Medical journal from 16 October 1823 to 15 May 1824 by James Hall, surgeon and superintendent, of the female convict ship Brothers, which sailed to New South Wales.
Folio 1: Sarah Tweltridge, aged 18; disease or hurt, pleuritis. Taken ill, 13 November 1823 at Woolwich. 15 November 1823, no complaint.
Folios 1-2: Elizabeth Bannister; disease or hurt, catarrhus. Taken ill, 14 November 1823. 16 November 1823, no complaint.
Folio 2: Mary D Underhill, Eleanor James, A Pope, Ann Norris, Esther Clarke, M Morriss (infant), A Powel, Mrs [Kinish?] have all been treated in a similar manner to Elizabeth Bannister, they having been all more or less affected with an inflammatory affection, or erithisin, of the membranes lining the respiratory or the alimentary canal.
Folio 2: Mary Martin; disease or hurt, icterus. Taken ill, 20 November 1823. Discharged 11 December 1823.
Folio 2: Many of the women, but none of the children are now affected with sea sickness. In some there is only straining without vomiting, in these cases an emetic gives much relief. The bowels are generally torpid, and require repeated cathartics to move them. Some of the infants are affected with diarrhoea from an irritated state of the bowels; opiates afford relief to these.
Folio 3: Mary Turner; disease or hurt, obstipatio. Taken ill, 10 December 1823. Discharged 13 December 1823. This woman continued for several days in a lazy torpid state, without any sign of disease, acute or chronic, wherefore imagining she had some heavy burden on her mind, some concealed crime, I urged her so closely by tender persuasions, to disclose her sorrows, that at length I found she had no other mental disease than indolence; upon which I turned her out of the hospital.
Folio 3: Mr Butler's child, aged 6; disease or hurt, scrophula. Taken ill, 15 December 1823. Died 21 December 1823. This child a boy, whose parents are scrophulous embarked in the following condition, an abscess in the hip joint which discharges a thin acrid semi-purulent fluid, a little below the trochanter major, a considerable curvature of the middle dorsal vertebre outwards; extreme emaciation of the body, incapability of an erect posture; heclic; a good appetite at times; bowels very lax; he has been ill several months; and under the care of Sir A Cooper.
Folios 3-4: Mr E Butler, aged 35; disease or hurt, phthisis. He has been ill with symptoms of tubercles in the lungs, for nearly 3 years, and this complaint is hereditary in the family of both, his, and his wife's. He has resided both at Nice, and at Madeira, but only derived temporary relief. Taken ill, [not stated] 1824. Died 5 April 1824.
Folio 4: Mary Kewly's infant; disease or hurt, atrophia. Taken ill, 24 December 1823. Died 24 December 1823.
Folio 4: Mr J Fulloon, aged 45; disease or hurt, cachexia. Taken ill, 24 December 1823. Died 28 February 1824.
Folios 5-6: Miss M Fulloon; disease or hurt, hysteria nostalgia. This young woman took to her bed a fortnight ago, as soon as the ship got under weigh at Gravesend
the remote cause of her present state, seems to be mental affliction at being taken from England and having [left] a lover behind. Taken ill, 17 December 1823 at sea. 8 January 1824, will not quit her bed.
Folio 7: Sarah Evans, convict, aged 24; disease or hurt, synocha mitis. Taken ill, 22 December 1823. Discharged.
Folio 7: A. Pearson, aged 18; C.Biggs, aged 21; S. Train, aged 19; S.Williams, aged 24; M A Williams, aged 25; E Benson, aged 17; M Riley, aged 18; H Hutchings, aged 19; E Moore, aged 22; M Shaw, aged 16; H McKenna, aged 29; E Meadows, aged 21; M Cartridge, aged 20; L Gardiner, aged 18; S.Smith, aged 18; A Wilson, aged 30; M Smith, aged 24; M Fisher, aged 18; M A Helps, aged 20; A Pope, aged 20; J Miller, aged 17; M A Edwards, aged 28; A Mullen, aged 19: all these women had similar complaints and were treated in the same manner as Sarah Evans (see folio 7). Some required considerable purging; and several had the blood letting repeated. Of course these cases were soon cured.
Folio 7: E James, aged 40; disease or hurt, phlegmonous inflammation of the shin. This patient is from Wales and understands very little of the English language. Taken ill, 30 December 1823 at sea. Discharged 1 January 1824.
Folios 7-8: Ann Fry, aged 18; disease or hurt, opthalmia. Taken ill, 6 January 1824 at sea. Discharged 7 February 1824.
Folios 9-10: Sarah Day, aged 18; disease or hurt, hysteria. Taken ill, 3 February 1824. Discharged 10 March 1824.
Folio 11: Mrs Butler, passenger; disease or hurt, partus. Taken ill, 17 February 1824. At an early hour this morning passed through the process of parturition. Nothing unusual occurred, and she with the infant are doing well.
Folio 11: Bridget Hanning, passenger; disease or hurt, partus. Taken ill, 17 March 1824. Hanning was put to bed at an early hour this morning, of her 11th child. The mother's health has been long infirm and the infant is extremely weak and puny, from its weight and size it does not appear to have arrived at a full period of pregnancy. One of the other prisoners having a full breast of milk has taken care of the infant. 19 March 1824, the infant was found dead in its mothers arms, who was sleeping; the face showed signs of compression; and I think the mother had overlain it, whilst sleeping. I made attempts to resuscitate it, but in vain.
Folios 11-13: A Wright, aged 19; disease or hurt, neuralgia faciei. Taken ill, 15 March 1824 at sea. Discharged 27 March 1824 cured.
Folio 13: Mary A Lacy, aged 24; disease or hurt, vulnus cum tendinum divisione caused by an accident when falling while carrying an earthen vessel. Taken ill, 18 February 1824. Wound healed 7 March 1824 but with no power of extending the first and second fingers of her left hand.
Folios 14-15: Mary Partridge, convict, aged 21; disease or hurt, sanguinis congestion in pulmone. Since on board has indulged in silent grief from being separated from her mother so says her sister who is a girl of different habits. Died 1 April 1824.
Folio 16: numerical summary of the medical cases mentioned in the journal.
Folio 16: Surgeon's general remarks: Among female convicts the principal complaints originate from dyspepsia, functional disturbance of the uterine system and obstipatio: hence arise a numerous train of symptoms, all which are easily removed by early and correct [?] of the cause. I have always found myself much retarded in my treatment of these complaints by the want of a few remedies applicable to the uterine system in their modus operandi; and also to the great deficiency of emollient and resinous purgative medicines. Indeed the cases of obstipatio are so many, and very often the lower portion of the intestinal tube is so loaded, as not only to create difficulty, but often excite alarm. Obstructions for a fortnight are often occurring; sometimes, even, no evacuating had been passed for three weeks. It is not necessary to mention the host of symptoms which this simple cause would excite in the vital and organic systems. In this department of the public service the labours of the surgeon are much more essentially required in preventing diseases, by constantly attending to the cleanliness and exercise of the women, with an uniform system of kind, but strict management, than in curing them. [Signed] James Hall, surgeon, 22 Arundel Street, 17 January 1825.