On the 20th May 1819,
155 male convicts were received from the brig Atlas onto
the Daphne convict ship
for transportation to New South Wales. They were issued with
bedding and two pairs of shoes each. The following day 25 more
prisoners were received from Cork, taking the total to 180
men. The Guard consisted of 30 men from the 46th and 67th
regiments under command of Captain Brooks of the 48th.
The Daphne was the next convict ship to leave
Ireland bound for New South Wales after the
departure of the
just three days previously. The
Daphne departed Cork on 28 May 1819,
touched at Teneriffe and arrived in Port
21st September 1819..
Lancelot Armstrong kept a Medical Journal from
20 May 1819 to 28 September 1819. He recorded in great
detail, the various illnesses each man suffered. He was kept
busy the entire voyage with prisoners suffering catarrh,
chest pains, diarrhoea, and general debility, however for all
the illness on board, at the end of the voyage he had lost
only two convicts; both had been ill on embarkation. At
the start of the voyage orders were drawn up and read to the
prisoners from time to time relating to good order and
cleanliness. Also remarks on the importance of strict
observance of religious duties in the ‘reformation of
Lemon juice and sugar was issued to the men on 24 June and
and surgeon Armstrong recorded that the temperature was 82
degrees Fahrenheit between decks.
30th June 1819 at 10 pm, the Daphne crossed the
equator and soon afterwards they were experiencing heavy
seas. The decks and hospital became wet from the strong
breezes and the frequent squalls. They attempted to keep the
hospital dry by swabbing and keeping a stove with clear
burning coals going all day long. The bad weather continued
for several days. They also had to contend with badly
constructed water closets which were constantly blocking
because of the small diameter of the lead pipes which were
only about 3/4 inch. Already the piping had been taken apart
three times to unblock it.
During July there had been reports of a conspiracy to take
the ship but precautions were taken and nothing came of it;
there was no need for corporal punishment.
Convict John Burns had been unwell for many days. He was
carefully cared for by surgeon Armstrong, however died on the
2nd August. The surgeon recorded that Burns had been in low
spirits and despondent since leaving his family and wife and
three small children.
the 14 September 1819 they passed King Island at the
entrance of Bass Strait and by the 19 September 1819, were
running along the coast with Cape Dromedary in sight. Two
days later they had arrived at Port Jackson. The pilot came
on board on the night of the 21st September 1819 and
because of contrary winds the ship was anchored inside the
entrance to the harbour. The following day they came into
The harbour allowance of rations were issued out to the
prisoners on 23 September and prisoners began to improve a
little. The decks were cleaned once more and on the 24th
September at 10am Colonial Secretary Mr. Campbell came on
board to muster the prisoners. He expressed his approval of
their treatment based on their answers to his questions.
No more fresh meat and vegetables were sent on board until
the day before the prisoners were due to disembark, so the
sea allowance of salt beef, flour etc was issued as usual.
The day before they disembarked, fresh beef arrived and the
surgeon had it boiled up to give to the men the following
morning on disembarkation. They were issued with new clothes
by the Commissary and at daylight on 28 September were
landed. One prisoner John Sweeny was sent straight to the
The prisoners are marched into the yard of the gaol at
Sydney, where they are arranged in two lines for the
inspection of the governor; they are permitted to bring
with them the bedding that they have used on board the
transport ship, and such articles of clothing and
effects as they may have brought with them. The captain
of the transport, the surgeon superintendent, the chief
engineer, and the superintendent of convicts, accompany
the governor in his inspection; and the superintendent,
as he proceeds, repeats aloud from a distribution list,
previously prepared, the destination that has been
given to the several convicts, either by the chief
engineer for the use of government, or by the
applications of individuals signified to the
magistrates of the different districts, or to the
superintendent himself. In this part of the inspection,
the governor receives the report of the captain and
superintendent respecting the good or bad conduct of
any individuals during the passage, and promises to
attend to their recommendations; he rarely alters the
destination of the convicts, made by the
superintendent, but he sometimes desires that
particular descriptions of men may be assigned to
individuals, whose applications more immediately occur
to him. "These orders are signified to the
superintendent and chief engineer; and when the
governor has finished the inspection, he addresses the
convicts in an audible tone, commencing his address
with an inquiry, whether they have any Address of the
complaints to make, whether their treatment during the
passage has been humane, and whether they have had
their proper allowance of provisions. If any complaint
is signified, the name of the individual is taken down,
and the inquiry is referred to the police magistrates;
but, if the convicts are silent, or if they declare
generally that they are satisfied, the governor
proceeds in his address. He expresses his hope that the
change which has been effected in their situation, will
lead to a change in their conduct; that they will
become new men ; and he explicitly informs them that as
no reference will be had to the past, their future
conduct in their respective situations will alone
entitle them to reward or indulgence.
recorded that they were as fine and healthy set of men as
ever entered the Port. They gave a never failing testimony of
their kind and humane treatment during a tedious voyage,
rendered the more dangerous by a perpetual change of
climate.' Two children, a boy and a girl, were born to wives
of soldiers of the military detachment.
The Dick was the next convict ship to
leave England for New South Wales after the departure of the
Prince of Orange
in October 1820. The Dick departed
England on 4th November 1820.
The Guard consisted of a detachment of 24th regiment., under orders of Lieut.
Isaacson of 47th regiment.
by the surgeon included Private Edward Newell and Corporal Potter.
Mrs Huff and
Robert Armstrong kept a
on the voyage of the D
ick from 1st September 1820 to
15 March 1821.
Many of the adult prisoners who had been held on the Justitia
Hulk were embarked on 20th September 1820.
Robert Armstrong was treating them for
excoriation where their irons had rubbed and minor ailments such as
headache and loss of appetite soon after they arrived on the vessel.
There were about fifteen prisoners under the age of sixteen, some
of whom were held on the Retribution hulk and embarked on the
Dick on the 6th October.
The surgeon treated the older convicts kindly......Several of the
prisoners were considerably advanced in years and whose health seemed
impaired by their confinement to salt provisions have at different times
been victualled in the Hospital twice a day and given substitutes for
the salted food. By a general diet and a glass of wine occasionally
their complaints generally disappeared in a few days when they returned
to their own messes. Samuel Jackson (60) William Keeley (50),
Jonathon Little (64), Robert Wenman (50) were the oldest prisoners on
Illnesses treated by the surgeon during the voyage included Catarrhs,
Tinea Capitis, Tonsillitis, Debility,
Erysipelas, Nephritis, Cystitis, Mania, rheumatism, fevers and
scurvy. There were also six accidents.
Convicts treated during the voyage
included John Denne, Samuel Jack
son, Daniel Woodhall, Joseph Thompson,
John Griffiths, Thomas Tonks, Benjamin Wellington, John Foran, Charles
Franter, William Bond, Edward Bailey, John Hammond, Michael Robins, Adam
Hulme, Thomas Bexon, Joseph Finch, William Bradley, John Scothern, James
Hutchings, Michael Sullivan, William Green, Daniel Smeeton, Joseph
Goddard, Thomas Parrott, John Williams and John Ford
The Dick arrived in Port Jackson on
12 March 1821
with 140 male prisoners in good health, none having died on the passage out.
Governor Macquarie often inspected the prisoners who arrived on various
vessels and the Sydney Gazette reported that
on Thursday 15th March, His Excellency the Governor inspected the
prisoners. Their appearance was a sufficient testimony, independent of their
grateful acknowledgements of the kindness and humanity with which they had been
treated on the voyage. His Excellency was pleased to direct their distribution
in the usual manner.
prisoners of the Dick were the last to be inspected by Governor
Macquarie. Until Governor Macquarie's departure from the colony in November
1821, Lieut-Colonel Erskine undertook these duties.
There were a couple of incidences mentioned in the
newspapers while the Dick lay in harbour - the first a serious
accident....Some guns were being discharged on board, one of which hung fire;
an unfortunate man was directed to sponge it, in consequence; when, lamentable
to relate, the gun went off, taking with it the poor man's left arm, and part of
his right side. He was immediately conveyed to the General Hospital. In May
the Dick was lying in the stream and was hailed by two men alongside who
declared themselves to be almost drowning. A boat was sent to their assistance
and they were found to be two prisoners who had swam from Dawes' Point with the
intention of secreting themselves on board to escape from the Colony. They were
soon lodged in custody and returned to shore.
When the Dick departed the colony bound for
England Robert Armstrong returned on her. Also on the return voyage were William
Hunibell, First Officer; Andrew Thompson, Second Officer; Henry Rogers, Third
Robert Armstrong was also employed as surgeon on the convict
was moored at the Cove of Cork on Monday 28th
February when the convict ship
arrived there, however did not depart Cork until almost a month after
kept a Medical Journal from 1
March to 29 September 1820. Passengers on the Dorothy
included Mr. and Mrs. (George) Espie and three children and Mrs. Holdsworth.
The Caledonian Mercury reported in February 1817 that
several transport ships were assembled at Cork and were to convey the
48th regiment to New South Wales to relieve the 46th. They were to sail
in company of convict ships for the same destination. (1) The
military guard on the
Dorothy consisted of
a detachment of 48th regiment under command of Lieutenant Holdsworth of
the 82nd regiment. Lieutenant Holdsworth and
family were en route to Mauritius to join his regiment.
Other convict ships bringing
detachments of the 48th regiment included the
Larkins,Lady Castlereagh, Agamemnon,
On 20th April at the Cove of Cork,
the prisoners for transportation to
New South Wales began to arrive at the vessel.
There were thirty men that first day and over the next five days
another 160 men were received on board, the last being six men on the
25th April, five of whom were Ribbonmen.
In the beginning of May, the prisoners were issued with trousers and
made smart for their inspection by Admiral Sir Josiah Rowley and the
Flag Captain who boarded the vessel on 2nd May. Dr. Trevor mustered
the prisoners and dismissed the ship from demurrage at 9pm on the 4th
May and they dropped down the harbour with a fair wind. The following
5th May 1820,
at 11am they weighed anchor and made sail out of the harbour.
Before long the weather became rough, the ship wet and the prisoners
suffered sea sickness. A week later and they still could not bring
their beds on deck nor clean the prisons as the ship was wet all over.
On the evening of the 29th May they made the Cape Verde islands and
the following day the men both prisoners and guard were served with
lime juice and sugar. A school had been established and the surgeon
was extremely pleased with the progress of the scholars.
The weather improved as the ship sailed south and the prisoners were
all in good health by 12th June, however all was not well and two
prisoners received flogging for outrageous conduct and by the 14th
June a plan of mutiny was uncovered.
The plan being to seize the ship on Sunday afternoon, when they were
all on deck for divine worship, and sail to South America. At half
past eight the floggings began with Cornelius Kenny who received 2
dozen and 2 lashes, before he related the whole plot and the other
perpetrators. The rest of the conspirators being identified were
punished as follows; John McCauliff, 36 lashes; James Duffy, 24
lashes; John Lynch, 50 lashes; Jonathan Crumin, 12 lashes; Robert
O'Brien, 24 lashes; John Tully, 24 lashes; John Johnston, 30 lashes;
and William Purcell, 6 lashes.
The Dorothy came into sight of Rio de Janeiro on 25th June and
anchored in the harbour on 29th June. The weather was fine and the
prisoners were permitted on deck in divisions to wash their clothes.
They remained at Rio until about 6th July.
On the 18th September, the surgeon reported that they were abreast of
Jervis Bay and the following day the
19th September 1820, they
were off Port Jackson in boisterous weather with the ship wet all over
again. They arrived in Port Jackson at 5pm, received the pilot on
board and anchored in Sydney Cove. By the 20th September they were
lying off Farm Cove. It was a mild fine day and the prisoners were
generally in good health when the vessel came to anchor at Farm Cove
On 25th September the prisoners were instructed to clean the prisons
and themselves before breakfast and at 9am the Governor's Secretary
came on board to inspect the prisoners. The indents include
information such as name, when and where convicted, sentence, native
place, calling and physical description. There is no indication in the
indents as to where the prisoners were assigned on arrival. The
youngest two prisoners were Peter Reilly age 14 and John Gaynor age
The prisoners of the Dorothy were
landed together with those of the Agamemnon on Friday morning
29th September, and inspected by his Excellency Governor Macquarie
prior to being distributed to government service or various settlers
in the districts of Evan, Airds, Liverpool and Emu Plains.
Robert Espie was also surgeon on the convict ships
Dromedary was built at Bombay in 1799 as the Bombay 'country
ship' Sha(w) Kai Kusseroo. She was purchased by Royal Navy in
India in 1805 for use as a frigate and re-named H.M.S. Howe.
In 1808 she was re-named H.M.S. Dromedary and used as a naval storeship.
Lachlan and Elizabeth Macquarie
and the 73rd regiment arrived in New South Wales on
the Dromedary in
Governor Macquarie remarked in his journal in 1820 that Mr. Shepperd Gunner & Mr. Drake Boatswain, who had been on the
Dromedary in 1809 were still on board.
The Dromedary was the next vessel to leave
England for New South Wales after the departure of the
Recovery in July 1819. The
Dromedary departed England on 11th September 1819.
The Guard consisted of 1 Ensign & 57 Soldiers of
the 69th. & 84th. Regiments being Commanded by Capt. Richard Alexander
Cruise of the 84th. Richard Cruise later published a Journal entitled
Journal of Ten Months Residence in New Zealand........
To diminish the expense
attendant upon the transportation of convicts, as well as to afford to
those exiles the comforts of a very large ship during their long voyage
to the place of their banishment, it was determined to try the
experiment of sending a considerable number of them to New South Wales
in one of His Majesty's vessels; and the Dromedary store ship (formerly
the Howe frigate) was selected and fitted up at Deptford for this
service. After she should have landed the convicts at New South Wales,
the Dromedary was directed to proceed to New Zealand, there to endeavour
to get a cargo of those very large trees or spars, known to grow in that
country, and in the event of not being successful, to go back to New
Holland, and when laden with what useful timber she could procure in the
colony, to return to England. The immense spars requisite for making the
topmasts of the larger classes of ships in the navy, had become so
extravagant in price, and so scarce, in Europe, that it was necessary to
look for them elsewhere.—Captain Cook had mentioned in his voyages that
he thought the timber he had seen in New Zealand, if light enough, would
make the finest masts for ships in the world; persons who subsequently
visited this island had confirmed his opinion, and a small spar which
was brought from thence to England by the Catherine whale ship, was much
approved of, and purchased for a foretop-gallant-mast for the Dromedary.
It was well tried during its return to its native country, and proved
itself to be, in seamen's phrase, a stick of first rate quality.
It may be proper here to observe, that
two kinds of trees are known in New Zealand, which, from the
circumstance of their growing to an immense height without a branch, are
considered fit for masts of large ships: the one is called by the
natives Kaikaterre, the other Cowry or Cowdy. The Kaikaterre is found in
low swampyb ground, frequently on the banks of rivers, and is on that
account easy to procure; it produces a leaf like the yew and a red
berry. The Cowry, to which the inhabitants of the island give a decided
preference, grows on dry ground, and often on the tops of the highest
hills; its leaf, though considerably larger, is not unlike that of our
box tree; it produces a cone, and yields abundance of rosin. Some of the
Cowry trees which we measured rose one hundred feet, from the ground
without a single branch, and afterwards headed almost as umbrageously as
the lime; the stems of others not so tall, gave circumference of forty
The Cowry was the timber which the
Dromedary was directed, if possible, to bring home, and as it is
requisite that every spar fit to make a topmast for the larger ships of
the navy, should be from seventy-four to eighty-four feet long, from
twenty-one to twenty-three inches in diameter, and perfectly straight,
the success of the attempt in a great measure depended upon the
proximity of the trees to the water's edge, and also in no small degree
upon the friendly disposition of the natives. The fitting up of the
Dromedary being accomplished, and her number of hands completed, a guard
of soldiers, consisting of detachments of the 69th and 84th regiments,
amounting to about sixty men, embarked on board of her on the 9th Aug.
1819. On the 19th of the same month she dropped down to the Nore, where
she took in 200 convicts from the Sheerness hulks; and on arriving at
Spithead 169 more were sent on board from Portsmouth, making a total of
369 male convicts. On the evening of the 11th Sept 1819, we commenced
our voyage, and without any incident that could be considered at all
uncommon in so long a navigation, made the South Cape of Van Diemen's
Land on the 9th Jan. 1820.
On Friday 21st January 347 male
prisoners were landed. Seventy of the men were landed at Kangaroo Point,
where they were inspected by His Honor the Lieutenant Governor at 6
o'clock, and immediately proceeded to Port Dalrymple. The remainder were
afterwards landed and inspected in town; and nearly the whole were
assigned to the service of settlers. The convicts were reported to be in
a healthy, clean and orderly state.
On the following day we anchored in
the river Derwent, and off the Settlement of Hobart's
town. Here the convicts were disembarked, with the
exception of a few individuals who were destined to go
to Port Jackson.
sailed for Port Jackson on 22nd January taking with her the same
passengers who came on her from England, and including the widow of the
Assistant Surgeon Hamilton of the 48th Regiment who had recently
died after a fall from his horse in Hobart. The
arrived in Port Jackson on
28 January 1820
during a period of extremely hot, dry weather. Twenty two
male prisoners were landed being the residue of the men who were landed
at the Derwent.
The crew having been refreshed, while
the ship was refitted, and having got on board twelve
bullocks and two timber carriages, we sailed for New
Zealand on the 15th Feb. attended by the Colonial
schooner, Prince Regent (of about 30 or 40 tons), Mr.
Kent, commander, who was directed by the Governor of New
South Wales to give us any assistance we might require.
The wind was at S.E. and light, and the thermometer
stood at 71 °. To facilitate the object of the
Dromedary's present service, we were accompanied by the
Rev. S. Marsden, principal chaplain to the colony of New
South Wales, who had established some missionaries in
New Zealand, and who, from having frequently visited
that Island, was considered popular among its
inhabitants. He brought on board nine New Zealanders,
who were all either chiefs, or the sons of people of
that rank. They had been living with him at Parramatta.
for the voyage from Van Diemen's Land to Port Jackson consisted of a detachment of the 84th regiment
under the command of Captain Cruise and a detachment of
the 69th commanded by Ensign Crae, which was to join the regiment in
India. Passengers included Lieut. Charles McArthur
and retired army officer Mr. William Gordon Ward and wife
Susannah Matilda Ward.
William Ward died soon after arrival in Port
This was George Fairfowl's second voyage as surgeon superintendent on a
convict ship, the first being on the
A surgeon's journal for this voyage has not survived however George Fairfowl's attitudes towards
and care of prisoners can be assumed from later journals as he was also surgeon on
the convict ships, Woodman in
Royal Charlotte in
in 1832 and the
The Dromedary returned to Sydney on 20 December
1820 and departed for England on 14 February 1821 carrying Commissioner
J. T. Bigge and Secretary Thomas Hobbs Scott. Unbeknownst to everyone on
board, there were also two stowaways on this return voyage to England.
Sydney Gazette reported details of their escape....Portsmouth July 7
(1821).-The Dromedary, store-ship, Mr. R. Skinner, master, arrived
here on Tuesday (2d instant), from New Zealand and Port Jackson, with
masts, &c. in want of water, after a passage of 140 days. Whilst laying
in the river off Port Jackson, on the 10th of February, William White
and Peter Penny, two convicts who had been transported for felony, took
possession of a boat, and rowed towards the ship, about twelve o'clock
at. night ; and it being very dark, succeeded in getting on board into
the hold undiscovered. They procured a little water the second day, but
remained eight days without food, when they worked their way into the
bread room, and took just enough to sustain life. In this situation they
continued for seventeen weeks and three days, undergoing the greatest
hardships, when one of them was observed by a soldier, and shortly after
both were discovered, and reported to the Captain of the ship; when
brought on deck, they were nearly blind from so long a confinement in
the hold. Their intention was to have got on shore at Rio Janeiro, at
which place they expected the ship would have touched. On their arrival
in the Sound, they were placed under confinement; and having been
examined before the Magistrates, were yesterday (Friday 6th instant)
committed to Exeter, to take their trial for returning from
transportation before the expiration of their sentence. (William
White alias Thomas Long first arrived in the colony on the
General Stewart in 1818 and Peter Penneys arrived on the
Tottenham. They were both re-transported on the
Asia in 1822 and sent immediately to Port Macquarie where
Penneys was employed as a shipwright)
The Dromedary was stationed at Bermuda in the 1830's.
From Wikipedia......The Dromedary remained in the same place for
several decades with the result that where she lay became a midden. In
1982 the Bermudian government gave permission for divers to conduct an
underwater archaeological dig at the site. The dig recovered a large
collection of 19th-century material directly associated with convict
life on the hulks. The archaeologists recovered thousands of artefacts
including whale oil lamps, pewter mugs, engraved spoons, clay pipes,
bottles, buttons, seals, coins, trinkets, charms, rings, beads, gaming
pieces, religious items, knife handles and gaming boards.
18 guns, men 39. Owned by Daniel Bennett
Many convicts bound for New
South Wales on the Duke of Portland were embarked from
the Captivity Hulk on 2nd January 1807. The following
September an inspection took place on the Captivity and
the following report illustrates what everyday life on the
Captivity was like for the prisoners in 1807
Henry Down is appointed Chaplain with a Salary of 150/. per
annum. The duty, of Prayers and Sermon, is performed every
Sunday on board the Captivity; and upon alternate Sundays, on
board the Laurel, at Portsmouth, and the Portland Hulk, in
Langston Harbour. The robust and healthy Prisoners belonging
to the Captivity, are employed very usefully in the
Dock-Yards; and the industrious receive the Dock allowance of
one biscuit, a pint of small beer, and a half-penny worth of
tobacco daily. The cripples and convalescents spin oakum, and
cut wood, which is sold in parcels to the ships of war. Those
who suffer under ruptures are now supplied with trusses, upon
application made to the Surgeon, whose stipend is 5s. 6d. per
day, and medicines found as required. He visits the Hulks
every day, and appears attentive to his duty. Sore legs
continue to be the prevalent disorder on board, and I saw six
men in the Captivity, who were disabled in consequence. There
is no ground allotted for the growth of vegetables to this
ship; but on every meat-day one shilling's worth of cabbages
are cut into small pieces, and boiled with the beef. The
clothing is uniform. Every man has a new jacket, with a
waistcoat, breeches, and handkerchief, twice a year; new
stockings, and coarse linen shirt four times a year; clean
linen once a week; and is twice a week shaved. The
provisions appeared good in quality: With respect to quantity,
two of the Convicts are assigned by the rest, to see that
justice is done them; and proper scales, weights, and
measures, are provided for their use. The allowance is then
delivered to the two Convict-cooks. The number detained on
board the Captivity, 18th Sept. 1807, was 438. Of these, 196
slept on the lower deck; 162 on the middle deck; and on the
upper deck, 44. To prevent robbery, or the breaking open
of each other's boxes in the night, lamps are kept burning;
and those accredited Convicts who are employed to do Ship
duty, perform that of watchmen, by appointment, during the
night: five are set to each ward or deck, and relieve each
other every two hours. These, so entrusted, have only a light
iron or ring to one leg. All the Convicts sleep in hammocks;
those invalids only excepted, who are put on board the
Hospital ship; and in fine weather the bedding of all is
brought upon the upper deck to air. I found every port-hole
open. The Officers and Crew, consisted of the Captain, and
three Mates, the Boatswain, Steward, and twenty-seven common
men. A book is kept, and a regular entry made of daily
occurrences. The punishment for slight offences on shore, is a
stoppage of the dock-allowance; and on board, by additional
irons. Those who attempt an escape, receive one, two, or three
dozen lashes, inflicted in presence of
the other Convicts, and of the Surgeon. From the 1st of
January 1807, to the 18th of September, 36 had their dock
allowance stopped; 39 had additional irons; and 12 were
flogged, according to their demerits.
Report of the Hulks at Portsmouth
The Duke of Portland
departed England in company with the Young William
store ship and an India fleet and under convoy of the Antelope
on 19th February 1807. They parted when the Duke of
Portland made for Rio de Janeiro.
The Duke of
Portland arrived at Port Jackson twenty days after the Young
William on Sunday
27 July 1807
with 189 prisoners.
Three prisoners died on the passage out and two others after arrival.
She brought a small quantity of sugar and tobacco.
Surgeon Barr is mentioned in the correspondence of
Colonial Surgeon Jamison to Viscount Castlereagh in 1807:
........I further beg leave to represent that the colony is
greatly distressed for want of assistant surgeons. I have been
under the necessity of employing a Mr. Daniel McCallam to
assist me in the discharge of my duty at the General Hospital,
where being, since Mr. Wentworth's suspension, only one
established assistant surgeon in the colony, who is doing duty
at Parramatta. I applied to Mr. Cleghorn and Mr. Barr, who
came out surgeons of the transport ships Sydney Cove and
of Portland, but neither of them would remain. They appeared
disgusted with the treatment medical gentlemen meet with in
this remote settlement, and the salary is inadequate to their
maintenance, Government allowing only five shillings per day
to the junior assistant surgeons. They really cannot exist on
that pittance (HR NSW 6 p329.
Two of the seamen of the Duke of Portland
were mentioned in the press in August - Edward Jones was
charged with stealing tobacco and was remanded for further
questioning and Erasmus Peters was charged with robbery of a
quantity of wearing apparel on board the vessel...... The
character given of him was by no means calculated to produce a
favourable sentiment; and as the evidence admitted left no
doubt he was sentenced to 50 lashes and to be returned to his
ship with instructions never to be permitted on shore again in
The Duke of Portland departed Port Jackson bound for England
on 10 November 1807.
Notes and Links:
Convict David Dickinson arrived on the Duke of
Portland. He died in August 1807 and was buried in the
Old Sydney Burial Ground
passengers arriving on the Duke of Portland mentioned in the Colonial Secretary's Index include
- John Hansen and James Holland.
Captain William Walmsley. Surgeon Superintendent
The convicts to be transported on the
had come from different counties in England and Scotland
including Stafford, Gloucester, Manchester, Liverpool,
Bedford, Warwick, Edinburgh and Middlesex. Most had been held on prison Hulks before being embarked
on the ship. The Dunvegan Castle was the last convict ship
to transport prisoners before the new Metropolitan Police Force introduced
by Sir Robert Peel was established. Before September 1829 the watchmen,
familiarly called "Charlies," who guarded the streets of
London, were often incompetent and feeble old men, totally
unfitted for their duties. (1)
was Robert Dunn's second voyage as surgeon superintendent
on a convict ship. He was appointed to the
Castle on the 8th of September 1829 and the military
guard were embarked on the 11th. He rejected one of the
military men and also inspected the ships crew in order to
prevent any possibility of contagions or infectious
diseases being introduced into the ship as had been the
case in his last voyage, the
The Guard consisted of
soldiers of the 17th, 44th, 27th & 63rd regiments., under
orders from Lieut.
John Grey. Six women and 12 children accompanied the
military guard. Passengers included
Mrs. Grey and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Lipscome Kentish, and
of the convicts were embarked at Woolwich on the 16th and
on the 21st September at Sheerness. One of the convicts
died that same evening.
was the next convict ship to leave England for New South
Wales after the departure of the
in August 1829. The
departed from Sheerness on 30 September 1829.
weather during September was cold for the season and
accompanied with a damp atmosphere and frequent showers
and they did not clear the Channel until the 20th October 1829.
During October the weather remained
cold with constant westerly gales however the prisoners
remained healthy at this time except for a few slight
cases of Catarrhal.
During this time convict William Harris almost had his ear
torn off when a cask landed on his head on the 5th October.
In the months of November and December they experienced
nothing but light winds and hot sultry weather and were
nearly all that time inside the tropics. From light
baffling winds they did not pass the Cape of Good Hope
till the 4th of January. When they got into high southern
latitudes where heavy gales and damp weather could be
expected they experienced only light and contrary winds so
that instead of making the passage from the Cape to Sydney
in six weeks they took eleven weeks to reach Van Diemen's
Land. The medical comforts were expended by this time and
water was running out, so they called at Hobart Town on
13th March and remained there eleven days.
Four convicts had died on the passage or in the hospital
at Hobart from scurvy - Isaac Wilson 1 March, William Caley 7 March, Thomas Sanson 9 March, George Dunn
on 10 March.
The remaining convicts recovered with fresh beef and
vegetables in that time and the ship resumed her voyage to
Robert Dunn's medical
journal was kept from 8 September 1829 to 10 April 1830.
cannot conclude this remarks without stating for the
information of your Honourable Board that the lemon juice
was sent on board in casks instead of bottles. This
consequence was that it was so thick that it had the
appearance of fine soup than any thing else I could
compare it to and from this circumstance the convicts
instead of drinking it with that avidity formerly, loathed
it. It was only by standing by that I got them to drink
it. I don't consider that it had that anti-scorbutic
effect I have often witnessed it to have. Two cases sent
on board in bottles which I kept for the use of the
hospital and worst cases of scurvy I found it not only
checked the disease but many got well under its influence.
I mixed it with nectar and I cannot say enough in praise
of this last valuable medicine in that loathsome disease.
arrived in Port Jackson via Hobart on
30 March 1830
with 175 male prisoners. The voyage had taken 181 days.
The prisoners were mustered on board by the Colonial
Secretary on 1st April. A total of five had died on the
voyage out. The convict indents include such information
as name, age, education, religion, marital status, family,
offence, sentence, native place, date and place of trial,
former convictions, physical descriptions and where and to
whom the convicts were assigned. There is also occasional
information regarding colonial crimes, deaths and pardons.
Dunvegan Castle was to depart Sydney for London with various
goods in August.
The Dunvegan Castle departed London for
Dublin on 24 May 1832. In Dublin on 30th June two hundred male
prisoners were embarked. The convicts came from different districts in
Ireland including Queens Co., Dublin, Cavan, Meath, Louth and Kildare.
They were held in county prisons before being transferred to the hulk
to await transportation.
In May 1832 after complaints were made to the
Inspectors-General of prisons as to the state in which prisoners were
transmitted from the county gaols to the hulks,
new orders were issued regarding the transfer of prisoners and it
was expected that they would be free of disease and fit to embark and
that they would be clean, adequately clothed with their hair cut
close. There would be no transfers on Sundays, no spirits or tobacco
would be allowed on the road and knives and other dangerous articles
were taken from them. They were to be strictly watched as to their
behaviour at the various gaols and stopovers on the journey.
Their crimes ranged from various forms of
stealing and robbery to assault and murder. There were several who
were Whiteboys convicted of firearms offences. There were also some
very young boys on this voyage; James Murphy and Thomas Norton were
only 11 years of age. Another two were 12 years old; seven were 13
years old; seven were 14 years old; eight were 15 years old; nine were
16 years old; and six were 17 years of age. Also on board was twelve
year old Thomas Pike a soldier's boy who was treated by the surgeon in
The Dunvegan Castle was the next vessel leaving
Ireland for New South Wales after the
Eliza departed on the 10th May 1832. The
departed Dublin on 1st July 1832.
Patrick McTernan kept a Medical Journal from 22
May 1832 to 24 June 1833. He began treating prisoners while the vessel
still lay in Kingstown Harbour. In the following months he treated them
for ailments such as catarrh, constipation, nausea and diarrhoea.
There was an outbreak of mouth ulcers and also in July an outbreak of
The Guard consisted of 31 rank and file of the
4th regiment, accompanied by 5 women and 7 children under orders of
Lieutenant Thomas Faunce of the 4th Regiment who was a brother of
Alured Tasker Faunce. Paymaster Kensapp of the 4th regiment
with his family - Mrs. Kensapp, Miss Kensapp, Miss Julia Kensapp and
Mr. Edward Kensapp travelled as cabin passengers. Members of the guard
included Sergeant Pike and his family, Sergeant Scott and family and
Private William Aulchin. Sergeant Scott's wife miscarried during the
voyage and was cared for by the surgeon for several days. Private
Thomas Cutts was treated by the surgeon in July.
The Dunvegan Castle arrived in Port Jackson on
16 October 1832 a voyage of 107 days. A Muster was held on
board by the Colonial Secretary on 28th October 1832. The convict
indents include such information as name, age, education, religion,
marital status, family, native place, trade, offence, where and when
tried, sentence, former convictions, physical description and
occasional information such as colonial crimes, deaths and pardons.
About fifty three men who arrived on the
Dunvegan Castle have been identified residing in the Hunter Valley
region in the following years. Some of them were assigned to work for
Australian Agricultural Company and may have been sent to
Newcastle to work in the newly acquired
Coal Mines or perhaps to one of the company sheep stations in the
wild untamed northern regions of the colony. Select
HERE to find out more about Dunvegan Castle convicts sent to the
Patrick McTernan was also employed as surgeon on
the convict ships
Mariner in 1827, the Manlius to Van Diemen's Land in 1828 and the
Katherine Stewart Forbes in 1830.
Henry Smith who had been a merchant's clerk in
Dublin and was employed as a clerk by the Superintendent of Convicts
in Sydney became a bushranger after absconding from the Phoenix Hulk
in 1834. He was shot and killed by constables and his accomplices were
Bound For Botany Bay:
Narrative of a voyage in 1798 Aboard the Death Ship Hillsborough -
A Narrative of a Voyage to New South Wales, in the year 1816, in the
ship Mariner, describing the Nature of the Accommodations, Stores,
Diet &c., together with an account of the Medical Treatment &c." by
John Haslam in John Croaker: convict Embezzler: John Booker and
Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia,
Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1825