During the nineteenth century, it was relatively common for people who had been found guilty - even of relatively minor crimes - to be sentenced to transportation to the new colonies of Australia. Many of these
crimes would nowadays result in nothing more than a small fine, or community service.
While some sentences were for ‘life’ shorter sentences of transportation were sometimes handed down - though few ever returned, as no ‘return ticket’ was offered!
Transportation was the fate of at least three Winteringham men in the 1830s and 1840s.
James Hamilton Greaves
On 5th March 1831 at the Assizes, Hull-born bricklayer James Hamilton Greaves, aged 18, was found guilty of breaking into the Winteringham house of John Carnaby and stealing some silver. He was found guilty and
was sentenced to 14 years transportation, to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania).
Further research by Marlene Walters:
He was transported from London aboard the Gilmore, setting sail on 27th November 1831, and arriving on 22nd March 1832. On 10th June 1834, and now known as William Hamilton Greaves, he absconded from New-town
Farm, and was described as 5 feet 8 inches tall, with a dark complexion and dark brown hair, with light hazel eyes, and slightly pockpitted. He was also described as aged 23. There was a £2 reward.
This information comes from the “Half yearly return or runaway convicts, Police Office, Hobart Town, June 30 1836.” “The undermentioned Convicts having absconded from their autorized Places
of Residence, all Constables and others are hereby required to use their utmost exertions to lodge them in safe Custody.” William Hamilton Greaves was listed under “Of The Following, Nothing
Particular is Known.”
James Hardgreaves on the ship Gilmore landed in Tasmania. It is believed that James Greaves changed his name to Hardgreaves at some stage. He married another convict called Elizabeth George who arrived in
the ship Angelina. They were married on 18th December 1849.
At Lindsey Quarter Sessions held at Kirton under the chairmanship of Robert Sheffield on 21st October 1836, 42 year
old Charles Johnson pleaded guilty to stealing five fleeces, the property of John Scarborough of Winteringham. He was
sentenced to 7 years transportation to New South Wales (Australia) aboard the “James Pattison.” He left Sheerness in
Kent on 16th July 1837, arriving in Hobart on 25th October 1837, having taken 101 days for the journey. There were 270
males, no females on board. The ship’s captain was Jas Cromarty, and the surgeon was Thomas Robertson.
Above, Charles Johnson’s ticket of leave, giving his name, the ship he will be transported on, the year, where tried (Lincoln Lindsey), the date of trial, and the length of transportation (7 years).
He gained his “certificate of freedom” on 19th August 1846 (see below):
The above certificate states:
Date: ... 19th August 1846
Prisoner’s No: ... 37/2475
Name: ... Charles Johnson
Ship: ... James Pattison
Master ... Cromarty
Native Place ... Lincolnshire
Trade or calling ... Labourer
Offence ... [blank]
Place of trial: ... Lincoln QS
Date of Trial: ... 21 October 1836
Sentence: ... Seven yrs
Year of Birth: ... 1795
Height: ... 5 feet 8¾inches
Complexion: ... dark sallow
Hair: ... dark-brown
Eyes: ... Hazel
General remarks: Diagonal scar over right eyebrow. Heart in square & woman inside lower right arm. Two
burnt marks outside same. CIEW back of right hand. Mary Johnson inside the lower part of left arm CxUMI and anchor back of left hand. Blue ring and nine dots
[continued vertically on right of certificate] back of middle finger of same.
Muswellbrook is written vertically on the left. This is a settlement in New South Wales, and convict labour was used there to construct roads and buildings.
John Button was sentenced by Lindsey Quarter Sessions on 7th April 1843 to 10 years transportation to Van Diemen’s
Land, Tasmania, aboard the “Anson.” He was transported in 1844. Convict Number 10783.
His case was originally heard at Barton Petty Sessions on 11th February, when he faced allegations of stealing a
quantity of “wearing apparel” from the boat “Hope” moored in Winteringham Haven on January 18th, the clothing
belonging to Mr T. Gibson, the captain. The accused was apprehended in Hull, where two people traced the clothes to
his possession, having bought the pawnbrokers tickets from him. The court committed him for trial at Lindsey Quarter Sessions, held at Kirton Lindsey in April.
The above extract shows John Button being hired by L. Deane in 1849, in Tasmania.
He was reported to be aged 23 at the time of his trial. He could be the John Button born on January 2nd 1820, to John
Button (waterman) and his wife Frances. He would be 24 when transported, and 29 when hired in Tasmania.
A diagramatic representation of the Anson can be viewed here.
Further research from Marlene Walters:
Ironically, the Anson was built at Paull, near Hull in 1812. She was 175 feet in length.
HMS Anson was a 74 Gun Ship of the Line of 1,870 tons. She was refitted at Chatham Naval Dockyard for her one and
only voyage to Tasmania. She carried 499 male convicts - including Winteringham’s John Button - to Hobart , Tasmania.
This was the largest number of convicts ever carried by a single ship. She left Southampton on 1st October 1843, and
landed at Hobart on 4th February 1844, under Captain Coglin. After the convicts were disembarked, she was refitted as
a prison, and towed to Prince of Wales Bay, Risdon near Hobart where she was moored, and used as a prison for
female convicts from 1844 onwards. This was to alleviate overcrowding at Cascades Female Factory.
To read the remarks of the Surgeon on board the Anson during the voyage to Hobart, please click here