Free Settler or Felon 

Convict Ship Lord Melville


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Embarked: 170 men
Voyage: 121 days
Deaths: 0
Surgeon's Journal: No
Previous vessel: Edward arrived 26 April 1829
Next vessel: Princess Royal arrived 9 May 1829
Master Robert Brown
Surgeon Superintendent George Shaw Rutherford
Prisoners and passengers of the Lord Melville identified in the Hunter Valley

The Lord Melville was built in Quebec in 1825.

Convicts were transported to Australia on the Lord Melville 1829 and 1830. The convicts on this voyage came from from counties throughout England including Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Northampton, London, Lincoln, Southampton, Sussex, Cambridge, Hertford, Oxford, Wiltshire, York, Surrey and Warwick. There were also soldiers who had been court-maritaled at Belam Portugal, Corfu and Gibraltar.

Prison Hulks

They were held in various prison hulks - Anthony Hitchcock, James and Isaac Cooper William Marsfield, Thomas Hutton, Samuel Ryan, Thomas Chapple, James Archer, James Jack, were all tried at Chelmsford on 10th March 1828. On 23rd May they were taken from Chelmsford to the Leviathan hulk which, between January and June 1829, held an average of 655 convicts.[1] The Chelmsford prisoners were held on the Leviathan with many others until 10th November when they were embarked on the Lord Melville bound for New South Wales. [4]


On the 24 December 1828 the following news was reported in the news.....The Westerly gales have driven fifty or sixty merchant vessels bound to all parts of the world, to the Motherbank. Among them are the Princess Royal and Vibelia for New South Wales. The Lord Melville with convicts for Sydney was obliged to return to Spithead to wait for moderate weather.

The Lord Melville departed London 5 January 1829.

Cabin Passengers

Mr and Mrs. Manning, three daughters and two sons and James Macleay, son of Colonial Secretary Alexander McLeay arrived on the Lord Melville [2].

Military Guard

The Guard was a detachment of the 63rd regiment. Select here to find convict ships bringing detachments of the 63rd regiment.

Port Jackson

After a voyage of one hundred and twenty one days, the Lord Melville arrived in Port Jackson on 6 May 1829. There were no deaths of convicts on the passage out.

Convict Muster

Convicts were mustered on board by Colonial Secretary Alexander Macleay on 8th May 1829. The Indents include name, age, education, marital status, family, religion, native place, trade or employment, offence, where and when tried, prior convictions, sentence, physical description and where and to whom assigned. There are also occasional notes giving details of date and place of death, colonial sentences and tickets of leave.

Convict Assignment

Some of the convicts were assigned to the Upper Hunter and the Namoi River. Thomas Carter was assigned to Archibald Bell and John Cawley to Thomas Potter Macqueen. James Archer was assigned to Sir John Jamison at the Namoi. He was one of the assignd servants responsible for shooting two notorious bushrangers John McDonald and Joseph Lynch in 1835.

Others were sent to the Paterson district - William Cain was assigned to William Dun; James Brown to John Verge; Henry Collins to John Tucker; Isaac Cooper to Francis Moran.

Edward Canham and George Cannell assigned to William Cape at Brisbane Water.

Select here to find out more about Hunter Valley convicts

Notes and Links

1). George Rutherford was surgeon on the convict ships Prince of Orange in 1821, Shipley in 1822, Commodore Hayes in 1823 (VDL), Marquis of Hastings in 1826, Eliza in 1827, Lord Melville in 1829, Royal Admiral in 1830 and the China 1846 (to Norfolk Island). He gave Evidence before a Select Committee inquiry as to the best mode of secondary punishment in 1831

2). Anthony Hitchcock a fisherman and bricklayer from Essex arrived on the Lord Melville. He was eventually assigned to James Mudie at Castle Forbes and became part of one of the most infamous episodes in Australian Colonial history. Select here to find out more about Anthony Hitchcock.

3). Bushranger Thomas Walker also arrived on the Lord Melville.

4). Prisoners and passengers of the Lord Melville identified in the Hunter Valley

5). Return of Convicts of the Lord Melville assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 28 June 1832; 5 July 1832).....
William Cain - Brass finisher assigned to Catherine Sheridan at Maitland
James Daines - House carpenter assigned to Robert Bonnor at Bathurst
Robert Gregson - Stone cutter assigned to Andrew Gibson at Goulburn Plains
Samuel Law - Knife grinder assigned to George Cavenagh at Sydney
Thomas Parker - Shoemaker assigned to T.V. Bloomfield at Maitland

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

Albion departed Sheerness 1 June 1828 - Lieutenant 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 - Lieutenant Aubyn

Governor Ready departed Cork 21 September 1828 - Lieutenant J. Gibbons Lane

Ferguson departed Dublin 16 November 1828 - Captain D'Arcy 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 - Lieutenant 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 - Lieutenant Croly

Dunvegan Castle departed 30 September 1829 - Lieutenant John Gray

Katherine Stewart Forbes departed Spithead 14 October 1829 - Major Fairtclough


(1). Accounts and Papers, thirteen volumes. Relating to convicts; criminals; forgery; debtors; penitentiary; police; . Session 5 February--23 July 1830. Vol. XXIII. , Bodleian Library, Oxford

(2). Sydney Gazette 9 May 1829

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

(4) UK, Prison Hulk Registers and Letter Books, 1802-1849 (Ancestry)

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