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411942
  • Title
    Collection 17: Fowell Family Collection - Letters received from Newton Fowell, 1786-1790. Includes letters written by various other people.
  • Creator
  • Level of description
    Collection
  • Date

    1786-1790
  • Type of material
  • Reference code
    411942
  • Issue Copy
    Digitised
  • Physical Description
    0.35 metres of textual material (1 box) - manuscript
  • ADMINISTRATIVE/ BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY

    Born Newton Digby Fowell (1768-1790) in Devonshire, England, Fowell joined the First Fleet as a Midshipman on 25 February 1787. He had been recommended to Captain Arthur Phillip by Evan Nepean and he quickly impressed Phillip. He was befriended by Philip Gidley King who, during the voyage to New South Wales, confided his appointment as Lieutenant Governor of Norfolk Island.
    In December 1789 Fowell was appointed 2nd Lieutenant on the Sirius following King's appointment to Norfolk Island. After the Sirius was wrecked at Norfolk Island in March 1790, he was posted to the Supply.
    Newton Fowell observed and described the voyage to New South Wales, and the early founding years of the colony, observing and describing discipline in the colony and on Norfolk Island, flora and fauna, the local Aborignal people, food shortages and public buildings. In a letter dated 12 July 1788, he recorded that Phillip named the settlement Albion rather than Sydney on 4 June 1788, the King's birthday.
    In late 1789 Fowell was sent on board the Alexander to Cape Town where the ship remained for six weeks taking provisions for the colony. In April 1790, prevented by bad weather from landing at Norfolk Island as had been planned, Fowell was forced to continue to Batavia on the Supply, again on a mission to procure supplies. In Batavia, Fowell contracted fever and died at sea on 25 August 1790.
    His last letter, written to his family on 31 July 1790, reached England in December 1790. Fowell's letters were preserved in the family home, Blackhall in Devon, until 1987.
  • Scope and Content
    ITEM 01:
    Note in the hand of John Fowell recording death of Newton Fowell, 1790
    SAFE/SAFE/MLMSS 4895/1/1

    ITEM 02
    Letter received by John Fowell from Newton Fowell, 26 November 1786
    SAFE/MLMSS 4895/1/2

    ITEM 03
    Copy of a letter received by Mary Fowell (Mrs John Fowell) from Evan Nepean, December 1786 (?)
    SAFE/MLMSS 4895/1/3

    ITEM 04
    Letter received by John Fowell from Newton Fowell, 14 December 1786
    SAFE/MLMSS 4895/1/4

    ITEM 05
    Letter received by John Fowell from Newton Fowell, 24 February 1787
    SAFE/MLMSS 4895/1/5

    ITEM 06
    Letter received by Captain John Palmer from Captain John Hunter, 27 February 1787
    SAFE/MLMSS 4895/1/6

    ITEM 07
    Letter received by John Fowell from Newton Fowell, 4 March 1787
    SAFE/MLMSS 4895/1/7

    ITEM 08
    Copy of a letter to the Admiralty from John Fowell, March 1787
    SAFE/MLMSS 4895/1/8

    ITEM 09
    Letter received by John Fowell from Newton Fowell, 27 March 1787
    SAFE/MLMSS 4895/1/9

    ITEM 10
    Letter received by John Fowell from Newton Fowell, 20 May 1787
    SAFE/MLMSS 4895/1/10

    ITEM 11
    Letter received by John Fowell from Newton Fowell, 4 June 1787
    SAFE/MLMSS 4895/1/11

    ITEM 12
    Letter received by Captain George Ourry from John Nicoll, 9 August 1787
    SAFE/MLMSS 4895/1/12

    ITEM 13
    Letter received by John Fowell from Newton Fowell, 3 September 1787
    SAFE/MLMSS 4895/1/13

    ITEM 14
    Letter received by Captain George Ourry from Newton Fowell, 10 November 1787. Probably forwarded to Fowell family.
    SAFE/MLMSS 4895/1/14

    ITEM 15
    Letter received by Mary Fowell (Mrs John Fowell) from Evan Nepean, 12 December 1787
    SAFE/MLMSS 4895/1/15

    ITEM 16
    Letter received by John Fowell from Evan Nepean, 23 May 1788
    SAFE/MLMSS 4895/1/16

    ITEM 17
    Incomplete, unsigned letter received by an unnamed correspondent, 5 June 1788. Possibly in the hand of John Nicoll
    SAFE/MLMSS 4895/1/17

    ITEM 18
    Letter received by John Fowell from Newton Fowell, 12 July 1788
    SAFE/MLMSS 4895/1/18

    ITEM 19
    Letter received by John Fowell from Newton Fowell, 5 January 1789
    SAFE/MLMSS 4895/1/19

    ITEM 20
    Letter received by John Fowell from Newton Fowell, 19 February 1789
    SAFE/MLMSS 4895/1/20

    ITEM 21
    Letter received by John Fowell from Newton Fowell, 31 July 1790
    SAFE/MLMSS 4895/1/21
  • System of arrangement
    This collection comprises 21 letters, described separately. You may navigate to these letters from this record.¶Chronological
  • Source
    Acquired at auction through Sotheby's, London, 15 December 1987
  • Copying Conditions
    Restricted:
  • General note

    Microfilm copy available at CY 1206 (copied onto preservation microfilm in February 1988)
    Copies of two further letters, dated 10 May and 17 April 1787, are held on ML microfilm reel (Australian Joint Copying Project) M 2117. The original letters are at Portsmouth City Records Office - 694A: 14/1, 12/4.
  • Name

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