Convict Ship Bardaster 1836
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Island and Van Diemen's Land between the years 1788 and 1850
Voyage 119 days
Surgeon's Journal - Yes
Bardaster departed Portsmouth bound for Van Diemen's Land on 16
Joseph Steret kept a Medical Journal from 12
August 1835 to 18 January 1836. The Guard ordered for the
Bardaster consisting of thirty non-commissioned Officers and
privates of the 28th regiment and two commissioned officers,
embarked on the vessel on 22nd August 1835.
According to the
surgeon they were accompanied by an unusually large proportion of
women and children. There being nine of the former, and the same
number of the latter, mostly infants under sixteen months. On the
evening of their embarkation one of the soldiers of the Guard was
taken ill with cholera and for the greater part of the night his
life was despaired of.........
..........We moved from
Deptford to Portsmouth where we were ordered to embark our
prisoners; on the 25th August we anchored at Gravesend. On the 29th
we weighed anchor and proceeded down the river. On 1st September, I
examined at the hulks Leviathan and York, two hundred and forty male
convicts who were embarked the same day. They were in general
healthy but four or five were found to have disease of the lungs.
Our sailing orders did not arrive till Wednesday the 10th when the
wind had lifted to the SW where it continued blowing a gale till the
16th. On that day it moderated and we weighed anchor. At night it
again blew hard and continued to do so till the 21st September. We
cleared the Channel on the 23rd notwithstanding the unfavourable
weather, but variola had by this time established itself on board.
The surgeon isolated those affected in the forecastle and
took such precautions as the overcrowded ship would allow. The
weather continued very boisterous and almost all the prisoners were
sea sick. On 21st a prisoner boy was carried into the hospital. He
had been constantly sea sick since sailing from Portsmouth and had
not been vaccinated from small pox. The surgeon now had three cases
of small pox to deal with. He made the hospital a 'pest ward' and
the sick were visited in the prison. ...........
severe and confluent disease it is impossible to convey by writing
any notion of the loathsome mass of suppuration and putrescence
which the patients became. The treatment consisted in moderating the
fever by bloodletting, purgatives and by keeping their body naked
and by applying clothes dipped in water. But I do not think I
succeeded in preventing the formation of a single pimple in all, the
face and extremities were literally covered and the body nearly so.
The secondary fever very severe.
There was not room
enough in the hospital to accommodate all who became ill and so
those who had been inoculated and had only a modified form of the
disease were isolated on one side of the deck during the day. As
well as small pox there were also consumptive cases and a case of
apoplexy which proved fatal. There were six deaths altogether on the
voyage, one of them being a seaman who was affected with small pox.
|The Bardaster arrived in Van Diemen's Land on 13
January 1836, after a voyage of 119 days.
1). Joseph Steret was also surgeon on the convict
ships Camden in 1833 and
the Neptune in 1838
James Creasley arrived on the Bardaster, later resided at
3). Convict ships bringing detachments of the 28th regiment
Marquis of Huntley,
McNaughten and the
Founders & Survivors - Bardaster convicts
5). Wood's Royal Southern lendar, Tasmanian Register and Almanac, By