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Convict Ship Marquis of Hastings 1826

Embarked: 152 men
Voyage: 134 days
Deaths: 0
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Midas arrived 17 December 1825
Next vessel: Sir Godfrey Webster arrived 3 January 1826
Captain William Ostler
Surgeon Superintendent George Shaw Rutherford

The Marquis of Hastings was built in London in 1819.[6] This was the first voyage bringing prisoners to Australia.  


Some of the convicts of the Marquis of Hastings were held on the York and Leviathan Hulks at Portsmouth prior to transportation.   John Henry Capper was Superintendent of Ships and Vessels employed for the confinement of criminals. He made the following report.....

"The convicts confined on board the Leviathan, York and Hardy hulks, in Portsmouth harbour, have been employed in carrying on the public works under the naval and ordnance boards, and the principal officers of those departments have expressed their approbation of the prisoners' conduct when on shore executing their tasks of labour. [5] 

The prisoners were transferred from the Hulks to the Marquis of Hastings on 15th August 1825.


The Guard consisted of 37 rank and file of the 57th regiment under Ensign Stewart


The Marquis of Hastings departed Portsmouth on 22 August 1825 and Rio de Janeiro on 2nd November 1825.  

The Sydney Gazette later reported: {Extract} .....The Marquis of Hastings fell in with a French brig (the Bon Pere) from Nantz, off the Cape of Good Hope, bound to the Isle of Bourbon, and by this means elicited the information that Ferdinand VII had abdicated the Spanish Throne, in favour of his brother, Don Carlos, a Prince that is universally adored by the people, on account of his patriotic attachment to the Constitutional Government, as established by the famous Cortes. The same respectable and authentic source, whence we derive the above, has also added to our stock of choice information, by acquainting us that the Relict of the venerated Macquarie receives a pension, from His Majesty's Government, of 400 per annum. Young Lachlan may yet revisit his Country, by which time we hope this other Scion of Australia will have the melancholy felicity of viewing that Monument which a grateful People will then have raised to the memory and in honour of his revered Sire. [2] 


Surgeon George Rutherford kept a Medical Journal from 2 July 1825 to 9 January 1826. He remarked that there were few cases of serious illness due to the favourable season when sailing. They departed in August when fine weather was to be expected off the Cape of Good Hope .........

On no former occasion however did scurvy make its appearance so early on voyage, symptoms developing before they reached the line. Knowing from former voyages what I had to expect by entering the cold southern latitudes before reaching the Cape I considered it advisable to put into Rio de Janeiro for refreshments - little else could be done other than arresting the progress of the disease when it made its appearance up to that date by the usual means - liberating them from irons and obliging them to take exercise, keeping the prison clean, dry and ventilated and administering lime juice. No cases of scurvy appeared after Rio de Janeiro. [7]

Some of those mentioned in the Surgeon's Journal included:

John Bullock, aged 23;
John Chillingworth, aged 58;
Richard Gurnet, soldier,
Joseph Henry, aged 29;
John Boon, aged 19;
Joseph Stammers, aged 29;
Samuel Porter, aged 25;
Charles Pulham, aged 28;
William Billet, aged 20;
William Maltman, aged 20;
Charles Clifford, aged 20;
Philip Gould, aged 15;
William Burgen, aged 21;
Joseph Manning, aged 19;
William Lawrence, aged 23;
William Brooks, aged 25;
John Turpin, aged 21;
James Barret, aged 30;
Philip Gould, aged 15;
William Brooks, aged 25;
Anthony West, aged 25;
William Cutts, aged 48;


The Marquis of Hastings arrived in Port Jackson on 3 January 1826.


Until 1825 Frederick Goulburn held the position of Colonial Secretary in New South Wales. In June 1825 Alexander McLeay was appointed to the position. Alexander McLeay arrived with his wife and six daughters on the Marquis of Hastings.

From this time forward more detailed information was recorded in the convict indents. Previously usually only the name, age, place and date of trial, native place, trade and physical description were set down. After Alexander McLeay took over the position the indents revealed details such as name, age, education, religion, marital status, family, native place, calling, offence, when and where tried, sentence, prior convictions, physical description and to whom assigned on arrival. Occasional information regarding relatives already in the colony, deaths and colonial sentences were also often recorded.


A Muster was held on board on Saturday 7th January 1826 by Colonial Secretary Frederick Goulburn. This was the last time he held a muster on a convict ship.


The prisoners were landed on the morning of Monday 9th January. They were not landed at the usual place in Sydney Cove, but in the Government Domain, in Farm Cove, and were then marched through the Domain at the back of Government House direct to the Prisoners' Barracks in Hyde Park.

Governor Darling inspected these men in the barrack yard; and was pleased to hold out to them the prospect of every proper encouragement on condition of exemplary good behaviour; after which they were distributed throughout the Country.

Hyde Park Barracks c.1820
Convict [Hyde Park] Barrack Sydney N.S. Wales, c. 1820 Artist unknown Watercolour Presented by Mrs E Fuller in memory of her husband, Capt AWF Fuller, 1963 - State Library of NSW

The majority were forwarded to the interior by water, for the purpose of accommodating the settlers, who have been so badly off for labourers for a considerable time past.[3]


William Ostler came into conflict with Governor Darling as the following correspondence shows: Governor Darling to the Commissioners of the Navy. Gentlemen, 3rd Febru'y, 1826........

I beg to state to you that Mr. Ostler has throughout acted most irregularly. Soon after his arrival, he landed 2 Casks of Brandy and two Casks of Wine, with Thirteen Packages of Goods of different kinds. These were detained by the Naval Officer, but have since been given up, the Attorney General being of opinion that the Laws for seizing Goods, landed without a Permit, do not extend to this Colony.

I must not omit to mention that, in order to render this imposition the less liable to detection, Mr. McLeay's name, the Colonial Secretary, who came out Passenger in the Marquis of Hastings, was put on the several articles landed; And that, even after this occurrence, another Boat was detained with a quantity of things on board, but Mr. Ostler endeavoured to excuse himself in this case by asserting that they belonged to one of the Officers of the Ship. I should add that, in addition to these Articles, Mr. Ostler imported Thirty five Tons of Pig lead, which it does not appear, by your Letter, he had any authority to Ship, though he produced a docket to that effect, and was in consequence permitted to land it. I have furnished Mr. Ostler with a Certificate of his having landed the Convicts, which were embarked under his charge, in good order, and have stated in it that I should report his Conduct to enable you to take the necessary steps. From what I understand, Mr. Ostler is by no means a solitary case. I shall, how- ever, use all the means in my power to put a stop to the Ships, employed in this Line, trading, as appears to have been the practice.

I have, &c, Ra. Darling
. [1]

One year later a Government Order was issued:

As the Conduct of the Masters of Convict Ships, has, in several Instances, been extremely irregular in endeavouring to introduce into the Colony Articles for Sale, contrary to their Charter Party, and to the Prejudice of the established Merchants and Traders, the Commissioners of the Navy, on the Representation of His Excellency, have signified their Determination to co operate, to the utmost, to put a Stop to such Practices; And, in Pursuance thereof, have resolved to inflict a severe 'Mulct against the Freight of the Marquis of Hastings for the highly improper Conduct of the Master' on his last Voyage to this Colony.  


The Marquis of Hastings was to depart the colony for Calcutta on 28th January 1826.

The Asiatic Journal reported in 1827....Capt. Wm. Ostler, of the Marquis of Hastings, homeward-bound from China, threw himself overboard in a fit of insanity off the Cape of Good Hope, on the night of the 9th September.  

An article in the Australian later gave further news - In our last number we mentioned that Captain Ostler had drowned himself after being detected in an attempt to burn that fine vessel to prevent some contraband goods, which had been taken on board, being discovered. It appears that on the same morning, the 9th September, when this circumstance took place, a note was found on the desk in his cabin to this effect: "A bad crew, and bad first officer, have been the destruction of W. Ostler" At two o'clock on the previous day, a fire was discovered, but soon extinguished, in the store room of the ship. It must have been put into the scuttle by some person maliciously inclined. Captain Ostler struck his forehead, replying to Mr. Martin, that it was a very strange think, and then returned to his cabin. The vessel put into the Cape of Good Hope by desire of the crew, for refreshment. The fore and spring stays were found burned by vitriol. She had put into Mossel Bay in distress on the 1st of the same month. Row, the chief officer, had been suspended from duty by Captain Ostler on the 9th August. One thousand chests of tea were sold at Batavia to defray the expenses of repairing the damage sustained in the Java sea, and coffee taken in to supply the efficiency. [4]


1). Evidence of George Rutherford - on the efficiency of secondary punishment.

2). George Rutherford was surgeon on the convict ships Prince of Orange in 1821, Shipley in 1822, Commodore Hayes in 1823 (VDL), Marquis of Hastings in 1826, Eliza in 1827, Lord Melville in 1829, Royal Admiral in 1830 and the China 1846 (to Norfolk Island)     

3). Prisoners and passengers of the Marquis of Hastings identified in the Hunter Valley

4). From the National Archives UK - Chartered ship, 450 tons. Principal Managing Owners: 1-3 George Lyell, 4 James Somes.

5). It was reported that Frederick Goulburn departed the colony on the Columbia in January 1826 with the intention of retiring from public life.

6). William Ostler was previously Master on the convict ships Elizabeth in 1816; Elizabeth in  1818 and Elizabeth in  1820  

7). The vessel Marquis of Hastings transported convicts to Australia on this voyage in 1826 (NSW), 1827 (NSW), 1828 (NSW), 1839 (VDL) and 1842 (VDL).  

8). Return of Convicts of the Marquis of Hastings assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 21 June 1832; 28 June 1832).....

Charles Clifford - Brass turner assigned to Thomas Roberts at Sydney
Thomas Herring - Cowman. Assigned to Thomas Kendall at St. Vincen
tLevy Lencock (Simcock) - Tailor assigned to John Liscombe at Bathurst

(9). List of convicts of the Marquis of Hastings who have been identified in the Hunter Valley, Maitland, Newcastle or Lake Macquarie districts. ........

Levi Abraham - Jeweller's Clerk
James Barrett - Reaps & thrashes
William Billett - Ploughman
William Brooks - Butcher
John Cronshaw - Iron founder
William Crookshanks - Clerk
John Crowbombe - Ploughs
William Cutts - Horse doctor
James Dewell - Bricklayer;
Thomas Fellows - Horse shoer
James Fibbins - Ploughman;
John Fibbins - Ploughman
David Gardner - Ploughman
Jonathon Goldspink - Ploughman
William Goslett - Hawker
Philip Gould - Carter
Robert Gower - Ploughman;
John Hallett Boot maker;
Abraham Hicks - Reaper
George Hobbs - Horse dealer
Henry Holmes - Ploughman
Joseph Manning;
Joseph Moorey - Ploughman;
Daniel Morgan;
William Mortimer - Ploughman
John Nevit/Nevil-
John Pritchard - Watchmaker;
Joel Richards - Ploughs;
George Skarritt - Carter;
William Spurling - Ploughs & milks
Joseph Trigg - Ploughs
Thomas Williams-
William Willmott - Stable boy

10). Vessels bringing detachments of the 57th Regiment........

Asia 1825 departed Cork 29 October 1824 -  Captain Richard Heaviside

Asia (III) 1825 departed Portsmouth 5 January 1825 - Lieutenant Thomas Bainbridge

Royal Charlotte 1825 departed Portsmouth 5 January 1825 - Major Edmund Lockyer

Hooghley 1825 departed Cork 5 January 1825 Cork - Captain Patrick Logan

Norfolk 1825 departed Portsmouth 17 April 1825 - Captain James Brown

Minstrel 1825 departed Portsmouth 17 April 1825 - Lieutenant Henry John Tudor Shadforth

Lonach 1825 departed Cork 16 May 1825 - Lieutenant John William Donelan

Sir Godfrey Webster departed Cork 11 July 1825 - Lieutenant John Ovens

Medway 1825 departed the Downs 2 August 1825 Downs - Lieutenant William Bates

Henry Porcher 1825 departed Dublin 5 August 1825 Dublin - Captain Vance Young Donaldson

Marquis of Hastings 1826 departed Portsmouth 22 August 1825 - Ensign Stewart

Mangles 1826 departed Cork 23 October 1825 - Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Shadforth

Sesostris 1826 departed Portsmouth 30 November 1825 - Major John Campbell

Prince Regent 1827 departed London 11 June 1827 - Lieutenant Campbell

Morley 1828 departed Dublin 3 November 1827 - Captain Robert Hunt

Borodino 1828 departed Cork 11 February 1828 Cork - Captain Philip Aubyn

Mangles 1828 departed Dublin 23 February 1828 Dublin- Lieut. Hill & Adjutant Lieut. Kidd

Bussorah Merchant 1828 departed London 27 March 1828 - Captain Burton Daveney (+ 1 soldier)

Marquis of Hastings 1828 departed Portsmouth 1828 30 June 1828 - Colonel Allen

Asia 1828 departed London 23 November 1828 - Lieutenant George Edwards


[1] HRA, Series 1, vol. XII, p. 157

[2] Sydney Gazette 1 February 1826

[3] Sydney Gazette 12 January 1826

[4] The Australian 20 December 1826

[5] Accounts and Papers...... Report of John Henry Capper, Esq., Superintendent of Ships and Vessels employed for the confinement of offenders under sentenced of tranportation dated 25 January 1825.

[6] Bateson, Charles & Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.346-347

[7] UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Medical Journal of George Shaw Rutherford on the voyage of the Marquis Hastings in 1826. The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.  

[8] National Archives - Reference: ADM 101/50/2 Description: Medical journal of the convict ship Marquis of Hastings for 2 July 1825 to 9 January 1826, which sailed to New South Wales, by G.S. Rutherford, surgeon and superintendent.