Claudine 1821

From 4-6pm all the convicts on deck dancing.1

Henry Ryan, Surgeon-Superintendent on the convict ship Claudine, kept a detailed journal from 13 August 1821 to 15 December 1821.  The voyage took 113 days from Woolwich to Van Diemen’s Land and transported 160 male convicts, only one of whom died en route.  Between October and December, Ryan noted dancing almost daily, usually in the evenings for one, two, or three hours.  Below are excepts from Ryan’s Medical Journal.

6 October 1821: John Brown who was previously released from Irons was double ironed for being below contrary to orders. From 6 to 8pm the convicts on deck dancing. No sick on board.

8 October 1821: Took the irons off George Davies and Frederick Dutton. From 6 to 8pm the convicts on deck dancing.

9 October 1821: From 6 to 8pm the convicts on deck dancing.

10 October 1821: Joseph Cook was handcuffed for stealing his messmates rations. From 6 to 8pm the convicts on deck dancing.

11 October 1821: Henry Smith was handcuffed for riotous conduct. Released all the prisoners from irons with the exception of James Casey who was double ironed for not attending to his muster. Dancing as yesterday.

12 October 1821: Handcuffed Daniel Murray, Robert Sydenham, Thomas Ford and James Walker for concealing one of their messmates beds. James Walker and James Casey were appointed to watch the water closets for the space of one month for not answering to their muster. From 6 to 7pm the convicts on deck dancing.

13 October 1821: Handcuffed William Holt for not answering to his muster. John Brooks, John Austen and John Gennston were double ironed for gambling contrary to orders. From 6 to 8pm all on deck dancing.

15 October 1821: William Whitehouse received 2 dozen lashes for using threatening language to me [the surgeon]. Also Joseph Bolton, boy, received dozen and 6 lashes on his backside for being dirty and concealing his clothes. From 6-8pm all on deck dancing.

16 October 1821: Dancing as yesterday. No sick on board.

17 October 1821: From 6 to 8pm all hands on deck dancing. No sick on board.

18 October 1821: Cut up 1 pair of sheets to make trousers for Edward Thomas, Joseph Bolton, John Turggs and Robert Duckworth, they having lost their trousers overboard. From 6 to 8pm all hands the prisoners on deck dancing. No sick on board.

19 October 1821: Thomas Fleming, Henry Smith and James Davies were appointed to carry the mess to their messmates for the space of two weeks and to watch the water closets for a similar period for refusing to bring the mess to their messmates when they were employed cleaning the prison decks. From 6 to 8pm the prisoners on deck dancing.

20 October 1821: Two bags of bread thrown overboard being in a decayed state and totally unfit for use. Dancing as yesterday.

22 October 1821: Job Boyer, James Rolls, Edward Leicester and Edward [?] were released from their irons. From 6-8pm the prisoners on deck dancing.

23 October 1821: James Casey, John Eynon, John Baker, Joseph Street, Robert Barton, John Lewerty and John Astell releases from their irons. From 6-8pm the prisoners on deck dancing.

24 October 1821: From 6-7pm all hands on deck dancing.

25 October 1821: From 6-7pm the prisoners on deck dancing.

26 October 1821: James Johnson, William Whitehouse and William Bayley released from their irons. From 6-7pm the prisoners on deck dancing.

29 October 1821: From 6-7pm the prisoners on deck dancing.

30 October 1821: From 6-7pm the prisoners on deck dancing. 7.30pm Peter Bramman, one of the guards, who was double ironed on the 28th for mutinous conduct was released from irons by his officer.

31 October 1821: From 6-7pm the prisoners on deck dancing.

14 November 1821: At 12am issued 12 gallons of wine to the convicts. 20 half pints of wine was stopped by way of punishment from 20 of the prisoners for stowing away their blankets on the lower prison deck contrary to orders. From 5-7pm prisoners on deck dancing.

15 November 1821: Samuel Pyne, boy, received 2 dozen lashes, for not washing his messmates’ clothes. From 5-7pm all on deck dancing.

20 November 1821: The boys at school – the bibles, testaments, prayer books and psalters which were given to the prisoners on the 18th of August were delivered into store. From 4-6pm the boys on deck dancing.

22 November 1821: From 4-6pm the boys on deck dancing.

23 November 1821: The prisoners on deck dancing till 7pm.

24 November 1821: From 4-7pm all hands on deck dancing.

25 November 1821: From 4-6pm all the convicts on deck dancing.

26 November 1821: From 4-6pm all the convicts on deck dancing.

27 November 1821: From 4-6pm all the convicts on deck dancing.

28 November 1821: From 4-6pm all the convicts on deck dancing.

30 November 1821: In consequence of several petty robberies being committed a general search was made and several small things were found on the prison deck. From 4-6pm the prisoners on deck dancing.

4 December 1821: From 5-6pm the prisoners on deck dancing.

5 December 1821: David Roberts and David McGee were handcuffed together for riotous conduct on the prison deck. Prisoners dancing as heretofore.

7 December 1821: Henry Smith was double ironed for not cleaning his berth. Handcuffed the whole of the 13th mess for not having their berth cleaned. The whole employed dancing from 6-7pm.

8 December 1821: Released Henry Smith and James Sinclair from irons. Prisoners employed dancing in the afternoon.

11 December 1821: The whole employed dancing from 6-7pm.

Henry Ryan was also employed as Surgeon-Superintendent on the convict ships Tyne (1819) and Shipley (1820).

By J.C. Bentley after W.H. Bartlett. - From the part-work series "Ports, Harbours, Watering Places and Coast Scenery of Great Britain". (London 1836-1842). Steel engraving, published by William Finden, London, 1841., Public Domain.

This image shows Claudine in 1840 when she was driven onshore at Ramsgate by a sudden northerly gale. She was subsequently re-floated and repaired.2

References

1Surgeon-Superintendent Henry Ryan’s  Medical Journal

2By J.C. Bentley after W.H. Bartlett. – From the part-work series “Ports, Harbours, Watering Places and Coast Scenery of Great Britain”. (London 1836-1842). Steel engraving, published by William Finden, London, 1841., Public Domain

Links

Henry Ryan, R.N.

Convict Records  – list of convicts on the Claudine

History of the Claudine

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