Visiting National Archives in England

Whenever I travel to England, I try to get a lot of family history research done as well as touring the counties of my ancestors.

So while at the National Archives UK at Kew in 2005, I made a great discovery. It was the first time I had visited the archives so wanted to make the best use of my time there.  I asked for anything about John ENGLAND from Yorkshire.  After a while I was sent downstairs to the large document area. Not sure if this is still there or not.

They had found a document from York Castle about my great great grandfather’s crime which had him sent to Van Diemens Land back in 1846. I have written about John in a few other posts here, here and here.

This was an extremely long parchment document. I knew I wouldn’t have time to transcribe it there and then, so asked permission to make a copy using my ipad. It took 23 images to get the complete document as I unrolled it very carefully. The document was about a metre wide. Every 60-90cm or every 2-3 feet I would take a photo. I had only had my ipad for a short time, so the images came out very dark. When I was back in Australia, I adjusted the brightness so I could read the document more easily and saved those new images as well.

Here is one of the pages and below is the beginning of the transcription:

 

… Yorkshire to wit: The Jurors for our Lady the Queen upon their oath present that hereby to wit on the nineteenth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty six at the Parish of Rotherham in the West Riding of the County of York John Fullarton Esquire then being one of the Justices of our Lady the Queen assigned to keep the peace of the said Lady the Queen within the said West Riding of the County of York …

My convict’s name is not mentioned until the eleventh line of the document. Imagine having to transcribe 23 pages of said language. I might eventually get around to it. Some pages of the document also has other writing crossed over the original as seen in this image. There is virtually no punctuation in the entire document.

Readers: What is the most difficult document you have had to try and read? How successful were you?

Fresh start

John ENGLAND, my great great grandfather was one of my convict ancestors who I felt deserved being sent to Van Diemens Land.

Why you might ask?  Let me tell you his story.

John was born at Rotherham, Yorkshire in 1828.  By age 19 he was 5 feet 6 and 3/4 inches with fair complexion, oval head, sandy hair, no whiskers, brown eyebrows, hazel eyes and large nose. He was an iron moulder in the Rotherham area. His father was William and he had a brother named Thomas and sisters Elizabeth, Mary and Ann (or maybe Mary Ann)

Image from page 178 of "Foundry practice; a treatise on molding and casting in their various details" (1909)

But on 15 March 1846, his life was to take a big turn around. He was about to leave his safe home life and set off for a fresh start in another country thousands of miles away from England.

The indictment

On March 19, 1846 a warrant was set out by John Fullerton Esquire (JP) to John Bland (Constable of Rotherham) or to John Timms (deputy) and to the Governor of the Castle of York to convey John England, Samuel Myers, Joseph Barras and Richard Hague to the Castle of York and to deliver them to the Governor with the warrant.

John England, a labourer, on 15 March 1846 did with force and arms upon Maria Kaufman violently and feloniously make an assault and violently and feloniously did ravish and carnally know her. The other four with force and arms were present aiding, abetting and assisting John England.

Witnesses were John Bland, Maria Kaufman, Philippina(Caroline) Kaufman, Emma Harrison and William Hudson.

Friends help before the trial

Whilst awaiting trial, friends of John England did the following.

On June 9, 1846 George Aizlewood, Joseph Hague, Michael and Hannah Bradshaw, being evil disposed persons, unlawfully and wickedly with force and arms did conspire, combine, confederate and agree together to persuade Maria and Philippina Kaufman from attending to give evidence as witnesses.

They did this by paying and defraying the fare and expenses of the journey by railroad from Rotherham to London. Hannah paid 20 shillings for steam boat for parts beyond the seas. On 20 June 1846 she purchased and paid for diverse wearing apparel for Maria and Philippina. They tried to induce Maria and Philippina severally to suppress the evidence they knew and to withdraw and conceal themselves.

Whilst travelling in England in September 2005, I visited National Archives at Kew and found the actual indictment papers. I took photos with my ipad of the document which, when unrolled, was about 10 metres long. Here is an example of one of the 15 images I have. I still have to transcribe the document.

The trial

John was tried on 9 July 1846 at the York Assizes and was transported for life. It was his first conviction and it was rape in companion with Joseph Barras, William Thompson, William Aizlewood and Samuel Myers. John and Samuel arrived on board the same boat.

Awaiting transport

John and his companions in crime were in Millbank Prison before setting sail to VDL. (PCOM2)

Millbank Thomas Hosmer Shepherd pub 1829.jpg
Public Domain, Link

Heading to Van Diemens Land

John England then embarked on the convict ship Pestonjee Bomanjee (2) from London on 25 October 1846 and arrived 17 February 1847. According to the Home Office (HO 27/80) he had no degree of instruction.  He was a protestant who could read but the surgeon report said John was a negligent scholar. He had many marks on his arms – boys/men blowing horn, birds and bush, ship and 2 fishes, bust of woman, sailor with flag etc.

His conduct while under sentence

Maria Island - settlement of Darlington - view from hill (c1924)

John was stationed at Darlington, Maria Island, 28 February 1847 until late 1849.
14 August 1847 insolence
5 August 1848 idleness
7 December 1848 misconduct fighting on the works – 14 days solitary
3 June 1851 Hobart – misconduct being out after hours

Freedoms

On 8 August 1854 he received his ticket of leave meaning he could now get a job and earn his own wages.

His marriage to Rebecca Jackson (another convict) was approved on 20 September 1854.
16 August 55 Hobart resisting a constable fined 1 pound

His final freedom, a conditional pardon, was given on 22 July 1856 just 10 years after his conviction back in England.

So did John make a fresh start once his sentence was completed?

He raised a family of 8 children, worked as a moulder with John Swaine in Collins Street, Hobart, then Crosby and Robinson in Campbell Street and again with John Swaine.

At the marriage of his eldest daughter Elizabeth, the marriage notice mentioned Sheffield papers to copy, so maybe John was still in touch with family back in Yorkshire.

John led a good life here in Van Diemens Land later known as Tasmania and died in February 1905 at the age of 77.

 

Readers: Which ancestor of yours had to make a fresh start or on their own decided to make a fresh start? Do you know the reason why?

My dinner party

#52ancestors theme for week 4 is ‘Invite to dinner’  I knew exactly who was coming to my dinner party.

William Chandler and his wife Caroline Chandler nee Bryant and John England and his wife Rebecca England nee Jackson are my great great grandparents on my mother’s paternal line.

I have already written some posts about William and Caroline as well as others on John and Rebecca.

But the reason I want to ask them to dinner is I have a lot of questions to ask them. I have settled for three questions per person.

William:

  • Where exactly were you born and when?
  • Who are your parents?
  • Did you know Caroline and her family before you came to Tasmania in 1855?

Caroline

  • Who was your father and what was your mother’s maiden name?
  • What happened to Charles before you and your mother came out to Tasmania?
  • Did you know William back in England and did he ask for you to emigrate to Tasmania?

John

  • Do you think your life in Tasmania was an improvement over life in Yorkshire?
  • Who were your parents?
  • How did you get to know Rebecca once you were both in Tasmania?

Rebecca

  • I know your father was William but what was your mother’s full name?
  • How is Sarah (Jane) Steele related to you?
  • What relation was Ann Jackson to you?

This would be an interesting dinner party as William and Caroline were free arrivals to Tasmania while John and Rebecca came at their majesty’s request (convicts). I wonder if this would make any difference to the conversation.  William’s family were into gardening while John was an iron moulder. The Chandler family lived in Sandy Bay while the England family were around Molle St, Barrack St and Goulburn St in South Hobart.

William and Caroline’s daughter Julia married John and Rebecca’s son Henry in 1885. I wonder how the two met. Maybe a local church?

Family of John and Rebecca England

1. John ENGLAND ( – 10 Feb 1905) & Rebecca JACKSON (About 1833 – 23 Oct 1906)

1. William ENGLAND (16 Oct 1852 – 11 Mar 1854)

2. Henry Lewis ENGLAND (26 Dec 1854 – 29 Aug 1932) & Julia Charlotte CHANDLER (1 Oct 1860 – 3 Mar 1905)

1. Ruby May ENGLAND (5 Jul 1886 – 29 Oct 1967) & Arthur John Sydney STIRLING (1885 – )

2. Henry Lewis ENGLAND (12 Dec 1888 – 12 Mar 1963) & Hannah DAVEY (10 Nov 1899 – 7 Mar 1967)

3. Gladys Emily ENGLAND (4 Aug 1891 – Sep 1977) & Harold AMINDE

4. Lucy Grace ENGLAND (22 Oct 1894 – 7 Oct 1914)

3. Elizabeth ENGLAND (22 Feb 1857 – ) & Joseph BRADLEY (1856 – )

1. Alice Rebecca BRADLEY (1879 – )

2. Madeline BRADLEY (1880 – )

3. Lily BRADLEY (1882 – )

4. Elizabeth Mary BRADLEY (1884 – )

5. BRADLEY (1885 – 1886)

6. George BRADLEY (27 Oct 1890 – )

7. John BRADLEY (1892 – )

8. Joseph BRADLEY (1896 – )

4. Male ENGLAND (4 Nov 1859 – ) Probably Edward

5. Mary Ann ENGLAND (30 Nov 1861 – )

6. William James ENGLAND (2 Mar 1864 – ) & Sarah SINFIELD (1861 – )

7. Female ENGLAND (28 Jul 1866 – )

8. George Thomas ENGLAND (3 Dec 1868 – )

Pre trial information on John England

On March 19, 1846 a warrant was set out by John Fullerton Esquire (JP) to John Bland (Constable of Rotherham) or to John Timms (deputy) and to the Governor of the Castle of York to convey John England, Samuel Myers, Joseph Barras and Richard Hague to the Castle of York and to deliver them to the Governor with the warrant.

John England , a labourer, on 15 March 1846 did with force and arms upon Maria Kaufman violently and feloniously make an assault and violently and feloniously did ravish and carnally know her. The other four with force and arms were present aiding, abetting and assisting John England.

Witnesses were John Bland, Maria Kaufman, Philippina(Caroline) Kaufman, Emma Harrison and William Hudson.

He was tried on 9 July 1846 at the York Assizes and was transported for life. It was his first conviction and it was rape in companion with Joseph Barras, William Thompson, William Aizlewood and Samuel Myers. John and Samuel arrived on board the same boat. There were 2 girls Caroline and Maria Kaufman.

Whilst awaiting trial, friends of John England did the following.

On June 9, 1846 George Aizlewood, Joseph Hague, Michael and Hannah Bradshaw, being evil disposed persons, unlawfully and wickedly with force and arms did conspire, combine, confederate and agree together to persuade Maria and Philippina Kaufman from attending to give evidence as witnesses.

They did this by paying and defraying the fare and expenses of the journey by railroad from Rotherham to London. Hannah paid 20 shillings for steam boat for parts beyond the seas. On 20 June 1846 she purchased and paid for diverse wearing apparel for Maria and Philippina.

They tried to induce Maria and Philippina severally to suppress the evidence they knew and to withdraw and conceal themselves.