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Convict Ship Cambridge 1827 

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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.

J -K L M N - O P - Q R S T - V W - Y

Embarked 200 men
Voyage 107 days
Deaths 2
Surgeon's Journal - Yes
Previous vessel: Manlius arrived 11 August 1827
Next vessel: Harmony arrived 27 September 1827
Master Richard Pearce.  
Surgeon Superintendent William Gregor

Follow the Irish Convict Ship Trail

The Cambridge was moored in Kingston Harbour on 14 May 1827. She was the next convict ship to leave Ireland bound for New South Wales after the departure of the Countess of Harcourt in February 1827.

The Cambridge departed Dublin on 2 June 1827 and called at Tenerife about 17th June.  

William Gregor kept a Medical Journal from 10th May to 29th September 1827. He reported that in June the weather was beautifully fine and in the latter part very hot with sultry calms. For almost all of July the weather was excessively hot with frequent squalls from the westward. During August up until the middle of September the weather was inclement and at this time there were no less than fifty-eight cases of diarrhoea which William Gregor attributed to the change in weather. Two of the prisoners under his care died on the voyage. The first Thomas Cullen was already ill when he embarked. He was put on the sick list one day after sailing and died from phthisis on 27th August. The second death was that of Thomas Gately from Ireland. He had to speak through an interpreter as he was unable to speak any language but his own. He died ten days after suffering from a violent episode of singultus (hiccoughs).  

Some of the prisoners had been incarcerated for quite some time before transportation. John Bulbridge was tried in Limerick in 1824 and was about 14 years old at the time. He was sent to the Richmond General Penitentiary which had been established in 1820 in Grangegorman, Dublin as an alternative to transportation. It was part of an experiment into a penitentiary system to specialise in reform rather than punishment. There were accusations of unspeakable cruelty and proselytism and a Commission of Enquiry was ordered in which John Bulbridge was mentioned........

At one time a pistol was fired into the cell of a convict who was in solitary confinement - he was John Bulbridge. Mr. John McCloy, keeper, was present, and said, "For God's sake, don't take the boy's life". This man was dismissed, as he was not sufficiently active in the work of Proselytism. (

The Head Quarters and Band of the 39th regiment came on the Cambridge. Colonel Patrick Lindesay arrived as a passenger, bringing with him a second Band to the Colony, reported by the Monitor to be inferior to none which preceded it.  Passengers included Captain Dunford and wife.

Select here to find other convict ships bringing detachments of the 39th regiment to New South Wales.

The Cambridge arrived in Port Jackson 17 September 1827 with 198 prisoners.    The Colony was always anxious to hear news from home. The Sydney Gazette reported that ....... 'in order to procure the Papers we undertook and accomplished a journey of 32 miles in less than three hours as soon as news that the Cambridge had come to an anchor.'

On Wednesday 19 September, two days after arrival, the Colonial Secretary proceeded on board the Cambridge to inspect and muster the prisoners preparatory to their disembarkation. He found all of the men in good health. The convict indents reveal the name, age, education, religion, marital status, family, native place, offence, date and place of trial, sentence, prior convictions, physical description and where and to whom assigned on arrival. There is also occasional information such as colonial sentences and deaths.  One man Bryan Murphy was sent to the hospital on shore on arrival. He died on 2nd October 1827.

There were fifteen prisoners under the age of 16 years of age. The youngest were Patrick Delany, John Hore, William Moore and Patrick Palmer who were all only 14 years of age.

Five of the men were assigned to the Australian Agricultural Company on arrival - John Gill, Thomas Gage, William Hart, Patrick Fleming and Peter Fallon. They were probably sent to the Port Stephens district or Liverpool Plains to work as shepherds and hut keepers. Another, Simon Meney was assigned to Allan Cunningham on arrival. Cunningham had returned from his exploration to the north in July 1827.  

The Cambridge was to leave for Batavia and Singapore under Captain Pearce early in October    

Notes & Links:

1). William Gregor was also employed as surgeon on the convict ship Royal George in 1828

2). Hunter Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Cambridge 1827

3). Richmond Penitentiary punishments...........  

4). The Commission - The following are the sentences passed at the close of the late Commission: (Extract).....Patrick Keegan for having in his possession forged Bank notes - Fourteen years' transportation - Freeman's Journal 8 November 1826  

5). Doran, Brown and Halfpenny, who were at last Downpatrick assizes, sentenced to be executed for a burglary in the dwelling house of Mrs. Pilkington at Moyallen, have had their sentence commuted to transportation for life. Belfast Newsletter 27 April 1827  

6). Carlow - John Lawless, for stealing a mule, car, pack of feathers and quills, the property of James Cummins, - Guilty, to be transported for 7 years. - William Moore, a small boy, but an experienced pick pocket, was indicted for stealing eleven half crowns and 1s 6d from a man's pocket, at the fair of Myshall, on the 14th September last. When the fellow was detected,, the prosecutor's purse was found concealed in a pocket in the back of prisoner's trowsers - guilty, to be transported for 7 years.- Finns Leinster Journal 11 April 1827.  

7). Seventeen convict ships arrived in New South Wales in 1827 - Grenada, Brothers, Albion, Midas, Mariner, Countess of Harcourt, Guildford, Marquis of Hastings, Princess Charlotte, Manlius, Cambridge, Harmony, Prince Regent, Champion, Eliza, John and the Louisa  

8).  Return of Convicts of the Cambridge assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 21 June 1832; 5 July 1832).....

Patrick Delaney Stone cutter assigned to George Blaxland at Hunters River
John Dowd Dyer. Assigned to Thomas Wood at Wollombi
James Fairley Stone cutter assigned to J.T. Hughes at Sydney
James Farrell Labourer assigned to James McDougall at Darlington
Patrick Higgins Butcher assigned to T.V. Bloomfield at Maitland
Thomas Purcell Seaman assigned to John Thomson at Wollombi
Bernard Rogers Farmer's man assigned to William Dun at Paterson Plains

9). Convict ships bringing detachments of the 39th regiment included the following............

Departed Vessel Command
Dublin 16 March 1826 Regalia Lieutenant William Sacheverell Coke
Downs 6 May 1826 England Major George Pitt D'Arcy
Sheerness 16 May 1826 Marquis of Huntley Major Donald MacPherson
Cork 29 June 1826 Boyne Captain Thomas Edward Wright
Sheerness 8 August 1826 Speke Lieutenant Henry Clarence Scarman
Dublin 27 August 1826 Phoenix Lieutenant Charles Cox
Plymouth 4 October 1826 Albion Captain Francis Crotty
Plymouth 16 October 1826 Midas Lieutenant George Meares Bowen
Cork 14 January 1827 Mariner Captain Charles Sturt
Dublin 14 February 1827 Countess of Harcourt Ensign Spencer
Plymouth 31 March 1827 Guildford Captain John Douglas Forbes
Downs 17 April 1827 Manlius Quarter-master Benjamin Lloyd
Dublin 2 June 1827 Cambridge Colonel Patrick Lindesay
London 3 June 1827 Champion Ensign Reid
London 27 March 1828 Bussorah Merchant Ensign W. Kennedy Child
Dublin 15 September 1828 Sophia Major Thomas Poole



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