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Links to Convict Ships arriving in New South Wales, Norfolk Island and Van Diemen's Land 1788 - 1850

Convict Ship Parmelia 1834

Embarked: 220
Voyage: 124 days
Deaths: 2
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Fairlie arrived 15 February 1834
Next vessel: Hive arrived 11 June 1834
Captain James Gilbert
Surgeon Superintendent Anthony Donoghue R.N.
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 Whale tooth scrimshaw 'Parmelia' by Jesper Rasmussen depicting the ship Parmelia, with a banding of dolphins to the base, inscribed to verso 'Built at Quebec 1825 Swan River 1829, Jesper 1984, Albany'.[2]

The Parmelia was built at Quebec in 1825.

The Parmelia made two voyages bringing convicts to New South Wales. The first was in 1832. After disembarking the convicts she departed the colony late in December 1832 and arrived in Batavia on 29 January 1833. She departed Batavia 5th March, St. Helena 17th May 1833 and arrived back at Portsmouth on 8 August 1833.


The Parmelia was at Plymouth on 9th October and arrived at Cork by the 15th October 1834.


The Freeman's Journal reported on 11th October 1833 that the first guard of 29 rank and file of the 50th regiment embarked on board the Parmelia at Deptford on the 28th September, under the command of Major Joseph Anderson and Ensign Campbell.   Passengers included Mrs. Anderson and 4 children, 8 women and 15 children.


The Parmelia departed Cork on 29th October 1833.


Anthony Donaghue kept a Medical Journal from 18 September 1833 to 20 March 1834. His first case on the sick list was dated 5th October 1833 when he treated Major Joseph Anderson who was suffering with rheumatism.


The Parmelia arrived in Port Jackson on Sunday 2 March 1834. Two prisoners died on the voyage out.


While still on board on Wednesday 5th March, the prisoners were mustered for the purpose of taking their descriptions prior to disembarkation and assignment.

They were described in the newspapers as a healthy, robust set of men, mostly field labourers. The editors must have missed seeing Thomas Baldwin who was 62 years old and according to the surgeon, a perfect skeleton by the time he arrived. He was sent to Sydney Hospital on arrival however died there nine days later.  


On Thursday 6th March the troops of the guard of the Parmelia were landed and immediately marched to Liverpool. Detachments of the 50th Regiment arrived on the Susan, Surry, Forth, Bengal Merchant Hooghley, Hive, Blenheim, Royal Admiral, Lady Nugent, Parmelia, James Laing, Captain Cook, Hero, Roslin Castle, Henry Porcher, Henry Tanner and Lady Kennaway.  


The prisoners were landed at the Dock Yard in the early hours of Saturday morning the 8th March, and forwarded to Hyde Park Barracks for distribution.


On Saturday 22 March the Sydney Gazette reported that a great number of the prisoners were forwarded to the interior by the settlers who had attended the previous Thursday's market.   ....

Distribution of 218 male convicts who arrived by the Parmelia......
203 assigned to private service;
3 sent to Mineral Surveyor's Dept;
1 to the Master Attendant Dept;
3 in hospital;
2 unfit for assignment;
4 sent to Port Macquarie (specials); 22 sent to Carter's Barracks.


1). Convict John Tighe was on a Colonial Office list of thirteen people who applied for their families sent to New South Wales   

2). The Parmelia was to sail to India in company with the Fairlie and Lady Hayes early in April.

3). Major Joseph Anderson was appointed Commandant at Norfolk Island in 1834 replacing Colonel J.T. Morisset. He remained there until February 1839.  

4). Anthony Donoghoe was also surgeon on the convict ships City of Edinburgh in 1832, Hive in 1835 and the Calcutta in 1837  

5). Reprieve - Thomas McEvoy, sen., Thomas McEvoy jun., Michael White and Michael Fitzpatrick, sentenced for execution at Clonmel, for shooting at William Crawford, have been respited, and their sentences are commuted to transportation for life - Freemans Journal 13 August 1833  

6). Convicts and passengers of the Parmelia identified in the Hunter Valley

7). National Archives. Reference: ADM 101/58/5 Description: Medical and Surgical journal of the Convict Ship Parmelia for 18 September 1833 to 20 March 1834 by A Donoghoe, Surgeon.

8). Convict Thomas Vardy - The Crookwell Gazette


[1] Medical Journal of Anthony Donoghue on the voyage of the Parmelia. UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[2] Whale tooth scrimshaw 'Parmelia' by Jesper Rasmussen depicting the ship Parmelia, with a banding of dolphins to the base, inscribed to verso 'Built at Quebec 1825 Swan River 1829, Jesper 1984, Albany'. Carter's Antiques