Catalogue description Folio 6: 15 July 1821, Sunday, prayers and a sermon in the prison. The Surgeon reported...

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Details of ADM 101/38/2/2
Reference: ADM 101/38/2/2
Description:

Folio 6: 15 July 1821, Sunday, prayers and a sermon in the prison. The Surgeon reported a corporal of the guard to the Officer of the Guard for mistreating a convict boy.

Folio 6: 18 July 1821, James Innes, a well behaved convict, has written to Surgeon McNamara of a plot to seize the ship involving some of the convicts and some of the guard. The Surgeon does not believe the convicts would be involved but does believe that the guard would, and expresses a very low opinion of the guard, 'the very refuse of the first battalion of their regiment (1st or Royal Scots)'. They are on their way to India to reinforce the 2nd battalion and some of them would rather go anywhere 'as free adventurers as go for life to India'. He does not believe many of the convicts can know of the plot or he would have heard of it sooner. The messes and divisions of convicts have been regularly changed and intermingled, they are only allowed on deck 60 at a time and most have irons on their legs.

Folio 7: 19 July 1821, squally with rain. Some digestive disorders. James Murphy, one of the soldiers of the guard, was arrested following some reports connecting him with the planned mutiny and some unwary language used by his wife.

Folio 7: 20 July 1821, James Murphy placed in the prison with the convicts.

Folio 7: 22 July 1821, Sunday, prayers and a sermon in the prison, the prisoners 'behaved with decency, attention and interest'.

Folio 7: 29 July 1821, Sunday, squally with rain, prayers and sermon read in the prison to an orderly and attentive congregation. A convict called O'Reilly refused to attend because he was Catholic, the Surgeon took the opportunity to assure the prisoners he was not trying to convert them but for the sake of order they should all attend service. He was one of the worst characters aboard and was forced to attend. The Surgeon remarks on the keenness of the Catholic prisoners to hear him performing divine service. There were several pectoral disorders and bowel complaints in the week preceding, attributed to the hot, moist and variable weather. None confined to bed.

Folio 7: 30 July 1821, religious pamphlets supplied by the Honourable Miss Calthorpe sewed into books and distributed to the prisoners, soldiers and ship's crew.

Folio 8: 5 August 1821, Sunday, prayers and a sermon by Burder read to an attentive and orderly congregation. There has not been a sick person confined to bed for some weeks.

Folio 8: 8 August 1821, the Surgeon wrote to the Master of the ship suggesting they should call at a port to pick up fresh provisions and states his intention to send a copy of his letter to the Navy Board.

Folio 8: 9 August 1821, 5 men placed in handcuffs for planning 'insurrection' on the information of John Flynn, a convict. The Surgeon does not wish to put the informer in danger by having him confront the accused and would rather risk the possibility that the handcuffing is unjust. The handcuffs are removed at night and so are only an inconvenience. The divisions and messes have been changed again.

Folio 8: 12 August 1821, Sunday, prayers and an address to the prisoners on the reports of sedition. The Surgeon was again impressed by the reaction of the prisoners and was further convinced that very few of them could be involved in any plot.

Folios 8-9: 18 August 1821, at about half past seven in the evening a musket shot was heard on deck, quickly followed by two more and then more shots from the soldier's quarters into the prison. The Surgeon, the Master and the Officer of the Guard, finding no disturbance on deck called for firing to stop but by then about a dozen shots had been fired into the prison. On opening the door to the prison, the prisoners were found to be in their beds and three of them wounded, two severely. In the Surgeon's opinion, their wounds indicate they were lying in their beds, which were opposite the main hatchway, when they received the wounds and the prisoners all said that only the watchmen were out of bed when they were fired upon. The sentry who first fired his musket was Patrick Leary, claiming that noise was made in the prison and he ordered them to be quiet before shooting. The Surgeon suspects he was drunk, mentions that he had before threatened to fire on the prisoners when he had been drinking, and again comments on the good behaviour of the prisoners.

Folios 9-10: 19 August 1821, Sunday, prayers and a sermon in the prison, the Surgeon said a few words about the previous night, the prisoners were very attentive and well behaved. The Surgeon has written to the Officer of the Guard to persuade him to arrest Leary, and to declare his intention of having him tried for raising a causeless alarm or murder, should either of the seriously wounded prisoners die. Two or three sailors have supported Leary's claim that a crowd was gathered and that they disobeyed his order to be quiet but the Surgeon doubts that they could have seen anything in the dark. The 2nd Mate was passing at the time and heard no unusual noise. The Surgeon also makes the point that the soldiers were still on deck in numbers at the time, having just finished their usual evening dancing and it would have been impossible for the prisoners to succeed in any attempt to take the ship at that particular time. Leary has been arrested.

Folio 10: 20 August 1821, anchored in Rio de Janeiro at 3pm to get fresh provisions for the convicts and guard. Reported arrival on board His Majesty's Brig Alacrity commanded by the senior naval officer in port.

Folio 10: 21 August 1821, fresh beef, vegetables and fruit supplied for the convicts, guard and passengers. The Surgeon reported the shooting incident to Captain Stanhope of the Alacrity who declined interfering in the matter.

Folio 10: 26 August 1821, Sunday, prayers and a sermon by Burder.

Folio 10: 29 August 1821, sailed from Rio de Janeiro. The prisoners who had previously been released from their irons are again released, the five men placed in handcuffs were again put in handcuffs during the day. During the stay in harbour all the prisoners were kept on deck from 6am to 6pm.

Folio10: 1 September 1821, Sunday, prayers and sermon read, usual good conduct and the prisoners continue to hold their own prayers in the evening. Lemon juice and sugar being issued and the cloth jackets and waistcoats have been returned to the prisoners.

Folios 10-11: 5 September 1821, some of the sailors, soldiers and prisoners suffering from bowel complaints, probably from eating vegetables and the change in weather. The five men handcuffed are released.

Folio 11: 9 September 1821, Sunday, prayers and sermon read in the prison with difficulty because of water washing over the deck and down the hatchway due to a gale. Bowel complaints affect 18 prisoners.

Folio 11: 12 September 1821, fair weather, several prisoners relieved from their irons for good conduct, 48 free from double irons and 38 in single irons. Wine issued on Wednesdays and Sundays and drunk at the tub while the prisoners are inspected for cleanliness.

Folio 11: 16 September 1821, Sunday, for the first time bad weather prevents the Surgeon reading prayers. Stoves in daily use in the prison.

Folio 11: 23 September 1821, Sunday, prayers and a sermon, fine weather for the last week. Behaviour and health of the prisoners is excellent, no sick in the ship.

Folio 11: 26 September 1821, weather fine after four days of rain and storm. Bedding aired.

Date: 1821
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

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