Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Caroline - 1833

Embarked 120 women
Voyage 113 days
Deaths 0
Surgeon's Journal - Yes
Previous vessel: Waterloo arrived 3 August 1833
Next vessel: Captain Cook arrived 25 August 1833
Captain Alexander MacDonald
Surgeon George Birnie
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The Caroline was the next vessel leaving from Ireland for New South Wales with prisoners after the Portland in February 1833.

Prisoners came from counties throughout Ireland - Dublin, Roscommon, Armagh, Tyrone, Limerick, Cork, King's Co., Londonderry, Wicklow, Cavan, Co. Down, Kildare, Longford, Monaghan, Roscommon, Wexford, Fermanagh, Antrim, Louth, Belfast, Kilkenny, Mayo, Tipperary, Cork and Kerry etc. They were held in county gaols before being transferred to Cork where they were held in the Penitentiary.

The Freemans Journal reported on 5th April 1833 that 56 free settlers, wives and children of convicts in New South Wales, were embarked from the Penitentiary house in Cork on to the Caroline at Cove and on the following morning 120 female convicts from the same establishment were conveyed on the Waterloo steamer to the Caroline. Their appearance and conduct was said to be highly creditable.

The Crew

The crew consisted of twenty six men and boys including the Captain. There was a Mate, 2nd Mate, 3rd Mate, Carpenter, Steward, Cook, Sailmaker, ship's auditor and twelve seamen. There were four apprentices, one of whom was lost overboard. A boy on board was noted as being equal to a man.

Departure from Ireland

The Caroline departed Cork on 15th April 1833.

Cabin Passenger

Passengers included Lieut. Croker Barrington.;

Surgeon George Birnie

George Birnie kept a Medical Journal from 1 March to 28 August 1833........

In his General Remarks he noted the arrival of the women and children.....On the 29th March 1833 we received on board the Caroline at the Cove of Cork, fifteen free women and forty one of their children, being the wives and children of convicts ordered a passage to New South Wales by His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant, and on the 30th we received one hundred and twenty female convicts and thirteen of their children, making a total of 189.

George Birnie's Journal continues: -

The Convicts when embarked had in general a healthful and clean appearance and throughout the voyage they kept themselves and their berths in a state of the most perfect cleanliness. We had a good deal of sickness and incidental during a long and solitary voyage to persons unaccustomed to a sea life; but no deaths or casualties among the free settlers, the prisoners or any of their children. It will be seen by the copy of the daily sick book, I had in all ninety seven cases on the list and I regret that I can give only sixteen and they imperfect, my papers having gone astray during the disembarkation of prisoners. These few cases however will give a pretty correct idea of the nature of the complaints which generally occurred during the voyage.

By my instructions from the Admiralty, I am desired to guard as far as possible against the introduction and spread of contagions as well as attend to the health, comfort and morals of the prisoners placed under my charge and I assert that nothing is more calculated to fulfil the intention of these instructions than the the substitution of proper water closets for the disgusting and beastly soil pans especially in female convict ships to all consideration of the intolerable nuisance produced in cases of general sickness by these soil cases not only in the prison and hospital but all over the ship, the men particularly in bad weather, are brought more in contact with the women than they would otherwise be and the disgusting office makes them assume liberties which they would not otherwise do - Various other considerations, obvious enough but not fit to be stated here induce me again to repeat that every convict ship and more especially female convict ships should always be fitted up with water closets. No one who has not actually experienced it can form any adequate idea of the abominable and disgusting nuisance of these soil pans as they are delicately called. The chloride of lime was liberally used and contributed greatly to the sweetness and comfort of the prison, hospital and place allotted to the free settlers

Arrival at Port Jackson

The Caroline arrived in Sydney on 6th August 1833. The previous vessel arriving in New South Wales carrying female convicts was the Surry in March 1833.

Arrival of the convict ship Caroline in 1833 - Sydney Monitor 7 August 1833
Sydney Monitor 7 August 1833

Convict Muster

The women were mustered on 9th August and were landed on Friday 16th August. Twenty were embarked on the steamer Sophia Jane and taken to the Hunter region for assignment. Notice was given that those families in want of female servants could be supplied from the prisoners who arrived on the Caroline, provided they apply according to the established form. The assignees were required to enter into an engagement under a penalty of forty shillings to keep their servants for one month unless removed by due course of the law.

Free Passengers

The free women were landed on Saturday 24th August and taken to the lumber yard where accommodation and lodgings had been established. (The lumber yard was situated on the corner of Bridge and George Streets until 1833). A great number of them joined their husbands immediately and the remainder were awaiting the arrival of their husbands from the interior.

Their names are included in the New South Wales, Australia Convict Ship Muster Rolls and Related Records, 1790-1849 at Ancestry -
Ann Grogan with two children;
Johanna Murray or Mahony with three children;
Bridget Kelly with four children;
Bridget McKeon with four children,
Ann Savage with three children;
Mary Owens with four children;
Ellen Kinsela with one child;
Sarah Jordan with two children;
Mary Smith with six children;
Jane Cusack with two children;
Margaret McNamara with seven children;
Mary Hogan with five children
Margaret Ford or Keon;
Mary McNamara and
Catherine Irwin.

Heritage Branch site describes the lumber yard vicinity : -

The Government Convict Lumber Yard, established by Governor Phillip, was established on the south west side of the 'Bridgeway' (Bridge Street) over the Tank Stream and east of 'High Street'(George Street). It extended to the bank of the Tank Stream. In 1806 part of the yard was leased to Garnham Blaxcell, a merchant and trader who entered into partnership with John McArthur who leased property across the road in George Street. In 1810 the new governor, Lachlan Macquarie, gave Blaxcell, Alexander Riley and D'Arcy Wentworth a contract to build a general hospital to be completed in 1816, in return for the right to import 45,000 gallons of spirits over the next three years. An 1813 engraving of the area shows a substantial building within the confines of the lumber yard which provided useful short-term accommodation for female immigrants after the yard was closed in 1832.

Departure from Sydney

The Caroline under Captain Macdonald was to sail for Mauritius on 31st August 1833.

List of convicts arriving on the Caroline

C/F = Certificate of Freedom

Anderson, Sarah
Native place Monaghan. Tried in Co. Armagh 10 October 1832. Sentenced to 7yrs. Aged 53. Certificate of Freedom 21.10.1839. Ticket of Leave 1837 for the district of Parramatta Protestant, 5'2 1/2 , small grey eyes, brown to grey hair, sallow complexion, small scar left side of chin. Occupation 'dairy maid all work'

Appleby, Letitia
Native place Monaghan. Tried co. Armagh in 1831. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. Aged 42. C/F 10.9.1844 and 24.12.1840

Armstrong, Mary
Native place Co. Cavan. Tried in Dublin in 1832 aged 60. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. C/F dated 9.12.1840

Boyle, Catherine
Native place Belfast. Tried Co. Antrim in 1832 aged 18. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. Married James Kennedy in 1835 aged 20.

Boyle, Mary
Age 24. Native place Donegal. Assigned W. Klensendorffe, Yass C/F 40/0822 dated 9.5.1840. Married James Martin in 1834 in Sydney

Buckley, Hannah
(Honorah) Age 18. Native place Co. Cork. C/F 39/2072 dated 19 November 1839. Wife of Patrick Galvin per ship 'Castle Forbes' 1824. Married 1835 in Sydney. Possibly in Raymond Terrace area.

Burke, Mary
Alias Morris; Morrison. Age 44. Native place Dublin. C/F 40/1278 dated 10.8.1840

Burns, Elizabeth
Aged 29. Native place Longford. C/F 40/1939 dated 23.11.1840 Ticket of Leave 1838 for the district of Parramatta

Burns, Maria
From County Down. Aged 18. Crime Vagrancy. C/F 39/2081. Dated 19.11.1839

Butler, Ellen
Age 19. Native place Co. Cork. Tried Cork. Sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing clothes. Large features.

Byrne, Ann
Age 32. Native place Co. Wicklow. Died in Govt. Hospital at Parramatta 1834.

Byrne, Catherine
Age 26. Native place Co. Wicklow. C/F 39/2346 dated 26.12.1839

Byrne, Mary Ann
Alias Tyndall, Hannah. Age 24. Native place Dublin. C/F 40/1270 dated 10.8.1840. Married John Kelly in 1835.

Callaghan, Sally
Age 22. Native place Co. Kildare. C/F 39 1280 dated 13 .8. 1839

Campbell, Catherine
Age 20. Native place Dublin.

Carr, Jane
Age 28. Native place Queens Co.

Charters, Jane
Age 60. Native place Antrim. Crime murder. Height 5ft 8in. Ticket of Leave 1841 for the district of Penrith

Chester, Catherine
Age 29. Native place Cork. Died in Parramatta Hospital 1840. Ticket of leave 1840 for the district of Goulburn.

Clarke, Jane
Age 25. Native place Meath.

Clarke, Margaret
Age 24. Native place Kildare. Died in Parramatta Hospital 1839

Cleary, Eleanor
Age 55. Native place Cork. C/F 39/2027 dated 30.11.1839

Clements, Maria
Age 40. Native place co. Derry. Sentenced in County Tyrone. Died in the Female Factory Hospital 1838.

Coglan, Catherine
Age 24. Native place Limerick. C/F 41/1178 dated 27.8.1841

Collins, Mary
Age 25. Native place Tipperary. Assigned to Thomas Dodds, Maitland C/F 39/0419 dated 18.3.1839

Condren, Catherine
Age 17. Native place Cavan. C/F 40/0427 dated 2.3.1840 . Sentenced to 7 years for stealing candlesticks. Aged 17. Married William North in 1834

Connelly, Catherine
Age 25. Native place Monaghan

Connell, Julia
Age 26. Native place Co. Cork. C/F 1.8.1840

Connor, Ann
Age 23. Native place Dublin. Ticket of leave 1838 for the district of Campbelltown

Connor, Bridget
Age 17. Native place Dublin. C/F 21.5.1839

Connor, Catherine
Age 17. Native place Dublin.

Corrigan, Mary
Age 17. Native place Wexford.

Craig, Margaret
Age 24. Native place co. Down.

Creegan, Bridget
Age 40. Native place Longford. C/F 23.5.1843

Cunningham, Catherine
Age 29. Native place Co. Mayo. C/F 16 December 1839. Alias Catherine Ratigan Ticket of Leave 1839 for district of Parramatta. Native place Co. Mayo. Trade: servant

Davey, Anne
Age 22. Native place Co. Down

Delahurst, Ann
(Delahunt). Age 17. Native place Dublin. C/F 30/1/1846 . Ticket of leave 1840 for the district of Port Macquarie

Doyle, Ann
Age 25. Native Place Monaghan. C/F 18 april 1840

Drill, Eliza
Age 18. Native place Kildare. C/F 27. July 1840

Dunn, Rose
Age 28. Native place Dublin. C/F 27.10.1842

Dunne, Bridget
Age 19. Native place Monaghan.

Flanagan, Winifred
Age 20. Native place co. Sligo. C/F 14.10.1840

Fox, Ann
Age 33. Native place Co. Down. Assigned to CPL Wilton, Newcastle. In 1836 She was Sentenced to 14 days in the cells for drunkenness and leaving her master's residence

Gallagher, Catherine
Age 27. Native place Londonderry.

Galligan, Mary
Age 35. Native place Fermanagh. C/F 20.2.1840

Giltrap, Elizabeth
Age 28. Native place Wicklo. C/F 3.12.1839

Graham, Catherine
Age 30. Native place Dublin. C/F 9. August 1841. Ticket of Leave 1840 for the district of Queanbeyan

Gregory, Mary
Age 19. Native place Dublin. C/F 28.4. 1843

Gribbenn, Mary
(Griffin) Age 20. Native place Co. Kerry. C/F 26 May 1840

Hagan, Anne
Age 25. Native place Monaghan. C/F 22 April 1840

Hale, Mary
Alias Hall. Age 23. Native place Co. Louth. C/F 4 November 1842

Halligan, Ann
Alias Moore. Age 22. Native place Dublin. C/F 11.10.1842

Halpin, Ellen
Age 18. Native place Armagh. Married William Payne in 1837

Hart, Ann
Age 17. Native place Dublin. Assigned to James Hassell C/F 1 January 1840 Ticket of Leave 1838 for the district of Windsor

Hill, Susan
Age 18. Native place Armagh. C/F 18 May 1840

Hughes, Mary
Age 28. Native place Co. Wicklow. C/F 20 November 1841

Kelly, Catherine
Age 17. Native place Dublin. C/F 19 August 1841

Kelly, Margaret
Alias Mary. Age 27. Native place Dublin. C/F 6 August 1841

Kelly, Mary
Age 20. Native place Dublin.

Kelly, Anne
Alias Eliza; Armstrong, Age 22. Native Place Co. Louth. Tried in Louth County in 1832 aged 22 years. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. C/F 40/2010 dated 9.12.1840

Kennedy , Catherine
Age 19. Native place Co. Longford. Charged in Longford, Ireland with Highway Robbery in 1832. Young daughter also came with her . Ticket of leave 1844 for the district of Hartley. Ticket of leave for the district of Bathurst 1841

Leonard, Ellen
Age 24. Native place Dubin. C/F 15 September 1841

Mackey, Mary
Age 22. Native place Kilkenny

Martin, Bridget
Age 41. Native place Co. Mayo. C/F 23.12.1839

Maxwell, Catherine
Age 19. Native place Glasgow. C/F 5 March 1842

McBride, Eleanor
Age 28. Native place Fermanagh. C/F 30.10.1840

McCue, Anne
Age 25. Native place Kilkenny. C/F 10 February 1840

McDermott, Ann
(Honor) Native place Roscommon. C/F 30 October 1840 Ticket of Leave 1837 Parramatta

McDonnell, Bridget
(or McConnell) alias SMITH Age 24. Native place Cork. C/F 5 October 1840 Ticket of Leave 1839 for the district of Windsor

McEvoy, Mary
Age 24. Native place Co. Longford. C/F 19 November 1839

McGuigan, Jane
Age 18. Native place Belfast.

McKenna, Anne
Age 23. Native place Tyrone. C/F 29 November 1839

McKeon, Mary
Age 32. Native place Dublin. C/F 11.5.1841

McMahon, Margaret
Alias Burns. Age 30. Native place Co. Lought. C/F 9 November 1840 Ticket of leave 1839 for district of Penrith

McMullen, Alice
Age 19. Native place Donegal. C/F 18 February 1842

McQuade, Mary
Age 15. Native place Dublin. C/F 30 September 1840

Molloy, Margaret
Age 20. Native place Dublin. C/F 3 December 1840

Mooney, Margaret
Age 35. Native place Newry. C/F 11 October 1839

Morgan, Margaret
Age 31. Native place Co. Down. C/F 17 June 1840

Murphy, Betty
Betty (Elizabeth). Age 19. Native place Dublin. C/F 19 May 1842 married William Atkins per Earl St. Vincent 1820

Murphy, Mary
Age 18. Native place Dublin. C/F 30 July 1840. Assigned to Mr. Wise in Newcastle. Charged with being in Mrs. Beattie's public house illegally. Sentenced to the cells for 14 days. John Wise was the turnkey at the gaol. 1835 26 December. Six months later Mary was assigned to John Butler Hewson. Married Joseph Wilmott in Newcastle

Murphy, Mary Ann
Age 18. Native place Dublin. C/F 23 July 1839. Assigned to S. Dark, Sydney 1837

Mustard, Mary
Age 39. Native place Cavan. C/F 16 December 1839

Needham, Mary
Alias Walsh or Boyle. Age 18. Native place Roscommon. Died in Port Macquarie hospital

Newman, Eleanor
Age 32. Native place Dublin. Died in Parramatta Hospital 1839.

O'Brien, Mary
Age 23. Native place Tipperary. C/F 27 February 1840

O'Mara, Mary
Age 21. Native place Tipperary. C/F 17 June 1842

Ormond, Alley
Age 27. Native place Dublin. C/F 10 September 1839 Ticket of leave 1837 for the district of Bathurst

Owens, Mary
Age 22. Native place Kildare. C/F 11 July 1839

Quinn, Mary
Age 15. Native place Dublin. C/F 19 October 1842

Rafferty, Sarah
Age 24. Native place Armagh. C/F 9 December 1840

Rankin, Ellen
Alias Mullen. Age 37. Native place Fermanagah. C/F 1 September 1838

Reardon, Ellen
Age 29. Native place Tipperary.Assigned to Mrs. Smith in Newcastle. Charged with absenting herself from duty. Discharged from Court 5 November 1833 . Died Parramatta hospital 8 February 1845

Reed, Margaret
Age 19. Native place Dublin. C/F 17 July 1840

Reilly, Bridget
Age 50. Native place Co. Cavan.C/F 11 July 1839

Riley, Catherine
Age 20. Native place Co. Westmeath. C/F 30 November 1840

Roan, Margaret
(Rowan). Age 30. Native place Antrim. C/F 15 July 1840 Ticket of leave 1837 for Parramatta

Roddy, Catherine
Age 27. Native place Tyrone. C/F 26 September 1840

Rodgers, Mary
Age 27. Native place Roscommon. C/F 3 September 1841

Rooney, Marsalla
Age 18. Native place Dublin. C/F 30 October 1840

Rooney, Mary
Alias Mary Scully. Age 19. Native place Dublin. Died in Parramatta Hospital 6 March 1838.

Ryan, Mary
Age 23. Native place Tipperary. C/F 11 Jun 1840

Shannahan, Margaret
alias Greenwood. Age 17. Native place Kings co. Tried in King's County for house robbery. Sentenced to seven years' transportation. Seventeen years old, single illiterate with sallow and freckled complexion and brown hair and grey eyes. Had worked as a housemaid in King's County. After the death of her husband William Greenwood in a carting accident, and distant from her eight children , Margaret was often arrested for drunkenness and vagrancy

Smith, Bridget
Age 19. Native place Co. Wicklow C/F 13 January 1840

Smith, Margaret
Age 22. Native place Co. Derry. c/f 7 November 1840

Smith, Mary
Age 20. Native place Cavan. Assigned to John Brunker, Newcastle. In 1837 Mary, employed as a servant, was sentenced to 14 days solitary confinement

Stevenson, Anne
Age 40. Native place co. Mayo. C/F 29 May 1841

Stewart, Eleanor
Age 36. Natove place Co. Down. C/F 11 September 1840

Sullivan, Bridget
Age 30. Native place Kings Co., C/F 20 January 1840 Ticket of leave 1838 for Appin. Naive place Kings. Trade All work

Sullivan, Catherine
Age 22. Native place Cork. C/F 3 May 1841

Swan, Maria
Age 25. Native place Monaghan. C/F 4 June 1841

Toonie, Rose
Also Tooner or Tower. Age 30. Native Place Co. Tyrone. Tower. C/F 1 April 1839

Tophan, Mary
Age 26. Native place Co. Kildare.

Walsh, Catherine
Age 21. Native place Cork. C/F 28 June 1841

Ward, Margaret
Age 30. Native place Co. Wicklow. C/F 20 September 1839

White, Agnes
Age 21. Native place Dublin.

Walsh, Maria
Age 22. Native place Dublin.

White, Margaret
Age 22. Native place Cork.

Notes and Links

1). George Birnie was also employed as surgeon on convict ships Asia in 1831and the Blenheim in 1837 (VDL)

2). The Caroline was one of five convict ships bringing female prisoners to New South Wales in 1833, the others being the Surry, Fanny, Buffalo and Diana. A total of 639 female convicts arrived in the colony in 1833.

3). Commutation of the Sentence of Jane Charters - on Wednesday the Sheriff of the county of Antrim received from the Lord Lieutenant a communication commuting to transportation for life the sentence of Jane Charters, who had been condemned at the Carrickfergus Assizes, to be executed for the murder of her child. The credit of this humane interposition is chiefly due to Mr. John Marshall of Donegal street, who having been on the Jury at the time of the trial suspected that insanity which he afterwards learned, had been hereditary in the prisoner's family, might have led to the commission of the act, by a series of most extraordinary exertions, procured, first, a respite, and then - the Marquis of Donegal, Colonel Pakenham, and other influential gentlemen having warmly seconded his efforts - a commutation of the sentence. -Belfast Newsletter 27 March 1832

4). Hunter Valley convicts and passengers arriving on the Caroline in 1833

5). The Waterloo River Steamer - Selection of Reports and Papers of the House of Commons

6). Family of Lieutenant Croker Barrington.

7). Lieut. Croker Barrington was married at St. Anne's church Dublin to Margaret Emily, eldest daughter of Henry Westropp Ross Lewin in 1840. They had a son in 1841 and Croker Barrington died in August 1844 at Kilkee and was buried in the family vault at St. Mary's church. - Nick Reddan's Newspaper Extracts - Online


[1] Convict Indents. State Archives NSW; Series: NRS 12188; Item: [4/4017]; Microfiche: 686

[2] Journal of George Birnie. UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 Original data: The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.