The Larkins was built in Calcutta in 1808. Convicts were previously transported to New South Wales on the Larkins in 1817.
It was reported early in July 1829 that a detachment belonging to the 63rd Regiment of Foot marched on the 4th July from Chatham to Deptford, for the purpose of embarking as a guard on the Larkins. (This was a distance of approximately 25 miles/ 40 km). The Guard consisted of 29 men of the 63rd, five women and eight children under command of Captain Mahon. Select here to find convicts ships bringing detachments of the 63rd regiment.
The Larkins departed London for Cork on 6th July 1829 where two hundred prisoners were embarked; one man, John Nowlan was re-landed while still in Cork.
Departure from Cork
The Larkins departed Cork on 16 August 1829.
Surgeon Oliver Sproule
Oliver Sproule described the voyage in his Journal -
We were generally speaking healthy on board the Larkins during her voyage to New South Wales consequently I have but few remarks to offer. To this healthy state of the ship I attribute the mild weather which we experienced off the Cape. The thermometer seldom ranging below 60° at noon, and also to the particular attention which was paid at all times to the comfort and cleanliness of the convicts both in their berths and in their persons besides having them all on deck when the weather permitted, by which means the air of the prison was always pure and sweet when they were sent below.
Besides the cases given in my journal there were 178 others who received medical assistance and medicine during the voyage, but whose cases were of such a trifling nature that were I to insert them they would not only be tedious but irksome to the reader. One case of scurvy however, appeared about ten days previous to our arrival at Sydney, the symptoms of which were spongy gums and enlargement of the left knee accompanied with a considerable degree of rigidity of the muscles and tendons and a livid discolouration of the skin. Suffice it to say that fresh diet, an extra allowance of lime juice and a little bark and wine administered daily kept the disease in check the five days we were in harbour, so far as to walk to Barracks the day the convicts were disembarked.
The following men were treated by Oliver Sproule:
William Fuller, aged 20, ordinary seaman, taken ill at Cove of Cork;
Edward Rohan, aged 16, obstruction and dropsy; Put on sick list 9 September 1829, died 4 October 1829
Alexander Laing, aged 22, convict;
William Condon, aged 35, convict;
Sergeant Joyce, 63rd Regiment;
John Dowde, aged 50;
James Bowcock, aged 24, convict;
Patrick McGarry, aged 22, convict; Put on sick list 14 December 1829, died 17 December 1829 at 9 pm. In this case there was inflammation of the brain or its meninges it must have been of a most insidious nature as there was not one of those symptoms present.
James McKenna, aged 32, private; thrown by a gale of wind against one of the gun carriages; Put on sick list 19 December 1829, discharged 28 December 1829 to barracks.
John Charters, aged 30, convict; severely scalded on the left leg; Put on sick list 19 December 1829, discharged 31 December 1829 to prisoner barracks.
The Larkins arrived in Port Jackson on 12 December 1829. Three men had died on the passage out.
The prisoners were mustered on board by the Colonial Secretary Alexander McLeay on Thursday 24th December 1829. The indents include name, age, education, religion, family, marital status, native place, trade, offence, when and where tried, sentence, prior convictions, physical description and when and where assigned on arrival. There is also occasional information about deaths, pardons and prior sentences. There were seven prisoners under seventeen years of age. The youngest prisoner was James Young who was fourteen years old.
They were disembarked a week later on Thursday 31st December 1829. A number were assigned privately and the rest were assigned to government service.
Nineteen year old James (Michael) Oates, a prisoner for life from Co. Roscommon was one of the convicts of the Larkins assigned to private service on arrival. Nine years later he was assigned to Thomas Simpson Hall at the Namoi and was known as 'Jemmy' Oates or 'Hall's Jemmy'. He was involved in one of the most infamous incidents of the times - the Myall Creek Massacre. He was executed for his crimes with several other perpetrators at Darlinghurst prison on 18th December 1838.
Punishment of a Convict
Amongst the Bound Indentures of the convicts of the Larkins is a punishment records for James Jewell, shoemaker from Cork who was transported age 19 for stealing. He was assigned to William Bowman at Richmond on arrival. Although he received a Certificate of Freedom in 1841 he was afterwards sent to gaol several times including Cockatoo Island. James Jewell was admitted to the Liverpool Asylum age 84 in 1895. He died there of Senile debility on 18 June 1897.
17 April 1830 - Twenty five lashes for neglect of duty and leaving his station without permisson
4 June 1830 - Six months to an iron gang for making away with his slop clothing
4 April 1831 - Fifty lashes for absconding
30 April 1831 - Five days solitary confinement for absenting
5 November 1831 - Seven days on the treadmill for being absnt from work under false pretences
23 November 1831 - fifty lashes for absconding
12 March 1832 - twnty five lashes for absenting
16 March 1832 - seven days solitary confinement for disorderly conduct
1 December 1832 - twenty five lashes for absconding
29 December 1832 - Fifty lashes for absconding
6 August 1833 - 12 months in an irong gang for absconding 2nd time
29 January 1834 - twenty five lashes for insolence
15 February 1834 - Twelve lashes for refusing to work
20 October 1834 - One month confinement for disobedience of orders
23 March 1835 - fifty lashes for absenting
18 May 1836 - 12 months in an iron gang for having stolen property in his possession
Two years in irons in 1837 for larceny - Parramatta Bench
Groom from Bandon. Assigned to the Patrick Plains district in 1837
Ploughs and reaps. Native place Tipperary. Sent to Cockatoo Island in 1843. Granted a Ticket of Leave for Scone 1846
Notes and Links
1). Oliver Sproule was also employed as surgeon on the convict ships Borneo in 1828 (VDL), Jane in 1831 and the Lady Nugent in 1835.
2). National Archives UK - Principal Managing Owner: Joseph Somes. Voyages: (a) 1826/7 China and Quebec. Capt William Campbell. Portsmouth 29 Jun 1827 - 25 Oct Caipang Bay - 30 Dec Whampoa - 7 Feb 1828 Second Bar - 22 Apr St Helena - 19 Jun Quebec -. (b) 1828/9 New South Wales and China. Capt William Campbell. Cork 16 Aug 1829 - New South Wales - 20 Mar 1830 Whampoa - 16 Apr Second Bar - 28 Jul St Helena - 16 Sep Downs. (c) 1830/1 Tasmania and China. Capt William Campbell. Downs 19 Jun 1831 - Tasmania - 29 Jan 1832 Whampoa - 4 Mar Second Bar - 5 Jun St Helena - 27 Jul Downs. (d) 1832/3 Madras, Bengal and China. Capt William Campbell. Downs 21 Mar 1833 - 6 Jul Calcutta - 29 Aug Kedgeree - 8 Nov Whampoa - 10 Jan 1834 Second Bar - 18 Mar St Helena - 17 May Downs.
4). Return of Convicts of the Larkins assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 28 June 1832; 5 July 1832).....
John Barnable - Indoor servant assigned to Robert Smith at Goulburn Plains
John Clanvane - Labourer assigned to Matthew Chapman at Hunter's River
James Herbert - Bagpiper assigned to Peter Howell at Sydney
William Kelly - Indoor servant assigned to Henry Donnison at Sydney
Thomas Leary - Mason. Assigned to Terence Murray at Erskine Park
Matthew Murphy - Labourer assigned to Edward Fegan in Sydney
Daniel O'Hara - Ploughman assigned to William Dun at Patersons Plains
5). Ships bringing detachments of the 63rd regiment -
Albion departed Sheerness 1 June 1828 - Lieutenant M. Vickery
Eliza departed London 29 June 1828 - Major Sholto Douglas
1. Ancestry.com. UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Medical Journal of Oliver Sproule on the voyage of the Larkins in 1829. The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.
2. Bateson, Charles, Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.348-349, 386
3. National Archives - Reference: ADM 101/42/4 Description: Medical journal of the Larkins, convict ship from 19 June to 31 December 1829 by Oliver Sproule, surgeon and superintendent in which daily latitude and longitude readings are also recorded.