Bussorah Merchant 1853

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The voyage of the Bussorah Merchant, arrived in Sydney 19 Mar 1853

This voyage of the Bussorah Merchant carried my ancestors and 293 other Bounty Immigrants to Sydney from London. She was built in Calcutta in 1818 so was 25 years old by now, having worked on trade routes for the East India Company and bought 3 loads of convicts before bringing free settlers to Australia, then missionaries to Oceania. Made from teak, with 3 masts, she was sheathed in yellow metal in the year before the 1853 voyage[1]


The passengers came from all over the British isles so the first leg of the journey began as they left their hometown with trunks, families or possibly alone, headed for London. I don't yet know how far in advance the tickets were bought, for what price or what may have motivated the passengers to board the ship.

10 Nov 1852 The Bussorah Merchant arrives in Plymouth

13 Nov 1852 She sails from Plymouth

It was a non-stop voyage, but the ship "spoke" with a few other ships enroute to Sydney, Brisbane and America and bought this information with them to port[2]

There were 7 deaths at sea. Two were adults with diseases of the heart and 5 were children. There were 9 births with the baby girl Bussorah Goodwin named for the ship on which she was born[3]

19 Mar 1853 SHIPPING INTELIGENCE March 19. - Bussorah Merchant, ship, 533 tons. Captain Blyth, from Plymouth November 13th, with 293 bounty immigrants. Surgeon Superintendent, Dr Bloomfield. Smith, Campbell, and Co., agents..[4]

22 Mar 1853 An advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald The married and single men could be employed straight from the ship today. Anchored at Dawes Point in the usual place.

23 Mar 1853 The single women were taken to Hyde Park Barracks. Anyone wishing to employ them was to go there[5]

2 Apr 1853 Docked at Campbell's wharf for Smith, Campbell and Co, agents[6]

Merchandise, including Rum, corks, champagne, window glass, cigars, tin plates. German silver mounted double barelled guns, an Iron cask and blankets were also offloaded to many importers[7][8]

26 Apr 1853 The ship moves to The Stream[9]

The seamen no doubt were happy for some shore leave. Two were reported to the police for desertion. They were Samuel Wm. Joyce, a boy described as "growing, fair complexion, light brown hair, hazel eyes", and Charles Johnson, Bussorah Merchant, A. B.; reward £6.[10] They must have returned to the ship as it was reported 11 days later that, "The Bussorah Merchant, which is about to leave this port for Guam, is navigated by the same crew with which she left England. This almost solitary instance reflects much credit upon the tact and management of Captain Blyth, and upon the good faith of his excellent crew"[11]

26 Apr 1853 The Bussorah Merchant, with Captain Blyth is due to leave Sydney Harbour for Guam[12]

29 Apr 1853 Anchored inside the heads[13]

By the time the Bussorah Merchant leaves Sydney Harbour on 1 May 1853[14], her passengers had already had a taste of Australian life.

The remainder of this project will be to find out where they went and how they fared. We know that the Furbanks followed the expanding railways over the Blue Mountains, then when Charles died, Jane ran a boarding house in Penrith. Sarah Hyland, one of the single females didn't have a great start, having already deserted her new employer by September so I hope her life in the colony improved. I wonder if any of the 6 single males found love among the 74 single females? Little Bussorah Goodwin, one of the 9 babies born onboard will only ever know Australia as home. I wonder what life in the colony had in store for her?

Passenger Lists


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bussorah_Merchant_(1818_ship)
  2. SHIPS MAILS. (1853, March 21). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved October 25, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28644563
  3. SHIPS' MAILS. (1853, March 21). Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875), p. 2. Retrieved October 25, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article61322698
  4. SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. (1853, March 21). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved October 25, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28644552
  5. Advertising (1853, March 22). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved October 25, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12944577
  6. SHIPS IN HARBOUR. (1853, April 2). The Shipping Gazette and Sydney General Trade List (NSW : 1844 - 1860), p. 93. Retrieved October 25, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article161107909
  7. IMPORTS. (1853, March 21). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved October 25, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28644548
  8. Advertising (1853, April 12). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved October 25, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12945012
  9. SHIPS IN HARBOUR. (1853, March 26). The Shipping Gazette and Sydney General Trade List (NSW : 1844 - 1860), p. 89. Retrieved October 25, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article161106670
  10. Government Gazette Notices (1853, April 19). New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900), p. 700. Retrieved October 25, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article229116414
  11. VICTORIA. (1853, April 30). The Shipping Gazette and Sydney General Trade List (NSW : 1844 - 1860), p. 129. Retrieved October 25, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article161108544
  12. SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. CLEARANCES. (1853, April 27). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved October 25, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12945356
  13. SHIPS' MAILS. (1853, April 29). Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875), p. 2. Retrieved October 25, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article61323801
  14. DEPARTURES. (1853, May 2). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved October 25, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12945471

Project Progress & To Do list

As at 29/10

  • Table - 59/293
  • Profiles -42/293 , connected 30/293
  • Summarise - who stayed close?
  • Any notable stories?
  • Bio for Capt and surgeon
  • Ships log not yet found

Do you have anything to add? Please post a comment here on this page, in G2G using the project tag, or send me a private message. Thanks!

Sortable Table of Passengers

Sortable table
name birth place age notes
ANDERSON, JohnAberdeen 36?Carpenter
ANDERSON, MatildaKent, Eng29wife
ANSTEY, John 29Carpenter, The family moved to St Kilda, Victoria
ANSTEY, Jane 30wife, a dtr was born and died in the 1854, then 5 more children were born
ANSTEY, WilliamChelsea, Middlesex 4son
ANSTEY, JaneChelsea, Middlesex 3dtr
ANSTEY, JohnChelsea, Middlesex1son
AUSTIN, BenjaminDevon30Carpenter, no profile
AUSTIN, AnneBardfield, Essex27no profile
AUSTIN, FrederickShoreditch, London2no profile
BALE, WilliamDevon30Carpenter, went to Vic,
BALE, EllenSurrey28
BALE, WilliamLambeth, Surrey1
BALE, E?Born on voyage0
BEAUMONT, AlfredColchester, Essex28Shepherd, not connected
BEAUMONT, EmmaColchester, Essex21not connected
BEAUMONT, SusannahColchester, Essex2not connected
BEAUMONT, Thomas BOn the Voyage0no profile
BIDDLE, ThomasBerkshire ? 50Labourer, d. Wagga Wagga
BIDDLE, RosettaNottinghamshire50d. Wagga Wagga
BIDDLE, JamesNottinghamshire26
BIDDLE, DavidBerkshire20
BIDDLE, EdwinNottinghamshire16
BIDDLE, Lucy AnneNottinghamshire14
BIDDLE, Robert Nottinghamshire12
BIDDLE, HannahBurton Joyce, Nottinghamshire10
BIDDLE, EllenBurfield, Berks 6
BENNETT, JamesCutcombe, Somerset29Wheelwright, d. Emu Plains
BENNETT, JaneBuckinghamshire, Eng 23
BENNETT, JamesLondon0d. St Marys
DENT, WilliamEly, Cambridgeshire43Labourer, Wesleyan, Family went to Bombala, NSW South Coast
DENT, SusanEly, Cambridgeshire43Wesleyan
DENT, AnneEly, Cambridgeshire16Wesleyan
DENT, WilliamEly, Cambridgeshire13Wesleyan
DENT, IsaccCambridgeshire11Wesleyan
DENT, CharlesCambridgeshire8Wesleyan
JOHNSON, Mary Anne (Dent) (1833-1906)Cambridgeshire19Wesleyan
JOHNSON, James (1824-1881)Cambridgeshire25Wesleyan
HEFFER, Peter Great Shilford, Cambridgeshire43butcher, d. Ashfeild, Sydney. profile connected to father's family, not connected to big tree
HEFFER, ElizaGreat Shilford, Cambridgeshire37
HEFFER, SarahGreat Shilford, Cambridgeshire10
HEFFER, RichardGreat Shilford, Cambridgeshire8
HEFFER, Shad....h??Great Shilford, Cambridgeshire4
HEFFER, ArthurBorn on Voyageinf
FURBANK, Charles Hunt Fulbourn, Cambridgeshire, Eng30Farm labourer, Worked on NSW railways
FURBANK JaneFulbourn, Cambridgeshire, Eng30nee Missing, Ran a boarding house in Penrith
FURBANK WilliamFulbourn, Cambridgeshire, Eng1
GOODWIN, Bussorahborn on voyage0 not connected
GOODWIN, EdwardNewchurch, ?26not connected
GOODWIN, MargaretStepney, Essex24 not connected
MEAD, CharlesStewkley, Buckinghamshire34d. Petersham, inner west of Sydneyin 1894, brickmaker
MEAD, SophiaBuckinghamshire24d. Canterbury 1907
MEAD, BenjaminStewkley, Buckinghamshire13
MEAD, MaryStewkley, Buckinghamshire10
MEAD, JosephStewkley, Buckinghamshire4
MEAD, Eliza Bussorah Born on voyage0
MEDWAY, MatthewDorsetshire34Stone mason, no profile
MEDWAY, ElizabethSurrey39
MEDWAY, ElizabethMiddlesex12
MOON, JamesBurghclere, Hampshire31Farm labourer, d. Molong
MOON, MaryMenlough, County Galway, Ireland36settled in Orange area
MOON, Mary AnnDublin, Ireland4Married in the Orange area
MOON, ThomasHampshire2no profile
NEAL, JamesSuffolk33Farm laborer, no profile
NEAL, HarrietSnail, Cambridgeshire26no profile
NEAL, SarahSnail, Cambridgeshire6no profile
NEAL, SusanSuffolk4no profile
NEAL, HarrietSuffolk3no profile
NEAL, DavidSuffolk1no profile
QUINCE, EdwardGosburton, Lincolnshire, England34Farm servant, d. Eulabalong, NSW, profile needs work
QUINCE, MaryLeaderham, Lincolnshire, England33Moved to Binda, stayed in the area for some time. d. Eulabalong 1900, profile needs work
PICKER, WilliamGosburton, Lincolnshire, England15 son of Mary
QUINCE, JohnGosburton, Lincolnshire10
QUINCE, ElizaGosburton, Lincolnshire7
QUINCE, EstherGosburton, Lincolnshire5
QUINCE, HarrietBoston, Lincolnshire3
QUINCE, Sarah?, LincolnshireInfant
STONE, HenryFulbourn, Cambridgeshire32Shepherd, born in same village as Charles Furbank, they split and the Stones went to the Victorian goldfields, profile not connected
STONE. HarrietStapleford, Cambridgeshire32died in Bendigo, Vic, profile not connected
SUDDABY, SamuelHull, Yorkshire38Farm labourer
SUDDABY, Anne?, Yorkshire35
SUDDABY, ElizabethB?, Yorkshire14
SUDDABY, MatildaBorn on voyage0
TESTER, IsaacSussex25Gardener, not connected
TESTER, ElizabethSt George, Surrey28not connected
TIPPER, HenryKent25Ag Labourer, not connected
TIPPER, MatildaBristol, Gloustershire25not connected
TIPPER, ElizabethBristol, Gloustershire5not connected
TOMLINSON, ThomasAshbill, Derbyshire28Farm Labourer, no profile
TOMLINSON, ElizabethRatcliffe, Nottinghamshire26no profile
TYLER, HenryGravesend, Kent29Shoemaker, settled in Richmond river, 12 children, not connected
TYLER, ElizabethBridport, Dorsetshire22
TYLER, LetitiaGravesend, Kent3m. in 1877 in Richmond River/Lismore. Profile not connected
TYLER, ElizabethGravesend, Kent1
WARDON, CharlesEast Barnet, Hertfordshire22Butcher, no profile
WARDON, ElizabethWorthing, Sussex26no profile
WATSON, JohnGreenwich, Kent27Bricklayer, no profile
WATSON, SusanSible Hedgingham, Essex28no profile
WATSON, SusanWalworth, Surrey4no profile
WATSON, LouisaLambeth, Surrey2no profile
HAINES, CharlotteGlousctershire18shopwoman, m. Maitland
HYLAND, SarahExeter, Devonshire36Needlewoman, not connected

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Bussorah Merchant
Bussorah Merchant

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