Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Baring - 1815

Embarked 300 men
Voyage 140 days
Deaths 2
Surgeon's Journal - No
Previous vessel: Francis and Eliza arrived 15 August 1815
Next vessel: Fanny arrived 18 January 1816
Captain John Lamb
Surgeon David Reid
Descendant Contribution
Prisoners and passengers of the Baring identified in the Hunter Valley

The Baring was built in London in 1801. Three-decked, with a length of 146ft 1 1/2in (44.5 metres), she was launched at Deptford for Robert Charnock and taken up for the East India Company.

In 1814 the Baring left the East India service and was hired out as a convict ship. Prisoners were transported to New South Wales on this voyage in 1815 and in 1819.

Captain John Lamb

Master of the Baring, John Lamb was born at Penrith, England, the son of Captain Lamb of the East India Co.'s service. At age 11 he became a first-class volunteer in the Port Mahon sloop commanded by his uncle, William Buchanan, on the Mediterranean Station, and within a year was a midshipman in the Northumberland, the youngest in the fleet at the capture of the fort of Alexandria in 1801.  In 1803 he served in several ships patrolling the Channel and the Irish coast; in the Warrior he won the favour of Captain William Bligh who requested Sir Joseph Banks in April 1805 to transfer him to the ship bringing Bligh to New South Wales as governor - the Lady Madeline Sinclair in August 1806. John Lamb was promoted lieutenant in June 1808 and his last naval service was in the Union with the Toulon Fleet. He returned to England in August 1814 on half-pay and became associated with Buckles, Bagster and Buchanan. He sailed for them in September 1815 and June 1819 as master of the transport Baring. (Australian Dictionary of Biography)

Prison Hulks

Prisoners to be embarked on the Baring in 1815 came from counties throughout England and also from Scotland and Canada. They were held in various hulks at Woolwich and Portsmouth. Prisoners on the Justitia hulk at Woolwich were transferred to the Baring on 27th February 1815; prisoners on the Retribution hulk at Woolwich were transferred on the 19th March 1815 and those on the Captivity hulk at Portsmouth were embarked on the 23 March 1815. [3]

Military Guard

The Guard consisted of a detachment of the 34th regiment; the officers were Captain Saunders (or Sanderson) and Lieutenant Norton.

Other convict ships bringing detachments of the 34th regiment included the

Batavia in 1818,

Globe in 1819,

Asia in 1820,

Grenada in 1821,

Speke in 1821,

Prince of Orange in 1821 and

Adamant in 1821.;

Captain Norton, late of the 34th regiment, donated to the Naval and Military Museum in London in 1832 a 'boomerang or magic stick of New South Wales'

Cabin Passengers

Passengers included Mr. Parker, and Mr. Pucking and family.

Departure from England

The Baring was the next convict ship to leave England bound for New South Wales after the departure of the female transport Northampton on 1st January 1815. The Baring departed England on 20 April 1815 and called at Madeira and Rio de Janeiro on the passage.

Surgeon David Reid

David Reid was employed as surgeon superintendent on the Baring. He was about 40 years of age on this voyage. His journal for the voyage has not survived and so there is no indication as to how the prisoners were treated by him, however when he died in 1840 his obituary described his death as a public loss - by it the colony is bereaved of an upright and zealous Magistrate, and society of a truly honest man. He was also surgeon on the Baring in 1819 and the Providence in 1822. His journal for the voyage of the Baring in 1819 survives and he recommended stopping at Rio rather than the Cape as vegetables were plentiful there.  Find out more about the Advantages of Various Routes of Convict Ships.

Arrival at Sydney Cove

On Thursday 7 September 1815 the Baring arrived in Sydney Cove with 298 prisoners, two having died on the passage out.

Twenty of the prisoners were under the age of sixteen. The youngest were Walter Barlow, John Briggs, George Carter, William Potter and Charles Tilley who were all fourteen years of age; and Joseph Frednam, James Kettle who were only thirteen years old. [2]

Disembarking and Assignment

The prisoners were all disembarked on 15th September 1815 and distributed to settlers and government service. Seventy four men were sent to Windsor; thirty four to Liverpool; and thirty three to Parramatta.


Captain Lamb of the Baring gave notice of his intention to depart the colony in October, however before he could do so several of the crew absconded - William Jones, James Campbell, James Anderson, William Jenkins, Matthew Ainsby, John Hill and William Wilson. Captain Lamb offered a reward for their apprehension and Campbell, Anderson and Jones were apprehended and thrown in gaol. The Baring left without them and later there was a request that they be assigned to William Campbell of the vessel Governor Macquarie.

Departure from Port Jackson

The Baring departed Port Jackson bound for Calcutta on 6th November 1816, however returned to the Heads of Port Jackson on the following Sunday before once more setting sail on the Monday. A woman who had found means to conceal herself on board, with intent to escape from the Colony, was delivered into custody on her return.

Notes and Links

1). Mariner Thomas Whyte arrived as a convict on the Baring. Although he only lived for another eleven years, he led a life of far more freedom than many of his shipmates. See Australian Dictionary of Biography

2). Joseph Hickey Grose arrived as a convict on the Baring. - See Australian Dictionary of Biography and The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Online

3). Old Bailey Nov. 2 - Thomas Wall, William Andrews and William Tooley, were indicted for stealing from the person of Rice Ives, a watch, chain and seals of the value of twenty guineas, on 29th September last. The prosecutor it appeared was returning from Paddington on the night in question, through Oxford Street, where he was stopped by a gang of eight or ten men . They knocked the watch from his hand and he should have recovered it but for Wall who stepped between him and it and thereby prevented his purpose. He seized Wall, called the watch and succeeded in securing and conveying him to the watch house. The prisoners Andrews and Tooley followed them into the watch house and were seen as they went along, feeling at Wall's pocket as if to remove from it any suspicious article he might have about him. Upon entering into the watch house however, the prosecutor pointed out those two men as part of the gang, and they were all detained. Several persons of great respectability spoke favourably of the general characters of the prisoners however they were found guilty. The Common Serjeant told the prisoners they might thank the prosecutor's lenity in having only indicted them for stealing from his person; had he laid the indictment for highway robbery, they would certainly have been sentenced to death. It was monstrous to think that young men like them could not content themselves with their earnings of 50s a week, which it had been proved they could obtain; but they must sally forth in bodies of a dozen or fourteen, for the purpose of unlawful plunder. They might depend on it, they would never seen their native land more, unless they risked their necks by returning from transportation for that would assuredly be their sentence for life. - Freeman's Journal 8 November 1814

4). In October 1816 twelve months after arrival, Peter Allen who arrived on the Baring was arrested for stealing a bullock. He and another man by the name of John Hall were sentenced to three years in prison in solitary confinement and for all of that time to be fed only bread and water. He became dreadfully ill and was examined by a doctor at the instigation of Rev. Marsden on 14th November. He was then removed from the gaol to the hospital where he remained until the following March. In March he was considered well enough to be returned to the gaol to complete his sentence and remained there until the following August when his sentence was remitted by the Governor.

5). On the night of the 12th September 1816 ten prisoners of the Guildford together with two men from the Fanny Felix O'Neil and Manuel De Sylva, and Charles Dytche from the Baring made a desperate bid to escape from the Colony. They seized Simeon Lord's brig Trial, Master William Burnett, which was at anchor near the Sow and Pigs in Watson's Bay and sailed out of the harbour. Select here to find out more about the seizure of the Trial.

6). Prisoners and passengers of the Baring identified in the Hunter Valley

7). Captain Lamb and the Baring in 1817 at St. Helena in the History of the Captivity of Napoleon.......

8). Six convict ships arrived in New South Wales in 1815 - Marquis of Wellington, Indefatigable, Northampton, Canada, Francis & Eliza and the Baring.

9). Return of Convicts of the Baring assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 21 June 1832)..... Robert Ford - Quarryman assigned to A.B. Spark in Sydney

10). Number of prisoners, date and place of Conviction and sentences - Parliamentary Papers, House of Commons and Command, Volume 16 By Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons - Baring.

11). Convict Ship Conditions

12). Descendant Contribution -

Convict Paul Freshwater was born in 1794 at Roxton Bedfordshire. He was tried at Bedford Assizes on 28 July 1814 and sentenced to death for stealing sheep. His sentence was later changed to transportation for life. He was held on the Retribution at Woolwich before being transported to Australia for life on the Baring. In Australia he was assigned to banker and landholder Edward Smith Hall. In July 1820 he was admitted to Sydney Gaol for an unknown crime and from there sent to Newcastle gaol.  In the 1825 muster he is recorded as being at Mr. Cordeaux's at Minto. In the 1828 Census he is recorded at Lake Bathurst, occupation labourer, age 38 still employed by Edward Smith Hall. He received a Ticket of Leave for the district of Inveraray dated 28 December 1829.


[1]. Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.340-341, 382

[2]. Convict Indents. State Archives NSW; Series: NRS 12188; Item: [4/4005]; Microfiche: 635

[3] UK Prison Hulk Registers and Letter Books (Ancestry)