Colonial Events 1789



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In 1789 drought threatened the colony, and the small freshwater stream that ran into Sydney Cove proved an inadequate source of water. To overcome this, holding tanks were cut into the sandstone banks to provide storage for the water. This stream became known as the 'Tank Stream'.


January 1.....

Officers invited to dine at the Governor's table

February 2.....

Death of Captain John Shea of the Marines who died of consumption after a long illness

March 27.....

Six marines executed in Sydney for stealing food - James Baker, James Brown, Richard Dukes, Thomas Jones, Luke Haynes and Richard Askew.

Captain Tench's Account of the Colony


April 15.....

Outbreak of Smallpox amongst the aborigines at Port Jackson

The English Review Volume 22

Mear, Craig., The Origin of the Smallpox Outbreak in Sydney 1789 Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society (June 1, 2008)

Image of child illustrating effects of smallpox (20th Century)



April 28.....

Mutiny on the Bounty.

Text not available 

Dangerous Voyage of Captain Bligh, in an Open Boat, Over 1200 Leagues of the Ocean, in the Year 1789 .. By William Bligh


May 8.....

Return of the Sirius to Port Jackson from the Cape Colony with provisions



May 18.....

Death of Arabanoo from small pox




Discovery of Nepean River by Watkin Tench.




First play performed in Australia - George Farquhar's comedy The Recruiting Officer.

George Farquhar at Wikipedia

Read 'The Recruiting Officer



August 8.....

First Police Force in the colony - Nightwatch......

Select HERE for the names of the first Night watch




First Launching of vessel in Sydney - named the Rose Hill Packet by the convicts.

Text not available

Text not available

An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales


November 21.....

James Ruse -  farm - supported from the public store until 25 February 1791.



November 25.....

Aborigines Colbee and Bennelong taken prisoner

Select Here to view an image of Bennelong




Lieutenant William Dawes led a party into the mountains across the Nepean River, penetrating 15 miles (24 km) in 3 days


Text not available

An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales From Its First Settlement in January 1788, to August 1801 By David Collins



December 24........The Store ship Guardian, Captain Riou, laden with stores and carrying 25 convicts and and a crew of 123 struck an iceberg 400 leagues from the Cape of Good Hope.

Captain Riou died during the attack on Copenhagen on 2 April 1801 and was commended by Lord Nelson for his gallantry and bravery.





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