Australian English Genealogy

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Convict Ships

The First Fleet consisted of Two Naval Escorts, Three Supply Ships and Six Transport Ships.  The First Fleet carried more than 1300 people made up of: 569 male convicts, 191 female convicts, marines and their wives and children and government officials.

                      CONVICT SHIPS

Click on the ship's name for a list of the convicts and crew. 

ALEXANDER was the largest transport ship in the First Fleet.  She was a Barque built quarterdeck built in Hull in 1783, weighing 452 tons. Her master was Duncan Sinclair and the surgeon was William Balmain. Before leaving England sixteen men died when fever broke out on board. She left Portsmouth of 13 May 1787 and arrived at Port Jackson on 26 January 1788.

CHARLOTTE - 3 Mast Square Rigged Ship. 335 tons, 105ft long, 28ft wide. Built on River Thames in 1788. Master: Thomas Gilbert and Surgeon: John White.  Arrived with 84 male convicts and 24 female convicts and 6 convicts children 30 Crew and 42 Marines.

FRIENDSHIP - The smallest of the transport ships. She was built in Scarborough in 1784 and weighed 278 tons. Master: Francis Walton and surgeon:  Thomas Arndell. She departed Portsmouth carrying seventy six male convicts and 21 female convicts. The Friendship left Port Jackson in July 1788 along with the Alexander. There were so many deaths from scurvy that  there was only enough crew for one ship, so the Friendship was scuttled off the coast of Borneo.

LADY PENRHYN - Built on the River Thames in 1786, weighing  333 tons. Master: William Cropton Sever (part owner), surgeon to the ship: Arthur Bowes Smyth and surgeon to the convicts: John Turnpenny Altree.  The Lady Penrhyn carried the first horses brought to Australia. She carried 101 female convicts.

PRINCE OF WALES - Built of the Thames in 1786, weighing 350 tons. Master: John Mason, died of scurvy on the return voyage. Carried one male convict and 49 female convicts.

SCARBOROUGH - Built in Scarborough in 1782, weighing 430 tons. Master: John Marshall and surgeon: Dennis Considen.  Carried 208 male convicts

Master: Thomas Edgar    Surgeon: Richard Alley.

As the  convicts who had settled the 'new colony' were not proficient in farming and the government food stocks began to run low, the British Home Secretary, Evan Nepean, decided as well as food the colony needed women and children, to prosper.  Female criminals, prostitutes, destitutes were gathered from London and surrounds and were shipped off on the Lady Juliana to help stabilise the new colony.

The Lady Juliana began it's ten month journey, to Australia, in July 1789. During the course of the journey the women cohabited with crew members and entertained men at every port of call.  The ship became known as "The Floating Brothel" and was not received with 'open arms' when it arrived in Sydney Cove. However three weeks later, when the four supply ships arrived, Sydney Cove took a turn for the better.  Many of these women were in a good financial position when they arrived in Sydney, in June 1790.