I shall content myself with one extract taken from a
report made by the Captain and Surgeon of His Majesty's Ship Tonnant, who were instructed by
Admiral Holloway to examine the state of the Sloop Dumfries,
laden with convict women.........
|Embarked: 89 women
Surgeon's Journal: no
Pilot arrived 29 July
Almorah arrived 29 August 1817
Master John Grigg
Follow the Female Convict Ship Trail
Follow the Irish
Convict Ship Trail
Canada transported convicts to Australia in
1815, 1817 and
On this voyage 89 female convicts from Ireland were embarked
on the Canada in Spring 1817.
Lord Sidmouth by Henry Gray Bennet......
report which I moved for in the House of Commons in 1817,
which was made by the commissioners who investigated certain
alleged abuses in the convict department at Cork, a scene is
opened of neglect, oppression, and pillage, disgraceful to
all the parties concerned.
on board 63 females. The accommodation for them is a space
within the hold, 22 feet long and 16 broad, levelled with
ballast and covered with straw; the straw has not been
changed since the vessel left Dublin, and of course much
broken and filthy. Amongst these convicts is one case of
continual fever of a contagious character, and requiring to
be immediately removed to obviate a general febrile
affection. There are six other cases which require immediate
medical attendance, and whose situation is such , as to
render their removal from the Sloop absolutely necessary.
The Dumfries with these convicts sailed from Dublin on the
30th January. This vessel arrived (in Cork) on the 2nd
February and though the convict ship was ready to receive
them they were kept in this state eight days. (Feb., 9 1817
(Signed Captain John Tailour, surgeon John Gibbs.
There was concern about the fate of the eleven
children whose mothers were due to sail on the Canada.
The National Archives records that the governor of the
foundling hospital Robert Harding attempted to have the
youngest two admitted however the older children could not
be accepted and so he asked the Chief Secretary for
permission to send them with their mothers. There was
apparently abundant room on board, as the ship had been
chartered for l00 and provided with all kinds of necessities
for that number.(2)
The Pilot, Chapman and
the next vessels to leave Ireland bound for New South Wales
after the departure of the
The Canada departed from Cork on
21st March, called at Rio de Janeiro 6th May leaving there
27th May, and arrived in Port Jackson on 5th August 1817.
There were no deaths on the voyage and 89 female prisoners
together with the eleven children all arrived in good
health. The surgeon testified to their good health on
arrival as well as that of the five Passengers Mr. & Mrs.
Johnson (Johnstone), Mr. Michael Henderson and Mr. Francis
Abel, wife and three children.
Francis Abel was a
former Sergeant, 102nd Regiment and 8th Royal Veterans
Battalion; he first arrival as soldier on the
Cornwallis 1796, returning as a free settler on the
Canada. (Colonial Secretary's Correspondence)
The Canada was the next convict ship after the
Melville to arrive in New South Wales with female
prisoners. James Allan later informed Governor Macquarie
that he had taken every precaution on the voyage to prevent
prostitution. To the best of his knowledge no female had
lived with an officer or seaman on the voyage either.
The Lord Melville and
the Canada brought a total of 188 female prisoners
to New South Wales in 1817
Copy of a Letter from Governor Macquarie to the Earl
Government-House, Sydney, New South
4th of December 1817......
In consequence of
your Lordship's desire, I have made particular inquiry
relative to the conduct of the female convicts who arrived
in the two last ships, namely, the Lord Melville and Canada,
and have now the honour to transmit your Lordship
the replies made to my queries on this subject by Mr.
Justice Field, who came a passenger in the Lord Melville,
and Surgeon Superintendent Allan, who came in charge of the
female convicts on board the Canada. The former will show
how extremely difficult it is to prevent the female convicts
from having intercourse with the officers and sailors during
such a voyage.
On 11th August 1817 fifty
women who had arrived on the Canada together with
twenty nine men of the Pilot were embarked on the
Elizabeth Henrietta bound for Hobart. Of those who
remained in Sydney some would have been sent to the
factory. Francis Oakes was Superintendent
factory in 1817.
Select here to read the evidence he
gave to Commissioner John Thomas Bigge in 1819 regarding the
distribution of female convicts and their transfer to
The Canada departed Port
Jackson bound for Batavia on 24th October 1817. Those
advertising their intention to depart on the Canada
included the surgeon James Allan, James Byrne and his wife,
John Spooner, Richard Baron and John Crowley.
Notes & Links:
1). Prisoners of the Canada who
remained in New South Wales and are mentioned in Colonial
Secretary's Correspondence included:
Ann (or Mary)
Barns (Ann Hayes) - On the list of prisoners to be sent to
Newcastle in 1817. Requesting permission to marry Patrick
Hayes at Parramatta in 1820. Sent to Port Macquarie in 1825.
Married Michael Murphy per Southworth in 1826
Connor - Tried in Clonmell in August 1816 and sentenced to
14 years transportation. Petition for mitigation of sentence
in 1818. In 1818 at the Factory and requesting permission to
marry at Parramatta - . In 1819 seeking permission to marry
Mary Furlong - Requesting
permission to marry at Sydney in 1818. Married James Parsons
per General Stewart in Sydney in 1826.
Hallogan (Helen Holigan) - Arrived with one child. Re
permission to marry at Parramatta in 1820
Harney - Re permission to marry at Sydney in 1818.
Bridget Keating (Caton) - On list of convicts employed by
Margaret Keaton - Re permission to
marry at Parramatta in 1819
Ann Kelly - On lists of
convict maintained by William Cox 1818 - 23
Catherine Kelly - Re permission to marry at Parramatta in
1818. On list of prisoners to be sent to Newcastle in August
Christiana Kelly - re permission to marry at
Juliana Kenna - On list of prisoners
transported to Newcastle in 1821
Ann Kennonton - Re
permission to marry at Castlereagh in 1817
Keogh - Re permission to marry at Liverpool in 1820
Ann McKenna - Re permission to marry at Parramatta in 1818
Bridget Murray - At the Factory in 1818. Re
permission to marry at Parramatta
Margaret Murray -
On list of prisoners to be sent to Newcastle in 1817
Margaret O'Neil - Re permission to marry Daniel Johnson
at Liverpool in 1821. Servant of Hamilton Hume of Appin in
Mary Ryan - On list of prisoners transported to
Newcastle in 1820
Ann Sullivan - On list of
prisoners to be sent to Newcastle in 1819
Waters - Re permission to marry at Sydney
Hunter Valley convicts/ passengers arriving on the Canada in
3). Dublin - Sessions Court, Tuesday
November 7 1815 - Ann Cody for stealing on the 22nd October
a variety of articles the property of Michael Sweetman.
Alderman Archer - This Gentleman saw a cart laden with
bones,, near his house, Gardiner's Place under suspicious
circumstances, he accordingly inquired after the owner;
found she was leaving the service of Mr. Sweetman with a
good character, he however was of opinion that all was not
right, and on searching the bones at his office, found a
quantity of valuable property which he was convinced
belonged to Mr. Sweetman. Mr. Sweetman identified a number
of silver spoons and other articles his property taken by
prisoner without his knowledge or concurrence- he said until
this discovery he always considered prisoner an honest and
diligent servant. Verdict. guilty. Sentenced to 7 years
transportation - Freemans Journal 9 November 1815.
4). Convicts and passengers of the Canada 1817 from the
Ann Blake per Canada age 37 and James
Blake per Fortune 1813 age 50, Superintendent for Captain
Brooks at Lake George, Goulburn Plains.
Bowman per Medina 1827 age 31, farmer at Holsworthy. John
Bowman age 7, Thomas Bowman age 5, Elizabeth Bowman 2.
Margaret Bowman per Canada, age 32, Died July 1829
Eleanor Buckley age 40 free by servitude, settler at
Patrick Buckley age 12, came free.
James Connell age 35, per Duke of Portland, baker at
Castlereagh. Ann Connell age 25, per Canada 1817. Ticket of
Mary Dwyer age 50 per Canada 1817,
ticket of leave holder, Wife of Peter Butler of Pitt Town.
James Dwyer, age 24 per Canada 1817, Came free.
Mary Furlong (Parsons) age 38, per Canada 1817. Age 38,
Catherine Hart age 40. per Canada 1817. Free
by servitude. Housekeeper for James Macledon Kent Street
Mary Johnson, age 37, per Canada 1817.
Servant to Robert Harbutt, Druitt Street.
Johnstone, age 51 and Isabella Johnstone age 32, came free
per Canada, Landholders at Bathurst.
age 35, per Canada 1817, housekeeper for Vardy Sheehan, at
Ann Kelly age 35 per Canada 1817, free
by servitude, Householder at Richmond;
age 13, came free.
Mary Ann Kelly, age 26, per
Canada 1817, Housekeeper for Joseph Boylan, Phillip Street.
Ann Kelly, age 35, per Canada 1817, Householder at
Richmond; Mary age 13, came free.
per Canada 1817, ticket of leave holder, Wife of Richard
Sullivan, Kings Street;
Patrick Kennedy age 12, came
free; Mary Kennedy age 7 came free. Mary Kennedy age 45,
Free by servitude; John Kennedy age 38 per Three Bees.
Sussex Street Sydney
Eleanor Murphy age 40, per
Canada 1817. Free. Resides at Lachlan Valley with her
children William age 10 and John age 3.
O'Neill, age 38, per Canada 1817, Householder at Sydney.
Margaret Stenson, age 28 per Canada 1817; James Stenson
per Archduke Charles age 38, Farmer at North Richmond. Five
children all born in the colony.
Ann Sweeney, per
Canada 1817, free by servitude. With Thomas Denton.
Catherine Trebe, per Canada 1817, age 31; George Trebe, age
42, per Marquis of Wellington; Settler at Bringelly.
5). Selection of Reports and Papers of
the House of Commons: Prisons, Volume 51.....
Letter to Viscount Sidmouth, Secretary of State for the Home
Department, on Transportation Laws and state of the hulks,
and of the Colonies ... By Henry Grey Bennet
National Archives of Ireland