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Convict Ship Almorah 1817

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Embarked 180 men
Voyage 125 days
Deaths 0
Surgeon's Journal - No
Tons: 416
Previous vessel: Canada arrived 6 August 1817
Next vessel: Lord Eldon arrived 30 September 1817
Master William McKissock.
Surgeon Superintendent Edward Foord Bromley

The Almorah was built at Selby by J. Foster in 1817. This was the first of three voyages bringing convicts to New South Wales, the others being in 1820 and 1824.  

The Almorah was the next convict ship to leave England for New South Wales after the departure of the Shipley in December 1816.  

Prisoners to be embarked on the Almorah came from counties throughout England. They were probably held in county prisons until being transferred to one of the hulks. Some of them such as George Appleby and William Taylor from Lancaster were sent to the Retribution Hulk at Woolwich. They were transferred from there to the Almorah on 15th April 1817.

William Wright, mariner, came free on the Almorah. He was later sent to Newcastle as a prisoner (CSI)

The Almorah was guarded by a Detachment of the 46th regiment under Command of Lieut. J.H. Wardrop of the 1st Regt of Foot. *

The Almorah departed the Downs 26 April 1817, arrived in Rio de Janeiro 15 June 1817 and departed there for Port Jackson on 23rd June in company with the Hyacinth. (1)   After a voyage of 125 days, the Almorah arrived in Port Jackson on 29 August 1817. One hundred and eighty prisoners were on board, sixty-six of whom were under the age of 21.

The surgeon Edward Foord Bromley
had previously been surgeon on the Calcutta in 1803, and the Ocean in 1816; later he was employed on the Lord Wellington in 1820,  Surry in 1833 and the  Numa in 1834. On this voyage of the Almorah, he brought with him
30 Bibles and 10 Testaments supplied to him by the British and Foreign Bible Society to distribute to Convicts under his charge.  He also brought with him on the Almorah an orphan boy by the name of James Nockles who was 13 years of age. He later applied to the Governor for Nockles to be disembarked from the Almorah and to remain in his service in the colony. (3) 

There were no deaths of convicts on the passage out and they all arrived in excellent health.   On arrival in the colony the prisoners expressed their grateful acknowledgment to the surgeon for his humane attention to and kind consideration of all their wants during their passage. The address was signed on behalf of all the prisoners by those who could write, amounting to thirty persons. They also thanked Captain McKissock for his kind treatment of them, and it was revealed in the Sydney Gazette that not a single instance of punishment had been instigated during the entire discontent prevailed; no suspicion of mutiny was ever apprehended; no wonder then that the hearts of the prisoners should be alive to a becoming sense of gratitude for the humane and liberal usage they received on board the Almorah!  (2)

On 14 September the Pilot, under Captain Pexton sailed for Hobart with the major part of the prisoners (125 men) who had arrived on the Almorah as well as others sent from New South Wales, 280 in total. The military guard for the voyage to Hobart was a detachment of the 48th regiment under orders of Lieut. H.E. Robinson.

The Almorah departed Port Jackson bound for Batavia on 26 October 1817.    

Although no surgeon's journal seems to have survived for this voyage, Edward Foord Bromley gave evidence before a Select Committee in 1819 regarding his regulations for the management for convicts..........        

....... Continue reading Dr. Bromley's evidence before a Select Committee in 1819 regarding his treatment of the convicts on the Almorah and the Ocean

Notes & Links:

1). More about the Almorah in The Asiatic Journal.....

2). The Almorah was chartered for the East India Company service in 1819  

3). A new Colonial Seal was brought out on the Almorah (See Historical Records of Australia)

Sixteen prisoners who arrived on the Almorah in 1817 have been identified as residing in the Hunter region in the following years. Select here to find out more about these men.  

Lieutenant Wardrop died at Madras in 1821.....

James Nockles returned to England with Bromley on the Ocean in 1818.

7). A List of the convicts of the Almorah at Convict Records


(1). Sydney Gazette 30 August 1817

(2). Sydney Gazette 13 September 1817

(3) Colonial Secretary's Correspondence  Reel 6047; 4/1739 p.260



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