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Convict Ship Edward 1829

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A B C D E F G H I
                 
J -K L M N - O P - Q R S T - V W - Y


Embarked: 177 women
Voyage: 115 days
Deaths 3
Surgeon's Journal - yes
Previous vessel: Mellish arrived 18 April 1829
Next vessel: Lord Melville arrived 3 May 1829
Captain James Gilbert  
Surgeon Superintendent William Conborough Watt
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The Edward 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.  

In October 1828 it was reported that the Edward was re-fitting at Deptford for the purpose of taking female convicts from Cork to New South Wales.   The Edward was the next convict ship to leave Ireland bound for New South Wales after the departure of the Ferguson in November 1828. The previous convict ship from Ireland with female prisoners was the City of Edinburgh which departed in June 1828.  

The Edward departed Cork on 1st January 1829. She had below her decks one hundred and seventy-seven female prisoners gathered from many different parts of Ireland - 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.  

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 in which he recorded the names of the three women who died - The first death was that of Maria Johnson. She died just one month into the voyage, having been ill since December when the Edward lay at the Cove of Cork. Thirty six year old Catherine Dillon died on 18th January from apoplexy. Eleanor Patterson died 29th March after suffering dyspepsia. She was fifty-five years old.  

William Watt wrote in his General Remarks at the end of the voyage: I now beg to submit a statement of the system adopted for the Government of the prisoners and preservation of their health.........

1st. On their embarkation, one of the convicts specially recommended was appointed Matron over each mess having seven women under her charge. The women were directed by my orders hung up in various parts of the prison, to pay her the most implicit obedience, she being held responsible for the correct demeanour and cleanliness of their persons and drawing all their rations; as also to give me information from time to time of irregularities which she might observe, or any circumstances which might in the most remote degree endanger the quiet of the prison.

2nd. The cooks were permitted to leave the prison at half past six am for the purpose of preparing breakfast, the convict coppers having been previously filled and the fire lighted by the ships company, preventing as far as possible intercourse between the prisoners and sailors. At seven the Matrons were admitted on deck to Superintend stowing the beds in fine weather and to receive their respective mess bread; two of their number in rotation receiving the sugar and tea from the ships steward and seeing the same put into the coppers - a precaution necessary from the Cooks having been twice detected pilfering the same. At 8 o'clock breakfast was served and at nine all the women with the exception of two from each mess in rotation to clean the berths were admitted on deck. One of those on deck from each mess, cleaned the mess utensils. The Matrons received the rations for the day - a serving of beef or pork taken from the steep tub (where it had been soaking from four o'clock the preceding evening) delivered it to the cooks with a tin tally attached having the number of each mess impressed thereon, the foregoing evolution generally required about an hour.

Afterwards I inspected the prisons (all the bottom boards of the lower tier of sleeping places being elevated to prevent the accumulation of filth and damp and promote ventilation). The prisoners were then employed until half past 12 at reading, writing, sewing, knitting or otherwise. At half past 12 dinner was served; each Matron assisted by one of her mess receiving the soup and pudding at the coppers and making an equal division of the same to her mess mates she being the only person supplied with a knife and fork. At half past one each woman was called according to her number and had her allowance of wine at the tub which she drank before me to prevent the chance of any improper use being made of the same after which the prison decks and berths were swept and sewing and reading resumed.  

At 3 o'clock lemonade was served by one of the Matrons; in rotation each woman drank half a pint at the tub, the other half pint being reserved for drunk during the night.

At 4 o'clock each Matron attended to received her beef or pork, have it properly tallied, well washed and put in the steep tub. From this until lock up I permitted the women to walk too and fro and cook their supper (Burgor) and at six every woman was mustered below and the gates secured by myself; each matron as an additional security against deception (such having been once attempted) reporting to me through the gratings that all was well in her mess.

At eight o'clock I visited the Hospital and nine each of the sleeping cabins noting particularly that each woman was in her bed, her cloths hung up, no cloths soaking in the slop lids (this ought never to be permitted) the mess utensils properly secured on hooks under the prison benches (which I had supplied at Cork) the hatchway curtain down in cold weather and making each Matron again report that all her messmates were present, after which the gates were secured each by a double padlock and business of the day ended. In the course of which it will be perceived that each prisoner came immediately under my observation four times and that their minds and bodies were kept in a constant state of action in the observance of the foregoing rules, thereby preventing their indulging in sloth, melancholy, forebodings and idle conversation.

Wednesdays and Saturdays were appropriated for washing clothes, a washerwoman being selected from each in rotation and great care being taken that each item was thoroughly dried before it was taken below. Such was the system which I adopted on board the Edward and I think I may venture to affirm that it's efficiency has been fully proven. Two hundred and fourteen female convicts and infants were conveyed to NSW in that vessel a number far exceeding that of my former importation by one ship and I have much pleasure in stating that no body of prisoners were ever landed in better condition at the Colony, nor if I may judge from my very limited experience of such characters none more disposed to redeem their reputation.

In closing these remarks I cannot in Justice to the poor creatures entrusted to my care deny myself the satisfaction of observing that with very few exceptions the conduct was highly creditable to themselves and I most attribute to their cleanly disposition and ready and strict observance of my orders in a great degree that immunity from disease which happily resulted.

Among the other means which I used to preserve health I had nearly omitted to state that on arriving in the warm latitudes I had all the woollen clothing and six blankets from each mess struck into the hold and that the women were bathed under the inspection of their respective Matrons - I also experienced the most marked benefit from the frequent use of the solution of the Chloride of Lime in instantly dispelling offensive effluvia. Its effects were tried on board the Surprise Hulk in the water closets at my request by Mr. Taylor and he informed me with the same result. I consider it an article of great value and beg to recommend that a quantity of it should be supplied to ships proceeding with convicts again.  
 

The Edward 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 twenty-three male and female settlers from Ireland and 14 children who accompanied their mothers also arrived on the Edward. (1)

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),

Judith Bowe,

Mary Fitzgerald,

Edward Fitzpatrick,

Bridget Kennelly,

Catherine Magrath,

Mary Murphy and

Margaret Galvin.

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.(2)  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 such information as 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.  

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.  

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 SweeneyBridget Ryan, Isabella Farrier and Catherine Duffy  

William Conborough Watt was also employed as surgeon on the convict ships
Roslin Castle in 1830,  Exmouth in 1831 and the Mary in 1833.    


Notes & 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). Hunter Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Edward in 1829
    



References:

(1). Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Unassisted Immigrant Passenger Lists, 1826-1922 Record for William C. Watt)  

(2). Johnston Colin, Exhibition Production Coordinator, Australian Museum 6 College Street Sydney NSW 2010 Australia. Personal communication 11 August 2014.  





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