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Convict Ship Claudine 1829


First Name

Surname / Subject


Convict Claudine1829

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
Prisoners and passengers of the Claudine identified in the Hunter Valley

The Westminster and Claudine ashore near Margate
Claudine and Westminster ashore near Margate; Claudine is in the foreground. Artist:William Henry Bartlett - Wikipedia

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 consisted of 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 Henry Trotman was born in Barbadoes in 1785. He was a well experienced surgeon having been Acting Surgeon's 2nd Mate on the Spartiate at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 when he was only twenty years old. He was also surgeon-superintendent on the Waterloo in 1831.

William 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. [2]

The Claudine arrived in Plymouth 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 surgeon described the voyage across the channel as very rough with much seasickness. On 30th September he 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 - William Trotman 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! [2]


The Claudine arrived in Sydney on Sunday 6th December 1829


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.


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

2). 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.

3). 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 and Antiquities

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

5).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

6). Ships bringing detachments of the 63rd regiment -

Albion departed Sheerness 1 June 1828 - Lieutenant M. Vickery

Eliza departed London 29 June 1828 - Major Sholto Douglas

Marquis of Hastings departed 30 June 1828 - Ensign Stulbmer

Royal George departed Spithead 26 August 1828 - Captain J. Briggs

Vittora departed Devonport1 September 1828 - Lieutenant Aubyn

Governor Ready departed Cork 21 September 1828 - Lieutenant J. Gibbons Lane

Ferguson departed Dublin 16 November 1828 - Captain D'Arcy Wentworth

Mellish departed Falmouth 2 January 1829 - Captain Baylee

Lord Melville departed London 5 January 1829 - Lieut-Col. Burke

Waterloo departed London 14 March 1829 - Lieutenant T. Grove

America departed Woolwich 8 April 1829 - Adjutant T. Montgomery

Norfolk departed Spithead 22 May 1829 - Ensign W.J. Darling

Guildford departed Dublin 12 July 1829 - Lieut McLean 89th

Larkins departed Cork 16 August 1829 - Captain Mahon

Claudine departed London 24 August 1829 - Captain Paterson

Sarah departed London 29 August 1829 - Lieutenant Croly

Dunvegan Castle departed 30 September 1829 - Lieutenant John Gray

Katherine Stewart Forbes departed Spithead 14 October 1829 - Major Fairtclough


[1] Morning Chronicle Saturday 22nd August 1829

[2] Medical Journal of Surgeon William Trotman on the voyage of the Claudine. UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[3] Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.348-349, 386



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