The Memorandoms of James Martin.
Causer, T (Ed).
Bentham Project, UCL: London.
Presented here, for the first time, is an annotated edition of the Memorandoms of James Martin, the only extant first-hand account of perhaps the most famous escape by convicts transported to Australia. The bare facts of this episode are these: on the night of 28 March 1791, Martin, in company with fellow prisoners William Bryant, his wife Mary Bryant (née Broad) and their two children Charlotte and Emanuel, William Allen, Samuel Bird alias John Simms, Samuel Broom alias John Butcher, James Cox alias Rolt, Nathaniel Lillie, and William Morton, stole the governor’s six-oared cutter. In it, the party sailed out of Port Jackson, up and along the eastern and northern coasts of the Australian continent, crossed the Gulf of Carpentaria, and landed at Kupang, in West Timor, on 5 June. There they successfully (for a while, at least) posed as the survivors of a shipwreck, and enjoyed the hospitality of their Dutch hosts. Theirs was an incredible feat of endurance and seamanship, in surviving a two-month journey of over five thousand kilometres in an open boat. The manuscripts comprising the Memorandoms are contained within University College London’s vast Jeremy Bentham Papers collection, which runs to some 60,000 manuscript folios. The edition contains an introduction by Dr Tim Causer, which provides information about the manuscripts, Bentham’s interest in convict Australia and his acquisition of the Memorandoms, context and background to the narrative, and a summary of previous works dealing with the escape. This is followed by annotated versions of Martin’s narrative, which are linked to digital versions of the original manuscripts, allowing readers to fully explore this fascinating primary source.
|Title:||The Memorandoms of James Martin|
|Open access status:||An open access version is available from UCL Discovery|
|Keywords:||Australia, convict transportation, James Martin, William Bryant, Mary Bryant, convict escape, New South Wales, Australia, history|
|UCL classification:||UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Laws > Bentham Project|
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