I Think Dr Desailly Knew Too Much About The Royals

Did Dr Desailly know too much about the Royals back in Regency times.

Was this why he and his wife were banished to the colonies never to return to England?

I’ve learned his secret and I’ve disclosed all in my new paperback book.

What were Dr Desailly and his wife doing in this antipodean outpost of Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania)?

“They held no official position, nor were they of the free settlers who were beginning to trickle into the colony,” wrote Mabel Hookey in a rare, limited-edition book published over 50 years ago. “They did not swell the ranks of those unfortunates [convicts] who had left their country for their country’s good, nor were they political exiles.

“A vessel under special charter brought them to Van Diemen’s Land, and they always had plenty of money, derived from a mysterious pension, paid regularly and with great secrecy. . It was whispered that Dr Desailly’s English practice had been at the court of George IV, and that his beautiful wife had been a Lady in Waiting to Queen Caroline. “

I know Dr Desailly’s Royal secret and you can read the full story HERE.

Could it possibly have had anything to do with the divorce proceedings between George IV and Queen Caroline?

Did his closely guarded secret have everything to do with children of the Prince of Wales? Maybe legitimate children from his secret marriage to Maria Fitzherbert? If so, where were they? Absolutely nothing is known of them.

Until now.

Were they conveniently dispatched on a Third Fleet ship of all-female convicts that set sail for Australia in 1791?

So where are they?

Maybe I know.

His secret died with him.

Or so it was thought – until now.

That and more is revealed in my book ‘The Great Regency Cover-Up’.

Love and peace.

Neil the Smith

PS. This is a “fun and entertaining” book, said one enthusiastic reviewer.

What is Dr Desailly’s Royal Secret?

I know Dr Desailly’s secret and I’ve disclosed all in my new paperback book.

What were Dr Desailly and his wife doing in this antipodean outpost of Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania)?

“They held no official position, nor were they of the free settlers who were beginning to trickle into the colony,” wrote Mabel Hookey in a rare, limited edition book published over 50 years ago. “They did not swell the ranks of those unfortunates [convicts] who had left their country for their country’s good, nor were they political exiles.

“A vessel under special charter brought them to Van Diemen’s Land, and they always had plenty of money, derived from a mysterious pension, paid regularly and with great secrecy. . It was whispered that Dr Desailly’s English practice had been at the court of George IV, and that his beautiful wife had been a Lady in Waiting to Queen Caroline.

I know Dr Desailly’s Royal secret and you can read the full story HERE.

Could it possibly have had anything to do with the divorce proceedings between George IV and Queen Caroline?

Did his closely guarded secret have everything to do with children of the Prince of Wales? Maybe legitimate children from his secret marriage to Maria Fitzherbert? If so, where were they? Absolutely nothing is known of them.

Until now.

Were they conveniently dispatched on a Third Fleet ship of all-female convicts that set sail for Australia in 1791?

So where are they?

Maybe I know.

His secret died with him.

Or so it was thought – until now.

That and more is revealed in my book ‘The Great Regency Cover-Up’.

Love and peace.

Neil the Smith

Cover-up exposed by a ghost.

Has she returned as a ghost to be heard?

Is she seeking justice for unjust treatment 250 years ago.

They were turbulent times.

She was a Roman Catholic.

And Catholics were being targeted.

For example . . .

By the Gordon riots.

She was secretly married to the Prince of Wales.

Hush. Hush.

The Prince could lose his reputation.

Or even his head.

She was made to feel she didn’t exist.

That the truth didn’t happen.

I know what did happen.

From extensive research.

And a little help from the paranormal.

Ghosts if you like.

Now she wants to be heard.

Evidence has been destroyed.

Or burned.

The truth has been denied.

Officially.

All deemed necessary for the Prince of Wales to survive.

Then.

But now . . .250 years later . . .

It’s time for the truth to be told.

Maybe it’s not too late.

Because what if we knew that legitimate children survived.

And had families.

What if they continued their lives, not in England, but in Australia.

What if their legitimate descendants are alive today.

What if.

I’ve written the ultimate expose of her situation.

I’ve written a 236 page book to expose the mystery of Maria Fitzherbert and what has been covered up.

My book is called The Great Regency Cover-Up’

“You have discerned an amazing story”, says Writer’s Digest.

Read the book and decide for yourself whether she is a voice wanting to be heard.

Some 250 years later.

This is a fun and entertaining book.

Full of twists and turns..

Buy your copy now and enjoy a great read.

Love and peace.

Neil the Smith.

I’ve written a true story about a Royal Prince who was smuggled to Australia 250 years ago.

There was a cover-up 250 years ago.

A secret marriage.

The Prince of Wales to Maria Fitzherbert.

Was it a legal marriage?

The Pope said yes.

I think a child was born after the marriage.

Or maybe two.

There were questions in Parliament.

The Prince of Wales denied everything.

To save his neck.

Not to mention the fate of his bride.

A Roman Catholic.

Who were unpopular at the time.

There were riots.

And the Crown.

A cover-up for sure.

Then, children.

What to do.

A new penal settlement was being established in Australia.

Called New South Wales then.

Inmates incarcerated in London’s gaols and hulks on the Thames were being sent out often for petty crimes.

They were being sent to the other side of the world.

With no hope of ever returning home.

What if unwanted Royal children could go too.

Smuggled on the First Fleets that sailed from 1787 to 1791.

My book has evidence that children may have been onboard without names.

The all-female convict ship ‘Mary Anne‘ was one.

That’s her on the cover of my book.

Now here’s the thing.

Was a British Royal sent to Australia anonymously.

As a mere child.

And where is he or she.

What became of him or her.

Maybe I know.

Buy the book and read for yourself.

“It’s got everything it needs to be a blockbuster,” said Writer’s Digest.

It’s a “fun and entertaining” book, said another reviewer.

Certainly not dull and boring history.

More autobiographical with unexpected twists and turns.

Buy your copy here.

Love and peace.

Neil the Smith.

Is this What The Paranormal Looks Like?

First there’s a ghost, a friendly ghost, an innocent granny ghost.

Or maybe she wasn’t so innocent.

I’m asking you to decide.

Which is how my new non-fiction book starts off.

Not a novel, it’s a true story.

I’d called to visit Florence after work and I was greeted at the door by a woman who looked like she’d seen a ghost.

She had.

Her ghost concealed a message from the past.

From the Regency past.

I mean 200 years ago.

Also the time of the First Fleets of convicts to Australia.

The book is called ‘The Royal Physician Who Knew Too Much.’.

It’s a true historic mystery that I lived for 20 years to try to solve.

But did I?

You decide.

The book took me 10 years to write.

To research.

To edit, edit and re-edit.

I want you to read it for yourself.

Because pretty much everything is driven by paranormal events, clues, chance events, unexpected meetings, channelings, psychic warnings, spiritual inspiration.

You can read about it here.

And order your paperback copy online.

So I’m wondering, has the paranormal become the new normal.

Maybe this book will decide.

Love and Peace.

Neil.

PS. Order your copy of my soul book ‘A True Paranormal Mystery To Change The World’ HERE.

Ghost Busts 200 Year-Old Royal Cover-Up.

Was granny really a ghost on a mission?

Did she live 200 years ago as a wife of the Prince of Wales?

Was her story desperately covered up in the interests of the politics of the day?

And of saving the Prince of Wales’ head?

Read the full story in my book ‘Man Steps Off Planet’ (click here).

At a time of serious anti-Catholic sentiment, of the Gordon riots, even the memory of her deceased late husband who died from injuries he suffered in the riots, was the cover-up in the greater interests of the country, the Parliament . . . and the throne?

Has she returned to state her case for justice?

And legal rights and, as she would claim, a legitimate right to her place in history?

Okay, it’s merely conjecture, but read ‘Dr Desailly’s Secret’ and ‘Florence & The Ghost’ and you may wonder about what really happened 200 years ago.

A time when the Prince of Wales and the wife of a secret marriage, were living in dangerous times.

A time when even the fact that the Royal heir might have married a Catholic as well as against the wishes of the King, George III.

In a letter to the Prince of Wales, Whig politician and leader of the opposition Charles James Fox:

“warned that her situation as well as that of the Prince would be perilous if they went through a ceremony of marriage.”

But they did.

And not only that.

At first she refused all suggestion of marriage.

Then she changed her mind.

Could it be that she was having his child?

And was this child legitimate?

In the chapter ‘The Secret Marriage’ I present the evidence that there was a child.

There were rumours on the couple’s two summers in Brighton.

“It is said she is with child,” wrote a Mrs Talbot.

Could this have been the secret reason for their extended holidays in the seaside resort of Brighton?

Was this a good reason for the distraction of the building of the Royal Pavilion there.

The Pope declared the secret marriage valid.

Read my evidence in ‘The Secret Marriage’ in my book of revelations Man Steps Off Planet’.

Writer’s Digest thinks it’s a blockbuster and “an amazing story”.

At the time all of the evidence was destroyed.

This hasn’t stopped speculation as to whether there were children and, more to the point, where are they?

What happened to them.

I very much doubt, however, if anyone found the evidence I have offered in my book.

This was the time of the historic First Fleets to Australia of mostly convicts sent to start a new colony in the antipodes.

Read the full story in my book ‘Man Steps Off Planet’ (click here).

What a perfect opportunity to disappear an unwanted child and an embarrassment to the Prince of Wales.

I have considered, for example, the fortunate timing of a child with the migration to the end of the earth on one of the First Fleets.

On the same morning that the first ships of the First Fleet sailed for Botany Bay (Australia) on 13 May 1787 carrying 737 convicts, the Prince of Wales was discussing his debts with the Prime Minister, William Pitt.

It’s interesting to note that the Second Fleet two-and-a-half years later carried 22 children and one free person.

It’s impossible to identify who the children were.

This can be found in the chapter ‘The Mystery of the Mary Ann’.

But then we also have three secret messages which point to an interesting man, an unsung hero from that time, with many clues to his identity as a possible child of this Royal couple.

His name is Lieutenant James Simmons.

For a time of great significance to us he was Acting Commander of the brig ‘Lady Nelson‘.

Read the chapters ‘The Lady Nelson’, ‘The Lieutenant Without a Past’, and ‘The Sailor King’.

With this ship he sailed the waters around south-eastern Australia founding Hobart and Launceston in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania).

He developed a close friendship with the colony’s first Chaplain, the Reverend Robert Knopwood.

He fostered friendly relations between the Governor of New South Wales and New Zealand when others before him provoked disaster.

All is revealed in ‘Chief Ti-Pahi & The Maori Episode’.

It’s an interesting read.

One reviewer called it “fun and entertaining”.

I hope you will too.

To order your copy click here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Neil Walter John Smith started his career as an advertising copywriter working on creative accounts like Volkswagen, Herbert Adams and Clark’s Shoes. He won an award for Adams meat pies commercials in the Best TV Campaign for the year. For 10 years he worked freelance as a one-man creative director for some of Melbourne’s hottest creative shops. He then moved to the country to work as an author of non-fiction books. Today he lives in a small picturesque fishing village across the bay from the city of Melbourne close to his 2 beautiful daughters and 3 adorable granddaughters.

To follow my blog scroll down and click the Follow button.

Illustration by nicobou at Deviantart

The Man Who Didn’t Know He Was Prince.

Two hundred years ago the Prince of Wales was in a precarious position. Even his life was in danger. There were reasons. This is my revelation of a legitimate son born from a secret marriage to a Catholic widow. I think they were soul mates but England thought they were trouble.

We have no portraits of him as other famous and even not-so-famous explorers from history do. Has he been a forgotten man, a hero of his time?

Hardly anything is known of him except for his role as Acting Commander of the brig ‘Lady Nelson’.

Could he have been the hitherto unknown father of a legitimate son of the British King George IV from a time when, as the Prince of Wales, he left one mistress after another and then secretly married the Catholic widow and socialite Maria Fitzherbert?

Would Victoria have become Queen had they known about him?

We may never know but, based on the evidence, we can speculate.

In my book ‘Man Steps Off Planet’ I have speculated and reached a shocking conclusion.

Read the evidence I’ve uncovered after extensive research and decide for yourself.

Much of the research has been driven by paranormal events all started by a ghost.

In the end it’s all true (not a novel or a work of fiction).

So who was this unsung hero from over 200 years ago?

He was very active in the story of early British settlement of Australia and New Zealand with a population of mainly convicts.

He understood the native Maroi of New Zealand and fostered harmonious relations between Chief Ti-Pahi and Governor King.

He was in the thick of Australia’s only military coup and was chosen to escort Governor William Bligh back to England to be court marshaled.

There are also heartwarming true stories.

Like when one of his crew fell in love with the Chief’s daughter and stayed behind to marry her.

Or the unbelievable tale of William Buckley, a convict who escaped from a failed settlement near Melbourne 30 years before the city was even founded as “the place for a village”.

He lived with the local aborigines as their leader and was met by the party that sailed from Tasmania to found Melbourne in 1830.

On his many voyages he became friendly with the Reverend Robert Knopwood, the first chaplain of Tasmania, and was heavily involved in the dramatic politics of this early penal colony.

This is only the tip of the iceberg.

You can read how the mystery unfolded for me and my travels around the world chasing clues and searching for evidence to support the little known events surrounding this intriguing historical saga.

Did you enjoy reading this post? Scroll down to follow my blog for future email posts.

Best wishes,

Neil Smith

To read in your browser click here.

To order your copy of the book from the publisher at 10% off click here.

Illustration: ‘Frog Prince’ by YolandaBlazquez on Deviantart.

The Prince & The 2 Convicts Who Stole 10 Yards Of Cotton.

On the very morning the ships of the First Fleet left Portsmouth for New South Wales (Australia) in May of 1787 carrying 736 criminals on board, the Prince of Wales was discussing his debts which had amounted to 161,000 pounds with the Prime Minister, William Pitt.

On that same day two 17 year-old girls were leaving to serve 14 year sentences, effectively life on the other side of the planet, for stealing 10 yards of printed cotton.

The ships sailed from Portsmouth with no greater fanfare than a brief notice in the London Chronicle announcing that early on Sunday 13 May 1787, the fleet had sailed for Botany Bay.

It’s said one woman died of a broken heart even before her ship sailed.

On the other hand many were pleased to be leaving the awful conditions of the jails and hulks behind for a new land of fresh air and open spaces.

All the same many would die in shackles on the terrible journey which took nine months or more around the Cape of Good Hope and across the Roaring Forties.

Others would be flogged for talking of mutiny.

These human lives were of no great concern to those sitting in the Parliament in London or, for that matter, to those on or close to the throne of England.

The Prince of Wales included.

Yet did one of those passengers include an unsuspecting secret child of the Prince being sent as far away as possible to the new convict colony in the antipodes?

My book explores the possibility.

There were eleven vessels in the fleet, six of them transports, three store ships, a supply ship and the flagship.

Upon his arrival in New South Wales in January 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip assumed the position of the first Governor-in-Chief.

The First Fleets sailed from England between 1787 and 1791 bound for New South Wales, as Australia had been named by Captain James Cook, in the land called New Holland by the Dutch (who first landed here in 1606), which some two thousand years ago had been referred to by the Alexandrian geographer Claudius Ptolemy as Terra Australis Incognita, the Unknown South Land.

The name ‘Australia’ first appeared on explorer Matthew Flinders’ map (1801-3) of the first circumnavigation of the continent.

This marked the beginning of a quiet invasion of an already inhabited land by hapless settlers, mostly convicts (often guilty of the pettiest crimes) banished from a homeland of overcrowded jails and hulks on the Thames that cared not of their unknown fate.

They left behind their families and loved ones knowing they would never see them again.

“As the fleet sailed from Table Bay on 12 November,” wrote a leading historian*, “a melancholy reflection obtruded itself on the minds of a few. The land behind them was the abode of a civilized people; before them was the residence of savages. Refreshments and pleasures were to be exchanged for coarse fare and hard labour at New South Wales. All communications with families and friends was now cut off. To some this was an attractive challenge; this leaving behind civilization, this task of exploring a remote and barbarous land, and planting in it the arts of civilization. Others were so overwhelmed by their private anguish that their minds could not soar to such a theme. Whatever the feelings in their hearts, all were sailing ever closer to a country which at that moment belonged, as it had done for countless centuries, to the peoples the white man called ‘Aborigines’.” (*Manning Clark’s History of Australia’, abridged by Michael Cathcart, published by Melbourne University Press 1993. Page 6.)

Phillip named the place Sydney (Sydney Cove) after Lord Sydney, the Secretary of State for the Home Office, and the harbour Port Jackson.

(Extracted from my book ‘Back to the Wall’, Ch. 7, ‘The Mystery of the Mary Ann’, pages 62-4).

(Illustrated above: The all female convict ship of the First Fleet the ‘Lady Penrhyn’.)

Best wishes,
Neil
Author Page
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The Lost Prince of Oz.

Who was this mysterious man without a past, a British seaman who sailed to New South Wales, as Australia was called then, with the notorious William Bligh of ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ fame?

We have no portraits of him as other famous and even not-so-famous explorers from history do.

Has he been a forgotten man, a hero of his time?

Hardly anything is known of him except for his role as Acting Commander of the brig ‘Lady Nelson’.

Could he have been the hitherto unknown father of a legitimate son of the British King George IV from a time when, as the Prince of Wales, he left one mistress after another and then secretly married the Catholic widow and socialite Maria Fitzherbert?

Would Victoria have become Queen had they known about him?

We may never know but, based on the evidence, we can speculate.

In my book ‘Back to the Wall’ I have speculated and reached a shocking conclusion.

Read the evidence I’ve uncovered after extensive research and decide for yourself.

Much of the research has been driven by paranormal events all started by a ghost.

In the end it’s all true (not a novel or a work of fiction).

So who was this unsung hero from over 200 years ago?

He was very active in the story of early British settlement of Australia and New Zealand with a population of mainly convicts.

He understood the native Maroi of New Zealand and fostered harmonious relations between Chief Ti-Pahi and Governor King.

He was in the thick of Australia’s only military coup and was chosen to escort Governor William Bligh back to England to be court marshaled.

There are also heartwarming true stories.

Like when one of his crew fell in love with the Chief’s daughter and stayed behind to marry her.

Or the unbelievable tale of William Buckley, a convict who escaped from a failed settlement near Melbourne 30 years before the city was even founded as “the place for a village”.

He lived with the local aborigines as their leader and was met by the party that sailed from Tasmania to found Melbourne in 1830.

On his many voyages he became friendly with the Reverend Robert Knopwood, the first chaplain of Tasmania, and was heavily involved in the dramatic politics of this early penal colony.

This is only the tip of the iceberg.

You can read how the mystery unfolded for me and my travels around the world chasing clues and searching for evidence to support the little known events surrounding this intriguing historical saga.

Did you enjoy reading this post? Scroll down to follow my secret blog for future email posts.

Best wishes,

Neil
My Author Website

To read in your browser click here.

To order your copy of the book from the publisher at 10% off click here.

 

 

The Acting Commander Of The ‘Lady Nelson’ Had a Secret. Even He Never Knew What It Was.

Was this a closely guarded secret from over 200 years ago?

Was the Acting Commander of the ‘Lady Nelson’ a legitimate heir to the throne of England in spite of a secret marriage between the Prince of Wales and a Roman Catholic widow (illustrated above)?

Was he secretly placed at a young age into an institution for homeless boys where he would be forgotten?

But then, if the Pope declared the secret marriage a legitimate one, what then of any child from the marriage?

Because of a single clue left by a ghost, yes a ghost, 100 years ago, could his secret identity have been uncovered?

I think it was.

Because it was me who uncovered it.

On 1 December 1786, at the age of about seven, he was given his first official naval appointment (we know this to be a fact because it says so on his official naval record written by himself) as a Lieutenant’s Servant on the ‘Standard’ in Plymouth.

Then 17 years later in the very early days of British settlement of Australia he was chosen ny Governor King to take command of the tall ship ‘Lady Nelson’.

One hot November day just over two hundred years ago in the fledgling convict settlement at Port Jackson, as a midshipman only recently arrived in the colony, he found himself appointed Acting Lieutenant and Commander of HMS ‘Lady Nelson’.

The ship’s previous commander, Lieutenant George Curtoys, had become so ill from unloading cargo in the extreme heat that a replacement was needed on the spot. The man chosen was James Simmons, at first a midshipman on the governor’s own ship then mate on the ‘Lady Nelson’.

The year was 1803. He would have been just twenty-four or twenty-five at the time.

That he was selected in an emergency for an instant promotion to Acting Lieutenant and Commander of the ‘Lady Nelson’ is perhaps the first indication of the emerging qualities of a young man who seems to be one of the forgotten unsung heroes of Australian history. He has an extraordinary story to tell, an adventure of which very few (as far as I know) even today have ever heard, of a man only briefly mentioned, if at all, in the history books.

Midshipman James Simmons had sailed for New South Wales on 20 June 1802 on the ‘Glatton’ as an able seaman midshipman under Captain Colnett. The previous year the ‘Glatton’ had fought with Admiral Nelson in the Battle of Copenhagen under the command of William Bligh, of ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ fame, with whom James would cross swords later in yet another infamous episode involving Captain Bligh in Australia’s only military coup.

After a sea journey of nine months the ‘Glatton’ arrived at New South Wales in March 1803. The Governor of the colony was Captain Philip Gidley King, the fifth appointment after two previous governors and two acting governors.

King had sailed with the First Fleet under Captain Arthur Phillip. He served as Second Lieutenant on the ‘Sirius’, the flagship of the fleet which arrived in New South Wales on 25 January 1788. Less than two months later King was appointed by Governor Phillip as Commandant of another penal settlement at Norfolk Island, to the north-east of Port Jackson.

Twelve years later, in 1800, he became Governor of New South Wales, replacing Captain John Hunter.

When midshipman James Simmons arrived in March 1803 he was appointed to Governor King’s own ship the ‘Buffalo’.

A lucky break?

Now, just eight months later, on this hot November day, he found himself unofficially and hastily moved to the command of the ‘Lady Nelson’ which was then armed tender to His Majesty’s Ship ‘Buffalo’.

Was this another lucky break or did King single him out for special treatment?

Did he display exceptional qualities even at the age of twenty-four or twenty-five?

What did I find when I set out to follow the clues that emerged after Granny’s ghost’s secret came to light?

Come with me as I learn this man’s 200 year-old secret?

What would the consequences have been had his secret be known at the time?

Read every moment of my adventure in ‘Back to the Wall’.

Best wishes,

Neil

 

 

 

First Fleets Mystery.

The First Fleet entering Port Jackson (Sydney) January 26, 1788

What untold secrets did they take with them? They sailed from Portsmouth, England, between 1787 and 1791 to an unknown world with a cargo of mainly convicts to start an experiment in self sufficiency in a strange new land on the other side of the planet already inhabited for maybe 80,000 years by the Australian aborigine.

They had nothing except for what they brought with them on sailing ships which, in many cases, were not up to the trip. Nor were many of the passengers. They left behind families and loved ones, for good.

They set out on a long up to 11 month long voyage at sea into the unknown.

They were going for life.

Many died on the voyage.

Only now I have learned of the mystery.

Actually, more than one mystery.

One concerns an all female convict ship the ‘Lady Juliana’.

Another is the ‘Mary Ann’.

Yet another is the ‘Lady Nelson’, not part of the First Fleets arriving in Port Jackson (Sydney) 9 years later.

The biggest mystery of the lot involves the enigmatic Commander of the ‘Lady Nelson’ who took over in an emergency at the age of just 23 or 24.

Who was he, what was his mysterious past and what was his explosive secret?

Was he, I wonder, a legitimate son to Maria Fitzherbert and the Prince of Wales, King George IV?

The evidence is all there in my fun and entertaining romantic historical mystery ‘Back to the Wall’.

To buy now CLICK HERE or on Amazon HERE

In the book, full of twists and turns, you can read how the mystery unfolded for me as I chased the clues across three countries as well as here in Australia and New Zealand.

You’ll read of Australia’s only military coup, of confrontations with the Maori Chief Ti-Pahi, of drama on the High Seas with equipment and men washed overboard, lost anchors and torn sails, of convicts who escaped from early settlements to live with the aborigines, of a secret royal wedding, of a King’s physician banished to the colonies for life because of what he knew, of another little-known mutiny against William Bligh of ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ fame and of his return to England to face court marshal, and more.

Then there’s the ghost that started this all off. But that’s another story you’ll read in the book.

“You have discerned an amazing story”, said the Judge of the Reader’s Digest 21st Annual Self-Published Book Awards.

It’s a non-stop adventure with twists and turns from cover to cover.

To buy now CLICK HERE or on Amazon HERE

Best wishes

Neil

Living Drama In A 200 Year Old Ship’s Log

Lady Nelson replica

One hot November day just over two hundred years ago in the fledgling convict settlement at Port Jackson, New South Wales (as the east coast of Australia was known), a midshipman only recently arrived in the colony found himself, within the space of eight months, appointed Acting Lieutenant and Commander of HMSLady Nelson’.

The year was 1803, only 15 years after the first of three fleets had arrived from England with a cargo of mostly convicts to establish a new penal colony in New South Wales.

The ship’s previous commander, Lieutenant George Curtoys, had become so ill from unloading cargo in the extreme heat that a replacement was needed on the spot.

The man chosen was James Simmons, at first a midshipman on the governor’s own ship then mate on the ‘Lady Nelson’.

He would have been just twenty-four or twenty-five at the time.

Who was this man, to be singled out for such an important role at such a young age, who received such praise from Governor King?

Most of us have heard of Captain Cook but who has heard of Lieutenant James Simmons? Yet he was heavily involved in Australia’s first military coup, in nurturing harmonious relationships with the indigenous Maori of New Zealand, in establishing Hobart Town and Launceston in Tasmania, and was entrusted with the papers incriminating Governor William Bligh (of ‘Mutiny of the Bounty’ fame) and the return of Bligh himself to London for court marshal, and much more. Read the full story in my book ‘Back to the Wall’.

He was one of the unsung heroes in Australia’s history. You can read his story and his mysterious past in ‘Back to the Wall’ here.

We’re lucky to have a complete transcript of the original log by Ida Lee in her book called The Log of the Lady Nelson’.

Here are the first 2 dramatic months of his command of the ‘Lady Nelson’, unedited, which were already full of real daily life on board a sailing ship facing the unknown and the changing elements.*  (Bold face emphasis is mine.)

LOG OF THE LADY NELSON.

J. SYMONS, Acting Lieutenant and Commander,
Port Jackson, New South Wales.

Sydney to Norfolk Island.

“Monday, 30th April 1804. P.M. Left the Heads. Winds variable. At 4 North
Head of Port Jackson 4 leagues. At 8 the Francis in sight. At 1 A.M. light
breezes and clear. At noon the Francis in company.

“Tuesday, 1st May. In company with the Francis at 5 lost sight of the Francis.

“Friday, 4th May. Fine clear weather: at 5 A.M. saw How’s Islands upon the
weather bow bearing north-north-east distant 5 leagues, bearing north-east 1/2 F. distant 6 leagues. At noon abreast of How’s Island east: distant 3 leagues.

“Saturday, 5th May. Tacked ship and stood in for How’s Island.

“Sunday, 6th May. P.M. Hard squalls of rain. How’s Island west by north 7
leagues.

“Monday, 7th May. P.M. Still blowing hard: at 6 took in the fore-top-sail: at 4
split the mainsail and fore-top-mast stay-sail. At 9 fine pleasant weather:
employed about a new mainsail and bending a fore-top-mast stay-sail.

“Tuesday, 8th May. P.M. Fresh breezes and fine clear weather: at 4 bent new
mainsail: at 10 bore away for New Zealand. Have but 2 casks on board and no
wood.

“Tuesday, 29th May P.M. Cloudy weather with squalls.

“Wednesday, 30th May. Small breezes and fine weather. At 8 A.M. tacked ship:
at 9 split the fore-top-gallant-sail and carried away the main-top-gallant-yard.

“Thursday, 31st May. Moderate winds and cloudy weather. At 7 set up the maintop-gallant yard and set the sail: at 4 A.M. set the lower and fore-top-mast studding sail. At 8 carried away the fore keel pendant and lost the keel, at 10 took in the studding sail.

“Friday, 1st June. Small breezes. At 3 calm, light breezes and fine weather.

“Saturday, 2nd June. Cloudy with squalls of wind and rain. At 5 took in the
main-top-gallant-sail.

“Sunday, 3rd June. P.M. Fresh gales with squalls and bad sea from east-southeast. At 2 saw the Three Kings being south-west by west 3 leagues.

“Monday, 4th June. P.M. Bore away to leeward of the Three Kings and in search of wood and water, sent boat ashore, lost 4 oars overboard. At 7 P.M. the boat came on board with wood.

“Tuesday, 5th June. At 1 made sail close under shore of New Zealand.

“Wednesday, 6th June. Land distant 2 leagues: came to anchor in bay on the east side of New Zealand: went ashore, got some wood and water: at 6 A.M. went on shore again and got some water: at 9 A.M. got under weigh and bore away for the River Thames.

“Thursday, 7th June. P.M. At 6 came to anchor in a small bay to the northward of River Thames. At 7 went on shore, found it a bad landing: could not get water: got some wood. At 9 got under weigh and stood round for the mouth of the River Thames.

“Friday, 8th June. P.M. At 3 came to anchor on the north-west side of River
Thames with the bower anchor in 11 fathoms water and sent boat ashore for
wood and water. At 11 weighed anchor and made sail out of the river on account of the natives being so numerous on board

“Saturday, 9th June. Cloudy weather: all sail set standing along the coast. At 12 A.M. Cavill’s Island bearing north-west distant 10 miles. At daylight made all sail into the bay bearing west: tacked occasionally: at 11 shortened sail and came to in 10 fathoms of water with best bower anchor.

“Sunday, 10th June. Moderate breezes: at 2 sent boat ashore: at 6 returned with wood and water.

“Monday, 11th June. Got some wood and water: at 10 wind north-north-west—
hard squalls of wind and rain.

“Tuesday, 12th June. At 6 the boat came on board with wood and an account that James Cavanagh a prisoner who was sent to cut wood had run into the Brush and that a party of men had been in pursuit of him and could not find him and he was left behind: at 1/4 past 9 a heavy squall: gave the vessel more cable: found her driving in shore very fast: the gale continuing and a heavy sea. Set the top-sail, mainsail and fore-top-stay sail and cut the cable, not being able to get anchor on account of vessel driving so fast: the anchor was lost, 120 fathoms of cable. 1/4 before 10 tacked ship, 10 past 10 began to run between Cavill’s Island and mainland, not being able to work out of the bay, up keel and fore-sail down jib and mainsail. At 11 being quite clear of land shortened sail and hove to.

“Wednesday, 13th June. P.M. At 9 more moderate. Latitude by observation 33
degrees 8 minutes.

“Thursday, 14th June. P.M. Fine clear weather: at 8 took one reef in the maintop-sail and set the stay-sail.

“Friday, 15th June. P.M. Light airs, clear weather: set the fore and main courses: at 9 fresh breezes: took in top-gallant sails: at 10 strong breezes and squally: at 12 A.M. tacked ship and close reefed top-sail, furled the jib and mainsail and sent down top-gallant yards.

“Saturday, 16th June. P.M. Fresh breezes and clear: at 1 got main-top-gallant
yard up and set the sail.

“Sunday, 17th June. Light airs from northward. Set the square mainsail: at 12
tacked ship.

“Monday, 18th June. P.M. Light wind and clear weather: at 8 wore ship.

“Tuesday, 19th June. P.M. At 12 saw Norfolk Island bearing south 1/2 east
distant 7 leagues.

“Wednesday, 20th June. P.M. At 5 Norfolk island distant 6 leagues. At 8 Norfolk Island distant 4 leagues.

“Thursday, 21st June. P.M. At 4 Norfolk Island distant 5 leagues: at sunset
Norfolk Island distant 5 leagues: at 8 Norfolk Island S.E.E. 3 leagues: at 9 fired
3 guns as signal for a boat.

“Friday, 22nd June. P.M. A boat from Cascade boarded us and took on board the officers of New South Wales Corps and baggage and left a pilot on board: at 10 A.M. a boat came and took on shore more baggage belonging to officers of New South Wales Corps.

“Saturday, 23rd June. P.M. Stretched off land to get round to Sydney (Norfolk
Island) but the wind and weather not permitting stretched off and on all night: at 6 close in with the land: at 8 A.M. tacked ship and stood off from the land: at 10A.M. lowered the boat and sent her with second mate and four men on shore.

“Sunday, 24th June. P.M. Stretching off and on the land to the windward. At 8
A.M. a boat arrived from the shore with a cask of pork and biscuits, the 2nd
mate and 2 men brought the account that the boat was lost and that 1 man
George Cockswain was drowned. At 10 loaded the boat with sundries for the
shore but not being able to make good her landing returned to the ship. We stood off for Governor King’s island with the boat towing astern.

PS. To order your copy to read more drama – of all kinds, from cover to cover – CLICK HERE for my Author Page with the publisher or CLICK HERE to order from Amazon.

*’The Log of the Lady Nelson’ by Ida Lee.

Have I Stumbled Upon A Secret Royal History Of Australia?

The First Fleet entering Port Jackson (Sydney) Jan 26, 1788

What a co-incidence that an explosive Royal affair was going on in England at the very time that the First Fleets were leaving Portsmouth with a cargo of convicts for the unknown south land known to the Dutch as New Holland (Australia).

A very convenient co-incidence.

The First Fleets sailed from England between 1787 and 1791 bound for New South Wales, as Australia had been named by Captain James Cook, in the land called New Holland by the Dutch (who first landed here in 1606), which some two thousand years ago had been referred to by the Alexandrian geographer Claudius Ptolemy as Terra Australis Incognita, the Unknown South Land.

The name ‘Australia’ first appeared on explorer Matthew Flinders’ map (1801-3) of the first circumnavigation of the continent.

This marked the beginning of a quiet invasion of an already inhabited land by hapless settlers, mostly convicts (often guilty of the pettiest crimes) banished from a homeland of overcrowded jails and hulks on the Thames that cared not of their unknown fate.

They left behind their families and loved ones knowing they would never see them again. Two seventeen year-old girls were transported for fourteen years for stealing ten yards of printed cotton. It’s said one woman died of a broken heart even before her ship sailed.

On the other hand it’s said that many were pleased to be leaving the awful conditions of the jails and hulks behind for a new land of fresh air and open spaces.

All the same many would die in shackles on the terrible journey which took nine months or more around the Cape of Good Hope and across the Roaring Forties.

These human lives were of no great concern to those sitting in the Parliament in London or, for that matter, to those on or close to the throne of England.

Except, perhaps, those whose only concern was to remove an unfortunate consequence of a certain secret Royal affair.

What if this co-incidence was used to conceal the evidence on the other side of the world?

Did a British Royal, and then legitimate heir to the throne, set foot on Australian soil as early as 1788?

I explore the evidence in my controversial non-fiction book (not a historic novel) ‘Back to the Wall’.

Order your copy here.

Best wishes

Neil

 

What Was The Mystery of the All Female Convict Ship the ‘Mary Ann’?

The ‘Mary Ann’ was a convict ship, the only ship of the First Fleets to Australia to carry an all-female cargo.

It’s said she sailed “under strange circumstances”.

Interesting.

One hundred and fifty female convicts were brought to the ‘Mary Ann’ from counties and cities throughout England. An article in The Reading Mercury and Oxford Gazette describes a Court Session at the Old Bailey in 1789 when the sentence of Death was first handed down to some of the women who were later transported on the ‘Mary Ann’.

The Judge at the Old Bailey passed sentence of death upon 26 capital convicts. He stated that it was a circumstance much to be lamented, and too plainly deplored the increasing depravity of the times, to have so many wretched criminals standing at the bar to be prematurely cut off from society for their several offences.

The boys, eight in number, and the seven women presented a most dreadful spectacle; they continued several minutes in the bar, some on their knees, filling the Court with their lamentations and cries for mercy.

It is the determination of Government, that all future pardons shall be on condition of transportation for life. And as a further means of clearing the country of thieves and vagabonds the destination of all felons convicted on transportable offences, is to be New South Wales (as Australia was called then).

Over fifty-two years from 1788 to 1840 when transportation of convicts came to an end, more than 12,000 women were transported to New South Wales. A woman transported on the ‘Charlotte’ in 1788 could potentially have been great grandmother to one of the last sent on the ‘Surry’ in 1840.

“With a devil-may-care attitude aided by subterfuge, coquettishness, prostitution or redemption, many in their own way embraced their new life.” (www.jenwilletts.com)

Of the female convicts sent on the ‘Mary Ann’, Susannah Bray was sentenced for 7 years for stealing a bedsheet, Mary Brown to Life for shoplifting (commuted to 7 years), Sarah Donnelly to 7 years for stealing 10 yards of silk ribbon.

The ‘Mary Ann’ was the only ship in the fleet to carry exclusively female, and no male, convicts. Although officially one of the Third Fleet the ‘Mary Ann’ sailed independently of the rest of the fleet, leaving England forty days before the first of the other ships.

I wonder why?

Under the command of her part-owner, Mark Munroe, the 298 ton vessel sailed from England on the 16 February, 1791, arriving in New South Wales on 9 July. This was the fastest voyage yet made by any ship of the three fleets. Bateson in ‘The Convict Ships’ reports a cargo of 150 female convicts but the records of ‘Shipping Arrivals & Departures, Sydney, 1788-1825’ show this to be incorrect. The ‘Mary Ann’ (officially) carried 141 female convicts, six children and one free woman.

There were a number of indications of a hasty departure. As reported by Collins, the Master of the ship “had not any private papers on board (but what added to the disappointments everyone experienced), he had not bought a single newspaper, and having been but a few weeks from Greenland before sailing for this country, he was destitute of any kind of information.” (“An Account of the English Colony of New South Wales” by David Collins)

After a gruelling 143 days at sea “possibly because she called at only one port en route to refresh her prisoners with fresh provisions” a very strange thing happened. “The Master landed a boat in a bay on the coast about 15 miles to the southward of Botany Bay; but no other observation of any consequence to the colony, than that it was a bay in which a boat may land.” (Collins)

How odd.

There’s more.

“Of the ten sail of transports [the Third Fleet] lately arrived, five, after delivering their cargo, were to proceed on the southern whaling fisheries – the ‘Mary Ann’, ‘Matilda’, ‘William and Mary’, ‘Salamanda’ and ‘Brittania’. Two of the whalers, ‘Matilda’ and ‘Mary Ann’, came in from the sea the day on which the others arrived. The former found a boat in a bay on the coast six miles to the southward of Port Stephens …” (‘The Convict Ships’ by Charles Bateson)

First, a boat was landed in a bay apparently before offloading the sick and dying women passengers. Then, later, a boat was found in a bay south of the main settlement.

What were these boats up to?

Read about this all female convict ship and other strange but true mysteries in my acclaimed book.

Best wishes

Neil Smith

PS. To read the whole story of the ‘Mary Ann’ and of my chasing the clues to the mystery around the world click here.