Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Cambridge - 1827

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 William Gregor
Follow the Irish Convict Ship Trail
Prisoners and Passengers of the Cambridge identified in the Hunter Valley

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.[3]

Richmond Penitentiary punishments - Richmond Penitentiary Punishments

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.

Departure from Dublin

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

Surgeon William Gregor

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 on 18 June 1827 off the Island of Palma ten days after suffering from a violent episode of singultus (hiccoughs). [2]

Other men mentioned in the surgeon's journal included:

John Muckleston, age 25, private 39th regiment.

James Price aged 27, private of 39th regiment, put on the sick list 17 June while off Tenerife

George Simmonds aged 20, military convict

Thomas Shearman, aged 23, seaman

Peter Mullin aged 22, private 39th regiment

Peter Byrne, aged 30, prisoner [4]

Military Guard

Major-General Sir Patrick Lindesay - Scottish National Portrait Gallery
Major-General Sir Patrick Lindesay

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.

Arrival at Port Jackson

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.'

Muster on Board

On Wednesday 19 September, two days after arrival, the Colonial Secretary Alexander McLeay proceeded on board the Cambridge to inspect and muster prisoners prior 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 having suffered hydrothorax. 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.

Assignment of Convicts

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.

Departure from Port Jackson

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

Convicts of the Cambridge identified in the Hunter Valley -

Bannon, James
Baxter, Daniel
Bellew, Patrick
Bolen, John
Boyle, Hugh
Brannigan, Michal
Breilan, Hugh
Broderick, Peter
Brown, James
Browne, James
Browne, Michael
Bulbridge, John
Campbell, Denis
Conlan, Patrick
Creevey, Thomas
Crinion, Patrick
Cullin, Andrew
Cusack, James
Daley, Denis
Daley, Patrick
Dalton, John
Dalton, Robert
Darcy, Robert
Delaney, Patrick
Dempsey, Maurice
Donnelly, Lawrence
Donohue, Patrick
Dornan, Michael
Dowd, John
Doyle, Martin
Fagan, Owen
Fallen, Peter
Farrell, James
Farrell, Timothy
Field, Thomas
Field, William
Fitzpatrick, Hugh
Fleming, Patrick
Gage, Thomas
Gill, John
Goulding, Patrick
Guran, Thomas
Halfpenny, Henry
Halfpenny, John
Hall, Thomas
Hamill, Jacob
Hart, William
Hayden, James
Higgins, Patrick
Hogan, Daniel
Kavanagh, Lawrence
Keegan, Patrick
Kelly, John
Kelly, Patrick
Kennedy, John
Kinsella, Thomas
Madden, Henry
Magill, Henry
Malloy, Patrick
McHugh, Francis
McIntosh, John
McKenna, Michael
McNamee, Francis
Meads, William
Mullan, Francis
Murray, Edward
Neville, John
Palmer, Patrick
Purcell, Thomas
Quin, Peter
Reddy, Patrick
Reilly, James
Rogan, Richard
Rogers, Bernard
Savage, George
Tracey, Charles
Wade, Peter
Walsh, James
Whelan, John

Notes and Links

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

2). 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

3). Trials in Ireland.....

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

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

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.

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

5). 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

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

Regalia departed Dublin 16 March 1826. Lieutenant William Sacheverell Coke

England departed the Downs 6 May 1826. Major George Pitt D'Arcy

Marquis of Huntley departed Sheerness 16 May 1826 - Major Donald MacPherson

Boyne departed Cork 29 June 1826 - Captain Thomas Edward Wright

Speke departed Sheerness 8 August 1826 - Lieutenant Henry Clarence Scarman

Phoenix departed Dublin 27 August 1826 - Lieutenant Charles Cox

Albion departed Plymouth 4 October 1826 - Captain Francis Crotty

Midas departed Plymouth 16 October 1826 - Lieutenant George Meares Bowen

Mariner departed Cork 14 January 1827 - Captain Charles Sturt

Countess of Harcourt departed Dublin 14 February 1827 - Lieutenant George Sleeman; Ensign Spencer

Guildford departed Plymouth 31 March 1827 - Captain John Douglas Forbes

Manlius departed Downs 17 April 1827 - Quarter-master Benjamin Lloyd

Cambridge departed Dublin 2 June 1827 - Colonel Patrick Lindesay

Champion departed London 3 June 1827 - Ensign Reid

Bussorah Merchant departed London 27 March 1828 - Ensign W. Kennedy Child

Sophia departed Dublin 15 September 1828 departed Dublin 15 September 1828 - Major Thomas Poole

Portland departed Portsmouth on 27 November 1831.

7). SIR PATRICK LINDESAY, K.C.B., AND K.C.H was born in Musselburgh, East Lothian, Scotland on 24 February 1778, the son of Lt. Col. John Lindesay. He was educated at Edinburgh University and in 1793 joined the army as an Ensign. He served as acting governor of NSW after the departure of Governor (Sir) Ralph Darling until the arrival of Governor (Sir) Richard Bourke on 2 December 1831. He returned to England in 1836 and died in Edinburgh in 1839. Below is his obituary.

' There is a tear for all that die,
A mourner o'er the humblest grave !
But nations swell the funeral cry,
And triumph weeps above the brave.' BYRON.

By the latest arrivals we have learned, with much regret, the demise of that gallant and distinguished officer whose name appears at the head of this paragraph.

He expired at his residence, Portobello, near Edinburgh, on the 14th of last March, after, a protracted and painful illness.

Sir Patrick Lindesay entered the army in 1793, and soon after joined the 39th Regiment as a Captain, in which corps he continued to serve until his promotion to the rank of Major-General, on the 18th of January, 1837, having been at that time upwards of twelve years Lieutenant- Colonel of the regiment. He served in the West Indies, the Mediterranean, in the greater part of the Peninsula War, in North America during the last brush in l814, afterwards in the army of occupation in France, in Ireland, in New South Wales, and latterly in the East Indies - never having been on half-pay during his lengthened service.

Few officers were more generally or highly respected by those with whom he came in contact, than Sir Patrick. The General and other Officers under whom he served at various periods, universally esteemed him, and his Grace the Duke of Wellington entertained for him a strong personal regard. In his own regiment he was beloved by every one whose good opinion was worth possessing - and his inflexible integrity, and undeviating walk in the path of honor, completely set at defiance the malice of the one or two who might attempt to traduce him.

Few men possessed a higher degree of that chivalrous spirit which should ever mark the soldier than he did, and he was particularly distinguished, for his fostering and encouraging a like spirit in others; anything approaching to meanness or un- soldierlike conduct was his abhorrence, and he never hesitated in making his sentiments on such subjects known. In this Colony he will be long remembered - as, from his courteous demeanour to all classes, and his genuine hospitality, he was much beloved ; this feeling was, fully exhibited in the address which was presented to him on his embarkation for India, in July, 1832.

Until within the last few years of his life, Sir Patrick Lindesay's circumstances were by no means affluent ; but he always found means to relieve and assist such cases of real distress as were brought under his notice, and there are at this day many persons, both in the Colony and in Europe, who can amply testify that he ' did good by stealth, and blushed to find it fame.'

Shortly after his arrival in India, he was appointed to the command of the cantonment of Bangalore, where he remained until the invasion of the territory of the Rajah of Coorg, in April, 1834, when he was appointed to the chief command of the force destined for that service ; the division which he personally commanded was signally successful, owing to his prompt and judicious measures. The capital of the country (Mercara) surrendered without a blow, and the Rajah gave himself up in a few days after. The force engaged in this affair shared a considerable sum of prize money, Sir Patrick's portion being nearly ten thousand pounds.

Shortly after this, he was appointed to the command of the southern division of the Madras army, where he remained until relieved, in the end of 1835, when he determined to return to England although the Commander-in-Chief in India immediately offered him another command. Upon his departure, in March, 1836, his old corps presented him with a gold snuff box, value one hundred guineas. During his career in India he succeeded in gaining the confidence and esteem of all around him, and he will be long remembered by all who had the good fortune to serve under him.

Sir Patrick Lindesay's services during the Peninsular war were inferior to none of similar rank, and the medals and honors bestowed upon him prove that those services were duly appreciated. His career throughout was that of an honourable, high-minded soldier; and now that the grave has closed over him, his fittest monument will be found in the records of bis country- his best epitaph will be written in the hearts of those who knew him
. The Australian 1 August 1839

8). Edward Doyle, convict, was executed 8 December 1837 at Sydney Gaol having been found guilty of robbery

9). Michael Kearney, farm man from Dublin hanged in Sydney on 19 March 1834 for sodomy


[1] Minutes of the Proceedings and Evidence of the Commission of Inquiry By Ireland. Commission of Inquiry

[2] UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 Medical Journal of William Gregor on the voyage of the Cambridge in 1827. The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[3] Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.346-347, 385

[4] National Archives - Reference: ADM 101/15/5 Description: Medical journal of the Cambridge, convict ship, for 10 May to 29 September 1827 by William Gregor, Surgeon and Superintendent, during which time the said ship was employed as a transport.