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Convict Ship Dunvegan Castle


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Voyage 181 days
Deaths - 5
Surgeons Journal: yes
Tons: 446
Crew: 35 men
Previous vessel: Katherine Stewart Forbes arrived 18 February 1830
Next vessel: Forth I arrived 26 April 1830
Captain William Walmsley.
Surgeon Superintendent Robert Dunn
Hunter Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Dunvegan Castle in 1830

The Dunvegan Castle was built at Chittagong in 1819. [4] Convicts were transported to New South Wales on the Dunvegan Castle on this voyage in 1830 and in 1832.

The prisoners came from counties throughout England and Scotland including Stafford, Gloucester, Manchester, Liverpool, Bedford, Warwick, Edinburgh and Middlesex. Most had been held on prison Hulks before being embarked on the ship. Some of the men were embarked at Woolwich on the 16th; and on the 21st September at Sheerness. One of the convicts died that same evening.

Military Guard

The military guard were embarked on the 11th. The Guard consisted of soldiers of the 17th, 44th, 27th and 63rd regiments., under orders from Lieut. John Grey. Six women and 12 children accompanied the military guard. Select here to find convicts ships bringing detachments of the 63rd and 17th regiments.

Cabin Passengers

Passengers included Mrs. Grey and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Lipscome Kentish, and Mortimer Lewis, wife Elizabeth nee Clements, three sons and one daughter.

Mortimer Lewis had been appointed assistant surveyor in the office of the surveyor-general Sir Thomas Mitchell. Moritmer Lewis mapped the Dividing Range west of Sydney and later was appointed town surveyor. In 1835 he was appointed colonial architect, a post he held for fifteen years.[2] He designed the Newcastle Court House and assisted in laying the foundation stone of the Maitland Gaol. His son Mortimer Lewis (jun) married Ellen Stacy, daughter of Dr. John Stacy of Newcastle and lived for a time in the Military Barracks at Newcastle

Surgeon Robert Dunn

This was Robert Dunn's second voyage as surgeon superintendent on a convict ship. He was appointed to the Dunvegan Castle on the 8th of September 1829. He kept a medical journal from 8 September 1829 to 10 April 1830. He rejected one of the soldiers and inspected the ships crew in order to prevent any possibility of contagions or infectious diseases being introduced into the ship as had been the case in his last voyage, the Bussorah Merchant in 1828


The Dunvegan Castle became the last convict ship to transport prisoners before the establishment of the Metropolitan Police Force introduced by Sir Robert Peel. Before September 1829 the watchmen, familiarly called 'Charlies,' who guarded the streets of London, were often incompetent and feeble old men, often unfit for their duties. [1]

The Dunvegan Castle departed Sheerness on 30 September 1829.

The Voyage

This was a particularly long voyage because of contrary winds which resulted in an inrease in number of men requiring medical treatment. Robert Dunn described some of the difficulties of the voyage in his journal......

The weather during September was cold for the season and accompanied with a damp atmosphere and frequent showers and they did not clear the Channel until the 20th October 1829. During October the weather remained cold with constant westerly gales however the prisoners remained healthy at this time except for a few slight cases of Catarrhal. During this time convict William Harris almost had his ear torn off when a cask landed on his head on the 5th October.

In the months of November and December they experienced nothing but light winds and hot sultry weather and were nearly all that time inside the tropics. From light baffling winds they did not pass the Cape of Good Hope till the 4th of January. When they got into high southern latitudes where heavy gales and damp weather could be expected they experienced only light and contrary winds so that instead of making the passage from the Cape to Sydney in six weeks they took eleven weeks to reach Van Diemens Land. The medical comforts were expended by this time and water was running out, so they called at Hobart Town on 13th March and remained there eleven days. Four convicts had died on the passage or in the hospital at Hobart from scurvy -
Isaac Wilson 1 March,
William Caley 7 March,
Thomas Sanson 9 March,
George Dunn on 10 March.
The remaining convicts recovered with fresh beef and vegetables in that time and the ship resumed her voyage to Sydney.

Robert Dunn's general remarks at the end of the voyage - I cannot conclude these remarks without stating for the information of your Honourable Board that the lemon juice was sent on board in casks instead of bottles. This consequence was that it was so thick that it had the appearance of fine soup than anything else I could compare it to and from this circumstance the convicts instead of drinking it with that avidity formerly, loathed it. It was only by standing by that I got them to drink it. I dont consider that it had that anti-scorbutic effect I have often witnessed it to have. Two cases sent on board in bottles which I kept for the use of the hospital and worst cases of scurvy I found it not only checked the disease but many got well under its influence. I mixed it with nectar and I cannot say enough in praise of this last valuable medicine in that loathsome disease.

Port Jackson

The Dunvegan Castle arrived in Port Jackson via Hobart on 30 March 1830 with 175 male prisoners. The voyage had taken 181 days.

Convict Muster

Prisoners were mustered on board by the Colonial Secretary on 1st April. A total of five had died on the voyage out. The convict indents record each prisoners name, age, education, religion, marital status, family, offence, sentence, native place, date and place of trial, former convictions, physical descriptions and where and to whom the convicts were assigned. There is also occasional information regarding colonial crimes, deaths and pardons.


Dunvegan Castle convicts sent to Hunter Valley region:

Name Notes
Austin, Thomas Brassfounder from London. Assigned to John Earl
Baker, Walter Ploughs, shears, milks and reaps. Native place Norfolk. Assigned to John Watson, Nelsons Plains
Banks, Charles Grocer from London. Assignd to Francis Little
Bell, Andrew Errand boy from Southampton. Assigned to J.M. Davis
Bennett, Charles Indoor servant from London. Assigned to Joseph Rookin
Bennett, John Needle maker from Worcestershire.
Benson, William Boatman from London. Assigned to Rev. Lancelot Threlkeld, Lake Macquarie
Birtles, James Factory boy from Manchester. Assigned to William Ogilvie, Merton
Blackburn, John Weaver from Lancashire. Assigned to Henry Dumaresq, St. Heliers
Blackway, William Ploughs, shears, milks. Native place Worcester. Assigned to Francis Little
Blagborough, Nathaniel Labourer from Yorkshire.
Blucher, Mark Indoor servant and jeweller. Assigned to William Dun, Paterson
Burton, John Ploughs, milks, reaps. Native place Bedfordshire. Assigned to Robert Coulson, Black Creek
Burton, William Gardener, ploughs, shears. Native place Norfolk. Assigned to William Kelman
Darcey, William Shoemaker's apprentice from Dublin. Assigned to John Cobb
Davies, John Labourer, milks, reaps. Native place Brenock. Assigned to Archibald Bell jun.
Davis, Thomas Ploughs, shears. flax dresser. Lative of Ludlow. Assigned to Hugh Cameron, Invermein
Denney, James Seaman and labourer from Londonderry. Assigned to John Watson at Nelson Plains
Dutton, Samuel House painter from Staffordshire. Assigned to Dept. Public Works
Edwards, George Light porter from London. Assigned to Alexander McLeod, Ratagan
Fogg, Joseph Factory boy from Lancashire. Assigned to William Innes, Hunter River
Foster, Jonathan Wool sorter from Howarth. Assigned to James Bowman, Sydney
Fowler, George Errand boy from London. Assigned to George Townsend, Trevallyn
Fox, George Labourer from London. Assigned to John Hickey, Hunter River
Freeman, William Ploughs, reaps, milks, shears. Native place Gloucestershire. Assigned to Rev. Lancelot Threlkeld, Lake Macquarie
Freeth, John Brush maker and stableman from Bristol. Assigned to William Ogilvie
Glossop, James Hairdresser from Leicester. Assigned to Alexander McLeod, Luskintyre
Hammond, John Waiter from Nottingham. Assigned to George Muir, Wallis Plains
Heywood, Daniel Ploughs, shears milks, reaps. Native place Shropshire. Assigned to William Ogilvie
Hilson, George Boatman and waggoner from Kent. Assigned to W. West, Nelsons Plains
Hopwood, William Farmboy from Gloucestershire. Assigned to William Bucknell, Hunter River
Humphries, Enoch Labourer from Gloucestershire. Assigned to George Townsend, Trevallyn
Humphries, William Carpenter and joiner from Gloucestershire. Assigned to William Sims Bell
Ingram, John Tallow chandler from Abergavenny. Assigned to William Forsyth, Hunter River
Jenkins, Henry Shears, reaps. Native place Lambeth. Assigned to William Innes, Hunter River
Johnson, Henry Grocer from Huntingdonshire. Assigned to Patrick Doolan, Wollombi
Jones, George Labourer from London. Age 21. Assigned to E.G. Cory, Paterson
Jones, George Errand boy from London. Age 16. Assigned to Richard Lang, Hunter River
Jones, Henry Cook from Bristol. Assigned to George Townsend, Trevallyn
Jones, John Age 22. Labourer and factory worker from London. Assigned to A.A. Company
Jones, John Age 16. Errand boy and Labourer from Liverpool. Assigned to John Budge at Maitland 1836
Kelly, Thomas Errand boy from Dublin. Assigned to William Dun, Paterson
Kennedy, Bryan Shoemaker's apprentice from Limerick. Assigned to E.G. Cory, Paterson
Leech, George Linen weaver and labourer from Yokshire. Assigned to John Herring Boughton, Paterson
Lilly, Daniel Groom and coach man from Kelso. Assigned to Alexander McLeay on arrival
Llewellen, Thomas Plane maker and carpenter. Assigned to William Innes
Lovell, Robert Ploughman, milks, reaps. Naived place Bedford. Assigned to William McLean, Williams River
Lowe, Jesse Cotton carder from Oldham. Assigned to Thomas Cullen at Patrick Plains
Marshall, John Labourer, reaps, milks. Native place Orkneys. Assigned to Alexander McLeod at Luskintyre
McDonald, Daniel Bricklayer from Dublin. Assigned to John Smith of Maitland
Merrick, William Shoemaker from Bristol. Assigned to Timothy Nowlan
Miller, Francis Cork cutter from Berwick. Assigned Thomas Steele
Millner, Thomas Ploughs, milks, reaps. Native place Stafford. Assigned to James McDougall, Patrick Plains
Mills, Thomas Ploughs, shepherd, milks, reaps. Native place Gloucester. Assigned to Henry Dumaresq at St Heliers
Mountford, Joshua Carter from Stafford. Assigned to Sir Francis Forbes
Murray, John Quill dresser and painter. Native place Edinboro
Nightingale, Robert Coal miner from Staffordshire. Sent to No. 3 stockade at Newcastle 1839
North, William Currier from Leeds. Assigned to Alexander McLeod at Luskintyre
Oldham, John Seaman and servant from London. Assigned to George Goldsmith at Wollombi
Page, William Butcher and woollen draper from Hertford. Assigned to James Reid at Rosebrook
Payne, William Ploughs, shears, reaps, milks. Native place Staffordshire. Assigned to John Cobb
Price, John Engineer and miller from Flintshire. Ticket of leave Muswellbrook 1841
Pruett, John Toper sawyer from North America. Absconded from Harpers Hill stockade 1837
Reed, John Tobacconist from Liverpool. Assigned to John Larnach
Roberts, Owen Ploughman from Derbyshire. Assigned to E.G. Cory on arrival
Rogers, John Tailor from Dublin. Assigned to Hunter River district on arrival
Rogers, William Ploughs, shears, milks, reaps. Native place Flintshire. Assigned to Francis Greenway in Sydney
Ross, William Type founder from Edinboro. Assignd to James McDougall at Patrick Plains
Short, Joseph Iron founder from Birmingham. Ticket of leave Merton 1839
Sisson, John Bargman from Nottingham. Assigned to Alexander McDougall at Wallis Plains
Smith, James Quill dresser and boatman from London. Assigned to James McDougall, Patrick Plains
Smith, Owen Errand boy from London. Assigned to Alexander McLeod, Luskintyre
Spencer, James Shepherd from Derby. Assigned to Sir Francis Forbes
Stanyard, Charles Brass founder from Birmingham. Assigned to Thomas Steele at Patrick Plains
Swindells, Samuel Shepherd, reaps, milks. Native place Cheshire. Assigned to Sir Francis Forbes
Tobin, James Tailor's apprentice from London. Assigned to Archibald Bell jun., Belmont
Tricklebank, Joseph Ploughs, milks, reaps. Native place Staffordshire. Assigned to Richard Lang, Hunter River
Waddington, John Ploughman from Pontefact. Assigned to John Cobb
Walson, John Ploughman and soldier. Assigned to William Dun, Paterson
Welsh, James Groom from Waterford. Granted ticket of leave Patrick Plains 1841
Wilde, Samuel Machine turner and fitter from Manchester.Assigned to H.C. Sempill
Williams, Lewis Silk weaver from Staffordshire. Executed in 1837
Williams, George Alias Goodchild. Painter and glazier. Granted Ticket of leave Patrick Plains 1846
Yardley, William Cutler's boy from London. Sent to Newcastle gaol 1847
Yates (Price), Thomas Brassfounder from Birmingham. Assigned to William Bucknell on arrival

Departure From Sydney

The Dunvegan Castle was to depart Sydney for London with various goods in August.

Notes and Links

1). Read about bushranger George Jones, convict of the Dunvegan Castle

2). Hunter Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Dunvegan Castle in 1830

3). Return of Convicts of the Dunvegan Castle assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 28 June 1832; July 1832).....

Thomas Briggs - Carpenter assigned to R. Fitzgerald at Windsor
James Bristles - Factory and cow boy assigned to Timothy Nowlan at Hunter River
John Hopkins - Labourer assigned to John Lupton at Argyle Road
William Humphries - Carter assigned to William Smith at Parramatta
George Hancock - Servant and groom assigned to Susan Brown at Windsor
Thomas Lewellan - Plane maker and carpenter. Assigned to William Innes at Maitland
John Lloyd - Blacksmith assigned to J. and H. Ryrie at Murray
John Oldham - Seaman and servant assigned to George Goldsmith at Wollombi
John Radford - Plasterer assigned to F.A. Hely in Sydney
Owen Smith - Errand boy assigned to the A.A. Company at Port Stephens

4). Ships bringing detachments of the 63rd regiment -

Albion departed Sheerness 1 June 1828 - Lieut. M. Vickery
Eliza departed London 29 June 1828 - Major Sholto Douglas
Marquis of Hastings departed 30 June 1828 - Ensign Stulbmer
Royal George departed Spithead 26 August 1828 - Captain J. Briggs
Vittora departed Devonport1 September 1828 - Lieut. Aubyn
Governor Ready departed Cork 21 September 1828 - Lieut. J. Gibbons Lane
Ferguson departed Dublin 16 November 1828 - Captain DArcy Wentworth
Mellish departed Falmouth 2 January 1829 - Captain Baylee
Lord Melville departed London 5 January 1829 - Lieut-Col. Burke
Waterloo departed London 14 March 1829 - Lieut. T. Grove
America departed Woolwich 8 April 1829 - Adjutant T. Montgomery
Norfolk departed Spithead 22 May 1829 - Ensign W.J. Darling
Guildford departed Dublin 12 July 1829 - Lieut McLean 89th
Larkins departed Cork 16 August 1829 - Captain Mahon
Claudine departed London 24 August 1829 - Captain Paterson
Sarah departed London 29 August 1829 - Lieut. Croly
Dunvegan Castle departed 30 September 1829 - Lieut. John Gray
Katherine Stewart Forbes departed Spithead 14 October 1829 - Major Fairtclough

5). Convict Ships bringing detachments of the 17th regiment........

Dunvegan Castle departed Sheerness 30 September 1829 - Lieut. John Grey
Katherine Stewart Forbes departed Spithead 14 October 1829 - Major Fairtclough 63rd regt.,
Mermaid departed Sheerness 5 December 1829- Lieutenant Isaac Blackburn
Forth 1 departed Cork 1 January 1830 - Captain James Oliphant Clunie
Nithsdale departed Sheerness 1 January 1830 - Captain Robert G. Moffatt
Lady Feversham departed Portsmouth 8 April 1830 - Lieutenant Harvey 29th regt.,
Marquis of Huntley departed Sheerness 9 April 1830 Lieutenant Watson 20th regt.,
Adrian departed Portsmouth 27 April 1830 - Ensign Reynolds
Lord Melville departed the Downs 6 June 1830 - Lieutenant Robert Graham
Hercules departed Dublin 3 July 1830 - Major J.W. Bouverie
Royal Admiral departed Portsmouth 5 July 1830 - Captain John Church
Burrell departed Plymouth 27 July 1830 - Captain John Alexander Edwards
Andromeda departed Cork 28 August 1830 - Captain Charles Forbes
York departed Sheerness 4 September 1830- Lieut-Col. Henry Despard
Edward departed Cork 17 October 1830 - Captain Deeds
Eliza II departed Cork 10 May 1832 - Lieutenant Hewson 4th regiment


[1] Modern London, or London as it is. - Peter Cunningham, John Murray

[2] Mortimer William Lewis - Australian Dictionary of Biography

[3] UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 . The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[4] Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.348-349, 386

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