Sunday, 12 June 2011

The Incredible Hulk

Success - hulk similar to where George was imprisoned.
No photographs of the Ganymede appear to exist.

After a bit of a break I ventured onto the Ancestry site and noticed that they had 'new' prison hulk registers and letter books. I found that my ol' pal, George WHITE was held on the Ganymede while awaiting trial and/or transportation to Van Diemen's Land in 1834.

[click to view larger image]


The Ganymede was originally the French frigate Hébé  which was captured in 1809. She was converted to a prison hulk in 1819 and broken up in 1838 (source: Wikipedia) (AND the Index of 19th Century Naval Vessels).  Hulks were not nice places to be and it seems George was lucky enough to stay in one for under a year.


The Intolerable Hulks by Charles F. Campbell seems like a good read.

UPDATE:
In response to a couple of comments below (always welcome) about the fate of the prison hulk Ganymede, I feel I should mention the possibility there are OTHER ships/hulks also named the Ganymede.  The ship I refer to was formerly

The French L'HEBE taken by Capt. SCHOMBERG in LOIRE in the Atlantic on 5 January 1809. Broken up in 1838 (source: Michael Phillips' Ships of the Old Navy - http://www.ageofnelson.org/MichaelPhillips/info.php?ref=0998)

I have found reference to ANOTHER Ganymede - an iron clipper-barque built in 1868 which was hulked in 1912 (source).  

Although I don't claim superior naval knowledge, it is more likely that the Ganymede my commenters refer to as being used as a convict vessel in 1839, is a DIFFERENT ship to either of these as ship names were often REUSED.

I feel I should also add here that wikipedia was not my only source. The Index of 19th Century Naval Vessels also contained this information and I have updated my source in the post to include this link.

However, if you feel you have evidence that proves these ships are in fact the same vessel I would be really interested to hear about it.