Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Hive - 1835

Embarked: 252 men
Voyage: 3 1/2 months
Deaths: 1
Previous Convict Ship: Royal Sovereign
Next Convict Ship: John Barry 1836
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Captain John Nutting
Surgeon Anthony Donoghoe
Follow the Irish Convict Ship Trail
Convicts and passengers of the Hive identified in the Hunter Valley

The Hive was built at Deptford in 1820. This was the second voyage bringing convicts to Australia, the first being in 1834.

The Hive departed Portsmouth for Dublin and Cork on the 3rd August with 10,000 pounds in specie for the Commissariat Department of Sydney. Prisoners were embarked at Dublin first and then at Cork.

Departure from Ireland

The Hive departed Cork on the morning 24th August 1835 with 252 male convicts.

Military Guard

The Guard consisted of Lieutenant Lugard, 31st Regiment, Ensign Kelly, 17th Regiment, Henry Lugard, Esq., of the Royal Engineers, 29 rank and file of the 28th Regiment, 8 women and 11 children.

Surgeon Anthony Donoghoe

Anthony Donoghoe kept a Medical Journal from 12 July to 10 December 1835.

According to the surgeon the only case of death which happened on board was that of a boy whose early habit of life predisposed him to pulmonary disease contacted during his apprenticeship to a glass manufactory. [2]

The Hive Wrecked

On the Night of Thursday 10th December 1835, the Hive ran aground on a sandy beach south of Jervis Bay and was wrecked.

The Sydney Herald published an account of the disaster:

During the whole of Thursday, the Hive, it appears, kept within sight of land, and it is said, passed the Royal Sovereign ; in the night it blew pretty fresh, and a dense fog came on. Our informants here leave us in the dark, as well as the ship, and we next hear of the vessel being stranded on the Coast near the Pigeon House, within 10 miles of Cape George. All hands were immediately called up, and the boats lowered, one of which was stove in the attempt, and the persons capsized, - one of whom reached the land, by whose exertions a hawser from the ship was made fast ashore. This enabled the Captain and crew to lower the rest of the ship's boats, lines being made fast stem and stern, when as soon as one boat was filled with the persons on board, those on shore dragged the boat towards them, and they were landed. By this means the whole of the men, women, and children, were discharged from the ship, which was done with but the least confusion.

On the morning of Friday, Ensign Kelly, of the 17th Regiment, by the assistance of some blacks, found his way to the station of John Lamb, Esq., to whom he reported the circumstance. From this place Ensign Kelly travelled to the estate of Alexander Berry, Esq., a few miles further on, and from whence a messenger was despatched to Wollongong; the Police Magistrate there being requested to forward the account of the accident with all despatch to head quarters.

The people belonging to the ship were, during this time, engaged in getting the luggage and stores from the ship, and the prisoners ashore forming bowers for resting places at night. Mr. Berry, in the most prompt manner, as soon as he heard of the circumstance, sent his schooner to the Hive well manned, but her assistance was not required the weather being fine and the vessel close in upon the land. One accident happened during the night, the boatswain in attempting to save the life of a lad be- longing to the ship, was unfortunately drowned, the boy being washed ashore by the surf.

On Sunday the Revenue Cutter started for the Hive, and took charge of the specie, all of which was saved. Shortly after the Revenue Cutter, the Zebra, brig of war, and the steam packet Tamar, reached Jervis Bay ; and, as soon as practicable, Dr. Donoghoe, Surgeon Superintendent of the Hive, Mr. Lugard, of the Royal Engineers, part of the guard, and 100 of the prisoners, were forwarded in the steamer to Sydney. The Zebra also took charge of the specie, all the mails, and 100 prisoners, the rest being ordered to remain near the ship to render assistance in getting her off the beach, if possible. The Zebra is expected in port to-day, with the mails, etc.

Several gentlemen who have been to the Hive, state that she has not the appearance of being damaged in any way-and that every thing on board has been preserved ; the only difficulty remaining is the hauling of the vessel off the shore in which she is unfortunately embedded in the sand.

Ensign Kelly, chief officer, part of the crew, and the guard, are mentioned in terms of commendation for their praiseworthy exertions after the vessel grounded. We have now given every particular that we could glean of this strange 'mistake,' as it is called, waiting the explanation of Captain Nutting when he reaches Sydney. It was a most providential circumstance that the vessel did not go ashore a few miles higher up the Coast, or but few would have been left to tell the tale. [1]

Three vessels transporting convicts to Australia were wrecked in the year 1835. The other two were the Neva which was wrecked on King Island and the George III wrecked near Hobart. The Hive was the only convict ship wrecked in New South Wales.

Notes and Links

1). Trial for Bigamy - At the Commission Court, Dublin, on Thursday, Joseph Twible (Tweeble) was indicted that he, on 17th July 1830, married Miss Elizabeth Twible, at Castleblaney, county Monaghan, and that in July 1831, he did feloniously marry Miss Eliza Laurence (his wife being then alive) at Carrickaline, county Cork. He was found guilty , and sentenced to seven years transportation. - Belfast Newsletter 30 June 1835.

2). Belfast Quarter Sessions -
Monday - The only trial of any general interest was the following: - James Divine was indicted for three distinct cases of swindling - 1st for defrauding a countryman of his watch; 2nd for defrauding a grocer of six pounds of tea; and 3rd for stealing 5s from another countryman. He was found guilty on all the charges, and sentenced, for the first offence to seven years transportation; and, for the second offence to transportation for another period of seven years, to commence at the conclusion of the first. - Tuesday - John Black, for stealing, on 1st July, a pair of pantaloons, the property of William Loughran at Belfast - To be transported for seven years. - Robert Miller, late clerk in the employment of Mr. John Miller, for obtaining 2s from John Russell, a clerk in the employment of Mr. William Martin, on 24 April; also, for obtaining several other sums from different persons with intent to defraud said John Miller- Guilty on the first count to be transported seven years; not guilty on the rest.. The prisoner after he was discharged from Mr. Miller's employment, went to a number of his tenants, representing himself as still in his service, and obtaining various sums of money as payment of rent, which he applied to his own use. - Wednesday - Hugh McCluskie, for stealing on 8th May, a canvas apron the property of William Bathurst, at Belfast - Guilty; to be transported for seven years.- Belfast Newsletter 14 July 1835.

3). Anthony Donoghoe was also surgeon on the convict ships City of Edinburgh in 1832, Parmelia in 1834 and the Calcutta in 1837

4). Convicts and passengers of the Hive identified in the Hunter Valley

5). Maritime Archaeological Investigation of the Hive

6). Convict Ships arriving in New South Wales in 1835

7). Bushranger William McCarthy arrived on the Hive

8) Find out more about Lieut-Col. Henry Williamson Lugard


[1] The Sydney Herald (NSW 1831 - 1842) Thu 17 Dec 1835 Page 2

[2] Journal of Anthony Donoghue. UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Original data: The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.