BOTANY BAY, an inlet on the coast of Cumberland county, New South Wales, Australia, 5 m. south of the city of Sydney. On its shore is the township of Botany, forming a suburb of Sydney, with which it is connected by a tramway. It was first visited by Captain Cook in 1770, who landed at a spot marked by a monument, and took possession of the territory for the crown. The bay received its name from Joseph Banks, the botanist of the expedition, on account of the variety of its flora. When, on the revolt of the New England colonies, the convict establishments in America were no longer available (see Deportation and New South Wales), the attention of the British government, then under the leadership of Pitt, was turned to Botany Bay; and in 1787 Commodore Arthur Phillip was commissioned to form a penal settlement there. Finding, on his arrival, however, that the locality was ill suited for such a purpose, he removed northwards to the site of the present city of Sydney. The name of Botany Bay seems to have struck the popular fancy, and continued to be used in a general way for any convict establishment in Australia. The transportation of criminals to New South Wales was discontinued in 1840.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)