The First Fleet is the name given to the 11 ships which left Great Britain on 13 May 1787 to found a penal colony that became the first European settlement in Australia.
The fleet consisted of two Royal Navy vessels, three store ships and six convict transports - carrying more than 1,000 convicts - marines and seamen - and a vast quantity of stores.
The ships arrived at Botany Bay between 18 and 22 January 1788.
One of the ships was the ‘Scarborough’ - which arrived on 21 January 1788 - and one of the people on that ship was Frederick Meredith - who came as a free man and as a steward to Captain John Marshall.
Frederick’s story is fascinating and has been catalogued in detail by many people – but the best story - by Clayton Talbot - is here.
Amongst his many adventures - Frederick went to England in 1792 and returned in 1793 on the ‘Bellona’. On that ship was a convict named Sarah Mason – and she and Frederick subsequently married.
Frederick Meredith was my great, great, great, great grandfather and Sarah Mason was my great, great, great, great grandmother.
We have know about this link for many years I have taken it a step further and have had the link confirmed by an ‘accredited transcription agent’ appointed by the First Fleet Association of NSW.
This is a bunch of toffee nosed poseurs who ponce about extolling their heritage. I mean – really my dear – you are just no one unless you have a first fleeter as an ancestor – and ideally a convict.
I mean (shudder) who would to be someone who arrived as an impoverished migrant from Europe after WW11. I would rather drown myself in a bucket of Chablis.
And yes – 30 years ago people hid the convict connection - and now it is just so fashionable it would make you vomit.
So of course – being the epitome of the poncing poseur – and now that I have been vetted and documented - I am going to join the First Fleet Association and put a chart on the wall.
Eat your hearts out - non-first-fleeters!