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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:00 am 
Spider Lady
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The Preston Guardian

Saturday 20 February 1847

Lent Assizes

Henry Lee, 26, Henry Dixon, 27, William Simpson, 24, and Thomas Boothman, 21, were charged with having, at Trawden, in the parish of Whalley, burglariously entered the house of James Preston, and stolen therefrom fifty half-crowns, fifty-four shillings, and a penny. Mr. Brandt conducted the prosecution, and having very fully explained the nature of the charge as it applied to the four prisoners respectively, called
John Preston, who said he was a cotton and worsted manufacturer, at Trawden, and on the 1st of January last, between ten and eleven o'clock in the evening, examined the warehouse, which communicates with his dwelling, and found the doors and windows all secure. When he got up, however, on the following morning, between seven and eight, he missed his hat from the place where he had put it the previous evening, and on going into the parlour, discovered that the house had been broken into through the parlour window, and also that the money-box in the warehouse had been forced open, and £14 13s. 1d. taken therefrom. His wife and himself heard a noise during the night, but he did not know how it had been occasioned. Knew the prisoner Boothman.
Mr. Pollock was retained for the prisoners, and cross examined this and subsequent witnesses for the prosecution.
John Dewhurst knew Mr. Preston's house, and was sent for on the 2nd of January, and shown the parlour window through which the entrance had been effected. Observed some footmarks near the place, and afterwards assisted in the apprehension of the prisoners.
Joseph Irving is a weaver at Colne, and was at a "hush shop," kept by Tot-o-Ned's, on the 1st of January. Saw all the prisoners there. Lee, Dixon, and Boothman left in company, about eleven o'clock. Simpson had gone out a short time previously. Afterwards saw three of the prisoners going towards Carry Side, and thinking they were about to do something wrong, went through a garden and plantation to watch them, and saw them go over Carry Bridge down Coal Pit Lane, which leads to Trawden. Followed them, and saw them next at Clegg's house. Shortly, after, Simpson and Walton joined the other three at the Quakers' Meeting-house, which is only a little distance from Trawden. In a short time noticed all the five together again, about a hundred yards from Preston's house. Lee, Dixon, and Boothman, went behind the house. Saw Lee put something on a pane in the window. He (Lee) then pushed against the pane, and broke it, after which he opened the shutter, and all three got into the house. When they came out they had a box with them. While the three were in the house, Walton was walking backwards and forwards in front of it. Afterwards saw all five in company, at the Rasters'(?) Chapel, about a hundred yards from Preston's house. Saw them next while in Todd's Wood and heard Lee say they had got between forty and fifty pounds, when one of them observed, "More and better!" Watched them back to Colne, and saw them go into Thomas Hey's about half-past one o'clock in the morning.
John Folds, a weaver at Colne, corroborated the testimony of the last witness. Several other persons were examined, but no new facts were elicited.
The Jury found Lee, Boothman, and Dixon guilty, and acquitted Simpson.
His Lordship, in sentencing the prisoners, said they had all been convicted on the clearest and most satisfactory evidence. The sentence of the court was, that they each be transported for the space of fifteen years.
The trial occupied four hours.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:03 am 
Spider Lady
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What would have happened to these prisoners (and others whose sentece was transportation) after they were transported? Were they dumped at the docks in the distant lands? After their sentence was served, were arrangements made to collect them or were they forgotten about?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:48 pm 
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Transportation is a fascinating subject, or at least the lives of those convicts who served their time and subsequently made good can be fascinating. There are a few headline points to start with at http://www.spiritus-temporis.com/penal-transportation/

I was not aware of transportation to America before I saw this, though I knew a bit about transportation to Australia, where there was a special prison for the "hard cases" (convicts who reoffended while in the penal colony, or tried to escape) at Port Arthur in Tasmania. Worth visiting http://www.portarthur.org.au/

It's a matter of pride for many Australians to be able to trace their ancestry to a transported convict.

Charon


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:06 pm 
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Here's another website about transportation - with a section "Convict tales" on convicts' experiences and lives after serving their sentences.

Almost makes me wish I had a transportee in my tree!

Charon


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:07 pm 
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oops - left out the URL. Sorry! http://www.convictcentral.com/

Charon


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 7:02 pm 
Spider Lady
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Thanks Charon. Really interesting stuff, the first site seemed to answer most of my queries.
I saw the last link in last months WDYTYA magazine. They commented on the amateurish look of the site but said not to be put off by it as it was a mine of info.

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