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CONVICT SHIP ATLAS 1816
 

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Embarked 194 men
Voyage 181 days
Deaths 7
Surgeon's Journal - No
Previous vessel: Guildford arrived 8 April 1816
Next vessel: Elizabeth arrived 5 October 1816
Master Walter Meriton.
Surgeon Superintendent Patrick Hill

The Atlas was built in Whitby in 1812. She was a single decked vessel with beams and was sheathed in copper.  

A detachment of 34 men including non-commissioned officers and privates of the 89th regiment under command of Lieutenant Kenny formed the Guard on the Atlas.
 

Select here to read about the Trial of Lieutenant Edward Kenny of the 89th regiment for the manslaughter of the surgeon Robert Charlton in 1826.

Other convict ships bringing soldiers of the 89th regiment included the
Speke, John, Baring and Minerva.



The prisoners of the Atlas were tried in various districts of England and Scotland as well as Bermuda and Canada. Most were held in the hulks before being embarked on the Atlas.    

   

The passengers were embarked on 19th December 1815 and included free settler William Howe Esq. with wife and family of six children. Missionaries Rev. Lancelot Threlkeld and Mr. William Ellis and their wives.  

The Atlas was delayed at Portsmouth at first by contrary winds and then by dysentery. They departed Portsmouth 23 January 1816 with 194 male prisoners.  

William Ellis and Rev. Threlkeld preached to the convicts when the weather permitted and the Threlkeld's first child, William was born at sea on Sunday, 17 March, 1816. When the Atlas called at Rio de Janeiro on 21st March, Martha, the wife of Rev. Threlkeld and their new born baby William were ill and Rev. Threlkeld refused to leave. William died at Rio de Janeiro and was interred in the English burial ground. The Atlas sailed from Rio on 29th April 1816. (1)  

The Atlas arrived in Port Jackson on Monday 22 July 1816 with 187 prisoners. The Sydney Gazette reported that one prisoner, Simon Mallard had been consigned to a watery grave on the passage out. One of the crew Lionel Bunderlin also died on the passage; and Peter Ramsdail, a youth fell overboard and was drowned.

On 26th July Colonial Surgeon D'arcy Wentworth was advised to arrange for the removal of five sick people from the ship who were to be forwarded to the General Hospital on shore as the surgeon superintendent thought their present weakly state would be much benefited by good air and wholesome food. They were taken to the new General Hospital (rum hospital) which had been opened in April 1816. Select here to find out more about the early history of Sydney Hospital  

The convict indents reveal the prisoner's name, time and place of conviction, sentence, native place, trade, physical description and occasional information such as tickets of leave or conditional pardons. There is no information as to where and to whom the men were assigned. Sixty of the prisoners were under the age of 21.  

The Atlas departed Port Jackson bound for Batavia on 12 September 1816. On the 28th September 1816 the Sydney Gazette gave details of three young women Sarah Corbett and Elizabeth Wright both arrived on the Northampton and Mary Price a Welsh woman, - all three were reported to have absconded on the Atlas when she departed on the 12th September.  

Patrick Hill was also surgeon on the Earl St. Vincent in 1820.  




Notes & Links:

1). In Sydney in July 1818 eleven desperate convicts made a bid for freedom by attempting to steal two boats. They attempted this while Governor Macquarie was on a Tour of Newcastle settlement and there was no mercy for them when they were captured soon afterwards. Robert Hanna, Alexander Sutherland and James Tullock who all arrived on the Atlas were among the eleven pirates. Find out more about their attempted escape here.  The Governor considered them all to be of the most depraved characters in the colony and they were sentenced to work at hard labour in double irons at the Lime Kilns near Newcastle for up to three years.  

2). Robert Hall first arrived as a convict on the Atlas. He was re-transported on the Albion in 1827.  

3). George Fenwick Jackson was born c. 1788 and employed as a merchant and supercargo in England. He was sentenced to 7 years transportation for larceny in Durham in 1815. He was sent to the Justitia hulk and from there to the Atlas. After arrival in Australia he was sent to VDL and in 1818 he was sentenced to 5 years at Newcastle penal station. In 1819 he was sentenced to death for the brutal murder of John Williams at Newcastle and after spending 3 years in Sydney gaol his sentence was commuted to transportation for life. He appealed to have his sentence quashed in 1820, claiming at the time that he was the son and heir of a Baronet. He was sent to Port Macquarie where he was eventually employed as Chief Constable. By the time he received a conditional pardon in 1833 he was 45 years of age and it was noted that he had a speech impediment from a facial paralysis.  

4). More about Rev. Threlkeld.....

 

5). James Brandon 17 years of age when he was tried in Buckinghamshire on 10th July 1815 and sentenced to transportation for life for sheep stealing. He was admitted to the Justitia Hulk on 8th September 1815 and sent to the Atlas on 30th November. On arrive in the colony he was sent to Parramatta district. In 1824 he was employed by Mr. Blaxland in the district of Evan. He received a ticket of leave in 1870 and died at Parramatta Hospital in 1873.  

 ...Parliamentary Papers, Great Britain.  

6). Hunter Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Atlas in 1816  

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

8). Number of prisoners, date and place of Conviction and sentences - Parliamentary Papers, House of Commons and Command, Volume 16 By Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons - Atlas





               


References:  

(1) Raven, Majorie, Rev. Lancelot Edward Threlkeld, 1992