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Convict Ship Surry 1831 


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(Convicts and passengers from this ship only)

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Select from the Links below to find information about Convict Ships arriving in New South Wales, Norfolk Island and Van Diemen's Land between the years 1788 and 1850

J -K L M N - O P - Q R S T - V W - Y

Embarked: 200 men
Voyage: 132 days
Deaths: 1
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Jane arrived 5 November 1831
Next vessel: Asia arrived 2 December 1831
Captain Charles Kemp.
Surgeon Superintendent Colin Arrot Browning

This was the sixth of eleven voyages of the Surry bringing convicts to Australia.  Convicts were transported to Australia on the Surry in 1814, 1816, 1819, 1823, 1829 (VDL), 1831, 1833 (VDL), 1834, 1836, 1840 and 1842 (VDL)

The Surry was a square-rigged transport ship with an overall length of 117 ft. 6 ins., a breadth above the gunwales of 29 ft. 6 ins, and a draught, when loaded, of 18 ft. She was copper-sheathed, and had quarter galleries, with a bust of Minerva for a figurehead(1)

Colin Arrot Browning kept a Medical Journal from 25 June to 8 December 1831. He recorded that Mr. Charles Kemp (Master) of New South Wales came on board on 11th July 1831. Also on the 11th July one hundred and twenty male prisoners were transferred from the Leviathan and eighty from the York hulk to the Surry .

They had been inspected by Dr. Porter prior to embarkation and only those considered to be in good health had been forwarded, although James Welsh managed to conceal his illness. Convicts often attempted to conceal their illnesses so as to be accepted onto the ship as they wished to escape from the horror of the hulks. James Welsh died at sea a few weeks before the ship arrived in Sydney.

Colin Arrot Browning published England's Exiles; or a View of a System of Instruction and Discipline (London, 1842) which he writes of the Surry....Click on the print below to read this publication

The Surry departed Portsmouth on 17 July 1831.

They were delayed in the English Channel due to contrary winds during which time the weather was cold and wet and many of the prisoners suffered from sea sickness. Dr. Browning was kept busy on the voyage. He listed no fewer than seventeen different illnesses suffered by the prisoners. They contracted diseases such as pneumonia and catarrh which the surgeon considered a modified influenza, resistant to medicine given for common catarrh. Twenty of the guard and 28 of the ship's company were also affected.

There were also cases of Phlogosis, Cynanche, Pneumonia, Enteritis, Hepatitis, Arthropyosis, Dysenteria, Cephalalgia, Vertigo, Caligo, Dysopia and Dysuria. One person died of Tabes Mesenterica. Dr. Browning considered the clothing supplied was not adequate and recommended each convict should be issued with 2 pairs of flannel drawers and 2 flannel shirts or Guernsey frocks. Neither was the quantity of medicine supplied by government adequate, Captain Kemp supplementing supplies from his own stock. 

There was only one slight case of scorbutus and the surgeon attributed this circumstance to the prisoners having been actively and agreeably employed on the voyage.

The Guard consisted of a detachment of the 4th Regiment under the command of Captain Waldron and Ensign Morris of 38th Regiment. Passengers included Mrs. Waldron and nine children; 3 women and 4 children. Select here to find convict ships bringing detachments of the 4th regt.,

The Surry arrived in Port Jackson via Hobart on Saturday 26 November 1831, a voyage of 151 days from embarkation to disembarkation. One hundred and ninety six prisoners were mustered on board by the Colonial Secretary. (One prisoner had died and three were sent to the hospital in Sydney on arrival). Details of the prisoners recorded in the indents on arrival include name, age, religion, education, marital status, family, native place, trade or calling, offence, when and where tried, sentence, physical description and where and to whom assigned. There are also occasional details of tickets of leave, colonial sentences, relatives already in the colony and dates of death.

On arrival the men were assigned to various applicants. Thomas Burton a merchant's clerk, Richard Fage a horse dealer and Thomas Lampshire a miner were assigned to the Australian Agricultural company. John Stone must have made an impression on the voyage as on arrival he was assigned to Captain Waldron who had been in command of the Guard. John Thompson, clerk and shopman was sent straight to Port Macquarie as a 'special'.

Sydney Gazette - December 1831: For London direct - The well known fast sailing ship Surry, 461 tons, register, Charles Kemp Commander. This Ship having recently been in the Service of the Honourable East India Company, was nearly rebuilt under the inspection of their Surveyors, and may now be considered equal to a new vessel. As the cargo of sperm oil just arrived in the Cape Packet, is about to be trans-shipped in the Surry, she will be one of the first ships for England; and having orlop beams, and great space betwixt decks, flax and wool will be kept entirely distinct from the oil. Her accommodations are excellent and she carries an experienced Surgeon. For Freight or Passage apply to Lamb, Buchanan & co., Castlereagh St. Sydney.

The Surry returned to New South Wales with prisoners in 1834.  

Notes and Links:

1). The State Library of Victoria has digitised an address to the convicts of the Surry by Colin Arrot Browning......An address to the prisoners debarked from the "Surry", at Sydney, December 8, 1831 - the "Arab" at Hobart Town, July 5, 1834 - and the "Elphinstone", at Hobart Town, May 30, 1836 / by the Medical Officer in charge during the voyage. Colin Arrott Browning 1791-1856. Select here to read the address online

2). Colin Arrot Browning was also surgeon on the convict ships Margaret in 1840, Earl Grey in 1843 (VDL), Theresa in 1845 (VDL) and the Hashemy in 1849

3). England's Exiles by Colin Arrot Browning was published in 1842 and is an account of the voyage of the Elphinstone to VDL in 1836.

4). Select here to find more about prisoners/ passengers of the Surry

5). The National Library of Australia holds a sepia etching of the Surry arriving in Sydney Harbour.

6). 19th Century medical terms

 Return of Convicts of the Surry assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 28 June 1832).....
John Boston Slater assigned to the Australian Agricultural Company at Port Stephens
James Best Farm Labourer assigned to Michael Phillips in Sydney
Thomas Burton Merchant's clerk assigned to Australian Agricultural Company at Port Stephens
James Burley Groom assigned to George Sippe at Sydney
William Clutterbuck Brass stamper assigned to G.C. Curlewis at Sydney
Thomas Gray Ploughs. Assigned to G.C. Curlewis at Sydney
Benjamin Jennings Sweep assigned to Lieut. Col. Dumaresq at Hunter's River
William Mitchell Ploughman assigned to Lieut. Col. Dumaresq at Hunter River
Anthony McDonald Shoemaker assigned to William Thomas Jameson at Cabramatta
William or Randall Milward Fellmonger assigned to James Devlin at Kissing Point
John Newman Sweep. Assigned to Michael Philips at Sydney
Jonathan Spalls Turner and farm boy assigned to E.J. Keith at Sydney

8). Convict Ships bringing detachments of the 4th (King's Own) Regiment.....

Date/Place of Departure Convict Ship Command of the Guard
29 April 1831 Cork Jane Captain George Mason
17 July 1831 Portsmouth Surry Captain Waldron 38th regt.,
6 August 1831 Cork Asia Captain Richard Chetwode
15 October 1831 Norfolk Lieut. David William Lardy 4th regt.,
5 November 1831 Dublin Captain Cook Lieut. Gibbons 49th regt.,
27 November 1831 Portsmouth Portland  
27 November 1831 Cork Isabella Captain William Clarke 4th regt.,
14 December 1831 Dublin Bussorah Merchant Lieut. William Lonsdale 4th regt.,
7 February 1832 Downs John Lieut. George Baldwin 31st regt.,
15 March 1832 Portsmouth Lady Harewood Lieut. Lowth 38th regt.,
18 March 1832 Cork City of Edinburgh Lieut. Bayliss
9 May 1832 Portsmouth Clyde Lieut-Colonel Mackenzie
10 May 1832 Cork Eliza Lieut. Hewson
16 June 1832 Portsmouth Planter Lieuts. Bullin & Irvine 38th regt.,
19 June 1832 Downs Hercules Lieut. Gibson 4th regt.,
1 July 1832 Dublin Dunvegan Castle Lieut. Thomas Faunce 4th regt.,
28 July 1832 Sheerness Parmelia Captain Young 38th regt.,
12 March 1833 Sheerness Waterloo Captain Mondilhan 54th regt.,

10). 4th (or The King's own) Regiment of Foot......



1. Bateson, Charles, The Convict Ships, p. 172



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