Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Guildford - 1812

Embarked: 200 men
Voyage: 137 days
Deaths: 1
Surgeon's Journal: no
Previous vessel: Friends arrived 10 October 1811
Next vessel: Minstrel arrived 25 October 1812
Captain Magnus Johnson
Convicts and passengers of the Guildford identified in the Hunter Valley region

The Guildford was built in 1810 on the River Thames. [2] She made eight voyages to Australia with convicts - 1812, 1816, 1818, 1820, 1822, 1824, 1827 and 1829.

Most of the prisoners had been convicted in counties in England. Seven men were convicted in Scotland and there were also those who had been court-martialled for military crimes in Gibraltar, Cadiz, La Valette and Montreal.

Prison Hulks

Many prisoners were held in the hulks prior to transportation. Alexander MacDonald, James Scott and James Daley were held on the Retribution hulk at Woolwich. They were sent to the Guildford on 8th August 1811.

Retribution hulk
Drawing of two convict hulks at quayside steps, one HMS Retribution, with colour notes - Royal Museums Greenwich. Click to enlarge

Thomas Thorpe, William Oldham Henry Groucher, Gustavis Lowe, Richard Lawson and Walter Preston were also held on the Retribution. They were received there on 25th May 1811 and transferred to the Guildford on the 14th August 1811.

Cabin Passengers

Passengers included Thomas Archer who was appointed an Officer in the Commissariat Establishment to act as a Deputy Commissary at Sydney.

Captain John Brabyn and Lieuts. William Lawson and Archibald Bell of the N.S.W. Corps were returning to New South join the Veteran Company.


The Guildford departed London in company with the General Graham store ship on 3 September 1811; they sailed via Rio de Janeiro, the Guildford arriving there on 26 October 1811 and the General Graham six days later. They sailed in company from Rio.

Royal Navy

The Guildford arrived in Port Jackson on Saturday 18 January 1812, a voyage of four months and 15 days.

One prisoner died on the passage out having suffered from consumption from which he had long lingered.

John Sullivan applied to the Governor soon after arrival for the return of 5 pounds sterling he had given to the Guildford's surgeon for safe keeping before sailing. The surgeon refused to refund the money however Captain Johnson was required by Governor Macquarie to see that justice was done in the case.

Arrival of the Guildford in 1812

Military Guard

Captain Anthony Coane and Lieut. Thomas Atkins of 73rd regt., and 30 non-commissioned Officers and Privates of the 73rd regiment formed the Guard.

Under a Tropical Sun has details of Captain Coane and Lieutenant Atkins.

Lieutenant Atkins departed New South Wales on the Earl Spencer for Colombo in 1814. He was court-martialled for drunkenness soon afterwards. He later returned to Australia and died at Port Arthur on 5th April 1848.

Captain Anthony Coane was appointed Ensign in 1804, Lieutenant 1805 and Captain 1809. He departed the colony bound for Ceylon on the General Hewitt in 1814 and was mentioned for his bravery at Kandy, January 1818 [1].

Anthony Coane died at Kandy in January 1819. Some of the details of his death are recorded within nine manuscript documents written in Kandy and offered for auction....1. Autographed Letter Signed from George Minter to unnamed recipient. Kandy; 29 December 1818. The letter begins in dramatic style: 'Dear Sir, Ere this reaches you, I much fear Major Coane will be no more. Mr Marshall as well as Dr. Armstrong who have been in constant attendance on him for the last three days, having just told me that they have little or no hopes of his surviving till to morrow. He writes that Coane still remains sensible and wishes the recipient to turn over 'His Will and other papers' to 'the Committee of Paymastership'.

Guard Disembarked

The Guard were disembarked at 7am on the morning of 20th January 1812 at the Hospital Wharf in Sydney and afterwards joined their regiment. A Guard from on shore was sent to the Guildford to keep secure the prisoners who had not yet been landed.

Convict Assignment

On 27th January 1812 Edward Buckley and John Walker were forwarded by water to Parramatta for assignment to the son of John Jamison. On the same day bricklayer David Browne was forwarded to Windsor for government service and carpenter William Hadden and bricklayer James Simpson were sent to the same place for private assignment.

Convict John Carter was on a list of convicts who were sent to the Derwent on the Cyclops for assignment in February 1812

Convict Clothing

In February (1812) Commissary William Broughton gave notice that the prisoners of the Guildford who were employed at Government labour were not entitled to an issue of clothing as they had received theirs as soon as they arrived. This consisted of One duck frock, one pair duck trousers, one cotton shirt, one pair of shoes and one leather cap.

Departure from Port Jackson

The Guildford departed Port Jackson bound for Bengal in March 1812. She returned with convicts in 1816

Notes and Links

1). Convict Engraver Walter Preston arrived on the Guildford. He was sent to Newcastle penal settlement for a colonial crime in 1814. He was sent to the limeburner's gang and from there absconded with some of the most desperate and notorious bushrangers of the time including Thomas Desmond. Walter Preston was captured and later came to the notice of Captain James Wallis who was commandant at Newcastle from June 1816 to December 1818. Preston engraved the plates for Commandant James Wallis' An historical account of the Colony of New South Wales.....

(An Historical Account of the Colony of New South Wales and its dependent Settlements in illustration of twelve Views engraved by W Preston a Convict from Drawings taken on the spot by Captain Wallis of the 46th regiment To which is subjoined an accurate Map of Port Macquarie and the newly discovered River Hastings By J Oxley Esq Surveyor General to the Territory.The Engravings in this Volume are curious and interesting as being the first specimen of the graphic art which this infant community has produced. They are engraved on the common sheet copper used for ships it being impossible to procure a single copper plates fit to engrave upon in the Colony .) - Gentleman's Magazine

Corrobborree, or Dance of the Natives of New South Wales., 1820 by Walter Preston (engraver). Depicted second from left in this image is Burigon (d. 1821), a leader of the Awakabal people of the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie district - National Portrait Gallery

Corrobborree, or Dance of the Natives of New South Wales., 1820 by Walter Preston (engraver). Depicted second from left in this image is Burigon (d. 1821), a leader of the Awakabal people of the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie district - National Portrait Gallery

2). Convict artist William Harrison Craig arrived on the Guildford. In August Craig was convicted of forgery and sentenced to 50 lashes and 7 years at Newcastle penal settlement. He later escaped from the settlement and was re-captured and sent to Van Diemen's Land.

3). Thomas Pamphlet achieved fame as one of the first white men at Moreton Bay.

4). Fortesto de Santo arrived on the Guildford. In 1819 he built the 60 ton vessel Princess Charlotte at Newcastle. The Princess Charlotte was wrecked a year later between Hobart and Sydney

5). Andrew Bent arrived on the Guildford and transferred to the Ruby;, arriving Hobart in February; he was employed by George Clark, a newspaper publisher and Government Printer; he succeeded Clark as Government Printer and in 1816 published the Van Diemen's Land Gazette. (CSI)

6). Timothy May of the 4th Veteran Battalion arrived as a convict having been Court-martialled in Gibraltar for murder. He is listed in the Statement of the number of Soldiers sentenced to General Service and Transportation in the years 1809 - 1811

7). In April 1813, the Unity schooner and was moored in Hobart when seven convicts boarded the ship and seized control of the crew and the ship's owner, William Hobart Mansel. They sailed the ship down the River Derwent and off Cape Frederick they released their captives - Mansel, the captain and three seamen, and set them adrift in the ship's boat. Mansel and the crew navigated their way back to Hobart however the Unity was never heard from again. The convicts included five men of the Indefatigable - Thomas Watson, Patrick Russell, Richard Payne, Thomas Bird and Thomas Curtis. and two who arrived on the Guildford in 1812 - William Button alias Symer alias Tyler and Frederick Callaghan. (HRA)

8). Find out more about John Farley at The History Buff

9). Convicts and passengers of the Guildford identified in the Hunter Valley region:

Charles Brown- Tried at Kent in 1810
William Harrison Craig - Tried Middlesex in 1810
Fortesto de Santo- Tried in London in 1810
Richard Edsale - Tried at Hants in 1811
William Elliott- Tried in Kent 1811
William Fawkes- Tried in Hereford in 1810
Abraham Fielding - Tried in York 1809;
Robert Francis - Tried in London in 1809
Henry Goucher- Tried in Middlesex in 1811
Benjamin Gwilliam- Tried in Hereford in 1810
Godfrey Hanskie (Goddfied Hanske)- Court martial at Bexfield 1810
William Miles Hudson - Tried at Surry 1811
William Hunt - Tried at Warwick in 1810
John Jones- Tried at Lancaster in 1811
Thomas Kelly
Thomas King - Tried at Middlesex in 1810
Angelo le RosaLa Valette - Court martial La Valette 1810
John Ladoane (Michael Dodds)- Tried Middlesex 1810
Alexander McDonald - Tried at Inverness
Thomas Morgan- Tried at Hereford in 1809
James Osborne / Osmond- Tried in Devon in 1811
Thomas Pamphlett- Tried at Lancaster in 1810
Francisco Perrara - Tried in London 1810
William Powell- Tried at Essex in 1810
Walter Preston- Tried at Middlesex 1811
John Shaw- Tried at Chelsea in 1810
Samuel Steward- Court martial at Cadiz 1810
John Sullivan- Tried Essex 1811
Thomas Thorpe - Tried Middlesex 1811
Samuel Vaughan - Tried Warwick 1811
John White;

10) Detachments of the 73rd arrived on the Dromedary, Indefatigable, Guildford, Hindostan, Indian, Archduke Charles, Ann, Fortune 1813, Providence 1811 and Admiral Gambier 1811


[1]. The soldier's companion, or Martial recorder

[2]. Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.340-341, 381