Left London on August 6th and arrived South Australia on November 19th, 1839.

The Duchess of Northumberland, commanded by Captain Frederick Geare, was a ship of 600 tonnes carrying 251 passengers and her crew. The passengers were a mixed group made up of 5 male and 2 female adults, plus 3 male and 4 female children of the Superior Class of fee paying persons. The assisted passengers - 58 male and 62 female adults and 57 male and 44 female children plus 6 male and 8 female babies under the age of one year.

The Duchess of Northumberland slowly weighed anchor and pulled away from the wharf at London. The passengers looked back to the shore and thought of their past. This balmy, late summer day was one full of promise. Today, Tuesday 6th of August 1839, was the first day of their new lives. This was the beginning of a long sea journey which was to take them to a land that they had heard about and that they believed would hold a better life for themselves and their children. Excitement and apprehension filled the air, as the immigrants to Australia contemplated what had been and was to come.

As the shouts of the crew echoed over the ship and the sails unfurled many of the passengers on board would have been unaware of the perils that lay ahead over the 135-day voyage. Assisted passengers were housed in the steerage section of the ship. Here, in the midships, the conditions were cramped with four passengers often having an area of little more than six feet square to share. The bunk in which they lived also was the storage place for their personal belongings. On each deck there were bunks two high with a total head height of seven feet. Stowed under the bottom layer of bunks were all the heavy possessions of the passengers. In these cramped conditions everyday life, for the families, had to proceed with some form of 'normality'. The single women were housed together, in the stern of the ship as far removed from the crew's living quarters, in the bow, as possible. Having to spend such a long time together, in these cramped conditions, placed a heavy burden on family relationships.

This ship took its passengers and crew slowly out of the Thames River through the Strait of Dover, into the English Channel then beyond the Bay of Bisque. It then went out into the Atlantic Ocean. Here it turned southwards and followed down the East Coast of Africa. The weather at this time of year was hot and humid, making life for the heavily dressed emigrants even more uncomfortable. The ship broke its journey at Cape Town, to gather in fresh supplies before rounding the infamous Cape of Good Hope.

The breaking of the journey at Cape Town was an experience filled with relief and fears. The emigrants were relieved that they were again on land and out of the cramped confines of the ship, but also full of fear at the strange sights and sounds in the capital of South Africa. It was a placed filled strange smells and sights, a town where Christians and Moslems worshipped, where Africans, British, Chinese, and Indians lived and worked side by side. The strange cooking smells mixed with the sights and the increased heat and dust may have been fascinating and yet frightening. Many emigrants were so frightened of the sights and sounds of Cape Town they refused to stay on shore but rather preferred the 'safety' of their vessel.

For many the conditions on board ship were almost intolerable, the women had access to water closets (toilets) but the male passengers had to use the upper decks for their daily ablutions. Many passengers were too afraid to take the recommended daily exercise above the decks, which compounded the claustrophobic conditions below decks. This along with the necessity to batten down the hatches and leave passengers below during days of relentless storms also caused many health problems. These cramped and unhealthy conditions may have lead to John and Ann Fisher's daughter Anna contracting diarrhoea, at the tender age of one year (she died on September 13th, 1839. This sad event was somewhat lessened by the arrival of their first son, Thomas, on 27 October 1839.

After four and one-half months at sea and all the perils of the voyage, the coast of South Australia must have been a welcome sight; little did the emigrants realise there was a hazardous end to their voyage, still ahead.
When the Duchess of Northumberland landed in an area known as 'Port Misery', chosen because the mangroves on the banks of this section of the river were less dense than anywhere else. The large ships had to stay further out, as there were problems with tides and shallow water. Ships had to wait for high tide before being able to venture any distance into the river. The passengers, and their goods and chattels, were then placed into small boats and taken to shore. Often they made this journey after spending a night or more on board the ships waiting for the tide to rise sufficiently to allow them in to anchor. This meant that many people had to live cramped together in increasing temperatures and swarms of mosquitoes. Once the passengers and their goods were landed they had to make the six mile journey to the town of Adelaide, either by horse and dray or more likely, because of the lack of money, they would have had to gather their lighter possessions and walk the distance, with the heavier items being carried on a wagon. What a hazardous and uncertain arrival this family must have had. After leaving Wales for a better life, they were now probably wondering if they had made the right choice.

Landing at Port Misery in 1839
Source: Port Misery West Lakes:
Its significance in South Australian History

BREWER Charles Phillip and wife Ellenor Mary nee STOCKLEY - cabin
BREWER children: Charles William Godbold, Eleanor Caroline Mary - cabin
BREWER children: Elizabeth Harriet, John, daughter ?, Godbold - cabin
DUNCAN Dr James J and children: James, daughter and their tutor - cabin
McKEAN, Mr - cabin
PALMER, Mr - surgeon superintendent - cabin

APPLEBY / APPLEBEE Joseph (son of Mrs D HALL by her previous marriage)
ATTWOOD Alfred and wife
AYLMORE Alfred and wife (Eliza nee ATKIN?)
BAIN James and wife Margaret nee MAKIN
BAIN, Robert (son of James)
BAIN, Margaret 2 (died Sept.4th of tabes mesenterica, on voyage) daughter of James
BAIRD Margaret
BALL David and child
BALL Mary Elizabeth
BALL William
BORTHWICK Adam and wife Isabella nee KERR
BORTHWICK 6 children Helen, Thomas, William, Mary Ann, Isabella
BUNTON / BURSTAIN / BURSTON William and wife Elizabeth (nee VICKRIDGE?) and 6 children
BUNTON / BURSTAIN / BURSTON Andrew (son of William)
BUNTON / BURSTAIN / BURSTON, Ann (13m, died Sept 1 of convulsions, on voyage) - daughter of William
BUNTON / BURSTAIN / BURSTON Eliza - born Sept 24th on voyage (daughter of William)
CALLABY Henry and wife and 6 children including Thomas
CELLERY / COLLEY James and wife and 2 sons, daughter, 2 sons
CELLERY / COLLEY James 8mths (died Oct 29 of diarrhea, on voyage) - son of James
CALTON / COLTON William and wife Elizabeth nee BLACKLER, sons Thomas, William, Edwin,
CALTON / COLTON John Blackler (son of William)
CALTON / COLTON William jnr
CALTON / COLTON Albert (14m, died Sept.8 of ulceration of bowels, on voyage) - son of William
EILLY / EILYE, Thomas and wife Ann(e) nee MILLS 35
EILLY / EILYE, William Mills - son of Thomas
EILLY / EILYE, Ann 11mth (died Aug 27th - inflamation of bowels on voyage) - daughter of Thomas
EILLY / EAYE, Ann (born Dec 6th on voyage) - daughter of Thomas
EILLY, Mary Ann(e) - died Sept 23rd of English Cholera, on voyage),
ELLIOTT Henry and wife Mary Ann nee FERRIS and children Mary Ann, Henry, Matilda Ferris
FIDGE John H and wife (Harriet nee BOWEN?) and 5 children including G
FISHER Thomas (42) and wife Jane, daughters Mary (18), Eliza (17) and Hannah (13) and two sons aged 10 and 8
FISHER John and wife Ann nee JONES and children Anna (1, died Sept 13 of diarrhea, on voyage),
       Thomas (born Oct 27 on voyage) (see below for this family's history)
FLOYD Thomas, Elizabeth nee GUNSTON, 3 daughters
FOREMAN Mrs (noted in SA Register February 11th and 20th, 1922 pages 7d)
GALE William
GEORGE William Henry and wife
GEORGE Henry George 2 (died Oct 25 of tabes mesenterica, on voyage) son of William
GILES Edward and wife Elizabeth Anna nee HOLE and 3 children
GILES Walter 3 (died Sept 27th of desease of heart, on voyage) son of Edward
GOZZARD George, 2nd wife Charlotte Pell nee BATTAMS, daughter Rosanna (of 1st wife)
HALL Daniel and wife Ann APPLEBY (nee GOULD) applied for Free Emigrant Passage to South Australia in May 1839
       and left London on August 16th, 1839, with their three children, George, Elizabeth and Daniel,
      and Anne's son Joseph Applebee from her first marriage.
HALLETT, Mr and wife
HARPER William and wife Ruth and 2 children, daughter (born Nov 4th on voyage)
HAY Margaret
HAY Mary
HEAD George and wife Mary Ann nee WALTON
HEAD daughters Elsa, Mary Ann, Eliza Matilda, Ellen
HEWETT, Charles Thomas and wife Hannah Jane nee MOORE and 6 children (listed separately)
HEWETT, Ebenezer Eldad (child)
HEWETT, Charles Shallum (child)
HEWETT, Elijah Medadon (child)
HEWETT, Ethelbert Heber (child)
HEWETT, Hannah Huldah (child)
HEWETT, Onesimus Septimus (child)
HEWETT, Rhoda Augusta Northumberland (born on Sept. 15th)
HEWETT, Faith Emily Moore
HYDRESS Rosa / Rose
HYDRESS Samuel Socrates and 4 children
JESSUP William Nash and wife and 3 children
JONES Robert L
KELSEY Richard and wife
LOCKWOOD and wife and 8 children including E
LUKEYOR / LOCKYER Henry and wife Caroline nee BRUNSWICK
LUKEYOR / LOCKYER children Clementina, George Robert, Eliza Mary,
LUKEYOR / LOCKYER Jane (8m, died Sept 4 of diarrhea, on voyage) - daughter of Henry
MAIL Mrs Marie
MANNER / MANSER William and wife Sally and 6 children
MANNER / MANSER Mary 18m (died on Oct 17th of dysentery, on voyage) - daughter of William
MANNER / MANSER Rebecca - daughter of William
McCLOUD / MacLELLAND, James Alexander and wife Elizabeth nee WALE 34 (died Nov 12 of diarrhea, on voyage)
McCLOUD / MacLELLAND, children John Douglas, Ann Elizabeth, Emma Maria, George
McCLOUD / MacLELLAND, Mary Jane 8 mths (died on Sept 28 of tabes mesenterica, on voyage) - daughter of James
NEALE Richard and wife Margaret nee MILLS and children Joseph Mills, William George, 2 daughters
NEWELL William and wife Susannah nee WRIGHT
PEPPERILL / PIPERELL / PEPPERELL Richard and wife Ann 26 (died Nov 2 - inflammation of brain, on voyage)
PEPPERILL / PIPERELL / PEPPERELL Ann Maria (born Oct 22 on voyage) daughter of Richard
PHILLIS James born 19/07/1797 in Eastry.
PHILLIS Susannah nee Chapman (married to James on 14/08/1820 in Eastry).
PHILLIS children George, Charlotte, Eliza, Emma, Harriet, James
PHILLIS William born 29/03/1800 in Eastry and died 8/11/1871 in South Australia
PHILLIS Thomas (son of James)
RAVEN / RABEN Matthew and wife
ROBERTS Joseph and wife Mary Ann and children Joseph
ROBERTS Mary Ann (11mth, died August 27 of tabes mesenterica, on voyage) daughter of Joseph
ROGERS, Maylin and wife Sarah Elizabeth nee MORRIS and 5 children including Hannah, Maylin John
ROGERS, Elizabeth
ROGERS, Robert 28 (died Nov 20 of Brain fever, at sea)
SMITH John and wife Christina and 2 daughters, and son
SMITH Alexander (born Nov 24th, died Nov 24th of convulsions on voyage) - son of John
STAPLES George Samuel and wife Caroline nee ACKLAND
STEWART Alexander, wife (Elizabeth?), son, daughter (Elizabeth?), son (Donald?), daughter (Jessy?)
TAYLOR Henry J and wife Lucretia Henrietta nee GAMBLE and daughter
TENNANT John and wife Jessie nee AITKEN and children Margaret, Elizabeth, Andrew
WILKINS Elizabeth
FISHER Thomas (42) and wife Jane, daughters Mary (18), Eliza (17) and Hannah (13) and two sons aged 10 and 8

On the 2nd of May 1939 Thomas Fisher saw an Emigration Agent by the name of Captain Brognold and 'signed' the papers that would take he and his family to a new life.
We can only wonder at what made this man, at the age of 42 years, decide to move his family from Wales to South Australia.
The members of the Fisher family were all on assisted passages. The eldest daughter Mary was eighteen when her family decided to emigrate to the new colony
in South Australia. Little is known of Eliza (17) either before they left Britain or after their arrival in South Australia.
Hannah, the youngest female member of the Thomas Fisher family, was thirteen years old when she left Wales.
To board this ship in London, the Fisher family had already undertaken a journey from their homes in Swansea, Wales. This initial journey itself would have been one
of long uncomfortable days travelling across rough dirt and cobblestone roads. This was the age before the great canals and railways of Britain had an impact on ordinary people.
Their journey had taken them further than they had ever thought of travelling before, and one that needed to be done if this family was to gain any improvement to their lives,
with the opportunity to buy land and improve their prospects.
FISHER John and wife Ann nee JONES and children Anna (1, died Sept 13 of diarrhea, on voyage), Thomas (born Oct 27 on voyage)
John married Ann Jones in Llangyfelach Glanmorganshire, Wales. This marriage took place on February 16th, 1939, three months before their departure to South Australia.
She and John had been associated some time before their wedding as there is information available about their daughter Anna. Three short months after her marriage to John Fisher
she embarked on the longest journey of her life. Leaving everything familiar behind her, she moved with her new husband and his family to South Australia.
This must have been a traumatic experience. The voyage to Australia must have been a horrendous experience for Ann.
During the time onboard ship her daughter Anna, a baby of one year, died of diarrhoea on September 13th, 1839 and was buried at sea.
Some five weeks after this event Anna gave birth to a son, on October 27th, 1839 who was named Thomas.