Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Mr. Fyfe

Convict Ship Surgeon

Mr. Fyfe* was employed as surgeon on Lady Shore which was conveying supplies and sixty-six female convicts to New South Wales.

The Lady Shore was taken by mutineers in 1797. Mr. Fyfe was described as an amiable young man who was forcibly detained by the mutineers


Below is an excerpt from the Historical Records of NSW in which is an account of the mutiny

The sea was still running very high, although the wind had fallen. On the following day we had a fine breeze from the northward and smooth water; had soundings about forty-five fathoms. At noon they informed us that they observed in 34 S. About 1pm they hoisted out the boat and got her rigged put into her three small casks of water, containing about ninety gallons, and four bags of bread. This they informed us was as much provision as was necessary and, notwithstanding their former promises, this was all we could obtain from them. The steward was, however, fortunate enough to evade the search in the confusion, and hove into the boat two cheeses, two hams, some pieces of beef which he had got boiled for the purpose, and a small keg containing about five gallons of rum. They would give us no compass, and it was with a great deal of entreaty that we obtained a quadrant. Had not Mr. Drummond had a small picket compass fortunately in his possession, we should not have known what to have done with the boat. About half past 6 having put twenty-nine persons, including men women and children into the boat, with a few of our cloths we put off from alongside. We lost sight of the ship about 8 o'clock it being now dark.

We cannot here omit mentioning how much poor Mr. Fyfe, the surgeon, seemed affected at parting. - Historical Records of NSW Volume 3 p. 396.

Fate of the Mutineers and Mr. Fyfe

As for the Lady Shore with the mutineers, 66 female convicts and the surgeon - they arrived in the enemy Spanish port of Montevideo, Uruguay about 500 km (310 mi) south of Rio Grande where the mutineers were jailed, and the female convicts placed in different homes throughout the town. It is not known what became of surgeon Mr. Fyfe, however it was thought that the Governor of Montevideo would treat him in the most honourable manner.. He had not returned to England by the time of the trial of Jean Provost for the murder of Captain Wilcox in December 1799.

Notes and Links

1)*also Fyffe