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1-141 (Raw)

Item metadata
Speaker:
author,male,Broadside,un addressee
ns1:discourse_type
Newspaper Article
Word Count :
1277
Plaint Text :
ns1:register
Public Written
ns1:texttype
Newspapers & Broadsides
ns1:localityName
http://dbpedia.org/resource/New_South_Wales
Created:
1814
Identifier
1-141
Source
Ingleton, 1988
pages
72-73
Document metadata
Extent:
7521
Identifier
1-141-raw.txt
Title
1-141#Raw
Type
Raw

1-141-raw.txt — 7 KB

File contents



<source><g=m><o=b><age=un><status=2><abode=un><p=nsw><r=pcw><tt=nb><1-141>
CALAMITOUS STATE OF DISEASE, TYPHOUS FEVER, &c.,
in which the Convicts, on the Transports, GENERAL HEWITT, THREE BEES & SURRY
Arrived in this COLONY.
SYDNEY, New South Wales, 30th September, 1814
It appears that the General Hewitt, a Ship of 960 Tons, Earl master, received on the 28th July, 1813, from the Hulk at Woolwich, 124 Convicts. She then dropped down to Gravesend, where she remained sixteen days, whence she went to the Nore and received 48 Convicts from the Hulk at Sheerness; on the 22d and 23d August, two days after her arrival at Portsmouth, she completed her Number, 300, by 124 Convicts from the Hulks at Portsmouth and Langston; and finally sailed from England on the 26th of the same Month, having on board in addition to Convicts, 70 Soldiers, 15 Women, 8 Children, and 104 Ships' Company, besides several passengers, in all 515 Souls, having been twenty seven days from the embarkation of the first of the Convicts to the day of her Sailing, during the whole of which time, it is to be observed and regretted the Convicts were closely confined below.
That they were divided into Messes of 6 Men each, Six of which Messes were admitted on deck in rotation during the day for the benefit of Air; this practice was continued till she arrived at Madeira, when the prisoners were again kept be low for Nine days, the time of her stay at that Island; on proceeding to Sea, they were again admitted on Deck in the same number and usual manner, until they made Rio Janeiro, when they were once more closely confined for ten days, by which time the Sickness, which had commenced shortly after their quitting Madeira, had increased to an alarming degree. In Consequence of this Sickness, the Convicts were very properly allowed Access to the deck during the day for the remaining part of the Voyage. It was now, Alas! too late. No care, no exertion, however it might lessen, could now remedy the evil.
That there were two days in the Week Appointed for Shaving and cleaning the Convicts, but this regulation was not persisted in with any regularity; they were however obliged to Appear Clean every Sunday on the quarter deck, in Order to Attend divine Service, till they Arrived at Rio Janeiro, when this Salutary practice was neglected, and the Convicts were suffered to become exceedingly filthy.
The Decks were Swept every morning, Scraped and Swabbed twice a Week; they were Sprinkled with Vinegar weekly, until they made Rio Janeiro, when this was discontinued.
The Ship was also fumigated once a week for six weeks, but was afterwards much Neglected. That three weeks previous to their arrival at Rio Janeiro, their bedding was thrown overboard in consequence of having been wetted; from the want of which the Convicts, when they Came into a Cold climate, Suffered exceedingly. [73] 
It appears that Captain Earl purchased the Convicts' Rations of Salt Beef for Nine Weeks, paying them for it after they left Rio Janeiro, in the following Articles at most Shamefully enormous prices, Viz: - Coffee 4 shillings, Sugar 1 Shilling and 6 pence, Tea 20 Shillings, Tobacco 5 Shillings per pound, which was not less than 6 or 700 per Cent. on prime Cost. It also appears that this has been the Custom with the Masters of Several Transports to purchase the Salt ration during their passage through the tropics. Mr. Hughes, the Surgeon of the General Hewitt reports that some of the Convicts were in a State of debility when received from the Hulks, and unfit for the Voyage; that the Convicts were not examined after their embarkation by Any inspecting Medical Officer; but he Admits that there were none labouring under Contagious diseases, until about a fortnight after Quitting Madeira, 12 or 14 were Attacked with Dysentery, which continued to increase, combined with typhous fever, and finally that 34 Convicts died on the Passage, and a great number taken to hospital on arrival at Sydney.
The Three Bees, with 219 Irish Convicts, Sailed from Cork, on the 27th. October, 1813, and Anchored at Falmonth on the 30th. The weather, during the time they were at Falmouth was exceedingly Cold and the Prisoners Suffered Severely. They finally sailed from England on the 7th December.
The Convicts were formed into five divisions, each having a portion of the day on deck when the weather would Admit. In the Harbour of Rio Janeiro, they were all on deck together every day. On which Occasions, the Mercury in the thermometer fell in the prison 6, 7 and 8 degrees. Here a Case of fever appeared, and as it bore all the marks of Common Ship fever, every precaution was used to prevent the Contagion from Spreading. The Subject of the fever died. They arrived at Rio Janeiro on the 3d February, and left it on the 17th.
On the 27th a Strange Sail appeared, and, as she bore down, had the appearance of an enemy. The Prisoners' bedding was used on this Occasion as a barricade, and being kept on deck all night was quite drenched with rain. After Several fruitless endeavors, on as many days to dry the bedding, it was put into the Prison; at the same time the Prisoners were Cautioned not to use it. This injunction was disregarded, and Scurvy, which had been long lurking Among them, made its Appearance. Seven men died of it ere they reached Port Jackson, and fifty-five were sent to the Hospital in a dreadful State. Nine Convicts died on the Passage.
It appears that the Surry, Paterson, master, completed its Number 200 Convicts on the 21st of January, 1814, and sailed from England on 22d February. On the 7th of March, John Stopgood sickened, the first that laboured under a well defined case of Typhous or common ship fever. On the 12th, John Ranson died of fever, and Another fatal termination of fever Occurred on the 22d May. No Attempt appears to have been made towards Ventilating the prison, and neither the Surgeon's representations nor his efforts met with that Attention or Assistance from the Captain and his Officers, which it was their duty to have afforded him.
On the 22d of May, Isaac Giles died of fever, and on the 9th of June, Aaron Jackson died of fever, from which period the deaths became Awfully frequent. On the 26th July, they fortunately fell in with the Transport Broxbornebury, and, being reduced to the greatest distress, requested Captain Pilcher to send some person on board to take charge of the ship. Next day Mr. Nash from the Broxbornebury went on board, and took charge of the Surry, the Captain, two Mates, the Surgeon, 12 of the Ship's Company, 16 Convicts and 6 Soldiers were lying dangerously ill with fever. Captain Paterson died the same day. They Anchored on the 29th in Port Jackson Harbour, when the ship was immediately put under quarantine regulations.
The sick were landed and taken into tents prepared for their reception on the north side of Port Jackson. Every plan was adopted and carried into effect, that had a tendency to cut short the progress of contagion. The Measures adopted proved so effectual, that but one Case of infection took place after the sick were landed.
There died, in all, 36 Convicts, 4 Soldiers and 7 Seamen; Among whom is included the Captain, Surgeon and two Mates. That the deaths of the Captain, Surgeon and Mates may operate as an Awfull and useful lesson in future on the minds of the Officers of Transports, is a consummation devoutly to be wished!
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