HMS Supply – Lord Howe Island Discovered

HMS Supply was the ship which Governor Phillip used to sail to Australia in 1788, as part of the First Fleet. HMS Supply has a unique place in Australian history, and plays a special part in our Lord Howe Island history as well.

HMS Supply was designed in 1759 by shipwright Thomas Slade, as a yard craft for the ferrying of naval supplies. Supply was built out Rotherhithe, a then ship building area on the out skirts of London.

HMS Supply was a 70 ft brig rigged sloop of 170 tons and the fastest in the First Fleet, which wasn’t saying much. In terms of size it was about 1/3rd the size of the Manly Ferry.

On the way to Norfolk Island in 1788, to keep the French off, it was the vessel which discovered Lord Howe Island, and a lot of the Island is named after the master of the ship Lt Henry Lidgbird Ball. For a time the Supply was the only ship in the colony of NSW when ships were the only means of transport and communication.

The above painting of HMS Supply was painted by famous Australian marine artist Frank Allen.

For more history on Lord Howe Island, visit our Lord Howe Island Museum, to find more about our fascinating history.

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