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Convict Ship
Larkins 1829

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Embarked: 200 men
Voyage: 128 days
Deaths 3
Surgeon's Journal: Yes
Tons 647
Previous vessel: Sarah arrived 7 December 1829
Next vessel: Asia arrived 13 January 1830
Master William Campbell  
Surgeon Superintendent Oliver Sproule
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The Larkins was built in Calcutta in 1808. Convicts were previously transported to New South Wales on the Larkins in 1817.

It was reported early in July 1829 that a detachment belonging to the 63rd Regiment of Foot marched on the 4th July from Chatham to Deptford, for the purpose of embarking as a guard on the Larkins. (This was a distance of approximately 25 miles/ 40 km).  The Guard consisted of 29 men of the 63rd, five women and eight children under command of Captain Mahon. Select here to find convicts ships bringing detachments of the 63rd regiment.

The Larkins departed London for Cork on 6th July 1829 where two hundred prisoners were embarked; one man, John Nowlan was re-landed while still in Cork.   The Larkins departed Cork on 16 August 1829.

Oliver Sproule described the voyage in his Journal -

We were generally speaking healthy on board the Larkins during her voyage to New South Wales consequently I have but few remarks to offer. To this healthy state of the ship I attribute the mild weather which we experienced off the Cape. The thermometer seldom ranging below 60 at noon, and also to the particular attention which was paid at all times to the comfort and cleanliness of the convicts both in their berths and in their persons besides having them all on deck when the weather permitted, by which means the air of the prison was always pure and sweet when they were sent below.

Besides the cases given in my journal there were 178 others who received medical assistance and medicine during the voyage, but whose cases were of such a trifling nature that were I to insert them they would not only be tedious but irksome to the reader. One case of scurvy however, appeared about ten days previous to our arrival at Sydney, the symptoms of which were spongy gums and enlargement of the left knee accompanied with a considerable degree of rigidity of the muscles and tendons and a livid discolouration of the skin. Suffice it to say that fresh diet, an extra allowance of lime juice and a little bark and wine administered daily kept the disease in check the five days we were in harbour, so far as to walk to Barracks the day the convicts were disembarked.

The Larkins arrived in Port Jackson on 12 December 1829. Three men had died on the passage out.

The prisoners were mustered on board by the Colonial Secretary Alexander McLeay on Thursday 24th December and disembarked a week later on Thursday 31st December 1829. A number of them were assigned to applicants for servants and the rest were assigned to government service.

The indents include information such as name, age, education, religion, family, marital status, native place, trade, offence, when and where tried, sentence, prior convictions, physical description and when and where assigned on arrival. There is also occasional information about deaths, pardons and prior sentences.

There were seven prisoners under seventeen years of age. The youngest prisoner was James Young who was fourteen years old.  

Notes & Links:

1). Nineteen year old James (Michael) Oates, a prisoner for life from Co. Roscommon was one of the convicts of the Larkins assigned to private service on arrival. Nine years later he was assigned to Thomas Simpson Hall at the Namoi and was known as 'Jemmy' Oates or 'Hall's Jemmy'. He was involved in one of the most infamous incidents of the times - the Myall Creek Massacre. He was executed for his crimes with several other perpetrators at Darlinghurst prison on 18th December 1838.  

2). Oliver Sproule was also employed as surgeon on the convict ships Borneo in 1828 (VDL), Jane in 1831 and the Lady Nugent in 1835.  

3). National Archives UK - Principal Managing Owner: Joseph Somes.
(a) 1826/7 China and Quebec. Capt William Campbell. Portsmouth 29 Jun 1827 - 25 Oct Caipang Bay - 30 Dec Whampoa - 7 Feb 1828 Second Bar - 22 Apr St Helena - 19 Jun Quebec -.
(b) 1828/9 New South Wales and China. Capt William Campbell. Cork 16 Aug 1829 - New South Wales - 20 Mar 1830 Whampoa - 16 Apr Second Bar - 28 Jul St Helena - 16 Sep Downs.
(c) 1830/1 Tasmania and China. Capt William Campbell. Downs 19 Jun 1831 - Tasmania - 29 Jan 1832 Whampoa - 4 Mar Second Bar - 5 Jun St Helena - 27 Jul Downs.
(d) 1832/3 Madras, Bengal and China. Capt William Campbell. Downs 21 Mar 1833 - 6 Jul Calcutta - 29 Aug Kedgeree - 8 Nov Whampoa - 10 Jan 1834 Second Bar - 18 Mar St Helena - 17 May Downs.  

4) Thirty eight convicts of the Larkins have so far been identified in the Hunter Valley in the following years. Select HERE here to find more about Hunter Valley convicts / passengers of the Larkins.    

5).  Return of Convicts of the Larkins assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 28 June 1832; 5 July 1832).....
John Barnable Indoor servant assigned to Robert Smith at Goulburn Plains
John Clanvane Labourer assigned to Matthew Chapman at Hunter's River
James Herbert Bagpiper assigned to Peter Howell at Sydney
William Kelly Indoor servant assigned to Henry Donnison at Sydney
Thomas Leary Mason. Assigned to Terence Murray at Erskine Park
Matthew Murphy Labourer assigned to Edward Fegan in Sydney
Daniel O'Hara Ploughman assigned to William Dun at Patersons Plains

6). 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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