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An Account of a Voyage to Establish a Colony at Port Philip in Bass's Strait on the south coast of New South Wales, in His Majesty's Ship CALCUTTA in the years 1802 - 1804

Date: 1805
Dimensions:
Overall: 15 x 210 x 140 mm, 0.35 kg
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Books and journals
Object Name: Book
Object No: 00000369
Place Manufactured:London

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    Description
    In 1805 first Lieutenant James Hingston Tuckey wrote an account of his journey on board HMS CALCUTTA travelling to Port Phillip, Bass Strait to establish a settlement. The new colony was to include 299 male convicts, 16 married women, some settlers, and 50 men and Petty Officers of the Royal Marines. However it was unsuccessful and the CALCUTTA sailed from Port Phillip on 27 January 1804 after just three months and made its way to Tasmania.

    SignificanceThis account offers an insight into attempts by the British to establish a settlement at Port Phillip in the early 19th century.
    HistoryIn 1803 the British government was looking to establish a settlement at the strategic location of Port Phillip. Colonising the large bay would allow British control over the region and access to the profitable sealing industry in and around Bass Strait. The bay had also generated much interest and praise from surveyors and navigators including Matthew Flinders.

    On 24 April 1803 the CALCUTTA and the store ship OCEAN set out from England on an expedition to settle in Port Phillip with 299 male convicts, 16 married women, settlers, and 50 men and petty officers. They arrived on 18 October 1803 and the CALCUTTA had difficulty entering the bay, known for its dangerously shallow waters. After landing at present day Sorrento the first Lieutenant James H Tuckey and two officers conducted survey work. A number of events were recorded in the new settlement including the birth of the first white child in Victoria on 25 November 1803, the first European wedding on 28 November and the first death on 10 October.

    The British government ordered CALCUTTA to leave the bay on 27 January 1804 after just over three months. Lieutenant Governor David Collins was pleased with the directive having sent many papers to England expressing the negative qualities of the area for development. Reports compiled on the Bay concluded it was unsuitable for commercial settlement due to the 'disadvantages of Port Philip' and the unsuitability of the bay. CALCUTTA travelled to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) to establish a settlement there instead.

    In 1835, 32 years after CALCUTTA's first attempt to settle in Port Phillip, settlers from Tasmania returned once more to try and build a successful settlement. They established the site of present day Melbourne and in 1838 settled Geelong in Corio Bay.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: An Account of a Voyage to Establish a Colony at Port Philip in Bass's Strait on the south coast of New South Wales, in His Majesty's Ship CALCUTTA in the years 1802 - 1804

    Web title: An Account of a Voyage to Establish a Colony at Port Philip in Bass's Strait on the South Coast of New South Wales in His Majesty's Ship CALCUTTA in the years 1802-3-4

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