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Australian Society of the

Lacemakers of Calais Inc.


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Fairlie was a barque of 765 tons under the command of Captain William Davis. She sailed from London on 22 April 1848 and, after calling in at Plymouth, sailed from there on 30 April 1848. She arrived at Sydney harbour on 7 August 1848. She was the oldest and largest of the three major carriers of the lacemakers, having been built in Calcutta in 1810 (according to Ronald Parsons); or 1812 (according to Charles Bateson in his book about convict transports) - refer to our "References" page for details about these books.

The Surgeon Superintendent aboard was Dr Frederick Wilkinson.

Gillian Kelly in her book, Well Suited to the Colony, states that "it had been the intention of the (British) Government to send the first of the (lacemaker) emigrants on the Harpley commissioned for that purpose. Consul Bonham was becoming increasingly concerned for the well-being of those in Calais. Their distress was growing and the cost of their subsistence was very large. With this in mind the Immigration Board found places for forty six and a half statute adults (children under the age of twelve counted as half an adult) aboard the Fairlie which was ready to sail for Plymouth to take on board bona fide Bonded Immigrants for New South Wales".

"With such short notice Bonham selected those he considered to be the best equipped for the voyage. The forty six and a half statute adults equated to fifty six men, women and children. They were dispatched from Calais for Deptford to board the Fairlie immediately".

Passenger List for the 1848 Voyage to Sydney












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