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Convict Ship Hadlow 1820

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Embarked: 150 men
Voyage 125 days
Deaths: 2
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Neptune arrived 16 July 1820
Next vessel: Mangles arrived 7 August 1820
Captain John Craigie
Surgeon Superintendent William Price
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This was the second voyage of the Hadlow transporting convicts to New South Wales, the first being in 1818.

The Hadlow was the next convict ship to leave Ireland with prisoners for New South Wales after the departure of the Janus in December 1819.

William Price kept a medical journal during the voyage of the Hadlow. It began on Sunday 20th February at Deptford.....

At daylight that day they cast off from the hulk and on 23rd anchored at Gravesend where the Guard, consisting of 1 serjeant and 32 privates commanded by Captain Patrick McDougall of the 48th regiment, were embarked.

They then proceeded to Cork arriving there on 28th February 1820 after a boisterous passage, and there found the convict ship Dorothy moored and also awaiting to receive her prisoners. They found anchorage at the Cove nearby to the town.

On the 9th March a court-martial was held on board to try private Patrick McDermott of the 48th regiment for desertion and also two sentinels for aiding and assisting in his escape. On 17th March the results of the court-martial were received on board. Private McDermott received 150 lashes; Patrick Irwin 200 lashes and George White 100 lashes.

On 23rd March 150 male convicts were received on board from the Gaol at Cork. They arrived under the superintendence of Dr. Trevor. The men were divided into messes of six each. The following day the prisoners were admitted to the deck during the day and the surgeon found that several of them were suffering ulcers on their legs caused by the irons and he had the irons struck off one of the legs of each. They were admitted on deck for the next few days and the berths were cleaned. They were victualled from the shore and every comfort was afforded to ameliorate their situations, although the weather was not always favourable. When the weather turned bad on 26th March, divine service was cancelled and access to the deck was restricted.

On Sunday 2nd April 1820 they weighed anchor and made their way out of Cork Harbour. No prayers were read this day and the surgeon remarked that the convicts were all doing well. By the 4th April there were fresh gales from the SW and the convicts were all sea sick. They reached the island of Madeira on 11th April and the following day, the island of Palma. During the next few weeks, the convicts were allowed on deck as the weather permitted. Divine service was held on deck on each Sunday and their berths and clothing were kept clean.

Towards the end of April the surgeon remarked that he punished one of the men, William Canavan for blasphemy, insolence and disobedience of orders by placing him in handcuffs for 24 hours. For part of the voyage they sailed in company with the convict ship Mangles and according to Governor Macquarie's Journal, parted from the Mangles just eight days before arriving in Port Jackson.

On 1st August 1820 they were off the coast of Australia near King Island and by Saturday 5 August 1820, a fine day with light variable winds, they reached Port Jackson. The voyage had taken 125 days. They remained on board until the 15th August when the 33 members of the Guard, 3 women and the convicts were all disembarked at 10am.

On shore 148 prisoners were inspected by Governor Macquarie in the gaol yard.

The House of Lords Sessional Papers of 1822 dealt with the procedure after convicts were landed:    

The prisoners are marched into the yard of the gaol at Sydney, where they are arranged in two lines for the inspection of the governor; they are permitted to bring with them the bedding that they have used on board the transport ship, and such articles of clothing and effects as they may have brought with them. The captain of the transport, the surgeon superintendent, the chief engineer, and the superintendent of convicts, accompany the governor in his inspection; and the superintendent, as he proceeds, repeats aloud from a distribution list, previously prepared, the destination that has been given to the several convicts, either by the chief engineer for the use of government, or by the applications of individuals signified to the magistrates of the different districts, or to the superintendent himself. In this part of the inspection, the governor receives the report of the captain and superintendent respecting the good or bad conduct of any individuals during the passage, and promises to attend to their recommendations; he rarely alters the destination of the convicts, made by the superintendent, but he sometimes desires that particular descriptions of men may be assigned to individuals, whose applications more immediately occur to him. "These orders are signified to the superintendent and chief engineer; and when the governor has finished the inspection, he addresses the convicts in an audible tone, commencing his address with an inquiry, whether they have any Address of the complaints to make, whether their treatment during the passage has been humane, and whether they have had their proper allowance of provisions. If any complaint is signified, the name of the individual is taken down, and the inquiry is referred to the police magistrates; but, if the convicts are silent, or if they declare generally that they are satisfied, the governor proceeds in his address. He expresses his hope that the change which has been effected in their situation, will lead to a change in their conduct; that they will become new men ; and he explicitly informs them that as no reference will be had to the past, their future conduct in their respective situations will alone entitle them to reward or indulgence.

In the Colonial Secretary's Letters is an attestation by James Bowman as to the thorough medical attention that had been paid to the prisoners by surgeon William Price (Reel 6049; 4/1744 p.83)

The Hadlow was one of four ships, namely, the Earl St. Vincent, Mangles and Neptune, that arrived at Port Jackson from England and Ireland in July/August 1820. Of the 603 male prisoners only three had died on the passage out.

The Hadlow sailed for Batavia on 15th September 1820. Those intending to depart on the Hadlow included First Officer William Anderson and Second Officer William Chesser.  

The Hadlow was lost on a voyage from Sierra Leone to England in 1823.

Notes & Links:

1). William Price was also surgeon on the Isabella in 1822

2). Hunter Valley convicts / passengers arriving on the Hadlow in 1820   

3). Thomas Flanagan and William Powers were assigned to the Australian Agricultural Company;

4). James and Michael Landers and Daniel Ready were assigned to William Dun at Paterson

5). Thomas McElligott was assigned to E.C. Close at Morpeth

6). William Smith was sent to Newcastle gaol in 1834

The youngest prisoner on board was Jeremiah Finn who was fifteen years of age.

Other ships bringing soldiers of the 48th regt., included the Pilot, Caledonia, Dorothy, Larkins, Lady Castlereagh, Agamemnon, Guildford, Isabella, Prince Regent,  Baring, Hebe, Dorothy, Neptune and Mangles

9). Captain Patrick MacDougall of 48th regiment......

Annual Register 1851.....

Gentleman's Magazine....

Hart's Annual Army List.....

6).  Return of Convicts of the Hadlow assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 28 June 1832).....

Thomas McElligott - Merchant and clerk. Assigned to E.C. Close at Hunter's River

7). Lloyds Register of Shipping 1821

8). Hobart Town Gazette 7 October 1820

9).  Diary of the Hadlow convict ship for 20 February to 15 August 1820 by W Price, surgeon... National Archives


1). Sydney Gazette 5 August 1820

2). Bateson, Charles & Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.342-343, 383

3). UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 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.

4). National Archives. Diary of the Hadlow convict ship for 20 February to 15 August 1820 by W Price, surgeon. Reference: ADM 101/32/2 Description: Diary of the Hadlow convict ship for 20 February to 15 August 1820 by W Price, surgeon and superintendent, during which time the said ship was employed in conveying male convicts to New South Wales.




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