Guest Blog – by Ellen Read
THE FEATHERED NEST – Book 4 in The Thornton Mysteries
– NORFOLK ISLAND
PRE-ORDER IS OPEN here
RELEASE DATE: 14th MARCH 2022
Published by Crimson Cloak Publishing
Captain James Cook was the first known European to discover Norfolk Island in 1774 during his second voyage around the world aboard HMS Resolution. He named the island Norfolk after the Duchess of Norfolk. Captain Cook was amazed by the island’s rugged beauty and reported that flax and giant pines grew in abundance.
After the First Fleet of ships arrived in Australia, in January 1788, Lieutenant King was ordered to lead a party comprising convicts, males and females, and free men, to take control of Norfolk Island so it didn’t fall into the hands of the French who were also interested in the south pacific.
Lieutenant King considered the island pines the most beautiful and finest in the world. He thought they’d be suitable for masts, yards and spars. This proved not to be the case as, although the pines had straight trunks, the wood was too soft for masts. However, the biggest problem was the lack of a natural safe harbour.
Even with these initial setbacks, Norfolk Island soon became a farm to provide food for Sydney. Kingston was established as a township and the convicts cultivated the ground and planted crops of vegetables.
Norfolk Island’s history can be divided into three sections. The First Settlement started in January 1788. The Second Settlement was a colonial convict settlement that began in 1825, when it was decided that a final place of punishment was needed for reoffenders and other antisocial British subjects, such as Irish political prisoners.
These were the dark days of the island in terms of human cruelty and misery. This period also marked the beginning of the destruction of the island’s natural biology, as clearing for large-scale agriculture and ambitious building works began. This cruel era ended in 1855 with the removal of the last of the convicts to Tasmania.
The Third Settlement began when on the 8th June 1856, 194 people, including descendants from the Bounty, arrived on Norfolk Island from Pitcairn Island aboard the Morayshire.
Norfolk Island still celebrates the 8th of June as an Anniversary day on the Island called Bounty Day.
When researching my book, I was astounded to discover that Norfolk Island has this vast and rich history, especially for such a small island. It’s a jewel in the South Pacific.