Convict Ship Barossa 1839
Embarked 336 men
Voyage 127 days
Surgeon's Journal - Yes
Previous vessel: Mary Ann
arrived 10 November 1839
Minerva arrived 26 December 1839
Captain John Austin
|The Guard on the Barossa
included Lieutenant James Chambre 96th regiment, Ensign Hough, 50th
regiment and 29 rank and file of the 28th, 50th and 96th regiments
with their wives and children.
Passengers included Rev. M. Woodward, Mrs. Woodward, Miss Woodward,
Miss Emily Woodward.
From the Military
Intelligence of the Woolwich Advertiser of July 20th
1839...50th regiment - Ensign Hodge (?Hough) with 12 men, is
ordered to be in readiness to embark on board the Barossa, convict
ship at Deptford. The service companies at New South Wales will
relieve the 16th at Bengal next year.
The prisoners of the Barossa
were mainly young men although there were a few who were old. They
had came from districts throughout England and Scotland - Warwick,
Birmingham, Buckinghamshire, Gloucester, Nottingham, Edinburgh,
Wiltshire, Lancashire and Middlesex. Crimes ranged from picking
pockets and insubordination to highway robbery and manslaughter.
They were transferred from county gaols to various prison Hulks to
A number of the prisoners who were tried
at the Old Bailey on 17th September 1838 were received on to the
hulk at Chatham from Newgate prison on 2nd October 1838 and
transferred to the Barossa on 26th July 1839.
Campbell was convicted on 6th November at Edinburgh for an assault
upon his wife and was received on to the Justitia hulk on
26th November where he remained until he was transferred to the
Barossa on 22nd July 1839.
Sixteen year old James
Cotterell had been convicted of stealing from the person on 16th
October 1838 in Staffordshire. He was received on to the
Ganymede hulk on
14th December where he was described as having bad habits and
connexions, a sullen disposition and had been convicted four times
before. He was transferred to the Barossa on 22 July 1839.
James Cotterell was one of five prisoners under the age of
16 the others being David Agg (15), William Bradshaw (16), John
Keefe (15) and John Moore (15).
The Barossa sailed
from Sheerness on 3rd August 1839 having embarked a total of 336
male convicts there and at Woolwich. Robert Wylie was a well
experienced surgeon superintendent having previously been employed
on the Henry
Wellesley in 1836 and Emma
Eugenia in 1838. He kept a Medical Journal from 7 July to 16
All the convicts were healthy on embarking,
however before starting measles broke out affecting three children
and three convicts. It had been brought on board by some of the
children of the guard. As the cases began to appear, Robert Wylie
was at first apprehensive of having to put back to port or stop over
en route, and was relieved to find that there were in total six
cases only. Later he reported that Herpes had also broken out having
been brought on board by convicts from the Ganymede
hulk. It spread to about 50 of the men as the ship passed through
the tropics and despite treatment with stimulants and sedatives did
not abate until the ship approached colder weather.
sailing easterly they passed through very cold weather and icebergs
were seen. Several people suffered illness, and two died at this
time. The Surgeon's first patient was Lawrence Doyle on 29th July
who was suffering from pneumonia and who wasn't discharged from the
sick list until 19th November. On 29th July two year old Elizabeth
Fitz, a child of one of the Guard was treated for rubeola. The
attack appeared mild to the surgeon, however the child developed
bronchitis and died on 15th August. James Holme age 53 became ill on
7th October with diarrhoea, his health declined until 24th October
when he died. Robert Holdsworth, a slight lad of fair complexion and
aged 19 began to suffer with diarrhoea on 5th November. Despite all
the surgeon's attention he slowly declined until his death on 19th
November. Puzzled by his death the surgeon performed a post mortem
and found the lungs to have been considerably congested and colon
swollen although the patient had never complained of any symptoms in
The Chief Mate on the Barossa was
Mr. Alfred Newman who was 21 years of age. He was treated by the
surgeon for rheumatism in his hips and back on 9th October, his
condition made worse by the cold weather they were experiencing.
The Barossa spoke the Orient on 30 October in latitude 40S
longitude 49E and arrived in Port Jackson on 8 December 1839. The
convicts were landed at the dockyard and marched to Hyde Park
Barracks on Friday 13th December. Two or three who were sick were
conveyed in hand barrows. They were inspected by His Excellency,
Governor George Gipps at the Barracks where his Excellency delivered
to them the usual address upon the occasion.
later, the Australasian Chronicle reported that the
convicts who arrived by the Barossa were removed on Monday
16th December to the Cook's River station, and Mr. Jones, late
Assistant Chief constable of Sydney was appointed superintendent of
the works which were in progress there. (1)
Chronicle of 31st December 1839 mentioned Rev. Woodward........
The Rev. Mr. Woodward.— This Rev. gentleman arrived per
Barossa from the traits of character he has already displayed, we
feel no hesitation in congratulating the colony on such a valuable
acquisition to the cause of liberality among us. On Sunday, the Rev.
Gentleman performed divine service at the quarantine ground. He
addressed in impressive language the unfortunate people, and called
on them in the name of their Creator to join with him in returning
thanks for their fortunate escape from typhus fever whilst so many
of their fellow creatures had been laid low under similar
circumstances. At the conclusion of his address, he advised them in
strong language, no matter what their religion might be, to attend
divine service on next Sunday, when a Catholic clergyman will
officiate. It gives us great pleasure to record such an expression
of liberality on the part of a Protestant clergyman, and we would
fondly hope that the arrival of Mr. Woodward may form an era in our
history in this respect.
The Barossa departed
for Bombay in January 1840.
Notes & Links:
Hunter Valley convicts / passengers who arrived on the Barossa in
2). Convict ships bringing detachments of the 96th regiment
to New South Wales included the Barossa,
Eden and Woodbridge.
1. The Australian 21 December 1839