On the 13th May 1787 11 ships under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip RN, sailed for Botany Bay in New South Wales (named by Lt James Cook, Captain of HBMB Endeavour ). The fleet arrived in Botany Bay on the 21st January 1788. Capt. Phillip decided that Botany Bay was unsuitable for settlement and travelled north to Port Jackson and decided that this was the right spot. Named it Sydney Cove after the Home Secretary the 1st Viscount Sydney.
The fleet sailed up to Port Jackson/Sydney Cove on the 26th January where the ships companies, passengers, marines and convicts disembarked and made camp.
(Sydney Cove 1788 from a drawing made by Francis Fowkes and Sydney Cove (West Circular Quay) 2013)
The 11 ships came to be known as “The First Fleet” on board were some 1370 souls comprising of:
Embarked at Portsmouth Landed at Sydney Cove
Officials and passengers 15 14
Ships’ crews 323 269
Marines 247 245
Marines wives and children 46 45 + 9 born
Convicts (men) 582 543
Convicts (women) 193 189
Convicts’ children 14 11 + 11 born
Total 1,420 1,373
And it was from this small group of convicts, sailors and soldiers that this great nation sprang, and today we celebrate their arrival 225 years ago.
Happy Birthday Australia_