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Convict Ship
 Caroline 1833

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Embarked 120 women
Voyage 113 days
Deaths 0
Surgeon's Journal - Yes
Previous vessel: Waterloo arrived 3 August 1833
Next vessel: Captain Cook arrived 25 August 1833 
Captain Alexander MacDonald  
Surgeon Superintendent George Birnie
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The Caroline was the next vessel leaving from Ireland for New South Wales with prisoners after the Portland in February 1833. The Caroline departed Cork on 15th April 1833.  

The crew consisted of twenty six men and boys including the Captain. There was a Mate, 2nd Mate, 3rd Mate, Carpenter, Steward, Cook, Sailmaker, ship's auditor and twelve seamen. There were four apprentices, one of whom was lost overboard. A boy on board was noted as being equal to a man.  

Passengers included Lieut. Croker Barrington.  

Prisoners came from counties throughout Ireland - Dublin, Roscommon, Armagh, Tyrone, Limerick, Cork and Kerry etc. They were held in county gaols before being transferred to Cork where they were held in the Penitentiary......

.     .....House of Commons Papers 1834  

The Freemans Journal reported on 5th April 1833 that 56 free settlers, wives and children of convicts in New South Wales, were embarked from the Penitentiary house in Cork on to the Caroline at Cove and on the following morning 120 female convicts from the same establishment were conveyed on the Waterloo steamer to the Caroline. Their appearance and conduct was said to be highly creditable.  

George Birnie kept a Medical Journal from 1 March to 28 August 1833........

In his General Remarks he noted the arrival of the women and children.....On the 29th March 1833 we received on board the Caroline at the Cove of Cork, fifteen free women and forty one of their children, being the wives and children of convicts ordered a passage to New South Wales by His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant, and on the 30th we received one hundred and twenty female convicts and thirteen of their children, making a total of 189.  

George Birnie's Journal continues: - The Convicts when embarked had in general a healthful and clean appearance and throughout the voyage they kept themselves and their berths in a state of the most perfect cleanliness. We had a good deal of sickness and incidental during a long and solitary voyage to persons unaccustomed to a sea life; but no deaths or casualties among the free settlers, the prisoners or any of their children. It will be seen by the copy of the daily sick book, I had in all ninety seven cases on the list and I regret that I can give only sixteen and they imperfect, my papers having gone astray during the disembarkation of prisoners. These few cases however will give a pretty correct idea of the nature of the complaints which generally occurred during the voyage.

By my instructions from the Admiralty, I am desired to guard as far as possible against the introduction and spread of contagions as well as attend to the health, comfort and morals of the prisoners placed under my charge and I assert that nothing is more calculated to fulfil the intention of these instructions than the the substitution of proper water closets for the disgusting and beastly soil pans especially in female convict ships to all consideration of the intolerable nuisance produced in cases of general sickness by these soil cases not only in the prison and hospital but all over the ship, the men particularly in bad weather, are brought more in contact with the women than they would otherwise be and the disgusting office makes them assume liberties which they would not otherwise do - Various other considerations, obvious enough but not fit to be stated here induce me again to repeat that every convict ship and more especially female convict ships should always be fitted up with water closets. No one who has not actually experienced it can form any adequate idea of the abominable and disgusting nuisance of these soil pans as they are delicately called. The chloride of lime was liberally used and contributed greatly to the sweetness and comfort of the prison, hospital and place allotted to the free settlers.

The Caroline arrived in Sydney on 6th August 1833. The previous vessel carrying female convicts was the Surry which arrived in March 1833.

The women were mustered on 9th August and were landed on Friday 16th August. Twenty were embarked on the steamer Sophia Jane and taken to the Hunter region for assignment.   Notice was given that those families in want of female servants could be supplied from the prisoners who arrived on the Caroline, provided they apply according to the established form. The assignees were required to enter into an engagement under a penalty of forty shillings to keep their servants for one month unless removed by due course of the law.  

The free women were landed on Saturday 24th August and taken to the lumber yard where accommodation and lodgings had been established. (The lumber yard was situated on the corner of Bridge and George Streets until 1833). A great number of them joined their husbands immediately and the remainder were awaiting the arrival of their husbands from the interior. Their names are included in the New South Wales, Australia Convict Ship Muster Rolls and Related Records, 1790-1849 at Ancestry -
Ann Grogan with two children;
Johanna Murray or Mahony with three children;
Bridget Kelly with four children;
Bridget McKeon with four children,
Ann Savage with three children;
Mary Owens with four children;
Ellen Kinsela with one child;
Sarah Jordan with two children;
Mary Smith with six children;
Jane Cusack with two children;
Margaret McNamara with seven children;
Mary Hogan with five children
Margaret Ford or Keon;
Mary McNamara and
Catherine Irwin.  

Heritage Branch site describes the lumber yard vicinity : - The Government Convict Lumber Yard, established by Governor Phillip, was established on the south-west side of the ‘Bridgeway’ (Bridge Street) over the Tank Stream and east of ‘High Street’ (George Street). It extended to the bank of the Tank Stream. In 1806 part of the yard was leased to Garnham Blaxcell, a merchant and trader who entered into partnership with John McArthur who leased property across the road in George Street. In 1810 the new governor, Lachlan Macquarie, gave Blaxcell, Alexander Riley and D’Arcy Wentworth a contract to build a general hospital to be completed in 1816, in return for the right to import 45,000 gallons of spirits over the next three years. An 1813 engraving of the area shows a substantial building within the confines of the lumber yard which provided useful short-term accommodation for female immigrants after the yard was closed in 1832.  

George Birnie was also employed as surgeon on convict ships Asia in 1831and the Blenheim in 1837 (VDL)  

The Caroline was one of five convict ships bringing female prisoners to New South Wales in 1833, the others being the Fanny,  Surry, Buffalo and Diana. A total of 639 female convicts arrived in the colony in 1833.

The Caroline under Captain Macdonald was to sail for Mauritius on 31st August 1833.  

Notes & Links:  

1). Commutation of the Sentence of Jane Charters - on Wednesday the Sheriff of the county of Antrim received from the Lord Lieutenant a communication commuting to transportation for life the sentence of Jane Charters, who had been condemned at the Carrickfergus Assizes, to be executed for the murder of her child. The credit of this humane interposition is chiefly due to Mr. John Marshall of Donegal street, who having been on the Jury at the time of the trial suspected that insanity which he afterwards learned, had been hereditary in the prisoner's family, might have led to the commission of the act, by a series of most extraordinary exertions, procured, first, a respite, and then - the Marquis of Donegal, Colonel Pakenham, and other influential gentlemen having warmly seconded his efforts - a commutation of the sentence. -Belfast Newsletter 27 March 1832  

2). Hunter Valley convicts and passengers arriving on the Caroline in 1833

3). The Waterloo River Steamer .........

4). Family of Lieutenant Croker Barrington...

5).  Lieut. Croker Barrington was married at St. Anne's church Dublin to Margaret Emily, eldest daughter of Henry Westropp Ross Lewin in 1840. They had a son in 1841 and Croker Barrington died in August 1844 at Kilkee and was buried in the family vault at St. Mary's church.
 Nick Reddan's Newspaper Extracts


1). Sydney Monitor 7 August 1833


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