not be effected either on the coast of New South Wales, New Zealand, New Caledonia, or some other islands nearer the Line and more to the eastward. Each of these situations offers choice of establishments, as will be shewn in the respective descriptions thereof.

And first of New South Wales: The coast as explored and named by Capt. Cook in 1770 extends from Van Diemen's Land in the latitude of 44° south, to Endeavor Straits in the latitude of 10° south, and occupies the whole east and north-east shore of the island (or, rather, 5th continent) called New Holland, for it contains more square miles than all Europe, and comprehends the finest latitude on the Globe. Its greatest longitudinal length of near 44° lies under the Tropic of Capricorn, and its difference of latitude from the extreme capes is near 34°; but there are parts of the island which approach to within 20° of latitude to each other. Upon such an extensive superficies of land there can scarce be a doubt but many capital and navigable rivers must drain the internal country, and conduct the waters which fall plentifully and periodically within the Tropics,

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Capt. Cook's account.

An unexplored, land.

Cook's opinions.

Founded on partial knowledge.

A reasonable supposition.

Impossible to judge the country from Cook's account. First appearances often deceptive.

The Cape.

Other instances.

Reasoning by analogy.

and near them, to the sea-coast. And, consequently, that in a circumference of more than 6,000 miles there must be many spacious and secure harbours with all the advantages requisite to constitute convenient sea-ports, docks, &c.

Captain Cook had neither time nor proper vessels narrowly to explore every inlett on the east and north-east side of New Holland--much less the great Bay of Carpentaria--or the north, north-west, and south coasts. These are still unknown, except certain points which have been seen by other navigators, and principally on the west side by Mons. Allowan in 1772; but none, nor all of them taken collectively, have actually examined the coast throughout, and given the true outline. In his concluding observations, Captain Cook does not indeed give the most favourable account of the soil, timber, vegetable or animal productions, or even of the inhabitants that he saw, nor does he suppose the latter are very numerous. But as he could not penetrate far inland, or obtain a sufficient knowledge of the language spoken by any of the natives, it is but reasonable to suppose so large an extent of country under such latitudes must be capable of producing with as little trouble as any other country grain and other esculent vegetables, as well as feeding for quadrupeds, sufficient to subsist millions of people. But perhaps the necessary seeds and plants are wanting, as well as cultivation to improve such as are there already.

Without better grounds than Capt. Cook had, no negative judgement can be pronounced. He could only speak positively of what he saw and examined, for if conclusions had been definite from first appearances (or even of nine parts in ten at present), would the Cape of Good Hope ever have been settled, or supposed to afford the abundant necessaries of life, or even superfluities as it does at present? Nothing can be more forbidding than its distant view, nor is such an appearance to be wondered at, considering it is a projecting point of a great continent running out in an high southern latitude between the two great oceans. Other instances might be quoted equally striking of discouraging appearances, to which New Holland throughout has comparatively an inviting aspect. And as to the number or nature of the whole people, a Briton would be sorry to have the national character drawn from those who might appear at either extreme, or even on some of the intermediate coasts of this island. But if anything is due in an advantageous light to analogous reasoning, is there not the strongest presumption that such an extensive tract of land has in its bowels, or on its surface, every production that other countries have in a similar latitude?

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The Barrier Reef.

Not a fatal objection.

Similar difficulties elsewhere.

New Zealand.

Area. Harbours.



Cook's opinion of the country.

Its excellent timber.

The flax-plant.

The river Thames.

New Caledonia-- aborigines of.

The coast, it is true, which Capt. Cook explored is surrounded by a distant line of coral rocks and shoals, apparently dangerous to navigation; but at the same time it must be allowed that such a barrier has its use in protecting the interior coast from the fury of storms and a tumbling sea. There are navigations now which from use and the assistance of experienced pilots are perfectly safe, which from first appearances on the spot and the delineations on paper present every idea of shipwreck. The river Thames has its barriers of shoals and sands, and the Straits of Malacca appear in the charts to be wholly obstructed therewith, yet nothing is easier at present than the navigation of both.

Not more than six days' sail to the eastward from the coast of New South Wales lies the western coast of the two great islands called New Zealand, which extend in latitude from 35° south to 45°, and tho' their breadth is unequal, yet they cover a space nearly equal to Great Britian. Charlotte Sound and the river Thames (an inlett so called) afford ports of great convenience to maritime objects; and the country is so situated with respect to climate that it comprehends the most habitable and temperate divisions on the Globe. Captain Cook circumnavigated both islands, and delineated as exactly as he possibly could the whole sea-coast in his several returns thereto, yet he acknowledges his defective observations of many parts. In the 438th page of the 3rd volume of "Hawkesworth's Compilation" a very flattering description may be found, concluding thus: "So that if this country should be settled by people from Europe they would, with a little industry, be very soon supplied, not only with the necessaries, but the luxuries of life in abundance." In page 441 he says: "Here are forests of vast extent full of the straitest, the cleanest, and the largest timber trees that we had ever seen." And what is an object of more consequence, for uses on the spot as well as exportation to this country, a plant grows there spontaneously, which he says (page 443) "serves the inhabitants instead of hemp and flax, which excels all of the kind put to the same uses in other countries." But of this more in the sequel. In page 444 the best place for an establishment is pointed out to be the river Thames, which Captain Cook seems to have looked forward to. And he adds, "that from the plenty of iron-sand found in Mercury Bay the ore could not be at any great distance."

About the same length of run eastward from New Zealand as New South Wales is, but in the latitude from 18 1/2° to 23° south, lies New Caledonia, which, tho' narrow in its longitudinal extent, is a very considerable island, inhabited by a very strong and well-disposed people; and tho' Captain Cook, in the Nar-

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Cook's opinion of.

Its timber.

Norfolk Island.



Cook's account.


The choice of a site.

New Zealand.

New Caledonia and Norfolk Island.

Preferable to other islands.

rative of his Voyage in 1774, vol. 2, page 128 to 145, does not speak so favourably of it as he does of many others, yet certainly it is a very favourable latitude, and probably only wants industry to be exerted on it. One article there is to be found in great abundance which is wanting in New Holland and New Zealand, and that is pine-trees for masting vessels of great burthen, as is observed in page 140.

In the midway almost from the south end of New Caledonia to the north extremity of New Zealand, and nearly equidistant east from New Holland, lies a small new-discovered island, named by Captain Cook Norfolk Isle, in latitude 29° south. It is about six miles long and fifteen miles round, shaped from its projecting points somewhat like an egg, the large end being to the south. This island has an advantage not common to the others by not being inhabited, so that no injury can be done by possessing it to the rest of mankind. 7 Tho' Captain Cook discovered it the 10th of September, 1774, at daybreak, and left it the 11th at the same time, yet he gives such an account of its productions in pages 147, 148, and 149, that there seems to be nothing wanting but inhabitants and cultivation to make it a delicious residence. The climate, soil, and sea promise everything that can be expected from them. The timber, shrubs, vegetables, and fish already found there need no embellishment to pronounce them excellent samples; but the most invaluable of all is the flax-plant, which grows more luxuriant than in New Zealand.

Now, according to the object which may be in view for making an establishment, either the coast of New South Wales or some other part of New Holland, which on a closer examination may be hereafter discovered, cannot fail to offer a convenient situation; but if New Zealand should be deemed a more promising island either for ports or fertility, there cannot be a doubt but situations may be found attended with every convenience that nature furnishes, and perfectly adapted to receive the improvements of art. Let the choice, therefore, fall on either or both for principal establishments, it is obvious that New Caledonia and Norfolk Isle will afford useful auxiliaries. Perhaps it may be urged that the Friendly or Society Isles, or even the Hebrides, enjoy a finer climate, and are abundantly stocked with many necessaries of life; but, granting this, they are in general fully inhabited, and the natives in all probability would so far oppose any establishment that it could only be made after a contest ending in their extirpation or the invaders'

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Objection not applicable to New Holland or New Zealand.

State of the natives.

Influence of civilisation.

Objections to distant colonies.

Past losses.

Cultivation at home.

The depopulation argument.

Its fallacy.

Advantages of distant settlements.

The American Loyalists.

destruction, both which are ideas repugnant to human nature. In reply to this it may be urged that the same difficulty will occur at New Holland, New Zealand, or New Caledonia, because these are all inhabited. The objection seems natural; but as these countries are much larger, and not so fully inhabited, there is apparently room for much greater degrees of population and the most extensive improvement of cultivation; and to reduce the objection still more, it must be allowed that the natives want many of the necessaries of life, which it would be charity to furnish them with; that they are in a very uncivilised state; that to instruct and inform them better would be doing them no injury; that by communicating the principles of the Christian religion they would receive an invaluable blessing; and lastly, it is probable a purchase might be made of a part of the country from the native inhabitants for articles more agreable and useful to them.

It may, moreover, be objected on general grounds (for it is best to obviate every objection) that propositions of this kind for establishing very distant colonies are at best problematical, and that besides the expence and difficulty of the outsett, the prospect of future advantage is too precarious and faint to attract many adventurers; that Great Britain has already been embarrassed and suffered much by colonization, which has drained her of too many useful citizens; that it would be better to improve every spot of waste land to the utmost degree at home, because every subject reared and attached to Great Britain is an actual addition of strength and benefit thereto, whereas every one that goes to spend his life in any other country is a real loss; and, lastly, that Great Britain, as an island breeding her own stock of inhabitants, cannot, without consuming her vitals, afford to people other islands or continents.

These, it must be confessed, are all specious objections, and many of them solid ones; but if greater inconveniences can be avoided by embracing less, the ballance will be an advantage-- for instance, if many British subjects disposed to emigration (and many such there are) should be tempted to go to America, and carry their property, arts, and sciences with them, would it not be good policy in point of consequences to encourage them to go to a greater distance? Again, suppose it to be at present difficult to provide for the Loyalists and other exiled natives from North America, and that they should, as they certainly will, prefer a new country without taxes or burthens to be received as denizens here, were the land and establishments even to be given them gratis, would it not be gratifying them at an easy expence to furnish them with some large frigates and store-

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Suitable colonists.

Commercial advantages.

The disposal of convicts.

The existing system.

Its evil consequences.

Vicious associations.

Obstacles to reform.

Return to vice.

Advantages of the transportation system.

Prevents return.

ships and send them with proper necessaries to make one or more settlements in the islands just described? And would not such a plan be more likely to be brought to perfection by those people who have been accustomed to a similar life than by any others? Most certainly it would, and Great Britain cannot dispose of them better, or place them in a situation from whence a better return of commercial advantages might in a few years be expected; for it must be admitted as incontrovertible that the more nations or countries there are to whom commerce is familiar, and the greater the intercourse with foreign and even distant parts, the more frequent exchange of commodities there must be, and the most industrious people will engross the greatest share of the benefits resulting therefrom.

To these considerations may be added another, in which the peace, good government, and, I may add, the morals of the people of this country are materially concerned. I mean the disposal of convicts, which of late have not only been expensive, but have been confined in a manner disgraceful to the humanity of our character. Instead of being removed for ever from the society whose laws they had violated, and thereby forfeited all the privileges as citizens, they have been formed into and kept in distinct societies for the more compleat information and instruction of every new comer, and after the expiration of a certain time have been permitted to return to the community not reformed in their noxious principles, but confirmed in them. A few moments of reflection will carry proof to every man's mind of the certain tendency of strengthening vicious habits by association, and it must follow of consequence that having served out their time and being discharged into the world they must starve or return to their old trade and be hanged, for however desirous some of them might be to become good subjects, what person will receive one of them into his family or employ him in any service about his house, or where will he find a village, town, or parish to receive him without reproach? Thus repelled from society, these unhappy creatures are driven to avail themselves of their former experience, and perhaps three or four years' theoretical information, to a renewal of their crimes, and the public are like to suffer more in second practice than they did in their first outsett.

For these obvious reasons, both on the score of sound policy as well as humanity, and because convicts can no longer be sent to America, nor to any other of our remaining colonies or islands, without a great probability of their returning, or being otherwise detrimental to the manufactures of this country, it is proposed to transport them to some more distant situation,

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Removes temptation.

Facility for disposing of stolen goods.

The only alternative-

Convicts as sailors and soldiers.

A convict colony.

A novel proposal.

American convicts.

General idea of the plan.

The question of cost.

and to place them where all temptation to a renewal of their crimes is wanting, and where necessity will indicate a different conduct, which will ultimately produce more essential benefits to themselves, and restore them perhaps to a future intercourse with their mother country.

If it were necessary it might easily be proved in many ways that the greatest temptation to all thefts and robberies (except for ready money and food) is the facility of disposing of stolen goods without discovery. Could that inducement be removed, the temptation to such actions would be annihilated, and men remain honest for want of a temptation to be otherwise. But in great towns and populous places that is impracticable; it becomes, therefore, absolutely necessary rigorously to execute every offender, or to remove him as soon as discovered. The latter mode seems most consistent with humanity as well as reason, because all punishments are inflicted to prevent repetition, seeing that they cannot prevent the perpetration of what is past.

Under this idea of the propriety of removal from temptation, in preference to temporary or occasional punishment, it may be urged that the Navy, the Army abroad, and particularly the service of the East India Company, have received many atrocious offenders and converted them to useful subjects, because they have been placed in a situation where a contrary inclination was not reducible to practice.

The same idea might be extended farther by supposing that fifty men and as many women, or any given number of convicts of both sexes, were sent to any part of New Zealand or New South Wales, or any part of the new discoveries proper for the experiment, and there landed with animals, seeds, implements, and other necessaries of life proper for the climate and country. It is easy to foresee that tho' they might at first quarrel and commit outrages on each other, yet in a short time mutual convenience and security would unite them into social bonds, and some form of government would take place even tho' none should be given them. America is greatly obliged to similar circumstances for part of her population; and it would be some consolation to this country for the expence of transportation that the imputation of cruelty would be removed with the offending part of the community.

After combating so many objections, it is possible the utility of the general idea of this plan will be admitted; but then it will be urged the distance is too great, and that an infant colony or colonies cannot be supported without a great expence, which must be repeated yearly in some degree without any return.

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The precedent of North America. Distance not an objection.

Its advantages.

Encourage navigation.

Length of the passage from England to New Holland.

Other inducemants unnecessary.

Supplies easily procured.

The arts and manufactures of the East.

Should that be the case, the circumstance is not unprecedented, for North America, tho' so much nearer to Europe, did not for many years make any return worth notice for the expence of property and lives sunk in the several establishm'ts made thereon; and its proximity to Great Britain operated rather disadvantageously than the reverse, because there was a continual claim of protection and support, till the connection was lately broken by an entire separation of interests.

The countries now in contemplation will not be so near as to be constantly asking and drawing the same supplies, nor will the same fatal effects by a renunciation of dependence ever be experienced from them. This distance will promote the practice of navigation more than adjacent countries, and the voyage will not be longer than it usually is to either coast of India. The Discovery and Resolution left Plymouth the 1st August, 1776, arrived at the Cape of Good Hope the 31st October, staid there a month, sailed from thence the 1st December, and after going out of the direct tract in quest of Desolation Island, where they staid a week, made New South Wales the 23rd January, being no more than four months and seventeen days in the actual run from England to the east side of New Holland. From hence it seems practicable to go thither, unload, take in another cargo, and return in twelve months.

Should other inducements be wanting to give a serious consideration to some enterprize of the kind pointed out, and to derive some immediate, or lay the foundation for some future, advantages to be drawn from the discoveries of Captain Cook and other circumnavigators, many objects not undeserving notice might be enumerated. But surely enough has been said to merit a discussion. When that is entered on it will be time enough to be more minute, and to point out how easily a supply of quadrupeds and other animal provisions, as well as grain, pulse, vegetable plants, shrubs, trees, and seeds of all kinds, may be had in a fortnight from the Island of Sava or from Java, or in three weeks from the coast of Sumatra. It might also be shewn how easy it would be to draw useful inhabitants thither from the Malay Islands, and even from China, and, of course, to introduce the natural productions as well as arts and manufactures of these countries. In short, if the whole sea-coast and interior parts of New Holland were peopled in any comparative degree with Europe, Asia, or America, it would receive and return objects of commerce equal to any quarter of the Globe.

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The warships should precede the transports.

Phillip's foresight.

Convicts not to be trusted.

Probable sickness on the voyage.


BY arriving at the settlement two or three months before the transports many and very great advantages would be gained. Huts would be ready to receive the convicts who are sick, and they would find vegetables, of which it may naturally be supposed they will stand in great need, as the scurvy must make a great ravage amongst people naturally indolent and not cleanly.

Huts would be ready for the women; the stores would be properly lodg'd and defended from the convicts in such manner as to prevent their making any attempt on them. The cattle and stock would be likewise properly secured, and the ground marked out for the convicts; for lists of those intended to be sent being given to the commanding officers, mentioning their ages, crimes, trades, and characters, they might be so divided as to render few changes necessary, and the provisions would be ready for issuing without any waste. But if convicts' provisions, &c, must be landed a few days after the ship's arrival, and consequently mostly at the same time, great inconvenience will arise, and to keep the convicts more than a few days on board after they get into a port, considering the length of time which they must inevitably be confined, may be attended with consequences easier to conceive than to point out in a letter. Add to this, fevers of a malignant kind may make it necessary to have a second hospital.

A ship's company is landed, huts rais'd, and the sick provided for in a couple of days; but here the greater number are convicts, in whom no confidence can be placed, and against whom both person and provision is to be guarded. Everything necessary for the settlement should be received at the Cape on board with the commanding officer, and nothing left for the transports but a certain proportion of live stock.

I may add, the short space of time left to choose a proper situation. 9

The confineing the convicts on board the ships requires some consideration. Sickness must be the consequence in so long a voyage (six months may be allow'd for the voyage--that is, from the time of leaveing England to the arrival in Botany Bay), and disagreeable consequences may be feared if they have the liberty of the deck. The sooner the crimes and behaviour of these people are known the better, as they may be divided, and

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Care of the women.

What is to be done if fever breaks out?

Inspection on the voyage.

Defence against the natives.

Make friends with them, if possible.

the greatest villains particularly guarded against in one transport.

The women in general I should suppose possess neither virtue nor honesty. But there may be some for thefts who still retain some degree of virtue, and these should be permitted to keep together, and strict orders to the master of the transport should be given that they are not abused and insulted by the ship's company, which is said to have been the case too often when they were sent to America.

At the ports we put into for water, &c, there may be some sick that may have fever of such a nature that it may be necessary for the sake of the rest to remove them out of the ship. In such a case, how am I to act?

The greatest care will be necessary to prevent any of the convicts from being sent that have any venereal complaints.

During the passage, when light airs or calms permit it, I shall visit the transports to see that they are kept clean and receive the allowance ordered by Government; and at these times shall endeavour to make them sensible of their situation, and that their happiness or misery is in their own hands, --that those who behave well will be rewarded by being allow'd to work occasionally on the small lotts of land set apart for them, and which they will be put in possession of at the expiration of the time for which they are transported.

On landing in Botany Bay it will be necessary to throw up a slight work as a defence against the natives--who, tho' only seen in small numbers by Captn. Cook, may be very numerous on other parts of the coast--and against the convicts; for this my own little knowledge as a field engineer will be sufficient, and will be the work of a few days only; but some small cannon for a redoubt will be necessary. Within the lines the stores and provisions will be secured; and I should hope that the situation I should be able to take may admit of having the small rivers between the garrison and the convicts so situated that I may be able to prevent their having any intercourse with the natives.

I shall think it a great point gained if I can proceed in this business without having any dispute with the natives, a few of which I shall endeavour to pursuade to settle near us, and who I mean to furnish with everything that can tend to civilize them, and to give them a high opinion of the new guests, for which purpose it will be necessary to prevent the transports' crews from having any intercourse with the natives, if possible. The convicts must have none, for if they have, the arms of the natives will be very formidable in their hands, the women abused, and the natives disgusted.

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Marriage should be encouraged.

Intermarrying with natives.

Rewards and punishments.

Preservation of stock.

Women from the islands.

Convicts should be isolated.

The keeping of the women apart merits great consideration, and I don't know but it may be best if the most abandoned are permitted to receive the visits of the convicts in the limits allotted them at certain hours, and under certain restrictions; something of this kind was the case in Mill Bank formerly. The rest of the women I should keep apart, and by permitting the men to be in their company when not at work, they will, I should suppose, marry, in which case they should be encouraged, if they are industrious, by one day in the week more than the unmarried on their own lotts of ground.

The natives may, it is probable, permit their women to marry and live with the men after a certain time, in which case I should think it necessary to punish with severity the men who use the women ill, and I know of no punishment likely to answer the purpose of deterring others so well as exiling them to a distant spot, or to an island, where they would be obliged to work hard to gain their daily subsistence, and for which they would have the necessary tools, but no two to be together, if it could be avoided.

Rewarding and punishing the convicts must be left to the Governor; he will be answerable for his conduct, and death, I should think, will never be necessary--in fact, I doubt if the fear of death ever prevented a man of no principle from committing a bad action. There are two crimes that would merit death-- murder and sodomy. For either of these crimes I would wish to confine the criminal till an opportunity offered of delivering him as a prisoner to the natives of New Zealand, and let them eat him. The dread of this will operate much stronger than the fear of death.

As the getting a large quantity of stock together will be my first great object, till that is obtained the garrison should, as in Gibralter, not be allowed to kill any animal without first reporting his stock, and receiving permission. This order would only be necessary for a certain time, and I mention it here only to show the necessity of a military government; and as I mean in every matter of this kind to sett the example, I think that I can say this will never occasion any uneasiness, but if it should, it will be absolutely necessary, otherwise we shall not do in ten years what I hope to do in four.

Women may be brought from the Friendly and other islands, a proper place prepared to receive them, and where they will be supported for a time, and lots of land assigned to such as marry with the soldiers of the garrison.

As I would not wish convicts to lay the foundations of an empire, I think they should ever remain separated from the garrison, and other settlers that may come from Europe, and not

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No slavery.

How are the convicts to be clothed?

Land grants.

Lamps for the natives.

Shipping regulations.




Articles for barter.

be allowed to mix with them, even after the 7 or 14 years for which they are transported may be expired.

The laws of this country will, of course, be introduced in [New] South Wales, and there is one that I would wish to take place from the moment his Majesty's forces take possession of the country: That there can be no slavery in a free land, and consequently no slaves.

The cloathing for the convicts will last for a certain time, after which what means should I have of furnishing them with materials for their making their own cloaths?

It will be necessary to know how far I may permit the seamen and marines of the garrison to cultivate spots of land when the duty of the day is over, and how far I can give them hopes that the grounds they cultivate will be secured to them hereafter; likewise, how far I may permit any of the garrison to remain, when they are ordered Home in consequence of relief.

By what I am informed, hatchets and beads are the articles for barter--a few small grindstones for the chiefs; and as they use a light they hold it in their hands, small tin lamps on a very simple construction must be very acceptable.

Ships may arrive at Botany Bay in future. On account of the convicts, the orders of the port for no boats landing but in particular places, coming on shore and returning to the ships at stated hours, must be strictly inforced.

The saddles I mentioned will be absolutely necessary, for two horsemen will examine the country to a certain distance, when it might be dangerous to attempt it with half the garrison, for I am not of the general opinion that there are very few inhabitants in this country, at least so few as have been represented--but this article I take upon myself, as likewise the knifes, &c, that I mentioned.

Such fruit trees and cuttings that will bear removing should be added to the seeds carried from England, as likewise roots that will bear keeping that length of time out of the ground.

Two or three of the houses in question will be highly necessary, and there is no time to lose in giving the orders, if intended.

A certain quantity of the articles of husbandry, stores, corn, seeds, &c, of the articles for traffick, should be put on board the Berwick, 10 that in case of an accident we may not be in immediate want of those things, and the same on board the store-ship in which the Lt.-Gouvrnour goes.

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1787 March 1.

The Governor's instructions.

Purchase of wine.

A hospital ship.

Fresh meat and vegetables.

Exchange of men.


Discharge of unnecessary officers.

The place of settlement.

Bread-fruit and island women.

Land grants. Power of exile.



SIR, -- [London] March 1st, 1787.

From the letter I have received from the Admiralty, and of which I enclose a copy, you will see that respecting my 11th, 12th, 13th queries the Board decline giving any answer. As I am to be entirely under the direction of the Secretary of State, immediately after I arrive on the coast of New South Wales, for what regards the Naval Department, as well as respecting the settlement, from the Board's answer to these queries, as well as similar answers to several others of the same nature, I must request your particular attention to the following circumstances in drawing up my instructions:--

That I am directed to order wine to be purchased in the passage, at Teneriffe, or where it can be procured; for circumstances may prevent my taking on board the quantity intended, at Teneriffe, or perhaps any part of it, and it may be got at the Cape or elsewhere.

That I may employ one of the transports as an hospital ship, if I find it necessary on the passage.

To order the marines and convicts to be supply'd with fresh meat and vegetables at such places as I may stop at in the passage, and to order the Commissary to draw bills on the Treasury for such supplies.

That I have the power of exchanging any part of the garrison with the marines embark'd on board the ships, or of incorporating the marines now belonging to the ship with those of the garrison, if the service requires it.

That I am directed to appoint officers to fill such stations as may become vacant by death or otherwise.

That I am directed to discharge from the ship such officers and men as may not be necessary for the navigating of the ships, and which may be necessary in the garrison, such people being desirous of remaining in the settlement.

That I make the settlement in such port as I may find the most convenient and best to answer the intentions of Government.

That I send one of the ships to Charlotte Sound, in the Island of New Zealand, for the flax-plant, and to the Friendly Islands for the bread-fruit, and, as women will be there procured, that I put an officer on board such transport.

That the terms by which lands are to be granted are pointed out by the article which gives me the power of granting lands.

That I have a power of exiling to New Zealand or the neighbouring islands any convict that may be condemned to death.

That I have the power of emancipation.

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1787 March 1.


The naval command.

A better ration needed.

The power of suspending and sending home such officer who from his situation cannot be tried by a court-martial.

That in case of sending home the Sirius I have orders from the Secretary of State to take the command of such ships or vessels as remain on the coast, by hoisting a distinguishing pendant on board such ship or tender as I may judge necessary (such pendant not to give me any claim to the pay of a commanding officer), in order to retain the command by sea, to be more at liberty to visit the coast, and to retain the command of the ships or vessels that remain.

That I have a power to change the species of provisions served to the marines and convicts, for if salt meat is issued, without any proportion of flour, as has been hitherto done by the contractor to the marines embarked on board the Alexander, the scurvy must prove fatal to the greatest part. Of the marines already embarked two months, one in six are sent to the hospital since that ship's arrival at Spithead.

I am, &c,

1788 May 24.

Flax and timber.

Proposed trading settlement at Norfolk Island.


London, May 24, 1788.

To the Right Honourable Lord Sydney, one of his Majestie's Principal Secretarys of State, &c, &c.

The petition of Sir George Young, Knt., and John Call, Esquire, in behalf of themselves and others, -- Sheweth--

That your petitioners have it in contemplation to form a settlement on a small uninhabited island, first discovered by Captain Cook, and by him named Norfolk Island, 11 lying in the latitude of 29° 2' south, and longitude 168° 16' east from Greenwich, in the Pacific Ocean, in order to promote the cultivation of the New Zealand flax-plant, and the growth of pine timber for masts, being persuaded that if they are fortunate enough to succeed in their undertaking it will be attended with great national utility, by furnishing a future supply of those valuable articles of cordage and masts for his Majestie's ships-of-war in India, which have hitherto been obtained at an enormous expence, owing to the difficulty of conveying them thither, and from their scarcity have often reduced the maritime force employ'd in the East Indies to great inconvenience and even distress.

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1788 May 24.

A free grant.

Your petitioners, therefore, considering the great expence and risque they must necessarily incur in prosecuting an enterprise in which if they succeed the nation cannot fail in being benefited, humbly solicit from his Majesty a grant to them and their heirs for ever of the said island, to be held of the Crown as of the Manor of East Greenwich.

Geo. Young.
Jno. Call.

Cape of Good Hope.

Cape Horn route impracticable.

Violent storms.

The ship leaky.

The route altered.


Bounty, Cape of Good Hope,

SIR, -- False Bay, May 24th, 1788.

You will please to acquaint the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty that, after experiencing the worst of weather for thirty days between the latd. of 58° 00' So. and 61° 00' by constant gales of wind from S. W. to N. W. off Cape Horn, I have been under the absolute necessity of bearing away for this place, as I found it totally impracticable to get round the land and make the passage to Otaheite, agreeable to their Lordships' first orders.

I hope their Lordships will observe that it was not possible to make more of the season than I have done. I left Spithead on the 23d of December; Tenariff on the 10th Jan'y; doubled Staten Land on the 23d of March, from which time the weather was exceedingly tempestuous, particularly the last three weeks, when the snowstorms became so violent we were scarce ever doing better than lying to and drifting before the wind. In this situation my people at last began to be affected with severe rheumatisms, and I had three accidents from the violent motion of the ship--two men fell and dislocated their shoulders, and one broke a rib. The ship began to be leaky, but in all other respects as good a vessel as could possibly be; this increased our labour, and seeing no prospect of success, I conceived it would be hazarding the object of the voyage, and my conduct reprehensible under the discretionary orders I was honored with, to persist any longer, as I had not a moment's time to spare to proceed and refit at the Cape of Good Hope, and to be in time to pass the intricate parts of the voyage and to secure a completion of it. From these considerations I bore away on the 22d of April, repassed Staten Land on the 23d, and, without ever being in any port from the time of leaving Tenariff, I arrived here this day, with every man and officer in as good health as when they left England, notwithstanding for these last three months we have never been able to have our hatches open for six hours together.

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1788 May 24.


I shall refit with the utmost despatch, and proceed on the voyage by New Holland and New Zealand.

I have informed their Lordships by letter of this date of my proceedings by a Dutch ship; and an opportunity offering by a French packett, Havre de Grace, I thought it my duty to take that conveyance also [to] send a duplicate of my first letter.

I have, &c,

June 28.

Ready for sea.


Bounty, in False Bay, Cape of Good Hope,

SIR, -- June 28th, 1788.

You will please to acquaint the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty that I am now ready for sea, with his Majesty's ship under my command, and shall sail and execute their Lordships' directions with the utmost dispatch. My route will be by the south part of New Holland and New Zealand. My people are in perfect health, and ship thoroughly refitted. This is the fourth letter I have had the honour to write to acquaint their Lordships of my proceedings.

I have, &c,

1789 Jan. 3.

The Sirius leaves Sydney.

The Cape Horn route.


Sirius, in Table Bay, Cape of Good Hope,

SIR, -- 3rd January, 1789.

His Excellency M. Van de Graave, 12 Governor of this settlement, having, upon my arrival here, very politely offer'd an immediate conveyance to Europe for any dispatches I might have to forward, I therefore embrace that opportunity of informing my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty that, in obedience to an order from his Excellency Arthur Phillip, Esq., Governor of his Majesty's territory of New South Wales, &c, &c, a copy of which I send enclosed, together with the state and condition of the ship, 13I sailed from Port Jackson on that coast, in his Majesty's ship Sirius, under my command, on the 2nd day of October, 1788; but Governor Phillip having declined to direct by what rout I should perform the voyage, I judged that at that season of the year the rout to the eastward, by Cape Horn, promised fairest

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1789 Jan. 3.


A leak.


Botany discarded.

for an expeditious passage; I therefore steered for the South Cape of New Zealand, which I passed on the 12th, and made the coast of Terra del Fuego on the 26th November. The weather off Cape Horn, altho' the summer was well advanced, was so exceedingly cold, occasioned by the vast mountains of ice which we daily fell in with, that the ship's company, who had been upon salt provisions ever since we left the Cape of Good Hope outward bound, and without any kind of vegetable, fell down very fast with the scurvy. I arrived in this bay on the 1st January, 1789, having buryed three seamen on the passage.

On the day I sailed from Port Jackson the ship sprung a leak, which admitted 2 feet 4 inches water in the four hours, but as before my arrival here we had discovered it to be about two or three feet below the wale, starboard side, I hope to be able to have it stoped before I sail on my return to the coast of New South Wales.

I transmit by this opportunity a box containing dispatches from Governor Phillip, directed to Lord Sydney, one of his Majesty's Principal Secretarys of State. On the 12th of July last four transports 14 under the command of Lieutenant Shortland sailed from Port Jackson for Europe. They took their route to the northward, and might possibly have called at Batavia. They have not touched here; I therefore imagine they may have passed on to St. Helena and water'd there on their way home.

I think it necessary, in case Governor Phillip's dispatches by the above transports should not arrive before this may reach the Admiralty, to mention for the information of their Lordships that the harbour of Port Jackson, which is about 4 leagues to the northward of Botany Bay, having been examined and found a safe, extensive, and commodious harbour, the Governor had fixed the seat of Government there, instead of Botany Bay. Its latitude is 33° 50' and its longitude 151° 25' Et. of meridian of

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1789 Jan. 3.

Greenwich. The three transports chartered by the East India Company for China 15 were discharged, and left Port Jackson on the 6th May last; two of the store-ships remained when I sailed, and would be ready to sail for Europe about three weeks after my departure.

As no part of the service on which I came to this place 16 is yet in any forwardness I cannot give their Lordships any information upon it, but will leave an account of my proceedings to be forwarded from hence after my departure, if no opportunity should offer before I sail.

I am, &c,

Oct. 15.

Loss of the Bounty.


SIR, -- Batavia, Octr. 15th, 1789.

I beg you will present the enclos'd account of my transactions and of the loss of his Majesty's ship Bounty under my command unto the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, by which their Lordships will please to observe I have begun the account from the arrival of the ship at the Cape of Good Hope after my return from Cape Horn.

I left at Timor, to be sent by the first vessel that sailed, other accounts for their Lordships' inspection.

I have, &c,

Arrival at the Cape.

Van Diemen's Land.

New Zealand.


I arrived at the Cape of Good Hope on the 24th May, 1788, from whence I fully acquainted their Lordships of my proceedings, and being completely victualled and refitted I sailed on the 1st July.

On the 20th August I arrived at Van Diemen's Land, and completed wooding and watering in Adventure Bay by the 4th Septr., when I sailed for Otaheite.

On the 19th September, having pass'd the south part of New Zealand, I discovered a very dangerous cluster of rocky islots 17 (never known before). They extend 3 1/2 miles east and west, and

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1789 Oct. 15.


The Bounty sails with bread-fruit plants.

The islanders distressed.

An island discovered.

1 1/2 north and So., and he from the Traps (off the south end of New Zealand) S. 89° E., distance 146 leagues. Their latd. is 47° 44' So., and longitude 179° 09' Et.

On the 26th October I anchored in Matavai Bay, Otaheite, but the season of the year render'd my situation not safe, and I therefore sailed on the 25th December into Toahroah Harbour, 3 miles from Matavai. I remained here untill the fourth of April, 1789, when I sailed with 1,015 beautyfull breadfruit plants, and many fruit kind, in all 774 pots, 39 tubs, and 24 boxes.

I found this harbour to be in the latitude of 17° 31 1/2' So., and longitude 210° 31' 37" east, variation of compass 5° 31' E.

I left these happy islanders in much distress, for the utmost affection, regard, and good fellowship was among us during my stay. The king and all the royal family were always with me, and their good sense and observations, joined with the most engaging dispositions in the world, will ever make them beloved by all who become acquainted with them as friends.

On the 12th April I discovered an island called Whytootackee, whose chief was named Comackeiah, as I was informed by people who came off to us in a cannoe. Their language seemed to prove them nearly the same people as at Otaheite. The island is about

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1789 Oct. 15.

The Friendly Islands.


The mutiny.

Capt. Bligh seized and bound.

The launch hoisted out.

Bligh threatened with death.

10 miles round, in latitude 18° 52' So. It has eight small keys 18 lying joined by a reef to the S. S. E. of it and one to the W. S. W. The southernmost key lies in latitude 18° 58' So., and longitude obsd. 200° 19' Et., varian. compss. 8° 14' E. On the 18th April I saw Savage Island in 19° 02' So., 190° 18' east,

On the 21st April I made the Friendly Islands, and on the 23rd following I anchored in Annamoka Road. On the 26th April, having completed my water and got on board some wood, I sailed. Annamoka lies in 20° 16' So., 185° 30' east,

On the 28th April, in the morning, the north-westernmost of the Friendly Islands, called Tofoa, bore N. E. 10 leagues, and I had directed my course to the W. N. W., with a ship in most perfect order, and all my plants in a most nourishing condition, all my men and officers in good health, and in short every thing to flatter and insure my most sanguine expectations. But I am now to relate one of the most atrocious and consummate acts of piracy ever committed.

At dawn of day, Fletcher Christian (officer of the watch), Chas. Churchill (ship's corporal), Thos. Burkett (seaman), John Mills (gunner's mate), came into my cabbin, and, while I was asleep, seized me in my bed, and tied my hands behind my back with a strong cord, and, with cutlasses and bayonets fixed at my breast, threatned instant death if I spoke or made the least noise. I, nevertheless, called out so loud for help that every one heard me and were flying to my assistance, but all my officers, except those who were concerned, found themselves secured by armed centinels.

I was now haul'd upon deck in my shirt, without a rag else, and my hands tyed behind my back held by Fletcher Christian, and Chas. Churchill w'h a bayonet at my breast, and two men, Alexr. Smith and Thos. Burkitt behind me, with loaded musquets cocked and bayonets fixed. Under the guard I was put abaft the mizenmast.

The different hatchways were all guarded by armed men in the same manner, and those who were to be sent out of the ship and some of the mutineers who could be spared hoisted the boat out. Among these were the boatswain and carpenter, who, with some others, got sails, twine, rope, grapnel, and a small cask of water into the boat, about w'ch there were many altercations among the mutinous crew.

When I exerted myself in speaking loud to try if I could rally any with a sense of duty in them, I was saluted with, "Damn his eyes, the -----; blow his brains out," Christian threatening me with instant death if I did not hold my tongue.

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1789 Oct. 16

Bligh's property kept from him.

Bligh forced into the boat. No firearm allowed.

Arrival at Tofoa.

Looking for supplies.

Water scarce.

Being confined, and kept apart from every one, Mr. Samuel, 19 with great resolution, exerted himself and secured to me a quadrant and comp'ss, some cloaths, my journals, and material ship papers; but all my valuable instruments, and a timepiece of Mr. Kendal's make of great value, with a valuable collection of books, maps, and drawings, and money, with all my remarks and observations for 15 years past, were kept from me. He also secured 150 lbs. of bread, which proved of more value than every thing besides.

The officers and men being now drove into the boat one by one, I was told by Christian: "Come, Capt. Bligh, your officers and men are now in the boat, and you must go with them; if you attempt to make the least resistance you will instantly be put to death." I was then taken hold of, under a guard of armed ruffians, and forced over the gangway into the boat, which waited only for me, and, untying my hands, we were veered astern by a rope. A few pounds of pork were now thrown to us. We were 19 in number, and some began to sollicit a few of their little valuables that were left behind. I asked for firearms, and even at last sollicited two, but we received insolence and were told we should have none. Four cutlasses were, however, thrown into the boat, and we were cast adrift in a most miserable situation.

The size of the boat was 23 feet from stem to stern, and rowed six oars. We were so deep and lumbered that it was believed we could never reach the shore, and some of them made their jokes of it. We, however, by seven o'clock in the evening got safe under Tofoa, but the shore being steep and rocky could find no anchorage or landing. I therefore kept the boat under the land all night, paddling with two oars to preserve our station.

April 29th. --This day was spent in searching for a landing-place, and at the N. W. part of the island, in lat'd. 19° 41' S., I found a small cove, where with some difficulty I got a few of my people on shore to look for supplies. The weather proved stormy, which prevented me from going to sea, otherwise I should have proceeded to some of the principal islands in quest of the chiefs. This night we all slept in the boat at a grapnell in the cove, and shared a few cocoanutts for subsistence, as I determined not to touch any thing that we had brought from the ship.

30th. --The weather continued so stormy that I could not proceed to sea. I therefore went off with a party to see what could be got, but in the end we all returned miserably fatigued, without discovering anything but a little water in holes, the whole of which was not sufficient for one day's expence. As

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1789 Oct. 15.

Supplies obtained from the natives.

The natives muster.

They become hostile.

Preparations for departure.

Attacked by natives.

every one was now more or less jaded and wanted sleep, I took about one-half on shore for the night, and in a cave at the upper part of the cove they got tolerable good sleep, and those in the boat having more room became vastly benefitted by it.

May 1st. --The weather continued so windy that I could not proceed to sea. Sent a party away at dawn of day to take another route in search of supplies. They found out the residence of the natives, who brought us a few bread-fruit, cocoanutts, and a few shells of water, which I bought for buttons of our jackets. At sundown they left us with a promise to bring larger supplies in the morning.

Spent the night as before,

2nd. --The weather continued windy. In the morning the natives came to us with bread-fruit, &c, as yesterday, and also two chiefs, Eegyeefou and Maccaaccabou. Soon after two cannoes came in from a distant part of the island, and the natives were hourly encreasing. The chiefs became acquainted with our situation--that the ship had sunk and we only were saved, and that I intended to go to Paulehow, their king. This seemed to give them pleasure, and Eegyeefou agreed as soon as it moderated to go with me. The readyness with which this man appeared to consent to go with me to Amsterdam gave me reason to think we should remain on good terms with these people, but unhappily I had soon cause to know the contrary. The natives began to be very troublesome, and made signs of hostilities towards us. I, however, thought they would go off at sundown, as they had done before, and that then I could leave the place without risk; but the reverse was the case. Three cannoes were now come in, and places fixed on for their residence during the night. I therefore determined to do our best while it was light, and directed some of the provisions I had bought to be put into the boat. The chiefs now desired me to remain on shore for the night, notwithstanding they perceived that I saw all their people arming with clubs and stones. The things being put into the boat, we were all on the go, when an inferior chief 20 took me by the hand, pressing me to stay. I kept hold of this man, and w'th my people now proceeded down the beach amidst a silent degree of horror on both sides. Nageetee left me, and, all except one man got into the boat, who, while I was getting in, observing the stemfast not cast off, ran up the beach to effect it, notwithstanding I heard the master and others calling to him to return, while they were hauling me out of the water. The attack now began, with a shower of stones that flew like shot. The unfortunate poor man on shore 21 was killed instantly, and we were all more or less bruized and

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1789 Oct. 15.

Pursued and stoned.


No help from the natives.

Short allowance.

Bound for Timor.

Secrecy of the mutiny.

wounded. As I hauled out to our grapnel, I hoped they could no longer annoy us; but here I was mistaken, for they launched their cannoes and stoned us untill I got a league from the land. We could not close with them, because it was not in the power of men to do it with so heavy a boat; they therefore took their distance to throw their shot, which they did with such execution that but a short time longer would have rendered us incapable of rowing, when they would first have stoned us to death and then taken the boat. I therefore, as the only thing left to save our lives, exhorted every one to persevere in rowing; and throwing overboard some cloaths which beguiled them and they lost time in taking up, together with the night coming on, we very miraculously escaped.

Taking this as a real sample of their natural dispositions, there were little hopes to expect much where I was going, for I considered their good behaviour hitherto owing to a dread of our firearms, which now knowing us to have none would not be the case; and that supposing our lives were safe, our boat, compass, and quadrant would all be taken from me, and, thereby, I should not be able to return to give an account of the transaction. I was sollicited by all hands to take them towards home, and when I told them no hopes of relief for us remained, but what I might find at New Holland, until I came to Timor, a distance of 1,200 leag's, where was a Dutch Governor, but that I could not recollect at what part of the island he resided, they all agreed to live on one ounce of bread per day and a jill of water. I therefore, after examining our stock of provisions, which I found to consist of 150 lbs. bread, 28 galls, of water, 20 lbs. of pork, 3 bottles of wine, and 5 quarts of rum, and recommending for ever to their memory the promise they had made, bore away for New Holland, and from thence to Timor, a distance of 1,200 leag's, across a sea where the navigation is dangerous and but little known; and in a small boat deep loaded, and with 18 souls, without a single map, and nothing but my own recollection and general knowledge of the situation of places, assisted by an old book of latitude and longitude to guide me.

The secresy of this mutiny was beyond all conception, and surprising it is that out of thirteen of the party who came with me, and lived always forward near the people and among them, no one could discover some symptoms of their bad intentions. With such deep-plann'd acts of villany, and my mind free of any suspicions, it is not wonderfull that I have been got the better of. I slept always with my cabbin door open for the officer of the watch to have access to me on all occasions, for the possibility of such a catastrophe was ever the farthest from my thoughts.

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1789 Oct. 15.

Cause of the mutiny.

The whole watch concerned.

The loyal.

The disloyal.

Stormy weather.

To assign the cause of such a resolution we can only imagine from the huzzas of the mutineers that they have promised themselves greater pleasure and advantages at Otaheite than they were likely to meet with in their native country. To this land of guile they are certainly returned--a land where they need not labour, and where the allurements of dissipation are more than equal to anything that can be conceived. For particulars I must beg leave to refer their Lordships to my journal.

Christian was the officer of the deck, and the whole watch being concerned, except the two midshipmen, who had no suspicions of what their officer was about, it is not surprising that the business was speedily done, all the able men being concerned, as also the greatest number, as may be seen by the description list. 22

The people who accompanied me were:--

Jno. Fryer, master.
Wm. Cole, boatsn.
Wm. Peckover, gunner.
Wm. Purcell, carpenter.
Thos. Dr. Ledward, acting surgeon.
Wm. Elphinstone, master's mate.
Thos. Hayward, midshipman.
Jno. Hallett, midshipman.
Jno. Samuel, clerk.
Peter Linkletter,qr.-mr.
Jno. Norton, do. (killed at Tofoa).
Geo. Simpson, do's mate.
Law'ce Libogue, sailmaker.
Robt. Tinkler, Ab.
Jno. Smith, Ab.
Thos. Hall, Ab. 23
Robert Lamb, Ab.
Davd. Nelson, botanist (since dead).

No., 18.

The people who remained in the ship were:--

Fletcher Christian, master's mate.
Geo. Stewart, acting do.
Peter Heywood, midship'n.
Edwd. Young, do.
Chas. Churchill, corporal.
James Morrison, boat'n mate.
Jno. Mills, gunn's do.
Chas. Norman, carp's mate., were detained detained against their consent.
Thos. M'Intosh, do. crew [detained against his consent]
Josh. Coleman, armourer. [detained against his consent]
Thos. Burkitt, Ab.
Jno. Sumner, Ab.
Jno. Williams, Ab.
Matw. Thompson, Ab.
Thos. Ellison, Ab.
Wm. Mickoy, Ab.
Jno. Millward, Ab.
Richd. Skinner, Ab.
Mattw. Quintal, Ab.
Mich'l Byrne, Ab.
Hen'y Hilbrant, Ab.
Isaac Martin, Ab.
Alex'r Smith, Ab.
Wm. Muspratt, Ab.
Wm. Brown, botanist's assistant.

No., 25.

1789, May 3rd. --To return to my proceedings in the boat. I steered to the W. N. W., as I formerly had heard from the Friendly Island people that land lay in that quarter. The weather continued very stormy and the sea run so very high that we had reason to expect to founder every instant. Unhappily

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1789 Oct. 15.

Islands discovered.

Sufferings from wet and cold.

The Australian coast sighted.

Inside the reef.

Sleeping on shore.

we were obliged to throw many of our necessaries over board to lighten the boat, and we underwent great fatigue in bailing, and were miserably cold and wet in the nights.

May 4th. --On this day I discovered an island W. S. W., 4 or 5 leagues from me when I was in lat'd 18° 58' S. 182° 16' E't,

6th. --On to-day I discovered ten other islands, and at noon was in the lat'd 17° 53' So., 179° 43' E't.

7th. -- This day I discovered other islands, and at noon was in lat'd 16° 33' So., 178° 34' E't, when I was chased by two large cannoes. Storms of thunder, lightning, and rain; caught 6 gallons of water.

9th. --Fair w'r; kept steering to the W. N. W. and west.

10th. --Very heavy rains; hard gales and a high sea unto the 14th, constantly bailing, and suffering every degree of distress.

14th. --Discovered 5 islands, and was at noon in 13° 29' So., 169° 21'.

15th. --Discovered an island, lat'd., noon, 13° 4' S., 167° 35' East. Hard gales and a high sea with thunder, lightning, and rain, and very dark dismal nights, not a star to be seen to steer by. Keeping the boat before the sea, constantly wet and suffering every calamity and distress.

May 21st. --Most dreadful weather, and the rain fell so heavy that we could scarce keep the boat from filling.

24th. --To the 24th the weather and sea continued very bad. We now dreaded the nights, for we were all benumbed with cold, being constantly wet. To act against the evils attending such a situation, I could only order every one when our cloaths became filled with water to strip naked and wring them, and when only wet by the rain to dip them first in the sea, so that this was the only resource we had for dry cloaths.

28th. --To the 28th the weather became better, when at midnight I fell in with the reefs of New Holland, the sea broke dreadfully high; I stood off shore for the night; at dawn of day stood in for the reefs again to search for a passage within it. At 9 in the morning I saw the reef again, and soon after standing along it to the northward, I discovered an opening which I safely entered, and happily got into smooth water. Lat'd of the channel 12° 50' S., 145° 08' E't. At 1/4 past 5 in the afternoon I got into a bay on an island about 1/4 of a mile from the main, and finding it uninhabited, I determined on searching for supplies. Night prevented us from doing more than gathering a few oysters which we found on a bed of rocks near the boat; it was, however, a great relief to us. As our boat was only large enough to admit one-half of us to rest at a time, I directed that one party should sleep on shore, so that every one was to be ready to go in search of supplies at dawn of day.

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1789 Oct. 15.

Water and oysters.


Preparing for sea.

Birds caught.

The allowance of water.


Inhabited islands.

May 29. --After a quiet and undisturbed night's rest we began to employ ourselves about what was to be done, and in an half hour I heard the joyfull tydings that fine fresh water was found. Oysters were plenty, but it was with much difficulty we could break them from the rocks. However, a sufficient quantity was got to give us a good meal. I had great difficulty in getting a fire, but at last effected it by a small magnifying glass.

I found no other supply to be expected here, except a few berries which were eat by the birds, and, therefore, every person had ventured to take as many as their stomachs would bear.

Weakness, with a dizzyness in the head, and an extreme tenesmus, were our only complaints.

We discovered signs of the natives having been here, but the marks did not appear to be very recent. I was therefore not apprehensive, and permitted one-half of us to sleep on shore at night, as I had done before.

30th. --In the morning I found every one vastly benefitted by their being here. I sent the parties out to gather oysters, and others filled our water-casks and got the boat ready for sea. Mr. Nelson found some fern root that I thought wholesome and very condusive to prevent thirst. For that reason I ordered a quantity of it into the boat.

Birds could have been easily got here if I had had arms. On that account every one we saw recalled to us our miserable situation; but Providence has been graciously kind to us, for we frequently caught with our hands sea fowl, which made great addition to our dinner of bread. As a supply of water the rain was a great blessing to us, but I had not vessels to contain a sufficient quantity. It therefore happened that two gills, or a half pint of water, was what each person received in the course of the day, issued at 8 in the morning, at noon, and at sunset, with 1/24 of a lb. of bread at breakfast and the same at dinner, sometimes giving an allowance for supper.

I found the lat'd. of this place 12° 39' S., 144° 44'. The main appeared with a variety of high and low land interspersed with wood, and the more interior parts mountainous. I called it Restoration Isl'd.

31. --At 4 in the afternoon, after having performed prayers, I sailed. About 20 natives came down on the opposite shore, armed with spears. They were black, and waved to us to come to them.

I steered along shore to the N. N. W. and N. W. b. N. in the direction of the coast. Saw several islands, and at 8 in the morning passed through a cluster, and saw more natives armed in the same manner, and made the same signs as those I had seen before. I, however, did not land.

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1789 Oct. 15.

Shell-fish and water.


A gale.

Cape York rounded.

Steering for Timor

Timor sighted.

Arrival at Koepang.

The appearance of the country is totally changed, being very low, and mostly sand hills.

Landed on an island, and gathered (shell fish) oysters and a few clams. Found fine rain water in a hollow of rocks, which again enabled us to fill up our sea store. From the heights of this island I saw a small key to the N. W. b. N. As my situation was too near the main, having discovered at this place the natives to have large cannoes, I again prepared to sail, so as to reach the key before night. At noon dined on oysters and clams, and found the latit'd. of the isl'd 11° 58' 8., long'd., 144° 29' E.

June 1st. --This evening I landed, and spent the night at the key above mentioned. Got a few clams. Some of my people were taken ill with vomitings and dizzyness in their heads, besides a most dreadfull tenesmus afflicted those who had not been to stool since they left the ship, and others since they left Tofoa.

At noon I found the latitude of this key 11° 47' So., long'd. 144° 24' Et.

June 2nd. --This afternoon it came on a strong gale, and my people being still ill I preferred giving them a good night's rest to going to sea. At dawn of day I found them much better. Sailed. Passed several isl'ds. The coast sandy and barren. At noon lat'd. 11° 18' So., 144° 20' Et.

June 3rd. --At night I again stopt on an island, the lat'd. of which is 10° 52' So., long'd. 144° 03' Et., and at dawn of day I again sailed and followed the direction of the coast to the N. W. Saw many islands. At noon I was in the lat'd. 10° 31' So., long'd. 143° 43' Et. I now found I had passed the north part of New Holland. Land woody.

4th. --At 5 o'clock this evening I left New Holland and steered for Timor, the exact lat'd. of which I was not certain of, but I determined to steer for it in the lat'd. of about 9° 30' So.

12. --At 3 o'clock this morning, to the great joy of every person, we discovered Timor bearing W. N. W. At daylight I found I was on the S. E. part of it, and therefore determined to run down on the south side, and to lay to at night lest I might pass any settlement, for I was not certain where the Dutch Governor resided.

14th. --This afternoon, after having passed through a heavy breaking sea and shoal water, I discovered an opening, into which I sailed and anchored at 3 o'clock. Since found to be a bay on the west part of Timor, opposite to Pulo Samon, in the south entrance. The island Rotty being in sight to the S. W. b; S. Saw some Malays. Sent two men after them, who brought several Malays to me, one of whom agreed to show me Coupang and conduct me to the Governor. This being settled, we sailed and

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1789 Oct. 15.

Kindness of the people.

The Governor ill.

An extraordinary voyage.

Miserable beings.

All wants supplied.

Sailing arrangements.

rowed along the east shore, and in the morning, a little before day, I anchored off the town and waited for leave to come on shore.

At daybreak I was desired by a soldier to land, and I was conducted to a gentleman's house, a Capt'n Spikerman, who upon my application requested I would order all my people up to his house that they might receive some nourishment. The town surgeon was sent for (Mr. Max), who gave us every kind assistance in dressing our sores, and all who saw us were ready to contribute to the relief of such poor distressed creatures, one-half of whom could not have lived a week longer, and perhaps not a few days.

The Governor from extreme ill-health was not able to see me just at this time, but he became anxious, and I had it in my power to see him by eleven o'clock. He received me in a most affectionate and peculiar manner of kindness. Orders were instantly given for our accommodation, and I had full power to see my people taken care of.

Thus ended happily, through the assistance of Divine Providence, without accident, a voyage of the most extraordinary nature that ever happened in the world, let it be taken in its extent, duration, and so much want of the necessaries of life.

For any one to conceive the picture of such poor miserable beings as we were, let him fancy that in his house he is in the moment of giving relief to 18 men, whose ghastly countenances (but from the known cause) would be equally liable to affright as demand pity; let him view their limbs full of sores and their bodies nothing but skin and bones habited in rags; and at last let him conceive he sees the tears of joy and gratitude flowing o'er their cheeks at their benefactor. With what a mixture of horror, surprise, and pity will his mind be then agitated. So felt the people of Timor on giving us relief.

The Governor's 24 ill health occasioned my transactions to be with a Mr. Timotheus Wanjon, the second in power at this place. Of him I was supplied w'th whatever I was in want. The surgeon, Mr. Max, attended daily our sick, our own surgeon being incapable, and in a short time our health began to improve.

I found in the road three vessels that were to sail for Batavia about the latter part of September, but their loading became so unexpectedly tedious that it amounted to a certainty, if I remained to go with them, I should be too late at Batavia to sail for Europe in the October fleet, in which case I must remain

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1789 Oct. 15.

A vessel purchased

Financial arrangements.

Death of Mr. Nelson.

A faithful officer.

Departure for Batavia.

there untill January in the most unhealthy time of the year to get a passage in some of our China ships. I therefore determined to hire or purchase a vessel to take us away, and gave publick notice of my intention. Several offers were made to me, the lowest of which was that they stated the voyage to them to be equal to seven months, and therefore their price was 850 dollars, because they could not return before the west monsoon set in. As this was the case, I considered a purchase to be vastly preferable, and on the 1st July I bought a vessel for 1,000 rix dollars, and called her the Resource.

I now presented a short account of my voyage to the Governor, Mr. Van Este, with a description list of the pirates, and requested, in his Majesty's name, that orders might be given to all their settlements to take them if they appeared. I also made application for certain sums of money, or for the Governor to take upon him to pay my accounts, for which I would give bills on the Commissioners of his Majesty's Navy and Victualling; but a great demur now took place. However, Mr. Wanjon 25 at last took it upon himself and paid or advanced the money out of his private fortune, which the Governor did not like to advance on the East India Company's account.

On the 20th July. --This day died of an inflamatory fever Mr. David Nelson. 26 He had just recovered strength sufficient to go about the country, when, by laying aside some warm cloathing he had worn for a considerable time, he caught a severe cold.

As a tribute justly due to him, I have to say he was ever diligent in his busyness, and it always was his desire to forward my directions for the good of the service we were on. He was also equally serviceable and spirited in my voyage here, in the course of which he always gave me pleasure by conducting himself with resolution and obedience to my orders. I regret his loss very much.

On the 19th August I was ready for sea, and having finished all my busyness and informed the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty of my proceedings, I waited only for the tide to get out of the river.

On the 20th I sailed. I left the Governor, Mr. Van Este, at the point of death.

I beg leave to acquaint their Lordships that the greatest kindness and attention has been shown to us while here by Mr. Timotheus Wanjon, who seconded every friendly wish of the Governor with real services, and will ever deserve our gratefull thanks.

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1789 Oct. 15.

The kindness of the town surgeon.


Sourabaya. Samarang.

Arrival at Batavia.

The schooner to be sold.

The surgeon of the town, Mr. Max, has also been ever attentive to my sick people, and has daily and hourly attended them with great care, for which I could not get him to render me any account or other answer than that he thought it his duty.

I find the situation of the Fort of Coupang to be 10° 12' S., longd. 127° 09' Et.; by the Dutch, 10° 11' So., 121° 51' Et. of Green'ch.

On the 30th August I passed through Streights Mangaryue, on the west end of the Island Flores, 4° 00' west of Coupang, latitude south part Streights 8° 50' S., and of the north 8° 30' So.

On the 7th Sept'r passed the N. E. part of Java, and I determined to touch at the different principal settlements of the Dutch along the north side of this island.

On the 10th, after some little difficulty, I found out the settlement of Passourwang, and here I received great civility and refreshment from a Captain Van Reyck, the Resident, who told me he could not allow me to be longer there than one day.

On the 12th I sailed for Sourabya.

On the 13th anchored in Sourabya Road. Received great civility and refreshment here from Mr. Anthony Barkay, the Premier of this town, who, fearfull of my meeting with pirates, ordered me four prows to see me safe to Samarang.

On the 17th sailed from Sourabya.

On the 23rd anchored at Samarang. Here I was obliged to get a new mainmast, and, being refitted, I sailed on the 26th for Batavia, with one prow in company to defend us against piratical vessels, which, it is said, the coast is very much infested with. At this place the Governor of Java resides.

On the 2nd October I anchored in Batavia Road, and I landed about 4 in the afternoon. At 5 the Governor-General received me with much politeness and civility. I presented to him an account of the loss of his Majesty's ship, with a description of the pirates, and requested in his Majesty's name that directions might be given to their different settlements to take them if they appeared. I requested leave to sell his Majesty's schooner that I commanded by publick sale; that I might have my people and officers taken care of while here; and that his Excellency would direct and give orders for me to be received on board the first ship that sailed for Europe. I received the fullest assurances that every thing should be done that possibly could for my accommodation, and that my petition would be presented in the morning to the Council. In the morning my request was granted, and I ordered the vessel to come into the river. I had now one man ill of fever and flux, and two invalids, who I directed to be sent to the country hospital, about 4 miles from town.

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1789 Oct. 15.

Fever. Sailing


The schooner sold.

Examination as to the mutiny.

News sent to India.

Departure for the Cape.

It was with great difficulty I got through what I had to do for those who were with me, when I was attacked with violent fever and headache, and my life became in emminent danger. On the 7th I was removed out to the Physician-General's house, and the fever abated.

On the 9th I applied to the Governor-General to allow me and my people to depart for Europe in the packet that was to sail in the course of a week or ten days, when I was informed his Excellency could not send us all in one ship; but that as the physician had informed him of the risk I run by remaining at Batavia being very great, he consented for me, with two others, to have a passage, altho it was contrary to orders that the packet should carry any passengers.

The 10th Octr. the schooner was put up at publick sale, and sold only for 295 rix dollars. Died, Thos. Hall.

On the 11th I was charged in an account as a tax for sale of the schooner, but I refused paying any tax; it was therefore no longer demanded.

I now found myself so debilitated that I determined to sail in the packet. My people and officers were to be put into different ships. It therefore only rested whether I was to sail first or last.

The Sabandar 27 brought me word on the 12th that the Governor and Council had considered it absolutely necessary to their being possessed of full powers to detain the ship and men belonging to his Britannick Majesty; 28 that my officers and men should be sworn and examined as from a requisition on my part. I could have no objection.

On the 15th the officers and men attended at the Stadt House and were examined and sworn to the cause and loss of his Majesty's ship, a copy of which was sent to me.

As it is impossible to say where a set of piratical people may go, I thought it proper to acquaint his Excellency Lord Cornwallis 29 with the loss of his Majesty's ship, and sent him a description list of the pirates.

I now gave the master written orders how to proceed, and left with him the amount of the sale of the schooner, with orders to give in advance one month's pay to every one except himself and surgeon; and to see that such money was laid out in warm clothing, to pass the Cape with. Mr. John Samuel (clerk) and John Smith (seaman) I directed to go in the packet w'th me.

On the 16th October I embarked on board the Vlydt packet, Peter Couvret, commander, and sailed. 30


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1789 Oct. 15.

List of the mutineers.

Description list of the pirates remaining on board his Majesty's armed vessel Bounty, on the 28th April, 1789.

Fletcher Christian, mas'r mate; aged 24 years; 5 feet 9 inches high; very dark complexion; dark-brown hair; strong made; a star tatowed on his left breast; backside tatowed; a little bow-legged; he is subject to a violent perspiration in his hands, so that he soils any thing he handles.

George Stewart, mid.; aged 23 years; 5 feet 7 inches high; good complexion; dark hair; slender made; narrow-chested and long neck; on his left breast is tatowed a star, and also one on the left arm, on which likewise is tatowed a heart with darts; tatowed on the backside; very small features.

Peter Heywood, mid.; aged 17 years; 5 feet 7 inches high; fair complexion; light-brown hair; well proportioned; very much tatowed, and on the right leg is tatowed the legs of Man, as the impression of that coin is; at this time he had not done growing; he speaks with the Isle of Man accent.

Edward Young, mid.; aged 22 years; 5 feet 8 inches high; dark complexion, and rather a bad look; dark-brown hair; strong made; has lost several of his fore teeth, and those that remain are all rotten; a small mole on the left side of the throat, and on the right arm is tatowed a heart and dart through it, with E. Y. underneath, and the date of the year 1788 or 1789, we are not sure.

Charles Churchill, ship's corporal; aged 30 years; 5 feet 10 inches high; fair complexion; short light-brown hair; bald-headed; strong made; the fore-finger of his left hand crooked, and the hand shows the mark of a severe scald; tatowed in several parts of the body.

James Morrison, boatsw's mate; aged 28 years; 5 feet 8 inches high; sallow complexion; long black hair; slender made; lost the use of the 1st joint of the fore-finger of his right hand; tatowed with star under his left breast, and a garter round his left leg with the motto: "Honi soit qui mal y pense"; has been wounded in one of his arms w'th a musquet ball.

John Mills, gunner's mate; aged 40 years; 5 feet 10 inches high; fair complexion; light-brown hair; a strong raw-boned man; a scar in his right armpit occasioned by an abcess.

John Millward, A. B.; aged 22 years; 5 feet 5 inches high; brown complexion; dark hair; strong made; tatowed under the pit of the stomach with a Taoomy or breast-plate of Otaheite.

Matthew Thompson, A. B.; aged 40 years; 5 feet 8 inches high; very dark complexion; short black hair; slender made; has lost the joint of his great toe of his right foot; is tatowed.

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1789 Oct. 15.

Wm. Mickoy, A. B.; aged 25 years; 5 feet 6 inches high; fair complexion; light brown hair; strong made; a scar where he has been stabbed in the belly; a small scar under his chin; is tatowed.

Matthew Quintal; aged 21 years; 5 feet 5 inches high; fair complexion; light brown hair; strong made; very much tatowed; tatowed on the backside and other places.

Jno. Sumner; aged 24 years; 5 feet 8 inches high; fair complexion; brown hair; slender made; a scar upon the left cheek, and tatowed in several places.

Thomas Burkitt; aged 26 years; 5 feet 9 inches high; fair complexion; very much marked with small pox; brown hair; well made, and very much tatowed.

Isaac Martin; aged 30 years; 5 feet 11 inches high; sallow complexion; short brown hair; raw-boned; tatowed on his left breast with a star.

Wm. Muspratt; aged 30 years; 5 feet 6 inches high; dark complexion; brown hair; slender made; very strong black beard; scared under his chin; tatowed in several places of his body.

Henry Hilbrant; aged 25 years; 5 feet 7 inches high; fair complexion; sandy hair; very strong made; his left arm shorter than the right, having been broke; is an Hanoverian, and speaks bad English. He is tatowed in several places.

Alexander Smith; aged 22 years; 5 feet 5 inches high; brown complexion; brown hair; strong made; pitted with the small pox; very much tatowed; scar on his right foot.

John Williams; aged 25 years; 5 feet 5 inches high; dark complexion; black hair; slender made; a scar on the back part of his head; is a native of Guernsey, and speaks French; is tatowed.

Richd. Skinner; aged 22 years; 5 feet 8 inches high; fair complexion; light brown hair; very well made; scars on both ankles and on his right shin; is tatowed; and by trade a hair dresser.

Thos. Ellison; aged 17 years; 5 feet 3 inches high; fair complexion; dark hair; strong made; has got his name tatowed on his right arm, and dated Oct'r 25th, 1788.

Wm. Brown, botanist assistant; aged 27 years; 5 feet 8 inches high; fair complexion; dark brown hair; rather slender made; a remarkable scar on one of his cheeks, which contracts the eye lid and runs down to his throat, occasioned by the King's Evil; is tatowed.

Michl. Byrne; aged 28 years; 5 feet 6 inches high; fair complexion, and is almost blind; plays the fidle; has the mark of an issue in the back of his neck.

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1789 Oct. 15.

Joseph Coleman, armourer; aged 40 years; 5 feet 6 inches high; fair complexion; grey hair; strong made; a heart tatowed on one of his arms. This man declared to me publickly when I was in the boat that he knew nothing of the transaction, and begged of me to remember he told me of it, and that he was kept against his consent.

Thos. M'Intosh, carpt's crew; aged 28 years; 5 feet 6 inches high; fair complexion; light brown hair; slender made; pitted by the small pox.

Charles Norman, carp, mate; aged 26 years; 5 feet 9 inches high; fair complexion; light brown hair; slender made; pitted by the small pox, and has a remarkable motion with his head and eyes.

These two last, M'Intosh and Norman, declared as Coleman had done. Michl. Byrne, I was told, had no knowledge of what was doing.


Oct. 13. Illness.

Account of the voyage.

An unfortunate enterprise.


Dear SIR, -- Batavia, October 13, 1789.

I am now so ill that it is with the utmost difficulty I can write to you; but as I hope to be in England before you can receive it, the necessary information which perhaps may be omitted in this letter will be of no consequence.

I have, however, for your satisfaction, enclosed to you a short account of my voyage. 32 It is nearly a copy of what I have given to the Governor of Coupang 33 and the Governor-General here, because my weak habit of body at present will not allow me to do more.

You will now, sir, with all your generous endeavors for the publick good, see an unfortunate end to the undertaking; and I feel very sensibly how you will receive the news of the failure of an expedition that promised so much. The anxious and miserable hours I have past is beyond my description; but while I have health the strange vissicitude of human affairs can never affect me. Unhappily, I have lost it at present, for on my ar-

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1789 Oct. 13.

An extraordinary crime.

Bligh courts inquiry.

Banks's recommendation.

No warning.

The crew in perfect health.

The plants before everything.

The motive for the mutiny.

Equipment insufficient.

rival here I was seized with a fever, which, fixing in my head, it made me almost distracted; but I am now better, and am to sail in the packet on Thursd. next, which will save my life.

You will find that the ship was taken from me in the most extraordinary manner, and I presume to say it could not have been done in any other way. I can, however, sir, promise to you that my honor and character is without a blemish, and I shall appear as soon as I possibly can before the Admiralty that my conduct may be enquired into, and where I shall convince the world I stand as an officer despising mercy and foregiveness if my conduct is at all blameable.

Had I been accidentally appointed to the command the loss of the ship would give me no material concern; but when I reflect that it was through you, sir, who undertook to assert I was fully capable, and the eyes of every one regarding the progress of the voyage, and perhaps more with envy than with delight, I cannot say but it affects me considerably. To those, however, who may be disposed to blame, let them see I had in fact completed my undertaking. What man's situation could be so peculiarly flattering as mine 12 hours before the loss of the ship? Everything was in the most perfect order, and we were well stored with every necessary both for service and health. By early attention to those particulars I acted against the power of chance in case I could not get through Endeavour Straights, as well as against any accident that might befall me in them; and to add to this, I had most successfully got my plants in a most flourishing and fine order, so that upon the whole the voyage was f over, and the remaining part no way doubtfull. Every person was in the most perfect health, to establish which I had taken the greatest pains, and bore a most anxious care through the whole course of the voyage.

I even rejected carrying stock for my own use, and throwing away the hencoops and every convenience, I roofed a place over the quarter-deck and filled it with plants, which I looked at with delight every day of my life.

I can only conjecture that the pirates (among whom is poor Nelson's assistant) have ideally assured themselves of a more happy life among the Otaheiteans than they could possibly have in England, which, joined to some female connections, has most likely been the leading cause of the whole busyness.

If I had been equipped with more officers and marines the piracy could never have happened.

I arrived here on the 1st instant, and sollicited the Governor-General to be allowed a passage in the first ship that sailed for Europe, but he has told me that he could not possibly send us

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1789 Oct. 13.

all in one ship, and has consented, as granting me a favor, to be allowed to go in the packet, for the physician-general has represented my life in danger if I remained here.

I am, &c,

The Bounty described.



To take the bread-fruit-tree to the West Indies.




ON the 16th August, 1787, I received my commission to command his Majesty's armed vessel Bounty (for that was her establishment), and to fit her out with the utmost despatch for remote parts.

The burthen of this ship was nearly two hundred and fifteen tons, her extreme length on deck 90 ft. 10 in., and breadth from outside to outside of the bends 24 ft. 3 in., a flush deck, and a pretty figure-head of a woman in a riding-habit.

The complement of men and officers:--

1 lieutenant and commander
1 master
1 boatswain
1 gunner
1 carpenter
1 surgeon
2 master's mates
2 midshipmen
1 clerk
2 quarter-masters
1 qr.-master's mate
1 boatswain's mate
1 gunner's mate
1 carpenter's mate
1 sailmaker
1 armourer
1 corporal
1 carpenter's crew
24 able seamen
45, total.

Out of the number 45 is one borne not actually on board, his pay going to the support of widows, so that the real number on board were 44 seamen and officers, likewise one botanist and an assistant, the whole being 46.

On the 4th October I was fully victualled and stored for 18 months, and on the 20th Novemr., 1787, I received my final orders to proceed on my voyage, the purport of which was as follows:--

The King, upon a representation from his subjects in the West Indies that the introduction of the bread-fruit-tree among them would be of universal good to constitute an article of food, and that such having been signified to be his Majesty's pleasure unto the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty by Lord Sydney, one of his Principal Secretaries of State, I was therefore directed to sail forthwith round Cape Horn for the Society Islands, in latitude about 18° S. and longitude 210° east of Greenwich, and there, with the necessary articles I was furnished

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Failure to round Cape Horn.

Cape of Good Hope.

Van Diemen's Land.

New Zealand.


with, to procure of the natives as many plants as I could stow on board the ship.

Having completed this, I was to proceed through Endeavour Streights (which seperate New Guinea from New Holland), and from thence to Prince's Island, in the Streights of Sunda, leaving to my discretion to touch at Java or any other island for refreshment and water as I might think most proper.

From Prince's Island I was to proceed discretionally to St. Vincent's, one of the Windward Islands, and depositing one-half of my plants there, I was to go immediat'ly to Jamaica, and having given the remainder there to persons appointed to receive them, I was then, with such plants as were directed by his Majesty to be put on board, to return to England.

This was the sole design of my voyage, to complete which I sailed from Spithead on the 23rd December, 1787.

On the 23rd March, 1788, I doubled Staten Land, 35 and attempted to make my passage round Cape Horn, between the latitude of 59° S. and 61° S., but I met with such dreadfull tempestuous weather and mountainous seas, with hail and snow storms, that altho' I tryed it for 30 days I could not accomplish it.

I therefore (as my people were getting ill, and I had the honor to have the most discretionary orders to do as I thought best for the good of the voyage) determined to bear away for the Cape of Good Hope on the 22nd of April, and repassed Staten Land the next day.

On the 24th May anchored at the Cape of Good Hope, and having refitted and completed my stores and provisions, I sailed on the 1st July, 1788, arrived at Van Diemen's Land on the 20th August, and having completed wooding and watering, I sailed from thence the 4th September.

On the 19th September, after having past the south part of New Zealand, I discovered very dangerous rocky islets never known before. They extend 3 1/2 miles east and west, and 1 1/2 north and south. They lie from the Traps, off the south end of New Zealand, so. 89 east, distant 146 leagues. Their latitude is 47° 44' 30" so.; longitude, 179° 09' east.

On the 26th October I anchored in Matavai Bay, Otaheite; sailed the 25th December, and anchored in Toahroah Harbour, 3 miles distance from the bay. I remained here untill the 4th April, when I sailed with 1,015 bread-fruit plants and many fruit kind, in all 774 pots, 39 tubs, and 24 boxes. Latitude of this harbour, 17° 31' 26" S.; longitude, p'r observ'n, sun and moon, and stars each side of the moon, 210° 31' 37" E.; variation compass, 5° 31' E.

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Kindness of King and people.

An island discovered.

Savage Island.

The Friendly Islands.


The mutiny.

Capt. Bligh seized and bound.

The mutineers in possession.

I left these happy islanders in much distress, for the utmost affection, regard, and good fellowship remained among us during my stay. The King and all the Royal family were allways my guests, and their good sense and observations, joined with the most engaging dispositions in the world, will ever make them beloved by all who become acquainted with them as friends.

On the 12th April I discover'd an island, called by the natives Whytootackee, whose chief was named Comackaiah, as I was informed by people in a cannoe that came off to me. Their language seemed to prove them nearly the same people as at Otaheite. This island is about ten miles in circuit, in latitude 18° 52' S. It has eight small keys, lying joined by a reef to the S. S. E. of it, and one to the W. S. W. The southermost key lies in latitude 18° 58' S.; the longitude by observation is 200° 19' east of Greenwich; variation compass, 8° 14' E.

On the 18th of April I saw Savage Island, in 19° 02' S., and longitude, by my observation, 190° 18' E. of Greenwich.

On the 21st of April I made the Friendly Islands, and on the 23rd following I anchored in Annamoca Road (called by Tasman, Rotterdam). On the 26th, having completed my water and got on board some wood, I sailed.

This island lies in latitude 20° 16' S., 185° 30' E.

On the 28th of April, in the morning, the N. W.'most of the Friendly Islands, called Tofoa, bore N. E. ten leagues, and I had directed my course to the W. N. W., with a ship in most perfect order, and all my plants in a most flourishing condition, all my men and officers in good health, and, in short, everything to. natter and insure my most sanguine expectations and success.

But I am now to relate one of the most atrocious and consumate acts of piracy ever committed.

At dawn of day Fletcher Christian, officer of the watch, Charles Churchill, ship's corporal, Thomas Burkitt, seaman, and several others came into my cabbin, and while I was asleep seized and tyed my hands behind my back with a strong cord, and with cutlasses and a bayonet fixed at my breast threatened instant death if I spoke or made the least noise. I, nevertheless, called out so loud that everyone heard me, and were flying to my assistance; but all my officers, except those concerned, were kept in their cabbins by armed centinels, and the arm-chest was in their possession. I was now hauled upon deck in my shirt, and hands tyed behind me, held by Fletcher Christian and Charles Churchill, with a bayonet at my breast, and two men, Alex. Smith and Thomas Burkitt, behind me with loaded musquets cocked and bayonets fixed. Under this guard I was kept abaft the mizenmast. The different hatchways were all guarded by armed men in the same manner, and those who were to be sent out of

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A boat lowered.

Books and papers retained.

Officers and men forced into the boat.

Cast adrift.

Sheltering under the land.

Looking for water

the ship, and some of the mutineers who could be spared, hoisted the boats out. Among these was the boatswain, who, with some others, got sails, twine, rope, grapnel, and a small cask of water into the boat, about which there were many altercations among the mutinous crew, and exerting myself in speaking loud to try if I could rally any with a sense of duty in them, I was saluted with, "Damn his eyes! blow his brains out."

Being confined and kept apart from everyone, Mr. Samuel, my clerk, secured to me a quadrant and compass, some cloaths, my journals, and a few material ship's papers; but all my valuable instruments, with a timepiece of three hundred and fifty guineas value, a valuable collection of books, maps, and drawings, with all my remarks and observations for fifteen years past, were kept from me. He also secured about one hundred and fifty pounds of bread.

The officers and men being now drove into the boat one by one, I was told by Christian, "Sir, your officers are now in the boat, and you must go with them." I was then taken hold of under a guard, and forced over the gangway into the boat, which waited only for me, and untying my hands, I was veer'd astern by a rope. A few pounds of pork were now thrown to us, being nineteen in number; and each began to sollicit some of their little valuables that were left behind them. I desired only some firearms, and even at last sollicited two, but we received insolence, and were told I should have none. Four cutlasses were, however, thrown into the boat, and we were cast adrift, and rowed with all our strength for the land.

The size of the boat was 23 feet from stem to stern, and rowed six oars, and was so deeply lumbered, that they believed we could never reach the shore, and some of them made their jokes of it. However, by 7 o'clock in the evening I got safe under Tofoa, but could find no landing, and therefore kept the boat under the land all night, paddling with two oars to preserve our station.

29th. --Endeavouring to find landing, to increase our stock of water and to get some cocoanuts and provisions.

30th. --Found landing at the N. W. part of the island, in a cove, latitude 19° 41' S., as I observed it. Went in search of water, but found only a few quarts in holes of the rocks; suffered much fatigue and distress. I should now have proceeded, as I intended, for some of the islands where I had a knowledge of the chiefs, for I was well acquainted here, but the wind and sea was too stormy to venture out. Part of us slept in the boat, and others, with myself, on shore, and as we saw no natives we felt our distress the more, because we wanted not to use any of our own stock.

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Food from the natives.

The natives hostile.

An attack.

Stoned by the natives.


1st May. --Party out as yesterday, and found out the residence of the natives, who brought supplies of cocoanuts and breadfruit, besides shells of water, all of which I bought for buttons which we cut off our cloaths. They all left us at sundown. W'r so windy could not proceed to sea.

2nd. --In the morning two cheifs--Eegyeefow, and the other Maccaacabou--came down; also two cannoes came in, and another chief, called Vageetee, and having enquired our situation and my determination to proceed to Paulehow, their king (Eegyeefow) agreed as soon as it moderated to go with me. This readiness gave me pleasure, but in a few hours I had as much uneasyness. The natives began to be very troublesome, and shewed signs of hostilities towards us. We, however, thought they would go off at sundown, as they had done before, and that then I could leave the place without any risk, but it proved to the contrary, for three cannoes were now come in, and places were fixed on for their residence during the night and fires made.

I therefore determined to do our best while it was light, and directed some provisions we had bought to be put in the boat. The cheifs desired I would stay, notwithstanding they perceived that I saw all their people were arming with clubs and stones. We were now all on the go, and taking one of the cheifs by the hand, with a cutlass in the other, and my people with sticks, we proceeded down to the boat, when we were attacked by a multitude of Indians, in the course of which I lost a very worthy good man, 36 and the rest of us more or less bruized and wounded.

As I hauled out to our grapnel I hoped they could no longer annoy us, but here I was mistaken, for they launched their cannoes and gave battle to us, or rather stoned us, untill I got a league from the land. I could not return their salute but with such stones as lodged in the boat. I therefore, as the only thing left for to save our lives, exhorted everyone to persevere in rowing, and throwing overboard some cloaths, which beguiled them and they lost time in taking up, together with the night coming on, we very miraculously escaped. Taking this as a real sample of their natural disposition, there were little hopes to expect much where I was going, for I considered their good behaviour hitherto owing to a dread of our firearms, which now knowing us to have none would not be the case, and that supposing our lives were safe, our boat, compass, and quadrant would all be taken from me, and thereby I should not be able to return to my King and country to give an account of the transaction.

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One ounce of bread per day.

Bound for Timor.


Cause of the mutiny.

Attractions at Otaheite

Powerful ties.


A good opportunity.

I was now sollicited by every person to take them towards home, and when I told them no hopes of releif remained for us but what I might find at New Holland untill I came to Timor, a distance of 1,200 leagues, where there was a Governor, but that I had no idea at what part of the island the settlement was, they all agreed to live on one ounce of bread per day and one gill of water.

I therefore, after reccommending this promise for ever to their memory, bore away for New Holland, and from thence to Timor, a distance of 1,200 leagues accross a sea where navigation is dangerous and not known, and in a small boat deep loaded with eighteen souls, without a single map, and nothing but my own reccollection and general knowledge of the situation of places, assisted by a table in an old book of latitude and longitude, to guide me.

Our stock of provisions at first consisted of 150 pounds of bread (part of which afterwards got damaged and lost), 28 gallons of water, 20 pounds of pork, 3 bottles of wine, and 5 quarts of rum.

It may be asked what could be the cause for such a revolution. In answer to which I have only to give a description of Otaheite, which has every allurement both to luxury and ease, and is the Paradise of the world.

The women are handsome and mild in their manners and conversation, with sufficient delicacy to make them admired and beloved, and the cheifs have acquired such a liking to our people that they rather have encouraged their stay among them than otherwise, and even made promises of large possessions to them.

Under these and many other attendant circumstances equally desireable, is it to be now wondered at that a set of sailors void of connections (or, if they have any, not possessed of natural feelings sufficient to wish themselves never to be seperated from them) should be led by such powerful tyes.

But equal to this, what a temptation is it to such wretches when they find it in their power (however illegally it can be got at) to fix themselves in the midst of plenty in the finest island in the world, where they need not labour, and where the allurements of disipation are more than equal to anything that can be conceived.

Desertions have happened more or less in every ship that has been at the Society Isles, but it has ever been in the commander's power to make the cheifs return their people. They therefore knew such a plan could never succeed, and perhaps suggested that never so small a ship and so elligible an opportunity would offer to them again.

1   Post, p. 53.
2   Women from the Islands. This part of the plan was not carried out.
3   The King's Speech (George III.) read at the opening of Parliament, on the 23rd January, 1787, contained the following passage: "A plan has been formed, by my direction, for transporting a number of convicts in order to remove the inconvenience which arose from the crowded state of the gaols in different parts of the kingdom; and you will, I doubt not, take such further measures as may be necessary for this purpose."
4   Ante, p. 50.
5   Ante, p. 53.
6   Although this proposal is not dated, the contents indicate that it was written during the period which intervened between the recognition of American Independence (1783) and the decision to found a settlement at Botany Bay (1786). It will be noticed that it has much in common with the proposals of Matra and Young, pp. 36 and 45. The original is preserved amongst the records of the Home Office.
7   This was probably one of the reasons why so explicit a direction was given to Governor Phillip to settle Norfolk Island.
8   Phillip's handwriting, on small sheets of paper.
9   The MS. is continued, on foolscap, in another hand--evidently a copy of Phillip's paper.
10   Renamed the Sirius.
11   The petitioners were ignorant of the fact that this island had been taken possession of by Lieutenant King, and a settlement planted there, three months before the date of their application.
12   In other despatches the name is given as Von Graaffe.
13   The enclosures are not recorded.
14   Alexander, Prince of Wales, Friendship, and Borrowdale.

Captain Hunter did not sight the South Cape on this occasion. In his Historical Journal, published in London in 1793, p. 95, when describing this trip, he says:--

"On the 12th, we passed the South Cape of New Zealand, but the weather being very hazy and squally, we did not attempt to make it, but kept a degree and a half to the southward of it; here we met with vast numbers of birds of various kinds, mostly aquatic, such as albatrosses, pentada birds, divers, peterels, and a variety of gulls; some of a kind I had not before seen during the voyage, very large, of a dark brown or mouse colour; and another sort not quite so large, with a white body, dark wings, and the head of a light blue or lead colour. Much seaweed was also seen here in very large patches. We now had the wind fresh from the north-west quarter, with frequent squalls, attended with rain, and the weather cold. We found the variation of the compass 40 leagues south-south-east from the South Cape of New Zealand, to be 16° 54' east." [THE EDITOR.]
15   Scarborough, Charlotte, and Lady Penrhyn.
16   Hunter was sent to the Cape for supplies.
17   The following is the account of the discovery of these islands given by Bligh in his "Voyage of the Bounty" (1792), pp. 55 and 56 [The Editor]:--

"On the 14th, at noon, we were in 49° 24' S. latitude, and in 168° 3' E. longitude, which is on the same meridian with the south end of New Zealand. We altered our course, steering to the northward of east, and frequently saw rock-weed, which I supposed to have drifted from New Zealand. The sea now became rougher, from our being exposed to a long swell, which came from the N. E.

"On the 19th, at daylight, we discovered a cluster of small rocky islands, bearing east by north four leagues distant from us. We had seen no birds, or anything to indicate the nearness of land, except patches of rock-weed, for which the vicinity of New Zealand sufficiently accounted. The wind being at N. E. prevented our near approach to these isles; so that we were not less than three leagues distant in passing to the southward of them. The weather was too thick to see distinctly; their extent was only 3 1/2 miles from east to west, and about half a league from north to south; their number, including the smaller ones, was thirteen. I could not observe any verdure on any of them: there were white spots like patches of snow; but, as Captain Cook, in describing the land of New Zealand, near Cape South, says, in many places there are patches like white marble, it is probable that what we saw might be of the same kind as what he had observed. The westernmost of these islands is the largest; they are of sufficient height to be seen at the distance of seven leagues from a ship's deck. When the easternmost bore north I tried for soundings, being then 10 miles distant from the nearest of them, and found bottom at 75 fathoms, a fine white sand: and again at noon, having run six leagues more to the E. S. E., we had soundings at 104 fathoms, a fine brimstone-coloured sand. The latitude of these islands is 47° 44' S.; their longitude 179° 7' E., which is about 145 leagues to the east of the Traps, near the south end of New Zealand. Variation of the compass here, 17° E. While in sight of the islands, we saw some penguins, and a white kind of gull with a forked tail. Captain Cook's track, in 1773 was near this spot, but he did not see the islands: he saw seals and penguins hereabouts, but considered New Zealand to be the nearest land. I have named them after the ship, the Bounty Isles."
18   Rocks forming small islands. From Cayos (Sp.).
19   Note in MS. --Clerk.
20   Note in MS. --Nageetee.
21   Quartermaster Norton.
22   Post pp. 90-92.
23   Died at Batavia.
24   Note in MS. --Wm. Adriaan Van Este.
25   Note in MS. --Second here.
26   Botanist to the expedition.
27   Shebander.
28   The Bounty and her piratical crew.
29   The Governor-General of India.
30   For the Cape of Good Hope, en route to England.
31   After the seizure of the Bounty by mutineers, Bligh, with the master, surgeon, two quarter-masters, two midshipmen, the botanist, the clerk, and ten of the crew, were placed on board one of the ship's boats, which arrived at Koepang, a Dutch settlement on Timor Island, after a perilous voyage of 3,600 miles, on the 15th June, 1789. From Koepang, Bligh found his way to Batavia, and afterwards to England, via the Cape of Good Hope.
32   Post, pp. 94-104.
33   Now spelt Koepang or Kupang.
34   This letter was sent to Sir Joseph Banks on October 13, 1789. Ante, p. 92.
35   Staten Island.
36   The Quarter-master, John Norton.

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