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January 1787

January. 4th. Orders were received at Woolwich for the Convicts to be embarked on board the Alexander but some of them being in a deplorable situation from disease could not be received. A part of the women Convicts were put on board the Lady Penryhne, these ships were still detained, not having their full proportion of Convicts on board.

13th. The Supply sailed for the Nore. The 18th. We received Orders to proceed to Portsmouth with the Alexander & Lady Penryhne as soon as they joined us: These Orders were pleasing to us, & particularly so; as the situation of the Sirius with respect to her being kept in constant readiness for Sea while lying off Purfleet was render'd very precarious being subject in light winds & calm thick weather (which we had much of) to have Vessels driving on board us every Tide; We had several foul view facsimile

of us, one of which carried away the Spritsail yard, which was the only damage we received from them; The Supply had her Bowsprit carried away by a large ship falling on board her. & which was the cause of her being ordered to the Nore.

The 19th. It was discover'd that some of the Convicts on board the Alexander had got their handcuffs off, what they could promise themselves from such an attempt appears strange, as it would have been impossible for any of them to have effected their escape, with the Guard & precautions used on board that ship had they all been loose in the place of their confinement; They were handcuff'd two together or had chains on, those that were handcuffed were never seperated but obliged to move together upon all occasions.

Between decks, in which these People were confined was guarded by a strong Bulk head abaft with loop holes & filled w nails; Marine Centinels at the hatchway, where a ladder was put down occasionally & when down particularly attended by those Centinels: A Guard Boat also was constantly attending those ships after sunset while at Gallions. The 21st. An Officer was sent from the Sirius to the Alexander (whose Mast heads we could see over the land) to order a signal by which we might be informed when the remainder of the Convicts were embarking & also a signal to let us know when the Alexander was going to get under weigh; the intention of these signals was that the Sirius might view facsimile

be unmoored ready to join them as they came down.

25th. Orders were receiv'd to proceed to Portsmouth with [ye] Alexander & Lady Penryhne without waiting for them to compleat their number of Convicts, the wind setting in at East prevented those ships from joining us immediately as order'd; the Lady Penryhne joined us the 28th & went on to Gravesend having occasion to stop there, the 29th the Alexander passed us & proceeded to Gravesend where they had likewise occasion to stop.

Tuesday. 30th. We sailed from Long Reach & passed the Alexander & Lady Penryhne, they not being ready were order'd to follow us to the Nore as soon as possible, in the afternoon we moored at the Nore in 12f.m water, Nore light NWbW. Minster Church sw. Here the Supply joined us from the Little Nore.

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