Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Arrest of Sir Henry Browne Hayes

Ireland 1801 - 1802

Sir Henry Browne Hayes was sentenced to transportation to New South Wales for kidnapping Quaker, Mary Pike, heiress to a fortune of £20,000. He was transported on the convict ship Atlas in 1802. His case became quite famous.

Below are extracts from various English newspapers published on the eve of his departure....

The Morning Chronicle
September 14 1801
Sir Henry B. Hayes, of whom so much has been stated in all the public papers, was convicted at the assizes in April last, upon indisputable evidence, of carrying off Miss Pike by force five years ago, to his own house, and attempting to marry her; but it appearing that no personal violence was offered to her whilst in his house, and that she was furnished with pen, ink, and paper, the net morning, and allowed freely to communicate with her friends, (some of whom came immediately for her to the prisoner's house, and carried her home without opposition on his part), the jury earnestly recommended him to mercy, and the execution of his sentence has accordingly been respited. It is expected that he will be pardoned upon condition of being transported to Botany Bay for life; but his property is all forfeited by the judgment of attainder.

Caledonian Mercury

26 September 1801 Ireland
Sir H. Hayes, whose sentence for carrying off Miss Pike, is mitigated to transportation for life to Botany Bay, during his confinement, conducted himself in a manner truly eccentric. The room in which he was confined was hung with black crape, and the Dead March in Saul was performed on a barrel organ while he was at dinner. He went out to receive sentence with an illegitimate son on his right hand, and his legitimate son on his left. The latter was so much affected when sentence of death was passed on his unfortunate parent, that he is now in a fever, and his life is despaired of.

The Derby Mercury

12 November 1801
On Saturday se'nnight, Sir Henry Browne Hayes was conveyed to the Cove of Cork, and put on board one of the Convict ships destined for Botany Bay. He was taken from prison in a boat, attended by Mr. Sheriff Newsom, and a guard Caledonian Mercury 21 December 1801 A few days ago, the two vessels which were on purpose prepared to carry the transports from Cork, sailed from thence with their precious cargo for Botany Bay. Much sickness had been expected among them, and about 15, we understand, have died Great lenity was shewn them by order of Government, in providing them with clean clothes to prevent the spreading of infection, and medical aid. Sir Henry Hayes was among them, and bore with the misfortune he had brought upon himself with tolerable resignation, until the moment that they were about to sail, and the pilot boat was taking leave, which is always done with a cheer, wishing a good voyage - then being upon deck, he burst into tears, and ran down below to ease the pangs of his adversity.

Notes and Links

1). Sir Henry Browne Hayes was sent to the Coal River Penal Settlement in the aftermath of the arrest of Governor Bligh in 1808. He later returned to Ireland where he died in May 1832.

2). Correspondence of Roger Farrell

3). Memorial of Sir Henry Browne Hayes