The Dick was the next convict
ship to leave England for New South Wales after the departure of the
Orange in October 1820. The Dick departed England
on 4th November 1820.
Passengers included Mrs Huff and
The Guard consisted of a detachment of
24th regiment., under orders of Lieut. Isaacson of 47th regiment.
Robert Armstrong kept a Medical Journal on the voyage of the
Dick dating from 1st September 1820 to 15 March 1821.
Soldiers treated by the surgeon included
Private Edward Newell and Corporal Potter.
Many of the adult prisoners who had been held on the Justitia
Hulk were embarked on 20th September 1820. Robert Armstrong was
treating them for excoriation where their irons had rubbed and minor
ailments such as headache and loss of appetite soon after they
arrived on the vessel. There were about fifteen prisoners under the
age of sixteen, some of whom were held on the Retribution
hulk and embarked on the Dick on the 6th October.
The surgeon treated the older convicts kindly......Several
of the prisoners were considerably advanced in years and whose
health seemed impaired by their confinement to salt provisions have
at different times been victualled in the Hospital twice a day and
given substitutes for the salted food. By a general diet and a glass
of wine occasionally their complaints generally disappeared in a few
days when they returned to their own messes. Samuel Jackson
(60) William Keeley (50), Jonathon Little (64), Robert Wenman (50)
were the oldest prisoners on board.
Illnesses treated by
the surgeon during the voyage included Catarrhs, Tinea Capitis,
Tonsillitis, Debility, Enteritis, Erysipelas, Nephritis, Cystitis,
Mania, rheumatism, fevers and scurvy. There were also six accidents.
Convicts treated during the voyage included John Denne, Samuel
Jackson, Daniel Woodhall, Joseph Thompson, John Griffiths, Thomas
Tonks, Benjamin Wellington, John Foran, Charles Franter, William
Bond, Edward Bailey, John Hammond, Michael Robins, Adam Hulme,
Thomas Bexon, Joseph Finch, William Bradley, John Scothern, James
Hutchings, Michael Sullivan, William Green, Daniel Smeeton, Joseph
Goddard, Thomas Parrott, John Williams and John Ford.
Dick arrived in Port Jackson on 12 March 1821 with 140 male
prisoners in good health, none having died on the passage out.
Governor Macquarie often inspected the prisoners who arrived on
various vessels and the Sydney Gazette reported that on
Thursday 15th March, His Excellency the Governor inspected the
prisoners. Their appearance was a sufficient testimony,
independent of their grateful acknowledgements of the kindness and
humanity with which they had been treated on the voyage. His
Excellency was pleased to direct their distribution in the usual
The prisoners of the Dick
were the last to be inspected by Governor Macquarie.
Governor Macquarie's departure from the colony on the Surry in
1822, Lieut-Colonel Erskine undertook these duties.
There were a couple of incidences mentioned in the newspapers
while the Dick lay in harbour - the first a serious
accident....Some guns were being discharged on board, one of
which hung fire; an unfortunate man was directed to sponge it, in
consequence; when, lamentable to relate, the gun went off, taking
with it the poor man's left arm, and part of his right side. He was
immediately conveyed to the General Hospital. In May the
Dick was lying in the stream and was hailed by two men
alongside who declared themselves to be almost drowning. A boat was
sent to their assistance and they were found to be two prisoners who
had swam from Dawes' Point with the intention of secreting
themselves on board to escape from the Colony. They were soon lodged
in custody and returned to shore.
When the Dick
departed the colony bound for England Robert Armstrong returned on
her. Also on the return voyage were William Hunibell, First Officer;
Andrew Thompson, Second Officer; Henry Rogers, Third Officer.
Robert Armstrong was also employed as surgeon on the convict
ships Tottenham in
1818 and the Countess
of Harcourt in 1822.
Notes & Links:
Select here to find
out more about Bushranger John Atkins who arrived on the Dick
Hunter Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Dick in 1821
3).Application for family to be forwarded to New South
Wales - Charles Smith
Discipline & Transportation
3). John Adams
was born at Roleworth Derbyshire, son of George Adams. He was
convicted at Derbyshire 22 July 1820 and sentenced to transportation
for life. He married Sarah Bankin at Narellan in 1830. John Adams
died at North Richmond in August 1859
19th Century Medical Terms
5). Return of Convicts of the
Dick assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March
1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 28 June 1832).....
John Griffiths - Plasterer assigned to James Mudie
at Castle Forbes
James Neighbour - Labourer assigned to William Bowman
6). Robert Armstrong on the Dick was on hand in
May 1821 to assist
Andrew Montgomery, when Septimus Roe on the King Expedition was
injured on the Bathurst near Cairncross Island..........
Charles & Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships,
1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney :
2. Ancestry.com. UK, Royal Navy Medical
Journals, 1817-1857 [database on-line].
Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations,
Inc., 2011. Original data: Admiralty and
predecessors: Office of the Director General
of the Medical Department of the Navy and
predecessors: Medical Journals (ADM 101, 804
bundles and volumes). Records of Medical and
Prisoner of War Departments. Records of the
Admiralty, Naval Forces, Royal Marines,
Coastguard, and related bodies. The National
Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.
Reference: ADM 101/19/7 Description: Medical and surgical journal of
the Dick convict ship from 1 September 1820 to 15 March 1821 by
Robert Armstrong, surgeon and superintendent, during which time the
said ship was employed on a voyage to New South Wales.