Onboard the convict ship

On 27 March 1791 John was one of the 282 male convicts that embarked the Albermarle for transportation to Australia.

The Australian Convict Transportation Registers – Third Fleet, 1791 records Jack’s presence on the ship.

The Albermarle was one of the 11 ships that formed the Third Fleet that set sail from the United Kingdom in February, March and April 1791, bound for Australia with more than 2,000 convicts aboard. The passengers comprised convicts, military personnel and notable people sent to fill high positions in the colony. More importantly the ships also carried provisions for the new colony.

(The First Fleet of 11 ships had left for Australia in 1787, and the Second Fleet had left in January 1790.)

The Wikipedia entry for HMS Albermarle explains her history as part of the Third Fleet.

“HMS Albemarle was a 28-gun sixth rate frigate of the Royal Navy. She had been built as the French merchantman, Ménagère, which the French Navy purchased in 1779. A British squadron captured her in September and she was commissioned into service with the Royal Navy. Amongst her commanders in her short career was Captain Horatio Nelson, who would later win several famous victories over the French. The Navy sold her in 1784. She subsequently became a merchant vessel again. In 1791 she transported convicts to Port Jackson as part of the third fleet”.

Under the command of George Bowen, master, she departed Portsmouth on 27 March 1791, but she soon became separated from the other vessels of the Portsmouth group. This led to a mutiny on board ship on the 9th April 1791 when the convicts attempted to seize the ship, as reported on Free Settler or Felon,

“The convicts of this ship made an attempt, in conjunction with some of the seamen, to seize the ship on the 9th April, soon after she left England; and they would in all probability have succeeded, but for the activity and resolution shown by the master George Bowen, who, hearing the alarm, had just time to arm himself with a loaded blunderbuss, which he discharged at one of the mutineers, William Syney (then in the act of aiming a blow with a cutlass at the man at the wheel) and lodged its contents in his shoulder.

His companions seeing what had befallen him, instantly ran below; but the master, his officers, and some of the seamen of the ship following them, soon secured the ring leaders, Owen Lyons and William Syney. A consultation was held with the naval agent, the ship’s company and the military persons on board; the result of which was, the immediate execution of those two at the fore yard arm.

They had at this time parted company with the other transports (The Matilda, Active, Britannia and Admiral Barrington) and no other means seemed so likely to deter the convicts from any future attempt of the like nature. Two seamen who had assisted the convicts were put in irons and left at Madeira to be sent back to England.”

>  Jack’s Death 

Last updated: March 11, 2022 at 15:07 pm