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Schooner designed by Royal Navy in 1803 to be used in Port Jackson

Date: 1986
Overall: 506 x 735 mm, 2.1 kg
Medium: Wood, copper, cork, waxed linen thread
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from D C B Maclurcan
Object Name: Ship model
Object No: 00004537
Place Manufactured:Australia

User Terms

    This is a model of a schooner planned to be made in 1803 'for the use of Port Jackson', New South Wales.
    SignificanceThis model represents the excellent craftsmanship of model makers and highlights Australian naval history in the early 19th century. This vessel is believed to be the first ship designed to be specifically constructed to work in Sydney Harbour. Its green colour is typical of cargo vessels used in the early 19th century.
    HistoryThe fledgling colony of Australia experienced difficulties in establishing agriculture; consequently shipping was criticial to provide food supplies, goods and communication from Britain.

    Eight months after the founding of New South Wales in January 1788, Governor Arthur Phillip requested from Britain a schooner for use in Port Jackson. He stated 'the settlement on Norfolk Island and the extent of this harbour will render two vessels of thirty or forty tons of infinite service to this settlement. I presume they might be sent out in frame, but it will be necessary to send a few shipwrights to put them together, and who, as well as mastmaker...will be of great service’.

    Much correspondence was carried out between the colony and England over a fifteen year period before the first plans of such a vessel arrived. In 1790 the Navy Board sent a dispatch stating that Phillip would 'receive by the vessel PITT a vessel in frame which when set up will be usefull to you'. The shipment was followed up by a delivery from Chatham on the vessel CALCUTTA, of spars and furniture for the schooner being built at Port Jackson. The first vessel to be built at Sydney Cove was named FRANCIS.

    This schooner model is made from original line drawings used by the British Admiralty, however it is uncertain whether the ship was actually constructed. The plans report that copies of the design were sent to Chatham, England on 22 January 1803 and then via Calcutta, India to Port Jackson.

    The model maker used copper paint below the waterline to reflect the intended copper plating.

    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Schooner designed by Royal Navy in 1803 to be used in Port Jackson

    Web title: Schooner designed in 1803

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