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Exile Ship
 Adelaide 1849

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Embarked 303 men
Voyage 129 days
Deaths 4
Surgeon's Journal: Yes
Tons: 639
Previous vessel: Havering arrived 8 November 1849
Master Stephen Wharton
Surgeon Superintendent William F. Le Grand

The Adelaide was one of several transports bringing Exiles to New South Wales.  Exiles had served part of their sentence in a penitentiary in Britain and were granted a conditional pardon or ticket of leave on arrival in the Colony.

The Adelaide departed London on 17 August 1849

Portland, England.- On Monday morning, a party of 132 well-conducted convicts left the convict establishment, and were embarked for Port Phillip in the ship Adelaide, which had been some days waiting for them. We understand that, upon arriving in the colony (should their conduct on board be proved exemplary), they will each be presented with a ticket of leave which will entitle them to work for themselves, being comparatively speaking, free.

In addition to the above, there were 170 selected from Pentonville, the hulks, and Parkhurst prisons, who will be allowed a similar indulgence. A guard, composed of 50 soldiers, will accompany them on the voyage, selected from her Majesty's 63rd, 65th, and 99th regiments of foot. There is an experienced surgeon on board, who has the care and management of the convicts, and also a religious instructor. The Adelaide was still in the roads on Tuesday night, waiting for a fair wind
. - (1)

William Le Grand kept a Medical Journal from 18 July 1849 to 10 January 1850...The Adelaide sailed from Portland Roads on the 17th of August 1849 with 300 male convicts on board, having embarked at Woolwich 116, at Portsmouth 24, at Cowes 30, and at Portland 133, in all 303 prisoners, but 3 of this number were subsequently disembarked at Portland Prison in consequence of an order from the Secretary of States Office. The voyage to Hobart Town occupied 104 days and that to Sydney 129 days, including the stoppage at Port Phillip having arrived here on the 24th  December 1849.

During this period only 114 patients were put in the sick lists, the number of persons of all denominations on board being 412, there were but few of the cases of a grave nature. The comparatively healthy state of the convicts during the voyage may in a great measure be attributed to the attention in the first instances (previous to the embarkation of the Guard and Convicts) to the purification of the ships holds and keeping the hospital etc dry, clean and well ventilated. Keeping the convicts between breakfast and supper hourly employed and allowing them on deck as much as possible with strict attention to prisoner's cleanliness.

The Adelaide arrived in Hobart on 29th November where 40 men were disembarked. The ship sailed on to Port Phillip but was refused entry and eventually arrived in Port Jackson on 24 December 1849.  Six prisoners were sent to the Hospital at Sydney and the remaining prisoners on board were discharged daily as they were hired. The prisoners commenced leaving the ship on the 31st December and the disembarkation was completed on the evening of 9th January 1850.

The Guard consisted of detachments of 58th and 65th regiments.

Report of the Principal Superintendent of Convicts of the Arrival, Inspection and Disposal of the Convicts by the Adelaide........    

Notes & Links:

1). Other vessels bringing Exiles included the Eden, Havering, Mount Stewart Elphinstone and Randolph

2). Hunter Valley medical practitioner George Bridge Mullins arrived as an exile on the Adelaide.

3). Convict ship bringing political prisoners and protesters

4). Hunter Valley convicts and passengers who arrived on the Adelaide in 1849

5). Old -Convict Days. -There recently passed away at Wellingrove, Inverell district, in the person of Henry Harrison, one of the few remaining convict survivors of the early clays of transportation. Harrison, who was ninety six years of age, was sent out here abut 78 years ago for housebreaking in Warwickshire and had lived in Wellingrove district for fully 70 years. He was given a good character by old residents as a hard-working, honest man. The escapade which led to his transportation was his first and last lapse into crime. He lived with the aborigines for over 60 years and his 'wife' was a full blooded aboriginal who died 35 years ago. He has 61 living descendants nearly all of whom are living in Inverell and Tingla districts. After his wife's decease he seemed to have the single ambition of bringing up his family as respectably as possible, and in later years, long after he had entered his dotage and was practically helpless, it was an education to observe the care and attention he received from the hands of his descendants. He was buried in Wellingrove cemetery. - The Cobar Herald 22 June 1913


1). Sydney Morning Herald 30 November 1849

2). Journal of William Le Grand on the voyage of the Adelaide in 1849., UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.


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