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2 corrections, most recently by helenleary - Show corrections

THE FIRST FLEET.

(By J. S. Battye.)

On the morning of the 1st June, 1829, a small vessel might have been observed en deavouring under very adverse conditions to beat her wav between Carnac Island

and Garden Island into Cockburn Sound. Finding the task too great owing to fierce north-westerly gales and a heavy swell, she nade her way around Rottnest Island and hove to for the night. Making a second at tempt the following morning with ap     parently every hope of success she struck upon a bank, between Woodman's Point and Carnac Island, which has ever since borne her name. Only through expert seamanship and the help of H.M.S. Chal lenger, then resting in the sound, was disaster averted and the vessel safely anchored under the lee of Garden Island on the morning of June 3. For the next two days she rode out a heavy gale and on the 7th of the month was moved to an anchorage between Garden Island and the Challenger.   This little vessel was the Parmelia, a ship of less than 450 tons, upon which were the Governor, the officials, aud the first band of settlers for the proposed new colony on the Swan River.       These facts are disclosed in a journal of events connected with the Public Ser vice kept bv Peter Brown (or Broun), the

first Colonial Secretary, and the entries   may not be without interest. May 31, — The Parmelia made the land off Garden Island, and hove to for the night. June 1.— Attempted to enter Cockburn's Sound, by the passage between Garden Is land and Carnac Island, but in conse quence of a heavy swell on the reef, beat up round Rottnest Island and hove to for the night. June 2.— Passed through Gage Roads, ob served the British flag flying near the en trance of Swan River and the Challenger lying under Garden Island in Cockburn's   Sound - Parmelia grounded in crossing a shoal running between Woodman' Point   and Carnac Island, and remained on the bank for 18 hours, notwithstanding the exertion of all on board, aided by Captain Fremantle and a large party of the crew of the Challanger. June 3. Parmelia drifted off the shoal at 8 o'clock a.m. and was brought up at the N.E. end of Garden Island. June 5 and 6—Parmelia rode out a heavy gale from N. and N.W. lying at single anchor. June 7.— Weighed anchor and moored the Parmelia between the Challenger and Garden Island. The Parmelia had left London on the 5th February and a list of her passengers, the actual pioneers of Western Australia, as disclosed by the general Muster Book of the colony has a peculiar significance at this time when claimants to the honour of being descendants are almost "thick as leaves in Vallombrosa." 1 Captain J. Stirling, married. Lieut.-Governor

2. Ellen Stirling, his wife 3. Andrew Stirling 4. Frederick Stirling, his children. 5. P. Brown, married. Colonial Secretary, 6. Caroline Brown, his wife. 7. McBride Brown. 8. Anne Brown, his children.   9. Lieut. John S. Roe, married, Surveyor. 10. Matilda Roe, his wife. 11. Commander Mark J. Currie, married, Har bour-master. 12. Jane Currie, his wife. 13 John Morgan, married, store-keeper. 14. Rebecca Morgan, his wife. 15: Rebecca Morgan, his child. 16. William Stirling, Registrar.   17. G. W. Mangles, Superintendent.   18. H. C. Sutherland, married, Assistant surveyor.   19. Anne Sutherland, his wife.   20. James Drummond, married, Superintendent.   21. Sarah Drummond, his wife. 22. Thomas Drummond. 23. Jane Drummond. 24. James Drummond. 25. John N. Drummond.     26. Johnston Drummond. 27. Euphemia Drummond, his children. 28. Charles Simmons, Colonial Surgeon. 29. H. W. Beveley, married, civil engineer.   30. Amelia Beveley, his wife. 31. W. Shelton,. clerk to storekeeper. 32. P. P. Smith, clerk to secretary.   33. George Elliott, with Lieutenant-Governor. 34. Thomas Blakey, married, messenger. 35. Sarah Blakey, his wife. 36. John Kelly, married, servant. 37. Eliza Kelly, his wife. 38. Jane Daly.   39. Joseph R. Daly. 40. H. I. Daly. 41. Edward N. Daly. 42. Eliza Daly. 43. Magt. McLeod, free servant. 44. Mary A. Smith, free servant. 45. Ann Skipsey, free servant. 46. Patrick Murphy, free servant. 47. Patrick Moonie, free servant. 48. Frederick Ludlow, married, free servant. 49. Mildred Ludlow, his wife. 50. Jane Fruin, servant. 51. Michael Studzor, married, servant. 52. Maria Studzor, his wife. 53. Eliza Gamble, servant. 54. Richard Evans, servant. 55. James Elliott, servant. 56. Alexander Fendam, married, Government cooper.   57. Mary Fendam, his wife.   58. William Hokin, married, Government bricklayer. 59. Mary Hokin, his wife. 60. John Hokin. 61. William Hokin. 62. Mary Hokin.   63. Thomas Hokin. 64. David Hokin. 65. Charles Hokin, his children. 66. Thomas Davies, married, Government smith 67. Catherine Davies, his wife. 68. John Davies. 69. Charlotte Davies. 70. John Davies, his children. 71. James C Smith, married, Government boatbnilder. 72. Sarah Smith, his wife. 73. James Moore, servant. 74. -- Cameron, Government mariner. 75. John Ferguson, Government carpenter. 76. John McKail, turner. 77. Thomas Welch,.mariner.   78. Stephen Knight, carpenter. 79. John Hall, painter. After being joined by H.M.S. Sulphur the convoying warship, the Parmelia sailed from Plymouth the following week on her long journey to add yet another gem to the crown of Empire. On the 16th April the vessel arrived at Cape Town where she stayed for about a fortnight. During that time gloom was cast over the little band by the death of the assistant surgeon and his daughter, who were drowned through the swamping of the boat whilst endeavour ing to reach the ship after a visit to the shore.   The Parmelia left Cape Town on the last stage of her voyage on the 30th April, and during that period, Captain Stirling drew up the necessary instructions for his officers, and outlined, for their guidance, the machinery of government. These in structions were not in any sense appoint ments to office — all appointments had been made by the Secretary of State before the vessel left England — they were merely the schedules of the duties required from each man. Some of these duties read rather strangely to-day. For instance, the Colonial Secretary, Mr. Peter Brown, was required to open his office for the despatch of business at 8 a.m. and close it at 2 p.m. and every day, at 10 a.m. he was required to submit to the Governor, all documents that had been received. This detail work of preparing schedules of duties was carried out by Stirling in the hope that immediately upon his arrival at Swan River he could step on shore and formally proclaim the colony. Unfor tunately rough weather caused delay. Even after the Parmelia had anchored in safety it was impossible to effect a landing and it was not until the 7th of June that the vessel could be moored at an anchorage close to the shore at Garden Island. On the following day artificers were landed with a party of the Challenger's men and commenced clearing ground and erecting temporary houses on the island. The work of disembarking the passengers and stock was then commenced, the first to be land ed being a detachment of the 63rd Regi ment which had been sent out on H.M.S. Sulphur as a protecting force. The party from the Parmelia did not land until the 15th June. By that time the weather was moderating and opportunity was given to plant the seeds and shrubs that had been brought from England and the Cape. Two days later, on the 17th June, the weather was sufficiently good to allow communi cation with the mainland, and on that day, under the shadow of the flag, raised by Captian Fremantle at the beginning of the preceding month, the colony of Western Australia was formally proclaimed. This was done by Captain Frederick Chidley Irwin, the Commandant of the Military Forces, who performed the same ceremony on the following morning at Garden Island.

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