BARRINGTON, George (1755-1804). An Account of a Voyage to New South Wales by George Barrington, Superintendant of the Convicts to which is prefixed a Detail of His Life, Trials, Speeches, &c. &c. Enriched with beautiful Colour'd Prints. London: M. Jones, 1803.
8vo., (8 x 5 inches). Folding engraved map "A Plan of New South Wales", engraved frontispiece portrait of Barrington, engraved title-page with vignette of an Aborigine fishing all with original hand-colour, and 11 further engraved plates with original hand-colour, including 8 from this title and 3 from the subsequent title "The History of New South Wales". 19th-century half brown morocco, marbled paper boards, the spine in six compartments with five raised bands, gilt lettered in one, the others gilt-ruled, all edges gilt (a little rubbed)
Provenance: with the small ink library stamp of Hugh Selbourne, his sale, Bonhams, 8th March 2016, lot 261
First edition. Including views and images of the ducking and shaving ceremony as the expedition crosses the equator, Teneriffe, the Cape of Good Hope, the entrance to Paramatta River, Pinchgut Island, Garden Island, and 3 views of Sydney (including one of Sydney Cover from the subsequent title), an indigenous family, and images of a Spotted Hyena and a Camelopard also from the subsequent title.
Originally published in parts in 1802 and 1803, supposedly by George Barrington, but really taken from already various published accounts of the First Fleet. The real George Barrington was a pickpocket transported to Sydney in 1791. In 1796 John Hunter gave him an absolute pardon and appointed Barrington chief constable at Parramatta. He became a relatively wealthy landowner and died of drink in 1804. "Notoriety pursued Barrington long after his death. Irresponsible journalists credited him with great wealth and longevity, and countless works were published over his name. He wrote none of them and was not the author of the oft-quoted prologue reputedly spoken by him at the opening of the first Australian theatre in 1796. His persistent fame sprang from little more than 'a low pilfering habit' united with genteel manners and a shrewd fluency, although he showed signs of reform in New South Wales" ('Barrington, George (1755–1804)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University). Ferguson 367