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Convict Ship Atlas (II) 1802


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Convict Ship Atlas (II) 1802

Embarked: 208 men
Voyage: 153 days
Surgeon's Journal: no
Previous vessel: Perseus arrivd 14 August 1802
Next vessel: Glattonarrived 11 March 1803
Captain Thomas Musgrave.
SurgeonThomas Davie
Follow the Irish Convict Ship Trail

The Atlas (II) was built in 1801 at Quebec and owned by W. Beatson and Co.. She was taken up for service by the East India Company in 1801. The Atlas(II) was the next convict ship to leave Ireland after the departure of the Atlas (1) and the Hercules in November 1801.

Departure from Cork

Fifteen prisoners were re-landed in Cork before departure.[1] The Atlas departed Cork on 30 May 1802 and sailed via Rio de Janeiro.

Port Jackson

They arrived in Port Jackson on 30 October 1802. Governor King recorded the arrival of the Atlas in correspondence to the Transport Commissioners..... The Atlas (Musgrave) arrived here the 30th ultimo, after a five months' voyage from Waterford. He lost no convicts on the passage and the whole were in perfect good health and fit for immediate labour, and expressed the greatest thanks to the master and surgeon for their attention and kindness to them. This is a proof that the masters of the Atlas (Brooks) and Hercules might have brought their cargoes equally as well and expeditious.[2]

Struck by Lightning

David Dickenson Mann referred to the Atlas in The Present Picture of New South Wales...... The storms of thunder and lightning are sometimes particularly terrific, but have seldom been productive of much damage. In some few instances, indeed, individuals had been killed by the electric fires, but these accidents have generally resulted from the too common and dangerous mode of seeking shelter under trees, which attracted and directed the lightning to its object, instead of affording that security which was sought for. A very singular circumstance happened at the close of the spring of 1802, when the Atlas, a ship commanded by Mr. Thomas Musgrove, was stricken by a flash on the 5th of November, and, although the bottom of the ship was immediately perforated by the stroke, not a man on board received any material injury: such a singular instance is almost without its parallel. At other periods, the tempestuous gales which have been experienced surpass the conception of those who have never witnessed the boisterous and tumultuous agitation of nature. Hailstones, exceeding six inches in circumference, have frequently fallen with such violence as to destroy the windows of those habitations which had neglected the adoption of measures of security, to kill the poultry, and lay level with the earth the shrubs and the corn. In fact, storms of this description never fail to occasion the most extensive devastation, and to commit injuries to the settlers, which the labour of months is scarcely sufficient to overcome. [3]

Departure from Port Jackson

The Atlas (II) departed Port Jackson bound for China on 3 January 1803. Concealed on board were two stowaways Anthony Rawson and William Tucker. They were later re-captured in England and re-transported to New South Wales on the convict ship Experiment in 1804.

Atlas Convicts

Convicts by the Atlas (11) included Bligh supporter Roger Farrell, limeburner Anthony Dwyer, and notorious Newcastle runaways Patrick Ducey and Thomas Desmond.

Patrick Ducey was one of the unfortunate men sentenced to work in the Coal mines at Newcastle. He was later executed for stealing a cow. Select here to find out more about Newcastle Penal Settlement.

Below is a list of all of those who came by the Atlas II so far identified in the Hunter Valley, Maitland, Newcastle or Lake Macquarie districts. Find out more about them here
Thomas Desmond/Dermund
Patrick Ducey/Dacey;
Anthony Dwyer
Roger Farrell
Patrick Maloney
Bryan McCormick
John Morris
Patrick Nesbitt
Darby Nowland
Michael Ryan
Patrick Sloan
Neal Smith/Smythe

Notes and Links

1). In 1810 Roger (Ager) Farrel who had arrived on the Atlas received his Certificate of Freedom being restored to all the Rights of a Free Subject in consequence of his terms of transportation being expired

2). Nicholas Delaney - A Rebel Hand

3). A description of Thomas Musgrave's Journal which is held at the British Library, can be located at The National Archives - ATLAS (3) [no ref.] No date Contents: Voyages: (1) 1802/1 New South Wales and China. Capt Thomas Musgrave. Downs 20 Feb 1802 - 6 Mar Cork - 30 Jul Rio de Janeiro - 30 Oct Sydney Cove - 14 Mar 1803 Whampoa - 11 Apr Macao - 1 Aug St Helena - 30 Nov Cork - 16 Dec Deptford. Atlas: Journal IOR/L/MAR/B/27F 15 Dec 1801-12 Jan 1804.

4) Five convict ships arrived in New South Wales in 1802 - Coromandel, Hercules, Atlas, Perseus and Atlas II.


[1] Bateson, Charles, The Convict Ships, p.381

[2] HR NSW, vol. IV, p. 888

[3] Mann, David Dickenson, The Present Picture of New South Wales in 1811

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