Free Settler or Felon?

Convict Ship Surgeons - C


Edward Caldwell    J. Caldwell    Joseph Caldwell    Josiah Caldwell    James Callam    Charles Cameron    John Campbell    William Bell Carlyle    James Carmichael    Charles Carter    James L. Clarke    Richard Clarke    Robert Whitmore Clarke    Thrasycles Clarke   George Clayton    Cleghorn    William Clifford    Edward Coates    Harman Cochrane    Coleman    John Connellan    David B. Conway    Dennis Conssiden    Joseph Cook    Peter Cosgreave    James Craigie    William Crawford    James Creagh    John Crocket    Alexander Cross    Lennox Thompson Cunningham    Peter Cunningham

*Date of Seniority Royal Navy

CALDWELL, Edward  R.N., *8 January 1811


Edward Caldwell was included in the Navy List of Medical Officer in 1814

 ...The New Monthly Magazine 1817

Edward Caldwell was on the List of Surgeons of the Royal Navy who were fit for service in 1841. He was appointed to the Cambridge.

 ...The Nautical Magazine 1841

 ...Simmonds Colonial Magazine and foreign Miscellany 1841.

Edward Caldwell was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the convict ship East London in 1843 and kept a medical journal from 13th April 1843 to 28th September 1843.

In 1847 he was appointed to the Ceylon at Malta. (The Navy List)





J. Caldwell employed as surgeon on the Lady Kennaway to Van Diemen's Land in 1851 (probably Joseph Caldwell below)


CALDWELL, Joseph / Josiah


Joseph Caldwell was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the Rodney in 1853. He kept a medical Journal from 19 October 1852 to 18 February 1853. 

He was surgeon superintendent on the convict ships Sea Park to Fremantle 5 April 1854; the Stag to Fremantle in May 1855 and the Clara to Western Australia in July 1857.

The Medical Register 1865 entry for Joseph Caldwell gives the following qualifications Mem. Royal College Surgeons England 1841.





*This is probably the same man as Joseph Caldwell (above)




James Callam was employed as Surgeon on the First Fleet vessel Supply in 1788.

Select here to read a letter he wrote at Port Jackson to his brother back in England in 1788

CAMERON, Charles R.N., *16 September 1816


Charles Cameron was employed as surgeon superintendent on the convict ships Midas in 1825  Princess Charlotte in 1827  Ferguson in 1829 and the David Lyon in 1830 (to VDL). The female prisoners of the Midas were very grateful for the kind treatment they received from him. Select here to read the letter they wrote when they reached Sydney.

Charles Cameron also wrote a letter to his friend on arrival in Sydney (The Morning Post 16 October 1826).....

"After we left the River in the Midas, with the exception of having a good deal of sickness on board, everything, as far as the convicts were concerned , went on in such a pleasant manner that I am now almost astonished when I reflect upon it. Even the very worst of them, and those who behaved very ill, when they first came on board, afterwards conducted themselves in the very best manner. Whatever the opinion of the world may be, and however depraved those unfortunate women may be considered, the seed of virtue is not altogether dead in them, neither are they wholly insensible to kindness. They are more highly sensible of, and more grateful for, any act of kindness than mankind generally suppose, and particularly more so than many who are placed in more fortunate circumstances. I am also convinced, that if they were treated less harshly by those who have got authority over them, than they generally are, many more of them would return to the paths of virtue, and become good members of society. They were treated by every person on board the Midas with the utmost kindness and attention to their comforts, and they repaid that attention by their grateful demeanour and general good conduct; not one disagreeable circumstance occurred during the whole passage, as far as the female convicts were concerned, and they were landed at New South Wales with the very best characters. I must acknowledge that I had every assistance from Captain Baigrie. With respect to the board's letter, granting gratuity to the mates in case of good conduct, I consider it to be a measure of great importance, and that it will frequently, if continued, be attended with the best effects, because it shews them the determination of the Navy Board to put a stop to all irregularity on board these ships. The conduct of the female convicts was high praiseworthy.

It was my intention to write to Mrs. Pryor, but I find my time will not permit me. I shall there fore take the liberty of enclosing a letter from the prisoners, which they begged of me to take home to her, which I trust you will be good enough to forward.

I know they were highly grateful to her and all the Ladies for their kindness, and I think it is expressive of their sentiments"

Second Extract.

"To the good and orderly conduct, as well as cleanly and decent appearance of the prisoners on this voyage out, many things perhaps contributed, but probably none individually more than the exertions of the Ladies' committee; of this I had daily proof on the voyage."

In 1830 Charles Cameron published the success of his treatment scurvy on the Ferguson and in 1832 published his New Theory of the influence of Variety in Diet in Health and Disease etc.....

Charles Cameron died at Haslar Hospital in February 1837

London Medical and Surgical Journal 




John Campbell was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the convict ship William Jardine in 1850. The William Jardine departed 12 August 1850 and arrived in Van Diemen's Land 14 November 1850 with 260 male prisoners.

National Library of Australia -  Records written or assembled by John Campbell during the voyage to Australia on the William Jardine comprising: Diary 15 July to 21 Nov. 1850, noting daily routine of the surgeon, some incidents with the convicts on board, land sightings and the weather. List of the 261 male convicts on board, compiled by John Byron, a convict sentenced to ten years transportation for forgery. The list gives names, age, marital status, birth place, sentence, crime, original trade or occupation, conduct in prison, whether the could read or write, years of separate confinement and public works, conduct on board, height and sometimes weight on embarkation. List of "General regulations to be observed by prisoners on board the William Jardine", and a list of overseers, constables, cooks, barber and clothesmen. Notes by Campbell on the health of the convicts, guards and their families summarising the symptoms and treatment of the most common diseases. Drafts of letters by Campbell to officials in Hobart and London, Nov. 1850 and May 1851 describing the health and conduct of the convicts and guards who had arrived on the William Jardine.  Notes Filmed as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project by the National Library of Australia and the State Library of New South Wales. National Library of Australia holds microfilm master. Australian Joint Copying Project miscellaneous series M385



John Campbell is listed in the Medical Registry, Residence Knap Hill, Woking, Surrey. Qualifications: Lic. R. College Surgeons Edinburgh 1834; M.D. University K. College Aberdeen 1846.



CARLYLE, William Bell R.N., *2 September 1807


William Bell Carlyle was appointed to the position of surgeon of the Topaze in 1807. (152)

He was included in the Navy List of Medical Officer in 1814

In New South Wales he was granted 2000 acres of land in 1823 which he took up in the Hunter Valley. Select  here to find out more about William Bell Carlyle and the location of his grant.

He was employed as surgeon superintendent on the convict ships Asia 1820  Morley 1823 (VDL) Henry 1825  Andromeda 1827 (VDL) Phoenix 1828  and Marquis of Huntley 1830

He returned to New South Wales on the Westmoreland , Capt. Brigstock, on 23 May 1833 having departed the Downs 8th January.

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

William Bell Carlyle died on the 5th September 1844 at Port Macquarie.



James Carmichael is listed in the Medical Registry of 1865 - Residence Staff Surgeon, Royal Navy, 50 Torrington Square London. Qualifications M.D. University Glasgow 1843 Member royal College Physicians London 1860.

He was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the convict ship Samuel Boddington to Van Diemen's Land in 1846. He kept a medical journal on the voyage from 25 August 1845 to 22 January 1846......I beg leave to state that the whole of the military guard with their wives and children and all the convicts with the exception of a few entered upon the sick list enjoyed most excellent health during the period they were embarked on board the Samuel Boddington for the voyage to Hobart Town......

Despite this report about 10 of the prisoners began to show symptoms of scurvy by December .....I was induced to require that the ship should be put into the Cape of Good Hope which was complied with on the 7th December after having been 72 days at sea...

The Samuel Boddington arrived in Hobart 18 January 1846.



CARTER, Charles R.N., *27 November 1813

Charles Carter was a surgeon in the Royal Navy.  He was appointed supernumerary to the Mediterranean  in 1813 and to the Britomart in 1817

In 1819, he was appointed surgeon on the Hibernia convict ship which arrived in Hobart on 11 May 1819. The voyage had not been a happy one for one of the passengers on board - Rev Richard Hill.  The voyage had taken 172 days and for most of that time there remained between Charles Carter and Rev. Hill a high degree of acrimony. Hill wrote a letter of complaint to the Governor on arrival in the colony regarding the treatment he had received. He resented being refused permission to visit the sick in hospital and was offended by Carter's attitude towards him during the voyage. He accused Carter of allowing prisoners to tear up bibles to use as playing cards and of not forcing the prisoners to attend Divine Service. Charles Carter replied in a lengthy correspondence....Rev. Hill has fully merited the treatment he has received from me and my contempt of his conduct throughout, from his constant extreme officiousness in every duty of my office together with his very insulting manner towards me on various occasions which had it not been for his sacred profession I should have resented in a way it deserved.

Charles Carter thought that nothing tended to depress the spirits of the sick more than such untimely visits as Rev. Hill proposed making! He admitted that he never suppressed card playing as he believed that during a long voyage the minds of most men required now and then the solace of some light amusement, however he denied allowing the prisoners to tear up bibles to make the cards. He sent off his own letters of complaint regarding Rev. Hill to Lord Bathurst(50)

Charles Carter was next appointed to the Hebe convict ship which departed England 31 July 1820 and arrived in Sydney on the 31st December 1820, and then to the Arab which arrived in Hobart on 6th November 1822. Charles Carter was later thanked by the Governor for establishing a school on board the Arab under the direction of W.A. Brett and using articles that had been provided by Lady Grey before leaving England. (50)

The Sir Godfrey Webster departed England 1 September 1823 and arrived in Hobart 30 December 1823 with 180 male prisoners under the care of Charles Carter. There were no deaths on this voyage.

His last appointment as Surgeon Superintendent on a convict ship was to the Henry Porcher which arrived in Sydney on 3 December 1825.

He was appointed to the Malabar in 1836 (88), and in 1838 he was appointed Surgeon Superintendent on the emigrant ship Palmyra, which arrived on 26 September 1838. Many of his patients on this voyages were babies and children. There were cases of scarlatina, bronchitis and hydrocephalus and he regretted that he could not employ adequate means of treating them. This seems to be his last employment as surgeon superintendent. He was on the List of Surgeons remunerated for services as Surgeon Superintendents and was paid 200 for his employment on the Palmyra

In 1840-42 he was appointed Surgeon to the Calcutta (89) and in 1845 to the Terrible (90).


CLARKE, James L. R.N., *22 January 1834


James L. Clarke M.D. was on the list of Surgeons of the Royal Navy who were fit for service in 1841

James Clarke was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the convict ships North Briton to Hobart in 1843, Greenlaw to Hobart in 1844, Joseph Somes to Hobart in 1846

He died in September or October 1849 (91)



CLARKE, Richard *1 June 1779


Richard Clarke was employed as Surgeon on the Bellona in 1793. He returned to England on the Kitty

Richard Clarke was included in the Navy List of Medical Officer in 1814. (Retired)




CLARKE, Robert Whitmore *7 September 1844


Robert Whitmore Clarke was born c. 1812 in Woolwich

In 1834 he was included in the Royal College of Surgeons List of Candidates who received a Diploma in the month of May (Woolwich). Also in 1834 he was on the list of Gentlemen to whom the Court of Examiners granted Certificates of Qualification to the Apothecaries Hall. (125)

In February 1836 Robert Whitmore Clarke, Assistant-Surgeon of the Royal Navy was appointed to the Haslar Hospital (132). In December 1836 he was appointed Assistant-Surgeon to the Opossum (126)

He was Surgeon at the Greenwich Hospital in 1843 and gave evidence at an inquest in November of that year (127)

He was promoted to Surgeon in the Royal Navy on 7 September 1844 (The Navy List), and in 1845 was appointed Surgeon to the Grecian.

Robert Whitmore Clarke was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the Baretto Junior in 1850 and kept a Medical Journal commencing 23 March 1850.

The Courier (Tas) reported that the Baretto Junior (Captain Huggins) shipped 190 female prisoners at Woolwich; three died on the passage out and one threw herself overboard. There were also 22 children embarked, two of whom died. There was one birth. Matrons employed for the voyage were Miss Gowland and Miss S. Gowland. The ship experienced a terrifying hurricane at midnight on the 10th July. The scene below decks was described by the surgeon - the situation was very sad; several seas having forced themselves down between decks, many of the poor women thought their last hour was come; the least frightened among them, under the direction of the Surgeon, baling and swabbing the water up with great industry, although they were thrown and bruised about by the heavy rolling of the ship. Read the rest of the entry here. The Baretto Junior arrived in Van Diemen's Land on 13th April 1850.

A son, William Martin Clarke was born to Robert and Margaret Clarke in 1850 (Baptised in May at Greenwich). Robert is not included in the Uk Census of 1851 residing at 31 Edward Street, East Greenwich. Margaret resides there with their two young children William (age 1) and Margaret (age 5). They have two servants.

He was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the convict ship John William Dare from Dublin in 1852. The John William Dare departed Dublin 28 December 1851 and arrived in Hobart on 22 May 1852 with 169 female convicts, 8 adult passengers and 7 children. Three prisoners and two children died on the voyage.

In Melville's Directory of Kent in 1858 his address was Laurel Place, South Street, Greenwich. and in the Medical Register of 1868 his date of Registration is 1 January 1859.

In 1867 he was promoted to the rank of deputy inspector-general of hospital and fleets on the retired list (128)

He can be found in the 1871 Census residing in James Terrace, Park Hill, Surrey with his wife Margaret Elizabeth age 54 and their daughter Margaret Francis Maria age 25 and son William Martin Clarke, son age 21 who was a clerk to a cotton broker. They have two servants. He gives his age as 59 and birth place as Woolwich. (129)

Robert Whitmore Clarke died in 1882 - The Will of Robert Whitmore Clarke late of Great Yarmouth in the Co. of Norfolk, Surgeon R.N. who died 1 October 1882 at Great Yarmouth was proved by Margaret Elizabeth Clarke of 33 Nelson road South Great Yarmouth, widow. Personal Estate 947/13/5d (130.)

Marriage - Clarke - Man - On June 22 1891, at St. Stephen's Ootacamund, India, by the Rev. J. Black, William Martin Whitmore, son of the late Robert Whitmore Clarke R.N., to Lizzie Caroline (Carrie) daughter of the late Morrice King Man, of Indore, Central India. (131)


CLARKE, Thrasycles R.N., * 9 January 1812


Thrasycles Clarke was christened 18th September 1789 at Maghull, Lancashire, the son of Thrasycles (also known as Tracy) and Eleanor (nee Banks) Clarke. Tracy Clarke was a country doctor.  Thrasycles' brothers were John Edward christened 5 November 1786,  Adam christened 26 March 1788, William Augustus Frederick who was born 1 January 1792, Edward Stainslaus Augustus was born 22 September 1793, Erasmus born 18 June 1795. (58) The six brothers were nephews of Wesleyan preacher and theological writer Rev. Adam Clarke who was born about 1762 at Moygbeg, Kilcronaghan Co. Londonderry. The Clarkes on their maternal side were of a family which at one time had held extensive estates in the north of Ireland. (National Dictionary of Biography)

In 1803 Tracy Clarke (father of Thrasycles Clark RN) passed away and his brother the Rev. Adam Clarke felt the death of his only beloved brother keenly. .....The duties of a medical man in a small town or village are always arduous; but at the period we are now speaking of, they were more especially so, when the study of the healing art was much more limited, and its practitioners but comparatively few in number. Mr. Tracy Clarke being naturally of an extremely urbane character, and of kind and elegant manners, and being also deservedly held in high repute for his medical knowledge and skill, his practice was very great, and widely extended. After all the ordinary labors of the day, he has frequently been called up for five successive nights, and had often to ride on horseback many miles, alike exposed to the night air, cold, or tempest; for this severe labor he was not constitutionally fitted; not naturally strong, his health soon became impaired, and, in the end, symptoms of decided consumption too plainly proved that his life would fall a sacrifice to the hardships to which it was exposed. Mr. Tracy Clarke died at Maghull, near Liverpool, in the forty-fifth year of his age; but his memory still lives in the respect and esteem alike of the rich and the poor throughout the neighbourhood

Thrasycles Clarke was included in the Navy List of Medical Officers of 1814. He was about 42 years of age when he was employed as surgeon superintendent on the convict ship Kains in 1831. Not very long after he returned to England after this voyage, he was called to the bedside of his dying uncle the Rev. Adam Clarke. Thrasycles is mentioned in 'An Account Of The Infancy, Religious and Literary of Adam Clarke LLD., F.A.S.' written in 1833........


CLAYTON, George *1 July 1811


George Clayton was included in the Navy List of Medical Officers of 1814. He was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the convict transport Shipley which departed England on 18 December 1817 and arrived in Sydney on 24 April 1817. He departed Sydney for Batavia on the Shipley on 28 May 1818.

His next employment as surgeon superintendent was on the Globe which arrived in Sydney on 8 January 1819. He departed for Batavia on 5th March 1819 on the same vessel.

He departed England on the convict ship Competitor on 18 March 1823 bound for Van Diemen's Land however died at sea on the 8th July before reaching his destination. His personal effects were later auctioned in Sydney: they included a Bayley's Dictionary, folio; and upwards of 100 volumes of Latin, French, and English Works, principally medical; a case of surgical instruments; wearing apparel, bed, bedding etc.


Mr. Cleghorn was employed as surgeon on the Sydney Cove in 1807. He was later employed at Parramatta Hospital. See Historical Records of New South Wales Vol. 6., p 329.


CLIFFORD, William R.N., *4 August 1810


William Clifford was appointed surgeon on the Bellerophon at Portsmouth in 1807(152)

He was included in the Navy List of Medical Officers of 1814.

He was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the convict ships Harmony ( to VDL),

Forth (1) in 1830 

Norfolk  in 1832 and the Sir Charles Forbes in 1837

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


COATES, Edward * 9 August 1805


Edward Coates was born c. 1782, son of Henry Coates of Hinton Hall, Suffolk.

He was appointed surgeon to the Utile in 1811

He was included in the Navy List of Medical Officers in 1814

Edward Coates was employed as surgeon superintendent on the convict ship Speke which departed England on 22 December 1821 and arrived in Port Jackson on 18 May 1821.

In July he volunteered to take medical charge of the troops to be embarked on the Speke to India. The Speke departed on 6th August 1821 under Captain McPherson. First Officer Thomas Christie, Second Officer Robert Dargue

The Bury and Norwich Post gave notice of the death of Edward Coates - On the 15th March last, aged 39, on board the ship Spike (Speke), on the West coast of the Island of Sumatra, of a disorder resulting from professional duty while in attendance on troops from New South Wales, to the East Indies, Mr. Edward Coates, surgeon in the Royal Navy, and son of the late Mr. Henry Coates, of Hinton Hall, in this county. - Bury and Norwich Post 4 September 1822. (Edward's father Henry Coates died in November, 1819)


COCHRANE, Harman *17 August 1815


Harman Cochrane's first appointment to a convict ship was to the Mary which departed England 16th June 1823 and arrived in Australia 18th October 1823. The Van Diemen's Land Advertiser reported that there were 126 female convicts, five or six of whose children died on the passage out.  Harman Cochrane was then appointed to the Mariner  which departed Cork 12th March 1825 and arrived on 10th July 1825.

He married Mary Gore at St. Mary Lambeth Surrey in the first half of 1826. Mary was the daughter of Richard Gore Esq., of Lumville, King's co., Ireland. Harman Cochrane's next appointment was to the convict ship Boyne in 1826 which departed Cork 29th June 1826 and arrived in Australia 26 October 1826.

He was next employed as surgeon on the convict ship Mangles which departed Dublin on 23 February 1828 and arrived in Australia on 2nd June 1828. This was Harman Cochrane's last appointment to a convict ship. Over six hundred and thirty convicts arrived in Australia under his care

He had been allowed 50 return passage money for each of the above voyages, as was the custom of the time.

His next appointment was to H.M. Sybille. From 4 December 1826 until 1830, the Sybille was part of the West Africa Squadron, which sought to suppress the slave trade. She was under the command of Commodore Francis Augustus Collier. (25) In September 1828 it was reported in the Morning Chronicle that the Sybille was cruising in the Bight of Benin, in vigilant search of a slave vessel. Within twelve months, the squadron under the active and zealous Commodore Collier had captured (and liberated) the extraordinary number of 1739 slaves.  On the 3rd October 1828 the Sybille was reported to have arrived at St. Helena from Sierra Leone with forty pirates taken out of a vessel under the Brazilian flag eighteen days previously (20).  On the Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar (21st October), the Commodore gave a splendid ball and supper at the hotel at St. Helena to the ladies and gentlemen of the island. The officers and crew were in excellent health.(21)  Harman Cochrane died on 24th October. He was deeply lamented by his family and friends and his remains were attended to the grave by Commodore Collier, C.B., and all the Officers of his Majesty's ship Sybille, and by most of those of the Garrison of the Island. (22).  Commodore Collier wrote on 29th November that there had been three deaths on the Sybille in the previous two years -  two from accidents and one from fever contracted on one of the prize vessels(23)  The Sybille frigate sailed from Saint Helena on 21st November having been amply supplied with beef, beer and vegetables by the contractor Mr. Saul Solomon

Harman Cochrane's widow Mary re-married in 1831 to Monsieur Jules Forneir of the 11th Regiment of Foot in the service of His Majesty the King of France (24)

In 1892 Harman Cochrane's niece Isabella Clinton of Gavagh, Londonderry, Ireland, applied to obtain payment of 188 17s 7d due to her as the heiress of Harman Cochrane R.N. The estate had been collected by the Curator of Intestate estates in 1830 and the money had remained to the credit of the estate in the New South Wales Treasury every since. The application was granted. The entries relating to the matter were made in the first pages of the first book issued in the office of the curator in the colony. (46)


COLEMAN (?Patrick)


Patrick Coleman was appointed assistant surgeon in the Royal Navy on 20 February 1810

John Duke and Patrick Coleman were appointed to the Ocean in January 1824 (Morning Post 5 January 1824)

Patrick Coleman was appointed to the convict ship Georgiana in 1829



The Belfast Newsletter reported on....Conlan, the apothecary from Dundalk, who had been an approver in 1798, and has been ever since supported by the bounty of Government, has, volunteered to go to Botany Bay with the convicts now in the river. He has, it is said, lately qualified himself to act as surgeon, and being unwilling to return to his native country, has received an appointment in the colony. (Belfast Newsletter  19 July 1805)

John Connellan was employed as surgeon on the convict ship Tellicherry  in 1806.....


Secretary A. Marsden to Governor King. Dublin Castle, 31st July, 1805.

Sir, The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, having appointed Mr. John Connellan (who has been recommended to His Excellency by the Medical Board) to be Assistant Surgeon on board the Tellicherry Convict Ship, on her Voyage from Ireland to New South Wales; I beg leave to recommend him to Your Notice, And to request You will assist him in obtaining a Conveyance for his return to Europe, in Case he shall not determine to remain abroad. Should Mr. Connellan have occasion for money to defray his Expenses, His Excellency requests You will (should you approve of his Conduct) Advance him any Sum on Account of his Salary not exceeding: Two hundred pounds Irish Money, And Your Bills for the Same shall be duly honored. (HRA Series 1, vol. 5)

Secretary A. Marsden to Governor King. Dublin Castle, 17th August, 1805.

A Mr. John Connellan has been embarked in the Tellicherry as Assistant Surgeon in the Ship, And he has some intention of Settling in New South Wales Should he be disposed to do so on his Arrival; it will give the Lord Lieutenant Satisfaction, if attention be paid to him by You and any Service rendered to him He has been useful to Government in a Way that he will explain to You, And his general Conduct for some Years past, in which I have had intercourse with him, has been Such as makes me think him deserving of Your Notice. HRA Series 1, vol. 5)

John Connellan was appointed to act as surgeon at Norfolk Island on arrival in New South Wales and D'arcy Wentworth returned to Sydney....

Governor King to Earl Camden, Sydney 22 February 1806 (Extract).......Being informed that Mr. James Thompson, assistant surgeon now on leave in England, has no intention of returning to this colony, and not knowing what the event of the sentence passed on Mr. Savage, another of the assistant surgeons, may be, and there being a great want of the necessary medical gentlemen to do duty here, I have taken it upon me to appoint Mr. John Connellan, who has been so strongly recommended by the Irish Government, as stated in the enclosed copy of Mr. Secretary Marsden's letter, to act as surgeon at Norfolk Island until your Lordship's further commands are received thereon...(HR NSW., Vol. IV, p20)

Governor King to Secretary Marsden 22 February 1806........ Respecting Mr. Connellan, I shall be happy to render every service in my power; but as to placing him on the establishment of this colony, the numbers of medical gentlemen are provided for in England by the Parliamentary estimate, which I am commanded by H.M. Government not to exceed, as their commissions are signed by the King. Whether there is an actual vacancy or not in that department I cannot tell. Owing to some of the gentlemen being in England, and, as I hear, not intending to return, this may eventually occasion some vacancy, the chance of obtaining which I have offered to Mr. C. dependant on the approbation or rejection of H.M. Government, which he has accepted and is appointed to act as surgeon of Norfolk Island until I receive directions on that head; and any interference of yours with this arrangement on that behalf will be instrumental to that gentleman's success. I have also directed to Commiss'y-General to draw on you for the sum of two hundred pounds Irish, for the use of Mr. Connellan, whose receipts and voucher I have the honour to enclose. - (HRA VI 22 February 1806)


Return of the number of inquests held in Ireland in 1841, House of Commons...Co. Louth...

 ...?same John Connellan



Scarborough 1788

Find out more about Dennis Conssiden at the Australian Dictionary of Biography Online



From the History of Sydney Hospital by Dr. J. Frederick Watson on the centenary of the laying of the foundation stone of the hospital......In the beginning of February, 1788, the erection of the first hospital was commenced on the west side of Sydney Cove, near what are now known as the Commissariat Stores, George street North; it was completed by twelve convict carpenters and sixteen hired men from the ships. An soon as it was finished it was filled, and the overflow occupied tents around it. Some of the drugs were found to have perished during the prolonged voyage, and others were of inferior quality; but it is interesting to read that the native sarsaparilla proved to be powerfully anti-scorbutic, and an infusion of "wild myrtle" astringent in dysentery, the honour of these discoveries being claimed by Dennis Considen. (Sydney Morning Herald 28 October 1911)


CONWAY, David Barry  *5 October 1822


David Barry Conway was appointed Assistant-Surgeon on 5 October 1811.

He was appointed Surgeon in the Royal Navy on 5 October 1822 and appointed to the Harrier in 1824 (Morning Post 5 January 1824)

He was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the Manlius which departed the Downs 17 April 1827 and arrived in NSW 11 August 1827 and the Georgiana which departed Plymouth 15 December 1828 and arrived in Van Diemen's Land on 20 April 1829.

On 2 May 1829 The Hobart Town Courier wrote of the convicts of the Georgiana - We regret to observe so many of the prisoners by the Georgiana, consisting of mere boys, on an average not more than 10 or 12 years of age. Their youth is certainly a fault that time will improve, but in the mean time it must be very distressing to the Government to know how to dispose of them with propriety. Some of the elder may indeed soon learn to officiate as bullock drivers along with the ploughman, or even as hut keepers and cooks at the stock runs, but the majority are we fear incapable of even such service. The great scarcity of labourers at present in the island, however, must in a great measure speedily relieve the government from the care of them, for we can conceive no plan worse than allowing them to remain in the barracks at Hobart town where they very worst examples must be incessantly, before their eyes. We remarked one little fellow among them not much more than 4ft high and about 10 years old, who has been in prison nearly 4 years under conviction. When asked by the Principal Superintendent how old he was, the little urchin answered "he was so young when he was born that he could not tell". His name we believe is William Edwards, but he is generally known by the appellation of King John. He is one of those unfortunate instruments of the old thieves with which London, notwithstanding all our weeding, still superabounds, that used to be carried in trunks or boxes and left at houses, or covered up in a basket with cabbages, etc. and placed in a convenience corner until night, when it was his duty to open the street door for his confederates to enter or sometimes he was thrust in at a cut out pane of a shop window, which he would afterwards strip. Not more than 3 of all the three score boys on board the Georgiana could repeat even the Lord's prayer at the departure of the vessel from England, but now we have much pleasure n stating owing to the persevering and praiseworthy exertions of the Surgeon Superintendent Dr. Conway, they can not only all repeat their prayers but most of them their catechism. It is to be hoped that the work of reformation which has been so well begun will advance and be perfected in these boys by their removal to this island. His Excellency on Tuesdays morning, in the course of his usual address to these men, on their being assigned to their different employments, could not help remarking the disgraceful levity on the countenance of some of them, at the very time they ought to have been covered with abject shame, and a sense of the disgrace attached to banishment, for their offences from their native country. Many others among them, however, we are happy to say evinced a contrite temper and a firm resolve to merit the indulgences held out by government to the sober and honest labourer.

William Swallow arrived as a convict on the Georgiana. He became infamous as one of the pirates who escaped in the brig Cyprus in 1829. Read about his adventures here.  Although Francis McNamara did not arrived in the colony until 1832, he wrote a ballad about the Cyprus which became one of Australia's well known Folk Songs

In 1832 the Hampshire Advertiser reported on 23 June 1832 that David Barry Conway, surgeon of the Ordinary at Chatham had died after a few hours illness.

His widow Ellen died over fifty years later on 2 November 1888 at 7 West end Terrace, Winchester. Ellen was the daughter of (the late) William Day, Post Captain R.N., formerly Governor of Sierra Leone. (The Standard 16 November 1888)


COOK, Joseph R.N., *30 March 1814


Joseph Cook was included in the Navy List of Medical Officers in 1814. He was appointed Surgeon to the Leven in 1818

He was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the convict ships :

Southworth departed Cork 18 November 1821 and arrived in NSW on 9 March 1822. Intending to depart on the Southworth for England later in March.

Sir Charles Forbes  departed Portsmouth 25 January 1825 and arrived in Van Diemen's Land 18 April 1825. 128 male convicts arrived on the Sir Charles Forbes, two having died on the voyage. Dr. Cook departed from Sydney on the Deveron on 25th May 1825

Phoenix  departed Dublin 27 August 1826 and arrived in NSW 25 December 1826

Louisa  departed Woolwich 24 August 1827 and arrived in NSW 3 December 1827.

Mellish  departed Falmouth 2 January 1829 and arrived in NSW 18 April 1829. He departed for London on the Harmony on 23 October 1829

Forth (11)  departed Cork 3 June 1830 and arrived NSW 12 October 1830

Portland departed Portsmouth 22 November 1831 and arrived in NSW 26 March 1832. He returned to England on the Portland in June 1832.


COSGREAVE, Peter R.N., *4 July 1811

Peter Cosgreave was included in the Navy List of Medical Officers in 1814. He was employed as surgeon on the convict ship Friendship which departed England on 3rd July 1817 and arrived in Port Jackson on 14th January 1818.  He and the Master were criticised by the free passengers travelling on the Friendship for their treatment of the female prisoners who were cruelly punished and left with inadequate water.

He married Maria Ford in 1819 at St. Clement's Danes.

In 1833 surgeons Peter Cosgreave, George Drysdale, Richard Hinds and George Shaw Rutherford signed correspondence calling for medical reform. A circular written at the time put forward an argument for reform: It is thought that the present is a favourable moment for pressing on Parliament the claims of  medical officers in the king's service, to enter into private practise in any part of the British  dominions, without being subject to the control of any of the medical corporations. The peace of 1815 threw out of the public employment a considerable body of naval and military medical practitioners. The interests of themselves and the public demanded, however, that a new field should be opened for their professional exertions; it being material that in the event of new hostilities with any foreign power they should not be found inefficient from want of practice.

They were prevented in this by Charters and Acts of Parliament. There were thought to be two to three thousands surgeons bound by these restrictive laws.

Peter Cosgreave died on 16th May 1841 in Norfolk street, Strand. His widow Maria died in December 1861 at the same address.

CRAIGIE, James R.N., *22 March 1809

James Craigie was included in the Navy List of Medical Officer in 1814. He was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the Lady Castlereagh in 1818.

James Craigie was appointed Surgeon to the Superb in 1824 (Morning Post 5 January 1824)




William Crawford was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the Lincelles to Fremantle in 1862

He is listed in the Medical Register of 1865 - Surgeon, Royal Navy, Qualifications: Lice Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh 1846.





James Creagh was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the female convict transport Janus in 1820. He died on the voyage out.

CROCKET, John R.N. 17 August 1815

John Crockett was included in the Navy List of Medical Officers of 1814. He was appointed Surgeon on the Cygnet in 1819

He was appointed Surgeon Superintendent on the convict ship Prince of Orange in 1822 (VDL), and the Mangles in 1824. He was a brother of Henry Crocket of Van Diemen's Land. (Australian Medical Pioneer Index)

It may have been the same John Crocket who was employed at the Royal Naval Hospital at Plymouth in 1840.....The British Imperial Calendar, on General Register of the United Kingdom 1840......


John Crocket was on the List of Surgeons of the Royal Navy who were unfit for service in 1841

John Crocket died in September 1843....



CROSS, Alexander R.N. *9 March 1827


Alexander Cross was on the List of Surgeons of the Royal Navy fit for service in 1841. He was appointed to the Columbine. He was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the Equestrian in 1852.

He was on the List of Deputy Inspectors General of Hospitals and Fleets, Retired ( 2 March 1864)

He is listed in the Medical Registry of 1865 - Residence H.M. Dockyard, Sheerness, Kent. Qualifications Surgeon Royal Navy 1838.



CUNNINGHAM Lennox Thompson R.N., *28 May 1840


Lennox Thompson Cunningham was born in Antrim, Ireland. He was employed as Surgeon on the Bittern in 1841 and as Surgeon Superintendent on the Hyderbad to Van Diemen's Land in 1849. He kept a Medical Journal from 26 April to 4 September 1849 while on this voyage.

 In the 1851 Census he gives his age as 48 and with his wife Jane age 51 gives his status as a a visitor at Warkworth at the house of Winefred Forster age 70 and Catherine Forster age 30. 

He was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the Sir Robert Seppings in 1852.

He was listed in the Medical Registry of 1865 - Qualifications Lic. Royal College Surgeons Edinburgh 1827, Extra Lic. Royal College of Physicians London 1841 (Carrickfergus)

In 1860 he was serving on H.M.S. Formidable at Sheerness and was admitted as member to the Royal College of Physicians

In the 1881 Census he resided in in Midlothian, Scotland with his wife Jane Forster and gives his age as 73 and occupation retired Royal Navy surgeon.

He died on 9th January 1888 at Edinburgh.


CUNNINGHAM, Peter R.N., *28 January 1814


Peter Cunningham was included in the Navy List of Medical Officers in 1814.

He was employed as surgeon superintendent on the convict ships Recovery 1819  Grenada 1821  Recovery 1823  Grenada 1825  and Morley 1828.

He was granted land in the Hunter Valley. Select here to find the location of his grant

In 1827 Peter Cunningham published Two Years in New South Wales; a Series of Letters, Comprising Sketches of the Actual State of Society in that Colony; of its Peculiar Advantages to Emigrants. Select here to read Cunningham's description of Currency Lads and Lasses

He died in 1864. His obituary was printed in the Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Review: -


web counter