Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Hashemy - 1849

Embarked: 237 boys and men
Voyage: 118 days
Deaths: 17 - 18
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Eden arrived 18 November 1840
Next vessel: Randolph arrived 20 August 1849
Captain John Ross
Surgeon Colin Arrott Browning

The Hashemy was built at Calcutta in 1817.

Prisoners known as Exiles were transported on the Hashemy. Exiles were sent to New South Wales in 1848- 49 after the N.S.W. Legislative Council agreed to the re-introduction of transportation in a modified form.

Surgeon Colin Arrott Browning

Colin Arrott Browning was appointed Surgeon-Superintendent. He kept a Journal from 22 November 1848 to 22 June 1849. In his general remarks he noted the number embarked on board this ship........


3 Mates and men,

The guard consisting of 2 officers Capt. Ramsbottom, 99th Regt; Ensign Maine 58th Regt., and 49 rank and file of 99th and 11th regiments, Mrs. Ramsbottom, 5 soldiers' wives, and 4 soldiers' children,

237 prisoners,

1 Religious Instructor.

1 Surgeon Superintendent, and

1 Acting Assistant Surgeon Royal Navy.

The total number amounted to 344 souls. Of the prisoners 25 boys were received from Parkhurst on 24 November 1848 at Woolwich, 1 man received from Millbank and 111 from Wakefield on 28 November, and 100 prisoners were received from Pentonville on 29 November 1848.

Illness on Board

The first two cases entered on the sick list were prisoners who were sent back to shore to be admitted to the Unite hospital hulk at Woolwich, both suffering from Cholera. - Thomas Francis and Richard Martin. There were many others affected with cholera as well and the ship was delayed for weeks in consequence. The surgeon gave lengthy details of the following prisoners who died while the ship was still in England.....

Joseph Taylor died 10th December;
John Collins died on 19th December;
Thomas Hoare died 19th December while the ship lay of Spithead;
James Cornish died 22 December 1848;
William Carter died 19th December off Spithead;
John Self died 23 December;
Thomas Wells died 23 December;
James Elliott died 29th December at Spithead;
Levi Mason died 23 December ;
Henry Williams 28th December;
James Carter died 30th December;
William Henry Graham died 22nd December;
William Brown died 24th December


The Hashemy finally departed Portsmouth in February 1849.

Illness during the Voyage

There were two more deaths in the early part of the voyage - Prisoner Adam Germain died at sea on 13th March 1849 having suffered from colic and mania and Frederick Jones died at Simon's Town on 10th May from Febris Hectica. Dr. Browning indicates in his journal that there were a total of 17 - 18 deaths on board and 10 to 14 men who were disembarked. There were 70 cases of syncope, epilepsy and hysteria while the ship still lay at Woolwich that the Dr. Browning didn't itemize in his journal and another 22 cases of scurvy which he successfully treated. Including, crew, passengers and exiles, he treated a total of 1018 people before and during the voyage. [2]

Port Jackson

The Hashemy arrived in Sydney on 9 June 1849 with prisoners who were referred to as 'Exiles' rather than 'Convicts'.

On arrival in Sydney the Hashemy met with a hostile reception from anti-transportationists. Following is an extract from an account of the protest meeting published in the Sydney Truth in 1912....

Sydney Cove was not then the busy sheet of water that it is to-day, and Captain Ross was at liberty to drop the Hashemy's anchor at the mouth of the cove in full view of the Custom House. In those days there was no great hurry as to 'passing entry' and certain other formalities required by the Customs' authorities. Unlike the Thomas Arbuthnot and Randolph, which had called at Port Phillip, as per order, the Hashemy had come direct from the Cape of Good Hope, and Captain Ross sailed up Port Jackson all unconscious of the warm reception which his 'cargo' would receive at the hands of enraged citizens.

He was possibly made aware by the pilot who brought him in that he was likely to have some trouble as to his 'bonded passengers,' but the captain was under charter to perform certain work, and he was satisfied to do so. If anyone should feel perturbed on board the ship, it would be the superintendent and the 212 exiles, who were under the impression they would have their freedom given them the moment the Hashemy dropped anchor In Port Jackson.

But when Captain Ross opened the 'Sydney Herald' on Monday morning, June 11th, he read a well-displayed advertisement, which ran thus:


The great meeting will be held on the Circular Wharf to-day, at noon, to protest against the landing of the convicts.
The chair will be taken by Robert Lowe, Esq., The member for the city.
Let every place of business be closed.
Let every man be at his post

Under this emphatic advertisement was another which disclosed a solemn protest against the receipt of any of Britain's Birthstains.'

Great Prohibition Meeting

Form of protest adopted by the Deputation Committee to be submitted to the meeting, to be held this day at the Circular Wharf: -

We the free and loyal subjects of Her Most Gracious Majesty, Inhabitants of the city of Sydney and its immediate neighborhood, in public meeting assembled, do hereby enter our most solemn and deliberate protest against the transportation of BRITISH CRIMINALS to the colony of New South Wales.

Firstly - Because it is in violation of the will of the majority of the colonists, as is clearly evidenced by their expressed opinion on the question at all times.

Secondly. - Because numbers of us have emigrated on the faith of the British Government that transportation to this colony had ceased and for ever.

Thirdly. - Because it is incompatible with our existence as a free colony desiring self-government to be made the receptacle of another country's felons.

Fourthly. - Because it is in the highest degree unjust to sacrifice the great social and political interests of the colony at large to the pecuniary profit of a fraction of its inhabitants.

Fifthly. - Because being firmly and devotedly attached to the British Crown we greatly fear that the perpetuation of so stupendous an act of injustice by Her Majesty's Government will go far towards alienating the affections of this Colony from the Mother Country.

For these and many kindred reasons in the exercise of our duty to our country - for the love we bear our families - in the strength of our loyalty to Great Britain, and from the depth of our reverence for Almighty God, we protest against the landing again of British convicts on these shores.

By order of the Committee, J. J. Clayton, Secretary.

Obeying the request conveyed in the first advertisement, the merchants closed their stores, the shopkeepers put up their shutters, the mechanic laid down his tools of trade, and the great body of the citizens bent their steps on the forenoon of the eventful June 11 towards the 'Circular Wharf.' The meeting was not held at the wharf, but on the spot in Bridge-street, under the shade of the fir trees which stood between Philip Street and the Young-street of to-day, but then known as Elizabeth-street North. The trees were not then protected by rails, as they were afterwards, when the citizens determined that they should be preserved as mementoes of a great day. Lady Young-terrace was not thought of; there was an uninterrupted view from the rising ground across the Cove to where the Hashemy rode peacefully at anchor; even the reserve which to-day holds the antique Macquarie Obelisk was an open space, and innocent of trees. Mr. Robert Campbell, 'of the wharf,' was nominated to the 'chair.'

The platform selected for the occasion was one of the old-time Sydney omnibuses, and was, curiously enough, appropriately named 'Defiance,' which was painted in large golden letters on each side. When Mr. Robert Campbell took the 'chair,' it looked as if all Sydney had gathered within view of Sydney Cove, and if the 'exiles' on the Hashemy were allowed on deck, and had been told why the thousands had assembled, it must have come upon them in full force and with mighty violence that the way of the transgressor was hard.

The speakers on the occasion were Robert Lowe, who turned up late; Dr. Aaron, a Hebrew surgeon of great respectability; Archibald Michie, a barrister-at-law; and Henry Parkes, who that day set his foot upon the lowest rung of the ladder which he was destined within a few years to clamber to the top of. The appearance of Robert Lowe upon the knifeboard of the omnibus was the signal for frantic cheering. The future member for Kidderminster, Chancellor of the English Exchequer, and Viscount Sherbrooke, arrived in Sydney in 1842, with the intention of following his profession as a barrister. He came as a friend of Governor Gipps, who nominated him to a seat in the Legislative Council of the time. He, however, quarrelled with Governor Gipps, resigned his seat as a nominee, and sought a seat as an elective member, and succeeded, he being the choice of the Sydney people.

He had as a colleague in the representation of Sydney, William Charles Wentworth, who was the spokesman for the party seeking to resume the transportation of criminals. At the time indicated, Robert Lowe was but 38 years of age, and had shown that fine form which enabled him to win 'high honors in the British Parliament. In appearance he was tall and spare, with a quiet, contemplative cast of countenance, remarkably boyish looking, pale-faced, sharp-featured, a well shaped head, crowned with wavy, whitish hair, with eyes hidden beneath dark colored spectacles.

Mr. Robert Campbell made an able introductory speech, followed by Captain Lamb, and Robert Lowe (arrived late), who proposed and seconded the adoption of the 'protest' printed above. That was carried amidst loud cheers. Then
Dr. Aaron proposed, and Mr. McKinnon (who represented Port Phillip in the Legislative Council) seconded, a proposition that the Hashemy and her 'cargo' be sent back to England.

Harry Parkes, who claimed to belong to the largest class of the population, the workers, supported the resolution, which was also carried enthusiastically. Mr. Archibald Michie proposed, and Mr. Peak seconded, 'That a deputation proceed to Government House and present the 'protest' to the Governor.' The deputation meant practically the entire meeting, which moved in a body towards government House. The gates were, however, closed, and sentries on guard. The Private Secretary sent out instructions that a deputation of six gentlemen might be admitted, and when admitted, they were told that they must forward copies of the resolutions to the Governor, who would fix a day upon which he would receive a deputation. The big meeting incredibly had the effect of preventing the Hashemy men from being landed in Sydney. Some were shipped to Moreton Bay, and others were smuggled up the country via Newcastle

Convict Muster and Assignment

'I have the honour, to report, for the information of his Excellency the Governor, that the ship 'Hashemy' arrived in Port Jackson on the 8th instant, having on board two hundred and twelve convicts. from the Millbank, Parkhurst, Pentonville, and Wakefield prisons, under the superintendence of Dr Browning, R.N.

'On the following day I proceeded on board the vessel and inspected the prisoners, their prison and hospital, and was very much pleased with the cleanly and respectable appearance of the men, and the order and regularity presented by every part of the ship allotted to them. They expressed themselves perfectly satisfied with their provisions, and spoke in the most grateful terms of the unwearied attention of Dr Browning to their wants and interests in every respect during the voyage.

'I beg further to report, that, on the 14th instant, after the completion of their muster, the men were permitted to make engagements with persons who were allowed to go on board for that purpose, by an order from me; and it seems worthy of remark, that, although at the time of the 'Hashemy's arrival, there were four emigrant ships in the harbour, containing about one thousand souls, all these men, with the exception of fifty-nine who were removed to Moreton Bay and Clarence River, where labour was urgently required, were hired to respectable landholders and sheep farmers within six days of their being ready to engage, at wages averaging from £12 to £16 a-year, and some mechanics at £28 per annum; the boys receiving from £8 to £11 per annum ; besides which, there are now applications in my office from private individuals and others in different parts of the country, for a larger number of this class of labourers than can be supplied by the arrival of several convict ships
. -

Extract from The Convict Ship: A Narrative of the Results of Scriptural Instruction written by surgeon Colin Arrott Browning

Notes and Links

1). Prisoners and passengers of the Hashemy identified in the Hunter Valley

2). Colin Arrot Browning was also surgeon on the convict ships Surry in 1831; Margaret in 1840; Earl Grey in 1843 (VDL); Theresa in 1845 (VDL) ; Pestonjee Bombanjee in 1847

3).William Henry Groom (1833-1901), politician, publicist and newspaper-owner, was baptized on 7 April 1833 at Plymouth, England, son of Thomas Groom, cordwainer, and his wife Maria, nee Harkcom. After primary schooling he was apprenticed to a baker. On 26 October 1846 he was convicted of stealing and sentenced at the Plymouth Quarter Sessions to seven years' transportation. From Pentonville he was sent to Sydney in the Hashemy. - Australian Dictionary of Biography

4). A diary kept by a religious instructor on board, supposed to be Mr. Henderson. The manuscript is held in the National Library....The Diary was kept between 20 Nov. 1848 - 8 June 1849. It Records the author's observations and experiences as a religious instructor to convicts, and his activities at Simonstown and Cape Town

5). Kilmainham Prison - House of Commons papers, Volume 26. Great Britain. Parliament


[1] 1912 'OLD SYDNEY.', Truth (Sydney, NSW : 1894 - 1954), 9 June, p. 12

[2] Journal of Colin Arrot Browning on the voyage of the Hashemy in 1849, UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857.