Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Surry - 1816

Voyage: 159 days
Surgeon's Journal: yes (not available)
Previous vessel: Mariner arrived 11 October 1816
Next vessel: Lord Melville arrived 24 February 1817
Captain Thomas Raine.
Surgeon John Fletcher Bayley R.N.,
Follow the Irish Convict Ship Trail
Hunter Valley convicts and passengers arriving on the Surry in 1816

This was the second of eleven voyages of the Surry bringing convicts to Australia. Convicts were transported to Australia on the Surry in 1814, 1816, 1819, 1823, 1829 (VDL), 1831, 1833 (VDL), 1834, 1836, 1840 and 1842 (VDL).

The Surry was a square-rigged transport ship. She had an overall length of 117 ft. 6 ins., a breadth above the gunwales of 29 ft. 6 ins, and a draught, when loaded, of 18 ft. She was copper-sheathed, and had quarter galleries, with a bust of Minerva for a figurehead [2].

Leaving England

The Surry departed the Downs 18th February 1816 bound for the Cove of Cork. Two Missionaries to the South Seas, Messrs Osmond and Barff sailed on the Surry. Mr. Orsmond was ordained at Portsea in December 1815. By the favour of government, a free passage is granted, which saves the Society about one half of the expence, the board of the Missionaries being paid to the Captain by the directors. [8]

It was reported that the ship experienced heavy gales of wind in the Channel and did not arrived in Cork until 12th March 1816. [7]


One hundred and fifty male prisoners gathered from all over Ireland were embarked on the Surry at Cork. Among their number were thieves, forgers, vagrants, pickpockets and those found guilty of riot and sedition under the Insurrection Act. - In December 1815 the London Times reported -

On Wednesday last a Special Sessions, under the Insurrection Act, was held at Rathkeale, before Mr. Serjeant Moore, the Assistant Barrister, and Bench of Justices, when the following were convicted as idle and disorderly persons......John Sullivan for being absent from his dwelling house on the nights of the 5th 11th and 19th November last; and Dennis Ryan, for being absent from his house on the night of the 26th ult.

They were both immediately sentenced to be transported for seven years to Botany Bay; and in pursuance of said sentence, were yesterday morning sent off from this to Cork, for embarkation.

There were also twelve men from Tipperary who had been convicted in November 1815 of riotous, seditious and disorderly conduct and another thirteen who were convicted in January 1816 of wrecking and plundering a house. These men were all opponents of the Tithe system and had been at first sentenced to death at Clonmel Ireland. Among their crimes were destroying the dispensary and other buildings at Ballagh, which were intended by Government as barracks to quarter troops in. The troops had been sent to Tipperary to quell riots that had been taking place over the previous few months.[1]

Rioters from Leitrim, Limerick and Longford were also transported on the Surry.

Some of the following prisoners mentioned in the Belfast Newsletter in April 1816 were also probably transported on the Surry.........Yesterday a number of prisoners, both male and female, passed through this town on cars, on their way from the jail of Carrickfergus to be transported to Botany Bay. Among them there were several for bleachgreen robberies. While the law denounced death against such offenders, humanity often yielded to, perhaps, mistaken sympathy. But now that transportation is the penalty, such offenders can have no hope. They may consider the gates of mercy shut against them, and they will, without doubt, be consigned to the company and the horrors of the condemned crew, whose crimes have rendered them unworthy of the comforts of civilized society. - Robbers of bleach-greens, this is the fate that awaits you! - take it to heart! [9]

Surgeon John Fletcher Bayley

John F. Bayley was appointed Assistant Surgeon on 7 March 1809.

Departure from Cork

The Surry remained at Cork until 14th July 1816.

Military Guard

The guard comprised a detachment of 29 men under the command of Lieut. Reveley of the 46th Regiment. The Headquarters of the 46th regiment commanded by Lieut-Col George James Molle arrived on the Windham and other detachments arrived on the Marquis of Wellington, Ocean, Lord Eldon, Fame, Recovery, Elizabeth, Larkins, Three Bees, General Hewitt, Guildford, Surry, Surry, Shipley, Sir William Bensley, Morley and Bencoolen.

Cabin Passengers

Allan Cunningham
As well as Missionaries Mr and Mrs. Osmand, Mr and Mrs Charles Barff, architect Mr. Henry Kitchen and botanist Allan Cunningham embarked as passengers on the Surry. The wife of missionary Charles Barff died on the passage out and was buried at sea. Charles Barff died in Surry Hills, Sydney in 1866.

Allan Cunningham kept a journal commencing at Rio de Janeiro in September when he was preparing boxes of specimens to be loaded onto the Surry. He boarded the Surry on Wednesday evening 25th September and the ship weighed anchor the next morning. They were fired on while passing the outer fort because a pennant they were flying could not be seen by the Commandant of the Fort and were forced into shore to repair the damage.

28th September was a fine, clear day. The ship had been repaired and they weighed anchor once more and sailed out of the harbour. They were accompanied by the Mulgrave Castle bound for the Cape until 3rd October when the ships parted.

On 15th October they made the Isle of Tristan da Cunha and a month later on 13th November they sighted the island of St. Pauls 20 miles in the distance.

The Voyage from Rio de Janeiro

They made a ten day stop at Rio de Janeiro.

It was reported in the Aberdeen Journal in December 1817 that letters had been received from Messrs. Osmand and Barff. One of these men expressed his thankfulness to Captain Raine for permitting him to instruct the convicts on board, and the crew. Many of the prisoners were very attentive and diligent. Those who could read the Scriptures, frequently collected around them others who could not, had the Bible read to them, and there is reason to hope, the writer adds, that good was thus done among them.

Port Jackson

On 3rd December a ship was sighted ahead of them which proved to be the Mariner, Captain Herbert, on her voyage from Sydney to Batavia, and on Friday 20th December under light breezes they made the Heads of Port Jackson, and the pilot came on board. The Surry anchored in Port Jackson at 5pm that evening. The Sydney Gazette reported that every man was landed in perfect health; and all were thankful for the humane and indulgent treatment they had experienced from the Captain and Surgeon on the passage.

There were sudden gusts of wind and heavy rain during the night. Saturday 21st December was dark and cloudy with showers.

Allan Cunningham went on shore to report to His Excellency Governor Lachlan Macquarie however the Governor was at his country residence at Parramatta - Conceiving it a mark of respect due to his Excellency, I hired a horse and proceeded to Parramatta and waited on the Governor who received me very kindly and hospitably.

Wednesday 25th December, Christmas Day, the morning was fine with later heavy rain and a sultry and close atmosphere. The following morning 26th December the morning was fine and the whole of the convicts on board were landed and conveyed to the gaol. His Excellency with his officers, attended to inspect them and divide them off into the employ of the different settlers.

Select here to find out more about disembarkation of convicts.


A document amongst the Colonial Secretary's correspondence signed by the Superintendent of Convicts William Hutchinson reveals that thirty-four prisoners were sent to the Parramatta district; thirty-two to Windsor; and seventeen to Liverpool district. [3]

At Allan Cunningham's request His Excellency allowed him Bartholomew Duffy (37 years old from Co. Louth convicted of grand larceny), as his servant. The following morning Allan Cunningham removed his boxes and chest from the ship and sailed up the river to Parramatta and to the cottage he had hired. [4]

One of the convicts on the Surry was 53 year old Gerald Hope who was a silk dyer by trade. He was a native of Dublin and in the Treble Almanac in 1804 was listed at 65 Abbey street, Dublin. Gerald Hope was one of several men tried in Dublin in February 1816 for possessing forged stamps and sentenced to 7 years transportation. He was grateful for the treatment he received on the passage out and on Christmas Day 1816 as the Surry lay in Sydney harbour, he penned the following correspondence to Captain Raine and Governor Macquarie. In June 1819 Gerald Hope signified his intention to leave the colony. He was to return to his homeland on the Surry under Captain Raine, the same vessel that brought him out, on her voyage to England in that year. [5]

25 December 1816 - To Captain of the Surry :

In presuming to address you, Most Excellent Sir, I feel the immensity of distance between us, you the beloved representative of the Best of Sovereigns of a Captive, Convict, Beggar, humbled to the dust. The cause however imperative, I am pledged to my fellow unfortunates to return to our Captain our Best of Thanks in the public print. But from the two, heading lines in the Sydney Gazette I seen this day my publishing without your approbation might not be regular, if the enclosed meets your concurrence will you allow it insertion, as I have this opportunity I must through you, Most Excellent Sir Return my humble thanks to our good government with respect to our provisions etc. They were all of the best, I am with duty submission and respect, Your Excellency's Most humble and obedient servant Gerald Hope N.B. I beg to say I understand the silk linen and woollen dying trade.

To His Excellency Lachlan Macquarie :

T'was said of Cosar that by erecting Pompey's statue he established his own, we wish not to perpetuate our own unfortunate memories but we wish through the medium of the Sydney Gazette to record the unsolicited tribute of praise so justly due to those with whom we crossed the vast expanse of water which rises and falls between this colony and the shores of our beloved Hibernia, Captain Thomas Raine being entrusted with the care of one hundred and fifty men and appointed by an Government which we still hold most dear to our hearts and our memories to convey us to the place of our destination. 'T'is for us to bear witness to the equity of his conduct towards us, 'tis for us to appreciate the many comforts and privileges we enjoyed and we hesitate not to say, unanimously. He is most worthy our highest praise, and we join in prayer that the Blessing of Heaven may light on his dwelling. To have sailed with Captain Raine under our unfortunate circumstances, is to us the cause of the liveliest gratitude, nor, shall it be said Irishmen are void of gratitude. No, No, 'Tis a delightful sensation predominant in our breasts to give intrinsic merit its due, and Captain Raine is in our estimation the skilful navigator the judicious commander, the promoter of unity, the conciliating friend, the vigilant philanthropist and as Howard stung with bitter pangs to hear the mournful moans of the miserable prisoners in the dungeons of Europe, advocated to obtain an alleviation of their sufferings, so Captain Raine has spared no trouble in removing everything that could possibly contribute to the ill health or to the discomfort of us, his ill-fated prisoners.

The inimitable cleanliness of the ship the salubrious ventilation, and the useful and frequent fumigations and that we were astonished to see performed by his own hands, have been the means of great comfort and we trust while we exhibited this as an example to others, we hope that as his years roll over his head, this memento of our affection regard and indeed duty may be immeasurably established by others. Nor should we feel satisfied were we to throw out pen into the shade till we have borne our tribute, of praise to Doctor Bayly for the unwearied attention which he has evinced while the leaden hand of pale distress had added point to our sufferings and increased the load of our misfortunes. The salubrious, the needful, the timely and rejoice to say the efficacious draught has always been administered. His sedulous and paternal attention to our ailments and his unremitted kindnesses have been as the rays of the sun. Dispelling the damp and chill of our gloom and lot, and while God bless him say every tongue, we are of opinion he merits the prompt attention of our Government who seldom suffers merit to go unrewarded. To Mr. Edwardson, Mr. Hall, Mr. Griffin, the Mates of the Ship and to Mr. Winders the purser we also feel it a felicity to have this opportunity of expressing our thanks for their gentlemanly demeanour towards us, the ships company all, all, following the example of our much beloved but not sufficiently applauded Captain.

We also beg to express our most cordial approbation of the efforts employed by the Rev. J.M. Orsmond and the Rev. C. Barff, Missionaries to Otaheite to reform the profligate and to instruct the ignorant. Indeed language is insufficient to delineate the advantages many persons have derived from this modest and suitable effort. Facts speak trumpet-tongued. Several who could neither read nor write can now do both, with more readiness than could be expected, and others when they entered this ship could not point to the letter A can now read with ease. Blasphemy is not so much heard and the name of the Lord is only used in prayer and thanksgiving, wishing that all whose lot it may be to follow us, may sail with men endowed with such humanity we conclude by praying success to our Captain in all his undertakings having him for a Mentor and thus illumined we may each in his different sphere go and do likewise. Signed in the name and on the behalf of all the prisoners. Gerald Hope. On board the Surry. New South Wales Government..

Surgeon John Fletcher Bayley requested permission to return to Europe on the Surry which departed Port Jackson bound for Batavia in March 1817.

Notes and Links

1). Edward and George White sons of convict Japhet White arrived free on the Surry

2). Hunter Valley convicts and passengers arriving on the Surry in 1816

3). The Surry was one of nine convicts ships arriving in New South Wales in 1816 the others being the Fanny, Mary Anne, Ocean, Alexander, Guildford, Atlas, Elizabeth and Mariner. Approximately 1,415 prisoners arrived in NSW in 1816.

4). {Extract} - Commission Court Dublin December 5 - Charles and John Reed were put to the bar, charged with having forged stamps in their possession, of 2d, 8d, 1s, 2s, and 8s on 17th November last. Solicitor General Addressed the Jury and said the two Mr. Reeds resided in Upper Dominick street before they were arrested; the house belonged to Charles - John lived in it; and their sister a Mrs. Hart, who had the good fortune to escape for the present, lived with them. The witnesses in defence stated that the house in Upper Dominick street belonged to Mrs. Hart, sister to the prisoners; her husband was licensed as a stamp distributer. She was in the house the day of the search and absconded in consequence of hearing of the arrests that had taken place. Prisoners are of most respectable connections and were always considered gentlemen of honour and respectability; they are of no profession - they have a sufficient property - Guilty; to be transported for seven years. Patrick Garrigan and Samuel Cleyton were separately put upon their trials and found guilty of vending forged stamps - They were sentenced each to transportation for seven years - Mr. Cleyton is an engraver and Mr. Garrigan is clerk to an attorney. - Belfast Newsletter 12 December 1815

5). {Extract} - Commission Court Dublin December 4. John Fogarty, the younger, was given in charge to the Jury, upon an indictment, that he, on 17th November in the parish of St. Mary wickedly and feloniously to defraud the King, had in his possession one piece of paper, marked with a device, purporting to be a stamp, for the sum of 4s , one other piece of paper for the sum of 2s, one other piece of paper for the sum of 1s 6d and one other piece of paper for the sum of 6d with intent to utter them knowing them to be forged. - Guilty. John Fogarty was called to the bar, and received sentence to be transported for seven years. Edward Emerson and John Fogarty the elder, applied to the Court for liberty to withdraw their pleas of not guilty, which being acceded to they pleaded guilty and remanded to prison. .....Japhet White was given in charge upon an indictment that he on 17th November in the parish of St. Peter, wickedly and feloniously to defraud the King, had in his possession with intent to utter, one piece of paper, with an impression thereon purporting to be a stamp for the sum of 1s. Prisoner found guilty and sentenced to 7 years transportation. .Belfast Newsletter 8 December 1815

6). Thomas Barefoot, for stealing two horse collars, two bridles, the property of the King.....Guilty, sentenced to 7 years transportation. - Freemans Journal 22 November 1815.

7). Obituary of Charles Barff.

8). Thomas Raine - Australian Dictionary of Biography

9). A document in the Colonial Secretary's correspondence reveals Captain Raine also brought out on the Surry a case containing Captain Matthew Flinders works and charts issued from the London Military Depot on 12 February 1816 (Series: NRS 898; Reel or Fiche Numbers: Reels 6020-6040, 6070; Fiche 3260-3312)

10). Read the story of convict Roger Corcoran who arrived on the Surry. - The Canberra Times 11 October 1992.


[1] The Bury and Norwich Post: Or, Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Cambridge, and Ely Advertiser (Bury Saint Edmunds, England), Wednesday, February 07, 1816; Issue 1754. 19th Century British Library Newspapers: Part II.

[2]Bateson, Charles, The Convict Ships, p. 172

[3]Colonial Secretary's Correspondence Reel 6005; 4/3495 pp.410-11

[4] Colonial Secretary's Papers, Reel 6034; SZ7 pp.139-365

[5] Sydney Gazette 12 June 1819

[6] Main series of letters received, 1788-1825. Series 897, Reels 6041-6064, 6071-6072. State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia, Item 4/1736. Page 29

[7] Evangelical Magazine and Missionary Chronicle, Volume 24

[8] Evangelical Magazine and Missionary Chronicle, Volume 24

[9]. Belfast Newsletter 2 April 1816