Notes Contributed by Anne Bartlett


Prudence and John TEVELEIN's passage to Australia


Prudence applied to the South Australian Land Commissioners for a free passage to South Australia. The money raised from the sale of land at theformation of SA was used to pay the passage of emigrant labourers.

Prudence, a single woman, aged 20, made he application in October 1836 [no day given but it was entered into the Register of Applications after some made on the 8th October]. She was a servant residing at 12, Collonade, Russell Square [presumably London]. She sailed for South Australia on the "John Renwick" on 18/10/36. Seems it may have been a last minute decision.

I found the following in "Shipping Arrivals and Departures: South Australia 1627-1850" by R T Sexton.

The John Renwick sailed from London via Gravesend (18 Oct) & North Foreland (departing 19 Oct) with 138 passengers; W Wyatt surgeon. She arrived at Holdfast Bay, SA on 9 Feb [1837]. Departed Holdfast Bay for Port Adelaide on 15 Feb but aground at bar 16-17 Feb. This is probably the same sandbar that the Tam O'Shanter ran aground on and was damaged when she arrived in SA.

There was no entry for John Tevelein in the "Index to Register of Emigrant Labourer applying for a free passage to SA" so I contacted the Mortlock Library in SA about the existence of passenger lists for this vessel. Unfortunately the original  passenger listing for the "John Renwick" has not survived.

However in "The Chronicle" newspaper of 1 January 1887 under the heading of  "The Pioneers" there is an "official list of all persons provided with a passage to South Australia wholly or in part at their own cost from the formation of the colony to December 31, 1837" Amongst those listed as coming on the "John Renwick" is _____ Tievlen.

The Launceston Library had a copy of "The History of the Rise and Progress of the New British Province of South Australia" by John Stephens published in 1839. Chapter XIX contains the rules and regulations for the selection of emigrant labourers, the information that should be on the form of application, a list of clothing the successful applicants should take to South Australia with them together with information on what other items they needed to take, the food allowances on board ship, and various other information the immigrants should know plus some quotes from letters from emigrants to their families in England.

Those provided with a free passage to South Australia had to over fifteen and under thirty years of age and married. Single women would be granted a free passage, provided  they went out under the protection of their parents, or near relatives or under actual engagement as servants to ladies going as cabin passengers on board the same ship.

John would have been about 33 years old so was too old to be granted a free passage but there was a proviso in the regulations which stated that persons ineligible for a free passage, could accompany the free emigrants by "paying the commissioners the bare contact price of passage which   is was usually between 15l. and 17l. for each adult person"

Hoping to hear from you all with some feedback

Anne Bartlett,