17.01.

First European Settlers Arrive in Australia (Sydney) – 1788

First European Settlers Arrive in Australia (Sydney) – 1788

A place called Sydney – after Lord Sydney, British Home Secretary at the time (i.e. the man within the government in charge for policing and penal system) was selected as the location of a penal colony.

The first ship in the fleet of European settlers-convicts, who were supposed to establish the first European colony in Australia, landed on this day. It was the so-called First Fleet, which transported mainly convicts, but also some willing immigrants from Britain. Their voyage from England (Portsmouth) to Australia took them as much as 250 days, and they disembarked in Botany Bay, the bay which was discovered 18 years earlier by the famous James Cook.

A total of 11 ships with 1,487 people, of which 778 were convicts, arrived. The leader of the expedition – Captain Arthur Phillip – chose a place north of the bay for the location of a penal colony and named it Sydney – after the Lord Sydney, the British Home Secretary at the time. Just to mention, Botany Bay, the bay south of Sydney, was named after the abundance of botanical species that were located within. James Cook himself named it like that after he saw the ship scientist’s enthusiasm over the variety of the local flora.

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