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First Fleet Provisions- What they forgot

Journal by janilye

I've shown you the list of Provisions for the First Fleet taken on board, but like most of us who go to the market today there is often one or two essential items we have forgotten.

This was true of the First Fleet, but unlike us today, Captain Arthur Phillip couldn't run back to the store.

Firstly, when the Fleet left England, Captain Phillip noticed the convict women still in their rags and asked that they be given the clothing brought on board. However, probably because men did the packing, there was not enough women's clothing.

So, when the Fleet stopped at Rio de Janeiro, where of course there were no women's clothing shops, our problem solving Captain, killing two birds with the one stone, bought 100 sacks of tapioca, to supplement the food stocks, he then gave the women the empty sacks for whatever items it was they needed.

Forgetting the lime to make mortar and all the tools necessary to maintain the muskets, Phillip couldn't do very much about. This could not be rectified till the arrival of the Second Fleet.

Also forgotten, was good quality timber for making doors and the window frames to contain the 5,448 squares of crown glass brought along.

Captain Phillip had made sure he had plenty of firepower on board, but the most dreadful omission of all and one that Captain Phillip kept secret was ammunition for the marines' muskets. When Phillip discovered this he swore his officers to secrecy, fearing mutiny on the transports. He managed to pick up some musket balls in Rio de Janeiro but too few.
This shortage of ammunition also mean't, that when the colony was starving, due to failing crops, hunting for food was restricted.

©janilye, 2009

The painting below is a depiction of the First Fleet at Rio de Janeiro

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by janilye Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-05-19 12:29:55

janilye - 7th generation, Convict stock. Born in New South Wales now living in Victoria, carrying, with pride 'The Birthstain'.

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