Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Fairlie - 1834

Embarked 376 men
Voyage 111 days
Deaths 4
Surgeon' Journal: Yes
Tons: 756
Previous vessel: Royal Sovereign arrived 19 January 1834
Next vessel: Parmelia arrived 2 March 1834
Master Henry Agar
Surgeon Superintendent Alick Osborne
Prisoners and passengers of the Fairlie identified in the Hunter Valley

An article written in London in 1834 was later published in the Sydney Monitor -

On Saturday morning the ship Lloyds, Thomas Ward, Esq., owner, left Woolwich for Sydney with 200 male convicts on board, who are under sentence of transportation for life and for 14 years. Among them are a number of the most desperate thieves, housebreakers, and swell-mob men who have, during their career, levied heavy contributions on the inhabitants of this great metropolis. A large ship called the Fairlie belonging to Mr. Ward, has been hired by Government, for the purpose of sending out 376 male convicts to the same colony - a larger number than has yet been sent away in a single vessel. She will sail in a few days; and, we understand, that his Majesty's Government do not intend to employ many convicts at the hulks and about the dock yards in future; but, in lieu thereof, those who may be hereafter convicted and sentence to transportation, will be sent to our penal settlements and be compelled to labour hard on the public works in the Colonies. [1]


The Fairlie departed England on the 27 October 1833.

Surgeon Alick Osborne

Alick Osborne kept a Medical Journal from 17 September 1833 to 8 March 1834 -

In November on approaching the equator, the fever made its appearance to a considerable extent exhibiting a different type according to constitution and habit in the patient; with soldiers inflammatory and prisoners low fever. It may be necessary for me to state in accounting for medical comforts, that it was my uniform practice to have a bottle of broth prepared every day, two or three pounds of barley and a canister of meat; and what was not actually required for patients in the hospital distributed in portions among the aged and infirm.

Two women belonging to the Guard were confined on board and another suckling an infant. They were liberally supplied with every comfort at my disposal. On Christmas day and twelfth day, that the prisoners might partake of the exhilaration of the season, a few canisters of preserved meat were added to the pea soup. I beg here further to add the circumstance of landing so many convicts in good health; 372 without a symptom of scurvy.

Military Guard

The Military Guard consisted of 29 rank and file of 17th, 21st, 39th and 50th regiments including soldiers Thomas Burgen, Joseph Crowden, Michael Murphy, Patrick Conlon and Michael Scanlan; as well as 4 women, 12 children and 3 female servants.

Port Jackson

They arrived in Port Jackson on 15 February 1834, a voyage of 111 days.

Convict Muster

Prisoners were mustered on board by the Colonial Secretary on 24th February 1834 - 367 men mustered; sick on shore - 3; committed for trial - 2; died at sea - 4 (Francis Long and Francis Scaling + two others).

The convict indents include information such as name, age, religion, education, marital status, family, native place, occupation, offence, date and place of trial, sentence, prior convictions and physical description. There is also occasional information regarding colonial crimes and deaths and tickets of leave and pardons. Twenty six of the prisoners were under the age of 16. Two, - William Adams and Edward Johnson were only 13 years old.

Distribution of 372 male convicts who arrived on the Fairlie -

319 were assigned to private service;

3 in hospital;

9 unfit for assignment;

24 placed in an iron gang;

4 sent to Norfolk Island;

3 sent to Port Macquarie (specials);

8 sent to Carter's Barracks;

and 2 in gaol committed for trial.

Notes and Links

1). Ancestor Contribution -
James Greenough (alias Green) arrived in Sydney on the Fairlie. He was convicted on 2 counts of farmhouse burglary at Kirkdale summer assizes in 1833 in company with Joseph Inman and Will Hirstfield. James was born circa 1816 in Prescot, Lancashire to John Greenough (a weaver) and Anne? He spent time on the hulks Justitia and Hardy before transportation. On arrival he was assigned to Capt John Murchison at Parramatta. He went from Yass and Goulbourn with Capt. Murchison (after absconding many times) to settle Kerrisdale near Flowerdale Victoria and was there in 1840. He obtained a TOL for Kilmore 1845 and married Margaret Fitzgerald at St. Francis Cathedral Elizabeth St. Melbourne in 1853. He lived at Kyneton and was jailed in 1856 for theft. He may have been a Cobb and Co driver in 1862. He had scars and 'marks of flagellation'. Contact Descendant

2). Eighty-seven men from the Fairlie have so far been identified residing in the Hunter region in the following decades....... Hunter Valley convicts and passengers arriving on the Fairlie

3). Alick Osborne was employed as surgeon on the convict ships Lonach in 1825 Speke in 1826, Sophia in 1829, Sarah in 1829, Planter in 1832, Fairlie in 1834, Marquis of Huntleyin 1835 and the Elphinstone in 1838

4). Find out more about bushranger Timothy Bowser who arrived on the Fairlie

5). Convict Richard Herring did not survive long in the colony. He was 22 years old and gave his occupation as merchant's clerk when he arrived in February 1834. He was born in Lambeth c. 1812 and on 5th September 1833 was sentenced at the Old Bailey to 14 years transportation for embezzlement. After arrival in the colony, he was sent to the Phoenix hulk and while there met up with a desperate character by the name of Henry Smith who also had once been a merchant's clerk. Herring and Smith together with two other prisoners by the names of Michael Lahey and Michael Lawless made their escape from the Phoenix Hulk and robbed several properties. Richard Herring was hung as a bushranger on the 5th June 1834 just four months after arrival.

6). Prisoner Thomas Keelar's sister Matilda Keelar arrived on the Numa in 1834

7). The Phoenix Hulk was established in 1828 - Parliamentary Papers

8). Henry Agar was Master of the Waterloo when that vessel was wrecked at Table Bay in 1842

9). 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 1838 - Lieut. Dear of 21st regt.,


[1]. The Monitor 10 January 1834