At Portsmouth the eleven state prisoners were taken aboard the prison hulk York,(1) “after bidding adieu to the soil of England, upon which [they] were never again to set foot.”(2) Here they would await the verdict for the test cases (Miller, Reynolds, and Grant), the verdict that would determine their fate as well. On January 9th, Linus Miller and his group of twelve were transported from Liverpool to London. Miller wrote that passing from the bustling city streets of London through massive doors of Newgate Prison was “like jumping from Empyrean into the lowest hell.”(3) Fortunately the Canadian state prisoners, during their six months at Newgate, were kept apart from the rest of the prison population, received good rations, and had fairly comfortable accommodations. Gammell and his group on the York were not so fortunate. James describes his first day on the hulk:
|A model of the York Hulk |
on display at the
Australian National Maritime Museum
in New South Wales
(Photos courtesy of the photographer, Phil Barnard)
- Retired British Navy vessel HMS York (1807) became a prison hulk at Portsmouth in 1819.
- Wait, p. 95.
- Miller, pp. 130-134.
- Gemmell, New York Plebian, transcription p. 9.
- Wait, p. 96-97.
- Hughes, The Fatal Shore, pp. 138-140.
- Miller, p. 227.
- Wait, pp. 86, 95-96, 104.
- Wait, pp. 101, 120.
- Wait, pp. 96, 99, 100, 122. It is possible that James had pneumonia.
- Wait, pp. 112-113.
- “The men were detained at Portsmouth until the decision of the Queen’s Bench. The decision of the Exchequer did not worry the Home Office. Orders were sent to the master of the Marquis of Hastings on 16 March that he need be detained no longer and to sail for VDL…” (Pybus, “Patriot Exiles in Van Diemen’s Land,” p. 190, 201.)
- Wait, pp. 87, 105-111, 121-124; Miller, pp. 213-214, 227. Wait had recognized early on that it was not philanthropy, but political partisanship (opposition against the Whig Party in power) that was the real motivation for bringing the case of the Patriot prisoners to trial.