1788: Text Classics

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Text Publishing, Apr 26, 2012 - History - 320 pages
4 Reviews

'I do not hesitate to declare that the natives of New South Wales possess a considerable portion of that acumen, or sharpness of intellect, which bespeaks genius.'

In 1788 Watkin Tench stepped ashore at Botany Bay with the First Fleet. This curious young captain of the marines was an effortless storyteller. His account of the infant colony, introduced by Tim Flannery, is the first classic of Australian literature.

On leaving England, Tench was commissioned by the publisher John Debrett of Piccadilly to write a book about his adventures. In fact he wrote two. A Narrative of the Expedition to Botany Bay was published in 1789, and A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson in 1793. They are both included in full in this edition of 1788.

Watkin Tench was born around 1758 in Chester, England. He joined the marine corps in 1776 and served in the American War of Independence before sailing to Botany Bay with the First Fleet. Tench returned to England in 1792. He stayed with the marine corps before retiring as a lieutenant-general in 1821. Tench died in 1833.

Tim Flannery is a bestselling writer, scientist and explorer. He has published over a dozen books, most recently Among the Islands: Adventures in the Pacific. In 2011 he was appointed chief commissioner of the Australian Climate Commission.

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'Tench will always remain the classic contemporary witness of our beginnings.' Les Murray

'Don't for a minute believe that Australian history is a bore. This is a marvellous read.' Sun Herald

'Tench's work is a stunning time machine: he takes us back to the promise and disaster at the beginning of our nation's story; and we stand at the edge of history, laughing and crying.' Chloe Hooper

'Tench is a most charming man of the Enlightenment, and his journal is similarly by far the most disarming and enthusiastic of the First Fleet journals. Where others damned the place, he showed curiosity.' Thomas Keneally

'I fell in love with Tench, as most of his readers do. He is a Boswell on the page: curious, ardent, gleefully self-mocking. He didn't fit my image of a stiff-lipped British imperialist at all.' Inga Clendinnen

'His record sparkles with precision, each word so apt.' Marcia Langton

 

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Contents

CONVERSION TABLE FOR WEIGHTS AND MEASURES USED BY WATKIN TENCH
The Extraordinary Watkin Tenchby Tim Flannery
A Narrative of the Expedition to Botany Bay
1From the embarkation of the convicts to the departure of the ships from England
2From the departure to the arrival of the fleet at Tenerife
3From the Fleets arrival at Tenerife to its departure for Rio de Janeiro in the Brazils
4The passage from Tenerife to Rio de Janeiro in the Brazils
5From the arrival of the fleet at Rio de Janeiro till its departure for the Cape of Good Hope with some remarks on the Brazils
11Farther transactions of the colony in November 1790
12Transactions of the colony in part of December 1790
13The transactions of the colony continued to the end of May 1791
14Travelling diaries in New South Wales
15Transactions of the colony to the end of November 1791
16Transactions of the colony until the 18th of December 1791 when I quitted it with an account of its state at that time
17Miscellaneous remarks on the country On its vegetable productions On its climate On its animal productions On its natives etc
18Observations on the convicts

6The passage from the Brazils to the Cape of Good Hope with an account of the transactions of the fleet there
7The passage from the Cape of Good Hope to Botany Bay
8From the fleets arrival at Botany Bay to the evacuation of it and taking possession of Port Jackson Interviews with the natives an account of the cou...
9The taking possession of Port Jackson with the disembarkation of the marines and convicts
10The reading of the commissions and taking possession of the settlement in form with an account of the courts of law and mode of administering p...
11A description of the natives of New South Wales and our transactions with them
12The departure of the French from Botany Bay and the return of the Supply from Norfolk Island with a discovery made by Lieutenant Ball on his p...
13Transactions at Port Jackson in the months of April and May 1788
14From the beginning of June to the departure of the ships for Europe
15The face of the country its productions climate etc
16The progress made in the settlement and the situation of affairs at the time of the ship which conveys this account sailing for England
17Some thoughts on the advantages which may arise to the mother country from forming the colony
A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson
1A retrospect of the state of the colony of Port Jackson on the date of my former narrative in July 1788
2Transactions of the colony from the sailing of the first fleet in July 1788 to the close of that year
3Transactions of the colony from the commencement of the year 1789 until the end of March
4Transactions of the colony in April and May 1789
5Transactions of the colony until the close of the year 1789
6Transactions of the colony from the beginning of the year 1790 until the end of May following
7Transactions of the colony in June July and August 1790
8Transactions of the colony in the beginning of September 1790
9Transactions of the colony in part of September and October 1790
10The arrival of the Supply from Batavia the state of the colony in November 1790
19Facts relating to the probability of establishing a whale fishery on the coast of New South Wales with thoughts on the same
A LIST OF THE CIVIL AND MILITARY ESTABLISHMENTS IN NEW SOUTH WALES
Text Classics
The Extraordinary Watkin Tench by Tim Flannery
3 From the Fleets arrival at Tenerife to its departure for Rio de Janeiro in the Brazils
7 The passage from the Cape of Good Hope to Botany Bay
11 A description of the natives of New South Wales and our transactions with them
15 The face of the country its productions climate etc
Book Two
4 Transactions of the colony in April and May 1789
5 Transactions of the colony until the close of the year 1789
6 Transactions of the colony from the beginning of the year 1790 until the end of May following
7 Transactions of the colony in June July and August 1790
8 Transactions of the colony in the beginning of September 1790
10 The arrival of the Supply from Batavia the state of the colony in November 1790
11 Farther transactions of the colony in November 1790
12 Transactions of the colony in part of December 1790
13 The transactions of the colony continued to the end of May 1791
14 Travelling diaries in New South Wales
15 Transactions of the colony to the end of November 1791
17 Miscellaneous remarks on the country On its vegetable productions On its climate On its animal productions On its natives etc
19 Facts relating to the probability of establishing a whale fishery on the coast of New South Wales with thoughts on the same
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About the author (2012)

WATKIN TENCH was born in Chester, England, in 1758. His father was a dance teacher and the master of a boarding school.

In 1776, he entered the marine corps. He served in the American War of Independence, during which he was taken hostage for three months. He was soon promoted to captain lieutenant. In 1786 Tench volunteered for a three-year tour of duty to the convict colony of Botany Bay.

Prior to his departure, Tench was commissioned by the publisher John Debrett of Piccadilly to write a book about his adventures. In fact he wrote two. A Narrative of the Expedition to Botany Bay was published in 1789, and A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson in 1793. Both were successful, and were translated into a number of languages. ‘Not to have read Watkin Tench,’ wrote Robert Hughes, ‘is not to know early Australia.’

Tench was back in England by 1792. In October of that year he married Anna Maria Sargent. He served in the war against France but was captured. Imprisoned for six months, he wrote an account of French politics and society. After his release he continued to serve until he retired as a major-general in 1816.

Watkin and Anna Maria had no children of their own but adopted four of Anna’s sister’s children who had been orphaned. Tench died in England in 1833.

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