Convict Ship Sophia
Embarked: 192 men
Voyage: 124 days
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Vittoria arrived 17 January 1829
Next vessel: Ferguson arrived 26 March 1829
Captain Thomas Elley
Surgeon Superintendent Alick Osborne
Follow the Irish Convict Ship Trail
Prisoners and passengers of the Sophia identified in the Hunter Valley
The convicts of the Sophia came from counties throughout Ireland- Armagh, Sligo, Dublin, Kildare etc., and also some soldiers from England who were deserters. Among their ranks were weavers, pedlars, grooms, bakers, boatmen and sawyers.
The Freemans Journal reported in September 1828......
Yesterday morning, thirty-five male convicts, most of them youthful delinquents, were removed from Newgate, to the Essex hulk in Kingstown harbour, preparatory to their being transported to our Australian Settlements, pursuant to their several sentences.
They were conveyed in nine jaunting cars, escorted by a troop of the 7th Hussars. In their progress through the streets, they evinced the most reckless indifference as to their seemingly unhappy situation; their shouts of exultation, waving of hats and handkerchiefs etc., would intimate that they considered their change as one rather 'devoutly to be wished' than to be dreaded as a meed of punishment for their delinquencies.. They were all comfortably clothed in the prison uniform, and appeared clean and in good health. 
Essex Hulk - Kingstown HarbourThe Essex hulk in Kingstown harbour ....A former Royal Naval vessel, HMS Essex, arrived at Kingstown harbour in 1824 to be cut down and converted to a prison hulk. This ship was used as a floating prison and as a detention centre for convicts awaiting transportation to Australia. ...See Guardships at Kingstown for more information about the Essex.
DepartureThe Sophia was the next vessel to leave Ireland bound for New South Wales after the departure of the City of Edinburgh in June 1828. The Sophia departed Dublin on 15th September 1828.
Kingstown Regatta 1828 - Afloat
Military GuardThe Guard consisted of 28 men of the 39th and 63rd regiments, five women and four children under orders of Major Thomas Poole and Lieut. Bell. They were ordered for embarkation at Deptford on 2nd July 1828.
Cabin PassengersCabin Passengers included Mrs. Poole and three Misses Eliza, Maria and Caroline Bell, sisters of Lieutenant Bell. Select here to find other convict ships bringing detachments of the 39th and 63rd regiments to New South Wales.
Surgeon Alick OsborneAlick Osborne kept a Medical Journal from 7 June 1828 to 25 January 1829 -
One soldier, Thomas Ault aged 23 died from phthisis, and two prisoners also died -
Peter Hoey, aged 86. Hoey had two sons and a son in law on the vessel and although he was old and infirm and Alick Osborne 'had little hope of landing him', he could not refuse the old man's request. Hoey was put on the sick list on 19th September and died on 21st December 1828;
Peter Hanagan, aged 40 according to Osborne, was labouring under great mental depression, absolutely broken-hearted and devoid of all energy, and died 9 January 1829.
There were a few cases of scurvy which appeared early in the voyage thought to be due to the diet in the Hulk. The symptoms soon disappeared when the vessel got out to sea and a diet of preserved meat, cooked daily and made into a broth was served up.
Port JacksonThe Sophia arrived in Port Jackson on 17th January 1829 and the convicts were mustered on board by Colonial Secretary Alexander McLeay on 21st January 1829.
Alex Osborne had the gratification to see it remarked in the Sydney Gazette of the state of robust health of the convicts who were landed from the Sophia.
AssignmentThe prisoners were distributed to various applicants. In the Hunter Valley they were assigned to John Pike, Alexander Warren, J.P. Webber, James McClymont, John Hooke, Robert Lethbridge, R.C. Dillon, William Buchanan, William Harper, Gilbert Cory, Francis Beattie and others.
Delamore, Charles (Christopher)
Duffy, James (alias Machin)
Hoey, Peter jun.,
Leonard, John alias Patrick
Notes and Links1). Hunter Valley bushranger Robert Chitty arrived as a convict on the Sophia. Robert Chitty was employed as a constable near Norah Head in the 1830's. He later joined with others to form the Jewboy gang (bushrangers). He was executed in 1841.
Patrick Feeney was only seventeen years old when he arrived in 1829. He died a horrible death at the hands of an executioner two years later having been found guilty of bushranging and robbing settler Hugh Cameron.
Owen Owens was another executed for colonial crimes.
2). William John Whitelaw (Whitla) arrived on the Sophia, having been tried in Antrim.....William John Whitla, for knowingly having in his possession a forged Bank of Ireland note - The prisoner pleaded guilty; 14 years transportation. (This is the same person who is charged with stealing last summer, two bank post bills, for £100 each, from the trunk of Mr. Trottter, who had lodgings at the time in the house of the prisoner's father at Ardglass. This depraved young man had been educated as a surgeon, by his father who is a respectable retired Clergyman) - Belfast Newsletter - 1 April 1828. William Whitla was later employed as a surgeon in Maitland. Other convict surgeons in the Hunter Valley included Patrick Montgomery, Henry Turner Harrington, John Waugh Drysdale, George Bridge Mullins, Thomas Parmeter and Henry White
3). Michael Sheals, for an assault on John Downey; also for stealing from him 7s6d in Belfast, on 18th November last. Guilty; transportation for life. - Belfast Newsletter 1 April 1828
4). Dublin - Commission - Last Day - Yesterday, Mr. Justice Moore and Mr. Justice Vandeleur took their seats on the Bench at the usual hour. There was no case of any interest tried during the day. The following are the sentences: James Abbott, James Rielly or Wall, and John Kennedy or Martin - Assault and highway robbery of 2 1/2d. Sentence of death recorded. Christopher Creighton and Edward Scott - Burglary and felony. Death recorded - When Creighton heard the sentence, he exclaimed, against the Judge, 'May God d - n you, and bad luck to you,' and then walked into the dock, uttering the most horrible imprecations on the Judges. - James Browne and William Robinson - Cow stealing. Seven years' transportation - William Grainger - Cow stealing. Seven years' transportation. Patrick Quigly - Killing a cow. Sentence of death recorded. - Freemans Journal - 8 January 1828
5). Alick Osborne was employed as surgeon on the convict ships Lonach in 1825 Speke in 1826, Sophia in 1829, Sarah in 1829, Planter in 1832, Fairlie in 1834, Marquis of Huntley in 1835 and the Elphinstone in 1838
6). Return of Convicts of the Sophia assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 21 June 1832; 5 July 1832).....
David Donnolly - Ploughs etc. Assigned to James Phillips at Hunter River
William Fox - Errand boy assigned to David Johnson at Cook's River
John Gamble - Ploughman assigned to William McArthur at Camden
Thomas O'Neill - Ploughman assigned to J. Harris at Shane's Park
7). Convict ships bringing detachments of the 39th regiment included the following -
Regalia departed Dublin 16 March 1826. Lieutenant William Sacheverell Coke
England departed the Downs 6 May 1826. Major George Pitt D'Arcy
Marquis of Huntley departed Sheerness 16 May 1826 - Major Donald MacPherson
Boyne departed Cork 29 June 1826 - Captain Thomas Edward Wright
Speke departed Sheerness 8 August 1826 - Lieutenant Henry Clarence Scarman
Phoenix departed Dublin 27 August 1826 - Lieutenant Charles Cox
Albion departed Plymouth 4 October 1826 - Captain Francis Crotty
Midas departed Plymouth 16 October 1826 - Lieutenant George Meares Bowen
Mariner departed Cork 14 January 1827 - Captain Charles Sturt
Countess of Harcourt departed Dublin 14 February 1827 - Lieutenant George Sleeman; Ensign Spencer
Guildford departed Plymouth 31 March 1827 - Captain John Douglas Forbes
Manlius departed Downs 17 April 1827 - Quarter-master Benjamin Lloyd
Cambridge departed Dublin 2 June 1827 - Colonel Patrick Lindesay
Champion departed London 3 June 1827 - Ensign Reid
Bussorah Merchant departed London 27 March 1828 - Ensign W. Kennedy Child
Sophia departed Dublin 15 September 1828 - Major Thomas Poole
Portland ; departed Portsmouth on 27 November 1831.
8).Convict 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
References Journal of Alick Osborne. Ancestry.com. UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.
 Bateson, Charles, Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.348-349, 386
 Freemans Journal 25 September 1828