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barque Jane Duffus, 382 tons, from Glasgow, 2nd May 1843 to Quebec 16th June 1843

Montreal Gazette, June 19, 1843
Arrived Quebec June 16 Bark Jane Duffie, [captain] M'Donell, 3rd May, Glasgow, coals, &c., 257 passengers

The barque Jane Duffus (also found recorded as Jane Duffie or Jane Duffies) arrived at Quebec on 16th June 1843, with emigrants assisted by Glasgow Emigration Societies. The Captain had been required to pay a penalty, for a breach of the British Passengers Act. The "Passengers Act" attempted to regulate the conditions for emigrants and there were fines for those captains who didn't comply. A vessel was limited to carrying no more than 3 adult persons per 4 tons of volume and 5 1/2 feet between decks. It was amended often over the years, but this is why you often see childrens' ages noted more carefully than the adults. Since the law allowed more children than adults in proportion to the ships' tonnage, masters understated the ages of their passengers and used false decks to accomodate the overflow. (often with the duplicity of the families, to save some money on fares) In 1843 the method of deciding how many passengers could be carried, was calculated thus:—

Adults, anyone 14 years and over    
Children 9 - 13 years eg. 18 children =    9 statute adults
Children 1 - 8 years eg. 27 children =    9 statute adults
Infants, less than 1 year   carried free

Here is Captain McDonell's statement, defending his charge under the Passengers Act, which also provides us with a partial passenger list for the Jane Duffus.

Quebec 20th June 1843
        I beg leave to submit for your consideration, the following statement in extenuation of any blame that may be charged to me or the Owners of the Ship "Jane Duffus" for breach of the Passengers act, and to request that you will be pleased after being satisfied as to the correctness of the allegations mentioned in my statement to recommend that the penalty this day paid may be remitted.
        By the passenger list of the said Ship it will be found that the aggregate number of superficial feet in the several compartments, set apart for Steerage and intermediate passengers are 1861 feet and that the total number of statute adults the Ship can legally carry is— 186 — That the number of souls on board of the said vessel, by the same list is — 251 — twelve of whom children under twelve months. Total number of adults — 186 — The difference therefore between the list and the estimated number is to be attributed to some of the ages of the passengers being stated at a lower rate, than mentioned by the same passengers on their arrival at Quebec when examined by the officer of Customs and upon reference to the list you will find:—
Ellen Hedden was entered as aged 6 months when upon examination she appears to be aged 22 months
Margaret Lamb was entered as 10 months appears to be aged 2 years
Elizabeth Wright was entered as 13 years appears to be aged 15 years
Elizabeth McKee was entered as 10 months appears to be aged 17 months
Isabella Gillespie was entered as 13 years appears to be aged 14 years
Sarah McConn was entered as 13 years appears to be aged 14 years
Christina this name was written between these two names, with no explanation
Peter Wilson was entered as 8 months appears to be aged 23 months
Jane McPherson was entered as 8 years appears to be aged 9 years
John Caldwell was entered as 13 years appears to be aged 14 years
Joseph Caldwell was entered as 11 months appears to be aged 20 months
        The foregoing facts are submitted with a view of showing that the increase on board of the Ship is not in the number of individuals, but in the age being given by their parents or by others in a manner to deceive and not by any fault or fraud on the part of the Owners or the Master of the vessel.
        I am, Sir,
To Henry Jessopph Esq.
Coll. H.M. Customs

Your Obedient Servant
(sd) Hugh Mc Donell


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