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BRIEF NOTICES OF OTHER CONVICT SHIPS.
THE CONVICT SHIP
EMBARKED in England, for Tasmania, on the 24th March 1845, two hundred and twenty convicts, all of whom were on the following July, safely landed at Hobart Town. Our system of instruction and management was in full and satisfactory operation during the whole period of the prisoners' detention on board. Their general conduct was in a high degree gratifying, and before the debarkation took place, one hundred and fifty-two confessed their faith in Christ, and appeared to prove their devotedness to the Redeemer, by a happy conformity to his revealed will. Not a death occurred on board ;—three hundred and twenty-nine persons, including guard, crew, and prisoners, embarked in England, and three hundred and twenty-nine were landed at Hobart Town.
THE CONVICT SHIP
Was employed between October 5th 1847, and May 20th 1848, in conveying two hundred convicts from England to Tasmania, and six hundred and ninety-eight convicts from Norfolk Island to Tasman's Peninsula. Of the two hundred who embarked in England, one hundred and thirty-two seemed, during the voyage, to have turned to the Lord by the belief and obedience of the gospel. And during our two brief trips
from Norfolk Island, the six hundred and ninety-eight were managed by the power of Christian instruction and kind treatment; their iron fetters having all been struck off, by my orders, during the passage. Three times every day we met for the reading and exposition of Scripture, exhortation, and prayer. No punishments were inflicted on board this transport.
THE CONVICT SHIP "HASHEMY." Between the 24th and 29th November 1848, two hundred and thirty-seven convicts were embarked in the “Hashemy" for New South Wales. This vessel having been visited by cholera, was detained at Mother Bank until the 11th February, when we weighed, and proceeded on our voyage, with our number reduced to two hundred and twelve, seven having been for various reasons removed from the transport, and eighteen having been carried off by the pestilence. The Divine influence of Christianity on the minds and character of the prisoners on board the “Hashemy” was nearly as conspicuous as on former occasions, and, in some respects, even more striking and satisfactory. One hundred and fifty-one gave, before they landed in the colony, hopeful evidence of their conversion to God.
REPORT OF THE PRINCIPAL SUPERINTENDENT OF CONVICTS.
“ New South Wales. “I have the honour to report, for the information of his Excellency the Governor, that the ship ‘Hashemy' arrived in Port Jackson on the 8th instant, having on board two hundred and twelve convicts from the Millbank, Parkhurst, Pentonville, and Wakefield prisons, under the superintendence of Dr Browning, R.N.
“On the following day I proceeded on board the vessel and inspected the prisoners, their prison, hospital, &c., and was very much pleased with the cleanly and respectable appearance of the men, and the order and regularity presented by every part of the ship allotted to them. They expressed themselves perfectly satisfied with their provisions, and spoke
in the most grateful terms of the unwearied attention of Dr Browning to their wants and interests in every respect during the voyage.
“I beg further to report, that, on the 14th instant, after the completion of their muster, the men were permitted to make engagements with persons who were allowed to go on board for that purpose, by an order from me; and it seems worthy of remark, that, although at the time of the Hashemy's' arrival, there were four emigrant ships in the harbour, containing about one thousand souls, all these men, with the exception of fifty-nine who were removed to Moreton Bay and Clarence River, where labour was urgently required, were hired to respectable landholders and sheep farmers within six days of their being ready to engage, at wages averaging from £12 to £16 a-year, and some mechanics at £28 per annum ; the boys receiving from £8 to £11 per annum ; besides which, there are now applications in my office from private individuals and others in different parts of the country, for a larger number of this class of labourers than can be supplied by the arrival of several convict ships.
“I cannot conclude my report without expressing the great satisfaction I have felt at the high state of moral feeling exhibited in the conduct and bearing of the convicts by the ‘Hashemy; one which made itself apparent to all who went on board that vessel to engage servants, and which I believe to have been effected by the judicious management and discipline of the surgeon-superintendent, no doubt acting on minds already humbled by their previous imprisonment, but evidently brought about by his assiduous and constant attention to their moral training. Indeed, to so high a standard has he brought the principles and feelings of these men, that punishment on board during the voyage was unknown, beyond the placing of some one or two in coventry,—a punishment which was so carried out by the other men, that the culprit was as completely in solitary confinement, in the midst of his fellow-prisoners, as if he had been confined in a silent cell in the prison from whence he came; a circumstance unprecedented in any convict ship that ever brought prisoners out here, and
is certainly most creditable to the exertions of Dr Browning, as well as to the feelings of the men.
(Signed) “J. M'LEAN. “Principal Superintendent of Convicts' Office,
Sydney, 25th June 1849." The impression, as stated by Captain M‘Lean, which the appearance and deportment of the prisoners made on the minds of the settlers who were admitted on board the “Hashemy” was most favourable, and gave them in the view of many, a decided preference to the emigrants who had lately arrived in Port Jackson, and were yet on board their respective ships. A gentleman who had visited the emigrants before he had boarded the "Hashemy," told me that the superiority of the convicts was so marked, that he could not think of returning to engage servants from among the former. I think it due to the prisoners to state a circumstance which bore a decided testimony to the effects of Christian instruction in the improved moral sense of the prisoners. A distinguished and influential settler came on board to engage servants, and a considerable number both of men and boys were admitted to the quarterdeck to hear his proposals ; but the moment they heard the language which proceeded from his lips, language totally dissimilar to any they had heard among themselves during their voyage, and which they had been taught by their Bibles to avoid and abhor, they began to steal away, and retired out of hearing to the decks they had been accustomed to occupy, so that the gentleman went over the ship's side, and returned to the shore, unable to engage a single servant, or obtain another hearing from the men in the “ Hasheiny." Several respectable persons, and among others an intelligent and experienced police magistrate, spoke to me of the very superior appearance and conduct of my men, on landing in the colony; and shortly before I sailed from Sydney, a gentleman very courteously introduced himself to me, in order to inform me of the conduct of a body of my men, whom he had seen debark from a steamer somewhere in the colony. He proceeded to mention that the moment they landed, their first
business was to inquire where fresh water could be obtained ; after which they proceeded to wash their persons and make themselves as clean and tidy as possible. They next sought for a suitable place in which they might meet once more, before they finally parted, for the exercises of devotion. Having found it, they united, according to their daily practice in the “Hashemy,” in reading together a portion of the Scriptures, and then lifting up their hearts in prayer and thanksgiving, committed each other to the Divine and gracious keeping of their God and Saviour before they separated, and proceeded to their respective masters. My informant added, that such procedure was unknown in the colony, and that it made a deep and solemn impression on the minds of the inhabitants of the neighbourhood. Sometime after my return to England, I received a gratifying letter from Captain M'Lean, acquainting me with the continued good behaviour of my men, and enclosing testimonials from two honourable members of the Legislative Council, in favour of a considerable number whom they had engaged and employed at their respective stations up the country.
From another gentleman connected with the colonial government, and who had the best opportunity of making himself well acquainted with the character of my people, both before and after they debarked, I received a communication, from which I make the following extract:
“I have pleasure in stating to you, that the convicts by the 'Hashemy still continue to maintain a character for honesty and good conduct unequalled by any prisoners who have arrived here. Their masters speak in high terms of the standard of their morals, and appear to be exceeding grateful to you for the mode of treatment which you must have adopted to bring the men to such a sense of their position ; you have indeed made an impression on the prisoners' minds, which, under the blessing of Divine providence, I feel little doubt will be the means of restoring them again to rectitude of conduct. They appear to be influenced, not so much by a fear of punishment, as by the dictates of a mind thoroughly cleansed, and sifted by the reformatory process they, have