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Convict Ship
Admiral Gambier 1808

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Select from the Links below to find information about Convict Ships arriving in New South Wales, Norfolk Island and Van Diemen's Land between the years 1788 and 1850

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Embarked 200 men
Voyage 171 days
Deaths 3
Surgeon's Journal - No
Previous vessel: Speke arrived 16 November 1808
Next vessel: Aeolus arrived 26 January 1809
Master Edward Harrison

The Admiral Gambier was built at Jarrow in 1807. She was taken up by the East India Company in 1808.

The prisoners of the Admiral Gambier were gathered from throughout England - Bedford, Sussex, York, Somerset, London etc.

Many had been held in the prison hulks for quite some time. Joseph Woodhouse having been tried on 2 July 1806 was sent to the Retribution Hulk in October. He remained there until embarked on the Admiral Gambier on 7 May 1808.
Others were held in Newgate prison and transferred to the Hulks for only a couple of days before being sent to the ship. James Bullock, Thomas Ellis, John Peake, Thomas Buckley, John Homer, John Hartup, Lewis Solomon, James Clarkson, James Frost, Charles Vining, Daniel Buckley and Thomas Wheeler had all been tried in London and were among those who only spent a short time on the hulk.

There was a female prisoner from Scotland listed in the indents of the Admiral Gambier - Betty Murray (alias Baillie, alias Barclay) was from Perthshire and sentenced to 7 years transportation on 6th May 1806, however she may have been transported on the Aeolus.

Other prisoners from Scotland transported on the Admiral Gambier included Robert Dow; Richard Hamilton; John MacFarlane; John McLeod; James Monison and John Smith who were all tried in Edinburgh. Three prisoners had been court-martialled at Guernsey - Enst Schmidt, Henry Rose and James Griffiths. James McDonald was court-martialled at Newfoundland and Francis Austen, John Moffett and John Cullen at Messina.

The Admiral Gambier departed Portsmouth 2 July 1808 in company with a West India fleet under convoy of His Majesty's ship Polyphemus, 64 guns; two Portuguese frigates; three gun brigs.

At Madeira she departed in company with the Juno whaler, and Aeolus transport, the latter having between 70 and 80 female prisoners on board. She got into Rio the 8th of September, and sailed with the Juno the 6th of October, leaving the Aeolus at Rio. After a day or two the Admiral Gambier parted with the Juno, but joined again within a few days sail of Port Jackson, the Juno having fallen in with heavy gales, and much damaged in her rigging and boats.

The Admiral Gambier and the Speke were the only two convict ships to arrive in New South Wales in 1808. The Admiral Gambier arrived in Port Jackson on 22 December 1808 with 197 male prisoners. The prisoners were landed in good health and spirits. The Indent for the Admiral Gambier includes the name of the convict where & when convicted, term of transportation, and identifying number of tickets of leave, conditional and absolute pardons of some of the prisoners.

Passengers and Guard included Lieut. Bernard Martin Senior(1) and 34 troops of the New South Wales Corps. Ensign Senior had been promoted to Lieutenant by purchase on 27th February 1808. (HR NSW Vol., VI. p 817) Also on the Admiral Gambier was a man apprehended at Rio and suspected of being one of the mutineers of the Lady Shore.

The Admiral Gambier departed for England on 28 March 1809. She was wrecked in the Mozambique Channel on 20 June 1817.

Notes and Links:

1). One of the Early Bushrangers of the Hunter Region, Isaac Walker, arrived on the Admiral Gambier. In his time he kept company with some of the most desperate, depraved prisoners in the colony and in consequence suffered at the worst of the penal colonies including Newcastle (where he absconded from the Limeburner's gang in 1814), Port Macquarie and Macquarie Harbour in Van Diemen's Land. He was eventually executed with several other desperadoes in June 1824 in Van Diemen's Land.

2). Edward Young who arrived on the Admiral Gambier was sent as a prisoner to Newcastle in 1811. A bricklayer by trade, he assisted in the building of some of the lime kilns.

3). In 1811 two prisoners of the Duke of Portland Henry Millson and William Brown together with Robert Dawson alias Leeche of the Admiral Gambier and Benjamin Cordell escaped from Norfolk Island on the ship New Zealander. (HRA, Vol. VIII)

4). Admiral Gambier convicts/ passengers identified in the Hunter Valley region

5). Admiral Gambier convicts identified in the Hunter Valley region:

Name Convicted at Location NSW
Thomas Berry Hertford 1806 Newcastle
Mark Doolan Portsmouth 1805 Newcastle
Thomas Edmonds Somerset 1807 Newcastle
James Griffiths Guernsey 1807 Newcastle
William Grose / Gross/ Smith Middlesex 1805 Newcastle
Henry Paul Harry Monmouth 1807 Newcastle
Henry Joyce Guernsey 1807 Newcastle
Samuel Levy/ Lazarus/ Jones Stafford 1806 Newcastle/ Patrick Plains
Uriah Monks Hertford 1806 Newcastle
William Noble Middlesex 1805 Hunter Valley
George Parry Monmouth 1807 Newcastle
Richard Potter / Porter Surrey 1807 Newcastle
William Powers Warwick 1807 Newcastle
Isaac Walker Bedford 1807 Newcastle
Stephen Waters Sussex 1807 Newcastle
William White York 1806 Newcastle
Edward Williams Middlesex 1806 Newcastle
William Williams Somerset 1807 Newcastle
Joseph Woodhouse London 1806 Newcastle
Edward Young Lincoln 1807 Newcastle


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