Convict Ship Competitor 1828
|Embarked: 99 women
Voyage: 119 days
Surgeon's Journal - Yes
Countess of Harcourt arrived 8 September 1828
Marquis of Hastings arrived 12 October 1828
Female Convict Ship Trail
was the next convict ship to leave England for New
South Wales after the departure of the
Countess of Harcourt in May 1828. The
previous female transport to leave England was the
in August 1827.
departed London on 13 June 1828 she took with her 99
female prisoners and twenty children gathered from
different parts of Britain - Bristol, Chester,
Stafford, Lancaster, Oxford, Durham, Gloucester,
London, Carmarthen, Monmouth etc.
were forwarded to London from county prisons or held
in Newgate prior to embarking on the Competitor.
Among them were 47 year old Elizabeth Fisher and her
daughter Anne age 13. The case was reported in the
Eliza Young, aged fourteen,
convicted on 4 indictments of stealing different
articles of linen drapery, from the shops of Mr.
Hutchinson and Mr. Smith at Gloucester and was
sentenced to two separate punishments of seven years
transportation each; also similarly sentenced -
Elizabeth Fisher, Anne Fisher age 13 and Mary
Woodcock for receiving the property stolen by Eliza
Young knowing it to have been so obtained. Ann
Fisher was assigned to Nicholas Divine on arrival
and her mother Elizabeth to
Twenty children are
mentioned arriving on the Competitor. They
included four children of Esther Bowman whose
husband was expected to arrive as a seaman on the
Marquis of Hastings. Catherine Ragan
had three children with her; Elizabeth Mortimer two
children with her; Sarah Mears one child with her;
Mary Haley two children with her; Ann Jarvis had one
child with her; Elizabeth Cooper two children with
her; Amy Buckley had one child with her. Many left
children behind in England.
Thomas Hunter kept
a Medical Journal from 31st May to 20 October 1828
He recorded that the prisoners were generally
healthy - there were no attacks of dysentery, scurvy
or fevers of an infectious kind. The illness of Jane
Burt was the only case of importance; she suffered
'the most determined visceral inflammation' the
surgeon had ever witnessed.
From the Cape
of Good Hope until the coast of New Holland hard
gales constantly kept the Competitor
shipping large quantities of water, making the lower
deck very uncomfortable. Fires were kept burning
constantly and the ventilating stove used. The
surgeon found 'the long range of funnel' supplied to
prison ships extremely useful and moved it from one
side to another of the prison, on alternate days, to
distribute the warmth.
The women found the
bad weather hard to bear. Elizabeth Cooper aged 36
suffered with sea sickness between July and October.
She was reported to be dying and when Thomas Hunter
examined her he found her 'countenance expressive
of the utmost debility, her skin cold and moist,
hardly any pulsation at the wrist... great
oppression about the praecordia, difficulty of
breathing and her extremities were cold'.
There were accidents as well for Thomas Hunter to
deal with. Five year old Thomas Hayley, son of Mary
Hayley was seriously injured when he fell ten feet
down the main hatchway and hit his head on a water
cask and Harriet Williams, aged 24 was lucky to
survive after being struck by the end of a spar
being used for hauling in salt water while she was
seated on the leeside of the quarter deck.
The Competitor arrived in Port Jackson
on 10 October 1828. On Saturday 11th October the
Colonial Secretary Alexander McLeay boarded the
vessel to muster the women prior to landing. The
indents record the name, age, education, religion,
marital status, family, native place, trade or
calling, when and where tried, sentence, former
convictions, how disposed of (assignment) and
physical description. The indents of the
Competitor contain more information than most
including occasional details of husbands and
colonial circumstances. The descriptions of some of
the women are also more informative than many
indents. As well as the usual complexion and colour
of eyes, hair etc there are also extra notes, and so
it is revealed that.........
from Portsmouth had a good countenance; Ann
Griffiths from Ludlow was good looking; Margaret
Beveridge had a good countenance; Elizabeth Austin
from Manchester was brazen looking; Elizabeth Cheers
from Chester had a good countenance; Ann Copeland
from London had a face full of scars; Maria Howells
had a good countenance; Elizabeth Mortimer was
melancholy; Frances Moore from Kent had a deep scar
across her nose and was vile looking; Ellen Pearse
had a good countenance; Hannah Smith had bad teeth;
Ann Thomas good countenance; Mary Woodcock had a
prim countenance; Frances Wright had a red nose; Ann
Walters had heavy eyebrows; Harriet Williams and
Jane Walsh were pregnant.
On arrival the
women were assigned to various settlers and
townsfolk whose names are recorded in the indents
but not their residence. Nineteen women,
probably some of those children were sent to the
Factory at Parramatta.
Competitor was reported to have sailed for
Manilla on 10th November 1828.
1). Seventeen convict ships arrived in New South
Wales in 1828 -
Marquis of Huntley,
Countess of Harcourt, Competitor,
Marquis of Hastings,
City of Edinburgh,
2). The Competitor
was one of three convict ships bringing female
prisoners to New South Wales in 1828, the others
Elizabeth and the
City of Edinburgh.
A total of 471 female convicts arrived in the colony
in the year 1828.
3). About twenty
prisoners were sent to the Hunter Valley region.
HERE to find more about convicts / passengers of
4). Report from the Female
Factory at Parramatta 1828: