Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Indian - 1810

Embarked 200 men
Voyage: 151 days
Deaths: 8
Surgeon's Journal: no
Previous vessel: Canada arrived 8 September 1810
Next vessel: Providence arrived 7 February 1811
Captain Andrew Barclay.
Surgeon Mr. Maine
Convicts and passengers of the Indian identified in the Hunter Valley region

The Indian was a new ship having been built at Whitby in 1809. She had two decks and was sheathed in copper.

The Convicts

The prisoners to be embarked on the Indian came from counties throughout England and Scotland - York, Warwick, Somerset, Huntingdon, Suffolk, Surry, Chester, Lancaster, Southampton, Essex, Essex, Middlesex, Northampton, Kent, Oxford, Worcester, Cornwall, Stafford, Bucks, Wiltshire, London, Surrey, Lincoln, Bristol, Bedford, Devon, Cumberland, Nottingham, Salop, Gloucester, Cambridge Dumfries, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth.

There were also those who had been court-martialled at Grenada, Gibraltar, The Agincourt, Fermoy, Messina, Malta, Belfast and Dublin.

Their crimes varied from larceny to robbery, burglary, house breaking and stealing horses or sheep. Several were convicted of possessing forged bank notes and another was transported for stealing from bleachings. There were several soldiers on board who had deserted their posts; they were mostly given life sentences.

Around one hundred and thirty-eight prisoners had been given sentences of transportation for life and another thirty-five were transported for 14 years.

Prison Hulks

After conviction they were transferred to Woolwich or Portsmouth where they worked and lived in the prison hulks.

Some of the prisoners who were being held in the Retribution hulk moored at Woolwich were transferred from the hulk to the Indian on 22nd June 1810; those on the Captivity hulk were sent on 27th June. Two men Barnabus Rex and William Mills were returned to the Captivity hulk from the Indian on 1st July 1810, perhaps too ill to make the voyage. Rex was later sent on the Admiral Gambier.

Having embarked her complement of convicts from the hulks moored in the Thames, the Indian departed London for Portsmouth to embark the remainder of the men who were held in the Perseus Hulk. Those men included John Dewhust, John Barker, Charles Booth and Francis Beattie, James Flloyd, John Wilson William Pearce, Thomas Winchurch, William Makepeace, Francis Murphy ,John Gregory, John Broadway, George Nevill, Isaac Howorth, James Rill, John Entwistle, Thomas Lawson, Patrick Heard, James Irwin alias Garvin, John Neild and James Sidebottom.

A Row of prison hulks in Portsmouth Harbour. Artist/Maker Garneray, Ambrose-Louis - National Maritime MuseumA Row of prison hulks in Portsmouth Harbour. c. 1806 - 1814. Artist/Maker Garneray, Ambrose-Louis - National Maritime Museum

Military Guard

The guard consisted Lieutenant Richard Lundin of the 73rd and 28 Privates, one Corporal and one Sergeant with seven women and five children of the 73rd regiment. One of the soldiers, David McKay deserted at Rio on 27th September 1810. [5]

Detachments of the 73rd arrived on the Dromedary, Indefatigable, Guildford, Hindostan, Indian, Archduke Charles, Ann, Fortune 1813, Providence 1811 and Admiral Gambier 1811

Free Passengers

Mary Evans, the wife of William Evans ship's surgeon on the Indispensable in 1809, was granted permission to join her husband in the colony and was given a free passage on the Indian. [4]

The Lion and the Chichester

There were two other ships at Portsmouth making preparation to sail at the same time the Indian was embarking her human cargo - H.M. Lion, 64 guns under Captain Heathcote, and the store ship H.M. Chichester, Captain William McKirby. The Lion was taking on board all the necessary items to make comfortable the Ambassador of Persia Mirza A'bul Hasan who was returning to his homeland accompanied by Sir Gore Ouseley, England's Ambassador to Persia.

Some of the items loaded onto the Lion included gifts of cabinetry presented by Her Majesty Queen Charlotte to the Ambassador when he formally took leave of her at the Queen's Palace on 11th July 1810. His Excellency the Ambassador and Sir Gore Ouseley arrived at the palace in the midst of one of the greatest storms of the times. Their arrival and the following ceremonies at the Palace were described in the Morning Post......

His Excellency came to the Palace in the King's carriage, drawn by six beautiful black horses, with the servants in their full State liveries. He was dressed in yellow and gold, of a similar manufacture to the costly shawls, and a red turban. He was accompanied by Sir Gore Ouseley in the carriage, which was preceded by the carriage of Sir Stephen Cotterel, the Master of the Ceremonies. They were received at the door of the Palace by Colonel Desbrow, and a number of their Majesties attendants.

His Excellency was conducted into the presence of his Majesty King George by Sir Stephen Cotteril, and presented by the Marquis Wellesley; when his Majesty was graciously pleased to present him with a Dirk, the handle of which was most elegantly mounted with diamonds, which he placed on his side and then took leave of his Majesty. His Excellency was then conducted by Sir .S. Cotterel to Her Majesty's Drawing room where he was presented by Col. Debrow, the Queen's Vice Chamberlain. He was graciously received, and her Majesty presented him with several valuable presents for himself and the King of Persia

Later in the evening Sir Gore Ouseley was presented to His Majesty King George at a Levee at the Palace [6]. This was just a few months before King George III became dangerously ill. The Regency Act was passed in 1811 and the Prince of Wales acted as Regent for the remainder of King George's life as he had became permanently incapacitated and lived in seclusion at Windsor Castle until his death.

After all the festivities and formalities were over the Persian Ambassador accompanied by Sir Gore Ouseley departed London by carriage for Portsmouth arriving there on 15th July. The Lion was ready for their arrival, all preparations complete, and the two dignitaries with their respective suites boarded the Lion at Spithead on the 16th July 1810. [7].

In a Journal kept by William Price, Assistant Secretary to Sir Gore Ouseley, the first part of the voyage of the Indian, after departure from Spithead is noted (the Indian was called Indiana in the journal however is identified as a Botany Bay ship).

Departure from Spithead

The Indian departed Spithead on 18 July 1810 in convoy with the Chichester and H.M. Lion. The three ships sailed from Spithead together however the Indian sailing badly, the Chichester and the Lion sailed on ahead........

On 29th July the Lion had a good view of the Island or Porto Eranto and reached the bay of Funchal in the Island of Madeira and anchored there at noon. The Indian soon reached Madeira also and together the three ships, the Lion, Chichester and Indian sailed from Madeira on 1st August.

They passed by Palma one of the Canary Islands on the 3rd August and on the 4th August the Lion once again lost sight of the Indian.

Rio de Janeiro

When the Lion reach Rio de Janeiro on 12th September they were astonished to find the Indian had arrived at Rio three days previously and had given notice of the forthcoming arrival of the Lion! [2]

While at Rio the Ambassador and his suite were guests of the Regent of Portugal. They passed a fortnight in the various employments of public visits and dinners and examination of the town and its environs. [3] On 26th September the Ambassador embarked on the Lion in order to continue the voyage but owing to light tides they were three days in getting fairly to sea having been obliged to anchor three times at the entrance of the harbour.

The three ships departed Rio in company and on the 18th October they passed by the three islands of Tristan da Acuna, the largest alone which is called Tristan d'Acunha which was capped with snow and then Inaccessible Island and Nightingale Island which was almost covered with gulls and albatross and other sea birds.[3]

This was the last mention of the Indian in William Price's journal, so it is not known when the ships once more parted company.

Port Jackson

The Indian arrived in Port Jackson on 16 December 1810 with 192 male prisoners.
Seven men died of disease and one man accidentally drowned on the passage out.

Governor Macquarie wrote in a dispatch to Lord Liverpool in October 1811 - 'I have to inform your Lordship that I have, on all arrivals of convicts ships, ordered a muster to be immediately taken of the convicts on ship board by my Secretary and the Acting Commissary, and I afterwards take a muster of them myself so soon as landed, in order to ascertain the manner they have been treated during the voyage, and whether they have any complaints to prefer against the commander or surgeon of the ship in which they came. By the previous muster I also acquire a knowledge of the trades or professions of the convicts, which enables me to appropriate them afterwards in the most advantageous way for Government, and at the same time most easy for themselves. I have much satisfaction in reporting to your Lordship that the convicts arrived by the four ships Indian, Providence, Admiral Gambier and Friends were in general in good health, having been well treated on board, and had no complaints to make against either the commanders or the surgeons. The male convicts arrived in those ships proved a very seasonable and acceptable supply for the colony, the settlers in general having been in great want of labourers to carry on their agricultural and grazing concerns.[1]

Convict Indents

The convict indents of the Indian include the name, date and place of conviction and sentence with occasional information about tickets of leave and pardons.


Some of the seamen who arrived on the Indian later applied for discharge from the vessel and to remain in New South Wales as settlers or to join colonial vessels as crew - they included George Wilkinson (gunner), Thomas Bunn (ship's steward), Richard Atkinson (seaman), James Delaney (seaman), Jacob Gardner (seaman) and John Gilbert (seaman).


The Indian also brought a valuable cargo. - 30 Hogsheads and Casks of Porter, 4 Cases of Noyua, 12 Barrels of Tar, 3 Casks of Paint, 100 Jugs of Turpentine and Paint Oil, 4 Cases of Hats, 12 Cases of Pickles, 5 Cases of Stationary and Sadlery, 2 Boxes of Pins and Umbrellas, 3 Cases of Perfumery, &c, 2 Bales of Cloth, 3 Rolls of painted Floor Cloth, 19 Casks of Dutch Cheese and Nails, 10 Packages of Shoes and Hardware, 3 Chests of Hyson Tea, 12 Casks of Coffee, 3 Casks of Sugar, and 80 Rolls of Tobacco.[8]

Departure from Port Jackson and the Voyage Home

Captain Barclay gave notice of his intention to sail the Indian to Bengal in January 1811. The Indian departed Port Jackson bound for Bengal in February 1811. Her General Cargo on the return to Bengal included 50 tons of coals and 45 tons of elephant (seal) oil. Captain Barclay had requested to be allowed to import Bengal Rum to the colony however this contract seems to have been awarded to others.

Those intending to sail on the Indian in February 1811 included Thomas Jones, John Kennedy, Timothy Webb, John Davies, Ralph Williams Jackson and Robert Wroughton.

On 5th October 1811, the Sydney Gazette reported: From a Gentleman who went from hence in the Indian, Captain Barclay, on the 24th of last February, and returns in the Ruby, we learn that the Indian had a remarkably fine passage hence by the western route being only 26 days from Port Jackson to Cape Chatham and 50 to the Equator. On the 2nd May 1811 fell in with a convoy of ships with their top gallant masts struck, and jib booms in. Spoke His Majesty's ship Thaeron. who informed them that they had experienced a very heavy gale of wind and that they had sailed from Madras the last day of April but that fortunately the fleet had sustained no damage whatever. On 3rd May at day light fell in with the Vancouver of Boston, Captain Gardiner, who informed Captain Barclay that he had been blown out to Madras Road the preceding evening with the loss of his anchors and cables in a hurricane. That his sails were torn from the yards, which was the means of saving his vessel but that her lumber port being open when the hurricane came on she was near foundering before he could get closed. Captain Barclay supplied them with an anchor and water. The same day the Indian passed by Madras Roads and beheld the most dismal spectacle that could be conceived being persuaded that out of 50 or 60 vessels the Vancouver must have been the only one saved. The Dover was perceived with her stern under water and at a distance 49 wrecks were counted along shore. The Dover's and Chichester's crews only 3 men and a boy were loft, but that unhappily out of 49 sail of country craft not a mast was saved. The Fleet fallen in with by the Indian was the second division of the armament with between 3000 and 4000 troops on board which sailing from Madras two days before the hurricane happily escaped that most dreadful calamity.

The following Letter from Captain Andrew Barclay of the ship Indian, published in the Sydney Gazette in October 1811 and addressed to the Marine Board at Fort William, was published for general information in the public papers by order of His Excellency the Vice President in Council........

'The southern passage round Van Diemen's Land on the South Cape of New Holland being considered impracticable from the strong westerly winds which prevail in the high southern latitudes to this country, I beg leave to forward you the Indian's track, having succeeded in making that passage fully to my satisfaction, being only 56 days to the line. Had the usual winds prevailed at this season of the year, from that I should have made my passage in 65 days to Calcutta. I therefore should advise all vessels which are well fitted to come that route in preference to the Eastern passage. I always found, when the winds blew strong from the W.S.W. or S.W. for 48 hours, that it generally came round to W.N.W. or N.W. which enabled me to make my westing on the starboard tack. Should I ever come the same voyage, I should not hesitate at any season of the year to come the same route". [9]

Prisoners of the Indian identified in the Hunter Valley region:

Acton, Thomas
Alias Joseph Ogle. One of eleven people committed to York Castle in March 1810 for stealing from the warehouse of William Wilks of Wetherby, licenced hawker, a quantity of linen and woollen cloth on the night of 18th January 1810. He was tried at York Assizes 10 March 1810. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. Thomas Acton's wife Sarah Acton was sentenced to transportation in October 1809 and arrived in the colony on convict ship Canada in 1810. In June 1820 Thomas Acton received sentenced of death for being found guilty of aiding and harbouring William Taylor, James Ingley and Edward Cotton after they robbed the stores of R. Brooks. Taylor and Ingley were executed. Thomas Acton's sentence was commuted to transportation for life to Newcastle. He was removed from Newcastle to Port Macquarie in September 1823. His wife Sarah Acton petitioned to join him in Port Macquarie in 1824 and they were both there in government service in 1825 and in 1828.

Baker, Richard
One of eleven people tried at York Assizes for warehouse stealing on 10 March 1810 as above. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. Sent to Newcastle in April 1814 under sentence of three years transportation. He returned to Sydney in March 1817, his time expired. He may have departed the colony on the Canada in 1817.

Beattie, Francis
Francis Beattie was tried at Lancaster Assizes 23 March 1809. He was sentenced to 14 years transportation for forging notes. Sent to the Perseus Hulk from Lancaster Castle on 23 May 1809. He married widow Mary Howarth nee Denton (ship Earl Cornwallis) in 1812. In Sydney in 1817 Francis Beattie was found guilty of receiving a quantity of meal that had been stolen from Mr. Dixon's steam engine. He was sent to Newcastle penal settlement for a term of seven years. He was granted a publican's licence in March 1825 and established the Crooked Billet Inn at Newcastle. He was also at various times in the township a bailiff, gaol keeper, pound keeper, auctioneer and store keeper. In 1828 Francis age 59, his wife Mary age 54 and Joseph age 34, (ship John Barry 1820, son of Francis), resided at Newcastle.

Best, Anthony
Tried at York (East Riding) Quarter Sessions 3 October 1809. Sentenced to 7 years transportation for felony. Spouse Hannah Blakefield nee Clothier (ship William Pitt). Sent to the Captivity Hulk on 3 November 1809. By 1826 he had achieved a degree of success accumulating land and stock and assigned servants however this comfortable existence disappeared at least for a while when he was sentenced to 14 years transportation for receiving property stolen from the house of Rapsey and Mitchell. His land at the Hawkesbury was claimed by Richard Kelly. In September 1826 the Sydney Gazette reported - 40 prisoners including Anthony Best who were drafted from the gaol of the Phoenix hulk, preparatory to their being forwarded to penal settlements, pursuant to their sentence, were refractory and were obliged to be additionally encumbered with what is termed a figure of S. In December the Monitor added - Anthony Best whose illicit traffic in the spoils of the midnight robber, commenced his tour to the scene of a long period of future labour. The Wellington bore him from a home where he might have passed the close of his life in comfortable independence to the fell shores of Norfolk Isle. On the voyage to Norfolk Island the Wellington was piratically captured by some of the convicts who then sailed for New Zealand where a 6 hour battle with Captain Duke of the whaler Sisters ensued before the convicts were re-captured. Anthony Best was said to have had no part in the uprising and was recommended for mercy. His sentence of 14 years was reduced to 7 years at Moreton Bay. He died in South Australia in 1850

Bonham, Joseph
Alias Boneham. Tried at Northampton Assizes 6 March 1809. Age 32. Sentenced to death which was remitted to transportation for life for burglary. He was sent to the Captivity hulk on 13 September 1809. In Sydney in 1811 he was a trusted assigned servant to John Thomas Campbell. He was sentenced to 100 lashes in the public Market place and 2 years hard labour at Newcastle for repeatedly robbing his master. He petitioned to remain in Sydney rather than serve his sentence at Newcastle...With much contrition I have to acknowledge the impropriety of my conduct and hope that you will condescend to apply to the Governor for a mitigation of my sentence and prevent my removal to Newcastle - however he was forwarded to the settlement In May 1811. His sentence was remitted in August 1812 and he was returned to Sydney. In 1816 he held a Ticket of Leave and was a Landholder at Liverpool. Convict Lists state that he ran from the colony in 1816.

Bradley, William
Tried at Lancaster Assizes 16 March 1808. Sentenced to 14 years transportation. Sent to Newcastle in 1814 and forwarded on the Kangaroo to the Derwent in April 1816

Chaftney, Robert
Alias Chifney. Alias Binfield. Age 38. He was received into Ilchester Gaol on 1 April 1809 from Shepton Mallet. He was tried at Somerset Assizes 12 August 1809 and sentenced to 14 years transportation for privately stealing. He was admitted to the Retribution hulk at Woolwich before being transferred to the Indian for transportation to Australia. He was sent to Newcastle in February 1815. He was one of several prisoners in July 1815 - Ann Hubbard, Catherine Honnor, William Gray and Patrick Kearns, who the Assistant surgeon at Newcastle requested might be taken to Sydney for treatment. There were no medical supplies left at Newcastle with which to treat them. He was in Government service at Newcastle in 1816

Copain, Thomas
Alias Copian. Born in Naples. Occupation seaman. Tried at Southampton Assizes 7 March 1809. Sentenced to 14 years transportation. He was sent to Newcastle penal settlement in December 1810 with six other men of the Indian. Governor Macquarie sent instructions that these men were to receive no harsh treatment while there. Their names were Felix McKenna, Thomas Copian, Carman Reago, Edmond Costello, Felix Paitcho, Benjamin Grimshaw and Joseph Hall. Thomas Compain was granted a Pardon in 1814. He had departed the colony by 1816

Costellow, Redmond
Alias Castillo. Alias Costelar. Born in Co. Clare, Ireland. Occupation labourer. Description 5ft 3in, dark complexion, brown air, hazel eyes. Blemish in the left eye. Tried at Essex Assizes 13 March 1809. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in December 1810, as above. He petitioned for a mitigation of his sentence in 1817. Rev Cartwright vouched for him as a sober, honest and industrious man and recommended him for a ticket of leave. Granted a Pardon in 1818. In government employment in 1821. In 1825 he was employed as a labourer at Wilberforce. In January 1842 the Australasian Chronicle reported his death....Windsor Dec. 29. - On Sunday last an inquest was held, at Wilberforce, on the body of a man of the name of Redmond Costello, who left his home that morning early, and was found in a field near the Hawkesbury river in the course of the day quite dead. He was an habitual drunkard. The verdict, returned was that be died from apoplexy, induced by drunkenness.

Dobson, John
Tried Middlesex Gaol Delivery 14 September 1808. Sentenced to transportation for life. Worked as a butcher at Windsor and was granted a Pardon in January 1814 at which time he was described as stout made with sandy hair. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in June 1814 under sentence of 3 years transportation. In August 1820 he worked as a butcher at Emu Plains

Edwards, Edward
Tried at the Old Bailey 1 November 1809. Age 18. Sentenced to transportation for life for stealing in the shop of Mr. Wilson a jeweller, a gold broach set with pearls, a gold ring and other articles. The prosecutor expressed a wish not to prosecute the unfortunate youth in consideration of the feelings of his father who was an honest industrious man and preferred him to be sent to serve his country. He had previously been tried at the Old Bailey for a similar offence and as he seemed to be incorrigible he was sentenced to be sent out of the country. In Sydney in April 1811 he was employed as a gentleman's servant. He was convicted of having repeatedly robbed his master and was sentenced to be publicly whipped behind a cart through the streets of Sydney and 12 months hard labour at Newcastle. He absconded from Newcastle in July 1811. At Newcastle in May 1812 he was punished with 24 lashes for neglect of government work and in June 1812 with 75 lashes for running from the lime burners and stealing a boat. At Parramatta in May 1813 he was sentenced to 2 months solitary confinement at Parramatta and then 2 years hard labour for stealing woollen cloth. He was sent to Newcastle where he escaped in October 1813. He returned to the settlement after being stripped and beaten by natives. He was a one time companion of James Hardy Vaux who noted that Edward Edwards was sent to Van Diemen's Land where he escaped and was later executed as a bushranger

Elliott, Isaac
Elliott, Isaac was tried at Somerset Assizes 1 April 1809. Sentenced to transportation for life. Spouse Mary Sandle (ship Glatton). Employed as Superintendent of Convict and Public Works at Newcastle 1820 - 1824. He was attacked and stabbed in the face by convict John Brown in 1821. Granted an allotment of land at Newcastle in 1823 (Allotment No. 1). This allotment was acquired by Alexander Walker Scott in 1830's

Fernee, Joseph
Alias Ferney alias Fernce. Born c. 1778. Tried at Oxford Quarter Sessions and Gaol Delivery 9 January 1809. Capital respite. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to the Retribution Hulk on 10 March 1809. Assigned to Mr. Hassall at Sydney in 1810. He married Mary Clare (ship Providence) on 1 July 1812 at Parramatta. He was in government labour at Parramatta in 1816. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in June 1818 under sentence of 1 year transportation. Assigned to Government labourer at Parramatta in 1821. In 1822 he petitioned for his wife Mary to be released from Sydney gaol and the remainder of her two year sentence be forgiven. In 1825 he was a government servant assigned to his wife in Sydney. In March 1829 he absconded from the Parramatta Town Gang. When captured he was sent to Sydney Gaol and sentenced to 50 lashes and to be returned to Parramatta. In July 1829 he was found guilty of searching through the pockets of a man confined in the stocks and ordered to be sent to Hyde Park Barracks and then a distant road party. He absconded from the Escort to Stonequarry in August and was noted as a troublesome character. He was granted a Ticket of Leave dated 10 September 1833 which was cancelled in November 1836 for having falsely representing himself to be free. He was sixty two years of age in 1837 and an inmate at Hyde Park Barracks. Ticket of leave restored in September 1837 and cancelled again in October 1838 when he was found to be absent from his district of Parramatta. He was in service to Dr. Henry White at Windsor in 1844 and while working in the stables was kicked by a horse so severely that after lingering for 48 hours he expired.

Fry, George
Tried at Wiltshire Quarter Sessions 16 July 1807. Sentenced to 14 years transportation. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in December 1814 for one year and October 1817 for one year. Assigned to government service in 1820

Gregory, John
Tried at Stafford Gaol Delivery 15 August 1809. Sentenced to transportation for life. Formerly of the 6th regiment. Paid from the Police Fund in July 1813 for his position as Assistant Clerk in the Commissariat. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in May 1816 for one year, the sentence remitted in September and he returned to Sydney in October. He was sent to VDL in 1816. In response to an enquiry made to Governor Brisbane in 1823 John Gregory laid out the details of his life - I was born in Montreal Canada in 1786. I received an Ensigncy in the 60 regt in 1803 and was promoted to a Lieutenancy in 1806 and resigned in consequence of being lame in 1807. I was tried at Litchfield in Staffordshire in 1809 and transported for life. Came to Port Jackson on the Indian in 1810 and down to this Settlement (Hobart) in 1816 as Clerk to Mr. Assistant Commissary General Broughton, and am at present Acting as Assistant Clerk in the Commissariat office at this station. I beg leave also Sir to acquaint you that the information I received was so very vague that I am at a loss how to act, neither knowing the exact tenure of the enquiries nor the place of residence of the enquirer. I was merely told that His Excellency had sent a letter to His honor the Lieut. Governor enclosing one from Lieut. Gregory requesting to know whether I was in existence or not and that there was some property attached to it, but of what nature or extent I could receive no account. He had two motherless children age 14 and 11 years to support and who would soon have to be established in one way or another. Correspondence written to his brother revealed that he was an assigned servant to J. Mitchell at Hobart in 1823. He may have died in Hobart in 1839

Grimshaw, Benjamin
Native place Lancashire. Court Martial on board the Agincourt 21 June 1809. Sentenced to transportation for life for a breach of the Articles of War. Sent to the Retribution hulk on 14 September 1809. One of several prisoners of the Indian to be sent to Newcastle penal settlement in January 1811 with the government directive that no harsh punishment was to given them. Assigned servant to Thomas Bates in 1818. Granted a Pardon in 1819. Petitioned for a grant of land in 1820 with recommendations from Simeon Lord and Rev. William Cowper that he was a sober and industrious man. In March 1835 he was assigned to Captain Cliff at Chowder Bay. He received a sentence of Death Recorded having been found guilty of stealing bottles of rum from Captain Cliff's cellar. The Sydney Herald reported - During the investigation, Grimshaw who is very far advanced in years fainted at the bar and was carried out into the air, where in a few minutes he recovered. He was sentenced to Norfolk Island penal settlement and was admitted to Sydney Gaol in May 1835 en route to the Phoenix Hulk and then Norfolk Island

Holden, William
Alias Holding. Tried Bucks Assizes 4 March 1809. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sentenced to three years at Newcastle in May 1818. Transferred to Port Macquarie in October 1822 and was still there in 1825

Joseph, Joel
Born in London. Tried at the Old Bailey 14 September 1808.. Alexander Israel and Joel Joseph were indicted for that they on the 3d of August, stole from the person of Michael Mucklow Zachary , a pocket book, value 10 s. and an order for the payment of one hundred pounds, value 100 l. feloniously did take away, but without such force or putting him in fear, so as to constitute it a robbery. Israel's Defence. I was coming along, I met a young man that was going to the compter; I went with him; I know nothing about it; it is a thing I am quite unacquainted with. Joseph's Defence. I was out about my business; on my returning home I was taken by the collar; I did not know for what; I know no more of it than a child. Israel Guilty, aged 27. Joseph, guilty, aged 19. Sentenced to transportation for life. Joel Joseph was working as a driver in Sydney in 1811. In June 1811 he was sent to Newcastle for stealing promissory notes. Punished with 22 lashes at Newcastle for absenting himself from government labour from 3rd February to 16 February 1813. Granted a Pardon in 1818 and granted a licence to sell liquor in July 1818. He was a dealer in Pitt Street Sydney in 1820.

Lawson, Thomas
Alias Lowson. Tried York (east Riding) Quarter Sessions 3 October 1809. Sentenced to 7 years transportation for felony. Age 48. Sent to York Castle and then admitted to the Pereus hulk on 3 November 1809. He was at Newcastle in April 1814 when he was suspected of being an accessary to the escape of four prisoners from Newcastle. He was employed as a servant by Ann Reddington in 1817. In April 1817 he was found guilty of breaking and entering the store house of the General Hospital and of stealing medicine including a quantity of quicksilver (mercury). He was sent to Newcastle in June 1817 for a term of 7 years. In February 1818 he was acting in the place of Assistant Surgeon William Evans when he gave evidence regarding prisoner Alexander Tompsey who had been attacked by unknown persons while collecting shells near the Long Beach at Newcastle. He treated Tompsey's maggot infested wounds until the Assistant surgeon returned to Newcastle from Sydney. His sentence was remitted and he returned to Sydney in February 1819. In Sydney in September 1819 he gave evidence at the inquest on the body of John Roberts. In July 1820 his name appeared on a public directive giving notice that five men who had been practicing Medicine and Surgeon in the colony were not qualified to do so. In March 1821 he was on a list of prisoners sent to Newcastle penal settlement for one year; his occupation was recorded on this list as 'doctor'. He was employed at the windmill at Newcastle. In 1825 he signed an affidavit that his ticket of leave had been taken by Mr. Campbell and that he had not destroyed it himself. His name is not recorded in the 1828 Census and he may have departed the colony

Lowe, James
Alias James Hardy Vaux; alias James Young. James Hardy Vaux was transported to Australia three times over a period of thirty years. He was sent to Newcastle in company with three other convicts on 2 May 1811 - Henry Joice, Joseph Treachely and Samue Price. It was noted that these four men were very bad characters and were to be employed in hard labour at the settlement. In December 1822 as James Lowe, he petitioned for a Conditional Pardon with out mentioning that he had been previously in the colony...That your petitioner was tried at Middlesex Gaol delivery in February 1809 for the offence of privately stealing in a shop and subsequently sent to this colony under the heart rending sentence of "Life". That petitioners since arrival had been employed by Government for ten years, principally as a clerk and copyist in the commissariat department.  James Hardy Vaux was one of Australia's most famous convicts.. He wrote his Memoirs and Australia's first dictionary while serving a sentence at Newcastle Penal settlement.

Luck, Robert
Tried Beford Assizes 10 March 1808. Sentenced to transportation for life. He absconded from service at Mr. Cox's Farm at Clarendon, Hawkesbury in December 1811. He was an assigned servant to Andrew Doyle at the Hawkesbury in 1816. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in March 1816 for a term of three years for absconding. He absconded from Newcastle in 1818

McCanna, Felix
Native place Armagh. Court Martial at Fermoy 29 February 1808. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. Weaver by trade. One of several prisoners of the Indian to be sent to Newcastle penal settlement in January 1811 with the government directive that no harsh punishment was to given them. In the General Hospital, Sydney in 1817. Granted a Certificate of Freedom 17 June 1824

Neild, John
Tried at Lancaster Quarter Sessions 11 October 1809. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. Sent to Newcastle in 1814. Labourer employed by government at Newcastle in 1816. He petitioned for a grant of land in 1824...stating that he held a rented farm in the district of Evan and was married. From the propriety and uniformity of his conduct had an unimpeachable character in the colony and survived by the pursuits of honest industry from the produce of his farm which however, only provided only a subsistance after rent. His farm had been recently plundered by bushrangers leaving him in reduced and distressing circumstances. The application was denied. His government servant was transferred to another settler in May 1825

Patcho, Felix
Alias Patshaw. Alias Pace. Alias Felice Paice. Court Martial at Messina 22 April 1808. Sentenced to transportation for life. Admitted to the Retribution hulk on 20th October 1808 with two other deserters Carmen Reago and Matthias Muller. One of several prisoners of the Indian to be sent to Newcastle penal settlement in January 1811 with the government directive that no harsh punishment was to given them. Sent to Newcastle again in April 1814 after absconding. Sent to Newcastle in July 1819. Absconded from Newcastle September 1821 and returned in November 1821. On the list of convicts at Port Macquarie in 1822. On 25 August 1822 the Sydney Gazette reported - Charles Spratt, John Antonio, Henry Bridge, Daniel Clarke, Felix Patshaw, Thomas Dwyer, George Hasler and Thomas Till were indicted for stealing a whale boat, the property of the Crown from the Settlement of Port Macquarie; and John Doyle for aiding assisting the said felony. The prisoner Daniel Clarke had planned the venture and was vested the title of Captain. It was their intention to make Cape Barren. Three weeks provision had been provided for the voyage; and, till the evening of departure arrived, the goods were secreted on the premises of the prisoner John Doyle. On the evening they put to sea, in their haste they left the prisoner Doyle behind. The sail was manufactured from a hammock and two blankets. When they were about 25 miles from Port Macquarie a wind blew up and the boat was upset and their provisions were lost.. They landed on a beach and carried the boat on their shoulders for three miles before they could venture into the ocean again. They sailed along the coast and cast anchor, being afraid of going onshore because of the natives. They remained three days because of gales. They made Port Stephens and sailed past Newcastle and reached Broken bay in safety nearly starved. They sheltered among the farm houses at the Hawkesbury where the vessel was burnt by those who no longer wished to take part in the venture. Defeated they turned themselves into the authorities and were charged and found guilty of piracy and sentenced to death. . In September 1822 a sentence of Death was commuted to transportation to Macquarie Harbour. Felix Patcho was embarked on the Elizabeth Henrietta for Hobart in November 1822. He was Granted a Conditional Pardon in VDL in February 1840

Pearce, John
Tried at Kingston, Surrey Assizes 28 March 1810. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to the Retribution hulk on 17 April 1810. Transferred to the Indian on 15 June 1810. In May 1811 sentenced to 100 lashes and 2 years hard labour at Newcastle for absconding and robbing his master Captain Glenholme of 73rd regt., In September 1811 Thomas Coyne, Joseph Rayfield, John Baker, James Camm and John Pierce were punished with 48 lashes each for running away from the limeburners and taking a boat from along side the Resource. He was sent to Newcastle in March 1812 and escaped from the settlement in the sloop Speedwell in April 1814 with three other prisoners, Joseph Burridge, Herbert Styles and Edward Scarr. They were never heard from again. Find out more here

Price, Samuel
Tried Salop Assizes 23 March 1809. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle with three other convicts on 2 May 1811 - Henry Joice, Joseph Treachely and James Hardy Vaux. It was noted that these four men were very bad characters and were to be employed in hard labour at the settlement. Punished with 50 lashes at Newcastle in January 1812 having been found guilty of theft at the lime burners camp. Government labour at Newcastle in 1816 1818 and 1820

Reago, Carman
Alias Carmino Reago. Court Martial at Messina 22 April 1808. Sentenced to transportation for life. Received on to the Retribution hulk at Woolwich on 20 October 1808 with two other army deserters Felice Paice and Matthias Muller. In January 1811 One of several prisoners of the Indian to be sent to Newcastle penal settlement in January 1811 with the government directive that no harsh punishment was to given them. In June 1813 remainder of sentence remitted and returned to Sydney. In December 1816 he was on a list of convicts to be sent to the Derwent per Kangaroo. His name appears in an index to land grants in Van Diemen's Land in 1825. He married Sarah Harmon, widow, both from Green Point at Brighton Church on 12 January 1834.. (Family Search) Granted a Conditional Pardon in 1840

Ryder, William
Alias Rider. Tried Warwick Assizes 29 Jul 1809. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. On a list of prisoners to be sent to Newcastle in April 1813 for a term of six months. On 10 April 1816 on a list of convicts embarked on the Kangaroo for the Derwent

Robinson, David
Born in Cheshire c. 1773. Court Martial at Gibraltar 1 November 1809. Sentenced to transportation for life. Occupation soldier. In October 1817 with Roger Kew sentenced to 12 months hard labour at Newcastle for stealing saddlery. On a list of prisoners to be sent to Newcastle in 1817. Ticket of Leave holder, labourer in 1818. Government servant to Benjamin Burrows of Campbelltown in 1825. Granted at Ticket of Leave for the district of Wallis Plains in August 1830 in lieu of a previous one returned mutilated and cancelled. Sent to Parramatta Gaol 21 February 1838 . To be sent to Hyde Park Barracks.

Scott, John
Born in Stafford. Benjamin Grimshaw age 32 and John Scott age 21 admitted to the Retribution hulk having been court-martialled on the Agincourt M.W. 21 June 1809 for a breach of the articles of war. They were sentenced to transportation for life. They were embarked on the Indian convict ship on 22nd June 1810 for transportation to NSW. In 1821 John Scott was assigned to John Bennett. He was sent to Windsor from Sydney Gaol in 1822. In 1825 he was assigned to Mr. McDougall at Wilberforce. In March 1827 he was sentenced to 6 weeks in an iron gang for making away with property in his care. In June 1827 the Sydney Gazette reported....John Scott of the ship Indian, a prisoner for life, and who has been near 17 years in the Colony, charged that he had absconded from Parramatta station. This man is to be pitied ; he served some six or eight years with his last master ; how, in the name of reason, can a man be so stupid, as to run from his employment ? His calculations must be founded on a weak mind; he must now recommence his servitude. The prisoner had little to say, he acknowledged his offence, and bore a sorrowful countenance. Ordered to be returned to Parramatta. In 1829 he absconded and was apprehended at Windsor. He was sent to Sydney gaol and then to Newcastle 29 March 1829 for being illegally at large. He was assigned servant to James Cox at Maitland in 1832. In January 1832 he was sent to Newcastle gaol from Maitland for 21 days solitary confinement. Returned to his master. Sent to Newcastle Gaol in July 1832 under sentence of one month solitary confinement and return to his master. In October 1832 admitted to Newcastle gaol from Maitland under sentence of 12 months to an iron gang and then to be returned to his master. In August 1838 he was attached to No. 3 Stockade at Newcastle. Sentenced to 12 months in an iron gang for repeated absconding. Had already been sent to an iron gang for 12 months by the Maitland Bench. Assigned to the ironed gang at Newcastle in December 1840. Died in Newcastle Hospital on 7 December 1840

Sidebottom, James
Alias John Smith. In correspondence in the Colonial Secretary's Papers from the Commandant at Newcastle, dated 30 June 1819 the Governor was informed that John Smith had been sentenced to 7 years transportation at Manchester 11 October 1809 in the name of James Sidebottom although no document of any kind in the Office could confirm or contradict his assertion. He was sentenced to 7 years transportation. He ran from the country and was again sentenced in England at Leicester Quarter Sessions on 4 January 1813 to 7 years beyond the seas for grand larceny. He was transported on the General Hewitt in the name of John Smith. He applied for a grant of land in November 1821 - Your memorialist has filled the situation of Chief constable at Newcastle between 4 and 5 years and when Your Excellency last honoured the town with your presence you were pleased to extend to him a Conditional Pardon. You also granted him a farm at Wallis Plains on which he has erected a good dwelling house and out offices and cleared about 50 acres of land; where he has at present 24 head of horned cattle, 21 of which with calf. That Memorialist having a wife and 4 young children at this settlement wishes to make it his future residence and having already experienced great kindness and encouragement from your Excellency is now most respectfully emboldened to state that there is a piece of land about six miles from Memorialists farm lying further back from Hunter River which would be a great convenience to him as a stock farm as same is now lying useless and waste...He was granted fifty acres. John Smith was extraordinarily successful in the colony later an innkeeper, land owner and ship owner at Newcastle and Maitland, he was known throughout the district as Gentleman John Smith

Sleaford, Charles
Tried Croydon, SurreyTried Croydon, Surrey Assizes 9 August 1809 age 29. Received sentence of death for horse stealing. Capital respite and sentence commuted to transportation for life. On a list of prisoners to be sent to Newcastle in January 1820. Constable at the lime burners camp near Newcastle in September 1820. Absconded from Mrs. Spencer at Richmond in February 1824. Assigned to James Henshall in Philip St. Sydney in 1824. Assigned to John Douglass in Sydney in 1825

Smith, Thomas
Born in 1795 at HorshBorn in 1795 at Horsham. Tried at Surrey Assizes 9 August 1809. Sentenced to transportation for life. Permission to marry Bridget Winner at Windsor in July 1815. On a list of prisoners to be sent to Newcastle in August 1816. In January 1823 on the return of convicts discharged from the Establishment at Emu Plains; to Wellington Valley. In government employment at Bathurst in 1825. Granted a Conditional Pardon dated 4 June 1841.

Taylor, Charles
Born in Worcester in Born in Worcester in 1787. Tried Middlesex Gaol Delivery 14 September 1808. On list of prisoners to be sent to Newcastle for 2 years per Kangaroo in February 1816. In 1819 servant to John Lucas. Granted a ticket of leave for Airds district 1 October 1824 Employed as a labourer at Campbelltown in 1825. Granted a Conditional Pardon dated 1 December 1838.

Thompson, David
Court Martial at BelfCourt Martial at Belfast 26 April 1809. Sentenced to transportation for life for desertion. Servant to William Cox of Clarendon since he arrived when he petitioned for a ticket of leave in December 1817 Granted a Conditional Pardon dated 31 January 1818. Granted permission to marry Ann Clark (ship Broxbornebury) at Castlereagh in July 1818 Ann Clark petitioned for a separation in 1822 stating that he had left her in distress and that she was starving. He was granted permission to marry Elizabeth Willson (ship John Bull) at Windsor in 1822. Employed by John Cook at Bathurst in 1825. Employed by Edward Close at Morpeth in 1828. Granted permission to marry Grace Keenan (ship Woodman) at Newcastle in 1828. In the 1828 Census David Thompson is employed by Mary Hunt at Wallis Plains, Grace Thompson is a government servant and they have a daughter Fanny age 6 months.

Wright, Thomas
Tried Bucks Assizes 4 March 1809. Sentenced to transportation for life. On list of prisoners sent to Newcastle in November 1816. Granted permission to marry Ann Hubbard at Windsor in August 1818. On list of prisoners transorted to Port Macquarie in April 1823. Died age 55 in November 1827 at Newcastle. Buried at Christ Church Cathedral burial ground

Notes and Links

1). Thomas Johnson arrived free as boatswain on the Indian. He was convicted of theft and sent to Newcastle penal settlement for 3 years in 1811.

2). Convicts and passengers of the Indian identified in the Hunter Valley region

3). Three convict ships arrived in the colony in 1810 - Indian, Anne and Canada

4). Dumfries April 1826 - From the Word on the Street - Michael Donnelly and James Duffy, late weavers in Carlisle, accused of forgery. The Jury, by a plurality of voices, found the libel proven against James Duffy; and they by the plurality of voices, found the libel not proven against Donnelly who was dismissed from the Bar. James Duffy was sentenced to be executed on Wednesday 31st May 1809, however was reprieved..... James Duffy had a curious notation against his entry in the convict indents - Sentenced to transportation for life, The Contractor to have his services 5 July 1810.

5). Other prisoners tried in Scotland included: Thomas Howard (who also had the same notation on his indent), Glasgow; John Macintyre, Edinburgh; Thomas Neilson, Edinburgh; Andrew Stewart, Edinburgh; Robert Thompson, Perth.

6). Lieutenant Durie with his pregnant wife together with Lieutenant Richard Lundin of the 73rd(who arrived on the Indian) and a detachment of Royal Marines received permission to to embark on the Isabella for England in November 1812. Others on the Isabella included Sir Henry Browne Hayes, Captain Brooks and General Joseph Holt. They were shipwrecked in February 1813. Select here to read more about their ordeal in the Memoir of the late Captain Peter Heywood, R. N. By Edward Tagart

7). Notes about the identity of the Captain of the Indian......

Captain Barclay of the Indian is in some records referred to as the same man as Captain Andrew Barclay of the Providence. However the Indian, departed NSW in February 1811 bound for Bengal. The Providence departed England bound for NSW in January 1811, therefore there were two different men both called Captain Barclay in the colony in 1810/1811

The Indian was referred to by William Price as the Indiana. The Indiana is on a list of Merchant Vessels of Bengal in 1810 and owned at the time by M and A Lackersteen. A man by the name of Andrew Barclay, mariner, is listed as a European Inhabitant of Bengal in the East India Register and Directory of 1819. East India Register and Directory 1819.

There is no mention in the 8-page biography The Life of Captain Andrew Barclay, Captain of the Providence in 1811 and settler of VDL, of his also being Captain of the Indian the previous year.

8). Prisoners who had been court-martialed included:

Benjamin Grimshaw and John Scott were court-martialled on the Agincourt in 1809 and sentenced to transportation for life (See Boys at Sea: Sodomy, Indecency, and Courts Martial in Nelson's Navy By B. Burg to find out more about the court-martial). John Scott spent the rest of his life in service; he was in and out of iron gangs and gaols for the next thirty years. He was serving in an iron gang at Newcastle when he died in 1840 age 56 and was buried in Christ church burial ground. Benjamin Grimshaw was also sent to Newcastle although perhaps not as punishment. He was employed by government for the next 10 years and when he applied for a ticket of leave and later a grant of land he was recommended as a reliable, industrious and steady man.

Felix McCanna, court-martialled at Fermoy,

Matthias Muller, at Messina;

Francis Murphy, at La Valette;

Felice Pace, at Messina;

Dominco Papalio, at La Valette;

Carmino Reago, at Messina;

David Thompson, at Belfast;

Richard Walsh, at Halifax;

George Watford, at Dublin.

David Robinson was tried at Gibraltar.

9). Statement of the number of soldiers court-martialed sentenced to transportation 1809, 1810, 1811

10). Resources used to create Convict Ship pages


[1] HR NSW Vol. VII, p. 388

[2] Journal of the British embassy to Persia; Travels Through Persia, Armenia and Asia By William Price, 1825

[3] A second journey through Persia, Armenia, and Asia minor, to Constantinople ... By Morier, James

[4] HRA, Series 1, Vol. VII, p. 332

[5] Colonial Secretary's Correspondence Reel 6042; 4/1725 p.232

[6] The Morning Post 12 July 1810

[7] Morning Chronicle 18 July 1810

[8] HRA, Series 1, Vol. VII, p. 428

[9] Sydney Gazette 5 October 1811