Convict ships to Norfolk Island

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Norfolk Island twice served as a penal colony, from March 1788 to February 1814, and from 1825 to 1853. During both periods the Government in New South Wales transferred convicts that had been brought to Australia on to the island.

At first the intent was to settle and develop the island. There appear to be no compilations of which vessels brought how many convicts from New South Wales to Norfolk Island, and when, during the 1788 to 1814 period. One vessel that did was Golden Grove, which brought 21 males and 11 females in October 1788. Rough seas and the absence of good landing sites made it difficult to supply and sustain the colony. By 1812 a new penal colony had been established at Hobart Town in Van Diemen's Land and it had received its first convicts from Britain. Norfolk Island no longer served any purpose and the last settlers and convicts were removed by February 1814.[1] The last to leave left on 28 February on HM Colonial brig Kangaroo.[2]

During the second period the penal colony was initially revived as a place of banishment for the worst convicts, those who had re-offended while in Australia. On 6 June 1825 Major Turton, along with 34 troops, six women and children, and 57 convicts, reoccupied the island. On 23 February 1827 there was the execution, in Sydney, of the ringleaders of a convict mutiny. The 66 prisoners going to the island on the brig Wellington had succeeded in overwhelming their guards, capturing the brig, and sailing her to New Zealand. There, however, they were arrested and brought back to Sydney aboard Sisters to stand trial.

Between 1828 and 1850 some dozen vessels made about 40 voyages shuttling convicts to and from the island. The first of these arrived on 8 November 1828 with 14 convicts, and the last arrived on 6 August 1850 with one. The most brought on any voyage was 106 on Louisa on 19 September 1831. The New South Wales Government State Archives & Records has a web page that lists the vessels that shuttled to the Island and back. It gives the date of arrival of each voyage, and the number of convicts carried.[1]

Then between 1840 and 1847 fourteen ships transported male convicts to Norfolk Island from the British Isles for the British Government.

1788-1807[edit]

Vessel Master Date of arrival Sailed from Convicts embarked Convicts landed
HMS Supply David Blackburn 6 March 1788 Sydney 15 15
Golden Grove William Sharp October 1788 Sydney 32 32
HMS Supply David Blackburn 2 March 1789 Sydney 27 27
HMS Supply David Blackburn 3 December 1789 Sydney 14 14
HMS Supply David Blackburn 29 January 1790 Sydney 24 24
HMS Sirius John Hunter 13 March 1790 Sydney 161 161
HMS Supply David Blackburn 13 March 1790 Sydney ? ?
Surprize Nicholas Anstis 7 August 1790 Sydney ? ?
HMS Supply David Blackburn 15 April 1791 Sydney 4 4
Mary Ann Mark Munroe 15 April 1791 Sydney 134 134
Salamander John Nichol 16 September 1791 Sydney 160 160
Atlantic Archibald Armstrong 2 November 1791 Sydney 3 3
Queen Richard Owen 2 November 1791 Sydney ? ?
HMS Reliance Commander Henry Waterhouse 13 February 1796 Sydney 24 24
HMS Supply Lieutenant William Kent April 1796 Sydney ? ?
HMS Reliance Commander Henry Waterhouse November 1799 Sydney 5 5
HMS Porpoise Lieutenant William Scott 7 Jan 1801 Sydney ? ?
HMS Buffalo Lieutenant William Kent 9 May 1803 Sydney 9 9
HMS Lady Nelson Lieutenant James Symons 24 June 1804 Sydney 11 11


Between 1807 and 1813 the government evacuated Norfolk Island, moving the colonists, convicts, guards, etc. to Van Diemen's Land (VDL). The vessels that carried out the evacuation were:

Vessel Master Date of departure from Norfolk Island Date of arrival at VDL Number of passengers
Lady Nelson
Porpoise
Estramina
City of Edinburgh Simon Pattison 9 September 1808 2 October 1808 c.250
Minstrel John Reid 63

1840-1850[edit]

Vessel[3] Master[3] Date of arrival[3] Sailed from[3] Convicts embarked[4] Convicts landed[4]
Nautilus H.F. Alloway 1840 Dublin 200 178 + 21 Sydney
Augusta Jessie J.S. Sparke 27 March 1840 Dublin 161 129 + 34 Sydney
Mangles William Carr 1840 Plymouth 290 236 + 53 Sydney
Maitland George (or John) Thompson 7 February 1844 Portsmouth 199 199
Blundell Robert L. Hunter 5 July 1844 Woolwich 210 210
Agincourt Henry Neatby 9 November 1844 Woolwich 224 220
Hydrabad Alexander Robertson 19 February 1845 The Downs 260 259
David Malcolm James Cable 25 August 1845 The Downs 220 220
Hyderabad T.A. Castle 2 September 1845 250 250
Mayda May 8 January 1846 London 199 195
China Livesay 16 May 1846 Woolwich 200 199
John Calvin Hunter[5] 21 September 1846 Woolwich 200 199
Tory Lukey (or John) Young 1847 Dublin 200 195
Eliza Daniel 30 April 1850 London 60 56 + 4 Hobart

The last convicts were removed to Tasmania in May 1853.[1]

See also[edit]

Citations and references[edit]

Citations

  1. ^ a b c Norfolk Island Guide.
  2. ^ Treadgold (1988), p.35.
  3. ^ a b c d Bateson (1959), pp.322-323.
  4. ^ a b Bateson (1959), p.340.
  5. ^ Lloyd's Register (1846), Seq.№J397.

References

  • Bateson, Charles (1959). The Convict Ships, 1787-1868. Brown, Son & Ferguson. OCLC 3778075.
  • Bateson, Charles (1974). The Convict Ships, 1787-1868. Brown, Son & Ferguson.
  • Dunn, Cathy. "Ships to and from Norfolk Island 1788 to 1814". Australian History Research. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  • Treadgold, M.L. (1988) Bounteous Bestowal: The Economic History of Norfolk Island. (National Centre for Development Studies, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University).