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Convict Ship Malabar 1819

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Embarked: 173 men
Voyage: 135 days
Deaths: 0
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Grenada arrived 21 October 1819
Next vessel: Recovery arrived 18 December 1819
Captain William Ascough
Surgeon Superintendent Evan Evans

This was the first of two voyages of the Malabar bringing convicts to Australia, the other being in 1821 to VDL.

The Malabar was the next convict ship to leave England for New South Wales after the departure of the Atlas on 10th June 1819. She departed Spithead on 17 June 1819 bound for Fort William, touched at Rio de Janeiro, and arrived at Port Jackson on 29th October 1819, anchoring in Sydney Cove the following day.

Governor Macquarie recorded the arrival in his Journal......... Saturday 30th October 1819 This forenoon anchored in Sydney Cove, the vessel Malabar, Commanded by Cap. William Ascough, with 170 male prisoners from England whence She sailed on the 17th. of June last ( touching at Rio Janeiro, which She left on the 17th. of August); Mr. Evan Evans R. Navy, being Surgeon Sup and the Guard consisting of 31 men of the 89th. Regt. commanded by Lieut. Ashhurst of the 34th. Regt. The Guard and Convicts have all arrived in good Health, none of either having died on the Passage. This Ship brings no Dispatches or Passengers. She left the Regalia Private Merchant Ship, at Rio Janeiro.

Surgeon Evan Evans kept a detailed daily journal. He included the weather conditions, location of the vessel and minutiae of prisoners' life on board.

The prisoners of the Malabar were landed on Friday 5th November and surgeon Evans recorded in his Journal -  

"At 5am the convicts were all landed with their rations. At 10am His Excellency the Governor inspected the convicts in the jail yard and asked them if they had any complaints to make and if they were perfectly satisfied with their treatment during the voyage when they all answered that they had no complaint to make, and were perfectly satisfied with their treatment.

And His Excellency was pleased to express his entire satisfaction at their appearance and very healthy state. In closing the foregoing journal I have great satisfaction in stating that the 170 convicts, 32 soldiers comprising the guard, 9 women and 6 children embarked in England in the Malabar were all landed at Sydney in perfect health not a single person lost during the voyage; they were at all times very healthy. The convicts were allowed to be on deck as much as possible consistent with the safety of the ship. The greatest attention was at all times paid to ventilation and cleanliness. The excellent quality of the provisions, the commodious way these ships are fitted out and the liberal supplies of every comfort in case of sickness, for the convicts, all tend no doubt to preserve them in that good state of health which was the case throughout the voyage in the Malabar. The convicts with very few exceptions on board the Malabar behaved quiet and orderly and their treatment was at all times humane and lenient."

On 6 November the Sydney Gazette reported that they were in receipt of a Letter of Thanks addressed to Captain Ascough and Dr. Evan Evans of the Malabar, from the prisoners, for the humane attention to their health and comfort experienced during the passage.

The convicts were distributed to Parramatta, Windsor, Liverpool and Emu Plains as soon as they were landed.  

Notes & Links:

1). Evan Evans was also employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the Phoenix in 1822

2). Hunter Valley Convicts / passengers arriving on the Malabar in 1819

3). Lieut. Ashurst of the 34th regt., departed on the Atlas bound for Madras in January 1819

4). Convict John Baker received a sentence of death for sheep stealing which was commuted to 14 years at Moreton Bay penal colony in 1825

5). Joseph Branch was assigned to T.W.M. Winder; James Clarke to James Mudie; John Duck was assigned to Standish Lawrence Harris; Thomas Fox to G.J. Frankland at Paterson; George Smith to Rev. George Augustus Middleton

6). William Ascough was also Master of the following convict ships -

Ann & Amelia 1825; Marquis of Huntley 1826 Marquis of Huntley 1828 Marquis of Huntley 1830; Portland 1832; Portland 1833; Mary 1835.

7). Return of Convicts of the Malabar assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 5 July 1832).....

James Branch Carpenter assigned to Thomas Arndell at Hawkesbury
James Clarke Tinman assigned to James Mudie at Castle Forbes
James Read Seaman assigned to John Abbott at Windsor
William Rogers Butcher assigned to George Blackett at Liverpool



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