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The First Fleet 1788 Chart
Publisher: Natural Heritage Enterprises
Other: 56cm x 81cm, flat, colour
Publisher: Natural Haritage Enterprises
With the loss of her American possessions following the American Revolution of 1776, Britain sought to colonize new lands to take care of her burdensome convict problem. The goals and prison hulks were overflowing with convicted criminals. It was announced in the British Parliament on 23 January 1787, that Lord Sydney agreed to send convicts to the new colony of New South Wales. A fleet of eleven ships transporting over 1400 people (780 convicts), left Portsmouth on 13 May 1787 under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip.
The voyage, of over 15,000 miles, took over eight months for the lead ships to reach Botany Bay, eventually arriving on 18 January 1788. This site was deemed unsuitable for settlement and Port Jackson , nine miles further north was chosen instead. A quiet cove with a fresh water supply nearby was the final choice for settlement and named 'Sydney'. The birth of the modern Australian nation can be traced to those hardy survivors of the First Fleet.
A large, flat chart measuring 56cm wide x 81cm high printed on parchment type paper, this is one of a kind. Listing not only each of the vessels carrying convicts and passengers, it even lists the three with stores that also came to Australia with the First Fleet in 1788, but also each of the passengers in alphabetical order under each separate vessel. As well as that, details such as the names of marines and crew on the ships, the list of provisions and livestock that was brought out, and also a list of plants and seeds and other incidentals.