was built at Bristol in 1806. Prisoners were transported to New South Wales on the Edward
in 1829, 1831
and to Van Diemen's Land in 1834.
The previous convict ship to depart Ireland was the Ferguson
in November 1828. The previous convict ship from Ireland with female prisoners was the City of Edinburgh
which departed in June 1828.
was re-fitted at Deptford in October 1828 before sailing to Cork to her prisoners. The women were gathered from different counties in Ireland including Wexford, Antrim, Dublin, Waterford, Cavan, Donegal, Wicklow, Tralee, Tipperary and Limerick. Most would have been held in county prisons before being transferred to Cork to await transportation. At Cork they were held in the Female Depot before being embarked on the ship.
DEPARTURE FROM CORK
When the Edward
departed Cork on 1st January 1829. She had below her decks one hundred and seventy-seven female prisoners.
The ship took on water at the Isle of St. Jago and reached the Cape seventeen days after departing Cork.
SURGEON WILLIAM C. WATT
This was William Conborough Watt's first voyage as Surgeon Superintendent on a convict ship. He kept a Medical Journal from 30 September 1828 to 14 May 1829. He was sympathetic to the plight of the women and often seems to have treated them kindly......
He remarked on the many cases of Chlorosis that had occurred - from causes unneccessary to enumerate considering the number of young persons that were amongst the convicts and the mental despondency under which they labour on reflecting that they were taking a final leave of their country and friends under such degrading circumstances
. ( - Chlorosis - anaemia caused by iron deficiency, especially in adolescent girls, causing a pale, faintly greenish complexion.)
He described the circumstances surrounding the three women who died on the voyage -
The first death noted in his journal was that of Maria Johnson (Johnstone) aged 24. She died just one month into the voyage, having been ill since December when the Edward
lay at the Cove of Cork. On 26th December 1828 William Watt consulted with the surgon of the Surprise hulk on the state of this unfortunate woman and urged the necessity of her being returned to the Depot as she was daily sinking and could not properly be expected to survive many weeks; to this remonstrance it was replied that she could not be received without an order from Dublin Castle and indeed the poor creature strongly objected to being relanded as she had a sister on board and did not consider herself in an alarming way. He further described her in his concluding notes:
She was labouring under the malady which ultimatley terminated her existence at the period of her embarkation. Phthises Pulmonalis. She was an exceedingly interesting young female whose agreeable manners, reformed conduct and assiduity in teaching a class of her fellow prisoners when confined in the Cork Depot had greatly recommended herself to the authorities of that establishment. She was embarked on the 29th November; her elder sister was also on board both having been convicted for the same crime. The poor girl's emaciated figure, blanched anxious and expresssive countenance sunken and pearly eyes and stoop of her shulders immediately attracted my notice.....She made appeal to my feelings re the importunities of her sister and the solicitation her friends in the Ladies Committee for visiting females in prison to permit her to proceed, and with the knowedge that if she were relanded she must again be incarcerated within the dreary walls of Cork Depot, and the very remote chance of a change of climate benefiting her she was permitted to remain. Her symptoms however matierially increased previous to the ship's departure from Ireland, having been detained by contrary winds and boisterous weather for several weeks and I accordingly requested that she might be relanded, this could ot be complied with without an order from Dublin and ere such could be obtained the ship sailed; her decline was progressive and she died on 3rd February
The second fatal termination was a case of apoplexy. (This was thirty six year old Catherine Dillon who died on 18 January). The subjct a poor unfortunate creature who at one period had moved in a rather superior circle, she from all I could learn from her fellow prisoners had been in a state bordering upon idiotism from the date of her sentence and she died, I have no doubt from effusion of having taken place into the ventricles or on the surface of the brain; this I should much liked to have asertained by a post moretem examination but such a proceeding under the circumstances under which I was placed surrounded by so many weak superstitious beings, and at that particular period full of the prejudices of their country appeared to me to be an exceedingly imprudent measure.
The last case which terminated fatally was one of dyspepsia (Eleanor Patterson died on 29th March), the subject a woman who had attained the advanced age of 58 in the commission of crimes of every description, she having been what is termed in slang language a fence woman and whose constitution was completely destroyed by her mode of life the same reasons which I have stated in the former case prevented my instituting a post mortem examination.
Other cases mentioned in the surgeon's journal include:
Margaret Fay, aged 19, convict; chlorosis; put into list 22 December 1828, discharged 15 January 1829 cured.
Catherine Collins, aged 29, convict; pneumonia; put into list 26 December 1828, discharged 3 January 1829 cured.
Elizabeth Cox, aged 20, convict; venereal; put into list 4 January 1829, discharged 21 January 1829 cured.
Catherine Rickards, aged 40, convict; constipation of bowels; put into list 4 January 1829, discharged 14 January 1829 cured.
Judith Rellish, aged 26, convict; pneumonia; put into list 7 January 1829, discharged 18 January 1829 cured.
Frances Lowther, aged 30, convict; cholera; put into list 9 January 1829, discharged 28 January 1829 cured.
Catherine Duffy, aged 16, convict; chlorosis; put into list 27 January 1829, discharged 10 April 1829 cured.
Mary Sullivan, aged 27, convict; diarrhoea; put into list 4 February 1829, discharged 12 February 1829 cured.
Isabella Ferrier, aged 27, convict; jaundice; put into list 18 February 1829, discharged 11 April 1829 cured.
Elizabeth Murphy, aged 34, convict; pneumonia; put into list 6 March 1829, discharged 12 March 1829 cured.
Rachel Bole, aged 25, convict; dyspepsia; put into list 13 March 1829, discharged 20 March 1829
Mary Harroll, aged 35, convict;, diarrhoea; put into list 19 March 1829, discharged 31 March 1829.
William Watt wrote in his General Remarks at the end of the voyage:
arrived in Port Jackson on 26th April 1829, a passage of 115 days. One hundred and seventy-four female prisoners arrived on the Edward and also twenty-three male and female settlers from Ireland. Fourteen children who accompanied their mothers also arrived on the Edward
Those listed in the Assisted Immigrant passenger lists who travelled in the steerage included
Alley Bluett (wife of Thomas Bluett
who arrived on the Governor Ready
Mary Murphy and
Margaret Galvin was accompanied by two of her children - Anne aged 11 and Martin aged 6. Margaret was the wife of William Joseph Galvin who arrived on the Sir Godfrey Webster
in 1826. William Galvin was later employed as Custodian of the Australian Museum. A daughter Margaret was born to William and Margaret Galvin in Australia. She married John Howson in 1849. Margaret Galvin died in 1853 and William Galvin died twenty years later in 1873 aged 89. Find out more about William Galvin at the Australian Museum site.
The female prisoners were mustered on board by the Colonial Secretary Alexander McLeay on 28th April 1829 and were landed on Friday 8th May 1829. They were reported to be of clean and healthy appearance.
The convict indents reveal their name, age, religion, education, marital status, family, native place, offence, date and place of trial, offence, sentence, physical description and to whom assigned on arrival. There is also occasional information regarding pardons, relatives already in the colony and deaths.
NOTES FROM THE INDENTS
The oldest prisoners were:
Mary Atcheson from Co. Down age 61; Margaret Ascerey from Waterford age 60; Catherine Dixon age 57.
Mary Brennan age 30. Sent to the Female Factory Parramatta
for assault in 1840
Ane Burke had a sister already in the colony, Teresa Hanley who arrived on the Elizabeth
Mary Brady (or Browne). Husband in the colony, Edward Brady per Ferguson
Ellen Broderick age 24 from Limerick. Husband convicted as Charles McCarthy expected to arr. on the Eliza.
Mary Bolds age 27 from Cork. Husband in colony as Hugh Wade per Boyne
. (Wade stated single on arrival)
Ann Carthy age 23 from Fermanagh. Husband in colony as Thomas Malone per Ferguson
Mary Connolly from Roscommon, died in consequence of a fall from a dray whilst intoxicated at Patrick Plains. 1838
Dorothea Carty age 16 from Fermanagh. Sister to No. 16
Mary Carroll age 34 from Athlone. Died in the Female Factory at Parramatta
3 February 1835.
Mary Dooley or Malone age 36 from Wicklow. Husband in colony as John Malone
Ellen Driscoll age 23 from Cork. Husband convicted as Barry and expected per ship Eliza
Johanna Firm age 20 from City of Cork. Husband convicted as David Ryan and expected
Margaret Fay age 19 from Antrim. Husband in colony as William Burgan per Mangles
Elizabeth Fennel or Hogan age 32 from Tipperary. Husband in colony as Michael Hogan
Mary Ann Gallagher age 17 from Dublin. Mother in colony as Judith Gallagher about 15 or 16 years ago.
Ellen Johnstone or Benson age 30 from Monaghan. Wears earrings. Husband in colony as George Benson per Sophia
Rose Kearns aged 32 from Belfast. Died at Liverpool in 1831
Margaret Kinsella's cousin John Leary arrived on the Sophia
Catherne Kavanagh age 24 from Wicklow. Brother in colony as Lawrence Cavanagh per Ferguson ( this was the notorious bushranger who was eventually executed at Norfolk Island; another brother Martin Cavenagh arrived in 1823
Catherine Makesay age 20 from Carlow. Died in Parramatta Hospital 5 December 1838
Jane Moore age 29 from Londonderry. Husband in colony as Henry Doran per Mangles.
Mary McGuinnes age 30 from Londonderry. Died at Parramatta 13 September 1831
Catherine McGlinchy age 40 from Donegal. Son in colony as Daniel McGlinchy per Sophia
Eleanor Millar age 31 from Tyrone. Husband came as Arthur McCann about 8 years previously
Margraet Murphy age 50 from Carlow. Husband in colony as Isaac Fitzgerald per Borodino
Mary Riley age 30 from Down. Sister in colony as Biddy Riley or Rice, her husband Robert Rice
Mary Ryan age 24 from Limerick. Husband in colony as James Johnstone 2 years previously
Mary Smith age 50 from Dublin. Son John in coloncy per Mangles
Eliza Stenson age 44 from Dublin. Died in the Benevolent Asylum April 1851
Rose Sweeney or Terence age 26 from Kildare. Husband in colony as James Terence per Mangles
Anne Walker a country servant age 26 and her husband Thomas Daley a farm servant age 24 were convicted at Monaghan on 30 July 1827 of stealing hats. Thomas Daley arrived on the Mangles
in 1828 and was assigned to Joseph Brooks Weller
. Ann Walker arrived on the Edward
in 1829. Anne's Ticket of Leave 31/757 issued 29 September 1831 states permission for her to remain in the district of Paterson's Plains.
Their daughter Sarah Daley was born in Maitland in 1831. (Descendant Contact Email
NOTES AND LINKS
1). County Down Assizes - Tuesday 1st April - Margaret McGlown for stealing a piece of woollen cloth, the property of Andrew Graham, Newry, on 24th November last - Guilty - 7 years transportation
2). County of Antrim Assizes - Carrickfergus - Thursday March 27 - Margaret Miller (a prostitute) for having stolen in October last, a watch, the property of Daniel O'Neill - Guilty, transportation seven years
. - Belfast Newsletter - 28 March 1828
3). Dublin - Catherine Dillon and Mary Brennan - forgery - Sentenced to fourteen years transportation
- Freemans Journal 8 January 1828.
4). The Edward
was one of twenty-one convict ships arriving in New South Wales in 1829. Four of these carried female prisoners the Edward, Princess Royal, Lucy Davidson
and the Sovereign
. A total of 492 women arrived as convicts in 1829.
5). A Return of the Expense of the Convict Department at the Port of Cork
in each of the three last years; distinguishing th disbursements for the hulk at Cove, from those at the Depot at Cork; the names of the several officers and the dates of their appointment, and if not resident therein the distance at which they respecitvely reside from each establishment (1835)
6). At least four women who arrived on the Edward
were involved in the riot that took place at the Female Factory at Parramatta
in 1831 and were subsequently sent to Newcastle
as punishment - Bridget Sweeney, Bridget Ryan, Isabella Farrier
and Catherine Duffy
 Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Unassisted Immigrant Passenger Lists, 1826-1922 Record for William C. Watt)
 Johnston Colin, Exhibition Production Coordinator, Australian Museum 6 College Street Sydney NSW 2010 Australia. Personal communication 11 August 2014.
 National Archives
- Description: Medical journal of the Edward, convict ship from 30 September 1828 to 14 May 1829 by William C Watt, surgeon and superintendent, during which time the said ship was employed at Deptford, Cove of Cork and on a passage to New South Wales.
 Ancestry.com. UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Medical Journal of William C. Watt on the voyage of the Edward in 1829. The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.
 Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.348-349, 386