Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Norfolk - 1829

Embarked: 200 men
Voyage: 91-93 days
Deaths: 0
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: America arrived 18 August 1829
Next vessel: John arrived 13 September 1829
Captain Alexander Greig
Surgeon  James Dickson
Prisoners and passengers of the Norfolk identified in the Hunter Valley

The Norfolk was built at Littlehampton in 1804.[2] Convicts were transported to New South Wales on the Norfolk in 1825, 1829, 1832 and 1837.

The prisoners were convicted in counties in England - Lancaster, Suffolk, Wiltshire, Surrey, Norfolk, Essex, London, Southampton, Cambridge, Warwick, York, Sussex, Worcester, Berkshire Suffolk, Nottingham, Rutland and in Malta, Corfu and Jamaica


The Norfolk departed from Spithead on 23rd May 1829.

Surgeon James Dickson

James Dickson kept a Medical Journal from 28 April to 7 September. His cases included pleurisy, dyspepsia, diarrhoea, lumbago and rheumatism. There were few serious cases and in consequence he filled the blank pages of his journal with a meteorological record.[1] James Dickson was also surgeon on the convict ships Countess of Harcourt in 1824, Woodford in 1826 (VDL) and the Florentia in 1828.

Military Guard

The guard consisted of a detachment of the 63rd regiment., under command of Lieutenant Finley (or Finling) of 13th regt., and Ensign Darling of the 63rd., + five women and three children. Select here to find convicts ships bringing detachments of the 63rd regiment.

Cabin Passengers

Passengers arriving on the Norfolk included Edward Hallan of surveyor's department. More about Edward Hallan in the Australian Dictionary of Biography

Port Jackson

The Norfolk arrived in Port Jackson on 27 August 1829. The Australian reported that this was one of the most rapid passages on record being only 91 days from Lands' End, Cornwall to Port Jackson. There were no deaths on the voyage and only one man, a soldier of the guard was sent to hospital in Sydney on arrival.

Convict Muster

On 1st September 1829, the convicts were mustered by the Colonial Secretary Alexander McLeay.

The indents include name, age, education, religion, marital status, family, native place, trade, offence, when and where tried, sentence, prior convictions, physical description and where assigned to on arrival. There are also occasional notes re colonial crimes, relatives in the colony and deaths.

Notes from the indents:

William Abernethy - ropemaker and soldier from Belfast - 2nd conviction had already served 4 years in a hulk in UK as Hugh Abernethy

John Brown - Silk weaver from London. 2nd conviction - had already served 3 years 9 months in hulk

John Colley died 27 October 1832

William Cunningham at VDL in same name per Juliana in 1820

Michael Callaghan died at Newcastle 7 December 1831

William Fowler - States that he has property to the amount of £200 or £300 on board the 'Lang'. 2nd conviction. Here before same name in the Baring in 1819. Wife here as Isabella Fowler per Grenada.

James Farrell - Waterman from Belfast. Second conviction. Served 5 years in hulk in UK

Samuel Hilder - Copper plate printer from London. 2nd convicts. Served 5 years at Bermuda

John Johnson, seaman from Liverpool - Executed for murder on 18 December 1838 in Sydney

Thomas Johnson - Silver plater from Belfast. 2nd convicts. Served 4 1/2 years in hulk in UK

George Jarvis - knife maker and boatman from Sheffield. 2nd conviction. Served 3 years 10 months in hulk in UK

Joseph Kingstone - Tailor from London. 2nd conviction - served 4 years in Penitentiary

William Kettlely, tailor from Wiltshire. 2nd conviction - served 5 years in a hulk in UK

Richard Lawrence - Died in Goulburn district 18 January 1841

Joseph Law - Died at Port Macquarie ?1842

Alexander Mayston - shoemaker from London. 2nd conviction - served 5 years in hulk in UK

Thomas Mills - Carpenter from Tamworth UK. Died 31 October 1834

George Mitchell - labourer from Tipperary. Removed from Cockatoo Island to the invalid establishment at Parramatta in 1859

John Newman - 2nd conviction. Served 3 years 7 months in hulk in UK

Henry Nobles - Shepherd from Norfolk. 2nd conviction - 5 years in hulk in UK

Edward O'Hara - shoemaker from Manchester. 2nd conviction - served 7 years on a hulk in UK

John Pickett - Drowned in Sydney Harbour 14 October 1833

Thomas Short - Iron caster from Warwick - 2nd conviction - served 3 years 3 months in hulk in UK

John Sheppard. Executed at Bathurst for bushranging 2 November 1834

Charles Underwood. Plumber from Surrey. Has two uncles and a brother in the colony

William Wheeler age 26 and John Wheeler age 16 were brothers [3]


On the afternoon of 31st August the guard disembarked and marched to their Quarters in the Military Barracks, preceded by the drums and fifes of the 39th Regiment.

The convicts were disembarked on Monday 7th September 1829.


In the Hunter Valley Norfolk convicts were assigned to the following settlers. Select here to find out more about these settlers

James Adair, Walter Scott, Edward G. Cory, Patrick Reilly, John Palmer, John Larnach, Samuel Wright, William Sparke, Donald McIntyre, George Bowman, Benjamin Sullivan, John Cobb, John Eales, Alexander McDougal, Lawrence Myles, Richard Clarke, John Pike

First Greeks in Australia

Absolute Pardons granted to Greek prisoners of the Norfolk in 1836 - Sydney Gazette 24 December 1836On the Norfolk were several men who had been convicted of piracy. They were tried in Malta in 1828 and sentenced to transportation - Ghicas Bulgaris, Damianos Ninis, Nicholas Papendross, Costanios Strombolis, Androni Tumalonis, Jorgles Vassilochis and Androni Tu Malonis. These were the first Greek immigrants, albeit unwilling to Australia.

In a despatch dated 8th July 1836, they were granted Absolute Pardons and were free to return to Greece if they wished.

- Sydney Gazette 24 December 1836

Another early Greek immigrant was Katerina Georgia Plessos the wife of Magistrate James Henry Crummer

Notes and Links

1). Ancestor Contribution......

William Henry John Hazleton arrived as a convict on the Norfolk. He was 22 and a Waterman from Norwich, convicted of house-breaking at the Norfolk Assizes and given a life sentence with transportation. He was in Sydney Gaol in 1836, his sentence was reduced to 7 years in 1843 and he was granted a conditional pardon in 1847. He was assigned to Thomas Icely and ended up in Carcoar, N.S.W. where he helped build several buildings on the property still standing today. He married Mary Flanagan who was herself one of the emigrants from the Earl Grey Irish Orphan Scheme in 1851 and they had 9 children in Carcoar. (Contact contributer)

2). John Holden was 21 years old and had been tried in Sussex in March 1829 and sentenced to transportation for life for robbing a chapel. He already had two prior convictions at the time of his arrest. He was one of about 60 convicts assigned to the Hunter Valley area ........His colonial experience was probably fairly typical...... Return of Corporal Punishments inflicted by Sentence of Magistrates at Windsor from 1st to 30 September 1833 in the presence of S. North, Superintendent of Police...Dishonest conduct, 50 lashes. A fair thin skinned young man. The defect in the instrument having been remedied, blood appeared about the 10th lash; back much lacerated; he bore his punishment well.

3). John Johnstone also arrived on the Norfolk. He was 19 years old and had been sentenced to 7 years transportation for house robbery. He was a seaman and described as a mullato with dark curly hair and dark coloured skin. He was assigned to George Bowman at Richmond on arrival and later became part of one of the most infamous incidents in Australian Colonial history - the Myall Creek Massacre. He was executed in 1838.

4). Return of Convicts of the Norfolk assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 5 July 1832).....
William Abernethy - Ropemaker assigned to Jacob Wyer in Sydney
James Hall - Cabinet maker assigned to Henry Incledon Pilcher at Hunter's River
John Smithers - Top and pit sawyer assigned to Dr. Forster at Field of Mars

5). William Evans was granted an Absolute Pardon for his part in the capture of bushrangers The Jewboy Gang

6). National Archives - Reference: ADM 101/57/2 Description: Medical and surgical journal of the convict ship Norfolk for 28 April to 7 September 1829 by James Dickson, Surgeon, during which time the said ship was employed on a passage to New South Wales.

7). Ships bringing detachments of the 63rd regiment -

Albion departed Sheerness 1 June 1828 - Lieutenant M. Vickery

Eliza departed London 29 June 1828 - Major Sholto Douglas

Marquis of Hastings departed 30 June 1828 - Ensign Stulbmer

Royal George departed Spithead 26 August 1828 - Captain J. Briggs

Vittoria departed Devonport1 September 1828 - Lieutenant Aubyn

Governor Ready departed Cork 21 September 1828 - Lieutenant J. Gibbons Lane

Ferguson departed Dublin 16 November 1828 - Captain D'Arcy Wentworth

Mellish departed Falmouth 2 January 1829 - Captain Baylee

Lord Melville departed London 5 January 1829 - Lieut-Col. Burke

Waterloo departed London 14 March 1829 - Lieutenant T. Grove

America departed Woolwich 8 April 1829 - Adjutant T. Montgomery

Norfolk departed Spithead 22 May 1829 - Ensign W.J. Darling

Guildford departed Dublin 12 July 1829 - Lieut McLean 89th

Larkins departed Cork 16 August 1829 - Captain Mahon

Claudine departed London 24 August 1829 - Captain Paterson

Sarah departed London 29 August 1829 - Lieutenant Croly

Dunvegan Castle departed 30 September 1829 - Lieutenant John Gray

Katherine Stewart Forbes departed Spithead 14 October 1829 - Major Fairtclough


[1] Medical Journal of James Dixon. UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 . 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.348-349, 386

[3] New South Wales Government. Bound manuscript indents, 1788 - 1842. NRS 12188, microfiche 614 - 619,626 - 657, 660 - 695. State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia. New South Wales, Australia, Convict Indents, 1788-1842 [database on-line].