was built at Lancaster in 1805.
The Minerva was the next convict ship to leave England for
New South Wales after the departure of the
Hindostan in July 1821
This was the third
of four voyages of the Minerva bringing convicts to New South Wales, the others
1824. Prisoners to be embarked on the
Minerva in 1821 came from districts throughout England and Scotland. Most
were held on prison hulks prior to joining the Minerva.
The Guard consisted of detachments of the 30th, 46th, 48th, 83rd,
and 89th regt., under orders of Lieut. Hingston of the 83rd. Other convict
ships bringing soldiers of the 89th regiment included the
Baring. Other convict ships bringing detachments of
the 48th regiment included the
Lady Castlereagh, Agamemnon, Minerva,
Pilot. More detachments of
the 46th regiment arrived on the
This was Charles Queade's third voyage as surgeon superintendent on a convict ship.
He kept a Medical Journal from 21st July to 16 December 1821:
reported that on Saturday 21 July at Little Nore, the
received on board 142 male convicts in irons. Many had been held on
the Bellerephon prison hulk. They were inspected and supplied with
beds and blankets and then divided into messes with six in each. On
the 23 July thirty more convicts were received from Chatham bringing
the number of prisoners to 172. Although the surgeon had applied to
the Victualling Officer at Chatham for fresh food supplies, none had
been forthcoming and so the men were on sea rations. (salt meat?).
They were supplied with razors and strap and deck trousers.
On the following weekend the carpenters and plumbers repaired prison
On Monday 30th July, with the assistance of some of the prisoners,
the ship weighed anchor for the Downs. Other prisoners, less used to
a sea faring life soon began to suffer sea sickness. When the
Minerva departed Sheerness on the 1st August 1821, some of the
convicts continued to assist working her and on Saturday evening 4th
August they passed by the Isle of Wight. The boy convicts at this
time had their leg irons removed and the men were supplied with 11
manuals of devotion, 11 bibles, 22 testaments, 44 prayer books.
Tuesday 7 August, as they came into the Bay of Biscay, most of the
convicts were experiencing sea sickness. There seems to be no
mention in the journal of singing and dancing or other light hearted
occupations as on some convict ships, however the prisoners were
divided into groups to take turn about on deck; and were given jobs
to do such as picking oakum. Throughout the voyage prisoners were
punished with a few dozen lashes for thieving or riotous behaviour
as it occurred.
On Friday 17 August, they passed the Island of
Madeira at a distance of 30 miles and 25 men and 14 boys were
allowed out of their irons. A bottle of lemon juice was received in
to the hospital for the treatment of men who were ill. Three days
later there were rumours that the convicts had formed a plan to take
the ship. They were closely examined by the officers of the ship and
sergeant of the guard to find out if they had weapons and what the
plan might have been, however it was found that the report was
unfounded and originated by the fears of a young Irish recruit while
on sentry . On 11th September the hospital bulkhead was cut through
by five of the convicts George Smith, John Liddell, Patrick Connell, Thomas
Emanuel Williams, and the cupboard robbed of tea and sugar. Two of
the men involved received six dozen lashes and others three or
four dozen each.
On Wednesday 19 September Charles Queade recorded
that the weather was extremely fine and numbers of flying fish and
dolphins were to be seen. The convicts complained to Queade that
they were not receiving their full rations, but he could find no
evidence of this. On the 7 October he reported that he thought
the change in weather had led to an increase of rheumatic affections
and pneumonia. Many cases of sea scurvy had also occurred by this
10 December they had reached Bass Strait and passed by King Island
at ˝ past 3 pm., about NNE by compass. On Sunday 16 December 1821
they arrived in Sydney Harbour. Three men died of scurvy before the
end of the voyage and on arrival another 25 required hospital
James Bowman, Colonial Surgeon later laid the blame for
the outbreak on surgeon Charles Queade as lemon juice and wine had
been liberally furnished but not with any regularity......(Charles
Bateson, The Convict Ships)
The Prisoners were landed and inspected
by His Excellency, Governor Brisbane on the morning of Friday 21
December 1821. (read more about the process of disembarking here).
This was the first time Governor Brisbane had examined convicts on
arrival as he had succeeded Governor Macquarie on 1st December 1821.
Mariner and Settler John Bingle, later referred to as 'the father of commerce in
Newcastle arrived as a passenger on the
Minvera as did settler
Charles Queade was also surgeon on the convict ships
Minerva in 1819 and the
Phoenix in 1824 (VDL)
Notes & Links:
1). Seven Prisoners were convicted in Scotland -
John Fleming from Jedburgh,
Bernard Hyndes from Edinburgh,
Duncan McCallum from
Hugh McCallum from Stirling,
John McCluckes from Glasgow,
John Morrison from Stirling and
Alexander Williamson from Edinburgh.
Hunter Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Minerva in
3). Return of Convicts of the Minerva assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March
1832 (Sydney Gazette 28 June 1832).....
James McKenzie -
Linen weaver assigned to James Underwood at Sydney
Charles & Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships,
1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney :
2. Ancestry.com. UK, Royal Navy Medical
Journals, 1817-1857 [database on-line].
Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com 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.
National Archives. Reference: ADM 101/54/3 Description: Medical
journal of the convict ship Minerva, for 21 July to 16 December 1821
by Charles Queade, Surgeon and Superintendent, during which period
the said ship was employed in conveying convicts to New Holland.
(Described at item level). [Also includes daily records of the
ship’s latitude and longitude. Details of weather conditions,
temperature readings and the ship’s routine are also mentioned].