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15th Aug, 1841
Major Cumberland 99 other ranks
Some information recorded about the "Tortoise" by convict Lesley Albertson.

Information supplied by Fleming Neil


TORTOISE       1841   H.M.Ship[6]

In September 1841 the Tortoise sailed from Spithead, Portsmouth, Captain James Wood commanding, and departed Plymouth on October 26th with 394 male prisoners from varying hulks and prisons.  The Guard was commanded by Major Cumberland, aided by two officers, one Staff Officer and 99 Regulars of Foot of the 96th Regiment, and families.  The tonnage is now stated as 1000 tons and the ship is mounted with two guns.

On February 19th 1842 the Tortoise arrived in Hobart Town, Van Diemen's Land.  The Surgeon was Thomas Brownrigg.  In his report on March 5th he refers to the fact that statistically when it is considered that the Ship left England with 651 Souls on board, & that some of the Convicts, & all the Soldiers, Women & Children were 27 weeks on board - the mortality must cer­tainly be considered as low. Mr. Brownrigg then recommended that a better system of air ventilating pumps be set up below decks for passengers and con­victs.  He concluded his report with: 35 of the Soldiers were entered on Sick-List, several with Pneumonia & Inflammatory complaints, & some of the Women were ill with Dysentery (sic), but none of either have died.  Five women were delivered of  Children on board during the voyage, the last one stillborn in conse­quence of a breach presentation.  Three deaths occurred during the passage, all convicts.  On our arrival here we had rather a large number affected with Spongy gums, and other symptoms of Scurvy, but not one confined to bed with that com­plaint, & most of the cases so slight as not to require any treatment.  The authorities here consider the Prisoners to have been landed in an unusually healthy [condi­tion].

On March 16th the Tortoise departed Hobart Town for the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, arriving at Kororareka on the 21st.  The ship was charged with obtaining timber for the Admiralty.  Between this arrival date and June 19th the ship gathered Kauri timber along the Coromandel coast  (Tairua) and obtained, as a result, 103 masts for the Admiralty. 

An entry in the ship’s log says:

June 19th: Sailed for home - Taking with us the widow and family of Governor Hobson.

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Last revised: Thursday, 28 May 2009 04:03:24