Embarked: 220 men
Voyage: 13 weeks
Surgeon's Journal: no
Previous vessel: Mary Anne
arrived 19 January 1816
Next vessel: Alexander
arrived 4 April 1816
Master Alexander Johnston
Surgeon Superintendent Edward Foord Bromley
Prisons and passengers of the Ocean identified in the Hunter Valley
was built in Quebec in 1800.  This was the only voyage this vessel made bringing convicts to New South Wales.
Prisoners transported on the Ocean
came from districts throughout England. - Norfolk, Lincoln, York, Bristol, Somerset, Oxford, Lancaster, Middlesex, Cornwall, Norfolk, Wiltshire, Sussex, Cambridge, Worcester, Essex, Southampton, Devon, Worcester, Southampton, Surrey, Dorset, Nottingham, Berks, Leicester and Plymouth. Three men who had been court-martialled in Gibraltar, Palermo and Lower Canada. 
They were mostly held on the hulks until being embarked. Sixty were under the age of 21 years. Their occupations included tinmakers, sailmakers, farmers, fishermen, sawyers, shoe makers, stone cutters and grooms.
departed England late October 181 and sailed via Rio de Janeiro.
The Guard consisted of a detachment of 46th regiment., and a small party of the 56th regiment., Officers Lieutenant Nepean and Ensign Charles James Bullivant of the 46th. The Headquarters of the 46th regiment commanded by Lieut-Col George James Molle arrived on the Windham and other detachments arrived on the Marquis of Wellington
, Lord Eldon
, General Hewitt
, Sir William Bensley
Another detachment of the 56th regiment arrived on the Fanny in 1816.
Rev. John Youl from the British and Foreign Bible Society came as a free passenger. Governor Macquarie wrote of him in correspondence to Under Secretary Goulburn in March 1816....
The Revd. Mr. Youl arrived in the Ocean Transport on the 30th January last in good health and greatly improved in looks and manner, since he left this country for England in the year 1813. I think Mr. Youl is a very great acquisition to the colony for we greatly want a few really pious and good men like him in this country as Divines, and I wish we had two or three more like him,. I shall be most happy on account of your recommendation of him to pay every little attention in my power to Mr. Youl, and to forward his views in any way I can
Correspondence from convicts on board the Ocean to the President and Committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society......
From Convicts on Board the Ocean to the President Vice Presidents and Committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society
Port Jackson New South Wales
January 30 1816
We the Convicts of this ship desire to return our warmest thanks to the Noblemen and Gentlemen of the British and Foreign Bible Society for receiving from the hands of the Rev J Youl 25 Bibles and 125 Testaments Though we must confess that of all men living we are the most unworthy of these great savours yet there are some we hope among us who have been plunged into this gulf of misery and wretchedness for want of duly considering the importance of the Holy Scriptures who now rejoice in their excellence
We cannot recompense you in any other way than by telling you that these Bibles and Testaments have caused many oaths to be turned into prayers and a number of the worst songs into hymns of praise Being accompanied on our passage by the Rev John Youl Chaplain to the Colony we are happy to state that his exertions are never wanting to execute the duty of his office his interest with Captain Johnston has proved of great utility in a school being established among the convicts and a number of the scholars now can read though imperfectly in the Bible which before they were utterly strangers to This they have learned since the commencement of our passage dated September 1 1815
The Rev Mr Youl attends the school himself daily and ten of the most intelligent assist in various departments. Therefore every day weather permitting there are 36 or more reading the Scriptures which your invaluable Society has furnished us with besides nearly 30 more learning to attain the same desirable end Though the school has met with considerable opposition from a number of thoughtless convicts yet perseverance in it has surmounted every obstacle and paved the way to a reconciliation between both parties and learning has gone on with some advantage
We venture to subscribe ourselves
Your very obedient and humble
Convicts Signed by Thirty Five Convicts - Christian Herald and seaman';s magazine
arrived in Port Jackson on 30 January 1816 after a passage of thirteen weeks.
The convicts would have been inspected on board and a muster conducted. Indent include the Name, Date and Place of Conviction, Sentence, Native Place, Occupation, Age, Physical Description and occasional information about tickets of leave and pardons.
After the convicts were landed they were assigned to various settlers or government service. John Thorn was paid £6 from the Colonial Fund for supplying six carts to convey the prisoners to their various destinations. Select here
to find out more about the disembarkation of prisoners.
Forty-one prisoners have been identified residing in the Hunter Valley region in the following years. There was also a soldier of the 48th regiment, Charles Powell who arrived free on the Ocean. He was later convicted of a colonial crime and joined the rank of felons. As with convict John Dickenson he was sent to the Limeburner's gang
near Newcastle...... Select here
to find out more about convicts and passengers arriving on the Ocean.
Departure from Port Jackson
departed Port Jackson bound for Batavia in March 1816.
Notes and Links
1). Samuel Marshall
a farmer from Nottingham who was convicted at Doncaster Assizes was assigned to John Howe
on arrival. He accompanied Howe on his second expedition of discovery to the Hunter River. Samuel Marshall later became innkeeper at the Shamrock Inn
at Black Creek.
2). Edward Priest
a locksmith/ blacksmith from Warwick was sent to Newcastle in 1817 and resided there for the rest of his life.
3). Nine convict ships arrived in New South Wales in 1816 - Mariner
, Mary Anne
. Approximately 1,415 prisoners arrived in NSW in 1816
4). Number of prisoners, date and place of Conviction and sentences - Parliamentary Papers, House of Commons and Command, Volume 16 By Great Britain
5). List of ships arriving from Europe and their departure - 1816
......Parliament. House of Commons
6). Return of Convicts of the Ocean assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 21 June 1832; 28 June 1832; 5 July 1832).....
Robert Holton Farmer and shepherd assigned to John Dunstan at Wilberforce
James Thomas Sailmaker assigned to Ensign C. Miller 17 th Regiment
James Thomas Sailmaker assigned to Roger Shear at Lower Branch
Robert Parsons Plasterer assigned to George Rankin at Bathurst
7). Trove List re the convict ship Ocean
8). Edward Foord Bromley was employed as surgeon on the Calcutta
in 1803, the Ocean in 1816; Almorah
in 1817, Lord Wellington
in 1820, Surry
in 1833 and Numa
Although no surgeon's journal seems to have survived for this voyage, Edward Foord Bromley gave evidence before a Select Committee in 1819 regarding his regulations for the management for convicts.......
Dr. Bromley's evidence before a Select Committee in 1819 regarding his treatment of the convicts on the Almorah and the Ocean
Edward Foord Bromley M.D. Called in and Examined.......
Q. Have not you acted as surgeon and superintendent on board one or more convict ships on their voyage to New South Wales?
A. I have in three.
Q. Male or Female?
A. The first partly males, and partly females; the other two males.
Q. Can you recollect the numbers on board the different vessels?
A. I think the first was 317.
Q. That was a very large ship ?
A. Yes; 1,250 tons.
Q. What was the time?—In the year 1803; the next ship was the Ocean, of 575 tons, with 220 male prisoners, in the year 1815; the third the Almora, of 416 tons, and 180 male prisoners, in the year 1817.
Q. What was the loss of life of the convicts in the two last voyages?
A. In the Ocean, one, by accident. What accident? - Falling down the hatchway in a gale of wind.
Q. How many in the Almora?
Q. Had you many sick on board ?
A. In the early period of the voyage, in the Ocean, we had a number of colds and little casualties from people falling about the decks, but no sickness of any importance whatever; the latter part of the voyage was perfectly healthy; we had only one or two men ill after that time. In the Almora, we had little or no sickness at all; a few colds and trifling accidents, and I think I never saw men in so high a state of health as the men taken out in the Almora were during the whole of the voyage.
Q. What were the regulations you adopted for the management of the prisoners during the passage?
A. Extreme cleanliness, air, ventilation, and strict attention to their diet; to see that their provisions were regularly served to them, and in the quantities they were allowed; to see that they had the proper quantity of water, that their victuals were properly cooked, that they had all the exercise that was possible in the ship, and for them to be on the deck from the earliest period they could be up in the morning till it was dark at night, except when they were at their meals.
Q. The whole of them ?
A. Yes, and taking them out without their irons on. I shall be happy to explain my opinion on that subject if it is wished. It is the generally received principle, that convicts should have one iron taken off after the ship leaves the land; they always are delivered to us with irons on both legs from the prisons, or the hulks; but a convict is equally as mischievous, if he chooses to be so, with the iron taken from one leg and put on the other; he has all the activity, from having worn irons for some time with that leg which he has with the other, and his hands being perfectly at liberty, if he is inclined to do mischief, he has the same capability as if his irons were removed altogether; therefore, to show that I have not the least fear of any thing that these people may attempt to do, I convince them of that by taking off the irons from them altogether, reserving to myself the putting them back again into the double irons if necessary, for the commission of fresh crimes on board
Q. Do you know whether that is the constant practice in other convict ships?
A. I do not think it is.
Q. Do you mean to speak of the whole of the convicts as being used to irons, or that there may be here and there a man so accustomed to it, as for it to be familiar to him?
A. Generally speaking, I consider three months, which is probably the shortest period they have worn irons when they are embarked on board, as fully sufficient to familiarize them to them.
Q. You do not consider the irons any security for the men?
A. Certainly not one iron.
Q. Is that iron an iron merely encircling the leg, or with a chain?
A. There is a chain coming up from the leg to the middle, but it operates on only one leg when they are in single irons.
Q. Are not the same regulations you have stated to have been observed by you in those two different ships, to which you have referred, common in other ships, except with respect to the irons?
A. I think it is probable they are in every respect but the irons. In the Ocean, we did not take their irons off immediately; and I think and thought then we had men frequently in a state of debility, when it would have been otherwise if their irons had been removed.
Q. If those regulations you have stated, which in your opinion are so important to health, and which in fact seem to have preserved the health of the convicts during their passage, were observed, in what way should you account for the great loss which took place on board the General Hewitt
, in which thirty-four convicts died, and the Surrey
, in which thirty-six died, as well as fourteen of the crew?
A. I attribute the sickness in the General Hewitt
to the improper treatment of the prisoners on board the ship. At this time it must be understood they were not under the superintendence of any persons belonging to government; I think it must have been about the year 1813; I know in 1814 the new regulations took place; this was under the old regulations. I believe the circumstance of the General Hewitt
is on record, of the provisions having been purchased by the master, who had the entire charge and superintendence of them, at Rio Janeiro, from a part of the convicts for a certain time; this is on public record; for which he gave them spirits from Rio Janeiro, and I believe tea, sugar and tobacco; but I believe they were several weeks, but certainly days, without animal food, which they had bartered to the master for spirits.
Q. Are you aware of a letter which was written from the Transport Board, concerning the ship Surrey, in which it is stated that one of the causes that produced the sickness in that ship, was sailing in the month of January, by which means they quitted England in cold weather, and crossed the Line during the heat of summer?
A. I have heard of such a report.
Q. Do you think that that circumstance can be a satisfactory explanation of the illness?
A. No, I do not consider altogether, in respect of the Surrey, that it is ; I consider that there were other causes, that perhaps if they did not produce the sickness tended to keep it alive, such as want of cleanliness; it is on record that the soap, sent on board for the use of the prisoners on the passage, was put on the master's investment to be sold in New South Wales.
Q. Do you know whether the masters of either of the vessels, the General Hewitt or the Surrey, received any punishment for the frauds they had practised?
A. The General Hewitt, I have heard, was severely mulcted for their non-compliance with their charter-party; the master of the Surrey fell a victim himself to the disease which was generated in the ship, and died before her arrival at Port Jackson.
Q. You say, these facts are put upon record; have the goodness to state in what record?
A. They were on record sent to the Transport Board, by order of Governor Macquarie, on the investigation which took place on the ship's arrival there.
Q. What method did you pursue for the enforcement of discipline on board the Ocean and the Almora ?2
A. In the first place, example, and in the next, strict and particular attention; and I do conceive that their condition has been very much bettered by a constant attention to the reading the church service, and preaching a sermon to them every Sunday.
Q. Did you do that yourself?
A. Invariably... I have also adopted the principle of forming a school very early after the ship's leaving port, or if she stays long in port, of commencing it there, which I found a very good thing, keeping the people constantly employed in various ways. In the last ship, the good effects which I have mentioned were manifested, for we never had occasion to punish a single man.
Q. Is the system of keeping a school common in the convict ships?
A. I believe it has been done in some.
Q. Describe what were the regulations in force before those now in existence ?
A. I believe, but I only know from hearsay, that there was no government officer on board, and the surgeon was procured by the owners wherever they could find him.
Q. Who found the provisions?
A. I believe the government did.
Q. Are the existing regulations such as you approve, or can you suggest any improvement?
A. I think they are amply provided with provisions, with medical comforts, and with as good accommodations as can be given to them; I have heard complaints, but never of want of room.
Q. Did they ever complain of suffering from heat?
A. It is quite impossible that any person who crosses the Equator must not suffer more or less from heat; every person feels it in a greater or a less degree; those who are more confined must feel it in a greater degree; but the confinement of prisoners in those times is made of as short a duration as possible. My plan is, every morning, after they arrive as far as to the southward of Madeira, to cause half the convicts to come on deck at four o’clock in the morning and bathe, and then go below; and the cooks, and perhaps from thirty to forty people, who are necessarily employed about the ship in various ways, for their own comfort are on deck, which relieves the prison room from a considerable degree of heat; at half past seven o’clock their breakfast is served down, and at eight o'clock the whole of them come on deck, except eighteen or twenty, who are reserved for the cleaning of the prison room.
Q. At what time are they shut down at night, at the Equator?
A. I should think from six to half past six; probably from thirty to fifty remain on deck till eight.
Q. So that for ten hours out of the twenty-four, those persons are down below?
A. A proportion of them; from thirty to fifty I allow to remain on deck till eight o'clock; then there are always from eight to ten in a watch; that relieves the prison room, in a measure.
Q. But the greater proportion of the convicts are down below, ten hours out of the twenty-four in the Equator?
A. I do not see how it is possible to avoid that.
Q. Have you adopted any particular mode of fumigating the vessel ?
A. Yes; from a great deal of practice, I invariably follow one plan, which I have found is the best; I have tried fumigation in every way, but I find nothing equal to tar being put into the pitch pot of the ship, and the loggerhead put into the fire and immersed in it; it is the best antiseptic, and I consider that altogether it diffuses more air from it than any other sort of fumigation; I think altogether it is the best and the most simple.
Q. Did you ever try the nitrous acid ?
Q. What is a loggerhead ?
A. A round piece of iron, with a very large ball at the bottom, perhaps about as large as the two fists, and the iron about two feet and a half or three feet long, with a hook at the end, which is fixed into the centre of the loggerhead; the loggerhead is heated, then taken below, and immersed into the pot with the tat.
Q. In the Ocean, 220 prisoners were placed in a ship, of which the tonnage was 575, and 180 in the Almora, of which the tonnage was 416; was the accommodation greater in the one ship than in the other ?
A. No; I consider the ships to have been nearly on a par.
Q. You have described the heat of the lower deck, on the Equator, of those ships as unavoidable; do you think the deck of a convict ship is hotter than the deck of a man of war on the Equator?
A. Certainly, not so hot.
Q. Have you been in many men of war?
A. A great many.
Q. Do you know of any instance in any part of the world, of such health as prevails in a British ship of war?
A. No ; I was nine months in the Hibernia, in the Mediterranean; the complement of which was 895; the sick list in the nine months never exceeded sixteen, and the average was about ten.
Q. Had not the seamen in the Hibernia, and have not they in all the king's ships, always a power of leaving their decks where they sleep, and coming above deck ?
A. Yes, certainly; they are not confined below.
Q. Do they do so in the course of the night?
A. Yes, if they find it too hot.
Q. Having described the great health which prevails in a man of war, do not you believe, in the convict ships generally, the health is fully equal to that in a man of war ?
A. I think it is ; the instance I have given corroborates that.
Q. Do you believe, from your general knowledge of the ships, that it is generally the case ?
A. Certainly; for they lose no lives now, since they have been put on the new regulations, only one or two.
Q. What is the allowance of water to the sailors on board a man of war ?
A. That depends on the climate and the weather.
Q. At the Equator?
A. I should consider that a sailor on that voyage would have two quarts of water.
Q. What is the allowance for the convicts?
A. A butt is allowed for each convict for the voyage. If the middle passage (which I call that from Madeira to the Brazils) is quick, they get, if they want it, more than the sailors. I have always myself found a gallon enough, and they have been very well contented and satisfied with it; but if the middle passage is quick, we had in the Almora a very quick passage, and the men had very frequently six quarts of water during the day if they wanted it. But there are, in a high southern latitude, instances where they do not drink two quarts of water out of the gallon, or make use of it.
Q. Do you consider that if the convicts were confined to three pints of water per day it would produce sickness ?2
A. I am quite satisfied that scurvy and dysentery would be immediately produced, by not giving them a proper quantity of water; three pints I do not consider to be enough, nor any thing like it.
Q. You are subject to heavy rains on the Equator, and catch some water ?A. We catch some for the general use of the ship.
Q. What is the quantity you gave ?
A. Never less than a gallon.
Q. Are not the births so constructed as to admit of leakage from the decks upon the bedding ?
A. I think they are as well constructed as they possibly can be ; in hot weather the decks will get dry, and consequently occasionally leak, which it is impossible entirely to prevent; but by fresh caulking, and taking necessary precautions, it is prevented as much as possible, but sometimes it cannot be entirely; this is only the case in very hot weather.
Q. Do not the cribs in which they sleep touch the sides of the ship
A. They must necessarily do that, there is no other way of fixing them.
Q. Does not it admit of water leaking down; if it was weeping down the ship's side, would it not run through?
A. The scuttles that are fixed have a communication below, and if the water comes down where those scuttles are, the water goes down into the hold.
Q. Did you find the convicts indisposed to receive instruction?
A. On the contrary; I always found them very ready and willing to receive any instruction that was offered to be given to them.
Q. Were there several of them that could not read at all?
A. A considerable number.
Q. Did any of them learn?
A. They learnt their letters, and many of them learnt to read during the passage.
Q. What punishments did you use for the slighter offences, which might be expected to occur in any very large number?
A. The slight offences were punished by depriving them of the wine twice a week, which is given by government, and giving it to those who were useful in the ship, such as boatswain's mates, and so on; perhaps they were deprived once, perhaps twice of it; if the crime was of greater magnitude, their irons were put upon them again for a certain period, as long or as short as the offence they had committed deserved.
Q. Is it your opinion that flogging the convicts is a mode of punishment unnecessary and improper?
A. Not absolutely; I consider there may be men of that disposition, hardened offenders, that nothing but the lash will have any effect upon them; but I should hope those occurrences are extremely rare; in a general case, I think that the punishment may be withheld, but there are certainly instances where nothing else will do.
Q. You had no corporal punishment on board the Almora?
A. No; in the Ocean we punished two people in the early part of the voyage.
Q. Do you conceive the punishment of the lash proper at all in the case of females?
A. Most certainly not.
Q. Have you ever known any instance of such punishment on board a convict ship?
A. I have not known such an instance, certainly.
Q. Have you ever heard, from information which you could not doubt, that females have occasionally been punished in that way?
A. No; I do not know that I ever have, from information that I could not doubt.
Q. Do you ascribe the good behaviour of the convicts to the kindness exercised towards them ?
A. I think in a very great measure.
Q. Do you consider that any regulations are desirable, as to assembling convicts before they are put on board ?
A. The male convicts are generally taken from one place; females particularly ; are received on board in a way from Newgate, all that are to go out in the ship; from the country prisons sometimes one, or two, or three, depending upon the number that are to come from those prisons; but they all come at different times. I do conceive that it is a thing highly necessary that there should be a place appropriated for the reception of the females on their arrival from the different county gaols, that they may be placed all together; that a proper medical inspection may be made of those people, to prevent the risk or possibility of disease being brought on board the ship on their embarking; when there is one comes one day, and another another day, and so on, inspection is morally impossible; if they are in ever so great a stage of disease, the gaoler who brings them, cannot take them away, and it is necessary there should be a commu- nication with the home department, in order to their being put on shore again, though they may be sick.
Q. Is there any species of classification on board those ships for males?—A. I have had none in the ships I have gone out in.
Q. Do you think that it would be possible to make any classification in those ships, consistent with preserving the due circulation of air, and not be putting into the hands of the convicts instruments of aggression ?–
A. I scarcely think that possible; this has generally been done, that the most orderly and best disposed set of men, if there have been on board some better than others, have been made patroles over the others; but that can be known only when they have been on board some little time, we cannot tell at first whether they are good, bad or indifferent.
Q. What is your opinion as to the practice which has recently been adopted of sepa- rating the boys from the men, and placing them by themselves?
A. It is impossible I can form an opinion upon that, unless I had been in a ship where they were thus divided; I dislike any additional bulk-heads being put up, so as to prevent a circulation of air; as to the boys being placed all together, I should not think that a very desirable thing.
Q. Supposing, for instance, that in any ship in which you were going out, there was a separate place made for the boys, in which five were placed to sleep in one of those cribs, all of them, of course, stripped naked at night, without any person with them, boys from the age of fifteen to seventeen, would you not think, in a moral point of view, that was liable to very great objections ?
A. I have answered that question, I think, before, that I think they should not be left by themselves in that way. I think myself, that it is much better to divide them among the men, by putting one boy into each birth.
Q. Do you not think as much immorality would arise if the boys were placed with the men?
A. Certainly not; because I consider that one boy placed with three men, there may be one man out of the three, or probably two, who would be inclined to commit acts that would be highly improper towards that boy, but a third man would tell the superintendent of it; with the boys altogether not one would tell of it, perhaps.
Q. board the Occan and the Almora had you much thieving one from another?
A. A great deal.
Q. Was there any gaming?
A. Whenever they had an opportunity, gambling for money, and which was the cause of the thieving that followed it; but whenever they were found, they were always punished, for the orders against gambling are very strict; the money, whatever it might amount to, was thrown overboard instantly, and probably they did not get their wine for a week.
Q. All the checks which could be imposed by the rules of the ship were attempted to be imposed, but did not succeed?
A. In a great part they did, but latterly they had nothing to gamble for, for their money was thrown overboard.
Q. Did they not gamble for amusement ?
A. No, I believe not; but if they did, it was not of any serious consequence; but when a man had lost his money he went and robbed another to pay it.
Q. Did not they gamble for their wine?
A. They could not do that, for I made them drink it at the tub.
Q. What occupation have they during the day ?
A. A vast number of them are employed in various ways about the ship; they have to clean the ship; every part of their own apartment is to be cleaned; there are regular people appointed as washermen to the others; and very frequently they are employed picking oakum for the ship's use; they take all the exercise they possibly can do; many of them are em- ployed in reading, some in one way and some in another.
Q. In what way are the prisons below lighted at night?
A. The prison room in general is lighted by a lanthorn, being placed down between the gratings of the different hatchways, probably two, one down the fore hatchway, and the other down the after hatchway. I do not think it necessary the people there should have any light, but that the sentries should have a light to see what they are about ; but I have a regular patrol, I have police officers who go round among them, and relieve one another every two hours.
Q. The Committee understand you to say you adopt a system of patrolling, selecting persons from among the prisoners themselves, who report as to the orderly or disorderly conduct of the prisoners?
A. Yes; but it is principally done to prevent thieving in the night; those persons will find it out if it is committed sooner than I can.
Q. Are the sailors that are employed in this service corrupted by their association with these men?
A. We endeavour to prevent association as much as possible, it is not possible entirely to prevent it, but I do not know in general that any evil has taken place from it; the orders are strict; they are never seen conversing with the prisoners for any length of time; in the sight of the officers they will talk to them occasionally, and it is impossible to prevent that.
Q. When the vessels arrive at Port Jackson, have you found any inconvenience from the manner in which the guard of troops is placed over them?
A.No ; I have no particular cause of complaint against them there, I have many in the passage sometimes; in the first place, it is quite unlikely that a thing of the kind should take place there, of course they are under the eye of the commanding officer of the regiment, and they know that if they do any thing wrong they are liable to be tried by court martial directly for it.
Q. What have you principally to complain of on the passage with regard to the conduct of the troops?
A. In general one-half or two-thirds are composed of recruits that are going out to join the regiment from the depot ; the allowance of spirits which is given to them, the same as in the navy, half a pint a-day, is more than they can bear, for they are frequently boys that six weeks before were taken from the plough, and never tasted spirits before ; and as drunkenness in general is the cause of the commission of all crime, so it operates upon them.
Q. Did any female convicts arrive at Botany Bay during the time you were staying there?
A. The ship Friendship
arrived during the time of my stay in New South Wales; I think she arrived early in January 1818.
Q. Did you happen to go on board her when she was staying in Port Jackson ?
A.vI was on board her.
Q. Were all the females sent on shore at that time?
A. No ; I went on board for the purpose of picking out some female servants for friends of mine, that was the only time of my going on board, that was within a day or two after her arrival. None had been discharged at that time . None had been sent on shore, I believe, at that time; they are always disembarked together.
Q. Are persons allowed to go on board those ships to pick out female servants for their friends or themselves?
A. Families are supplied with servants; batchelors the governor will not give servants to ; married men with families may have servants.
Q. Have they permission to go on board the ship to choose the servants they wish ?
A. No ; they do not choose the servants, but they inquire of the master of the ship, or the superintendent, who have the best characters. I do not know that inhabitants of Sydney would be allowed to go on board in the same way that I did, as a superintendent of convicts.
Q. Were complaints made to you of the master or surgeon by those convicts?
A. I had no conversation with them on the subject.
Q. In the printed instructions it is stated, that a present is given to the surgeon of a ship which has conveyed convicts on his return home by the Secretary of State, if he is so deserving of it; what is the amount of that present?
A. Half-a-guinea for each person landed in health in the colony.
Q. In what state of health were the female convicts who arrived at Botany Bay while you were there?
A. I think, as far as recollection serves me, that there were three or four, or perhaps more, but not a large number that were ill ; I did not particularly inquire.
Q.Did not the convicts manifest their gratitude to you on their arrival in New South. Wales, for your kind treatment on ship-board?
A. They did write such a letter.
Q. Have you that letter?
A. It is in the possession of Sir Byam Martin.
[The letter was read, as follows :]
“ Honoured Sir, “With feelings of the most respectful nature, we beg you to accept our most heartfelt acknowledgments for the many comforts and indulgences we have received from you during our passage from England, and for which we E. F. Bromley, are indebted to your kindness and humanity. M. D. “Were it possible, honoured Sir, for us to show you in a more striking manner the high sense we entertain for the many kindnesses we have received, we should consider ourselves completely happy; but as that, perhaps, may never occur, we now, with sentiments of the highest esteem for your kindness, return you our most grateful and sincere thanks; and remain, “ Honoured Sir, “Your most obedient and very humble servants...
One man from each mess subscribes for the whole. (signed)
C. Denorher, Thomas Stevens, Robert Eton, Thomas Perring, William Horsley, William Hunt, Thomas Booth, John Mortan, James Mitchell, Richard Grocott, Joseph Hopwood, George Morgan, Lewis Lawrence, Philip Best, William Barker, William Russell, John Keys, John Morris, William Beardon, Daniel Rogers, Richard Mealts, Isaac Leach, James Chataway, Thomas Clapp, John Breeze, George Conner, H. Butler, Robert Robinson, John Jones, John Boon.
Q. Is any course of inquiry made as to the conduct of the captain or master on the arrival of the ship at Port Jackson?
A. The secretary to the government comes on board and inquires of each convict separately, whether he has any cause of complaint against the captain, the superintendent, or the master of the ship, or any officer, of their having been treated ill during the passage, whether they have had their proper allowance of provisions given to them and water.
Q. When the ships arrive at Sydney, what becomes of the stores which are not used ?
A. They are sent to the different departments who are empowered to receive them.
Q. Do you believe that a practice has taken place, in which the greater part of them are smuggled on shore, and sold for the benefit of the master?
A. I do not believe such a circumstance has ever taken place, since the convict ships have been placed upon their present footing.
Q. In your various voyages to New South Wales, have you not been for some time resident there ?
A. I have.
Q. You have been a good deal acquainted with the respectable inhabitants of that colony?
A. I believe I know every person of respectability in the colony.
Q. What is the general character you have heard of the chaplain, the Reverend Mr. Marsden, both of his professional character as chaplain and magistrate, and also his personal character?
A. During fifteen years knowledge of Mr. Marsden, I have always found and heard that he was a most exemplary good character, a moral, religious good man, and certainly, in the execution of his duty as a justice of the peace, a most indefatigable one, and a most invaluable one in that colony.
Q. Did you ever hear any reflections of any kind cast on Mr. Marsden's moral character, from any quarter worthy of notice?
Q. Have you always found a ready disposition on the part of the Transport Board, and the Navy Board, to attend to any suggestions you had to offer with respect to the improvement of the comfort of the people on board?
A. It is a part of my instructions to suggest any amendment of the present system, and I have done so in several instances, which have been immediately attended to.
Q. You are going out as surgeon and superintendent to a female convict ship, the Lord Wellington?
A. I am.
Q. Is there not on board that ship, constructed recently, a species of screen, which would keep the men, as they go down the hatchways, from having any communication with the women?
A. There has been, from her first fitting, a jealousie of that description put up, a sort of blind that draws up and down.
Q. Do you think that would be one of the means by which you will be enabled to prevent an illicit communication of the two sexes ?
A. Certainly ; at first when the cables are working, which go down that hatchway, I consider that the ship's crew would be frequently there; but when that service ceases, when the ship is at sea, and the cables are unbent, there would not be occasion for those jealousies remaining, which there would be, while the people were continually about, as long as the ship is in harbour.
. HRA, Series 1, Vol. IX, p.97
. Convict Indents. State Archives NSW; Series: NRS 12188; Item: [4/4005]; Microfiche: 636
 Bateson, Charles, Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney. pp.34