Friends convict ship 1811

In 1811, the Friends sailed from England to New South Wales with a cargo of 101 female convicts who had been sentenced to transportation to the colony.  Their crimes ranged from stealing to child abduction and murder.  Most of the women though had committed petty crimes.  Some were desperate, some were drunks, some were prostitutes, but nearly all of them were faced with a daily struggle to survive.  They came from all over Great Britain, though half of the women came from the streets of London.

This site provides an insight into the voyage of the Friends, its master James Ralph, and its passengers, who included settlers heading to the colony.  Details of what is known about each of these people are listed on this site, including source information and links to other relevant websites. is an acknowledgement of the existence of the people who travelled on the ship and their place in the establishment of the colony of New South Wales.



‘The East India ship Mellish entering the harbour of Sydney’, by W.J. Huggins, engraved by E. Duncan,
published London c. 1830 National Library of Australia, Rex Nan Kivell Collection, NK 252 (There is no image of the Friends)