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Convict Ship Bussorah Merchant 1831 


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(Convicts and passengers from this ship only)

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Select from the Links below to find information about Convict Ships arriving in New South Wales, Norfolk Island and Van Diemen's Land between the years 1788 and 1850

J -K L M N - O P - Q R S T - V W - Y

Embarked: 200 men
Voyage: 120 days
Deaths: 2
Surgeon's Journal - Yes
Tons 530 Crew 42 men
Previous vessel: Asia arrived 2 December 1831
Next vessel: Norfolk arrived 9 February 1832
Captain John Moncrief  
Surgeon Superintendent James Gilchrist

Follow the Irish Convict Ship Trail
The Bussorah Merchant was built at Calcutta in 1818.  Convicts were transported to Australia on the Bussorah Merchant  in 1828 and this voyage in 1831.

The Guard under command of Lieutenant William Lonsdale with 29 soldiers of the 4th regiment (chiefly recruits) with four women and four children, embarked on the Bussorah Merchant at Deptford on 19 July 1831.  The vessel then departed for Ireland.   Select here to find convict ships bringing detachments of the 4th regiment.

Among the prisoners to be embarked on the Bussorah Merchant at Dublin in 1831 was the notorious Luke Dillon who was sentenced to transportation for life for the rape of Ann Frizell of Dublin. The Belfast Newsletter reported his journey from prison to the Essex Hulk at Kingstown where he was held to await transportation....

The decision of Government was communicated to him on Wednesday, when his irons were struck off, and he was on Thursday conveyed, hand cuffed to a common felon, who was also sentenced to undergo the mitigated penalty of the law, from Newgate to the Essex Hulk at Kingstown. His head was shaved, and he was dressed in the slop clothing provided by Government for convicts under rule of transportation. (1) John Lamb was Keeper at the Essex Hulk in 1831.  

Surgeon-Superintendent James Gilchrist kept a Medical Journal from 8 July to 24 December 1831.......

On the 6 August the Bussorah Merchant anchored in Kingstown harbour and on the 8th the convicts were mustered and examined on board the Hulk. The surgeon remarked that many of them appeared pale, sallow and in some degree emaciated, probably in consequence of long confinement (the majority having been from 6 to 12, and few under five months), moreover influenza then epidemic, had prevailed to a great degree amongst them and several were still ill.  

On the 11 and 12 August 1831, 200 men were transferred from the Hulk to the Bussorah Merchant. All of the men were apparently in good spirits and pleased to be out of the Hulk. Living conditions on the Hulks in Ireland were dire and the surgeon had found in examining the men that they anxiously longed to be removed from them and for a change of scene. They endeavoured by every means in their power to conceal any complaint or disease which they may have in an attempt to be accepted onto the convict ship. This was not James Gilchrist's first voyage as Surgeon Superintendent however, and he was wise to their ploys. Two prisoners, Michael Hughes and Hugh Simpson were returned to the Hulk Essex on 15th August after an examination on board proved they were not fit enough to make the journey.

The Bussorah Merchant departed Dublin on 16th August 1831.

Some of the soldiers mentioned in the surgeon's journal included
Private David Newton age 19;
John Wiggingdon aged 35;
John Willingale aged 20;
John O'Regan aged 32;
Richard Parsons aged 18;
Arthur McCaffrey aged 22;
John Donnelly aged 18;
William Andrews aged 22.

There were two births to wives of the guard - Eliza Hobbs aged 32 gave birth to a daughter on 9th December and Elizabeth Bond, Sergeant's wife gave birth on 13 December 1831.  

Cabin passengers included Solicitor-General E. McDowell.  

The Bussorah Merchant arrived in Port Jackson on 14 December 1831    

Notes & Links:  

1). James Gilchrist was also surgeon on the convict ship Mermaid in 1828 (VDL) and James Pattison in 1830  

2). Hunter Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Bussorah Merchant in 1831  

3). County Antrim Assizes, Crown Court Carrickfergus , March 26 - Daniel Kelly, for taking from Roger glover, on 1st November last a gun, the property of the Earl O'Neill - Guilty; seven years' transportation - Belfast Newsletter 1 April 1831

4). County Antrim Assizes, Crown Court Carrickfergus, March 26 - Hugh Simpson, for stealing a yarn reel and spade, the property of Eneas Black on 3dr July last - Guilty - Seven years transportation (Hugh Simpson was embarked on the Bussorah Merchant but re-landed). Belfast Newsletter 1 April 1831

5). County of Down Assizes, Downpatrick, Tuesday March 29 - James OHare and William Burns for stealing a blanket at Tullamore Park, on 10th March - Both guilty; transportation for 14 years - Belfast Newsletter 1 April 1831

6). Recorder Court, Dublin, William McAuley, an old offender, stealing a cloak from Major Sirr. Guilty - seven years transportation. Freemans Journal - 26th May 1831

7). The county calendar, which was unusually light was disposed of yesterday by three o'clock. The following trials took place and sentences passed - Michael Harvey, for a highway robbery on the person of Winifred Ward in company with others taking fro her a cloak and one shilling in money was found guilty and sentence of death recorded. John Murray and Christopher Murphy, who were evidently part of the above gang, were found guilty of a similar offence on the same day and in the same neighbourhood,, by forcibly taking from the person of Anne Cooney a cloak, value 14s with which they ran across the fields - Sentence of death recorded. Anne Ryan who resides in the same room in which they were arrested, and on whose person a pawnbroker's duplicate of the cloak taken from Anne Cooney was found, was convicted of receiving same, and sentenced to seven years' transportation. John Carty and Judith Carty were convicted of a larceny. They were sentenced to seven years transportation. William Kerrigan for stealing a horse and set of harness, the property of James Kirwan of Corbally, near Lucan was found guilty and sentence of death recorded. Richard Dogherty was found guilty of a similar offence in taking a horse or gelding the property of Peter Dunne, and a harness the property of another individual which he attempted to dispose of in Tullamore, where he was taken into custody by Thomas Goulding on suspicion. The prosecutor recommended him to the mercy of the Court. Sentence of death was notwithstanding recorded...... Freeman's Journal. 12 April 1831  

8).  Return of Convicts of the Bussorah Merchant assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 21 June 1832; 28 June 1832; 5 July 1832).....

William Brennan Porter assigned to John Brown in Sydney
John Burke Labourer assigned to Sir John Jamison at Regent Ville
Daniel Beirne Seaman assigned to Richard Siddons at South head
Edward Cullen Stockman assigned to Terence Murray at Argyle
Joseph Costell Seaman assigned to Richard Siddons (pilot), South Head
Peter Connelly Weaver and stockman assigned to William Dun at Patersons River
Richard Crampton Fisherman assigned to George Groemes at Liverpool
William Conway Cabinet maker assigned to William Johnstone at Bathurst
Peter Cummins Kitchen gardener assigned to George Barber at Argyle
Thomas Coll Shoemaker assigned to Duncan McFarlane at Argyle
Patrick Coffee Ploughman assigned to H. McArthur at Parramatta
Terence Drew or Adams Miller and seaman assigned to James King at Sydney
Thomas Farrell Ploughman assigned to William Klensendoriffe at Minto
Michael Fitzsimmons Ploughman assigned to George Muir at Maitland
Thomas Gamble Dealer assigned to Thomas Connell at Goulburn Plains
Francis Glancy Waiter at public house. Assigned to Edward Biddulph, Captain of the Sophia Jane
Patrick Geogeghan (James Kingsbury) Stone cutter assigned to F.C.L. Thompson at Bathurst
Edward Keogh Comb maker assigned to Edward Biddulph, Commander of the Sophia Jane
Martin Keane Shoemaker assigned to Henry Rae at Maitland
William Kerrigan Labourer assigned to George Bunn in Sydney
George Long Baker assigned to James Reid at Hunter River
Richard Murphy Blacksmith assigned to John Hosking in Sydney
Charles Murphy Carpenter assigned to Frederick Jones at Illawarra
William Murray Carpenter assigned to William Dun at Patterson's Plains
James Noon Blacksmiths' apprentice. Assigned to James Rogerts at Bringelly
David Owens or Todd Shoemaker assigned to John Smith at Newcastle
John Patterson Ploughs. Assigned to John Jamison jun., at Argyle
Francis Reilly Shoemaker assigned to Richard Dawes at Richmond
John Edward Savage Servant and brass founder. Assigned to John White at Sydney

9). Convict Ships bringing detachments of the 4th (King's Own) Regiment.....

Date/Place of Departure Convict Ship Command of the Guard
29 April 1831 Cork Jane Captain George Mason
17 July 1831 Portsmouth Surry Captain Waldron 38th regt.,
6 August 1831 Cork Asia Captain Richard Chetwode
15 October 1831 Norfolk Lieut. David William Lardy 4th regt.,
5 November 1831 Dublin Captain Cook Lieut. Gibbons 49th regt.,
27 November 1831 Portsmouth Portland  
27 November 1831 Cork Isabella Captain William Clarke 4th regt.,
14 December 1831 Dublin Bussorah Merchant Lieut. William Lonsdale 4th regt.,
7 February 1832 Downs John Lieut. George Baldwin 31st regt.,
15 March 1832 Portsmouth Lady Harewood Lieut. Lowth 38th regt.,
18 March 1832 Cork City of Edinburgh Lieut. Bayliss
9 May 1832 Portsmouth Clyde Lieut-Colonel Mackenzie
10 May 1832 Cork Eliza Lieut. Hewson
16 June 1832 Portsmouth Planter Lieuts. Bullin & Irvine 38th regt.,
19 June 1832 Downs Hercules Lieut. Gibson 4th regt.,
1 July 1832 Dublin Dunvegan Castle Lieut. Thomas Faunce 4th regt.,
28 July 1832 Sheerness Parmelia Captain Young 38th regt.,
12 March 1833 Sheerness Waterloo Captain Mondilhan 54th regt.,

9). 4th (or The King's own) Regiment of Foot......


(1) Belfast Newsletter 10 May 1831


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