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
Suffolk farm labourer Robert Fitch was convicted of housebreaking
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