Convict Ship John Renwick 1838
Voyage: 116 days
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Westmoreland
arrived 22 August 1838
Clyde arrived 10 September 1838
Captain John Byron
Follow the Female
Convict Ship Trail
| The John Renwick departed England with with one hundred and
seventy three female prisoners, twenty three convict children, five
free women and nineteen free children.
included Mr. Henry and Mrs. Beverley and Major Marley of the 50th
Regiment, who was appointed to supersede Major Jackson as barrack
master. Major Marley was formerly barrack master at Glasgow. Mrs.
Marley, three daughters Miss Marley, Misses Fanny and Selina Marley
and two sons Edward and Bayley Marley also arrived on the John
The John Renwick departed the Downs
bound for Port Jackson on 3rd May 1838 in company with the
Nautilus carrying female prisoners for Hobart Town.
This was Andrew Smith's only voyage as Surgeon Superintendent on a
convict ship. He Smith kept a Medical Journal from 9th April 1838 to 5th
September 1838. During the early part of the voyage a great many
prisoners were affected with inflammatory and catarrhal complaints.
There was one fatal case of scorbutus, that of prisoner Prudence
Jenkins. She was treated with nitrate of Potash in large doses three
times daily and a nourishing diet with lime juice were given also,
however she died on 5th August. She had previously been confined for
a lengthy time in different gaols.
There was one birth
during the voyage.
The following article was included in
Parbury's Oriental Herald and colonial intelligencer,
......however the Sydney Gazette of the 4th September
reported that the prisoners of the John Renwick were
orderly and clean when visited by Lady Gipps the previous Saturday.
The women were landed at the Dock Yard on Thursday 6th
September. Those who were not assigned to service were forwarded to
vessel was then hauled into the Cove to discharge her stores.
The John Renwick was one of two convict ships bringing
female prisoners to New South Wales in 1838, the other one being the
Cork. A total of 333 female prisoners arrived in the colony in 1838.
On 2nd October John Burt and James Martin, two apprentices
belonging to the John Renwick, and Charles
Jackson and Henry King two seamen belonging the the vessel were
charged with desertion, and taking with them their clothes and
bedding. The apprentices alleged, that the Chief Officer had beaten
them, and threatened to serve them out when they got outside the
Heads. The blows as well as the threats were both denied. The seamen
had nothing to urge in extenuation. The apprentices were sent to the
treadmill for ten days each and the seamen were sentenced to forfeit
all wages due, together with all clothes they might have on board.
The John Renwick departed with the Lord William
Bentinck bound for Java on 10the October 1838.
Notes and Links:
Prisoners and Passengers of the John
Renwick in the Hunter Valley
2). Julia St. Clair Newman
mentioned in the above Parbury's Oriental Herald was not transported
on the John Renwick but on the Nautilus to VDL in 1838 after being
convicted at the Old Bailey of robbery . Her mother Margaret was
sentenced to 7 years transportation at the same time. They were from
a privileged background, had travelled abroad, and held the public
interest for months in England before being transported, and again
when Julia reached Australia. She was said to be dressed in silk and
only required to do light sewing while held in the female factory.
She was assigned to W. Powell in Launceston in 1841 and violently
assaulted by a ticket of leave man in 1842. She married John Jepson
in 1844 in Tasmania and received a conditional pardon in 1847...More
about Julia St. Clair Newman in Parliamentary Papers and the
3). Death of Major Marley...
Asiatic Journal 15th April 1839
4) Elizabeth Brazier was
26 when she was convicted of highway robbery in London in 1838 and
sentenced to 15 years’ transportation to NSW.
Select here to find
out more about her life at Dubbo.
Byron charged with embezzling government stores and provisions of
the John Renwick.....