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Convict Ship Albemarle 1791


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(Convicts and passengers from this ship only)

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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 282 men; 6 women

Voyage 200 days
Deaths 32
Surgeon's Journal - No  
Tons: 530
Previous vessel: Queen arrived 26 September 1791
Next vessel: Britannia arrived 14 October 1791
Captain George Bowen
Follow the Female Convict Ship Trail
The Albemarle was built in France in 1776.  She was taken up by the East India Company in 1791 and used by the Admiralty as a vessel of the Third Fleet. She departed Portsmouth on 27th March 1791 in convoy

The following list of transport vessels provided by Messrs. Camden, Calvert and King contractors for the Commissioners of the Navy for the conveyance of convicts to New South Wales.(1)

Vessel's Name No. of Convicts embarked on each
  Males Females Total
Queen 175 25 200
Atlantic 220 - 220
William and Ann 188 - 188
Britannia 152 - 152
Matilda 230 - 230
Salamander 160 - 160
Albermarle 275 - 275
Mary Anne - 150 150
Admiral Barrington 300 - 300
Active 175 - 175
Gorgon 31 - 31

The New South Wales Corps formed the Guard on the vessels of the Third Fleet.

On the 9th April, the convicts attempted to seize the ship.

David Collins gave an account of the event: - The convicts of this ship made an attempt, in conjunction with some of the seamen, to seize the ship on the 9th April, soon after she left England; and they would in all probability have succeeded, but for the activity and resolution shown by the master George Bowen, who, hearing the alarm, had just time to arm himself with a loaded blunderbuss, which he discharged at one of the mutineers, William Syney (then in the act of aiming a blow with a cutlass at the man at the wheel) and lodged its contents in his shoulder.

His companions seeing what had befallen him, instantly ran below; but the master, his officers, and some of the seamen of the ship following them, soon secured the ring leaders, Owen Lyons and William Syney. A consultation was held with the naval agent, the ship's company and the miliary persons on board; the result of which was, the immediate execution of those two at the fore yard arm.

They had at this time parted company with the other transports (The Matilda, Active, Britannia and Admiral Barrington) and no other means seemed so likely to deter the convicts from any future attempt of the like nature. Two seamen who had assisted the convicts were put in irons and left at Madeira to be sent back to England
. (2)

In the Historical Records of New South Wales Vol.1 Part 2, p. 487, unsigned correspondence dated 24th April from Madeira gives an account of the mutiny. The correspondence was assumed to have been written by Lieut. Robert Parry Young and therefore it was he who wounded William Syney in the shoulder.......Later Governor Phillip commended Lieutenant Young for his handling of the situation......Lieutenant Robert Parry Young, who came out as Naval Agent in the Albemarle, has, I presume, informed their Lordships of the convicts having mutinied on board that ship during the passage, and the necessity he was under, of executing two of the ringleaders. From the information I have obtained of that business, Lieutenant Young appears to have conducted himself with a great deal of propriety and in a very officer-like manner, I am, &c. A. Phillip.

The Albemarle was reported to be intending to sail from Simon's Bay about 30th May (3)

They arrived in Port Jackson on 13 October 1791 however remained off the coast for several days, perhaps due to bad weather. Two hundred and fifty male and six female convicts landed between 13th and 17th October. The soldiers landed 21st October and Stores & Provisions landed 26th October.

Twenty three soldiers with one woman, one free woman a convict's wife and one child also arrived on the Albemarle.

Six women were embarked on the Albemarle. According to the convict indents they had all been tried at the Justice Hall, Old Bailey on 16th February 1791 (4)

Elizabeth Cave Tried at the Old Bailey 16th February 1791. Indicted for stealing, on the 1st of February , one man's cloth coat, value 7 s. one silk handkerchief, value 18 d. one linen handkerchief, value 6 d. one man's hat, value 4 s. and two shillings in monies , the property of Josiah Wheeler . Sentenced to 7 years transportation. Prisoner's defence....I am an unfortunate woman......

Bridget Cooney - Mary Gorman capitally convicted in December Sessions, received the King's Pardon on condition of being Transported to New South Wales for life.

Ann Griffin capitally convicted in December Sessions, received the King's Pardon on condition of being Transported to New South Wales for life

Elizabeth Ozeland - Age 42. Tried at the Old Bailey on 8 December 1790 and sentenced to death for burglary. Sarah Smith. Tried at the Old Bailey and Sentenced to 7 years transportation.

The Albemarle departed Port Jackson for India on 3rd December 1791 and in 1793 was captured by a French privateer and taken to Morlaix.

Notes and Links:

1). It seems that Robert Parry Young was accompanied on the voyage by his partner Elizabeth Middleton alias Young. Select Attwell Family Tree to read his Will and to find out more about Robert Parry Young.

2). John Darke arrived on the Albemarle as a piper in the NSW Corps. He died in March 1799 and was buried in the Old Sydney Burial Ground

3). Charles Whalan (Sergeant). Came free per "Albemarle", 1791; served in the 102nd, 73rd & 46th Regiments; Sergeant of the Governor's Body Guard of Light Horse; landholder at Prospect (CSI)

4). Some of the voyage of the Albemarle from Port Jackson to Bombay is revealed in a Narrative and successful result of a voyage in the South Seas ..., Volume 1 By Peter Dillon........ George Bowen, captain of the ship Albemarle, on her voyage from Bombay to London, was brought into Morlaix, being interrogated respecting what he knew of la Perouse, who sailed from France on a voyage round the world, made answer, that in December 1791 being on his return from Port Jackson to Bombay, he himself saw on the coast of New Georgia, in the eastern ocean, part of the wreck of M. de la Perouse's ship floating on the water, and that he imagines it to have belonged to a French-built ship. That he did not go ashore, but that the natives of the country came aboard his vessel. That he could not understand their language, but that he conceived from their signs some ships had visited those parts. That these people were acquainted with the use of several implements of iron, of which they were very desirous. That he, the deponent, had bartered several iron articles with these Indians for beads and bows. That, with regard to the character of these Indians, they appeared to him to be peaceable and better informed than the inhabitants of Otaheite, since they had a perfect knowledge of the implements of iron. That their canoes were made in a superior manner. That when the natives were on board his ship he did not yet know any thing of the wreck; but sailing along the coast, he perceived it about midnight, on the 30th of December 1791, by the light of a large fire which was burning on the land. That had it not been for this fire he should probably have run on the rocks of Cape Deception. The deponent further declares, that all along this part of the coast of New Georgia he observed a great number of cabins or huts. That these Indians were of a stout make and gentle disposition; whence he presumes that if M. de la Perouse, or any of his crew, were on the land, they are still living; and that he knows, of all the vessels which have navigated these seas, none but M. de Bougainville, the Alexander, the Friendship of London, M. de la Perouse, and the deponent, ever were at this place; consequently, he presumes, the wreck must have belonged to the ship of M. de la "Perouse, since the Alexander was sunk in the strait of Macassar, and the Friendship arrived safe in England. Being interrogated, whether he had seen any garments upon the natives of the country, denoting them to have had communication with Europeans, he answered that these Indians were naked, that the climate is very hot, and that he understood by their signs that they had seen ships before. That he saw in the possession of these Indians, fishing-nets, the threads of which were made of flax, and the meshes were of European workmanship. That he took a piece of one out of curiosity, from which it would be easy to judge that the materials and workmanship were European.

5). Hunter Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Albemarle in 1791  


(1) Historical Records of Australia, Vol.1, p225

(2) An Account of the English Colony in NSW

(3) The Times 11 October 1791

(4) Convicts of the Albemarle - State Records of New South Wales

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