Literary Composition on Board a Convict Ship : The ‘Pestonjee Bomanjee Journal’



The exotically named convict ship the 'Pestonjee Bomanjee' sailed from Plymouth on the 18 April 1852, with 291 transportees, 30 pensioners as guards, 24 women and some children. During three-and-a-half months at sea there were six deaths and two births. No less significant than these two human births was the birth of a weekly journal, of which fourteen issues appeared in the course of the voyage. The contributors were mainly, but not entirely, convicts: men whose crimes against society had made them exiles from their homeland. The merit of their outpourings, both in prose and verse, prompted Daniel Ritchie, the Surgeon Superintendent of the 'Pestonjee Bomanjee', to collect and publish them as a book.

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Published 1 October 1969 in Volume 4 No. 2. Subjects: Australian literature and writers, Convict literature, Convicts, Diaries & journals.

Cite as: Hiener, Wilhelm and J. E. Hiener. ‘Literary Composition on Board a Convict Ship : The ‘Pestonjee Bomanjee Journal’.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 4, no. 2, 1969, doi: 10.20314/als.6e6a435f1d.