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Convict Ship Moffatt 1838

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Embarked: 400 men  
Deaths: 3
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Tons: 800
Master Thomas Bolton
Surgeon Superintendent Gilbert King

The Moffatt was fitted out at Deptford in October 1837. She could carry 400 prisoners. Three hundred men were embarked at Woolwich and another one hundred at Sheerness before the end of October.

They set sail from Sheerness on 9 November 1837 bound for Van Diemen's Land, however were forced into Spithead to replace rigging, probably delaying their journey considerably.

Gilbert King kept a Medical Journal from 25 October 1837 to 1 April 1838........

The voyage to the equator was tedious but the weather held fine. By the 12th week scurvy had begun to affect the prisoners. The surgeon thought this was not anything to do with the ship which was large and commodious or the diet, but rather to the delay in beginning the voyage and to the generally poor condition of the prisoners, who were unable to face the cold and were confined below decks in a polluted atmosphere. The vessel was cleaned by scraping and dry holystoning the deck and with chloride of lime. Beds were taken on deck every day and the men had clean shirts every Sunday.

The prisoners on this ship were more fortunate than some as they were allowed to indulge in 'innocent recreation', and singing and dancing every evening.

Three hundred and ninety seven male convicts arrived in Hobart on the 1st April. As well as the prisoners there were cabin passengers - Mr. and Mrs. Kemp and children, Rev Messrs. Orton and Wilkinson, Major Smyth, 39th regiment and Mrs. Montgomery.

The Moffatt departed Hobart and arrived in Sydney on the 26th April 1838, where she disembarked seventeen adults, twenty-one children, nine soldiers of the 50th regiment and thirty prisoners of the Crown some of whom were under sentence to Norfolk Island.

Notes & Links:

1). Gilbert King was also Surgeon on the Marquis of Hastings in 1827, Lord Lyndoch in 1831 (VDL) and Eden in 1837

2). Hunter Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Moffatt in 1838



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