The Larkins was built in Calcutta in 1808. She
was the next convict ship to leave England for New South
Wales after the departure of the
in April 1817.
The Larkins departed
Portsmouth on 20 July 1817.
William McDonald kept
a Medical Journal from 7 June 1817 to 2 December 1817. He
joined the Larkins on 7 June 1817 and recorded in
his journal that the guard comprising detachments from the
46th and 48th regiment, being 40 rank and file with a
Captain to command them, embarked on 28th June.
Captain John Brabyn of the Royal Veterans Commander of the
Guard was on a return voyage to the colony. He embarked on
19th June. The soldiers were accompanied by nine women and
nine children. The names of the guard are included in the Colonial
Secretary's Correspondence -
- Sergeant Joseph Burrows, Corporal Hezekiah Riely, Corporal
Henry Singleton, Privates Owen Green, William Ryan, Edward
Helvire, Thomas McDonald, Peter Dilworth, James Stafford,
Levi Taylor, Bryan McDermott, Daniel Slater, Martin Golding,
James Humphries, Thomas Costelow, John Fraser, Edward Kenny.
Other ships bringing soldiers of the 48th regt., included
Prince Regent and
46th regiment Sergeant John Allen,
Corporal George Allen, Privates Robert Allen, George Druitt,
Christopher Boyce, John Doyle, Michael Corissor, Herbert
Collins, Daniel McLaughlin, Thomas Jennings, Michael Mosely,
Charles Mallard, John Matraven, Arthur McQuinn, Phillip
Spain, William Smith, John Sullivan, John McDonald, William
Cash, Thomas Williams, John Presell, Serg. Major Royal
Veterans James Carr, James Clarke, Jane Clarke, Ann Burrowes,
Mary Green, Nelly Costelow, Mary Singleton, Mary McDonald,
Nancy Kenny, Sarah Allen, Sarah Jennings, Ann Collins;
Children Ann Burrows, Sally Green, Bartholomew Green, Owen
Green, James McDonnell, Mary Singleton, Thomas Costelow,
Francis Jennings and Thomas Jennings.
Headquarters of the 46th regiment commanded by Lieut-Col
George James Molle arrived on the Windham and other
detachments arrived on the
Sir William Bensley
Marquis of Wellington,
On 28th June eighty male convicts from the hulks at
Woolwich were received on board, all in good health. They
were all put in double leg irons and formed into messes of
six men each. The owners of the vessel came on board on 1st
July and paid wages in advance to the crew. The weather was
very stormy this day and the prisoners were not permitted to
go on deck.
The ship dropped down to Norfleet on 2 July and
on the 3 July at 11am they got under weigh for the Nore
where they anchored at 5.30pm. They received here 50
prisoners from the Retribution hulk at Sheerness. These men
received slops and were berthed and divided into messes of
six men. On the 4th July 50 prisoners were received from the
Bellerophon at Sheerness.
The Larkins weighed anchor at 6am
on 5 July and anchored off the South Foreland at 2pm. At 6pm
they weighed anchor and continued working round towards
Portsmouth to load the remainder of the prisoners. Also
boarding at Portsmouth were passengers James Richard Styles,
Frederick Dixon, William Francis Weston, Betty (Elizabeth)
Weston, and son John Weston. A pilot was received on board
on 10th July and they came to anchor at the Motherbank at
11pm that night.
On 11 July, 40 prisoners from the
and 30 from the Laurel hulks at Portsmouth were received on
board. This day also convict George Millington received 3
dozen lashes for abuse to the Sentinel.
There was a total of
367 men women and children when the Larkins set sail for St.
Helen's on 24 July. There had been one more - George Keen,
however he was unable to be found and it was conjectured
that he had got his irons off his legs, concealed himself
among the boats or booms when the prisoners were sent below
and took an opportunity to swim to the Isle of Wright, a
distance of about two miles.
A great number of prisoners,
guards and passengers were very sick for the next 12 hours
before they came to anchor off Brixham. William McDonald
attended to cleanliness by employing a method of heating
sand in the oven and scattering it over the deck. At the
next cleaning, the grease and filth was found to be easily
able to be swept away.
Larkins arrived in Port Jackson
on 22 November 1817. On arrival several prisoners made an
official complaint of ill treatment and that boxes they had
brought on board with them had been plundered. George
Handley maintained that he handed over his belongings to the
Chief Mate Mr. Laurens and the items had not been returned.
An enquiry was held and it was found that the boxes had been
stowed below for safe keeping and had been broken open by
other prisoners. No further action resulted from the
The prisoners were distributed to Windsor,
Liverpool and Bringelly.
Governor Macquarie recorded the
departure of the Larkins in his diary......
Tuesday 6. Jany.
1818 ! This morning Sailed from Sydney Cove for Bengal – and
ultimately for England – the Ship Larkins Commanded by Capt.
Wilkinson; Doctr. Mc.Donald having proceeded as a Passenger
on board her.
Larkins returned to New South Wales with
Notes & Links:
1). In Sydney in July
1818 eleven desperate convicts made a bid for freedom by
attempting to steal two boats. They attempted this while
Governor Macquarie was on a tour of Newcastle settlement . Among their number were three men who had
arrived on the Larkins - John Giddings, Thomas Scott and
Find out more about their attempted escape
here. The Governor considered them all to be of the most
depraved characters in the colony and after capture they were sentenced to
work at hard labour in double irons at the
Lime Kilns near
Newcastle for up to three years.
escape was attempted at Newcastle. This time the convicts
were never found.
James Johnston who arrived on the
Larkins was one of eleven pirates who seized the
cutter Eclipse and made for the open sea. Find out more
about their audacious escape
3). John Popjoy arrived as a convict on
the Larkins. He later achieved fame when he assisted in
rescuing survivors from a mutiny on the brig Cyprus.
Select here to find out more
William Turvey arrived as a convict on the
Larkins and later
Constable at Newcastle
5). Innkeeper, pilot,
Charles Hughes arrived on the
John Kirby was
executed in 1820 for the wilful
Murder of native chief Burragong near Newcastle.
7). William McDonald was also
surgeon on the convict ship
Fanny in 1816
8). John Slater
arrived as a convict. He later wrote to his wife in England
giving an account of the voyage and colony ..... A
description of Sydney, Parramatta, Newcastle, &c.
settlements in New South Wales, with some account of the
manners and employment of the convicts in a letter from John
Slater, to his wife in Nottingham, published for the benefit
of his wife and four children. Canberra : National Library
of Australia, c1988. Select
here to read the letter.
John Hunt arrived as a convict on the Larkins. He was later
employed as a constable at
Maitland and at Patrick Plains.
Hunter Valley convicts /passengers arriving on the Larkins in 1817
12). Return of Convicts of the
Larkins assigned between 1st January 1832 and
31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 21 June 1832).....
William Hudson -Brick moulder assigned to F.A. Hely at