Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Mary Ann II - 1835

Embarked: 306 men
Voyage: 109 days
Deaths: 1
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Backwell arrived 29 September 1835
Next vessel: Lady McNaughton arrived 26 October 1835
Captain Aaron Smith
Surgeon  Campbell France

The Mary Ann was built at Calcutta in 1817[4]. She was fitted out at Deptford in the summer of 1835 for the conveyance of 306 convicts to Sydney.

The Convicts

The convicts had been tried in counties in England Scotland and Wales - London, Herts, Middlesex, Kent, York, Stafford, Lancaster, Oxford, Sussex, Norfolk, Nottingham, Northampton, Gloucester, Cambridge, Bristol, Bedford, Berks, Warwick, Derby, Cumberland, Chester, Suffolk, Hereford, Lincoln, Devon, Leicester, Surrey, Essex, Somerset, Salop, Worcester, Durham, Castle Rushen, Aberdeen, Perth, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverary and Glamorgan; Grenada and Montego Bay.[5]

Some of the convicts of the Mary Ann had been tried and convicted at the Old Bailey and imprisoned at Newgate before being sent to the hulks. Select here to find out what it may have been like to be imprisoned in Newgate in 1835.

Military Guard

The guard was embarked on 23 June 1835 and consisted of two commissioned officers of the 4th Regiment, one sergeant, two corporals, and 28 privates of the 4th, and 28th Regiments, accompanied with eight women, and six children.

Collision on the Thames

On 26 June the Mary Ann dropped down the River, from Deptford, to Woolwich.

Bell's Life reported an accident on the River involving the Mary Anne - .On Friday morning (6th) the Mary Ann of 700 tons burden, which has lately been chartered by Government for the purpose of conveying convicts to Australia, was running down the river with nearly all sails set, against the tide and before the wind, which was blowing a stiff breeze at the time, when she came in contact with the collier brig Eliza Ann, of Sunderland, which was dropping up with the tide, with her sails back. The effects of the collision were most disastrous; the transport ship ran right into the collier's main yard, carrying away the fore topmast stay, and throwing the fore-topmast, the main top mast and maintop gallant mast, over the side besides breaking in her bulwarks. It was some time before the two ships were sufficiently disengaged to proceed when the collier presented the appearance of a complete wreck. The May Ann escaped with slight injury. [2]

Convicts Embarked

At Woolwich 150 male convicts were embarked, from the Justitia, and Ganymede hulks. She then proceeded to Sheerness, where on the 30th June, 126 male convicts were embarked from the Fortitude and 30 convict boys from the Euryalus hulks at Chatham.


Campbell France kept a Medical Journal from 25 June 1835 to 12 November 1835. He described the weather during the voyage -

On the 9th July the sailing orders were received and the ship proceeded to the Downs. Westerly winds with rain and squally weather were experienced at this time. They had fine moderate weather in August when they were off the coast of Madeira. About the 20th August they got into the South East Trade wind with the weather was moderate and fine. On 6th September strong winds, squalls and rain was experienced and by October there was a constant swell of the sea from the South West, which kept the decks and berths continually wet and damp.

He reported that generally the people on board were healthy although there had been an outbreak of measles early in the voyage.

One debilitated convict died while still at the Downs and two children of soldiers also passed away on the voyage. There was one birth. [3]

Port Jackson

The Mary Ann arrived in Port Jackson on 26 October 1835.

Convicts Disembarked

The prisoners were landed at Sydney on 11th November 1835.

Notes and Links

1). Campbell France was also employed on the convict ships Asia in 1828 (VDL) York in 1831, John Barry in 1839 and King William in 1840.

2). Convicts and passengers of the Mary Ann identified in the Hunter Valley


[1]. Sydney Gazette 12 November 1835

[2] Bell's Life in London June 28, 1835

[3] UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Medical Journal of Campbell France on the voyage of the Mary Ann in 1835. The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[4] Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.352-353, 389

[5] Convict Indents. State Archives NSW; Series: NRS 12189; Item: [X637]; Microfiche: 715