Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Florentia - 1830

Embarked: 200 men
Voyage: 121 days
Deaths: 4
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Tons: 450 Crew: 36 men
Previous vessel: Royal Admiral arrived 8 November 1830
Next vessel: Andromeda arrived 18 December 1830
Master John Jeffrey Drake
Surgeon Andrew Henderson
Hunter Valley convicts and passengers arriving on the Florentia in 1830

Convicts embarked on the Florentia came from counties in England, Scotland and Wales. They were conveyed from prison hulks to the vessel early in August 1830.


The Florentia departed Ireland on 15 August 1830.

Military Guard

The Guard consisted of soldiers from several different regiments who were on their way to India; 4 women and 5 children, under the command of Lieutenant Maliam who was accompanied by his wife.

Surgeon Andrew Henderson

This was Andrew Henderson's first voyage as Surgeon Superintendent on a convict ship. He kept a Medical Journal from 16 July to 27 December 1830.

Front Cover Medical Journal Convict Ship Florentia 1830. Surgeon Andrew Henderson

Members of the Guard who were treated by the surgeon included - John McGarvey; John Goff; Francis Leveretts; Thomas Lowden; Joseph Dorman; James McCurry; John McNiel; Thomas McLanghlan; John Keeling; and Dennis Cochran.

Four prisoners died on the passage out. They were mentioned in the surgeon's journal and the convict indents......

John Brown (alias Horton) age 54 is mentioned in the surgeon's journal - At 3pm, Brown received a severe wound from a musket ball which fractured the neck of the thighbone (femur). He was carefully attended by the surgeon however died at 2.30 on 23 September 1830.

John Brown age 39 a careworn looking man whose appearance indicates him having been in better circumstances of other convicts died on 5th December 1830 of phthisis.

Thomas Carland died on 30th November 1830; and John Chadwick 21st October 1830.

Another man, Joseph Masper died in Sydney Hospital two weeks after arrival on 27 December 1831.

Port Jackson

The Florentia arrived in Port Jackson on 15 December 1830.

Convict Muster

The convicts were mustered on board by the Colonial Secretary on 17 December 1830. The indents include the name, age, religion, education, marital status, family, native place, occupation, offence, date and place of trial, sentence, prior conviction, physical description and where assigned on arrival. There is also occasional information as to colonial sentences, deaths and pardons.

Twenty prisoners were under the age of 16 years - John Canew (16); Charles Chippett (14); Haden Copstick (15); Henry Farmer (15); Richard Houghton (15); Charles Jubb (14); Richard Lockwood (16); Matthias Israel Lewis (16); John McAnn (16); George Fyfe milne (15); John Sessions (16); Francis Sullivan (14); William Stacey (15); William Smith (15); Joseph Jones (15); Joseph Lee (14); William Purcell (15); and Barfachia Parnacott (15). They were all sent to the Carter's Barracks on arrival.

Notes and Links

1). The Florentia brought to the colony the news of the July Revolution in France. The Monitor reported 7000 people had been killed in Paris.

2). Convict Thomas Burdett of the Florentia was executed for the murder of William Noble in Clarence St. Sydney in August 1844

3). Michael John Davis was an attorney age 40 sent for obtaining goods under false pretences. He was the foster father of Edward Davis the leader of a gang of bushrangers who became known as the Jewboy gang. (Australian Dictionary of Biography)

4). Bushranger John Smith arrived on the Florentia as did convict surgeon Patrick Montgomery

5). Andrew Henderson was also employed as surgeon on the convict ships Aurora 1835 (VDL), St. Vincent in 1837 and Royal Sovereign in 1838 (VDL)

6). Hunter Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Florentia in 1830

7). Return of Convicts of the Florentia assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832).....

Joseph Ambler - Top Sawyer assigned to Archibald Clunies Innes at Port Macquarie
Henry Grigs (Gregg) - Tinman assigned to James Blanch in Sydney

8). Convicts were transported to New South Wales on the Florentia in 1828 and 1830.


[1] UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Medical Journal of Andrew Henderson on the voyage of the Florentia in 1830. 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.348-349, 386