built at Lancaster in 1804. This was the second of
four voyages bringing convicts to New South Wales,
the others being in
The convicts were embarked on the
Minerva at Cork on 18th August 1819. The Guard
consisted of a detachment of the 1st Foot (Royal)
under orders of Ensign Harrison, 45th regt.,
Passengers included Mr and Mrs. Tate.
Correspondence dated 24th August from Dr. Trevor,
superintendent and medical inspector of convicts, to
William Gregory, Under Secretary, Dublin Castle,
concerning his superintendence of embarkation of
convicts at Cork reveals that there was an attempted
mutiny on board prior to the ship sailing.
There is also a List of names and details of each of
the convicts on board the Minerva. Included is
the full name of each convict, age, date of assizes
trial, crimes, and length of transportation
sentence. Names are arranged by county. Crimes
include picking pockets, sheep and cow steeling,
vagrancy, perjury, highway robbery, assault, and
possession of forged bank notes. Also included is
the statement of John Bell, ship's commander,
certifying receipt of all convicts listed, and
receipt of various items of clothing for each
convict. Also receipt of 'one hundred spelling books
with religious extracts annexed thereto, and
likewise Fifty Testaments'.
Chief Secretary's Office Registered Papers, National
The Minerva was the
next convict ship to leave Ireland for New South
Wales after the departure of the
in May 1819. The Minerva departed Cove of Cork
on 26th August 1819.
They endured some
boisterous weather while off the Cape of Good Hope
but came direct without landing anywhere. The
Minerva arrived in Port Jackson on 17th
It was customary to enquire
of prisoners on arrival in the colony as to whether
they were satisfied with the treatment they had
received on the voyage out. On the arrival of the
Minerva, three convicts - Thomas Quinn,
James Connelly and John Hogan informed the
authorities that they had not received their full
rations of provisions, although they did not lay
blame on either the Captain or the Surgeon. Governor
Macquarie instigated an enquiry which took place on
3rd January and was headed by D'arcy Wentworth.....
Convict Thomas Dwyer was the first to give a
deposition. He told the enquiry that from 26th
August until 13 December the flour, suet, bread and
raisins were deficient in quantity because of
incorrect balancing of the scales. They were
deterred from making complaints to either the
surgeon or captain by the threats of convict John
Harris who had been appointed to superintend issue
of the rations.
James Connelly was the next
prisoner examined. He was appointed by the prisoners
to inspect the scales.
Roach was next interviewed. He had been appointed as
cook for the prisoners. He stated that there was a
deficiency in the beef from 23 October until 13th
James Berwise, 2nd officer was
next examined. He was entrusted with the issue of
the provisions to the soldiers, ships company and
convicts from 26th August to 10th December when he
became ill and the duty fell to.......
Stonehouse, the Captain's Apprentice. He swore under
oath that the rations issued were correct.
Seaman William Sheppard also examined the scales and
found them to be correct.
Angave one of the ship's company gave evidence
stating that the scales were frequently checked and
were correct and that the convicts had received
their correct rations.
Sergeant in His Majesty's First or Royal Scots
regiment superintended the weighing and issuing of
the rations that were given to the Guard until 10th
December and deposed that the scales were repeatedly
balanced and were true and correct.
Alexander Forsyth, Sergeant of 1st Royal Scots
deposed that he supervised the issue of the Guard's
rations from 10th December until the ship's arrival
in Port Jackson and the scales were correct on all
occasions but one when Mr. Stonehouse was using
them, however they were immediately corrected on
The board of enquiry found
that there was no blame attached to Captain Bell,
surgeon Charles Queade and other officers of the
ship and that the high health in which the prisoners
arrived belied their claims.
indents include information such as name, where and
when convicted, sentence, native place, trade and
physical description. There is no indication in the
indents as to where the prisoners were assigned on
arrival. One prisoner, Patrick Dane had died on the
This was Charles Queade's second
voyage as surgeon superintendent on a convict ship.
Although his surgeon's journal seems not to have
survived for this voyage, the rules that he
recommended after his first voyage in the
in 1817 were probably followed on this second
voyage. His attitude to punishment for thieving and
riotous conduct on the voyage can be gleaned from
the journal of the
in 1821. He was also surgeon superintendent on the
voyage of the Phoenix to Van Diemen's Land
The Minerva was to depart
the colony in February. Those giving notice of their
intention to leave on her included: Captain Bell,
Dr. Queade, Chief Officer, Mr. Wilkinson; Second
Officer Mr. Barwise; Third Officer Mr. Goodman; and
Mr. Moore, Fourth Officer.
Notes & Links:
1). George Tate and family
arrived free passengers on the Minerva. Later
overseer to John Oxley.
2). One of the convicts on the
Minerva, Henry Stapleton from Kilkenny
returned to Ireland when his sentence was served and
was later convicted of another crime and sentenced
to transportation again. He was re-transported on
the Eliza in 1829.
Select here to find out what happened to him
when he returned to Ireland.
Cornelius Fitzpatrick, convict by the
executed for the murder of John Bentley at Newcastle
Convicts / passengers arriving on the Minerva in
Captain John Bell - Australian Dictionary of
6). Narrative and successful result
of a voyage in the South Seas, Volume 1 By Peter