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Historical Records of New Zealand

The Right Hon. Henry Dundas* to Governor Phillip

The Right Hon. Henry Dundas* to Governor Phillip.

Whitehall, 5 July, 1791.


Agreeably to the intimation which was made to you by Lord Grenville in his letter, No. 10, of the 19th of February last, the ship Pitt has been taken up, and will proceed with three hundred and fifty-six male and fifty-six female convicts to Port Jackson the first fair wind.

In selecting the convicts who compose the present embarkation care has been taken that no persons but such as are likely to be useful in the settlement will now be sent out. It will, I am afraid, be impossible, unless the Pitt should be detained longer than is expected, to furnish you by her with copies of the several Orders of Council for fixing the destination of these people; but, as another vessel will be dispatched to you in the course of the autumn with a further number of convicts, I shall avail myself of that opportunity of forwarding them to you.

You will receive by the Pitt a vessel in frame, which, when set up, will, I have no doubt, be found extremely useful to you; and also a proportion of salted beef and pork for four hundred convicts for twelve months. The supply was confined to these articles on the idea that, with the grain produced in the settlements, the flour already sent from home, the quantity purchased at Batavia, and the supply intended to be forwarded to you from Calcutta, you would not, at least for the present, be in want of flour or rice. I shall, however, before the departure of the next ship, endeavour to form the best opinion I can from your communications of the exact state of the settlement in this respect, and shall then make such preparation as may appear requisite for furnishing you with such further supplies as you may be supposed to stand in need of. The tonnage taken up in stowing away the vessel in frame has prevented you receiving by this opportunity some articles, particularly the clothing for the convicts now embarked, which could not, from the want of room, be taken on board.

* Afterwards Viscount Melville. He succeeded Lord Grenville at the Home Office in June, 1791, Grenville going to the Foreign Office.

page 128

The ship Dædalus will proceed in the course of a few days to the north-west coast of America, to receive possession of the several places there which, in consequence of the late convention between his Majesty and the King of Spain, are to be restored.* This vessel, after the performance of that service and delivering to Captain Vancouver (employed in surveying the said coast) such stores and provisions as he may be able to take on board, will, agreeably to the intimation made to you by Lord Grenville in his letter before referred to, repair to New South Wales, where she may be expected early in the year 1793, and her commander will then follow your orders, either for going to Calcutta or elsewhere, for the purpose of procuring supplies. It is probable, however, that Captain Vancouver will not be able to take on board so much of the cargo of the Dædalus as may be sufficient to enable him to execute the orders he has received; if it should so happen, he will apply to you to order the Dædalus to rejoin him at the Sandwich Islands during the following winter with the remainder of her cargo; and on receiving such application you will comply therewith, or send some other vessel, which may then be with you, with those supplies, and any others he may stand in need of, which the settlement under your government may, without inconvenience, be able to furnish. Major Grose proceeds in the Pitt with one company of his corps; the other will follow in the next ship. The disposition which has in many instances been shown by the convicts to mutiny during the passage appears to render a military guard at all times indispensably necessary.

* Ante, p. 122.

This despatch is unsigned, but it is obviously from the Right Hon. Henry Dundas.