Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Thomas Harrison - 1836

Embarked: 112 women
Voyage: 111 days
Deaths: 0
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Tons: 356
Previous vessel: Mary arrived 4 June 1836
Next vessel: Strathfieldsaye arrived 15 June 1836
Master Thomas O Harrison
Surgeon Henry Gordon Brock
Follow the Female Convict Ship Trail
Follow the Irish Convict Ship Trail
Prisoners and passengers of Thomas Harrison identified in the Hunter Valley

The convict Ship Thomas Harrison was built at Sunderland in 1834.

The women transported on Thomas Harrison came from cities and counties throughout Ireland - Cork, Clare, Tipperary, Kerry, Donegal, Roscommon, Monaghan, Mayo, Londonderry, Galway, Belfast, Kilkenny, Limerick, Waterford, Antrim, Derry, Louth, Meath, Queen's County, Sligo, Cavan, King's County, Tyrone and Fermoy. [2]


Thomas Harrison departed Cork on 19 February 1836.

Surgeon Henry Gordon Brock

Henry Brock was surgeon on convict ships to Van Diemen's Land; Marmion in 1828, Surry in 1829, Argyle in 1831, Lotus in 1833 and William Metcalfe in 1834.

On this voyage he kept a Medical Journal from 24 January 1836 to 23 June 1836. A total of five people died on the voyage none of them convict women ............

Symptoms of measles made their full appearance amongst the free women early in March and spread from them to the convict children, notwithstanding the precautions adopted for its prevention by a constant attention to cleanliness, ventilation, fumigation and the separation of those affected from the rest, as far as circumstances would allow. One of the children taken off by this disease died in the inflammatory stage in consequence of the mother refusing to allow the application of blisters on the child and the adoption of other active remedies until it was too late.

The other three deaths were occasioned by diarrhoea consequent upon the attack of the measles. Having in previous journals fully detailed my sentiments respecting the conveyance of convicts, I have nothing further to add from the experience of the present voyage
. [1]

Port Jackson

Thomas Harrison arrived at Port Jackson on 9 June 1836 with 112 female prisoners, 29 children and 11 free women, wives of prisoners and 24 of their children.

Convict indents include name, age, education, religion, marital status, family, native place, trade, offence, when and where tried, sentence, former convictions and physical description. There are also occasional notes re colonial crimes, pardons and deaths.

Many of the women left children behind in Ireland. The women who brought some of their children with them were noted in the indents:
Catherine Baldwin 1 boy aged 7
Bridget Connors 1 girl two years old.
Margaret Bryan two girls the youngest 5 years old
Margaret Mullane - 1 child 8 months old
Catherine McLoughlin - 1 boy 2 years old
Elizabeth Doherty 1 child 1year old
Ann Curry - 1 child on board 8 years old
Mary Caulfield - one child 6 years old
Mary O'Brien - 2 children youngest 2 years old
Margaret Hogan - one child 7 years old
Abigail Donohue - 1 child 10 years old
Mary Barret - 2 children youngest 7 years
Mary Gibson - 1 child six years old
Ann Quigley - two children youngest 2 years old
Mary Fitzgerald - 1 child
Eleanor Quan - 1 child on board 4 years old
Anne Kirker - 1 child age 4
Margaret Luffan - 1 child three years old
Julia Lee - 2 children youngest three months old
Mary Lawton - 1 child 3 weeks old
Mary Heffernan - 2 children youngest 9 years old
Anne Spilling - 1 child 3 months old


The female prisoners were landed at the Dockyard on Thursday 23rd June 1836 and were distributed to various applicants throughout the colony.


Thomas Harrison departed the colony bound for Bombay in July 1836.

Notes and Links

1). Mary Conway arrived as a convict on the Thomas Harrison. She deposited money in the Bank of New South Wales and is featured in the Reserve Bank of Australia's Exhibition - Hidden History of Banking

2). Margaret Ryan age 26 a dairymaid from Co. Clare absconded from her master W. M. Lewis in Sydney on 31st October 1836.

3). Bridget O'Brien age 22 also a dairymaid from Co. Clare absconded from S. Folke in Sydney on 31st October 1836.

4). Mary Heffernan a fruit dealer from Limerick absconded from H. McLean in Sydney on 31st October 1836.

5). Hunter Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Thomas Harrison in 1836

6). Thomas Harrison was one of five convict ships transporting female prisoners to New South Wales in the year 1836, the others being the Henry Wellesley, Elizabeth, Roslin Castle and Pyramus. A total of 668 female prisoners arrived in the colony in 1836.


[1] Journal of Henry Gordon Brock UK Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 . The National Archives, Kew, Surry

[2] Convict Indents. State Archives NSW; Series: NRS 12189; Item: [X639]; Microfiche: 720