Master John Moncrief
Royal Sovereign transported convicts to Australia in 1834
1835 (NSW) and 1838 (VDL).
Some of the convicts arriving on the
had been tried and convicted at the Old Bailey and
imprisoned at Newgate before being sent to the hulks.
Select here to find
out what it may have been like to be
imprisoned in Newgate in 1835.
The Royal Sovereign
was the next convict ship to leave England for New South Wales after the
departure of the
in June 1835. The Royal Sovereign departed England 29 July 1835 and
arrived in Port Jackson on
12 December 1835
The Guard consisted of
32 soldiers of 17th and 28th Regiments including
Captain Wheeler, Ensign Hilliard, Sergeant Joyce, Corporal John Kelly,
Private John Corrigan (died), Private Thomas Macgrath, Private John Lehy.
Other convict ships bringing
detachments of the 28th regiment included the
Marquis of Huntley,
Other convict ships bringing detachments of the 17th
regiment included the
Passengers included seven women and eight children.
Of 169 Convicts who disembarked at Port Jackson 75 could
read and write and 37 could read only.
48 were married in England before transportation
41 of the convicts left children in England.
48 were farm workers – servants and labourers
75 convicted of stealing
28 convicted of housebreaking
33 had prior convictions
144 received tickets of leave or certificates of freedom
Notes and Links:
Francis Logan was also employed as
surgeon on the convict ships
in 1827 and the
Richard Hicks and Charles Wood arrived on the
Hunter Valley convicts arriving on the Royal Sovereign
Find out more about some of the prisoners who arrived on
the Royal Sovereign...........
A father of two, George Bailey was convicted of Highway
robbery at the Norfolk Assizes on 28 March 1835. Also convicted on this day at
Norfolk Assizes were John Moss, Robert Blogg, Charles Wood and Edward Symonds.
George had no previous convictions and was sentenced to transportation to
Australia for Life. At thirty four years of age he was one of the older convicts on board the
In 1844, nine years after his arrival
in the Colony, he was issued with a Ticket of Leave for the district of Bathurst.
In 1849 he was granted a Conditional Pardon.
was born in Stroudwater, Somersetshire. He was arrested in Bath
probably in the summer of 1835 and convicted at Bridgewater on 29th
June 1835. According the the prison hulk records at Ancestry, William was 15
years old when he was sentenced to 7 years transportation for housebreaking
and stealing money.
Also convicted on 29th June were William Bulpin, George Wall,
Thomas Bulkin and Isaac Cottle. All were sent to Illchester prison
before being transferred to the Hardy convict hulk.
According to the indent, William Bailey was the shortest prisoner on board,
standing at just 2' 8 1/2" in height. William and Isaac Cottle were
transferred from the Hulk to the Royal Sovereign on 22nd July after
spending just two days on the hulk.
William survived the voyage, faring better than some prisoners who became ill
with scorbitus. William’s only illness in the 136 Days on board ship was
catarrh for which he was treated by the ships surgeon
Francis Logan on 8th
On arrival in Australia William Bailey was
assigned to Scottish pastoralist
Peter McIntyre at Maitland and was
perhaps put to work on one of McIntyre’s stations.
William received his Certificate of Freedom on 23 March 1843 aged 21
Thomas Balken was an illiterate 16 year old errand boy when he was
convicted of housebreaking and stealing a silver spoon and butter knife on 29th June 1835 at
Bridgewater. Along with George Wall, Isaac Cottle and William Bailey who were also
convicted of various crimes that day, he was sent to Illchester Prison before
being transferred to the Hardy prison hulk on 20th July. They were all
transferred to the Royal Sovereign two days later. He was
admitted to Newcastle gaol from Merton district in March 1842 and sent
for trial. He was sentenced to Cockatoo Island as punishment for a
Married with two sons, 25 years old Job
Barnes was sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing sacking after being convicted at the Wiltshire Assizes on 7 March 1835.
A farm servant before he was
transported, he was assigned to James McDougall
at Patrick Plains on arrival.
By February 1840 he had been granted a ticket of leave by the Patrick Plains
Bench of Magistrates and by 1842 had received his certificate of freedom.
He may have been living in
the vicinity of Black Creek in 1855
Described as a ‘man of colour’
with black woolly hair, Joe Bean was a 21 year old house servant when he was convicted
of stealing pork at the Bermuda General Assizes. He was sentenced to 10 years
transportation to Australia, along with three other servants from Bermuda, Abraham, John and Jim.
Joe Bean was assigned to John McDougall in the
area and absconded from service in August 1838. He managed to evade capture for
a couple of months however was apprehended and probably punished in October of
that year. He was living in Maitland in 1844 when he was convicted of robbery
and sentenced to twelve months in irons. He may have been sent to the Bathurst
district to serve his time as he received a Ticket of Leave for the district
of Bathurst in 1850. He received a colonial sentence of 2 years to be served at
Norfolk Island and so did not receive another Ticket of Leave until 1855. This
ticket was issued for the district of Ipswich.
Joe Bean died in 1858 Online >
William Bean was born approximately 1813
in Kent, England. On 26th July 1835 at the Sussex
Assizes he was
found guilty of stealing sheep and sentenced to transportation for life. At 5’5
¾” he was taller than most of the convicts on the Royal Sovereign and was described as having
dark brown hair and eyes and blind in one eye. He gave his occupation as
farm servant and shepherd and was assigned to James W. Low in the Bathurst
district of NSW.
William received his ticket of leave for the district of Bathurst in 1844.
Joseph Bellamy was born in
Bedminster, Somersetshire in 1814. Joseph worked as a stockman and
butcher. On 31 March 1835 aged 19 he was tried at the Somerset Assizes for
housebreaking. He had no previous convictions and was sentenced to
transportation for life. He was sent to Illchester prison to await
Joseph was one of few who suffered no illness requiring medical treatment on
the trip to Australia.
In 1837 he was assigned to Thomas Icely, a wealthy
Sydney businessman, at Bathurst. Icely had been granted 280 hectares of
land in 1828 and as well as this acquired the use of vast areas of land over
the following years. Joseph probably worked on Icely’s Coombing property at Carcoar. The work was often arduous and Icely (or
his overseers) were known to use convicts to pull the ploughs.
Joseph received a Ticket of
Leave for the district of Carcoar in February 1844 and a Conditional Pardon in March 1848.
Thomas Bellamy was employed as a 19-year-old
glass blower in London when he was arrested for picking pockets and
sentenced to 7 years transportation. He was tried at the
Court on 6th April 1835. He was sent to Newgate prison
and transferred from there to the
Leviathan hulk on
27th May. On 22 July he was transferred to the Royal Sovereign for
transportation to New South Wales.
He suffered no illness on the voyage to Australia and on
arrival was assigned to
Edward Keeley at Paterson NSW. By 1840 he
had received his Ticket of Leave for the Paterson district and
his certificate of freedom was issued in 1843.
Soon afterwards he married Margaret Clarke
who had given birth to their daughter Priscilla in 1842. Margaret died in
1856 aged 46 years. Bellamy was witness in a Court case in 1849 when
four men Fry, Watts Evans and Hawkins were accused of stealing tobacco from
James Phillip's Bona Vista, Paterson.
He left the district in 1852, selling his furniture and the lease on a
paddock and equipment he had used in the tobacco industry
Joseph Biddle was convicted
of highway robbery at
Berkshire Assizes on 28 February 1835.
Also tried on
this day for highway robbery were 20-year-old William Smith and 20 year old
Peter Plummer. Joseph was 18 when he was sentenced to 7 years
transportation. Like many of his fellow convicts he had several tattoos on
his arms and body - SB, SB, JB . Joseph received his Ticket of Leave in 1840 for the Port Phillip
district and applied for permission to marry Ellen Maddigan who had arrived
on the Aliquiss .
Joseph had received his Certificate of Freedom.
Henry Biggs was born in Essex in
approximately 1815. He was a farm labourer and shepherd when he was
convicted of his second crime – stealing linen. He was then sentenced to seven
On the voyage to Australia
Henry suffered from scorbutus (scurvy). He was treated by
Francis Logan in November 1835 and pronounced cured. Aged 20 Henry
was assigned to John Ellis in Yass and his ticket of Leave was issued by the
Goulburn Bench for the district of Yass in 1840.
In 1853 Henry married Eliza Liddy in Yass.
Robert Blogg was one of 33 convicts on
board the Royal Sovereign in 1835 who had prior convictions. He was
considered a ‘bad character’ by the authorities and had already spent 6 ½
years in Bermuda as punishment for his first crime.
On 28 March 1835 he was
convicted of his second crime, housebreaking and stealing copper for which he
was sentenced to 7 years transportation. On arrival in the colony he was
to be kept at labour on the public roads.
In July 1841 he absconded from
the custody of a constable at Port Macquarie and his description was posted in
the Government Gazette: Rope maker aged 27 from Norfolk; 5' 7 1/2"; dark
complexion, brown hair, grey eyes, nose short and cocked, scar over right cheek,
lost top of middle finger of right hand, several scars on left arm, two scars
knuckle of forefinger of let hand.
Robert Blogg received his Certificate of
Freedom in 1842.
James Sevencroft Blomfield
was born approximately 1794. By far the most educated convict on board the
convict ship Royal Sovereign he attended Cambridge University and had been a
Minister of the Church for 23 years before being tried at the Old Bailey and
convicted of stealing spectacles.
In 1818 he had been
appointed to the Parishes of Beyton, Aldeburgh, and Triston cam Snape in
Suffolk where he lived with his wife and three children. He seems to have had very illustrious
connections, the Bishop of London, Charles Blomfield being a relative who
had once given his patronage for James to travel to the Cape of Good Hope.
James Blomfield's downfall commenced after promoting a book he was to write and illustrate
he gathered from his travels to the Cape of Good Hope. Here he had spent
time in charge of the sons of Mr. Daniel, a Naval Officer. Back in England
James began in 1831 taking subscriptions for his work. He travelled
the countryside visiting clergymen and other town officials asking for 5
shillings subscription for his future work. James was ' a very fine looking
man of gentlemanly exterior and imposing address' and he managed to continue
collecting these subscriptions for over three years before he came across
Mr. Charles Douglas. Mr. Douglas lived in Claremont Square, Pentonville and
was working in his garden when James came to call. Mr. Douglas was far
too wily to be taken in by James and declined to subscribe to his work,
however it was not until the next day that he found that his gold spectacles
had disappeared. Coming across James in the Strong room of the Tottenham
workhouse he questioned him about the spectacles and James admitted to
pawning them for 10 shillings after he found the spectacles in his hat.
Mr. Douglas wasted no time in calling the constabulary.
Foster accompanied James to a pawnbrokers in Grays-inn-lane near Kingscross
kept by Mr. Burgess who positively identified him as the
person who pawned the gold spectacles. James at this
point denied stealing the spectacles saying they were in
his hat by mistake. Had he been a thief he said he could
have plundered to a considerable extent in the houses of
the persons he visited to collect subscriptions for his
book. Why, he asked would he have admitted to having the
spectacles and taken the constable to the pawn shop if
he had meant to steal the spectacles? In this James
seems to be disingenuous. Perhaps this tactic had worked for him in the past.
His respectable appearance and connections may have carried him through.
This time however the authorities had twigged to his duplicity and were not
to be so easily hoodwinked. The Rev. George Hudson Thompson, Minister
of Trinity Capel, Tottenham had subscribed to James' work for 5
and when he was told by an acquaintance that there was a notice in the
cautioning people that a person answering James description was pursuing a
course of imposition by false representation, he was furious. He left
immediately to warn his neighbours against being similarly taken in.
While out on this mission he spotted James driving a 4 wheel chaise and
caused him to be taken into custody.
At this point he must still have felt he
would be believed. While he was undoubtedly worried abut his reputation, he
probably did not believe he would be found guilty of any offence. He
had, after all led a charmed life for the last three years. He must though have been concerned for his wife and child whom he had
brought from Barnett with their maid servant, and who were in dire financial
straights. James continued to plead his innocence throughout the hearing,
speaking up for himself at what he probably considered were the injustices
of the case - stating that the Magistrate had not taken into consideration
the number of subscriptions that had not been collected as many put down
their names that did not pay. And more desperately as the trial went on -
declaring that it had always been his intention to bring out his work and
that he had in fact prepared drawings expressly for the purpose of
embellishing it. He could produce the person who engaged to print it and he
had agreed with him for 1000 copies for 150/- and again - 'You will
find the names of upwards 300 lawyers as subscribers to the work and if I
meant to practice any imposition they are a class of men who would be very
soon have found me out' . He pointed out that he had been forced to pay
great portions of the subscriptions towards his necessities. The Magistrate
was not to be convinced, pointing out that after receiving
subscriptions for so large an amount James continued to collect more
although the expense of the work was trifling and the printers costs would
have been well covered. The Magistrate found that there was no moral doubt
that James' intention was to raise money by false pretences on the credit of
a work which it was more than probably never intended to bring out however,
legal proof of a guilty intention was not sufficiently strong to found an
indictment upon it the charge of fraud and so would not be persisted in.
However in the charge of stealing spectacles the evidence was so strong that
he had no choice but to commit James for trial.
On hearing of the situation and pleas to visit
his ailing and now impoverished wife, the Bishop of London, Charles Blomfield, directed that James' expenses for visiting his wife be
charged to his own expense. James was accompanied to visit his wife and
child by the constable of Tottenham towards the end of June 1835 and soon
after was conveyed to Newgate prison to await his trial which took place at
the Old Bailey on 6th July 1835. James was sentenced to seven years
transportation and 23 days later departed on the Royal Sovereign bound for
Australia. Despite his age (41) he suffered no serious illnesses on the
voyage to Australia although in September he was treated by the ships
Francis Logan for Ringworm. His appearance on arrival must
have been very different to the swarthy, fine looking gentleman who stood in
the docks at the Old Bailey. His complexion was sallow and he is described
as being a full two inches shorter than on previous occasions. His light
brown hair had been shaved. His convict garb would have been a
sharp contrast to his Clergyman's suit of black that he was accustomed to in
London. He must have been desperately worried about his family left behind
and like his fellow companions worried about what the future would bring.
Where would he be sent on arrival in the Colony? A well read man, he would
have an idea of the conditions that awaited him. This knowledge would
probably have been enhanced by other prisoners on board some of whom were on
their second transportation to Australia.
On his arrival in the Colony James found that he
was to be forwarded to the penal settlement at Port Macquarie. In 1836 in
Port Macquarie there were approximately 1300 people, 360 of them were free
settlers often living great distances from the settlement itself. James
travelled at times quite a distance from the convict settlement and
considered that outlying settlers in the district had inadequate religious
instruction and so in 1838, three years after his arrival, petitioned the
Governor to be allowed to provide religious instruction in the form of
lectures or readings to these distant settlers. He considered the crime for
which he had been convicted quite trivial and still clung at this time to
his ‘sacred calling’ and wished to improve the spiritual and moral condition
of those around him. This petition to lecture was denied by the
Governor and presumably James continued in his convict occupation at Port
was granted a ticket of Leave for the District in 1840 and in 1841 applied for permission to
marry 38-year-old Catherine Hogan a convict who had arrived on the
At this time he was living in the town of Port Macquarie.
A Certificate of Freedom was granted in 1842
May 1846 (in England), his son Henry Sevencroft Bloomfield married
Charlotte, daughter of Captain Spencer of Kilfenora, Ireland.
of Flash Men is a journal with details of the criminal underworld in
Sydney during the 1840s. The volume was kept as an official surveillance
record by William Augustus Miles who was Superintendent, then Commissioner,
of Sydney Police in New South Wales from July 1840 to July 1848.
Read the entry made for James
John Bluford was
approximately 1815 to Mary (nee Priest) and James Bluford. A stable boy in his native Bristol, he eventually became
the licencee of the Butchers Arms, a hotel at Largs near Morpeth.
Sentenced at Somerset Assizes on 31
March 1835 for housebreaking, he languished
at Illchester Prison before
embarking on the Royal Sovereign for transportation to Australia. Another
prisoner, Joseph Bellamy was also convicted of housebreaking at the same
time as John. Both gave their last abode as Bedminster, Somersetshire.
On arrival in Australia John was assigned to Richard Jones at Paterson and in
1836 he married Marion McDonald. In 1838 aged 25, he applied for permission
to marry Marion McLean, a spinster, who arrived on the
Midlothian. They were
married on 23 July 1838 by Reverend J. Dunmore Lang at Scots Church in
Sydney. John and Marion had three children - Mary b. 1838, Eliza b. 1839 and
John b. 1842 before John was issued with his Ticket of Leave for the
district of Maitland in 1844.
In March of 1846, John now employed as a hutkeeper, at
was tried at the Maitland Circuit Court for cattle stealing. He was found
not guilty, however was remanded in custody on another charge of stealing an
ox belonging to
The Maitland Mercury reported that John Blueford was ordered to be
discharged from his bail, as the Solicitor General informed the Court that
the main evidence against the prisoner was an approver, who, in a former
case, had not been believed by a jury and the Attorney General had
consequently declined to prosecute.
By 1848 John was again applying for
permission to marry – this time to 20-year-old Margaret Thompson who had
arrived on the Portland. They were married by
Rev. G. K. Rusden in Maitland. By
1850 he had received his conditional Pardon.
In the 1850's he was licensee of the Butcher's Arms
John Bluford died aged 57 in 1872 at Largs.
Michael Bowker -
Michael Bowker was 26 and a father
of three when he was convicted for stealing money. He was no hardened
criminal as this was his first conviction.
Michael Bowker had been employed
as a cotton spinner in Lancashire
His ancestors may also have worked
in a cottage industry from their home before the invention of water powered
machinery such as the spinning jenny that came to dominate the industry.
The resulting conditions for textile workers as their working place changed
from home based to work in mills deteriorated. They worked long hours for
very low wages.
Michael Bowker was convicted at
the Chester Quarter Sessions 4 October 1833. Textile worker William Goss,
who was to be transported on the Royal Sovereign was also imprisoned
with Michael in 1833, eighteen months before they actually set sail for New
Michael was sentenced to 7 years
transportation and was assigned to Joseph Hawdon at Campbelltown . He
received a Certificate of Freedom in 1841.
William Braddick - 23 yr old violin player from Somerset.
He was sentenced to transportation for Life for sheep stealing. He was assigned to
Henry Hall at Yass
Bragg, convicted of stealing a copper boiler at the Essex Quarter Sessions in
November 1833, was one of the 48 farm workers on the Royal Sovereign. He
was 46 years of age and a married father of seven.
He is described as having white blotches on
the back of his lower right arm and scald marks below his knees. He was
one of many to suffer from scorbutus on the trip although was not treated until
13 December when the ship had already docked. On arrival he was assigned
to Messrs Maccarthur at Camden. He obtained a ticket of Leave for the district of
Stonequarry on 7 September 1840
was born in Sussex c. 1815. He was twenty two
years when he was convicted of stealing handkerchiefs
at the Portsmouth Quarter Sessions on 6th April 1835.
He was assigned to P. King of Penrith on arrival. Three years later, the
Government Gazette posted his description when he
absconded from Captain King - James Bravon per Royal
Sovereign aged 25, tried Sussex, brickmaker complete; 5' 10", dark sallow
complexion, brown and thin hair, chestnut eyes, two middle front teeth in upper
and lower jaws apart, two small moles left cheek, JS seven stars inside lower
right arm scar inside left thumb, forefinger of right hand contracted.
He received a Ticket of Leave in 1840.
In 1846 he was admitted to Darlinghurst gaol and sent to the iron gang
at Wooloomooloo for 12 months for having stolen 3 pounds from George
James Broadbent was a filesmith from Yorkshire and was convicted of housebreaking at
Warwick Quarter Sessions. His Tattoos included -
stars, half moon man and flag and Sheffield coat of arms, inside lower right arm.
He was assigned to
John Erskine who was employed as Clerk to the Bench
of Magistrates at Maitland
old ribbon weaver from Coventry who was convicted of stealing silk at
the Warwick assizes. He was married with 3 children before
transportation. Description: Missing upper tooth. He received a Ticket
of Leave for Goulburn district in 1844
Benjamin Bryant was twenty years old - a boatman from Wiltshire when
he was convicted of stealing a coat in January 1835 and sentenced to 7
He applied to
marry Susan White in Bathurst district.
Balpin (Bullpin/Bulpin) was born in Durleigh, Bridgewater. He was employed as a
farm servant when he was convicted of house
breaking Somerset Assizes June 1835. He was sentenced to transportation for
the indent for the Royal Sovereign he is
described as being aged 22 years of age and having irregular front upper teeth; tattoos
- woman and EB inside lower right arm, woman
and EC inside lower left arm; 5 large indented scars back right leg. He was
considered a 'bad character' as he had been transported before and was to be kept at
hard labour on the roads on arrival in Australia.
In March 1842 he was reported as
having absconded from John Blaxland at Newington and of being
apprehended in 1844.
He received a Ticket of leave for the district of Maitland in 1851 which
was cancelled in 1852 for being absent from his district, and
Ticket of leave for the district of Ipswich in 1856.
Samuel Bunce (Bounce) Was tried at Worcestershire aged 44.
He suffered from vertigo on the voyage to Australia and died in the General
Hospital Sydney soon after arrival on 31st December 1835.
Was a 29 year old single farm labourer convicted of pig
stealing at Essex Quarter Sessions. He was assigned to
John Eales, Maitland
and granted a Ticket of Leave for the district of Maitland in 1841.
James Butcher had a prior conviction of six months in 1835 when he
was sentenced to 14 yrs transportation at Suffolk Quarter Sessions for
robbing a store house.
He was a 29
year old father of three and described as a farm worker and illiterate.
He was granted a Ticket of Leave for the district of Yass in February
was born Norfolk and
brother to William. His Ticket of leave
was granted in 1843 for the district of Penrith. His ticket was cancelled 1847 when
he was found guilty of
stealing a pair of boots and was restored in 1848.
Cawston and his younger brother George were tried for housebreaking at
Norfolk Quarter Sessions 13th January 1835. Life had already been unkind to
William, a farm servant, who was left with two sons to raise when his wife
died at a young age.
William was assigned to
James Adair a settler at Paterson and received a ticket of leave for the district of
Paterson on 13 January 1844, nine years to the day since he had first been
The Paterson region had
been taken up early in the settlement of the area with land grants to ex
military and settlers with enough capital. William probably arrived in the
Paterson area by March or April a time when the farmers of the district were
busy preparing their fields for wheat sowing. Settlers had great power
over the convicts' lives. Some masters considered it an indulgence to allow
their convicts to work up to 10pm at night to earn extra credit that they
could exchange for tea, sugar or tobacco. Without this the convict would
have had to exist on the rations provided by the Government which were
inadequate. Settlers on the Paterson were also known to conduct Divine
services on Sundays. Although this was a day free of labour the
settlers/masters still had control over the convicts and they were expected
to muster at midday to attend the services. This was done not only for moral
benefit but to put a stop to the convict wandering further afield on this
day and indulging in spirits, riot and ribaldry that rendered him unfit for
duties the next day. The convict, who would be on foot could not hope to
travel far enough unless he left at day break so the master used this as
another means of controlling his work force.
When William received his ticket
of leave for the Paterson district he was then able to work to provide for
himself. On the 15 February 1849, fourteen years after sentencing William
received a Conditional pardon and in 1851 he married Elizabeth Kendall
was convicted of stealing a sheep in Surry at the Surry
Quarter Sessions on 9th February 1835. Also tried
on this day for sheep stealing was thirty year old farm servant John
Stealing livestock was considered a serious crime and they were both
punished accordingly. John was sentenced to Transportation for Life to
Australia. When he sailed on the Royal Sovereign on 29 July he left
behind a wife, two daughters and a son.
While some convicts on board the
Royal Sovereign suffered little illness, the Ships surgeon
stated that John would not have lived another two days at sea. He had become
dangerously ill with scurvy and was so weak he could not even sit up. His
stomach was swollen, his skin discoloured and his appetite gone. The
surgeon administered Lime juice and preserved meat with the zest, the
current cure for scorbutus, and when the ship landed John was sent
immediately to the hospital on shore.
his ordeal and received a Ticket of Leave for the Bathurst district by
the Bathurst Bench of Magistrates in September 1844. He received a
Conditional Pardon in 1849
Born in Warwick in 1815, William Clay was to spend the rest
of his days far distant from Warwick's bustling streets where he worked as a
shoemaker. After transportation he was sent to work in the Hunter Valley's Patrick Plains and the isolated and lonely
Liverpool Ranges . The
Liverpool Ranges lay beyond the boundaries of the
colony when William was assigned to John Earl at Patrick Plains.
John Earl arrived on the 'Thalia'
in the winter of 1823. He brought with him upwards of
and extensive sheep farming experience. He
was granted 1500 acres and named his grant Glenridding. By spring of 1823 he had
arrived at his holdings with his wife, children and assigned servants
to begin sheep farming.
In 1837, 14 years after his arrival in the
colony, Earl was granted a license to depasture stock beyond the boundaries
of the colony. John Earl was just one of many who quickly took up the land
beyond the boundaries (nineteen counties). These men were often wealthy
and influential squatters but also among them were clergymen, school
teachers, publicans – anyone in fact who could raise enough money for a
flock and servants to keep them. Governor Gipps introduced Squatter's
in 1836 and a
£10 annual fee irrespective of the size of their
tenure was charged.
Arriving in 1835, William Clay may have been sent to Liverpool
ranges to work as a shepherd or hut keeper on one of Earl’s stations. These
runs or stations were manned by two shepherds who looked after the
sheep by day and a hutkeeper who maintained the yards and hut and was
responsible for the sheep by night. Their living arrangements would have
been in a bark roofed hut close by the sheep enclosures. Usually the huts
were 10 x 14 feet and made with split slabs. They consisted of one room with
a dirt floor. A fireplace would be at one end and the sleep area consisted
of beds made on sheets of bark lifted off the ground by logs of wood laid
underneath the head and the foot. The lives of the hutkeepers and shepherds
were often miserable and isolated. Food and supplies were often
inadequate and for those such as William who could read and write the
shortage of reading material was another harsh reminder of their lowly
position in the colony.
William Clay remained in the
Hunter Valley area. In January 1844 aged 31 years old he received a
ticket of Leave for the district of Scone which had been recommended by the
Commonwealth Crown Land, Liverpool Plains. Sixty year old David Rose also
received his ticket of Leave for the Scone area recommended by the
Commonwealth Crown Land, Liverpool Plains. William received a Provisional
Pardon in May 1845, 1846 and 1847 and by February 1849 had received a
Conditional Pardon. He possibly died in Quirindi, NSW in 1888.
was a farm servant convicted of stealing sheep.
He was assigned to J.S. Corse at the Vale of Clywdd in 1837 and was issued with a
Ticket of Leave in 1844 for district of Bathurst and a Conditional Pardon
William Collins was born in Essex and convicted
of sheep stealing. A Ticket of Leave was issued for district of Queanbeyan
in 1844 and a
Conditional Pardon issued 1850.
was born in Shepton Mallett, Somerset.
A shoemaker's boy, he was convicted of stealing
poultry and on arrival in Australia was assigned to
Cyrus Matthew Doyle
died in 1888.
John Couch Of St. Austell, Cornwall.
John Couch, a labourer
was convicted with
Giles of stealing
100lbs of tin ore, the property of John Williams and others.
On arrival in Australia, he was assigned to John Jones at
Turee, Cassilis. He may have been at Turee in 1837 when an assigned
servant of Jones at Turee,
Edward Tuffts murdered Jones by
stabbing him in the groin with a pair of sheep shears.
A Ticket of leave
was issued for John Couch in 1840 for the district of Cassilis.
He was probably
the John Couch who was fined 40/- or 2mths in prison for assaulting Daniel
McCarthy in 1849 in Maitland.
Charles Davies (Davis) was born in Southampton. He was
assigned to William Sharp in Sydney on arrival in Australia. A description of him
from the convict indent - 'Nose inclining to left
side, lost three upper front teeth, scar center forehead, breast hairy,
scar top of middle and 4th finger right hand, large scar back
of left hand, scar right eyebrow.'
received aTicket of Leave for
Maitland district in 1840.
Trade: Butcher and clerk. Jonathon Davis was found guilty of
embezzlement at Westminster Sessions of Peace. He was assigned to John
Dixon in Goulburn in 1835. A Certificate of Freedom was
issued in 1842.
William Davis - fifteen year old errand boy convicted of picking pockets. On arrival
in Australian he was assigned to
McIntyre at Maitland. He was issued with a Ticket of leave for
district of Maitland in 1842.
was a shepherd and farm labourer convicted of stealing money at Norfolk.
He could read and write and was issued with a Ticket of Leave for
district of Parramatta on 14th February 1840. He applied to marry
Bridget Larkin in 1842.
William Eyres was
sentenced to six months in prison in Wiltshire for larceny at age 19.
On his second offence two years later he was sentenced to seven years
transportation for stealing poultry.
On arrival in
Australia he was assigned to
Thomas Leiver at Richmond. His Ticket of Leave was issued for the
district of Windsor on 14th February 1840. He married Mary Malone in 1842 and died
in 1879 at Richmond.
Frederick Eley was a
35 yr old widower convicted of stealing a goose in Suffolk. His
description - red hair, red beard, grey eyes, arms freckled, 5' 5
A Ticket of Leave was
issued for district of Patrick Plains in 1840 and he received a
Conditional pardon in 1842.
Thomas Ellis was a
steam boiler maker's boy. He was 16 years old and could read and write.
He was convicted of picking pockets in London. On arrival he
was assigned to James Hassall in Yass. He received a Certificate of Freedom 1842.
George Filewood was a brother of
James Filewood, also a convict on the Royal Sovereign. George was a
boot maker aged 29 with a sallow pock-pitted complexion, brown hair and
grey eyes. He had lost his front upper tooth. He was tried at
Middlesex in 1834 and convicted of stealing boots from his employer.
From the London Times:
Marlborough Street - Yesterday
George Filewood, a journeyman in the employ of Mr. Lloyd, boot and shoe
maker No. 30 Coventry Street, Haymarket was brought up for final
examination, charged with having plundered his employer at different
times of a vast quantity of property, and Susannah Filewood, his wife,
was charged with Having received the property, well knowing it to have
Upwards of 2- pawnbrokers were
in attendance with portions of the stolen property, one of whom had no
less than 38 pairs of boots and shoes in his possession, pledged by the
prisoner and his accomplices, and by means of the pawn brokers between
100 and 150 pairs of boots and shoes were brought forward and identified
by Mr. Lloyd.
The prisoner had been somewhere
about 18months in his service and from the dates of some of the pledges
it was quite evident he had commenced robbing his master shortly after
he got into his employ. The stock of Mr. Lloyd being very extensive
afforded peculiar facilities to the prisoner to commit depredations and
likewise to render detection almost impossible. Suspicion, however, did
arise against the prisoner in consequence of his having been seen with a
check in his possession, and his having offered to lend a considerable
sum of money to his fellow workmen. These circumstances, coupled with
others of a general nature, led to the detection of the extensive system
of robbery carried on by him for so long a time with impunity.
Stephen Smith, shop man to Mr.
Lloyd, said his suspicions having been awakened, he determined to watch
his movements closely. On the Thursday before his apprehension he saw the
prisoner attempt to put a pair of boys shoes into his trousers pocket,
but upon observing that witness had his eye upon him he threw the shoes
down again. On Friday he again tried to pocket another pair of shoes, but
these he put down as soon as he saw witness watching him. On Saturday he
took a pair of gentleman's pumps from a heap on the floor and
unperceived, as he imagined, put them into his pocket. Witness went up
to him and asked him if he had any shoes in his pocket to which the
prisoner replied "Certainly not". Witness then mentioned to him what he
had seen, and the prisoner admitted he had put a pair of umps in his
pockets, but asserted they were old ones. Ultimately he produced a pair
of new pumps from his pockets, begging forgiveness and saying he hoped
witness would not tell Mr. Lloyd, and that he might go home and be safe
and rest happy. Witness mentioned the circumstance to Mr. Lloyd on the
following Monday who caused the prisoner be taken into custody.
Policeman C177 said he went to 3
St. Albans place Lambeth where the prisoner lodged and there found a
pair of boots and a pair of shoes which Mr. Lloyd identified. A
duplicate for another pair belonging to Mr. Lloyd was also identified.
A more minute investigation being instituted, the property already
specified was found in the hands of the pawnbrokers, pledged by the two
prisoners and a person not in custody.
The cases of seven of the
pawnbrokers were considered to be sufficient, and their evidence only
was taken. The greater part of the others applied for permission to give
up the property which was not refused.
The prisoners were ordered to
stand fully committed but they were directed to be brought up on the
following week for a purpose connected with the same offence.
Mr. Lloyd begged leave to put a
question to the male prisoner respecting a large sum of money which he
understood was in his possession.
Mr. Conant said Mr. Lloyd might,
if he pleased put the question, but he must caution the prisoner not to
make any reply which would criminate himself, because he need not answer
it if he chose.
Mr. Lloyd then asked the
prisoner if he had not a considerable sum of money in his possessions, as
he had been informed that he the prisoner had offered to lend one of the
workmen 20 pound.
The prisoner said he had no
Mr. Lloyd then
inquired about a check which he had got changed.
The prisoner gave an
explanation which Mr. Lloyd said he should be able on a future day to
prove was untrue. By advice of their solicitor, the prisoners declined
saying anything further, and were removed London Times 12 July 1834. 4a
George Filewood was assigned to
James Atkinson at Parramatta. His Ticket of leave was issued in 1840
however in 1848 he was sentenced to six months in the iron gang after
being convicted at Sydney Quarters Sessions of stealing silver money in
James Filewood was a hairdresser convicted
receiving stolen goods. He was Assigned to H. Delion, Sydney. A Ticket of leave
was issued in 1840 and cancelled in the same year for disorderly conduct.
He married Ann
Willis in 1841.
was a twenty five year old
widower from Wiltshire and was employed as a Letter sorter. He had no
prior convictions and could read and write. He received a life sentence
for stealing hay.
A Ticket of Leave was granted
Nineteen year old Suffolk farm
labourer Robert Fitche was convicted of house breaking at Suffolk
Quarter Session on 8th April 1835. On arrival he was assigned to
John Marquett Blaxland
at Patrick Plains and was issued with a Ticket of Leave for the district
of Cassilis in 1842.
Robert Fitch was a witness a at
the trial of Thomas Grantham in 1844. Grantham had been indicted for
forgery in having uttered forged orders at Jerry's Plains in August 1843
with intent to defraud
Richard Alcorn. Fitch testified on Grantham's
behalf, stating that although he could not read well he knew it to be a
2 pound cheque on the Commercial Bank. The Maitland Mercury recorded
that Fitch was examined by the Attorney General, who elicited a very
humorous spelling from him on the cheque.
Married indoor servant and groom
convicted at Central Criminal Court in 1835.
William Taylor and George
Fitness were indicted for stealing on the 22nd March, 5 curtains,
value 12s; 1 decanter, value 2s 6d; 6 glasses, value 9s 4 cups value 6d;
4 saucers value 6d; 3 knives, value 6d; 3 forks, value 6d; 3 spoons
value 3d; 3 brushes, value 2s; 1 curry comb value 6d and 1 lamp, value
6d; the goods of Richard Keily, the master of the said William Taylor.
William Pearce. I am a
policeman. On 22nd March at 10 o'clock at night, I was in Cockspur
street, Charing cross about a quarter of a mile from the prosecutor's I
met Fitness carrying this carpet bag, with this property in it I asked
him what he was carrying he said his masters clothes - I asked him where
he brought it from - he said from a house in Pall Mall - I asked him the
number of the house in Pall Mall; he could not tell me I said then I
should take him to the station house - he said rather than go there he
would go back to the house he had brought it from - as we returned he
said he brought it from No 6 Pall Mall - we went down Pall Mall and
found that was false - I told him I should not leave him till I saw
whether he ws right or wrong - he then took me to No. 6 Cleveland
row which is the prosecutors - he rang the area bell and Taylor came up
the area steps to answer the bell - I said I have stopped this man with
a carpet bag, which he says is his master's clothes, and that his master
has been dining here' Taylor said,' It is quite right, I am sorry you
detained him, he ought to have been home by this time with his master's
clothes; the servant girl came up and also said it was right I said,
'Then I shall let him go; he got about twelve yards form the house when
the prosecutor came out of the street door, and asked what was the
matter I told him, and he said, "I know nothing about a carpet bag;
where is the man" I said, "There he goes" he hearing me speak to Mr.
Keily, turned into Russell Court. I followed but could not see him - I
ran to the end of James Street, but could not find him - returned, and
said I believed he had escaped (the gentleman said the court was no
thoroughfare, and he must be there - I returned again and called brother
officer to come wit his lantern, and at last I saw him run - I pursued
after him he was making his way across St. James street, - a man stopped
him - I took him back to the court and asked him for the bag he was
carrying - he said he knew nothing of any bag - it was found and brought
to me - I took possession of it - I detained him till Mr. Keily brought
Taylor there in custody - the bag was locked - it was broken open and
the articles, named in the indictment, found in it - the spoons are not
Cross examined by Mr. Doane
Q. Was Mr. Keily present when
the bag was opened. A. he was. Fitness was flurried when I stopped him -
Cleveland row is nearly in a line with Pall Mall the female servant also
said, it was all right - I am quite certain Fitness is the man.
Mr. Richard Keily. I live in
Cleveland row. Taylor was my footman he had been so between three or
four months - I know nothing of Fitness - my attention was attracted by
the conversation with the officer, and as so many robberies had been
committed about that time I was determined to see about it - I said no
gentleman had dined at my house that day - the moment Fitness heard me
speak, he took to his heels and went down the court, - I knew he could
not get out of the court it being no thoroughfare - he was taken at
last, and I took Taylor to the station house - the property in the bag
is mine some of it I swear positively to and believe it all to be mine.
Cross examined Q. What can you
swear positively to. A. The glass was cut to match some I had of the
same pattern, and the number corresponds with what is missing - I had
not seen the curtains for a month - I missed none of my plate but a tea
spoon and two dessert spoons - Taylor had the care of my plate the bag
is not mine
William Baker. I am a policeman.
I heard the alarm; I took Taylor into custody, concealed behind the back
kitchen door in the house.
Taylor Guilty. Aged 30 -
transported for fourteen years
Fitness Guilty. Aged 27 -
transported for seven years.
George Fitness was
assigned to George Cox at Penrith.
He died in 1837 in Windsor Hospital
James Flower was born in Frome,
Somerset. He was employed as a clothier and was convicted of
housebreaking when he was 19. He received a life sentence and was
incarcerate in Illchester Prison to await transportation
Robert Fry -
Farm labourer convicted of
stealing cheese at Wiltshire Assizes. His description was given as - sallow complexion with dark brown
hair. He was assigned to James Adair
at Paterson and received a Ticket of Leave for the Paterson district in 1843.
A Conditional Pardon was granted in 1848.
Robert Fry came to the rescue of Mary
Edward Gostwyck Cory's estate at the Upper Paterson in June 1846 when
Tommy Tombo attempted to rape her. She had been walking
through the bush picking tea tree for a broom when she was attacked.
Robert Fry heard her cries for help and came to her assistance.
In 1849 he was found not guilty
of stealing tobacco from the factory of
Alfred William Phillips at Bona
Vista. Witness at his trial was
Shoemaker born in Devonshire. He was assigned James Hall
in Windsor on arrival in Australia. A Ticket of Leave
for district of Windsor was issued in 1841.
Richard Garland married Mary McAteer in Sydney.
Joseph Hoskin Giles
Miner from Cornwall.
On arrival he was assigned to the
Australian Agricultural company in Newcastle. He
received a Ticket of Leave in 1840
Fifteen year old chimney
sweep from Surry. He could read and write and was convicted of stealing linen
Middlesex (Westminster) Session of Peace on 14th May 1835.
description was given as 4' 7 1/2 " with a dark sallow complexion and brown hair and eyes.
Right eye heavy. WC inside lower
right arm; glass, ES, inside lower left arm; 2 blue dots back of left hand,
mark of a burn left foot.
William was assigned to Thomas Icely in Bathurst on arrival and received a Certificate of Freedom
Thomas Goodwin -
23 year old farm Servant from Wiltshire convicted of highway robbery. He
was an Epileptic. Thomas received a Ticket of Leave for Yass in 1840 and a
Certificate of Freedom in 1842.
William Goss was
born in county Westmeath. He was forty seven years old and employed as a weaver.
He was married with five children and
was convicted of receiving stolen fustion at the Chester Quarter Sessions in
1833. His description included - 'Red
whiskers, breast and arms much freckled, top of fourth finger of right hand
had contracted. '
William was assigned to
the Hospital at Windsor on arrival.
He received a Ticket of
Leave for district of Windsor in 1840.
Index to Convict Bank Warrants 1837 - 1870 - William Goss, Royal
Sovereign, Warrant no 40/64. Condition
- Free, Reel 596. Item 4/4547
year old warehouseman who could read and write when he was convicted of stealing coats
Central Criminal Court on 11 May 1835.
On arrival he was assigned to J. Jamieson
at Goulburn. A Ticket of Leave was issued in 1840
Soldier of the 47th
Regiment convicted of desertion in Gibraltar aged 21 years. He was born
in Yorkshire and had a ruddy complexion with brown hair and grey eyes
and a scar above the left cheek bone.
John Green was assigned to
Gregory Blaxland at Merton in 1836/37 and by 1840 assigned to John
John Green was part of a gang of
bushrangers in the district of
Gammon Plains in 1840. The gang included James Martin, James Mason
who were assigned servants to Mr. Blaxland and James Walker, Thomas
Kievers, James Howard and Robert Rawson who were assigned to Mr.
Bettington. They committed robberies on 9th March and Green was possibly
present on the 23rd March when the house of Henry Pelham Dutton was
robbed and servant John Johnson shot dead.
more about the gang here
He may have been the John Green who was murdered
by a blow to the head by Patrick Maloney after a drunken brawl in July
1849 near Falbrook.
Twenty four year old town
labourer convicted of stealing clothes and sentenced to 7 years transportation.
Married with a previous conviction of 6 months, he had dark Sallow complexion
with brown hair and hazel ' full ' eyes.
Greig was assigned to
William Cape at
Brisbane Waters in 1836 and was employed at farming work. He was also sent to
work for Cape's sons when the need arose such as at harvest time.
Convicted at Cornwall Quarter Sessions on 6th January 1835 with Joseph Hoskin
both labourers of St. Austell, of stealing 300lbs of tine ore the
property of John Williams and others. Both Giles and Grose were transported for seven years.
Richard Grose was a 28 years old farm labourer and miner and father of three
sons when he was convicted. On arrival, he was assigned to the
Agricultural Company and sent to work in their
coal mine at Newcastle.
He received a Ticket of Leave for Newcastle in 1840.
Employed as a horse breaker in
Surry. He was 19 years old when he was found guilty of stealing boots and
sentenced to 7 years transportation at the Surry Quarter Sessions.
His description included:
Scar betwixt the eyebrows, large round scar right temple,
heart inside lower right arm, mark of chilblains back of both hands, dove, JG hear, darts,
and a wreath inside lower left arm, long scar back of middle finger of left hand
large burn mark on right leg.
He was found not guilty of robbing George Robely of some silver in 1846 in
Sydney. Catherine Barter was found guilty of the crime.
Employed as a farm servant and shepherd. He was convicted of highway robbery at the
Wiltshire assizes and sentenced to transportation for life.
On arrival he was
assigned to James Atkinson at Molongolo. He was 20 years old and could read.
- Twenty nine year old chair and cabinet maker convicted of stealing
tea. Native place Kent and could read and write. Dark pock pitted
complexion and dark brown hair; 5'1"; On arrival Thomas
Harley was assigned to
James Templeton in Sydney.
Thomas Harley died in Sydney General Hospital
in 1837 aged 31.
William Hall was
employed as a butler at the house of Charlotte Collins in Marylebone. He was
38 and a father of five and could read and
write. Along with Martha Handcox, a lady's maid employed in the same
household, he was convicted at Central Criminal Court of robbery. Read
the full trial at
The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Online. They were both
sentenced to transportation for life.
In the convict indents of the Royal Sovereign, his native place was given as Staffordshire. He was 5' 4 3/4",
and had a dark complexion,
brown hair and brown eyes. Cast outward in right eye, carroty whiskers,
raised mole on left cheek.
William Hall was assigned to
in 1836/37 at Invermein. A
Ticket of Leave was issued for the district of Scone in 1844.
William Harrington - twenty
nine year old grocer from Oxfordshire convicted at Surry Quarter
Sessions of stealing scales in 1835. William Harrington could read and
write and was married at the time of his conviction. In his notes it is
recorded that he was considered a bad character as he had been
transported before. On arrival in the Colony he was to be kept at hard labour on the public roads.
His description stated that he
had a sallow and pockpitted complexion with dark brown hair mixed with
grey. His eyes were hazel and the top of his head was bald.
In 1836/37 he was assigned to
In November 1839 the Government Gazette posted a
wanted notice when he absconded from the service of Charles Long* at
was apprehended however absconded again the following year in the
district of Patrick Plains.
1842 William Harrington had been issued a ticket of leave for the
district of Paterson and for Windsor in 1843.
*Charles Long may have been
Charles Towers Long, son in law of James Mudie
22 yr old
blacksmith from Wiltshire convicted of stealing hay. He was single and
could read and write. No previous convictions were recorded and he was
sentenced to 7 years transportation.
George Harris was
assigned to Samuel Blackman in the Cook district in 1836/37 and received a
Certificate of Freedom in 1843.
His description included:
mole left cheek, EBPW, 1834 inside lower right arm, 3 illegible letters
back of left wrist, anchor and H back of left hand, scar inside left
46 yr old
father of eight convicted of stealing geese. He was listed as a farm
servant, shepherd, well sinker and brickmaker. Native place -
Hampshire - convicted at Sussex Q.S.
John Harris was issued
Ticket of Leave for district of Wollongong in 1840
30 yr old
married father of two convicted of sheep stealing in Suffolk.
John Hazel was assigned
to James Hale
at Patrick Plains in 1836/37 and was Issued with a Ticket of leave for
district of Patrick Plains in 1845
Many of the
convicts on board the
Royal Sovereign had no previous convictions. This was not the case
with Joseph Headley who was an habitual criminal. When he
arrived in July 1835 it was his second voyage to Australia as he had already
been found guilty of housebreaking in Norfolk and transported on the
Sesostris for seven years. Even then aged 22 he already had two
When he arrived in Sydney
on the Sesostris in 1826 he was assigned
to the Superintendent at the
Parramatta Factory. In the shipping indents
which are completed on arrival in Australia, he gave his native place as
By 1832 he must have been declared free as he travelled back to
England on the ship Portland. He found it difficult to stay out of
trouble however and by June 1835 he was again in Court in Norfolk,
this time charged with stealing boots. He was once again found guilty and
sentenced to 14 years transportation. He was considered a recalcitrant
convict and on arrival was assigned to Goat Island. Here convicts were
constructing the Queens Magazine and barracks from sandstone quarried from
the eastern side of the island. Also in the barracks area were kitchen and
cooperage. These convicts worked in ironed gangs. The building of the
Magazine was not completed until 1839 and when it was finished it measured
100ft. x 25 ft. There were massive buttresses supporting an enormous arched
roof. Joseph probably worked on the Magazine until it was finished. He
received a ticket of leave in 1842 for the district of Yass so possibly had
been forwarded to that area to work on roads after the Magazine was
He seems to have
stayed out of trouble after this as in 1850 he received a Certificate of
Richard and Henry Henley
Richard 19, and his brother Henry 17, were charged with stealing nine chairs
on 21 April 1835 from their employer Harriet Augusta Tanner. The chairs were
valued at 11 pounds 11 shillings and made of Honduras wood. Harriet Tanner was
a widow who made her living by manufacturing furniture. She lived in New
Street, City Road and employed Henry on a casual basis.
On the 21st of April, Henry was employed to assist Mrs.
Tanner move an easy chair and and eight dining room chairs from Cheapside to
High Street, St. Giles. While Mrs. Tanner was conducting her business,
Henry disappeared. She returned to the truck to see Henry just turning into
Oxford Street. Although she tried to follow him, he managed to escape and when
he didn't return by 8 o'clock she notified the police. When the police
investigated, they found that Henry's brother Richard had sold the furniture
to William Smith who lived at No 94 York Street, Westminster
Richard and Henry pleaded guilty and although Mrs. Tanner's
brother Frederick Henry Brown gave Henry a good character they were both
sentenced to seven years transportation.
After arrival in Australia, Richard
was assigned to
Edward Stanton in Raymond Terrace. He he obtained a Ticket of
Leave in 1840 for the district of Port Stephens, and applied to marry Mary
Chapman at Paterson. In 1842 he was issued with a certificate of freedom.
Their two first children, Richard Joseph and Henry were born in 1841 and 1845
while the family lived near Singleton. When John was born in 1848 they were
living in Pitt street Sydney. When James William (1850) and Caroline Victoria,
1853 were born, Richard was living in Goulburn Street, Sydney and working as a
Richard also tried his hand at goldmining and later became a hotelkeeper at
Wattle Flat where he died in 1855. He was buried at Sofala and three
years later his widow married James Dyson. (Australian Biographical and
Genealogical Records Series 1 1788 - 1841)
18 yr old
weaver convicted of picking pockets. Convicted at Central Criminal Court
to 7 yrs transportation.
Robert Heyward was issued with a Ticket of leave for Bathurst district in
Central Criminal Court
sallow and freckled
marks: Small hairy mole right check; anchor, WR on upper, crucifix inside lower
right arm; scar back of right thumb, WR on upper, man smoking inside lower left
Richard Hicks was convicted of robbery
with violence at Millers Forest in 1845. Select
Hicks, Pyzer & Wood to
to find out more
Twenty seven year old
labourer convicted of stealing clothing (one cap one
coat five waistcoats one pair of breeches 4 pairs of stockings and three
shirts) from the house of farmer Thomas Norris,. John
Higgins when testifying stated:
I was coming from Evingham across to Burtle I was going home (and) I saw
this bundle tied up in a rick barrow. I took it up and put on the coat
and hat and left my own in the same place'
had one previous conviction of 6 months and was sentenced to
transportation for life. He was assigned to R.P. Jenkins at Berrima and
received a ticket of leave for the district of Yass in 1844
20 year old
stable boy convicted of stealing a watch at Southhampton Assizes.
Assigned to G.H. Woodhouse at Yass 1836/37
Twenty four year old
farm servant John Hoare was convicted of Highway robbery at Southampton
assizes on 3rd March 1835 and sentenced to transportation for Life.
arrival he was assigned to William Osborne at Cassilis and in 1844
issued a ticket of leave for the district of Windsor. This was altered
to the district of Maitland on 2 September 1844.
He may have been the
John Hoare who was employed as a cook at the
Black Horse Inn
at East Maitland in 1847 and who was buried in the East Maitland
cemetery in March 1848.
baker's boy convicted of stealing lace at Devonshire Quarter Sessions.
Thomas Icely at Bathurst. T/L issued in 1841. Cert of Freedom 1844.
Somersetshire aged 20. Employed as Clerk to Bench of Magistrates.
Convicted of robbing his master and sentenced to 7 yrs transportation.
Liverpool Hospital 1836. Ticket of leave issued for the district of
Bathurst in 1840.
year old married farm servant convicted of house breaking at Suffolk
Quarter Sessions. Assigned to William Lee at Bathurst
year old ivory worker convicted of robbing his employer Assigned to
John Marquett Blaxland
Patrick Plains. Ticket of leave for the district of Patrick Plains
issued in 1839
Fifteen year old Frederick Palmer Hulme was
convicted of stealing money from his master. He was apprenticed to Mr.
Hunter at 102 The Strand, London as a compositors boy and when he stole the
'considerable sum of money' at 10am on 17th April he fled to his uncle's
residence in Spitalfields. However a notice was placed in the Police Gazette
five days later giving his description as being dressed in black and of
stout build and he was soon apprehended.
Frederick, born in Warwickshire and
christened on 2nd September 1817at Holy Trinity, Coventry Warwick was
the son of a school teacher, Herbert Allen Hulm and his wife Ellen Louisa
Palmer. Frederick had their initials tattooed on his arm together with the
date 18.8.1834. This was Frederick's first conviction however he was
sentenced to transportation for Life.
Frederick was sent to the Port Philip
District after arrival.
A notice was posted in the Government
gazette of 15 November 1837. - Robert Sowerby, Frederick Hulme and Dominick Sampson
all absconded from C.H. Ebden at Port Phillip in September 1837.
Frederick had valuable skills and
he was sent to work in the government Printing Office in the 1840s. In 1843 he was given
a ticket of leave and allowed to remain in the district of Sydney so long as
he remained in the service of the Government offices He was considered one
of the best compositors according to William McRow of the government
Printing Office. He held a Government ticket of leave and was paid one
shilling and 9 d. per diem. When he left the printing office in
May1843 his payment of 1 shilling and 9d. ceased.
In 1842 when Frederick was 24 years old, he applied to marry Elizabeth
Jane Henderson who had arrived on the Heber aged 22. They married on
8th November 1842 in Sydney and their first son Charles William was born
1842 at Parramatta, quickly followed by George Herbert who was born in
1843 in Sydney. On 11 March 1844 his ticket of leave was altered for
Queanbeyan and Frederick and Elizabeth's next two children Ann Isabella and
Frederick Cornelious were born in Duntroon in 1845 and 1848.
received his Conditional Pardon in 1848. He died on 3 January 1863 in Swan
Hill Victoria when the eldest of his four children was twenty one years old.
Many of his grandchildren were born in the Wagga Wagga and Junee districts.
John Hickey, Maitland
Born in Suffolk.
Assigned to James Collington, Inverary
Born Essex. Assigned Thomas Hyndes, Sydney.
John Jennings alias
Widower. Scene and Herald painter, midshipman and preacher born in Lemington,
In February 1835, the Police
Gazette carried a notice for John Jennings apprehension after he
absconded from his lodgings at No. 1 Margaret - Buildings, Bath, several
days earlier stealing a large Bible valued at £5 and other
property consisting of a decanter, a quantity
of drinking glasses and glass sugar basin
belonging to Mr. Gregory. He was also accused of stealing a watch
belonging to Leonard Cozens. He was 24 years old about 5'3" dark
complexion, the mark of gun powder about his right ear and cheek,
wearing a black frock coat, black waistcoat, black or mixed trousers and
crape on his hat; he was seen the same day he absconded on the
Cheltenham Road and was apprehended at Marlborough within a couple of
At his trial Thomas Graham stated that the
Bible in question was his property and he lent it to Jennings on Monday the 26th
January, as Jennings was in the habit once a week of having a number of persons
coming to his room to hear him preach and had told Graham that his own was so
small he could not read out of it. He was said to be a Preacher of the Baptist
persuasion and preached at a chapel on Rush Hill every Sabbath Day.
John James Jennings was sentenced to 7 years transportation
and was assigned to the government in the Port Macquarie district on arrival.
servant from Bermuda. Ticket of Leave for Maitland district
John Alexander Johnson
19 year old labourer from Surrey convicted of robbing his master. Find
out more at
Central Criminal Court June 1835.
On arrival in Australia he was assigned to
at Newcastle and was issued with a ticket of leave for the district of
Newcastle in 1840.
Mary Clement who had arrived on the
Sir Charles Forbes soon after
receiving his ticket of leave. In 1843 Mary was charged with gross
insolence and disorderly conduct on premises of
George Jackson at Newcastle
and sentenced to 14 days solitary confinement.
Jacob King - Jacob King was born in Cambridgeshire - He was
twenty two when
convicted of stealing poultry at the Norfolk Quarter
Sessions on 13th January 1835. He was sentenced to transportation for life.
was listed in the New South Wales Government Gazette in June 1838 as
having absconded from William Lithgow at Lake George three months
He was Issued
with a ticket of leave in 1846.
Daniel Keefe 19 year old Chimney sweep from Surrey convicted in May
1835 for stealing clothing. He was sent to
Certificate of Freedom
issued in 1843.
His description included - a Scar top of left side of
forehead, scar under left ear, scar cap of left knee, scar outside small of
was born in Kilmington Somerset. He was
convicted of stealing a calf when he was 52 and when he departed England he
left behind five children. He was granted a Ticket of Leave for
district of Bathurst in 1844.
His Description included:
Lost canine teeth in upper jaw and left side of under jaw. Forefinger of
right hand contracted
John Kemp -
Farm servant aged 28 convicted of stealing grain.
His father had been sent to Van Diemans Land in 1815.
John Kemp was issued
with a ticket of leave for the district of Bathurst in 1840.
Native of Cornwall - Convicted of cattle
stealing with Henry Symonds and Samuel Symonds. Thomas was a farm labourer
aged 21 and was single. He was sentenced to transportation for life.
Boot-maker convicted at the Middlesex
Session of Peace
of robbery of lodgings. 5' 8" with dark yellow complexion, dark brown
hair mixed with grey and dark chestnut eyes. The top of his head was bald.
Issued with a
Ticket of leave for district of Illawarra.
Convicted of house breaking at the
Central Criminal Court in April 1835 and sentenced to transportation
for 7 years.
William King -
Warwickshire. Convicted of stealing poultry at Warwickshire Quarter Sessions
and sentenced to 7 years transportation. Ticket of leave issued for the
district of Bathurst.
Died at sea July
Twenty two year old George Knight was convicted of embezzlement
Old Bailey in
September 1834. He had been employed as a sawyer, baker and labourer
Description: Height 5’ 5
½”Hair Brown Eyes, Chestnut, Particular
marks: Cast inward right eye, small dimple in chin, scar left side of nose, scar
back of right side of neck; SK on upper. GKJH lower left arm; 3 dots back of
George Knight died
at 20 mile hollow stockade, Pitnacree in 1840.
John Lake, a
21 year old cowman from Chatham was indicted for stealing a cow valued
at 9 shillings from John Salter.
was a respectable farmer from Notting Barns in Kensington who had placed
his cow and its calf safely in one of his fields in the Harrow Road on
15 January 1835. This was the last he had seen of the cow. On the 19th
January, John Lake and his accomplice, Francis Davis aged 15 took the
animal to Mr. Barker, a salesman in Smithfield, saying that a Mr.
Westbrook had requested Barker to dispose of the cow. They left the cow
with Barker for the afternoon and in the evening returned to find that
the cow had not yet been sold. They decided to take the cow and leave in
at the green yard at Paddington. Here they claimed that it was a stray
cow and therefore claimed a reward for taking care of it. The keeper of
the yard refused to reward them however did give them 1 shilling. For
this Lake abused the keeper and told him if they had taken it to
Kensington they would have got 5 shillings for it. This led to the two
thieves' undoing as it led to the discovery of the owner. Lake and
Davis were subsequently taken in to custody and on the 2nd February 1835
were placed before the bar at the Old Bailey. Francis Davis managed to
produce several people who could give him a good character. This worked
very much in his favour as he was acquitted of the charge, the jury
believing him to have been in the dupe of the older Lake.
sentenced to transportation for life for his part in the theft.
Groom from Yorkshire. Certificate of Freedom issued
Married horse-dealer from Northamptonshire. Assigned to
John Brown, Bathurst
Fifteen year old farmer's
boy. One of five convicts from the Royal Sovereign who was assigned to Thomas Icely
was born in Compton Dando. In march 1835 he was sentenced to transportation for life for
housebreaking. On arrival he was assigned W. Bayliss.
In 1838 the following Notice appeared in the New South Wales Government Gazette:
Ludlow alias Ludwell,
John per Royal Sovereign. aged 32. Somersetshire, marine, 5' 8 1/4 " sallow
and pockpitted complexion, brown hair, brown eyes, raised mole right side of upper
lip, mermaid inside lower right arm, blue ring middle finger of right hand,
and scar back of hand mark of a wound on left knee. absconded from
Boughton, Paterson since 26th November. He was on the run for five
months before he was captured.
He was issued
with a ticket of leave for the district of Paterson in 1844 and a
conditional pardon in 1848.
Trade or calling Labourer
Patrick Mangan was born in Tipperary, Ireland and was 27
years old when he was Court-martialled in Jamaica for falling asleep
while on post . He was sentenced to 14 years transportation.
with a Ticket of Leave for Bathurst district in 1842.
convicted of stealing a box in May 1835 at the Old Bailey
He was issued
with a Ticket of Leave for Geelong in 1841
Born in Sussex, William
Martin was a 35 year old father of five when he was convicted of
poaching. He had been transported before and was considered to be of bad character.
He was assigned to Goat Island on arrival.
John Mason was a shoemaker
and groom. He was 22 when he was convicted of highway robbery and
sentenced to 7 years transportation. He was assigned to Alexander Busby in Cassilis
in 1837 and granted a ticket of leave for the district of Cassilis in
Farm servant aged 25 from Dorsetshire.
Convicted of stealing wool. When he left England on the Royal Sovereign
he left behind a wife and daughter.
He was assigned to Michael Brennan in Appin in 1837 and received a
ticket of leave on 24 March 1840 and Certificate of Freedom in 1842.
Father of 8 convicted for stealing a
barrel of porter.
Assigned to A. Campbell, Bathurst and received a ticket of leave in 1840
year old father of 8 when he was convicted of stealing a saddle and
bridle at the Surry Quarter Sessions.
Patrick Millett was assigned to Thomas Arndell
Michael Mooney was
convicted of assault at the Warwick Quarter Session in January 1835. He
was 41 years old and could read and write. He suffered from Scurvy on
the passage out.
His description included: Scar left cheek,
breast and arms hairy, scar inside right wrist, scar knuckle of 4th finger of right hand, scar over left eyebrow, scar on
top of chin. He was 5'6" with a dark sallow complexion and black hair.
He was issued with a Ticket of Leave Port
Macquarie in 1841 and Applied to marry Mary Dankin in 1844
John Moss was
convicted at the Norfolk assizes of housebreaking and sentenced to
transportation for life. He was 21 and could read.
A Ticket of leave was issued in 1845 then cancelled as he had been
punished in 1844. Re-issued in 1846.
David Murrells was 36 years old when he was convicted of stealing at the
Essex Quarter Session in January 1835. He had no prior convictions and
was sentenced to 14 years transportation. He was assigned to the
Australian Agricultural Company and issued with a ticket of
leave for the district of Port Stephens in 1841 and for
In 1847 he was convicted
of Cattle stealing. Following is an account of the trial:
David Mars (Murrells) was indicted for stealing a
bullock, the property of Francis Little at Scone on the 8th September
Mr. Purefoy appeared on behalf of the
It appeared that about two years back a
Job Hatherall, a stockman in the employment of Captain Dumaresq, sold
a bullock to
Mr. Francis Little. It was a red bullock inclined to brindle, brand
FS off rump JH with D under of off ribs and 68 on off shoulder and an indistinct
brand on the off rump apparently DNI. It was a working bullock called Captain.
In September last Hatherall met the prisoner on Doughboy Hill having the bullock
in his team on the off side . He asked prisoner where he got the bullock and
prisoner replied that it was his own. Hatherall then said that it was Mr.
Francis Little's property, when prisoner said that he was only bouncing.
Hatherall then went to look at the bullocks brand, when prisoner told him that
he was only a poor man, and begged him to say nothing about it; that one of his
team had died and he was obliged to get another to carry him on the road.
Hatherall told him that the bullock was the property of Mr. Francis little of
Invermein and unless it was given up there and then other steps would assuredly
be taken. Prisoner said he could not get on without the bullock and would not
give it up.
Mr. Purefoy urged for the defence that
there was no felonious taking in as much as there was no intention on prisoners
part to make away with the bullock, but merely to use it to take him on the road
for a time, when he afterwards intended to return him. He also questioned the
identity of the bullock not being fully proved by the witnesses.
The Chairman, in summing up said that if
the jury were convinced that the prisoner had taken the beast off the road
merely to have a turn out of him they certainly could not find him guilty of
stealing, but the evidence went to rebut such a presumption inasmuch as he had
claimed the bullock as his own, when first taxed with stealing it
The jury after a short deliberation,
returned a verdict of guilt and the prisoner was sentenced to be worked in irons
for three years.
was employed as a farm
servant in Wiltshire. He was sentenced to transportation for
life for highway robbery. He could read and write and was assigned to
Twenty year old stable boy
who was convicted of housebreaking in April 1835. George Newman was assigned to
at Invermein on arrival in Australia.
Assigned to Hamilton Hume
at Appin. He was granted a Ticket of Leave
for district of Yass in 1843 and a Conditional pardon in 1849.
John Overall died 1854 Yass.
sallow and pockpitted
made' with carrotty whiskers.
was convicted of stealing a stove at the Surry Quarter Sessions in May 1835.
He was assigned to
at Dungog, and granted a
Certificate of Freedom in 1850
year old single drover sentenced to 7 years for embezzlement. Assigned
to J. Grant in Bathurst.
marks: JPGPESTBRP, back of lower right arm, JPAPMCACHSJP back of lower left arm;
scar back left leg.
James Pedder was born in Middlesex. He was employed as a racing
groom when he was
convicted of highway robbery at the Wiltshire Assizes in March 1835
He was assigned
to J.H. Boughton at Paterson on arrival and died at Paterson in 1843
old father of seven convicted of stealing flour. Suffered from vertigo
and scorbutus on ship. The following lists the treatment he received
aged 42. Prisoner.
want of appetite and says he feels very week and that he has been troubled with
headache for several days past. His gums are tender and shrunk very much away
from the teeth. He has no discolouration of the skin. Gave him Nitre in solution
to the amount of two drams to day with his usual supply of lime juice.
is returning and he feels better. The nitre to be continued.
Discharged. The gums still seem a little tender.
today with the same symptoms as last but with aggravated - put him again on a
course of nitre.
Much the same
as yesterday. To continue nitre
is returning and he feels better. To continue medicine.
today to the same symptoms – want of appetite and debility – no headache but has
a little discoloration of the skin on the right knee.
same as yesterday . To continue nitre
little better. Appetite returning. To continue nitre and lime juice.
again with former symptoms with many large livid blotches on different parts of
the body. Nitre to be given and tinc. Gentium with nitre.
Seems a good
deal worse today having had no sleep from the rolling of the ship. Gave him with
the Tint. Gentian and Nitre, Tinc. Cinum and one wine and cupful of rum
The weather very wet, cold and stormy. Had the same remedies as yesterday
All the remedies to be continued except the rum
a little for 2 days but now seems stationary since last report with all the
remedies continued. Nitre to the amount of 4 drams. Gentium 3 Cinnum
at Sydney and fresh provisions will be served tomorrow. No further treatment
will be necessary.
His Majesty's Convict Ship
Surgeon and Superintendent
4.7.1835 and 30.12.1835
was issued with a Ticket of leave for the district of Port Macquarie.
Possibly sent to Norfolk Island.
Farm servant convicted of highway
robbery. Stealing from John Eaton at Wargrave, 3s and two knives.
Sentence of Death Recorded at Oxfordshire Lent Assizes.
(Jackson's Oxford Journal 7 March 1835).
Peter Plummer was assigned to J & F Cooper, Maneroo.
A Ticket of leave was issued in 1844
John Pople was 21 when he was convicted of stealing a
waistcoat in London. He had a prior conviction and was sentenced to
transportation for 7 years.
He was Assigned to Aspinall Brown & Co, Bathurst. His
description included: scar
right cheek bone, scar over left eyebrow; man, woman, Harriet, anchor,
inside lower arm; crucifix, EB, Abraham Morgan, Bird lower left arm; six
dots back of forefinger and thumb of left hand
Combmaker from Yorkshire convicted of bigamy. Allowed
to proceed to Hobart town in company with Rev. Orton.
Bricklayer from Hampshire
convicted of stealing brass taps. Tried at Wiltshire Quarter Sessions
and sentenced to transportation for 7 years. Obtained ticket of
leave in 1842.
24 year old
father of two from Yorkshire who was convicted of stealing poultry.
August 1839 the Government Gazette recorded that Rawson had been
apprehended after absconding from the bridge party at Anvil Creek near
Maitland. His description was posted -
Wheelwright and house carpenter and
sawyer aged 30 from Yorkshire. 5' 6 1/4"; ruddy complexion; brown hair,
hazel eyes, mole on right breast bone, tattoos.
James Thomas Richards
Twenty one year old
waterman convicted of robbing a till. Assigned to Richard Sharpe at
Windsor. He also served a colonial sentence at Norfolk Island.
Ticket of Leave
for the Goulburn district in
Married copper miner from Cornwall convicted of
stealing a letter seal in March 1835.
His description from the indent -
part of nose, another inner corner of right eyebrow, ship right breast, sun,
half moon, stars, INRA inside lower right arm; man woman MDIR inside lower left
arm; large scar outside left leg.
John Richards was assigned to the
Agricultural Company at Newcastle on arrival. The work was
arduous and over the next few years he was punished many times for
absconding and failing to do his allotted tasks.
Select here to read some of the punishments recorded in the Newcastle
year old peddler from Middlesex. Convicted of stealing a watch at Surry
Quarter Sessions 8th September 1834
in the ship indent
included: Nose short, eyebrows partially meeting, 11 dots and +
back of left hand, blue spot back of middle finger of same. 2 round
scars outside small left leg.
He was assigned to
Crawford Logan Brown
at Dungog in 1837
Sixty year old bargeman from Somersetshire. Convicted in March 1835 and
sentenced to transportation for life.
Ticket of leave issued for Scone in January 1844.
House painter born in Dublin.
Sentenced to death for robbery. Commuted to transportation for life.
A notice was posted in the Government
gazette of 15 November 1837. - Robert Sowerby, Frederick Hulme and Dominick Sampson
all absconded from C.H. Ebden at Port Phillip in September 1837.
Chimney sweep born in Ireland. Assigned to George Cox, Penrith
Height: 5’ 1”
marks: MS, anchor inside lower right arm, scar left eyebrow, scar back of middle
finger right hand ,scar outside left leg.
Ticket of Leave issued for the District of Mudgee in 1844.
Carpenter and pumpmaker aged 27 convicted of poaching and sentenced to 7
years transportation. Assigned to William Wallace, St. Vincent. Ticket of Leave issued
for district of Braidwood. He
married Martha Ibberson in Sydney in 1844.
The Maitland Mercury reported the following
incident when Martha Shearman was robbed by bushrangers at Miller's
Forest. Two of the men, Richard Hicks
and Charles Wood also arrived on the Royal Sovereign in 1835
Shearman of Millers Forest, deposed that one night in the beginning of July her
house was entered by three men, one of whom held her by the throat for upwards
of two hours, while the others were rummaging her house: she bore the marks of
the ruffians grasp for many days afterwards. She could not positively identify
the men as it was too dark at the time to distinguish their features, but
several of the articles found in Hick’s bundle she positively identified; and
her evidence in this respect was corroborated by William Holder, her brother in
law, who identified some combs as part of a dozen he had brought from Braidwood
and given to Mrs. Shearman.
Maitland Mercury 30 August 1845
was born in
Cambridge where he was employed as a brick maker's labourer. He was convicted of stealing bottles at Cambridge
Assizes. Had been flogged previously. He was assigned to Alexander Berry at, Illawarra
on arrival in Australia
was born in
London. He was a Jeweller and was convicted of picking pockets for which he
was sentenced to 7 years transportation.
He Received a
Ticket of Leave for the district of Windsor in 1844 and a Certificate of
Freedom in 1842
was born in Sussex. He was employed as a pedlar's boy.
marks: small scar over left eyebrow, 3 small dark moles, back of right cheek,
finger nails short, scar back of foreginger ofleft hand
He was convicted
of stealing coals and sentenced to transportation for life.
Sixteen year old
old farm boy convicted of stealing beer.
A Ticket of
Leave was issued for Maitland district in 1842. Ticket cancelled 1844
for robbery and being absent from his district.
Clerk in a medicine warehouse.
Convicted of stealing a miniature portrait. Absconded from N. Powell at Queenbeyan
Twenty year old pedlar from County Longford. Convicted of highway robbery
and sentenced to transportation for life.
He was assigned to
Lawrence Myles at Brisbane Waters.
35 year old widower. Vetinary surgeon
and seaman convicted of forgery
Height: 5’ 3
mixed with grey
marks: Nose long and thin, mark of an anchor inside lower right arm. Burn mark
right wrist, cross scar knuckle of middle finger of right hand, scar back of
little finger of left hand, scar right shin
A notice was posted in the Government
gazette of 15 November 1837. - Robert Sowerby, Frederick Hulme and Dominick Sampson
had all absconded from C.H. Ebden at Port Phillip in September 1837
Born in Cambridge.
Thirty nine year old carpenter and joiner convicted of housebreaking. Assigned to
W. Lucas, Illawarra.
Farm servant from Dorsetshire
convicted of stealing wool.
Absconded from Thomas Collins at Bankstown and
apprehended in December 1836. Assigned to the Gaol
in Sydney in 1837. In August 1839 absconded from
Collins again. His description was posted in the Government Gazette -
5'6" ruddy complexion, light brown hair, grey eyes, chin
declining, slight scar ball of right thumb, large round scar back of
outer angle of right leg.
Weaver aged 25.
Richard Jones, Patrick
Linen draper. Sentenced to 14 years for street robbery. Spent 6 1/2 years in
Bermuda. Ticket of leave issued for the district Port Macquarie in 1842.
William Stainer - born in Evercreech, Somerset. He was assigned to
Mineral Surveyors Dept. Sydney.
the silk weavers of Spitalfields, London led a gentle life. They were sought
after artisans with a comfortable living as employment rates were high. They
had leisure hours on Sundays and garden beds with flowers to attend to. Many
were descended from the French weavers who emigrated in the 17C.
factories opened up in London, competition became greater. Factory owners
undersold each other. They paid fewer wages and workers’ hours went up. The
workers were obliged to take whatever price they could get. They realized that
if they did not take the work offered there would be someone else who did.
There was also increased competition from foreign markets. By the 1830’s the
value of silk manufacture in Great Britain was
Approximately 9,300 looms were at work with five people working every two
looms. Workers were at labour for up to 14 hours per day. Many could not find
work at all. They lived little better than paupers often living eight people
to a house. They were lucky to eat meat once a week. The children were too
valuable as weavers to be sent to school so many, like Thomas Skuce, remained
Weavers' houses often consisted of two rooms on the ground floor and a
workroom above. The workroom always had a large window so that light could be
maximized. Entire streets in Bethnal Green consisted of these houses
constructed especially for weaving purposes. Many weavers lived only in one
room. Up to seven or eight people may have worked and lived in one room. They
would be without a wardrobe, cupboard, sink or sanitary arrangements. The
looms, their only source of income took up most of their valuable space.
Beyond the tiny income from the looms lay destitution and crime.
was the life that Thomas Skuse lived in Bethnal Green with his sister
Elizabeth, brothers Richard and Samuel, and niece, all silk weavers. They
lived at No. 8 Half Nicholl Street – William Goode was their landlord. In
December 1834, Thomas had been out of work for some time, however his sister
Elizabeth and brother Samuel were weaving a piece of silk for Mr. Thomas Field
Gibson. When they completed and returned the piece he would pay them their
wages, although their wages would be not be anything like what the silk was
worth. Arthur Dear, also employed by Mr. Thomas Field Gibson estimated
Elizabeth’s silk to be worth about 21 pounds. Elizabeth did not go to sleep on
the 2nd of December until 11pm. Like many of the silk weavers she
had to work long arduous hours just to make ends meet. She left her silk
‘perfectly safe in the loom, bolted the street door and tied her bedroom door
with a string’. When she awakened at seven o’clock the next morning the work
was gone as well as three rollers that the silk was rolled on. Thomas also was
nowhere to be found.
Thomas had taken the
silks to William Millwood who lived in Rose lane late that night. William
Millwood was suspicious and asked Thomas if he had stolen the silk to which
Thomas replied ‘No I have not; I am going to take them to the warehouse in the
morning’. Present at Millwoods that night was Frederick Starbrook who was
later to be accused with George Taylor (both found not guilty) of receiving
the stolen silks. Thomas took the silks away the next morning leaving the
rollers with Millwood and Starbrook who when they heard that a policeman was
coming down the street threw the rollers in the privy. Starbrook later met
Thomas’ brother Nathaniel in the street who asked Starbrook if he knew of the
robbery and Thomas’ whereabouts. Starbrook replied that Thomas had gone into
the country to make a few pounds after staying at the Black Bull at Highgate.
Thomas’ sister Sarah Plummer asked Thomas of the robbery saying it would clear
their sisters reputation if he confessed to the robbery, Thomas admitted that
he had taken his sister's silk and that George Taylor had taken Samuel’s silk
cutting them away from the loom late on the night of the 2nd of
his defence Thomas stated that the next day after the robbery he had been out
of work for some time and had gone into the country to make a few pounds with
his songs. He stated that he had almost a hundred songs. George Taylor went
with him to sell the songs. When Thomas returned he found his mother’s shop
empty. He did not, he says, trouble his head about his sister. Certainly he
did not go back to live with his sister Elizabeth and their brothers. He was
arrested by policeman Joseph Cricks at the Fryingpan public house in Brick
lane in the middle of December. It seems that Thomas was discharged after
being arrested because in the following April, on the 15th he again
stole some silk. This time it was 83 yards and 1 roller valued at 12 pounds
from the house of his sister Sarah and her husband Robert. The silk belonged
to Robert. Perhaps Sarah and Robert had taken Thomas into their home when he
returned from selling his songs.
This time Thomas
pleaded guilty and was sentenced to be transported for Life on the 11 May 1835
at the Central Criminal Court. He was never to see his brothers and sisters
again. Aged 18, he was transported to Australia on the Royal Sovereign
arriving on 12 December 1835.
age 22 he was assigned to J.R. Hume in Yass and received a Ticket of Leave for
this district in 1844. The Ticket of Leave was cancelled in 1857 for being
absent from his district.
Thomas may have died in Inverell in 1879 aged 64.
While the appalling conditions of the silk weavers led many like Thomas to a
life of crime, many others resisted. They continued to eke out their existence
day-by-day, piece-by-piece with destitution always close by. Nathaniel,
Thomas’ brother who searched for Thomas after he robbed their sister Elizabeth,
remained in London all his life. Born in Kidderminster Worcestershire in 1814,
he was taken into the
Workhouse, South Grove, Mile End Rd, Mile End Old Town, London,
1881 and still gave his occupation as weaver. The decision for him to enter
the workhouse was probably not easy. He may have been too ill to support
himself, weighed down by the years of hard toil and inadequate food. Perhaps
he had no family who could care for him in his old age. His life span
outlasted that of Thomas although probably not by very many years.
Gilbert Cory, Paterson.
George Fitness for an account
of Taylor's trial
from London convicted of stealing sashes and sentenced to 7 years
transportation.. Ticket of leave issued for Bathurst
district in 1840 and Certificate of Freedom in 1842.
aged 21 from Warwickshire. Convicted of stealing copper in January 1835.
Previous sentence of death recorded. Assigned to N. Lawson, Bathurst.
- Type founders boy. 5'3 with dark ruddy complexion and
dark brown hair. His tattoos included
:EP, heart, 2 darts. H7WTPG lower right arm; child, HTJTRTJTEP, lower left arm
He had a scar on the bridge of the nose
Following is an account of his trial:
'Henry Tudor was indicted for stealing, on the
1st of April 1 handkerchief, value 5s.; the goods of Robert Gibson.
Gibson. I live in the Old Bailey. On the 1st of April, I was walking up Fleet
street - I felt something at my pocket - i put my hand into my pocket, and my
handkerchief was gone - I turned and saw the prisoner - I said he had taken my
handkerchief - he said he had not - he was close behind me.
( City Police constable No. 91). I know the prisoner by sight - I saw him on the
1st of April. about twenty minutes after four o'clock, walking behind this
gentleman - I watched him, and saw him draw a red coloured silk handkerchief
from the gentleman's pocket. and he gave it to another person - I could not get
across in time enough to take them both, but I took the prisoner, as the
prosecutor was talking to him.
When you came up, you asked the prosecutor what he had lost?
I said directly, that I saw you draw the handkerchief
put in a written defence, declaring his innocence
Aged 17 - Transported for seven years.'
issued with a Ticket of leave for Patrick
Plains in 1840 and died at Jerry's Plains.
Ironmonger convicted of stealing irons at Lancashire and sentenced to 14
years transportation. Ticket of Leave issued for Maitland
district 10 January 1842.
Convicted of stealing money in
Yorkshire in January 1835 and sentenced to transportation for 7 years. Assigned to Aspinall Brown & Co.
Convicted of stealing cidar in
Bridgwater, Somerset. Considered a bad character as had been transported
before. Assigned to Goat Island.
Ticket of Leave issued for Invermein 1840
Publican convicted of stealing
an umbrella. Assigned House of Correction, Sydney. Married Jane Christy
Born in London.
Gardener's labourer convicted of stealing mutton. Certificate of
Freedom issued in 1842.
Convicted of horse stealing. Assigned to Hamilton Hume, Yass. Ticket of
leave issued for the district of Yass in 1848 and cancelled in 1857 for
being absent from his district. Ticket later restored.
25 year old
draper convicted of stealing money.
Shoemaker convicted of
stealing shoes. Transported before. Served six years in Bermuda. To be kept
at labour on public roads. Possibly died 1839
Seaman convicted of smuggling.
Ticket of Leave for district of Wellington 1841. Applied to marry Elizabeth
Farm servant aged 30 convicted
of sheep stealing at the Surry Quarter Sessions in February 1835. Assigned to
Thomas T. Bloomfield, Liverpool.
Farm servant and butcher from
Norfolk convicted of stealing poultry. He had sandy whiskers, and was
bald. A Ticket of Leave was issued for the
district of Port Phillip
42 year old father of five
from Whatley, Frome convicted of receiving one hundred weight and half of
hay belonging to William Sheppart knowing it to be stolen. The hay had been
stolen by John Wilcox and Job Humphries.
suffered from scurvy on the passage out. He was assigned to J. McDonald,
Windsor on arrival. He was issued with a ticket of leave in 1841 and applied
to marry Margaret Painter in 1843.
Fifteen year old carpenter's
boy from Plymouth convicted of stealing a watch and chain. No previous
convictions. Assigned to Thomas Icely, Bathurst.
Sentence of death recorded for robbing Rev. Hawkins at Kington St.
Michael, Wiltshire. Find out more about Frederick Williams at
Bricklayer's labourer from
Buckinghamshire convicted of stealing bacon. Sentenced to 7 years
transportation. Ticket of Leave issued for
Windsor altered to Bathurst
James Robert Williams
Carvers composition maker from
London Convicted of robbing his master and sentenced to 14 years
Application to marry Margaret Hunter in 1842 in Campbelltown.
Carvers composition maker born Gloucestershire.
marks: dark carroty whiskers, small raised mole back left side of neck , scar
back of left thumb, blue ring middle finger left hand
Joseph Wilmott was born in Hanham, Gloucestershire, England. One of eight children
born to Sylvia Brown and Samuel Wilmott, he was christened on 24th February,
1811 in Hanham. His brothers and sisters were William,
Ann, Sarah, Hannah and Robert.
In 1835 Joseph was found guilty of stealing one hundred pounds weight of
bacon valued at forty shillings, one hundred pounds weight of pork valued at
forty shillings and ten pounds weight of mutton valued at four
shillings from the house of the Rev. Thomas Hawkins in the
Parish of Kington Saint Michael in the County of Wiltshire. He
was also indicted for unlawfully and maliciously stabbing, cutting, and
Hatherill, to prevent his lawful apprehension.
Joseph was found guilty and
sentence of death was passed upon him by Mr. Justice Patteson. Frederick
Williams his accomplice had a sentence of death recorded against him for
aiding and abetting Joseph. Their trial took place at the Wiltshire Assizes
on 7th March, 1835. Joseph's sentence was commuted to transportation for
Hawkins died in
March 1836) -
was assigned to work for
coal mines at Newcastle.
He obtained his Ticket of Leave and Certificate of
Freedom and in 1839 or 1840 started a relationship with
widow Mary Rice (nee Murphy) who had arrived on the
Caroline' in 1833.
Mary was 26 years old and had a daughter Catherine born to her first
husband, convict Patrick Rice. When Patrick died in Newcastle Hospital
in 1839 Mary was left in Newcastle with an infant daughter to raise.
1845 when he married Mary Rice Joseph was no longer working in the
coal mines but had turned to timber getting. Sawyers and timber cutters at
this time often travelled up the Hunter and Paterson Rivers to fell the valuable cedar
On the 9th June, 1856, Joseph made his Will leaving his
property including horses, cattle, land and house at Shepherd's Hill,
Newcastle to his wife and four sons. His four daughters were to
inherit only if their mother and all four brothers pre-deceased them.
Joseph died aged
42 years, in Newcastle N.S.W. on 7th July 1856 due to heart disease. He was
buried in the Church of England burial ground on 10th July, 1856.
Cheesmonger aged 24.
Middlesex session of Peace 18.5.1835
marks: Front teeth irregular , scar inside left eye, scar left side of upper
Agricultural company in Newcastle.
62 years old. Convicted of
horse stealing and sentenced to transportation for life. Assigned to J.M. Grey,
calling: Brickmakers labourer
Norfolk assizes 28.3.1835
Height: 5/ 6”
marks: Eyebrows meeting, mole right side of neck, small mole right cheek, 3
warts back of forefinger right hand
21 year old farm servant convicted of
Ticket of leave issued in 1840 and
cancelled in 1841 for stealing lead.
Twenty years old. Convicted of stealing
harness in June 1835. No prior convictions. Assigned to Thomas Moore at
Liverpool in 1837
Farm servant and shepherd from Suffolk
sentenced to 14 years for housebreaking. Ticket of leave issued for district