Embarked: 300 men
Voyage: 181 days
Surgeon's Journal: no
Previous vessel: Speedy
arrived 15 April 1800
Next vessel: Anne
arrived 21 February 1801
Master William Wilson.
Surgeon Samuel TurnerPrisoners and passengers of the Royal Admiral identified in the Hunter Valley
The Royal Admiral
carried 24 guns and a crew of 70 men. She was built in London in 1777 and owned by Gabriel Gillet and William Wilson.
There were several Scottish prisoners on the Royal Admiral
George Mealmaker. Age 31. Tried at Edinburgh Court Of Justiciary 12 January 1798
and sentenced to 14 years transportation.
Finn's Leinster Journal 24th July 1799 reported that on the previous 'Saturday morning all the convicts in Edinburgh gaol under sentence of transportation were sent off to embark at Leith for Botany Bay. Among these prisoners was George Mealmaker, who was found guilty respecting the society of United Scotsmen and Kirby who was convicted of swindling. ' George Mealmaker left behind in Scotland a wife and family. He later supervised weaving at the Female Factory at Parramatta
Scottish prisoners sent from Leith to England to embark on the Royal Admiral
Andrew Kellock age 27. Tried Perth Court of Justiciary 11 April 1796 . The Circuit Court of Justiciary was opened at Perth by the Right Honourable Lord Justice Clerk and Lord Craig. Andrew Kellock, journeyman weaver, was found guilty, upon his own confession of stealing a number of webs of cloth from the warehouse of Andrew Melville manufacturer in Kennoway at several times. He was sentenced to transportation for life, under the pain of death in case of his return. James Louden keeper of the tollbooth of Cupar of Fife and Janet Taylor his wife were indicted for allowing Andrew Kellock to escape from prison. - The Edinburgh Magazine
James Grant age 40. Tried at Aberdeen Court of Justiciary on 16th April 1796 and sentenced to transportation for life.........The Circuit Court was opened at Aberdeen by the Right Hon. Lord Justice Clerk and Lord Craig, and proceeded to the trial of James Grant and James Graham, who were accused of breaking into the shop of John Lyall in Dim head of Fordown, upon the night between the 4th and 5th January last, and stealing a quantity of yarn and other goods therefrom. They were both found guilty upon their own confession. Grant was sentenced to transportation for life. And Graham, who is a young man, was banished from Scotland for fourteen years.. The Scot's Magazine
John Gordon alias Garden alias Gardnor. Age 23. Tried Perth Court of Justiciary 22 September 1798 and sentenced to 14 years transportation.
Timothy Hurley age 30. Patrick Hurley age 26. Tried Edinburgh Court of Justiciary 13 April 1799 Timothy and Patrick Hurley were accused of uttering counterfeit coin, knowing it to be so. The Advocate Depute consented to restrict the libel to an arbitrary punishment. The libel being found proven, the prisoners were sentenced to be whipped through the streets of Ayr on the 36th inst, and to be transported for seven years. ..Edinburgh Magazine
William Butler. Age 20. Tried Edinburgh Court of Justiciary 28 May 1799 and sentenced to 14 years transportation. Edinburgh Magazine
The Royal Admiral
arrived in Portsmouth to embark the prisoners on 20 April 1800. The London Times reported that 90 prisoners were put on a lighter at Blackfriars Bridge to be taken to the vessel. 
View of the stone bridge, still incomplete, showing the dome of St Paul's rising above the houses on the left. By Samuel Hieronymus Grimm. British Library 1768.
The Guard consisted of soldiers of the New South Wales Corps including Ensign William Lawson
Two French vignerons, prisoners of war, Antoine Landrien and Francois de Riveau came as cabin passengers.....
Extract- The Duke of Portland to the Governor of New South Wales, Whitehall, 22 April 1800p. Historical Records of NSW, Hunter and King. p76
As it appears that the soil and climate of New South Wales are favourable to the culture of the grape, there will go out by the royal Admial two Frenchmen, who were prisoners of war here, and who appear to have a perfect knowledge of the cultivation of a vineyard and the whole process of making wine, as you will observe by the documents received from them on this subject. One of the men is also a cooper, a circumstance which will render him very useful to the colony
Twelve missionaries came on the Royal Admiral including John Davies, James Hayward, Samuel Tessier, Charles Wilson, John Youl and James Elder.... Missionary Register
James Wilshire of the Commissary department came as a passenger. He kept a Journal on the voyage part of which has survived and may be found at the State Library of New South Wales
. The journal begins with the embarkation on 5th May and ends on 16th July as the ship crossed the Equator. Below are Extracts from the journal revealing fears of an uprising and despair as fever took hold:
May 5 - Embarked on board the above ship then lying at Spithead in the afternoon. Went on shore to the Isle of White with Mr. Lawson, brother and friend, spent a very agreeable afternoon.
May 6 - Light winds and variable with fair weather. Great part of the convicts admitted upon the upper deck.
May 7 - Two convicts Russell and Robinson found to be threatening other convicts in order to plunder them of money which they had received from their friends for which they each received two dozen lashes.
May 8 - Robinson flogged again and five others with him after the gaol was searched and knives were found in their possession.
May 15. - At daylight unmoored and at 7 o'clock weighed anchor, 64 guns our Commodore under easy sail as far as East Cowes where we anchored; a distance of 12 miles.
May 16 - Got under weigh for St. Helens. At half past 9 o'clock came to in St. Helens road and moored ship. Blew very hard from S.W. with constant rain.
May 17 - Fresh breezes. The following convicts were flogged for stealing biscuit out of the main hatchway by means of a gravelling hook which they had contrived to make with nails taken out of the battens of their bedsteads. - Jacob Isaac, Henry Hart, Russell Thurgood, Cook, Wood and William Newport.
May 18 - A fresh breeze from the N.W. with constant rain. Single irons men were made to keep watch on the orlop deck to prevent the other convicts stealing from each other.
May 21 - Moderate breezes from the S. W. with cloudy weather. 200 convicts were admitted upon the upper deck. 13 convicts sick with fever.
May 22 - Fresh breezes with cloudy weather.
May 23 - Light breezes from the Southward with cloudy weather. At daylight Commodore made signal to unmoor ship. At 9 Oclock got under weigh and made sail to the Eastward. Some of the convicts upon the upper deck the following are the numbers of souls on board: 305 convicts, 6 of their wives and 8 children. One botanist passenger. 67 sailors. Mr. Minchen and wife. Mr. Lawson and myself, 5 mates and Captain William Wilson, Commander.
May 24 - A fresh breeze at 5 o'clock the Pilot left us. Saw St. Catherines Point. Departed this life Nathanial Clutterbuck a convict with fever. At noon saw the Isle of Portland. At 4 or 5 leagues to the eastward the body of the deceased was sewn up in his blanket and committed to the deep with the usual ceremony.
May 26th - Anchored in Torbay. Here we have a fine sight of the Channel Fleet, they being at Anchor here (about 30 sail of the line). Departed this life Thomas Woodford, a convict with a fever, committed his body to the deep as before.
May 27th - Light winds and variable with cloudy weather. Prayers by Mr. Edwards, a Missionary on the Quarter Deck. At 1/2 pas 12 o'clock the Commodore made signal for weighing.
May 28 - Channel Fleet sailed from this Bay at 1/2 past 3 pm made sail in company with the Bellequeux and Fleet (the whole Fleet under weigh) 29 sail of the line under Lord St. Vincent. Our Fleet 19 sail. (This a very great sight)
May 30 - The whole of the convicts upon the upper deck except 16 sick in the hospital
June 2 - Departed this life Thomas Peachey, a Convict.
June 3 - Departed this life Samuel Turner, surgeon after about 3 weeks illness with a fever, a character much to be lamented particularly as we have no other surgeon on board. The fever raging very much at this time there being 30 convicts bad and some of the Ship's Company. Sorrow and despair now cast her gloomy aspect on every brow, everyone being at a loss considering his own safety in particular as the fever began its rapid progress so early in our voyage. Mr. Elder, Missionary, having studied Fisick (Physic), some little time taken an active part towards stopping this raging plague. Pitch and gunpowder being prepared to fumigate with is employed very strongly which I hope will have the happy effect.
June 5 - Departed this life Benjamin Cook, a convict with a fever. The fumigating being continued and strongly applied as a very great effect in abating the fever to the joy and pleasure of every one on board.
June 6 - Charles Bacon a convict flogged for stealing a pair of shoes from one of the other convicts.
June 7 - Calm with very warm weather. 2 strange sail in sight. The whole of the convicts admitted upon deck. This day after dinner a discourse taken place between the Captain and passengers; they the passengers considering they were not safe in consequence of the convicts having so much liberty as there is now. Palmer out of irons, a very dangerous character, is more to be feared than any man on board. He has given the Captain 200 Guineas for the use of a cabin which is nearly joining the great cabin frequently; when we have been to Prayers upon decks the convicts have been arranged quite close to the hatchway leading into the Cuddy, where the fire arms are kept and there being only two men with cutlasses all this time to prevent their progress should they be minded at such a time. I conceive they may very easy take the ship and I have heard the Officers say the same. We shall think it a miracle if we arrive safe at Port Jackson should the Convicts rise. A number of convicts are in
single irons beside the following out of irons - Palmer, Wheeler, Mealmaker and Griffith, and I understand more are to be let out of irons. These are some of the most abandoned characters on board the ship.
June 11 - Departed this life William Postlewright, a convict with a fever.
June 13th - Caught 4 small turtles. 24 convicts sick with a fever.
June 14 - Sold the effects of Doctor Turner. 24 convicts sick.
June 15 - Light airs and pleasant weather. Divine Service by Mr. Elder. 200 convicts admitted upon deck. 25 convicts sick
June 17 - Departed this life William Phillips a convict having been sick 2 days with a fever.
June 18 - About 100 convicts admitted upon the upper deck. 21 sick and 3 seamen with fever. The following convicts requested of the Captain to be let have free communication to their wives - Holness, Moor and George Happy, which was immediately granted, and put into single irons likewise a Mrs. Hutchinson requested she might be with Jacklin a convict which she was in love with and intended to marry him when they got to NSW. This was likewise granted. She told the Captain they were all but married. (the Captain thought better of this and countermanded.)
June 19 - Punished with 12 lashes John Terry, a convict for cutting up a convict shirt supposed to be stolen. 23 convicts sick and 3 seamen with fever.
June 20 - The Captain gave orders to the carpenter to make a bulkhead athwart the quarter deck before the Captan and abaft the after hatchway as a safe guard against the convicts.
June 21 - Departed this life James Tillet a convict of a fever
June 22 - 140 convicts admitted upon the upper deck at 11am. Prayers and sermon by Mr. Elder and in the afternoon by Mr. Youll. We have every reason to believe the convicts will make an attempt to take the ship as they appear very bold and daring and do endeavour to converse as much as possible with the Ships Company respecting the situation of the ship. They were heard to say they would have to serve us out with provisions before we cross the line but this they must look pretty sharp to do except the ships Company assist them which I believe are not the best of characters. A light was very plainly seen in the orlop deck by some of the officers of the ship....Before we left Spithead they said if they should take the ship from us they would make every one walk the plank. We think it highly necessary some set should be taken for the defence of our selves and the Captain began to be more alarmed. Mr. Lawson, 7 of the missionaries and myself made a proposition to the Captain to keep watch
which he very highly approved; and divided ourselves into three watches.
June 24 - Land in sight at 7pm, saw the Island of St. Anthony. The Fame parted company being bound to the coast of Africa.
June 28 - Saturday - Departed this life George Cook, convict with a fever (22 sick)
June 29 - Departed this life James Nichols a convict with a fever. 24 sick with fever.
July 1 - Calm with heavy rain the whole way. 29 convicts besides 6 or 7 of the ships company sick this day. Finding myself very poorly. I take an emetick which thank Good Lord had the desired effect tho I am a little frightened it may prove to be the fever which now rages so much on board 2 of the missionaries are bad with a fever one of which I doubt will not get over it. The weather being hot and close there is hardly one on board but what is effected to different complaints which is not to be wondered at there being such a stench throughout the whole ship enough to breed the greatest infection; well may I wish for the sweet air of Old England, nay I would give anything for one half hours of such refreshing air. It's true I have been but little on board of ships but if I may venture to give my opinion this is one of the dirtiest and most disagreeable ships throughout that may now be swimming on the seas. There is the worst regularity among the officers that possibly can be
described, everyone being exceedingly careless and negligent of their duty for Jack reigns with as great authority as his master.
2 July - Departed this life Mary How with a fever.
July 4 - 38 convicts sick besides some of the ships company, indeed everyone on board complains at times
July 8 - Departed this life William Holleoak a convict with a fever.
July 12 - Departed this life Thomas Henry Wiltshire a convicts of a fever, departed likewise James Tompkins a convict.
July 13 - Departed this life John Spears a convict
July 16 - Crossed the Equatorial Line with the usual ceremony by Neptune
The Royal Admiral
departed England on 23 May 1800.  They reached Rio de Janeiro on 12 August 1800.
Gaol fever had raged and 43 of the prisoners died on the voyage as well as four seamen, a convict's wife and a convict's child.
The kindly young surgeon Samuel Turner, only twenty-six years of age, also died of fever during the voyage. Select here
to find out more about the life of Samuel Turner.
The Royal Admiral
arrived in Port Jackson on 20 November 1800 with 257 male prisoners having lost 43 convicts to jail fever. Many of those who were landed were in such a weak state that Gov. King that they would not be able to work for some time.
Governor King wrote of the Royal Admiral
in a despatch to the Transport Commissioners....
The deficiency of convicts Mr. Wilson accounts for by their having died of a fever, I cannot but in Justice to Mr. Wilson, observe that the appearance of the rest (altho' still in a very weak and crippled state) sufficiently testifies the great attention he must have paid to prevent any further mortality among them His conduct here has been extremely proper and conformable to the tenor of his Charter party. The cargo was all delivered before the allowed time expired
The Royal Admiral
also brought stores including 1600 blankets, 800 hammocks, 800 coverlids, 200 round towels, 100 irons pots, 100 frying pans and 30 bellows as well as other goods.
Convicts transported on the Royal Admiral
George Howe, printer;
- a notorious fence;
John Cheeseman was reported to have arrived on the Royal Admiral, he was executed for cattle theft in 1808. He was unable to walk to the gallows as he was a cripple having been injured many years before in an escape attempt from Canterbury prison. 
Terence Flynn was one of the Pirates who seized the brig Harrington in 1808
. He was later executed for murder
Departure from Port Jackson
The Royal Admiral
departed Port Jackson bound for China in March 1801.
Prisoners of the Royal Admiral identified in the Hunter region
||Tried at the Old Bailey in 1799. In 1818 he was a bullock driver employed by Mr. Cox. In this year he was included on a list of Prisoners at Bathurst recommended for mitigation of sentence. Conditional Pardon holder employed by Henry Dangar in Newcastle district (Muster 1823/24/25)|
||Alias Broan. Age 36. Tried Bristol 7 April 1795 and sentenced to 14 years transportation. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in April 1813 and July 1817. In 1823 he was transferred from Newcastle to the settlement at Port Macquarie where he was employed as clerk to the Superintendent. His petition to Gov. Macquarie to remain at Headquarters (Sydney) in 1824 is amongst the Colonial Secretary's correspondence. Interestingly Gov. Macquarie also served under the Command of Marquis Cornwallis and Sir William Meadows in the campaign against Seringapatam however no favours were awarded and Thomas Broan's petition was denied .....Honored Sir,
Prisoner's Barracks, Sydney
June 27 1824.
I take the liberty once more of addressing your honor. When you were at Port Macquarie I presented your honor with a petition stating my servitude of seventeen years in His Majesties 36th of foot, most of that time in active service in the East Indies under the Command of Marquis Cornwallis and Sir William Meadows against the Sultan Tipu Sahib. I received five wounds which are to be seen. I came to this country for 14 years for forgery on my agents Cox and Green and I was tried about nine years ago by judge Garland (Garling) for a small forgery in Colonial currency not sterling money and sentenced to twelve months in a cell in Parramatta gaol on bread and water and life to Newcastle. I served the time in the cell and was then sent to Newcastle where I remained near seven years and on the general removal from there of the prisoners I was one of the number sent without any crime. All the prisoners that was tryed by Judge Garland (Garling) their sentence was cancelled by Gov. Macquarie and all except five that was at Newcastle but are now at Port Macquarie and petitioned your honor when you was at Port Macquarie, three of them received your honor's answer. I have been twenty four years in the country and can defy any person to impeach my character only the crime I have suffered for. I appeal to Major Morisset for my character when at Newcastle and Capt. Allman for character the short time I was at Port Macquarie. During the whole of the time I was at Newcastle or Port Macquarie I never was before a commandant for the least complaint. I have been subpoenaed to Sydney on the trial of Mrs. Bradley for the murder of her husband which much surprised me as I know nothing of the transaction to my knowledge. I humbly hope your honor will take my petition into your humane consideration which lies now in your honor's hands and grant me such indulgence as your honor may think fit but humbly hope your honor will let me remain at head quarters and my conduct in future I shall show that I'll merit the indulgence I remain with due respect and humble submission Your honest unfortunate humble servant, Thomas Broan
||On 19 June 1799 sentenced to 7 years transportation for feloniously stealing, on the 3rd June 1799, two silver tablespoons value 15s, the property of Alexander McNeale. Age 27. |
||Age 22. Middlesex Gaol delivery 20 February 1799, sentenced to 7 years beyond the seas for stealing on 27th January, a pair of linen sheets valued at 3 shillings, the property of John Elger. Prisoner's defence - I was very much in liquor. Mrs. Elger's evidence... I did not observe he was in liquor; I never saw him but once, and then I forbid him the house, because I had heard he was just returned from transportation. In June 1808 John Fitzwilliam absconded from Newcastle.....Five prisoners who had absconded from His Majesty s settlement at Hunters River, but since apprehended, were yesterday brought before a Bench of Magistrates, all charged with having stolen provisions and other necessaries prior to their escape. The names of the above prisoners are Fitzwilliam, Fitzgerald, McMahon, McCardle, and Thompson. The above persons were sentenced as follows: John Fitzwilliam and Charles McMahon as ringleaders, to receive 250 lashes each; Fitzwilliam to be fined 6 months to commence when a fine under which he now labours shall expire; and the others 200 lashes each; the whole to be returned to Newcastle. He was sent to
Newcastle penal settlement again in October 1810, to remain there until his behaviour improved. He returned to Sydney in January 1811 to remain in Sydney unless he committed another crime. He was granted a Certificate of Freedom on February 1811, however he was back in Newcastle by October 1811 under a three year sentence and in April 1812 he was punished with 25 lashes for having committed fraud at the settlement. He absconded from Newcastle in June 1812 and his name appears on a list with some of the most desperate and notorious escapees in the colony. When
apprehended he was forwarded to Port Dalrymple VDL to complete his three year sentence. He returned to Sydney and was sentenced to 14 years transportation on 15 March 1819. He was returned to Newcastle where he was sent to work at the limeburners. He was punished in April and May 1820 for refusing to do his government work and absenting himself from his overseer. He was transferred to Port Macquarie in 1823|
||27 years of age. Tried at the Old Bailey on 25 October 1797....Samuel Fry and Hannah, the wife of William Corbett, were indicted, the first for feloniously stealing, on the 27th of September, four live ducks, value 4s. the property of James Hone , and Corbett for receiving the same, knowing them to be stolen. Fry's defence - - That man has sworn falsely, he said we divided them in the church-yard, we did no such thing . Fry sentenced to 7 years transportation. Corbett not guilty. In Australia in 1821 he was employed by Thomas Street to procure cedar at Port Stephens. He married Mary Ann Jones (ship Alexander 1806). Samuel Fry died in 1859|
||John Platt was the colony's first coal miner. He was tried at Lancaster on 24 March 1798 and sentenced to transportation to NSW for life. Age 38. He was employed at Newcastle coal mines in 1801|
||Also Rosthorn. Age 24. Wiltshire Gaol Delivery 29 July 1797. Sentenced to transportation to NSW for Life.. Petition for mitigation of sentence in May 1810 stating that he had served as a soldier in the King's Dragoon Guards for the term of six years two years and eight months of which had been on the Continent. On his return to England from the Continent he fell into evil company and was apprehended for Highway Robbery. In 1825 he was employed as a sawyer at Newcastle|
||Age 15. London Gaol Delivery 3 April 1799. Sentenced to transportation to NSW for life. Sent to Newcastle in January 1812. He was employed as a Constable at Paterson Plains. In March 1827 he escaped from prison after being apprehended for the murder of a native named Redbill. He was dismissed from his position of constable however was later re-instated and continued in the position for many years. In August 1829 he was granted a Ticket of Leave for the Patterson Plains district|
||Age 16. Tried 31st May 1797 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for grand larceny having stolen a leather trunk, 2 gowns, 6 pairs of silk stockings, a cotton gown belonging to John Watkins. Middlesex Gaol Delivery 31 May 1797, he was sentenced to 7 years beyond the seas. In June 1805Thomas Shirley was indicted for stealing a bag and quantity of sugar from a warehouse belonging to Simeon Lord in whose service he lived as Ostler. He called several witnesses but was found guilty and sentenced to 7 years transportation. Jane Jones was convicted of petty larceny and likewise received sentence of 7 years transportation. Thomas Shirley drowned at the Hunter River in November 1808 while trying to rescue the vessel Halcyon in a gale|
||Tried at the Old Bailey on 20 February 1799. Age 20. A 'horner' in the 1st regiment. Sentenced to 7 years transportation for feloniously stealing, on the 16th February 1799, a man's hat, value 10s; a cloth coat value 40s; a striped waistcoat value 4s; a pair nankeen breeches; a pair of silk stockings; a pair of leather gloves, all the property of Samuel Tiley in the dwelling house of Mary Cawood|
||Age 20. Middlesex Gaol Delivery 9 January 1799. Sentenced to transportation to NSW for life. In June 1825 recommended for the position as a constable in the Patrick Plains district|
|Spittle (Spital), John
||Age 30. Tried 30 October 1799 at Middlesex. Sentenced to transportation for life. He was granted permission to marry Ann Robinson in Sydney in November 1815. He was sent to Newcastle penal settlement in March 1816 under sentence of three years in the settlement. It may have been the same John Spittle who worked in the Government dairy in December 1826 and was punished with 8 days on the tread wheel for absenting himself without leave and neglecting his duty. In 1837 he held a Ticket of Leave for Parramatta and was aged 73.|
||Age 33. Warwick Gaol Delivery 23 July 1796. Sentenced to transportation to NSW for Life. Transported to Newcastle for 12 months in December 1820. In 1828 he was employed as a ploughman and assigned to James Chilcott at Falbrook..|
Notes and Links
1). Political Prisoners
2). More about the Royal Admiral at History of Missions
3). Select here
to see an image from the British Library collection - Convicts making their way near Blackfriars bridge in order for their being conveyed to Woolwich. Image taken from: The Malefactor's Register; or, the Newgate and Tyburn calendar London : Alexander Hogg, 1779.
4). National Archives UK - Voyages: (1) 1799/1800 New South Wales and China. Capt William Wilson. Portsmouth 23 May 1800 - 12 Aug Rio de Janeiro - 21 Nov Sydney 30 Mar 1801 - 21 Apr Barrier Islands 17 Jun - 10 Jul Tahiti 2 Aug - 23 Oct Whampoa - 22 Dec Second Bar - 30 Mar 1802 Cape - 30 Apr St Helena - 2 Jul Downs.
5). Captain Wilson - Memoirs of Hydrography
6) Find out more about Landrien and Riveau in Historical Records of Australia
7) Edward Redmond married a widow, Winifred Duriault, nee Dowling, on 15 October 1811. She had been convicted, with her sister Eliza, in County Kildare in 1801 and, sentenced to transportation for life, had arrived in the Atlas in July 1802, and in September had married Francois Duriault (de Riveau). He was a French vigneron who, together with Antoine Landrien, a fellow prisoner of war, had been sent out by the British government in 1801 to teach vine-growing to the colonists. In March 1804 Duriault was sent back to England because his work was unsatisfactory and Governor Philip Gidley King
suspected that he was implicated in the convict uprising at Castle Hill, but his wife remained in New South Wales with an infant son, who became known as John Redmond. Irish Central Online
8). Five Convict Ships arrived in New South Wales in 1800 - Porpoise
and Royal Admiral
 'Yesterday morning ninety Convicts were put on board a lighter at Blackfriar's Bridge, on their way.' Times [London, England] 2 Apr. 1800: 3. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 10 Mar. 2013.
 HRA., Series 1, Vol. III, p 82
 HR NSW, p. 787
 'News in Brief.' Times [London, England] 7 Oct. 1809: 3. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 10 Mar. 2013.
 Sydney Gazette 5 September 1808