Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship General Stewart - 1818

Embarked: 149 men
Voyage: 165 days
Deaths: 3
Surgeon's Journal: no
Previous vessel: Martha arrived 24 December 1818
Next vessel: Tyne arrived 4 January 1819
Captain Robert Grainger
Surgeon Andrew Smith
Prisoners and passengers of the General Stewart identified in the Hunter Valley region

The General Stewart was built on the Thames in 1801. This was her only voyages transporting convicts to New South Wales.

The Convicts

Convicts transported on the General Stewart were tried in counties in England - Middlesex, Southampton, London, Dorset, Lincoln, Oxford, Surrey, Salop, Suffolk, Sussex, Wiltshire, Lancaster, Norfolk, Essex, Somerset, Devon, Cambridge, Warwick, York and London. There were several former soldiers who were court-martialled at Corfu CM, Saint Kitts CM and Woolwich CM. None of the convicts transported on the General Stewart were tried in Scotland or Wales. Many were held in county gaols before being transported to one of the Hulks to await transportation.

Prison Hulks

Richard Morris, William Evans, George Rowley, John Kendall, Henry Millicamp, Thomas Humphreys and Charles Robins were all tried at Shrewsbury on 18 March 1818. They were held in a county gaol until 25th May when they were sent to the Leviathan hulk moored at Portsmouth. They were transferred to the General Stewart for transportation to New South Wales on 29th June 1818.

William Marson, James Cook, Charles Smith and Frederick Allen were tried in London on 7th April. They spent a longer period of time in the hulk as they were sent on 21st April 1818. They were also transferred to the General Stewart for transportation on 29th June 1818.

Surgeon Andrew Smith

The surgeon employed on the voyage was Andrew Smith who had superintendence of 246 male prisoners; three convicts died on the passage out also one sailor and a boy belonging to the ship was drowned. This was Andrew Smith's only voyage as Surgeon Superintendent on a convict ship.

Military Guard

The guard was a detachment of the 84th regiment under orders of Captain Arthur Bernard. Lieut. Beamish (who came on the Morley) and Captain Bernard came into conflict with Captain Robert Grainger regarding victualling of the soldiers during the voyage. Their dispute continued after arrival with lengthy correspondence to the Governor and threatened legal action.

Cabin Passengers

Passengers included Mr. and Mrs. George Panton and family who had the unhappiness to lose on the passage out, their infant son George Kerr Panton.


The General Stewart departed Portsmouth on 19th July 1818. They touched at St. Helena where they stayed six days.

Port Jackson

After a tedious passage of more than 5 months the General Stewart arrived in Sydney on New Years Eve - 31st December 1818.

The Sydney Gazette reported:

On Wednesday 13th January, at 10 am - 'His Excellency the Governor (Lachlan Macquarie) inspected the prisoners who had that morning been landed from the General Stewart and the Tyne; all of whom were reported to be in a perfectly healthy state, denoting the humane and judicious attention they had received on their voyage. His Excellency, on the muster of the General Stewart's people, enquired whether they had any complaints against the Surgeon Superintendent, under whose guidance they had been especially placed; or against the Officer of the military guard; or against the Commander of the ship or his Officers; which demand was answered by a universal cry of 'no, no, no, none, none whatever'. We are sorry to add however that several of the men were distinguished from the others for a most daring and insulting demeanour towards the commander of the guard, and the detachment under his orders; for which they were directed to be placed in the gaol gang during His Excellency's pleasure with the assurance that their removal from thence would depend on a reformed conduct.'

Departure from Sydney

The Lord Sidmouth and the General Stewart were expected to sail for Europe via Calcutta on 17 April 1819.

Notes and Links

1). Captain Bernard returned to England on the Shipley with 220 men of the 84th regiment including Lieutenants Beamish, McGregor and Andrews of the 84th and Drs. Robert Espie, Andrew Smith, William Hamilton, Thomas C. Roylance, Henry Ryan, Morgan Price, John Johnston and John Whitmarsh.

2). Genealogy of the Bernard and Beamish families. - A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain ..., Volume 4 By John Burke

3). Bushranger John Rideout arrived on the General Stewart.

4). Convicts of the General Stewart identified in the Hunter Valley region. - Frederick Allen, John Birch, William Booth, Thomas Bromfield, John Callaghan, William Clayton, Richard Curtain, Henry Daley, William Daley, Joel Dixon, George Eastcott, William Evans, William Francis, George Frost, Joseph Glasspoole, James Gossip, William Grace, Thomas Hall, John Harris, James Holt, William Huddlestone, John Johnson, John Kemp, John Kendall, Henry Knott, Joseph Legg, Benjamin Lawrence, William Marks, Joseph Marson, Charles Martin, John Martin, Thomas McGowan, Henry Rampart, Maurice Ready, James Richardson, Charles Robins, James Robinson, George Rowley, Murgay Rampling, George Sharpe, George Sims, James Sutton, William Taylor, John Thompson, Henry Town, Thomas Waite, William Wall, George Webb, William Webster, John White, William Windley, and Isaac Wisheart.

5). William White alias Thomas Long arrived on the General Stewart as a convict. In February 1821 he escaped from the colony with another convict Peter Penneys as stowaway on the Dromedary which was returning to England. Select here to read about their harrowing ordeal on the Dromedary. They were discovered and handed over to the authorities on arrival in England. Both men were later re-transported on the Asia in 1822 and were in 1822 and were sent immediately to Port Macquarie on arrival.

6). Return of Convicts of the General Stewart assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 5 July 1832).....

James Poulter, cattle dealer. Assigned to Samuel Terry at Sydney
Minjoy Ramplin, Gunflint maker assigned to Michael Malony at Mulgoa

7). Other detachments of the 84th arrived on the Tyne in 1819, Surry in 1819, Lord Sidmouth in 1819 and the Coromandel in 1820