Kempsey Shire Libraries

Trial Bay
Kempsey Shire heritage

Trial Bay was named after a tragedy that occurred when a party of convicts took over the brig Trial. On the evening of 12 September 1816, the Trial lay in Port Jackson (now known as Sydney Harbour) waiting for favourable winds to sail south to the military post in Van Dieman’s Land (now known as Tasmania). The brig was taken over by a ‘banditti of villains’ 13 runaway convicts led by Frank Harrison. The convicts sailed north only to be wrecked after steering into a bay to fill water casks.

The wreck was discovered by Commander White in the Lady Nelson on 14 January 1817 at what is now known as Trial Bay.

Trial Bay Breakwater (undated)
Trial Bay Breakwater (undated)

Source and photo: Courtesy of the Macleay River Historical Society

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