Manuscripts, oral history and pictures catalogue
Adlib Internet Server 5

Details



Print
456513
  • Title
    Collection 18: Letters from the Rev. Richard Johnson to Henry Fricker, 30 May 1787-10 Aug. 1797, with associated items, ca. 1888
  • Creator
  • Call number
    Safe 1/121
  • Level of description
    Collection
  • Date

    1787-1797
  • Type of material
  • Reference code
    456513
  • Issue Copy
    Digitised
  • Physical Description
    1 box - 0.04 Meters
    Textual Records - (manuscript)
    Clippings
  • ADMINISTRATIVE/ BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY

    The Rev. Richard Johnson was appointed as the first chaplain to the colony of New South Wales in 1787, an appointment he held until 1800 when he returned with his family and Governor John Hunter on HMS Buffalo. Henry Fricker, Portsmouth, England, was one of a group of Portsmouth and Lymington friends of the Rev. Johnson, and acted as a channel for news once Johnson and his wife Mary had left on the First Fleet convict transport Golden Grove in 1787. Johnson owed his appontment to friends within the London Eclectic Society, notably the Rev. John Newton, the Rev. Henry Foster, William Wilberforce and John and Henry Thornton.
  • Scope and Content
    30 May 1787, 8 June 1787; Letter 1: Autograph letter signed by Johnson, written from the Golden Grove at sea and finished when the transport anchored off Santa Cruz, Teneriffe. Johnson describes the return to Ireland of the escort HMS Hyaena once the fleet cleared the Channel, religious observances on board the ship, the sighting and by-passing of Madeira and the celebration of Corpus Christi in Santa Cruz. He complains of his cramped quarters and lack of privacy, and of his removal from the Alexander to the Golden Grove. He mentions a present of kittens made to the Johnsons. 4 pages. The letter was formerly located at Aj 1/5.

    10 Feb. 1788; Letter 2: Autograph letter signed by Johnson written from Port Jackson, New South Wales. Johnson describes the voyage from Cape of Good Hope (12 Nov. 1787 onwards); food rationing; the transferral of Governor Arthur Phillip to H.M. Armed Tender Supply and the division of the fleet into two on 25 Nov. 1787; the sighting of Van Diemen's Land and the arrival in Botany Bay. The letter discusses the expected relocation to Port Jackson and details speech patterns and activities of the Australian Aboriginal people contacted. Johnson mentions a previous letter dated from the Cape and sent via a Danish ship. 4 pages. The letter was formerly located at Aj 1/6.

    15 Nov. 1788; Letter 3: Autograph letter signed by Johnson written from Sydney Cove, Port Jackson. Johnson describes the recent removal of his family into 'our little Cabbage tree Cottage' and the birth of a still-born son; the establishment of his vegetable garden; the new colony of Norfolk Island; and the colonial garden site at Rose Hill. He mentions the arrangements for religious observances at Rose Hill; the poverty of the soil and poor expectations for the corn crop; the Governor's reluctance to build a church; the irreligious lives of the convicts; and the whereabouts of the Johnsons' cats. 4 pages. The letter was formerly located at Aj 1/7.

    9 Apr. 1790; Letter 4: Autograph letter signed by Johnson written from Port Jackson, New South Wales. Johnson describes the isolation and low morale of the settlement after the wreck of HMS Sirius at Norfolk Island, and steps taken to lessen the resulting food shortages including rationing, and sending to the Cape and to Batavia for supplies. He describes two survivors of a smallpox epidemic among the Aboriginal people: a fifteen year old girl named Abaroo [Booron] who lives with the Johnsons and a boy named Bennelong who lives in the Governor's household. 4 pages. The letter was formerly located at Aj 1/8.

    21 Aug. 1790; Letter 5: Autograph letter signed by Johnson written from Port Jackson, New South Wales. Johnson denigrates a recently published account of the colony, describes land and convict labour allotted to officers and the disappointing crops produced. He gives details of of fruit trees and vegetables planted, crops obtained, and the possibility of future colonial wine production. He also mentions the acquisition of 400 acres of glebe land and the deplorable condition of convicts newly arrived on the Second Fleet. 4 pages. Includes typescript copy. The letter was formerly located at C 232.

    18 Mar. 1791; Letter 6: Autograph letter signed by Johnson written from Port Jackson, New South Wales. Johnson discusses the drought and with it, declining conditions in the colony. He describes relations with the Aboriginal people, their manufacture of fish hooks and lines, and Abaroo. He writes that he is including examples of fish hooks, lines and a kangaroo skin. 4 pages. The letter was formerly located at Aj 1/9.

    4 Oct. 1791; Letter 7: Autograph letter signed by Johnson written from Port Jackson, New South Wales. Johnson discusses the arrival of the Rev. James Bain, Chaplain to the New South Wales Corps, on HMS Gorgon; the possibility of building a church at Sydney and Rose Hill or Parramatta; ministry to the convicts at Rose Hill; and the family's removal to a new house. He mentions a trip to Norfolk, Oct.-Dec. The letter is enclosed in a folder which includes a copy of certificate of marriage dated 4 Dec. 1786 of the Rev. Richard Johnson and Mary Burton; an undated newscutting, ca. 1888, concerning Johnson; and a copy of an etching of St John's Church Hull. 6 pages. The letter and associated items were formerly located at C 232/1.

    10 Aug. 1797; Letter 8: Autograph letter signed by Johnson written from Sydney, New South Wales. Johnson discusses faith under tribulation, improved conditions attributable to the arrival of Governor John Hunter, and Johnson's duties as magistrate. He mentions his health, and his friend Lieutenant William Dawes now settled in Portsmouth. 4 pages. The letter was formerly located at Aj 1/10.
  • Source
    Letters 5 and 7 presented by Mrs Ida Lee Marriott in 1917.
  • General note

    Photocopy available on open access in the Mitchell Library Reading Room at CY Safe 1/121 (Negative prints)
    Microfilm copy available at CY 1397, frames 1-45

    Transferred from Aj 1/5-10
    Digital order no:Album ID : 823807
  • Creator/Author/Artist
  • Name
  • Subject
  • Place
  • Open Rosetta viewer

View Media Files

2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.
28.
29.
30.
31.
32.
33.
34.
35.
36.
37.
38.

Share this result by email