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Minden

The Minden arr. 14 October 1851 from Plymouth (having departed thence 21 July 1851) with 40 Pensioner guards and 301 transportees, master R.D. Crawford, surgeon John Gibson. It was the fifth convict transport to arrive in the Swan River Colony. One convict died on the way.

A journal of the voyage written by Pensioner Guard John Gorman is available from the SLWA website on Acc 355 AD/1. A 2006 transcription of the journal by Margaret Bartley and Ross Crockett is in SLWA at Q910.45 GOR 355 A. What follows is a more recent transcription courtesy of Jeanette Lee.

Jeanette Lee:
Introduction to the Minden Journal
Pensioner John Gorman and the Minden Journal
Following my article in the previous EPG Gazette Sue Baddeley (MS James) reminded me that despite the assumption held by many of our West Australian historians regarding the lack of literacy of our military pensioners there is ample evidence many of them and their wives were literate. Pensioner John Gorman with his account of his journey to Western Australia on the Convict ship Minden in 1851 is just one example which challenges the assumption.
The Journal was a private account written in the form of a daily log and was intended to be sent to John Gorman’s father back in the UK. With a keen eye for beauty he included descriptions of scenery, weather, wildlife and the foibles of his fellow pensioners. He included descriptions of deaths and burials at sea, the birth of his own twin daughters and the kindness of some of the pensioner’s wives, one of whom acted as midwife and without her expertise his wife and possible one of the children would have died. He spoke also of the kindness shown to his wife and children by both the Doctor and the Captain. There were descriptions of the inevitable fallings out and petty disputes between the various members of the Guard and sometimes crew, his own animosity to the Sergeant Major and the disputes over the amount of rations to which the Guard was entitled, especially water. He also mentions the on board newspaper The Minden Times but unfortunately there does not seem to be any copy still in existence.
John Gorman was obviously a man of good education and strong family ties; one can only wonder why he enlisted in the British army in the first place, perhaps it was a young man seeking adventure.
His Journal covers the period between joining the ship at Tilbury Fort on 2nd July 1851 to the final entry of 7th November 1851 which was some time after they anchored at Swan River on 15th October 1851. During this interim he describes a Muster held in Perth and his visit to the Catholic Bishop of Perth as well as his efforts to find employment.
There follows a short history of the 50th Regiment and some letters regarding Bishop Brady and letters written by his son John Phillip to his relatives back in the UK, which, while interesting in themselves I have not transcribed as they have no bearing on pensioner guards.
I have made minor alterations to the journal regarding punctuation to make it more readable, deleted many of the capital letters so beloved of the Victorians and on occasional made a guess but some words still eluded me.
I will also mention that J.T. Reilly the son of Pensioner Joseph Reilly wrote of his voyage on the Convict ship Pyrenees (1851) when he was a youth of about fifteen years of age, in his memoirs Reminiscences of Fifty Years Residence in Western Australia and reproduced by Lucille Quinlan in Undaunted Spirit: The Life and Times of Joseph T. Reilly.

Minden Journal

Transcribed by Jeanette Lee

Minden Journal
John Gorman
Log book
Commencing 2 July 1851 Tilbury Fort
Journal of the Voyage per ship Minden to Australia

July 2: Received orders from the War Office to proceed without delay to Tilbury Fort for embarkation for Australia. Packed up and proceeded from London to Gravesend per rail and from thence by ferry to the fort. Served out with belts and firelocks etc.

July 3: Got from the stores £1/14/10 went to the railway and enquired respecting my box.

July 4: Received £5 and proceeded to London and got my box, got the dirty things washed for which I paid 1/-. Kate very well.

July 5: Signed account and received from the Major £1. The women and baggage went on board at 11 o’clock and the men at 3pm. When we started with a nice steady fair wind in tow of a steamer which continued with us for three hours when the breeze freshened and we cast her off. About 9 o’clock the wind dyed (sic) away when we cast anchor in the downs, on duty for 24 hours.

July 6: Sunday. Set sail at 4am with a foul wind and made Dover about 4pm – distance about 5 miles. Passed a great number of homeward bound vessels, continued steadily on all night and on the

July 7th: found us still with a strong adverse wind making the French coast. Towards evening tacked back to the English coast and sighted Brighton, Worthing and Little Hampton. The gorgeous sunset upon the South Downs was beautiful reflecting back the iron cliffs of Old England with her little watch towers which stud the coast along. The view from the sea off Brighton is really picturesque and also Worthing. At 8pm had to stand again to sea and on the

8th July: found ourselves in view of the Isle of Wight, got a fresh pilot on board and at 12am cast anchor opposite Ryde and facing Portsea and alongside of the Prince Regent. We take 110 convicts on board here. Wrote to my father and Peter and requested an answer.

July 9th: A beautiful morning. On watch from 4 to 8 am. In the afternoon broke ground and again cast opposite Cowes where we took in 30 boys. On the road from Ryde to Cowes had a most beautiful view of Her Majesty’s Marine residence and from where we cast anchor I had a very fine view of Cowes Castle and also of the town which is situated on the side of a hill and so that the houses rise in beautiful precision one above the other surmounted by beautiful green fields.

July 10th: A most delightful morning but towards the afternoon it came on very cloudy, the wind blowing fresh and at 5pm just as we were weighing anchor the rain came down in torrents drenching everything in a few moments. During the squall the wind shifted a few points more favourable so we up anchor and started for Portland making a beautiful run through the “Needles”. About 12pm the wind dyed(sic) away but when I got up at 8am on the

July 11th: found Portland distance 15 miles. The wind right ahead and several tacks we cast anchor at 2 o’clock. Portland is an island celebrated for its stone the property of the

11th Duke of Portland. On the island the convicts are making a very fine breakwater - the place itself is quite barren and the only inhabitants are the convicts and those who supervise them. Immediately opposite when we cast anchor we had a very fine view of the little sea port town of Weymouth and not far from it, on the side of the hill, a very beautiful equestrian statue of George 3rd cut out of solid rock. Here we remain until tomorrow. Received a letter from father and Peter and answered it.

July 12th: A beautiful morning and a fine breeze. At 7am took on board 60 convicts and immediately set sail for Plymouth. All day beating against a head wind and coasting. At 6pm spell of dead calm and on

July 13th: sighted the Stack and immediately after Torbay opened to our view, the next was Hope Bay celebrated for its pilchards. About 8 o’clock came on very squally and with it a change of wind which enabled us to clear the point where Cawsand opened to our view and the celebrated Plymouth Breakwater the finest in the world. At 10 o’clock am we cast anchor but the speed of the vessel not having been stopped we broke our chain and parted from our anchor and only for the presence of mind of the pilot we certainly would have gone on shore. We immediately got another anchor ready and brought her up letting out 75 fathoms of chain. The famous Bellerophon is the Guard Ship here. We are anchored opposite Davenport but Plymouth is partially hid from our view by Giles Quarry. On out left is Drake Island on which is a 9 gun battery, Facing us are 2 more on the mainland and one on each point as you enter the harbour making it one of the strongest fortified places of a seaport in England. There are two emigrant ships bound for New Holland and one for Adelaide with 245 young women from Ireland and another with more people for Sydney.

July 14th: A beautiful day, all hands busy trying to get the anchor but it is blowing a gale and accompanied with occasional squalls of rain. During the middle watch heard signals of distress outside.

July 15th: The wind still very strong. Received a letter from Peter enclosing my war ribbons wrote to my father. Received on board 13 convicts which completed our number 302. Kate very unwell, complaining of her chest and head. Got a powder from the Doctor for her. Expect Major Travers to inspect us. Wrote to my father surprised not having received an answer to my letter dated Portland. The Artillery stationed at Drake Island at ball practice, firing very good considering they have to hit a target which is a flag in the water.

July 16th: A delightful day, the two emigrant ships heaved anchor and proceeded to sea. Three steamers, one from Liverpool one from Falmouth and one from Jersey. Recovered our lost anchor. General parade. Read a letter from my father directed to Portland. Kate still very unwell complained very much of her head. Child very hearty – very little wind.

July 17th: A delightful morning very calm and about 10 o’clock am the boat from the victualling office came alongside with fresh beef, vegetables and other items for the voyage, water etc. At 11o’clock a very heavy shower of hail and rain accompanied with thunder. Sent a letter to Peter by the Port Captain. Parade, went through a sort of manual and platoon exercise getting the word ram down cartridge without the word handle cartridge, so much for the Sergeant Major’s discipline. Baked dinner today. On watch from 8 to 12pm through the indulgence of the Doctor. Several of the convicts got inebriated which caused the sentries to be more vigilant on their posts. Compelled myself to call them to silence twice. We have on board several young women daughters of pensioners and when we first came on board the Surgeon Superintendent Dr Gibson kindly allowed them to have a deck cabin but I am sorry to say that rumour speaks of one in particular liaisons “mal proper”, and observations daily confirms the frequency of wanting to draw attraction, although truly in what respect they think that they should be “the observed of all observers” I cannot for a moment imagine. Certainly the boast of nature’s fair proportion as to stature, but as to physiognomy when both eyes are strabismized which caused a truly ludicrous appearance crowned withal with, should it continue for a “lunatico requirendo”. Well this evening the Doctor having sent the prisoners below for the night and seeing everything secure went on the Poop for a few minutes prior to retiring to rest when accidentally (surely so) looking over the side found the fair Dianas had lowered the window by which means if any plan had been concocted any young man who wished to revel in the arms of a “Pucelle” of Voltaire could do so by walking along the chains. The entrée had been free but to use the words of the Doctor he twigged a move and immediately descended to their cabin and calling for the carpenter nailed up the window and so put an end to the fair excursionists “ Campaigne en Battaile L’Amour.” A steamer from Ireland came in at 12 o’clock pm. A general review of the troops of the Garrison today.

July 18th: A delightful day. Got 10/- from the Doctor. Kate went on shore and got a few little things she required. Did not receive a letter from my father. Kate a great deal better. Several vessels arrived and took their departure. The Bosphorus – Man of War steamer went out of port she bought intelligence of the state of affairs in the Cape.

July 19th: Blowing a gale from the SW, obliged to put out the larboard anchor and continual rain very miserable. Read a letter from my father. July 20th: A delightful day. Occasional showers, prayers for the pensioners. Got my potatoes. Start tomorrow.

July 21st: A beautiful morning. Light rain, got underway at 13 minutes to 9 am. Cleared the Breakwater at 9am and now we are fairly at sea. Pilot left us at 10 am but unfortunately we have a head wind. England, thou land of love and beauty, farewell, farewell, thou charms of Kindred, thou ties of Friendship, a long farewell thou land of Evergreen upon sod I oft have gambolled or speaking in the words of Byron:
“Spot of my youth, whose hoary branches sigh,
Swept by the breeze that fans thy cloudless sky;
Where now alone I muse who oft have trod,
With those I loved, thy soft and verdant spot;
Who now like me perchance deplore,
The happy scenes they knew before:
Who will fill our vacant places,
Who will sing our songs tonight,
Thro the mist that floats above us
Bear thou a long farewell.”
Farewell thy home of all that’s dear, How strange are the destinies of man, a few short weeks in happy converse, little dreaming of Dame Fortune’s frolics.

July 21st: When last I parted from my father at Cumberland Gate building on bright visions of futurity when ere I knew what really had I occurred, I found myself at Tilbury, a few days more on ship board and now staring through the mists that over hangs the land sending towards my fervent prayer and blessing for those who dwell upon its shores, England oft as it has been my fate to leave you but this I believe forever my only hope my stay bears ... but...‘Drags at each remote its lengthening chain.’ Tacked ship at 1 o’clock am and again at 1⁄2 past 3pm and at 1⁄2 past 6 pm. Falmouth Bay opened at 7pm had a view of Pendennis Castle, so celebrated but which would have fallen into total decay had not the Queen and her Illustrious Consort ordered its restoration showing their just appreciation of antiquated buildings. At 9 pm the Eddystone in view. Tacked again. Mr Ryders child very ill cutting its teeth with inflammation, had a hot bath, has been ailing for some time. Strict orders from the Doctor not to allow the seaman to speak to the convicts and soldiers and the sentry not strictly enforcing this order his belts to be taken off and brought before the Doctor. Got our tobacco 4lbs, marine soap 4lbs, a yellow soap 2lbs. Sent a farewell letter to my father and Peter. Kate and child very well. Several of the women seasick. 1⁄2 past 9pm breeze freshened, I am for water at 4am.

July 22nd: At 4am found the Lizard still in view, distance 15 miles. Wind ahead going about 7 knots. 8 vessels in sight. Great number of the women sea sick. Tacked several times during the day –last sight of land at 12am.

July 23rd: A beautiful day. Studding sails set. The Blenheim belonging to the same owners bound for Hobart Town with prisoners. Rain during the evening.

July 24th: Still a head wind increased towards evening rainy. 7 vessels in sight. Mr Ryders child better - women still very sick.

July 25th: Going on course SW1/2 W towards evening wind increased took a reef in our top sails, latitude 48°38 long 8°19. A Dutchman passed us about 10 o’clock am. Ship heaved dreadfully – women very sick- little Mary sick. Several vessels in sight and

July 26th: A beautiful day. Shook the reefs out of the topsails – 2 vessels in sight. Saw the regulations, served out with pork. The mate ordered me to keep silence, asked who he was to order me to do so. I was not on the silent system. Walked away and said no more. I dare say you have read of the mutiny on the Bounty and the character of Lt Bligh, and truly his prototype is on board with this exception that one had the power per force and the present if he could. A young apprentice taken ill and very bad at midnight. Squally during the night.

July 27th: A beautiful day, light winds. Course 13°30. Set foretop mast studding sail and top gallant sail, Main topmost studding sail, going about 5 1⁄2 knots. Spread the awning. All the women on deck and apparently recovered from their seasickness. Boys attended school, one of the convicts acting as schoolmaster. Served out with vinegar 1⁄2 pint, mustard 1⁄2 oz, 1⁄2 oz of pepper. Bouille soup for tomorrow. A sail in sight on our starboard bow outward bound. Vessel very steady, very warm, drawing toward Madeira about 8 o’clock pm, discovered another sail. Going about 2 knots all night.

July 28th: Sunday, A dead calm. All dressed in full regimentals, Devine Service at 1⁄2 past 10 o’clock am for all hands, they been summoned to assemble by the tolling of the bell. The sailors are all very clean and assembled on the Poop together with the Officers of the ship and the Captain. The Doctor wearing his uniform as a Surgeon of the Royal Navy. The detachment not on duty formed up in front of the Poop under arms whilst the watch who were loaded formed upon the Quarterdeck in the rear of the capstan which was rigged with the Ensign serving for a pulpit and reading desk. The Assistant Surgeon officiating as a parson (Dr Barry). The convicts having on clean shirts assembled behind the barricade and those forming the choir were permitted to arrange themselves on the Quarterdeck having the fiddler to keep them in intonation. The service was opened by singing of the morning hymn and very well indeed, they sang in unison after which we had some collects and a few verses from the Old Testament after which the pseudo parson gave his explanation of the miracle of the leper intertwining with occasional prosy quotations and quoting the glorious Lambton one of the Saints of the glorious Reformation who converted from his evil ways by the ... of the Holy Ghost. The whole being concluded by offering up a prayer for the parliament to imbue them with Grace to know in what greater extent Almighty God may direct them to persecute his faithful shepherds and their would be stricken flocks if his all-powerful hand intercepts not their damnable work. A breeze sprung up about 1⁄2 past 11 o’clock and we are going about 4 knots Lat. 41°53, long 12°53. The women apparently all recovered from seasickness all very clean – gave Mary a salt water bath and several more followed my example. Dinner today anything but agreeable. Having our bouille, rice and potatoes boiled together. Got a Catholic standard from John Dywer a sailor also a vindicator, made up my account and found myself a creditor. 2 vessels in sight.

July 29th: A delightful day - awning spread all the women on deck. Set Foremast studding sail. Got up 2 casks of provisions, one of beef and one of pork. Found ourselves overhauling a vessel that was on our larboard bow. 3 vessels in sight on the larboard quarter, 2 schooners and one square rigged homeward bound. At 10 o’clock found another schooner on larboard quarter apparently bound for Lisbon and during the day 5 others appeared in sight all apparently bound for Portugal. Read an article in Chamber Edinburgh Journal by Mr Harris a tin plate worker who pretends to describe Australia Felix – that is to say Melbourne and Port Phillip and which article must have been the efflusion of a mind diseased wherein he describes the labour market worse than the great mammoth who refuses to earn from her millions a paltry pittance to maintain existence. What he declared to be the state of the country as to labour for instance a carpenter wages 36/- a week when I know that those belonging to that craft and in fact those who are necessary for building purposes are well paid, and not at the rate specified by Mr Harris. He also states that a great many die of consumption that I flatly deny for no country under Heaven is so great an enemy to it than that for it is proverbial that if an individual goes to that Colony it matters not what part if tainted with ... are certain of a cure and live to enjoy a good old age. 3rdly Mr Harris describes the climate as changeable which must be when he states that after been nearly scorched to death by hot winds a cold breeze will suddenly spring up producing an intense degree of cold – to that I must put a flat denial – granted that there are hot winds which are not one of the most agreeable. Still when the wind comes from the Southward it blows cool and agreeably invigoration and makes one to sit down in natures verdure and enjoy their ... or scandal soup with a luxury unknown to all excepting those grandees of our Eastern Hemispheres when sitting alongside their perfumed fountain when “a gentle Zephyr softly play upon the roseate cheek and amorous cling and wind round the ... Parnassus and keeping the sweet odour of maidenly beauty”. Kate very unwell complaining of cold pains in the inside. The sailor boy not so well. Rain again from 10- 12 pm.

July 30th: A delightful day, going before the wind. Every sail that can be of any possible use even the skip sail and main Royal studding sail. Women got oatmeal and butter. For dinner salt beef and currant pudding. A vessel in sight. Kate very unwell –got a powder from the Doctor and magnesia and rhubarb and also got some rice and sugar. Prepared some rice for her which she enjoyed and for tea made some thin gruel. Mrs Mangan kindly gave Kate some rice yesterday evening and also some cheese. Mrs Ramsey has promised to do all she can for poor Kate and help her bring her safe over her trouble. Lat 38°41 long 13° 27. Directly opposite St. Michael’s in the Western Islands and off Cape St. Vincent of historic memoir. The Doctor discovered that an attack had been made upon the breastworks of the untouched fortifications of the Jeune Demoiselles by whom it is still a mystery. The Doctor declared he is determined to make an example of whether officer of the ship, soldier or sailor and also should any of the mates interfere in anyway with the men, women and children to let him know and satisfaction will be given. Going 8 1⁄2 knots.

July 31st: A most delightful morning. Both lower studding sails set, the wind slightly on the larboard quarter going very steady. Kate a great deal better, the child rather sick in the night. One of the men, Whitely of the 31st, brought before the Doctor refusing to go on sentry. It appears the man was late in turning up the consequence of which was another man was posted in his place, at the second relief he was not to be found and missed again at the third relief refused to go on sentry because he could not go on where he liked – got 2 days drill with arms and accoutrements. Expect to see the Madeiras during the night or early in the morning, going 9 1⁄2 knots all day. Doctor enquired if any of the soldiers could play the fiddle, presumably McLaughlin could, ordered one of the convicts to get one ready. Had salt beef and currant pudding for dinner, but on the subject of the beef we had barely 2 ozs and all the messes were the same owing most probably to the meat having been kept so long in the pickle and turned out after a residence of 7 years in the regions of some fortification where the only visitors who could tell if its saline properties were rats it being nearly all bones and what meat was on it boiled away and so tender that reminds one of the trite saying of the sailors “Salt horse! Salt horse what brought you here? I have been carrying turf for many a year from Limerick going to Bally Hack, I fell down and broke my back, cut up was I for sailors use, now even they do me despise, they turn me over and damn my eyes.” At midnight passed the island of Madeira and on going on deck at 4 o’clock am on the 31st found we were alongside the Deserters, the last of the Madeira Islands one of which is Porto Santo. These islands are covered with figs yet they appear very barren. Whilst on watch from 7 to 8am on the prison door of the main hatch, was necessitated to report a prisoner for fighting and the punishment awarded was 12 hours confinement, this in a box about 5’9” in height and although there is a seat in it, yet when the door is shut if the seat is let down and the individual seated it is impossible to get up and necessarily get so crampt that the punishment must be bad. One after he was released a boy took his place for striking another boy with a pannikin and using very offensive language, he was kept in all night. Had for dinner bouille and preserved potatoes, the bouille was very good. We discovered McLaughlin could play once but withal so long out of practice made an attempt that was passable and I doubt not but with practice he may improve – time will tell, but finding that we need not depend upon his scraping for showing odd on the “Light Fantastic Toe” one solicited the aid of our Cashel friend John Dwyer to lend his valuable service with his flute which he did with his usual politeness and after chording commenced and who honoured the boards boys and girls, this was put an end to and some women stepped forward and danced a reel to the air of “Sir Roger de Coverley” at length some of the blue jackets came forward and a four handed was went through in my sociable style. Another and then stepped forward some who were anxious to have a waltz country dance. I went to solicit the favour of ladies when I was addressing two of fair face I was informed that they would not be allowed to dance with anyone there when immediately replying that I considered those who consented to dance as good if not better that them and so the amusement of the evening was broke up. Very close downstairs.

August 1st: A delightful day. Wind very light although we have been in the NE trades for 4 days, but I am afraid we shall loose them soon: At 1⁄2 past 7 o’clock ordered to parade to address the sentence of Corporal punishment caused into effect against the boy confined last night. The preparations were 1st a grating against the bulwark tied underneath which was another for the culprit to stand upon. The Guard fell in and fixed bayonets the remainder of the men without arms. The boatswain having the cat in a handkerchief. The prisoner having taken off his jacket and undone his braces his
trowsers (sic) down, his hands were tied and then the Doctor read his crime which was 1st for striking one of his comrades with a tin pot and when remonstrated told the party he might B... himself. Convicts named Jackson and Campbell interceded with the Doctor for him and he forgave him the 2 dozen lashes awarded. The boy seemed a very determined character but on the whole seemed rather frightened. Got for dinner Pork and Pea bullets. The rum was reported today by Griffen for being adulterated which it was investigated before the Captain and the opinion of Bolton and Campbell asked. The former asserted that it caused stupefaction induced by the liquor been drugged and the latter stated it was not so good as when we first came on board. Captain stated it was not the thing and ordered what was left in the barrel to be thrown overboard and Griffen to have his grog out of a fresh barrel. Lat 29° Long 16°. Passed this morning some part of a wreck, either the hull of a vessel or a mast. Music and dancing in the evening. Kate beginning to complain.

August 2nd: Woke this morning at 1⁄2 past 3 o’clock and found my dear Kate in labour had to get out of her bed and was sitting on the floor. Shortly after I came Mrs Mangan got up and also Mrs Foran and rendered her every assistance. I went to the Doctor who came immediately but at the critical moment if had not been for Mrs Gaunt I don’t know what might have been the consequence for my dear Kate was delivered of twins (daughters). The first had a natural presentation but the second little darling came feet foremost and the poor mother had not the power to assist it the pain having ceased, therefore Mrs Gaunt had to recourse to means usually used on such occasions and when the darling creature was born it was about lifeless, quite black from suffocation when the good midwife rubbed its chest with rum and inflated its lungs by breathing into it and when it felt the life breath restored to it it cried faintly. Mrs Ramsey washed and dressed them and then they were put into a bed prepared for them in Mrs Mangan’s berth. The first was born at 20 minutes past 5 o’clock and the twin at 1⁄2 past. Got 2 beds and a blanket and large linen sheet from the Doctor out of the hospital and likewise a yard and a quarter of flannel to wrap the children in whilst being washed. The women having put a clean suit on Kate, she was then removed into her own place from the table (that being the place she was confined). I certainly must forever feel grateful to all who kindly attended upon her and may God reward them two thousand fold and to Mrs Gaunt the greatest praise is due for rescuing my poor child from the tomb and to whom I am under such a debt of gratitude that I know not in what way to repay. Gratitude they say is cold so it may be with some but with me it is favours done which pecuniary remuneration never should efface. All the sailors asked very kindly respecting her and indeed the Detachment. The sailors on Saturday evening have generally a song in their quarters (which are only divided from us by a thin partition) but owing to Kate’s recent accouchement went on deck and there had it - for which kindness I am very grateful verifying the old statement ‘the sympathy of a tar is without ostentation springing forth from the source of pure affection, the heart.’ Their hand is always open to assist and ever ready to protect and where the tie of reparation is broken none so keenly feel it as Britain’s glory- her sailors.

August 2nd: Mrs Gaunt watched until near 12 o’clock when Mrs Foran relieved her owing to the weak state of the children arising from the very frequent disposition to reject phlegm from the stomach which will do them a great deal of good. After all was over the Doctor promised the persons attending a bottle of wine which Mrs Ramsey saw delivered by the steward to the Sergt Major at 11o’clock am but from that time nothing more was heard about it until 9 o’clock when the superior came and told Mrs Ramsey and Gaunt that he wished to speak to them, accordingly they went and were given a glass of wine each, of course honoured by Mrs Sergt Major who turned sick at the very smell of rum being too powerful for her ladyship’s olfactory nerves but the smell from the divine port was too great a temptation she drinking of that freely which belonged to others. Who would an action unbecoming to the character of one who considered herself a brilliant of the first water. Warmed the ... by the lamp during the night for the chickees,

August 3rd: Kate had a very good night, washed last night the bed and found it this morning not the thing still left the things towing overboard, Made Kate some ... at 6 o’clock am, got some bread from the steward by order of the Captain and some sweet biscuits, made some toast which she enjoyed very much – gave Mary a bath. One of the men placed in confinement for abusing his wife. The non-com officers of the watch have received strict orders not to allow any of their respective Guards off the poop during their watch, any man infringing this order to be severely punished.
Devine Service the same routine as last Sunday. The convicts have got on white trowsers (sic). Mr Ryder’s child very bad, I think a slow fever. One of the men, Whitely, confined for 24 hours in a box sufficient for a man to stand upright in but not any room to sit down in for complaining for not having been relieved during Devine Service. The last born not so well.

August 4th: A delightful day. Strong wind going about 9 1⁄2 knots. The poor little sailor boy is nearly gone. Got a large tin of soup and bouille and likewise some rice, got some castor oil for Kate, 1⁄4 of tea and 1⁄2 lb of sugar. Washed some clothes (from les infants). A delightful moonlight night, got for dinner bouille, beef and processed potatoes – the latter very good. Mrs Wheatley (Whitely) kindly came and suckled my little babes and I am certain that was the saving of my youngest one’s life. Kate doing very well indeed. The sea quite green.

August 5th: Another delightful day. Children doing very well indeed, thank God and also dear Kate. Got a small tin of concentrated gravy soup from the Doctor and gave the little ones some castor oil. The poor little sailor boy was gathered to his father at 1⁄2 past 1 this morning. Cause of death dysentery and at 20 minutes to 9 o’clock we all assembled on the greater deck to witness the solemn ceremony of a sea funeral service. The Detachment under arms. The poor little fellow was sewn up in a hammock having sufficient shot at his feet to sink it. The corpse was borne to the weather gangway by 4 men on a grating, the body covered with the Union Jack. The parson commenced the service until he came to the words “We commit his body to the deep” where two men raised the grating, when the body glided into the water causing when it struck the water a hollow unearthly sound, something more than can be described which must be heard to feel all that it tells to the Soul of man. Pickles served at 1 pint and a half for the month and likewise treacle. This evening Kate very unwell, vomiting and complaining of thirst. All hands turned up at 10 o’clock pm the cause is as if the prisoners had attempted to carry the ship, men turned up very quick, formed up, reported all present and then dismissed.

August 6th: A delightful day. Wind very light- drawing ahead. Got a few things washed for the children. Kate and children doing very well thank God. Mrs Hardman finished Kate’s flannel petticoat. Doctor ordered Kate a glass of beer daily at 12 o’clock and her dinner from the cuddy table. Served out with rice and vinegar. Some kind friend assisted me this morning in eating my rations sans ceremony by taking the largest piece of pork.

August 7th: Another delightful day. Wind very light. Kate and children doing very well, Kate got her beer and dinner from the cuddy also some sweet biscuit.

August 8th: Wind light but occasionally squally. Kate and children doing very well, got her beer and dinner. Had great doubts respecting the quantity of water issued to the Detachment and also I am afraid that there is a deal of underhand work respecting the issue of rations for I presume that not one man on board knows what he is entitled to. I made up the quantity for 40 men 34 women and 34 children of water and found that instead of drawing 13 horse buckets and better we were only getting 12 and 1⁄2 , presuming each horse bucket held 5 1⁄2 gallons whereas report speaks that one of the buckets held only 4 1⁄2 gallons and yet at this glaring fraud our Sergt Major must have been cognisant for when he or the mate hears that the men were determined to measure the buckets lo and behold the diminutive gentleman vanished and one of more portly dimensions appeared thus through the kindness of one of our own draft our benevolent intentions was frustrated. Corp Fitzpatrick asked me to make up the water which I did willingly and which he showed to the autocrat, who with dignity becoming his high office refused the worthy corporal and answer as to whether it was or was not correct. I then went to my friend Bolton who kindly made it up with me. In the evening we convened a meeting of old soldiers to take their sense upon the subject who unanimously agreed with us to take proceedings to find out in what respect we were placed in regard to our rations, the case I will class under the following heads
1st What we are entitled to as a guard
2nd What quantity of bouille are we entitled to
3rd What quantity of flour, currants and suet
4th and what do we get in place of the dram of liquor stopped
1st. As a guard we are entitled to 1 pound of meat the same quantity of biscuit, fair and just weight.
But it appears that the whole of the ration beef and pork is put on board each piece supposed to weigh beef 8 lbs, pork 4 lbs, certainly that might have been the weight when first placed in brine for the beef when boiled does not yield to each man more than 3 ozs of meat on an average. That must have been procured by the owners for to realize a greater profit and such flagrant imposition is severely open to complaint on arrival.
2nd The quantity of bouille or preserved meat is the same as the salt provisions 1lb for each. Now the actual quantity issued is 46 lbs for all hands viz 40 lbs leaving 6 lbs for 34 women and 34 children but I find that the whole is placed in a copper and a certain quantity of water added, it is served out at the same ratio as tea 1 pint for a man the same for a woman and 1⁄2 pint for a child should still withal leaving a marked deficiency for at their own calculation it would only give 6 1⁄2 oz’s and I find on reference to the scale of rations state as a guard we are entitled to 3⁄4 lb but do we get it – certainly not. 3rd The quantity of flour we get we know not from our prima but we find we are entitled to 3⁄4 lb but not word respecting currants that we receive and also some flour for the suet. The thing as it stands appears quite ridiculous to imagine that if Government allows flour to be issued to the troops that suet is also allowed or how do they imaging that a pudding is to be made with water only. Now where I come from, India, we were allowed 1 lb of flour and likewise of suet and if a person stops 4 months in Tilbury for the all-important office of Sergt Major he should consider whether or not he possesses the qualifications necessary to fulfil that of Sergt Major together with his own and look to the interest of all and not succumb to the capriciousness of those who on arrival can do him no good but should things not prove correct may be worse than the torpedo who glides smoothly along and in a moment sends forth its electricity and paralyses all your efforts.
4th We have received nothing as yet in lieu of our 1⁄2 dram unless they call mustard and vinegar but I find we are entitled to a ... also only 1⁄2 dram - ordered to my duty.

August 9th: A delightful day. Cleaned the Barracks. Kate able to get up. A small cutter passed us from Rio de Janeiro bound for Havre de Grace, hoisted French colours. Children doing well –thank God, Kate continues to get her dinner.

August 10th: Sunday, heavy rain and squally. Made the pudding after a fashion with rain water. Everything miserable all obliged to stop below which made it almost unsupportable. Got my things all wet what I expected in the Doldrums. Service only for the prisoners. Saw the first of the “Minden Times”; the editorial introduction speaks not well of those that have the conducting of it. Solicits contributions.

August 11th: The same as yesterday, squally and rainy, miserable. Kate and the children doing well. Expect to make the line about Friday. Another trio or rather to give some idea of the man, a brute in every sense of the word, and a parent too, but unfortunately that is a word that many have, but how do they use that authority so placed in their hands so Diocletianus would have done to torture for pleasure for in this instance for when the individual spoken of (Mangan) chastised, not satisfied in inflicting a severe flagellation but must take the object of his own ire and dashed down upon board the same as a thing inanimate. A man who professes humanity and was the first to confine a man for striking his wife but because to be a sergeant doing corporals duty that all he does should pass with impunity, I was necessitated to report his brutality and I imagine that he will have more guard over a temper that he himself if imbued with perception must be a burthen, but still could be curbed more that he apparently shows a disposition to do. A man that can behave to wife and children in the manner stated is unworthy of a name and such a one would be afraid to contend with a man disposed to take up the cudgels.

August 12th: Light winds accompanies with occasional showers. Kate and Children doing well. One of the women placed in confinement, two prisoners put in irons one handcuffed.

August 13th: Strong head winds not going our course. Kate and children doing well. A prisoner flogged – 3 dozen.

August 14th: Strong head winds not going our course. Kate and Children doing well.

August 15th: The winds the same as yesterday making no better progress. Kate and children doing well.

August 16th: The winds still the same. Kate and children doing very well. 2nd number of
The Minden Times.

References and Links

Perth DPS page for convict ships that arrived at Fremantle. That site has pages for four of the transportees on this ship: George Gale, William Hatch, Frederick Lintott/Lintol/Linto, and Isaac Myers.

My page for Isaac Myers.


Garry Gillard | New: 12 November, 2020 | Now: 13 November, 2020