Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Hooghley - 1825

Embarked: 195 men
Voyage: 107 days
Deaths: 2
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Henry arrived 27 February 1825
Next vessel: Royal Charlotte arrived 29 April 1825
Captain Peter John Reeves.
Surgeon Robert Tainsh
Follow the Irish Convict Ship Trail
Prisoners and passengers of the Hooghley identified in the Hunter Valley region

The Hooghley was built in London in 1819.[1] Convicts were transported to New South Wales on the Hooghley in 1825, 1828, 1831 and 1834.

The Convicts

The convicts were tried in Ireland, often months before they set sail - they came from Tyrone, Tipperary, Cork, Antrim, Limerick, Monaghan, Dublin, Sligo, Kilkenny, Louth, Clare, Roscommon, Longford, Galway, Donegal, Down, Waterford, Armagh, Mayo, Leitrim and Waterford[3].

Some were tried at Dundalk, Co. Louth - An account of 4th March 1824, the day of the trial as it might have been at Dundalk, by author Robert Gibbins was included in his reconstruction of the life of Convict John Graham - The town was full, cram jam packed it was, with people from all around the countryside. From Inishkeen and Annaghvacky, from Killincoole and Mullacrew, from Ballagan, Kilcurry and Rathcor, and from all the hills away out to the north they had come in their long-shafted red carts or on horseback or maybe six together on a sidecar.

It was Assizes, and there were twenty three cases for trial. His Honour Baron McClelland and His Honour Justice Johnson had arrived from Drogheda with their full escort of cavalry. They had been met with great ceremony and entertained like royalty, and even now the first prisoner was below, in the cell immediately under the dock, waiting to be brought up for his trial. Outside the big new court house, built in the Grecian style, the square was filled with a whispering and murmuring.[4]

John Graham, a native of Newry, and a shop boy with a knowledge of the growing of hemp and flax, was found guilty of stealing hemp and sentenced to 7 years transportation. He was held at Dundalk breaking stones for seven months and then held in the hulks in Dublin Bay in the former frigate Essex. On 26th November he was sent to the Surprise hulk in Cork Harbour and finally transferred to the Hooghley on 7th December, 1824.

Surgeon Robert Tainsh

Robert Tainsh joined the Hooghley early in November 1824. He kept a Medical Journal from 26 October 1824 to 22 April 1825. [2]

Convicts Embarked

The prisoners were embarked on the Hooghley at the Cove of Cork in December 1824. Robert Tainsh himself became ill with cholera type symptoms around 18th December after going back and forth to the hulk in an open boat in bad weather. After 12 hours cholera gave way to diarrhoea and later, after exerting himself in bringing the prisoners under control he suffered a relapse.

Several prisoners who were embarked on the 18th December had large wounds on their heads from a severe conflict aboard the hulk a few days previously during which one man was killed.

Three of the men suffering with bowel complaints were rejected by the surgeon and sent back to the hulk.

Military Guard

The ill-fated Captain Patrick Logan was in command of the Guard which consisted of 35 men of the 57th regiment and Ensign Taylor. The Guard embarked in England on the 13th November. Several were ill with catarrhal complaints that arose from being cold on the march from Chatham to Deptford. Many of the soldiers are mentioned in the surgeon's journal.

Free Passengers

Passengers included Mrs. Logan (who suffered from fainting fits and was treated by the surgeon on the voyage) and family; Rev. Robinson, wife and family; Mr. H. Connell and William Connell.


The Hooghley was the next convict ship to leave Ireland bound for New South Wales after the departure of the Asia in October 1824.

The Hooghley departed Cork on 5th January 1825.

The Voyage

Many of the men suffered from diarrhoea and other bowel complaints over the next few weeks and by the 16th January scurvy had begun to affect both convicts and the guard.

Rio de Janeiro

James Crawford aged 20 became ill on 24th January as the vessel was approaching Rio de Janeiro. He died on the 18th February 1825. The Hooghley remained at Rio until 22nd March.

Illness on Board

Robert Tainsh's detailed Medical Journal reveals that he was kept busy the entire voyage.

Summary of the illnesses suffered by both convicts and soldiers:
Febrile affections, 41;
Dysentery, 71, of which 1 died on board;
Diarrhoea, 76;
Scurvy, 73;
Ulcers, 15;
Wounds and accidents, 15;
Rheumatism, 13;
Pulmonic inflammation, 2;
Emaciation and extreme debility, 1, who died on board;
Catarrh, 40;
Constipation, 24;
Venereal cases, 8;
Other complaints, 60.

Sydney Cove

The Hooghley arrived in Sydney Cove on 23 April 1825, one of fourteen convict ships arriving in New South Wales in 1825.

Convict Muster

A Muster of 193 men was held on board by Colonial Secretary Frederick Goulburn on 25 April 1825.

The indents include prisoners' name, when and where tried, sentence, native place, trade, age, physical description, remarks and to whom assigned. There are occasional remarks re colonial sentences and pardons.

Some of the younger prisoners were sent to the Carter's Barracks on arrival - Michael Carberry 16, Thomas Fitzgerald 16, William Harman 14, James McLinn 16, William Miley age 17, Andrew Moore 16, Michael Sinnott 17. A few of the older men were also assigned to the Carter's Barracks - Samuel Kingston age 55 and John Kelly from Galway age 80, John McAuliffe or Cawley age 40, Thomas Redpath (born Scotland) age 64, John Wafer, 40, (who was crippled. Later sent to Norfolk Island. Died 22 July 1847 in the General Hospital, Sydney)

John Scarlett was sent to the Hospital on shore on arrival.[3]

The prisoners were disembarked on 27th April 1825.

Convicts of the Hooghley identified in the Hunter Valley region

Agnew, Samuel

Alleyne, Thomas

Bennett, Patrick

Brady, Martin

Brearly, John

Bugg, John

Campbell, John

Carneiver, Darby

Carroll, Dennis

Clarke, Joseph

Darby, Patrick

Dea, Daniel

Donnegan, John

Dorgan, Michael

Farrell, William

Fitzgerald, Thomas

Flood, James

Graham, John

Hall, John

Hannan, Bernard

Hanning, Patrick

Heffernan, Francis

Igo, Bartholomew

Kelly, William

Kiernan, Thomas

Kingston, Samuel

McAuliffe, John

McCarthy, Humphrey

McConaghy, John

McDonagh, Matthew

McDonna, Michael

McDonnell, William

Moore, John

Mossey, William

Mullaly, William

Murdoch, Hugh

O'Hara, Patrick

Padden, Bernard

Ruinian, Patrick

Ryan, Patrick

Shingwin, William

Tobin, Cornelius

Toomey, Michael

Walsh, James

Notes and Links

1). Samuel Kingston was transported on the Hooghley. Below is part of the report of his trial at the Cork Assizes in August 1824.......Forgery - Mr. Samuel Kingston, a gentleman farmer of most respectable appearance and of property, was indicted for forging a receipt, with intent to defraud William Starkie Esq., William Starkie stated, that the prisoner was his tenant up to last January. In October witness passed the prisoner a receipt for rent; a years rent; a year's rent ending September 1822. Witness swears that the figure 2 in the date 1822 was changed to 3, so as to make the receipt appear to have been given up to September 1823. Witness has no doubt whatever but that the alteration is a forgery. Immediately after the passing of the receipt, witness went to the lands of which the prisoner was tenant, and he found all the distress, or what might be distress, completely removed. Witness had a civil bill trial with the prisoner, on which the receipt in question was given in evidence by the prisoner, to show he owed no rent to witness. Cross examined - If the receipt be taken as genuine, it would appear that witness had at least made a great mistake. Defence - Mr. George Hewitt - Witness saw the receipt the day it was passed; witness was present and heard Mr. Starkie inquire if he had seen the receipt and say that he thought he had made a mistake in it. Witness is first cousin to the prisoner. Lord Carbery gave a very good character of the prisoner which he said had been hitherto unimpeached. The Judge recapitulated the evidence to the Jury, who, after a short deliberation, returned a verdict of Guilty. The prisoner on hearing the verdict pronounced, burst into tears. (Freeman's Journal 28 August 1824)

2). National Archives UK - Chartered ship, 480 tons. Principal Managing Owners: 1 John W Buckle, 2 Buckle and Co. Voyages: (1) 1818/9 Bengal. Capt James Thomas Lamb. Downs 27 May 1819 - 23 Sep Calcutta - 1 Jan 1820 Kedgeree - 3 Mar Cape - 5 Apr St Helena - 30 May Downs. (2) 1830/1 New South Wales and China. Capt Peter John Reeves. Left China 16 Jan 1832 - 8 Apr St Helena - 31 May Downs

3). Convict John Graham was later sent to Moreton Bay for a colonial crime. Read more of his remarkable story at the Australian Dictionary of Biography Online

4). Robert Tainsh was also employed as surgeon on the convict ship Earl St. Vincent in 1823

5) The convict hulk Essex - Donal O'Sullivan

6). The crimes of the men of the Hooghley included murder, rape, sheep stealing, pig stealing, coining, forgery, abduction, manslaughter, whiteboyism, administering oaths, highway robbery, stealing yarn, watches, linen and vagrancy. Several Hooghley prisoners were tried under the Insurrection Act -

Sir Robert Peel described the state of Ireland in 1829 - I apprehend it scarcely possible we can change for the worse. What is the melancholy fact? That for scarcely one year during the period that has elapsed since the Union, has Ireland been governed by the ordinary course of law. In 1800, we find the Habeas Corpus Act suspended, and the act for the suppression of rebellion in force. In 1801 they were continued; in 1802, they expired. In 1803 the insurrection, for which Emmett suffered, broke out. Lord Kilwarden was murdered by a savage mob; and both acts of Parliament were renewed. In 1804 they were continued. In 1806 the West and South of Ireland were in a state of insubordination, which was with difficulty suppressed by the severest enforcement of the ordinary law.

In 1807, in consequence, chiefly, of disorders that had prevailed in 1806, the act called the Insurrection Act was introduced; it gave power to the Lord-lieutenant to place any district, by proclamation, out of the pale of the law; it suspended trial by jury, and made it a transportable offence to be out of doors from sunset to sunrise. In 1807, this act continued in force, and in 1808, 1809, and the close of the sessions of 1810. In 1814, the Insurrection Act was renewed; it was continued in 1815, 1816, and 1817. In 1822, it was again renewed, and continued during the years 1823, 1824, and 1825. In 1825, the act intended for the suppression of dangerous associations was passed; it continued during 1826, and 1827, and expired in 1828. In 1829, disturbances to a frightful extent existed in part of the county of Cork; conspiracies were formed for the assassination of magistrates; murders were committed; the police barracks were attacked, the inhabitants shot; houses and villages burned, and gentlemen in their carriages and on horseback, fired at and wounded. A special commission was held in the county at this period. - Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, Volume 50

7). The Hooghley returned to England via Batavia - The Oriental Herald

8). Vessels bringing detachments of the 57th Regiment........

Asia 1825 departed Cork 29 October 1824 - Captain Richard Heaviside

Asia (III) 1825 departed Portsmouth 5 January 1825 - Lieutenant Thomas Bainbridge

Royal Charlotte 1825 departed Portsmouth 5 January 1825 - Major Edmund Lockyer

Hooghley 1825 departed Cork 5 January 1825 Cork - Captain Patrick Logan

Norfolk 1825 departed Portsmouth 17 April 1825 - Captain James Brown

Minstrel 1825 departed Portsmouth 17 April 1825; - Lieutenant Henry John Tudor Shadforth

Lonach 1825 departed Cork 16 May 1825 - Lieutenant John William Donelan

Sir Godfrey Webster departed Cork 11 July 1825 - Lieutenant John Ovens

Medway 1825 departed the Downs 2 August 1825 Downs - Lieutenant William Bates

Henry Porcher 1825 departed Dublin 5 August 1825 Dublin - Captain Vance Young Donaldson

Marquis of Hastings 1826 departed Portsmouth 22 August 1825 - Ensign Stewart

Mangles 1826 departed Cork 23 October 1825 - Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Shadforth

Sesostris 1826 departed Portsmouth 30 November 1825 - Major John Campbell

Prince Regent 1827 departed London 11 June 1827 - Lieutenant Campbell

Morley 1828 departed Dublin 3 November 1827 - Captain Robert Hunt

Borodino 1828 departed Cork 11 February 1828 Cork - Captain Philip Aubyn

Mangles 1828 departed Dublin 23 February 1828 Dublin- Lieut. Hill and Adjutant Lieut. Kidd

Bussorah Merchant 1828 departed London 27 March 1828 - Captain Burton Daveney (+ 1 soldier)

Marquis of Hastings 1828 departed Portsmouth 1828 30 June 1828 - Colonel Allen

Asia 1828 departed London 23 November 1828 - Lieutenant George Edwards


[1] Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.346-347

[2] UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Medical Journal of Robert Tainsh on the voyage of the Hooghley in 1825 The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.;

[3] Convict Indents. State Archives NSW; Series: NRS 12188; Item: [4/4009A]; Microfiche: 655

[4] Gibbings, R., John Graham (Convict) 1824 1937 - London - Faber and Faber, p.17