Embarked: 176 men
Voyage: 115 days
Surgeon's Journal: yes
vessel: John Barry arrived 22
Next vessel: Whitby
arrived 23 June 1839
Master James Morgan.
Follow the Irish
Convict Ship Trail
Many of the prisoners of the Waverley were
probably held in Kilmainham gaol to await
transportation. They would have been
escorted from the gaol to the ship by a
detachment of soldiers from the garrison at
The Waverly departed
Kingstown, Dublin on
22 February 1839 with 176 male convicts. On the 3rd May she spoke
the Lady Bute bound for South Australia, in lat 38° 45' S.,
long, 25° 50' E., and arrived in Port Jackson on 17 June
included Lieutenant Stirling 2nd regiment, Lieutenant Jones 16th
regiment and 29 rank and file of H.M. 51st regiment, 6 women and 10
James Barr was employed as Surgeon Superintendent.
He kept a Medical Journal from 14 January to
23 June 1839.
were no deaths on this voyage and the prisoners generally enjoyed
good health, although there were three prisoners who the surgeon
considered should not have been embarked because they were already
ill. Nevertheless, he treated them kindly and indulged them when he
The first case, Cornelius Fitzgerald had suffered
pneumonia when in Kilmainham jail and was
sent directly to the hospital on board. In an effort to improve his
health he was given food from the Captain's table and was carefully
nursed the entire voyage. He had a great desire for potatoes and was
given 3 or 4 daily by the doctor. He was discharged to the hospital
in Sydney on arrival and died there in 1839.
The second case
was Pat Crosbie who was suffering phthisis. He died in Sydney
hospital in 1839. The third case, Martin Kelly, had also been unwell
in gaol but speaking no English his complaints had been overlooked
and he was also suffering phthisis when sent on board. According to
James Barr, he had appeared broken-hearted and became gradually
weaker but he had not complained and would not have done so but for
one of his messmates bringing him to the hospital. He was 'a native
of Tipperary, a Whiteboy, and had been engaged in several murders'.
He died in Sydney hospital in 1840.
There were three cases
of scurvy among the guard of the 51st regiment, two were raw
recruits and the third a child. The guard were examined every other
day and those with purple spots were given double allowance of lemon
juice, their salt rations were stopped and preserved soup and wine
substituted and they were given anti scorbutic medicine.
James Barr insisted that the prisoners keep themselves clean and
they were mustered and inspected on Thursdays and Sundays. He
ensured the prisons were kept clean and dry by swinging stoves. If
the weather was fine, the men were obliged to be on deck unless they
were in school or were unwell. He thought a great improvement could
be made in the construction of prison ships by replacing the upright
elm stanchions in the three hatchways, with iron bars which would
provide better ventilation.
On Saturday 22nd June, His
Excellency the Governor (Sir George Gipps) visited the Prisoners'
Barracks at Hyde Park for the purpose of inspecting the convicts.
The names of the men were called over, and they were ranged round
His Excellency in a circle, when he explained to them the situation
in which they were placed in regard to the term of probation they
were required to serve before being assigned to private service, and
the rewards held out to them, by indulgences for good behaviour.
Notes & Links:
1). One of the prisoners who arrived on the
John Joseph Carrick, supposedly a Roman Catholic Monk who was
transported for life for torturing a child to death in Ireland.
Convicts / passengers arriving on the Waverley in 1839
ships bringing detachments of the 51st regiment included the
John Barry and the
4). On the night 6th January 1839
when the Waverley was probably moored in Kingstown
harbour there occurred a powerful windstorm that
swept across Ireland and became known as The Night
of the Big Wind (Irish: Oíche na Gaoithe Móire) .
There was severe damage to property; including many
ships in the harbour and 350 - 400 deaths
Thom's Directory of Ireland
Irish Culture and Customs