Convict Ship Georgiana 1829
Surgeon's Journal: yes
David Barry Conway
Georgiana departed London bound for Hobart and Sydney on 1st
December 1828 and sailed via the Cape of Good Hope where two
prisoners were embarked.
One hundred and seventy male
prisoners were disembarked in Hobart.
The Georgiana sailed from Hobart with several passengers, a
valuable cargo and the two prisoners who had been embarked at the
Cape of Good Hope.
The Georgiana arrived in Sydney
Cove on 12th June 1829. Surgeon David Conway's general
remarks in his journal were written in Sydney and dated 24 July
During the voyage the most prevalent disease was
pyrexia. Three prisoners died on the passage, they were worn out
with disease, being a long time in the Hulks. The strictest
attention to cleanliness and ventilation was paid and the whole on
deck all day when the weather would permit it.
Passengers from England included Captain and Mrs. Wentworth, 63rd
Regiment; Captain Lethbridge of the East India company service; and
The cargo from Hobart included 666 bags of
wheat, 15 tons potatoes, and 300 tons of sundry articles on account
of Government; 7 casks of onions, 20 tons hay; 252 bags potatoes and
24 bags of wheat consigned to various people.
from Hobart to Sydney were Captain Wentworth and wife, Captain
Lethbridge, Mr. Forster, Mrs. Ann Fairley and two children, Mr. and
Mrs. Curran and 2 children and Mrs. Ann Wright; John Hines wife and
child, 63rd regiment.
A Muster was held on board in Sydney
on 13th June 1829. The two prisoners who were embarked at the Cape
and transported to Sydney were -
John Farley or Farrelly aged 30 who had on board with him his
wife and two children, and
Joseph Mutch who gave his native place as Cheshire.
were farm servants under sentence of 14 years transportation.
On 2 May 1829 The Hobart Town Courier wrote of the
convicts of the Georgiana -
We regret to
observe so many of the prisoners by the Georgiana, consisting of
mere boys, on an average not more than 10 or 12 years of age. Their
youth is certainly a fault that time will improve, but in the mean
time it must be very distressing to the Government to know how to
dispose of them with propriety. Some of the elder may indeed soon
learn to officiate as bullock drivers along with the ploughman, or
even as hut keepers and cooks at the stock runs, but the majority
are we fear incapable of even such service.
scarcity of labourers at present in the island, however, must in a
great measure speedily relieve the government from the care of them,
for we can conceive no plan worse than allowing them to remain in
the barracks at Hobart town where the very worst examples must be
incessantly, before their eyes. We remarked one little fellow among
them not much more than 4ft high and about 10 years old, who has
been in prison nearly 4 years under conviction. When asked by the
Principal Superintendent how old he was, the little urchin answered
"he was so young when he was born that he could not tell". His name
we believe is William Edwards, but he is generally known by the
appellation of King John. He is one of those unfortunate instruments
of the old thieves with which London, notwithstanding all our
weeding, still superabounds, that used to be carried in trunks or
boxes and left at houses, or covered up in a basket with cabbages,
etc. and placed in a convenient corner until night, when it was his
duty to open the street door for his confederates to enter or
sometimes he was thrust in at a cut out pane of a shop window, which
he would afterwards strip.
Not more than 3 of all the three
score boys on board the Georgiana could repeat even the Lord's
prayer at the departure of the vessel from England, but now we have
much pleasure in stating owing to the persevering and praiseworthy
exertions of the Surgeon Superintendent Dr. Conway, they can not
only all repeat their prayers but most of them their catechism. It
is to be hoped that the work of reformation which has been so well
begun will advance and be perfected in these boys by their removal
to this island.
His Excellency on Tuesdays morning, in the
course of his usual address to these men, on their being assigned to
their different employments, could not help remarking the
disgraceful levity on the countenance of some of them, at the very
time they ought to have been covered with abject shame, and a sense
of the disgrace attached to banishment, for their offences from
their native country.
Many others among them, however, we
are happy to say evinced a contrite temper and a firm resolve to
merit the indulgences held out by government to the sober and honest
Notes & Links:
Captain Wentworth of the 63rd regiment - The Last of the Tasmanians
- The Black War of Van Diemen's Land 1830
Swallow arrived as a convict on the Georgiana. He became
infamous as one of the pirates who escaped in the brig
Cyprus in 1829.
the adventures of William Swallow here.