Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Lord Sidmouth (1) - 1819

Embarked: 160 men
Voyage: 172 days
Deaths 1
Surgeon's Journal - yes
Previous Vessel: Surry arrived 4 March 1819
Next Vessel: Baring arrived 26 June 1819
Captain William Gunner
Surgeon Archibald Lang
Convicts and Passengers of the Lord Sidmouth identified in the Hunter Valley region

The Lord Sidmouth was built at Shields. This was the first of three voyages bringing convicts to New South Wales the others being in 1821 and 1823.

Prisoners came from counties throughout England including Bristol, Hereford, Middlesex, Surry, Nottingham, Stafford, Lincolnshire, Gloucestershire and York.

Archibald Lang kept a Medical Journal from 5th August 1818 to 18 March 1819.

Preparing for the Voyage

It was a fine day when the surgeon joined the ship which was lying off Deptford on 5th August. He found on board John and Bartholomew Smith who were free passengers en route to New South Wales. The Crew of the ship were busy fitting the rigging and receiving government stores. The following day Lieutenant Basden, Sergeant Gull and 30 rank and file of the 84th regiments embarked as guard. Accompanying them were two women and three children. Three days later Lieutenant Andrews of the 84th relieved Lieut. Basden.

The crew were engaged by this time with drawing water for the voyage and the surgeon requested that they pay particular attention to the proper time of the tide for drawing it. More stores for use of the convicts and 176 beds were received on board and by the 21st they were preparing to drop down the river; at 4am on 22nd the pilot came on board and moved the ship from Deptford to Blackwall where they attached to a buoy. At 6am they cast off from the buoy and made sail for Woolwich where at 8.30am they came to with the chain cable near to the hulks.

Convicts Embarked

The convicts began arriving from the Justitia hulk on 25th and the surgeon was careful to search them and remove knives and razors etc. He allowed them to form their own messes and placed a copy of the orders of the ship and a schedule of their provisions in the Prison for their guidance. He selected a few of the best characters to be employed as boatswains' mates, cooks and barbers. On 30th they worked into Sheerness harbour and more convicts were received from the hulks Bellepheron and Retribution.


The Lord Sidmouth departed England on 27th September 1818

Rio De Janeiro

They arrived at Rio de Janeiro on 5th December, departing there 22nd December in company with the Surry bound for Port Jackson.

The Voyage

Archibald Lang's daily journal included weather conditions, punishments and accidents as well as illnesses. A strict daily routine of cleaning, exercise, hygiene and mustering was kept up the entire voyage.

Port Jackson

He recorded their arrival on the 11th March - Early this morning saw the Heads, or entrance into Port Jackson. Made all sail and anchored at 7am in Sydney Cove. Cleaned prison and admitted convicts on deck as usual. Waited on his Excellency Governor Macquarie, reported the arrival of the ship and delivered such letters on service as had been entrusted to my charge. At 7pm mustered convicts and secured them in the prison.

Convict Muster

The following day all the convicts were allowed on deck during the day at their own pleasure. At 11am on 15th the convicts were mustered by Colonial Secretary John Thomas Campbell who enquired minutely into their treatment and behaviour.

Convicts Landed

The men were disembarked at daylight on the 18th March and at 10am were inspected by Governor Macquarie. Governor Lachlan Macquarie recorded in his Journal Thursday 11th March 1819 -

Early this morning anchored in Sydney Cove the Male Convict Ship Lord Sidmouth, Commanded by Capt. Wm. Gunner, of which Mr. Archd. Lang R. Navy is Surgeon Superintendent, with 158 Male Convicts from England, guarded by a Detachment of the 84th. Regt. Commanded by Lieut. Andrews of the same Corps - the Guard consisting of 33 Soldiers. The Lord Sidmouth sailed from England on the 27th. of September last - being 5 months and 12 Days ! - but she touched at Rio Janeiro - and staid there 12 Days. None of the Convicts died on the Passage, and are all arrived in good Health. I received no Public Dispatches - or even Private Letters by the Lord Sidmouth. The only Passengers come out in her are two old Soldier Pensioners.

Convict Assignment

The Sydney Gazette reported: -

The prisoners of the Lord Sidmouth were all landed in good health and in such spirits and grateful feeling of their treatment during a passage that had been for years considered doubtful from its climaterial changes, which proves kind treatment one of the best preservatives of human life. His Excellency the Governor inspected the men upon their landing last Thursday (18th March) and was pleased to appropriate them to their most suitable conditions.

Orders were issued on 19th March that the men were to proceed by water to Parramatta. They were assigned to work at Parramatta, Bringelly, Windsor and Liverpool.

Departure from the Colony

The Lord Sidmouth and the General Stewart were expected to sail for Europe via Calcutta on 17 April 1819 The Lord Sidmouth was to convey to India detachments of the 24th and 34th regiments. The soldiers on board included Lieut. R. Robison, Sergeant John Wood and Privates Henry Gorman, Pierce Hackett, Richard Hill, John Pyne, William Smith, William Touzer, Peter Watson and Corporal George Laybourne. They were accompanied by Sarah Wood, Anne Pyne and Rosina Laybourne and their children.

The Lord Sidmouth returned to New South Wales with convicts in 1821

Notes and Links

1). Other detachments of the 84th arrived on the General Stewart in 1818, Tyne in 1819, Surry 1819 and the Coromandel in 1820.

2). Convicts and Passengers of the Lord Sidmouth identified in the Hunter Valley region

3). Return of Convicts of the Lord Sidmouth assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832).....
John Cresswell - Labourer assigned to the A.A. Company at Port Stephens