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Convict Ship Mariner 1825


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Convict Ship Mariner 1825

Last Updated 6 May 2020

Embarked: 113 women
Voyage: 120 day
Deaths 1
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Tons: 449
Previous vessel: Hercules arrived 7 May 1825
Next vessel: Norfolk arrived 18 August 1825
Captain William Fotherly
Surgeon Superintendent Harman Cochrane
Follow the Female Convict Ship Trail
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Prisoners and passengers of the Mariner identified in the Hunter Valley

The Mariner was built at Whitby 1807.[1] She made three voyages to Australia with convicts - 1816, 1825 and 1827.


Some of the women who were embarked on the Mariner may have been held in the Richmond General Penitentiary which had been established in 1820 at Grangegorman, Dublin as an alternative to transportation. It was part of an experiment into a penitentiary system to specialise in reform rather than punishment.

There were accusations of unspeakable cruelty and proselytism and a Commission of Enquiry was ordered in 1826 in which Mary Connor, Ellen Dunn, Jane Armstrong, Mary Ryan, Mary Anne Williamson were mentioned as being inmates at the penitentiary in previous years.


The Mariner departed Cork on 2 March 1825 with 113 female convicts.

Surgeon Harman Cochrane

Harmon Cochrane kept a Medical journal from 30 December 1824 to 15 August 1825.

One woman died on the voyage out. She had suffered with asthma for some time and died suddenly before the surgeon could even attend her.

Harman Cochrane reported that about half the women suffered with epilepsy which became more apparent as the ship entered the tropics. He contemplated whether they might be real or feigned episodes. Some had suffered with fits before but many had never experienced them before. There was scarcely an hour either day or night when he was not called to attend one of them suffering this condition. He puzzled as to whether they may have been propagated by contagion or perhaps by imitation or, he thought more likely, the inordinate heat of the climate affected the irritable, sensitive and acute constitutions of the Irish prisoners. When five or six at a time were found to be affected and were writhing, struggling and tearing themselves to pieces at the same time, it became no easy matter to hold them and it required five or six strong women to do so. He mis-trusted the women however and thought they may have had ulterior motives. Although he was vigilant in observing their manoeuvres, he could not detect any surreptitious designs. The fits abated when the ship entered the colder climate.

The Surgeon maintained cleanliness, order and regularity among the women. The prison was kept clean and dry and the women were allowed on the upper deck as they pleased. [2]

The following women were mentioned in the surgeon's journal -[3]
Margret McKenna, aged 27, convict: sickness at stomach, nausea and vomiting and slight pain in the epigastric region. Put on sick list, 28 February 1825 at Cove of Cork. Sent to the penitentiary at Cork per order of Dr. Trevor.
Fanny Bell, aged 26, convict
Mary Ann Forster, aged 25, convict
Ann Lang, aged 27, convict
Margaret Martin, aged 26, convict
Elizabeth Shannon, aged 36, convict
Margaret Jackson, aged 26, convict
Ann Taylor, aged 32, convict
Mary McClelland, aged 46, convict
Catherine Driscoll, aged 18, convict
Mary McManus, aged 20, convict
Ann Collins, aged 30, convict
Margaret Johnston, aged 25, convict
Ann Dillon, aged 28, convict
Hariot Sheppard, aged 25, convict
Catherine McGuire, aged 40, convict
Elizabeth Hickson, aged 32, convict
Biddy Dwyer, aged 25, convict
Mary Walsh, aged 20, convict

Port Jackson

The Mariner arrived in Port Jackson on 10 July 1825.

Free Passengers

Four government passengers were disembarked on 18th July 1825 - Sarah Johnson with 3 children
Elizabeth McKeon with 1 child
Ann Burke
Mary Johnstone

Convicts Disembarked

The convicts were kept on board until 18th July when they were disembarked and sent to Parramatta Female Factory. The unsatisfactory mode of conveying them to Parramatta was reported in the Sydney Gazette:

The female prisoners per the Mariner who arrived in a state of the best health, were drafted to Parramatta by water, on Monday last. We would beg to call the attention of HIM, who is said now to have the female prisoners in the Factory, committed to his more immediate care and guardianship to the custom of forwarding the women either by the passage boats or by the stage coaches. Though we are loth to lessen the advantages that may possibly accrue from this source of laudable gain, yet a due regard to moral feeling requires some other mode of conveyance, unless the boat, or the coach, could be engaged by Government solely for their accommodation, and then they should be escorted by individuals who would not betray the confidence necessarily reposed in them, as is too generally the case when given in charge of a constable who cares not what becomes of the unfortunate women so that he can laugh, and smoke, and drink. The scenes that have passed on these occasions, by the most correct information, beggar all possibility of description - indeed we dare not attempt the portrait. We have no doubt, there fore, that this monstrous evil will be for ever put a stop to - [4]

Notes and Links

1). Harman Cochrane was also employed as surgeon on the convict ships Mary in 1823, Boyne in 1826 andthe Manglesin 1828

2). The Mariner was one of four convict ships transporting female prisoners to New South Wales in 1825, the others being the Henry, Grenada and Midas. A total of 255 female prisoners arrived in the colony in 1825.

3). Prisoners and passengers of the Mariner identified in the Hunter Valley

4). Extract from the Freeman's Journal in 1825......The Commission, Monday December 10 - The several cases for trial having been gone through, the following persons were brought up for judgement: {Extract} William Doyle, burglary, death; James Carroll, death; Edward Whelan and Patrick Doyle, death; Michael Brusel, death; Cornelius mulligan, cow stealing, death; Owen Duffy and William Carroll, burglary and robbery, death; John Russell and Andrew White, highway robbery, death but recommended to mercy; Richard Willan and John Forde, robbery, death but recommended to mercy; Michael Geoghean and Charles Murphy stealing lead, to be transported for seven years; Margaret Quin and Mary Dunleavy, robbery, transportation for seven years; John Magee, felony, imprisoned twelve months; James Daly felony imprisoned twelve months; William Silk, felony, transportation for seven years; Daniel Nolan, cow staling transportation for seven years; Arthur McWillliams felony, transportation for seven years. - [5]


[1] Bateson, Charles, Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.346-347

[2] UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Medical Journal of Harman Cochrane on the voyage of the Mariner in 1825. The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[3] National Archives -
Reference: ADM 101/49/5 Description: Medical and surgical journal of the Mariner convict ship from 30 December 1824 to 15 August 1825 1824 by Harman Cochrane, surgeon and superintendent, during which time the said ship was employed on a voyage to New South Wales.

[4] Sydney Gazette 21 July 1825

[5] Freeman's Journal 11 January 1825.



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