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Convict Ship
 John Renwick 1838

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Select from the Links below to find information about Convict Ships arriving in New South Wales, Norfolk Island and Van Diemen's Land between the years 1788 and 1850

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Embarked: 173 women
Voyage: 116 days
Deaths: 1
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Westmoreland arrived 22 August 1838
Next vessel: Clyde arrived 10 September 1838
Captain John Byron
Surgeon Superintendent Andrew Smith
Follow the Female Convict Ship Trail

The John Renwick departed England with with one hundred and seventy three female prisoners, twenty three convict children, five free women and nineteen free children.

Cabin Passengers included Mr. Henry and Mrs. Beverley and Major Marley of the 50th Regiment, who was appointed to supersede Major Jackson as barrack master. Major Marley was formerly barrack master at Glasgow. Mrs. Marley, three daughters Miss Marley, Misses Fanny and Selina Marley and two sons Edward and Bayley Marley also arrived on the John Renwick.

The John Renwick departed the Downs bound for Port Jackson on 3rd May 1838 in company with the Nautilus carrying female prisoners for Hobart Town.

This was Andrew Smith's only voyage as Surgeon Superintendent on a convict ship. He kept a Medical Journal from 9th April 1838 to 5th September 1838. During the early part of the voyage a great many prisoners were affected with inflammatory and catarrhal complaints. There was one fatal case of scorbutus, that of prisoner Prudence Jenkins. She was treated with nitrate of Potash in large doses three times daily and a nourishing diet with lime juice were given also, however she died on 5th August. She had previously been confined for a lengthy time in different gaols.

There was one birth during the voyage.

The following article was included in Parbury's Oriental Herald and Colonial Intelligencer,  

 ......however the Sydney Gazette of the 4th September reported that the prisoners of the John Renwick were orderly and clean when visited by Lady Gipps the previous Saturday.  

The women were landed at the Dock Yard on Thursday 6th September. Those who were not assigned to service were forwarded to Parramatta Female Factory.

The vessel was then hauled into the Cove to discharge her stores.  

The John Renwick was one of two convict ships bringing female prisoners to New South Wales in 1838, the other one being the Diamond from Cork. A total of 333 female prisoners arrived in the colony in 1838.

On 2nd October John Burt and James Martin, two apprentices belonging to the John Renwick, and Charles Jackson and Henry King two seamen belonging the the vessel were charged with desertion, and taking with them their clothes and bedding. The apprentices alleged, that the Chief Officer had beaten them, and threatened to serve them out when they got outside the Heads. The blows as well as the threats were both denied. The seamen had nothing to urge in extenuation. The apprentices were sent to the treadmill for ten days each and the seamen were sentenced to forfeit all wages due, together with all clothes they might have on board.

The John Renwick departed with the Lord William Bentinck bound for Java on 10th October 1838.    

Notes and Links:  

1). Prisoners and Passengers of the John Renwick in the Hunter Valley  

2). Julia St. Clair Newman mentioned in the above Parbury's Oriental Herald was not transported on the John Renwick but on the Nautilus to VDL in 1838 after being convicted at the Old Bailey of robbery . Her mother Margaret was sentenced to 7 years transportation at the same time. They were from a privileged background, had travelled abroad, and held the public interest for months in England before being transported, and again when Julia reached Australia. She was said to be dressed in silk and only required to do light sewing while held in the female factory. She was assigned to W. Powell in Launceston in 1841 and violently assaulted by a ticket of leave man in 1842. She married John Jepson in 1844 in Tasmania and received a conditional pardon in 1847...More about Julia St. Clair Newman in Parliamentary Papers and the Cambridge Chronicle  

3). Death of Major Marley...

 ...The Asiatic Journal 15th April 1839  

4) Elizabeth Brazier was 26 when she was convicted of highway robbery in London in 1838 and sentenced to 15 years’ transportation to NSW. Select here to find out more about her life at Dubbo.  

5). Female Convicts

6). John Byron charged with embezzling government stores and provisions of the John Renwick.....  



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