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Journal of Francis Gosling on board the ALEXANDER

Date: 1835
Overall: 199 x 162 x 15 mm, 0.3 kg
Medium: Ink on paper, leather, gilt
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Books and journals
Object Name: Diary
Object No: 00001689
Related Place:Sydney, Madeira, Storm Bay, New Town, New Norfolk, Jervis Bay, Good Hope, Cape of, Hobart, Gravesend,

User Terms

    This journal was written by Francis Gosling onboard the ALEXANDER during his voyage from London to Sydney in 1835. He was encouraged to go to the colony at the advice of his brother, John, who was already in Sydney. The journal documents everyday life onboard the ship, the activities undertaken, and the daily longitude and latitude readings. ALEXANDER departed London on 14 March 1835 and reached Hobart on 22 July 1835. Gosling records his impression as 'a nasty dirty looking Village, and the houses are all scraggled about'. The ALEXANDER departed Hobart Town on 17 August and reached Sydney on Sunday 30 August 1835 where Gosling was reunited with his brother.
    SignificanceManuscript accounts, journals and diaries of sea voyages to Australia in the early 19th century are rare. Although several thousand are known to exist most of these date from the late 19th century and tend to be written after the events with the contents modified to placate family members back home, where many of these passenger accounts were sent.
    HistoryTo emigrate or remain at home was the major decision of a lifetime faced by many families in England and Ireland during the 19th century. The reasons to emigrate were many including land clearance, famine, unemployment, the quest for political or religious freedom, the desire to get rich and the wish to join families who had already made the long sea voyage.

    The ALEXANDER was a merchant ship of 523 tons, under Captain Ramsay, which left London in March 1835 bound for Sydney via Hobart Town with a cargo of goods for Sydney merchants and a number of paying passengers, including Francis Gosling. Gosling emigrated to join his brother John William Gosling and the two of them are recorded as applying to the Colonial Secretary's Office for land in Bathurst in December 1835 - John offering £2 per acre for five lots of half acre blocks; and Francis offering 5s per acre for 1200 acres.

    The ALEXANDER carried some the following cargo (as listed in The Colonial Times (Hobart) of 4 August 1835) Taylor's Brown Stout, in hogsheads; rum, in hogsheads, 10% O.P.; Superior Brown Sherry, in hogsheads; Port Wine, in hogsheads; Malaga sherry; Paris pedestal lamps; brown canvas; chimney glasses; refined loaf sugar, in hogsheads; mustard, pickles, raisins, and figs; ladies' and children's shoes; furs of all descriptions; table cloths; earthenware, china and glass; fish hooks; confectionary; perfumery, including one case of superior Eau de Cologne; and a variety of ironmongery and hardware.

    From The Sydney Herald, Monday 3 August 1835:
    "Ship News
    The Medway and Alexander merchant-ships, from London, had arrived in the Derwent, and their mails have been brought up in the Currency Lass."

    From The Colonial Times, Hobart, Tuesday 4 August 1835:
    "Hobart Town Police Report 27 July 1835 -
    The captain of the Alexander complained of one of his seamen, who had been brought in custody from the ship, with having assaulted him and otherwise insubordinarily behaved on board the vessel. Some of the seamen had been making free with the ship's spirits, and, on the captain enquiring into the matter, and without giving the seaman any provocation, received a blow in the face. As an example to disorderly seamen, he was fined 40s., and in default of payment, to be sent to the House of Correction for two months."

    From The Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, Tuesday 11 August 1835:
    "Trade and Shipping -
    Arrived on Wednesday, the ship Alexander, 523 tons Capt. Ramsay, from London 14th March, with merchandise, passengers Mr. and Mrs. Porter, 6 children and servant, Mr. and Mrs. Horne, Mr. Jacobs, Mr. Gosling, Mr. Hogarth, Mr. Arnold, Mr. and Mrs. Bradshaw, Mr. Crotchell, J. Porter, S. Michael, R. Alexander."

    From The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 2 September 1825:
    On Sunday the ship Alexander, 523 tons, Captain Ramsey, from London March 15, and Hobart Town the 17th instant. Cargo Merchandize. Passengers - Mr and Mrs Porter and six children, Mr Jacobs, Mr Francis Gosling, Mr W Arnold, Mr James Bradshaw, Mrs Mary Ann Bradshaw, Mr Joseph Porter, Mr Raphael Alexander, and Mr James Horten."

    Additional Titles

    Web title: Journal of Francis Gosling on board the ALEXANDER

    Primary title: Francis Gosling's journal concerning his voyage on board the ALEXANDER from London to Sydney, New South Wales

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