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Convict Ship Lady Harewood 1831

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Embarked 216 men 
Voyage: 138 days
Deaths 2
Surgeon's Journal - Yes
Tons: 429
Previous vessel: Edward arrived 22 February 1831
Next vessel: Kains arrived 11 March 1831
Captain Richard Stonehouse  
Surgeon Superintendent James McTernan

The Lady Harewood was built on the Thames in 1791. Convicts were transported on the Lady Harwood to Van Diemen's Land in 1829 and to New South Wales in 1831 and 1832. (2) 

The convicts came from counties in England and Scotland - Edinburgh, Glasgow, York, Surrey, Lacaster, Hertford, Loincoln, Derby, Kent, Sussex, Nottingham, Stafford, Worcester, London, Middlesex,  Essex, Salop, Gloucester and  Bristol.


The Lady Harewood departed Sheerness on 17 October 1830,  Deal on 19th October 1830 and spoke the Edward convict ship while at St. Jago.  


Passengers included Robert Ackroyd, D.A.C.G., Mrs. McTernan and Lieutenant Erskine of the 48th regiment.


The Guard consisted of 39 men of the 75th regiment, 5 women and 10 children.


The convicts of the Lady Harewood were fortunate to have James McTernan as their surgeon. He was about forty-one years of age in 1831 and was a very experienced naval surgeon. His obituary leaves an account of a long and successful career:

At his residence, Blackheath, Kent, on the 26th November last, died James McTernan, in the eighty-third year of his age. A native of the county Sligo, Ireland, and a student of Trinity College, Dublin, he acquired a more than ordinary acquaintance with classical literature, which be cultivated with great ardour and enjoyment throughout his lengthened life, acquiring from it, and which he never failed to utilise, great facilities of illustration in his conversatinr, which—a not uncommon characteristic of natives of the Emerald lsle-never failed in attractiveness, point, and wit. Previous to entering the medical service of the Royal Navy, which he did at the early age of seventeen, he spent about twelve months in Paris; after which he obtained the post of surgeon’s mate, an appointment long since superseded. In speaking of this event. he used to say that his Latinit-y had enabled him to thin out the plain facts of his age, and thus, without actual untruth, enabled him to obtain a commission long before the usual time. He thus saw actual warfare, and had to sustain responsibility, when his years were slender. He had, however, the mental and character-age, and was much esteemed by his superiors. In 1812, when he was but twenty-one years old, he served in the Northumberland, a 74- gun ship, commanded by the Hon. Henry Hotham, on the coast of France, which, after much gallantry and repeated chasing, captured and destroyed two French frigates ; the young surgeon, for his share of the work done, being awarded a medal. In 1813, he was appointed to the Dragon, commanded by Sir Robert Barry, which took part in the many distinguished engagements in Chesapeake Bay during the great American War. After peace was proclaimed he joined the squadron which guarded St. Helena during the residence of the first Napoleon, and was present at the death of that distinguished but unfortunate monarch in 1821. Subsequently to this period he was engaged at the various home stations, and finally passed eleven years at the Greenwich Hospital. His seniority is dated July 25th, 1865, when he became Deputy Inspector General. On retiring on half-pay he took up his residence at Blackheath, enjoying the society of a large circle of friends, and, with one painful exception, the death of his only child, a son, in the Royal Artillery, who was married and leaves a daughter, passed a  green old age, cheered by the tenderness and never-failing affection of a. loving wife, who still survives him, and in the midst of friends who valued him for his genuineness and unsophisticated simplicity. Sir Alexander Nisbet who served with him throughout his long life, and to whom he was deeply attached, Fred. Cleeve, G.C.B. and Sir Geo. Biddlecome, were unfailing in their attentions to him in his declining days; and his medical attendant Dr. Carr, rendered all the help in his power as he passed away, leaving a blank and the sweet memory of a friend gone to rest. His remains were interred in the Roman Catholic cemetery, Brockley-lane Lewisham on Monday December 1st 1873 - The Lancet London: A Journal of British and Foreign Medicine 1873

James McTernan kept a Medical Journal from 22 September to 16 March 1831.

The following people were treated by him on the voyage out:

John Kiston, private 75th regiment, taken ill at Sheerness;
John W Coombe, aged 28, private 75th regiment, taken ill at Sheerness;
Peter Toan, aged 31, private 57th [75th] regiment, taken ill at sea;
John Ellis, aged 23, private 75th regiment, taken ill at sea;
William Rowley, aged 24, convict, taken ill at sea;
Thomas Neilan, aged 40, private 75th regiment, taken ill at sea;
John Johnson, aged 21, convict, taken ill at sea;
Folios 12-13, 16: John Mannel, aged 19, convict, taken ill at sea;
George Brown, aged 17, convict, taken ill at sea;
James Savage, aged 25, convict, taken ill at sea; 
Joshua Pitts, aged 24, convict, taken ill at sea;
William Fawler, aged 19, convict, taken ill at sea;  
John Smith, aged 44, convict, taken ill at sea;
Michael Sweeney, aged 25, private 75th regiment, taken ill at sea;  gun shot wound, a musket ball pass through the right palm fracturing the middle metacarpal bone;
William Frazer, aged 48, convict, taken ill at sea;  dysentery ending in diarrhoea and debility; put on sick list 8 February 1831, died 16 February 1831 at 6 am.
Kiddal Dickenson, aged 48, convict, taken ill at sea;
Mary Maher, aged 31, soldier's wife, taken ill at sea. (4)



The weather was rainy for some time after they left port necessitating the convicts to be confined below deck and causing illness amongst some of the men. A visit for one day to Port Praya and the purchase of fruit and meats together with a favourable change in the weather enabled the men to be more active and the illness mostly disappeared.

James McTernan recorded in his journal that the 'cheering exercise of the boxing gloves' was introduced on the journey. He added that this exercise 'should be very cautiously introduced and the objects of it clearly explained to those about to use it and...... under the eye of proper control'. He gave the example of two 'filthy indolent fellows' whom he had punished for quarrelling repeatedly and who carried their hostility on. They were only with great difficulty roused even to the exertion of coming on deck until they were matched to the gloves and kept to them at evenings. Their scurvy disappeared, their animosity ceased and they became good friends. (2)


The Lady Harewood arrived in Port Jackson on 4 March 1831 with 214 male prisoners; the voyage had taken 138 days.


A Muster was held on board by the Colonial Secretary Alexander McLeay on 8th March 1831. Details included Name, Age, Religion, Education, Marital Status, Family, Native Place, Offence, Trade, When & Where Tried, Sentence, Prior Convictions, Physical Description and to whom assigned on arrival. There are also occasional details such as family members in the colony, pardons and deaths.    

Notes from the Indents reveal the fate of some of the prisoners of the Lady Harewood:

George Adams Sentenced to an iron gang for 12 months by the Maitland Bench for theft 3 September 1832

Thomas Amon absconded from the Blackheath Stockade in irons 24 July 1848

Thomas Berry - Killed by a fall from his horse

Richard Bradley - lost his right arm

William Birkenshaw - relanded in England an invalid

John Bowker  sentenced to 12 months in irons for embezzlement

James Biffen age 19 and William Biffin age 18 brothers

Thomas Bladen - Sent to Norfolk Island

William Carter - Father in colony Richard Carter, a baker in George St. Sydney

Charles Carpenter 14, and James Carpenter  16, brothers. James Carpenter would not be free till 30 May 1844 being at large from about February 20 1840 to 5 January 1841 from Nobby Island .

James Cochrane - Wife in colony as Rose Dogherty

Thomas Frazer Died at sea 16 February 1831

George Hollingworth - Died at Darling Downs 25 December 1852

William Johnson - Executed in Sydney 5 August 1833 for various felonies

John James - Brother in colony Edward James came 3 years previously

Robert Jones Drowned whilst bathing in the South creek

John Manuell Brother in colony as Thomas Manuell 3 years previously

Denis Maloney died in the General Hospital Port Macquarie 31 August 1837

Thomas Osborne - Son John Osborne either in colony or coming

Samuel Wood died in the General Hospital Sydny 11 May 1832 (3)


1). James McTernan was employed as surgeon on the following ships to Australia -
Sir Charles Forbes to Hobart 1826
Asia from London with convicts arr. Sydney 13 March 1828
Eliza arr. Sydney 20 June 1829
Lady Harewood arr. Sydney 4 March 1831
York arr. Hobart 29 December 1832
Augusta Jessie arr. VDL 22 January 1835
John Barry to Sydney 17 January 1836
Sarah from London with prisoners arr. Sydney via Hobart 8 May 1837.
The son of James McTernan and wife Harriett, Constantine Lemon Hotham McTernan, was born in 1832 in New South Wales. He became a Captain in the Royal Artillery and died in 1864.

2). Find out about bushranger Joseph Bowers who arrived on the Lady Harewood  

3). Read about bushranger William Rowley who arrived on the Lady Harewood  

4). Hunter Valley convicts and passengers arriving on the Lady Harewood in 1831

5).  Return of Convicts of the Lady Harewood assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832).....
George Brown - Shoemaker and paper stainer. Assigned to Edward Sandwell at Sydney    

6). Lieutenant Erskine and 70 soldiers of the 26th, 29th, and 75th regiments departed Sydney  for Mauritius in May 1831.


1. Journal of James McTernan - UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 Original data: Admiralty and predecessors: Office of the Director General of the Medical Department of the Navy and predecessors: Medical Journals (ADM 101, 804 bundles and volumes). Records of Medical and Prisoner of War Departments. Records of the Admiralty, Naval Forces, Royal Marines, Coastguard, and related bodies. The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

2. Bateson, Charles & Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.350-351, 387

3. New South Wales, Australia, Convict Indents, 1788-1842. Original data: Bound manuscript indents, 1788–1842. NRS 12188, microfiche 614–619,626–657, 660–695. State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia.

4. National Archives - Reference: ADM 101/41/4 Description: Medical journal of the Lady Harewood, convict ship, for 22 September 1830 to 16 March 1831 by James W Ternan, surgeon and superintendent, during which time the ship was employed in conveying convicts to New South Wales.