Gallery 2

Ships of the First Fleet

(click on thumbnails for a medium-sized image AND click again to see the FULL-Sized image)

 

On Sunday, 13th May 1787, eleven small ships, under the command of Commander in Chief Arthur Phillip, carrying a total of 1,787 people, set sail from Portsmouth, England, on an epic voyage of over 13,000 miles (24,000kms) which founded the nation of Australia. On the afternoon of Friday, 18th January 1788, 252 days after leaving Portsmouth, the 70 foot long brig, HMS Supply, led the rest of the fleet into Botany Bay, which was suggested by Captain James Cook as a suitable place to start a settlement in Australia. After finding Botany Bay unsuitable for settlement, On January 21st, Commander Phillip and Second Lieutenant, Philip Gidley King decided to take three long boats and explore Port Jackson, which was noted by Capt Cook as he sailed past there in 1770. Needless to say they found paradise. Philip, King, and their crew arrived back in Botany Bay on the evening of the 23rd, and then spent the next day packing up, and prepare for the trip to Port Jackson on first light the following morning. On January 25th, A strong south easterly wind delayed their departure, with only the HMS Supply managing to get through the heads of Botany Bay. She dropped anchor in Sydney Cove around 7pm. The rest of the fleet dropped anchor there during the afternoon on 26th January, completing this epic voyage. A celebration was held that evening with most of the personnel agreeing that this was the most beautiful and safest harbour in the world.

# 13 HMS SIRIUS – The Flagship

*Limited Edition Print from the original Acrylic painting

Built in 1780 as the ‘Berwick’ for the East India trade. She was then bought by the Royal Navy in 1786 renamed HMS ‘Sirius’.

After her arrival in Port Jackson, she remained based in Australia as a supply ship, and sailed to Cape Town in October 1788 to obtain food supplies for the starving colony. After returning, she was wrecked in a gale off Norfolk Island in 1807

Specifications : 540 Tons, 110 ft long, 32 ft beam. Skippered by Captain John Hunter. Carried 160 people in the First Fleet journey.

# 14 HMS SUPPLY – Naval Tender

*Limited Edition Print from the original Acrylic painting

Little is known of this brig’s early history. It seems that she was built in the USA about 1759. She was commissioned by the Admiralty in October, 1786.

She was the smallest ship in the fleet, but the fastest, she led the fleet during most of the arduous voyage. The ‘Supply’ also remained as one of the colony’s ships, and was broken up in Port Jackson in 1807.

Specifications : 170 tons, 75 ft long, 26ft beam. Skippered by Captain Henry Ball. Carried 50 people in the journey.

# 15 ALEXANDERConvict Transport

*Limited Edition Print from the original Acrylic painting

Built in Hull in 1783, she was the largest ship in the fleet. Little is known about this vessel after her return to England. She disappeared from records in 1808.

Specifications : 452 tons, 114 ft long, 31 ft beam. Skippered by Master Duncan Sinclair. Carried 195 male convicts.

# 16 PRINCE OF WALES – Convict Transport

*Limited Edition Print from the original Acrylic painting

Built at the Thames in 1786. After her return to England, she operated there until 1797, when her registration was transferred to Fort Royal, Martinique. Not much is known about her since then.

Specifications : 350 Tons, 103 ft long, 29 ft beam. Skippered by Master John Mason. Carried 1 male and 49 female convicts.

# 17 CHARLOTTE – Convict Transport

*Limited Edition Print from the original Acrylic painting

Built in 1784, where is not known. After her return to England, she was on the London to Jamaica run until she was sold to a Quebec merchant in 1818, and was lost off the coast of Newfoundland the same year.

Specifications : 335 Tons, 105 ft long, 28 ft beam. Skippered by Master Thomas Gilbert. Carried 88 male and 20 female convicts.

# 18 LADY PENRHYN – Convict Transport

*Limited Edition Print from the original Acrylic painting

Built at the Thames in 1786. After returning back to England, she also put on the London to Jamaica run until she was captured by pirates in the West Indies in 1811.

Specifications : 333 Tons, 103 ft long, 27 ft beam. Skippered by Master William Sever. Carried 101 female convicts.

# 19 FRIENDSHIP – Convict Transport

*Limited Edition Print from the original Acrylic print

Little is known about when or where this brig was built. During her return voyage back to England, her crew came down with scurvy, and with insufficient crew to man her, she was scuttled in the Straits of Macassar. The survivors were transferred to the ‘Alexander’.

Specifications : 274 tons. 75ft long. 23ft beam. Skippered by Master Francis Walton. Carried 76 male and 21 female convicts.

# 20 BORROWDALE – Storeship

*Limited Edition Print from the original Acrylic painting

Built in Sunderland in 1785, very little is known of this ship’s history and she disappeared from records after returning to England.

Specifications: 375 Tons, 75 ft long, 22 ft beam. Skippered by Master Readthorn Hobson.

# 21 FISHBURN – Storeship

*Limited Edition Print from the original Acrylic painting

Built at Whitby, Yorkshire, in 1780. Like a lot of these merchant ships, records have not been kept over the years, unlike those of the Admiralty and the Royal Navy, who were very specific in record keeping.

Specifications: 378 tons, 103 ft long, 22ft beam. Skippered by Master Robert Brown.

# 22 SCARBOROUGH – Convict Transport

*Limited Edition Print from the original Acrylic painting

Built at Scarborough, Yorkshire, in 1782. She was the only ship of the First Fleet to sail back to England and return again in the Second Fleet in 1789-90.

Specifications: 430 Tons, 111 ft long, 30 ft beam. Skippered by Master John Marshall. Carried 208 male convicts.

# 23 GOLDEN GROVE – Storeship

*Limited Edition Print from the original Acrylic Painting

Built at Whitby in 1780. The Golden Grove had the distinction of carrying the Reverend Richard Johnson – the first Chaplain to the Colony, and his wife Mary as passengers. This ship returned to England to work on the London – Jamaica run, and disappeared from records after 1804.

Specifications: 375 Tons, 103 ft long, 29 ft beam. Skippered by Master Sharpe

# 24 The First Fleet Ships in Sydney Cove

*Limited Edition Print from the original Acrylic painting

A view from one of the ships looking towards Sydney Cove ( Now Circular Quay) with the HMS Supply on the right.