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The People of the Adam Lodge 1837


Brian Boggs


I piece together in this chapter what happened to a group of people who travelled as emigrants in 1837 over a vast distance to a largely unknown land. My great grandfather William Boggs was amongst them and came from Londonderry in Northern Ireland to Australia as quite a boyi. When exactly or by which ship had remained a mystery until a death certificate of William’s father showed up in 1981. This showed that John’s father had been born in “Fermanagh, Ireland” and that he lived for 31 years and 8 months in New South Wales. It could be deduced that their emigrant ship arrived in New South Wales either at the end of June to early July 1837. A quick scan of ships’ arrivals showed the most probable ship from Northern Ireland was the Adam Lodge from Londonderry. I could see that a large number of deaths had occurred on board the ship and I came across papers of evidence that the ship’s surgeon was required to account for the deaths.

And it all started so promisingly. The advertisement which appeared on the front pages of the Londonderry Sentinel and the Londonderry Journal on two occasions in December 1836 read as follows:

Emigration

To Sydney in Australia

A Free Passage to 100 Respectable Mechanics, with their Wives and Children

Viz.

25 Stone Masons 12Joiners
25 Stonecutters 13Bricklayers
12 Carpenters 12 Blacksmiths


(None of whom are to exceed 30 years of age).

Mechanics of sober, industrious, steady habits will be guaranteed employment at, say five shillings per day, for one year after their landing in the colony and nothing deducted on account of their passage.

They will be victualled by the Government and bedding will be provided. Separate sleeping apartments will be arranged for the males and females, to prevent that indelicacy which would accrue from a promiscuous multitude of males and females sleeping in one place.


Certificates from the Rectors of Parishes and other resident gentlemen relative to the character and qualification of applicants will be required, stating the names and ages of their families; and the strictest inquiry as well as personal inspections of the Agent will be necessary before the parties are received. ii

The advertisement was placed by Royal Naval Surgeon Alick Osborne, born in 1793, the second eldest son of a family of ten of Archibald Osborne of Derrynaseer, near Omagh in County Tyrone. Because his father owned a large farm, three brothers (James, John and Alick) were educated to become surgeons in the Royal Navy. iii

By the end of January 1837, the ship’s numbers were filled by 20 carpenters, 16 stone masons, 5 stone cutters, 14 blacksmiths, 3 bricklayers, 21 farmers and labourers, 1 cooper, 3 sawyers and 1 miller-quarryman.iv This mix of tradesman on board had a considerable shortfall of those needed for building work - stonecutters, stonemasons, bricklayers and joiners – and the difference was largely made up with agricultural workers in the guise of farmers and labourers. This discrepancy was picked up on later when reluctant approval was given for payment to Osborne for his Adam Lodge trip - “payment of money approved except for travel to Cork, Offices in Ireland and Sydney. There is some deception by those on board as to qualifications”. v

Listed as stonecutters were Andrew Cane, John Cane, John McCullogh, Thomas McNeilly and John Thorpe. Listed as bricklayers were James Crawford, Thomas Donallen and William Galway. Listed as farmers and labourers were John Booth, John Campbell, William Deroghy, Thomas Donaghy, James Eagan (shepherd), Edward Fury, William Gollaher 1, William Gollaher 2, George Irwin, James Irwin, Simon Isaac, John Kelly, Charles Knox, John McAleer, Matthew Moore, Samuel Montgomery, Patrick Mundy, Michael Quin , William Rodgers, James Wilson and John Wilson.


Listed as blacksmiths were Robert Bronster, William Cargo, Patrick Cane, Daniel Drane, John Ingram, John Irwin, James Kildea, Michael McMerty, Thomas Muldoon, Bernard Quin, James Smith, John Smith (whitesmith), David Thompson and Michael Wallace (gunsmith). Listed as sawyers were Luke Burke, Henry Robinson and Enoch Fowler; listed as a cooper was Matthew McAlroy; and listed as a miller-quarryman was Joseph Morrow. Listed as carpenters were John Armstrong, Joseph Barry, Roland Beatty, John Boggs, David Cameron, George Cane, David Collins, Alick Fairley, Robert Farrell, Michael Flannigan, Thomas Hall, William Henry, Robert Hughes, John Irwin, John Littel, James Osborne, Robert Osborne, James Rodgers, William Sloan and Henry Tunney.vi


Osborne had instructions that offers could only be made to married couples under the age of 30 years, together with their families. Osborne had requested several times to vary the ‘under 30 years rule’ for mechanics and on 19th January he received the reply from Lord Grey that he could vary the age by one to two years.vii Other restrictions were that unmarried women had to be between the ages of fifteen to thirty in the protection of a family and that single men between the ages of eighteen and twenty five could only emigrate in the same numbers as single women. Having negotiated from Lord Grey some flexibility in the ‘age rule’, Osborne ignored the age requirements for male emigrants in any case. His experience with an earlier ship, Lady McNaghton, made him realise that age restrictions were not helpfulviii. He knew that many potential emigrants over the age of 30 years would make the best possible candidates in the new colony.

Take John Boggs who was listed as 32 but was really 41 so he did not meet the requirements. Fifteen years later the regulations were changed so that “the emigrants’ ages must not be above the ages of forty but for every child above the age of 14, an excess of 1 year will be allowed.”ix John and his wife Mary had at last three children above the age of fourteen, of which two were female (Nancy 18, Eliza 15 and Robert 16) so John’s family would have qualified under the later regulations.


In his evidence to the Committee of Immigration of the New South Wales Legislative Council, Saturday July 22nd, 1837, Alick Osborne Esq, R.N. , Surgeon Superintendent , of the ship Adam Lodge, with immigrants from Ireland, recounted-

I was employed by the Colonial Government in March 1836, to go to Ireland and select emigrants, and bring them to the colony. I accordingly proceeded in that month, and arrived in London in the month of July, and in Ireland, in August 1836; but did not receive any final instructions from the Colonial Office, Downing-street, till November. I experienced no difficulty whatever in procuring the number of emigrants I required, under the instructions on which I acted; the terms which these instructions enabled me to propose, were most satisfactory to them; namely-a free passage for themselves and families, and employment for one year certain, guaranteed by the Government, on their arrival in this Country. The description of persons to whom I was authorised to offer these terms, were mechanics of the following descriptions, viz.: blacksmiths, masons, carpenters, joiners, bricklayers, and stone-cutters. To labourers, and other individuals, I was authorised to offer a free passage only; employment not being guaranteed to them by Government.’

Some disappointment may be occasionally be experienced by the Agent from individuals changing their minds, when the ship is nearly ready, and this must be obviated by introducing a few beyond the specified number, and should any of these be thereby disappointed, they would have the first offer by the next ship. Small farmers possessing little capital, their wives and children, and young single women their relatives, and single men as labourers could be procured to almost any extent.

I was authorized to charter a suitable vessel, on the part of the Government, and I did charter the Adam Lodge, a first class British built ship of 567 tons, with a height between decks of almost seven feet.’


The owners furnishing the provisions of prime quality at £6 10s., per head, according to the annexed scale for adult males and females, rating children in the proportions specified in the Passenger-Act. In this agreement were included rations, bedding, wine, medicines and medical comforts. We also issued potatoes, at the rate of six pounds per week to each adult, in addition to the rations, and the owners were compensated by the consequent saving of bread. The issue of potatoes continued from the 29th of March, the day we sailed from Londonderry, till the 1st of June, and this was of the utmost advantage to the emigrants.’

The number of emigrants embarked was about 86 married men, 86 married women, 20 single women, and 200 children, equal to 287½ adults, estimated according to the Act of Parliament, and which was thirteen less than the number the ship might have taken, according to her tonnage, independent of her crew, and which, of course, caused the rate of expense for each emigrant to be higher than it would have been, if the number had been complete. This deficiency in numbers is accounted for by my instructions from the Government, precluding my entering one individual beyond the prescribed number the ship could take, less disappointment to such individual should ensue: whereas on this point, the emigrants had no compunction in disappointing me; I adopted the precaution, however, of making every candidate deposit £2 as a security for his appearance, to be returned to him on his arrival here, which accordingly has been done, and it forms a most convenient fund for their immediate expense in this Colony, which they would have had some difficulty in meeting. Notwithstanding the high rate of freight at which the Adam Lodge was engaged, the sum of £18 for each adult, and in the proportions for children prescribed by the Act, will fully cover all the expense of their passage, but not that of my agency and superintendence, and taking the average rate of freight (according to an official document) paid by the Admiralty for the last four years at £4 10s., it will make the cost of each adult only £16 10s. In answer to the question of the Committee, I beg to say that I am not to be allowed to reckon the time I have been employed on this service, as time for increase of pay in the Royal Navy; and my daily allowance of 10s. 6d, will scarcely cover one moiety of my actual expense, exclusive of my loss of time, for which I am to receive no compensation’.


Of the emigrants embarked, only three adults died of apparent disease; two of consumption, and one of pleurisy; two others, sudden death from asphyxia; twelve infants of marasmus, or general decay of nature, one of croup, four of worms and six of influenza, none of which diseases are in my opinion attributable to the confinement in the ship, or to the provisions. The scale of the rations hereto annexed, is in my opinion nearly perfect, unless that I think peas and cheese might be omitted, and oatmeal be substituted for flour, in perhaps Irish and Scotch ships. The rules adopted by me for the preservation of order, and cleanliness, when not voluntarily submitted to, were enforced by mulcting the offending parties of a portion of their rations and comforts, for a period proportioned to the offence, and I found the power that assumed by me, sufficient and ample for all salutary and necessary control over them.’x

This evidence to the New South Wales Legislative Council aroused my curiosity and it led me to believe some of the names of those on board ship might appear in quarantine papers of 1837. A visit to the State Archives revealed several large sheets of paper with a list of names from the Adam Lodge, supplied by Alick Osborne on the ship’s arrival in Sydney. I could see John and Mary Boggs’ names with nine children on it but, because of my own initial frustrations at finding information on the Adam Lodge, I thought there must be other researchers looking for this missing but now discovered list. I scanned through the Genealogical Directories of 1983 and 1984 and I sent out dozens of letters. I was greatly rewarded when surprised people wrote back to me who had been through the same frustrations.

Pam Jack was one. She wrote to me in November 10th, 1983:

Dear Mr Boggs,

I cannot tell you when I have been so excited over an unknown typewritten letter in my mailbox- for several reasons. First and foremost - Thomas McNeilley and his wife were my great grandparents. They were married in Rosemary St Church in Belfast on 8.10.1826.


Second-you confirm what we have only surmised from the circumstantial evidence, that they travelled out here on the Adam Lodge in 1837.Third-you present us with four more children we had not known about, born prior to their arrival-not a surprise considering their age.

We have more names to add to your list as my other paternal great grandparents were also on the Adam Lodge in 1837. And here we have the proof. In our possession is a Psalter, very water stained, with the inscription on the fly leaf reading: John Lyttle, Adam Lodge, ex Newtown Stuart, County Tyrone , Arrived Sydney from Cove, Ireland, 1837.xi


The background to the enterprise by the Government was that the colonies wanted better control over the selection of emigrants and the type of people selected. Up until 1836, the Emigration Committees set up in London and Cork comprised of well-meaning volunteer gentlemen. Most of the ships were filled with single females but loans to mechanics with families were also an option. There were not shiploads of the latter and most of them came as steerage passengers on merchant ships, booked through shipping agents in Britain. There was considerable dissatisfaction with the selection process for single females and ships such as the Red Rover in 1832 had contained destitute women from institutions and workhouses in Dublin and Cork. These arrivals provoked the ire of Governor Bourke and confirmed the fears of people of the Australian Colonies that the English would use funds released from the sale of Colonial Lands to empty London’s workhouses and parish poor houses.

After the system of free grants was abolished and land was sold at auction in 1831 by the British Government for a minimum price of 5 shillings per acre, the proceeds from sale were used for assisted emigration. Governor Bourke’s appointment of an officer to approve the work of an Emigrants Selection Committee proved to be unsuitable and, in the years 1834 to 1836, twelve more shiploads of female emigrants were unsuitable so selection was still a thorn in the Australian colonies side. Governor Bourke and his Legislative Council finally came up with a solution that would satisfy the needs of the colony.


In a letter to Lord Glenelg, Governor Bourke outlined a scheme whereby experienced Royal Naval Surgeons would select and conduct emigrant families to the colony. In the same letter, Bourke proposed a bounty system for emigrant mechanics or agricultural labourers introduced by settlers and brought out in merchant ships through their own agents. The type of person that Bourke had in mind were:

Married couples under thirty years of age and their families, and unmarried females between 15 and 30 years who shall come out under the protection of the married couple as forming part of the Family and destined to remain with it until otherwise provided for; and single men between 18 and 25 in the same numbers as the unmarried females last mentioned. xii

The free passage was officially confined to married men and this stipulation caused some young men to rush into matrimony in the spring of 1837. But, as the Erne Packet of Enniskillen informed its readers in March 30th, 1837:

To qualify themselves for a free passage, it seems that several young men contracted matrimonial alliances; but of them about ten have found that thereby they have only linked themselves closer to home, as their helpmates, determined to remain at home “for better or worse’ positively refuse to accompany them. xiii


Doctors Alick Osborne and Charles Boyter of the Royal Navy were sent by Bourke as Agents of the Australian Colonies to Ireland and Eastern parts of Scotland. By 1836, Osborne had been surgeon to seven convict ships with the enviable record that he lost in transit only nine convicts from a total of 1588. As an emigrant agent, Osborne also came with a good reputation and the Derry Journal on his departure from Omagh reported:

Dr Osborne, the government agent, is a native of the county of Tyrone, and has resided for a considerable time in the colony. He is a gentleman of high reputation – and as a mark of the esteem in which he is held where he is known, he was entertained, before leaving Omagh, at Greer’s Hotel, by a number of his friends and well –wishers. It must be cheering to the emigrants to be under the care of such a worthy personxiv


During July and August, Osborne visited and talked with people around Londonderry and Tyrone. He found ‘a general feeling favourable to the object of my mission’. xv His background as a canny Ulsterman with strong views on financing suitable people for emigration made him an ideal candidate to become part of the new system of emigration. He had sufficient belief in New South Wales that he had encouraged his younger brother Henry to emigrate to New South Wales and Henry arrived in 1829xvi. This proved a good move for Henry who accumulated a large estate on the South Coast. Osborne thought that highly of New South Wales he had brought his own family out on the convict ship, Marquis of Huntley, in 1835xvii.

When Osborne inspected the food and the Adam Lodge he declared both to be of ‘fair quality’. This was a rather mealy mouthed assessment of a ship of superior build reported on by Robert Law, Liverpool Shipping Master and James Hass, Surveyor of Shipping at Liverpool :

We the undersigned, having this day Carefully surveyed the Ship the Adam Lodge of 567 tons, burthen, Master in the South Graving dock beg to report that we find her in excellent condition, when newly Coppered, the accommodation in the poop fitted as recommended, and provision made for the stowing of the crew in the Top gallant forecastle, the said vessel will be well qualified for the service of a passenger Ship for Emigrants to New South Walesxviii

Another description by the owners, W. McCorkell & Co., Derry said:

built of British Oak, coppered and copper-fastened, and fully eight feet high between the decks. She is considered one of the finest Merchant Ships belonging to Great Britain; and, for sailing she has beat the Liners from Liverpool to New York. On inspection, it will be found, that her accommodation for Cabin and Steerage Passengers cannot be excelled’xix



The length on the lower deck was 122 feet, the breadth at the fire hatch was 28 feet 7½ inches and the height at the main hatch 7 feet 4½ inches. This makes the Adam Lodge somewhat bigger than comparable emigrant ships such as the St Vincentxx. It appears that the ship had only two compartments on the deck below, a male compartment and a female compartment, with married men sleeping separate to the females. From the stern of the ship right away to the stem on the larboard side, and back again to the stern on the starboard side, the space was entirely occupied by a double tier (one above the other) of standing bed places.

There were forty eight bed places six feet by three each, for married people above and for their children below, everyone was furnished with bedding pegs on which to suspend their clothes, being placed to every upright stanchion, and each bed place was divided from the next adjacent by stout planks from the deck below from the deck above. A bulkhead went across the ship to separate that part from the vessel forwardxxi. Looking at the Emigrants on the Adam Lodge, the ratio of the children and females to males plus older male children (about 250 to 125), it is possible to deduce that the ratio of the Female Compartment to the Male Compartment would most likely be 2:1 and so the division of the ship’s between decks would most likely be this.

On Wednesday 29thth March, 1837, the first class ship Adam Lodge sailed from Londonderry city out of Lough Foyle for Australia. On board were 83 families containing 209 children, 20 single girls (each one supposedly under the care of one of the families), a Presbyterian minister, one single male, two other married females, a Naval surgeon, a captain and crew of 44 , making a total of 444 on board. When the ship reached Sydney on the 13th July, 1837, there were 425 on board comprising 83 males, 81 married and 20 unmarried females, 195 children, a surgeon, a Presbyterian minister, and the captain and crew of 44. On the voyage, there were to be deaths of 4 wives, 1 male and 22 children. Adding the eight births en route brings the total up to the correct number according to the Sydney Gazette of 15th July 1837xxii.


A vaccine had been made available to immunize against smallpox, one of the major killers in the early 1800s. A major cause of deaths (8) in the children group was influenza. The average age of death in this group was almost 3 years. Influenza was rife through the ship. When considering the close proximity of all the Emigrants, it is not surprising that this was so. Marasmus (starvation) was the cause death of eleven of the 22 children whose average age was seventeen monthsxxiii. This form of death was common on emigrant ships to Australia and led to repeated official enquiries. In 1852-53, Caroline Chisholm pointed out that as mother’s milk generally failed them in about six weeks, a diet that had been developed for transportation of convicts was inadequate. Dr. Gream, a distinguished specialist physician who had made the dietary of children his particular study, was consulted and the dietary scale was changed in 1854 to provide a better provision of food for very young childrenxxiv. Prior to that, ailing infants and children or infants whose mother’s milk failed were fed from the surgeon superintendant’s medical comforts.

The allowance of a pint of porter daily to women suckling would certainly be conducive to their health, and that of their infants; but I consider the most dangerous period for young children to be that between the time of weaning and their attaining about the age of three years. The allowance to these latter of half a pint of preserved milk daily, would, I am of opinion, save many lives”xxv.

Greater emphasis was to be placed on stocking nutritional safeguards against disease. Each female was allowed two gallons of wine during the voyage according to the usual Government supply of medical comforts in case of sickness. The proportion for 100 persons during the voyage was- 131 lbs of preserved meats including soup, 486 lbs of lemon juice, 486 lbs of sugar to mix with it, 60 lbs of Scotch barley, 18 bottles of port wine, 8 gallons of vinegar. Ordinary rations consisted of 1 pound of bread a day, ⅔lb of beef on one day and ⅔ pound of pork on the next day, ½ pound cocoa every second day, ½ pound flour every second day, ⅛ pint of peas every second day, ½ pint of oatmeal weekly, ¼ pound of cheese weekly, ½ pint of vinegar weekly, 1 ounce sugar daily, and tea was rationed to ⅛ ounce one day then ¼ ounce the next. On alternate days during the voyage, children not exceeding 10 years of age were to receive two thirds of the foregoing quantitiesxxvi.


Diet though an important component in improving the health of children was considered secondary to cleanliness, ventilation and high quality water. On the Adam Lodge, Osborne paid particular attention to these components and ordered the almost daily washing, cleaning and sweeping of the deck below.

The decks were in general scraped and sanded; to assist the operation of scraping, a little sprinkling was necessary, the deck being almost always in a dirty state, from the inveterate habit of the emigrants of throwing all kinds of rubbish, refuse victuals, &c., at their feet on the deck, which, therefore, never remained long in a clean state. Twenty-three children have died of various diseases, but mostly of affections of the bowels, arising from unsuitable food. The number of deaths is certainly greater than would likely have taken place had they remained in their native countryxxvii.

Whenever he could, he had the bedding up on deck airing and scuttles open and windsails down. He constantly reported on taking up the bottom boards of the bunks and cleaning these out, regularly sprinkling lime throughout the ship. It was only in stormy weather that he did not report on the state of the deck below. He also ordered an audit of the water when the ship was off the coast of Brazil so that there would be good water for the journey if there was a problemxxviii.

Osborne’s Journal of Occurrences Connected with Emigration and his book Notes on Society and the Present Prospects for NSW give some insights into the type of man that he was. In his Journal of Occurrences Connected With Emigration, he described how on a mission the year before and while riding into Ballyshannon in County Donegal, he received a severe wound in the left leg from a cart wheel coming into collision with his shin bone. Because of the injury he tried to resume his journey by coach, only to become almost incapacitated in the attempt. While laid up, he received instructions to go to Cork and to help with the loading of the Lady McNaghton but he was unable to move until October 10th 1836 when he boarded the Wonder Coach for Cork. A second accident occurred to Osborne when his coach turned over at Carrickmacross in County Monaghan. He received a very severe contusion on the back, left leg and hip which ‘rendered me perfectly helplessxxix’. On October 14th, while still only barely able to sit up he boarded another coach and made his way to Cork where he was told by Lieutenant Friend of the Emigration Committee of Cork that 220 emigrants had already been selected by the Committee. Osborne found most of them to be beyond 30 years of age, outside the new maximum regulation age, but he did not raise objections to the ages - it was ‘inexpedient from the shortness of the time until the ship’s sailing to object to many that I would not accept of myself’xxx.


The Diary of Lady Jane Franklin who visited the Illawarra region 10-17 May 1839 gives a physical description of the Osborne brothers:

The oldest settler, but I believe the youngest brother, is Mr Henry Osborne of Marshall Mount (which is named after his wife), who is about 33 years old. He came out about 8 or 9 years ago with little more than £500. He is said to now own 7000 acres. He is a good natured and good sort of man.

Doctor John Osborne, naval surgeon and the eldest of the brothers, lives at Garden Hill below Colonel Leahy. He is known to Captain Moriarty as having taken out convict ships to Van Diemans Land where Captain Moriarty was harbour master. He does not seem much esteemed.

Doctor Alick Osborne, the second oldest, has lately settled at Daisy Bank with 500 acres bought off his brother. He has brought out convict ships and had been 10 times to this colony before he settled. He is an old looking, grey haired man of 40, tall with a stoop. He was surgeon of the Ganges when Sir John had the Rainbow at Corfu [1831-33]. He is very fond of Malta and would like to spend 6 months of the year there. He has a wife and 5 children, one is married to Mr Holden, Police Magistrate of Brisbane Waters. A son is in the midst of girls - he is a well educated youth and has gone with cattle or sheep to the Murrumbidgeexxxi


Alick Osborne had a soft spot for his fellow countrymen and when he found that on the appointed day of sailing of the Adam Lodge the emigrants had all arrived in Londonderry but the ship had not yet arrived he felt compelled to allow each family two shillings for subsistence because their means was very limited. His empathy with his countrymen extended to those with brushes with the law and he wrote about a distinct difference between the Irish and the English convicts.

How different the warm, grateful attachment of these creatures (Irish convicts) who had received from me no kindness beyond the sober discharge of duty to that of the English convicts who went out with me at other times. Many are free and getting on well in Sydney and often have I observed them skulk past me in the street, and in the market at a quickened pace and looking askew least should I recognise them . I always rejoiced to hear they were doing well and always carefully abstained from hurting their feelings by accosting them. Paddy stands alone, an isolated being, for kindness and warmth of feeling and I can never sufficiently admire and applaud the sentiment of a distinguished foreign traveller, who attributes all Paddy’s faults “to a warm heart and a poetic imagination” xxxii


A less desirable and martinet aspect of Osborne’s nature was evidenced on April 7th 1837 when he found nine men in bed with their wivessurely not such an irregularity as they had been provided with double bunks. However, this ‘behaviour’ was classed as “contrary to regulations” and Osborne stopped their luxury items of tea, sugar and flour for one week. Notwithstanding this attempt at enforced chastity, there were six births en route or shortly after (Sarah Barry, James Kerrigan, Baby McNeilly deceased, Jane Moore, Baby Mundy and Rebecca Rogers). Docking of luxury items was of doubtful effect as he did not interfere with ordinary rations which consisted of 1 pound of bread a day, ⅔lb of beef on one day and ⅔ pound of pork on the next day, ½ pound cocoa every second day, ½ pound flour every second day, ⅛ pint of peas every second day, ½ pint of oatmeal weekly, ¼ pound of cheese weekly, ½ pint of vinegar weekly, 1 ounce sugar daily, and tea was rationed to ⅛ ounce one day then ¼ ounce the nextxxxiii.

Even with these restrictions, more breaches did occur of a more serious nature such as in the case on June 27th: A piece of meat of inferior quality was issued to the First Mess and rather than taking it to Osborne they threw it overboard with expressions of great indignation. Hearing of this, Osborne stopped the issue of meat to the First Mess for two days. On another occasion on June 27th an emigrant in the First Mess was found throwing the issue of bread indignantly around the deck and as well, the emigrant had been distinguished all the voyage by an expression of dissatisfaction-his language below had been turbulent and intimidating. Osborne stopped meat, tea, flour and sugar for the person involved for one week. He arranged to have administered severe punishment for repeated offences on the Convict ships. On the first journey as Surgeon on a convict ship, he punished a first offence (stealing clothes and throwing them into the water closet or overboard) with sixteen hours of solitary confinement on bread and water and for a second offence with a dozen lashesxxxiv. This may have been a standard punishment on convict ships and was probably not considered as harsh.



Letters and stories from the people of the Adam Lodge

Alick Fairly, in a letter back to Ireland, published in the Londonderry Journal in 1838

Dear Sir,

I write to you to let you know how I am, and how I have been since I left you. In the first place, I and the family am well, thank the almighty for it, and I hope this will find you the same way.We set sail from the Foyle on the 29th March and cast anchor in Port Jackson on the 13th July. I will give you the route of our course. First we passed the Bay of Biscay; second, Madeira; third, the Canary Islands; fourth, the Cape de Verde Islands; fifth, the equator or Line; sixth, the Cape of Good Hope; seventh, St Paul’s Island; eighth, Van Dieman’s Land; and ninth, we came to the long-looked for port.

The wages for Carpenters in Sydney are from 5s to 8s per diem; house-rent in Sydney is very dear; you would pay for any sort of middling good room 4s per week, unfurnished; milk, sweet 6d per quart; water 1 penny per bucket; and for one small head of cabbage, 6d; and potatoes 1s6d per stone. Now this is the worst side of the picture; we look at the other - beef and mutton, as good as ever was cut, from 3d to 4d per pound; first flour 20s per cwt; second do, 17s per do, and wheat meal, called ration flour, 14s per cwt. Tea and sugar are very cheap; I bought half a chest of the best Hyson Skia for £2 18s, weight 44 lbs., and one cwt. of sugar for 25s. The sugar was as good as you would pay 8d per lb for in Derry; oatmeal is 6d per lb., and as for clothes, they are much the same as for home. Tobacco is from 10d to 1s per lb. Carpenters tools are three times the price here that they can be bought for in Derry; all sorts of stationery, such as books, paper, etc., are very dear here. I paid 6s for Bonnycastle’s Mensuration. The cheapest drink here is rum, sold at 4s per quart.

It is but fair to tell you what Dr Osborne did for me. In the first place, he acted as a father to me on the passage, and when we landed he got me a situation with a gentleman to do the work of a new house for him, where I am as well as I can wish, and I get every indulgence. I have two guineas per week, a free house, fire, wood, and water and plenty of milk and garden stuffs for nothing. The first thing I intend to do is to buy some cows and a couple of mares, as I can have 500 head grazed gratis with the gentleman for whom I work; their increase will soon make me up, as it is by herds and flocks that the most of the people here make their fortunes. If I like to work after hours I can get timber for the cutting; and the price of the commonest chair, such as the old women hawk about in Derry, is 6 s, for a chest of drawers made in the commonest way £10, and forty people looking for such things for one you could supply.


The method of building in this country is much the same as at home with this exception, that there is a veranda in front of every house; but this is quite necessary on account of the heat of the climate. The building I am working at is 80 feet long by 50 feet wide, two stories high and no one to help me but one millwright. The timber used for building is cedar for the doors, sashes and trimmings; boxwood for the roof and joists (it is like the lancewood at home): for flooring we use a sort of wood called blue gum, just the same as your mortise gauge; there are a great many other varieties , mostly all of a red colour.

A little now of the climate, country and people. The climate cannot be exceeded in mildness. We landed in the last month of winter and every day since has been like September weather at home. You never saw so clear a sky in Ireland as I can see here without one cloud, so that you would think it was always summer were it not for a hoar frost which prevails every night in the winter time. As for the country it is the finest ever looked upon while the trees are evergreen without ever a fall of the leaf from any of them. But what is more curious they cast their bark every season. It produces every thing which you can desire to have, every sort of foreign fruit in the season for almost nothing. There are birds here of every plumage, but none are the same as in Ireland, with the exception of the cuckoo, which sings only at night, winter and summer. There are all sorts of parrots here, but no other pretty bird that I have seen.

The people here are not so bad as they are represented at home; the convict class of them are as modest men in general as I have seen anywhere. There are 100, 000 free people in the colony and 30,000 convicts. Drink is the downfall of thousands in this country. There is a great deal of work to be done here, and very few hands to do it. They want 10, 000 men here this year, and how are they to get them? You may answer it, for I can’t. Of black natives I need say nothing as you have a very good sketch of them in your geography. They call their wives Gins and they are the ugliest beings ever I laid eyes on.


So much for that. I hope you will send me a long one for this. Tell my mother-in-law and sister of our welfare. Tell AB he may be on the look out for a letter from me; I hope I will see him here yet. Remember me to my old friend B, and all my old friends.The town of Sydney is about twice as large as Derry, which contains no buildings to equal those in Sydney. A man can get everything be it for money. Watches are as cheap here as at home. The reason that I don’t mention any of my comrades is that they are all in town and I in the country. We had thirty deaths on the voyage. John Park, of Derry was one of them; the numbers were 25 children, 4 women and Park. May the Lord be with you, farewellxxxv.


Enoch Fowler.

On the manifest, Enoch was listed as a potter from County Tyrone. Enoch lost his wife and daughter on the journey out but, undeterred by these setbacks, he established a small pottery in 1837 and married Jane Lucas in 1838. By 1853, Enoch and Jane had at least eight children. In his Pottery, he started making ginger beer bottles and kitchenware on Parramatta Street. Using locally sourced clay,his production for the next twenty years centred on rough-glazed stoneware bottles, jars, plant pots and clay smoking pipes. The pottery moved to Glebe in 1848, first to Queen Street and then to Bay Street. By the late 1850's it had moved to a five acre site at Camperdown. In 1860 Fowler then began production of six-inch diameter drainpipes, edging tiles, bricks, chimney pots and laundry tubs.

When Enoch died in 1879, he had accumulated a substantial amount of property which can be seen in an outline of his will. Fowler Potteries also manufactured high-grade sanitary ware, otherwise known as toilet bowls. After his death in 1879, Fowlers potteries were run by Enoch’s son Robert and were listed as a public company. R. Fowler employed 400 people over the next 40 years and expanded their operations with their iconic kitchen accessories or ‘Fowlerware’. These included accessories painted in striking shades of blue, white and green, many examples of which can still be found in Australia today.xxxvi



James Allen, Presbyterian Minister

For almost 20 years, the Reverend James Allen had officiated as a parochial teacher in the parish of Erskine in Scotland, until in March 1837 he was appointed to one of the eight established Presbyterian churches being formed in Australiaxxxvii. He had been appointed by Lord Glenelg as chaplain for the emigrants on the ship Adam Lodge from Londonderry xxxviiiand his name is listed in Osborne’s Journal of Occurrences. Allen was kept busy throughout the journey conducting daily prayer meetings, Church Services each Sunday, mostly on the open deck, but sometimes in the women’s quarters in rough weather. He was also kept busy burying children and adults and baptising new born children. He had some disagreements with the Emigrants and on Wednesday May 10th he refused to baptise a Catholic child of Daniel and Mary Drane. Osborne stepped in and performed the ceremony stating the clergyman had some conscientious objection. When the ship arrived in Sydney, Allen claimed an annual stipend of £200 but the Government said he was not entitled to a stipend other than as an Itinerant Ministerxxxix.

Allen was appointed Presbyterian minister at Paramatta on August 16, 1837. Two months later, he was inducted to the pastoral charge of that congregation. In 1838, Allen took up a collection from the people of the Adam Lodge and raised a sum of £38 for the new church at Paramattaxl. The Reverend Dunmore Lang wrote a letter to Colonial Office in 1839 stating that Allen was the first appointment under a new ecclesiastical systemxli. Unfortunately for Allen, a schism in the church occurred at that time and he walked directly into a confrontation between McGarvie and Dunmore Lang. In January 1838, McGarvie submitted motions discussing the connection of the Presbytery with the Synod, and expelling Dr Lang.


Allen then got on the wrong side of his congregation and a petition charged that he be investigated with a view to his removal. This must have occurred because on June 21, 1841, a petition of the congregation of St Andrews at Paramatta asked for his reinstatementxlii. It was during his ministry and in spite of innumerable difficulties that work was begun on the fine old stone church in Church Street which was not finished until October, 1848xliii.

On the formation of the Synod in New South W ales by Reverend Dr Lang, Reverend Cunningham Atchison, originally from the established church, was stationed at Paramatta in March 1838 and so two Presbyterian groups operated until 5th October, 1840 when the two branches of the church were reunited. On 8th November, 1841, Mr Atchison and Mr Allen were withdrawn, Mr Atchison going to Wollongong and Mr Allen was appointed to Portland Head. However, Mr Allen remained at Paramatta and in 1843 he joined the Anglican Churchxliv.


Thomas Muldoon

The Campbells and Muldoons were in the Penrith area in their earliest days before moving north, the Muldoons to Paterson, the Campbells to Clarence Town. Muldoon had a farm where he grew tobacco and he had several people working for him. Campbell and his elder sons were shoemakers, in addition to owning a 90 acre farm across the river from Clarence Town. On a routine trip to Maitland with shoes in 1844, Robert Campbell was waylaid and murdered for the money he carried-a substantial £ 12. Early in May 1845, Jane decided to travel the 35 miles across to see her mother. She was to be away a week but the creek rose up, delaying her return. At Clarence Town, Thomas Rafferty, an employee of the Muldoons who was alleged to be on familiar terms with Jane, appeared. Jane set off to return home on horseback accompanied by her youngest brother Thomas, with Rafferty on foot. A few miles west at the creek, they encountered Thomas Muldoon who was irate because his wife was late back and in company he did not approve of. A brawl occurred between Rafferty and Muldoon who was killed. Jane and the brother who had ridden off a little returned and in a state of panic they tried to conceal the death by burning the body. All would have possibly have succeeded had Jane not taken her husband’s watch with her. Suspicions among neighbours remained low for quite a time but in 1849 all came out. The remains were discovered and a trial reported all in grisly detail. The upshot was that Rafferty was sentenced to 5 years for manslaughter and Jane to 2 years goal in Paramatta Penitentiary for harboring Rafferty. When Jane was released, she assumed her maiden name and married John Hammell at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in 1853xlv.



Robert and James Osborne

Related to Alick, Henry and John, it is not known what relationship existed between Robert and James. Robert Osborne and James Osborne were carpenters and when they arrived in Australia, they immediately headed to Wollongong and set up a building partnership. Unfortunately both James and daughter Ann died within a day of each other and were buried on the 23rd May, 1840. At his death, James left his property to his partner Robert but in 1842, Robert became bankrupt.

Despite a debt of £728, Robert’s assets were extensive, mostly in houses, shops and unproductive urban land. In March 1844, Robert was discharged from Bankruptcy but then his wife Rebecca died on 22nd May. This left him with five children under the age of 10 years so Robert married again on 14th November, 1844. When Robert died on 30th May, 1859 at the age of 51, he left considerable property which he had accrued from his work as a builder, undertaker and publicanxlvi.


John and Mary Boggs.

When John and Mary were living at Ferryquay St., Londonderry, they became aware that a free passage to Australia for certain class of mechanics was being offered. John and Mary were both outside the age guidelines but their children Robert, Nancy and Eliza could go under the guidelines. John and Mary became convinced that emigration for the whole family would be beneficial to everyone and they overcame the age barrier by giving false ages.

When they arrived in Sydney, the family found their own accommodation and John was engaged as a carpenter, earning 9 shillings a day. Of great concern to John and Mary was the health of Robert, his eldest son. Robert died in September and his funeral held in the Scott’s Church, officiated by Thomas McGarvie. He was buried in the Devonshire Street burial grounds in September 1836. There was much talk in Sydney about the opportunities in the Hunter Valley and John and Mary took their family there. By 1840, the family was living in Maitland and 17 year old Isabella married Henry Wood, a convict with a Ticket of Leave on 17th April, 1840 at the Presbyterian Church in Maitland. Henry got his certificate of freedom in 1848. On 21st June, 1841, John and Mary’s eldest daughter married George Munns, also a convict with a Ticket of Leave. John and Mary with their young family had numerous favourable references to them in the Maitland Mercuryxlvii.

On reflection on the success of the venture by the NSW Government, we can look at the comments made on the arrival of the ship in Sydney by the SYDNEY GAZETTE

Tuesday July 18, 1837.

By the Emigrant Ships the John Barry and the Adam Lodge, the former from Dundee, the latter from Londonderry, we have received seven hundred passengers under the care of , or the officers on board. There is, Drs Thompson and Osborne, R.N., these gentlemen having returned to the Colony with their respective charges. The arrival of so many useful labourers and mechanics at such a time of need, is highly satisfactory; and we are glad to learn that every attention, which under the present circumstances it has been possible to bestow, has not been wanting on the part of the Surgeons superintending. So far we have little to complain of. There is, however, one objection, which we have repeatedly urged as being detrimental in the highest degree to the Emigration System, even in the present improved form. We allude to the crowding of so many passengers in one ship. If with all the care which has been taken of the Emigrants by these two vessels, nearly fifty deaths have occurred, (and such we learn to be the fact.) there can be but little doubt that the loss of life on board every succeeding ship, will prove equally great – more particularly among families, the junior branches of which suffer the most. The plan proposed by us some months since, we are still persuaded would be found to answer the best. We recommended that, instead of an agent going from the Colony, to return with a cargo of Emigrants, consisting of three and four hundred persons, that he should be stationary in England, and that by every merchant vessel sailing for New South Wales, he might be empowered to send out, as steerage passengers, not more than fifty emigrants, to be placed under the special superintendence of a surgeon of character and ability, and with the distinct understanding that the captain should touch at the Cape of Good Hope, or some other port for fresh provisions. The benefit to be derived from this mode is at once apparent: a stream of Emigration would be constantly pouring into the Colony, the crowding system entirely done away with, and thus, the lives of many of the passengers would be spared. We earnestly recommend these few plain observations to the notice of the Government. The adoption of such a plan could not entail any extra expense, a consideration which we all know, invariably, even in cases of life and death weighs heavily with a liberal Government.


Then there was the comment by Frank Osborne.

How must they have felt on walking off the ship without their loved ones to face life in a raw-boned country? For example, Morris Callaghan’s wife lost her reason and died, their two children died and he walked off alone; David and Isabella Thompson lost three of their seven children; Andrew Stewart lost his wife and a son and was left to care for six other children.

But as Alick Osborne wrote, those who survived were delighted with their prospects. Such is the resilience of the human spiritxlviii.


i Inverell Times Obituary 10th July 1916 P2

ii Advertisement on P1 of the Londonderry Journal Tuesday 6th December 1836

iii Familia Vol 2, No 3, 1987 pp 87. Article by Pat McDonnell.

iv Letter to Governor Bourke by Osborne on arrival of Adam Lodge 13th July 1837 NSW State Archives COD 425.

v Quarantine Letters 4/2378 No 7188.

vi Alick Osborne and the Adam Lodge by Frank Osborne Pp22-26.


vii PRO Reel 861 CO 385 Vol 17,18,19,20 19th Jan to Osborne, 14th Jan to Governor Grey.

viii Journal of Occurrences Connected with Emigration 1836-1837 MS 248 entry for October 16th, 1836.

ix Doctor’s at Sea Robin Haines Pp94.


x Historical Records of Australia Alick Osborne’s testimony to the Inquiry before the House on July 22nd ,1837 Pp652-653.

xi Letter from Pam Jack November 10th, 1983.

xii Alick Osborne and the Adam Lodge by Frank Osborne Pp22-26.


xiii Clogher Record issue not known P.134.

xiv Erne Packet, March 23rd, 1837.

xv Journal of Occurrences Connected with Emigration 1836-1837 MS 248 entry for August 15th, 1836.

xvi Osborne’s in Early Illawarra by Frank Osborne published by Illawarra Historical Society Inc 2000 Pp4-5.


xvii Osborne’s in Early Illawarra by Frank Osborne published by Illawarra Historical Society Inc 2000 p.3.


xviii Letter to Alick Osborne from Surveyor’s of Shipping Port at Liverpool 8th February, 1837.

xix Derry Journal, Advertisement, April, 1834.


xx P112 of The Long Farewell by Don Charlewood.

xxi Ibid P112.

xxii Sydney Gazette 15th July 1837.

xxiii Alick Osborne and the Adam Lodge by Frank Osborne P20.

xxiv Doctors at Sea Robin Haines p94.

xxv Ibid Pp94

xxvi Historical Records of Australia Alick Osborne’s testimony to the Inquiry before the House on July 22nd ,1837 Pp652-653

xxvii ?????

xxviii Journal of Occurrences Connected with Emigration 1836-1837 MS 248 entry for April 28th, 1837.

xxix Journal of Occurrences Connected with Emigration 1836-1837 MS 248 entry for October 10th, 1836.

xxx Ibid October 16th, 1836.

xxxi The Illawarra Diary of Lady Jane Franklin, 10-17 May 1839.


xxxii Notes on the Present State of Society in NSW-Alick Osborne published by Cross 1833.

xxxiii Historical Records of Australia Alick Osborne’s testimony to the Inquiry before the House on July 22nd ,1837 Pp652-653.

xxxiv See The Convict Ships by Charles Bateson.

xxxv Australia….the early years Brian Mitchell Editor. Published by Genealogy Centre Northern Ireland Pp35-36.


xxxvi Various internet sites on Enoch Fowler, Potter.

xxxvii Centenary Souvenir 1837-1937 of St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Paramatta Pp5-8.


xxxviii Pro Reel No 861 C.O.365 Vol 17,18,19,20 Letter to Alick Osborne by Emigration Agent on 20th February, 1837.


xxxix Despatches A 1275 P389 and 387.


xl Richard Bourke’s Despatch 1837 A1267 Pt 5 P 850.


xli Reverend Dunmore Lang to Colonial Office A1281 P 157.


xlii Minutes of the Presbytery January 18, 1838.


xliii Enclosures 1838 Pp 24 P2084-6 A 1267-17.


xliv Centenary Souvenir 1837-1937 of St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Paramatta Pp5-8.


xlv Information supplied by Lois Carrington in letter of 9th November, 1983.


xlvi Osborne’s in Early Illawarra by Frank Osborne published by Illawarra Historical Society Inc 2000 Pp4-5.

xlvii Information collected by author from various sources including BDM’s and Newspaper References.

xlviii Alick Osborne and the Adam Lodge by Frank Osborne P19.