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A Narrative of the Expedition to Botany-Bay

Watkin Tench

Book Overview: 

Watkin Tench was an officer of the British Marines in the First Fleet to settle NSW. This is an interesting and entertaining account of his experiences during that time.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .But the staple commodity of the country is sugar. That they have not, however, learnt the art of making palatable rum, the English troops in New South Wales can bear testimony; a large quantity, very ill flavoured, having been bought and shipped here for the use of the garrison of Port Jackson.

It was in 1771 that St. Salvador, which had for more than a century been the capital of Brazil, ceased to be so; and that the seat of Government was removed to St. Sebastian. The change took place on account of the colonial war, at that time carried on by the Courts of Lisbon and Madrid. And, indeed, were the object of security alone to determine the seat of Government, I know but few places better situated in that respect than the one I am describing; the natural strength of the country, joined to the difficulties which would attend an attack on the fortifications, being such as to render it very formidable.

It may be presumed that the Portuguese Government is . . . Read More

Community Reviews

These old journals of voyages/expeditions from the 1700's are great to listen to. This was the boat that took the first batch of "criminals" to Australia (the American religious zealots left England by their own choice).

Watkin Tench is no Bill Bryson. This said, I still think that his account of one of the early settlement voyages to Australia has many interesting and redeeming qualities. The fact that this trip was taken more than two hundred years after Bill Bryson’s memorable trip “Down Under” may account for...more