Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Minstrel - 1825

Embarked: 121 men
Voyage: 127 days
Deaths: 0
Surgeon s Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Norfolk arrived 18 August 1825
Next vessel: Lonach arrived 4 September 1825
Master Charles Arkcoll.
Surgeon Hugh Walker
Prisoners and passengers of the Minstrel identified in the Hunter Valley

The Convicts

Convicts transported on the Minstrel came from counties in England, Scotland and Wales - Middlesex, Gloucester, Durham, Kent, Chester, London, Bedford, Lancaster, Warwick, Derby, Cumberland, Devon, Wiltshire, Surrey, Somerset, Gloucester, York, Bristol, Devon, Northumberland, Lincoln, Hereford, Wiltshire, Stafford, Brecon, Carmarthen, Glamorgan, Monmouth, Ayr, Aberdeen, Inveraray, Perth, Dumfries, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Most were held in county gaols and then prison hulks before being transported.

Charles Horrocks, Thomas Brookes, Jacob Barber and James Yates who were all convicted of highway robbery at the Chester Assizes on 6th September 1824, were probably held in the Chester gaol before being sent to the Justitia Hulk on 9th November 1824. They had been sentenced to transportation for life and were transferred from the hulk to the Minstrel with many others on 28th March 1825. Read a description of Chester Gaol.

Military Guard

The Guard consisted of the 57th regiment under orders of Lieutenant Shadforth. Lieutenant Henry John Tudor Shadforth was the eldest son of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Shadforth who arrived on the Mangles in 1826.


The Minstrel left London on 10th April and sailed from Portsmouth on 17 April 1825 in company with the Norfolk.[1]

Surgeon Hugh Walker

Hugh Walker kept a Medical Journal from 19th March to 26 August 1825. [2] The journal contains medical treatment of those put on the sick list however there are no meteorological reports in the journal nor a summary of events as is often included in other journals.

The Voyage

There was an outbreak of scurvy in about twenty of the men early in July.

Those treated by the surgeon during the voyage included [3]:

Henry Herrings,
Henry Fussell,
Ann White (age 11 months),
Thomas Chester (soldier),
Henry Fairmanner,
Catherine Connor (twin aged 4, died 5th June),
Charles Wilson,
William Brown,
John Boswell,
John Sheen,
William Frowen

Port Jackson

The Minstrel arrived in Port Jackson on 22nd August 1825. On 25th August the order was given that boats were to be alongside the Minstrel on the following morning to disembark the prisoners.

Convicts Disembarked

The Sydney Gazette reported that the prisoners were landed, and underwent the usual inspection in the prison-yard by Lieutenant Governor Stewart who addressed the men in the usual encouraging way. They appeared in the best health, and were afterwards distributed throughout the country.

(Governor Brisbane who often inspected the convicts, was on a tour of the interior at this time and was soon to depart the colony).

Convicts of the Minstrel identified in the Hunter Valley -

Atkinson, Thomas

Barber, Jacob

Barrett, Thomas

Basin, William

Coulthurst, Edward

Cowie, Alexander

Cox, James

Cox, Richard

Dales, James

Davidson, James

Fox, Patrick

Garforth, John

Groves, Charles

Holmes, Peter

Horrocks, Charles

Hudson, John Thomas

Jones, Thomas

Jones, William

Lindsay, Farley

McKnight, William

Smith, Peter

Strong, William

Thredgold, John

Titford, John

Vernon, Henry

Wild, John

Notes and Links

1). Edward Colthurst achieved infamy having been found guilty of the murder of an aboriginal boy in 1826 and sentenced to Norfolk Island. He was one of several convicts who were executed as pirates for Seizing the brig Wellington on the voyage to Norfolk Island in 1827.

2). Hugh Walker was also employed as surgeon superintendent on the Guildford in 1820

3). Charles Arkoll was also Captain of the convict ship Mary in 1822

4). Find out about Newcastle bushranger Thomas Hudson who arrived on the Minstrel.

5). Henry Herring first came to the colony in the Indefatigable in 1815 and then was re-transported on the Minstrel in 1825. Read more about him in the Edinburgh Annual Register

6). James Davies, also known as Durramboi led an extraordinary life having lived with native tribes at Moreton Bay for many years - The Telegraph 9 May 1889

7). Return of Convicts of the Minstrel assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 21 June 1832; 28 June 1832).....

Joseph Fisher - Cloth dresser assigned to Samuel Thornton in Sydney
James Gallagher - Ploughman assigned to Samuel North at Windsor
William Jones - Comedian. Assigned to Thomas Spicer in Sydney
Robert Nairne - Painter and glazier assigned to Major Lockyer at Parramatta

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. The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[3] National Archives - Reference: ADM 101/54/7 Description: Medical journal of the convict ship Minstrel for 19 March to 26 August 1825, which sailed to New South Wales, by Hugh Walker, surgeon and superintendent.