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David Blackburn Letters and Papers

David Blackburn - letters received by Richard Knight, 12 July 1788, 19 March 1791

ML Safe 1/120 view facsimile

Dr Sir
In Some Measure to Attone for Not Answering your Very friendly Letter before we Sail'd I Beg your Acceptance of the Following Short Account of our Voyage to this time — As far as I was An Eye Witness or Informd by Officers of Probity in the Fleet —

We Saild from Spithead on the Morning of Sunday 13th. May 1787 & Ran Down Channel with a Fair Wind. The Supply Very Deep Laden With Store, Which as We Met with Some Blowing Weather Made us Rather Uncomfortable. Being Constantly Wet.

His Majestys Ship Hyena Accompanied us Clear of the Channel & on the 20th. left us — we being Near 100 Leagues from the Land. The Irons were then taken off All the Convicts. (Such only Excepted as had behavd ill) With Permission to Come upon Deck & take the Air When Ever they pleas'd During the Day — The Weather Was Now fine & the Wind fair. On the 31st of May We Passd the Island Madeira and on the 4th of June Anchord in Santa Cruz Bay. At the Island of Teneriffe Where the Greatest Dispatch was Made to Water & Get Refreshments for the Fleet Which Detaind us there Six Days — — The Town of Santa Cruz is the Capital of the Canarys & Subject to Spain. It has A Small Fort At Each End of it & a few Stragling Guns behind it. The Town Makes a Very Decent Appearance from the Ships in the Bay, About a Mile from it. But when in the town It looks Very Shabby. The Only Good Building is the Church. Here we Got Every Necessary Refreshment Except fruit which was Not in Season. But Wine Very Cheap & Good.
Their Market is held in the Middle of the town. The Inhabitants a few Excepted All very Poor Their Military force is small Consisting chiefly of Natives. Except the Governor & a few Officers Who Have their Appointments from Spain — The Day before We Saild a Convict Made his Escape from the Ship he Was in by Cutting a Small Boat from her Side Early in the Night & got on Shore Unseen. However a Party of Marines Were Sent on Shore in the Morning by the Governors Permission who found him about 9 Miles from the town Concealed in a Cave.
We saild on Sunday the 10th, & by the fineness of the Weather Were Gratifyd by a Sight of the Famous Pike of Teneriffe Distinct & clear of Clouds which seldom Happens. It stands on the top of a Very High Mountain. Snow lays Round the foot of it but its Top is Clear & Looks like Brown Rock With Deep Furrows in it. At Sea it has a Very Sublime Appearance & I am Informd that the Adjacent Coast of Barbary Can be Seen from its Summit to the Distance of 156 Miles or More

We Directed our Course for the Cape de Verd Islands & on the 19th of June view facsimile

June the Signal Was Made to Anchor in Praya Bay on the Island St Jago but there being only a Light Breeze of Wind there was Little probability of getting the fleet to anchor that Night. The Signal Was taken Down & We Proceeded towards the Equator, Which we Crossd on Sunday the 15 of July & on the 2d of August Saw the Coast of Brazil the Fleet in General Remarkably Healthy. And on the 5th the Whole Fleet got safe into the Harbour of Rio Janeiro. This is a Remarkable fine Harbour & Little Known to the English or I Believe any other Nation but the Portuguese who Are the Possessors.
It is Governd by a Vice Roy Who With the officers are appointed from the Court of Portugal. Here we had Great Attention & Respect paid us. One Reason for it is that Capn Phillip (our Governor of New South Wales) Was a Commodore in the Portuguese Service & Much Approvd of there, having I am Informd Rendered Some Essential Service to that Crown. The Harbour & Town is Very Strongly Defended by a strong fort Built on the Solid Rock at the foot of a Very High Hill on the Top of Which is a Battery of three Very Large Cannon

About a Mile Within the Entrance is a Small but Strong Fort on a Rock Entirely Surrounded by water & about another Mile further up is a strong Fort on an Island at a little Distance from the City. But the Principal Strength of the City is a Very Large Fort on an Island at the North End of the City the Cannon Mounted on it are Very Heavy — Immediately After Anchoring Permission was Given for us to go on Shore & be Provided With Every Refreshment.

The City is a Mile & half in Length & About a Mile in Breadth. The Streets Stand at Right Angles with Each other. Are Pav.d & Broad flat stone foot paths on Each Side. The Houses Lofty & In General Well Built but Wooden lattices to all the Windows they having No glass. Their Houses Are but Indifferently furnishd. But their Churches, Chapples, Monasterys & Convents to the Number of 17 Are Very Magnificent & their Shops Are Well Stockd with An Excellent Assortment of European Goods — The Landing place is at a large Square before the Vice Roys Pallace. to the Left is a Negroe Market well Stockd with Poultry fruits & Vegetables of Every kind & cheap.
The Palace is a Building two Stories high. The Upper Part Appropriated to his Use the lower part is a Guard House & Armoury — Their Military force Consists of two troops of Horse of 30 Men Each, one Regiment of Artillery of 600 Men & five Regiments of Infantry of 821 Men Each. Exclusive of Officers. Forming in the While a Body of Near 5000 Men, Besides a Very numerous Militia, Every Regiment take the Guard in Rotation to the number of 300 Men who are Constantly going Round & on Sundays they view facsimile

they Have the addition of 4 Horses on Account of their Slaves being then at Liberty — And an Officers Guard Mounts Every day at the Pallace. The Military have Entirely the Command. the meanest Soldier having it in his power to Control the first Inhabitant

Strangers are not allowed to go through the City without a Serjeant or Corporal after them, Except Officers in their Uniform. They Are Remarkably Strict upon Foreign Ships as no Trade is allowd to be Carryd on but by their own. Their trade Consists of Sugar, Rum, Indigo, Brazil Wood, Whale bone, Oil & Spermacetta, Bullion, Diamonds & Topaz's. The Mines Are 150 Miles up the River & Very Rich, the Diamonds are of the finest Sort but not large. It is Almost Impossible if not Entirely so to Procure Admittance to the Mines. So Strict a Guard being kept, —

The fleet being Waterd & provided With Every Necessary Refreshment Saild on Tuesday Morning the 4th of Sep.t. Saluted the fort as We Passd it with 13 Guns Which they Returnd. We Lost Sight of the Continent of So America that Night & Directed our Course for the Cape of Good Hope Which We Made on the 13 Oct.r & that Afternoon Anchor'd With the Whole Fleet in Table Bay. All Very Healthy. We saluted the town Next Morning With 13 Guns Which they Returnd & The Fleet Began Watering Immediately & Wear Soon Complete.
The Town is Calld Cape Town. It is Built of Stone & Brick & the Houses White Washd on the Outside the Windows & Doors In General Painted Green, the Streets Are Very Broad & Stand at Right Angles but Not Pavd. which Renders Walking Very Disagreeable in Windy Weather the Ground being Light & Sandy. The Inside of their Houses Are Very Neat their furniture Much the Same as ours With the Addition of Two Shining Brass Spitting Boxes at Each Table as Smoking Tobacco is the first thing they do in the Morning.
The Landing place is a Wooden Wharf. Built on Piles & Carry'd 150 feet into the Water. It is Very Strong & high on account of the Great Sea Which Sets into the Bay in the Winter Which they Reckon from the 29th of May to the Latter End of August. During Which time they Suffer None of their own Ships to Remain in the Bay

On the End of the Wharf are Six Cranes for Loading or Unloading Vessels & 4 Cocks for Watering Shipping. On the Middle of the Wharf is a Guard, A Gate & Wicket, which is always Shut at Dark & all boats are then obligd to go on board, or Moor to the Wharf & Deliver up their Oars, Masts, sails Rudder [indecipherable] to the Guard who Returns them Next Morning at Day light.
At the Inner End of the Wharf is the Custom house Where two officers Constantly attend & Examine Every thing that Passes. they are Very Strict not suffering any but trifling things to Pass Without Leave from the Governor. In Case of the Arrival of a Large fleet a Contractor is appointed by the Governor to Supply them. But Single Ships are Supplied by Any Principal Merchant. their Market is a Very poor one Consisting of Bread, a few Vegetables Oranges & Some tobacco Which they Sell Very Dear. Indeed Articles of Every view facsimile

Every kind are at an Enormous Price. We were Much Deceived in our Hopes of procuring Many Articles here Cheap. Such as Tea, China, Nankin and Coffee. Better could be bought in England & much cheaper. Their beef is Tolerable. Mutton very good & fat, the sheep are Remarkable for their Large Flat Tails. A Lump of Solid fat, which serves for Byutter & Candles, Weighing from 8 to 16 Pounds; at the End of the Wharf stands an Old Fort. Of Little Use Now but [to hold] the Dutch India Company's troops. About 300 Men.
Close to this fort is the Place for the Execution or Punishment of Criminals. It Stands on A Rising Ground. A Low wall Round it which you Afscend by steps. On the Inside is a house where the Officers by Jury [?] afsemble to See the Punishment Properly Executed. Near this Place is an Hospital, Soldiers Barracks containing at present a Regiment of [indecipherable] who have not yet been Relieved since the Late War & these had been the Principal Defence of the Cape Against Commodore Johnstone.
The Town Runs from these Barracks about a Mile in Length & half a Mile in Breadth. At the back part of the town are the Companys Gardens in the Middle of Which the Governor Resides. The only Entrance is by a Very Handsome Stone Gate Where two Sentry Always Attend. Any Company Wether Inhabitants or foreigners Are Admitted to walk in them at Pleasure. Indeed it is the only Comfortable or Pleasant walk at the Cape. From the Gate goes a Broad Gravel Walk in a Direct line about A Mile in length on an Easy [Apant?]. A Row of Lofty Oaks on Each Side the Walk whose tops join & form an Arch & Behind the Oaks Hedges of Myrtle.
At the upper End is The Aviary & Some Dens of Wild Beasts. They at present Consisted of a Beautifull Tyger Cat about 3 feet high, two tyger wolves (a Most Mischievous & fierce animal) a Large & Very Ugly Baboon, A Very Beautifull Zebra, Some Foxes and two Jackalls. Two Dens were preparing for Lions withy which the Interior parts of the Country Near the Cape Abounds — A Variety of Curious & Beautifull Birds. Particularly the Ostrich. Balearie Crane & Birds of Paradise.

The Inhabitants of the Cape Consist of Dutch Merchants from Holland and the Native Dutch. Their Servants are Dutch, their Slaves are Malays, African & Madagascar Indians. The Whole Include upwards of 8000[?] — The Gentlemen here take Very little Exercise. Most of their Businefs being carryd on by their Clerks & Servants — At the West End of the town is a New Fort. Very Strong Consisting of two Bastions of 10 Guns Each Joind by a long Wall in the form of a Crescent on the top of which is a Battery of 19 Guns.
With Embrazures at the Bottom for As Many More — At our Arrival here their Militia was Embodied, which Happens Annualy — they consisted of 150 Horse & 266 foot the 20th of Octr Was the Last Day of their Performing their Exercise this Year. On this Ocafsion the Principal Inhabitants were Afsembled as Spectators view facsimile

spectators. The Lady's Dress.d in the Most fashionable London taste. With the adition of Some Beautifull Black & White Ostrich feathers on the Head & Left Side of the Waist. The Gentlemen Were Chiefly on Horsback, the Ladies in Carriages. Apparently Made in England —
The Exercise Was Very Indifferently Performd. I have Seen 40 Sailors fire a Much better Volley & It was With the Greatest Difficulty the Horse Could be Kept in a line —- Here Are No Taverns or Inns. The Custom is for Gentlemen to Live at a Merchants House as part of the Family for Which they pay Weekly About two Dollars. Equal to 12 Shill Sterling Not Including Wine &c. Which together With Washing for which they charge 6d Pr Shirt &c Makes Living on Shore Very Expensive.
However they Live Well & Supper is Always Servd up Hot & In Greater Quantitys than Dinner —- The Weather here is Very unsteady I have Seen from Day Light to Noon as Great a Variety of Winds & Weather as Ever I saw The Prevailing Winds in the Summer Are from the EtSoEt, which is Directly from the High Mountain Above the town & is Calld the Table land on account of its Rising Almost Perpendicular to a Great height & Being flat on the top.
When a Strong Wind in this Direction Begins, The Clouds Come Pouring With Vast Rapidity over the Top of the Mount where they Meet a Calm (In Consequence of the Perpendicular form of the Land) & fall Down like An Extensive Cataract to about one third the Way Down Where they Are Met by An Eddy Wind Which forces them upwards Again till they Join the Prevailing wind — A Very Curious Sight to Any Person Unaccustomd to High & perpendicular land —-
Being Amply Provided here we took on board the Provision for the Live Stock Intended for the Colony — Bulls, Cows, Horses, Mares & Colts, Sheep & Hogs — — The Signal for Sailing Was Made on Sunday the 12th of Nov.r but Calms Prevented our Sailing till Next Day When We Went to Sea With a S E Wind & Stood off Shore We Made But little Progress the first Week, but on Wednesday 21st Nov.r when we Were About 340 Miles Distant from the Cape — the Wind Came fair at NNE & we Pushd the fleet on Very fast & on Sunday 25th Governor Phillip, attended by a Lieut King, of the Navy & Lieut Dawes of the Marines, Came on Board the Supply, Ordering the fleet to follow in two Divisions, The three fastest Sailing Ships together & the Rest of the fleet under the Convoy of Capn Hunter of H.M. Ship Sirius —
We had Previously taken on board from the Different Ships Some Usefull Convicts Principally Carpenters & Joiners — At Noon We Made All Sail & left the fleet and on Monday Lost Sight of them from this time We had a Constant fair wind from NW. to SW. the Latter Sometimes blew Very Strong & Cold Raising a Very High Sea & for 12 or 13 Days We Ran at the Rate of 130 Miles a Day. it is Remarkable that the Wind During So long a Run Should Never Come to the Eastward, Nor Ever Remaind More than 30 hours at one Quarter but Shifted Suddenly from one Quarter to the Other; on the 2nd of January 1788 We Met With a Violent Gale of Wind at North which Lasted 12 Hours & Made a Most view facsimile

Most Tremendous Sea & Ended in Rain & Lightning. (The day before We had Seen a Small Land bird flying Round the Ship) the Wind Now Came to the SW & we Pushd forward with all Sail & Next Day. Monday 3rd at 10 in the fore noon Made Van Diemans Land the Southern Extremity of New Holland. Its Lattitude 43°:37′ South. Its Longitude 146°:36′ East from Greenwich, and Distant from the Cape of Good Hope 5987 Miles. After Making the Land we Met with Contrary Winds, Various & Rapid Currants Which Retarded our Progress Along the Coast (which we Saw little of) till the 19th of Jan.y on Which Day At 4 in the Afternoon We Anchord Safe (& All in Good health & spirits) in the Long Wishd for Botany Bay.
The Natives as We Sail'd in Came down to the Edge of the Clifts Making a Noise & Lifting up their Spears. Immediately After Anchoring the Governor Accompanyd by Some officers went on Shore on the North Side of the Bay & Met Some of the Natives on the Beach. He Went towards them singly — Which as Soon As they Saw A Very old man Walkd from Among them to Meet him. this Man (Who Probably Rememberd the Dress of Capn Cooks officers) Did not shew the least Signs of Fear or Distrust — the Governor Put Some Red Cloth About his Neck. Gave him Some Beads & other Trifling Presents, With Which he appeard Well pleasd. The Natives However Soon With drew to the Woods & our party Returnd on board.
The Next day We Landed in Different Parts of the Bay. Saw the Natives who Came to us without fear Armd with Spears, but without Any appearance of Hostile Intention — they Would Receive Anything from us but we Could not then get them either to Eat or Drink with us. I Went to An Elderly Man. Put a Piece of Blue Cloth Round his Neck & a String of Glass Beads Round his Arm, Shook him by the hand which he Seemd to take as a Mark of Confidence. I pulld a Biscuit out of my Pocket broke it. Eat Part of it & Gave him the other Piece. He took it, put it to his Mouth & Appeard to be Eating — & Soon With drew toward his Companions. I followd at a Small Distance. Saw him throw down the Bread Which I took up unseen by him & found he had Not tasted it.
The Next Day Morning the first three Ships of the fleet Arrivd & on the Next Day the 20th the Sirius & Remainder of the fleet Arrivd & Anchord in the Bay All Well. —
The Next Day the Governor, Cap.t Hunter the Master of the Sirius & Myself Went to Examine an opening about 12 Miles North of Botany Bay, Where Capn Cook Supposd there Was a Harbour to Which he Gave the Name of Port Jackson. We found it Perhaps as fine a Harbour As Any in the World With Water for Any Number of the Largest Ships. Here We Stayd two Days Examining the Different Little Bays or Coves with which the Harbour Abound One of which (about 5 Miles from the Entrance of the Harbour) the Governor fixd upon & to which he Gave the Name of Sidney Cove.
We then Returnd to Botany Bay & on the 25th Saild With the Governor in the Supply for Port Jackson & Next Day the Whole fleet followd & In the Evening all Anchord Safe in Sidney Cove. Time was then Busily Employ.d Erecting the Tents, Landing the Provisions Soldiers & Convicts. In the Mean time We were taking on Board Provisions & the Necessary Implements for Establishing a view facsimile

a Colony on Norfolk Island. Discoverd by Cap.t Cook & on the 14th of February We Saild From Port Jackson With Lieut King, a Surgeon & a Midshipman from the Sirius, a Weaver Nine Men & Six Women Convicts, With the Wind fair which in two hours Increasd to a Violent Gale & Continued till the 16th but Did us no Dammage — On the Morning of the 17th we Discoverd An Island at a Great Distance & the Next Day passd within four Miles of it

As We Were Undoubtedly the first who had Ever Seen it Lieutenant Ball Namd it Lord Howe Island — As the Wind Was then fair We Made the Best of our way towards Norfolk Island , Which we Reachd on the 29th of Feb.y. But it was the 3rd of March before we were able to land. Which we then Effected with the Greatest Difficulty, but found it would` be Impossible to Land the Stores or Women on Account of the Violent Sea Which Broke on the Shore. We therefore Went in Search of Some other Spot with Little hopes of Success & on the Morning of the 6th I was Sent in a Boat to Explore the South part of the Island & found An Eligible place for Landing & the Next Day we Landed all the Colony there with their Provisions Stores &c; to this Place, Lieut King, the Superintendant & Commandant of Norfolk Island, Gave the name of Sidney Bay — This Island Lays in 29°.02′ South Lattitude & 168°:10′ East Longitude from Greenwich. It is About fifteen Miles in Circumference & Its Steep Shores Rise Almost Every Where Perpendicular to the Height of 80' or 100 feet above the Sea Which is 60 feet Deep Within a Quarter of a Mile in General all Round the Island — the Sea Lashing its Rocky Shores in a Terrible Manner which Renders landing Impossible Even at Sidney Bay, When the Sea is Much Agitated

The Appearance of the Island is Certainly Beautifull from the Sea. It is Coverd with the tallest & Largest Pines. Some of them Measuring 27 feet Round & Were at least 50 feet High before they Branchd. How high they Are Above that I Cannot say, as none were Cut Down Whilst We Staid but I think their tops Are More than 100 feet from the Ground. There is A Small Rivulet of fresh water At Sidney Bay. But No Grass that we Saw fit for Cattle. the Island Rises towards the North End to a High hill which Mr King has Namd Mount Pitt. On Sunday the 9th of March, having Seen the little Colony Settled in their tents & Renderd them Every Assistance in our Power we at 4 oClock that Afternoon Weighd Anchor & Directed our Course towards Howe Island Which on the 12th we Saw at the Distance of 60 Miles & Next Day Anchord in a Bay on its SW side. The Island Lays in the form of a Crescent — is about 6 Miles long and one Mile Broad. At its South End Stand two Very High Mountains — Coverd at the top with Cabbage tree & Shrubs. Indeed the Whole of the Island Abounds in the Cabbage & Mangrove.

The Island (these two Mountains Excepted) is Moderately Low. A Light Sandy Soil & no Running Stream of fresh Water that we Saw. However, It will be a Valuable acquission to the Colony at Port Jackson for It Abounds with Turtle the Much Superior to any I have Ever Seen on the Shore We Caught Several Sorts of Birds Particularly a Land fowl of a Dusky Brown About the Size of a Small Pullet, a Bill 4 Inches view facsimile

Inches Long, Legs & feet like a chicken. Remarkably fat & good, Plenty of Pidgeons, a White fowl Something like the Guinea hen, with a Very Strong thick & Sharp pointed bill of a Red Colour. Stout legs & claws. I Believe they are Carniverous they hold their food between the Thumb or Hind Claw & the Bottom of the foot & lift it to the Mouth Without Stooping so Much As A Parrot. Some of them have a few Blue feathers on the Wing. Here is also a Web footed fowl In General of A Deep Blue Its Bill 2 Inches long
Straight but Suddenly Bent downwards at the End. Very Sharp & Strong. Its Tail 3 Inches long. It does not Seem formd for a Long flight having only six long feathers in the Wing. Its Breast is Coverd with Very thick & Long Down which Grows from the Tips of Very Strong feathers with which the whole Breast & Belly is Coverd. Its Length from Tip of Bill to tip of Tail 22 Inches, the Extent of its Wing from tip to tip 25 Inches.

We took them Burrowing in Holes like Rabbits
The Bay Abounds with a Variety of Excellent fish. At 4 oClock in the Afternoon We Took Possession of this Island in the Name of His Brittanic Majesty & Displayd the English Colours & Mr Ball Namd the Different Parts of the Island. The two Mountains Mount Gower & Mount Lidgbird the Valley Between them Erskine Valley. A Large Bay Near the Middle of the Island Prince William Henry Bay
two other Bays to the Left of it Hunter Bay & Callam Bay & An Island in the Middle of Prince William Bay Blackburn Isle
had I been Present at this Ceremony it should have been Namd Knight Island
We took on Board 18 Turtle of Near 500 Pounds Weight Each & Next Morning Put to Sea & Directed our Course for Port Jackson. About 13 Miles in a S E Direction from Howe Island. stands a Beautifull Pyramidicall Rock Which I think a Mile or More Perpendicular Height & Not More than 3/4 of a Mile Base to this Mr Ball has Given the Name of Balls Pyramid. The Island Lays in 31°:36′ South Lattitude & 159°:04′ East Longitude & is 389 Miles from Port Jackson Where we Arrivd on the 20th March.

We have Since been at Howe Island but found no Turtle the Winter Being too far advancd they are All gone to the North into A Warmer Climate & I Suppose it Will be November before they Return. With Respect to this Country I am Really at a Loss My Friend What to Say. 'tis true we know but Little of it But I Believe it is the General opinion that it will be A Number of Years Before the Mother Country Can Derive Any Advantage from it Adequate to the Expence of Maintaining a Colony on it. What Little we have Seen of it is Rocky With here & there a Small Space of Clear Ground where the soil in General is a Black Mould Mixd with Sand
It Produces no Wood that we have yet Seen fit for Ship Building. The Trees Grow to a Great Height & Size But Most Are Hollow or Decayd in the Heart & the Best When Sawn into Planks are Short & Brittle We have Never found Any fruit Except A Small Berry Something like view facsimile

like our White Currant, A Species of the Sloe & a Bean Which Grows on A Slender Stalk which Creeps Along the Ground. Our Gardens have Producd Very little tho' we had An Excellent Assortment of Seeds — Cabbage, Turnips Potatoes & Onions Came up Very Soon but in a few Days after they Dwindled to Nothing. However Some People Here who Understand farming Say the Ground is too Rich & that in another Year by Proper Managment it will be Very Good. We are Certainly at Present situated on the outskirts of the Country on Account of the Convenience of so Good A Harbour. But we have seen in a Clear Day A Ridge of Very high land I suppose 30 or 40 Miles Directly Inland. Our Parties have never yet been so far. But I am Informd the Governor Intends Going With A Strong party Very Early this Spring & I think there is Reason to suppose he Will find much better land there.
We have Never Yet Met With Any fresh water River Nor have I Seen but two Places Along the Coast where I think it Probable to Meet with A River — one of these is About 4 Miles to the Southward of Botany Bay The other Between Capes George & Long Nose in Latt.e 35°:22′ South both Which Places I hope we Shall Examine When the Summer Advances. The Animals of this Country Are All Curious.
The Kanguroo is frequently shot by our Parties & is the only fresh Meat they Can get. Some of them Are Very large Weighing upwards of 140 Pounds. Capt Cook has Describd their form. I shall only Remark that A Stout Grey-hound has little chance of overtaking them. they Hop on their hind legs With Great Swiftness over the High Grass The Tail is Certainly their principal Weapon of Defence Which they Can use With force sufficient to break a Bone. The Root of the tail of a Large one Measured Eleven Inches Round & Was Near 4 feet Long. They Have a False Belly which is a Loose Skin which they have the power of Expanding or Contracting at Pleasure. They Bring forth the Young Perfectly formd Not Bigger than A Mouse: & in time of Cold or Danger always takes Shelter in the false Belly. To What Age the Parent Protects them in this Manner we do not know, but I think not After they are the Size of a Cat.
The Flying Squirrel is an Inhabitant of these woods & two or three Animals of the Opossum kind & I am Informd Some Tyger Cats have been Seen. the Natives have Small dogs of the fox kind. The Birds Are in No Great Number or Variety. In the Marshy Grounds some Large Black Swans have been killd differing from ours in Nothing but the Colour. The Woods Abound With Beautifull Paroquets & Some Cockatoos. the Crows Are Exactly like ours & Some Beautifull Hawks. The Harbour is Tolerably well Stockd with view facsimile

with fish some of them Very Good. The Natives Are to All Appearance the Lowest in Rank Among the Human Race. They go Quite Naked & Very Dirty — they do not seem to Live in Community but by separate familys in Caves & Hollows of the Rocks & As far as we know live only on fish & the Root of the Fern Which Grows here in Plenty — they Dive for fish & Oysters With Great Dexterity. they have Canoes of the Most Simple Construction Made of the Bark of the Tree Tied together at Each End. We have Never Seen above 40 of them in one place at a time Except on the 6th of June.
When a Party of Gentlemen With their Servant & four Soldiers Were Walking to Botany Bay Met with a Body of 300 & upwards all armd with Spears & Targets. They Did not seem to feel their Superiority of Numbers but Walkd out of the Track our People Were in & let them pass without Showing any Mischevious Intention — There is but one Way by Which I Can account for their being then Collected to Such Numbers Which is that No Cannon had Ever Been fired Since our Arrival on the Coast (muskets Indeed they had often heard & seen) till the 4th of June, the Anniversary of His Majestys Birth Day. When the Sirius & Supply fir'd A Salute of 21 Cannon Each — At Sun Rise, Mid Day & at Sun Set.
Probably Some of the Natives had been Spectators from the Woods. Might take Such a Terrible Noise as a Denunciation of War & Were Collecting together for Mutual Assistance — they have Since been Seen in familys As Usual In their Canoes Catching fish & one Sunday three Canoes Came Alongside the Supply but we Could not Prevail on Any of them to Come on board. there has been a Murder Committed by them on a Convict who with Another Was sent into the Woods to Collect Some Herbs & his Companion Was Wounded But on Enquiry We have Every Reason to believe that the Convicts had been the first Aggressors Some Days before. For My own part I Believe the Natives to be a Quiet Inoffensive People Yet I Believe they are total Strangers to Personal fear & have a Quick sense of An Injury. The Convicts (though they have Experiencd Every Indulgence from the Governor Whose Humanity & attention to them whilst at Sea & Since our arrival here Intitles him to their Esteem as their Best friend) in General Are a Set of Hardend Wretches

The Tents were Scarce Set up before they Began Robing them — the Governor Began with them by trying (after Sentence of Death had been Passd) what Lenient Measures Would do & alterd their Sentence to Transportation on a Small Rocky Island in the Middle of theHarbour Where they were fed upon Bread & Water During Pleasure. But this had no Good view facsimile

good Effect & It was Soon found Necessary to Put the Law in full force. four have Been Hangd. Two more Were Under Sentence of Banishment for life but Recievd a Pardon on the Kings Birth day — on Which Day all the Officers of the Navy & Army Dind With the Governor who Namd. the Adjacent Country Round Port Jackson the County of Cumberland. On Sunday the 22nd of June at 20 Minutes after 4 in the Afternoon a Shock of An Earthquake was felt through the Camp. The Surgeon of the Supply & Myself Were then In the Woods about a Mile & half from the Camp & were both at the time standing still & silent Examining some Gum Issuing from A Large tree the Shock did not last above two Seconds. It Came from the SW. like the wave of the Sea Accompanyd by a Noise like A Distant Cannon. The Trees Shook their Tops as if a Gale of Wind Was Blowing. the Afternoon was Remarkably Mild & Serene & Very little Wind at NNE —- The Climate is Certainly Very Healthy. there has Been but 50 Burials Since our Arrival — As Many Marriages. and 10 Convicts Missing The Principal Distempers here Are the Flux & Scurvy. Both Which would Soon Disappear Could Plenty of Vegetables be Procured —--

I must Now My Respected friend finish as the Ship Which Will bring this
Sails tomorrow. I am Afraid You will hardly find it Worth the Reading. But I was not Willing to loose this (Perhaps the only) Opportunity of Writing to you Whilst we Remain in this Country — I Hope Yourself Mrs Knight & family Are Well. I Beg you give my Respects to Your Good Mother & Sister — Believe me You have my Sincerest Wishes for your healths & Wellfare. when opportunity offers You Will be so Good as to let my Newbury friends know that the Distance of Many thousand miles has not the Least Impaird the Esteem I have for them.

I am Yours Most Affectionately. D. Blackburn
Supply. In Sidney Cove )
Port Jackson. 12 July ) 1788

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My Good Friend

I Wrote you a Long letter from Batavia but as I have Reason to think it did not Reach the Packet previous to her Sailing (tho it was not brought back to me as one to my sister was) I will Endeavour to Make it up now. For though I am in haste I Cannot slip this Opportunity of thanking you for your Very friendly letter, Which I Recd on Our Arrival from Batavia & Which Gave me the Pleasing Satisfaction of hearing that your Self & family Were in good health. May you all Long Enjoy it & Every other Blessing —

I have but Lititle to say on the Subject of this Country in addition to what I said in my last. It seems to be the General opinion that it will Never Answer the Ends of Government on the Contrary will be A constant & heavy Burthen on the Mother Country. Before this Can Reach you you will have heard of the Loss of H.M.Ship Sirius & that we were Sent to Batavia for Provisions. We Saild for that place in April 1790 at which time the Weekly Allowance of provisions to Each person Was 2 pounds of flour 2 of pork one of peas & one of Rice — the Convicts Were at a Still Shorter Allowance & Even at this Scanty allowance the pork would not last longer than the beginning of August the Rice & flour was Much Decayd & Spoiled by Insects — By a Great Drought of near 5 Months the Expected Crops of Corn Was Ruined & other Vegetables Parchd up — to add to their Misfortune Very few fish Were to be Caught tho Every Boat With proper officers Were Employd on that Service the fish Brought to the publick Square & there Equally Distributed —The Situation of Norfolk Island was Rather better tho there was upwards of 600 people on that Small Island, it being the Season When Immense Quantitys of Birds Resort to the Highest part of the Island to Deposit their Eggs Which Are as large as a Goose's

I am Informd that upwards of 5000 birds have been taken in one Night — Add to this they had plenty of Onions & Potatoes — & tolerable Crops of Indian Wheat —

Our knowledge of this Country is Still Confind to the Extent of About 7 Miles Along the Coast & Nearly as much of the Interior Country A few Small Spots of tolerable good ground are to be found but in General the Country is Either Immense Barren Rocks, tumbled together in Large Ridges which Are Almost Inaccessible to Goats or a Dry Sandy Soil & a General Want of Water. I mean small Rivulets & Running Streams —- When I wrote last the Natives were Very view facsimile

Very Shy, but Many of them are since come among us — However we know but little more of them than before —-they Are Certainly the Lowest Class of Human beings — they go in tribes or families — live chiefly on fish, Berrys & the fern Root & Where they find most Oysters or the best fishing, there they take up their Residence in the Hollow of A Rock till they have Cleard the Neighbouring Rocks of the Oysters & other small shell fish Which Adhere to them & then seek some other place — they are the only people I Ever heard of who did not worship Some Deity; It is pretty Clear they do not — they often Come on board our Ship — which they Call an Island & Are Very troublesome for Bread which they Are Extremely fond of — they are Very treacherous & however friendly they may Appear whilst Amongst us, Experience has taught us, that they Are not to be trusted in the Woods, without An Apparent Superiority on our side, they throw the Spear with great force & Skill & will hit a Small Mast at 50 Yards —--

We Arrivd at Batavia on the 5 of July 1790 having on our passage there discoverd a tract of Land of near 400 Miles long in Latit 10°.52 So Longt 162°.30 Et. Which we Namd Balls Maiden land — And two Small Islands Which we have Cald Prince William Henrys Isd & Finch Isd. they Lay Nearly in Latit 1°.25'so. Longt 149°.23′ Et — these Islands Are in My opinion the Northermost of a Groupe of Islands discoverd by Dampier; having Loaded the Supply With provisions & hired a Dutch Vessel of 350 tons to take on board the like Cargoe we on the 17 of August Saild for Port Jackson leaving the Dutchman to follow us — we Arrived there on the 19th of Oct.r & About six Weeks After the Dutchman Arrived We were then orderd to Norfolk Island to Bring the Officers & Seamen of the late Sirius to Port Jackson in order to their Embarking for England in the Dutch ship — & as my Commander Lieut Balls health Would not permit his going to Sea the Command of the Supply Was Given to me till his health should be ReEstablished — I saild on the 23rd of Jan.y & In five weeks Returnd With All the People of the Sirius — they Are now Embarking & Will Sail in a few days view facsimile

& I am to Sail tomorrow Again to Norfolk with an Exchange of Officers & troops for that Island —- I assure you my friend I am heartily tird of this Voyage & Shall be Very happy when Government shall think fit to Relieve us — that time however Cannot I think be far Distant as we Are now Near four Years from Europe.

You would have had a Much longer letter with a Short description of Batavia & our Settlement of Rose hill about 8 Miles above Port Jackson, but my time will not Allow it — & I must finish this by Beging You Will Make my Respects to Every part of Your family at home & Abroad there Are none I love & Esteem more.

If you find we Are not likely to be sent home I hope I shall have the pleasure of a long letter by the first ships —
I am your Affectionate friend
D Blackburn

Port Jackson 19th March 1791

The Inclosd is A Kind of A Vocabulary which I will thank you to let my Sister see

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Mr Richard Knight


Mr David Blackburn

[David Blackburn's letter of voyage to Botany Bay]

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Native of New SoWales   English Explanation 
Bong-a  To paddle or row 
Branye  Yesterday, 
Baou. bow or bo  The Termination of the future tense of Verbs 1 [?] person 
As) Ngia Bangabaou  I will padddle or Row, 
Bia  To Bite 
Boming  The Red bill (a Bird — 
Blowree — or boola  Two 
Berang  The Belly, 
Buya or Hurrabul  The Back 
Barrangal  The Skin, 
Bulbul  The Kidney, 
Barrin  The Cloathing of Young Women, 
Bunnerung  Blood, 
Beeanga or Beeang 'elly  Father, 
Bogul  A Mouse, 
Beeriang  A Bird, 
Bardo  Water 
Booroodoo  A Louse 
Bok Bok  An Owl 
Bora  A Testicle, 
Baamoro  Grass, 
Benelong  The Name of A Man Native 
Benelongi  Belonging to Benelong 
Beraboong  The Dew, 
Boong  Posteriors, 
Birong  Belonging to, 
Bunga  To Make, 
Dtooney  A Scorpion, 
Dtoora  To pinch 
Dani or Deeyin Dani  Mine — My Wife 
Deeyin  Woman or Wife, 
Diee Warra  There — or that way, 
Dargallee  To Scratch, 
Duralia  A kind of Heron or Bittern, 
Dturrung  The Shoulder 
Dedeeai, Dedeeai  Oh you hurt me 
Diee ngalla Diee  Here it is, here, 
Daringal  His, 
Da, mung  A Cap 
Birong  Belonging 

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Native of New South Wales  English Explanation 
Eereera  To throw — or throw thou, 
Ecora  Men — or people, 
Eaneea  There 
Gnar,awang  A Paddle 
Ghoolara — Ghoolara mung,  Cross, or Ill natured — Very Ill natured, 
Garree  To Cough, 
Gittea. Gittee  The Arm pit 
Gn'arra  A knot or to tie a knot, 
Gn'amul  A stone Sinker to a line, 
Godgang  A Pidgeon, 
Gniana  To breathe 
Gore Gore  More — More, 
Guaugo  Bye & bye — or Stop, 
Gwee ung  Fire 
Karadigan  Doctor (they Call all our Surgeons by this name 
Kai  What do you say, 
Karal  A Snood to a fish hook, 
Kubbara  the Head, 
Karungan  The Nail of the finger, 
Kadiaba  Lame — or he Limps, 
Karooma  A Fish. Calld by us the Black Bream 
Kaadian  The shell on the Womara or throwing stick 
Kaadianma Dida   (I Kaadianed it (that is, I put the (shell on the Womera 
Kaama  To Dig, 
Murry  Large 
Mulnaoul  To Morrow 
Mu'lla  A Man or husband, 
Mee or Mee Diee  What? or Whats this, 
Maana  Take it up, 
Mee ama, or Maanora  I dont Understand, you, 
Mee Kiara  Whats the name, 
Mituanga or Miteea  Stop a little, stop 
Mee. Murry  How Many, 
Maan  To take 
Maanma woonoo  Go fetch it 
Ngang Deea or Nang deea kiara  Whats the Name of this person or thing? 
Ngairee  To bring, 
Naa  To See, 
Naa ba'ru  I will see 
Nangara bu diemi  She is Asleep 
Ngullia  A friend or Ally in Battle, 
Ngan ngioni kiara  What is your name, 
Nago  The Nose 

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Native of New South Wales  English Explanation 
Purribu'go  To Morrow 
Purrabuggy  I have Lost it, 
Pyomee  Sing 
Pyeeatiatee  Talk 
Pana  Rain 
Peyi  To Speak 
Pierabani  Burnt, 
Paratbunga  Open the Door, 
Pograbanie)  (Broken to pieces, as a ship or boat on Rocks or as  
Pagrabaala)  (China, Glass &c — 
Tabonga  To Yawn 
Tieeringang  To Sneeze, 
Taa Boorol boorool  To Gape, 
Taa mooly  To Change names, (Which they are Very fond of doing 
Tamara  To Wipe the hands, 
Taatibalang  Good (as to Eating, 
Tarraburra  Day 
Tanie  To tie — or tie thou, 
Tamura  The Hand — 
Werowee  A Child, 
Wogul  He (third person sing.) 
Wauliweea  To return 
Worrong — wooree  On this Side (the Water) 
Weeanadooroo  Bye & Bye, 
Weeling  The lip, 
Waulo  The Chin, 
Womera  (To Run, As An Animal, to fly As a Spear. It (particularly Means the throwing Stick 
Waura  Rascal (or the like) 
Wauranga  When, 
Waunia  A Lie or falsehood, 
Waunadiemi  You did lie 
Waaragak  The Mackerel 
Weary  Bad 
Yagoona  To day or now 
Yen  To go — or Walk 
Yenmaamie  May I go, 
Yenmaou  I will go, 
Yarrsboonie  Mind your Work, 
Yarung  A Tree, 
Yuraboaalo  Bye & Bye 

Margaret Blackburn - letters received (14) from her brother David Blackburn, 1787-1791

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My dear Sister,

I arrived in town safe and just time enough to see my friend Chadd before his departure for the coast of Africa and went down to Woolwich with him in a post chaise to join his ship which he expected was there. But she had been sailed for the Downs two days before —so he must post chaise it all the way to Dover. Tom is in good health and his wife very forward in her pregnancy but I do not know when she expect to be laid aside. P. is certainly deformed his right breast is too far forward and his left shoulder too far back. They say he is very ill tempered but he was very good with me and pleased with my nursing him. I was astonished to hear her say she did not believe it was her own child. I found him sitting on a stool with his arms pinned behind him, no wonder he is fretful, but the moment his mother released him he came to me and would not quit me till I went away.

At the Navy Office I find I stand 226 on the list consequently cannot come on the half pay list yet, but am high enough up to be called to service and Chadd advises me to write to the Navy
Board which I think I shall do but will first see Martineau and ask Mr Henslow's advice. Captain Anniss is not yet arrived in town but is expected every day. Tomorrow I shall call on the gentleman Mr Barrow mentioned. I was two hours to-day enquiring for Mr Viney but could not find him. I shall go to lodgings on Thursday on Friday but whether at Deptford or in Clare Street near Temple Bar I am at present uncertain. I delivered all the letters safe and had a quarter of an hour's chat with Mrs Calthrop, she is a much finer woman view facsimile

 than I expected from the recollection I had of her as a girl. I shall expect to hear from you in the week. Direct your letter to the Bull. I hope my Mother's forehead is getting well and that you continue drinking porter and regaining a good constitution.

Elsmere is at Gravesend therefore I shall not see him. Mr Baker says that he believes your letter can be sent to Newbury the latter end of this week but if he has no opportunity of sending it then I shall send it by the Post this day sennight. I shall write to you again in the week if anything occurs. If not shall wait for your letter. Give my duty to my mother and love to sister Betsy and love to Rand when you see her — and don't forget to finish my watch cushion.

Your affectionate brother D. Blackburn.

Black Bull,
Bishopsgate.12th March, 1787.

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My dear Sister,

I have to-day received a letter from sister Betsy which informs me you are to be in Sudbury as to-day. I therefore write in haste to tell you I set out tonight for Portsmouth to join my ship now laying at Spithead and bound with the rest of the squadron to Botany Bay. I have been at a great deal of trouble in endeavouring to get my warrant for her changed but nothing can effect that. Mr Henslow assured me that if I refused to go in her I should be struck off the List and have no claims to employment till every other master had been provided for by rotation and that the Navy Board considered it as a particular mark of their favour to employ me so soon. She is a brigg and I shall be paid only as a sixth rate viz. £5 per month, which of itself is a hardship as I have passed for a third rate which is £7 monthly. Aunt Martineau has lent me £10 which is very acceptable. I have purchased a dozen new shirts, a coat, 6 pairs of shoes, a dozen pairs of stockings, some charts of the East Indies and South Seas and hope I shall go to sea tolerably well stocked.

The Brigg —her name is the Supply, is commanded by a Lieut. Ball, an old ship mate of mine in the Victory. I hope we shall be happy together and I know some other officers who are going out in other ships, they talk of sailing every day but Mr Henslow says he does view facsimile

not think they will sail these ten days as the lawyers have not yet finished a Code of Laws for this New Establishment.

I cannot say I am very fond of the voyage and am vexed that I shall be deprived of the happiness of seeing you again before we sail. However, you will write to me often, and direct your letters for me Master of His Majesty's Armed Tender Supply, to be left at Mr Lads at the White Hart, Point Street, Portsmouth.

I have time to write no more at present, but that I am your
 most affectionate brother D. Blackburn.

London. 6th April 1787

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I received your letter my dear sister this morning and the watch cushion safe in it, which be assured and I will preserve whilst I have life, at least till we see each other again, which I don't despair of.
Do not therefore my love let your affection for  me deprive you of the fortitude you are mistress of, but rather look forward with a cheerful hope of a happy meeting on our return, remembering that the same providence which has hitherto protected me in all my dangers is still the same and that the southern hemisphere is like this equally under his allseeing eye.
I confess it is not a voyage I should by any means have chose, but I must go or be struck entirely off the List. It is therefore my Duty to obey without murmuring and I shall make it my study to go through my Duty with cheerfulness.
I have but one wish and that I am afraid is impractible which is that I should see you here on your way to Newbury, it would not be above a guinea and a half more expense and I can spare  that for so desirable a satisfaction.

It is not known when we shall sail but it is supposed about the middle or latter end of this month. My chest arrived here yesterday, it goes on board tonight and tomorrow I go on board myself. I went on Board on Sunday with my Captain, who was very civil and as far as I can judge at present seems to wish to live with me on friendly terms. If so, it will take off a deal of the unpleasantness of so long a voyage.

I believe we are to stop at Teneriffe for wine and also at the Cape of Good Hope for livestock and from thence proceed to Botany Bay and it is generally view facsimile

supposed we shall be gone three or four years. It is a fine climate and I dare say a healthy one and every officer who returns from this expedition will certainly be provided for by the Admiralty and Navy Boards; it is said that there will be other ships sent after us in less than a twelvemonth, if so you will have an opportunity of writing to me by them and when we arrive at the Cape of Good Hope, I shall certainly write to you.

I have packed up my nieces things in a deal box and directed them to Brother Torn and they set off tonight for London and I have wrote to him by this post to inform him of it. You will write to me by return of post and let me know whether I may expect you here. Mrs Lad (Miss Allcock that was) will accommodate you to your wish and I shall be on shore to receive you.

Give my Duty to our dear Mother, I shall write to her tomorrow. I have not time tonight. I wrote to Betsy yesterday. Remember me to Laetitia when you write and to her brother and family. My love to Little Bet.
God bless you my love and believe me your most affectionate

Brother, D. Blackburn.

D. Blackburn,
Mr Lads,
White Hart,
Point Street,
Portsmouth.10th April, 1787.

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I received your letter my dear sister yesterday but could not get the answer on shore time enough to save the post. In your letter you have said enough to convince me that it is not essentially necessary for you to come to Portsmouth and that seeing you again before I sail could not be to any advantage to either and the objections you mention, particularly your cold, has put it out of my power to wish you to take the journey. We must therefore content ourselves with thinking of each other till my return.

There will not, believe me, one day pass without a wish for the health and happiness of my best beloved sister. With your letter I received one from sister Betsy and one from Richard Knight with a long postscript from Laetitia, filled with good wishes and prayers for my welfare. I will write to Devizes before we sail, our time is yet uncertain.

I have been on board ever since last Wednesday and am upon good friendly terms with Captain Ball and it shall not be my fault if we don't continue so. The vessel I am in is small and rather uncomfortable, but if we are happy amongst ourselves that will not much signify — you will continue writing to me.

Let me know when you expect our mother will join you in your road to Newbury, else I shall not know how to direct to you, but if we are not sailed when you and our mother arrive in London, your cold better and she should express a wish to come to Portsmouth with you, I hope I shall then see you. Let me hear from you by return of post.

Believe me,
Your ever affectionate brother,
 D. Blackburn.

Supply 15th April 1787

Direct to me as before

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I received your letter my dear sister yesterday but was not able to answer it by return of post as it blew fresh and we lay five miles from Portsmouth. I am truly sorry that by what I wrote in my last you should think I am hurt by your objections to coming to Portsmouth. Be assured my love I am not, they are rational. I know your affection for me is too strong for me to doubt it. Your cold was of itself a sufficient cause with me for your declining the journey — believe me my dear sister, your health and happiness are as dear to me as my own and I am very happy to hear that your cold is better.

We hear to-day that the Governor has settled all his business in London and is expected here this week. If so we shall sail in a few days after his arrival. It will be impossible for me to get leave of absence any further from the ship than Portsmouth, even if you were now in London, and I relinquish my wish of seeing you here, for great as the pleasure would be in seeing you, there must come a parting painful to us both.
I am on very friendly terms with my Captain and dare say we shall continue so and my dislike to the voyage begins gradually to wear off. We are to stop either at Madeira or Teneriffe and from thence round the Cape of Good Hope where we shall wood and water and take in cattle and from thence proceed to Botany Bay. It's supposed it will be January before we arrive there and that our voyage will take up three years at least.

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You will write by return of post and let me know when you proceed to London and whether brother Tom has received Betsy's cloaths as I have never heard from him since I sent them.
Give my love to the dear little girl. I received sister Betsy's letter and answered it, give my love to her when you write to Norwich and my duty to our good Mother. You have not said whether she is in Norwich or with you. I shall write to her as soon as I receive your next.
May health and happiness attend you prays your sincerely affectionate brother,
D. Blackburn.

Supply 19th April 1787.

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My Dear Sister

I received yours of the 22nd of last month in due time and to-day have one from sister Betsy which I shall answer by this post which is the first time these seven days that I have been able to get a letter on shore for the blowing weather we have had. However, I hope this will find you and our mother in good health and spirits at Lambeth from whence you will write and let me know when you shall be at Newbury.

I am glad you have accepted Brother Thomas's invitation.

You don't say how my niece does, I hope she is well. The time of our sailing is quite uncertain, though we expect it every day, but it is generally believed we shall not sail before the middle or latter end of this month. I know of no means for you to convey letters to me, except by such ships as Government may appoint hereafter, which it is supposed they will do yearly. My leaving a letter or attorney would be useless as my personal pay cannot be through till I return and then no one can receive it but my agent, whose name is Benjamin Robertson, a clerk in the Navy Office.

I am in haste to get this letter on shore to save post, therefore must leave with my hearty wishes for your health and happiness and duty to our mother and subscribe myself your ever affectionate brother,
D. Blackburn.

Supply 2nd May 1787 — Write by return of post.
I wonder I have not yet heard from brother Thomas, it is now a fortnight since I wrote to him.

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Portsmouth 6th May 1787

I received yours my dear sister this morning and am indeed truly concerned at the death of that good man, the father of your Laetitia. I would write to Devizes by this post but am at a loss to express my sentiments upon paper on such an occasion, but I will write soon, tomorrow if I can. I am of your opinion that Laetitia cannot wish you in Newbury so soon and yet I think if my mother and you were with them you would at least by partaking of their grief, lessen it.

However, I shall hear by return of post what Laetitia's wishes are and consequently how to direct to you for our stay will be very short now, as Captain Phillips who is going out Governor of Botany Bay is arriving in Portsmouth this evening and it is thought a week will be the longest of our stay if the wind permits, the whole fleet are ready for sea at a day's notice.

We for our part have two years' provisions of every species on board, wood and water excepted and you will be glad I know to hear that my Captain and I continue on friendly social terms and I dare say we shall continue so.

Indeed tis his interest to be civil to me, as I am the next in rank to himself and except the surgeon, who I think is a good man, a little younger than myself, he has no one else to converse with but me and in case of sickness of his side, the command of the tender must devolve upon me and I am not without hopes of being a gainer by this voyage, tho' no prizes can be taken, for the Lords of the Admiralty have promised in printed instructions to us, that our assiduity in following these instructions will recommend us to their particular notice and favour, these instructions principally tend towards accurate observations and remarks on the different coasts, harbours, etc. we may meet with in this pretty voyage, and it is supposed that we being a small vessel are to be employed surveying the coast of New Holland on that side where view facsimile

we build our fort and land the convicts, which will take a year at least to make a chart tolerably sufficient for the press and I have well stocked myself with paper, books and proper instruments for the purpose.
I am not surprised at poor Parlow's death and with you thank God for taking him to himself. I am sorry my mother is so much fatigued with the journey but hope a few days' rest will perfectly recover her health and spirits.
In consequence of yours this morning when I came on shore I soon found by enquiry that my box had been arrived three days at the Inn here, but not delivered to Mr Lad's. However, I have got it safe with the letter it enclosed for which I thank brother John. Give my love to him and Mrs B. I wish her safely out of her present situation and believe me my dear sister
your most affectionate brother
D. Blackburn.

Portsmounth 6th May 1787

It is not clear to me that you understand how I am situated — the Armed tender is a Brig. not commanded by a Captain but a Lieutenant under him — the Master next — then Surgeon — Boatswain — Gunman — Carpenter — therefore I am second in Command on Board and as tis known that my Commander Lieutenant Ball is to be made a Captain the first opportunity I think I stand an equal chance of preferment. My present pay is £5 per month.

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My dear sister,

I have but just time to save the post to inform you that Friday is the day fixed for our sailing if the wind will permit. I am and shall be very busy all this night and tomorrow, fear I shall not have time to write to our mother but sending affectionate duty to her and hope she will write to me by return of post.

I need not say how much I wish your health and happiness nor how sincerely I am your affectionate Brother D. Blackburn

I will if possible write to Sister Betsy and Mr Knight tomorrow. I need not put you in mind of writing for I am sure you will by return of post.

Supply 9th May 1787

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My dear Sister,

I know it will give you pleasure to know that we arrived here safe and in good health on the 2nd of this month after a passage of three weeks from Portsmouth and that we have a prospect of compleating our long passage to New South Wales without any malignant distemper amongst the convicts as they are not now confined in irons or kept below the decks, under certain restrictions, except such as are refractory, etc. In general they are all in good health and spirits.

We are to take in water and wine here and shall sail in a few days for a Portuguese settlement called Rio Janeiro, in South America, where we shall get wood, water and refreshments, and from thence proceed to the Cape of Good Hope where we shall be I suppose in about October from whence you shall hear from me again if possible. From thence we have a long track of ocean to pass, no land being in our way till we make the coast of New South Wales.

It is totally unknown to us, at least to me, how long we shall remain there but it is generally thought we shall be employed surveying the coast harbours, etc., at all events I don't think we shall be home in less than three years.

I am sorry I had not time to write to Devizes before we sailed. Do you my dear sister, thank Mr Knight for his letter to me and your Laetitia for her postscript which I shall keep in the purse till I have the pleasure of seeing you and them again.

I am sorry I did not get a letter from our mother before I sailed but we sailed in such a hurry at last that I dare say I missed her letter but by one post.
Give my duty to her and my love to sister Betsy and Thos. May God bless you my sister with health and happiness.
Your ever affectionate brother
D. Blackburn

Supply, Teneriffe — St Cruiz. June 5th 1787.

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I wrote to you my dear sister from Teneriffe by a vessel bound to London which I hope you have received. This will probably be some months before it reaches England as it comes by an English South Sea ship which is put into this harbour to stop a dangerous leak. I hope by this time your health is quite recovered and that you are happy amongst our amiable friends at Newbury or Devizes. Believe me my dear sister that a day has not passed since I left England without a prayer for yourself and your Laetitia's health and happiness and that neither time nor absence can ever abate my love and esteem for you both. I hope our good Mother and sister are well. I have enjoyed a very good state of health and spirits.

I will now give you a short account of our voyage thus far. We sailed from Portsmouth on the 13th of May, eleven ships in all, including H.M. ship Sirius of 24 guns on board of which is Captain Arthur Phillip, Governor of the new colony and his retinue. The Supply of 8 guns, 6 ships with convicts, viz. 596 men and 267 women and three ships with stores, provisions, etc. We had an excellent passage from England to Teneriffe where we lay eight days taking in water, wine, etc., and were supplied daily with fresh beef. We set sail from thence on the 10th of June and directed our course for St Iago, the principal of the Cape de Verd Islands where we arrived on the 19th of June, but as the wind did not admit of our getting to a proper anchoring place without great loss of time, the Governor took
in the signal which had been made for anchoring and we proceeded to the southward, crossed the Equator on the 15th of July and arrived at this place on the 6th of August. Here we have refitted our rigging, wooded and watered and taken in a good stock of port wine. This place, which is very little known to the English, is perhaps the most extensive harbour in the world and is well defended by a number of fortifications.

The city is large and regularly built; it has 17 principal churches, which are very magnificent besides a great number of inferior churches, chapels and convents. It is governed by a Viceroy from the Crown of Portugal, who is attended with as much state and his palace as grand as any monarch in Europe. The number of inhabitants are computed at 45,000, about two thirds of which are slaves. The rest are Portuguese gentlemen and merchants, who export into Portugal sugar and tobacco and some cotton. But their greatest source of riches are precious view facsimile

stones of different kinds, particularly the diamond and topaz.

I have not seen any curious shells here, but I have got some skins of birds of this country which I think will be worth your acceptance, tho' I fear I shall not be able to procure enough to make a muff.

The officers and gentlemen of the city have given us the highest opinion of them by their repeated civilities and attentions and you can easily judge how comfortable we must feel ourselves amongst such people at the distance of 4,571 miles from England. We have been here now a month and are ready for sea and shall sail in a day or two for the Cape of Good Hope which we hope to make in a month or six weeks, where I suppose we shall stop to wood and water and then proceed on our course to the Eastward for Botany Bay or elsewhere in New South Wales.

I shall certainly write to you again, if we touch at the Cape, after which it will be impossible to convey any letter to England till the convict ships return to Europe. They are all very healthy, having in all from their first embarkation buried only 20 men and 2 women and there has been 8 or 10 births, chiefly females.

I cannot quit this subject without saying that the health of the convicts may in a great measure be attributed to the humanuty of the Governor, who gives them every indulgence their situation will admit of, none of them are confined in chains or even under the deck by day, except such whose behaviour deserves such punishment and they are constantly supplied with fresh provisions, fruit and vegetables. It will give you pleasure to know that I am upon friendly terms with my Captain and have no doubt of a continuance of it.

God bless you my best beloved sister. Present my duty to our good Mother, love to my brother and sister, my love and esteem to your Laetitia and her brother. My respects to Aunt M. and all friends in Norwich and believe me,
Your ever Affectionate Brother, D. Blackburn.

H.M. Armed Tender Supply 2nd Sept. 1787.
Rio Janeiro on the coast
of South America in
Lat 22 deg. 54 m. south west
from Greenwich.
Long. 42 deg. 44 m.

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H.M. Armed Tender Supply, Cape of Good Hope.
9th Nov., 1787.
 My dear Sister,
I hope you have before this time received the letters I wrote you, the first from the Island Teneriffe, the last from Rio Janeiro, which place we left on Tuesday 4th September, and arrived here after a pleasant passage across the Pacific Ocean on Sunday 14th October.

I hope by this time my dear sister's health is perfectly recovered. I have enjoyed an uncommon share of health ever since we left England, and the fleet in general have been very healthy. We have been here now a month, taking in water, and a large quantity of livestock for the Colony, so that could you see the 'supply', she would put you mind of Noah's Ark, except that we have no woman on board.

We expect to sail on Sunday next for Botany Bay, the distance is near 9000 miles, so that we may expect, if no particular accident detains us, to arrive there in the latter end of February or beginning of March and from thence I will write you again by the ships which will return to England after the convicts are landed, and I do not despair of hearing from you, as we are told that there are one or two ships to be appointed to bring out clothing, etc., for the Colony.

I hope you are happy and still amongst our Newbury friends. You will give my love and esteem to your Laetitia and Mr and Mrs Knights, tell them a day never passes without my wishes for their health and happiness.

Give my Duty to our good Mother, who I hope is well, my love to sister and Thomas and Niece, Aunt M. and family, and believe me my dear sister, your ever affectionate brother,
D. Blackburn.

I have wrote to sister Betsy by the same ship which brings this, she is bound to Amsterdam so that I suppose it will be March before you receive this.

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I wrote to you my dear sister by the last ships which sailed which was in July last, of which this will be little more than a duplicate, for I think we know at present very little more of this country than we did then. The country as far as it has been penetrated affords but a bad prospect to the new colony. It is a continued track of swamps and rocky hills covered with a thin loose soil. A mixture of sand and black mould. Our gardens have produced little or nothing, the young plants spring up very quick but soon after pine away and die.

I believe the Governor's is the only garden which has as yet afforded a few vegetables for the table. There is now some wheat and barley which promises to do well, if the small animals of the opossum kind and the ants (of both which here are great numbers) do not destroy it. The valleys abound with cabbage trees with which most of the houses are built for the present and several stone buildings are begun. The Governor's house will be a very elegant one and is near finished.

I believe I told you in my last that the town will be called Albion and that it is in the centre of the county of Cumberland. The trees of various kinds grow to a great size but when sawn into plank the wood is short, heavy and not fit for house or ship . building. In my opinion the only recommendation to this part of the coast is the excellent harbours of Port Jackson and Broken Bay which is about 12 miles further North — Port Jackson is perhaps the finest in the world. There is high land to be seen at the distance of about 40 miles inland where perhaps the soil will be better than so near the sea and a detachment from the main body is intended to be settled there as soon as possible.

We have been here now above nine months without being able to persuade any of the natives to live or associate amongst us, or without being able to learn a sentence of their language — they seem to be the most miserable of the human race, they go quite naked and are very dirty. Their principal food seems to be fish and a few roots. Many of the men want the left fore tooth of the upper jaw and some of the women have the first joint of the left little finger cut off, but what these view facsimile

particular marks of distinction are intended for I know not. They have canoes of the most simple construction, being nothing but the bark of a tree about 12 feet long, tied at each end by a kind of running vine which grows near the seaside. In one of these wretched canoes a man, his wife and a child will go up and down the harbour striking fish with a spear, at which they are very dexterous. If they are hungry they do not wait to dress their fish but eat it raw, or if they take it on shore to dress it it is thrown on the fire, scales, guts and all, warmed through and eat.

They live in caves and hollows of the rocks with which the coast abounds and sometimes they make a nest of the leaves of the cabbage tree just big enough to sleep in. The men go armed with lances of about 12 foot length pointed with a sharp fish bone, a very dangerous weapon, with which they will kill at 30 or 40 yards distance. They have clubs headed with stone and stone hatchets. They have lately been very troublesome to our fishing and foraging partys, have wounded several and killed three, so that we have been obliged to fire among them and are now always obliged to go well armed as they have several times come down in a body of 60 or so and thrown stone and spears at us whilst fishing and even attempted to take the fish from us.

They seem to have no curiosity, for they will scarce take off their attention from fishing in their canoes whilst a ship has to pass close by them in full sail. They appear to have no mode of worship or any religious ceremony that we can perceive. They burn the bodys of their dead and scratch a little earth over the ashes. They are great thieves and are very angry if prevented from taking what they have a mind to and in all probability will always look upon us as enemys and take all advantages in their power.

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There are several extraordinary animals in this country, the kangaroo is very curious, some of them have been killed of 200 pounds weight and are very good eating, they have four legs but in making their escape they use only the hind with which they hop with great swiftness over the high grass and underwood, so that it is with great difficulty a good greyhound can overtake them. The forelegs are short and small and only used in scratching up roots, etc., for food.

The tail is very large and strong and is their principal weapon of defence and with which they would soon break the bones of the strongest dog. They are of the opossum kind and have a false belly in which the young remains whilst sucking and into which it retreats in time of danger. They bring forth young not bigger than a mouse and we have often shot old ones with young in the belly as big as a rabbit. There are several small species of the oppossum, flying squirrels, dogs, not unlike our fox dogs —some snakes which seem to be harmless, numbers of ants, some very large which bite very severe.

A beautiful variety of birds and of fishes, none of the last are quite like those of the same class in Europe but partake of the likeness of two or more different kinds and in general their colours are very brilliant. The torpedo is frequently caught and its numbing quality is indeed very powerful, especially when the fish is first taken. The sea abounds with whales of a good size and sharks, the largest I have ever seen.
As the surface produces little of value to us so it is supposed the internal parts of this coast will afford us nothing worth digging for —a slate quarry is found but the slate is too brittle for use. It is the opinion of many that iron may be found here and I am of the same opinion. But of the purer metals I think none can be expected, at least on this low part of the coast. However an view facsimile

artful fellow (a convict) found means during the absence of the Governor (who was gone with a party inland) to raise a report that he had found a lost mine, * on which an officer and guard was sent to be conducted by him to the place but he gave them the slip, was soon after taken and confined till the Governor's return when, after much equivocation and a good flogging he owned that he had filed a guinea and a brass buckle and mixed the filings up with a quantity of earth, the glittering particles were easily perceptible and when tryed by fire of course actually produced a little gold. He said he hoped by this scheme to get his freedom, but I am since informed that he now denies all that he said then and still says he knows where the place is but will not tell.

Since I wrote last we have been in the Supply to Norfolk Island, with six months' provisions for that colony and about 2 months ago I was sent by His Excellency with the ship which brings this called the Golden Grove, under my Command to Norfolk Island, with an additional number of male and female convicts, stores, etc., and two years' provisions. I have been returned but a week and on my passage back discovered part of a very dangerous ledge of rocks about 130 miles to the Eastward of Lord Howe Island. Of what extent these rocks are I know not for they reached to the North East further than could be seen from the masthead. I brought with me a small cargo of deals of timber and small masts and some flax.

Norfolk Island is a beautiful spot and bids fair to be a valuable acquisition to the Government. The soil is rich beyond description. Every seed they have sown (except onions) grows as fast as in Europe and they have already several acres of ground laid out in gardens. The island is about 17 miles round —it is a continued range of hills and valleys covered with most beautiful pine trees fir for the mast of the largest ship. Some of them view facsimile

measure from 30 to 40 feet and upwards in circumference and from 100 to 180 ft. in height. The wood is of a much finer and closer texture than the mats we get from Russia. The flax plant grows all round the sea coast in the greatest luxuriance so that cordage and cloathing cannot be wanting. There are few animals on the island, chiefly rats, some pigeons and paraquets. The sea round it abounds with fish and turtle is caught in plenty during the summer months from November to March.

Near the middle of the island is a hill higher than the rest of the island called Mount Pitt from which issues springs which run in different directions and form rivulets which water the whole island. It is much to be regretted that this island affords no harbour or place of safety for ships and that landing is almost always attended with great difficulty and danger on account of the violence with which the sea dashes against the shore which in general is steep and rocky. A midshipman and 4 men were drowned in a boat the last time we were there in the Supply, though the sea was then apparently smooth.

The only two remaining ships of our fleet sail for Europe tomorrow, so that we shall now be very solitary these six months to come, unless some ships arrive from England as we cannot expect the Sirius (which sailed for the Cape of Good Hope on the same day I did for Norfolk Island) in less time. I hope you will miss no opportunity of writing to me, I shall expect a large packet by the first ship by which I hope I shall hear you are in good health. Give my love to Sister Bet. I hope she will write also. You will let our friends at Newbury or Devizes know that they have constantly my best wishes for their health and happiness. The few days I spent in view facsimile

that little family will ever be remembered with pleasure. I hope in another year Government will think of relieving us, believe me I begin to think the voyage a long one.

Give my respectful duty to our good mother, who I hope is well. Compliments to Aunt H. and family, D. Columbine, etc.
Your most affectionate brother D. Blackburn.

Supply, Sydney Cove,
Port Jackson,
New South Wales.15th November, 1788.

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It is now my dear sister, 20 months since I wrote to you by the last ships which sailed from Port Jackson, in which my former I believe I gave you but an indifferent idea of New South Wales. I can only now add that it certainly is a very poor country, at least that part of it where the colony is settled. Such land as is cultivated not having produced near so much as the least sanguine amongst us expected.

Potatoes and garden stuff however, do tolerably well and the first may in time become a substitute for bread. The best that can be said of the country is the healthiness of the climate and the excellent harbours it affords. At least as far as we have examined the coast. Our knowledge of it does not exceed 60 miles along the coast and about as much directly in land.

The number of acres cultivated is reckoned to be about, besides the gardens of the different officers — the Supply's garden contains 2 1/2 acres and is as good as any. It affords a sufficient quantity of vegetables for the ship's company daily. The country produces nothing of itself on which an European (not knowing the roots which the natives eat) can subsist, and the kangeroo, which are excellent, are now become very shy, so that a constant supply of provisions and clothing will be required for many years to come.

As to the natives, we are almost as ignorant of their particular manners and customs (if they have any) as we were at first. They will not come among us though every method has been used to invite them. We have had some taken by surprise, the first, a man whose name was Arrabanoo, lived with the Governor and was very fond of him. He was of a meek disposition and seemed very contented but for want of understanding him, little was learned from him. He died in about 8 months.

Another now lives with the Governor, called Bennelong. He is a merry fellow and does not seem inclined to go away, but no information can yet be got from him for the same reasons. The surgeon general has had a fine boy with him these two years called Nanbarry, he speaks pretty good English but is too young to give any information and it is probable will forget his native tongue, view facsimile

as Mr Bennelong does not like to talk with him, or answer any questions he is instructed to ask, and once struck him. The Reverend Mr Johnstone has a fine girl about 15 years called Abaroo but little has yet been learned from her, tho' she is very fond of Mrs Johnstone. They seem to have no religion. In general they burn the dead.

The Sirius sailed from Port Jackson for the Cape of Good Hope in October 1788 and arrived from thence in May '89 loaded with flour, etc., for the colony which now began to grow short of provisions of every species. However, a supply from England was daily expected but the year '89 ended without any arrival. The situation of the colony became alarming, and in case the expected ships should not arrive, famine without the means of relief was apprehended, the colony was put to a short allowance of such provisions as remained in store and in February a council was held, in which it was resolved that the principal part of the convicts with a detachment of Marines under the command of Major Ross, the Lieut. Governor, should, with their proportion of provisions, go to Norfolk Island and that when this service was performed, the Sirius should be sent to China for another cargo of provisions.

Accordingly in March 1790, the Sirius and Supply sailed for Norfolk with about 300 convicts, men and women, and on the 16th, 17th and 18th the people were all safely landed there, also all the provisions from the Supply, but on the 19th the Sirius, in attempting to land more of the provisions was unfortunately drove on shore by the violence of the sea and in ten minutes she was quite a wreck, she went on shore directly opposite the town and thank God no lives were lost.

We stayed three days longer at this island, during which time the weater was too bad for anything to be got out of the Sirius. However, I hope as it was fine weather a day or two after, that most of the provision was got from her. Otherwise their situation on the island must be very bad. There is now near 600 people there. On our arrival at Port Jackson we were ordered to proceed to Batavia as fast as possible for a supply of provisions. The allowance of provision at this time was Rice 1 lb., Peas 1 lb., Pork 2 Ibs., and flour 2 Ib. a week to each person. The convicts were at a shorter allowance.

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All the boats were employed fishing, under the inspection of proper officers, the fish brought to the publick square and there equally distributed. We sailed from Port Jackson on the 18th April '90 and pursued our course to the Northward and on the 5th of May, discovered land in latitude S. 16 East Longitude which we coasted along till the 9th being then in latitude S. W. 16 East longitude. There is no doubt but we were the first discoverers and Mr Ball has named it Balls Maidenland.

On the 21st May we discovered an island laying in latitude Longitude East. It is not more than three miles round but fully inhabited. Some of the natives came near us in their canoes but could not be prevailed upon to come on board —they were of a lively copper colour and were the largest men I ever saw —their hair was I think cut short but they had all remarkable long black beards which reached down to and covered the whole breast. They seemed very peaceable and had no weapons with them.

We threw a large string of beads to them which they just looked at and threw them into the bottom of their canoe. Soon after they all paddled on shore in great haste without any apparent cause, making signs for us to follow them, but we had no time to lose, therefore kept our course. This island is called Tench's Island in respect to a Captain Tench of the Marines at Port Jackson. At 5 a.m. set we discovered and the next day coasted along a very fine island which I believe to be about forty miles in circumference.

Some places on it seemed to be rudely cultivated; we saw numbers of the natives on the shore and a great number of very large canoes on the beach but as they did not seem inclined to come off to us we proceeded on our course. This island was named Prince Wm. Henry Island, it lays in Latitude and Longitude East. These islands are in my opinion the Northernmost of a group of islands discovered by Dampier, but he passed too far to the Southward to have seen these.

On the 5th June we made the Northernmost of the Molucca or Spice Islands and had a tedious but pleasant passage through this archipelago and on the 5th July anchored in Batavia Road —this City is the capital of the Dutch in the East Indies. Here we have loaded the Supply with beef, pork, rice, flour and arrack, also hired a Dutch ship view facsimile

of 350 tons burden which is now taking in the like cargo. The expense of this voyage will not be less than £8,850. We expect to sail for Port Jackson in about a week.

This is a very fine city, it is built much after the fashion of Amsterdam in Holland, the streets are wide and clean though not paved, they form right angles with each other and have canals running through the middle with a row of trees on each side so that here are a number of bridges. The country for 4 or 5 miles round the city is delightful and the houses of the principal officers and merchants (who all reside in the country and only come to the city to transact business) are like palaces.

The number of inhabitants are reckoned 110,000 the greater part of whom are slaves, the number of Europeans are about 10,000, half of which are Creoles or such as are born in India of European parents. The Chinese have the exclusive exercise of all trades, are the only cultivators of the sugar cane and have the management of all their manufactures. As this place is situated only six degrees south of the equator, it may be supposed to be very hot, but the heat is by no means so great as might be expected. It is constantly refreshed by a breeze from the sea during the heat of the day and the land wind which blows all night is very cool.

It has always been represented as a very unhealthy place, but it certainly is not so bad, the European merchants who have been resident here many years are instances to the contrary, they look well and live to a good old age and I have no doubt but the malignant fevers which carry off such numbers of European sailors and people of the lower class, are more the fatal effects of hard drinking, bad provisions and perhaps too much fatigue in the heat of the day, than of the inclemency of the climate.

We expected to find the productions of India cheap here, but on the contrary, every article is as dear as in Europe, tea, coffee, and Arrack expected, and I have seen several pieces of silk handkerchief manufactured in Spital fields offered here for sale at about view facsimile

3s, 6d, per Handkerchief. By the latest news from Europe, Ships must certainly be by this time arrived in New South Wales. If so I hope on our arrival there I shall find a long packet there from you and I hope from Mr Knight to whom I have wrote by the same Packet which brings this. I begin my dear Sister to wish the voyage at an end and once more to visit my native country and be happy among the small but Social Circle of our acquaintance and I hope when we arrive at Port Jackson we shall there find a ship sent out to relieve us and as I am now secure of the half pay when not employed I shall probably feel more pleasure when I see the white cliffs of Albion that ever I did. I hope our good Mother is well, give my duty to her.

My kind love to our sister Eliza, tell her I would have wrote to her but as she will see this it is almost needless. You will also give my love to B and sister, Thos, and my little niece and to brother John if you correspond. I have seen several American Gentlemen here and have made enquiries after him but to no effect. Is the good Mrs Knight living? Is your Laetitia, her brother and family well and happy? I sincerely hope they are. You will particularly present my love and respects to them. And let not our other Newbury friends be forgot. My duty etc. to Aunt M and Family —to Dr Columbine, Mr Rand, our good neighbour Barrow family.

Above all my dear sister I long to know your situation in life, to know that you enjoy health and happiness would be the most pleasing account I could receive. Adieu and believe me
Your affectionate brother, D. Blackburn.

Batavia, August 12th, 1790

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Port Jackson 17th March 1791

The Packet sailed from Batavia two days before the usual
time by which means I took the opportunity of sending the above.

We sailed from Batavia on the 17th August 1790 and arrived at Port Jackson on the 19th October where I had the pleasure to receive both your packets of letters and papers for which I am much obliged to all the parties concerned, particularly my friend Knight for his long and very friendly letter.

About 6 weeks after our arrival the Dutch ship arrived and we were ordered to Norfolk to bring the officers and seamen of the late Sirius to Port Jackson, in order to their going to England in the Dutch ship. Mr Ball's health not permitting him to go to sea the Command of the Supply was given to me till his recovery and I sailed on the 23rd January 1791 and performed the voyage in 5 weeks and brought the whole of the Sirius' ship's company, 91 persons. They are now preparing for England and will sail in a week. Mr Ball still continues ill on shore and I am to sail in two days again to Norfolk Island with an exchange of officers and troops for that island.

We found everything here as we left it, except that they had suffered by a great drought having had but two slight showers of rain for five months and I believe everyone here is perfectly confirmed in the opinion that this country can never be of any use to the Mother Country —Norfolk Island is indeed a beautiful spot and its soil excellent, but will never be able to supply Port Jackson with corn, therefore of no use. Most of the large fir trees are found to be rotten at the heart and the flax plant grows only round the borders of the island, view facsimile

so that if many hands were employed they would soon want work. I have seen some lines and canvas indifferently made there and if I am to judge of the goodness of the flax by the strength of the lines, I can say but little for either-probably the flax was not properly dressed.

A little while before our arrival from Batavia several of the natives came into the town in a friendly manner, they were well treated — a house of brick was run up for a chief called Bannelong, before mentioned, where his wife, children and relatives often come and stay a day or two, since when many more men women and children are come among us, and are sometimes quite familiar, at other times as shy. They would be great thieves if they had but pockets. They certainly have no
King or supreme magistrate but seem to go in families or small tribes, the oldest man or most expert warrior of which tribe has great authority over the rest. They use their women as their menial servants and sometimes beat them very cruelly, yet they are very jealous of them and never suffer them to be out of sight whilst among us.

They often go out to meet other tribes and fight with them most desperately, the particular reason for which we have not yet been able to ascertain, but among these people who make retalliation an invariable rule, the smallest affront on either side is sufficient to bring on a general battle.

In a box directed to myself, you will find some drawings of birds, plants and fishes of this country, which you may make what use of you please. I have sent three charts of this country to Mr Henslow by Capt. Hunter.
Adieu my dear sister, and believe me
your most affectionate brother, D. Blackburn.

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My Dear Sister

As I wrote to you from Teneriffe, Rio Janeiro, & the Cape of Good hope Which letters I hope you have Recd. I shall now give you a short Account of our Voyage from the Cape to the Present time. We sail'd from thence on the 19th of November. Met with Contrary winds & went on but Slowly for the first week, the wind then Came fair & on the 25th The Governor A Lieut King & Lieut Dawes Came on Board the Supply & We Made all Sail for New Holland.

Leaving the fleet to follow us Under the Care of H.M. Ship Sirius. We had a Very Quick but Windy Passage & made Van Diemans land, the South Part of New Holland on the 3rd of Jany. 1788 having run in 50 Days the Distance of Very Near 6000 Miles. But it was the 19th before we arrivd at Botany bay. Where we Anchord at 4 in the afternoon all in good health & on the 21st the Rest of the Fleet Arrivd. The Next Day the Governor, Captn Hunter, the Master of the Sirius & My Self went to Examine a Place where Capn Cook supposd there was a Harbour to which he Gave the Name of Port Jackson.

We found it an Excellent & Extensive one & on the 25 Returnd to Botany bay & Conducted the Whole fleet up up the Harbour to the place where the Camp & Store houses Now stand. It is about 6 Miles from the Entrance. The Governor has Namd it Sidney Cove.
In the Beginning of Feby. We took on Board Six Months Provisions with the Necessary Implements for Settling a Colony on Norfolk Island. Discoverd by Capn Cook & on the 14th Sail'd with Lieut King As Superintendant & Commandant of Norfolk Isle a Surgeon. A Midshipman. A Master Weaver. With 9 Men & 6 Women Convicts

We were soon Overtaken by a Very Severe Gale of wind which continued till the 16th, but did us no Dammage. on the 17th We Discoverd an Island to which we gave the Name of Lord Howe Island. As the Wind Continued fair we Put off An Examination of this Island till our Return.
We Arrivd At Norfolk Isle on the 29th. of feb.y but it was the 3rd of March before we Were Able to land. Which we did with the Utmost difficulty, but found it would be Impossible to land the Stores & Provisions there as the sea Broke With Great Violence on the Shore. We therefore Went in search of a Better place which I Discoverd by Going in a Boat to the South End of the Island Where on the 6th & 7th We Landed the Colony With All their Stores & Provisions Safe. To this Place Lieut King Gave the Name of Sidney Bay This Colony is Settled here With the Idea of Cultivating & Improving the Flax Plant & Cutting down Fir trees With which the Island is Coverd & Grow to An Amazing height & Size. Some of them Measurd 27 feet Round.

This Island is About 15 Miles Round. It is In General Surrounded by Inaccessible Rocks & High Perpendicular Clifts on Which the Sea breaks with such Violence that Landing is Always Difficult & Very often Impractible. Having Seen the Colony Settled in their Tents On the 9th in the Evening took Leave of them & Now Steerd for our New Discoverd Island Which we Made view facsimile

Made on the 12th. & Anchord in a Large Bay on its SW Side & At 4 in the Afternoon Displayd the English Colours on Shore & took formal Possession of the Island in the Name of His Brittanick Majesty. Lieutn Ball then Namd the Different Parts of the Island. It is about 6 Miles long & About 2 Wide. At its SE End Are two Very High Mountains which he Namd Mount Gower & Mount Lidgbird. the Valley Between them Erskine Valley.

There is One Large Bay & two Small ones on its SW Side — the 2 Small ones he Calld Callam Bay the Name of our Surgeon the other Hunter Bay after Capt John Hunter of the Sirius & The large Bay Prince William Henry bay and a Small Green Island Nearly in the Middle of it Blackburn Isle I was on Board Whilst this Ceremony Was Performing or It Should have been Calld Knight Isle — the Island is Uninhabited but we found Plenty of the finest turtle I Ever Saw on the Beach.
Some of them Weighing Upwards of 500 Pounds.
the Bays Abound With Excellent fish & the Island With Pidgeons a Kind of Quail & Some other Birds Peculiar to the Place. But No Running Stream of fresh Water that we Saw. We took on Board As Many turtle as We Could Conveniently Stow & Made Sail for Port Jackson Where we Arrivd on the 20th. March. The turtle Were An Acceptable Present to the Governor & Colony. We have Been Since at Howe Island & Are Now Preparing to Sail With a fresh Supply of Stores & Provisions for Norfolk Island

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in a Body but once on the 6th of June a Party of Gentlemen. With their Servants & 4 Soldiers Walking to Botany Bay. Met With a Body of 300 of them All Armd With Spears & Targets. However they did not Attempt to Disturb our Small Party but let them Quietly Pass. On the 4th. of June His Majestys Birth day was kept here. the Sirius & Supply fird 21 Cannon Each at Sun Rise at Noon & At Sun Set. All the Officers of the Navy & Army Dind With the Governor who then Namd the Adjacent Country Round Port Jackson — the County of Cumberland — on the 22d of June at 20 Minutes after 4 oClock in the Afternoon a Shock of An Earthquake Was felt on Board the Ships & through the Camp Our Surgeon & me Were then in the Woods About A Mile & a Half from the Camp & Were at that time Standing Still & Silent. Examining Some Gum Running from a Large tree.

The Shock Was An Undulation from SW & did Not Continue I think More than two Seconds of time. It was Accompanyd by a Noise like A Distant Cannon. The Trees Shook as if a Gale of Wind was Blowing. the Afternoon Was Remarkably Clear & a Very light Breeze at NNE — I have Enjoyd Very Good health Since we left England & I think this Climate a Very Healthy one. there has been but 50 Burials Since our Arrival here & As Many Marriages & 26 Births —

It is Said that Some Ships will be Sent to us Next Spring. If so I hope I shall hear from you & my friend Knight to Whom I have Wrote a fuller Account of our Voyage than I have time to do now. I hope My Good Mother is Well & that your Self & Sister Eliza Are Establishd in health & Spirits. Perhaps you are still Among our Worthy friends at Newbury or Devizes & I hope you are Because I know you Must be Happy there. I hope your Laetitia is in Good health & Happy. I Beg you will Make my Love & Respects to the family — My Duty to my Mother, love to Eliza Brother & little Niece & Respects to our friends at Norwich. Adieu My Dear Sister &
Believe me your Ever Affectionate Brother
D Blackburn
Supply — Sidney Cove
Port Jackson — 12 July 1788

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Address leaf

David Blackburn - Letter to Mr Fancetts 4th April 1787

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Mr Fancetts, No. 14 Craven Buildings, London.
4th April 1787.

My dear Mother,

In my letter to sister Betsy I said I was promised employment in a few days in the Navy. I was then in hopes of being appointed to the Bulldog sloop of war but was sent for to-day to the Navy Office and informed that a warrant is made for me appointing me Master of His Majesty's armed store ship Supply bound to Botany Bay now at Portsmouth and will sail in a few days. I did all in my power to decline accepting of this offer, but am told that I must go, unless I mean to throw myself entirely out of the Service. I am therefore to receive my warrant tomorrow and I suppose shall be ordered to Portsmouth immediately-I hope my chest is on its way to London. If so, brother Tom will forward it immediately to Portsmouth. If it is not, you had better send it by one of the coaches and write Tom word where and when it will be in London, for I am afraid they won't let me stay long enough in London to receive your answer to this. I am a good deal vexed at this voyage as I am by no means prepared for it, especially on such short notice —I want and must have more clothes, linen particularly. I must buy books, charts, etc. for the south seas, but where the money is to come from I know not, unless you can and I'm afraid you cannot, supply me with 10 pounds. My agent will advance me as much more when I receive my warrant, which would do pretty well, provided I get my chest in time which I am very much afraid of-if we should sail without it I shall be badly off indeed. You will write by return of post to me and direct to Mrs Fancett's who will if I am gone send your letter after me to Portsmouth and you had better write by the same post to Tom, that he may know how to forward the chest to me — it is not certain how long we shall be gone, whether two or three years, —but I will let you know more about it when I know more myself. I will write again tomorrow and let you know

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when I leave town and how to direct to me at Portsmouth. Give my love to sister Betsy and believe me your ever dutiful son,

D. Blackburn in haste.

David Blackburn - letters received (2) from his sister Margaret Blackburn, 1785 & 1789

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Norwich 3rd April 1785.

I am extremely sorry my dear brother to inform you that through the mismanagement of your brother Thos. your box of things is still in England. I dare say you have been put to considerable inconvenience by this delay but still as so many months have elapsed since we thought you had most probably received them and of course so much nearer coming to England, I think it will be best not to send them at all, at least not till we hear further from you.

In my last I complained to you of his procrastinating spirit, great an evil as that is I wish it could be recorded amongst his greatest faults, but alas he has not had prudence to keep himself within the pale of more imperfections and foibles; I shall not trouble you nor myself with a detail of his irregularities, he is removed from a set of bad companions with whom he got acquainted in London while his wife was in Norfolk and himself is now come down to us —he promises to be good — while he keeps his word he is to remain here and work at Mr Deceaux, the cabinet makers, but whenever he fails, he is to look upon this no longer as a home. This affair of his has put an affectual stop to the plan I have long formed of going out, and my mother breaking up housekeeping —we must now (notwithstanding all the reluctance I ever did and ever shall feel at the thoughts of promoting our income in Norwich) think of something that will answer the purpose; to effect this, nothing occurs to me with the probability of success so much as taking three or four young ladies to board and educate. My mother has consented and will undertake the trouble of the housekeeping part, all the rest devolves up me.
We have mentioned it to some of our friends who give me their flattering approbation of the scheme and hopes of success.

Tuesday 5th

I am very much at a loss for a subject with which to bring this up to the respectable size of a letter, what shall I do? To send it in its diminutive state 3000 miles would be infamous; I find no power within myself to enlarge it —I have applied to my mother for assistance which proves but the widow's mite to me, though to you it is a volume of maternal benedictions comprised in view facsimile

the short sentence of "tenderest love to my son" — there now, I have wrote that, I am as bad off as ever, for down towards the bottom of this page I must get by hook or by crook as I always make it a rule with myself, whether I have anything to write about or not to scrawl over two pages when I am writing to my friends, to common acquaintances notes are sufficient.
Well! I declare it is the luckiest thing in the world for you and me that balloons were ever invented, there is a subject at once for us, you are all out done and beat to nothing, there is not a British tar amongst you can show your faces in a company of modern philosophers, these pretty gentlemen can make their evolutions and manoeuvres in the air with as much address as ever an admiral in the British Fleet, they can fly to the moon in an hour and to the Antipides in three seconds, pray can your Flora sail half so fast?
Down with your proud vaunts then, and lower your flag to these superior beings, these demi-gods, these knights of Arthur! To the eternal honour of every true English tar, be it known that one amongst them? Vernon (Admiral in the British Fleet) have put to proof his courage (if not his skill) in entering the lists with these adventurers, but alas how poor a figure a man cut when out of his element, the poor Admiral no sooner saw himself elevated some hundred yards above the earth than he felt a trepidation seize him which he confess he had never experienced in the midst of battle or the most tempestuous sea, but his fears were heightened to agony when some of the rigging of this new fashioned vessel gave way, he roared out his commands with such vociferation to lower sail and drop anchor upon the first land they could make; in order to obey his companions orders it was first necessary to throw out ballast in order to accelerate their ascent into a certain latitude (altitude amongst philosophers) which for a reason better known to them than to the Admiral or myself, produce a more view facsimile

rapid and easy descent to terra firma than they could otherwise procure. This apparently counter operation to his commands so affected the seaman that he lost his reckoning and descended to earth in a state more easily imagined than described; in fact the Admiral's whole conduct was perfectly natural, and what might be expected from a man who has more courage than philosophy.
He no doubt felt within himself the ability to "dare what man dare" and "who dare do more is more or less than man," and however laughable the story may tell, I would first advise these aerial sprights to walk the quarter deck of a man of war in the midst of a close engagement, and if they find their feelings dissimula, or their conduct more heroic than the Admiral's in their Balloon, then let them triumph in their element but leave him to do the same in his.
But I have not done with balloons yet, we are going to have an ascension from Norwich by a man who have actually got his machine here and will take any gentleman who will give him a hundred guineas up with him (this is that precious metal gold) squandered away upon every trifle, while the poor are starving, and poor me pining for a competent portion of those conveniences that only five times that sum would procure me for life. My dear sailor, adieu, without 5 shillings in my pocket, or 5 grains of wit in my pate, I am happy in signing myself your affectionate sister,
Margaret B.

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Mr Blackburn
Master of H.M. Ship Flora
Post paid to London

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Norwich September 9th 1789.

My dearest Brother,
Well and happy may this find you, but long, wearisome and uncomfortable must have been the anxiety with which you have expected the arrival of ships from England. I hope the good Captain and ship to whom the conveyance of this and three packets of letters, newspapers, etc., of different dates from me are committed will be favoured by the elements and every possible advantage that can render their passage quick, safe and pleasant.
This I venture by post to Portsmouth, willing to give you a chance of hearing as late as possible before the Guardian leave England, that my mother, sister and all our family are in the enjoyment of perfect health and when we heard last from Brother John (which through Mr William Willement to his brother we did about 6 weeks since) he was well in New York and had just received a letter I wrote to him on the receipt of your first letter from Sidney Cove, but John himself have not written to us of many months.
You will receive I hope safely, from Captain Riou of the Guardian, three parcels, two written and sent to Portsmouth in hopes of ships going off to you in spring '88. These letters inform you of the journey mother and self took into Berkshire, of the sickness and death of several of our friends, of the state in which we found poor brother Thos., the rapid increase of his threatening symptoms, his going to his old lodgings at Yarmouth to try the efficacy of the sea view facsimile

air and his death there, which happened August 1st. 1787.

My letter of this last spring '89 contains an account of the death of his wife, who died in November 1788-she kept her house and shop to the last, but was considerably in debt so that not a single guinea, or guineas worth, was left to her dear child Betsy, happily the only surviving one of their children, who upon the death of her mother, immediately came down to us and a sweet child she is.
We have changed our habitation, for my Aunt Finche's mental infirmities increased so much upon her, that it became absolutely necessary to keep her in her own room, where our poor sister Eliza, with a steadiness and attachment scarcely credible and absolutely beyond all immitation or precedent, have voluntarily secluded herself from all society or commerce with the world and wholly devote her time and attention in administering every possible comfort and pleasure to the poor old soul, who is totally insensible to everything around her and even the hand that so kindly feeds her, with the pettishness of undiscerning idiotism she beats from her and abuse.
In compliance with the wishes of you, myself, Elizabeth and the advice of some others, my mother at length in the latter end of the year '88 consented to go to this house in Magdalen Street, thinking by that means to alleviate in some measure the irksomeness of Eliza's confinement, but as it is voluntary, so it is undoubtedly pleasant to her because she rejects every offer that have been or can be made to relieve her a little and in fact tho' under the same roof, we see but very little of her. She dines with us indeed view facsimile

every day but that is the only time in the 24 hours we ever see her below. The old lady is in fine health and likely many years to exhibit the melancholy spectacle of human nature in ruins.

Your friend Richard Knight was highly pleased and obliged with your letter to him, and in return he wrote you two large sheets full, but sent it to the post office to be forwarded to Portsmouth, but being ignorant of the usual ceremony of paying the postage thro' England for foreign letters, it was stopped in London and when he sent a friend to the general office to enquire for it and pay what was requisite, his friend was told that the letter had been returned to Devizes, but Mr Knight never received it, so no doubt it is totally lost, since I knew that the Guardian was appointed and waiting sailing orders and wrote to him to urge him to write directly and direct it for you to the care of Captain Riou etc., and I think there is little doubt of its getting to him or the care the Captain or any gentleman will take to convey it to you when in his power; we can do nothing more now than wish with all our might for a prosperous voyage to him.
I am afraid you are in wants of many necessaries, your shirts must begin to be thin, coats out at elbows and stockings out at heel. I dare say you are a fine parcel of raggamuffins, if one could but transmute the earth into a transparent map, it would be some entertainment in this land of dress and luxuries, to see the agreable figures yourself and some of your brother officers cut in your dishable, but never mind externals my dear boy, for if your hearts do but remain good and manners not absolutely barbarous, you have still the intrinsic value of the view facsimile

greatest of mankind. I hope the arrival of the Guardian at Port Jackson will be the enlargement of your ship from that station, but it's a long long time to look forward, let winds and waves waft you swift as they will before you can arrive in England.
Richard Knight last week buried his eldest little girl, the rest of the family, Laetitia and mother, are well. We all go in Norwich as usual, Robson is sensible, Rand is pensive, and Willement as gay as ever.
Your mother desires her kindest love and best wishes to you, in which she is joined most sincerely by her daughters, of whom I distinguish myself as your most affectionate sister,
Margaret Blackburn.

David Blackburn - papers relating to his service in New South Wales, 1788-1792

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By His Excellency Arthur Phillip Esq., Governor in Chief and Captain General, in and over His Majesty's Territory of New South Wales and its Dependancies and Captain of His Majesty's Ship Sirius.

You are hereby required and directed to go on Board the Golden Grove, Store Ship (the master having my Order to follow your directions) and proceed with the said ship to Norfolk Island. Where you will land the people, Stores and Provisions put on board for that purpose, and of which a particular amount will be given you by His Majesty's Commissary for this settlement. And having so done you are to receive on board such [spars?] and Deals as the Commandant of the Island may be able to put on board, with which you are to return to this Port, without further loss of time.

Given under my hand at Head Quarters, Port Jackson, New South Wales, this 25th September 1788.
A Phillip.

To Mr David Balckburn, Master of His Majesty's Armed Tenders Supply.
By Command of His Excellency.
David Collins, Secretary.

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By His Excellency Arthur Phillip, Esq, Captain General & Governor in Chief
in His Majesty's Territory of New South Wales & its Dependencies.

Whereas Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball Is from Sickness unable to proceed to Sea, with His Majesty's Armed Tender Supply, of which you are Master, and I think fit that you should command her during his absence, or until you should receive further orders.    You are hereby required and directed to take upon you the Charges of Command of the said Armed Tender accordingly, & proceed without Loss of Time to Norfolk Island, where having landed the Stores & Provisions which have been put on board by His Majesty's Commissary for that Purpose, as well as such kind of other Provisions as you can conveniently spare, for the Use of that Settlement, You are to receive on board the Officers, Seamen, Marines late belonging to His Majesty's Ship Sirius, with whom you are to return to the Port.

For which this shall be your Order.
Government House, Sydney
This 17th day of January 1791.

To Mr. David Blackburn
hereby appointed to
command His Majesty's
Armed Tender, Supply.

By His Excellency's Command.
David Collins

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By His Excellency Arthur Phillip Esq, Captain General & Governor in Chief, in & over His Majesty's Territory of New South Wales & its Dependencies.

Whereas Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball is from Sickness unable to proceed to Sea with His majesty's Armed Tender Supply, of which you are Master, & I think fit that you should command her during his Absence or until you shall receive further Orders.

You are hereby required & directed to take upon you the Charge of Command of the said Armed Tender accordingly. And having received on board, the Stores which the Commissary has directed to send for the use of the Settlers on Norfolk Island; & the Officers, Soldiers and others named in the Margin, You are immediately to proceed to Norfolk Island; where you will land the said People, Stores Jca.; [etc] and having received on

[Persons named in the Margin]


Mr. Thomas Jamison, Af [?]


Owen Cavanagh.
James Proctor.
James Painter.
William Hambly.
Robert Watson.
William Mitchell.
Peter Tober. [?]
John Drummond.
Samuel King.
Charles Heritage.

New South Wales Corps.
William Hill Capt.
Edward Abbott Lieut.
Jno. Thos. Prentice Ens.
Jas. Brackenrig Serj. [?]
Jno. Gardner Corpl.
John Dell Drummer
John Abraham Priv.
Joseph Baylis "
Thomas Bolton "
James Capey "
Theoph. Fueterell "
John Haycock "
Will. Hook "
Edwd. Hemmings "

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on board such Persons as the Commanding officer on the Island may send with a barge a Quantity of Deals, Axes & other Articles for the use of this Settlement as you can conveniently stow you are to return to this Port without further Loss of Time. For which this shall be your Order.

Government House Sydney
This 19th of March 1791

A Phillip

To Mr. David Blackburn Hereby, appointed to command His Majesty's Armed Tender, Supply By Command of His Excellence

David Collins

[Persons named in margin]

New South Wales Corps.
Thomas Lloyd. Private.
Joseph Lunn. "
James Morris. "
Robert Middleton. "
John Miller. "
Charles McCarty. "
Samuel Marsden. "
Lachlan Hope. "
Lach. Sherrard. "
Joseph White. "

Male Convicts

Moses Tucker.
Jonothan Griffiths.
William Knight.
Jeremiah Ponten.

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Extract of letters from Gov. Phillip to Mr Stephens dated Sydney 18th Nov. 1791

The very Officer like Conduct of Mr David Blackburn, as Master of the Supply, and during the time he commanded that Vessel, while Lieut. Ball was Sick on Shore, make it [indecipherable] incumbent upon me to point him out as an Officer deserving of their Lordships Notice

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These are to Certify the Principal Officers and Commissioners of His Majesty's Navy That Mr David Blackburn Serv'd as Master on Board His Majesty's Armed Tender Supply Under my Command from the 8th Day of April 1787 to the 7th Day of April 1788 during which Time he Complied with the general Printed Instructions and was Sober and Obedient and never Six Weeks absent from duty

Given under my Hand on Board His Majesty's Armed Tender Supply

Sydney Cove Port Jackson New South Wales the 7th of April 1788

A.H. Ball

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These Are to Certify the Principal Officers and Commissioners of His Majesty's Navy that Mr David Blackburn Serv'd as Master of His Majesty's Armed Tender Supply, Under my Command from the Eighth day of April 1791 to the Eighth Day of April 1792. During which Time he Comply'd with the General Printed Instructions. was Always Sober and Obedient to Command and was never Six weeks Absent from Duty Either by Sickness or Any other Occasion

Given under my hand on Board His Majesty's Armed Tender Supply
This Eighth day of April 1792

A.H. Ball

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These are to Certify the Principal Officers and Commissioners of His Majesty 's Navy, that Mr David Blackburn, Served as master of His Majesty's Arm'd Tender Supply, Under my Command; form the 8th Day of April 1788 to the 8th Day of April 1789 During which Time, he Complyed with the General Printed Instructions, Was always Sober and Obedient to Orders; and was not Absent, from the Said Tender, Six Weeks, at any one Time , either by Sickness or any other occasion.

Given under my Hand on Board His Majesty's Armed Tender Supply,
This 8th Day of April 1789.

A.H. Ball

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These are to Certify the Principal Officers and Commissioners of His Majesty 's Navy that Mr David Blackburn Serv'd as master of His Majesty's Armed Tender Supply, Under my Command from the Eighth Day of April 1792 to the date hereof. During which Time he Comply'd with the General Printed Instructions — was Always Sober and Obedient to Command. and has not been Six Weeks Absent Either by Sickness or any other Ocassion and has had no Opportunity of making Remarks the Said Armed Tender having been for the most part in port

Given under my hand on Board His Majesty's Armed Tender Supply
 This 15th Day of May 1792

A.H. Ball

Blackburn family - miscellaneous papers, being mainly correspondence relating to David Blackburn's death, 1779-1796

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In the Name of God Amen I David Blackburn.. Mariner belonging to His Majesty's Ship Victory — being in bodily health and of sound and disposing Mind and Memory ans considering the perils and Dangers of the Seas and other uncertainties of this transitory life (do for avoiding controversies after my decease) make, publish and declare this my last Will and Testament in manner following (That is to say). First I recommend my Soul to God that gave it, and my Body I commit to the Earth or Sea, as it shall please God to Order, and as for and concerning all my worldly Estate, I give bequeath and dispose thereof as followeth, That is to Say all Such

Wages, Sum and Sums of Money. Lands, Tenements, Goods, Chattels and Estate whatsoever: as shall be any ways due owing, or belonging unto me at the time of my decease, I do give devise and bequeath the same unto my dearly beloved Brothers and Sisters. To be equally shared amongst them.

I do hereby nominate and appoint my dearly beloved Mother Elizabeth Blackburn, of the City of Norwich, in the parish of St George's, in the County of Norfolk, my sole Executrix of this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all former and other Wills, Testaments and Deeds of Gifts, by me at any time theretofore made. And I do ordain and ratify these presents, to and to be for, as my only last Will and Testament.

In Witness thereof to this my said Will. I have set my Hand & Seal the Tenth Day of June in the Year of our Lord One Thousand and Seven Hundred and Seventy nine — And in the Nineteenth Year of the Reign of his Majesty King George the Third over Great Britain &c.
Signed sealed, published and declared in the presence of us

Henry Dolins Captain David Blackburn

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Sir At Sight please to pay Mr William McCurdy or Order the Sum of Twenty pounds Sterling value recv'd of him and place the Same to the Acct. of Sir Your Most Obt & Humble Servant
David Blackburn

To Benj'n Robertson Esq'r
Navy Office

For Port Royal Harbour
14th June 1783

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WW. Mc.Curdy

Recv this 25th May 1796

The Sum of 20 [pounds] further within DV. for the use of Mr. Wm McCurdy — Tho; Lys, Agent for Mr Wm McCurdy Alts Sosport

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Dear Madam

Lieutenant King whom I had the pleasure this morning at his apartments though an extreme polite, civil man, yet he was not so communicative as I cou'd have wish'd, for immediately upon hearing my business he propos'd giving me a few lines that would say everything he knew relative to Mr Blackburn, this I conceiv'd as meant to put a stop to any further enquiries I might be about making; he however spoke in the highest possible terms of esteem of friendship of my Cousin David, of the sickness which he mentions he is just recovering from was a rheumatic complaint, but he was much better when [paper torn] than he had been for 2 or 3 months before — the reason for his not writing he can by no means account for, he says it is particularly strange as most likely it will be six months before you can hear again — I wish it had been in my power to have given you a more satisfactory account — I shall always be happy to render you any service, with Love to my Cousins believe me Your Affectionate Nephew
Peter Martineau
My wife desires her affectionate remembrances

London Feby. 10th 1791

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When Mr King left Batavia on the 20th of August Mr Blackburn (who was master of the Supply in which Vessel Mr King came to Batavia) was in tolerable good health, he being recovered from a fit of sickness he had on the Voyage. Mr King has the Pleasure of informing Mr Blackburn's family that he is much respected & esteemed, & has to account for his not having wrote to his friends Mr King is at a loss, for if he had, the letters must have been received as all the Letters Mr King brought were put into the Post Office immediately on his landing

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Mrs Blackburn

Magdalen Street

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Answered 2nd October 1793

My Dear friend : London 27 Sep 1793

By this you will be Inform'd of my appointment to H.M. Ship Dictator — Cap' Dodd I rec'd my warrant this morning & must join her at Chatham Immediately — she is fitting out for the Coast — I therefore wish to have my things as soon as possible — and as Water Carriage at present is dangerous I should wish them to be sent by the London Waggon — Direct to me at the, Blackbull Inn, Bishopsgate, London — from whence they will be safely sent to me at Chatham.

I shall want everything you have so long had the trouble of (Except the Large chest, the Tellescope, or the Mess utensils &c.) for which I shall have no use at present & they will serve me again when ever I am appointed to a Division again — I know not how you will manage the package of my box of books & Charts &c.with the Cott, bed, bags of Great Coats &c. — but I must Leave it to you who I know will do Everything that is proper — and whatever Expenses you may be at for. Packages. Coverings Cartage &c.I beg you will let me know — I hope you and Mrs H. are in Good health & sincerely wish the old ship may turn out much to Your Advantage. You will remember me to my Acquaintances at Plym' & believe me to be with great esteem Yours sincerely
D Blackburn

I shall be glad to hear from you as soon as possible. You will Direct to me at the Mitre Chatham Let me know what you know of D

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Packages and parcels sent the 4th October 1793
No 1. A Writing Desk
2. A Hatt Box
3. A Cott
4. A Black Chest
5. Charge Box

I should think if my Darling could do [her business?] & come & dine at home tomorrow [indecipherable] things or I am afraid may well interfere with one thing or other — Adieu

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as it is uncertain whether you will be on shore tonight I send you the letters I have received, as I think [idecipherable] perhaps [indecipherable] before you leave the ship as both seem to wish to hear from you as soon as possible. I hope by this time my delight you are got quite [heavy?] — I am rather better but not very [indecipherable] comfortable [indecipherable] as all the good folks here ask'd on account of my

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Mr Collier is home & Will be with us ...

Mr Richard Harper
No 40 Clowance Street
Plymouth Dock

A Large Chest.
A Telescope
" [?] Round Hatt
" Gallon Tin Saucepan
"pint Do.
1 Fishkettle Do.
1 Tea Do Copper
1 Tureen
2 Dishes
5 Shallow plates
3 Soup
1 large Jug
[last four bracketed Queens Ware]
1 Goblett
2 ppr Tumblers
5 Wine Glasses
1 Teapott. Wedgewood
1 Sugar bason Do.
1 Cream pott Do.
6 Cups & Saucers [Staffordshire?]
1 Bason Do. For salts & a Picture, Butter[?]

Pepper Box & Mustd. Pott Queen Ware
1 Book Houghton Sermons
3 Knives
5 Forks.

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[D]ensin Hall
8 Janry.


       In answer to your favor of yesterday I am to inform that I received a Letter from your Brother Mr D Blackburn on the 24 Decb' Dated on board the Dictator, at Portsmouth the Day before — since when I have not had the pleasure of hearing from him, I have sent him your Letter by this post and I believe the Dictator, will be shortly paid off, she lay at Portsmouth for that purpose I am Madam
Your most obedt' Serv..
BC Robertson.
Mrs Margt' Blackburn

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Mrs Margt : Blackburn
at Mr Burrows
Magdalen St

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Margaret Blackburn
Afterwards Mrs Allison

This paper contains papers and letters relative to the Death of my dearest friend and brother David Blackburn who departed this life Jan'ry 10th 1795

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The tenth of Jan'ry 1795 was the Day to him I trust of repose from an anxious suffering to one of repose and eternal happiness in the presence of his Creator and where I humbly hope we share all rest after a short period of time have gone round

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London Feb 3rd 1795

Dear Madam

I sit down with heart felt sorrow to inform you of my old friend your son David's decease he died a few days after our arrival at the hospital (Haflar) I did suppose and had inform'd Mr Robertson & that he had acquainted you ere this, but this day seeing him & find on enquiry that he had not done it. Has caused me to put pen to paper on this disagreeable subject. As their was a particular friendship between himself & me prior to his decease and the manner of disposal of all his property on Board of which Mr Robertson is acquainted, the greatest part of wearing apparel he has left his servant, a very good attentive boy. For all this business I shall account to Mr Rbt I am in possession of his last account current with him and also his ticket for what money he has in the funds. Have also deliver'd him his journals & for the recovery of his wages & during this last voyage I wou'd wish to know as soon as possible

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as those papers are of consequence whether I shall enclose them to you or deliver them to Mr R. Your ans. Dr Madam will much oblige me as after so disagreeable a voyage I am going to the country to see my family hoping you will be enabled to bear this stroke of unhappiness with fortitude of which my poor friend had a good share I remain
M'st respectfully
Yr mst obt serv't
Tho Cramby Lieut.

Please direct for me at No 12 Beth Street
Radcliff Highway

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Mrs Blackburn
At Mr Burrows
Magdalen St

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Sir the person who addresses you is the unhappy sister of your late dear friend Mr David Blackburn, as his friend I am sure you will excuse the liberty I take if I presume upon that title and to address you as the friend likewise of his afflicted family — I call upon you Sir in that confidential character to give us every particular circumstance that relates to his last illness. Indeed I might go much farther back were I to indulge consult my own wishes more rather than your convenience, and ask a detail of his voyage, for we have never received a line from him since the 24th of Janry. 1794 dated from Plymouth the day before the Dictator sailed — you are a man of feeling view facsimile

and integrity or My Dear Brother would never have chosen you for his friend and confidant; upon sentiments that I do so much honor to the hope for I rely for every particular of his illness, where and when he was seized, what was his complaint, what the state of his mind and intellect; whether he thought or talked much of his Dear Mother and family whom soon he was going to leave forever, was he comfortable nursed and attended, where did he die and where was he buried. A thousand other questions I want to ask but even these may appear futile and give much trouble to answer. But Sir there is a point on which I cannot be

[indecipherable] on account of my brother John from whom you know [?] we have never heard of upwards of a year — Mr Robertson can likewise give or procure Mr Martineau the last returns from that ship (the Cyclops)

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[indecipherable] of, belonging to my dear Brother I think Sir it would be best if you have not already sent them to Norwich, to do so directly them rather than give them to Mr Robertson whose business I presume extends no further than to settle with any person we may employ in [?] the running account and wages standing between him and my Brother.

You mention leaving Town soon, and tho' probably you will do so before this reaches it, I still wanted to write hoping there it will be forwarded to you.

I felicitate your friends Sir whom you are about to visit, on receiving you safe once more amongst them, may they never feel on your account the anguish which at this moment agitates the breasts of My Dear David's friends those exquisite moments of joy will never return to us again; all is now closed respecting him in gloom and sorrow the greatest alleviation we can now have must be derived from you by a narration of everything of importance you know concerning him and an explanation for his silence. I am surprised and ashamed at the length of this letter but in writing to the friend of my Brother [I feel] as if writing to one of my own & and have run [at] a length which friends only can excuse: in [torn page ] on a speedy answer to this and full confidence [of a] speedy answer to this. I subscribe myself Sir your afflicted servt Margt B

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satisfied nor perhaps ever shall if you cannot explain to us what appears to us very mysterious, and have been the cause of much perplexity, and as the event has proved, of much sorrow; I mean the unaccountable silence of My Dear Brother since his arrival at Portsmouth, many letters have been written to him from my Sister and self, and every enquiry made and all in vain, still no answer was received, and it was only by dint of enquiry at the offices in London that we got any information of his being alive, and as the returns were given to us, of his being in health too; thus Sir we were deceived and made a thousand conjectures concerning his silence, tho' all unsatisfactory, and very wide of the truth, for had I known my Dearest wide indeed!

For had I known, or could have conjectured that my dearest Brother was languishing upon a bed of sickness I certainly would have flown to his assistance and given him every consolation in my power and surely the hand of an affectionate Sister would have soothed his most painful moments, perhaps restored the weakened frame oh Sir, if it was his wish to save us [save us] the full knowledge of his situation (and his wishes were the way to save us pain) yet you who were [with] and about him, it must acc — if you had but written, if he was unable to write himself even without his knowledge, or approbation for perhaps he did not wish we should know how [torn paper], but if you had but written from [torn paper] it would have been a great consolation [torn paper] now, for we were quite unprepared for the [torn paper] when it came, and are now totally in the [torn paper] as to every particular. My Mothers infirmities and afflictions together, renders her quite unable to reply to your letter, and the circumstance of our living 15 miles out of Norwich prevented her receiving it till yesterday when my Brother Burrows came over with it from whom I learn he has answered you respecting any papers or other things

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I have all along most feelingly sympathized with you on account of the unhappy state of suspense you have been kept in from not being able to gain any intelligence about your good Son David, and am sorry your Norwich friends must still acquaint you that no letter is yet written from Portsmouth. The most minute information (though not what we could most wish) should I think not be concealed from you, therefore I determined to write now though I have only a vague confused piece of intelligence to give you that I received from by a letter from London. A Gentleman who my son knew was well acquainted with Navy affairs of whom he endeavoured some time since to obtain [indecipherable] intelligence about the ship [indecipherable] David was in, has since seen a Lieutnt that went view facsimile

the Voyage with your Son &is lately come to London from whom he heard that David was very ill but did not say what kind if illness it was, I therefore immediately yesterday dispatched a letter to my Son John to beg he would be sure to see the Gentleman again, & get information where the Lieutenant is to be found & learn every particular about my nephew possible, & return me an answer by tomorrows post without fail.
Mr Burrows has settled to be quite ready to set off to you the minute I get my letter from the office. He thinks perhaps tomorrows post will bring an answer to your letter from Mr Robertson yours was sent on Thursday but as no letter is yet come we hope for one tomorrow.
I felt much reluctance to give you any hint that should be likely to increase your painfull suspicions, & should rejoice to find I had done it prematurely if beter tidings come tomorrow I shall most sincerely rejoice with you. I doubt not but that the company of your Datr Burrows is a real comfort to you this severe season. I shall be glad to hear that neither of you nor Niece Margt have suffered from the uncommon cold we have experienced. I cannot venture view facsimile

to leave the Tea room. Give my kindest love to your Daughters & GrDatr & be assured my Fr of the sincerest regard of your truely affect Sister S Martineau

My girls send Duty & love
You must remember the post comes in later than when the roads are quite good therefore do not expect Mr Burrows early, but you may trust to seeing him though we should by any accident be disappointed of a letter which indeed I scarcely fear

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Mrs Blackburn

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London Febry 7 1795

Dear Sir You will be surprised to hear from me but I dread alarming my dear Eliza, by the melancholy news I have to communicate; you may have heard it, I would rather you should hear it from any other person, and yet there is a possibility that you may not know it, and cruel as the intelligence is, it is necessary you should be informed of it, [indecipherable] Mr Wickendon whom we got to enquire of some friend he has residing at Portsmouth he was informed that Mr Blackburn died about 6 days ago, in Portsmouth harbour the fact he says is certain, but the particulars he is unacquainted with.
At first I determined not to write till I could gain more information, but then the necessity there was for Mr Blackburn's family immediately to be informed of it, that as the personal attendance of some of them might be requisite mad me change my attention we heard it not till Breakfast time this morning. From the fear that Mrs Blackburn being at Swafield where a letter might be view facsimile

several days in going, and the certainty of distressing her by the intelligence which being abrupt would shock her the more, I have troubled you with a letter.
I know my Margaret is uncommonly interested for this beloved brother, and that keenly she will feel her loss. Mrs Blackburn and Mrs Burrows, will I fear be greatly distressed, may heaven support them and enable them to bear this trying dispensation with fortitude. I fear for their health and shall hope soon to hear from them to quiet My apprehensions, — possible Mrs Blackburn or you sir may come to Town, I mention this possibility to urge you, should it take place to take a bed at our house, we shall be very happy to return the civilities I received at your house and hope if you come to Town we shall see you
I came here but yesterday and am going again in a few hours, that I hope you will excuse my unintelligible manner of writing I hardly know what I have said, I have not time for corrections my letters will be forwarded to me at Hamerton by my sister, Her you will find here, & she will be glad to shew, to you, or any part of Mrs B's family any attentions in her power, — Accept our united comps & present to my dear Eliza the Love & affection of her sincere Frances

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Mr Burrows
Magdalen St

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My Dear Margt

Upon receiving your parcel this morning I was sorry to see you had employed yourself so much in writing — your friends would have excused you and indeed my dear sister I think ythe less you devote your time to writing the better and I depend much on the promise you made me that you will endeavour to keep your mind calm.
In some cases to express ourselves either in conversation or writing continually on the subject of affliction is a great relief to the mind — but I believe that is only where the health is sufficiently strong to bear the agitations of spirits which for some time is called forth by such indulgence — yours my dear girl is not so — the little strength you possess would sink under it — at least I fear so — and that made me so continually fly to subjects so foreign to the feelings of my mind for conversation whilst with you — your friends here are all anxious about you they all desire to be kindly remembered to you and my Mother Robson have called twice she means well but she is too much for me — so is miss Willemot who sat half an hour with me — on Sunday I had Dr Endfield and lady and Mrs Phillip Martineau — it is a mark of respect to be sure to have ones acquaintance call upon any particular occasion but I never felt so much before the mere form of such visits — had they seen me ruffled at seeing them — had I lamented to them they would no doubt taken their tone from me view facsimile

but as I neither wept or lamented they were in high spirits — and Mrs M thinking it right to say something upon the subject — with as much indifference as she talked of Brother's Prophecy asked if there was much property left
I am so continually interrupted that I do not know whether I shall be able to make a long letter — I that had so much to say but all that is in my mind I cannot upon the same principles I have already stated
Hannah Taft have just left me she desired to be kindly remembered to all of you — Mr and Mrs Haughton drank Teas with me yesterday — Mrs H mentioned her not writing to you she says she knows not how to address you with any new subject of consolation and the answering such letters she knows does but add to distress — she wishes you were more within reach or the conveyance easier and she would come and spend a week with you — as to Mr H — he wished also to avoid writing and satisfied himself with the intention of coming over to see you — but his purposes are not very staple you know — however he does talk of coming over next week perhaps on Tuesday and returning on the Wednesday — youngman I believe intends sending a letter by this conveyance — his uncle J Wood is in a dying state of not dead
Mrs Haymes[?] is also in a state from the dropsy that they have expected every day to be the last for this week past — Mrs Jamesbro' and her son are here
In addition to the scarcity and distress Norwich already feel Mr Windham have given orders for the accommodation of ten thousand soldiers — Hardinghams Brew office up our street is to contain one thousand and 'tis said view facsimile

that Calverts house is taken for the accommodation of the officers — if the poor have not felt the war skin deep yet — I think they will now to the bone. Drummond is making himself ridiculous he is studying astrology — and says that Nativities (according to the usual term) may be accurately cast by the stars — people go so far as to sat that he does — but I suppose that may arise from some silly speech or other he have made upon the subject — I went out and sat with aunt Martineau during service on Sunday Morning she made many kind enquiries and I mentioned a Ring should be ordered and she will the next time she writes to her son John — my husband had mentioned it to her but she had deferred it till she saw me — we have had no letters neither had John seen Mr Pamp in all probability he is not yet returned to Town — I told my aunt that I hoped you would come to me next month and during my confinement you would pay your visit to her — she said she would be glad to receive you in any way and at any time you liked best — nothing was said about Bet — but as I expect she will you will come to me first I expect she will come with you, and then of course she will go when you do to my aunts or accept any other invitation that may offer — I have not yet seen Mr Martineau he called on Monday unfortunately gone up to town I am therefore under the unpleasant expectation of seeing him every minute — I wish it was over We did not outride the fog — but there was light view facsimile

enough to make it comfortable — but I would not stop on the road — they were very bad indeed but a gentle pace suited me better than a quick one I am sorry I forgot your handkies when I was up to town everything else I think I have forgot
If I remember right you mentioned pockethankies I have sent four the dark ones are 1s — 7d a piece the light 3s each — you will find there is more silk got for the cloak than we talked of Mrs J measured one of her own of that cut and found 3yds for the cloak not too much — I hope I have got sufficient quantity of crape there is two yad [half] which if cut into 6 lengths will make 15 yds
My Husband have sent you a Medal cast to commemorate the acquittal of Mr Hardy & he purchased one also for me — they are very well executed — I have sent some halfpence for Bets collection — It seems upon the death of that poor little fellow Charles Brocks his Mothers income was reduced to 90 a year — an estate which was the childs going to a cousin a lad of 17 years old — but upon the news of Charle's death the mother of that young man came immediately to town and told Mrs Brock that her son though not of age to do anything in law was old enough to judge of what was right — he did not want the income of the estate and would not touch a farthing of it during her life — how very good a disposition the youth have shown by such a kind attention in the hour of distress — and great as her loss is it must alleviate her feelings very much

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Indeed there are few case but what will admit of some alleviation — and still fewer but what will admit of consolation — that hope my dear Sister which Religion gives and can never be brought low — that world where all tears shall be wiped away is within our reach, there all will be realized — delusion does not inhabit that place — Why should we mourn is the Question Reason asks — are we not tending upward too as fast as time can move- shall we not soon join those who are gone but a little before us never to be parted again. We shall my Margt — we shall indeed
On that state my Soul and all my better thoughts rest — in that confidence do you also repose and upon that pillow may you suffer your sorrows to rest — Age[?] in that prospect have the advantage of us — and that is the reason perhaps we see it bear the trials of life with more calmness — but none of us can look forward to more than a few rounds of time before our toils will be over
I am well my Dear Sister — give my affectionate love to my Mother and may you be supported and comforted by that Being who calls us his children and to whom we are permitted to look as to a Father
Give my love to Rebecca Eliza Burrows

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Condolence 1795

Miss Blackburn

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Lambeth 9 Febry 1795

In consequence of my Dear Mothers letter which did not reach me till Saturday evg 4 oclock I attempted late as it was to get to have seen Mr Robertson so as to have [answered] it by same post but in vain as Mr R had left his office & was gone to his House in the country
I have this day had an interview with him & sorry am I to be obliged to confirm the melancholy [account?] you have already recd of the death of Captn David Blackburn — poor Fellow
I find he died of a regular & [confirmd] consumption this accnt I had from an officer (the Gunner) on board the same ship & who was present at his death he tells me he was extremely ill during the time the Ships being at the West Indies & from this period kept gradually growing worse so much so that on his arrival at Portsmouth he cd scarce walk the Deck but did not keep his Bed till the latter end of Decb which was not till some weeks view facsimile

after their arrival as soon & as his state kept gradually growing worse they deemed it prudent to remove him to the Hospital where poor fellow he died the very day following — Mr Robertson has shown me his Will by which I find he left word indecipherable the little that is now own to him to his good Mother Mr R is his sole Ext he also produced a state of the acct between them in which I find there is likely to be a [word indecipherable] own to my aunt of between Forty & Fifty Pounds — he had I observd a hundred Pounds in the Stocks but this was sold out at his request by Mr R a little before sailing on the last Voyage to procure him the necessaries for his Outfit This appears to be regularly accounted in this general statement — the Officer who sent you the acct of his death word indecipherable (Lieut Pampin) I find had written directions from my Cosn dated 24 Dec last (copy of which I have seen) to request in case of his death that he wd in as tender view facsimile

a manner as possible relate the sad catastrophe to his dear Mother & Sisters & in same nite he requests that all his Clothes Watch & Buckles might be immedly sold & directed that he Lieut P. wd account for the whole to his agents& this I find has been regularly done agreeable to direction that is tomorrow or next day to settle the accnt with Mr R in short my dear Madam I think everything as to his pecuniary affairs appears in a proper train as far as I can judge to be regularly adjusted.

If Mr Burrows is coming to London on his own business I shd much wish he may at the same time endeavour to get a more [?amplified] statement of the accts nut without he really has Musings of his own I shd [?conceive] as Mr R has the [?amplict prover] in his Hands word indecipherable it will [? Scarce ans.] the trouble and expense of such a journey but in this the Family will act as they may think proper I fear my poor aunt and Csins will feel much as this afflicting event but I hope from what has passed they will at least in view facsimile

part have been prepared for this Stroke I hope me dear madam [?as] the Frost is at last seriously going & the Weather is now so much mild that you will again feel yourself more comfortable my kind love to my Sisters and believe me ever yrs most dutifully J M ?John Martineau

Mrs Martineau
Magdalen St

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As I trust you will give me full credit for sympathizing most feelingly with you I shall forbear saying anything on that subject, I rejoice to find your Mother received the calamitous tidings with so much calmness. You my Dr Girl will I doubt not use your endeavours to attain as much composure as you can, but grief like yours must have indulgence your own good sense & just principles will I doubt not suggest more powerfull arguments to your mind than all the reasoning of your friends could do.
I sincerely pray God afford you those consolations that are alone able to support such as mourn with a sorrow like yours I hope my Dr the letter from my son John will afford you some satisfaction. Whenever that unhappy doubt comes into your mind, what could view facsimile

 occasion that unaccountable silence & let the answer be ready, tenderness to me, for I think from the account the gunner has given of poor David's illness & the note he wrote to the Lieut, it is plain he was fully sensible of his own situation, & could [indecipherable] have no motive to conceal it from you, but his fears of encreasing your distress, view it therefore my Dr as a concluding mark of affectionate tenderness to you.
The nature of his disease admitted no hope of remedy either from skill in nursing, or skill in applying medicine. Therefore your presense would perhaps made the approach of death more afflicting to him as he must have remembered how distressing your situation would have been when he was no more.
I shall write again to my Son John to let me know that by a letter sent to Robertson from you yesterday, you had appointed him to settle all the affairs with my Son as Mr Burrows is not going to Town. I shall desire desire Jno to make enquiry after your Bro John as soon as I hear again will let you know. Your letter to the Lieut shall be sent with the name altered. The girls wish the things sent may prove what

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you like they could not get a whole piece of print anywhere but at Mr Lewiss 's there they could get none betwixt this & one of 3s.6d but what was mixed with more white than they thought would suit your mourning Mr L says these are the sorts that are now worn for close mourning & he will answer for the print standing but if you do not like it he will change it for lighter. Should you my Dr recollect any more commissions do not scruple sending as the your cousins will most readily execute them.
Whenever your Mother & self can make it suit your feelings to come here, Believe me my Dr I shall feel comfort to do all in my power to alleviate your afflictions, but I have felt too much from the eager persuasions of friends to make exertions I was unfit for, to allow me to urge my distressed friends to any thing contrary to their own wishes.
I can say from experience time blunts our feelings more than we could suppose, but nothing but religion & time can do much. Remember me most kindly to your Mother & Sister the girls join in every good wish to them & yourself & Niece with my Dr
Your affect aunt
S Martineau

Mr Burrows has seen the enclosed

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Miss Blackburn

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Sheerness Feb12th 1795

Dear Sir Yours of the 6th I recv'd the 9th shou'd have ans it immediately but have been for these last three or four days very unwell. For your satisfaction I have to observe that my friend died from a decay of nature & I have no doubt but his last long voyage greatly contributed to it, he was long ill prior to his decease.
He lies in Maslan Buring ground at Gosport, Hanks. The papers you wish I will send from hence if you wish it, but in a few days I shall be in town, as I wish to see his matters settled with Mr Robertson his Agent who has his will, at your wish & his I think I had better be in possession of his papers until that is done, as you can do nothing with them there, but this as you please, of course your ans. to me here.
I have to send to his mother a few little matters at his bequest which shall most punctually complied with when I go to town which will be next week, on my return to town view facsimile

shall endeavour to send you all particulars as I much wish to have all his matters settled as soon as possible, write me a few lines here, as your last was sent to me at this place as my family resides here. Be assur'd Sr every thing that can be done satisfactory to my Dr departed friends mother & shall be done my Dr Sir Yr Mst Obt Hble Servt
Thos Pamp

PS let me have a few lines from you to know if my observations are satisfactory if not I will of course send the papers you have wrote for by return

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Mr Burrows
Magdalen St

Mr Martineau
Kings Arms Stairs

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Union Hall 13 Febry 1795

I am only this day favored with yours of 9th, and condole with you and his other relatives on the Death of Your Brother: Mr Martineau called on me on Monday Last and to whom I communicated every particular relative to his affairs, and while he promised to communicate to you by that Night's Post, presuming that he has done so I shall not trouble you with a recital of them here, and shall only observe that as soon as I have received his Pay Acc.: I will render to your Mother to whom he has bequeathed the whole of his property a statement of his Account view facsimile

with me in order that she may draw on me for the Balance due I am
Your most Obed Servant

Mrs..Margt: Blackburn

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Mrs.. Margt Blackburn
At Mr Burrowes
Magdalen St

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Friday Evening 13 Febry 1795

Though I feel myself powerfully impelled to address a few lines to My dear Miss Blackburn yet a conviction of impossibility to administer the consolation which I look to do in her present situation presses upon me — What shall I say ? how much I think off to tenderly sympathize with you — I hope think is unnecessary to insert — your demands are large upon me — how much did I experience of your sympathetic regard in times of affliction.
I know your heart bleeds — the Wound is deep and as Christians we may mourn we have the example of our blessed Laird who wept on the Grave of his Friend but let it not be in such a Manner as Not to admit those consolations which reason & religion afford — tho' you mind may be furnish'd with them My dear, yet there are situations in which it loses its vigor I cannot call up those Ideas best calculated to support & bear it up under severe trials — let me for a moment advert to some considerations of which I have experienced the efficacy, & often reflect upon
As Christians we are assured that every Event is under the direction of Providence that however perplex'd & Mysterious they may sometimes appear — yet they are the result of Infinite Wisdom — Who comprehends

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Who comprehends the vast amazing plan of providence & knows what is best for his Creatures — astonishing thought — but I have often found it truly consolatory — that God knows the most fit & proper tome to remove us out of this World. Infinite Wisdom foresees some evil that might come upon us — some trial too great to overcome & therefore in mercy takes us to himself — We often form plans in which the anticipation of future enjoyment of the society of those most dear to us constitutes the principal part — let us improve the thought — 'tis only carrying our Ideas a little higher & removing the scene perhaps at no greater distance — & then to what reposed exalted society will happy spirits be introduced — ought not these thoughts to solace the Mind?
Perhaps in your most gloomy moments you may be almost ready to conclude that the pleasing future prospects you may have form'd are now alas all vanish'd — but dwell not on these Ideas — endeavor to look forward — to realize that state of perfect felicity — where every tear will be wiped away — and no painful operation can ever take place
We ought my friend to fix our thoughts upon those considerations not only best calculate to support our Minds — but that in a Moral view may be useful every link which is broken of that chain which binds us to this World will naturally for a time lessen our attachment to it
May this Affecting Providence have such a permanent influence — not to bear down your spirits but rise superior to this present scene — consider its transitory Nature & live above it — to this end may your Mind be impressed with just veiws of Christianity & your heart renovated by its heavenly influence — I shall view facsimile

shall I apologize for my prolixity — if not; I ought for a Multiplicity of errors — wch bad eyes & haste occasion. I wish to be near you — & direct my attention to you. You justly claim a large share could I alleviate an oppressed Mind I should be happy to effect it — but alas after all the lenient balm a friend might endeavor to administer the all subduing hand of Time alone can heal the wound — pray be careful of your health consider that a present duty & resignation to the Will of God upon Christian principles as a good evidence of its genuine influence — with these thoughts my good Friend I bid you adieu — the freedom of them I trust will find as an apology My best Wishes attend you — kindest respects & cordial sympathy to your dear Mother & Sister — be assured of finding a sincere & affectionate Friend in S Jarrold

Marianne was not at home when I wrote this last Evening but wishes now to present her truly sympathetic regards to you all

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Miss Blackburn

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Alcester Warwickshire
Feb 20 1795

"It is better to go to the House of Mourning than to the House of Feasting" it is the decision of one who had made a pretty good trial of all the benefits resulting from every sensual Gratification — But why better is is Grief preferable to Joy — Yes, the excellent Casuist says "Sorrow is better than laughter, for by the sorrow of the Countenance the heart is made better"
This is indeed giving occasion for so unusual a preference which no rational person will pretend to dispute. As to myself, I am naturally of a lively disposition, but have drank to days of the Cup of Affliction not to sympathize deeply with those who participate of the same bitter draught. Was I less interested in the cause of your present affliction, I might say many fine things to you on this occasion, but perhaps an attempt at Consolation would be deemed impertinent at such a season as this, & will be more grateful by my saying that my heart mourns with you than by all the expedients which philosophy can point out to lesson yr Grief
Yes my dear Miss B — tho' I have never seen the dear deceased since he was 9 years of Age, I retained so much of my Infant Attachment not to be much interested in all that concerned the companion of my childhood & very anxious on his acct. when I found he was gone to breath the pestilential air of the West Indies, & am truly grieved tho' not surprised to hear by a Letter or rather a note from my Sister of the fatal event
Alas, what can be said for your consolation! The Blow is too heavy to be soon recovered, the wound too deep to be speedily healed, I feel that you think it will be your chief pleasure to mourn & that you will for a time refuse to be comforted; but I also see that your piety & good Sense will by & by operate for relief. A good old Man bending under the infirmities of Age & complicated diseases, said to me, on the most heavy trial I ever had to endure, "Come my dear friend, Old time will do much toward the Cure healing of this sore wound, Reason will do more & Religion will compleat the Cure."

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The good man was right, had I possessed the proper exercise of that religion which was to have so large a store in the Cure. Oh my dear Margaret let us both look forward to that period when if it be not our owm fault we shall be able to say "Amidst my list of Blessings Infinite Stand this foremost, That my heart has bled" — tell your good Mother that I feel for her & wish it was in my power to say any thing to soften the severity of her grief as well as yours, remember me also to your dear Sister who must also suffer on this occasion, tho' less heavily than you.
I wish I had a house to which I could invite you, to share our homely viands, we wd. try all our Abilities to make life tolerable to you, but I must cease, I find I can say nothing but what perhaps will add to yr. Grief, leave you it to the hand that has wounded to bind up the broken heart, & only say that I feel in my measure yr. Heavy Affliction
Wittness R Biggs

My poor Mourney, will you also allow one, who never saw you, to presume so far, nevertheless, upon the rights of Friendship to say a word on this affecting Occasion? Do not suffer your grief to be too selfish; but call up all the nobleness of your Mind to consider that the worthy David is taken from this evil to come. Is it generous to lament that he will not now be called to bear a part in those awful struggles in which this poor Country is every day likely to be still more deeply involved?
Allow me also to say Do not let your grief be unprofitable, but let it drive you nearer to that Friend in Heaven which "sticketh closer than a Brother". Perhaps this is the more direct & immediate design of Affliction.
Read Grosvenor's, Mourney, it will gratify, while it attempts to heal your Sorrows. In a certain degree this Passion of Grief, like all others, admits & requires a lawful gratification.
Watch me Dear Girl against excesses — for even this loss may be too much lamented. O what a Meeting may those who fear God expect in a better World, out of reach of Misfortune & Death! And 'tis quickly coming. The voice of the Archangel & the Trump

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of God is on the point of preparing to sound. "Yet a little while & he that shall come will come & will not tarry. Weeping may endure for a Night but Joy cometh in the morning." — Thus you may say, I talk, while you feel. But I know how to feel too & have been taught it by methods seemingly severe, but I dare not say they were really so. Will it be any gratification to you to accd. That I feel for you, & that to have an opportunity of personally expressing it face to face, would be a great pleasure to
James Biggs.

In perusing what I have written I should be ashamed to send it had not my dear good Man added something to enhance its value — oh my dear if I possessed such a mind as he how I might then with good grace say all that I wou'd wish in this distressing occasion — what say you — will you have J Biggs for a Brother — they tell me at Devizes there was a great familiarity of Manners between him and your dear David — I find all I have said or can say amounts only to this which might have been said in a few words — Viz that I mourn with you & for you — I will give you a verse from a Hymn which perhaps you may never have seen — —

"Judge not the Lord by feeble sense
"But trust him for his grace
"Behind a frowning providence
"He hides a smiling face."

"His purpose will ripen fast
"Unfolding every hour
"The bud may have a bitter taste
"But sweet will be the flower".

With my best wishes to Mother Sister & self, & a hope for a line when it suits your convenience & state of yr. Spirits I conclude — — mind that to us you may say any thing & vent all the tender complaints that your well regulated mind will permit you to make so don't wait 'till you are able to write a correct & orderly Letter, but tell us all you feel to your friends J R Biggs

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To the care of Mr Burrows

For Miss Blackburn

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Norwich 1st. March 1795

Though I consider you my friend indebted to me a letter yet I for the present wave my claim to it, and I shall esteem myself happy if for a moment I may be able to alleviate the distress of your mind. I thought of writing to you, upon the first intelligence of your loss, but was deterred by the consideration that my letter would only come to increase your affliction.
Had I believed myself capable of opening any sources of consolation, with which you were unacquainted, or offering any notions of resignation, which had not occurred to you, I certainly should not have delayed; but you are sufficiently acquainted with me to know that whilst I am ever desirous to be of real service to any, I am not officious in my interference, or ardent in my professions.
The acute and just sorrow which you have experienced will I trust give way to time & proper considerations, and the event which now fills you with the most painful emotions, will one day be remembered with a tender melancholy nearly allied to pleasure. How this position may accord with your present feelings I cannot say, but I am convinced of its truth.
A wise and merciful God has so constituted our natures that though the enjoyments of friendship & the delights of affection, encrease our affliction for their loss, yet the mind gradually loses its painful sensations and the departed object of esteem & love becomes a subject of pleasing recollection.
When this period arrives, you will delight to think & speak of the virtues of your brother, and you will perhaps be able to trace in the events of life, the goodness of providence in sheltering him from the its storms of life before his years gave reason view facsimile

to expect it. I have frequently heard you speak of several remarkable interferences of providence on his behalf indeed his life has been a scene of trials, and there is no reason to think that the eye which watched over the events of his life slumbered at his death.
Not a sparrow falls to the ground without the permission of the Almighty, nor does any event befall us unordained by him. I have several times thought it a happy thing that he had been preserved from engaging actively in a war, to which his military engagements bound him contrary to his principles & his judgement.
Trace the name of the Dictator or of the ship to which he would have been removed & you will probably find the same reason to be thankful for his deliverance from it which you have in several previous instances. If not — if a dark cloud rests upon this dispensation, it will soon be dispersed, the whole machine of providence will be open to our wondering eyes, & the contemplation of it, will be everlasting contemplation adoration & gratitude.
As I said in the commencement of my letter — I have no doubt but that all these considerations & many more have occurred to you, but I am well aware that in the moment of distress, when all the pleasing prospects of futurity are frustrated in a moment everything appears gloomy.
But let not these considerations things overwhelm you-all the considerations I have addressed respecting your brother apply to yourself. Call in the aid of religion. That is the only efficacious antidote against the ills of life. When the storms of affliction & disappointment burst over my head

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May I experience its support & by it be preserved from shipwreck! It gives me pleasure to hear that you have the company of [Mist Utting] pray make my respects to him & to Mr Reynolds if you chance to see him, for I find this is a rare event.
To your Mother & to Betsy give my kind remembrance, they are not so deeply interested in the loss you deplore as yourself but to your Mother the stroke must be heavy & I hope she will be supported under it.. I conclude with the assurance that I am Yr sincere friend M Youngman

PS. The first volume of the [Cabinet?] is compleat if the reading it will afford you any amusement it [is] at your service

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Union Hall 6 March 1795

Madam I am favoured with yours of [24th?] [indecipherable] inclosing several Certificates of [indecipherable] and I am sorry there is nothing to begot in consequence of the Services they specify
On your Brothers arrival from new South Wales we did everything that could be done in respect to them — without any effect — I have no papers whatever of your Brothers whether Lieut. Pamp has or not I cannot tell, he has not again called on me at present nor do I know where he resides in Town — when I do see I will enquire of him if he has any — I have not yet recd.

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Your Bros. Pay — as soon as I do his Account with me shall be forwarded to you
I am Madam
Your most Obed Servt.

R Robertson

Mrs Margt. Blackburn

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Mrs Margt. Blackburn

Mr Burrow's Magdalen

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Margaret, always dear to my heart but now ten thousand times more so than ever — I must write tho' I can offer no Consolation, nor direct thine Eye to one more hopeful view — I can only weep for thee — Would to God I could weep with thee — Write to me my Love , or tell me of thyself and thy Dear Mother — there are particulars I want to know
oh let me add Come to me —I will meet you in Newbury Reading or where you choose — thy Parent also, mine sends to tell you how dear you even be are both unto her — let me hear by return of Post — oh Mrs Burrows will wrote — I seemed but now to have much to say, but 'tis all fled, my brother must speak for me — I shall be more and more wretched until I hear from you, let me know that thou dost feel that the Judge of all the Earth must be right, and I will be thankful
My Mother begs her tenderest Love to thine- We all feel it for Her — thine in every affectionate tie Laetitia

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My dear Margaret what shall I say to thee, how administer one drop of comfort to thy wounded Mind — could sympathy relieve, could a participation in thy sorrow alleviate it — already would thou find thy Grief assuaged — but alas! I fear it will but renew them by opening the wound afresh. Yet I must write but I should seem indifferent to thy distress
I had been long anxious to hear from you, the situation of my Dr Friend had awakened my Fears for his safety — his weakened constitution rendered him an improper subject for so unwholesome a climate, & no doubt an easy prey to the dreadful calamity raging there — would to God the shock may not be too great for thy tender frame — thou weepest a Brother — I a Friend-but not lost — religion affords us higher hopes, & tho' in the Day of Health & prosperity we are too [indecipherable] insensible to its devine illuminations, yet adversity displays her excellence & we then see the infinite importance of that Life & Immortality which it brings to our view, both as it regards our present peace & future felicity.
In this divine Mirrour we see our dear Friend transferred to a more favor'd Clime — From the Subject of frequent affliction he is become the Subject of eternal Health a[nd] should disembodied Spirits be permitted to visit this Earth —(an Idea I sometimes dwelt on with great

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pleasure) thy brother, free from those incumberances which were obstacles to his wishes — may now act as thy Guardian Angel, rendering thee more essential Services as thy Friend & protector — Yes my dear Girl David yet lives — not he wandering afflicted Sailor — but with a Spirit glorified & immortal; doest thou weep? he perhaps is wiping away thy Tears or pouring those consolations into thy mind which will counterbalance thy distresses, he may be the Messenger of Peace to thee — commissioned from that benevolent Being who never beholds with indiff[erence] the Sufferings of his Creatures & will at not times [lay] on them more than they are able to bear — To that great Being I recommend thee — who alone is able to heal the wounded mind — What a consolation my dear is it to have such a Friend to go to — Every Sigh is listened to by him & no application shall be made in vain — I have not time to say more than this my best wishes & warmest prayers shall be offered on thy behalf & on that of thy dear Mother & Sister — farewell my dear Girl believe me sincerely & affectionately thine

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Present our united loves to thy fellow Sufferers & do let us hear from you

Miss Blackburn

To be left at Mr Burroughs



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