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Convict Ship Hercules 1830
|The Hercules transported convicts to New South Wales in 1825, 1830 and 1832. (4)
Between the months of 1 January 1830 and 1 January 1831, six ships departed Ireland with approximately 850 prisoners bound for New South Wales......
Forth (I), Forth (II) (females), Hercules, Andromeda Edward and the Waterloo
The Return of the Number of Convicts Transported from Ireland to New South Wales between those dates reveals that the prisoners had been held in the following three prisons:
Hulk Surprise (334 convicts), located at Cork
Hulk Essex (400 convicts) located at Dublin
Cork Penitentiary (females) (120 convicts).
The total of 854 prisoners noted in the Return is a little short of Charles Bateson total in The Convict Ships (845), but is close and may not account for those who were rejected by the surgeon as being too ill to survive the voyage.
The Hercules convicts came from counties and cities throughout Ireland including Carlow, Down, Antrim, Armagh, Roscommon, Louth, Fermanagh and Dublin. The Belfast Newsletter reported the method used to convey some of them to the hulk at Dublin.....
On Thursday 13th May 1830 three cart loads of convicts, who were sentenced to transportation at last Assizes, passed through Belfast, escorted by a party of soldiers, on their way from Carrickfergus to Dublin. On turning Linen-Hall street, they gave three hearty cheers, which were as heartily repeated by the populace. (3)
Crimes committed included rape, burglary, highway robbery, house breaking, stealing pigs & horses, pocket picking, embezzlement and desertion. Some were convicted of committing murder at the Macken Riot at Fermanagh which took place in July 1829. The story of the "Macken Fight," written by Michael McManus, YDNA Project.......
The Freeman's Journal tells of the fate of some of the prisoners after the trials -
Altogether twenty-eight men were conveyed from Enniskillen jail to the Kingstown hulk - 14 were the Macken rioters; 3 for maliciously throwing a horse down a precipice, 3 for horse and cow stealing; 3 for burglary, 2 for attempt at highway robbery, 2 for cutting down Colonel Barton's plantation, and 1 for stealing wearing apparel etc., from a care taker of Sir Henry Brooke's. (4)
SURGEON WILLIAM MARTIN
William Martin kept a Medical Journal from 22 May to 22 November 1830, during which time the ship was employed in a passage from Deptford to Kingston and from there to Sydney in New South Wales......
On 13 June 1830 the Hercules arrived in Kingston harbour. A few days prior to her sailing, some of the convicts on board the Essex hulk, stationed at Kingston, set fire to that vessel in three places, close to the water. The flames were fortunately suppressed, and all on board, being upwards of three hundred prisoners, were transmitted, for better security to the Hercules, which had then but recently arrived in the harbour, to convey some of them to New South Wales. (2)
The Standard reported the incident on 17 June -
The Essex Hulk stationed in Kingston harbour is on fire and nearly consumed! A number of convicts are on board. The sloop of war Trincolo, and the revenue brig Shamrock, with some transports, have sent all their boats to the assistance of the unfortunate prisoners; and a strong force of horse and foot police from the city has been ordered off to Kingston. The Essex was an American Frigate of 36 guns, and was taken during the late war at Valparaiso, by his Majesty's frigate Phoebe, of 36 guns commanded by Captain Hillier.
Two hundred men were embarked on the Hercules. Of these nearly 60 were under 20 years of age; about one half from 20 to 30; and the remainder between that and 70. The city and county of Dublin furnished more than one half of the number including a large proportion of the boys, several of whom, even of the boys, had made serious inroads on their constitutions by their previous irregularities and excesses. (2)
The guard consisted of a detachment of the 17th regt., who were accompanied by 4 women and 3 children under the Command of Major J.W. Bouverie and Lieutenant C.W. Finch. Select here to find convict ships bringing detachments of the 17th regiment.
By the time the Hercules departed Dublin on 3rd July 1830, the surgeon had time to establish a little order and cleanliness amongst the prisoners...........
Immediately after breakfast, when the weather permitted, they were turned up leaving a sufficient number below to clean the prison though roughly, and then joined their companions as soon as their work was properly done. They were kept up during the day and frequently dined on the deck in fine weather. During the voyage the same system was adhered to, only it was necessary to shelter them as much as practicable, from the sun within the tropics, and from the cold on proceeding to the Southward. We had little serious sickness during the voyage but among men so little accustomed to the use of animal food of any description, the change of diet, on proceeding to sea, naturally produced considerable and very general constipation of the bowels, and on approaching the Tropics many slight cases of fever appeared. On rounding the Cape of Good Hope on the 15th Sept and afterwards proceeding to the Southward, the weather became cold and the thermometer, at one time came down so low as 40 degrees. Catarrhal affections then prevailed, but generally were so slight as to require little or no medical treatment.(2)
The Hercules arrived in Port Jackson on Sunday 31st October or 1st November 1830. One hundred and ninety-nine prisoners arrived, one man by the name of Michael White having died on the passage out. The Hercules brought news of the death of King George the Fourth.
The Captain gave the prisoners an excellent character. They were mustered on board by the Colonial Secretary Alexander Macleay on 4th November 1830 and were to be landed on Monday 15th November 1830.
The convict indents include name, age, education, religion, marital status, family, natie place, trade, offence, when and where tried, sentence, prior convictions, physical description and where assigned to on arrival. There are also occasional notes re pardons, deaths and colonial sentences.
Following are some of the notes included in the indents:
Patrick Byrne from Dundalk - three years added to his original sentence by the Liverpool Bench 12 July 1831 for stealing
William Boyan alias Proctor from Carlow. Sent to Norfolk Island and Bathurst for colonial crimes
John Brien from Cork. Clerk and soldier. Court-martialled for mutiny. Received condition pardon dated 1 March 1848
Patrick Carroll from Wicklow. Sentenced to 12 months in irons 5 November 1835 by the Patrick Plains Bench for absconding
Phillip Cassidy age 21 and Edward Cassidy age 18 from Fermanagh were brothers
Alexander Dennison alias McAlister from Manchester, Pressman. Sentenced to 14 years at Moreton Bay, commuted from death recorded on 28 November 1831 for highway robbery
John Doogan from Fermanagh. Drowned in Lake Macquarie 5 October 1833
Patrick Finn was sent to Norfolk Island
James Glennon from Kildare. Died on 15 June 1836 at Woodlands, Hunter River vide letter by James Arndell
Sylvester Grogan, miller from Leitrim. Died in Newcastle Hospital 15 December 1838
Thomas Higgins. Sent to Norfolk Island
Michael Hughes. Age 15 Sentenced in Maitland 15 Octobeer 1832 to 6 months in irons for stealing and killing a pig. Sentenced in Maitland 5 December 1833 7 days in cells. Sentenced in Maitland 24 August 1835 6 months in irons
Martin Heffernan - Sent to Norfolk Island
James Johnston alias Fox. 2 months on treadmill for absconding from Hyde Park Barracks
Michael Lowe - Died in Port Macquarie Hospital 15 July 1836
Michael Moore - Sent to an iron gang 15 March 1836
Hugh McCartney - Sentenced to 3 years at Norfolk Island
James McManus from Fermanagh. Died at Berrima Stockade 14 June 1835
William Quinlan - Died at Wollombi Hospital 13 August 1832
Robert Somerville - from Dublin. Found murdered at Port Macquarie on 24 August 1835.
Michael Toole - Died at Norfolk Island 1 August 1837
The youngest convicts were James Boyd (14), Francis Byrne (14), John Collin (13), James Connolly (alias Henry Fulham) (14) and John Vaughan (13). Some of these boys were sent to the Carter's Barracks on arrival.
Select here to find the convicts were assigned in the Hunter Valley
NOTES AND LINKS:
1). Names of the men who were convicted of murder at Fermanagh on 23 March 1830....Patrick McManus, Thomas Montgomerie, Patrick Montgomerie, James McManus, Patrick McCaffrey, Michael McConnell, Daniel Murphy, Terence McHugh, John Droogan, James Keenan, Thomas Kerrin (Carron), Brian Rooney, Patrick Rooney.
2). County of Down Assizes - Downpatrick - Tuesday, March 30....William McQuilkin, for stealing a mare, the property of John McGreavy, guilty - sentence of death recorded; William Campbell, for stealing in August last, at Banbridge, a sum of money from the person of Patrick Hillan, guilty - to be transported for seven years. George Murphy for stealing three dozen horn combs, the property of James Lamb, in February last, guilty - transportation for seven years. Thomas Sheeran and Thomas Maguire, for stealing a pair of stockings and two pounds of bacon, the property of James Donnelly, on 31st January, guilty - transportation for seven years - Belfast Newsletter 2 April 1830.
3). On Monday evening David Moore, one of the four persons who escaped out of Cavan gaol, by scaling the walls of the prison about eight months ago was lodged there by a party of police. The unfortunate man had been under rule of transportation for stealing timber from Alexander Saunderson, sq., M.P., from whom, as boatman, he enjoyed a handsome salary and a neat residence. He was apprehended at Roslea in Fermanagh, by one of the police at that station. After his escape from prison, he got off in a merchant vessel for America, and rendered himself so useful on board by assisting in working the ship, that his passage money was returned to him, and he engaged as a sailor. The vessel on her return from Hull, for which place she had been freighted, was wrecked off Cork, and Moore then came to the neighbourhood of Roslea to see his wife, where he was recognised and apprehended He has since been committed to the hulk at at Kingstown to undergo his former sentence. This man is the third of the party retaken. - Freemans Journal 22 January 1830.
4). Return of Convicts of the Hercules assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 28 June 1832; 5 July 1832).....
Thomas Byrne Silk Weaver assigned to John Cobb at Hunter's River
James Gregory Locksmith assigned to Charles Wilkins in Sydney
James Mahony Gunsmith assigned to John Larnach at Patrick Plains
Thomas McKenna or Kennon Mason. Assigned to Robert and Helenus Scott at Hunter's River
Michael Quinlon Cooper assigned to Francis Allman at Maitland
5). Convict Ships bringing detachments of the 17th regiment........
(1). Freeman's Journal 3rd April 1830
(2). Ancestry.com. UK Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Original data: Medical Journals (ADM 101, 804 bundles and volumes). The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.
(3). Belfast Newsletter 18 May 1830 (4). Belfast Newsletter 4 May 1830
(4) Bateson, Charles & Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.348-349, 386