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Convict Ship Somersetshire 1814

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Convict Ship Somersetshire 1814


Embarked: 200 men
Voyage: 159 days
Deaths: 1
Surgeons Journal: no
Previous vessel: Surry arrived 28 July 1814
Next vessel: Marquis of Wellington arrived 27 January 1815
Captain Alexander Scott


The Somersetshire was built on the Thames River in 1810. [7]


The Convicts

The convicts came from counties in England, Scotland and Wales - Middlesex, London, Stafford, Surrey, Suffolk, Gloucester, Norfolk, Southampton, Devon, Bristol, Dorset, Cambridge, Southampton, Nottingham, Lincoln, Berks, Lancaster, Worcester, Durham, York, Cumberland, Somerset, Chester, Warwick, Essex, Westmoreland, Salop, Wiltshire, Oxford, Cornwall, Perth, Aberdeen, Brecon, Merioneth, Carmarthen and Glamorgan. There were also several soldiers who had been court-martialed in Quebec CM, Spain CM and Portugal CM. [6]

Many were held in county gaols before being transferred to London where they worked in the hulks while awaiting transportation. Those tried in London were probably held in Newgate prison before being taken to the hulks.

Some of the men were held in the Perseus prison hulk at Portsmouth. They were sent on board the Somersetshire about the end of March 1814. These men included: Silvester Scott, John Shorrack, John Kerfoot, James Proctor, William Johnson, James Clohesy, Thomas Barnes, William Pope, Thomas Haydon, William Smith, Michael Buckley Samuel Harrison, John Rose, George Trowbridge, William White, Thomas Moan, Charles McGonagle, William Keenan, James Brocklehurst, Josiah Lunt, William Crisp, William Page, Edward McGoin and George Greaves.[1]



Departure

The Somersetshire departed Spithead on 10th May 1814, called at Madeira and arrived at Rio De Janeiro on 13th July 1814 where she remained for 10 days. One convict, James Brown (alias White) was presumed drowned in a rash attempt of escape while they were at Rio.



Military Guard

The Military Guard was a detachment of 30 men under command of Capt. Nairn to join the 16th regiment. On the voyage out Private Andrew Johnson died from fever before reaching Rio. The wife of Private Quinten Owen gave birth to a healthy daughter on the 30th September 1814. [3]



Port Jackson

The Somersetshire arrived in Port Jackson on Sunday 16 October 1814. She was one of seven convict ships arriving in New South Wales in 1814, the others being the Wanstead, General Hewitt, Catherine, Three Bees, Broxbornbury and Surry.

The Somersetshire brought the news of the fall of Napoleon Bonaparte and on the 17th October, in honour of the news, a Royal Salute was fired from Dawes Battery by command of Lieut- Governor Molle. In the evening a general illumination took place.[2]



Convict Muster

The prisoners were still on board at the time of the Royal Salute. They were not disembarked until 26th October 1814. The men would have been mustered on board by the Colonial Secretary John Thomas Campbell. (See Muster of Male and Female prisoners) After disembarking the prisoners may have been addressed by Governor Macquarie, a duty he rarely missed.

The convict indents included information such When and Where they were convicted, Sentence, Native Place, Occupation, Age, Physical Description and occasional information about Tickets of Leave. There were watchmakers, shoemakers, horse breakers, seamen, labourers, printers, brick makers, servants, silversmiths, a dentist, coachman. [6] William George Wells was noted as being a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, although this was denied. He was convicted of theft and his case which was heard at the Old Bailey makes interesting reading. [5]

Forty two of the prisoners were under the age of 21, four being sixteen years of age. The youngest prisoner was Charles John Clifford who was a midshipman. He was convicted of theft at the Old Bailey on 14 July 1813 [4]

William Hutchinson succeeded Isaac Nichols to the position of Superintendent of Convicts in New South Wales in April 1814. On 26 October by order of William Hutchinson fifty men from the Somersetshire were disembarked from the ship and forwarded to Windsor; sixteen men were sent to Liverpool and twenty-five to Parramatta. Eight prisoners were sent for private assignment straight from the ship: John Walsh, William Wells, Peter Pierce, William Holman, Benjamin Hart, John Proctor, Samuel McCreagh and James Kinsale. (see Assignment of Convicts for more information)



Cargo

Supplies brought out by merchants included about thirty pipes of fine Madeira, twenty five chests of souchong tea, Palna Carpets, China paper Ginghams, Bengal Prints, Calico, Longcloths, Lines and Twines, Bengal Soap, Mens Hats and coloured skins.



Departure from the Colony

John Bayliss, John Tagg and Mary Neale all advertised their intent to depart on the Somersetshire which sailed for Calcutta on Monday 5th December 1814.



Notes and Links


1). Among the male prisoners who arrived on the Somersetshire was stonemason James Clohesy who later contributed to the building of Christ Church at Newcastle

2). Convict Henry Dale was employed as gaoler at Newcastle gaol until 1819

3). Captain William Nairn - 46th Regiment - Australian Dictionary of Biography

4). Return of Convicts of the Somersetshire assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 21 June 1832).....Joseph Furnace - Pit sawyer assigned to T.W. Cape at Sydney

5). In November while the Somersetshire lay at anchor, seaman Robert Carroll was seriously injured in a fall and afterwards conveyed to the hospital on shore. (Sydney Gazette 12 November 1814)

6). Colonial Appointments

Prisoners of the Somersetshire identified in the Hunter Valley region

Name Notes
Andrews, Robert Labourer from Dorset age 29. Tried at Surrey 9 August 1813. Sent to Newcastle 1817
Arston, Samuel Alias Samuel Austin. Alias William White. Millwright from Norfolk age 22. Tried Suffolk 15 January 1813. Under the name Samuel Austin, punished for being involved in an escape plan by boat at Newcastle in December 1816. He was returned to Newcastle to serve out his sentence. In February 1822 he was returned to the colony from Calcutta, having clandestinely made his escape from the colony
Bigley, Daniel Labourer age 33 from Northampton. Tried 10 January 1810. Sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing pigs. Sent to Newcastle in August 1817
Bishop, Thomas Servant and cook from Worcester age 29. Tried 27 October 1813. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle in January 1821. Married Maria Raven in August 1825. Employed as a Constable at Newcastle in 1826. Granted a Ticket of Leave for Maitland in 1832
Chambers, Henry Brick maker from Sussex. London Gaol Delivery 27 Octrober 1813. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle in April 1821. Sent to Sydney Gaol in August 1826 on a charge of attempt at felony. Ticket of Leave cancelled
Clohesy, James Stonemason from Cork age 29. Tried at Southampton Portsmouth Quarter Sessions. 27 July 1813. Sent to Newcastle in 1816. Became overseer of stone masons and builders at Newcastle. Worked at building Christ Church and cut stone for the Gaol and the Hospital. Married Maria Wilson in August 1818
Conner, James Errand boy from London aged 16. Tried 2 June 1813. Sentence 7 years. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in March 1817
Cooper, James Shoemaker age 21 from London. Tried 15 September 1813. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. In 1828 Ticket of Leave holder employed by John Tucker at Pattersons Plains. In 1847. Sentenced to 1 month hard labour in Newcastle Gaol for larceny
Crisp, William Labourer age 20 from Cambridge. Tried Lincoln Quarter Sessions 30 April 1813. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in November 1817
Cumberland, Richard Butcher age 21 from London. London Gaol Delivery 15 September 183. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in November 1821
Dale, Henry Cotton spinner from Derby aged 35. Tried 14 July 1813. Sentenced to 14 years transportation for having forged bank notes in his possession. Sent to Newcastle in July 1815 with the order that he be strictly watched as he was notorious for forgeries. He became gaoler at Newcastle Gaol and was highly regarded by Commandant J. T. Morisset. Died in May 1819
Eaton, James Labourer age 25 from Worcesster. Tried Worcester Assizes 31 July 1813. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle in November 1821. In 1828 employed as stock keeper by Thomas Hunt husband of Molly Morgan. Granted a Ticket of leave for Wallis Plains in 1830
Farthing, William Printer age 20 from Bath. Tried 15 September 1813. Sentenced to transortation for life. Assigned to Charles Blaxland at Merton in 1837. Granted a Ticket of Leave for Cassilis in April 1841. Died at Cassilis in October 1841
Fawcett, John Labourer age 24 from York. Tried York Assizes 6 March 1813. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. Sentenced to Newcastle for 3 years in June 1820. Sent to Newcastle Gaol in October 1839 on a charge of felony
Furniss, Joseph Brickmaker age 20 from Yorkshire. Tried 31 July 1813. Sentenced to transportation for life. Granted a Ticket of Leave for Newcastle 1823. Assigned to Sydney Gaol in 1828. Assigned to William Killey at Pitt Water in 1837. Granted a Ticket of Leave for Brisbane Water in 1839
Gahagan, John Labourer age 20 from Co. Sligo. Court martial in Quebec 13 August 1813. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in July 1817
Gee, Thomas Ayliffe Clerk and auctioneer from Westminster. Tried at Middlesex 15 September 1813. Sentenced to 14 years transportation. Employed as a clerk in the Commissariate Dept. in Sydney. In March 1815 sent to Newcastle
Holmes, Richard Nailor age 22 from Stafford. Tried 11 January 1813. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in December 1815
Johnson, William Labourer age 22 from Co. Down. Tried Southampton Assizes 27 July 1813. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. Sentenced to 50 lashes for drunkenness at Newcastle in October 1824 and recalled to government service. Free and residing at Newcastle in 1825. Married Hannah Quigley at Newcastle in July 1832
Jones, Moses Tinman age 25 from Leicester. Tried 11 August 1813. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. Sentenced to 14 years transportation in 1822 and sent to Newcastle. His wife Susannah allowed to accompany him. Later he was sent to Port Macquarie
Kendrick, John Waggoner from Warwick age 26. Tried Warwick Assizes 14 August 1813. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. In 1824, free by servitude and employed as a labourer by John Allen. In 1825 sent to Newcastle Gaol for a colonial Crime.  In 1828, free and employed by William Thurlow at Wollombi
Levy, Barnet Brickmaker age 21 from London. Tried 15 September 1813. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. Punished in September 1820 at Newcastle for purloining provisions from the prisoner barracks
Marley, William Shoemaker age 36 from Hertford. Tried 2 June 1812. Sentenced to 14 years transportation. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in 1816. In August 1818 married Hannah Cole at Newcastle. In 1828 employed as a shoemaker at Bathurst
McCrea, Samuel Age 19. Tried in London 15 September 1813. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in 1821
McLeece, Daniel Age 53. Native place Belfast. Tried Lancaster Gaol Delivery 21 March 1812. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in 1818
Morris, John Seaman aged 39 from Italy. Tried 14 July 1813. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in 1821
Murray, Bartholomew Paper maker age 27 from Dublin. Tried Northumberland Assizes 19 August 1813. Sentenced to transportation for life. Stonemason sent to Newcastle penal settlement in 1817. In 1828 a Ticket of Leave holder and farrmer at Lower Portland Heads
Norman, John Cooper age 50 from Hull. Tried Northumberland Quarter Sessions 19 August 1813. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in 1820
Phillips, Joseph Glass cutter age 24 from London. Tried 15 September 1813. Sentenced to 14 years transportation. Sent to Newcastle penal settlment in 1815
Powell, Joseph Sawyer age 22 from Shropshire. Tried Salop Assizes 25 July 1812. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in 1821. Absconded from the settlement in June 1822. May have been employed by John Smith at Wallis Plains in 1828
Richardson, Joseph Stone cutter from Chester. Tried London 2 June 1813. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in 1815. In August 1821 sentenced to 25 lashes for stealing a shirt from a fellow prisoner in the gaol gang.  In 1828 assigned to the Australian Agricultural Company at Port Stephens. Granted a Ticket of Leave for Port Stephens in 1837
Salter, Thomas Labourer and bargeman age 30 from Northamton. Tried Gloucester Assizes 25 August 1813. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in 1816 and 1818
Scott, Robert Labourer age 42 from Yorkshire. Tried Leeds Quarter Sessions 4 October 1813. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in 1817
Sewell, Joseph Labourer age 36 from Westmoreland. Tried Westmoreland Assizes 1 September 1813. Sentenced to transportation for life. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in 1817
Smith, William Waggoner from Warwick age 24. Tried Warwick Assizes 14 August 1813. Sentenced to 14 years transportation. In 1825 assigned to John Tucker. In April 1825 assigned to Benjamin Davis and sentenced to 25 lashes for using threatening language to the Chief constable at Patersons Plains. Appointed constable and scourger at Pattersons Plains in August 1827
Squires, John Levy Sawyer age 21 from Huntingdon. Tried Cambridge Quarter Sessions 18 January 1811. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in September 1821. Absconded from the settlement in May 1822. Captured and returned to the settlement where he was punished in June 1822
Thompson, William Baker from Somerset age 32. Tried 2 June 1813. Sentenced to 14 years transportation. Sentenced to 50 lashes for stealing a shirt from a dwelling house at Newcastle in 1823, Died at Newcastle in September 1829.
Toole, Barnard Labourer age 22 from Co. Down. Tried Cumberland Assizes 25 August 1813. Sentenced to 14 years transportation. In 1825 a Ticket of Leave holder employed by Mr. Harris near Newcastle.
Turner, James Shoemaker age 26 from London. Tried 15 September 183. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in September 1815
Vagreen, Andreas Seaman age 30 from Sweden. Tried London 15 September 1813. Sentenced to transportation for life. Probably Andrew Green who was assigned to Lieut. William Caswell at Raymond Terrace in 1837
Waite, Thomas Cook from London. Tried Middlesex Quarter Sessions 4 December 1812. Sentenced to 7 years transportation. Sent to Newcastle penal settlement in July 1820. In 1825 employed by T. W. M. Winder near Newcastle
Welch, John Labourer age 30 from Co. Mayo. Tried 27 October 1813. Sentenced to transportation for life. In 1832 Ticket of leave cancelled for gross prevarication in giving evidence. In 1833 assigned to Peter Grant Ogilvie at Hunter River.  Sent to Newcastle Gaol  from Patrick Plains in March 1835


References

[1] Home Office: Convict Prison Hulks: Registers and Letter Books, 1802-1849. Microfilm, HO9, 5 rolls. The National Archives, Kew, England. Ancestry.com. UK, Prison Hulk Registers and Letter Books, 1802-1849

[2] Sydney Gazette 19 October 1814

[3] Sydney Gazette 22 October 1814

[4] The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Online - Charles Clifford

[5] The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Online - William George Wells

[6] Convict Indents. State Archives NSW; Series: NRS 12188; Item: [4/4005]; Microfiche: 635

[7] Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.340-341, 382



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