Untold lives blog

10 posts from March 2022

30 March 2022

The travel writer Mary Ann Parker

Mary Ann Parker's A voyage round the world in the Gorgon man of war (1795) was the first travel memoir, by a European woman, of her voyage and visit to New South Wales.  Beyond this memoir, and grant applications made to the Literary Fund, Mary Ann Parker's origins, family, and later biography remained obscure.  Here, I historically identify Mary Ann Parker's father as the Georgian medical practitioner, John Burrows.

Black and white view of Sydney with boats in the bay and buildings along the shore.Fernando Brambila, View of Sydney (1793) British Library Online Gallery Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

Burrows was a London apothecary’s son who identified himself at different times as a ‘surgeon’, a ‘doctor of physick’, and an MD.  A medical adviser who was sometimes favoured by wealthy patients and patrons; who travelled and worked as a doctor in other European countries; who translated, wrote, and published medical books; who obtained a patent in 1772 for Velnos vegetable syrup, from the sales of which another man later succeeded in making a fortune; and who was described as a ‘druggist’ when he was declared bankrupt in August 1783, a few months after his daughter Mary Ann Burrows married a Royal Navy officer, John Parker, in London.

Title page of A voyage round the world by Mary Ann ParkerMary Ann Parker,  A voyage round the world in the Gorgon man of war (1795) Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

Mary Ann Parker completed the fifteen month return voyage to New South Wales with her husband, Captain John Parker, of HMS Gorgon, in 1791-2.  She had previously travelled with her parents, in Europe, in 1775-82.  Living in Spain and Italy, and travelling home through France.

In September 1782, Amelia Barry, who was stranded in Pisa, entrusted ‘Dr Burrows’ to carry a letter to Benjamin Franklin in Paris. Observing that

Docr. Burrows, the Gentleman who will have the honour to present you this letter, is one of the few friends to whom I am under infinite obligations.   During his residence in Tuscany, I have found united in his Person, the character of a skilful Phisician, and a most sincere Friend: To my lasting regret, he is going with his family, to England.

By the time Amelia Barry next wrote to Franklin in February, ‘Miss Burrows’ was married to John Parker, at a wedding on Monday 29 January 1783, in her home parish of St James Piccadilly in London.

John Parker obtained promotion to Lieutenant from February 1783.  It was Lieutenant John Parker who purchased insurance for the Burrows' new London home on James Street, Golden Square, and was probably the leaseholder.  Within a few months of being declared bankrupt, Burrows obtained his certificate, and recommenced trading. He was listed in London directories up to the mid 1790s.

A quack doctor stands outside his house surrounded by a pyramid of bottles inscribed 'Velnos Syrup', one of which he holds up, demonstrating its virtues with a complacent smile to a band of rival practitioners who are furiously threatening his barricade.Thomas Rowlandson, Mercury and his advocates defeated, or vegetable intrenchment (1789). The pyramid of bottles is inscribed 'Velnos Syrup'. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Captain John Parker, by then of HMS Woolwich, died of yellow fever in Martinique in 1794.  His widow did not marry again. In 1818, the Parkers' eldest daughter, Margaret, married Robert Vincent, a solicitor.  In 1841, the census enumerator found ‘Mary Parker’, aged ‘70’, at home on Harpur Street, Holborn in London with her two granddaughters, aged 15 and 20.  All three were described as independent, not as employed or in school.

By 30 August 1848, the Vincent family had moved to Connaught Terrace, where Mary Ann Parker died, aged 82.  Mary Ann Parker’s death notice appeared in the Gentleman’s Magazine, edited by John Bowyer Nichols, whose father, John Nichols, had printed and appreciatively reviewed A voyage round the world in the Gorgon man of war (1795).

Dr Charlotte MacKenzie
Independent Researcher

Further reading:
Marie E. McAllister ‘John Burrows and the vegetable wars’, Linda Evi Merians (ed) The secret malady: venereal diseases in eighteenth century Britain and France (1996), pp. 85-102.
Charlotte MacKenzie, The travel writer Mary Ann Parker (2022).

28 March 2022

Those who Lust and those who Lack: Tyranny and Passivity in Early Modern English writing on the Ottomans

In A Voyage into the Levant (1636), Henry Blount creates a number of stereotyped images of Turkish people he encountered during his travels through the Ottoman Empire by stating that they were ‘addict[ed] to sodomy’ (Tiryakioglu, 2015, p. 134).  Blount, according to Rosli and Omar (2017), travelled to the Levant and stayed there for 52 days.  He then made a five-day stop in Constantinople before making his way to Egypt.  Blount even goes as far as to circulate false information about the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).  He claims that the Prophet himself thought those who followed his teachings were ‘rude and sensual’ (Blount, 1636, p. 121) and that he wished to trick them into believing in the false paradise for which they were fighting (for example, when the Ottomans invaded the Levant in 1516): ‘Mahomet [...] made not his Paradise to conflict in Visions, and Hallelujahs; but in delicious fare, pleasant Gardens, and Wenches with great eyes [...] he promises that their Souls shall suddenly have given them young lusty bodies, and set in Paradise, eternally to enjoy those pleasures [...]’ (p.122).

Castles Sultaniye and Kilitbahir on the European and Asiatic shores of the DardanellesThe castles Sultaniye and Kilitbahir on the European and Asiatic shores of the Dardanelles from Henry Blount, Zee- en Land-Voyagie Van den Ridder Hendrik Blunt, Na de Levant. Gedaan in het Jaar 1634 (1707) via Wikimedia Commons

Thus, it appears that Blount was attempting to demonise the Ottomans in the minds of his reader due to English anxieties about increased Anglo-Ottoman trade at the start of the 17th century (Ágoston, 2013; Erkoç, 2016).  This attempt to demonise the Ottomans as self-indulgent and barbaric also recurs in The Totall Discourse of the Rare Adventures and Painfull Peregrinations (1632) by William Lithgow.  Lithgow recounts what he witnessed of the Ottoman slave trade whilst visiting a market in Constantinople and, as a result of his experiences, warns his reader that Turkish people are ‘extremely inclined to all sorts of lascivious luxury ... besides all their sensual and incestuous lusts, unto sodomy, which they account as a dainty to digest [with] all their other libidinous pleasures’ (Lithgow, 1632, p.105).

The stereotyped cultural Ottoman figure that features in Blount’s and Lithgow’s writing also affected early modern dramatic portrayals of Ottomans as violent, lustful, and, politically corrupt.  The theatrical Turkish type may have generally encouraged early modern resurgences of crusading rhetoric, whereby the First Crusade in 1095 was seen as a means to relieve the Orient from what European Christians perceived as barbarism.  However, the endorsement of English crusading rhetoric against Ottomans in early modern writing are a point of contention for Roger Boyle in his play, The Tragedy of Mustapha (1665).  Boyle depicts his Sultan Solyman’s killing of Mustapha, not as being driven by violent impulse but instead, as being driven by the Sultan’s fear that his throne—and therefore, the safety of his subjects—is at risk of being disrupted by Mustapha.  Mustapha is also humanised by Boyle because, in submitting to his death sentence without retaliation, Mustapha fulfils his political duty to his father.  Thus, Boyle represents the disastrous consequences that occur (in the form of Mustapha’s death) when a ruler forces their actions to align with, or to conform to, the expectations of the stereotyped violent Ottoman.

Aisha Hussain
Doctoral researcher at the School of English, University of Salford

Further reading:
Ágoston, G. (2013). ‘War-Winning Weapons? On the Decisiveness of Ottoman Firearms from the Siege of Constantinople (1453) to the Battle of Mohács (1526)’. Journal of Turkish Studies, 39 (1), pp.129-143.
Blount, H. (1636). A Voyage into the Levant. London: Andrew Crooke.
Erkoç, S. (2016). ‘Dealing with Tyranny: Fulke Greville's Mustapha in the Context of His Other Writings and of His View on Anglo-Ottoman Relations’. The Journal of Ottoman Studies, 47(1), pp.265-90.
Boyle, R. (1665). The Tragedy of Mustapha, the son of Solyman the Magnificent. In: The Dramatic Works of Roger Boyle, Earl of Orrery: Volume One, ed. by William Smith Clark II. (1937). Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
Lithgow, W. (1632). The Totall Discourse of the Rare Adventures and Painefull Peregrinations of Long Nineteene Yeares Travailes from Scotland to the Most Famous Kingdomes in Europe, Asia and Affrica.
Rosli, U.N.B.M., (2017). ‘References of Sexuality in Relation to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in 17th-19th Century Selected French and English Orientalist Travelogues’. Arab World English Journal, 1(4), pp.68-82.
Tiryakioglu, N. O. (2015). The Western image of Turks from the Middle Ages to the 21st century: the myth of 'terrible Turk' and 'lustful Turk’. Published Doctoral Dissertation, Nottingham Trent University.

This blog post is part of a collaborative series with Medieval and Early Modern Orients (MEMOs).  On the last Monday of every month, both Untold Lives and MEMOs' own blog will feature a post written by a member of the MEMOs team, showcasing their research in the British Library collections.  Follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #BLMEMOS.


24 March 2022

Sources for Madame Cama, Indian Political Activist

The struggle for Indian independence from British rule was not only carried on in India, but was eagerly pursued by Indian activists and revolutionaries across the world, particularly in Europe and America.  The India Office Records contains some fascinating files on one such activist, Bhikhaiji Rustom Cama, more often known as Madame Cama.

Stamp of India 1962 depicting Bhikhaiji Cama.Stamp of India 1962 depicting Bhikhaiji Cama. Copyrighted work of the Government of India, licensed under the Government Open Data License - India (GODL)

Born in 1861 into a wealthy Parsi family in Bombay, Madame Cama was educated at the Alexandra Parsi Girls School in Bombay, and later married Rustom Cama, a lawyer and son of the prominent Parsi reformer K R Cama.  With her health suffering due to her work as social worker during the 1897 plague epidemic in Bombay, Madame Cama travelled to Britain in 1901.  She would spend the next three decades working tirelessly for Indian freedom from British rule, becoming known as the ‘Mother of Indian Revolution’.  In 1907, Madame Cama moved to Paris, where she was at the centre of a small group of Indian nationalists.  That year she also travelled to Stuttgart for the International Socialist Conference, where she spoke of the poverty of the Indian people due to British rule, and unfurled the National flag of India 'amid loud cheers' as reported in the Manchester Courier.

The India Office was greatly concerned at the influence of Indian activists abroad, and through the intelligence services kept a close eye on their activities.  In 1915, the India Office received a copy of a letter sent to the Foreign Office from the British Political Officer in Basra, along with a specimen of Bande Mataram, the pamphlet published by Madame Cama, found in an Indian soldier’s kit.  In his letter, he asked: 'In view of the existing conditions of war and of close alliance with France, could the French Government be got to arrest Madame Cama and put her away somewhere?'  A note in the file suggested such a move would do more harm than good and pointed out: 'The lady is under close observation, and is not now in a position to tamper with Indian troops'.  By February 1917 more direct action had been taken, with the newspaper Call reporting that 'Madame B. Cama, editor of the "Bande Mataram", a Hindu paper published in Paris, is one of the most important women who have been denied their liberty.  She was interned in Paris at the special request of the British Government'.

Intelligence Report on Indian Communists 1924Intelligence Report on Indian Communists -  British Library IOR/L/PJ/12/49 f.134 Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

In the 1920s and 1930s, surveillance of Indian activists continued.  Madame Cama appears in several of the files of Indian Political Intelligence, the branch of British Intelligence responsible for monitoring Indian nationalist in the UK, Europe and America, and some examples are given below in the suggestions for further reading. 

Intelligence Report on Indians in Europe Intelligence Report on Indians in Europe - British Library IOR/L/PJ/12/50 f.14 Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

Madame Cama's health had never fully recovered from her social work in 1897, and her work, combined with continual government hostility, strained it further.  As she wrote to the Russian political activist Maxim Gorky in 1912: 'All my time and energy are devoted to my country and her struggle'.  In November 1935, she returned to India, and died shortly afterwards in August 1936.

John O’Brien
India Office Records

Further Reading:
Pamphlets published by Madame Cama of a seditious nature and names of four Indians implicated in sedition, April-May 1915, shelfmark IOR/L/PS/11/91, P 1667/1915.

Indian agitators abroad; containing short accounts of the more important Indian political agitators who have visited Europe and America in recent years, and their sympathisers, compiled in the Criminal Intelligence Office, 1st edition, November 1911 (Simla: Government Monotype Press, 1911), shelfmark IOR/V/27/262/1.

Chowdhury, Bulu Roy, Madame Cama: a short life-sketch (New Delhi: People’s Publishing House, 1977), shelfmark Mss Eur F341/108.

Indian Political Intelligence files at British Library:
IOR/L/PJ/12/49: Indian Communist Party: intelligence reports, 1923-1924 - Madame Cama is mentioned in the papers at folios 134 and 187-190.
IOR/L/PJ/12/50: Indian Communist Party: intelligence reports, 1924-1925 - Madame Cama is mentioned in the papers at folios 12-16.
IOR/L/PJ/12/174: Activities and passport application of Mandayam P Tirumal Acharya, 1926-1933 - Madame Cama is mentioned at folio 12.
IOR/L/PJ/12/219: Activities of Indians and Afghans in Paris: activities, 1924-1925 - Madame Cama is mentioned in the papers at folios 10, 11 and 18.
IOR/L/PJ/12/667: M.I.5. B[lack].L[ist]. Volume XXI (Indian Volume), 1921 - Madame Cama is mentioned in the entry for Sirdar Singhji Revabhai Ranna on page 57.

Foreign Office papers regarding Madame Cama can be found at the UK National Archives, references FO 800/56B.

British Newspaper Archive (also available via Findmypast):
Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 23 August 1907.
India, 30 August 1907.
The Call (London), 01 February 1917.

The Open University, ‘Making Britain, Discover how South Asians shaped the nation, 1870-1950’.

Asians in Britain: 400 years of history, Rozina Visram (London: Pluto Press, 2002).


22 March 2022

Revealing prints at the British Library

I joined the British Library as a Curator of Prints and Drawings in January this year to work on a research project led by Felicity Myrone.  This aims to improve records for prints at the British Library, focussing on works held both by the Library and our sister organisation the British Museum.

I match books or albums at the Library with the relevant print records at the Museum, and an ingenious spreadsheet system devised by my colleague Victoria Morris creates draft MARC records for me to edit.  We are able to create quickly a high volume of print-level records for images within the British Library for the first time.

I examine each book, album or set of prints and alter and augment the relevant British Museum data to cover the history, condition and make-up of the Library’s copies.  The records will be uploaded to our online catalogue in due course, and in the meantime I plan to blog regularly, highlighting interesting items.

The first album of prints I catalogued was Venationes ferarum avium, piscium... [shelfmark: 1899.cc.71.], a set of engravings after Stradanus (1523-1605) depicting intriguing hunting techniques.

Crane Hunt Using ConesDetail from ‘Plate 40: Crane Hunt Using Cones’, from Venationes ferarum avium, piscium... Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

The stamping and an inscription on the first page of this album confirms that it once belonged to Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753), whose collection became one of the foundations of the British Museum and Library.  Tracing the ownership, or provenance, of the prints in the British Library is crucial as it will help shed light on how these objects were assembled and collected.

I was able to utilise the British Museum’s records [numbers 1957,0413.37 to 1957,0413.123] to identify that our album did not contain the full set of engravings from the Venationes, but a selection of 38 plates taken from different editions.  Our album shows many signs of use, with three different numbering sequences added in pen to the pages, a doodle, and some details which were pricked for transfer.

Doodle of a chicken and an owl

Doodle of a chicken and owl on the verso of plate 8 Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

Detail of a dog pricked for transferDetail of a dog pricked for transfer on plate 60 Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

The album also includes a print which does not belong to the original series.  It is a fragment of a woodcut map pasted on the first page.  Thanks to the lettering on the fragment, I was able to identify it as a section of the Mappe-monde nouvelle papistique, a satirical world-map published in Geneva in 1566.  The full map is made up of sixteen woodblocks, and the fragment preserved in this album is roughly half of one of the blocks which make up the map’s lower right section.

Fragment of the Mappe-Monde Nouvelle Papistique Fragment of the Mappe-Monde Nouvelle Papistique found pasted in the Sloane copy of VenationesPublic Domain Creative Commons Licence

Only five examples of this map are known to have survived. One of those is preserved in the British Library [shelfmark C.160.c.7.].  It is missing a couple of woodcuts, but unfortunately not ones that match our fragment.

Who assembled and used the album?  Does this fragment belong to one of the five known examples, or to another now lost copy?  Was it also part of Sloane’s collection, or was it perhaps mistakenly added to the album at a later date by a binder or conservator?  If it was part of Sloane’s collection, did he paste it in this album himself, or was it already there when he acquired it?  Attempting to answer these questions would require further research and technical analysis of the material.

There are undoubtedly many more exciting discoveries to be made during this project and I look forward to sharing them.

Alice-Anne Tod
Curator, Prints and Drawing


18 March 2022

Emigration of children from the Madras Orphan Asylums to New South Wales – Part 3

Discussions about sending girls to New South Wales from the Madras Female Orphan Asylum took place throughout 1841 and 1842.  The Asylum drew up a list of girls willing to emigrate, with details of their ‘Character, Disposition, and Proficiency’.
• Caroline Davey – 13 years 11 months.  Generally quiet and obliging, not far advanced in learning.
• Mary Ann Cardwell – 13 years 7 months, and Caroline Smith – 14 years 11 months.  Both generally quick, but indifferent workers.
• Mary Watts – 15 years 2 months, and Ellen Tooner – 13 years 4 months.  Both generally quiet but not very good-tempered.

On 3 January 1843 the ship Duchess of Kent arrived in Sydney with these five girls travelling in steerage.  There were a number of convicts on board but no objection was raised because a ‘steady and respectable matron’ had been employed to look after the girls in case they might be ‘corrupted’.  Mrs Wooller accompanied the girls for a fee of £35, half paid in advance and half paid on arrival in Australia once the ship’s captain had confirmed that she had discharged her duties properly.  She had recently accompanied the family of Major Cortlandt Taylor from New South Wales to Madras and now wished to return home to Hobart Town.

Female Orphan School at ParramattaView of the Female Orphan School, near Parramatta, New South Wales by Joseph Lycett (1825) – image courtesy of State Library Victoria 

The girls were taken initially to the Female Orphan School near Parramatta, and the New South Wales authorities said a report on their ‘disposal’ would be sent after six months.  A letter from Sydney to Madras dated 26 April 1844 explained that the enclosed report from the school matron had been delayed because of a reluctance to give an unfavourable one.  It was said that the girls had been ‘kept in India too long, having apparently acquired confirmed habits of indolence’.  In future, no girls should be sent from Madras above the age of ten or eleven.  The girls’ wages when placed as domestic servants were £5 per annum, increasing by £1 each year to a maximum of £10.

• Caroline Davey – Placed on 7 August 1843 with Mrs Hallen at Prospect as a children’s maid.  Conduct good but sent back to school on 23 August because she had ringworm (not true).  Went in September to Mr Pearse, a farmer at Seven Hills.  Nothing heard of her since.
• Mary Ann Cardwell – Indolent at school, not troubling to learn anything.  Placed with Dr Bell of Windsor on 18 July 1843 as a children’s maid.  Nothing heard of her since.
• Caroline Smith – Sullen and idle.  Went to Mr Mills, schoolmaster at Parramatta, on 25 July 1843 as a children’s maid.  Conduct so bad that she was only kept there two months.  Then sent to Mr Buchanan, a clerk at North Shore, without wages.  Was returned again to the school with ‘a most disgraceful character’.
• Mary Watts – Very good conduct.  Went on 25 July 1843 to live with Dr Smith of 99th Regiment as children’s maid, but returned on 2 December after the baby died.  Went on 4 December to Mr Fletcher, shoemaker in George Street Sydney.
• Ellen Tooner – Still in the school, ‘the worst conducted Girl I ever met with’.  Would learn nothing even though great pains were taken with her.

Here the evidence from India about the girls’ lives  appears to end.  Australian archives might reveal what happened next to the children sent from Madras.

Margaret Makepeace
Lead Curator, East India Company Records

Further reading:
British Library IOR/F/4/1855/78480 Papers regarding the administration of the Madras Military Female Orphan Asylum - impoverished state of the Orphanage funds - dilapidated state of the buildings - Madras Government grant an immediate subvention of 15,000 rupees from the interest on the Wooley Fund - question of the salaries of the chaplain and medical officer, etc (includes list of past and present girl pupils from 1829 to date, with particulars as to parentage, father's occupation, etc), 1838-1839.
British Library IOR/F/4/1855/78481 Proposal of John Sullivan that boy and girl pupils from the Madras Military Male and Female Orphan Asylums should be sent as apprentices to New South Wales - Madras Government forward the proposal to the New South Wales Government, 1838-1839.
British Library IOR/P/247/68 Madras Public Proceedings, pp.979-981 Consultation 1 March 1842, pp. 1041-1042 Consultation 8 March 1842.
British Library IOR/P/247/67 Madras Public Proceedings, pp.25-29, 563-565 Consultations January 1842.
British Library IOR/P/247/72 Madras Public Proceedings, p.4255 Consultation 9 August 1842.
British Library IOR/P/247/73 Madras Public Proceedings, pp. 4273-4274, 4534-4540 Consultations August 1842.
British Library IOR/P/248/13 Madras Public Proceedings, pp.1521-1524 Consultation 26 April 1844.

Trove newspapers e.g. Sydney Morning Herald 4 January 1843.
Findmypast for baptisms, marriages and burials from the India Office Records.
FIBIS wiki.

Emigration of children from the Madras Orphan Asylums to New South Wales – Part 1
Emigration of children from the Madras Orphan Asylums to New South Wales – Part 2

16 March 2022

Emigration of children from the Madras Orphan Asylums to New South Wales – Part 2

On 22 February 1841 the first group of boys from the Madras Military Male Orphan Asylum arrived safely in New South Wales on board the Sesostris.  The Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser wrote: ‘Seven youths, all of whom have been taught trades. have arrived from Madras, to the care of the Government of this Colony.  These youthful immigrants, all of whom are natives of Madras, are said to have been reared in one of the public Orphan Schools.  They promise to be excellent mechanics, and are very intelligent.  Those who have arrived are tailors, carpenters, and printers’.

View of Sydney from east side of coveNew South Wales - View of Sydney, from the east side of the cove by John Heaviside Clark (1810) BL flickr

The boys were kept at the Orphan School for two or three months so they could adjust to the climate before being apprenticed.  The New South Wales government promised that great care would be taken to find suitable masters for them, and the East India Company directors in London were keen for the Madras authorities to obtain reports from Australia on the boys.

A report on the Sesostris boys was sent in February 1844.
• James Marlow was apprenticed to Alexander Martin of the Cowpastures as a farmer.  He was generally well-behaved although somewhat sullen, and was becoming a useful worker.
• Christopher Connors, Samuel Hobart and John Harris were apprenticed as shoemakers to William Mackie, J. Fletcher and James Scott respectively.  All were diligent and well-behaved.
• William Bird was apprenticed as gardener to Henry Cox. a magistrate residing at Penrith.  Cox had no reason to be dissatisfied with William, who displayed ‘no symptom of vice in his disposition’.
• James Barry (named as John in the report) had been apprenticed to Captain G. B. Christmas as a miller who stated that the boy’s behaviour was very bad at first but now greatly improved.  His weak constitution and small size prevented him from being employed in the mill at present and he was on light work until he gained strength.
• James Mackin was apprenticed to Mr Urquhart as a coachbuilder.  His initial stubborn disposition had improved and he was making good progress.

In October 1842 the New South Wales government reported on the boys who had arrived in December 1841 in the British Sovereign (also called Royal Sovereign in the records).
• Matthew Thornhill and Edward Wallace had been apprenticed to the Government Printer in Sydney.  Both were doing well, especially Matthew who was already able to work as a compositor.  Edward was not so advanced so he was still attending the Protestant Parochial School of St James every morning.
• Matthew and James Bradshaw were apprenticed to Robert Dawson, a magistrate living four miles from Sydney.  Matthew was a gardener and James a house servant.  At first, Matthew had tried being a tailor but had not made much progress.  James had a skull fracture before arriving in Sydney and so a house job had seemed best for him.  Both boys were free from any vicious habits, but rather dull and indolent.  The Australians believed that their indolence could be attributed to early habits contracted in India.
• James Callaghan had poor sight so he had been kept in the Male Orphan School of New South Wales.  He was now considered fit for apprenticeship and would be placed once a suitable master was found.

Our next post will tell the story of the girl emigrants from the Madras Female Orphan Asylum.

Margaret Makepeace
Lead Curator, East India Company Records

Further reading:
British Library IOR/F/4/1855/78481 Proposal of John Sullivan that boy and girl pupils from the Madras Military Male and Female Orphan Asylums should be sent as apprentices to New South Wales - Madras Government forward the proposal to the New South Wales Government, 1838-1839.
British Library IOR/F/4/1916/82082 Seven boys of the Madras Military Male Orphan Asylum are at their own request sent to New South Wales to be apprenticed under the Government of that colony - the Madras Government provides them with a passage to Sydney, [1834]-1841.
British Library IOR/E/4/956 pp.798-802 Letter from London to Fort St George in the Public Department, 8 December 1841.
British Library IOR/E/4/958 pp.566-567 Letter from London to Fort St George in the Public Department , 21 September 1842.
British Library IOR/P/248/5 Madras Public Proceedings, pp.1911-1916 Consultation 13 June 1843.
Trove e.g. The Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser 26 February 1841.
Findmypast for baptisms, marriages and burials from the India Office Records.
FIBIS wiki.

Emigration of children from the Madras Orphan Asylums to New South Wales – Part 1
Emigration of children from the Madras Orphan Asylums to New South Wales – Part 3

14 March 2022

Emigration of children from the Madras Orphan Asylums to New South Wales – Part 1

In the late 1830s both the Madras Military Male Orphan Asylum and Madras Female Orphan Asylum were experiencing difficulty finding employment for children old enough to leave the institution.  The Madras Government approached the authorities in New South Wales outlining a scheme for sending children to be apprenticed there.  It was said that the Asylum pupils’ superior education and the care bestowed on their morals might make them a valuable acquisition to the colony, especially the girls.

South east view of Fort St George Madras - DaniellSouth east view of Fort St George, Madras by Thomas Daniell,  from Oriental Scenery. Twenty four views in Hindoostan,Tab.599.a.(2), plate VII  (1797) British Library Images Online Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

The New South Wales authorities agreed on condition that the children would be at least twelve years of age and of ‘pure European descent’.  They were to be sent to Sydney free of charge and would be apprenticed in the same way as children from local orphan schools.  Apprenticeships lasted until 21 for males and until 21 or marriage for females.  Masters or mistresses had to provide sufficient and suitable food, clothing and bedding, and make payments into the Savings Bank of New South Wales which were handed to the apprentice, with accrued interest, at the end of their term.  When practicable, apprentices had to attend divine service at least once every Sunday.  Particular attention was to be given to the apprentice’s morals.  Justices were to investigate complaints about ill-treatment by masters, lack of provisions etc, as well as misdemeanours by apprentices.

The Madras Military Male Orphan Asylum compiled a list in August 1840 of seven boys willing to emigrate who met the criteria set by New South Wales.

• Samuel Hobart, aged 14 years 3 months, son of Matthew, Sergeant Major of Artillery and Ann.  He could read and was learning to write, cypher, and make shoes.
• James Marlow, aged 13 years 7 months, son of Edward, Private HM 45th Foot, and Catharine.  He was learning to read and write, and could make shoes.
• John Harris, aged 12 years and 7 months, son of Hugh, Sergeant HM 41st Foot, and Jane.  John could read, write and cypher well, and was employed at the Asylum Press as a printer.
• James McKin or MacKin, aged 13 years 7 months, son of Thomas, Private HM 48th Foot, and Mary.  He was able to read, write and cypher tolerably well.
• Christopher Connors, aged 12 years 6 months, son of Daniel, Private HM 54th Foot.
• William Bird, aged 12 years 5 months, son of William, Sergeant Major HM 54th Foot.
• James Barry, aged 12 years, son of Patrick, Gunner Veteran Battalion, and Anne.
Connors, Bird and Barry could all read, write and cypher well.

The terms of emigration and apprenticeship were explained carefully to these boys.  They arrived in Sydney in the Sesostris in February 1841.

Five more lads from the Asylum ‘anxious to emigrate’ took their passage in the British Sovereign (or Royal Sovereign) which arrived in Sydney in December 1841.

• Matthew Thornhill, born October 1827, son of Matthew, Commissariat Department, and Julia.
• Matthew and James Bradshaw, born 1827 and 1829, sons of Matthew, Private HM 41st Foot, and Ann.
• James Callaghan, born 1828, son of Patrick Callaghan, Hospital Sergeant, and Louisa.
• Edward Wallace.

Our next post will tell the story of what happened to these twelve boys when they arrived in New South Wales.

Margaret Makepeace
Lead Curator, East India Company Records

Further reading:
IOR/F/4/1855/78481 Proposal of John Sullivan that boy and girl pupils from the Madras Military Male and Female Orphan Asylums should be sent as apprentices to New South Wales - Madras Government forward the proposal to the New South Wales Government, 1838-1839.
IOR/F/4/1916/82082 Seven boys of the Madras Military Male Orphan Asylum are at their own request sent to New South Wales to be apprenticed under the Government of that colony - the Madras Government provides them with a passage to Sydney, [1834]-1841.
Findmypast for baptisms, marriages and burials from the India Office Records.
Trove for Australian newspaper reports.
FIBIS wiki.

Emigration of children from the Madras Orphan Asylums to New South Wales – Part 2
Emigration of children from the Madras Orphan Asylums to New South Wales – Part 3

10 March 2022

Mary Broad's origins in Cornwall

The extraordinary escape from Botany Bay of nine transportees in an open boat has been narrated many times.  Mary Broad was the only woman who escaped on this boat in March 1791, travelling for 69 days, before reaching Kupang in Timor, with her two children and husband, William Bryant, who led and organised their escape.

Painting of The Hamoaze and Dock, Plymouth Devon Hamoaze, Plymouth where Mary Broad was held in the Dunkirk prison hulk before being transported with the First Fleet. 

Painting of The Hamoaze and Dock, Plymouth, Devon by Coplestone Warre Bampfylde. Image courtesy of Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery.

Mary’s husband and children died before she was returned to London in 1792.  James Boswell took up the case of the five returned transportees, and advocated their release from prison.  It is thanks to Boswell that Mary Broad’s family origins in Cornwall can be identified here.

Boswell's papers noted that Mary Broad’s ‘aged’ father was living in Cornwall.  He met Mary's younger sister Dolly Broad.  Boswell corresponded with Mary's married sister Elizabeth Puckey.  And her husband, Edward Puckey, a tailor in Fowey, who wrote to Boswell about an anticipated Broad family inheritance, which was a Pope family legacy.

Using this information, Mary Broad can be historically identified as the granddaughter of Prudence Pope, who married Josiah Broad.  Mary’s father was their eldest son William Broad, who was aged 84 in 1793, when Mary was aged 28.  Mary’s mother was William’s wife Dorothy Guilleff, who died aged 50 in 1778, when Mary was aged 13.  And William and Dorothy Broad’s daughters were Elizabeth (baptised 1756), Mary (baptised 1765), and Dorothy (baptised 1769).

Josiah and Prudence Broad, and most of their adult children, lived in the neighbouring Cornish parishes of St Neot or Braddock.  William and his brother Matthew Broad described themselves as ‘colliers’, and obtained leases to coppice woodland.  It may have been the profits from this trade which enabled William Broad to obtain a farm.  In the 1760s, William Broad moved his family between parishes within a few miles of Fowey.  Mary’s christening in 1765 was at Lanlivery, and Dorothy’s in 1769 was at St Veep.  By the late 1770s, some family members were present in Fowey, where the elder Dorothy Broad died in 1778, and Elizabeth married Edward Puckey in 1779.

Map of Fowey, Cornwall1805 Map of Fowey river and parishes by Robert Dawson British Library Online Gallery Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

In the 1930s, the Boswell scholar Frederick A. Pottle sought to identify Mary Broad's family origins.  Through the assistance of members of the Old Cornwall Society, the Fowey and Lostwithiel parish registers were searched for her baptism.  This led to the suggestion that her parents had been a mariner William and his wife Grace Broad, who also had a daughter named Mary.  Judith Cook later acknowledged that there were many inconsistencies and gaps between the evidence related to this family and Boswell’s account.  William and Grace Broad did not have daughters named Dorothy or Elizabeth, and they had left Cornwall before Mary Broad returned home in 1794.

Members of Mary Broad's extended family as identified here can be found in other historical records, including the Clift family letters.  She was not the only member of her family to be accused or convicted of assault.  And it is possible to see her influence and legacy in the decisions of James and William Puckey, the nephews of Edward Puckey, to travel from Cornwall to Tahiti, New South Wales, and New Zealand.

Dr Charlotte MacKenzie
Independent researcher

Further reading
Tim Causer (ed), Memorandoms by James Martin (2017)
Charlotte MacKenzie, Mary Broad the documentary (2021)