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First Fleet

The First Fleet was the fleet of sailing ships that brought the original settlers and convicts to Australia from England. Captain Arthur Phillip led the fleet out of Portsmouth, England on May 13, 1787, with eleven ships full of convicts to establish a penal colony in Australia. On January 26, 1788, they established the first European settlement on the continent at Sydney Cove (now Sydney) in Port Jackson after Phillip decided that Botany Bay was not suitable for settlement due to a lack of fresh water. The first fleet consisted of the following ships: See also: History of Australia.