Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Alick Osborne R.N.,

Convict Ship Surgeon-Superintendent

Date of Seniority Royal Navy 12 February 1814

Alick Osborne was one of the ten children of Archibald Osborne, Esq., of Dirnaseer, County Tyrone, Ireland[1]. He joined the Royal Navy in February 1814. He was a brother of Royal Navy surgeon John Osborne and pastoralist Henry Osborne. He was probably a cousin of surgeon James Osborne.

Early Career

He was appointed to the Algerine in 1815[2]. He was appointed to the Leven in West Africa in 1822[3]

Surgeon Superintendent

Alick Osborne was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on eight convicts ship voyages to New South Wales between the years 1825 - 1838:

Lonach in 1825

Speke in 1826

Sophia in 1829

Sarah in 1829

Planter in 1832

Fairlie in 1834

Marquis of Huntley in 1835

Elphinstone in 1838.


He married Ann Clarke in Ireland. Their children Alick, Ann Jane, Jane Mary, Mary and Isabella were all born in Ireland. He brought his family to Australia on the Marquis of Huntley in 1835, although young Alick was not on board, perhaps left in Ireland to complete schooling.

Although the family were settled in Australia by 1836, Alick Osborne did not yet reside permanently in the colony as he was appointed agent to select emigrants from Ireland in February 1836.

Adam Lodge

In Australia in 1835 a private bounty system was commenced. Colonists or their agents in the United Kingdom chose emigrants and brought them to the Colony. Many Scots came to Australia under this scheme. There was also a government system which brought out emigrants chosen by government emigration agents in UK. In February 1836 David Boyter was appointed by Governor Richard Bourke to select emigrants from Scotland. Alick Osborne to select emigrants from Ireland. [4]

The State Library has digitised Alick Osborne's account of his travels in Ireland......

Alick Osborne's travels in Ireland selecting emigrants for New South Wales, and the voyage from Londonderry to Sydney on the emigrant ship, Adam Lodge as ship's surgeon in 1837. Brief entries of weather and temperature, with notes on the health of emigrants and crew, and hygiene on the ship, also details of births and deaths on board - Journal of Occurrences connected with Emigration', 8 July 1836-17 July 1837, by Dr Alick Osborne [5]

His next appointment was to the convict ship Elphinstone in 1838.

Naval Service

Throughout this time he was still on the Royal Navy List of Surgeons fit for service (half pay). In England, he was appointed Surgeon to the Formidable in 1842.[6] He transferred to the Impregnable in 1843 [7].

Death of son Alick Osborne

The only son of Alick and Ann, Alick (jun) died at Illawarra on his 21st birthday on 4th October 1842.

Emigrant Ship Emerald 1843

He was appointed surgeon to the emigrant ship Emerald in 1843.


Alick Osborne acquired land in the Illawarra district. He settled at 'Daisy Bank' where he bred dairy cattle.

He is listed in the Legislative Council Returns in 1851 - Counties of Murray and St. Vincent, on Half Pay, Royal Navy; employed as coroner for the Wollongong district. [8]


Alick Osborne's wife Anne died on 15 October 1853 age 61 years and Alick Osborne died in Omagh Ireland on 12th March 1856 at the residence of Dr. Love [9]


Alick Osborne emigrated to New South Wales and settled in the district of Illawarra where two of his brothers, the late Dr. John Osborne, and the present member for East Camden (Henry) also resided. At the general election in 1851 Dr. Osborne, was elected member of the Legislative Council for the united counties of St. Vincent and Murray, after a sharp contest in which he was opposed by Charles Campbell Esq.,

In January 1855 he resigned his seat and proceeded to Europe. In the council. Dr. Osborne was regular in his attendance and took an active interest in the discharge of his duties. His political views, which were frequently expressed in the debates, always briefly and pithily, were of a strong conservative cast. In maintaining his own opinions with out-spoken manliness, however, he never manifested disrespect towards others, meeting his opponents with fairness while preserving his fidelity to his friends. Dr. Osborne was sixty three years of age at his death [10]

Notes and Links

1). Alick Osborne's account of the voyage of the Planter in 1832 - Notes on the Present State and Prospects of Society in New South Wales

2). Alick Osborne's daughter Jane married Brisbane Water Magistrate Alfred Holden in 1838.

3). Miss Frances Gillam Holden - Superintendent of the Children's Hospital at Glebe - was born in 1843 at Narara Cottage, Gosford, the eldest daughter of Mr. Alfred Holden later of Penshurst, Upper Paterson. She was the granddaughter of Alick Osborne - Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907) Sat 3 Sep 1887 Page 28

4). Parliamentary Papers - Transportation - Alick Osborne Esq., R.N., Surgeon Superintendent of the ship Adam Lodge with emigrants from Ireland, called in and examined .....continue

5). Adam Lodge arrived 13 September 1837 - Alick Osborne paid £142/12/- for his services (Correspondence between Colonial Department and Treasury)

6). Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875) Sat 5 Jul 1856 Page 1 - Obituary

7). National Archives Reference: ADM 101/69/3 Description: Medical and surgical journal of convict ship Speke for 17 July - 8 December 1826 by Alick Osborne Surgeon, during which time the said ship was employed in transporting convicts to New South Wales

8). A Brief Memorial of the Present State of Saint Paul's Island {Extract}...... Convict ships, having had a long passage, and the scurvy making its appearance, would find it compensate for the loss of time to touch here and fish for two or three hours ; indeed it appeals to me a most eligible spot for a new settlement. Two or three families could not fail to do well. Ships are constantly passing, and would regularly call there when it was known they could be supplied with poultry, stock, fish - Alick Osborne - The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842) Thu 4 Feb 1830 Page 3


[1] Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875) Sat 5 Jul 1856 Page 1

[2] Naval Chronicle

[3] Medico-Chirurgical Review

[4] The Sydney Monitor (NSW : 1828 - 1838) Fri 2 Jun 1837 Page 3

[5] Journal of Occurrences connected with Emigration', 8 July 1836-17 July 1837, by Dr Alick Osborne

[6] Navy List

[7] United Services Magazine

[8] State Records Authority of New South Wales; Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia; Returns of the Colony ('Blue Books'), 1822-1857; Collection Number: Series 1286; Publication Year: 1851

[9] Belfast Newsletter 17 March 1856

[10] Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875) Sat 5 Jul 1856 Page 4