Rapid passenger list

The brig Rapid was purchased by the Colonization Commissioners to carry the main survey party and was under the command of the Surveyor-General, William Light, for the voyage out. The ship’s officers, the assistant surveyors, and the surgeon are all named in the report of the departure of the Rapid appearing in the first annual report of the Commissioners. While the survey staff were part of the government establishment and therefore their passage was a direct charge on the Commissioners, the crew and the three surveyor’s labourers were considered to be an addition to the colony’s population, so were named in the ‘Register of Emigrant Labourers’ and were conveyed at the expense of the Emigration Fund. In the Register the 13 crew were grouped together and noted as belonging to the vessel, so it is possible to identify the three others on board as being the labourers. There are problems rather with the identity of the passengers. When secretary of the Old Colonists’ Association, Hiram Mildred, listed the people on board fifty years later he included his uncle George Mildred and George ‘Bell’, whose name in the Register was given as Wall. He omitted George Coppard from the list, but added in himself, and Maria and George Gandy. He was aged 13 at the time – no doubt explaining some errors with forenames. It has often been said that William Gandy was also on board, but in fact was a member of the crew during the Rapid’s second voyage out in 1838.


Master: William Light
First officer: William George Field
Second officer: William John Samuel Pullen
Third officer: Robert K. Hill


Alfred Barker
Charles Bradley (boatswain)
Robert Buck Sr
Robert Buck Jr
Arthur William Chatfield
Joseph Childs
George Coppard
John Duncan
William Hodges
George Mildred
John Thorn
William Tuckey
William Wall


Mrs Sarah Bradley
William Claughton (junior assistant surveyor)
James Freemantle (surveyor’s labourer)
George Gandy
Maria Gandy
William Jacob (assistant surveyor)
William Lawes (surveyor’s labourer)
Hiram Mildred
George Penton (surveyor’s labourer)
Dr John Woodforde (surgeon)

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