Free Settler or Felon?

Home Convict Ships by Year     Convict Ship Index     Conditions on Convict Ships    Female Convicts
Search Free Settler or Felon?
Links to Convict Ships arriving in New South Wales, Norfolk Island and Van Diemen's Land 1788 - 1850
ABCDEFGHIJ -KLMN - OP - QRST - VW - Y

Convict Ship Mary 1823

Embarked: 127 women
Voyage: 130 days
Deaths 0
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Earl St. Vincent arrived 9 September 1823
&Next vessel: Isabella arrived 16 December 1823
Captain J.F. Steel
Surgeon Superintendent Harman Cochrane
Follow the Female Convict Ship Trail



The Mary was built at Ipswich in 1811.

Female prisoners transported on the Mary in 1823 came from counties throughout England and Scotland - Oxford, Lancaster, Norfolk, Stafford, Bristol, London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth etc. They were held in county gaols or Newgate prior to transportation.  



ELIZABETH FRY

The Mary was visited by Elizabeth Fry on the eve of departure.......

I lately have had a deeply interesting visit to a female convict-ship, surrounded as I am at such times by poor sailors, and convicts, it is impossible not to feel the contrast of the circumstances in which I am placed.

The last time I was in the ship Mary, there was such a scene round me—parting from them, probably for ever. So many tears were shed, so much feeling displayed—and almost all present the low and the poor. Then, within a few days to be in such a scene of gaiety, though the object in view was good, surrounded by royalty and the great of this earth. The contrast was striking and instructive. I ought surely to profit from the uncommon variety that I see, and the wonderful changes that I have experienced in being raised up, and cast down. Oh! may it not prove in vain for myself and others
. [1]



SURGEON HARMAN COCHRANE

Harman Cochrane kept a Medical Journal from 12 April 1823 to 3 November 1823. He began the journal while the ship was still in England and continued during the voyage to Van Diemen's Land and New South Wales......  

In April two female prisoners Mary Parsons and Elizabeth Maddox, were taken off the Mary and returned to hospital or prison as they were too ill to make the voyage at that time.

Free passenger Mrs. Charlotte Rapsey, age 26 was also taken ill before the Mary set sail. She was treated by Dr. Cochrane for over a month for pain in her face considered to have been caused by a bad tooth. [4] (Charlotte Rapsey was the wife of Peter Hill Rapsey who arrived on the Medway in 1822 and later in partnership with Francis Mitchell established a Store in Morpeth).

As well as Charlotte Rapsey, John Moore and wife also came as free passengers on the Mary.



DEPARTURE

The Mary departed London on 16th June 1823.

Transcript notes from Harmon Cochrane's Journal:

Mary Parsons, aged 30, convict, taken ill off Woolwich; sick or hurt, embarked this afternoon, from Worcester in a weakly, sickly looking state, pain in her chest, cough and difficult respiration and considerably emaciated  appears hectic; put on sick list 13 May 1823, sent 5 June 1823 to hospital ship Alonzo at Woolwich per order of Mr Capper, Secretary of States office.

Elizabeth Maddox, aged 27, convict, taken ill off Woolwich; sick or hurt, arrived this afternoon from Liverpool, complains of cough and pains in her breast and limbs the extremities very much swollen, anasarcous and covered with livid blotches; put on sick list 17 May 1823, sent 28 May 1823 back to prison in custody of Mr Amos per order of Mr Capper.

Mrs Rapsey, aged 26, passenger, taken ill at sea; sick or hurt, swelling and pain of the right side of her face supposed to be produced by a bad tooth; put on sick list 17 May 1823, discharged 19 June 1823 from list.

Susannah Wood, aged 3 months, convict's child, taken ill at sea; sick or hurt, very bad state of health from her berth, the bowels irregular and affection of the respiratory organs, apparently some malformation of the heart; put on sick list 15 June 1823, died 16 June 1823 at 4 am.

Ellen Hardgrave, aged 32, convict, taken ill at sea; sick or hurt, seasickness, menses appeared and have been to excess, sickness at stomach and throws a great quantity of vitiated bile; put on sick list 20 June 1823, sent 20 October 1823 to hospital at Sydney.

Ann Darter, aged 26, convict, taken ill at sea; sick or hurt, seized with most violent headache, no febrile action, her eyes were turgidity and heavy and the bowels partly open; put on sick list 21 June 1823, discharged 25 August 1823 from list.

Elizabeth Frindle, aged 29, convict, taken ill at sea; sick or hurt, frequently afflicted with cancrous [cancerous?] affections, seized with pain in her right side aggravated or full inspiration; put on sick list 23 June 1823, sent 6 October 1823 to hospital at Hobart Town.

Martha Dowling, aged 3, convict's child, taken ill at sea; sick or hurt, ascarides appeared in her stools, much febrile action; put on sick list 1 July 1823, died 5 July 1823 at 5 am.

Ann Simms, aged 25, convict, taken ill at sea; sick or hurt, severe pain in the stomach attended with sickness and vomiting of dark bilious matter; put on sick list 7 July 1823, discharged 21 July 1823 from list.

Sophia Stephenson, aged 30, convict, taken ill at sea; sick or hurt, vomiting and pain in her stomach and severe rheumatism; put on sick list 30 June 1823, discharged 14 July 1823 from list.

Sarah Dowling, aged 16, convict's child, taken ill at sea; sick or hurt, headache, general pains, languors and lassitude, nausea and sickness at stomach; put on sick list 12 July 1823, discharged 28 July 1823 from list.

Elizabeth Aarons, aged 8 months, convict's child, taken ill at sea; sick or hurt, bowels irregular, very much emaciated, she got three months suck and has been very badly taken care of; put on sick list 12 July 1823, died 19 July 1823 at 10 o'clock.

William Frindle, aged 13 months, convict's child, taken ill at sea; sick or hurt, unhealthy child, his mother also in a very bad state of health and has very little milk, he has been afflicted with diarrhoea; put on sick list 14 July 1823, died 26 July 1823 at 3 pm.

Catherine Baylies, aged 26, convict, taken ill at sea; sick or hurt, seasickness and irritability of stomach, and has not eaten the solid food the last five weeks, she also had menorrhagia; put on sick list 17 July 1823, discharged 25 August 1823 from list.

Caroline Darter, aged 13 months, convict's child, taken ill at sea; sick or hurt, bowels very irregular, her mother has had very little milk for it, her bowels for the last week have been more disturbed and has had much irritability of stomach, her mother took no notice of it; put on sick list 24 July 1823, died 2 August 1823 at 3 am.

Margaret Ferguson, aged 26, convict, taken ill at sea; sick or hurt, sickness at stomach, vomiting and constipation of the bowels, pain in her left side and general debility; put on sick list 7 July 1823, discharged 21 July 1823 from list.

Jannet Brodie, aged 30, convict, taken ill at sea; sick or hurt, sickness at stomach, pains in her lower extremities which are now confined to the ankles and are extremely severe, little swelling of the joints; put on sick list 30 July 1823, discharged 11 August 1823 from list.

Mary Gengell, aged 24, convict, taken ill at sea; sick or hurt, griping and very frequent calls to stool with straining and tenesmus; put on sick list 30 July 1823, sent 6 October 1823 to hospital at Hobart Town.

William Wood, aged 2 and a half, convict's child, taken ill at sea; sick or hurt, slight diarrhoea, about four weeks ago a pustular eruption appeared on his face, head and limbs; put on sick list 21 August 1823, died 12 September 1823 at 8 am.

Mrs Moore, aged 26, passenger, taken ill at sea; sick or hurt, delicate state of health and advanced state of pregnancy, suffered from variola, about two months ago caught a slight cold; put on sick list 19 September 1823, discharged 6 October 1823 from list.

Elizabeth Jones, aged 24, convict, taken ill at sea; sick or hurt, pulmoris affection and has not menstruated for five months past; put on sick list 19 September 1823, sent 6 October 1823 to hospital at Hobart Town.

Margret Murphy, aged 22, convict, taken ill at sea; sick or hurt, catarrh which has become worse the last two days, very troublesome cough and considerable dyspnoea; put on sick list 13 October 1823, sent 20 October 1823 to hospital at Sydney. [4]


SURGEON'S SUMMARY

Harmon Cochrane wrote a summary of the voyage in his journal {extract}....

It will be seen by the abstract that scurvy never showed itself in any form, and we had but one case of fever. This may be attributed to the lower deck or prison having been kept perfectly clean and dry, although we had much rough weather, particularly from the Cape of Good Hope to Van Diemen's Land. The convicts being allowed free access to the upper deck and indeed often compelled when they would not come up voluntarily, from day light in the morning to sunset, when the weather would permit, together with the cleanliness order and regularity which they were at all times obliged to observe, contributed in no small degree towards it. [4]



HOBART

The Mary arrived in Van Diemen's Land on 5 October 1823 and Port Jackson on Saturday 18 October 1823. Sixty-seven female prisoners were landed at Hobart and fifty-nine female prisoners and 29 children landed at Port Jackson. Six children died on the passage out, having been deprived of their natural nourishment due to the illness of their mothers. Two women were sent directly to hospital on arrival in Van Diemen's Land and one, Ellen Hargraves, when the vessel reached Sydney.



SYDNEY

A muster of 59 women was held on board the Mary in Sydney by Colonial Secretary Frederick Goulburn on 20th October 1823. The prisoners were in good health and declared themselves well treated and were well spoken of by the Surgeon Superintendent and Commander. The convict indents include the name of the prisoner, occupation, age, native place, date and place of trial and physical description. There are occasional notes regarding family members already in the colony and tickets of leave issued. There is no information regarding where and to whom the women were assigned.    



NOTES AND LINKS

1). The Mary was one of three convict ships bringing female prisoners to New South Wales in 1823, the others being the Woodman and the Lord Sidmouth.  A total of 199 female convicts arrived in the colony in 1823.

2). Harman Cochrane was also employed as surgeon on the convict ships Mariner in 1825, Boyne in 1826 and the Mangles in 1828.

3). Convicts and passengers of the Mary identified in the Hunter Valley region

4). See Founders and Survivors site to find out more about the women disembarked in VDL

5). Notes from Convict Indents  about some of the female prisoners landed in Sydney [5]:

Rachael Aarons - Occupation: shopkeeper. Age 33 from Hamburg. Has 4 children, Rachael 7yrs; Rosina 5 yrs; Hannah 4 yrs; Aaron Joseph 2 yrs. Husband arrived in the colony previously. Find more about Rachael and Joseph Aarons at Edges of the Empire by Lucy Frost

Mary Anderson - House servant. Age 35 from St. Andrews. One child Sarah age 7 years. Husband died 7 years previously.

Jane Aynsley - Washerwoman age 48 from Durham

Ann Allen - Shopkeeper. Native place Sheffield. Widow, no children. Brother-in-law came out 4 or years previously

Elizabeth Baldwin - ; House maid age 20 from Sunderland; unmarried, no children

Sarah Baleman - Occupation All work; age 28 from Leeds; unmarried, no children

Ann Brown - Housemaid; age 26 from Chester; unmarried no children

Ann Branston - Housemaid; tried 2 March 1821; age 23. Native place Warwickshire

Sarah Bulger - Cook; Age 40 from Surry; has 2 children at Brighton. Husband died 2 years previously

Mary Carlow - Housemaid; age 19, from Norwich; unmarried, no children

Ann Curtis - House maid and needlework; age 42, native place Worcester; 3 children in Worcester. Husband died 4 years previously

Mary Cowell - Occupation needle work; Age 17, from Isle of Man. Unmarried, no children

Elizabeth Darke - Cooks, washes, makes butter and cheese; age 40, native place Barnstaple. Married. Husband and 4 children in the workhouse in Plymouth and one, Elizabeth, aged 10 months with her

Martha Dowling - Housemaid. Native Place Ballyshannon. Has been here before; came with her mother Margaret Armsly* 10 years since. Married to Christopher Dowling who was free by certificate. Returned to England with Captain Jeffries (possibly of the Archduke Charles in 1813). Her sister in VDL with 4 children. *possibly Martha Lesslie

Eleanor Daley - House maid; age 24, native place Co. Tipperary. no children. Husband stone mason in London

Mary Duddridge - Housemaid age 20

Elizabeth Finnegan - Cook and Confectioner; age 23, from Dublin

Hannah Ford - House maid; age 17. Native place London

Elizabeth Ford - Place of all work; age 19. Native place London

Rebecca Furness - Nursery maid; native place Norwich; unmarried, no children

Mary Gays - Laundry Maid; age 38; native place London. Has five children with her husband in London

Jane Hewson - Washerwoman; age 25; native place Killburn Wells. Two children Job age 6; John age 2 years with her. Husband dead?

Ellen Hargraves - Sent to hospital on arrival

Margaret Healey - Washerwoman; native place Athlone; age 48; two children in Rochdale. Husband dead



REFERENCES

[1] Memoir of the Life of Elizabeth Fry, 2: With Exracts from Her Journal and ... By Elizabeth Fry

[2] National Archives - Medical journal of the Mary, female convict ship from 12 April to 3 November 1823 by Harman Cochrane, surgeon and superintendent, during which time the said ship was employed on a voyage to Van Dieman's Land and New South Wales.  

[3] Bateson, Charles & Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.344-345, 384

[4] Ancestry.com. UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857
The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[5] Convict Indents. State Archives NSW; Series: NRS 12188; Item: [4/4009]; Microfiche: 650