The worst country in the world

The country Mary Pitt and her family migrated to was not then known as Australia; rather Botany Bay, New South Wales or New Holland.  The 14-year-old colony comprised Sydney Town and Parramatta, and extended around 50 miles north to the Hawkesbury River and south to Cook River.

1802 NSW interior (Collins)

New South Wales in 1802, by David Collins ( 

The worst country in the world was Major Robert Ross’s opinion of the colony as he found it in 1788, months after the arrival of the First Fleet. Ross was Governor Phillip’s second in command and while his views were extreme he was not alone in thinking the country they had travelled across the world to was impossible to live in (unless you were an indigenous person who had managed to live there for around 60,000 years).

This is the title of the book I have spent the past few years researching and writing. The book spans over 30 years, from 1800 – when according to my own speculation Mary made her decision to migrate – up until 1835 and the death of her son Thomas’ wife, her daughter-in-law law Elizabeth. In that time the colony evolved from a place of intense hardship, deprivation and depravity into a country with the promise of a glorious future.

It is difficult for a visitor to Australia to imagine that, notwithstanding the extreme weather conditions which continue to be a feature of this country, it was once regarded as not worth bothering with.

If you are interested in knowing more about my book, which is published in print and e-form through Amazon, please click here.

Ebook final


Published on June 6, 2012 at 7:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

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