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Convict Ship Lord Melville 1830

Embarked: 176 men
Voyage: 137 days
Deaths 0
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Forth arrived 12 October 1830
Next vessel: Hercules arrived 1 November 1830
Captain Robert Brown
Surgeon Superintendent George Roberts

The Lord Melville, 425 tons, was built at Quebec in 1825 and owned by Nelson and Co. [2] Convicts were transported on the Lord Melville to New South Wales in 1829 and this voyage in 1830.  


Prisoners were embarked at Sheerness between the 19th and 21st May 1830 and the Lord Melville departed the Downs on 6th June 1830.


The guard consisted of a detachment of 17th Regiment under the orders of Lieut. Robert Graham. Select here to find convict ships bringing detachments of the 17th regiment.


George Roberts kept a Medical Journal from 7 May 1830 to 8th November 1830. He remarked that the prisoners' health on embarkation was good and that after a short time on board their appearance improved and there was little sickness amongst them. There were no deaths of prisoners on the voyage out.  [1]

George Roberts was also surgeon superintendent on the Gilmore which departed London 27 November 1831 and arrived in Van Diemen's Land 22 March 1832; the Heroine which departed Portsmouth 15 May 1833 and arrived at Port Jackson 19th September 1833; the Waterloo to Hobart in 1835 and the Waterloo from Dublin to Port Jackson in 1836.


The Lord Melville arrived in Port Jackson on Thursday evening 22nd October 1830


A muster was held on board by the Colonial Secretary Alexander Macleay on 25th October 1830. The convict indents record each convict's name, age, religion, education, marital status, family, native place, trade, offence, prior conviction, place and date of trial, physical description and where assigned. There are also occasional notes such as dates of death, colonial sentences and tickets of leave.  


On 6th November the Lord Melville was driven onto a mud bank but sustained no damage. She departed Port Jackson late November bound for Calcutta with two detachments of the 57th regiment.  


1). Seventy-four men who arrived on the Lord Melville have so far been identified residing in the Hunter Region in the following decades. Hunter Valley convicts arriving on the Lord Melville in 1830  

2). Prisoner John Burroughs (Burrows) a cloth dresser from Leeds escaped from the colony, re-captured and sentenced to life for returning from transportation. He was returned to NSW on the Waterloo in 1833.

3). Convict Joseph Vale (alias Wale) who arrived on the Lord Melville and Mary Thornton who arrived on the Surry were executed in 1844 for the murder of Mary's husband John Thornton....Read an account of the murder in the Maitland Mercury.

4). Samuel Caldwell arrived with the military guard on the Lord Melville. He joined the mounted police in New South Wales. By 1841 he was Chief Constable at Muswellbrook. He took over the Albert Hotel in Aberdeen in 1846

5). According to the indents the following prisoners' relatives were already in the colony:

Alexander Burnett's cousin James Dodds came as gardener to Sir Thomas Brisbane.
William Devine had two brothers Michael and John Devine alias Leonard who had arrived 2 years previously
Michael Emmerson's wife Hannah Emmerson arrived on the Roslin Castle in 1830.
Benjamin Hodgson's brother William Hodgson arrived three years previously on the Asia
Ambrose Riley's brother Thomas Riley a former soldier was in VDL
John Sweeney was related to William Crowe a bricklayer and John Dwyer a stone mason both in Sydney
William Timms' brother John Timms a soldier of the 40th regiment in the colony
William Wall's sister Elizabeth Higginbotham arrived on the Lucy Davidson in 1829

6). Eight prisoners had been convicted in Scotland......

Alexander Burnett was tried in Jedburgh. (accompanied Sir Thomas Mitchell's expedition.)
David Denny in Glasgow
Peter Flynn in Inverary
Archibald Gibson in Glasgow
James Law in Glasgow
Alexander Kinnaird tried in Edinburgh
Daniel McGregor
Charles McDevett

7). Return of Convicts of the Lord Melville assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 28 June 1832; 5 July 1832).....

Richard Candy - Brass finisher assigned to William Long in Sydney
John Kilpatrick - Book binder assigned to William McGarvie at Sydney
John Kilpatrick - Book binder assigned to William Moffat at Sydney
Samuel Knowles - Blacksmith's apprentice. Assigned to James Scarnell at Wilberforce
Thomas Miller - Blacksmith assigned to John Lamb in Sydney
James Palmer - Cabinet maker assigned to Berry and Co. in Sydney

8). 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 Deeds
10 May 1832 Cork Eliza II Lieutenant Hewson 4th regiment



[1] UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 Medical Journal of George Roberts on the voyage of the Lord Melville in 1830. 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