First Fleet Leaves England for Australia
On this day in 1787, 11 ships known as the First Fleet left England for Australia. On board were 1487 people, including 778 convicts. Their destination was Botany Bay in what was then known as New Holland. The expedition was under the leadership of Captain Arthur Phillip, soon to be Governor Phillip and later Admiral Phillip. The First Fleet arrived at Botany Bay from the 18th January 1788.
An account of the journey can be found at the Internet Archive. I am currently working on a copy of this work for the Tracing our History website.
A Narrative of the Expedition to Botany Bay, by Watkin Tench
England: Thomas Blood Attempts to Steal the Crown Jewels
On this day in 1671, Colonel Thomas Blood attempted to steal the crown jewels of England in a daring robbery that went wrong very quickly. The attempted robbery took place in the Tower of London where the jewels were on public display.
The whole of Blood’s life is interesting, as he continually pops up in the chronology of England’s history during the period of his life (1618-1680). He plays a role in the civil war, was a major player during an Irish revolt against Charles II, was involved in an attempted assassination or two and his attempted theft of the crown jewels.
An account of his life can be found at the Internet Archive: