Accounts and Papers relating to Convicts on board the Hulks, and those transported to New South Wales. Arthur PHILLIP.
Accounts and Papers relating to Convicts on board the Hulks, and those transported to New South Wales.
Accounts and Papers relating to Convicts on board the Hulks, and those transported to New South Wales.

Accounts and Papers relating to Convicts on board the Hulks, and those transported to New South Wales.

London: Ordered to be printed, 10th and 26th March 1792.

Foolscap folio, 110 pp., the last a docket title; a large copy with wide margins, edges uncut; a good old binding of half dark calf; quarter dark blue morocco box.

Including one of the first major descriptions of life on board a convict transport

One of the rarest of all First Fleet books: this was the last major publication relating to Phillip, a long and substantial parliamentary paper dating from March 1792. The collector Davidson called this a "great rarity" and "one of the most important of all the primary sources…". Endlessly interesting, the report prints all manner of material relating to New South Wales and transportation. It begins with comment on the skyrocketing costs associated with the Thames hulks, including the government contracts with owners Duncan Campbell and James Bradley, details of the numbers of convicts and the work being done by them under supervision.

One of the rarest of all First Fleet books: this was the last major publication relating to Phillip, a long and substantial parliamentary paper dating from March 1792. The collector Davidson called this a "great rarity" and "one of the most important of all the primary sources…". Endlessly interesting, the report prints all manner of material relating to New South Wales and transportation. It begins with comment on the skyrocketing costs associated with the Thames hulks, including the government contracts with owners Duncan Campbell and James Bradley, details of the numbers of convicts and the work being done by them under supervision.

The second major section of the book (pp. 17-28) prints letters from Phillip from June to August 1790, including one to Nepean and others to Grenville, on subjects such as the tragic loss of the Guardian, appealing for settlers, or discussing Norfolk Island. Phillip pays particular notice to the Hawkesbury, which will "offer some desirable situations". This section also includes a letter from Major Ross.

The great mass of other material included here gives a remarkably full overview of what was being planned in both Sydney and London. There are reports on conditions on board convict vessels Pitt, Kitty, Neptune, Scarborough, Surprize, and Atlantic, letters from surgeons, reports from agents, substantial epistles from senior government officials to Phillip and King (including one rather moving one from Dundas about the loss of the Guardian and how much that "unfortunate Disaster" must have affected the colony, a letter which also includes Dundas' barely restrained anger about conditions on board the Second Fleet), great lists of items requested by Phillip and now being sent (including almost 10,000 gallons of rum and 33,367 needles), a fascinating letter from King to Nepean regarding the purchase of live stock at the Cape of Good Hope in July 1791 (including 62 sheep and 200 fruit trees), and much else besides.

Of signal interest is the five-page "Remarks and Statement of the Proceedings of Donald Trail, Master of the Neptune, during his Passage to Port Jackson" (pp.73-77), one of the earliest major published narratives of life on board a convict vessel. The Neptune was one of the horror ships of the Second Fleet, and Trail's report certainly makes for grim reading, with reports of malignant fevers and numberless deaths: "The Convicts that died in Stoke's Bay", he writes at one point, "were always sunk with Ballast brought from the Shore, except One Day, when it blew too hard to send a Boat from the Ship, and then the Body was sunk with Coals."

Davidson, 'A Book Collector's Notes', pp. 74-5; Ferguson, 13; Wantrup, 10; not recorded by Crittenden, "Bibliography of the First Fleet".

Price (AUD): $24,500.00  other currencies Ref: #4504588

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