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Convict Ship Guildford 1829 


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(Convicts and passengers from this ship only)

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Select from the Links 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: 200 men
Voyage: 115 days
Deaths: 4
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: John arrived 13 September 1829
Next vessel: Layton arrived 8 November 1829 
Captain John Harrison
Surgeon Superintendent John Stephenson

Follow the Irish Convict Ship Trail

This was the last of eight voyages of the Guildford bringing convicts to New South Wales. The others being in 1812 1816, 1818, 1820, 1822, 1824 and 1827. The Guildford was the next convict ship to leave Ireland bound for New South Wales after the departure of the Eliza in March 1829.

The following paragraphs are excerpts from the Medical journal of John Stephenson kept from 4th May to 4 November 1829 (A copy of the Journal is available online at UK Royal Navy Medical Journals 1817-1857 at Ancestry).........

During the whole month of May the ship remained at Deptford fitting and preparing for the reception of the Convicts and Guard etc., On the 19th one officer and 29 men with a portion of women and children were embarked; but nothing occurred worthy of notice in a Medical point of view.  

In the early part of June the vessel arrived at Dublin and on the 16th 200 convicts were embarked as were also three Government passengers making the total number of persons on board 203. Of these several required medical or surgical treatment but no case of any importance was put on the lists. The facility with which the Guard and ship's company can procure spirits is the occasion of much drunkenness from which originate many accidents, inflammatory and bowel complaints.
The Guard consisted of 39 privates of different corps who were accompanied by 4 women and 3 children under orders of Lieutenant McLean of the 89th regiment.  Select here to find convict ships bringing detachments of the 63rd regiment.  The Guildford departed Ireland on 12 July 1829. 

About the 12th or 13th August a great and sudden change took place in the temperature of the atmosphere and state of the weather. The thermometer also which had previously ranged from 65 to 67 at 2 pm fell in one day to 55 or 56 above which it has rarely risen since, and this weather became wet, cold and blowing. The convicts who are very poorly clad most of their clothing being worn out during the month we were detained in Dublin, have in consequence suffered severely from dysentery; upwards of 40 being taken ill in a very few days and many more are likely to suffer. The fatal case which occurred shall be given at length and I may remark that this patient in some measure fell a victim to his own imprudence. He was employed as cook subject of course to great changes from heat to cold and on being taken ill not only drank large quantities of rum but concealed his illness for two days......

The cold wet weather continued through September and October; during this period the greatest number of people were ill and so far from their being able to have anything like fresh air it was but rarely those who were in health could enjoy that luxury on deck without getting wet. The following summary will show how very uncomfortable the situation of all must have been - Of 50 days between the 11th September and 31st October there were very wet with heavy showers of hail, much lightening and strong breezes. 17 very wet and hard gales 7. Dry and fine with hard gales 5. Moderate breeze cloudy wet weather 10. Calm with thick fog and very damp wet 4. And of fine weather 7. Of course this greater part of the time the motion of the ship was distressing to the patients. As the dysentery was almost entirely confined to the convicts so were all the inflammatory complaints and pneumonia but none except two cases of the latter were of any importance. Several trifling cases of scurvy occurred during the last two or three weeks of the voyage. The disease showing itself by swelling of the gums, livid spots on the legs etc., but no case of an aggravated nature took place. In the surgical way I had little or nothing to do.

The Guildford arrived in Port Jackson on Wednesday 4 November 1829. This was a hazy day in Sydney with winds from the S.E.. Temperature 64F - 69F. Two days later, the day the Muster was held on board by Alexander McLeay the Colonial Secretary, the temperature was 98F at midday.

The convict indents include the prisoner's Name, Age, Education, Religion, Marital Status, Native Place, Trade, Offence, Place and Date of Trial, Sentence, Prior Convictions, Physical Description and where assigned on arrival. There are also occasional details regarding relatives already in the colony, pardons, punishments and deaths. The youngest prisoners on board were Christopher Burton (14), Lawrence Foley (13), Richard Gearon (15), John Gildea (15), James Hagan (14), Michael Jones (15), John Keigh (15), James Kelly (15), Patrick McNamara (15), James Maguire (15), James Murphy (15), John Quin (15), John Redmond (14), Henry Smith (13), Michael Smith (14), Patrick Smith (13) and Stephen Timmins (15). They were all sent to the Carter's Barracks on arrival.

The crimes the men were transported for included stealing, burglary, house robbery, highway robbery, perjury, passing forged notes, manslaughter, desertion, cutting and maiming and bigamy. There were several sent for whiteboy crimes such as attacking a house, bearing arms and arson.

The three passengers who had embarked in Dublin were Mr. Roger Therry, Esq., Commissioner of the Court of Requests, Mrs. Therry and Mr. Shea, Clerk to Mr. Therry. Roger Therry later wrote of his first impressions of Sydney in Reminiscences of Thirty Years' Residence in New South Wales and Victoria. The scenes he described would soon be a familiar sight to the prisoners who arrived on the Guildford....

The convicts at an early hour of the evening were shut up in their barracks which accounted for their disappearance from the streets on the occasion of my first visit. When, however, day dawned in Sydney, the delusion of the evening was dispelled. Early in the morning the gates of the convict prison were thrown open, and several hundred convicts were marched out in regimental file and distributed amongst the several public works in and about the town. As they passed along - the chains clanking at their heels - the patchwork dress of coarse grey and yellow cloth marked with the Government brand in which they were paraded - the downcast countenances - and the whole appearance of the men, exhibited a truly painful picture. Nor was it much improved throughout the day, as one met bands of them in detachments of twenty yoked to waggons laden with gravel and stone, which they wheeled through the streets; in this and in other respects they performed all the functions of labour usually discharged by beasts of burden at home. These were painful scenes, but to the pain they caused was soon added a thrill of horror, by a scene that I witnessed a day or two subsequently.

The Sydney hospital, well situated, was in a line with the prisoners' barracks, and at a short distance from them (about 300 yards ). In an enclosed yard of these barracks, shut out from the public road by a very high brick wall, flogging was administered. A band of from ten to twenty were daily at one period marched into this yard to be flogged. As I passed along the road about eleven o'clock in the morning there issued out of the prisoners' barracks a party consisting of four men, who bore on their shoulders (two supporting the head and two the feet) a miserable convict, writhing in an agony of pain - his voice piercing the air with terrific screams. Astonished at the sight, I inquired what this meant, and was told it was "only a prisoner who had been flogged,, and who was on his way to the hospital"

The Guilford under Captain Harrison departed Sydney on 22 December 1829 and arrived in Hobart on 1st January 1830.

Passengers to Hobart included Captain Patterson 63rd regt., Mrs. Patterson, Captain and Mrs. Storey 20th Regt., Captain Wentworth, Captain Rayman, Mrs. Rayman and child; Lieut. Crawley, Ensign Poole, 63rd regt., Lieut. Miller 40th regt., Dr. McLeod, Inspector of Hospitals; Dr. Stephenson R.N. Mr. Canning of H.M.S. Crocodile; Miss Lyons; as well as soldiers of the 57th, 39th, 40th regiments.

On 19th January the Guildford sailed from Hobart bound for Bombay with Government stores and passengers - Major and Mrs. Turton, Captain Dalrymple, Captain Sweeney, Lieut and Mrs. Williams, Lieut Miller, Lieut. Ellis; 193 non commissioned officers and privates, 24 women and 36 children of the 40th regiment; Dr. Donald McLeod, Captain Story, Captain and Mrs. Rayman.

The Australian reported in 1833 that the Guildford had sailed from Singapore on her return to England almost two years previously and had not been heard of since.  

Notes & Links:

1). Political Prisoners

2). Hunter Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Guildford in 1829

3). County of Down Assizes. Downpatrick - Monday August 4. - John Rogers, indicted for bigamy, in marrying Mary Montgomery, while his former wife Martha Mahoney was still living - guilty 7 years transportation. - Belfast Newsletter 5 August 1828

4). Patrick Connor for stealing ten pounds weight of iron chains the property of William Roper, Esq., The Court observed, that the severe sentence they were about to award to him was not so much for the value of the articles stolen as for his ingratitude in robbing his employer, and as a warning to others in a similar situation. Seven years' transportation. John McIlwain for stealing in the dwelling house of Mr. Heron of Montpelier - Seven years' transportation. On receiving sentence, the prisoner exclaimed in an exulting tone, "the herring was never taken by a better fish, and that he would be fishing for the prosecutor going over". - Freeman's Journal 4th May 1829. (John McIlwain died in Sydney in 1833).

5). The Guildford was one of 21 convict ships to arrive in New South Wales in 1829.

6). John Stephenson was also surgeon on the convict ships Eleanor in 1831, Waterloo in 1833 and the Neva in 1835.

7).  Return of Convicts of the Guildford assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 28 June 1832; 5 July 1832).....
Christopher Burton Errand boy assigned to F.C.L. Thomson at Camden
Patrick Connor Carpenter and joiner assigned to John Palmer junior at Maitland
Maurice Fox Errand boy assigned to William Hall at Maitland
Edward Hyndes Errand boy assigned to James Moran at Palmer's Flats
James Keely silk weaver assigned to Cornelius Prout at Sydney
Edward Merray (Murray) Carpenter. Assigned to T. Flanagan at Bateman's Bay
George Potter Labourer assigned to Dr. Fattorini in Sydney

8). Sergeant Thomas (William) Morris came on the Guildford as a soldier of the 63rd regiment. After serving with the 73rd regiment in India and elsewhere, he had retired for a few years before enlisting again with the 63rd regiment. The account below is of his voyage to Australia on the Guildford......

 ........Thomas Morris, Recollections of military service in 1813, 1814, & 1815 (London: Madden and Co., 1845)

).  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


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