The Medical Officer’s report of the Fairlie passengers 1852

The barque Fairlie arrived in Hobart on July 3, 1852. On board were 292 male convicts, 30 pensioner guards with their families – 24 women and 47 children. In charge of the convict guard was Ensign Meagher for the 99th Regiment. Surgeon Edwarth Nolloth RN voyaged in the Cabin as did the religious instructor John B. Seaman and his wife.

Religious instructor John B. Seaman
Source: Report to the House of Commons: Vol 54

The Fairlie, which was built in Calcutta, weighed 775 tons and carried two guns, had left Plymouth on March 11, 1852 with 45 crew. Cargo listed included 1 bag of despatches, 2 ropes, 8 leather bags, 1 ship bag and 1 small paper parcel. When the ship sailed into the Derwent at Hobart and the pilot Mr Hurburgh boarded at 4pm, he reported the weather was fine, winds light, and the ship’s draught was 18 feet.

The Port Officer’s Form carried the REMARKS:
2 Deaths Convicts – 1 Birth – Female
And this note:
“The Pest Bomangee” was to leave [?] in about 3 weeks after this vessel sailed
“The Sylph”. Sailed from Plymouth three days before.

Source: State Library of Tasmania
Series Number MB2/39
Start Date 24 Mar 1828
End Date 31 Dec 1970

Nevin family members on the Sick Lists
Thomas James Nevin’s father, John Nevin snr, born in 1808 at Grey Abbey, County Down, Ireland, with service in the West Indies (1825-1838) and Canada (1839-42), was one of 30 Chelsea pensioners and guards travelling with the 99th Regiment on board the Fairlie when it left Plymouth on March 11th, 1852, bound for Hobart Tasmania with 294 convicts. Thomas’ mother Mary Nevin was one of 24 women on board, and Thomas himself, together with his three younger siblings, Mary Ann, Rebecca Jane and William John were numbered among the 47 children. Among the convicts were 32 boys from the Parkhurst prison who had embarked on the Isle of Wight.

Reference: ADM 101/27/2
Medical journal of convict ship Fairlie .
Admiralty and predecessors: Office of the Director General of the Medical Department of the Navy and predecessors: Medical Journals Convict Ships etc. Date: 1852. Source: The Catalogue of The National Archives [UK]

Folio 2: John Nevin, aged 43, Private of pensioners; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 28 February 1852, discharged 2 March 1852 to duty. Folio 2: Mary Nevin, aged 40, Wife of pensioners;

Folio 2: Mary Nevin, aged 40, Wife of pensioners; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 14 March 1852, discharged 25 March 1852 to duty.

Folio 4: Mary Nevin, aged 5, Child of Guard; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 23 April 1852, discharged 30 April 1852 to duty. Folio 4: Mary Nevin, aged 40, Wife of Guard; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 24 April 1852, discharged 14 May 1852 to duty.

Folio 5: William Nevin, aged 6 months, Child of Guard; sick or hurt, convulsio; put on sick list 2 June 1852, discharged 9 June 1852 to duty.

The Principal Medical Officer, Dr Edward Nollett (also spelt as Nolleth) reported no serious medical incidents had occurred during the voyage. Yet one child was still-born, vaccinations were attempted (unspecified types), and two prisoners were found to be nearly blind on disembarkation.

Four Nevin family members were placed on the sick list during the voyage: John Nevin (father), Mary Anne, aged five, her mother Mary Ann (wife) , and her six month old baby William. See this entry for the original documentation of the sick lists (National Archives, London), including several photographic portraits taken by Thomas Nevin in the 1870s of his parents, his siblings, and some of the convicts (one former pensioner) who travelled with the Nevin family on the Fairlie which arrived at Hobart 3 July 1852.

Source: House of Commons papers, Volume 54 (Google books)

Enclosure in No 10 Encl in No 10
Principal Medical Officer’s Office July 5 1852

I HAVE the honour to report my inspection of the “Fairlie” male prison ship, surgeon superintendent, Dr Edward Nollett. The ship left Plymouth on the 11th March with 294 prisoners, under a guard of 30 out- pensioners, with 24 women and 47 children. They were generally healthy, the more prevalent complaints being diarrhoea and pulmonic affections. Two prisoners died, one from disease of the heart the second from pleurisy There were also two births, one still born. I observed two prisoners who (I am informed) were embarked nearly blind They are fit cases for an invalid depot, and I have directed their removal to the General Hospital, together with four other men who are in delicate health and unfit at present for labour. Vaccination was attempted but without success. The berths, decks, and utensils were clean, and in good order. I have etc The Comptroller General (Signed) A. SHANKS &c & &c Deputy Inspector General PMO

Report of August 11, 1853:
Source:  Parliamentary Papers By Great Britain Parliament. House of Common papers Vol 54

Comment by the Surgeon Superintendent of the “Fairlie” Edward Nolloth after a visit to the Cascades Female Factory.

August 11
THREE years since I visited this establishment, and was much pleased with it, and extensive additions and improvements have rendered it more worthy of admiration. Signed EDWARD NOLLOTH [sic] MD Surgeon Superintendent “Fairlie”

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