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HMS Orpheus: 1826 to Australia

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  • William Turley, Free Settler "Orpheus" 1826 (1795 - 1852)
    Sydney Gazette Sat 16 Sep 1826 p. 2 On Wednesday evening arrived from London the ship Orpheus, Captain Duff. She left England the 6th of May, and Rio de Janiero the 22d of June. By this conveyance has ...
  • Jonathan Warner (1786 - 1843)
    Jonathon Warner was born in Lymington, Hampshire. He arrived in Australia on 12 September 1826 on the ship Orpheus with other members of the Royal New South Wales Veterans including Lieut-Colonel Henry...
  • James Warner (1819 - 1886)
    From Mark Andrew Pearce >"I Believe James Warner was born in London England. Its a good bet as His Mum and dad didn't come to Australia until 1826 and he was born in 1819. He was baptised on 4th Novemb...

HMS Orpheus

The object of this project is to identify the 213 passengers aboard The Orpheus on 12 Sept. 1826 and link their trees to this project.

Main Resource Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild protected under international copyright law

HMS Orpheus was a Jason-class Royal Navy corvette that served as the flagship of the Australian squadron. Orpheus sank off the west coast of Auckland, New Zealand on 7 February 1863: 189 crew out of the ship's complement of 259 died in the disaster, making it the worst maritime tragedy to occur in New Zealand waters.

If you have information on passengers or need help locating them on the tree, start a discussion here..

Arrived Sydney 12 Sept 1826

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser - Saturday, 16 September 1826 recorded the following under Shipping Intelligence:-

"On Wednesday evening arrived, from London, the ship Orpheus, Captain Duff. She left England the 8?th of May, and Rio de Janeiro the 22nd of June. By this conveyance have arrived 213 men, women, and children, of the New South Wales Veteran Corps . The Officers comprise, Captain Robison?, Lieutenant Warner, Lieutenant North, and Assistant Surgeon Robertson, of the 13th Light Infantry. Mrs Norton? and Mrs Warner are the only Ladies arrived."

Transcribers Guild Orpheus

Route To Sydney

The Orpheus left England in May, and Rio de Janeiro the 22nd of June and arrived in Sydney in September 1826.

Possible Passenger List For The Orpheus

After the arrival of the Orpheus the following names were added to the Muster Roll of the First Company of Royal New South Wales Veteran Company in Sydney for the period 25 September 1826 - 26 October 1826.

List of Passengers on the Orpheus, 1826

  • Lt. Col Henry Dumaresq
  • Lt. William Bell
  • Lt. Samuel North
  • Assistant Surgeon Andrew Gibson


  • John Bury Curran
  • William Hopkinson
  • James Mitchell?


  • William Cheater
  • Charles Taunt?
  • William Taylor


  • Beng 'm Blimston?
  • George Cadley?
  • Jduis? CameronJohn Chapman
  • William Cooke
  • Thomas Evans
  • William Finn
  • John Fergerson
  • ??? Hughes
  • H??? Kones?
  • William Kenderick?
  • Richard Matton?
  • James McCormack?
  • ??? McGann?
  • James Mc Nair
  • David McPhee?
  • Samuel Norman
  • George Percivat?
  • David Pegg
  • John Pickeife?
  • William Praguall?
  • John Riely
  • John Smith
  • John Shepherd
  • William Scott
  • William Sugden?
  • Richard Thae? (came on John Barry)
  • Stephen Whiteaker?
  • John? Whitehead?
  • John Wells
  • Gilbert Wright


Image above: Richard Brydges Beechey's 1863 painting of the disaster.

Family who came on the Orpheus:

  • Ann Reilly (wife)
  • Mary Ann Reilly, bc 1811
  • Sarah Elizabeth Reilly, bc 1815
  • Anne Reilly, b 1826

Two additional Reilly children are mentioned with no reference as to whether they came on the Orpheus.

It seems that Lieutenant Warner and Assistant Surgeon Robertson went with Captain Robison and the second Company to Newcastle, while Lieutenant James Sweeney, who was with Lieutenant Bell on the John Barry, seem to have also gone with the second company to Newcastle.

Transcriber's Notes:

  • There are three different arrival dates listed for the Orpheus.
  1. The Sydney Gazette & The New South Wales Advertiser and the section of this transcription entitled "POSSIBLE PASSENGER LIST FOR THE ORPHEUS" all list the arrival date as: 16 September 1826.
  2. In the section of this transcription entitled "WHICH SHIPS BROUGHT OUT VETERAN COMPANIES" the arrival date is listed as: 13 September 1826.
  3. In the section of this transcription entitled "WHAT ROUTE TO SYDNEY" the arrival date is listed as: 12 September 1826.
  • Correspondence 3/21/2004 passenger North

I think my G G G Grandfather Lt Samuel North b Dun Laoghaire, Dublin Co, Ireland 1791 arrived on the Orpheus in 1826. He was married to Susanna Campbell b 1794 New Brunswick, Canada. He became Chief Police Magistrate in Windsor and had children: Frances, John, Emily, Eliza, Samuel, Henrietta and Joseph. He died in 1864 in Crown St, Wolloomooloo, Sydney. Derryn Heilbuth

  • Correspondence added 28 November 2006, Passenger Curran

John Bury Curran b.1791 Dublin Ireland d.1835 Sydney Australia. Arrived: Veteran Companies from England to Australia, London, England via Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Sydney, Australia Arrival 13 September 1826.
John Bury Curran was a soldier who was posted in India from at least 1819 to 1821. He served in the Dublin 17th Dragoons (Light) he was discharged aged 38 (covering 1806-1825). He arrived in Australia, Sydney in September 1826, on the sailing ship “Orpheus” His family is said to have arrived on the John Barry also in 1826 but I cannot confirm this. The New South Wales Calendar and General Post Office Directory of 1833, lists a Curran, John Bury, who was the Principal Clerk at Brigade Office Sydney he held the rank of sergeant. The Brigade Office was the military office in Sydney under the command of Lt-Col. Snodgrass who was the “Major of Brigade". John Bury’s service record in Australia, served in the New South Wales Veterans; 17th Dragoons (Light) he was discharged aged 43yrs covering dates gives the year of discharge as 1832.
According to his will. John Bury Curran owned property in Smithfield Dublin, which was leased to a Charles Tarrant. He was also granted land on retirement at Botany Bay which he bequeathed in his will as a freehold farm to his eldest son John William Curran. John Bury Curran married Mary Ann Hatton. They had five children

  1. John William b.1819 (India)
  2. Mary Anne b.?1820 (India)
  3. Maria Theresa b.1821 (India)
  4. Matilda Jane b.1826 (Australia)
  5. Charles b.1825. (Australia)

Mary Ann Hatton died in 1833; John Bury Curran later married Leticia Baxter in Sydney 1835. John Bury died in October 1838. His will is dated only days before his death. His son, John William Curran, signed the probate records but Leticia signed with her mark.
His daughter Mary Ann was involved with Ernest Augustus Slade (1805 - 1878). He was the Superintendent of Convict Barracks and Police Magistrate who had the reputation of having a concubinage made up of his female convict servants. Ernest Augustus Slade was named the father of Mary Ann Curran’s son. Slade was very unpopular with the convicts. Sir Richard Bourke, Governor of New South Wales stated in a dispatch to Lord Glenelg;

Mr. Slade’s service to the Government in the punishment of Convicts have exposed him to the hatred of that class of persons in such a manner to interfere with the security of his life or property… The reason behind this dispatch to Lord Glenelg was not to praise Slade… it was to make sure he didn’t come back to Australia.

(abstract from: Convicts them that were there.)

Compiled by: Brian McDonald.

Transcribed and Contributed by Mike Boyd for the Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild

Formatted by Sharon Krisko a member of the Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild - 22 March 2003

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