Fremantle Stuff > ships > Caroline


The Caroline left London 2 June 1829, arriving Fremantle 12 October 1829, via Rio de Janeiro. She was named for the queen of George IV. Among the passengers were: three Henty brothers, the Henty family having organised the voyage; William Mackie; Alfred Hawes Stone, lawyer and photographer; and William and Lucy Bashford, ancestors of Mayor Brad Pettitt. The Bashfords were servants to Lt Wm Everard, who was also aboard. Stone boarded in Worthing, Sussex.

The 330 ton Caroline was under the command of Captain James Fewson. She was of British nationality, carried six guns and had a crew of 22 men. She was built of teak, had a copper bottom, and two decks - one a poop deck for cabin passengers. She had three masts, a square rig, a standing bowsprit, a square stern, a carvel build with quarter galleries and a woman's bust figurehead.

The Caroline left St Katherine's Dock in London on June 2 and pulled in near Worthing in Sussex on June 4 to load the rest of her cargo. She finally left England on June 6 arrived in the Swan River Colony on October 12, 1829 after stopping at Rio de Janeiro in Brazil on the way. She was reported to have carried 60 adult passengers. One child was born during the voyage and another was buried in Rio.

The 'ship', which is sometimes referred to as a 'brig', was built at Cochin in India by John Crookenden and registered at the Port of Calcutta on November 21, 1825. In 1829 her owners were were William Chapman, a banker from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and Eliot MacNaughten, a gentleman of Calcutta. Many vessels of the time bore the name of Caroline as a sign of popular support for the Queen in her disputes with the much-disliked George IV, but Lloyd's Register has established this vessel as the same one whose earlier story was told by Ida Marriott in The Voyage of the Caroline from England to Van Diemen's Land and Batavia in 1827-8. Her captain for the homeward half of that voyage was James Fewson, who then took the three Henty brothers and their employees out to the Swan River on the next journey.

During May in 1829, The Times of London ran the following advertisement in its shipping notices:

For the New Settlement at Swan River, and will touch at Rio Janeiro, the fast-sailing and newly coppered poop ship Caroline A1 burden 400 tons armed with carriage guns. This vessel has very superior accomodation for passengers, having seven feet between decks. The whole of the vessel being nearly engaged, such persons who may wish to avail themselves of this conveyance are required to make an early application to James Henty, Esq., West Tarring, Worthing, or 5 Arundel Street, Strand; Henry Dod and Son, Mark Lane, or to George Bishop, 28 Jewry St., Aldgate.

Thomas Henty's three sons, James, Stephen and John, were being sent ahead to establish a new farming and pastoral life for the family in Western Australia. Prize Spanish merinos had been purchased and a whitesmith, carpenter, shepherds and stockmen were signed on. They were nearly all old employees of the family and came from West Tarring in Suffolk. They signed on to serve Thomas Henty, gentleman, or his agents, as dutiful servants for five years in return for a free passage, £20 a year, fuel and board.

Two sets of letters exist to tell the tale of the voyage and of life in the earliest years at the Swan. One set is in the Mitchell Library in New South Wales and holds letters from Henry Camfield who travelled as a cabin passenger. The other set of letters were written by James Henty and were found among family papers in England. Marney Bassett had access to the letters and referred to them in her book, The Hentys.

Chartering a ship was an expensive business. 'Charter parties', or contracts, varied in their terms and even though there is no surviving record of the one between James Henty and the Caroline's owners, the Brighton Gazette quoted a figure of £5 per ton a month. That would make a total bill of £7,000 for the hire of the ship from May to November. In contrast, the English Government paid $4.10s a ton a month to hire the Parmelia for its trip to the Swan River a few months earlier.

References and Links

See the Family History WA page for 1829 ship arrivals.

Perth DPS page for this ship

O'Brien, Jacqueline & Pamela Statham-Drew 2013, Court and Camera: The Life and Times of A.H. Stone, Fremantle Press: 12-16; passenger list, page 21.

Garry Gillard | New: 2 August, 2017 | Now: 16 December, 2022