HMS Buffalo was originally named the Hindostan. It was built of teak in Calcutta, India in 1813. Its builders, James Bonner and James Horsburgh, sailed the Hindostanand a second vessel to London and sold them to the Admiralty to be used as storeships for the Navy.

The Buffalo’s early history did not promise a grand beginning for the province of South Australia. It made four voyages for the Navy but was laid up at the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815. The Navy considered selling the Buffalo but the ship was saved when an outbreak of cholera reached Britain. It was used as a quarantine ship.

The Buffalo was then despatched on three voyages to New Zealand to obtain kauri timber for spars. On the first of those voyages, it also delivered convict women to Sydney. On the second, it would take Governor Hindmarsh to South Australia.

The 589-ton Buffalo was the largest of the first nine ships. It was 36.6 metres long and 10.3 metres in beam and it carried 174 passengers, twice the number of any of the other nine ships that reached South Australia in 1836.

Hindmarsh was appointed captain of the ship. Amongst the 37 cabin and intermediate passengers were his family and his private secretary, Stevenson, and government officials such as Resident Commissioner Fisher, Colonial Treasurer Gilles, and Colonial Chaplain Howard. As well as 137 emigrants, the ship carried 85 officers and crew, and 19 marines.

The Buffalo had two fixed decks. At the front of the ship it had a forecastle deck sheltering the galley stoves, which stood on the uppermost deck, and at the back it had a poop deck over the passengers’ cabins. In the between-decks additional cabins were installed for the ship’s officers and intermediate passengers, while emigrants, who were given a free passage, shared a dormitory. The crew slept on the orlop, an additional deck installed in the hold.

Specifications

Carrying capacity 589 tons

Length 36.6 metres (120 feet), beam 10.3 metres (33 feet 9 inches)

Built by James Bonner and James Horsburgh at Calcutta, India in 18l3

Rigged as a fully rigged ship

Catherine Manning's picture
Catherine Manning says:

I believe it is Stephanie, the local council should be able to tell you more.

Stephenie Szpunar's picture
Stephenie Szpunar says:

There is a street in Edwardstown named HMS Buffalo. I'd assume the street is named after the ship.

Catherine Manning's picture
Catherine Manning says:

Hi again Gary,
In 1936 'The Advertiser' published instructions for making a model of the Buffalo. You can access these via the National Library of Australia Trove site, this link is for the first in a series of instructions http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48160696

Catherine Manning's picture
Catherine Manning says:

As far as I'm aware no original plans remain Gary, but I'm checking with the South Australian Maritime Museum about reconstructed plans, they may know where you can find something. Several models have been made previously, and there is one on display at the Migration Museum (82 Kintore Ave, Adelaide) currently if you are interested in going in to have a look.

Gary Lewis's picture
Gary Lewis says:

Hi l am building a model of the Buffalo and l want to know if there are any detailed plans of the ship, if there are how do l go about obtaining them.

Yours Gary

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References: 

History Trust of South Australia, 'James Hurtle Fisher', Bound for South Australia, http://boundforsouthaustralia.com.au/journey-content/buffalo.html, accessed 12 June 2018.