Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Coromandel - 1804

Embarked 200 men
Voyage 154 days
Deaths 0
Surgeon's Journal - No
Tons: 522
Previous vessel: Calcutta to Port Philip
Previous vessel: Rolla arrived 12 May 1803
Next vessel: Experiment arrived 12 June 1804
Captain George Blakey
Captain John Robinson/Robertson
Coromandel prisoners and passengers identified in the Hunter Valley

The Coromandel was built in India in 1793 and owned by Reeve and Green.

The first voyage of the Coromandel to Australia was in 1802. On that voyage she departed Port Jackson on 22 July 1802 bound for China and returned to England in June 1803.......

Yesterday advice was received at the India House of the safe arrival in the Downs of the ship Coromandel from China, with a valuable cargo on board on account of the East India Company. The Coromandel sailed from Canton in January in company with the ship Hercules, which vessel she parted with off the Western Islands, and is hourly expected to arrive. [1] Soon after arrival back in England ship's carpenters would have begun re-fitting ready for the transportation of convicts.

Prison Hulks

Some of those held on the Retribution hulk at Woolwich were transferred to the Coromandel on 6th October 1803.

Prisoners held on the Captivity hulk were transferred on 20th October 1803.....Three men, Samuel Harris John Harmon and Cotliffe Spiller had been tried at Castle Taunton on 25th March 1803 and were admitted to the Captivity hulk on 24th June 1803 and transferred from the Captivity to the Coromandel on 20th October 1803. Two men Thomas Davis and John Baydon were returned to the Captivity hulk on 20th October 1803, possibly being too ill to make the voyage.

The Coromandel was the next vessel to leave England with convicts for New South Wales after the departure of the Glatton in September 1802. The Calcutta had departed England in February 1803 however was bound for Port Phillip with convicts.

Military Guard

The Guard included Ensign Draffen and Ensign Cressy with 30 non-commissioned Officers and Privates of NSW Corps.


The Coromandel was reported to be a Portsmouth on 26 October and departed England 4th December 1803. Captain John Robinson died on the passage while off St. Salvador and George Blakely became Captain.

Port Jackson

The Coromandel arrived in Port Jackson on 7th May 1804. Two hundred prisoners were transported on the Coromandel and all survived the voyage. According to the Sydney Gazette, the detachment of soldiers and the prisoners were all landed in a state of good health - 'as has ever been the case in the ships belonging to the Hurrys, and to Reeves and Green.'

Convict Assignment

In correspondence from Governor King to Under Secretary Sullivan dated 15 May 1804, the assignment/place of some of the convicts is revealed {Extract:

The Coromandel arrived here the 7th instant, with all her convicts in a high state of health and fit for immediate labour, most part of whom were sent to the public agricultural settlement to mix with the labourers at that place, who are mostly Irish. I have also sent twenty Englishmen to mix with those at the Coal Harbour, from whence we have received some cargoes of coals and cedar for building vessels etc.

In July the Sydney Gazette reported the punishment of James Rose and Dennis Sullivan, two Coromandel convicts who had bee sent on duty on board the Supply hulk.

In October 1804 other convicts from the ship were sent to Port Dalrymple with Lieut-Col Patterson to found a settlement there.

Salt Pans for Newcastle

Two complete salt pans for the use of Government arrived on the Coromandel. They were landed at the Hospital Wharf and later sent by the Integrity to Newcastle where some very fine salt was being produced by February 1805.

Other articles sent on the Coromandel included a set of printing typeset and a packet of Vaccine for inoculation which was immediately administered to the orphan children of the colony and also the military personnel.

Departure from Port Jackson

The Coromandel departed Port Jackson bound for China via Norfolk Island on 10th July 1804. Charles Beal Powell was intending to depart on her.

Notes and Links

1). Hunter Valley convicts/passengers/military personnel arriving on the Coromandel in 1804

2). In 1810 the following people who had arrived on the Coromandel received their Certificates of Freedom being restored to all the Rights of Free Subjects in consequence of their terms of transportation being expired

Robert Cooper,
Benjamin Woody,
Alexander Mason,
Christopher Airy,
Francis Pendergrass,
Edward Flaherty,
John Hillman,
James Pass,
John Davis,
William Williams,
Thomas Brown,
Charles Lee and
Thomas Bemas.

3). John Grant arrived as a convict on the Coromandel. The State Library of Victoria Catalogue contains the following information about him: Biographical/Historical note: Convict. Grant protested against the convict system and its officials in his 'Bond of Union' of October 1805 although he had himself been granted a ticket-of-leave. This criticism led him to be sentenced to five years hard labour on Norfolk and Philip Islands. Eventually he was granted a full pardon by Governor Macquarie and returned to England in 1811. He was well-educated and while in Australia wrote a number of poems. Contents/Summary:
a) Documents 1769-1803, including financial statements and indenture of apprenticeship to his uncle, Edward Grant, and petitions after his conviction in 1803.
b) Letters 1803-10, to his mother and sister Matilda, describing the voyage on the Coromandel, his acquaintances Major George Johnston, Judge Richard Atkins, Charles Bishop and Sir Henry Hayes, and later involvement with Governors King, Bligh and Macquarie. There is also correspondence with Robert Campbell while John Grant was on Norfolk Island and a copy of his 'Bond of Union'.
c) Five poems written by John Grant between 1804 and 1805 while he was at Parramatta and Norfolk Island.
d) Notebook kept Jan. 31-May 1809 on his return to Sydney from Norfolk Island.

4). Convicts and early Patterson's Plains settlers Benjamin Davis and George Mitchell and Richard Horner and John Swan were among the prisoners who arrived on the Coromandel.

5). Convict William Smith attempted to make his escape from the colony by secreting himself on the Coromandel on her departure, however he was found and sent to the penal settlement at Newcastle.

6). The following convicts have been identified in the Hunter Valley region:

James Camm
John Cresswell/Criswell
Benjamin Davis
John Grant
Richard Horner
John Jones
George Mitchell
James Nowlan
William Ogle
Thomas Pedlar/Padley
John Reynolds
John Swan
John Thompson
William/John Vickers
George Watts

7). Find more about Ensign Draffen here

8). John Green was born in Pennsylvania. He was tried at Kingston, England on 21 March 1803 and sentenced to transportation for life. He was sent to the Retribution hulk on 18 April 1803 and sent to the Coromandel on 6 October 1803. In Sydney in November 1804 having been found guilty of rape, he was executed. ( Sydney Gazette 25 November 1804)

9). Resources used to create Convict Ships pages


[1] Morning Chronicle 9 June 1803