Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Lord Lyndoch - 1838

Embarked: 330 men
Voyage: 126 days
Surgeon's Journal - Yes
Previous vessel: Bengal Merchant 21 July 1838
Next vessel: Westmoreland arrived 22 August 1838
Master William Stead
Surgeon Obadiah Pineo
Prisoners and passengers of the Lord Lyndoch identified in the Hunter Valley

The Lord Lyndoch was built at Calcutta in 1825.[1]

Convicts were transported to Australia on the Lord Lyndoch in 1833 (NSW), 1836 (VDL), 1838 (NSW) and 1840 (VDL).

Many of the prisoners were held in prison hulks prior to embarkation. Select here to read a Prison Hulk Report describing a typical week in the life of convicts incarcerated in the Hulks in 1838.


The Lord Lyndoch departed England on 4 April 1838 with three hundred and thirty prisoners from throughout England and Scotland. There were also six men who had been tried in Trinidad and another six in Lower Canada.

Free Passengers

Cabin Passengers included Major Campbell, Mrs. Campbell and Ensign Dixon. Steerage passengers William Ashenden, barrack sergeant, Mrs. Ashenden and two children, 32 rank and file of the 21st, 50th 51st and 80th regiments, six women and nine children.

Surgeon Obadiah Pineo

Obadiah Pineo kept a Medical Journal from 14 March to 6 September 1838. This was to be his last voyage as surgeon on a convict ship. The voyage was a disaster from the beginning, two convicts dying in the first two weeks, one from phthisis and one from small pox. The small pox breaking out on board only two or three days after leaving port, all those who did not know of having the disease previously were immediately vaccinated, eight in number and two infants belonging to the guard. Several very mild cases broke out both amongst the seamen as well as the prisoners.

Surgeon Obadiah Pineo reported in his journal that Major Campbell who had served most of his life in India, was placed under his care and also his wife Mrs Campbell. Mrs Ashenden (barrack sergeant's wife) and children were a long time on the sick list, with several more children belonging to the guard of which two were vaccinated. Two of the wives of the guard gave birth to healthy children on the passage out.

The surgeon wrote of prisoner John Jones, aged 30, who contracted smallpox. He was put on the sick list on 11 April 1838 and died on 23 April 1838. He died very easy and thanked every one who had been so kind to him, none was more so than John Beard the hospital assistant who gave attention and kindness to the sick throughout the voyage.


John Beard was to prove invaluable in the next few weeks after a terrible accident that occurred on 20th May when boiling tea scalded sixteen of the men. With all the others already sick, only a few of the worst cases could be accommodated in the hospital. Obadiah Pineo praised prisoner John Beard for his unremitting attention to the 'wretched creatures'. One of the men affected, David Barrett described by the surgeon as a poor thin miserable man died soon afterwards. He was 18 years old. The others who were scalded were :

John Farquhar,
George Gain,
William White,
Thomas? Osborn,
Jeffrey Watson,
George Allen,
George Dickenson,
Thomas Edwards,
Edward Payne,
William Ditcham,
Philip Brown,
Thomas Pardoe (died),
Michael? Conner,
James Price,
John Parker.

Obadiah Pineo attributed the accident to the ill behaviour of one prisoner, Thomas Johnson.

There was a major outbreak of scurvy; 150 cases in all according to the surgeon. The first case recorded in the surgeon's journal was that of Thomas Jordan on the 16th April 1838. John Lincoln fell ill soon after and later died of the disease. There had been four cases of scurvy before the ship reached the Cape in June, however Pineo thought the men were recovered and the decision was made not to call at the Cape for fresh provisions. Perhaps they felt the necessity to reach their destination because of the serious injuries sustained in the scalding accident or perhaps the Captain pressed for a speedy voyage. There were no regulations at the time forcing vessels into the Cape or Rio to re-supply provisions and the decision was left to the Captain and the Surgeon. Whatever the reason, the decision to sail direct was a disaster. The Sydney Gazette gave an account of what happened next -

After the vessel left the vicinity of the Cape and the cold weather began to set in, the sickness increased rapidly, and the hospital was soon crowded, as well as the berths contiguous to it, with prisoners labouring under the effects of scurvy. Every precaution was taken to prevent the disease spreading, and all the usual remedies applied in such cases, but it had got too much ahead to be easily mastered. Nineteen deaths occurred within the last eight weeks the Lord Lyndoch was at sea.

List of prisoners who died:
Farquahar McKensie, aged 19, prisoner, phthisis incipient ending in general dropsy died 6 June 1838.
Thomas Addison, aged 23, prisoner, asthma and palpitation cordis died 24 July 1838.
Thomas Pardoe, aged 17, prisoner, incipient phthisis, he had also a severe scald on the 20 May; put on sick list 20 April 1838, died 16 June 1838.
Thomas Smith, aged 28, prisoner, colica; died 18 June 1838.
Joseph Heritage, aged 28, prisoner, scorbutus died 26 July 1838.
John Thompson, aged 38, prisoner, scorbutus, died 29 July 1838.
Henry Holding, aged 20, prisoner, scorbutus; died 31 July 1838.
Thomas Cowan, aged 67, prisoner, scorbutus; died 3 August 1838.
James Latour, aged 37, prisoner, scorbutus; died 3 August 1838.
Richard Morris, aged 38, prisoner, scorbutus; died 6 August 1838.
Joseph Latour, aged 39, prisoner, scorbutus; died 6 August 1838.
John Sin[?], aged 42, prisoner, scorbutus; died 7 August 1838.

Port Jackson

The Lord Lyndoch arrived in Port Jackson on 8 August 1838, a voyage of 126 days.

On Wednesday evening 8th October, the sick men were landed from the vessel; sixty eight were forwarded to the General Hospital at that time, and nine the next morning. On Thursday thirty more were sent to the Prisoners Barracks to be put under medical treatment. One of the men admitted into the hospital on Wednesday died shortly afterwards. The disease was confined to the prisoners, there were no deaths among the guard or crew.

Notes and Links

1). Find out more about bushranger Richard Glanville of the Jew boy Gang

2). Convict Robert Whitehead was one of several convicts who escaped on the Brothers in 1844. Researcher contribution - After his first escape and recapture Robert Whitehead was transported to Tasmania via Waterlily in 1844. He made his way back to the UK (he claimed from Tasmania) and was caught under the name of Thomas Maylor in Exeter for stealing a carpet bag in August 1851. He was sentenced again to be transported for life to Western Australia via Ramillies arriving Perth 1854. (Email researcher -

3). Convict John Beard was a Quaker. He was tried in Gloucestershire and sentenced to transportation for life forging a bill of exchange for £200; with intent to defraud William Washbourn. The Times of 9th August 1837 reported that John Beard had been a coal and timber merchant and a man of great respectability and property in the city of Gloucester. More about convict John Beard

4). Prisoner James Scott aged 40 was employed as school teacher on board. He was also tried in Gloucestershire.

5). Prisoners and passengers of the Lord Lyndoch identified in the Hunter Valley

6). Convict ships bringing detachments of the 51st regiment include the Neptune, Waterloo, William Jardine, Bengal Merchant, Lord Lyndoch, Westmoreland, Clyde, Earl Grey, Portsea, Elphinstone, John Barry and the Waverley.

7). Obediah Pineo had previously been employed as surgeon on the convict ships England in 1835 and the Pyramus in 1836. There were no cases of scurvy on the voyage of the Pyramus.

8). National Archives UK. Reference: ADM 101/44/4 Description: Medical journal of the Lord Lyndoch, convict ship, from 14 March to 6 September 1838 by O Pineo, Surgeon and Superintendent, during which time the said ship was employed in transporting prisoners to Sydney, New South Wales.


[1] Lloyds Register

[2] Journal of Obediah Pineo. UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Original data: Admiralty and predecessors: Office of the Director General of the Medical Department of the Navy and predecessors: Medical Journals (ADM 101, 804 bundles and volumes).The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[3] Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The Convict Ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.354-55.