Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Tory - 1847

Embarked: 200 men
Deaths: 5
Surgeon's Journal: Yes
Master John Young.
Surgeon Robert Mclean

Surgeon Robert McLean kept a medical journal from 21st September 1846 to 25 June 1847 on the voyage from Kingston, Dublin to Hobart and from Hobart to Norfolk Island.

Military Guard

The Guard consisted of Lieutenant Campbell of the 96th regt., in Command, Ensign Pighe of the 58th regt., with Mrs. Pighe and 7 children; 42 rank and file of the 65th regt., and 99th regts., with 6 women and 5 children. They were embarked on 21 September 1846 and the ship left Deptford on 22nd September.


Owing to contrary winds they did not arrive at Kingston, Ireland until 9th October. During that time the weather was boisterous and cold but the Guard and crew were healthy apart from a case of fever.

The space allotted to the guard (owing to the women and children was very crowded) and not favourable for any one's recovery. The prison was not quite so crowded and rather better ventilated.

Prisoners Embarked

On the 11th October prisoners embarked having been previously been examined at the Depot. Many appeared sallow and emaciated having been a long time in confinement. On the 28th, 29th and 30th 127 more embarked.


They sailed for Hobart town on the 11th November 1846.

The Voyage

According to the surgeon the numbers on the sick list were not great but several were of a serious nature and five proved fatal. One prisoner died the day previous to the ship sailing from Kingston. He had come on board with a bad character and was threatened with punishment for his conduct on 7th November and on the 8th he was seen in a kind of convulsive fit. He soon recovered from it and was thought to be a malingerer and was ignored by some of those on watch. He died after suffering several further episodes.

It was later reported that the voyage was prolonged by circumstances beyond the Captain's or any other person's control.

Cape of Good Hope

Because of an outbreak of scurvy, they were obliged to put in at the Cape on the 26th January where they remained until the health of the sick was restored. [2]


However by the time the ship arrived at Hobart on 18th March so great was the scorbutic tendency that half the prisoners many of the crew and one or two of the guard had sore gums and other slight symptoms of scurvy. The fresh beef and vegetables of Hobart acted as a charm and not a vestige of scurvy was on the ship when they landed on the 29th March 1847. [1]

Norfolk Island

After landing the prisoners from Ireland, the Tory proceeded to Norfolk Island to remove the prisoners from there to Van Diemen's Land. There was a great deal of ophthalmia among the Norfolk Island prisoners only trifling chronic cases were admitted on board but some of them assumed an acute purulent appearance and soon began to spread through the prison. The surgeon remarked that the ship having nearly 300 on board could not afford much suppuration between them.

The Voyage from Norfolk Island to Hobart was fortunately short.


1). UK Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. National Archives, Kew

2). Colonial Times 24 March 1847