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Convict Ship Portland 1833 


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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: 193 men
Voyage: 125 days
Deaths: 9
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Tons 385
Previous vessel: Diana arrived 25 May 1833
Next vessel: Asia arrived 27 June 1833
Captain William Ascough  
Surgeon Superintendent Charles Inches
Follow the Irish Convict Ship Trail

The Portland was built at Bristol in 1822. (2) Convicts were transported to New South Wales on the Portland in 1832 and 1833.  

Charles Inches kept a Medical Journal from 18th December 1832 to 13 July 1833  

The Guard consisted of 1 subaltern of the 26th regiment, one sergeant, one corporal and 27 rank and file of 21st Fusiliers accompanied by 5-6 women and 11 children under command of Captain Frazer of 26th regt., They embarked at Deptford on 28 December 1832.   Passengers included Lieut. Wallace, D.A.C.G. Brackenbury, Mrs. Brackenbury, Miss Brackenbury and Miss Frazer. 

Select here to find convict ships bringing detachments of the 21st regiment.

On the 1st January 1833 the Portland dropped down the river to Gravesend, and another subaltern of the 16th regiment joined the ship. On the 3rd January 1833 they proceeded to the Cove of Cork, arriving there on 11th January. They remained at the Cove of Cork for six weeks while arrangements for the convicts were made.

Cholera was still rampant in Ireland and as well the prisoners had a very restricted allowance of food in their diet on the hulk amounting to only 20 ounces a week per man, so that by the time they were embarked on the Portland their health was in a poor way. Later the surgeon remarked that the longer they stayed on the Portland, the better their health got.

On 2nd February 184 male convicts were embarked and on the 9th February eight more men were received on board.   The Portland departed Cork on 21st February 1833 with 193 male convicts.   There was an unusual degree of sickness which the surgeon attributed to the convicts of Ireland being much inferior in health and vigour than the convicts in England. As well their clothes were worse, being more or less worn and thin. By the time they reached the cooler weather in the southern latitudes the surgeon reported that their clothes were in tatters.....By this time, notwithstanding the pains actually taken by most of the poor fellows their clothing very generally gave way and with difficulty was held together, however by procuring patches of old canvas and sewing them to the most needy, they continued to keep themselves covered and to get into Sydney in good condition as to health.  

In need of water and with 15 prisoners seriously ill, the Portland had touched at Lisbon however in consequence of one man on board having already died of cholera, on entering the Tagus, the ship was immediately ordered off. (1)  During the voyage two more deaths occurred from cholera. The last case of this appeared in March. Six people also died from fever and other diseases. According to Charles Inches' journal nine people died altogether.  

The Portland arrived in Sydney Cove on 26 June 1833. In consequence of rumoured illness on board, despatch of the mails that had arrived was delayed until an examination of the vessel had taken place.

The convicts were mustered on board on 1st July 1833.  The indents reveal the name, age, religion, education, marital status, family, native place, offence, sentence, date and place of trial and physical description. There is no indication in the indents as to whom the men were assigned on arrival.

Dr. Bowman on behalf of the Board of Health boarded the Portland and submitted his report to the Executive Committee who sat at a late hour to receive it. He pronounced the vessel healthy and the men were landed on Saturday 13th July 1833.

The detachments of the 21st Fusiliers that arrived by the Asia and the Portland, proceeded on the Funchal to join the strength of the Regiment stationed at Hobart.  

In the Sydney Herald on 22 July 1833, distribution of the men was reported:
161 assigned to private service
9 assigned to the Commissariat Department
4 assigned to the Surveyor General's Department
4 sent to Port Macquarie
2 sent to Carter's Barracks (boys)
4 unfit for assignment  

The Portland sailed for Launceston in the first week of September. Passengers included William James Cox, Mrs. Eliza Cox, Misses Rebecca, Mary and Georgiana Cox, Mrs. Thompson and two children, Miss Blanchford, Dr. Inches, Mr. Edward Lord, Mr. J.S. Uther, Mary Reeves, John McMahon, Andrew Galligher, John Davis, James Murray, John Gray and Michael Power, Henry Tully and John Stewart. Two of the seaman William Ambrose and John Raine, refused to sail on her stating, that they had signed articles under Captain Ascough, and that they were not forced to serve under a new captain. They could not, nor would serve under Captain Coghill who was taking over as captain of the Portland.   They were sentenced to 7 days hard labour in the Gaol.  

The Portland was wrecked seventeen miles to the East of the George Town Heads in October 1833. All but two survived the wreck. The infant daughter of Mr. Cox was washed from it's mother's arms and although rescued from the sea by a sailor could not be saved. The carpenter of the ship also drowned. The Master of the vessel was said to be lying dangerously ill at George Town.

Notes & Links:  

1). Charles Inches was also employed as surgeon on the William Glen Anderson in 1831 (VDL), Westmoreland in 1835, the John in 1837 and the London in 1844 (VDL)

2). John Coghill was Master of the Mangles in
1820, 1822, 1824 and 1826

3). William Ascough was Master of the Malabar 1819    Ann & Amelia 1825   Marquis of Huntley 1826   Marquis of Huntley 1828    Marquis of Huntley 1830   Portland 1832   Portland 1833   and Mary 1835  

4). Hunter Valley convicts and passengers arriving on the Portland in 1833.


(1). Freemans Journal 1763-1924, Friday, 05 April, 1833

(2)  Records of Bristol Ships, 1800-1838 (vessels Over 150 Tons) edited by Grahame E. Farr......

8). Convict ships bringing detachments of the 21st regiment (Royal Scotch Fusiliers).......

Date/ Place of Departure Ship Command of the Guard
4 September 1832 London Mary 1833 Captain Daniels 21st regt.,
8 October 1832 Cork Roslin Castle 1833 Lieuts. Bayley & Pieter L. Campbell. 21st
22 September 1833 Sheerness Camden 1833 Major Thomas Fairweather 21st regt.,
17 November 1832 Portsmouth Andromeda 1833 Lieuts. Lonsdale & Armstrong 21st regt.,
14 December 1832 London Mangles 1833  
21 February 1833 Cork Portland 1833 Captain Frazer, 26th regt.,
21 February 1833 Downs Asia 1833 Lieuts. Kelly and Wilson of 6th regt.,
14 May 1833 Portsmouth Heroine 1833 Captain Mackay
-- June 1833 Sheerness Lord Lyndoch 1833 Lieut-Col. Leahy. Headquarters of 21st
4 June 1833 Dublin Royal Admiral 1833 Lieut. Ainslie 21st regt.,
5 June 1833 Portsmouth Captain Cook 1833 Captain Armstrong 21st regt.,
4 July 1833 Portsmouth Aurora 1833 Major Delisle 4th regt.,
24 July 1833 Cork Java 1833 Lieut. Wrixon, 21st regt.,
29 July 1833 Plymouth Neva 1833 Lieut. McEdwin 1st or Queens Own regt.,
25 August 1833 Downs Lloyds 1833 Lieut. McKnight 21st regt.,
27 October 1833 England Fairlie 1834  
28 March 1838 Bengal Merchant 1838 Lieut. Dear of 21st regt.,


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