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Warrior

Most of this page (the top section) is copied from the page for this ship of the Perth Dead Persons Society.

The Warrior was a 485 tonne wooden-hulled, copper-sheathed sailing ship which was launched at Chepstow in 1828. She sailed from London and Portsmouth on October 23, 1829 and travelled via St Jago and the Cape of Good Hope to the Swan River Colony, Hobart Town and Sydney. Captain John Stone was in command and she carried 27 officers and 4 guards as well as her 166 passengers.

Ian Richardson's Log of Logs indicates that there were quarrels between Scottish and Irish migrants early on in the voyage and one trouble maker, who is listed later on, was put ashore at St Jago. There was further alarm on November 11 when an "armed and likely pirate schooner" kept the Warrior company near the Canary Islands.

Of the 166 passengers, 96 were thought to have disembarked in the Swan River Colony when the Warrior berthed in Fremantle on March 12, 1830 [CSR 5/130]. No officially published passenger list has been located for the voyage and one of the aims of this project [DPS: shipping] was to assemble such a LIST.

A chronological account of the voyage has been assembled as well. The narrators are JAMES TURNER and CHARLES BUSSELL and the following diary accounts and passenger details have been gathered from these publications:

Portrait with Background, by Alexandra Hasluck, published in 1990 by Fremantle Arts Centre Press, National Library of Australia ISBN 0 949206 62 8, first published in 1955 by Oxford University Press, Melbourne, Victoria.

The Voyage Out - 100 years of sea travel to Australia, by Bryce Moor, Helen Garwood and Nancy Lutton.

The Bicentennial Dictionary of Western Australians pre-1829 - 1888, compiled by Rica Erickson, published in 1988 by University of Western Australia Press.

In brief, the diarists were:

JAMES WOODWARD TURNER was a builder and surveyor in London before he emigrated and was a man of considerable means. He brought an entourage of some thirty people, including his family and servants, from England and invested some eighteen hundred pounds, for which he received a grant of eight thousand hectares, in the Augusta area. His early experience in the colony was marked by frustration and bitter disappointment, and he left Augusta for Perth in 1849. He died in Perth in 1862.

CHARLES BUSSELL was one of four Bussell brothers, sons of an English clergyman, who migrated to the Swan River Colony aboard the Warrior in 1830. Their family name became well established in the South-West region and they had large land holdings in the vicinity of the town that now bears their name - Busselton. Charles Bussell moved to Perth in 1848 and became a storekeeper. He died in 1856.

Warrior
Voyage Diary

JAMES TURNER - Sunday 18th October. (1829, sailing from Portsmouth). I do not know how we shall get on for everything on board is so crowded and such confusion we have scarcely room to stir. My own cabins are nearly in total darkness and filth and dirt in every hole and corner. I must have a general turnout of all things in our cabins and if possible to get a few more inches of space so as to turn round without breaking my shins and I really now begin to find a great advantage in being a very little fellow with a very little wife and children, and yet our principal cabin is nearly three times the size of the others. At present our living is as good as I could expect and wish it may continue so, excepting our wine which is very indifferent. There is only two sorts on board- a light Tenerifi and a mixed cape Madeira. The company I have just had a taste of and am not quite so quick in coming to a judgement and must leave them to a future day. Mr Graves is leaving us today and I sent you a letter by him which I have just written. I am extremely obliged to him for his kindness in accompanying my family from Gravesend to here. He is very desirous of going forward with us and says he thinks he will follow us next year. Mr. Boot arrived on board with runaway Lacey who had soon found his way to London, but the boy seemed to be so alarmed or so averse to the sea after the little taste he has had from London to this port that there is no persuading him and I find he has made out various stories I made up my mind not to force him to go, but I am very sorry on Nancy’s account, as her kindness in assisting him to go out in the manner he would have done I think would turn out a most fortunate thing eventually for him. And he seemed so very anxious for it that I thought he would have been the last to have run away I have been obliged to go three times to shore today all through him, and Mr. Graves and myself having unfortunately missed each other. They have been very busy today getting on board two horses and two cows with several sheep and pigs, there is various reports on board that there is not sufficient Food and Water on board to last us to the Cape and it is in contemplation to make a complaint to the legal authorities.

Monday 19 October. One of the horses is a spirited stallion and he has been stamping and knocking himself about to our great annoyance, he being opposite our cabin, but fortunately not over our heads, but the sound seems as though it was. The day has been fine, but the wind still in the west, which is against us. There is some arrangements made respecting the Captain having the management of the supply of water and provisions instead of Mr Sempill, whom everyone is I believe dissatisfied with, excepting some of his own party and countrymen, for they are all Scotch, several more passengers came on board today and it is impossible that we can all sit down at Table for our meals.

Tuesday 20 October. Today my son Thomas and myself have been employed the whole of the day until five o’clock, which is our dinner hour, in moving and stowing the things in our cabins, but are still in sad confusion. We had this evening a few visitors who sang and played on the piano, there are several ladies and gentlemen tolerably proficient. Mrs Rutt the doctor’s lady whom you and I saw in London plays extremely well, and accompanies it with her voice, also another lady a Miss Saunders and Mr Green a medical gentleman plays and sings very chastely and a Mr Northcote a very merry humorsome companion but the gentlemen are rather too wild and giddy in public company, but are very circumspect and well behaved before the ladies, and in our Party I think the time will not pass so tedious and heavily as I anticipated, we have several Military Officers and Irish Gentlemen and Ladies in personal appearance of figure and face and are of the best sample but a little varied in volubility of speech.

Wednesday 21 October. Thomas and myself fully employed as yesterday in arranging our cabins and if you could see them you would think we destined them for a good show at a Rag Fair, we have double triple and quadruple rows of hooks for Hats, Caps, Bonnets, Gowns, Coats, Boots, Shoes, Garters, and stockings &c &c &c ad infinitum and still all our tables chairs and tops of Chests of Drawers groaning with piles of lumber merely to cover our nakedness, I beg pardon I should have said to gratify our vanity, though we cut but a solitary figure amongst our Beaus and Belles on the Quarter Deck Parade. The wind has been very rough all day and against us, they have been getting more provisions and water on board, and water is a very scarce article with us even here it being difficult to get sufficient to keep our flesh passably clean.

Thursday 22nd October. Again employed in the cabins securing all things as much as possible, to prevent them moving about in a rough sea, as I expect the season being so late we shall have much to encounter in the Channel and also in the Bay of Biscay, that bug bear of us fresh water sailors. Our companion the stallion horse is very noisy and troublesome and I have been obliged to change my sleeping cabin for Maria is afraid he will jump out of his stall through one of the squares of our windows and make a meal of us while we are asleep. They began to weigh the anchor this evening and we expect to be off but the wind is unfavourable. Music and dancing on Deck and shooting at seagulls etc we have one or two just pop in for a tune and a song.

Friday 23 October. A light breeze sprang up inclining towards the North, the anchor was weighed and we began to proceed from Spithead but the wind fell off and we only floated up and down with the tide it being a fine lovely day all hands were on the Decks enjoying themselves and shooting and dancing was the order of the day. I was on deck myself about 3 hours the rest of the time being employed securing things in the Cabins and writing a few lines to you to send on shore by the Pilot who left us, about 6 o’clock Favourable light breeze sprung up, we pleasantly passed around the end of the Isle of Wight and the wind increases all the evening.

Saturday 24 October. We had a favourable wind all night and are abreast of Plymouth but are not to stop here, the weather is very fine and we got before the wind with studding sails on each side of the vessel, little or no sickness on board and all appear in good spirits. I feel myself light-hearted and feel less regret than I expected in leaving my native land, though I do not anticipate that we are going to a land flowing with Milk and Honey. Captains Molloy and Burne two of the passengers had two cows in milk on board and they very kindly appropriated their milk for the company which is a great luxury particularly for the children. I begin to relish both tea and coffee without and I fancy they will not continue to give much milk as they already fall off, all our appetites are very good at present.

Tuesday 27th October. (Five days out). The wind has increased all night and we now make 6 knots an hour. Cold and Cloudy, have not seen the sun to-day. Thomas has been sick and not on deck since breakfast. Selina a little so but all in good spirits. But we are sadly cramped and confined and there is no such thing as keeping things comfortable in our berths, being so many of us and so very dark below that we cannot see where to find things when we put them out of our hands and I cannot see to write, read or work without candlelight.

Wednesday 28th October. I find it convenient to write day and date daily to know how time goes. The days pass quickly and our time fully occupied in doing a mere nothing excepting our household concerns of putting the Bedrooms in order or rather making disorder less apparent, unlashing the Chairs and Stools washing ourselves and Children, and by way of harmony it is usually attended with a little music, our late Chamber de Coucher is then transposed to drawing room, parlour. et salle de Musice for the evening.

The children breakfast together about half past eight, we breakfast about 10, lunch about one, then children dine between one & two, we dine about five children have tea about seven and we tea between about eight and nine, then music, singing, cards, backgammon until we retire to rest again, some at eleven others at twelve and one in their own apartments.

Saturday 31st October. We had a rather rough night and could scarcely stand this morning. Thomas, George and Selina Sea Sick and several of the Ladies. I forgot to mention last night there was a general quarrel in the Cabin between the Scotch & Irish passengers, it commenced by finding fault with the general conduct of Mr Sempill. One of the passengers who in general drinks too freely told Sempill to expect to be overboard some evening and went so far afterwards to say that he would hoist him over and I expected there would have been a general fight but the Captain resolutely interfered and all ended in high sounding words without blood shed, and this morning all is as quiet as though nothing had happened

Monday 2nd November. We anticipated yesterday that we should pass so close to Madeira that if we did not stop we might at least have a boat alongside to purchase fruit and send letters home, and our wine is so indifferent that a request was to be drawn up to endeavour to get some fresh supply on board, but today’s wind gives us little hope of seeing Madeira. It has continued strong and contrary. The stallion is very ill and so weak he can scarcely stand keep on his legs. They have been supporting him in slings. The vessel heels so much that it is only at intervals that we can walk on deck. Thomas has been scarcely off the bed today. He is not worse than George and Selina, but wants their life and spirits. Several are a little squeamish but much better than I expected, and as for myself I am neither sick nor sorrowful but I am afraid I may be tired out before the end of our journey with the continued sameness, the prospect from our vessel falls far short of my anticipated conception of the boundless space of the Ocean. For we appear to be in the Centre of a Pool of water of about 6 or 10 miles diameter and Tantalus like, here we appear to be without getting one inch nearer the edge of the horizon and we must look into the mind for the immensity of Oceans space in the daily, weekly, and monthly continuance of the same scene. The sight of a vessel even on the edge of the horizon is a rare sight, but we have our amusements. Even our troubles of endeavouring to fill our bellies is one sortie, for just as your mouth may be open expecting a spoonful of soup in it you find the plate with its contents jumping into your lap or flying in an opposite direction to unite with your opposite neighbours attended with a concert of musical glasses which by their over-exertions ends in a dreadful mortality amongst their species and by way of exciting our gratitude for their services we have just been told there is no more wine out of the hold and if the same kind of weather continues they cannot get at it as there is a great quantity of goods on top of it. Several of the passengers think there is very little if any more on board as being in character with our liberal Charterer.

CHARLES BUSSELL - 2 November. (Twelve days out). A sailor whose conduct had been most uniformly civil towards us all was seized today with a fit of the ague. We had long wished to make the fellow some acknowledgment of his very great civility & this we considered a favourable opportunity. We therefore sent to say that if he would like some Port wine, or any other little delicacy we might posses we should be very happy to supply him. We accordingly received from him in the course of the afternoon a message that he would be much obliged to us for the Wine we had promised him & and were not a little surprised and stagger’d at the appearance of the immense quart pot with which his request was seconded. This however we found to be the vessel, commonly denominated a pannikin, in which sailors are accustomed to receive their Grog & Drink of all descriptions. We did not therefore allow the magnitude of the vessel to influence that of our present, but sent him just so much (and no more) as we thought might be of service to him, and he was not, as you will see in the sequel, at all insensible to our kindness. In the evening about six o’clock our noses were saluted by a most unwonted & sweet smelling savour. This was succeeded by a knocking at the door. The door was opened & in was usher’d by a friend of Morgans a large Basin containing a Stew of potatoes & onions with the ship’s beef washed till it comes perfectly fresh. The whole when well dous’d (and this was dous’d incomparably) forms a dish which would not by any means disgrace an English table. By us who had before tasted nothing like vegetables since our departure it was pronounced the most delicious meal we had almost ever eaten.

CHARLES BUSSELL - 3 November. As I have no memorandum for today worthy of any notice, I think I cannot amuse you better than by giving you a further description of our friend the Sailor. To any of my friends who may be at all familiar with ‘the fancy’ I believe I cannot describe him better than by saying that he is known by the names of ‘William Morgan’ or ‘Josh Hudson Black’ as I understand he is a man of some celebrity in the profession of a prize fighter. To those who are not conversant in such matters, I would desire them to picture to themselves a strong muscular fellow of the sooty tribe standing six feet in height. Nature has not, as Byron says, used him very genteelly, and the effects of this want of politeness on the part of the dame have perhaps been heightened by the enlargement of the cheekbones occasioned by perpetual battering, not to mention the loss of two or three teeth from the same cause. Notwithstanding this however he has the most good humoured countenance I ever saw. He is the very counter part of the English Bulldog. He tells us that he glories in fighting that he was bred in battle & that he hopes he shall die in battle, for that such is the proper end of the true prizefighter. As for myself I fear that I must confess that I am of a nature far too pacific to enter into the merits of his sentiments.

JAMES TURNER - Wednesday 4th November. (Fourteen days out). I generally turn out on deck as soon as it is daylight which is now about six o’clock. We still have the wind against us and very strong. We carry but very little sail all this week and make so little way that it is a damp to our spirits. A pig was killed to-day but by its size and condition I don’t expect many Greasy Chins with it, and I think if any informer, could have incited poor pig before My Lord Mayor and a score of your double chinned citizens, I think not one of you would give credit to the Butcher and a host of evidence, that poor pig who never had one belly full of victuals in his life, could have fairly and honourably come to such an exit of life, and perhaps you would haughtily have ordered him to be burnt in Smithfield, but we begin to have something of a fellow feeling for poor things, and had you seen how we enjoyed it to-day at table you would have had an evidence of the old proverb that nearer the bone the sweeter the flesh.

Friday 6th November. We had a smart gale of wind between twelve and one which awoke us by the dancing of all the Tin mugs and Candle Sticks about the Cabin which we had incautiously neglected to put in durance vile and it is almost necessary to put a rope around oneself if you wish to be in perfect security when the ship puts about in a sudden stiff breeze. Some of our passengers rolled out of their beds, and I have got a bruised hip and broken shin in some of my skips on deck. but such things are some of our amusements and serve us to laugh and joke each other. Our servant Girl is as stiff as an old horse with various bruises, several are on the sick list and others a little queer.

Saturday 7th November. Had a moderate favourable wind all night and four sails in sight. One an armed schooner a little ahead of us keeping nearly the same course for some time. The Captain said she was a very suspicious character and all our Rifles, Fowling pieces & Pistols got a little fresh air by our sporting them on deck, and being a moderate steady day for the Vessel, the Swan River Volunteers had a drilling. In the course of the morning the schooner crossed us two or three miles ahead & our fears made us think several times she was for bearing down upon us, and General like I gave my orders to my company of Women and Children what to do, and for myself I felt a little spark of courage rise in my veins to do my duty and trust to providence. After having crossed our course she continued the same direction as we did, and did not make head as she might have done which made us surmise she was reconnoitring us and might still pay us a visit. We have been dissatisfied with our living this week and have been allowed only one glass of porter a day and no wine and only water for the children. We have drawn up a protest against Mr Sempill’s conduct which we signed and then read to him. And we hope to have some amendment in quantity at any rate if not in quality. Though I am very doubtful if we shall have anything except salt provisions for some weeks before we arrive at the Cape. One of the best stock sheep died last night also a small pig and this morning three sheep belonging to a passenger....

CHARLES BUSSELL - 9 November. (Nineteen days out). This morning we were awoke about 6 o’clock by the salutation of Morgan saying that today being Sunday he had bethought himself that a good fresh dinner might not be unacceptable to us & that he had therefore come for a little flour & a good piece of Beef if we had any. You will easily believe that we were not slow in supplying him with what he desired, & we had no cause to repent having done so for as you will presently hear. Towards the afternoon we saw him on his way down to our cabin with a large Iron Basin covered with a pewter plate which we used as a substitute for a tureen. We immediately followed, that we might not appear backward in our commendations of his culinary abilities, to say nothing of the desire of appeasing the hunger which the apparition had excited in us all. He informed us that this dish was called a sea pie. The ‘elements’ (I always like to know the ‘elements’ of a dish before I ate of it, if you remember) are much the same as the former that I have described, except that this is occasionally interspersed with some very nice dumplings. Some of my fair friends will I fear be inclined to quarrel with me for entering thus deeply into the minutia of the kitchen, but they must know that our delicacies of this sort (for delicacies they are altho’ provided by the brawny hands of a pugilist) an object of far greater consideration than they who are accustomed to look for comfortable and well dressed meals in regular succession might be inclined to imagine. Your Voyage to the Swan River, particularly if you have Semphill or anyone who at all resembles him for your Charter will I am sure prove the truth of this assertion. John & I went today by invitation from Mrs Byrne to dine in the Cuddy the dinner as we were apprised beforehand it would be, was very shabby the Wine execrable & scarcely any of it. The passengers are daily becoming more indignant at Semphill’s shabby treatment of them and it does not appear that they will be inclined to bear it peaceably much longer a row appears to be brewing.

Monday 9th November. The wind nearly a calm till mid day then a light breeze which improved as evening approached, when we had one of the finest prospects of sky and water as it is possible to imagine. The brilliant and diversified scene of the setting sun on one side of the vessel with the most glowing bright Crimson that can be conceived, which afterwards mellowed into various tints, with a foreground of dark detached Clouds in all manner of forms and shapes appearing like an immense field or plain of Rocks and mountains. And on the opposite side the gentle Moon with a peculiar silvery clear brightness which gave the scene a magical effect by a turn of the eyes from one side to the other and the busy bustle on the quarter deck of the light fantastic toe with the dulcet notes of a solitary fiddle were nearly lost upon me. All appears peace and harmony and I hope it may continue so for last night after I was in bed there was a quarrel again. I am writing this with my Coat and Waistcoat and in a perspiration.

Tuesday 10th November Last night as doing as above and stopping in the cuddy till the lights were put out which is usually a little after half past ten I went to Bed but it was impossible to get to sleep there was such a confounded noise on deck over my Cabin. Several of the Steerage passengers had been all the evening amusing themselves with sparring and wrestling and most of our young sparks and high bloods turning out of the Cuddy joined them and soon began to partake of the amusement to the great annoyance of all underneath them and I had a general cry out with the girls that the deck would be broke through and I expected myself it was only a prelude to a general row. At last I got up slipped on Trousers and Cap and went on deck to request less noise or assist in a general set to if that was determined upon. Quixote like though I threw myself into the midst of them and began roundly to make my complaint, a warm headed Irishman began upon me by saying it was no business of mine and that they were in the fore part of the Ship beyond the berths of the Cabin passengers. I asserted to the contrary by saying they were standing on my cabin and my family could not get any rest. He denied it and said my Cabin was on the other side of the Ship. One word brought on another and at last I told him he was no Gentleman which roused his high gentlemanly blood and he called me a liar. I happened not to be so very warm as I usually am or I should have given him a smack on the face but I contented myself by retorting it on him and saying that everybody that heard him knew he was one. A brother of his nearly a Giant in size being above six feet high advanced forward swearing that he would throw any Man overboard that dared say Brother was no Gentleman. I turned my front to him and told him I said so and asserted to him his Brother was no Gentleman. He in a rage attempted to pull down some strong Canvas which is fixed to the ship side to prevent the spray from splashing the deck which I suppose he thought would intimidate me that I should take to my heels or ask pardon but as I have seen something of the disposition of a hothead Irishman before and with one do not feel any apprehension for the consequences but with them collectively an injury may be sustained before you can avoid it. I stuck to my post and to my text and like a Game Bantam strutted up to him, (but cautiously keeping my eye on him) and Challenged him or his brother to try their strength with me, but my Age and size protected and not being a Gentleman they could not think of appealing to their Pistols, yet I judge by the language which I have heard amongst them, they keep them and their Gentlemanship for flashes in the pan as quietness was obtained excepting the wordy war between me and my opponents.. I wished the Gentlemen present good night and returned to my berth. This Morning everything is passed off as if nothing had happened, excepting me and my opponent not meeting each others eye and a few private jokes with some of my fellow passengers about my pluck, and I feel easy in the hope that I may not have to talk big words any more.

The wind and the weather has been very favourable and they got the wine out of the hold. At dinner time Mr Semphill tried to put us to an allowance of a bottle of wine amongst three which was roundly resisted. In explanation Mr Semphill admitted there was not sufficient in his stock to allow a pint to each but it was insisted upon and assented to by Mr Semphill that we should have a bottle between two as long as the stock would last and we must seek our redress for any deficiency at the Cape. For my part I expect to lay in a stock of wine as we do not drink I think more than a bottle a day in my family. The evenings are so warm that several of my men sleep on the deck all night. Mrs Rutter the doctor’s lady was put to bed this evening of a boy and doing very well.

CHARLES BUSSELL - 13 November. Such are the staple of our cabin passengers (there are of course exceptions) & such are the men whom Semphill has flattered himself with the idea of cheating. With regard to the provisions with which he has provided us we have nothing of which we can complain with the exception of the bread and that is very, very bad. Our eyes are frequently turned wistfully towards our private stock but this we do not allow ourselves to break in otherwise than by taking half a biscuit now & then by way of treat as we are given to understand that towards the end of the voyage it will be much worse. This circumstance is the more provoking as our store of bread for the Swan River has been laid in by Semphill & is therefore probably the same as what we are now eating. It is now small consolation when this Idea occurs to reflect that we have a small portion of his money in reserve & that we can indemnify ourselves if such be the case. We finished the first of our two hams which it will be needless to say we found a great treat. We had intended as was proposed by our dear Mother to have kept them for our arrival at the Swan but on opening them we found that the hoppers had just commenced their in roads & thought it best & wisest plan therefore to consume them ourselves, before any material damage should take place.

JAMES TURNER - Sunday 22nd November. (Thirty-two days out, at the Cape Verde Islands). This morning we were completely becalmed opposite the island of St. Jago about six miles from shore and we could discern a town or village at a distance but no appearance of any boats or any persons or cattle on shore near us it is very rocky and mountainous and no woods or trees only a few shrubs or stunted trees. The Boat was lowered down and the Chief Mate and Mr Semphill with one of his young men and four sailors set off to go on shore to the town of Saint Jago which is understood was near 14 miles from us. About two o’clock a breeze sprang up and we had a pleasant run along shore and soon could discover some vessels in a harbour and the town of St Jago. There was only one English schooner and two American Brigs. We came to anchor about six o’clock within about one hundred yards of shore. One of the Americans left the place as we got in and passed close to our stern. Our Captain hailed her. We are all elated with the idea of going on shore in the morning. The place and the Port is very small and I should think very insecure in bad weather being quite open to the sea. Mr Semphill and Mate came on board accompanied by several of the Portuguese, who wrote down the name of the Ship, where she came from and bound to etc and left an officer on board to stop all night.

Monday 23rd November. The Captain went on shore early and most of us got ready to go on shore as soon as we could get breakfast. Several boats came alongside with oranges, Coca Nuts, bananas and a few eggs and we were all busily employed for some time driving bargains with them for they are very Jewish in their dealings and like to get Old Clothes in preference to Money, and in the course of the day prices were reduced to nearly half.

While we were at Breakfast the Captain returned on board, he came into the cuddy with a paper in his hand and requesting our attention he read it. It was a warrant from the Consul ordering into Custody and the immediate attendance on shore at his office of most of those persons engaged in last Thursday’s disturbance. All the Gentlemen of the Cabin passengers and several of the Officers and Crew of the ships company etc went ashore and attended as witnesses for and against according to their opinions, language and Conduct had been very violent during the heat of passion and the evidence against several of them wore a very serious aspect having been guilty of mutinous conduct and language and the language and threat of one of them was of a Piratical tendency and the Consul ordered him to be put in to confinement. He was one of them whom the young party looked up to with a good deal of confidence and I really think had he been put into confinement and sent forward in our ship it would have been the occasion of a deal of disturbance on board before we got to the Cape of Good Hope. A petition was drawn up and signed by several of us requesting that he might not be sent forward with us, and as some of the passengers had that confidence in him that they would be bound for his conduct it was at length agreed upon that he was not to come on board again and Mr Semphill was to return a sum of 50 pounds to pay for passage by the first Ship that might call there, as his passage had been paid for and his destination was to Van Dieman’s Land. Another was bound in his own bond and a security to keep the peace. Two others were to deliver up all their arms as a security and others reprimanded and admonished and I hope now we shall have a good and lasting peace.

We were so late in the day making the arrangements that I expected they would be very uneasy on board as I had promised to return at five o’clock and as I found it impossible I sent Thos. with one of my Men down to the beach where we landed in the Morning. to return on board about that time. We were detained until dark and the boat that was to take us on board was at the opposite side of the Bay from where we landed in the morning. When we got there there was only one boat which was only sufficient to take half of us, and some of us were obliged to stop till the boat returned. There is at all times a little surf on the beach and there is generally a ducking for some of us getting in and out of the boat. It was between 8 & 9 o’clock when I got on board and I found that Thos. and several of the Men were left on shore. We learned from the Consul that letters could be forwarded to England tomorrow as the British vessel laying in the port would Sail in the morning for Gambia and Siereleone and I have been writing a few lines to you and leave open until the latest time. A child in the Steerage died this morning.

Tuesday 24th November. I went on shore as soon as I had breakfasted, found Thos. very well. A party of nine of them had been obliged to sleep on the rocks for there is no Houses of any accommodation for Travellers. It was near a spot where some soldiers keep guard and they had one or two of them to watch them all night. One Gentleman had his Hat and Kerchief stolen as he was coming to join the party. We had some little demure today respecting the arrangement made yesterday as the young party wished to get their friend on board again to accompany them, and his Boxes and baggage had been sent on shore in the morning and laid on the beach until evening before they moved them into the town. I intend tomorrow to make a little survey in the Country. The weather is very sultry and we cannot walk about much. The appearance of the Town its inhabitants and the surrounding Country would no wise invite me to have a residence amongst them and their honesty is of a very doubtful cast. There is a small vessel now in the port which was sailing about on Sunday before we came in, at first we were told she was a slave ship, and they say she was rather apprehensive of us as our ship is of a respectable appearance and they thought we were something more than a Merchantman. We now hear that she is decidedly a Pirate under Portuguese Colours, and while we were sitting on the beach this evening waiting for a boat from the ship we noticed them very busy getting stock on board apparently for a cruise.

I have laid in a stock of six hundred oranges and lemons. When the boat landed on Sunday before the ship arrived they bought at one shilling a hundred, next morning they were three shillings. Today I gave a quarter dollar a hundred. They are very large most of them much bigger than any I ever saw in England. The Pineapples are scarce and very small not being in season. The Coca nuts are small and the price generally asked six pence each, Eggs very small and a penny each or 14 a shilling. Turkeys plentiful at a dollar each, a great number of Goats at 3 & 4 Dollars each, but perhaps if a vessel was to purchase for a supply they would be much cheaper. Coffee 1/- per lb, Sugar of native growth about fivepence. The American Consul is a Merchant and keeps a store. There is very few grapes grown on the island. I only saw one bunch, the wine is of Portugal growth. Something of a Port quality but not brandied. We paid one shilling a bottle and if we took the bottles away we paid about 4d each. I took a walk up a valley and one side of the town. There is a fine spring of Water which rises up in a large Well and I believe is the only fresh water in the town, it overflows and forms a little Brook. I drew some out of the well. It was something in taste and warmth like new milk. There is a guard stands on duty by the side of the well and women were fetching water for the town and in the Rivulet several were washing Clothes. The only fruit I saw growing was the Bananas. There were several pretty shrubs and plants around the spot where the Well was. I gave the guard a few Coppers and he was very Civil only shook his head and cried no touch if I was going to get anything, some things were no good eat Bad, and spat of his mouth, as though they were poisonous or disagreeable. The child that died yesterday was buried out at sea early this morning.

Wednesday 25th November. I was awoke this morning by hearing the anchor weighing and when I got on deck found it was determined to be off as early as possible and the native boats with fruit etc were not allowed to come along side. Some boats came and put the stock on board which had been purchased for the Vessel, such as Goats, Pigs, and Turkeys and some wine. The vessel kept tacking off and on in front of the Port until the passengers came on board stopped until the last moment at length all being on board and a favourable breeze we bid adieu to St Jago and Porto Praya, on my own part with great pleasure.

Wednesday 23 December. (Sixty-three days out). Today about eleven o’clock we passed the Tropic of Capricorn and are now in the Southern Temperate Zone and which I now think it is most likely I will end my days in. I think when I set foot on shore in our future anticipated country I shall be a fixture to the soil, and my little Body may help to manure it. I begin to feel uneasy at the probable length of our passage and think we cannot possibly arrive at the Swan River before the middle of March. The wind today light but favourable.

Thursday 24 December. It being Christmas Eve we treated ourselves with a glass of wine and a few Gingerbread Nuts, wished you a Merry Christmas and should have liked to have partaken of your good Ale posset etc.

Friday 25 December. Very little appearance of a Christmas Day though we did not forget the usual greeting each other with the Compliments of the Season, and we often thought of how you were perhaps sitting round the fire enjoying every good luxury while we were thrusting in our plates and bawling out to obtain only a belly full of something inferior to the ordinary fare of a London Tradesman’s family. Not but what our boards had a good extra supply, and I believe everyone had their belly full which is very seldom the case, and after dinner we had a good supply of Claret and several did not leave the Table until 10 o’clock but the company in general kept very sober, two only were disguised in liquor. It was also a holiday with the Seamen. I gave a few bottles of Wine and some Biscuits to my people and good humour pervaded from stem to stern of the ship. Rather noisily while I was in bed, we were all very hungry could not get anything except biscuits to eat so went to bed.

Saturday 26th December. Alas for the good cheer of Christmas has passed away with the day and not a shadow of the wreck to be seen at breakfast. We had however a solitary dish of Maggoty Red Herrings but the pickings of the hams and the remaining bones of the Turkeys were to assist to make shift dinner and today we had no porter being informed there is no more left. Yesterday we had some of the preserved fresh provisions kept in tin cases. It was served up as boulle to eat very fresh but was scarcely warm when put on the table. Unfortunately the things are not half done very often. Lat. 26 degrees 27 degrees S. Long 21 degrees 17 degrees W.

Thursday 31st December. This being the last day in the year the Captain yesterday said he would come and spend this evening with us and to make it more agreeable we invited as many of our musical companions as our Cabins would accommodate and were very busy all the morning to tune the piano which is rather discordant. Just as the party assembled the Captain said he had something to attend to for about half an hour and then he would come down, but he did not come down all evening, and about ten o’clock we were informed the Captain and the other passengers were regaling in the Cuddy and that they had two Tongues for Supper and then two Bowls of good Punch on the Table but they had not the politeness to let us know of it nor to send us any though they did send some to other passengers below. They very soon got noisy and in Liquor and those Ladies of our party who had to pass through the Cuddy left us directly and also two Gentlemen to join the Punch party. We all very merrily saw the Old Year out and the new one in, and the Ship’ until about Four o’clock in the Morning. We did not forget all friends in Old England in our Cabin and about one o’clock went to bed.

Friday 1st January. We had a poor muster at Breakfast Table and most felt the effect of Punch. We have a dead calm and made little progress the last 24 hours. Dancing and merrymaking amongst the Crew and Steerage passengers has been all day and is likely to be kept up until daylight tomorrow morning. Our quarrels and wrangling in the Cuddy has set aside the Dancing which used to take place on the poop and we have not had one since the disturbance that happened previously to our stopping at St Jago. Scarcely could get a wink of sleep until between three and four o’clock and have got bad headaches. Captain Byrne and Mr Green quarrelled. Brown drunk.

London Courier and Evening Gazette, 1829

The Swan River Settlers.—In consequence of a communication sent by the Right Honourable Robert Peel to the Magistrates of the Thames Police, on Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Evans, the Superintendent of the Police, was immediately dispatched to Gravesend to inspect the ship Warrior which is about to sail for the Swan River with settlers. It had been reported that there was a want of room and accommodation, and the passengers would be subjected to great hardships on the voyage; but, upon inspection by Mr. Evans, it appeared that the passengers made no complaint, and that arrangements were made for 200 passengers, and there were already 80 steerage passengers, men, women, and children, on board. Mr. Evans's report was sent yesterday evening to the Home Secretary.—London Courier and Evening Gazette, 9 October 1829

Morning Post

The ship Warrior, STONE, commander, bound to Swan River, Sydney, and the East Indies, sailed for her destination on Friday, from Portsmouth, with prospects of favourable weather in her progress down the Channel. The Warrior is a fine vessel of about 700 tons burden, and carried out upward of 250 passengers to the new settlement. Several of the passengers are persons of independent fortune, who have embarked considerable property in speculation; and two of then, named BYRNE and MOLLOY, paid the enormous sum of 1,000l. for the best accommodation the vessel could afford their families and suite. Six pianos are on board the Warrior, and a proportionate number of fair and accomplished vocalists and musicians of course accompany the instruments to their destination. The Warrior has also on board fifty dogs of the choicest breed, several pens of sheep, a considerable number of swine, two milch cows, and three valuable horses; but as tempestuous weather may be anticipated on the vessel reaching the Bay of Biscay, apprehensions are entertained that a portion of the live cargo must be consigned to the ocean before the termination of the voyage. Previous to the departure of the Warrior from Gravesend, she underwent an official inspection by the principle surveyor of the Thames Police, it having been rumoured that her accommodations were insufficient for the numerous individuals who had engaged their passage by her.
It appeared however that the passengers were generally satisfied with the space allotted to then, and it was found that she carried out no more than the terms of the terms of the freight permitted, although the number of individuals anxious to reach the new Colony rendered the decks somewhat crowded. It is calculated that, from the advantageous arrangements entered into by the Commander and a gentleman named SEMPLE, [sic] who has chartered the Warrior, and gone out on her, they will clear the enormous sum of 10,000l. by the voyage. An accident of a serious character, which might have been attended with fatal consequences to five individuals, occurred a few minutes prior to the sailing of the Warrior from Portsmouth. A small boat containing Captain STONE, a Mr. TURNER, a passenger on board the Warrior, and a young lady, niece to the latter gentleman, who was proceeding on board to take leave of her friends, and two sailors, was approaching within hail of the Warrior when the boat was unfortunately run down by a fishing smack, and the whole party were precipitated into the water, but, with the exception of the lady, they were all able to swim, and were promptly rescued from their perilous situation by the crew of the smack. Miss TURNER was fortunately attired in a silk dress, the buoyancy of which sustained her afloat till one of the sailors leapt into the waves to her assistance, and she was conveyed on board, having suffered not further injury than what was occasioned by excessive fright. Morning Post, 31 October 1829.

Perhaps in an attempt to pare down the charter cost of the voyage, the Warrior sailed with a minimum number of crew.

Brighton Gazette

The Warrior, a fine ship which lately went out to Swan River, had a crew of only eighteen hands, the full complement for a vessel of her tonnage being forty-three. It is proper to add however that some of the passengers, 900 in number, were expected to work as seamen. Brighton Gazette, 29 October 1829.

References Links Acknowledgements

DPS page for this ship, from which most of the earlier part of the above comes.

Many thanks to Margaret Baddeley for the excerpts from the newspapers above (later part).

Cowan, Miss D. C. 1931, 'The voyage of the Warrior, 1829', Early Days, vol. 1, part 10: 12-24.


Garry Gillard | New: 4 May, 2020 | Now: 5 August, 2023