Free Settler or Felon 

Convict Ship St. Michael


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Captain Henry Marsh

Prisoners and passengers of the St. Michael identified in the Hunter Valley

The St. Michael made two voyages from Calcutta bringin convicts to Port Jackson in the latter half of 1820.

September 1820

On the first voyage, thirteen convicts were landed in Sydney on 28th September 1820. Amongst them were five out of the thirteen piratical convicts who had taken the Young Lachlan schooner in March 1819. They were wrecked on an Island on the Coast of Java and were seized and imprisoned at Batavia, where several died. The names of the five pirates who were brought back on the St. Michael in September 1820 were

Daniel Clarke,

Christopher Read,

Malcolm Campbell,

Samuel O'Hara and

Patrick Cotton.[1]

November 1820

The St. Michael departed Port Jackson soon afterwards bound again for Calcutta where eight prisoners of the Crown were embarked. She returned to Port Jackson via Hobart in November 1820.

The following six convicts were listed as arriving on the St. Michael in November 1820:

James Crabtree - Weaver from Lancashire. Convicted in Bombay

James Fitzpatrick - Labourer from Longford. Convicted in Bangalore

Thomas Hill - Weaver from Lanarkshire. Convicted in Madras

John Merchant - Fisherman from Colchester. Convicted in Madras. Later sent to Norfolk Island

Thomas Brabazon - Labourer from Limerick. Convicted at Persian Gulf. Later granted an Absolute Pardon

John Hudson - Soldier from Lancashire. Convicted at Bombay

Free Passengers

Free Passengers arriving on the St. Michael in November 1820 included Lieutenant Jacob of the Bengal Army and Mrs. Jacobs. [2]

Notes and Links

The sloop St. Michael was once owned by Captain Peter Dillon, famous for his adventures in the South Seas. An extract from Dillon's biography written by Samuel Pasfield Oliver published in the Dictionary of National Biography is below:

Peter Dillon navigator in the South Seas, born about 1785, seems to have been engaged in the sandalwood trade between the West Pacific Islands and China from his youth upwards, as he states that when in the Mercury, during 1809, he visited New Zealand and the Fiji Islands, where he remained four months, 'associating very much with the natives' and learning their language. In 1812 and 1813 he sailed as an officer in the Calcutta ship Hunter under Captain Robson, who had obtained influence over the Fijians by joining in their wars and assisting them to destroy their enemies, who were cut up, baked, and eaten in his presence. In September 1813 a portion of the crew of the Hunter, when on shore at Vilear. was attacked by the Fijians, and fourteen of the Europeans were slain, Dillon, with a certain Prussian refugee, Martin Bushart, and a lascar alone escaping alive.  In 1814 Captain Dillon was in command of the Active brig of Calcutta, and commissioned by the Rev. Samuel Marsden to convey Messrs. Kendall and Hall, missionaries, to the Bay of Islands in New Zealand. In 1819 Dillon commanded the St. Michael. While commanding his own ship, the Calder, from 1822 to 1825, he was employed likewise in purchasing and taking cargoes of timber from New Zealand and the South Sea Islands for the East India market. In May 1825 the Calder was wrecked and lost at Valparaiso. In May 1826, being commander of his own ship, St. Patrick, when bound from Valparaiso to Pondichery, Dillon visited the island of Tucopia, where he obtained a silver sword-guard, a silver spoon with crest and cipher, which Dillon rightly surmised might be relics of the long-lost expedition of La Perouse. These articles were said to have been brought from an island of the Mannicolo group to the westward of Tucopia. Dillon attempted to reach this island, but being becalmed for seven days when in sight of it, and being short of provisions, he sailed for Calcutta, where he gave information of his discovery to the Bengal government.

The East India Company's surveying vessel Research was fitted out and] placed under the command of Captain Dillon, who sailed from Calcutta in January 1827. A French officer, M. Chaigneau, and Dr. Tytler, a scientist, were sent to assist Captain Dillon in his investigations [3]

Entry from Lloyds Shipping Register -

St. Michael. Lloyds Register


[1] Sydney Gazette 28 October 1820

[2] Sydney Gazette 4 November 1820

[3] Oliver, Samuel Pasfield, Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement/Dillon, Peter

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