Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Caroline - 1831

Embarked: 21 male convicts
Surgeon's Journal - No
Tons: 350
Previous vessel: Palambam arrived 31 July 1831
Next vessel: Hooghley arrived 27 September 1831
Captain Tregurtha

In January 1831 the Sydney Gazette reported: We are happy to inform our readers that the Caroline, a fine vessel of 350 tons has been purchased at Calcutta by Mr Betts, for the express purpose of coming with a full cargo of goods and passengers to Hobart Town, and to be enrolled as a vessel belonging to the port, in order to be devoted exclusively to the sperm whale fishery.

Port Jackson

The Caroline arrived in Sydney from Madras and Calcutta on 31st July 1831 with general merchandise and 21 Oriental transgressors (male convicts) under charge of Captain Betts and 10 Sepoy soldiers. The female convict ship the Palambam from Ireland arrived in Sydney on the same day.

Cabin Passengers

Passengers included Captain and Mrs. Betts, 3 children and 1 servant; Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Betts, 2 children and servants; Colonel Parker with the two Misses Parker; Capt. Weston and Mrs. Weston and children; Dr. and Mrs. Kenny; Mr. Still; Mr Grey; Captain Swanson; Capt. Maxwell; Lieut. Onslow; Sergeant Major Dobson wife with 4 children; Mr. and Mrs. Flood (this may have Alexander Flood who was employed by Robert and Helenus Scott at Glendon in 1833 and later lived for many years in Newcastle where he was employed as postmaster)

The Sydney Gazette reported that the military gentlemen who arrived on the Caroline came for the benefit of their health.......

We trust they will be so charmed with our salubrious climate and cheering prospects, as not only to cast in their own lot with us, but to recommend their Indian brethren to choose Australia as their future asylum.

The Convicts

Many of the convicts of the Caroline were soldiers who had been born in Ireland and some from England. They were convicted in Madras, Calcutta and Bombay of crimes such as desertion, highway robbery, forgery, murder, assaulting their serjeant and robbery. [2] The Sydney Gazette later reported that one of them had the command of a large vessel in the East India Company service. [1]

William Humble - former master mariner
John Jones - Clerk
George Morton alias George Fleming Tottenham - Indigo Planter
Mathew Partis - soldier
Samuel Thomas - Soldier
William Manning - Soldier
Henry Herbert Seaman - Indigo Planter
James Hosey - Soldier
Thomas Boland alias Rowland - Soldier
Antonio Pedro Antoons - Soldier [2]
George Leach
Michael Duffy
Patrick Reardon
Florence Sullivan
William Shea
John Kellen
Michael Wall
Richard Cyrrell
James McQuin
Michael Collins
John Dorin [3]


They were landed on 9th August 1831 and assigned to settlers such as William Lawson, Hamilton C. Sempill, Thomas Rose, Richard Brooks and William Howe. Select here to find out more about convicts disembarking in Sydney.

Royal Navy

1). Michael Collins who gave his occupation as actor and solider, was convicted of bushranging at Invermein in 1835. He was sent to Norfolk Island.

2). Hunter Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Caroline in 1831.


[1] Sydney Gazette 9 August 1831

[2] Bound manuscript indents, 1788 - 1842. NRS 12188, microfiche 614 - 619,626 - 657, 660 - 695. State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia.

[3] New South Wales, Australia, Unassisted Immigrant Passenger Lists, 1826-1922