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Convict Ship Regalia 1826

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Embarked: 130 men
Voyage: 142 days
Deaths: 1
Surgeon's Journal: no
Tons: 360
Previous vessel: Lady Rowena arrived 17 May 1826
Next vessel: Marquis of Huntley arrived 13 September 1826
Captain Robert Burt
Surgeon Superintendent James Rutherford
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The Regalia was built at Sunderland in 1801. (1)

Convicts to be transported on the Regalia were held on the Essex hulk at Dublin.  In 1829 John Speer M.D. Surgeon R.N and Medical Superintendent on the Essex hulk published "A brief Account of the Diseases that appeared on board the Essex Prison Hulk, during the Years 1825, 26, and 27".......

The Irish government having determined to station a hulk at Kingstown, considering it would be beneficial to the public, by saving the heavy expense of demurrage, as well as other expenses attendant on the shipment of prisoners for New South Wales, they accordingly stationed the Essex there, and commenced receiving prisoners in the year 1825.

Select here to read more about illness on the Essex in the year 1825-26 when some of the Regalia convicts were probably held there.

The Regalia sailed from Dublin 14th March 1826 and touched at Rio de Janeiro on the voyage.

The guard for the convicts consisted of Lieutenant William Sacheverell Coke of the 39th regiment and 39 men. Select here to find other convicts ships bringing detachments of the 39th regiment to New South Wales

The Regalia
arrived in Port Jackson on Saturday 5th August 1826. She brought the news that the wife of Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane had been safely delivered of a child on the 7th March 1826. On Tuesday 8th August, the Colonial Secretary Alexander McLeay, accompanied by the Principal Superintendent of convicts boarded the Regalia to muster the prisoners prior to their landing.

In the convict indents there are remarks against each of the prisoners as to their conduct on the voyage out. Other information in the indents includes age, education, religion, marital status, family, native place, trade, offence, where and when tried, sentence, previous convictions, physical description. There are also details as to the place of assignment on arrival and occasional notes regarding colonial crimes, deaths and conditional pardons. Most of the prisoners had been convicted of various forms of stealing and forgery.

The men were landed during the forenoon of Wednesday 9th August and inspected by Governor Darling who expressed himself very favourably on the mens' healthful and otherwise creditable appearance.

James Rutherford's journal for this voyage seems not to have survived. He was also employed as surgeon on the convict ships Pyramus in 1832, Mangles in 1833 and the Hooghley in 1834 and the journals for those voyages are available.

When the Regalia departed New South Wales in December 1826 one of her passengers was George Weller.  

Notes and Links:

1). James Rutherford was a brother of George Shaw Rutherford.

2). Hunter Valley convicts and passengers arriving on the Regalia in 1826

3). The following information is from the State Library of Victoria Catalogue.....Contents/Summary: 1. Papers of Sir R.J. Wilmot Horton, Under Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, 1821-1828. The collection includes correspondence, 1821-1837; a paper by the National Colonization Society re emigration and land allocation for S. Aust.; printed papers relating to emigration. 2. 27 letters, 1835-50 mainly to Alfred Miller Mundy, 21st North British Fusiliers in Van Diemen's Land and Port Phillip and when he was Colonial Secretary of South Australia, 1843-1849. 3. Journals and correspondence of William Sacheverell Coke. Diary Feb.-Sept. 1827, describing his life in N.S.W. and journal of voyage from Van Diemen's Land to England. The correspondence 1825-32 consists mainly of letters to Coke's father describing conditions on board the convict ship Regalia from Ireland, at the barracks in Sydney and while living at Newcastle in 1827.

4). Local Treasures - Lt William Coke and Desmond - ABC

5). Convict Patrick Naigle was 17 years of age when he was transported. He was executed in Sydney on 23 March 1833 having been found guilty of bushranging. (Sydney Monitor)

6). The following convicts, tried at Carrickfergus Assizes, passed through the town on last Saturday morning, on their way for transportation. Those marked with an asterisk had received sentence of death: - Charles Reid*, Felix McBride alias McCan*, William Hill *, Peter Sloane*, John Fox, John McCallester*, John Wilson, John Russel, Philip McCrorry, Alexander McCoy, and Joseph Tierney. - Belfast Newsletter 25 August 1825

7). Charles Reid was assigned to William Cox junior at Richmond on arrival. In 1838 he held a ticket of leave for the Invermein district and was on a nearby station when the infamous massacre of aboriginal people took place at Myall Creek. He was a witness at the trial of the perpetrators in Sydney in November 1838.  Find out more about the Myall Creek Massacre in The Australian 17 November 1838

Eleven convict ships brought prisoners to New South Wales in 1826 - Marquis of Hastings, Sir Godfrey Webster, Mangles, Sesostris, Lady Rowena, Regalia, Marquis of Huntley, England, Boyne, Speke and Phoenix

9). The following men were all transported on the Regalia:
Alex. McCoy, for having forged notes in his possession knowing them to be such at Carrickfergus, Guilty; to be transported 14 years.
Joseph Tierney, for issuing a forged note of the Commercial Bank of Belfast - Guilty; to be transported for life.
William Hill and Peter Sloan, for counterfeiting a Scotch bank note with intent to defraud certain of his Majesty's subjects - Prisoners pleaded guilty; transportation for life.
John Fox, for having in his possession forged notes of the Bank of Ireland, knowing them to be such - Guilty; transported for 14 years
...... Belfast Newsletter 29 June 1825

James Buckley - Recorder's Court - James Buckley was indicted for stealing half a dozen of silver spoons and a suit of moreen curtains, the property of Doctor Graves of Harcourt Street. The prosecution was conducted by Mr. Bethel, who examined the Doctor, whose evidence established the guilt of the prisoners who had lived in the Doctor's service for six months, and purloined the articles contained in the indictment. The Police officers belonging to the Head office took the prisoner in to custody, and found the duplicates of what he had pawned upon him. Some letters of the prisoner were read, expressive of his contrition in having robbed so good a master. The Jury found the prisoner guilty and he was sentence to 7 years transportation. Freeman's Journal 25 August 1825

William Gheraghty, a young man, convicted of street robbery, was addressed in very impressive terms by Judge Burton upon the enormity of his crime; but in consequence of mitigatory circumstances disclosed in the course of the evidence for the prosecution the humane Judge informed the prisoner that sentence of death and execution should be recorded against him, and his case reported to the proper quarter, from whence mercy would probably be extended and his sentence commuted to transportation for life. Pat. Duigan convicted of uttering base coin, to be transported for seven years. Freeman's Journal 25 November 1825

Recorder's Court - Tuesday - Patt Walsh was indicted for stealing forty yards of carpeting, found guilty and sentenced to transportation for seven years. - Freeman's Journal 22 December 1825

10). The Chequered career of William Whitehill (convict husband of Julia Whitehill who arrived free on the Surry in 1833) by Alfred James in the Illawarra Historical Society Bulletin 1 May 1974.........

11). DISEASES ON BOARD THE ESSEX IN 1825-26.......

In August 1825 we received 240 prisoners, and in a few weeks dysentery appeared: the insidious manner in which it attacked the patients induced me to consider it nothing more than'a slight bowel complaint, and in many instances the individuals, for one, two, or three days, had not the slightest appearance of disease, although they were absolutely passing blood. In every case that appeared, with the exception of one or two, feces mixed with blood, or blood mixed with feces or mucus, appeared without any other bad symptom; the pulse being rather smaller than natural, the skin cool, tongue clean, and the appetite but little impaired. These symptoms generally continued some days, and the only inconvenience the patients felt was a frequent and vain desire to go to stool, without voiding any thing, or very scanty feces, which were either brown, pale coloured or whitish, or mixed with blood; but in every instance the complaint appeared to indicate functional disease of the liver. These symptoms were in general succeeded by a reaction of the system, quick pulse, tongue loaded, skin hot and dry, violent tormina and tenesmus, loss of appetite, retention of feces, and nothing passing. In one or two cases the discharges came on with tormina and feverish symptoms, accompanied with a liquid yellow solution of the feces. In no instance could scybalse be observed, although each patient had his own night-pan. In several cases retention of urine occurred from the violence of the tenesmus, and was generally relieved by the warm bath, stupes, or enemas of starch and opium.

A few patients had pain in the testicles, which continued several days, and then gradually subsided by the application of stupes. Long patches of apparently a pseudo-membranous substance were often evacuated, and appeared to me like a portion of the mucous membrane of the intestine; but I apprehend it was only coagulable lymph thrown out. As the chronic stage of the disease, and recovery, were not protracted beyond the usual time, the treatment which I generally pursued, after separating the sick, as far as circumstances would permit, consisted in the warm bath, mercurial, saline, and oily purgatives, with general and local bloodletting, as the symptoms might require; calomel with antimonial powder, and warm bath at night, followed by castor oil and tincture of rhubarb in the morning. I generally persevered in this for a few days, and, if the disease did not yield, from three to five grains of calomel, with the same of antimonial powder, and half a grain of opium, every third hour, until ptyalism was produced, in general subdued the violence of the symptoms: the stools became feculent, the tormina ceased, tenesmus less severe; and the cure was perfected by small doses of castor oil, with Dovers powder, at night; bitters and astringents, as the fever subsided.

Other cases were treated by small doses of castor oil, with from five to ten drops of tincture of opium at intervals through the day, the warm bath, a starch enema, and Dover's powder at night; which in mild cases succeeded, but was in general more protracted by this line of treatment. Small doses of sulphate of magnesia and infusion of roses, with the warm bath, and Dover's powder at bedtime, succeeded; but the benefit derived from this medicine was particularly observed when the mercurial treatment failed after ptyalism was produced. In some obstinate cases, after the disease assumed a chronic form, when the pain had subsided, and the common astringents had failed, the acetas plumbi, in one-grain doses every third hour, with half a grain of opium, checked the disease.  

It may not be unworthy of remark, that the changes in the appearance of the feces in those cases where the acetate of lead was used, appeared to me so striking, that I have since doubted whether functional disease of the liver has so powerful an effect in changing the appearance of the alune discharges; for this remedy so completely altered their appearance, from a white and often a brown colour to that of a light yellow, as to impress me with the idea that simple morbid action of the intestinal canal caused this change in the colour of the alvine discharges. In those instances where general bloodletting was used, that decided and permanent mitigation of the pain was not observed, which I have experienced from it in inflammation of the serous membranes. I therefore conclude that inflammation of the mucous membranes are not so easily controlled by general bloodletting as that of the serous tissues.

Early in the month of October dysentery began to decline, and disappeared, when symptoms of scurvy followed. It first appeared by tenderness of the gums, sallow and unhealthy complexion, pain under the scrobiculus cordis, goose skin over the lower extremities, with slight livid patches, hardness and tightness of the lower extremities, stiffness of the joints, particularly the knees; with great despondency. As I had never observed the disease in individuals who lived on fresh diet, I felt somewhat at a loss to account for its appearance, and thought that a diminution of part of their usual proportion of vegetables might have been the cause. Many of them complained in the morning that they had not rested during the night; their breathing had been laborious, with nausea, and pain under the sternum; gums tender. When any individual was found labouring under any of the above symptoms, he was separated, and a liberal scale of diet ordered him.

In endeavouring to discover the cause of the disease, I particularly noticed it in those who had been long confined in gaols, and such as had been often disappointed in obtaining their reprieve: it therefore appeared to me that this disease was produced chiefly by long previous confinement, scanty diet, depressing passions, and crowded apartments. My treatment at first consisted in an increased quantity of vegetables, which had not the desired effect. The nitrous vinegar, used both externally and internally, proved useless. Oranges and lemons were used with advantage; but the greatest benefit was derived from a liberal allowance of animal food, porter, and soft bread. In two prisoners the fear of transportation kept up the disease, in spite of all remedies; and it was with difficulty I could get their health so far restored as to enable them to undertake the voyage to New South Wales....... John Speer M.D. Surgeon R.N and Medical Superintendent on the Essex hulk ..... "A brief Account of the Diseases that appeared on board the Essex Prison Hulk, during the Years 1825, 26, and 27" The next convict ship to depart Dublin was the Phoenix

12). Lawrence Frayne arrived as a convict on the Regalia. He left as a legacy, one of the few accounts of life at the penal colony at Norfolk Island. Select here to find out more about his life.

13).  Return of Convicts of the Regalia assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 28 June 1832).....
Owen Courtney - Carter assigned to James McDougall at Darlington
Thomas Gogarty - Weaver assigned to Robert Cooper at Sydney
Henry McGee - Errand boy assigned to John Izzard at Windsor

14). Convict ships bringing detachments of the 39th regiment included the following............

Departed Vessel Command
Dublin 16 March 1826 Regalia Lieutenant William Sacheverell Coke
Downs 6 May 1826 England Major George Pitt D'Arcy
Sheerness 16 May 1826 Marquis of Huntley Major Donald MacPherson
Cork 29 June 1826 Boyne Captain Thomas Edward Wright
Sheerness 8 August 1826 Speke Lieutenant Henry Clarence Scarman
Dublin 27 August 1826 Phoenix Lieutenant Charles Cox
Plymouth 4 October 1826 Albion Captain Francis Crotty
Plymouth 16 October 1826 Midas Lieutenant George Meares Bowen
Cork 14 January 1827 Mariner Captain Charles Sturt
Dublin 14 February 1827 Countess of Harcourt Ensign Spencer
Plymouth 31 March 1827 Guildford Captain John Douglas Forbes
Downs 17 April 1827 Manlius Quarter-master Benjamin Lloyd
Dublin 2 June 1827 Cambridge Colonel Patrick Lindesay
London 3 June 1827 Champion Ensign Reid
Spithead 9 March 1828 Phoenix Captain Collett Barker
London 27 March 1828 Bussorah Merchant Ensign W. Kennedy Child
Dublin 15 September 1828 Sophia Major Thomas Poole


1. Bateson, Charles & Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.346-347



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