Australia Day

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
Sydney Cove 1788

Sydney Cove2

(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_


3 thoughts on “Australia Day

  1. Brian,
    I’m not sure Port Jackson is the same place as Sydney Cove. It is my understanding that Sydney Cove is a cove within Port Jackson. I think Sydney Cove is west of Farm Cove, the place we call Circular Quay today. The Tank Stream flowed/flows into Sydney Cove (Circular Quay). Port Jackson is a harbour, not a cove. I always thought the ranking of such geographical features goes – cove, bay, harbour.


    1. That’s perfectly correct Neill, I wrote it the way I did for the sake of simplicity for my foreign followers and viewers who are not familiar with Sydney as you and I are; I think perhaps I should add a few illustrations to the post to give them a better idea of what I’m talking about. Do you think this an idea worth following?


  2. Brian,
    Yes, that would help your alien readers. Perhaps a simple map of Port Jackson? It’s a pity it is rarely called Port Jackson these days, most people refer to it as Sydney Harbour. Not that Sir George needs to be remembered. Some would argue, that Sydney Harbour is that part of Port Jackson east of the Harbour Bridge to the Heads and Port Jackson is the entire body of water from the Heads, in the east, to Parramatta, in the west.


All comments appreciated and acknowledged

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