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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:25 am 
Mongrel
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:22 pm
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Location: Gloucestershire
I have recently discovered that my 3xGt-g'father Daniel Nutter (baptised at St Bartholomew's, Colne, in October 1794: the record gives his date of birth as 12.7.1794) was found guilty of sheep-stealing at Lancaster Assizes on 29.8.1827 and sentenced to death. Fortunately for him, a large proportion of such sentences were commuted to transportation for life, and a Daniel Nutter from Lancashire is recorded as having arrived at Sydney in July 1828 on board the Phoenix, with a life sentence.

Is this my ancestor? In the IGI there are many Nutters in north-east Lancashire in the 18th and 19th Centuries, but very few Daniel Nutters around 1780-1830 (more later): and such Australian convict records as I've seen include very few Nutters and no other Daniel. A nice bit of evidence that this is my Daniel is a record showing that some time in 1828 a Daniel Nutter, who had arrived on Phoenix (in July 1828) had absconded - aged 34. Exactly right! He must have been caught, because he survived to get his ticket-of-leave in 1844: a lot of those who escaped perished in the bush, or simply disappeared without trace.

Between 1787 and 1868, about 160,000 convicts were transported to Australia from England, the majority from London and Lancashire, so it's a common enough story. It's special for me because for the last several years I've been increasingly fascinated by the history of transportation and the early colonisation of Australia, without ever dreaming that it might have happened to one of us. I got onto the story through sheer serendipity as a result of Googling Daniel and finding him in the Lancaster Assizes records: then knowing from my reading on transportation about the very frequent commutation of death sentences, I looked for him in Australian records and got lucky three times - when he arrived in Sydney, absconded, and got his ticket-of-leave. I've asked a friend in Australia to look for him in the 1828 Census of NSW (Nov 1828), where he should be if he wasn't still on the run.

Daniel left behind him his wife Isabella nee Airton and at least three children, of whom Alice born 1818 (Haggate records) was my 2xGt g'mother. I haven't yet found any evidence that he had children in Australia.........

Charon


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:17 am 
Willfinder General
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Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:51 pm
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
If you are interested in the early history of Australia and transportation of criminals, then I suggest this book: The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fatal-Shore-Rob ... 697&sr=8-3

My ex’s family were English convicts that were sent out to Australia with the second fleet, 1790 (Charles Cross and Hannah Flood), and if I remember right, Charles had stolen a silver spoon, and Hannah had stolen an apron. For this they were sentenced to 7 years each.

Years ago I visited the Bishopsgate library in London, http://www.bishopsgate.org.uk/content.a ... goryID=968 and I came across copies of old Sydney newspapers. In these articles I found several references to Charles Cross. One article that I recall was about Charles receiving stolen goods and in another there was a tale about Mr. Cross walking to town when he was attacked by spear wielding Aborigines.

This looks like a useful site for research http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/navigators/con ... index.html

Second Fleet.
http://members.pcug.org.au/~pdownes/dps/2ndflt.htm


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:34 am 
Willfinder General
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Do you know the story about Australia’s cannibal convict, Alexander Pearce?
http://www.theage.com.au/news/entertain ... 64529.html


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:48 am 
Mongrel
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:22 pm
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Location: Gloucestershire
Leaver,
thanks for your fascinating story, and the links. As it happens, I was reading (or rather re-re-reading) The Fatal Shore only yesterday - an absorbing book and a very good read, though an Australian friend who studied convict history for his degree says "Hughes' book falls into the category of a ratlling good story with a fair Gothic touch": he puts more faith in Convicts and the Colonies by A G L Shaw, though it's harder going! You might enjoy Thomas Keneally's recent book The Commonwealth of Thieves, which covers the First Fleet, Governor Philip, and the first five years - another very good read and another perspective. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Commonwealth-Th ... 376&sr=8-1

Charon


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:51 pm
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Thanks Charon, I will check this book out when I have some time.

Cheers, Kris


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