Due to planned maintenance, a number of eresources will be unavailable on Sunday 19 August. This includes Ancestry Library Edition, Ebooks and ProQuest.



The Lady Juliana was the first ship of the Second Fleet to arrive in Sydney Cove, on this day, 3rd June 1790.

The First Fleet of convicts, which established the colony of New South Wales, had arrived in Port Jackson on 26 January 1788. The Second Fleet left England with a cargo of 1026 convicts, bound for New South Wales, on 19 January 1790. The Second Fleet comprised six ships: Justinian, Lady Juliana, Surprize, Neptune, Scarborough and Guardian, although the Guardian, laden with urgent supplies for the colony, struck an iceberg and did not complete the voyage.

The Lady Juliana was commissioned to transport only female convicts, about 226 women of child-bearing age from the prisons of England, were consigned to New South Wales. During the voyage there was much licentious behaviour, at ports of call, seamen from other ships were freely entertained and the Lady Juliana gained a reputation as the “floating brothel Many of these strong, spirited women turned their misfortune into advantage and made successful lives in the new colony, and became the founding mothers of modern Australia.

To find out more about the Second Fleet convicts click on this link to the Library’s Convict Research Guide: Convicts Bound for Australia

The guide lists the best resources on a given topic held by the Library. For the Second Fleet we recommend:

The Second Fleet: Britain’s grim convict armada of 1790 / by Michael Flynn

This book in the Library’s Family History Service includes detailed biographical entries for all convicts who arrived on the Second Fleet and is a great resource for researching convict ancestors.