The Amity sailed from Sydney on 9th November 1826, carrying a party under the command of Major Edmund Lockyer, who had orders to form a settlement at King George Sound.
After a difficult voyage, the first half battling through heavy weather in Bass Strait and the second enduring the summer heat of the westward run, the brig reached Princess Royal Harbour on Christmas Day.
The passengers and crew
The settlement party comprised the commandant Major Edmund Lockyer, a captain, surgeon, storekeeper, 18 rank and file soldiers, and 23 convicts, mostly tradesmen. Also on board were the vessel’s own crew and a naval party comprising Lt Colson Festing, a quartermaster, midshipman and a marine batman – and stores for six months, including sheep and pigs.
Later sold back into private ownership, in 1831, the Amity was operated in Tasmania until, in June 1845, she was wrecked in Bass Strait on an uncharted sandbank.
The project to build a replica of the brig Amity commenced in 1972. After much discussion and research, construction started in 1975, with local boat builder Mr Stan Austin as project supervisor and Mr Pieter van de Brugge as leading shipwright. Other local craftsmen joined the team, with the aim of making the replica the focal point of celebratins of the 150th anniversary of the brig’s arrival.
When you visit this full-size replica, try to imagine more than 50 men, together with stores, sheep and pigs, sharing this small vessel in a difficult journey taking over six weeks.