Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

George Ellery Forman R. N.,

Convict Ship Surgeon-Superintendent

George Ellery Forman was promoted from Surgeon's Mate to the rank of assistant surgeon in November 1822 [1]. He was appointed Surgeon on 10 December 1822 [4]

The Morning Post reported on 29th September 1828 that George Ellery Forman, lately of the Island of Ascension, was appointed to the rank of surgeon on 13 September 1828.


On 6th January 1829 he married Maria, the third daughter of Thomas Courthope at St. Mary's Rotherhithe. [2]

Surgeon Superintendent

George Forman was employed as surgeon superintendent on four convict ship voyages to Australia:

1). Lady McNaughten departing Dublin 23 June 1835 and arriving in Port Jackson 26th October 1835.

2). Platina departing London 3 May 1837 and arriving VDL 22 October 1837. Medical Journal from 15 March and 19 November 1837[6]

3). Pyramus departing Sheerness 22 November 1838, arriving in VDL 24 March 1839

4). Eden departing Sheerness 10 July 1840 and arriving in Port Jackson 18 November 1840. He kept a Medical Journal from 17 June to 30 November 1840 -

'The system of management of the convicts differed little in that I had adopted on former occasions - ventilation and cleanliness forming the chief features while the formation of cheerfulness and the affording of all possible occupation to the convicts was practised as much as circumstances would allow; the results were on the whole satisfactory, though I think that more cases requiring medical treatment occurred than I had previously met with; this remark more particularly applied to the month of October during which period the change of climate was sudden and the weather particularly unfavourable to cleanliness, exercise and comfort in general. It was under the last-mentioned circumstances that symptoms of scurvy manifested themselves in a light grade and but with a single exception the disease gradually wore away as the weather improved.' [5]

George Ellery Forman was on the List of Surgeons of the Royal Navy who were fit for service in 1841.

1851 Census

In the 1851 Census George Ellery Forman and his wife Maria can be found living at Northumberland Place Teignmouth. Their children, daughters Anne age 15 (born at Portsea b.1836), Mary age 13 (b. 1838), Alfred age 10 (b. 1841), Henry (knowns as Harry) age 8 (b. 1843) all born at Camberwell, Surry. Jessie age 7 (b. 1844) was born at Teignmouth as were Sidney age 5 and William age 2. George gives his occupation in the Census as General Practitioner.

1861 Census

In the 1861 the family are still living at Teignmouth although at a different address, with their children Mary Adderley Forman age 23, Jessie Hester Forman age 17, son Sidney Mills Forman age 15, William Courthope Gardener Forman age 12 and three female servants. George Ellery Forman is stated to have been born in Devonport.


George Ellery Forman died on 30 March 1867 aged 67 years.[3]

1871 Census

In the 1871 Census his widow Maria is living in Camberwell. She gives her occupation as landed proprietor. Four of her adult children Alfred age 30, Jessie age 27, Sidney age 25 and William age 22 live with her and they have two servants - a cook and a housemaid. Alfred works as an agent and Sidney and William are bank clerks.


[1] The Morning Post 3 January 1823

[2] The Examiner 11 January 1829

[3] The Hampshire Telegraph 3 April 1867

[4] National Archives. Reference: ADM 196/8/111 Description: Name Forman, George Ellery Rank: Surgeon Date of Appointment: 10 December 1822

[5] Medical Journal of George Ellery Forman on the voyage of the Eden. UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[6] National Archives. Reference: ADM 101/60/1/3 Description: Folios 1-3: contains copy of daily sick book of the Platina between 15 March and 19 November 1837