Watkin Tench collection
This is a copy of the first and only edition of Watkin Tench's A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson, published in 1793. It is quarto-sized, bound in 'period-style tree calf', 212 pages long with a folding map of New South Wales. Tench was a marine who came to Australia on the HMS Charlotte with the First Fleet in 1788, and returned to England in December 1791.
This work is generally considered one of the most valuable early accounts of the colony. Few are so personal, detailed, thoughtful or patently candid. Tench effectively transports the reader to his unique experiences of the early colony in a way which still resonates after more than two centuries. A Complete Account is a pivotal source for the penal settlement, early interactions with local Aboriginal people and Tench's own surveys of the land and animals.
Copyright National Museum of Australia
Physical access to the collection by appointment only