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Convict Ship Harmony 1827 

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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: 80 females
Voyage: 115 days
Deaths 0
Tons: 373
Crew: 24 men
Surgeon's Journal: Yes
Previous vessel: Cambridge arrived 17 September 1827
Next vessel: Prince Regent arrived 27 September 1827
Captain Richard Middleton
Surgeon Superintendent William McDowell

Follow the Female Convict Ship Trail

The Harmony transported female prisoners to New South Wales from districts throughout England - Manchester, Lincolnshire, Gloucester, Essex, Surrey, Warwick, Nottingham, Lancashire and London etc. None of the prisoners on the Harmony had been convicted in Scotland.

The Harmony was the next convict ship to leave England for New South Wales after the departure of the Manlius in April 1827. The Harmony departed London on 4th June 1827.

The women were mostly convicted of stealing, robbery, pledging and pocket picking however there were two women from Lancaster Ann Entwistle and Mary Hindle who were convicted of rioting. They had become involved in the Blackburn riots and the destruction of power looms in April 1826. Ann Entwistle was 46 years old. The convict indents state her to be a single woman with three children. Mary Hindle was married with one child. Her husband Isaac Hindle was also involved in the riots and was sentenced to transportation arriving on the Guildford in 1827.  Ann Entwistle and Mary Hindle were convicted of rioting on 26th August 1826. They may have been incarcerated in Lancaster Castle before being transferred to London to await transportation.

William McDowell kept a Medical Journal from 16th April to 13 October 1827.

He reported cases of venereal disease, chest pains, debility and fever, although he considered none of the cases serious. There was one of an injury, that to Elizabeth Addison, whose knee was severely injured in a fall caused by the rolling of the boat. She was discharged to the hospital on arrival.

Some of the other women Surgeon McDowell treated included
Martha Hubbard,
Charlotte Dawson,
Mary Hindle
Ellen Pollard (he described her as an immense, tall, robust woman! The indents reveal she was 5'6" in height),
Margaret Cain (Kane),
Esther McDonald,
Mary Ann Knotte.

The Harmony arrived in Port Jackson on 27th September 1827 with 80 female prisoners and three children. The Sydney Gazette reported that the metropolis was thrown into a bustle with the arrival of the convict ships Harmony and Prince Regent.

A Muster was held on board by the Colonial Secretary Alexander McLeay on 8th October 1827. The indents reveal the name, age, education, religion, marital status, family, native place, trade, offence, sentence, when and where tried, prior convictions, physical description and to whom assigned on arrival. There is also occasional colonial information such as dates of death, relatives already in the country and pardons. Twenty eight of the women were married and many of those left children behind in England. Widow Susan Partridge left seven children in England. Ellen Barrett brought one of her six children with her and Elizabeth Smith brought her infant with her also. The youngest prisoners were Ann Butterworth (16); Elizabeth Jones (16); Eliza Warhust (16) and Jane Woods (15).

Colonel James Thomas Morisset, together with his wife and family arrived as passengers on the Harmony. It was intended that he take up an appointment as Commandant at Norfolk Island, although this did not happen for some time.

Convicts Ann Gratten and Esther McDonald were assigned to Colonel Morisset straight from the ship.
Elizabeth Smith was assigned to James Mudie at Castle Forbes in the Hunter Valley.
Mary Mumford was assigned to Rev. Wilton at Parramatta. Mary Mumford was a nurse and midwife and later was employed at the Parramatta Female Factory for several years.

The Harmony departed for New Zealand in November. ....Mr. Thomas Raine who chartered the ship Harmony, Captain Middleton - a gentleman much esteemed - has received advices of that vessel by His Majesty's ship Pandora. The Harmony went from hence to the Bay of Islands with the intention of procuring a cargo of spars for the London market. Upon her arrival Captain Middleton found all the natives of E.O. K'Anga in arms, and on the eve of taking their warlike steps to the Bay of Islands. However, 'ere they proceeded on their journey, the whole of the army combined in lending a hand to load the Harmony which was effected in fourteen days! Captain Middleton by this opportune call, obtained one of the most valuable cargoes ever procured from New Zealand, consisting of spars and flax. The Harmony only remained two or three days when she sailed direct for London. (Sydney Gazette 20 February 1828) 

Notes & Links:

1). Seventeen convict ships arrived in New South Wales in 1827 - Grenada, Brothers, Albion, Midas, Mariner, Countess of Harcourt, Guildford, Marquis of Hastings, Princess Charlotte, Manlius, Cambridge, Harmony, Prince Regent, Champion, Eliza, John and the Louisa

2). Hunter Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Harmony in 1827

3).Observations on the Visiting, Superintendence, and Government of Female Prisoners ... By Elizabeth Gurney Fry, Published 1827  

4). Charlotte Harrison, an assigned servant,, was charged with an overwhelming desire to discover the longitude, to effect which purpose she was in the habit of travelling about the streets when her mistress required her services in the kitchen. The damsel declared with much nonchalance that "she could not help it" so the Bench "could not help" sending her to Mrs. Gordon's seminary. - Sydney Gazette 31 May 1832.

5) The Harmony was one of five convict ships bringing female prisoners to New South Wales in
1827, the others being the Grenada, Princess Charlotte, Louisa, and Brothers. Over five hundred female prisoners arrived in the colony in 1827.

6). There was animosity between Captain Middleton and William McDowell during the voyage. The vessel had not been long at sea before a misunderstanding arose between the two, in consequence of the Captain's improper interference with the prisoners. Later an inquiry was held. Governor Darling refers to it in his correspondence to the Commissioners of the Navy.......

Governor Darling to Commissioners of Navy.
1827. 4 Nov
Gentlemen. Parramatta,
4th November, 1827.
Reference having been made to me in consequence of some Dispute occurrences, during the passage, between Mr. McDowall, the Surgeon Superintendent of the Transport Ship Harmony, and master on Mr. Middleton, the Master, I appointed a Board to examine into the merits of the case; and I do myself the honor to transmit for your information a Copy of the Reports and Proceedings of the Board. It appears that the Members have not agreed in opinion, and Colonel Stewart, the Lieut. Governor, has drawn up a report of the view, he has taken of the case, as the two other Members has of their opinion. Without knowing more of the matter than appears by the Proceedings, which will enable you equally to judge of it, I am strongly disposed to concur with Colonel Stewart that, even admitting the Surgeon's Conduct to have been irritating, the proceedings of the Master was most un-becoming and improper; and I have no doubt that due Notice will accordingly be taken of it. I have, etc. Ralph Darling.

(HRA Series 1, vol X111, p. 593)

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