The Convict's Arrival

or 'The Convict's Lament on the Death of Captain Logan'

A Song by Francis MacNamara (Jack Bradshaw's version)

In transit storms as I set sailing,
Like a bold mariner my coast did steer,
Sydney Harbour was my destination,
That cursed harbour at length drew near;
I then joined banquet in congratulation
On my safe arrival from the briny sea;
But alas! alas! I was mistaken
Twelve years transported to Moreton Bay.

Early one morning as I carelessly wandered,
By the Brisbane waters I chanced to stray,
I saw a prisoner sadly bewailing,
While on the sunbeaming banks he lay.
He said, I have been a prisoner at Port MacQuarie,
At Norfolk Island and Emu Plain,
At Castle Hill and cursed Towngabbie
And at all those places I've worked in chains.

But of all the places of condemnation,
In each penal station of New South Wales,
Moreton Bay I found no equal,
For excessive tyranny each day prevails.
Early in the morning as the day is dawning,
To trace from heaven the morning dew,
Up we are started at a moment's warning,
Our daily labour for to renew.

Our overseers and superintendents
All these cursed tyrants language we must obey,
Or else at the triangles our flesh is mangled,
That is our wages at Moreton Bay.
For three long years I've been beastly treated;
Heavy irons each day I wore,
My poor back from flogging has been lacerated,
And oftimes painted with crimson gore.

Like the Egyptians or ancient Hebrews,
We were sorely oppressed by Logan's yoke,
Till kind providence came to our assistance
And gave this tyrant his fatal stroke.
Yes, he was hurried from that place of bondage
Where he thought he would gain renown,
But a native black, who lay in ambush
Gave this monster his fatal wound.

Now that I've got once more to cross the ocean,
And leave this place called Moreton Bay,
Where many a man from downright starvation
Lies mouldering today beneath the clay.
Fellow prisoners be exhilarated,
And your former sufferings don't bear in mind,
For it's when from bondage you are extricated
We will leave those tyrants far, far behind.


From The Quirindi Bank Robbery by John Bradshaw (c. 1899)

MacNamara's description of the treatment of prisoners under 'Logan's yoke' is amply documented by a letter to the editor of the Sydney Monitor in 1830 the year of Captain Patrick Logan's death. See Articles on this site, including Murder of Captain Logan by the Blacks at Moreton Bay