Soulden Lawrence

Soulden Lawrence first started working in Law in 1774. He was well known by 1794 he had become a judge and a Knight. He transferred to the Kings Bench where he served for fourteen years before returning to the Common Pleas. Soulden Lawrence had a reputation as judge of great ability and independence of mind. Judge Lawrence was considered to be extremely scrupulous in his dealings with all. This is typified by the fact that his will contained a direction for the indemnification, out of his estate, of the losing party in a suit in which he considered that he had misdirected the jury.[1]

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Felton Bequest, 1939 http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/explore/collection/work/39484/

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Felton Bequest, 1939 http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/explore/collection/work/39484/

Mary Stevens

[1] McMullen Rigg, J. Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Vol 32. Lawrence, Soulden. https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Lawrence,_Soulden_(DNB00) (Accessed 1st of June 2016)

Nash Grose

Nash Grose was a Justice of the Kings Bench. In 1766 he joined the bar and was considered a Barrister of note. Justice Grose became a Judge in 1780 and was considered to be a Sound Judge with very little bias. Judge Grose was made a Knight, shortly after he became a judge. He retired in 1813 and died just a year afterwards. [1]

Like with Justice Buller, Judge Grose would have had little understanding of the difficulties that a girl of Mary’s upbringing would have encountered. Judge Grose did not have the same reputation for bias that Justice Buller had, but how much he actually understood the lives of those whose trials he presided over is open to debate.

Sir Nash Grose (1714-1814), Judge. John Kay (1742-1826), Miniature painter and caricaturist. Courtesy National Portrait Gallery UK. http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw37051/Sir-Nash-Grose?

Sir Nash Grose (1714-1814), Judge. John Kay (1742-1826), Miniature painter and caricaturist. Courtesy National Portrait Gallery UK. http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw37051/Sir-Nash-Grose?

 

Mary Stevens

[1] Google Books. Kay, J. 1838. A series of original portraits and caricature etchings, Vol 2, Part 2. Publisher H. Paton, Carver and Gilder. Original from the New York Public Library. Digitized 12 Jul 2007. https://books.google.com.au/books?id=XrAEAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA290&lpg=PA290&dq=Nash+Grose&source=bl&ots=VXzfzMbw3x&sig=DnT8i7-ugFgTQ1QTjKUZaYieRBk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjC6of04YXNAhXlq6YKHTN2AFsQ6AEILTAD#v=onepage&q=Nash%20Grose&f=false (Accessed 1st June 2016)

Judge Buller

On the 28th of March 1799 at the Lent Assize at Tauton Castle Mary Stevens first encountered Justice Buller. Justice Buller had a reputation as a hasty and prejudiced judge who had once declared that a husband could thrash his wife with impunity provided that he used a stick no bigger than his thumb.[1]

Sir Francis Buller, 1st Baronet by Mather Brown - National Portrait Gallery, London, at http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portraitLarge/mw00899/Sir-Francis-Buller-1st-Bt?LinkID=mp00631&role=sit&rNo=0

Sir Francis Buller, 1st Baronet by Mather Brown – National Portrait Gallery, London, at http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portraitLarge/mw00899/Sir-Francis-Buller-1st-Bt?LinkID=mp00631&role=sit&rNo=0

Sir Francis Buller was a wealthy man who was well educated and had every advantage in life. He went into law in 1763 and quickly made his way up the ladder to become a Kings Bench judge in 1765. Judgel Buller presided over a number of celebrity trials including the trail of the Duchess of Kingston. He presided over both of the Assize Trials at Taunton that Mary was present at. Mary’s trial in 1800 was one of the last ones that he was judge at as he died just months later on the 5th of June after falling ill during a game of picquet at Bedford Square.[2]

When Mary was bought before Justice Buller she would have felt keenly the inequity of her situation. Here was one of two powerful men who had enjoyed every advantage and privilege and she was a young woman of around 21 years of age who had been caught stealing 17 yards of Printed Cotton from Thomas Andrews.[3] By the 1790’s cotton was no longer the valuable fabric that it had been just a hundred years earlier but 17 yards of the material was still a considerable sum. In the case of Mary Stevens, when she stole 17 yards the value of the cotton was 30 shillings, just 10 shillings more and Mary Stevens would have faced a death sentence.[4]

Mary was sentenced to 7 years transportation beyond the seas.

Mary Stevens

[1] Oldham, J. (2004). Buller, Sir Francis, first baronet (1746–1800). Dictionary of Biography.

[2] Courtney, W. P. Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Vol 7. Buller, Francis. https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Buller,_Francis_(DNB00) (Accessed 1st Jun 2016)

[3] Find My Past. Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette, 04 April 1799. Mary Stevens.

[4] Clive Emsley, Tim Hitchcock and Robert Shoemaker, “Crime and Justice – Trial Verdicts”, Old Bailey Proceedings Online www.oldbaileyonline.org , version 7.0, (Accessed 01 June 2016 )

Taunton Gaol

The Lent Assizes for the County of Somerset were held at the assize hall in the Castle of Taunton. Thus there was a gaol at Taunton that was used to hold the prisoners close to the Castle so that they were convenient for their Trial at Taunton Castle. The gaol was erected in 1754, expanded in 1815 and later became part of the Police Headquarters for the town of Taunton.[1]

The Gaol at Taunton was assessed once in 1803 and once in 1806 with details of the layout written up at the time. Mary Stevens was in the gaol at Taunton, also known as Wilton Gaol, for at least some of her 18 months or so imprisonment in Somersetshire. It is uncertain how much of that time she would have spent at Taunton and how much of that time she would have spent in the gaol at Ilchester.

 Taunton Police Station. Part of the original Taunton Gaol. Taken 2008. Tauntonbuff http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=315870.0

Taunton Police Station. Part of the original Taunton Gaol. Taken 2008. Tauntonbuff http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=315870.0

Whilst in the gaol at Taunton Mary would have been allowed half a quarter loaf per day and a dinner of meat once a fortnight. On this meagre allowance she would have had to survive for the duration of her time at Taunton, unless she could afford to supplement her food. If she had no way to pay for additional food then any extras she may have obtained would have been reliant on the good nature and bounty of others, possibly even her family, if they visited her.[2]

The women at Taunton had a day-room which had been a Chapel prior to being converted to the woman’s day-room. Over the day room there were two rooms. One of those contained beds, the other straw for sleeping on. To be able to sleep on a bed the prisoners had to pay 1 shilling per week. Otherwise they slept on the straw on the floor, even if they were ill.[3]

If Mary’s clothes were “ragged or offensive” she would have been provided with a Gaol Uniform to wear. In winter the rooms were cold and in summer probably hot. The only heating allowed were coals in the day room. The rooms would also have been very dark, with the upper parts of the windows glass and the lower parts shuttered.[4]

Like Ilchester Gaol, at the time Mary Stevens was at Taunton Gaol there was no employment for the inmates. In many cases the prisoners were also kept in irons. It was also noticeable that in the gaol they displayed the Act for Preserving Health on the walls, but had not included the clauses on “Spirituous Liquors”.[5] Not that it would have mattered as many of the prisoners could neither read nor write, including Mary who signed her marriage certificate with a cross.[6]

Mary Stevens

[1] Google Books. Toulmin, J. The history of Taunton, in the county of Somerset. Printed for J. Poole 1822. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitised 18 Dec 2006. P. 585.

[2] Google Books. Neild, J. 1812. State of the prisons in England, Scotland and Wales …: together with some useful documents, observations, and remarks, adapted to explain and improve the condition of prisoners in general … Original from University of Minnesota. Digitised 1 Jul 2010. P. 555 https://books.google.com.au/books?id=SwEMAQAAMAAJ&pg=PR64&lpg=PR64&dq=Taunton+Castle+gaol&source=bl&ots=6ykeJlDCAa&sig=bEdW-GzP54yIG8oPGga9iMlVBQw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiaq6XWyoXNAhWIv48KHQf_AZgQ6AEIRTAJ#v=onepage&q=Taunton%20Castle%20gaol&f=false (Accessed 1st June 2016)

[3] Google Books. Neild, J. 1812. State of the prisons in England, Scotland and Wales …: together with some useful documents, observations, and remarks, adapted to explain and improve the condition of prisoners in general … Original from University of Minnesota. Digitised 1 Jul 2010. P. 555 https://books.google.com.au/books?id=SwEMAQAAMAAJ&pg=PR64&lpg=PR64&dq=Taunton+Castle+gaol&source=bl&ots=6ykeJlDCAa&sig=bEdW-GzP54yIG8oPGga9iMlVBQw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiaq6XWyoXNAhWIv48KHQf_AZgQ6AEIRTAJ#v=onepage&q=Taunton%20Castle%20gaol&f=false (Accessed 1st June 2016)

[4] Google Books. Neild, J. 1812. State of the prisons in England, Scotland and Wales …: together with some useful documents, observations, and remarks, adapted to explain and improve the condition of prisoners in general … Original from University of Minnesota. Digitised 1 Jul 2010. P. 555 https://books.google.com.au/books?id=SwEMAQAAMAAJ&pg=PR64&lpg=PR64&dq=Taunton+Castle+gaol&source=bl&ots=6ykeJlDCAa&sig=bEdW-GzP54yIG8oPGga9iMlVBQw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiaq6XWyoXNAhWIv48KHQf_AZgQ6AEIRTAJ#v=onepage&q=Taunton%20Castle%20gaol&f=false (Accessed 1st June 2016)

[5] Google Books. Neild, J. 1812. State of the prisons in England, Scotland and Wales …: together with some useful documents, observations, and remarks, adapted to explain and improve the condition of prisoners in general … Original from University of Minnesota. Digitised 1 Jul 2010. P. 555 https://books.google.com.au/books?id=SwEMAQAAMAAJ&pg=PR64&lpg=PR64&dq=Taunton+Castle+gaol&source=bl&ots=6ykeJlDCAa&sig=bEdW-GzP54yIG8oPGga9iMlVBQw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiaq6XWyoXNAhWIv48KHQf_AZgQ6AEIRTAJ#v=onepage&q=Taunton%20Castle%20gaol&f=false (Accessed 1st June 2016)

[6] NSW BDM 1809 893/1809 V1809893 3A John Leese and Mary Stephens

Ilchester Gaol

Just a couple of months after Mary Stevens was held at Ilchester gaol, Jane Leigh-Perrott was being held at the Ilchester gaol awaiting her own trial at Taunton. Unlike Mary Stevens, Jane Leigh-Perrott was in many of the local and National Newspapers for months with full coverage of her trial and statements by herself and all relevant witnesses.[1]

Jane Leigh Perrott was the aunt of Jane Austen. She came from a well off and titled family and had all of the advantages of wealth and birth that Mary Stevens did not have. [2] Thus life was very different for the two classes of inmates. Mary Stevens was limited to one courtyard room crowded with all the other female prisoners, with no occupation for any of the prisoners so they had little to do with their time. As a result the female ward was described as a place of dissolution and profligacy, just six years later when the gaol was being assessed and improvements organised.[3]

A Peep into a Prison; or, the Inside of Ilchester Bastile 1821 https://www.bl.uk/collection­items/account­of­poor­prisonconditions­at­ilchester­by­henry­hunt#sthash.pDu9Xmdh.dpuf

A Peep into a Prison; or, the Inside of Ilchester Bastile 1821 https://www.bl.uk/collection­items/account­of­poor­prisonconditions­at­ilchester­by­henry­hunt#sthash.pDu9Xmdh.dpuf

Mary Stevens would have had an uncomfortable time in Ilchester gaol. The experience of Jane Leigh Perrott would have been very different. Much as Jane Leigh Perrott complained of her situation the realities were far less uncomfortable than those of the other female prisoners. Jane, herself was housed in a room adjoining the gaolers rooms. She gives brief descriptions of the gaol and of her situation in the gaol- “Vulgarity, Dirt, Noise from Morning till night…”[4]

…the Man told me that the Dining Room I was to consider as my own whenever I choose to be along- and so it was till the Fires began; but this Room joins to a Room where the Children all lie, and not Bedlam itself can be half so noisy, beside which, as not one particule [sic] of Smoke goes up the Chimney, except you leave the door or window open, I leave you to judge of the Comfort I can enjoy in such a Room.[5]

 Jane Leigh Perrott was accused of stealing a card of lace worth twenty shilling from a shop in Bath. She was arrested in August of 1799 but was not able to obtain bail.[6] Thus she stayed with the Ilchester gaoler until the Lent Assize of 1800. This was the same Assize that Mary Stevens had her sentence confirmed at, before being transported to New South Wales for the term of seven years.[7] Jane Leigh Perrot was acquitted.[8]

 Mary Stevens

[1] Gale Newspapers. 1800 Somerset Assizes ‘The Reading Mercury and Oxford Gazette’ Reading, England, Monday, April 07, 1800; pg. 3; Issue 1993. British Library Newspapers, Part III: 1741-1950. Viewed 1 June 2016.

[2] The Jane Austen Centre. ‘The Life and Times of Jane Leigh-Perrot. Posted June 16 2011. http://www.janeausten.co.uk/the-life-and-crimes-of-jane-leigh-perrot/ (Accessed 1st June 2016)

[3] Guttenburg Project. A Narrative of the  Rise and Progress of the Improvements Effected at His Majesties Gaol at Ilchester Between July 1806 and November 1821. https://archive.org/stream/anarrativerisea00bridgoog/anarrativerisea00bridgoog_djvu.txt  (Accessed 1st June 2016)

[4] Austen Papers 1704-1856. Edited by Austen- Leigh, R. A. 1942. Published by Spottiswoode, Ballantyne & Co. Ltd. http://www.janeaustensfamily.co.uk/austen-reading/introduction/introduction.index.html (Accessed 26th May 2016)

[5] Austen Papers 1704-1856. Edited by Austen- Leigh, R. A. 1942. Published by Spottiswoode, Ballantyne & Co. Ltd. http://www.janeaustensfamily.co.uk/austen-reading/introduction/introduction.index.html (Accessed 26th May 2016)

[6] Gale Newspapers. 1800 Somerset Assizes ‘The Reading Mercury and Oxford Gazette’ Reading, England, Monday, April 07, 1800; pg. 3; Issue 1993. British Library Newspapers, Part III: 1741-1950. Viewed 1 June 2016.

[7] TNA, Somerset Lent Circuit 1800 ASS1 23 9, Mary Stevens

[8] Gale Newspapers. 1800 Somerset Assizes ‘The Reading Mercury and Oxford Gazette’ Reading, England, Monday, April 07, 1800; pg. 3; Issue 1993. British Library Newspapers, Part III: 1741-1950. Viewed 1 June 2016.

Mary Lees nee Stevens

Over the last month and a half I have been working on my convict assignment for UTAS. There was a lot of other reading and research that I had to do as well. Some of what I have done has already been put up here on my blog, however, much of it has not. So here are the stories that I have written for that unit. There is way more that I could have written but with the time limits and word constraints I have focused very much on the basics.

On the 28th of March 1799 Mary Stevens, a young woman of around 21 with black hair and green eyes,[1] was sentenced to Transportation over the Seas for the term of seven years.[2] Mary had originally been arrested and held at Ilchester Gaol[3] before being remanded in Custody at Taunton Castle to await her trial at the Lent Assizes.[4] Mary had stolen 17 yards of cotton, the property of Thomas Andrews[5], to the value of 30 shillings[6].

04 April 1799 - Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette - Bath, Somerset, England. Find My Past

04 April 1799 – Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette – Bath, Somerset, England. Find My Past

The Lent Assizes of 1799, at Taunton, were presided over by the Judges F. Buller and N. Grose.[7] At the Assize Mary Stevens was the only female to be sentenced to Transportation, although four men received similar sentences. Of those who attended the Assizes with Mary three were sentenced to death and a variety of other sentences were passed including fines and hard labour for some. [8] After the Lent Assize of 1799 Mary remained at Taunton Castle for the next year until the next Lent Assize of 1800. This Assize was presided over by the Justices S. Lawrence and F. Buller.[9] At this Assize Mary’s sentence was confirmed and she was set for ‘Transportation over the Seas’ for the period of seven years.

Once her sentence was confirmed Mary was sent back to Taunton gaol until she was to go on the Ship that would take her to Botany Bay, Australia. In September of 1800 Mary, along with approximately 94-99 other women and 100 men, were moved aboard the Earl Cornwallis, then laying anchor at Downes.[10] The Earl Cornwallis had just been refitted which included it hull sheathed with copper, and the installation of a roundhouse on the stern and a new mast.[11]

Mary and the other convicts were joined by almost another one hundred convicts at Portsmouth on the 14th of September.[12] The Earl Cornwallis then moved onto Cowes on the Isle of Wight where due to Storms and administrative delays the ship was kept at anchor until mid-November.[13] Finally after close to 18 months in different prisons and almost three months aboard the Earl Cornwallis moored in different parts of the Thames, Mary and the almost 300 other convicts plus passengers and crew, started the long journey to Botany Bay.

By Thomas Daniell (1749-1840) - Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, USA, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36841826

By Thomas Daniell (1749-1840) – Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, USA, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36841826

The voyage was not without excitement. They reached Rio de Janiero around the 3rd of February 1801where the officer in charge of the guard escort of the convicts, Lieutenant Henry Crawford, fell over board and was drowned.[14] After leaving Rio de Janiero the Earl Cornwallis next dropped anchor at Cape Town. According to Scott the trip from the Cape to Sydney was particularly wet and windy.

“After a passage of 7 weeks from the Cape; it blew a continual Gale of wind most all of the passage, with most tremendous squalls”.[15]

As Mary and the other convicts disembarked in Sydney they had the first sight of their new home, a town that looked like a camp with low straggling houses. [16] It was not long before the convicts got a taste of what their new life would be, with many of them being allocated to work. Mary was assigned to the Soldier John Lees as a Housekeeper.[17]

Edward Dayes, 1763­1804 View of Sydney Cove, New South Wales, from an original picture in the possession of Isaac Clementson Esqr. Call Number: V1 / 1802 / 1 Published date: 1802 Digital ID: a1528669 (Courtesy of the State Library of NSW)

Edward Dayes, 1763­1804 View of Sydney Cove, New South Wales, from an original picture in the possession of Isaac Clementson Esqr. Call Number: V1 / 1802 / 1 Published date: 1802 Digital ID: a1528669 (Courtesy of the State Library of NSW)

It appears that Mary’s new life in Sydney provided her with opportunities that she may not have had in her previous home in Somerset. Just fifteen months after her arrival in Sydney, Mary gave birth to a daughter, Maria Lee, daughter of John Lees and Mary Stevens.[18] This was not the end of Mary and John’s liaison, in fact over the next 20 years Mary was to have ten children with John Lees.[19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] Mary and John were also to marry although not until 1809 after the first five of their children had been born and baptised.[28]

Mary and John did not stay in Sydney. On the 24th of April 1803, just before the birth of their second child, John was discharged from the Army.[29] He was also granted the first of a series of Land Grants in Castlereagh, NSW.[30] This grant of Land meant that John, Mary and their young and growing family could move to Castlereagh and take up the lives of farmers. They worked hard and life was not easy for them. Less than a year after the family moved to Castlereagh they lost everything that they had worked for in a fire that destroyed their home. [31] Fire was not the only disaster to befall the family, they also faced severe floods[32] and caterpillar plagues.[33] Despite all of these challenges, by the time Mary was present at the 1814 Muster the whole family were off stores and supporting themselves off their own land. [34]

Mary and John lived together for 35 years until John died on the 28th of August 1836 at the age of 59. [35] Mary lived for another three years before she also followed him to the grave. [36] Both John and Mary are buried together at the Wesleyan Chapel at Castlereagh.

John Lees tomb stone Authors Collection

John Lees tomb stone
Authors Collection

[1] State Records Authority of New South Wales. Certificate of Emancipation, 1811. 4/4427; COD18, Reel 601 page 522-23. Mary Stevens

[2] TNA, Somerset Lent Circuit 1799 ASS1 23 9, Mary Stevens

[3] State Records Authority of New South Wales, PRO 87, HO 11/1 275-288, Mary Stevens

[4] TNA, Somerset Lent Circuit 1800 ASS1 23 9, Mary Stevens

[5] Find My Past. Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette, 04 April 1799. Mary Stevens.

[6] TNA, Somerset Lent Circuit 1799 ASS1 23 9, Mary Stevens

[7] Google Books. Jeffries, F. The Gentleman’s Magazine (London, England), Volume 85. 1799 Digitised 2011. https://books.google.com.au/books?id=f30dAQAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Gentleman%27s+Magazine+vol+85+1799+Jeffries&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwixn6yx6ojNAhXBEpQKHeAMD6oQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=Lent&f=false (Accessed 1st June 2016) p 147.

[8] Find My Past. Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette, 04 April 1799. Mary Stevens.

[9] Google Books. Jeffries, F. The Gentleman’s Magazine (London, England), Volume 87. 1800 Digitised 2011. https://books.google.com.au/books?id=uvsRAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=snippet&q=Buller&f=false  (Accessed 1st June 2016) p 176.

[10] NLA MS 1898. Robert Scott, Fifth mate on the Earl Cornwallis, 4th Letter, 2nd September 1800

[11] Griffiths, J. A History of David Brown (1750-1836) and Family. 2016 http://www.davidbrown1801nsw.info/ (Accessed 31st May 2016)

[12] NLA MS 1898. Robert Scott, Fifth mate on the Earl Cornwallis, 5th Letter, 19th September 1800

[13] Griffiths, J. A History of David Brown (1750-1836) and Family. 2016 http://www.davidbrown1801nsw.info/ (Accessed 31st May 2016)

[14] Griffiths, J. A History of David Brown (1750-1836) and Family. 2016 http://www.davidbrown1801nsw.info/ (Accessed 31st May 2016)

[15] NLA MS 1898. Robert Scott, Fifth mate on the Earl Cornwallis, 9th Letter, 16th August 1801

[16] NLA MS 1898. Robert Scott, Fifth mate on the Earl Cornwallis, 9th Letter, 16th August 1801

[17] Marsden’s Female Muster 1806; ML ref: Vol. MSS 18, published in “Musters of New South Wales and Norfolk Island 1805-1806”, edited by Carol J. Baxter, ABGR, Sydney, 1989.; Book Entry# C1164

[18] St Philip’s Church of England, Sydney NSW: Church Register – Baptisms; ML ref: Reel SAG 90.; Vol Entry# 910

[19] NSW BDM 1804 911/1804 V1804911 4 Hannah Lee

[20] NSW BDM 1806 912/1806 V1806912 4 Richard Lee

[21] NSW BDM 1807 2621/1807 V18072621 1A John Leese

[22] NSW BDM 1809 1962/1809 V18091962 1A Mary Lees

[23] NSW BDM 1812 2622/1812 V18122622 1A Esther Lees

[24] NSW BDM 1812 3211/1813 V18133211 1A Samuel Leese

[25] NSW BDM 1815 3784/1815 V18153784 1B Timothy Leese

[26] NSW BDM 1818 4459/1818 V18184459 1B Sarah Leese

[27] NSW BDM 1821 1555/1821 V18211555 162A Cornelius Lees (noted as Sees on the BMD database)

[28] NSW BDM 1809 893/1809 V1809893 3A John Leese and Mary Stephens

[29] Biographical Database of Australia. 1803. Muster Master General’s Index of Casualties &c 102 Foot. Ref: WO25/1342. John Lees http://www.bda-online.org.au/ (accessed 31st May 2016)

[30] Biographical Database of Australia Australian Biographical and Genealogical Record – Series 1 – 1788-1841″, Eds. John T. Spurway and Allison Allen. Pub. ABGR, Sydney, 1992. http://www.bda-online.org.au/ (accessed 31st May 2016)

[31] Trove. 1804 ‘New Bridge.’, The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), 26 February, p. 4. , viewed 31 May 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article626060

[32] Trove. 1806 ‘HAWKESBURY, MARCH 27.’The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), 30 March, p. 2. , viewed 31 May 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article627063

[33] 1810 ‘SYDNEY.’, The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), 29 September, p. 2. , viewed 31 May 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article628077

[34] General Muster of the Inhabitants of New South Wales commencing on 17th October and ending 16th November 1814. edited by Carol J. Baxter, published by ABGR, Sydney, 1987.; Book Entry# 1328

[35] NSW BDM 1836 668/1836 V1836668 20 John Lees

[36] NSW BDM 1839 1027/1839 V18391027 23A Mary Stevens (noted as Stover on the BDM database, both Lees and Stevens on the actual certificate)

Aside

Where am I?

I haven’t stopped writing. I have just had so much writing to do for my Diploma of Family History from UTAS that I have not been able to keep up with it and with writing up my blog as well.

Tomorrow I am hoping to upload the remaining stories that I have written for my Diploma and make them available here so that people can have read the details of the life of Mary Stevens.

Mount Alexander

At some stage between 1855 and 1858 Edwin Gransden ended up at Mount Alexander near Melbourne. Mount Alexander was in the heart of Gold Country and Edwin certainly had an interest in gold as shown by a newspaper article in 1858 showing Edwin asking for a partner in a Puddling Machine. A Puddling Machine, introduced in 1852, is a machine that breaks up gold bearing clay and dirt, with a heavy stone drawn by a horse, allowing gold flecks to sift to the bottom of the channel and be made more accessible.

WANTED a Partner- The advertiser being about putting up a Puddling Machine, wishes to join another as mates in the concern. Any party having a small capital, and wishing to join, may hear of further particulars by addressing a letter to Mr. E.
Gransden, at Mr. Parker’s Mount Franklin, Hepburn.

1858 ‘Advertising.’, Mount Alexander Mail (Vic. : 1854 – 1917), 5 March, p. 1, viewed 1 February, 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197085694

S. GILL Periton, Devonshire, England 1818 – Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 1880 Australia from 1839 CAMPBELL & FERGUSSON commenced 1854 – 1854 printer, lithographic (organisation) JAMES J. BLUNDELL & CO commenced 1854 – 1867 publisher (organisation) Horse puddling machine, Forest Creek. 1855-56 Courtesy of the Australian National Gallery

S. GILL
Periton, Devonshire, England 1818 – Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 1880
Australia from 1839
CAMPBELL & FERGUSSON
commenced 1854 – 1854
printer, lithographic (organisation)
JAMES J. BLUNDELL & CO
commenced 1854 – 1867
publisher (organisation)
Horse puddling machine, Forest Creek.
1855-56
Courtesy of the Australian National Gallery

Doing some research into Mount Alexander I came across a youtube video that gives a nice potted history of Mount Alexander and what it was like to live there during the Gold Rush years that Edwin Gransden was there for.

Taunton Gaol

For my UTAS course on convicts I have to write a story about one of my convicts and a series of break out stories. Not all of them are assessed but some of them are. This is the break out article I wrote about the Gaol at Taunton where Mary Stevens was held before her Assize Court hearings at Lent of 1799 and 1800.

All I can say, is that I wonder how badly she suffered from Scurvey by the time she got to Sydney Cove. Being a convict on a farm even at the time that she arrived was probably preferable to the life she had lived in the gaols and on the trip to Sydney. I suspect that she also received better food on that farm then she had ever had in her entire life prior to coming to Australia.

Taunton Gaol

The Lent Assizes for the County of Somerset were held at the assize hall in the Castle of Taunton. Thus there was a gaol at Taunton that was used to hold the prisoners close to the Castle so that they were convenient for their Trial at Taunton Castle. The gaol was erected in 1754, expanded in 1815 and later became part of the Police Headquarters for the town of Taunton.[1]

Wiltong Gaol, Taunton. http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=315870.0 This photograph is on a Rootschat forum. If I ever get the details from the person who took the photo I will credit them.

Wilton Gaol, Taunton.
http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=315870.0 This photograph is on a Rootschat forum. If I ever get the details from the person who took the photo I will credit them.

The Gaol at Taunton was assessed once in 1803 and once in 1806 with details of the layout written up at the time. Mary Stevens was in the gaol at Taunton, also known as Wilton Gaol, for at least some of her 18 months or so imprisonment in Somersetshire. It is uncertain how much of that time she would have spent at Taunton and how much of that time she would have spent in the gaol at Ilchester.

Whilst in the gaol at Taunton Mary would have been allowed half a quarter loaf per day and a dinner of meat once a fortnight. On this meagre allowance she would have had to survive for the duration of her time at Taunton, unless she could afford to supplement her food. If she had no way to pay for additional food then any extras she may have obtained would have been reliant on the good nature and bounty of others, possibly even her family, if they visited her.[2]

[1] Google Books. Toulmin, J. The history of Taunton, in the county of Somerset. Printed for J. Poole 1822. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitised 18 Dec 2006. P. 585.

[2] Google Books. Neild, J. 1812. State of the prisons in England, Scotland and Wales …: together with some useful documents, observations, and remarks, adapted to explain and improve the condition of prisoners in general … Original from University of Minnesota. Digitised 1 Jul 2010. P. 555 https://books.google.com.au/books?id=SwEMAQAAMAAJ&pg=PR64&lpg=PR64&dq=Taunton+Castle+gaol&source=bl&ots=6ykeJlDCAa&sig=bEdW-GzP54yIG8oPGga9iMlVBQw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiaq6XWyoXNAhWIv48KHQf_AZgQ6AEIRTAJ#v=onepage&q=Taunton%20Castle%20gaol&f=false (Accessed 1st June 2016)

Lieutenant Henry Crawford

I have been so busy writing stories for the Convict unit of my Diploma Course that I have not had any time to put up any blog posts recently. So here is a break out story from the main one I am writing on Mary Stevens. This story if part of my assessment. I will put the main story up at a later date.

Sydney N.S.Wales, 
21st August 1801,
Gentlemen,
By the way of India I had the honor of writing you, a duplicate copy of which accompanies this. The Earl Cornwallis arrived here the 10th June. By that ship I received your letters and their several enclosures, together with the store, provisions, and passengers, the Commissary’s receipt for all which I enclose. The difference between the number of prisoners sent on board and landed here the mater accounts for by their having died of the dysentery during the voyage. Many of those landed are extremely weak and feeble. No complaint has been made of improper treatment during the voyage, and what is very extraordinary no complaint has been made by the agent or master of any very bad behaviour of any of the prisoners during the voyage. On the contrary they both speak to their advantage. I am sorry to observe that Lieut. Henry Crawford, of the New South Wales Corps, was drowned at Rio de Janeiro. The ship was cleared within the time allowed; therefore no demurrage has taken place.[1]

The death of Lieutenant Henry Crawford, overseer of the guard escort for the Convicts, illustrated the gradual increase in power in the Colony of Sydney, exercised by the Rum Corps and eventually leading to the Rum Rebellion.[2]

After the death of Lieutenant Crawford, another officer of the Earl Cornwallis, Lieutenant Marshall decided to swap a quilt and another item for his own, claiming that Lieutenant Crawford owed him money and thus the swap for better equipment made up the amount that Lieutenant Crawford had owed him.[3]

It appeared that Macarthur, at the time the senior officer, whilst both Governor King and the Lieutenant Colonel Paterson were absent, disagreed with Lieutenant Crawford’s intent. Thus he directed an inquiry before a bench of magistrates.[4] The result was that the Magistrates findings were mild with no ill intent attributed to Lieutenant Crawford. Regardless Governor King issued a reprimand. In addition to a reprimand Governor King also informed Lieutenant Marshall that he had obtained a passage for him aboard the Albion to take him back to England. [5]

Captain John Macarthur. Project Gutenburg. http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks13/1302011h.html

Captain John Macarthur. Project Gutenburg. http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks13/1302011h.html

Marshall, apparently did not take this direction well and obviously attributed the situation to Macarthur. So publicly and openly he insulted Macarthur. Equally Macarthur did not take that well and sent Captain Abbott to Marshall to challenge Marshall to a duel which Marshall accepted. Marshall chose Mr. Jeffries, Purser from the Earl Cornwallis as his second. Captain Abbott was Macarthur’s second. However, under the rules of the duel the seconds are supposed to be co-equals in rank. Captain Abbott refused to allow that Mr. Jeffries was his co-equal. Marshall and Jeffries both turned up to the appointed place and at the appointed time for the duel but Macarthur and Abbott did not. So the next time Marshall encountered Abbott he stuck him and claimed that he would do the same to Macarthur when he next saw him. [6]

As a result Marshal was prosecuted and bought before a criminal court. The Judges of the Court consisted of a number of people including five military officers. Not surprisingly Marshall claimed that the court was biased and objected to the five military officers trying the case. His objections were overruled and he was convicted of assaulting Abbott.[7]

As Governor King had considerable doubt about the entire case he eventually decided to remit the sentences passed onto Marshall for assault for fifty pounds and one years imprisonment, as long as Marshall left New South Wales. He also requested that the Court be re-convened due to fresh evidence. However, Governor King received a complaint from the five military officers of the trial, claiming that all members of the court had unanimously declared that it was impossible to reopen the case. Two members, the non-army, members of the court did not agree to the protest. This went on for some time. The upshot was that James Tennant, the commander of the Earl Cornwallis and one other officer, were requested to pay a fine if Marshal did not present himself, on entering Britain, to a court and pay his fifty pound fine and spend his year in gaol.[8]

[1] HRA Series 1.,Vol. 3. p.264

[2] Evatt, H. V. 1938. Rum Rebellion: A study of the Overthrow of Governor Bligh by John Macarthur of the New South Wales Corps. Angus and Robertson, Sydney, Australia.

[3] Trove. 1931 ‘DUELLING DAYS.’, The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), 13 June, p. 9. , viewed 01 Jun 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16785552

[4] Trove. 1931 ‘DUELLING DAYS.’, The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), 13 June, p. 9. , viewed 01 Jun 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16785552

[5] Trove. 1931 ‘DUELLING DAYS.’, The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), 13 June, p. 9. , viewed 01 Jun 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16785552

[6] Trove. 1931 ‘DUELLING DAYS.’, The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), 13 June, p. 9. , viewed 01 Jun 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16785552

[7] Evatt, H. V. 1938. Rum Rebellion: A study of the Overthrow of Governor Bligh by John Macarthur of the New South Wales Corps. Angus and Robertson, Sydney, Australia.

[8] Trove. 1931 ‘DUELLING DAYS.’, The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), 13 June, p. 9. , viewed 01 Jun 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16785552