Convict Ship Margaret 1837
Embarked 153 women
Voyage: 126 days
Deaths: 2 women; 5 children
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous voyage: Prince George arrived 8 May 1837
Next voyage: Mangles arrived 10 July 1837
Captain Edward Canney
Surgeon Superintendent Henry Kelsall
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Hunter Valley convicts and passengers arriving on the Margaret in 1837
was built in Chepstow in 1829. Female prisoners were transported to New South Wales on the Margaret in 1837, 1839
Prisoners on the Margaret
came from counties and cities in Ireland - Tipperary, Clare, Kings Co., Dublin, Cork City, Roscommon, Cavan, Antrim, Belfast, Monaghan, Limerick, Kilkenny, Queen's Co., Enniscarthy, Mulligan, Cashel, Tyrone, Armagh, Wicklo, Carlow, Sligo, Galway, Waterford, Donegal, Westmeath, Dungannon, Bandon, Longford, Down, Drogheda, Norwich and Manchester (England) 
departed Cork on 24th January 1837 bringing 153 female prisoners, 28 children and 35 free women and children, the families of convicts in the Colony of New South Wales.
Surgeon Henry Kelsall
kept a Medical Journal from 10 November 1836 to 10 June 1837. His previous voyage as surgeon on the Andromeda
in 1834 which also brought female prisoners from Ireland, was a very different experience to this voyage of the Margaret
. The women of the Andromeda
were embarked in a clean condition and were healthy and in good spirits for most of the voyage. In contrast the prisoners of the Margaret
disgusted him by their offensive habits and reluctance to keep clean.
His antipathy towards the women was evident from the time they were first embarked. He remarked in his journal that the women were all sent on board in a very filthy state from the Cork Penitentiary - with a small supply of spare clothing (linen). A great number were infected with psora as well as with influenza which was prevalent at the time in England and Ireland. A number of the crew were also affected.
Bilious fever became a problem when the ship reached the warmer climate. The surgeon also mentioned that most of the convicts if permitted passed the whole of the day in bed and collected all kinds of rubbish about them. He was appalled with another filthy habit of the convicts which he found difficult to stop - that of washing their linen in putrid urine which they would hang up to dry in the prison. Two convicts and five of their children died on the voyage out.  The two convicts were Rose Dogherty and Margaret Murphy.
Those treated by the surgeon during the voyage included:
Catherine Hurley, aged 21;
Eliza Wilson, aged 31;
FAnne Lawlor, aged 25;
Mary Maher, aged 24;
Mary Corcoran, aged 18;
Ellen Roe, aged 28;
Ellen Tierney, aged 34;
Ann Hamilton, aged 45;
Sarah Cassidy, aged 40;
Margaret Rohan, aged 24;
Bridget Doyle, aged 26;
Eliza Field, aged 23;
Eliza Doyle, aged 22;
Mary Moore, aged 34;
Elizabeth Donohue, aged 18;
Catherine Mullane, aged 28;
Mary Jessop, aged 30;
Margaret Maher, aged 31;
Mary Johnston, aged 28;
Ellen Lynch, aged 60; sick or hurt,
Eliza Beatty, aged 21;
William Hopkins, aged 18, seaman;
Ellen Stoneham, aged 25;
Judy Hanley, aged 30;
Eliza Moore, aged 40,
Ellen McGough, aged 29; sent 1 June 1837 to general hospital at Sydney.
Passengers included Mr. Benson, Paymaster of the 28th Regiment, Mrs. Benson and Thomas Benson.
There were twenty-five emigrants in the steerage. Mary Tobin aged 24, a free girl, was employed as servant to Mrs. Benson.
Henry Kelsall was no less scathing of the Irish free women and children of which he thought there were too many in the ship. He found them incorrigible and incredibly filthy. Most of these people were embarked in rags without a change of clothes of any description; and loaded with vermin - some of them mendicants by profession
arrived in Port Jackson on 30 May 1837 and the women were landed at the Dockyard on 10th June 1837.
The convict indents include name, age, education, marital status, family, native place, trade, offence, previous convictions and physical description.
1). Hunter Valley convicts and passengers arriving on the Margaret in 1837....
Anne Barry - Country servant age 30 from County Clare. Tried 8 July 1830. Sentenced to transportation for life for drowning her own child. 4ft 10 in. Ruddy, freckled and slightly pockpitted complexion. Two middle front upper teeth apart. Application to marry Samuel Taylor at Newcastle in May 1838 refused as Taylor had stated he was married on arrival. Application to marry George Hawley (per Roslin Castle
) in May 1840 at Maitland.
Eliza Beaghan - Housemaid age 18 from Dublin. Tried 23 October 1836 for housebreaking and sentenced to transportation for life. - Brother Thomas Robinson arrived 12 months previously as a prisoner. Granted a Ticket of Leave for Wollombi 26 July 1845. Application to marry Cornelius Cullen at Campbelltown. Asking for informaton on the wheabouts of Christopher Cullen in 1846. Granted Conditional Pardon in January 1850.
Ann Boyde (Burroughs) - Country servant age 23 from Co. Antrim. Tried at Antrim 10 October 1836 and sentenced to transportation for 7 years for stealing calico. Sent to Newcastle gaol from Invermein under sentence of 1 month imprisonment in October 1837. Assigned to Alexander Flood at Newcastle on release in November 1837. Married William Burroughs (per Lloyds) at Newcastle September 1838. Sentenced to 1 month in Newcastle gaol for drunkenness in February 1840. Discharged to her husband 7 March 1840. Died at Stockton in August 1847.
Mary Carmody - Country servant from Limerick age 32. Four children. Tried July 1836 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing a blanket. Sent to Newcastle gaol from Maitland in January 1838, being returned to government service.
Louisa Connelly - Kitchenmaid age 18 from Co. Wicklow. Tried at Wicklow Janury 1836 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing blankets. Sent to Newcastle Gaol
from Paterson in April 1838 under sentenced to 14 days in the cells and return to government service.
Catherine Connor - No trade of calling. Age 26, Native place County Carlow. Two daughters. Tried at Galway 28 June 1836 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing money. Husband Thomas Connor, prisoner, came out 6 years previously. Granted a Ticket of Leave for the district of Wollombi in August 1841. Sent to Newcastle gaol from Wollombi in February 1842. To be sent to the Female Factory at Parramatta
and Ticket to be cancelled. Ticket cancelled for immoral conduct in March 1842.
Mary Corcoran (Broom) - House and children's maid age 18 from Co. Roscommon. Tried 2 April 1836. Sentenced to 7 years transportation for house robbery. In October 1837 sent to Newcastle Gaol
from Patrick Plains sentenced to 3 months imprisonment, fourteen days in solitary confinement and then to return to her master. Sent to Newcastle gaol from Patrick Plains under sentence of 2 months in the 3rd Class Factory for a misdemeanour in February 1840. Re-assigned to Major Crummer
on 19 March 1840. Application to marry Stephen Broom (per Claudine
) at Newcastle in December 1840. Marriage of Stephen Broom and Mary Corcoran, both residing at Lake Macquarie
, in January 1841. In 1844 Stephen Broom's Ticket of Leave was altered to the district of
. He was granted Title Deeds to land at Ipswich in 1851. Mary died at Ipswich in 1860 and Stephen died at Ipswich in 1880.
Mary Cunningham (Bryant) - Kitchen and housemaid age 22 from Kings County. Tried 19 July 1836. Sentenced to transportation for life for street robbery. Application to marry John Arundale at Newcastle. Application to marry Patrick Brien (per Eliza
) at Sydney in October 1837. Absconded from her husband Patrick Brien at Patrick Plains in November 1840 and was apprehended soon afterwards. Sent to Newcastle gaol in January 1841 having been sentenced to 2 months hard labour for absconding from her husand. Assigned to John Kingsmill at Maitland and absconded in July 1841. Absconded again from John Kingsmill
and apprehended in March 1842.
Ann Farrell - Laundress age 23 from Dublin. Tried 23 July 1836 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing clothing. Brother Michael Farrell came out as a prisoner 5 years previously. Sentenced to 7 days in the cells of Newcastle Gaol
in November 1839. Application to marry John Conner (per Andromeda
) at Patrick Plains in July 1840.
Ann Farrell - Age 15, native place Kilkenny. Tried at Co. Carlow 22 June 1836. Sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing linen. - Broad featured, nose a little cocked. Two sisters in the colony, Betty Armstrong and Kitty McDonnell came out about 5 or 6 years ago as prisoners. Assigned to George Salt Tucker
at Paterson in 1837.
Mary Fleming - Children's maid age 19 from Co. Limerick. Tried July 1836. Sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing bed linen. Brother Thomas Fleming a prisoner for 7 years. Assigned to John Smith
at Newcastle. Absconded from John Smith in June 1839 and apprehended in October 1839.
Ann Gilligan - Laundress age 24 from Sligo. Tried at Armagh December Sessions 1835 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing money. Nose large, scar over left eyebrow. Brother John Gilligan in the 28th regiment. Granted a Ticket of Leave for Maitland in October 1841. Application to marry John Archbold (per Captain Cook
) at East Maitland granted in April 1842.
Bridget Hehir - Country servant age 40 from County Clare, Widow with two children. Tried at Clare June 1836 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing clothes. Large and broad featured. Application to marry James Kelly (per Countess of Harcourt
) at Patrick Plains in 1838.
Eliza Keefe - Kitchenmaid age 20 from Limerick. Tried at Limereick City October 1836. Sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing a shawl. Application to marry Edward James (per Katherine Stewart Forbes
) at Brisbane Water in April 1840.
Mary or Julia Keleher (Munton) - Children's maid age 16 from Cork. Tried Cork City 4 November 1836. Sentenced to 7 years transportation for pledging stolen goods. Absconded from Thomas Bott Humphreys at Maitland in August 1837. Sent to Newcastle Gaol
in September 1837 under sentence of 6 months hard labour in the 3rd Class Female Factory. Married Alfred Munton at Newcastle in March 1839. Granted Ticket of Leave for Newcastle in September 1842.
Johanna Kelly (Kielly) - Farm servant age 36 from County Limerick. Widow. Tried 4 July at Limerick City and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing a cloak. Sent to Newcastle gaol from Dungog in January 1840 under sentence of 14 days in the cells for insolence and then to be returned to government service. Re-assigned to William Lowe at Williams River 28 February 1840. Application to marry Alfred Cooper (per Phoenix) at Paterson in June 1840. Sent to Newcastle Gaol
in March 1841. Returned to government service. Sent to Newcastle gaol in January 1842, having been returned to government service.
Margaret Lane - Country servant age 32 from County Cork. Tried Summer Assizes 1836 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing money. Granted Ticket of Leave for Scone in April 1842.
Anne Lawler - Servant age 26 from Westmeath. Sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing money. Assigned to Mrs. W. Forster at Dungog in 1837.
Elizabeth Lloyd - Children's maid age 17 from Manchester. Tried at Antrim 2 July 1836 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for house robbery. Two uncles Thomas and William Lloyds and Aunt Mary Lloyd came free 7 years previously. Absconded from Thomas Bott Humphries in August 1837 and apprehended in September 1837. Sent to Newcastle Gaol
under sentence of 6 months hard labour in the 3rd Class Female Factory. Granted Ticket of Leave for Maitland July 1842.
Mary Mackay (Markey) - Kitchenmaid age 19 from Belfast. Tried at Antrim 18 October 1836 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for housebreaking. Assigned to George Salt Tucker
at Paterson in 1837
Margaret Maher - Children's maid age 19 from County Tipperary. Tried Tipperary 1 July 1836 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for house robbery. Application to marry Augustus Fitzgerald per Marquis of Huntley refused in 1838. Sentenced to 24 hours confinement in Newcastle Gaol
for drunkkenness in March 1844.
Mary Maher - House maid aged 24 from Tipperary. Sentenced to transportation for life for house robbery. Granted Ticket of Leave ofr Scone in April 1844. Ticket cancelled in January 1848 for being absent from her district (Maitland).
Esther Maloney (Moloney) - Age 13. No occupation given. Tried Cork City 4 November 1836. Sentenced to 7 years transportation for pledging a stolen cloak. Sent to Newcastle in 1841. Sent to Newcastle Gaol
in August 1842 having been returned to government service at the request of her master in Singleton.
Rose McAntomy (McAtanmy) - Laundress and cook age 40 from Armagh. Married with 8 children. Assigned to G. Coleman at Paterson in 1837.
Mary McCue Tried June Sessions 1836 at Armagh and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing lace. Husband Patrick Carroll, a prisoner for life came about 8 years previously. Sent to Newcastle Gaol
from Maitland for immoral conduct and represententing herself to be free. Sentenced to 2 months hard labour and Ticket of leave cancelled December 1843. Application to marry Thomas Harding (per Camden
) at East Maitland in August 1844 refused by the Bench
Margaret McHugh (McCue) - Country servant age 25 from County Cork. Tried at Limerick July 1836. Sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing bills. Sent to Newcastle Gaol
in May 1840, sentenced to 14 days in the cells for drunk and disorderly conduct. Assigned to H.I. Pilcher
at Maitland on 27 June 1840.
Margaret Meenan - Children's maid age 18 from Belfast. Tried at Antrim 2 July 1836 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for house robbery. Application to marry Hugh Kavanagh (per Guildford
) in September 1841 at West Maitland.
Bridget Mooney - Country servant age 29 from Co. Westmeath. Tried 20 October 1836 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for house robbery. Assigned to James McGreavy
at Newcastle. Returned to government service in September 1837, James McGreavy having no further use for her. Sentenced to 14 days in the cells at Newcastle Gaol
for absconding in November 1841. Granted a Ticket of Leave for Newcastle in Decmeber 1842. Sent to Newcastle gaol under sentence of 7 days in the cells for Breach of Agreement in January 1843. Absent from her place of residence in September 1843. Sent to Newcastle gaol for absconding in January 1844.
Margaret Murphy - Children's maid age 19 from Waterford City. Tried 18 February 1836. Sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing a mantle. Sent to Newcastle Gaol
having been returned to government service in June 1840. Sent to Sydney gaol 27 June 1840.
Catherine Pettit - No occupation. Age 20, native place Kilkenny. Married with 1 child. Tried at Dublin City 30 November 1836 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing muslin. Large wound on left side of forehead and temple, hair thin from a diseased head, eyebrows meeting. PP on upper right arm. Granted a Ticket of Leave for Wollombi in December 1842.
Mary Reilly - General house servant age 23 from Dublin. Tried 14 October 1836 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing handkerchiefs. Swarthy and pockpitted complexion. Lost two front upper teeth. Application to marry John Thompson per Lord Melville at East Maitland in October 1843.
Ellen Roe - Children's maid age 28 from Limerick. Tried Limerick City July 1836 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing brass. Hold at Ticket of Leave for Maitland in 1843, reported absent from her district.
Margaret Sheehan - Country servant age 28 from County Tipperary. Tried Spring Assizes 1836 at Tipperary and sentenced to transportation for life for housebreaking. Sent to Newcastle Gaol
for disorderly conduct under sentence of 7 days in the cells and to return to her service, January 1844. Sent to Newcastle gaol under sentence of 6 days in the cell s for insolence in April 1844.
Elizabeth Smith alias Turner. - General house servant and cook age 40 from County Wicklow. Widow with 5 daughters. Tried at Kildare 23 June 1836 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing fowls. Assigned to Edward Denny Day
at Maitland in 1837.
Isabella Thompson - Laundress (good) age 22 from Downpatrick. Tried at Antrim 18 October 1836 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing money from person. Assigned to Mrs. John Larnach
at Patrick Plains in 1837.
Notes and Links
1). Nightean, - Soap; a mixture of dung and urine for washing linen, used by the lower classes in Ireland and the Highlands. - From A Gaelic Dictionary
(Click on the text).....
2). The Margaret was one of four convict ships bringing female prisoners to New South Wales in 1837, the others being the Sarah and Elizabeth
, Henry Wellesley
and Sir Charles Forbes
. A total of 533 female convicts arrived in the colony in 1837.
3). Henry Kelsall was also employed as surgeon on the convict ships Andromeda
in 1834, Cape Packet in 1842 (VDL) Waterloo in 1842 and the John Calvin
in 1846 (Norfolk Island)
 Convict Indents. Ancestry.com. State Archives NSW; Series: NRS 12189; Item: [X640]; Microfiche: 729
 Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney, pp.354-355
 Journal of Henry Kelsall. Ancestry.com. UK Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 . The National Archives, Kew, Surry
 National Archives
- ADM 101/48/4 1836-1837 Medical journal of the Margaret, female convict ship from 10 November 1836 to 10 June 1837 by Henry Kelsall, surgeon and superintendent, during which time the ship was employed in a passage to Sydney, New South Wales.