descended from THOMAS HEBBERT BOYKETT, born 1806 in London,
died 1857 at Adelaide.

Background of the Gipsy.

The Gipsy, on which the Boykett family travelled to Adelaide as cabin passengers, was a vessel of 426 tons built at Dundee in 1853, according to the account at Gipsy1853.  Her master was Captain Allan Bolton. She left Southampton on 15 May 1853, and cast anchor within 5 miles of Port Adelaide on 15  August, 1853, without any sight of land for the whole distance. According to the S.A. Ships Register, although it departed as early as May, it was "the 10th ship from England to S.A. with government passengers for 1853."  The passenger list, with a mention of the Boykett family, is at The Ships List, and totals about 150 individuals, not counting crew.  That is a real wave of migration!

On 13 July of the following year, 1854, again with Allan Bolton as master, she left the Isle of Wight for New Zealand, arriving at Auckland on 25 October, giving a voyage of about 3 months, similar to the Boyketts' trip.  Another trip to New Zealand followed in 1856, then she appears to have been used for carrying cargo.  On about 16 March, 1857, on a run from Batavia (Jakarta) to Singapore, she struck a reef in the Java Sea off the coast of Borneo, and sank so quickly that the captain and crew barely had time to take to the boats.  All 22 of them, in three open boats, reached Batavia on 21 March. (Report in the Sydney Morning Herald, 12 June 1857.)

Catherine, the wife of Thomas' son Charles, was pregnant when they left England.  Their son Charles was born during the voyage, and as was apparently the custom, he was given the Captain's name as a middle name.  Births on board were attended by the ship's surgeon, or if he was unavailable, the Captain.

The Polly Woodside As a size comparison, the registered tonnage of the Polly Woodside, (left) was 647.47, or more than 50% greater.  Her registered length is 192 feet, or 58.52 metres.  I estimate that the Gipsy, scaled in proportion, would be about 50 metres long.

The Buffalo The HMS Buffalo, which brought the first free settlers to South Australia in 1836, was only 120 feet long and was originally a merchantman for the East India Company.  There is a replica of this ship at Glenelg, S.A., which I have seen (right.)  It looks too small even to make a voyage outside coastal waters.  But there were over 400 people on board, including crew.

The drawing on the Home Page is an artist's impression of the Gipsy, and is not necessarily accurate.