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Convict Ship
Nile 1801

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Select from the Links below to find information about Convict Ships arriving in New South Wales, Norfolk Island and Van Diemen's Land between the years 1788 and 1850

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Embarked: 96 women
Voyage: 176 days
Deaths 0
Surgeon's Journal: no
Tons: 320
Previous vessel: Minorca arrived 14 December 1801
Next vessel: Coromandel arrived 13 June 1802
Captain James Sunter
Surgeon Joseph Hislop
Follow the Female Convict Ship Trail

The Nile was built at Newcastle England in 1799 and was sheathed with copper over the boards (3) She was registered at London and owned by Francis and Thomas Hurry of Howden Dock, Wall's End Northumberland.(4) There was a crew of 24 men and she was manned with 10 guns.

The Nile arrived at Portsmouth on 20th May 1801 and departed Spithead on 21st June 1801 in convoy with the Minorca and Canada. (5) They sailed via Rio de Janeiro and arrived in Port Jackson on 14 December 1801, a voyage of 176 days.
Ninety-six female prisoners, four children, ten male passengers including William Bowman, Richard Rouse, John Tibbett, John Jones, Israel Rayner, John Hillas and Peter Hodge; nine female passengers and 21 children arrived on the Nile.

The above mentioned Richard Rouse was accompanied by his wife Elizabeth who gave birth to a son John Richard during the voyage. Their daughter Mary Rouse accompanied them also. In 1818 she accompanied Governor and Mrs. Macquarie on their Visit to Newcastle.

The Surgeons and Masters of the Nile, Minorca and Canada transports were issued with strict guidelines for the health and good order of the ships.... The vessels were to be completely fitted and supplied with every necessary requirement for the purpose of health and comfort for all persons embarked including a comprehensive diet suited to such changes as the constitution might undergo during the voyage and climate; as also with a proper selection of medicines; and to be supplied with the means of cleanliness of their persons - soap, combs, razors, and also those for fumigation, ventilation, scrubbing, cleansing; the perfect purification of and the convenient supply of water, together with every necessary item for the hospital, including changes of bedding, sheeting, hospital clothing, proper diet and drinks for the diseased and convalescent. A diary was also expected to be kept and presented to the Governor on arrival..(1)

Governor King could report in February that the passengers all arrived in good health, and the convicts were the healthiest and best conditioned that ever arrived being all fit for immediate labour. (2)

The Nile departed Port Jackson bound for China on 6th February 1802.  

Notes and Links:

1). Margaret Catchpole arrived as a convict on the Nile

Read Margaret Catchpole's description of Newcastle Coal miners here

The history of Margaret Catchpole [by R. Cobbold]. By R. Cobbold

2). The National Archives UK records the following information about the voyage of the Nile..... Voyages: (1) 1800/1 New South Wales and China. Capt James Sunter. Portsmouth 21 Jun 1801 - 26 Aug Rio de Janeiro - 14 Dec New South Wales - 27 Apr 1802 Whampoa - 24 May Lintin - 5 Aug Amboina - 3 Nov Cape - 1 Dec St Helena - 14 Feb 1803 Downs.

3). Hunter Valley convicts/ passengers arriving on the Nile in 1801

4). Five convict ships arrived in New South Wales in 1801 - Anne, Earl Cornwallis, Canada, Minorca and Nile.

5). Few communities can boast of having seen that almost fabulous personage amongst them commonly known as the oldest inhabitant; but our obituary of today records the death of an old and much respected colonist Richard Rouse, Esq., of Rouse Hill, who had nearly attained the age of eighty years. Mr. Rouse arrived in NSW with his wife and two young children in the ship Nile, in the year 1801; he had, there fore, been a resident in the colony rather more than half a century. There are now but very few of his contemporaries remaining - Freemans Journal..20 May 1852.

6). Find out more about the Nile in the Historical Records of Australia, Series 1, Vol.3


(1) HR NSW Volume IV., p. 400

(2) HR NSW Volume IV., p691

(3). Lloyds Register of Shipping...

(4) Sydney Mail 19 November 1930

(5) HR NSW p. 787


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