William Metcalf 1844


·       1844                 William Metcalf –    Keegan family

  • (John 27, Honora 27, James 2 Keegan).
  • Captain: Phillipson
  • London 4.11.43 – Plymouth 16.11.43 – Cork 24.11.43 – Arr. Sydney 13.3.1844
  • 250 Bounty Emigrants (70 female, 85 male, 95 children.) “There are but few agricultural labourers, being mostly mechanics” Under Surgeon Thomas Phillips.
  • Also captain’s wife; and cabin passenger Mr J Taylor.
  • Port Report of a Barque arrived Port Jackson 14.3.1844:


Name, Captain William Metcalf, Philipson
Tonnage 447
From Where London (4/11/1843), Cork 24/11/1843) No other calls
Lading Merchandise
Agent Griffith Gore & Co
Cabin passengers Mr Taylor; Mrs Philipson; Mr Mrs Wright; Mary Hassell; Miss Sherlock; George Parker; Mr Haydon
Steerage 81 M, 67F, 46 boys, 39 girls. Total 233

[Reels 2135, 2451.

List of Immigrants on ship ‘William Metcalfe’ arrived Sydney 13 March, 1844. Surgeon superintendent Thomas Phillips, Master Edward Philipson:

21 Keegan, John 27 Carlow, RC, Both read and write. Calling: Carpenter.  Keegan, Honora 27 Kildare RC Both read and write Calling: Farm servant.

Keegan, James  2 Kildare RC Son.

Bounty 18.14.0 + 18.14.0 + 9.7.0 = 46.15.0

The “WILLIAM METCALF” is a vessel well suited to the service on which she was employed.

The accommodation and fittings were unexceptionable and a great improvement was observed in the partition between the single females and the families, the upper part being made to work upon the hinge so as to be opened during the day. The adoption of this improvement in the ships from the other ports would be very desireable.

The provisions of water were on excellent quality and were appreciated to have been issued in full quantity according to the scale.

No complaints were made by the immigrants on any ground.

The duties of the surgeon were efficiently performed and the artive zealous and efficient co operation of the Master (Captain Philipson) is deserving of particular notice.

The general state of the immigrants’ health during the voyage and on arrival was good – The most prevalent diseases on board were Diarrhea and Remittent Fever.

In respect to the general character and conduct of  the people and the efficiency of their management as tested by the result I may quote the following passage from the report of the board in which I initially concur-  “We  have rarely inspected a body of immigrants with whose appearance and demeanour we were so well pleased”.

Immigration Office –


Sydney 18 April 1844 .

 [Reel 2135]

See also  ‘The History and descendents of John and Honorah Keegan’ by Shirley Keegan (with Joan Dawes in part) 1985.

The William Metcalfe was the first ship to bring Bounty Immigrants to Port Phillip – in 1839 – See Immigrant Ship Voyages, and HRVic Vol 4 Ch. 14