The Theresa left Deptford on 28
September 1838 bound for Woolwich where she received 200 male
prisoners the following day and 66 more on 2nd October.
of the prisoners of the Theresa had been held in prison
hulks prior to embarkation.
Select here to read a Prison Hulk Report
describing a typical week in the life of convicts incarcerated in
the Hulks in 1838.
The Theresa departed Portsmouth
with 264 male prisoners on 10 October 1838, did not touch anywhere,
and arrived at Port Jackson on 31 January 1839. The voyage had taken
Edward Hilditch kept a Medical Journal from 8
September 1838 to 7 February 1839. He reported that the convicts
were generally healthy but emaciated, especially those from the
Fortitude hulk at Chatham. With few exceptions, their health
improved on the voyage. There
were a few cases of scurvy at the end of the voyage, one of which
was severe and accompanied by gastric irritability and febrile
action. The others would not have been placed in the sick list only
that they might be sent to the hospital on the ship's arrival.
the voyage, the prisoners were put into three divisions and sent on
deck to wash one division at a time, in the mornings. Breakfast was
at 8am followed by cleaning and inspection of the lower deck. Dinner
was at 1pm and supper at 5pm. Two divisions of prisoners were always
on deck during the day when the weather permitted. They were made to
exercise in various ways such as dancing, boxing or running round
the deck. At sunset they were sent below and the prison secured. The
bedding was aired twice a week and the lower deck fumigated with
chloride of lime at the same time. The same measures were used with
the soldier's barracks. In wet weather bedding was put under a
tarpaulin in the long boat.
Two convicts died on the passage out,
both were worn out, debilitated men.
Officers of the Guard were
Captain Samuel Lettsom and Ensign Cookney of the 80th regiment
accompanied by 31 rank and file of the 51st and 30th regiments.
Notes & Links:
1). Edward Hilditch was also
surgeon on the convict ship Susan in 1837 (to VDL)
convicts and passengers arriving on the Theresa in 1839
3). Detachments of the 80th regiment
Bengal Merchant, Asia,