Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

John Haslam R. N.,

Convict Ship Surgeon-Superintendent

Date of Seniority Royal Navy 17 August 1815

John Haslam R.N., (1793-1824) was son of John Haslam (1764-1844), Apothecary to the Bethlem Hospital.[1]

Naval Career

John Haslam junior was entered in the Navy List of Medical Officers in 1814.
He was promoted from Assistant Surgeon to Surgeon in 1815. [2]

Enquiry by Select Committee

John Haslam was about twenty three years of age in 1816 when both he and his father gave evidence before The Select Committee appointed to consider of Provision being made for the better Regulation of Madhousees in England. Ordered by The House of Commons. Printed 26 April 1816 -

What is your situaton? I am a surgeon in the Navy.
Do you attend at Bethlem occasionally for your father? Yes.
When your father was absent at Reading and at Exeter, were you in attendance for him? Yes
And during that time you attended the patients in the Hospital regularly? Every day
Did you administer medicines to them? Yes.
Did you examine the state of health of all of them during your father's absence? yes, every one
In administering the medicines had you regard to the mental derangement as well as to the bodily health; did you apply your physical aid to the mental ailments or to the bodily ailments ? To the bodily ailments.

John Haslam senior was dismissed by the governors in 1816 after publication of the Report of the above Enquiry. Afterwards he was awarded Doctor of Medicine by the University of Aberdeen on 17 September 1816 and rebuilt his career as a physician in London. He was admitted a licentiate of the College of Physicians on 12 April 1824.[3]

John Haslam junior took up work as Surgeon-Superintendent on the Mariner convict ship to New South Wales which departed about two months later.


The Mariner departed England in June 1816 and arrived in Port Jackson on 11 October 1816. John Haslam later produced A narrative of a voyage to New South Wales in the year 1816, in the ship Mariner describing the nature of the accommodations, stores, diet etc., together with an account of the medical treatment and religious superintendence of these unfortunate persons.

The State Library of Victoria has digitized an edition of John Haslam's narrative. . Select here to read the full copy.


John Haslam (junior) died in 1824 - .On the 8th instant, at Harwich, aged 31, Mr. John Haslam, surgeon of his Majesty brig Investigator, son of Dr. Haslam of Hart Street, Bloomsbury. [4]

Notes and Links

Observations on Madness and Melancholy, including practical remarks on those ... By John Haslam (senior) (M.D.)


[1]. Cursory remarks on corpulence ... Third edition By William WADD

[2] Naval Chronicle

[3] Wikipedia - John Haslam senior

[4] The Examiner 23 May 1824