Bermuda convict hulk archaeological excavations and carving findsA great number of the Royal Navy's fighting ships ended their days as convict hulks. Stripped of sailing gear, upper decks roofed over and lower decks converted to cells or store rooms. In this state they were commonly used as prisons or barracks or floating store houses or hospitals. Hulks of one sort or another were used for many years in Bermuda. Moored in St. Georges Harbor, Murry's Achorage, Spanish Point and at Ireland Island.
The convict hulk that this find is centered around is the Dromedary. A ship of 20 guns which arrived in Bermuda in 1826 with the second shipment of 100 convicts destined to spend many years at hard labor building the Dockyard. The Dromedary was ordered to stay in Bermuda and converted to a convict hulk for 400 newly arriving convicts. For 37 years she lay along side short arm of the Dockyard at the southern entrance to the north basin, a short distance from the quarries and construction sites that the convicts would be laboring. In 1851, having built the bridge to Bows Island and the new barracks, 600 prisoners were moved off the Caramando hulk and the Dromedary and onto the island.
For the next 40 years the Dromedary would become a kitchen for the working prisoners and those who guarded them. With hundreds of prisoners and guards coming and going, some living on the convict hulks for days, their waste as well as treasures, ended up overboard into 30 feet of water and buried for the next 150 years. Until now.
|We are interested in international recognition for the work that has been done and the unique nature of the one-of-a-kind artifacts. Other sites of convict hulks in Bermuda have been discovered that we have yet to explore. We are interested in individuals possibly seeking to research, publicize and dramatize the importance of this serious find. These clues to the past have gone unrecognized because of the atrocities that occurred and unwillingness of people in the present to recognize the inhumanity at that time. There is a story to be told in the finding of these artifacts and we are looking for help in telling it. Thank you.