The Australian Numismatic Society

A Paper given at the June 2020 online Conference

HMS Supply by Phil Benjamin

I believe that this ship’s contribution to Australia has been understated and that of the Sirius overstated.
Supply was the first ship to land in Botany Bay and then in Port Jackson and as Arthur Phillip was on
board she was the flagship of the fleet at that time. I have been unable to find any medals of the ship but
the ship in the background in this small medal is two masted so I presume it is the Supply.

Wallace International Australian Bicentenary set of 20 medals, 27mm , Cupronickel.

After the establishment of the initial settlement at Port Jackson, Supply was the link between the colony and
Norfolk Island, making 10 trips. Following the loss of Sirius in 1790, she became the colony's only link with
the outside world. On 17 April 1790, she was sent to Batavia for supplies, returning on 19 September, her
captain having chartered a Dutch vessel, Waaksamheid, to follow with more stores.

Supply left Port Jackson on 26 November 1791 and sailed via Cape Horn, reaching Plymouth on 21 April 1792.

A number of David Blackburn's letters to family and friends have survived. These letters describe the events of
the voyage and the early days of settlement, including Blackburn's participation in the expedition to Norfolk Island
to establish a settlement there in February 1788.

The Admiralty sold her at auction in July 1792 and her new owners renamed her Thomas and Nancy. She then
carried coal in the Thames area until 1806.

The Admiralty in October 1793 purchased the American mercantile ship New Brunswick, named her HMS Supply,
and sent her out to Botany Bay to replace her predecessor.

HMS Supply (1793) was a 10-gun storeship, of 388 tons, originally the American mercantile New Brunswick, which
the Admiralty purchased in 1793 as an armed vessel for the colony at Botany Bay; she was broken up there in 1806.

The Royal Australian Historical society has reverted to its original badge on which it says are images of the Sirius
and Supply but this cannot be, as both ships are three masted and the Supply had only two.
  1915 badge

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11th June 2020