Free Settler or Felon?

Convict Ship Hercules 1830

Share the story of your ancestor's life
Send an email to contribute your ancestor's story to this page (Convicts and passengers from this ship only)


Convict Ship Index    Convict Ship Surgeons    Convict Ship Conditions    Convict Ships by Year    Captains Index     Resources 

Select from the Links below to find information about Convict Ships arriving in New South Wales, Norfolk Island and Van Diemen's Land between the years 1788 and 1850

A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J-K
 L    M    N-O    P-Q    R    S    T-V    W-Y

Embarked: 200 men
Voyage: 121 days
Deaths: 1
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Tons: 482
Crew: 38 men
Previous vessel: Lord Melville arrived 21 October 1830
Next vessel: Royal Admiral arrived 8 November 1830
Captain William Vaughan  
Surgeon Superintendent William Martin
Follow the Irish Convict Ship Trail

The Hercules transported convicts to New South Wales in 1825, 1830 and 1832.  

Prisoners came from counties and cities throughout Ireland including Carlow, Down, Antrim, Armagh, Roscommon, Louth, Fermanagh and Dublin.   The Belfast Newsletter reported the method used to convey some of them to the ship at Dublin.....

On Thursday 13th May 1830 three cart loads of convicts, who were sentenced to transportation at last Assizes, passed through Belfast, escorted by a party of soldiers, on their way from Carrickfergus to Dublin. On turning Linen-Hall street, they gave three hearty cheers, which were as heartily repeated by the populace. (3)  
Crimes committed included rape, burglary, highway robbery, house breaking, stealing pigs & horses, pocket picking, embezzlement and desertion. Some were convicted of committing murder at the Macken Riot at Fermanagh which took place in July 1829.

The story of the "Macken Fight," written by Michael McManus,  YDNA Project.......

The New Reformation of 1827 was a Protestant movement against Catholic emancipation in Ireland and it had sprung up at the end of 1826 in County Cavan. Apart from denying them emancipation many Protestants wanted to convert Catholics and.... 450 Catholics were converted in Cavan where they publicly renounced their faith in various Protestant churches. The movement obviously caused much friction in the communities and one side acted as badly as the other - Protestants tried to force Catholics to conform and Catholics tried to persuade ex-Catholics to return to Catholicism. The New Reformation movement spread to Fermanagh and Lord Enniskillen was one of its great supporters. According to one account, he ordered his Catholic tenants to attend Protestant church services or be evicted from their land. Three families, the Duffys, the Maguires and the MacManus', must have refused because they were evicted and settled in the hilly terrain at Ruscaw. So, at the time of the Macken Riot there was a polarisation of the usual religious and political conflict which had been going on in Ireland for many centuries. 

The Freeman's Journal tells of the fate of some of the prisoners after the trials -

The Battle of Macken - The Montgomeries and McManus' who were sentenced by Judge Jebb to be handed at Enniskillen on Thursday last and whose lives the Duke of Northumberland has been graciously pleased to spare, by commuting their sentence to transportation for life, were brought up on the outside of the Cavan day coach yesterday and sent off to the hulk at Kingstown. We trust the ferment excited in Fermanagh by the trials of those men, and the unfortunate McManus who was executed last week, will induce his Grace to postpone the trial of the other fifteen Catholics who are in prison for the same crime of which they were found guilty. (1)  Select here to find the names of the men who were convicted of murder at Fermanagh on 23rd March 1830.

Altogether twenty-eight men were conveyed from Enniskillen jail to the Kingstown hulk - 14 were the Macken rioters; 3 for maliciously throwing a horse down a precipice, 3 for horse and cow stealing; 3 for burglary, 2 for attempt at highway robbery, 2 for cutting down Colonel Barton's plantation, and 1 for stealing wearing apparel etc., from a care taker of Sir Henry Brooke's. (4)  

William Martin kept a Medical Journal from 22 May to 22 November 1830 during which time the ship was employed in a passage from Deptford to Kingston and from there to Sydney in New South Wales......

On 13 June 1830 the Hercules arrived in Kingston harbour. A few days prior to her sailing, some of the convicts on board the Essex hulk, stationed at Kingston, set fire to that vessel in three places, close to the water. The flames were fortunately suppressed, and all on board, being upwards of three hundred prisoners, were transmitted, for better security to the Hercules, which had then but recently arrived in the harbour, to convey some of them to New South Wales.

The Standard reported the incident on 17 June - The Essex Hulk stationed in Kingston harbour is on fire and nearly consumed! A number of convicts are on board. The sloop of war Trincolo, and the revenue brig Shamrock, with some transports, have sent all their boats to the assistance of the unfortunate prisoners; and a strong force of horse and foot police from the city has been ordered off to Kingston. The Essex was an American Frigate of 36 guns, and was taken during the late war at Valparaiso, by his Majesty's frigate Phoebe, of 36 guns commanded by Captain Hillier.

Two hundred men were embarked on the Hercules. Of these nearly 60 were under 20 years of age; about one half from 20 to 30; and the remainder between that and 70. The city and county of Dublin furnished more than one half of the number including a large proportion of the boys, several of whom, even of the boys, had made serious inroads on their constitutions by their previous irregularities and excesses. (2)  

The youngest convicts were James Boyd (14), Francis Byrne (14), John Collin (13), James Connolly (alias Henry Fulham) (14) and John Vaughan (13).  

The guard consisted of a detachment of the 17th regt., who were accompanied by 4 women and 3 children under the Command of Major J.W. Bouverie and Lieutenant C.W. Finch. Select here to find convict ships bringing detachments of the 17th regiment.

By the time the Hercules departed Dublin on 3rd July 1830, the surgeon had time to establish a little order and cleanliness amongst the prisoners...........

Immediately after breakfast, when the weather permitted, they were turned up leaving a sufficient number below to clean the prison though roughly, and then joined their companions as soon as their work was properly done. They were kept up during the day and frequently dined on the deck in fine weather. During the voyage the same system was adhered to, only it was necessary to shelter them as much as practicable, from the sun within the tropics, and from the cold on proceeding to the Southward. We had little serious sickness during the voyage but among men so little accustomed to the use of animal food of any description, the change of diet, on proceeding to sea, naturally produced considerable and very general constipation of the bowels, and on approaching the Tropics many slight cases of fever appeared.   On rounding the Cape of Good Hope on the 15th Sept and afterwards proceeding to the Southward, the weather became cold and the thermometer, at one time came down so low as 40 degrees. Catarrhal affections then prevailed, but generally were so slight as to require little or no medical treatment.(2)  

The Hercules arrived in Port Jackson on Sunday 31st October or 1st November 1830. One hundred and ninety-nine prisoners arrived, one man by the name of Michael White having died on the passage out. The Hercules brought news of the death of King George the Fourth.  

The Captain gave the prisoners an excellent character. They were mustered on board by the Colonial Secretary on 4th November 1830 and were to be landed on Monday 15th November 1830.    

Notes & Links:  

1). Hunter Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Hercules in 1830  

2). Names of the men who were convicted of murder at Fermanagh on 23 March 1830....Patrick McManus, Thomas Montgomerie, Patrick Montgomerie, James McManus, Patrick McCaffrey, Michael McConnell, Daniel Murphy, Terence McHugh, John Droogan, James Keenan, Thomas Kerrin (Carron), Brian Rooney, Patrick Rooney.  

3). County of Down Assizes - Downpatrick - Tuesday, March 30....William McQuilkin, for stealing a mare, the property of John McGreavy, guilty - sentence of death recorded; William Campbell, for stealing in August last, at Banbridge, a sum of money from the person of Patrick Hillan, guilty - to be transported for seven years. George Murphy for stealing three dozen horn combs, the property of James Lamb, in February last, guilty - transportation for seven years. Thomas Sheeran and Thomas Maguire, for stealing a pair of stockings and two pounds of bacon, the property of James Donnelly, on 31st January, guilty - transportation for seven years - Belfast Newsletter 2 April 1830.  

4). On Monday evening David Moore, one of the four persons who escaped out of Cavan gaol, by scaling the walls of the prison about eight months ago was lodged there by a party of police. The unfortunate man had been under rule of transportation for stealing timber from Alexander Saunderson, sq., M.P., from whom, as boatman, he enjoyed a handsome salary and a neat residence. He was apprehended at Roslea in Fermanagh, by one of the police at that station. After his escape from prison, he got off in a merchant vessel for America, and rendered himself so useful on board by assisting in working the ship, that his passage money was returned to him, and he engaged as a sailor. The vessel on her return from Hull, for which place she had been freighted, was wrecked off Cork, and Moore then came to the neighbourhood of Roslea to see his wife, where he was recognised and apprehended He has since been committed to the hulk at at Kingstown to undergo his former sentence. This man is the third of the party retaken. - Freemans Journal 22 January 1830.

5).  Return of Convicts of the Hercules assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 28 June 1832; 5 July 1832).....
Thomas Byrne  Silk Weaver assigned to John Cobb at Hunter's River
James Gregory  Locksmith assigned to Charles Wilkins in Sydney
James Mahony  Gunsmith assigned to John Larnach at Patrick Plains
Thomas McKenna or Kennon  Mason. Assigned to Robert and Helenus Scott at Hunter's River
Michael Quinlon  Cooper assigned to Francis Allman at Maitland

6). Convict Ships bringing detachments of the 17th regiment........

Date/Place of Departure Vessel Officer of the Guard
30 September 1829 Sheerness Dunvegan Castle Lieut. John Grey
14 October 1829 Spithead Katherine Stewart Forbes Major Fairtclough 63rd regt.,
5 December 1829 Sheerness Mermaid Lieutenant Isaac Blackburn
1 January 1830 Cork Forth 1 Captain James Oliphant Clunie
1 January 1830 Sheerness Nithsdale Captain Robert G. Moffatt
8 April 1830 Portsmouth Lady Feversham Lieutenant  Harvey 29th regt.,
9 April 1830 Sheerness Marquis of Huntley Lieutenant Watson 20th regt.,
27 April 1830 Portsmouth Adrian Ensign Reynolds
6 June 1830 Downs Lord Melville Lieutenant Robert Graham
3 July 1830 Dublin Hercules Major J.W. Bouverie
5 July 1830 Portsmouth Royal Admiral Captain John Church
27 July 1830 Plymouth Burrell Captain John Alexander Edwards
28 August 1830 Cork Andromeda Captain Charles Forbes
4 September 1830 Sheerness York Lieut-Col. Henry Despard
17 October 1830 Cork Edward Captain Duds
10 May 1832 Cork Eliza II Lieutenant Hewson 4th regiment


(1). Freeman's Journal 3rd April 1830  

(2). UK Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Original data: Medical Journals (ADM 101, 804 bundles and volumes). The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.  

(3). Belfast Newsletter 18 May 1830  

(4). Belfast Newsletter 4 May 1830


web counter