Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Medway - 1825

Embarked: 172 male prisoners
Voyage: 132
Deaths: 4
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Master: Borthwick Wight
Surgeon Gilbert King, R.N.

The Medway departed Land's End 22nd August 1825. and arrived in Hobart on 9 December 1825.

Cabin Passengers

Passengers included Rev. Dr. John Dunmore Lang who was returning to the colony; Paymaster George Henry Green of the 57th regiment, Mrs. Honoria Green, Miss Green and three Masters Green,

Military Guard

Lieutenant Bates commanded a detachment of the 57th regiment.

Surgeon Gilbert King

Gilbert King kept a medical journal from 18th June 1825 to 10 December 1825. Below is an extract from his general notes -

The Medway left the Downs on the 2nd August but owing to westerly winds, only passed the Lizard on the 21st of the same month and altho we experienced during this period several days of cold blowing and rainy weather yet on this occasion as well as subsequently I adopted the usual means for obviating its ill effect particularly with ventilation and cleanliness - Windsails, were in constant use during the whole voyage and on washing the decks of the prison which was only done in fine weather and not oftener than once a week, it was thoroughly dried by clean burning stoves before the prisoners were permitted below.

After we had passed the Cape of Good Hope, the atmosphere being cold and damp a comfortable warmth was defused between decks by means of a stove which was kept burning from 8 in the morning until 8 o'clock at night. The lower deck was cleaned every morning generally by scraping or with dry holly stones swept every half hour afterwards. One washing day was appointed in the week which enabled the prisoners to muster in clean and dry clothes on the morning of Sundays and Thursdays - and I had great reason to be very much pleased with their general conduct which had always been quiet and inoffensive. I allowed the whole of them having first taken a few precautions which I need not now specify, to come on deck whenever they chose - and as we had singing and dancing every evening, Sundays excepted, a degree of cheerfulness was thus kept up and which for obvious reason I was anxious enough to promote and lastly with respect to diet, I made a point of seeing the full daily allowance of provision regularly served out to each person. I began to serve out lemon juice and sugar on the 28th August and it was repeated every day until we arrived and commenced serving out wine on the 8th September and continued to issue the same quantity twice every week. The list of scorbutic patients increased daily from the time it first commenced until we arrived at Van Diemen's Land and although we lost only two out of 84, the number altogether affected yet upon the whole my practice has not been so successful as I had anticipated. [1]

Notes and Links

1). Gilbert King was employed as surgeon on the convict ships Medway 1825 (VDL) Lord Lyndoch in 1831 (VDL) Eden in 1836 and the Moffatt in 1838 (VDL)

2). The Medway transported convicts to Australia in 1821.

3). Mr. Henry Savery - It will be in the recollection of many of our Readers that about the period of Mr. Fauntleroy's unhappy affair, the individual above named, an eminent Merchant at Bristol, the son of Mr. Savery the Banker and connected with the most respectable families in that neighbourhood, pleaded guilty to an indictment for forgery. Owing to some circumstances of a peculiarly favourable nature in his case, the awful sentence of the law was not carried into effect; and he has arrived here in the Medway. He was treated with the greatest kindness and attention during the voyage, having by order of Government separate accommodation, and we hear His Honor Lieutenant Governor Arthur has been pleased to appoint him here to a Superintendence under Dr. Scott, at the Colonial Hospital, by whom we have no doubt he will be treated in his unhappy situation, with every kindness which circumstances will admit of. [2]

5). Henry Savery

6). James Alexander Thomson, architect and engineer arrived as a convict on the Medway

7). Mrs. Honoria Green was the mother of surveyor and diarist George Boyle White

8). Vessels bringing detachments of the 57th Regiment -

Asia 1825 departed Cork 29 October 1824 - Captain Richard Heaviside

Asia (III) 1825 departed Portsmouth 5 January 1825 - Lieutenant Thomas Bainbridge

Royal Charlotte 1825 departed Portsmouth 5 January 1825 - Major Edmund Lockyer

Hooghley 1825 departed Cork 5 January 1825 Cork - Captain Patrick Logan

Norfolk 1825 departed Portsmouth 17 April 1825 - Captain James Brown

Minstrel 1825 departed Portsmouth 17 April 1825 - Lieutenant Henry John Tudor Shadforth

Lonach 1825 departed Cork 16 May 1825 - Lieutenant John William Donelan

Sir Godfrey Webster departed Cork 11 July 1825 - Lieutenant John Ovens

Medway 1825 departed the Downs 2 August 1825 Downs - Lieutenant William Bates

Henry Porcher 1825 departed Dublin 5 August 1825 Dublin - Captain Vance Young Donaldson

Marquis of Hastings 1826 departed Portsmouth 22 August 1825 - Ensign Stewart

Mangles 1826 departed Cork 23 October 1825 - Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Shadforth

Sesostris 1826 departed Portsmouth 30 November 1825 - Major John Campbell

Prince Regent 1827 departed London 11 June 1827 - Lieutenant Campbell

Morley 1828 departed Dublin 3 November 1827 - Captain Robert Hunt

Borodino 1828 departed Cork 11 February 1828 Cork - Captain Philip Aubyn

Mangles 1828 departed Dublin 23 February 1828 Dublin- Lieut. Hill Adjutant Lieut. Kidd

Bussorah Merchant 1828 departed London 27 March 1828 - Captain Burton Daveney (+ 1 soldier)

Marquis of Hastings 1828 departed Portsmouth 1828 30 June 1828 - Colonel Allen

Asia 1828 departed London 23 November 1828 - Lieutenant George Edwards


[1] UK Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 . National Archives, Kew

[2] Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser (Hobart, Tas. : 1825 - 1827) Friday 16 December 1825