Convicts in the Family

Most of the following information was researched by John Phillips, second son of one of our great uncles on our mother's side, George Phillips. Consequently the information below focusses on the Phillips family and that of John's wife, Moya (Margaret Moya Phillips - nee Bleazard). Anthony Dwyer did further research on some of the ships and historical facts, and a few things have come to light regarding the Cain family.



Our Cain ancestors were not transported convicts but in their adopted home of Australia they were apparently "well known to the police" mainly due to their Irish Catholic activism. There were quite a few court appearances but it appears that they spent little to no time in gaol. Bear in mind that some of these incidents may not have been our relatives, but the names, ages and locations indicate a strong possibility.



Michael Nowland b. 1761

(Great grandfather of the husband of Catherine Rochester nee Phillips. Catherine was a sister of our great grandfather Charles Edmund Phillips.)
Michael Nowland, aged about 25, was tried on two charges at the February 1783 Old Bailey sessions. The charges were for “feloniously making an assault on the Kings Highway on William Lawrence. Putting him in fear and danger of his life and taking against his will one bridle value 13 shillings” and also of “feloniously stealing on 13 February one black gelding value £10”. Michael claimed he was innocent of the crimes and was in fact acquitted of the bridle charge for lack of evidence, but having left his “borrowed” mount to be stabled at an inn, was later identified by the stable hand as the prisoner, so for the theft of the horse the verdict was “guilty” and the sentence was death.

In September 1783 he was reprieved to transportation to the American Colonies (even though they no longer existed) for life, and on 4 October was ordered from Newgate Gaol to a Thames hulk. On 30 March 1784 he was among 180 convicts sent on board the American bound ship Mercury. The vessel sailed on 2 April but in the English Channel the convicts mutinied and managed to run the ship into Torbay, Devon. Nowland was among the 60 convicts who escaped to shore but he was recaptured at Bath on 4 May. On 14 May he managed to break out of gaol but was retaken at Bristol on the 27th and was held at Shepton Mallet until September, when he was returned to Newgate under a writ of habeas corpus.

In January 1786 he was remanded to his former sentence and was sent by wagon the following month to the Fortunee hulk at Langstone Harbour, Portsmouth. After nearly four years on the hulk he was embarked on the ship Scarborough (Second Fleet) on 30 November 1789 and transported to New South Wales.

The passage of the Second Fleet was relatively fast, but the mortality rate was the highest in the history of transportation to Australia, largely because it was contracted to private businesses who kept the convicts in horrific conditions. The Surprize, Neptune and Scarborough were contracted from the firm "Camden, Calvert & King" who undertook to transport, clothe and feed the convicts for a flat fee of £17 7s. 6d per head, whether they landed alive or not. As far as the firm was concerned, the sooner they died the less they had to feed them. This firm had previously been involved in transporting slaves to North America. Of the 1,026 convicts embarked, 267 (256 men and 11 women) died during the voyage (26%). On the Scarborough itself 73 convicts died (28%) and 96 (37%) were sick when landed. In fact many were so sick and riddled with lice that they were unable to stand up or move. [Source: wikipedia]

After a month at Port Jackson Michael was assigned to the settlement on Norfolk Island, arriving there on August 7, 1790. He settled down to the allotted farm work and was good enough at it to be made an overseer. He married Elizabeth Richards (see below) and their 3 eldest children were born on the Island. Before the end of the century Michael, having proved a “useful and well behaved overseer” received his emancipation and a grant of fifteen acres of land, but he chose to follow to the mainland the man mainly responsible for the improvement of his lot, Philip Gidley King, Commandant of Norfolk Island from 1788-96 and governor of NSW from 1800-1806.

In 1802 Governor King appointed Michael to the position of superintendent of convicts at Castle Hill, a post he retained til 1806. Michael then retired to the Hawkesbury to farm. He also built a punt and in 1812 began the first ferry service across the Hawkesbury River. It plied between Wilberforce and Pitt Town. The project however was not financial success and Michael had to surrender his punt to his debtors. For a time he also held the post of constable of lower Wilberforce, but life at the Hawkesbury had always been a struggle, and survivor though he was, it finally overwhelmed him. He was dismissed for drunkenness and died at Wilberforce on 31st October 1828. [Source of previous 2 paragraphs: Family Stories]

According to the Convict Stockade web site, he was buried next to his daughter Ann, who had died in 1819 (aged 17 years).

Elizabeth Richards b. 1769Lady Juliana

(Great grandmother of the husband of Catherine Rochester nee Phillips. Catherine was a sister of our great grandfather Charles Edmund Phillips.)
Elizabeth Richards and Hannah Bolton were sentenced to 7 years transportation at the August 1787 Warwick Assizes for the burglary of a house in Birmingham. She was transported to the colony on the ship Lady Juliana (pic on the right) as part of the Second Fleet in 1790. According to a book called "The Life and Adventures of John Nicol, Mariner" by John Nicol, who was on that voyage: "Most of [the convicts on the Lady Juliana] were London prostitutes, but there were some hardened criminals". Wikipedia also states that "The vessel gained the reputation for being a floating brothel. Nicol recalled that 'when we were fairly out to sea, every man on board took a wife from among the convicts, they nothing loath.' At the ports of call seamen from other ships were freely entertained, and the officers made no attempt to suppress this licentious activity. The convicts were reported to be noisy and unruly, with a fondness for liquor, and they frequently fought amongst themselves".

At some time she was sent to Norfolk Island because she lived with Michael Nowland (above) there and their first 3 children were born there.

According to the Convict Stockade web site, she died at Wilberforce NSW on 8 August 1852, had 9 known children, cohabited with (i.e. did not marry) Michael Nowland (see above) from about 1791, and married Peter Vaughan (below) at St Matthew's, Windsor, NSW in 1829.

Peter Vaughan b. 1801

(Husband of great grandmother of the husband of Catherine Rochester nee Phillips. Catherine was a sister of our great grandfather Charles Edmund Phillips.)
Peter was a stable boy shoemaker. Records show he was tried in 1819 in Glasgow Court of Justiciary, Scotland, and received 14 years. He traveled to New South Wales on the Eliza in September 1819. He was 19 years old on arrival. See below under Finch for more detail about this voyage. He married Elizabeth Richards (above) in 1829 at Windsor.

There was an unusually large age difference between them, but the following records show that this is correct:

Henry R. Rochester b. 1770

(Great grandfather of the husband of Catherine Rochester nee Phillips. Catherine was a sister of our great grandfather Charles Edmund Phillips.)
Henry was convicted at Lewes, Sussex Assizes, on 13 August 1791, to 14 years transportation for breaking into and robbing a dwelling in company with three others. He was transported to Australia in May 1792 on the Royal Admiral. Of the Convicts embarked on that ship ten men and two women died on passage, and four children were born, one of whom died. Seventy two men, eleven women and five children landed sick, and many died of fever not long after arriving in Port Jackson. There is a lot of detail about this voyage at the IFHAA Shipping Records.

He was married to, or cohabited with, Margaret Hayes, another convict (see below).

Margaret Hayes b. 1759

(Great grandmother of the husband of Catherine Rochester nee Phillips. Catherine was a sister of our great grandfather Charles Edmund Phillips.)
Margaret was convicted at Wexford Assizes in August 1793 for the crime of felony at large. She was sentenced to transportation for life and departed from Cork, Ireland on the Marquis Cornwallis on 9 August 1795, arriving in Sydney on 11 February 1796.

In 2004 the ship's log of this voyage was auctioned by Christie's and there was an article in the Sydney Morning Herald about it. According to that article, there was a mutiny on the voyage and Captain Michael Hogan and his officers brutally quelled the rebellion by shooting convicts as they tried to storm the deck. Forty-two of the male convicts were flogged, six females punished in other ways, with eight people killed during the incident. Despite the violence, those being transported - 70 of whom were female - were by no means all hardened criminals. They included political prisoners from Ireland, then ruled by London, a 12-year-old boy convicted of highway robbery and women sentenced to transportation merely for stealing gloves or sugar. There is a very detailed first-hand account of this incident at the Free Settler or Felon web site.

Captain Hogan was cleared of any wrongdoing by the enquiry. He later made a fortune as a merchant and slave trader, settling in a mansion in the United States and serving as Washington's first consul to the newly independent Chile.

Margaret is listed in Samuel Marsden’s 1806 list of women in the colony as: “A convict with no legitimate children, 1 natural male child, and 1 natural female child.”  This would indicate that she and Henry Rochester were not married.

Marquis Cornwallis painting
Portrait of Il Netunno, later Marquis Cornwallis, under sail /? oil painting by F.B. Solvyns, 1793

Patrick Leonard b. 1791

(Grandfather-in-law of George Robert Phillips. George was a brother of our great grandfather Charles Edmund Phillips.)
Patrick Leonard was an Irishman from Tipperary convicted in August 1815 for “administering an illegal oath”. This was a crime related to the Irish Rebellion, so he was a political prisoner rather than a criminal per se.

He was sentenced to transportation for life in 1815 and arrived in Australia on the Guildford in April 1816 and was sent to Rooty Hill in the far west of what is now Sydney. There was a penal settlement at Rooty Hill, with cattle grazing land around it, so the convicts most likely worked in providing meat and dairy products for the colony.

According to The Family Tree of Trudy May Cowley, the Guildford was one of the best known convict ships and in eight voyages as a convict ship she conveyed over 1,500 male prisoners to Australia for the loss of only a dozen men. Apparently the ship's master "was a prudent and conscientious master, and he treated the convicts humanely", which was not too common in those days.

Thomas Rollinson b. 1782

(Maternal grandfather of the wife of the father-in-law of William Henry Phillips. William was a brother of our great grandfather Charles Edmund Phillips.)
On 18 March 1816 Thomas Rollinson, along with others, was sentenced to 14 years transportation for having in his possession a quantity of naval stores. No trial transcript has been found but a newspaper report from Exeter indicated that he had been tried at the March 1816 Devon Quarter-sessions, with George Burroughs, for having 20 shillings worth of naval stores. He was a blacksmith by trade, 5 feet 2½ inches tall, of dark complexion, with black eyes and black hair.

Initially he was imprisoned on the prison hulk Leviathan moored in Portsmouth. He arrived in Sydney on 10 March 1817 on the Fame, leaving behind his wife and two daughters. A month later the Fame departed for Batavia (now known as Jakarta, Indonesia) and Bengal (India) but was shipwrecked in Torres Strait in May 1817, apparently with no loss of life.

Thomas' wife and children followed him to Australia and arrived on the Wellington on 20 January 1820.



One of our great grandmothers was Harriet Kerrison until she married Charles Edmund Phillips. The Caroline and Harriet listed below are actually great grandmother Harriet's great aunts.

John Steven Hancock b. 1805

(Husband of Caroline Kerrison - a great great great aunt on our mother's side)
He was convicted at the Old Bailey London with his brother on 15 January 1829 for stealing 32 live game fowls, and sentenced to 7 years transportation. He was imprisoned in a prison hulk at Portsmouth and then shipped to Australia on the Adrian. He arrived in 1830, leaving a wife and family behind in England. In July 1836 he married (bigamously) Caroline Kerrison and they had a very large family.

Thomas Griffin (c.1806-1853)

(Husband of the eldest sister of our great great grandmother Elizabeth Kerrison nee Godfrey)

Also arriving on the Adrian in 1830 was Thomas Griffin. At the time of his marriage to Anne Godfrey in 1844 at Camden NSW, Thomas was a convict serving life for sheep stealing. He had been tried, convicted and sentenced at Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire on 27 July 1829 and transported in 1830. He was granted a Ticket of Leave on 20 November 1838 and was a conditional pardon in 1845.

He and Anne had at least 5 children.

His death in 1853 was found by Coroners’ Inquest to have been a suicide.

Patrick Godfrey (c.1821-1882)

(Eldest brother of our great great grandmother Elizabeth Kerrison nee Godfrey)

Born in Carlow Town Ireland about 1821, he was convicted of larceny at Kilkenny on 29 October 1844 and sentenced to transportation for seven years. He was initially imprisoned at Smithfield, Dublin before being transferred to London for transportation. He left London on the convict ship Ratcliffe on 19 May 1845, arriving at Hobart Town on 30 August 1845. He was granted a ticket-of-leave in April 1849, but according to one researcher this was revoked when he failed to turn up for muster.

Having served out his sentence Patrick went to Sydney, where he married Mary Jane Southern on 25 October 1852. They had ten children: Elizabeth, Roseanne (1853-1935), William (b.1855), Thomas (1858-1924), Sarah Ann (1859-1949), Alice Mary (1861-1949), Mary Jane (b.1867), Patrick (1870-1926), Martin (1874-1946) and Edward (1876-1924).

In 1879 Patrick had another run-in with the law at Murrumburrah, being charged with “stabbing James O’Neil, with a pocket knife”, for which he was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment at Yass gaol. On 28 January 1882 at Barwang station near Harden, Patrick committed suicide by taking strychnine. His wife was reported as saying “…he had often threatened to take poison because he was tired of his life”.

John Morris b. 1819

(Husband of Harriet Kerrison b. 1831 - a great great great aunt on our mother's side)
John born 1819 in Oswestry, Wales. He was tried at Salop, Shropshire on 3 March 1840 and convicted of housebreaking. He was sentenced to 10 years transportation and sent to Van Diemen's Land on 25 April 1840 on the Asia. On 25 April 1847 he married Harriet Kerrison and they had 12 children.

Stephen Kerrison b. 1828

(A great great grandfather on our mother's side)

Stephen was not a transported convict. He came to Van Diemen's Land on the Charles Kerr with his parents in 1835 aged about 8.

However it appears he did a stint at Darlinghurst Gaol in 1859 for “stealing some boards, the property of the Church Building Committee” in Bombala in December 1858. This is referred to in the Bombala report in the Sydney Morning Herald dated 13 December 1858 (read transcription, which also provides an interesting insight into life in Bombala at that time). According to his gaol record he was 5 feet 10 inches tall, with (probably) black hair and blue eyes.

Read more about Stephen Kerrison.

James Goodson b. 1824

(Husband of Betsy Kerrison - a great great great aunt on our mother's side)

James Goodson was Convict Number 18137, transported for felony. He had been charged with burglary in 1843 when he was 19. He with two others stole 4 loaves of bread, a child's dress, some cakes and two handkerchiefs. He was transported for ten years. Apparently James junior told the judge at his trial "I hope you will sit there till I come back" before he was dragged from the dock.

He sailed on the Blundell and arrrived at Norfolk Island 6 July 1844. He was moved to Van Diemen's Land 30 December 1846. There is a photo believed to be of James on Betsy Kerrison's page.

He was granted his Ticket of Leave on 26 February 1850 and a Conditional pardon 3 February 1852, and Certificate of Freedom 9 January 1854.

James' parents were also both transported convicts - see below.

James died on 23 September 1878, 14 days after their arrival in Oamaru New Zealand. [Source: Kay Bruce (nee Rawson), one of James and Betsy's great great grand daughters from Christchurch New Zealand, 2012.]

James Goodson senior b. about 1800 and Mary Anne Burrells b. about 1803

(Parents of the husband of Betsy Kerrison - a great great great aunt on our mother's side)

James senior was charged with stealing oats from his employer, one Richard Bridge, on two occasions. He got 3 months for each offence. On his way home he stole some more and was convicted at Essex Quarter Session for a term of 14 years on 30 November 1830. He had other previous convictions for poaching and vagrancy. He was 31, and transported aboard the Larkins to Van Diemen's Land 19 Oct 1831. He was granted his ticket of leave 8 November 1839, conditional pardon 28 October 1841 and Certificate of freedom 1845.

Meanwile his wife Mary Anne was convicted of receiving stolen goods, namely stolen linen. She and daughter, Mary Ann, along with a son, Richard, followed James Senior on the Mary Hay. (Ed. According to the Founders and Survivors web site, she was actually transported to Van Diemen's Land on the Tasmania in 1844. This web page describes her as blue eyes, grey hair, 4 feet 10¼ inches tall, a Protestant who could read, and her trade is shown as "Needle Woman". She had at least one prior conviction for "leaving her family".) Her son James had already been transported for felony (see above).

Mary Anne died 4 May 1859 aged 59 at East Tamar. James senior remarried 28 November 1860 to Elizabeth Collyer at St Matthias, Windermere, a church he helped build. James and Elizabeth had 6 children. James Senior died aged 87 and is buried with Mary Anne at St Matthias. [Source: Kay Bruce (nee Rawson), one of James and Betsy's great great grand daughters from Christchurch New Zealand, 2012.]


William Barron (aka William Barnes) - b. c1768

(Father-in-law of James Alexander Turnbull, who was the brother of one of our great great great great grandparents, Samuel Perry Turnbull)
William was sentenced to Death respited to 14 years at the Essex (Chelmsford) Assizes on 23 July 1792 for "Burglariously entering a stable and stealing a black horse".

According to the Chelmsford Chronicle dated 27th July, 1792 William Barron did appear with 43 other prisoners on the calendar. William Barron for burglariously entering the stable of Abraham Hyam, and stealing a black horse, the property of said Abraham Hyam, of the value of 20 pounds. William was capitally convicted, and received sentence of death, but was reprieved to receive 14 years beyond the seas. [Source: Convict Stockade web site]

He arrived in the colony on the Barwell on 18 May 1798.

The Pioneer register Author Dr Smee listed William as having died in 1841, at a tavern in Sydney. I am not sure how reliable this is.

Anna Hewlett aka Uby, Huby, Huby Barron, Barnes

(Wife of William Barron, above)

According to "A Collateral of Blantyre - A History of the Turnbull Family" by Samuel J Turnbull, William Barron's wife Anna was also a convict, who arrived on the Canada in 1809. The only voyages of that ship containing women convicts were in 1810 and 1817 and an Anna Hewlett does not appear on either list but the 1810 voyage does list an Ana Huby. In any event there is an amusing note regarding the voyage in 1817:

Copy of a Letter from Governor Macquarie to the Earl Bathurst; dated Government-House, Sydney, New South Wales, 4th of December 1817......In consequence of your Lordship's desire, I have made particular inquiry relative to the conduct of the female convicts who arrived in the two last ships, namely, the Lord Melville and Canada, and have now the honour to transmit your Lordship the replies made to my queries on this subject by Mr. Justice Field, who came a passenger in the Lord Melville, and Surgeon Superintendent Allan, who came in charge of the female convicts on board the Canada. The former will show how extremely difficult it is to prevent the female convicts fromhaving intercourse with the officers and sailors during such a voyage. [Source: Free Settler or Felon web site]

James Duncan Turnbull

(Brother of a great great grandmother on our mother's side)

James Duncan Turnbull was not a transported convict. He was born on May 13, 1841 in Parramatta, NSW and worked as a station hand.

James died in 1880 in Parramatta Gaol, NSW at age 39. The Sydney Morning Herald of Thursday 18 September 1879 reported from Cooma that "Patrick Casey and James Turnbull, found guilty of sheep stealing, were each sentenced to five years on the roads". Given that Cooma is quite close to Bombala it is likely that this is our James. Assuming this is the same James Turnbull, he only lived about a year into his sentence.

There is also a report in the Sydney Morning Herald of Thursday 7 November 1872 saying "James Turnbull and Ann Cook, found guilty of having offended against decency in Hyde Park were severally sentenced to pay 20s.; or to be in prisoned (sic) seven days". Based on the date of birth (‘abt 1842’) and that fact that he was born in Sydney (as per the Gaol Description and Entrance Books record) this could have been our James Turnbull as well.

The Ann Cook in question appears to have been what we today would call a "sex worker" who was sent to Darlinghurst Gaol no less than 22 times between 1867 and 1874. Quite a wild lady, with convictions for obscenity and other things along the way. For example, the Sydney Morning Herald of Tuesday 11 October 1870 reports that "Catherine Lloyd, convicted of being a common prostitute wandering in a public place, and behaving in a riotous manner, was sentenced to be imprisoned seven days; and Ann Cook, for a like offence, but on more positive evidence, was sentenced to be imprisoned three months".

Read more about James.

Moya's Family

Moya is John Phillips' wife. Moya’s Aunty May was Mary Therese Palmer (nee Devlin ) - 1876-1959. She was a sister of Moya’s mother, who married Robert Andrew Palmer. The convicts were from his side of the family, and there were quite a few.

Samuel Pigott – 1762 the Charlotte

(Relative of Moya’s Aunty May)
Samuel Piggot was also known as Pickett, Picket, Pigot and was sentenced to 7 years transportation on 20 March 1786 at Exeter in England for stealing two pigs and 40 yards of woolen cloth serge. He was sent to NSW on the Charlotte, arriving with the First Fleet in January 1788. The Charlotte is shown at right at Portsmouth before departure in May 1787.

He was then sent to Norfolk Island on 13 October 1788. He left there on 21 September 1792.

He married Mary Ann Thompson (aka Tomlinson - see below), a convict transported on the Second Fleet.

According to the Convict Stockade web site, he was buried on 14 May 1817 at St John's, Parramatta, NSW. A timeline of his life reads:

Mary Ann Thompson (aka Tomlinson) b. 1770

(Relative of Moya’s Aunty May)
Mary Thompson was also known as Mary Tomlinson. She was a convict sentenced at Lincoln Assizes on 19 March 1789 (19 years old) to 7 years for stealing a silver watch. She arrived on the Lady Juliana with the Second Fleet on 28 June 1790.
She married Samuel Pigott (see above). Also see above for some interesting info about the Lady Juliana, which had the reputation as a floating brothel.

According to the Convict Stockade web site, she was born in 1769, died 28 March 1824 in Hobart and was buried St David's cemetery, Hobart, Van Diemens Land. A timeline of her life reads:

Samuel and Mary had a daughter named Ann in 1795, and Ann married two more convicts, Peter Carroll and Francis Williams (see below).

Peter Carroll b. 1769

(Relative of Moya’s Aunty May)
He was described as an Irish Rebel and was convicted in 1793 at Dundalk Assizes (County Louth, Ireland) for horse stealing. One record suggests he had 7 previous convictions. He was transported to Australia in 1796 on the Marquis Cornwallis, which was quite an eventful voyage. See the Hayes entry above for more info on this ship, including a picture.

He married Ann Pickett (b. 8 September 1795 to another two convicts, Samuel Pigott and Mary Ann Thompson above - source: Wilsons of Tasmania family tree), Hawkesbury Dist., NSW and they had 8 children before he died 9 December 1831 at Pitt Town NSW. Ann remarried to a Francis Williams in 1832 (see below).

Francis Williams b. 1801

(Husband of relative of Moya’s Aunty May)
Francis was convicted at Woolwich Court Martial on 5 August 1826 and sentenced to 14 years transportation. He arrived in Sydney on the Speke in 1826 with 155 other convicts and was sent to Hawkesbury NSW. He married Ann Carroll (nee Pickett) in 1832 and had 2 children. Ann was the widow of Peter Carroll, another convict, and the daughter of two more convicts, Samuel Pigott and Mary Ann Thompson (see above).

Francis was granted his Ticket of Leave at age 43 in 1837. [Source: Free Settler or Felon web site]

Francis died in December 1864 when struck by lightning.

John Finch b. 1792

(Husband of a relative of Moya’s Aunty May)
He was convicted of larceny on 19 April 1819 at Sussex Assizes and sentenced to 7 years transportation. Initially he was imprisoned in prison hulks at Woolwich, England. Subsequently he was transported to Australia on the Eliza on 22 September 1819. One of the other convicts on that voyage was also distantly related to our family - a certain Peter Vaughan (see above).

In September 1819 there were a total of 242 people on the Eliza - 160 prisoners who had embarked at Woolwich; 36 guard, 39 ships crew and 5 passengers by order of the Navy Board. On the 9th October the ship took on water and provisions and on the 10th October sailed from Spithead and anchored at the Isle of Wright on 11th October, leaving there on the 12th. They reached the equator on the 15 November. The Surgeon noted that the prisoners were locked down for three hours while the ship's company and guard 'amuse themselves in the usual ridiculous custom' on crossing the equator.

After a voyage of 98 days the Eliza came to anchor in Sydney Cove at 9am on 20 January 1820. Six days later Mr. Campbell, the Governor's Secretary and Mr. Hutchinson, Superintendent of convicts came on board and inspected the prisoners. Several convicts made complaints of short rations of pork in the early part of the voyage.

On 10 August 1830 the records show that Honora Leary applied (as a convict) to marry John Finch. The application was refused since “the female applicant is already married”. [Source: Free Settler or Felon web site]

Honora (Norah) Leary b. 1789

(Relative of Moya’s Aunty May)
Honora was tried in Wexford, Ireland on 14 July 1823 and was sentenced to 14 years. The court documents described her husband (not named) as a labourer in Tipperary, Ireland. She was transported to Australia on the Mariner, whose complement comprised 113 female convicts, departing Cork 2 March 1825 and arriving in Port Jackson 10 July 1825. The records show that Honora was accompanied by her 16 month old daughter Johanna (Cunningham).

The Mariner was one of four convict ships transporting female prisoners to New South Wales in 1825, the others being the Grenada, the Henry and the Midas. A total of 255 female prisoners arrived in the colony in 1825.

She was granted a Ticket of Leave on 22 July 1829. Presumably she would have received her Certificate of Freedom in 1837. As stated above, in 1830 she applied to marry John Finch but the application was refused because she was already married. However she was buried in Raymond Terrace Pioneer Cemetery as "Honora Finch" in 1855 [Source: Free Settler or Felon web site].

Richard Joseph Palmer b. 1807

(Paternal grandfather of Moya’s uncle)
Richard was convicted in Warwickshire at the Lent 1830 Assizes for housebreaking. In the same year he was transported to NSW on the Burrell. The Burrell departed Plymouth on 27 July 1830, anchored at Table Bay, Cape of Good Hope by the 1st November, and arrived at Port Jackson on 19 December 1830.

The ship's surgeon's report of the voyage says that "there was scarcely one of the 192 prisoners that was not affected with symptoms of scurvy" and "The convicts were confined 13 hours of 24 in the prison where it was impossible to keep them clean. There was a report of mutiny which resulted in the prisoners being kept in confinement for even longer". There is more detail about the mutiny plot at the Free Settler or Felon web site.

In 1837 Richard was assigned to a H. W. Radford at Patrick Plains NSW (now known as Singleton, in the Hunter Valley). He was granted his Ticket of Leave on 18 February 1839. In 1842 there was an Application to Marry recorded in East Maitland - Richard Palmer per 'Burrell' and Maria Adams (born in the colony). On 16 January 1847 he was granted his Conditional Pardon.

Patrick Purcell b. 1818

(Husband of a relative of Moya’s Aunty May)
Patrick seems to have had a colourful criminal career. He was convicted of stealing clothes in Waterford, Ireland on 12 December 1836 and sentenced to 7 years. The list of 218 male convicts on the Heber, which arrived from Ireland 12 July 1837, includes Patrick Purcell, a Roman Catholic tinker from Waterford.

The Register of Convict Applications to Marry 1826-1851 shows that Patrick Purcell, 26 yrs (so this would have been 1844 if the birth year is correct), who had been sentenced to transportation for 7 years and arrived on the Heber, applied for permission to marry Johanna Burgess (aka Johanna Cunningham). Johanna had been married previously.

He was due to be granted his Ticket of Leave on 1 June 1844 but it was cancelled due to “his prevarication while giving his evidence”.

He was eventually granted his Ticket of Leave on 24 April 1846 and his Certificate of Freedom on 3 September 1846. However, he was convicted at Tamworth of stealing on 27 June 1853 and sentenced to one year. His subsequent activities are not known but it is instructive that he died in prison.




John Phillips' mother was Anne Mead until she married George Phillips.

Aaron Solomon b. 1793

(Maternal grandfather of the wife of a cousin on the Mead side of the family)
Aaron Solomon was 18 years of age when sentenced to death at the Old Bailey London on 29 May 1811. He was indicted for "feloniously assaulting Jeremiah Cremer in the king's highway, on the 26th of May, putting him in fear, and taking from his person and against his will, a watch value 3l. his property" on 26 May 1811. Mr. Cremer testified "I am a stone mason's labourer. On the 26th of May, about eleven o'clock at night, I was coming down Brick Lane, three men came up to me, two of them laid hold of me, and the prisoner at the bar robbed me of the watch while the others had hold of me; the prisoner took hold of the chain of my watch and took it out of my fob directly I hollared out, and the three men made off together. The prisoner at the bar his is the man that robbed me of my watch; I never lost sight of him untill he was stopped". Brick Lane is in Whitechapel in the East End of London, the area that would become famous through the Jack the Ripper murders in 1888.

The sentence was later commuted to transportation for life.

He was transported to Australia on the Royal Naval vessel Indefatigable which left Portsmouth on 4 June 1812 and arrived in Hobart, Van Diemen's Land on 19 October 1812. The Indefatigable was the first convict ship to come directly to Hobart Town. Weighing in at 549 tons it was a three master square rigged vessel with three decks.

On 21 February 1821 he was convicted again, given a 3-year sentence and moved to the Newcastle penal settlement. In March 1825 he absented himself from his employment and was given 50 lashes for being a runaway. In March 1826 he “threw his frock” over a keg of spirits and attempted to steal it while at his usual work of wheeling coals.

The Newcastle Bench eventually granted Aaron his Ticket of Leave on 31 October 1833, thirteen years after his original 3-year sentence. On 31 December 1835 Aaron married Margaret Ewings and it appears thay lived at Parramatta for some time. Records show him as being 5 feet 2 or 3 inches in height, pink complexion, brown hair, grey eyes and a labourer. Once he was married he was described as a "dealer".

There is a lot of information about Aaron Solomon here, plus a timeline of him and his descendants.