upload image

Admiral Lyons, Immigrant Voyage to New South Wales 1857

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Profile manager: Glen Prideaux private message [send private message]
This page has been accessed 900 times.


Ship Admiral Lyons

Sailed from Liverpool 13th June with 448 Government immigrants.

Males Females Total
Adults - Married 50 50 100
Adults - Single 118 152 270
168 202 370
Children 7 to 12 10 6 16
Children 1 to 7 26 16 42
Children under 1 year 5 7 12
Total 209 231 440

Births on the voyage: 2 male, 1 female. Deaths on the voyage: 6 male, 5 female. (This from the passenger list.)

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, there were 12 deaths ; 11 children, 1 adult; 9 from fever, 2 consumption, 1 debility; and 4 births.[1]

Tonnage of vessel: 1034 old measurement 1133 new

Arrived Sydney 15 September 1857[2] (three weeks after the wreck of the Dunbar with the loss of 121 lives).

Rate of chartered freight: £15.7.6

Name of master: Sebastian Duncan

Name of surgeon: Clarence Chapman

Vessel when built: Quebec 1856

This was a sailing ship, not a steamship. (In the 1850s steamships were mostly confined to coastal travel and not yet being used for long voyages.)

The Sydney Morning Herald of 16 Sep 1857[3] gives an account of the voyage:

The ship Admiral Lyons left Liverpool on the 13th June last, sighted Madeira on the 26th, before reaching which she had seven days' calm and light variable winds. The north-east trades commenced in latitude 27 degrees, and ceased in 11 degrees. She then experienced southerly winds, which prevailed for 13 days. During the whole of this time there were a great many ships in sight. In about 4 degrees north the wind veered to S.S.E. and S.E.; crossed the line between 20th and 21st July in longitude 23 degrees 20 minutes. On the 27th she came up to several ships, and was baffled until the 30th, when she sighted Trinidad Island, 45 days out. On the 16th August was off the Cape, in latitude 38 degrees 58 minutes S. When in longitude 68 degrees 14 minutes E., on the 27th August, she carried away the foretop sail yard, replaced it with a spare one, which also gave way on the 29th, during very heavy winds from the W. to W.N.W., the ship labouring much, and shipping a great deal of water. Owing to the severe weather she was without a foretopsail yard for five days, being unable to send a new one aloft for fear of carrying away the patent reefing gear. Was off Tasmania on the 12th September; on the 13th had fresh gales and squally from the S.W., and was off the Heads on the night of the 14th; 93 days out,—48 from Trinidad, and 29 from the Cape. She started with 448 Government emigrants, and brings 440, chiefly agricultural labourers and domestic servants; 50 married couples, 118 single men, 152 single women, and 66 children. Of these 143 are English, 38 Scotch, and 189 Irish adults. She was scarcely out a week when scarlet fever made its appearance, and, spite of all endeavours to arrest this disease, it has continued more or less during the whole passage. There have been 12 deaths—11 children and 1 adult ; 9 from fever, 2 consumption, 1 from debility. There have been also 4 births.
Dr. Clarence Chapman, the surgeon-superintendent, has been to the colonies before in the Plantagenet, Speedy, and Ben Nevis, on each occasion bringing a large number of immigrants.

It seems to have been an unhappy ship for some of its crew. One of the crew, Sylvanus Edwards (23), was sentenced in Sydney for desertion from the ship on 6 Oct 1857.[4]. James Alison and William Hill, convicted of desertion, were sentenced to twelve weeks' imprisonment with hard labour on 5 Oct. On 12 Oct "Reuben Belcher and George Honeybun were brought upon suspicion of desertion. Prisoners pleaded guilty of having deserted from the Admiral Lyons, and expressed a strong repugnance to serving in that ship. Sentenced to be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for twelve weeks."[5] A further five were convicted of "wilfully combining with each other to disobey lawful commands on board" on 29 Oct and sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment. On 9 Oct Alexander Jones was reported for desertion.[6] Similarly on 15 Oct George Smith, William Gowan and James Russell were reported for desertion.[7]. These three, together with Alexander Jones and two others, Charles Smith and Peter Gengeson, were again listed in the Gazette with rewards for their apprehension while their ship was in harbour on 26 Oct.[8]

Passengers were quarantined for about a week on arrival.[9]


  1. 1857 'ARRIVALS OF IMMIGRANT SHIPS, WITH THEIR REPORTS SINCE 9th SEPTEMBER.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 10 October, p. 10. , viewed 31 Jul 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13001414
  2. 1857 'MERCANTILE AND MONEY ARTICLE.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 16 September, p. 5. , viewed 31 Jul 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13000609
  3. 1857 'SHIPS' MAILS.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 16 September, p. 4. , viewed 01 Aug 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13000577
  4. 1857 'WATER POLICE COURT.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 7 October, p. 4. , viewed 31 Jul 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13001217
  5. 1857 'WATER POLICE COURT.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 13 October, p. 4. , viewed 01 Aug 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13001524
  6. 1857 'Government Gazette Notices', New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900), 9 October, p. 1931. , viewed 01 Aug 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article229175039
  7. 1857 'Government Gazette Notices', New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900), 16 October, p. 1972. , viewed 01 Aug 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article229175240
  8. 1857 'Government Gazette Notices', New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900), 27 October, p. 2050. , viewed 01 Aug 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article229175403
  9. 1857 'LABOUR MARKET.', Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875), 19 September, p. 5. , viewed 31 Jul 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60263505

  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Send a private message to the Profile Manager. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)


Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.