Ships quarantined at Peel Island between 1873 and 1896

Ships known to have been quarantined at Peel Island between 1873 and 1896::

Lammershagen(quarantined1873, January 8)
Typhoid, at least 7 deaths:
Kristine Dreseth, 30yrs
Wilhelmine Helmholz, 14yrs
Johannes Johannessen, 21 yrs
Wilhelmina Milenovski, 2 yrs
Emil Oberlie, 16 yrs
Sorrn Christiansen Sorensen, 18 yrs

Friedeburg(quarantined 1873)
Scarlet Fever
One death on Peel:
Matilda Kluck, 6 yrs (from ulcerated bowels and chronic diarrhoea)

Bobtail Nag, fromSolomon Islands (quarantined 1875, December 13-24)
Dysentery, one death between December 15-24

Gauntlet, from London (quarantined 1875, December 23)
Typhoid fever

Gazelle(German warship) (quarantined 1876, January 1)
? Disease. Maybe around 10 deaths, with graves made up and head-boards with suitable inscriptions placed at each one, unlike many of the later graves from English ships.

Indus, from Hervey Bay (quarantined 1876, March 9)
Typhoid fever.

Western Monarch,from Gravesend (quarantined 1876, March 16 until March 24 when pratique granted for most passengers)
Typhoid fever
2 deaths, one from Typhoid fever

Brisbane(+ the government ship Kate) (quarantined 1876, March 26-April 12)
Sir Arthur Kennedy, Governor Designate for the colony of Queensland, was required to enter quarantine, as were all passengers of the Brisbane, though quarters were arranged for him on the government paddle yacht Kate.

Woodlark (quarantined1877, late January or early February)

Normanby, (quarantined 1877, April 25-28)
Came via Hong Kong, which had been declared an infected port – therefore automatic quarantining.

Charles Dickens, from Hamburg (quarantined 1877, July 19 (approx.)-September)
Measles, typhoid fever amongst other diseases, 18 patients in quarantine, approximately 8 deaths including: Platen, boy, Platen, girl, Idie Stephan.

Windsor Castle, from Gravesend (quarantined 1877, September 16-November 10)
Typhoid fever

Roxburgshire,fromGreenock (quarantined 1877, October 11- November 16)
Scarlet fever

Western Monarch (quarantined 1878)
Typhoid fever

Bowen(quarantined 1878)

Lammershagen, fromHamburg (quarantined 1878, August 6 – 10)

Friedeburg,fromHamburg, via Rio (quarantined 1878, October 17 -November 27)
Typhoid fever

Scottish Admiral (quarantined1878, October 20-30)
Typhoid fever

Clara(quarantined 1879, January)
Typhoid fever

Fritz Reuter, fromHamburg (quarantined 1879, January 20)
Typhoid fever

Normanby(quarantined 1879, January 30)

Somerset  (quarantined 1879, February 12)
Smallpox. Actually quarantined at the four fathoms hold (off Green Island in Moreton Bay) rather than on Peel Island, possibly because of the crowded conditions already on the island.

Southesk,from Greenock (quarantined 1882, May 13 until late May)
Measles, Typhoid Fever and 4 deaths from Whooping Cough:
James Thomas McKenzie, 18 months
Robert Rodgers, 2 yrs
Margaret Jeffrey, 9 months
Elizabeth Annie Edwards, 2 months

Caroline (quarantined1882, May (approx.) 6-9)

Duke of Westminster(quarantined 1883, September)
Smallpox, at least one death

Western Monarch,from Liverpool (quarantined 1883, October 2-14 (approx.)

Shannon (quarantined1884, March 16 Mar for approximately one week)
Scarlet Fever

Crown of Aragon (quarantined1884, July (?)-August 13)
Scarlet Fever

ExLy-ee-moon (quarantined1885, February)
Smallpox, passenger off Ly-ee-moon quarantined as a smallpox contact

Dorunda,fromLondon via Port Said, Batavia (quarantined 1885, December 19 – 1886, January 9)
Cholera, possibly 6 deaths:
John Blow, 19 yrs
Cornelius Daly, 60 yrs
Bodil Marie Klemmensen, 52 yrs
Anne M Pedersen, 22 yrs
Catrine Marie Sunstrup, 47 yrs
John Westwood, 32 yrs

Khandalla (quarantined1886, April 24 (approx.)

Merkara,from London via Malta, Port Said, Batavia (quarantined 1887, January 10)
Elizabeth Brown Wilson, 17 yrs (T)
Typhoid fever, TB
Mary Isabella Wilson, 13 yrs (TB)

GoalparafromPlymouth (quarantined 1887, January 7)

Bulimba(quarantined1888, January 14 (?)

Duke of Argyll (quarantined 1888, August-September 13)
Measles,1 death?

Taroba (quarantined1889, January)

Buninyong, from New South Wales (quarantined 1892, June 21 or 22- early July
Smallpox – passenger originally off the Oroyafrom London, transshipped in Melbourne.
Thomas James Ives, 32, professional singer from Islington London

Duke of Devonshire (quarantined1896, November)


List compiled by research undertaken by Peter Ludlow, Rod McLeod, Gabrielle van Willigen

Sources of information include:

  • Queensland Government Gazette
  • The Week – weekly newspaper magazine published by The Telegraph, starting 1876
  • The Brisbane Courier, one of Brisbane’s early daily newspapers
  • Details from family records of some of the people quarantined on Peel Island, communicated to Peter Ludlow.
  • Wiburd C R 1945 Notes on the History of Maritime Quarantine in Queensland, 19th Century Historical Society of Queensland Inc. Journal Vol 3, No 5. December 1945 pp 369 – 383
  • Jan Macintyre with material supplied by Eric and Rosemary Kopittke and Les Moreland.


Peel Island map



6 thoughts on “Ships quarantined at Peel Island between 1873 and 1896

  1. My great grandparents were aboard the Gauntlet and were quarantined on Peel Island. They lost their first born during the voyage. There’s so much reading in the newspapers (via TROVE) with this ship. thanks for the list of other ships.


  2. The two Wilson girls who died (Merkara – Jan 1887) were my great, great aunts.Thanks for this – we have it so easy today.


    1. Thanks for your reply, Mal. Here’s an extract from my earlier book ‘Exiles of Peel Island – Quarantine’: The following year the “Merkara”, a steam ship of 1996 tons was quarantined at Peel Island.50 Under the command of Captain J.E.Withers, the ship of 110 crew and 423 passengers had left London on November 16th 1886. She had called at Malta, Port Said, Aden, Batavia, Cooktown, Townsville, Rockhampton (Port Alma), and arrived at Peel Island on January 10th, 1887.51
      During the voyage there were 16 cases of measles, 5 cases of chicken pox in the married people’s quarters, and 2 of typhoid fever in the single women’s compartment. All were classed as mild. There were no deaths.
      On arrival in Moreton Bay, the married people with their children, and the fever cases were quarantined on Peel island. The single men and women were taken by the tug, “Beaver”, to Brisbane.
      On Peel, two deaths took place, one from Phthisis (Tuberculosis) and one from Typhoid Fever. These were the Wilson sisters, Mary Isabella Wilson aged 13 years who died on 12th January 1887, and Elizabeth Brown Wilson aged 17 years and 5 months who died on 22nd January 1887.52
      They were buried in Peel’s second quarantine cemetery. The first had to be relocated because of seepage.53
      A photograph of their grave, taken in 1916, shows a single wooden headboard for both children. Although bushfires have since destroyed the headboard, the photograph was passed on to the author by Sandy Cowell in 1987. It was published in the author’s account of Peel’s Leprosarium and by coincidence was chanced upon in the
      Redland Shire Library by the deceaseds’ nephews, Henry and Reverend McConachie Wilson in 1990. Happily for this present account of the quarantine station, the Wilsons have supplied much information which would otherwise have been lost.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. HISTORIANLUDLOW, when the first cemetery was relocated what became of those already interred? the burials of those from the Dorunda would then have been at the old site.
        I have not seen reference to the old cemetery before seeing your comment.
        I am looking for the whereabouts of the Cholera victims – particularly Cornelius Daly.
        Thank you for your research, I will keep working on it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sarah, the occupants of the old cemetery were left in their place of burial. Unfortunately, there is no record of the graves or their occupants in either the old or the new cemeteries.


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