Convict Ship Elizabeth 1820
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Embarked 170 men
Voyage 135 days
Surgeon's Journal: yes
vessel: Asia arrived 28 December
Next vessel: Hebe arrived
31 December 1820
Master William Ostler
Elizabeth was built at Chepstow in 1809.
This was the third
voyage transporting convicts to New South Wales, the others being in 1816 and
The Elizabeth brought prisoners
from counties in England, Scotland and Wales. She departed the Downs
18 August 1820 and arrived in Port Jackson on 31 December 1820.
This was Andrew Montgomery's only voyage as surgeon
superintendent on a convict ship. He kept a Medical Journal from 1st
August 1820 to 11th January 1821 and also a daily diary in which he
recorded the weather and other events. The diary begins while still
in the River at Woolwich......
Tuesday 1st August
1820 - At noon the pilot came on board. Cast off from the Narcissus
hulk and dropped down the river at 5pm. Anchored below the Justitia
hulk below Woolwich.
2nd August at Woolwich. At 3pm received
the guard on board from the Isle of Wight, consisting of the
sergeant of the 46th and privates of the 48th regiments commanded by
Lieutenant Charles Campbell of the 48th, as well as eight women and
six children belonging to the company with their baggage etc.
3rd August at Woolwich. Answered the signal of being ready to
receive prisoners on board at 1.30pm. Male prisoners from the
Justitia Hulk were each given as follows: 1 woollen cap, one
Guernsey frock, one checked shirt, one pair of raven duck trousers,
one pair of shoes and stockings and a neckerchief, all new.
Inspected them and checked their irons, and having served out each
man a bed , pillow and blanket (all by numbers) sent them down to
the prisons. Opened a puncheon of rum for the soldiers.........
At the end of the voyage Andrew Montgomery wrote his
general report. He had divided the men into six divisions soon
after departing Woolwich and appointed a well behaved man in charge
of the divisions. These men were responsible for the behaviour,
cleanliness of the prisoners and accountable for the clothing and
bedding. The boys were separated from the men and a well conducted
man placed over them as schoolmaster. They paid such attention to
the schoolmaster that many of the boys who did not know the alphabet
when they came on board could read and write when they disembarked.
Schools were also set up for the men and several men paid great
attention to their studies of reading writing and arithmetic. Divine
service was performed on the Quarter Deck every Sunday when the
weather would permit and at such times, the Guard were always under
arms on the
He had found that the woollen
frocks and stockings were a nuisance at first because of the hot
weather and he stowed them away until the weather turned cold. He
gave the men a daily allowance of lemonade, however scurvy appeared
after five or six weeks and he requested Captain Ostler to call at
Rio rather than the Cape as a matter of urgency. The convicts and
soldiers' health improved with the food they procured and they
stayed only a week, sailing from there on 21st October.
had a tedious voyage as far as the island of St. Paul and then
scurvy broke out again amongst the guard and prisoners. He gave them
lime juice and soup made of preserved meats. Andrew Montgomery was
greatly satisfied that the conduct of the prisoners throughout the
voyage was orderly and extremely quiet. He commented that he had
never witnessed more humane treatment to unfortunate men than that
of the Master William Ostler and the chief mate Francis Allen. (2nd
mate was Mr. Birkby; 3rd mate William Phillips).
they had a long and tedious voyage with much sickness Montgomery was
very pleased to report that there was not a single death amongst the
prisoners, guard or passengers during the entire voyage.
The convict ship Hebe arrived on the same day as the Elizabeth.
The Sydney Gazette reported that the prisoners of the Elizabeth
and Hebe were landed on Thursday 11th January and inspected
by Governor Macquarie before being allotted to their various
It was sometimes the case that prisoners'
belongings were damaged or stolen on the voyage out. A box belonging to convict George Martin was broken open
and the contents stolen early in the voyage. His later testimony
gives insight into the items that prisoners thought might be
valuable to them in the difficult days and months to come.....
George Martin was removed from Gloucester Gaol to the convict
hulk Justitia at
Woolwich commanded by Captain Smith, who took charge of his luggage.
On the 4th August the Elizabeth arrived at Woolwich to receive a
draft of prisoners to take to New South Wales. With several others
George Martin was embarked and all the boxes and keys were taken
from him for the purpose of being placed in the hold or store
appointed for their safety. Among which he had a small box which
Captain Smith of the Justitia took from him and gave to the first
mate of the Elizabeth who placed it on the Quarter Deck and observed
he could not have it with with him until things could be arranged,
which would be on the morrow. This box with others was removed from
the Quarter Deck and placed in the hold in charge of the third mate
William Phillips. Although George Martin frequently requested his
box, the third mate always answered with a promise for the morrow.
When Martin applied to the captain and surgeon, William Phillips
berth was searched and George Martin's belongings were found in
Phillips' possession who was from that time kept as a prisoner for
the remainder of the voyage. George Martin's later correspondence
included a list of the articles that he had brought in his box from
Gloucestershire: One prayer book; 1 new Moroccan notebook 1 silver
pencil case; Ass skin memorandum book, ink stand and case; bottle of
ink, quire of paper; dressing case containing two razors strop;
shaving box, comb and tooth brush; two knives, scissors, thread,
needles, shirt buttons, tobacco and £400 of bank notes.
Notes & Links:
1). William Tunnicliffe and George Cain
who arrived on the Elizabeth were sent to Newcastle penal
settlement for colonial crimes. They were two of eleven
Pirates who seized the cutter Eclipse from
the harbour in 1825 and made their escape from the colony.
Hunter Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Elizabeth in
3). William Ostler was also Master on the convict
ships Elizabeth 1816,
Elizabeth 1818 and
the Marquis of
Hastings in 1826
The Report of Commissioner John Thomas Bigge
5). Return of Convicts of the Elizabeth assigned
between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 5 July
William Stephenson - Carpenter and seaman
assigned to E.C. Close at Morpeth