Voyage: 201 days
Maria arrived 17
Morley arrived 7
Master Dugald McDougall.
The Tottenham was built
at Stockholm in 1802 by Thomas Haw for the London ship
owner, Robert Wigram. Exclusive of her equipment, she cost
fourteen pounds per ton, her builder receiving a payment of
£7,238. She measured 102ft 6ins on the keel and 31ft in
breadth. Her tonnage when built was 517 tons, but when she
arrived at Port Jackson in 1818 she was officially recorded
as being of 557 tons, and paid harbour due on this tonnage.
She was then a three-decker of the second class, and
W.B. Cramp wrote in an
account of his voyages -
At length I was
engaged by Messrs Robinson to join his Majesty's Ship
Tottenham, bound to New South Wales with 200 convicts. On
June 8th (1817) I joined her. After receiving all the ship's
and government stores on board, we proceeded to Woolwich,
and received on board 50 of our number, and in the afternoon
of the same day we made sail, and on a sudden struck on a
reef at low water; we were lying high and dry; every means
was used to get her off, but without success, till we sent
our convicts up to the hulks, and discharged our stores into
the different crafts sent for that purpose, and by that
means lightened her so, that at the flood she drifted ; she
was so materially damaged, it was deemed necessary she
should return back to Deptford to Dock. I had not waited
long in London until I joined the
(*Note - the Lady Castlereagh departed England 22 December
UK Prison Hulk Records reveal that two
of the prisoners who were removed at this time from the
Tottenham and returned to the prison hulk Retribution
on 23 December 1817 were William Lewis from Warwick who was
later pardoned, and Adam Atwood from Gloucestershire who
died on the hulk in January 1818.
Joseph Godber's letter to his wife Rebecca, the
Tottenham sailed from Sheerness on Sunday 11th January
1818 and went as far as Deal before returning to Sheerness
on 24th January in consequence of a misfortune befalling the
The Tottenham departed Spithead on
27th March 1818, however three days later it was found that
the upper pintle of her rudder was broken off and she put
into Plymouth for repairs. She sailed from there for New
South Wales on April 17 1818.
By June scurvy had
broken out and on the 18th June 1818 surgeon Armstrong wrote
- In consequence of scurvy having appeared to an
undesirable extent amongst the prisoners and calculating
upon the length of the voyage and the probability of the
disease gaining ground stated to the Master the necessity of
touching at Rio de Janeiro or some other port for the
purpose of obtaining a supply of fresh provisions for the
prisoners and Guard.
By the time the
Tottenham p put into Rio on June 24 there had been 36
cases of scurvy, of which 16 were still under treatment. The
was at Rio at the same time however departed on the 2nd
July. The Tottenham remained at Rio until July
16, but on arrival at Sydney on 14 October 1818, of the two
hundred prisoners who had been embarked a total of ten men
had lost their lives.
This was Robert Armstrong's
first voyage as Surgeon Superintendent and he proved to be a
humane and level-headed man. He was later employed as
surgeon on the convict ships on
in 1821 and the
Countess of Harcourt
in 1822. He handled the difficult conditions on the long
voyage in a common-sense and capable way.
rumours of mutiny which Armstrong recorded in his journal
but they came to nothing and there was no corporal
punishment meted out. The only serious event occurred on
July 26 when a sentry fired a shot into one of the
stanchions after prisoners attempted to put out his light.
No shots were aimed at the convicts and later, Governor
Macquarie after an investigation and perusal of the Medical
Journal, gave his full approval of the conduct of Robert
Some of the Pentrich Rioters were
transported on the Tottenham. They had been sent to
the hulk Retribution moored at Woolwich on 30th November
1817 from Derby where they had been tried and convicted of
High Treason on 25 September 1817.
One of the men,
Joseph Manchester Turner wrote a letter to folks at home
from the hulk -
6th December 1817. "I promised
to inform you of some particulars respecting out situation.
We arrived here on Sunday, and are confined in the same cell
as the prisoners from the Isle of Ely were confined in (a
privilege other prisoners were not allowed): we are ironed
and go out to work; we were told our sentence on Tuesday
night by the chaplain of our ship. We have barley and
oatmeal night and morning, and beef for dinner, four days in
the week, and the other days bread and cheese. There is a
school and chapel in the hulk, which is regularly attended,
and it is far from being a reprobate place, as we were led
to believe at Derby; for if a person is inclined, every
encouragement is allowed him to improve his morals. By our
good behaviour we hope to gain a mitigation of our sentence,
and enjoy our liberty once more. A ship is expected here to
proceed to Botany Bay in fifteen days, and having made no
provision for our journey, you will be so kind to tell the
other prisoners to bring shoes, stockings, knives, razors,
needles, and sewing cotton, looking glasses and combs, which
are very expensive here". (2)
rioters included George Weightman aged 25; Thomas Bacon aged
62; John Bacon aged 52; John MacKesswick aged 37; John Hill
aged 30; George Brassington aged 32; German Buxton aged 29;
Thomas Bettison aged 34; Josiah Godber aged 50. Some
Pentrich rioters were transported on the Isabella in 1818.
Pentrich Rebellion site to read six letters written by
Josiah Godber to his wife - one while on board the prison
hulk Retribution, one while on board the
Tottenham convict ship and four from Sydney.
The Tottenham arrived in Port Jackson on 14th
October 1818. On 20th October the prisoners were disembarked
and sent for assignment....
24 were sent by water to the
Parramatta district to James Johon for repairing roads
11 were sent to the Town Gang at Parramatta
8 were sent to Parramatta for the
street making gang
15 were sent to Parramatta district
for general distribution
2 were sent to Captain Brabyn in
the Windsor district
24 were sent to the Windsor district
for general distribution
12 were sent to the Liverpool
district for general distribution.
A cargo of Brazil
tobacco was sent on the Tottenham,
to the great relief of users as the shortage in the colony
had caused the price to rise considerably.
The Tottenham was delayed from departing the colony
because of the illness of Captain McDougall.
Macquarie recorded in his journal on Monday 8th February
1819..... it blew a very hard Gale all this Day
from the South East which Drove some of the Ships in the
Cove from their anchors however the Tottenham Transport got
on shore with out being damaged or injured.
The Tottenham departed Sydney a few days later under the
command of the Chief Officer however it was reported in the
Sydney Gazette that she took several days getting out of the
Heads due to bad weather and baffling winds.
ThThe Sydney Gazette reported on
20th February 1819: The various detachments that have
arrived to this Colony as guards in the transports lately
from Europe were embarked on board the Tottenham on
Monday morning last, under the command of
Captain Wallis of the
46th, in order to their being conveyed to join their
respective corps at present stationed in the British
Settlements in India. It is reported the vessel proceeds on
her voyage early tomorrow.
was further delayed by adverse winds and did not actually
depart until Wednesday 3rd March 1819 .
1). Captain of the Tottenham, Dugald McDougall died on
10th February 1819 in Sydney aged 39. His funeral took place
on the 11th February and was attended by the Governor and
all the Officers of the Garrison.
2). Some of the
convicts arriving on the Tottenham in 1818 have been
identified in the Hunter Valley in following years. Select
HERE to find out more about these convicts and
passengers arriving on the Tottenham.
William Chaffey was
apprehended for bushranging near Newcastle in 1826
4). Peter Penneys arrived as a convict on the Tottenham. In
February 1821 he escaped from the colony with another
convict William White as a stowaway on the Dromedary which
was returning to England. They were discovered and handed
over to the authorities on arrival. Both men were later
re-transported on the Asia in 1822. Select
here to read
about their harrowing ordeal on the Dromedary. Penneys was
sent to Port Macquarie on arrival in 1822 where he was
employed as a shipwright and overseer of boat builders. With
several other men he escaped from the colony in 1824.
5). Below is A View of the
Cove and Part of Sydney, Taken from Dawe's Battery, c. 1818
Walter Preston from an Original Drawing by
Capt. Wallis of 46th
Bateson, Charles, The Convict Ships 1787 - 1868
The Times [London, England] 25
Dec. 1817: 3. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 11 Mar. 2013.