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Convict Ship Claudine 1829 


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(Convicts and passengers from this ship only)

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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 180 men
Voyage 104 days
Deaths 2
Surgeon's Journal - Yes
Tons: 452
Previous vessel: Morley arrived 3 December 1829
Next vessel: Sarah arrived 7 December 1829 
Captain William M. Heathorn  
Surgeon Superintendent William H. Trotman
The Claudine was built at Calcutta in 1811....

Convicts were transported on the Claudine to Van Diemen's Land in 1821 and to New South Wales in 1829.  

The prisoners being prepared to sail on the Claudine came from counties throughout England; there were also four prisoners who had been tried in Scotland. After being transferred from county prisons or Newgate they were sent to Prison Hulks to await transportation.

The military guard - 26 rank and file under orders of Captain Paterson of the 63rd regiment + five women and children, received orders in July 1829 to prepare for embarkation on the Claudine. Mrs. Paterson and child and Mr. Edwards of the Survey Department joined the vessel as passengers.  

William H. Trotman kept a medical journal from 30th July to 16th December:

On the 10th August 1829 received sixty convicts from the Justitia Hulk at Woolwich and left it the same day for Plymouth; on our way thither the men were severely sea sick but a little warm tea and and open air in general restored them in a short time, one only continued very sick.  

The Claudine arrived in Plymouth from Woolwich on Saturday 15th August 1829 (1)  In the evening of that day 120 convicts were embarked from the Captivity Hulk.  

The Claudine departed England 24th August 1829. The voyage across the channel was very rough causing much seasickness.

On 30th September the surgeon reported that they were in the tropics where they were becalmed for some days. The excessive heat of the prison produced fevers in many of the men. They had almost all the same appearance - the skin soft and covered in sweat, the eyes dull and heavy, the features shrunk, the face pale and the tongue grey; a general listlessness and languor pervaded the prison. The prisoners were treated by the surgeon and some recovered perfectly in four or five days; others took longer. William Trotman arranged for them to have tea morning and night which he reported brought them about in a short time.  

The Surgeon's entry for October reported that the sick list had not so many cases on it as September but those that were had been more severe. The sudden change in temperature from the heat of the line and tropics to the cold latitudes had produced many colds and coughs and some attended with severe catarrhal fevers. One lad, Charles Broom age 17 died at this time. The surgeon described him as of slight build with light hair; of a quiet nature and cutaneous sensibility - the surgeon had never seen his treatment of blisters give anyone so much pain before.  

In November the weather was cold, wet and damp and the prison deck was never completely dry. The convicts did not have sufficient warm clothing and suffered greatly with catarrhal affections with noses or lips affected with sores. Scurvy was reported, one case being severe was treated with lime juice and warm baths. Headaches were treated with blisters or bloodletting and laxatives. Another lad James Sillince age 17 became severely ill and passed away in November. The death surprised the surgeon who thought the patient was recovering under his treatment and he determined to conduct an autopsy. He found the body so much diseased that no treatment could have saved him. He described the boy as of the most obstinate and vicious disposition he had ever known!  

The Claudine arrived in Sydney on Sunday 6th December 1829 and the prisoners were mustered on the quarter-deck on 9th December, prior to disembarking. Wednesday 9th December was a clear summer day in Sydney with winds from the north-east and temperature ranging from 74 at 9am to 80 at noon.

The indents include the name, age, religion, education, marital status, family, native place, offence, when and where tried, prior convictions, physical description and where and to whom assigned. There are also various colonial details included such as deaths, pardons and sentences for colonial crimes. Among the prisoners were butchers, shoemakers, miners, bricklayers, frame workers, porters, waiters and stableboys. Several gave their occupation as coachmaker. Most had been sent for various forms of stealing or robbery and there were also several men from Sussex who had been transported for smuggling (see below).  

The Claudine was reported to be sailing for Madras on 31st December 1829.    

Notes and Links:  

1). Copy of the daily sick book for the Claudine Male Convict Ship - National Archives  

2). A View of Sydney in 1829 by Robert Burford.   

3). Convict John Poole ended his life on the gallows having become involved in one of the most notorious episodes in Australian history - the convict uprising at Castle Forbes in 1833.

4). Hunter Valley convicts/ passengers arriving on the Claudine 

5). William Trotman was also surgeon on the Waterloo in 1831.  

5). Smuggling in Sussex.....Spencer Whiteman, Thomas Miller, Edward Shoesmith, William Bennett and Stephen Stubberfield were all transported on the Claudine

    ...Sussex Archaeological Collections, Relating to the History & Antiquities

6). Transported to a Better Life? - The story of Joseph Pike of Gloucestershire who was transported on the Claudine -  Blog of Jill Evans

7).  Return of Convicts of the Claudine assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 21 June 1832; 28 June 1832).....

Joseph Freeth Stable boy assigned to James Underwood at Rush Cutters' Bay
John Gibbons Butcher's boy assigned to George Blackett at Liverpool
Samuel Harding Labourer, milks. Assigned to William Baldy at Sydney
Charles lane Miner assigned to John Howe at Windsor


8). Convict ships bringing detachments of the 63rd regiment -

Date/ Place of Departure Vessel Officer of the Guard
3 May 1828 London Countess of Harcourt Lieutenant Christopher Dexter
1 June 1828 Sheerness Albion Lieutenant M. Vickery
29 June 1828 London Eliza Major Sholto Douglas
30 June 1828 London Marquis of Hastings Ensign Stulbmer
26 August 1828 Spithead Royal George Captain J. Briggs
1 September 1828 Devonport Vittoria Lieutenant Aubyn
21 September 1828 Cork Governor Ready Lieutenant J. Gibbons Lane
16 November 1828 Dublin Ferguson Captain D'Arcy Wentworth
2 January 1829 Falmouth Mellish Captain Baylee
5 January 1829 London Lord Melville Lieut-Col. Burke
14 March 1829 London Waterloo Lieutenant T. Grove
8 April 1829 Woolwich America Adjutant T. Montgomery
22 May 1829 Spithead Norfolk Ensign W.J. Darling
12 July 1829 Dublin Guildford Lieut McLean 89th
16 August 1829 Cork Larkins Captain Mahon
24 August 1829 London Claudine Captain Paterson
29 August 1829 London Sarah Lieutenant Croly
30 September 1829 Dunvegan Castle Lieutenant John Gray
14 October 1829 Spithead Katherine Stewart Forbes Major Fairtclough


(1) Morning Chronicle  Saturday 22nd August 1829


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