Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Hercules II (3) - 1832

Embarked: 200 men
Voyage: 119 days
Deaths: 2
Surgeon's Journal: Yes
Tons: 482 Crew: 38 men
Previous vessel: Planter arrived 15 October 1832
Next vessel: Dunvegan Castle arrived 16 October 1832
Captain William Vaughan
Surgeon John Edwards

The Hercules was built at Whitby in 1822 [2]. Convicts were transported to Australia on the Hercules in 1825, 1830 and 1832.

Surgeon John Edwards

John Edwards kept a Medical Journal during the voyage. The Journal begins on 21st May 1832 while the vessel is still at Deptford being fitted out. They were fortunate in totally escaping from the prevailing cholera, although the Surgeon was puzzled as to why this should be. The Guard embarked under unfavourable conditions and were drenched. The weather continued so damp that they could not be kept dry and some became ill........

We were unfortunate in embarking one case of phthisis who did not raise suspicion; these men are so anxious to get away from the rigid discipline of the Hulks that they endeavour to conceal their complaints. He was however, soon obliged to apply to the Hospital but the progress of the disease was rapid and fatal. [1]


The Hercules departed London on 19th June 1832

Military Guard

The Guard consisted of 29 rank and file of 4th regt., accompanied by five women and seven children under command of Lieutenant Thomas Gibson.

Cabin Passengers

Passengers included Mrs. Gibson and Master Gibson; Miss Robb and Miss Dobson.

Port Jackson

The Hercules arrived in Port Jackson on Tuesday 16 October 1832. Prisoners were mustered on board by the Colonial Secretary Alexander McLeay and were landed on Wednesday 31st October 1832. The indents reveal the name, age, education, religion, marital status, family, native place, trade. offence, place and date of trial, sentence and physical description. There is no indication in the indents as to where the men were assigned on arrival.

There were quite a few young convicts on the Hercules. The youngest John Smith a tailor's boy from Lancashire was only 13 years of age. John Brown, Henry Churm, Constantine Hayes, John Swadling, Frederick Scammell and Matthew White were all 14 years old and there were more still who were only 15 or 16 years old. Some may have been sent to the Carter's Barracks but others were assigned to settlers with the instructions that they were to remain with that particular settler until their sentence was fulfilled.

Notes and Links

1). John Edwards was also surgeon on the convict ships Henry Tanner in 1834, Roslin Castle in 1836 and the Charles Kerr in 1837.

2). William Martin who arrived on the Hercules was convicted of bushranging in 1835 at Invermein.

3). Lieutenant Thomas Gibson was in Command of a detachment of the 4th Regiment when Governor Bourke visited Newcastle in 1833.

4). Hunter Valley convicts arriving on the Hercules in 1832

5). Convict Ships bringing detachments of the 4th (King's Own) Regiment..........

Jane departed Cork 29 April 1831. Commander of the Guard Captain George Mason

Surry departed Portsmouth 17 July 1831. Commander of the Guard Captain Charles Waldron 38th regt.

Asia departed Cork 6 August 1831. Commander of the Guard Captain Richard Chetwode

Norfolk departed 15 October 1831. Commander of the Guard Lieut. David William Lardy 4th regt.

Captain Cook departed Dublin 5 November 1831. Commander of the Guard Lieut. Gibbons 49th regt.

Portland departed Portsmouth 27 November 1831.

Isabella departed Cork 27 November 1831. Commander of the Guard Captain William Clarke 4th regt.

Bussorah Merchant departed Dublin 14 December 1831. Commander of the Guard Lieut. William Lonsdale 4th regt.

John departed the Downs 7 February 1832. Commander of the Guard Lieut. George Baldwin 31st regt.,

Lady Harewood departed Portsmouth 15 March 1832. Commander of the Guard Lieut. Lowth 38th regt.,

City of Edinburgh departed Cork 18 March 1832 . Commander of the Guard Lieut. Bayliss

Clyde departed Portsmouth 9 May 1832. Commander of the Guard Lieut-Colonel Mackenzie

Eliza departed Cork 10 May 1832. Commander of the Guard Lieut. Hewson

Planter departed Portsmouth 16 June 1832 under command of Lieuts. Bullin and Irvine of 38th regt.

Hercules departed the Downs 19 June 1832. Commander of the Guard Lieut. Gibson 4th regt.

Dunvegan Castle departed Dublin 1 July 1832. Commander of the Guard Lieut. Thomas Faunce 4th regt.

Parmelia departed Sheerness 28 July 1832 under Command of Captain Young 38th regt.

Waterloo departed Sheerness 12 March 1833 under Command of Captain Mondilhan 54th regt.


[1]. Journal of John Edwards. UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Original data: The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[2]. Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The Convict Ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.350-51.