20000 Free eBooks
Library for Free Download eBooks and Read Online

Your last book:

You dont read books at this site.

Total books at library:
about 20000

You can read online and download ebooks for free!

Ebooks by authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 
Hunter, John / An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island
Produced by Col Choat

Italics in the book are enclosed by underscores [_] in the ebook


* * * * *


* * * * *


* * * * *

Printed for John Stockdale, Picadilly
January 1, 1793.

* * * * *



The ships destined for Botany-Bay rendezvous at the Mother-Bank.--Leave
that place, and proceed on the voyage.--The convicts on board one of
the transports attempt an insurrection.--Are timely discovered, and the
ring-leaders punished.--Arrived at Santa Cruz.--Transactions there.--
Attempt of a convict to escape.--Description of Laguna, and the adjacent
country. Departure from Santa Cruz.--Pass Cape Frio.--Arrive at
Rio Janeiro. Transactions there.--City of St. Sebastian described.--Table
of Winds, Weather, etc.


Anchor in Table-Bay.--Refreshments procured there.--Depart
from the Cape of Good Hope.--Captain Phillip quits the Sirius,
and proceeds on the voyage in the Supply.--The Sirius arrives in
Botany-Bay.--Finds the Supply at anchor there.--Arrival of the
Bussole and Astrolabe.--Leave Botany-Bay, and anchor in Port
Jackson.--The Table of Winds, Weather, etc.


Frequent interviews with the natives.--Weapons described.--Ornaments.--
Persons, manners, and habitations.--Method of hunting.--Animals
described.--Birds, and insects.--Diary of the weather.--Departure of
the Bussole and Astrolabe.--A convict pretends to have discovered a gold
mine.--The fraud detected.--Observations for the longitude,


The Sirius leaves Port Jackson.--Sails for the Cape of Good
Hope, by the Eastern Passage.--Falls in with many large islands
of ice.--Casts anchor at Robin's Island.--Tables of the winds,
weather, etc.


Depart from Robin's Island, and anchor in Table Bay.--The sick
sent on shore.--Arrival of the Alexander transport.--Provisions
procured for the settlement at Port Jackson.--Departure of the
Sirius.--In great danger from a violent tempest.--Arrives safe at
Port Jackson.--Tables of the winds, weather, variation of the
compass, etc.


The small-pox makes its appearance among the natives.--Its
fatal effects.--A criminal court held.--Six marines tried and
convicted.--Governor Phillip visits Broken-bay.--Explores its
various inlets.--Returns to Port Jackson. Broken-bay
surveyed.--Botany-bay surveyed.--Two natives brought to the
settlement, and kindly treated.--One of them makes his


The Sirius and Supply sail for Norfolk Island.--Land the
marines and convicts.--Wreck of the Sirius.--Some provisions
saved.--Martial Law established.--Ratio of provisions
settled.--Vast numbers of birds caught.--In distress for
provisions.--Receive a supply from Port Jackson.--Officers and
crew of the Sirius leave Norfolk Island, and arrive at Port
Jackson.--Norfolk Island described.--Its situation and
extent.--Soil.--Climate, etc.--Table of Winds, etc.


Great improvement of the country at Rose Hill.--Vicissitude of
the climate. Norfolk Island remarkably healthy.--A native runs
away from the settlement.--Frequent visits from the
natives.--Governor Phillip wounded by the natives with a
spear.--Natives again visit the settlement.--Entertain the
governor, etc. with a dance.--Decorate themselves for that
purpose. Method of dancing described.--Music and singing.


Captain Hunter leaves Port Jackson in the Waaksamheyd
transport.--In danger amongst some islands.--Isle of Pines
described.--Stewart's islands discovered.--Fall in with Bradley's
shoals.--Discover a cluster of islands.--Name them Lord Howe's
Groupe.--The natives described.--Attempt to find anchorage on the
coast of New-Britain.--Are disappointed.--Anchor at the Duke of
York's island.--Attempt to procure water.--Are attacked by the
natives.--A few shots fired.--The natives dispersed.--A
reconciliation effected.--Natives described.--Weapons.--Ornaments,
etc.--Produce and soil.--Leave the Duke of York's island.--Natives
from the Admiralty islands visit the ship.--Their canoes
described.--Phillip's islands discovered.--Anchor at Hummock
island.--Refreshments procured.--Visited by the Raja.--A quarrel
ensues.--Several of the natives killed.--Articles of barter in
request.--Canoes described.--Leave Hummock island.--Anchor at
Batavia.--Tables of latitude and longitude, etc.


Captain Hunter waits on the Governor at Batavia.--Applies for
a passage to England.--Purchases the Waaksambeyd for that
purpose.--Leaves Batavia.--Passes the Keelings.--Arrives at the
Cape of Good Hope.--Leaves that place, and anchors at Saint
Helena.--Departs from Saint Helena.--Arrives at Portsmouth.--Tables
for the variation of the compass.--Captain Hunter's letter to the
Lords of the Admiralty.


Lieutenant King visits Monsieur De la Peyrouse at
Botany-Bay.--Polit reception there.--An account of his
adventures.--Lieutenant King returns to Port Jackson.--Sent by
Governor Phillip to form a settlement on Norfolk Island.--Leaves
Port Jackson.--An island discovered.--Arrival at Norfolk
Island.--Difficulty in finding a landing-place.--Lands the
convicts, provisions, and stores.--Ground cleared, and tents
fixed.--A store-house erected.--Vegetables, and various sorts of
grain sown.--Distressed by rats.--General orders for the
regulation of the settlement.


Regular employment of the convicts.--Meet with an unlucky
accident.--Thefts detected.--The robbers punished.--Pestered with
rats.--Method of destroying them.--Live stock on the
settlement.--Trees discovered which afford food for hogs.--Some
of the settlers poisoned.--Cured with sweet oil.--A convict
punished for using seditious language.--Birds on the island.
Description of Arthur's Vale.--His Majesty's birth-day
kept.--Flourishing state of the gardens.--Arrival of the
Supply.--Four persons drowned.--Provisions and stores
received.--Queries from Governor Phillip, and the
answers.--Ball-Bay described.--The landing-place
cleared.--Arrival of the Golden Grove transport.--Marines and
convicts brought in the Golden Grove.--Provisions and stores.


Quantity of provisions received by the Golden Grove.--Timber
sent to Port Jackson.--Observations on the navigation near
Norfolk Island.--Number of persons on the settlement.--Nepean and
Phillip Islands described.--Corn reaped.--A party sent to Ball
Bay.--Talk-work of the convicts.--The free people
exercised.--Plot to seize the island discovered.--Orders made
public for the preservation of regularity.--Oath of allegiance
administered.--Provisions and stores examined.


A violent hurricane at Norfolk Island.--Arrival of the
Supply.--Convicts sent from Port Jackson.--Provisions and
stores.--Departure of the Supply.--Robberies
committed.--Employment of the convicts.--Wheat infested with
caterpillars.--A store-house erected.--Arrival of a party of
marines from Port Jackson.--Thefts committed.--Orders read for
preserving regularity.--A female convict punished.--Pernicious
effects of the grub-worm.--Gardens plundered.--A granary
erected.--Wheat destroyed by paroquets.--Number of inhabitants on
the island.


The arrival of the Sirius and Supply at Norfolk-Island.--The
loss of the Sirius.--Captain Hunter and the crew saved.--A
general meeting of the officers convened.--Sundry regulations
adopted.--Martial-Law proclaimed.--Lieutenant-Governor Ross takes
the command.--Lieutenant King leaves Norfolk-Island.--Description
of Norfolk-Island.--Face of the country.--Water--Soil--Climate--Timber--
Insects--Fish--Seasons--Winds--Coast, and Bays.--Present state of
cultivation.--General behaviour of the convicts.--Number of inhabitants
on the island.--Grain and live-stock.--Lieutenant King arrives at
Port Jackson.--Finds the country greatly improved.--Manners and
customs of the natives.--Vocabulary of the language.


Lieutenant King sails for Batavia.--Meets with a dangerous
shoal.--Discovers Tench's-Island.--A description of the
inhabitants.--Prince William-Henry's Island described.--Touches
at Kercolang.--A description of the inhabitants, their cloathing
and utensils.--Passes through the Streights of Salayer.--Arrival
at Batavia.--Interview with the governor.--Batavia
described.--Situation and extent.--Manners and customs of the
inhabitants.--Government and police.--Annual exports.--Departure
from Batavia.--Mortality amongst the sailors.--Arrival at the
Isle of France.--An account of that island.--Sails from the Isle
of France.--Arrival in the English Channel.


The Lady Juliana Transport arrives at Port Jackson.--Loss of
the Guardian.--A settlement made at Sydney-Cove.--A state of the
settlements at Sydney-Cove and Rose-Hill.--A general return of
male convicts, with their employments.


An excursion into the country.--An interview with the
natives.--Governor Phillip wounded with a spear.--A second
interview with the natives.--Occurrences on that occasion.--Five
convicts effect their escape in a boat.--The settlement visited
by the natives.--Their customs.--Arrival of the Supply from


Fruits in season described.--The manners of the natives.--Disputes
with them.--Arrival of a vessel from Batavia.


The depredations of the natives.--Bannelong's behaviour.--The
Supply sails for Norfolk-Island.--The quantity of provisions
brought in the Waaksam-heid from Batavia.--The appearance of a
prodigious number of Bats.--The return of Bannelong.--The manners
of the natives further described.


An excursion into the country.--Occurrences on the
journey.--Surprising dexterity of the natives in climbing
trees.--Their superstition.--Their method of curing
wounds.--Their language.--Their manners and disposition.


A second excursion into the country.--The first grants of land
to settlers.--A barter with the natives established.--The arrival
of several vessels from England.--A new harbour discovered.--The
names of the first settlers.


Arrival of the Gorgon, and several transports at Port
Jackson.--The number of convicts brought out in these vessels.--A
whale-fishery established on the Coast of New South Wales.


The Supply leaves Port Jackson.--Receives some damage in a
storm.--Doubles Cape Horn.--Passes Staten's land.--Anchors at Rio
Janeiro.--Refreshments procured.--Departure from Rio
Janciro.--Proceeds towards England.--Arrives off the
Lizard.--Particulars respecting Norfolk-Island.

* * * * *


Altamont, Countess of
Andrews, James Pettit, Esq;
Abercorn, Marquis of
Atkins, Edwin Martin, Esq; Kingston-Lisle
Addington, Right Hon. Henry, Speaker of the House of Commons
Arden, Sir Richard Pepper, Master of the Rolls
Arden, John, Esq; Ashley-Hall, Cheshire
Appleyard, Mr. 6 Copies
Arch, J. and A. 6 Copies
Anderson, Mr. J. 2 Copies
Archer, Mr. John, Dublin, 12 Copies
Astley, Mrs. Duckenfield Lodge, Cheshire
Banks, Sir Joseph, Bart.
Bolton, Duke of
Berkeley, Captain
Bath, Marquis of
Buckingham, Marquis of
Badcock, Colonel, Little Missenden-Abbey, Bucks.
Best, Richard, Esq; Chatham
Buccleugh, Duke of
Bradshaw, Mr.
Beaufort, Duke of
Bunbury, Sir Charles, Bart.
Barnard, Mr. jun.
Bredalbane, Earl of
Barker, Lieutenant-Colonel
Barwell, Richard, Esq;
Bayham, Lord
Browne, Mr. William, Bristol
Baldwin, Mr. 6 Copies
Becket, Mr. 6 Copies
Bell, Mr. 6 Copies
Brown, Mr. 3 Copies
Curzon, Lady Charlotte
Chesterfield, Earl of
Cherry, George, Esq;
Chalmers, George, Esq;
Charlston Library
Charlston, Senate of
Chichester, Sir John, Bart.
Chatham, Earl of
Castera, J. Paris
Clarke, George Hyde, Esq; Hyde-Hall, Cheshire
Cock, Thomas Theophilus, Esq; Messing, Essex
Clarke, Edward, Esq;
Cadell, Mr. 2 Copies
Clarke and Son, 2 Copies
Crowder, Mr. 2 Copies
Cole, Lieutenant George
Coxe, Daniel, Esq;
Dacre, Lord
Darby, W. T. Esq;
Dartmouth, Earl of
Dorset, Duke of
Dalrymple, Alexander, Esq;
Davison, Alexander, Esq;
Dimsdale, R. J. Esq;
Delaval, Lord
Donowell, Mr. John, Architect
Dover, Lord
Deighton, Mr. 7 Copies
Donegal, Marquis of
De Lancy, Colonel
De la Pole, Sir John, Bart.
De Saussure, H. W. Esq; Charlston
Darton and Harvey, 6 Copies
Dilly, Mr. 12 Copies
Dangerfield, Mr.
Elgin, Earl of
Ekins, Charles, Esq;
Eardley, Lord
Eliot, Lord
Enys, John, Esq;
Enderby, Samuel, Esq;
Edwards, Mr. R. 8 Copies
Edwards, Mr. J. 6 Copies
Egerton, T. and J. 6 Copies
Evans, Mr. James, 6 Copies
Edwards, John, Esq;
Forbes, Hon. John, Admiral of the Fleet
Fife, Earl of
Frederick, Sir John, Bart
Fitzhenry, Thomas, Esq;
Faulder, Mr. 30 Copies
Faden, Mr. W. 6 Copies
Gloucester, His Royal Highness the Duke of
Grenville, Lord
Grote, George, Esq;
Gardner, Alan, Esq;
Green, Sir William, Bart.
Graeme, Charles, Esq;
Grantham, Lady
Goldsmith, Mr. 4 Copies
Goulding, Mr.
Gray, Mr. 2 Copies
Hillsborough, Earl of
Hobart, Major
Hardwicke, Earl of
Howe, Hon. Mrs.
Howe, Countess
Howe, Lady Mary
Hall, Rev. Mr.
Howard de Walden, Lord
Heathcote, Thomas, Esq;
Home, Patrick, Esq;
Hood, Lord
Hopetoun, Earl of
Hunter, John, Esq;
Hawkesbury, Lord
Hawke, Lord
Haydon and Son, Plymouth, 3 Copies
Hamilton, Mr. 3 Copies
Hookham and Carpenter, 6 Copies
Hodgson, Mr. 2 Copies
Hanmer, Job, Esq; Holbrook-Hall, Suffolk
Jackson, Sir George, Bart.
Jones, Robert, Esq; Fonmore-Castle, Glamorganshire.
Jeffery, Mr. 3 Copies
Johnson, Mr. 12 Copies
Kelly, Earl of
Kirby, Mr. 2 Copies
Leeds, Duke of
Lenox, Lord George
Law, Thomas, Esq;
Lucadou, James, Esq;
Lettsom, Dr.
Leslie, Mr. George, Edinburgh
Legg, Mr. Basingstoke
Loveden, Edward Loveden, Esq;
Long, Charles, Esq;
Long, Samuel, Esq;
Law and Son, 12 Copies
Lowndes, Mr. 2 Copies
Lackington, Mr. 2 Copies
Longman, Mr. 6 Copies
Montrose, Duke of
Martindale, John, Esq;
Mossop, Rev. Mr. Academy, Brighton
Mac Leod, Colonel
Macdonald, Sir Archibald, Attorney-General
Mitchell, Captain
Meyrick, John, Esq;
Macaulay, Mr. Alderman
Montagu, M. Esq;
Madden, James, Esq;
Mornington, Earl of
Miller, Lady
Madox, John, Esq;
M'Queen, Mr. 2 Copies
Murray, Mr. 25 Copies
Miller, Mr. 3 Copies
Newcastle, Duke of
Nepean, Evan, Esq;
Nelthorpe, John, Esq; Lincoln
Nicholls, Mr.
Northesk, Earl of
Otridge, Mr. 4 Copies
Ogilvie and Co. 2 Copies
Pitt, Right Hon. William
Peachy, John, Esq;
Peachy, Sir James, Bart.
Petrie, William, Esq;
Patterson, John, Esq; Norwich
Putland, William, Esq;
Pye, Henry James, Esq;
Pinckney, Charles, Esq; Charleston
Payne, Mr. 6 Copies
Phillips, Mr. 6 Copies
Rivers, Lord
Rose, George, Esq;
Rittson, John, Esq;
Rastall, Rev. Mr. Newark
Robinson, Thomas, Esq;
Rolt, Colonel, Bagden-Lodge, Marlborough
Regiment, 73d Bengal
Rudge, Samuel, Esq;
Robson, Mr. 27 Copies
Robinsons, Messrs. G. G. J. and J. 50 Copies
Rivingtons, Messrs. F. and C. 6 Copies
Richardson, Mr. 6 Copies
Redhead, Henry, Esq;
Salisbury, Marquis of
Stafford, Marquis of
Sydney, Viscount
St. John, Lord
Sanderson, Sir James, Lord Mayor of the City of London
Smyth, John, Esq;
Salisbury, E. W. V. Esq;
Spencer, Earl
Stanley, Colonel
Smith, Sir John, Bart.
Stephens, Phillip, Esq;
Sotheron, William, Esq;
Sturt, Charles, Esq;
Scawen, James, Esq;
Spence, George, Esq;
Sylvester, Mr. John
Stockdale, Mr. Jeremiah, Mill-Maker to his Majesty
Scott, Rev. George
Sael, Mr. 2 Copies
Southern, Mr. 3 Copies
Sewell, Mr. 6 Copies
Strachan, Mr. 6 Copies
Scatchard and Co. 6 Copies
Symonds, Mr. 12 Copies
Steel, Mr. 6 Copies
Thornton, Robert, Esq;
Townshend, Hon. J. T.
Tihe, Robert Stearne, Esq; Clanville Lodge, Andover
Thornton, Mr.
Urry, Captain, R. N.
Vansittart, Nicholas, Esq;
Vernor and Hood, 6 Copies
Walsingham, Lord
Warren, Dr.
Worcester, Marquis of
Weymouth, Lord
Wray, Sir Cecil, Bart
Woodford, Sir Ralph, Bart.
Warwick, Earl of
Wedgewood, Josiah, Esq;
Wentworth, Lord
Wright, Mr. William, Academy, Apsley, Wooburn, Bedfordshire
Wenman, Right Hon. Viscount
Wood, Mr. Hutton
Worcester Society
Watts, Lieutenant John, R. N.
Warren, Sir John Borlase, Bart.
Wilkie, Mr. 6 Copies
White and Sons, 6 Copies
Walker, Mr. David, 2 Copies
Walker, Mr. John, 6 Copies
Walter, Mr. 12 Copies
Young, Arthur, Esq
Yates, Joseph, Esq
Young, Sir George
Yorke, Charles, Esq.

* * * * *


1. Captain Hunter
2. Vignette on the Title Page.
[Refer to paragraph "On our speaking to her, she raised herself up"...]
3. A Map of New South Wales
4. View of the Settlement on Sydney Cove, Port Jackson
5. The Southern Hemisphere, showing the Track of the Sirius
6. A Chart of Botany-Bay, Port Jackson, and Broken-Bay, with the Coast
and Soundings
7. View at Rose-Hill
8. A Man of Lord Howe's Groupe
9. A Man of the Duke of York's Island
10. Canoes of the Duke of York's-Island
11. Canoes of the Admiralty Islands
12. Track of the Waaksamheyd Transport
13. A Plan of Norfolk-Island
14. A Family of New South Wales
15. Non-Descript Shells, of New South Wales, Plate I.
16. Non-Descript Shells, of New South Wales, Plate II.
17. Non-Descript Shells, of New South Wales, Plate III.

* * * * *


Chapter I

October 1786 to September 1787

The ships destined for Botany-Bay rendezvous at the Mother-Bank.--Leave
that place, and proceed on the voyage.--The convicts on board one of
the transports attempt an insurrection.--Are timely discovered, and
the ring-leaders punished.--Arrived at Santa Cruz.--Transactions
there.--Attempt of a convict to escape.--Description of Laguna, and
the adjacent country. Departure from Santa Cruz.--Pass Cape Frio.--Arrive
at Rio Janeiro. Transactions there.--City of St. Sebastian described.--
Table of Winds, Weather_, etc.

It being the intention of government to remove the
inconvenience, which this country suffered, from the goals being
so exceedingly crouded with criminals, who had been by the laws
condemned to transportation, the east coast of New Holland was
the place determined upon to form a settlement for this salutary
purpose. The east coast of New Holland is that country, which was
discovered and explored by Captain James Cook, in his first
voyage round the world, and by him called New South Wales. Botany
Bay, the only place he entered with the ship, which could be
called a harbour, having been mentioned in the narrative of that
voyage, as a convenient place for a settlement, was fixed upon by
government for the intended design.

On the 25th of October, 1786, his Majesty's ship Sirius, lying
in the dock at Deptford, was commissioned, and the command given
to Arthur Phillip, Esq; the Supply armed tender was also put in
commission, and Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball was appointed to
command her.

The Sirius was a ship of about 540 tons burthen, exceedingly
well calculated for such a service; she mounted 20 guns, and had
a spar deck over them, was of a round full built, and was all
together a very capacious and convenient vessel. The Supply armed
tender was a brig, and was one of the vessels which were employed
in carrying naval stores from one of his Majesty's dock-yards to
another; she was a very firm strong little vessel, very flat
floored, and roomy, mounted eight guns, and had a deep waist,
which I feared would be found a very great, if not a dangerous
inconvenience in so low a vessel on so long a voyage. The
Sirius's compliment was 160 men; that of the Supply, 55 men.
These two ships were intended, after having performed the service
of escorting the convicts to the place of their destination, to
remain in the country to be employed as the governor might find
necessary for the public service, until they should be relieved
by other ships from England.

I had some reason, during the equipment of those ships, to
think I might be employed upon this service, in some way or
other; and as Captain Phillip was appointed governor of the new
settlement, and of course had much business to transact in
London, I frequently visited the Sirius, and frequently received
his directions in any thing that related to the fitting her; she
was out of the dock and the rigging in hand when I first went on
board, On the 9th of December, the ship being ready to fall down
the river, we slipped the moorings and sailed down to Long-Reach,
where we took in the guns and ordnance stores. On the 15th, I was
informed by a letter from Mr. Stephens, Secretary to the
Admiralty, that there was a commission signed for me in that
office, and desiring I would come to town and take it up. The
nature of the service upon which the Sirius might be employed in
those seas to which she was bound, having been considered, it was
judged necessary that an officer, bearing a certain rank, should
command that ship in the absence of Captain Phillip, whose
prefence, it was to be supposed, would be requisite at all times
wherever the seat of government in that country might be fixed.
In consequence of Mr. Stephens's letter, I repaired to the
Admiralty, and received a commission, appointing me Second
Captain of his Majesty's ship Sirius, with the rank of Post
Captain, and with power to command her in the absence of her
principal Captain; subject nevertheless to his controul, and to
such orders and directions for my proceedings as he might see
occasion to give me, for the good of the service. This
appointment of a Second Captain, to a private ship, being the
first instance in our service, it could not, consistent with the
established regulations of the navy, take place, but by the
authority of the King's order in council: an order from his
Majesty in council, authorizing the Lords of the Admiralty to
make such appointment, was therefore given.

On the 30th of January, 1787, two transports, one having male,
the other female convicts on board, dropt down to Long-Reach, but
they having business to transact with the owners of the ships,
relative to their ships companies, were permitted to proceed as
low as Gravesend, where the Sirius joined them the next day, and
proceeded immediately to the Nore, where we anchored the same
day, and were joined by his Majesty's armed tender Supply: on the
4th of February, we anchored in the Downs, and were detained
there by bad weather and contrary winds, until the 19th, when we
put to sea in company with the Supply and transports, and arrived
on the Mother-Bank on the 21st: at this anchorage, all the
transports and store-ships were directed to rendezvous; the
latter were already arrived, and, while we lay here, the other
transports joined us from the westward.

On the 9th of May, Captain Phillip arrived in Portsmouth, and
the next day came on board, and issued the signals and other
necessary orders to Lieutenant John Shortland, the agent for
transports, to be delivered to the masters of the different

On Sunday the 13th, we sailed from the Mother-Bank in company
with the Supply armed tender, six transports, having on board 600
male, and 200 female convicts, and three store-ships, carrying
provisions and various other stores: on board the ships carrying
convicts, were embarked 160 marines, with their proper officers;
Major Robert Ross was commandant of the battalion, and appointed
lieutenant-governor of the new settlement; a surgeon and three
assistants were also embarked in the transports, with medicines
and necessaries for the people under their care. The wind being
easterly, we ran out at the Needles, and were accompanied by his
Majesty's ship Hyena, Captain De Coursey, who had received orders
from the Admiralty to see us 100 leagues to the westward.

We had light breezes with fair and pleasant weather down the
channel, but had the mortification to find that two of our
transports sailed exceedingly bad; one of which, the Hyena towed
two or three days. On the 15th, at sun-set, the Start Point bore
north-east half east by compass, distant seven or eight leagues:
at noon on this day (which finishes the nautical and begins the
astronomical day) the longitude, by account, was 5. 01'.
west of the meridian of Greenwich, and by a timepiece made by Mr.
Kendal, with which the Board of Longitude had supplied us, it was
4. 59'. west; we had a variety of weather from this time
till the 21st. when being in latitude 47. 52'. north, and
longitude 12. 14'. west, Captain Phillip put his dispatches
on board the Hyena; she saluted us with three cheers, and we
parted company; the wind was now, and had been for some days
before, in the south-west quarter, with hazy weather, our
progress to the southward was therefore but slow; much attention
was required on our part to the rate of sailing of the different
transports, in order to prevent separation.

At this time a report was made from one of the transports,
both by the commanding marine officer on board, and the master of
the ship, that a discovery had been made of an intended
insurrection amongst the convicts in that ship; in which, if they
had succeeded, they were to have quitted the fleet in the night,
and afterwards to have made such use of the ship, as they should,
upon farther consideration of the matter, determine amongst
themselves. Captain Phillip had very humanely, a few days
previous to this scheme, directed that the irons with which most
of the male convicts had hitherto been confined, should be taken
off them generally, that they might have it more in their power
to strip their cloaths off at night when they went to rest, be
also more at their ease during the day, and have the farther
advantage of being able to wash and keep themselves clean; this
indulgence had no doubt left it more in the power of those who
might be disposed to exert their ingenuity, in so daring an
attempt, to carry their plan into execution with a greater
probability of success; but I am thoroughly convinced, that so
strict an attention to duty was paid by the whole of the marines
employed on this service, that such an attempt would have
terminated in the destruction of those who appeared most active
and forward in it. Two of the principals were brought on board
the Sirius, severely punished, and sent on board another
transport, properly secured in heavy irons.

On the 23d, the wind inclined to the north-west, and, after
heavy rain, settled in that quarter; by the favour of this change
we proceeded to the southward, at the rate of between 70 and 100
miles in 24 hours. On the 26th, the wind shifted to the
northward, and from that to the north-east; our latitude at this
time was 42. 10'. north, and the longitude 11. 36'.
west; variation of the compass, 20. 19'. west.

On the 29th in the evening, (as we intended making the islands
of Porto Sancto and Madeira) being but a little distance from the
former, and the weather being hazy, we shortened sail, to prevent
the convoy from falling suddenly in with the land in the night:
at day-light the next morning, we saw the Deserters off Madeira,
bearing west-south-west, five leagues distant; we had passed the
island of Porto Sancto in the night, having steered to pass eight
or nine leagues to the eastward of it; we found the ship set this
last 24 hours 12 miles to the southward of the log. At noon the
south-easternmost Deserter bore by compass north 17. west,
by which we made its latitude 32. 29'. north, and its
longitude by the time-keeper 16. 38'. west of Greenwich; the
variation of the compass was here 17. 00' west: from hence,
with a light breeze from the northward, we steered south half
west, by compass, and at five P.M. on the 1st of June, we made
the Salvages; which was rather sooner than we expected, by the
distance we had run from the Deserters off Madeira, and the
latitude observed the preceding noon, by which we judged
ourselves not less than 17 leagues from them. At midnight we were
exactly in their parallel, and saw them very distinctly by the
light of the moon, which was very clear; their latitude, deduced
from the preceding, as well as following meridian observations,
is 30. 12'. north, which is 12 miles to the northward of
what they are generally placed, either in tables or charts; their
longitude, by our time-keeper, is 15. 53'. west. I had never
seen these rocks before, and always understood them to be small
inconsiderable spots, but the largest is so high as to be seen at
the distance of seven or eight leagues, and appears to be about a
mile and a half in length, from north-west to south-east; there
are a few scattered rocks appear above water, to the westward;
and I have been told, that a reef of considerable extent
stretches out from them to the westward.

From the time of our passing these rocks until the evening of
the 3d, we had very light airs and variable, but mostly from the
south-west quarter, and every day found we were affected by a
southerly current of 10 or 12 miles in 24 hours. The wind now
sprung up from the northward, and we steered for the island of
Teneriffe, directing our course by the longitude determined from
the time-keeper, the account being 1. 04'. to the westward
of it, and our lunar observations within three miles of it: at
day-light in the morning we saw the island of Teneriffe, and at
noon Point de Nagara, or north-east point, bore south-west by
south, distant five leagues; some of the convoy being
considerably astern we brought to, and in the afternoon, there
being a fresh of wind from the north-east, we bore away and made
the signal for the convoy to make all the sail possible, in
order, as we were strangers to Sancta Cruz road, that we might
save day-light to the anchorage, which we effected, and had the
whole convoy in before dark; at half past six in the evening we
anchored in 15 fathoms water, soft ground, being a mixture of
sand and black mud: we moored with the bower anchors, and had the
church of St. Francisco south 73. 00'. west, the easternmost
point in sight, called Point Roquet, (from a small rock which
lies a little detached from it) north 78. 00'. east, and a
fort to the south-west of the town, south 45. 00'. west,
distant from the nearest shore about two and a half cables
length. The ground all over this bay is said to be foul; we
therefore buoyed up our cables, but had no reason, upon examining
them afterwards, to believe there was any foul ground where we

The next morning, Captain Phillip sent an officer to wait on
the governor with the usual information of whom we were, and our
business at that island; but, previous to our anchoring, the
master attendant, and some other officers, were on board the
Sirius for this very purpose; a ceremony which I believe is
seldom neglected. When the officer returned, he brought a very
polite reply from the governor, signifying his sincere wishes
that the island might be capable of supplying us with such
articles as we were in want of, and his assurances that every
refreshment the place afforded we should certainly have. Captain
Phillip then waited on the governor, accompanied by Major Ross,
myself, and several other officers; we were most politely
received by him, and he repeated his hope that Teneriffe might
afford every refreshment which we had occasion for.

Two days after this visit, the governor, who was then the
Marquis Branceforte, and captain-general of the whole of the
Canary Islands, notwithstanding he had the day before returned
Captain Phillip's visit by an officer, came on board himself,
attended by several officers. He remained about an hour on board,
and asked many questions respecting the extent of our voyage, and
situation of the place where we were going to settle, all of
which we explained to him by a general chart of the world. A day
or two after this visit, Captain Phillip received an invitation
to dine with him, and to bring as many of the principal officers
as could be spared from the ships: we waited on him in a party
about twelve, and were very hospitably and politely entertained;
in short, on the whole, I never met with so polite and so
pleasant a man in any foreign port I have ever visited.

During the time we lay in this road, the ships companies, the
marines, and convicts, were every day supplied with fresh
provisions, of which there appeared to be great abundance on the
island: vegetables and fruit were at this time scarce; potatoes,
onions, and pumpkins _only_ were to be had, and those but in
small quantities. It was Captain Phillip's intention, when we
arrived here, to have remained only three or four days, but we
found that the watering of the ships was a business which could
not be completed in so short a time. During our stay, the
watering the ships was our principal consideration, and it was
often unavoidable to be employed in this necessary business on
board the transports after dark; the watering-place being only
contrived to load two boats at a time.

A convict one evening, while every body was employed in
clearing a boat of water, contrived to slip into a small boat,
and dropt away from the ship unperceived; when he got to some
considerable distance off, he then exerted himself at his oars,
and got on board a foreign East-India ship, which was lying here,
and offered himself as a seaman, but was refused; finding himself
disappointed in his hope of getting off in that ship, he judged
it necessary, knowing that he would very soon be missed, and
search made after him, to quit that ship; he landed to the
westward of the town, but on a place where there was a good deal
of surf, and where the rocks behind him were inaccessible. The
officer of marines on board that transport, having ordered the
convicts to be mustered as usual at setting the watch, when they
were always put below, found this man was missing, and immediate
information of it sent to Captain Phillip; who next morning sent
an officer from the Sirius to the governor, requesting his
assistance in recovering the deserter; orders were immediately
given by the governor for that purpose; in the morning early,
boats were dispatched from the ships to row along shore to the
westward, to endeavour to recover the boat he had taken away, and
a little to the westward of the town, they discovered the boat
beating on the rocks; and rowing in to pick her up, they
discovered the fellow concealing himself in the cliff of a rock,
not having been able to get up the precipice: the officer
presented a musket at him, and threatened if he did not
immediately come down and get into the boat he would shoot him;
the fellow complied, rather than run the hazard of being shot,
and was taken on board, punished, and put in irons until we got
to sea, when he was liberated in the same manner as the rest.

Before we were ready to put to sea, a party of us had
determined to make a short excursion into the country, where we
had no doubt of finding its aspect more inviting than the
prospect from the ships: for this purpose, we set out one morning
very early, accompanied by two British gentlemen, who were
merchants resident here, (Mr. Little and Mr. Armstrong,) and who
had shown us upon every occasion much civility and attention:
those gentlemen had previously provided horses, mules,
provisions, etc. We directed our journey to the city of
Laguna, which was, and is still called the capital of the island;
it is said to be but three or four miles from Santa Cruz; but,
whether from the badness of the road, (which is certainly the
worst I ever saw in any country,) or the slowness of our progress
from that cause, I thought it not less than twice that

When we arrived at Laguna, we walked through many of the
streets, which are very regular, and cross each other at right
angles; the buildings in general are good, and some of the
streets are wider than you generally see them in any of the
Spanish or Portuguese towns: there are two parish churches, which
have short square steeples, but they appear above all the other
buildings; there are also two nunneries, and three or four
convents, which are built in a quadrangular form, and have good
gardens. In the middle of the town is a conduit, which supplies
the inhabitants with water. This city stands on a plain of
considerable extent, over part of which we rode, until we came to
the foot of the hill from whence the town is supplied with water.
We ascended the mountain, and traced the stream to its
fountain-head, where we found it issuing from cavities in several
parts of the hill, and was conveyed down the declivity in
stone-troughs, and received on the plain by troughs of wood,
supported about seven or eight feet above the ground by props;
through this aqueduct, the water is carried to the center of the
city, over a plain, from a distance of four or five miles.

The plain on which Laguna stands, is pleasant and fertile; it
was now the height of their harvest, and many people were
employed in cutting down the corn, with which this plain seemed
to be well planted; there were also many pleasant gardens here,
and the soil in general appeared rich. The plain is surrounded by
very high mountains, down the sides of which in the rainy season,
(for their rains are periodical,) vast torrents of water run,
from which cause, I apprehend, its unhealthiness must proceed;
for I was told, when remarking how thinly the town of Laguna
appeared to be inhabited, that very few, who had it in their
power to choose their place of residence, would continue in
Laguna. The governor has a palace here, but generally resides at
Santa Cruz; and this city, once the residence of persons in great
authority, is now quite deserted by people of any distinction. I
saw nothing of the lake from which it derives its name, but was
given to understand that it was now a very inconsiderable piece
of water; probably the accounts given of there having been a
large lake here, may have originated from the plain being quite a
swamp during the fall of the heavy rains. We returned to Santa
Cruz the same evening, very much pleased with our excursion: I
regretted much, that the time proposed for settling our business
here, would not admit of a visit to the Peak, a mountain so much
spoken of by all who have visited this island, for its wonderful

The bay of Santa Cruz is defended by many small batteries of
four or five guns each, which are placed at certain distances
from each other, round the bay, and close to the water-side,
which exposes them much to the annoyance of ships; but their
principal fort is near the landing place, and is a strong work,
but the water being deep very near in, they are all exposed to
the attack of ships: on the whole, it is said, they mount near
one hundred pieces of cannon.

The town of Santa Cruz is very irregularly built; the
principal street is broad, and has more the appearance of a
square than a street; the governor's house stands at the upper
end; it is but a mean looking building, and has more the
appearance of a country inn, than the palace of a governor: at
the lower end of the street there is a square monument,
commemorating the appearance of Notre Dame to the Guanches, the
original inhabitants of the island. The out-skirts of the town
have more the appearance of a place deserted and in ruins, than a
place of trade, for many of the houses there are either left half
built, or have fallen to decay from some other cause, and the
stone walls, which were their principal fences, are broken down
and in ruins.

On the ninth of June, in the afternoon, the transports having
completed their watering, the signal was made from the Sirius for
every person of our fleet to repair immediately on board their
respective ships, and on the 10th, in the morning, we put to sea
with a light air of wind from the land.

The island of Teneriffe is situated in latitude as observed in
the road, 28 29' 5" north, and longitude, determined by the
time-keeper, 16 18' 00" west.

We steered to the south-west until we were near the meridian
of the island of Sal, the northernmost of the Cape De Verde
Islands, and then shaped our course so as to fall in a little to
the eastward of it.

Pages: | 1 | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 | | 5 | | 6 | | 7 | | 8 | | 9 | | 10 | | 11 | | 12 | | 13 | | 14 | | 15 | | 16 | | 17 | | 18 | | 19 | | 20 | | 21 | | 22 | | 23 | | 24 | | 25 | | Next |

Library mainpage -> Hunter, John -> An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island