Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Hercules II (1) - 1825

Embarked: 134 men
Voyage: 129 days
Deaths: 1
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Asia (III)arrived 29 April 1825
Next vessel: Mariner arrived 10 July 1825
Captain William Vaughan
Surgeon Michael Goodsir
Convicts and passengers of the Hercules identified in the Hunter Valley

The Hercules was built at Whitby in 1822 [1]. Convicts were transported to Australia on the Hercules in 1825, 1830 and 1832.

One hundred and thirty four convicts from counties in England were embarked on the 'Hercules', many from the York and Leviathan hulks on 7th December 1824.

Military Guard

The Guard consisted of a detachment of 41st and 48th regt., under Lieut. Stewart.


It was reported on 18th December 1824 at Portsmouth of the detention of many outward bound vessels by contrary winds. Some of the ships had been two months out of the Downs during which they had made repeated ineffectual struggles to clear the Channel but could not get to the westward of Plymouth. The convict ships Hercules, Royal Charlotte and the Asia were among these vessels detained at Portsmouth. The 'Hercules' finally set sail on 9th January 1825.

Cape of Good Hope

The Hercules was at the Cape of Good Hope by the 17th March 1829.


While at the Cape they were alarmed when Private John Green accidentally shot himself through the wrist. On the sound of the gun discharging the Guard and Seamen all under arms and believing convicts were escaping rushed to the deck to contain them to find only the injured soldier on deck and the convicts all safely locked in their prison.

They departed from the Cape on 29th March 1825.

Convicts Treated during the Voyage

Convicts and Soldiers mentioned in the surgeon's journal:

Francis Norris, convict, aged 39
Charles Hollowell, convict, aged 19
William Chapman, convict, aged 18
Charles Simes, convict, aged 23
James Sammon, private, 41st Regiment, aged 30
Edward Thomason, convict, aged 36
John Gregson, convict, aged 30
James Franklin, convict, aged 53. Died 3 February 1825
Thomas Wardell, convict, aged 19
William Cousins, convict
Mathew Fennel, private, aged 41
Emanuel Phillips, convict, aged 19
Robert Fuller, convict, aged 20
John Bacon, convict, aged 19

Port Jackson

The Hercules arrived in Port Jackson on Saturday 7th May 1825. A muster was held on board on the 9th May.

Arriving on the Hercules was the greatest collection of fruit trees ever imported into the Colony. The trees arrived in excellent condition and were for the Horticultural Society and the Botanic Garden.

Silver plate and trimmings for all the Churches also came by the Hercules.

Cabin and Steerage Passengers

Passengers Archdeacon Thomas Hobbes Scott, Captain Francis Nicholas Rossi (Superintendent of Police), Mrs. Rossi and two children, Mr. Surveyor James Ralph. Mrs. Stewart and four servants. John Warner or Warren arrived as a free government passenger.

The Australian reported on 12th May - 'The Venerable the Arch-Deacon who arrived in the Hercules, landed very properly like other people. Some silly folks imagined that his Venerability intended to disembark with public honours by 'roar of cannon' and by 'beat of drum'. Mr. Rossi, the new Superintendent of Police with his Lady and two children has arrived on the Hercules. He speaks English very well, but with a foreign - an Italian accent'.

Surgeon Michael Goodsir

Michael Goodsir kept a Medical and Surgical Journal from 26th November 1824 to 10 May 1825. He reported that it was a quick passage with favourable weather -

'I have been fortunate in having very few sick. The few cases I have had are common to every climate. I lost only one man during the voyage, he had been for many years sick with asthma and a ruined constitution when he came on board. From the confinement of the prisoners and consequence want of exercise, purgative medicines were often required and my principal expenditure has been on them'. [2]

Convicts Disembarked

The prisoners were landed on Wednesday morning 11 May 1825 and underwent an inspection by Governor Brisbane. Their healthy appearance gave every indication of the kind treatment experienced during the voyage.

Convicts of the Hercules identified in the Hunter Valley :

Andrews, James

Beacon, John

Cheek, Peter

Corner, William

Diment, Daniel

Fannam, John

Fletcher, James

Fray, William

Giblett, James

Gissing, Robert

Hollywell, Charles

King, Henry

Knight, Stephen

Longford, George

March, Richard

McDonald, John

Norris, Francis

Plain, Henry

Plaw, William

Randall, William

Reeves, Henry

Rideout, Robert

Selsby, James

Seymour, John

Simes, Thomas

Smith, Samuel

Welsh, Richard

White, William

Whitfield, Edward

Whitney, James

Notes and Links

1). Convicts arriving on the Hercules who later made their mark in the Hunter Valley included Henry Reeves, James Stilsby and William Corner.

2). Archdeacon Thomas Hobbes Scott had previously arrived in the colony on the John Barry in 1819 as Secretary to Commissioner John Thomas Bigge. He died at Whitfield Northumberland on 1st January 1860 aged 76

4). The National Archives UK - voyage of the Hercules after departing Australia. Principal Managing Owners: Buckle and Co. Voyages: (1) 1825/6 Bengal. Capt William Vaughan. Dock 23 Jun 1826 - 16 Oct Madras - 15 Nov Calcutta. (2) 1827/8 Madras and Bengal. Capt William Vaughan. Downs 22 May 1828 - 21 Sep Madras - 12 Oct Calcutta - 3 Jan 1829 Diamond Harbour - 6 Feb Madras - 30 Apr St Helena - 21 Jun Downs.

5). Return of Convicts of the 'Hercules' assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette5 July 1832).....
Henry Pether. Waiter assigned to James Scott at St. Heliers

6). Michael Goodsir was also employed as surgeon on the convict ships Countess of Harcourt in 1827, Waterloo in 1829 and the Royal George in 1830 (VDL)


[1] Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.346-347

[2] UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Medical Journal of Michael Goodsir on the voyage of the Hercules in 1825The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[3] National Archives - Reference: ADM 101/34/1 Description: Diary of the convict ship Hercules, which sailed from England to New South Wales, from 26 November 1824 to 10 May 1825 by Michael Goodsir, surgeon and superintendent.