Log of the Transport Alexander, First Fleet 1788

Extracts from the Log-Book of the Alexander, Transport.

Source: Historical Records of NSW, Volume 2, p399-401


3 November, 1786. - Lying off the Red House Deptford.

13 December, 1786.- Lying off Woolwich.

6 January, 1887.-Employed in the boats to assist in bringing on board the convicts; received on board 184 convicts; served each a bed, and a keg and bowl to each mess.

7 January, 1787.- Came on board a warrant to be signed for the convicts, and for their delivery at Botany Bay.

8 January, 1787.-Received on board Lieutenant Sharp, of the Marines, and his luggage.

15 January, 1787.-Foggy weather; employed as usual; received the remaining convicts.

18 January, 1787.-Getting everything ready to proceed down to Long Reach to join the Commodore.

19 January, 1787.-Found the convicts to be very troublesome, and could take their hands out of irons.

20 January, 1787.-Boats rowing round the ship to prevent the convicts from making their escape.


28 January, 1787.- Got under way and came abreast of Tilbury, and brought too.

29 January, 1787.-The Sirius came down and ordered us to follow him; cleared ship; paid the people river pay and a month's advance.

1 February, 1787.-Came to sail from Gravesend in company with the Lady Penrhyn; joined the Commodore; at 5 p.m. saw the Nore lights.

3 February, 1787.-Turned up into Margate Roads.

4 February, 1787.- Followed ye Commodore into the Downs. 5 February,

1787.-The tide being strong, oblidged to anchor abreast of Deal mill.

7 February,1787.- Passed through ye Downs under double-reefed topsails.

19 February, 1787.-Anchored ofRumsey, near the Sirius.

22 February, 1787.-Came to anchor on the Mother Bank.

25 February, 1787.- Captain Hunter came on Board and enquired into the state of the convicts and marines.

13 March, 1787.- Came on board Major Ross to inspect into the state of the convicts.

16 March, 1787.-Surgeons came on board to examine into the cause of the disease that raged in the ship.

19 March, 1787.-A lighter came alongside in order to take the sick convicts on board; smoaked the ship.

20 March, 1787.- Put the convicts in the lighter; she hauled from alongside, and anchored at a little distance from us; all hands employed washing and smoaking between decks; a boat rowed guard all night.

22 March, 1787.-Removed the convicts; whitewashed the ship, and took on board the convicts in the evening.

29 March, 1787.- Washing and smoaking ship.

2 April, 1787.- Took the convicts on board, and the lighter left us.

11 April, 1787.-Sent the sick marines to the hospital.

13 April, 1787.- Came thro' the Needles in company with the Hyenna, Sirius, and Supply, with nine transports.

3 June, 1787.-A convict made his escape. * (*The fleet arrived on this day at Teneriffe)

10 July, 1787.- The Commodore hailed us to know our state.

19 July, 1787.- The surgeons and a lieutenant came on board to inspect into the state of the ship.

20 July, 1787.- Some of the convicts detected in stealing bread; many deaths taking place.

3 August, 1787.- The Supply made the signal for seeing the land (Rio).

14 August, 1787.- An order to issue to the convict-surgeon two pair trowsers, &c.

21 August, 1787.- Hoisted colours to honour the Prince of Wales' Birthday.

1 September, 1787.- The Commodore and officers visited the Vice Roy, and took their leaves.

2 September, 1787.- Captain Hunter and Major Ross came on board to settle and examine the convicts.

4 October, 1787.- Seperated the sick from those in health.

5 October, 1787.-Found several of Government boxes of candles broke open by the convicts.

14 October, 1787.- Anchored in Table Bay in 9 fathoms water.(The Cape)

13 November, 1787.- All the fleet got without Robins Isle.

20 November, 1787.-Employed in shifting the marine officers, it being the intention of dividing the fleet; came on board us Lieutenant Shortland and Mr Clark, agent for Mr. Richards.

25 November, 1787.- The Commodore went into the Supply, who made sail from us, and we made sail, and took charge of the Friendship and Scarborough, and left the Sirius to convoy the rest.

26 November, 1787.- At 6 a.m. the Sirius about 2 leagues astern, all sails set; the Supply about 4 leagues ahead.

27 November, 1787.-Saw the Sirius and her convoy 8 or 9 leagues astern.

28 November, 1787.-Found the convicts breaking into ye main hold.

28 December, 1787.- Washed the ship with vinegar.


5 January, 1788.- At 12, saw the S.W.. cape of Van Dieman's Land, bearing east 4 or 5 leagues.

6 January, 1788.- At noon, Tasman's Head bore N.N.W. 1/2 W. 6 leagues;the Fluted Cape bore N. 1/2 W. 9 leagues.

9 January, 1788.- Made the land, which proved to be the Marian Isles.

15 January, 1788.- Saw Mount Dromedary.,

19 January, 1788.- At daylight we made the White Cliffs. A 8 a.m. , saw Point Solander bearing N. by E., 3 leagues distant. At 10 saw the Supply, brigg, at anchor in the bay; (Botany Bay!); fifty or sixty of the natives appeared on the point.

20 January, 1788.- At 7 a.m. the other seven ships appeared in the offing. At 10, came to an anchor; orders given for no person to land but where the guard was. 21 January, 1788.-Very sultry weather.

22 January, 1788.- A party of men were landed on the south side to work; the Commodore went to Port Jackson.

23 January, 1788.- The Commodore returned, and made signal for all masters. 24 January, 1788.- Two ships appeared in the offing with French colours,who endeavoured to beat into the bay, but could not.