In April 1820 the London Morning Post reported that on board prisons were being built on the Agamemnon at Sheerness in preparation for transporting male prisoners to New South Wales.(1)
One hundred and seventy-nine male prisoners were transported on the Agamemnon. They came from counties in England and Scotland. Two men were convicted in Gibraltar - Barnabas Pells and James Gaskell. Seventeen men came from Scotland - Robert Laird, Henry Kerr, Alexander Fraser, George Gibbs, George Reynolds, Robert McGee, Michael McMillan, John McDougall, Henry Morgan, Robert Peeble, James Wallis, George Begrie, William Patterson, Thomas Hollands, John Mackie, Malcolm Turner and Alexander Reid.
The Guard consisted of a detachment of the 48th regt., under orders of Lieut. Keays of the 47th regiment.
Departure from Portsmouth
The Agamemnon departed Portsmouth under a south-westerly breeze on the 3rd May 1820. She sailed via Rio, leaving there on 3rd July 1820.
Surgeon James Hall
James Hall, R. N., kept a Medical Journal from 6 April to 29 September 1820.
He remarked that the prevalent disease on the voyage was Catarrh produced by the weather and the dampness of the prison from the detention of the vessel at the Bay of Biscay by a long continuance of bad weather. He signed the Journal J. Hall, Surgeon, formerly of the Imperial Russian Navy.
....Signature of James Hall
James Hall was surgeon on the Agamemnon, Brothers in 1824, Mary Anne in 1822 and Georgiana to Tasmania in 1833
Agamemnon arrived at Port Jackson on 22 September 1820 with 178 male prisoners, one having died on the passage out.
Governor Macquarie recorded the arrival in his Journal:
Friday 22 Septr. !!! This forenoon anchored in Port Jackson, the Ship Agamemnon, Capt. Robt. Surtees, with 178 Male Convicts from England - whence She sailed on the 3d. of May last, touching at Rio de Janeiro; Doctr. Hall R. Navy being the Surgeon Supdt., and the Guard consisting of 31 Soldiers of the 48th. Regt. being Commanded by Lieut. Keays of the 47th. Regiment. One Convict was relanded, and one died on the Passage; the rest arriving in good Health. No Passengers.
The prisoners were landed together with those of the Dorothy on Friday morning 29th September, and inspected by Governor Macquarie who was pleased to give directions respecting their distribution. Select here to find out more about disembarkation of prisoners.
The convict indent of the Agamemnon include the convict's name, where and when convicted, term of sentence, native place, calling, age and physical description. There is information about some tickets of leave but no record of where/to whom the prisoners were assigned or the nature of their crime.
Departure of Agamemnon
The Sydney Gazette reported: On Tuesday the Agamemnon, Captain Surtees, sailed for Madras. She conveys to India for the purpose of joining their respective Regiments, the various detachments that have come out lately from England as guards in the transports.
Also departing on the Agamemnon was First Officer John Melvin, Second Officer William Sindey and Third Officer John Howey.
Notes and Links
1). Read the story of Abraham Van Brienen from Russia who was first transported for 7 years on the Agamemnon in 1820 and returned to England in 1828. In 1834 for the crime of forgery he was re-transported on the Surrey in the name of Alexander Brannon. ......200 year old story Russian convict in Australia.
2). Other ships bringing detachments of the 48th regt., included:
Pilot under orders of Lieut Franklin of the 69th regt.,
Caledonia under orders of Brevet-Major Wheatstone of te 53rd regt.,
Dorothy under orders of Lieut. Holdsworth of the 82nd regt.,
Larkins under orders of Captain John Brabyn of the Royal Veterans
James Abbott - Farmer's man from Milton, Buckinghamshire age 37. Tried at Kent Quarter Sessions on 2nd August 1819 and sentenced to 7 years transportation. Sent to Nicholas Bayley on arrival. Sent to Sydney Gaol by Regentville Bench on 17st November 1821. Sent to Newcastle gaol on the Elizabeth Henrietta for remainder of sentence on 30th November. Assigned to David Duncombe at Botany in 1823.
George Begrie / Begue - Saddler from Edinburgh. Tried 8 January 1820 and sentenced to 14 years transportation for robbery. Assigned to Sir John Jamieson at Windsor in 1822. Granted a Ticket of Leave for the district of Newcastle dated 27th April 1827. Appointed constable at Newcastle in July 1827. Ticket of Leave cancelled by the Newcastle Bench on 17 July 1829 for drunk and disorderly conduct. Dismissed from the Police Force. Suspended for 3 months in August 1830 for gross abuse to his Master. Restored after his petition in August 1830. Granted a Certificate of Freedom 1 February 1834
Joseph Bradley - Nail maker age 20 from Stonebridge. Tried at Worcester Quarter Session 19 October 1819 and sentenced to 7 years transportation. Admitted to Sydney Gaol with another prisoner on 28 August 1822 under sentence of 100 lashes each. In August 1823 he is noted on the list of prisoners who were discharged from the Emu Plains penal establishment and sent to Mr. McHenry's clearing party. Granted a Certificate of Freedom on 19 October 1826. In the 1828 Census he is recorded as being employed as a blacksmith by Robert Henderson at Brisbane Water.
John Brown - Fancy painter from Edinburgh age 47. Tried at Middlesex 3 December 1819 and sentenced to 7 years transportation. Sent to Newcastle in February 1821 for two years for running from the goal gang. Sent to Port Macquarie March 1824 for the remainder of his sentence for stowing away. Employed by Government in Sydney in 1825. Granted a Certificate of Freedom 14 December 1826. Sent from Sydney to Newcastle for felony in October 1829.
David Choat - Gardener aged 20. Native of Malden Essex. Tried 1st December 1819 at Middlesex Gaol Delivery and sentenced to transportation for life.
George Dawson - Carpenter from York. In December 1820 on the list of prisoners sent to Newcastle from Sydney. Employed as government carpenter in Sydney in 1822. Assigned to John Dixon in Sydney in 1824. Admitted to Sydney Gaol in July 1830 having been found absent from his Master. Forwarded to Parramatta. Sent to Sydney Gaol in June 1837 by the Bungonia Bench. Forwarded to Parramatta. Died at Goulburn in 1837 age 51.
Alexander Frazer - Age 20. Tried in Edinburgh 4 January 1820. Sentenced to transportation for life for house breaking. In 1828 assigned to Andrew Loder at Patrick Plains where he was employed as a hutkeeper. Granted a ticket of leave in 1833. Died at Patrick Plains in 1839.
John Garbutt - Bone and ivory brush maker from Birmingham. 5ft 7 in, dark sallow complexion, brown hair, dark eyes. Age 28. Tried in Warwick in 1818 and sentenced to transportation for life. Discharged from Emu Plains in April 1823. Appointed constable at Windsor in June 1826. Appointed district constable at Lower Pitt Town in 1828. Granted a ticket of leave for Hawkesbury district in 1829. Application to marry Sarah Ward (born in the colony) in 1835 at Wilberforce. In October 1837 he was posted as a ticket of leave holder absent from his district of Invermein.
Francis Girard alias de Lisle - Australian Colonial Dance.......No portrait of Francois Girard exists, yet from the convict records a fascinating image emerges. Twenty-seven years old upon arrival in Sydney of 'dashing appearance and pleasing address', Francois was 5 feet 6 inches tall, with a sallow complexion, hazel eyes and brown hair. He was to become one of the richest entrepreneurs in the colony.
George Halliwell/ Hollaway - Farmer's man age 34. Tried at Lancaster Quarter Sessions 8 November 1819 and sentenced to 7 years transportation. In 1832 at Maitland George Halliwell's application to marry Catherine Coyle refused as Catherine was stated already married.
John Herring - Shoemaker. Age 15. Convicted in London on 1st November 1817 of stealing a silk handkerchief. Sent to Newgate prison and transferred to the Bellerphon hulk on 2nd January 1818. Assigned to Robert Scott in 1823. Granted a certificate of freedom in November 1824. Employed/ assigned to Joseph Onus in 1825.
Thomas James - Shoemaker. Assigned to James Bowman in 1828. Granted Ticket of Leave July 1834. Applied to marry Mary Daley at Maitland in 1836. Resident at Patrick Plains in 1837
James Lane (?William Lane) (Conflicting information)Old Bailey Online - James Lane tried on 21 April 1819 and sentenced to 7 years transportation. Age 20 Old Bailey Online - William Lane tried on 21 April 1819 and sentenced to 7 years transportation. Age 20. UK Hulk Records (Ancestry) - William Lane and James Lane were both admitted to the Retribution hulk on 18 May 1819 both having been tried at the Old Bailey on 21st April 1819 Convict Indents of the Agamemnon - William Lane - Boy of all trades age 16. Tried at Middlesex 21st April 1819 Colonial Secretary's correspondence - James Lane per Agamemnon- Assigned to James McGilivray in 1825. Sentenced to 25 lashes for neglect of work and insolence to his master. William Lane application to marry Sarah Northwood at Narellan in 1835
John McDougall - Weaver from Glasgow age 19. Convicted at Dumfries 23 September 1819 and sentenced to transportation for life. In 1829 married Euphemia Clarke who arrived free on the Maria. Became overseer of iron gangs and a constable at Wollombi. He was responsible for the capture of a bushranger on the Wollombi road in April 1839 and in December 1840 was tied up and flogged by bushrangers at his Rising Sun Inn at Wollombi (Sydney Herald). He died at Millfield, Wollombi in November 1870 age 76 years.
Robert McGee - Tried in Edinburgh in 1820 and sentenced to 14 years for theft. Admitted to the Retribution Hulk on 4th April 1820. On a list of prisoners sent to Newcastle in 1821. Granted a ticket of leave for the district of Maitland in 1831. Employed as a constable at Darlington. Died in 1832.
Charles Mitchell - Assigned to William Travis Stubbs in the Newcastle district in 1824. Free by servitude and employed as a shoemaker at Patrick Plains in 1828. (Census)
William Moore - Born c 1803 London, son of William and Ann Moore. Stableboy. Tried December 1819 and sentenced to transportation for life. Married Margaret Young (arrived per Earl of Liverpool) at Maitland in 1833. Both resident at Wollombi at time of marriage
Anthony Murphy age 15 and John Clark age 16, were tried at the Old Bailey on 9 September 1818 and sentenced to transportation for life for stealing, on the 13th of July 1818, from George Ashton, one seal, value 10s., and one key, value 3s. at Piccadilly, London. They were sent to Newgate prison and from there transferred to the Bellerophon hulk. John Clark was transported on the Baring in December 1818. Anthony Murphy remained on the Bellerophon until April 1820 when he was transferred to the Agamemnon. He was 5'2' with hazel eyes, brown hair and fair pockpitted complexion. Just two months after arrival in November 1820, he was transported to Newcastle penal settlement under sentence of three years. In January 1823 he was sentenced to 25 lashes for neglect of work on the farm of
William Evans. He was on a list of convicts assigned to John Laurio Platt in October 1823. He was sentenced to 50 lashes after absconding from Government service in December 1824. He absconded from a Newcastle road gang and was captured at Brisbane Water in April 1825. By 1831 he was assigned to the A.A. Company at Port Stephens. On 22 Sept. 1831 he was sentenced to 12 months in an iron gang for robbery. He absconded from the A.A. Company in September 1834. Sent to Norfolk Island (1841?)
John O'Neill - Tried at Worcester in 1819 and sentenced to 7 years transportation. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in 1822. In July 1824 assigned to John Smith at Newcastle and sentenced by Magistrate Edward C. Close to 25 lashes for impudence to and defiance of his master
George Pease - Chimney Sweep age 18. Tried at the Old Bailey 15 September 1819 and sentenced to 7 years transportation. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in 1822. In August 1842 Admitted to Newcastle gaol from Maitland on a charge of assaulting a constable in the execution of his duty. Sentenced to 1 month confinement of pay 5 pounds fine. Sent to Port Macquarie and Wellington in 1824.
Thomas Peasland - Tried in Northampton in 1819 and sentenced to 7 years transportation. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in February1822 and transferred to Port Macquarie in March 1823. Assigned to James Hassell at Bathurst in 1824
William Reeks/Rix - Tried in Monmouth in 1819. Assigned to Mr. Lowther at Newcastle in 1825. Stockkeeper, free by servitude and employed by Peter McIntyre at Segenhoe in 1828
James Robinson - Sailor from Essex. Tried at the Old Bailey 12 January 1820 and sentenced to transportation for life and sent to Newgate prison and then to the Retribution hulk. Transferred to the Agamemnon on 15th April 1820. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in 1821 and then Port Macquarie. His name was included in a list of people who had committed murder in the year 1821.
Thomas Roper - Tried at Nottingham in 1819 and sentenced to 7 years transportation. Appointed Constable at Patrick Plains in 1828 employed by Isaac Perrott. Resigned in 1830. Married Charlotte Stroud in 1830
William Saul - Tried at Middlesex in 1820 and sentenced to death for forgery. Age 21. Reprieved and sentenced to transportation for life. Admitted to the Retribution Hulk from Newgate 1st April 1820 and transferred to the Agamemnon on 15th April 1820. In December 1820 he was apprehended for bushranging and sent to Sydney Gaol. He was transported to Newcastle penal settlement in July 1821 and transferred to Port Macquarie in September 1823. Absconded from Port Macquarie and taken into Newcastle in January 1824. Sent to Hobart in March 1824. Assigned to government service at Newcastle in 1825.
Joseph Still - Tried at the Old Bailey - Joseph Still and Joseph Bush were indicted for stealing, on the 2d of November, at Paddington, thirteen sheep, price 30 l., the property of William Dexter. They received a sentence of death which was commuted to transportation for life. Joseph Still was transported to Newcastle in December 1821. Sentenced to 25 lashes for theft on his master's farm in February 1823. Sentenced to 25 lashes for stealing planks from William Wilkinson at Newcastle in March 1823. He was sent to Port Macquarie in March 1823. In October 1833 he was granted a Ticket of Leave for the district of Parramatta . In November 1833 at Parramatta he was granted permission to marry Mary Ann Kelly who arrived free on the Bussorah Merchant. Granted a Conditional Pardon in March 1841
James Thomas - Native place Roscommon. Tried at York Assizes 24th July 1819 and sentenced to transportation for Life for burglary. In 1825 he was assigned to James Bowman. In April 1831 he was sentenced to 14 days solitary confinement in Newcastle Gaol by Maitland bench for insubordination. On 4th May 1831 he was discharged from gaol to private service of Francis Allman. In November 1832 he was assigned to Houston Mitchell at Maitland. He was granted a Ticket of Leave for the district of Maitland in March 1834. He was 42 years of age in 1835 when he was granted permission to marry
Mary Daley who arrived on the Andromeda in 1834. In April 1839 his ticket of leave for the district of Paterson was cancelled for dishonest conduct.
John Thompson - Tried in Lancaster in 1819 and sentenced to 7 years transportation. Sent to Emu Plains on arrival in the colony. Admitted to Sydney gaol in October 1821 and sentenced to spend the remainder of his sentence at Newcastle penal settlement. Transported to Newcastle on the Elizabeth Henrietta in October 1821. Sent to Port Macquarie in March 1823.
William Watson - Tried at the Old Bailey and sentenced to transportation for life for pick pocketing a handkerchief. Sent to Emu Plains on arrival. Discharged from Emu Plains to Mr. Fulton's clearing party in December 1822. In April 1825 on the list of convicts employed by William Howe. Granted a ticket of leave for the district of Cassilis in December 1840
Joseph Wood - Tried at the old Bailey on 12 January 1820 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for grand larceny (stealing a pair of trousers). Sent to Newgate prison and transferred to the Retribution hulk in February 1820. Sent to the Agamemnon in April 1820. Sent to Emu Plains on arrival in the colony. Assigned to Thomas Cooling at Evan in March 1822. In January 1823 assigned to Mr. Murdoch's clearing party. Assigned to John Rotton in the district of Newcastle in August 1824. In May 1828 at Newcastle granted permission to marry Ann Currey (per Elizabeth). Recorded as Free by servitude and employed by
Henry Grounds at Patrick Plains in the November 1828 Census. In 1832 at Patrick Plains married Margaret Brandon who arrived on the Burrell in 1832
William Woodcock - Tried at the Old Bailey on 12 January 1820 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for pickpocketing. Sent to Newgate prison and transferred to the Retribution hulk on 26th February 1820 and sent on board the Agamemnon on 15th April 1820. Sent to Emu Plains on arrival in the Colony. In December 1822 assigned to the Orphan School Farm clearing party. Assigned to Thomas Potter Macqueen in 1825. Granted a certificate of freedom in 1827
William Worrall - Tried at Lancaster in 1820 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for felony. Sent to the Ganymede Hulk on 10th February 1820 and transferred to the Agamemnon in April 1820. On list of prisoners transported to Newcastle in May 1822. Died at Newcastle in October 1824
William Wright - Tried at Nottingham in 1819 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for felony. Sent to the Bellerephon hulk on 29th July 1819. On the list of prisoners sent to Newcastle in March 1821. Punished with 50 lashes at Newcastle in June 1821 for purloining government iron and working it during public labour.
Thomas Young - Tried at Lincoln in 1820 and sentenced to 7 years transportation. Assigned to Henry Baldwin of Wilberforce in April 1825. Assigned to Archibald Bell from May 1825.
 London Morning Post 17 April 1820
 Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.342-343, 383
 Ancestry.com. UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Medical Journal of James Hall on the voyage of the Agamemnon in 1820. The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.
 National Archives - Reference: ADM 101/1/6 Description: Medical journal in Latin of the convict ship Agamemnon for 6 April and 29 September 1820 by Surgeon Dr James Hall, formerly of the Imperial Russian Navy, during which time the said ship was sailing to New South Wales. Entries to patients disappear from the journal when treatment ceases, but usually no explicit statement of recovery or discharge is provided.