hundred male and female felons to Botany Bay, in New South Wales, on the Eastern Coast of New Holland; whither it had been determined by government to transport them, after having sought in vain upon the African coast for a situation possessing the requisites for the establishment of a colony.
Six transports and three store-ships* were accordingly engaged to convey the persons designed to form the new settlement, with the stores and provisions necessary for their use and consumption. Of the latter, sufficient for two years were put on board; and among the former, were tools, implements of agriculture, and such other articles as were considered necessary to a colonial establishment.
The government of the colony was intrusted by His Majesty to Arthur Phillip, Esq. a post-captain in the service, who hoisted his pendant on board the Sirius, a ship which mounted only twenty guns, but which from the strength of her construction (having been built for the East-India Company’s service) was judged to be well calculated for such an expedition.
Associated with her in the service of the colony, was the Supply brig, the command of which was given to Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball; and it being thought necessary to appoint another captain to the Sirius, who should command her on any service in which she might be employed for the colony, while Captain Phillip should be engaged in his government, an order was signed by His Majesty in council, directing the Admiralty Board to appoint John Hunter, Esq. then a commander in the navy, to be second captain of the Sirius, with the rank of post.
Distributed among the transports, and in the Sirius, was a body of 160 marines, with such a number of commissioned and non-commissioned officers as the service for which this corps was selected required †.
- * The Alexander, Scarborough, Charlotte, Lady Penthyn, Prince of Wales, and Friendship, transports: the Fishburn, Borrowdale, and Golden Grove, store-ships.
- † One major commandant, 4 captains, 12 lieutenants, 12 serjeants, 12 corporals, 8 drummers, and 160 privates, with an adjutant and quarter-master.