Convict Ship Surry (II) 1833
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information about Convict Ships arriving in New South Wales, Norfolk Island
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Voyage 124 days
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Camden arrived 18 February 1833
Next vessel: Andromeda
arrived 11 March 1833
Captain William Veal
Edward Ford Bromley R.N.
the Female Convict Ship Trail
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This was the
first voyage of this vessel bringing convicts to New South Wales.
The Surry was the next ship to bring prisoners from
Ireland to New South Wales after the
Roslin Castle departed with male prisoners in October. The previous female convict
ship was the Southworth which departed in February 1832.
female prisoners who were transported on the Surry came
from counties throughout Ireland including Kilkenny, Cork, Dublin,
Limerick, Galway, Mayo etc., Most were probably held in county gaols
prior to transfer to the Convict Depot in Cork to await
transportation, however by the time the women reached the depot they
were often debilitated from long incarceration and poor diet. There
was also a devastating outbreak of cholera in Ireland in 1832....
Since the introduction of cholera into the county gaol of
Cork, a novel method has been adopted to prevent its spreading. A
musician is engaged to play for the female prisoners (to whom the
epidemic is entirely confined) for a few hours every evening; they
are all brought together into one of the largest apartments in the
prison, and such an interest is excited amongst them by the music
and the dance, that they appear to forget altogether the cholera and
its terrors. This mode of prevention was suggested by the idea, that
as fear is a predisposing cause, nothing could tend more to diminish
its influence. The same method has been tried at the convict depot,
and with success. (1)
............Parliamentary Papers, House of Commons
Escape of prisoners - Ten
female prisoners - five of whom were under sentence of
transportation escaped from our city gaol about twelve o'clock on
Saturday last. A small opening was made by displacing a short iron
bar from one of the windows in the day room appropriated to the
females, through which they passed; they then got on the top of a
wall, dropped down in front of Mr. Smithwick's dwelling house, and
passed through that gentleman's lodge gate. It has not been
ascertained whether the bar was removed within, or by assistance
outside. Bridget Delaney and one of the untried prisoners have been
retaken at Castlecomer. The prisoners escaped during the absence of
Mr. Duncan the Governor, who had gone to Cove to leave convicts on
board the hulk Surprise. He arrived on Sunday evening and
has been ever since in pursuit.
When the Surry departed Cork on 15th November 1832, one of
the women on board was the above mentioned Bridget Delaney. She was
twenty years old.
The female prisoners
to be embarked on the Surry in 1832 were inspected at the
depot in Cork before embarkation and although some were found to be
suffering debility 'the consequence of dissolute habits and very low
diet at the depot', all were taken, as the surgeon thought 'better
food and sea air would be useful to them' (2)
Ford Bromley kept a Medical Journal from 25 August 1832 to 28 March
1833 in which he gave a very unflattering description of the women.
He thought that Irish female convicts were 'very inferior to English
women of the same class'. He had difficulty stopping them from
smoking below decks and to keep themselves clean. Out of 141, only
100 could 'tell their letters' and about '5 write and 10 read'. They
were mostly 'taken off the town as common prostitutes, the rest the
lowest descriptions of burglars and petty thieves, hardened and old
Half a pint of wine was issued to each, twice a
week, and was always followed by 'drunkenness and rioting'. The
surgeon recommended that this practice should be stopped as
producing no good but 'much mischief'. He also recommended that iron
collars should be supplied since one girl took off her wooden one
and threw it overboard, handcuffs and gags should also have been
The charter party did not provide candles or lanterns for
going below into the prison or hospital and the surgeon had to
provide his own. He complained that the 'security box or black hole'
was not secure and that one woman burst out of it. To prevent this
he put a chain round the box with a strong padlock. He suggested a
straight jacket should also be provided.
To the left is an
iron maiden that may be similar to that used on the Surry to
punish the women.
On 16 February
1833, the sugar ran out and on 24 February the wine ran out, and
'this was the signal for a tremendous riot, fighting and quarrelling
of every description'. One woman tried to stab a seaman and three of
them had to be severely punished. The surgeon repeated his plea that
the issuing of wine should be abolished since it has been 'nearly
the cause of all the riots in the ship'. Catarrh prevailed a good
deal in February because of the cold winds.
arriving on the Surry included 19 free females and 40
children. Names of the free women embarked on board the ship
Catherine Murphy; Julia Whitehill; Ellen
Manon; Sarah Carroll; Chary Stobs; Elizabeth Jones; Margaret
FitzGerald; Mary Logan; Elizabeth Staffinson; Catherine Sloane; Mary
Neil; Mary Riordan; Mary McCormick; Ellen Tierrey; Bridget Henley;
Kate Slattery; Margaret Birrell; Jane Rourke; Julia Walsh.
Free womens' children - Margaret Whitehill aged 14; Anne Whitehill
aged 8; Stonor Manan aged 12; Richard Manan aged 8; Mary Carroll
aged 17; James Carroll aged 13; Peter Carroll aged 8; Mary Jean
Stobs aged 3; Catherine Jones aged 17; John Jones aged 12; John
Jones aged 13; Anne Jones aged 10; Mary Fitzgerald aged 12; Michael
Fitzgerald aged 9; Mary Logan aged 12; Daniel Logan aged 9 Patrick
Cloane aged 14; Charles Sloane aged 12; Bernard Sloane aged 18;
Bridget McCormmick aged 14; Thomas McCormick aged 12; Margaret
Tierney aged 20; Mary Tierney aged 18; John Tierney aged 16; William
Tierney aged 10; Patrick Henley aged 12; Mary Henley aged 8; Mary
Slattery aged 21; Catherine Slattery aged 18; Bridget Slattery aged
13; Timothy Slattery aged 8; Margaret Birrell aged 17; Anne Birrell
aged 15; Patrick Birrell aged 13; Catherine Birrell aged 11; Ellen
Murray aged 12; Surry Logan born at sea. (3)
arrived at Port Jackson on 9th March 1833 with 141 female prisoners
and 11 of their children. The women were landed on Monday 25 March
and assigned to their various employments. An underwhelming account
in the Monitor reported them to be a stout set of women who were
Notes & Links:
was one of five convict ships bringing female prisoners to New South
Wales in 1833, the others being the
A total of 639 female convicts arrived in the colony in 1833.
2). Edward Foord Bromley was also employed as surgeon on the
Calcutta in 1803,
in 1820 and the
Hunter Valley convicts and passengers arriving on the Surry in 1833
The Chequered career of William Whitehill (convict husband of
Julia Whitehill) by Alfred James in the Illawarra Historical
Society Bulletin 1 May 1974
5). Dr. Edward
Foord Bromley died at Strood, Kent in 1836........
Preston Chronicle 7 July 1832
Morning Chronicle 3 May 1832 (from the Kilkenny Moderator)
New South Wales, Australia Convict Ship Muster Rolls and Related
Records, 1790-1849 Original data: New South Wales Government.
Musters and other papers relating to convict ships. Series CGS 1155,
Reels 2417-2428. State Records Authority of New South Wales.
Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia.