Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

John Love R. N.,

Convict Ship Surgeon-Superintendent

Date of Seniority Royal Navy 11 September 1823

Naval Appointments

John Love was promoted to the position of Assistant Surgeon on 18 October 1813 and employed on the Orontes.

He was appointed Assistant-Surgeon on the Heron in 1819. [1]

In December 1822 he was transferred from the Queen Charlotte to the Gloucester as Assistant-Surgeon [2]

Surgeon Superintendent

John Love was employed as Surgeon-Superintendent on four convict ship voyages to Australia:

John to NSW in 1829
Mellish to VDL in 1830
Atlas to VDL in 1833
Backwell to NSW in 1835

The John arrived in Port Jackson in 1829. John Love kept a Medical Journal on this voyage from 24 April to 24 September 1829. There were no deaths on the voyage.

In June 1830 the Morning Chronicle noted his appointment to the Mellish convict ship. The Mellish was engaged to take 132 female prisoners and 61 children to Van Diemen's Land. The Mellish departed Portsmouth on the evening of the 5th June 1830 and arrived in Van Diemen's Land on 22 September 1830. Three women died on the voyage out.

His next appointment to a convict ship was to the Atlas to Van Diemen's Land in 1833. He kept a Medical Journal from 29th March 1833 to 28th August 1833. Two hundred male prisoners arrived under his superintendence. There were no deaths of convicts on this voyage.

John Love's last appointment as Surgeon-Superintendent of a convict ship was to the Backwell to Port Jackson in 1835. Two prisoners died on this voyage. The Surgeon's Journal is not available.


John Love perished when he was washed overboard with the poop of the Hercules on her way home, off the Falkland Islands in March 1836. He perished at sea, but his memory is cherished by those who knew his worth. [3]

More about the disaster on the Hercules in the Commercial Journal 18 June 1836


[1] The Edinburgh Magazine.

[2] The Morning Post 5 December 1822

[3] Nautical Magazine 1836