Contracts of Effectual Transportation
- 1 Background
- 2 First Fleet
- 3 Lady Juliana
- 4 Guardian - Systematisation
- 5 Second Fleet
- 6 Third Fleet
- 7 HMS Gorgon
- 8 Sugar Cane
- 9 Pitt
- 10 Bonds and Sureties
The Transportation Act of 1718 (4 Geo. I, c.11) introduced the punishment of transportation for specified offences, to be undertaken by contractors. The Act provided that the persons contracting were to ‘have a Property and Interest in the Service’ of the convict for the duration of their sentence. This proprietary interest was sold to farmers, merchants and householders upon arrival in North America, in much the same way as the labour of indentured servants was sold, and in this way, the contractor recovered the costs of the voyage. Kercher has noted that confusion with the system of indentured labour was built into the 1718 Act:
"The Act provided for merchants to enter into contracts to carry the convicts to America, under which they gained a property interest in the convicts' services. In America, the merchants sold the labor of the convicts just as they sold the labor of indentured workers. The confusion between convict transportation and indentured labor is also shown by section 5 of the 1718 Transportation Act, which provided for the transportation of unconvicted people between fifteen and twenty-one years of age who agreed to travel to America. The preamble to the act stated that one of its purposes was to solve the problem of the lack of servants in the American colonies."
"The 1718 Transportation Act did not explicitly require that convicts be put to labor, only that they be taken out of Britain or Ireland for the period fixed by the courts or the Crown in its mercy. The sale of convict labor was a consequence of the merchants' ownership of their services, not a direct requirement of the statutory scheme. Wealthy convicts were able to pay for cabins during the voyage and once they arrived in America, they could buy their own liberty. Convicts who could pay only part of the price the merchant expected were required to work for only part of the period of transportation. For these convicts, transportation was simply compulsory exile for a period, fitting Atkinson's older model of transportation."
These legal arrangements were repeated in the Transportation Act of 1784 (24 Geo. III, c.56):
". . .and such Person or Persons so contracting as aforesaid, his or her Assigns, by virtue of such Order of Transfer as aforesaid, shall have a Property in the service of such Offender or Offenders for such Terms respectively. . ."
Since there was no private labour market in the penal colony established in New South Wales, the proprietary interest in the convicts’ labour was routinely transferred to the Governor upon arrival. Kercher argues that this arrangement continued until the Transportation Act of 1824, which transferred the custody of the convicts to the contractor, but made no direct mention of a proprietary interest in their service.
"The 1824 Act made no mention of the transfer of the property or usage of the convict's labor to the contractor, although section 4 apparently gave the convict into the custody of the contractor. By section 8, when the contractor passed custody of the convict to the colonial governor or other person to whom the contractor was directed to deliver the convict, the ‘Property in the Service of such Offender shall be vested in the Governor of the Colony for the Time being, or in such other Person or Persons’."
It is unclear whether his interpretation is sound. Kercher could not understand why the proprietary system had been retained. As I have argued in another paper, the answer to this is almost certainly that it provided the legal foundation for punishment (or more strictly, discipline) of prisoners on convict transports. Since there was no statutory basis for such disciple, it seems most likely that it rested in the law of master and servant.
The transfer of servitude was based on two legal documents, a ‘contract of effectual transportation’ signed between the contractor and local justice officials, which legal transferred custody and a proprietary interest in the prisoner’s service, and a financial bond, which left the contractor open to a monetary penalty if he failed to transfer the convict to his or her intended destination.
- Gary L. Sturgess, 26 March 2016
[Acknowledgements to Lauren Bell for locating the Scottish caution bonds for the Pitt.]
From the outset, the need for contracts and bonds of effectual transportation was taken for granted by the Home Office, referring to them as ‘the usual bonds’. For example, on 10 March 1787, the under-secretary of the Home Office, Evan Nepean wrote to public officials at Kingston-upon-Thames in Surrey, concerning the procedure for transporting two convicts:
"An Order of Council passed on the 12th of last month fixing that James Squires and James Bloodworth should be sent to the Coast of New South Wales for the times they are sentenced to be transported.
"Mr William Richards Junr of Walworth will contract for their Transportation, and with Mr Francis Walton, Master of the Friendship Transport will enter into the usual Bonds. If you will send the Contracts and Bonds to me I will get them executed, and as soon as the Friendship arrives at Portsmouth, I will send an order for the removal of the two convicts and commit them to the custody of the Master of her that they may be sent away. I must beg the favor of you to get the Instruments prepared as soon as possible as no time is to be lost in getting the convicts put on board, the ships being now upon the eve of their departure."
The Home Office assumed that the procedure would be understood, but the Navy Board, which was managing the procurement of convict transports for the first time, was completely unaware of the system. It came as a complete surprise to the Comptroller of the Navy, Sir Charles Middleton when, on 9 December 1786, Nepean suddenly announced that he hoped it had occurred to Middleton in his engagements with the owners of the transports, as well as the masters and mates, to obtain bonds which legislation required, for their safe custody whilst on board the transports, If this had not been done, new difficulties would arise, for the courts would not vest them with the custody of the convicts without it.
Middleton was taken by surprise and responded on the 11th that he saw a real difficulty, unless the King’s authority was given to dispense with the usual requirement for these contracts and bonds to be issued by local courts and officials. This was the first time that he had been involved in sending out convicts, and had been unaware of the legal forms, of which he should have been advised with the original order in August. As far as he could remember, those who formerly carried convicts to America had not only an allowance per head, but an interest in them after they were embarked. ‘This makes a wide difference, and would account for ye security, which, under the present circumstances, cannot be expected from owners of ships, who have no other advantage but the freight and victualling, and take the risk of their ships (which, by the bye, is no small one) upon themselves.’
It is unclear whether the First Fleet contractor, William Richards had been aware of this legal obligation, but if not, Nepean had quickly apprised him. Since this required Richards to obtain sureties, it was no mere formality.
On 13 December, Nepean wrote to the clerks of the peace (except Norfolk) and to Thomas Shelton, the Clerk of Arraigns for London & Middlesex, advising them that the convicts named in an attached list, then in the custody of Duncan Campbell (the hulks contractor), would be loaded on board the Alexander, bound for NSW.
". . . the commander of that ship, Mr Duncan Sinclair, as well as the contractor, Mr William Richards Junr, will be ready to enter into the usual bonds. I send a draft for your guidance which has been approved by the law officers.
"Mr Sinclair and Mr Richards will be at this office on Friday morning [the 15th of December] at 9 o’clock and it is hoped you will meet them with the bonds ready for their signature."
As Middleton had predicted, preparation of the contracts and bonds were to take many weeks of detailed paperwork on the part of local law enforcement officials.
In some cases, the bonds and contracts were sent to Richards first, who then arranged for them to be signed by the Masters. For example, on 20 January, a London lawyer, Francis Squires (at New Inn), wrote to Evan Nepean.
"I was desired by Mr Hall to prepare a bond and contract for the transportation of Mary Gabb which have been left with Mr Richards to be executed by Captain Sever commander of the Lady Penhryn. Mary Gabb was tried at St Margaret’s Hill on ye 13th Jany 1784 and ordered to be transported to America for 7 years.
"I will immediately prepare bonds and contracts for ye transportation of Mary Dickinson, Ann Martin and Amelia Levy and must beg the favor of you to let me know when and where I may attend to get them executed."
The bonds and (it seems) a copy of the warrant were signed by the ships’ masters or mates when they received the convicts on board. For the most part, this process goes unrecorded in the ships’ logs, except for the first group of convicts delivered onto the Alexander on the 7th of January, where the log records that they received a warrant to be signed for the convicts and their delivery to Botany Bay. Only Richards signed the contracts, but both he and the masters signed the bonds.
At the southern ports (Portsmouth and Plymouth), the masters signed the bonds first, and these and the contracts were sent to Nepean, who arranged for Richards to execute them formally. They were then sent back to the county officials.
On 19 January 1787, Nepean wrote to the Mayor of Plymouth. The four men whose names were in the margin had been tried at the Quarter Sessions held at Plymouth and were now on the Dunkirk. The brig Friendship, now at Plymouth, had been appointed to convey them to the place of their destination. Mr William Richards Junior, of Walworth, ship broker, with Mr Francis Walton, the master of the said ship, would enter into the usual bonds and the former would sign the contract pursuant to the Act of the 24th of His Present Majesty. After Mr Walton had signed the bonds, they were to be sent to Nepean, along with the contract and he would get them properly executed by Mr Richards and returned to him without delay.
The following day, Lord Sydney wrote to Henry Ley, Esq., at Exeter:
". . . The Master of the Charlotte transport Thomas Gilbert now at Plymouth with Mr William Richards Junr of Walworth ship broker, will be ready to enter into the usual bonds for the transportation of Elizabeth Griffin whose destination will be fixed to the coast of New South Wales by an order of His Majesty in Council which I expect will pass on Wednesday next in conformity to the Act of the 24th of the present reign, and Mr Richards will also enter into the contracts required by the said Act for her transportation. . ."
On learning of this practice, Richards sent an instruction to the masters that they were not to sign the bonds before he had. This is mentioned in a letter from Mr Digory Tonmin, Plymouth, to Evan Nepean, dated 3 February:
"In consequence of your directions, Mr Francis Walton, Master of the Friendship, has been applied to, to execute the bonds for the transportation of Edward Perkins, John Petherick, Moses Ticker and Charles Granger, which he refuses to do till the same have been first executed by Mr William Richards Junr – alleging that he has received orders from him to that purpose. I have therefore enclosed them to you with the contracts and must request you will be good enough to return them to me when executed by Mr Richards."
On the 27th of January 1787, William Richards signed the contract of effectual transportation for Mary Mitchell, shipped from Kingston, Surrey. This is the only example presently known of a contract of effectual transportation for the First Fleet:
"Kingston Surrey Counterpart Contract Mary Mitchell Ship Lady Penrhyn Wm Cropton Sever Commander
"This Indre [indenture] made the 27th day of January in the yr of our Ld 1787 between Joseph Mackill Esq and Joseph Bradshaw Esq two of his Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the Town and Hundred of Kingston in the County of Surrey (except Richmond and Kew) of the one part and William Richards the Younger of Walworth in the County of Surry Ship Broker of the other part. Whence at the General and Oyer Session of the Peace of our Ld the King of the Town & Hundred of Kingston upon Thames in the Coy of Surry (except Richmond & Kew) held in the Guildhall of the sd Town on Mondy the 3d day of Octr in the 25th yr of the Reign of our Sovn Ld Geo the 3d by the Grace of God of Gt Brit France & Ireland Kg Defender of the Faith & in the yr of our Ld 1785 before the above named Josh Mackill & Josh Bradshaw bailiffs of the sd Town & Thos Evance Esqr Recorder of the same &c their Associates Justices of the Peace of Our Ld ye King in this the sd Town & Hundred (except as before excepted), appointed to hear & determine &c Mary Mitchell singlewoman was convicted of felony & by the sd Cot ordered to be transported for 7 yrs to parts beyond the seas to such place as his Majesty with the advice and consent of his Privy Council shd be pleased to appoint and direct. And whereas in pursuance of a Statute in that case made and the same court did appoint the sd J.M. & J.B. to contract with any person or persons for the performance of the transportation of the sd convict & to order sufft security to be taken for the same pursuant to the sd Act. Now know all men by these presents that the sd J.M. & J.B. the sd two justices appd as afsd do in pursuance of the power given them as afsd contract & agree with the sd Wm Richards the Younger for his transporting the before md convict to the Eastern Coast of New South Wales or some one or other of the Islands adjacent in pursuance of his Majesty’s Order in Council lately made in that behalf by virtue of the Statute in such case made & provided for the term for which she was so order’d to be transported as aforesaid to be computed from her Order of Transportation. And the sd J.M. & J.B. do by these presents assign transfer and make over the sd convict [to] the sd Wm Richards & his assigns to and for his use for the sd term accordg to the purport of the sd Act. And the sd Wm Richards for the consid. afsd doth hereby for himself & his assigns covt & agree to & with the Juss last above named to rece & take the sd convict out of the custody of Benj. Hall Keeper of his Majesty’s Gaol for the Coy of Surry within this Borough of Southwark within whose custody the sd convict have been removed & now is pursuant to his Majesty’s order for that purpose and shall & will without any wilful delay put the sd convict on shipboard and transport or cause her to be transported out of Gr Britain & as soon as may be land her (death & casualties of the seas excepted) on the Eastern Coast of New South Wales or some one or or of the Islands adjacent. I witness whereof the sd parties to these presents have hereunto set their hands & seals the day & yr first above written.
Signed sealed & delivered by the said William Richards the Younger (being first duly stampt) Wm Richardson [sic] in the presence of Jh N Knapp Jas Hill
We also have three undated and incomplete drafts of a combined contract and bond for four female convicts from Middlesex, retained in the county archives as a precedent. The following is a rough draft, which shows how it was amended:
"Know all men by these presents that we Wm Richards Junior of Walworth in the County of Surry Gentln
are firmly held and bound to Henry Collingwood Selby Esquire Clerk of the Peace for the County of Middlesex in the penal sum of £300 of good and lawful money of Great Britain to be paid to the said Henry Collingwood Selby of his certain Attorney Executors Administrators or Assigns for which payment to be well and faithfully made we bind ourselves and each of us, our and each of our Heirs Executors and Administrators firmly by these presents sealed with our seals. Dated this day of in the Twenty Seventh of the Reign of our Sovereign King George the third by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith and so forth and in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven hundred and Eighty seven.
"Whereas at the General Quarter Session of the peace of our Sovereign Lord the King holden in and for the County of Middlesex at the Session house for the said County by adjournment on Friday the 21st day of October in the Twenty fifth Year of the Reign of Our Sovereign Lord George the Third King of Great Britain Jane Field was tried and convicted of petit Larceny. And whereas At the General Quarter Session of the peace of our Sovereign Lord the King holden in and for the County of Middlesex at the said Session house for the said County on Monday the 9th day of January in the Twenty sixth Year of the Reign of Our Sovereign Lord George the Third King of Great Britain Susannah Mason otherwise Susan Mason alias Gibbs was also tried and convicted of petit Larceny And Whereas At the General Quarter Session of the peace of our Sovereign Lord the King holden in and for the said County at the said Session house for the said County on Monday the 11th day of December last Ann Farmer was also tried and convicted of petit Larceny and whereas at the General Quarter Session of the peace of our Sovereign Lord the King holden in and for the said County at the said Session house for the said County on Monday the 19th day of February last Jane Field, Susanna Mason also Gibbs, Ann Farmer and Flora Larah otherwise Larah were was also tried and convicted of petit Larceny a certain fraud And Whereas his Majesty’s Justices of the peace aforesaid of the County of Middx have ordered and directed the said several convicts to be sent and transported as soon as conveniently might be to such place or places as His Majesty might judge fit by and with the advice of his Privy Council to declare and appoint for the said term or terms in their several Sentences mentioned respectively pursuant to the Statutes in such case made and provided X and that they and every one of them should be conveyed transferred and made over to the above named Wm Richards Junr Wm Richards Junr and his Assigns for the term aforesaid in order to their being so Transported (the said Wm Richards Junr) having contracted with the said Justices for the performance of such Transportation Now the condition of this Obligation is such that if the said Wm Richards Junr and his Assigns do and shall Transport or cause to be Transported all and every of the Convicts before named to some The Eastern Coast of New South Wales or some or other of the Islands adjacent as soon as conveniently may be and shall procure from the Governor or or principal officer of the place whereunto they shall be so sent, an Authentic Certificate of their Landing (Death and Casualties of the Sea excepted) and if none of them shall be suffered to return from the sd Eastern Coast of New South Wales or the islands adjacent aforesaid to any part of Great Britain or Ireland by the wilful default of the said Wm Richards Junior or his Assigns within the Times or Terms of their respective Sentences then this obligation to be void or else to remain in full force.
Sealed and Delivered (being first
duly stamp’t) in the presence of
X And Whereas His Majesty hath by and with the Advice of His Privy Council by these Several Orders of Council being dated respectively the 22nd Day of Decr. 1786, the 12th of February 1787 and the 12 of Apl 1787 hath now last past declared and appointed the place to which the said several offenders shall be transported for the times or terms in their several sentences mentioned to the Eastern Coast of New South Wales or some one or other of the Islands adjacent, And whereas his said Majesty’s Justices of the peace afd have ordered and directed that ye sd several convicts
There are several unusual features of this bond which require further research:
1. The document is a combined contract and bond, the only known example thus far.
2. The surety for the four women is £300, or £75 each, rather than the £40 per head otherwise stated as the amount of the bonds for First Fleet convicts. (Note, however, that the bond for Susanna Hunt on the Lady Juliana was £80.)
3. The bond names William Richards but not the Master of the Prince of Wales.
10 March 1787 – Evan Nepean wrote to public officials at Kingston-upon-Thames in Surrey, describing the procedure that had been adopted for executing the contracts and bonds:
"An Order of Council passed on the 12th of last month fixing that James Squires and James Bloodworth should be sent to the Coast of New South Wales for the times they are sentenced to be transported.
"Mr William Richards Junr of Walworth will contract for their Transportation, and with Mr Francis Walton, Master of the Friendship Transport will enter into the usual Bonds. If you will send the Contracts and Bonds to me I will get them executed, and as soon as the Friendship arrives at Portsmouth, I will send an order for the removal of the two convicts and commit them to the custody of the Master of her that they may be sent away. I must beg the favor of you to get the Instruments prepared as soon as possible as no time is to be lost in getting the convicts put on board, the ships being now upon the eve of their departure."
16 March 1787 – Sydney to the High Sheriff of Lincoln:
"The Prince of Wales transport having been taken up for the purpose of carrying convicts under sentence of transportation to New South Wales, I am commanded to signify to you his Majesty’s pleasure that you do cause the four female convicts whose names are mentioned in the margin to be removed to Portsmouth; Mr William Richards Junr of Walworth will enter into the contracts required by the Act of the 24th of his present Majesty and will be joined by the master of the said transport in the usual bonds."
22 March 1787 – William Pollock (Home Office) to Mr Wood, Gaoler at Lincoln:
"A person has called at Lord Sydney’s Office this Morning, who says that you have a Woman Transport from the Sessions, by Name Mary Pindar, whom you wish to remove to Portsmouth, with the other three Female Convicts in your Custody. I am directed to acquaint you that you may remove the said Mary Pindar, with the other three Women at Portsmouth, and Mr William Richards Junr of Walworth will enter into the Contract required by the Act of the 24th of his present Majesty, and will be joined by the Master of the Prince of Wales Transport.
"The Female Child belonging to Rebecca Boulton may be sent up with her.
"You will send up Lord Sydney’s Letter of the 16th March to the Sheriff, in order that Mary Pindar’s Name may be inserted in it."
23 March 1787 – Sydney to the High Sheriff of Gloucestershire.
"His Majesty having been pleased to give directions that Evan Pugh, a Male Convict & Elizabeth Parker & Elizabeth Mason, two female convicts now under Sentence of Transportation in the Gaol of Gloucester, should be removed on board the Prince of Wales transport at Portsmouth, in order to their being transported to New So Wales, I am commanded to signify to you, His Majesty’s Pleasure that you forthwith cause the said Convicts to be removed on board the said Transport."
26 March 1787 – Sydney to the High Sheriff of the county of Flint.
"The Prince of Wales Transport now at Portsmouth having been taken up for the purpose of conveying convicts under sentence of Transportation, to New South Wales, I am Commanded to signify to You His Majesty’s Pleasure that you do cause Frances Williams a Female convict now in the Jail of Flint to be removed to Portsmouth. Mr William Richards Junr of Walworth will enter into the Contracts required by the 24th of his Present Majesty; and will be joined by the Master of the said Transport in the Usual Bonds."
28 April 1787 – Sydney to the High Sheriff of Surrey:
"I am commanded to signify to you His Majesty’s Pleasure that you do deliver over to the Keeper of Newgate the six Female Convicts now in the New Gaol in the Borough under Sentence of Transportation in order to their being sent to Portsmouth with other Convicts in Newgate to be transported to New South Wales.
- Susanna Blanchet, Mary Mitchcraft, Sarah Taylor, Martha Kennedy, Ann Forbes, Lydia Monro."
The discovery by Middleton in early December 1786 that it was necessary to prepare contracts and bonds for each convict or group of convicts, meant that William Richards had to take on a great deal of additional work at a time when he would have assumed that his responsibilities were largely at an end. While government clerks (such as Shelton) were paid significant sums of money for their role in preparing the contracts and bonds, Richards was paid nothing, even though there had been no mention of this heavy responsibility when the contract was original negotiated.
The following extract from a letter dated 1 April 1787 from Richards to Nepean demonstrates the extent of his involvement in ascertaining whether all of the convicts on board had contracts and bonds, and his role in guiding the process.
"Enclosed you have compleat lists of the convicts now on board the ships intended for Botany Bay together with other lists for your government in giving the necessary orders to the different Clerks of the Peace. They may be relied on as I have since they have been corrected per the different contracts & bonds mustered them on board the respective ships and they have all answered to the names.
"You will find that there are only six convicts and no convicts wifes sent down yet for the Prince of Wales transport. Her compliment is described per a list herewith sent as likewise the number for each other transport. The number wanted to compleat the whole is 24 men & 53 women. I should be much obliged if you would order the different Clerks of the Peace to send their bonds & contracts and counterparts (not executed) to me at the Crown Inn at this place, and I will take particular care to have them executed & will bring them with me on my return & send them to their respective offices. . ."
The Clerks of Assize also invested a great deal of time and effort in the preparation of this documentation, although they were not remunerated for several years. On 18 December 1788, Nepean wrote to William Chamberlayne, advising that the clerks of assize of the several circuits who were employed in 1786 and 1787 in drawing contracts and bonds had lately delivered to Lord Sydney’s office accounts of fees for transacting that business. He was directed to transmit the same to Chamberlayne, so that he could examine the same and report.
It was understood that the clerks of assize had already received one guinea from the county for each of the convicts above alluded to, and it was therefore to be considered whether that allowance was not intended to satisfy them for their trouble in preparing the contracts and bonds as well as the usual fees upon conviction.
It is also likely that the account submitted by Thomas Shelton in February 1789, for drawing up contracts and bonds for London and Middlesex, related to the First Fleet. The account was for £295/7/8 and was forwarded by Lord Sydney to the Treasury on 22 February and approved by them on 2 March, the Treasury Solicitor having reported that Shelton was entitled to this payment.
Throughout April and early May 1787, William Richards spent a great deal of time at Portsmouth, among other things, preparing accurate lists of which convicts were on board the transports. While these were being forwarded to Nepean, the reason for Richards’ interest was his liabilities under the contracts and bonds.
1 April 1787 – Richards seems to have been at Portsmouth again, staying at the Crown Inn. He or his agent, Zachariah Clark, had gone on the ships for a muster and prepared a list of the convicts on board the ships there.
- Richards to Nepean. Enclosed was a complete list of the convicts now on board the ships, together with other lists for the government in giving the necessary orders to the clerks of the peace. They may be relied upon since 'they had been mustered on the respective ships and they had answered their names'.
There were only 6 convicts and no convicts’ wives come down yet for the Prince of Wales. Her complement in the list was 24 men and 53 women. He would be much obliged if Nepean would order the different clerks of the peace to send their bonds, contracts and counterparts (not executed) to him at the Crown Inn and he would take particular care to have them executed. He would bring them with him on his return and send them to their respective officers.
He had some time since mentioned that he would like to send Mr Zachariah Clark out as his agent. Nepean had said that he would consider it and speak to Captain Phillip. He had a letter from the Navy Board (communicating from the Treasury) confirming that he remain there as long as Richards’ business may require it.
3 April 1787 – (Richards was still at Portsmouth.) Shelton to Nepean, advising him when Samuel Hall was sentenced. ‘I have sent the bonds to Mr Richards at Portsmouth & have given certificates to Mr Akerman of bonds & contracts having been duly entered into for all the prisoners contained in your list to me who are in custody, so that they now await your order.’
5 April 1787 – (Richards appears to have developed his own concerns about the lack of victualling for the children of convicts based on his physical presence on the ships.) Richards to Nepean. About the children. Richards concerned about the lack of victualling – two had arrived on board the Prince of Wales with their mothers. He pointed out that no provision had been made for the victualling of children and that they were barely subsisting on their mothers’ allowance (suggesting that they were not newborns). Richards told Evan Nepean that he was concerned about their welfare and declared that he would take proper care of them. He added:
"Mr Shelton has this day sent me the bonds and contracts for 8 women from the Prince of Wales & 3 men for the Alexander which makes her compliment 212."
25 April 1787 – Nepean to Richards seeking to clarify which convicts in a list he had contracts and bonds for. He also questioned who the male convict on the Lady Penhryn was. ‘He must I suppose be the surgeon, whose name I think is John Irwin alias Law, and if so it is all well’.
26 April 1787 – Richards (from Portsmouth) to Nepean.
"I duly received your letter of yesterday’s date & in reply beg leave to inform you that there have been contracts & bonds signed for the undermentioned female convicts, viz.
"For the Lady Penrhyn
Mary Johnson Mary Dixon Esther Abrahams Jane Herbert alias Rose alias Jenny Russell Ruth Baldwin alias Bower
"For the Prince of Wales
Mary Wilson Mary Newlan Ann Parsley Phebe Flarty Sarah Ault Elizabeth Scott Mary Long Mary Atkinson
"The remainder of the list you sent are entirely unknown to me.
"Respecting the difference between my return and Major Ross’s, it arises from my returning the whole number on board the ships, without allowing for casualties, whereas he only takes notice of those actually in being at the time he mustered them.
"The Alexander took on board - 209 convicts
of whom have died - 11
pardoned - 1 12 197
"The Scarborough has the number originally taken on board except John Irvine who is on board the Lady Penrhyn - 205
"The Charlotte the same, viz
Males – 86
Females - 20 106
Children extra - 2 108
"The Friendship the same, viz
Males – 75
Taken on board since – 1
Females – 19
Taken on board since – 2 97
Children extra – 5 102
"The Prince of Wales
Females – 6
Taken on board since – 4 10
Child extra – 1 11
"The Lady Penrhyn
Females – 102
John Irvine from Scarboro’ – 1 103
Children extra – 5 108
One woman since dead – 1 107
"As a surgeon is now appointed for the Lady Penrhyn, it is reported John Irvine will be placed in the Prince of Wales, there being at present no surgeon on board.
"Respecting victualling the convicts &c with fresh provisions where they may touch during the passage, I will consider & inform you in a post or two. In the meantime, that the public business may not be retarded, [I] have replied to every other part of your letter."
8 May – Richards to Nepean. Reports prisoners taken on board and deaths, by name. (He was apparently still at Portsmouth.)
The Home Office also assumed that Richards’ contractual obligations would have obliged him to keep detailed records:
3 November 1787 – The extent of the government’s reliance on Richards is evident from a letter sent by Thomas Townsend on this date. The Duke of Richmond had requested him to provide an account of the number of convicts sent to Botany Bay under Governor Phillip, and he wrote to Richards, supposing by the nature of his contract that ‘you can more readily and accurately give it to me’.
On 22 July 1793, Dundas transmitted to the Treasury, accounts from the clerks of assize employed in 1786 and 1787 in preparing the contracts and bonds. These were approved by Treasury on 25 July, and they directed Mr Chinnery, the NSW Agent, to pay the £588.
Transfers of Servitude from George Moore
The London merchant, George Moore, had been awarded a contract to deliver three shiploads of convicts to North America in the immediate aftermath of the American War of Independence. There were mutinies on two of the ships which resulted in them being returned to port, and Moore’s captain struggled to find a place to land those on the third.
In 1787, when the convicts who had been returned to England were being loaded on board the First Fleet, it became necessary to transfer the contracts of effectual transportation from Moore to Richards. Better than anything else, this demonstrate the continuity between the North American system of contracts and bonds and that used for New South Wales.
2 April 1787 – Power of Attorney assigning rights to the convicts from George Moore (then in Salonica) to his nephew, Thomas Quayle:
"Whereas certain fifty-one men and seven women, convicted of divers thefts, burglaries, crimes and offences for which they were ordered to be transported and accordingly were embarked on board of one or more vessels, as covenanted with and by several courts of justice, high sheriffs of counties, justices of the peace, clerks of the peace, &c – on the one part and by George Moore late of London, merchant, on the other part. And whereas the said George Moore did to the best of his power fulfil his agreement and embark the said men and women convicts as aforesaid on board of a vessel or vessels, and the said men and women so convicted having clandestinely or by violence and without the consent, privity or acquiescence of the said George Moore or his agent or agents, returned before the expiration or terms they were sentenced or ordered to remain abroad. And whereas the said men and women thus returned have been apprehended and again ordered to transportation and now are supposed to be on their voyage to Botany Bay, KNOW ALL MEN by these presents that I the aforementioned George Moore, now His Majesty’s Consul in Salonica, so authorise and appoint my nephew Thomas Quayle, of Princes Court, Westminster, Gentleman, to assign over the aforesaid convicts, men and women, unto Richards, he the said Richards having undertaken to transport the said convicts with the approbation and consent of His Majesty’s Secretaries of State or with other sufficient authority.
"And further to keep me harmless from all process, actions, and suits at law of any and every kind and degree whatever for or concerning the transportation and also the premature return from transportation of the aforesaid convicts, men and women, for an in consideration whereof, and for the purposes aforesaid, I hereunto subscribe my name in Salonica, the second day of April, one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven.
"By virtue of the beforegoing power and by the directions of the within named George Moore, I do hereby assign the said fifty one men and seven women convicts and all the right of the said George Moore to their servitude or labor to the said Richards, dated this tenth day of June 1787.
24 or 25 April 1787 – Thomas Quayle to Nepean, enclosing a ‘power’ for the assignment of the returned convicts from his uncle, Mr George Moore, with a memorandum subjoined, which Mr Quayle hoped would answer the purpose. Quayle had waited on Nepean several times but had missed him.
The convicts were not formally transferred to Richards until 10 June, that is, after the First Fleet had sailed.
Transfer of Servitude to the Governor
The instructions given to Governor Phillip on 25 April 1787 referred to the need to obtain an assignment of the servitude of the convicts from the masters of the transport ships before they sailed from Botany Bay.
There is no evidence from the ships’ logs that the First Fleet masters were involved in the making the transfers to the Governor at Port Jackson. They referred to the certificates or orders of discharge they received, and even linked this to the delivery of stores, but there was no mention of the contracts for effectual transportation. It seems that these were negotiated by Zachariah Clark, as Richards’ agent.
9 July 1788 – Phillip to Nepean:
"The masters of transports having left with the agent the bonds and whatever papers they received that related to the convicts, I have no account of the time for which the convicts are sentenced, or the dates of their convictions. . ."
The receipts for the delivery of the convicts and the transfer of their servitude would have been included in the documentation sent by Clark to Richards, presumably with the dispatches that went on the Alexander.
What did it look like through William Richards’ eyes?
Richards was informed of the need for contracts and bonds between the 9th and the 13th of December 1786, probably by the Home Office. Since there is no correspondence between Nepean and Middleton about the arrangements subsequently made with Richards, it seems likely that Nepean called him in and advised him of these additional responsibilities.
The responsibility for organising the contracts and bonds with local justice officials lay with Nepean, which is why he wrote to them on the 13th of December, but Nepean had assumed that Middleton would have raised the need for contracts and bonds with the ‘owners and masters’. However, since Middleton had no knowledge of the necessary arrangements, Nepean seems to have taken over. Nepean sent a template to each of the clerks, in a form that had been approved by the law officers, although he did refer to ‘the usual bonds’.
By the 13th, both Richards and Duncan Sinclair (master of the Alexander, which was to be one of the first ships loaded with convicts) had been informed of the need to sign contracts and bonds. They had agreed to attend a meeting at the Home Office at 9am on Friday the 15th of December to meet a number of the clerks of circuits to sign the contracts and bonds. It is unknown how many attended, but the process of signing the contracts and bonds would drag on for months.
In the days after he was first advised and before the meeting on the 15th, Richards would have had to find sureties who would underwrite the performance of the bond. The details of these individuals are at present unknown.
With the Guardian and the Gorgon, it is possible that Thomas Shelton drew up a contract and a bond for each convict; in other cases, however, in other cases (after the Guardian), Shelton drew up a contract with a long list of convict names inserted into the document. An individual contract and bond was prepared for each local court jurisdiction, with the number being determined by how many were being transported from that locality.
The contract or indenture was in Richards’ name and was signed by him – the legal right to the convict’s labour was transferred to the contractor alone and not to the master of the ship.
Based on the only surviving complete set of documents from this early period (for Susannah Hunt on the Lady Juliana), the bonds included the name of the contractor and the master, and were signed by both. Richards was also required to supply sureties and their addresses. Shelton’s account for the Second Fleet states that he drew a bond from ‘the contractor and his sureties’, and a set of contracts and bonds were done county by county.
It is unclear whether the masters had their own sureties. The bond for Susannah Hunt – the earliest known example – read as follows:
"Know all men by these presents that we William Richards the Younger in the County of Surry Gentleman and George Aitkin of Union Street in the Parish of St Nicholas, Deptford, Mariner, are held and firmly bound to William Batley of Ipswich in the County of Suffolk Gentleman Town Clerk and Clerk of the Peace of the Town and Borough of Ipswich aforesaid in the sum of eighty pounds of good and lawful money of Great Britain to be paid to the said William Batley or his certain attorney executors, administrators of assigns for which payment to be well and faithfully made we bind ourselves and each of us by himself for the whole our and each of our heirs executors and administrators jointly and severally firmly by these presents sealed with our seals. . .
"The condition of this obligation is such that if the above bounden William Richards the Younger and George Aitkin or their assigns shall take and receive out of the custody of John Ripshaw Keeper on His Majesty’s Gaol at Ipswich aforesaid Susanna the wife of John Hunt and put her on ship board and transport her out of Great Britain and as soon as may be land her (death and casualties of the sea excepted) at Botany Bay upon the Coast of new South Wales or elsewhere as ordered and procure authentick certificates from the Governor Lieutenant Governor or other such evidence of the landing of the said Susanna Hunt in the place aforesaid as the nature of the case will admit and the same certificate or such other evidence produced to the said William Batley or his successors and if the said William Richards the Younger and George Aitkin or his or their assigns shall not by his or their wilful default suffer the said Susanna Hunt to be transported as aforesaid to return to any part of Great Britain or Ireland during the term for which she is ordered to be transported or if the said William Richards the Younger and George Aitkin or their executors administrators or assigns shall and do pay or cause to be paid to the said William Batley his successors or administrators the sum of forty pounds for the said Susanna Hunt to be so transported if she should not be transported accordingly or if she should be suffered to return to any part of Great Britain or Ireland during the terms aforesaid by the wilful default of the said William Richards the Younger and George Aitkin or either of them or their assigns then this obligation to be void or else to remain in full force and virtue."
With the Second and Third Fleets, Shelton drew up contracts and bonds for the convicts from each jurisdiction, but also drew a ‘general bond’ from ‘the contractor and his sureties’ in relation to each ship, which seems to have been signed by the masters. Indeed, Shelton’s documentation for a number of the Third Fleet ships refers to drawing a bond from the contractor and the master of each ship. In the case of the Second Fleet, some change seems to have been made to the general bond by the masters when they executed the same at Portsmouth, and it was necessary to ‘ingross’ another bond from the contractor and the captains.
The two sets of documents would be attested by witnesses. It was also necessary to pay a tax on the contract – in the contract for Susannah Hunt, the duty was 6/-, which was charged to the county.
With the contract for Mary Mitchell (Lady Penrhyn), a counterpart of the contract was signed and sent back to the law clerks in the various courts. With the Lady Juliana and the Gorgon, however, the contracts and bonds were returned to the county officials, and the other contract was taken on the ship. It would appear that there were two copies of the contract – the original and the counterpart – and that the former went with the convict on the ship. There must also have been multiple copies of the bond, with the original going back to the county.
Shelton may already have drafted a deed of assignment of the convicts from Richards to Governor Phillip, which could have been signed by Richards at the same time, and perhaps counter-signed by Zachariah Clark on arrival in NSW. In some cases, the deed of assignment was simply written on the back of the contract.
Richards also prepared a list of the convicts for whom such contracts had been signed, which enabled him to provide detailed information about the number and the status of convicts on board.
With the ships in the Thames, the contracts and bonds were sent by the local clerks or their London agents to Richards first, who then arranged for them to be signed by the masters of the Alexander and the Lady Penrhyn.
In the case of the ships taking on convicts at the southern ports, it seems that in January, some of the masters may have signed the bonds first, and these and the contracts were sent to Nepean, who arranged for Richards to execute them formally. They were then sent back to the county officials.
Richards was unhappy with this arrangement, presumably because the masters were signing bonds and receiving prisoners for which he was yet to execute the contracts. On discovering what was happening, he issued instructions to the masters that they were not to sign these documents until he had done so. Throughout January and February, these documents were being signed for individual convicts or for small numbers.
In early April, when Richards was down at Portsmouth overseeing the purchase of fresh provisions, he asked Nepean to have the clerks send their bonds and contracts, and the counterparts, to him at the Crown Inn, and he was sign them and have the bonds signed by the masters. He later returned with them to London and had the counterparts sent to the respective offices.
In the case of the Lady Juliana, Richards was given a contract for the transportation of female convicts from London and the Home Counties, and provided with a list of other towns and counties whom he might approach to make independent arrangements for transportation. Under these circumstances, the contracts of effectual transportation would have been negotiated directly with local officials. (In the result, the counties were not prepared to pay the full cost of transportation to New South Wales, where there was no prospect of the contractor recouping some of the costs by selling their labour into the local market.)
On the 5th of February 1789, Richards wrote to the Keeper of HM Gaol, Brecon (and apparently to a number of other gaols around the country) concerning these arrangements. Among other things, he wrote:
"I shall have room after the convicts of the Home Circuit are on board for about 50 more. Of that number I have directions from the Secretary of State’s Office to take the five which are in your gaol upon the country’s agreeing to make me on the same allowance as I am to receive from government for each of the Home Circuit convicts and upon my receiving security for the payment, whatever it may be, I shall be ready to enter into contracts and bonds and will take the convicts into my custody in the course of ten days. I must beg of you to send any answer you may be authorized to give me upon this business as soon as possible that in case the county should not like to pay the expense I may send to some other place as there are other applications from the sheriffs of counties not included in the list which has been given to me and no time must be lost as the ship is now on her way from London to Spithead, and send me the names, ages & sentences of all the female convicts in your custody."
With the Lady Juliana, we have the first complete example of a contract and the associated documentation signed by Richards. On the 1st of April 1789, Richards signed the contract for Susana Hunt, of Ipswich.
"Whereas at the General Sessions of the Peace and General Gaol Delivery at the Moothall in and for the town and borough of Ipswich in the County of Suffolk on Friday the seventeenth day of March in the twenty-eighth year of his present Majesty’s reign, Susanna the wife of John Hunt was convicted of grand larceny and was by the court ordered to be transported beyond the seas for and during the term of seven years to such place as his Majesty with the advice of his Privy Council should declare and appoint pursuant to the statute in that case lately made and provided.
"And whereas in pursuance of the statute in that case made the court did appoint Charles Norris and William Lynch two of his Majesty’s justices of the peace for the said borough to contract with any person or persons for the performance of the transportation of the said Susanna Hunt and to order sufficient security to be taken for the same pursuant to the said Act.
"Now know all men by these presents that the said Charles Norris and William Lynch, the said two justices appointed as aforesaid do in pursuance of the power given them aforesaid, contract and agree with William Richards the Younger of Walworth in the County of Surrey, gentleman, for his transporting the above name Susanna Hunt to Botany Bay upon the coast of New South Wales in pursuance of his Majesty’s Order in Council lately made in that behalf by virtue of the statute in that case made and provided for the term for which the said Susanna Hunt was so ordered to be transported as aforesaid to be computed from an order of transportation.
"And the said Charles Norris and William Lynch do by these presents assign, transfer and make over the said Susanna Hunt to the said William Richards the Younger and his assigns and to and for his use for the same term according to the purport of the said Act. And the said William Richards the Younger for the consideration aforesaid doth hereby for himself and his assigns covenant and agree to and with the said justices last above named to receive and take the said Susanna Hunt out of the custody of John Ripshase(?) Keeper of his Majesty’s Gaol of the County of Suffolk at Ipswich in the said County, and shall and will without any wilful delay put the said Susanna Hunt on shipboard and transport her or cause her to be transported out of Great Britain and as soon as may be land her (death and casualties of the seas excepted) at Botany Bay aforesaid.
"In witness whereof the said parties to these presents have hereunto interchangeably set their hands and seals the first day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
"Sealed and delivered by the above named Charles Norris and William Lynch being first duly stampt in the presence of
Sealed and delivered by the above named Wm Richards Jnr William Richards the Younger in the Presence of Wm Richards James King"
The bond is dated the 2nd of April, perhaps because it needed to be counter-signed by the Captain of the ship:
"1789 Wm Richards Bond To for transporting The Town Cl of Ipswich Susanna Hunt
"Know all men by these presents that we William Richards the Younger in the County of Surry Gentleman and George Aitkin of Union Street in the Parish of St Nicholas, Deptford, Mariner, are held and firmly bound to William Batley of Ipswich in the County of Suffolk Gentleman Town Clerk and Clerk of the Peace of the Town and Borough of Ipswich aforesaid in the sum of eighty pounds of good and lawful money of Great Britain to be paid to the said William Batley or his certain attorney executors, administrators of assigns for which payment to be well and faithfully made we bind ourselves and each of us by himself for the whole our and each of our heirs executors and administrators jointly and severally firmly by these presents sealed with our seals. Dated this second day of April in the twenty-ninth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third by the Grace of God of Great Britain France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith and so forth and in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty Nine.
"The condition of this obligation is such that if the above bounden William Richards the Younger and George Aitkin or their assigns shall take and receive out of the custody of John Ripshaw Keeper on His Majesty’s Gaol at Ipswich aforesaid Susanna the wife of John Hunt and put her on ship board and transport her out of Great Britain and as soon as may be land her (death and casualties of the sea excepted) at Botany Bay upon the Coast of new South Wales or elsewhere as ordered and procure authentick certificates from the Governor Lieutenant Governor or other such evidence of the landing of the said Susanna Hunt in the place aforesaid as the nature of the case will admit and the same certificate or such other evidence produced to the said William Batley or his successors and if the said William Richards the Younger and George Aitkin or his or their assigns shall not by his or their wilful default suffer the said Susanna Hunt to be transported as aforesaid to return to any part of Great Britain or Ireland during the term for which she is ordered to be transported or if the said William Richards the Younger and George Aitkin or their executors administrators or assigns shall and do pay or cause to be paid to the said William Batley his successors or administrators the sum of forty pounds for the said Susanna Hunt to be so transported if she should not be transported accordingly or if she should be suffered to return to any part of Great Britain or Ireland during the terms aforesaid by the wilful default of the said William Richards the Younger and George Aitkin or either of them or their assigns then this obligation to be void or else to remain in full force and virtue.
"Signed and delivered by the within named William Richards the Wm Richards Jun Younger (being first duly stampt Geo Aitken
in the presence of J.W. Knapp
"Sealed and delivered by the within named George Aitken in the presence of J.W. Knapp"
There were also enclosed the letters of instruction relating to these documents:
"Queens Row, Walworth
"I hereby enclose you the bond & contract for the transportation of the female convict now on bd the Lady Juliana transport. I had the contract stampt & paid 6/- for it which I will charge when the ship sails & the keep of the convict & that can be paid together. Remember me [illegible]
"Your most ob. servt Wm Richards Jnr"
"9 April 1789
"Keeper of HM Gaol Ipswich
"Receive on board the Lady Juliana transport from the Keeper of His Majesty’s Gaol for the County of Suffolk – the bodies of the one – female persons under sentence of transportation they are to be victualled, clothed & regulated as per instructions sent.
Queens Row, Walworth Wm Richards Jnr"
"4 April 1789
"To Mr Geo. Aitken Master or the Commanding Officer on board the Lady Juliana transport Galleons near Woolwich"
"Rec’d Galleons April 4th 1789 on board the ship Lady Juliana, Susanna Hunt, a female convict from Ipswich.
Per Robt. B. Garde(?)"
Guardian - Systematisation
Middleton’s suggestion to Nepean in December 1786 that the authority to contract for effectual transportation should be centralised was adopted. Legislation was passed in 1788 providing that when the Secretary of State gave orders for the transportation of any offender, it would be lawful for him to authorise any person to make contracts for their effectual transportation, and any person entering in such contracts would have the same property in the service of such offenders as if such contract had been made and security given under 24 George III, c.56.
The next ship was HMS Guardian, which carried 25 convicts, and in July 1789, the Secretary of State issued a warrant authorising Thomas Shelton to contract for twenty-five named convicts ‘with any fit person or persons for the effectual transportation of the several convicts above named, and to take security from the person or persons so contracting. . .’
In October 1789, a royal warrant was issued formalising these arrangements. Shelton was authorised to make contracts for the effectual transportation of offenders, and ‘to direct to what person or persons security shall be given for the effectual transportation of such offender or offenders’. The warrant provided that every such contract and security was equally valid, and every contractor had like property in the service of such offenders, as if such contracts and securities had been given under 24 Geo. III, c.56. Thomas Shelton was named in the warrant as having been authorised and empowered to make contracts with any fit person or persons for effectual transportation, and to take securities. Thereafter, a warrant was issued to Shelton for each new shipment of convicts, with a list of the relevant convicts attached.
For example, one of these warrant was issued in January 1792:
"And whereas from the great Number of Persons remaining on board the Hulks, & in the several Prisons within this Kingdom under Sentence of Transportation, We have. . . thought fit to give Directions that a number of Convicts, who were severally convicted at the Times & Places hereinafter mentioned. . . We do hereby authorize & empower our Trusty and Wellbeloved Thomas Shelton Esq. to make a Contract or Contracts with any fit Person or Persons for the effectual Transportation of the several Convicts whose Names are inserted in the List hereunto annexed. . ."
From the Guardian in 1789 until Shelton’s death in 1829, we have his own accounts for drafting these contracts and managing these arrangements for shipments of convicts from England. Shelton was not responsible for the Irish convicts and as late as 1796, the Irish authorities were still remiss in not providing these certificates to the masters of the transports. On 3 March 1796, Governor Hunter wrote to the Duke of Portland about a shipment of convicts that had recently arrived on the Marquis of Cornwallis:
"Permit me, my Lord, to observe that the manner in which the convicts are sent from Ireland is so extremely careless and irregular that it must be felt by those people as a particular hardship, and by Government as a great inconvenience. Every ship from that country have omitted to bring any account of the conviction or term of transportation of those they bring out to this: nor do we ever receive any assignment of their services, because none have been made to the master of the ship. There are many in this settlement now who have repeatedly petitioned to be allowed to leave the country, or to labour and provide for themselves in it, their time, as they say, being completed; but I cannot well depend on their account, and it is certainly an act of injustice to the men if their story should be true. I hope, therefore, my Lord, that this evil may in future be remedied, and that we may have some account of those lately received from Ireland."
With the 25 convicts shipped on the Guardian (1789), the Home Office introduced a regular and centralised system for preparation and signature of the contracts and bonds. As it applied to the Guardian, that process was as follows:
a. Shelton obtained the court documents relating to each of the convicts, and perused them in order to prepare contracts and bonds. With larger shipments (such as the Second and Third Fleets), Shelton had to obtain these documents from each of county courts and quarter sessions.
b. He drew up a contract for each of them, to be signed by Lieutenant Riou (the commander of the Guardian), to be transported according to their several sentences. The contract apparently stated that he was to procure testimonials of their landing and that they should not be suffered to return before the expiration of their terms.
c. Shelton then took a bond from Riou and his sureties to perform the contract.
d. The contracts and bond then had to be attested.
e. Shelton drafted the assignment of the convicts from Riou to Governor Phillip. (In the case of the Second and Third Fleet ships, these were signed by the contractor immediately, but perhaps counter-signed by the master only when the ships arrived in NSW.)
f. He then made a copy of the list of the convicts, with the places where they had been convicted and the date of their convictions to be annexed to His Majesty’s warrant authorising Shelton to contract for the transportation of these convicts.
g. Another copy was made to be annexed to the assignment.
h. A third copy was made for the Secretary of State for the Home Department.
i. In the case of the Second Fleet, and no doubt of some of the others in the early years, Shelton prepared lists of such of the convicts as had been ordered to be transported to North America and to Africa, so that the same could be annexed to an order of the Privy Council appointed New South Wales as the place of transportation. It was also necessary for him to draw up an order for two of the judges to sign to be annexed to this order. In the case of the Second Fleet, Shelton attended the execution of the order by Baron Hotham and Mr Justice Heath.
Then it could be all made irrelevant at the last minute when convicts were moved from ship to ship. In the case of the Second Fleet, Shelton made a note in his accounts that Camden, Calvert and King had deviated from the original plan laid down by Lord Grenville and Evan Nepean, claiming that some of the ships were not ready and that they were obliged to sent some of the convicts on different ships from those that had originally been specified. Shelton was unhappy – he was not able to get regular returns from any of the ships to compare with the assignments to send to Governor Phillip (so that legal liability for escapes of named convicts was entirely vitiated). He sent one of his clerks by coach to the ships at Portsmouth to examine and correct the lists and assignments, in which he was engaged six days.
At the Cape of Good Hope, when the convicts were transferred to the Neptune, Riou should have had Donald Trail, the master of that ship, sign the contracts and bonds, although Nash’s account of the Guardian suggests that Riou transferred them to the naval agent Shapcote:
23 April 1790 – At 6am, 19 convicts were disembarked from the Guardian and delivered into the charge of a guard to be conveyed in waggons to False Bay. One convict was too sick to travel. As soon as they had left, Riou himself followed to dispose of them in a legal manner to Shapcote, and to be present at the delivery of the provisions. The convicts were delivered around 6pm.
26 April 1790 – The beef and pork arrived. At 6pm, the sick convict from the Guardian arrived and Riou formally delivered him into Shapcote’s hands.
The following is a contract and bond for some of the convicts on the Surprize, signed by the broker and notional contractor, George Whitlock, and the date of assignment to Governor Phillip (which is before the ship actually sailed). This was necessary, presumably, because the contractor could not be present at Port Jackson when the convicts were landed.
"This Indenture made the fourth day of December in the thirtieth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third by the grace of God of Great Britain and Ireland King Defender of the faith and so forth in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine Between Thomas Shelton of the Session House in the City of London Esquire of the one part and George Whitlock of the Crutched Friars in the City of London Broker of the other part Whereas the persons named in the underwritten list being convicts for felony were at several Sessions of Gaol Delivery and of the Peace holden for the Counties and places and at the times mentioned against their respective names ordered and adjudged to be transported to the Eastern Coast of New South Wales or some one or other of the Islands adjacent thereto for the several terms also mentioned against the respective names, viz
"And Whereas his Majesty by his Royal Sign Manuel bearing date at his Court of St James’s the day of one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine in the thirtieth year of his reign reciting the power and authority given him in this behalf in and by a certain Act of Parliament passed in the Twenty Eighth Year of his Reign entitled ‘An Act to continue several laws relating to the granting a bounty on the exportation of certain species of British and Irish linens exported and taking off the duties on the importation of foreign raw linen yarns made of flax and to the preventing the committing of frauds by bankrupts and for continuing and amending several laws relating to the imprisonment and transportation of offenders’ had given directions for the transportation of all the before named offenders and has gracefully thought fit to authorize and empower the herein before named Thomas Shelton to make a contract or contracts with any fit person or persons for the effectual transportation of them and to take security from the person or persons so contracting for their effectual transportation. And in pursuance of such authority and power the said Thomas Shelton hath assigned and transferred all the before named convicts unto the said George Whitlock for the respective terms for which they were ordered to be transported as aforesaid the said George Whitlock having contracted and agreed with the said Thomas Shelton for the effectual transportation of the said offenders according to their respective sentences and orders aforesaid. Now this Indenture Witnesseth that the said Thomas Shelton in pursuance of such authority and power and in consideration of the contract and agreement of the said George Whitlock hereinafter mentioned and also of divers other good causes and considerations him hereunto moving Hath assigned and transferred and by these presents Doth assign and transfer all the several convicts hereinbefore mentioned unto the said George Whitlock his executors administrators and assigns for and during the residue and remainder of the terms for which they were respectively sentenced and orders to be transported as aforesaid. And the said George Whitlock for himself his executors administrations and assigns for and in consideration of his having a property in the service of the several convicts hereinbefore named for and during the residue and remainder of the terms for which they were respectively sentenced and ordered to be transported as aforesaid and for divers other good causes and considerations him hereunto moving Hath contracted and agreed and by these presents Doth contract and agree to and with the said Thomas Shelton that he the said George Whitlock shall and will take and receive all the several convicts hereinbefore named and will put them on shipboard and shall and will transport or cause them to be effectually transported as soon as conveniently may be to the Eastern Coast of New South Wales or some one or other of the Islands adjacent according to their respective sentences and orders aforesaid and shall and will procure such evidence as the nature of the case will admit of the landing there of the said offenders (death and casualties by sea excepted) And that the said George Whitlock his Executors Administrators or Assigns shall not nor will by their wilful default suffer the said offenders so to be transported or any or either of them to return to any part of Great Britain or Ireland during the residue or remainder of the respective terms for which they were so sentenced and ordered to be transported as aforesaid In Witness whereof the said parties to these presents have hereunto interchangeably set their hands and seals this day the day and year first above written.
|Sealed and delivered (being first duly stamped) in the presence of||George Whitlock|
| James Newman, clerk to Thomas Shelton
Michael Fitzpatrick, clerk to Thomas Shelton
"I the within named George Whitlock do assign and transfer unto Lieutenant Governor Phillips of New South Wales and his Assigns all the several convicts named in the within written contract for and during the remainder of the respective terms for which they were sentenced to be transported; and also all my right, title, interest, property, benefit and advantage in the said convicts or any or either of them, or in their or any or either of their service for and during the remainder of such respective terms, by virtue of the written contract or otherwise howsoever. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
James Newman George Whitlock Clerk to the within named Thomas Shelton Michael Jno Fitzpatrick, do"
Anthony Calvert had wider roles with the female convicts for the Mary Ann. There is a note in the Colonial Office files that Mr Calvert was to bring up 14 women from the counties for the Mary Ann on 31 January 1791: 1 from Bodmin, 1 from Plymouth town, 6 from Exeter, 2 from Ilchester and 4 from Southampton. A note at the bottom says: ‘The counties to be at the charge which would be incurred were they to be carried to the nearest port. The contractor to pay the remainder.’
On the 15th of January, Evan Nepean wrote to E. Bardon (?). He had that day settled with the contractors, Messrs Camden, Calvert & King, that they were to receive on board the convicts now in the several northern county gaols on the 31st instant, by which time they have engaged that some of their ships would be at Woolwich properly equipped for their accommodation. " Mr Shelton, who has been employed in preparing the contracts and bonds, expects that those instruments would be executed on Friday next, and as soon after as possible he would send notice to the Sheriff of Durham that steps would be taken for bringing up the 8 male and 2 female convicts who appear to be in his custody under sentence of transportation in order that they might be sent abroad."
The Indentures for the Matilda and the Mary Ann are dated 24 January 1791. They are in a similar format to that of the Surprize and were signed by Thomas Shelton, and on the other side, the individual signatures of William Camden, Anthony Calvert and Thomas King, and witnessed by James Newman and Richard Dally Jnr. The transfers were signed on 8 March (Matilda) and 15 March (Mary Ann) 1791 and reads as follows:
"We do hereby assign and transfer all our right, interest and property of, in & to the convicts named in this contract unto Lieutenant Governor Phillip of New South Wales. Dated this fifteenth day of March 1791.
These contracts were signed by the Governor upon delivery of the convicts in NSW and returned by the Master to the contractor in London. A letter from Thomas Melville, the Master of the Third Fleet ship, the Britannia, dated 29 November 1791, reads in part: ‘I have enclosed you the certificates for the convicts, and receipts for the stores.’
The following letter from Shelton to Nepean on 7 February 1791 relates to a small number of convicts to be sent on HMS Gorgon and provides some detail as to what happened on board the ships when the Masters signed:
"Enclosed are fourteen pair of contracts & as many bonds for the performance of them. I have executed all the contracts and so must Captain Parker in the presence of two witnesses who must subscribe the attestation which is wrote of being present and seeing him execute them. Captain Parker and any two of his officers (for the Acts require that the party contracting shall give security) must execute the bonds in the presence of the same persons who shall see him execute the contracts, and they must attest the execution of the bonds in like manner as the contracts. The contracts & bond for each place are put together & Captain Parker must return the bonds and a contract for each place; the other contract for each place he will take out with him, whereon, when he gets to New South Wales, I suppose he will endorse an assignment of the offenders to the Governor, which may be done shortly in this manner – ‘I, the within named J.P. do hereby assign my right & interest of & to the within named convicts unto Lieut. Gov. P., he promising & engaging to indemnify me & my securities against all damages I or they may sustain by the said convicts, or any of them being wilfully permitted to return to Great Britain or Ireland during the respective terms for which they were sentenced to be transported. Dated this day of ___’
"I am sorry that owing to my being an invalid, and the accuracy which is required in the writings, I have not been able to send you them before, but were any mistake to be made in them, particularly in the term, which for my own security I am obliged to get authentic documents of, I should be ruined by actions that might be commenced against me.
"NB: Before the bonds & contracts are executed, the names of the persons to be bound in the bond with Captain Parker, and their address, must be inserted immediately after Captain Parker’s at the beginning of the bonds – and also in the latter part of the contracts where it may be observed a blank is left for them."
When the Sugar Cane arrived at Cork on 11 March 1793, William Richards was there to assist with the preparations. The Irish officials were not aware of the need for contracts and bonds, and were informed of the requirement by Richards.
A letter dated 14 March from John Forster, the Sheriff of Cork, to the Right Honourable Major Robert [Hobart?] included the following:
Mr Richardson [sic] told me in private conversation that whenever they took out convicts in England that the Master was obliged to enter into bonds for the delivery of them under a penalty of forty pounds each.
10 May 1791 – Lord Grenville (Home Secretary) to Francis McGregor Esq.
"The Ship which has been taken up for the conveyance of convicts to New South Wales will probably proceed to Portsmouth in the course of ten days, where she will take on board such convicts as may be removed from the Gaols of the Western Counties. In the mean time it will be proper that the Certificates of the Conviction of such persons as are now under Sentence of Transportation in Cornwall should be transmitted to Mr Shelton, Clerk of the Arraigns at the Old Bailey, that the usual Bonds and Contracts may be prepared by him, without which no legal custody of the Convicts can be given to the Commander of the Ship."
26 May 1791 – Grenville to Christopher Willoughby:
"The Ship Pitt has lately been taken up for conveying to New South Wales such Convicts as are now in the Goals [sic] under Sentence of Transportation and directions will be forwarded to the Sheriff of Oxford to send Wm Furnell alias Cherry on board of that Ship, as soon as the Owners shall have entered into the Bonds and Contracts required by Law. . ."
Dorset – An Order to the Gaol Keeper Based on the Contracts and Bonds
"Dorset. Sir Stephen Nash Knt Sheriff of the County aforesaid To the Keeper of the Gaol of the said County Greeting
"WHEREAS his Majesty by his Royal Sign Manual bearing Date at his Court at Saint James’s this eighteenth Day of May 1791 [routing?] the Power and Authority given to him in this Behalf in and by a certain Act of Parliament passed in the 28th Year of his Reign has given Directions for the Transportation of Joseph Holmes, Mary Parsons, Nathaniel Kearley, and Diana Mioll Convicts in your Custody and has graciously thought fit to authorize and impower Thomas Shelton of the Session House London to make a Contract with any fit Person or Persons for the effectual Transportation of the said Convicts according to their respective Sentences and to take Security from the Person or Persons so contracting for the effectual Transportation of them NOW the said Thomas Shelton do hereby certify that George Mackenzie Macaulay of Chatham Place London Esquire hath in due manner contracted for the effectual Transportation of the beforenamed offenders pursuant to their Sentences and hath given Security for the Performance of the said contract You are therefore hereby required forthwith to deliver over the Bodies of the said convicts to the said George Mackenzie Macaulay or his Assigns in order to their being so transported. Given under the Seal of my Office the 23rd Day of May 1791.
By the same Sheriff
NB: the Convicts will be received on Board the Pitt Transport Ship in the Thames on the 30th and 31st Inst. or P: Inno. You are to take with you the Orders of Transportation or Copies of them."
"Received the Bodies of the Within Mentioned Convicts, Viz. Joseph Holms, Nathaniel Kierly, Mary Parsons, Diana Moill. Gravesend, May 31st, 1791 Henry Harrison"
Scotland – Caution Bonds
There are a number of bonds signed by the ship owner and contractor, George Macaulay, for Scottish convicts shipped on the Pitt, which in that case were known as ‘caution bonds’. The following relates to prisoners from Dumfries:
"I George Mackenzie Macaulay of Chatham Place London Esquire bind and oblige myself my Heirs and Successors as Cautioner and Surety acted in the Books of the Adjournal of the High Court of Judiciary for Edward Manning Shipmaster of London Commander of the good Ship – Pitt – that he shall transport and land at the Eastern Coast of New South Wales or some one or other of the Islands adjacent the person of James Muldrook present prisoner in the Tolbooth of Dumfries and the persons of George Wills, Charles Reid, Robert Liggett and Thomas Watling present prisoners on board the Lion hulk at Portsmouth removed thither according to the directions of the Act of Parliament in that behalf and report to the High Court of Judiciary a Certificate of his having done so within Three years of the date hereof and that under the penalty of Fifty pounds sterling in terms of and conform to the respective sentences duly pronounced upon the said George Wills, Charles Reid, Robert Liggett, Thomas Watling and James Muldrook at Dumfries aforesaid and also of a certain order made by His Majesty by and with the advice of His Privy Council declaring and appointing the said Eastern Coast of New South Wales or some one or other of the Islands adjacent to be the place to which the said George Wills, Charles Reid, Robert Liggett, Thomas Watling and James Muldrook should be conveyed or transported. And I consent to the registration thereof in the books of the Adjournal that all execution competent may be direct hereon in form as [effects?]. And I constitute my Procurator for that purpose. In Witness whereof I have subscribed these presents wrote by Richard Dally at London the second day of May in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety One. Before these witnesses Thomas Shelton of the Session house London Gentleman and Daniel Mahony of the same place Clerk to the said Thomas Shelton. [Signed by Macaulay and by Shelton and Mahony as witnesses.]"
Identical caution bonds also exist for:
Edinburgh – Alexander McDonald, Alexander Mackenzie, William Tenant, George Molison, Duncan Wright and Janet Johnson in the Tollbooth at Edinburgh, and William Anderson on the Lion hulk, in the penalty of £70 also signed on 2 May in London with the same witnesses.
Glasgow – Cecilia Clark, Charles Gardner and Thomas Martin in the tollbooth at Glasgow, and Kennedy Murry, William Hutton, John Gibson, David Browne and Thomas White on the Lion hulk, under a penalty of £80, signed on 2 May.
Inveraray – Isobel MacNeil, Catherine MacWar, and John MacLean alias McIntyre in the tollbooth, under a penalty of £30, signed on 2 May.
Perth – Mary Macvey alias Steel, and Katharine Ferguson in the tollbooth, and Alexander Waddell on the Lion hulk, under a penalty of £30, executed by James Newman and signed by Macaulay and witnessed as above on 2 May.
Aberdeen – Ann Brown, Jean Wilson, John Gordon and Amelia Fraser alias Mackenzie in the tollbooth, and Alexander Moir, Patrick Anderson, John Paull, William Bartlett, John Sangster alias Rottan, James Bonnyman and William Tough, on the Lion hulk, under penalty of £110, executed by Dally on 2 May.
Inverness – Janet Gordon, Margaret Mackinnon, Donald McDonald alias Duke, Roderick McDonald, Donald Kennedy, Alexander Burgess, Anne Burges, and William Leslie alias Ross, in the tollbooth, and Donald McRaskill on the Lion hulk, in the penalty of £90, executed on 2 May by Michael John Fitzpatrick.
Dingwall – Catherine Mackenzie prisoner in the tollbooth, in the penalty of £10, executed by James Newman.
Ayr – John Reid and William Jameson, in the tollbooth, and Thomas Winstanley on the Lion hulk, in the penalty of £30, executed by James Newman.
Jedburgh – William Tweedie alias Murray, Thomas Hoyle alias Hall, Andrew Thompson, James Fairnington in the tollbooth, and James Agnew alias O’Neil and John Robertson on the Lion hulk, in the penalty of £60, executed by Michael John Fitzpatrick on 2 May.
Lanarkshire – John Scott on the Lion hulk, under a penalty of £10, executed by Richard Dally on 2 May.
Bonds and Sureties
Although there are known examples where a convict contractor or a ship’s master was obliged to forfeit their bond (presumably because there was no evidence that they actively conspired to allow them to escape), the bonds were taken very seriously indeed, particularly in the early years. They provided that the contractor would be mulcted £40 for each convict that was not delivered to New South Wales because of the neglect of the masters and crew. (The bonds for the Scottish convicts on the Pitt were £10 per head.)
In May 1788, as he was preparing to leave Sydney Cove for China, Thomas Gilbert of the Charlotte wrote that Lieutenant Bradley came on board to inquire whether any of the convicts had taken the opportunity to desert. Gilbert wrote in his journal:
"Before I left England I had entered into the usual obligation, binding myself in the forfeiture of a very considerable sum, not to suffer any of the convicts under my charge to escape, not to bring any away with me; it cannot therefore be supposed that, with such a risk, I should permit any of them to come on board; and being equally conscious of not having given any room for such a suspicion with regard to the seamen, I immediately assembled the officers of the ship, who joined with me in declaring that we knew of none; and in order to remove all doubt, I requested that a thorough search be made. This was done; and the lieutenant, not being able to find any, departed. At eleven he returned, accompanied by three petty officers, and made another search, but with no better success."
Gilbert wrote of this matter at some length, because when they arrived at Lord Howe Island a week later, they discovered two convicts secreted on board, ‘unknown to me and to my officers’, and since it was too late to turn back, ‘I protested against their conduct, and the consequences that might result from their desertion, and resolved to make an affidavit of the truth of this assertion at the first opportunity that offered for so doing.’
In the case of the Second Fleet, Donald Trail (when in charge of the Surprize) had insisted that he must have control since he had given a bond for them. On the 19th of November 1789, Trail wrote to Camden, Calvert & King, reporting that Captain Hill, the senior military officer who was about to come on board, had ‘threatened to pull the contractors by the nose’.
"He acquainted me last night that when he some on board he should consider the convicts as his prisoners, and not under my regulation or command, that he should order them out of irons, or in irons, as he thought proper, and the keys of the hatches in his possession. My answer was that I had given bond for them, and that he should not have the keys of the hatches, except he took them by force, and that superior to mine, which he positively said he would, or the ship from me, if I opposed him. You had better have this point cleared up or you must expect the most serious consequence, for whilst I have a man to stand by me, I will maintain the command I suppose to be invested in me. As for the Navy Agent, he says he shall have nothing to do with the convicts. . ."
The matter was later resolved in favour of the contractors and the Masters.
In 1796, there was yet another dispute between the ship’s officers and the military officers over control of the ship, in which the Ensign Brock threatened the Second Mate. Patrickson, the Captain, raised the question of authority as reflecting on his control over the convicts.
12 September 1796 – Patrickson wrote to James Duncan, the agent (and contractor):
"If the Honourable Board would only place sufficient confidence in me (and I am answerable both as owner and having signed the bonds for the safe delivery of the convicts), I would undertake under yet heavier penalties to land them safe rather than suffer, or indeed, run the risk, which the interference of such a character might occasion. . ."
He understood that there was no one who would verify Mr Broke’s (Brock’s) version of events, except his wife. Even the surgeon, appointed by the government, supported Mr Morris’s version.
"I shall only state what relates to the boatswain of the ship, who might perhaps side with the officers of the ship, especially when the officer commanding was driven with violence off the quarter-deck, but Mr Broke had, I understand, previously threatened him with corporal punishment, without any permission on the part of the officers of the ship."
14 September 1796 – Lieut. Down to the Board. He had been on board the Ganges, accompanied by Captain Winckworth of HMS Savage to inquire into a dispute between Ensign Brock and the ship’s Master and officers. From the evidence available, he felt that Ensign Brock had been greatly insulted by the Second Mate, Mr Jacks, that his life had been threatened by the boatswain, Richard Burn, who seemed to be the instigator of all the disturbances, and ought not remain in the ship. Mr Morris, who as master of the ship, was told that he would be protested against if the Ganges did not proceed with the convoy, set out last night for London. [This is perplexing, since Patrickson was the Master.]
15 September 1796 – The Transport Board advised Mr Duncan of Lieut. Down’s report. The Board thought Burn should leave the ship. They were surprised that the master should leave the ship and go to London at a time when the vessel was due to sail with the first favourable wind.
21 September 1796 – Surgeon Mileham wrote his account of the above events. He regarded Mr Jacks as without fault. Brock, on the other hand, ‘without a doubt is a very dangerous person to go on the voyage.’ Reports of the sailors abusing the soldiers were false. He had never seen anything but harmony among them. Mileham wrote to King saying that at that stage he was resolved not to go on the voyage.
25 September 1796 – Lieutenant-Colonel Grose (the arrogant buffoon who commanded the NSW Corps) went on board the Ganges and conducted an inquiry. Brock was on shore, and Grose called together his sergeant and the soldiers. They had no complaints against the sailors – there had been no disputes. The officers of the ship reported likewise.
The Chief and 2nd Mate said that Brock had been better behaved in recent days and they were inclined to forget what had happened, as long as he was instructed not to interfere with them in future.
Grose reported that part of the dispute arose over the presence of a woman on the quarter-deck. Brock had insisted she should not be there, and Jacks had insisted she should. When Jacks moved to fire the signal, Brock had concluded that it was to be fired into his cabin and placed a sentinel over it.
Brock told Grose that he had requested of Admiral Peyton that his conduct be investigated. Captain Winkworth and some other officers had been sent on board, and Grose believed a report would be sent to the Transport Office. Grose said it was not in his power to resolve the matter completely.
29 September 1796 – M. Lewis (War Office) to John King (Home Office).
"Your letter of the 22nd inst. with the enclosures (which are herewith returned) having been laid before the D. of Y. & H.R.H. having directed that the same should be transmitted to M.G. Cuyler, the G.O. commanding at Portsmouth, for him to examine into the circumstances of Ensign Brock’s conduct, I am directed by the S. at W. to send for the D. of Portland’s information a copy of a letter received by Col. Brownrigg from M.G. Cuyler, together with a copy of one enclosed from Lt. Col. Grose, Commandant of the New South Wales Corps, on the subject of the complaint made against Ensign Brock."
- Alan Atkinson, ‘The Free-Born Englishman Transported: Convict Rights as a Measure of Eighteenth-Century Empire’, Past & Present (1994) No.144, pp.88-115 at p.97.
- Bruce Kercher, ‘Perish or Prosper: The Law and Convict Transportation in the British Empire, 1700-1850’, Law and History Review (2003), Vol.21, Issue 3, p.527-584 at p.531.
- Kercher, ‘Perish or Prosper’, p.533.
- Kercher, ‘Perish or Prosper’, p.569. See also David Meredith and Deborah Oxley, ‘Contracting Convicts: The Convict Labour Market in Van Diemen’s Land 1840-1857’, Australian Economic History Review (2005) 45:1, pp.45-72, and Jennie Jeppesen, ‘“Necessary Servitude”: Contrasting Experiences of Convicts in Virginia 1615-1775 and Australia 1800-1840’, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Melbourne, October 2014.
- Preserved in the Kingston archives at KT18/5 and available on line.
- TNA CO201/2/49-50; Historical Records of New South Wales (hereafter HRNSW) Vol. 1:2, p.34.
- TNA CO201/2/51-52; HRNSW 1:2, 35-6
- Nepean to Clerks of Circuits, 13 December 1786, Public Record office, TNA HO13/4/355.
- TNA HO42/11/45.
- Journal of the Alexander, TNA ADM51/4375, 7 January 1787.
- TNA HO42/11/171-2.
- TNA HO13/5/30.
- TNA HO13/5/37.
- TNA HO42/11/86.
- Kingston Archives, KE2/4/6.
- London Metropolitan Archives (hereafter LMA), Middlesex Transportation Contracts, 1682-1787. MJ/SP/T/02/096A-C.
- Preserved in the Kingston archives at KT18/5 and available on line; and at TNA HO13/5/77.
- TNA HO13/5/88.
- TNA HO13/5/100.
- TNA HO13/5/102-3.
- TNA HO13/5/106.
- TNA HO35/5/173.
- Richards to Nepean, 1 April 1787, TNA CO201/2/252-3.
- TNA HO36/6/100-101.
- Treasury Minutes, 2 March 1789, TNA T29/60/233; Sydney to the Lords of the Treasury, 22 February 1789, HO36/6/198.
- TNA CO201/2/252-3.
- TNA HO42/11/220.
- TNA CO201/2/294-5.
- TNA HO13/5/165-6.
- TNA CO201/2/315-7; TNA HO42/11/285.
- TNA CO201/2/334.
- TNA HO13/6/10.
- Treasury Minutes, 25 July 1793, TNA T29/66/92.
- TNA CO201/2/321-321a.
- TNA CO201/2/319.
- HRNSW Vol.1:2, p.87.
- HRA 1:1, p.57.
- Suffolk Record Office, Ipswich Branch, C/2/9/1/1/11/5.
- TNA HO42/14/132-133.
- AJCP M941, State Library of NSW.???
- Shelton’s warrant signed by W.W. Grenville, 18 July 1789, TNA HO13/7/125.
- Shelton’s warrant signed by W.W. Grenville, 18 July 1789, TNA HO13/7/125-128.
- ‘Warrant Authorising Thomas Shelton Esq. to Contract for the Transportation of Convicts’, 30 October 1789, TNA CO201/4/161-162.
- We have copies of the warrants for the Scarborough (1791), which did not sail (TNA HO13/8/390-392); the Surprize, signed in 1793 and 1794 (TNA HO13/9/384-385, 387-388; 403); the Indispensable (2) in 1795 (TNA HO13/10/351-352); the Ganges in 1796 (TNA HO13/10/516-518); the Lady Shore in 1797 (TNA HO13/11/104-107); the Barwell in 1797 (HO13/11/334-343); the Britannia (4) in 1798 (TNA HO13/11/408-412), the Earl Cornwallis in 1800 (HO13/13/80-82) and several vessels which sailed in 1801 (TNA HO13/14/193-194).
- TNA HO13/8/390-392.
- Governor Hunter to the Duke of Portland, 3 March 1796, HRNSW Vol. 3, p.32.
- TNA ?? AO3/291/1-2.
- TNA ?? AO3/291/25-25a.
- TNA ?? AO/3/291/62.
- M.D. Nash (ed.), The Last Voyage of the Guardian, Lieutenant Riou, Commander, 1789-1791, Cape Town: Van Riebeeck Society, 1990, p.187.
- Nash, p.188.
- Colonial Secretary, ‘Convict Indents’,1788 to 1798, SANSW COD 9.
- TNA CO201/6/230.
- TNA HO13/8/142.
- Colonial Secretary, Convict Indents, 1788-1798, SANSW COD 9.
- Quoted in John Hunter, An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port Jackson and New South Wales, London: John Stockdale, 1793, Chapter 23.
- Thomas Shelton to Evan Nepean, 7 February 1791, TNA HO13/8/167-168.
- Forster to Robert [Hobart?], 14 March 1793, O/P 52/2 State Paper Office, Castle Cork, Dublin, quoted in Barbara Hall, A Nimble Fingered Tribe, Sydney: Barbara Hall, 2002, p.xv.
- TNA HO13/8/238.
- TNA HO13/8/249-250.
- Dorset Archives Services, Q/Transportation, f.172.
- Justiciary Court Records, National Archives of Scotland, JC26/1791/66, Bonds of Caution.
- Thomas Gilbert, Voyage from New South Wales to Canton. . ., London: J. Debrett, 1789, pp.2-3.
- Thomas Gilbert, Voyage from New South Wales to Canton. . ., London: J. Debrett, 1789, pp.14-15.
- TNA T1/674/268.
- HRNSW 3:140-141.
- TNA ADM108/39/315.
- TNA ADM108/39/315.
- HRNSW 3:143-144.
- HRNSW 3:141-143.
- TNA WO4/845/127-128.