The Earl St. Vincent was built at Topsham in 1800. This was the second of three voyages of Earl St. Vincent bringing convicts to New South Wales, the others being in 1818 and 1823.
Prisoners embarked on Earl St. Vincent in 1820 came from counties throughout England - Devon, Middlesex, Oxford, London, Surrey, Suffolk, Berks, Stafford, Lancaster, Southampton, Essex, York, Lincoln, Norfolk, Warwick, Isle of Man, Dorset and Wiltshire.
They were held on prison hulks Leviathan and Laurel to await transportation.
Surgeon Patrick Hill
Patrick Hill kept a Medical Journal from 20 February to 23 August 1820. He joined the ship on 25th February 1820.
The Guard consisting of 31 men of the 48th regiment commanded by Captain Snow of the 67th regiment including five women and five children were embarked on the 9 March 1820. Captain Snow's wife and children also accompanied him.
Mr. J. Richardson, a free settler with his wife and two children were embarked on 15th March.
On the 21st March Earl St. Vincent sailed from Deptford to Gravesend and then to the Nore. On 23 March they sailed from the Nore to the Downs, and on the 26th arrived at the Motherbank. Patrick Hill then reported to Lieut. Cheeseman, agent for the transport, and went with him on board the Leviathan Hulk. He inspected 100 convicts from the Leviathan on 27th March.
The ship then went into Spithead and 60 convicts were inspected on the Laurel at 1pm. The 160 convicts were then received on board the Earl St. Vincent.
Twenty convicts were boys under 18 years of age, who were accommodated in a separated prison in messes of six.
Clothing consisted of one worsted frock, one shirt, one pair of trousers, one pair of stocking, one handkerchief, one hat and one pair of shoes.
On 29th March the stoves were lighted and the convicts had free access on deck. They were formed into four division, each one to clean the prison in rotation. Soap was issued and the irons were examined on each man. John Jones, a carpenter was punished by having additional irons after it was discovered he had false rivets in his irons and intended to escape. Antonio Lewis was stripped and tied up to be flogged for insolence to the sentry, however the surgeon forgave him and he was let down without punishment.
On the 9th April Lieut. Cheeseman brought dispatches for Governor Macquarie and J.T. Bigge and the Captain received sailing orders. They got under weigh at 4pm on 12 April and anchored off south Yarmouth Isle of Wight and on 13th April got under weigh and went through the Needles.
By the end of April they were in warmer weather. This usually brought its own set of health problems and the surgeon decided that the convicts should bathe each day. This began at 5am on 25 April. The had to strip and bathe and a bucket of water was thrown over them. This was to be done every morning while the warm weather continued. A barber was employed cutting hair and it was an order that every man should have short hair by the Sunday.
Under a light wind and about 15 miles off, they passed by the Island of Palma on 27th April. By early July, the weather was getting cold and wet and the prison became wet from water coming down the hatchways and from the privy, the pipe of the cistern being broken because of misuse by the convicts. By mid July, the weather began to improve, however the prison and hospital were still wet and dirty from the water having overflowed from the privies. At 1am on 17th July, they made the Island of St. Paul's and on the 7th August they saw the Australian coast line for the first time.
They came through Bass Straits at 8am on 8th August and saw Wilson's Promontory and at 9am Curtis Island. By the 16th August 1820 they were close to the entrance of Port Jackson and finally anchored in Sydney Cove at 8am. Captain Piper, naval officer came on board to collect the dispatches for Governor Macquarie.
Fresh provisions were brought on board and on 23rd the convicts were mustered by Colonial Secretary Mr. Campbell. The convicts were landed at daylight on 29th and inspected by Governor Macquarie who asked them if they had any complaints to make of their treatment on board, all were satisfied. (see Disembarkation of Convicts)
That same day they were ordered to be sent to Parramatta by water. Fifty-five were to be distributed amongst settlers at Parramatta. These settlers included Nicholas Bayley, Gregory Blaxland, John McArthur, Lieutenant William Lawson; others were to be sent overland from there to Windsor and Liverpool for assignment. The younger prisoners may have been sent to the newly built Carter's Barracks
...Location of Carter's Barracks
Departure from Port Jackson
Those intending to depart on the Earl St. Vincent bound for Calcutta in September 1820 were Captain Samuel Simpson; Mr. Grimstone Sergeant, First Officer; Mr. William Milroy, Second Officer; Mr. James Arthur, Third Officer.
Notes and Links
1). Patrick Hill was also employed as surgeon on the convict ship Atlas in 1816
8). In March 1825 convict Thomas Smith who arrived on Earl St. Vincent was punished with 100 lashes for attempting with several others to escape from the colony by boat. Although Thomas Smith didn't join them, some of those punished alongside him later made another more successful attempt to escape from Newcastle on the cutter Eclipse.
9). Return of Earl St. Vincent convicts assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 5 July 1832).....
William Pegley (Pigler) - Quarryman assigned to J. McFarlane at Argyle
1. Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.342-343
2. Ancestry.com. UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Medical Journal of Patrick Hill on the voyage of the Earl St. Vincent in 1820. The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.
3. National Archives - Journal of the convict ship Earl St Vincent for 20 February to 23 August 1820 by Patrick Hill. Reference: ADM 101/21/7B Description: Journal of the convict ship Earl St Vincent from 20 February to 23 August 1820 by Patrick Hill, Surgeon and Superintendent, during which time the said ship was employed in a voyage to New South Wales.