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Convict Ship Nithsdale 1830 


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(Convicts and passengers from this ship only)

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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.

J -K L M N - O P - Q R S T - V W - Y

Embarked: 184 men
Voyage: 131 days
Deaths: 1
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Tons: 414
Crew: 32 men
Previous vessel: Mermaid arrived 6 May 1830
Next vessel: Roslin Castle arrived 29 June 1830
Captain Thomas Christian
Surgeon Superintendent Robert Malcolm
The Nithsdale was built at St. John's in 1826......

The Nithsdale sailed from Bombay on 8th March 1829, made St. Helena 19th June and arrived off the port at Dover on 17th August 1829.  Carpenters would have then started to fit the ship out in readiness to receive prisoners.

Prisoners to be transported on the Nithsdale came from counties throughout England and Scotland. After being transferred from county gaols and Newgate, they were held on prison hulks to await transportation.

On the 9th December 1829, sixty male convicts were received from the Justitia and Ganymede hulks at Woolwich, and on the 18th, sixty four were received from the Retribution at Sheerness. On the 19th another sixty were received from the Dolphin at Chatham, making a total of 184 men.


At Sheerness on 1st January 1830, the Nithsdale weighed anchor and made for Deal under a N.W. wind . They reached Deal on the 3rd January and departed from there soon afterwards.

This was Robert Malcolm's second voyage as surgeon superintendent of a convict ship. He kept a Medical Journal from 9 November 1829 to 21 May 1830.  All the prisoners were examined by Robert Malcolm previous to their embarkation and found to be in a healthy state. During the voyage almost everyone experienced an attack of diarrhoea, in some cases very severe. Other illnesses included ophthalmia, fever and apoplexy. However mostly the prisoners remained healthy, one only dying of apoplexy. Robert Malcolm was proud of the achievement of bringing a healthy ship into port.......

Some fifty years ago it would scarcely have been credited that a vessel some hundred tons burthen with two hundred and fifty persons on board would ever be able to perform a voyage of 132 days duration and to disembark the persons in a state of perfect health at its conclusion without the loss of more than one man.

The Guard was commanded by Captain Robert Moffatt of the 17th Regiment and Ensign Tobin. Mrs. Moffatt and Miss Singer, a friend of Mrs. Moffatt came as passengers. The Guard consisted of a total of 29 commissioned officers and privates of the 17th regiment together with four women and three children. 

Members of the 17th regt., mentioned in the surgeon's journal included Dennis Leary, John Keating, Benjamin Cooper, Dennis Kelly, Thomas Wall, Jonathon Bean, Thomas Carr, William Smith, John Pigot, Michael Whalen, Lawrence Fleming, William Pender, Thomas Horne. According to the surgeon the wife of Thomas Horne suffered a miscarriage on 28th December while still at Sheerness. She was three months advanced in pregnancy and had undergone much fatigue in nursing the Captain of the Guard's child to which she ascribed her affliction.  Select here to find convict ships bringing detachments of the 17th regiment.

George Whittle, wife and child came as free passengers.

The Nithsdale arrived in Port Jackson on 12 May 1830, having lost one convict on the voyage out.

The prisoners were mustered by Colonial Secretary Alexander McLeay on 15th May 1830 and were landed on Friday 21st May. The majority of convicts were assigned to private service. Some were assigned to the Australian Agricultural Company at Port Stephens. The youngest prisoner was Joseph Brammer age 15, who was sent to the Carter's Barracks on arrival.  

Notes & Links:

1). Select here to read about a Court case in Sydney involving Captain Thomas Christian and the ship's steward who was making a claim for unpaid wages

2). Select here to find out about bushranger Andrew Hamilton who arrived on the Nithsdale

3). Convict Robert Sutherland 's sister Isabella arrived on the Numa in 1834.

4). Hunter Valley convicts and passengers arriving on the Nithsdale in 1830

5). Punishment of Thomas Greenwood.......

6).  Return of Convicts of the Nithsdale assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 21 June 1832; 28 June 1832; 5 July 1832).....
Robert Cowin Shingler assigned to David Reid at Argyle
Thomas Greenwood Wool sorter assigned to Robert Futter at Argyle
William Hancock Bricklayer assigned to James Blackett at Ultimo
William Jones Blacksmith assigned to William Dumaresq at Hunters River
William Johnson Sailor assigned to Andrew McDougall at Patrick Plains
John Maberly Carpenter assigned to Henry Donnison in Sydney
William Miller Blacksmith assigned to Judge Dowling in Sydney
William Miller Blacksmith assigned to Thomas Bartie at Williams River
Hugh McCowen Blacksmith assigned to S. North at Windsor
William Parker Stonemason assigned to James Adair at Patterson's Plains
Daniel Stewart Slater and builder assigned to Sydney Stephen at Sydney

7). 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


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