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Convict Ship Baring 1819

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Embarked 300 men
Voyage 150 days
Deaths 5
Surgeon's Journal - Yes
Previous vessel: Lord Sidmouth arrived 11 March 1819
Next vessel: Bencoolen arrived 25 August 1819
Captain John Lamb.  
Surgeon Superintendent David Reid

The Baring was a ship of the Honorable East India Company. She was built by Barnard and launched in  1801. She had three Decks and a length of  146ft; 820 tons. The Baring was sold in 1814 and became a convict ship to Australia. The last note of her was in New South Wales in 1824. (Honorable East India Company Ships Log Books)

This voyage in 1819 was the second voyage of the
Baring bringing convicts to New South Wales, the first being in 1815  

Prisoners were often held in various Hulks for several months prior to transportation. Some of the Baring convicts who were tried at the Old Bailey were sent to Newgate prison and transferred to the Retribution Hulk on 3rd October 1818. They were embarked on the Baring on 4th December 1818.  

The Guard on the Baring consisted of Captain Charles Coates of the 89th regiment, in Command of the 48th regiment, and ensign Grove White of the 48th regiment. Other convict ships bringing soldiers of the 89th regiment included the Atlas, Speke, John and Minerva.
  Other ships bringing soldiers of the 48th regt., included the Pilot, Caledonia, Dorothy, Larkins, Lady Castlereagh, Agamemnon, Minerva, Guildford, Isabella and Prince Regent.

Conditions on the Baring were crowded for both convicts and soldiers alike.......

Proceedings of Parliament - Gentleman's Magazine

Passengers on the Baring included Peter Roberts Esq., Deputy Assistant Commissary General; Rev. John Cross and family with the Rev. John Butler and Mrs. James Kempe, and Mr. Francis Hall, Missionaries and their families; Mrs. Elizabeth Turnbull and family; and Tooi and Tetterree, New Zealanders who had travelled to England in the Kangaroo......

Read Rev. John Cross's account of the grounding of the Baring on the Brake Sand and her return to Sheerness for repairs here.

The Baring arrived at Madeira on the 10th February, thirteen days from the Downs. According to the Asiatic Journal, all the convicts, passengers, troops and crew were in the highest state of health and order and she immediately continued her voyage to New South Wales, however many became ill after leaving the Cape.

Light winds delayed the ship on approaching the Equator and the heat affected many of the convicts and some of the guard with 'chronic affectations of the liver and jaundice'. Five of the prisoners died.
They met with a series of light easterly winds which rendered the latter part of the voyage very tedious and prevented the passage through Bass Strait. Surgeon Reid noted that exclusive of those who died 'we had about 30 more ill with slight complaints of the same kind but we kept the disease at bay with lemon juice and fresh meat till we got to the Derwent when we had a plentiful supply of fresh meat, vegetable and potatoes and when we arrived at Port Jackson all had recovered'. However the Hobart Town Gazette reported that when the Baring put into Hobart on 14th June to procure fresh provisions and water, five prisoners suffering extreme debility were landed and one of them died the following day. The following month 21 year old Private Edward Edwards died after suffering a debilitating illness on the voyage out.  

The Baring was planning to proceed from Hobart to Port Jackson on Sunday 20th June. (1)  

They finally arrived at Port Jackson on 26 June 1819 with 290 prisoners. Of those prisoners an astonishing eighty-two were under the age of twenty one years. Two were only eleven years old.

One of the most notorious convicts on the Baring was Dr. Lawrence Halloran  a bogus clergyman, schoolmaster and journalist, who was born on 29 December 1765 in County Meath, Ireland. In 1818 Dr. Halloran was indicted on a charge of counterfeiting a tenpenny frank in the name of Sir William Garrow, M.P., allegedly for the purpose of accrediting himself as a curate; when he was found guilty he was sentenced to transportation for seven years. (2) 

Petition of Dr. Halloran - Mr. Bennet presented (to parliament), a Petition from Dr. Halloran, sentenced to seven years transportation, for forging a frank, complaining of the unprecedented severity of the punishment for such an offence, and of the treatment which he had experienced since his conviction.

The hon. gentleman said he had inquired into the circumstances of the case. Dr. Halloran was unquestionably a man of considerable literary talents, he was advanced in life, and had a large family. The sentence pronounced upon him certainly appeared much too severe for the offence; but it was the cruelty which Dr. Halloran complained that he had suffered since his conviction to which he was desirous to call the attention of the House. Dr. Halloran had, on his apprehension, been sent to Coldbath-fields, where he was imprisoned with felons. He was thence removed for trial to Newgate, where he was confined in the condemned cells with thirty or forty boys. From those cells, he was transferred to the hospital among the sick felons. He by no means imputed any blame to the magistrates or to the keeper, but it did so happen, owing to the crowded state of the prison, that a very severe punishment, in the mode of his imprisonment was, as in this case of Dr. Halloran's inflicted on a prisoner, even before his trial.

After Dr. Halloran had been convicted, he was sent on board the Alonzo hospital ship at Woolwich. Here on 30th November, he was seized with violent illness, in the middle of which he was removed, and taken in an open boat to the Baring transport at Purfleet (10 miles), where he was left in a small cabin for nineteen hours without any kind of sustenance, He was then served with the usual sea allowance, which was very unfit for a man in his condition, but could obtain no medical aid. Dr. Halloran had been promised by Lord Sidmouth that he should have every accommodation which it would be proper to grant him, and that he should not be compelled to associate with common felons. In a few days, however, after he had been taken on board the Baring, twenty double-ironed felons were lodged with him in the same cabin. He had seen this cabin; it was twelve feet square. Twenty one human beings were crammed into it, in cribs six feet and a half broad by five feet and half long, into each of which six human beings were stowed. In that situation they were unable to turn round, and Dr. Halloran declared he was witness to one of the abominable scenes the increasing prevalence of which was so degrading to the character of the country.

There was a privy (used by a hundred and fifty convicts, in the fore part of the ship) in one corner of it; Dr. Halloran sent a statement of this transaction to Lord Sidmouth and a most respectable officer Mr. Capper was sent to investigate. Mr. Bennet repeated that he himself had visited the vessel. It contained between two and three hundred human beings all stowed in about fifty cribs. It was in the middle of the day, about three o'clock, when he went on board; and yet it was necessary to use candles. Never should he forget the loathsome scene which the vessel exhibited! It appeared that the ship had a short time before got on a bank in a gale of wind, and had been nearly lost. The agitation of the storm had occasioned violent sickness among the unhappy men on board and those who were at bottom, were almost suffocated by the results of that sickness. The case was heard in parliament 25th January 1819 and it was agreed that if the ship had not sailed already that she should be stopped and an investigation as to the conditions take place. Although she apparently didn't sail until 27th January, it was stated in parliament that she had already departed....  

Dr. Halloran was granted a ticket of leave on arrival; he opened a private school known as the Sydney Grammar School, in January 1820 and in November 1825 was appointed headmaster of the new Sydney Free Public Grammar School.  

David Reid recommended that when convicts were first embarked and while detained before sailing that they be given plenty of vegetables and fresh meat instead of salt rations so that their constitution might be enabled to resist the effects of disease in the case of a lengthy voyage. He also recommended that unless the passage from England to the Southern tropic was quick, it was advisable to stop at Rio Janeiro which was preferable to the Cape of Good Hope as vegetables were plenty and cheap and the passage from that place could be made to Port Jackson in as little time as from England to Rio.

Select here to to read the parliamentary debate which was brought about by the petition of Dr. Lawrence Halloran.

Governor Macquarie was pleased at the arrival of Rev. Cross........The Two Chaplains, whom Your Lordship recently sent out namely, The Revd. Richd. Hill and Revd. John Cross and who have lately arrived here in the Hibernia and Baring respectively, are very great acquisitions to the Country, and were very much wanted; they both appear to be very correct, pious, zealous and good Divines. I hired a House in Sydney immediately on their arrival here for the accommodation of themselves and Families, till their future Places of Residence could be determined on.  Rev. Cross was to be stationed at Windsor- Macquarie to Bathurst HRA, Series 1, Vol X

Notes and Links:  

1). Tasmania Times......Kris Jacobsen, of Canberra, has documented the lives of Jacob and Benjamin Isaacs in a book entitled A Land of Promise: An Account of Jacob Isaacs, Jewish Convict, and Benjamin Isaacs, Christian Printer and Publisher.  State Library of Victoria....Contents/Summary: From East London lanes--To colonial roads--And colonial towns--Benjamin's imprint. At the end of the 19th century Jacob Isaacs, and his son Benjamin lived in poverty in London. Benjamin avoided the criminal orientation of his father when a charity provided an education and apprentice- ship. This account investigates their lives from the adverse circumstances of Whitechapel to the opportunities presented in a new land.  

2). Charles Watson a former private in the 102nd regt came free as a Chelsea pensioner  

3). David Reid was also surgeon on the Baring in 1815 and Providence in 1822  

4). Hunter Valley convicts and passengers arriving on the Baring in 1819  

5). Captain John Lamb - Australian Dictionary of Biography Online

6). Nautical Notices from the Asiatic Journal.......  


The Baring grounded shortly after leaving Sheerness......

The Christian Journal, and Literary Register, Volume 3


9). Missionaries Francis Hall and James Kemp


(1) Hobart Town Gazette 19 June 1819

(2)    Australian Dictionary of Biography




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