Convicts and the colonial period, 1788-1901
There have been many books written about convicts and the history of transportation to Australia, and Australia's early colonial period. When using the Library Catalogue's basic search, structure your searches for precise results, using:
- time period
- geographical area (e.g. Sydney, Tasmania)
- individual historical figures (e.g. captains or governors)
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These and other titles can be requested through the Catalogue . You can also find resources on open access in the Main Reading Room Reference Collection.
Can you help us find the correct uniform for a First Fleet re-enactment please?
The painting The pioneer, in 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip R.N. proceeded from Botany Bay to Port Jackson can be seen online and might help. This picture was painted by Henry Macbeth-Raeburn in about 1936, but the uniform appears to be fairly accurate.
We can also consult the book British naval dress by Dudley Jarrett, which has some pictures and other useful information.
The uniform in the painting appears to be the "undress" uniform, which according to Jarrett was in use from 1774 to 1787 for a Captain with over three years’ seniority. In 1767 the full-dress uniform was abolished and the simpler "undress" uniform was introduced for day-to-day use.
In British naval dress, Chapter 2, 1784 to 1829 (pages 31 to 81) there are the following photographs:
31 - 1774-87. Captain (over three year's seniority), full dress. Page 44
32 - 1744-87. Captain (over three year's seniority), undress. Page 45. This picture most closely resembles the uniform in the painting.
The uniform was changed in 1787; however it seems likely that as the First Fleet left England in May 1787 Captain Phillip still wore the previous uniform. You may like to see the entire chapter, which gives detailed descriptions of the various uniforms.
You can use our Copies Direct service to request a copy of these pages and have them sent to you via mail or email.
To place a Copies Direct order, simply click on the Copies Direct button that is located at the bottom of the catalogue record, and complete the online order form. The pages for chapter 2 are 31 to 81