Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Brampton - 1823

Embarked 172 men
Voyage 165 days
Deaths 0
Previous vessel: Princess Royal arrived 9 March 1823
Next vessel: Woodman arrived 25 June 1823
Captain Samuel Moore
Surgeon Morgan Price
Follow the Irish Convict Ship Trail
Prisoners and Passengers of the Brampton identified in the Hunter Valley

The convict ship Brampton was built in 1817 at King's Lynn for W.J. Bottomley. She was taken up for the East India Company service in 1820, and left the service in 1821 before sailing on a whaling voyage.[5] She was engaged as a convict transport in 1822 and departed London for Cork on 28th July 1822.

The Convicts

The Convicts came from counties in Ireland - Tipperary, Cavan, Tyrone, Waterford, Mayo, Kings Co., Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Kilkenny, Clare, Queens Co., Westmeath, Dublin, Galway, Sligo and Kildare.

Preparations for the Voyage

In correspondence dated 17 October 1822 from Dr. Edward Trevor, Dublin, to Henry Goulburn, Chief Secretary, Dublin Castle, Dr. Trevor indicated that he had inspected the one hundred and seventy-two male convicts on the Brampton at the Cove of Cork and that amongst supplies included for the voyage were 'cheap Paper Books and ink provided for the Establishment of a School' - Chief Secretary's Office Registered Papers, National Archives.

Surgeon Morgan Price

Morgan Price was employed as Surgeon-superintendent. He kept a Medical Journal from 30 September 1822 to 28 April 1823....... On the 30 September 1822, 120 male convicts were received on board from the gaol and depot of Cork. Many of these men had been in prison for a considerable length of time and several had scorbutic sores. By mid October several prisoners were suffering from catarrhal which Morgan Price treated with bleeding and laxative medicine. They were still at anchor in the Cove of Cork at the end of October when at the instigation of Mr. Price, two prisoners were punished with 2 dozen lashes for fighting. [3]

Military Guard

The Military Guard consisted of a detachment of the 3rd Regiment (Buffs). Quarter Master Thomas Coulson and his large family arrived as passengers.

Ships bringing detachments of the 3rd regiment included the Guildford, Shipley, Asia, Surry, Mangles, Asia, Countess of Harcourt, Henry, Princess Royal, Eliza and Brampton

Captain Samuel Moore

Altercations were not confined to the prisoners on this voyage as the Captain of the ship proved to be a violent and abusive man. The surgeon recorded in October his first experience with the difficult Captain Moore, who was hurling abuse at the Officer of the Guard Thomas Coulson (Buffs). A call to arms for both the crew and soldiers had been made and Morgan Price attempted to cool the situation before retiring to his cabin to write a report of the incident. An investigation of the two officers was held early in November by Captains Robouleau and Jones who presented their finding to Lord Colville. Morgan Price was informed that in the event of any future misunderstanding between Thomas Coulson quartermaster of the 3rd Buffs and Captain Samuel Moore, that they should refer the matter to him (Price) and his opinion on all occasion was to be taken. [3]

Departure from Ireland

The ship got under weigh at 2pm on 8 November 1822 and within a week prisoners were again affected with catarrhal. By early December scurvy had made its appearance. On the 7th December they made the island of St. Anthony. (Did not land?)

The Voyage

A school had been commenced on board and the surgeon reported on the 17 December 1822 that the greatest number of prisoners were very attentive to their schooling and several who came on board were not able to spell or even had any knowledge of the alphabet were able to read with some facility.

There was another dispute between Samuel Moore and the Guard in October which seems to have been settled by Mr. Price and in February there was yet another disruption caused by Samuel Moore. The surgeon remarked that he was astonished that they had arrived as far as they had with such a turbulent fellow as the Captain. [3]

Table Bay

They came to anchor at Table Bay where they received 12 convicts for NSW including - John Donnelly, Jaan Paap, John Treasure, David Thurman, Jaitze Peet, Stephen Green, John Robson, John Bowers, David Reynoldson, William Rees and John Donaldson. They departed the Cape on 20 February. Late in March the violent temper of the Captain was again noted and Morgan Price had occasion to question the Captain regarding the supply of rum for the Guard which had all been consumed, although they were supposed to have six months supply. [3]

Arrival at Port Jackson

The Brampton arrived in Port Jackson on 22 April 1823.

Prisoners Landed

On Monday 28 April the prisoners were landed as per the orders of the Governor Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane. The prisoners had been on board for nearly seven months by that time and many were in a weak debilitated state. They were inspected by the Governor in the morning and afterwards distributed throughout the colony.[4]


The Colonial Secretary's Correspondence has lists of assignment of some of the men:

23 men were sent to Parramatta district

7 men were sent to Liverpool

19 men to Airds district

13 men to Minto district

18 men to Windsor

9 men to Bathurst district

Departure of the Brampton from Sydney

When leaving England, Captain Moore had orders (unless he should receive contrary directions from the owner) to go afterwards to New Zealand and take in spars and then proceed to South America. The Brampton was delayed in Sydney in consequence of some of the crew being imprisoned and did not leave Sydney until 23rd July. On 7th September while on the return voyage from New Zealand to Sydney the Brampton was wrecked in Karadaka Bay. Among the passengers was the Rev. Samuel Marsden. No lives were lost and Samuel Moore and the crew of the Brampton returned from New Zealand to Sydney on the 1st December on the brig Dragon.

Notes and Links

1). Political Prisoners

2). Timothy Relehan on a list of prisoners applying for their families to be forwarded to NSW - Convict Discipline and Transportation

3). Return of Convicts of the Brampton assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 28 June 1832).....
John Fogerty, Shoemaker assigned to Cornelius Prout at Sydney
James Murphy, Rope maker and butcher. Assigned to James Cox at Maitland
Patrick Mulleady, Sheep shearer assigned to Patrick Coulson at Campbelltown

4). Morgan Price was employed as Surgeon on the following ships:

Martha to NSW in 1818
Countess of Harcourt to VDL in 1821

Almorah to NSW in 1824
Clyde to VDL in 1830

Neva to NSW in 1833
Hector to VDL in 1835

5). In the National Archives of Ireland, Ireland to Australia Transportation database there are about twenty one men listed who arrived in Australia on the Brampton who later applied to have their wives and families join them in Australia.

6). Case of mistaken identity of John Grady.....Correspondence of John Grady to Mrs. John Grady.
Sydney Cove, New South Wales,
My dear Wife, 5th Jany., 1824.
I embrace this favourable opportunity of writing these few lines to you, hoping to find you and the Child in good health as this leaves me in at present, thanks be to God. My dear, I sailed from the Cove of Cork on Septr. 5th, 1823, and arrived here on Monday Evening, Decr. 29th, attended with the happiest voyage that could be mentioned, there had been but one Died during the passage.

My dear, I have a very grievous circumstance to mention in this letter to you, which occurred against me after my Arrival in this Country, which is the following : - at my Inspection here by the Secretary, he asked me what was my Sentence; I told him 7 years; he told me I was for Life, which his sentence, thunder struck me; I answered him that I was tried under the Insurrection Act, and that no Individual could be sentenced to more than 7 years ; he thought I was scheming on him and asked the Doctor of the Ship my character, which he could not give better to his Brother, had he been in my place.

My dear, I told the Secretary that there was one John Grady from Burne Leigh which is But Twelve Miles from Nenagh; that the said John Grady had been tried at the Clonmell Assizes for House burning and received Sentence of Death, but had been respited to Transportation for Life, My dear Wife, when I was sent to the Depot of the City of Cork in a few days after I been at the Depot, this John Grady from Burne's Leigh near Nenagh came from Clonmell Gaol to the Depot, and whether it had been a mistake of Mr. Murphy's or at the Castle of Dublin, this John Grady was sent off in the Brampton Convict Ship under my Sentence, and I remained under his.

Now, my dear wife, you must do all in your power to get the Sentence Altered and my former Sentence renewed. Go to Mr. O'Hara, the Magistrate, and show him this Letter, and let him let all the other Magistrates know, that were at my trial, this unfortunate circumstance, and to make no delay but to write to Judge Blacker, and also let him know it, as no other man can decide the Business but him, and to forward the Account as soon as possible to the ovr. of New South Wales as I will suffer Death by the Laws of this Country If I am for Life.

So, my Dear, I am still in hopes, as I am innocent of this laid Against me. My dear, I have sent a letter before this to Councillor Dillon concerning this affair. But the Letter to you had some delay on Account of this Ship; she was to go to the Indies for her Cargo, Before she would return to London; it is by one of the Sailors, I have sent it; he was from Cove where we Sailed from ; this was the Ship I came in, called the Medina. You know my dear, this is a serious circumstance to be left undone and would have rendered me of ever seeing yen again. My dear keep up your spirits, and if this Business can he decided, I will see you again, with the assistance of God, I will he able to return home after my time being expired. I cannot give you any Particular Account this time concerning the country; but will write to you by the next opportunity ; only that I see young Tom Dwyer, the sawyer, and let his Mother know that he is very well, and likewise let Tomas Kenny's mother know that he is very well, and John Joice's brother know that he is well; those are all in Sidney town. But I do not know where I am to stop as yet.

My dear, there is a great difference between this John Grady and me, as he is not a Nailor and I am, which can be settled in the Castle, as my trade has been sent to the Castle along with my crime. No more at present from your Dear. Husband Until Death, John Grady. Sidney Cove, New South Wales, 5th Jany., 1824. I was nearly forgetting my dear Mother and Sisters; let them know that I am well and that I send my kind Love to them and to all enquiring friends.
(HRA, Series 1, Vol. XI, p. 643)

7). Prisoners of the Brampton identified in the Hunter Valley -

Ahern, Michael
Anderson, John
Bluett, Patrick
Casey, John
Claffy, Edward
Collins, Hugh
Daly, Patrick
Dawley, Jeremiah
Dawley, Timothy
Galvin, Darby
Geary, Richard
Glenny, Thomas
Grady, John
Halloran, Edward
Hogan, Peter
Horgan, Cornelius
Houlahan, Patrick
Hurley, Richard
Keane, Patrick
Kenny, Charles
Lynch, John
Malone, Edward
Markby, Joseph
McAuliffe, James
Murphy, James
Murphy, Patrick
Murray, Thomas
Neill, John
Prince, John
Rankin, James
Reddy, John
Reidy, John
Sweeney, Patrick
Tobin, Patrick
Treasure, John
Welsh, James


[1] The National Archives Reference: ADM 101/13/3 Description: Diary of the Brampton convict ship from 30 September 1822 to 28 April 1823 by Morgan Price, Surgeon and Superintendent.

[2] Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.344-345, 384

[3] UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Journal of Morgan Price on the voyage of the Brampton in 1823.The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[4] The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842) Thu 1 May 1823 Page 2

[5] East India Company Ships - Brampton