The Sydney Gazette reported on convicts who had absconded from Newcastle in 1806
Newcastle, May 1806......
'We lament, that notwithstanding the immediate measures pursued by the Officer in Command for apprehending the people who went off in one of the boats, yet no tidings whatever have been received of them. These people eight in number, went off the 1st of April in an open boat with only provision for a few weeks, and neither mast, sail, or any single implement of navigation.
The Resource arrived two days after, and went immediately in pursuit, but after running beyond Port Stephens, and accurately examining every creek, bay, and inlet, returned well satisfied that the unhappy men had never outlived the tempest on the second night subsequent to their unfortunate flight.
Among these rash people was a young man of the name Douglas, Joseph Samuels, Charles Williams, whose time had not more than twelve months to run, and Joseph Coleman, a German'....Sydney Gazette 18 May 1806