Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Aurora I (1) - 1833

Embarked 300 men
Voyage 122 days
Deaths 0
Surgeon's Journal - No
Tons: 550
Previous vessel: Royal Admiral arrived 26 October 1833
Next vessel: Java arrived 18 November 1833
Captain Dalrymple Dowson
Surgeon Alexander Stewart
Prisoners and passengers of the Aurora identified in the Hunter Valley

The ship Aurora was built at Chittagong in 1817. [1]

The Prisoners

Prisoners were convicted in counties throughout England - Warwick, Cambridge, Southampton, Middlesex Lancaster, Suffolk, Sussex, Norfolk, Essex, Somerset, York, Northampton, Leicester, Chester, Surrey, London, Salop and Wiltshire. None of the prisoners of the Aurora were convicted in Scotland. Three men were court-martialled at Guernsey. [2]

Many, even the young boys, were held on the Hardy hulk at Portsmouth to await transportation. They were transferred from the hulk to the Aurora on 26th June.

Military Guard

The guard consisted of Major Delisle, Lieut. Greetham/Grantham, 1 soldier and 2 boys of the 4th regiment and 27 rank and file of the 21st Fusiliers. Four females and four children together with a servant also came steerage.[3]

Cabin Passengers

Cabin Passengers included Mrs. Delisle and Miss Delisle. [3]

Departure from England

The ship departed Portsmouth on the 4th July 1833.

Arrival in Port Jackson

There were no stops during the voyage and the Aurora arrived at Port Jackson on Sunday 3 November 1833.

Convict Muster

The convicts were mustered on board on 7th November 1833 where details such as age, education, religion, family, native place, trade, offence, when and where tried, physical description, sentence and prior convictions were recorded. There is also occasional information in the indents about pardons and dates of death and colonial crimes, but none about where the prisoners were assigned on arrival.

Guard Disembarked

Troops went on shore on 6th November and marched to Head Quarters preceded by the Highland Piper. [4]

Convicts Disembarked

The men were landed on Thursday 21st November 1833 and taken to Hyde Park Barracks where they were assigned for service.


Later in November the distribution of the prisoners of the Aurora was published in the Australian....

Private service...256
Public service...24
Port Macquarie...4
Carters' Barracks...7
Unfit for assignment...9

The four prisoners for Port Macquarie were placed on the hulk prior to being sent. One of them was said to be the brother of a well known Custom House agent who was extensively concerned with Coster and others of swindling celebrity.

There were seventeen boys under the age of 16 on the Aurora. The youngest included William Banghust 13; Thomas Westley 13; James Welsh 14; Henry Pike 14; George High 14; Thomas Boulter 15; John Smeathman 15; and Henry Walker 15. They may have been sent to the Carter's Barracks.

Departure from the Colony

The ships Aurora and the Lord Lyndoch were taken up by Government to convey the 63rd regiment stationed at Hobart, to India.

They departed Sydney on 8th December 1833

Notes and Links

1) Alexander Stewart was also surgeon on the convict ships America in 1829 and Southworth in 1830 (VDL).

2) One of the prisoners who arrived on the Aurora was Thomas Homer. In 1841 he was committed for trial for the murder of his overseer James Stone at New England. He was taken to Sydney for trial and then to Newcastle Gaol where he was executed in 1842.

3) The Australian published the following cryptic article on the 11th November which probably referred to Robert Byers...By the Aurora, a certain commission agent, who cut a very pretty figure in the witness box of the Supreme Court of this Colony some two years since, has arrived. The rudiments of learning that he had imbibed in this Colony were insufficient to protect him against the law reforms at home, and he has therefore been sent out to complete his education in the school where it was commenced.

4). Marriage at Sydney, by special license, by Rev. John McGarvie, Moore, Neil Campbell, Esq., to Miss Fanny Delisle, daughter of Major Delisle of the 4th Regt., or King's Own. The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 - 1842) Mon 30 Jan 1837 Page 2

5). Mrs. Delisle, relict of Major Delisle and mother of Mrs. Campbell, died at Bunglegumby in May 1878. She had reached the unusual age of 89 years and lived to find herself one of the four living generations The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893) Thu 23 May 1878 Page 7 DUBBO.

6). Convict ships bringing detachments of the 21st regiment (Royal Scotch Fusiliers) and Officer in command of the Guard....

Mary departed London 4 September 1832 - Captain Daniels 21st regt.,

Roslin Castle departed Cork 8 October 1832 - Lieuts. Bayley and Pieter L. Campbell. 21st

Andromeda departed Portsmouth 17 November 1832 - Lieuts. Lonsdale and Armstrong 21st regt.,

Mangles departed London 14 December 1832 London

Asia departed the Downs 21 February 1833 - Lieuts. Kelly and Wilson of 6th regt.,

Lord Lyndoch departed Sheerness June 1833 - Lieut-Col. Leahy. Headquarters of 21st

Royal Admiral departed Dublin 4 June 1833 - Lieut. Ainslie 21st regt.,

Aurora departed Portsmouth 4 July 1833 Major Delisle 4th regt.,

Java departed Cork 24 July 1833 - Lieut. Wrixon, 21st regt.,

Neva departed Plymouth 29 July 1833 - Lieut. McEdwin 1st or Queens Own regt.,

Lloyds departed the Downs 25 August 1833 - Lieut. McKnight 21st regt.,

Fairlie departed England 27 October 1833

Bengal Merchant departed 28 March 1 departed 28 March 1838 - Lieut. Dear of 21st regt.,


[1] Bateson, Charles, Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.352-353, 388

[2] Convict Indents. State Archives NSW; Series: NRS 12188; Item: [4/4018]; Microfiche: 688

[3] The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 - 1848) Mon 4 Nov 1833

[4] The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 - 1842) Thu 7 Nov 1833