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Convict Ship
Eliza 1822

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Embarked 160 men
Voyage 125 days
Deaths 0
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Tons: 511
Previous vessel: Mangles arrived 8 November 1822
Next vessel: Countess of Harcourt arrived 21 December 1822
Master James Hunt  
Surgeon Superintendent William Rae

The Eliza was built in Calcutta in 1806. This was her second voyage bringing convicts to New South Wales.

The Eliza was the next vessel to leave England for New South Wales after the departure of the Asia in April 1822.

William Rae received a warrant of appointment as Surgeon Superintendent on 19th June 1822 and proceeded to Deptford that same day to join the ship where the Guard, a detachment of the 3rd regiment (Buffs) commanded by Captain Archibald Clunes Innes, had already embarked.

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

Francis Mitchell, later of Maitland came as a free passenger on the Eliza 

On 30th June the ship sailed for Sheerness where 50 convicts were received from the Ganymede Hulk on 2nd July. The following morning another 55 convicts came on board from the Belleropon and the same number from the Retribution hulk at Sheerness. Sixteen boys were allotted a separate prison.   On 11 July, the surgeon recorded that all the men were allowed on deck during the day when they were frequently visited by their friends and relations. As most of them only embarked with the clothes they stood in, they were supplied with a shirt and pair of trousers each. 160 shirts and trousers were issued.

On the 16th July a packet and a bag of despatches for the Governor of New South Wales and a despatch to the master of the ship ordering the Eliza to proceed on her voyage to New South Wales were received on board. Three days later the convicts were all on deck taking a last farewell of their friends and relations. A few seemed to feel the situation deeply but the majority according to the surgeon appear to be callous and behave with that stoicism and indifference which can only be found amongst men inured to villainy and hardened with vice.

The following morning, 20th July 1822, they weighed anchor and sailed for the Downs which they came to anchor at dusk. Most of the convicts and passengers were sea sick.

Bibles, testaments and prayer books were distributed amongst the convicts and also a few books and writing implements from the surgeon's own store were given to the boys who soon made considerable improvement in their learning. The youngest prisoners were Thomas Ball (16); Murdock Chisholm (16); Benjamin Johnson (16); William McCoy (16); William McNicholl (16); William Redgate (15); James Statham (16); Matthew Sullivan(15); George Williams (14); and Joseph Windle (16).

A week after departing the Eliza struck bad weather. There were strong gales with rain from the SW with the ship pitching frighteningly and they were obliged to anchor in Dungeness.  

They reached the equator on 10 September. The Convicts were all on deck during the morning, but afterwards ordered below until the sailors and soldiers had performed the usual ceremony at crossing the equator. The prisoners, however were all very merry amongst themselves and during their temporary confinement did not let the said ceremony pass unobserved. They constituted barbers and with a little suet and shoe blacking and a bullocks rib for a razor shaved every individual in the prison. All submitting to the operation with much good humour  

On the evening of the 19 October 1822 several of the prisoners, (amateurs) in testimony of the gratitude which they felt for the liberty they had hitherto enjoyed and the various indulgences which had been granted to them since their embarkation, entertained the officers with the performance of the play Rob Roy.   They sailed close by the island of St. Pauls on 25 October and on 22 November 1822, reached Port Jackson.

One hundred and sixty male prisoners were landed in good health on 26th November 1822. They had been on board for 147 days and the voyage had taken 125 days. After landing, the convicts were assigned to various settlers and public works at Windsor, Upper Minto, Airds, Penrith, Emu Plains and Bathurst.

Twenty one men of the Eliza have been identified residing in the Hunter Valley region in later years. Select HERE to find out more about these men.  

This was William Rae's first voyage as surgeon superintendent on a convict ship. He was given an allowance of 50 for the return voyage to England and was later employed as surgeon on the convict ships Isabella in 1823, Marquis of Huntley in 1826, Prince Regent in 1827 and the Marquis of Hastings in 1828  

The Eliza departed for Batavia in January 1823. 1st Officer Mr. Hustwick; 2nd Officer Mr. Faith; 3rd Officer Mr. Robinson. Passengers John Spain, Joseph Hall, Richard Rexworthy and Joseph Brown.  

Notes & Links:

1). Archibald Clunes Innes  - Australian Dictionary of Biography

2). Obituary of Francis Mitchell....
MR. FRANCIS MITCHELL. This gentleman expired at his residence, Darlinghurst Road at 8 o'clock on Monday morning, at the advanced age of seventy-two, after a short illness. In the death of Mr. Francis Mitchell we have lost one of those early settlers of the colony, of more than half a century, that link past associations with the present time. Upwards of fifty-five years ago Mr. Mitchell came to this colony, and was for many years associated with the late Alexander Berry and Mr. Wolstencroft in business and subsequently for thirty-five years he occupied the position of senior partner of the firm of Messrs. Mitchell and Co. but some sixteen years back he retired from business, having acquired a sufficient competence, and since then his time has been principally devoted to matters of a charitable nature. For many years he was a director of the Bank of New South Wales, and up to within a few days of his death he attended to his duties as trustee of the Saving Bank, which institution lie has been connected with for more than twenty years. Personally, Mr. Mitchell was of a retiring disposition, and free from all ostentation ; while philanthropic and charitable, lie always tempered his benevolence with prudence, and in his death the colony has lost an old and valued friend, whose many acts of kindness have won for him the esteem and respect of a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. - Sydney Mail 22 July 1876

3).  Trial of Alexander Cunningham in The Edinburgh Magazine.........    



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