The Logbooks of the Lady Nelson
Part 4 out of 5
Mr. Mileham, Surgeon.
Mr. F. Bauer, natural history painter.
Mr. John Tucker, storekeeper.
One overseer, two carpenters, three sawyers, a gardener, a salt bailer
and sixteen prisoners.
In the Resource were one sergeant and four privates of the New South
Mr. Knight, superintendent.
In the James:--
Mr. George Caley and three miners with implements, and stores and
provisions for six months.
In consequence of a north-east wind, the ships were not able to leave
Sydney harbour on that evening, but were obliged to anchor in Lookout Bay
until the following morning, when they again weighed and in a short time
cleared the Heads. They arrived at Newcastle safely on the day after
their departure, and disembarked the little colony. All three vessels
were then loaded with coals and cedar for Sydney, the Lady Nelson
receiving on board "twenty-six fine logs of rich cedar." The homeward
voyage was unfortunate, as the James was lost off Broken Bay. Leaving
Newcastle in a very leaky condition, and encountering a gale, the water
gradually gained fast upon her and stopped her progress. Two days
afterwards the pumps became choked, and the five men who composed her
crew had to bale with buckets. Eventually they stood on to a sandy beach
where their vessel, being nearly full of water, was dashed to pieces by
the tremendous surf. The crew were picked up on the north head of Broken
Bay by the Resource and brought to Sydney.* (* For this portion of the
Lady Nelson's story no log has been available. The material has been
derived principally from the columns of Sydney newspapers.)
The voyage of the Lady Nelson to Norfolk Island in April and May, 1804,
was one of the most tempestuous the brig ever experienced. She sailed
with the Francis on April 30th, but the two ships soon parted company.
Their cargo consisted of stores and a quantity of salt staves and hoops
for the purpose of curing pork, a supply of which was greatly needed for
the colony. For eighteen days continuous gales buffeted the ship and
drove her so far northward that she could not make her port of
destination. Besides bad weather, she had to contend with further
misfortunes, for three casks of water in the hold--part of the supply for
the voyage--were found to have leaked entirely away, and the allowance of
fuel ran so short that her Commander was forced to cut up one of the top
masts for firewood.
Situated thus, Lieutenant Symons decided to bear away for New Zealand and
to return later to Norfolk Island, when it was hoped the weather would
have moderated sufficiently to enable him to land his passengers. On the
3rd of June he made Three Kings Island, and two days afterwards North
Cape. He then steered alongside as far as Cape Brett in the Bay of
Islands. On coming to an anchorage in a small bay on the north-west side
of the River Thames, nearly two hundred natives surrounded the brig and
were welcomed on board. They brought with them potatoes, and other
vegetables, as well as mats and native curios to barter for nails,
buttons, etc. At sunset they left the vessel. On the following morning
the Commander went on shore and the natives following him quickly found
him a watering place. On being offered a pig by one of the Maoris in
exchange for a new razor, he accepted it, but a chief afterwards
requested him to return the animal (as it had been a present from Captain
Rhodes)* (* Captain Rhodes of the Alexander South Sea Whaler, traded with
New Zealand.) and it was immediately given back to its former owner. Next
morning the New Zealanders flocked on board in such numbers that
Lieutenant Symons decided to quit the bay.
On the 9th a strong breeze necessitated anchoring in Cavalli Bay* (* So
named by Cook.) where the natives were no less friendly and came to trade
with the crew. On the 12th a strong gale and heavy sea drove the Lady
Nelson four lengths towards the shore. Her commander was forced to cut
the cable after beating for two hours, weathered the land and bore up to
run between Cavalli Island and the mainland. Eventually the Lady Nelson
arrived at Norfolk Island on June 22nd, when it was found possible to
land the officers of the New South Wales Corps and to embark others from
the same regiment for Sydney, among them being Ensigns Piper and
Anderson. The brig sailed on the 29th, and in passing the entrance of
Hunter's River, on the evening of July 8th, she sent a boat off to the
settlement at Newcastle, where it was reported that all was well. She
arrived in Port Jackson on July 9th. She was then overhauled, and on
September 8th sailed for the Hawkesbury in order to fetch a cargo of
wheat for Sydney.
LOG OF THE LADY NELSON.
J. SYMONS, Acting Lieutenant and Commander,
Port Jackson, New South Wales.
Sydney to Norfolk Island.
"Monday, 30th April 1804. P.M. Left the Heads. Winds variable. At 4 North
Head of Port Jackson 4 leagues. At 8 the Francis in sight. At 1 A.M.
light breezes and clear. At noon the Francis in company.
"Tuesday, 1st May. In company with the Francis at 5 lost sight of the
"Friday, 4th May. Fine clear weather: at 5 A.M. saw How's Islands upon
the weather bow bearing north-north-east distant 5 leagues, Ball's
Pyramid bearing north-east 1/2 F. distant 6 leagues. At noon abreast of
How's Island east: distant 3 leagues.
"Saturday, 5th May. Tacked ship and stood in for How's Island.
"Sunday, 6th May. P.M. Hard squalls of rain. How's Island west by north 7
"Monday, 7th May. P.M. Still blowing hard: at 6 took in the
fore-top-sail: at 4 split the main-sail and fore-top-mast stay-sail. At 9
fine pleasant weather: employed about a new main-sail and bending a
"Tuesday, 8th May. P.M. Fresh breezes and fine clear weather: at 4 bent
new main-sail: at 10 bore away for New Zealand. Have but 2 casks on board
and no wood.
"Tuesday, 29th May P.M. Cloudy weather with squalls.
"Wednesday, 30th May. Small breezes and fine weather. At 8 A.M. tacked
ship: at 9 split the fore-top-gallant-sail and carried away the
"Thursday, 31st May. Moderate winds and cloudy weather. At 7 set up the
main-top-gallant yard and set the sail: at 4 A.M. set the lower and
fore-top-mast studding sail. At 8 carried away the fore keel pendant and
lost the keel, at 10 took in the studding sail.
"Friday, 1st June. Small breezes. At 3 calm, light breezes and fine
"Saturday, 2nd June. Cloudy with squalls of wind and rain. At 5 took in
"Sunday, 3rd June. P.M. Fresh gales with squalls and bad sea from
east-south-east. At 2 saw the Three Kings being south-west by west 3
"Monday, 4th June. P.M. Bore away to leeward of the Three Kings and in
search of wood and water, sent boat ashore, lost 4 oars overboard. At 7
P.M. the boat came on board with wood.
"Tuesday, 5th June. At 1 made sail close under shore of New Zealand.
"Wednesday, 6th June. Land distant 2 leagues: came to anchor in bay on
the east side of New Zealand: went ashore, got some wood and water: at 6
A.M. went on shore again and got some water: at 9 A.M. got under weigh
and bore away for the River Thames.
"Thursday, 7th June. P.M. At 6 came to anchor in a small bay to the
northward of River Thames. At 7 went on shore, found it a bad landing:
could not get water: got some wood. At 9 got under weigh and stood round
for the mouth of the River Thames.
"Friday, 8th June. P.M. At 3 came to anchor on the north-west side of
River Thames with the bower anchor in 11 fathoms water and sent boat
ashore for wood and water. At 11 weighed anchor and made sail out of the
river on account of the natives being so numerous on board.
"Saturday, 9th June. Cloudy weather: all sail set standing along the
coast. At 12 A.M. Cavill's Island bearing north-west distant 10 miles. At
daylight made all sail into the bay bearing west: tacked occasionally: at
11 shortened sail and came to in 10 fathoms of water with best bower
"Sunday, 10th June. Moderate breezes: at 2 sent boat ashore: at 6
returned with wood and water.
"Monday, 11th June. Got some wood and water: at 10 wind
north-north-west--hard squalls of wind and rain.
"Tuesday, 12th June. At 6 the boat came on board with wood and an account
that James Cavanagh a prisoner who was sent to cut wood had run into the
Brush and that a party of men had been in pursuit of him and could not
find him and he was left behind: at 1/4 past 9 a heavy squall: gave the
vessel more cable: found her driving in shore very fast: the gale
continuing and a heavy sea. Set the top-sail, main-sail and fore-top-stay
sail and cut the cable, not being able to get anchor on account of vessel
driving so fast: the anchor was lost, 120 fathoms of cable. 1/4 before 10
tacked ship, 10 past 10 began to run between Cavill's Island and
mainland, not being able to work out of the bay, up keel and fore-sail
down jib and main-sail. At 11 being quite clear of land shortened sail
and hove to.
"Wednesday, 13th June. P.M. At 9 more moderate. Latitude by observation
33 degrees 8 minutes.
"Thursday, 14th June. P.M. Fine clear weather: at 8 took one reef in the
main-top-sail and set the stay-sail.
"Friday, 15th June. P.M. Light airs, clear weather: set the fore and main
courses: at 9 fresh breezes: took in top-gallant sails: at 10 strong
breezes and squally: at 12 A.M. tacked ship and close reefed top-sail,
furled the jib and main-sail and sent down top-gallant yards.
"Saturday, 16th June. P.M. Fresh breezes and clear: at 1 got
main-top-gallant yard up and set the sail.
"Sunday, 17th June. Light airs from northward. Set the square main-sail:
at 12 tacked ship.
"Monday, 18th June. P.M. Light wind and clear weather: at 8 wore ship.
"Tuesday, 19th June. P.M. At 12 saw Norfolk Island bearing south 1/2 east
distant 7 leagues.
"Wednesday, 20th June. P.M. At 5 Norfolk island distant 6 leagues. At 8
Norfolk island distant 4 leagues.
"Thursday, 21st June. P.M. At 4 Norfolk Island distant 5 leagues: at
sunset Norfolk Island distant 5 leagues: at 8 Norfolk Island S.E.E. 3
leagues: at 9 fired 3 guns as signal for a boat.
"Friday, 22nd June. P.M. A boat from Cascade boarded us and took on board
the officers of New South Wales Corps and baggage and left a pilot on
board: at 10 A.M. a boat came and took on shore more baggage belonging to
officers of New South Wales Corps.
"Saturday, 23rd June. P.M. Stretched off land to get round to Sydney
(Norfolk Island) but the wind and weather not permitting stretched off
and on all night: at 6 close in with the land: at 8 A.M. tacked ship and
stood off from the land: at 10 A.M. lowered the boat and sent her with
second mate and four men on shore.
"Sunday, 24th June. P.M. Stretching off and on the land to the windward.
At 8 A.M. a boat arrived from the shore with a cask of pork and biscuits,
the 2nd mate and 2 men brought the account that the boat was lost and
that 1 man George Cockswain was drowned. At 10 loaded the boat with
sundries for the shore but not being able to make good her landing
returned to the ship. We stood off for Governor King's island with the
boat towing astern.
"Monday, 25th June. P.M. Fresh breezes. At 4 P.M. stretched under Nepean
island and left the boat waiting to land at Sydney if the swell abated:
stretched off with ship to windward between 2 islands to keep her ground:
at 10 A.M. got under Nepean Island and boat came on board with water
which was loaded with iron and sent ashore.
"Tuesday, 26th June. P.M. At 2 loaded the boat with flour and sent her on
shore: at 8 A.M. towed in for Nepean Island and the boat came on board.
"Wednesday, 27th June. P.M. Employed landing goods and getting water: at
8 A.M. got under the land and fired a gun: at 9 A.M. the boat came on
board with baggage for officers of New South Wales Corps for Port
"Thursday, 28th June. P.M. Received orders and passengers on board: made
sail for Port Jackson.
"Wednesday, 4th July. P.M. Light breezes and clear weather. Punished J.
Druce with 24 lashes for theft.* (* Druce subsequently deserted.) Sold
clothes and bedding of George Cockswain.
"Thursday, 5th July. P.M. Light airs and clear weather. Exercised guns
and small arms.
"Friday, 6th July. P.M. north-north-east. Light winds and cloudy: small
breezes with some rain and from then until noon calm with some rain.
"Saturday, 7th July. P.M. Strong breezes: at 6 A.M. saw the land, Port
Stephens bearing north by east 5 leagues: at 11 A.M. off the Coal River,
fired 2 guns, hoisted out boat and sent her on shore. Light winds and
"Sunday, 8th July. P.M. Small breezes: at 2 tacked ship: at 6 the boat
came on board: hoisted her in and made sail for Port Jackson. At 12 A.M.
light winds: at 7 made the North Head of Port Jackson: at 12 came to with
the kedge between the Heads.
"Monday, 9th July. P.M. At 3 got under weigh and at 6 arrived in Sydney
Cove, hauled alongside the Supply and made fast. The officers of New
South Wales Corps went on shore. At 8 A.M. cast off from the Supply and
anchored off the dockyard with the Bower, sent passengers on shore.
"Tuesday, 10th July. P.M. Small breezes and showery. Employed clearing
decks and putting things to rights and sending things on shore belonging
to the officers of the New South Wales Corps.
"Wednesday, July 11th. Overhauling ship at the dockyard and refitting,
etc. until September 7th.
Sydney Cove to the Hawkesbury River.
"Friday, September 7th. P.M. Employed getting on board water and getting
ready for sea.
"Saturday, September 8th. At 12 A.M. got clear of the Heads.
"Sunday, 9th September. At 4 stood in between the Heads and came to off
Camp Cove: at 8 A.M. got under weigh for the Hawkesbury.
"Monday, 10th September. P.M. Came to between South Head of Broken Bay
and Ballinjoy*: (* Barrenjoey.) at 12 came to off Mount Elliott. At noon
"Tuesday, 11th September. P.M. Came to off Britannia's beach at 2: at 5
came to with the kedge in Barr's Reach--at 10 under weigh.
"Wednesday, 12th September. P.M. Came to at 3 in Freshwater Bay: at 9
winds more moderate: Got under weigh and towed ship up river to Seven
Reaches: at 10 A.M. got under weigh.
"Sunday, 16th September. P.M. Came to anchor off the Greenhills.
"Monday, 17th September. P.M. Fine pleasant weather. Got out flour and
bricks: 3 carpenters came on board to work.
"Tuesday, 18th September. P.M. At 8 hard gusts wind with rain: at A.M.
"Wednesday, 19th September. P.M. At 9 got under weigh for Cornwallis
Farm. At 1 came to anchor: at 8 A.M. hauled in shore and got out
remainder of flour and cleaned hold to receive wheat.
"Thursday, 20th September. P.M. Received wheat and dropped down river: at
9 came to anchor: at 6 weighed: at 7 ran aground.
"Friday, 21st September. P.M. At 2 got off and towed down river: at 5
moored off Greenhills: at 7 A.M. received wheat on board.
Greenhills to Sydney Cove.
"Saturday, 22nd September. P.M. Moderate breezes. Fired a Royal Salute in
commemoration of the King's Coronation: received remainder of wheat: at 5
A.M. unmoored and went down the River.
"Monday, 24th September. P.M. Small breezes and moderate: half-past 3 got
under weigh: at 10 came to with the kedge in Pugh's Reach: at 5 A.M. got
under way: at 11 A.M. came to in Sackville's Reach.
"Tuesday, 25th September. P.M. Small breezes: at 4 endeavoured to weigh
anchor: parted hawser: lost kedge and 116 fathoms of it: proceeded down
the River. At 11 came to anchor: at 5 under weigh: at 12 we came to
anchor in reach above Sentry Box and went up a creek in a boat 5 miles.
Discovered at the head of the creek a fine spring of water; brought on
board a Gigantic Lily of a species unknown.
"Wednesday, 26th September. P.M. Fresh breezes: at 4 got under weigh; at
11 came to anchor above the Bar: at 5 A.M. weighed; at 8 passed Mullett's
Island: at 10 spoke a sloop of Ballinjoy bound for Hawkesbury: at 11
cleared the Head of Broken Bay and stood off for Port Jackson.
"Thursday 27th September. P.M. Fresh breezes: at 2 made Heads of Port
Jackson and proceeded up the Harbour: at 3 P.M. came to anchor in Sydney
Cove: at 6 A.M. hauled into the wharf: at 9 discharged cargo."
[Facsimile signature James Symons]
THE LADY NELSON IN TASMANIA.
THE FOUNDING OF PORT DALRYMPLE.
The beginnings of Hobart and Launceston are singularly alike. The first
attempt of the newly appointed Commandant of Port Dalrymple to reach the
site of his intended settlement in the colonial cutter Integrity, having
"ended in failure owing to adverse winds," Lieutenant-Governor Paterson
left Sydney on October 15th, 1804, in H.M.S. Buffalo. The Lady Nelson
went with her as tender, as the Navy Board had notified Governor King
that their Lordships wished the brig to accompany the Buffalo while on
survey, and for this reason 15 supernumerary seamen were allowed to the
flagship in order to provide a crew for the Lady Nelson.* (* In
consequence of this order the Lady Nelson, after October 16th, was
discharged from the list of colonial vessels.) The colonial schooners
Integrity and Francis also received orders to sail with Captain Kent to
On Sunday morning, the 14th, Lieutenant-Governor Paterson went on board
the Buffalo with Ensign Piper and Mr. Mountgarrett under a salute of 11
guns from the Fort, which was returned. Forty-six officers and men of the
New South Wales Corps had previously been embarked and twenty prisoners,
while the Lady Nelson also carried troops and settlers to the settlement.
That evening the fleet came to at the entrance of the harbour, being
unable to clear the Heads until the following morning. Outside a high sea
was running, and as the ships voyaged southwards the bad weather
increased. It is recorded that on the night of the 20th a heavy gale
almost "blew the ships back to Port Jackson." A few hours before this
gale commenced the Francis had parted company with the Buffalo, but the
Lady Nelson and the Integrity remained with the king's ship until the end
of the storm, when both vessels lost sight of her. The Lady Nelson,
having split her fore-and-aft mainsail, bore up for Twofold Bay to refit.
On the 21st she again put to sea only to meet with another storm of still
greater violence, which stove in her bulwarks, washed overboard her
boats, compasses, and many articles belonging to the Government. The ship
consequently returned once more to Twofold Bay to effect repairs. In lieu
of a boat, a raft was rigged up to carry the men on shore to obtain
water, and at the same time the carpenter was sent to cut spars from
"Ruff trees." On November 3rd, after having made a fruitless attempt to
face the gale, she weighed and sailed out of the bay. At the entrance she
met the George, schooner, from Sydney bound to the Derwent, and was
supplied by the master with a boat's compass and other much-needed
articles. Bad weather continuing until Flinders' Island was sighted,
Symons decided to beat up through the narrows into Kent's Bay, where he
found the Francis also seeking shelter. On the 13th the two vessels left
Kent's Bay in company to try and reach their port of destination, but as
the storm had not yet abated they bore away for Waterhouse Island and
took refuge there. Finally, on November 21st, the two little ships with
torn sails and splintered masts arrived at Port Dalrymple, both in a
thoroughly disabled condition, but those on board, in coming into the
harbour, saw with satisfaction the British colours flying on shore, and
the Buffalo and the Integrity lying safely at anchor.
Lieutenant Symons learned that the Buffalo had arrived alone on the
evening of November 3rd and had moored four miles within the port. Next
day she dragged her anchors, and in spite of every exertion, touched,
fortunately, upon a flat rock. By a spirited effort on the part of the
crew she was floated undamaged, her anchor was slipped, and she was taken
three miles higher up the harbour. On the 4th the Integrity arrived, and
on the 10th possession was taken of the country on behalf of Great
Britain with the usual formalities.* (* Captain Flinders had already
taken possession of this port and Governor Hunter had named it after
Alexander Dalrymple.) The Lieutenant-Governor was saluted with 11 guns by
the flagship as he landed, and a Royal Salute was fired when the Union
Jack was hoisted. On the 13th the general disembarkation took place from
the Buffalo and Integrity at a spot called Outer Cove, where
Lieutenant-Governor Paterson had fixed his camp. Its surroundings were
delightful, the harbour extending inland for many miles without
interruption. A party of Tasmanian natives on the 14th were encountered
by some of the colonists in the bush. At the sight of the white men they
gave a furious shout and 200 of their number followed the British back to
their camp. Here overtures were made, and they grew somewhat more
conciliatory. But Paterson's friendly endeavours were now and then
interrupted "by an indignant clamour which, beginning with a single
individual, ran rapidly through their lines accompanied by excited
gesticulations," the natives "biting their arms as a token either of
vengeance or defiance.* (* Letter describing the founding of the Port
Dalrymple settlement. Sydney Gazette December 23rd, 1804.) The blacks
withdrew peaceably, but were positive in forbidding us to follow them."
On November 22nd the officers, soldiers, and prisoners were sent on shore
from the Lady Nelson, and on the following day the baggage as well as the
bricks brought from Sydney to build the houses of the settlers. On
November 29th the Buffalo and the Integrity left Port Dalrymple. The
Lieutenant-Governor, Ensign Piper and Mr. Jacob Mountgarrett then went on
board the Lady Nelson and proceeded to examine the harbour and the upper
reaches of the river. On this expedition Colonel Paterson occasionally
went on shore, sometimes taking Lieutenant Symons with him, and
penetrated some distance into the surrounding country. Several places
were named, and land suitable for cultivation was seen. The pasturage was
very luxuriant. Fresh water too was found in sufficient abundance and,
added to these natural advantages, good stone and timber were plentiful,
the latter growing on the high ground. In surveying the country the
Lieutenant-Governor found a more suitable site for a settlement "at the
head of the Western Arm" between two "runs " of fresh water which were
named by him Kent's Burn* (* Discovered by Captain Kent.) and M'Millan's
Burn.* (* Called after Mr. M'Millan, Surgeon of the Buffalo.) He decided
to move the people to this spot without delay,--giving the place the name
of Yorktown.* (* Yorktown settlement soon gave place to Georgetown, and
in 1806 the settlers were moved to the spot where Launceston now stands.)
The main river he called the Tamar, two other streams the North Esk and
the South Esk, a neighbouring mountain, Mount Albany, and the hills to
the westward, the Rothesay Hills.* (* Sydney Gazette, January 6th and
On the return of the expedition to Outer Cove the bricks and other
articles which had been left at the camp there, were removed to the
Western Arm. The mud flats proved rather an obstacle in the way of the
vessels' progress, and we read that more than once the Lady Nelson ran
ashore during the undertaking; however, eventually the passengers, bricks
and baggage were safely landed.
On December 29th the Francis sailed for Port Jackson, but the Lady Nelson
was detained by the Lieutenant-Governor until January 11th in order that
Lieutenant Symons might assist in carrying out further surveys, and also
to erect beacons in the harbour to facilitate the safe entry of ships
The important work carried out by the Lady Nelson at Port Dalrymple will
be found recorded in the log of her Commander, which is as follows:--
THE LOG OF THE LADY NELSON.
AT ANCHOR IN SYDNEY COVE.
JAS. SYMONS Lieutenant and Commander.
"Tuesday, 2nd October 1804. P.M. Got on board 2 cables, 1 hawser, 1
anchor, 1 grapnel and provisions for 6 months. Received order from
Governor King to act as Lieutenant and Commander.* (* The Governor had
then received an Admiralty order to make the appointment.)
Sydney to Port Dalrymple.
"Sunday, 14th October. At 5 A.M. got under way: at 8 fresh breezes: came
to with the small bower in company with the Buffalo, Francis and
"Monday, 15th October. At 6 A.M. got under way: made sail occasionally to
work out of Harbour.
"Tuesday, 16th October. At 6 A.M. squally with heavy rain. Cape Dromedary
bearing south-south-west: ships all in sight.
"Wednesday, 17th October. P.M. Fresh breezes and cloudy: land in sight.
Lay by for the Francis.
"Thursday, 18th October. Squadron in company: set main top-gallant sail:
saw the land off Ramhead distant 12 leagues.
"Friday, 19th October. P.M. Split fore-and-aft main-sail at 7...hove to.
At 11 lost sight of the Buffalo--at 8 made sail and bore away for Twofold
Bay. At noon strong breezes: Cape Howe distant 4 miles.
"Saturday, 20th October. P.M. Past Green Cape--at 5 came to with the
small bower on the east side of Twofold Bay: got under way and stood out
of Bay. At noon off the Isles.
"Sunday, 21st October. P.M. At 6 Cape Howe 5 leagues. At 3/4 past 10 A.M.
perceived a heavy gale coming on westward, up courses: shortened sail. At
11 strong gales with thunder and lightning and rain: hove to under
balance: reefed main-sail.
"Monday, 22nd October. Strong gales with a heavy sea from south-west--at
half-past 8 shipped a very heavy sea on the starboard quarter, stove in
the bulwark on the quarter gangway. At 3 A.M. shipped another heavy sea
which washed overboard the boat, a chest of carpenter's tools, one
fore-top-sail, one top-mast studding-sail, 1 tackle, 3 oars, 1 boat-hook,
2 brass guns, one cask of rice, 3 chests belonging to passengers and
several things belonging to Mr. Piper and 4 sows, the property of
Government, and washed overboard the binnacle, 2 compasses and lamps. At
half-past 3 carried away main sheet and broke the tiller, down main-sail:
bore up and set the fore-sail not being able to keep the sea found the
larboard side of the waist covering board split and leaking a good deal.
At 8 heavy gales with squalls and a heavy sea: found the breakers in the
hold had raised the water casks and everything in the ship was moved. One
cask of rice in the spirit room above, and rice totally lost.
"Tuesday, 23rd October. P.M. Strong gales with a heavy sea. At 2 P.M.
close reefed top-sail...carpenter and people employed stopping leak...at
noon hoisted up fore keel and found it broken off.
"Wednesday, 24th October. At 8 A.M. bore up for Twofold Bay.
"Thursday, 25th October. Opened the Bay, hauled our wind and set
main-sail to work up into the Bay. At half-past 6 came to in 5 fathoms on
the South shore with small bower anchor. A.M. At 6 rigged a raft to go on
shore: at 9 sent casks on shore for water: sent carpenter to cut spars
from Ruff trees: at 10 raft returned with water and at half-past set off
again and in going ashore Charles Abercrombie fell overboard and was
"Friday, 26th October. Fresh breezes: carpenter employed fixing Ruff
"Thursday, 1st November. Broke up the raft and got under weigh to work
out of Harbour.
"Friday, 2nd November. P.M. all sail set standing to South. At 2 squally
with rain: bore up for Twofold Bay...at 6 came to with small bower in 12
fathoms in Twofold Bay.
"Saturday, 3rd November. P.M. Perceived at 2 a sail to south-east: found
her to be the George, Schooner, of Sydney bound to the Derwent: got from
her a boat's compass and sundry articles: made all sail out of the Bay,
the George in company, at 12 Haycock Rock West 3 miles: the George in
"Sunday, 4th November. Fresh breezes and hazy. At noon Cape How distant 4
"Monday, 5th November. P.M. Slight breezes, all sail set: at 8 squally:
the main top-sail blown out of the bolt rope and was lost.
"Tuesday, 6th November. P.M. At 4 took in all sail.
"Wednesday, 7th November. P.M. Strong gales and bad sea. At 8 blew the
fore stay-sail totally away and split the main stay-sail.
"Thursday, 8th November. P.M. At 9 saw Flinders' Isle bearing south-west
by south 15 leagues. At noon distant 9 leagues.
"Thursday, 9th November. P.M. At 6 A.M. saw the land: at 8 clear weather,
made Cape Barren and beat in through the narrows: at 12 under sail
beating up to Kent's Bay.
"Saturday, 10th November. Came to in Kent's Bay with small bower anchor
alongside the Francis, schooner.
"Sunday, 11th November. At 3 sent women and soldiers on shore. Mary Poor
died suddenly: carpenter made coffin: at 12 went on shore and interred
body with funeral solemnities.
"Monday, 12th November. P.M. Sent carpenter to put bilge pieces on boat's
"Tuesday, 13th November. P.M. Strong gales: at 3 light breezes: hove up
best bower and got all clear for getting under weigh in company with
Francis: at 8 made Hunter's Island.
"Wednesday, 14th November. P.M. Fresh breezes and fine: at 2 bore away
for Waterhouse Island: at 4 came to anchor in 4 fathoms.
The Lady Nelson to Port Dalrymple.
"Tuesday, 20th November, 1804. A.M. Close in with northernmost of
Waterhouse's Islands: 12 Waterhouse's Island 3 miles. Francis in company.
"Wednesday, 21st November. P.M. Small breezes, at 3 past the island of
rocks: at 6 saw the colours flying at Port Dalrymple: fired a gun for the
Francis to bear down: at 8 came to anchor in the River in 27 fathoms of
water: at 9 A.M. weighed anchor and ran up into the Bay and came to
anchor in company with the Buffalo, Francis, and Integrity.
"Thursday, 22nd November. Sent officers, soldiers, prisoners and baggage
"Friday, 23rd November. P.M. Employed landing bricks and baggage, etc.
"Wednesday, 28th November. People on board the Buffalo endeavouring to
work out of Harbour.
"Thursday, 29th November. Boats returned from Buffalo, brought to line
and kedge P.M., and got small bower anchor and cable: the
Lieutenant-Governor came on board from Buffalo: Ensign Piper, Mr.
Mountgarrett; five soldiers and 5 boat's crew. At 5 weighed and proceeded
up the River: at 10 came to.* (* Off Middle Island.) At 6 A.M. got under
way, at 11 let go in 20 fathoms: Lieutenant-Governor went on shore.
"Friday, 30th November. P.M. At 2 boat returned with Lieutenant-Governor
and Company: at 3 beat up the River: at 9 came to with a bower and sent
boat on shore with Lieutenant-Governor and Company.
"Saturday, 1st December. P.M. At 2 Lieutenant-Governor returned, at 3 got
under way, at 11 ran aground and sent out kedge to get off ship.
Lieutenant-Governor went on shore. At 12 A.M. we got the vessel afloat,
came to with kedge in 2 fathoms.
"Sunday, 2nd December. P.M. Lieutenant Governor came on board. At 10 P.M.
got under way: at 7 came to anchor about quarter of a mile below the
Cataract River and moored head and stern in 2 fathoms. At 8 A.M. sent off
boats with Lieutenant-Governor and Company to survey the River, Land,*
etc. (* Paterson began his survey at one Tree Reach where Collins's
survey had ended.)
"Monday, 3rd December. P.M. Light airs, making ready to set up rigging.
"Tuesday, 4th December. Employed as before.
"Wednesday, 5th December. At 2 P.M. boats arrived with
Lieutenant-Governor from surveying the River to the southwards* (* The
South Esk.) and country, at 6 A.M. got under way and proceeded down the
River--at 11 came to in the third Reach below the Cataract Falls.
"Thursday, 6th December. Boats went on shore with Lieutenant-Governor at
3, returned, at 4 got under way, at 6 ran on shore on a mud flat, at 11
got afloat at 6 A.M. Boats went on shore with Lieutenant-Governor, at 11
returned, at noon got under way.
"Friday, 7th December. At 5 ran on a mud flat: at 12 P.M. got afloat; at
1 came to anchor in Channel--at 5 A.M. got under way and proceeded down
"Saturday, 8th December. P.M. at 5 got under way: at 8 came to: at 6 A.M.
got under way: at 9 came to, and sent Lieutenant-Governor on shore.
"Sunday, 9th December. Two boats returned with Lieutenant-Governor, at 5
got under way: at 8 ran on shore on a reef of rocks, carried out kedge
and got off: at 10 came to anchor in Snug Cove: at 5 A.M. boats went on
shore with Lieutenant-Governor: at 7 returned and took in seine. Current
hove ship on shore. At 10 carried out kedge and warped out of Cove.
"Monday, 10th December. P.M. At 1 boat returned with Lieutenant-Governor:
at 7 ran on shore on a mud flat in the mouth of the west arm, at 2 A.M.
hove off and rode by kedge: at 5 under way and proceeded up the west arm:
at 10 sent Lieutenant-Governor on shore.
"Tuesday, 11th December. P.M. At 2 boats returned with
Lieutenant-Governor: at 3 left ship and went to camp in Governor's
"Wednesday, 12th December. At 5 light airs and fine, got up anchor and
made sail. At 10 came to abreast Storehouse Island. At 6 A.M. weighed and
towed ship for Harbour: at 7 warped into Harbour.
"Thursday, 13th December. At 5 Lieutenant-Governor came alongside and the
Captain accompanied him surveying River.
"Tuesday, 18th December. People taking in bricks, etc., for Western Arm.
"Wednesday, 19th December. At 2 ran on shore on a mud flat in the Western
Arm, landed passengers, bricks and baggage: at 11 got ship afloat and
came to: at 4 A.M. towed down the River.
"Thursday, 20th December. Proceeding up the River for ballast: at 11 came
to in a bay in 4 fathoms water.
"Friday, 21st December. P.M. At 2 all hands getting ballast on board,
took ground on mud flat: at 5 proceeded down River: at 8 came to abreast
Storehouse Island in 18 fathoms.
"Saturday, 22nd December. At 5 under way and came to at 9 in 12 fathoms
"Sunday, 23rd December. P.M. Weighed and got into a cove abreast the
Settlements in company with the Francis, schooner, at 8.
"Saturday, 29th December. At 10 A.M. the Francis sailed for Port Jackson.
"Sunday, 30th December. A.M. Got ballast on board to put into the River.
"Monday, 31st December. P.M. Carpenter employed making Beacon to put on
"Tuesday, 1st January 1805. P.M. Light breezes...carpenter as before.
"Wednesday, 2nd January. P.M. Fresh breezes: setting up the rigging.
"Thursday, 3rd January. A.M. at 7 laid down Beacon on Shag Rock.
"Friday, 4th January. P.M. Carpenter making chocks for boat.
"Saturday, 5th January. P.M. Light breezes and cloudy. A.M. Getting water
and wood on board.
"Sunday, 6th January. At 9 cloudy with thunder.
"Monday, 7th January. Light breezes. All hands away in boats on survey.
"Tuesday, 8th January. P.M. Fresh breezes. At A.M. hauled the seine,
carpenter making oars.
"Wednesday, 9th January. P.M. People making booms and getting water. A.M.
Got on board a spar for sprit-sail yard: carpenter making new one.
"Thursday, 10th January. P.M. Thunder and lightning and rain: received on
board dispatches. A.M. Light breezes getting ready for sea, tried to warp
out of cove, Government boat and crew assisting.
Port Dalrymple to Sydney.
"Friday, 11th January. P.M. Strong gales. A.M. Moderate: at 5 unmoored
ship and worked out of the Cove: at 6 came to abreast the Green Island:
at 9 worked out of Harbour, Government boat assisting: at 10 made all
sail: at noon the Seal Rocks bore south distant 5 miles: all sail set for
Cape Barren not being able to weather the Sisters.
"Saturday, 12th January. P.M. A fresh gale at 1: at 5 Waterhouse Island
bore south 3 leagues, wind dying away came to in Kent's Bay, Cape Barren.
A.M. At 6 under way: at 9 got out of the Harbour. At noon Cape Barren
bearing west, distant 2 leagues.
"Sunday, 13th January. Furneaux Island south-south-west 7 leagues, at 8
Cape Barren bore south-south-west 6 leagues.
"Monday, 14th January. P.M. Lost sight of land at 6. At 6 A.M. saw the
land again. At 9 Port Hicks distant 3 leagues.
"Tuesday, 15th January. P.M. At 4 wore ship and stood off the land: at
noon we found we had lost nothing during the night.
"Wednesday, 16th January. P.M. At 3 lost sight of the land. At 3 A.M.
"Thursday, 17th January. P.M. At 12 fresh gales.
"Friday, 18th January. P.M. Cape Howe bore north-north-west 3 leagues.
A.M. At noon spoke the sloop Nancy to Port Dalrymple.
"Saturday, 19th January. P.M. Saw the land of Cape Dromedary. At 11 A.M.
close in with land.
"Sunday, 20th January. P.M. At 4 close in with land--at 8 Cape Dromedary
4 leagues distant.
"Monday, 21st January. P.M. At 7 close in with the land, hauled off at
11, saw Port Aikin.* (* Port Hacking?) At noon saw the heads of Port
"Tuesday, 22nd January. Close in with the Heads. At 2 came to anchor
abreast of Camp Cove. At 8 A.M. endeavoured to work up to Sydney Cove.
"Wednesday, 23rd January. At 4 came to anchor in Sydney Cove."
THE ESTRAMINA IS BROUGHT TO SYDNEY.
THE LADY NELSON VISITS NORFOLK ISLAND AND TASMANIA.
When the Lady Nelson came to in Sydney Cove, after completing her voyage
to Tasmania,, the Governor gave orders that she should be at once placed
in dock and overhauled. For the time being, her crew was distributed
among the king's ships in port, the Buffalo and Investigator, and the
colonial schooner Integrity.
By March 30th the little brig was again afloat. She was made ready for
sea in consequence of the news brought to Sydney that an armed schooner,
called the Estramina, belonging to the King of Spain, was lying in Jervis
Bay. It was also reported to the Governor that the vessel had been seized
off the American coast by order of Captain Campbell of the Harrington,
who claimed to have taken her as a prize, and that she was in charge of
one of Captain Campbell's officers. Uncertain whether hostilities had
actually broken out between England and Spain, His Excellency sent Mr.
Symons to Jervis Bay to ascertain whether the schooner was there, and if
so to take possession of her and bring her to Port Jackson.
The Lady Nelson sailed to execute this mission on April 3rd. On the
evening of the following day she sighted Jervis Bay and, shortly after
entering it, a strange vessel was perceived at anchor at the north-west
end of the bay. No sooner did the stranger see the Lady Nelson
approaching than she hurriedly weighed, and attempted to leave the bay.
The attempt was frustrated, however, by Lieutenant Symons, who made sail
after her and fired a gun to bring her to. Seeing that flight was
useless, the schooner hoisted a St. George's Jack, and eventually came to
under the lee of the Lady Nelson. The commander, finding that she was the
Harrington's prize, went on board her, hauled down the English colours,
and in their place hoisted the Spanish flag. She was in charge of Mr.
William Tozer, one of the Harrington's men, from whom Lieutenant Symons
received the log-book and charts. The second mate of the Lady Nelson and
three of her crew were placed in the Estramina, and she left Jervis Bay
for Sydney in company with the Lady Nelson.
On the arrival of the vessels in the Cove on the afternoon of April 10th,
Governor King and the Judge Advocate went on board the Spanish ship to
take Mr. Tozer's depositions. As a result of this visit, orders were
given that the schooner was to be detained at Sydney "for and on behalf
of the Spanish sovereign." At the same time Governor King declared that
if it were proved hostilities had already broken out when the seizure of
the Estramina took place, the ship would become the property of the
Admiralty, because the Harrington possessed no letters of marque. The
Governor also made known his intention of detaining the Harrington at the
first opportunity so that she might "answer for the event." The prize,
which is described as a beautiful schooner, was never released and
eventually became the property of the Government.
The Lady Nelson remained in Sydney Cove from April 10th until May 7th,
and during her stay she was freshly painted. On the latter date, on the
arrival of the Buffalo, she weighed anchor and sailed down the harbour,
coming to below Garden Island. She returned again to the Cove on the 10th
and then prepared to take salt and brine on board for Norfolk Island.
These were needed by the settlers for curing their bacon. The brig sailed
on June 2nd and, as usual, discharging the cargo at the island proved a
difficult task. Before he could land all his stores, Symons was forced to
stand on and off shore for several days. He finally left on July 7th in
company with the Governor King for Sydney.
A cargo of wheat from the Greenhills, and a cargo of coals, cedar logs
and spars from Newcastle, both of which were brought to Sydney for
consumption there, kept the Lady Nelson busily employed until September
27th, when she again cleared the harbour with settlers and stores for
The following logs are interesting, because they tell of these visits,
and in them we also find recorded some of the first names bestowed upon
this part of Tasmania by Flinders and Paterson.
Sydney Cove to Jervis Bay.
"Tuesday, 2nd April 1805. A.M. 11 weighed and proceeded down the Harbour.
"Wednesday, 3rd April. P.M. Came to anchor off Camp Cove. A.M. at 8
cleared the Heads: at noon heavy sea from southward.
"Thursday, 4th April. At daylight extremes of land distant 8 miles.
"Friday, 5th April. P.M. Running along-shore: at 4 altered course south
by west at 8 North Head of Jervis Bay south-west 2 leagues. At 10 hauled
into the bay and stood over to the West shore. At 11 saw a vessel at
anchor at north-west end of bay.
"Saturday, 6th April. Perceived vessel getting under way and making sail
towards us, hove to, hoisted out boat, perceived vessel to be a schooner,
all sails set, hove to and hoisted out colours, the schooner lowered her
top-gallant-sail and hauled her wind to stand out of the bay: filled and
made sail after her, fired a gun, shotted, to bring her to--she hoisted a
St. George's Jack. At 1 P.M. hove to--the vessel bore down and hove to
under lee quarter, hailed her and was answered that it was the Estramina,
a schooner a prize to the Harrington, went on board her and gave the
prize mate, Mr. William Tozer, the memorandum and received from him the
vessel's Logbook, the Spanish log papers and charts. Mr. William Tozer
said he had no orders from Captain Campbell, that Mr. Cummings had them.
At 2 bore up and made sail and came off the island. At 6 sent the 2nd
mate and 3 men on board and took out 3 men. At 8 supplied the Estramina
with 1 week's provisions.
"Sunday, 7th April. A.M. Carpenter repairing boat.
"Monday, 8th April. At 3 weighed and set sail to work into the bay to see
if any more vessels were there: schooner in company. At 6 shortened sail
and came to: saw no vessels in the bay. At 3 A.M. fired 2 guns and
hoisted a light as a signal for the schooner to get under weigh. Weighed
anchor and made sail, at 4 hove to for the schooner to come up. At noon
the North Head of Jervis Bay bearing north-west 5 miles, the schooner in
"Tuesday, 9th April. Altered course. At 11 North Head of Port Jackson
distant 9 miles.
"Wednesday, 10th April. P.M. At 1 made the Heads of Port Jackson: tacked
ship occasionally to work up into the Harbour: the schooner in company:
at 2 abreast Bradley's Head: at 3 came to anchor in the entrance of the
Cove: at 6 weighed and got further up into the Cove: at 7 came to the
"Thursday, 11th April. P.M. Light breezes and clear, people overhauling
the schooner for a survey.
Sydney Cove to Norfolk Island.
"Thursday, 23rd May. Sailed the Investigator for England.
"Sunday, 27th May. Unmoored and hauled out of Cove.
"Thursday, 31st May. Received passengers for Norfolk Island, fired a gun,
made signal for sailing.
"Saturday, 1st June. P.M. Weighed and towed to Shark Island.
"Sunday, 2nd June. P.M. Half-past 12 made sail down the harbour, at North
Head, Port Jackson 7 leagues.
"Tuesday, 4th June. At 7 A.M. saw strange sail, hauled up for her and
spoke the Ferret, Whaler, last from Norfolk Island bound to England.
"Sunday, 9th June. P.M. Strong gales: at 4 heavy squalls with rain, split
the main stay-sail all to pieces, at 5 broke the tiller, heavy sea.
"Monday, 24th June. P.M. Cloudy with rain: at 6 A.M. saw Phillip's Island
bearing east-north-east 4 leagues, Mount Pitt 7 leagues: at 11 between
the Islands, bore up to Cascade: saw the Governor King standing off and
on the Island. At noon Pilot came on board.
"Tuesday, 25th June. P.M. Standing off Cascade. At 6 Point How N. by S. 2
miles: standing under the lee of the Island: Governor King in company
these 12 hours. At noon standing off and on Cascade: fired 2 guns for
"Wednesday, 26th June. P.M. Fresh breezes and cloudy. Point How bore
south-south-west 8 leagues: sent boat on shore to repair.
"Thursday, 27th June. P.M. At 8 light breezes. Abreast of Mount Pitt
standing for Sydney: bent the warps to kedge. At midnight between the
Islands: at 8 A.M. got one boat alongside to discharge stores.
"Friday, 28th June. P.M. At 4 people on board discharging stores for the
island at 8 standing to westward, Phillip Island distant 5 miles--at 8
brought up abreast Sydney, Governor King in company.
"Saturday, 29th June. P.M. At 8 slipt the small cable. A.M. Beat up under
lee of Nepean Island.
"Sunday, 30th June. P.M. At 4 parted the best bower close to the clinch
and stood away to Phillip Island; Norfolk Island west by north 6 miles.
At midnight wore ship and stood to South.
"Monday, 1st July. P.M. Strong gales, stood to south; Norfolk Island
south-west distant 20 miles, at midnight wore ship to Harbour.
"Tuesday, 2nd July. P.M. Stood to southward; Norfolk Island 24 miles,
these 18 hours wore ship and made sail occasionally.
"Wednesday, 3rd July. Repairing rigging. Norfolk Island south-west by
south 14 miles.
"Thursday, 4th July. At noon employed getting the settler's goods, the
Governor King in company.
"Friday, 5th July. Received settlers and goods with 4 soldiers. At
midnight standing to north-east. At 11 A.M. got a boat on board with the
"Saturday, 6th July. At 4 A.M. standing in and off Island and fell in
with Harbour Buoys.
"Sunday, 7th July. P.M. Clearing the boats. Receiving passengers and
prisoners on board for Port Jackson. Governor King in company: at 4 and 8
A.M. made sail, at noon Phillip Island 7 leagues.
Norfolk Island to Sydney Cove.
"Wednesday, 17th July. These 2 hours light breezes and squally. At noon
found the current set to northward about 11 miles.
"Thursday, 18th July. Calm and cloudy, at 6 Mount Gore about 7 leagues,
at 4 A.M. How's island north-north-east 21 leagues.
"Thursday, 25th July. Port Jackson 74 miles. Noon, calm and cloudy.
"Friday, 26th July. At 11 A.M. saw the land of Port Stephens 15 miles.
"Saturday, 27th July. P.M. Bent best bower. Extremes of land west by
"Sunday, 28th July. P.M. Standing in for land. At 4 Rabbit Island 7
miles. At 12 Boxhead about 8 miles west-south-west, Long Reach south-west
by south 15 miles.
"Monday, 29th July. P.M. At 4 hove up and made sail for Pittwater, at 6
came to, saw two vessels coming in, fired 3 guns to bring them to: at 6
weighed and made sail for Port Jackson: North Head south-south-west.
"Tuesday, 30th July. At 2 set steering sails for Port Jackson Heads,
fired 2 guns for a light. At 11 came to between the Heads, two schooners
in company. At 4 working up the Harbour. At 10 came to in Sydney Cove.
"Monday, 5th August. P.M. Weighed and made sail out of Cove. At 2 came to
in stream with small bower in 9 fathoms. At 8 made sail down the
Harbour--at 10 North Head of Port Jackson south by west 5 miles. At 1
came to in Broken Bay not being able to work up the river.
"Tuesday, 6th August. P.M. At 4 weighed and made sail with the flood
tide. At 7 came to in Mullet Island Reach. A.M. Endeavoured to work up,
the wind blowing strong came to again, passed by a schooner.
"Friday, 9th August. P.M. At 6 made sail up River: at 1 came to abreast
of Green Hills. Employed clearing the hold to take in wheat.
"Monday, 12th August. P.M. Calm and cloudy, unmoored ship and towed up
river. A.M. Came to abreast of Cornwallis Farm.
"Tuesday, 13th August. At 8 hauled alongside the wharf and took in 157
bushels of wheat for Government.
"Wednesday, 14th August. P.M. At 2 up anchored and towed down to the
Greenhills: received Government order to deliver over main-sail and
main-top-sail. At noon received wheat, stowing it away, and hemp for
"Thursday, 15th August. P.M. Fresh breezes. Received 800 bushels wheat.
At 8 made sail down the river.
"Friday, 16th August. P.M. At 5 towed down the River. A.M. at 1 came to
in Portland Reach to get on board cedar for Government: at 11 hoisted in
"Monday, 19th August. At 7 weighed and made sail down River: at 1 A.M.
came to in Branch Reach: at 11 going through the narrows grounded, ran
the kedge out and hove off.
"Tuesday, 20th August. At 3 cleared into Port Jackson: half-past came to
in Sydney Cove. Employed delivering wheat.
"Monday, 26th August. Working down Harbour: at 4 came to off South Head:
at 5 made sail out of the Heads.
"Tuesday, 27th August. North Head, Broken Bay west-north-west 7 miles, at
3 the Coal Island west-north-west at 5 miles--at 10 A.M. hauled in
between Heads, a boat came off from shore from Kingstown.* (* i.e.
"Wednesday, 28th August. Found the vessel driving in shore. Found 2
vessels laying there.
"Thursday, 29th August. At noon, sailed Contest schooner.
"Friday, 30th August. People employed getting on board coals and cedar
"Thursday, 5th September. Received on board 8 tons of coals, employed
"Friday, 6th September. P.M. Sailed the Governor Hunter, schooner, for
Sydney. Employed stowing cedar.
"Saturday, 7th September. P.M. At 4 heavy squalls, hove up the best bower
and hauled out in the stream, at 6 made sail, shaped our course for
Sydney. At 1 A.M. the wind hauled round north-east. At 8 Broken Bay west
8 miles North Head Point south-south-west 6 miles, at noon hauled in for
"Sunday 8th September. P.M. Working into the Harbour: at 2 rounded the
South reef: at 3 came to in Sydney Cove. Employed getting the cedar out
and spars for the Resource.
Sydney Cove to Port Dalrymple.
"Saturday, 14th September. Received on board for Port Dalrymple 16 casks
"Monday, 16th September. A.M. Went on board the Harrington to unmoor her
by Government order and lashed her alongside the Supply.
"Tuesday, 17th September. At noon strong breezes.
"Wednesday, 18th September. Provisioning ship, puddening the anchor.
"Thursday, 19th September. Received on board for Port Dalrymple 12 Bales
Slop Clothing, bar iron and other stores, A.M. 150 new hats, one cask
nails and hoes, carpenter making gun carriages.
"Friday, 20th September. Received 10 casks, one of salt for Port
Dalrymple, sailed the Honduras, packet for England.
"Thursday, 26th September. P.M. Hove short. A.M. Towed out of the Cove,
at 9 came to in the stream. Received on board 2 settlers and 1 prisoner
for Port Dalrymple.
"Friday, 27th September. P.M. Weighed and made sail, at 7 North Head
north-north-west 2 miles. At noon Pigeon House west-south-west 7 leagues.
"Tuesday, 1st October. P.M. Heavy gale and sea, at noon bore up for
"Wednesday, 2nd October. P.M. Made all sail for Snug Cove. Found the
Governor Hunter lying there.
"Saturday, 5th October. At 2 made sail out of Bay, schooner in company.
At 12 schooner out of sight astern.
"Sunday, 6th October. P.M. At 6 saw the land, Kent's Group
south-south-west 10 miles, bore up for Group--at 9 came to in East Cove.
"Friday, 11th October. P.M. At 7 weighed and made sail out of Kent's
"Saturday, 12th October. P.M. At 6 saw the flag-staff on the west head,
at 8 fired a gun to make the people on shore make a fire, half-past 8
fired another, at 9 entered the Heads, came on board a Pilot, at 1 got on
shore, out kedge to warp off, at 2 came to in Western Arm, at 8 weighed
and kedged up the Arm to the Settlement, at 11 came to in 3 fathoms
water. At noon calm and cloudy weather.
"Sunday, 13th October. P.M. Moderate and cloudy.
"Monday, 14th October. P.M. Fresh breezes and variable. A.M. Calm and
clear, got cables on deck to discharge cargo.
"Monday, 21st October. A.M. Weighed and towed down the arm, at 11 fired a
gun, made sail up river.
"Tuesday, 22nd October. P.M. At 7 calm and cloudy, came to abreast of
Swan Point. At 7 weighed and made sail, found the small bower anchor
stock broke off and totally gone. Came on board Colonel Paterson, 3
soldiers, settler and boat's crew, Mr. Williams, the Surveyor and 3 men.
"Wednesday, 23rd October. Weighed and made sail up the River, at 11 came
to above Upper Island in 3 fathoms water.
"Saturday, 26th October. P.M. Weighed and towed down the River, at 10
grounded on a mud flat.
"Sunday, 27th October. P.M. At 1 hove off into the stream, at 5 weighed
and made sail down the River--at 6 came to, found we could not beat down.
A.M. At 4 towed down the River--at 10 came to in the Crescent Reach.
"Monday, 28th October. P.M. At 5 weighed and made sail down the River. At
10 came to off Point Rapid, at 5 towed down River, at 11 came to in
"Thursday, 31st October. P.M. Cutting spars for beacons. Employed down
the harbour putting up the beacon.
"Friday, 1st November. A.M. Down the Harbour at the beacons. Erected two
beacons, with flags on, below the Islands, one white flag the other red.
"Thursday, 7th November. Put up altogether four beacons with flags with
20 yards of bunting.
"Monday, 11th November. At 8 A.M. unmoored ship.
"Tuesday, 12th November. P.M. Strong gales, at 2 weighed and made sail
down the River, came to in Barran's Pool.
"Wednesday, 13th November. People on shore filling water.
"Thursday, 14th November. Came on board 11 prisoners and other passengers
for Port Jackson.
Port Dalrymple to Sydney Cove.
"Friday, 15th November. P.M. Came on board Colonel Paterson and delivered
the dispatches, at 6 weighed and made sail down the Harbour, at 9 came to
abreast of Lagoon Reach. A.M. At 6 made sail.
"Saturday, 16th November. Heavy sea, at 10 saw the Pyramid bearing north
by east 6 miles, half-past saw Kent's Group.
"Sunday, 17th November. P.M. At 2 saw a sunken reef north-north-west of
the Stuck Rocks and from Kent's Group, about 15 miles, two miles from the
Big Stuck, the sea breaking over them; at 5 Kent's Group bearing
west-south-west. At 9 saw two vessels on the larboard bow: fired a gun to
bring them to, spoke them, the one the Nancy and the other the Fly,
sloop, from Port Jackson.
"Monday, 18th November. At 6 Cape How north at 7 miles, at 7 altered
course, at Cape Green west-south-west. At noon Twofold Bay south-west
about 4 leagues.
"Tuesday, 19th November. At noon moderate and cloudy weather, Mount
Dromedary distant 6 or 7 leagues.
"Wednesday, 20th November. P.M. At 6 Pigeon House north-west at 4
leagues. Jervis Bay west-south-west about 10 miles. At noon Five islands
west about 7 miles.
"Thursday, 21st November. P.M. At 7 South Head, Port Jackson, north about
13 miles, at half-past 9 bore up for the Harbour, half-past 11 came to
Sydney Cove with the best bower.
"Monday, 25th November. Received on board 4 sheep for the ship's company.
At 8 came alongside the punt with flour for Port Dalrymple.
"Wednesday, 27th November. Arrived H.M.S. Buffalo from the River Derwent,
at 4 weighed and towed out into the stream.
Sydney Cove to Port Dalrymple.
"Thursday, 28th November. P.M. At 3 weighed and made sail, at 7 came to
between Heads. A.M. At 4 made sail.
"Friday, 29th November. P.M. Heavy sea. Standing to Southward, at 7
Botany Bay 4 miles, Point Hicks south-west 11 miles. At noon Justice's
Bay west 15 miles.
"Wednesday, 4th December. At 6 saw the land Kent's Group, South Hogan's
Group west-south-west 4 leagues; at half-past 7 a heavy squall with
thunder and lightning and rain from the north-west. At noon saw the
"Thursday, 5th December. Heavy sea running, the Sisters west-south-west
about 4 miles, at 6 hauled up for a sandy beach bearing S.S. Found this
place a good shelter from the wind and good riding, found the tide
setting about cast and west, at 4 made sail, Rocky Island south-east 1/2
east 4 miles standing alongshore, Gull Island south-south-east 5 miles.*
(* Islands of the Furneaux Group.)
"Friday, 6th December. At half-past one passed between Gull Island and
the main--found a good channel with 4 fathoms at low water, at 4 tacked
to work up the narrows; at 9 came to in the Village not being able to
work up, the tide having made.* (* Probably the Lady Nelson anchored in
Kent's Bay, where there was a sealing village.) Saw a small vessel laying
in the Head of the bay.
"Saturday, 7th December. P.M. At 5 the tide having made, made sail up the
bay: found the vessel to be the Raven of Port Jackson. A.M. Tacked to
work out of bay. At noon moderate breezes and cloudy. Preservation Island
north-north-east 3 miles.
"Sunday, 8th December. P.M. At 4 Waterhouse Island about 10 miles. A.M.
At 6 saw Head of Port Dalrymple south-west about 4 miles. At noon came to
in Western Arm in 2 fathoms with best bower.
Port Dalrymple to Sydney Cove.
"Friday, 13th December. At 5 weighed and towed down Harbour, at 9 came to
in Barren's Pool, at 9 cleared the Harbour, Marcia, schooner, in company.
Stoney Head south-east 4 miles.
"Saturday, 14th December. Twentyday Island south-east by east about 10
miles, at 6 set leeward steering sails--Waterhouse Island
south-south-east 4 miles, at 10 hove too off Preservation Island,* at 4
made sail for Cape Barren. Clark's Island* south-south-west about 10
"Sunday, 15th December. At noon weighed, and dropped farther down the
"Wednesday, 18th December. Light airs and thick, at 7 weighed and made
sail, at 12 Sea Lyon Island* south-south-west about 10 miles. (* Islands
of the Furneaux Group.)
Saturday, 21st December. At 4 heavy sea, at 5 saw strange sail, found the
same to be the Estramina, at 8 lost sight of her.
"Sunday, 22nd December. At sunset saw the land extremes from south-west
to north-west by north distant off shore 7 leagues. A.M. At 8 made all
sail for Port Jackson: at 9 hauled in for the Heads: at half-past 11 came
to in Sydney Cove."
TIPPAHEE AND HIS FOUR SONS ARE CONVEYED TO NEW ZEALAND IN THE LADY
The following months were months well spent by England's little ship;
months which, like many others, left their mark on the early history of
Australia and New Zealand, when seed was sown in England's name that was
afterwards to bear fruit and extend her power and prosperity.
Empire builders to-day may well envy those whose lot it was to be the
first in that vast southern field.
They were a gallant little band who, in early days, carried the
mother-flag from New South Wales to lands and islands yet more distant,
discovering the shores, planting the first settlements and moulding them
into shape--men who worked with such untiring energy that succeeding
generations found a city, where lately had stood a few miserable huts,
and a flourishing seaport surrounding a once silent cove.
Looking back across one hundred and twenty years of time, we can picture
the empty spaces on the sea-shore, which are now towns, and the
monotonous wildernesses of bushland, which have been replaced by smiling
landscapes; and we can realise the enormous difficulties that had to be
overcome before houses could be built, or the bushland cleared and
One of the first letters (perhaps the very first from a woman's pen to be
handed down to us) written from Sydney, in November 1788, thus describes
the Mother-settlement at the beginning.
"We have now two streets, if four rows of the most miserable huts you can
possibly conceive deserve that name. Windows they have none as from the
Governor's house (now nearly finished) no glass could be spared, so that
lattices of twigs are made by our people to supply their places. At the
extremity of the lines where since our arrival the dead are buried there
is a place called the churchyard..." and then, telling of the only food
obtainable there, in addition to the hard fare provided by the
Government, the writer continues, "Our kangaroo cats are like mutton but
much leaner and there is a kind of chickweed so much in taste like
spinach that no difference can be discerned. Something like ground ivy is
used for tea but a scarcity of salt and sugar makes our best meals
insipid...Everyone is so taken up with their own misfortunes that they
have no pity to bestow on others."* (* To-day Sydney is the seventh city
of the Empire.) What was written of Sydney may be said to have been true
of all the settlements. Everywhere hardships were encountered, and
everywhere they were surmounted.
The Lady Nelson's log will show how in 1806 she paid a second and perhaps
a more important visit to New Zealand. Her commander was instructed by
Governor King to convey Tippahee, a New Zealand Chief of the Bay of
Islands on the north-east coast, back from Sydney to his own dominions.
At some time previously a son of this Chief had been brought to Port
Jackson in a whaling vessel. The Governor had shown him kindness and had
ordered some pigs to be sent from Norfolk Island to New Zealand for his
father, and Tippahee, on receiving the present, had himself resolved to
pay a visit to Governor King. He embarked with his four sons in a small
colonial whaling vessel bound for Norfolk Island. The voyage was hardly a
success, for on his arrival there he complained to the authorities that
the master of the ship had treated them badly and had detained his
youngest son. Captain Piper, the Commandant, gave them a very kind
reception, and it is said rescued the youngest son from the master of the
whaler. Shortly afterwards, H.M.S. Buffalo called at Norfolk Island, when
Tippahee, with his sons, was received on board by Captain Houston, and
after the Buffalo had visited Tasmania, the New Zealanders were brought
to Sydney, where, dressed in the costume of a Chief of his country,
Tippahee did homage to Governor King. We are told that this meant laying
a mat at Governor King's feet and performing the ceremony of "joining
noses." The Governor seems to have developed a great admiration for
Tippahee. He allowed the Maori Chief to remain, along with his eldest
son, as a guest at Government House, and provided his other sons with
suitable lodgings. The Chief is described as being 5 feet 11 1/2 inches
high, stout and athletic looking, and about forty-six years of age. His
face was completely tattooed. Among other things, King writes of him that
he was "a constant attendant at Divine Service," and he adds, "he had a
contempt of the Australian aborigine."
The Reverend Samuel Marsden, then chaplain in Sydney, became intimately
acquainted with Tippahee, and he, too, states that he found him "a man of
very superior understanding and capable of receiving any instruction. His
companions also manifested strong mental faculties." When the Maoris had
remained in the colony as long as they wished--by that time becoming
familiar figures to all the citizens of Sydney--the Governor gave
instructions for the Lady Nelson to be fitted up to convey them back to
their own country. Before their departure they were loaded with presents
by the Governor and other friends, the gifts being carefully packed in
chests and put on board the brig. On this voyage Governor King also
ordered some bricks and the framework of a house for New Zealand to be
received as part of the cargo.
On February 25th, Tippahee and his sons bade farewell to New South Wales
and their numerous friends there, and on their going on board, the Lady
Nelson immediately set sail for the Bay of Islands.
During the voyage the Chief was taken ill and Mr. Symons ordered a young
man named George Bruce to nurse him. So well did Bruce carry out his
duties, that Tippahee afterwards requested that he might be allowed to
remain in New Zealand.* (* The request was granted, and Bruce was
afterwards given Tippahee's daughter in marriage. How badly the pair were
treated by the captain of a British vessel, which called at New Zealand
to refit, is told in the Sydney Gazette, which states that Bruce and his
wife were carried away from New Zealand in the Wellesley, first to Fiji
and afterwards to Malacca, where Bruce was left behind. His wife was
taken on to Penang, but on his making a complaint to the commanding
officer at Malacca, that gentleman warmly espoused Bruce's cause and sent
him to Bengal, where the authorities extended him aid, and eventually his
wife was restored to him.)
The Chief's illness may have been an attack of sea-sickness, due to the
roughness of the passage, as the log records that the weather was very
On March 2nd the Lady Nelson made a great deal of water and had to be
pumped out. The vessel still remained in a leaky state, and this
drawback, in conjunction with the cross currents and heavy gales that she
encountered, greatly retarded her progress.
A succession of gales followed, consequently the land of New Zealand was
not sighted until March 30th, when at noon it was observed for the first
time, trending from east-south-east to north-east.
At eight o'clock in the evening a prominent cape was seen eight miles
distant, which Symons records was North-West Cape (or Cape Maria Van
Diemen). At eleven the ship hauled round to the eastward and hove to.
Native fires were seen burning on land. Next morning at six o'clock the
Lady Nelson made sail and stood in shore, and as she made her appearance
she was met by two native canoes, but perceiving that the coast was very
rocky and a gale arising the commander stood to the westward, Tunitico
then being east-south-east half a mile. At five o'clock in the afternoon
he again endeavoured to anchor, and the Lady Nelson was brought to in a
bay "in 15 fathoms of water, sand and shells." Five canoes came
alongside, and as the Maoris appeared very friendly a boat-load of wood
and of water was obtained.
Working his way round the coast, which he says he could not "fetch," on
April 3rd Lieutenant Symons made all sail for a bay to the south-east,
and in the evening the ship came to anchorage, being then eleven leagues
from North Cape. Of this place her Commander writes, "There are three
islands laying to the south-east by north; one to the north which will
break off all sail from this point of the compass. One of these islands
is very thinly inhabited." The boat was lowered to sound between the
island and the main, as a reef was perceived running out astern, and the
soundings gave ten to five fathoms. At ten o'clock on April 4th the Lady
Nelson again weighed and made sail to work to windward, and at eleven
came to in eight fathoms of water--the bottom being "fine sand and
At four o'clock two canoes containing only three men came alongside the
ship, and early on the following morning three New Zealand Chiefs from
the Island of Titteranee, friends of Tippahee, came to welcome their
countryman on his return.
On the Island of Titteranee the natives were very friendly. One of their
number, who had spent some time at Norfolk Island, came on board,* (* He
was named Tookee.) and the Chiefs supplied the ship with a quantity of
fish, for which Lieutenant Symons gave them bread in exchange. During the
vessel's stay, the Chiefs of Titteranee were not only constant visitors,
but some appear to have remained altogether in the ship. Possibly the
Commander saw a little too much of Tippahee and his friends, as while the
boats were on shore cutting brooms and obtaining water, the former was
exceedingly troublesome on board--two or three times causing a
disturbance by lifting up weapons and threatening the seamen at their
work. At noon on the 12th of April, Mr. Symons records that he became
very mutinous. An Otaheitan in the ship informed the Commander that he
had asked one of the Chiefs to go on shore and bring his men to attack
the vessel. Tippahee's residence was at the Bay of Islands, and it seems
fortunate that Lieutenant Symons was able to land him safely among his
own people, for according to the Sydney Gazette he wielded great power
and was acknowledged to be a great Chief by the New Zealanders "from the
North Cape to his own dwelling place."
On April 20th, before reaching the Bay of Islands, the Commander of the
Lady Nelson went to examine a deep bay to the south-west, which he
explored. He found at the bottom of this bay a river which "ran
south-south-east and north-north-west about three miles and one from the
west-south-west to west-north-west...after the first Reach the River runs
flat and 3 or 4 leagues. On the larboard shore of the river it is not
safe for any vessel, drawing more than 12 feet, to attempt entering." He
also mentions a lagoon which ran at the back of the beach to the eastward
of the River and a deep bay; these were about one mile apart.
In returning from this little expedition of exploration--which was a very
early one--the boat was upset and two muskets, three powder horns, and
two pistols were lost. Symons had already lost the stock of the small
bower anchor, the deep-sea lead, and the seine among the rocks. On April
22nd the ship took her departure from this harbour, leaving behind her
here a seaman named Joseph Druce who deserted and could not be found.
On the evening of the same day Cavill's or Cavalli Island was sighted,
and a native fire could be seen burning there. At noon the latitude
observed was 34 degrees 43 minutes 57 seconds south. Next morning, while
working off and on the shore, Cape Brett, some fourteen miles distant to
the eastward, and at noon Point Pocock (of Captain Cook) which lay to the
south-east came into view.* (* The Point Pocock of Cook is now Cape
On Friday the 25th April the Lady Nelson, escorted by three canoes bore
up between two islands in the Bay of Islands and came to under the Island
of Matuapo in two fathoms. Tippahee's home was situated on the north side
of the Bay of Islands, just within Point Pocock, and is described as "a
considerable Hippah strongly fortified." The district extending to the
northward was called Whypopoo, but Tippahee claimed the whole country
across the island from Muri Whenua.* (* The name for the land's end or
most northern part of New Zealand.) At the same time he admitted that his
two great rivals were Mowpah, who was Chief of the territory in the
neighbourhood of the River Thames, and Moodee, Chief of the territory to
Lieutenant Symons lost no time in sending the presents given to the
Maoris at Sydney on shore, and at daylight on the day after his arrival
he also landed the bricks and the framework of the wooden house. The
house, by Governor King's orders, was to be erected in the most suitable
spot possible, and was intended for the use of any officials who might be
sent from Sydney, or for any missionaries whom the Governor might permit
to dwell there. The carpenter was sent on shore to carry out the
Governor's instructions, and he built the house on an island in the Bay
of Islands on a site selected by Mr. Symons, who afterwards stated that
the island was a very small one, but he believed that the house would be
impregnable, and able to withstand the attacks of any force that the
country at that time could bring against it.* (* This house was one of
the first, if not the very first house, to be built in New Zealand. We do
not hear even of a single sealer's hut then at the Bay of Islands, but
shortly afterwards settlers and missionaries from Sydney arrived there,
and in 1815 (see Calcutta Gazette, April 27th), after the missionaries
arrived, houses began to grow up, and the Bombay Courier, November 20th,
1819, says of it, "The settlement at New Zealand appears to have assumed
a regular form and to be regarded as a British Colony regulated under the
control of New South Wales Government Authority. On September 29th the
Missionaries, sent out by the Church Missionary Society, took their
departure from Sydney for the Bay of Islands on board the American brig
General Gates, one of them, the Reverend J. Butler, having previously
been appointed by Governor Macquarie to act as justice of the peace and
magistrate of the Island of New Zealand.")
The Lady Nelson waited for five days in the Bay of Islands, until the
carpenter had completed his work, and during that time Tippahee, who
seems to have overcome his fit of temper, brought on board many presents
for his friends in Sydney, sending one to each person individually; these
were for the most part weapons of war, which, observes the Sydney
Gazette, "must have somewhat diminished his native armoury." A sample of
New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax) was also brought back from Tippahee's
dominions. The flax was used by the Maoris not only in weaving mats and
kirtles, but also for making fishing lines. The lines, although they were
twisted entirely by hand, resembled the finest cord of European
manufacture, The most useful presents, however, sent on board by Tippahee
were some fine ships' spars, which New Zealand produced in great
abundance, and also a quantity of seed potatoes, then very scarce in
Sydney, and consequently greatly appreciated.
Leaving New Zealand, and after passing Three Kings' Islands, Lieutenant
Symons steered to Norfolk Island, where he embarked some men of the New
South Wales Corps under Ensign Lawson for Sydney. During the long voyage
of four months, the brig sustained no material damage, though she met
with continuous bad weather, "thus preserving her character," says the
Sydney Gazette, "as being a vessel of the greatest capability,
considering her small dimensions."
This log throws fresh light on the character of Tippahee, who had been
overwhelmed with kindness at Sydney and on board the Lady Nelson.
Notwithstanding this, Symons seems to have very narrowly escaped being
attacked by the Maoris. In 1809, when almost every person on the Boyd was
murdered at Wangaroa, Captain Thompson was almost universally blamed for
being too hasty with Tippahee. He had previously resented some slight
theft, and on the old chief's coming to pay his respects, had told him
"not to bother him as he was too busy." Possibly Captain Thompson's
critics judged him too harshly, for had he been as watchful of Tippahee
as Mr. Symons apparently was, the massacre of the Boyd might not have
From Sydney to New Zealand.
Laying at Port Jackson.
JAMES SYMONS, Commander.
"Sunday, 19th January. 1806. P.M. At 1 fired a salute in honour of the
"Tuesday, 21st January. Received a boatload of bricks for New Zealand and
stowed them away.
"Wednesday, 22nd January. Received boatload of bricks for New Zealand,
sent for a boatload of firewood.
"Thursday, 23rd January. Strong breezes and cloudy with a great smoke in
"Friday, 24th January. Received on board part of a house for New Zealand.
"Saturday, 25th January. P.M. Received the remainder of the house.
"Monday, 27th January. A.M. Received 2 chests on board for Tippahee going
to New Zealand.
"Monday, 10th February. Sailed the Estramina, Spanish schooner, for Port
"Wednesday, 12th February. Arrived ship Sophia and a boat from
Tellicherry, a ship on the coast which was short of water.
"Thursday, 13th February. Made the signal for sailing, arrived the
Tellicherry from England.
"Friday, 14th February. Came into the Cove the Sophia and Tellicherry.
"Saturday, 15th February. Fired a gun and made signal for sailing.
"Sunday, 16th February. Received from Tellicherry on account of
Government, 3600 pounds bread.
"Sunday, 23rd February. Arrived the Star Whaler from England in 18 weeks.
"Tuesday, 25th February. Weighed and made sail down the Harbour--came on
board Tippahee and his 4 sons for their passage to New Zealand.
"Wednesday, 26th February. P.M. Port Jackson at 4 north-west 6 miles: at
7 North Head bearing south-west by south about 12 miles.
"Saturday, 1st March. P.M. Fresh breezes. At 12 strong gales: found the
current had set the vessel to southwards: the rate of 10 miles per day.
"Sunday, 2nd March. P.M. Strong gales heavy sea: found the vessel had
made a great deal of water, pumped her out: found the vessel's deck leak
"Monday, 17th March. Heavy sea still running: found the current had set
to windward about 40 miles. 35 degrees 35 seconds south.
"Friday, 21st March. Noon, moderate breezes, the current set to the
northward, 3/4 mile per hour. 33 degrees 11 minutes 30 seconds south.
"Saturday, 22nd March. At 9 A.M. capsized boat, got the main keel up,
carpenter repairing it. 33 degrees 40 minutes 48 seconds south.
"Sunday, 30th March. North Cape distant 47 miles.
"Monday, 31st March. P.M. Strong breezes and squally, bore up and ran
the main top-gallant sail, employed getting the stirrup down and another
up, at 8 North-West Cape or Cape Maria van Dieman north-west by north 8
miles at 10 wore and stood to the Westward Tunitico on east-south-east
about 1/2 mile. Two canoes alongside.
"Tuesday, 1st April. P.M. Made and shortened sail--at 5 found the wind
hang to south-east. At 10 found the vessel driving, wore away 2 thirds of
the cable. At noon tide flows northward and alongshore about 5 feet, 5
canoes came alongside, the natives appear very friendly.
"Wednesday, 2nd April. P.M. Strong gales. At 4 came to in 20 fathoms of
water, fine brown sand, the bottom appears in general very good and clear
of rocks. Any ship or vessel may lay here with the wind from south-west
to south-east in safety.
"Thursday, 3rd April. P.M. Tacked to work round the North Cape, at 8
North Cape south 2 miles. At noon about 15 miles.
"Friday, 4th April. P.M. At 4 fresh breezes and squally. At 6 shortened
sail and came to at all leagues from the North Cape. There are three
islands laying to the south-east by north one to the north which will
break off all sail from this point of the compass. One of the islands is
very thinly inhabited. At 10 weighed and made sail, to work to windward,
at 11 came to in 8 fathoms of water--fine sand and shells.
"Saturday, 5th April. P.M. At 4 came alongside 2 canoes with only 3 men.
Lost the stock of the small bower anchor, unstocked the kedge and stocked
the small bower, at 8 A.M. came alongside 3 chiefs from the Island of
Titteranee, friends of Tippahee. Latitude of anchorage 34 degrees 47
minutes 20 seconds south.
"Sunday, 6th April. On the Island of Titteranee found the natives very
friendly, the native Tookee that went to Norfolk Island came on board,
the chiefs supplied the ship with fish, gave them bread in lieu.
"Monday, 7th April. P.M. Employed watering vessel, people on shore
"Tuesday, 8th April. P.M. Several canoes alongside. Three chiefs on
board. Boat returned having lost the seine among the rocks.
"Wednesday, 9th April. A.M. Sent people on shore to cut firewood.
"Thursday, 10th April. Moderate and cloudy. Painting ship.
"Friday, 11th April. Strong gales with rain. The 3 chiefs still on board.
"Saturday, 12th April. A.M. Tippahee 2 or 3 times attempted to raise a
disturbance in the vessel, lifted up weapons against some of the men
whilst putting their orders into force. At noon Tippahee became very
mutinous. I have understood from an Otaheitan on board he told one of the
chiefs to go on shore and bring his men to attack the vessel.
"Sunday, 13th April. P.M. Ditto weather with a heavy sea in the offing,
the wind has not changed more than 2 points these six days, sent the boat
for greens for the Brig's company.
"Monday, 14th April. P.M. Strong gales with heavy rain. Painted ship,
sent boat for greens.
"Tuesday, 15th April. At 8 A.M. sent for water.
"Wednesday, 16th April. Received boatload of water, people cutting wood
"Thursday, 17th April. At 4 sent boat for greens.
"Friday, 18th April. Sent boat for cask of water. A.M. Sent boat for
greens, 2 chiefs on board.
"Saturday, 19th April. P.M. Sent boat for water. Strong breezes and
"Sunday, 20th April. P.M. Went with the boat to examine a deep bay to the
south-west. Found at the bottom of the bay a river to run
south-south-east and north-north-west about 3 miles, and one from the
west-south-west to west-north-west there is about 4 fathoms water, it is
not safe for any vessel drawing more than 12 feet to attempt entering,
the tide runs out at 2 knots and flows about 8 or 10 feet. There is a
shoal running off towards the starboard shore about west from the leeward
shore, half-way up the bottom is a fine sand. There is a lagoon runs all
along the deep bay aback of the beach; to the eastward of the River there
is a deep bay runs in, about one mile apart. In returning on board the
boat upset and lost overboard 2 musquets, 3 powder horns and 2 pistols.
"Monday, 21st April. Lost overboard 2 woodaxes.
"Tuesday, 22nd April. A.M. Weighed and made sail out of bay. Run from the
ship Joseph Druce.
"Wednesday, 23rd April. P.M. Strong breezes with heavy swell--at 6
Cavill's Island about 6 leagues--at 12 tacked ship, saw a fire on shore,
at 8 Cavill's Island about 10 miles. Noon. Latitude observed 34 degrees
43 minutes 57 seconds.
"Thursday, 24th April. Standing off and on working in shore, Point
Pocock* (* Point Pocock of Cook now called Cape Wiwiki.) east-south-east
Cape Brett east 14 miles. At 6 Cavill's Island south-south-east about 8
miles, at 12 fresh breezes and squally, at 4 ditto weather, tacked
Cavill's Island south-west about 6 miles, at 8 tacked moderate, squally.
At noon Point Pocock south-east Cape Brett about 14 miles. Latitude
observed 35 degrees 3 minutes south.
"Friday, 25th April. P.M. Moderate breezes and cloudy. Point Pocock about
6 miles, Cape Brett east by south 18 miles. At 8, 3 canoes alongside. At
noon bore up between 2 islands and came to under the island Matuapo in 2
"Saturday, 26th April. P.M. Light winds and variable. A.M. At daylight
got the house on deck and sent on shore the carpenter to build. Sent on
shore all the tools and articles belonging to Tippahee.
"Monday, 28th April. A.M. Got on board 7 spars from the chief.
"Tuesday, 29th April. P.M. Strong breezes and squally weather. Stowed and
lashed the spars. Carpenter about the house.
"Wednesday, 30th April. P.M. People stowing away wood. At noon hauled the
boat on shore to repair--carpenter about the house.
"Thursday, 1st May. P.M. Small rain. Stowing away fire-wood, launched the
boat. A.M. At 6 towed out in the stream, at 8 came to, Cape Brett
east-north-east 8 miles. At noon sent back on shore for potatoes.
"Friday, 2nd May. At 6 made sail to work out of Cove, finding we could
not weather the Cape Brett, bore up to come to an anchor, bore up for a
bay to leeward.
"Saturday, 3rd May. P.M. Sounded in 24 fathoms sandy bottom, the
soundings run from 24 to 13 fathoms, very regular until you shut the
Southern Island and Point Pocock in, then shells from 10 to 5 fathoms
"Sunday, 4th May. Several canoes alongside. Sailmaker making canvas
"Tuesday, 6th May. At 8 A.M. 30 canoes alongside: at 11 strong breezes
from westward, in boat.
"Wednesday, 7th May. P.M. At 2 A.M. made sail out of the bay: at 5 Point
Pocock south-south-west 1 1/2 miles: at 8 Cavill's Island west-north-west
8 miles. At noon 7 canoes alongside.
"Thursday, 8th May. At 10 light breezes from the southward: weighed and
made sail between Cavill's Island and the main, current not less than 5
fathoms mid-channel: at 6 ten canoes alongside. Wongoroa Island bearing
south-south-west about 12 miles, Cavill Island south-east 4 miles.
"Friday, 9th May. P.M. Several canoes alongside. At 4 Wongaroa Island
south-east about 3 miles: at 5 light breezes, made all sail along the
coast, at 6 Cavill Island east by south. Wongaroa south-east by south.
Knuckle Point west 5 leagues, A.M. Knuckle Point south 3 miles: set up.
At noon North-West Cape about 6 miles: 5 canoes alongside.
"Saturday, 10th May. At 2 bore up and made sail for Norfolk Island.
"Friday, 16th May. Light breezes and variable, thunder and lightning.
Found the current setting to north-east about 10 miles. By double
altitude latitude 29 degrees 30 minutes 32 seconds. Latitude by
observation 29 degrees 23 minutes 57 seconds.
"Monday, 19th May. Fresh breezes, wind and rain--at 4 Norfolk Island
west-north-west and Phillip Island west 4 miles--at 5 bore up for Sydney.
At 6 fired a gun and made signal for a pilot, at 7 a boat came off from
the shore and received a pilot.
"Wednesday, 21st May. Calm and dark cloudy weather with heavy showers of
rain at times. At daylight saw a strange sail to south-east. At 7 joined
company and proved to be the Ocean Whaler, from New Zealand.
"Thursday, 22nd May. Strong breezes and cloudy. Working between the
islands. Noon, received no boat these 24 hours, landing being so bad.
"Friday, 23rd May. At daylight bore up for Sydney finding they would not
send off a boat from Cascade, at 6 working in for Sydney.
"Saturday, 24th May. P.M. Working in for Sydney. Received from Ocean
Whaler 4 gallons of oil for use of vessel, at midnight stood in for bay,
the flagstaff north-east by north. At noon received 2 boatloads of
Norfolk Island to Sydney.
"Monday, 26th May. Received on board Ensign Lawson New South Wales Corps
with 6 privates and their baggage for a passage to Port Jackson,
discharged the pilot, at 7 weighed and made all sail for Port Jackson.
"Thursday, 5th June. Heavy sea from north-east. At 1 wind shifted to the
south-east. Wore ship, Ball's Pyramid, at 6 distant off shore 10 miles,
at 11 found main keel gone.
"Monday, 9th June. P.M. Fresh breezes, quarter past 3, Point Stephens
bearing west-north-west about 12 miles. At noon fresh breezes and squally
weather, Collier's Point north-west 1/2 west about 7 leagues, found the
current setting to the northward about 18 hours this day.
"Tuesday, 10th June. At sunset Cape Three points south-west 1/2 west,
Bird Island S. by S. about 5 miles.
"Friday, 13th June. Light breezes and cloudy. At 8 saw the light on the
south head of Port Jackson, came on board pilot and took charge of the
vessel, at 9 came to finding the tide done. At noon Bradley's Head 2
"Saturday, 14th June. Half-past 1 weighed and made sail up the harbour,
at half-past 3 came to in Sydney Cove.
"Sunday, 20th July. A.M. Received orders to take the crew of H.M. brig
Lady Nelson on board the Estramina, colonial schooner, to fit her out.
Sent the schooner anchor and a cable per order. At noon sent the officers
and men on board to assist--they are to be considered as lent for H.M.
[Facsimile signature James Symons.]
Lieutenant Symons' logbook closes with the entry dated July 20th, 1806,
and is the last log of the Lady Nelson preserved at the Public Record
Office. It is quite possible that others are in existence, either in
England, or in Sydney, although the present writer has not been able to
It must not be supposed that the useful work performed by the little
vessel ended at this date, as for years she continued to sail into and
out of Port Jackson. For a short time Lieutenant Symons and her crew were
turned over to the Estramina, the Spanish prize appropriated by Governor
King, and used in the colonial service until 1817, when she was lost
while coming out of the Hunter River with a cargo of coal.
But in November 1806 we again find the Lady Nelson carrying stores to
Newcastle, and on her return voyage she brought Lieutenant Putland, R.N.
(Governor Bligh's son-in-law), with other passengers, back from the
Settlement.* (* Sydney Gazette, December, 1806.)
Shortly afterwards Mr. Symons joined H.M.S. Porpoise as Lieutenant, being
appointed Commander of that ship in 1807, and the Lady Nelson was then
placed in charge of Lieutenant William George Carlile Kent, who
subsequently superseded Symons as Commander of the Porpoise by the orders
of Governor Bligh.
In 1807 and 1808 the little ship's Commanders appear to have often
changed, and her fortunes, like those of her officers, experienced a wave
of uncertainty during the stormy period which marked the rule of Governor
Bligh. Eventually by his orders the Lady Nelson was dismantled. It is
well-known that Governor Bligh was deposed and kept a prisoner in his own
house for twelve months by the officers of the New South Wales Corps.
During this time the colony was governed by three officers, Johnston,
Foveaux, and Paterson.
On the arrival of Major-General Macquarie from England to take over the
reins of Government, he caused inquiries to be made concerning the use of
the brig, to which Colonel Foveaux replied on January 10th, 1810, "I have
the honour to inform your Excellency that the Lady Nelson brig was sent
from England seven or eight years since by the Admiralty as an armed
tender to the ship of war on this station. On the departure of H.M.S.
Porpoise in March last, Commodore Bligh ordered her to be dismantled and
laid up in ordinary in the King's Yard. The Commodore gave her in charge
of Mr. Thomas Moore, the master builder, with directions to hand her over
to Colonel Paterson should he require her for the service of the colony.
Colonel Paterson applied for her immediately after the Porpoise sailed
hence, manned her with hired seamen, and she has since continued in the
employment of the Government for the use of these settlements."
From this time forward we hear of Governor Macquarie frequently taking
excursions in the Lady Nelson, and in October 1811, he, with Mrs.
Macquarie, proceeded in her to Van Diemen's Land, where he made an
extensive tour of inspection of the settlements, and every Governor in
turn seems to have used the brig for work of this character.
It is not easy to trace, subsequently, the doings of the Lady Nelson, and
presumably for a year or two she lay dismantled in Sydney Harbour, and
during that period is described as "nothing more or less than a Coal
By the Governor's orders, however, in 1819, when Captain Phillip King
left Sydney in the Mermaid to explore Torres Strait and the north coast
of Australia, the Lady Nelson was again made smart and trim and
accompanied the Mermaid as far as Port Macquarie. Lieutenant Oxley, R.N.,
sailed in the Lady Nelson, and after making a survey of the shores of the
port he returned in her to Port Jackson.
Until she set forth on her last voyage, the Lady Nelson continued to ply
between the settlements, carrying stores to them from the capital, and
bringing the settlers' grain and other produce to Sydney for sale, and as
the expansion of the colony proceeded, her sphere of usefulness naturally
became greatly enlarged.
THE LADY NELSON ACCOMPANIES H.M.S. TAMAR TO MELVILLE ISLAND.
In the year 1824, the British Government determined to form a settlement
on the north coast of Australia in the vicinity of Melville Island, with
the object of opening up intercourse between that district and the Malay
coast. On account of the nearness of the place to Timor, it was believed
that some of the trade of the East Indies would be attracted to its
shores. For some time previously small vessels from New South Wales had
traded regularly with certain islands of the Indian Archipelago chiefly
in pearls, tortoise-shell and beche-de-mer.
In order to carry out the intentions of the Government, Captain James
Gordon Bremer left England in H.M.S. Tamar on February 27th, 1824, for
Sydney, where the establishment was to be raised. The Tamar brought a
number of marines who were to form part of the garrison for the proposed
settlement. Meanwhile, the authorities at Sydney had chartered the ship
Countess of Harcourt, Captain Bunn, in which to convey the settlers as
well as a detachment of officers and men, then quartered in the colony,
with their wives to Melville Island. After taking supplies on board, the
following were embarked in the Countess of Harcourt, Captain Barlow,
Lieutenant Everard, and twenty-four non-commissioned officers and men,
all of the Buffs. Dr. Turner, Royal Artillery; Mr. George Miller,
Commissariat Department; Mr. Wilson and Mr. George Tollemache,
Storekeepers. In all the Countess of Harcourt carried 110 men, 40 women,
and 25 children.
The colonial brig Lady Nelson, in command of Captain Johns, also received
orders to accompany the expedition. She had returned from a voyage to
Moreton Bay on August 12th, and, heavily laden with passengers, soldiers,
and stores, sailed with the Tamar and the Countess of Harcourt on August
The Lady Nelson then left Sydney for the last time.
In reading Captain J. Gordon Bremer's logbook, we are reminded of a
similar voyage, taken by the Lady Nelson along this coast twenty-two
years before, in company with H.M.S. Investigator. Captain Bremer had the
same trouble with the brig as Captain Flinders then experienced, as he
was continually forced to wait for the Lady Nelson. In the Captain's log
often appear the entries "took the Lady Nelson in tow," and "cast off the
Lady Nelson," showing that the little brig was unable to keep up with the
larger vessels. The fleet sailed between the Great Barrier Reef and the
mainland, at times only a narrow strip of coral separating it from the
breakers, which rolled against the outer side of the reef. At other times
it was impossible to see across the great breadth of the coral barrier.
On the 28th of August, Mount Warning was passed and the ships skirted
Moreton Island in remarkably fine weather, which by the 1st of September
turned very hot. The vessels continued to sail near the coast, and
steered between two rocks called Peak* (* Now Perforated Island.) and
Flat Island and the main. During the forenoon more rocky islands were
observed, with a few trees growing on the very top--their outline having
the appearance of a cock's comb. It was noticed that the water here was
streaked for many miles with a brown scum supposed to be fish-spawn. At
evening one of the Cumberland Islands, named Pure Island, provided an
anchorage for the three ships; possibly the Lady Nelson alone had been in
these waters previously, and it will be remembered, that it was
hereabouts she had parted with the Investigator in the expedition of
1802. On September 6th, Cape Grafton was made, and as the ships coasted
the land, the smoke of the native fires were seen on shore. At 9 o'clock
on the 7th the ships passed Snapper Island and then Cape Tribulation, and
at 6 P.M. anchored near Turtle Reef opposite to the mouth of Endeavour
River.* (* Cooktown.) At 10 o'clock next morning Cape Flattery came into
sight. Some of the ships' company landed on one of the Turtle Islands,
further northwards, to examine it, and it was found to be formed of coral
and shells. This night, "a fine moonlight night," the sailors spent in
fishing, and several fish, marked with beautiful colours, were caught.
Noble Rock or Island was seen next day, when the vessels came to an
anchorage close to an island of the Howick Group. At evening, a very
large native fire, a mile in extent, was seen on the mainland. On
Saturday, September 11th, Cape Melville and the cluster of islands known
as Flinders Group was passed. At this time sand banks surrounded the
ships on all sides. They anchored in 14 degrees south latitude and next
day ran through the islands known as Saxe Coburgs Range, and came to
about 6 o'clock off Cape Direction. A fine run made by the vessels on the
13th, left Forbes and Sunday Islands behind, and they were brought to at
night under one of the Bird Islands. At 4 o'clock on the 14th the
Commander first saw Cape York, and at 5 o'clock anchored under Mount
Adolphus. Some of the company went on shore in the evening, but met none
of the natives, though traces of their visits were observed. Next day at
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