Free Settler or Felon

Living Conditions on Convict Ships

Search


First Name



Surname / Subject



Ship






Use the Search Box above to find your Hunter Valley Ancestor.

Sources and Hints and Tips

Conditions on Convict Ships



The health of the convicts on the voyage to Australia often depended on the state of the ship, quality of rations served and the attitude and level of skill of the Surgeon. Select from the Links below to find out more about living conditions on board various convict ships to Australia


Accidents

Food

Amusements

Hulks

Arrival in the Colony

Illness

Cleanliness

Leaving Home

Clothing

Military Guard

Conditions in England

Mutiny

Conditions in Ireland

Punishment

Conditions on board

Quarantine

Death

Schools

Escapes

The Voyage

Female Convicts

Weather




ACCIDENTS


Were there any serious accidents on the voyages?

Most of the convicts had never been to sea before. They were injured in falling down hatchways, and by being struck with ropes and other workings and some fell overboard and were drowned. Serious injury occasionally occurred by scalding when serving out food. The guard also suffered accidental injuries from discharge of guns.  Select from the following ships to find out more.....


Fortune 1813

Henry 1825

Sir Godfrey Webster 1826

Hercules 1825

Harmony 1827

Princess Charlotte 1827

Competitor 1828

Dunvegan Castle 1830

Forth 1830

Roslin Castle 1830

Exmouth 1831

Buffalo 1833

Henry Wellesley 1836

Lord Lyndoch 1838

Diamond 1838




AMUSEMENTS


Many of the Surgeons who were employed in the 1820's 30's and 40's believed in the benefit of activity and amusement to ward off disease and boredom. Some of the activies can be found on the pages below:

Crossing the equator and theatricals -
Speedy 1800

Elizabeth 1818

Eliza 1822

Sparring, singing, dancing - See
Albion 1823

Christmas Day -
Lord Sidmouth 1823 ;
Fairlie 1834

Dancing and singing on the
Recovery 1823

Making Patchwork -
Brothers 1824

Dancing on the
Asia in 1825

Exercise and amusements -
Eliza 1829

Singing on the
Sovereign 1829

Boxing on the
Lady Harewood in 1831

Dancing, acting and 'skylarking' on the
Surry 1834

Dancing on the
Lady Nugent in 1835

Dancing and marching on the
Henry Porcher 1835

Dancing and singing on the
Eden 1836

Dancing and patchwork on the
Henry Wellesley in 1837

Dancing and marching on the
Clyde in 1838

Singing, dancing and theatricals
Earl Grey 1838

Walking on the
Portsea 1838

Prizes on the
Augusta Jessie 1840




ARRIVAL IN THE COLONY


How did people in the colony react when a new convict ship arrived in the colony?


See Watkin Tench's description -
Lady Juliana

Harmony 1827

Were convicts happy to arrive in the colony?- See
Lady Kennaway 1836

How long were the convicts held on the ship before being disembarked ?

Bencoolen 1819

Larkins 1829

Earl of Liverpool 1831

Bengal Merchant 1835


How did they disembark from the ship?
See
Barossa 1839


Were prisoners issued with clothing on arrival?
See
Admiral Gambier 1811


What happened to prisoners after arrival?

Experiment 1804

Canada 1810

Florentia 1828

Earl of Liverpool 1831

Fanny 1833

Fairlie 1834

Diamond 1838




CLEANLINESS



How were the ships kept clean?

Larkins 1817

Grenada 1821

Recovery 1823

Borodino 1828

Bengal Merchant 1836

Earl Grey 1838

How were the vessels rid of vermin?

Alexander 1806


How were the ships kept dry?

Earl Grey 1838

Augusta Jessie 1840




CLOTHING



What clothing did the convicts have when they were embarked?


Speke 1808

Earl St. Vincent 1818

Elizabeth 1818

Daphne 1819

Earl St. Vincent 1820

Elizabeth 1820

Eliza 1822

Albion 1828

Guildford 1829

Clyde in 1838

Were they given extra clothing on the voyage?

Elizabeth 1818


Isabella 1818

Recovery 1823

Were they issued with clothing on arrival:

Friends 1811


Guildford 1812

Worstead - A species of woollen fabric, being spun wool, which obtained its name from having been first spun at a town called Worsted, in Norfolk, in which the inventor lived




CONDITIONS IN ENGLAND


What was it like to be imprisoned in Newgate ?

see
Wanstead 1814

See
Convict Ships 1835


Description of Bristol gaol -
Hadlow 1818




CONDITIONS IN IRELAND



What was the prison like at Cork?

Lady Rowena 1826


What was the prison like at Kilkenny?

Almorah 1824


What was their condition when they were taken from the Essex Hulk to the ship

Bussorah Merchant 1831



CONDITIONS ON BOARD THE SHIP


Sleeping conditions See

Baring 1819

Guildford 827

Lady Harewood 1832

Earl Grey 1838


How did the convicts embark on the vessel?

Elizabeth 1818

Earl St. Vincent 1823

Bussorah Merchant 1828


How were convicts secured when they first arrived on the vessel?
Larkins 1817


What arrangements were made for water closets?

Baring 1819

Earl St. Vincent 1820

Daphne 1819

Edward 1829

Andromeda 1830

Asia 1831

Caroline 1833



How did the men keep clean?

Shipley 1817

Hadlow 1818

Earl St. Vincent 1820



Were convicts employed during the voyage?


Friendship 1818 (female)

Isabella 1818

Grenada 1819


Lord Sidmouth 1819

Almorah 1820

Adamant 1821

Lord Sidmouth 1823 (female)

Albion 1823

Almorah 1824

Asia 1825

Edward 1829

Captain Cook 1833

Lord Lyndoch 1838

Augusta Jessie 1840



DEATH

Which vessels had a high mortality?


Scarborough 1790

Britannia 1791

Britannia 1797

Earl Cornwallis 1801

General Hewitt 1814

Three Bees 1814

Tottenham 1818

Eliza 1828

Vittoria 1829

Fanny 1833

Henry Porcher 1835

Earl Grey 1836

Lord Lyndoch 1838


Burial at sea -

Gilbert Henderson 1840




ESCAPES


Did convicts escape either before the ship sailed or during the voyage? -

See

Lady Juliana 1790

Larkins 1817

Lord Eldon 1817

Earl St. Vincent 1818

Eden 1840 (attempted)



FEMALE CONVICTS


How were female convicts transported from county gaols to London?

Lord Wellington 1820

Brothers 1824


How were they transported from prison to the ship?

Burrell 1832

Elizabeth 1818

Woodman 1823

Forth 1830

Sovereign 1829

Roslin Castle 1830


How were they occupied on the voyage to Australia?

Brothers 1824

Edward 1829

Sovereign 1829


Were the female convicts often troublesome?

Friendship 1818

Lord Sidmouth 1823

Almorah 1824

Sovereign 1829

Surry 1833

Elizabeth 1836

Roslin Castle 1836

Pyramus 1836


Were they given extra rations if they were nursing children?

City of Edinburgh 1828

Fairlie 1834


Where did they live when they arrived in the colony?

Aeolus 1809

Alexander 1816

Almorah 1824

Asia 1830

Burrell 1832


FOOD

What provisions were given to the convicts


Daphne 1819

John Bull 1821

Edward 1829

Lady Harewood 1832

Planter 1832

Fairlie 1834

Bengal Merchant 1836

Roslin Castle 1836

Heber 1837


What food could they procure at stopovers? -

Diana 1833

Lady Kennaway 1836

Earl Grey 1836

Strathfieldsaye 1836

Clyde in 1838


Were sea-board rations supplemented?

Bencoolen 1819

Recovery 1823


Was their water supply adequate?

Lord Sidmouth 1819

Grenada 1827

Pyramus 1832

Earl Grey 1836

Blenheim 1839


Were the sick convicts given a different diet?

Asia 1831




HULKS


What were the living conditions on the Leviathan hulk like ?

Canada 1819

Lady Feversham 1830

Strathfieldsaye 1836


Prison Hulk Report 1838


Illness on Irish hulks -

Hercules 1830

Asia 1831

Bussorah Merchant 1831

Camden 1831


What condition were the convicts in when they left the hulks?

Camden 1833


The hulk Surprise -

Sir Godfrey Webster


The hulk Captivity -

Portland 1832




ILLNESS


Which voyages had very little illness ?


Almorah 1817

Elizabeth 1818

Guildford 1818

Bencoolen 1819

Grenada 1819

Tyne 1819

Guildford 1820

Lord Wellington 1820

Eliza 1822

Guildford 1822

Henry 1823

Ann and Amelia 1825

Asia 1825

Hercules 1825

Marquis of Hastings 1827

Asia 1828

Competitor 1828

Phoenix 1828

Edward 1829

Governor Ready 1829

Princess Royal 1829

Sarah 1829

Sovereign 1829

Southworth 1832

Adrian 1830

Lord Melville 1830

Hercules 1830

Dunvegan Castle 1832

Portland 1832

England 1835

Strathfieldsaye 1836

Pyramus 1836

Elphinstone 1838

Augusta Jessie 1840


Which vessels had major illnesses?

Pitt 1792

Hillsborough 1799

Atlas 1802

Glatton 1803

Tellicherry 1806

Three Bees 1814

Surry 1814

Tottenham 1818

Baring 1819

Almorah 1824

Bussorah Merchant 1828

Eliza 1828

America 1829

Lucy Davidson 1829

Vittoria 1829

Burrell 1830

Asia 1833

Fanny 1833

Heroine 1833

Waterloo 1833

Bengal Merchant 1835

Earl Grey 1836

Eden 1836

Lord Lyndoch 1838

Bengal Merchant 1838

Barossa 1839

Blenheim 1839



LEAVING HOME


How did the convicts feel about leaving their country of birth?


Elizabeth 1818

Minerva 1818

Daphne 1819

Prince Regent 1820

Eliza 1822

Earl St. Vincent 1823

Forth 1830

Hercules 1832

Camden 1833


What happened to the convicts when they were embarked?

Canada 1801




MILITARY GUARD


Where did the Guard for the convicts ships embark?

Earl St. Vincent 1823

Larkins 1829


Did conflict occur between the Captain of the vessel and Military escort?

Three Bees 1814

What did the military guard do after disembarking from the ship?

Champion 1827

Albion 1828



MUTINY


Scarborough 1790

Albemarle 1791

Boddingtons 1793

Sugar Cane 1793

Lady Shore in 1797

Barwell 1798

Anne 1801

Hercules 1802

Chapman 1817

Tottenham 1818

Atlas 1819

Daphne 1819

Dorothy 1820

Isabella 1823

Royal Charlotte 1825

Burrell 1830

Captain Cook 1836




PUNISHMENT



Of military -

Lord Sidmouth 1821

Barwell 1798


Of female convicts -

Britannia 1797

Friendship 1818

John Bull 1821

Lord Sidmouth 1823

Almorah 1824

Buffalo 1833

Diana 1833

Surry 1833

Elizabeth 1836

Gilbert Henderson 1840


Of male convicts -

Boddingtons 1793

Britannia 1797

Hillsborough 1799

Shipley 1817

Shipley 1818

Atlas 1819

Globe 1819

Castle Forbes 1820

Dorothy 1820

Guildford 1820

Prince Regent 1821

Brampton 1823

Recovery 1823

Royal Charlotte 1825


Vessels where almost no punishment took place -

Almorah 1817

Eliza 1822

Edward 1829

Captain Cook 1833

Earl Grey 1838

Hadlow 1820




QUARANTINE



Which ships were quarantined on arrival?

Surry 1814

Bussorah Merchant 1828

Lucy Davidson 1829

America 1829

Heroine 1833




SCHOOLS


Schools established on the convict ships -

Grenada 1819

Tyne 1819

Almorah 1820

Castle Forbes 1820

Dorothy 1820

Elizabeth 1820

Guildford 1820

Eliza 1822

Phoenix 1822

Lord Sidmouth 1823

Brampton 1823

Recovery 1823

Almorah 1824

Henry Wellesley 1837

Earl Grey 1838

Portsea 1838




THE VOYAGE


To read a description of Portsmouth and the Needles see
Lady Castlereagh


Length of time between Deptford, embarking convicts and weighing anchor -
Lady Feversham 1830


How long did it take to sail from Deptford to the Cove of Cork?
Almorah 1820

Lord Sidmouth 1821

Castle Forbes 1820


Where were the convicts embarked from?

Larkins 1817


How long did it take to sail to Madeira?

Baring 1819


How long did it take to sail from Cork to Teneriffe -

Sir Godfrey Webster


How long did it take to sail from Plymouth to the Cape?

Burrell 1830


How long did it take to reach the tropics after leaving England?

Lloyds 1833


How long did it take to sail to the Cape? -

Active 1791




WEATHER


Which vessels had fine weather all the way?

Sarah 1829

Lloyds 1833

Forth 1835


Which vessels experienced very bad weather?

Catherine 1814

Competitor 1828

Guildford 1829

Roslin Castle 1830

Captain Cook 1833

Hero 1835

Charles Kerr 1837



First Fleet 1788



Find out weather conditions on the voyage of the First Fleet to Australia in 1788 using the Map below.

Magnify the map by scrolling then click on the ship icons to read accounts of the voyages from First Fleet Journals.

Each of the eleven ships is represented by a different colour. Enlarge the map using the icon on the top right.
Select here to find out more about this map



Magnify the map above by scrolling then click on the ship icons to read accounts from First Fleet Journals. Each of the eleven ships is represented by a different colour. Enlarge the map using the icon on the top right. Select here to find out more about this map

To embed this map in your own website, copy the HTML from the share page and paste it in the source code for your page

Site Search