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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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,
Huntley in 1826,
Prince Regent in 1827 and the
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:
Archibald Clunes Innes - Australian Dictionary of Biography
2). Obituary of
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.........