The Medina was built at Topsham in 1811. (1). The Medina was the next vessel to
leave Ireland bound for New South Wales after the departure of the
On 19th July 1823 when surgeon John Rodmell joined the
ship at Deptford carpenters from the dockyard
were still employed fitting up the prisoners for the reception of
John Rodmell kept a Medical Journal from 19th
July 1823 to 16 January 1824. On the 30 July the ship was reported
ready to sail.
A detachment of the 40th regiment were embarked
consisting of Lieutenant Frederick Charles Ganning; one ensign;
assistant surgeon Coleman; one sergeant, two corporals; 31 privates;
4 women and 5 children. The 40th had been serving in Ireland.
Following is an excerpt from
Historical Records of the 40th (2nd Somersetshire)
Regiment By Raymond Henry Raymond Smythies listing
the ships that brought detachments of the 40th regiment
to New South Wales in 1823 and 1824..........
Early in March 1823, the commanding officer,
Lieutenant-Colonel Thornton received an intimation that
it was intended to send the regiment to New South Wales.
In the meantime it was ordered to proceed to Dublin,
thence by sea to Liverpool, and after that by road to
Chatham, in order to form guards for convict ships when
The head quarters
reached Dublin on 15th March and occupied the Royal
Barracks. On the 30th the whole regiment embarked at
Pigeon House, in eight small vessels, and reached
Liverpool the following day.
A twenty eight days'
march, including three Sundays, brought the regiment to
Chatham. The Regiment marched in three divisions; the
first arrived at Chatham on 21st April; the second,
consisting of two companies, halted, and remained at
Deptford; and the 3rd reached Chatham on 23rd April.
During the next year the 40th was sent out, in small
detachments, as guards on board convict ships to
Australia. This was after several years' rough service
in Ireland, and but a short period of rest in
|25th April 1823||Lieutenant Lowe
|5th July 1823
|10th July 1823
|18th July 1823
||Sir Godfrey Wilestoe
|29 July 1823
|31st July 1823
|5 August 1823
||Lt.- Col. Balfour
|29 December 1823
|5th February 1824
|25 February 1824
Countess of Harcourt
|14 June 1824
||Lt.- Col Thornton
|14 June 1824
Other ships bringing detachments of the 40th regiment included
Ann & Amelia.
Passengers included Lieut. Futter, R.N., and
On the 6 August they cast off from the Hulk and made sail
down the river. At 3.30 pm they came to anchor at Gravesend and on
the 8th August at 10 am, they departed from there. On the 9th
August, at 11am they weighed anchor and made all sail for the Downs.
They had received on board 3 boats with rigging for the use of the
Preventative Service in Ireland. They departed the Downs and made
their way to Cork, arriving there 26 August.
day they received on board 180 male prisoners. The men came from
districts throughout Ireland - Sligo, Clare, Leitrim, Tipperary,
Waterford, Westmeath, Galway etc and were probably held in one of
the hulks in Cork Harbour while the Medina was being fitted
up at Deptford. Some of the men had been tried under the
Insurrection Acts. Two days before their departure from Cork three
of the convicts were taken off the vessel. It was intended to
replace them, however the Medina's stay in Cork was short and so the
final number that embarked was 177 men.
On the 5 September
they got under weigh from the Cove of Cork and made all sail for Port
The following men were mentioned in the surgeon's
James McNamara, convict
John Mahony, convict
John Martin, convict
John McDonald punished with 12 lashes for
having fire in the prisons contrary to repeated orders which had
John O'Connor with 18 lashes for beating John Ryan in
consequence of his giving such information as led to the detection
John Roebuck, convict
Michael Munaghan, guard
William Robinson, guard
Charles Stock, convict
Thomas Clarke, guard
John Mahony, convict
Thomas Miles, convict
John D'arcy, convict
John Barry, guard
Michael McHenry, guard
William White, convict
Daniel Hagan, convict
George Hare, guard
They arrived in Port Jackson on 29 December 1823 .
were mustered on board before being landed. The indents include such
information as name, age, when and where convicted, sentence, native
place, trade, physical description. There is also occasional
information about tickets of leave and colonial sentences. The
prisoners were landed on Tuesday morning 6th January and underwent
the usual inspection by the Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane who had
arrived in Sydney the previous evening from Parramatta. The
prisoners expressed their gratitude for the kind treatment met with
during the voyage.
Correspondence in the Colonial
Secretary's Papers reveal that 122 of the men were forwarded to
Parramatta. Twenty seven of those men were to be assigned to the
Parramatta area and the remaining 95 were to be forwarded to the
interior district. Another forty men were to be sent to the
Liverpool district. Others were sent to Bringelly, Airds, Windsor,
Penrith, Emu Plains and Bathurst.
Notes & Links:
1). Twenty four prisoners of the Medina have been
identified residing in the Hunter Valley region in the following
HERE to find out more about these men. Some were assigned to
Edward G. Cory,
Vicars Jacob and
Lieutenant William Hicks near
Paterson, others high up the Hunter Valley to Merton the estate of
Rodmell was also surgeon on the convict ship
Mary in 1822.
Convict Ships bringing Political
Prisoners and Protesters
4). Historical Records of
Australia Vol. XI reveal the fate of some of the prisoners of the
The Pardon of William
correspondence dated 24 December 1823, Earl Bathurst to Sir Thomas
Sir, In consequence of some favourable
circumstances which have been represented to the Lord Lieutenant of
Ireland with respect to William Fitzgerald, a convict who was tried
under the Insurrection Act in the County of Clare and sentenced to
be transported, His Excellency has been pleased to grant him a free
pardon; and the said William Fitzgerald having been embarked on
board the Medina, which sailed from Cork on the 5th September last
for New South Wales, I am to desire that you will give the necessary
directions in order that William Fitzgerald may be sent back to this
country by the first opportunity. (HRA Series 1, vol. XI, p.
Case of mistaken identity of John Grady.....Correspondence
of John Grady to Mrs. John Grady. Sydney Cove, New South Wales,
My dear Wife,
5th Jany., 1824.
I embrace this favourable
opportunity of writing these few lines to you, hoping to find you
and the Child in good health as this leaves me in at present, thanks
be to God. My dear, I sailed from the Cove of Cork on Septr. 5th,
1823, and arrived here on Monday Evening, Decr. 29th, attended with
the happiest voyage that could be mentioned, there had been but one
Died during the passage.
My dear, I have a very grievous
circumstance to mention in this letter to you, which occurred
against me after my Arrival in this Country, which is the following
: — at my Inspection here by the Secretary, he asked me what was my
Sentence; I told him 7 years; he told me I was for Life, which his
sentence, thunder struck me; I answered him that I was tried under
the Insurrection Act, and that no Individual could be sentenced to
more than 7 years ; he thought I was scheming on him and asked the
Doctor of the Ship my character, which he could not give better to
his Brother, had he been in my place.
My dear, I told the
Secretary that there was one John Grady from Burne Leigh which is
But Twelve Miles from Nenagh; that the said John Grady had been
tried at the Clonmell Assizes for House burning and received
Sentence of Death, but had been respited to Transportation for Life,
My dear Wife, when I was sent to the Depot of the City of Cork in a
few days after I been at the Depot, this John Grady from Burne's
Leigh near Nenagh came from Clonmell Gaol to the Depot, and whether
it had been a mistake of Mr. Murphy's or at the Castle of Dublin,
this John Grady was sent off in the
Brampton Convict Ship
under my Sentence, and I remained under his.
Now, my dear
wife, you must do all in your power to get the Sentence Altered and
my former Sentence renewed. Go to Mr. O'Hara, the Magistrate, and
show him this Letter, and let him let all the other Magistrates
know, that were at my trial, this unfortunate circumstance, and to
make no delay but to write to Judge Blacker, and also let him know
it, as no other man can decide the Business but him, and to forward
the Account as soon as possible to the ovr. of New South Wales as I
will suffer Death by the Laws of this Country If I am for Life.
So, my Dear, I am still in hopes, as I am innocent of this laid
Against me. My dear, I have sent a letter before this to Councillor
Dillon concerning this affair. But the Letter to you had some delay
on Account of this Ship; she was to go to the Indies for her Cargo,
Before she would return to London; it is by one of the Sailors, I
have sent it; he was from Cove where we Sailed from ; this was the
Ship I came in, called the Medina. You know my dear, this is a
serious circumstance to be left undone and would have rendered me of
ever seeing yen again. My dear keep up your spirits, and if this
Business can he decided, I will see you again, with the assistance
of God, I will he able to return home after my time being expired. I
cannot give you any Particular Account this time concerning the
country; but will write to you by the next opportunity ; only that I
see young Tom Dwyer, the sawyer, and let his Mother know that he is
very well, and likewise let Tomas Kenny's mother know that he is
very well, and John Joice's brother known that he is well; those are
all in Sidney town. But I do not know where I am to stop as yet.
My dear, there is a great difference between this John Grady and
me, as he is not a Nailor and I am, which can be settled in the
Castle, as my trade has been sent to the Castle along with my crime.
No more at present from your Dear. Husband Until Death, John Grady.
Sidney Cove, New South Wales, 5th Jany., 1824. I was nearly
forgetting my dear Mother and Sisters; let them know that I am well
and that I send my kind Love to them and to all enquiring friends.
(HRA, Series 1, Vol. XI, p. 643)
Christopher Lawler.....17th July
1824 Christopher Lawler, convict per Medina. Attached to Rooty
Hill. Charged with having a quart tin in his possession stolen from
the huts on Mr. Campbell's farm. Sentenced to receive 25 lashes
every 2nd morning until he produces the remainder of the property
stolen. Received 100 lashes and was returned to his gang. (HRA,
Series 1, Vol. XI, p. 805)
5). Return of Convicts of the Medina assigned between
1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 5 July 1832).....
Felix Pritchard - Ploughs. Assigned to John D.
Campbell at Liverpool
1. Bateson, Charles & Library of Australian History (1983). The
convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian
History, Sydney : pp.344-345, 384
2. Ancestry.com. UK, Royal Navy Medical
Journals, 1817-1857 [database on-line].
Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations,
Inc., 2011. Original data: Admiralty and
predecessors: Office of the Director General
of the Medical Department of the Navy and
predecessors: Medical Journals (ADM 101, 804
bundles and volumes). Records of Medical and
Prisoner of War Departments. Records of the
Admiralty, Naval Forces, Royal Marines,
Coastguard, and related bodies. The National
Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.
National Archives - Medical Journal of surgeon John Rodmell on
the voyage of the Medina to New South Wales from19th July 1823 to 16