Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Havering - 1849

Embarked: 336 men
Voyage: 96 days
Deaths: 2
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Randolph arrived 20 August 1849
Next vessel: Adelaide arrived 24 December 1849
Captain John Fenwick
Surgeon Thomas Bellot

The Havering was one of several vessels bringing Exiles to Australia in the 1840's.


The Times reported on 4th July 1849 that the 'ship Havering of London which was chartered to take convicts to Sydney and bound to Dublin to embark them, put back and anchored off Falmouth port on 1st July in consequence of cholera breaking out among the crew and the small escort of 45 troops which were on board. She left Deptford on the 21st June and the first case occurred on the 26th following, when the ship was 30 miles west of Scilly, and this induced the captain to bear up. Five of the crew and one soldier died before her arrival, and up to last evening (1st) eight cases remained, two of which appeared serious, whilst the remaining six were considered convalescent.'

'An officer with whom we conversed stated, that the disease was confined to men who were intemperate, and careless and loose in their habits, and that they had every expectation on board of checking the progress of the malady. The Havering was a new ship of 700 tons burden and no doubt very efficiently fitted out for the contemplated voyage, and is in no wise crowded, so that the best hopes of checking the evil may be fairly entertained, and her departure for Dublin expedited. '


The surgeon reported that 100 + 69 men were embarked from Cork and 151 + 16 men from Dublin. He considered their general health on embarking to be good. [2]

Surgeon Thomas Bellot

Thomas Bellot kept a Medical Journal from 8th July 1849 to 7th December 1849 -

Some cases of dysentery occurred during the latter part of August. Some of the convicts were affected with obstinate sea-sickness which almost prevented them taking food; some of these convicts were attacked with scurvy and the sea sickness appeared to be the primary cause.

The cases of ophthalmia were inflammation of the conjunctiva. The white inhabitants of N.S. Wales are frequently affectd with conjunctivitis which they call the fly blight and another the sand blight, the latter when mistreated or neglected is the cause of the loss of eyesight.

Free and Cabin Passengers

Free passengers included Mr. Brennan, Religious Instructor who was suffering delerium temens when he embarked. He was treated kindly by Thomas Bellot who described Mr. Brennan's behaviour at the beginning of the voyage in his journal - He came on board on 3rd August and returned on shore where he remained till night. On the 4th I noticed his conduct was odd and asked him concerning his health; he answered he was petting (crying) on account of leaving home. He continued in this unsettled and rambling state of mind until the night of the 8th and remained almost entirely in his cabin confined to his bed by sea sickness; on the 8th at 9 pm he opened his cabin door and shouted out 'Watch'. I put him to bed. [2]

Military Guard

The Guard consisted of Lieutenant Patison, 8 rank and rile, 2 women, and 1 child of the 11th regiment, Ensign McDonald, 31 rank and file, 1 woman and 1 boy of the 99th regiment, 11 rank and file and 1 woman of the 58th regiment.

The surgeon remarked on the health of the Guard...having joined the ship on 8th July, I observed that some of the Guard were not in a proper state of health to perform the voyage, therefore Lieut. Scott, Staff Surgeon and I invalided 2 privates and I recommended 2 others, one of whom did no duty the whole voyage and was sent to Barracks for hospital treatment at Sydney, the other was very little better. [2]

Serjeant James Talbot of the 99th regiment was treated by the surgeon at Kingstown, Dublin.


The Havering departed Dublin on 4 August 1849.


Two deaths occurred during the voyage, both in Bass Straits.

Port Jackson

The Havering arrived in Port Jackson on the 8th November 1849, after a fine passage of ninety five days.

On arrival the Thomas Bellot reluctantly sent 9 men who were recovering from scurvy to the hospital on shore. He remarked that he would have kept them on board had he known that the ship would be delayed in departure from port.

In 1850 he made enquiries as to the health of these men. Patrick Hill who was surgeon at Parramatta informed him that Lewis Halloran had died on 14th March 1850 and the other men viz Ellard, Oats, Mannnian, Brady, Canty, Walsh and Mahon had been discharged cured. [2]


Late in November 1849, 8 prisoners were sent to Moreton Bay by the Eagle steamer and seventy-one were sent to the Maitland district by steamer.........On Tuesday seventy one of the prisoners ex Havering, arrived at Maitland per steamer, holding tickets of leave for different districts. Of these, fourteen were under engagement to Mr. Bettington, fourteen to Mr. Wentworth, twelve to Mr. Wyndham, and the remainder were, we believe, under engagement to Mr. Henry Dangar,
Mr. William Dangar, and Captain Russell of Glenridden. Yesterday five more arrived, under engagement to Mr. Eales. It may be as well to mention that one of these gentlemen forgot to point our any place or person in Maitland where his men could be supplied with food or lodging for the night, and had not the police magistrate allowed the men to lodge for the night in the courthouse, they must have slept in the street. This is scarcely giving men, so situated, a fair chance

Report of the Principal Superintndent of Convicts

Report of the Principal Superintendent of Convicts to his Excellency the Governor on the Arrival and Distribution of the Convicts by the Havering .

I have the honour to report for your Excellency's information that the Havering convict ship arrived in the harbour of Port Jackson on the 8th ultimo with 336 male convicts from Ireland, under the charge of Dr. Bellott, surgeon in the Royal Navy.

On her arrival being reported to me, I immediately proceeded on board and made the usual examination and inspection. I found that two of the convicts had died a few days previously to her arrival, one of consumption and the other of scurvy. Nine of the prisoners on board were also suffering from the latter disease, and they were accordingly, under your Excellency's authority, removed to the Convict Invalid Establishment at Parramatta, the others presented generally a healthy, cleanly, and respectful appearance; they expressed themselves well satisfied with the treatment they received from the Surgeon-Superintendent, and made no complaints whatever.

Dr. Bellot spoke favourably of all the men, excepting three, who were in consequence removed to Cockatoo Island, under the regulations laid down in such cases.

I have further the honour to report, that on the 15th ultimo, on the completion of the usual muster, the prisoners were permitted to make engagements to parties who went on board under orders granted to them by me for that purpose, and with the exception of 60 sent to the Clarence River, and seven sent to Yass, all were engaged before the 29th ultimo, at wages varying from 10l. to 16l. per annum, with the usual rations.

I consider it my duty to advert to the fact, that a strong impression appears to have existed in the minds of the convicts by this vessel, that they were to receive much higher wages than were offered to them, and a consequent disinclination existed on their parts to take engagements at the rates which they could obtain, although the number of applicants for this description of labour was considerably greater than on the arrival of either of the former convict vessels. I am also induced here to notice in the case of these men, as well as those by the Mount Stewart Elphinstone, my fear that expectations have been held out inconsistent with the position these prisoners were to occupy on their arrival in the colony as men still under penal restraint, and thus a feeling of discontent appears to exist on their minds which is likely to unsettle them and lead probably to evil results, from the idea that justice has not been done to them here, and I would therefore urge the necessity of some steps being taken to prevent such an impression being made on the men's minds before leaving home.
(Signed) J. McLEAN,
Principal Superintendent of Convict's Office, Sydney, Principal Superintendent.
4th December, 1849

Convict Barracks at Cockatoo IslandConvict Barracks, Cockatoo Island

Notes and Links

1). Vessels bringing Exiles included Havering, Hashemy, Eden, Adelaide, Mount Stewart Elphinstone, Bangalore and Randolph

2). Hunter Valley prisoners arriving on the Havering in 1849

3). Thomas Bellot - National Portrait Gallery

4). A member of the Natural History Society, Geological Society and Botanical Society, Thomas Bellot travelled extensively during his time in the colony. Included in his medical journal was a list of plants indigenous to Sydney and notes about the geology of Cumberland County. He described in his journal the coal seams in the Hunter Valley and also at Mt. Keira


[1] Maitland Mercury 24 November 1849

[2] UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[3] Convict Discipline and Transportation - Report of the Principal Superintendent of Convicts on the Arrival of the convicts of the Havering