Catalogue description Medical and Surgical journal of the Champion Convict Ship, from 10 May to 30 October...

Details of ADM 101/16/7
Reference: ADM 101/16/7

Medical and Surgical journal of the Champion Convict Ship, from 10 May to 30 October 1827 by Francis Logan, Surgeon, during which time the ship was employed on a voyage from England to New South Wales.

Folio 1: State of the thermometer with the longitude and latitude during the voyage from England to New South Wales. A table with columns titled longitude, latitude, date and 'Hour of Day'. The 'Hour of Day' column is subdivided into three columns, M 8, N 12, E 4, presumably Morning, Noon and Evening, containing temperature readings.

Folio 2: Henry Royal, aged 17, Convict; disease or hurt, catarrh and sea sickness. Put on sick list, 16 May 1827, at Gravesend. Discharged, 18 May 1827.

Folios 2-3: William Ryder, aged 43, Convict; disease or hurt, rheumatism. Put on sick list, 17 May 1827, Sheerness. Discharged, 20 June 1827. Sailed, 3 June 1827.

Folio 4: Richard Howells, aged 50, Convict; disease or hurt, hydrothorax and ascetis. Put on sick list, 20 May 1827, Sheerness. Returned to the Dolphin hulk, 23 May 1827. Received from the Dolphin hulk on 19 May 1827 when the Surgeon observed him to have a vacant stare and a red countenance but the officer who came with the convicts said he had been making himself look unwell and the he had been 'most particularly ordered out by the Secretary'. The next day he was observed to be breathing with difficulty, his abdomen swollen and his legs so oedematous that they could not be ironed.

Folios 5-6: Lieutenant Dolphin, Officer of the Guard; disease or hurt, fever. Put on sick list, 26 May 1827, Sheerness. Sent on shore to sick quarters, 30 May 1827. On 29 May he claimed to feel well enough to go on the voyage but in the Surgeon's opinion he was not. On the 3 June the Surgeon heard from him, he was getting weaker with no appearance of getting better.

Folios 6-7: John Morgan, aged 24, Convict; disease or hurt, rheumatism. Put on sick list, 7 June 1827, in the channel. Discharged, 19 June 1827.

Folios 7-8: John Lynch, aged 26, Soldier; disease or hurt, syphilis. Put on sick list, 4 June 1827, in the channel. Discharged, 20 June 1827.

Folios 8-10: Francis Conway, aged 28, Soldier of the 39th Regiment; disease or hurt, intermittent fever. Put on sick list, 9 June 1827, in the channel. Sent to the Military Hospital at Simon's Bay [Simon's Town], 1 September 1827. Was sent ashore at the Cape of Good Hope to take a walk for his health but got drunk and returned very ill.

Folio 11: William Ryder, aged 43, Convict; disease or hurt, syphilis. Put on sick list, 17 July 1827. Discharged, 12 August 1827. Had been in tolerably good health since last reporting ill, complaining occasionally of his head. Now has pain all over his head, which is very much swollen and painful to the touch. He had been very ill with a venereal complaint some 18 months earlier. His head was shaved and a blister applied.

Folios 12-14: William Thomas, aged 36, Convict; disease or hurt, hepatitis. Put on sick list, 17 July 1827. Discharged, 18 August 1827. Complained of pain in the pit of the stomach, increased upon pressure, it was discovered he had a hard tumour below the point of the sternum and a blister was applied. On 21 August it is noted that he had symptoms of sea scurvy which became so bad that on arrival at Simon's Bay, on 26 August, he could not sit up in bed.

Folios 14-18: James Holt, aged 30, Convict; disease or hurt, scorbutus. Put on sick list, 7 August 1827. Discharged convalescent, on arrival at Sydney, 17 October 1827. Had been mostly confined to bed with sea sickness since the ship sailed, sometimes not eating for days. Complained of severe headache and pains in his mouth and gums. Given fresh fruit, vegetables and beef when the ship called at Simon's Bay and given oranges afterwards.

Folios 18-20: William Gray, aged 27, Soldier of the 39th Regiment; disease or hurt, wound to the left hand, from his musket going off while he was cleaning it. Put on sick list, 28 July 1827. Discharged, 26 August 1827. The musket ball wounded and lacerated the palm of his hand and the underside of the third finger and then went through the third phalanx of the fore finger, shattering it to pieces. The remainder of the finger was amputated. The wound was much lacerated and burnt with powder driven into the flesh.

Folios 20-23: John Clarkson, aged 24, Convict; disease or hurt, dysentery. Put on sick list, 8 October 1827. Died, 17 October 1827. On 12 October it is noted that he was nearly delirious and could not be kept in bed, he has an excessive fear of death. His conduct since coming on board has been 'bad in every respect and horribly blasphemous, and it is now pitiful to hear him raging and furious at the state which he thinks is now awaiting'. He died when the ship was in sight of Sydney Harbour.

Folios 23-27: General sick list of the Convict Ship Champion between the 12 May 1827 and the 17th October 1827. Lists 173 cases, recording names, age, quality, when put on sick list, disease, when put off the list, and how disposed of.

Folio 28: Abstract of the preceding journal, being a summary of all the cases contained therein, nosologically arranged.

Folio 29: Form of a list to be made out of men who have received wounds or hurts. Lists only William Gray.

Folios 29-31: Surgeon's General Remarks. There were 3 other cases resembling that of James Holt at the same time. All with violent pains in the head causing near delirium, excessive pains all over the body, mouth, tongue and gums swollen etc. There were 2 more cases on 23 August, all were treated the same way. Only James Lewis and John [Borwick] had, in addition to their lemon juice, half a pint of water made acid with [so...ete] lemon or citric acid. The Surgeon expresses disappointment with both and the belief that lime juice is merely a palliative. He relates his treatment of sea scurvy with lemon juice in 1808 on the Goliath, when dysentery immediately followed the treatment. The symptoms were different and he would not be sure if those were cases of sea scurvy or not, were it not for their gradual recovery on being given fresh beef and vegetables. He debates the causes and conjectures that men used to salt provisions may get more nourishment from them. He suggests introducing cayenne pepper and garlic into the diet since in the East Indies the natives go on long voyages with nothing but rice and curry. There were several other cases of dysentery at about the time John Clarkson became ill, the weather had been cold and wet and the pipes of the water closets became so leaky, the decks could not be kept dry. Signed F. Logan.

Date: 1827
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

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