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Scroll down for Summary of TEACHERS Information.

** Regarding The History of the Period

**And HOW to RUN the Play

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**Download the Complete Play Documents as PDF.

**Download Slide Show of Pictures and History Information




AIM: To easily show why it failed, and consequently helped start the Hobart, Tasmania settlement. Also identify 2 figures that became involved in Melbourne’s later settlement Pascoe Fawkner and William Buckley the runaway convict

Information tablets at Sullivan’s Bay. Site of the Sorrento Convict Settlement.

More detailed in the slide show

Information Plaque Sullivan’s Bay. The Sorrento Settlement.

More detailed in the slide show



More detailed in the slide show


SHOULD OCCUPY 3 classroom periods only.L

1 Signposts and Taste READINGS.by TEACHER

2 Select the PLAYERS.

3. Enjoy the PLAY.


JOBS to be done:

1. To include ALL THE CLASS..A job can be found for ALL.

2. Signs, drawings, and simple uniforms or period clothes.

3. Equal speaking time for all participants.

4. A Historical commentary, and Introduction for each ACT, should allow Girls, to make up for the historical imbalance of men (Boys).

5. Understudies should be given a go.

TEACHER READ: With possibly Some light discussion to follow.

1. SIGNPOSTS to Early Australian History and the Play Setting.

2. Get a “TASTE of our early PEOPLE.”


1. Actors and Actresses.

MAKE SIMPLE: Uniforms or Clothing. Use a LARGE name SIGN..

READ: Directly From the script. Tutors may change how they like. Have FUN!!

PERHAPS attach a Video and Sound link.-Another job?

Please Note, All Sources and Acknowledgements are at the end of each appropriate book.



It might seem strange that a Penal Settlement would be marked down for Sorrento. The “Authorities in England were getting desperate to RE LOCATE Prisoners since the American War of Independence stopped them sending Convicts to America. At the time in say the 1800’s, about 200 “Crimes” were on the Statute Books that carried the death sentence. The Jails were full to overcrowding. Prisoners were then put aboard old warships or ship hulks. However this was still not able to keep up with the amount of Convicts. That is why the Convict Settlement at Sydney was started in 1788.

George Bass, in 1797 didn’t bother to row or sail any further westwards than Westernport-the furthermost Port to the West of Sydney. He was on a timetable to go and return as agreed with Governor Hunter in Sydney.

Lieutenant John Grant of HMS Lady Nelson fame missed seeing the Entrance to Port Philip. Very understandable because he received very late instructions in Cape Town to sail between Tasmania ( Van Diemans Land), and the newly mapped southern coast of Australia, suggesting that a Strait existed between Southern Australia and Van Diemans Land. Flinders and Bass confirmed the existence of a Straight by sailing around Tasmania. However, even on Grant’s expedition on the Lady Nelson to Map and study Westernport Bay, he still did not discover Port Phillip.

Lt. John Murray only saw and mapped Port Phillip Bay after sending his longboat, commanded by John Bowen, off the Lady Nelson, for seven days, along the western coast from Westernport entrance to the west. Upon receiving information regarding the Bay he sailed into it but conducted only a small cursory examination. Although he did name Arthurs Seat, supposedly because it looked like a hill at Edinburgh in Scotland..

Mathew Flinders discovered the Bay 3 weeks after Lt. John Murray had mapped a small portion of the Bay. Flinders was returning to Sydney after his left handed circumnavigation of Australia. He did not bother to map the entire Bay. After the French Expedition met with Mathew Flinders at Encounter Bay South Australia, the two French ships the Naturaliste and the Geographe split up. The Geographe under Captain Hamelin mapped Westernport Bay, then sailed up to Sydney. The French after mapping Westernport named FRENCH ISLAND. The Naturaliste, after experiencing storm’s staggered into Sydney Cove much later. In fact the Naturaliste had already left Sydney but had to return to Sydney only to see the Geographe there.

Governor King’s orders for Lt. Charles Robbins was to see that the French Scientific Expedition Commanded by Baudin did not claim part of the Islands off Tasmania’s northern coast for France. After that he was to take Governor King’s Official Surveyor, Charles Grimes, to Port Phillip Bay. Grimes, working from the ship Cumberland, Captained by Lieutenant Charles Robbins reported that the Bay was not suitable for Settlement, except for the area of the River Yarra.. Grimes was following Governor King’s orders to walk around the Bay..This he did in company with James Flemming, a convict held in high esteem by Governor King, and sometimes with Lt. Robbins and some of the crew from the Cumberland A small group, even walked from Arthurs Seat to Westernport Bay

TASTE of our early PEOPLE

TEACHER’S use Why then did the “Powers of the Day” in England, decide on Sorrento in Port Phillip Bay??

Mathew Flinders thought Port Philip Bay would be a good Settlement Place, if for nothing else to keep the French away. Government Surveyor Charles Grimes and Lt. Charles Robbins of the Cumberland. did not agree. Even Hamilton Hume during the setting up much later Corinella Military Fort didn’t think it any good.

The Colony lasted 15 weeks, then Lieutenant Colonel David Collins sailed for Tasmania to set up there. Although Collins had the latest information, from Governor King about freshwater at the Yarra River, and also the Colony had known about freshwater existence at Kananook Creek, Frankston, but it was too far away from Sorrento, and Collins had made his preparations to move!

Governor King had sent other information, regarding the possibility of an addition to the Risdon Cove settlement in Van Diemans Land, on the Derwent River, or Port Dalrymple on the Tamar River. Collins selected Risdon Cove although he later moved the Settlement to where Hobart now stands. Probably because a Settlement was already in existence. Port Dalrymple would be hard to navigate , as the Lady Nelson found out.

John Pascoe Fawkner, who later partially set up Melbourne ( in competition with John Batman} was only a 11 year old boy. His father was a convict, who brought his Mother and Sister with him on the ship, HMS Calcutta to Sorrento. Even though his Father was a Convict sentenced to Transportation to the Colony for stealing, he still had enough money to give to an Officer so that his Family could stay in his cabin for the duration of the voyage.

William Buckley a Convict choose to run away and join the Aborigines rather than go to Tasmania. Buckley was an ex soldier who had served in Two Regiments that had fought the French. Buckley was in a privileged position as a Convict being a bricklayer building the Ammunition Storage Keep, and would have probably “have heard plenty of discussions” about what was happening. Buckley later helped save the lives of Fawkner’s crew and his Captain when their ship was tied up at the Yarra River, the site of current Melbourne, by warning them of imminent danger from the Local Aborigines. He died at the age of 80 in Melbourne.

HMS. Calcutta Officers, appear to be the first group of people to play the game of cricket in Australia.


Act 1 Scene 1.

Mrs. Hezekiah Hartley. Captain Mertho, Mrs. Judith Hopley. First Lieutenant.

Adolarius Humphrey. Mrs. Elizabeth Miller. Sailor in the Tops.

Act 2 .Scene 1.

Reverend Robert Knopwood. Lt. Governor Colonel of Marines William Collins.

Lieutenant Tuckey. Of HMS Calcutta. Thomas Hayes, Free Settler. Mrs, Jane Hobbs and children Free Settler.

Mr. George Prideaux Harris, Deputy Surveyor. Mrs. Mary Crook. John Hartley, Free Settler

Act 3 Scene 1.

Private Samuel Wiggins. John Pascoe Fawkner as a boy Marine Sergeant James McCauley.

Mrs. Hannah Fawkner.

Act 3 Scene 2.

Mr. William Collins. Ex Navy Masters Mate and Free Settler. William Buckley ex Soldier turned Convict.

Daniel McAllenan Convict and escapee friend of William Buckley.

Marine Captain William Sladden. Marine Lieutenant James Johnson.

SHORT POSTSCRIPT on some of the Major Players

Lt. Governor Lt. Colonel David Collins. Moved the Settlement from Sorrento, to Risdon Cove and then to the present site of Hobart. Suffered greatly by the interference of the Deposed Governor Bligh, when Bligh re located to Hobart. Collins died at Hobart Town on 24th March 1810.

Lieutenant Tuckey- HMS Calcutta. After sailing from Sorrento then Sydney the Calcutta was later captured by the French. Tuckey was a prisoner of war for some time. In 1815 he was appointed by the Admiralty to explore and map the Congo river in central Africa, where he died of fever in 1816

William Collins ex Ships Master, Free Settler. With George Harris, he recommended settlement at Hobart to Lt. Governor Collins. After sealing and whaling activities he became a high ranking public servant. He also suffered from deposed Governor Bligh’s interference. He died in 1800

William Buckley. Escaped convict. After many years of living with Aborigines, Buckley introduced himself to Fawkner’s friends at Indented Head ,when John Batman supposedly bought a lot of land from the Aborigines. He later warned the Captain of Fawkner’s ship when it was tied up to the bank on the Yarra, that they were about to be killed by Aborigines. After serving as a lowly public servant he collaborated with a writer to “ re create his life in print.”He died in 1800

John Pascoe Fawkner. Son of a convict. After re locating to Hobart and growing up he engaged in criminal activities, for which he suffered punishment. He went to Launceston, married, became a Baker, built the Launceston Hotel, later started the Launceston Advertiser Newspaper. In competition with John Batman, he helped create the settlement of Bearbrass, later to become Melbourne.

Reverend Robert Knopwood. Toured his large parish on a horse. Became an extensive landholder, Loved entertaining and dining. Died in 1838, in sickness and poverty.

George Prideaux Harris. Assistant Surveyor. Continued drawing and acting as surveyor in Tasmania. Suffered badly in later years from epilepsy. Died in 1810

Adolarius Humphrey. Mineralogist. Worked on Norfolk Island and New South Wales. Accompanied Charles Grimes exploring around the Launceston Area. Joined the newly formed Legislative Council. Died in 1829

Download PDF Slide Show of PICTURES and Additional History Information

Click to view separate ACTs below DOWNLOAD COMPLETE PLAY PDF
ACT 1. 8 People (4 Boys, 4 Girls) --> READ ACT 1
ACT 2. 9 People (6 Boys, 3 Girls) --> READ ACT 2
ACT 3. 5 People (3 Boys, 2 Girls) --> READ ACT 3 Scene 1
ACT 4. 6 People (5 Boys, 1 Girls) --> READ ACT 3 Scene 2
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