Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Grenada - 1821

Embarked: 152 men
Voyage: 130 days
Deaths: 0
Surgeons Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Adamant arrived 8 September 1821
Next vessel: John Barry arrived 7 November 1821
Captain Andrew Donald
Surgeon Peter Cunningham
Convicts and passengers of the Grenada identified in the Hunter Valley

The Grenada was built at Hull in 1810. [4] This was the second of four voyages of the Grenada bringing convicts to New South Wales, the others being in 1819, 1825 and 1827.

Prisoners came from counties throughout England. None of the prisoners on the Grenada had been tried in Scotland.


Peter Cunningham kept a Medical Journal from 28 March to 20 September 1821.[3] He joined the Grenada at Deptford while carpenters were still working fitting out the bed cabins for convicts and guard.

On 7 April 1821 the Grenada left for Portsmouth. They anchored at Spithead on 19th April during strong westerly winds and rain.

Military Guard

On 21st April Ensign Sutherland and detachment of the 36th, 34th, and 54th regiment joined the ship as guard over the convicts.

Convicts Embarked

In the afternoon 100 convicts were received from the Leviathan and 52 from the York convict hulks. They were supplied with beds and blankets.


The Grenada departed Portsmouth on the 9 May 1821.

The Voyage

On the voyage, the prison deck was cleaned daily after breakfast, windsails were kept up whenever the weather admitted, the bed bottoms were taken occasionally on deck and a certain number of the beds and blankets hung up to air every good day. The convicts bathed every fine morning. Peter Cunningham recorded that their conduct, generally speaking was orderly throughout the voyage. Solitary confinement on board and bread and water being almost the only punishment found necessary. No deaths occurred either among the guard or convicts from the period of their embarkation to their landing although several were in a dangerous state and three soldiers and two convicts were on the sick list the greater part of the voyage.

Two soldiers and three convicts were sent to Sydney hospital on arrival.[2]

Port Jackson

One hundred and fifty-two male prisoners arrived in Port Jackson on 16 September 1821.

Convicts Disembarked

The Sydney Gazette reported that the prisoners were landed on Thursday morning 20th September.......

It is almost superfluous and unnecessary to notice the appearance of the prisoners that now arrive from England, the tenderness and liberality of Government being generally known; but still, in this instance, it is owing to Captain Donald and Dr. Cunningham, to say, that the men appeared extremely happy, and perfectly satisfied at the kindness and benevolence shown to them throughout a tedious voyage. The customary inspection took place in the presence of His Honor Lieutenant Governor Erskine, who was pleased to direct their distribution to the variously assigned employments.

More about disembarking convicts.

Letter of Thanks by Convicts

Mr. Hutchinson, the Superintendent of Convicts has kindly handed to us a letter officially addressed to him by the prisoners that arrived by the Grenada, to which we hesitate not in giving insertion : -

Conceiving that we should be guilty of the greatest ingratitude were we not to make you acquainted with the treatment we have experienced during our voyage, under the jurisdiction of Mr. Cunningham, whose behaviour to us has been such as to merit our grateful acknowledgments, and whose constant endeavours have been such as to render us every comfort and indulgence, more than men in our situation could have expected. And we hope in our general conduct it will be found that those indulgencies, which we have experienced from that Gentleman's humanity, have not altogether been vainly bestowed upon us, for every man is fully sensible of the lenient treatment he has experienced. We are likewise indebted to the Captain and Officers of the ship, whose behaviour to us has been such as to assist in the liberty we have experienced during our voyage. These are our general sentiments, which proceed from pure motives of gratitude, and which we humbly present to you for your perusal

Convict Assignment

Forty one prisoners were sent by water to Parramatta. Fifteen remained at Parramatta and the remainder were forwarded on to Liverpool to be assigned there.

Departure of Surgeon Peter Cunningham

Peter Cunningham planned to depart the colony on the Duchess of York in October 1821. Other passengers on the Duchess of York included William Redfern and Mrs. Redfern; Mr. Edward Eagar, Mr. G. Cathcart and Mrs. Williams.

Notes and Links

1). The youngest prisoner on board was Richard Edwards from Lancaster who was only 13 years of age.

2). Other convict ships bringing detachments of the 34th regiment included

Baring 1815

Batavia in 1818,

Globe in 1819,

Asia in 1820,

Speke in 1821,

Prince of Orange in 1821 and

Adamant in 1821.

3). Peter Cunningham was also employed as surgeon on the convict ships Recovery in 1819 Recovery in 1823, Grenada in 1825 and the Morley in 1828.

4). Commissioner's Enquiry

5).Return of Convicts of the Waterloo assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 28 June 1832).....
Henry Lee - waggoner assigned to William Shean at Sydney

6). Convicts and passengers of the Grenada identified in the Hunter Valley -

Andrews, Francis

Bagshaw, William

Blackburn, John

Burrows, Marmaduke

Cranmer, William

Edwards, Richard

Griffin, John

Harris, Henry

Kellett, James

Lowndes, William

Morgan, Thomas

Murphy, Jonathan Cooper

Saunders, John

Vaughan, William


[1] Sydney Gazette 22 September 1821

[2] UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Medical Journal of Peter Cunningham on the voyage of the Grenada in 1821. The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[3] National Archives - Reference: ADM 101/30/5 Description: Medical journal of the Grenada, convict ship, from 28 March to 20 September 1821 by Peter Cunningham, surgeon and superintendent, during which time the ship was employed in a voyage to New South Wales. [The journal contains daily sick records, details of ship's movements and weather conditions, thermometer readings and also includes a daily narrative of activity on board ship].

[4] Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.344-345, 383