Convict Ship Cambridge 1827
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Norfolk Island and Van Diemen's Land between the years 1788 and 1850.
Embarked 200 men
Voyage 107 days
Surgeon's Journal - Yes
vessel: Manlius arrived 11
Next vessel: Harmony
arrived 27 September 1827
Master Richard Pearce.
Follow the Irish Convict Ship Trail
Cambridge was moored in Kingston Harbour on 14 May 1827. She
was the next convict ship to leave Ireland bound for New South Wales
after the departure of the
Harcourt in February 1827.
departed Dublin on 2 June 1827 and called at Tenerife about 17th
William Gregor kept a Medical Journal from 10th May
to 29th September 1827. He reported that in June the weather was
beautifully fine and in the latter part very hot with sultry calms.
For almost all of July the weather was excessively hot with frequent
squalls from the westward. During August up until the middle of
September the weather was inclement and at this time there were no
less than fifty-eight cases of diarrhoea which William Gregor
attributed to the change in weather. Two of the prisoners under his
care died on the voyage. The first Thomas Cullen was already ill
when he embarked. He was put on the sick list one day after sailing
and died from phthisis on 27th August. The second death was that of
Thomas Gately from Ireland. He had to speak through an interpreter
as he was unable to speak any language but his own. He died ten days
after suffering from a violent episode of singultus (hiccoughs).
Some of the prisoners had been incarcerated for quite some
time before transportation. John Bulbridge was tried in Limerick in
1824 and was about 14 years old at the time. He was sent to the
Richmond General Penitentiary which had been established in 1820 in
Grangegorman, Dublin as an alternative to transportation. It was
part of an experiment into a penitentiary system to specialise in
reform rather than punishment. There were accusations of unspeakable
cruelty and proselytism and a Commission of Enquiry was ordered in
which John Bulbridge was mentioned........
At one time a
pistol was fired into the cell of a convict who was in solitary
confinement - he was John Bulbridge. Mr. John McCloy, keeper, was
present, and said, "For God's sake, don't take the boy's life". This
man was dismissed, as he was not sufficiently active in the work of
The Head Quarters and Band of the 39th regiment came on
the Cambridge. Colonel Patrick Lindesay arrived as a
passenger, bringing with him a second Band to the Colony, reported
by the Monitor to be inferior to none which preceded it.
Passengers included Captain Dunford and wife.
Select here to find other convict ships
bringing detachments of the 39th regiment to New South Wales.
The Cambridge arrived
in Port Jackson 17 September 1827 with 198 prisoners. The
Colony was always anxious to hear news from home. The Sydney Gazette
reported that ....... 'in order to procure the Papers we
undertook and accomplished a journey of 32 miles in less than three
hours as soon as news that the Cambridge had come to an anchor.'
On Wednesday 19 September, two
days after arrival, the Colonial Secretary proceeded on board the
Cambridge to inspect and muster the prisoners preparatory
to their disembarkation. He found all of the men in good health. The
convict indents reveal the name, age, education, religion, marital
status, family, native place, offence, date and place of trial,
sentence, prior convictions, physical description and where and to
whom assigned on arrival. There is also occasional information such
as colonial sentences and deaths.
One man Bryan Murphy was sent to the hospital on shore on arrival.
He died on 2nd October 1827.
There were fifteen
prisoners under the age of 16 years of age. The youngest were
Patrick Delany, John Hore, William Moore and Patrick Palmer who were
all only 14 years of age.
Five of the men were assigned to
Agricultural Company on arrival - John Gill, Thomas Gage,
William Hart, Patrick Fleming and Peter Fallon. They were probably
sent to the Port Stephens
district or Liverpool Plains to work as shepherds and hut keepers.
Another, Simon Meney was assigned to
Allan Cunningham on arrival. Cunningham had returned from his
exploration to the north in July 1827.
was to leave for Batavia and Singapore under Captain Pearce early in
Notes & Links:
1). William Gregor
was also employed as surgeon on the convict ship
Hunter Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Cambridge 1827
3). Richmond Penitentiary punishments...........
4). The Commission - The following are the sentences
passed at the close of the late Commission: (Extract).....Patrick
Keegan for having in his possession forged Bank notes - Fourteen
years' transportation - Freeman's Journal 8 November 1826
5). Doran, Brown and Halfpenny, who were at last Downpatrick
assizes, sentenced to be executed for a burglary in the dwelling
house of Mrs. Pilkington at Moyallen, have had their sentence
commuted to transportation for life. Belfast Newsletter 27
6). Carlow - John Lawless, for stealing a
mule, car, pack of feathers and quills, the property of James
Cummins, - Guilty, to be transported for 7 years. - William Moore, a
small boy, but an experienced pick pocket, was indicted for stealing
eleven half crowns and 1s 6d from a man's pocket, at the fair of
Myshall, on the 14th September last. When the fellow was detected,,
the prosecutor's purse was found concealed in a pocket in the back
of prisoner's trowsers - guilty, to be transported for 7 years.-
Finns Leinster Journal 11 April 1827.
Seventeen convict ships arrived in New South Wales in 1827 - Grenada,
Marquis of Hastings,
and the Louisa
8). Return of Convicts of the
Cambridge assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March
1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 21 June 1832; 5 July
||Stone cutter assigned to George
Blaxland at Hunters River
||Dyer. Assigned to Thomas Wood at
||Stone cutter assigned to J.T.
Hughes at Sydney
||Labourer assigned to James
McDougall at Darlington
||Butcher assigned to T.V. Bloomfield
||Seaman assigned to John Thomson at
||Farmer's man assigned to William
Dun at Paterson Plains
Convict ships bringing detachments of the
39th regiment included the
William Sacheverell Coke
|Downs 6 May
|Cork 29 June
Thomas Edward Wright
Henry Clarence Scarman
George Meares Bowen
Countess of Harcourt
Quarter-master Benjamin Lloyd
|Dublin 2 June
|London 3 June