Wednesday, August 8, 2018

B10 Branches - Matthew Bowden and Maria Sargeant

Matthew Bowden and Maria Sargeant


All Is Not As It Seems
In Defence of Maria

The Surgeon and his Chosen Lady

Researching family history brings forward many different perspectives on the past life on one's ancestors.  Often, their lives become the subject of many books and articles, often written with the almighty dollar in mind.  How better to portray a person, than to contrive a situation that in effect is so far from the truth, that people then believe it.

These seems also to be the case with Maria Stanfield.  She was someone's daughter, mother, and sibling.  She should not become fodder for hungry journalists.  All the women who travelled half way around the world did so for a reason.  For some it was to accompany their "convict" husbands, for others it was what went with the territory as the wife of a Military person, some came in chains, unwillingly, leaving their loved ones behind.  But everyone seems to have a reason, except Maria!!!

As one of the original settlers in Van Diemen's Land, the relationship with Surgeon Matthew Bowden and Maria Stanfield resulted in many descendants who have married into different branches of the Jillett/Bradshaw Family Tree.

While the relationship may have been unorthodox in the early days of Hobart, none know of the reasons why.

However, their beginnings were no different to almost all who arrived almost 215 years ago.  

Matthew was the surgeon.  He had been an Ensign in the Military, joining in 1798.

He rose significantly in the ranks, to then be the Assistant Surgeon then the Surgeon.

Matthew was attending Governor David Collins in 1810 when he died suddenly.  He tried to save him, but was unsuccessful.  Then 4 years later, Matthew himself died.

 His death in 1814, was a shock to all in the Colony.  The Rev Knopwood wrote of it, and that can be read in his diaries either in the Mitchell Library or Tasmanian Library.

Shortly before his death, another Surgeon died, thus Matthew was promoted.  Then his assistant also died.  From the pattern, it may be that they contracted diseases from those they were treating.
His parents were John Bowden and Elizabeth Bee, they married at Houghton-le-Spring.   Matthew's property at Glenorchy was named Houghton.

It is likely that Matthew's family had links with the Military.  He had a brother John Bowden who was Lost at Sea, in 1814.  His family were living at Houghton-le-Spring, near Durham, in Newcastle in UK.  The area had a long association with coal mining. 

Much of the early history of Houghton-le-Spring is centred upon the attractive church of St Michael and All Angels but the town has around two centuries of industrial history that resulted in the growth of the town.
Limestone quarrying has long been an important industry at Houghton but until the early 1980s the town’s most recent industrial history was dominated by coal. It was in the 19th century that Houghton became a significant colliery district. This followed the opening of Houghton Colliery (1823-1981) which was one of the first collieries to mine the coal that lay beneath the magnesium limestone of eastern Durham, where it was previously thought that wasn’t any coal.

There is a mining museum at Durham which has details about the many coal mines that operated.

One of those mines was Bowden Close Colliery. 

Bowden House was once called the Jerry Pub it was commonly known as a miner's pub.  It served the Helmington Row and Bowden communities for many years.  Story has it that when the coal mine was flourishing , the pitmen would walk up the field during their break and fill their tea flasks with beer.
  Situated between Crook and Willington in County Durham, UK, the former Bowden Close Colliery and Cokeworks were abandoned in the 1960s


Through his mother, the family lineage comes from the Jobling Family.  They were landowners and lived at Newton Hall.

The National Archives hold files relating to his Robson Family.

The Newton Hall mansion, built in 1722, is one of Northumberland’s finest historic homes, a Grade II listed country house. In July 2010 a full renovation of the property was undertaken. The property had stood empty for some time and was in a poor state or repair.

Beyond this point appear the village and church of Newton-hall, and the lofty ...... John Jobling of Newton-hall, he died 27th day of August, 1789, aged 71 years.

The Liddell family held Ravensworth Castle, near Gateshead, as well as Newton and it was this northern part of the county that they developed their coal mining interests and acquired their wealth. Sir Henry Liddell (c1644–1723) was one of the prime movers in attempts to regulate the North East coal trade in the early 18th century, and he served as MP for Durham in 1689 and 1695-8, and Newcastle from 1701 – 10. It was under his guidance that the old Newton Hall was restored around 1717–23.

Recently, a collection of Sir Henry's letters and drawings has come to light revealing a great deal about these buildings and gardens at Newton. One of the earliest is a builder's final account for the main construction work dated 5 November 1717. The resultant remodelling was very successful, as the Hall's handsome west front would show. During this remodelling it was decided to install new sash windows, something of a contemporary design statement. These were originally made in London and some were sent up to Newton, but after difficulties fixing them Sir Henry agreed to have local craftsmen do the work. [1]

 His Commission

COMMISSION OF ASSISTANT SURGEON 'L'Anson Commission of Assist, surgeon

George the Third, by Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc. To Our Trusty and Well

beloved William I'Anson, Gent.,

Greeting. We, reposing especial Trust in your Loyalty, Integrity and Ability do by these Presents constitute and appoint you to be Our Assistant Surgeon to Our Settlements in NewSouth Wales. You are therefore carefully and diligently to discharge the Duty of Assistant Surgeon to the said Settlements by doing and performing all and all manner of Things thereunto belonging. And you are to observe and follow such Orders and Directions from time to time, as you shall receive, from Us, Our Governor of New South Wales, or any other your superior Officer, according to the Rules and Discipline of War.

Given at Our Court of Saint James's, the Fourteenth Day of January,
1803, in the Forty third year of Our Reign.
By His Majesty's Command,
(Lord)  HOBART.

[Similar commissions under the same date were issued to assistant surgeons Matthew Bowden and William Hopley

Maria Stanfield


Maria was born at Portsmouth and baptised on 23rd June 1782 at St Mary's.  She was the daughter of Ann Crisby who married Richard Stanfield at Gosport in 1772.  Portsmouth at that time was a Naval and Military Base, as was Gosport.   Perhaps "Crisby" is "Crosby" as people named "Crisby", are very rare.

Gosport and Portsmouth area

By 1760 the powder magazine in Portsmouth was considered a danger to the many people living nearby and the Board of Ordnance purchased fields on the Gosport side of the harbour, known as Priddy’s Hard. This area was fortified in 1748 and the present magazine and camber were built in 1771. The earlier defences to the Town were in very poor condition so the programme of rebuilding continued, enlarging the defended Town to link up with the new Priddy’s Hard area on the opposite side of Forton lake. These, defences were not completed until 1803 and included a gateway leading to Haslar Hospital (1753).

Within the enlarged defences, privately owned buildings were used for supplying ships, although the area was later purchased by the Navy and would become the victualling yard now known as Royal Clarence Yard. Forton Mill, a tide mill, had been built nearby to provide flour and the remainder of this area was occupied by St. George Barracks. Between 1780 and 1830 the Town developed rapidly, producing some fine buildings, notably in Clarence Square. The tight streets around the Square however provided squalid living conditions and were often patrolled by the naval Press Gangs.

Why would a young woman of 21 be permitted to travel on a ship carrying supplies and convicts to Australia?   According to the newspapers there were 50 young ladies taken on the boat. 

The Stanfields of Gosport

Gosport was a Garrison town, and a port, making it likely that the Stanfields had some association with either the Military, the Navy or the Port.  Maria had a brother named Richard, born 1773.  He may very well be the same Richard Stanfield who was the customs officer.

In 1825 there was a terrible accident at the Portsmouth Docks when Mr Stanfield the Customs officer was drowned, along with many others.  He left 3 children.  He was Mr John Stanfield, a locker with Customs.  John was born 1777 and brother to Richard born 1773.  Her other brothers were William, and Charles, and a sister Augusta Sophia who was younger.

In Defence of Maria

Why are there no records relating to the arrival in Port Phillip of one, Maria Stanfield?

That is a rather serious question.  The first mention of her is in a marriage in April 1803.

There is reference made in a novel, written not to long ago, where Maria is referred to as "

a camp-follower from Gosport, who had formed an attachment to the sergeant .......

Perhaps that is a rather harsh statement, and one that is quite derogatory to a 21 year old woman, born in the very town of Gosport, where her family lived and worked, and lost their lives at the dry docks of Portsmouth.

The very same place that the Calcutta left from on its voyage to Australia, and the very same place that the Rev. Knopwood married Maria, 4 days before the ships departed.

Is it correct to label Maria with this tag? 

The definition:

Camp-follower is a civilian not officially connected with a military unit, especially a prostitute, who follows or settles near an army camp.

This same sort of character assignation has occurred in my own family tree, and when researched properly and thoroughly, a totally different viewpoint can be obtained.

Maria was baptised on 23rd June 1782 at St Mary's Church Portsmouth[2].   She was not unfamiliar with life in Gosport.  It sits on the entrance of Plymouth Harbour, and can be a dangerous place for shipping.


Reference has been made to some very early historical resources, some written by Governor David Collins, including Garrison Orders.

These records might provide a clearer picture of the life of Maria before she and Matthew formed a relationship, and it might change the public perception that Rev Knopwood married her to a Marine to "preserve appearances."

She was married, as can be read,  to Richard Sergeant, a Marine.

However, they married on  the 23rd Day of April 1803 on board the Calcutta, before the ship even left England.  It did not leave until the 27th of April 1803, so perhaps Maria was a last minute addition to the manifest,  marrying her sweetheart 4 days before they embarked.

They were the first settlers, and it was quite common among the Military to develop relationships with the married wives of other officers.  Governor Collins was no exception!    Historically, their marriage was the first recorded, for Port Philip, it being the first port of call, but the first registered in Van Diemen's Land.    Other records indicate another couple as first to marry in Port Phillip, so perhaps technically correct.


The Voyage

Between May 1802 and February 1803, the Navy had Calcutta fitted out as a transport for convicts being sent to Britain's penal colonies in Australia. She received new armament in the form of sixteen 24-pounder carronades on her upper deck and two six-pounder guns on the forecastle. Captain Daniel Woodriff recommissioned her in November 1802 and sailed her from Spithead on 28 April 1803, accompanied by Ocean, to establish a settlement at Port Phillip. Calcutta carried a crew of 150 and 307 male convicts, along with civil officers, marines, and some 30 wives and children of the convicts. 

The Reverend Robert Knopwood kept a journal on the voyage.[4]

The British Government chartered Ocean from Messrs Hurry & Co as a supply ship for the journey from Portsmouth to Port Phillip. On the voyage to Port Phillip, she carried 100 people along with supplies needed for the settlement at Port Phillip. The people on Ocean included Captain John Mertho, nine officers, 26 seamen, eight civil officers including George Harris (a surveyor), and Adolarius Humphrey,  a mineralogist, and a group of free settlers. Many of the free settlers had skills that would be of value to the new settlement - five were carpenters, two seamen, two millers, a whitesmith (works with white or light coloured metals such as tin or pewter), a stonemason, gardener, painter, schoolteacher, pocketbook maker (maker of wallets and covered notebooks) and two servants.

The Rev. Mr. Knopwood goes out tin to the settlement. On board the Calcutta, Government have allowed fifty healthy young women to go out with them

7 May 1803 - Lancaster Gazette - Lancaster, Lancashire, England

Preparations were being made to leave Portsmouth, clearly with 50 Healthy Young Women
Who were those 50 healthy young women?  It seems some were the wives of officers, some were the wives of convicts and a servant.  As there is still the question of Maria!

Given Maria's family background, being a servant, in the normal sense, does not seem probable.


At Rio de Janeiro, seven sailors deserted Calcutta. Portuguese soldiers captured three of them and returned them to her, receiving a reward of £6 per sailor. While the ships were at berth, maintenance work was carried out on both ships and fresh provisions were taken on board for the next leg of the journey. Cloths were washed; repairs and adjustments made to the rigging of both ships and supplies of water were replenished. The fresh provisions included 36 turkeys, 13 dozen capons (roosters) and fowls, 68 very large ducks 4 geese, 13 pigs, and a large quantity of fruit and vegetables. Both Ocean and Calcutta left Rio on 19 July 1803.

Ocean, the slower of the two ships, was directed to sail direct to Port Phillip if she lost contact with Calcutta. The ships did lose contact so Ocean did not put in at Cape Town, arriving at Port Phillip on 7 October. At Cape Town two more sailors deserted Calcutta. One was captured and returned.
After leaving Rio, Ocean sailed through the Southern Atlantic and into the Indian Ocean. 

She experienced frightening weather conditions for 77 days. Twenty days out of Rio, George Harris recorded that ‘for many days we could not sit at table but were obliges to hold fast by boxes and on the floor and all our crockery were almost broken to pieces, besides many seas into the cabin and living in the state of darkness from the cabin windows being stopped up by the deadlights … I was never so melancholy in my life before’. In such conditions work on deck was extremely dangerous. On 9 August John Bowers fell overboard and was lost. Ocean finally sighted land on before sighting land on course and off Port Phillip on 5 October; she was on course and off Port Phillip.   

From The Historical Records of Australia

The assembling of the expedition with provisions and stores was rapidly completed. The establishment  consisted of the lieutenant governor; a military guard of three officers and forty-seven non commissioned officers and men of the marines, accompanied by twelve wives and children; a civil staff of twelve with four wives and children; twenty-two settlers with twenty-seven wives and children; a missionary and his wife; three hundred and seven convicts with thirty wives and children; a total of four hundred and sixty-seven persons. Some of the settlers had the option of remaining with Collins or proceeding to Port Jackson. The provisions and stores were estimated to last for two years

Within two months of his landing, Bowen had under his command the surgeon; the storekeeper; lieutenant Moore and twenty two men of the New South Wales corps, with three women and one child; about sixty-six male and female convicts; two settlers with families of four; an overseer from Grose farm; one man and two women (unclassed) ; and Meehan, temporarily attached; a total of over one hundred persons

Sir, Downing Street, 5th April, 1803.

Lord Hobart has directed me to transmit to you the enclosed List of Persons who have obtained Permission to proceed as Settlers to Port Phillip, and I have to request that, upon their arrival at the Settlement, the usual Rations of Provisions may be issued to them, as well as such Grants of Land made to them* as have been heretofore allowed to Persons of a similar Description.

The Occupations, which these Persons have hitherto followed, are expressed against their respective names, and they have all produced very favourable Testimonies of their Characters. I trust therefore they will not only Contribute to the Prosperity of the Settlement under your Government, but that they will merit your favourable Protection. The total Number of these Persons including Women and Children amounts to Twenty.

If any of the Settlers, who are embarked on board the Ocean, should prefer establishing themselves at Port Phillip to proceeding to Port Jackson, you will give them Permission to do so, and you will forward to Governor King a List of their Names.

I have, &c,

List of settlers. LIST of Persons, who have obtained Lord Hobart's permission proceed as Settlers to Port Phillip.

Name. Occupation. Age. Family. Recommendation.

Mr. Collins Seaman — —
Edward Newman ....                                         Ship Carpenter — — —
Mr. Hartley Seaman —                                                 Wife —
Edwd. Ford Hamilton... — — — __
John Joachim Gravie. . — —                            1 Child —
Mr. Pownell — —                                            Wife and Child —
A Female Servant ... — — —
Thomas Collingwood. .                                     Carpenter — —
Duke Gharman — — —
John Skelhorn '. .                                              Cutler — Wife and Child M. H. Tatham,
. . , _ , . ,                                                                      37 Charing Cross
Anthy. Fletcher Mason —                                 do and do
T. R. Preston Pocket                                         Bk. Maker — Cols. Collins and Bake

On the voyage, the officers did not have funds to buy supplies.

In 1803. Messrs. Bowden, Fosbrook, Hopley, Harris, four Officers of the 16 July. Civil Establishment, having found it impossible to procure any Advances made Stock here without money, and that money could not be obtained but through my means, I have advanced them each Five Pounds, taking their Receipts for the same, which I shall transmit with some other vouchers by the return of the Calcutta, and hope the Colonial Agent, Mr. Chinnery, may be directed to stop the same from their growing allowance.

They arrived at Port Phillip and later relocated to Van Diemen's Land.


In the returns Maria Sargeant is listed as the Private's wife.  Her husband was Richard Sargeant a Private in the Royal Marines.


VOLUME I.Port Phillip, Victoria, 1803—1804.Tasmania, 1803—June, 1812.

•Published by:


Richard Sargeant  Royal Marines

Richard Sargeant was a member of the 1st Parade Company of the Royal Marines.

However he was also not a person a good character.   He faced Court Martial 4 times.

 In 1803,

Serjt. Richard Sargent of the 1st Parade Company Having been found Guilty of the Crime, with which he stood charged before a Martial, was sentenced to be reduced to the Pay and Duty of a Private Centinel; but, some alleviating Circumstances having appeared Course of the Proceedings, and, in the defence offered by the Prisoner, he was recommended by the Court to the clemency of the Commanding Officer, which recommendation he was pleased to confirm, and Prisoner was restored to his former Situation. A Review of arms and necessaries to-morrow morning after Troop Beating

In 1804
General Orders Hobart Town 7th July 1804
Parole Bangor C. Sign Landass
Garrison orders
A Review of arms and necessaries tomorrow as usual.

Serjeant Richard Sargent of the 80th Company is reduced to the Pay and Duty of a Private Sentinel for drunkeness by the Sentence of a Garrison Court Martial. He will do duty in the 1st Parade Company.

General Orders Hobart Town 10th July 1804
Parole Sawbridge C. Sign Bull

Garrison Orders
Richard Sargent, Private in the 1st Parade Company, is at the request of 1st L.t Johnson restored to his former situation of Serjeant in the 80th Company. The Commanding Officer trusts that this second Instance of his Lenity will not be thrown away but that Sarg.t Sargent will recollect he has been twice reduced by the sentence of a Court Martial and twice restored.

General Orders Hobart Town 15th Augt. 1804
Parole Basilesk C Sign Escort

Garrison Orders
Richd. Sargent Lieut. in the 80th Co. being reduced to the Pay and Duty of a Private Sentinel by the sentence of a Court Martial. Corpl. Robert Alomis is appointed Sargent in his [indecipherable] in the 80th Co. He will do duty in the 2nd Grade Company. 

What became of Lieutenant Richard Sargent?  Was he convicted and hung, due to his many misdemeanours?  Or did he remain in the 80th Royal Marines.

Meanwhile in Sydney, Mary Sargeant was emancipated, and in 1813, she was preparing to leave the colony.  She had lived at Coal River, near the Skite of Hut. Her house in Liverpool Street, in Sydney, as reported in 1820, was spacious.

Was she a relation of Richard Sargeant?  

Or did Richard get sent back to Sydney, and was he the same Richard Sargeant who had land lease in 1835? who arrived in 1816, on the "Fame".

Or was he Corporal Richard Sergeant of the 84th Regiment of the Royal Marines who left Sydney on the "Isabella" to return to England.

Highly likely!  And also the reason that Maria Sargeant and Matthew Bowden were not able to be married, before his untimely death.

General Orders

General Orders Sullivan Bay 21st Jan.y 1804
Parole Wilson C Sign Adams

Mr Wm. Nicholls is appointed a Superintendent of Convicts and is to be observed as such, he will take upon him the direction of the Carpenters belonging to the Colony.
Samuel Gunn will direct the Department of Shipwrights and John Fell will assist the Storekeeper in the Issue of Stores and Provisions.
Lt Sladden, The Rev. Mr. Knopwood and G.P. Harris Esqr. will meet on Monday Morning at Eleven o'clock at the Mess room to hear and determine such Complaints as the LtGovernor shall cause to be laid before them for that Purpose.
The Rev.d Mr Knopwood, Mr. Bowden (Assistant Surgeon) G.P. Harris Esqr. (Surveyor) and A.W.H. Humphrey (Mineralogist) will hold themselves in readiness to embark on board the Ocean Store Ship with the Lt.Governor.
Garrison Orders
A Detachment consisting of 1 Sub.n 1 Serj.t 2 Corpls 1 Drum.r & 20 Privates will hold themselves in readiness to embark on board the Ocean Store Ship.

Officer for this Duty 2d Lt Lord.
It having been represented to the Lieutenant Governor that some Person or Persons have inconsiderately suggested from the Suddeness of the Death of the late Nicholas Piroelle, that he had died by Poison, he thinks it necessary to publish the following Report of the Surgeon, who opened the Body and in his presence satisfactorily and clearly ascertained the Cause of his Death.
Surgeon’s Report
Upon opening the Thorax, the Pericardium and the sides of the Chest contained a large quantity of water which had stopped the Action of the Lungs. The Heart was unusually large but not otherwise diseased. In the Abdomen I examined the Stomach and Intestines particularly, which were perfectly health and contained a small quantity of half digested food, in which there was nothing remarkable. The Liver was also much enlarged from some former disease.

Signed Matt.w Bowden
Ass.t Surgeon

General Orders Hobart Town 1st July 1804
Parole Dorchester C. Sign Carlton

A Ewe Lamb the Property of Mr Bowden having been stolen from the Penn in the rear of the Hospital in the course of last night by some Person or Persons at present unknown the Lieut Governor is hereby pleased to promise to procure a conditional Emancipation for any Prisoner who shall give him such certain Information of the offender or offenders as shall enable him to convict him or them of the said Felony.


BY His Honor David Collins, Esquire, Lieutenant Governor of a Settlement, pr Settlements, to be formed in Bass's Straits, New South Wales.

First.No person but the Pilot, or Officer authorized by the LIEUT.GOVERNOR, is to board any ship or vessel arriving in this Port.

Second.—A Guard will generally be sent on board to prevent any articles being landed, until permission is given. The Guard is to be as comfortably lodged as circumstances will allow of, and not to be interrupted or insulted in their duty.

Third.—When the Ship is secured, the Commander is to produce a manifest of his cargo, specifying the different articles in the Vessel for sale. He is then to give a Bond of security, in the penalty of two hundred pounds sterling, not to open the Vessel's hatches for the sale of any article whatever, until a general Permit is given for that purpose ; and not to send from the Ship, any Spirits, Wine, Beer or other strong drink, after that general permission is given, without a written Permit, signed by the LIEUT. GOVERNOR, specifying the qualities and quantities, with the name of each purchaser; and not to send from the Vessel, or to sell, any Arms or Ammunition to any person, without the LIEUT. GOVERNOR'S permission as above, on the pain of the Bond being forfeited.

Fourth.—It being of the utmost importance, that none of the Convicts are carried from the Settlement, and that every precaution is taken to prevent their secreting themselves on board of Ships layingin this harbour, it is hereby ordered and directed, That no Convict, either male or female, be ever received on board of any Ship, or into any boat belonging to such Ship, unless permission has been obtained for that purpose from the Lieut. Governor.

Fifth.—No person is on any account to purchase any article whatsoever,whether Provisions, Bedding, Clothing or Tools, from a Convict, or from any of the Military, all such articles being the property
of the Crown both before and after their being issued from the Public Stores. Any person or persons acting in disobedience to this order will be subject to a criminal prosecution.

Sixth.—Ships, not commanded by King's Officers, are never to send their boats on shore at any other place but the Public Landing Place, nor give their people leave to go into the Country, without having first obtained permission from the L I E U T . G O V E R N O R.

Seventh.—No boat is to come, or to go from the Landing Place after the Tattoo has beat, upon any account, without the knowledge of the Lieut. Governor, or, in case of his absence, the knowledge of the Officer second in command.

Eighth.—No kind of Spirits are ever to be given, or sold, to any Convict. And none are to be landed for any person without a permit, which will be given on application being made-to the LIEUT .    GOVERNOR, and the quantity approved of by him. All Spirits landed without a permit will be seized.

Ninth.—The taking spears, fishgigs, g u m , or any other articles from the Natives, or out of their huts, or from the beach, where it is their custom to leave those articles, will be punished as a robbery; and if any of the Natives are wantonly or inconsiderately killed or wounded, or if any violence is offered to a woman, the offender will be tried for his life.

Tenth.—Ships, not King's Ships, wanting wood, will on application have a place for their wooding pointed out to them.

Eleventh.—His Majesty's Ships will wood in any part of the Harbour they may find most convenient, the ground immediately in the vicinity of the Settlement excepted.

Twelfth.—No boats are to be sent from the Ships to any part of this Harbour, either to haul the seine, or for any other purpose, without a petty officer and arms in the boat; and particular orders are to be
given that the boat is never suffered to ground, or the arms to be landed, two or more people always remaining in the boat for the protection of those who are hauling the seine, or otherwise employed
on the beach.

Thirteenth.—Persons dying on board are to be buried on shore; and no stone, gravel, ballast, or iron hoops are to be thrown overboard below high-water mark, on the penalty of five pounds sterling for each offence, which will be levied by a Magistrate.

Fourteenth.—The Master of any Ship, who takes a Convict from this Settlement, whose sentence of transportation is unexpired, will be prosecuted for such offence. And if after leaving this Port, any Convict should be found on board the Ship, the Master is hereby enjoined and directed to deliver up such Convict to the Governor, or Commanding  Officer, at the first post he shall touch at, whether English or foreign, as a prisoner who has absconded from this Settlement.

Given under my . Hand, at Head Quarters, Sullivan Bay, Port Phillip, this 12th Day of January, 1804.
David Collins.

General Orders Hobart Town 8th Octr. 1804
Parole King Island C Sign Calcutta

The Deputy Commissary will until further orders issue to the sick at the General Hospital the flour that came from England in the Ocean Store Ship.
Garrison Orders
During the hot weather the non commissioned officers and privates will dress in mosquito trousers.

The officers will dress in white, or nankeen breeches and boots or nankeen pantaloons.
General Orders Hobart Town 20th May 1806
Parole Northwick C Sign

Garrison Orders
The Quarter Master will receive from His Majesty’s Stores one pair of Shoes for each of the Detachment tomorrow morning at Eight o’clock.
Detail for Duty

General Orders Hobart Town 21st May 1806
Parole Whitecomb C Sign

A few pair of shoes having been forwarded from England in the Ship William Pitt and received here by the King George, the Commissary will this day issue one pair of Shoes to each of the Drummers and Privates of the Royal Marines, and one pair to each of the Male Prisoners whose names are contained in a List delivered to the Storekeeper. As soon as more arrive they will be issued to those who are not included in the present serving.
General Orders Hobart Town 16th June 1806
Parole Wellingboro’ C Sign

Garrison Orders
The Commanding Officer having received an application from the non-commissioned Officers and Privates of the Detachment praying to be informed upon what terms and conditions they came out to this country, acquaints them, that from the circumstance of his having been furnished by the Secretary of State, in his quality of Lieut. Governor, with the assurances that were given to the first Detachment of the same Corps that was sent on a similar service to New South Wales, he has reason to suppose they were meant for his guidance with respect to that now serving in this Settlement and for whose information he now states what those assurances were, viz.

That such of them as should have behaved well, should be allowed to quit the Service upon their return to England, or be discharged abroad upon the relief designed to take place at the expiration of three years after their landing and be permitted to settle in the Country.

[Page 253]
That in the event of any of them becoming Settlers the following encouragement was held out, viz.
To every non-commissioned Officer, an allotment of 130 acres of Land, if single, and of 150 acres if married.

To any Private Soldier 80 acres of Land, if single, 100 if married, and 10 acres of Land for each child, at the time of the allotment taking place, free of all Fees, Taxes, Quit Rents, and other acknowledgments for the Term of 5 years, then to be liable to an annual Quit Rent of one shilling for every 50 acres, to be supplied with cloathing and one year’s Provisions, with Seed Grain, Tools and Implements of Agriculture; and on it appearing that they can maintain, feed and cloath them, a certain number of Convicts is to be assigned to each of them for Labour.

With respect to the wish of the Detachment to be informed, why, if the Marines formerly at Port Jackson should have been allowed Spirits from their landing, until their leaving the Settlement, and they were only to receive it for 2 years after their Landing, so great a distinction should be made between them. The Commanding Officer informs them that it was at his particular request they received any Spirits, and that it is not for them to enquire why any distinction was made with respect to them, but to be thankful for this liberal allowance they have been indulged with.



Matthew and Maria

Maria Sargeant became the partner of Surgeon Matthew Bowden. 
The Calcutta and Ocean sailed in company from Yarmouth on the 27th of April, 1803. After calling at Teneriffe and Rio de Janeiro, the ships sailed from the last port on the 15th of July.

Did the relationship only begin in September 1804 around the time Richard Sargeant was facing court martial, when 9 months later their first child, John, was born.
Perhaps Maria had been badly treated by her husband, Richard Sargeant, and Matthew, being a kindly soul, cared for her.  They proceeded to have a family, of four children.  That she cared for him, is evident on his headstone.
Each of the surnames births of her children were recorded in the registers by Rev Knopwood as Sargeant.  The only record not found is the birth of their daughter Ann Elizabeth Sargeant.  It is probably transcribed incorrectly.

7 years after his death Maria had another son, again Sargeant was his recorded name.

Matthew Bowden made a will in 1811, and he named each of the children and Maria as beneficiaries.
At what point then, did the Sargeant children adopt the name Bowden?

Matthew was appointed an Ensign with the 3rd Regiment of the Royal Lancaster Militia in 1798.  He rose to become Assistant Surgeon.

  Maria's home in Hobart was on the corner of Campbell and Liverpool Streets.  She was a neighbour of Robert and Elizabeth. 

In the 1822 muster, Maria Sargeant is listed, so to is a Maria Stanfield born in the Colony.  She was the daughter of Daniel Stanfield.

She had a rooming house, and a Captain Thomas had his boots stolen from there in 1827, he was not the only person to suffer the same robbery.

Lieutenant-Governor Collins began his settlement at Hobart Town, on the memorable 21st February, 1804, a marquee was doubtless pitched for the purposes of the General Hospital. Where or when the marquee was erected has not yet been ascertained from the published records. Possibly this important item  of information may be gleaned some day.

 At the beginning of its history the General Hospital was staffed with  a principal surgeon and two assistant surgeons in the persons of William L'Anson, Matthew Bowden, and William Hopley.

From the 27th July, 1804, the assistant surgeon on duty at the hospital was required to attend all punishments which might occur among the prisoners. Hopley, it may be stated here, came hither with a wife and two children.

Bowden came from Port Phillip in the storeship Ocean with Lieutenant-Governor Collins and the first detachment numbering 259 persons of all ranks and classes. Hopley, and perhaps L' Alison too, remained at Port Phillip until the removal of the second detachment, under Lieutenant Sladden, which comprised about 74.persons and arrived here in the ship Ocean on the 25th June. 

Whether the General Hospital was set up at Hobart Town before or after the landing of the second detachment is unknown at the present time. Nor is it known so far whether the marquee for the patients was pitched on Hunter Island or within ''the camp,'' possibly on a site not far distant from what was designated in print twelve years later as Hospital Hill.

Wherever the General Hospital was established by the Lieutenant-Governor, there it remained during his command of the settlement. Certainly in his time neither material nor labour was
available to him for erecting a permanent structure. It was not till the 8th February, 1812, that a decision was come to at Sydney to erect a hospital building here. It is also highly necessary, writes Governor Macquarie on that date to Major Geils the commandant, that a General Hospital for the reception of the --sick convicts and other persons in the settlement who cannot. otherwise procure medical attention should be erected at Hobart Town as soon as the Government can conveniently command the means of doing so.

Until the latter part of the year 1808 there was not, seemingly, a settler here with medical qualifications. In the last quarter of that year the local condemnation of the ship Dubuc, a South Sea whaler was the happy means of furnishing the settlement with its first private doctor in the person of Thomas William Birch, who arrived here on the 2nd May, 1808. This gentleman was an Englishman who had served as medical officer on the Dubuc till her condemnation as an unseaworthy vessel After that event he decided to settle in Hobart Town, where he married a settler's daughter, fol1owed commercial and pastoral pursuits, and built Macquarie House in 1814, besides relieving suffering humanity, very often freely, at his popular surgery in Macquarie Street.

A few sceptical persons are disinclined to recognise T.W. Birch as a qualified medical man; but that attitude of mind cannot be maintained in the face of an official recognition of his professional status. On the 6th September, 1808, William Hopley, second assistant surgeon at the General Hospital, requested leave of absence to enable him to proceed to England for the recovery of his health.

Thereupon the Lieutenant-Governor ordered a survey on the sick doctor by a board of three surgeons, namely, William L 'Anson and Matthew Bowden from the General Hospital, and Thomas Birch, surgeon on the ship Dubuc.

These professional gentlemen, his Honour required and directed to visit Surgeon Hopley, enquire into the state of his health, and report to him under their hands whether they thought it necessary that he should be invalided and sent to England.

The report of these recognised surgeons may be seen in the first volume of the Historical Records of Tasmania. In those far off times the title of ''doctor'' was not often used at Hobart Town or Sydney in official documents. The general practice was to describe Matthew Bowden, for example, as Mr. Bowden,  and sometimes as Surgeon Bowden.

During his visit to the Derwent in November, 1811, Governor Macquarie selected sites for the erection of a permanent hospital and gaol. The site for the hospital is mentioned by him to Major Geils in a despatch written on the 8th February, 1812. The place I pointed out to the Inspector of Works most eligible for those two public buildings,, says his Excellency, is a rising airy piece of· ground on the west side of the rivulet near the present lumber yard, and it is there they must· be erected whenever it may be convenient to commence building thereon.

I shall send you plans and elevations of both these -public buildings at- some future period, and long before you can commence building them. As soon as sufficient materials are collected for the barracks for the officers and soldiers, you must next prepare the necessary materials for the General Hospital and the gaol...,...brick for the former and stone for the latter-each to be only one story high.

The exact position of the site is marked on the plan of Hobart Town approved by his Excellency here on the 30th November, 1811. A copy of the plan is given at page 64 of the Walker Memorial-Volume, which should find a place in the home of every son of the soil. On the 1st June, 1812, his Excellency recurs to the subject. I hope, he remarks to Major Geils, you will not lose any time in setting about building the barracks on Barrack Hill for the accommodation of the detachment, with kitchens and a small military hospital, after you finish the additions and repairs now making to the  church and Government House- for your accommodation. These Barracks and also a Civil General Hospital and new gaol must first be erected and completely finished before any new Government House is attempted to be built.

According to a summary· of the despatches from Lieutenant Governor Davy· to headquarters, he wrote on the 3rd May, 1815 a despatch, in which he announced to his Excellency his intention of building a new General Hospital on an eligible situation, but not the one fixed on by the Governor.

Only a summary of the despatch was  available to Dr. Watson, but in the first volume of the Historical Records of Tasmania he puts the Governor as command on this subject to Lieutenant
Governor Davey. I understand from the' Deputy Surveyor of Lands. writes his Excellency on the 12th December 1814, that you have changed the site originally marked out and initialled by me for erecting a new hospital on. I must therefore desire that  the hospital: shall not be erected on any other site than the one directed and approved of by me. I do not allow Surgeon Luttrell to interfere in cases of this kind, and I shall expect an instant compliance with my orders on this point.

How the Lieutenant-Governor replied to this censure is not known, for after the conclusion of his administration, he sent most of his official papers to his friend and patron, the Earl of Harrowby. The task of raising a permanent home for the General Hospital was inherited by Lieutenant Governor Sorell. I leave it now to your own discretion, writes the Governor to him on the 3rd June, 1818, to employ whatever number of convict labourers on the Government Public Works at the Derwent that may be deemed actually necessary to complete those now in progress, including a new General Hospital, and completing the Military Barracks.

It was not till the 18th December 1818, that his Honour was in a position to inform his Excellency that "the foundation of the Colonial Hospital has begun on the plan and on the spot approved by Your Excellency

Garrison Orders 7th February 1812

In 1812, Mathew Bowden returned from Sydney to the Settlement and he will in future act as Colonial Surgeon until further Orders, and assistant surgeon Dermot of the 73rd Regiment will deliver to him, what Medical stores are now remaining, received by him on the death of Mr. L'Anson later principal surgeon.

Assistant Surgeon Dermot of the 73rd Regiment will in future attend the Detachment of Royal Marines, by order of His Excellency the Governor in Chief.   John Murray Commandant.
Some information about the early years of the Hobart General Hospital is supplied by Dr. F. Watson in his last contribution to the Historical Records. Various articles of medical necessaries, stores, etc., were shipped on board H.M.S. Calcutta for the use of the settlement to be formed by Lieut.-Governor Collins, either at Port Phillip or in Tasmania. He carried with him three surgeons and a clergy-man. No doubt the hospital at Sullivan Bay, in Port Phillip, was conducted in the marquee. On the 10th November, 1803, according to a general order of Collins, Samuel Lightfoot was appointed an assistant of the "General Hospital"

On the 18th November a ration for sick convicts under medical treatment was fixed. On the 3rd August, 1804, Collins informed Lord Hobart that the prevailing diseases at the Derwent wore scurvy, diarrhoea, and catarrh.

 This was the period of famine and suffering, and a vigorous effort was made to arrest the progress of scurvy by the issue of kangaroo meat and soup. It was announced by general order on the 10th September, 1804, that the Lieut.-Governor has caused two boilers to be set up at the General Hospital, whereat, under the inspection of the surgeon, soup boiled with rice will be issued at 12 o'clock each day to all persons who may be afflicted with the above disease or who may be of a weakly habit of body.

By the 27th September the principal surgeon was able to tell the anxious Lieut. Governor that the scorbutic patients under his care were considerably benefitted by the fresh animal food. Thereupon His Honour requested that those gentlemen who have dogs will exert themselves in procuring an ample supply of kangaroo for the hospital.

Again, on the 14th September, 1805, he directed that a quantity of kangaroo should be boiled into soup at the General Hospital, and one quart thereof issued at noon to such persons as chose to apply and until further orders. On the 27th July, 1804, there was issued an order that the Assistant Surgeon, on duty at the General Hospital, will attend all punishments which may occur among the prisoners.

On the 16th January, 1805, Principal Surgeon . L'Anson reported to His Honour that the sago and rice sent out for the use of the General Hospital are nearly expended, and suggested the expediency of a quantity of each article being purchased from the ship lately arrived.

The disobedience of hospital patients was provided for by the general order on the 9th June, 1806. The surgeon having repeatedly complained that the patients in the hospital absent them-selves there from without permission and contrary to the regulations thereof, recites this order, that any patient who shall in future go beyond the limits of the hospital without permission shall be severely punished.

On the morning of the 25th July, 1806, between the hours of three and four, the Hospital Stores were set on fire in several places and destroyed. Rewards were offered the Lieut. Governor in the hope that such vile and atrocious miscreants may be brought to justice. On the 30th April, 1808, Valentine Henly was Placed on the list of overseers, and was to attend at the General Hospital.

Early in 1812 the erection of a new hospital engaged the attention of Governor Macquarie. It is also highly necessary, he wrote to Major Geils on the 8th February, that a General Hospital for the reception of the sick convicts and other people in the Settlement who cannot otherwise procure medical aid, should be erected at Hobart Town as soon as Government can conveniently command the means of doing so.

The most eligible place for the erection of a hospital and a gaol, he pointed out to the Inspector of Works, is a rising, airy piece of ground on the west side of the rivulet, and it is there, declared His Excellency, they must be erected whenever it may be convenient to commence building them. The death of Dr. Matthew Bowden, Principal Surgeon at Hobart Town, occurred on the 23rd October, 1814, and the surgeon in charge of the General Hospital in 1815 was probably Dr. William Hopley, who died in October of that year and was buried in the same grave as his old friend, Lieut.-Colonel Collins, with whom he arrived in Tasmania.

He was succeeded at the institution by Dr. Edward Luttrell, who had only three months previously received the appointment of assistant surgeon at Parramatta. In February of 1817, Samuel Lightfoot was still performing the duties of assistant, for in a case he gave evidence that he was called to dress the wounds of man who had been stabbed in the neck by a woman. Lightfoot died suddenly on the morning of Sunday, the 17th May, 1818.

According to the obituary in the Gazette he had been for many years assistant at the General Hospital. He came to the Settlement with the late Lieut.-Governor Collins, and was generally respected by all who knew him. As the deceased was in perfect health before he died a coroner's jury was, of course, summoned, which turned the verdict of died by the visitation of God.[6]

The Death of the Surgeon

Matthew Bowden died suddenly in 1814.  He was buried in St David's Hobart.
In 1855 Maria died, and her remains are included with his, in the vault.[7]
In 1862 her son Thomas Bowden died, and he is also buried at the same place.

In 1925, the cemetery was a scene of destruction.  Not many tombs were saved* (Hobart Then and Now).

Linc Tasmania

Exact measurements : 112 x 154 mm.

Photograph shows three inscriptions on the vault: Matthew Bowden, Thomas Bowden and Maria Sergeant.

Matthew Bowden Biography

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1, (MUP), 1966
Matthew Bowden (1779-1814), surgeon, served as a surgeon in the Royal Lancashire Regiment before he was commissioned as a civil assistant surgeon on 14 January 1803 to accompany Lieutenant-Governor David Collins's expedition to found a settlement at Port Phillip. He sailed in the Ocean, accompanied Collins when the settlement was transferred to Hobart Town, and was one of the first ashore, landing at Frederick Henry Bay on 12 February 1804 and walking to Risdon on the River Derwent. In the starving years of the new colony, Bowden played a prominent role attending the sick, condemning imported stores as unfit for human consumption and joining the celebrations when each store ship arrived. He was one on the first to equip his assigned servants to hunt kangaroos for meat; one of his men was speared by Aboriginals and left to die in the bush.

 On his 100 acres (40 ha) at Humphrey's Rivulet, granted in August 1804, Bowden had a vegetable garden and crops, and began to acquire livestock. He also encouraged exploration, himself making a three-day excursion up the Derwent Valley, and by 1809 he was depasturing sheep at New Norfolk.
In May 1809 when William Bligh arrived in the Porpoise, Bowden certified the ill health of some of her crew, but he was credited with leading Hobart's civil officers in opposition to the deposed governor. Next year he attended Collins at his death in March, and in April was appointed first assistant surgeon of the civil medical establishment in Hobart; in October Lachlan Macquarie, impressed by his record, granted him an additional 500 acres (202 ha) on the Derwent and, after the death of I'Anson in November 1811, appointed him principal surgeon at a salary of £182 10s.

Soon afterwards, when Macquarie visited Hobart, he was shocked to find the civil hospital in very bad order and Bowden 'a man of dissolute habits, prematurely old'. He instructed the commandant 'not to permit Bowden to presume to molest a marine … on account of him having had his lawful wife restored to him by my orders', and later warned Thomas Davey against him.

Nevertheless Robert Knopwood recorded that 'the whole community was plunged into gloom' by Bowden's sudden death on 23 October 1814.

Information written of his death at that time can be found in the Mitchell Library or in Tasmanian Library.

[Extract from the diary in the Mitchell Library, Sydney, October, 1814, 21st - 30th, concerning the death and funeral of Matthew Bowden].

His land in Hobart.

Author/Creator:  Knopwood, Robert, 1763-1838.

Hobart Reading Room (Tas)
Crowther - pamphlets quartos (Stack)
CRO.PQ 994.6 BOW
On shelf
Matthew Bowden's will was made in 1811, and his executors were A.W. Humphrey and Maria Sargeant.  

Humphrey, Adolarius William Henry (1782–1829)
by G. H. Stancombe
This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1, (MUP), 1966
Adolarius William Henry Humphrey (1782?-1829), public servant, was the son of George Humphrey (1739?-1826) of Westminster, London, and his wife Sarah, née Hamilton (d.1821). He sailed as mineralogist with David Collins from England in 1803 to found a colony on the southern coast of Australia. Collins, dissatisfied with Port Phillip, sent William Collins and Humphrey to Port Dalrymple at the mouth of the Tamar River, with a view to settling there. They searched especially for fresh water, so much lacking at Port Phillip, but apart from the South Esk, found only a little stream which they named the Supply River. Here Humphrey carved with his hammer and chisel the legend, 'A.H.1804', deep into the dolerite rock, where it is still legible.

Having returned to Port Phillip, Humphrey sailed with the rest of Collins's expedition to the Derwent where he was soon at work searching for minerals. He made several journeys of exploration with the botanist, Robert Brown, and Jorgen Jorgenson. They ascended the Derwent at least as far as the River Clyde and made two excursions over Mount Wellington to reach the Huon River. In 1805 Humphrey moved to New South Wales where he worked for two years on both Norfolk Island and the mainland, chiefly engaged in examining iron deposits, samples of which were sent to Sir Joseph Banks. In 1807 he accompanied Surveyor Charles Grimes to Launceston and discovered near Tunbridge the salt pans which proved a great boon to the early settlers. From Launceston he walked to Hobart Town in three days. He resigned in 1812 as mineralogist, pleading that he was worn out by the privations endured in his explorations in both colonies, but it seems that he was no longer interested in his profession. However, he maintained his interest in scientific subjects by becoming a corresponding member of the Horticultural Society of London. He also corresponded with Sir William Hooker.

In 1814 his appointment as a magistrate, held temporarily for the previous four years, was confirmed though Governor Lachlan Macquarie did not at first approve of him. Because of punishments he had meted out, he was hated by the convicts. Michael Howe and his fellow bandits burned down his stacks and barn and ransacked his house at Pittwater.

 In 1815 he sought compensation for his losses. Three years later he was appointed coroner, superintendent of police and chief magistrate at Hobart. This made him the most powerful man in the colony next to Lieutenant-Governor William Sorell, being the chief executive officer in the capital. He was the most important witness called by Commissioner John Thomas Bigge, supplied him with much information about his control of licensing, the convicts, the police and weights and measures, and gave a comprehensive report on transportation.

When Van Diemen's Land was made a separate colony Humphrey was appointed a member of the newly-established Legislative Council and in 1825 of the Executive Council. An important assignment for him in 1826 was to sit with two others on a board of inquiry into the conduct of the attorney-general, Joseph Gellibrand. As a result of their finding Gellibrand was dismissed. The same year Humphrey was highly commended for his service against the bushrangers led by Matthew Brady who attacked his farm at Plenty in the Derwent valley.

In 1828 he retired from his official duties owing to ill health, receiving a pension of £400. He retained his seat on the councils until his death the following year. (Sir) George Arthur, like Sorell before him, praised highly the work of his chief magistrate who with a modest salary had in no way enriched himself while holding public office.

Humphrey also played a large part in the growth of agriculture in the island, supplying the commissariat with meat, breeding stud pigs and Saxon merino sheep, a number of which were slaughtered by Brady's gang.

The land commissioner, Roderic O'Connor, thought Humphrey's farm Humphreyville at the Plenty River was 'one of the most gratifying Sights in the Colony'. It was managed by his wife, formerly Harriet Sutton of Sydney, a convict whom he had married in 1813 rather than obey Macquarie's request to return her to her father in Sydney. He left the property to his widow, and the government bought grain from her, to save her from financial embarrassment. She later married John Kerr.

A Most Unusual Find

Megatags and search engines often do amazing things.  Who would have thought that by searching one particular person, that this information regarding Matthew Bowden would have been revealed.

His handwriting and his letter, which is a valuable historical object in its own right.

Displaying 8 Lots in Category - Settlement 1788-1825 - Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania)*

While it is unclear by what vessel this letter was carried, the transit time of 571 days strongly indicates it was by the "Sydney". If that supposition is correct, this letter is also the earliest shipwreck mail recorded from Australia. The "Sydney" departed Hobart 28/12/1805, departed Sydney for Calcutta about 12/4/1806, and was totally wrecked off New Guinea - but without loss of life - on 20/5/1806.

Matthew Bowden was Assistant Surgeon at the ill-fated convict settlement founded in 1803 at what is now Sorrento (Victoria). The settlement failed and all the inhabitants were transferred to the site of Hobart Town the following year. He became principal surgeon in 1811, was granted 600 acres of prime land, & engaged in minor exploration of the interior. He was only 35 when he died suddenly in 1814

Given that the contents could be of anything, but appear to be consistent with writing to a customs officer or someone involved with despatching goods, and his complaint is definitely about the fact that Governor King was neglecting the Colony, the likely recipient seems to be Charles Cox Esq.

There are several, but paymaster in De Rolls Regiment, might apply, so would the Charles Cox Esq who was Customs Officer .

Roll's Regiment (also de Roll's or von Roll's Regiment) was a regiment of the British Army formed of Swiss, French and German soldiers raised in 1794 for service in the French Revolutionary Wars
Abacus Auctions is a Melbourne-based auction house dedicated to offering our clients a wide variety of Stamps, Postal History, Picture Postcards, Coins, Banknotes, Militaria, Sporting Memorabilia and associated Collectables such as Documents, Maps and Ephemera through our regular Public Auctions.

*Our Specialists Gary Watson (former owner of Prestige Philately), Nick Anning, Max Williamson and Torsten Weller between them have well over 100 years industry experience and are recognised experts in their respective fields.


50 Women Arrived on the "Ocean" !

Often with so many historical accounts of different voyages and people in so many different places, it can be easy to lose track of one's ancestors.

In trying to determine just how a seemingly unmarried 21 year old was permitted to embark on such a journey, gathering and presenting the information and collating it in one place became quite justified.
 This story written by Lieutenant Tuckey, is very colourful in its presentation.

The Calcutta touched at Tenerife, Rio de Janeiro and the Cape of Good Hope.

Below is Lieutenant Tuckey's account of the departure of the Calcutta and the arrival at those places. He gives a description of crossing the line and of the situation of some of the convicts and their wives....

"The Calcutta arrived at Portsmouth, from the river Medway, in the middle of February 1803, where she waited the junction of the Ocean, which was protracted until the 8th of April. The first weeks of this month the winds had been constantly from the eastward; but various trifling causes, which commonly retard expeditions of this nature, prevented our taking advantage of them, and when these obstacles were removed, the winds, as if determined to shew their contempt for the ambitious, and too often short-sighted views of man, suddenly changed to the westward, and blew with a degree of violence that left no hopes of succeeding, should we attempt to beat down Channel. Perhaps no situation can be more irksome than this to a sailor; when his mind is made up for departure, every delay that impedes it, is felt as a misfortune; and yet such is the contradiction in the mind of man, that while he wishes, he fears the removal of these impediments, and would still linger out another day, to accomplish something which is yet undone, or perhaps to take another last farewell of friends, to whom he has already bidden fifty times adieu.

The first moment of a favourable wind we took advantage of, and quitted St. Helen's on the morning of the 26th; but on the evening of the next day, the wind again veering to the westward, and blowing hard, obliged us to run through the Needles, and take shelter in Yarmouth Roads. The following morning, with a strong breeze from the northward, we again put to sea, and cleared the Channel on the 29th. This part of a foreign voyage, though a mere point as to distance, is reckoned by sailors the most material and difficult; for the English Channel is so situated, that the prevailing westerly winds make the egress from it extremely precarious, particularly in winter.

In bidding farewell to England, it may naturally be supposed, that the feelings of our motley crew would be as various as their situations, their prospects, or their characters; yet the general sentiment seemed to be that of entire indifference: a few women alone, whose birth and education had promised them a far different fate, were affected by this heart-rending, though voluntary, exile from their native country; and  

" Shudd'ring still, to face the distant deep,  
"Return'd, and wept, and still return'd to weep."

Among the convicts on board, were some who, by prodigality, and its attendant vices, had degraded themselves from a respectable rank in society, and were indebted to the lenity of their prosecutors alone for an escape from the last sentence of the law. Some of these men were accompanied by their wives, who had married them in the sunshine of prosperity, when the world smiled deceitfully, and their path of life appeared strewed with unfading flowers; in the season of adversity, they would not be separated, but reposed their heads upon the same thorny pillow ; and as they had shared with them the cup of joy, they refused not that of sorrow.

Those alone who know the miserable and degraded situation of a transported felon, can appreciate the degree of connubial love, that could induce these women to accompany their guilty husbands in their exile. The laws can only make distinction in crimes, while the criminals, whatever may have been their former situation in life, must suffer alike for crimes of the same nature: it therefore entirely depended on us to ameliorate their condition, and grant such indulgences, as the nature and degree of the crime, and the otherwise general character and conduct of the prisoner seemed to deserve.

To these helpless females, all the attentions that humanity dictated, and that the nature of our service would admit, were extended, but still it was impossible to separate their situations entirely from their guilty husbands, they were consequently far, very far, from being comfortable; and one of them, borne down by the first hardships of the voyage, which she felt with redoubled force from being far advanced in her pregnancy, fell a victim to her misplaced affection before our arrival at Teneriffe.  

The ships anchored before Santa Cruz on the 17th of May, and having completed their water, and procured a supply of wine, sailed again on the 21st. While laying at Santa Cruz, fresh beef was served throughout the ship, and as a slight indication of scurvy was observed in some of the prisoners, a large quantity of vegetables and lemons was laid in for sea-store. The free use of fresh water was also permitted to wash the convict's clothes; an indulgence, the beneficial effects of which cannot be too highly valued. In voyages of this nature, where a great number of people are crowded together, to whom it is not always possible to permit such exercise as is necessary to health, cleanliness is the only preventative of disease; and, independent of any other necessity, it will always be eligible to put into any convenient port for that purpose alone.

It would appear, that the island of Teneriffe deserves the high character it has received for salubrity of climate. We attended the funeral of a native, who had lived 26 years beyond the common life of man, "after which all is but labour and trouble." His brother, who attended the funeral, was 94, and seemed to put his own mortal destiny at a distance. The thermometer stood between 70 and 72, a temperature, perhaps, more congenial to human life, than any other..... The water here has a soft, soapy taste, and I believe a slight purgative quality; it is conducted from the mountains to a stone fountain, which throws up three jets d'eau.

The island produces a species of pine-tree, which is used in the construction of the houses, and in small vessels; we were here too early for the fruits of the island, which are those peculiar to the tropics. Vegetables were plenty, onions in particular are remarkably good; and as they are not to be procured at Rio de Janeiro, it is advisable to lay in a large stock of them here: fowls cost about half a crown each: sheep are scarce, and bad; and hogs neither cheap nor good. The only fish we saw, were large mackerel, vast shoals of which come into the bay at this season; they are caught with hook and line, and attracted towards the boats by fires of the dried pine, which give a bright blaze, and of a serene evening the bay presents the appearance of a magnificent marine illumination.

Between England and Teneriffe we lost four convicts by death; two of these had been embarked in the last stages of consumption, vainly hoping that a warmer climate might restore their health. From Teneriffe, we pursued our course towards the Cape Verde Islands, and on the 25th of May made the Isle of Sal, along which we coasted at the distance of six or seven miles, without seeing anything that could induce a stranger to land on it from choice; not a trace of cultivation, nor of inhabitants, was to be seen; nor did a single shrub enliven the dreary brown of the parched soil. This island has but few stationary inhabitants, but is frequented for the salt which is collected on it, with which it supplies America, and the West Indies.

On the morning of the 26th, We stood close in for St. Jago, the largest of the Cape Verde Islands, and ranged along its S. E. fide at from one to two miles distance. This side of the island is broken, and uneven, in some places bound by projecting shelves of rock, the lower parts being excavated by the continual action of the water; in other spots are small sandy coves, defended by reefs on which the sea beats with violence. This island affords an agreeable prospect to the distressed mariner; the sides of the more gently ascending hills are covered with a verdant carpet, upon which numerous herds of cattle are seen grazing, and in the valleys are groves of cocoa-nuts and bananas surrounding the habitations of the natives. The harbour of Praya, laying on the south side-side of the island, is, during the regular N. E. trade-wind, perfectly secure, but it is exposed to the tornadoes, which in the months of August and September often blow from the southward: The natives appeared desirous of our landing, by waving their handkerchiefs on the rock as we passed along: hoping some of them might be induced to come on board with fruit, we stood close into the bay, but not a canoe was to be seen, and it was not an object of sufficient consequence, to suffer any delay by sending a boat on shore.

The town, from which we were distant about five miles, is the seat of government; to appearance it consists of a few wretched clay huts adjoining the fort, which alone is white-washed. A lucrative-trade is carried on from this island lo America and the West Indies in mules: by breeding these animals, and by supplying ships with refreshments, the inhabitants support themselves, The mother-country feels so little the importance of these islands, that scarce any precautions are taken for their defence: a Creole is often governor-general; and the inferior islands are sometimes governed by Mulattoes. A thick haze always obscures these islands, and prevents their being seen at the distance that might be expected from their altitudes: this, I suppose, proceeds from the exhalations arising from the Salt lakes, and this haze is much thicker and more opaque when the sun is in the Northern tropic.

From the Cape Verde Islands to the vicinity of the line, the N. E. tradewind continued to impel us forward with undeviating celerity. In this space, it is impossible not to mark, with emotions of pleasure, the beautiful atmospherical pictures which the evenings afford: in the direction of the setting sun, the Heavens are seen glowing with orange and purple, blended into the greatest variety of tints, and melting imperceptibly into the pure ether of light cerulean blue; in which, the first stars of evening shine with the most brilliant silvery lustre.

The Northern tropical seas are the peculiar residence of the Dolphin, the Bonetta, the Albacore, the Skip-jack, and the Flying-fish; the latter is often seen winging its transient flight, to escape the swift pursuit of the dolphin, while the voracious shark waits its descent; when, exhausted by the want of moisture, its wings refuse to bear it aloft, and it falls helpless into his devouring jaws. The shark is the. hereditary foe of sailors; and the moment one is spied, the whole crew are instantly in arms; often, the day's allowance of meat is sacrificed to bait the hook intended to entrap their hungry adversary; while grains, harpoons, and every missive weapon, are pointed at his devoted head.
When success attends their operations, and the deluded victim is dragged on board, no pack of hungry fox-hounds can be more restless, till they receive the reward ward of their labours, than the sailors to tear out the bowels, and examine the stomach of the shark. Here they often recover the pieces of meat used to bait the hooks, which his sagacity had extricated; and after cutting off his fins, saving his jaws as objects of curiosity, and reserving a few slices from the tail to eat, the carcase is again committed to the watery element.

In latitude 66 North, we lost the N. E. trade-wind, and for a few days experienced the usual equinoctial calms, and squalls, with heavy rains, and strong easterly currents. The line was crossed in the longitude of 250 W., with the usual visit from Mr. Neptune, his wife, and child. This ceremony, though ridiculous enough, is, when ably executed, sufficiently amusing: the ugliest persons in the ship are chosen to represent Neptune, and Amphitrite (but the latter name being rather too hard of pronunciation, is always familiarized into Mrs. Neptune); their faces are painted in the most ridiculous manner, and their heads are furnished with swabs well greased and powdered: Neptune's beard is of the same materials; while a pair of grains, or a boat-hook, serves him for a trident: a triumphal car is constructed with chairs fixed on a gun-carriage, a wheel-barrow, in which they are seated, and drawn from the forecastle to the quarter-deck, by a number of sailors representing Tritons.

 After enquiries respecting the ship's destination, saluting their old acquaintances, and making the Captain some ridiculous present, such as a dog or cat, under the name of a Canary-bird, they are again rolled forward, and the ceremony of shaving and ducking their new visitors commences. A large tub of salt water is prepared, with a stick across it, on which the visitor is seated; Neptune's barber, after lathering his face well, with a mixture of tar and grease, performs the operation of shaving with a piece of lusty iron hoop, and when clean scraped, which is not accomplished without many wry faces, he is pushed backwards into the tub, and kept there until completely soaked.

Our arrival at Rio 'de Janeiro was greatly retarded by the Ocean, whose rate of sailing was much inferior to the Calcutta's. We reached that Port the last day of June, and immediately commenced the necessary refittal of the ship, to enable her to encounter the long succession of stormy weather, which the season of the year taught us to expect in the remainder of our passage to New Holland. The small Island of Enchardos, about two miles from the town, was hired with permission of the Viceroy, for the purpose of repairing our water-casks, and landing the women to wash; a dilapidated monastery affording them and the marine guard a comfortable mansion.'. . . .

Quitting Rio Janeiro the 19th of July, with the wind at E. N. E. we shaped our course to the southward, in order to get into the region of westerly winds, which came on gradually till they fixed in, strong N. W. gales. It was now found impossible to keep company with the Ocean, without running under bare poles, which strained the ship violently, and we therefore parted company near the Islands of Tristan d'Acunha; the largest of which we made on the 2d of August, The preceding evening it had blown a heavy gale, with a mountainous sea; but as we approached the island, the wind moderated to a fine breeze, the billows subsided, and the clouds clearing away shewed the full-moon suspended in the clearest ether: by her friendly light, at about four o'clock we saw the Island, at six leagues distance.

As the dawn arose, the horizon becoming hazy concealed it from our sight; but at sun-rise, the vapours again dispersing, left us a clear view of it till noon, when it was fourteen leagues distant. The effect which the sight of the smallest spot of land, or even a bare uninhabited rock, has in breaking the tedious monotony of a long sea voyage, is easier felt than described.

 After passing a long succession of weary hours, with no other objects of contemplation than a world of waters, bounded only by the extent of vision, where it unites with the .world of clouds, the sight of land acts, like a talisman, and instantaneously transports us into the fairy regions of imagination.

From Tristan d'Acunha a short run of eleven days brought us off the Cape of Good Hope, which we were in hopes of passing with a continuance of our favourable wind; in this, however, we were disappointed, as it suddenly veered to the S.E, and obliged us to run to the northward and make the land. Upon mature deliberation it was thought better, under these circumstances, to run into the Cape, than endanger the present high health of the ship's company and convicts, by keeping the sea in this stormy season; and we accordingly cast anchor in Simon's bav. Cape Town is one of the handsomest colonial towns in the world; the streets, which are wide and perfectly straight, are kept in the highest order, and planted with rows of oaks and firs. The houses are built in a stile of very superior elegance, and inside are in the cleanest and most regular order.

On Saturday, October 10th, we at last made King Island, in the entrance of Bass's Straits, which we had anxiously looked out for the two preceding days; the wind being from the N. E. obliged us to stand within three miles of the island, which through the haze we observed to be moderately high and level, with three sandy hills nearly in the centre. The increasing breeze and lowering sky, which portended a coming gale, prevented our examining the island more minutely. Fortunately we stood off in time to gain a sufficient offing before the gale commenced, which during the night blew a perfect hurricane. This night of danger and anxiety, was succeeded by &-morning beautifully serene, which shewed us the southern coast of New South Wales.

From the total want of information respecting the appearance of the land on this coast, we were doubtful as to our situation, and approached the shore with cautious diffidence; at length the break in the land, which forms the entrance of Port Philip, was observed, but a surf, apparently breaking across it , created, at first, some mistrust of its identity, until the man at the mast-head observing a ship at anchor within, which was soon recognized for the Ocean, removed all doubt, and without farther hesitation we pushed in for the entrance. A fair wind and tide soon carried us through; and in a few minutes we were presented with a picture highly contrasted with the scene we had lately contemplated: an expanse of water bounded in many places only by the horizon, and unruffled as the bosom of unpolluted innocence, presented itself to the charmed eye, which roamed over it in silent admiration. The nearer shores, along which the ship glided at the distance of a mile, afforded the most exquisite scenery, and recalled the idea of "Nature in the world's first spring." In short, every circumstance combined to impress our minds with the highest satisfaction

The week following our arrival at Port Phillip was occupied in searching for an eligible place to fix the settlement. As it was of the first consequence that this should be of easy access to shipping, the shores near the mouth of the port were first examined. Here, to our great mortification, we observed a total want of fresh water, and found the soil so extremely light and sandy as to deny all hopes of successful cultivation. As it was, however, determined to  land the people, a small bay, eight miles from the harbour's mouth, was pitched upon for that purpose, where by sinking casks, water of a tolerable quality was procured, and here the camp was pitched; and on the l6th of October, the marines and convicts were landed, while the ships immediately began to discharge their cargoes.

On the first days of our landing, previous to the general debarkation, Capt. Woodriff, Colonel Collins, and the First Lieutenant of the Calcutta had some interviews with the natives, who came to the boats entirely unarmed, and without the smallest symptom of apprehension; presents of blankets, biscuit, &c. were given to them, with which, except in one instance, they departed satisfied and inoffensive. The wash streak of the boat striking one of their fancies, he seized it and threw it behind the bushes; to shew him the impropriety of this, the blankets which had before been given them were taken away, and they were made to understand, that they would not be restored until the board was brought back by him who conveyed it away: this, after some delay and much reluctance, was at last done.

Several convicts absconded from the camp soon after their landing, led away by the most delusive ideas of reaching Port Jackson, or getting on board some whaler, which they ignorantly believed occasionally touched on this coast; some of them were brought back by parties sent after them, and others returned voluntarily, when nearly famished with hunger. Two only of these unfortunate beings were never heard of after leaving the camp, one of these was George Lee, a character well known to several persons of respectability in England.

 After the Calcutta quitted Port Philip, a vessel was sent to examine Port Dalrymple; the accounts brought back not being so favourable as was hoped for, it was finally determined to remove the Colony to the river Derwent, which was partly accomplished before the Calcutta sailed from Port Jackson. The name of Hobart was given to the Settlement, and the most flattering accounts were received from the Lieutenant Governor, of, the situation, soil, and climate. Speaking of the climate, he says, that it may be considered the Montpelier of New South Wales.

The remainder of the Calcutta's voyage was almost totally barren of incident, either to amuse or instruct. She sailed from Port Philip the 18th of December, and passing through Bass's Straits, without experiencing any difficulties, arrived at Port Jackson the 26th. Here she took in a cargo of ship-timber (about six hundred logs) and sailed again on the 17th March 1804; passed to the southward of New Zealand, which was seen on the 29th; doubled Cape Horn on the 27th April, and arrived at Rio de Janeiro the 22d May; thus accomplishing a voyage round the world, discharging and receiving a cargo, in eleven, months. In the long navigation between New Zealand and Cape Horn, scarce a single incident occurred either to interest the seaman, or the naturalist. Throughout this navigation, the wind seldom deviated to the northward of N. W. or to the southward of S. W. with strong gales, 'which enabled us to make an average of one hundred and eighty miles a-day fof twenty-nine days. The variety and numbers of austral oceanic birds, which followed our track, was very great; and it was remarked, that they were seen in greatest numbers during stormy weather. It is probable that the winds at those times disturbing the waters to their utmost depths, may bring blubbers and other substances, upon which these birds feed, to the surface.

Lieutenant Tuckey was highly regarded. Lieutenant Governor Collins transmitted to the First Lord of the Admiralty a most flattering testimony of his merits and he was furnished by Collins with letters of recommendation to Sir Joseph Banks. On his death twelve years later Lieutenant Tuckey was described as being at all times gentle and kind in his manners and indulgent to everyone placed under his command. His Commander in reporting his death in the Congo wrote of him "in him the navy has lost an ornament and its seamen a father"  Reports on the "Calcutta"

13 Feb 1803 arrived Spithead, from the Downs, last from Plymouth, to take 130 convicts to Botany Bay.

10 Apr 1803 the Calcutta's Royal Marine contingent, for New South Wales, has embarked ; and Lt Col Collins, RM, who has been appointed Governor of the Colony, and also goes out in the Calcutta, has arrived at Portsmouth.

15 Apr 1803 her ship's company were paid an advance of wages previous to leaving England for Australia. She is flying the Blue Peter so is expected to depart shortly. She has on board 306 male convicts, besides 50 women, the wives of part of them. They are expected to be absent 3 years, as they are to form a new settlement at Port Philip, in the Bass Straits, where it is said there are no Europeans.

16 Apr 1803 Aaron Graham Esq., one of the magistrates for Westminster, has been here at Portsmouth several days selecting 200 convicts from the ships here, and superintending their removal to the Calcutta. The soldiers that mutinied at Gibraltar, condemned to death, and sent to England in the Cynthia, would appear to have received a reprieve, as they are also being put on board the Calcutta, although reading the report in the newspapers it appeared to result due to consuming too much alcohol, which, combined with the frustration of being cooped up in an Army barracks on an Island like Gibraltar....... Not that I don't like Gib., I love it, but when the border is closed I felt that it could get more than a bit claustrophobic, and that combined with too much alcohol can sometimes be a dangerous mixture if there is no outlet for these frustrations, and in those days men often seem to have been left to their own devices, rather than being kept occupied.

25 Apr 1803 departed Spithead the Calcutta, with the Ocean transport, with convicts and a detachment of Royal Marines, for Port Phillip, Oz. I take it that they're going to NSW first, before departing for Port Phillip ?

[1] Sir Henry Liddell is in my own family lineage, as were many of the owners of coal mines in and around Durham
[4] Wikipedia
[5] Photograph of drawing by A. Fleury of the old Hobart hospital, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. UTAS Library Special and Rare Materials Collection

[6] by AW Hume - ‎1921

[7] Linc Tasmania

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