Scindian was constructed at Sunderland, England, in 1844 and named after the Indian Scindia dynasty. She appeared in Lloyd's Register (LR) in 1844 with J.Terry, master, J. Allan, owner, and trade London-India. Lloyd's Register for 1850 showed her master as J. Cammell. Her owner was still Allan, but her trade was simply given as "London".
Scindian was driven ashore at the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Colony before 23 June 1849. She was refloated with the assistance of the steamship Phoenix.
Scindian left Portsmouth on 4 March 1850 under the command of Captain James Cammell and surgeon-superintendent John Gibson, and docked at Fremantle on 1 June 1850 after a voyage of 89 days. The vessel carried 275 people to Western Australia including 75 male convicts and 163 military pensioners. All the convicts survived the voyage. Among the passengers were a number of officials including Comptroller General of Convicts Edmund Henderson and Superintendent of Convicts Thomas Hill Dixon. Also on board was 10-year-old George Throssell, a son of a pensioner, who later became the second Premier of Western Australia.
The arrival of the convicts was a surprise to many of the Swan River Colony settlers, as Western Australia had petitioned for convicts but had not yet received a reply when Scindian arrived. As no preparations had been made for their arrival, the colony had no jail capable of housing so many convicts. This had been anticipated, and only convicts with a record of good behaviour had been sent. The convicts were initially housed in the warehouse premises of the harbourmaster, which is now the Esplanade Hotel. Shortly after the arrival, work began on the building of a Convict Establishment prison, now Fremantle Prison. After the pensioners arrived, the governor of the colony inducted 100 of them into an armed constabulary force; one of their first tasks was building the prison. The second convict transport to Western Australia was Hashemy, which arrived on 25 October.
Note: work didn't start on Fremantle Prison until 1852 and the first prisoners moved into the main cell block in 1855. Construction of the prison continued until 1859.
Convict Index & Ship Level Links
- Scindian 1850 Convict Index
- Scindian Aust Convict Transport Register HO 11/16
- Scindian Convict List of Trades, Age & Date Entitled to TOL (Acc 128/28)
- Scindian Convict Description List (Acc 128/32)
- Scindian General Register (Cons 1156_R21A)
- Scindian Character Book (Cons 1156_R17)
- Scindian TOL CP COF EXP Dates (Cons 1156_R21B)
- Scindian Still on Dept List 1/6/1865 (Acc 128_R33)
- Scindian Physical Descriptions (Perth DPS)
- Scindian Medical Journal
- Scindian Health Reports
- Half Year Returns of Earnings & Payments for Passage