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Convict Ship
 Hooghley 1834

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Embarked: 260 men
Voyage: 113 days
Deaths: 0
Surgeon's Journal: Yes
Previous vessel: Blenheim arrived 14 November 1834
Next vessel: George Hibbert arrived 1 December 1834
Captain George Bayley  
Surgeon Superintendent James Rutherford

The Hooghley was built in London in 1819.  Convicts were transported to New South Wales on the Hooghley in 1825, 1828, 1831 and 1834.

The Hooghley departed Portsmouth on 28 July 1834.

The Guard consisted of 29 rank and file, 7 women and 4 children under orders of Lieutenant-Colonel Woodhouse, Lieutenant Gregg and Ensign Wyatt of the 50th regiment (Headquarters).

James Rutherford kept a Medical Journal from 28 June to 4th December 1834. There were no deaths of convicts on the voyage out although an infant of one of the guard died. The surgeon was called on to treat Captain Bayley who suffered from pneumonia for a fortnight from 31st August and Lieutenant-Colonel Woodhouse who became ill in September...... The surgeon described the illness in his journal. - The Lieutenant-Colonel was observed to have become remarkably taciturn and retired but on the 13th it was strongly suspected that he was not right in his mind. He talked of his sins and a written confession of them which he had made and he which to make public. On the 14th no doubt remained of his insanity, he having rushed forward among the convicts holding his written confession in one hand and a bible in the other for the avowed purpose of reading to them the former and expounding to them certain texts from the latter. He had a certain wildness of expression which could not be mistaken. The surgeon succeeded in inducing him to take a strong purgative medicine which operated freely and with much persuasion, he allowed a vein to be opened in the arm from which about 20 ounces of blood were abstracted... on the 20th he was removed into a more retired cabin than his proper one and in the night of that day by perseverance in the use of the medicines he enjoyed sleep for the first time since the commencement of his disorder. The surgeon observed that the symptoms of the disease were extremely variable sometimes being agitated and sometimes tranquil generally in proportion to the roughness or smoothness of the sea and consequent steadiness or uneasiness of the ship.  

Illnesses were few. There were various sores on the prisoners' legs caused by the irons and the surgeon was called on to treat women and children embarked with the guard with diseases peculiar to their sex and age. A protracted labour and two cases of abortion etc which occasioned large demands on the medical comforts supplied for their use.

He remarked that on the whole, never has there been perhaps an equal number of people assembled in so small a space, for so long a time and in similar circumstances more healthy than were the people embarked on the Hooghley.

The Hooghley arrived in Port Jackson on 18 November 1834, a voyage of 113 days.

Prisoners were mustered on board on 26th November 1834. According to the surgeon's journal three men, William Shaw, James Vincent and Henry Osborne were sent to the hospital in Sydney on 4th December having shown symptoms of scurvy.

Arrival of the convict ship Hooghley in 1834. Sydney Gazette 20 November 1834. Go to Free Settler or Felon to find out more about the voyage of the Hooghley in 1834

The indents include information such as name, age, religion, education, family, marital status, native place, trade, offence, previous sentences, when and where tried and physical description. There are occasional notes regarding colonial crimes and dates of death. There is no information as to where the prisoners were assigned on arrival.

The Head Quarters of the 50th regiment were landed on Thursday 20th November and were to be stationed at Windsor. Detachments of the 50th Regiment arrived on the Surry, Forth, Bengal Merchant Hooghley, Susan, Blenheim, Royal Admiral, Lady Nugent, Parmelia, James Laing, Hive, Hooghley,  Captain Cook, Hero, Roslin Castle, Henry Porcher, Henry Tanner and Lady Kennaway

The prisoners came from counties throughout England and their occupations had mostly been as labourers, gardeners, errand boys, servants, shepherds, fishermen etc. After arrival many were distributed throughout the colony to work as agricultural labourers, hut keepers, stockmen and shepherds.

There were some however whose occupations set them apart including Thomas Birkett, solicitor's clerk transported for forgery who died at Port Macquarie two years later and John Francis Boutard, diamond dealer transported for stealing diamonds.

There were also some former soldiers who had been court-martialled for desertion or insubordination.

Although Sir Richard Bourke had been governor of the colony for three years when the Hooghley arrived, convict discipline remained harsh and punishments endured by John Johnson a 20 year old fisherman from Surry sent for picking pockets were probably fairly typical:........
18 February 1835 -  Hyde Park Barracks 12 lashes for insolence;
6 June 1835 -  Hyde Park Barracks 5 days in the cells for drunkenness;
19th September 1835 -  7 days on the treadmill for disobedience;
9 March1836 - 100 lashes for obscene language;
3 August 1837 -  3 years in irons for highway robbery;
17 March 1838 -  Berrima 50 lashes for neglect of work;
2 June 1838 -  25 lashes for disobedience;
22 June 1840 -  50 lashes for making a noise in the stockade;
6th October 1840 -  50 lashes for absconding;
17 November 1841 -  25 lashes for disorderly conduct at Parramatta.  

Notes & Links:

1). About seventy of the prisoners who arrived on the Hooghley in 1834 have been identified residing in the Hunter Valley region. Some were sent far up the valley to work on estates such as those of Stephen Coxen, James Bowman and William Kelman. Others were sent to the Williams River district. Some such as David Ambrose committed colonial crimes serious enough to be sent to Norfolk Island, then a dreaded hell-hole.    Select HERE to find more about convicts and passengers of the Hooghley  

2). James Rutherford was also employed as surgeon on the convict ships Regalia  in 1826, Pyramus in 1832 and Mangles in 1833.

3). Lieut-Col Woodhouse.....We regret to hear that Lieutenant. Colonel Woodhouse, commanding the Queen's own Regiment at Parramatta has been seriously indisposed since his arrival in the colony.  His medical advisers impute his ill health to the heat of the climate, or the rather sudden transition from a cold to a hot one. The Colonel is an old soldier who has " done the state some service" in the " tented field." The faculty have recommended him to return to Europe so soon as his health will permit.  -  Sydney Gazette 10 January 1835


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