A Narrative of the Sufferings of T.F. Palmer, and W. Skirving, during a voyage to New South Wales, 1794, on board the Surprise transport…. SCOTTISH MARTYRS, Thomas Fyshe PALMER.

A Narrative of the Sufferings of T.F. Palmer, and W. Skirving…
A Narrative of the Sufferings of T.F. Palmer, and W. Skirving, during a voyage to New South Wales, 1794, on board the Surprise transport…

Cambridge: Benjamin Flower, 1797.

Octavo, xii, 13-80pp. (last page advertisements), bookplate of F.G. Coles; originally stitch-sewn with the marks visible in the gutter, very good in polished tan half calf by Sangorski, red spine label.

Mutiny on the Surprise, by a friend of John White

Second edition, revised and expanded with a newly printed letter to Governor Hunter: the most detailed and important eighteenth-century account of life on board a convict ship, written by a political thinker considered 'probably the most cultured of those who came to New South Wales in the early years of settlement' (ADB).

Second edition, revised and expanded with a newly printed letter to Governor Hunter: the most detailed and important eighteenth-century account of life on board a convict ship, written by a political thinker considered 'probably the most cultured of those who came to New South Wales in the early years of settlement' (ADB).

This rare account was written by one of the famous Scottish Martyrs. Unlike the more commonly seen accounts of the trials of the Martyrs published in Scotland in the earlier 1790s, this work is a detailed description of the troubled voyage of the Surprise, a convict vessel sent to New South Wales in 1794. The account includes fascinating letters and petitions sent by Palmer and his colleagues from Sydney Cove.

'Contains the story of the inhuman treatment of Palmer and Skirving by Captain Campbell, master of the Surprise, following the malicious discovery, by [Scottish Martyr] Maurice Margarot, a fellow convict, of a sham plot for capturing the ship. Depositions of the surgeon and members of the New South Wales Corps against Campbell are included' (Ferguson). Influenced by the strong anti-Jacobin feelings of the time, Palmer and Skirving were alleged to have tried to seize the ship and sail it to France. In Sydney Palmer became a much-respected merchant and advocate for exploration. This narrative was taken back to England by Surgeon John White and prepared for publication by Palmer's friend, Jeremiah Joyce.

This second edition is printed from the same formes as the first (with the minor addition of a footnote to the preface), but is important for the addition of the concluding six pages, "A Letter from Messrs. Muir, Palmer, and Skirving, to Governor Hunter" dated 14 October 1795, and also printing a note of receipt forwarded by David Collins. Perhaps rather overlooked, it should take its place among other great convict publications such as George Thompson's Slavery and Famine (1794), Thomas Watling's fabulously rare Letters from an Exile (1794), and Thomas Muir's Histoire de la tyrannie (1798).

Provenance: The F.G. Coles copy, with bookplate, sold in 1965 for £80; private collection (Sydney).

Ferguson, 255.

Condition Report: In very good condition.

Price (AUD): $4,400.00

US$3,241.87   Other currencies

Ref: #4504464

Condition Report