The First Fleet of 11 ships, each one no larger than a Manly ferry, left Portsmouth in 1787 with more than 1480 men, women and children onboard. Although most were British, there were also African, American and French convicts. After a voyage of three months the First Fleet arrived at Botany Bay on 24 January 1788. Here the Aboriginal people, who had lived in isolation for 40,000 years, met the British in an uneasy stand off at what is now known as Frenchmans Beach at La Perouse.
The Scarborough was built at Scarborough in 1782. She had a length of 111 feet, 6 inches, width 30 feet 2 inches, height between decks 4 feet 5 inches. She was a two-decked, three-masted vessel, rigged as a barque, and was owned by three Scarborough merchants, Thomas, George and John Hopper(3)
The Scarborough was one of eleven vessels of the historic First Fleet to Australia. Royal Navy escort ships, HMS Sirius and HMS Supply accompanied by six convict transports, the Alexander, Charlotte, Friendship, Lady Penrhyn, Prince of Wales and the Scarborough, and three store ships, the Borrowdale, Fishburn and Golden Grove. Being the second largest vessel in the fleet Scarborough carried 208 male convicts, who traveled by wagon to Portsmouth for loading, many coming from the Ceres and Censor Hulks.
Major Robert Ross, Lieutenant-Governor of New South Wales sailed on the Scarborough. While at Portsmouth on the 14th March 1787, Major Ross informed Under Secretary Nepean that the convicts had arrived....... I yesterday muster'd the convicts on board the different transports at the Mother Bank. The enclosed lists are exact as to numbers, and the most correct I could get from them of their names. I hope it will answ'r all your purposes, and if there is anything else wanted you will please to let me know, and I shall have pleasure in obeying your commands. Perhaps you would wish to have similar lists of those on board the ships from Plymouth; if you do, you have only to let me know. I have great pleasure in informing you that the convicts seem perfectly satisfied and obedient. They wish, if possible, to be allowed more bread than is at present served them - taking off as much, if so, of the allowance of their salt provisions, as may be equal in value. You are too well acquainted with the consequences attending them being kept long upon a diet of salt provisions to need my saying anything upon that head, being well convicted that whatever can be done for the preservation of health will be done by you.
The First Fleet was delayed several months awaiting orders to sail. On 13th May 1787, Governor Philip having hoisted his flag on board the Sirius gave the signal to weigh anchor and the fleet finally departed England 's shores. They were accompanied by the Hyaena frigate to carry back dispatches if necessary. The Hyaena returned on the 20th with the intelligence that the convicts in the Scarborough had formed a plan for getting possession of that ship which the officers had fortunately detected and prevented. This was the only attempt of the kind made during the voyage to Australia.
Sergeant James Scott remarked in his journal that two of the ringleaders were ordered from the Scarborough on to the Prince of Wales. John White recorded the incident in his journal.......20th May. A discovery of a futile scheme, formed by the convicts on board the Scarborough, was made by one of that body, who had been recommended to Captain Hunter previous to our sailing. They had laid a plan for making themselves masters of the ship; but being prevented by this discovery, two of the ringleaders were carried on board the Sirius, where they were punished; and afterwards put on board the Prince of Wales transport, from which time they behaved very well. Being now near one hundred leagues to the westward of Scilly, and all well, Captain Phillip found it no longer necessary to keep the Hyaena with him; therefore, having committed his letters to the care of the Hon. Captain De Courcey, he in the course of this day sent her back.
The Fleet reached Teneriffe in early June 1787 and Rio de Janeiro on 6th August 1787. They sailed from there on 5th September 1787 and reached the Cape of Good Hope on 13th October 1787. The Scarborough arrived in Botany Bay on 19th January 1788.
|1878 convict transportation list for the Scarborough|
Tried at the [ileg] London July 1784