Convict Ship Burrell 1830
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information about Convict Ships arriving in New South Wales, Norfolk Island
and Van Diemen's Land between the years 1788 and 1850
|Embarked 192 men
Voyage 145 days
Surgeon's Journal - Yes
Previous vessel: Andromeda
arrived 18 December 1830
York arrived 7 February 1831
Captain John Metcalf
transported convicts to New South Wales in 1830 and
The Burrell departed Plymouth on 27 July 1830 and
anchored at Table Bay, Cape of Good Hope on the 1st November,
departing there on the 3rd November.
The Guard consisted
of a detachment of the 17th regiment under Captain John
Alexander Edwards. Mrs. Edwards and child came as passengers. Select here
to find convict ships bringing detachments of the 17th regiment
William West kept a Medical Journal from 26th June 1829 to 3
January 1830...... He remarked that there was scarcely one of
the 192 prisoners that was not affected with symptoms of scurvy.
The Guard of 30 soldiers were on board as long as the prisoners
and were equally unaccustomed to sea life. They were provisioned
with equal quantities and quality as the prisoners as well and
yet there was no scurvy amongst them. The surgeon attributed
this to their more active lifestyle. The convicts were confined
13 hours of 24 in the prison where it was impossible to keep
them clean. There was a report of mutiny which resulted in the
prisoners being kept in confinement for even longer.
surgeon thought the report false, however later the Cape Paper
gave an account: - The Burrell, was anchored in Table Bay,
with 189 male convicts on board for NSW. It appears that these
hardened offenders during the voyage had concocted a diabolical
conspiracy to murder the captain and crew, seize the vessel, and
run her ashore on the coast of Brazil. The plot was fortunately
discovered by the confessions of one of the convicts and
measures were immediately taken by the captain for securing the
ringleaders and defeating their designs.
newspaper reported that one of the convicts was formerly in
command of the Burrell, however this was later refuted
by an associate of Captain Metcalf who was a relation of the
owner of the Burrell. The vessel had been built for Captain
Metcalfe four years previously. Captain Metcalfe superintended
construction and had commanded her ever since.
September when the ship was in lat 2° 56 north, Long. 13° 50
west, eight men complained to the surgeon of night blindness.
They were all cured according to the surgeon by bleeding and
blisters to the temples. The surgeon often recorded the weather
conditions at various positions as below:
1st August -
Lat 45°. 5 North; Long 11°.35 West. Temperature at noon 74°
13th August - Thermometer in the shade on deck 76°; in the
20th August - Lat. 11° 29 north; Long 25° 54 West
- Temperature in the shade on deck 80°; in the main prison when
all below 90°. Weather calm
7th September - Lat 2° 56 north;
Long 13° 50 West. Temperature in the shade 76° to 80° at noon.
In the main prison 90°
17th September - Lat 13° 16 south;
Long 29°. 57 West. Temperature at noon in the shade 87°
September - Thermometer in the shade on deck 76°. Weather fine,
25th September - fine weather and light winds.
7th October - fine weather, strong breeze. 63°
October - Lat 33° 24 south; Long 12° 00 west. 63° in the shade
9th October - Lat 31° 7 south; Long 20° 29 west. 60° in the
11th October - fair with strong breezes Temperature 63
14th October - weather squally and wet. Temperature
16th October - Lat 32°. 56 south; Long 4°. 15 East -
Fresh breezes 63 - 66°. Temperature at noon 62°
- fresh breezes 63 - 66°
15th November - Lat 39°. 13 south;
Long 52°. 47 East. Temperature at noon 62°
24th November -
Lat 39° 49 south; Long 80° 6 East. Temperature at noon 64°
3rd December - Temperature at noon 67°
15th December -
sailing along the land in Bass Strait. Temperature 65°
Three prisoners died on the passage out. The first was William
Davis aged 25. He was sent on board from the Justitia
Hulk and was suffering from mental illness. The surgeon
described him as taciturn Welshman who either did not understand
English or refused to speak it. Another of his countrymen
interpreted for him. (There were 16 men on the Burrell who had
been tried in Wales). William Davis died on 1st August. The
surgeon was prevented from performing an autopsy because of the
warm state of the weather.
He commented in his journal
that it was 90° in the prison when all the prisoners were there.
The other two men who died, Frederick Holbrook and Robert
Cooper, the surgeon was at a loss to account for the reason of
their death. They had few symptoms and appeared well enough just
a couple of days before death. His post mortem revealed little
and he diagnosed cachexia for want of a better term.
Another man James Barnett died in Sydney Hospital on 23rd
December 1830 having been ill since they were at Table Bay on
The indents reveal the name, age,
education, religion, marital status, family, native place,
trade, offence, when and where tried, sentence, former
convictions, physical description and how disposed of on
arrival. There are also occasional details of pardons, relatives
already in the colony, colonial sentences and deaths. The
youngest prisoner was Francis Dennis who was 13 years of age.
William Jones and Joseph Phillips were 14; and John Mackie and
Isacharr Binney were 15 years of age. They were all sent to the
Carters Barracks except John Mackie who was assigned to the A.A.
The prisoners of the Burrell, spent
their first Christmas in New South Wales on Sydney
Harbour. Although they had arrived at Port Jackson on 18
December 1830 and a muster was taken on the 23rd December, they
were not landed until Friday 31st December 1830.
Burrell departed for Launceston in February 1831 with
passengers Mr. Bayley, Mr. Hartley, Mr. Brennan Mr. Scott, Mr.
Schelly, Mr. Curry, Miss Kirkham, Mrs. Allen and fifty horses on
Notes & Links:
1). Crew members
included ship's steward James Antell; 3rd Mate Mr. Davison and
John McDonald, who suffered a fractured clavicle. Drummer
of the 17th regt., John Donahoo aged 16 was also treated for a
fractured clavicle after falling down the hatchway in September
2). The following prisoners
were tried in Scotland:
Hunter Valley convicts arriving on the Burrell in 1830. A number
of men were assigned to
Australian Agricultural company at Port
Stephens on arrival.
Richard Beecher who arrived as a convict on the Burrell later
became a well known and courageous Newcastle harbour pilot.
5). Joseph Walker who had
been a flax dresser in Aberdeen became a bushranger. He lived for
many months with a native tribe before being captured.
3). Return of Convicts of the Burrell assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March
1832 (Sydney Gazette 28 June 1832).....
||House painter assigned to William
Cox junior at Hobart Ville
6). Convict Ships bringing detachments of the