Cornelius Kelly was entered in the
Navy List of Medical Officers in 1814
Cornelius Kelly was employed on the
convict ship Woodman from the Cape of Good Hope to Van Diemen's Land in 1826.
The Colonial Times & Tasmanian Advertiser reported the
arrival of the Woodman in Tasmania- On Monday, arrived the ship
Woodman, Capt. Leary, from England with 150 male
prisoners. On board this ship have arrived the Rev. Mr.
Mummery, (a regular clergyman), Mr. Christmas, the Bank Clerk,
and Mr. Jefferson (or some such name) (* this was
Jørgen Jørgensen), a Swede, all of whose
cases excited much observations in England.
Sydney Gazette reported the arrival
of the Woodman in Sydney - 'The
Woodman, Capt. Daniel Leary, burthen 419 tons, from
Sheerness, 6th December, Cape of Good Hope, 4th March with 146
male prisoners, 4 having died on the passage, as well as the
Mr. Rodmell. Mr. Kellie of H.M. Ship
undertook the charge at the Cape. The guard consisted of
Captain Wakefield, and Ensign Innes of the 30th and 2
sergeants and 7 rank and file of the 57th.' - Sydney Gazette 24 May 1826.
The following reports appeared in the newspapers in 1826.
Cornelius Kelly wasn't mentioned, however apparently thought
innuendo was aimed at him: -
We understand from a Gentleman of great respectability, that
the crew of the ship Woodman, went on shore at the Cape de
Verde Islands, and killed some cattle belonging to the
settlers there, and that the inhabitants of the island were
themselves maltreated. We shall be happy to see this
contradicted by our Contemporaries. - The Monitor 7 July 1826.
A malicious wanton and unfounded assertion relative to the
crew of the ship Woodman, having made its appearance in the
Monitor of yesterday, Mr. Leary, commander of that ship
(and on whom such unprincipled attack evidently appears to
have been made) has no hesitation in denying the truth of the
statement, from whatever respectable quarter it may have
emanated. At the Island of St. Vincent (Cape de Verds) w
watering party, consisting of a few men of the guard and crew,
did, with the conduct and sanction of the natives, shoot some
wild cattle with which the mountains abound; and, so far from
the inhabitants having been maltreated, Mr. Leary (who was not
himself out of the ship, on any occasion, during the passage
from England to Van Diemen's Land) was informed by the
commanding officer of the guard, that he was received by, and
took his leave of, the Governor on the most friendly terms. -
Sydney Gazette 8 July 1826
We are requested by
to state, that the reports which have been so industriously
propagated by the Monitor, which have excited so much
interest from their monstrosity, did not originate with him,
as he had not at that time joined the ship. - Sydney
Gazette, 22 July 1826
Back in England in 1828 Cornelius Kelly lodged at the
house of Mr. & Mrs Mercer at Somers-town. He was a witness at
the inquest into the death of Mrs. Prudentia Mercer. He had
little to do with the case, however managed to disrupt the
Mrs. Mary James
resides opposite the house of Mr. Mercer, who is a chemist
and druggist. About half past 12 o'clock on Monday night a
gentleman named Kelly came to her house, and said that Mr.
Mercer had poisoned herself.
mentioned by Mrs. James here stood up, and addressing the
coroner, said, "Sir, I will not be called gentleman; I will
not have my name played with in such a manner. My name is
Cornelius Kelly, and I am a surgeon in his Majesty's royal navy."
The coroner said, he conceived the way he and the witness had
described Mr. Kelly to be in a most respectful manner; and if he did not
like the designation of gentleman, he could have no objection
to strike it out in the deposition.
Kelly said -
I am a surgeon in his Majesty's navy, and an
Irishman, and a papist, and all that.
coroner here interfered and said, that unless Mr. Kelly
refrained from indulging in such conduct, he should be under
the necessity of ordering the room to be cleared of strangers.
Mr. Kelly still persisted in demanding the word
gentleman being struck out, and Cornelius Kelly, surgeon in
his Majesty's royal navy being inserted instead.
Coroner - Well sir, you shall be accommodated. Mr.
Sterling then erased the word "gentleman" and introduced the
designation by Mr. Kelly, and the inquest proceeded..........
The testimony of
Mrs. Mary Harrison.....
Did you have any conversation with Mrs. Mercer?
Yes, sir, respecting a servant girl that was going to leave
her situation in consequence of a gentleman who lodged in the
house having taken liberties with her.
Who was that gentleman, was it Mr. Mercer? - No
Who was it?.... Must I
Yes, to be sure? Then it
was Mr. Kelly, the gentleman who sits there
Mr. Kelly -
It was I, sure enough, Cornelius Kelly,
surgeon in his Majesty's royal navy. I only put my arm round
her neck and gave her a kiss, as any other gentleman would do
who had been taking a glass of grog. I declare to God I never
spoke to the crature (creature) in private in all my life.
Nobody said you had; there was no great
harm in kissing the girl
Mr. Kelly -
None in the wide world......(The
Standard 10 July 1828)
Cornelius Kelly died prior to 1843 when his youngest son
passed away.......(On the 15th instant,
at St. Colum's Court, Patrick James, youngest son of the late
Cornelius Kelly, Esq., surgeon R.N. of Londonderry. - The
Freeman's Journal 20 January 1843)