OF THE CROWN
12th August 1815
Magistrate--W. Broughton, esq.
of Bread for the ensuing Week--Household,
10d; Wheaten, 111/2d.
Contributed By Bruce L. Salisbury
A Little different from the usual fare presented on Jack's Joint but excellent articles nevertheless. Australia was populated by prisoners sentenced to "transportation" by the Crown. This brief article is about one such ship.
News.. ... On Monday arrived the ship Francis and Eliza, Captain Harrison,
having on board 54 male and 70 female prisoners from Ireland; two of the former
and four of the latter description died on the passage, which from it's tedious
length and other vicissitudes they
were exposed to renders it a matter of especial wonder that the mortality was so
She sailed from Cork the 5th of
December, in convoy with the Canada, whose arrival we last week announced, and
had the misfortune to be captured on the 4th of January by the Warrior American
Privateer, Captain Champ, it pierced for 22 guns, but not all mounted, and
carrying 160 men.
Captain Harrison was removed on board
the privateer and detained many hours, but was afterwards liberated and restored
to his own ship. His private losses are very severe indeed as are those of Mr.
West, ship's surgeon, from whom an investment of a thousand pounds value was
wholly taken together with most of his wearing apparel, surgical instruments,
and the ship's medicine chest, which latter loss, but for the favor of
providence, might have been followed by the most fatal consequences to the
numerous persons on board: Having also taken out all her arms and ammunition, they left
her to her fate.
The prisoners no longer submitted to
the restraints usual, but nevertheless conducted themselves with the most
exemplary propriety, dividing themselves into watches and performing the duty of
the vessel at a time when we are sorry to say the ship's company themselves had
to an alarming number become refractory and insubordinate.
The spirits and other liquors were
treated as common plunder, and the most dreadful scene of riot and intemperance
prevailed, until their arrival at Santa Cruz, on the Island of Teneriffe, on the
10th of January and the ship having been several time set on fire.
Here the Captain received every
kindly attention from Mr. Duplex,
Chief Consul, who thought it prudent to impose a ten day quarantine
upon the vessel, but took the necessary means to restore good order, which was
the better accomplished by the transfer of the most disorderly of the crew to a
King's ship then lying there.
At Teneriffe she rejoined the Canada,
which had the better fortune to escape the vigilance
of the American cruizers, and under convoy of the Ulysses frigate went with her
to Senegal, next to Goree, and afterwards to Sierra Leone, from which they
sailed together for the Cape of Good Hope, where they arrived the 12th of May,
and remained three Weeks to refresh.
The military guard on board consists
of a detachment of the Royal Africa Corps, commanded by Ensign Alt.
above a transcript from a copy of what appeared in the Sydney Gazette, dated
12 august 1815, and sent me from National
Library of Australia
A Companion Article
SYDNEY 25 SEPT. 1815
To: the Excellency Governor Marquarie
ye ye ye
Sir: The ship
Francis & Eliza under my command with convicts from Ireland for the colony
was captured in the early part of the voyage by an American privateer who
plundered her of many stores (ye) and amongst other things the ships register,
articles of agreement with the crew, every paper of consequence belonging to
the ship. The Americans detained the ship twenty four hours and afterward gave
her up to me to prosecute the voyage that I had commenced.
During the ships capture some of my crew entered upon the privateer and
upon my arrival in Tenneriffe I was compelled to send my then Chief Officer
and four seamen...prisoners to England on board H.M. Ship Mirmidon for
mutinous conduct after the ships capture, and
was afterwards compelled to ship seamen at Tenneriffe, sierra Leone
& Cape of Good Hope.
At Teneriffe, I
shipped D., Peask as Chief Officer...in the ship to this port to all ports and
places in India and finally to London, but in consequence of the loss of any
ships articles, none were signed and an agreement only verbal. On Saturday
last he thought proper to leave the ship without my consent on no other excuse
than not having signed articles to proceed on the voyage and is still absent
from the exercise of the duty alloted to his station on board this ship, and
holding out an example of insubordination, to the remainder of the crew; who,
were he allowed to quit the ship at his own pleasure might influence many
others to follow the example and the ship may be detained to a great expense
for a considerable time from the further prosecution of her voyage.
claim your Excellency's protection under the unpleasant situation in which my
ship is situated and not to allow the said D.Peask to quit the ship nor any
others of her present crew who may be similarly inclined.
I have the honor to be
Most Humble Servant
Commander of the Ship
And on through the summer seas we bore,
Until off stern Cape Clear
Our ship fell in with a sloop-o`-war,
A Yankee Privateer.
We hailed for news, and the sloop hove to,
And off her skipper came,
And boarded us in a leaky yawl
With his wrathful cheek aflame
For down to the South`ard
He'd been chased
By a powerful English ship
That was just too slow for his flying heels,
And just too big to whip,.
We sent him back with a cheerful heart,
And down to the South we swept,
And a sharp lookout o`er the vacant sea
Alow and aloft we kept."
Bruce L Salisbury is a retired MSGT USAF who resides in Aztec, New Mexico
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