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Diaries of William Grant Broughton

Object Type: Folder
In Folder: Broughton, William Grant (1788-1853)


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W.G. Broughton boarded the John Transport on Tuesday, 26 May, 1829 with his wife, two children and two servants. On board the ship there were 185 males, 30 soldiers, and a crew of 32 men and boys and 1 surgeon. Details the ship's position, speed and progress. On 28 May, the ship passed North Foreland and he records that the islands of Madeira and Palma were sighted in June. By 14 June, it was expected that the N.E. trade winds would he reached and on 16 June the Tropic of Cancer was crossed. On 2 July the Gulf of New Guinea was entered and the Tropic of Capricorn was crossed on 16 July. On 2 September Bass Strait was reached and the South Cape of Van Diemen's Land was sighted on 6 September. Jervis Bay was sighted on 12 September and later the same day, Port Jackson was sighted. On 13 September, 1829 the ship entered the Heads of Port Jackson. Whilst on board he records his reflections, thoughts and reminiscences. Remarks on the inexperience of the crew and the idleness of the soldiers. Reports on his intervention when a convict, John Hunt, is sentenced to be kept in handcuffs and receive 3 dozen lashes for striking an officer. Expresses his wish to show the prisoners that he has an interest in their welfare. Each Sunday he performs Divine Service on the quarterdeck with the prisoners and guards assembled. Gives a detailed analysis of Harris' History of Charles I and often quotes passages and analyses various books he is reading. In doing so, he examines such issues as a minister's duty towards "heathens" and the "personal deportment of a Bishop". Writes of the death of one of the crew and describes the funeral service. Reports on a school on board the ship established by Rev. Peter Fenn (Broughton questions whether he is a clergyman as he was convicted of forgery) for the convict boys. Reflects on the pain of seeing a respectable man such as Fenn reduced to the status of a convict. Describes in detail the sounds and sights on board a convict ship.

Broughton, William Grant

In 1834 Broughton and his family made a trip to England. During the voyage they stopped at Bahia, Brazil about which Broughton wrote a detailed account. In it he describes in great depth his impressions of the town and its people. Broughton dedicated the account to his mother. On 14 June, 1834 it is recorded that the ship is near the island of Trinidad. On the thirteenth week after leaving Port Jackson the coast of Brazil is sighted. It is noted that during those thirteen weeks the only land sighted was the desolate islands of the Antipodes. Records the sighting of buildings and plantations as they sail past islands. Sights a vessel rigged off what he believes to be Cape Antonio ("which forms the western enclosure of the Port of Bahia and on which the city of Saint Salvadore is built"). As they sail into the harbour Brazilian Men-of-war and English, Dutch, French and American vessels are sighted. On their left the island of [Toporica] which forms the western side of the bay and on the right the city of Bahia. Describes the harbour and procedure for landing at Bahia, including the examination by the commanding officer of a Brazilian man-of-war. Describes the view of the city as seen from the ship. Records visit by health boat and comments on the inefficiency of regulations and precautions taken against smuggling and "contagion". Gives an account of the Divine Service which he performed on deck. Describes a trip made in the late afternoon to the public gardens. The next morning he and his family set off in the ship's boat towards the "public landing place" and he gives a detailed description of the activity in the harbour and town. He particularly notes one busy street which he found interesting and describes the sedan chairs called "caderas" which are the only means of transport in the town. He and his family travel in caderas to see the upper part of the city which is residential and he describes the Festival of Saint Antonio and the interior of a church he visited. Gives an account of a journey to the outskirts of town and describes a convent which he visits. On the way back from the convent he and his family stop to view a public library and opera house. Describes the village and church of Bom Fim which was reached by boat. On Thursday, 12 June, 1834 they weighed anchor and made their way to England.

Broughton, William Grant

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