The Friendship was a convict transport ship in the First Fleet. The First Fleet carried convicts and soldiers to Australia to start a penal colony. The ships left England in May 1787 and arrived in Australia in January, 1788. This was the start of European settlement of Australia. The Friendship was a ship of 278 tons which had been built in Scarborough about 1785. It was under the command of Master Francis Walton. The ship had a contract with the British Government to carry convicts. The owners were paid at a rate of 10 shillings per ton per month until the ship returned to Deptford. They had to agree to keep the prisoners secure and in safe custody.
On her return trip with the Alexander, many of the sailors on the Friendship became sick with scurvy. There were not enough sailors fit enough to sail both ships. All the crew went on board the Alexander, and the Friendship was scuttled (sunk) off the coast of Borneo on October 28, 1788.