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Merchantman, Convict Voyage to Western Australia 1862-63

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ARRIVAL OF THE SEPTEMBER MAIL from The Perth Gazette and Independent Journal of Politics and News (WA : 1848 - 1864) of Friday the 14th of Nov 1862, Page 2. [1]

The York, convict ship, sailed from Portland on the 24th Sept. The ship Merchantman, of 1018 tons, belonging to Messrs. Soames, had been taken up to proceed to Bermuda, and thence with convicts to this colony. A vessel called the Earl Canning is stated in the Home News to have sailed from Liverpool for this, but we cannot hear anything re-specting her. The Palestine is still re-ported as loading.

GENERAL INTELLIGENCE from The Perth Gazette and Independent Journal of Politics and News (WA : 1848 - 1864) of Friday the 2nd of January 1863, Page 3. [2]

The removal of the detachment of the 12th Regiment, which has for some years past formed the garrison of Perth, will shortly be made to Fremantle, where it will be quartered in the Barracks formerly occupied by the Royal Engineers, until a vessel can be ob-tained for the transport to Sydney. A Pensioner force of 100 men will in future form the garrison, and will be obtained from the convict guards of the York and Merchant-man, which on this account each brings 50 pensioners. The new force requires more extended accommodation than sufficed for the regular troops, as each married man is entitled to two rooms, therefore in addition to the former military quarters, Mr. Ougden's premises have been hired for two years, by which time it is expected the new barracks to be erected on the rising ground at the west end of St. George's Terrace will be completed ; preparations for clearing the site were commenced yesterday, but materials have been for some time in progress in the Establishment and at the Claise Brook Brick Kilns. The building will be an exten-sive one of two stories, forming three sides of a quadrangle facing eastward, and will form a fine western termination to the main street of the metropolis.

SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE from The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) of Wednesday the 14th January 1863, Page 4. [3]

.....Merchantman, from Deal 20th October, for Swan River

Shipping Intelligence from The Enquirer and Commercial News (Perth, WA : 1855 - 1901) of Wednesday the 18th of February 1863, Page 2. [4]

Shipping Intelligence.


February 11 — Albert, 24 tons, Harford, master, from Champion Bay. Cargo — 34 bags wheat, 27 do bran, 220 do flour....

16 — Merchantman, 1018 tons, W. Gardner, commander, from Bermuda with 191 convicts, 8 warders, 50 guard, 38 women, and 61 children.

The Inquirer & Commercial News. (Quid verum atque decens, curo et rogo, et omnis in hoc sum). WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 1863 from The Inquirer and Commercial News (Perth, WA : 1855 - 1901) of Wednesday the 25th of February 1863, Page 2. [5]

The recent news from England respecting the state of public opinion on the subject of the Home ticket-of-leave system, and the consequent re-agitation of the Trans-portation question, has naturally attracted much attention in Western Australia, for if tickets of leave cease to be issued in the mother country, as a matter of course a larger number of convicts will be trans ported. Our capacity for absorption has, however, its limits, and therefore, great care must be exercised. If large bodies of men, eligible for ticket-of-leave on arrival or shortly afterwards, are introduced, the labour market will become disorganized, and some confusion, perhaps mischief, be the result. It is with regret we hear that the whole of the prisoners by the Merchant man are in this position, and also that the men who arrived by the York are already obtaining tickets-of-leave. The local autho-rities are aware of the difficulty, and every arrangement which prudence can suggest will, we believe, be made to avert the evils which would accrue from the sudden emancipation of a large number of prisoners ; but if ship-load after ship-load of men having but a short time to serve on public works, or perhaps entitled to labour on their own account on arrival, are sent, the task. of our officials will become one of great difficulty. If, however, convicts are sent to the colony after enduring the solitary confinement portion of their punishment in England, and serve the rest of their term on public works in Western Australia, receiving their tickets-of-leave in due course, there is no doubt but that a much larger number than is sent at present, might be received. Our machinery in this respect is as perfect as in the English Establishments, and the prisoners would have the advantage of becoming acclimatized and of gaining: some colonial experience....

The Merchantman, with 191 convicts, has added to our supply of labour, but not the labour required for public works, owing to the men, or the majority of them, being entitled at once, or very shortly, to their tickets-of-leave. Beyond the works before enumerated there is very little doing. The new Government House is progressing very slowly, two out of six towers having been roofed, and preparations are making to cover in a third. A large body of prisoners is still employed completing the interior. The metalling of St. George's Terrace between William and Barrack Streets, is nearly completed, and when this work is out of hand it is proposed to metal Barrack street. Some prisoners have been engaged lately in levelling Pier Street, and a party of six in removing clay from Mr G. Shenton's yard at the water side, and using the material for raising the street level with the Jetty. The toll-house, which is found to be in the way, will be removed, The road at the base of Mount EIiza has made but little progress during the past three months A single tram waggon has been carting sand and stone from one of the water side grants towards the lime kiln, and a very few men have been engaged, most of the Mount Eliza party being employed in clearing the site for the Pensioner Barracks and laying down a tram for the removal of sand from that spot to the lime kiln. A tramway will be laid from this latter place towards the jetty, and the material carted in that direction...

The Merchantman, 1018 tons, arrived on the 18th instant, with convicts. She has been engaged to take the detachment of the 12th Regiment to Sydney, and will sail about 7th March.

Advertising from The Inquirer and Commercial News (Perth, WA : 1855 - 1901) of Wednesday the 25th of March 1863, Page 3. [6]

Government Gazette Last week's Government Gazette noti-fies the appointment of Mr D. K. Congdon as Assistant Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths for the Murray District.

A list of prisoners arrived per " Mer-chantman, " awaiting employment at the various stations, with a description of their trades, is also published, of which the follow-ing is a summary : —

Convict Establishment. — 1 Sawyer, 1 Bootcloser, 1 Shipwright, 1 Bookbinder, 1 Screw forger, 4 Labourers, 1 Jeweller, 1 Dealer, 2 Plumbers, 2 Smiths, 1 Scale maker, 1 Bricklayer, 2 Clerks, 1 Stone-cutter, 1 Carver, 2 Masons, 1 Painter, 2 Carpenters, 1 Cooper, 1 Plasterer, 1 Gas fitter, 1 Engineer, 1 Roper, and 1 Up-holsterer.

Perth Prison. — 1 Glover, 11 Labourers, 1 Seaman, 1 Butcher, 1 Collier, 1 Striker, 1 Jockey, and 1 Weaver.

Claise Brook. — 1 Groom, 6 Labourers, 1 Gardener, 1 Stone-cutter, 1 Brickmaker, and 1 Malster.

North Fremantle. — 3 Weavers, 7 Labour-ers, 1 Shoemaker, 1 Drover, 1 Baker, 2 Mariners, 1 Turner, 1 Horsedealer, 1 Roper, and 1 Sawyer.

Rocky Bay. — 3 Labourers.

Yangedine, York Road. — 2 Moulders, 1 Carter, 12 Labourers, 1 Baker, 1 Chandler, 1 Painter, 1 Miner, 1 Printer, 2 Hatters, 1 Gun Smith, 1 Shoemaker; and 1 Boot-closer.

Champion Bay. — 1 Baker, 1 Smith, 1 Groom, 2 Shoemakers, 1 Miner, 1 Drover, 3 Labourers, 1 File cutter, and 1 Roper.

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