Convict Ship Moffatt 1838
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Master Thomas Bolton
|The Moffatt was fitted out at
Deptford in October 1837. She could carry 400 prisoners. Three
hundred men were embarked at Woolwich and another one hundred at
Sheerness before the end of October.
They set sail from
Sheerness on 9 November 1837 bound for Van Diemen's Land, however
were forced into Spithead to replace rigging, probably delaying
their journey considerably.
Gilbert King kept a Medical Journal from 25 October 1837 to 1 April
The voyage to the equator was
tedious but the weather held fine. By the 12th week scurvy had begun
to affect the prisoners. The surgeon thought this was not anything
to do with the ship which was large and commodious or the diet, but
rather to the delay in beginning the voyage and to the generally
poor condition of the prisoners, who were unable to face the cold
and were confined below decks in a polluted atmosphere. The vessel
was cleaned by scraping and dry holystoning the deck and with
chloride of lime. Beds were taken on deck every day and the men had
clean shirts every Sunday.
The prisoners on this ship were
more fortunate than some as they were allowed to indulge in
'innocent recreation', and singing and dancing every evening.
Three hundred and ninety seven male convicts arrived in Hobart
on the 1st April. As well as the prisoners there were cabin
passengers - Mr. and Mrs. Kemp and children, Rev Messrs. Orton and
Wilkinson, Major Smyth, 39th regiment and Mrs. Montgomery.
The Moffatt departed Hobart and arrived in Sydney on the
26th April 1838, where she disembarked seventeen adults, twenty-one
children, nine soldiers of the 50th regiment and thirty prisoners of
the Crown some of whom were under sentence to Norfolk Island.
Notes & Links:
1). Gilbert King was
also Surgeon on the
Hastings in 1827, Lord Lyndoch in
1831 (VDL) and Eden
Hunter Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Moffatt in 1838