Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Kains - 1831

Voyage: 246 days
Deaths: 2
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Tons: 353 Crew: 26 men
Previous vessel - Lady Harewood
Next vessel - Earl of Liverpool
Captain William Lushington Goodwin
Surgeon Thrasycles Clarke
Follow the Female Convict Ship Trail
Diary of Charles Picknell
Prisoners and passengers of the Kains identified in the Hunter Valley region

Captain William Lushington Goodwin was a descendant of a seafaring family from Kent. He was an hydrographer, surveyor of the river Gambia and had also produced charts of the British Channel. He was about 33 years of age in 1831. (1)

The Kains was the next convict ship to leave England for New South Wales after the departure of the Royal Admiral on 5th July 1830. The previous female convict ship to leave England was the Roslin Castle which departed England in March 1830. (6)


The Kains departed London on 8th July 1830.

Surgeon Thrasycles Clarke

Surgeon Thrasycles Clarke was the son of Tracy Clarke, a country doctor from Lancashire. This was his only voyage in the capacity of Surgeon Superintendent on a convict ship. He was about 42 years of age.

Thrasycles Clarke kept a medical journal from 11 June 1830 to 25 March 1831 -

One elderly woman whom Clarke would have liked to reject as she was too infirm to make the voyage, died on the passage out, however most prisoners were young and healthy. The ship's sick list, transcribed at the National Archives, reveals that Sarah Revell, aged 78, was the elderly woman Clarke referred to; she suffered with confusion, uneasiness of the head, shortness of breath and a sensation of suffocation when lying down. She was put on sick list on 13 October 1830 and died 6 November 1830. (2) Sarah/Elizabeth Blasdale alias White was the other woman who died at sea.

The ship's sick list also notes some of the children who were treated during the voyage -

John Markey aged 2 1/2, son of Ann Markey... disease or hurt, accident. Put on sick list, 5 July 1830. Discharged 15 July 1830 cured.

Infant Beddowes, child of Elizabeth Beddowes - aged 9 months; disease or hurt, thrush and teething. Put on sick list, 22 July 1830. Died 3 August 1830 at 7pm.

Infant Quinn - Child of Ann Quinn, aged 8 months; disease or hurt, thrush and teething. Put on sick list, 2 September 1830. Died 22 August 1830 at 10pm

Margaret Turner's child, aged 5; disease or hurt, vermes. Put on sick list, 13 September 1830. Discharged 20 September 1830 cured.

Mary Healey's infant, aged 10 months; disease or hurt, teething, convulsion. Put on sick list, 25 October 1830. Died 31 October 1830.

Michael Murphy, aged 1 1/2 ; disease or hurt, pneumonia. Put on sick list, 2 November 1830. Discharged 21 November 1830 cured

Sarah Bowering's child, aged 3 1/2 ; disease or hurt, scurvy. Put on sick list, 13 November 1830. Discharged 28 November 1830 cured

According to Thrasycles Clarke, there were no fewer than 81 women between the ages of 14 and 30 out of the 120; and many others between 30 and 40 years of age. There were three infants under the age of six months who were sent with their mothers and Clarke recommended for the future to only send infants who had been weaned at least 30 days prior to sailing.

The womens' comfort was attended to as much as possible, but there were many cases of catarrhal, although none very serious.
Other illnesses treated by the surgeon during the voyage included: ophthalmia, pneumonia, exanthemata aptha, menorrhagia, catarrhal, dysentery, dyspepsia, convulsions, syphilis, scorbutus, icterus, constipation, tumor, fractures and natural decay.(5)

Thasycles Clarke seemed disconcerted at the large number of young women who were in his charge and while not surprised at their behaviour is perhaps nevertheless shocked by it. This was his only voyage on a female convict transport and he had probably been gently reared. His beloved uncle whom he attended on his death bed was the Rev. Adam Clarke.

Dr. Clarke described the women of the Kains in his journal -'

the general character and conduct of the prisoners were such as might be expected from the lowest class of society - from persons whom all the wise and salutary laws of England had failed to reclaim, most immoral and abandoned, if there ever was a Hell afloat it must have been in the shape of a female convict ship, quarrelling, fighting, thieving, destroying in private each others property for a mean spirit of devilishness - conversation with each other most abandoned without feeling or shame. As regarded the personal cleanliness of the prisoners that in some measure depended on their natural disposition, education and attitude, some of them by nature and habit were cleanly while others were filthy to the 90th degree. (5)

The Voyage

During the voyage from England to Teneriffe where they touched to complete water, many of the women suffered from sea sickness especially while passing down the Channel when the weather was boisterous and the sea rough. At Teneriffe they procured three days of fresh beef and vegetables and the prisoners were permitted to purchase as much fruit as they pleased. As they approached the Line the winds became variable from the south to south-west. The prisoners were allowed to be constantly on deck and a current of air through the prison and hospital by means of wind sails was used. The swinging stoves were used and the decks sprinkled with a solution of the chloride of lime according to directions.

Diary of Charles Picknell Picknell

One of the seamen on the Kains was Charles Picknell. In 1930 part of his story and excerpts from a diary he kept were written by Mrs. R. Picknell and published in the Sydney Morning Herald-

In the writer's possession is a leather bound note book in which a member of the Kains crew Charles Picknell, kept a daily record of the voyage or at least for the first half of it. For at Capetown the entries cease. Whether the diarist shirked, like so many diarist do, the continuance of his efforts as a recorder or whether he came to the end of his stationery, the present writer cannot say. It is to be regretted that the diarist's impression of the Sydney of a century ago are not available, but, in the entries of the six months covered, we can obtain a graphic picture of the conditions in which convicts of the early 19th century were brought from British gaols and taken to overseas penal settlements : of incidents of the voyage; and of the relations between master and crew. Charles Picknell was illiterate; his spelling atrocious in the light of present day standards. But that he had some education is shown by his writing - a bold, free flowing style, which makes the reading of his pencilled entries 100 years later, an easy task. He was moreover, of an observant nature. Nothing seemed to miss his sharp eyes. His pencil never fails to record an interesting incident, however small and personal. He was judging by his comments on people and events a keen shrewd student of character, simple honest, unvindictive.

Picknell was born on 15 June 1810, one of ten children of William and Mary Picknell a Hastings (Sussex) family. Five of the children died young. Of his boyhood there is no record, but that he was a fond and dutiful son there is evidence throughout the diary. On the first page he had copied the inscription from a gravestone in the Fairlight cemetery as follows: Sacred to the Memory of Marey the wife of William Picknell, Who departed this life 16 October 1823 Aged 45 years. Also the mother of ten children, five of whom are likewise departed viz George, Mary, Thomas, Jobe, Sarah. The inscription ended with a four lined verse all carefully transcribed into the diary. I daresay that the 20 years old sailor often turned to that page during the stress and strain of the long voyage seeking comfort in it from the dangers of his life and from the harsh bullying of his officers. It has been further established that Picknell was apprenticed on 1 May 1826 to Boykett Breeds, merchant and shipowner to learn the art of mariner. Charles Picknell died in 1886 at Hastings and was buried not far from his mother.

Diary entries (with Charles Picknell's spelling and grammar preserved):

29 June - took in all prisoners from horse monger prison

30 June - took in prisoners from newgate prison all ironed and a crying

1 July took in prisoners from liverpool and manchester. heavy irons

2 July took in prisoners from bermigan (Birmingham) and city of York

Scottish and Irish prisoners were taken aboard on the 4th and 5th but meanwhile on the 3rd 'a sunderland brig drove athout (athwart) us, careyed away our maintopsail in to peases'(two pieces). On the 6th three free women named White Arthur and Harris came aboard.

Next day Picknell recorded: 'All prisoners and free women on board. Three quakers came on board praying with them and giving the prisoners all kinds of useful things. Orders came from the government to sail next tide.'

Picknell was on the eve of his greatest adventure -

The Kains sailed from Woolwich at 1 am on July 8 1830. The same afternoon she was at the mouth of the Thames, where Captain Goodwin fired a 'buldog'(salute) to his father. For three days the Kains was anchored in the Downs, and soon after she set sail again, Picknell wrote: 'I had the weal (wheel) first time, I wished myself on shore'

The Kains called at Spithead, and she was there on July 15 when King George IV was buried 'Guns firing on shore' Picknell recorded 'and we all hand scrubbed hammocks'. The Kains remained off the England coast until 28 July. Meanwhile Picknell entered in his diary that the cook had shaved him and cut his hair, that Swanage (where the ship stopped) was the 'furtherest' he had been to the west, that the 'starbert watch abused the larbert watch' and that at Torbay he hove the 'deapsy led' (deep sea lead) and had a glass of grog for doing it. At Exmouth visitors came aboard the Kains. 'We gave them three cheers. I lost my cap overboard'. Picknell reported.


Departure from England was made from Plymouth. Picknell's diary entry of the day has a graphic touch 'lost sight of old Landsend 1 o'clock. We and the 'Burrell'of London with one hundred and twenty men convicts both bound for Botany Bay, steered west with 21 sails on. Women was downhearted to leave old England. We run the Burrell out of sight. left off shoes and vest. '

There was a hint of trouble among the crew next day 'captain said 6 seamen wanted to rise a mutiny. It was for talking to the women, put into irons, lashed down to poop deck 2 days 1 night as mutineers put 4 from larbert 2 starbert watches. Fire arms over our heads 2 guns upon the poop levelled into the main deck. Two hundred miles from old England in the West Ocean then he began to ill use us. Apprentice Frederick Smith lashed up to Larbert rigging. Flog 6 dozen lashes for saying you and I can't hoist this punchin of wine alone. Guard over him, Swords, daggers, Captain struck several. Women crying.'

A Quaint Stylist

So delightfully naive are the next week's entries in the youthful sailor's diary that they are worth reproducing as they were written, with all their quaint spelling and lack of capitals:

'August 1 steard s. for warmer climate. I have for a long time before and since afflicted with growing pains all over me. (grog duff for 1 week)

2. heavy sea a.m. three east indiamen 1 dean brig showed collours. homeward bound, England.

3am calm heavy sea. captain. me. tryed current if not N.E. 2 hundred fathoms water, no sound. bay biscay. in lowering the boat struck my head. nocked my teath to peases.

P.M. spoke to bark silvia of London bound to riogenary (Rio de Janeiro), sun hotter than ever in England, steard sw P.M. 6 o'clock.

Child dyed a little girl 3 years old. evening captain gave larbert watch bottle rum for singing to cheer the women up

4am fair wind. steard ssw 12 o'clock. launch child overboard after prayers. crying. PM saw 5 spanish schoners. 5 Italian schoners bound to windward.

5 fair wind. seard SSW AM saw one dutch gale yct. 1 grecian brig. PM all hands at work

6. fair wind. steard SSW 8 nots 21 sails on us all is well.

7. fair wind steard SSW 10 nots. I got the guns ready for a pirate and holey stone the quarter deck first, all is well PM captain confined the chief mate for getting drunk and encouraging his watch to sing saucy songs. drunk 24 glasses.

On August 8 the Kains reached the island of Porto Santo, of which event Picknell wrote: 'Inhabited with portugese. mountains in the clouds, larbert watch saw it 50 nots before we got to it. rejoicing'. The chief mate was still under guard so the boatswain took charge of the larboard watch. On the 10th Picknell wrote AM made sandwich islands, saw immence sight of dolphins flying fish and mother careys chickens flying about. 6 nots going. made peak of tenreef hundred fifty miles off. going 11 half nots.


His detail of the Kains visit to Teneriffe is so good that it must be given as he wrote it.

11 Went into tenreef. let go our anchor then we let loose the chief mate. bumboats alongside. boco fruit (N.B. coco is an old Sussex word meaning fine, said to be from the French beaucoup). I went on shore with the captain in a boat. the first time I was on foreign land. first step was an unlucky one. I slip down. I had a glass of wine upon strength of it. spanyards inhabitants.

12 Thursday I went on shore. took in board 50 tons of wauter. washing day. bark integirty of London. experiment gernsy schooner. 11 spanish sconers in harbour then and hundreds of boats belonging to tenreef. I lost a collour over board penant flying.

13 took in 10 tons of wauter. I went on shore and swam along with the black boys. I went on shore 8 times at tenreef with the captain.

On August 14 the Kains voyage to Botany Bay was resumed but Picknell had uncomfortable reason to recall his stay at Teneriffe during the next few days. 'I hurt myself eating fruit at tenreef. I sold my hankerchief for a hat full of grapes' he wrote.

As the ship approached the tropics, Picknell had some interesting experiences to records.

16 Flying fish like sholes of birds the first that flew on board. no land. no ship. all is well. lowanced gallon of wauter a man- half a gallon each pit. pint each goose, half a gallon dosen ducks. pint a dosen chickens. every day all the voige.

17. trades wind NE steard s west. chief mate confined again for sending from tenreef to London and other misconduct. I was verry sick and in the doctors hands. took a medick, verry light headed, soar throat eat nothing for 4 days.

18. verry bad and light head. doctor paid me verry great attention every our. chief mate let loos to walk the decks. he broke, to have no command nor say whatever no more on board:

On August 19 the Kains entered the tropics. Picknells fever continued. He had scurvy in the teeth, but said that he was well attended and by the 22nd he was able to record 'I got myself out of the doctors list, thank god for it. I was ordered to clear of the sun and moon always and ware a broad brimed hat'

One of the woman convicts died. 'she twenty five years of age, two sisters. other one 15 years old belong to hull. 12 o'clock sowed up. prayers and then throwed her overboard, crying all over the ship. they was boath for life.'

The southward run continued. Picknell recorded such events as catching sharks, eating pieces of them and putting their 'tails and wings at the end of jibboom and sprit sail yard arms end'. One, Bob Sims - probably a superstitious fellow - ';throwed a cat overboard'. All hands were affected by the terrific heat and got prickley heat all over them.

One day the Kains met a Portuguese brig. The master boarded her and the crew said Pickenll 'got thousands of segars gave us' On September 7 'a beautiful brig, a pirate, spanish, bore down upon us and came up under lee. ask us in spanish were from ask us in England were bound told him east india. we opened ports loaded up all our guns with 2 balls ready for actions' But the pirate turned tail and so the day's entries came once more to be devoted to the routine of the sailor's hard life of a century ago.

As a junior member of the crew, Picknell seems to have had more than his share of the small jobs to do but he apparently attended to them well and without complaint in the trying heat and heavy topical rains. In the middle of September, he became a real blue water man by 'taking to chew tobacco and eating garlick' naively reporting himself after doing so as 'In good Health'

The prisoners had Patchwork, needles and thread served out to them. A six days tempest was encountered and considerable damage was done to the Kains sails and spars. Several of the crew suffered minor injuries.

Crossing The Equator

Picknell recorded the meeting in mid ocean of the Kains and two other ships. the weather was calm, so the captains hove to and exchanged courtesies. The ships were the American 'Herald' from which a hundredweight of tobacco was bought a 1/- a lb, and the Susan Ann, a London cutter. The captains of these two vessels came aboard the Kains - a social affair that makes interesting reading these days. The Herald was six weeks out from America, the susan Ann two months from England, the Kains six weeks from Teneriffe. How the three masters must have enjoyed the dinner which the Kains cook prepared for them and the glasses of wine they drank!

At midday on September 28 the Kains crossed the equator. They observed the event with ceremony. Here is Picknells' own account of the festivities marking the Kains crossing: 'very hot across it, latitude 24s, longtitude nothing. prisoners put into prison, cleared up the deck. captain would not have no shaving on the account of our live cargo. (evidently the water supplies were running short and it was necessary to conserve them, not only on account of the humans abroad, but also for the animals carried for fresh food during the voyage. Hence the traditional shaving and ducking of newcomers to Neptune's domain were eliminated). Captain said we have what grog we like, grog came to us in horse buckets captain doctor and all the officers drank with us. we sung and played habrem wackets and pason parrish quite merry and drunk. prisoners singing well below. I kept myself sober and had all the sport. the merryest day we had on board ship Kains. no tales heard nor law on board our ship. nor no other ship on this day on the line. Harem wackets, more generally called wackets or wacks, and 'pason Parrish' (parson of the parish) were two games played by seamen)

Hardships Suffered

For the first nine days of October Picknell had little of interest to record. On the 10th his entry was: fair. 4 sconers, under our lee. we bore down upon them. they took us to be a pirate and we took them to be pirates. they all run together. they was american sconers bound to new zealand and new south shetlands. the captains all came on board to dine.

An idea of the hardships suffered by ships crews in those days is given by Picknell's diary entry for October 11: four wind, spoke about our provisions, our bread mouldy and magoty, our beef like oakwood, our wauter stink and magoty. our peas all goan. 1 more cask of flour, we must now eat what the hogs want or starve quite

Another ship was encountered, the Authol an English sloop of war, which bore down on the Kains in search of pirates and slavers from the Isle of sension (Ascension Island) to surleyhoan (Sierra Leone). The master of the Kains was informed that he was too near sickly Africa where the winds blow tropical disease far out to sea, so the Kains hove about. She was out of the tropics again on October 18, but just before that another child had died 'the youngest child on board' Picknell worte, 'belong to an Irish girl. born in newgate. 8 months old'

The long voyage and the wretched conditions were beginning to tell upon the men. The master must have sensed this, so to brighten his men he had two pairs of boxing gloves made, and he, his officers, and men had boxing matches on the quarter deck.

The chief mate, whose name was Cole, continued to be a source of trouble and on October 26 the captain said that he had incited three of the men to mutiny. The four recalcitrants were put in irons and fastened to the chain cable before the windlass, where they remained for several days until apparently they repented and were set free. The chief mate however was confined to his cabin. The Kains was running short of water and the daily ration was reduced to half a gallon and Picknell complained that the crew was in a starving state.

There is a delightful entry in the diary for October 31. 'I cut off my beard and mistashers (moustaches)' Picknell recorded after letting it grow 6 weeks. I got like a jew and was told of it'

November brought colder weather. A nine months old child died and a few days later the oldest woman convict aboard - a Nottingham woman aged 81 years of age was also consigned to the deep. An interesting note on November 13 recorded that at 10pm the Flying Dutchman, the phantom ship of the oceans, had been sighted. 'Broat her into action' the entry continues 'fired 1 gun. set all the women a crying, praying and confessing there sins. plenty of fun and grog that night.'

Cape of Good Hope

From mid November the Kains steered her course south east to Capetown. It was with relief that Captain Goodwin must have realised that the Cape of Good Hope was not far away for Picknells diary indicates that the ships stores and spares were perilously low. One day Picknells recorded that there was 'hardly a sail or a piece of rope which was fit for trust to be placed in'. Picknell recorded that 'scurvy was raging aboard through bad living and short wauter'. Some are laid up. It is high time we made land'

At last on November 23 the Kains sighted the Cape of Good Hope and in company with a Scarborough brig she ran for Table Bay.

The Kains anchored close in shore but her troubles were not nearly over. A heavy swell capsized the windlass. 'Much danger under Table Cliff' wrote Picknell. 'very rocky. We up our cable and run into Table Bay' Even there trouble did not cease. The sailors mutinied and after the captain had beaten them with a mallet he put four of them in goal. These four were tried ashore and they were sentenced to 15 days imprisonment.

Picknell had several trips ashore chiefly in the Captains gig. He took advantage of them to buy some food including salmon and sugar. Succeeding days were spent in making good the damage done to the Kains on the voyage from London. Table Bay held no fewer than 30 English ships when the Kains was there. The repair work was continually delayed and interrupted by the rough weather but just before Christmas the work had been completed and a start was made with getting fresh provision aboard. Christmas celebrations were too much for the chief mate Cole. Having got drunk he threatened Picknell and other member of the crew with a pistol.

On Boxing Day an attempt was made to resume the voyage but the wind dropped, the Kains was becalmed, and a forced anchorage was made. On December 29 a wind from the south sprang up. The Kains hove about, and was able to ship out of the bay. Picknell's closing entries depict her as preparing to 'Run the easting down' to Australia.

His diary a really human document, ends on the last day of 1830, with a note that 'Prisoners and sailors sung the old year out, the new one in'. (8)

Port Jackson

The voyage had taken, from the day they left Woolwich to the day they arrived in Sydney, 246 days or over 35 weeks and Thrasycles Clarke's relief at arrival can be assumed. He wrote towards the end of his journal -

After a protracted and disagreeable voyage we arrived at Sydney on 11 March 1831 in as healthy a state as was possible having no case of serious illness on board. Two or three days after arrival several complained of severe griping and purging which was no doubt occasioned by change of diet as immediately on our arrival fresh provisions and vegetables were given to the prisoners. They also had means of procuring fruit, especially peaches. This bowel complaint passed to every female in the ship, not one woman escaped the illness, although it was not serious. (5)

Convict Muster

Muster Roll of the Convict Ship Kains in 1831

The women were mustered on board by the Colonial Secretary on 15th March 1831. The indents include name, age, education, religion, native place, marital status, family, occupation, offence, date and place of trial, sentence, former convictions, physical description and to whom assigned on arrival. There is also occasional information about relatives already in the colony, colonial convicts. pardons and deaths. Some of the younger women on board included Bridget Butler, Sarah McGregor and Mary Palmer who was all 16 years of age. All but one woman, assistant cook Sarah Challenor who fractured her left leg on 6th May by a blow from a cask during a storm and was in hospital, were landed at the dock yard on the 25 March 1831 in as healthy a state as any ship which had before arrived.


The colonists should have held no high hopes for the usefulness of the women after their experiences with the women of the Roslin Castle, however there was a shortage of female servants in the colony; the Sydney Gazette reported that there were five or six hundred applicants to have the women assigned as servants and the factory at this time was almost full, so most of the women were privately assigned.

In the Hunter region they were assigned to William Ogilvie, William Dumaresq, Rev. Lancelot Threlkeld, William Harper , Thomas V. Bloomfield, Emanuel Hungerford, Henry Hewitt, Major Benjamin Sullivan, John Gaggin, Peter Rapsey, Rev. Wilton and James Mudie.

Anne Groyne was assigned to Surveyor-General Sir Thomas Livingstone Mitchell; Jane Holmes was assigned to Lighthouse keeper Richard Siddons; Mary McPherson to Superintendent of Convicts F.A. Hely. (5)

A Troublesome Set

The women of the Kains soon made their presence felt in Sydney and beyond. Over the next few years many of them were in and out of the Female Factory at Parramatta and at Newcastle.

Isabella Bradford from Donegal but tried in Liverpool, was the first to make the news when the Sydney Gazette reported her misbehaviour in April 1831. She had been assigned to Mr. Lyons in Sydney. In a style favoured by the press at the time it was reported that - Isabella Bradford, one of the hopeful damsels just imported per Kains, appeared 'to shew cause', if any she knew, why she should not rusticate for such period as their Worships might deem suitable at Mrs. Gordon's maison de sante at Parramatta. Her master stated that she left her service early on Sunday morning without apprising any body of her intentions, merely warbling with affecting pathos - Fare thee well! And if for ever !! Still for ever !!! Fare thee well !!!! Nothing more was seen or heard of 'Fair Isabel' till the afternoon, when she was observed by the Rev. Mr. Therry in the domain, 'wrapped in oblivion's slumber,' having, to banish dull care, imbibed sundry potations of Cooper's elixir. That gentleman very properly sent two men to convey her home, and her master, considering that such a beginning presented no very flattering prospect for the future, consigned her to the district domicile. Being called on for an explanation, 'she did a good round tale deliver' in extenuation, but it was little better than 'a tale of a tub', so their Worships ordered her to try six weeks residence at the establishment aforesaid. (3)

Isabella was probably taken to the female factory in the 'black box' described below....

The black box, for the conveyance of the ladies to the retreat, under the superintendence of Mrs. Gordon at Parramatta, has of late been put into requisition more than usual, in consequence of the importation per Kains turning out but so so. (4)

Departure From Sydney

In May it was announced that the Kains had been engaged to convey a military detachment to Launceston.

The Kains sailed from Sydney bound for Launceston on 8th June 1831 and soon encountered stormy seas and gale force winds. She was forced to seek shelter at Port Stephens - Select here to read Captain Goodwin's account.

Prisoners of the Kains identified in the Hunter region:

Armsworth, Ann

Age 28. Single woman with one child. Native place London. Occupation house maid and plain cook. Tried at Newgate 27 May 1830 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing a shawl. Assigned to Thomas Ryan on arrival. Her daughter Nancy was admitted to the Parramatta Orphan School in 1831 and she was sentenced to 3 months in the Female Factory in August 1831 for stealing. On 3 May 1836 while assigned to Mr. Dangar at Singleton she was sentenced to 4 days in the cells at Newcastle gaol and to be returned to government service for refusing to work. On 5 May 1836 she was sent to Newcastle gaol under sentence of 14 days in the cells for refusing to work. In June 1831 she was assigned to Frederick Bedwell at Paterson. On 5 July 1836 she was sentenced to 12 months in Newcastle gaol and 25 days in the cells by the Paterson Bench for assault and destroying property. Her infant son Thomas was baptised while she was in Newcastle gaol in November 1836. Thomas died aged 5 months in Newcastle gaol in March 1837. Granted a Certificate of Freedom in February 1841

Bulpin, Sarah

Age 22. Married. Nursemaid from Taunton. Tried 30 March 1830 and sentenced to 14 years transportation for receiving stolen goods. Assigned to Percy Simpson on arrival. Note - brothers in law Thomas Ryce and John Bryant

Craggs, Jane

Age 24. Married, Native of Durham. Occupation allwork in a public house. Tried at Newcastle 14 January 1830 and sentenced to 14 years transportation for pledging cloth. Assigned to William Ogilvie on arrival. Married to Newcastle Harbour Pilot Richard Beacher

Ellis, Mary

Age 27. Native place Northampton. Widow. Occupation cook and housemaid. Tried in London 15 April 1830 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing a bag. Assigned to William Dumaresq on arrival.

Green, Alice

Age 22. Native place Manchester. Occupation needlewoman and allwork.
1830 20 April - Tried and sentenced to transportation for life for picking pockets.
1831 11 March - Assigned to Rev. Lancelot Threlkeld on arrival.
1831 April - sentenced by the Newcastle Bench to 10 days solitary confinement. Returned to Rev. Threlkeld on release.
1831 June - sent to Newcastle gaol under sentence of 20 days solitary confinement and to be deprived of her hair. Returned to Rev. Threlkeld on release.
1831 September - sent to Newcastle gaol en route to the Female Factory .
1832 May - Assigned to Joshua Thorpe in Sydney. Sentenced to 3months in 3rd Class
1832 October - It may have been Alice mentioned in Hill's Life in NSW in October 1832
1833 - Married John Woodbridge (ship England) at Sutton Forest.
1836 September - she was sent to Newcastle gaol from Maitland before being forwarded by Hyde Park Barracks.
1838 February - sent to the Female Factory in February 1838 for 6 weeks in the 3rd class, released on 27 February 1838.
1839 April - assigned to Simon Hamer at Brickfield Hill in April 1839 when she was charged with drunkenness. In court it was discovered that she was cohabiting with a man by the name of Greenslade at the premises of Hamer. The Sydney Monitor covered the case. .
1840 March - sent to Berrima gaol
1840 December - Granted a Ticket of Leave for Penrith which was cancelled in the same month..
1840 December - apprehended after absconding from service of Robert Crawford at Wollombi in December 1840 .
1841 January - Her Ticket of Leave was cancelled for drunkenness in January 1841.
1842 - Granted a Ticket of Leave for district of Illawarra
1845 April - Alice and John Woodbridge were put on trial at Maitland Quarter Sessions on a charge of housebreaking having been accused of stealing from Gilbert Muir however Alice was found not guilty of the charges.
1846 at Paterson, Ticket of Leave was cancelled for drunkenness and having stolen property in her possession.

Gwynn, Ann

Wife of Phillip Gwynn. Age 28. Native place Sicily. Occupation all work. Tried at Pembroke 8 April 1830. Sentenced to transportation for life for stealing money. Assigned to Major Mitchell on arrival. Sent to Newcastle gaol from Patrick Plains on 26 December 1839 under sentence of 6 weeks hard labour for disorderly conduct. Returned to government service on release from gaol

Handlin, Margaret

Age 20. Widow with one child. Sempstress and allwork, tried at Manchester 26th April 1830 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing money. Assigned to William Harper on arrival. On 1 April 1831 Sent from the Female Factory to private service of William Harper. Discharged from Newcastle gaol to her master per Patrick Halfpenny on 5th April. Note - died at Parramatta February 1833.

Harvey, Mary

Age 34. Widow with one child. Needlewoman from Gloucestershire. Tried in London 15th April 1830 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for pledging a tea kettle. Assigned to Thomas Valentine Bloomfield on arrival. Married William Burnham at Maitland in 1832

Healey, Maria

Pastry cook age 32 from London. Married with 2 children. Tried in London 27 May 1830. Sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing pork. Assigned to Dr. Poole on arrival. In September 1837 sent to Newcastle gaol from Paterson. Sentenced to 14 days in the cells and return to govt. service. Assigned to William Ogilvie at Merton on release from gaol. In April 1838 sent to Newcastle gaol from Patrick Plains under sentence of 3 months imprisonment and 14 days in the cells. Assigned to Rev. Middleton at Butterwick on release from gaol. Granted a Conditional Pardon in 1838

Holding, Sarah

Age 24. Single woman. Native of London. Occupation all work. Tried in Wells 11 January 1830 and sentenced to transportation for life for robbing lodgings. Assigned to William Burrowes on arrival. In August 1831 sent to Newcastle gaol en route to the Female Factory having been sentenced to 3mths in 3rd class. Sent to the Factory on 10 September. In 1836 assigned to Mary Summers in Sydney

Holmes, Jane

Age 23. Occupation all work. Tried at Liverpool 26 April 1830 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing notes. Assigned to Richard Siddons on arrival . On 4 July 1831 she was sent to Newcastle gaol en route to private service of her master John Palmer of Richmondvale. Sent in charge of constable Kerr 8 July. On 29 July 1831 forwarded to 3rd class at the Female Factory. Sent to Sydney on the Lord Liverpool 10 September

Hudson, Charlotte

Age 27. Married with three children. Native of Dublin. Occupation allwork and needle woman. Tried at Liverpool 13 January 1830 and sentenced to 14 years transportation for stealing money. Assigned to Mary Raine on arrival. In September 1841 sentenced to 14 days in the cells at Newcastle gaol. Re-assigned to Edward Denny Day on 27 November 1841. Sent to Newcastle gaol in January 1842 having been sentenced by Lieut. Rinaldo Schebberas of Maitland to 14 days in the cells for disorderly conduct. Sent to Newcastle gaol for disorderly conduct in February 1842, Magistrate Simon Fraser. Granted a Ticket of Leave for the district of Patrick Plains in May 1842. Ticket cancelled in January 1843. In February 1843 sent to Newcastle gaol. No offence, returned to government service, her services no longer required. Granted a Ticket of Leave in August 1843

Jones, Ann

Age 19. House maid from Liverpool. Tried 26 October 1829 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for robbing a till. Assigned to William Hayes on arrival . Assigned to George Edwards at Brisbane Water in July 1832. Married Christopher Grist (ship Sophia) in 1833. Assigned to J. B. Bettginton at Merton in 1836 - 37

King, Jane

Age 22. Single woman, native of Surrey. Occupation all work. Tried at Southwark 1 March 1830 and sentenced to 14 years transportation for picking pockets. Assigned to William Shairp on arrival. Married William Constable of Williams River in October 1836

Lyons, Elizabeth

Age 22. Single woman. Native of Surrey. Occupation needlewoman and allwork. Tried at Southwark 1 March 1830 and sentenced to transportation for life for picking pockets. Assigned to E. Walsh on arrival. In November 1832 sent to Newcastle gaol under sentence of 10 days solitary confinement and return to government service. Married Charles Templar (ship Countess of Harcourt 1827) of Wollombi in 1833. Sent to Newcastle gaol in December 1841 under sentence of 14 days in the cells for disorderly conduct. In September 1842 sent to Newcastle gaol from Paterson. No offence. Returned to government service. In January 1843 sent to Newcastle gaol from Singleton on a charge of drunkenness and disobedience. Sentenced to 14 days in the cells and return to government. Note - Brother James Lyons came 8 1/2 years previously

MacGee, Elizabeth

Age 17. Native place Manchester. Occupation all work. Tried at Manchester 26 April 1830 and sentenced to 14 years transportation for stealing money. One prior conviction of 3 months. Assigned to W.H. Kerr on arrival. Assigned to the Factory at Bathurst in 1836. On 11 July 1844 absconded from assigned service to Frederick Bedwell at Paterson. On 7 September 1844 admitted to Newcastle gaol from Paterson on a charge of absenting herself at night without permission. She was sentenced to be confined in the Female Factory at Parramatta one week and returned to government. In October 1844 George Berry age 26 arrived per Norfolk, granted permission to marry Elizabeth MacGee, however Elizabeth died in Newcastle gaol on 9 September 1844. Correspondence by Magistrate Captain Crummer to the Attorney General re Elizabeth McGee requested that he pay particular attention to the evidence of George Brooks, Colonial Surgeon and a request for a searching enquiry into the reasons for the hasty and improper removal of the unfortunate and unprotected woman to Newcastle gaol in her exhausted state of health which led to her demise

Mack, Mary

Age 28. Married. Native place Cork. Occupation house maid and allwork. Tried in London 15 April 1830 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for picking pockets. Assigned to Mr. Buckland on arrival. Married John Smith of Maitland (ship Manlius 1827) in 1833

MacPherson, Mary

Age 30. Married with 2 children. Washerwoman and laundress from Chester. Tried 16th September 1829 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing a petticoat. Assigned to F.A. Hely on arrival. In July 1832 she was an assigned servant to Francis Little. Sent to Newcastle gaol in May 1835 having been returned to government service being pregnant. Re-assigned to Mrs. M. A. Stephen at Invermein in July 1835. In 1836 she was assigned to the gaol at Newcastle.

McCarty, Caroline

Age 19. Single woman. Native of Cork. Occupation all work and washerwoman. Tried in London 27 May 1833 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing bread. Assigned to Emanuel Hungerford on arrival. In April 1831 sent from Newcastle gaol to the private service of Captain Hungerford. Married Michael Finlay at Maitland in November 1831

McGregor, Sarah

Age 16. Nurse girl, native place Liverpool. Tried 26 April 1830 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for shop lifting. Assigned to D.A.C.G. Howard on arrival. Applied to marry James Miller (ship Speke) at Newcastle in March 1833. Note - this woman was convicted in the Supreme Court Sydney of the murder of Captain Charles Waldren

Palmer, Mary

Nursery maid and house maid age 16 from Westminster. Tried in London 15 April 1830. Sentenced to 7 years transportation for robbing her master. Assigned to Susannah Matilda Ward on arrival.

Quinn, Johanna

Age 20. Native of Limerick. Occupation country work. Tried Newgate 29 October 1829 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing money. Assigned to Henry Hewitt on arrival. Sent from the factory to Maitland in April 1831. On 19 August 1831 she was admitted to Newcastle gaol 19 August. Sentenced to 21 days solitary confinement then to the Female Factory 1st Class. Assigned to Mr. Anley by order of G. Brooks 27 October. Note - brother Timothy Quinn arrived 10 years previously

Reed, Elizabeth

Age 40. Wife of Thomas Reed. 1 child. Dairy maid from Essex. Tried Saffron Waldon 15 January 1830 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for shop lifting. Sent from the Female Factory to the private service of Benjamin Sullivan on 1 April 1831.

Smith, Ann

Age 22. House maid from London. Tried 3rd December 1829 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for shop lifting. Assigned to B. Cox on arrival . Married John Racliffe (ship Mary) at Newcastle in 1831. Sent to Newcastle gaol from Maitland under sentence of 28 days in the cells in March 1835. Returned to her husband on 19 April 1835.

Smith, Elizabeth

Cook and house maid age 29 from Yorkshire. Widow with 1 child. Tried at Newcastle 27 February 1830. Sentenced to 14 years transportation for stealing bed linen. She had been convicted with Jane Craggs and Richard Beacher of plundering during a calamitous fire at Angus Court, Bigg Market, Newcastle (UK). Assigned to Mrs. Major James on arrival. Married West Evans (ship Neptune) at Port Macquarie in October 1831. Her Ticket of Leave for the Muswellbrook district in was altered to Patrick Plains in December 1839. Applied to marry Richard Hughes (ship Marquis of Hastings) in September 1840

Smith, Mary (1)

Age 20. Single woman with one child. Native of Stockport. Occupation kitchen maid. Tried at Manchester 18 January 1830 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing clothes. Assigned to Robert Henderson at Brisbane Waters on arrival. Married James Freeman (ship Lord Eldon) in 1831. Mary and James Freeman resided at Norah Head in the 1830s. She encountered the infamous gang of bushrangers the Jewboy Gang at Norah Head in 1839

Smith, Mary (2)

Age 18. Occupation all work. Native place Surrey. Tried at Southwark 26 April 1830. Sentenced to transportation for life for picking pockets. Assigned to John Gaggin on arrival

Stephens, Mary

Age 23. Tried in London 27 May 1830 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for pledging clothes. Assigned to Peter Rapsey on arrival. Applied to marry Thomas Brown (ship Asia) in December 1831

Sullivan, Mary Ann

Mary Ann Sullivan age 17. Maid of all work from Newington. Tried at Southwark 26 April 1830. Sentenced to transportation for life for picking pockets. Assigned to M. Cope on arrival. Sent to Newcastle gaol from Patrick Plains on 24 May 1837 having been returned to government service. Forwarded to the Female Factory at Parramatta. Note - died 9 February 1844 in Parramatta Hospital

Tweedale, Ann

Age 25. Married with 2 children. Native of Cork. Occupation all work. Tried in Manchester 26 April 1830 and sentenced to 14 years transportation for stealing silk handkerchief. Assigned to C. Chambers on arrival. Sent to Newcastle gaol en route to private service of her master Francis Allman in July 1831. Note - mother Margaret Carroll and brother John Carroll at Hobart Town 4 years previously.

Walters, Harriett

Age 39. Widow with 3 children . Native of Reading. Occupation all work. Tried Newgate 15 April 1830 and sentenced to transportation for life for stealing, on 30th March, 1 watch value 30s, the goods of John Dunage, from his person. Sentenced to transportation for life Assigned to Miss Julia Johnstone on arrival. Married William Humble at Maitland in September 1834

Wheeler, Frances

Age 22. Nursemaid from Wexford. Tried at Liverpool 26 April 1830 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing money. Assigned to Rev. Wilton on arrival.

Woods, Mary Ann

Age 19. Native of Belfast. House maid in a public house. Tried at Liverpool 26 October 1829 and sentenced to 14 years transportation for burglary. Assigned to James Mudie on arrival . In July 1831 sentenced to 14 days solitary confinement by Patrick Plains bench. Discharged to the private service of James Mudie on 30 July 1831. Married William Pitman (ship Asia 1822) at Newcastle in November 1831

Notes and Links

1). Police Office, Sarah Edwards, having only arrived in the Kains about a fortnight ago and not being acquainted with the geographical position of the metropolis, had been travelling ever since she left her master's house until a constable picked her up. Sentenced to extend her tour to Parramatta, where she would have suitable entertainment at Gordon's Hotel for six weeks

2). A list of female prisoners assigned to settlers in the month of October 1832 was published in the Sydney Gazette and the following women from the Kains were included in the list:

Ellen Austin - Assigned to Captain Kersopp, 4th reg., Parramatta
Dorothy English - Assigned to William Edney, Sydney
Jane Holmes - Assigned to Ann Campbell, Liverpool Road
Margaret Handlin - Assigned to George Tate, Campbelltown
Margaret Sullivan - Assigned to William Smith at Windsor

3). The Kains was one of four convict ships bringing female prisoners to New South Wales in 1831, the others being the Earl of Liverpool, Palambam and the Hooghley. A total of 504 female convicts arrived in the colony in 1831.

4). Sarah McGregor and Mary Maloney were convicted of the murder of Captain Charles Waldron at Illawarra in 1834 and sentenced to death. They were later pardoned. The two women were at the Female Factory at Parramatta when Charlotte Anley, an acquaintance of Elizabeth Fry, visited the prison in 1836.... Charlotte Anley wrote of the encounter in her publication 'Prisoners of Australia'........

I was now about to leave them; when two of the women, making way through the press, begged to speak with me. They had committed murder on the person of a Captain Waldron, to whose service they had been assigned. Report spoke of him as a highly respectable officer and a kind master, but not one who considered the religious instruction of his convict-servants, as important or practicable. The prisoners were both young and extremely pretty; one especially lovely, with a countenance expressive only of mild melancholy, although I afterwards learnt that they were both among the most refractory and violent. The elder first approached me with a countenance flushed with passion, and was about to speak, when one of the women behind her pulled her back, saying somewhat to her which I could not distinctly hear; but again turning round, she replied aloud, ' am not going to offend the lady; I wouldn't say a word to make her angry, but she shall hear me;' and then addressing herself to me, she complained that she and her companion were always pointed out to every stranger who visited the factory as murderers, and they thought it hard that they could have no peace, but were ' hunted like wild beasts,' for a crime they never committed. I was afraid to irritate her by direct contradiction, but I ventured to say, that so serious a charge would hardly have been brought against them without some grounds. She repeated her denial of the deed, adding, ' I am not a murderer, for I never meant to kill the man: we were in liquor when we beat him as we did, but we couldn't help it that he died, and we were sorry for it, although he deserved it.' I need not detail all that this wretched woman said in the vindictive language of anger and desperation. I took her apart from the rest, and, to turn the current of her thoughts, I asked her of her early life; in reply to which, she gave me a brief outline sad enough it was of her first departure from moral principle; for she had been, as I supposed from her language, better educated than her degraded condition might lead one to suspect.

6). Thrasycles Clarke died in 1834 leaving most of his estate to his brothers and sisters. His Will was witnessed by Alexander Nisbet.

7). An Account of the Infancy, Religious and Literary Life By J. B. B. Clarke


1. C. J. Craig, 'Goodwin, William Lushington (1798 - 1862)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University

2. Sick List of the Convict Ship Kains, The National Archives

3. Sydney Gazette 14 April 1831

4. Sydney Herald 25 April 1831.

5. Journal of Thrasycles Clarke - UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 Original data: Admiralty and predecessors: Office of the Director General of the Medical Department of the Navy and predecessors: Medical Journals (ADM 101, 804 bundles and volumes). Records of Medical and Prisoner of War Departments. Records of the Admiralty, Naval Forces, Royal Marines, Coastguard, and related bodies. The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

6. Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.350-351, 387

7. Muster Roll of the Kains. New South Wales, Australia, Convict Indents, 1788-1842. Original data: Bound manuscript indents, 1788 - 1842. NRS 12188, microfiche 614 - 619,626 - 657, 660 - 695. State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia.

8. Charles Picknell's Diary - Sydney Morning Herald 10 May 1930; Sydney Morning Herald 17 May 1930; Sydney Morning Herald 24 May 1930