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Convict Ship Minstrel 1825

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Embarked: 121 men
Voyage: 127 days
Deaths: 0
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Norfolk arrived 18 August 1825
Next vessel: Lonach arrived 4 September 1825
Master Charles Arkcoll.
Surgeon Superintendent Hugh Walker

The Minstrel was built at Hull in 1810 (1). 

The convicts of the Minstrel came from counties of England and Scotland. Most were held in county gaols and then prison hulks for various lengths of time before being transported.

Charles Horrocks, Thomas Brookes, Jacob Barber and James Yates who were all convicted of highway robbery at the Chester Assizes on 6th September 1824, were probably held in the Chester gaol before being sent to the Justitia Hulk on 9th November 1824. They had been sentenced to transportation for life and were transferred from the hulk to the Minstrel with many others on 28th March 1825.

The Minstrel left London on 10th April and sailed from Portsmouth on 17 April 1825 in company with the Norfolk.

The Guard consisted of the 57th regiment under orders of Lieutenant Shadforth.  Lieutenant Henry John Tudor Shadforth was the eldest son of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Shadforth who arrived on the Mangles in 1826.

Select here to find convict ships bringing detachments of the 57th regiment.


One hundred and twenty one male prisoners arrived in good health although there had been an outbreak of scurvy in about twenty of the men early in July. Hugh Walker kept a Medical Journal from 19th March to 26 August 1825. (2) The journal contains medical treatment of those put on the sick list however there are no meteorological reports in the journal nor a summary of events as is often included in other journals.

Those treated by the surgeon during the voyage included (3):
Henry Herrings,
Henry Fussell,
Ann White (age 11 months),
Thomas Chester (soldier),
Henry Fairmanner,
Catherine Connor (twin aged 4, died 5th June),
Charles Wilson,
William Brown,
John Boswell, 
John Sheen,
William Frowen

The Minstrel arrived in Port Jackson on 22nd August 1825. On 25th August the order was given that boats were to be alongside the Minstrel on the following morning to disembark the prisoners. The Sydney Gazette reported that the prisoners were landed, and underwent the usual inspection in the prison-yard by Lieutenant Governor Stewart who addressed the men in the usual encouraging way. They appeared in the best health, and were afterwards distributed throughout the country. (Governor Brisbane who often inspected the convicts, was on a tour of the interior at this time and was soon to depart the colony).  

Notes & Links:

1). Twenty-two of the prisoners of the Minstrel have so far been identified in the Hunter Valley region in the following years. Some, such as James Dales and Thomas Atkinson were sent to the Australian Agricultural Company. Others were assigned to settlers throughout the colony. Charles Horrocks was assigned to James Mudie and John Larnach at Castle Forbes and may even have been there when the infamous convict uprising and subsequent executions took place.

2). Edward Colthurst achieved infamy having been found guilty of the murder of an aboriginal boy in 1826 and sentenced to Norfolk Island. He was one of several convicts who were executed as pirates for Seizing the brig Wellington on the voyage to Norfolk Island in 1827.

3). Select HERE to find more about Hunter Valley convicts / passengers of the Minstrel

4). Hugh Walker was also employed as surgeon superintendent on the Guildford in 1820

5). Charles Arkoll was also Captain of the convict ship Mary which arrived in 1822.

6). Find out about Newcastle bushranger Thomas Hudson who arrived on the Minstrel

7). Henry Herring first came to the colony in the Indefatigable in 1815 and then was re-transported on the Minstrel in 1825.........

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

Joseph Fisher - Cloth dresser assigned to Samuel Thornton in Sydney
James Gallagher - Ploughman assigned to Samuel North at Windsor
William Jones - Comedian. Assigned to Thomas Spicer in Sydney
Robert Nairne - Painter and glazier assigned to Major Lockyer at Parramatta

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

Date/Place of Departure Vessel Officer of the Guard
29 October 1824 Cork Asia 1825 Captain Richard Heaviside
5 January 1825 Portsmouth Asia 1825 (III) Lieutenant Thomas Bainbridge
5 January 1825 Portsmouth Royal Charlotte 1825 Major Edmund Lockyer
5 January 1825 Cork Hooghley 1825 Captain Patrick Logan
17 April 1825 Portsmouth Norfolk 1825 Captain James Brown
17 April 1825 Portsmouth Minstrel 1825 Lieutenant Henry John Tudor Shadforth
16 May 1825 Cork Lonach 1825 Lieutenant John William Donelan
11 July 1825 Cork Sir Godfrey Webster 1826 Lieutenant John Ovens
2 August 1825 Downs Medway 1825 (VDL) Lieutenant William Bates
5 August 1825 Dublin Henry Porcher 1825 Captain Vance Young Donaldson
22 August 1825 Portsmouth Marquis of Hastings 1826 Ensign Stewart
23 October 1825 Cork Mangles 1826 Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Shadforth
30 November 1825 Portsmouth Sesostris 1826 Major John Campbell
11 June 1827 London Prince Regent 1827 Lieutenant Campbell
3 November 1827 Dublin Morley 1828 Captain Robert Hunt
11 February 1828 Cork Borodino 1828 Captain Philip Aubyn
23 February 1828 Dublin Mangles 1828 Lieut. Hill & Adjutant Lieut. Kidd
27 March 1828 London Bussorah Merchant 1828 Captain Burton Daveney (+ 1 soldier)
30 June 1828 Portsmouth Marquis of Hastings 1828 Colonel Allen
23 November 1828 London Asia 1828 Lieutenant George Edwards

6). Lieutenant Governor Stewart (Australian Dictionary of Biography)


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

(2). 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.

(3). National Archives - Reference: ADM 101/54/7 Description: Medical journal of the convict ship Minstrel for 19 March to 26 August 1825, which sailed to New South Wales, by Hugh Walker, surgeon and superintendent. 



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