Their punishment was transportation to Botany Bay and their job now was to work for the government and build the new colony.
Feeding the colony
There were over one thousand people on the First Fleet and that is a lot of mouths to feed! The site where the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is today is the same place where the British colony first attempted to farm. However, it was not a very successful farm. Poor soil and unfamiliar conditions meant the crops they tried to grow failed.
First colonial farm
Despite the First Colonial Farm being a failure in the 1700’s, we have a much better understanding of plants and gardening today. Our gardeners now grow lots of fruit and vegetables in the location of the first colonial farm! This garden is used to grow examples of the food plants that were brought over on the First Fleet. Have a look at what is growing in the First Colonial Farm at the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Life of a convict
Life as a convict was not easy. Many of them were not terrible criminals but rather people who had lost their jobs and had stolen things to support and feed their family. Now, for their small crime, they had lost their freedom and had to work for the government in this new foreign land. They were fed minimal food and were given extra punishments if they misbehaved. Have a look at the illustrations below to get a better idea of what life was really like for a convict.