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Convict Ship Prince Regent 1824


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Embarked: 180 men
Voyage: 153 days
Deaths: 2
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Countess of Harcourt arrived 12 July 1824
Next vessel: Almorah arrived 20th August 1824
Captain Alexander Wales
Surgeon Superintendent  Thomas B. Wilson



The Prince Regent was built in Shields in 1810. This was the second of three voyages transporting convicts to New South Wales, the others being in 1820 and 1827.

Prisoners transported on the Prince Regent in 1823 were convicted in Ireland. The following  men were mentioned in the Freemans' Journal in May 1823....

County Tipperary, Clonmel May 28...Fifty seven prisoners were arraigned for alleged offences under the Insurrection Act, two of whom were convicted, and sentenced to transportation, for criminal absence from their dwellings - their names are Michael Ryan and Pat Crehane, from Owney and Arra Barony, and are represented as being very bad characters. (3)

...and in August 1823....

The sentence of death pronounced at our last Assizes on Richard Molony, Michael Ryan, Thomas Meade, William Casey, Jeremiah Conway and Thomas Moylan, for attacking and taking arms, from Mr. Harding's house; has been commuted to transportation for life - and  on Thursday, an order was received by the High Sheriff to send them off forthwith, to be embarked on board the Hulk Surprise at Cove (2)

 

The Guard consisted of Captain R.P. Steward and Lieutenant William Serjeantson of His Majesty's 40th regiment, with 2 serjeants, 2 corporals, 2 drummers and 50 privates of the same corps; exclusive of Serjeant Jones and wife of the 48th regiment. (1) .  The 40th had been serving in Ireland.

Following is an excerpt from  Historical Records of the 40th (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment By Raymond Henry Raymond Smythies listing the ships that brought detachments of the 40th regiment to New South Wales in 1823 and 1824..........

Early in March 1823, the commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Thornton received an intimation that it was intended to send the regiment to New South Wales. In the meantime it was ordered to proceed to Dublin, thence by sea to Liverpool, and after that by road to Chatham, in order to form guards for convict ships when required.
 
The head quarters reached Dublin on 15th March and occupied the Royal Barracks. On the 30th the whole regiment embarked at Pigeon House, in eight small vessels, and reached Liverpool the following day.

A twenty eight days' march, including three Sundays, brought the regiment to Chatham. The Regiment marched in three divisions; the first arrived at Chatham on 21st April; the second, consisting of two companies, halted, and remained at Deptford; and the 3rd reached Chatham on 23rd April.

During the next year the 40th was sent out, in small detachments, as guards on board convict ships to Australia. This was after several years' rough service in Ireland, and but a short period of rest in England........

Embarkation Command Ship  
25th April 1823Lieutenant Lowe Albion  
5th July 1823 Captain Bishop Asia
10th July 1823 Lieutenant Millar Isabella  
18th July 1823 Captain Hibbert Sir Godfrey Wilestoe  
29 July 1823 Captain Thornhill Guildford  
31st July 1823 Lieutenant Ganning Medina  
5 August 1823 Lt.- Col. Balfour Castle Forbes  
29 December 1823 Captain Stewart Prince Regent  
5th February 1824 Captain Jebb Chapman  
25 February 1824 Captain Morow Countess of Harcourt  
14 June 1824 Lt.- Col Thornton Mangles  
14 June 1824 Lieut Neilley Princess Charlotte  


Other ships bringing detachments of the 40th regiment included the Minerva and Ann & Amelia.

The Prince Regent arrived at Deal from the River on 7th January and proceeded to Cork to embark prisoners from the Hulk. She departed Cork on 13th February 1824 and was the next convict ship to leave Ireland after the Castle Forbes in September 1823.  

On the voyage she called at Rio de Janeiro departing there on 26th April 1823.

The Prince Regent arrived in Port Jackson Thursday 15 July 1824.   A Muster was held on board by the Colonial Secretary Frederick Goulburn. Convict indents include information such as Name, Age, Trade, When and Where Tried, Sentence, Native Place, Physical Description, Conduct on the voyage and to whom Assigned on arrival. There are occasional notes regarding date and place of deaths.

The youngest prisoners were James McAuliffe (15), Patrick Walsh (14) and William McCourtney (15) who were all sent to the Carter's Barracks on arrival. John Murray a 78 year old steward from Roscommon who was hard of hearing was also sent to the Carter's Barracks as was Thomas Gorman who was noted to be of weak intellect. The indents record that  the abovementioned prisoner William McCourtney was shot at Norfolk Island on 24 August 1833.

Some prisoners were assigned to Hunter Valley settlers Vicars Jacob and Standish Lawrence Harris. John Kirk who was a Parish Clerk was assigned to the Hyde Park Barracks.

This was Thomas B. Wilson's first voyage employed as surgeon superintendent on a convict ship.  He was later surgeon-superintendent on the convict ships Mangles in 1826,   Governor Ready in 1829,  John in 1830 (VDL,)  Moffatt in 1834 (VDL) and  Strathfieldsaye in 1836.  On this voyage of the Prince Regent,, he kept a Medical Journal from 1 December 1823 to 21 July 1824. A description of the Journal with some of the convicts and soldiers treated is available at the National Archives.  

Two convicts died on the passage out - James Bowles and Thomas Gentleman

Free passengers on the Prince Regent included Frederick Boucher who established the Bank of Newcastle in 1828    


Notes & Links:


1). Narrative of a Voyage around the World by Thomas B. Wilson.....  The Medico-chirurgical Review and Journal of Practical Medicine

  

2). Hunter Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Prince Regent in 1824

3).  Pat. Keenan and John Purcell were charged with having stolen the carriage of a jaunting car. From the evidence it appeared the prisoners had stolen the carriage in the day light from the door of the prosecutor Byrne, a jaunting car maker, and had offered it for sale. The Jury found the prisoners guilty ,and the Recorder sentenced them as being old offenders, to transportation for seven years. - Freeman's Journal 23 August 1823.

4). Political Prisoners and Protesters   


References:

(1) Sydney Gazette 22 July 1824

(2) Freeman's Journal 12 August 1823. (re-printed from the Limerick Chronicle)

(3)  Freeman's Journal 21 May 1823.

(4) Ancestry.com. UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Admiralty and predecessors: Office of the Director General of the Medical Department of the Navy and predecessors: Medical Journals (ADM 101, 804 bundles and volumes). Records of Medical and Prisoner of War Departments. Records of the Admiralty, Naval Forces, Royal Marines, Coastguard, and related bodies. The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

(5). National Archives. Reference: ADM 101/61/2 Description: Medical and surgical journal of the Prince Regent convict ship, for 1 December 1823 to 21 July 1824 by [Thomas] Wilson MD, Surgeon and Superintendent, during which time the said ship was employed in a voyage to New South Wales. Those treated by the surgeon on the passage out included:
John Millar, aged 37, Private of the 40th Regiment;
William Walker, [age not recorded], Private of the 40th Regiment;
James Bowles, aged 47, convict;
John Roche, aged 28, Convict;
Thomas White, aged 24;
John Milton, aged 26, private 40th Regiment; 
Michael Bowe, aged 26, convict;





 

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