Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Obadiah Pineo R. N.,

Convict Ship Surgeon-Superintendent

Date of Seniority Royal Navy 12 June 1805

Obadiah Pineo was born in Nova Scotia in 1777. He was appointed Surgeon in the Royal Navy in June 1805.

Naval Service

He was on the list of men entitled to Naval General Service Clasp for service as surgeon on the Revolutionaire at St. Sebastian in 1813[1]

The history of Revolutionnaire can be found at Wikipedia -

By August 1813, Revolutionnaire was part of a squadron under the command of Captain Sir George Collier. On 27 August the boats of the squadron made a successful attack on the island of Santa Clara, at the mouth of the harbour of Saint Sebastian. Revolutionnaire suffered no casualties. She then provided seamen to man a battery of 24-pounder guns from Surveillante hauled up to the top of the island. The battery then silenced the enemy's guns. In 1847 the Admiralty awarded the Naval General Service Medal with clasp St. Sebastian to all claimants from Collier's naval operations in the region in August and September. On 20 October Revolutionnaire captured the Fire Fly. Then on 5 November Revolutionnaire recaptured the Gaditana. On the last day of 1813, Revolutionnaire sailed with a convoy for the East Indies. She and Zebra were in Simon's Bay in August 1816 where they were stranded and almost destroyed by a terrible hurricane. On 6 October she reached St. Helena and on 13 October she sailed for Britain."

Obadiah Pineo was entered in the Navy List of Medical Officers in 1814[2]

In 1819 he was appointed to the Vengeur. [3]

In 1834 he was employed as Surgeon on the Talavera in the Mediterranean.

First Visit to Australia

Obadiah Pineo first came to Australia on the Porpoise in 1806(the ship that brought Governor Bligh to the colony). There was a great deal of acrimony during the voyage and later in the colony an enquiry was held in which Dr. Pineo was examined. [4]

Surgeon Superintendent

Obadiah Pineo was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on three convict ship voyages to Australia:

England to NSW in 1835

Pyramus to NSW in 1836

Lord Lyndoch to NSW in 1838

The England arrived in Port Jackson with male convicts on 28 September 1835. Obadiah Pineo returned to London on the Norfolk in February 1836 with Dr. Boyter.

The Pyramus arrived in Port Jackson on 14 December 1836 with female convicts.

The Lord Lyndoch arrived in Port Jackson on 8 August 1838. This voyage was a difficult one resulting in heavy loss of life. It was his last appointment as a surgeon superintendent on a convict ship.


Obadiah Pineo presented a paper at the Ethnological Society of London in the 1840s[5].

He was on the List of Retired Surgeons of the Royal Navy in 1841.[6]

In 1840-41 he was employed as surgeon on the emigrant ship Brothers with 276 passengers. The Brothers departed Liverpool in September 1840, stopping at the Cape where she remained three weeks. The Sydney Herald reported that the boatswain was lost overboard and although every attempt was made to save him, he fell a victim to an untimely end. One sailor died, one female adult and also four infants.


In December 1843 Dr. Pineo with his wife and three daughters embarked on the convict ship Marion. He was not engaged as surgeon superintendent on this voyage. They arrived in Hobart on 3 April 1844.[7]

He was appointed Superintendent at the Deloraine Probation Station. J. Syme was an overseer at the settlement and later wrote Nine Years in Van Diemen's Land.

Departure for London 1847

Dr. Pineo and Miss Pineo departed Launceston for London on 20th April 1847 on the Lydford.


Obadiah Pineo passed away in England in December 1848. - Suddenly on the 31st December 1848, at 6 Green Road , Southsea near Portsmouth in the 66th year of his age. Obadiah Pineo Esq., Surgeon R.N. [8]

1851 Census

In the 1851 UK Census his widow Ann Charlotte Pineo (nee Waller) can be found residing at 170 Queen Street. She is 62 years of age. Living with her is her sister Mary Waller, daughter Anne and two sons Charles William who is employed as a civil engineer age 27 and Francis who is a lawyer's clerk age 19. All unmarried. They have one house servant.


[1] UK, Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972

[2] Navy List

[3] Edinburgh Magazine

[4] HR NSW,, pp.221-224.

[5] Foreign Quarterly Review

[6] Navy List

[7] The Courier (Hobart, Tas. : 1840 - 1859) Fri 5 Apr 1844 Page 2

[8] Hobart Courier 14 July 1849