Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Marquis of Wellington - 1815

Embarked: 200 men
Voyage: 148 days
Deaths: 2
Surgeons Journal: no
Previous vessel: Somersetshire arrived 16 October 1814
Next vessel: Indefatigable arrived 26 April 1815
Captain George Betham.
Surgeon Thomas Leighton
Prisoners and passengers of the Marquis Wellington identified in the Hunter Valley

The Marquis of Wellington was formerly known as the Betsey. Having been launched in Calcutta in 1801 she made one voyage for the British East India Company (EIC) as Betsey. Around 1814 she sailed to England and was sold to English owners who renamed her Marquis of Wellington. As Marquis of Wellington she made a second voyage for the EIC after transporting convicts to New South Wales. [1]

The prisoners of the Marquis of Wellington mostly came from counties in England and were held in local prisons or Newgate before being transferred to the various hulks moored in the Thames.

Prisoners who had been tried at Middlesex in February 1814 were sent to the Captivity hulk on 15th April 1814. They were transferred to the Marquis of Wellington on the 6th August 1814. Some held in the Retribution were transferred on 25th July. There were also five prisoners on the Marquis of Wellington who had been tried in Spain and were held on the Laurel hulk prior to transportation.

Military Guard

The Guard consisted of a detachment of the 46th regiment commanded by Lieut. Nunn of the 46th regiment. Lieutenant Nunn was wounded in the pursuit of bushrangers in Van Diemen's Land in June 1817.

The Headquarters of the 46th regiment commanded by Lieut-Col George James Molle arrived on the Windham and other detachments arrived on the Marquis of Wellington, Ocean, Lord Eldon, Fame, Recovery, Elizabeth, Larkins, Three Bees, General Hewitt, Guildford, Surry, Surry, Shipley, Sir William Bensley, Morley and Bencoolen.

Free Passengers

William Henry Moore, solicitor came as a free passenger.

Cornelius O'Brien also came free. He was a brother of Henry and nephew of William Browne; he managed Illawarra property of Browne and was instrumental in developing the region. (CSI)


The Marquis of Wellington departed England on 1 September 1814 and touched at Madeira and Rio de Janeiro where she stayed 3 weeks. They departed Rio on 29 November 1814.

Port Jackson

The Marquis of Wellington arrived at Port Jackson 27 January 1815, one of six convict ships arriving in New South Wales in 1815 the others being Indefatigable, Northampton, Canada, Francis and Eliza and the Baring.


The prisoners would have been mustered on board by the Colonial Secretary shortly after arrival.

Of the 199 prisoners who arrived in Port Jackson, 48 were under the age of 21. Three were only 12 years old, two were 13 years old and one was 14 years old.

Convicts Disembarked

The convicts were disembarked on 2nd February 1815.[2]

The prisoners were always asked whether the treatment they had received on the voyage out was satisfactory. The Colonial Secretary and Governor Macquarie almost always made these enquiries. On this occasion one of the prisoners William Johnston/Johnson made a complaint against Captain George Betham. A formal enquiry followed however Betham was later informed that no culpability was attached to either himself or the Officers of his ship. The complaints of Johnston were regarded as having malicious motives. (This was probably William Johnson a printer from Birmingham who later became a clerk in the lumber office, clerk at the hospital and assistant clerk and constable at Windsor)


1). Emancipist Merchant - Solomon Levey

2). Watchmaker James Oatley

3). John Tawell arrived as a convict on the Marquis of Wellington. Read about his extraordinary life - Rum failed to smooth these troubled waters (The Sun 23 October 1954)

4). Henry Smith, a clock and watchmaker arrived on the Marquis of Wellington. He was later sent to Newcastle for a colonial crime....The prisoner being called upon to account for the watches, which he is suspected to have made away himself states that he was robbed in the Sydney Road and knows nothing more about it. Sentenced to receive 50 lashes.. Note - Henry Smith stated in his examination before the Council that he had been sentenced to receive 400 lashes 50 of which he had received and was afterwards sent to the Hospital, where he remained three weeks and was afterwards remanded to gaol and was taken to the flogging post but that on telling where Mr. Palmers watch was, he was not flogged but sent to Newcastle. But see the next case, which differs from this statement of Smiths and shows that he was sent to Newcastle for a distinct offence.
Parramatta .....John Quigley brought up for re examination for forming a plan to take the first vessel they could from Broken Bay and with a party of others to make their escape from the Colony. Henry Smith for being concerned in the same plan to leave the colony and various other crimes and being a notorious infamous character and amongst the rest, for taking and making away four watches belonging to different persons to be repaired. The prisoners fully convicted on the evidence of John Thomson and their own confession and sentenced to be sent to Newcastle there to be kept at hard labour for two years. (HRA, Series 1 Vol. XII, p. 872)

5). James Gates and John Boreham were sent to Newcastle in 1816 for colonial crimes. In 1820, on the recommendation of Major Morisset, both men were rewarded for their good work and industry in the construction of the windmill at Newcastle. This stone-built windmill was built on the site where the obelisk now stands. The following image was engraved by Walter Preston who was a convict at Newcastle in the years 1814 - 1817 and shows a view of Newcastle as it might have appeared from the Windmill site.

034 - Plate 9 View of Hunter's River Newcastle New South Wales from Captain James Wallis - Historical Account (1821)

An historical account of the colony of New South Wales and its dependent settlements : in illustration of twelve views / engraved by W. Preston from drawings taken on the spot by Captain Wallis.

Departure of the Marquis of Wellington

The Marquis of Wellington departed Port Jackson bound for China in April 1815.

Notes and Links

1). About fifty of the prisoners who arrived on the Marquis of Wellington have been identified residing in the Hunter Valley region in the following years. Select here to find out more about convicts sent to Newcastle.

2). Signal Book of His Majesty's Ship, Marquess Wellington: George Betham Esq. Commander on Her Voyage to New South Wales, 1814 - Alfred Betham

3). Return of Convicts of the Marquis of Wellington assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 28 June 1832)..... Henry McGrath - Labourer assigned to William Innes at Hunters River.

4). Marquis of Wellington was driven onshore on 4 March 1818 on the Mouse Sand, with the loss of two masts, when she was caught in a gale that also caused difficulties to many other vessels along the coast of England. Five days later she was abandoned as a total wreck. (1)

5). Number of prisoners, date and place of Conviction and sentences - Parliamentary Papers, House of Commons and Command, Volume 16 By Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons- Marquis of Wellington

6). A List of those holding Civil Appointments in New South Wales June 1815 (HRA, vol. VIII, p. 598)

Lachlan Macquarie - Governor
George Molle - Lieut-Governor
Ellis Bent - Judge Advocate
J.H. Bent - Judge
William Moore - Solicitor to the Crown
J.T. Campbell - Secretary to the Governor
William Gore - Provost Marshall
John Piper - Naval Officer
Alfred Thrupp - Assistant Naval Officer
Robert Watson - Harbour Master
George Dowling - Wharfinger
James Stewart - Assistant Wharfinger
John Oxley - Surveyor General
James Meehan - Deputy Surveyor General
D'Arcy Wentworth - Principal Surgeon
James Mileham - Assistant Surgeon
William Redfern - Assistant Surgeon
Edward Luttrell - Assistant Surgeon
William Evans - Assistant Surgeon
H. St. John Younge - Assistant Surgeon
Rev. Samuel Marsden - Principal Chaplain
Rev. William Cowper - Assistant Chaplain
Rev. Henry Fulton - Assistant Chaplain
Robert Cartwright - Assistant Chaplain
B. Vale - Assistant Chaplain
William Cosar - Boat Builder
J.W. Lewin - Coroner
Thomas Hobby - Assistant Coroner
Michael Robinson - Clerk in Secretary's Office
Charles Gray - 2nd Clerk in Secretary's Office
Joseph Cowgill - 3rd Clerk in Secretary's Office
James Foster - Clerk to Judge Advocate
William Roberts - Clerk to Jude
DArcy Wentworth - Superintendent of Police
Robert Jones - Assistant Superintendent of Police
George Chartres - Clerk to Superintendent of Police
Rowland Hassall - Superintendent of Stock
Thomas Arkell - Overseer of Stock
James Blackman - Overseer of Stock
William Hutchinson - Superintendent of Convicts
Richard Rouse - Superintendent of Public Works
David Langley - Superintendent of Smiths
Samuel Bradley - Superintendent of Carpenters
Thomas Legg - Superintendent of Bricklayers
Richard Fitzgerald - Superintendent at Windsor
William Hill - Superintendent of Slaughter house
George Salter - Superintendent at Castle Hill
Richard Lewis - Superintendent of New Road
A. Hutchinson - Superintendent of Mills
Francis Oakes - Superintendent at Parramatta Female Factory
John Redman - Chief Constable
William Thorn - Assistant Chief Constable
Daniel Cubitt - Gaoler
William Davidson - Assistant Gaoler
Richard Wade - Steeple keeper
John Austin - Clock keeper
George Howe - Government Printer
Mrs. Martin - Government House keeper at Parramatta


[1] Wikipedia - Betsey 1801

[2] John Campbell to Captain George Betham, Correspondence 1 February 1815. Colonial Secretary's Papers, Reel 6004. Title: Copies of Letters Sent Within The Colony, 1814-1827, Australia.