Today in Labour History
Bonus for Ship's Surgeon
The Ticonderoga, a clipper carrying 646 Scottish and Irish emigrants, arrived in Melbourne, Australia on 22 December 1852. On this horrifc voyage, 100 emigrants were buried at sea and another 68 died while the ship lay in quarantine. Typhus and scarlatina were the major culprits. An official commission of enquiry did not blame the ship's surgeon, dr Sanger. The surgeon and his assistant 'had been unable to enforce the discipline to keep the ship clean and healthy' due to the sheer volume of emigrants and their 'repugnance to cleanliness and fresh air which distinguishes certain classes of the labouring population'. The surgeon was paid a bonus on top of his gratuity for his attendance of the sick while the ship was in quarantine.
Robin Haines, Doctors at Sea. Emigrant Voyages to Colonial Australia ( 2005) 29-31