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Thames hulks prisoners and work protocols: The convicts on the Lion revolt: The reappearance of Camden, Calvert and King, slavers of the Africa Company: Nova Scotia still on the books for convict transportation: A lack of news from Botany Bay: Sir Joseph Banks and the Blackheath Connection: A little-known transportation to America: A Desultory beginning: 1788: 26 January, 1788: 1788: Snippets and Coincidences: British whaling, 1788: Jeremy Bentham visits the hulks: Selling the labour of the Thames hulks prisoners: The appearance of the Knuckle Club at Blackheath: 1789: Aspects of commercial life: The innocent William Richards tries again:


The Blackheath Connection

Chapter 38


Thames hulks prisoners and work protocols:


     It is unknown just why Rear-Admiral Dalrymple wrote to Campbell as he did, but at the time there was an epidemic amongst convicts at Langston Harbour. ([1]) Lion hulk was moored about 1 May, 1788. On 1 July, 1788, Ceres hulk was brought from receiving at Woolwich to be put on Langston Harbour. ([2]) Convicts on the Lion moored off Gosport near Portsmouth worked on building the Weevil Lines, ramparts, moats, a sloping bank near Weevil, near Gosport, part of the western defences of Portsmouth Harbour. ([3]) The work was said to be harsh and difficult. Meanwhile, Rear-Admiral Dalrymple wanted information on future embarkations of convicts for Australia.


Campbell Letter 169:

Adelphi June 10 1788

Rear Ad Dalrymple

                 Having been for some days in the Country I was prevented from the honour of receiving your letter of 5th June in due Course. I believe there is not at present any preparations making for another expedition to Botany Bay but when there is you may rely that I will pay every attention in my power to fulfill your wish. With much respect I am - ([4])


       Having placed an advertisement in the newspapers for tenders for the provision of labour in the Woolwich Yards, the Navy Commissioners on 18 June asked Campbell how the convicts had been employed by the Board of Ordnance. Campbell suggested to them the convicts could easily be employed in the Kings Yard. Campbell was able by 11 July to personally tell the Navy Board that a hulk with 260-270 prisoners could be made available, but that the board would have to take pot luck as to the usefulness of the tradesmen provided. Importantly, Campbell said that, as overseer, he had no power to compel a man to work by force at this trade, although a convict could be forced to work at common labour. ([5])


       Campbell may not have heard of it yet, but in the US... Virginia had attempted to defeat the Constitution, which was finally ratified on 25 June, 1788, and enabled the courts to order planters to settle with British merchants. This would have enabled a shift in the views Campbell's Committee of British Creditors might develop, on action which could now be taken for debt recovery.

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Campbell Letter 170:

                               Adelphi 20 June 1788

Honble Sirs

           Yesterday I had the honour to receive your letter of the 18th Inst.  desiring to know in what manner the Convicts have been employed in the Works of the Board of Ordnance. In answer to which I beg leave to inform you that since the institution of the punishing Criminals by hard labour they have been under the Superintendance of the proper Officer of that Board; generally employed in wheeling the Gravell taken from Barking on Woolwich Shoals to raise the surface of all the Ground in the new Warren contiguous to the Proof Butt which they erected in driving Piles for the purpose of making wharfs or Embankments; digging large Ditches round the Warren, filling up Gravel Pits in the same, Sawing of Timber, Building Drains; & the Tradesmen in a variety of occasional Works, according to the directions, which I received from time to time from the Master General of Board of Ordnance; & I have reason to believe, that with some small expence for a fence to secure against escapes, as well as to confine them within the bounds of the Works allotted for them, a considerable number of these convicts might be usefully and safely employed in the works intended to be carried on in the Kings Yard at Woolwich, but this is most humbly submitted to your honourable Board.

                      With very great Respect I am  ([6])      


*    *    *


      In 1787 a party of sealers had been left on Staten Island off Tierra del Fuego in 1787.  On their return to London in July 1788, the group's leader sought information from the government on Spanish rights in that area. (About then, Enderby and Sons planning their Emilia voyage had sought information from Joseph Banks on possible places of refreshment and also questions of Spanish rights.) ([7])


The convicts on the Lion revolt:


Campbell Letter 171:

                                Adelphi 11 July 1788

[Copy of a Letter from Mr. Campbell to the]

Honble the Commissioners of the Navy

Honble Sirs

            I have just had the honor of receiving your letter of yesterday's date desiring me to send you a list of the People I can appropriate to the carrying on the Works at Woolwich Yard, distinguishing the nature of the work each is fit to be employed on. In answer to which I beg leave to repeat now what I had the honour to communicate personally to the Board, that I mean one of the Hulks to be removed and lay opposite to the place of Labour, which vessel will contain 260 or 270 convicts all of whom be their Trades what they may. I intend with the approbation of the Board to employ in whatever way they can be most serviceable where you are pleased to permit me to know the particular Work to be begun upon, in the meantime I shall endeavour to learn what the number of Artificers are amongst the Crew of that Hulk. This information is not always to be obtained without some difficulty by the Officers who are put over them

                    With the greatest Respect

                                        I am ([8])


      The convicts on the new Lion hulk at Gosport, Portsmouth, were under the direction of David Burn, whose brother Robert was on another hulk there. During July the Lion convicts became restive enough for the Burn brothers to seek Campbell's advice. The prisoners had been audacious enough to question the legal process under which they were confined. They thought the relevant legislation had expired, refused to go ashore to labour, and made a strike. That the prisoners had exercised a political awareness was clear from the advice Campbell gave to Burn. Campbell set the Burn brothers right soon enough, but as it were gently, in that he wanted the prisoners disabused of their delusions on the legal questions. It should be said, Campbell was quite prepared to be relatively lenient with the prisoners when they expressed legal or political views, as much as he was prepared to see outright violence met with violence.


Campbell Letter 172:

                                    Blackheath July 14, 1788

To Capt Dav Burn



... If in executing your Duty an Insurrection or Mutiny arises amongst your Prisoners, the Laws of Natural Self Defense will point out the lengths you may in such a case proceed to.


I shall in the course of a few days make you a visit and shall listen to any complaint they have to make ....


Campbell Letter 173:

                                    London July 15 1788

To Capt Dav Burn


    The following is a copy of the Kings appointment to myself and present Deputies; who you will see have all a Power to Act in any one of the three ships. After a Recital of the Act of Parliament which I sent you last night. His Majesty says .... And Whereas in pursuance of the Power  ... [etc ...] 

Perhaps the mistaken Convicts in the Lion have an Idea that the Act which I sent you is expired, in that case you will undeceive them by informing them that an Act lately received the Royal Assent continuing the former Law for five years longer. In case your people are still disposed to be refractory I would have you try every gentle means to bring them to a sense of their duty, I think you will not do amiss to advise with your Brother the best method of reducing them to good Order

                   I am


     In the meantime, Burn was sent a copy of the King's Warrant for the hulks and a copy of the relevant Acts of Parliament. Later, Campbell found he could offer to the navy board the services of 12 sawyers, eight carpenters, five bricklayers and five blacksmiths from the hulk Justitia. But whether this might mean that Governor Phillip with the First Fleet had deliberately been deprived of skilled tradesmen remains difficult to say, and would rely on a separate study of the way the First Fleet convicts were selected. ([9])


*    *    *


The reappearance of Camden, Calvert and King, slavers of the Africa Company:       During 1789-1791 London slavers mounted 50 voyages. Some 28 voyages were accounted for by Anthony Calvert, Thomas King and William Camden, Richard Miles and J. B. Weuss (Weuves?), and John and Alexander Anderson, plus one individual William Collow. ([10]) (Here, Collow may have been linked with the suppliers at Cork with whom Campbell often dealt, Ferguson and Collow? ([11])


     From September 1788, to January 1792, one J. Currie had been about the African coast for Calvert, as supercargo on the ship Recovery, that ship still with Capt. Andrew Hewson, assisting in the trade based at Annamboe. (The Board of Trade was told this later in 1792). There was in July 1788 a flurry of activity from the anti-slaving movement. ([12]) Politics was awash with many petitions from those with links to the slave trade, who were fighting the abolition campaign. Thomas Williams, a brass founder in three counties, invested £70,000 (?) petitioning against the Africa Slave Bill (second reading). ([13]) Petitions came from African Trade Merchants of Liverpool and London to Parliament. The Africa Slave Bill was with Sir William Dolben. Concern over the morality of slavery, and humanitarianism, had prompted Dolben's Act, an effort to reduce slave ship mortality by regulating the number of slaves carried according to tonnage. The effectiveness of this as a maritime measure remained debatable. ([14]) (The brewer, Samuel Whitbread MP, reported on the Slave Bill).


Campbell Letter 174:

                       London Aug 1 1788

To Capt Dav. Burn,


        I am desired by Mr Campbell to acquaint you that he has received a letter from Mr. Nepean desiring that Edward Cooper a Convict from Lincoln on board your Ship may not be sent to work till further notice, which order you will comply with. You will not mention Mr. Nepean's name to the Convict.

                           I am



*    *    *


Nova Scotia still on the books for convict transportation:


     In London after October, 1788, by 2 February, 1789, another vessel was supplied for a NSW voyage by William Richards, who at the time knew as little as anybody else of progress at NSW. A newspaper reported... 11 October, 1788, "It is rather singular, that no intelligence has been received from the fleet which sailed for Botany Bay. On their success depends the continuation of this plan, as matters now go, will soon drain the country of thousands."


       The new vessel was owned by the little-known William Morris, Lady Juliana, Capt. Aitkin. She was to be another all-women prisoner ship. Women convicts could not be put on the hulks. Ironically, government chartered Lady Juliana kept women aboard her, and made a de facto short-term hulk out of her, a reception depot for transportable women. Her delay in sailing probably meant government wasted a good deal of Richards' time and money. Government meanwhile remained tardy ([15]) in paying Richards for his First Fleet ships, and strangely enough, and as with the First Fleet, a contract for Lady Juliana is not with the rest of Shelton's contracts. ([16])


      The ship was taken up by 2 February, 1789 ([17]) though the matter had been discussed since October 1788, after Richards laid before Treasury an extensive plan for convict transportation. Lady Juliana  had freight by Richards and Moore. One crew member was Edward Powell, who later went to Sydney on Bellona. Aboard Lady Juliana also was George Nicol, a restless, wandering seaman of the legendary sort, who entertained himself writing in his journal about the convicts. One pretty girl especially affected him. He said, she died of a broken heart before the ship even sailed. ([18]) The ship waited on the river for six months for clear orders about delivering her convicts. Finally she took on 245 female prisoners. ([19])      Not that in October 1788 there was any "reduced convict problem". Far from it. Lord Sydney on 31 October informed the Treasury of a recent submission from the sheriffs of London about "crowded gaols". Of 750 prisoners in Newgate, 150 were women. Campbell only ten days before had submitted to Sydney the returns for the hulks Ceres, Stanislaus, Lion, and a hospital hulk.


Campbell Letter 175:

                Adelphi Oct 7    1788

Commissioners of the Victualling

                             I have this moment had the honour to receive your letter of this days date in Answer to which I beg leave to inform you that upon giving me two days notice when your Craft will be sent to Woolwich they shall be without loss of time supplied with the quantity of ballast you are pleased to mention.        

                                   With very great Respect I am


      By October 1788 there were 2,800 felons awaiting transportation. At Newgate, the prison again had 750, and was overcrowded especially with 150 female convicts, and concerns were renewed about health risks. Sydney on 31 October, 1788 informed Treasury that no more prisoners would be sent to Botany Bay until reports were received from there, and that in the meantime, North American alternatives were being considered. ([20]) Still! On 14 October, 1788 William Richards sent a new proposal to the Treasury regarding convict transportation. This was referred to the Home Office and Navy Board for consideration. On 31 October, 1788, Lord Sydney informed the Treasury he wanted to send at least 200 women from Newgate and county gaols to NSW, if progress at the colony permitted. ([21]) One of the points concerning Sydney in late October was that under Act 24 Geo III c.56 there was in certain cases no provision for appointing a temporary place of reception for women transports. ([22]) Since no news had been received from NSW, Sydney was unwilling to send prisoners out immediately. But he did feel women should be sent to NSW, so a vessel should be prepared for 200 of them, to be ordered to wait at Spithead until news arrived. Messrs Richards and Moore on 19 November presented to the navy office an account for freight on Lady Juliana.


Campbell had a staffing problem to attend to...

Campbell Letter 176:

                      London 25 Novr 1788

Mr Robert Chiene ??? Plymouth

            A day or two since I was favoured with your letter dated I suppose by mistake the 26 Novr. The reason you give for leaving my employ was certainly well founded, & never created in my mind any other than a thought that the notice of your intention was too short; but I have long since forgot that circumstance, & of course forgave you. It has ever been a maxim with me to encourage as far as in my power, to extend my good offices to every man who has diligently & faithfully executed such charge as was committed to him by me, I shall as soon as may be endeavour to make room for you at Woolwich, if therefore you are content to be restored to such charge & Salary as formerly held, you may make the best of your way to this place as soon as you please.

                                 I am

[Boyick added a note: Mr Campbell will expect to hear from you in course of post J.B.]


     On 27 November, 1788, Lady Juliana was surveyed for Richards at the Navy's Deptford yard and found fit if her bottom was caulked and newly sheathed. The vessel had been built at Whitby about 10 years before and weighed 401 tons. The crew were engaged on 10 December with Capt. Aitken as master. ([23])


Campbell also had a staffing problem in Jamaica, where he wanted his son Dugald installed as manager. Just now he could only write to a hired manager, William Brown, to whom he often wrote until Dugald settled into the job.


Campbell Letter 177:

                                          London 3 Decr 1788

William Brown


Per the Decemr Packet Copy per the Ian Packet

                I have little matter to add to the above Copy of my last as I have not since heard from you; only to pray you will mention to the Overseer on Saltspring that the Weights of the latter part of the Sugars Shipped were very inferior to those sent by the early Ships. It is my wish to have real & substantial hhs [hogsheads] rather than the appearance of making a show of numbers; I do not know what to advise as to the shipping your Rum, however I think if the quality is made equal to that of last Crop there is little risque of loss if sent by the early Ships; but as Dugd will in all probability be with you before any of your Rum Crop is shipped he will be better able to inform you how things are likely to be. As he will write you by this conveyance I refer to him for further particulars.

                        I remain ([24])< /p>


     Early in December, Campbell was wondering if Capt. James Hill's health could enable him to keep going as a deputy overseer at Portsmouth. (Hill was later overseer on the Fortunee hulk there).


Campbell Letter 178:

                        London 9 Dec 1788

Capt Jas Hill


              Mr Boyick wrote you by my desire on the 2d the nature of his letter was such that I expected an Answer in Course of Post.

Mr Nepean has shewed me the letters that have passed between you and him on the subject of your taking charge of the Convicts. My letter or rather Mr Boyicks was calculated to learn from you whether your health would enable you to take that charge because if you can do it the exigencies of the present time require the removal of the Convicts from Newgate and an appointment of an Overseer will be made out for you to receive them this being absolutely Necessary to comply with the Act of Parliament a Copy of which I send you for your Regulation. Mr Nepean assures me that provisions Cloathing & for use of the Prisoners are ordered on board the Warspite where the Prisoners are intended to be confined till the Fortunee is fit to receive them. Guards are to be found to assist you & to execute your orders, for as you will see by the Act the Person alone must be the director in all matters relative to the Convicts. I am not otherwise concerned at present in this business than wishing to give Mr Nepean my best information in any point where I can be of service ..... if you can with safety  to your health undertake the Management for a few weeks till matters can be arranged it would be very agreeable to Mr Nepean & me, ..... the convicts not being intended to work on shore you will have the less difficulty in taking care of them. the securing all Hatches Ports etc in the Warspite will be absolutely necessary before the Convicts reach you which I suppose from what Mr Nepean informs me will be on Sunday...

                               I remain


You cannot be too careful in guarding yourself against Cold at this season of the year - ([25])< /p>


        By December 1788, Nepean had been saying that Nova Scotia would be settled as an alternative to NSW, that matters were flexible, and destinations could be changed: Nova Scotia was mentioned, the Canadians' distaste for the idea was given no thought. ([26]) Nepean had been concerned for some time about the numbers at Newgate and on 1  December the matter was discussed again between Sydney and the Recorder of London, James Adair. ([27]) The Times reported that the season was too advanced for sending convicts to Nova Scotia or Quebec, though [largely incorrect] assurances had been given that two ships had been fitted to carry prisoners to America. ([28]) Readers were informed male convicts were intended for Newfoundland by the fleet next season. Such assurances were valueless. All convicts were going to Botany Bay. (The newspaper story had possibly been sourced from the Recorder of London, rather than from Nepean or Sydney?)


      Pressure kept up. On 20 December, 1788, London judge Sir William Ashurst wrote to Lord Sydney of "the alarming conditions" in Newgate Gaol where there were now more than 800 prisoners. Cases of the feared gaol distemper were reported. "At the last Old Bailey session, all windows and doors had been kept open in spite of the freezing conditions, for fear of infection". ([29]) The judge was reassured that 150 convicts would be shifted in a few days. This information was premature - Lady Juliana was still being worked on, and there was still no news from NSW. So government asked Richards to be prepared to shift convicts to Nova Scotia.


*     *     *


A lack of news from Botany Bay:


      In 1789 some 114 Irish convicts were sent to Newfoundland, then returned to the Irish government. In October 1790, "chaos" was caused by a dumping of Irish felons in Barbuda. ([30]) Martin in Founding records 114 Irish convicts transported to Newfoundland in mid-1789 and returned to the Irish Government, which complained bitterly. ([31])


Sir Joseph Banks and the Blackheath Connection:


Much has been made of the strategic reasons leading Britain to settle Australia. Various other strategy was afoot at the time. England began to export tea about 1711. From 1787, Joseph Banks developed a secret plan to plant China tea in India and Ceylon, after tea plants had been stolen from China. (2a) In 1778, Banks had been asked to prepare a series of notes for the East India Company on the cultivation of new crops, especially tea in India. This set Banks on a search for botanical specimens which could become useful commodities, lending a mercantilist aspect to his disinterested experiments in "science". The Bounty voyage for breadfruit should be understood in this context. (Many of what became the Indian tea districts were not British possessions by 1788).


    By 1785-1786, the East India Company imported 15 million pounds of tea. Tea from Assam and Ceylon tea did not seriously rival tea from China till 1875. In 1811, the East India Company imported tea worth £70,426,244. The Chinese however did not exchange this export for imports in return, leaving Britain with a trade imbalance - so the English exported India cotton and opium to China. ([32]) By November 1787, Banks was assailed by the East India Company and Lord Hawkesbury on matters related to cotton, tea and cochineal - cochineal originally from Mexico and therefore a Spanish commodity, providing scarlet dye. On Thursday, 13 November, 1787 Banks received papers from Thomas Morton, secretary of the East India Company, about a Company desire for an opinion on creating a botanic garden for Calcutta and also publication of a natural history of India. ([33])


    By 27 December, 1787 Banks had delivered to William Devaynes of the Company a report on the possibilities for cultivating tea in India. By 11 January, 1788, Banks was investigating the amount of cochineal imported to Britain for John Maitland the wool merchant of Basinghall St. By December 1788, a secret plan had been developed to take China tea to Ceylon and India. Such secret plans speak amongst other matters of spreading the risk in finding commodities, such as finding sugar from India, not just the West Indies. (A Mr. Abel was one of Banks' many agents between 1793-1800; Abel once had tea for India on a ship Alceste, but he lost his plants).


Early in 1788, Lord Hawkesbury was asking Banks if it was feasible to grow tea in the British dominions in East or West Indies, so as to relieve the dependence on China. Further British interest in tea in India arose in 1815. Paradoxically, despite his fame, Banks remains a shadowy figure. ([34]) "The figure of Sir Joseph Banks is still only faintly etched on the historic records of the past two centuries... He remains to this day, therefore, a sort of historic ghost - a spectre that even at its best has been sensed only as a disarticulated mass and out of perspective. For this he was himself more responsible than anyone. He took few steps to ensure that his real shape and substance would survive." If there is a paradox here, it has entirely to do with the other pseudo-paradoxes ranged by Britain for two centuries now around the topic of the "founding of Australia". If business and commodity handling was secretive in Banks' day, his reputation may have fallen victim to that secrecy.


     Banks promoted a society to explore the interior of Africa. In 1785 he had not long assisted with the formation of the Linnean Society of London, which emerged during his  presidency of The Royal Society. It was one of the first scientific societies with interests similar to Banks' interests in, broadly, "natural history".


    Banks' interests in natural history motivated his direct interest in maritime discovery. The Pacific stimulated his geographic curiosity. Asia and the Far East meant he remained interested in the activities of the East India Company. South Africa interested him. His interest in Africa had been enlivened by the activities of Henry Smeathman, who had met Francis Masson in Holland from 1773. The 1785 voyage of Nautilus to Das Voltas was partly stimulated by Henry Smeathman's views. (A ship Nautilus voyaged to Sierra Leone in 1787.) Banks remained in touch with Sierra Leone in his roles as both philanthropist and botanist; he sympathised with abolition of slavery.


     On Monday 9 June, 1788 was held a meeting of a social coterie, the Saturday Club,  which dined often at St Alban's Tavern off Pall Mall, a society for promoting discovery of the inland of Africa. The men interested included Henry Beaufoy MP and FRS, Banks, Lord Rawdon FRS, the Bishop of LLandaff, Andrew Stuart MP. This committee from the first were enjoined not to divulge information except to other members of the association as they might from time to time receive information from persons sent on missions of discovery. This was partly due to rivalry with Muslims, and other international rivalries. This committee's activities often centred on Banks' residence at 32 Soho Square. ([35]) There followed a meeting on Friday 13 June, 1788, and Banks was asked to see Lord Sydney about one Simon Lucas, an oriental interpreter at the Court of St James, to assist with an exploration of Africa. ([36]) Sydney put this to the king.


     Carter indicates that Banks was driven hard by Francis Baring, with Baring's dual interests as a private trader and an East India Company director, plus Hawkesbury, with Dundas holding the balance. ([37]) Banks once replied to Hawkesbury that given existing English failures to cultivate tea, the Bengal-Assam area might be useful for tea. He recalled French attempts to cultivate tea in Corsica in 1785, and had some samples from that experiment. (The first Indian tea export would not emerge from Assam for 50 years). Banks referred also to the diplomatic mission of Lt.-Col. Charles Cathcart to China, mounted at the insistence of Henry Dundas, and that tea if it could be brought out of China should go to Bengal. (At the elections of June 1790 Dundas had been returned for the city of Edinburgh and become Home Secretary provisionally till he was confirmed in that office after the refusal of Cornwallis had been received from India). ([38])


      Banks also inspected the statistics which William Richardson produced for the East India Company using some of Lord Sheffield's sources, and he consulted Company staff including the returning British resident at Canton, Bradshaw, about the processes of tea culture.


      Banks by 27 December, 1788 had written some 2000 words on tea culture to Francis Baring of the Company. Lord Hawkesbury was also informed. It was mentioned tea could possibly be grown at Bihar, that tea be transplanted from Hainan with the co-operation of renegade Chinese willing to sail for the Company and transplant tea at Calcutta for Col. Kyd at Calcutta. Kyd would progress from there, teaching the Indians how to cultivate tea. Such ideas needed the support of the Company directors in London as it might be unwise to mention the plan to the Company supercargoes at Canton as they might break secrecy. If such plans would be approved, Banks said he would put himself at the disposal of the company, as he was "convinced that the objective was also of real importance to the country at large". Banks also mentioned indigo as a possible production for India, adding coffee, chocolate, vanilla, cochineal and cotton, even sugar.


The financier Francis Baring of Mincing Lane remained interested in the commodities cochineal and tea. ([39]) He had taken a partner in 1781 and had good profits by 1778, yet even by 1793 he only had a handful of clerks. A supporter of Pitt and Dundas, Baring became a director of the East India Company in 1779 and became leader of the City Interest and leader of that Interest. By 1786, due to recent deaths in the Company court, Baring was the most experienced member of the Court of Directors, and so became company chairman 1792-93. That is, Baring's influence with the Company was noticeable at the time the Company was protesting the establishment of the new convict colony at New South Wales.


      In 1791 Baring opposed Dundas' attempts to abolish the Company's Secret Committee, and inner council of directors, and to reduce the number of directors, Dundas' aim being to reform the Company structure. Baring remained chief negotiator for the directors and was later created baronet for his work on the Company's behalf. Privately, Baring rather thought the other directors were fools or knaves, and he had two sons in the East, Thomas Baring in Bengal and Henry Baring in China.


While the tea transplant plan was secret, Banks also wanted secrecy for any cochineal plan. Spain had a monopoly on handling cochineal handling, which the French called "Dutch scarlet". It was of two kinds, fine cochineal (refined, and a richer dye) and sylvester cochineal. John Maitland had samples of both varieties. Banks had been in communication since February 1787 with Dr James Anderson, later Madras physician-general for the East India Company, about a cochineal insect possibly native to India, that might be useful?


     The Company directors including Baring were remaining very cautious here, Banks still dealt with the secret committee; but he had arranged that Governor Phillip (with the First Fleet) would collect samples of cochineal (nopal) with its attendant insects at Rio de Janeiro for transport to Botany Bay. There, Phillip succeeded in keeping his samples alive.


      In January 1788, Banks sent a memorial to the Company directors, regarding cochineal as "an object of national importance", under pressure at the time from Francis Baring. Banks then got his correspondent in Honduras, James Bartlet, to send samples of cochineal (fina) insects to London for later transportation to India. By 11 March, 1790 Banks had  sent to William Devaynes a proposal about a reward of £1000 for the procurement of the true cochineal from Spanish America, and this was increased to £2000 by 1792.


    Still promoting the cochineal project, Banks next took advantage of the departure of Macartney's embassy to China on 1 October, 1792, to obtain at Rio the cochineal insects (sylvester) from Rio. These samples were shipped on the Enderby whaler Hero Capt. Folger, the samples reaching the Thames by 25 February, 1793. Banks by May 1793 had recommended Christopher Smith as a gardener for the botanical garden at Calcutta, and early in September 1794 Smith sailed with his assistant Peter Good from Kew, on Royal Admiral, Capt. Bond with a consignment of useful plants for Calcutta's botanic gardens. Samples were landed on 27 February, 1795, and it appears Royal Admiral was soon to return to England. However, before she did sail, there arrived at Calcutta Capt. Nelson of the 74 Regt. with two small nopal plants from Rio with plenty of cochineal insects sylvester. The results of this and other experiments resulted in a cochineal dye at least equal to the South America sylvester cochineal. By 18 August, 1796 Banks could report to Sir Hugh Inglis that the cochineal insect could be reared more effectively in India than in Brazil, and now a lucrative trade could supplant that of the Spanish. Still, Banks felt he had endured eight years of alternate enthusiasm and neglect from the East India Company directors, (there had earlier been a leak and the Spanish had found out about his plans for cochineal transplantation).


     Dundas had been concerned with Banks with Indian problems of mutual concern from 1785, regarding Company operations at Canton for example. Banks here was assisted by John Duncan and later his brother Alexander, resident Company surgeons at Canton, Carter writes, "The combination of Banks and Dundas in mounting an embassy to China followed from their regular association in the affairs of the Company and of the Privy Council Committee for Trade and Foreign Plantations. From Dundas, in harness with Pitt, came the political drive that set the [Macartney] Embassy in motion and framed its official instructions. From Banks came the advice which gathered men and information for the more technical purposes of this first real British adventure into the closed world beyond the precarious entrepot of Canton."


       Carter writes, "Thus, in the record of those two months alone, we have a glimpse of the botanical returns arriving at Kew from three great voyages"... the First Fleet under Governor Phillip to Botany Bay; the Vancouver expedition to the north-west coast of America; and the second bread-fruit voyage of Bligh to Tahiti - with Banks somewhere at the centre and management of them all. ([40]) The odd thing about Carter's remarks here are that many of the merchant connections of the ships captains used in these three expeditions were based residentially at Blackheath, London. Campbell was connected to Bligh's first voyage to Tahiti, Vancouveur's voyage was promoted by the Enderbys of Blackheath while John St Barbe, neighbour to Enderbys, opened up sealing at New Zealand with Britannia Capt. Raven. While Macaulay and Curtis with Lady Penrhyn were hoping to gather seal-product from Nootka Sound, north-west America. Added to which, by the late 1790s the London Missionary Society had a policy of profiting from the use of Pacific products and artefacts, and one of its shipping advisers with connections to the East India Company included a Blackheathite. Why then, would many of  Banks' useful shipping connections be concentrated at Blackheath, and the fact not be noticed? Blackheath had become a hotbed of interest in the Pacific. The merchants  involved here all had an almost-direct line to Banks, politicians, and men with influence over the employment of naval ships.


*   *   *


A little-known transportation to America:


       In June 1788, 140 convicts were taken out of British jails, later unloaded at New London, Connecticut. ([41]) (There is mysteriously little information on this transportation). Provincial officials in Britain were still uncertain about circumstances with their prisoners, however eager they were to be rid of them. Thomas Bungey the gaoler at Durham was advised by James Boyick on 28 December, 1787, "Mr Campbell can do nothing to change the destination of your convicts as it is from the Secretary of State he receives his orders and it is from him you must apply."


    All inquiries then concerning convicts were to be directed to the highest authorities in the land. Irrational beliefs still prevailed that convicts might still be sent to America. While in America, Abraham Baldwin at the Continental Congress had moved a motion: - "Resolved that it is hereby recommended to the several States to pass proper laws for preventing the transportation of convicted malefactors from foreign countries into the United States." But that motion was not wholly successful.


     The costs of the cultural obsession mounted as British ships now coursed the Pacific and prospects at the new convict colony at Sydney were tested. In 1788 in England, Henry Bradley was reimbursed over £4500 for overseeing Dunkirk, while Campbell for the Thames hulks received over £30,000. John Howard during the year recorded 2052 felons, 1937 held on the hulks. ([42])


*     *     *


26 January, 1788:


	 gifGumtree: English artists took many years to learn how to paint this "unconventional-looking" Australian tree.

Many remarks have been made about the colony established by Governor Phillip, that he held too much power. Hughes in The Fatal Shore remarks ominously on Phillip's commission as "customary imperial boilerplate". (p. 89) Phillip could raise armies and execute martial law. He could, like a sailor-pirate, if so ordered, send an expedition to bother the Spanish American coasts - the idea was contemplated from time to time in London. Here with Phillip's arrival arise many questions about what did NOT happen. The way the Aboriginals wended their peaceful way through the white settlement, and later conducted guerrilla warfare, has not been well reported. As for European rivalry in the Pacific, the French and Dutch did not sweep in from the blue Pacific, or from south where the Indian Ocean becomes the Southern, to harass Phillip's efforts. Nor did the Spanish angrily send fleets from America to marshall in the Philippines, muster their courage, and sweep south to crush Phillip's frazzled colony with destructive pageantry of sail and cannon. When French ships called by, discussions were of peaceful scientific pursuits, and on occasion, Freemasonry. Britain may well have made a pre-emptive strike in the Pacific, but by and large, Europe yawned. Australia was nowhere.

Kangaroo gifKangaroo: one of the odd animals encountered at Sydney, New South Wales.


       In the view of an early Australasian historian of whaling, Dakin, "The first settlement of Australia was thus achieved about the same time as the whale ships of two nations were ready to invade the Pacific". ([43]) Just after Enderbys had fitted up their explorer ship Emilia, from August 1788, they wrote to George Chalmers again, that Emilia would seek whales on the Spanish Coast (of west South America). "On the success of our ship depends the Establishment of the Fishery in the South Pacific Ocean, as many owners have declared they shall wait till they hear whether our ship is likely to succeed there, if she is successful, a large Branch of the Fishery will be carried on in those seas",... ([44]) London's whalers were planning to move into the Pacific from both east - the Cape of Good Hope - and west - by Cape Horn. Captains sent to Botany Bay had several duties - to try the route east from the Cape of Good Hope, to try whales in Australasian waters, to bring back information which could be linked to information brought back by whalers sent around Cape Horn to the west South American Spanish Main. In all this, the Enderbys appointed themselves and their associates the natural inheritors of the old English tradition, a blood sport of the high seas, of harassing the Spanish about South America as convenience suggested


The Enderbys were immensely  proud of their Emilia's voyage. In The Samuel Enderby Book, at a page bottom in a large proud hand, is the inscription, "The first whale ship which ever sailed around Cape Horn". But on the return of Capt. James Shields in July 1790, Shields barely avoided Customs prosecution for bringing back a cargo of spirits. The whalers with one of their usual energetic memorials to Customs pleaded his case for him. The next vessel sent by Cape Horn was Enderby's Friendship, Capt. Thomas Melville. Melville's next voyage after his passage west of England into the Pacific via Cape Horn was to Sydney with the Third Fleet ship Britannia, east of England via the Cape of Good Hope. Melville when he went to Sydney with the third fleet was the Enderby pioneer-captain with the greatest knowledge to date of the Pacific and its whales. On Emilia's  return, eleven south whalers including four Enderby ships went out to the Pacific. British whaling in the Pacific would have been less energetic unless government had permitted whalers access to some contracts to both transport convicts to Sydney, and to explore waters.


*     *    *


1788: Snippets and Coincidences:


     Campbell during January 1788 suffered severe gout which kept him indoors. He had complained about rheumatism from a relatively early age. As Campbell grew older, the world all changing around him, he found fresh challenges. His eldest son Dugald was ambivalent about managing Saltspring on Jamaica, but eventually decided to do it. At this time, the agent for Jamaica was Stephen Fuller.


      In 1788, the Governor of Jamaica had reported widespread alarm on Jamaica at talk of the abolition of slavery, and it was felt the prosperity or ruin of the island depended on the question, also the assets of all mortgagees and annuitants. The Governor warned there would be claims for damages from abolition. ([45]) Still, there were enough books and documents available to help Dugald make up his mind... ([46]), including, Edward Long, Candid Reflections. London, 1772; and Edward Long, History of Jamaica. 1774.      From 1788, Duncan's second eldest son, John, wished to enter East India trade, a matter which involved his father in acquiring three ships suitable for the voyage and conducting the usual fastidious negotiations with the East India Company.


*    *    *


      For a slave owner, the proposed abolition of slavery was an alarming prospect. Campbell, who espoused transportation and like measures, dreaded abolition. (Saltspring plantation would have had about 300 slaves). Campbell advised Dugald on Saltspring, on 3 February, 1790, "without overworking your Negroes, which is at all times to be avoided, as well from motives of humanity, as real benefit to our Interests. The folks who are for promoting the abolition of the Slave Trade, have now taken it up with as much Zeal as in the last Sessions: yet I cannot say I have no so great fears as many of my friends here seem to have;" Campbell regarded any abolition as "unpolitick". ([47])


     On the high seas, meanwhile, were many incidents which at first sight resemble astonishing coincidences become easier to understand as the results of a coherent plan to open the Pacific to British shipping. Captains knew each other's likely movements, since their owners had briefed them on possibilities. One such quasi-coincidence occurred in February, 1788, about southern Africa, when Bounty spoke with a whaler, British Queen,   309 tons, Capt. W. Goldsmith, or, Capt. Simon Paul. ([48]) This whaler was owned by Enderbys. Bligh sent Campbell a letter dated 17 February, 1788, noting Simon Paul was master of British Queen. Bligh wrote, "My officers and Young Men are all tractable and well disposed and we now understand each other so well, that we shall remain so the whole voyage... Tom Ellison is a very good Boy and will do very well.." Bligh had picked up wine for Campbell at Teneriffe and was uncommonly keen to assure Campbell the wine was still safe. ([49]) Shortly after Bounty had left, Bligh in letters to Campbell had referred to Campbell's affection for young Ellison, and desire he be educated.


      Bounty had failed to round Cape Horn, so that by 22 May, 1788 she was back at Cape of Good Hope, resting before venturing across the Southern Ocean to Adventure Bay, Van Diemens Land, then to Tahiti. Bligh was ambivalent about going to "Botany Bay", and wrote to Campbell about a bill with Christofell Brand, Esq., the merchant he dealt with at the Cape. The bill was sent on to Campbell in London. On 24 May, 1788, ([50]) Bligh was at Simon's Bay, where incredibly, on 18 June, 1788, he met a soldier named Macquarie, long later to succeed him as governor of NSW... Bligh and a 27-year-old soldier, Lachlan Macquarie, dined together on a ship Dublin at Simon's Bay, north-east of the Cape of Good Hope, as Macquarie recorded in his diary. Bligh and Macquarie first met on 13 June. The 18 June meeting was possibly a shipboard Freemason's meeting. (Bligh and Macquarie were both Masons). And the meeting was surprising in terms of Australian history-to-be. Dining also with Bligh and Macquarie was Col. Gordon, a renegade Britisher, who commanded Dutch troops at the Cape.


Macquarie found Gordon "a very fine jovial fellow", "most agreeable company as can be". Mr. Mason, a "famous botanist to Africa," was also present. Mason in Carter's biography of Banks was Francis Masson, who sent many scientific samples home to Banks from the Cape, often and rather uncannily using ships coming home from Botany Bay. Later, much less jovial when the Cape fell to the British in 1795, Gordon suicided. ([51]) Gordon had kept Spanish merino sheep, which his widow in 1796 gave to Capt. Henry Waterhouse, then of NSW, who took them to NSW to assist sheepbreeding there. The entry for Waterhouse in one edition of Australian Encyclopedia credits Waterhouse with the introduction of merino sheep to Australia. And later of course, after Bligh was deposed as governor of NSW, Macquarie would replace him. It was a surprising meeting in a surprisingly small world when Bligh met Macquarie, only four months after Governor Phillip had landed at "Botany Bay". Such a meeting ought to raise questions about Freemasonry as a social glue for men of the day, if not as an agency of Imperialism and colonial development.


    On 13 June, Bligh wrote to Banks a long letter, ([52]) "I might wood and water at Botany Bay with little loss of time, but I cannot think of putting it in the power of chance to prevent me accomplishing the object of the voyage, I shall therefore pass our friends at that place..." Bligh left the Cape of Good Hope from 22 May, 1788 for 38 days, sailing to Adventure Bay, Tasmania, by 21 August, 1788. (After Bligh anchored at Adventure Bay he planted some apple trees). Bligh left Adventure Bay on 14 September. ([53]) Romance overrides facts. Kennedy (p. 40) incorrectly notes that by Bligh's arrival, Tahiti had not been visited for a decade, though it was visited just before Bounty arrived, by Lady Penrhyn from "Botany Bay". Bounty entered Matavi Bay on 26 October, 1788,


      On 24 May, 1788, Sir George Young and John Call proposed a trading settlement being made at Norfolk Island, in behalf of themselves and others, being ignorant of the fact that Phillip had sent Philip Gidley King to Norfolk. ([54]) These armchair colonists had ideas of cultivating flax, using pine timber for masts, cordage and masts for the war ships of British India, all resources to be held by the petitioners of the Crown as with the Manor of East Greenwich.


*   *    *


Life in London continued as usual.

Campbell Letter 179:

2 Jany 1788

Wm Hamilton

          I write you this to remind you of the Sale of the Stormont tomorrow & that I depend upon your attending the same in my behalf. I would rather than not have her go as far as £800 - which is more than any Break up will I think give for a ship of 725 tons. Should Hubbard himself bid against me you will regulate yourself accordingly as it will shew - you have gone as far as she is worth for that purpose. I shall be in the Subscription Room at 12 oclock as I wish to see how the stores sell    I am. ([55])


*    *    *


British whaling, 1788:


      Britain in 1788 had 314 ships in her whaling industry. ([56]) According to The Samuel Enderby Book for 1788, some whalers relevant to this discussion had sent out the following ships:


Ogle and Co., London, Sappho, Capt. T. Middleton; [Daniel] Bennet and Co., London, Lively, Capt. W. Barnet; Mather and Co., London, Benjamin, Capt. Mather; Mather and Co., London, Ulysses, Capt. T. Anderson; S. Enderby and Sons, London, Emilia, 278 tons, Capt. Jas. Shields, around Cape Horn; S. Enderby and Sons, London, Kent, Capt. P. Pease; S. Enderby and Sons, London, Greenwich, Capt. A. Locke; S. Enderby and Sons, London, Friendship, Capt. A. Delano, S. Enderby and Sons, London, Sandwich, Capt. M. Gage; S. Enderby and Sons, London, Swift, Capt. G. Hales; Jas. Mather and Co., London, Mercury, Capt. W. Anderson;  Lucas and Co., London, Barbara, Capt. B. Clark; Lucas and Co., London, Spencer, Capt. E. Bunker; Lucas and Co., London, Ranger, Capt. M. Swain; Lucas and Co., London, Fox, Capt. R. Jones; Lucas and Co., London, Lucas, Capt. Jona. Aikin; Lucas and Co., London, Elizabeth and Margaret, Capt. Hopper; A and B Champion and Co., London, Lord Hawkesbury, Capt. T. Delano; A and B. Champion, London, Adventure, Capt. S. Keene; A and B Champion and Co., London, Prince of Wales, Capt. S. Coffin, Curling and Co., London, Nancy, Capt. A. Avery; Curling and Co., London, Experiment, Capt. Z. Swain, Teast and Son, Bristol, Aurora, Capt. Butler; St. Barbe and Co., Southampton, Southampton, Capt. W. Aikin; St. Barbe and Co., London, Jackall, Capt. W. Raven.


     The list is significant to maritime history. Mathers already had a ship in the First Fleet. Sandwich and Lord Hawkesbury  were named for British peers whose names were applied to Hawaii, and Hawkesbury, a major river north of Sydney. It is unknown if Capt. Hopper was related to the shipowners Hopper from whom William Richards had chartered several ships, but the suspicion lingers. Capt. Eber Bunker on Spencer for Lucas' would later sail for Enderbys in the Third Fleet, settle at Sydney and help establish the Sydney suburb of Liverpool. The owner John St Barbe with Enderbys was a key figure in the Blackheath Connection and his captain, William Raven, was to be a useful figure in Sydney, assisting early trade. ([57]) Capt. Bishop sailing for Teast in the 1790s would rescue unpopular personnel of the London Missionary Society from Tahiti and take them to Sydney; missionaries so unpopular they feared being massacred. (Connections of the London Missionary Society have also been identified as part of Phase Two of The Blackheath Connection, London's concentration of interest in the Pacific Ocean).


*     *     *


Jeremy Bentham visits the hulks:


     In late 1787 as the First Fleet was being gathered, Jeremy Bentham the penal reformer and legal theorist had been in Crecheff, White Russia, developing design ideas for his  Panopticon. ([58]) He even wanted to send British convicts to Russia, and wrote to Pitt about the idea. In his writings, Bentham usually criticized the hulks system, usually overlooking the one element that helped form the riddle of Botany Bay - the notion that convict labour was helpful to the state. With his eyes focused idealistically on the law and its inadequacies, Bentham failed to see the alleged benefits convict labour could provide, of which others were convinced. But even Bentham himself was forced to make an uneasy alliance between his ideals and the economic productivity of the prisoner, for at the heart of the concept of the Panopticon was a hope that prisoners would make their gaol self-sufficient by their labour value. (It remains debatable how much the dread of idleness that was current in the moral and religious philosophies of the day, had to do with such a notion).


     Immediately he arrived back in London in early 1788, well-informed on the transportation to Botany Bay, Bentham visited the Thames hulks where he spoke to Campbell, took notes, and observed the procedures Erskine and Campbell used. Bentham even gave prisoners small amounts of grog for the privilege of studying of them. ([59]) Later, despite repeated lobbying from Betham, the government failed to adopt the Panopticon. ([60]) The primitive old-style prisons, Campbell's hulks and transportation to NSW sufficed.


       About 1788, Bentham noted Campbell was thinking of erecting a brewery on a hulk, - spruce beer or alcohol? Incorrect information was bandied about that Tayloe had been an old admiralty frigate, moored at Woolwich. Bentham's efforts, as an enemy of the NSW penal colony, to have the hulks system dismantled and to lobby for the establishment of his system of land prisons has never been adequately related by English scholars to the long career of the hulks, and their administrators, to Campbell, then magistrate Aaron Graham, along with various Home Office officials, nor to transportation itself. Thus, to date, views on Bentham's career still lack treatment of significant relationships of conflict in Britain between forms of prisoner handling, colonisation, early Australian history and trends in penal reform. And this remark is sans analysis of William Richards' fight against the hulks, which was conducted more in terms of the actual economic links between convictism and colonisation than was Bentham's more idealistic struggle. The complexities of maritime history are one reason for this state of affairs. Writers on penal history are scarcely inclined to consider whaling history, even where whalers are transporting convicts.


     On 31 January, 1788 the Lord Provost and magistrates of Glasgow had asked for their transportees to be removed, and also pointed to the "dubious legality" of informally changing a sentence from one of transportation to one of imprisonment. Three months later, similar queries came from Aberdeen. ([61]) In February 1788, ([62]) was a meeting of the House of Lords chaired by Lord Sandwich, which gave priority to the whaling industry in respect of "the state of the nation". Providing information was Samuel Enderby. The coast of Africa was mentioned as one whaling ground. Australasian waters have too seldom been mentioned as another whaling ground coveted by Enderbys. (On 2 February, 1788, Daniel Beale, Esq., Prussian Consul at Canton, was giving instructions to J. H. Meares, merchant adventurer to Nootka Sound, and to Capt. William Douglas on the ship Iphigenia, mentioning that Beale would check Douglas' log book). In March 1788, Hawkesbury's Committee for Trade responded to pressure from whalers and allowed them to move into the Pacific. ([63])


*    *     *


      Surprisingly, Campbell made his own "swing to the east" on behalf of his son John:

Campbell Letter 180:

London 20 Feb 1788    

The Honble United East

India Company

          In consequence of your advertisment for the Tender of Ships for the East Indian Service against next season I beg leave to make your Honble Court an offer of my ship Britannia John Campbell Commander: now on a voyage to Jamaica but expected home early in June next. This ship was launched at Deptford in 1782 Is a complete three Decker Capable of mounting 22 Guns on one Deck. She will measure when lengthened, which I propose to be done upon her return, near if not quite 600 Tons, but will carry more in proportion than Ships of the same Measurement. This vessel properly (?) I am willing to let to be reddy by Oct or Nov next at (pound)        to go to China or   (pound)        per Ton to go to Bengal.  With the usual allowances for (??), & under the Covenant to and Instructions usually put into Charter partys made by your Honble the Court with the Owners of Ships employed in the service of the East India Company. With the greatest deference and Respect I am ([64])


Selling the labour of the Thames hulks prisoners:


Campbell wrote concerning a new hulk, Lion.

Campbell Letter 181:

Letter to a recipient not indicated, but probably to George Rose at Treasury or Evan Nepean.

                       Adelphi 4 March 1788


    In Consequence of the conversation I had the honour to hold with you touching the necessity of making a further provision for the relief of the several Gaols of Newgate, & those of the Home Circuit, now greatly crowded; I beg leave to acquaint you for the information of Lord Sydney, that I have lately purchased a larger ship, the Lion, between 700 & 800 tons, which vessel I can have ready for the safe Accomodation of 270 men by the 12th of Next Month; and I am willing to contract to let this Vessel for a year (?), & to find a proper ships company of 30 in number, Officers included for the safe custody of such prisoners or (?) first on board of her; together with Every necessity thereto, - for the allowance of £140 per month. I will also undertake to maintain & clothe, & to find medecines & medical assistance as has been usual for such convicts, on being allowed at the rate of 11d per diem for each man. You was pleased to mention ............ that it was the intention of Government to order an additional Hulk to Portsmouth, to be employed on some Public Work to be carried on at that place; Should that be the case & the Lion put on that Service, there (?) be Several Arrangements necessary to Assist in guarding against Escapes, as well as the better to enable the Convicts to Work to Effect: it will also be necessary to obtain from the Navy Board such Masts & Yards & Stores as was furnished for the Carrying down of the Ceres; & for proper Moorings ........ ([65])


     George Marsh of the navy board referred to the Lion, using the official cliché, "from the crowded state of the Gaols". ([66]) The navy board thought the terms for the Lion not unreasonable, and mentioned for comparison the terms on which the hulks Ceres and Stanislaus had been offered. Also referred to was a particular from the Navy Office of 29 December, 1784, "on which check the nature of the bargain totally depends". ([67]) As usual, government's parsimonious attitude prevailed. The Lion hulk was first let for 270 convicts by 12 April, by which time William Richards had re-entered the picture, proposing that he also manage a hulk for 300 convicts. His tender undercut the offer made by Campbell, but was not taken up. Richards thereafter continually attempted, until late 1792, to enter the business of maintaining hulks, and to gain other similar business, but he succeeded only with getting three more ships to NSW. ([68])


Campbell Letter 182:

                 16 April 1788

Evan Nepean

           I am just going to Woolwich, but before I set out I am desirous to know if you have seen Mr Stephens touching the Cables of Water Casks that I may be able to regulate thereby my directions to the Capt of the Lion & I pray you to excuse this trouble & to believe me

                              Dear Sir ([69])


     Also in May 1788, typhus swept again through the hulks at Langston Harbour, Portsmouth. A sloop had to made into a hospital ship. Dunkirk became so leaky that all her convicts had to be moved out while she was repaired. ([70]) What was happening in the Pacific was unknown.


*   *   *


Endnote1: In 1788 - Campbell's Portsmouth hulks superintendents were James Hill, Robert Burn, Capt. John Chiene. Prior to the Third Fleet leaving, Campbell had Lion 800 tons as a hulk at Portsmouth, which was first let for convicts by 12 April, 1788. Justitia (repaired April-July 1790) ceased as a hulk in 1791 with the departure of the Third Fleet. When Dunkirk was discharged from service at Plymouth and Ceres from Langston Harbour. Campbell still had Stanislaus and Prudentia on the Thames, both of which remained in service beyond 1803.


*    *    *


The appearance of the Knuckle Club at Blackheath: 1789:


      Although the year 1789 was one of deep importance for the Pacific Ocean, information on merchant activities is still scrappy. Information arising from Blackheath is indispensable. Blackheath became the world's first golf club outside St Andrews at Edinburgh. Golf did not become popular in the United States until the 1880s, with one Robert Lockhart being influenced by Scottish connections, and apparently, no connections in London. Golf was slightly better-known in Australia (NSW) before it became popular in North America. ([71])


     The captain in 1789 of the Blackheath Golf Club was Charles Gregorie, perhaps a relative of one of Mark or Thomas Gregory, known to the firm Turnbull, Macaulay and Gregory? In 1789, Campbell was on the club committee. On 17 January, 1789 at Blackheath was formed The Knuckle Club of winter-playing golfers, which had "a mystical element and was clearly Masonic". The Club had a secretive air, and was not dissolved until 1825. After 1825 its members met only as golfers. ([72]) "The only mystery about the Knuckle Club is the reason for the decision to destroy the first four pages of its minute book". The club started with an initiation ceremony and an elaborate ritual. Browning writes, "probably the whole [Knuckle] thing was too puerile to stand the test of time". Records exist for the first 40 years of The Knuckle Club.


      The Blackheath golfers were mostly Scots. The year 1608 refers to the origin of golf, but there is little written evidence on golf at Blackheath before 1784. A Silver Club was presented in 1766, with names engraved. A newspaper notice of 1784 hoped that "goff members" will be pleased to meet at... Some 20 members met at a house of public assembly, the Chocolate House at West Grove [near where Enderbys and St Barbe lived]. When The Chocolate House closed, "goffers" moved to The Green Man. Knuckle Medals are still played for, and the mini-club name stems from the members' habit of eating soup and knuckles at The Green Man, the largest hotel in the area, pulled down in 1970. ([73]) Henderson and Stirk have discussed links between Masonry, golfing and dining, in Scotland and at Blackheath, London. There was "a commitment to dining and conviviality", with golf seen as exercise beforehand. ([74])


     Some members of the Blackheath Golf Club in the period in question included: Capt., Coll Turner, secretary, Henry Callender, and members William Innes, Wm. Hamilton, Robert Edie, Thomas Mure, Duncan Campbell, James Allen, Mr. Dunbar, Mr. Dalrymple, Mr. Pitcairn, Robert Milligan, Capt. Gregorie, Alderman Macaulay, and Alexander Dalrymple, hydrographer of the East India Company. Many East India Company captains lived at Blackheath, and may have been golfers. ([75])


Aspects of commercial life:


      Strictly by coincidence, also on 17 January, 1789, another move was made at Blackheath. ([76]) Samuel Enderby and Sons wrote to George Chalmers with statistics on recent endeavours of the South Whale Fishery. Enderby wanted an unlimited right of fishing in all seas, and "the settlements of New Holland would be often visited as there are many whales in those seas". Enderby noted that captains to China had noted many whales about the Straits of Sunda and Java. ([77]) The Nantucketeer Benjamin Rotch meanwhile, miffed with the attitude of the British government, had gone to Dunkirk to shore up the French Fishery. In all this, as to the Pacific, Enderby need not even have canvassed widely to find out information. He lived at Blackheath quite near to two East India shipmen, Macaulay and his relatives the Larkins family who owned the Royal Admiral, earlier mentioned as delivering samples to Banks. Enderby could have found out any information, any evening, by taking a short stroll. In 1789, members of the Society governing the affairs of Lloyd's included Macaulay and St. Barbe and Green. ([78])


*    *    *


By 1789? - Campbell contributed to the hulks establishment at Langston Harbour, the Chatam, an old 70-gun ship. Early in the year he suffered one of his regular bouts of gout.


Campbell Letter 183:

                                              Adelphi   1 Jan 1789

Jacob Wilkinson Esqr

                    Mr Campbell presents his Compliments to Mr Wilkinson, has been confined to his Chamber with a severe fit of the Gout for a week past else he would have seen Mr Wilkinson on the subject of the Annuity in question. As soon as Mr C is able he will pay his Respect to Mr. W, who perhaps may be able to make it convenient to look in as he passes the Adelphi some morning. ([79])< /p>


      By 10 January, 1789, Samuel Williams Haughton, Speaker of the Jamaican Assembly, was writing to Joseph Banks, with premature hopes as it happened, concerning his Assembly's 20 December resolution, passed, of thanks to Banks for the breadfruit voyage and his efforts generally for the benefit of the West Indies. ([80]) Bligh just then was still busily finishing his loading of breadfruit plants. (The Bounty mutiny occurred in late April).


*    *    *


The innocent William Richards tries again:


      By 2 February, 1789 Richards contracted to carry 226 female convicts by  Lady Juliana.  ([81]) Richards also contracted for 20 specially selected artificers to be later sent out with Lt. Riou on HM Guardian. On 2 February, 1789 and agreement between Richards and the Navy Commissioners was negotiated and signed. Lady Juliana  was moored on the Thames to hold batches of women convicts. ([82]) On 18 February, 1789, importantly, and in contrast the conduct of the Second Fleet, an extra clause was added concerning the ship calling at Teneriffe, Rio and Cape of Good Hope for fresh supplies. Freight of the ship was by Richards and Moore, by an account dated 19 November. Government for its view later found the Lady Juliana had enjoyed a much too-lengthy voyage out, and this did nothing to enhance Richards' reputation with officials. ([83]) Nor did rumours the ship had been a "floating brothel". It seems she was a sadly slow sailor with easily-stressed timbers.


      On 5 February, 1789, William Richards wrote to the Keeper, Brecon Jail, expressing ideas that government thus far had given prime attention to London and the Home Circuit Jails where political pressure and concern for public order were greatest. Richards by now was prepared to send female convicts to either NSW or North America, and he was daily expecting to hear news from Governor Phillip at NSW. ([84]) So by now, even Richards did not know what exactly was to happen on the transportation scene. But he would have guessed it might by only a month or two until the first ships of the First Fleet would return to London?


       About the time Lady Juliana was taken up, a muddled document arose from Thomas Shelton. Was Shelton simply careless? It seems he had forgotten whether he had delivered convicts to George Moore, or William Richards, but the number of felons Shelton mentions suggests the First Fleet, that is, Richards.


Whitehall 22 Feb 1789

My Lords [Of the Treasury]

Mr Shelton, Clerk Of the Arraign for London & Middlesex having delivered into my Office an Account of Fees due to him for drawing Contracts for Bonds for a number of Convicts ordered for Transportation, amounting to Two Hundred and Ninety Six Pounds, seven shillings and eightpence, the same has been referred to Your Lordships Solicitor, ....[I] Inclose Your Lordships the said Account together with his Report ....


[Shelton's Report attached]

Shelton's Contracts 1789-1829, AO 3/291 Pt II. (with bundle of letters) Public Record Office, Kew.

nd, but February 1789.

An Account of the Name of the Offenders who have been convicted at the several Sessions of the Delivery  ... Newgate ... Ordered to be Transported Beyond the Seas ....since delivered to Duncan Campbell ... and also to Mr George (sic) Richards who contracted and gave security to Transport them.


Feb 22, 1789 - May 1785 -  The letters included: Thos Shelton to ??, nd, An Account of the Names Of The Offenders Who Have Been Convicted At Several Sessions Of The Delivery .... Newgate ....Ordered To Be Transported Beyond The Seas ... Since ... Delivered To Duncan Campbell ... And Also To Mr George [sic] Richards Who Contracted And Gave Security To Transport Them. Delivered To Mr Campbell 23rd May, 1785.


[lists of names in batches, a total of 958 names, the packet countersigned Brummell, Shelton drawing a fee of £295/7/8 for each delivery]. (I am still unsure to which batch of convicts this might refer, but it probably refers to convicts delivered to George Moore.) Lord Sydney at Whitehall on 22 February, 1789, wrote to the Lords Treasury about an account from Shelton for fees due to him for delivering these felons and asking it be paid (£295). So by early 1789, Shelton had only managed to ask for reimbursement for a convict contract of 1785? Since December 1786 he had been busy with First Fleet work. It is necessary to ask, then, when might Shelton have asked for reimbursement? Perhaps about 1792 or 1793? ([85]) But Shelton never did seek reimbursement.


     On 28 February, 1789 Lady Juliana was ordered from Deptford to Galleons Reach to receive some women convicts. ([86]) On 12-14 March, 1789, about 108 convicts from Newgate were embarked on Lady Juliana. Eight more on 15 April.


     The first First Fleet ship to return to England was Mather's Prince of Wales, on 22 March, 1789, to Falmouth; which means the London whalers were the first merchants in all Britain to receive the latest news from the Pacific, and, particularly, Australasian waters. She was now commanded by Samuel Moore and had come via Rio in company with Borrowdale, Capt. Hobson. (Sir Joseph Banks knew of the arrivals by 25 March).  With the ships were despatches from Phillip which Lord Sydney did not see, for he was shortly to go from office. Prince of Wales reached London on 30 April, her crew having suffered dreadfully from scurvy. With the arrival of Botany Bay news, there occurred a substantial burst of activity on the part of all who remained interested in the new colony.


     Great interest was whetted by the speedy publication of Narrative of an Expedition, a manuscript by Watkin Tench of the marines, published by Debrett in April - a modern publisher would do well to produce a book so quickly. Tench's Narrative is still one of the most interesting books on the First Fleet and the early colony. (Sir Joseph Banks however felt Tench in his second book had misrepresented proceedings at NSW, which  suggests Banks had set his own agenda).


       There was a thirst in England for news of the "thief colony". Richards might have heaved a sigh of relief - all the plans he had conceived for NSW might well come to pass. His agent at NSW, Zacariah Clark, kept Richards surprisingly well informed. It seems,  there was little that Arthur Phillip said, planned, or did, that did not come to Richards' attention.


*   *   *


[Finis Chapter 38]

Words 11915 words with footnotes 13588 pages 25 footnotes 86

[1] Adm1/4153-27, 24 May, 1788, Home Office to Navy.

[2] John Howard, The State of the Prisons, pp. 252-256.

[3] Flynn, Second Fleet, p. 95.

[4] Campbell Letter No. 169: Duncan Campbell Letterbooks: Transcript from ML, A3230.

[5] Campbell Letter 169: Duncan Campbell Letterbooks, Vol. 6, ML A3230: Campbell to Honble Commissioners of Navy, 18 June, 1788.

[6] Campbell Letter No. 170: Duncan Campbell Letterbooks: Transcript from ML, A3230:

[7] Mackay, Exile, p. 77; Steven, Trade, Tactics and Territory, p. 79; Dawson, Banks Letters, p. 308.

[8] Duncan Campbell Letters No. 171: Duncan Campbell Letterbooks: Transcript from ML, A3230. Campbell to the Navy Office on 17 July, 1788 emphasised that as overseer he had no power to coerce a felon to work at his trade, though he could force him to work at common labour. In theory the same should have applied to the governor of NSW.

[9] On convict tradesmen: Campbell to Commissioners of the Navy, 17 July, 1788. Campbell to Commissioners of the Victualling, re ballast for their vessels, 7 Oct., 1788.

[10] R. Anstey, Atlantic Slave Trade and British Abolition, 1760-1810. London, Macmillan, 1975., p. 6 mentions A. Calvert.

[11] Campbell to Ferguson and Collow of Cork, from London, 22 Dec. 1788.

[12] House of Commons Journal, Vol. 44, 1788-1789, pp. 380ff.

[13] House of Commons Journal, Vol. 43, July 1788, p. 515. Petitions from African Trade Merchants of Liverpool and London to Parliament, second reading of African Slave Bill., p. 515, p. 651.

[14] This Act is treated in Elizabeth Donnan, (Compiler), Documents Illustrative of the History of the Slave Trade to America. Washington DC, 1930-1935.  II, pp. 589-590. David L. Williams, 'Bulk passenger freight rates, 1750-1870', pp. 43-61 in Lewis R. Fischer and Helge W. Nordvik, (Eds.), Shipping and Trade, 1750-1950: Essays in International Maritime Economic History. Pontefract, West Yorkshire, Lofthouse, 1990.

[15] TI/677, No. 203.

[16] Flynn, Second Fleet, pp. 16ff. Treasury Board Papers, Reel 3552, TI/677, No. 203.

[17] Flynn, Second Fleet, p. 17.

[18] Flynn, Second Fleet, p. 18.

[19] Bateson, The Convict Ships, pp. 120ff; p. 322. Commercially, Lady Juliana was to drop her convicts, then sail to Canton for tea, silk and chinaware, then to Whampoa for other cargo. She would be auctioned when she arrived home.

[20] David Mackay, Exile, p. 58. Sydney to Treasury, 31 Oct, 1788, Treasury Board Papers, Reel 3551, TI/661-662. Of 750 felons in Newgate, 150 were women.

[21] Flynn, Second Fleet, pp. 16ff.

[22] T1/661-2. Lady Juliana, HRNSW, Vol. 2, p. 38. Campbell to Sydney, T1/653.

[23] Flynn, Second Fleet, pp. 16ff.

[24] Campbell Letter No. 177: Duncan Campbell Letterbooks, p. 35 of Letterbook Vol. 6, ML A 3230.

[25] Campbell Letter No. 178. Duncan Campbell Letterbooks: Transcript from ML A3229, p. 88.

[26] Mackay, Exile, p. 58.

[27] Sydney and Adair: Martin, Founding, p. 160.

[28] Martin, Founding, pp. 156-160, on 114 Irish convicts sent to Newfoundland then returned to the Irish government. On 10 July, Shelton was signing orders. See also, Ged Martin, `Convict Transportation to Newfoundland in 1789', Academiensis (University of New Brunswick, Canada), Vol. 5, 1975., pp. 84-99. One shipload of Irish convicts had been dumped at Barbuda: Shaw, Convicts and the Colonies, pp. 46-48.

[29] Flynn, Second Fleet, p. 17.

[30] Shaw, Convicts and the Colonies, pp. 46-48.

[31] Martin's Founding, pp. 156-160. Ged Martin, `Convict Transportation To Newfoundland in 1789', Academiensis (University of New Brunswick, Canada). Vol. 5, 1975., pp. 84-99.

[32] Dorothy Shineberg, They Came For Sandalwood: A Study of the Sandalwood Trade in the South-West Pacific, 1830-1865. London, MUP, 1967., p. 3.

[33] Robert Kyd planned a botanic gardens on the western bank of the Hooghly river from about May 18, 1787 (Kyd died in May 1793). Early in November 1788, Banks received two large bundles of papers from the Company about Kyd's botanical work at Calcutta. Banks reported to the Company secretary William Ramsay on 19 November, 1788 and some days later the Company deputy-chairman Francis Baring invited Banks to enlarge his views about a tea trade for India. Carter, Banks, pp. 270-271.

[34] Carter, Banks, Introduction, p. viii; pp. 240-246.

[35] Carter, Banks, pp. 241-242.

[36] Carter, Banks, pp. 242ff

[37] Carter, Banks, pp. 271-276.

[38] Carter, Banks, pp. 290ff.

[39] Ziegler, Barings, p. 25.

[40] Carter, Banks, pp. 283-284.

[41] Martin in Martin, Founding, p. 155. Martin records a disorganised Irish plan in Ged Martin, `Convict Transportation to Newfoundland in 1789', Academiensis (Canada), Vol. 5, 1975, pp. 84-99. On Baldwin: A. E. Smith, Colonists in Bondage, p. 123.

[42] T1/651, T1/655, T1/657, T1/661, T1/663.

[43] Dakin, Whalemen Adventurers, introduction; also, Steven, Trade, Tactics and Territory, p. 79.

[44] Dakin, Whalemen Adventurers, introduction.

[45] Eric Williams, From Columbus to Castro, pp. 272-273.

[46] These are all cited by Walvin, Black Ivory, see pp. 347-350; and M. Craton, J. Walvin and D. Wright, (Eds), Slavery, Abolition and Emancipation. London, 1976.

[47] Duncan Campbell Letterbooks, by date. fix

[48] Bligh Letters, 1782-1805, pp. 303ff, ML Manuscripts.

[49] This and other letters Bligh sent Campbell are in Manuscripts from the Mitchell Library, Bligh Letters, 1782-1805, as above., pp. 303ff. Mackaness, Life of Bligh, Vol. 1, p. 69.

[50] Lachlan Macquarie Diary, 1787-1794, ML A768, p. 58. Mackaness, Life of Bligh, Vol. 1, p. 77.

[51] Dawson, The Banks Letters, p. 708.

[52] Kennedy, Bligh, p. 41.

[53] Mackaness, Life of Bligh, Vol. 1, p. 87.

[54] HRNSW, Vol. 1, part 2, p. 141.

[55] Campbell Letter No. 179: Duncan Campbell Letterbooks: Transcript from ML A3229: It is possible Campbell wanted this ship for a convict hulk, hence the mention of the price of a "break up".

[56] Dallas, Trading Posts, p. 61.

[57] On St Barbe and whaling generally: Margaret Steven, Trade, Tactics and Territory: Britain in the Pacific 1783-1823. Melbourne University Press, 1983. Also Stackpole, Whales and Destiny, earlier cited, variously; and Byrnes, `Outlooks', cited earlier. Much information on the maritime is in Historical Records of Australia, where both indices and commentaries are helpful. HRA amplify much that is found in HRNSW, while persons indexed in either volume are entered in Australian Dictionary of Biography.

[58] L. J. Hume, `Bentham's Panopticon: An Administrative History', Part 1, Historical Studies, Vol. 15, 1971-73., pp. 707-721. Ferguson's Bibliography, p. 143, notes Bentham's essay, A Plea Against The Legality of Transportation. Pool notes that Governor Hunter was a friend of Sir Samuel Bentham, brother of Jeremy. Katherine Thomas, A Biographical Appraisal of John Hunter RN (1737-1821). (Honours Thesis). Armidale, University of New England, 1992., p. 132. Linebaugh, The London Hanged, p. 373.

[59] Oldham, Britain's Convicts, Appendices 1-3, drawn from Bentham's papers housed at London University. Also, Jeremy Bentham, The Theory of Legislation. L. J. Hume, `Bentham's Panopticon: An Administrative History', Part 1, Historical Studies, Vol. 15, 1971-73., pp. 707-721.

[60] On Bentham see also F. L. W. Wood, `Jeremy Bentham Versus New South Wales', Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. XIX, Part VI, 1933., pp. 329-351.

[61] Mackay, Exile, p. 23.

[62] Steven, Trade, Tactics and Territory, pp. 64-66, p. 78.

[63] Dallas, Trading Posts, p. 66.

[64] Campbell Letter 180: Duncan Campbell Letterbooks: From Business Letterbooks, Vol. 5, ML A3229. The ship was taken up the East India Company. John Campbell continued out to Madras until 1797, when he began to assist his aging father with the exercise of the hulks contracts until the Campbells relinquished the contracts in 1801. Replacing the Campbells as overseers was magistrate Aaron Graham. Kennedy, Bligh pp. 169, p. 222, p. 273 on Aaron Graham.

[65] Campbell Letter No. 181: Duncan Campbell Letter: PRO Material in ML. Reel 3551. Treasury Board Papers. See Treasury Board Papers, T1/745. By 1794, James Bradley a merchant of Goodge Street, Rathbone Place, London, had virtually inherited the hulks from Henry Bradley who had been maintaining the Lion hulk. Thus, "prison management" could be inherited in a private enterprise system. At the time the prisoners in Lion were under sentence of transportation and were directly in the custody of David Burn.

[66] Marsh, Navy, to Rose, Treasury, 25 March, 1788. T1/650. Honble Commissioners Navy to Thos. Steele, 1 April (?), 1788. T1/655.

[67] T1/655.

[68] Richards' various ideas are outlined in the Banks-Richards Correspondence, HRNSW, Vol. 1, part 2, pp. 508-642.

[69] Campbell Letter No. 182: Duncan Campbell Letterbooks Vol. 5: Transcript from ML A3229. Captain of the Lion at this time was one of the brothers Burn, at Woolwich. Chatam Papers, PRO 30/8/171, Letters to Pitt from William Richards Jnr, 17 April, 1788, saying his terms [for hulks] are lower than Duncan Campbell's 14d per head, ? tendered at 13d per day for care of convicts.

[70] Mackay, Exile, pp. 22.

[71] Ian T. Henderson and David Stirk, Royal Blackheath. London, Henderson and Stirk Ltd.,  1981., p. p. 77; and Hughes, Chronicles of Blackheath Golfers, p. 110.

[72] On The Knuckle Club: Robert Browning, A History of Golf: The Royal and Ancient Game. London,  JM Dent and Sons, 1955., p. 40.

[73] I am grateful to Neil Rhind for these details. See Neil Rhind, The Heath: A Companion Volume to Blackheath Village and Environs. Blackheath, London, Bookshop Blackheath Ltd., 1987. [Neil Rhind has two other volumes on Blackheath].

[74]  Henderson and Stirk, Royal Blackheath, p. viii. W. E. Hughes, Chronicles of Blackheath Golfers. London, Chapman and Hall, 1897., p. 6, bet book from July, 1791: e.g., on 17 May, 1794, Alex Innes bet Capt. Macaulay (captain of the club, that is) a gallon of claret. On 14 June, 1794, Mr. Callender bet Mr. Macaulay. I am grateful to Blackheath historian Neil Rhind for pointing out this information.

[75] W. E. Hughes, Chronicles of Blackheath Golfers. London, Chapman and Hall, 1897., p. 3.

[76] Dakin, Whalemen Adventurers, introduction.

[77] Dakin, Whalemen Adventurers, introduction.

[78] In 1789, Macaulay was at Southgate or 40 Old Broad Street, in 1795 at Old South Sea House, Broad Street.

[79] Campbell Letter No. 183: Duncan Campbell Letterbooks, Vol. 6, p. 40: Transcript from ML A3230.

[80] Dawson, Banks Letters.

[81] One crew member was Edward Powell who later came out a free settler on Bellona.

[82] Flynn, Second Fleet, p. 17.

[83] Flynn, Second Fleet, p. 23.

[84] HRNSW, Vol. 2, p. 627. Richards has obtained information from close to Gov. Phillip, probably via Richards' agent at Sydney, Zacariah Clark. Also, Mackay, Exile, p. 23.

[85] As discussed in my `Blackheath Connection'.

[86] Flynn, Second Fleet, p. 17.

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