The Lady Ann ship, and James B Wilcox, emigration agent, Barbican, Plymouth.

Tonight I found an ad for emigration to Australia on the “Lady Ann”, departing England in June 1854. This is the ship that the Hapgood family (Thomas and Hester and family, and George and Hannah) came to Sydney NSW, as mentioned in an earlier post. The ad was in the Western Times, Exeteron on 10th June 1854. Exeter is a fair way from Marksbury Somerset, where the Hapgoods lived at the time, but I assume the same ad was placed in many papers across the country (and I will keep looking in the Bath papers!)

Ad for emigration to Australia on the Lady Ann, from the Western Times, Exeter, 10 June 1854.

The ad says the Lady Ann will depart Plymouth on 18th June, and that it takes only Chief Cabin passengers. It also says the emigration agent is James B Wilcocks, and that he is located at Barbican, Plymouth.

It turns out that Barbican is an area of Plymouth Harbour, and a huge shipping port. This is the same location that the Mayflower left for America in 1620. There is a photo from 1890 of the quay area that gives an idea of what it might have looked like at the time.

Southside Quay, Barbican, Plymouth. Photo ~1890 Various sources on internet, out of copyright, date from [1]

According to the James B Wilcox was “the chief Agent for the Emigration Commissioners, for the west of England, based at Plymouth. He selected Emigrants for Australia and British North America. He had long been engaged in Australian emigration, both as a Government service and for private self-supporting emigration” [2].

He had produced his own pamphlet on emigration to Australia in 1841 called “Emigration, Its Necessity and Advantages: With a Brief Account of the Principal Australian Colonies” and apparently provided a copy to every passenger on his ship – for 1 penny a copy based on the front cover.

James B Wilcox’s guide to emigration to Australia, 1840

The entire booklet can be read online at and it extols the virtues of Australian agriculture, the need for skilled farm labourers, and the amount of money and independence to be had by a new life in Australia. I find it interesting to think that the Hapgoods would have had a copy of this booklet, or read someone elses copy, at some point in their journey.

In 1854, the Hapgoods departed Plymouth on the “Lady Ann” in June 1854 with Master William Maxton from Glasglow and a multicultural crew bound for Sydney Australia.

List of Crew and Passengers on Lady Ann, Sept 1854. Image from [4]. Read the typed transcription at [5]

What is known about what happened to the Hapgoods after they arrived in Sydney, and began their new life in Milton-Ulladulla, is written up in an earlier post.



[2] Ships List note on James B Wilcox. orahmerchant1848.shtml

[3]Wilcocks, James B (1840). Emigration, its necessity and advantages. W.C. Featherstone, Exeter and full text available at

[4] Scan of original log of crew and passengers of Lady Ann June 1854

[5] Transcription of Crew and Passengers of Lady Ann June 1854

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