Waterloo transported prisoners to New South Wales in
1838 and to Van
Diemen's Land in 1835.
In 1830 the Waterloo was the next convict ship to leave
Ireland bound for New South Wales after the departure of the
October 1830, departing Kingstown, Dublin on 18th December 1830.
Passengers included D.A.C.G. William Looker, Mrs. Looker and child; Slodden Castle, D.A.C.G; 2 free women and 2 children.
William Henry Trotman was appointed to the position of Surgeon
Superintendent on 27th October 1830 and joined the ship two days
later at Deptford. He kept a Medical Journal from 29 October 1830 -
13 May 1831.
The Guard was embarked with the women and
children on the 6th November. The Guard consisted of 1 serjeant, 1
corp. 27 rank and file, 9 women and 2 children of 82nd and 29th
regts., under command of Lieut. James Sweeney of 26th Regiment with
Mrs. Sweeney and 2 children.
They weighed anchor and sailed
for Kingstown on 9th November. After a very rough and disagreeable
passage the Waterloo arrived at Kingstown on 25th November.
On 8th December 200 male convicts from the Essex Hulk were
embarked. According to the surgeon, they were mostly young
men, lads and boys, but very few old men and they were generally
speaking in a tolerable good state of health, a few only were
weakened and sickly and a few others appeared to be labouring under
chronic or organic diseases.
Having departed on 18th
December 1830, the Waterloo crossed the Equator 24th
January 1831. During the passage the weather was mostly cold and
wet, the wind boisterous and the sea rough except when crossing the
Tropics when it became hot and sultry with light winds and smooth
seas. There was a great deal of rain and consequently the ship was
always very damp. The Surgeon remarked in the journal that the
diseases most prevalent were itch and scurvy; induced under such a
variety of forms, almost every complaint was either complicated with
scurvy or aggravated by scorbutic diathesis, which in general
yielded to nitre and lime juice. There was only one death and this
took place as the ship lay in Sydney Harbour.
Waterloo arrived at Sydney 30 April 1831, having taken
133 days which was considered a long passage for a convict ship. The
convicts were mustered by the Colonial Secretary on 4th May and were
disembarked on 15th May 1831. Convict indents include name, age,
education, religion, family, native place, trade, offence, where &
when convicted, prior convictions, physical description, where and
to whom assigned as well as various notes regarding colonial
sentences, relatives already in the colony, tickets of leave, deaths
etc. One very faint note refers to
Robert Callaghan who was only
sixteen years old when he was sentenced to 7 years transportation
for stealing lace. Having been in and out of trouble for the next
few years he was eventually transported to Van Diemen's Land in
1846. One year later with several other men he escaped from Gabo
Island in a whale boat. Although water police were sent in pursuit,
none of the escapees were ever heard from again.
at least twenty young men under the age of 16 on the voyage of the
Waterloo. Most had been pick pockets. In general, many of
the crimes of the prisoners of the Waterloo could be
considered petty. - pig stealing, sheep stealing, vagrancy, stealing
money, clothes and shoes. etc.
Thomas Barnes was only 16 when
he was transported for picking pockets. Amongst the bound manuscript
convict indents is a poignant letter from Thomas' brother Michael
written in 1844, fourteen years after Thomas was first convicted.
The letter begins....
My Dear Brother,
nothing surprises me more than your neglect in giving me the
satisfaction of a letter from your own hand. I have sent several
letters but get no information but what I got from the Colonial
Office in London........
but by this time Thomas had
lived a life more horrific than either of them could ever have
imagined as young boys growing up in Ireland, and it is not
surprising that no letters home were sent in these years. All that
he had known at home was lost to him when he stepped on board the
Essex Hulk on 8th December 1830. Six years later in New
South Wales when he was 22 he teamed up with another man and
together they began committing robberies. He was captured, convicted
of burglary and sent to the most dreaded of penal settlements,
Norfolk Island. Joseph Anderson was Commandant at Norfolk Island in
1837. Thomas survived the ordeal and although he was sent to
Newcastle gaol several times over the next few years, he was later granted a
Certificate of Freedom just one year before his brother Michael sent
the above letter. No trace of Thomas could be found at that time
by the authorities.
Notes & Links:
1). One of
Australia's most famous convicts James Hardy Vaux was transported
for the third time on the Waterloo. He had previously written his
Memoirs while serving a sentence at Newcastle Penal settlement in
1811. He was fifty-five years old and had been convicted of forging
notes in Dublin. He had a ruddy complexion, brown hair and sunken
Patrick Cassidy from Dublin was
executed at Newcastle in 1835 for attacking his overseer Hugh
3). William Trotman was also employed as surgeon
on the Claudine in 1829
Select here to find Hunter
Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Waterloo in 1831
5). William Murphy and Thomas Wintersgale were indicted for
stealing from the person of Thomas Babbington Esq., a pocket book
containing a bank of Ireland note for 20l, one for 10l, 1 forged
note for thirty shillings and divers other small notes and bills of
exchange to the amount of 300l.......The Jury returned a verdict of
Not Guilty against Wintersgale and of Guilty against Murphy, who was
subsequently sentenced to transportation for life. Murphy exclaimed
"For Life - who ever hear of transportation for life for a felony
like this". Baron Pennefeather replied - Until within the last two
years, the felony of which you have been convicted was a capital
one, and, but for a recent statute, was one for which your life
would have been forfeited. - Freeman's Journal 8 July 1830.
6). Belfast Quarter Sessions - Joseph Henry, for stealing on 2nd May
last, at Belfast a hatchet the property of William McClure. Guilty;
7 years transportation. The prisoner a youth only 15 years off age
had been five times tried at the Sessions - Belfast Newsletter 30
7). Slodden Castle appointed to be
Deputy-Assistant-Commissary-General in 1829.....
8). Find out more about D.A.C.G. William Looker/Sooker at
Design and Art Australia Online
9). The convict ship
Waterloo under Captain Henry Agar and surgeon Henry Kelsall was wrecked at Table Bay in 1842
while on the voyage from Sheerness to Tasmania.