Christopher Palmer: Perils of a Purser

By David Morgan

Supported by a Create NSW Arts and Cultural Grant – Old Parramattans & St. John’s First Fleeters


From Servant to Seaman

Christopher Palmer, the son of John Palmer and Sarah Taylor, was baptised at St Thomas’s Church in Portsmouth on 27 September 1767.[1] His decision to go to sea is hardly surprising; his father John was a shipwright and Portsmouth itself had been a ‘principal royal naval base’ since the sixteenth century when King Henry VII ordered the construction of a dry dock there. By the eighteenth century it was not only an important naval base but also the major provincial depot in England for the East India Company.[2]

Thomas Rowlandson, Portsmouth Point, 1814, Satire, St. John's Cemetery Project, Old Parramattan
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. Thomas Rowlandson, “Portsmouth Point, 1814,” The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1959. (CC0 1.0). Courtesy of The Met. Click here to view the present-day Google street-view.

Aged 19, Christopher joined HMS Sirius on 1 May 1787 — not as a sailor, but as a civilian servant to the Commissary of Stores and Provisions for the Colony of New South Wales, Andrew Miller.[3] Christopher’s brother John Palmer was also on board Sirius in the capacity of purser and, incidentally, would later succeed Miller to the Commissary post in 1790. The Palmer brothers set sail from Portsmouth with the rest of the First Fleet on 13 May 1787 and arrived at Botany Bay on 20 January 1788.[4]

On 30 January at Port Jackson Christopher joined the crew of the Sirius as an able seaman, then transferred to HMS Supply on 10 June as clerk by preferment.[5] His time on the Supply would take him on eleven voyages from Sydney Cove over the next three years, including several to Norfolk Island to start a settlement and keep it resupplied. Christopher then sailed in April 1790 in the Supply from Sydney for Batavia (now Jakarta), where his position as clerk would have seen him involved in procuring eight months’ provisions for the colony. This job should have fallen to the Sirius, but she had been wrecked on a reef at Norfolk in March. After a final voyage to Norfolk in January-February 1791 to bring the stranded Sirius crew back to Sydney Cove, the Supply was so damaged that she was ordered to return to England for repairs, arriving in Plymouth on 21 April 1792. Christopher was discharged from the Supply at Deptford on 8 May.[6]

Christopher’s naval career continued in England. On 27 December, aged 24, he joined HMS Royal William.[7] Originally launched in 1670 as a 100-gun first-rate ship named the Prince,[8] she had seen much service until 1790 when she was refitted as a stationary guardship.[9] On 19 January 1793 he was promoted to clerk, then on 4 March transferred to the Queen.[10] He was now on a much newer, second-rate ship of 98 guns, meaning he was now more likely to see action, but his discharge on 23 April 1794 meant he narrowly avoided ‘The Glorious First of June’ naval battle against Revolutionary France.[11] British naval historian Sam Willis explains the significance of the battle:

It was the first naval battle of the French Revolutionary War; it was the only fleet battle during the Reign of Terror; it was the first fleet battle in British or French history that was fought for political ideology rather than for territory, religion or trade or at the whim of monarchs; it was the longest fleet battle for 128 years; it was celebrated as a victory by the French and the British navy as well as by the Americans; it was the largest British naval victory for 102 years…[most importantly it] was, without question, the hardest fought battle of the Age of Sail.[12]

The Queen was heavily damaged in the fray and her commanding officer Captain John Hutt was killed.[13]

Ship’s Purser on HMS Reliance

Thomas Rowlandson, Purser, St. John's Cemetery Project, St. John's First Fleeters, First Fleet, Old Parramattan, Christopher Palmer, John Palmer
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. Thomas Rowlandson, “Purser,” (15 February 1799). © National Maritime Museum Collections.

Following in his brother’s footsteps, Christopher joined HMS Reliance on 12 August 1794 as purser.[14] The purser was a warrant officer, responsible for the provisioning of his ship with food, clothing, heat, light and bedding. He was not paid a straightforward salary; he was instead paid at the same rate as the boatswain and gunner—about half that of his fellow officers in the ship’s wardroom—and expected to make up the difference by making savings on provisions, for which he was paid at standard rates. This arrangement led to suspicions that the purser was embezzling the crew’s food and enriching himself at their expense. He had to put up a bond as security, ranging from £1200 for first-rate ships to £400 in sixth-rates and below, which led to some pursers becoming bankrupt.[15] He was generally allowed a commission of one-eighth of the value of everything issued by weight or measure; for every pound (16 ounces or 454g) issued to him by the Victualling Board, he issued 14 ounces (397g). The bitterness this engendered in crews was one of the contributing factors to the 1797 Fleet mutiny at Spithead, which broke out after a series of petitions regarding pay and conditions had been ignored. Indeed, the first demand of the mutineers was: ‘That our provisions be raised to the weight of sixteen ounces to the pound, and of a better quality; and that our measures must be the same as used in the commercial trade of this country.’[16]

The list of those on board the Reliance with Christopher for the voyage to Sydney is a virtual ‘who’s who’ of Australian history over the next two decades. They included Governor John Hunter and the Wangal man Woollarawarre Bennelong, who had gone to England with Hunter’s predecessor Arthur Phillip and been presented to King George III. Bennelong had also joined the Reliance in Plymouth Sound in August 1794 but the ship did not sail until early in 1795. This delay combined with cold and homesickness, wrote Hunter on 25 January, had ‘much broken [Bennelong’s] spirit.’[17] Also aboard were the future explorers George Bass as surgeon[18] and Matthew Flinders as master’s mate.[19] Flinders had been a midshipman on HMS Bellerophon during ‘The Glorious First of June,’ after which he had drawn ‘magnificent’ battle plans—diagrams depicting the battle—which showcased his skill as a mapmaker.[20] Commanded by Henry Waterhouse, who had been a midshipman on the Sirius, the Reliance reached Sydney in September.[21]

Christopher would remain on the Reliance, based at Port Jackson, for more than four years, and in this period he would continue to encounter notable people and witness important events in the colony’s early history.[22] As well as making voyages to Norfolk Island, in September 1796 the Reliance went with HMS Supply—a different Supply from the one in the First Fleet—via Norfolk Island and Cape Horn to the Cape of Good Hope to purchase livestock and supplies for the colony. At the Cape, Waterhouse and the Supply’s captain William Kent purchased twenty-six sheep which had been imported from Spain, after John Palmer as Commissary had refused them; Bass also bought a cow and nineteen sheep. These were the first Spanish merinos to be imported into the colony. Waterhouse would later supply lambs to settlers including wool pioneer John Macarthur and Samuel Marsden.[23] Another future celebrity was also on board: Flinders’s cat Trim was born on the Reliance during a passage from the Cape to Australia in 1799; he would accompany his master in his circumnavigation of Australia between 1801 and 1803.[24]

When he was not at sea, Christopher was also settling into a life ashore. On 27 October 1798 there was a report that fowls had been stolen from him at Farm Cove.[25] By 1800, he owned a farm at the Northern Boundaries (near the present site of The King’s School in North Parramatta) after it had been mortgaged to Daniel Spencer for £35 and forfeited; on 26 February he granted by deed of gift the rents owing on the farm to Catherine Rourke.[26] She had been convicted in Dublin in 1792 and sentenced to seven years transportation,[27] arriving in the colony in 1793 aged about 20 on the convict ship Sugar Cane.[28] We do not know the nature of their relationship, but cohabitations between government officers and ‘concubines’ were common enough to be recognised in official musters.[29] She had just completed her sentence and the assignment would have given her a source of income.

‘So ill, that his life was despaired of’: Rio, England and Debt

Christopher left for England on the Reliance on 3 March 1800 and arrived at Portsmouth on 26 August.[30] It was during those months at sea that Christopher’s life took a turn for the worse, as his brother John would later recall:

…on my brother’s arrival in Rio de Janeiro he was taken so ill, that his Life was despaired of, so that he was not able to attend to his duty…and until his return to England in the Reliance, he was the greatest part of his time, confined to his Bed, so that his concerns was [sic] entirely left to the care of Mr Shenard, who was Clerk of the Ship, and who promised my brother after his arrival in England that he would make up his accounts for him, and led him to believe he would have a considerable balance bill, and which he expected would have been the case from what Mr. Shenard had asserted, as he Mr. Shenard had the general overlooking and making out the Provision accounts.[31]

The debt Christopher incurred as a result would dog him for the rest of his life.

Portsmouth Point Overture, William Walton, Thomas Rowlandson, St. John's Cemetery Project, St. John's First Fleeters, Old Parramattans
Listen to William Walton’s “Portsmouth Point Overture” (1925), which depicts in musical form the rumbustious life of eighteenth-century British sailors.

On 19 June 1801, Christopher was ordered to HMS Pandour as purser.[32] Launched in 1784, the Pandour was formerly the Dutch ship Hector; a fifth-rate frigate of 44 guns, which had been captured by the British in 1799.[33] He then transferred to the fifth-rate, 38-gun ship HMS Lowestoft, then under construction at Woolwich Dockyard, on 8 July 1803.[34] However, shortly after, Christopher obtained leave from the Admiralty to join his brother in New South Wales, in John’s words, ‘with a view to re-establish his health.’[35] He left Spithead in the Experiment on 6 December 1803. It was an eventful voyage, especially for an ailing man, with the Experiment being damaged by a storm off Lizard Point, Cornwall and forced to go to Portsmouth for a refit. She finally left Portsmouth on 2 January 1804, arriving in Sydney on 24 June, with the voyage including a month-long stopover in Rio. There were more than 200 convict women aboard — most of whom were sent upriver to Parramatta on arrival and likely set to work under master weaver, George Mealmaker, at the newly rebuilt Factory Above the Gaol (present-day Prince Alfred Square).[36]

‘His malady has increased’: Return to Australia

Christopher is recorded in a 1 January 1805 despatch from Governor Philip Gidley King to Lord Hobart, Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. In a ‘List of Bills drawn on His Majesty’s Treasury by Mr. Commissary [John] Palmer’ over the previous year, there is a payment to Christopher of £209 2s 3 ​3⁄4d. for biscuit supplied to HMS Investigator, ‘when fitting to go to Norfolk Island to remove a part of the Civil and Military, etc. from thence.’[37] This is the sort of transaction a purser would be responsible for, indicating he was still working in this capacity after his arrival in Australia.

John Palmer, Advertisement, Commissary, 1800s, nineteenth-century, Sydney, New South Wales, Australian History, St. John's Cemetery Project, Old Parramattan, St. John's First Fleeters, First Fleet
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. “Commissary’s Office, Dec. 21, 1805,Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW: 1803 – 1842), Sunday 29 December 1805, p. 1. Courtesy of National Library of Australia.

Soon, however, Christopher would be seeking a new line of work. In the editions of the Sydney Gazette of 22 and 29 December 1805, an advertisement appeared, signed by John Palmer in his capacity as Commissary:

FROM the Abuses that have been practiced by those necessarily employed in boiling salt on the Public Account, HIS EXCELLENCY has deemed it expedient to direct the Salt Pans, Buildings, Wharfs, &c. situated in Green Bay, within this Harbour, and belonging to the Crown to be advertised for being let on the following Conditions…[38]

The advertisement concluded:

Sealed Tenders in writing, specifying the greatest quantity of Salt engaged to be delivered, as stated in the 3rd Article, to be given to me on Wednesday, the 1st of January next, at ten in the morning, to be laid before the Governor – – No Tenders will be received from any other description than Absolute Freemen of good and responsible character.[39]

Christopher was living at Woolloomooloo when he applied in a letter dated 1 January 1806. He offered to ‘…return Weekly on every Monday Morning One Thousand lbs. [454 kg] of Salt well dried and fit for curing Meat.’[40] Also on 1 January 1806 Christopher received a land grant of 100 acres in the District of Mulgrave Place near present-day Pitt Town, with an annual ‘quit rent’ of two shillings after five years.[41]

It is not clear whether his tender was successful, as his brother John stated in a letter to the Victualling Board some years later that Christopher had ‘been wholly supported by me since his arrival in 1804 being from his heavy affliction quite unable to assist himself.’[42] In 1809, his ‘malady…increased so as to have confined him to his bed’ — Christopher had been left paralysed by a stroke. A transfer of land in the Evan district to John in May 1810 mentions Christopher as a party, but we do not know what, if anything, Christopher was able to do with it, given his condition. It must soon have become apparent that his condition was not going to improve.[43]

Nevertheless, on 1 December 1819, the Victualling Board sent a letter to Christopher, calling on him to repay the debt due from his time on the Reliance. In John’s reply from Parramatta on 22 March 1821, he presented a very sad image of a brother bedridden ‘for more than twelve years’ having ‘los[t] the use entirely of one side,’ who was ‘also deprived of the use of both his legs and hands, so as not to be able to move or feed himself without assistance…[W]as it not for being with me,’ John declared, ‘he must have suffered very much, not having the means to afford himself the least subsistence.’[44] John related Christopher’s version of what had happened on the Reliance more than twenty years earlier:

I feel it necessary to mention that I have done everything in my power to learn from my brother what could be the cause of his being so indebted, and all I can obtain is, that in the first instance he was obliged to take charge as Purser from the remains which Captain Portlock handed over to him (without a Survey being taken) and which upon his faith, he received, being assured by him and Mr Shenard then acting as Clerk, and Steward, that every thing was correct.[45]

He added that it was ‘totally out of [Christopher’s] power’ to repay the debt, and asked the Board to ‘grant him such relief as to you may seem proper.’[46] Of his own situation he wrote: ‘I am sorry gentlemen to observe that after being 33 years in His Majesty’s Service 22 of which I was in the Navy, of that period I was Purser 8 years, and 30 years ago I was principal Commissary of New South Wales, and that I am now reduced to a very little more than my half pay 7/4 per diem, to support my family and afflicted Brother.’[47] To support Christopher’s claim for relief, former New South Wales Corps Surgeon John Harris wrote to certify that he was, ‘at this time in the most deplorable state of bodily infirmity, having totally lost the use of his Limbs from a Paralytic affection [sic], and has been for many years past perfectly incapable to help himself in the smallest degree…and was [sic] it not for the aid and support afforded him by the Brother J. Palmer Esq late Commissary of this place, he must have become a burthen to the public.’[48]

Christopher died aged 53 on 3 April 1821. His death notice read:

Christopher Palmer, Death Notice, Sydney Gazette, First Fleet, St. John's First Fleeters, St. John's Cemetery Project, Old Parramattan.
DIED,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 7 April 1821, p. 3. Courtesy of National Library of Australia.

The debt remained outstanding. In May 1822, a few days after Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane received a letter dated 24 October 1821 about the matter from the Victualling Board, he called on John Palmer. Brisbane wrote back to the Board enclosing copies of John Palmer’s and John Harris’s letters, and corroborated their statements: ‘Respecting that part which relates to his very deplorable state of health there is no doubt, nor is there less that he departed this life in abject poverty.’[49]

Christopher’s life had been an active one, seeing adventure few people could even imagine at the time: from the age of 20 he had sailed around the world, witnessed major events and met many notables. He had known success in his naval career, appears to have found love (at least for a time) and must have looked forward to settling down in New South Wales. But debt and illness—we may wonder whether the stress of the former contributed to the latter—left him in a state of complete dependence, both financial and physical. He is now buried with his brother.[50]

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References

Primary Sources

Frederick Watson (ed.), Historical Records of Australia, Volume V: Governors’ Despatches to and from England, July, 1804–August, 1806, (Sydney: William Applegate Gullick, Government Printer, 1915).

Secondary Sources

J. J. Colledge, revised by Ben Warlow, Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of All Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy from the 15th Century to the Present, (London: Chatham, 2006).

Judith Dunn, The Parramatta Cemeteries: St John’s, (Parramatta: Parramatta and District Historical Society, 1991).

Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989).

Brian Lavery, Nelson’s Navy: The Ships, Men, and Organisation, 1793–1815, (Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1989).

David Morgan, “HMS Supply,” Dictionary of Sydney, (2015), http://dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/hms_supply, accessed online 30 January 2019.

Dudley Pope, Life in Nelson’s Navy, (London: U. Hyman, 1987).

Margaret Steven, “Palmer, John (1760–1833),” Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/palmer-john-2533/text3437, published first in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 27 February 2019.


Notes

[1] Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989), p. 272.

[2] Roger Leech, “Portsmouth: A Window on the World?” in Adrian Green and Roger Leech (eds.), Cities in the World: 1500–2000, v.3, (Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2017), pp. 299–306.

[3] Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989), pp. 272–3.

[4] Margaret Steven, “Palmer, John (1760–1833),” Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/palmer-john-2533/text3437, published first in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 27 February 2019.

[5] Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989), p. 272.

[6] David Morgan, “HMS Supply,” Dictionary of Sydney, (2015), http://dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/hms_supply, accessed online 30 January 2019

[7] Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989), p. 272.

[8] The Royal Navy’s ship rating system, in operation from the 17th to the 19th centuries, classified ships from “first rate” down to “sixth rate,” largely based on the number of guns they carried. First-rate ships had a minimum of 100 guns and carried a crew of over 850, while second-rates had 90–98 guns and a crew of 750. The smallest of the ‘rated ships,’ sixth-rates were more lightly armed frigates with 22–28 guns and a crew of about 150. Smaller still were the ‘unrated’ ships including sloops and cutters. See “Rated Navy ships in the 17th to 19th centuries,” Royal Museums Greenwich, https://www.rmg.co.uk/discover/explore/rated-navy-ships-17th-19th-centuries, accessed online 30 March 2019.

[9] J. J. Colledge, revised by Ben Warlow, Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of All Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy from the 15th Century to the Present, (London: Chatham, 2006), p. 301.

[10] Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989), p. 272.

[11] J. J. Colledge, revised by Ben Warlow, Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of All Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy from the 15th Century to the Present, (London: Chatham, 2006), p. 283.

[12] Sam Willis, The Glorious First of June: Fleet Battle in the Reign of Terror, (London: Quercus, 2011), pp. xxxvii–xxxviii.

[13]John Hutt,” Westminster Abbey, https://www.westminster-abbey.org/abbey-commemorations/commemorations/john-hutt, accessed online 14 February 2019. There is now a memorial to Captain Hutt in Westminster Abbey.

[14] Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989), p. 272. The Reliance was a discovery vessel, acquired by the Royal Navy in December 1793, with dimensions of 90 feet x 30 feet (27.43m x 9.14m). J. J. Colledge, revised by Ben Warlow, Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of All Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy from the 15th Century to the Present, (London: Chatham, 2006), p. 290.

[15] Brian Lavery, Nelson’s Navy: The Ships, Men, and Organisation, 1793–1815, (Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1989), pp. 101, 113–116, 326–327.

[16] Dudley Pope, Life in Nelson’s Navy, (London: U. Hyman, 1987), pp. 149–150.

[17] Eleanor Dark, “Bennelong (1764–1813),” Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/bennelong-1769/text1979, published first in hardcopy 1966, accessed online 4 February 2019.

[18] Keith Macrae Bowden, “Bass, George (1771–1803),” Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/bass-george-1748/text1939, published first in hardcopy 1966, accessed online 7 February 2019.

[19] H. M. Cooper, “Flinders, Matthew (1774–1814),” Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/flinders-matthew-2050/text2541, published first in hardcopy 1966, accessed online 7 February 2019.

[20] Sam Willis, The Glorious First of June: Fleet Battle in the Reign of Terror, (London: Quercus, 2011), p. 336.

[21] Vivienne Parsons, “Waterhouse, Henry (1770–1812),” Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/waterhouse-henry-2775/text3945, published first in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 7 February 2019.

[22] Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989), p. 272.

[23] Vivienne Parsons, “Waterhouse, Henry (1770–1812),” Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/waterhouse-henry-2775/text3945, published first in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 7 February 2019; Keith Macrae Bowden, “Bass, George (1771–1803),” Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/bass-george-1748/text1939, published first in hardcopy 1966, accessed online 7 February 2019.

[24] Matthew Flinders, “Matthew Flinders’ biographical tribute to his cat Trim 1809,” The Flinders Papers, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, https://flinders.rmg.co.uk/DisplayDocumentb322.html?ID=92&CurrentPage=1&CurrentXMLPage=1, accessed online 7 February 2019.

[25] Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989), p. 272.

[26] Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989), p. 272.

[27] New South Wales Government, “Catherine Rourke,” Early Convict Index (Digitised), Alphabetical Indent: 12188_4_4003A_0083; Ship Indent: 1150_SZ115_0396; Ship Page: 264; Ship Entry: 012, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia), https://www.records.nsw.gov.au/index_image/12188_4_4003A_0083 and https://www.records.nsw.gov.au/index_image/1150_SZ115_0396, accessed online 7 February 2019.

[28] Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989), p. 272.

[29] For example, in the case of Surveyor-General Augustus Alt see David Morgan, “Augustus Alt: The Baron,” St. John’s Cemetery Project, (2017), https://stjohnscemeteryproject.org/bio/augustus-alt/, accessed online 1 April 2019.

[30] Ernest Scott, The Life of Captain Matthew Flinders, R.N., (Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1914), https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Life_of_Captain_Matthew_Flinders,_R.N./Chapter_12, accessed online 9 February 2019.

[31] New South Wales Government, Letter of John Palmer regarding debt owing to Admiralty by Christopher Palmer, 22 March 1821, Colonial Secretary’s Papers: Copies of letters sent outside the Colony, “Foreign,” NRS: 939; Reel 6018, Item: 4/3521 (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia), pp. 305–11.

[32] Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989), p. 272.

[33] J. J. Colledge, revised by Ben Warlow, Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of All Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy from the 15th Century to the Present, (London: Chatham, 2006), p. 259.

[34] Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989), p. 272. The Lowestoft had been ordered on 9 July 1801 and was under construction at Woolwich Dockyard, but was cancelled on 26 July 1805. See J. J. Colledge, revised by Ben Warlow, Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of All Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy from the 15th Century to the Present, (London: Chatham, 2006), p. 205.

[35] New South Wales Government, Letter of John Palmer regarding debt owing to Admiralty by Christopher Palmer, 22 March 1821, Colonial Secretary’s Papers: Copies of letters sent outside the Colony, “Foreign,” NRS: 939; Reel 6018, Item: 4/3521 (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia), pp. 305–11.

[36] Carol Liston, “Convict Women in the Female Factories of New South Wales,” in Gay Hendriksen, Trudy Cowley, and Carol Liston, Women Transported: Life in Australia’s Convict Female Factories, (Parramatta, N.S.W: Parramatta City Council Heritage Centre, 2008), p. 32  https://www.rahs.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Convict-Women-in-the-Female-Factories-of-New-South-Wales.pdf, accessed online 12 April 2019; see also Jen Willetts, “Convict Ship Experiment 1804,” Free Settler or Felon?, https://www.jenwilletts.com/convict_ship_experiment_1804.htm, accessed online 11 February 2019.

[37] Philip Gidley King, “Governor King to Lord Hobart, 1 January 1805,” Frederick Watson (ed.), Historical Records of Australia, Volume V: Governors’ Despatches to and from England, July, 1804–August, 1806, (Sydney: William Applegate Gullick, Government Printer, 1915), pp. 246–55.

[38]Classified Advertising,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Sunday 22 December 1805, p. 1; “Classified Advertising,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Sunday 29 December 1805, p. 1.

[39]Classified Advertising,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Sunday 29 December 1805, p. 1.

[40] New South Wales Government, Letter of Christopher Palmer tendering for supply of salt, 1st January 1806, Colonial Secretary’s Papers, Reel 6041; Item: 4/1720, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia), p. 39.

[41] New South Wales Government, List of all grants and leases of land registered in the Colonial Secretary’s Office, Colonial Secretary’s Papers, Fiche 3268; Item: 9/2731, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia), p. 160.

[42] New South Wales Government, Letter of John Palmer regarding debt owing to Admiralty by Christopher Palmer, 22 March 1821, Colonial Secretary’s Papers: Copies of letters sent outside the Colony, “Foreign,” NRS: 939; Reel 6018, Item: 4/3521 (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia), pp. 305–11.

[43] Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989), p. 272.

[44] New South Wales Government, Letter of John Palmer regarding debt owing to Admiralty by Christopher Palmer, 22 March 1821, Colonial Secretary’s Papers: Copies of letters sent outside the Colony, “Foreign,” NRS: 939; Reel 6018, Item: 4/3521 (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia), pp. 305–11.

[45] New South Wales Government, Letter of John Palmer regarding debt owing to Admiralty by Christopher Palmer, 22 March 1821, Colonial Secretary’s Papers: Copies of letters sent outside the Colony, “Foreign,” NRS: 939; Reel 6018, Item: 4/3521 (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia), pp. 305–11.

[46] New South Wales Government, Letter of John Palmer regarding debt owing to Admiralty by Christopher Palmer, 22 March 1821, Colonial Secretary’s Papers: Copies of letters sent outside the Colony, “Foreign,” NRS: 939; Reel 6018, Item: 4/3521 (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia), pp. 305–11.

[47] New South Wales Government, Letter of John Palmer regarding debt owing to Admiralty by Christopher Palmer, 22 March 1821, Colonial Secretary’s Papers: Copies of letters sent outside the Colony, “Foreign,” NRS: 939; Reel 6018, Item: 4/3521 (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia), pp. 305–11.

[48] New South Wales Government, Letter of John Harris regarding health of Christopher Palmer, 22 March 1821, Colonial Secretary’s Papers: Copies of letters sent outside the Colony, “Foreign,” NRS: 939; Reel 6018, 4/3521, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia), pp. 305–11.

[49] New South Wales Government, Letter of Governor Thomas Brisbane, 15 May 1822, NSW State Records, Colonial Secretary’s Papers: Copies of letters sent outside the Colony, “Foreign,” NRS: 939; Reel 6018, 4/3521, pp. 305–11.

[50] Judith Dunn, The Parramatta Cemeteries: St John’s, (Parramatta: Parramatta and District Historical Society, 1991), p. 78.

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