Catalogue description Medical and surgical journal of the Royal Charlotte convict ship for 22 October 1824 to...

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Details of ADM 101/65/4
Reference: ADM 101/65/4
Description:

Medical and surgical journal of the Royal Charlotte convict ship for 22 October 1824 to 6 May 1825 by George Fairfowl, Surgeon and Superintendent, during which time the said ship was employed in transporting 136 convicts to New South Wales.

Folio 1: 22 October 1824: Joined the Royal Charlotte convict ship, per warrant from the Principal Officers and Commissioners of His Majesty's navy-ship fitting at Deptford.

Folio 1: 14 November 1824: Ship reported ready to take in her convicts. Dropped down to Woolwich.

Folio 1: 15 November 1824: Received 136 male convicts from the Justitia hulk. They appear to be a very indifferent draught of men, a very large proportion are for life, and they look sallow and thin.

Folio 2: Alexander McMath, aged 46, convict; disease or hurt, complains of pain in his bowels and severe purging. Put on sick list, 10 December 1824 at the Motherbank. Convalescent 14 December 1824.

Folio 2: Benjamin Mooris, aged 40, convict; disease or hurt, complains of griping pains in his bowels. Put on sick list, 13 December 1824 at the Motherbank. May leave hospital on 19 December 1824 but to have the hospital diet for a week.

Folio 3: William Hall, aged 34, seaman; disease or hurt, complains of lancinating pain in both sides of thorax impeding respiration. Put on sick list, 15 December 1824 at the Motherbank. Discharged 24 December 1824 to duty.

Folios 3-4: Robert Thomas Beach, aged 23, convict; disease or hurt, complains of intense pain in his head, loins and extremities, great debility, lassitude, listlessness and loss of appetite. Put on sick list, 24 December 1824 at the Motherbank. Discharged 16 February 1825 well.

Folio 4: Edward Clegg, aged 34, convict; disease or hurt, complains of violent rigors and pains in his limbs, protraction of strength, vertigo and vomiting. Put on sick list, 30 December 1824 at the Motherbank. Discharged 1 January 1825 with no complaint.

Folios 5-6: Samuel Cave, aged 43, convict; disease or hurt, skin tinged throughout of a deep brownish yellow, and the tunicae conjunctivae of his eyes of a golden yellow. Put on sick list, 16 January 1825 off Madeira. Discharged 1 March 1825 from the sick list.

Folios 6-8: Charles Horton, aged 43, convict; disease or hurt, has been in a desponding state of religious melancholy since he came on board and was so for some time previous, but showed no aberration of mind until within the last week. Suicide, slit own throat. Put on sick list, 23 January 1825 in Santa Cruz roads, Island of Teneriffe. Died 29 January 1825.

Folio 9: William Crossley, aged 26, convict; disease or hurt, headache, rigors, pains in his limbs, anorexia nausea and unquenchable thirst. Put on sick list, 26 January 1825. Discharged 1 February 1825 convalescent.

Folio 9: Jeremiah Skeldon, aged 34, convict; disease or hurt, headache, loss of strength, vertigo, anorexia and bitter taste in mouth. Put on sick list, 28 January 1825. Discharged 1 February 1825 convalescent.

Folio 10: Charles Stephens, aged 23, convict; disease or hurt, severe headache and vertigo. Put on sick list, 29 January 1825. Discharged 31 January 1825 recovered.

Folio 10: John Finch, aged 30, private, soldier; disease or hurt, generally unwell, is low, dull and heavy. Put on sick list, 4 February 1825. 24 February 1825 recovered.

Folio 11: John Flynn, aged 32, private, soldier; disease or hurt, acute lancinating pain in the left side, dyspepsia, short cough and pyrexia. Plethoric habit. Put on sick list, 6 February 1825. Discharged 20 February 1825 recovered.

Folio 12: Mrs Thompson, wife of Corporal Thompson, 57th Regiment; disease or hurt, after a natural labour was safely delivered of a male child. Put on sick list, 27 February 1825.

Folios 12-14: James Capper, aged [not stated], private, soldier, 57th Regiment; disease or hurt, tightness and pain in the thorax and troublesome cough. Put on sick list, 4 March 1825. Discharged 1 May 1825 to duty.

Folio 14: William Parker, aged 19, convict; Joseph Laconby, aged 23, convict; Thomas Maddox, aged 28, convict; Daniel Elphinstone, aged 24, convict; Edward Jones, aged 27, convict; Charles Stevens, aged 22, convict; Thomas Ross, aged 25, convict; William King, aged 38, convict; William Gorman, aged 32, convict; William McKinnon, aged 23, convict; Benjamin Morris, aged 34, convict. All these men suffered from furunculi or boils on different parts of the body, particularly on the insides of the thighs and legs. First observed on entering the tropics and cases of them being frequent since we attained higher latitudes, they are confined to those of full habit and sanguine temperament. I attribute them to the sudden change from the thin diet of the prison or to the more stimulating and nutritive one of the ship board. There is nothing particular in any of the cases, and are mentioned here because there is no other case of sickness on board except Capper. Their treatment consists in reducing their animal food, frequent purgatives and for common drink acidine sulphur diluted with water or lemonade by way of variety. Under this treatment they generally disappeared in the course of a fortnight.

Folio 15: John Newell, aged 29, convict; disease or hurt, acute pain all round the region of the umbilicus. Put on sick list, 2 April 1825. Discharged 10 April 1825.

Folios 15-16: Corporal Barrett’s child (girl), aged 3; disease or hurt, countenance defected and sallow, lower part puffed up, while the bones about the eyes were sharp and the skin of a leaden colour. Abdomen is swelled and she has no appetite. Mother on board ship as well. Put on sick list, 8 April 1825. 23 April 1825, no complaint.

Folio 16: The Royal Charlotte anchored in Port Jackson on Friday 29 April 1825, and on Friday 6th of May they were landed by order of the Governor General. There were none sick. No complaints were made of ill treatment or of withholding their allowance of provisions although eleven men had been kept upon bread and water and in triple irons from the 9 March, a space of 58 days, and 34 others were deprived of their allowance of wine during the same period. The persons as above had found a wild conspiracy to take the ship, and were sensible that they deserved a much more severe punishment than they received. On 6th June a court of inquiry was held upon the ringleaders of the mutiny. It consisted of the Principal Police magistrate and a full Bench when one was sentenced to a penal settlement for life, two for five years and another for three years.

Folio 17: Blank.

Folio 18: a numerical abstract of the medical cases mentioned in the journal.

Folio 18: Surgeon's general remarks.

Date: 1824-1825
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

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