|This was the tenth of eleven voyages of
the Surry bringing convicts to Australia. Convicts were
transported to Australia on the Surry in
1823, 1829 (VDL),
1831, 1833 (VDL),
1840 and 1842
The Surry was a square-rigged transport ship. She had
an overall length of 117 ft. 6 ins., a breadth above the gunwales of
29 ft. 6 ins, and a draught, when loaded, of 18 ft. She was
copper-sheathed, and had quarter galleries, with a bust of Minerva
for a figurehead(1) The National Library of Australia holds a
etching of the Surry arriving in Sydney Harbour.
departed the Downs on the 2 April 1840. She was the last
convict ship to bring female convicts from England to New
Also on board were free passengers -
Mr. J. Strickland of the Commissariat Department and J.
Boore of the Engineer's Department.
Edward Leah kept
a Medical Journal from 9 March to 27 July 1840............
|Of the 213 prisoners
with whom I left England, 186 were received from the
Millbank penitentiary, the remainder from Newgate
and county gaols. 12 children of prisoners were
embarked with their mothers one of whom aged 5
months died at Woolwich previous to sailing from the
effects of the inclement weather; another died of
marasmus at sea 18 July, this was aged 10 months.
Six free women with 13 children were also embarked,
a total of 243 persons on sailing from Woolwich.
Of the convicts who were embarked, forty seven women
left children behind in England. The indents reveal seven of
the women who brought children with them on the voyage -
Ann Adams 1 x 4 year old;
Mary Denner 1 x 5 year old;
Mary Denney 1 x 7 year old;
Winifred Dwyer x 1;
Ann Evans 1 x 13 year old;
Catherine Grey 1 x 10 months
Ann Macgrady 1 x 2 months old.
Twenty four of the prisoners had been convicted in
Jean Aitken (Edinburgh); br>Elizabeth Cairt alias Betty
Ann Campbell (Glasgow);
Mary Denny alias O'Donnell
(Glasgow); Mary Dingwall (Edinburgh);
Christian Dott (Edinburgh);
Mary Henny (Edinburgh);
Margaret Jamieson alias McDonald (Edinburgh);
Margaret McCartney (Glasgow);
Mary McCall alias Hay (Edinburgh);
Julia McLean or Semple (Glasgow);
Isabella McNicol (Glasgow);
Ann McWalters (Glasgow);
Susan Martin (Edinburgh);
Elizabeth Martin (Edinburgh) - died at sea on 21st May
Margaret Neill (Glasgow);
Janet Russell or Robertson or
Janet Watson or Whitehall (Edinburgh)
Margaret Wallace (Edinburgh);
The indents include the name, age, religion, education,
marital status, family, native place, trade, offence, date and place
of trial, sentence, former convictions, physical description and
occasional information regarding relatives already in the colony or
about to arrive.......
Mary Ayton's sister Ellen Doyle had
been transported five years previously and her brother Daniel was
also in the colony.
Thurza Cartilige's sister Sarah Cartilige
came out twelve months previously.
Emma Croft's husband Thomas
Crofts was transported on the
Hart's brother John William Jordan was transported on the Lady Kennaway
sister Fanny Hawkins was transported 10 years previously
Henny's husband Adam McDonald had been transported five years
Sarah Horsley's nephew John Farmer arrived in the
colony three years previously
Sarah Little's husband John Little
was a prisoner on the
Mary Ann Peter's relative William Peters had been
out eleven years Frances Tomlin's uncle Duncan
Dallas had been sent out 14 years previously
father William Cotton had been transported three years previously.
Edward Leah recorded in his journal the daily routine he had
established for the women........
|With respect to moral
discipline I found it necessary to give them my constant
attention and to adopt a straight forward impartial line of
conduct. I appointed two Matrons to have a general
superintendence on mess woman to each mess of 8 persons,
three School Mistresses and one Nurse for the Hospital. A
copy of the scale of victualling with the quantities for
each mess was given to each matron to be hung up in their
respective berths. Two persons attended the serving out of
provisions every morning and this was commenced as soon
after 8 o'clock as circumstances would admit of. The cooks
of whom there were two were allowed on deck at 6 am to
prepare the breakfast the fuel being arranged under the
boilers on the previous evening. At 7.30 all the women were
allowed on deck to wash themselves and at 8.15 they had
their breakfast. Immediately after breakfast they commenced
cleaning the deck under the superintendence of one of the
Matrons, one person from each mess taking her turn to clean
for the day if the weather was fine......
At 9 pm I
locked down the free people which I found to be as necessary
as it was to do so with the prisoners. At this time I always
tried the lock of the prisons and saw that the hatchway
lamps were trimmed.
The Surry arrived in Port Jackson on 14 July 1840
with two hundred and twelve female prisoners. The
Maitland with male
prisoners also arrived on this day. One prisoner, Elizabeth Martin
had died during the voyage from debility, having led a most
debauched life and consumed ardent spirits to excess according to
the surgeon's journal.
Thirty seven of the women have been
identified residing in the Hunter Valley region in the following
HERE to find out more about these women.
Sydney Monitor reported that - No less a number than
eleven assigned servants were returned to the service of government
by 28th July. The assignees (willingly) paying the accustomed fee of
5 shillings to get rid of them, as being useless in their
employment. We attribute this occurrence to the recent importation
of the female prisoners arrived, lately by the fine ship Surry.
Numerous application have been made throughout the Colony for the
services of these women.
On 28th July 1840 twenty-six
women were received into Newcastle
gaol from Sydney. Among them were Sarah Carroll, Ellen
Cunningham, Jane Gallagher, Hannah Gibson, Susan Hammond, Harriett
Hussey, Margaret Jamieson alias McDonald, Cecelia Lewis, Mary Ann
McCarthy, Phoebe Mash, Mary Ann Rogers, Ann Smith, Elizabeth
Wiggles, Elizabeth Allsop, Isabella McNicholl, Sarah Mears,
Elizabeth Needs, Ann Roberts. They were to be sent to the
factory for assignment.
Notes and Links:
1). One of the women who arrived on the Surry, Mary Baker
married John Thornton in 1841. She was executed in 1844 after being
found guilty with Joseph Vale, of murdering her husband. -
Account of the murder in the
Coal River True Crime: Unholy Love - David Murray - Coal River
2). The Surry
was one of three convict ships bringing female prisoners to New
South Wales in 1840, the others being the
both from Ireland. A total of 461 female prisoners arrived in the
colony in 1840. The previous convict ship bringing females from
England was the Mary
3). Mary Ann Hargreaves was described as a
dwarf in the indents
4). There were two births on the
voyage, both mothers and babies survived.
Smith was tried in Derby. The following Petition has been
transcribed by researcher Keith Searson in UK in conjunction with
Colette McAlpine of the
Convict Research Centre in Tasmania.....
MARY SMITH DERBY
1839 STEALING FROM THE PERSON 15 YEARS TRANSPORTATION SOURCE - HOME
OFFICE CRIMINAL PETITIONS SERIES 1 SERIES - HO 17 PIECE NUMBER - 126
ITEM NUMBER - YZ 62
MARY SMITH - AGED 21 DERBY BOROUGH SESSIONS
JULY 1839 STEALING FROM THE PERSON 15 YEARS TRANSPORTATION GAOL
REPORT - AN ABANDONED PROTITUTE AND THIEF - 3 TIMES IN PRISON FOR
I humbly certify that I have attended MARY SMITH for
seven or eight years and consider her a young woman of weak
intellect and constitution and she has been affected with Dropsy.
William [Hoare] Surgeon Derby 18 July 1839
To the Right
Honourable The Secretary of State for the Home Department The humble
memorial of we the undersigned gentlemen and tradesmen of the town
and county of Derby Thomas Smith Father Hope Street Derby Sheweth
That MARY SMITH of the Borough of Derby - single woman, was on the
11th day of July instant - tried at the Derby Borough Sessions,
together with several others, for felony, and convicted thereof, and
sentenced to be transported for the term of 15 years. That she is a
young woman of rather weak intellect and afflicted with Dropsy, as
will appear from the Surgeons certificate hereinto annexed, and had
up to the time the above offence was committed, been residing with
her parents in Derby who are hard working and industrious people and
have a large family to maintain. That in consequence of her parent's
great anxiety about her and it being her first offence, your
Memorialists humbly pray that the sentence passed upon her at the
above Sessions may be commuted for imprisonment or mitigated, in
such other way, as the nature of the case will admit of. And your
memorialists will ever pray The Prosecutor - Samuel Faulke (his
mark) Jona Chaplin Joseph Brown William Sowtn, Robert Ward James
Jones (alias Hannah Simpson), tried in Manchester and sentenced to 7
years transportation, who was free by servitude on 28
February 1848 was on a Colonial Office list of thirteen people who
applied for their families sent to New South Wales.......
1. Bateson, Charles, The Convict Ships, p. 172