Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Almorah (3) - 1824

Embarked: 109 women
Voyage: 136 days
Deaths 1
Surgeon's Journal - yes
Previous vessel: Prince Regent arrived 15 July 1824
Next vessel: Mangles arrived 27 October 1824
Master George Hay Boyd
Surgeon Superintendent Morgan Price
Second Officer: Thomas Hartley
Follow the Female Convict Ship Trail
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Prisoners of the Almorah identified in the Hunter Valley region

Almorah was built at Selby in 1817[1]. This was the last of three voyages bringing convicts to New South Wales, the others being in 1817 and 1820.

Surgeon Morgan Price

Morgan Price kept a Medical Journal from 17 March to 26 August 1824.


The convicts were received from the depot at Cork, along with 15 free women and 45 children; some of the prisoners were pregnant and others with children in arms. One prisoner was disembarked before sailing. Until 6th April 1824, about 15 children suffered with the measles. The prison was kept clean and well ventilated by charcoal fires in different parts of the prison. Every day the prisoners, free women and children were on deck until six o'clock in the evening. [2]


Almorah weighed anchor on 6th April 1824. By the 7th April nearly all the females both prisoners and free were ill with sea sickness and there continued outbreaks of measles. The weather was cold and the seas heavy and the women were unable to go on deck. Three days later Dr. Price reported that many of the women were suffering from hysteria. On the 16th April he reported that prisoners, free women and children were continually retching.[2]

Difficulties of the Voyage

Morgan Price was well experienced as a Surgeon Superintendent having previously served on the Martha in 1818 and the Brampton in 1823, both of which carried male prisoners. While his voyage on the Brampton was made tiresome by an abusive and argumentative Captain, on this voyage of the Almorah his difficulties arose from the refractory females on board. He remarked that from time to time many of the prisoners had to be handcuffed for fighting and abusive language and some of the free women were nearly as bad and he adopted the same plan to them.

As in his previous voyages, he ensured a school was established on board which the children attended. The women were employed in knitting stockings and sewing when they were well enough, however they continued to quarrel amongst themselves, particularly the free women. A gown was issued to each of the prisoners on 30th April.

Port Jackson

Almorah arrived in Port Jackson on 20 August 1824 after a voyage of 136 days.

Convict Muster

On Monday 23rd August a muster was held on board by the Colonial Secretary Frederick Goulburn. One prisoner and one child had died on the voyage out. The convict indents include name, trade or calling, when and where tried, sentence, age, native place and physical description. There is also occasional information about family members, colonial crimes and death. There is no indication in the indents as to where the women were assigned on arrival.

Parramatta Female Factory

Parramatta Female Factory

On 25 August, five days after arriving, the prisoners were transferred to the Parramatta Female Factory with the accompanying (curious!) letter addressed to the Superintendent of the Female Factory, Mrs. Fulloon:


Until the Almorah quits Port Jackson, I request you not to assign from the Factory the undermentioned Convicts: Bridget Smith, Ellen Kenna, Eliza Condran, Mary Harvey, Margaret Kelly, Eleanor Carroll, Bridget Inward(?), Johanna Gorman, Mary Moore, Margaret Boyle, Jane Armstrong, Ann Bedford, Margaret Means, Eliza French, Ann Walsh and Margaret May. I am Madam Your Obedient Servant F Goulburn

Free Women Disembarked

The free women and children were not ordered to disembark until 1st September when the surgeon received correspondence from the Colonial Secretary clearing them to land.

Convicts of the Almorah identified in the Hunter Valley region -

Bourke, Penelope
Penelope Burke was 20 when she was tried in Galway in 1823 and sentenced to transportation for life for aiding and assisting in an attempted rape. She was sent to the Female Factory at Parramatta two years after arrival after being charged with being repeatedly drunk. She was carried in a state of drunkenness to the watchhouse and sentenced to two months in the 3rd Class of the Female Factory. In July 1832 she was assigned to William Ogilvie at Merton. Here she met John Dorkins who arrived on the Asia in 1825 and was employed as a Constable at Merton. They were married in August 1832. John Dorkins was described as a farmer of Wylies Flat in 1847. Penelope died at Singleton in 1872.

Carroll, Bridget
Age 25. Occupation knitter. Tried at Limerick 26 July 1823. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. Had 1 child. Husband in Co. Limerick. Very well behaved on the voyage out

Delaney, Margaret
Age 25. Occupation House maid. Sentenced to 7 years transportation in Cork in 1823

Donnley, Catherine
Catherine Donnelly (Donnley) (Innis), aged 29 was sentenced to 7 years transportation in Dublin in 1823.

Driscoll, Mary
Mary Driscoll was tried in Dublin in 1824 and sentenced to 7 years transportation. In 1827 at Newcastle she married Martin Herring who had arrived on the Elizabeth in 1816. In the 1828 Census they were employed by Joseph Bull at Patterson's Plains and by 1829 Martin was employed as a constable at Patrick Plains. He was assigned a convict soldier while residing at Dulwich in 1834.

Fitzgerald, Mary
Age 28. Occupation washes and makes butter. Native place Limerick. Tried at Kilkenny May 1823. Very quiet on the voyage out

Foley, Mary
Sent to Newcastle Gaol in May 1848

Kennedy, Bridget
Bridget Kennedy was tried at Maryborough in 1823. In 1825 at Newcastle she married Michael Kennedy who arrived on the Elizabeth in 1820; she was rewarded with a ticket of leave in 1829 for good conduct in the married state

Manly, Catherine
Age 24. Native place Cork. Occupation sews, spins, knits and washes. Tried March 1823. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. Very good conduct on the voyage out. Wife of Michael Wright at Newcastle in 1825

Marum, Catherine
Age 25. Occupation sews, spins and makes butter. Native place Co. Kilkenny. Tried at Waterford March 1823, sentenced to 7 years transportation. Unmarried. Had twins on board, both dead. Quiet on the voyage out. Granted Certificate of Freedom 15 March 1827

Moore, Elizabeth
Age 32. Native place Cork. Tried in Dublin 10 June 1823. Occupation cooks and washes. Husband came to the colony as William Moore in the Castle Forbes. Once child with her 20 months, and left 2 others in Dublin. Very good conduct on the voyage out

Walker, Catherine
Age 27. Sews and washes. Native place Cork. Tried Dublin December 1821. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. Very good conduct on the voyage out. She was assigned to James Reid at Rosebrook in 1828 and married Patrick Quinn in 1829.

Walsh, Catherine
Catherine Walsh alias Loughan, age 35. Spins, washes and makes butter. Native place Tipperary. Four children at Cashel. Tried Cork August 1823. Widow. Very good conduct on the voyage out

Notes and Links

1). Almorah was one of only two vessels bringing female prisoners to New South Wales in 1824, the other being the ship Brothers.

2). Catherine Manly was transported on the Almorah. The indent states that she could sew, spin and knit and was 24 years of age. She was 5ft 3/4in with blue eyes and very much freckled. Her conduct on the voyage to Port Jackson was very good........ The following article is from the Freeman's Journal in 1823......Hard Times - A Poor Tenant' Allowance - Cork City Assizes April 4 Catherine Manly alias 'Pretty Kitty' (from her remarkable ugliness) was arraigned for stealing 10l from Humphry Twomy. The prosecutor, a stout, well looking, young country fellow, stated that he was a pig dealer, and about Christmas last, had brought some to town which he had sold for 10l. Passing thro' the north Main street, on St. Stephen's night, he was met by the prisoner who put her arms round his neck, and then put her hand into his pocket, and took out the money and ran away. On the next night he found her in Mr. Barry's house in the same street, who immediately sent for a Constable, but on searching her, she had only two ten penny bits, and he never got any of his money since. In cross examination, he said he was not drunk when the money was taken from him ; he had not drank much during the day, for he was under a bond of conscience, not to take more than a noggin of whiskey, and four pints of porter every day; he had gone to the extent of his conscience that day, but that was all. Examined by the Court - Drinks that much every day of his life; has ground, and is under 30 guineas a year rent, but can hardly pay it these times, they are so bad, and owes a year's rent now. Is under no obligation to pay any of it to Captain rock nor was the Captain to get any of the rent, or the 10l. The prisoner was found guilty and being an old well known inhabitant of the gaol from which she had been but lately liberated, having escaped transportation to which she had been sentenced at a former Assizes, by successfully affecting bad health. His Lordship renewed the sentence, that she be transported for seven years....Freeman's Journal 17 April 1823.

3).Catherine Marum from Kilkenny gave birth to twins on the voyage, both died. (Indents)

4). Seizure of the Almorah - Parliamentary Papers

5). National Archives - Reference: ADM 101/2/2 Description: Medical and surgical journal of the Almorah convict ship, for 17 March to 26 August 1824 by Morgan Price, Surgeon and Superintendent, during which time the said ship conveyed female convicts from Cork to Port Jackson.


[1] Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.344-345; 384

[2] UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Medical Journal of Morgan Price on the voyage of the Almorah in 1824. The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.