Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsHe was called to give evidence at a House of Commons committee meeting. The prison population was getting out of hand. The American Revolution is going on. The colonies are no longer available for transportation. And Banks was asked to give his opinion of Botany Bay, which he did. And he spoke of it very highly. Basically, he said, the climate was like southern Europe or southern France, in fact. The people were not unwelcoming. They didn't seem to be interested in their land. There was good fishing around. They didn't see any predators. Many years went by-- seven years, in fact-- and the issue came up, again.

Skip to 1 minute and 8 secondsAnd Banks was invited to give his opinion, and he gave the same opinion he had given before. And they ignored him a second time. And instead, sent a ship to Southwest Africa. It was only in desperation, after Southwest Africa did not fit the bill that the British government was left with one place only, which was Botany Bay. The first fleet went to Botany Bay under the command of Arthur Phillip. A flotilla of five ships, laden with about 1,200 convicts heading for Botany Bay. They came into Botany Bay and Phillip said, this is horrible. We've got to get out of here. And he went up the coast, and that's how it became Sydney, as opposed to Botany Bay.

Skip to 2 minutes and 5 secondsThat's where transportation took place. And fleet after fleet after fleet took both British and Irish convicts to what became New South Wales.

The Colony at New South Wales

In this video Dr Jordan Goodman talks about the involvement of Joseph Banks in the setting up of the first penal colony in Australia.

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Confronting Captain Cook: Memorialisation in Museums and Public Spaces

National Maritime Museum