Prisoners to be embarked on the
Fame came from different counties and cities in
England. After being transferred from county prisons they
were held in prison hulks, including the Leviathan
and Perseus to await transportation.
Caledonian Mercury reported on Saturday 28th
September 1816 that on the previous Wednesday 135 convicts
were embarked at Portsmouth for New South Wales on the
Fame and the next day 116 were sent to the Sir
William Bensley for the same colony.
Both ships were expected to sail immediately and
planned to touch at the Cape of Good Hope on the way.
The Fame was
the next convict ship to leave England for New South Wales
after the departure of the
Melville in September 1816.
departed Spithead 9 October 1816 and arrived in Port Jackson
8 March 1817. John Mortimer informed Governor Macquarie of
the state of the prisoners on arrival....
have to lament the decrease of our original number of two by
the demise of William Collins an aged man of sixty five
years without much previous indisposition and of William
Banks an invalid from the day he joined, it is satisfactory
to state that throughout the passage the prisoners and
others on board enjoyed good health and that at this time
our list is made up rather of the debilitated than of their
suffering from actual disease. (2)
The men were
mustered by Captain Gill on 11th March 1817. Captain Gill
later informed the Governor that... they are generally
country men, young and healthy, a good proportion of
carpenters but neither stone cutters or stone masons and few
other mechanics of any useful description. They appear
to have been well treated both by the Captain and Surgeon
against whom no complaints were made of any moment. (1)
The prisoners were landed on Friday Morning 14th March
and at 10 o'clock were inspected by Governor Macquarie; to
whom they unanimously declared that during the entire
passage they had experienced the most humane treatment.
Select here to read more about disembarking of
prisoners. Thirty three men were assigned to the Parramatta
district, twenty to Liverpool and twenty nine to the Windsor
Passengers included Captain Thomas Laycock and wife
Isabella (nee Bunker) Laycock with their two children. Isabella
Laycock died soon after arrival. Their daughter Margaret
Hannah Laycock was residing with
Arnold Fisk and his wife Mary Ann (nee Bunker) at
Newcastle in 1828.
Thomas Laycock first arrived in the colony
as a nine-year-old with his parents on
Gorgon, as part of the Third Fleet. His
father, Thomas, was a quartermaster in the New
South Wales Corps. Thomas Laycock (jun.,)
also entered service with the New South Wales
Corps, and was commissioned as ensign on 30
December 1795 and rose to lieutenant by 1802.
After service in both Sydney and Norfolk Island,
Laycock was sent to Port Dalrymple, Van Diemen's
Land to serve under Captain Anthony Fenn Kemp in
1806. He served in North America during the War
of 1812, and is most famous for being the first
European to travel overland through the interior
of Tasmania (3)
Kitchen, Wife of Mr. Henry Kitchen, free settler and
architect who arrived on the
Surry in 1816 also came free on this vessel.
The Fame departed Port Jackson bound for
Batavia on 1st May 1817.
2). There were three men by the name of John Smith
on the Fame they were tried in Suffolk, Essex and Devon.
3). John Smith who was born in
Essex, was tried in Suffolk. He was 43 years of age and a
straw bonnet maker. He received a sentence of transportation
for life. Ticket of Leave 34/1116
4). John Smith who
was born in Cork, was tried at the Devon Assizes was 29
years of age and a labourer and tailor. He was sentenced to
transportation for 7 years. Conditional Pardon 1425
5). John Smith was tried at Essex. He was 19 years of age
and sentenced to transportation for life. Ticket of leave
6). In Sydney in July 1818 eleven desperate
convicts made a bid for freedom by attempting to steal two
boats. They attempted this while
Governor Macquarie was on a
tour of Newcastle settlement and there was no mercy for them
when they were captured soon afterwards. Thomas Jones who
arrived on the Fame was among their number.
Find out more
about their attempted escape here. The Governor considered
them all to be of the most depraved characters in the colony
and they were sentenced to work at hard labour in double
irons at the Lime Kilns near Newcastle for up to three