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Convict Ship
 Admiral Gambier 1811

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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

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Embarked 200 men
Voyage 140 days
Deaths 3
Surgeon's Journal - No
Previous vessel: Providence arrived 2 July 1811
Next vessel: Friends arrived 10 October 1811
Note: Made the fastest direct passage from Rio to Port Jackson
Master Edward Sindrey

Prisoners were transferred from the Retribution hulk at Woolwich to the Admiral Gambier on 27th February 1811 and from the Captivity hulk on 16th March 1811.  

The Admiral Gambier departed England on 12th May 1811 with a fleet of Indiamen under convoy of the Arethusa frigate. She made Rio de Janeiro on the 8th July and departed there 29th July, arriving at Port Jackson 29 September 1811.  

The Admiral Gambier, Providence and Friends were the only convict ships to arrive in New South Wales in 1811. Charles Bateson noted in The Convict Ships that the Admiral Gambier had made the fastest direct passage from Rio to Port Jackson having taken 62 days.(1)  

Passengers Ensign D'arcy Wentworth and Ensign Hugh Holmes, with an addition of 32 men to join the 1st Battalion of H. M. 73rd regiment arrived on the Admiral Gambier. Other detachments of the 73rd arrived on the Dromedary, Indefatigable, Archduke Charles, Guildford, Hindostan, Fortune, Ann, Providence and Indian

One hundred and ninety-seven male prisoners came on the Admiral Gambier, three having died on the passage out : William Sharp, died at sea the 11th of May, disease a watery brain. John Hayball, at Rio Janeiro the 13th of July consumption. John Brown, at sea, the 23d of August, of a pulmonic afliction. One of the soldier's wives whose name was Mary Lyneham, unfortunately died in this Port after the ship came to anchor.(4)

Arrival of the convict ship Admiral Gambier in 1811. - Sydney Gazette 5 October 1811

Governor Macquarie wrote in a dispatch to Lord Liverpool in October 1811 -

"I have to inform your Lordship that I have, on all arrivals of convicts ships, ordered a muster to be immediately taken of the convicts on ship board by my Secretary and the Acting Commissary, and I afterwards take a muster of them myself so soon as landed, in order to ascertain the manner they have been treated during the voyage, and whether they have any complaints to prefer against the commander or surgeon of the ship in which they came.

By the previous muster I also acquire a knowledge of the trades or professions of the convicts, which enables me to appropriate them afterwards in the most advantageous way for Government, and at the same time most easy for themselves. I have much satisfaction in reporting to your Lordship that the convicts arrived by the four ships Indian, Providence, Admiral Gambier and Friends were in general in good health, having been well treated on board, and had no complaints to make against either the commanders or the surgeons. The male convicts arrived in those ships proved a very seasonable and acceptable supply for the colony, the settlers in general having been in great want of labourers to carry on their agricultural and grazing concerns." (3)

The following February (1812) Commissary William Broughton gave notice that the prisoners of the Admiral Gambier who were employed at Government labour were entitled to the summer issue of clothing only. This consisted for the men of One duck frock, one pair duck trousers, one cotton shirt, one pair of shoes and one leather cap; and for the women, one linen cloth jacket, one shift, one pair of shoes, one straw bonnet.

Many of these convicts would have seen the effects of the hail and heavy rains that fell six weeks later. Crops were ruined and bridges and roads became impassable.

The Indents for the Admiral Gambier include the name, where & when convicted and term of transportation as well as ticket of leave number if applicable. Fifteen of the prisoners had been tried in Scotland.

The Admiral Gambier departed for England on 2 December 1811.

Notes and Links:

1). Richard Boots who later became Sexton at Newcastle arrived as a convict on the Admiral Gambier.

2). Reuben Hanham arrived as a convict. In 1815 he applied to have his wife and children join him in the colony. Read Governor Macquarie's correspondence on his behalf and Hanham's Memorial in the Historical Records of Australia.

3). Hunter Valley convicts and passengers arriving on the Admiral Gambier in 1811

4). National Archives - Voyages: (1) From China 1812. pt Edward Lindsey. Lintin 5 Jul 1812 - 21 Aug Macao - 31 Dec Cape - 27 Jan 1813 St Helena - 18 May Blackwall.

5). Ensign D'arcy Wentworth of 73rd regiment was a son of D'Arcy Wentworth, principal surgeon at Sydney Hospital, and Catherine Crowley; he was a brother of William Charles Wentworth. D'arcy Wentworth married Elizabeth Macpherson, third daughter of the late Major Charles Macpherson, barrack-master general for Scotland, on 27 April 1826 at Edinburgh. There were no children of the marriage. In 1843 D'arcy Wentworth stood for election to represent the Northumberland boroughs in the Legislative Council. He was accompanied to Maitland by his brother W.C. Wentworth......Mr. Wentworth was carried to Cox's hotel. The Major was then placed in a chair, and the two gentlemen were carried from Cox's hotel p the Newcastle road to as far as the Catholic church, then along the street leading from the road past Mr. Keddie's and across the green in front of the gaol to Mr. Mayo's; where both gentlemen addressed the crowd from Mr. Mayo's counter. (Maitland Mercury 24 June 1843)  

6). Edward Scarr arrived on the Admiral Gambier. He was one of four convicts who seized the Speedwell at Newcastle settlement in 1814 and were never heard from again. Find out more here
Convict NameTrial Ship
Joseph Burridge Tried in Kent March 1813 General Hewitt 1814
John Pearce Tried Surry Assizes 28 March 1810 Indian 1810
Edward Scarr Tried in Cambridge 13 March 1810 Admiral Gambier 1811
Herbert Stiles Tried Calcutta for piracy 4 December 1809 Brig Eagle, Mackay master, 17 February 1811.







8). Although some convicts did manage to return from New South Wales to their country of birth, there is usually little to be found about them afterwards. The following article about John Spooner came to light because of the unusual circumstances:



9). Thomas Richardson who arrived as a convict was mentioned by Governor Macquarie to Under Secretary Peel in correspondence dated 18th October 1811 when Governor Macquarie indicated he would show every degree of indulgence consistent with Richardson's situation and to endeavour to alleviate his sufferings as much as he could. (HRA, vol. VII, p.448)  

10). Convict George King was a member of John Oxley's Lachlan River Expedition in 1817 (see Remembering the Forgotten The untold stories of John Oxley’s 1817 & 1818 Expeditions  - An E-Book By E.V.(Tim) Crampton)

11). The following convicts of the Admiral Gambier have been identified in the Hunter Valley region

Name Convicted at Location NSW
Thomas Ashley Kent 1810 Newcastle
Antonio Berringo / Berengo Middlesex 1809 Newcastle
Richard Boots Sussex 1810 Patterson's Plains
John Bourn Kent 1810 Newcastle
Jacob Bowden Devon 1810 Patterson's Plains
Abraham Braham London 1810 Newcastle
John Brown   Newcastle
James Chilcott Somerset 1810 Patrick Plains
Michael Doras Kent 1810 Newcastle
James Good Sussex 1810 Newcastle
William Gray Middlesex 1809 Newcastle
Edward Harwood / Howard Middlesex 1809 Newcastle
James Lander Middlesex 1810 Newcastle
Thomas Lane Worcester 1810 Newcastle
John Lee Buckinghamshire 1810 Newcastle
William Leach Surrey 1808 Newcastle
Phillip McLaughlan Chester 1810 Newcastle
Thomas McNamara/ Macnamara Middlesex 1809 Newcastle
George Miller Glasgow 1810 Newcastle
John Milligan London 1809 Newcastle
Thomas Noble Buckinghamshire 1810 Newcastle
John Pearce Gloucestershire 1810 Newcastle
Thomas Powell/ Hall/ Lovell Gloucestershire Newcastle
David Rigby Chester 1810 Newcastle
Joseph Rowarth / Rauworth Lincoln 1809 Newcastle
James/ Joseph Rutherford York 1810 Newcastle / Patrick Plains
Edward Scarr  / Scarl Cambridge 1810 Newcastle
Thomas Spencer Middlesex 1808 Newcastle
Joseph Spitharie   Newcastle
Jeremiah Sullivan East Indies 1808 Newcastle
John Thomas Cornwall 1810 Newcastle
Robert Thomas Lancaster 1806 Newcastle
Alexander Thompsey Somerset 1808 Newcastle
Joseph Walker 1810 Newcastle
William White Salop 1809 Newcastle



(1) Bateson, Charles, The Convict Ships, 1787-1868.

(2) Simond, Louis, Journal of a Tour and Residence in Great Britain, During the Years 1810 & 1811 ..., Volume 2

(3) HR NSW Vol. VII

(4) Sydney Gazette 5 October 1811


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