“INDIAN” 1810

  • 1810                    ‘Indian’                   George Marshall. 


  • Sailed from London 18 July 1810. Arrived Sydney 16 December 1810. 151 days.
  • 522 tons. Built at Whitby in 1809. 12/16 guns 45/56 men. The Master was Andrew Barclay and the Surgeon was named Maine. 200 male prisoners, of whom 8 died. 192 landed in Sydney. With a detachment from 73 Regiment.
  • See James Hardy Vaux Memoirs, written by himself (Pub. London 1819). Covers earlier voyage on ‘Minorca’ and voyage on the ‘Indian’.
  • See HRA. 7. 428
  • Indent : George Marshall, Somerset Assizes 1.4.1809 Life. The list of convicts includes 11 convicted in Somerset on the same day – 1.4.1809 –of whom 7 (incl George Marshall) for life, and 4 for 14 years.[Reel 2422]
  • In 1810, 389 men and 121 women were transported from Great Britain. No transportees were sent from Ireland.
  • “SYDNEY GAZETTE 22/12/1810” On Sunday last the 16th Instant, arrived from England the ship Indian, Captain Barclay, with 192 male prisoners, having lost 7 others by death, and another supposed to have been drowned at Rio de Janiero.”

Background to the “Indian”.  

‘Indian’ Convict Transport 1810

After receiving a death sentence on Wednesday 14 September 1808 for attempting to steal three lambs, and later pardoned to be transported beyond the seas for the term of his natural life, John Dobson was removed to the ‘Captivity’ hulk at Portsmouth on Friday 26 May 1809 to wait for his ship to sail.
After a long boring wait of 13 months John was finally embarked into the ‘Indian’ convict transport. British built at Durham, owned by G. G. H. Munnings and registered at London, the ‘Indian’ was chartered to convey 200 male convicts to New South Wales. Ship rigged of 522 tons with 2 decks and clad with an outer skin of copper, she was armed with 12 guns and carried a crew of 45 sailors.
On Wednesday 18 July 1810, the ‘Indian’ with John and his fellow convicts safely aboard, set sail. Travelling via Rio de Janeiro (where one of the  guards jumped ship) the ‘Indian’ sailed into Port Jackson on Sunday 16 December 1810 after a voyage lasting 151 days. After the convicts were mustered, landed on shore and mustered again in the presence of the Governor, they were dispersed amongst the settlers and government work parties.

Aside from its human cargo, the ‘Indian’ also carried general cargo consisting of “30 Hogsheads and Casks of Porter, 4 Cases of Noyua, 12 Barrels of Tar, 3 Casks of Paint, 100 Jugs of Turpentine and Paint Oil, 4 Cases of Hats, 12 Cases of Pickles, 5 Cases of Stationary and Sadlery, 2 Boxes of Pins and Umbrellas, 3 Cases of Perfumery, 7c., 2 Bales of Cloth, 3 Rolls of Painted Floor Cloth, 19 Casks of Dutch Cheese and Nails, 10 Packages of Shoes and Hardware, 3 Chests of Hyson Tea, 12 Casks of Coffee, 3 Casks of Sugar, and 80 Rolls of Tobacco.” A quantity of wine and spirits were also carried and landed in the colony. “Rum, 4 Casks, 318 Gallons; Brandy, 2 Casks, 80 Gallons; Gin, 7 Casks, 288 Gallons; Wine 8 Casks – not landed.” Fees of Entry of L81.7.10 3/4 were levied.

Eight years later in a despatch dated October 1818, Governor Macquarie informed the Earl of Liverpool that “The Ship Indian, Mr Andrew Barclay, Commander arrived from England on the Sixteenth of December having on board a Subaltern Officer and thirty Soldiers of the 73rd Regiment (a detachment of the 1st Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Lundin) as a
Guard, and one Hundred and Ninety-two Male Convicts. Seven Convicts died of Disease and one was accidentally drowned on thepassage, the total Number Embarked having been two Hundred Convicts.”

Further on in the same despatch, Governor Macquarie continues, “I have here to inform Your Lordship that I have, on all Arrivals of Convict Ships, Ordered a Muster to be immediately taken of the Convicts on Ship-board by My Secretary and the Acting-Commissary and I afterwards take a Muster of them myself as soon as landed, in order to ascertain
the Manner they have been treated during the Voyage, and Whether they have any Complaints to prefer against the Commander or Surgeon of the Ship in which they came. By the previous Muster I also acquire a Knowledge of the Trades and Professions of the Convicts, which enables me to appropriate them Afterwards in the most advantageous Way for Government, and at the same time most easy for themselves. I have much Satisfaction in reporting to Your Lordship that the Convicts arrived by
these four Ships were in general in good Health, having been well treated on board, and had no Complaints to Make Against either the
Commanders or the Surgeons.  The Male Convicts arrived in those Ships proved a very Seasonable and acceptable Supply for the Colony. The Settlers in general having been in great Want of Labourers to Carry on their Agricultural and grazing Concerns.”
The Colonial Secretary’s correspondence at the time indicated that six members of the crew expressed an interest in staying on in the colony as settlers or joining colonial vessels as crew. Commander Barclay did not oppose this request as he signed a certificate of consent in support of the application of six seamen for discharge on the Friday before he left to return home.

The ‘Indian’ sailed for Calcutta on Sunday 24 February 1811 and according to the document detailing her clearance there was an increase of 2 guns to her armament, an additional 11 men to sail her and in the hold, 50 tons of coals and 45 tons of elephant oil. Clearence fees of L4.19.6 were levied.
Unfortunately the ships log and Surgeon Maine’s report of the journey don’t seem to have survived.
Commander Barclay later returned to the colony and became a Justice of the Peace, a Magistrate and Settler at Van Diemen’s Land. John Dobson however, was sent to Norfolk Island, Windsor, Newcastle and Emu Plains before his death in 1820.

The information about the ‘Indian’ convict transport collated above was obtained from HRA S1 Vvii, and the Lloyd’s Registers below give some conflicting information.
“Lloyd’s Registers:- INDIAN – 1810
(Red Book – Shipowners)
Master: Captain Barkley
Rigging: Ship; 2 decks; sheathed in copper in 1810
Tonnage: 522 tons
Construction: 1810 in Shields
Owners: Munnings
Draught under load: 16 feet
Port of survey: London
Voyage: sailed for Botany Bay
(Green Book – Underwriters)
Master: Captain Barclay
Rigging: Ship; 2 decks; sheathed in copper in 1809; fastened with copper
Tonnage: 522 tons


[The full list on the INDIAN is on the NSW Archives website. Another very informative website with all the convicts on the INDIAN is at