Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Hive - 1834

Embarked: 250 men
Voyage: 133 days
Deaths: 2
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Parmelia arrived 2 March 1834
Next vessel: Numa arrived 13 June 1834
Captain John Luscombe
Surgeon George Fairfowl
Convicts and passengers of the Hive identified in the Hunter Valley

George Fairfowl

George Fairfowl received his appointment from the Admiralty as Surgeon-Superintendent to the Hive on 18th November 1833. He was very experienced in this role having been surgeon superintendent on the convict ships Ocean in 1818, Dromedary in 1820,Woodman in 1823, Royal Charlotte in 1825, Asia 1827 (VDL) Sovereign in 1829, Andromeda in 1830 and Clyde in 1832. He kept a Medical Journal from the day of embarkation to 27 June 1834.

Military Guard

The Guard embarked on 14 December and consisted of 30 rank and file of 50th regiment., accompanied by 8 women and 4 children under command of Lieut. Peter John Petit and Ensign Richard Waddy.

Convicts Embarked

The Hive dropped down the river from Deptford to Woolwich on 21st December and on 23rd December twenty convicts were inspected on board the Ganymede hulk and eighty on the Justitia hulk as to their fitness for the voyage. There were no rejections and all were sent to the Hive.

From Woolwich the vessel went round to Portsmouth where on 8th January 1834, one hundred and twenty convicts were embarked from the York hulk and thirty from the Leviathan, which completed the number to 250 men.

The prisoners came from districts throughout England as well as a few from Scotland. Most were in the 20s and early 30s, however there were quite a few young men also. Alexander McDonald was only 13 years old.


The ships crew numbered 34, which with the women, children and passengers brought the total on board to 330 people.


The Hive departed Falmouth on 8th February 1834 [2]

Port Jackson

The Hive arrived in Port Jackson on 11 June 1834, a tedious voyage, according to the surgeon, of 123 days. Two hundred and forty eight male prisoners arrived in Port Jackson, two having died on the passage out.

Notable Convicts

Amongst all the farm labourers, grooms, errand boys and weavers etc were two convicts of a different stamp - radical author Henry Berthold and Captain David Dundas. In England Henry Berthold printed a weekly news sheet on calico known as the Political Handkerchief. He was tried at the Old Bailey in 1833 for stealing and died at Port Macquarie in 1838. Read about his life in the Annual Register.

Captain David Dundas an officer on half-pay made an attempt to defraud Lord Dundas. He made an eloquent plea before the Judge at the Old Bailey to no avail as he was sentenced to transportation for life.

Hunter Valley Convicts

Sixty of the Hive convicts have been identified residing in the Hunter region in the following decades.

Two men, William Bryant and William Britton, both coalminers from Gloucestershire were assigned to the Australian Agricultural Company to work in the coal mines at Newcastle and were in and out of trouble over the next few years. Others were assigned to settlers such as James Reid, Richard Windeyer and James Bowman.

Notes and Links

1). Lieut-Colonel Peter John Petit died at Lichfield, aged 45 on 13th February 1852. - Obituary in the Annual Register. Lieut-Col. Petit obtained the majority of the 50th Regt. in 1842, and commanded his corps in the action of Punniar, on the 29th of Dec., 1843, in which engagement he had a horse shot under him. For his services in this action he was promoted to a brevet lieut.-colonelcy on the 20th of April, 1844, and received the bronze star of India. He subsequently served in the campaign of the Sutlej, in 1845-6, and was in command of his regiment in the actions of Moodkee and Ferozeshah, where he had two horses shot under him. He was also present in the battles of Aliwal and Sobraon, at the latter of which he succeeded to the command of the regiment after Lieut.-Col. Ryan was wounded. In this action he was himself dangerously wounded by a ball through the neck, grazing the spine, from the effects of which he ever afterwards suffered. The Companionship of the Bath, and a medal and three clasps, were conferred on him for his services on the Sutlej. He returned to England in March, 1847, and was promoted to a lieut.colonelcy by purchase on the 19th of September, 1848.

2). Richard Waddy was appointed Ensign 17 August 1832, Lieutenant 4 May 1836, Captain 18 November 1841, Major 14 February 1852, Lieut-Col 3 March 1854, Colonel 28 November 54. He was present with the 50th regt., at the battle of Punniar (Medal). Served the Eastern Campaign of 1854-55 in command of the 50th including the battles of Alma and Inkerman, and siege of Sebastopol. Mentioned in Lord Raglan's Dispatches for distinguished conduct in command of the trenches when the enemy made a sortie in force - wounded in the trenches, 13th October 1854 (Medal with three Clasps, C.B., Knight of the Legion of Honor, Dardinian and Turkish Medals, and 4th Class of the Medijibe) Landed in New Zealand in command of the 50th Regt., in November 1863 and served in the campaigns of 1861 - 65; was Colonel on the Staff until January 1865 and Brigadier General from that period until 31st March 1866; commanded the force in front of Paterangi Pah which had a sharp skirmish with the rebels at Waiari in February 1864; also commanded the field force under Sir Duncan Cameron in the action at Nukamaree on 25 January 1855.[1]

Lieutenant Waddy was appointed to the Mounted Police in December 1835 and was responsible for the capture of bushranger Edward Hall in 1838.

3). Detachments of the 50th Regiment arrived on the convict ships Susan, Surry, Forth, Bengal Merchant Hooghley, Hive, Blenheim, Royal Admiral, Lady Nugent, Parmelia, James Laing, Captain Cook, Hero, Roslin Castle, Henry Porcher, Henry Tanner and Lady Kennaway.

4). On his return to England after the voyage of the Hive George Fairfowl gave evidence before the Select Committee as to the military establishments in the colony. - Parliamentary Papers p.78


[1] 50th (Queen's Own) Regiment of Foot, The New Army and Militia List by Colonel H.G. Hart

[2] Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.352-353, 389

[3] Medical Journal of George Fairfowl on the voyage of the Hive. UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.