Int AU 666 Folder Collection
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Recently we celebrated Australia day on the 26th of January. But why do we mark it on
that day in particular? To answer that question, Sarah will take you back in time to 1788,
to meet some kids who came to Australia on the First Fleet.
My name is Elizabeth Haywood and I'm 13 years old. I was apprenticed to a clog maker in
London, but I was paid so little, so I stole some clothes and tried to sell them.
For the theft of one linen gown, value 4 shillings, a silk bonnet value 2 shillings, and a cloak,
value 1 shilling. You are found guilty!
My name is John Hudson and I'm nine years old. I've been an orphan ever since I can
remember. I made a living by chimney sweeping. It was horrible work and dangerous too.
In the summertime there's no need for sweeping so I took to thieving to survive.
For the theft of one pistol, value 5 shillings, and two aprons, value 2 shillings. You are
found guilty!
[Dreary violin music]
In London in the 1700s, gaols were full of people like Elizabeth and John; poor, hungry,
unwanted. People who stole to survive. The city's population had exploded and mass poverty
had led to a rise in crime.
You are sentenced to death by hanging.
England's laws were really, really harsh. Stealing something could land you with a death
sentence. But they couldn't hang everyone. And with the gaols full there was the problem
of what to do with all the criminals.
One solution was transportation. Britain had colonies in Africa and America where it sent
criminals. But then Americans rose up against the English so that was no longer an option.
So the government decided to set up a new penal colony in a land called New South Wales;
claimed for England by Captain Cook in 1770.
John Hudson, you are sentenced to transportation across the seas for a period of seven years.
Eleven ships were prepared for the voyage to New South Wales. Six would transport convicts:
The Alexander, the Friendship, the Charlotte, the Lady Penryn, the Prince of Wales and Scarborough.
Then there were two navy ships and three ships full of the supplies they'd need to build
a new colony.
Captain Arthur Phillip was chosen to lead that colony. He knew it was an important job
and that one day, New South Wales could be great.
The sanguine might form expectations of extraordinary consequences, and be justified, in some degree,
by the reflection, that from smaller, and not more respectable beginnings, powerful
empires have frequently arisen.
The convicts probably weren't so hopeful. More than 700 were packed onto the crowded
ships, including around 17 children. Many were sick and malnourished when they boarded.
Around 20 wouldn't survive the journey.
The ships sailed from Portsmouth, England, on 13 May 1787. As they sailed through the
tropics the weather was hot and humid. There were rats, cockroaches and other pests and
water had to be rationed. On the 5th of August they arrived in Rio De Janiero and took on
food and water. Then they sailed to the Cape of Good Hope in Africa.
On the 19th of January the first ships arrived in Botany Bay. Seven days later they found
a place to anchor and Arthur Philip planted a British flag in a place he called Sydney
Cove.
The land had been home to Aboriginal people for tens of thousands of years but, to the
convicts it was new, strange and harsh.
I never thought I'd end up in a place like this; so far away from home. But I've survived
this far and I'll keep on surviving.
We'll make the best of what we have and maybe some day build a better future here
in New South Wales.
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First Fleet - Behind the News

666 Folder Collection
minipa published on February 1, 2016
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