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This site is dedicated to Peter J. McDonald's memory
as it was a very important project for him to have placed online
for all to search their roots from Scotland to Australia.

Highland and Island Emigration Society, HIES

The HIES Ship List information was generously supplied by
William "Bill" Clarke.

Anyone wishing to obtain more information re: the "Hercules"

A drawing of the HERCULES at anchor in Queenstown Harbour
as published in the Illustrated News of London.


Her Majesty's Government having determined to send out a large ship, to be used as a floating barracks for the troops at Hong Kong, it was suggested that she might be advantageously employed to convey Highland emigrants to Australia on her way to China. This was kindly acceded to by the Board of Admiralty, and H.M.S."Hercules" was  placed  at  the  disposal of the Emigration Commissioners, by whom she was fitted for the conveyance of a large number of emigrants to Adelaide and Melbourne.

The "Hercules" was sent round to Campbeltown, in Argyllshire, to embark the emigrants, from which port she sailed on the 26th December last, under the command of Captain Baynton, R.N.; but the small-pox, which was succeeded by fever, having broken out on board, she was forced to put into Cork harbour, whence she sailed on the 14th April, with 380 emigrants, and 305 more were provided with passages in other ships. Fifty-six persons, including Dr. Carey, R.N. the surgeon, and Mrs. McInnes, the matron, died. The Committee deeply lament  the  misfortunes  of  this  body  of emigrants, but they have the consolation of knowing that all the arrangements were made which the circumstances were supposed to require, and that no exertion was spared to promote the health and comfort  of  the  emigrants.  The  "Hercules"  arrived in Australia, after a prosperous voyage, on the 26th of July; and, after  leaving  194  emigrants  in  South Australia and 183 in Victoria, she proceeded on her way to China.


Embarked at Campbeltown, 756 Souls.

     Sailed finally in the Hercules from Queenstown    380
     Sailed in the Calabar                                             10
     Sailed in the Banker's Daughter                             41
     Sailed in the Australia                                            39
     Sailed in the Neptune                                            63
     Sailed in the Charles                                             35
     Sailed in the Caroline                                             8
     Sailed in the Argyle                                              32
     Sailed in the Olivia                                               25
     Sailed in the Epaminondas                                   12
     Sailed in the Bermondsey                                    11
     Sailed in the David Malcolm                                16
     Sailed in the Poictiers                                          13
     Returned to their homes                                      17
     Died                                                                   56
                                                             Total      758  Souls

Note- The excess of 2 souls over the number originally embarked in the Hercules, is caused by the birth of two children,- one in the family of Donald Matheson, and the other in that of Duncan McInnes.
Included in the list of Emigrants were some people who were not emigrants assisted by the Highland and Island Emigration Society. They are listed at the end of the family lists as No's 423, A,B,C,D,Ê and E. Brooks and Evans, the two Army sappers left the "Hercules" in Adelaide. The Rev. MacTavish and his wife and family stayed in Cork when the ship sailed.

The listing is by the number given to the family when the HIES lists were made from scraps of paper in 1858,  and cannot be gauranteed to be 100% correct. The list shows:-

SURNAME     Christian Name  Age  The place that the people said they came from, (It may have been the place of birth, where they last worked, where they were living before evicted etc). The Estate that they came from, and the estate owner (This was shown so that the Society could collect the owners share of the expense of sending the people out) and the amount of the promissory note signed by the head of the family.

Some additional material has been included. Some from Mr. Bill Lawson, a professional researcher on Harris, some from Mr. Rod. Balfour of Inverness. Where possible the ships the people finally sailed in to come to Australia has also been included.

The "Calabar", sailed from Southampton on the 4th May 1853,
arrived in Adelaide on the 1st August 1853.
The "Bankers Daughter", sailed from Liverpool on the 19th May
1853  arrived in Geelong, Vic. on the 3rd Sept. 1853.
The "Australia", sailed from Liverpool on the 1st June 1853
arrived in Melbourne, Vic. on the 20th Sept. 1853.
The "Neptune", sailed from Plymouth on the 7th June 1853,
arrived in Adelaide on the 26th Oct. 1853.
The "Charles", sailed from Liverpool on the 29th June 1853,
arrived in Melbourne on the 3rd of Oct. 1853.
The "Caroline"  sailed from Liverpool on the 7th July 1853
arrived in Moreton Bay (Brisbane) Qld. on 13th Nov. 1853
The "Argyle", sailed from Plymouth on the 25th July 1853.
arrived in Melbourne on the 15th Oct. 1853.
The "Olivia", sailed from Plymouth on the 30th July 1853,
arrived in Adelaide on the 14th Nov. 1853.
The "Epaminondas", sailed from Southampton on the 29th August
1853, arrived in Adelaide on the 24th Dec.1853.
The "Bermondsey", sailed from Plymouth on the 2nd Sept 1853,
arrived in Melbourne 5th Dec. 1853.
The "David Malcolm", sailed from Plymouth on the 21st Sept. 1853,
arrived in Adelaide on the 4th Jan. 1854.
The "Poictiers", sailed from Southhampton on the 22nd Sept. 1853,
arrived in Melbourne, on the 6th Jan. 1854.