17
17
Smith, William, surgeon-superintendent
JOURNAL OF THE 'BELGRAVIA' CONVICT SHIP
Estimate
3,0005,000
LOT SOLD. 4,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
17
Smith, William, surgeon-superintendent
JOURNAL OF THE 'BELGRAVIA' CONVICT SHIP
Estimate
3,0005,000
LOT SOLD. 4,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations, including The Garrett Herman Collection: The Age of Darwin

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Smith, William, surgeon-superintendent
JOURNAL OF THE 'BELGRAVIA' CONVICT SHIP
blank printed journal with daily manuscript entries, including a full list of 282 convicts embarked at Chatham, Portsmouth, and Portland for transportation to Western Australia, their names, ages, literacy, crime, sentence, and character, then providing a careful record on the convicts' daily routine during the crossing, detailing exercise, educational provision, rations, sanitation, regular misdemeanours and their punishments (ranging from "assaulting a Prisoner Constable whilst on duty", which was punished by "48 hours bread & water ... to be kept in leg-irons, and to receive ... 48 lashes", to minor offences such as throwing clothes overboard and obtaining extra wine rations through the use of a false-bottomed cup), and with a daily update of the sick list revealing that more than 130 convicts were suffering from scurvy by the time they disembarked at Fremantle on 5 July, 20 March to 19 July 1866, with a series of appendices, listing nine "General Rules"  to be observed by convicts (2 pages), their "weekly routine" (2 pages), a "List of Prisoners who have committed themselves during the voyage, showing the nature of the offence, and the Punishment" (4 pages), "Account of the Number of Convicts classed according to their ages and abilities to read and write" (2 pages), "A List of the Prisoners who have distinguished themselves by Exemplary Conduct" (2 pages), "Punishment List of the Prisoner Guard" (1 page), and "Remarks" on the physical condition of the prisoners and comments on the outbreak of scurvy, altogether 85 pages, plus blanks, folio, 1866, printed paper wrappers, loss at spine, covers stained, some light water damage
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Catalogue Note

AN INSIGHTFUL RECORD OF CONVICTS AND THEIR WELFARE IN THE FINAL PHASE OF THE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM. William Smith was an experienced professional superintendent surgeon whose key aim was to ensure the safe transportation of convicts. Although there was only one fatality during the crossing, Smith was troubled by the outbreak of scurvy on board. He blamed it in part on the prisoners' poor diet in English prisons before transportation, but he nonetheless determined to urge for the provision of fresh vegetables on convict ships.

The Belgravia was an 886-ton frigate built in 1862. She made this crossing in 88 days. It was one of the last convict transportations to Australia: the punishment ceased in 1868. The Belgravia sailed from the Swan River on 5 August for Madras. She picked up emigrants in Pondicherry in September, but was subsequently wrecked off the Coramandel coast.

English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations, including The Garrett Herman Collection: The Age of Darwin

|
London