Peter Leonard was vehemently opposed to the slave trade and altogether spent seven years sailing along the coast of Africa.
Fourteen months after his return to England he was appointed Surgeon-Superintendent to the convict ship Royal Sovereign.
The Royal Sovereign departed Dublin on 6th September 1833.
Illness On The Voyage
Peter Leonard kept a Medical Journal from 16 June 1833 to 4 February 1834 - The convicts were all in good health when sent on board the ship with the exception of a few of those received from the hulk at Kingstown who had concealed their complaints that these might be an obstacle to their departure for the 'New Country', from which they seemed to anticipate great things. The cases of cholera made their appearance before leaving the coast of England and among the Guard only. As in almost all cases of cholera the means used seemed to be of very little service.
.....Case No. 6 was one of low fever arising from mental distress. The patient on first coming on board gave himself up to despondency and sank from the effects which his hopeless situation seemed to produce upon his mind. No treatment could have been of any service. The other cases although demanding considerable care were of common occurrence and scarcely require any observation.
The Guard consisted of 26 rank and file of the 2nd, 4th, 17th, 49th and 63rd regiments accompanied by a woman and child. The guard was under the command of Lieutenant Campbell and Ensign Stowell of the 38th regiment.
The Royal Sovereign arrived in Port Jackson on 19 January 1834 with 168 male prisoners of the Crown, two having died on the passage out. One hundred and sixty-three convicts were mustered on board, five men having been sent on shore sick
One hundred and forty-four prisoners were sent into private service; eleven were assigned to public service (8 to the commissariat, 3 to the mounted police) and the thirteen remaining were un-assigned (2 were too old for assignment; 2 were sent to Port Macquarie as Specials (probably Samuel McGouran and John Duggan); 5 were sent to the hospital; 3 to the invalid department; and 1 to Carter's barracks
The convict indents include name, age, education, religion, marital status, family, native place, trade, offence, when and where tried, sentence, former convictions and physical description. There is no indication of where the convicts were assigned. There is occasional information about colonial convictions, conditional pardons, tickets of leave and other notes. The following details are from the indents :
Patrick Carrigan drowned crossing the Camden River, Port Macquarie. Idiot.
James Delap was sent to Norfolk Island for a colonial crime
John Duggan, convicted of manslaughter, was a dentist and artificial teeth manufacturer
Patrick Delaney died at sea
Thomas McCormack died at sea
Patrick Higgins. Sent to Norfolk Island, died at Geelong in 1846
Peter or Patrick Kenny was sent to Norfolk Island for a colonial crime
Miles Reilly was sent to Norfolk Island. Granted a Royal Conditional Pardon
Maurice Travers died in Sydney Hospital in 1837.
At least 41 men were married and there were several widowers on board. The youngest prisoner was John Buckley, a knife boy from Dublin aged 13. There were several others aged 14 or 15. Among the oldest were Thomas Benson aged 63 and Robert Turner who was 60
There were a number of former soldiers sent as convicts for desertion, false pretences or insubordination. Although all had been convicted in Ireland, most were from England, Scotland or Wales:
Edward Bradford from Cheshire
William Bullers from Worcester
William Burke from Antrim
Phillip Carolan from Meath
Patrick Fallar from Galway
Richard Finber from Shropshire
John Hill from Edinburgh
John Jones from Anglesea
Peter McQuillon from Egypt
John McCaffrey alias Brennan from Fermanagh
David Oliver from Montgomery, Wales
John Payne from Leicestershire
John Rourke from Sligo (fire arm offences)
Those men convicted of fire arms offences and similar were probably white boys and included:
Thomas or Patrick Healy
Other than military and white boy offences, crimes committed by prisoners of the Royal Sovereign included various forms of stealing and robbery; receiving; stabbing; malicious assault; embezzlement; vagrancy; assault on an excise officer; passing base coin; false pretences; manslaughter and perjury .
Departure From Port Jackson
The Royal Sovereign departed Port Jackson in March 1834 in company with the Lady Hayes and the Brothers all bound for India.
Notes and Links
1). Robert Little who arrived on the Royal Sovereign was convicted of bushranging at Invermein in 1835.
2). County of Antrim Assizes - Crown Court - Friday March 15 - Edward Egleston, Dixon Egleston, and Hugh McKee, indicted for stealing at Belfast, a roll of tobacco, the property of Edward Haggarty - Guilty; 7 years transportation - Belfast Newsletter 19 March 1833
3). Commission - Dublin - Miles Reilly, stealing two bullocks, transportation for life. - Freeman's Journal 11 January 1833