Sunday, 14 September 2008

Lady convicts, and anchovies cut a caper

Source: Sea Life Sixty Years Ago, by George Bayly. 1885.

Reading George Bayly should be compulsory. He's funny, humane, a great observer of people, and had some pretty amazing adventures. His book is short and easy to read for modern minds. It's not available online yet and seems only to have gone to one or two editions. If ever I make a website I'll scan the whole thing. I think the copy I have is a cheap American reprint from the early 1900s. I got it cheap. The ones on Abebooks are rather on the expensive side.

Over two chapters (this is the second of them) he describes his voyage on board the Almorah transporting female Irish convicts to Port Jackson. He records how they were berthed, how they lived, what they said. Because I can't upload all this to blogger, here is a little snapshot of what occured on the voyage from after they crossed the line until they arrived at Sydney in 1824. I've some other extracts from his book here.
The skipper of the Almorah got in a bit of trouble (Supreme Court Decsion 1 and Decision 2) in Sydney and that's how Bayly started his rather random wanderings over the Pacific.

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