Catalogue description Medical and surgical journal of His Majesty's Transport Marquis of Hastings convict...

Details of ADM 101/50/3
Reference: ADM 101/50/3

Medical and surgical journal of His Majesty's Transport Marquis of Hastings convict ship, for 28 March to 16 August 1828 by Gilbert King, Surgeon, during which time the said ship was employed in making a passage from Portsmouth to New South Wales.

Folios 1-3: John James, aged 24; disease or hurt, a considerable degree of fever, accompanied with hoarseness, short and dry cough and acrid discharge from the nostrils. Put on sick list, 21 April 1828, at sea. Discharged cured, 5 May 1828.

Folios 3-4: John Thompson, aged 25; disease or hurt, hoarseness and difficulty of swallowing, has been unwell and feverish for three days. Put on sick list, 4 May 1828, at sea. Discharged cured, 16 May 1828.

Folios 4-5: David Jenkins, aged 18; disease or hurt, headache and pain in the extremities, thirst, heat of skin, quick pulse. Put on sick list, 16 May 1828. Discharged cured, 30 May 1828.

Folios 5-6; Thomas Kirby, aged 27, Soldier; disease or hurt, stools of a dark, bloody appearance, frequent and accompanied with distressing tenesmus. Put on sick list, 6 May 1828, at sea. Discharged cured, 20 May 1828. Had been previously discharged from the coast of Africa with dysentery and had bowel complaints ever since, relieved only by large doses of opium.

Folio 6: David Charlsworth, aged 22; disease or hurt, having been affected with severe rigors for several hours, he was seized with violent pain across the forehead, weakness in the loins, pain and stiffness in the large joints and general uneasiness over the whole body. Put on sick list, 21 May 1828, at sea. Discharged cured, 24 May 1828.

Folio 7: Michael Hayward, aged 22; disease or hurt, the scorbutic diathesis in this man's constitution is evident from his general appearance, the countenance is dark and bloated, the muscles are soft and flabby, purple spots appear on different parts of the surface, his gums are swollen, teeth foul and the breath very offensive, his disposition is very indolent and it is with difficulty he is made to pay any regard to cleanliness. Put on sick list, 23 May 1828, at sea. Discharged cured, no date given.He was quite well for some time between the Cape of Good Hope and Port Jackson but disease again broke out and was cured.

Folios 8-10: John Davidson, aged 27; disease or hurt, was seized suddenly with severe rigors, accompanied with pain in the joints and unusual prostration of strength, succeeded by increased heat over the whole body, dryness of the skin, distressing headache, quick and hard pulse, foul tongue, thirst etc. Put on sick list, 1 June 1828, at sea. Discharged cured, 16 June 1828. Folios 9 to 10 have an account of a second attack of fever which came on about halfway between the Cape of Good Hope and New South Wales, after Davidson had been well for a while. The initial treatment was not successful this time, the surgeon thinks it may have been because of scurvy or disease in the epigastric region. Although 'the bark in its different forms' was initially ejected by his body, he was eventually cured with sulphate of quinine.

Folios 11-13: John Siccar, aged 47; disease or hurt, has no appetite but rather a loathing of any kind of food, he has become all at once remarkably weak and has a disinclination to exertion of any kind, even to go on deck, and his thoughts are sad and desponding. Put on sick list, 10 June 1828, at sea. Discharged cured on arrival at Sydney. Described as 'a poor emaciated and sickly looking old man, numerous small purple spots appear on the skin, the countenance is depressed and haggard, and the complexion very sallow, the few teeth he has remaining are loose and the gums detached, the tongue is dry and scabrous, and he has a constant thirst, on examining his body and limbs, there is very little appearance of muscular substance and the prostration of strength is so great, that he can scarcely stand.' Treated for scurvy.

Folio 15: Michael Berns, aged 21, Soldier; disease or hurt, affected with languor and lassitude, with pains of the loins and weakness in the joints of the lower extremities, as a result of being exposed to very heavy rain during a whole watch. Put on sick list, 15 July 1828, at sea. Discharged cured, 21 July 1828.

Folio 16: Ralph Wood, aged 21; disease or hurt, has been much purged for two days, some straining at stool and he passes a good deal of blood. Put on sick list, 17 July 1828, at sea. Discharged cured, [20] July 1828.

Folio 17: Blank.

Folio 18: Abstract of the preceding journal, being a summary of all the cases contained therein. Continued fevers, 2; Fluxes, 1; Scurvy, 3; Intermittent fevers, 2.

Folios 18-19: Surgeon's general remarks. Previous experience on board the Medway has impressed on the surgeon's mind the importance of measures against scurvy but it is unnecessary to detail them since they are the same as used in the navy. The ship was kept clean, dry and well ventilated. Stoves were used against cold, one by the 'back yard' in the prison and another in the hospital. Prisoners should undergo a strict examination before embarking to check they are well enough for the voyage. Having learned from painful experience the surgeon rejected a number of convicts who were intended for transportation and accepted only those that might be expected to survive the voyage. Although the voyage took only 102 days a great part of this time was spent between 40 and 42 degrees south and during the winter months. In spite of this the general health was good and, apart from two cases of rubeola, scarcely a man was confined to bed. The only casualty was the death of a child of one of the soldiers. The child was about 10 years old and had been ill with diarrhoea for some time before the mother reported it. Signed, Gilbert King, MD, Surgeon RN.

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

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