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Convict Ship
 Lady Kennaway 1836

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Embarked 300 men
Voyage: 123 days
Deaths 2
Surgeon's Journal - yes
Previous vessel: Elizabeth arrived 12 October 1836
Next vessel: Captain Cook arrived 13 November 1836
Master Robert Davidson
Surgeon Superintendent James Wilson

The Lady Kennaway was built in Calcutta in 1817.

The Lady Kennaway transported felons to Van Diemen's Land in 1835 and to New South Wales in 1836. 

The Guard on this voyage in 1836 consisted of Major Baker and Lieut. Morris of H.M. 80th regiment, 25 rank and file of the 80th and five of the 50th regiment.  Passengers included Mrs. Morris, 6 women and 5 children.   Convict ships bringing detachments of the 80th and 50th regiments

Surgeon James Wilson kept a Journal from 21 April 1836 to 21 October 1836.

On 25th May we embarked 130 male convicts from the Justitia hulk at Woolwich, of whom
53 men were between 13 and 20 years of age;
57 men were between 20 and 30 years of age;
4 men were between 30 and 40;
5 men were between 40 and 50;
3 men were between 50 and 60 years of age and
1 man was aged 67.

The strength of nearly all the men was much below the natural standard. On the same day 70 men were embarked from the Ganymede hulk at Woolwich of whom:
17 men were between 15 and 20 years;
31 men were between 20 and 30;
13 men were between 30 to 40;
6 men were between 40 and 50;
2 men were between 50 and 60 and
1 of 66 years of age.

On the 28th May we embarked at Sheerness 100 male convicts from the Fortitude hulk at Chatham of whom:
19 men were between 17 and 20 years of age;
61 men were between 20 and 30 years of age;
14 men were between 30 and 40 years of age;
5 men were between 40 and 50 years of age and
1 was 53.'

The Lady Kennaway departed the Downs 11 June 1836. By the end of July, James Wilson was concerned for the health of the men.............

On 25th July we had 13 persons on the sick list. Taking into consideration the character of the disease which had manifested, and the probability of their numbers being much increased in the course of the voyage still before us, I assessed it my duty to write the following letter to the master of the ship.......

The disease scurvy having attacked some of the convicts and there being four aged convicts at present labouring under atrophies, it is my direction that you carry the ship under your command in to the harbour of Bahia it being the one nearest. Mooring her at some considerable distance from the shore. Complete here in water and then take on board such refreshments as may be there directed for arresting the progress of the said complaints.

The Guard and convicts were given fresh meat and vegetables with three oranges while in port and on sailing we took on board 6 live bullocks. With a proportion of vegetables for use at sea and some soft bread and oranges for the use of the sick.

We were six days in harbour. And to the happy effects which the refreshments procured at Bahia had upon the general health, not only of the sick whose numbers were reduced from 13 to 6, but which extended its influence over all, would I mainly attribute the much higher state of health in which the convicts were landed in Sydney than that they were embarked in England.'

Two hundred and ninety eight convicts arrived in Port Jackson on 12 October 1836. The voyage had taken 123 days.

The Sydney Gazette reported that the prisoners gave three cheers as the vessel was coming into the harbour and appeared much gratified that they had escaped the dangers of the sea.

The prisoners would have been marched to Hyde Park Barracks on landing. In November 1836 James Backhouse visited the Barracks......

The Hyde Park barrack is the principal depot of prisoners in the colony ; it is a substantial and rather handsome brick building, of three stories, enclosed in an open area, formed by buildings of one story, with sloping roofs resting against the outside walls, at the angles of which there are circular-doomed small buildings. Some taste is also displayed in the gateway and other parts. The lower story of the central building is chiefly the offices of the assignment-board, &c. The second and third stories are divided into large wards, in which the prisoners sleep in hammocks, in single tiers. Those who arrive by one ship occupy one ward, till taken away by the masters to whom they are assigned. This is a good regulation; it keeps them in some measure, from the contamination of the " old hands." The mechanics retained in the employment of government, and some others, are also lodged in separate wards. One ward in a side-building has a barrack-bedstead, or platform, on which the prisoners sleep side by side, without any separation. There are only ten solitary cells in this prison, in which flagellation is the usual punishment. One of the officers, who had been here only about fifteen months, said, upwards of one thousand men had been flogged in the course of that period ! He stated his opinion to be, that how much soever men may dread flagellation, when they have not been subjected to it, they are generally degraded in their own esteem and become reckless after its infliction.

Notes & Links:

1). James Wilson was also employed as surgeon on the convict ships Blenheim in 1834 and the Minerva in 1838 (VDL)

2). Detachments of the 50th regiment arrived on the Surry, Forth, Bengal Merchant Hooghley, Susan, Blenheim, Royal Admiral, Lady Nugent, Parmelia, James Laing, Hive, Hooghley Captain Cook, Hero, Roslin Castle, Henry Porcher, Henry Tanner, Lady Kennaway and the Arab.

3). Detachments of the 80th regiment arrived the Lady Kennaway, Lloyds, Norfolk, Bengal MerchantAsia, Captain Cook, Earl Grey, St. Vincent, John, Prince George, Mangles, Heber, Theresa, Calcutta and Eden.

4). Old Australian Ships - The Register, Adelaide 23 December 1916

5). Labyrinth of East London Lore - Lady Kennaway

6). The Lady Kennaway - The "Lady Kennaway" was a barque built in 1817, at Calcutta, and was owned at that time by Thomas Ward, of Boston, England. She was of 584 tons, a large ship, and was a frequent visitor both to Sydney and Hobart. She carried troops, convicts, and passengers. In 1835 she was commanded by Captain Bolton, in 1841 by Captain Spencer, when she brought immigrants. In 1848 Captain Avery was in charge. Her voyages were irregular, and like many ships of the period she did a little whaling after leaving the ports at this end. Her present destination, or location, if afloat, cannot be ascertained, but her name is not in the Shipping Register of 1862. - Windsor and Richmond Gazette 2 November 1917

7). Image of the Lady Kennaway - Grosvernor Prints

8). Hunter Valley convicts and passengers arriving on the Lady Kennaway in 1836

9). Charles Adolphus King (Charles Dolphus) arrived on the Lady Kennaway......Following a life of dissipation and debauchery as a young man in London, Charles King was convicted of burglary in 1835 and sentenced to 14 years transportation . He was transported to NSW where he was housed in convict barracks, and then worked in a road gang. He was then assigned as a servant in Sydney before being re-assigned to a master who sent him to the country as a shepherd and hutkeeper. For sheltering an escaped convict he was sentenced to a chain gang, where, he states, 'my life was that of wretchedness: flogging and hunger were the order of the day. He escaped from the gang and experienced a brief period of freedom on a ship in the bay before being recaptured, flogged and sent into the country. He escaped again and later after many adventures returned to England..........  


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