In July 1832 the Essex Standard reported of the cholera outbreak in London - During the last four days the cholera morbus has been rapidly on the increase. The Times mentions, that five cases have taken place on one day in one of the City prisons. There have been 49 deaths in St. Katherine's Docks within the last few days, and 10 in the London Docks within a day or two. The ship Fanny, bound for Sydney with female convicts, is detained at the Little Nore with it, having had 14 or 15 cases, and, up to Sunday afternoon, four deaths, and several hopeless cases. It is raging on board the Parmelia and the John Craig at Standgate Creek.
Surgeon Francis Logan
This was Francis Logan's second voyage as surgeon superintendent.
He kept a Medical Journal from 2 June 1832 to 19 February 1833. He became ill himself on 7th July before the vessel even left port and was unable to attend some of the women who became ill in July. His duties were taken over by surgeon William Marshall until 17th July 1832.
Francis Logan wrote in his general remarks at the end of the voyage - By what means cholera was brought on board the Fanny would be difficult to say, but most probably it was by a sailor from Blackwall who came on board late the night before the ship sailed down the river in a complete state of intoxication. and on the 1st July three days after, I was informed that one of the sailors was ill in bed. I found him ill with cholera in a state of collapse. The Chief mate told me that they thought nothing except the effects of the drunkenness was the matter with him which was the cause of not informing me sooner. On enquiry of his mess mates I found that he had been ill with purging from the moment that he came on board and there being only a few stanchions between the sailors and the women caused me think that this might be the way that it came amongst the women.
Jane Harrison was the first of the women to become ill with cholera on 30th June however with constant care from Francis Logan, she survived the ordeal. More women soon became ill and the vessel was taken to Standate Creek near Deptford. Some women survived but there were several who succumbed to the disease -
Jane Mills died on 4 July,
Jane Shannon died on 7 July,
Sarah Ralph died 9 July,
Mary Lynch died 11 July,
Hannah Burke died on 17 July 1832 ,
Matilda Hill died 21 July, all of cholera.
The Fanny departed the Downs on 29th July 1832 and spent seven weeks at Simon's Bay before departing there for Sydney.
Two more women died on the voyage after the initial cholera outbreak. Ann Jones died after giving birth on 13th October. Fanny Barr died 22 January 22 1833 after a fever of several weeks. She had first become ill on 16th December when the vessel was three days out from the Cape. Eliza Baldwinson came close to death after suffering scurvy for most of the voyage. She first became ill on 19th August when the ship was near Madeira.
Francis Logan believed that....... the first cases of fever that occurred were owing to the ship having been so near the coast of Africa those after leaving the Cape were evidentially the efforts of the cold damp atmosphere. With regard to the scurvy it commenced with those who had been most exhausted by sickness and in no case could the nitre be given in doses above half a dram without producing vomiting and pain in the stomach, in fact every little excitement during the whole passage seemed to affect the stomach and bowels with pain. .....
Before going on board of the Fanny every case of Cholera that I had seen or heard of where the patient was a female in a state of pregnancy, abortion took place and the woman almost instantly expired in the case of the woman Jane Mills no abortion took place nor were there the slightest symptoms of reaction when she expired. In the case of the woman (Eleanor) Shaw who had the modified cholera at sea, reaction commenced and soon after labour pains abortion took place and all the bad symptoms of the disease disappeared.
The Fanny arrived in Port Jackson on Friday 2 February 1833.
The prisoners were mustered on board by the Colonial Secretary on 6th February 1833. Ninety-eight female prisoners and nine children arrived, a total of eight woman having died on the passage out. Thirty one of the women were married or widows and many left children behind in England.
It was expected that the women would be disembarked early in the week beginning Monday 11 February 1833, however they weren't landed until the morning of Tuesday 19 February immediately before the men of the convict ship Roslin Castle were also landed. The Sydney Gazette reported that their appearance indicated possession of excellent health and praised the good care of the surgeon during the voyage.
Those bringing children with them included
Jane Anderson (1)
Rosanna Crawshaw (1)
Elizabeth Fellows (2)
Agnes Henderson (1)
Eleanor Hall (1)
Catherine Jackson (1)
Alice Salisbury (1)
'Families who are in want of female servants, may be supplied from the prisoners who arrived in the Fanny, provided they apply according to the established form. The assignees will be 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 law'- Sydney Gazette. The women of the Fanny were assigned to various applicants, although the number of applicants was two hundred above the number of women available to be assigned.
Sixteen of the women were to be sent to Bathurst, to which place they were conveyed in the caravan usually employed in transporting women to the Parramatta Factory. The indents have details of those women who had relatives on board or already in the colony. Some may have been fortunate enough to be assigned to their relative or perhaps nearby..........
Sarah Parson's father Robert Parsons arrived in the colony two years previously
Mary and Sarah Sedgwick were sisters
Mary and Elizabeth Blackshaw were sisters
Jane Wingate alias Robson - husband James Wingate arrived on the Parmelia in 1832
Elizabeth Lowe's husband arrived on the Mary in 1833 and was assigned to Mr. Icely
Jane Anderson or Manning - husband John Anderson coming out free
Susan William's aunt Esther Bevan arrived 12 years previously
Escape From The Colony
In the fifty five years that had passed since convicts first arrived in Sydney Cove on the First Fleet, few female prisoners managed to escape from the colony, however the Fanny brought one woman, Eliza Barrett who absconded if only briefly, a couple of years later........ In 1838 the Sydney Monitor and the Sydney Gazette reported that a woman, named Eliza Barnett or Shearer, was committed take her trial, for escaping from the colony. She had originally been tried at the Surry Quarter Sessions, on the 9th April, 1832, convicted, and sentenced to seven years transportation. This woman was Eliza Barrett, a needlewoman from London who was convicted of man robbery and transported on the Fanny. Shortly after arrival she married a man named Thomas Shearer and as a matter of course was assigned to him. On 18th April, 1835, she absconded from her husband and lived for some time ashore under the protection of the Mate of a vessel about to sail to England. When the ship sailed, she was taken on board and concealed by the mate.
After the vessel had been at sea she was discovered by the Captain who on the arrival of the vessel at St. Helena delivered her to the authorities there as a runaway convict. She remained at St. Helena until a vessel for the Cape of Good Hope arrived by which she was forwarded there and remained in custody for twenty months until the Henry Wellesley arrived when she was put on board and conveyed to Sydney. She had an infant in her arms about six months old.. On her return to the colony she was sentenced to twelve months in the Female Factory at Parramatta.
Convicts of the Fanny identified in the Hunter Valley:
Nurse maid age 20 from Manchester. Tried at Lancaster Quarter Sessions 9 April 1832 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for man robbery. One child age about two came with her on the ship. Assigned to James McDougall at Patrick Plains in February 1833. Absconded from Mr. Williams in Sussex street Sydney on May 18 1834. Married James Johnson per Manlius at Braidwood in 1837 and James Kelly at Cooma in 1850. Died in April 1880.
Nurse girl age 17 from Middlesex. Tried in London 17 May 1832 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing clothes. Assigned to Alexander McDougall at Maitland in February 1833. Admitted to Newcastle gaol from Maitland under sentence of 10 days in the cells in February 1835. Re-assigned to William Harper on 25 March 1835. Application to marry William Barton at Maitland on 30 March 1835 allowed. Admitted to the gaol again on 31 March under sentence of 21 days in the cells. Sent to the gaol again from Maitland Quarter Session in May 1835. Sent to service with William Harper on 26 May 1835. Ticket of Leave holder in 1837. Married second husband John Locke (per Sesostris) at Maitland in June 1836
Needlewoman age 23 from Plymouth. Married. Tried at Portsmouth 2 January 1832 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for robbery of lodgings. Application to marry Robert Pugh rejected in May 1842 as both were stated to be married on arrival in the colony. Note - There were two convicts by the name of Maria Evans on the Fanny, the other one being a laundress from Lambeth aged 44, tried in London 17 May 1832
Evans, Mary Ann
House maid and dairy maid age 21 from Carmarthen. Tried in Bristol 2 January 1832 and sentenced to transportation for life for stealing a watch. Assigned to Thomas Coulson at Hunter River in February 1833. Applied to marry George Parvin (per Norfolk) at Maitland in April 1835. Admitted to Newcastle gaol from Maitland under sentence of 14 days in the cells and return to service. Assigned to John Callahan at Maitland in 1837. Admitted to Newcastle gaol in April 1838, to be forwarded to the gaol hospital for medal aid. Granted a Ticket of Leave in 1841
Needlewoman and laundry and house maid age 26. Native place Coventry. Tried 7 April 1832 at Coventry and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing linen. Assigned to Lieut. John Wood at Maitland in February 1833. Married George Tooze (ship Burrell) at Maitland in June 1835.
Cook, house maid and all work. Age 22. Native place Ipswich. Tried at Norwich 3 January 1832 and sentenced to 14 years transportation for receiving stolen goods. - Notes - lost two front teeth right side of upper jaw and one in left. Good looking. Application to marry Jesse Coleman in Sydney in August 1834. Admitted to Newcastle gaol after being returned to government service in November 1835. Assigned to William Sparke at Maitland in June 1836. Application to marry Edward Minns at Maitland September 1837. Granted Ticket of Leave for Maitland in July 1839 and in April 1844. Sent to the female factory 20 March 1846. Spouse 1 Jesse Coleman. Spouse 2 Edward Meins. Spouse 3. Thomas Richardson. Spouse 4 William Bailey
Cook, house maid and all work. Age 22. Native place Ipswich. Tried at Norwich 20 March 1832 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for robbery of her mistress. Admitted to Newcastle gaol from Maitland in November 1835 after being returned to government service. Married David Grover at Newcastle in May 1835. Son born to David and Maria Grover at Invermein in May 1836. Assigned to Edward Sparke Senior at Maitland in June 1836. Granted a Ticket of Leave for Maitland in March 1837. A son George at Maitland in September 1838 A daughter Emma born at West Maitland in March 1841
Laundress and cook; maid of all work age 31 from Co. Leitrim. Tried at Nottingham 10 March 1832 and sentenced to 14 years transportation for highway robbery. In February 1840 employed as a laundress when she was admitted to Newcastle gaol for medical aid. Sent to the Female Factory at Parramatta February 1840.
House maid and needlewoman age 40 from Lancashire. Tried at Preston 19 October 1831 and sentenced to 14 years transportation for pledging. Married with 5 children 1 on board with her. In 1837 assigned to Lieutenant Caswell at Port Stephens. In January 1843 sent to Newcastle gaol from Maitland on suspicion of robbery. Ticket of leave cancelled and returned to government service.
Bar maid and needle woman age 22 from Salisbury. Tried in London 5 April 1832 and sentenced to 14 years transportation for man robbery. Application of Mary Smith to marry Pierce Boylan (ship Sir Godfrey Webster), both of the Williams River in September 1833. Granted a Ticket of Leave for Paterson in June 1843
House maid age 20 from Portsmouth. Tried at Aylesbury 28 February 1832 and sentenced to transportation for life for man robbery. Application to marry Joseph Harrison (per Susan 1834) at Newcastle in 1838. She may have died in 1862 in Newtown Sydney (SMH 5 November 1862)
House maid and plain cook age 26 from Plymouth. Tried in London 5 April 1832 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing a gold ring. Application to marry Nicholas Binken at Maitland in February 1834
West, Mary Ann
Laundress and all work; age 20. Native place Yorkshire. Tried in London 5 April 1832 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for robbery of her mistress. Assigned to George Wyndham in February 1833. Married Henry Mason (ship Bussorah Merchant) in Sydney in June 1835.
House maid age 19 from Chelsea. Tried at the Old Bailey in London 5 April 1832 and sentenced to transportation for life for man robbery. Application to marry John Williams (ship Countess of Harcourt) at Parramatta in August 1837. Granted Ticket of Leave for Murrurundi in May 1846. Received a Royal Pardon dated 20 July 1848 after 'consideration of some circumstances humbly represented unto us' - By Her Majesty's Command, signed G. Grey. State Records Authority of New South Wales; Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia; Card Index to Letters Received, Colonial Secretary; Reel Number: 772; Roll Number: 1250
Notes and Links
1). The Fanny was one of five convict ships bringing female prisoners to New South Wales in 1833, the others being the Surry, Caroline, Buffalo and Diana. A total of 639 female convicts arrived in the colony in 1833. Only the Buffalo brought female prisoners who had been convicted in Scotland.
3). National Archives - Reference: ADM 101/27/3 Description: Medical journal of the convict ship Fanny, from 2 June 1832 to 19 February 1833 by Francis Logan, surgeon and superintendent, during which time the said ship was employed in conveying convicts to New South Wales
 Journal of Francis Logan. Ancestry.com. UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Original data: The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.
 Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The Convict Ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.350-51.