This true life adventure story is the saga of four ordinary Englishmen—a pair of banished, first-time petty thieves and a couple chosen to be settlers—who charted a course that led them to help build and mould an infant country on the remotest continent in the known world. Two of their offspring united to continue the adventure.
Vivid first-hand accounts have been pried from the daily, hand-written journals and writings of first-class passengers, crew, and one of the convicts aboard the small wooden sailing ships, as they battled winter storms on the treacherous North Atlantic and Southern Oceans and endured scorching doldrums in the equatorial region. Mutinies, inventions, discoveries, and wars have been chronicled to provide a backdrop of the prevailing international, societal, and interpersonal relationships of the period.
Characters from history’s stage weave their way through these pages—figures including James Cook, Horatio Nelson, Robert Emmet, Jonathan Swift, William Bligh, Lachlan Macquarie, Samuel Marsden, Walter Lawry, Alfred Howitt, and some long-forgotten souls like the tragic Margaret Sullivan. Artwork of the period is included to help stimulate the imagination and help place the reader beside the characters as they toiled to eke out an existence.
The primary objective of this biography is a quest to achieve a broader, deeper understanding and appreciation of the typical person—including their struggles, challenges, and contributions—in early colonial New South Wales, Victoria, and New Zealand. The goal is to further the development of a robust comprehension of the Life and Times that these Six Australian Pioneers experienced, as well, the millions of other pioneers just like them. This book will also appeal to those with an interest in eighteenth and nineteenth-century Australian, European, and New Zealand history; late eighteenth-century ocean voyages; and those with an interest in artwork of the period.