Passengers on the
included Captain Rice, Ensign Kelly, 29 rank and file of the 31st
regiment., 6 women and 9 children who all embarked at Deptford.
Surgeon Alexander Neill kept a Medical Journal from 1st
May 1839 - 7 September 1839........
On Saturday 4th May 1839, the ship dropped down to Woolwich and fifty
prisoners were embarked from the Justitia
and fifty from the
apparently in very good health. One of the men had been subject to
epilepsy from childhood and has had several very severe attacks since
embarkation, from his being a great nuisance to the other prisoners I
did apply to have him removed but we sailed before an answer arrived.
After the embarkation of the Woolwich prisoners we proceeded the same
evening to Sheerness by steam and when we arrived on Sunday morning the
5th I reported the ship's arrival to Sir J. Hill. On Monday I west to
Chatham and examined the prisoners, rejecting several who were labouring
under diseases and I was rather astonished to find symptoms of scurvy in
one case as bad as I have seen at sea, purple spongy gums, contraction
of the muscle of the legs and macula on the chest and arms; this case
only shows the great necessity for a surgeon commencing a four month
voyage to be accordingly particular in his examination of prisoners. One
hundred and fifty prisoners were embarked at Sheerness from the
at Chatham making in all 240.
was the next vessel to leave England for New South Wales after the
departure of the
in November 1838. The
departed Sheerness on
15 May 1839.
After a voyage of 109 days, the
in Port Jackson on
1st September 1839.
They had not encountered even one gale on the voyage out and there were
no prisoners on the sick list. In his summary of the voyage, Alexander
Neill made the following unusual observation:
I beg further to state that in two voyages in
convict ships, I have found dogs a very great nuisance, not only making
dirt about the decks but in one case tearing down the ventilation near
the beds; and another great objection to their being on board a ship
crowded with people is that they are liable to be trampled on
accidentally by the prisoners, which in the part of the owner of the
dog, nine times out of ten be called wilful; and greatly likely to lean
to discussion amongst those whose duties should go hand in hand.
Sydney Herald reported that the convicts were inspected on Monday
2nd September by the Board of Health Officers, who were highly gratified
at the cleanliness of the vessel and good order of every one on board.
Mr. Neill, the surgeon was congratulated on his return to the Colony by
his many respectable friends, all of whom were happy to hear of his
arrival without the death of a single individual. This is the gentleman
who so politely volunteered his services on the occasion of the
being placed in quarantine some years back, and was very near
to losing his own life.
Alexander Neillwas also employed as surgeon superintendent on the
Eden 1842 (to VDL)
Saturday 7 September the convicts of the Parkfield were
inspected by the
Governor Sir George Gipps in
Hyde Park Barracks. His Excellency told
the second class men that it was impossible that he could do anything
for them for two years after their arrival,
but after that period all who behaved themselves well would receive the
indulgence of being assigned to private service.
first class men he said must remain in government employment for six
months, after which they would be assigned out, if they deserved it. At
their work they would be divided into gangs of ten or twelve men who
would be made responsible for each others' conduct, so that if they have
a bad man amongst them it would be in their interest to inform their
superintendent of it, and the man would be removed. Willingness at their
work he particularly impressed upon them, as being necessary if they
wished to obtain any indulgence. Three men who attempted to escape from
the ship after arrival in harbour were placed in the second class.
Among the prisoners were sixteen soldiers, for different offences, among
whom were four soldiers of the 67th regiment, who were transported for
manslaughter in killing a marine in a drunken fray at Chatham a short
In an advertisement soon after arrival the Parkfield
was said to be well known as one of the fastest sailing vessels carrying
British Colours and could also stow a fair cargo. She could be chartered
by contacting Captain Whiteside on board or agents Dunlop & Co. in Queen
Notes and Links:
John Summers who held a ticket of leave dated 19th August 1846
was on a
Colonial Office list of thirteen people who applied for their
families to be sent to New South Wales. Address of his wife was given as
Turkey Hill, Maidstone, Kent.
Parmelia arrived at Portsmouth from Sierra Leone on 18th April
1832 having been employed taking marines to the coast of Africa. She was
then engaged as a convict transport, and
was the next convict ship to leave
England for New South Wales after the departure of the Hercules in June
Some of the prisoners embarked had been involved
Bristol Riots in October 1831. They included William
Christopher, Henry Green and Aaron Martin.
The Parmelia departed Sheerness on
28th July 1832.
The Guard consisted of 31 rank and file of the 4th
Regiment, one soldier of the 17th and one of the 63rd with their wives
and families, under the command of Captain Young of the 38th regiment
and Lieut. Williamson of the 48th regiment. Passenger Assistant surgeon
Other convict ships bringing detachments of the 4th regiment
Surgeon Richard Allen kept a
Medical Journal from
18 June 1832 to 28 November 1832.....
On the 28th June the Parmelia proceeded to Woolwich and on the 2nd and
3rd of July convicts were received from the Hulks from which cholera had
but recently disappeared. On the 4th July she proceeded down the river
to complete her embarkation at Sheerness where the disease was also
Later in July the Essex Standard reported of the cholera outbreak
in London - During the last four days the cholera morbus has been
rapidly on the increase. The Times mentions, that five cases have taken
place on one day in one of the City prisons. There have been 49 deaths
in St. Katherine's Docks within the last few days, and 10 in the London
Docks within a day or two. The ship
Fanny, bound for Sydney with female convicts, is detained at the
Little Nore with it, having had 14 or 15 cases, and, up to Sunday
afternoon, four deaths, and several hopeless cases. It is raging on
board the Parmelia and the John Craig at Standgate Creek.
people died of cholera before the Parmelia even left England :
Wilson, soldier died 2 July 1832 (cholera)
Thomas Hopkins, convict died 7 July 1832 (cholera)
Two more prisoners died on the voyage: -
Roger Sims who died on 24 August 1832, and John
Sullivan who died on 30 August 1832.
One hundred and ninety six
arrived in Port Jackson on
16 November 1832.
The voyage had taken thirteen weeks. A muster was held on board on 20th
November by the Colonial Secretary. The indents give such information as
name, age, education, religion, marital status, family, native place,
trade, when and where tried, sentence, former convictions, physical
description and occasional information about colonial crimes, death or
pardons. There is no information in the indents as to where the convicts were assigned
prisoners were landed on Thursday 28th November 1832. The Sydney
Herald reported that they were young active men who would be an
acquisition to the settler.
The Freeman's Journal reported on 11th October 1833 that the
first guard from the 50th regiment embarked on board the Parmelia
at Deptford on the 28th September, under the command of Major (Joseph)
Anderson. The vessel was to call at Cork to take convicts from there.
The Parmelia was at Plymouth on 9th October and had arrived at
Cork by the 15th October.
here to find out more about the
Convict establishment at Cork and the names of
Officers employed in the service in the years
1832, 1833 and 1834. (2)
was the next convict ship to leave Ireland for New South Wales after the
departure of the
Royal Sovereign in September 1833.
included Mrs. Anderson and 4 children, 8 women and
Anthony Donaghue kept a Medical Journal from 18 September 1833 to 20
March 1834. His first case on the sick list was Major
Anderson who was suffering with rheumatism. The surgeon reported the
death of one convict on the voyage.
Two hundred and eighteen male prisoners arrived in Sydney under
the guard of Ensign Campbell and 29 rank and file
of the 50th regiment.
Detachments of the 50th Regiment also arrived on the
Royal Admiral , Lady Nugent ,
While still on board on Wednesday 5th March, the
prisoners were mustered for the purpose of taking their descriptions
prior to disembarkation and assignment. They were described in the
newspapers as a healthy, robust set of men, mostly field labourers. The
editors must have missed seeing Thomas Baldwin who was 62 years old and
according to the surgeon, a perfect skeleton by the time he arrived. He
was sent to Sydney Hospital on arrival however died there nine days
On Thursday 6th March the troops of the guard of the
Parmelia were landed and immediately marched to Liverpool. The
prisoners were landed at the Dock Yard in the early hours of Saturday
morning the 8th March, and forwarded to Hyde Park Barracks for
distribution. On Saturday 22 March the Sydney Gazette reported
that a great number of the prisoners were forwarded to the interior by
the settlers who had attended the previous Thursday's market.
....Distribution of 218 male convicts who arrived by the
Parmelia...... 203 assigned to private service; 3 sent to Mineral Surveyor's
Dept; 1 to the Master Attendant Dept; 3 in hospital; 2 unfit for
assignment; 4 sent to Port Macquarie (specials); 2 sent to Carter's
Barracks. Two prisoners had died on the voyage out
Notes and Links:
Convict John Tighe
was on a
Colonial Office list of thirteen people who applied for their
families sent to New South Wales.........
The Parmelia was to sail to India in company with the Fairlie
and Lady Hayes early in April.
Major Anderson was appointed Commandant at
Norfolk Island in 1834. He remained there until February 1839.
Anthony Donoghue was also employed as
surgeon on the convict ships
The Pekoe was the next convict
ship to leave Ireland for New South Wales after the departure
in April 1840.
The Guard for the Pekoe consisted of 29 rank and file, 5 women
and 11 children of 96th regiment under orders of Lieut. Curren and
Ensign Kenny. They were received onto the Pekoe on the 3rd and
4th June 1840 and left Deptford for Ireland on the 7th June.
Other convict ships bringing detachments of the
96th regiment to New South Wales included the
On the 23rd June the Pekoe anchored in Kingstown Harbour,
Dublin and two days later 100 male prisoners were embarked. On the
27th June, eighty one more were received on board together with two
little boys, sons of two of the prisoners. On the 29th June four of
the prisoners previously embarked were taken on shore again and three
others were sent in lieu of them, leaving on board 180 prisoners and
the two free little boys by the names of Mathew Woods (son of Michael
Woods of Co. Louth) and Patrick McArdle (son of James McArdle of Co.
They departed Dublin on the
10th July 1840
Symptoms of scurvy began to appear and so they put into Simon's Bay on
13th September and remained there a week being well supplied with
fresh meat and vegetables. There was a great deal of boisterous rainy
weather between the Cape of Good Hope and St. Pauls and the ship was
frequently very wet between the deck from shipping seas.
The Pekoe arrived
in Port Jackson on
The convicts were mustered on board the vessel on Wednesday 11th November and
landed on Thursday 12 November.
187 men including 10 who had been embarked at the Cape were marched to the Hyde Park
Barracks. From there they were to be transferred to the service of
settlers to supply the urgent demand for labour to assist in getting
in the harvest.
Robert Bower kept a Medical
Journal from 3 June to 12 November 1840 (27 pages)
arrived at Portsmouth from Deptford on 1st January 1802.
The Morning Post and Gazetteer
dated 9 th February 1801 reported that the Buffalo, Coromandel
and Perseus with convicts on board for New South Wales,
departed Portsmouth harbour with a fleet under command of Rear
Admiral Collingay, however due to appalling weather conditions
the Persues and Coromandel did not weigh anchor until the 12th
February when winds had abated and fog had cleared.
Free passengers as well as convicts were required to be in
good health to embark on the voyage. When the Perseus
arrived in Portsmouth it was found that two of the female
passengers were heavily pregnant prompting the following
correspondence from Sir John Fitzpatrick dated 26th January
I have the pleasure of informing you that at present there is
a favourable appearance in respect to the probably healthiness
of the convicts on the voyage to New South Wales. But I cannot
say the same for the Passengers, several of whom are uncleanly
and will not subject themselves to regulation. There are two
women passengers on board the Perseus, from whom, in
consequence of their advanced state of pregnancy, there is
much to be apprehended ; for there is no one matter which so
soon contaminates the air in a crowded place, and a hot
climate as the unavoidable consequences of women's lying in;
where they cannot have the necessary means of cleanliness or
fresh air and where they must be subject to every
inconvenience arising from the crowd and clatter of all about
them. Thus do they themselves risk the fatal consequences,
whilst those around them and afterwards the ship at large,
must experience the effects of foul, contaminated, putrid air,
and the unoffending babes equally suffer. Hence it is, that in
the transporting of Troops, we must never permit any woman, be
who she may to proceed if likely to be brought to bed on the
passage. There I pray you to transmit this my opinion that
Elizabeth Loyde, on the Perseus the wife of John Loyde, a
carpenter, now pregnant near eight months and Margaret Jones
wife of a stonemason pregnant seven months should not at
present proceed. The former has her husband on board and four
children ; the latter her husband only. (HRA, Series 1,
Vol., III p. 372)
departed Spithead 12 February 1802 in company with the
sailed via Rio de Janeiro and the Cape, and arrived in Port Jackson
4 August 1802.
Free passengers on the
Perseus included Charles and Mary Ann Palmer and their
children Clara aged 3 and Sabina age 10 months; Edward and Ann
Pugh; Mary Pitches; Mary Beaumont; Catherine Roby Stanley and
According to Governor
King, the prisoners of the Perseus arrived in good
Governor King to the
Transport Commissioners, 9th August 1802. (HRA, Vol. IV)
The healthy state in which the Coromandel and Perseus arrived requires my
particularly pointing out the masters of those ships to your
notice. It appears by the log books, surgeon's diaries and the
unanimous voice of every person on board those ships that the
utmost kindness to the convicts. This, with the proper
application of the comforts Government had so liberally
provided for them and the good state of health all the people
were in, induced the master of the Coromandel to
proceed without stopping at any port. He arrived here in four
months and one day, bringing every person in a state of high
health, and fit for immediate labour; and although it appears
that the Perseus necessarily stopped at Rio and the
Cape, yet the convicts were in as good condition as those on
board the Coromandel; nor can I omit the great pleasure felt
by myself and the other visiting officers at the grateful
thanks expressed by the prisoners and passengers for the kind
attention and care they had received from the masters and
surgeons, who returned, an unusual quantity of the articles
laid in by Government for the convicts during the voyage.
A large quantity of
clothing arrived on the Perseus including 2250 red
jackets; 2250 duck waistcoats; 2250 trousers; 750 blue
jackets; 750 blue pantaloons; 2500 hats, Cockades and
Feathers; 2500 pair shoes; 500 pair boots; 10 gr. yellow
buttons; 10gr. Horn Moulds; 11 lbs thread; 1000 tailors
needles and 20 thimbles.
While moored in Port Jackson in October 1802, the Perseus
was struck by lightning and narrowly escaped being wrecked in
departed Port Jackson bound for China in October 1802.
Captain Thomas Weatherhead. Surgeon Superintendent
The Phoenix arrived
in Van Diemen's Land
20 May 1822
with 182 male convicts, two having died on the voyage.
comprised a detachment of the 3rd Regiment (Old Buffs), under the
orders of Brevet Lieut.-Colonel Cameron, and Ensign Pigot, of the same
Surgeon Evan Evan kept a Medical Journal from
19 October 1821 - 25 May 1822 (32 pages)................
19 October 1821: Joined the ship at
Deptford and reported to Captain Young, agent for transports.
27 October 1821: A detachment of the
3rd Regiment embarked on board as Guard over convicts.
4 November 1821: The ship dropped down
from Deptford and arrived at Portsmouth on the 8th.
10 November 1821 at Portsmouth:
Embarked 120 convicts from the Leviathan Hulk, and 64 from the York.
11 November 1821 at Spithead: Issued
the bibles, testaments, prayer books etc to them [convicts] before the
November 1821 at Spithead: In consequence of the severity of the gale
last night, the ship drove some distance, and this day the crew were
employed in getting the anchors up and in working the ship to an
anchorage at the Motherbank which took up most of the day,
consequently very few convicts permitted on deck
20 December 1821 at Motherbank: 9am the
ship getting under weigh. The convicts with colds are nearly well
today. The vaccination not having the least effect. 2pm working out of
21 December 1821 in the Channel: 9am
blowing very hard and has blown a hard gale all night, mostly from the
SW. The prison very wet, leaking in every direction over the prison
and most of the convicts very sea sick, bearing up for Dungeness. At
10am had the convicts with their wet things on deck, fire in the
airing stove in prison, and had the prison well dried.
on the 5th January (the day
previously to the departure of the
They sailed by the Eastern passage,
keeping very near the African shore, and in consequence had very long
and constant calms near the line, and very warm weather. The death of
one of the convicts at this time caused Evan Evans great worry that
fever would spread throughout the vessel and he ensured that the decks
were frequently fumigated with nitrous acid. They put into Rio de
Janeiro where they stayed for six days.
The convicts were all very well behaved and all of them
were taken out of irons a few days after departing Portsmouth and kept
out of irons the whole of the voyage, with the exception of four days
that the ship was at Rio De Janiero. The boys and men who could not
read attended school daily. Evan Evans commented that the utmost
harmony prevailed between himself and Brevet Lieutenant Colonel
Cameron and Captain Weatherhead.
Cabin Passenger - Rev. Power, Roman
Joseph Cook kept a Medical Journal from from 6 July 1826 to 12 January 1827.
It was an unusually long and detailed journal in
which he also noted the impact of the weather on the health of
On the 4th August, 190 male convicts were embarked from the
Essex Convict Hulk in Kingston Harbour, Dublin, mostly
young men from 18 to 28 - they generally report themselves in
health, but many have the sallow prison complexion.
A few days after being on board, diarrhoea prevailed generally
and continued as long as the ship remained at Kingston, but in
so mild a form as only a few cases required medicine. The
change in diet was evidently the cause - the allowance
of animal food on board the Essex being very scarce and
on the Phoenix each convict having a full allowance of Beef
and a proportion of vegetables daily. The weather was mild and
when it rained the men were sent below. Their clothes were
cleaned on board the Essex by the washing machine; and the
prison was kept as dry as possible, the deck being cleaned in
the morning by heated sand.
The surgeon recorded that the Phoenix
weighed anchor and departed Kingstown Harbour on
and by this time there was an improvement in the appearance of
the convicts, however for several days they were generally
indisposed with sea sickness. A number also had habitual
In September they began to recover from
the sea sickness and in general enjoyed good health. On the
9th September they arrived off Madeira, the weather became
warm and the convicts' hair was cut. They bathed at daylight
on the deck every day and when the weather permitted, ate
their meals on deck also. Their woollen clothing was carefully
packed up for them until it would be needed in the cold
southern latitudes. By 16th September they were experiencing
hot sultry weather and the men began suffering from fevers.
Windsails were set up at each hatchway, by day and night the
scuttles were kept open and an airing stove was used in the
They crossed the equator on 11th October
and the weather began to cool. The woollen clothing that had
been previously stored was distributed again. Other than some
cases of fever and dysentery most of the convicts remained
well. By November the weather had become cold and wet and a
heavy sea prevented the convicts taking sufficient exercise on
deck. A stove was used daily in the prison and hospital and
every means employed to keep the between deck as dry and well
ventilated as possible. Some of the men were suffering with
rheumatism, catarrh and pleurisy and the wine which was
sparingly used at the beginning of the voyage was now offered
to each convict daily. In addition to their other clothing,
flannel drawers and worsted stockings were supplied.
The same cold weather continued until
the 19th December, however as they sailed north up the coast
of Australia the weather became milder and they were again
able to exercise on deck. Two men were still in hospital when
they sailed into Port Jackson on
the others according to the surgeon were in a stout, healthy
condition. The guard were disembarked on 26th December all in
According to the surgeon's journal
catarrh had prevailed in the colony, in a violent form during
the summer, carrying off many of the inhabitants and some of
the prisoners of the Phoenix were also affected with this
complaint. In consequence one of the men was sent to the
Colonial Hospital in Sydney. The prisoners were mustered on
board on Tuesday 2nd January by the Colonial Secretary
Alexander McLeay. The convict indents include such information
as name, age, education, religion, marital status, family,
native place, trade, offence, when and where tried, sentence,
prior convictions, physical description, and where and to whom
they were assigned. There is also occasional information
regarding colonial sentences, deaths and pardons.
In January another two convicts were
sent to the Hospital, one with dysentery and the other as the
result of an accident. One prisoner had died on the passage
out. He had been ill while still in the hulk however had
concealed his illness as he had a relative sailing on the same
vessel. On 11th January the remainder of the prisoners were
disembarked in a state of health fit for employment.
The Monitor reported in January
1827: The prisoners by the Phoenix that landed two weeks
ago, were inspected by the Governor at Hyde Park Barracks. For
the most part they consisted of young Irishmen, of hale,
hearty appearance. There were also a considerable number of
boys. Previous to their disembarkation, the greater proportion
was assigned to the service of Settlers, who generally find
the Hibernian the preferable servant when required for the
purposes of grazing. English answer best for husbandry.
In January a Government Order was issued
regarding the return of Surgeons to England: The
Commissioners of the Navy having expressed their desire that
the Surgeons of His Majesty's Navy, who are employed on board
Convict Ships, should return to England by the first
Opportunity after their Arrival in this colony; It is hereby
notified that any Surgeon, neglecting to return home as
directed, will not be again employed in the Convict Service,
and that the Pay of such
Surgeon will cease on the Day the Ship, by which 'he might
have returned, sails from the Colony'. The Surgeons will be
required, in Order to their receiving their pay, to produce a
Certificate to the Navy Board, from the Governor, that they
have embraced the first Opportunity of returning Home.
returned to London on the Marquis of Huntley in
February 1827 together with surgeons Dixon, Nisbett, Henderson
Joseph Cook was also employed
as surgeon on the convict ships
The Phoenix was the next convict
ship to leave England for New South Wales after the departure of the
Asia in November 1827.
The Guard for the Phoenix consisted of
Captain Collet Barker,
Lieutenant Moore and 30 men of the 39th regiment, together with four
women and six children. They received their orders to embark on the
Phoenix on 30 January 1828.
Phoenix departed Spithead on
9 March 1828.
There were no deaths on the voyage and most of the illness was trivial.
Nineteen year old George Williams spent an uncomfortable few days
with a most excruciating headache which he attributed to
having exposed himself to the sun for some time without his cap. He was
put on the sick list on 25 April 1828 at sea and was well again after
William Bell Carlisle kept a Medical Journal
from 29 January to 30 July 1828.
He considered that every individual of the convicts and Guard were
landed at Sydney in a state fit for duty. Towards the latter end of the
voyage a few additional ounces of lemon juice were given daily to 15 of
the convicts who were discovered to have a scorbutic sponginess of the
gums which yielded readily to the Lime Juice in eight or ten days. One
natural labour a few nights before arrival in Sydney was the only
additional incident Dr. Carlisle thought worth mentioning
A Muster was held on board
by Colonial Secretary Alexander McLeay on 18th July 1828 and the Prisoners were landed on Monday 28th July. The Australian
reported that with few exceptions they were an uncommonly healthy and
robust body of men. Nearly the entire shipload had been assigned to the
service of private individuals, many in Sydney.
A prisoner of the Crown who effected his escape from Sydney in the ship
England in 1826 was returned by the Phoenix. He had
visited China and India and almost circumnavigated the globe before being
re-transported for life on the Phoenix. Undaunted, an hour or two
after landing and being placed in barracks he contrived to make a slip
from his lodgings and to pay a visit to some of his old haunts in
William Bell Carlisle was also surgeon on the convict ships
Asia in 1820, Morley in 1823 (VDL), Henry in 1825, Andromeda in 1827 (VDL) and the
Marquis of Huntley in 1830.
The death of Captain
Barker in April 1831 at Encounter Bay South Australia.......It
only remains for us to notice the subject which forms the principal
topic of the last chapter, namely the melancholy murder of Captain
Barker by the natives. It appears that Captain Sturt, in his visit to
the southern coast, not being in a condition himself to make the
examination, recommended to the colonial government a further
investigation of the territory intervening between the most eastern
point of Encounter Bay, and the head of St Vincent's Gulf. Captain
Collet Barker was appointed to perform this duty, he having been well
fitted for the task by his long intercourse with the natives on the
northern coast, to whose hands he had frequently entrusted himself.
Captain Barker accepted his appointment, and in due time landed on the
coast of St. Vincent's Gulf, at a spot which, from its rich soil and
picturesque scenery, was peculiarly inviting, It appears that, in the
pursuit of his scientific objects in this quarter, the Captain, though
in a very unhealthy state, ventured upon swimming across a tide, in
order to gain a hillock at a short distance, which was calculated to
facilitate some observations that he desired to make.
He was observed by several of his comrades, who, in the first instance,
endeavoured to dissuade him from his purpose to ascend the hillock,
which he had reached from the water. He then descended from the top on
the opposite side, but was seen no more. Mr. Kent, one of the companions
of Captain Barker, remained waiting on the shore with two soldiers, in
expectation of seeing him reascend the hillock every moment; but they
waited in vain, and at last, having conducted the soldiers along the
shore to obtain wood for firing, the party was struck with a distant
shout, which was recognised to have proceeded from a white man. The
evening closed, and yet no tidings arrived of Captain Barker; but whilst
the party, assembled round their evening fire, were anxiously
speculating on his fate, their conversation was interrupted, in a manner
which Captain Sturt describes in the following beautiful passage: Soon
after night-fall, however, their attention was roused by the sound of
the natives, and it was at length discovered that they had lighted a
chain of small fires between the sand-hill Captain Parker had ascended,
and the opposite side of the channel, around which their women were
chanting their melancholy dirge. It struck upon the ears of the
listeners with an ominous thrill, and assured them of the certainty of
the irreparable loss they had sustained.
All night did those dismal sounds echo along that lonely shore, but as
morning dawned, they ceased, and Mr. Kent and his companions were again
left in anxiety and doubt. They, at length, thought it most advisable to
proceed to the schooner to advise with Doctor Davies. They traversed the
beach with hasty steps, but did not get on board till the following day.
It was then determined to procure assistance from the sealers on
Kangaroo Island, as the only means by which they could ascertain their
leader's fate, and they accordingly entered American Harbour. For a
certain reward, one of the men agreed to accompany Mr. Kent to the main
with a native woman, to communicate with the tribe that was supposed to
have killed him. They landed at or near the rocky point of Encounter
Bay, where they were joined by two other natives, one of whom was blind.
The woman was sent forward for intelligence, and, on her return, gave
the following details :It appears that, at a very considerable distance
from the first sand-hill, there is another, to which Captain Barker must
have walked, for the woman stated that three natives were going to the
shore from their tribe, and that they crossed his tract. Their quick
perception immediately told them it was an unusual impression. They
followed upon it, and saw Captain Barker returning. They hesitated for a
long time to approach him, being fearful of the instrument he carried.
At length, however, they closed upon him. Captain Barker tried to sooth
them; but finding that they were determined to attack him, he made for
the water, from which he could not have been very far distant. One of
the blacks immediately threw his spear, and struck him in the hip. This
did not, however, stop him. He got among the breakers, when he received
the second spear in the shoulder. On this, turning round, he received
the third full m the breast: with such deadly precision do these savages
cast their weapons. It would appear that the third spear was already on
its flight when Captain Barker turned, and it is to be hoped that it was
at once mortal. He fell on his back into the water. The natives then
rushed in. and dragging him out by the legs, seized their spears, and
inflicted innumerable wounds upon his body; after which they threw it
into deep water, and the sea tide carried it away......The
The Pilot, the
Chapman and the Canada all departed Cork in
March 1817. They were the next vessels to
leave Ireland bound for New South Wales after
the departure of the Surry in July 1816. The
Pilot departed the Cove of Cork 9th March
1817, touched at Rio de Janeiro 5th May where
she remained until 23rd May before leaving for
New South Wales.
The Caledonian Mercury reported in February
1817 that several transport ships were
assembled at Cork and were to convey the 48th
regiment to New South Wales to relieve the
46th. They were to sail in company of convict
ships for the same destination. (1)
The military guard on the Pilot consisted of a serjeant and
30 privates of the 46th and 48th regiments
under the orders of Lieutenant Franklin of the
Other convict ships bringing
detachments of the 48th regiment included the
Larkins, Lady Castlereagh, Agamemnon,
Charles Queade was about 40 years old when he
made this voyage. Although this was his first
voyage as Surgeon Superintendent of a convict
ship, he was a well experienced naval surgeon
and he was taking no chances with the
prisoners under his care, which considering
the events that took place on board the
Chapman, was fortunate. He made
certain recommendations to Lieutenant Franklin
for the management of the convicts while at
Cork and on the voyage to Australia:
1st. I would recommend that the sentinels be
constantly kept on deck under arms night and
day, that is, one on each gangway about the
Barricade doors on deck and one on the
forecastle and that these sentinels are
supplied with a certain number of ball
2nd. No boats ought to be allowed to come
along side with any thing for the prisoners
without my particular permission or in my
absence without the permission of the Master
of the ship. All boats at night coming near
the ship are to be hailed by the sentinels and
if coming to the ship must be reported to me
or the Master before being allowed to come
3rd. The key of one of the prison hatchways is
to be constantly kept in the possession of the
non commissioned officer of the guard who is
to attend when any of the prisoners require to
come on deck and never to admit more on deck
than twenty while in Harbour unless I
4th. The prison hatchways and doors are to be
locked every evening before dark by the
sergeant of the guard and reported to you but
before being locked it would be advisable that
the Sergeant goes round the prison and sees
that the prisoners are quiet and orderly.
5th All parcels for the soldiers or prisoners
ought to be carefully examined by the Sergeant
before being permitted to be taken below to
prevent if possible the introduction of
spirits or beer into the ship clandestinely
and it is also advisable that all packages
belonging to either the soldiers or prisoners
be well searched before leaving the ship so as
to prevent their disposing of their
necessaries or clothing.
6th It would be highly necessary that you
prevent the soldiers under your command while
on or off duty from making use of any abusive,
insulting or irritating language towards the
7th. The Soldiers ought to be strictly
prohibited from holding any conversation
whatever with the prisoners while on or off
duty. (Colonial Secretary's Index. Reel 6046;
He wrote a similar set of instructions to the
Master of the vessel and in addition advised
that the windsails were to be kept up all day
in harbour when the weather permitted and the
stoves were to be lighted in foggy or rainy
weather at eleven o'clock in the morning and
put out at two in the afternoon. The
provisions for the day were to be served out
to the prisoners sufficiently early so as to
allow their breakfast to be comfortably cooked
and ready to be served out by eight o'clock in
After a voyage of 142 days the Pilot
arrived in Port Jackson on
29th July 1817. One hundred and
seventeen prisoners were landed on Friday
morning 8th August and although it rained hard
throughout the morning, Governor Macquarie
carried out his usual inspection of the
prisoners. The Governor
extended his warmest thanks to Captain Pexton
and Surgeon Charles Queade R.N., for the
humane treatment which the prisoners
gratefully avowed receiving throughout the
Pilot departed Port Jackson bound for
Hobart in September 1817.
Queade was also surgeon on the convict ships
The prisoners of the Planter came from
districts throughout England - Surry, Sussex, Wiltshire, Oxford, Essex,
Berkshire, London, Lancaster etc. A few had been court-martialled at
Corfu and John Pearce a schoolmaster and missionary was tried at Sierra
Leone. As well as the usual farm labourers and shepherds there were also
butchers, a game keeper, watchmaker, linen draper, coachman, jeweller,
silk weaver, a miller and a doctor.
The Planter was delayed in
Portsmouth for some time having been placed in quarantine after some of
the prisoners were found to be suffering from cholera.
The Planter was the next convict ship to leave England for New
South Wales after the departure of the
Clyde in May 1832. She departed London on
15th June 1832.
included Lieutenants Bullin and Irvine of 38th regiment and 28
rank and file of the 4th regiment, 1 serjeant of 39th; 3 women and 1 child
Mr. James Busby
Colonial Times, Hobart printed a review of Alick Osborne's
Surgeon's Journal :
Mr. Osborne sailed from Portsmouth on the 15th June 1832 in the ship
Planter of 368 tons, with 200 convicts for Sydney NSW. The first subject
to which he refers is, naturally the treatment and behaviour of the
convicts on board. On this subject we make the following extracts - 'On
embarkation, the prisoners were surprised to find good biscuit, beef,
port, pease, flour, raisins, lemonade, wine etc issued to them, in lieu
of the coarse brown bread and indifferent beef sometimes supplied by
contractors for the hulks. The convicts have hitherto behaved tolerable
well, and are now beginning to enjoy themselves after the first brush of
sea sickness. Having gone out with Irish convicts on a former occasion,
I find a sad difference between the English and them. The one polished,
artful, and vicious, poor Pat simple, innocent, and as tractable as a
child, with a civil word you can do any thing with Paddy. In one of my
voyages from Cork, there happened to be among the rest a father and two
sons for sheep stealing. Old Murtagh was advanced in life, the sons fine
athletic young men. Two days after embarkation, I observed Rory, the
eldest, eyeing me very wilfully, but apparently unwilling to trespass. I
beckoned him aft and desired to know what was the matter, hoped the old
man kept up his spirits, etc. Emboldened by the manner, he simple begged
'if your honor would be pleased to divide the bolts between me and
Dennis for the ould man's getting tender, God help him, and I'm afear'd
he wont get to the end of the journey any way'. I felt ashamed at having
overlooked the poor old man so long (he was four score but I did not
know he was so old). and instantly removed the old mans irons amidst the
prayers and benedictions of the whole party.
Alick Osborne had the gratification to be able to state in his journal
that the prisoners were all disembarked in excellent health and
condition, not one having been sent to hospital on arrival.
The Planter arrived in Port Jackson on
15 October 1832
with 200 male prisoners, none having died on the voyage out.
The convicts were mustered on board by
the Colonial Secretary on 19th October 1832. The indents for
the Planter give information such as name, age, marital status,
family, religion, education, native place, trade, offence, date
and place of conviction, sentence, physical description and occasional
information such as tickets of leave, date of death or colonial crimes.
There is no information as to where or to whom the prisoners were
assigned. The men were to be landed on the morning of the 29th October.
The Porpoise arrived on 9th
November 1800 with 6 male and 6 female passengers, two children and
eight prisoners from the Cape of Good Hope (HRA., Series 1, Vol. III, p
The Porpoise also brought four tons of
1797 cartwheel pennies. ........
Records of Australia
Series 1, Volume 2, 1797
- 1800, p. 341
The Duke of Portland
to Governor Hunter
store-ship Walker; acknowledged by Governor Hunter 15th November 1799)
Whitehall, 12 April
You will receive by
the Porpoise near four tons of a new copper coinage of a penny
The total value of
the above coinage is £550,
which you will take care to carry to the credit of Government, and to
account for it in making such payments therewith for the public service as
you shall from time to time judge most advisable.
The circulation of
this coinage must very much add to the comfort and convenience of
individuals, and greatly facilitate their dealings with each other.
It does not occur to
me that there can be any inducement or motives of interest for sending
this money out of the settlement; but if the contrary should be the case,
it will be your duty to frame a suitable ordinance for preventing such an
offence, subjecting all defaulters, as well the parties receiving as those
disposing of them for exportation, to severe penalties.
Captain William Ascough. Agent A.B. Sparke. Surgeon Superintendent
The Portland was built at Bristol in 1822.
She was 385 tons with a length of 107'5"; breadth (below 28' 4"; height
(cabin) 6' 1"; quarter, main and forecastle decks; three masts; square
stern; ship rig; quarter galleries and bust head. (1)
She was the next convict ship to
leave England for New South Wales after the departure of the
One hundred and seventy eight male prisoners were embarked on the Portland
at Spithead on 14 November 1831. They had been transferred from the
Leviathan and York convict hulks where they had worked in the
Dock-yard from seven o'clock until, twelve, in the mornings, and from a
quarter past one o'clock until half past five, in the afternoons. The
Captivity, pictured below had three decks, the under-deck being an
additional one, with ports cut to admit light. The officers consisted of
an overseer, or captain, three mates, a surgeon, a chaplain, with
inferior officers, quarter-masters, and guards, amounting to nineteen in
number. Divine service was performed twice, weekly, by the chaplain.
The large Vessel in
the centre is the Captivity, this was formerly the
Bellerophon man-of-war, of 74 guns, to which ship,
when commanded by Captain Maitland, and cruising in
Basque Roads, off Rochefort, the Emperor Bonaparte
surrendered himself, about six o'clock A.M. on the
15th of July, 1815.* Near the margin, on the left, is
the Sheer-hulk, used for fixing the masts and rigging
of the vessels in the harbour. The
Bellerophon was paid off and converted to a prison
ship in 1815, and was renamed Captivity in 1824 to
free the name for another ship. Moved to Plymouth in
1826, she continued in service until 1834, when the
last convicts left. The Admiralty ordered her to be
sold in 1836, and she was broken up.
Most of the Portland prisoners were young men in a good state of health with the exception
of a few who suffered chronic ulcers of the legs. The ulcers speedily
recovered under treatment of adhesive straps and a change of air and
Lieutenant Archer of the 16th regiment commanded
the Guard and travelled as a cabin passenger.
The Guard consisted of two non-commissioned
Officers, 27 Privates of the 4th and 39th regiments, two women and four
children who all travelled in steerage
Joseph Cook kept a Journal from 21st October 1831
to 11 April 1832
. The Portland did not depart Spithead until
27 November 1832 and
surgeon Cook reported that during that time the winds and weather were
variable. Catarrh appeared as an epidemic during these days and
continued to recur during the whole of the voyage, almost all on board
having been affected with it more or less, but in the greater number of
instances so slight as not to require confinement or medical treatment.
The prisoners were also much affected with costiveness induced by sea
sickness and change of diet but the general state of health on board
during the voyage was good.
The Portland was off the coast of Brazil on 14th January 1832.
During the voyage the convicts were admitted on deck daily as much as
the state of weather and other circumstances permitted, one half taking
their meals on deck alternatively. Attention was paid to cleanliness and
the between decks kept as dry as possible. The surgeon did not report
heavy rain until off the coast of Australia when they also experienced
westerly winds. The temperature occasionally reached 89° in the prison
at nights while passing through the tropics.
in Port Jackson on
26th March 1832. There had been no deaths on the voyage and 178 male convicts, the
original number, were landed at Sydney on 6th April 1832. All except
one, William Toll who had suffered scurvy, were fit for immediate
Notes and Links:
Joseph Backler who was convicted of passing forged cheques
arrived on the Portland
Joseph Cook was also employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the convict ships
Charles Inches kept a Medical Journal
from 18th December 1832 to 13 July 1833
On 28 December 1832, the Guard
embarked on the Portland at Deptford. The Guard consisted of
1 subaltern of the 26th regiment, one sergeant, one corporal
and 27 rank and file of 21st
Fusiliers accompanied by 5-6 women and 11 children under command
of Captain Frazer of 26th regt., Passengers included Lieut. Wallace, D.A.C.G. Brackenbury, Mrs. Brackenbury, Miss Brackenbury and
On the 1st January 1833 they
dropped down the river to Gravesend, and another subaltern of
the 16th regiment joined the ship. On the 3rd January 1833
they proceeded to the Cove of Cork, arriving there on 11th
January. They remained at the Cove of Cork for six weeks while
arrangements for the convicts were made.
Cholera was still rampant in Ireland and as well the
prisoners had a very restricted allowance of food in their
diet on the hulk amounting to only 20 ounces a week per man,
so that by the time they were embarked on the Portland
their health was in a poor way. Later the surgeon remarked
that the longer they stayed on the Portland, the better
their health got.
2nd February 184 male convicts were embarked and on the 9th
February eight more men were received on board.
here to find out more about the Convict establishment
at Cork and the names of Officers employed in the service in
the years 1832, 1833 and 1834. (2)
was the next convict ship to depart Ireland for New South
Wales after the female convict ship
left in November 1832. The
departed Cork on
21st February 1833
with 193 male convicts.
There was an
unusual degree of sickness on the Portland, which the surgeon
attributed to the convicts of Ireland being much inferior in
health and vigour than the convicts in England. As well their
clothes were worse, being more or less worn and thin. By the
time they reached the cooler weather in the southern latitudes
the surgeon reported that their clothes were in tatters.....By
this time, notwithstanding the pains actually taken by most of
the poor fellows their clothing very generally gave way and
with difficulty was held together, however by procuring
patches of old canvas and sewing them to the most needy, they
continued to keep themselves covered and to get into Sydney in
good condition as to health.
had touched at Lisbon however in consequence of one man on
board dying of cholera, on entering the Tagus, the ship was
immediately ordered off. During the voyage two more deaths
occurred from cholera. The last case of this appeared in
March. Six people also died from fever and other diseases.
According to Charles Inches' journal nine people died
altogether. The Portland arrived in Sydney Cove on
26 June 1833. In consequence of rumoured illness on
board, despatch of the mails that had arrived was delayed
until an examination of the vessel had taken place. The
prisoners were landed on Saturday 13th July 1833.
Dr. Bowman on behalf of the Board of
Health boarded the Portland and submitted his report to the
Executive Committee who sat at a late hour to receive the
report. He pronounced the vessel healthy and the convicts were
mustered on board on 1st July and landed on Saturday 13th July
1833. The detachments of the 21st Fusiliers that arrived by
the Asia and the Portland, proceeded on the
Funchal to join the strength of the Regiment stationed at
The indents reveal such information as
name, age, religion, education, marital status, family, native
place, offence, sentence, date and place of trial and physical
description. There is no indication in the indents as to whom
the men were assigned on arrival. In the Sydney Herald on 22
July 1833 the distribution of the men was reported:
161 assigned to private service
9 assigned to the Commissariat
4 assigned to the Surveyor General's
4 sent to Port Macquarie
2 sent to Carter's Barracks (boys)
4 unfit for assignment
sailed for Launceston in the first week of September.
Passengers included William James Cox, Mrs. Eliza Cox, Misses
Rebecca, Mary and Georgiana Cox, Mrs. Thompson and two
children, Miss Blanchford, Dr. Inches, Mr. Edward Lord, Mr.
J.S. Uther, Mary Reeves, John McMahon, Andrew Galligher, John
Davis, James Murray, John Gray and Michael Power, Henry Tully
and John Stewart. Two of the seaman William Ambrose and John
Raine, refused to sail on her stating, that they had signed
articles under Captain Ascough, and that they were not forced
to serve under a new captain. They could not, nor would serve
under Captain Coghill who was taking over as captain of the
Portland. 'They were sentenced to 7 days hard labour in
The Portland was
seventeen miles to the East of the George Town Heads in October 1833.
All but two survived the wreck. The infant daughter of
Mr. Cox was washed from it's mother's arms and although
rescued from the sea by a sailor could not be saved. The
carpenter of the ship also drowned. The Master of the vessel
was lying dangerously ill at George Town.
Charles Inches was also employed as surgeon on the William
Glen Anderson in 1831 (VDL),
Portsea in 1838 are all
similar. The signature on the medical journal of the
Thames in 1829 (VDL) and the
Edward in 1831 seem to
have been signed by a different Thomas Bell.
consisting of Lieut. Donald McPhee of 28th Regiment, Ensign Gravatt, 28th regiment and 25
rank and file of the 28th, 50th, 51st and 80th regiments and
Passengers Mrs. McPhee and the Misses Isabella and Euphemia
at Deptford on 7th July 1838.
The Portsea sailed immediately for Portsmouth, arriving there on 17
Many of the prisoners of the Portsea had been held in
prison hulks prior to embarkation.
here to read a Prison Hulk Report
describing a typical week in the life of convicts incarcerated
in the Hulks in 1838.
The surgeon examined the prisoners on
the York and Leviathan hulks at Portsmouth. He rejected several who had
recently had small pox.
On 19th July, 240 male convicts were embarked on the Portsea
and the surgeon spoke to them about good conduct and punishment. Rules were
posted in the prison, beds and utensils were distributed and
the surgeon took charge of all valuables.
They received orders to sail on 26 July
but unfavourable winds delayed their departure. They were
afterwards driven into Plymouth and did not leave there until
8th August 1838
A school was established on board and convict Henry N. Disney
(alias Arthur Battersby) took
over as schoolmaster. Many of the convicts 'did not know the
Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, or how many Commandments
there were'. By the end of the voyage there were no more than
3 who did not know the church catechism.
The prisoners were formed into divisions and exercised each
day, walking four miles round the long boat while the band
In the early part of the voyage, headaches, constipation and
slight fevers, due to a change in diet, weather and sea life
occurred. Later, as they approached the tropics, boils,
prickly heat and ringworm prevailed.
The surgeon remarked that there were several cases of scurvy,
mainly among the army deserters who had undergone punishment.
Prisoners who had deserted in Gibraltar, Jamaica or Canada
included John Barraclough, George Beet,
William Darcy, Robert Dicks,Joseph Flemming, William
Fraser,James Gibson, George Glass,John
Hancock, William Harris, Jonathon Harrison, Henry
Hatch, Charles Hewitt, John Hill, Robert Hunt,
Thomas Hunter, William Johnstone, Charles
Lovell, Hugh McCartin, Henry Mead,
Charles Oliver, William Power,Henry Skett,
Christopher Smith, Morrison David Todd, William
They were treated with lime juice and nitre, 1 ounce of nitre
to a pint and a few drops of oil of peppermint in wine with
sugar to make it palatable. The mixture was diluted with water
and given in doses of 3 or 4 ounces. As soon as symptoms of
scurvy were detected, the sufferer was put on the special
a pint of chocolate at 6am, with an ounce of
lime juice and an ounce of sugar, and porridge, a pint of
thick gruel with a gill of wine at midday, porridge again at
4pm, chocolate at 6pm and gruel with wine in it at 8pm.
Strict attention was paid to cleanliness and
when the weather permitted the prisoners bathed every day and
were afterwards rubbed dry with a towel, which each man who
had money was made to buy before leaving port. The prisons
were also cleaned and kept dry and ventilated. The
constabulary force under H N Disney was active and impartial.
The ship was obliged to call at Hobart by a shortage of water
and strong winds from the west making it likely that arrival
at Sydney would be delayed.
They left Hobart Town on 11 December and
arrived at Sydney
18 December 1838. On 22 December 239
prisoners were landed, one having died on the passage out
(George Carter). It had been 164 days since the embarkation of
the guard. The Colonial Secretary and the principal
superintendent of convicts, were pleased at the health of the
convicts and the orderly way in which they landed.
The Prince George was built at Bristol in
1830 by ship builder John Green. She was 482 tons with a length of 118';
breadth (above) 30' 3"; height 6'9". There were two decks and three
masts. She had a square stern, quarter galleries and bust head.(1)
The Prince George was the next convict ship to
leave England for New South Wales after the departure of the Sarah and Elizabeth. The
Prince George departed Torbay on
14th January 1837 and
arrived in Port Jackson on
8th May 1837. Two hundred and forty four male prisoners arrived
under the superintendence of surgeon Thomas Bell, six having died on the
written by David J. Porter tells the compelling
tale of his ancestor,
farm labourer John Porter,
was accused of killing a sheep
belonging to the local curate.
was promptly convicted, on
farcical evidence, and transported to Australia
for life, leaving his wife and four young sons to
manage without the breadwinner.
John Porter was one of 244 convicts who arrived on
the convict transport
in May 1837.
Lincolnshire - In Chainscontains Dr. Bell's report
of the voyage revealing much on
the lives of convicts under his
care. During the voyage of the
Prince George over 200
of the convicts and many of the
guard of the 80th regiment
required medical treatment.
Author David J. Porter has
the full set of records left by
Dr. Bell, which includes the
name and age of the convict,
illness, when each was taken off
the sick list and the outcome of
With thanks to David Porter,
to find a list of the convicts
and guard who were treated by
Dr. Bell, together with a
summary of the more serious
The convict ship Prince of Orange
was the next convict to leave England for New South Wales after the
departure of the
Hebe in July 1820. The Prince of Orange
departed the Downs on 8th October 1820 and arrived in
Port Jackson on Monday
12 February 1821
George Shaw Rutherford kept a
Medical Journal from 1 September 1820 to 17
February 1821. He thought that many of the diseases were too trifling to
write in a Medical Journal. Constipation prevailed to a considerable
extent at the beginning of the voyage. The men suffered headache and distentions of the stomach which he ascribed to change of diet
and confinement on board, many of the prisoners being country men and
accustomed to the use of vegetables and active exercise.
The guard consisted of a detachment
of the 34th Regiment under orders of Lieut. James Oliphant Clunie of the 17th foot.
James Clunie joined the 17th Regiment as an ensign in 1813 and was
promoted to lieutenant the following year. In 1821 he was
transferred to Madras, India on the Almorah. In 1830 he
returned to NSW as senior officer of the Guard on the convict transport
Forth. He succeeded
as Commandant at Moreton Bay and was stationed there from 1830 to 1836.
He died in 1851. In the State Library of New South Wales there is
Transcript of a journal kept by James Clunie from 29 September
1820 - 16 February 1821 on this voyage of the Prince of Orange.
Captain William Anderson. Surgeon
James Hunter R.N.
The Prince Regent was the
next ship to leave England after the departure of the
Dromedary on 11th September 1819. The Prince
Regent departed Deal on 11th October 1819. She brought with her prisoners
from districts throughout England including
Lancaster, York, Middlesex, Nottingham, Warwick,
Worcester, Kent, Oxford, Essex, Derby and London. The
youngest convict was Thomas Rooke from Essex who was only
14 years old. The oldest was Abraham Brierly who was 70
years of age.
The London Times on
21st October 1819 reported the case of two brothers Judah
and Joseph Solomons, who were convicted at the Maidstone
Assizes of being accessory to burglary committed in
Sheerness. They had been removed from the Bellerophan
hulk and shipped on the Prince Regent for NSW. -
Their feelings were sensibly affected at leaving their
native country, particularly Judah, who had long resided
at Sheerness. On Thursday last, the ceremony of
divorcement, according to the Jewish custom, took place at
the Fountain inn, Sheerness, between Joseph Solomons and
his wife. It was performed by the High Priest and Chief
Rabbi, who arrived for the purpose in a coach and four.
The husband was permitted to come on shore, under an
escort, and in irons; and, after the ceremony, he returned
on board, to suffer that expatriation his guilt has
brought upon him.
kept a Medical Journal
from 1 September 1819 to 28 February 1820. His first case
was that of James Hazel a convict boy who was suffering pyrexia and inflamed
legs. His leg irons were both carefully removed and he soon began to recover
under the surgeon's attention. Soon after it was found that many of the
convicts were suffering with the same complaint and all the leg irons were
removed and plain dressings were applied to the wounds. The next case William
Brandford of the 48th regiment was also suffering from an ulcer of the left leg
with the surgeon dressed with a bandage made from his own sheets, none being
supplied on the vessel. During the voyage there were several accidents causing
broken bones and one little girl was badly scalded. On 15th October the all the
surgeon's skills were brought into use when a marlin spike fell from aloft and
cut the nose and upper lip of seaman by the name of Wiseman, separating the nose
and wounding the upper jaw. Two days later another seaman was injured in the hip
by a heavy marlin spike falling on him also.
On the voyage Prince Regent spoke the
Surry, Captain Raine on her return passage to England in 10° North 24°
West on the 4th November 1820.
Three of the soldier's wives were mentioned in the
surgeon's journal: Letty Stewart came on board in a very weak and
debilitated state, having lately had a child. The surgeon gave her wine and
preserved meats and she gradually recovered by November; Harriet Gordon
had been in a bad state of health a long time and continued in a weakly state
all the voyage necessitating the surgeon to supply her with medicine and
occasional wine as well as a nutritious diet; and the wife of Thomas Hughes
of the 48th regiment was delivered of a daughter on the morning of 14th
Much of the journal is taken up with illness and injuries
of the crew and guard. Only a few of the convicts required the surgeon's
attention for illness. Several of the old men he treated kindly and allotted
extra provisions of preserved meat and wine. Other than Abraham Brierly who was
70, other older prisoners included John Dumville 63; Robert Pettit 57; William
Sanders 54; Thomas Watts 69;
Governor Lachlan Macquarie recorded in his
Journal - the Guard
consisted of 31 Soldiers of the 48th Regiment commanded by
Cornet M.C. Chambers of the 21st. Light Dragoons. The Convicts
and Guard arrived in good Health none of either having
died on the Passage out. The
Rev. George Middleton, Asst. Chaplain for the Colony, his
Child and Servant, the wife & 3 children of Cornet
Chambers, and a Chelsea Pensioner have come out Passengers
Those intending to depart on the
Prince Regent in March included Chief Officer William
Legar; 2nd Officer James Dunn; 3rd Officer John Phillpin;
and purser Mr. James Duncan.
James Hunter was still in the
colony when Philip Parker King was searching for a surgeon
to join his third expedition on the Mermaid.
James Hunter offered his services on the voyage and King
was grateful for the presence of an experienced surgeon on
the expedition......I accepted the proffered services of a
young man who was strongly recommended by his Excellency
the Governor, and he was on the point of joining me, when
a surgeon of the navy, Mr. James Hunter, who had just
arrived in charge of a convict ship, volunteered his
services, which were gladly accepted, and he was
immediately attached to the Mermaids establishment. The
accession of a surgeon to our small party relieved me of a
greater weight of anxiety than I can describe; and, when
it is considered that Mr. Hunter left an employment of a
much more lucrative nature, to join an arduous service in
a vessel whose only cabin was scarcely large enough to
contain our mess-table, and which afforded neither comfort
nor convenience of any description, I may be allowed here
to acknowledge my thanks for the sacrifice he made. On
20th July at Port Bowen James Hunter and explorer
spent the day ranging about the vicinity of the shore
whilst Mr. Roe with a boars crew was employed in filling
empty water casks from a gully at the back of the beach.
James Hunter was also
surgeon on the convict ships
The Prince Regent was the next convict ship to leave
Ireland after the departure of the
Almorah in August 1820.
Alexander Taylor kept a Medical Journal
from 21 June 1820 to 17 January
1821. He joined the Prince Regent on 21 June
1820 at Deptford and sailed to Cork to pick up convicts.
On the 13th July 1820 a detachment of the 1st Royal
Scots under orders of Lieut. Lewis, arrived as guards and on the 20th
August 1820, twenty-eight convicts were received on board from Dublin by
the transport brig Atlas. The following day another 104 convicts
were received from the Cork depot. Another five were received 25-31
August. In total 144 prisoners were embarked.
anchor at 5am on 19 September 1820. Trinidad was sighted on the 3rd
There was some fighting amongst
prisoners on the voyage out. Surgeon Taylor punished the offenders by putting them in handcuffs.
Several men were also insolent and critical of the rations that were
provided however there is no mention of any harsher punishments and Alexander Taylor delivered all 144 prisoners in a
healthy state when the vessel arrived in Sydney on
On Monday 15th January the
prisoners were mustered and inspected by the Colonial Secretary and on
Tuesday 16th January, the prisoners were all up and had a complete suit
of clothing issued to each of them by an Officer from the Deputy
Commissary General Department. On the 17th the men were all disembarked
early in the morning. They were inspected by the Governor at 10am.
Alexander Taylor was also employed as surgeon on the
The Prince Regent
was the next convict ship to leave Ireland after the
Castle Forbes in September 1823. The Prince Regent
arrived at Deal from the River on 7th January and proceeded to
Cork to embark prisoners. She departed Cork on 13th February 1824
The Prince Regent arrived in Port Jackson
15 July 1824 with 177 male
This was Thomas B. Wilson's first voyage
employed as surgeon superintendent on a convict ship. He kept a
from 1 December 1823 to 21 July 1824. Three convicts died on
the passage out.
Captain William Richards. Surgeon
The Prince Regent was the
next convict ship to leave England for New South Wales
after the departure of the Harmony a week previously. The Prince Regent
departed London on 11th June 1827, passing nearby Cape Finestere on 20th June, near Madeira 25th June, calling at
Teneriffe on 2nd July and passing Canary Island 5th July.
The Prince Regent arrived in Port Jackson on
27 September 1827 after a voyage of 108 days.
William Rae kept a Medical Journal
from 1 May to 15 October 1827......
At the end of the
voyage he wrote in the General Remarks of his Journal: -The
prisoners generally conducted themselves well and by due
enforcement of the rules and regulations laid down for
their governance at the commencement of the voyage little
trouble occurred to me during the remaining part of it.
The provisions were all of the best quality. The Master of
the ship was kind and humane and whilst in his power
supplied me with milk, daily for one of my worst patients.
From him and his Officers I received every support and
assistance in the execution of my duty.
Guard comprised a detachment of 57th regiment under
orders of Lieut. Campbell.
included Ensign Charles Henry Darling of 57th regiment, nephew to His
Excellency, Governor Darling and later Governor of
Major Sir Thomas Livingstone Mitchell with his wife
and family; Lieut. Hughes; P
Elliott, assistant surveyor.
William Rae was also
employed as surgeon on the convict ships
The Princess Royal was built in
1798 and owned by G. Brown (2).
She was the next
convict ship to leave England after the departure of the
Surry in October 1822. The Princess Royal
departed England 5th or 8th November 1822.
The guard consisted of a
detachment of the Buffs under the Command of Lieut. Howard of
59th regiment and Ensign Grant of the 3rd regiment.
Other ships bringing detachments of the
3rd regiment included the
surgeon's journal does not seem to have survived for this
voyage, however James Hunter was well experienced in the
duties of surgeon superintendent having previously been
employed on the voyages of the
Prince Regent in
1820. His attitudes towards the prisoners and their likely
treatment can be derived from his solicitous care towards the
men during his first two voyages in 1818 and 1820.
Princess Royal arrived in Port Jackson on
11th March 1823 with 154 male prisoners.
The indents include information such as name, when and where
tried, sentence, native place, trade, age and physical
description. There is no indication in the indents as to where
the prisoners were assigned on arrival.
Sydney Gazette reported the prisoners as having landed on
Thursday 13th March when they were inspected by Governor
Brisbane in the forenoon. Their healthy appearance was said to
indicate the kind treatment they had met with during the
voyage. They were immediately forwarded by boat to Parramatta.
In the Colonial Secretary's Correspondence there is a list of
72 men who were assigned to various settlers and government
service at Parramatta, Liverpool, Airds, Brigelly, Windsor,
Emu Plains and Bathurst.
revealed in correspondence to the Governor written in 1823,
that life for the sailors was difficult under Captain Sherwood
and so while the prisoners were being distributed throughout
the colony, and the vessel was being made seaworthy once
again, the crew of the Princess Royal made use of their
short time of freedom in Sydney........Two sailors of the
Princess Royal had become intoxicated while on shore
leave. When they returned to the vessel Captain Sherwood and
the Chief Mate were displeased. They handcuffed the men and
threw one of them down the half deck hatch injuring him
severely; the other the Captain struck with a cutlass cutting
his hand and threatening to run him through. The Chief Mate
struck him several times and kicked him cruelly. Nine other of
the crew came to their rescue and later in fear for their
lives wrote a letter of appeal to the Governor stating that
the Captain had threatened revenge when he got them to sea
again. They stated the Captain to be a tyrannical man who
often struck them for little reason. The letter was signed
John Jones, John Baylis, John Wright, Edward Tyson, George
Hemmings, William Wallace, John Foster, John Harris, John
George, John Francis and Christian Marten.
8th April Captain Sherwood, of the ship Princess Royal
appeared at the Police Office on Tuesday morning to lay a
complaint against two of his seamen for drunkenness, abusive
language, and striking their commander on board. Nine other of
the seamen were also charged with knocking off work, in
consequence of Captain Sherwood's determination to punish the
two refractory hands. The complainant was supported in his
testimony by his chief officer. The nine men were directed by
the Magistracy to return peaceably on board, and go to work as
usual, as such was the wish of Captain Sherwood; but,
regarding the other two, it being necessary to visit their
conduct with some slight degree of punishment, they were
ordered into solitary confinement, on bread and water, till
the departure of the vessel. Upon the annunciation of this
very lenient act of Magisterial authority, the whole of the
others, nine in number, declared that they would not go on
board ; in consequence of which, the whole party was ordered
to be lodged in gaol, and to be separately confined on bread
and water, till the vessel's departure. (1)
On 18th April John Jones was given his discharge from the
March Second Mate Augustus Warner was permitted his discharge
from the Princess Royal in Sydney. He returned to
England on the Denmark Hill in April. The First Mate Mr.
Wilson and Third Mate Mr. Duggan remained with the vessel and
departed on her in April.
20th April 1823 the Princess Royal sailed for Batavia
and Calcutta. An interesting Court-martial later took place in
Chatham in 1826. The Prince Royal under Captain
Sherwood, was on the voyage from Madras to England in 1825
with troops when an altercation took place between Agent for
the transport Lieutenant Thomas Hewett R.N. and Major Browne
commander of the Guard regarding the sailing of the vessel.
Select here to read more about the court-martial.
Bound For Botany Bay:
Narrative of a voyage in 1798 Aboard the Death Ship Hillsborough -
A Narrative of a Voyage to New South Wales, in the year 1816, in the
ship Mariner, describing the Nature of the Accommodations, Stores,
Diet &c., together with an account of the Medical Treatment &c." by
John Haslam in John Croaker: convict Embezzler: John Booker and
Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia,
Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1825