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Debt collecting in America: London petitions the king: Descended from those written out of history: An overview of the Botany Bay debate as a problem in history: Britain's ambit claim in the Pacific: The year 1786: Social life in the Campbell-Bligh connection: French whaling threatens London's whalers: A secret quote: The campaign to reinstate the `taps' in the gaols: The London petition of March 1786:

 

The Blackheath Connection - Chapter 31

 

Debt collecting in America:

 

During 1785, some London merchants were sending debt-collecting agents to America, but they found little success due to lack of US centralisation. ([1]) By 1785, Americans in many cases were unable to get foreign silver coins to pay for goods they needed. Campbell at Blackheath on 31 July, 1785, wrote to William Russell at Maryland, saying, Russell would be surprised when Campbell told him that Matthew Ridley had been to visit Campbell. Ridley had taken a partner, Mr. Johnston, there was a matter of a power of attorney that had been intended to go with Ridley, but Ridley had put off his voyage, so Campbell sent this letter by young Mr. Hodge to Russell. ([2]) (Perhaps Ridley had visited London in company with John Adams? Ridley's partner may have been Joshua Johnson, the former associate of the American William Lee).

 

Then, after coming back from a shooting party, from Blackheath, Campbell on 11 September, 1785 wrote to William Randolph at Bristol, about Randolph's letter on the employment of ships in the transportation of convicts. Campbell responded, "at present there seems to be no intention of government to put the Sentences passed on the Malefactors for Transportation into Execution. It is not therefore in my Power to be of any service in the employing of the Ships you mention."

 

This letter to the former Bristol convict contractor reflects the widespread confusion then existing about the 1784 legislation, and what might or might not happen with transportation.

 

* * *

 

London petitions the king:

 

Government's moves to proliferate the hulks might have resembled shillyshallying to anyone having to read the information which later became lodged into London's Reps. And from similar wording in documents, it does seem as though there was a concerted campaign to impel action. Similar wording concerned not only the misery of prisoners, as seen by both prisoners and their keepers. British prison keepers remained upset about losing their "Taps" - the customary right of profiting from selling grog to prisoners. They mounted a campaign to regain their Taps, lobbied government, and often used similar wording in their pleas. ([3]) That both prisoners and warders should be co-operating, with the warders, sharing similar wording for the petitions for the prisoners to sign, suggests that yet another campaign was being orchestrated. This campaign preceded London's strenuous petition in March 1786 to the king for the resumption of transportation. The orchestration succeeded. The City of London tipped the balance of the political scales to force a resumption of transportation.

 

The evidence about the prisoner's petitions is as follows:

 

Rep 190, p. 32, 6 December, 1785, 14 Prisoners Petition of the Borough Compter Prison - confined in a space 13 feet square, At night, 14 feet by 15 feet, promiscuous, men and women debtors and felons, - starving, destitute in all comforts of life, no fire, no bed, and would have perished but for the humanity of the keeper, 14 prisoners listed. Response: consideration of this was postponed.

 

Rep 190, 6 December, 1785, Petition from Debtors in HM Poultry Compter, 51 prisoners, and same date, similar petition for more bread etc., from debtors in Wood Street Compter and debtors in Newgate.

 

Descended from those written out of history:

 

In his book, The Fatal Shore, Robert Hughes named the contractor for the First Fleet as Duncan Campbell, thereby eclipsing the actual contractor, William Richards. A humane man, William Richards remains little known. But a historian writing fiction? What can be said of a history which ignores as much as it contradicts the human realities drawn from ordinary genealogy, from family histories? Here is where an Australian historian, Robert Hughes, unwittingly proves his own telling point about Australian convict history becoming the victim of "amnesia". With just one sentence, Hughes wrote the First Fleet contractor, William Richards Jnr, out of history, also corrupting the record on Campbell. Hughes wrote: "To begin with, the fleet was undervictualled by its crooked contractor, Duncan Campbell." This crookedness, Hughes says, was a matter that had to be put right by Governor Phillip. In fact, though there was some initial argument, Richards provided satisfactory victuals for the First Fleet.

 

It remains to be seen how, as an Australian, Robert Hughes managed to transmogrify William Richards Jnr. Richards' descendants years later chose to live near a small town in NSW, Walcha. ([4]) What is noticeable by now, of course, is that so far, whenever he is referred to by British and Australian historians, Campbell, if he is not offensively corrupt as an overseer of prison hulks, is an operator in the slave trade. Despite this odium, he is also the influential and presumably respectable West India merchant of considerable prestige who helps Bligh obtain command of Bounty, a ship of the American film industry. He also gathers the First Fleet to Australia and makes a handsome profit courtesy of an easy-going East India Company. Otherwise he is dimly glimpsed by American historians as a senior London tobacco merchant eager to have debts repaid by reluctant Americans after the American Revolution. And all this apparently escapes generations of maritime historians, and various other historians who review books by other historians in journals and newspapers. Duncan Campbell two centuries after the First Fleet is thus a strange phenomenon - long dead, he is a figure who, for unknown reasons, consistently eludes accurate comment, quite as though he were still alive, not a criminal but a respectable merchant, nevertheless on the run. A white collar criminal who was never actually guilty? The Ghost in the Machine?

 

It is astonishing that Hughes' misapprehension of the facts could occur only two hundred years after the event, and that no book editor noticed it; and so it has to be added to the, by now, comically long list of errors about Campbell, whose birthdate years before was gotten wrong by two so-called experts on the early Pacific, Rex Nan Kivell and Sydney Spence (given as 1741). We can recall for example, that in 1785, Campbell had quoted a per capita price for transportation to Botany Bay that seemed higher than any price government ever paid for convict transports to anywhere. Campbell's first theoretical quote was about 35 per capita. Richards First Fleet per capita price was about 54,000 divided by 770 convicts, or 70 each (not including such anomalies as the cost of Friendship scuttled on her way home). The Second Fleet per capita price was about 17/7/6d for the ships sent by Camden, Calvert and King. ([5]) The Third Fleet price, 45,000 to Camden, Calvert and King, for say 1920 Third Fleet convicts, Bateson said 1869 convicts were embarked with 182 dying on the voyage, makes a price of say, 22 per convict. Jeremy Bentham valiantly attacked the statistics in the 1790s, using contemporary data, and still made errors. ([6]) Any attempt to find precise per capita figures on the price of convict transportation will only induce despair. The figures will not be compiled while-ever merchant identities are confused.

 

* * *

 

The only distinct group of London merchants interested in ships being sent into the Pacific were a loose cartel in contact with the South whalers, that is, with the whalers Enderbys and John St Barbe. ([7]) The East India Company was not interested. These remark need two qualifications. The whalers were assisted by the only three London slavers sending ships not so much into the Pacific, as they were invading traditional East India Company preserves - Camden, Calvert and King. Some historians - and they are in the minority since they seem worried about it - agree that the charter of the East India Company was broached by the whalers during 1786. East India Company history has been written as if this did not happen. Before the First Fleet sailed, a war had been declared between the whalers and the East India Company for the attention of government. The whalers won.

 

* * *

 

An overview of the Botany Bay debate as a problem in history:

 

Irony: In 1852, as the British government ended transportation to eastern Australia, the French government began sending convicts to New Caledonia. There had been a lively French debate preceding the move, centring on Britain's Botany Bay as the only precedent. The same psychological ambivalences were expressed. Commentators were torn between desire for terrible punishment versus compassionate hopes for rehabilitation. ([8]) History repeats, but why?

 

Examining the British venture to Botany Bay is a fascinating problem in the technicalities of history and historical research. At stake are views of the history of an entire continent! Was Sydney just a convict dumping ground, or a cloak for a masterly political strike on the world stage, helping guarantee Britain a dominant position in the Pacific as well as elsewhere? If the acquisition of a base in Australia gave Britain a useful strategic lever in the Pacific and eastern region, "Botany Bay" makes the "founding" of Australia one of the world's best-kept open secrets. British historians do not claim Britain gained any Imperial strategic advantage via the Botany Bay colony. British historians, even in disagreement, do not even imply so. Hyam once disputed with Prof. Harlow, whose thesis on the Founding of the Second British Empire speaks of Britain's "swing to the East", the Australian colony being part of this. Reviewing Harlow's thesis, Hyam mentioned the Pacific only twice, the north-west Pacific once, the south-west Pacific twice, and Australia once as unknown; once as a source of wool, and once where statistics of 1805 are mixed with Asian figures. ([9])

 

Canada is mentioned more often, because Canada provided a stabilised British presence in North America after the American Revolution. One of the most accurate observations about the "founding of Australia" ever made was made before the First Fleet left Portsmouth in May 1787. Alexander Dalrymple complained the whole idea was altogether too protean, meaning, there was so much potential in the idea, it was all too unmanageable. The first British-Australian exercise was much too protean, that is, it had so much potential, it was perhaps unmanageable. So questions ought to be... if Botany Bay was part of a grand Imperial plan, how did it obtain the reputation of merely being, or having become, an insignificant convict dumping ground?

 

Since 1787, historians have thrown up every conceivable explanation for events. By 1978, an English historian, Ged Martin, could write in amused despair, "It is just possible that one day someone will discover a document which tells us about the reasons for the settlement of New South Wales". Historians still find the topic puzzling, precisely because of its protean nature, which allows any given assertion to be quite reasonably contradicted by another assertion. The historians' debate could easily be called a vicious circle, sterile to contact; and probably the convicts who were involved experienced events as such. Until they learned to shrug their shoulders with what has become typical Australian laconicism, swear, and try to get on with the rest of their lives.

 

* * *

 

Britain's ambit claim in the Pacific:

 

Governor Arthur Phillip's Commission of 1788 had bounded his jurisdiction by 135 east, a boundary stretching west to the Tordesillas line of 1494 (in roughly the middle of Australia). There was virtually no boundary to the east of there, the British annexation stretched east to "all the islands adjacent", and British merchants also desired a safe haven at Nootka Sound as they gathered seal fur. Watkin Tench said, the "extent of empire demands grandeur of design". Rivals to Britain idly wondered how far east those "islands adjacent" were supposed to extend.

 

Spate remarks on Spanish "hypersensitivity", to perceived threats; the Pacific was "a Spanish lake". An English essayist, Gonner, in 1888 challenged the idea of a mere convict dumping ground, as an inadequate explanation. The First Fleet sailed at a time of "French menaces" for control at the Cape of Good Hope, on Ceylon and at Batavia. Gonner's paper has been reprinted as part of the Botany Bay debate since he challenged earlier-prevailing notions of the creation merely a convict colony. In the Botany Bay debate, Spate remarks, "The virtual absence of reference to ulterior considerations, other than flax and timber, in official papers, is the weakest point in the revisionist [anti-convict dumping ground] case".

 

Did Britain seek Australasian timber as part of a search for naval supplies in the Pacific? As Carter notes, the carriage of naval stores from Russia by the Russia Company in London was made entirely in British bottoms carrying timber, pitch, tar, hemp, sailcloth, iron and steel. Britain sold wool to Russia as a defence against Silesian competition; the trade balance was one-third against Britain, but on the other hand, Russia was almost entirely dependent on British merchants and British shipping for her own export income and a steady flow of money. ([10])

 

In this revisionist or search-for-naval-stores case, no one has ever advanced information on the actual suppliers of Britain's naval timber. By 1788, the major navy timber contractors in England included Hunter, Robertson and Forsythe, who exercised a contract for great masts for six years. ([11]) Since 1750 there had existed a pernicious "timber trust" which annoyed naval administrators. One timber monopoly had been broken up in 1771 with the use of non-English oak. By 1795, the newer leaders of the timber trust included John Larking (sic) and William Bowsher, who had most of the timber in their hands. There is no record of any of these men ever being interested in Pacific resources. By 1803-1804 they had locked up the entire supply of English timber, till came great crisis with the timber problem. The timber trust allegedly tried to hold England to ransom concerning timber supply when England needed to fight Napoleon. Handling maybe 450,000 worth of timber per year, and abolishing competition in timber supply, these timber men held the navy board at their mercy. By 1817 the Larking-Bowsher trust had become concentrated in one man, John Morris or Morrice, who had been a junior partner of Larking. Morris lasted another 30 years. Even by 1860, those who came after Morris, who died about 1848, still held the timber monopoly over the navy, till the onset of iron ships. ([12]) About April 1803, Napoleon, unhappy at the success of the British timber supplier, Lindegren, sent one of his Treasury agents to see to matters, one Bergevin. When London heard of this they sent William Moir with secret instructions from the Admiralty and Lord Hawkesbury, the secretary of state for foreign affairs. Moir had been engaged in the Memel timber trade, where his brother James still worked in timber business. Moir often dealt with interests at Riga and dealt with Bergevin, as Lindegren had earlier dealt semi-secretly with his French opposite. ([13]) Albion, the historian of these matters mentions a company, Baring and Moir. By 1804 there developed a shipbuilding boom, preceding Trafalgar. Prussia had sent England some 11,000 loads of oak plank. By then, Larking was wanting to supply timber from the Baltic; other merchants involved were Isaac Solly of Dantzig for fir, while Usburne and Lindegren supplied masts from Riga. Also at Riga were the houses of Morison, Cummings and Pierson, while Thomas Tooke was at St Petersburg. While Moir was probably still luring "French supplies" to England, as Napoleon suspected. Sir Charles Middleton had become Lord Barham and headed the Admiralty in the place of Melville.

 

By June 1805 Sir Samuel Bentham (brother of lawyer Jeremy) was hoping to be able to build warships for England in Russia, an idea abandoned by 1807. Earlier in 1803 the Navy had sent an officer, Mr. John Leard, to find timber about Croatia, and to 1802 Leard had contracts to supply Adriatic hemp, cordage and other supplies, till he fell victim to Lord St Vincent's reforms of the navy. Leard was asked to obtain amounts as much as 30,000 loads of timber; oak for timber, plank, ships knees and treenails. Malta might also have supplied good oak, but war in the Adriatic area meant all these plans came to nought. So by 1809 the navy turned to the oak groves of Albania, with consent finally given by Turkey; Corfu and then Malta were used as stopovers. As Leard had gone back to Croatia in 1803, the Navy sent William Eton to the Black Sea; Admiral Warren wanted timber from the Crimea, also using Malta. Eton used the merchant houses of Yeams and Forester and [William Moir] and Baring, Moir and Co. having remained active in the Russia trade. By 1807, bad luck meant that Baring Moir and Co. wanted compensation of about 60,000. As Russia cooled on Napoleon in 1811, Moir attempted to obtain naval stores from Russia and Turkey. ([14]) Albion finds that by 1804, New Zealand had "done its bit" for naval supplies, captains had initially been enthusiastic about the timbers of NSW and New Zealand; by 1804, England was receiving masts of New Zealand kaurie or NSW jarrah. But in 1809, New Zealand Maori cannibals ate the crew of Boyd, which had been loading spars for the Cape Town dockyard. The high freight rates from Australasia anyway precluded any volume of business from the region, "but for many years the navy continued to draw masts from such remote sources", Albion writes.

 

By 1804-1807, some three-four cargoes of Canadian masts went annually to Britain, demand had meant a shift to supplies from Quebec; timber from Upper Canada was floated down the St Lawrence River. By 1807, the large London naval timber contractors were Scott, Idle and Co.; their interest was eroded by Usburne, who worked the Baltic with Lindegren. ([15]) About 1807 there were 600 ships annually in Baltic traffic, flying all flags, escorted by British war ships. By 1809, Britain's supplies of timber from America and the Baltic was almost at a standstill, alarming the Navy Board alarmed, so that by 1811 it was looking at South Africa, using a dockyard shipwright, J. J. Jones, who had the support of commissioners at Cape Town Dockyard. This situation however had many impediments, so timber possibilities at Madagascar were considered, while some timber came from Sierra Leone via deals with an Africa Company firm, Clay and Company, to 1815. ([16]) By 1810 had arisen at Sydney a new fear of the French; by 1810, Napoleon felt strong enough at sea to consider sending a squadron to take Port Jackson, assuming the convicts there would support the matter. But he changed his mind and invaded Russia. ([17]) Suffice to say, none of the names of Britain's best-known timber merchants arise in consideration of the colonisation of Australia.

 

* * *

 

Where talk arises of naval stores, there may have been a naval power reflecting an "obsession" about reliable supplies of naval stores, but such would be reasonable concern for an Imperial maritime power. Spate feels that reasonable steps to exploit the "naval" resources of Norfolk Island were not taken, ideas about flax and timber were "window-dressing". Governor Phillip was explicitly instructed to forestall the French, meaning La Perouse, and to make a small settlement at New Zealand to take timber, which was not done.

 

David Mackay ([18]) meanwhile suggests the British ministers were short-sighted, bunglers, reckless, moving into the Pacific out of despair. The habits of eighteenth century administration would almost guarantee some bungling, says Spate, who nevertheless feels Mackay's views are strikingly irrelevant. Botany Bay did become a command base for commercial penetration and domination of the Pacific, albeit having to be shared with the Americans, Spate says. ([19]) But it is a pity that the merchants commanding this "penetration and domination" of the Pacific have not earlier been examined.

 

Politically, the transportation of felons was all political things to all political men. It was, in a novelist's apt phrase, Talbot's an alchemy. An alchemy with human material to be transmogrified - an ultimately kindly rehabilitation measure, a severe and terrific threat, a dread punishment, something for some to say that it was not severe enough, that it was too severe, that it cost too much, or that it was a bargain at half the price. But in the end, it was nothing more than political snake oil. If early Australia was such a successful penal measure, if also or otherwise such a marvellous colonial and Imperial acquisition, a cocking of the hat at the French, why does it also represent such a mysterious topic that historians cannot agree? ([20]) The historian R. A. Swan quoted the French commentator, Peron, as saying Britain's positioning in Australasia was "a political masterstroke". But is this mere hyperbole? ([21]) Before 1800, there was hardly a hue and cry from commentators about Britain's activities in the Pacific. There was no time, the French Revolution was far more important.

 

* * *

 

The year 1786:

 

6 January, 1786: On the hulks, unknown to himself, a convict was "creating archaeology". On Saturday 6 January, 1786: convict Thomas Tilley fashioned a pendant long later in the possession of the Australian numismatist Greg McDonald. Tilley inscribed his pendant: "Thomas Tilley transported 29 July 1785 for signing a note. Sent The Hulks Jan 24 1786". ([22]) The pendant is now taken to be one of Australia's oldest relics of European settlement.

 

The year 1786 began with a superficial desultoriness. Lloyd's Register for 1786-87 lists Recovery, D. Trail, Calvert, Lo Africa. Close by that entry are entries for ships to Lo B(otany) Bay). Donald Trail was to become notorious as a captain with the Second Fleet of ships to Australia. Yet another man was preoccupied with Crime and Punishment, Henry Zouch, who wrote Observations On A Bill... To Punish By Hard Labour... Hints Respecting The Public Police. (London. 1786).

 

By 1786, England had 151 ships ([23]) in its Whale Fishery. Act 26 Geo III c.50 gave whalers Cape Horn to 50 degrees west of cape and up to Equator, Cape of Good Hope, 15 degrees east of cape and up to 30 degrees south. Some 29 ships brought home sperm oil, whale oil and seal skins valued at 53,350. Shipowners infrequently in the fishery this year were Mills and Co., Bell and Co., Curling and Co., Calvert and Co., Mangles and Co., Stainforth. St Barbe's Jackall Capt. W. Aikin 196 tons got 38 tons of sperm oil to London. Teast and Co. of Bristol had a ship Quaker Capt. S. Keane 260 tons. ([24]) From 1786, Britain managed to create greater unity for its whalers and sealers. But not without a confrontation with the East India Company concerning whalers entering the Pacific, with or without convicts.

 

From 1786, separate ventures from Bombay and Calcutta to Nootka Sound were reported in Meares' 1790 book dedicated to Lord Hawkesbury. ([25]) Meares had sailed "irregularly" from Canton. Later his ships were seized by the Spanish. In 1786, ([26]) newcomers to the South Whale Fishery were Timothy and William Curtis, James Mellish, outfitter and victualler providing beef and pork for the Royal Navy; Daniel Bennett brazier of Wapping, a blacksmith-whaler investing wisely. Isaac Lucas and Co., oil merchants of 33 Holdburn Bridge; an American Loyalist from Philadelphia, Thomas Yorke, oil merchants of Soho; Alexander and Benjamin Champion, 71 Old Broad Street. Capt. William Raven on Saucy Ben had sailed for the ships chandler John Hall of 265 Wapping Wall in 1787-1789. John St Barbe ([27]) had also invested in the Greenland Fishery.

 

January 1786: Shipping remains of paramount interest. Lloyd's Register for 1786-1787 also lists: to China, George Macaulay's ship Pitt, Capt. G. Couper. Others registered with Lloyds that year were the First Fleet ship, Scarborough, Capt. J, Marshall, owned by Thomas Hopper, to Botany Bay, and Prince of Wales, Capt. J. Mason, for Botany Bay, owned by South Whaler James Mather of Cornhill. Macaulay may have been prompted to send Lt. John Watts to Nootka knowing the East India merchants David Scott (January 1786) were sending James Strange of the Madras Civil Service to Nootka Sound? ([28])

 

January 1786: The whalers sought pelagic sperm whale, which was either being fished out of some areas or becoming more successful at avoiding whalers. ([29]) In January 1786, leading fishery firms approached the Treasury for financial assistance, bounties, and the right to sail into the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The Treasury referred the request to the Privy Council's Committee for Trade and Plantations, which began hearings on the question in February. (A system of premiums was "agreed to on a generous scale". ([30])

 

1786: In the Council Chamber at Whitehall, Samuel Enderby with Alexander Champion were examined regarding the South Whale Fishery. They were asked about whales in waters East of the Cape. ([31]) William Eden was one member of the Board of Trade in 1786. The Southern Whale Fishery had been initiated in 1775 by British firms including Samuel Enderby and Sons, John St Barbe and Alexander Champion. On 6 January, 1786, these firms submitted a Memorial to Treasury, asking for a bounty. They proposed to government they should send ships east of the Cape of Good Hope. ([32]) They also suggested regulations for improving their fishery.

 

* * *

 

Social life in the Campbell-Bligh connection:

 

Social life ... Elizabeth Bligh enjoyed the company of the women of the Mumford family. ([33]) On 18 January, 1786 she wrote to her uncle Duncan, she was looking forward to the "pleasure of seeing Mrs Campbell & her cousins this week - tomorrow I will wait upon you. I beg Mrs Campbell may not think of sending her Coach.

 

Your much obliged Niece, Elizabeth Bligh."

 

Campbell wondered whether he should regard himself as a sportsman?

 

Campbell Letter 139:

London 4 Jan 1786

Sir Jn Dyke Bart

Not having had any communication with Blackheath for ten days past till Yesterday Eveng I had not till then the honor of receiving the Card which you & the Gentlemen of the Hunt were pleased to adress to me there I would otherwise have answered it by the return of the Post. I pray you sir to be assured that I am desirous of joining in any measure for the preservation of the Game in the Neighbourhood of Kingsdown, & for that purpose I can have no objection to Lend my Name, But how far the digging out of a Fox is an offence within that meaning, I am really not Sportsman enough to decide. With very great Respect I have the honour to be ([34])

 

Campbell scribbled a draft letter.

Campbell Letter 140:

Jan 13 - 1786

My Lord

I humbly presume to trouble your Lordship with my Quarterly Account of the Expence in Maintenance & keeping the Sundry convicts under sentence of Transportation which (?) ordered by your Lordship on Board the Ceres Hulk at Woolwich from the 12 day of Oct 1785 to the 12 Jan 1786. Amounting to [pounds ] this sum I beseech your Lordship that you may be pleased to direct ...

The Weather which has happened, since I Recd Your Lordships Commands for the Employing those Convicts in Some Manner as those of the Censor, has in great Degree prevented my carrying the same into Execution & that (?) last I should otherwise have done. But from hence forward, (??) to put to work in their turn with those of the Censor as (????)

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

[crossings out in the original] ([35])

 

On 13 January, 1786 the Fortunee hulk came into Langston Harbour ready for service. So began 1786. Convicts were moved from Firm, the holding ship; some had been sent by Sir Sampson Wright from Woolwich to Portsmouth. (At Bow Street, Wright had also dealt with Campbell since June 1781). Wright used to have convicts waggoned about by William Badger, John Townsend and Thomas King. ([36]) About February 20, Capt. James Hill moved the convicts from Firm to Fortunee.

 

On 14 January, 1786, Campbell wrote to John Pownal Esq. a commissioner of the Customs Board, forwarding a memorial from Richard Betham, Isle of Man, on a Customs matter been referred to Customs from Treasury.

 

French whaling threatens London's whalers:

 

On 17 January, 1786: Samuel Enderby Jnr, Alex Champion and St Barbe submitted a well-prepared memorial to the Privy Council. It was received on 4 February, 1786 by what was then the Board of Trade (the Board of Trade was not properly established until August 1786). ([37]) English whalers now suffered competition from the Nova Scotia colony of Nantucket whalers at Portsmouth. And viewed the bounty of 40/- per ton as an encouragement to whalemen to settle in England. The Committee of the Board of Trade referred the memorial to Commissioners of Customs which did not approve on 8 May, not even recommending a continuation of the bounty. Enderbys viewed the proposal of a Rotch colony as a definite threat. Customs thought the trade ought to stand by itself without subsidy. Jenkinson thought this was fair, while Enderbys recognised the depressed state of Nantucket. ([38]) ([39])

 

Then, with grand understatement, Campbell told Sir Sampson Wright, Middlesex magistrate, that there was a shortage of convicts sentenced for hard labour, which can possibly be read as meaning, a deliberately-created excess of transports.

 

Campbell Letter 141:

Mincing Lane 19 Jan 1786

Mr Campbell presents his most respectful Compliments to Sir Sampson Wright - Agreeable to his desire sends him the Names of the Sundry Convicts Pardoned & discharged since the 12th Oct when Sir Sampson had his last list. There has not been received since that time any Convicts sentenced to hard labour. ([40])

 

Where were the hard labour men? As noted, a lack of hard labour men was unique in the history of the hulks. When only recently, Campbell had been to see about more hulks for hard labour prisoners at Portsmouth! Some drastic modification had happened to the sentencings for prisoners, presumably without direction from the Secretary of State. In December 1785, James Boyick for Campbell had reported to the gaoler at Shrewsbury that the Thames hulks were "quite full". The hulk Dunkirk at Plymouth could have been full, but her prisoners were idle. Hulks were planned for Portsmouth but they were not to be operational for some time. Gaols meantime overflowed with transports in the counties. Convicts sentenced for transportation were not held only at Newgate, or on the hulks. John Kirby the Keeper of the Wood St Compter, Greenwich, on 1 August, 1785 presented his accounts to government for the maintenance of transports. ([41]) His account was counterchecked by Chamberlayn, solicitor to the Treasury, who likewise routinely checked one of Campbell's hulks accounts of 28 November, for the same quarter.

 

Wright may perhaps have had schemes which never materialised. According to Treasury Board Papers (Reel 3550), in late 1784 and again on 27 April, 1785, Campbell had made on oath before Wright on the veracity of convict hulks returns. Other details: Wright (applying for reimbursement by 16 October, 1786) had incurred expenses for waggoning from Newgate to Portsmouth, 2 male and 38 female convicts (plus one child) for embarkations. John Townsend supplied beer and bread to those convicts. Townsend also applied for reimbursement re an embarkation of 100 convicts in February, 1787. A light horseman's horse from the detachment guarding the transfer had hurt Townsend and he claimed surgeon's expenses. The business had occupied him for six days. William Badger claimed 26/5/6d for the wagons. A horse hire for six days had accompanied claims for reimbursement arising from transferring convicts to Cumberland Fort. ([42])

 

On or about 20 January, 1786, Treasury received a memorial from the whalers Enderby, St Barbe and Champion also regarding the Greenland Fishery, which was referred to the Committee of Trade. ([43]) On 22 January, 1786, Nepean wrote to Campbell, on estimates of the likely cost of transportation to NSW; Campbell replied the same day. ([44]) The same day, on the hulk Firm, Capt. Hill reported in winter, 22 January, 1786, 23 convicts were ill: "they have nothing but the ships decks to lay on, and when wet weather is impossible to keep them dry for want of tarpaulins". ([45])

 

* * *

 

A secret quote:

 

On 22 January, 1786: Perhaps nervous about Das Voltas, Nepean in secret asked Campbell for the costs of sending 270 convicts to Botany Bay. Campbell said 50/8/2d for each man and asked the figures be kept secret. ([46]) Campbell wrote: "However as these are Matters of Information I do [not] Mean for Every Eye, will you oblige me by some Caution in the Exposure.". It is impossible to suggest a reason, commercial or otherwise, why Campbell might have written thus - there were no competitors for any such business.

 

On 24 January, 1786, Mr. Rotch's proposals regarding establishment of a competing fishery met with hostile observations. ([47]), and on 31 January, 1786, Campbell replied to George Rose's card of last Saturday, offering to provide clothes, vittles and medicines to the hulk Fortunee at Langston Harbour,

 

About then, Mr. Bastard, MP, was inquiring of administration if they intended to transport convicts to Africa? Pitt said it needed "deliberation and caution", adding that if "the mode prescribed by the act should not be thought literally practicable, his Majesty's Servants would very soon substitute another mode of punishment in its stead". ([48]) Pitt here was speaking in the context of the imminent return of Nautilus and her officers' report on Das Voltas.

 

During February, Stewart Erskine became ill and during one of his absences from the Woolwich hulks, two prisoners escaped. Those escapes, so Campbell said, "hurt deeply", though probably only in public relations terms whilst government was sensitive about convict-handling questions. ([49]) On 6 February, Campbell wrote to General William Robertson, Upper Harley Street, about a continuation of the bounty of HM Treasury to the education of the sons of Mrs. Colden of New York, his poor kinswoman, for her sons Alexander and Cadwallader. On 7 February, 1786, part of the Guildhall, the Chamberlain's Court or office, on the right hand of the Court of Kings Bench, was burned down. ([50]) By 9 February, the Honourable Commissioners of the Navy were considering the establishment of hulks at Plymouth. Nepean's assistant Brummell noted this business - Write to Mr Campbell, Mr Bradley, Done. The mention of Bradley here meant that Bradleys had received their payoff from Nepean. Henry and Richard Bradley were to provision Dunkirk. Bradleys had a worthwhile city address at Goodge Street, Rathbone Place. These new arrangements were concluded on 10 March, 1786, when a contract was made with Henry Bradley. ([51]) By 14 February, Henry and Richard Bradley wrote to Treasury, agreeing to contract for the vittling of the convicts at Plymouth. ([52])

 

Campbell Letter 142:

Monday 20 Feb 1786

Capt Erskine

Woolwich< /p>

This morng I recd your letter by Rosamond, I am sorry to find the Boats do not both answer your purposes; the little one I could not come at to examine myself & therefore trusted to Rosamond: however I suppose the boat builder will take her back or exchange her ..... poor Maclean has he left a family in what state? if indigent the expence of his funeral may add to their distress & in that case let that charge fall to my lot.

 

I have recd His Majesty's Pardon for John McIntire George Enns, the first from Carlisle, the last from Hereford; .... the usual bounty and Cloathing ....

 

PS I have ordered two additional lighters to be got ready for your immediate service, which as soon as filled will be sent to you. ([53])

 

Campbell Letter 143:

 

Duncan Campbell of the City of London Merchant maketh Oath and saith that the annext Report of Convicts ordered to hard labour is just and right and that all the several Convicts therein enumerated have been detained and maintained on board the Hulks at Woolwich under his Deponents Equal to the Number of 250 & upwards Superintendence from the twelfth day of July 1784 until the twelfth day of October following except such as are mentioned in the said Report to have died been pardoned or discharged in the intermediate time.

 

Dun: Campbell ([54])

 

By 20 February, 1786, the Fortunee hulk was established at Portsmouth, and readied to receive its first 200 convicts. At the same time, Dunkirk was struck off the Navy list and began receiving convicts from the Western District. By then, those who in 1785 and 1786 desired the resumption of transportation could have been forgiven for viewing the government as dilatory in resuming transportation. Previously, Dunkirk had been accommodating only prisoners meant for Africa.

 

Escapers provided worries...

 

Campbell Letter 144:

Campbell to Capt Chiene Woolwich

London 25 Feby 1786

Mr Boyick being absent I opened your letter to him; the Account it conveys of the Escape of two men in such a way from the Hospital, has hurt me much as it plainly evinces that the Officers of that Vessel have been very negligent in their Duty; this I hope however will be strictly enquired into if I find Mr Gray does not give me some satisfaction on this score, him and I will be twain. I am very sorry to hear that Capt Erskine has been taken ill, I beg your particular attention to the business of the ships in his absence & that you will let me know by Rosamond how he does. I am...

 

The campaign to reinstate the `taps' in the gaols:

 

Part of the general London campaign to keep parliamentary attention focused on the gaol problem was a campaign for reinstatement of the "taps" in the gaols - the grog supply, which had been stopped in 1784 with, it seems, little outcry at the time.

 

On 21 February, 1786, the Court of Aldermen resolved unanimously that [City MPs] move in the House of Commons for leave to be given to bring in a Bill that the several Gaols of the City be exempted from the operation of Act 24 Geo 3 for "taking away the Taps", an Act made in the eleventh and twelfth year of the Reign of William III to enable Justices of the Peace to build and repair Gaols in their respective counties and for other purposes therein mention. The Court desired James Sanderson and Brook Watson to see Mr. Pitt about the exemption. ([55])

 

The London petition of March 1786:

 

Till now, London's March petition has been regarded as evidence for a political push for government to resume transportation. But it has never before been regarded as part of a political move designed to force government's hand away from enlarging the hulks system and failing to resume transportation. Is this a plausible view? Was government to be coerced to resume transportation, and having been successfully coerced, to be aided in the shipping business by London men with the means? Such a theory reveals the London men as being consistent and persistent. But the politics where shipping was concerned was not simple by any means. Here, alderman Macaulay's role provokes interest.

 

March 1786: "A strong petition from London against the hulks" was presented to the King by the Mayor of London, the Aldermen and Magistrates. They asked for a speedy resumption of transportation as the only remedy for the state of crime. The petition itself was delivered to the King by the London Sheriffs and the City Remembrancer on behalf of the City. ([56]) One of the petitioning aldermen was probably George Macaulay, who with his partner Gregory was only two months later, on 10 May, 1786, offer to transport felons to Das Voltas, Africa. Envisaging an ambitious alderman with a desire to promote himself by helping government rid London of felons is one thing - but with whom could Macaulay have been working?

 

Much else was in train. In May, 1786, 70 convicts were in the typhus-riddled Lancaster Gaol (where magistrate T. B. Bailey officiated, greatly disgusted with Nepean and Lord Sydney). The prisoners wanted a review of their situation. ([57]) The inmates of Southwark made similar complaints. In 1786, there were 56 different requests for the removal of convicts from Grand Juries, Sheriffs, under-sheriffs, mayors, judges, town clerks and jailers. Eight requests [only] were in response to Home Office demands for information. In information-handling terms, the Home Office had an almost impossible task. Were it to resume transportation, the relevant documentation on convicts' situations was spread from London through most of the country. If and when transportation was resumed, gathering it all up would prove a gigantic task. ([58]) It proved so difficult a task that Thomas Shelton never completed a final contract for the First Fleet. ([59])

 

In 1784 in England, new material was published on Cook's last voyage into the Pacific, when Cook had sought and failed to find the long-fabled North-West Passage. (Note 27) One result was the formation of the [English] King George's Sound Company, which intended to establish a North Pacific fur trade from Canada to China. With this, the East India Company seemed willing to admit that it might countenance Pacific whaling and sealing, albeit under restricted licences. The handling of Cook's material was to involve Campbell, as follows...

 

By April 22, 1786, Bligh was on Campbell's ship Lynx at Green Island, Jamaica, informing - he had written to Campbell the 13th of March last, the crops had fallen off, he was uncertain but had hopes for 500 Casks, - there was one ship in the Parish and he mentioned a vessel Brittania (sic). Dugald [was] now at St Elizabeth's, expected back the beginning of next week, planters were inclined to "pray their Debts", and Bligh had heard from Mrs. Bligh that Campbell had got part of the profits of publication of Cook's Voyage. ([60]) Capt. Campbell dined with Bligh that night. ([61]) (Campbell cannot have been happy to hear, about then, that 100 slaves were living hideaway up the Savannah River). ([62])

 

Campbell in London? By early April, with his shortage of hard labour men, since the London environs had dried up on him by October 1785, Campbell was being forced to forage widely for such workers, to Exeter, Warwick, and Oxford. ([63]) Campbell was also preparing for his meeting with Jefferson, who, he would have known, had been in London for some weeks. That was preceded, however, by domestic concerns. There were some favours for Richard Betham on the Isle of Man.

 

On 1 March, 1786, Campbell wrote to the fourth Earl of Selkirk, Edinburgh, about his loyalist kinswoman, Mrs. Colden, ex-New York, and the education of her two sons. ([64]) On 4 March, 1786, James Boyick, not Campbell, as has been quoted, suggested that his "ships at Woolwich are as sweet as any parlour in the Kingdom". That is, the hulks. Boyick was probably directing hulks staff to keep up their efforts during a difficult time, using satire/exaggeration. (The remarks have been taken out of context by historians.) ([65]) And it is at this point, there appears the hulks overseer who met Thomas Jefferson.

 

* * *

 

[Finis Chapter 31]

Words 7362 words with footnotes 9697 pages 19 footnotes 65

 



[1] Kellock, `London Merchants', pp. 113-114.

[2] Duncan Campbell Business Letterbooks, Vol. 5, pp. 53-58, MLA 3229.

[3] Rep 190, 21 Feb., 1786, p. 110: "Resolved unanimously that... [City MPs] move in House of Commons for leave to be given to bring in a Bill that the several Gaols of this City be exempted from the Operation of Act 24 G 3 for `taking away the Taps' - an Act made in the eleventh and twelfth year of the Reign of William III to enable Justices of the Peace to build and repair Gaols in their respective Counties and for other purposes therein mentioned"; p. 111, the Court desires James Sanderson and Brook Watson to see Mr Pitt about the exemption.

[4] William Richards' son was later a convict ship captain, so listed in Charles Bateson, The Convict Ships, 1787-1868. I have seen copies of letters from his descendant, Mr. L. R. H. Eliott, "Greenwells", Walcha, near Armidale, NSW. Also, for example, a copy of a letter written by Mr. E. B. Mowle to Capt. Richards, the original of which is now at the University of New England... from E. B. Mowle to Capt. Wm. Richards, Ship Roslin Castle, Stepney Causeway, Commerce? Ford? London. Deal? 31 Aug. 1835?, asking if Richards could take out a friend's son as second or third mate. Capt. Richards received his grant of land, Winterbourne near Walcha in about 1837. At one time, it appears, he was on the staff of the NSW Governor, Gipps. Richards' wife, nee Wenner, was a keen horsewoman. Richards maintained a strong interest in the Australian whale fishery.

[5] Flynn, Second Fleet, p. 28, p. 75.

[6] R. V. Jackson, `Luxury in Punishment: Jeremy Bentham on the Cost of the Convict Colony in NSW', Australian Historical Studies, Vol. 23, No. 90, April 1988., pp. 42-59.

[7] After 1780, the Navy Board met at Crutched Friars, on Seething Lane, later at Somerset House, near addresses used by Calverts and St Barbe; Albion, Forests and Sea Power, p. 42.

[8] Colin Forster, `French Penal Policy and Origins of the French Presence in New Caledonia', Journal of Pacific History, Vol. XXVI, Dec. 1991., pp. 135-150.

[9] Ronald Hyam, a review article on Harlow's thesis in The Historical Journal, X, I, 1967., pp. 113-131.

[10] Carter, Banks, pp. 301-302.

[11] Albion, Forests and Sea Power, p. 54, p. 323, p. 348.

[12] Albion, Forests and Sea Power, pp. 58-59, pp. 320ff.

[13] Albion, Forests and Sea Power, pp 196-197, pp. 335-338.

[14] Albion, Forests and Sea Power, pp. 327-335, p. 368. By 1804, navy pitch pine was supplied by Logan, Lenox and Co., and Luscombe and Donaldson, taking US timber, for wood for frigates; Albion, Forests and Sea Power, pp. 358-360, p. 368. Bateson, The Convict Ships, notes, p. 309, that the last convict ship of all to Australia, by 1867, was owned by Luscombes of London.

[15] Albion, Forests and Sea Power, p. 343, pp. 352-353.

[16] Albion, Forests and Sea Power, pp. 361-362.

[17] Glen Barclay, A History of the Pacific: From the Stone Age to the Present Day. London, Sidgwick and Jackson, 1978., p. 65.

[18] Mackay, Exile, p. 100.

[19] Oskar Spate, The Pacific Since Magellan, Vol. III, Paradise Found and Lost, p. 13 and pp. 297ff, on Botany Bay and Nootka Sound.

[20] For an overview, Shaw, Convicts and the Colonies, pp. 357-359ff.

[21] In R. A. Swan, To Botany Bay, earlier cited. If Peron was correct, it only means that concerning prisoner-handling, the French also had little sense of humanity at that period in history.

[22] The Northern Daily Leader, Tamworth, NSW, 11 Feb., 1987, p. 13.

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

[24] Dallas, Trading Posts, p. 79; and The Samuel Enderby Book. MS 1701 Aust National Library.

[25] Dallas, Trading Posts, p. 39.

[26] Stackpole, Whales and Rivalry, pp. 94-96.

[27] Harlow, Founding of Second British Empire, p. 301.

[28] Dallas, Trading Posts; Steven, Trade, Tactics and Territory, p. 45; Dawson, Banks Letters, p. 742.

[29] Mackay, Exile, p. 76.

[30] R. A. Swan, To Botany Bay, pp. 113-118ff.

[31] Dakin, Whalemen Adventurers, introduction.

[32] Dallas, Trading Posts, p. 64; Steven, Trade, Tactics and Territory, p. 72:

[33] Bligh Letters, 1782-1805, ML, p. 378.

[34] Campbell Letter No 139: Duncan Campbell Letterbooks, Transcript from ML A3229. Campbell later in his letters mentioned Dyke and an Amicable Club. As to an Amicable Society, such a society appears to have been founded in the mid-century and probably had Masonic connections, according to W. B. Hextall in The Transactions of the Quator Coronati Lodge, Vol. 28, 1914.

[35] Campbell Letter No. 140: Duncan Campbell Letterbooks: Transcript from Private Letterbooks, Vol 2, p. 67. This letter appears as a draft in Private Letter Books. It is a good example of the shifts in Campbell's thoughts as he composed a letter to officialdom.

[36] Treasury Board papers, Reel 3550, ML. There seems no reason yet to believe that this Thomas King was the Thomas King of the slaving firm, Camden, Calvert and King. Thomas King was an all-too-common name of the day.

[37] Stackpole, Rivalry, pp. 52ff. Steven, Trade, Tactics and Territory, pp. 72-74; Harlow, Founding of Second British Empire, p. 301.

[38] Stackpole: One ton of oil is 252 wine gallons.

[39] Harlow, Empire, pp. 300ff. See R. Hyam and Ged Martin, (Eds.), Reappraisals In British Imperial History. London, Macmillan Press, 1975. Ch. 3, `The Foundation of Botany Bay, 1788-1790: A Reappraisal'; and also, Vincent Harlow, British Imperial Expansion in the Late Eighteenth Century', by Ronald Hyam, The Historical Journal, X, I, (1967) pp. 113-131, a review of The Founding of the Second British Empire, 1763-1793, by Harlow. Vols. I and II.

[40] Campbell Letter No. 141: Duncan Campbell Letterbooks: Transcript from ML A3229, p. 105. Sir Sampson Wright was a magistrate at Bow Street. There is a letter Campbell to Wright dated 16 June, 1781. Wright contacted Campbell in November, 1782 about convicts discharged or pardoned, and replying on the 29th, Campbell wrote, "Mr Campbell will be happy in contributing to promote the purposes Sir Sampson has in view on this occasion being perfectly sensible they are meant for the safety and good of society". Early in the same month, Wright had asked Campbell for a list of the convicts on board the hulks, with the date of their convictions, etc., listed. Which Campbell provided.

[41] Kirby's account for 541/19/7d. T1/478-560, AJCP Reel 3549.

[42] Wright after 4 August, 1787 applied to the Treasury for reimbursement of the expense of sending convicts to be employed on the fortifications at Portsmouth: Campbell to Sir Sampson Wright, 19 Jan., 1786.

[43] Harlow, Empire, p. 302.

[44] Frost, Convicts and Empire, p. 110.

[45] HO 29/2, pp. 51ff.

[46] Mackay, Exile, p. 40, p. 55. I am grateful to Professor Alan Frost for informing me of this; HO 42/8:#8. pers comm, 7-12-1987.

[47] Harlow, Empire, p. 298. On 4 February, 1786, The whalers' memorial received by the Committee for Trade was referred to the Commissioners of Customs.

[48] Frost, Convicts and Empire, pp. 110-111.

[49] On 1 February, 1786, HO 13/3, p. 311, T. Townshend (Lord Sydney) wrote to Sir Sampson Wright.

[50] J. B. Nichols, A Brief Account of the Guildhall of The City of London. Printed by John Nichols and Son, Red Lion Passage, Fleet Street, 1819.

[51] 11 Feb., 1786: Lords Comms of Treasury to Bradleys re Plymouth convict contracts. 13 Feb., 1786: Bradleys at Goodge St., Rathbone Place, to Lords Comms of Treasury; of 11 Feb., to Thomas Steele.

[52] T1/478-560. House of Commons Journal, Vol. 43, p. 448; a sum not exceeding 453/6/6d. to Henry Bradley for guarding and maintaining the convicts confined on hulk Dunkirk in the Harbour of Hamoze, at Plymouth. The hulk at Plymouth required 1 master, 3 mates, 1 boatswain,1 carpenter, 1 clerk to same, 1 cooper, 2 quarter masters, 23 able men. The cost was 375 per quarter, nowhere as handsome as Campbell's reimbursements. Between February-May, convicts were exchanged from Firm to Fortunee. Campbell to Capt. James Hill, Portsmouth, 20-25-27 Feb., 1786; Campbell to Capt. Chiene, Woolwich, 21 Feb., 1786: Also TI/448-560; House of Commons Journal, Vol. 43, p. 448.

[53] Campbell Letter No 142: Duncan Campbell Letterbooks: Transcript from ML A3229, p. 126. Rosamond was a Thames waterman known to Bligh. Bligh at the close of his second breadfruit voyage wrote to Lt. F. G. Bond on the Thames, "Send Mr. Campbell's Marks and No. - Sir Joseph Banks'... Send Mott to Queen Street, King Stairs, and enquire for Robert Rosamond, a Waterman, and employed by the Trinity House, to tell him that I wish to see him as early as possible..."; as noted in George Mackaness, `Fresh Light on Bligh - Some Unpublished Correspondence', Australian Historical Monographs, Vol. V, New Series, p. 30. The Bligh-Bond letter appears to have been written 18-23 Aug., 1793.

[54] Note to Campbell Letter No. 143: Duncan Campbell Letterbooks: Transcript from a scrap of paper kept in Private Letterbook Vol. 3. The paper is marked 1a, and is estimated to have been written in early 1786. There is upon a scrap of paper in Vol. 2 of Private Letterbooks undated, a similar draft oath, headed at the top, "form of the Appd made by Mr Chamberlayn at B? of Annual (??)". Campbell and other hulks overseers as well usually swore an oath of this formula before forwarding their convict returns to the Treasury for obtaining their reimbursements. Campbell swore so before Robert Abington on 4 July, 1786; 17 July, 1787; 21 Oct., 1788; 21 Jan., 1791. And the same before William Gill on 13 April, 1786. Gill in 1789 was Lord Mayor of London.

[55] CLRO, Rep 190, pp. 110-111. From about 1793, the much-esteemed alderman/Lord mayor of 1696-1797, Brook Watson, chairman of Lloyd's from 1799 to 1806, used to buy up failed or failing businesses in Canada. ([55]) Watson's name has been invoked in the Botany Bay debate in terms of his interest in flax from Australasia, vainly, since he never expressed a serious commercial desire to import such flax. He was evidently satisfied with flax imported from Canada. Namier-Brooke, The History of Parliament, Vol. 3, p. 611.

[56] March 1786: The original draft petition is held at the CLRO as part of Rep 190. The final petition is reproduced in Geoffrey Ingleton, True Patriots All, earlier cited.

[57] Mackay, Exile, pp. 17ff.

[58] I have referred to this task under the heading, Chamberlayn's Reports in Byrnes, `Emptying the Hulks', Note 30, citing T1/720ff. Solicitor to the Treasury, Chamberlayn, did not collate the charges made by legal personnel for handling convict documentation for transportation until after mid-1793, so that the costs were not registered by Treasury official George Rose and hence unfortunately were not lodged in Navy Office Accounts, 1793.

[59] The First Fleet contract never found: Oldham noted this matter in 1933, p. 133 and Note 570. I have searched the relevant contracts at the Public Record Office, [AO 3/291, Parts and 2, PRO] and found no full, finalised contract for the First Fleet. Some sub-parts of it are held on microfilm at the Australian National Library as extracts from Sessions Gaol Delivery Minute Book, 10 January, 1787. Here, William Richards contracted to transport convicts for the Alexander of the First Fleet. Names and dates of sentencing are given for convicts such as Nicholas English, James Davis, Edward Humphreys, George Francisco. These convicts are listed in Gillen, Founders. Confusingly, though they were contracted for the Alexander, several of them were transported on Scarborough.< /p>

[60] It was that about the time Jefferson was helping promote Ledyard's schemes, which included, obtaining furs from the area once thought to be an entrance to the fabled North-West Passage, that Campbell was keeping Bligh's royalties from a publication on Cook's third voyage. In considerations of the race for profit from Canton from the sale of seal fur, it has generally been forgotten that the British vied also with Americans, whose exploitation of resources has been little measured. What should also not be forgotten is that whaling and sealing were often undertaken by the same operators. It is here that sealing and whaling history, and much else, can be collapsed together, as an outlook on maritime history emerges with reference to the increase of US trade, which was one of Jefferson's prime concerns when he was in London. The point is that with maritime history, discussing personnel generates information related to much that historians have not yet assimilated in their overviews of the aftermath of the American Revolution.

[61] Bligh material, 1786, pp. 270ff from manuscripts in ML, CY Reel 178, William Bligh Letters, 1782-1805.

[62] Walvin, Black Ivory, p. 289.

[63] This situation - Campbell foraging far and wide for hard labour men - was most unusual, the more so as there was an excess of transports. Transports were held not only at Newgate, or on the hulks. The keeper of the Wood St Compter, John Kirby, at Greenwich on 1 August,1785 presented his account to government for the maintenance of transports. His account, as usual, was checked by the Treasury solicitor, Chamberlayn, who also routinely checked one of Campbell's hulk accounts of 28 November for the same quarter. It appears that magistrates were colluding to enlarge the number of prisoners sentenced for transportation, and reducing those sent for hard labour on the hulks. Although, what change did the 1784 legislation have on this matter?

[64] On Mrs. Colden, Campbell's niece: Campbell to Betham, 20 March, 1786, Earl of Selkirk, 1 March, 1786. Campbell to George Rose, 17 March, 1786; letters by date in various of Campbell's letterbooks. On 17 April, Campbell handed to George Rose at the Treasury a petition on behalf of his niece, Betham's daughter Harriott Colden, asking for a continuation of the king's bounty for the upkeep of her two sons, Alexander and Cadwallader. The petition was assisted by testimony from Lord Selkirk, Betham's old friend. Campbell had taken care to enlist the aid of General William Robertson in support of the claim. Campbell had also only recently been at Treasury with a petition from Betham on the Isle of Man.

[65] Shaw, Convicts and the Colonies, p. 43.

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