Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Grenada - 1819

Embarked: 152 men
Voyage: 166 days
Deaths: 0
Surgeon's Journal: Yes
Previous vessel: Atlas arrived 19 October 1819
Next vessel: Malabar arrived 30 October 1819
Captain Andrew Donald.
Surgeon Emanuel Lazzaretto
Convicts and passengers of the Grenada identified in the Hunter Valley region

The Grenada was built at Hull in 1810. [2] This was the first of four voyages of the Grenada bringing convicts to New South Wales. The others being in 1821, 1825 and 1827.

Surgeon Emanuel Lazzaretto

Emanuel Lazzaretto kept a Medical Journal from 15 March 1819 to 18th November 1819. He recorded that eighty-two prisoners were embarked on the Grenada on 21st April 1819 from the Retribution Hulk and on the 22nd another seventy men from the Bellerophon hulk at Sheerness.


Bellerophon hulk - Bath and Bristol, with the Counties of Somerset and Gloucester Displayed in a Series of Views

The large Vessel in the centre of the image above is the Captivity, this was formerly the Bellerophon man-of-war, of 74 guns, to which ship, when commanded by Captain Maitland, and cruising in Basque Roads, off Rochefort, the Emperor Bonaparte surrendered himself, about six o'clock A.M. on the 15th of July, 1815.* Near the margin, on the left, is the Sheer-hulk, used for fixing the masts and rigging of the vessels in the harbour. The Bellerophon was paid off and converted to a prison ship in 1815, and was renamed Captivity in 1824 to free the name for another ship. Moved to Plymouth in 1826, she continued in service until 1834, when the last convicts left. The Admiralty ordered her to be sold in 1836, and she was broken up.

Charles Dupin visited the Bellepheron hulk in 1816 and made the following observations......

I visited the famous ship the Bellerophon, which lay near the arsenal, transformed into a hulk for convicts, who, instead of being sent to Botany Bay, are employed on those works. In the conduct and arrangement of this hulk, everything has been adopted that the most refined humanity could suggest to render a floating prison supportable and even comfortable to its inmates. The convicts are lodged in little cabins, having large port-holes, closed with iron-gratings, which admit a sufficient quantity of air. The partitions of the chambers or cabins are formed of iron railings, at intervals, and are covered with simple curtains, which are drawn aside at certain times of the day to let a free air through the different apartments. To each chamber is attached a privy, constructed beyond the side of the vessel, and yet so built as to prevent all possibility of escaping by it. Let not these details disgust our false delicacy. I appeal to those who have languished in ordinary prisons, to decide on what renders existence in thein supportable or insupportable. On Sundays and holidays the convicts are collected together in a neat chapel, constructed at the foot of the mizen-mast, where it occupies the space between deck. [1]

Military Guard

The Guard consisted of 33 men of the 87th. Regt. Commanded by Lieut. William Dunlevie of the same Corps. The convict ships Bencoolen and Canada in 1819 also brought detachments of the 87th regiment.


The Grenada departed England on 8 May 1819.

The Voyage

A routine of cleaning and scraping the decks and ventilating the prison was established early in the voyage and convicts (usually about 40 at a time) were allowed on deck under guard. The Surgeon often read a Church service at 11am. By 24th May a school had been established with one man of each mess to teach the others to read. The men were also employed picking oakum and reading the bible.

They touched at Teneriffe and departed from there on 4th June 1819.

On the 13th August the leg irons were removed from 18 prisoners and by the 17th August the irons had been removed from all the prisoners in consequence of their good behaviour.

Fresh gales were experienced on the 25 August and it was found that there were several leaks in the berths which caused the beds to be very wet.[3]

Port Jackson

After a voyage of 166 days, the Grenada arrived in Port Jackson 21 October 1819 with 152 male prisoners. There were no deaths of convicts on the voyage. Four of the soldier's wives gave birth.

Convicts Disembarked

On the morning of Saturday 30 October, the prisoners from the Atlas and Grenada were landed and inspected by His Excellency, Governor Macquarie; who was afterwards complimented the Commanders and Surgeons on the very fine and healthy appearance of their people. In the usual mode of enquiry His Excellency applied to the men individually whether they had any cause of complaint as respected their treatment or allowance on the passage; but the men looked so well and hearty, and appeared to have been so very well used, as to deserve His Excellency's congratulations.

Letters of Thanks

On 6 November the Sydney Gazette reported that they were in receipt of a Letter of Thanks addressed to Captain Ascough and Dr. Evan Evans of the Malabar, from the prisoners, for the humane attention to their health and comfort experienced during the passage; and a similar Letter from the prisoners brought by the Grenada addressed to the Captain of that ship also; and also to Emanuel Lazarretto M.D. F.R.S Surgeon Superintendent of that ship.

Convict Assignment

The prisoners together with those of the Atlas were distributed throughout the colony on arrival. One hundred and three men were first sent to Parramatta by water and then transferred overland to the agricultural establishment at Emu Plains.

Thirty-six convicts of the Grenada have been identified residing in the Hunter River region in later years. Some were sent to the penal settlement at Newcastle for colonial crimes soon after arrival.

Convicts and passengers of the Grenada identified in the Hunter Valley region

Notes and Links

1). Amongst those intending to depart on the Grenada when she left port in December were Captain Andrew Donald, First Officer Alexander Anderson and Second Officer William Funge.

2). James Mullen was sent to Newcastle in 1820. In June 1820, just seven months after arrival, he piratically stole the pilot boat from Newcastle with five other runaways. They ran it into Rushcutter's Bay where it was later found. Mullens was captured and later returned to Newcastle. John Williams was also sent to Newcastle for a colonial crime. He was sent to work at the limeburner's camp and absconded from there in January 1820.

3). James Bailey and John Brown became Constables at Newcastle in 1824

4). Other convicts of the Grenada were assigned to settlers in the district - Patrick Gleeson was assigned to Peter McIntyre and sent to work on the Segenhoe estate. John Hartshorn was assigned to Edward C. Close at Morpeth; John Lee was assigned to William Hicks.

5). Return of Convicts of the Grenada assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 21 June 1832; 28 June 1832)..... James Lawrence - Stable boy assigned to L. Macalister at Argyle

6). John Lee and Henry Oakley joined an expedition to Fort Dundas, Melville Island in 1824. Their names are included in a list of prisoners in the Colonial Secretary's Correspondence who received treatment from the surgeon Charles Turner. Henry Oakley was later employed by Lieut. William Caswell at Port Stephens. Select here to find out more about the settlement at Melville Island in 1824-25.

7). Resources used to create Convict Ship pages


[1] Brief Account of the First Journey in England in 1816 made by M. Charles Dupin, for the purpose of visiting the British Ports, Docks and other Public Works. Extracted from his Memoire, presented to the Academy of Sciences of the French Institute in 1818.

[2] Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.342-343, 383.

[3] Journal of Emanuel Lazzaretto on the voyage of the Grenada in 1819. UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 Original data: The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.