Page 2 - newsletter-10th-edition
P. 2

Transported for Treason (Part 2)

          Slow progress along the English coast…
          In early 1818 ten of the Pentrich rebels were on board the convict ship Tottenham which was reported as
          'waiting about' Sheerness, being at the 'Nore' and moving to the 'Downs'. During February the Tottenham
          attempted to move from Sheerness in the Thames Estuary to the Nore where it joins the North Sea and onto
          the Downs in the Channel off the coast from Dover. Storms meant the ship went back to Sheerness for
          repairs after getting to Dover.
          A journey of just over an hour by road today but what was it like in cold and foggy weather facing storms and
          heading back to Sheerness? Conditions on the ship Tottenham were poor for the Derbyshire men in the
          early weeks on board the ship as it stayed near the Kent coast. Blankets and clothes were often soaking
          wet, some of the prisoners suffering with illnesses.
          John Bacon (54) - diarrhoea and frequent mention in the surgeon's log for six months, including chest pains
          and difficult breathing.
          George Weightman (26) -  'rigors succeeded by severe pain in his back loins and over all his limbs' in
          January but improving in February.
          John Mckesswick (37) and Joseph 'Manchester' Turner (19) - diarrhoea.

          Convict ships had a surgeon appointed by the government. On the Tottenham, Robert Armstrong, tended
          the health of all on board the ship. He was kept busy during the rest of the voyage to Australia.

           By March 1818 - the Tottenham was back at Dover after returning to Sheerness 'in consequence of her
          rudder being damaged'. A heavy storm on the 4  March broke the ship from her anchor and the ship drifted
          for a mile at sea. ‘A most tremendous Gale of Wind was experienced on Wednesday night’ - the Lloyd's list
          for the day is a catalogue of wrecks and losses. By 10  March, the ship Isabella was also at Dover with the
          four Derby prisoners too ill to move from prison in December 1817. The two ships waited and prepared to be
          'outward bound' on the next leg of the voyage down the English Channel.

          By the 15  March, both the Tottenham and the Isabella were moored at Spithead in the important port of
          Portsmouth. The Tottenham left first on 27  March but ran into more trouble that needed further repairs to
          the rudder that had also been the cause of the return to Sheerness in January. By 31  March, the
          Tottenham was in Plymouth to repair the rudder - critical for steering and control, it was fortunate that the
          damage was spotted before leaving the relative safety of the English southern coast. The Isabella was a
          new ship, but after leaving on 3  April had more trouble connected with discipline on the voyage.

                                                Forthcoming exhibitions

           The Genealogy Exhibitions are coming…                 Transported for treason.

         This  summer  we  hope  to  mount  exhibitions         As  we  move  into  the  autumn  our  exhibitions  will
         focusing on the family trees of the 400 men who        focus on the fourteen men who were transported to
         took part in The Pentrich Revolution. These will       Australia. What became of them  – and the families
         be  held  at  local  libraries;  council  offices  and   that they left behind?
         community events and we hope to see many of
         you  there.  We  are  particularly  interested  in     Two of our books take up the story in more detail;
         meeting  new  people  who  think  that  they  may      England’s  Last  Revolution  by  John  Stevens  and
         have a Pentrich Revolutionary in their family tree.    Transported  for  Treason by Ralph Hawkins. (See
         Sylvia Mason is our resident genealogist and has       Page 4 for more details.)
         amassed a lot of information about the rebels…         The  finale  for  this  exhibition  will  be  in  Sydney
         but she is always looking for more!
                                                                Australia  in  mid-October  so  that  the  Australian
            Look  out  for  the  flyer  and  keep  an  eye  on  the   descendants can learn more about the story of their
         website.                                               ancestors.
   1   2   3   4