Diary of Anne Fairweather

Anne was convicted of a petty crime In London in 1787 and sentenced to transportation to Australia on the First Fleet. This blog tells the story of that journey.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Who is Anne Fairweather?

Anne Fairweather was born in a little cottage near Essex and Suffolk in 1766. Her father was a poor simple farmer who she fondly remembered as a happy person. Anne had five brothers and five sisters. Sadly, three of her brothers and two sisters died of malnutrition before they were five years old. Anne never went to school because her family was too poor. She was the eldest in the family and spent much of her time looking after her younger brothers and sisters. She helped work the farm with her father. Her wages were very poor and the money did not pay for the food and clothing that the family needed. Her clothes were old and tattered. She did not have any shoes and her feet were always sore and blistered from walking on the rough ground. Anne had dirty long brown hair which she tied back with an old piece of material. Anne was of medium build and led a hard life.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Life in England

Hello I am Anne Fairweather,
Life in England is a tough life. I have to get up in the morning at 6:00 am, and in this season of the year it is Summer and it is a warm day and pleasant. Today is bath day and we have it in the evening I don't have any hot water so I have to have a cold bath in a wooden tub and we are very lucky to at least have one bath a week. Today I'm going to the market which is fifteen mins walk to get some food for the family. When I got there I didn't get much for my onions and turnips so I didn't have enough money to buy the things that I needed. While a stall keeper wasn't looking I stole a loaf of bread and hurried away. When I got home everybody was amazed that for once I got everything I needed. I don't feel very good about stealing but I needed it for my family. Then for the rest of the day I went out and helped water the crops because we needed rain and the crops were dry. While I was there a cow was out of it's pen and stepping on the crops, so I went and put it back in it's pen.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Crime

I'm in trouble. I've just been caught stealing a purse. I was on my way to the markets to buy some food for my family. I checked my purse for some money but it was empty. Then I saw a purse left on a table . I was about to take it hoping there were a few shillings in it. Suddenly a policeman came around the corner, saw me and arrested me. So now I am in a horrible, mouldy old cell which is terribly crowded. I'm feeling very miserable and I miss my family so much and they have no idea where I am. I'm really scared about what's going to happen to me.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Trial

Today is the day I am going to court. I was woken up early to get ready. I am feeling sad, nervous and really dirty. I was put in wrist chains and taken into the courtroom, I felt more nervous than ever because everyone was staring at me. The judge started to talk to me and asked me horrible questions. He decided I was guilty and my sentence was 7 years transportation to New South Wales. Two policeman dragged me to the harbour and put me in a hulk. I really regret taking that purse. Sadly my family still don't know where I am.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Life on the York

After my trial they forced me into a cramped cart and took me to Portsmouth, where I was forced onto a hulk, the York. Well, for starters, it reaked of stale yucky stuff, it would be big if it wasn't for 600 people, and the men are really rough to the ladies. There are only 3 women including me. It's terrible. Really terrible. It's really freezing because there is no heating or blankets and we only get fed stale pottage. I am starting to stink, because we don't get baths. Now I really am regreting stealing that purse.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Leaving England

Life on the York was horrrrible and boring, all we did was sit around all day. Around midday we were taken up on deck, had chains put on our ankles and were transported by row boat to the Lady Penryhn.

I was feeling very sad because soon I would be leaving England and leaving my family behind. It was very dark in the ship because there were no windows, the only light came from the hatch. We had little food to eat and no fresh water. The ship smelt bad and scurvy was very common (Scurvy is a lack of vitamin C the symptons include bleading into the skin, swealing gums and drying of the skin and hair). We left a week later, there were some big, big, big storms and I felt sick. It was a disgusting trip because we had food served in rations which didn't taste very nice, they tasted like an old potato sack. We were told that it would take at least 6 months to get to Botany Bay. I hope I live to see Botany Bay.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


We arrived at Teneriffe where we stayed for 4 days. It is very hot and we're only allowed to go on deck for exercise. I am starving but we only get a little amount of food. I really need fruit or I might get scurvy or whatever you call it. I saw some business men trying to sell goods to marines I was surprised at this sight. I've made some friends, their names are Sarah, Emily and Claire. The ship smells really bad and a some people have died, that is how bad the smell is. This is the worst thing that has happened to me. I regret stealing that purse dearly.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Teneriffe to Rio de Janiero

We have just left Teneriffe, it is not as hot as it used to be. We have collected more rations and rum which has made the officers and us convicts happy. Some convicts have died trying to do their business (toilet) by hanging on the rope over the sea , it's dangerous but the girls have to use it cause they can't use the pail. The convict men and even the ladies are becoming more restless by the day and we are also turning on each other. It is horibble!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town

We have arrived in Rio de Janeiro. It has been a very long journey since we left Portsmouth. We collected fresh fruit, meat, spears, spare parts for the ships and plenty of water. The food is terrible, it is raw everything. I hate this jouney and I wish it could end!!!!!!!!

The next stop was Cape Town it was a long jouney and I didn't looking foward to it!!!!!!!

This guy called John Brown fell over board they did not really care because he was only a convict plus he was trying to escape.

The other news is that the captian of the Sirius had to be sent home sick.

There were very rough winds. I know that there is a very low chance that I will survive this journey.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Cape Town to Botany Bay

We are almost at Botany Bay. It was a long trip, and we did not have fresh air for ages!!! I was seasick alot. Yuck! I regret stealing that purse. I miss my family and of course my old pals. On the way, we had to sail through some really rough storms. On the 20th December, it was snowing!!! It was very cold, and we didn't have any blankets. Brrrr. 5 days later, it was Christmas Day on the Indian Ocean and then a few weeks later, it was New Years Eve. And then a New Year!!! Hooray! Soon after that, we landed at Botany Bay is New Holland. I want to earn a ticket of leave and find my own paid work . . . . . and eventually FREEDOM!!!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Botany Bay

We have just arrived at Botany Bay. We can't get out off the ships until we have landed all of the supplies. I have looked out of the ship and this new place looks very dry. When the soldiers came in and told us we could get out of the ship, everbody including me was very relieved. I felt very lazy from being on these ships. I overheard a soldier say there were other people on this place. I am already starting to get homesick, it is hard to leave family and friends. We have to put the tents up now, I am scared of what is ahead of us.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Life In Botany Bay

Life in Botany Bay was boring and it was unfair that we had to work our fingers to the bone. We were soon running short on supplies. I had to work for Major Ross as a maid, what a boring job!!!! So far I have been good and have not been given any lashes. The Major is a kind master and says that I will be able to get a ticket of leave if I keep working hard. Freedom is still so many years away, I have been a convict for so long that I have forgotten what it is like to be free . . . . . .