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Voyage of the HMS Hercules to the South Australian and Victorian Colonies in 1853

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Date: 13 Apr 1853 to 3 Aug 1853
Location: Melbourne, Victoria.map
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The Voyage of H.M.S. Hercules to the South Australian and Victorian Colonies in 1853

The HMS Hercules started life as a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy. She was launched on 5 September 1815 at Chatham in Kent.

In 1852 Her Majesty's Government placed the ship at the disposal of the Highland and Island Immigration Society to carry passengers from Scotland to the Australian colonies. She was then to proceed to Hong Kong to act as a Barracks or Hospital ship, for the British force based there.

The HMS Hercules on this journey left Campbelltown, in Argyllshire Scotland on 26th December 1852. She was carrying as many as 756 passengers, and reached Cork, Ireland shortly after. Due to an outbreak of Smallpox and later Typhus fever, the ship was forced to remain there in quarantine until early April. When it was finally released after the loss of 56 lives.

Some passengers had been transferred to other ships, and many had chosen to return to Scotland. But many more remained on board for the whole quarantine period.

On 26th April, the HMS Hercules set sail for Adelaide in the South Australian Colony carrying the remaining 380 Highlands immigrants. Her master was Captain Baynton and the Surgeon-superintendent was Mr. Edward Nolloth with Mr W. Robertson, the second surgeon.

She arrived at the South Australian Colony on 26th July 1853. Landing 192 of her immigrants from Scotland. Note she was the 8th ship from England to South Australia with Government passengers for 1853.

The HMS Hercules left Adelaide a day later and continued it's voyage to Melbourne; where the remaining 183 immigrants from Scotland were landed on the 3rd of August, 1853. She then sailed to Sydney on the 11th of August 1853 carrying Mr. Fitzroy Dumaresq the eldest son of Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Dumaresq.

The HMS Hercules; after a refit was put in service in the harbour. And it wasn't until 1854 that the grand old man-o-war finally continued to Hong Kong. Where she served as a depot and receiving ship, and was finally sold there on 22 August 1865 to be broken up.


  • HMS Hercules, 74 guns, Captain Baynton, from Campbeltown, Scotland 26th December 1852 / Cork, Ireland 14th April 1853, arrived at Port Adelaide, South Australia 26th July 1853. transcribed and submitted to The Ships List by Robert Janmaat. first accessed online on the 5th of April, 2020 at: http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/hercules1853.shtml

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