Free Settler or Felon?

Convict Ship William Jardine 1838


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Convict Ship William Jardine 1838

Embarked: 214 men
Voyage: 139 days
Deaths: 1
Surgeon's Journal: no
Previous vessel:
Gaillardon arrived 30 March 1838
Next vessel:
Bengal Merchant arrived 21 July 1838
Captain John Crosbie
Richard Lewis
Agents Aspinall and Brown
Follow the Irish Convict Ship Trail
Convicts and passengers of the William Jardine identified in the Hunter Valley


The William Jardine was fitted out in England and commenced loading goods and supplies on 8th October 1837 before departing for Ireland. A detachment of the 51st regiment was ordered to be at Dublin on the 8th November in readiness to embark. The Guard consisted of Captain Austin of 51st regt., Ensign Cormick of 28th regt., 28 rank and file of 28th and 51st, 7 free women, 7 women and 6 children.


The William Jardine departed Kingstown, Dublin on 28 November 1837

Free Passengers

Included in the steerage passengers of the William Jardine were several relatives of various convicts already in the colony who had been recommended for a passage to New South Wales [1].....

Owen Smith age 15, son of Patrick Smith, (the wife of Patrick Smith and their four other children came on the Diamond.)
John Gavin,
James Gavin,
John Nunan age 21,
Thomas Nunan age 14,
Connor Galvin 27,
John MacNamara
Robert McCue

The Sydney Gazette reported that on her voyage the William Jardine spoke H.M.S. Conway from Sydney to Hobart and a ship off Howe's Island, bound to Sydney from London.

Port Jackson

The William Jardine arrived in Port Jackson on 11 April 1838. They were compelled to anchor near Watson's Bay in consequence of the unfavourable state of the weather.

Convict Muster

The convicts were probably mustered on board in the days after arrival. The convict indents are printed and in alphabetical order. Copies of these volumes were distributed throughout the colony as a means of keeping track of convict movement and crimes. They provide each man's name, age, education, religion, marital status, family, native place, offence, trade, when and where tried, previous convictions and physical descriptions. There is no information as to where and to whom the prisoners were assigned.

Seventeen of the prisoners were formerly soldiers who had been court-martialled for desertion or insubordination. .....James Bennet, Archibald Clarke, Alexander Dogherty, William Gentle, John Keany, Thomas Lowe, Alexander McClutock, Daniel McGuiggan, Thomas Mahon, James Morton, William Murnane, George Newlands, William Pearson, Thomas Smith, William Sutton, Robert Wilson and William Wright. Their indent numbers are consecutive indicating that they were mustered together.

There is no surgeon's journal listed at the National Archives for this voyage. At least one convict, Thomas McKeon died on the voyage out. Another Thomas Carroll died in Sydney Hospital on 2nd May 1838.

Departure from the Colony

The William Jardine was to leave for Batavia on 9th May 1838

Notes and Links

1). Convicts and passengers of the William Jardine identified in the Hunter Valley

2). Convict ships bringing detachments of the 51st regiment included the Neptune, Waterloo, William Jardine, Bengal Merchant, Lord Lyndoch, Westmoreland, Clyde, Earl Grey, Portsea, Elphinstone, John Barry, Blenheim, Waverley and the Middlesex.

3). Convict ships bringing detachments of the 28th regiment included the William Jardine, Recovery, Charles Kerr, Westmoreland, Marquis of Huntley, Norfolk, Backwell, England, John Barry, Susan, Waterloo, Moffatt, Strathfieldsaye and Portsea.

Convict Ships 1835 - 28th regiment guard

4). Richard Lewis was formerly employed as surgeon on the convict Morley in 1829.


[1] Convict Ship Musters and Related Records (Ancestry)



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