Author(s): Watkin Tench
In May 1787 a fleet of ships carrying convicts left England bound for Botany Bay, New South Wales, where they were to establish a settlement. One of the crew on board the Charlotte was Watkin Tench (c.1758-1833), who wrote about the voyage of what was later known as the First Fleet. He remained in New South Wales, living in Port Jackson (part of present-day Sydney) from 1788 to 1791, and in this work, published in 1793, he gives a vivid, first-hand account of the early years of British settlement. The chapters are chronologically organised and discuss the many challenges settlers in the fledgling colony faced in staying alive, such as illness and lack of food and other provisions. He also recounts the often violent encounters and 'unabated animosity' between the settlers and the aboriginal people, making this work an important source on the colonisation of Australia.