Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Heber - 1837

Embarked: 218 men
Voyage: 118 days
Deaths: 1
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Mangles arrived 10 July 1837
Next vessel: Lloyds arrived 17 July 1837
Captain John Campbell
Surgeon Alexander Neill
Follow the Irish Convict Ship Trail

Arrival of the Heber in Dublin

A detachment of the 80th regiment consisting of Captain Furlong, Ensign Torkington, two Sergeants and 29 rank and file with six women and children arrived in Dublin on the 3rd March on the Shannon Steam vessel from London and re-embarked on the ship Heber, then laying in Kingston Harbour, having been ordered to act as guard over the convicts of the Heber.[1]

Cabin Passengers

Cabin passengers included Mrs. Furlong + 4 children; David Binege Hutchinson, Albert Maxwell Hutchinson, son of Mrs. Furlong.


The Heber departed Dublin on 16 March 1837.

Surgeon Alexander Neill

Alexander Neill kept a Medical Journal between the 4th March and 18th July 1837.

Alexander Neill reported that the Heber had a remarkably fine run out of the channel and the prisoners who were not suffering from sea sickness were able to go on deck. For those who suffered sea sickness their health was extremely reduced and some remained convalescent for the remainder of the voyage.

The surgeon's first patient Jacob Moxon was treated on the very first day at sea. Jacob Moxon, a 31 one year old former soldier from Dublin who was court-martialled for desertion had been held in Kilmainham gaol for some time without shoes or stockings and complained much of the cold. He was suffering from fever and a cough which the surgeon successfully treated.

Other patients suffered from bilious complaints, rheumatism and fever. After only a fortnight it was found that cocoa was very unpopular amongst the convicts. They unanimously requested that it might be stopped as a ration as they could not eat it. They were afterwards supplied with oatmeal for breakfast. [2]

Late in June it was reported that the Heber was spoken by the Mangles off Cape Lewin and as she was short of provisions was supplied from the Mangles with two sheep, some wine and other necessaries before they parted company.

Port Jackson

They arrived in Port Jackson on 12 July 1837, a voyage of 118 days.

Convict Muster

The convicts were mustered on the morning of 17th July and were to be landed a day or two later. The printed convict indents include information such as name, age, education, religion, marital status, family, native place, trade, offence, where and when convicted, prior convictions and physical description. There is no information as to where the prisoners were assigned on arrival.

In the Hunter Valley

About ninety prisoners who arrived on the Heber have been identified residing in the Hunter Region in the following years. Some were assigned to the Australian Agricultural Company, others to settlers such as John Larnach and Peter McIntyre. Richard Taafe was assigned to Police Magistrate Edward Denny Day at Maitland and James Fitzgerald to John Portus at Morpeth.

Notes and Links

1). Select here to find out about bushranger Edward Murtagh who arrived on the Heber

2). Prisoners and passengers of the Heber identified in the Hunter Valley

3). Detachments of the 80th regiment arrived the Lady Kennaway, Lloyds, Norfolk, Bengal Merchant, Asia, Captain Cook, Earl Grey, St. Vincent, John, Prince George, Mangles, Heber, Theresa, Calcutta, Eden, Emma Eugenia and Blundell.

4). Alexander Neill was also employed as surgeon on the convict ships Recovery in 1836, Parkfield in 1839 and the Eden in 1842 (VDL)


[1] The Morning Post 8 March 1837

[2] Journal of Alexander Neill on the voyage of the Heber in 1837 - UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 Original data: The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey