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Convict Ship Sophia 1829


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(Convicts and passengers from this ship only)

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Select from the Links below to find information about Convict Ships arriving in New South Wales, Norfolk Island and Van Diemen's Land between the years 1788 and 1850.

J -K L M N - O P - Q R S T - V W - Y

Embarked: 192 men
Voyage: 124 days
Deaths: 2
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Tons: 537
Crew 44
Previous vessel: Vittoria arrived 17 January 1829
Next vessel: Ferguson arrived 26 March 1829
Captain Thomas Elley
Surgeon Superintendent Alick Osborne

Follow the Irish Convict Ship Trail
The convicts of the Sophia came from counties throughout Ireland- Armagh, Sligo, Dublin, Kildare etc., and also some soldiers from England who were deserters. Among their ranks were weavers, pedlars, grooms, bakers, boatmen and sawyers.

The Guard for the convicts consisted of 28 men of the 39th and 63rd regiments, five women and four children under orders of Major Thomas Poole and Lieut. Bell. They were ordered for embarkation at Deptford on 2nd July 1828. Cabin Passengers included Mrs. Poole and three Misses Eliza, Maria and Caroline Bell, sisters of Lieutenant Bell.

Select here to find other convict ships bringing detachments of the 39th regiment to New South Wales.

Other convict ships bringing detachments of the 63rd regiment included Vittoria, Eliza, Countess of Harcourt, America, Albion, Royal George, Governor Ready, Katherine Stewart Forbes, Waterloo and Sarah.

The Sophia was the next vessel to leave Ireland bound for New South Wales after the departure of the City of Edinburgh in June 1828. The Sophia departed Dublin on 15th September 1828. 

Alick Osborne kept a Medical Journal from 7 June 1828 to 25 January 1829........

One soldier, Thomas Ault aged 23 died from phthisis, and two prisoners also died - Peter Hoey, aged 86. Hoey had two sons and a son in law on the vessel and although he was old and infirm and surgeon Osborne 'had little hope of landing him', he could not refuse the old man's request. Hoey was put on the sick list on 19th September and died on 21st December 1828; Peter Hanagan, aged 40 according to Osborne, was labouring under great mental depression, absolutely broken hearted and devoid of all energy, and died 9 January 1829.

There were a few cases of scurvy which appeared early in the voyage thought to be due to the diet in the Hulk. The symptoms soon disappeared when the vessel got out to sea and a diet of preserved meat, cooked daily and made into a broth was served up.

The Sophia arrived in Port Jackson on 17th January 1829 and the convicts were mustered on board by Colonial Secretary Alexander McLeay on 21st September 1829. Alex Osborne had the gratification to see it remarked in the Sydney Gazette of the state of robust health of the convicts who were landed from the Sophia  

Notes & Links:

1). Hunter Valley bushranger Robert Chitty arrived as a convict on the Sophia. Robert Chitty was employed as a constable near Norah Head in the 1830's. He later joined with others to form the JewBoy gang (bushrangers). He was executed in 1841. Patrick Feeney was only seventeen years old when he arrived in 1829. He died a horrible death at the hands of an executioner two years later having been found guilty of bushranging and robbing settler Hugh Cameron. Owen Owens was another executed for colonial crimes.  

2). William John Whitelaw (Whitla) arrived on the Sophia, having been tried in Antrim.....William John Whitla, for knowingly having in his possession a forged Bank of Ireland note - The prisoner pleaded guilty; 14 years transportation. (This is the same person who is charged with stealing last summer, two bank post bills, for 100 each, from the trunk of Mr. Trottter, who had lodgings at the time in the house of the prisoner's father at Ardglass. This depraved young man had been educated as a surgeon, by his father who is a respectable retired Clergyman) - Belfast Newsletter - 1 April 1828. William Whitla was later employed as a surgeon in Maitland.
Other convict surgeons in the Hunter Valley included Patrick Montgomery, Henry Turner Harrington, John Waugh Drysdale, George Bridge Mullins, Thomas Parmeter and Henry White

3). Michael Sheals, for an assault on John Downey; also for stealing from him 7s6d in Belfast, on 18th November last. Guilty; transportation for life. - Belfast Newsletter 1 April 1828  

4). Dublin - Commission - Last Day - Yesterday, Mr. Justice Moore and Mr. Justice Vandeleur took their seats on the Bench at the usual hour. There was no case of any interest tried during the day. The following are the sentences: James Abbott, James Rielly or Wall, and John Kennedy or Martin - Assault and highway robbery of 2 d. Sentence of death recorded. Christopher Creighton and Edward Scott - Burglary and felony. Death recorded - When Creighton heard the sentence, he exclaimed, against the Judge, "May God d - n you, and bad luck to you," and then walked into the dock, uttering the most horrible imprecations on the Judges. - James Browne and William Robinson - Cow stealing. Seven years' transportation - William Grainger - Cow stealing. Seven years' transportation. Patrick Quigly - Killing a cow. Sentence of death recorded. - Freemans Journal - 8 January 1828

5). Alick Osborne was also employed as surgeon on the convict ships Lonach in 1825, Speke in 1826, Sarah in 1829, Planter in 1832, Fairlie in 1834, Marquis of Huntley in 1835 and the Elphinstone in 1838.

6). Find out more about Hunter Valley convicts / passengers of the Sophia

7).  Return of Convicts of the Sophia assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 21 June 1832; 5 July 1832).....

David Donnolly Ploughs etc. Assigned to James Phillips at Hunter River
William Fox Errand boy assigned to David Johnson at Cook's River
John Gamble Ploughman assigned to William McArthur at Camden
Thomas O'Neill Ploughman assigned to J. Harris at Shane's Park

8). 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
London 27 March 1828 Bussorah Merchant Ensign W. Kennedy Child
Dublin 15 September 1828 Sophia Major Thomas Poole



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