Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

James Craigie R. N.,

Convict Ship Surgeon-Superintendent

Date of Seniority Royal Navy 22 March 1809

Naval Service

James Craigie was appointed Assistant Surgeon on the Dromedary in 1808 [1]
He was included in the Navy List of Medical Officers in 1814.

Surgeon Superintendent

He was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the Lady Castlereagh to New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land in 1818 where his name was recorded in the Hobart Town Gazette as Dr. Craig.

Governor Macquarie referred to him in correspondence to Earl Bathurst commending his care towards the convicts -

Governor Macquarie to Earl Bathurst. 1818. 30 May 1818
Government House, Sydney, New South Wales,
My Lord,
The very unusual circumstance of so large a number of Arrival of men as 300 arriving here from England in Such perfect Health, as those by the Ship Lady Castlereagh, which I have already noticed in my General Dispatch No. 8* of the present year, could not fail to induce me to attribute it to Some peculiar care and attention shewn to them on the Passage, and in this I have much Pleasure in reporting that I have not been deceived ; for I have learned that the Commander, Captn. Weltden, treated them with very humane and considerate attention, and that the Surgeon Superintendent Mr. Craigie was in like manner careful of their Health and comforts.

But I have reason to believe that the New system of arrangement in the Ship's Prison Room, which Captain Weltden had proposed and got carried into effect previous to his Sailing, also contributed in a very great degree to this desirable object. With this impression, I feel it my Duty to make your Lord ship acquainted with it, and hope thereby to Secure your Lordship's adoption of it for the Health and Comfort of future Embarkation of Convicts.

Captain Weltden having mentioned to me that he had proposed an arrangement for the fitting up of his Ship for the reception of the Convicts on a Plan which he considered an improvement of much importance, I deemed it worthy of attention and went on board to have a personal View of it. On Inspection, I found it to consist chiefly in the Subdividing of the Prison into three Parts, each Separate from the other by open iron railing, whereby the current of air was not impeded in any material Degree, and the Persons of the Convicts were better Secured than by the dark and gloomy bulk heads of heavy Timber, which had been heretofore in use in Prison Ships
. [3]

There seems to be little mention of him in records in Australia other than the above except one letter in the Colonial Secretary's Correspondence that he presented his Medical Journal of the voyage of the Lady Castlereagh and forgot to sign it!

James Craigie was appointed Surgeon to the Superb in 1824 [4]


[1] Naval Chronicle

[2] Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter 13 June 1818

[3] HRA, Series 1, Vol. IX p. 807

[4] Morning Post 5 January 1824