Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Archibald Hume R. N.,

Convict Ship Surgeon-Superintendent

Date of Seniority 17 August 1815

Archibald Hume was entered in the Navy List of Medical Officers in 1814

His name is included on a long list of men who were appointed Surgeons on 17 August 1815 at the end of the Napoleonic Wars.[2] In 1815 he was appointed assistant surgeon to the Arachne. [3]


He was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on two convict ship voyages to Australia:

Guildford in 1818

Coromandel in 1820

The Guildford departed Cork on 14 November 1817 and arrived in Port Jackson on 1 April 1818

The Coromandel departed Spithead on 1 November 1819 and arrived in Port Jackson on 4 April 1820.

Appointed to Committee of Enquiry 1820

In a circular dated 26 April 1820 Archibald Hume, James Marr Brydone and James Hunter all Royal Navy Surgeons were requested to investigate the increase in disease and consequent mortality prevailing in the colony at the time in particular in Sydney and the General Hospital. The Governor sought their professional opinions and advice into the probable causes and the most effectual means of counter-acting its progress and requested a Committee of Enquiry be established. The meeting was postponed, at least for a time because of the absence of James M. Brydone and James Hunter. [4]


Archibald Hume was still in the colony in July 1821, however had returned to Scotland by 1822 -

Edinburgh Museum.—We understand that Mr Archibald Hume, Surgeon, R. N. has lately presented to the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons of this city, a fine specimen of the head of a young New Zealand Chief, beautifully tattooed and embalmed, in a manner unknown to the civilized nations of modern times, but which commands the admiration of all adequate judges. Mr Hume has promised to communicate to the College an account of the mode in which the process is conducted. [5]


[1] Naval Chronicle

[2] A list of the masters, medical officers, and pursers of his majesty's fleet.

[3] Naval Chronicle

[4] Colonial Secretary's Papers. Series: NRS 937; Reel or Fiche Numbers: Reels 6004-6016 Description Title: Copies of Letters Sent Within The Colony, 1814-1827. State Records NSW

[5] Edinburgh Magazine 1822