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Series 49: 'outfit orders' being papers concerning the breadfruit voyage of HM Ships Providence and Assistant, William Bligh, 1790-1791

Number of documents

13

Provenance note

Most of these documents were previously located at ML A78-4 and were purchased in 1884 from Lord Brabourne by Sir Saul Samuel, the Agent-General for New South Wales. They were officially transferred to the Mitchell Library in 1910 and were part of the accession which became known as the Brabourne collection.

Some of these documents were used by the compilers of Historical records of New South Wales, vol 1, part 2 (1892), and include annotations made by the compilers.

Document 9 in this series was previously located at DL MS Q158. It was part of the personal library of Sir William Dixson which was bequeathed to the State Library of New South Wales in 1952. Dixson's bequest was formally handed over when the Dixson Library was opened in 1959.

It is now not possible to reconstruct Banks' original arrangement, the series has therefore been arranged chronologically.

Background note

Government interest in the idea of transporting breadfruit and other plants to the West Indies did not diminish after the failure of the Bounty voyage. Under Banks' influence a second breadfruit expedition, again under the command of William Bligh, was organised and left England in HM Ships Providence and Assistant in August 1791.

James Wiles and Christopher Smith, gardeners, were engaged on the voyage to collect and care for the plants. Banks was responsible for providing their instructions, and Bligh for the fitting out of the Providence.

Subjects: Assistant (ship)
  Bligh, William, 1754-1817
  Breadfruit - Pacific Ocean - transportation
  Breadfruit - West Indies
  Providence (ship)