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Hello Alan and Janice,
Many thanks to you and to Bryce for the further research regarding David
Belton, the time and effort are really appreciated.
I wonder if I will be able to establish a link to the Davids, both Senior and
Junior who were mentioned in the Trials.
Our Belton line is from Foulness Is., Essex, but family lore has them
originating in Lincolnshire, with 2 brothers escaping a charge of sheep
stealing........perhaps it was a family trait !
The English rels are not too keen to acknowledge the possibility of having a
convict in the family, however I shall pass on the latest findings to them
......now that Census lists are available the connection may be found after
> This is from a Book called 'The sweat of their Brows"100 years of the
> Water Board
> The Tardiness in completion of the tunnel, a decade after work began, has
> been blamed in part on the unmanageable and unskilled nature of convict
> labour,a little unfair perhaps, considering that for most of the distance
> they had to hack through solid rock, in a confined passageway with nothing
> more then picks and shovels.
I tend to disagree with the author of the book.
The Sydney Basin rock formation is basically very 'soft'.
It is in the main, fairly soft sandstone. This type of rock can be mined
easily using picks, crow bars and mattocks. It crumbles under a little
applied pressure from a sledge hammer. It can be split into blocks using a
and wedges very easily.
It was mined extensively for the construction of many Francis Greenway's
buildings by convicts in the preceding years, so the expertise was there.
I think Busby was quite within his rights to blame his work force.
How skilled do you need to be to swing a pick or a sledge hammer?
To assume that the convicts were doing 'hard yakka' in a confined space is
to ignore the facts. You can not compare working ethics from the past with
today's, simply because in those days they worked a full day every day
It was the done thing. They came from a country where if you didn't work you
didn't eat. Which is why they were here. Most stole to feed their families,
were caught, convicted and transported.
Compare the construction time of the bore against the construction time ten
years earlier of the road across the Blue Mountains to Bathurst (about 6
and ask yourself again if maybe Busby had a point that the old lags were
the lead'. There were some huge cuttings through sandstone rock and
bridges and culverts built in this road construction. And some are still
there to be seen today.
A credit to the convict workforce and engineers of the day.
ne probas spurii te in pulverem conterere
How awful. Can't begin to imagine what they must have felt like, being treated like vermin - such a hell hole. We human's are supposed to be a step above the animal kingdom!
On a nicer note. A SAFE AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL.
Hi everyone, I was very touched by this and thought others would like to read. This was sent to me from the William Baker - Neptune site. Sorry it is a long piece.
159 died when a monster stalked a hell ship.
Gala crowds gathered on Sydney Cove On a frigid June day in 1790 to greet the Ships of the Second Fleet - the first to enter the Heads for more than two years. They were intrigued by the strange behaviour of one, the transport Neptune. From her decks as she tacked up harbour, the crew kept tossing white objects overboard. Curiosity turned to horror as the truth dawned. The "objects" now bobbing in the harbour were the emaciated remains of starved, tortured and diseased convicts who had perished on the voyage. Like a ghost ship, the Neptune dropped anchor and began unloading men in cargo hoists because they were too weak to walk --- ending one of the blackest chapters in the history of convict transportation
Of the 499 convicts boarded onto the Neptune in England, 159, nearly a third of them, had died from disease and starvation in a revolting hell hole below decks on the voyage out.
Of the survivors, 259 were so weak they had to crawl on hands and knees to hastily erected tent hospitals. Some died in the boats while they were being rowed ashore.
All were victims of a sea monster, Captain Donald Traill, master of the Neptune who deliberately set out to murder the convicts by starvation to increase the profits of the voyage.
Neptune's voyage out was one long, grim record of murder, lust and violence. Apart from the slaughter of the convicts, two members of the crew were slain, while the naval agent, who traveled as the convicts' protector, died in mysterious circumstances.
On Neptune's return to London, Traill and his first mate, William Elrington, were charged with murder and acquitted.
Neptune was an East Indiaman of 799 tons. She was chartered from the London firm of Camden, Clavert and King as a transport, and joined the Second Fleet of six vessels to take convicts, troops and stores to the newly-founded penal colony at Sydney.
Under the loosely-worded charter agreement, the contractors and captain were paid £17/7/6 for each convict taken aboard.
Admiralty authorities seemed unaware of the obvious loophole open to unscrupulous captains. The greater number of deaths, the fewer mouths to feed, and the greater the profit on the voyage.
Neptune took on her human cargo at Gravesend, in the Thames, on a bleak November day in 1790. of the 499 officially listed. 78 were women.
Many should never have been sentenced to transportation. Some were smothered with gaol sores, others suffered from malnutrition, dysentery and other diseases.
Their cabins on the orlop --- lowest of the three decks - were only six feet square. Ceilings were so low that men over average height had to stoop to stand. Each convict was allotted space little bigger than a coffin.
The naval officer on board, Lieutenant Shapecote, whose duty was to see the convicts were properly cared for, made no effort to improve conditions.
Weeks dragged by as the Neptune's Captain John Gilbert, waited for favourable winds.
Winter gripped the Thames. The scantily-clad convicts huddled together for warmth. Frozen bilge water converted their cells into iceboxes.
Inevitably death struck. Many of the sick convicts died. Their bodies tossed into the river.
Overcrowding increased with the arrival of 70 passengers, including 42 troops of the newly-formed New South Wales Corp, later called the Rum Corps, with two of their officers, Captain Nicholas Nepean and Lieutenant (later Captain) John Macarthur.
One of the last aboard was the ship's surgeon, D'Arcy Wentworth, lately acquitted at the Old Bailey of highway robbery charges,
Conditions in the ship worsened when the soldiers, with an eye to rich profits in the remote colony, piled the decks with trade goods.
As a result, hardened seamen, fearful of making the long voyage in the cramped, filthy tub, began to walk off. At least 200 signed on and quitted before the Neptune finally sailed out of the Thames.
The Neptune's troubles had only begun, however. Tempers aboard flared as soon as she entered the storm-tossed Channel.
Macarthur quarreled with Captain Gilbert over the cabin he and his wife and child had been allotted next to the convict women's quarters.
The clash ended with the two firebrands fighting a pistol duel as soon as the ship reached Plymouth.
Neither was hurt, but a report of the incident was sent to Captain Nepean's brother Evan, who was secretary to the Admiralty, and Gilbert was relieved of his ship.
Command was given to Captain Donald Traill who recently had had command of a slave ship.
The convicts had been shivering in the bowels of the Neptune more than two months, when at last, on January 17, 1790, they began their horror voyage to Australia.
By comparison with Traill, Gilbert had been a humanitarian. Now they were treated less than Negro slaves. Traill quickly realised it was more profitable for them to die than live.
He therefore cut their rations and water supply, and was gratified when the death rate increased.
He sent guards below to ransack the convicts' meager personal belongings for anything of value. This he appropriated to sell later.
Guards, in their raids, found a number of knives hidden in the convict quarters. Traill, suspecting mutiny, ordered the convicts to be kept in chains for the rest of the voyage.
By contrast, the women convicts- especially the prettier ones -- were well treated. Crew members gave extra rations in return for their favours.
Captain Traill allowed his officers and men to invade the women's quarters at night and carry the girls off to their cabins.
The Macarthurs complained so bitterly of the licentiousness, disorderliness and filth aboard the Neptune that eventually Traill signaled another transport of the Fleet, the Scarborough, to heave to in mid Atlantic and bundled them aboard it.
Steadily Neptune's death toll mounted. Scurvy and a "violent epidemical fever" swept through the convict deck. Scores died.
Surgeon Wentworth, going his rounds, frequently found the bodies of men who had been dead for days.
Their mates had propped them up to make them appear live so they could collect the extra food and water for themselves.
Often only the stench of decay rising above the smell of human filth, in which the convicts wallowed, betrayed the grim secret.
By the time Neptune reached Capetown in April, 46 had died. Scores of others were near death yet nothing was done at Capetown to relieve their plight.
While at Capetown, Shapecote reported to the Admiralty that there had been an outbreak of scurvy aboard the Neptune and other convict transports.
"I have ordered the masters to issue convicts fresh meat every day, with a sufficient quantity of vegetables," he wrote.
Shapecote's belated interest in the convict's welfare sealed his doom.
One morning about three o'clock, soon after leaving Capetown, the convict girl who shared his cabin went to the officer of the watch and announced that Shapecote was dead.
He died mysteriously, probably murdered, but Traill held no investigation. He merely ordered the body to be cast overboard.
>From then on, the worst atrocities were committed on the convicts. They died like flies. Scarcely a day passed without a naked body going overboard.
Water was reduced further, to half a pint per man a day - barely a mouthful each. Food was cut to near starvation levels.
Crew members later reported that whenever they got the chance, hunger crazed convicts temporarily freed for menial duties stole and ate the hog's swill.
The orlop deck became a reeking, hideous hellhole. Chained men were helpless to carry out even the simplest tasks of hygiene and Traill mad no effort to clean up the filth.
In rough seas the Neptune took in so much water that the convicts were sometimes up to their waists in the bilge.
Violent murder also stalked the Neptune's decks.
In the dark alleyways of the ship a convict was slain.
The sixth mate , Andrew Anderson, and the cook John Joseph, were found murdered.
The rest of the crew were ready to swear that the villainous first mate, William Elrington, who had also served in the slave trade, was the killer, but Traill - probably because he also was involved - took no action.
The long ordeal ended when the Neptune reached Sydney on June 28, 1790.
By then, 159 convicts had died, 11 of them women.
Of the 340 survivors, 269 were hospital cases.
In stunned and shocked silence, the inhabitants of Sydney watched Neptune being unloaded. It was a grim spectacle.
Eye witness accounts say that numbers of the convicts, pale, frail, and emaciated from six months of starvation in the dark cells, stumbled and died on deck. The sudden shock of fresh air and sunshine killed them!
The colony's chaplain, the Rev. Richard Johnson, recorded that convicts too weak to walk were "slung over the ship's side in the same manner as they would sling a cask, a box, or anything of that nature." Some of these men died as they were being rowed ashore.
The scenes ashore were pitiable. According to Johnson, "some crept upon their hands and knees. Some came on the backs of others." Still others had to be led like children learning to walk.
Their misery, said Johnson, was "inexpressible." Heads, bodies and rags of clothing were full of filth, dirt and lice. Some were "exercised with violent fevers."
To the Neptune's total of 259 sick were added another 230 from the transports Scarborough and Surprize, where conditions had not been much better.
Sixty eight died on the Scarborough and 42 on Surprize.
Desperate efforts were made to find hospital accommodation in a colony which lacked even the barest essentials in its own homes.
The tiny hospital soon overflowed. A tent town of 90 marquees sprung up. There were no beds, so the sick slept on grass, with one blanket among four.
The midwinter freeze of Sydney now took its toll. A month later Johnson recorded that he had buried 84 of the hell ship survivors.
Meanwhile, having made a comfortable cleanup from the sale of valuables and food he stole from the convicts, Traill sailed for England.
As soon as Neptune docked in London, 10 members of the crew marched to the Guildhall and denounced Traill and Elrington.
As a result, both were charged with the murders of Anderson, Joseph and the unnamed convict.
The police were too late. Both had fled to France and were never heard of again.
Revelations of the "great sacrifice of human life" aboard Neptune shocked and horrified all England and led directly to reforms in transportation methods.
This is reprinted from the Sydney Daily Mirror May 21, 1954 page 17
Posted to incorrect address. The Rootsweb email addresses with the word REQUEST
included is for subscribing and unsubscribing only
From: Marian Hassett [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, 31 December 2002 10:11
Subject: Lost child of convict
Thanks for your suggestions.
On the publications of banns Campbelltown (assume that application to marry)
dated 18th Dec. 1840. William Williams was on a bond and in the service of James
Raymond Esq. At that time Eliza was free. In the remarks column it states
regarding Eliza Wilson "The females states that she entered her name in the
books as a married person, although she was at the time single. The reason she
alleges for doing this that she had a young child with her on embarkation and in
order to conceal its illegitimacy she was instructed by a fellow passenger to
report herself married. She has been reported free since 1840 and awaits the
arrival of her certificate of Freedom" Signed Hugh R. Gilchrist, Minister.
I think she may have been assigned to the Monaro, if this is the case am I able
to find out information regarding her position and if she had a child with her?
On the shipping records it stated that she was a nursemaid.
On Williams Death Cert. he died 1902 at 102 there was only mention of the 5
children they had together. Eliza died at the age of 65 and it only mentioned
the same 5 children. Both death certs. sate parents unknown.
Eliza and William are buried in a huge tomb none of the other children were
buried with them.
No. Lesley has not sent me any info.
Are the records on line for the female factory, also King Orphan School, which I
had never heard of. Have often enquired re the Andromeda the ship Eliza came on
and it appears not many people are familiar with it. On the Lists of Female
convicts by the ship Andromeda it stated that she was married with a female
child. In the remarks column it stated that she had a pearl on her right eye,
and that sons James and Luke Latham were convicted at the same it. Were they
her children? There was another convicts on board named Margaret Latham and
stated that she had 5 male children with her. I am just wondering if Margaret
Latham was the one who told Eliza to say she was married, and why were the two
Latham boys down as Eliza children?
I will also asked Lesley if she will do a look up on Margaret as well as Luke
and James Latham seeing it stated that they were convicted. I apologise if this
sounds muddled, and hope you can make sense of it.
I am very interested to read what you think
I have received a copy of a death certificate for convict WILLIAM BURKE (Larkins 1817) dated 1844. The funeral took place at The Garrison Church, The Rocks, but does not state where he is buried. I have looked at the Old Sydney Burial Ground book to see if he was re-interred, but can find no reference to him. Does any one know if there are any records of funerals from the Garrison church which might shed some light on William's final resting place.
>I find on a lot of convict court depositions
the word "d........d". e.g. d..........d scoundrel. Can some one explain to me why the word is not printed in full. Obviously it is a then swearword I expect it to be " dammed" but I can't see why it is regarded as such a no no. Can some Lister explain.<
Our language, like all other spoken and written languages evolves. A language in use has a history and a present context. My limited understanding of the subject is obtained from very basic Undergraduate study of Linguistics.
Basically, words come in and out of "fashion". At one time a word in common usage may be considered "correct" in public forum, at a later time, the word may be considered "Taboo", and visa versa.
The word "damned" in Aus. Colonial days may have had a "stronger meaning" than it's use in colloquial language today. Perhaps the word had reference to "Eternal damnation"... a dictionary would help here! Maybe a reference to such a "terrible" event needed censorship in it's day?
You will find equivalent censorship of words today in our daily newspapers. Words which some folk take offence to are indeed censored.
At the risk of offending anyone on List I shall refrain from giving examples! :)
Needless to say, such words cause little offence to some who use such words in every day speech. On the other hand, the majority of the population find the "words" offensive, so therefore censorship takes place in the popular written media.
Hope I have not waffled on too much Ken!
Simple answer; time and place. A bit like "good" manners! :)
Best regards Wayne
Lesley and List. I find on a lot of convict court depositions
the word "d........d". e.g. d..........d scoundrel. Can some one explain to me why the word is not printed in full. Obviously it is a then swearword I expect it to be " dammed" but I can't see why it is regarded as such a no no. Can some Lister explain. Regards
Ken Meredith at Timbertown
Hi Wendy & Anthony,
What a great story, thanks for sharing it.
It proves there may be a lot of overseas people who could have connections
with Australia. I am going to show this to a friend, who would not consider
her family could be connected to Australia's early history. Despite some
----- Original Message -----
From: "wendy meredith" <poile(a)bigpond.com>
Sent: Monday, December 30, 2002 5:11 PM
Subject: [PJ] Scottish radical
> March 1830 in the presence of John Betts & Charlotte Cameron. William &
> Helen then migrated to Canada in 1831.
> A Canadian descendent stated the family story was that "Helen was an
> orphan and that she eloped with William. Further, she allegedly
> forfeited her rights to the family property near Sydney because of her
> elopement without her guardian's permission." The land was sold in the
> early 1830's to John Sparke.
> William & Helen raised 12 children in Ottawa and have thousands of
> descendents in Canada and the USA. My correspondent stated his family
> are very surprised & interested to learn about their Australian convict
> Wendy & Anthony Meredith
I thought a "fig" was a measure of tobacco ?
In the Book "Settlers and Convicts" he mentions giving someone "a full fig
Joy Clingan - Braidwood.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Lorraine" <lori7(a)iprimus.com.au>
Sent: Sunday, December 29, 2002 9:33 PM
Subject: [PJ] Figs
> I noticed with interest the fig question and Lesleys response. I wonder if
that is where the "Not worth a fig" saying derived from - Lorraine
> ==== AUS-PT-JACKSON-CONVICTS Mailing List ====
> Convicts to Port Jackson
> To join Ancestry.com and access our 1.2 billion online genealogy records,
> Busby's Bore Walk
> In the 1880's, mineral surveyor and civil engineer, John Busby, selected
Lachlan Swamp in Centennial Park as the source for a much needed centralised
town water supply. Convicts began constructing a tunnel from Hyde Park to a
point in the swamp adjacent to the present Robertson Rd entrance.
Then I hope Jon Breen is more knowledgeable than who ever wrote the blurb
that you quote.
Busby's bore plan was conceived in the early 1820's and construction began
1827-28 and completed 1836-37.
Busby designed and overseered it's construction.
The exact dates escape me at present, but no doubt some one will inform us.
As an engineering feat it overshadowed another big project of the time...
The Great North Road.
One was from the necessity to replace the polluted water supply and the
other was from the necessity to keep the convicts out of sight and busy far
from the temptations of Sydney Town.
From memory, John Busby was also dead by 1880.
What I do remember is that Busby moaned that he could have done the job in
one third of the time if he had had some 'decent Welsh miners' in the
As a Sydney Water Board surveying cadet in the early 1960's I had the
pleasure of having to learn the whole boring details of this project for an
exam. (Pardon the pun) :)
ne probas spurii te in pulverem conterere
Could I ask you to look up permission to marry for
1. James Quinn TOL 40/492 14 July 1840 - tried Limerick 1835 - ship:Backwell in 1835 Allowed to remain in the Goulburn District
2. James Quinn TOL 42/2821 14 November 1942 - tried Warwick Q.S.1836 - ship:Lloyds in 1837. Allowed to remain in the Braidwood District.
Rønæ Tryde Pursey
Merry Christmas from downunder
Mail Protection by Norton Internet Security 2002
I was investigating the original land owners of Mount Vincent (near
Maitland/Newcastle) and the following story emerged:
Gilbert McLeod was a Glasgow printer and he became involved in the 1820
radical uprising in Scotland and published a newsletter called "The
Spirit of the Union". He and some 20 other men were arrested and most
of them were transported to Australia. Gilbert arrived on the Asia in
1820. His wife Catherine and children George & Helen came free on the
"Mary Ann" to Sydney in 1822. In the 1823 muster of convicts they are
all living together & Gilbert is a schoolmaster.
Gilbert McLeod was buried in Sydney on 3 May 1828 age 37. In the 1828
census Catherine is aged 40 and has a house on Princes St. Catherine had
another building/house on Park St as the following people all say they
are living/working with Catherine McLeod: Elizabeth Davis aged 9 lodger;
John Johnson aged 60 came free shoemaker; George Seggerson 40 Govt.
servant (convict) lodger; Nathaniel Smith ex convict servant to
Gilbert must have granted 320 acres at Mount Vincent the year he died.
It was then held in trust by Charles Cowper & John Betts for his
daughter Helen. When 17, Helen married William Anstruther Maingy on 22
March 1830 in the presence of John Betts & Charlotte Cameron. William &
Helen then migrated to Canada in 1831.
A Canadian descendent stated the family story was that "Helen was an
orphan and that she eloped with William. Further, she allegedly
forfeited her rights to the family property near Sydney because of her
elopement without her guardian's permission." The land was sold in the
early 1830's to John Sparke.
William & Helen raised 12 children in Ottawa and have thousands of
descendents in Canada and the USA. My correspondent stated his family
are very surprised & interested to learn about their Australian convict
Wendy & Anthony Meredith
Thank you for your latest contributions to the list. On reading some
notes given to me by my husband's great Aunt for family history
purposes, she mentions her grandparents JAMES & JEAN GRAHAM leasing
the Newington property in 1862. They came from Melbourne with their
She says "Grandpa leased Newington from the bank and set to work to
have a home built for his family. In the meantime the family
occupied the big house. My mother was 13 when they went there to
live on Newington and she lived there till she was 18, she said it was
a lovely old home with lovely gardens and a fountain.
""Grahamville"", as my grandfather humourously called the house he
built was ready for us to move into in 1863.
Grandfather used the saltpans on the property and had meat killed on
Newington and sent by steamer to the city to the first"""dead meat
market""" where wholesale butchers could buy their meat."
Hope this snippet is of interest. Thanks again Janice and Alan
regards Margot Dredge
Hello Lesley and List,
A quick note to you all between Christmas and New Year! :)
Busby's Bore has featured on List several times over the past year or so. A fascinating and most important part of our Colonial P.J. past.
I will be attending the following "Walk", details as follows. Bookings are essential as there are only 25 places, so far the subscription for the day is 12. Hopefully there will be a few P.J. List members who can make it to this very interesting excursion.
Busby's Bore Walk
In the 1880's, mineral surveyor and civil engineer, John Busby, selected Lachlan Swamp in Centennial Park as the source for a much needed centralised town water supply. Convicts began constructing a tunnel from Hyde Park to a point in the swamp adjacent to the present Robertson Rd entrance.
You will follow the route of Busby's Bore, the underground supply of early Sydney's drinking water, with Sydney Water historian Jon Breen. Share in Jon's wealth of knowledge about the history of Sydney's past and present water supply and usage. Learn about the role the ponds played when the early Tank Stream failed on the first ever tour of this kind.
Visit the source of the bore at Busby's Pond and the memorial cairn in Centennial Park then view the shaft into Busby's Bore not open to the public within Fox Studios. For adults.
Monday 17th February 2003 10am to 12noon
Meet Robertson Rd Gates
Finish at Fox Studios
The Magazine of Centennial Parklands
Vol. 21 Summer 2002/03
Call 9339 6699
Hope someone out there may be able to help me.
I'm researching a reference in
Watkin Tench book Settlement at Port Jackson. ( Chp 18 )
He refers to a Fazer, born in Sheffield.
No other info (ship/first name)
except he was an iron manufacturer by trade.
Does anyone know this man.
Is this William Fraser. ?
I suspect not, but it is a possibility.
My interest, is that I am a professional magician
and magic historian..
Tench mentions that this Frazer
had also worked as a magician at some time.
This would make him possibly the first in Australia.
an interesting thought.
hope you might shed some light on this
Blue Mountains / Capertee Valley
Achieving the Impossible
PO Box 19
Hazelbrook NSW 2779
PH 02 4758 8961
"Farewell Australia! You are a rising child,and doubtless some day will reign a great princess in the South;but you are too great and ambitious for affection,yet not great enough for respect.I leave your shores without sorrow or regret."
I really love these words describing our great country.We are now great enough for respect and now we are an adult.And yes we are a great princess of the south.
Samuel Dodd alias John Moyan or Morgan arrived in 1836 with a 7 year sentence
and was free by 1843. Convicts did not have to seek permission to marry once
they were free citizens UNLESS they married another convict still serving their
term. Although some did, somehow, get away with not obtaining permission,
through lying about their status or changing their names.
Samuel is not listed on my Permissions to Marry CD so therefore he married AFTER
1843 or fibbed :)
CLAIM A CONVICT
From: Val [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, 29 December 2002 21:10
Subject: [PJ] Permission to Marry
Could I please ask you to look up a permission to marry, Samuel Dodd alias
John Moyan arrived John Barry 1836, got his C/F 1843.
Content-Type: text/plain; x-avg-checked=avg-ok-4A9E1DAF; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed
Thankyou for the lookup, and Happy New Year.