Bermuda was very popular as a holiday destination for Americans in the 1920's. Daisy Walsh (1888 - 1950) read the above advertisement and booked a trip along with a friend to escape the Philadelphia heat. They returned on the Fort Victoria arriving in New York on 7 July 1921. Today, a popular tourist destination on Bermuda is the old Royal Navy Dockyard on Ireland Island, but this was not listed as an activity in 1921. But surely Ireland Island would have been on all the maps of Bermuda, so I wonder if Daisy Walsh learned how "Ireland Island" got its name. At the Villa Maria Academy in 1906, her junior year, Daisy received a "first premium" medal in ancient history (The Philadelphia Inquirer, 26 June 1906). So, I reckon, there is a good chance that Daisy was more interested in history than your average American tourist and learned how it was mostly Irish convicts that built the Royal Naval Dockyard. Daisy returned to Bermuda in 1922 as the last stop on the West Indies cruise she took with her parents, Michael P. and Daisy Walsh, on the Megantic.Bermuda
8 Days $91 — 9 Days $96 and upward
Including All Expenses for Steamer, Hotel and Side Trips
Bermuda is Cool in Summer
(Average Summer Temperature 70 Degrees)
All Outdoor Sports
Golf, Tennis, and Sailing, Bathing, Motor Boating, and Fishing
in enchanted Bays and Inlets, Riding, Driving or Cycling over
smooth white coral roadways or visiting Bermuda's wonderful
Crystal Caves and Sea Gardens.
No Passports — Sailings every 5 Days
via Palatial Twin-Screw Steamers
"Fort Victoria" and "Fort Hamilton"
Send for FREE deluxe Summer Tours booklet
Evening Public Ledger, Philadelphia, 16 May 1921
In my last posting, I summarized the below article on the attack of Mrs. Finch of Kilcolman townland, and then added that the destination of the two Irish convicts was "presumably to Australia".
It took a bit of sleuthing but John Hogan and Joseph Spain were not sent to Australia but to Bermuda. And the newspaper was incorrect, their sentence was for 15 years. Mrs. Finch died one year after being attacked coming home from Nenagh church, and was older than I had anticipated. "On Monday last [27 December 1847], at Kilcoleman, county Tipperary, aged 77 years, Mrs. Finch relict of George Finch, Esq." (The Freeman's Journal, Dublin, 30 December 1847). George Finch, of Kilcoleman, had married Amy "Amelia" Parker, second daughter of Anthony Parker, of Castlelough, in August 1793 (Walker's Hibernian Magazine).THE ATTACK ON MRS. FINCH, OF KILCOLEMAN.
John Hogan and Joseph Spain for having, with a person unknown, at Salsboro, assaulted the carriage of Mrs. Finch, and served a threatening notice; also, firing a shot at her coachman and wounding him. John Hogan pleaded guilty. The jury found the other prisoner guilty.—To be transported for fourteen years each.
Belfast News-Letter, 26 March 1847
On the day after Mrs. Finch of Kilcolman died, Joseph Spain would leave Dublin on a ship bound for Bermuda — but, unlike for Miss Daisy Walsh in the 1920's, this would be no holiday.
Joseph Spain and John Hogan were first incarcerated at Nenagh Prison on 2 November 1846. Joseph Spain was reported to be 23 years old, Catholic, labourer, five foot three, blue eyes, brown hair, fresh complexion. John Hogan was 30 years old, Catholic, labourer, five foot three, hazel eyes, dark hair, fresh complexion. The nature of their crime was quite specific, "being one of an armed party who attacked the carriage of Mrs. Finch and served her with a threatening notice." Both men could neither read or write. They were convicted on the 27th of March for "felonious assault and shooting with the intent to disable" and sentenced by Judge Jackson to 15 years transportation. They were transmitted to Mount Joy Prison in Dublin on 25 May 1847; this register provides the same information as Nenagh, but also states that both men were single. Their final prison register has "Smithfield Male Convict Depot" typed at the top of each page, but "Richmond" was handwritten in large letters at the top of the page. Richmond Prison was the final transport depot for convicts prior to boarding different convict ships.
Per the Smithfield (Richmond) Prison register, Joseph Spain was "shipped on board Medway" on 15 November 1847, but the H.M.S. Medway would not leave Kingstown harbour until 28 December 1847. The Medway prison ship with its 448 convicts arrived in Bermuda on 28 January 1848, where it would be converted into a prison hulk where the convicts would live.
DEPARTURE OF H.M.S. MEDWAY.—The Medway (an old 72-gun ship) sailed from Kingstown harbour yesterday afternoon, with convicts, for Bermuda, where she is to be stationed as a prison ship. Her departure has been delayed for some weeks, in consequences of some cases of fever amongst the prisoners.
The Morning Chronicle, London, 29 December 1847
John Hogan was "shipped on Board Bangalore" at Kingstown harbor on 28 January 1848 per the Smithfield (Richmond) Prison register. Many County Clare convicts would be transported on the Bangalore to Bermuda.Her Majesty's sloop Persian, 18 guns, Commander Henry Coryton, arrived at Plymouth on the evening of Thursday from Bermuda, which she left on the 8th instant. She reports the arrival of the convict ship Medway (72-gunship) at Bermuda, on the 24th ultimo [24 January 1848], having on board 448 prisoners from Dublin; two died on the passage. The Persian brought home the officers and crew who navigated the Medway to Bermuda, except Mr. Belam, the master (R.N.) of her, who was expected to retain the command of the hulk.
The Morning Chronicle, London, 28 February 1848
Both men are included in National Archives of Ireland's "Ireland-Australia transportation database" which summarizes their crime, ages, location, outward bound ship, etc, with a document reference as TR6, p. 186. For Joseph Spain, there is the added comment "convict ordered to be discharged, 16 June 1855". This comment does not appear on the Smithfield Prison register (the source I used), so there must be other record sources that the Irish archives have used for their database.ARRIVAL OF CONVICTS FROM THE COUNTY CLARE.—On Saturday, the following persons arrived at the Smithfield prison from Ennis, county Clare. They were convicted at the late special commission:—John Liddy, robbery of fire arms, transportation for fourteen years; Patrick Casey, like offence, same sentence; Michael Hickey, like offence same sentence; Michael Skean, like offence, same sentence; Michael Liddy, highway robbery, ten years' transportation Timothy O'Brien, like offence, same sentence; John Slattery, robbery of fire arms, fourteen years' transportation; Michael Murphy, like offence, seven years' transportation. These prisoners were brought from the Ballybrophy Station guarded by a large body of police. They were received by Mr. Lamb, the Governor of the Smithfield prison, and conducted to their proper departments of the prison. It was understood that these convicts, with several others sent from the same place (sentenced to transportation at quarter sessions.) will be shipped on board the large convict vessel, the Bangalore, now lying in Kingstown Harbour, and transmitted to Bermuda, from whence they will be shipped to New South Wales. There are about 250 convicts from all quarters of the country going out by the Bangalore.
The Freeman's Journal, Dublin, 24 January 1848
https://www.nationalarchives.ie/topics ... ch01.html
Many of the newspaper reports stated that the convicts would first go to Bermuda and then be shipped to New South Wales. I don't believe this was accurate, NSW was not taking new convicts in 1848. "Joseph Spain" is an unusual name, and does not appear on excellent Australian convict records. "John Hogan", a common name, does appear but none meet the same detailed description of the man or his crime. The website "Convict Voyages" provides a good description of life in the convict hulks in Bermuda:
http://convictvoyages.org/expert-essays ... in-bermuda
Further evidence that Joseph Spain and John Hogan remained at Bermuda were two fellow passengers on the H.M.S. Medway that left Dublin on 28 December 1847. Per the Smithfield Prison register, James Cronin (age 21) and Thomas Cronin (age 23), from County Limerick, were sentenced to life and 15 years sentences, respectively. In July 1849, the two Cronin brothers were on the deck of the Medway convict hulk, and most likely Joseph Spain and John Hogan were among the 400 or 500 convicts assembled:
DISTRESSING OCCURRENCE AT IRELAND ISLAND.—The Bermuda Herald of Thursday, 5th July, contains the following account of a conflict attended with loss of life, between the military and the convicts aboard the Medway convict ship:—An inquest was held on Tuesday last, on board the Medway convict ship, by Charles C. Keane, Esq., coroner, on view of the bodies of Thomas Kerrigan and John Tobin, who had been shot. The following is the substance of what was elicited from the jury:—The four or five hundred convicts on board the Medway were assembled that morning on the spar deck (the forward part of the ship), to witness the punishment of one of their number, James Cronin, for mutinous conduct. The overseer, F.B. Black, Esq., and his officers, with the convict guards, fully armed, and their pistols being loaded with ball cartridge (the usual practice we believe), were drawn up on the quarter-deck—they numbered twenty in all. The medical officer was also present. The quarter-deck is divided from the spar deck by a railing about five feet high. The man to be flogged had a brother on board the ship, older than himself, who had permission from the overseer to absent himself from witnessing the punishment; but this kindly offer on the part of Mr. Black was refused, and he appeared with the other prisoners. When the proper officers were in the act of securing the man to the gratings or ladder, his brother rushed forward, and leaping on the barrier and waving his hat, called to him by name. He (the elder [Thomas] Cronin) then addressed some words in Irish to the convicts, which was answered by a wild cheer, and a rush of some 250 to the barrier, upon which they clustered like bees, preparatory to a descent upon the quarter-deck. The men were desperately excited. The overseer waved his hand, and called to the men to "fall back;" which order was quite disregarded. Mr. Black (plainly perceiving what must be the object of the prisoners—viz., the rescue of Cronin and the probable butchery of himself and his small party) gave orders to the guards to "fire," which was immediately followed by a volley from the front rank. This did not have any immediate effect, the desperate men entertaining the idea that only blank cartridges were fired. The rear rank of the guards, which had been kept in reserve, then moved to the front, and order from Mr. Black, fired. Two of the mutinous convicts fell dead, and 12 were wounded. This instantly quelled the mutiny; the men hurriedly retreating to hiding places about the forward part of the ship. The punishment was then administered to the younger Cronin. After a lengthy investigation the jury unanimously returned a verdict of "justifiable homicide." One of the wounded men died on Tuesday afternoon. An inquest on his body was held yesterday. The verdict has not yet transpired. The ringleader, Cronin, was wounded in two places. Two others are maimed for life, one having had his leg amputated at the knee, and the other having received a ball in the spine.
The convicts on board the Medway were all Irishmen.
The Freeman's Journal, Dublin, 24 July 1849