Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Royal Admiral - 1830

Embarked: 193 men
Voyage: 126 days
Deaths: 0
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Tons: 414 Crew: 30 men
Previous vessel: Hercules arrived 1 November 1830
Next vessel: Florentia arrived 15 December 1830
Master David Fotheringham.
Surgeon George Rutherford
Prisoners and passengers of the Royal Admiral identified in the Hunter Valley

The Royal Admiral was built at Lynn in 1828. Convicts were transported to New South Wales on the Royal Admiral in 1830, 1833, 1835 and to Van Diemen's Land in 1842.

One hundred and ninety-three male convicts were transferred from Hulks Hardy and Leviathan to the Royal Admiral at Portsmouth on 25 and 26th June 1830. All were reported by surgeon George Rutherford to be in good health for the passage to New South Wales.

Among the prisoners from England were forty Bermuda convicts re-transported from that island as incorrigibles -

Under-Secretary Hay to Governor Darling,
I am directed by Secretary Sir George Murray to transmit to you a List, which has been forwarded to this Department by desire of Sir Robert Peel, of several convicts concerned in certain mutinous proceedings on board the Coromandel Hulk at Bermuda, of whom it has been deemed expedient to make a strong example. With that view, these prisoners have been embarked on board the Ship Royal Admiral which is about to proceed to New South Wales; and I am to convey to you the directions of Sir George Murray that none of the Prisoners therein named be permitted to partake of any indulgence during the remaining period of their respective sentences.
Historical Records of Australia, Vol. XV , p. 571

Military Guard

The Guard consisted of Captain John Church 29 rank and file, three women and five children of the 17th regiment.


The Royal Admiral departed Portsmouth on 5th July 1830.

Surgeon George Shaw Rutherford

George Rutherford kept a Medical Journal from 28 June to 22 November 1830 -

The ordinary system of order, cleanliness, ventilation and exercise being strictly enforced and the weather generally favourable, no symptoms of scurvy manifested themselves before the latter part of the voyage, all of which readily yielded to the use of lime juice.

Port Jackson

The Royal Admiral arrived in Port Jackson on 9 November 1830 after a voyage of 126 days. Dr. Rutherford had now been on seven voyages to New South Wales - no other surgeon had been more than six. He had lost only five prisoners under his charge during that time and he was congratulated on the clean and healthy appearance of the majority of the prisoners who arrived on the Royal Admiral.

A muster was held on board on 15th November by Colonial Secretary Alexander Macleay. The convict indents include name, age, education, religion, marital status, family, native place, trade, offence, when and where tried, sentence, prior convictions, physical description and where and to whom assigned on arrival. There is also occasional information about colonial sentences, deaths and pardons.

Notes and Links

1). About seventy five prisoners have so far been identified residing in the Hunter Valley region in the following years. Prisoners and passengers of the Royal Admiral identified in the Hunter Valley

2). Find out more about bushranger James Edwards who arrived on the Royal Admiral

3). Select here to find out more about Henry Brown who became involved in the infamous convict uprising at Castle Forbes in 1833.

4). Charles Gritten was convicted of bushranging in 1835 at Invermein.

5). George Shaw Rutherford was employed as Surgeon-Superintendent on convict ships Prince of Orange in 1821, Commodore Hayes in 1823 (VDL), Marquis of Hastings in 1826, Eliza in 1827, Lord Melville in 1829, Royal Admiral in 1830 and the China 1846 (to Norfolk Island)

6). John Wild who had been pardoned after being tried for the murder of his wife was granted a free passage on the Royal Admiral on condition that he remain in New South Wales. (HRA)

7). Return of Convicts of the Royal Admiral assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 28 June 1832; 5 July 1832).....

Edward Ashcroft - Stonecutter assigned to Robert Cooper in Sydney
William Cosgrove - Plasterer and labourer assigned to Joseph Morley at Sydney
George Curtis - Fiddle string maker assigned to Thomas Green at Lower Branch
George Jones - Cabinet and chair carver assigned to Charles Roberts at Sydney
James Marshall - Joiner assigned to Thomas Everenden at Bathurst
William Shedwick - Bricklayer assigned to Alexander Turner at Argyle

8). Convict Ships bringing detachments of the 17th regiment.

Dunvegan Castle departed Sheerness 30 September 1829 - Lieut. John Grey

Katherine Stewart Forbes departed Spithead 14 October 1829 - Major Fairtclough 63rd regt.,

Mermaid departed Sheerness 5 December 1829- Lieutenant Isaac Blackburn

Forth 1 departed Cork 1 January 1830 - Captain James Oliphant Clunie

Nithsdale departed Sheerness 1 January 1830 - Captain Robert G. Moffatt

Lady Feversham departed Portsmouth 8 April 1830 - Lieutenant Harvey 29th regt.,

Marquis of Huntley departed Sheerness 9 April 1830 Lieutenant Watson 20th regt.,

Adrian departed Portsmouth 27 April 1830 - Ensign Reynolds

Lord Melville departed the Downs 6 June 1830 - Lieutenant Robert Graham

Hercules departed Dublin 3 July 1830 - Major J.W. Bouverie

Royal Admiral departed Portsmouth 5 July 1830 - Captain John Church

Burrell departed Plymouth 27 July 1830 - Captain John Alexander Edwards

Andromeda departed Cork 28 August 1830 - Captain Charles Forbes

York departed Sheerness 4 September 1830- Lieut-Col. Henry Despard

Edward departed Cork 17 October 1830 - Captain Deeds

Eliza II departed Cork 10 May 1832 - Lieutenant Hewson 4th regiment


[1] UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Medical Journal of George Shaw Rutherford on the voyage of the Royal Admiral in 1830 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] National Archives - Reference: ADM 101/65/1 Description: Medical and surgical journal of HM transport Royal Admiral for 28 June to 22 November 1830 by G S Rutherford, surgeon, during which time the said ship was employed in a voyage to New South Wales.