Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Numa - 1834

Embarked: 140 women
Voyage: 135 days
Deaths 2
Surgeon's Journal - yes
Previous vessel: Hive arrived 11 June 1834
Next vessel: James Laing arrived 29 June 1834
Master John Baker
Surgeon Edward Ford Bromley
Follow the Female Convict Ship Trail
Prisoners and passengers of the Numa identified in the Hunter Valley

The Numa transported female prisoners from England and Scotland to New South Wales in 1834.

Departure From England

On 23 December 1833 the Morning Post reported - There are upwards of one hundred and fifty sail of outward bound valuable merchant ships lying within the anchorage of St. Helen's and the Motherbank, waiting for moderate weather and a fair wind; it has blown during the week with great violence, occasionally in most tempestuous gusts; but, we are most happy to state, without occasioning any loss to the ships whilst at anchor, in either property or life. The Numa, with female convicts, under the medical charge of Dr. Bromley for Sydney; the James Laing, with males under Mr. R. Allen, Surgeon; and the Moffat with 400 males under Dr. F.B. Wilson for Van Diemen's land, are among the ships wind bound. The convicts on board these ships complete the number expatriated this year to 6000.

The Numa finally departed England on 29 January 1834.

Cape of Good Hope

The Numa touched at the Cape where she departed on 17th March 1834.

Surgeon Edward Foord Bromley

This was Edward Foord Bromley's sixth voyage as surgeon superintendent on a convict ship. He was also surgeon on the convict ships Calcutta in 1803, Ocean in 1816, Almorah in 1817, Lord Wellington in 1820 and the Surry in 1833.

Front Cover of Edward Foord Bromley's Medical Journal on the voyage of the Numa in 1834

He kept a Medical Journal from 14th October 1833 to 1st July 1834. His journal relates only to the medical cases he attended. There are no personal comments about the women as in his journal of the Surry in 1833 when he remarked that he considered the Irish female convicts to be inferior to the English females.

The following women were treated by the surgeon during the voyage: Joanna Sparrow; Emma Davis; Mary Gordon; Mary Holland; Christian King; Jane Cornwall; Mary Clifford; John McFie (son of Mary O'Brien, died); Mary Ann George, daughter of Susan George (died); Grace Denham; Jane Goodwin; Olympia Edwards; Mary Fagan; Ann Smith; Hannah Mountford; Sarah Jones; Frances Freemont; Janet Adam; Ann Welch; Eliza Harwood; Jane Pattison; Maria Jiggins; Esther Smith; Sarah Gaine. [1]

Port Jackson

The Numa arrived in Port Jackson on 13th June 1834 with 138 English female convicts, 24 children and 18 ton of gunpowder for the public service.

There were three sick in the hospital, two had died at sea - Mary Fagan and Mary Holland; Jane Cornwall later died in the General Hospital on shore.

Convict Muster

The women were mustered on board the vessel on the 17 June 1834.

The indents include name, age, education, religion, marital status, family, native place, trade, offence, when and where tried, sentence, prior convictions and physical description of each woman. There are also occasional notes of death, colonial sentences and pardons. There is no information in the indents as to whom the women were assigned to on arrival.

The Sydney Monitor reported that a draft of women of the Numa were forwarded by the Sophia Jane on Monday evening 30th June for distribution among the settlers on the Hunter River; and residue were landed at the Dockyard in Sydney on Tuesday morning. [4]

About forty-five convicts of the Numa have been identified residing in the Hunter Valley region in the following years. Select Here to find out more about these women.

Those who were infirm, pregnant or had children with them were probably sent to the Female Factory at Parramatta.

Those women accompanied by their children included:
Mary Ann Conrave with two children;
Hannah Hewitt with five children;
Eliza Murphy with 1 child;
Elizabeth Peacock alias Pasternoster with two children;
Hannah Atkinson with one child;
Harriett Powers with one child;
Mary Ives one child;
Elizabeth Douglas with three children;
Mary Richardson with two children.

Parramatta Female Factory

There is information in the indents about women who had relatives already in the colony or about to arrive. Some may have been fortunate enough to be assigned to their relative -

Abigail Nun's son James Nun had been in the colony one year having arrived on the Captain Cook
Jane McGinnis' cousin John McStravick was noted as a pensioner. He may have been publican at the British Standard in George Street in 1834.
Sisters Jane Gall and Christian Gall's mother Ann Gall or Lawson arrived on the Buffalo in 1833
Caroline Brown's brother William Brown arrived two years previously
Isabella Sutherland's brother Robert Sutherland arrived on the Nithsdale in 1830
Mary O'Brien's cousin Pat McGuire was already in the colony
Sarah Payne's husband Joseph Payne was convicted at the same time
Ann Cock's husband Thomas Cock was sent to VDL on the Lord William Bentick in 1832
Esther Smith's daughter Harriet Simpson age 17 came with her as a free passenger
Eliza Spencer alias Dimmott - husband's brother James Spencer had been sent 7 years previously (probably on the England)
Matilda Keelar's brother Thomas Keelar arrived on the Fairlie in 1834
Harriett Elick's half brother William Vale was said to have arrived 7 years previously
Winifred Jones' brother Peter Ryan arrived in the colony 10 years previously
Mary Donnelly's sister Ann Donnelly arrived three years previously and her brother in law Charles Powers eight years.
Hannah Connolly alias Feany - brother Thomas Heaney arrived on the Royal George
Elizabeth Wright's aunt Ann Wright arrived five years previously
Mary Bennett's brother William Bennett was a boy on board as a free passenger
Ann Phillips alias Charlotte Threlkeld - husband John Threlkeld convicted at the same time
Elizabeth Skull alias Upton - husband John Upton convicted January 1834 (arrived Lady Nugent)
Ruth Jones - brother in law James Butler soldier of the 50th regiment
Sarah and Maria Jeggins sisters both on board
Charlotte Clifford's cousin George Pigby in the colony 3 years
Charlotte Tomlinson's brother John Tomlinson arrived 12 years previously
Hannah Hewitt's husband John Hewitt arrived on the John in 1832
Elizabeth Foster's brother William Foster was sent to VDL 12 years previously
Ann Maria Steel's cousin Thomas Messingham sent 9 years previously.[3]

It wasn't long before some of the women were in trouble again....
Mary Bardon was admitted to Sydney Gaol before being sentenced to the 3rd class at the Factory in July 1834.
Isabella Davidson and Ann Johnson followed in September 1834.
Margaret Deane in October; Margaret Bennett, Ann Carruthers, Charlotte Clifford in November; and Sarah Collins and Frances Clements in December. (Sydney Gaol Records).

Elizabeth Gray (Graves?), assigned to Mr. Baldy, was given in charge by her mistress for drunkenness and sentenced to the third class at Parramatta Factory for 14 days in December (Sydney Gazette 2 December 1834).

Notes and Links

1). The Numa was one of three convict ships bringing female prisoners to New South Wales in 1834, the others being the Andromeda from Cork and the George Hibbert from the Downs. A total of 453 female convicts arrived in the colony in 1834.

2). Female Convicts - A list of 98 convict ships bringing female convicts to New South Wales with links to Hunter Valley female prisoners.

3). Thirty two of the prisoners had been convicted in Scotland -

Christian King tried in Aberdeen
Margaret Donnachie tried in Ayr
Rosinna McGann tried in Ayr
Jane McGinnis alias Cummings tried in Edinburgh
Jane Gale tried in Edinburgh
Grace Denham alias Jane Graham tried in Edinburgh
Ann Carruthers tried in Edinburgh
Caroline Brown tried in Edinburgh
Marion Brown tried in Edinburgh
Mary or Margaret Richardson alias Gruer alias Brown alias Minch tried in Edinburgh
Mary Ann Watt tried in Edinburgh
Catherine McFie or McPhie tried in Edinburgh
Janet or Jess Stewart tried in Edinburgh
Isabel Davidson alias Chapel tried in Edinburgh
Isabella Sutherland tried in Edinburgh
Grace Thomas tried in Edinburgh
Christian Sanderson or Saunders tried in Edinburgh
Christian Gale or Grainger tried in Edinburgh
Mary Robertson tried in Edinburgh
Isabella Thomas alias McKenzie tried in Edinburgh
Elizabeth Douglas or Finlayson tried in Edinburgh
Mary McPherson tried in Glasgow
Sarah Russell alias Margaret Mitchell tried in Glasgow
Nancy Thomson tried in Glasgow
Mary O'Brien alias Taylor tried in Glasgow
Margaret Deans tried in Glasgow
Margaret Jack alias Peterkin tried in Perth
Margaret Robertson tried in Perth
Elizabeth Brown tried in Perth
Jean Adam alias Adams tried in Perth
Mary Gordon alias Munro tried in Perth
Margaret or Esther Scott alias Higgins or Hughes or McCann tried in Perth[3]


[1] Journal of Edward Foord Bromley. UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 Original data: The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[2] Bateson, Charles, Library of Australian History (1983). The Convict Ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.352-53.

[3] Convict Indents. State Archives NSW; Series: NRS 12188; Item: [4/4018]; Microfiche: 690

[4] Sydney Monitor 2 July 1834