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Convict Ship Surgeons - W

 

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B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W

 

 

 

 *Date of Seniority Royal Navy  

 

 

WALKER, Elphinstone *7 August 1809

 

Elphinstone Walker was christened 26 January 1781 in Colinton, Midlothian, Scotland, son of Marion Miller and Robert Walker. His brothers and sisters included Isobel, Marion, Margaret, Robert, Thomas, Adam and James.(55)

In 1801 he was employed as surgeon on the convict ship Atlas, Captain Richard Brooks, which departed Ireland on 29 November 1801 and arrived in Port Jackson on 7th July 1802.

Elphinstone Walker died in August 1804 at Bengal. In an application for probate in 1812 by an attorney acting on behalf of his father Robert Walker, Elphinstone Walker is described as a surgeon belonging to the East Indian Merchant Ship Euphrates. He was a bachelor and his estate was to pass to his father. (54)

The Euphrates under Captain George Welstead, was engaged in the south seas and returned to England early in September 1803, departing in convoy for the Bengal on 27th September 1803. She was the last of the convoy to depart. Passengers who sailed on her included Lady Rodney and children, two Miss Pauls (Governesses), Mr. Scott jun., of Bengal and Mr. John Thomas Roberdeau of Portsea, writer for the Bengal. Later a letter was published from a young man of the Bengal Civil Establishment, a passenger on the Euphrates, bestowing praise on the unremitted attention and vigilance of the indefatigable officer Capt. Lock of the Revoutionaire, in convoying the fleet. The fleet had survived the storm and water spout which desolated Madeira on 10th October 1803 which Island they saw on the 11th.

Information was received that the Euphrates  had, in company with a Privateer taken on the coast of Africa, a valuable prize laden with guns and gold dust. It was reported that she had still not arrived at Bengal in July and August 1804. Another vessel the Admiral Aplin had sailed a month earlier on 28th August 1803 and been captured by the French privateer La Psyche on 9th January 1804 and fears were held for the safety of the Euphrates.  She arrived finally at Madras on 20th February and from Madras for Bengal on 16th March under convoy of His Majesty's sloop Victor. She was reported to have arrived at Bengal early in April 1804 and sustained some damage by getting aground while going up the river. No mention can be found of Elphinstone Walker, however another man Henry Kennedy of Belfast died of bilious fever on the Euphrates in August 1804.  The Euphrates  sailed in company with the Earl Spencer, the Lord Melville, the David Scott and the Britannia from Fort St. George on 21st October 1804 and from St. Helena 31st December and departed St. Helena on 13th January, arriving back in Plymouth on 10th March 1805.

 

 

  

WALKER, Hugh (R.N.,) *25 January 1799
 

Hugh Walker was entered in the Navy List of Medical Officers in 1814.

He was employed as surgeon superintendent on the Guildford which departed Portsmouth on 14 May 1820 and arrived in Port Jackson on 30 September 1820. He returned to England on the Guildford in October 1820. Surgeons Robert Espie and Thomas Reid also returned to England on the Guildford.

Hugh Walker was also employed as surgeon superintendent on the Minstrel which departed Portsmouth 17 April 1825 and arrived on 22 August 1825.

On 26 May 1827 Hugh Walker embarked on the ill-fated voyage of the Cumberland, Captain Carns, bound for England. The Cumberland was subsequently taken by pirates off the Falkland Islands and all on board including Walker were reportedly barbarously murdered.(Sydney Gazette)

 

 

  

WATERS, William

 

Surprize 1790

 

 

  

WATSON, Alexander
 

Alexander Watson was appointed Surgeon Superintendent on the Norwood convict ship to Western Australia in January 1862

 

 

 

 

WATSON, David *31 December 1809

 

David Watson was entered in the Navy List of Medical Officers in 1814.

He was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the convict ship Lord Lyndoch in 1833 and the Lloyds in 1837.

 

 

  

WATT, William Conborough  * 22 February 1819
 

There were two men by the name of William Watt who were appointed Assistant Surgeons (1)William Watt appointed 21 July 1808 and (2)William Watt appointed 10 December 1811

William C. Watt was born in Scotland, of Scottish parents, and was baptized, on the 12th June 1795 in the parish of New Monkland, Larnark and was educated in Scotland for the medical profession. He had one brother, Thomas Watt, and an only sister Margaret. Thomas Watt was an assistant surgeon in the Royal Navy and resided chiefly at Deptford, Kent and upon his death was buried at Greenwich.

William C. Watt resided in Scotland until 1811, when he came to England and was appointed assistant surgeon in the Royal Navy, and was employed as hospital mate at Haslar Hospital. In 1812, he was appointed assistant surgeon to her majesty's ship Aboukir. He was on the List of Medical Officers who had served at War. He was employed as Assistant-surgeon on the Abourkir at the surrender of Genoa in 1814.

In May 1817 after serving in several ships he was appointed acting surgeon in the Raccoon, in which he remained until December 1818, when, for the first time, he was put on half pay. He returned to Scotland and resided there until January 1821, when he returned to England and was appointed surgeon of the Grasshoppper, in which he continued until January 1824, and about February in the same year was appointed surgeon of the Arachne, in which vessel he served in India.  When Surgeon of the Arachne was officially noticed for his services while conducting the medical department, against Ava in 1824-25-26

On the return of that ship in October, 1826, he was for the second time put upon half pay, and again went to Scotland. On arriving in Glasgow he found the circumstances of his family much altered for the worse, his mother had died in that year and his father who died in March 1833 had become of irregular habits and his sister Margaret was in circumstances and in society very unsatisfactory.

He left Glasgow, taking his sister with him and went to reside at the house or Richard Smith at Lasswade where he placed his sister in the boarding school of the Misses Mutter. He continued to reside there till the autumn of 1828 during which time he took the degree of M.D. from the university of Glasgow. In 1828 he expressed a desire to obtain a private practice in England, but as none offered he visited Falkirk in the county of Stirling and endeavoured, but unsuccessfully, to make arrangements for succeeding to a business there. In the autumn of 1828, having obtained employment, he removed his sister from the school to the family of R. Smith, and was appointed surgeon to the convict ship Edward, which he held until October 1829. While on this voyage the wife of R. Smith died and he removed his sister to the house of a lady near London. In December 1829 he was appointed surgeon of the Roslin Castle and before sailing made his will. He left in the ship in December 1830 and in January 1831 was appointed to Exmouth convict ship which was lying at Deptford; he took his sister with him and placed her in the house of a lady there; he also caused her piano forte to be removed from Scotland to her then residence. He subsequently served on board the ship Mary and was afterwards for a short time with a marine detachment at Spike Island, off the coast of Cork when, in April 1834 he was appointed surgeon to the Temeraire, and to the ships in ordinary at Sheerness, which he held until the end of September 1839, when he was for the last time placed on half pay.

He was next appointed secretary to the medical officers of the navy, who were then raising a fund amongst themselves to present a testimonial to their chief, Sir William Burnett. This required his presence in London, and he accordingly removed with his sister and took lodgings at Pimlico, where he resided until 1841 during which time he pressed his claim for employment and promotion in the Navy.

Early in October 1841, he was appointed a Deputy-Inspector of fleets and joined the Queen at Portsmouth and sailed for the Mediterranean, and remained in that ship until March 1843, when he was appointed Deputy-Inspector of Hospitals and went to Malta. This position was previously held by William Martin who had been shot and killed by a sentry on 23rd March.(1) This appointment Watt held until his death there in August 1848. He was joined by his sister at Malta, where they resided until her death in 1846...Courts of Chancery Brown v. Smith

 ....1844

 .....1848

Notice - Died, on the morning of the 20th August, at his residence in Rinella Bay, Dr. William Conborough Watt, D.D., F.R.C.S., Deputy Inspector of her Majesty's Royal Naval Hospital, Bighi. Dr. Watts had been upwards of thirty years in her Majesty's service, and greatly distinguished himself by his medical services during the Burmese war in 1825. He was buried on the 22nd, in the tomb at Bighi cemetery, which contains the remains of his sister, deeply regretted by all who knew him. Admiral Harvey, and the officers of the fleet in port at Malta, and all the dockyard and victualling yard officers, followed the remains of the deceased officer to the tomb....The Morning Post 1 September 1848

 

(1)The Naval Career of Sir Thomas Spencer Wills

 

 
WEATHERHEAD, George Hume R. N., *4 July 1812
 

Gerorge Hume Weatherhead, medical writer, was born in Berwickshire in 1789 or 1790.

He was entered in the Navy List of Medical Officers in 1814. He graduated M.D. at Edinburgh University on 1 August 1816. He was admitted a licentiate of the College of Physicians on 27 March 1820 and died at The Cottage, Foot's Cray Park near Bromley in Kent on 22 June 1853. (Dictionary of National Biography)

 

George Weatherhead was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the convict ship Adrian. He kept a Medical Journal from 31st March to 20 August 1830 during the voyage of the Adrian to New South Wales

The Beaulah Saline Spa (1832)by George Hume Weatherhead

A Pedestrian Tour through France and Italy (1834) by George Hume Weatherhead

A New Synopsis of Nosology (1834)by George Hume Weatherhead

On the Cure of Gout and Rheumatism (1843) by George Hume Weatherhead

On the List of Surgeons unfit for service in 1841

On List of Surgeons retired on commuted allowance 1850

George Hume Weatherhead can be found in the 1851 Census residing at Vale of Health, Vale Lodge, Middlesex.  with two servants Mary Carer and Maria Cast. He is age 60 and unmarried. His occupation is given as Physician Graduate, retired from practise.

 

 

 
WEST, Major

 

Major West was employed as Surgeon on the Francis & Eliza in 1815.

He lost most of his belongings including surgical instruments when the vessel was plundered by the privateer Warrior during the voyage. He later settled in New South Wales and was employed as Assistant Surgeon at Sydney, Parramatta and Windsor.

In 1822 he resided at Windsor and requested that a clearing party be assigned to his 700 acre grant at Prospect.

In February 1824 he held an inquest in St. Matthew's Church yard at Windsor on the body of a woman by the name of Ryan who it was thought had come to an untimely death by a blow from her husband. Dr. Parmeter also took part in the inquest, however they found no evidence of foul play and the body was re-interred.

In the 1825 Muster at Windsor Major West employed as housekeeper Sarah Keaton who was stated to have arrived on the convict ship Janus as a convict under sentence of 7 years transportation. Their children Major Keaton born in 1821, John Keaton born in 1824 and Joseph or Thomas Keaton born in 1822 resided with them at Windsor. (*Note - No prisoner can be found in the convict indents by the name of Sarah Keaton or Keeling. )

The New South Wales Births, Deaths and Marriages index records Major West as marrying Sarah Keeling (Keaton) in 1825 at St. Mary's Sydney.

In 1828 Major West resided at Parramatta and gave his age as 36. Living with him was his wife Sarah Jane age 23, and their sons Major age 7, Joseph age 5 and John age 4 and daughter Sarah Jane aged 2 (born 3 May 1826). Three servants were assigned to them, two of whom lived at Prospect. (1828 Census)

The New South Wales Births, Deaths and Marriages index has two entries for death of Major West in 1832.

In 1832 application was made to the Orphan school for Joseph and John. They were admitted on 11th and 12th August 1832 with the notation that their mother was in Sydney.

He is not the Major West who died in 1863 age 54.

Two families of Wests arrived on the Westmoreland in 1821 including John West and family (several children including Major West age 15) and Thomas West and family with six children)

 

 

 

 
WEST, William *5 November 1814

 

William West was entered in the Navy List of Medical Officers in 1814

William West was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the convict ship Burrell  to New South Wales in 1830, the Duchess of Northumberland to Van Diemen's Land in1843 and the Equestrian to Van Diemen's Land in 1844.

He was listed in the Medical Register 1865 -  Residence 178 Marylebone road, London. Qualifications - Surgeon in the Navy 1814. Member Royal College Surgeons Eng. 1815. M.D. University Edinburgh 1821.

 

 
WHITE, John
 

John White was a naval surgeon. He was appointed chief surgeon to the First Fleet arriving in 1788 and later serving as Surgeon-General to the new colony of New South Wales during the first years of its existence.

He was a keen amateur naturalist and took an intense interest in the unique flora and fauna of his new surroundings, keeping a journal on the voyage out, which was published in London in 1790, as Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales with Sixty-five Plates of Nondescript Animals, Birds, Lizards, Serpents, curious Cones of Trees and other Natural Productions. He sailed on the Charlotte.

Sir A.S. Hamond to Under Secretary Nepean

Chatham, 16th October 1786

Dear Sir,

Mr. White, the surgeon of the Irresistible, is a candidate for Botany Bay. He is a young man of much credit in his profession, and of that sort of disposition and temper that render him a very proper person for such an establishment. If no surgeon is yet appointed, and you will do me the favour to recommend him to Lord Sydney, I shall think myself much obliged to you, and shall consider myself bound to Government for his good behaviour, I am etc., A.S. Hamond. (HR NSW p. 25)


Surgeon White's Commission. .........

George the Third, etc. to our trusty and well beloved John White greeting:

We do, by these presents, constitute and appoint you to be Surgeon to the settlement within our territory called New South Wales, You are, therefore, carefully and diligently to discharge the duty of surgeon by doing and performing all and all manner of things thereunto belonging ; and you are to observe and follow such orders and directions from time to time as you shall receive from our Governor of our said territory for the time being, or any other your superior officer, according to the rules and discipline of ward.   Given at our Court at St. James's the twenty fourth day of October 1786, in the twenty sixth year of our reign, By his Majesty' command, Sydney. (HR NSW p. 25)

In 1791 the following letter written by John White was published in the Belfast Newsletter. The letter was written in Sydney and dated 17 April 1790. Details the desperate plight of the colony at that time emerge from his writings. He couldn't have foreseen it as he lamented their dire situation, but worse was yet to come as just three three months later the Second Fleet sailed into Sydney Cove with over seven hundred and fifty convicts many of whom were sick and dying....

His Majesty's ship Sirius, and Supply tender, sailed from hence the 6th March last, with the Lieutenant governor, half the marines, and about 200 convicts for Norfolk Island and landed them safe the 16th. This division of our numbers the Governor thought necessary, on account of the low state of our provisions. The ship stood off and on until the 19th before an opportunity of landing the provisions and stores offered; then the Sirius stood in as close as possible to hasten and facilitate getting the things thought a heavy surf, which continually rolls in on the beach, but by a current, or some other unforeseen cause, she was driven on a reef of hidden rocks and irrecoverably list. The ship's bow is in a position which will probably make her hold together until every thing is got ashire, where all the officers and men are safe, with a greater store of provisions than we have here. Had the Sirius arrived safe, she was immediately to be sent to China for some relief for us, and on her dispatch our all depended; but, alas! that hope is no more, and a new scene of distress and misery opens to our view. When the Supply arrived with the melancholy ridings, the Governor called all the officers together to consult and deliberate on what was left to be done in our present distracted and deplorable situation. He laid before us the state of the provision store, which contained only four months flour, and three of pork, at half allowance, which has been our portion for some time past, every other species of provision being long since expended. We there fore determined on the necessity of reducing our half allowance of those two articles to such a proportion as will enable us to drag out a miserable existence for seven months.

Should we have no arrivals in that time, the game will be up with us, for all the grain of every kind which we have been able to rise intwo years and three months, would not support us three weeks, which is a very strong instance of the ingratitude and extreme pvoerty of the soil, and country at Large: though great exertions have been made. Much cannot now be done; limited in food, and reduced as the people are, who have not had one ounce of fresh animal food since first in the country; a country and place so forbidden and so hateful, as only to merit execrations and curses; for it has been a source of expense to the mother country, and of evil and misfortune to us, without there ever being the smallest likelihood of its repaying or recompensing either. From what we have already seen, we may conclude that there is not a single article in the whole country, that in the nature of things could prove of the smallest use or advantage to the mother country or the commercial world. In the name of Heaven, what has the Ministry been about? Surely the y have quite forgotten or neglected us, otherwise they would have sent to see what become of us, and to know how we were likely to succeed. However, they must soon know from the heavy bills which will be presented to them,, and the misfortunes and losses which have already happened to us, how necessary it becomes to relinquish a scheme that in the nature of things can never answer. It would be wise by the first steps to withdraw the settlement, at least such as are living or remove them to some other place. This is so much out of the world and tract of commerce that it could never answer. How a business of this kind (the expense of which must be great) could first be thought of without sending to examine the country as was Captain Thompson's errand to the coast of Africa, is to every person here a matter of great surprise. M. Perouse and Clanard, the French circumnavigators we well as us, have been very much surprised at Mr. Cook's description of Botany Bay.

The Supply tender sails tomorrow for Batavia, in hopes the Dutch may be able to send in time to save us. Should any accident happen to her, Lord have mercy upon us! She is a small vessel to perform so long and unexplored a voyage, but we rely much on the abilities and active attention of Lieut. Ball, who commands her. Lieut. King, Second of the Sirius takes his passage in her to Batavia, and from thence to the Cape of Good Hope (in his way to Europe) where he has orders to charter a ship and send her to us immediately, should no other ships have passed that place in their way here. - Belfast Newsletter 14th January 1791.

 

 

 

 

WHITEMARCH, (or Whitmarsh) John R.N., *24 July 1809

 

John Whitmarsh was appointed Hospital Mate on 24 July 1806.  He was appointed Hospital Mate at Gibraltar in 1810.

He was appointed Surgeon Superintendent on the Morley in 1818. The Morley departed the Downs 30 July and arrived in Port Jackson on 7 November 1818

John Whitemarch returned to England in April 1819 on the Shipley with seven other naval surgeons(2)

He was on the 1834 Navy List of Officers serving abroad. He was employed as Dispenser at Malta 8 November 1833

 

 

 
WILLIAMS, George

 

George Williams was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the Burrell in 1832. The Burrell departed Woolwich 8th January 1832 and arrived in Port Jackson on 20 May 1832.

George Williams kept a medical Journal from 13 December 1831 to 16 June 1832.

 

 

  

WILLIAMS, John G.

 

John G. Williams was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the Kinnear in 1848 (to VDL) and the Maria Somes in 1850.

The Maria Somes departed Portsmouth 6 May 1850 and arrived in Van Diemen's Land 9 August 1850.

 

 

 

  

WILLIAMSON, Stephen
 

Stephen Williamson was Surgeon Superintendent on the Caledonia (VDL) in 1822

The Naval Chronicle 1807......

 

The Royal Military Chronicle: Or, British Officers Monthly, Volume 6......

 

 

 

The Banker's Magazine Vol. 33.. Death of the son of Stephen Williamson in Australia in 1873.

 

 

 

WILSON, Andrew Douglas *21 January 1824

 

Andrew Douglas Wilson (Willson) was appointed to the position of Assistant Surgeon on 14 January 1814.

He was promoted to the position of Surgeon in the Royal Navy in 1824. Others promoted at the same time included Thomas Brownrigg and Joseph Steret. (110). He was appointed to acting surgeon to the Bellette in January 1824 (Morning Post 5 January 1824)

In 1828 he was Surgeon on the vessel Primrose which was used in the suppression of the slave trade....

 

Andrew D. Wilson was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the convict ships Princess Royal in 1829, Lady Feversham  in 1830 and the Asia in 1832

 

 

 

 

 
WILSON, James

 

James Wilson was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the convict ship Lady Ridley in 1821 to Van Diemen's Land in 1821; the Blenheim 1834  and Lady Kennaway 1836  to NSW and the Minerva in 1838 (VDL)

 

 

 
WILSON, John

 

John Wilson (c) was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the Emma Eugenia in 1844 (VDL)

 

 

  

WILSON, Thomas Braidwood R.N., * 17 August 1815

 

Thomas Braidwood Wilson was entered in the Navy List of Medical Officers in 1814.

He was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the following convict ships:

Richmond 1822 (VDL)

Prince Regent 1824 

Mangles 1826 

Governor Ready 1829 

John 1830 (VDL) 

Moffatt 1834 (VDL)

Strathfieldsaye 1836

He was on the List of Surgeons of the Royal Navy who were fit for service in 1841

Narrative of a Voyage Round the World by Thomas Braidwood Wilson published in 1835

 

 

 
WYLIE, Robert R.N., *4 June 1825

 

Robert Wylie was appointed to the position of Assistant Surgeon on 8 November 1809

He was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the convict ships Henry Wellesley 1836  Emma Eugenia 1838  Barossa 1839 to NSW and the Lady Raffles to Van Diemen's Land.  He kept a medical journal on the voyage of the Lady Raffles between 24th October 1840 to 25 March 1841.

 

 

 
WYSE, David  R.N., *23 October 1813

 

David Wyse was appointed Assistant Surgeon to the Defiance in 1810 and to the vessel Gladiator in 1813. He was entered in the Navy List of Medical Officers in 1814.

He was on the list of Medical Officers of the Royal Navy in 1827

He was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the convict ship Surry in 1833 (to VDL).

He wrote in his journal of the voyage of the Surry  - 'The accommodation and fittings up in the Surry are of the very best description, and the convicts came on board with every prospect of comfort and convenience.....Cholera first made its appearance on board on the 10th November in a soldier from Chatham. Between the 18th and 28th many many cases occurred. The weather was very inclement. Blowing in strong gales with much rain and very cold. The ship bore up off Dungeness and came to anchor in the Downes. On the 27th November matters had come to a crises - two men died on that day, after about 6 or 8 hours illness; both had been stout healthy men previously. The day was excessively tempestuous and rainy - almost every individual below being sick, I could not find enough of sound people to look after the sick and had resolved to apply to the Commanding Office in the Downes for assistance.

The following day the weather improved and some of the cases were resolved and assistance was not sought. There was little illness once the vessel put to sea.

David Wyse attributed the abovementioned illness to the poor condition of the oatmeal provided. (See The Correspondence of Michael Faraday)

David Wyse remarked that with so much illness he had opportunity to try different modes of treatment......He described one of the men who died - Anderson after severe spasms had assumed his natural heat and was lying on his back with a large sinapism over all the abdomen, and quite collected; he kept whinging and moaning from the pain of the mustard, and I requested him to be quiet and bear it like a man. After twenty minutes application I went to remove it when he died as suddenly as if shot.

In 1835 David Wyse was employed on the ill-fated convict ship George the Third which was wrecked on 12 April 1835 in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel off the coast of Tasmania. He later gave evidence at the enquiry into the circumstances surrounding the disaster. His testimony appeared in the John Bull (London) 25 September 1835. Below is an extract of part of his evidence:

"On the Captain giving the order to put the helm hard up, the ship rounded too, considerably, her head from the land; whilst she was rounding, she struck violently, the rudder tearing away the wheel, throwing the first officer from the wheel to the lee side of the poop. The first officer called out loudly for me to come to the leading chains. Soon after she struck again, and the rudder was shifted. I ran immediately to the Captain on the poop, and said 'The rudder is gone, the ship may swing now into the deep water'. 'Impossible Doctor,' said he, 'she is full of water'.

The call at this time of 'Doctor, Doctor!' was most astounding. I rushed from the poop to the main hatchway; Lieutenant Minto accompanied me. The prisoners were screaming in a most violent and agitated manner, "oh, let us out, let us out; in the name of God, let us out". The poor fellows put their hands through the grating, and seized me by the hand, "You promised to stand by us Doctor, you promised to stand by us'. "And so I will, ' I replied, ' I will now remain here with you'.

Two of the stanchions, forming the barricade round the main hatchway, had been broken down. Three or four of the convicts were putting their heads through the broken space. A considerable body of the military formed a compact guard round the main hatch, with their muskets levelled against their obtruded heads, as I conceived, merely for intimidation. Two of the most deserving convicts in the ship came through the opening to me, and clung to my knees, entreating me to pass them. The poor fellows below kept crying out that the water was already up to their knees. The crushing of the bottom of the vessel on the rock at this time was most dreadful. On retreating  from the hatchway I called to Corporal Bell, to allow these two men to come up with me; these men's names are Bart and Nelson.

On coming up I made my way back to the poop; the men accompanied me. The mainmast was tottering. No shots had been fired up to this period. Soon after this the main mast fell. The Captain at this time was forward, endeavouring to get the launch out; this might be five minutes from the first concussion, and in a minute more the foremast fell; I heard it suggested that a gun should be fired as a signal of distress, but it was found impracticable. Major Ryan exclaimed, 'I will cause some muskets to be fires;' I head the report of two or three shots, but did not see from what part of the ship; at this time Major Ryan was sitting in front of the mizenmast; he seized me by the hand, exclaiming 'What can we do now, Doctor?' I replied. 'In a few minutes we shall be in eternity!' I left him and pulled off my surtout, expecting everything would be floating in the water immediately and thought the only chance of saving my life would be by attaching myself to a spar. I saw the launch get clear of the vessel, made a rush, and got on board just as she cleared the wreck; the convicts, as I went forward, opened a passage for me; the convicts were all on the larboard side the starboard being entirely under water.

The Doctor then corroborated what the Captain had previously reported. To questions asked, he answered - " it was not till after the whole of the survivors were taken from the wreck that Robert Hart, a convict, told me that one of the prisoners had been shot. No person in authority from my time of joining the ship, ever appeared the least the worse for liquor, up to the day of the fatal accident. The conduct of the prisoners, from the first striking of the ship was most meritorious. They were kept down till the boat should have been launched; and even before the boat was launce many were drowned. The moment the boat was launched the guard was withdrawn. At the time of the ship striking, 60 men were in bed labouring under the effects of scurvy of whom 10 only might have helped themselves, which I attribute to the poorness of provisions generally, but particularly to the withdrawing the meal of oatmeal and substituting cocoa. "

"One great inducement to proceed up DeEntrecasteaux Channel was to get to Hobart Town with the least possible delay, from the dreadful and increasing sickness on board and total want of every sort of nourishment. The mortality amongst the prisoners was dreadful; we buried five men in one day; I attributed this, in a great measure to the 'new system of provisioning' of which this was the first attempt."

Read more about the loss of the George the Third below (this account states that Assistant surgeon Gregor McGregor of the 50th regiment was saved):

 

 

David Wyse was on the List of Surgeons of the Royal Navy who were fit for service in 1841. He was appointed to Her Majesty's ship Samarang. He appears on the Nominal List of the Officers and Men employed in the Samarang during the Operations in China viz on the 7th January 26th February and 12 March 1841 who were entitled to receive Medals in commemoration of the success of Her Majesty's Arms in the Country.

Notice of the his death appeared in the Quarterly Naval Obituaries in the London Age 9th April 1843.

 

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