The First Arrivals.

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26th January 1788

Arrival.

When the First Fleet arrived in Australia on the 26th January 1788, on board the "Prince of Wales" was an H.M. Marine Private named William Nash and a woman named Maria Haynes.

H.M.S. "Prince of Wales"

Some Confusion

There is some confusion as to the status of Maria. Whether she was regarded as C.F "(Came Free") or C.P. ("Convict Person") is not certain. She is included in some convict lists on the Prince of Wales and she is omitted from others. Some have said this is because William took her out of the convict quarters on the vessel and had her with him. However, what is almost certainly true is that she had been tried and convicted at the "Old Bailey" in 1786. What the charges were, we do not know, but it seems she was sentenced to transportation for seven years.

"One male & 49 Female Convicts"

As a matter of interest, the "Prince of  Wales" carried just one male and 49 female convicts. It was 350 tons and was skippered by Master John Mason. Built at the Thames in 1786, the "Prince of Wales" operated in England until 1797 when her registration was transferred to Fort Royal, Martinique, after which, little is known.

Read on to learn how William and Maria provide the connection between our Williams family and the First Fleet, thus making us all "First Fleeters."

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(Copyright Kieran Williams 2002. - All rights reserved)

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