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Geneageek: The Incredible Hulk

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.

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.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never trust Wikipaedia - the Ganymede was still being used as a hulk in 1839. My convict was held on the Ganymede from July to November 1839, then transferred to the Mangles for the voyage to Australia.

18 February 2012 at 08:21  
Blogger GeneaGeek said...

Hi Anon - thanks for your comment.
This information is not only stated on wikipedia. The Index of 19th Century Naval vessels also states this.(http://www.pbenyon.plus.com/18-1900/G/01944.html)

It's possible that your Ganymede was a newer ship. Names were often recycled.

17 June 2012 at 18:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Agree with "Anonymous" above as ancestor Enoch Eli of Gosfield Essex, was convicted at Chelmsford in April 1839 and imprisoned on 'Ganymede'. Crime unknown.

27 September 2012 at 11:11  
Blogger GeneaGeek said...

Please refer to the UPDATE section at the end of the post. :)

7 April 2013 at 16:14  

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