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Convict Ship Dunvegan Castle 1830


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Convict Ship Dunvegan Castle 1830

Last Updated 14 July 2020

Voyage 181 days
Deaths - 5
Surgeons Journal: yes
Tons: 446
Crew: 35 men
Previous vessel: Katherine Stewart Forbes arrived 18 February 1830
Next vessel: Forth I arrived 26 April 1830
Captain William Walmsley.
Surgeon Superintendent Robert Dunn

Hunter Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Dunvegan Castle in 1830

The Dunvegan Castle was built at Chittagong in 1819. [4] Convicts were transported to New South Wales on the Dunvegan Castle on this voyage in 1830 and in 1832.

The prisoners came from counties throughout England and Scotland including Stafford, Gloucester, Manchester, Liverpool, Bedford, Warwick, Edinburgh and Middlesex. Most had been held on prison Hulks before being embarked on the ship. Some of the men were embarked at Woolwich on the 16th; and on the 21st September at Sheerness. One of the convicts died that same evening.

Military Guard

The military guard were embarked on the 11th. The Guard consisted of soldiers of the 17th, 44th, 27th and 63rd regiments., under orders from Lieut. John Grey. Six women and 12 children accompanied the military guard. Select here to find convicts ships bringing detachments of the 63rd and 17th regiments.

Cabin Passengers

Passengers included Mrs. Grey and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Lipscome Kentish, and Mortimer Lewis, wife Elizabeth nee Clements, three sons and one daughter.

Mortimer Lewis had been appointed assistant surveyor in the office of the surveyor-general Sir Thomas Mitchell. Moritmer Lewis mapped the Dividing Range west of Sydney and later was appointed town surveyor. In 1835 he was appointed colonial architect, a post he held for fifteen years.[2] He designed the Newcastle Court House and assisted in laying the foundation stone of the Maitland Gaol. His son Mortimer Lewis (jun) married Ellen Stacy, daughter of Dr. John Stacy of Newcastle and lived for a time in the Military Barracks at Newcastle

Surgeon Robert Dunn

This was Robert Dunn's second voyage as surgeon superintendent on a convict ship. He was appointed to the Dunvegan Castle on the 8th of September 1829. He kept a medical journal from 8 September 1829 to 10 April 1830. He rejected one of the soldiers and inspected the ships crew in order to prevent any possibility of contagions or infectious diseases being introduced into the ship as had been the case in his last voyage, the Bussorah Merchant in 1828


The Dunvegan Castle became the last convict ship to transport prisoners before the establishment of the Metropolitan Police Force introduced by Sir Robert Peel. Before September 1829 the watchmen, familiarly called 'Charlies,' who guarded the streets of London, were often incompetent and feeble old men, often unfit for their duties. [1]

The Dunvegan Castle departed Sheerness on 30 September 1829.

The Voyage

This was a particularly long voyage because of contrary winds which resulted in an inrease in number of men requiring medical treatment. Robert Dunn described some of the difficulties of the voyage in his journal......

The weather during September was cold for the season and accompanied with a damp atmosphere and frequent showers and they did not clear the Channel until the 20th October 1829. During October the weather remained cold with constant westerly gales however the prisoners remained healthy at this time except for a few slight cases of Catarrhal. During this time convict William Harris almost had his ear torn off when a cask landed on his head on the 5th October.

In the months of November and December they experienced nothing but light winds and hot sultry weather and were nearly all that time inside the tropics. From light baffling winds they did not pass the Cape of Good Hope till the 4th of January. When they got into high southern latitudes where heavy gales and damp weather could be expected they experienced only light and contrary winds so that instead of making the passage from the Cape to Sydney in six weeks they took eleven weeks to reach Van Diemens Land. The medical comforts were expended by this time and water was running out, so they called at Hobart Town on 13th March and remained there eleven days. Four convicts had died on the passage or in the hospital at Hobart from scurvy -
Isaac Wilson 1 March,
William Caley 7 March,
Thomas Sanson 9 March,
George Dunn on 10 March.
The remaining convicts recovered with fresh beef and vegetables in that time and the ship resumed her voyage to Sydney.

Robert Dunn's general remarks at the end of the voyage - I cannot conclude these remarks without stating for the information of your Honourable Board that the lemon juice was sent on board in casks instead of bottles. This consequence was that it was so thick that it had the appearance of fine soup than anything else I could compare it to and from this circumstance the convicts instead of drinking it with that avidity formerly, loathed it. It was only by standing by that I got them to drink it. I dont consider that it had that anti-scorbutic effect I have often witnessed it to have. Two cases sent on board in bottles which I kept for the use of the hospital and worst cases of scurvy I found it not only checked the disease but many got well under its influence. I mixed it with nectar and I cannot say enough in praise of this last valuable medicine in that loathsome disease.

Port Jackson

The Dunvegan Castle arrived in Port Jackson via Hobart on 30 March 1830 with 175 male prisoners. The voyage had taken 181 days.

Convict Muster

Prisoners were mustered on board by the Colonial Secretary on 1st April. A total of five had died on the voyage out. The convict indents record each prisoners name, age, education, religion, marital status, family, offence, sentence, native place, date and place of trial, former convictions, physical descriptions and where and to whom the convicts were assigned. There is also occasional information regarding colonial crimes, deaths and pardons.


On arrival the following Dunvegan Castle convicts were assigned to the following settlers in the Hunter region :

William Benson assigned to Rev. Lancelot Threlkeld, Lake Macquarie
James Birtles assigned to William Ogilvie, Merton
John Blackburn assigned to Henry Dumaresq, Hunter River
William Blackney assigned to Francis Little, Hunter River
Mark Blucher assigned to William Dun, Paterson
John Burton assigned to Robert Coulson, Black Creek
William Darcey assigned to John Cobb, Hunter River
John Davies assigned to Archibald Bell junior, Hunter River
Thomas Davis assigned to Hugh Cameron, Hunter River
James Denney assigned to John Watson at Nelsons Plains
George Edwards assigned to Alexander McLeond, Ratagan
Joseph Fogg assigned to William Innes, Hunter River
Jonathan Foster assigned to James Bowman, Sydney
George Fowler assigned to George Townsend, Paterson
George Fox assigned to John Hickey, Hunter River
William Freeman assigned to Rev. Threlkeld at Lake Macquarie
James Glossop assigned to Alexander McLeod at Luskintyre
John Hammond assigned to George Muir, Wallis Plains
George Hilson assigned to W. West, Nelsons Plains
William Hopwood assigned to William Bucknell, Hunter River
Enoch Humphries assigned to George Townshend at Paterson
John Ingram assigned to William Forsyth, Hunter River
Henry Jenkins assigned to William Innes, Hunter River
Henry Johnson assigned to Patrick Doolan at Wollombi
George Jones (age 21) assigned to E.G. Cory at Paterson
George Jones (age 16) assigned to Richard Lang, Hunter River
Henry Jones assigned to George Townsend, Paterson
Thomas Kelly assigned to William Dun, Paterson
Bryan Kennedy assigned to E.G. Cory, Paterson
George Leech assigned to John Herring Boughton, Paterson
Robert Lovell assigned to William McLean, Williams River
Joseph Pricklebank assigned to Richard Lang, Hunter River
James Smith assigned to James McDougall, Patrick Plains
Owen Smith assigned to Alexander McLeod, Luskintyre
James Tobin assigned to Alexander Bell junior, Hunter River
John Wilson assigned to William Dun, Paterson

Departure From Sydney

The Dunvegan Castle was to depart Sydney for London with various goods in August.

Notes and Links

1). Read about bushranger George Jones, convict of the Dunvegan Castle

2). Hunter Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Dunvegan Castle in 1830

3). Return of Convicts of the Dunvegan Castle assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 28 June 1832; July 1832).....

Thomas Briggs - Carpenter assigned to R. Fitzgerald at Windsor
James Bristles - Factory and cow boy assigned to Timothy Nowlan at Hunter River
John Hopkins - Labourer assigned to John Lupton at Argyle Road
William Humphries - Carter assigned to William Smith at Parramatta
George Hancock - Servant and groom assigned to Susan Brown at Windsor
Thomas Lewellan - Plane maker and carpenter. Assigned to William Innes at Maitland
John Lloyd - Blacksmith assigned to J. and H. Ryrie at Murray
John Oldham - Seaman and servant assigned to George Goldsmith at Wollombi
John Radford - Plasterer assigned to F.A. Hely in Sydney
Owen Smith - Errand boy assigned to the A.A. Company at Port Stephens

4). Ships bringing detachments of the 63rd regiment -

Albion departed Sheerness 1 June 1828 - Lieut. M. Vickery
Eliza departed London 29 June 1828 - Major Sholto Douglas
Marquis of Hastings departed 30 June 1828 - Ensign Stulbmer
Royal George departed Spithead 26 August 1828 - Captain J. Briggs
Vittora departed Devonport1 September 1828 - Lieut. Aubyn
Governor Ready departed Cork 21 September 1828 - Lieut. J. Gibbons Lane
Ferguson departed Dublin 16 November 1828 - Captain DArcy Wentworth
Mellish departed Falmouth 2 January 1829 - Captain Baylee
Lord Melville departed London 5 January 1829 - Lieut-Col. Burke
Waterloo departed London 14 March 1829 - Lieut. T. Grove
America departed Woolwich 8 April 1829 - Adjutant T. Montgomery
Norfolk departed Spithead 22 May 1829 - Ensign W.J. Darling
Guildford departed Dublin 12 July 1829 - Lieut McLean 89th
Larkins departed Cork 16 August 1829 - Captain Mahon
Claudine departed London 24 August 1829 - Captain Paterson
Sarah departed London 29 August 1829 - Lieut. Croly
Dunvegan Castle departed 30 September 1829 - Lieut. John Gray
Katherine Stewart Forbes departed Spithead 14 October 1829 - Major Fairtclough

5). Convict Ships bringing detachments of the 17th regiment........

Dunvegan Castle departed Sheerness 30 September 1829 - Lieut. John Grey
Katherine Stewart Forbes departed Spithead 14 October 1829 - Major Fairtclough 63rd regt.,
Mermaid departed Sheerness 5 December 1829- Lieutenant Isaac Blackburn
Forth 1 departed Cork 1 January 1830 - Captain James Oliphant Clunie
Nithsdale departed Sheerness 1 January 1830 - Captain Robert G. Moffatt
Lady Feversham departed Portsmouth 8 April 1830 - Lieutenant Harvey 29th regt.,
Marquis of Huntley departed Sheerness 9 April 1830 Lieutenant Watson 20th regt.,
Adrian departed Portsmouth 27 April 1830 - Ensign Reynolds
Lord Melville departed the Downs 6 June 1830 - Lieutenant Robert Graham
Hercules departed Dublin 3 July 1830 - Major J.W. Bouverie
Royal Admiral departed Portsmouth 5 July 1830 - Captain John Church
Burrell departed Plymouth 27 July 1830 - Captain John Alexander Edwards
Andromeda departed Cork 28 August 1830 - Captain Charles Forbes
York departed Sheerness 4 September 1830- Lieut-Col. Henry Despard
Edward departed Cork 17 October 1830 - Captain Deeds
Eliza II departed Cork 10 May 1832 - Lieutenant Hewson 4th regiment


[1] Modern London, or London as it is. - Peter Cunningham, John Murray

[2] Mortimer William Lewis - Australian Dictionary of Biography

[3] UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 . The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[4] Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.348-349, 386



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