Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Maitland - 1840

Embarked: 305 men
Voyage: 114 days
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous voyage: Surry arrived 13 July 1840
Next voyage: Isabella arrived 24 July 1840
Captain George Baker
Surgeon Philip Toms
Researcher Contribution

Convicts embarked on the Maitland were mostly from England and Scotland. They were held on the hulks until embarked on the ship.

Surgeon Philip Toms joined the Maitland at Deptford on the 3rd March 1840 and on the 8th after the guard embarked the ship proceeded to Woolwich and on the following day 200 male prisoners were received from the Justitia and Warrior hulks. The ship proceeded to Sheerness on the 10th and 110 more prisoners were received on the 12th from the Fortitude hulk at Chatham, five of the prisoners however were afterwards disembarked by order of J. H. Capper Esquire, Superintendent of the Convict Establishment, Whitehall, leaving a total of 305 convicts on board.

Justitia Hulk - National Library of Australia
Death of a convict on the hulk Justitia - National Library of Australia

Twenty six convicts were soldiers who were court-martialled in Canada for desertion or other military offences were transported on the Maitland: - John Artler; John Bannon; John Blot; George Cadness; Francis Calva; Robert Campbell; Edward Courtney; Stephen Connell; William Darnell; Daniel Davidson; Daniel Donovan; John Galvin; Richard Gilbey; John Gill; William Graham; John Hart; Charles Hunter; Michael Linehan; Patrick McCarthy; Donald McDonald; James McGanley; Henry Rose; William Sheriffs; Joseph Smith; Daniel Spillane; George Warr.


The Maitland departed Sheerness on 22nd March 1840


Passengers included Captain Matthew Richmond of 96th regt., Miss Richmond, Lieut. Nicholas Horsley 96th regt., Mrs and Miss Horsley, Mr. Raitt, 4 women and 2 children.

Surgeon Phillip Toms

Philip Toms kept a Medical Journal from 3 March to 22 July 1840........

From the time of embarkation on the 8th March until the beginning of July, six prisoners only were placed on the sick list, all the other prisoners having enjoyed remarkable good health during the passage and as we were now so near our destination I fully anticipated them being landed without any deaths, but about this time eight or ten of the prisoners presented themselves with symptoms of scurvy and one of that number terminated fatally on the 14th July, a few hours after our arrival at Sydney. The other cases did well, but four of them not being sufficiently recovered to go into Barracks were sent to Hospital in a state of convalescence, the others having quite recovered were landed with the remainder of the prisoners on 22nd July.

I regret to add that in addition to the death above alluded to, two of the prisoners accidentally fell over board during the passage and were drowned, one of them viz James Rhodes on the 25 April and the other Henry Windward on the 27th of the same month.

Those mentioned in the surgeon's journal included:
James Anderson, aged 28, prisoner;
William Dow, aged 20, private 50th Regt one of the guard;
John Green, aged 19, seaman; sick or hurt, retention of urine; put on sick list 26 April 1840, discharged 28 April 1840 cured.
John Green, aged 19, seaman; sick or hurt, retention of urine; put on sick list 2 May 1840, discharged 4 May 1840 cured.
William Hall, aged 24, prisoner; sick or hurt, ophthalmia; put on sick list 14 May 1840, discharged 22 May 1840 cured.
Francis Carr, aged 30, prisoner; sick or hurt, catarrhus; put on sick list 16 May 1840, discharged 25 May 1840 cured.
Henry Stevens, aged 19, seaman; sick or hurt, rheumatismus; put on sick list 28 May 1840, discharged 10 June 1840 cured.
Thomas Thompson, aged 19, prisoner; sick or hurt, catarrhus; put on sick list 11 June 1840, discharged 30 June 1840 cured.
Thomas Meachem, aged 35, prisoner; sick or hurt, ophthalmia from a wound of the eye; put on sick list 14 June 1840, discharged 8 July 1840 with the loss of sight in one eye.
Robert Weinwright, aged 17, prisoner; sick or hurt, scorbutus; put on sick list 5 July 1840, sent 15 July 1840 to Hospital.
Edward Courtney, aged 22, prisoner; sick or hurt, scorbutus; put on sick list 7 July 1840, sent 15 July 1840 to Hospital.
John Hutchings, aged 20, prisoner; sick or hurt, scorbutus; put on sick list 9 July 1840, died 14 July 1840.
John Barker, aged 20, prisoner; sick or hurt, scorbutus; put on sick list 10 July 1840, sent 15 July 1840 to Hospital.
John Hart, aged 25, prisoner; sick or hurt, scorbutus; put on sick list 12 July 1840, sent 15 July 1840 to Hospital.

The total number The total number of prisoners landed at Sydney was 302.[3]

Port Jackson

The Maitland arrived off the Heads on 12 July however because of contrary winds didn't enter Port Jackson until 14 July 1840.

The printed indents include name, age, education, marital status, family, native place, trade, offence, when and where tried, sentence, prior convictions and physical description. There is no indication where they were assigned.

Philip Toms departed the colony in August 1840 on the Pilgrim bound for Liverpool with Drs. McKeckney and Mahon.

Notes and Links

1). Select here to read about Samuel Gatward written by researcher Terry Gatward. Samuel Gatward was born at Luton Bedfordshire in 1800. He was transported twice - the first time to Bermuda and the second to New South Wales on the Maitland. He was last heard of in the Cassilis district (Contact Terry Gatward)

2). Convict ships bringing detachments of the 96th regiment to New South Wales included the Woodbridge Barossa, Nautilus, Augusta Jessie, Maitland, Pekoe, Eden and King William.

3). Convict Discipline and Transportation.....Enclosure No. 8 {Extract}........ William Hendric on List of persons who applied for their families to be forwarded to New South Wales at the Public Expense and recommended by His Excellency the Governor as worthy of that indulgence.......Convict Discipline and Transportation: Correspondence

4). 96th Regiment

5). More about Captain Matthew Richmond

6). Crew of the Maitland.....

Crew of the convict ship Maitland Sydney Monitor 22 July 1840


[1] UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Medical Journal of Philip Toms on the voyage of the Maitland in 1840. 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.356-357, 391

[3] National Archives - Reference: ADM 101/46/1 Description: Medical journal of the Maitland, convict ship from 3 March to 22 July 1840 by Philip Toms, surgeon superintendent, during which time the ship was employed in passage to New South Wales with 305 male convicts