Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Guildford - 1818

Embarked: 204 men
Voyage: 138 days
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Friendship arrived 14 January 1818
Next vessel: Batavia arrived 5 April 1818
Captain Magnus Johnson.
Surgeon Archibald Hume
Follow the Irish Convict Ship Trail
Convicts and passengers of the Guildford identified in the Hunter Valley

The Guildford was built on the River Thames in 1810. [4] She made eight voyages to Australia with convicts - 1812, 1816, 1818, 1820, 1822, 1824, 1827 and 1829.  She was the next convict ship to leave Ireland bound for New South Wales after the departure of the Chapman, Pilot and Canada in March 1817.

The Convicts

Prisoners came from counties throughout Ireland....Westmeath, Wicklow, Galway, Dublin, Kildare, Drogheda, Tyrone, Londonderry and Mayo.

The following list of men who were convicted at the Assizes of Athy (Co. Kildare) in July 1817 show some of the crimes which resulted in a sentence of transportation in 1817. Some of these men were transported on the Guildford.

James Tucker, robbery of potatoes, 7 years transportation
John Doyle, burglary and robbery of potatoes, Death
John Bell, burglary and robbery of potatoes, Death
William Creed, burglary and robbery of potatoes, Death
Thomas Quin, burglary and robbery of potatoes, Death
William Donoghoe, burglary and robbery of Colonel Lumb's house at the Curragh of Kildare, Death
John Canton, burglary and robbery of Colonel Lumb's house, Death
Peter Dunn, robbery of potatoes off cars on the highway, 7 years transportation
Patrick Dean, robbery of potatoes off cars on the highway, 7 years transportation
William Dean, robbery of potatoes off cars on the highway, 7 years transportation
Patrick Lawler, robbery of potatoes off cars on the highway, 7 years transportation
William Dunn, robbery of potatoes off cars on the highway, 7 years transportation
Matthew Byrn, horse stealing, Death
John Dowling, sheep stealing, 7 years transportation
Peter Daily, sheep stealing 7 years transportation
Felix Mooney, sheep stealing, 7 years transportation
Lawrence Nevin, robbery of potatoes, 7 years transportation
John Flinn, burglary and robbery, Death
Patrick Conlon, cow stealing, 7 years transportation
Patrick Bambrick, stealing 5 cows and a mare. Death
Patrick Flanagan, highway robbery, 7 years transportation
Thomas Doyle, sheep stealing, 7 years transportation
James Kenny, robbery of meal, 7 years transportation
George Darby, burglary and robbery, Death
Matthew Daily, assault with intent to drown by throwing over a Canal bridge, 7 years transportation
Lawrence Walsh, robbery of potatoes, transportation
Edward Corcoran, burglary and robbery of wearing apparel, transportation [3]

Military Guard

The Military Guard of 35 men of the 48th regt., was Commanded by Lieut. Vincent of the 48th. The Guard joined the ship in England.

Convict ship bringing detachments of the 48th regiment included the Pilot, Caledonia, Dorothy, Larkins, Lady Castlereagh, Agamemnon, Minerva, Guildford, Isabella, Prince Regent, Lord Eldon, Ocean and Baring

Surgeon Archibald Hume

Archibald Hume joined the Guildford at Deptford. He kept a Medical Journal from 9th September 1817 to 10 April 1818

His first patient was a soldier's child, John McClaverty on 26th August 1817. The child was only two years old and had suffered from a bad cough for the past year. 'The poor little fellow', wrote the surgeon, 'is not larger than a child of six months and tho' so young has all the anxiety painted in his countenance of a patient of 20 years'. The surgeon treated the child kindly however it died on 17 September. Soldier William Perkins was the next patient treated on 17th September 1817 while the vessel lay at Gravesend. The next patient was Jeremiah Bryan on 22 October 1817 at the Cove of Cork. [5]

Departure from Cork

The Guildford departed Cork 14 November 1817

Rio de Janeiro

They reached Rio Janeiro on 30th December where they remained seven days.

Port Jackson

The Guildford arrived at Port Jackson on 1st April 1818.

The Surgeon noted their arrival in his journal - On the 1st of April we arrived in Sydney Cove with 198 convicts, one of whom was sent to the Hospital on the 3rd instant. On the 10th they were all landed safe as was the Guard with their wives and children. During the passage the prison was washed every Wednesday, and the bottoms of the bed boards up twice a week. Clothes scrubbed twice a week. Prisoners shaved twice a week, hair cut once a fortnight. The prisoners behaved very quietly and readily obeyed all orders given. The greatest unanimity prevailed among all the officers in the ship and the state in which the prisoners were landed will (I flatter myself) show that every attention was paid to the main object of the voyage viz. conveying the prisoners to New South Wales with as little expense to Government and as much comfort to the unfortunate men as was possible. [5]

Convict Indents

The convict indents include information such as name, when and where convicted, sentence, native place, calling, age and physical description. There is no information as to where the men were assigned on arrival. The youngest convict on board was John Gorman who was only 13 years old. [6]

Convict Assignment

After disembarking the men were sent to Parramatta by water. From there thirty-five were sent to Liverpool; fifteen were sent to Bringelly; six were assigned to W. Howe at Upper Minto and three to Mr. Kable at Windsor. [7]

Select here to find out more Disembarking Convicts.

Richard Rutledge was one of the convicts of the Guildford. Later, after he became free, he laboured up the country at various jobs and then decided to go to Sydney to try for work. Many of his ship mates probably did the same. Little can be found about employment opportunities for the many convicts who were granted their freedom in these years.

Richard Rutledge's indignant letter to The Monitor gives some insight into the difficulties men faced in the quest to provide a living for themselves after they were no longer maintained by government or masters. Rutledge was apprehended in Cockle Bay by the notorious Israel Chapman (see Convict Ship Glory) for being in appearance a most suspicious character -

'Good God Sir!' Rutledge wrote, 'What is a poor man to do?' 'If I go to seek my bread, and do the best I can for myself, I am to have a loaded pistol cocked in my face. I am to be hauled to a watch house without a bed to lie on, or anything to eat for seventeen hours.'[2] - Read his correspondence in full.

Notes and Links

1). Archibald Hume was also employed as surgeon on the convict ship Coromandel in 1820

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

3). (Despatch No. 102, per ship Isabella; acknowledged by Governor Macquarie, 24th March, 1819.) -

Downing Street,
17th Decemr., 1817.
Permission for His Excellency, The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland having expressed a wish to Lord Sidmouth that a Man, named John Cahill, who was transported to New South Wales on board the Guildford Convict Ship, should be permitted to return from thence, His Lordship has requested that the Prisoner in question should be allowed to return to Ireland by the first Opportunity. I have therefore to desire that You will take the necessary Steps for complying with the desire of Lord Sidmouth in favor of John Cahill. I have, etc., Bathurst.
(HRA, Series 1, vol. IX p. 740)

4). The Guildford brought to the colony the news of the death of her Royal Highness the Princess Charlotte of Wales.

5). Lieut. Edward Vincent of the 48th died in 1833 - United Service Journal

6). In May one of the seamen of the Guildford, Henry Pinfold was murdered while walking near the Oak tree in George Street with James Collyer. [1]. This may have been the swamp oak tree where the British Flag was first raised in Sydney in 1788.

In May 1832 the Swamp oak tree at the lower end of George Street near the dockyard, upon which the British flag was first hoisted in Sydney, was cut down by a street repair gang. This tree had been considered sacred by Governor Macquarie
Swamp Oak Tree Sydney Gazette 28 May 1832


[1] The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842) Sat 16 May 1818 Page 3

[2] The Monitor (Sydney, NSW : 1826 - 1828) Sat 22 Mar 1828, Page 8

[3] Freemans Journal 1763-1924, Tuesday, July 22, 1817; Page: 3

[4] Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.340-341, 381

[5] Medical Journal of Archibald Hume on the voyage of the Guildford. UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[6] Convict Indents. State Archives NSW; Series: NRS 12188; Item: [4/4005]; Microfiche: 638

[7] Colonial Secretary's Correspondence. 10 April 1818. Reel 6006; 4/3498 pp.138-9