Convict Ship Fortune
Embarked : 200 men
Voyage: 190 days
Surgeon's Journal: no
Previous vessel: Archduke Charles arrived 16 February 1813
Next vessel: Earl Spencer 9 October 1813
Master Thomas Walker
Surgeon Samuel Ross
The Fortune first transported convicts to New South Wales in 1806.
In October 1812 two hundred prisoners from districts throughout England and Scotland were embarked on the Fortune. Many of the men had been transferred from the Retribution Hulk to the Fortune on 14th October 1812. Others had been held in the Perseus hulk and transferred on the same day. A number of men had been convicted of riot and machine-breaking including Samuel Ratcliffe, Collin Linden, James Wilson and James Crossland. They were known as Luddites.
The Fortune arrived at Deal on 6th November 1812. The Morning Chronicle reported that strong gales had been experienced by the Fortune near Yarmouth and the brig Robert and Sarah and the Fortune were both washed onto Caister beach where the Robert and Sarah was wrecked.
Cabin PassengersPassengers included Deputy Commissary General David Allan, Mrs. Allan and family; Mr. and Mrs. Hogan and family and several gentlemen holding appointments in the Civil service - Messrs. Brodie and Hobson were Clerks in Commissariat Department. Benjamin Goddard and daughter Susannah arrived as free passengers. Lucy Willford and Thomas Willford later a publican at Punchbowl also came free.
Military GuardThe 1st Battalion of the 73rd regiment received an addition of an Ensign (Dawson) and 30 rank and file of the 73rd regiment. Other detachments of the 73rd regiment arrived on the Dromedary, Indefatigable, Guildford, Hindostan, Indian, Archduke Charles, Ann, Providence 1811 and Admiral Gambier 1811
DepartureThe Fortune departed England on 3 December 1812.
Rio de JaneiroThey stopped at Rio from 3rd February 1813 to 22nd March 1813.
Illness and AccidentsOn the passage two prisoners died of illnesses - John Birnie and William Miles and two others drowned Thomas Simpson and John Payne. A soldier Michael Dwyer, who was accidentally shot in the leg, also died after suffering amputation of the limb.
Port JacksonThe Fortune arrived at Port Jackson on 11 June 1813. The convicts were said to have arrived in the colony in a healthy state.
A muster of convicts was probably held on board after arrival in Sydney. The indents included information such as name, date and place of trial, native place, sentence, physical description and occasional information as to tickets of leave and conditional pardons. Thirty-six of the prisoners were under the age of 21.
Convicts DisembarkedThe prisoners were landed on Friday 18th June and inspected by Governor Macquarie before being assigned to their respective places.
The Sydney Gazette reported that they were of a fine healthy appearance and spoke highly of their treatment from the Commander of the Fortune on the passage.
Six of the prisoners who had been refractory were landed in irons and no doubt laboured under apprehensions from the representation here of their conduct. From these anxieties it was His Excellency's pleasure to relieve them, on a promise of amendment and they were accordingly liberated.
The Fortune brought the news to the colony that War was declared with the United States of America.
Merchandise imported included iron-mongery which was much needed in the colony although the Captain was obliged to request permission from Governor Macquarie to land the goods.
Departure from Port JacksonThe Fortune departed Port Jackson bound for China on 14 September 1813.
Notes and Links1). Eight prisoners were convicted of rioting in Edinburgh Scotland in what became known as the Tron riots. Three were executed - Hugh Macdonald, Neil Sutherland and Hugh McIntosh. Three were sentenced to transportation for life - John Sketon, Robert Gunn and Alexander MacDonald. Two others George Napier and John Grotto were sentenced to 14 years transportation.
Read - New Year Riot leads to Gallows by Robert Willson
Below is an account of the trial......
Tuesday came on the trial of Robert Gunn and Alexander Macdonald alias White. To the relevancy of the indictment, which charged them with six different acts of robbery, committed on the streets of this city on the night of the 31st December, or morning of the 1st January, no objections were made, and the prisoners having pleaded guilty, and subscribed a judicial declaration of their guilt, in presence of the court and jury, the Solicitor-General, in a short address, in which he stated, that it appearing the prisoners were not the leaders, but the led, in the late disgraceful outrages, and as he trusted enough had been done in the way of example, restricted the libel to an arbitrary punishment. The Lord Justice Clerk addressed the prisoners at considerable length on the enormity of those crimes which had brought them to the unhappy situation in which they then stood, and sentenced them to be transported beyond seas for life, under the usual certification. George Napier and John Grotto, whose trial on a former occasion was adjourned, were then put to the bar, and on being asked what they had to say to the indictment, to which at that time they pleaded not guilty? Napier pleaded not guilty of the murder, but guilty of the tenth charge of robbery, viz. that of robbing Peter Bruce, student of medicine, on the South Bridge, of a green silk purse, 5s. 6d. in silver, a gold ring, having a glass in it, and a man's round hat. Grotto likewise pleaded not guilty of the murder, but guilty of the eighth charge of robbery, viz. that of robbing John Buchan Brodie, writer, residing in York Place, of a watch, with a shagreen case, a watch-ribbon, four seals, set in gold, a gold watch key, a blue Morocco leather purse, containing a one-pound note, a seven shillings piece, 8s. in silver, and a man's round hat. The Solicitor-General in this case also restricted the libel to an arbitrary punishment, and the jury returned a verdict of Guilty. - Edinburgh Annual Register 1812
2). William Brodie who came out as Clerk in the Commissariat under Mr. Deputy Commissary General Allan was appointed to the Issuing provision Store at Sydney. It was discovered that he robbed the Store of several casks of Salt Meat and was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment in Parramatta jail. (HRA)
3). The Luddites.....May 25, 1812. The Special Commission for the trials of the rioters at Chester was opened by Judges Dallas and Burton. Their Lordships attended Divine Service the following day and afterwards proceeded to the Shire Hall, when the Grand Inquest of the County being sworn, Judge Dallas addressed the Grand Jury in an eloquent and impressive speech.....
On the general feature of the cases for your consideration, I have no reason to form any very pleasing conjectures. Distress, I fear, did not operate as some would wish us to believe. The characteristics of the system of disturbance are of a very different colour. Handbills were printed and circulated in the manufacturing districts, holding out hope to the disaffected, and threats to the well disposed. A secret oath was administered - the crest and consolidation of conspiracy - all these denote the intrigues of wicked and designing men, to create riot and partial injury. Justice has been for a while withheld, but the law must not unfold its terrors, always remembering, as we shall, that confidence and consideration so necessary in its execution.' - The trials commenced on the 27th; when James Renshaw, a weaver from Winslow, was indicted for a riot, with several others, at Etchells, near Stockport, on the 15th of April, and obtaining from John Norris 2s. and from other persons money, bacon, bread, and cheese. Verdict, not guilty.
The following persons were found Guilty: Edward Renfern and Nancy Hurst, for accompanying a large mob to the granary at Staley, belonging to the Huddersfield Canal Company, and for breaking open and entering the same, and stealing and destroying upwards of 1000 bushels of flour and meal. Thomas Burgess, a collier, from Bredbury, for being, in company with several others, assembled at and entering the corn-mill of Joseph Clay, and burning and carrying away flour. Samuel Lees, Thomas Etchells, and James Ratcliffe, for rioting at the same place. William Greenhough, for a riot at Tintwistle; John Temple, for a burglary, and robbery at Addington. Foster Roach, Collin Linden, James Wilson, James Bennett, Richard Wood, William Thompson, and James Tomlinson, for unlawfully assembling together in Etchells, and by numbers and intimidation, obtaining from J. Parker, Esq. 7s. J. Torkington and J. Henshall and R. Lowns, for rioting and robbing in Pownall Fee and Styall. William Walker, dignified with the name of General Ludd, for a riot, and seizing flour from Ralph Booth at Gee Cross. James Crossland, for destroying machinery, and threatening the life of Robert Thomiley, a manufacturer of cotton. [Wm. Greenhough and Abraham Broadbent, tried on the same indictment, acquitted.] John Haywood, the younger, for a riot at Tintwistle. The Special Commission for the county of Chester remains in force till August. - Gentleman's Magazine
4). Political Prisoners
5). Eliza Middleton, wife of Thomas William Middleton came free on the Fortune. (1825 Muster)
6). Convict James/William Blake was a member of John Oxley's Expeditions in 1817 and 1818
7). Return of Convicts of the Fortune assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 5July 1832)..... James Robinson - Groom and butcher assigned to John Palmer at Richmond Vale
8) The following men were soldiers who were court-martialled - William Langford, Alexander Stewart, George Strain, John Thompson
9). Hunter Valley convicts and passengers arriving on the Fortune in 1813 :
Cotton weaver age 23 from Antwerp. Tried Middlesex 15 January 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. Application to marry Ann Walker at Windsor approved January 1819
Gardener and groom age 33 from Berks. Tried Surrey 30 March 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle for a colonial crime in May 1819. Assigned to Dr. Douglass at Parramatta in January 1823
Biscuit baker age 27 from Northampton. Tried Middlesex 8 April 1812. Sentenced to transportation life for stealing a gelding valued at sixteen pounds. Criminal respite. Drowned in the Hunter River in July 1815 together with Catherine Flynn, George Pell and William Gudgeon after a boating accident
Soldier age 22 from Venice. Tried Middlesex 18 September 1811. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in March 1816. Absconded from service at Newcastle in January 1823. Sentenced to 50 lashes for theft on board the Princess Charlotte in April 1823. Absconded from Newcastle January 1824 and 1825
Shoemaker age 31 from Gloucester. Tried Gloucester Assizes 28 March 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in August 1820. In 1823. Petitioned for a Ticket of Leave so that he could make a comfortable living by honest industry as a tanner and currier. In February 1824 sentenced to hard labour for 4 weeks for being drunk and fighting in the streets. In May 1824 sentenced to hard labour in the mines for one month and return to service having absconded from his master John Smith's service at Newcastle. Sentenced to 50 lashes in June 1824 for leaving his gang in the hours of public labour and general misconduct. In September 1824 sentenced to be worked in the gaol gang and to be sent to Port Macquarie for behaving in a very riotous manner. In August 1826 sentenced to 50 lashes for using improper and insolent language to his master Francis Blower Gibbes and 50 lashes for highly improper gestures before the court. In February 1827 sent to Sydney as an incorrigible vagabond to be disposed of as His Excellency the Governor may please to direct. In 1828 employed as a labourer at Clarendon, Windsor
Gardener age 30 from London. Tried Middlesex 13 May 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in December 1818. Punished in October 1822 with 50 lashes for disobedience of orders and neglect of duty. In November 1825 he was employed as district constable at Port Macquarie
Gardener age 38 from Warwick. Tried Warwick City of Coventry Gaol Delivery 10 August 1811. Sentenced to 14 years transportation. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement for 14 years in June 1820
Sawyer age 25 from Devon. Tried Kent Assizes 16 March 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. Employed at the lumber yard in August 1827. Recommended for mitigation of sentence by R. Rouse in November 1821. Employed in a cedar gang by Simeon Lord at Port Stephens in February 1824. Found to be illegally at large at Newcastle and taken into custody to be forwarded to Sydney in February 1824. Ticket of Leave cancelled in February 1830 for stealing an axe
Collings, Harry (Henry)
Labourer age 30 from Sussex. Tried Sussex Assizes 23 March 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in February 1822. Absconded from there in September 1822
Painter and glazier age 27 from Somerset. Tried Middlesex 19 February 1812. Sentenced to 14 years transportation. In 1828, free by servitude, residing at Wallis Plains and employed as a painter and glazier
Weaver age 29 from Lancashire. Tried Lancaster Session of Pleas 23 May 1812. Sentenced to 7 years transportation for grand larceny. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in August 1821 under sentence of 3 years transportation for stealing from the stores of Capt. Thomas Raine, four bushels of wheat
Shopkeeper age 40 from London. Tried Middlesex 15 January 1812. Sentenced to 14 years transportation. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement for 4 years May 1817 having been convicted in the criminal court. Allowed to return to Newcastle in May 1822 to settle his private affairs however not permitted to land. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement for 3 years for receiving goods stolen from Peter Quigley at Sydney knowing the same to have been stolen in May 1823. He was on a list of prisoners sent to Port Macquarie to serve his sentence in May 1823
Slater age 23 from Glamorgan. Tried Southampton Assizes 2 March 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in June 1817. Punished at Newcastle in March 1820 for leaving his work and stealing government nails. Absconded from Newcastle in November 1822. Sent to Sydney in January 1823, insane, and forwarded to the Castle Hill Asylum. Sentenced of Death Recorded for burglary in May 1825 commuted to 14 years transportation
Farmer's boy age 16 from Essex. Tried 7 August 1811. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in August 1821. Absconded from the settlement in September 1822. In 1828 assigned to Alexander McLeod and employed as a labourer. Absconded from there in January 1830. Granted a Ticket of Leave for Maitland in November 1832 which was cancelled in January 1838 for embezzlement. Granted a Ticket of Leave for Maitland in November 1843 which was cancelled in 1845 for being absent from his district
Seaman age 50 from Dumfries. Tried Middlesex 19 February 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in February 1816. Punished with 25 lashes for theft in January 1817.
Groom age 21 from London. Tried Middlesex 19 February 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in November 1821. Sent to Port Macquarie in September 1823
Groom from Midlothian age 25. Tried Southampton Assizes 2 March 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in October 1815 and August 1818. Employed as overseer at Grose Farm in 1821-22. Found guilty of supplying bushrangers with stores in December 1822. Sentenced to 14 years transportation in January 1824 and forwarded to Port Macquarie
House servant age 33 from Nottingham. Tried Surrey Assizes 12 August 1811. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in December 1814
Brewer and Groom age 23 from Middlesex. Tried Middlesex 19 February 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. Married Mary Ann Price. In Maitland became a ship owner and storekeeper
Farmer age 26 from Warwick. Tried at Middlesex 1 July 1812. Sentenced to 14 years transportation for felony. Sent to Port Dalrymple in service to government in October 1815. In August 1818 sent to Newcastle penal settlement from Port Dalrymple having committed a colonial crime. A month later he successfully petitioned for his wife Ann to accompany him at the settlement. Sent to Port Macquarie in March 1823
Labourer age 21 from Norfolk. Tried Surrey 30 March 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in June 1814
Tailor age 21 from London. Tried Middlesex 8 April 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. Criminal respite. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in March 1817. Sent to Newcastle Gaol in January 1840 under sentence of 7 days in the cells for drunkenness and absconding
Stable boy age 20 from Co. Kilkenny. Tried Middlesex 4 December 1811. Sentenced to transportation for life. Served six and a half years of government service in one gang and then assigned to James Connolly, a settler at Wilberforce. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in March 1818. Petitioned for a Ticket of Leave in January 1820. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement for two years in November 1821. Assigned servant to the pilot at Newcastle in 1825. Granted a Ticket of Leave for Maitland in August 1830. Sent to Newcastle gaol from Maitland under sentence of 14 days in the cells in February 1835. Sent to Newcastle Gaol under sentence of 7 days solitary confinement in December 1836. Assigned to James Reid in 1837 when he was sentenced to 50 lashes for drunk and disorderly conduct. Granted a Ticket of Leave for Paterson in October 1842. Died in Maitland Hospital in January 1848
Brickmaker age 21 from London. London Gaol Delivery 15 January 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. First sent to Newcastle in February 1814. In January 1823 he petitioned for emancipation outlining his achievements in the colony....After a residence of two years in Sydney he was charged by the superintendent with neglect of duty and sentenced to 12 months transportation to Newcastle during which time he received approbation of the Commandants Scottowe, Thompson and Wallis. Also that since that time he voluntarily remained in the settlement. He married Molly Morgan of Maitland and by the industry of his wife and himself acquired property consisting of six horses, one hundred and twenty head of cattle, pigs and other farming stock. Petitioning for emancipation which would enable him to cultivate more land and increase his stock. Granted a Conditional Pardon in November 1825. Died in Maitland in May 1853.
Alias Gordon. Weaver from Lancashire aged 31. Tried Middlesex 10 July 1811. Sentenced to 14 years transportation. Escaped from the Colony and returned on the Dorothy in 1820. On list of prisoners who escaped from the colony in an open boat on the night of the 25th or early on the morning of the 26th December 1820 having absconded from the Richmond road party. His description was posted in the Sydney Gazette: Age 44; seaman; native of Dumfries; 5' 9in Sallow complexion, brown hair, hazel eyes.
Printer age 27 from Cumberland. Tried Middlesex 8 April 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. Criminal respite. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement July 1815. In May 1817 gave a deposition before Commandant James Wallis detailing the death of Private Peter Connachton of 46th regt. who had been fatally speared by natives near Sugar Loaf while out hunting kangaroos with George Little. Sent to Newcastle again in November 1820 for two years. On 2 July 1822 Robert Howe, son of printer George Howe petitioned to have George Little returned to Sydney from Newcastle to work as an assigned servant in the printing office. He described Little as an excellent Printer who may yet become a serviceable and reformed member of society. Granted a Conditional Pardon in 1825
Servant age 21 from Galway. Tried at Devon 16 March 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. In July 1827 he was apprehended on the streets without a pass. The prisoner had been before Captain Rossi on a former occasion and appeared to obtain his livelihood by visiting brothels. Ticket of Leave to cancelled and prisoner to be returned to barracks. Assigned to George Townshend at Paterson in 1832 - 1837
Lighterman age 31 from Essex. Tried 9 March 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. In 1817 he was an assigned servant to Mary Reibey. He was on a list of prisoners to be sent to Newcastle penal settlement in 1818
Labourer age 37 from York. Tried Chester 7 April 1812. Sentenced to 14 years transportation. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in 1820 for having stolen two head of cattle. In service to Colonel Johnston when he was sent to Newcastle again in May 1822 having been suspected of robbing Stephen Woodcock on the Liverpool Road. His description was of a man about 6 ft tall, large black whiskers and long visage; had on a pair of dark Parramatta blanket trowsers, smock frock and glazed hat. In 1824 - 1828 assigned to Edward Close at Green Hills where he was employed as a shepherd. Granted a ticket of leave for Wallis Plains in June 1830. Married Grace Reed at Maitland in August 1834. He died at East Maitland aged 70 years in November 1845
Groom age 20 from London. Tried Middlesex 1 July 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life for felony. On list of prisoners transported to Newcastle in 1816. He was assigned to Henry Adcock in Castlereagh St. Sydney in 1822
Turner aged 19 from Edinburgh. Tried Edinburgh Court of Justiciary 31 March 1812. Sentenced to 14 years transportation. George Napier and John Grotto were part of the Tron riots and having been found guilty of robbery on the streets were sentenced to transportation for 14 years. Sent off from the tolbooth of the city and shipped at Leith for the hulks in the river Thames where they were to remain until sent to Botany Bay. In 1817 he was on the list of prisoners to be sent to Newcastle. He petitioned for a mitigation of sentence in 1818, however escaped from the settlement in 1819, was apprehended and returned to the Settlement. Referred to as an old bushranger when he absconded from Wilson's Gang in December 1820. Assigned to Alexander McLeod in 1824. Granted a Certificate of Freedom in August 1826
Blacksmith age 21 from London. Tried Middlesex 19 February 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life
Weaver age 36 from Lancaster. Tried Lancaster Session of Pleas 23 May 1812. Sentenced to 7 years transportation for administering illegal oaths. A leader in the Luddite movement. On list of prisoners transported to Newcastle penal settlement in July 1821 having been found guilty of stealing from the stores of Captain Thomas Raine, four bushels of wheat. Absconded from the settlement in January 1822. Sent to Port Macquarie in December 1823
Gunsmith age 22 from Warwick. Tried Sussex Assizes 23 March 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. In August 1814 he was one of five convicts sent to Hobart on the Brig Kangaroo
Stable servant age 55 from Gloucester. Tried at Essex 9 March 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in October 1816. Died in Port Macquarie Hospital 14 May 1839
Groom age 30 from Lancashire. Tried Lancaster 21 March 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. Blind in left eye. Assigned to John Palmer at Richmond Vale in 1832. In February 1830 Ticket of Leave cancelled for refusing to answer a Summons and for not attending the Quarterly Muster
Copper plate printer age 25 from London. London Gaol delivery 13 May 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in 1821. In 1828 employed as a printer at Wallis Plains. Granted a Ticket of Leave for Maitland 1832. Residing in Maitland in 1836
Gunsmith age 21 from Cumberland. Tried Edinburgh Court of Justiciary 5 February 1812. Sentenced to 14 years transportation for his part in the Tron riots. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in November 1814
Servant and soldier age 30 from Dublin. Tried Surrey 30 March 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in July 1818
Farmer's man age 30 from Kent. Tried Kent (Sandwich) Gaol Delivery 6 April 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. Granted Ticket of Leave January 1818. Granted Conditional Pardon in June 1823. In 1825 employed as a sawyer at Port Stephens.
Miner age 24 from York. Tried York County Assizes 7 March 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. On list of prisoners to be sent to Newcastle in July 1814. In August 1824, employed as a servant of Benjamin Grainger. Allowed to pass from Windsor to Wallis Plains with cattle. In 1836 Assigned to F. Campbell at Dungog. Granted a ticket of leave for district of Patrick Plains in 1840
Labourer age 27 from Co. Donegal. Court-martial Messina 18 October 1811. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in March 1818
Cooper age 46 from Essex. Tried Kent Assizes 16 March 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. In December 1815, one of two men mentioned in correspondence to Commandant Thomas Thompson, to be sent to Newcastle in His Majesty's Brig Lady Nelson for one year
Gardener and servant age 38 from Surrey. Tried Middlesex 19 February 1812. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. Black hair, hazel eyes
Groom age 22. Tried Surrey Assizes 30 March 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. Black hair, black eyes.
Groom age 23 from York. Tried York County Assizes 7 March 1812. Sentenced to transportation for life. In 1836 assigned to Henry Rae at Maitland. Granted a Ticket of Leave for the district of Maitland in July 1839. Granted a Conditional Pardon in September 1845
Farmer's man age 25 from Hertford. Tried Kent Assizes 16 March 1812. In April 1817 charged with stealing cloth from the stores of Alexander Riley. Sentenced to transportation for life. Granted a Conditional Pardon in November 1821. In May 1822 he was employed as a government overseer in charge of a government cart on the Liverpool Road. A reward was offered for the capture of three ruffians who shot and killed him with a blunderbuss. Samuel Midworth who also arrived on the Fortune was sent to Newcastle penal settlement under suspicion of the crime
References Morning Chronicle 22 November 1813
 National Archives. Home Office: Convict Prison Hulks: Registers and Letter Books; Class: HO9; Piece: 4. Ancestry.com. UK, Prison Hulk Registers and Letter Books, 1802-1849