Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Champion - 1827

Embarked: 128 men
Voyage: 136 days
Deaths: 1
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Tons: 394
Previous vessel: Prince Regent arrived 27 September 1827
Next vessel: Eliza arrived 18 November 1827
Master: Henry Locke.
Surgeon : Francis Logan
Convicts and passengers of the Champion identified in the Hunter Valley

The Champion was built at New Brunswick in 1824. She was the next convict ship to leave England after the departure of the Manlius in April 1827. [2]

Surgeon Francis Logan

Francis Logan kept a Medical Journal from 10th May to 30th October 1827. His first case was that of 17 years old Henry Royal on 16th May. The Champion had yet to set sail, but already Henry Royal was suffering from sea sickness. Francis Logan rejected another convict, Richard Howells as being too ill to survive the journey. He was returned to the Dolphin Hulk. [1]

Some of those later mentioned in the surgeon's journal included:

William Ryder aged 43, convict
John Morgan aged 24, convict
John Lynch aged 26, soldier
Francis Conway aged 28, soldier of the 39th regiment. Sent to the Military Hospital at Simon's Bay 1 September 1827
William Thomas aged 36, convict
James Holt aged 30, convict
William Gray aged 27, Soldier of the 39th Regiment. On 28 July 1827 wounded on the left hand, from his musket going off while he was cleaning it.
John Clarkson aged 24, convict. Died 17 October 1827[3]

Francis Logan was also employed as surgeon on the convict ships Fanny in 1833, Royal Sovereign in 1835 and the Mangles in 1837.

Departure from London

The Champion departed London on 3rd June 1827 with 128 male prisoners and clothing for the 57th and 39th regiment.

Simon's Bay

They called at Simon's Bay on 6th September where one of the soldiers was admitted to hospital. Fresh fruit and vegetables were procured as scurvy had broken out among the prisoners. James Holt remained ill from scurvy for most of the voyage. He and three other convicts also suffered from other symptoms which Francis Logan seemed to attribute to the cure for scurvy rather than the illness itself.

Illness on Board

There were several cases of dysentery early in October as the weather had been cold and wet and the pipes of the water closets became so leaky, the decks could not be kept dry. Prisoner John Clarkson, aged 24, died within sight of Sydney harbour. He had been ill for nearly ten days and it was noted that he was nearly delirious and had an excessive fear of death.

His conduct since coming on board has been 'bad in every respect and horribly blasphemous, and it is now pitiful to hear him raging and furious at the state which he thinks is now awaiting.[1]

Arrival in Port Jackson

The Champion arrived in Port Jackson 17 October 1827.

A Muster was held on board by the Colonial Secretary Alexander McLeay on 20th November 1827. Details include Name, Age, Religion, Education, Family, Marital Status, Native Place, Trade, Offence, Date and Place of Trial, Sentence, Physical Description and occasional notes regarding deaths and pardons.

Military Guard

The Guard, a detachment of the 39th regiment under orders of Ensign Reid, landed from the Champion on 18th October and were marched through George Street, Sydney to their quarters in the barracks, preceded by a dozen exquisitely playing buglers of the same corps.


There are no details as to where the prisoners were assigned on arrival. The youngest prisoners were John Callow (15); Arthur Farrel (15); James Pringle; Alexander Shaw ( 15); Thomas Smith (14); and William Solder (15). They may have been sent to the Carter's Barracks on arrival.

Some of the prisoners were assigned to the Australian Agricultural Company on arrival and were sent to the Port Stephens district.

Other prisoners from the Champion were later assigned to the following:
Joseph Carr assigned to Standish Lawrence Harris
William Foster assigned to James Glennie at Dulwich
William Green assigned to Archibald Bell in the Upper Hunter
Alexander McKenzie to William Innes at Paterson Plains
Thomas Maytum to William Cromarty at Port Stephens
William Smith to George Muir at Newcastle
Henry Sutcliffe to Thomas Boardman at Wallis Plains
John Threadgold to Henry Eckford

Those who rebelled by absconding from their assigned service soon found themselves incarcerated in Newcastle Gaol.

Convicts of the Champion identified in the Hunter Valley

Allen, Samuel
Baker, William
Bambrough, John
Barrett, John
Bayley, Henry
Berry, James
Berwick, John
Beverley, John
Blake, Patrick
Bowman, Charles
Butterfield, Joseph
Canning, Thomas
Carr, Joseph
Dunn, Henry
Eley, Thomas
Everness, William
Ferrell, Arthur
Forrest, William
Foster, William
Freeth, Thomas
Griffiths, Thomas
Hopkins, James
Howard, William
Jones, Thomas
Keith, Andrew
Leworthy, Richard
Maytum, Thomas
McKenzie, Alexander
Moors, John
Morgan, John
Smith, William
Stewart, James
Sutcliffe, Henry
Threadgold, John
Vandeper, Henry
Webster, James
Wells, William
Wright, Henry

Notes and Links

1). Prisoners convicted in Scotland included William Alexander; Charles Bowman; William Coward ; William Forrest; John Fram ; Alexander Glasgow tried in Edinburgh; Allan Grant, ; Andrew Keith; Lachlan McDonald; Alexander McKensie; John Patterson; James Pringle; John Semple; Alexander Shaw; James Sinclair; William Smith; James Stewart; and James Thompson .

2). Convict James Stewart became scourger at Stonequarry in 1831.

3). Convict Thomas Hyman became a scourger at Inveraray in 1831

4). Seventeen convict ships arrived in New South Wales in 1827 - Grenada, Brothers, (F) Albion, Midas, Mariner, Countess of Harcourt, Guildford, Marquis of Hastings, Princess Charlotte, Manlius, Cambridge, Harmony, Prince Regent, Champion, Eliza, John and the Louisa

5). Return of Convicts of the Champion assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 28 June 1832; 5 July 1832).....

William James - Brass founder assigned to Andrew Brown at Bathurst

David Reid - Fisherman's boy assigned to William Hutchinson at Sydney

6). Convict ships bringing detachments of the 39th regiment included the following............

Regalia departed Dublin 16 March 1826. Lieutenant William Sacheverell Coke

England departed the Downs 6 May 1826. Major George Pitt D'Arcy

Marquis of Huntley departed Sheerness 16 May 1826 - Major Donald MacPherson

Boyne departed Cork 29 June 1826 - Captain Thomas Edward Wright

Speke departed Sheerness 8 August 1826 - Lieutenant Henry Clarence Scarman

Phoenix departed Dublin 27 August 1826 - Lieutenant Charles Cox

Albion departed Plymouth 4 October 1826 - Captain Francis Crotty

Midas departed Plymouth 16 October 1826 - Lieutenant George Meares Bowen

Mariner departed Cork 14 January 1827 - Captain Charles Sturt

Countess of Harcourt departed Dublin 14 February 1827 - Lieutenant George Sleeman; Ensign Spencer

Guildford departed Plymouth 31 March 1827 - Captain John Douglas Forbes

Manlius departed Downs 17 April 1827 - Quarter-master Benjamin Lloyd

Cambridge departed Dublin 2 June 1827 - Colonel Patrick Lindesay

Champion departed London 3 June 1827 - Ensign Reid

Bussorah Merchant departed London 27 March 1828 - Ensign W. Kennedy Child

Sophia departed Dublin 15 September 1828 departed Dublin 15 September 1828 - Major Thomas Poole

Portland departed Portsmouth on 27 November 1831.


[1] UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Medical Journal of Francis Logan on the voyage of the Champion in 1827. The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[2] Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.346-347, 385

[3] National Archives - Reference: ADM 101/16/7 Description: Medical and Surgical journal of the Champion Convict Ship, from 10 May to 30 October 1827 by Francis Logan, Surgeon, during which time the ship was employed on a voyage from England to New South Wales.