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Convict Ship Katherine Stewart Forbes 1830
Embarked: 200 men
Voyage: 127 days
Deaths: 1
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Tons: 473
Crew: 53 men
Previous vessel: James Pattison arrived 20 January 1830
Next vessel: Dunvegan Castle arrived 30 March 1830  
Captain Thomas Canney
Surgeon Superintendent Patrick McTernan

The Katherine Stewart Forbes was built in 1818 and weighed 473 tons. She transported convicts to Australia on this voyage in 1830 (NSW) and to Van Diemen's Land in 1832.  

Having been fitted up for the voyage ahead, the Katherine Stewart Forbes arrived in Portsmouth on 30th September 1829 to embark prisoners.

The prisoners had been tried in the following counties in England - London, Essex, Lancaster, Worcester, Norfolk, Surrey, Middlesex, Southampton, York, Wiltshire, Warwick, Berks, Sussex, Suffolk, Hereford, Leicester, Chester,  Oxford, Northampton. From county gaols they were taken to various hulks where they were incarcerated until transferred to the Katherine Stewart Forbes.  James Bulger, William Mason and John Kerman had been tried at the Old Bailey on 11 June and sent to the York Hulk; others were sent to the Leviathan. They were all embarked on the Katherine Stewart Forbes on 2nd October 1829.


The Katherine Stewart Forbes departed Plymouth on 18th October 1829.


Major Fairtclough of 63rd Regiment commanded the Guard. The Guard consisted of Ensign Jones of the 63rd and paymaster Foster of the 63rd as well as 1 sergeant., 1 corporal, 18 privates and two women of 17th Regiment and a sergeant, corporal, drummer and three women and four children of the 63rd regiment. Select here to find convicts ships bringing detachments of the 63rd regiment.


This was Patrick McTernan's third voyage as surgeon superintendent of a convict ship. He kept a Medical Journal from 18 September 1829 to 2 March 1830........

The general system of cleanliness adopted and the minute and unceasing attention paid to ventilating and cleaning the prison as well as to the personal comforts of the prisoners have in this instance been followed by the most gratifying results again. For to these circumstances must be attributed what I at present consider an unusual fact that out of so many men congregated from different jails; of different idiosyncratic habits and confined within the narrow space of a ship's lower deck with wet and damp, only thirty-six should be put on the sick list in the space of five months and only five of those cases of a serious nature.  

Convicts of the Katherine Stewart Forbes mentioned in Patrick McTernan's journal included
Richard Hales (Hailes),
Samuel Stains,
Charles Tennant,
John Martin,
William Curtis,
John Smith,
Samuel Lee (Lea),
Edward Botfield (Bosfield),
Robert Gaye (Gage),
William Roebuck (Rowbuck),
George Stotter,
William Nicholls,
Philip Dignum,
George Emberson,
John Ware,
William Hodges,
Charles Hardingham,
John Daltry and
John Vincent

Patrick McTernan was also employed as surgeon on the convict ships Mariner in 1827, Manlius to Van Diemen's Land in 1828 and the Dunvegan Castle in 1832.


The Katherine Stewart Forbes arrived in Port Jackson on 18 February 1830 with 199 male prisoners, one, William Rowbuck having died of epilepsy on the passage out ;


The prisoners were mustered on board by Colonial Secretary Alexander McLeay. Convict indents record each prisoner's name, age, religion, education, marital status, family, native place, trade, offence, date and place of trial, former convictions, physical description and to whom the men were assigned on arrival. There is also occasional information regarding conditional pardons and deaths. The youngest prisoners on the voyage were sixteen years old.  

On 23rd February 1830, the Sydney Gazette published an address written by the grateful prisoners to Patrick McTernon........

This gentleman, the Surgeon Superintendent of the Katherine Stewart Forbes, is now here on his third visit in that responsible capacity; and from the kind and skilful manner in which he has discharged the duties of his office, he has not only preserved the best order and discipline among the prisoners, but received their public and unanimous thanks. We have much pleasure in publishing the following address from the men brought out by the above named ship:

To Dr. McTernan, Honoured Sir, The undersigned being sensible of your great goodness, humbly solicit you to receive our united and grateful acknowledgments of our satisfaction with your whole conduct towards us. But if more to particularise our sentiments may be at all acceptable, we beg to inform you that we highly approve of the excellent discipline you maintain among us, as well as your reluctance to punish, it being apparent that your constant study is to render our situation as comfortable as well can be, not giving encouragement to the tale bearer, but greatly stimulating the sober minded to piety.

And by no means must we omit to mention the high esteem we have of the important and well directed sermons you delivered to us on the Sabbaths; trusting they will be as bread cast on the waters, to be found after many days. Several of the illiterate among us have been taught to read, and many to say their church catechisms. Your unremitting attention to these subjects is characteristic of a heart fraught with benevolence. We therefore beg of you to receive our united and sincere thanks for so much goodness towards us. That the blessing of the Almighty may rest upon you through time, and in the end thereof receive you to joy unspeakable, is the prayer of your devoted humble servants,
The Prisoners On Board The Katherine Stewart Forbes.


Some of convicts of the Katherine Stewart Forbes were assigned to settlers in the Williams River district - Joseph Rookin, Grayson Hartley, John Mann, Lawrence Myles, William Dun, Alexander Warren and William Foster; and to Paterson to J.P. Webber and Samul Adair. In Maitland Luke Lamb was assigned to Lieut. Wood. Others were assigned to work for the Australian Agricultural Company.   There was no place of assignment against Phillip Dignum who gave his occupation as clerk. He may have been sent to the 'Valley of the Swells', Wellington Valley.


1). Prisoners and passengers of the Katherine Stewart Forbes identified in the Hunter Valley

2). Jonathon Jones was executed for highway robbery in Sydney in 1833.

3). Return of Convicts of the Katherine Stewart Forbes assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 21 June 1832; 28 June 1832).....

George Cooper - Wheelwright assigned to Alexander Turner at Argyle
James Crossley - Stone Cutter assigned to W.P. Faithful at Goulburn Plains
William Carr - Ploughs etc., assigned to Henry Butsworth at Sydney
James Holmes - Labourer assigned to John Betts at Parramatta
John Kiernan - Whitesmith and bell hanger. Assigned to A.L. Pattison at Sydney
William Lupton - Pit sawyer assigned to Cornelius O'Brien at Illawarra
Joseph Moore - Nailer. Assigned to Mary Raine at Parramatta
Thomas McDonald - Tailor. Assigned to P. Atchison in Sydney

4). Ships bringing detachments of the 63rd regiment -

Albion departed Sheerness 1 June 1828 - Lieut. M. Vickery
Eliza departed London 29 June 1828 - Major Sholto Douglas
Marquis of Hastings departed 30 June 1828 - Ensign Stulbmer
Royal George departed Spithead 26 August 1828 - Captain J. Briggs
Vittora departed Devonport1 September 1828 - Lieut. Aubyn
Governor Ready departed Cork 21 September 1828 - Lieut. J. Gibbons Lane
Ferguson departed Dublin 16 November 1828 - Captain D'Arcy Wentworth
Mellish departed Falmouth 2 January 1829 - Captain Baylee
Lord Melville departed London 5 January 1829 - Lieut-Col. Burke
Waterloo departed London 14 March 1829 - Lieut. T. Grove
America departed Woolwich 8 April 1829 - Adjutant T. Montgomery
Norfolk departed Spithead 22 May 1829 - Ensign W.J. Darling
Guildford departed Dublin 12 July 1829 - Lieut McLean 89th
Larkins departed Cork 16 August 1829 - Captain Mahon
Claudine departed London 24 August 1829 - Captain Paterson
Sarah departed London 29 August 1829 - Lieut. Croly
Dunvegan Castle departed 30 September 1829 - Lieut. John Gray
Katherine Stewart Forbes departed Spithead 14 October 1829 - Major Fairtclough

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

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


[1] UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857.  The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[2] Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.348-349, 386

[3] - New South Wales Government. Bound manuscript indents, 17881842. NRS 12188, microfiche 614619,626657, 660695. State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia.