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Lady of the Lake Voyages to Australia

ADM 101/41/9
Medical and surgical journal of the Lady of the Lake female convict ship for 2 May to 6 November 1829 by William Evans, surgeon, during which time the said ship was employed in conveying convicts from England to Van Dieman’s Land.
Folios 25-28: Surgeon’s general remarks: Surgeon appointed to the Lady of the Lake (243 tons) on 2 May 1829; the vessel lying at Deptford. On 10 May, she dropped down to Woolwich to receive the female prisoners. From 18-31 May 1829, we received 10 free women and 19 children; 81 female prisoners and 17 children, the largest ever sent to New South Wales in so small a vessel; and I may here observe, she was the smallest ship ever taken up to convey convicts. We were visited repeatedly by Mrs Pryoe and Miss Lydia Irving, the quakers, while at Woolwich, who appeared to be indefatigable in endeavouring to impress upon the prisoners the necessity of abandoning their evil ways, and becoming useful members of society. After several excellent admonitory discourses they distributed to them testaments, religious tracts, and several articles of comfort for their use during the voyage. Appointed Mary Ann Newsome, school mistress over the children in the prison, and Mrs Shacklock, a free woman, school mistress over the children in the steerage. The two to have a sovereign each at the end of the voyage, if they performed their duty, Mrs Pryoe having deposited that sum with me for such purpose. A Cook and a Cook’s Mate were selected from among the convicts-these have further trouble, the drippings and fat, which are sold in New South Wales, to the soap-boilers, for tea to twelve pounds. Mary Stewart Mason and Mary Ann Guy were appointed overseers, one on each side of the deck in the prison to see it cleaned. On 12 June 1829, received despatches for His Excellency Governor Arthur, and sailing orders to proceed with all dispatch to Hobart Town, Van Dieman’s Land. At 10am got underway and proceeded down the river and in the evening came to an anchor at the Lower Hope. The next morning weighed and proceeded to the Downs, which we reached on Sunday morning the 14 June and anchored. After landing the pilot at 2pm, weighed anchor, and worked down the Channel. The next morning put all hands upon an allowance of six pints of water. The floors of the prison and hospital were sprinkled frequently with the solution of the chlorine of Lime. This solution I have also found, from experience of two former voyages, to be superior to any application I have met with in foul sloughing ulcers, annihilating as if by magic any fetid smell in an instant. This used in the proportion of an ounce of powder to thirty of water. On 8 July 1829 we reached Teneriffe to replenish our water, and procure fresh provisions for the convicts. Anna Maria Dix an infant nineteen months old died (on the 30 July) of atrophy, arising in some respects from want of proper food, having been deprived of its milk diet on embarking at Woolwich. On the 16 October 1829 it blew a complete hurricane, when the ship was obliged to be hove to the wind. On 30 September 1829, Christiana McDonald, a convict, aged 18, fell overboard, in endeavouring to save her cap, which was blown into main channels. The ship was going through the water at the rate of eight knots at the time. The helm was instantly put down, and a boat lowered, but she sunk almost immediately. All prisoners were landed on 6 November 1829. I may here be permitted to observe that a ship of the small tonnage of the Lady of the Lake is by no means adapted to carry out female prisoners from being constantly wet between decks and the hatches being obliged to be put on, thereby causing great deterioration of the atmosphere in the prison.

  • Lady of the Lake

    Sailed on 6th June, 1829

    Arrived 1st November, 1829 at Van Diemen's Land
    Average sentence: 9 Years | Life sentences: 19 | Passengers: 81