Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Edward Coates R. N.,

Convict Ship Surgeon-Superintendent

Date of Seniority Royal Navy 9 August 1805

Edward Coates was born c. 1782, son of Henry Coates of Hinton Hall, Suffolk.

Naval Service

He was appointed surgeon to the Utile in 1811 [1]. He was included in the Navy List of Medical Officers in 1814. [2]


Edward Coates was employed as surgeon-superintendent on the convict ship Speke which departed England on 22 December 1821 and arrived in Port Jackson on 18 May 1821.

The Sydney Gazette reported that the prisoners were landed on Wednesday morning 23rd May and had a healthy and satisfactory appearance - they could not have left their native land in better health. They were inspected by His Honor the Lieutenant Governor (Erskine), who was pleased to enquire into the treatment and usage experienced by them on the voyage, when they, simultaneously, expressed their grateful acknowledgments to Captain McPherson and Dr. Coates, with which His Honor was much gratified. [5]


In July Edward Coates volunteered to take medical charge of the troops to be embarked on the Speke for deployment in India. The Speke sailed for Madras on 6th August 1821 with various detachments to join their regiments in India. Lieutenants Sutherland, Isaacson and Gordon also departed on the Speke.


The Bury and Norwich Post gave notice of the death of Edward Coates - On the 15th March last (1822), aged 39, on board the ship Spike (Speke), on the West coast of the Island of Sumatra, of a disorder resulting from professional duty while in attendance on troops from New South Wales, to the East Indies, Mr. Edward Coates, surgeon in the Royal Navy, and son of the late Mr. Henry Coates, of Hinton Hall, Suffolk. - [3]

Notes and Links

1). Edward's father Henry Coates died in November, 1819. [4]

2). More about the family of Henry Coates

3). Image of Hinton Hall


[1] Naval Chronicle, Vol. 25. 1811

[2] Navy List 1814

[3] Bury and Norwich Post 4 September 1822.

[4] Gentleman's Magazine

[5] The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842) Sat 26 May 1821 Page 2