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The Derby Mercury - Wednesday, January 10th 1838.
Alexander Millington, Transported 14 years

Derbyshire Epiphany Sessions Results of trials of prisoners Alexander Millington, aged 49, John Millington, aged 24 and William Millington, aged 20, stealing at the township of Mapperley, six pair of boots, 2 pair of shoes, and a quantity of leather, the property of John Hardy - Alexander Millington, transported 14 years, John Millington and William Millington, acquitted

Name: Alexander Millington
Vessel: Lord Lyndoch
Convicted Date: 2 Jan 1838
Voyage Date: 2 Apr 1838
Colony: New South Wales
Place of Conviction: Derby, Derbyshire, England

 

From 1787 to 1868 more than 160,000 men, women, and children were exiled under what the British government called “The System” or “transportation.” Rather than build more prisons or fill more hulks to deal with its growing convict population, they had devised a system of human trash disposal that seemed to have real merits. The felon was “mercifully” left alive, and yet he was still completely removed—out of sight and out of mind; thus “transportation got rid of the prison as well as the prisoners.

The Lord Lyndoch was built in Calcutta in 1815 and was of AE1 class, it weighed 638 tons.

On her third visit to New South Wales as a convict transport The Lord Lyndoch left Woolwich on 28 March 1838 and Portsmouth on 4 April 1838, this is where Alexander Millington went on board, there was a total of 432 souls on board. As well as Captain Stead and Surgeon Pineo they included Major and Mrs Campbell of HM 51st Regiment and Ensign Dixon. Travelling steerage were Sergeant and Mrs Ashendon with their two children plus 46 marines and 51 of the guards from several regiments accompanied by eight women and nine offspring, undoubtedly families of some of the soldiers. In addition, of course, were the convicts who were categorised as "lading" by the ship's master. The voyage to New South Wales was uninterrupted by ports-of-call and there was no outbreak of contagious disease (such as cholera) during the voyage. One isolated death had occurred a month or so after leaving England and, to quote the captain's report on arriving in Sydney on 8 August 1838, "In Scurvy we have 160. Several have died of it." This last was not remarkable considering the ship had not refreshed its food and water supplies over the eighteen weeks of its voyage from England.

In those days, detailed medical records had to be kept by the ships' doctors who accompanied convict transports to New South Wales. Surgeon Pineo was undoubtedly conscientious in this regard for his prescribed journal exists for this voyage of the Lord Lyndoch, as do his embarkation and final reports on the health record of the passage. His last account ran into eight crowded pages and was tendered to "Sir Wm. Burnett, MD, Physician General, HM Navy". The complete chronicle was kept between March 14 and September 6, 1838; it makes interesting, informative reading to illustrate how the British authorities kept the health and welfare of transported convicts, soldiery, guards and ships' passengers and crew in mind, at least during the first half of the early nineteenth century.

During this, the third voyage of the Lord Lyndoch as a convict transport, Pineo maintained a daily log of all cases presented to him for treatment en voyage including references to medicines prescribed, the patients' progress and cures effected. For instance he noted that he treated sixteen prisoners who had been scalded by boiling tea, of whom one died. Nineteen prisoners died en route to the colony,  eight from scurvy and eleven of old age and diseases contracted before embarkation. After passing the Cape of Good Hope scurvy manifested itself in the prisoners leading to the hospitalisation of 119 of them, although the non-convict complement on the ship seemed to have escaped the complaint.

The surgeon explained how he inspected the convicts twice a day, saw that they were kept clean, dry and exercised, dosed them with hot vinegar and chloride of lime on alternate days, he wrote that their diet was "generous" and that they were in bed by 8 pm. The report goes into much more detail than this, indicating that the prisoners were treated as humanely as possible on such a long voyage, even making allowances for the probability that reality was not as benevolent as it was made out to be or as regulations insisted it should be.


Sydney History - Australia
The old Sydney Hyde Park Convict Barracks - Built in the early Australian colony to house convicts.


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