|List of Ships
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Transport: 278 tons. Built at Quebec in 1801.
Government schooner.Used principally for river transport - carrying government stores to and from Parramatta and collecting sawn timber conveyed from the timbermill at Pennant Hills [for use in H.M. Dockyard at Sydney].
Transport: 437 tons. Built at Shields in 1801.
Transport: 393 tons. Built at Shields in 1800.
Transport: 522 tons. Built at Chittagong in 1793.
H.M. Storeship: 40 guns.
Originally a Bombay 'country ship' known as Sha(w) Kai Kusseroo, [also referred to as: Shah Kai Kusroo, Shaw Kai Kuperoo, Shah Kaikisroo, or Kaikusroo]; later commissioned as a Royal Navy storeship, convict transport, and eventually served as a convict hulk (in Bermuda). Built in Bombay in 1799; broken up in Bermuda c.1864.
The Dromedary carried Lachlan and Elizabeth Macquarie to New South Wales in 1809. It was commanded by its master Samuel Pritchard, who was accompanied by his wife, two year-old son, and their servant 'Black Tom'.
When the Macquaries boarded the Dromedary, lying off the Isle of Wight on 19 May 1809, they found the vessel critically overcrowded, with insufficient provisions for the voyage, and conditions so cramped that additional wooden berths or cradles had been erected to try and accommodate all the passengers. On board, in addition to the crew of 102 sailors, there were 15 officers, 451 rank and file, 90 women and 87 children.
Macquarie immediately transferred 39 men from the Dromedary to H.M.S. Hindostan, and had the berths torn down and replaced with hammocks. This would help to provide sufficient room and safety between decks, and improve the cleanliness of the vessel. He also sent ashore two officers, 50 privates and 41 women and children who were instructed to follow in the next available convict transport.
The Dromedary set sail at noon on Monday 22 May 1809.
Earl St. Vincent
Transport: 412 tons. Built at Topsham and registered in London; carried a crew of approximately 32 men. Sailed from Cork, Ireland under the command of Samuel Simpson on 8 August 1818, and arrived in Sydney on 16 December 1818, with 160 male convicts and a detachment of the 48th Regiment. (There were three deaths on the voyage).
[see also: Martin LAWLOR]
Transport: 511 tons. Built in Calcutta and registered in London; carried a crew of approximately 40 men. Sailed from England under the command of Frederick Hunt on 15/16 October 1819, and arrived in Sydney on 21 January 1820, with 160 male convicts. (There was one death during the voyage). [see also: James WAIT]
Government brig: 150 tons. Launched 12 June 1816 at Sydney - named in honour of Governor Macquarie's wife. (Originally was to have been named Portland). The vessel was originally ordered in 1797 and the keel laid in 1800; however its completion was delayed due to a lack of shipwrights in the colony. Capsized at Newcastle at its Hunter River mooring during the early hours of 16 July 1816; the wife of the master,Joseph Ross, and a crewman named Patrick Fitzgerald were trapped below deck, and drowned. The Lady Nelson and the Nautilus were sent from Sydney to right the capsized vessel. She was found to have received little damage and arrived in Sydney on 30 August with a cargo of coal.
Wrecked at Newcastle, NSW on 17 December 1825.
Man-of-war: second/third rate ship (two decker). H.M.S. Foudroyant (ex Superb) was built at Plymouth Dockyard and launched in 1798. Approx. dimensions & tons: 184ft, [151ft x 50ft x 22ft], 2054 tons. Carried 650 men and 80 guns. The ship saw active service during the Napoleonic Wars and was finally hulked in 1861. It became a gunnery training ship at Plymouth; 1890 sold to Wheatley Cobb as a boys' training ship; in 1897 it was wrecked on Blackpool Sands during a fund- raising and propaganda cruise.
English whaling vessel: 368 tons. Built in France and registered in London; carried a crew of 26-28 men. Arrived in Sydney on 8 September 1818 and resumed her voyage on 22 September to the 'South Seas' whale fisheries, already carrying 100 tons of sperm oil for the London market.
Schooner: 41 tons. Assembled in Sydney from frames sent out in the Pitt which arrived on 14 February 1792. Launched on 24 July 1793 - departed Sydney on first voyage, 8 September, to Dusky Bay, New Zealand.
Accompanied the Lady Nelson on voyage to Newcastle in 1801 - collected 75 tons of coal which were exchanged for nails and iron in Sydney with the master of the ship Earl Cornwallis, Capt. James Tennant.
Lost at Newcastle (NSW) on 21 March 1805.
General Hewitt (also spelt Hewett )
Transport: 973 tons. Launched in Bengal in 1811. Arrived in Sydney from London on 7 February 1814 with 300 prisoners, a detachment of the 46th Regiment sent to replace the 73rd Regiment, and Captain John Piper [former NSW Corps officer]. The General Hewitt departed for Ceylon on 5 April 1814 with the main contingent of the regiment: 10 officers, 362 rank and file, 96 women and 163 children, including commanding officer, Lt. Col. Maurice O'Connell. Arrived in Colombo on 18 August 1814.
Transport: 406 tons. Built at Shields in 1801.
Man-of-war: fourth rate ship (two-decker). Built by Hudson, Bacon & Co. at Calcutta in 1798; launched as East Indiaman Admiral Rainier: 511 tons [later listed as 887 tons], 52 guns (22 as a storeship). Purchased by Royal Navy in 1804 and carried a crew of 294 (141 as a storeship). Commanded by Captain John Pasco for the voyage to N.S.W. in 1809-1810. Departed from Sydney on 12 May 1810 with a contingent of the 102nd Regiment of Foot (New South Wales Corps). Re-named Dolphin in 1819. In 1824 converted to a convict hulk at Woolwich and re-named Justitia in 1830; sold in 1855.
Transport: 522 tons. Built at Whitby in 1809 and registered in London; carried a crew of approximately 45 men. Sailed from England 18 July 1810 and arrived in Sydney on 16 December 1810, with 192 male convicts and a detachment of the 73rd Regiment. (There were 8 deaths during the voyage).
English whaling vessel: 385 tons. Built in Bermuda and registered in London; carried a crew of approximately 30-33 men. Arrived in Sydney from London on 9 August 1818 with a speculative cargo of 100 dozen bottles of porters ale, and a quantity of slop clothing and soap. Departed on 22 September for the 'South Seas' whale fisheries to hunt sperm whales.
Transport: 464 tons. Built in Calcutta; carried a crew of 40 men. Arrived in Sydney from Calcutta via Hobart Town on 10 January under the command of Benjamin Orman, with a cargo of tea, sugar, spirits, and merchandise. Departed on 15 February for Madras and Calcutta with Macquarie's gift of two emus to the Marquess of Hastings: Francis Rawdon-Hastings, Governor-General of India (1813 -21).
H.M. Armed Brig: Arrived from England on 10 January 1814 under the command of Lieut. Charles Jeffreys RN. Remained in Australian waters until January 1817 apart from a voyage to Ceylon (1815-1816) transporting the final contingent of the 73rd Regiment for military duty on the island.
H.M.S. Lady Nelson*
HM Armed Sloop, rigged as a Brig: 60 tons. Built at Deptford, London in 1799 and purchased in 1800. Dimensions: 52 feet 6 inches feet long, 17 feet 6 inches beam, 6 guns (carronade) and a crew of 15. Fitted with three sliding keels or centreboards - the invention of Captain John Schanck (The draught when the keels were raised was less than 6 feet).
First ship from England to sail through Bass Strait. Arrived in Sydney on 17 December 1800. Sailed from Port Jackson for the Hunter River on 10 June 1801, accompanied by the schooner Francis. Surveyed the Hunter estuary and a flag was raised on the island (now Nobby's Head) to indicate the entrance to the river.
Afterwards the Lady Nelson was used for survey work; accompanying HMS Investigator in 1802, under the command of Matthew Flinders, during coastal explorations along the east coast of Australia. She was sent back to Port Jackson in October 1802, having lost anchors and keels, as well as running aground twice. She played a prominent role in the relocation of the Norfolk Islanders to Hobart Town in 1807 and 1808, and to Port Dalrymple in 1813. Also used for transporting grain from the Hawkesbury and coal from Newcastle to Sydney.
Descriptions of the Lady Nelson appear prominently in Lachlan Macquarie's journal during his tour of inspection to Van Diemen's Land in 1811. In particular he notes her seaworthiness in heavy weather, praising her as 'the best and safest Sea-Boat I ever sailed in'.
In 1819 she was again used in survey work along the New South Wales coast and in April1820, during the establishment of the new settlement at Port Macquarie, she ran aground on the bar near the harbour entrance. When Lachlan Macquarie visited the settlement in November 1821 he commented on the salvage attempts and repairs that were being undertaken to refloat the vessel and return her to government service again. By 1824 she was in commission again and was being used to supply livestock to the new settlement being established on Melville Island (Port Dundas) in northern Australia.
The Lady Nelson was seized by pirates off Timor early in 1825 while attempting to obtain supplies for the recently established settlement on Melville Island. The crew were killed and the vessel scuttled at Babar Island, north-east of Timor.
HM colonial cutter: 83 tons. Built in India (at Calcutta) of Bengal teak. Dimensions: 55 feet long, beam 18 1/2 feet, one 6-pounder muzzle-loader, boats included a whaleboat and a jolly boat, crew of 14.
Arrived in Sydney 30 September 1817 and was purchased by the British government for £2000 (the same year) for survey work on the southern and western coasts of Australia. Left Sydney on first survey under the command of Lieut. Philip Parker King on 22 December 1817 and returned to Port Jackson on 29 July 1818.
Subsequent survey voyages 1818-1824. Sold in Sydney in 1824. Wrecked on a reef near Double Point, off the Queensland coast (south of the modern city of Cairns), on 13 June 1829.
Ship. Built in Hull in 1809 and was originally registered in London. The vessel was 426/430 tons, with 4-6 guns, a crew of 25, and first arrived in Sydney (from London via Cape of Good Hope) on 14 February 1820. James Underwood was the master and owner at this stage; Capt. John Beveridge was appointed master of the Midas for voyages to Van Diemens Land in 1820, 1821 (with Governor Macquarie & his party as passengers) and Macquarie Island in 1822. In April 1822 command of the Midas was assumed by William Kirkus for a voyage to Ile de France (Mauritius), with additional voyages under the command of Joshua Underwood to the same destination in December 1822, and Van Diemen's Land and Macquarie Island May 1823. In June 1824, the Midas (and her cargo of seal oil skins and sundry merchandise) was sold by James Underwood to Icely and Hindson for £12000 (see Sydney Gazette 10 June 1824). She sailed on 18 August 1824 for London and returned to Hobart on 23 November 1825 from London via St. Jago (Cape Verde Is.) as a convict transport, with 109 female prisoners. Fifty-eight (58) convicts were disembarked at Hobart before the ship sailed on to Sydney (arriving December 17). Ownership had changed once again with vessel now belonging to James Baigrie. The Midas departed for Calcutta and London on 29 January 1826.
The Midas returned to Sydney, again as a convict transport, on 15 February 1827, with 145 male prisoners on board (three (3) had died during the voyage). The ship departed again for Batavia on 29 March/3 April 1827 and this appears to be the last mention of the vessel in Australian waters.
Transport: 530 tons. Built at Lancaster (in 1804) and registered in London. Sailed from Sheerness under the command of John Bell and arrived in Sydney on 16 December 1821, with 169 male prisoners and detachments of soldiers from 30th, 46th, 48th, 83rd, and 89th Regiments. Departed on 15 February 1822 (the same day as the Macquaries) bound for New Zealand.
Ship: 351 tons. Registered in London. Arrived in Sydney 11 January 1822 under the command of William Barnes with a cargo of trading goods. Departed on 15 February 1822 (the same day as the Macquaries) bound for Penang via the Prince of Wales Island (Cape York), though Macquarie claims that it was bound for the 'Whale Fishery'.
Brig: 70 tons. Built and registered in Calcutta with a crew of c.10. Arrived in Sydney from Calcutta on 13 March 1816 under the command and ownership of its master, Edward Edwards, with a speculative cargo of merchandise. The return voyage to Calcutta via Batavia in November 1816 ended in disaster when the Nautilus was wrecked on Point Ross at Newcastle while trying to negotiate the channel between Nobby's Island and the entrance to the the Hunter River. The vessel foundered on 24 November and the crew was saved. Details of the wreck are not recorded. Edward Edwards, her master, was suspected of being implicated in the escape of some prisoners.
The wreck remained there for several years, and, as indicated by Macquarie, was finally removed during the construction of the breakwater (Macquarie Pier) from the headland (South Head) to Nobby's (Coal Island).
Government boat (at Emu Plains).
H.M. Government brig: 60 tons. First vessel built at Newcastle, NSW. Constructed by convict named Fortesco de Santos. Launched 19 September 1819, arrived in Sydney on first voyage in October 1819. Vessel lost, presumed wrecked, on a voyage from Hobart Town to Sydney (departed 27 September 1820).
Transport: 438 tons. Built at Shields in 1800.
Ruby* (also spelt Reuby)
India vessel: 240 tons. Arrived in Sydney from Calcutta on 28 September 1811 under the command of Captain Thomas Cripps (master and owner) with a cargo of India goods: "fine cossas, longcloths, plain and worked muslins, izarees, dungaree, palempores, Madras handkerchiefs, towels, Bandanna handkerchiefs, patna-chintz, fine shirts and trowsers, calico ditto, elegant camel hair shawls, table cloths of different sizes."
Left Sydney under the command of Alfred Ambrose for Calcutta (via Van Diemen's Land - transporting 80 male prisoners and a detachment of the 73rd Regiment to Hobart) on 11 February 1812.
Government cutter: 40 tons. Length 43 ft. 6 ins.; breadth 15 ft. 6 ins.; and depth 6 ft. 1 in. Built in NSW and launched on 18 May 1821. Originally designed as a revenue cutter and/or dispatch vessel, but was used mainly for transporting convicts to Newcastle and as a survey vessel on discovery voyages to the South Coast of NSW, as well as Moreton Bay and New Zealand. The Snapper was transferred from colonial service to private ownership in June 1823 when she was purchased by Solomon Levey.
Surry* (later referred to as the Surrey)
Transport: 443 tons. Square rigged ship with an overall length of 117 ft. 6 ins., a breadth above the gunwales of 29 ft. 6 ins, and a draught, when loaded, of 18ft. The vessel was copper-sheathed, and had quarter galleries, with a Minerva bust for a figurehead. She carried a crew of thirty and was armed with fourteen cannons.
When the Surry was originally built at Harwich in 1811 she had two decks with a height between decks of 5ft. 8 ins. However, about 1818, she must have received a major refit - the Shipping Registers after 1819 record the vessel as having three decks.
The Surry had one of the longest careers as a convict transport and she was the only transport to make 11 passages to Australia. She completed her last voyage on reaching Hobart on 11 August 1842.
The Surry landed 2,177 male and female convicts in Australia and lost 51 men and one woman during her various passages, 36 of the men dying during her first and most notorious voyage in 1814 under the command of James Patterson.
Thomas Raine commanded her for the next three voyages (1816, 1819, 1823); he was succeeded by Charles Kemp for four voyages (1829, 1831, 1833, 1834); he was succeeded by George Sinclair as her Master on the ninth and tenth voyages (1836, 1840) and on the last voyage (1842) she was commanded by Henry Innott.
Government boat (at Bathurst)
Transport: 467 tons. Built at the Thames in 1796.
Thane of Fife (1822)
Scottish coastal trading vessel: 80 tons.
Transport: 557 tons. Built at Stockton in 1802.
Government boat (at Bathurst)
Free trader. Calcutta to London
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