Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Surry - 1823

Embarked: 160 men
Voyage: 150 days
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Lord Sidmouth arrived 27 February 1823
Next vessel: Princess Royal arrived 9 March 1823
Master Thomas Raine
Surgeon Charles Linton
Convicts and passengers of the Surry identified in the Hunter Valley region

The Surry was a square-rigged transport ship. She had an overall length of 117 ft. 6 ins., a breadth above the gunwales of 29 ft. 6 ins, and a draught, when loaded, of 18 ft. She was copper-sheathed, and had quarter galleries, with a bust of Minerva for a figurehead. She had such a long career principally in the convict service but also as a trader, that she became one of the best-known vessels to visit Australia [1].

She was sometimes referred to as the Old Surry with her old Commander, Captain Thomas Raine [2].

Convicts were transported to Australia in the Surry in 1814, 1816, 1819, 1823, 1829 (VDL), 1831, 1833 (VDL), 1834, 1836, 1840 and 1842 (VDL).[3]


This was Thomas Raine's last voyage as Surry's Commander. According the Sydney Gazette, the Surry departed Portsmouth on 29th October 1822.[4]

Military Guard

The guard consisted of a detachment of the Buffs commanded by Major Marlay. Lieutenant Evernden also joined his corps in the colony.

Surgeon Charles Linton

Charles Linton kept an unusually lengthy Medical Journal from 13 September 1822 to 11 March 1823. Three convicts and the wife of a soldier died on the passage out.........

{Extract} - The preparatory arrangements for the management and embarkation led me to indulge the most sanguine hopes that little sickness would occur in the ship during the voyage. Unfortunately however all the managements were in a great measure frustrated and rendered for a time almost negative by the effects resulting from the Surry having encountered successively three or four violent gales of wind in the channel, which forced her to put back each time, and seek shelter in Harbour. After repeated fruitless attempts to weather Scilly, in consequence of the tremendously heavy seas and the violent concussion received from the resulting force, the ship was weakened much forward. A great quantity of water was shipped which completely inundated the prisons and hospital and from the helpless and debilitated state of the prisoners incurred by sea sickness, cold, wet and thin clothing, the flux was introduced at an early period.

Although familiar for upwards of 20 years to the variously modified appearances of this disease in various climates, I never met with it acting at so early a period from its attack with such contracted force. I deem it however right to state that from inquiry, which I have subsequently made among the convicts, I heard that a dangerous and fatal type of dysentery prevailed in the convict hospital ship at Portsmouth at the period when the draught was received on board the Surry.

When I inspected the prisoners on board their respective hulks, the Leviathan and York, I also made my necessary inquiry whether infection existed in these vessel and was assured by Dr. Porter the Surgeon, that febrile infection had not been encountered for years. It is a distressing circumstance to state, yet I find it necessary to remark that although much sickness - and this often of a very serious nature - prevailed among the women, they conducted themselves in general towards each other with the most brutal indifference - refusing to perform the common office of humanity to each other, instead of showing the humane and affectionate tenderness of a nurse, with cold blooded reluctance performing their service by compulsion alone.

Port Jackson

A light north-easterly breeze was blowing and the weather was fine when the convicts of the Surry first sighted land at Sydney at 11am on Thursday 4 March 1823.

The Guard disembarked at 3pm on 7th March and the prisoners were mustered by the Colonial Secretary on board on 8th March.

The following day their hair was cut short and at 6am on 11th March, the prisoners were disembarked and marched to the goal yards where they were inspected by Governor Brisbane.

Departure from the Colony

The Sydney Gazette reported on 26th June 1823 - Captain Raine of the Surry returned to port yesterday evening on the Nereus, leaving his ship at Port Stephens. Capt. R. has succeeded in nearly filling the Surry at Port Macquarie, with the finest cargo of cedar that ever was procured. Next month this celebrated vessel of pleasing remembrance will return to Old England with her New Holland produce.

The Surry was advertised to depart Port Jackson on 25th July 1823. She returned to New South Wales with convicts in 1831 under Captain Charles Kemp

Notes and Links

1). Charles Linton was also surgeon on the Guildford in 1827.

2). More about Thomas Raine in the Sydney Gazette 27 June 1827

3). Thomas Raine and the Surry - Monuments Australia

4). Thomas Raine - Australian Dictionary of Biography

5). In February 1822 the Surry, Captain Raine departed Sydney with former Governor Lachlan Macquarie on board bound for England.

6). The Surry was one of twelve vessels bringing convicts to New South Wales in 1823, the others being - Lord Sidmouth, Ocean, Princess Royal, Brampton, Woodman, Recovery, Henry, Earl St. Vincent, Mary, Isabella and Medina. Approximately 1550 prisoners arrived in New South Wales in this year.

7). Return of Convicts of the Surry assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 21 June 1832).....
Lewis Boswell - Brazier assigned to William Bradley at Argyle
Samuel Elwell - Brassfounder assigned to James Blanch in Sydney

8). Major Marlay died in 1830....Gentleman's Magazine.

9). 3rd (East Kent) Regt of Foot (Buffs)...A List of the Officers of the Army and of the Corps of Royal Marines By Great Britain. War Office.

10) Ships bringing detachments of the 3rd regiment included Guildford, Shipley, Asia, Surry, Mangles, Asia, Countess of Harcourt, Henry, Princess Royal, Eliza and Brampton.

11). Convicts of the Surry identified in the Hunter Valley region -

Acott, William
Adams, Charles
Brazell, Edward
Brown, James
Bussill, Robert
Calcomb, William
Carden, Francis
Challen, Robert
Chard, James
Cole, Thomas
Craggs, Robert
Eades, William
Earley, John
Edwards, William
Elwell, Saul
Flynn, Edward
Fuller, John
Gates, Joseph
Harvey, John
Hewson, James
Hodgson, Thomas
Ibbetson, Robert
Jones, John
Latham, Henry
Magg, John
Middleton, John
Mills, John
Penny, John
Reeves, William
Richardson, John
Roberts, William
Shepherd, Charles
Simons, William
Snowling, William
Stileman, James
Timbury, William
Townsend, Job

Notes and Links

[1] [3] Bateson, Charles, Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : p. 172

[2] The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842) Thu 20 Feb 1823 Page 3

[3] Bateson, Charles, Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.344-345, 384

[4] The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842) Thu 13 Mar 1823 Page 2

[5] UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Medical Journal of Charles Linton on the voyage of the Surry in 1823. The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.