On his last voyage, the journal of which is published here for the first time, he took convicts to Sydney Cove in 1802-03 on HMS Glatton and returned with shipbuilding timber. He is probably unique in his inability to discern any redeeming feature in Sydney, t even its harbour. He thought New Zealand a far better option. No mariner knew the wide Pacific better than James Colnett, RN. He had sailed with Cook; he had filibustered in the rth-west Pacific fur trade (nearly starting a war with Spain in the process); he had made a whaling reconnaissance to the Galapagos Islands. Although the journal is an important record of a short-lived experiment using warships as convict transports, its wider interest lies in Colnetts observations on New South Wales as he found it in 1803. Sensitive to criticism but with unconventionally liberal views about the administration of justice, he is probably unique in his inability to discern any redeeming feature in Sydney, t even its harbour. In fact he believed New Zealand a better prospect for a colony in the region. His description of New South Wales as mutius was prophetic. Colnett was instrumental in having King recalled. Ironically, King was replaced by a man who already had a bad record with mutineers: Captain Bligh of the Bounty would become Gverr Bligh of the Rum Rebellion.
Granville Allen Mawer is an independent historian. His major works, several of which have been shortlisted for Premiers Awards and other important prizes, range from maritime and colonial history to local history and biography. He has been favourably reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement, the New York Times Book Review and the Australian Book Review. In 2011 Rosenberg published Diary of a Spitfire Pilot, his tribute to his father, who was killed in 1943. His current project, a follow up to this edition of Colnetts last voyage, is the first full-scale biography of Colnett.