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Convict Ship Eliza III 1828

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Embarked 158 men
Voyage 143 days
Deaths 8
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Tons: 391
Previous vessel: City of Edinburgh arrived 12 November 1828
Next vessel: Royal George arrived 24 December 1828
Captain William Douty (Doutty)
 Surgeon Superintendent James Patton

The Eliza III was made of teak and built in Java in 1815.

This was the first voyage of the Eliza III bringing convicts to New South Wales.  Prisoners came from districts throughout England - Durham, Nottingham, Hereford, Surrey, Kent, York, Somerset, Lancaster, Southampton, Gloucester, Lancaster, Leicester, Stafford, Bucks, Cumberland, Bedford, Warwick, Salop, Essex, Chester, Worcester, London - and also from Edinburgh and Canarvon.


On 16th June 1828 fifty-eight prisoners were received from the Justitia Hulk at Woolwich.  More were embarked from the Retribution hulk on 20th June. The total of prisoners embarked was 158 men.


The Eliza departed England on 29 June 1828. 


James Patton R.N. commenced a Medical Journal on 10 June 1828.  The first patient on his sick list was Private John Campbell of the 63rd regiment who was treated on 11 June for an injury he received to his leg on the march from Chatham to Woolwich. Private George Eggleton was treated on 20th June.

Private James Duguin of the 63rd was treated when the vessel was still in the Channel on 3rd July 1828. The first death was that of John Palmer who died on 20th July 1828. Between 12 October and 8th November 1828 there were over 40 cases of dysentery (all convicts). The illness was so violent that it caused the death of several men in the short space of four days. Deaths mentioned in the indents include........

John Oakes died 24 October;

John Story died on 24th October;

James Coulter died 31st October;

John Egan died 16th November;

George Ainsley died 16th November ;

George Whittaker died 19th November.

James Patton attributed the high number of dysenteric cases to several causes...... the unusual length of the voyage; 143 days on salt provisions; the ship sailing very indifferently; and from the cold, damp and rain.


The Eliza arrived in Port Jackson on 18th November 1828.


The Guard consisted of 30 men of the 63rd regiment, accompanied by 3 women and 6 children under the orders of Major Sholto Douglas and Ensign Church.
On Wednesday 19th November they were landed and marched up the town to their quarters to the beat of the drum and fife.

Select here to find convict ships bringing detachments of the 63rd regiment.

Sholto Douglas - Australian Dictionary of Biography


 Lieutenant William Thomas Napier Champ arrived as a cabin passenger on the Eliza.

William Thomas Napier ChampWilliam Thomas Napier Champ - Australian Dictionary of Biography


The convicts were mustered by the Colonial Secretary Alexander McLeay on 20th November 1828. A total of eight prisoners had died on the voyage out and another four were sent to the Hospital on arrival in Sydney. (William Baker, Samuel Clay, William Johns and James Scholes).

Edward Burke one of the soldiers on board, was sent to the Military hospital in Sydney.

The indents include name, age, religion, education, marital status, family, native place, offence, occupation, place and date of trial, sentence, prior convictions, physical description and where and to whom assigned on arrival. There is also occasional information regarding relatives in the colony, deaths and colonial crimes.

The indents reveal the names of the juvenile offenders. The youngest was Charles Pennycard who was only 10 years old. Robert Edwards and William Telford were both 14 and John Roach and Thomas Storer were both fifteen. All these boys were sent to the Carter's Barracks on arrival.

Carter's Barracks....Carter's Barracks - Historical Atlas of Sydney

There were also two other fifteen year olds who were assigned to settlers - James Wilson and Ellis Walsh.

Following are some of the occupations recorded in the indents of the prisoners of the Eliza III.  As can be seen the trades they worked at in England were diverse. While some occupations have passed into obscurity now, many could have been useful in the colony in 1828 - silksweaver, bargeman, chair stainer, stonemason, baker, ploughman, whitesmith, farm servant, cothier, weaver, butcher, blacksmith, shoemaker, shepherd's boy, hosier, cow herd, labourer, lighterman, drover, stable boy, publican, potter, collier's boy, linen weaver, groom, coachsmith, errand boy, pavior and book man, carpenter, boatman, slate quarrier, tailors boy, indoor servant, dyer, callinder, shp boy, ribbon weaver, vetinerary surgeon, brass founder, fishmonger, ropemaker,  brazier, bootcloser, button maker, sweep, merchant's clerk, umbrella maker, stableman, shipwright, seaman, engine maker, gunsmith, shepherd, turner, factory boy, joiner, miner, lithographic printer, and porter


The Eliza III sailed for London direct in December 1828  


1). James Patton was also employed as surgeon on the convict ship Persian to VDL in 1827

2). Twenty-six of the convicts arriving on the Eliza have been identified residing in the Hunter region in the following decades. Select HERE to find out more about convicts/ passengers in the Hunter Valley.

3). Seventeen convict ships arrived in New South Wales in 1828 - Florentia, Elizabeth, Marquis of Huntley, Hooghly, Morley, Asia, Mangles, Borodino, Phoenix, Bussorah Merchant, Countess of Harcourt, Competitor, Marquis of Hastings, Albion, City of Edinburgh, Eliza, Royal George

4).  Return of Convicts of the Eliza assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 28 June 1832).....
William Mitchell - Servant, butler and cook. Assigned to John McArthur at Camden

5).  Convict ships bringing detachments of the 63rd regiment -

Albion departed Sheerness 1 June 1828  - Lieutenant 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  - Lieutenant Aubyn

Governor Ready departed Cork 21 September 1828  - Lieutenant J. Gibbons Lane

Ferguson departed Dublin 16 November 1828  - Captain D'Arcy 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  - Lieutenant 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  - Lieutenant Croly

Dunvegan Castle departed 30 September 1829 - Lieutenant John Gray

Katherine Stewart Forbes departed Spithead 14 October 1829  - Major Fairtclough


1. UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Admiralty and predecessors: Office of the Director General of the Medical Department of the Navy and predecessors: Medical Journals (ADM 101, 804 bundles and volumes). Records of Medical and Prisoner of War Departments. Records of the Admiralty, Naval Forces, Royal Marines, Coastguard, and related bodies. The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

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

3. National Archives - Reference: ADM 101/23/5B Description: Medical and surgical journal of the convict ship Eliza for 10 June 1828 to 22 April 1830 1829 by James Patton, surgeon, during which time the said ship was employed in transporting convicts from Woolwich and Sheerness to New South Wales.