Charlotte, one of the ‘two ladies’ of the fleet, was built on the River Thames in 1784 as a three masted, two-decker, barque built ship, weighing 345 tons. Charlotte was chartered by the Admiralty from its owner Mr Matthews late in 1786. She was fixed out at Deptford, one of the royal dockyards established to build, repair and victual ships of the Royal Navy. Her master for the voyage to Botany Bay was Captain Thomas Gilbert.
Charlotte carried 88 male convicts and 20 female, among them were Thomas Akers, James Squire, James Bloodworth, James Underwood, Samuel Lightfoot and the later-to-be-famous Mary Bryant. Described as a light or slow sailor Charlotte had her fair share of accidents through rough winds and collisions of others ships.
Model of the "Charlotte"