Convict Ship Countess of Harcourt 1821
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Embarked: 172 men
Voyage 99 days
Surgeon Superintendent Morgan Price
The Countess of Harcourt embarked 172 male prisoners and departed Portsmouth bound for Van Diemen's Land in April 1821.
Some of the prisoners had been tried at the Old Bailey. In February 1821 while on their way from Newgate prison to the hulk at Sheerness to await transportation, the caravan that was conveying them was attacked by rescuers......
On Monday the 5th, at about nine o'clock in the evening, a number of convicts from Newgate were put into a caravan for the purpose of being conveyed to Sheerness. Amongst the number, were the three robbers belonging to the rescue gang. The convicts at starting were perfectly decorous in their behaviour, and the caravan proceeded over Blackfriars bridge, guarded by the turnkeys, and followed by Mr. Browne, the keeper of Newgate, in a post chaise. As the caravan was going over the bridge, it was observed that there were several men following them with torches in their hands.
On descending the Surrey side of the bridge, one of the wheels of the caravan was chained; and on its arrival at the bottom of the bridge the party were met by a gang, consisting of from one to two hundred thieves, the comrades of the convicts, who surrounded the caravan, as if to take leave of them. The caravan was obliged to be stopped for a moment or two, whilst the wheel was unchained. At this moment, a corporal's guard of lancers fortunately came up to guard the caravan; but the robbers, who surrounded it, were by no means daunted at their appearance, and let fly a volley of stones at the persons who had the charge of the convicts; one large stone dashed to pieces the window of Mr. Browne's chaise, and just missed his head; the other windows were also shattered to pieces. A ruffian hurled a large stone at the lancers, which hit one of them a tremendous blow on the breast, and had nearly unhorsed him; the lancer recovering himself couched his lance at the fellow, and spurred his horse; but at the moment some stones hit the animal, which started aside, and the lance missed its aim, or the robber would have paid his life for his temerity.
Mr. Browne now, very prudently ordered the party to drive on, which they did at a brisk rate. All this took place in a few minutes; and had not the guard of lancers come up so very opportunely, no doubt the consequences would have been dreadful. The convicts behaved themselves well, and did not countenance the attack; but those who belonged to the rescue gang acknowledged, that it had been mad by their old associates, and expressed their regret at its occurrence. Many of the fellows attempted to keep up with the caravan, which , however drove too fast for them. Several women amongst the attacking party fainted, when they saw all hope of effecting a rescue was lost; the rest set up a dismal scream, and the men poured forth imprecations on the prosecutors of their comrades. After some time the whole dispersed, without attempting any further mischief....The Annual Register
Prisoners who were transferred from Newgate prison and admitted to the Bellopheron hulk moored at Sheerness on the 6th February 1821 included the following men:
Samuel Jones; John Head; William Lawrence; Robert Parker; Matthew Cooper; James Hunt; Edmund Burke; John Male; Samuel Chandler; George Allen; Thomas Munday; William Fulham; Joseph Colvin and James Farquahar. (Ancestry. Home Office: Convict Prison Hulks: Registers and Letter Books; Class: HO9; Piece: 7.)