Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Vittoria - 1829

Embarked: 160 men
Voyage: 138 days
Deaths: 9
Surgeons Journal: Yes
Tons: 395
Crew: 31 men
Previous vessel: Governor Ready 16 January 1829
Next vessel: Sophia arrived 17 January 1829
Master John Smith
Surgeon  James Dickson
Convicts and passengers identified in the Hunter Valley

Prisoners transported on Vittoria came from counties throughout England, Scotland and Wales - London, Somerset, Bucks, Cornwall, York, Northumberland, Devon, Stafford, Wiltshire, Gloucester, Chester, Lancaster, Westmorland, Durham, Dorset, Cumberland, Warwick, Norfolk, Hereford, Hertford, Plymouth, Isle of Man Edinburgh, Perth, Glasgow Stirling, Aberdeen, Jedburgh, Cardigan, Monmouth as well as Sierra Leone, Portugal and Mafra. Many were held in prison hulks to await transportation. The men who were held on the Justitia hulk were transferred to the ship on 8th August 1828.

Military Guard

The Military Guard consisted of a detachment of 30 men of the 63rd regiment, under orders of Lieut. Aubyn. They joined the ship at Deptford in August. Select here to find other convict ships bringing detachments of the 63rd regiment.

Convicts Embarked

One hundred and sixty prisoners were embarked on the Vittoria at Woolwich and Devonport.

Cabin Passengers

Four Commissariat clerks - Edward Montague Archdeacon, Henry Edward Vaux, Mr. Ganes and John Kent came as passengers.

Portrait of Explorer Allan Cunningham
The United Service Magazine, Volume 10, Page 3 By Arthur William Alsager Pollock


The Vittoria departed Devonport for Port Jackson under E.N.E winds and a fine day on 1 September 1828. She touched at Tenerife where water was procured and left there on the 24 September 1828.

Surgeon James Dickson

James Dickson kept a Medical Journal from 1st August 1827 to 30 July 1829 -

After departing from Teneriffe some prisoners began to suffer from fevers and then dysentery, mostly in men who had previously suffered other diseases and the illness was attributed to their change of diet and climate. James Dickson treated them with rhubarb and opiates.

About the latitude of the Cape of Good Hope when the weather began to cool, symptoms of scorbutus began to appear notwithstanding every attention paid to the soaking of provisions, exercise, clothing, ventilation, cleanliness towards the termination of the voyage. This dreadful malady had increased to an alarming extent and from the long passage all the medical comforts and lemon juice were expended.

James Dickson reported that there had been ten deaths (nine convicts) in total and in all twenty-one men suffered from scurvy. There were three accidents during the voyage as well.

Those mentioned in the convict indents include:
Barnaby Cotterill died on 29 September 1828 (febris)
Addin Grimley died 29 September 1828 (Catarrh, hepatitis)
William Massey did 17 January 1829 (Tabes)
Michael McAuliffe died 5 January 1829 (Hydrathorax)
Edward Townshend died 8 January 1829
David Sawyer died 23 December 1828 (Tabes)
Benjamin Whitely died 5 January 1829 (Haemoptysis)

Illness suffered by the convicts during the voyage included Phlegmone, Pneumonia, Tonsillitis, Rheumatismus, Haemoptysis, Catarrh, Dysenteria, Tabes, Hydrothorax, Ascites, Icterus and Marasmus.

Arrival in Port Jackson

The Vittoria arrived in Port Jackson on 17 January 1829 and immediately upon the arrival all the sick (17 men) were sent on shore to the hospital.

A muster of 134 convicts was held on board on 22nd January by Colonial Secretary Alexander McLeay

The indents include information such as name, age, education, marital status, family, religion, trade, offence, date and place of trial, physical description and where and to whom the convicts were assigned on arrival. There are also occasional notes regarding deaths, colonial crimes, certificates of freedom etc.


Some of the convicts from the Vittoria were sent to the Hunter Valley region where they were assigned to various settlers - Thomas Potter Macqueen, Peter McIntyre, John McIntyre, Archibald Bell, Samuel Wright, John Eales, Robert Adamson Rodd, George Wyndham, James Bowman, Timothy Nowlan, James Adair, Edward G. Cory, Crawford Logan Brown and Timothy Nowlan. Select here to find out more about these settlers.

One of the Vittoria convicts achieved fame of sorts and there was even a place named for him however it came at the cost of his life...... Stephen Bombellia a baker from Norfolk was first assigned to Thomas Potter Macqueen at Invermein. When Sir Thomas Livingston Mitchells expedition passed through the district in 1831 Stephen Bombellia was chosen to join the party in place of another ill-behaved convict. According to Mitchell, convicts were keen to join expeditions because of the possible reward of freedom if they performed well. Stephen Bombellia was murdered by natives and his bones lay buried 25 km from Moree near the watercourse that for many years carried his name.

Departure of the Vittoria from Port Jackson

The Vittoria departed for Batavia in February.

Convicts and passengers identified in the Hunter Valley:

Anderson, John

Bennett, John

Bishop, Daniel

Bitton, Joseph

Black, Thomas

Bombelli, Stephen

Callaway, William

Chown, John

Cook, John

Coom, William

Cornish, James

Dart, John

Denning, Henry

Dent, John

Gillies, John McLeod

Gray, George

Gullick, Samuel

Heath, Samuel

Hellard, Jacob

Holyett, George

Isles, John

James, Charles

James, Joseph

Jefferies, Samuel

Jones, Henry

Kinnaird, George

Lockie, James

Martin, Richard

Mayo, Lawrence

Morrison, Robert

Niness, William

Phillips, John

Ralph, William

Randall, John

Randall, Joseph

Sargent, James

Solomons, Benjamin

Vizard, William

Warren, Charles

West, Nathan

Wiggott, John

Wood, Thomas

Young, Henry

Notes and Links

1). D.A.C.G. Henry Edward Vaux was a brother-in-law of Colonel James Thomas Morisset. He died after being swept off the rocks at Port Macquarie in April 1834.

2). Return of Convicts of the Vittoria assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 21 June 1832).....
Oliver Hoare - Stone cutter assigned to Robert Futter at Argyle
Thomas Hughes Mountebank - Assigned to Joseph Hicks at Lane Cove
Jonah Hoggarth - Farmer, ploughs. Assigned to Robert Burke at Campbelltown
Michael Harrison - Factory labourer. Assigned to Robert McIntosh at Sydney
Lewis Solomon - Stable boy assigned to William Kerr in Sydney
John Randall - Stone cutter and setter assigned to Archibald Little at Hunters River
John Stacey - Miller and millwright assigned to Simeon Lord at Sydney

3). John Wales a former shopkeeper from Greenock was executed 10th May 1836 for robbery with fire arms.

4). Convict ships bringing detachments of the 63rd regiment -

Albion departed Sheerness 1 June 1828 - Lieutenant M. Vickery

Eliza departed London 29 June 1828 - Major Sholto Douglas

Marquis of Hastings departed 30 June 1828 - Ensign Stulbmer

Royal George departed Spithead 26 August 1828 - Captain J. Briggs

Vittoria departed Devonport1 September 1828 - Lieutenant Aubyn

Governor Ready departed Cork 21 September 1828 - Lieutenant J. Gibbons Lane

Ferguson departed Dublin 16 November 1828 - Captain D'Arcy Wentworth

Mellish departed Falmouth 2 January 1829 - Captain Baylee

Lord Melville departed London 5 January 1829 - Lieut-Col. Burke

Waterloo departed London 14 March 1829 - Lieutenant T. Grove

America departed Woolwich 8 April 1829 - Adjutant T. Montgomery

Norfolk departed Spithead 22 May 1829 - Ensign W.J. Darling

Guildford departed Dublin 12 July 1829 - Lieut McLean 89th

Larkins departed Cork 16 August 1829 - Captain Mahon

Claudine departed London 24 August 1829 - Captain Paterson

Sarah departed London 29 August 1829 - Lieutenant Croly

Dunvegan Castle departed 30 September 1829 - Lieutenant John Gray

Katherine Stewart Forbes departed Spithead 14 October 1829 - Major Fairtclough

5). National Archives - Reference: ADM 101/72/4B Description: Medical and surgical journal of the convict ship Vittoria from 1 August 1828 to 30 January 1829 by James Dickson during which time the said ship was employed on a passage to New South Wales.


[1] UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 Medical Journal of James Dickson on the voyage of the Vittoria in 1829. The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[2] Bateson, Charles, Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.348-349, 386