Lady Penrhyn (1786 ship)
Lady Penrhyn, convict transport ship
|Namesake:||Lady Penrhyn (née Anne Susannah Warburton), the wife of Richard Pennant, 1st Baron Penrhyn, of the Penrhyn Estate in Llandygai, North Wales. The word Penrhyn itself is Welsh for headland or peninsula.|
|Port of registry:||London|
|Builder:||Edward Greaves, River Thames|
|General characteristics |
|Tons burthen:||332, or 3322⁄94, or 360 (bm)|
|Beam:||27 ft 6 1⁄2 in (8.4 m)|
|Depth of hold:||12 ft 0 in (3.7 m)|
|Sail plan:||Ship rig|
Lady Penrhyn was built on the River Thames in 1786 as a slave ship. For her first voyage she transported convicts to New South Wales as part of the First Fleet. On her voyage back to Britain she was the first European vessel to pass by the Kermadec Islands, and the Penrhyn Atoll in the Cook Islands. She also carried a cargo for the British East India Company (EIC). The French captured her in the West Indies in 1811 and scuttled her.
Design and ownership
Lady Penrhyn was designed as a two-deck ship for use in the Atlantic slave trade, with a capacity of 275 slaves. She was part-owned by William Compton Sever, who served as ship's master on her voyage to Australia, and by London alderman and sea-biscuit manufacturer William Curtis.
Voyage to Australia
Lady Penrhyn left Portsmouth on 13 May 1787, arrived at Port Jackson, Sydney, Australia, on 26 January 1788. She carried 101 female convicts, and three officers and 41 other ranks of the New South Wales Marine Corps, as well as her crew. She was part of a convoy of eleven ships, the so-called "First Fleet", which brought over 1000 convicts, marines, and seamen to establish European settlement in Australia.
John Turnpenny Altree was surgeon to the convicts, and Arthur Bowes Smyth was surgeon to the crew. Bowes Smyth then took charge of the prisoners on the ship when Altree fell ill at Tenerife and in Governor Arthur Phillip’s opinion had proved unequal to the task.
The list of stores unloaded from Lady Penrhyn on 25 March at Port Jackson has been widely quoted in books on the First Fleet. In Sydney Cove 1788 by John Cobley  the amount of rice unloaded is given as 8 bram. This amount has been repeated in various books on the First Fleet. Bram, however, is not a unit of measurement and the original log entry lists the amount of rice as 8 barrels.
Having discharged her convicts in New South Wales, Lady Penrhyn then was under contract to George Mackenzie McCaulay, an alderman of the City of London, to go to the "North West Coast of America to Trade for furrs & after that to proceed to China & barter the Furrs &ca for Teas or other such Goods..." Her owners had obtained a license to sail to the northwest coast from the South Sea Company, which still maintained its ancient monopoly rights over British trade to the eastern Pacific. Accordingly, she departed Sydney Cove on 5 May 1788 and sailed north with the intention of purchasing furs in Kamchatka for resale in China. Her course was chosen to minimise interaction with Russian vessels, as non-Russian trade in Kamchatka furs was considered by Russia to be smuggling.
On 31 May, Sever sighted the Kermadec Islands — he named Macauley Island after McCaulay and Curtis Island after William Curtis. The poor condition of the ship and sickness among her crew compelled Lady Penrhyn to turn back from this voyage when she had gone only as far as Matavai Bay, Tahiti, where the crew recovered and the ship was repaired. She then visited and named Penrhyn Island—the atoll of Tongareva in the Cook Islands—on 8 August, arriving at Macao on 19 October 1788, then proceeding upriver to Canton (now Guangzhou) to take on a cargo of tea.
In 1789 Lady Penrhyn was sold to Wedderburn & Co., London and used in a regular run to Jamaica.
In 1795 she was one of a fleet of transports that carried British troops to the Caribbean to serve as reinforcements against the risk of an attack by Revolutionary France.
Lloyd's List reported that the privateer Duc de Dantzig, of 14 guns (18-pounder carronades) and 128 men, of Nantes, had captured Thames, Clark, master, on 17 July, and Lady Penrhyn, Burgess, master on 22 July. Thames had been sailing from London to St Vincent's, and Lady Penrhyn from London to Grenada. Both vessels were in ballast, and Duc de Danzig burnt them after taking off the people on board them. She then captured the schooner Ann, which had set out from Barbados to Demerara. Duc de Dantzig put her prisoners aboard Ann and let her proceed; Ann arrived at Barbados on 26 July.
Citations and references
- "Lady Penrhyn". First Fleet Fellowship Victoria Inc. 2011.
- Lloyd's Register (1786), sup. seq. no. L65.
- British Library: Lady Penrhyn.
- Hackman (2001), p.139.
- "News". General Evening Post (8194). London: M. Say. 9 May 1786. p. 6. Retrieved 25 September 2014. (Subscription required (. ))
- Byrnes, D. "The Blackheath Connection: The Phantom First Fleet to Australia". Retrieved 2012-07-03.
- "Smyth, Arthur Bowes". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
- Cobley, John, 1914-1989. Sydney Cove, 1788. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1962.
- Australian Joint Copying Project. Reel 5777, piece 4376, part 9. Canberra : National Library of Australia, c. 1988
- Bain Ike, (chief exec.) The Australian Encyclopaedia, p. 1679, Horses, Australian Geographic Pty. Ltd., 1996
- Smyth, Cf. Fidlon and Ryan p. 86
- South Sea Company Court of Directors Minutes, 8 and 10 March 1787, South Sea Company Papers, British Library, Additional MS 25,521; cited in Edouard A. Stackpole, Whales and Destiny, Amherst, U. Mass., 1972, p. 118
- Letter from Newton Fowell, midshipman HMS Sirius, to John Fowell, 12 July 1788. Cited in Irvine (ed.) 1988, p.81
- Hīroa (1953), p. 36
- Smyth, "Voyage"; Fidlon and Ryan, Journal.
- "Ship News". The Star (2483). London: J. Mayne, Temple Bar. 29 July 1796. p. 4. Retrieved 6 September 2014. (Subscription required (. ))
- "Authentic Port News". Lloyd's Evening Post. London: T. Spilsbury & Son. 22 July 1795. p. 88. Retrieved 26 September 2014. (Subscription required (. ))
- Lloyd's List, n° 4594.
- Hackman, Rowan (2001) Ships of the East India Company. (Gravesend, Kent: World Ship Society). ISBN 0-905617-96-7
- Hīroa, Te Rangi (Peter. H. Buck) (1953). Explorers of the Pacific: European and American Discoveries in Polynesia. Bernice P. Bishop Museum Special Publication 43. Honolulu, Hawaii: Bernice P. Bishop Museum. OCLC 646912113.
- Irvine, Nance, ed. (1988). The Sirius Letters: The Complete Letters of Newton Fowell. Daniel O'Keefe. ISBN 1862900000.
- Smyth, Arthur Bowes. A Voyage to Botany Bay & Oteheite, 1787, by A.B.S. Surgeon, Lady Penrhyn. National Library of Australia. MS 4568., transcript
- cf. Smyth, Arthur Bowes (1979). Fidlon, G.; Ryan, R.J., eds. The Journal of Arthur Bowes Smyth: Surgeon, Lady Penrhyn, 1787-1789 (Transcript). Sydney: Australian Documents Library.
- Gillen, Mollie, The Founders of Australia: a biographical dictionary of the First Fleet, Sydney, Library of Australian History, 1989.
- Bateson, Charles, The Convict Ships, 1787–1868, Sydney, 1974.
- Arthur Bowes Smythe's journal aboard the Lady Penrhyn - State Library of NSW
- "Lady Penrhyn". First Fleet Fellowship Victoria Inc. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
- Cama, Nicole (2015). "Lady Penrhyn". Dictionary of Sydney. Retrieved 2 October 2015. [CC-By-SA]