Sydney Cove 1792

Sydney Cove 1792

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Pitt Indent

The most accurate convict record is the indent from the ship. The indents from the Pitt only contain the basic details of trial, location and sentence, but are an invaluable record that can be used to correct errors that appear in later documents. 

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Arrival of the Pitt 1792

Today marks 223 years since the transport ship Pitt arrived in Sydney Cove under Captain Manning. Despite the poor state of the settlement and the shortage of food required to cope with the arrival of almost 400 convicts, as well as many soldiers and their families, Major Francis Grose was impressed with the colony. Living at Sydney without daily contact with the convicts working at Parramatta, he obviously had a very limited knowledge of the real state of living conditions for so many.

I am at last, Thank God, safely landed with my family at this place, and to my great astonishment, instead of the rock I expected to see, I find myself surrounded with gardens that flourish and produce fruit of every description. Vegetables are here in abundance and I live in as good a house as I wish for...

(Historical Records, vol. 1, part 2, p.613)

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

The Voyages 1791-1792

In 1792, four years after the first settlement at Port Jackson, three convict ships arrived in NSW from England, the Pitt, the Royal Admiral and the Kitty. Unlike earlier years, they did not arrive together as a fleet, but separately.  

Of the 408 convicts on the Pitt and the 28 convicts on the Kitty, only 390 were landed, as well as Major Francis Grose and soldiers of the New South Wales Corps and their families. Over 100 convicts died in the first year after arrival.

This book will document the voyages from the official letters sent and includes a contemporary account from Dr. Edward Laing, Assistant Surgeon of the Pitt, giving a detailed description of conditions on board, the diseases incurred and treatments proscribed. Life on the streets of London in 1790 is recorded for many of the convict women from their trials at the Old Bailey, and later chapters describe what became of some of them in the colony. Some remained at Sydney Cove, others moved to the settlements at Norfolk Island, Parramatta, the Hawkesbury and Tasmania. 

A calendar of events in NSW in 1792 has been compiled from the reports of Atkins and Collins, detailing the struggle of coping with meagre rations and the harsh climate. Biographies are included for all the known convicts and soldiers and a list records those who arrived as free passengers.