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How Australia was born

Hey Sparkles! Happy Monday! For today’s Monday Moment post, I am writing about how Australia was born, on this day in 1787.

The idea for Australia was introduced by scientist, botanist, and cook Joseph Banks, who had been there when James Cook discovered “Botany Bay” – now part of Sydney, 7 years prior.

Joseph Banks suggested that Botany Bay could become a penal colony for convicts. So, on May 13, 1787, a fleet of eleven ships sailed from Portsmouth with about 750 convicts on board. Of course, not all of them made it during the 8 month journey. There are said to be 100 deaths and 20 births aboard the ship.

When they arrived, they discovered Botany Bay was not good for settling. The soil was too dry and there was no fresh water available. So they went north and found Sydney Bay, which the captain of the ship, Arthur Philip, named after Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney, the British Home Secretary of the day.

The convicts sent with this first load were mainly pickpockets, or poor people who had been forced to steal to survive. But, there were no murderers, so the colony began to grow peacefully.

They had to work very hard in unusually hot weather, that they were unused to back in England. But, they did the work and soon the city of Sydney began to thrive.

Well, there you have it, Sparkles. Now you know how Australia was founded. It was a penal colony that eventually became a British colony, then its own country. What did you think, Sparkles? Tell me in the comments below. Thanks for reading, and Sparkles away!

2 Responses so far.

  1. Very intrsting details some of which I’d not read or heard before your Sparkler told me. Did you know Georgia began in much the same way as Australia?
    Here’s a copy of what I located on the initial history of Georgia as foreseen by Oglethorpe to King George.
    “Although initially conceived of by James Oglethorpe as a refuge for London’s indebted prisoners, Georgia was ultimately established in 1732 to protect South Carolina and other southern colonies from Spanish invasion through Florida.”
    The website URL is: https://www.history.com/topics/us-states/georgia
    Also I’ve recently read that as organized by Oglethorpe, the colony was to have no slavery in it’s borders. I don’t know when the changed or what the circumstance were but a wee bit of research might bring them to light for Sparkler readers to learn by in your post.
    I really enjoyed seeing your Grandma Beverly, Mom & you at Autumn Leaves with their Motherhood T-shirts displayed proudly. The quoted phrase by Robert Browning, what work did that quote come from in his body of work: was it in one of his poems? And if so, which one? Granddaddy Sparkle

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