Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Isabella (2) - 1822

Embarked: 200 men
Voyage 125 days
Deaths: 0
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Southworth arrived 9 March 1822
Next voyage: Shipley arrived 11 March 1822
Captain John Wallis.
Surgeon Superintendent William Price
Follow the Irish Convict Ship Trail
Prisoners and passengers of the Isabella identified in the Hunter Valley

The Isabella was built on the Thames in 1818. [2] She was owned by William Wiseman, Patrick Chalmers and James Wallace. She transported convicts to Australia in 1818 (NSW), 1822 (NSW), 1823 (NSW), 1832 (NSW), 1833 (VDL) and 1842 (VDL).

Captain John Wallis was formerly Master of a slave ship taking negroes from Africa to the West Indies[1]. He was also Master of the Three Bees in 1814, the Fanny in 1816 and the Isabella in 1823.


The Isabella departed Cork on 4th November 1821

Surgeon William Price

William Price kept a Medical Journal from 1st August 1821 to 14 March 1822.

Military Guard

The ship was moored at Cowes on Thursday 2nd August 1821 when the detachment of the 24th regiment under orders of Lieut. Harvey from Albury Barracks embarked. There were 28 Privates and Corporals and three women. The following day at noon they weighed anchor and passed through the Needles under light and variable winds.[3]

Cove of Cork

On the next Friday (10th) they arrived at the Cove of Cork after a rough passage when the Guard and women suffered very much from sea sickness. They remained at the Cove of Cork for some time during which several of the guard became unruly and rebellious. A court-martial took place on board and six soldiers were sent back to shore. [3]

Convicts Embarked

On October 14th forty-seven convicts were received onto the vessel making the total to 200 men.

The men were divided into messes and sent on deck during each day in two divisions. This routine continued until nearly the end of October when rain set in and the men were kept below.

The surgeon reported that the prisoners were orderly and well behaved. The bad weather continued and the men were allowed on deck intermittently. [3]


By November they had set sail and most of the convicts, guard and women were all experiencing sea sickness in the boisterous weather. Over the next four months William Price kept a daily record of the position of the vessel and weather experienced as well as the various illness of the convicts. [3]

Port Jackson

They sailed direct, entering Port Jackson on 9th March 1822, the same day as the Southworth. There were light winds on the 10th March when they came to anchor in Sydney Cove.

Convict Muster

The convicts were mustered on deck and divine service performed. The following day the Colonial Secretary came on board to muster the men.


On the 14th March at daylight the guard and the convicts were all disembarked and at 11am Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane inspected the prisoners in the gaol yard.

As well as two hundred convicts, those arriving on the Isabella included 32 people belonging to the guard including the officer; two soldier's wives (one woman had died on the passage); passengers 1 man, wife and two children.


The Convicts from the Isabella, Southworth and Shipley were distributed to districts including Minto, Airds, Windsor, Emu Plains and Parramatta.

Departure of the Isabella

Back on the Isabella after everyone had landed, a party of men came on board from the dockyard and dismantled the on-board prison in preparation for the return to England.

Those intending to depart on the Isabella included Captain Wallis, First Officer Alexander Scott, Second Officer Joseph Young, Third Officer William Ryan and surgeon William Price.

Notes and Links

1). The 1842 voyage of the Isabella to Van Diemen Land - Nautical Magazine

2). Prisoners and passengers of the Isabella identified in the Hunter Valley -

Carberry, Hugh

Cavanagh, Thomas

Cleary, John

Clifford, James

Cullinane, Timothy

Digby, James

Duffey, Patrick

Egan, James

Flynn, Christopher

Graham, Martin

Harkin, James

Harty, John

Horrigan, Daniel or David

Hoyle, Patrick

Kelly, Thomas

Kinsley, George

McKeon, Humphrey

McLoughlin, Bernard

Moran, James

Morowny (Maroney)

Mulligan, Patrick

Murray, Patrick

Neal, William

Reed, Joseph

Rourke, Thomas

Rouse, Simon

Steel, Robert

Todd, Matthew

Wray, Alexander


1] State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood. Main series of letters received, 1788-1825. Series 897, Reel 6044; 4/1730 pp.101-43

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

[3] UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Medical Journal of William Price on the voyage of the Isabella in 1822. The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[4] National Archives - Reference: ADM 101/36/2 Description: Medical journal of the Isabella, convict ship from 1 August 1821 to 14 March 1822 by William Price, surgeon and superintendent, during which time the ship was employed in taking male convicts from Cork to Port Jackson