Convict Ship Princess Royal 1823
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(Convicts and passengers from this
Select from the Links below to find
information about Convict Ships arriving in New South Wales, Norfolk
Island and Van Diemen's Land between the years 1788 and 1850
|Embarked: 154 men
Voyage: 124 days
Surgeon's Journal: no
vessel: Surry arrived 4 March 1823
Next vessel: Brampton arrived 22 April 1823
Captain Henry Sherwood
Princess Royal was built in 1798 and owned by G. Brown (2).
She was the next convict ship to leave England after the
departure of the Surry in
October 1822. The Princess Royal departed England 8th
November 1822. The guard consisted of a detachment of the Buffs
under the Command of Lieut. Howard of 59th regiment and Ensign
Grant of the 3rd regiment. Other ships bringing detachments of the
3rd regiment included the the
The surgeon's journal does not seem to have survived for
this voyage, however James Hunter was well experienced in the duties
of surgeon superintendent having previously been employed on the
voyages of the Minerva in 1818 and the
Prince Regent in 1820. His
attitudes towards the prisoners and their likely treatment can be
derived from his solicitous care towards the men during his first
two voyages in 1818 and 1820.
The Princess Royal arrived
in Port Jackson on 11th March 1823 with 154 male prisoners. The
indents include information such as name, when and where tried,
sentence, native place, trade, age and physical description. There
is no indication in the indents as to where the prisoners were
assigned on arrival.
The Sydney Gazette reported the
prisoners as having landed on Thursday 13th March when they were
inspected by Governor Brisbane in the forenoon. Their healthy
appearance was said to indicate the kind treatment they had met with
during the voyage. They were immediately forwarded by boat to
In the Colonial Secretary's Correspondence there
is a list of 72 men who were assigned to various settlers and
government service at Parramatta, Liverpool, Airds, Brigelly,
Windsor, Minto, Emu Plains and Bathurst.
It was revealed
in correspondence to the Governor written in 1823, that life for the
sailors was difficult under Captain Sherwood and so while the
prisoners were being distributed throughout the colony and the
vessel was being made seaworthy once again, the crew of the Princess
Royal made use of their short time of freedom in Sydney........
sailors of the Princess Royal had become intoxicated while on shore
leave. When they returned to the vessel Captain Sherwood and the
Chief Mate were displeased. They handcuffed the men and threw one of
them down the half deck hatch injuring him severely; the other the
Captain struck with a cutlass cutting his hand and threatening to
run him through. The Chief Mate struck him several times and kicked
him cruelly. Nine other of the crew came to their rescue and later
in fear for their lives wrote a letter of appeal to the Governor
stating that the Captain had threatened revenge when he got them to
sea again. They stated the Captain to be a tyrannical man who often
struck them for little reason. The letter was signed John Jones,
John Baylis, John Wright, Edward Tyson, George Hemmings, William
Wallace, John Foster, John Harris, John George, John Francis and
On the 8th April Captain Sherwood, of the ship
Princess Royal appeared at the Police Office on Tuesday morning to
lay a complaint against two of his seamen for drunkenness, abusive
language, and striking their commander on board. Nine other of the
seamen were also charged with knocking off work, in consequence of
Captain Sherwood's determination to punish the two refractory hands.
The complainant was supported in his testimony by his chief officer.
The nine men were directed by the Magistracy to return peaceably on
board, and go to work as usual, as such was the wish of Captain
Sherwood; but, regarding the other two, it being necessary to visit
their conduct with some slight degree of punishment, they were
ordered into solitary confinement, on bread and water, till the
departure of the vessel. Upon the annunciation of this very lenient
act of Magisterial authority, the whole of the others, nine in
number, declared that they would not go on board ; in consequence of
which, the whole party was ordered to be lodged in gaol, and to be
separately confined on bread and water, till the vessel's departure.
On 18th April John Jones was given his discharge from
the Princess Royal. On 25th March Second Mate Augustus
Warner was permitted his discharge from the Princess Royal
in Sydney. He returned to England on the Denmark Hill in
April. The First Mate Mr. Wilson and Third Mate Mr. Duggan remained
with the vessel and departed on her on the 20th April 1823 when she
sailed for Batavia and Calcutta.
Notes and Links:
1). An interesting Court-martial later took place in Chatham in
1826. The Princess Royal under Captain Sherwood, was on the voyage from Madras to
England in 1825 with troops when an altercation took place between
Agent for the transport Lieutenant Thomas Hewett R.N. and Major
Browne commander of the Guard regarding the sailing of the vessel.
Select here to read more about the court-martial.
Hunter Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Princess Royal
3). Return of Convicts of
the Princess Royal assigned between 1st January 1832 and
31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 28 June 1832).....
||Bleacher assigned to George Barber
Sydney Gazette 10 April 1823
(2) Register of Shipping
for the year 1822 .....