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State Library of NSW
Collection 05: John Hunter - journal kept on board the Sirius during a voyage to New South Wales, May 1787 - March 1791
On the 25th: of October 1786 His Majesties Ship Sirius was Commission’d, & the Command given to Cap’n Arthur Phillip, the Supply Arm’d Tender was also Commiss’d & Lieut Henry Sidgbird Ball appointed to Command her --
It being the intention of Government at this time, to remove so great a Nuisance & inconvenience as the Country at present Sufford from the Goals being so exceedingly Crouded with Criminals who had been by the Laws Condemn’d to Transportation; the East coast of New Holland was the place determind, upon which to form a Settlement for this Salutary purpose; and the above Ships were intended as an Escort to the Transports which were to Convey the Convicts to that Country, and which were at this time fitting & in Considerable forewardnes for that Service. The East Coast of New Holland is that Country which was discover’d and Explor’d by Captain James Cook in his first Voyage round the World, and by him Calld New South Wales, Botany Bay the only place he enterd with the Ship which coud be Calld a Harbor, having been mention’d in the Narrative of that Voyage, as a Convenient place for a Settlement, Government fixd upon that place for the intended purpose.
The Sirius is a Ship of about 540 Tons exceedingly well Calculated for such a Service, she Mounts 20 Guns & has [indecipherable] over them, of a round full Built & is altogether a very capacious