George III (ship)

George III (Ship)

George III (ship)

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The George III was a British penal transportation convict ship that was shipwrecked with heavy loss of life during its last voyage when she was transporting convicts from England to the Australian Colonies.

The George III was a full rigged ship of 394 tons on measurements of 114 feet length, 28 feet 3 inches beam, built at Deptford in 1810. The ship was acquired by J. Heathorn and J. Poore in the mid 1830s. She was registered at the Port of London.

Last voyage

The George III sailed from Woolwich on 14 December 1834 for Hobart, Van Diemens Land under the command of Captain William Hall-Moxey with a total of 308 persons on board. There were 220 male convicts, plus guards, their families and crew. On 27 January 1835 a fire broke out on board while the ship was nearing the equator. It was only extinguished with great difficulty and all on board were put on reduced rations as the fire had destroyed part of the ship's stores. An unbalanced diet caused an outbreak of scurvy and fourteen convicts died before the ship reached the coast of Van Diemens Land on the morning of 12 March 1835.

In order to avoid being blown offshore and thus delaying arriving in Hobart, the master decided to enter the torturous D'Entrecasteaux Channel between Bruny Island and the Tasmanian mainland. At about 9.15 p.m. that evening George III hit a rock and over a period of several hours broke up in the heavy swell. The convicts were kept below to allow the women and children to be safely evacuated by the...
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