Less than two weeks after the fleet set sail some of the convicts on Scarborough formed a plot to take over the ship. Surgeon General John White, whose journal was first published in 1790, wrote:
‘A discovery of a futile scheme, formed by the convicts on board the Scarborough … They had laid a plan for making themselves masters of the ship; but being prevented by this discovery, two of the ringleaders were carried on board the Sirius, where they were punished …’
After receiving a flogging of 24 lashes each, ringleaders Phillip Farrell and Thomas Griffiths were transferred to the all-female ship Prince of Wales. According to White, the men ‘behaved very well’ for the rest of the voyage.