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Dominic Winter Auctioneers

Printed Books, Maps & Documents

4 October 2017

Convict Transportation.

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Lot 18

Estimate: £3,000 - £5,000
Sold For: £11,000

Personal manuscript logbook of three voyages, kept by George Thompson, Master of the 'Joseph Somes' & 'Lord Auckland', including two voyages transporting convicts to Hobart, 1847-52,
printed title (not filled in), double column ruled in red, autograph manuscript in a consistent and neat hand, a total of 349 pages, giving daily accounts of each voyage, the First Voyage, on 'Joseph Somes': Woolwich to Hobart and thence to Geelong, 'Bass Strait towards Sydney', Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore, 'Strait of Malacca', Bombay & London, 10 November 1845 to 30 March 1847, 96pp.; Second Voyage, on 'Joseph Somes': Deptford via Cowes to Hobart and thence to Geelong, Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bombay & London, 19 April 1847 to 24 April 1849, 135pp.; Third Voyage, on 'Lord Auckland': Eastern London Dock to Ascension Island, Bombay, Calcutta, China, Singapore, Colombo [Sri Lanka], to London, 15 July 1850 to 8 June 1852, 118pp., contemporary water-staining at beginning and end (affecting first 31 leaves and blanks at end), slightly browned, contemporary half morocco, some wear and lacking most of spine, 4to
A detailed first-hand account of life on board ship, which besides giving much information about the sailing, weather and ship repairs, also details incidents involving convict prisoners, including punishments, births and deaths. Also included with this lot is a printed list of the convicts transported on ship Joseph Somes, plus photocopies of the journals kept on board by the ship's surgeons James L. Clarke MD (15 December 1845 - 29 May 1846) and J.W. Elliot (27 April - 8 October 1847). ^NMonday 23rd February 1846: 'At 1/2 past 2 Ruben White an imbecile convict aged 52 years died, he had been for a length of time insane and was a great nuisance to the other prisoners from his filthiness &c. At 6 the surgeon read the funeral service over the corpse and committed it to the Deep'. Saturday 28th March 1846: 'The ship being now out of the Tropics should have reduced the allowance from 8 to 6 pints of water, but the surgeon requested that 7 pints should be served to each of the Guard and Prisoners'. Wednesday 8th April 1846: 'At 1/2 past 12 the chief mate having the watch caught the boy Hall coming out of the pantry where he had been in search of spirits and he had an empty bottle, he at first refused to tell who had sent him, but the mate having beat him with a rope and sent him aloft, he stated that Grendell A.B. had desired him to go into the cabin & endeavour to get some wine out of a gr. cash, but as he could not succeed he had gone into the pantry to try to get some rum instead. He had got the key of the pantry out of the assistant steward's pocket, when he had seen the boy Cox pick it a short time before who had been in the pantry also. On bringing up Cox he acknowledged to have taken a small bottle of rum out of the pantry & that he had done so 4 times before by getting the key of the pantry at night, after much hesitation he said he had got it from Bates (cook's mate) who had instructed him to obtain possession of the key'. Thursday 26th April 1846: 'Immense flight of whale birds (blue petril) skimming along the surface of the water, in all directions'. Friday 25th June 1847: 'At 6 o'clock Robson and Jackson, two ordinary seamen were made prisoners on the poop and kept there until 8 o'clock for fiting [sic] on the main deck, which caused some commotion among the prisoners'. Tuesday 1st June 1847: 'Benjamin Ward a boy (exile) publicly whipped at the gun on the quarterdeck for disrespect to the Capn. of the Guard and disobedience of orders on the 24th for stealing bread from the basket on the 30th and yesterday for threatening the life of J. Drewery (a prisoner) and obtaining a knife for the purpose of carrying his threat into execution'. Friday 16th July 1847: 'At 1/2 past 6 o'clock John Dixon an exile boy publickly whipped at the gun (36 lashes) for disobedience of orders, and making a noise 'after hours''.
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