Historical Narrative: Diary Entry
By Amy, 9, The Glennie School, QLD
I used to hear the drunk people sing this song in England many, many, years ago: “We’re bound for Botany Bay.” I never knew what “Botany Bay” was, but now I certainly do. My childhood has been tough in many ways but I always sing that song.
On the 10th of May, 1787, my family was in need of food, and I was only 7 years old. So I crept out onto the dirty, polluted and unhygienic streets of London. I saw the butcher selling some cooked sausages. He was calling out: “Come and get your cooked sausages!” It made me so hungry that I came and snatched six sausages right before his eyes. I sprinted and sprinted and sprinted, but I was running so fast that I didn’t notice a big pebble right in front of me. I was caught right on the spot.
They threw me into Newgate Prison for three days. On the second day I was told I would be sentenced to transportation. I was also told that the fleet would be leaving tomorrow. I felt very apprehensive and panicky.
In chains early in the morning on the 13 May 1787, in iron, cold chains around my neck, ankles, and feet, I was loaded onto the convict ship Lady Penrhyn. There were around 101 women.
The life on the ship for the first week was very challenging until I met some friends, Rebecca, Isabella, Rose, Ambrose , Elizabeth, Sarah and Phebe. We played games and sang together. Then, a few weeks into the trip, people started getting illnesses such as scurvy. All of my friends and I were lucky and escaped from the diseases.
After a period of around one month, we arrived at Rio de Janeiro on the 6 August 1787, to select supplies. This was my first time tasting a hairy, yellow fruit and a big, round, juicy red fruit, another juicy green and orange fruit as well.
After being there till 4 September 1787, we set sail again. The seas were very bumpy and nearly everyone got seasick and the sea and under the deck smelled disgusting. The hospital was full of people with other diseases as well. Luckily, again all my friends and I escaped with minor health issues.
Then our next stop, was The Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.
We finally arrived at the Cape Of Good Hope on October the 14th to get more supplies, get the ship serviced and buy some animals to start the new colony.
We left The Cape of Good Hope on the 12 November 1787, and all of my friends and I were healthy.
We finally spotted Van Diemen’s Land on the January 3, 1788. We were so excited.
About three weeks later, we anchored the ship at Botany Bay. We had our stupid chains on again. We were assigned jobs. Like making roads and looking after the animals. All my friends and I were lucky that we were all assigned the same jobs; making roads.
We had to work 6am to 6pm every single day for seven years. Once I turned 18, and all my friends turned 17, we all were pardoned. I married a man named Thomas who was a farmer. I worked making cream, butter and milk, and sold it to the villagers.
I hope someone will read my diary in the future.
This is Amy’s first piece published with Alphabet Soup. If YOU would like to send us a story, drawing, poem, or book review, check out our submission guideline