The Blackheath Connection logo gif - 31481 Bytes

Contact via the convenient (and virus-free): e-mail form

This file updated 31 January 2010

Dan Byrnes
Word Factory

About this website:
The Phantom First Fleet:
Errors in older books:
Questions of slavery:
Latest news:
The William Bligh problem:
The First Campbells on Jamaica:
The Duncan Campbell Letterbooks:
Feedback on this project:
Links to sites on related topics:
Investors in C19th Australia - 1:
Investors in C19th Australia - 2:
Investors in C19th Australia - 3:
Investors in C19th Australia - 4:
A Bitter Pill - American debtors and Thomas Jefferson
The Blackheath Connection - original article:
The London whalers from 1786 - an original article:
Bibliography - Part One:
Bibliography - Part Two:

The Blackheath Connection

Emptying the Hulks

Note: This article was written some years before the discovery of The Blackheath Connection in 1989.

"Emptying the Hulks": Duncan Campbell and the First Three Fleets to Australia


This article was first published as: Dan Byrnes, `"Emptying the Hulks": Duncan Campbell and the First Three Fleets to Australia', The Push from the Bush, No. 24, April, 1987., pp. 2-23. (Revised and updated, 1996, with 62 endnotes, as in the original. Total pages, 22. Total word count, 11,595).

Blackheath Connection logo gif - 8235 Bytes 

By Dan Byrnes

     In August 1786, Londoners rejoiced that a decision had finally been made by Cabinet to resume the transportation of convicts. (Note 1) Alderman Richard Clark, Lord Mayor in 1784, wrote immediately to Jeremy Bentham, then in Crecheff, Russia, that "Government has just determined to send off seven hundred convicts to New South Wales - where a fort is to be built - and that a man has been found who will take upon him the command of this rabble". (Note 2) Bentham was a noted critic of the hulks system, by which large numbers of convicts condemned to transportation were confined on old ships in the Thames River. There they were a threat to the peace and good order of the city. The Daily Universal Register jibed at the hulks overseer, Duncan Campbell, describing in sarcastic terms how the "sinks of iniquity" at Woolwich were to be scrapped "after the gentlemen in them had finished their academic studies". (Note 3)


PayPal preferred graphic

PayPal - safe and secure

If you value the information posted here,
and the projects of these websites in general,
you may like to consider making a donation
to help reduce our production costs?
It would be greatly appreciated.
Options include:
paying via PayPal which this website uses - Ed

     The gladness was premature, however. The resumption of transportation with three massive embarkations to Australia did not mean the end of the hulks as a part of the English penal system. The hulks became an institution on the Thames until 1853, always resented, while (in spite of transportation) the theory and practice of penology in England gradually moved on with the application of more modern attitudes.


     The jibes annoyed Duncan Campbell. He had suffered them since the hulks had first been put on the river in 1776, following the outbreak of the American Revolution. The Revolution had put paid to the profitable business he had begun in 1758, of carrying about 540 convicts per annum, on average 10 per week, across to the colonies of Virginia and Maryland. (Note 4) He still took charge of convicts condemned to transportation, but he no longer sent them abroad. Instead, as overseer of the prison hulks, he kept them on the Thames.


     Campbell never took any interest in contracting to send convicts to Australia. (Note 5) His only part in the first three fleets, which sailed in 1787, 1789-1790 and 1791, was to perform his duty as hulks overseer and deliver prisoners to ships' captains. One reason for his indifference, part from his age (he had been born in 1726 and died in 1803), may well have been a significant change in the legislation concerning the profit a private person could make from such opportunities. Legislation in 1776 had placed a commercially valuable legal entity, "the property in the service of the body of the convict", wholly at the service of the Crown. No longer could Campbell, or any private person, profit as they had done before 1776, from selling convict labour (as a kind of commodity), to colonials in need of it. Nor could a convict servant (or their relatives or associates) buy out his or her own servitude, a transaction which Campbell himself had sometimes countenanced, or at least, seen happen, before 1776 when he was the London-based government contractor. (Note 6) Nor, in England, could individual county officials contract with a shipowner for the carriage of a convict. Reform had effectively centralised the "transportation market" in servile labour.


     Merchant interest in the foundation of white settlement in New South Wales has long been a focal point of the debate on the choice by Pitt's government of Botany Bay - on an undeveloped shore, on no preferred shipping land - as a place to send convicts. In this paper, [updated with new information arising between 1987 and mid-1996] I aim to unravel the relationship between official and commercial initiatives as the first three fleets were despatched. The argument accords a great deal with views found in Margaret Steven's work, Trade, Tactics and Territory, and with that of the progenitors of the "pro-whaler" argument, K. M. Dallas and his student in 1950, Tom Errey. (Note 7) But Steven is imprecise and occasionally wrong in her account of commercial manouvering in London in the original deployment of shipping in the convict service to Australia. Conjecture apart, failure to apply information on convict administration to the commercial maritime has to date been the chief weakness of the "pro-whaler" stance, where that stance, largely devoted to maritime history, can be adopted in view of "the Botany Bay debate".


     In spite of Steven's work, commercial motives have been subjected to inadequate scrutiny and debate, especially where the biographies of the merchants involved, or commercial conflict among them are concerned. Little attention is paid to merchants or shipowners in Martin's anthology of essays, The Founding of Australia: The Argument about Australia's Origins. And for example, the most severe critic of the "pro-whaler" stance, A. G. L. Shaw, has argued against an alleged Marxist position in his repeated rebuttal of Dallas' views, but without analysing maritime information himself. (Note 8) The two sides of the debate have been generally informed by different kinds of historical expertise and interest. And yet an informed "pro-whaler" argument, which would need to rely on familiarity with shipping history, would also depend on familiarity with questions of convict administration. Since the use of shipping was an operation on which convict transportation rested, associated maritime questions cannot be ignored. The present author, then, has chosen to begin discussions with the bald facts arising from maritime history, of which the shipping sent to Australia would be but a sub-set.


     Another point is that in 1786, London at its centre was a highly compact city, as it is today. The individuals under discussion here - affluent Londoners - were well-known to each other, or knew of each other. (This was the case also with many of the First Fleet convicts). So another intention of this article, and those which follow it, is to begin to show just how these individuals dealt with each other.


     Given these points, my conclusions overall differ from Steven's. This article describes how London merchants discerned ways of making a "swing to the East" within the ambit of government solutions then being found for strictly penal problems. These problems included lack of prisoner accommodation in England and a public demand for the resumption of transportation.


     Duncan Campbell himself was partly responsible (as we will see) for the changing shape of the transportation business. His role in the evolution of penal methods in England has been too long underestimated. Where he has been considered at all by English penologists (or Thames historians) the broader question of the business of transportation to Australia has been ignored.


     As a convict administrator, Campbell operated within a network of legal conventions and mental habits which had effect at many social levels. Historians have too often assumed that convict labour was a perfectly fluid resource, easily employed wherever it seemed useful. In fact the style of Campbell's management of convict mutinies or unrest on the hulks, sometimes in respect of the convicts' views on legislation under which they were held, sometimes in respect of work conditions, indicates that while the hulks were fearsome, and feared, they were not unqualified dictatorships. In particular, the humanity of Campbell's deputy on the Thames, Stewart Erskine, has often been noted. (Note 9)


     In 1788 we find Campbell himself emphasising in a letter to the Navy Board that he had no power to coerce a prisoner to work at his particular trade (if the convict had a trade), and that the convicts knew this. (Note 10) Presumably the government knew it too. About the same time the convicts aboard the Lion hulk developed a notion that the Act under which they were held had expired, and they were refusing to go to work. Campbell with a degree of forbearance had them disabused on this point, doing his best to avoid an outbreak of violence. (Note 11) Given such information, it is interesting, later, to consider to what extent Sydney's first governor, Arthur Phillip, used Campbell's methods of working convicts on the Thames as a model for convict employment at Sydney after January, 1788. For, according to social historians, the modes of convict work had something to do with developing social life and attitudes in early Australian colonial history. 


     Campbell was the son of Neil Campbell, whose career in the Scottish ministry is detailed in Reid's The Divinity Professors of the University of Glasgow. (Note 12) As a young man he served as a midshipman on HMS Dove. About 1747 he entered the merchant service to Jamaica. In 1753 he married Rebecca Campbell, one of ten children of Dugald Campbell of Salt spring, a plantation in Hanover Parish on the west coast of Jamaica. He finally gained control of his father-in-law's plantation, so that years after Rebecca's death (17 December, 1774) he had his son Dugald on Saltspring. His superior capital was the key to this control, though for years he had to fight off his opponents and their London allies.


     In 1749-1757 Campbell travelled many times as ship's captain between London and Jamaica. In 1758 he became a Younger Brother of Trinity House in London. This was an appointment of some prestige and it was to stand him in good stead some eighteen years later when he had to deal with Trinity House in finding work for hulks convicts raising ballast (Ballast raising by free men had been a matter formerly managed by Trinity House as an ancient guild right). On the ship Thetis he is said to have voyaged to Virginia in 1758, to obtain (probably) his first experiences of the North American colonies. In the same year he became junior partner in the London trading house of John Stewart, who held the government contract for the transportation of convicts from London and the south-east. The house was known in Virginia and Maryland as Stewart and Campbell, or "JS&C".


     The firm of Stewart and Campbell operated this very profitable business until Stewart's death in 1772. Campbell, aged 46, then took over the entire management. However with the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775 his business, in its traditional form, was abruptly terminated. Evidence from his business letterbooks shows that his affairs over 1775-1776 were thrown into traumatic disarray, while earlier, his personal life had been shattered since in December, 1774 his wife Rebecca had died, leaving him with young children. This death, incidentally, removed Campbell as a figure involved in London merchant politics while anxiety arose as problems in American colonies threatened to escalate. Meanwhile, by  late 1775, his contracts constrained him to transport felons, regardless of reality in the American colonies. In spite of the war, he continued to receive convicts sentenced for transportation. What could he do but leave them in his ships, at least until such time as the colonists were brought to order?


       Government understood the problem, and showed a certain sympathy in respect of the terms of the contract, which had to be regarded in a highly legalistic way since it mediated a trans-oceanic process system for the handling of transportees. To attack that process struck at the roots of a long-standing feature of the legal system. So, if Campbell had a problem, ministers had a far greater one. At this point, someone thought of keeping the male transportees on hulks on the River Thames. According to Capper, an historian of the Thames, "It was he [Campbell]... who hit on the idea of housing them afloat like the prisoners of war". (Note 13) Since Campbell was very much affected by the current impasse, this may well be true. The first hulks he used for this purpose were the Tayloe and the Justitia, both perfectly seaworthy ships which he had sailed to and from Virginia and Maryland for years. (Tayloe was named for members of the noted Tayloe family of Virginia).


      Though the placing of the hulks had some of the aspects of a simple emergency measure, the Act of Parliament which effected it made a radical difference to the role of government in penal administration. As one opposition MP, the later Lord Sydney, pointed out, "So important a bill led to the alteration of the whole system of our criminal law". Another suggested that because of the change it made to the status of convicts, "the lower orders would be familiarised with the abject condition of slavery". All this was to be carried through by what many regarded as an unjustifiable extension of the power of the Crown. There had been nothing comparable since the Act of 1718, which had made transportation one of the regular punishments inflicted by the courts. (Note 14) Now, instead of the labour-power of the convicts being sold on the open market to private employers it was to remain the property of the state. For the time being, hard labour at home, on government works, was to replace transportation abroad.


        The Act was the responsibility of William Eden, under-secretary in the office of Lord North, the prime minister. It was Eden who masterminded the new relationship between government and convict in line with his distinctive ideas on the potential usefulness of convict labour. But Campbell's correspondence with Eden during 1776 shows that he also helped to shape the details of reform and their application. He was himself appointed overseer of the hulks, a post created by the Act, which gave him powers over prisoners similar to those usually held by sheriffs and gaolers. (Note 15) Campbell was also to retain some of the conventional powers a ship's captain held over passengers and crew.


                                                   *     *     *      *      *


       In the early 1780s, once Britain had conceded that her North American colonies were lost, there were various attempts by the government and others to find some means of resuming transportation abroad. The main difficulty was in finding a place. At first it seemed likely that a site would be found along the familiar coastline of the Atlantic: perhaps on the eastern shores of North or South America, perhaps at some point on an East India shipping lane? Had that happened, the business of shipping convicts would have passed easily into the hands of merchants who had experience in the slave trade between Africa and America. The insistent English attitude about transportation beamed like a searchlight on a variety of locations; lastly, on Botany Bay. This meant opportunities of a different kind; but Botany Bay in particular would mean that convicts would remain out of sight, therefore out of mind.


      Several London merchants had been interested since 1782 in carrying convicts. (Note 16) One of these was Anthony Calvert, a member of the African Committee (a body of London merchants trading to Africa, and especially interested in slaves, which they sold in Jamaica). Calvert developed an understanding with the under-secretary at the Home Office, Evan Nepean, that was to prove lucrative to him and helpful to the government. A general shipper, he had interests in slaving, selling slaves to Jamaica; whaling or sealing, all about Africa. though with one stem of operations in the East India trade, mostly to India. In fact, few shipping men sent ships to such various destinations as Calvert's firm did. This makes Calvert's Botany Bay adventures all the more interesting. Calvert had assisted in government plans, outlined by Nepean, for a convict settlement in the River Gambia, on the island of Lemane, in February 1785. He had then offered a ship to carry 150 convicts at £8 per head, and his tender had apparently been accepted, though the plan came to nothing. (Note 17)


      During the first half of 1786, Nepean, on orders from prime minister Pitt, canvassed merchants on the costs of carrying felons to Das Voltas, in south-west Africa. (Note 18) Calvert showed an interest in this too, but the first to respond was the firm of John Turnbull, George M. Macaulay and Thomas Gregory, of whom the leading figure for present purposes was alderman George Mackenzie Macaulay.


       There appears, from evidence in House of Commons Journals, to have earlier been a partnership, Gregory and Turnbull, the turnover of which substantially increased once it was joined by Macaulay. Macaulay was a self-made man, one of nine children of an Isle of Wight coasting captain. He first worked in the London counting house of Abel and Co. Later, Macaulay married "the wealthy and beautiful Miss Theed", and procured an alderman's gown. (After she died, Macaulay on 4 May, 1790 married either her sister, or cousin, Mary Ann Theed). He contested the parliamentary election for Queenhithe in 1784. From 1786 he had an address at Coleman Street near the City Guildhall and was sworn a sheriff of London (a prerequisite for the mayoralty) in 1789 and 1790. He became partners with John Turnbull and Thomas Gregory in about 1785. He was also active with the organisation to become known as Lloyd's ship insurers, thereby dealing with several influential Southern whalers, notably John St Barbe. (Note 19)


      One of the first reactions to Cabinet's Botany Bay decision, on 18 August, 1786, was a quick offer of shipping for the expedition made by Macaulay and his partners. (Note 20) Their offer was made on 21 August, before tenders for shipping had been publicly called for. (Note 21) However, the offer was rejected. Macaulay's interest in the expedition may well have been connected with a wish to get furs from Nootka Sound, in north-west America. After his offer was turned down he contacted his fellow alderman, William Curtis. (Note 22) Curtis was to supply one vessel for the fleet, the Lady Penrhyn, and Macaulay chartered her for a voyage to Nootka as soon as Lady Penrhyn ship had finished her convict business at Botany Bay. William Curtis was a noted friend of the Southern Whale Fishery. As Steven points out, he took advantage of the Botany Bay expedition by having the Lady Penrhyn survey potential whaling grounds afterwards, on her way to Nootka Sound. (Note 23)


     Nevertheless this episode does not help the case of those historians who see the expedition of 1787-1788 as a government attempt to open up the Pacific commerce. Here we see powerful individuals outside the government - Macaulay a Whig and Curtis a Tory - joining forces to make the most of an opportunity: perhaps no more than potential opportunity, commercial, but scarcely magnificent so far.


     The successful tenderer for the shipping, a genuine innocent with a grandiloquent imagination, was William Richards Jnr., of Queens Row, Walworth, a prominent shipbroker (or Navy contractor), whose father had been in the same business. (Note 24) Richards seems to have had no direct interest in overseas trade, although it is thought that he regularly let ships to government during the American Revolution. A document dating from August, 1791 strongly suggests Richards' positive interest in the management and maintenance of convicts, but, apart from rhetoric, little concerted interest in the wider opportunities provided by the Pacific. He gave a good deal of thought to the health of his passengers, and two colonial observers, David Collins and Watkin Tench, agreed that the provisions on the First Fleet were excellent, "of a much superior quality to those usually supplied by contract". Richards also thought about convict behaviour: their quarrels when they had to sleep together four to a berth (he thought individual hammocks would be better); their jealousy when some were dressed better than others (he thought there should be a uniform); the influence which the wicked exercised over the others (there should be three classes of felons, on separate ships). In those days, as now, it was generally thought best to segregate youths from hardened older offenders. Richards was particularly concerned to teach "the poor fellows" the virtues of hard work, and to reform them. He believed that the meaning and intention of the sentence they are ordered to is to punish them for their former deeds, to wean them from their idle and bad companions, and work a reformation in their morals that they may not return to the same crimes again.


     He suggested that there might be an intermediate place of transportation at Milford Haven, in Wales, and that only the worst convicts should be sent on from there to New South Wales. He understood that "solitary confinement ... has always been recommended as the best mode of punishment", and he thought this would be effected by getting convicts away from London as soon as possible even if they went no further than Milford Haven. (He did not equate "solitary" with "individual"). In short, Richards was an idealist; he was probably an evangelical moving in the circles familiar to Sir Charles Middleton, comptroller of the navy at the time. He was a firm believer in discipline, and he soon became so interested in convict discipline that he asked to go to New South Wales himself, to be able to put his ideas into effect. (Note 25)


     In 1786, when he tendered for the contract for the First Fleet, these ideas were probably only vaguely formed. For the time being, there was little opportunity for speculation on penal methods. By 12 September, after offering a few vessels which he later withdrew, Richards had some of his ships surveyed, and his ships lists completed. (Note 26) In particular he had to deal with the East India Company for the charters of those ships which after their period of government employ were to go to China to lade tea. Such ladings home also made the voyage more economical from the government's point of view, and to ensure the Company's co-operation, Lord Sydney applied some pressure on the directors. (Note 27)


     The East India Company itself showed no interest in the business of carrying convicts. One factor contributing to its reluctance may have been the Act 22 Geo. III c.45, "restraining any person concerned in any Contract, Commission, or Agreement made for the Publick Service from being elected or sitting or voting as a member of the House of Commons". (Note 28) Numbers of leading men in the Company were members of Parliament and it appears unlikely any would have wished to weaken his own, or the Company's political power, for the dubious value arising if he or his agents took convicts to New South Wales. This left the field open for lesser commercial figures, who became able to infiltrate the Company's domains. Predominant among these, as Steven points out, were whaling merchants and their friends, and especially the firms of Curtis, Champion, Enderbys and Etches. But not yet. Among the six owners of the First Fleet vessels, only two merchants, Curtis and James Mather of Cornhill (owner of the Prince of Wales), were apparently interested in the Pacific potential for the Southern fishery. Moreover, Steven is wrong in saying that all the First Fleet transports were whalers. At this point, in spite of what Steven implies, there is no evidence that commercial figures of any kind did anything more than take advantage of a government initiative. (Note 29) Merchants apparently had no part in the initiative itself.


                                                   *     *     *     *     *


     Legal officials meanwhile were preparing Orders-in-Council, to which were attached lists of convicts' names. This business seems to have begun on 6 December. The lists involved many of the Clerks of the Assize in an exercise they had not had to engage in for years - handling the documentary details of hundreds of transportable convicts prior to embarkation. Over the period December, 1786 to January, 1787 legal officials scoured repositories in the city and in the country for the relevant papers. The charges they made for this work were, as normal, sent to the solicitor for the Treasury, Chamberlayn, who did not bother to compile them until mid-1793. (Note 30)


     The system appears to have been as follows. First convicts' names (drawn from an undisclosed master list) were appended to Orders-in-Council. These orders were given to any or all of Akerman, Keeper of Newgate, Shelton, Clerk of Arraign at the Old Bailey, and overseer Campbell, and these three variously arranged for the convicts named to be delivered from Newgate, other holding places in the city such as the Wood Street Compter, provincial gaols and the hulks. Clerks of Assize had then to draw bonds for discoverable convicts with the contractor Richards and with ships' captains. (Capt. Sever on the Lady Penrhyn, Capt. Sinclair on Alexander, and so on.) All this was extremely complicated, because available records of conviction did not say what had happened to convicts after conviction. The deficiencies of an uncentralised system, obvious now to any historian trying to trace an individual prisoner of the period, descended en masse on the completely unprepared officials, including Campbell. The initial brunt was taken by Shelton at the Old Bailey, whose staff must have had little spare time for months.


     It is unknown who drew up the original lists of convicts for Orders-in-Council. Selection procedures were supposed to be based on the principle that a convict went to Botany Bay if eligible to be transported. No other considerations - possession of skills, good or bad behaviour - were supposed to prevail. In a colonising context, it was a principle laden with an impartial sort of justice, and a mindless impracticality, both. In general it was adhered to, especially in the preparation of the First Fleet. The selection of 25 artificers for the Second Fleet is a conspicuous exception. (Note 31) (It is now thought by some historians that the skill levels of the convicts were supplemented in early New South Wales via the choice of men for the New South Wales Corps. This is contentious in some circles, as the Corps has generally had a bad press in New South Wales' early history).


     As far as the government was concerned, the documentary work of late 1786 was carried on within the constraints of legal convention and mental habit. There was no room for expansive planning of any kind. Budgeting was entirely retrospective, as Richards discovered when government was tardy in paying him. (Note 32) Estimates of when the embarkation would be complete were wildly amiss. By early December it was thought by the Navy Office, six weeks. It took until May, 1787. Even such a basic requirement as clothing was badly organised. Governor Phillip complained that the way in which the women had been sent down "stamped the magistrates with infamy'. (Note 33) Communications were erratic, misleading, and no coordinated series of memoranda was ever issued by the ever-busy Nepean, who operated, as far as Botany Bay business went, on a crisis-management basis, and even then sometimes only when harassed.


      Moreover, this first embarkation provided England with very little relief from the "convict problem". The hulks system was expanded as a matter of course, while routine matters arising from the existing system continued. Until news returned of the success of the First Fleet, the future of Botany Bay itself was in the balance. Even supposing the new colony did succeed, it was not clear how far the settlement was meant to provide a comprehensive and wide-ranging solution to the "convict problem". Whatever they have done for historians, officials such as Nepean had obviously not impressed their own contemporaries with any grand, long-term purpose. William Richards was one of those who saw the future as entirely open. He felt that he had learned enough about the business of transporting convicts to begin to develop an all-embracing scheme that he later put to government - and he continued to put it to government even though over a five year period he found himself clearly out of the running. About April, 1787, when he made his contractor's return for the convicts of the First Fleet, Richards was imagining many more such returns being lodged to his profit. He even offered to provide hulks, and to go further than Campbell by anchoring them in every English port. Undercutting Campbell's price, he wanted to house 300 convicts in just one hulk he had planned. (Note 34)


     Towards the end of the year the Home Office became concerned about gaol fever in Newgate, where there were now 750 prisoners, including 150 women, awaiting transportation. The women were placed by Richards aboard the Lady Juliana, but the government was unwilling to let her sail until news arrived of the success of the First Fleet. (Note 35) This, the Lady Juliana, was to be the first ship of what was called the Second Fleet (The term Second Fleet is something of a misnomer, as this fleet had two wings, under separate contractors, Richards and then Calvert).


     News of Botany Bay came to hand in London in the early spring of 1789. On 22 March the Prince of Wales reached Falmouth. The Alexander, with Governor Phillip's account of the landing of the convicts, came to the Isle of Wight on 28 April. The government moved immediately in response. On 5 June they began to raise the New South Wales Corps, and by 6 July Lord Grenville, the Secretary of State, had decided that 1,000 more prisoners would be sent out at least expense to the public. (Note 36) On 23 July, William Richards advised that he would transport them at £30 per head. (Note 37) Nepean's friend Alexander Davison made an offer to the Treasury a week later, but on condition that his contract was to be for three years and that the East India Company give a freight back home. (Note 38) The Navy Office decided that both these offers were too high, and they called for tenders. Resummoning the interest he had displayed in convict carriage since February, 1785, Anthony Calvert responded and succeeded in ousting Richards and Davison. On 27 August, 1789, George Whitlock of Crutched Friars in London, broker for Camden, Calvert and King, signed for the transportation of 1005 convicts. (Note 39) His fee was £22,370/2/8d., which is apparently the equivalent of £22/5/2d. a head, but other sources give the rate at even less, closer to £17. Overseer Campbell was informed immediately. (Note 40)


     The apparent success of the First Fleet focused commercial interest on the Pacific. Some hunches had been verified, the maritime challenges had been explored, ways of offsetting the cost of a voyage out had become evident. A more backward-looking, also older, merchant, Duncan Campbell, dreamed again, as he periodically did, of recovering his investments lost in North America by the Revolution. For him, convicts in the Pacific had no charms at all. The merchants becoming interested in the Pacific were a new generation, their aspirations novel, adventurous - to the East India Company, heretical. For them, convicts to Botany Bay made adventures possible because Botany Bay was an opening to the wider Pacific.


     Among the second wing of ships in the Second Fleet, the Scarborough, a First Fleet vessel, and the Surprise had East India Company charters for China tea. The Neptune was refused a similar charter for Bombay cotton. (Note 41) The Surprise was captained by Nicholas Anstis, formerly chief mate of the Lady Penrhyn of the First Fleet. The Scarborough was captained by John Marshall, who was also returning for a second voyage to Botany Bay. Thus the contractors were able to use men familiar with the long voyage, and with handling convicts. On the other hand, the notorious Captain Donald Trail had recently been on Calvert's ship Recovery about Africa, and was therefore undoubtedly experienced in the management of slaves. (Note 42) Trail captained the Neptune, replacing Captain Gilbert after Gilbert had fought a duel with John Macarthur of the New South Wales Corps.


     To the end of 1789, overseer Campbell helped arrange the embarkation of the Second Fleet to Botany Bay. There was not the fuss there had been with the first great embarkation, and Campbell himself was more concerned with his American debt-collecting, and in corresponding with fellow sufferers, including the pre-American War convict contractors at Bristol, Stevenson, Randolph and Cheston. By December, with the hulks part emptied, Campbell was looking for more convicts, and in January, 1790 he bought another hulk, the Prudentia. (Note 44) Meanwhile the second wing of the Second Fleet left England, on and around January 1790, having been preceded by William Richards' Lady Juliana (Captain Aitken) and by HMS Guardian (Lieutenant Riou), a store-ship which was to be wrecked off the Cape of Good Hope.


                                                     *     *     *     *     *


     Two months later, in March, 1790, the Enderby pioneering whaler Emilia, the first British whaler sailing into the Pacific via Cape Horn,  returned home with news greatly encouraging to her owners about whaling grounds on a Spanish main, the west coast of South America. (Note 45) Enderbys shortly began complaining to Pitt that certain waters were denied their ships because of the East India Company monopoly on British trading, which extended through the Indian and Pacific oceans. (Note 46) Other commercial opportunities were also being recognised, and modi operandi were being prepared in London. The Navy Office was under the impression that ships for future use in the convict service would be granted tea charters by the East India Company, as a matter of course, and advised the Treasury that the embarkation of 1000 prisoners would be delayed until August, 1790, to suit the tea trade. (Note 47) (The East India Company would never have viewed the granting of any such charters as a matter of course).


     It was the whaling merchants who followed up their new opportunities with the greater vigour. With his entrepreneurial imagination fired, John St Barbe in October suggested a regular system in which whalers take out all convicts. Enderbys relayed his ideas to Evan Nepean. (Note 48) The recent (October, 1790) signing of the Nootka Convention, which was expected to give British whalers more freedom in waters policed by Spain, perhaps helped inspire St Barbe with more confidence. In an oft-noted maiden speech in Parliament, William Curtis spoke for the whalers, and for the Nootka Convention. (Note 49) St Barbe's suggestion appears to have been acted on with a vengeance as the Third Fleet was mounted. Enderbys in particular made more specific plans for opening new Pacific whaling grounds. St Barbe became especially interested in Australasian sealing, and his captain, William Raven, was to be a familiar figure in Sydney with a permanent store on Sydney Cove. (Note 50) It is possible that the whalers' financial associations with the organisation destined to become known as Lloyd's may have enhanced St Barbe's confidence. Certainly, there is room for novel conjectures about whalers using a new power base in the London maritime business, against the East India Company. (Note 51)


      All this seems to have been beyond the notice of the government, except insofar as it affected transportation as a penal measure. Nothing relevant passed between Whitehall and the Governor in New South Wales: certainly nothing to affect the instructions given to Phillip in 1787, that he was to prevent communication between his settlement and neighbouring regions "by every possible means". It was not until 1799 that the Board of Trade went so far as to ask that a record be kept of ships visiting Port Jackson, though such records had been kept as a matter of course in colonial North American ports (providing historians for example with impeccable detail on Duncan Campbell's career as a convict contractor). (Note 52)


     During the last months of 1790, arrangements were made between Calverts, the government and merchants of the Southern whale fishery for the greatest single enterprise in the history of convict transportation since 1718. Far more business than with the Second Fleet was created by the prospect of this third massive embarkation.


     The Second Fleet ships managed by Calvert's firm had all (probably) gone by India under East India Company charter. It was the same with their Third Fleet ships. Calvert was interested not in China tea, but Bombay cotton, about which the company was quite sensitive with shipowners. With the Third Fleet, the commercial interests involved were more confidently split into two camps, each of which was to gather force over time, and about which the East India Company could do nothing. Half the Third Fleet were Southern whalers. The other half were eastern traders working for Calvert. The whaling enterprise in time was to split off into a joint whaling-sealing fishery. Each of these enterprises - sealing or whaling - in time developed a purely Australian wing, its profits deeply resented in London. The conflict here surfaced before 1810, when the Sydney merchant Robert Campbell (no relation to Duncan Campbell) was harassed in London by Enderbys. The back-door to the East India trade in China or India, opened by convict contractors, developed into precisely what the East India Company had feared, a "country trade" outside its control. By 1810, the South whalers were becoming nervous about the profits available from the Pacific Pandora's Box they themselves had opened, if they could no longer dominate business operations.


     A list of the vessels of the Third Fleet appears below. See key. (Note 53)


                                      VESSELS IN THE THIRD FLEET


Ship            and                     Owner              Next destination


Active                                    [no information]

            John Mitchinson


Albermarle                                                     Bombay via Norfolk Is.

            George Bowen                                                                  (wrecked)


Admiral Barrington      +                                   New Zealand - Bombay

            Robt. Abbon Marsh


Queen  *                            Enderbys?               Norfolk Is. - New Zealand - Calcutta

            Richard Owen


Atlantic                       +                                     Used by Phillip "shopping" to Calcutta

            Richard Armstrong


Britannia         *+          Enderbys                       Whaling, NSW coast -

            Thomas Melville                                                         Norfolk Is.


Mary Ann        * Monroe (part-owner)                Whaling, Norfolk Is. - Peru

            Mark Monroe    and/or Lucas & Co.


Matilda            * +         Calvert                                                  Whaling, Peru and/or India

            Matthew Weatherhead



Salamander     + Joseph Mellish                                    Whaling, Norfolk Is. - India

            William Irish


William and Ann          *+ Enderbys or St Barbe            Usually a Southern whaler

            Eber Bunker



*          Licensed to proceed to Peru

+          Freight by Nepean's friend, Alexander Davison.



     The first four ships carried freight for India, most, if not all, for Nepean's friend, Alexander Davison. Governor Phillip was to complain on their arrival that space had thus been used which could have been filled with goods for the colony. (Note 54) So the vexed issue arose again, of private trade in a colony which had not been intended to develop an economy - a patently unworkable policy. Strategically, on a global front, it appears the London whalers were testing the usefulness of Sydney as a refreshment base, and also experimenting with the carriage of convicts and/or stores as a way of paying part of the voyage out. Certainly, the Third Fleet revealed deliberate exploratory strategies useful for the whalers. Hitherto, reliance on an alleged but never-proven role of the East India Company in the establishment of New South Wales has prevented useful questions being asked about the strategic deployment of shipping by the Southern whalers. Contemplation of the East India Company attitude to the activities of Macaulay, Calvert, and other convict contractors to Sydney before 1800 is for the most part a study in the muttering acceptance of the inevitable. A Company chairman, Francis Baring, quite early remarked on "the serpent we are nursing at Botany Bay". (Note 55)


     On 18 November, 1789 Camden, Calvert and King were awarded a contract for the Third Fleet, specifying 1,820 English convicts and 200 Irish. In mid-December Treasury informed the Navy Board that some of the ships to be sent were nearly ready to take their stores and provisions aboard. (Note 56) The operation proved wearing for Duncan Campbell. Aged almost 65, he was tired and possibly overworked. On 11 December he wrote to the Treasury:


"Understanding that some plans are now in contemplation of government for the future Management & Employment of Convicts, and the permanent establishment of a certain number of hulks for that purpose, I take this opportunity of requesting that you will have the goodness to inform my Lords of the Treasury, that from my advanced period of life and the effect of that anxiety of Mind I have experienced during the Number of years I have exercised the arduous Office of a Superintendent of Overseers, I have reason to fear the fatigue of Mind as well as Body in conducting so important a Charge, will be more than I can go through."


     Campbell desired to let go the overseership of the hulks at Portsmouth and Langston Harbour and to keep only the Thames hulks, namely the Censor and Stanislaus, the Justitia being discontinued. He proposed new and cheaper rates for the care of the prisoners on the Thames, and he wanted advance information when preparing for the next embarkations. Henry Bradley, overseer of the Dunkirk, was willing to take over the hulks which Campbell wished to let go. (Note 57)


     Campbell's weariness was probably increased by the speed at which Calverts were working to get the Third Fleet underway. He may have guessed that the hurry was due to an expected furore in London over reports back from New South Wales about the harsh treatment meted out to the Second Fleet convicts. Captain Trail was to be apprehended on up to three counts of murder. By late 1790, Calvert's firm was extremely anxious to have its ships filled with prisoners before public opinion created a backlash and its contracts were lost. (Note 58)


     In his correspondence on this embarkation, Campbell broke a lifetime habit in business letter writing and marked each letter with the time of day it was written. On 7 February, 1791 Calvert required an order for the delivery of eighteen convicts, all named, for the Atlantic (Captain Bowen), due to pass Woolwich that afternoon. Calvert expected to take delivery. (Note 59) Campbell answered at 12.15pm, saying their notice was "unreasonably short", even if the necessary order had been available from Shelton, Clerk of Arraign, which it was not. Campbell advised that he would order the delivery of the prisoners immediately the orders came from Shelton, "trusting you will station the Ship so that they may be delivered with Safety, which I think cannot be done when the Vessel is under way". At  4pm the next day, Campbell wrote to Calvert that he had called on Shelton on his way home. Shelton had asked to see the contractors personally, as the contracts entered into by Calverts had to accompany the convicts onto their respective ships. When Shelton was satisfied, the convicts would be delivered by Campbell, who prayed his correspondents "to drop me a line" about it. (Note 60) This was all procedure that Calverts should have known well: the convicts could not be delivered to his ships without proper documentation.


     There were debates in the House of Commons on the following day, 9 February, sparked by news of suffering in the Second Fleet. Sir Charles Bunbury called for an inquiry into the whole affair. (Note 61) Calverts continued in haste, at one point urging Campbell to continue loading on a Sunday, in spite of his religious scruples. He refused to do so. Most of the work of delivery from the Thames hulks was done by the end of the month. On 1 March, at 12.30pm, Campbell wrote to Nepean's office to announce that the last embarkation (from the hulks) had been accomplished at 11am that day. Campbell would have called personally on Nepean had he not been confined with "a very disagreeable cold and sore throat". (Note 62) Embarkations continued after Calvert's ships were sent around to Portsmouth and Plymouth. By 17 March all were aboard.


                                                   *     *     *      *      *


     After 1783, one group of London ship men, anything but backward-looking, aggressive toward the East India Company and of a different mould, aggressive also about opportunities, possessing immense entrepreneurial flair, courage, exploratory instincts and a candid nature, were the Southern whalers. Duncan Campbell was a merchant used to the typical mercantilist "triangular trade pattern" over the Atlantic. His triangle had been broken by the American Revolution. The Southern whalers had no such commercial geometry limiting their outlook. Instead they had to deal with restrictions placed on them by the East India Company, and they required oceanic spaces as vast as those coursed by their prey. To them, the fastidious, mercantilist outlook of the East India Company was an irrelevance, an absurdity. The scheme to settle convicts at Botany Bay gave them their opportunity. The activities of Macaulay and Calvert, and the associated eclipse of William Richards, succeeded - not necessarily in a planned way - in demonstrating to whalers how they might offset the cost of exploring and exploiting the Pacific by carrying out convicts. They took advantage of government needs to tear open the monopoly of the East India Company. After 1795, it is true, the outbreak of war with France slowed their impetus. There were now fewer convicts to dispose of. But this should not affect our understanding of their earlier methods.


     In the maritime sense, this all involved a new trading pattern, a new form of colonialism dependent on legalities which have never been properly examined by English or Australian historians, concerning a legal entity, "the property in the service of the body of the convict". This was an entity which as deployed in New South Wales would result in a colony very different to those which Duncan Campbell had been used to.


     It is not good enough, then, to say that England, having been so long attached to the idea and to the business of transporting convicts, found that the loss of her American colonies necessitated she dump convicts somewhere else. What is significant is that she dumped them somewhere else using a legal definition of convict quite different to the one applying before 1776. This casts a new and very distinct light on the way in which merchants could - and did - involve themselves in the business of colonisation.


                                                   (Finis - Endnotes below)


Endnotes (62)

Emptying the Hulks


Note 1: The views of historians on the implications of the decision are edited by Ged Martin in his anthology, The Founding of Australia: The Argument about Australia's Origins. Sydney, 1978. See also, Eris O'Brien, The Foundation of Australia, 1786-1800. London, 1937. Alan Frost, Convicts and Empire: A Naval Question, 1776-1811. Melbourne, 1980. Charles Campbell, The Intolerable Hulks; British Shipboard Confinement, 1776-1857. Bowie, Maryland, Heritage Books Inc., 1994. See also, Charles Bateson, The Convict Ships, 1787-1868. Sydney, A. H. and A. W. Reed, 1974. Robert Hughes, The Fatal Shore: A History of the Transportation of Convicts to Australia, 1787-1868. London, Pan/Collins, 1987-1988. A. G. L. Shaw, Convicts and the Colonies: A Study of Penal Transportation from Great Britain and Ireland to Australia and other parts of the British Empire. London, Faber, 1966. Other information used to update this article - originally published in 1987 - include (an article which will become available in this series): Dan Byrnes, A Bitter Pill: an assessment of the significance of the meeting between Thomas Jefferson and Duncan Campbell of the British Creditors in London, 23 April, 1786. Armidale, NSW, 1994. See also, Dan Byrnes, 'The Blackheath Connection: London Local History and the Settlement at New South Wales', The Push from the Bush, No. 28, 1990., pp. 50-98. An overview of associated shipping history is available in Dan Byrnes, 'Outlooks for England's South Whale Fishery, 1784-1800 and "the Great Botany Bay Debate"',  The Great Circle, Vol. 10, No. 2, October, 1988., pp. 79-102.


Note 2: Clark to Bentham, cited by Martin, p. 243.


Note 3: Daily Universal Register, 24-25 August, 1786. See also W. Branch-Johnson, The English Prison Hulks. London, 1957., Chapter: Campbell's Academy. D. C. Capper, Moat Defensive: A History of the Waters of the Nore Command, 55BC to 1961. London, 1963. An especially useful article on developments in the criminological thought of the period under discussion, and reference to certain individuals, such as Patrick Colquhuon, is Clive Emsley, 'The History of Crime and Crime Control Institutions, c.1770-1945', pp. 149-182 in Mike Maguire, Rod Morgan and Robert Reiner, (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Criminology. Oxford/Clarendon Press, 1994.


Note 4: The details given here on Campbell's career are drawn mainly from material in the Mitchell Library, Sydney. especially the Duncan Campbell Letterbooks (ML A3225-A3231). Undated notes by a descendant, W. D. Campbell (ML A3232) accompany these letterbooks. The Mitchell Library has extensive holdings of material relating to both Campbell and governor William Bligh. The present author has lodged with ML a copy of Campbell's will, courtesy of the Public Record Office, London, PROB 11/1388, kindly forwarded by Mollie Gillen, and annotated transcriptions of 250 of Campbell's letters. The kind assistance of the Mitchell Library staff, along with permission to quote from the Campbell Letterbooks, is most gratefully acknowledged.   


Note 5: Campbell's merchant activity between London and the North American colonies is referred to variously in Wilfrid Oldham, The Administration of the System of Transportation of British Convicts, 1763-1793. Ph.D thesis, London University, 1933. (Typescript copy, ML). F. H. Schmidt, 'Sold and Driven: Assignment of Convicts in Eighteenth-Century Virginia', The Push from the Bush, No. 23, October, 1986., pp. 2-27. A. E. Smith, Colonists in Bondage: White Servitude and Convict Labour in America, 1607-1776. Gloucester, Mass., 1965. Some business activity to Jamaica with William Bligh is detailed in Gavin Kennedy, Bligh. London, Duckworth, 1978. George Mackaness, The Life of Vice-Admiral William Bligh. Sydney, Angus and Robertson, 1931. Glyn Christian, The Discovery of Fletcher Christian, Bounty Mutineer. London, 1982. Campbell is referred to erroneously in Robert Hughes, The Fatal Shore. London, 1987, where he is confused with William Richards.


Note 6: The 1784 legislation had two forms, the first version being a nonsense. See Eris O'Brien, pp. 96ff, 115, 117. Frost, Convicts and Empire,  p. 17. Sheila Lambert, (Ed.), House of Commons Sessional Papers of the Eighteenth Century. Bills, 1782-1783, 1783-1784, Vol. 35, p. 427; Vol. 46, p. 205. 


Note 7: K. M. Dallas, Trading Posts or Penal Colonies: Cook's Route to Pacific Trade. Hobart, 1969.,  pp. 59-60 (Errey in Dallas, p. 1). Margaret Steven, Trade, Tactics and Territory: Britain in the Pacific, 1783-1823. Melbourne, 1983.


Note 8: A. G. L. Shaw, review of Frost's Convicts and Empire, Australian Book Review, December, 1980., p. 26. Shaw is mistaken in describing the position of the East India Company as "insuperable".


Note 9: Campbell to Navy Board, 11 July, 1788, to Robert Burn a hulks official, 14, 15 July, 1788; to David Burn, 14-15 July, 1788; and to Navy Board, 17 July, 1788, ML A3230. Campbell's obituary, Gentleman's Magazine, January-June, 1803. See also, Alan Frost, Botany Bay Mirages: Illusions of Australia's Convict Beginnings. Melbourne, Melbourne University Press, 1994., Chapter 1, Overcrowded Hulls, Foetid Sinks? The hulks system and the Thames hulks, 1776-1786.


Note 10: Campbell to Navy Board, 20 June, 11 July, 1788. ML A3230.


Note 11: Gov. Arthur Phillip and Duncan Campbell met at the instigation of Phillip on January 10, 1787. Phillip on January 3 had had an audience with George III, on which day, a warrant had authorised the transfer of convicts from Campbell's responsibility to that of contractor Richards. On January 5, Phillip arrived at Portsmouth. By January 10 he was back in London and saw Campbell; also on January 10, Richards signed his first contracts for transporting convicts. That Phillip met Campbell is found only in Campbell's letter to Evan Nepean of 10 January, 1787, Duncan Campbell Letterbooks, ML A3229. Campbell to David Burn, hulks officer, 15 July, 1788, ibid. Stephen Nicholas, (Ed.),  Convict Workers: Reinterpreting Australia's Past. Sydney, Cambridge University Press, 1988. See also, Mollie Gillen,  The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet. Sydney, Library of Australian History, 1989. On the "Botany Bay debate" in general, see Mollie Gillen, 'The Botany Bay decision, 1786: Convicts, not Empire', English Historical Review, Vol. 97, No 385, October, 1982., pp. 740-766.


Note 12: H. M. B. Reid, The Divinity Professors of the University of Glasgow. Glasgow, 1923; Compilation, The University of Glasgow Through Five Centuries. Glasgow, 1951; James Coutts, History of the University of Glasgow from its Foundations in 1491 to 1909. Glasgow, 1909, p.214; David Murray, Memories of the Old College of Glasgow. Glasgow. 1927. On problems in tracing the genealogy of Duncan Campbell, see Dan Byrnes, 'From Glasgow to Jamaica to London and Australia: The Elusive Duncan Campbell (1726-1803)', Cruachan. (Journal of Clan Campbell Society of Australia), No. 62, December, 1993., pp. 11-16.


Note 13: Capper, p. 182. Compare Leila Thomas, 'The Establishment of New South Wales in 1788', Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 2, Part Two, 1925, pp. 67-83; Shaw, p. 43; O'Brien, pp. 89-90; Frost, Convicts and Empire,  pp. 3ff; Alan Valentine, Lord North. Norman, Oklahoma, 1967. Some information on the Tayloe family, and some other families who were clients of Duncan Campbell's firm before 1776 is contained in Stella Pickett Hardy, Colonial Families of the Southern States of America: A History and Genealogy of Colonial Families Who Settled in the Colonies Prior to the Revolution. (Second edition, revised). Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1968.


Note 14: On the legislation of 1718, see The Manuscripts of the House of Lords. New Series. London. 1964-. Thomas, 'The Establishment of New South Wales in 1788'.


Note 15: Branch-Johnson and Capper have both objected violently to hulks overseer Campbell as "crooked", when he appears more by the standards of his day as an honest man who (voluntarily) worked in an irrational, confusing corrupted milieu. Hughes, (The Fatal Shore) is highly informative on the management of prisons, prison reformer John Howard, the Englishman's dislike of seeing even a convict at servile labour, which mitigated against William Eden's ideas; and on a great deal of the attitudes and sociology of the times. But it is an indication of inappropriate attitudes to maritime history, generally, that Hughes could have confused Campbell with William Richards, so disastrously, and evidently, so easily. For Campbell's part in the drawing up of the 1776 Act, see his correspondence with Eden, ML A3225, A3226. The family of William Eden owed much to marriage connections with the family of the Lords Baltimore, the proprietors of the colony of Maryland, but it should be said, that William, whose brother Robert had been governor of Maryland, acted in an impressively disinterested way as he responded politically to the crises provoked by the American Revolution.


Note 16: Initially involved had been London merchant George Moore, who suffered a series of mutinies on his convict ships. See his memorial to government, [13 July, 1786?], PRO HO  42/9, f. 565 (kindly supplied by Mollie Gillen). See also, J. Cobley, Crimes of the First Fleet Convicts. Sydney, 1970, introduction; Ged Martin, 'The Alternatives to Botany Bay', in Martin, The Founding of Australia; Frost, Convicts and Empire, p. 16.


Note 17: Still, too little is known about Calvert. Some information on his activities is available in Lloyd's Register, proceeding from 1784, published by the Gregg Press. The Register was instituted circa 1783-1784, but did not take its modern format until 1834. Calvert and his two partners were still active in London in 1799, all three along with a great number of notable London merchants signing a petition promoting the massive West India Docks redevelopment scheme. See also, Alan Atkinson, 'The Convict Republic', The Push from the Bush, No. 18, October, 1984., pp. 66-84.


Note 18: Gillen,  'Botany Bay decision', p. 752. Limited information on Macaulay is found in his only surviving diary materials: George Mackenzie Macaulay, Occurrences and Observations, Journal 1796-1798, Add: 25,038. British Library. With letters to Warren Hastings.


Note 19: Other details are in Byrnes, 'The Blackheath Connection'; Byrnes, `Outlooks'. The matter of Macaulay's second marriage has been ascertained by a London researcher, Gillian Hughes, from the parish register of St Bride, Fleet Street. (MS 6542/2, p. 526, 1790). Mary Ann Theed may have been daughter of the London jeweller, William Theed, died 4 June, 1790, who had been in partnership with a Lord Mayor about then, at Ludgate Hill. (The IGI contains a confirming registration dated 24 May, 1790). It had not been known that St Barbe and Macaulay, residentially speaking, had been close neighbours: see Byrnes, 'The Blackheath Connection', variously. For Macaulay and his partners see House of Commons Journals, Vol. 40, p. 1104, Vol. 42, p. 590, Vol. 43, p. 337; their ship Pitt, appears in Lloyd's Register, and in Bateson, p. 139; HRNSW, Vol. 1, Part 2, p. 526; City Biography. London, 1800, p. 49; A. B. Beaven, The Aldermen of the City of London. London, 1913. Surgeon Bowes Smyth's journal, Lady Penrhyn, entries May-July 1788, refers to Captain Sever of the ship naming islands after Macaulay and Curtis, shortly before Sever opened secret ships orders indicating that Macaulay had chartered the ship to seek furs about Nootka Sound (ML 995). Macaulay may have been prompted to send Watts to Nootka knowing the East India merchants, David Scott, were sending James Strange of the Madras Civil Service to Nootka (See W. R. Dawson, The Banks Letters: A Calendar of the Manuscript Correspondence of Sir Joseph Banks. London, 1958., p. 742). Etches' ship Prince of Wales (Captain Colnett) is listed in Lloyd's Register (1787) for "Lo S. Seas" (meaning,  the Pacific), along with ships - including Campbell's Britannia (Captain Bligh) 1786 - belonging to many shipowners listed herein. Informative on whalers is A. E. Stackpole, Whales and Destiny: The Rivalry between America, France and Britain for Control of the Southern Whale Fishery, 1785-1825. Cambridge, Mass., 1972. According to Lloyd's records, the men active in that business included whalers Alexander and Benjamin Champion, Paul Le Mesurier, G. M. Macaulay, Thomas Newnham, Welbank Sharpe and Brown, and (apparently) St Barbes (D. E. W. Gibb, Lloyd's of London: A Study in Individualism. London, 1957). Lloyd's opened in 1774 as the breakaway New Lloyd's. Whalers had been active in Lloyd's since its inception, which is presumably how John St Barbe achieved prominence by 1790. The role of members of Lloyd's' governing body 1784-1790 deserves detailed investigation in the present context. See Stackpole, pp. 16-17; Gillen, 'Botany Bay decision',  p. 752.


Note 20: Bateson, The Convict Ships, p. 11, misconceived the names of the trio as a duo, Turnbull Macaulay and T. Gregory. See also Gillen, 'Botany Bay decision,' pp. 752, 755.


Note 21: Thus, it is odd that William Richards, a "newcomer", obtained the contracts.


Note 22: I am indebted to Mr Malcolm Walker of London for the first information I found on Macaulay, Curtis and their aldermanic world. See also, Beaven.


Note 23: Steven, pp. 17-18. Information on the ownership of ships to New South Wales to 1800 is scattered. Bateson is the single most useful compendium on the subject. Stack pole's views and information are provocative. Also, J. S. Cumpston, Shipping Arrivals and Departures, Sydney, 1788-1825. Canberra, 1963-1964. I have also checked shippers with names listed in "The Samuel Enderby Book". (National Library MS 1791, copy of original held by the Pennsylvania Historical Society and used by kind permission of the latter's director, James E. Rooney). "The Samuel Enderby Book" lists whalers active in the fishery 1775-1790, including Calvert (from 1784). Ivan T. Sanderson, Follow the Whale. (London, 1956), discusses the successive Acts opening waters to the whalers and carving away the East India Company monopoly (p. xix).


Note 24: The Navy office Accounts, 1793 (and similar for 1794), HRNSW, Vol. 2,  p. 39, provide information on all contractors and freight 1787-1794. Captain William Richards (of  Winterbourne, Walcha, NSW) son of the First Fleet contractor, commanded the convict transports Prince Regent in 1827, and Roslin Castle in the 1830s (Bateson, pp. 347ff). See also, J. Oppenheimer, 'William Richards of Winterbourne - Sea Captain and Squatter', in G. Connah, M. Rowland and J. Oppenheimer, Captain Richards' House at Winterbourne: A Study in Historical Archaeology. Armidale, 1978. See especially, Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet: Britain's Grim Convict Armada of 1790. Sydney, Library of Australian History, 1993.


Note 25: Richards to Sir Joseph Banks, 8 August, 1791, 21 May, 1792, HRNSW, Vol. 1, Part 2,  pp. 508-519, 625-626.


Note 26: Frost, Convicts and Empire, p. 191.


Note 27: Ibid. Oldham lists the amounts Richards received: about £54,000 for the First Fleet. See also Alan Frost 'The East India Company and the choice of Botany Bay', in Martin, The Founding of Australia, pp. 230-231.


Note 28: I am indebted to Oldham's too-much neglected thesis for this. See also Bernard Pool, 'Navy Contracts in the Last Years of the Navy Board (1780-1823)', The Mariner's Mirror, Vol. 50, No. 3, August, 1964., pp. 161-176. The only convict contractor to NSW 1786-1800 known to have enjoyed a parliamentary career was Sir William Curtis, who became an MP for the City of London after his Lady Penrhyn venture. More details are available in Byrnes, `Outlooks'.


Note 29: Steven, pp. 71, 80, 123. Steven was unaware of Macaulay's chartering of the Lady Penrhyn. For Mather (Prince of Wales), see Bateson, p. 95; "Samuel Enderby Book" (1775-1790). Leightons (Borrowdale, Golden Grove and Fishburn) had no further business in the convict service. Hoppers (Friendship and Scarborough) appear to have usually offered vessels to the naval transport service, and so may have had some earlier connection with Richards. The remaining two vessels were owned by William Walton and Co., (Alexander), and Matthews (Charlotte). For identification of Southern whalers, see Lloyd's Register. See also Cumpston, and ``value of the Shipping employ'd in the Southern Whale Fishery with the Owners Names for 1802", British Library, Add. Mss. 38326, ff. 24-25.


Note 30: Chamberlayn's Report, Lincoln's Inn, to Treasury, 27 June, 1793, and other documents among Treasury Board Papers, PRO, T1/720ff. On the two versions of the 1784 legislation, see Eris O'Brien, cited above. One set of charges not included in Chamberlayne's Report were charges not made for making out contracts for transportation by Thomas Shelton at the Old Bailey, a matter noted in Byrnes, 'The Blackheath Connection'. Shelton has been identified as a Home Office spy of the 1790s in Clive Emsley,  'The Home Office and its sources of information and  investigation, 1791-1801',  English Historical Review, Vol. 94, July 1979., pp. 532-561.


Note 31: Bateson, p. 124. See also, Stephen Nicholas, Convict Workers, cited above, although this title does not treat matters as early as 1786-1788. It might be noted that Nicholas emphasises that Australia's convict history has traditionally been regarded in a highly parochial and therefore limited way, given the history of the (forced) movements of labour within the British Empire, and in other world regions, since the time of the American Revolution. New information on the NSW Corps, and information relating to the trading conducted by its officers, is available in Pamela Statham, A Colonial Regiment: New Sources relating to the New South Wales Corps, 1789-1810. Canberra, Australian National University, 1992. Also, Pamela Statham, 'A New Look at the New South Wales Corps, 1790-1810', Australian Economic History Review, Vol. 24, No. 1, 1 March, 1984., pp. 20-33.


Note 32: Richards to Treasury Board, 27 January, 1790, PRO, T1/695. (An emailer of October 2002 who has been checking PRO records in London says this citation should be T1/690 f150-170 covering the period 1778-1790)


Note 33: Hughes, The Fatal Shore, p. 71.


Note 34: Richards to Charles Long, 12 May, 1791, PRO, T1/655. (An emailer of October 2002 who has been checking PRO records in London says this citation should be T1/693) J. H. Maiden, Sir Joseph Banks, The 'Father of Australia'. London, 1909., pp. 208ff.


Note 35: Sydney to Treasury, 31 October, 1788, PRO, T1/661-2; Bateson, pp. 120ff.


Note 36: Shaw, Convicts and the Colonies, pp. 62ff; A. G. L. Shaw, '1788-1810', in F. K. Crowley, (Ed.), A New History of Australia. Melbourne, 1974., p. 12 and notes thereto.


Note 37: Richards to Treasury Board, 23 July, 1789; Davison to Treasury Board, 1 August, 1789, and Navy Board to Treasury Board, 12 August, 1789, PRO, T1/671. (An emailer of October 2002 who has been checking PRO records in London says this citation should be T1690 f150-170 covering the period 1778-1790)


Note 38: Alexander Davison, who after 1794 became a large contractor to the British army, had earlier sent freight to NSW by Lady Nelson and HMS Guardian (Navy Office Accounts). More information on him is available in Byrnes, `The Blackheath Connection'.


Note 39: Bateson, p. 20.


Note 40: W. D. Campbell's notes, ML A3232; HRNSW, Vol. 2, p. 39. Bateson, p. 20, gives an all-inclusive payment of £17/7/6d. per head for 1005 convicts in three ships: this totals £17,461/17s/6d. Bateson, p. 127, gives 1017 convicts, which means £17,479/ 5/- at the same rate.


Note 41: Shaw, Convicts and the Colonies, p. 109, cites Calvert's instructions to Capt. Trail.


Note 42: Lloyd's Register lists Recovery, Trail aboard, as about Africa in about 1784. However , Trail is not listed as a Calvert captain engaged in whaling in "The Samuel Enderby Book". On Calvert's firm regularly selling slaves in Jamaica, see Herbert S. Klein, 'The English Slave Trade to Jamaica', Economic History Review, Series 2, Vol. 31, No. 1, February, 1978., pp. 25-45.


Note 43: Campbell to John Dixon, Whitehaven, 23 December, 1789; Campbell to Stephenson, Randolph and Cheston, 3 March, 1790, ML A3230. On Stevenson et al., see Kenneth Morgan, 'The Organisation of the Convict Trade to Maryland: Stevenson, Randolph and Cheston, 1768-1775', William and Mary Quarterly, Series 3, Vol. 42, No. 2, April ,1985., pp. 201-227.


Note 44: Campbell to James Piercy and William Smith, 12 January, 1790, ML A3230. On the British Creditors and Campbell's role with them, see Byrnes, A Bitter Pill, cited above, Note 1. On other chairmen of the British Creditors after 1783, besides Campbell, Molleson and Russell, see particularly, a splendid treatment, Jacob M. Price, 'One Family's Empire: The Russell-Lee-Clark Connection in Maryland, Britain and India, 1707-1857', Maryland Historical Magazine, Vol. 72, 1977., pp. 165-225.


Note 45: Captain James Shields, Emilia, to Samuel Enderby Jnr., 6 March, 1790, cited in Stackpole, pp. 125ff; Board of Trade to George Rose, 3 July, 1790, PRO, T1/682.


Note 46: Dallas, pp. 68ff; Steven, pp. 79, 89.


Note 47: Various letters, PRO, T1/671-682.


Note 48: Samuel Enderby Jnr. to Nepean, 13 October, 1790, HRNSW, Vol. 1, Part 2, p. 407.


Note 49: Dallas, p. 42.


Note 50: Hitherto there has been an unexamined connection between Lloyd's, Macaulay, St Barbe and Raven (Navy Office Accounts, HRNSW. Vol. 2, p. 222. [On such matters, see later-published remarks in Byrnes, 'The Blackheath Connection']. On St Barbe, see Thomas Dunbabin, 'William Raven, RN., and his Brittannia 1792-95', The Mariner's Mirror, Vol. 46, No. 4, November, 1960., pp. 297-303. It is interesting to speculate on possibly pre-arranged financial connections between London shipowners, ships captains at Sydney and officers of the NSW Corps. Some captains were more favoured than others, but the picture is contaminated by evidence of the sums exchanged with American captains. Raven profited from his ventures in sealing, as at Dusky Bay, New Zealand,  as well as dealing with the NSW Corps. Oddly enough, New Zealand historians have never backtracked on Raven's connections with St Barbe, and so have not tied their maritime history to the careers of St Barbe and other Londoners. On Raven in this context, see Robert McNab, (Ed.), Historical Records of New Zealand. 1914. (With sections taken from the journals of Robert Murray and Archibald Menzies).


Note 51: Stackpole, pp. 16-17.


Note 52: Detail on convict ship arrivals in American ports before 1775 is contained in A. E. Smith, Colonists in Bondage, cited Note 5 above. Phillip's instructions, 25 April, 1787, HRA, i, I, p. 15; Duke of Portland to Hunter, 10 April, 1799, HRA, i, II, p. 341.


Note 53: This information comes from various sources. On freight, Navy Office Accounts, HRNSW, Vol. 2, as cited above. See Byrnes, 'Outlooks', variously. Otherwise Bateson, Cumpston, Stackpole, Dakin, Steven and footnotes in other sources too numerous to list. On the fate of Matilda, foundering near Tahiti, see Kennedy, Bligh, cited above. See also, R. Hodgkinson, Eber Bunker. Canberra, Roebuck, 1975.


Note 54: Phillip to Lord Grenville, 8 November, 1791, and to Navy Board, 9 November, 1791, HRA, i, I, pp. 295, 300-301.


Note 55: J. C. Garran, 'William Wright Bampton and the Australian Merino', Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society. Vol. 58, Part 1, March, 1972., p. 2. Other details are in Byrnes, 'Outlooks', variously. Garran has followed up his views on Bampton, and on Macaulay's Capt Edward Manning on Pitt, in J. C. Garran and Leslie White, Merinos, Myths and Macarthurs: Australian Graziers and their Sheep, 1788-1900. Canberra, Australian National University Press, 1985. Garran is interesting also on maritime outcomes after Phillip chartered Atlantic to purchase stores at Calcutta, and his views seem valid.


Note 56: Ibid., pp. 20, 31ff, 126ff.


Note 57: Campbell to Thomas Steele, Treasury, 11 December, 1790, ML A3230.


Note 58: Some of the repugnance felt about the behaviour of the contractors and Trail is expressed in Thomas Evans to John King, 19-20 January, 1792, HRNSW, Vol. 2, pp. 461ff; Bateson, pp. 127-128. Trail was acquitted of a charge of wilful murder at the Old Bailey on 8 June, 1792. See Flynn, The Second Fleet, pp. 54ff.


Note 59: Campbell to Camden, Calvert and King, 7 February, 1791, [14 February, 1791], ML A3230; James Boyick (Campbell's chief clerk) to Erskine, [8-14 February, 1791], ibid.


Note 60: Campbell to Camden, Calvert and King, 7 February, 1791, and Campbell to Erskine on the Thames hulks, 14 February, 1791, ML A3230.


Note 61: Hughes, The Fatal Shore, pp. 147ff.


Note 62: James Boyick to Calvert and Co., 24 February, 1791, Campbell to Pollock, 1 March, 1791, Campbell to Nepean, 2 March, 1791; all ML A3230.



                             <Endnotes to Emptying the Hulks - Finis>


Inkwell gifBall and chain gifGavel gifscrolend gif

Chainline divider gif

Google logo

WWW Dan Byrnes Word Factory websites