The First Fleet - Lieutenant David Blackburn, RN (1753-1795)
Cat o' nine tails, handle approximately 65cm. long, maximum 14cm. diameter, (apparently lacking five lashes, leather guard worn, handle scored).together with a cosh, approximately 14.5cm. long, maximum 13cm. diameter (weight apparently lacking, head and band heavily marked, handle split, leather strap somewhat perished). Late 18th-century. Provenance. Elizabeth Burrows, sister of David Blackburn; and by descent.
It is supposed that the cat o' nine tails and cosh were used by Blackburn during his naval career, in which case they presumably accompanied him to Botany Bay on HMS Supply. Blackburn's position as Master would normally have been more concerned with navigation than with discipline; but Supply numbered besides him and its Commander, only a surgeon, a carpenter and its boatswain in positions of responsibility. (2)