Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Laurence Butler- Ch. 7: Transportation to Sydney

In the spring of 1802, after nearly two long, miserable years in gaol, Laurence was given the news that his turn had come to be transported, and he was transferred to the ‘Atlas (2)’ waiting in Waterford Harbour. Many of his Wexford rebel associates and friends had been previously transported on the ‘Friendship’ and ‘Minerva’ which left Ireland in October 1799.

Eye witness accounts of the voyages of the ‘Minerva’ and ‘Friendship’, albeit from the point of view of crew members and their families, indicate that the convicts on these two ships were treated humanely. A few, such as Lewis Bulger travelled on the ‘Anne’ in 1801 on which a mutiny on board had been brutally put down.
The Wexford rebels boarded the ‘Atlas 2’ at Waterford, under Captain Thomas Musgrave.
(Notably there were two ships named ‘Atlas’, transporting rebels. They were distinguished in the Colonial records, by referring to them as the ‘Atlas 1’ and ‘Atlas 2’.)

A few months before the ‘Atlas 2’, two other convict ships transporting rebels from Ireland, the ‘Hercules’ and the ‘Atlas (1)’, would go down in history for their infamy. On the ‘Hercules’, fourteen were shot at sea, eighteen died on arrival, and of the 165 on board, only 103 were landed alive. Captain Betts, after an inquiry was held on the fourteen deaths, was found not guilty of thirteen of the deaths on the grounds of mutiny, but guilty on the death in cold blood of the fourteenth, for which he was fined £500, remitted by Governor King. The ‘Atlas 1’ fared no better. Sixty-five died at sea, three escaped, two died at Cork and 85 men and 26 women were disembarked, many in a dreadful state.
Governor King reported on their arrival:
King to Lord Hobart  23 July 1802
“The former (Hercules) arrived on 26th June (1802), and the latter (Atlas1) on the 7th inst. Both these ships have lost 127 convicts out of 320 put on board, and the survivors are in a dreadfully emaciated and dying state.”[i]
King to Transport Commissioners 23 July 1802
“A different scene has presented itself respecting the Hercules and Atlas. The first arrived here the 26th June, the latter the 7th instant. In a situation shocking to Humanity, the whole of the Convicts being Dead or in a dying state, which I shall more particularly detail, as I only write this just to inform you of those Ships’ arrivals.”[ii]

The captain of the ‘Atlas 1’, Captain Richard Brookes, following an inquiry, received no punishment for the number of deaths on his ship, and would eventually settle in the Colony. Brooks crammed the ship with so much private merchandise for sale in Sydney, at the expense of the prisoners, that it resulted in the high mortality rate.
The ship’s surgeon on the Atlas 1, Surgeon Jamison, wrote: “The Ship was so deeply laden that it became necessary to keep the air Scuttles in general closed, and the deadlights frequently shut in. The air became noxious to such a degree as to extinguish the candles burning in the cabin… The afflictions of these ill-fated beings did not cease here. The water issued, and called three pints, did not exceed a beer quart (infinitely too little for men on a constant salt regimen), and that the thirst and hunger they endured might bear some proportion to each other, they were defrauded of a great part of their ration of Provisions… and as it would seem that avarice and cruelty were the predominant features in the character of Mr Brooks, he carried the further exercise of cruelties on these pitiable objects to a degree that almost exceeds the bounds of credibility. It was no uncommon spectacle to behold these suffering people labouring under the extraordinary encumbrance of two pair of heavy irons on their legs and one round their neck, with a large padlock as an appendage that weighed at least a pound and a half. The poor creature, almost strangled and sinking under his burden of afflictions, must perforce remain thus situated night and day, till a capricious change in the disposition of his tormentor should lead him to remit the punishment.” [iii]

A court of investigation reported:
“We are of the Opinion that the mortality on board the Atlas has been occasioned not from the infection of Epidemic disease received on board, but from the want of proper attention to cleanliness, the want of free Circulation of Air, and the lumbered state of the Prison and Hospital as appears in the Evidence inserted in the Minutes, and which we have minutely examined; and therefore the Charter Party in this Instance has not been fulfilled.” [iv]

However, the arrival of the ‘Atlas 2’ in Sydney was a different story. Although no personal accounts of the voyage were recorded, there are a few records that indicate that the convicts on board this ship were treated very differently.
A letter of 9 November 1802 from Governor King to the Transport Commissioners in London speaks in the most favourable terms of the treatment experienced by the prisoners:

“The Atlas (Musgrave) arrived here the 30th ultimo, after a five months voyage from Waterford. She lost no convicts on the passage, and the whole were in perfect health and fit for immediate labour, and expressed the greatest thanks to the master and surgeon for their attention and kindness to them. This is proof that the masters of the Atlas (Brooks) and the Hercules might have brought their cargoes equally as well and expeditious.” [v]

Of the 190 prisoners on board, there were few criminally convicted, but the rest were made up of United Irishmen and political offenders. There were no female prisoners on board.

The research papers of Sidney Harold Sheedy conducted in the 1950’s and held in the Mitchell Library, give us some information about the ‘Atlas 2’ and its captain, Thomas Musgrave. (However, it should be noted that Sheedy does not give any references for his findings and the sources of his information which he attributes to journals written by his ancestors, are not in the public domain. In fact, his reporting of the alleged mutiny shortly after leaving Cork, is incorrect, and therefore makes his research suspect.)
 (Sheedy reports-)
“It was reported that, following the horrific arrival of the previous rebel convict ships the ‘Atlas 1’ and the ‘Hercules’, witnesses on shore in Sydney Cove were astonished to see the Captain of the ship, Thomas Musgrave, standing on deck, shaking hands with each of the prisoners before they went ashore.”
According to Sheedy, Captain  Musgrave was accused of being a supporter of “political reform” and was then accused by “certain people in authority”, and when questioned about his apparent uneventful voyage his main points in reply, were:
“That in reading the charge sheets of the convicts he had embarked in Cork (?), he was firstly very pleased to find that, apart from several petty thieves who were transported to Sydney for 7 years, and could not by the greatest imagination be considered criminals, the remainder, one hundred and ninety men, were charged as political offenders, and had been guilty of no apparent behaviour that could be considered criminal. Reading the charge sheet impartially, these men, for a political view contrary to that of the authorities, a view that I do not claim to understand, were being transported, therefore I could not recommend nor condemn the views of either the United Irishmen or the Authorities. This is my belief, this was my attitude to the convicts on the voyage out. In answer to those people who say that I would not allow ordinary disciplinary action to be taken against the convicts on my ship, I have this to say in answer: the only trouble on my ship started two days out from Ireland where six members of the guard supplied by the Government reported an attempted mutiny in the making. I held an immediate inquiry into the allegations. The Lieutenant of the guard was amazed at my attitude when I allowed every member of the crew and every convict to give evidence at the inquiry. It was obvious that most members of this guard were not in favour of an impartial inquiry. The inquiry only lasted two hours, by which time I was convinced beyond all doubt that the allegations were without foundation. During the inquiry, it was proved beyond all doubt that the six guards in question had played an active part in Ireland against these convicts. This resulted in my saying that I would receive no further such complaints unless they were substantiated by members of my crew. The voyage was completed without further incident.”[vi]
(NB. It must be emphasised that the above quote of Musgrave’s has not been substantiated in any other text yet found, and contradicts some of the incidents recorded in Musgrave’s Journal of the Voyage, however, it does basically support the report given by Governor King.)

Although no personal accounts remain of the voyage of the ‘Atlas 2’, apart from Captain Musgrave’s Journal which mainly concentrates on weather and sailing conditions with a few incidents outlined, the prisoners on board this ship reportedly disembarked in Sydney in very good condition and had been treated very well. Similarly, the Irish prisoners, including rebel ‘general’ Joseph Holt, on the transport ship ‘Minerva’ that sailed in late 1799 in company with the ‘Friendship’, reported that they had been treated well, and were in very good health when they arrived in Sydney. The reports from the ‘Friendship’ voyage were not quite so positive, as there were nineteen deaths from fever and dysentery. Father Dixon from Co. Wexford was transported on the ‘Friendship’, along with Michael Hayes, William Gough, John Brenan, Denis McCarty, William Davis, Matthew Sutton (a barrister) and several other Wexford men. Fr. Dixon who suffered ill health during the voyage, was mentioned in a letter written to Wexford by Thomas Flood of Clonmore, who said,
 Fr. Dixon during his voyage out on a boat that took six months to do the trip was chained to a dead black corpse until the rats ate the flesh off the bones of the corpse.” [vii] 
Whether this was a gross exaggeration is unknown, and given the positive reports of the ‘Friendship’ voyage (albeit by free ‘cabin’ passengers), this may have been a fabrication.

Michael Hayes also wrote during the voyage, 13 Sept 1799, about Dixon:
“Mr Dixon’s health is but very poor. He wrote his Brother and Mr. McCarty for a supply of ----- and did not receive an answer. This distresses him as he is in great need of it. They have not acted well by him I don’t suppose he will survive the voyage.” [viii]

Many of the Irish prisoners were transported without trial being recorded. The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland wrote to Lord Pelham, May 21, 1802:
“I am to acquaint your Lordship that accurate lists were made and transmitted to New South Wales of all convicts sent there from Ireland previous to the sailing of the ‘Friendship’, but that a return has not been kept of the prisoners embarked on board that vessel. They were composed of rebels and deserters convicted by Courts-Martial previous to the law of 1799, and who were sent during the rebellion to the military depot of New Geneva Barracks, and embarked by the officer commanding there without any trace of such proceeding having been anywhere recorded.” [ix]

However, a journal has survived, and although biased, gives us some account of the voyage of the “Friendship”.  The wife of the ship’s captain Hugh Reid/Reed, wrote a journal about her voyage on the ‘Friendship’ and claimed that, on arrival in Sydney, her husband had received a letter from the Governor expressing his thanks and approbation for the kind treatment and good management during the passage.[x] She also indicated that several had their irons removed early on the voyage and several more just after leaving Capetown, and the remainder were released when New Holland was sighted. [xi] Mrs Reid described the behaviour of these prisoners as “having conducted themselves with every propriety”. She continued: “It was fortunate both for themselves and us, that there were amongst them men of education and sense; who doubtless contributed to restrain the others from evil and violence; one was said to be a Roman Catholic clergyman (Fr Dixon), and we trusted that his influence was beneficial.”  [xii]  She claimed many of them left the ship with tears. [xiii] She also claimed that “a considerable quantity of wine had been sent on board at Cork for the private use of about 12 or 14 of the prisoners who had seen better days, and who indeed were enjoying the comforts of affluence when their untameable discontent plunged them into the vortex of rebellion. The wine was served as they required it, by returning the empty bottles, which was proper caution, as a bad use might have been made of them; the wine was of great comfort, and no doubt saved some lives amongst them”.[xiv]  Later in the journal, when discussing prisoner Matthew Sutton (a barrister from Wexford), who was recognised by a visitor at Capetown, the Hon. Mr Wellesley, brother to Lord Mornington (now Marquis Wellesley)), then Governor-General of India: Wellesley told the captain, “this unfortunate young man had at one time a prospect of being eminent in the law, and had been a school-fellow of his; and if any pecuniary aid was wanting for his comfort on the voyage he should be happy to furnish it. The captain informed him, that there were eleven of the prisoners, including Sutton, who had a little stock of wine, and other comforts remaining, which had been laid in for them by their friends, previous to leaving Ireland; also that he had some money of theirs in his hands, which would be advanced as it was required on coming into port. Next day a quantity of vegetables, potatoes, &c. were sent on board for the use of these poor men. The supply came by the government boat, but it was not known who was the donor; at all events it was most acceptable to the prisoners.”[xv].

As Sutton was part of the Wexford rebel contingent, it would seem likely that the other 11 to 14, who were allowed these indulgences, were Michael Hayes, William Gough, Fr. James Dixon, William Davis, John Brenan, Denis McCarty, Laurence and Michael Murphy, Nicholas Flood and John Foley. Although “outsiders”, the group may also have included eminent surgeon Dr Daniel MacCullum, and Francis Lysaght, “who joined the ship in his own carriage” (of the gentry Lysaght family of Co. Clare,[xvi] however, he died of the fever at Capetown), as noted by Mrs Reid.

Whether the prisoners on the ‘Atlas 2’ were allowed these same indulgences, is unknown, but may well have occurred. One has to wonder at the reaction of the other prisoners in the hold, when the members of this group were imbibing.

On all voyages, two copies of the Master’s Log book and the Surgeon’s Diary were kept- one was handed to the Colonial Governor and the other was lodged with the Transport Board/Office on the ship’s eventual return to London, which was sometimes years after, as many of the ships continued on to the trading countries to the north and east- the East Indies, China, the Pacific islands etc., to pick up cargoes before returning to London.

Although the diary of ship’s surgeon Thomas Davie, no longer exists (which is a pity as the surgeon’s diaries tend to be far more informative on the conditions experienced by the convicts personally, and their state of health), the Journal of Captain Thomas Musgrave, Master of the ‘Atlas’, does give us some incite into the voyage experienced by Laurence Butler and his fellow rebels, and by the crew of the ‘Atlas’. [xvii]:

The ‘Atlas’, a square rigged ship of 543 tons, carrying a crew of 54 men and bearing 12 guns, was built in Quebec in 1801, and registered in London in 1802, owned by Beatson and Co.[xviii] , so it was a new ship.

A Plan of the Atlas 2

A report from Mr Richard Sainthill, Agent of the Government of Ireland, to Governor King, accompanied the Atlas[xix]:
Mr Richard Sainthill to Governor King (Per transport Atlas)
Waterford, May 28th 1802
By Order of His Excellency the Lord Lieut., I have sent you a List of the Convicts on-board the Atlas, Thomas Musgrave Master, and also lists of Convicts, in the last Ships from Cork; with an Account of Provisions and Stores in this Ship, with also a Certificate of the Master, that the Convicts have been Supplied here, with fresh Provision, not touching the Sea Stock; Government having embarked more Men, than was originally Intended, which was One Hundred and Seventy, And the Ship so much Crowded, as not to be able to Receive any more Provision; She is in Consequence short of the Seven Months, ordered for the Voyage, a Part of the Cloathing intended to be given them when landed, has also been Used for the additional Number, but this last shall be Replaced by the Rolla, which is now at Cork, and probably will sail in the Next Month for Port Jackson.
I have, etc.,
Rich. Sainthill
Agent for the Government of Ireland
P.S.- More are now on board the Atlas, One Hundred and Forty four Setts Convicts Cloathing.
Ie 191-144 equals 47 Setts Deficient to be sent by the Rolla

The Atlas Log

The Atlas spent the period between 15th December 1801 and 14th February 1802, in the docks on the Thames (Kings Moorings off Deptford, then Gravesend Reach), being fitted out as a prison and taking on provisions. Sailing on 14th February, it arrived in the Cove of Cork on 6th March, where it continued to take on provisions for the voyage. In Cork, three crewmen  ran away, were recaptured and employed working in the hold.
On 17th April, the ship weighed anchor for Waterford, arriving there the following day, where they anchored at Passage, on the Waterford side of the Harbour, near New Geneva Barracks.  Provisions and water continued to be received on the succeeding days. The prisoners were not embarked until the 26th April, when 100 were received on board. The following day, another 85 came onboard, with a further six on the 6th May, and another three on the 29th May, making a total of 194. As all of the convicts aboard the Atlas were embarked at Waterford, it indicates that most if not all of the convicts came from the prisons bordering Waterford Passage- ie New Geneva Barracks, Duncannon Fort on the opposite side, or the adjacent hulks. It would be interesting to know the circumstances of the extra six who embarked nine days after the others, and the three who embarked the day before sailing- whether they came from distant prisons such as Dublin, or were recovering from illness, or some other reason.

On the days in between the first embarkation and the ship unmooring from the Passage, Musgrave reported the convicts repeatedly washing their shirts and trousers. The Health Inspector arrived to inspect the ship and prisoners. Two prisoners were ordered to be taken ashore- James Byrne and a man named Murphy. There are no reports of the other nine convicts who were supposedly “re-landed” according to reports.

The majority of the convicts were aboard the ship for just over a month before sailing, and on the 30th May, the ‘Atlas’ and its human cargo set sail for New South Wales. Apart from the Captain, there were three Chief Officers named: Mr Andrew Smart, 3rd Mate; Mr Jno Apsey 2nd Mate and Robert Glover. Apsey would play a role in Laurence Butler’s life in the Colony (endorsing his petition for a pardon 1810), so they must have earned each other’s respect through the voyage, as will be seen later. There was also a surgeon on board named Thomas Davie, whom it would later prove, did a remarkable job in keeping the convicts alive and healthy, as was attested on arrival.

The journey between Waterford and Rio de Janiero was a relatively uneventful one. Generally, Musgrave reported light to moderate to strong breezes and clear pleasant weather. He indicated that the Trade Winds pushed them along. He made observations such as “People picking oakum, drawing and knotting yarns; carpenter caulking, sailmaker repairing” etc. He does not specify whether the “people picking oakum, and knotting yarns” referred to crew or prisoners. It was reported in the journals from other ships that the convicts were often employed doing jobs such as “picking oakum” to relieve boredom.
Some days were reportedly showery, with occasional squalls.
On the 1st July, he reported that the “ship pitches heavy”, which probably resulted in many cases of sea-sickness, especially for men inexperienced with the sea.
On the 3rd July, Musgrave punished convict Peter McGrath with one dozen and five lashes for beating and abusing a seaman without the smallest provocation. This was his first reported incident requiring punishment. (McGrath, 28, from Limerick, assigned  Govt Castle Hill 1806 Muster)

On the 24th July, the ship encountered a coral reef, and was luckily not in danger. Careful measurements were kept of the depth, and coral, cockle shells and small stones reported. The Captain ordered a survey on the fish sent on board for the use of the convicts. It must have been a welcome change of diet, from the salted beef and pork.

Once again, on the 27th July, the Captain reported that a ‘heavy sea makes the ship pitch extremely heavy’. This continued the following day, and would have been very uncomfortable. The smell from so many men being violently ill and who would have been enclosed in their prison quarters due to the rough seas, would have been unbearable. On the following couple of days, the Captain reported that they were having trouble steering the ship due to the faint airs and the heavy swell.
The ‘Atlas’ had made good time from Ireland  to Rio, taking exactly two months. Fortunately, they did not appear to suffer any days of such calm weather known as the Doldrums near the Equator that dogged the voyages of many transport ships, by which the ship was becalmed in one place for many days or weeks in stifling hot weather, causing great discomfort and illness on board.

On 31st July they entered Rio Harbour. They would remain in Rio until the 17th August, two and a half weeks. Each day, fresh beef and greens were received on board. That must have been very welcome, and would have helped restore their strength and fitness for the long journey ahead of them. The weather was not altogether kind, with several storms with loud thunder, fierce lightning and heavy rain, which would have made conditions onboard uncomfortable.

During their time in Rio, several incidents took place that strained the Captain’s patience.

On 3rd August, one of the seamen was charged with behaving in a riotous and mutinous manner by assaulting the Chief Officer and striking one of the guards. The Captain ordered him to be handcuffed.
Two days later, a convict, Thomas Carey was charged with uttering threatening language and refusing to obey the orders given to him, and was punished with two dozen and six lashes. (Carey aged 30, from Tipperary, a salt boiler; on Norfolk Island in 1806 Muster)
On the same day, an officer on deck noticed that some persons had got into one of the boats and was rowing away. He immediately lowered the jolly boat and cutter and went after her. They picked up the boat without any person in it and on examining a ship, close to which, was discovered a seaman belonging to the ship and Thomas Condon, a convict. The seaman was delivered to the Guard boat and Thomas Condon taken back on board and ordered to be handcuffed. The following day Condon was punished with two dozen and six lashes for escaping from the ship and to deter others from making the “like thought”. He was confined in handcuffs. (Condon, aged 42, from Wicklow or Cork; in 1806 Muster at Government Farm Castle Hill)
This last statement was revealing, re the handcuffs. This case would indicate that the prisoners, even though they were in port, were not chained or in fetters, as: firstly, Condon was able to make his escape, and secondly, the point was made that he was handcuffed as punishment, implying that the convicts were not generally in handcuffs. A similar situation where the prisoners were unfettered for parts of the voyage, was reported on the “Friendship” and the “Minerva”, but they were reportedly released from their fetters gradually as the voyage progressed closer to New South Wales, and when they had earned the respect of the Captain by their ‘good’ behaviour. This also indicates that Captain Musgrave was a very humane man who treated his prisoners with respect, and that generally the convicts had behaved well on the voyage, this far.

On 13th August, Musgrave reported his most difficult and trying incident, which surprisingly did not involve the crew or the convicts, but a free paying passenger named Robert Reid. (In 1806 Muster, described as Came Free, clerk to Mr Palmer.)The incident was only one of a series of unacceptable behaviours exhibited by this man throughout the voyage. Musgrave called for an official report from each of his three officers. According to their reports, Reid was accused of behaving in a “most insolent, infamous and outrageous manner and his conduct for some time past in particular being not only __ but tending to mutiny and to subvert all subordination. He has openly insulted all the Officers by sending papers to them while at Dinner__ no doubt intended by him as a __ on Religion. He has publicly on Deck spoke in the most disrespectful manner of Captain Musgrave and all the Officers and sometimes in sight of most of the Ship’s Company and convicts. He threw a handspike at Mr Davie the surgeon on the Poop.” The report continued: “His whole conduct on-board has been generally of a piece with the above and  is in the highest degree reprehensible and if continued with, no doubt, be productive of the worst effects in a ship of this description.” This had been Smart’s report, confirmed by Apsey and Glover.  Glover added that more than once in the night time, Reid abused the Officers on watch, and that this morning in particular he alarmed the whole ships company without any person knowing his reason for so doing”- presumably he was referring to the throwing of the handspike at the surgeon.
Musgrave did not report his findings or actions taken, but presumably Reid was given an official warning.
On the same day, another incident occurred that must have further tried Musgrave’s patience.
It was reported that at 9pm, on hearing a disturbance in the ship, Musgrave immediately ordered Mr Glover Chief Mate to put a stop to it and to put any lights out that might be in the ship. On which, a crewman, Henry Murdy came on deck with crewmen Jno Dennett and Wm Welles and continued making noise. “On ordering Henry Murdy below, he positively refused and on my going towards him he immediately ___ (difficult to read the following), as if to __ me which I consider as the highest degree of disorder, many say mutiny.” Musgrave then ordered his Officers to each write an official report.
Glover reported that the disturbance was heard in the Gun Room, and following the Captain’s orders, he entered the Gun Room and ordered Murdy to put the lights out which he held in his hand, which he refused and after repeating the border Glover was obliged to put it out himself, upon which Murdy, Dennett and Welles came on deck and used some very improper language, and on Captain Musgrave ordering them down below, Murdy positively refused and at the same time __- in Captain Musgrave’s Face and uttered rather mutinous language.
Musgrave does not report the punishment metered out to these seamen, but they were dealt with on arrival at Sydney Cove.

On 17th August the ship was under-weigh once more. Their trip through the southern seas would prove to be very different to their relatively calm voyage to this point.

After a few days of moderate breezes and fine weather, they struck the first of many periods of foul weather:
 25th August- gales came up so quickly, with squalls, rain and heavy seas- bent the mizzen mainsail. Squalls continued the following days, with strong gales and a heavy swell making the ship pitch heavily on the 28th August.

On the 29th August, there were strong gales, dark cloudy weather and a heavy sea; shipped a large quantity of water and kept the hand pump going through the night. This continued the following day, the 30th, and they continued to ship a large quantity of water, keeping the hand pump constantly going. At 1 pm the mainsail brace gave way; at 2 pm, one part of the mast broke (difficult to read writing here) and they had to splice it. It continued the following day, the 31st August, strong gales and squally; people employed securing the rigging.

The weather calmed on the 1st day of September which continued until the 4th, when they again had gales and a large swell making the ship pitch heavily.

A run of fine weather until the 17th September, when they had fresh gales, and again the following day, the 18th, with fresh gales and a large sea; shipped a large quantity of water; heavy squalls with rain. The Captain wrote that the pipe of the water closet for the use of the convicts broke by which means a quantity of water got into ‘between’ decks. This was an interesting entry, as it refers to the convicts having a “water closet” pipe. Was this a form of toilet with a pipe to the outside of the ship, and/or a pipe to flush out the contents? Most reports of convict transport ships describe the use of a barrel which would be emptied over the side of the ship. The referral to the “between decks/’tween decks” is the area where the convicts lived.  This would have caused a lot of consternation in the convict quarters as they tried to stem the leak and had to clean up the water and mess. It probably wet bedding and clothing which could not have been dried for a few days due to the persistent weather conditions. One would imagine that the breaking of the water closet pipe would have caused great inconvenience and discomfort, as the 190 prisoners would have had to use a barrel or tub until the pipe was fixed, and the smell would have been unbearable, particularly if the hatches were closed.

The 19th September continued with gales and squally weather with rain, the sea running cross (?) and dangerous taking whole __ on __ Deck; increasing gales with heavy squalls and shipped a considerable quantity of water. The strong gales and rain continued the following morning, the 20th, with moderate breezes later in the day.

The 21st Sept saw the return of strong breezes and squally weather with rain, which continued until the 23rd September, when it started to clear later in the day. Rain again the following day, the 24th and squally again on the 25th and 26th, plus a strong swell.

A few days of fresh breezes and clear weather or cloudy with light showers followed.
The 1st October saw the return of squally weather, with strong breezes carrying away one of the sail booms. This freshened to fresh gales with a considerable sea. The Captain wrote that they battened down the hatches. The following day, they had heavy squalls and rain; and shipped a very heavy sea.

The 3rd October again had heavy squalls and showers with a large sea; shipped a considerable quantity of water. The following day the lower steering sail boom was carried away. Each of the following days had rain and squalls, with violent squalls with hard rain on the 8th October.
After a couple of days of clear weather, which they would have put to good use, airing wet bedding and clothes and repairing the damage, the violent squalls returned in the afternoon of the 11th October continuing the following day accompanied by a ‘confused sea’; shipped a considerably quantity of water once again. Continued violent squalls, strong gales and hard rain for a further two days.

The Captain noted that on the 14th October, high seas and swell from the SW makes the ship roll considerably. He also noted that people were filling salt water into the Fore Hold- this must have been to stabilise the ship from rolling.

Rainy weather continued for a few days, then on the 18th October, once more, hard gales with heavy squalls and rain; shipped heavy seas and a large quantity of water. Captain wrote that the ship was under-balanced.

After two more days of squally weather and rain, it cleared for a few days.

On the 21st October, Captain Musgrave reported that he punished Jno Callighan with 12 lashes and Joseph McLaughlan with 6 lashes for fighting and creating a riot. (both convicts- Callighan, 36, from Co Wicklow and McLaughlin, 26, from Co Mayo.) Tempers by this time were probably fraying. The prisoners were constantly cooped up and probably scared stiff from the continual frightening weather lashing their frail craft.

After three days of fair weather or light showers, they finally saw land at 4 am on the 24th October, noting Swilly Island at 5am. Swilly Island is the island near the southern most tip of Tasmania, or Van Diemen’s Land as it was then known- a land mark used by the ships’ captains. The ‘Atlas’ continued around Tasmania, the Captain noting the various landmarks, such as Eddystone Island, South Cape, Tasmans Head, Oyster Island etc.

On the 27th October, strong gales blew up and carried away the __ of the Quarter Block on the __. Strong gales and squally with rain; shipped several heavy seas, one of which washed down the Bulkhead; carpenter employed __ the Bulkhead. This continued the following day where once again they shipped a very heavy sea which stove in the Bulkhead again; carpenter employed taking down the Barricade __  ___ ‘we could not secure it properly’.

The 29th October saw thunder and rain later in the day.

The 30th October saw the weather clear with moderate breezes, and at 8 am the ‘Atlas’ was abreast of Botany Bay.  A Pilot came on board at noon and they anchored in Sydney Cove. The rest of the day was spent mooring the ship, getting out boats and unbinding the sails.

The majority of the convicts were disembarked the following day, the 31st October, with 167 going ashore. The rest, 21 prisoners, were disembarked with some stores on the 1st November. Notably that accounts for 188 prisoners of the 192 embarked (minus the two returned to shore at Waterford). The records show that if the numbers reported as disembarking were correct, then about four prisoners must have died during the voyage but were not reported in Musgrave’s Journal.

The weather that greeted the prisoners, was described as ‘light airs, pleasant weather, fine and clear’.

On the 2nd November, Captain Musgrave wrote that Wm Welles and Henry Murdy, the two seamen who were charged with insolence during the voyage, were discharged. He also reported that another crewman, James Inustrie(?) was ‘put in Gaol for leaving the launch on her return for sending Prisoners at Parramatta and abusing two officers and breaking the Port orders’. This report indicates that some of the Prisoners were taken straight away to the Government Farm at Parramatta. Laurence was not amongst them, having been assigned to the Lumber Yard in Sydney, as a skilled Carpenter/Cabinet-maker.

One could only imagine the feelings of the prisoners on board the ‘Atlas’ during so many days and weeks of tumultuous weather after leaving Rio. As devout Catholics, they must have been constantly praying for their survival, and all must have been very relieved to step ashore alive at the end of the journey.

The voyage of the ‘Atlas 2’ lasted five months to the day, a comparatively fast trip. It took exactly two months to travel the 6,100 miles from Waterford to Rio, and after a couple of weeks in Rio, it took only a further 2 ½ months to travel the remaining 9,800 miles from Rio to Sydney Cove. Although they had to endure constant gales and squally weather in the Southern Ocean, it greatly contributed to a speedy arrival in Sydney.

The other ships transporting Irish rebels took between five months and eight months- the ‘Atlas 1’ (437 tons, built 1801, arr. June 1802) took seven  months and one week; the ‘Hercules’ (406 tons, built 1801, arr. June 1802) took seven  months; the ‘Anne’ (384 tons, foreign built pre 1799, arr. Feb 1801) took eight months; the ‘Friendship’ (430 tons, built 1793, arr. Feb 1800) took five months three weeks; the ‘Minerva’ ( 558 tons, built Bombay, arr. Jan 1800) took  4 ½ months. Notably the two largest ships, the 558 ton ‘Minerva’ and the 547 ton ‘Atlas 2’ were the fastest, probably due to extra sail power.

The Voyage to the South Seas

On the 30 May 1802, Captain Musgrave ordered the ‘Atlas 2’, flying the red-and-white pennant of a convict ship, to weigh anchor and prepare to sail, with 192 convicts on board, on a voyage of 16,000 miles.

On the ‘Minerva’, in the waist of the quarterdeck, around the foremast, a high barricade stretched across from bulwark to bulwark. At the opening of the barricade, armed sentries stood guard, while other guards manned the poop deck to keep their eyes on the prisoners when on deck. For two or more hours per day, the convicts would be free to walk around the quarterdeck.  [xx] Presumably, the prisoners on the ‘Atlas 2’ were accorded similar liberties.

The ‘Minerva’, like the ‘Atlas 2’, travelled down the Atlantic Ocean via Teneriffe to Rio de Janiero, where they would re-supply the ship, taking about a month to do so.  Alternatively, the ‘Friendship’ followed the coastline of Africa, via the Gulf of Guinea, to Cape Town.  The ‘Minerva’ journal reported that the ship was becalmed for days on end, near the equator. In the heat the pitch-lined seams of the deck planks melted into blistering tackiness. Soldiers would dangle fishing lines over the side. [xxi]  When below deck, the prisoners would swelter in the sticky heat, before the welcoming breeze would stir once again to send them on their way south. The ‘Atlas’ was fortunately spared this fate and appeared to catch the Trade winds each day.
While in port, the crew would enjoy the delights of the exotic port, but the prisoners would be kept under close guard to prevent escape, and subsequently far less freedom to go on deck.  Despite these precautions, one convict, Thomas Condon, managed to effect an escape when in Rio. However, while in Rio, convicts were given fresh meat daily, fresh water, and plenty of fruit and vegetables to restore their health.
Some vessels, including the ‘Minerva’ and ‘Atlas 2’ travelled straight from Rio to Sydney, without stopping at Cape Town, while others stopped at Capetown to replenish supplies, or travelled directly to Capetown from Ireland.

They would then travel through a stretch of dangerous water in the southern ocean where many a ship would come to grief, enduring storms that would pour water down through the hatches wetting their bedding and making lives miserable. This long stretch through the southern ocean stretched for 6,600 miles.

Vessels travelling from England to the Colony of New South Wales had to cover vast distances; 6,100 miles from England to Rio de Janiero (with a short stopover at the Canary Islands), 3,300 miles from Rio to Cape Town, and a further 6,600 miles to Botany Bay, a total of 16,000 miles, during which they had to endure extremes of temperatures, and weather conditions ranging from the ‘doldrums’ near the equator where the sails hung limp and the heat threatened to overcome everyone on board, to gale force winds and storms whipping up the sea into mountainous waves. The long distances between ports where they re-supplied their stores, resulted in the spoiling of water and fresh food supplies. Live food sources, such as cattle, pigs, sheep, and poultry were washed overboard with monotonous frequency during the terrible storms they endured.

Lt. James Finucane, of the New South Wales Corps travelled with Lt. Col. Joseph Foveaux on the ‘Recovery’ from Portsmouth to New South Wales in 1808, and was appointed Secretary following the Rum Rebellion. He wrote a journal about his voyage, which was recounted in “Distracted Settlement, New South Wales after Bligh”. Finucane eloquently described the conditions on-board the vessel, and it should be pointed out that the conditions suffered by the convicts would have been far more uncomfortable than for the Lieutenant:
Thurs 9th June 1808:  (Between Rio and the Cape of Good Hope) “Should the remainder of the passage unfortunately be as protracted as the foregoing part we shall absolutely be reduced to salt beef and pork, a diet not very tempting or wholesome, especially as that which is now served out to our crew has already made a voyage to Port Jackson, thence to China and back to England in this ship, previous to which it probably lay for years in the King’s Store. Our biscuit is so completely in possession of the maggots and weavels that I have long ceased to contend with them for a share. Our liquid magazine is in as consumptive a state as the solid. The water we took in at Rio de Janeiro having soon become putrid is consequently undrinkable.”[xxii]
Fri 10th June (shortly after leaving the Cape of Good Hope): “The winds continually blow from the NW or WSW with incredible force during the months of June, July and August, and cause a tremendous high sea. Squall and whirlwinds are frequent. The clouds pour down deluges of rain and the atmosphere blazes with lightning. The sea runs mountains high, giving the ship some violent shocks, and rendering it unpleasant to remain upon deck by repeatedly breaking over her sides.” [xxiii]
Tue 14th June: “The sea is a scene of terrific grandeur. The quarter-deck guns touch the water at every heave of the ship, and the waves breaking over her sides render it extremely difficult and dangerous for the seamen to stand on the deck. A great proportion of the water which breaks over the deck rushes down the main hatchway and lodges in the berths, which thr’out the voyage have been open to every vicissitude of the weather; the summer’s sun or winter’s hurricane; the heat of day or the dews of night. ” [xxiv]
 Mon 20th June- “A gale equally violent with squalls if possible more so than any we yet had, has blown since yesterday evening, attended with rain, thunder, lightning and has agitated the sea to a tremendous degree of fury. The waves have penetrated the dead lights and laid every thing in our cabins under water.”
Thurs 23rd June: “The winds have granted us a truce, but remain so menacing an aspect that we every moment expect a renewal of hostilities. We have taken the utmost advantage of a few quiet hours to repair sails and rigging, mend chairs and tables, dry cloaths, beds, hammocks etc.etc.”
Sat 25th June: “The lowering appearance of the weather has not deceived our fears. The wind began yesterday evening to blow very hard, and during the night it rose to a gale, which still continues with such violence as the Captain thinks he never saw surpassed. The rain and the sea breaking over the sides have not left a dry spot in the ship. In the midst of this war of elements an Irish woman, whose superannuated aspect and deformed structure makes her fertility appear a miracle, was brought to bed of a son, who with herself is at this moment lying under a cascade of rain and salt water, and yet I have no doubt that both will survive the storm and the voyage.” [xxv]
Wed 29th June “To the catalogue of our losses from the late severe weather we have to add that of two of our three pigs, one of which was washed overboard yesterday, and the other thrown after him this morning, having been killed by a block which fell from aloft. For some weeks past we have had nothing for dinner but fresh pork, except the skeletons of 2 or 3 muscovy ducks. In another week we shall be reduced to salt meat, our poultry being entirely exhausted. Since our biscuit became bad I have partaken of no meal but dinner, and that very sparingly, and as I shall henceforward be reduced to still more abstemious diet, I expect at the conclusion of the voyage I appear but the shadow of what I was at its commencement.”
Thurs 30th “Altho’ it blew a strong gale since yesterday, yet we carried a good deal of sail. Between 8 and 9 at night when impenetrably dark, it increased to a dreadful squall so suddenly that before the sails could be taken in they were literally torn to ribbons, and the men who went aloft became so terrified as to be incapable of making any exertion whatever. Two of them were hurled from the main top mast yard into the sea, and never seen again. Another in falling from the same place was caught by a rope in his descent, and after remaining suspended a long time was extricated with great difficulty. The officers were obliged to go on the yards to force the men to execute what was necessary to save the masts and they declared that it was with the utmost danger they were able to perform that duty. I was afraid to pass the deck on the way from the cuddy down to my own cabin until midnight, when the fury of the squall having abated, I escaped to my cot, and lay in my cloaths the remainder of the night.” [xxvi]
P96- Thurs 22nd March 1810- “A heavy gale, directly in our teeth has continued since yesterday evening. We are huddled together in the dirt, bilge water and confusion. Almost every person on board miserably sick. I am certain the whirligig motion of this diminutive vessel of ours would discompose the stomach of Neptune himself.” [xxvii]

Mrs Reid, in her journal on the voyage of the ‘Friendship’, also described the fear and apprehension experienced by all on board when the ship ran into a tornado: “its fury burst upon us laying the ship nearly upon its broadside with its force; the mingled tempest of lightning, thunder, wind and rain made the scene altogether dreadful. I shall never forget my feelings and apprehensions at this moment”. [xxviii]

 In all of these journals, much is made of the crossing of the equator and the accompanying initiation ceremony. Mrs Reid describes how the chief mate asked the doctor whether he had crossed the line and had seen the line. The doctor replied he “just got a glimpse of it, but as it was near dark at the time, he did not see it distinctly.” “This was enough to determine them that he should be both ducked and shaved, when Neptune paid the ship a visit. A sharp lookout was kept to see the line before dark; the chief mate fastened a day-glass to the side rails on the deck. All the gentlemen in turn came to take a peep; and amongst the rest, the doctor, who declared that he saw the line, and that it appeared no larger than a silken thread; all looked and saw the same. Mr Muirhead, the chief mate, put this trick upon the doctor’s ignorance and credulity, by placing a small thread across one of the inside glasses of the telescope to create a distinct prospect of the line”. The following day, from behind a screen emerged a car on which were seated two figures, representing Neptune and Amphitrite, with their marine attendants. Mrs Reid wrote: “Had I not been prepared for the pageantry, and told that some of the seamen were to be the actors, I should not have supposed them to have been earthly creatures”. “Neptune enquired how many mortals were on the list to take the oath of allegiance, and to undergo the ceremony? He expressed a hope that all the prisoners should be shaved and ducked. This the captain compromised, by saying that Neptune’s health should be drank every Saturday night, until we were past the Cape of Good Hope. The persons who were to be initiated were brought up from below blindfolded, one at a time, and placed over a large tub of water on the main deck; tar was applied to the chin with a blacking brush, which was shave off by an iron hoop, one side of it was notched, the other not; those who were refractory were shaved with the rough side; they were then plunged backwards into the tub of water, while several buckets full were thrown over them. When the shaving was over, they began to souse each other with water.” [xxix]

The journey through the southern ocean was often a relatively quick one, due to the prevailing winds, known as the “Roaring Forties”. The ships would catch these between latitudes 40 and 50 degrees south. Mrs Reid describes how, after leaving CapeTown, “for five or six days we experienced very bad weather, notwithstanding the wind was fair, and the ship running at the rate of from 140 to 160 miles in the 24 hours, with only the foresail set. Still, we suffered; for during that time nothing could be cooked, as the high sea came rolling in at both sides of the ship, constantly filling the decks with water; as for myself, if the best dressed victuals had been placed before me, I could not have looked at it, being sadly sea-sick the whole time. During the gale, the captain lost three fine horses, and a great quantity of other live-stock.
Having still strong winds from the western quarter, the ship went on at a great rate each day until we drew near Van Diemen’s Land; but it so happened that the ship had gone upwards of 300 miles farther that the log measured. Since leaving the Cape we had taken just 39 days.  [xxx]

The above journal accounts certainly give us an idea of what convicts such as Laurence had to endure as they crossed the great oceans between the continents. All voyages would have suffered weather conditions similar to those described above, to various degrees. One can imagine the terror experienced by men who had never before been to sea, and had no prior experience with the powerful forces exerted on such small, seemingly frail ships by the vagaries of the weather in these southern oceans. Countless times, they must have thought they were to meet their maker.

The situation with dwindling and spoiled food supplies must have also been difficult to endure for five or more months. Lt Finucane made several mentions of the undrinkable state of the water supplies, not long after leaving port. The cabin passengers and officers survived on wine, a luxury that was generally denied the convicts (although the account of the wine allowed the group of Wexford rebels on the “Friendship” was an exception), and probably even the crew and rank and file soldiers on board.
Charles Bateson, taking from the Journals of several ships’ masters, also described the condition of water on-board these ships:
 Often the water went bad long before the Cape of Good Hope, becoming very offensive in smell as well as taste and depositing a copious, dark, peat-like sediment on the bottom of the cask. [xxxi]
One wonders how these wretched men, and women, managed to drink this putrid and stinking water- it is an amazing feat of endurance that so many arrived in relatively good health. They all must have become fairly emaciated by the time they arrived at their destination, depending on the length of time the voyage took.

As the convicts on board the ‘Atlas 2’ travelled up the coastline of New Holland towards their final destination, they must have all been wondering about the reception they would receive and what their new homes and lives would be like. They were probably feeling a mixture of curiosity, relief that the uncomfortable voyage was nearing its end, and dread. They must have also felt an overwhelming sense of homesickness, accentuated by the loss of their loved ones, who were unable to share this new and unwelcome adventure with them.

Prior to arrival in the harbour, the prisoners would be prepared for their disembarkation. Money given to the chief mate when their clothing had been changed back in Ireland, would be returned, minus advances made to them while in port, for fruit etc. Each man was now furnished with the amount he should receive when he quitted the ship. [xxxii] (As described by Mrs Reid in her Journal)

First sight of the Colony of New South Wales

After a voyage of exactly five months, on October 30th, the ‘Atlas’ sailed into the magnificent harbour of Sydney Cove. The prisoners were probably allowed on deck to witness their first glimpse of the harbour.

The ship would have heaved heavily as it passed through the narrow heads at the entrance to the harbour, to open up into the vast and spectacular harbour that we know today, full of bays and inlets. The weather would have been warm, being late October, and the prisoners would have had time to observe the sandy beaches backed by sharply rising slopes studded with unfamiliar tall, olive coloured trees. They would pass a dangerous rock mid channel called the Sow and Pigs, and see Mr Palmer’s fine house on the left. They would pass Garden Island on the left, which had a fertile, luxuriant appearance, with a respectable looking house upon it. They would then pass a barren rock, on the right, known as Pinch-Gut island (now Fort Denison), usually with a gibbet upon it where a culprit had been executed for murder, his skeleton remaining there as a warning. Before turning into the cove, they would see the bustling little town of Sydney. A signal would have been sent to alert the colony that a convict ship had arrived. Shortly before turning into Sydney Cove, the prisoners would have been ordered to go below to their quarters, where they were probably chained to prevent escape. They would have to wait at least one more day before they could see Sydney town. [xxxiii]
When the ship dropped anchor, the Captain would order the firing of a nine-gun salute for the Governor who resided in Government House on the east side of the Cove. [xxxiv]  Many boats would come out to welcome the new arrival, some official, and others containing the curious.

Ship in Sydney Cove 1803

Arrival in the Colony 

On arrival, the transports were inspected by a Colonial surgeon, and later, the Port Health Officer, to issue a clean bill of health, or otherwise.
On the morning after, the prisoners would be brought on deck for their first view of the young township. It was a rough rambling town and they would see the principal buildings such as the hospital, the barracks, the gaol, the store etc, which were close to the west shoreline. A freshwater stream named the Tank Stream flowed into the Cove at the southern end, over which was a bridge, that connected a long street, in which were several brick houses belonging to the civil officials.  Several streets of neat white washed cabins would branch off this long street and stretch backwards away from the shore. Mrs Reid described “straggling detached wooden houses extending about a mile north and south.” On the eastern shore, they would have observed the lush gardens and fruit orchards that led up to the Governor’s residence. The harbour may have contained numbers of ships bringing supplies to the colony from the east. They would have observed small groups of naked natives fishing off the rocks using long spears. Some may have been bold enough to paddle their bark canoes close to the ship. [xxxv]

When the governor’s representative, the Colonial Secretary, the Principal Superintendant of Convicts, and other officials, including an officer of the New South Wales Corps, came aboard, the prisoners would be called on deck, their irons removed if they were shackled or handcuffed, and then mustered into rows to receive an official briefing. The authorities were unhappy about receiving Irish rebels, so they were carefully briefed about convict’s rights and obligations, and the kind of punishment they could expect if they committed any offence. The initial shipboard inspections also gave the prisoners an opportunity to lodge complaints concerning their treatment during the voyage, and another opportunity was presented when they were put ashore and inspected by the governor or his deputy.  [xxxvi]

Their qualifications would be assessed by the assignment board. Those artisans and skilled tradesmen with particular skills required by the government would be assigned first. Educated men suitable for clerical duties useful to government officials would be selected and assigned. Those who satisfied settlers’ applications for servants and civil workers were then assigned, and finally those who remained were assigned to labour on the government farm at Castle Hill near Parramatta. They were then informed they would work ten hours each day, Monday to Friday, and six hours on Saturday, and attend Divine Service on Sunday. They would work as assigned until they earned their ticket of leave, which would enable them to employ themselves, and to acquire property, on condition that they reside within the district specified. They would then be bound by a curfew and would have to report regularly to the authorities. Any breach of the regulations by a ticket holder would result in cancellation of the ticket. Having explained these rules, they would also be informed of their legal rights, particularly in relation to their assigned masters. [xxxvii]

The Colonial Secretary would check the ship’s indent, which was supposed to reveal the prisoner’s name, place of trial, cause of conviction and length of sentence. However, rarely did the indents give all of the above information, especially for the Irish prisoners, many of whom had not even been tried, so there were no records of their trials and sentences.  Although his trial record has since been found in Ireland, Laurence’s record on the shipping indent list did not reveal the date of his trial, only the place and the sentence of life.
The indent papers forwarded by the British authorities were at first little more than lists recording the names and sentences of the convicts, while the Irish officials were so incredibly lax that the indent papers of Irish transported were not received in Australia until months, and sometimes years later. Lists of convicts were forwarded by Lt. Sainthill, but these gave only scanty particulars, and sometimes the Australian authorities lacked such essential information concerning the Irish convicts as terms of their sentences and the dates of their conviction, upon which, the date of their ultimate release depended. Until the indent papers were properly prepared the Australian authorities had to rely upon particulars furnished by the convicts themselves and on the reports of their conduct during the voyage supplied by the masters and surgeons. [xxxviii]

As the Irish rebel transports contained many educated professionals and highly skilled tradesmen/artisans, these were snapped up by the Government officials, as was the case for Laurence who was assigned to the Government Lumber Yard to construct much needed furniture and building works, such as the newly planned St Phillip’s Church. However, many of the remaining prisoners on the ‘Atlas’were assigned to the government farm at Parramatta, destined to endure back-breaking work as farm labourers.

According to Sheedy [xxxix]  it was reported on their arrival that Captain Musgrave was seen shaking the hands of the prisoners before they disembarked, and according to Governor King’s report, the prisoners were in good condition-that indicates that there had been no ill-treatment of the prisoners and that they had been fed adequately and their health maintained. The very low mortality rate would have to be attributed to the skill of the ship’s surgeon, Thomas Davie.

Mrs Reid in her Journal remarked that many of the convicts “left the ‘Friendship’ in tears and each boat cheered as they put off”, on which she commented that “it was a novel sight to many on shore who had received harsh treatment on their passage out.” She continued: “The Captain spoke particularly to the Governor in respect of those prisoners who had seen better days, and who had conducted themselves so well on the voyage. The captain received a letter from the Governor, expressing his thanks and approbation for the kind treatment and good management during the passage.[xl]

As there are no eye-witness reports from this voyage, we do not know whether any of the rebels travelled ‘above deck’ on the ‘Atlas’, as had several (mostly Protestants) on the ‘Minerva’. Nor do we know whether any of the rebels were unshackled on the voyage, as were some of the convicts on the ‘Minerva’ and ‘Friendship’, although the escape of Thomas Condon in Rio would suggest that the convicts were not shackled. Apart from a couple of minor behaviour infringements by a small number of convicts which were swiftly dealt with, the ‘Atlas’ would appear to have had a reasonably uneventful trip.

The Invoice of cargoes of ships dated 9 November 1802[xli]- General cargo of the Ship Atlas:
Large assortment Tin and plated ware. Japan Do. Do. Brushes Combs Wts. And Scales etc. Looking glasses. Tobacco. Musical Instruments. Quantity Glass ware. Woollen Cloths. Bird Cages. Hatts. Mush’d and pickles. Stationary, and Haberd’y. Cutlery. Paints. Soap. 5 Mills Grind. Clocks. Toyes. Quantity Ironmongery. Pins and Needles. Snuff. Dimities and Irishes Cross Cut Saws. Smiths Anvils and Bellows. Sodder and Glue. 4 Cases Stafford Ware. Quantity ribbons. 1882 Cases Sugar. 36 doz. M. Wine 1 Punch 1 Hhd. Rum. 1 Do. Whiskey. Sugar and Coffee.

Six days after their arrival, on November 5th, it was reported by Musgrave that the ‘Atlas’ was damaged by lightning in Sydney harbour. Musgrave reported that masts and the main yard were damaged. After repairs, and the removal of the prison doors, bulkheads, armed gratings, prison fittings etc, the ‘Atlas’ left Sydney and continued its journey to China, not returning to London until January 1804. [xlii]

©  B.A. Butler

Contact email address:  butler1802  (NB. no spaces)

Link back to Introduction:

Links to all the chapters in this blog:

The 1798 rebellion
Laurence Butler's trial for his role in the Rebellion
Analysis of Butler's trial
Laurence Butler at the Battle of Tubberneering
Laurence Butler's imprisonment
Butler's life and family in Wexford
Laurence Butler's transportation to Sydney in 1802 on the Atlas 2
Conditions on Convict Ships
Life as a convict in Sydney
Laurence Butler's property investments in Pitt Street Sydney
Sydney Town in 1800-1810
Laurence Butler's petitions to the Governor
Laurence Butler's 100 acre land grant in District of Petersham
Butler's membership of the Commercial Society of Sydney
Laurence Butler's court cases
Laurence Butler's business interests in Sydney
Laurence Butler's cabinet making business
Laurence Butler's property investments in Sydney
Laurence Butler's colonial family
Laurence Butler's death in 1820
Laurence Butler's issue- Walter, Lawrence Junior and Mary Ann
The Catholic Community of Sydney up until 1820
Genealogy- Butler's possible ancestry and possible descendants in Ireland, and BDM records
Butler's fellow Irish rebels transported to Sydney
Conclusion about the life of Laurence Butler

[i]  Historical Records Australia HRA I, ii, 531
[ii]  HRA I,ii,532
[iii]  HRA. III, 701-03; also refer to: T. J. Kiernan ,The Irish Exiles in Australia, Burnes & Oates, Melbourne 1954, page 26
[iv]  HRA. III, 556; also refer to: T. J. Kiernan ,The Irish Exiles in Australia, Burnes & Oates, Melbourne 1954; and T. J. Kiernan, Transportation from Ireland to Sydney; 1791-1816, Canberra 1954- self published
[v]  Historical Records Australia- HRA I, iii, p720
[vi]  S. H. Sheedy  History of the Sheedy Family c 1800-1863 :ML (Mitchell Library) MSS 1337 pp137-38. Sheedy claims to have sourced his information from private journals written by his ancestors, James Sheedy (transported 1806 ‘Tellicherry’) and his brother Michael Sheedy (1818 ‘Earl St Vincent’). However, the journals are no longer available for viewing and therefore cannot be verified.
[vii] Joseph Holt, A Rum Story: The Adventures of Joseph Holt. Thirteen Years in New South Wales (1800-1812), edited by Peter O’Shaughnessy; published 1988 Kangaroo Press. (taken from Holt’s Memoirs – first edited version by Thomas Crofton Croker in 1838), p176
[viii]  Michael Hayes Letters, (Letters written by Michael Hayes (of Wexford, transported from Cove 24th August, 1800, for complicity in the 1798 Rebellion). Originals in the Franciscan Archives, Dun Mhuire, Dublin. Copies (manuscript and microform) held by the National Library in Canberra and State Library of NSW- Mitchell Library 13 Sept 1799
[ix]  HRA.III, 569-70
[x]  Col Graham, Perry McIntyre and Anne- Maree Whitaker (Eds), The Voyage of the ship Friendship from Cork to Botany Bay 1799-1800, PR Ireland, Sydney 2000, p33. (reprints the journal of Mrs Reid. Her “Cursory Remarks” were serialised in the monthly Asiatic Journal between Sept 1819 and January 1820- 
NB. Identity of author  'Mrs Reid'- Marriage record of Hugh Reid of Parish of Saint John Wapping Co Middlesex to Eleanor Barclay, a minor, dau. of William Barclay, 16 Sept 1798- (thanks to Joan Druett for this record)
[xi] Ibid, p27
[xii] Ibid, p27
[xiii] Ibid, p33
[xiv] Ibid, p8
[xv] Ibid, p18
[xvi] Ibid, p 4; member of the prominent gentry Lysaght family in County Clare. He was implicated in a short-lived uprising in Jan 1799 and sentenced to serve in the Prussian Army. However, he was transported on the Friendship in 1799 and died en route at Cape Town. See Clare Library website
[xvii]  British Library- Asia, Pacific and Africa Collection- Atlas Journal L/Mar/B/27F- Master: Thomas Musgrave
[xviii]  HRNSW, vol 4, p.931
[xix] HRA Vol 3, p.522
[xx] Ibid, p68
[xxi] Ibid p75
[xxii]  Anne-Maree Whitaker (Ed)  Distracted Settlement New South Wales after Bligh , Melbourne University Press, 1990, p. 41
[xxiii] Ibid, p42
[xxiv] Ibid, p43
[xxv] Ibid, p44
[xxvi] Ibid, p46-47
[xxvii] Ibid, p96
[xxviii]  C. Graham, P. McIntyre, A. M Whitaker, The Voyage of the ship Friendship, op.cit, p.11
[xxix] Ibid, p13
[xxx] Ibid, p26-30
[xxxi] C. Bateson, The Convict Ships, op.cit, p67
[xxxii]  C. Graham, P. McIntyre, A. M Whitaker, The Voyage of the ship Friendship, op.cit, p.30
[xxxiii] B. Whting, Victims of Tyranny, op.cit, p83
[xxxiv] Ibid, p83
[xxxv] Ibid, p85
[xxxvi] C. Bateson The Convict Ships, op.cit, p81 (his ref- Surgeon’s Journals)
[xxxvii] B. Whiting, Victims of Tyranny, op.cit, pp87-89
[xxxviii] C, Bateson, The Convict Ships, op.cit, pp81-82
[xxxix]  S.H. Sheedy: ML MSS 1337 p 137 op.cit. NB. Sheedy claims to have sourced his information from private journals written by his ancestors, James Sheedy (transported 1806 ‘Tellicherry’) and his brother Michael Sheedy (1818 ‘Earl St Vincent’). However, the journals are no longer available for viewing, and therefore cannot be verified.
[xl] C. Graham, P. McIntyre, A. M. Whitaker, The Voyage of the Friendship, op.cit, p33
[xli] HRA Vol 3, p642
[xlii]  British Library- Asia, Pacific and Africa Collection- Atlas Journal L/Mar/B/27F- Master: Thomas Musgrave