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Convict Ship Bangalore 1850

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Embarked: 297
Voyage: 113 days
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Captain William B. Morgan
Surgeon Superintendent William H. B. Jones
Convicts were transported to Van Diemen's Land on the Bangalore in 1848.

Although there were thousands of convicts who were sent to Moreton Bay for colonial crimes, the Mount Stewart Elphinstone in 1849 and the Bangalore in 1850 were the only two ships bringing convict 'Exiles' direct to Moreton Bay, then part of New South Wales.

Transportation to New South Wales had ceased in 1840 and the arrival of Exile ships was controversial, however squatters and pastoralists particularly on the Darling Downs were  in need of labour and welcomed the addition to their dwindling work force. The Bangalore was the last ship to bring prisoners to the east coast of Australia although they continued to be sent to Van Diemen's Land and to Western Australia.

The Bangalore left Portsmouth 6th January 1850 with 454 souls on board. William H.B. Jones kept a medical journal from 17 December 1849 to 16 June 1850. Some of the cases he mentioned in his Remarks included :

1). Archibald Campbell who was placed on sick list for a severe acute dysenteria which terminated favourably;
2). John White who had an illness in the lungs;
3). Sergeant Joseph Kearn, Pensioner Guard who came on board as an invalid, labouring under an advanced stage of phthisis. The Surgeon remarked  that Joseph Kearns had just returned from India and was at the Battle of Sobraon, under Sir Hugh Gough and Sir Henry Hardinge. He had been severely wounded by a ball passing through the face and the cicatrix of that wound broke out afresh on board. Ann Kearn the widow of the deceased sergeant, was safely delivered of a female child on board on 10th March 1850.
4). William Smith a spare delicate seaman, fell during the gale of wind, down the fore hatchway and landed on a  piece of wood immediately over the left kidney causing a rupture and he died in good deal of suffering but of short duration.

5). Mary Starkey - on the 18th February, Mary Starkey, wife to a pensioner guard was safely delivered of a boy.

6). James Roy - the Surgeon also noted on the case of James Roy aged 7 who received an injury according to the parents by being thrown over the shoulders of another boy which injured his back.

7). John Blacknell - on the 12th February the first case of scorbutus occurred in a very delicate convict John Blacknell.

The acting health officer at Moreton Bay, Kearsey Cannan inspected the ship on arrival and gave an excellent report stating that the prisoners and ship were in the utmost state of health and cleanliness. The surgeon William Jones was proud of the clean and healthy state of the ship and included at the end of his general remarks a history of the voyage of the Hillsborough to contrast the differences between the conditions of convicts transported fifty years previously with those who arrived on the Bangalore.(2)

The Moreton Bay Courier reported in May....Mr. Horsey from the office of the Principal Superintendent of Convicts went down to the Bangalore on Wednesday, for the purpose of mustering and taking descriptions of the prisoners on board after which has been done the men will be open for engagement on board through Mr Horsey. There are already applications for more than two hundred of them and it is not supposed that many of them will be long on board. These men will not - as a general rule - be allowed to engage in Brisbane or its neighbourhood. Particular cases may occur in which this regulation may be parted from as, for instance in the case of any individual who may not be able to maintain himself in the bush, and whose services may be pressingly required in the towns; but in general the rule will be adhered to. 

The Aurora, ketch has been chartered on behalf of the government to supply the passengers with fresh provision, and to bring them up from the ship; and persons who go down to hire men will be provided with a passage there and back without charge either for themselves or the prisoners whom they may engage. Passports  to visit the ship are to be obtained from the Police Magistrate. The pensioner guard on board the Bangalore consists of persons who intend to settle in the colony, under the provisions of the recently published regulations The women and children are the families of the pensioners and the cost of their passage is chargeable to the 30,000 voted by Parliament for transportation purposes.

We hope that the prisoners themselves will properly consider their own circumstances and their prospects and endeavour to maintain the good character given of them by the Surgeon Superintendent.

Notes & Links

1). Convict Records  

2). Vessels bringing Exiles included the Havering, Hashemy, Eden, Adelaide, Mount Stewart Elphinstone, Bangalore and Randolph  


(1) Moreton Bay Courier 4 May 1850

(2) UK Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. National Archives, Kew


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