Surgeon's Journal: Yes
Surgeon Superintendent Robert Mclean
|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......
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.
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 and the
ship sailed for Hobart town on the 11th November 1846.
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.
was later reported that the voyage was prolonged by circumstances
beyond the Captain's or any other person's control. 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.
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). Ancestry.com. UK Royal Navy
Medical Journals, 1817-1857. National Archives, Kew
Colonial Times 24 March 1847