Fremantle Stuff > Ships > Hougoumont


The Blackwall frigate Hougoumont was named for a chateau or farmhouse which was the site of an important moment in the battle at Waterloo. She was the last ship to transport convicts to Australia, arriving 10 January 1868.


On that trip she also brought 62 political prisoners, Fenians, members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Also on board were a number of pensioner guards and their families. The captain was Wiliam Cozens and William Smith the surgeon. One convict died during the voyage. John Boyle O'Reilly was one of the transportees. Journals of three of the Fenians have been published: those of Denis Cashman, John Casey, and Thomas McCarthy Fennell. A newspaper, The Wild Goose, was produced on board ship during the trip.

The arrival of the Hougoumont on January 10th with the Fenians on board marked the end of the transportation period that had existed for 18 years. The Fenians were not desperadoes by any means, yet the decision of the Imperial Government to send them to the colony created quite a scare among timid people. To allay those fears H.M.S. Brisk was sent to Fremantle, where she remained for some months. A company of the 14th Regiment was also sent from New Zealand, though the enrolled guard of military pensioners already here was ample for coping with any outbreak of unarmed prisoners that might have occurred. In addition there was also a comparatively large force of volunteer riflemen. Hitchcock: 52-53.

There is a Hougoumont Hotel in Bannister St, obviously named after the ship.

References and Links

Fennell, Thomas McCarthy 2000, Voyage of the Hougoumont and Life at Fremantle, ed Philip Fennell & Marie King, privately published.

Hitchcock, JK 1929, The History of Fremantle, The Front Gate of Australia 1829-1929, FCC.

Page for the Hougoumont at Diane Oldman's site, Crimean War Veterans in WA

Perth DPS page for the Hougoumont with a passenger list

Note about the Irish festival Fremantle January 2018

Wikipedia page

Garry Gillard | New: 30 June, 2016 | Now: 5 July, 2017