20 Jan 1788 - First Fleet arrived at Botany Bay

On this day 20 January 1788 the last of the eleven ships of the First Fleet arrived at Botany Bay.

Captain Arthur Phillip's search for a more suitable site led him to Port Jackson. The rest of the fleet sailed into Sydney Harbour on 26 January. Phillip named Sydney after Lord Sydney, the British Home Secretary.

Source: The First Fleet in Botany Bay. (1888).Illustrated Sydney News (NSW: 1881 – 1894)

Photograph of a wooden model depicting a First Fleet ship.

First Fleet Ships

At the time of the First Fleet’s voyage there were some 12,000 British commercial and naval ships plying the world’s oceans

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Convicts

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Pencil drawing of Bathurst 1818, Plans of Government Buildings at Bathurst, Main series of letters received [Colonial Secretary], 1788–1826.

Convict farmer Antonio Roderigo and a ‘dastardly massacre’

A dispute over potatoes farmed by convict-settler Antonio Roderigo was one of many hostile events between colonists and Wiradyuri people that led to the Bathurst War of 1824

Vaucluse Bay, Port Jackson, NSW
Convict Sydney

Harbourside Gothic: The convict origins of Vaucluse House

Its architectural style is not all that is gothic about Vaucluse House. Discover the dark history of the house’s first owner, Henry Browne Hayes

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Convict Sydney

Bible & Prayer Book

The name and the date 1837 written inside the covers tell us they once belonged to an English brass founder named Thomas Bagnall