Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Eden I (2) - 1840

Embarked 270 men
Voyage 131 days
Deaths 1
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Pekoe arrived 6 November 1840
Next vessel: Hashemy arrived 9 June 1849 (with Exiles)
Master Henry Naylor
Surgeon George Ellery Forman
Convicts and passengers of the Eden identified in the Hunter Valley region

The Eden was built in London in 1826. Convicts were transported to Australia in 1836 (VDL); 1840 (NSW); 1842 (VDL) and 1849 (VDL). [2]

Military Guard

The Military Guard consisted of Ensign Pearce with 28 rank and file, 4 women and 8 children of H.M. 96th regiment. They were embarked at Deptford on 27 June 1840.

Convicts Embarked

The ship then proceeded to Woolwich arriving on 30th June where 150 convicts from the two hulks lying there were received on board before the ship sailed to Sheerness on 1st July. 120 prisoners were embarked from the hulks at Chatham on 3rd July, making a total of 270 prisoners.[3]

Escape Attempt

The Morning Advertiser reported on the 12th July - On last Tuesday evening, nineteen of the convicts, including the notorious Gould, under sentence of transportation, now in the convict ship Eden, at Sheerness, were found to have loosened their fetters previous to making a desperate attempt to escape. A plank of the bulk head, separating the convicts from the military guard, was also found to have been started, so that it could be removed with very little difficulty, and the aim of the convicts was doubtless to get possession of the arms belonging to the soldiers. Gould is now confined in a separate place of security; he is said to have declared that, let them try what they like, they shall not take him out of the country. Nine of the crew of the Eden having refused to obey orders according to their articles have been sent to Maidstone.


The Eden departed Sheerness on 10th July 1840.

Santa Cruz

On the 3rd of August the ship left Santa Cruz after a stay of three days during which time the water was completed and fresh provisions procured. The N.E. Trade winds continued until near the Cape Verde Islands after which rain set in for the rest of the month.


They crossed the Equator on the 31st August 1840.

Surgeon George Ellery Forman

Surgeon Superintendent George Ellery Forman kept a Medical Journal from 17 June to 30 November 1840. .......

The system of management of the convicts differed little in that I had adopted on former occasions.... ventilation and cleanliness forming the chief features while the formation of cheerfulness and the affording of all possible occupation to the convicts was practised as much as circumstances would allow; the results were on the whole satisfactory, though I think that more cases requiring medical treatment occurred than I had previously met with; this remark more particularly applied to the month of October during which period the change of climate was sudden and the weather particularly unfavourable to cleanliness, exercise and comfort in general. It was under the last mentioned circumstances that symptoms of scurvy manifested themselves in a light grade and but with a single exception the disease gradually wore away as the weather improved. [3]

Port Jackson

The Eden arrived in Port Jackson on 18 November 1840 with 269 prisoners, one having died on the passage out. (Thomas Marshall on 27 August 1840). Three convicts were sent to the Hospital on arrival and there remained 266 of the original 270 to disembark on 26th November. All were reported to be in an a sound state of health.

Cabin Passengers

Captain Shadforth of H.M. 57th regiment, Lady and child came as cabin passengers [1]

Mary Phoebe Broughton was the daughter of William Grant Broughton, first Church of England Bishop of Australia. In 1844 she married William Barker Boydell and settled with him at Caergwrle on the Allyn River. Mary Phoebe kept a series of diaries in 1839-1841 which can be read at the State Library of NSW and in which she records the arrival of the Eden with Captain Shadforth and wife on board.....

.......Emily went again in the afternoon. I did not go not feeling very well, it being dreadfully hot. A hot wind all day and brickfielder in the evening. 16th - We all Mama, E and I went into Sydney. Mama, E and I Called on Mrs. Martyr (who brought a letter from Judge Burton) and Mrs. Anderson; went to see Mrs. Young and found that Mr. Young had been thrown from his horse in the morning and was in bed. We all called at Mr. Macleays afterwards, saw Captn. and Mrs. Dumaresq and their children. Mr. and Mrs. Lethbridge called. Mr. L. went to the Hunter in the evening.

17th - A hot day. Papa, Mama and Emily went into Sydney early. Mrs. Lethbridge went in with them to some shops. They left Papa at the Office and the carriage went for him again in the aftn. Mr. William and Mr. George Macleay called. Poor old Mrs. Scott died. 18th - Mr. and Mrs. Wright called before returning to Lanyon. Mr. Hodgson called and had luncheon here. The Royal George and the Eden (with Captn. and Mrs. Shadforth) arrived from England. 19th Mr. and Mrs. Walsh called.

The Last Convict Ship

The Eden was the last Convict Ship bringing prisoners to New South Wales although in 1849 - 1850 men known as Exiles were sent.

There were protest meetings agitating against transportation and although 'the banditti party' (Dangar, Macarthur etc) attempted to revive the system the decision of the Home Government to stop transportation was made. In 1850 the last ship arrived at Moreton Bay. In February 1853 Tasmania ceased to receive British criminals; in January 1868 Western Australia was freed; and so the system came to an end.

Notes and Links

1). George Ellery Forman was also employed as surgeon on the convict ships Lady McNaughten in 1835, Platina in 1837 (VDL) and Pyramus in 1839 (VDL)

2). Convicts and passengers of the Eden identified in the Hunter Valley region

3). James Crady alias John Jones, 31, Native place Devonshire, shipwright. Originally transported on the Mary in 1833. Escaped from the colony and re-transported on the Roslin Castle in 1834. Escape from the colony again and returned by the Eden in 1840.

4). Convict ships bringing detachments of the 96th regiment to New South Wales included the Barossa, Woodbridge, Barossa, Nautilus, Augusta Jessie, Maitland, Pekoe, King William and Eden


[1] The Monitor 19 November 1840

[2] Bateson, Charles, Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.356-357, 391

[3] UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Medical Journal of George Ellery Forman on the voyage of the Eden in 1840. The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.