Quarantine: Port Jackson, Sydney, 1814

As the world is locked down we bring a maritime tale of a much smaller quarantine from 1814. 36 convicts along with the Surgeon, 1st and 2nd Mates, Boatswain, two seamen and four of the guard died from a typhus outbreak aboard the transport ship ‘Surry’. Built in Harwich, England 1811, this was her first voyage and on arrival into Sydney on 27 July, 1814 all survivors were quarantined in a camp on the North Shore of Port Jackson. Read the transcript of the Notice:

Head Quarters, Government House, Sydney, Saturday, 30th July, 1814

The Male Convict Transport Ship, Surry, which arrived in this Harbour from England on the 28th Instant, having brought a malignant Fever of a very infectious Nature, of which the Master, first Mate, and forty other Men have died during the Voyage, previous to the Arrival of the Ship in this Port; His Excellency the Governor has deemed it expedient to use every possible Precaution to prevent the Danger of the Contagion extending from her to the Population of the Colony; and with this View he has given Orders to institute the most rigid Quarantine Restrictions in respect to the Ship herself, and all Persons on board of her, until such Time as the Fever has entirely subsided, and the People now infected are recovered.

It is therefore the Governor’s most positive Orders, that no Person whatsoever (the Medical Quarantine Officers and their Attendants excepted), shall have any Intercourse or Communication of any sort with the said Ship, or the Persons now on board of her, until such Time as she is relieved from Quarantine, which will be announced in Public Orders; and the Governor further directs and commands, that no Person shall visit, or have any lntercourse whatever with the Military Detachment, Sailors, and Convicts, who are about to be landed from the said Ship on the North Shore of Port Jackson; where they are to remain encamped under strict Quarantine Regulations till further Orders.

There will be a Guard on board the Ship Surry, and also on the North Shore; to enforce these Orders; and person detected in attempting to act in Disobedience of them will be confined, and most severely punished.

By Command of His Excellency The Governor, J. T. CAMPBELL, Secretary