Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Emanuel Lazzaretto R. N.,

Convict Ship Surgeon-Superintendent

Emanuel Lazzaretto was appointed to the Endymion in 1809.[1] He was stationed on HMS La Hogue at Halifax Nova Scotia in 1813. He presented a report to the Commander-in-Chief of the North American Station being a Copy of the Sick Report after Five Months Cruise on the Banks of Newfoundland at this time [2]

He was entered in the Navy List of Medical Officers in 1814.

He was appointed to the Boyne at Portsmouth in 1816[3].

He was appointed to the Queen Charlotte in 1816. He produced a Report dated 13 June 1817 - A case of tetanus while station on Queen Charlotte in Portsmouth Harbour [4]

Around this same time, he believed he had found a cure for phthisis by using the perfume of pitch - We understand that two men belonging to his Majesty's ship Queen Charlotte have lately been cured of confirmed phthisis, or consumption, by means of the perfume of pitch, under the immediate care of the medical officer of that ship, Dr. Lazzaretto, who, from finding the disorder increase, and the medicine to have no effect, obtained leave for them to be taken on shore to the pitch house, in the dock yard, which was repeated several times since, from which they have recovered their appetites, lost their coughs and are fast gaining strength[5].

The following year (1818) he published Practical hints, addressed to families, on the treatment of consumption of the lungs, with select cases which have occurred in this neighbourhood, in proof of the utility of inhaling the fumes of tar and pitch ... Country of Publication: England Publisher: Portsmouth [Eng.] Mottley and Harrison, 1818.

Surgeon Superintendent

Emanuel Lazzaretto was appointed Surgeon Superintendent on the Convict ship Grenada in 1819. The Grenada departed England on 9th May 1819 and arrived in Port Jackson 21st October 1819.

Very soon afterwards he requested a grant of land and a position in the colonial medical department:

The Memorial of Dr. Lazzaretto, Royal Navy 8 November 1819
Respectfully Stateth:
That your Memorialist came out to this colony as Surgeon Superintendent of the transport ship Grenada recently arrived; and Your Excellency having been pleased to sanction his becoming a resident here, your memorialist respectfully solicits your Excellency for the Indulgence of a Grant of land

That Memorialist having a thorough knowledge of the cultivation of grape as well as the Olive Tree he means to turn his attention to the bringing them to perfection in this colony, and in this view he has to hope for your Excellency's favourable consideration of his request.

That your Memorialist having served twenty years in the Medical Department of His Majesty's Navy, requests your Excellency to place him on the Medical Establishment of this Colony understanding there is a vacancy at the hospital at the Settlement of Liverpool, and in case of the List being superceded from England that he may be allowed Your Excellency's permission to continue in the cultivation of his farm. - E. Lazzaretto. M.D. [7]

Acting Colonial Assistant Surgeon

On 12 November 1819 he was appointed Acting Colonial Assistant Surgeon at Liverpool until further orders, with a salary of five shillings per diem. He was to commence duties on Monday 15th November on which day he was to proceed to and take charge of the Hospital and Medical Department at that station

Sydney Gazette 20 November 1819[6]

He was to be granted land under the entitlements of settler, however in January 1820, having in some way offended the Governor, he resigned from his position at Liverpool and the promise of a land grant was withdrawn. [7]

Lord Wellington to Madras 1820

He departed the colony as Surgeon on the Lord Wellington on 15 April 1820. The Lord Wellington was bound for Madras with troops, having offloaded female prisoners in New South Wales.


In the Hampshire Telegraph on 6th May 1826 it was reported that Dr. Lazzaretto (formerly Surgeon of the flag ship at Portsmouth) was appointed Surgeon to the ships in ordinary at that port.[8]


He was employed as Surgeon Superintendent at Bermuda where he died in September 1830[9]. He was buried at the Royal Naval Cemetery, Ireland Island, Sandys Parish, Bermuda.

Image of gravestone

Ann Lazzaretto

Emanuel Lazzaretto married Anne Lowe of Portsea on 11 July 1818 at Warblington, Hampshire, England.

Ann Lazzaretto lived another thirty-three years after the death of her husband. She can be found in the 1861 Census at Prince George Street, Portsea. She died on 11th March 1863 at Portsea age 75. [10]


[1] The Naval Chronicle

[2] The Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal, Volume 11.

[3] Navy List

[4] Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal, Volume 13.

[5] Caledonia Mercury 1 September 1817

[6] Sydney Gazette 20 November 1819

[7] Main Series of Letters Received, 1788-1826 Source New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1856

[8] Caledonia Mercury 11 May 1826

[9] Hampshire Telegraph 1 November 1830

[10] British Medical Journal