Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Competitor - 1823

Embarked 160 men
Voyage 138 days
Deaths 3
Surgeon's Journal - No
Master William Ascough
Surgeon George Clayton
Convicts and passengers of the Competitor identified in the Hunter Valley Region

The Competitor was launched at Whitby in 1813. She made two voyages bringing convicts to Australia. This voyage to Van Diemen's Land in 1823 with male convicts and New South Wales in 1828 with female convicts.


The Competitor departed England on 18 March 1823 bound for Van Diemen's Land. She sailed via the Cape.

Death of the Surgeon

For the last three weeks of the voyage the prisoners and passengers alike had to manage without the benefit of surgeon George Clayton as he died at sea on the 8th July. Three prisoners died on the voyage.


The Competitor arrived at Hobart on 3rd August 1823.

Prisoners Disembarked

One hundred and fifty-seven convicts were landed in Hobart on the 8th August. Their appearance was reported to be generally healthy. Three prisoners were sent to the hospital where they died soon afterwards.

George Clayton

George Clayton's personal effects were later auctioned in Sydney - they included a Bayley's Dictionary, folio; and upwards of 100 volumes of Latin, French, and English Works, principally medical; a case of surgical instruments; wearing apparel, bed, bedding etc.

Departure from the Colony

The Competitor departed Sydney on 4th February 1824 with a full cargo of colonial produce. Passengers included the Honorable Mr. Justice and Mrs. Field; Mrs. Ascough, wife of the Commander; George Fairfowl, late Surgeon Superintendent of the ship Woodman; John Rodmell late Surgeon Superintendent of the Medina; Peter Cunningham late Surgeon of the ship Recovery; and Mr. George Bayly son of N. Bayly.

Notes and Links

1). George Clayton was also surgeon on the convict ships Shipley in 1817 and the Globe in 1819

2). William Ascough had previously captained the Malabar