Thomas Harrison (ship)

Last updated

Thomas Harrison was a barque, used to transport free settlers and convicts from Ireland and England to Australia and New Zealand from 1835 to 1842.



Built in Sunderland in 1834 by J.M.Gales, Thomas Harrison was a barque of 355–6 tons. [1]

Operational history

The ship is recorded as having transported three free settlers to Tasmania from London and Liverpool to Hobart, arriving on 1 February 1835. [2]

It was registered in London in 1836 as convict transport, [3] but its only known sailing as a convict ship was from Cork, Ireland, on 19 February 1836. After 111 days of travel, it arrived at Port Jackson on 9 June 1836, with 112 female convicts, 29 children, and 11 free women who were wives of prisons, with their 24 children. The master on that journey was Thomas O. Harrison of Cork, and the ship's surgeon Henry Gordon Brock, who also sailed on other convict ships. [4] [1] The women came from cities and counties throughout Ireland. Five people died on the trip as a consequence of measles. [5]

Thomas Harrison departed Port Jackson, bound for Bombay, in July 1836. [5]

It was later used to transport free settlers to Adelaide and New Zealand. [3]

On 29 October [3] or 20 November 1838 it departed London, via Deal, Kent [6] for Port Adelaide, arriving on 24 or 25 February 1939. Edward Michael Smith was the master on this voyage. [3] Among the 95 passengers was George Brunskill and his wife, who leased and then bought and developed a large plot of land in what would become Marryatville, South Australia. [7]

After sailing on to Melbourne, it departed Port Phillip 28 April 1839 on a return journey to Adelaide, arriving on 22 May 1839. [3]

On 25 May 1842, the Thomas Harrison, under Captain E.M. Smith and with Thomas Renwick as surgeon superintendent, departed Gravesend, Kent, arriving in Nelson, New Zealand on 25 October 1842 with 355 settlers, after two deaths on the voyage. [3] [8]

Related Research Articles

British colonisation of South Australia Establishment of the new British colony of South Australia, covering the period 1829–1842

British colonisation of South Australia describes the planning and establishment of the colony of South Australia by the British government, covering the period from 1829, when the idea was raised by the then imprisoned Edward Gibbon Wakefield, to 1842, when the South Australia Act 1842 changed the form of government to a Crown colony.

Convicts in Australia Transportation of convicts to Australia

Between 1788 and 1868, about 162,000 convicts were transported from Britain and Ireland to various penal colonies in Australia.

Neva was a three-masted barque launched in 1813. She made two voyages transporting convicts to Australia. On her second voyage carrying convicts she wrecked in Bass Strait on 13 May 1835. Her loss was one of the worst shipwrecks in Australian history; 224 lives were lost.

Klemzig, South Australia Suburb of Adelaide, South Australia

Klemzig is a suburb of Adelaide in the City of Port Adelaide Enfield. It was the first settlement of German immigrants in Australia and was named after the village of Klemzig in what was then German Prussia and is now Klępsk in western Poland.

HMS <i>Buffalo</i> (1813)

HMS Buffalo was a storeship of the Royal Navy, originally built and launched at Sulkea, opposite Calcutta, in 1813 as the merchant vessel Hindostan. The Admiralty purchased her that year after she arrived in Britain. She later transported convicts and immigrants to Australia, before being wrecked in 1840.

<i>Fortitude</i> (1842 ship)

Fortitude was a barque launched at Scarborough in 1842. In the 1840s she brought free settlers to the colonies of South Australia and Queensland. Thereafter she sailed to India and China, and made one more voyage carrying female immigrants to Port Phillip. She was wrecked circa 1866.

<i>Surry</i> (1811 ship)

Surry, also known as Surrey, had an especially long career transporting convicts to Australia. In 11 voyages, the most of any convict transport, she brought 2,177 convicts, male and female, and so became one of the best-known of the vessels that visited Australia. In all, she lost 51 men and one woman during her various passages, 46 of the men dying during her first and most notorious voyage in 1814 when she was under the command of James Patterson. The high death toll on her first voyage led to a Board of Enquiry, which blamed neglect by the Master and Surgeon.

John Barry was a three-masted merchant ship, convict transport, and immigrant transport built in 1814 at Whitby, England by John Barry for his own interests. A typhoon damaged her in 1841 and at last report she was an opium hulk at Hong Kong.

Roslin Castle was a barque of 450 tons built in 1819 at Bristol. She was a merchant ship that also made five voyages transporting convicts to Australia. Described as a single decker, her hull was sheathed in copper in 1823 and was sheathed in patent felt and copper over-boards in 1828. She later served as a whaling vessel out of Sydney, Australia.

Blenheim was built in 1834 at Jarrow, England. She made three voyages transporting convicts to Australia. She also carried emigrants to New Zealand.

Numerous vessels have borne the name Coromandel, named for the Coromandel Coast.

Katherine Stewart Forbes was a barque built at Northfleet docks in Kent in 1818 to "second description first class" for the Chapman company and was variously recorded as a ship and a barque. She initially sailed between Britain and India under a license from the British East India Company (EIC). She next transported convicts to Australia in 1830 and 1832. She also carried early settlers to South Australia in 1837, and New Zealand in 1841 and 1851, and mapped part of the coast of Borneo.

Whitby was a three-masted, square-rigger launched in 1837 and later re-rigged as a barque. She was registered in London, and made voyages to India, British Guiana, Australia, and New Zealand. In 1841 Whitby, Arrow, and Will Watch carried surveyors and labourers for the New Zealand Company to prepare plots for the first settlers. Whitby was wrecked at Kaipara Harbour in April 1853.

The Pestonjee Bomanjee was a wooden sailing ship built in 1834 by James Lang of Dumbarton, Scotland. She was a three-masted wooden barque of 595 tons, 130 feet in length, 31.5 feet in breadth, first owned by John Miller Jnr and Company, Glasgow. Her last-known registered owner in 1861 was Patrick Keith & George Ross, Calcutta, India.

Elizabeth was a merchant ship built at Singapore, British India in 1830. She made one voyage transporting convicts from the Swan River Colony to Sydney, Australia. She wrecked in 1839.

Hooghly was a full-rigged merchant ship built on the Thames, England, and launched in 1819. She made two voyages under charter to the British East India Company (EIC), four voyages transporting convicts from England and Ireland to Australia, as well as voyages transporting emigrants to South Australia between 1839 and 1856. Around 1858 she was re-rigged as a barque. She sank off Algiers in 1863.

Henry Wellesley was a 304-ton barque sailing ship built in 1804 by Bacon, Harvey & Company at Calcutta, British India. She was wrecked near Calais in 1841.

New Zealand Company ships

The New Zealand Company was a 19th-century English company that played a key role in the colonisation of New Zealand. The company was formed to carry out the principles of systematic colonisation devised by Edward Gibbon Wakefield, who envisaged the creation of a new-model English society in the southern hemisphere. Under Wakefield's model, the colony would attract capitalists who would then have a ready supply of labour—migrant labourers who could not initially afford to be property owners, but who would have the expectation of one day buying land with their savings.

Bardaster was launched in New Brunswick in 1833. She spent her career sailing between England and Australia and New Zealand. She transported convicts to Tasmania in 1835–1836, and was broken up in 1840.

John Pirie was a schooner and the smallest of the ships in the First Fleet of South Australia that carried colonists and supplies to the Colony of South Australia in 1836. It was the first ship to set sail for the South Australian Company, only three days after the Letters Patent establishing the Province of South Australia were signed. It was built by Alexander Hall and Company at Aberdeen, Scotland in 1827.


  1. 1 2 "Details for the ship Thomas Harrison (1836)". Claim a convict. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  2. "Assisted immigrant ships 1832-1889". Libraries of Tasmania. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Thomas Harrison". Passengers in History. 21 January 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  4. "Shipping intelligence: Arrivals". The Australian . IV (304). New South Wales, Australia. 10 June 1836. p. 2. Retrieved 19 July 2019 via National Library of Australia.
  5. 1 2 "Convict Ship Thomas Harrison 1836". Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  6. "South Australian shipping". Perthdps: Passenger ships arriving in Australasian ports. Retrieved 19 July 2019. ...compiled from Ronald Parson's 1988 edition of Migrant Ships for South Australia 1836-1860.
  7. "Thomas Harrison 1839" . Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  8. "Thomas Harrison". Early Settlers Database. Nelson Provincial Museum. Retrieved 19 July 2019.